Surprise packets shine at Maroochydore debate
Some may have expected a race between two to unfold at the Maroochydore state election debate, but two political newcomers gave a display which left plenty to ponder.
Experienced campaigners Fiona Simpson and John Connolly were expected to take centre stage, with no appearances from One Nation's Rod McCormack or Labor's Alison Smith.
But the efforts of fresh-faced candidates Gabrielle Unverzagt (Greens) and Tash Poole (Animal Justice Party), left plenty in attendance acknowledging the talent in the room.
They exuded confidence, clarity of message and perspectives not offered by the two major parties.
Ms Unverzagt's opening was powerful, and hammered home that even in Maroochydore, there was a huge difference in living standard among sects of the population.
Ms Poole was measured, with her passion for animals showing.
She offered up some solid ideas around industries the future economy could establish itself, and showed she'd put time into her campaign.
Mr Connolly at times reverted back to his council headspace, catching himself a few times, having spent the past four years as Division 4 councillor.
He was strong on the failure of the two major parties to deliver for the area historically, and tried to position himself as the man able to negotiate with both sides to secure progress.
Janet Creevey, another independent candidate, started out on a clear mission, but lost her way at times, delving into the realms of conspiracy with claims of Chinese Communist Party agents in primary schools.
She offered up some good ideas around innovation and how to foster technology development.
United Australia Party hopeful and cricket lover Greg Searle endeared himself well to the crowd with his opening address.
His interest in technology, and transport solutions were met warmly, although the self-confessed rookie candidate lost his way a little when discussing the issue of taxation, as he delved into the Chinese tax system.
Mark Wadeson imposed himself on the debate, declaring himself one of the men responsible for the toppling of Mr Connolly in the March council election.
Mr Wadeson brought an intensity to the forum, urging people to start looking seriously at the future, tipping the virus to be a long-term factor, and the rise of job automation to have a significant effect.
He showed he wasn't afraid to take a swipe at Mr Connolly, and more tactfully targeted incumbent Fiona Simpson in his closing.
Ms Simpson, the incumbent LNP member, provided a well-rounded performance on the night, but some were left wondering why she hadn't offered up a more comprehensive, costed local plan for the next term.
The party lines, and Labor's perceived failings, were hammered out at opportune times, and her passion to try and create employment opportunities for locals was expressed with plenty of heart and sincerity, but it was almost a missed opportunity in some aspects, to offer up a comprehensive vision for the electorate, as it faces uncertainty on several fronts.