Change on the horizon for “iconic” Caloundra

By Maddie Manwaring and Aleasha Bliss

Freezing council rates, reducing closed-door council meetings and eradicating mosquitos are just a few of the policies one candidate is promising before the March 28 council elections.

Shane Scriggins is a self-described “person that gets things done” and says his 30-year history working in local government around Australia has given him the experience needed to represent Division 2 and make these changes.

After 20 years with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and eight years as Division 2 Councillor, Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer confirmed last month that he will not be running in this election.

Cr Tim Dwyer’s exit means change will be heading to the Caloundra region, and the new candidates are promising to deliver a revitalised region through focusing on small business, the environment and local infrastructure.

Mr Scriggins worked in the former Caloundra City Council and Sunshine Coast Regional Council for 13 years as middle management and said he has seen first-hand the infrastructure and development needs in the area.

Under his lead, he would like the region to be known as the most vibrant, sustainable, diverse and environmentally conscious area in south east Queensland.

About the division

Following election day the Sunshine Coast Regional Council division boundaries will change, to cater for projected growth in certain parts of the region, and to ensure each division is represented by a similar number of enrolled voters.

Division 2 will be extended to Buderim Street to include the rest of Battery Hill, as well as Golden Beach, Caloundra, Caloundra West, Dicky Beach, Kings Beach, Little Mountain, Moffat Beach, Shelly Beach and Pelican Waters.

Key Issues

In a group interview with ABC Sunshine Coast the candidates addressed the issues facing the region and how they were going to deliver change if elected.

The revitalisation of Caloundra CBD, accessibility, parking, transport, and protecting the beaches and waterways such as Pumicestone Passage were the main concerns of residents in the division.

Mr Scriggins told the ABC traders are being disadvantaged by paid parking in Caloundra, as no other Coast business precinct has parking meters, which could also be adding to the high volume of vacant shop fronts in the Bulcock Street area.

Several stores are vacant in Bulcock Street despite the Caloundra CBD master plan promising to deliver a revamp to the area. Photo: Aleasha Bliss

There have been concerns in the local community that the multi-million dollar Caloundra Centre Master Plan had not yet provided the benefits it promised.

“I don’t think the draft masterplan is meeting its objectives,” Mr Scriggins said to the ABC.

“We need to stop people driving down to Brisbane, going to the DFO’s of the world and going down to Harbour Town.

“Let’s make it attractive to them to come to Caloundra.”

Meet the candidates

Up against Mr Scriggins is Brady Sullivan, Peter Tramacchi, Terry Landsberg and Tim Hamilton, who are also running as independent candidates with no political party affiliations.

Mr Sullivan’s policies include increasing council transparency and community engagement, support for small business, advocating for intelligent town planning and infrastructure, and respecting the local environment.

The stay-at-home dad from Moffat Beach entered the election race in March last year and wants to promote and preserve the social and environmental factors that make the Caloundra region iconic.

Mr Landsberg, who has been a Coast resident since the late 1980s, said he wants to be “a voice for our city of beaches” and will protect the local environment, and advocate for better infrastructure, transport and small businesses.

Pointing to issues with Pumicestone Passage and the breakthrough of the ocean at Bribie Island, Mr Landsberg said he wants to establish a marine authority and regulation department to monitor and conserve the waterway.

Former tennis star Mr Tramacchi said in the interview his focus is on small and local businesses, which are the “backbone” of the region.

He said he was impressed by Cr Dwyer and would continue to support initiatives in place already, such as the Caloundra CBD revitalisation, and is focused on making decision that will benefit the region in the long-term.

The final candidate, Tim Hamilton, a Coast resident of 40 years, said he has witnessed Caloundra grow from being a small shire to the city it is now, and wants to ensure the area continues to get its fair share of future investments, and believes party-politics should stay out of local government.

Where to vote

Voters can find information on pre-polling, postal and telephone voting, and election day polling booth locations on the Electoral Commission Queensland website.

Polling booths will be open from 8am to 6pm on Saturday March 28.

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