Noosa had a range of female candidates to choose from and have voted for a new direction.
Noosa had a range of female candidates to choose from and have voted for a new direction.

FEMALE FORCE: Noosa Council will have a ‘better’ gender mix

THE new Noosa Council will be seen as less of a one-sided "boys club" with the shire residents guaranteed 4-3 split in the gender balance just slightly in favour of the elected male councillors.

And there are likely to be instances in the next four years where the female mayor elect Clare Stewart will have the casting vote in the event of a tied vote.

With the Electoral Commission of Queensland's last councillor candidate tally as of the morning showing 69.67 per cent of the official votes counted the council appears to have a final make-up.

On this ECQ tally, Future Noosa's Karen Finzel holds a 124 vote lead over businesswoman Karen Cook-Langdon for the sixth and last spot at the council table.

Top Six polling:

1. FRANK WILKIE: 13902 8.30%

2. BRIAN STOCKWELL: 13225 7.90%

3. JOE JURISEVIC: 11493 6.86%

4. AMELIA LORENTSON: 10714 6.40%

5. TOM WEGENER: 10291 6.14%

6. KAREN FINZEL: 10021 5.98%

Next Best:

7. KAREN COOK-LANGDON: 9897 5.91%

8. YANNI VAN ZIJL: 9853 5.88%

With Tony Wellington conceding defeat to Ms Stewart the die seems cast to usher in a strong female voice in Noosa's decision making, replacing the sole vote of the retired Cr Ingrid Jackson in the last Noosa Council.

It's something the former mayor Cr Wellington picked up during the vote count in this election.

"It's quite clear, there is a strong movement toward seeing more women on the Noosa Council," he said last week.

"That is playing out right across the vote. That's a good thing."

The final council "power balance" may well provide for some interesting and close votes ahead.

Sitting councillors Wilkie, Stockwell and Jurisevic were endorsed by the Wellington camp, with Mr Wegener also supported by the former mayor, while Ms Lorenton and Ms Finzel, if confirmed for the final spot, could well side with the mayor elect Stewart on certain issues.

On important decisions like the yet to be adopted new Noosa Plan, it may be that three re-elected councillors plus Mr Wegener may vote as a bloc.

And even though Cr Jurisevic has not always sided with the previous council majority on the issue of signage, he is a strong supporter of the new plan.

At the next council meetings, a good attendance record might be the difference on which direction the council take on important issues. Having one councillor absent in the event of a three-all vote would give the future mayor Stewart the casting vote.

And spare a thought for Noosa Council CEO Brett de Chastel, who amid supporting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic council responses, will now have to "break in" a new mayor and three new councillors.

They will all have to hit the ground running to prepare for the mid-year council budget.


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