Happy returns but stay focused
LAST Sunday marked the first anniversary of the local government elections which eventually saw Mayor Tony Wellington see off a strong challenge from then councillor Sandy Bolton.
And according to a reflective Mayor Wellington: "There is no doubt that Noosa would have fared very differently under the draft SEQ Regional Plan had it not been for de-amalgamation.
"Getting our shire back has certainly ensured that higher levels of government appreciate Noosa's intrinsic differences,” he said.
The mayor sits on the SEQ Regional Planning Committee, chaired by the Deputy Premier Jackie Tradd and attended by other SEQ mayors.
"What many people don't realise is that this single State Government document had the potential to impact enormously on our shire,” the mayor said.
"It could have unravelled our long-standing approach to population and development, and thus significantly altered Noosa's future.
"We have lobbied to ensure that Noosa's urban footprint is not enlarged, and that our unique qualities are respected.
"Thus far we have succeeded admirably. I want to acknowledge the efforts of strategic planner Raul Weychart for his important role in this successful outcome.”
Tight March 2016 councillor election contests saw new faces for the Wellington administration that has taken over from the experienced hands of Noel Playford, and eventually saw newcomers Ingrid Jackson, Jess Glasgow and Brian Stockwell sworn in on April 5.
They joined incumbents Joe Jurisevic, Frank Pardon and Frank Wilkie, who is now deputy mayor.
Cr Wellington, who is on three-weeks leave, said the councillors "are still getting along famously”.
"This current council is determined to be consultative and responsive. We have now completed the first community consultation phase in the development of the new planning scheme, and we went beyond the state's prescribed guidelines in that regard.
"We are deeply engaged with both residents and stakeholders in deliberations over our transport strategy.
- Peter Gardiner