Mar 11

Job creation is expected to be a priority when mayoral candidates are asked the hard questions at the Sunshine Coast Business Council (SCBC) Meet the Mayoral Candidate forum on Thursday 12 March at the Surfair Beach Hotel in Marcoola.

SCBC members and stakeholders will hear from the candidates and have the opportunity to ask questions relating to the economy and supporting business and jobs as Sunshine Coast and Noosa constituents prepare to vote in Council elections on 28 March.

Each attending candidate – including Michael Burgess, Donald Innes, Mark Jamieson and Chris Thompson for the Sunshine Coast and Tony Wellington for Noosa – will have an opportunity to outline their plan and vision for the region and how they will keep a growing population in employment.

Chair Sandy Zubrinich said the SCBC has been hosting these forums since 2012 to ensure the business community can make an informed decision when it comes to voting.

“The forum is not an opportunity for candidates to criticise each other.  They will be expected to explain how they will approach the job of Mayor and their plans to the business community and have an open and frank discussion about the future of the Sunshine Coast,” Ms Zubrinich said.

“As an advocacy group, we have a strong interest in the key projects that shape the future of the region like the Maroochydore CBD, transport, communications, tourism infrastructure, housing, health, education — all critical for a sustainable economy and region.

“We are interested in how the economy is performing in its key industries, job growth, employment and importantly the employment of our youth as well as the cost of doing business in the Sunshine Coast region.

“In this environment we cannot take the economy for granted and we will be keen to hear candidates’ views of how to keep people employed in tougher times like we are now facing.

“These are critical issues and projects the Sunshine Coast Mayoral candidates will need to be ready to discuss and outline their plan to set the region up in the most sustainable and productive way.”

Incumbent Noosa Shire Mayor Tony Wellington is being challenged by Clare Stewart – who has advised she is unable to attend due to another commitment – while Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson will recontest his seat against four other candidates who will all be in attendance.

“This is a unique chance for our members to ask the tough questions that are affecting the region and hear from each individual how they plan to contribute to the region’s economic wellbeing as well as their willingness to work with other levels of government and advocacy groups within the region,” Ms Zubrinich said.

Sunshine Coast and Noosa elections will be held on 28 March 2020.

SCBC is the leading regional business advocacy group on the Sunshine Coast, representing approximately 4,000 businesses through its membership – which include key national and regional industry groups and their members as well as national and regional businesses.

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