Candidates clash in fiery Division 8, 9 debates

 

DEVELOPMENT DIVIDE: Candidates reveal positions on project

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UPDATE 8.55PM- WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

THE debate has heated up between two Division 9 candidates tonight, over where they currently lived.

The territorial dispute erupted between Daren Edwards and Maria Suarez.

Ms Suarez, who said she lived in Division 9, challenged Mr Edwards' statement that the final boundary change to the electorate had left him in Division 8.

Division 9 candidate Maria Suarez makes a point to fellow candidate Daren Edwards at a Sunshine Coast Daily election forum.
Division 9 candidate Maria Suarez makes a point to fellow candidate Daren Edwards at a Sunshine Coast Daily election forum. Stuart Cumming

She said Mr Edwards had been in Division 8 since at least 2012, and claimed he was friends with outgoing Councillor Steve Robinson and would've known, as the exchanges heated up.

Mr Edwards said the proposed boundary alignment at the time he nominated for the seat had placed him in Division 9, and his intention had always been to nominate for Division 9, as that was where he had family and spent his time.

He said he didn't know Cr Robinson, and had met him only to ask whether he would be recontesting the seat.

 

UPDATE 8.25PM- EASE THE RISK:

DIVISION 9 candidates have discussed whether or not they would lobby for a moratorium on development in vulnerable areas, if elected on March 28, while the coastal hazard adaptation strategy was still to be finalised.

Daniel Bryar said he would, and said it was foolish to have private or public infrastructure or housing built in areas we knew would be inundated in 50 years or less.

Maria Suarez agreed a cautious approach was necessary when it came to vulnerable areas.

Bruce Dunne said developers had been circling sugar cane land since the mill closed in Nambour, and he opposed development on floodplains, except for possibly sporting fields or similar, but no built forms.

Angela Dunbavan said she would support a moratorium, and it was time the region looked outside of just development potential when it came to assessing a site's value.

Daren Edwards agreed a precautionary approach was important, but was unsure if a moratorium was necessary.

He was supportive of sporting fields possibly being implemented on floodplains, as they weren't built forms.

Division 9 candidates Angela Dunbavan, Daniel Bryar, Bruce Dunne, Daren Edwards and Maria Suarez speak at a Sunshine Coast Daily election forum.
Division 9 candidates Angela Dunbavan, Daniel Bryar, Bruce Dunne, Daren Edwards and Maria Suarez speak at a Sunshine Coast Daily election forum. Stuart Cumming

UPDATE 7.55PM- SEKISUI STARTS:

IT DIDN'T take long before the Sekisui House development came up as five candidates vying to replace outgoing Cr Steve Robinson started the Daily's Division 9 online election forum tonight.

The question put to them from a reader, whether Cr Robinson had represented the community well, sparked a unanimous agreement that he'd been found wanting on some key issues.

Top detective Daren Edwards said some people had felt let down, particularly around the Sekisui House approval, and he felt more lobbying should've been done for spending on the northern communities.

"The money hasn't been spent north of the river," he said.

Greens candidate Daniel Bryar likened Cr Robinson's legacy to that of a teen involved in a bad car accident.

He praised the former councillor's work ethic and availability, but said he'd let people down.

"He made a couple of bad decisions and that's what he's going to be remembered for," Mr Bryar said.

Maria Suarez said Cr Robinson had done some good things, but he'd backflipped on promises he made, and ignored the community on Sekisui House and flight paths for the new airport runway.

Bruce Dunne said the first rule for councillors was that they had to represent their community, and he said the residents had been "very clear" on what they wanted in relation to Sekisui House at Yaroomba, but still been ignored.

Angela Dunbavan echoed the sentiments, saying he had achieved some very good things for the electorate, but let the community down badly on some of the major issues.

UPDATE 7.25PM- THE PITCH FROM DIV 8 HOPEFULS: 

INCUMBENT Division 8 councillor Jason O'Pray has called on his electorate to stick steady with leadership during what he expected would be two years of financial pressure for the region.

He said the region was in good condition and everything was going very, very well, but as the past two weeks had shown, the economy was fragile and the region's tourism industry would be under "serious threat".

He called on the community to rally behind mum and dad small businesses during the period ahead.

"Changing leadership in the time of turmoil is not ideal," Cr O'Pray said.

Division 8 candidates Jason O'Pray and Kathryn Hyman at Sunshine Coast Daily election forum.
Division 8 candidates Jason O'Pray and Kathryn Hyman at Sunshine Coast Daily election forum. Stuart Cumming

Ms Hyman said it was time council got back to roads, rates and rubbish and shifted to a staggered approach to major investment.

She said rising debt was a "real concern" for ratepayers.

"We are just too focused on the economic drivers and it's causing social discord in our community," she said.

She said the community expected council was making decisions in its best interests.

UPDATE 7.15PM- TWIN WATERS WEST RAISED:

THE controversial Twin Waters West project has raised its head tonight, as Cr Jason O'Pray and Kathryn Hyman square off in our live, online Division 8 council election forum.

Ms Hyman labelled the controversial proposed development was a "very constrained site" no matter how it was looked at.

She said the developer's modelling couldn't negate the flooding impacts, no matter how hard they tried.

"There are major flooding impacts from that development," she said.

Cr Jason O'Pray said he expected the matter to end up in court again.

He said he'd sat alongside the community the first time around.

"Things have changed a little bit, but not a lot," Cr O'Pray said.

Ms Hyman questioned why a major planning scheme amendment had ever been initiated for the site, when the region's planning scheme was in its infancy.

"There was overwhelming opposition to that amendment," Ms Hyman said.

"I voted against it (amendment)," Cr O'Pray responded.

Division 8 candidates Jason O'Pray and Kathryn Hyman at Sunshine Coast Daily election forum.
Division 8 candidates Jason O'Pray and Kathryn Hyman at Sunshine Coast Daily election forum. Stuart Cumming

UPDATE 6.55PM:

THE head-to-head battle for Division 8 is underway, with Kathryn Hyman trying to unseat incumbent Jason O'Pray.

The pair outlined their surf lifesaving backgrounds, with Cr O'Pray's life membership of Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club up against Ms Hyman's background as a Marcoola Surf Life Saving Club patrol member.

Both committed to exploring the opportunity to restore kerbside collections, as Ms Hyman questioned the $74 million council earnt through waste management in its budget.

The duo were more divided over the site earmarked for a Bunnings Warehouse at Coolum.

Cr O'Pray said he felt there were other priorities for land acquisitions, namely buying land for wildlife corridors.

Ms Hyman said there was support for a community garden and open space at the site, and felt it was something that should be taken to community consultation.

EARLIER:

THE candidates for Divisions 8 and 9 hoping to win your vote will answer the tough questions at tonight's You Decide forum.

Unfortunately due to growing safety concerns around large public gatherings, the Sunshine Coast Daily has made the difficult decision to restrict public access to these forums.

Instead, they'll be streamed live on our website from 6.30pm.

Tonight, the two Division 8 candidates, five Division 9 candidates will introduce themselves and answer pre-submitted questions relating to key issues in the areas.

Sunshine Coast Daily editor Nadja Fleet will facilitate the event.

You can submit any last-minute questions by clicking this link.  Voters head to the polls on Saturday, March 28, and early voting opened on Monday.

The Division 8 candidates include:

Who should win the Division 8 seat in Sunshine Coast Council?

This poll ended on 29 March 2020.

Current Results

Kathryn Hyman

69%

Jason O'Pray

25%

Other

4%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The Division 9 candidates include:

Who should win the Division 9 seat in Sunshine Coast Council?

This poll ended on 29 March 2020.

Current Results

Bruce Dunne

11%

Angela Dunbavan

4%

Daniel Bryar

4%

Maria Suarez

38%

Daren Edwards

40%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

*Incumbent councillor

Who do you think deserves the mayoral seat in the 2020 Sunshine Coast Council?

This poll ended on 29 March 2020.

Current Results

Mark Jamieson

26%

Chris Thompson

63%

Michael Burgess

5%

Don Innes

4%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


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