Mayoral candidates Mark Jamieson, Don Innes, Michael Burgess and Chris Thompson at a Sunshine Coast Daily election forum in Maroochydore.
Mayoral candidates Mark Jamieson, Don Innes, Michael Burgess and Chris Thompson at a Sunshine Coast Daily election forum in Maroochydore. Stuart Cumming

Airport debate takes off as hopefuls haggle Mayor

MAYOR Mark Jamieson says he doesn't have the figures of what Palisade paid to lease the Sunshine Coast Airport last year, comments met with jeers, during a fiery debate at Maroochy RSL tonight.

Mayoral candidates turned the blowtorch on the current Sunshine Coast Airport situation, casting doubt over whether the community would see any significant returns in the near future.

Michael Burgess said it wouldn't be an international airport, and declared an international airport "part of the movie set this council has erected".

>> WATCH THE CANDIDATE FORUM HERE

Chris Thompson vowed to try and retain a second runway, and ensure the airport was an aviation precinct.

Mr Burgess slammed the broader plans for freight routes into Asia, and expanded tourism access.

"Being positive about a foolish plan is just foolishly positive," he said.

"We won't get tourists and we won't fly anything out."

Cr Jamieson rejected the claims and said council would receive $328 million plus 5 per cent of annual income from Palisade who is leasing the facility for 99 years.

Don Innes questioned why the documents detailing the lease hadn't been released to public.

Mr Burgess asked how much Palisade had paid council for the lease of the airport last year.

"I don't have the number," Cr Jamieson responded.

He said it wasn't uncommon for those details to be held in confidence, comments met with groans from the crowd.

Cr Jamieson said all media at the time hailed the deal as a positive outcome for council and ratepayers.



Join in Stockland’s virtual kids holiday program

premium_icon Join in Stockland’s virtual kids holiday program

The campaign is meant to inspire creativity and challenge kids to have fun.

Breaking: Three people injured in ATV rollover

premium_icon Breaking: Three people injured in ATV rollover

Paramedics are rushing to the scene of an ATV rollover at Benaraby

Two crews are on the scene at Turkey Beach

premium_icon Two crews are on the scene at Turkey Beach

Smoke in the region is from a hazard reduction burn at Turkey Beach.