Cr Amelia Lorentson left the chamber rather than vote on the Noosa North Shore wave pool proposal.
Cr Amelia Lorentson left the chamber rather than vote on the Noosa North Shore wave pool proposal.

Wave pool sinks as Cr Lorentson withdraws from vote

Noosa North Shore's "surfing celebrity" wave pool has sunk with Councillor Amelia Lorentson declaring a perceived conflict of interest and leaving the council chambers while the matter was decided.

Noosa Council, in her absence, voted 4-1 to reject the development application.

Cr Lorentson's decision was a reversal from her Monday general committee stance when she argued successfully to stay for the debate.

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She then voted against a staff recommendation to knock back the visitor accommodation and 4000 sqm pool proposed by local builder Mark Bain.

But at Thursday afternoon's ordinary meeting Cr Lorentson said even though she could act impartially and in the public interest in this matter, she chose to withdraw.

An aerial view of the site for the proposed wave pool and detached dwelling.
An aerial view of the site for the proposed wave pool and detached dwelling.

"I have upon reflection come to the decision that a reasonable man on the street would consider my long friendship with the applicant, although not close and personal, and his involvement in my election campaign, although not financial, and my children's friendship with the applicant's children, as constituting a perceived conflict of interest," she said.

"I thank the councillors for trusting me to be impartial and remain in the room and contribute to the debate in the general meeting, however on reflection I do not believe that I have satisfied the reasonable man test."

Cr Lorentson and Mayor Clare Stewart opposed planning staff arguments saying the development failed to be in keeping with planning controls for low key development on Monday.

They argued the development would create an economic boost catering exclusively for high end surfing tourists.

Cr Lorentson said then the asking price for an overnight stay would be up to $20,000.

Cr Brian Stockwell on Thursday moved the refusal motion seconded by Cr Joe Jurisevic.

There was no further debate after the general committee's previous marathon arguments for and against.

The pair along with Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie and Cr Tom Wegener voted for the refusal while Cr Stewart voted against.

Cr Karen Finzel did not attend the meeting for family reasons.


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