Meet our Councillor candidates

Alan Lander.

By Rose Astley

Council candidate nominations closed on March 3, and Noosa Shire voters now have their choice between 20 candidates for councillors – six of whom will be elected. Of these 20, four have previously had a seat on the Noosa Council for the last 2016-2020 term – Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie, Joe Jurisevic, Jess Glasgow and Brian Stockwell are all in the running again. All of the 20 candidates have been given the opportunity by Noosa Today to provide a profile piece to allow our readers some insight on the candidates before election day on March 28.* Contesting the mayoralty are serving mayor Tony Wellington and challenger Clare Stewart.


I moved to Noosa five years ago with my partner Nicki to enjoy the coastal lifestyle and established FliteFit, a boutique gym in Peregian Beach. Running a business has made me aware of the amount of work required to be successful as well as the need to balance my family life and nurture relationships with the community.

I had a successful 20-year career in Army Aviation, where I was deployed overseas on multiple occasions as a helicopter crewman. I retired as the senior instructor for aircrew and then spent eight years with Airbus Helicopters.

The military taught me about integrity, honesty, hard work and the importance of working in a team. But more importantly to me, having a disabled son with a terminal muscle wasting disease has taught me compassion and how to fight for what’s right when other people cannot do it for themselves.

Having had multiple successful careers, I feel it’s time for me to use my experience and skills and help Noosa move forward into the future and that’s why I’m running for Noosa Council. Among my primary goals is to advocate for the individual, not just the loudest groups.

We must ensure the council has the infrastructure and services to handle the increasing numbers of visitors to our shire and understand that there is a role for the council in facilitating the growth of small business.

I understand the roles of planning, consultation, feedback and review, it is now time to start working together and embrace the future.


Karen Finzel, the powerhouse from Pomona, moved to the Noosa Shire in 1986 with her husband Craig to raise their 4 children and lead good lives. It is a decision they have not regretted.

In those early years, as today, Karen worked hard in bringing much needed community facilities to the hinterland including the establishment of a holiday, weekend and after school bus run which was auspiced by the Pomona Community House and led to permanent improvement in local public transport.

“My tendency was always people-orientated. Moving into a councillor’s role seems a natural progression for me.

“I feel I really know this place and understand what it wants. The community needs a council that reaches out and goes the extra mile in responding to it. I believe we need progressive councilors who can safeguard Noosa’s future. The council also requires more women councillors and a strong authentic hinterland voice.”

On her to-do list as a councillor are support for the creative industries, environmental protection, local growers and producers and strengthening positive engagement with the Kabi Kabi people.

“A driving force in my life has been the desire to see people treated fairly and to live in a respectful community that is ambitious for itself,” she says. “I have a strong dislike of conflict and fragmentation and want to do something about it. Our council is not just here to talk about things, it is here to lead, set an example and get the job done.”


Andrew Squires is a results-driven professional with years of experience in service industries. He is skilled in business management, leading cultural change and marketing. Having worked locally and internationally he will bring a wealth of knowledge to the council. Now 52, Andrew first came to Noosa in 1989 and, as he extended his career beyond the shire, he always found time to return to visit his parents, eventually buying a property at Sunshine Beach five years ago, and deciding it was time to move back permanently. Andrew understands that Councillors are representatives of the people and he’s running for Council to improve community governance and ensure a sustainable lifestyle for residents. The issues of particular importance to him are community engagement and ensuring the Council understands what the community wants and is responsive to it. He says his business career has taught him that success is related to closely matching people’s expectations with what is achievable. Andrew’s taken on some important community roles as a justice of the peace and president of the Noosa Alive Festival, and he was previously secretary of the Noosa Business Group and Noosa Outrigger member. “I will take a particular interest in building a positive Council culture in terms of how it works with the community on issues of concern,” he says. “On my list are economic development focusing on jobs, sustainable tourism, support for the arts and culture, and environmental conservation and sustainability.”


I feel privileged to have represented the Noosa Community as a Councillor for 6 years. I’m proud of my track record and the track record of this Council.

This term, Noosa Council has remained in a sound financial position, paying down debt and reducing expenses through initiatives like Solar on Council buildings.

Council has acknowledged the challenges of Climate Change and negotiated the acquisition of 2400ha of Yurol and Ringtail Forests for conservation.

All this while roads continue to be resealed and graded, bridges get renewed, waste services are enhanced with minimal rate increases.

In 2016 I committed to: enhancing waste minimisation and resource recovery, Noosa Shuttle Loop with Park and Ride, water bottle refilling stations, more recycle bins, rehabilitation of reserves like Heathland Dr, all have been delivered.

For the next term, I want to focus on:  Increased funding for Disaster Management and Recovery operations and Community Disaster Preparedness Plans for vulnerable areas of our community, upgrades to aging community facilities and sporting precincts, upgrades to pathway networks and cycleways, food and Organic Waste diverted from Landfill, plan expansion of Cooroy Industrial area and delivery of Hinterland playground, feasibility of New Regional Art Gallery and relocating Noosaville Library to Shire Business Centre, continue to press State agencies on Beckmans Rd, Myall and Elm Sts, Diamond and Elm Sts and Pomona Kin Kin Rd upgrades and improved public transport services.

Please RECYCLE Councillor JOE JURISEVIC as one of your 6 representatives for your Noosa Council on March 28th and at Pre-poll.


My name is Phillip Moran and I am one of the 212 candidates running for election in the Noosa Council on March 28th.

I moved to Noosa shire in 1990, and have lived here ever since. Some readers may be familiar with my work for Noosa & District Landcare Group [NDLG]. I joined the group as a volunteer in 1991, and have been full time there for 20 years, currently General Manager, employing over 40 staff.

I began my career in Brisbane in hospitality, eventually purchasing my own Catering and Gourmet food outlet in Ashgrove – Oodles Gourmet, which I ran for 8 years.

I came to Noosa as I recognised it was a bit different, a bit special. I am indebted to early pioneers who worked to stop a road around Noosa National Park and a Resort on Noosa North Shore. I like the planning scheme restricting building height and population density. I like not stopping at traffic lights.

I believe this election is a watershed moment in our history. During this campaign I have heard many negative things about our shire.

I am extremely positive of the Noosa we see today, its environment, its business’s, its character. I am really proud to live here, and to have brought up our children here.

If elected on the 28th I will do my best to see that our Noosa retains its unique character, one that we can proudly hand to our kids, and their kids.


Karen Cook-Langdon is running as a candidate in the Noosa Shire 2020 election because she believes we need a more community aligned and community informed council than the present one, and she has the skills and experience necessary to be a good councillor. A resident of both the coast and the hinterland for the past 18 years, she has an understanding of issues across the whole Shire

“My belief is, and this is supported by our business practice, that a sustainable local community comes from balancing job opportunities, community engagement and creative environmental initiatives. Being part of the Noosa Shire’s sustainable future is what has inspired me to throw my hat in the ring. My long history of working with community groups, as parent, volunteer and in professional work environments shows that I have the capacity to work with community groups and businesses to foster a positive way forward in this rapidly changing world.

As a co-owner of local management rights and property management businesses, that employs over 45 people, Karen is passionate, capable and solutions driven and has developed skills necessary for building and managing businesses effectively.

“I believe my understanding of budget management and financial data analysis would be a huge asset to council.

“I am completely committed to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of our region and I want to see our creative community heart keep beating and both nurture and attract other strong initiatives to support jobs, community and sustainability.”


Snezana Redford lives with her husband, their teenage daughter, her mother whom she cares for full-time, and adult stepdaughter. Now in her third year of a Psychology degree, Snezana volunteers

for a national suicide prevention helpline. Passionate about helping people, Snezana advocates that a community that supports each other is one that thrives.

Snezana also lives with several companion animals whom she adores and believes that like humans, all animals have a right to live free from pain and exploitation. If elected Snezana aims to protect

wildlife habitats and preserve Noosa’s pristine bay and marine life. She will act on climate and drive policies to conserve our natural ecosystems and support sustainable living.

Committed to creating a world where we can live in harmony without harming each other or other species, Snezana’s respect for all animals (human and non-human) has led her to the Animal Justice Party which reflects her belief in kindness, equality, rationality, and non-violence. She has been an active AJP member for three years and previously ran as a Lower House candidate in Victoria.

Understanding a huge part of a Councillor’s responsibilities includes dealing with human issues, Snezana will be transparent, accountable and accessible for all.

“The time has come for the Noosa Shire Council to have a representative for animals and the environment. I will work tirelessly with other councillors to preserve and support this beautiful part

of the world we all call home.”


I am a believer in giving back. I see the councillor role as community service. It is not about what I want; it is what our residents want. I also believe in planning for the future so that what we enjoy today is around for our children’s children.

We all need to share the role in being stewards for our Shire. Most people choose to settle here because of our natural environment and the good planning decisions of the past, and I want to continue that tradition. Growth is inevitable, but I hope to ensure we don’t lose those things that make Noosa special in the process.

We need more women on Council, but they need to be the right women, with a history of involvement in and commitment to the Noosa community; who have lived, worked and been active locally, and who have the interests of the whole of the shire and all residents as their guiding principle.

I have lived here 23 years. I am the mother to Vincent (21) and Sophia (19) who were born and brought up in Noosa, so I understand the needs of families. I am also an artist, a businesswoman, and an active conservation volunteer. Running for Council is an opportunity to put my concerns for the future of our community and environment into policy and practice. It’s easy to pay lip service but another thing altogether to do something about it.

Well designed, careful planning is what sets us apart and I hope to help steer a future for Noosa along this road in challenging times. The health of our environment and our residents is number one.


Alan Lander lives at Lake Macdonald and has lived in the shire for nearly 19 years.

He is passionate about Noosa, and is keen to help preserve all the essential components that make up what it represents.

As a journalist with Noosa News and the Sunshine Coast Daily, he has met with and listened to many people both inside and outside the shire, learning and understanding all the diverse points of view across the region.

Alan also has actual council experience: he initially worked with Noosa’s own Bob Abbot, having been selected by Bob to join the team. When Bob chose not to run again as SC mayor in 2012, Alan worked for Mark Jamieson in both mayoral and economic development media roles.

Alan has had prior experience involved in a private UK company specialising in recruitment for international and local banks, which came to Australia in anticipation of bank deregulation in the 1980s. Initially starting a new division of the company, Alan went on to spend a number of years developing offices for the company in capital cities around the nation. The company grew from 6 to more than 50 people across nine years.

Alan believes that, while the current council has been doing a good job, by understanding community sentiment better, council could save a lot of heartache for itself – and the ratepayers – by communicating better between its departments as to its intentions and deliberations.


I have lived in Noosa for 18 years and have played an active role in the community (7 years patrolling, competing and committee positions at the Noosa Heads Surf Club and volunteer and fundraising positions at the Noosa Boardriders Club). My husband has lived in Noosa for almost 30 years and is the Commercial Manager at Page Furnishers in Pomona. I have 2 teenage children at Sunshine Beach High School.

I am running as an Independent.

I do not support over development. I support creative industries and small business. I support the Biosphere. And I committed to the Hinterland.

Noosa Council needs a planning scheme that is built on fairness and equity and proper open and transparent governance.

There must be thorough processes of public consultation. Decisions must be made in the best interest of the community and not vested groups.

I have 3 Law degrees: Bachelor of Laws (QUT), Masters in Labour Law and Industrial Relations (University of Sydney) and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (QUT). I have worked in Senior Management in the Retail sector in Sydney for 10 years and I have owned and run my own Employment Law consultancy business.

I am not a stranger to hard work and conflict. I love Noosa and have the skill, passion and integrity to affect positive change. Community, environment and people first.


I’m a Noosa local, I grew up here, went to Tewantin Primary and Noosa High.

I have two boys of my own at school here now and I run the Sushi Monster in Noosaville and until recently a beach horse riding business, Noosa Horses on the North Shore.

Noosa has always been great to me and I’ve been lucky enough to not only grow up here but to also make a life here and enjoy everything Noosa has to offer.

However, over the past few years I have become more concerned with our Council’s performance regarding the basics.

Not only are we having issues with roads, rates and rubbish, but I firmly believe our current council’s attitude towards small business is damaging our local economy and the future of Noosa.

I think we have a council that is more concerned with lofty ideas and giving millions of ratepayer dollars to the biosphere for failed projects, rather than working for the residents of Noosa.

Surely our council’s job is to help make our lives better and easier, and to maintain what we have all worked so hard to build.

It’s time to get the Noosa Council working for locals and small business again.

We need to get back to basics and get the town set up for business in 2020.

We need to make sure that going forward we have a town where our kids can find a job.

Summing up my campaign: Support Small business and protect jobs! Build new and upgrade existing footpaths and bikeways, end the biosphere fantasy fund, address fire safety immediately, be a voice for community and sporting organisations.


The culture of Noosa supports and fosters local business. I will work with Council to ensure Noosa’s small businesses and entrepreneurs continue to thrive despite threats from globalised industry. My policy is to amplify tourism dollars by selling locally made products to visitors. When Noosa Longboards sells one of my surfboards, they make a profit, then pay me and I in turn, pay my suppliers. The money circulates in Noosa. When we sell local products, we sell Noosa every day. If we sell a piece of Noosa to foreign interests, we sell it once.

Spreading the Tourism dollar throughout Noosa Shire

Tourism is vital to our economy. However, in peak season, it often leads to some irritations to the local community including increased traffic congestion. I will support attractions throughout the hinterland such as the wondrous everglades, open the farm gate days, advancing bike trails, and attractions to the hinterland towns.

The hinterland is evolving economic powerhouse on its own. I believe Cooroy is in a place where very good vision and planing are required now. I have lived in Cooroy for 20 years and will bring the hinterland front and center to the council.


In my time as a Councillor over the last four years, I have endeavoured to bring my youthful enthusiasm to the table on many important issues. We have seen some great things come about over the last term. I think Noosa Shire today is a fantastic place to be. I want to focus on the wants and needs of the community. As a lifelong local I’ve had the opportunity to mix with people from all corners of the region. I like to keep my ear to the ground and take any concerns or issues back to Council for action.

Going forward I would like to see a more back to basics approach from Council with a slight directional change on some matters. I would like to say it is easy for local government to get things right every time …but it’s not. The next Council has a tough job ahead. The world is changing rapidly. The economy is changing, the way we live and work is changing. We must protect our environment and lifestyle, while remaining instep with state, national and global perspectives. It is important to elect a Council with experience and knowledge of our local community, but also one with fresh, innovative and competitive ideas.


Meghan Halverson is a committed and experienced leader in our community and is well known for her ability to work well with everyone and encouraging collaboration between individuals and groups to achieve their goals.

She has raised 3 children on the Sunshine Coast and her working background includes urgent care nursing, midwifery, Dynamic Listening practitioner as well as founding and leading two very successful not-or-profit organizations.

Meghan is probably best known locally for her work with Queensland Koala Crusaders Inc. but she has also been a community connector in her work in the not-for-profit sector.

“We need to consider the needs of everyone from ocean to hinterland hills as the entire shire is what makes us unique. I believe in the people who live, work and play here and know can grow and prosper together if we get it right.

“We also need to think of what we can do now to provide a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren. Among other initiatives I’d like to see a youth leadership program developed to help create the long-term vision for their future here.

“Working with council staff in continuing the good work that has already been done, we can also add value by actioning some new ideas that the community is asking for. These include local community focused hubs with innovative transport links, as well as new businesses to support all ages, educational opportunities, support for clean and green businesses that help us address our climate variability resiliency plus health and wellness initiatives that support an aging population as well as growing families.”


The Noosa we know and love is under threat. There are vested interests and inexperienced candidates who want to water down our new Noosa Plan.

They want to walk away from our community’s goal of carefully managed growth, which is essential to protect our environment and lifestyle.

We need to stop party houses in our residential streets. We need to keep those with real estate and development interests out of Noosa Council.

With nearly four decades of service to the local community and 14 years of local government experience, both as a councillor and as an environmental and town planner I believe my skills are needed now more than ever.

I am an experienced Councillor, a guardian of our Town Plan and a defender of the community and environment

If our coastal and hinterland communities are going to continue to be great places to visit, they must first remain beautiful places to live and work.

As Chairman of Noosa Council’s Planning and Environment Committee I am proud of my role in helping to shape the new town plan.

This plan includes many new initiatives to help diversify our economy and enhance the opportunities for young and old.

Climate Change represents the greatest threat to our environment. We must continue our urgent, thorough and balanced response, led by our most experienced and qualified community advocates.

I ask for your support to keep Noosa’s future in experienced, independent hands.


Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie is hoping residents will select him to serve as one of their six councillors on March 28 to continue the work of making Noosa a more resilient community.

Cr Wilkie pledged to respect and work with residents’ choice of candidates and the council’s professional staff to continue delivering the best standard of services possible within the budget of a relatively small council.

“This focus on the basics has allowed council to also deliver major projects, such as at John’s Landing, where men, women and children living under canvas and tin were found homes and the land is now being rehabilitated.

“The new Peregian Digital Hub now trains students from across the region in coding, robotics and drone technology and is creating new jobs through a support network of IT experts.”

“The joint purchase of 2400 hectares of Yurol-Ringtail forestry land for National Park has secured a strategic wildlife corridor stretching from Tewantin to Pomona and the work to restore oyster reefs will improve Noosa River’s water quality and marine biodiversity.”

“Looking ahead, parking and road works for the new Cooroy adventure playground will be a focus as is the new planning scheme which removes the need for Impact Assessable planning applications for a range of new businesses, especially home-based.”

“It’s also important to continue partnering with industry and community groups including Tourism Noosa to address Noosa’s success as a tourism destination and preserve our shire as a great place to live and visit.”

*Please note that an effort was made to reach out to every candidate, and those who responded have been included. We are still waiting for responses from Janet Kake, Nathaneal Ford, Greg Smith and Julien Cahn.** These words are the candidates own.