POLICY PLATFORM: Five of seven Nicklin candidates attended the Meet the Candidates forum at Cooroy.
POLICY PLATFORM: Five of seven Nicklin candidates attended the Meet the Candidates forum at Cooroy. Alan Lander

With 'Wello' gone, Nicklin up for grabs

FIVE out of seven ain't bad.

That was the number of candidates for the seat of Nicklin to show up at the Cooroy Sports Hub's audience of about 50, to talk about things Cooroy, that town now situated squarely in that seat.

Greens candidate Mick Tyrrell was a 'running late' before becoming a no-show altogether, while Animal Justice candidate Rachel Radic was an apology.

And indeed, some talk was made of the issues close to residents' hearts, such as the heart attack-inducing junction at Myall and Elm Sts, and the nightmare at Elm and Diamond Sts, also the pedestrian-and-traffic- unfriendly rail bridge on Elm.

Most candidates agreed they would turn the heat up on the Department of Transport and Main Roads, for all the good it will do, given its long list of priorities.

But at least that was agreement, and they found some agreement on other issues, too, although they had more to do with the federal sphere, such as the Safe Schools anti-bullying program.

That subject was the highlight of the night, bringing out some strong thoughts from the likes of One Nation's Steven Ford and serial candidate and former Family First member Tony Moore, along with the LNP's Marty Hunt and No Tolls' Jeffrey Hodges, leaving ALP candidate Justin Raethel to support the program while acknowledging it was being re-hashed.

"Get rid of it,” seemed to be the majority anthem.

On candidates' attitudes towards renewable energy, major party candidates followed their standard party lines, and some of the others offered lukewarm support, while Mr Ford said "the best solution would be nuclear”.

Mr Hodges drew on declared supporter and former Noosa councillor Bob Jarvis to explain some of his policies.

After the forum, most voters asked by Noosa News said they had not changed their minds on their preferred candidate, and remaining coy about who that was. "Same old bullsh--,” one said.

"All of them said the same thing,” said another.

"I have a preferred candidate; I'll stay with that.”

Another said he found the debate interesting, "but I'm still not absolutely clear” on a candidate.

A fourth said it had been "helpful”, but she hadn't changed her first or last preferences.

"But maybe some of them in between,” she said.

Cooroy Area Residents Association president Rod Ritchie, who organised the forum, said he was pleased with the turnout and the enthusiasm of the audience.

"With [former Nicklin incumbent] Peter Wellington gone, it's a totally new situation in Nicklin,” he said.

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