Noosa voters lining up to cast their votes in 2016.
Noosa voters lining up to cast their votes in 2016.

Plenty riding on polling this 'key' election day

NOOSA voters will be thinking long and hard about who to elect as mayor, plus the best six council candidates based on who will protect their lifestyle best, especially in these uncertain times.

Key issues are:

Protection of the Noosa values of no "big city" symbols like high rise, traffic lights and billboards, through the enforcement then new Noosa Plan and the audit on signage "clutter". The outgoing council is yet to adopt the new plan and voters must consider would a new-look council make significant changes?

Residents want sound financial management, with minimal rates rises and expect a high level of services like maintaining Noosa's green look and feel.

Protection of residential amenity through the effective controls on short-term stays. This is a two-edge sword as business has major concerns about the impact of the changes to restrict lettings will have on the Noosa's holiday stays and the flow-on effect to the economy.

Council critics (read candidates and perhaps disgruntled rural residents) have attacked the lack of resources being poured into the hinterland, whereas the council insists the more populated coastal areas' rates help subsidise works and services in rural areas of the shire.

The reverse side of this coin is many in Cooroy and surrounds question the wisdom of spending $5 million on a regional adventure playground even if $2.8 million is coming from the State Government. The outgoing council argues it is money well spent as it will be major Cooroy drawcard and economic generator for many years to come, despite the annual cost of maintaining this ambitious project.

The sitting council has been attacked in the campaign for a lack of transparency and is not listening to the community, and this is countered by sitting councillors that most councils meetings are open and the general committee and ordinary meetings are lifestreamed.

And the biggest issue is not of anyone's making - voters must decide who are the best civic leaders from the mayor through to the team of six elected councillors - to try and get them through the coronavirus crisis.

Do they stick with those who have served Noosa to date, or do they make a clean sweep, or just maybe tinker around the edges?

The one certainty is that with Cr Ingrid Jackson retiring and disgraced former councillor Frank Pardon in jail after being found guilty on historic sex offences, two new faces will eventually be sworn in by council CEO Brett de Chastel after the poll is declared.

If you're heading out to vote this Saturday, March 28, here's where to find a polling booth in the region, they're open tomorrow from 8am to 6pm:

Noosa Council

Lake Cootharaba Sailing Club, Boreen Point

Cooran State School

Noosa District State High School

Federal State School

Kin Kin State School

Sunshine Beach State School

Noosa Baptist Church, Noosaville

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Peregian Beach Community Kindergarten

Pomona Memorial School of Arts Hall

Tewantin State School

Tinbeerwah Hall

Sunshine Coast Council Division 8

Coolum State School

Coolum Beach Uniting Church

Sunshine Coast Council Division 9

Coolum State School

Coolum Beach Uniting Church

Eumundi State School

Peregian Springs State School

Yandina School of Arts Hall

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