RETIRING: Peter Wellington is stepping down, creating interesting political opportunities for a fresh field of candidates.
RETIRING: Peter Wellington is stepping down, creating interesting political opportunities for a fresh field of candidates. Mike Knott

Battle lines at border towns

NEAR-Gympie residents to the north and south face different political choices as they consider their voting verdict in the lead-up to the November25 state poll.

Kin Kin residents are part of Noosa electorate, while Cooroy and Cooran district residents will find some of them are in Noosa and many in Nicklin.

To Gympie's north, Tiaro residents are part of the Maryborough electorate.

Noosa is held by the LNP's Glen Elmes with a big but potentially uncertain majority.

Mr Elmes won in 2015 with more than 48 per cent of the electorate's 35,872 primary votes and more than 58 per cent after preferences.

Most of the rest went to Labor (represented this time by Mark Denham) and Greens (Phillip Jenkins this time).

Their combined vote was more than 13,000, nearly 42 per cent.

This time Mr Elmes also faces a challenge from popular independent Sandy Bolton, who came within three per cent of winning last year's Noosa mayoral election.

Also worth watching, even as a spectator sport, is Nicklin, where sitting independent and parliamentary Speaker Peter Wellington is retiring, leaving the electorate open to newcomers.

There, the competition involves the Greens' Mick Tyrrell, the LNP's Marty Hunt, One Nation's Steven Ford and Labor's Justin Raethel.

Tiaro district residents are faced with a field of candidates which may not yet be finalised, the LNP not having yet announced a candidate.

Those in the running so far include incumbent Bruce Saunders of the Labor Party, One Nation's James Hansen and the Greens' Craig Armstrong.

Mr Saunders needed a lot of preferences at the 2015 election to beat the strong primary vote of the LNP's Anne Maddern.

Mrs Maddern won more than 30 per cent of the vote in a diverse and challenging field of seven.

But a major redistribution has taken much of the LNP's better country and potentially made the seat much harder for the LNP to win back. That LNP country, from Bauple, Gundiah and Glen Echo right down to Curra, is now in Gympie.