Three experienced and community focused candidates who share a vision for Noosa’s future have launched their campaign as independents for next March’s local government election, cooperating under the name Future Noosa.
They are businessman Andrew Squires, who is also president of the Noosa Alive Festival, hospital administrator Karen Finzel and David (‘Fletch’) Fletcher, former Army aviator, who with his wife Nicki owns a Peregian fitness and healthy lifestyle business.
The candidates will campaign together for councillor positions but, if elected, operate independently in the council. Their bid has been endorsed by retiring councillor Ingrid Jackson.
“We envisage Noosa Shire as a progressive community valuing social responsibility, the environment and the role of commerce,” says Andrew Squires. “As independents we’ll pursue our own pathways in the council but we have important policy areas we are campaigning on in common, covering the environment, traffic management, roads, small business, and openness and accountability.
“The current council does a lot of talking and has a lot plans, but frequently falls down on delivery,” Squires says. “An effective council needs to ensure that planning triggers action and that ratepayers’ funds are not wasted but spent wisely on projects that benefit the whole community.”
“We need a council that reaches out and goes the extra mile in responding to residents,” says Pomona based Karen Finzel. “There must also be more women councillors and a strong and authentic hinterland voice.
“A driving force in my life has been the desire to see people treated fairly and justly. I believe we all want to live in a respectful and positive community. The council is not just here to talk about things, it’s here to lead and set a good example.”
Reflecting on his 20 year Army career, David Fletcher says “the military taught me about integrity, honesty, hard work and the importance of teamwork. These attributes are just what our council needs. As independent candidates, free of political party connections, we’ve come together to promote shared vision, values and goals to open up the council to the community and prepare Noosa for the future.
“Noosa requires a council that understands how to maintain an appropriate balance between community, business and the environment and which is open and responsive to the community,” Fletcher says. “We believe Noosa Council has some way to travel to achieve these goals and we know we can guide it along the way.”