Member for Noosa
September 22nd, 2021
Welcome to Spring everyone! Longer and warmer days, the joy of blooms and the warming of our waterways and hearts in the midst of what is still an unprecedented time.
It was a momentous week in Parliament with the passing of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill (VAD) 2021. This has been a long journey for so many, and I had asked throughout that respect and compassion for all be demonstrated, and I was grateful that this also extended into Chamber during the debate. With polls and surveys showing overwhelming support in our electorate, the extensive research, consultation and reviews undertaken, as well the work over three years by two separate Health Committee’s, the right to access choice for those who seek and qualify under very strict criteria was voted in 61 to 30. As submitted by those both ‘for’ and ‘against’ increased funding for palliative care from the day of a terminal diagnosis must be a priority. You can find my full VAD speech at https://fb.watch/82sEbbo9sE/
Those aged 60 and over are now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, with assurance that we now have the supply to meet demand. For information on where to access, including at Queensland Health Vaccination locations and GPs/pharmacies, please visit www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/protect-yourself-others/covid-19-vaccine/book. With the reality that we may only get to re-open at target percentages as in other states, for those that have been waiting, now is the time to avoid a rush that may emanate as borders nationally and internationally open. For those who have made the choice not to vaccinate, please respect the decision of others who are working to that target.
The recently announced Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Program will provide one-off grants of up to $50,000 to eligible tourism and hospitality businesses facing significant financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions and interstate lockdowns. There will be three levels of support for employing sole traders to small business (with a payroll under $1.3 million), small to medium businesses (with a payroll of $1.3 million to $10 million inclusive), and medium to large businesses (payroll over $10 million). The level of support will increase in line with payroll size from $15,000 for small businesses, to $25,000 for medium businesses, and to $50,000 for large businesses. You can find more information, including eligibility criteria, at https://www.dtis.qld.gov.au/our-work/tourism-hospitality-sector-hardship-program
The Housing Action Group recently met this month in ongoing efforts to address both the short and longer-term shortages, with updates on progress received by all in attendance and a summary available at https://www.sandybolton.com/noosa360/
With so much to report, visit Noosa 360 at www.sandybolton.com where updates are regularly posted on local issues, including this month Estimates 2021/22 and Beckmans Road. Whilst there, subscribe to our newsletter or join us on Facebook. As always, email our office at email@example.com or phone 5319 3100 if you any require assistance.
August 25th, 2021
From visiting our barbell champions and gardening with our future change-makers at Cooran State School, to recent COVID-19 lockdowns that have highlighted how both strong, and vulnerable we are, this month has brought forward questions not posed before, and I will be speaking of this in the next sitting of Parliament.
Following on from our advocacies to the QLD Small Business Commissioner and the Premier, it was welcome news that COVID-19 Business Support Grants have been announced with inclusion for our sole traders, as well as progress regarding insurances. However, there are still ‘gaps’, which we have written to Minister Farmer and cc’d in the Premier and Treasurer on, with examples of our businesses ineligible for funding support. Thank you to all who have assisted in this advocacy.
It was beneficial to update advocates on non-lethal shark control methods and current trials. As explained, support must come from our community, and we shall be again putting the question during our annual survey which last time only had 32 per cent in favour of shark net removal. My Question on Notice to the Minister and response can be found at www.sandybolton.com/shark-nets-and-control-measures-update-26-july-2021/
As reported previously, Government has allocated funding in this year’s budget towards community transport to address the gaps we had identified and advocated about. The new Community Transport Program supports residents who are not eligible for other subsidisation to access medical appointments with information available at www.chde.qld.gov.au/about/initiatives/community-transport-program. Should any of the existing subsidies, extended PTSS zones or this new program not be able to assist, we shall continue our pilot Be: Noosa Connect-SCUH Transport until we have ascertained that no one else remains in any ‘gaps’.
In amongst Covid restrictions, it has been wonderful to immerse in the incredible energy of our community. Between citizenship ceremonies, book and magazine launches, celebrations, ‘Think Tanks’ and as well as many magical ‘Noosa’ moments. The successful South East QLD bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic games presents an opportunity for our little ones to dream of gold as well as for our businesses to thrive and for the development of infrastructure in our region. A recent meeting ‘brainstormed’ about what a taskforce would look like, and the key messages were for it to be community-driven, with unity between all levels of government. Thank you to Ted O’Brien MP for hosting and to all that attended!’
With so much to report, visit Noosa 360 at www.sandybolton.com where updates are regularly posted on local issues, including on the Housing Action Group. Whilst there, subscribe to our newsletter, or join us on Facebook. As always, email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 5319 3100 if you require assistance.
July 22nd, 2021
From snap lockdowns to health alerts, the impacts from COVID continue to cause disruption and great hardship for many including many of our small businesses, with sadly some poor behaviours being reported that is not very ‘Noosa’!
As reported July 9, the Check In Qld app became mandatory for all businesses that the public is ordinarily given access to for the purpose of accessing retail goods and services, with the exception of businesses where goods and services are supplied in a drive through or supplied at a person’s place of residence. There have been many questions around this, including whether it is the responsibility of the business or the customer to oversee the use of the app. The Chief Health Officer has explained that the onus is on the individual to check in, however the business has the responsibility to make sure the QR code is prominently displayed and there is an attempt to see that people are checking in.
Our housing crisis persists, and I thank all who continue to move ‘mountains’ to ensure no one needs to sleep rough, including the team at the Department of Housing, our backpackers and resorts who are allocating a portion of their rooms for workers and their families, and the residents who are head leasing their properties or offering share accommodation. This month our Housing Action Group meeting had to be rescheduled due to the lockdown, and I will post to 360 a full report once we have held this meeting as there are a number of outcomes we have been waiting on to alleviate the critical shortfall of rentals. For those experiencing end of lease issues, please contact the Residential Tenancy Authority, who can provide tenancy information and support, bond management, dispute resolution, investigations and prosecutions, and education services. There are also two upcoming Bills within this space, the Housing Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 and Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation (Tenants’ Rights) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021. You can make a public submission at https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/inquiries
It has not been all challenges, as a visit with our PTSD dogs, work experience students, and a host of wonderful news including local biz ScreenCoach receiving $1 million in funding from the Federal Government, are just some of the magical MP moments of late.
With so much to report, visit Noosa 360 at www.sandybolton.com where updates are regularly posted on local issues. Whilst there, subscribe to our newsletter, or join us on Facebook. As always, email our office on email@example.com or phone 5319 3100 if you any require assistance.
Don’t forget to help our businesses by doing the right thing regarding the app and masks. These guys have had it really tough, and your assistance as we continue to get to the ‘other side’ of this bug is much needed and appreciated.
May 24th, 2021
How wonderful it is to be back home after Budget week and the late nights spent trawling through Service Delivery Statements! In brief, this year’s Budget did offer something for everyone, however the devil is in the detail. For an overview on what the Budget means for the Noosa Electorate, please visit www.sandybolton.com/budget-2021-22-update/.
The announcement that new parole laws are currently being drafted is very welcomed, which will give the President of the Parole Board QLD, the power to make a declaration against the ‘worst of the worst’ murderers, including child killers and those who commit multiple murders, stopping them applying for parole for up to 10 years after their eligibility date. There will also be no limit on the number of declarations that can be issued. Thank you to the 72,000 who signed the petition regarding Barrie Watts’ parole application and joined us in writing to Ministers Fentiman and Ryan to get these laws changed. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of Sian Kingi and Daniel Morcombe, and other families impacted by horrific crimes, and look forward to this coming before Parliament.
It was our privilege to recently honour 25 incredible volunteers at our 2021 Queensland Day Awards and celebrate the spirit of our community that they represent so well. Both the Peregian Springs State School Mural Opening and the ‘Digi’ Welcome to Country at the Noosa Information Centre were wonderful initiatives in National Reconciliation Week, and Mervyns 102nd birthday and Noosa Eat and Drink Festival provided an opportunity to take advantage of our incredible home and its people.
With multiple committee inquiries open for public consultation, including the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill and the Inquiry into serious vilification and hate crimes, you can find out how to make a submission at www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/inquiries
Airservices Australia have advised that the Community Engagement Plan (CEP) has been finalised, following two rounds of community feedback and consideration of submissions. In addition, a Review of Community Feedback on the Draft Post Implementation Review (PIR) has also been released. These documents are available at https://engage.airservicesaustralia.com/sunshine-coast-airport-airspace-changes-runway-1331
A reminder that from 1am Saturday June 19, anyone entering QLD from another state or territory or New Zealand, will need to make an online travel declaration. For full information and the link for applications, please visit www.qld.gov.au/queensland-travel-declaration. To stay updated on all COVID-19 matters, visit www.covid19.qld.gov.au/
May 27th, 2021
Although winter has arrived, for our region this still means clear blue skies, turquoise waters and beautiful days, so no need to huddle indoors, enjoy all the reasons why others holiday here!
Concerns raised with us regarding the Coastal Hazards Adaptation Plan have been relayed to the Minister for Environment, as it is extremely important that the community has the time to investigate the complexities as part of the consultation process.
It was fabulous to gather with former Brisbane Lord Mayor Sallyanne Atkinson, Mayor Clare, Susan Davies President of Sharing with Friends, and Joanna Blyth from AECOM regarding a co-housing project by women for women. In addition, the first ‘micro’ apartments are housing our hospitality staff, though we need many more to meet the demand with our businesses experiencing a severe staff shortage. If you know any residents looking for work, please get them to contact any of our employment agencies.
Information on the Noosa River Advisory Committee has been updated on Council’s website at https://www.noosa.qld.gov.au/environment-waste/environment/rivers-creeks and any questions regarding their work can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Works have recently commenced on Beckmans Road Stage 1. Design work completed to date had identified the alignment of the new intersection, allowing vegetation clearing and relocation of energy and water infrastructure to start the project. Main construction is projected to commence in late this year, weather and conditions permitting, with more information available on Noosa Council’s website.
Between Parliamentary sittings and multiple meetings, including with the Climate Council and the Legal Affairs and Safety Committee, there were also several events. This consisted of the Supercharging QLD Showcase, in which I got to catch up with some amazing ‘Noosans’ from both Noosa Council and Zero Emissions Noosa. As well, the Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Breakfast demonstrated the depth and breadth of those who work in one of the most difficult spaces, including the fabulous services and organisations that were in attendance.
Even though COVID-19 restrictions have eased, please remember to physically distance, practice good hygiene and stay updated on https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/
Don’t forget to visit Noosa 360 at www.sandybolton.com where updates are regularly posted on local issues. Whilst there, subscribe to our newsletter, or join us on Facebook. As always, email our office on email@example.com or phone 5319 3100 if you any require assistance.
April 22nd, 2021
Even though it was a very wet Easter, there were still plenty of visitors out and about enjoying our home. A special thanks to the teams who worked tirelessly over the break to help keep residents and visitors safe, as well to those that respected both our community and its inhabitants. With over 100 infringements issued on the North Shore, it was welcome news that of the 700 random breath tests conducted, there was only one over the limit.
Fire bans within the Cooloola Recreation Area have been extended until September 2021, with further details available on the booking website. This decision was made following an ecological assessment of bushfire impacts from the 2019/20 bushfires and an assessment of the Fraser Island (K’gari) bushfire, however we have requested that this come to local stakeholders for further consultation.
The newly formed Noosa River Advisory Committee held its inaugural meeting last week with 14 selected stakeholder committee members, representatives from both MSQ and Noosa Council, as well Mayor Clare and myself as observers. We look forward to seeing some of our historical river issues finally resolved, as well as any emerging.
Our Housing Action Group meeting in March saw progress on several fronts including legislation around secondary dwellings and dual occupancy, which Council will be workshopping in the coming weeks.
Airservices Australia have advised that the updated draft Community Engagement Plan (CEP) is now available for review until Friday April 30, 2021. In addition, a site feasibility study to identify potential zones in which noise monitors may be placed has commenced, and once completed, community engagement on suitable monitoring locations will begin. For more information head to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Between two Parliamentary sittings, regional QLD public hearings for the Youth Justice Bill, and a multitude of meetings including with our new interns and Community Legal Centres, I managed some treasured ‘MP Moments’! Welcoming St Thomas More Primary School students to Parliament House, and catching up with those who are trialing drones as part of swimmer safety, and an end to those shark nets?
Close to my heart are the many hardworking community organisations throughout our electorate, and it was fantastic to be able to fund some endeavours through the Community Connect and Seeds for Change programs. I look forward to sharing these projects as they commence. Please an eye out for our QLD Day Awards announcements shortly to nominate our incredible volunteers and pro bono professionals who work tirelessly in our community.
Even though COVID-19 restrictions have eased, please remember to physically distance, practice good hygiene and stay updated on https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/
Blessings until next month, where I look forward to seeing you at the Peregian Beach Mobile Office Saturday 1st May from 9-11am. If you would like an appointment, just give the office a call on 5319 3100
March 25th, 2021
After multiple weeks spent down in the ‘big house’ and travelling throughout Queensland with the Legal Affairs and Safety Committee holding public hearings on the Youth Justice Bill, I am again reminded of how blessed we are to live in the Noosa Electorate.
Thank you to everyone who reported turtle hatchlings on Noosa North Shore, which resulted in prompt responses and some very happy youngsters making their way to the ocean! A timely reminder for anyone travelling on the beach, especially from Freshwater Lake track up to Double Island Point, to go slow. This will also be discussed at the next Teewah Cooloola Working Group as to how we can better protect during turtle seasons and raised with the Minister for Environment during Question Time in Parliament. Changes to campsite bookings at Cooloola Recreation Area and number plate recognition cameras are some of the measures implemented as part of addressing poor and dangerous behaviours with more improvements to come, including dealing with those mobile blackspots.
After meeting with state planners regarding legislation and critical housing shortages, I look forward to updating stakeholders at our next Housing Action Group (HAG) meeting with confirmation that we have progressed further in efforts to resolve. Updates are posted to Noosa 360 on our website after each meeting.
The Federal Government’s roll out of phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination has commenced, yes with a couple of ‘hiccup’s which are quickly being resolved. Information regarding eligibility and locations can be found at https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility.
Having met recently with a number of representatives from locality-based groups regarding Council’s Coastal Hazard Adaptation Plans, it was good to see the quality of submissions being made as instrumental changes of this nature is a journey that requires all of community to travel together as projected impacts in climate change will affect everyone.
Maritime Safety QLD and Noosa Council have jointly selected the members of a new Noosa River Stakeholder Reference Group from submissions received during the recent Expressions of Interest. We look forward to the first meeting and subsequent improvements to many aspects of our river management, including those that have been our ‘gremlins’ including moorings.
Recent Parliamentary speeches included the welcomed ban on certain plastic items, incorporating the fabulous efforts of our organisations and community, and those magic coconut shell bowls in the E-PAC! For Chamber ‘happenings’, don’t forget you can tune in to Parliament TV during sitting weeks at https://tv.parliament.qld.gov.au/
A reminder to stay updated on efforts and issues including those above via subscribing to our monthly newsletter or searching by topic in Noosa 360, both available at www.sandybolton.com. As well join us on Facebook by ‘liking’ Sandy Bolton MP! If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us on 53193100 or email@example.com.
February 25th, 2021
Regarding Sunshine Coast flight paths, feedback on the draft Terms of Reference (TOR) and the draft Community Engagement Plan (CEP) have resulted in the TOR with final changes tracked and a summary of the feedback received by Air Services Australia. The submissions for the CEP are being reviewed, and an updated draft will be provided for a further public review. If you have any questions, please contact Engage Airservices at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We continue to be contacted by residents impacted by our current housing crisis, and I thank our community who have assisted enormously in efforts. The Housing Action Group is working rapidly on both short- and longer-term solutions, and currently we await the response from State Government surrounding the constraints by definition for second dwellings, infrastructure charges and other contributors to the current situation.
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has commenced for those in the high priority group, with the vaccine hub for our region based at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Information is available at www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/protect-yourself-others/covid-19-vaccine.
The Lake MacDonald Dam upgrade by Seqwater is to be reassessed due to information that emerged during the procurement stage which predicted that project costs would be significantly higher than anticipated, hence the lowering of the lake will now not proceed in 2021. Seqwater has assured that it will keep our community updated as the assessment progresses with an approximate completion date mid-year.
There has been concerns on Facebook regarding tree clearing, highlighting the need again for a call out for residents to contact our Councillors or myself for information so that what is shared online can be productive versus divisive.
With the first parliamentary sitting for 2021 underway, a reminder to stay updated on efforts and issues including those above via subscribing to our monthly newsletter or searching by topic in Noosa 360 at www.sandybolton.com. Alternatively join us on Facebook by ‘liking’ Sandy Bolton MP. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me on 53193100 or email@example.com.
January 28th, 2021
Welcome to 2021 and a huge thank you to all who helped make it a memorable holiday season, from businesses to holidaymakers, our teams and to those blessed to live here.
The vast majority of our visitors were fabulous and ‘did right’ by our community; however, we did have some poor behaviour by visitors and sadly some locals on our river and in our Cooloola Recreation area. This included some campers disrespecting fellow campers, and then leaving their rubbish. Understandably some of this was due to the storm, however the rest was an ongoing pattern. This has become a non-negotiable situation and I have called on the new Minister to expedite a resolution.
We were caught by surprise when interstate and Greater Brisbane COVID hotspots were announced on a Friday, creating frustration for those attempting to get tested. Thank you to Noosa Council who quickly provided a space for the QLD Ambulance Service (QAS) to set up a ‘pop up’ testing site. In addition, Sunny Street have relocated to Tait Duke Cottage which is open seven days a week. For all updates, head to www.covid19.qld.gov.au.
Our housing crisis worsened over the break, and while we work on resolutions via the Housing Action Group, there are several ways that you can be part of the solution. One is for owners renting out a property to consider the option of a ‘head-lease’ with one of our community housing providers. Under the Property Law Act, a headlease allows these organisations to sublet your property with government subsidisation.
Seqwater has advised that the Lake MacDonald Dam Upgrade is to be reassessed as a result of information that emerged during the procurement stage, which predicted that project costs would be significantly higher than anticipated. The lowering of the lake will now not proceed in 2021, however Seqwater has assured that it will keep our community updated as the assessment progresses with an approximate completion date mid-year.
As always, space is limited so join us at Noosa 360, Facebook or subscribe to our newsletter via www.sandybolton.com to keep updated.
We have a fabulous journey ahead together this year, and I look forward to seeing you soon.