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'A sense of continuity and stability': long-time councillor declares mayoral intention

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A Noosa councillor has declared his intention to run for mayor at the next local government election.

Current deputy mayor Frank Wilkie, a local councillor since 2007, has called on the Noosa community to support his campaign.

In a public statement posted to social media on Wednesday night, Cr Wilkie stated he wanted to offer “a sense of continuity and stability” in the lead-up to, and after, the March 2024 elections.

The announcement came after current mayor Clare Stewart was recommended by the LNP as its candidate for Noosa, leaving an opening for the top job.

“I will be seeking your support as mayor in the 2024 local government elections,” Cr Wilkie said via the statement.

“This declaration is earlier than intended after mayor Clare Stewart signalled her intention to run for the state seat of Noosa.

“It is an early call but in light of the recent events, I wanted to offer the community and the organisation a sense of continuity and stability up to and beyond the March 2024 elections.

“It is not the only factor, but I am hoping our community will understand that experience in the field of local government does count.”

An aerial view of Tewantin, where Noosa Council is based.

The former journalist and teacher served as a Noosa councillor in 2007-08 prior to amalgamation and from 2014-2016 after de-amalgamation, and as deputy mayor and often acting mayor since 2016.

Cr Wilkie said he was offering stability and experience in Noosa Council in the face of unprecedented development, housing affordability and cost-of-living pressures.

“Since de-amalgamation, Noosa has been constantly adapting to pressures brought by rapid and relentless change, which is only accelerating,” Cr Wilkie said.

“Now more than ever, we need our council to hold fast to core principles while improving delivery of quality services and protecting the natural assets and low-key lifestyle we all love.

“Noosa is a community first and a destination second. If we look after the things residents value first, then by default it will also be a great place to visit.”

Cr Wilkie said Noosa’s resilience had always resided in the community’s support for its planning scheme, which had protected residents’ lifestyle and environment.

“In recent years, we’ve seen record voting against the Noosa Planning Scheme and evidence-based environmental projects, fortunately by a slim minority. With so many pressures seeking to undermine what Noosa is, we don’t have the latitude for that now,” he said.

While she is yet to confirm her position on not contending for mayor in 2024, Cr Stewart has remained firm on seeing out her current role for its full duration.

Noosa Mayor Clare Stewart.

“I’ll be finishing the job I was elected to do and being mayor for the duration of my term is my first priority,” Cr Stewart said in a statement to Sunshine Coast News.

“We have many issues which need addressing and I will, as I have always done, faithfully do the job I was elected to do until March 2024.”

It is understood Cr Stewart will attend a local LNP branch meeting being held this Saturday, where it is expected her nomination will be endorsed.

The 2024 local government elections will include elections for mayors and councillors in each of Queensland’s 77 councils. Election day will be on Saturday, March 16, 2024.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

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