CR JASON O’PRAY

Division 8 – Sunshine Coast Council

May 18th, 2022

THESE last few weeks I’ve been to a number of onsite meetings with residents to respond to drainage concerns relating to the last flooding event, and here we are in May, with another very wet month. Our Stormwater Management team have been working hard to find solutions where possible.

The year is flying by, and I’ve been busy finalising projects for the Division 8 Minor Capital Works Program for 22/23 which will include some park upgrades, new pathways and refurbished beach showers among other improvements for Division 8, so stay tuned for budget announcements next month.

It’s been exciting to work with the North Shore Jets AFL Club with their future plans for the Club and the grounds and, through the Councillor Discretionary Funding Program, they’ve arranged special inclusion jerseys for the LGBTQIA+ Pride Round fixtures.  I can’t wait to see the players with their brightly coloured rainbow jerseys come July.

In a major boost for local not-for-profit community groups, Sunshine Coast Council has announced more than $550,000 will support 95 local projects in its latest Major Grants round. The latest round of funding supports many important community projects, including youth programs, creative and cultural events, and facility upgrades. Several local community groups reaping the benefits include the Coolum Bridge Club Inc., receiving $7500 to replace air conditioning and Sunshine FM Radio Association Inc., receiving $8830 towards purchasing equipment to keep this community radio station on air in the event of mains power outage.

The Sunshine Coast Sports Symposium coming up on June 15-17 is a great audience to highlight the Sunshine Coast as a major destination for sports training and competition. It will be a great event for networking opportunities among sporting teams, clubs, industry and community, plus promote the Sunshine Coast sports industry to key decision-makers to facilitate valuable learning and research outcomes. The theme of this inaugural event is focused on inclusion in sport, headlined by the Disability Sports Australia National Conference, with swimming legend Kieren Perkins OAM who will be the keynote speaker. Fellow Councillor David Law and I are looking forward to attending and participating in the conversation.

See you ‘round Div 8!


April 20th, 2022

Community groups

THESE last few weeks I’ve attended several community group meetings – Pacific Paradise Progress Association, Marcoola Community Group, Mudjimba, Sunshine Cove and Twin Waters Residents Associations. It is clear we have a dedicated bunch of people making sure each of our communities continue to thrive with so many goals and projects to enhance these neighbourhoods.

Playground works

Work commences at the Warrack St (Mt Coolum) playground on April 27. The freshen-up over four weeks will include a new multi-play unit, new rubber soft fall, a new concrete trike track, and shade tree plantings. Geeribach Lane (Yaroomba) viewing deck is now complete with lots of fabulous feedback flowing in. I also checked out Waalum Park (Mt Coolum) now that the shelter upgrades are complete, and the park is looking great.

Grom surfing titles

Coming up at the end of May in Coolum is the Queensland State Grommet Surfing Titles – the exclusive qualification pathway for the State’s elite junior competitors (U/14s) aiming for selection in Queensland’s State Junior Surfing Team, set to compete at the Australian Junior Surfing Titles later in the year. The series is a key steppingstone in Surfing Queensland’s development pathway, with the likes of Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Bede Durbidge, just a few of the high-profile athletes who have previously competed in the junior State surfing series. Groms can enter online now.

Wearable fashion festival

For fashion and art lovers, the Australian Wearable Art Festival at Venue 114 on May 21 will be great catwalk viewing of some unique pieces by costumer designers, fashion designers, seamstresses and sculptors – and all part of this national showcase of wearable art. 

Coast sports

Sports lovers can join an unmissable opportunity to swim, mountain bike and trail run through our spectacular hinterland paradise on May 21 – 22.  With two action-packed events including TreX Cross Triathlon Champs and Trail Run Australia, the Sunshine Coast Multi-Sports festival takes athletes off the beaten track around beautiful Beerwah State Forest on the shores of Ewen Maddock Dam, with the majority of the action taking place on the winding single track through ferned rainforests. And whether you’re a hardcore athlete, a weekend warrior, someone who just loves getting outdoors or a family with kids, there are courses and distances for all ages including FREE Kids Mud Rats events.

BTW tickets are on sale now for the Sunshine Coast Lightning home games through May at USC Stadium! Get along and show your support. You can find out more about these events and more at events.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.


March 16th, 2022

THANK YOU A huge thanks to our SES volunteers who continue to do a tremendous job being front and centre in times of need, particularly for the most recent disaster event. As a community, we really cannot thank them enough and I encourage you to make an SES donation to show your support. Donations are used to help resource these volunteers with essential equipment that assist in performing the many and varied functions they help within emergency situations.

Our council crews and contractors have been out on-site over the last few weeks to inspect and assess damage to council roads and public infrastructure and we’ve been prioritising high-use areas and connecting roads. We ask that our community be patient with us and kind to our teams as we repair and clear our roads and infrastructure across the region over the weeks ahead.

Sunshine Coast Council is in the early stages of preparing a new planning scheme, which will guide future growth and development and help preserve the things we love about our region. A series of 12 drop-in information sessions from March 13-24 will be held at various locations across the Sunshine Coast including:

*March 19, 9am to midday – Maroochydore – Sunshine Plaza (opposite Nike/Coles end)
*March 22, 2-4pm – Coolum Beach – Tickle Park (next to the Visitor Information Centre)

Residents wanting to have their voice heard on other key council projects are encouraged to register on council’s online community engagement hub ‘Have Your Say’. It gives our community the opportunity to provide valuable information, feedback and ideas on a range of council projects and activities. Speaking up on council plans and projects helped to make decisions that benefit our whole community.

This year during Harmony Week (March 15-21) there are plenty of events to celebrate our diversity with friends, family, schools, workplaces, and our communities. From food events to cricket tournaments, a football carnival and an even arts showcase. I’ll be wearing Sunshine Coast Lightning colours on April 2 for their second match, the first home game for the Suncorp Super Netball season. They’ll be up against the Qld Firebirds at USC Stadium, and if you’ve never been to a netball match before, this one will definitely be worth a look. Find out more at events.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au


February 16th, 2022

Stormwater renewal in Marcoola

As part of this year’s stormwater renewal program, council is replacing four existing stormwater pits on Bauhinia Crescent, Marcoola. I am pleased to see these stormwater pits are being upgraded, as they were considered to be reaching the end of their useful life. The new pits will have a minimum service life of 50 years and will increase the capacity of the local stormwater network. The works were scheduled to start this week and are anticipated to be completed within two weeks, weather and site conditions permitting.

Sports news
There are so many facets to ‘sports’, none more important than the scorers, judges, officials and coaches. If you are volunteering or paid to be in one of these roles at your local club – save the date for Australia’s first live summit for sports officials being held at USC from July 16-17.

Council is also partnering with Disability Sports Australia to host the first Disability Sports Australia National Conference on June 16 at USC Stadium. The program will feature keynote speakers who influence disability and mainstream sport and breakout stream sessions that focus on bringing the sport, government, health, education and community sectors together through the newly launched NDSP National Referral Hub.

AFLW Brisbane Lions will return to their temporary home ground at the Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex next month (March 5/6 TBC) and is sure to be a great day of footy.

After postponements last year, the 2021 Volkswagon Scramble Championship will finally be held at Twin Waters Golf Club, March 11-14.

Telstra NRL Premiership matches at the Sunshine Coast Stadium will kick off on March 12, 4.30pm with the Warriors v Dragons and The Warriors will return later in the year to play the Rabbitohs on August 6 from 3pm.

The Suncorp Super Netball fixtures have Sunshine Coast Lightning playing several home games. Their first match at USC Stadium will be against the Qld Firebirds on April 2 from 6pm, with the next home game on April 16 when they take on the Melbourne Vixens.

Community news
Playgroups are back on, and group events for people with disabilities and their carers are running at North Shore Community Centre among many other activities. Follow on Facebook @NorthShoreCommunityCentre and other pages like @TwinWatersResidentsAssociation and @mudjimbaresidentsassociation to find out what’s happening in your neighbourhood.

Your stories matter
If you have information and stories about First Nations sites, pathways and place names or about the Sunshine Coast sporting history, council’s historians-in-residence want to hear from you. Sessions will be held on February 16 and 23 at Bankfoot House Heritage Precinct, Nambour Heritage Library or by phone. Bookings can be made atheritage.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au


January 26th, 2022

Welcome to 2022! I managed to visit a number of community groups through December and am looking forward to another bumper year of action and activity around Division 8.

Events

The event calendar for the year ahead has some fantastic new and returning creative and cultural events for the Sunshine Coast to enjoy. ‘Amplified’ presented by JYNX House will bring house music to the Coolum Football field on February 12 and showcase some of Australia’s up and coming DJs and EDM producers, with popular indie band The Jungle Giants as headliners. The Wearable Art Show returns May 21, and That’s Not My Dog! The Festival will provide a long weekend of laughs from August 26-28. You can go to www.events.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au to search for events by date or location.

AFL

On January 29 and February 5, AFLW Brisbane Lions are scheduled to play at the Maroochydore Multi-Sports Club, and our local club, North Shore Jets AFL Club is hosting their sign-on day on February 6 at Mudjimba Sports Club.

Caring for backyards

Council is holding a Caring for our Backyard Information Day from 9am-3pm, February 5 at Peachester Hall. Learn about managing invasive species and encouraging native flora and fauna in your backyard, browse stalls, join a workshop or book in for a variety of presentations.

Council mowing

We take pride in making sure our Sunshine Coast parks and gardens look green and great. The recent wet weather has delayed some of our mowing and maintenance services across the Sunshine Coast. Right now, our teams are busy caring for our 1183 hectares of parklands and reserves across the Sunshine Coast region…that’s equivalent to 1690 football fields! We would like to thank our community and visitors for their patience while we catch up. If we get enough dry weather, our parks and gardens and other grassed areas will quickly return to tip-top condition. If COVID-19 does impact our workforce numbers, which it may do from time to time, we may need to adjust our service scheduling. We assure you we will prioritise our cleaning services and direct resources to urgent and hazardous matters to keep our community safe.

See you ‘round Div 8!


December 15th, 2021

A Sunday FUN RIDE on December 19 is a key event on the new Cycle Sunshine Coast festival program. With varied distances, the Fun Ride includes a long 27km and a short 17km ride option, the contingent will depart the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) heading through Mountain Creek and onto Buddina before taking in the scenic views along the esplanade at Kawana and then heading back to USC. The fun ride is almost entirely on bike paths around the Sunshine Coast and is perfect for anyone with a bike – you don’t even need the Lycra.

Sunshine Coast Council will host New Year’s Eve 2021 fireworks displays at Coolum, Caloundra and Mooloolaba this year. The displays will be held at 8.30pm at all locations, with an additional midnight display at Mooloolaba. Locals and visitors can throw down a rug and enjoy a picnic at beaches and parks or enjoy the hospitality of local cafes and restaurants at all three locations.

You can find more event information for Cycle Sunshine Coast, NYE and other Christmas events at www.events.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au

Good to know if you are heading on down to Mooloolaba to catch up with friends or visitors, a new $5 daily parking rate is now available at the undercover ParknGo Mooloolaba Central car park on the corner of First Avenue and Smith Street.

An upgrade of Zgrajewski Road, Yandina is underway and will see two kilometres of gravel road sealed to suppress dust and make it safer and more pleasant for road users. For the safety of council’s workers and our community the full length of Zgrajewski Road, between McCords Road and Arcoona Road, will be closed to through traffic for approximately four months, beginning January 10, 2022. An alternative detour route will be via Yandina Coolum Road for through traffic and residents who are not located within the project site. Please allow extra time when planning your journey.

I wish you all a very safe and happy Christmas and New Year. I hope, like me, you will enjoy family time and are able to connect with those you haven’t been able to see for a while from interstate.


November 17th, 2021

Grant wins

Congratulations to the latest round of successful Major Grants applicants, who will share in more than $604,000 in council funding for 84 local projects. Division 8 community projects receiving a helping hand include Mudjimba Surf Club to purchase a new inflatable rescue boat hull and motor; Mudjimba Longboard Club to purchase a new trailer for club safety and event equipment; North Shore Football Club for light maintenance; and Sunshine Coast Table Tennis Club which will purchase new tables and nets. Oriana Arts received funding to help the choir present two special performances next year, so watch out for those.

Have your say and win a $500 voucher!

Division 8 groups who operate a community venue are encouraged to complete a survey that examines the Sunshine Coast’s community venues. Council wants to hear from all community and religious organisations, sporting clubs, schools and other groups who may operate a community venue to have their say before Friday, December 3. This check-in includes all hireable spaces for community use and looks at understanding the region’s community venues better, their capacity and accessibility, plus opportunities so we can help support them in becoming the best well-used and activated spaces. Visit https://haveyoursay.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/community-venues-check

Div 8 capital works

Residents have been loving the new footpath along Mudjimba Esplanade and Kawanna Street in Mudjimba. Meanwhile, our sustainable travellers appreciate a number of bus stop shelter upgrades – Jarnahill Drive, David Low Way and Suncoast Beach Drive in Mt Coolum. These are just a few minor projects to help improve our way of life in Division 8.

Tourism awards

The Queensland Tourism Awards were held on Friday, November 12 at the Brisbane Convention Centre and I’m so proud of our operators who have received awards this year. Congratulations to the Bli Bli House River Retreat, The Ginger Factory and Australia Zoo.


September 16th, 2021

It has been great to receive compliments about the newly completed viewing platform at the beach access end of East Tanah Street. Check it out and let me know what you think.

The North Shore Community Centre team were extremely proud to celebrate their 10th anniversary of the community centre last weekend. I’d like to give a HUGE shout out to many locals who’ve contributed to keeping the centre accessible and enjoyable for the community over the last ten years. 

Nineteen Sunshine Coast environmental community groups can continue to focus on their core work of caring for our precious wildlife and stunning natural environment, thanks to a three-year grant from council’s environment levy partnership funding program. I’m pleased to advise that Coolum District Coast Care Group Inc is one of those groups, receiving $111,000 over the next three years for coastal environmental protection and restoration projects. These include dune and bushland weed control and habitat restoration; biodiversity enhancement such as nest box installation and monitoring; marine turtle monitoring; data collection and rescue; marine debris surveys and analysis; and more. Volunteer, donate or become a member at coolumcoastcare.org.au

Sunshine Coast Bunyas Knockout will be a new annual first nations rugby league carnival, for the Sunshine Coast. Hosted by Sunshine Coast Bunyas Inc, the inaugural event runs from October 15-17 at the Nambour Rugby League Club.

If you are missing festival vibes, make sure you grab a weekend or day ticket to the Caloundra Music Festival, October long weekend. Great Aussie headline acts and the program is FULL of our local muso’s, like Dear Doonan, Bearfoot, Flaskas, In2natioN and Sari Abbott, who have been missing the spotlight for the last two years.

Other events coming up: Football Queensland Community Cup at Maroochydore Football Club, Kunda Park, Sept 18-22. The State Age Netball Championships 2021 will be on at Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex from Sep 25-28. From Sep 29-Oct 2 the National Youth Championships (Touch Football) 2021 will play out at Sunshine Coast Stadium. And the Surfing Queensland 2021 Series: Australian Open Surfing: Sunshine Coast Pro’s first preference break is Coolum! Fingers crossed for some great waves the weekend of Oct 2-3.


August 18th, 2021

There are plenty of groups making our community creative, connected and cohesive and I encourage each and every group to consider what they could do with some dollars before Council’s Major Grants applications close on August 30. There are several categories in our Major Grants program, which supports not-for-profit organisations to deliver one-off projects, events and activities with broad community benefit. Funding up to $15,000 is available for those projects or up to $30,000 for infrastructure projects. A great example – earlier this year Mount Coolum Golf Club received funding for some kitchen renos. I was also pleased to support a recent funding request by the Maroochy North Shore Lions to buy equipment to assist with their fundraising efforts.

Our businesses are doing it tough and now, more than ever, we need to shop local. Is there something you can buy now and experience later? Perhaps you’ve experienced amazing customer service, or know a business providing exceptional services? Maybe you’ve been impressed by innovative approaches or creative talent? Whatever makes a business stand out to you, nominate them for a Sunshine Coast Business Award, ‘cause let’s face it, they need all the inspiration we can give them to bounce back.

Following a request from a resident to improve the pathway network leading from Yaroomba to Coolum State School, I have allocated funding to construct a pathway along Boneham Avenue, Yaroomba.  While construction works are likely to be a little over 12 months away, I am still pleased to be able to fulfil this request and improve our kids’ safety on their way to and from school.  I will be looking at funding another pathway from Boneham Avenue along Bimini Drive in a future financial year.

IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast will see participants riding the Sunshine Motorway from Mooloolaba to the Coolum roundabout and back on the bike leg. So check the event website for changed traffic conditions, and head down to Mooloolaba for all the action.

You can contact my office or visit council’s website for further information about any of these programs and events.


July 15th, 2021

The Sunshine Coast Council budget was adopted shortly after my last column, and overall, the $816 million budget included a diverse and valuable mix of projects to create a safer, secure future across the region, and I’m excited by so many projects coming for my Division 8 community.

Some of the highlights for Division 8 include upgrading the bridge and boardwalk in the Yaroomba Bushland Park, renewing the amenities block at Mudjimba Beach Holiday Park, and a $500,000 spend on important recreation park and landscape amenity updates across Division 8, benefiting all who reside here and those who come to enjoy our beautiful beaches, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

The new shade sail at Birrahl Park has been installed in time for the weather as it starts to warm up on the other side of winter. The tandem shade system provides great coverage over the playground during the warmer parts of the day. The project also added some additional trees that, in time, will provide natural shade to the playground equipment.  Later this financial year works will commence to add an additional shelter and improve the barbeque facilities.

Two park shelters located in Walum Park, Mount Coolum are due for replacement in the 2021/22 financial year, and council has sought community feedback regarding two smaller shelters positioned in similar locations to the existing barbecue shelters. All good timber from the existing structures will be salvaged and reused in the proposed new structures, where possible. The existing bins and one of the drinking fountains will be moved onto new concrete slabs located in convenient locations in the park. Proposed works will include additional planting and grassed areas.

Plans are afoot for minor additions and upgrades to the Viewing Deck at Geeribach Lane, Yaroomba.  Council has listened to feedback from nearby residents to make this space an enjoyable and even more user-friendly spot from which to enjoy this spectacular beach.

Only four rounds to go for Sunshine Coast Lightning, currently sitting second on the Suncorp Super Netball ladder. Three more home games are scheduled for 17 and 24 July and 7 August at USC Stadium (subject to COVID changes) so please get behind them and show them your support – how good would it be to see them vying for championship status once again!

See you ‘round Div 8!


June 17th, 2021

Keeping our parks beautiful and our beaches and local shops accessible is important for our community, which is why I’ve committed funding to renew the pathway in front of the shops on Lorraine Avenue, Marcoola. This upgrade will improve safety and match the finish on the pavement to the newer footpath along Marcoola Esplanade. Starting June 21, works will take place in two-stages to ensure access and connectivity to surrounding businesses.

We should also soon see a new shade sail constructed over the playground in Birrahl Park, Yaroomba to create a sun-safe play environment for our littlies.  Plans are afoot to build an additional shelter in the park to house an electric barbeque and more seating for locals and visitors to enjoy.

I can also report that construction works for a new viewing deck at Beach Access 94 in Mount Coolum commenced on Monday June 14.

I’ve previously highlighted public transport as an important part of our community. Now is your opportunity to help shape the transport options to benefit you and your family in the future. To wrap up, I urge you to have your say on the Mass Transit Project before consultation closes on June 22, 2021.

We have some huge sporting events coming up – June 25-27 will see the Women’s State of Origin, the Aussie Stingers Water Polo team are hosting a farewell match at St Andrews before they go to Tokyo and of course Sunshine Coast Lightning are striking back, sitting top of the ladder. Make sure you show your team colours and support, for event information go to events.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.

See you ‘round Div 8!


May 20th, 2021

Earlier this year I met with members from Friends of Yaroomba to discuss updates to Birrahl Park at Yaroomba. This is a much-loved meeting place, great for family gatherings, playdates with children, and with a peaceful access to our beautiful beach. That said, it does need a bit more love.

Thanks to our dedicated community and council officers, we have already replaced bollards in the carpark with rubber wheel stops, cleaned up and mulched around the bases of several pandanus trees. Our next steps are to install a much-needed shade sail over the play equipment to provide additional sun protection. I’ve also proposed to allocate funding for the installation of an additional shelter and a refreshed barbeque facility for the park.

Across town in Mount Coolum, two park shelters in Waalum Park are due for replacement. Council’s skilled Landscape Design staff have consulted with enthusiastic representatives from the Seaside Shores Community Association to establish the design elements of these replacement shelters. It will be great to see some of the old timber repurposed in the new structures. This project’s design phase is set to be finalised by the end of June and I’ll be sure to keep you up to date as the project progresses. 

In both locations, I look forward to seeing residents and visitors enjoying these beautiful community meeting spaces.

In other council news… I invite you all to provide feedback on council’s Mass Transit consultation. Your thoughts and opinions will help us decide on the best public transport options for our region. 

We know we need sustainable and efficient options to move us quickly as our population grows, and we need to ensure our local lifestyle and environment is protected as well. Please visit council’s website to have your say on public transport options before June 22. 

Next up, I encourage residents to click over to register for The Lift Project Sunshine Coast, a free, 10-week online wellbeing program. In partnership with renowned lifestyle medicine expert Dr Darren Morton, this evidence-based draws on the latest research from Neuroscience, Lifestyle Medicine and Positive Psychology. 

Personally, being in the water is what lifts my mood and keeps me feeling balanced. This important program provides ideas and tips on how to boost physical and mental wellbeing, and I recommend signing up for this fourth, and final course. It’s free and starts May 31. 


April 25th, 2021

I was so very proud to open the new North Shore Boardriders Clubhouse recently with a gazillion old crew local surfers at Cotton Tree. Surrounded by lifetime friends we celebrated the future of surfing on the Sunshine Coast. 

And there will be plenty of sand and surf action over the next couple of weeks with the start of The Aussies on April 16. The majority of events are at Mooloolaba, Alexandra Headland and Maroochydore, but possibly some board riding action will be held at Coolum. You are welcome to spectate to cheer on more than 1,000 local life savers compete or watch the live stream. Most importantly please make the 4,000+ visiting life savers and their families feel welcome. Surf lifesaving is a sport for purpose – surf lifesavers train and compete to always be ‘rescue ready’ and I am so excited that we can host this major event here on the coast.

Other major events that are returning this year, include the Queensland Oztag Championships Junior State Cup at the Sunshine Coast Stadium, April 16-18. From Apr 30 – May 3, the Queensland Churches Soccer Association State Titles will be held across Sunshine Coast Stadium, North Shore Multisports Complex, Mudjimba and Park Lakes, Bli Bli. Next month the Volkswagen Scramble Championship Final is being held at Twin Waters Golf Club. 

Late last month I opened the Sunshine Coast Innovations Day and was blown away by this showcase of seventeen innovative businesses with a new product, service or digital solution that would enhance operational performance/improvements for larger businesses, institutions and corporations. Their pitch videos are on Council’s You Tube, so jump online and check them out.

Have you seen the latest on our Australian first Automated Waste Collection System commissioning underway in the new Maroochydore City Centre? ENVAC technical experts are now inspecting the system, and we expect it to be operational mid-year. The Sunshine Coast is leading the nation with this sustainable and innovative technology by constructing Australia’s first, high-tech, underground automated waste collection system for a CBD. 

See you ‘round Div 8!


March 18th, 2021

Have you been to Power Memorial Park at Mudjimba Esplanade lately? It’s one of my favourite spots with modern amenities, playground, barbecues and sheltered picnic areas. I don’t think it could get any better. Are there other recreation areas that need attention? Council is asking for your feedback on parks across the region, via the Draft Recreation Parks Plan. Please tell us what you think. Fill out our quick and easy survey by April 6 – or talk to a council officer about the plan at Maroochydore library on Tuesday March 23 from 9am to 1pm. Visit haveyoursay.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au for details. 

I’m expecting some amazing creations will come out at this year’s SCAP. Entries for the prestigious Sunshine Coast Art Prize are now open. This dynamic visual arts award reflects outstanding contemporary 2D arts in Australia and has a prize pool of more than $30,000 including a major cash prize of $25,000. Entries close May 10. And the best part is that our community gets to keep the entries for future displays. Visit gallery.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au for information.

Do you have a budding actor in your household? Council is offering a chance for them to win great prizes by entering the 2021 Sunshine Coast Get Ready Schools Competition! Create a 30-second video highlighting the importance of having a “WHAT-IF-PLAN” so everyone knows what to do when disaster strikes. Visit haveyoursay.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au to enter by April 30.

Next month the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, better known, as ‘The Aussies’ will take place over nine days from April 16-24. It will bring together surf life saving competitors from across the country representing their club for the chance to be deemed Australia’s best. It’s more than just a major sporting event, the skills developed in competition directly build and develop competency for a higher purpose – to save lives. Every entrant is a qualified and proficient surf lifesaver and training for surf sport competition ensures individuals are equipped to perform rescues. The Aussies ocean swim is open to both surf life saving club members and non-members. The 2km ocean swim race embodies the essence of fun and participation. To register visit:https://sls.com.au/aussieoceanswim/


February 18th, 2021

The year is off and running, just like the 4000 plus athletes in training for next month’s Mooloolaba Triathlon, which is so good for our tourism operators!  And my local groups are just as energised and ready to meet the challenges of 2021. Mudjimba Residents Association, Marcoola Community Group, Twin Waters Residents Association and North Shore Traders have all had their first meetings for the year and are keeping me busy actioning various ideas and items from these community discussions.

Talking ideas….. If you’ve got a great creative business idea, there’s an eight-week program of workshops, mentoring and connections with creative industry leaders coming up. The Refinery 2021, an initiative of council with SunCentral Maroochydore and Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance, supports independent artists, early-stage entrepreneurs, and creative industry practitioners with an idea ready to go and will culminate in a public showcase to launch participants’ businesses. Applications for this unique creative incubator, designed to refine, test and launch creative ideas into impactful sustainable businesses close midnight March 1. For details – https://www.therefinerysunshinecoast.com/ or follow @therefinery.sc

Not a new idea, but a new service for our region – could you use a FOGO collection?  I’m interested in your views on introducing a third bin for collection of Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO). What if you could put all your food scraps in the green bin with your garden waste? Even foods you wouldn’t put in a home compost bin can be put in your FOGO bin like bones, out of date meat, lemon peel, onions, moldy bread, cheese and even dog poo. Make sure you fill out the online survey – haveyoursay.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au before 5pm, March 2.

I’m a big fan of being active and getting out with the family, and what better way to do that than National Ride2School Day on Friday March 19. We expect around 350 children in our region to ride to school for the first time and hopefully start a life-long pattern of active travel. Council is offering great prizes including 4 bike shop vouchers valued at $500, so register your child via council’s website before 5pm, March 19 to enter.

Don’t become COVID complacent, see you ‘round Div 8!


January 28th, 2021

Celebrating the New Year with my family and friends was an absolute blessing, and I wish the community I am honoured to represent, a happy and healthy 2021.

The “Aussies” is 100 per cent ON for April 2021. Surf Life Saving Australia has opened entries to what is usually the biggest surf life saving carnival to take place in Australia. Maroochy, Alex and Mooloolaba SLS clubs are hosting this massive event with COVID safe event plans to ensure entrants and our community stay safe. After such a brutal year, our hospitality and tourism industries are ready for the boost in visitors that this event will bring. Leading up to the Aussies, other major events will roll out through March including the Mooloolaba Triathlon (12-14 Mar) and the Mooloolaba Mile Ocean Swim (21 Mar) – it’s not too late to register!

The Sunshine Coast Australia Day Awards were announced last week, and it is exciting to see local writer Aleesah Darlison win the Creative Award. Aleesah has published 50 books in 10 years and formed a local network of children’s authors and illustrators (SCBWI) enabling local artists to share ideas, knowledge, and opportunities to lift the status and capacity of Sunshine Coast creatives. Due to her vast industry knowledge and giving nature, Aleesah runs child and adult writing workshops, and set up Sunny Kids Writing Workshops where she’s taught hundreds of young local writers. Aleesah has really nurtured the Sunshine Coast literary community in such an invaluable way. 

Our eight annual Clean-up for the Hatchlings will happen in multiple locations including Marcoola and North Shore on Saturday January 30 between 6-11am. Registrations are essential. Sign up today at www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/events