Noosa Mayoral candidate Nick Hluszko’s 66 Facebook followers may see him as a serious contender, but this weekend he may have seen his campaign self-destruct before it even gathered speed.
One of Noosa’s most notorious local government names has appeared on the Electoral Commission website as one of Hluszko’s nominators as candidate for mayor.
Surely the Frank James Pardon nominating Hluszko isn’t the same Frank James Pardon, the disgraced former Noosa Deputy Mayor who was convicted and jailed for 18-months over five counts of indecent treatment of a child, four counts while under care and one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a minor.
Pardon’s name appears second on Hluszko’s list of nominators. Third is LNP member and Councillor candidate Alecia Staines.
Hluszko is aligned with what’s loosely called the LNP Noosa ‘anti-environment’ push, joining Councillors Lorentson and Finzel and fellow mayoral candidate Ingrid Jackson in pushing back against attempts to give Noosa Council some say in protecting the Noosa River via a Conservation Park proposal.
Supporters of Hluszko who believe attempts to consult the public about a Conservation Park in the Noosa River are part of some kind of conspiracy against boats and fishing have been digging the nomination hole even deeper as conversations like this depict.
Of course, the point being made is about judgement.
LNP candidate Alecia Staines may now be thinking twice about having her name there as well, quite aside from the appearance of forming an alliance with Hluszko.
It’s been speculated that Hluszko has discussed preference swapping with fellow Mayoral candidate Ingrid Jackson in a deal to undermine popular Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie. However, if Hluszko does not withdraw his candidacy after this extraordinary lack of judgement, it’s likely others will want to put as much distance as possible from him, and from the ghost of Frank Pardon.
Things get political at the local CWA.
There’s trouble brewing, along with the tea, at one of our more friendly and effective local institutions, the Noosa Tewantin branch of the Country Women’s Association.
Some local members had become concerned that the CWA was being used as a ‘political networking springboard’ by two of its higher profile executive committee members, Leigh McCready and her close ally – former Councillor and now Mayoral candidate Ingrid Jackson – as both attempt to take control of Noosa Council.
Jackson and McCready have reportedly parted company with the CWA in what was described by an insider there as “acrimonious circumstances” involving legal threats, grievance complaints and the intervention of a barrister.
Both were central players in the Future Noosa debacle in the last Noosa election, in which McCready was a campaign manager for the Future Noosa Team which claimed repeatedly it had no connections with any property developers.
The Independent Council Election Observer (ICEO) found the team’s claims were false and misleading and that McCready was in fact a property developer because of her 25% share in Altum AND because she was the spouse of a developer.
The Future Noosa team limped through the campaign, with Karen Finzel the only member elected.
The tomahawk steak and the axing of a landmark local restaurant
Meanwhile the McCreadys are again on the wrong end of a social media backlash this week after developer Rob McCready – of the Altum Property group – reportedly dined on the restaurant’s most expensive tomahawk steak meal, with wine to match, as he was, unknown to staff, just about to pull the plug on the high profile venue.
Staff claimed they’d been given just a day’s notice that the developer behind the Parkridge apartment complex was shutting it down after two successful, chef’s hat winning years under the leadership of chef and media personality Peter Kuruvita, who told media “I found out on Friday, and then we closed after Saturday night’s service.”
“They engaged me, we created this beautiful place and the collaboration has come to an end. The decision to close was not mine, it was theirs and I feel like we were successful in what we set out to do.”
While staff suggested the landmark restaurant had served its purpose as a ‘selling feature’ for apartments and was no longer required, developer Rob McCready blamed “regulatory burdens and inflationary pressures”. His far more acerbic response was removed from social media pages.
Aside from the shock to sacked staff, the timing and manner of the closure is unhelpful for the McCreadys – to say the least, and many of the residents of Parkridge will not be happy that the landmark restaurant is to become an ‘event’ venue.