Member for Fairfax
August 23rd, 2023
Paint the Town REaD
COOLUM State School painted the town REaD on Wednesday, August 23. Taking their book week out into the community, with over 20 local businesses getting involved in sharing the importance of reading. I was delighted to provide four book gift packs to Principal Anthony Ryan as prizes for the students as part of this event. I managed to hand over the prizes the week before to Mr Ryan and the rest of the school who were dressed in their best green and gold outfits to show their support for the Matildas.
Grants for Local Sporting Champions
I love being able to support young sporting champions participating in state, national or international championships. Congratulations to Henry Smyth of Coolum State High School who was awarded a Local Sporting Champion (LSC) grant of $650 to help with the cost of participating in the Australian Schools Orienteering Championships in Blackwood, Victoria. Applications are now open for the next round of Local Sporting and Para Champions grants for 12 to 18-year-olds. For more information go to www.tedobrien.com.au.
Listening to locals
Last week I was out and about in Coolum, Yandina and other areas across the Fairfax electorate listening to locals as part of my Winter Road Trip. Cost of living and housing affordability were top of the list of concerns for most families I’ve been speaking with. Rising mortgage payments, rising prices at the checkout and rising energy bills are hitting household budgets hard.
July 26th, 2023
Sunshine Coast Veteran Wellbeing Centre
Last week I invited representatives from local veteran organisations to meet with Shadow Minister for Veteran Affairs Barnaby Joyce to discuss how to provide better support for ex-service personnel in our community.
Here on the Sunshine Coast, we have the second biggest population in Australia of veterans and that is why Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace MP and I are calling on the Labor Government to reinstate critical funding for a Veteran Wellbeing Centre to be established here in our community.
Bruce Highway Construction Completed
After three years of construction, the Maroochydore and Mons Roads Interchange upgrade on the Bruce Highway is finally complete.
I am proud to have secured $241 million (80% of the total funding) for this integral infrastructure project designed to improve traffic flow, cut congestion and get drivers home sooner and safer.
This project took much advocacy and discussion with the State Government to get it over the line and I am immensely proud to have delivered this essential road infrastructure for the Sunshine Coast.
My First Speech Competition
Do you have a Year 10, 11 or 12 student who fancies themselves as a budding politician?
The My First Speech competition asks year 10 to 12 students to consider what they would say if they were a newly elected Member of Parliament and record themselves presenting the speech on video.
Applications are open now and close 11 August. For more information go to www.aph.gov.au/myfirstspeech.
June 28th, 2023
Grants for Local Sporting Champions
CONGRATULATIONS to Coolum locals, siblings Rebecca and Patrick Davies, of St Andrew’s Anglican College who were recently awarded a Local Sporting Champion grant of $750 each to help with the cost of participating in the Australian Surf Life Saving Titles over in Western Australia as part of the Sunshine Beach Surf Life Saving Club. Do you have a young sporting champion in your family? Applications are now open for Local Sporting Champions and Local Para Champions grants of up to $750 for 12 to 18-year-olds participating in state, national or international championships. For more information go to my website.
Coolum High School
In developing the Opposition’s energy policy, I am consulting as widely as possible. I recently attended Coolum State High School and met with Year 11 & 12 students, who shared their views on climate change and next-generation clean energy solutions, including zero-emission nuclear energy. I know our future will be in great hands with smart, informed leaders like this. Thank you to Principal Troy Ascott, Deputy Principal Emma Curnow and all the students involved.
Growing Regions Program – min grant $500,000
Are you a member of a community or sporting group seeking funding? Funding for community infrastructure (either new or upgrades) that delivers community and economic benefits to regional Australia – including the Sunshine Coast. This grant is for large projects of $1 million or more where 50% of the project cost can be claimed through the grant (or 90% for specific, eligible groups). Expressions of Interest open 5 July (close 1 August). For more information and eligibility go to www.tedobrien.com.au or contact my office.
Fairfax Biggest Survey
Thank you to the over 1,700 people who responded to my Biggest Survey – an overwhelming response. The survey confirmed that cost of living pressures are hitting hard, along with other insights. Your responses will help me identify local issues and concern which, in turn, helps direct my efforts in Canberra.
May 31st, 2023
VOLUNTEERS are the backbone of our community, and they deserve our thanks and support. Sociologists like Hugh Mackay point to the Sunshine Coast as a region that has the highest levels of ‘social capital’, evidenced, in part, by the number of residents who volunteer their time to help others.
We should be justifiably proud of this commitment to our local community and that’s why I was delighted to secure funding of $66,000 to support local volunteers under the latest round of Volunteer Grants.
The funding will be shared between 34 community groups in Fairfax, including:
- $3,745 to Coolum Beach Meals on Wheels
- $1,500 to Coolum and North Shore Coast Care
- $1,500 to the Coolum Cricket Club
- $1,200 to the Coolum State School P&C, and
- $1,500 to the Coolum Football Club.
A full list of successful groups can be found on my website at www.tedobrien.com.au.
May 3rd, 2023
I had the pleasure of attending many Anzac Day services across the electorate and I would like to congratulate the organisers and volunteers involved. These events can’t happen without their hard work.
In particular, I’d like to mention the services at Coolum State High School and Edgewater Retirement Village, Bli Bli.
I was fortunate to also attend the Anzac Day service at Coolum State High School, and congratulations go to school captains Layla and Jye for their MC role and their excellent speeches.
Coolum SLSC Grants
The Coolum Surf Club is integral to the Coolum community. Recently, I was pleased to attend an event where the Club announced its grant recipients from the 2023 Community Benefit Fund including Coolum Meals on Wheels, Coolum HeARTS, Coolum Peregian Swim Club and Coolum SES.
A staggering $54,924 was donated by the Club to community groups and schools.
A big thanks to the Coolum Surf Club for their continued dedication to the Sunshine Coast community.
Autumn Road Trip
I will be out and about across the electorate on my Autumn Road Trip during the week of 15 May 2023.
Come on down and chat to me about any local or federal issue.
Full details of times and locations are available on my website – www.tedobrien.com.au.
April 5th, 2023
I would like to wish all Coolum residents a very Happy Easter! I hope you have an opportunity to spend time with friends and family.
It’s also school holidays so please take care on the roads during this busy period, with many tourists visiting.
I look forward to officially opening the Coolum Art Collective’s 2023 Easter Exhibition. This popular exhibition featuring works by some of the Sunshine Coast’s leading artists and artisans will be open daily from 7-10 April at the Coolum Civic Centre.
There will be nine ANZAC Day services across the electorate of Fairfax (and more across the wider Sunshine Coast), details of which will be available on my website – www.tedobrien.com.au – as well as in my Autumn newsletter which will be delivered to mailboxes before ANZAC Day.
The Voice to Parliament
Australia’s constitution is our nation’s foundational document, and it’s also our most important. Changing it is no small issue and that’s why the Coalition has been so determined to ensure citizens are informed on both the “yes” and “no” case on the ‘Voice to Parliament’.
The Coalition gave bipartisan support for recent legislation to enable the machinery for running a referendum to pass and to ensure there was a fair and balanced process. Our support was conditional on there being a pamphlet on both “yes” and “no” cases going to every home, tax deductibility for both sides of the debate and neutrality as a principle for any civic education program.
The Prime Minister has now released the draft wording for the referendum, but many questions still remain unanswered. LNP Party Room will form a position on the ‘Voice’ as further information becomes available.
Ultimately, it will be up to the Australian people to decide if our constitution is to change to allow for a ‘Voice’.
Update on life-saving diabetes medication
I recently led the campaign against the Federal Government’s decision to cut live-saving diabetes medication, Fiasp, from the PBS; sending the price soaring from as low as $7 to up to $280 per script.
Although I welcome the recent decision to extend Fiasp on the PBS for a further 6 months, this is just a band-aid solution. I will continue to campaign for a permanent solution beyond October on behalf of 14-year-old local, Freya, and the 15,000 other Australians who rely on Fiasp.
March 8th, 2023
My Biggest Survey
Do you have big ideas about how to can make our local community an even better place in which to live, work and play?
I want to hear your views and I’ve launched the Biggest Survey to find out.
It’s an honour representing you in Parliament and with your help we’ve secured some big wins.
But, for me to continue fighting to deliver the outcomes our community needs, I need to know what’s important to you.
Head to www.tedobrien.com.au to complete the survey by 31 March.
15,000 Australian families have had the rug pulled out from underneath them after the Labor Government axed a life-changing medicine from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) which is used to manage diabetes.
Without any consultation or support for the patients impacted, the Government has cut the medication from the PBS and has sent the price soaring from as low as $7 to $280 per script.
Local student Freya (14), who I first met in 2016, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just 11 months of age. Freya and her mum Jackie are just one of 15,000 families who will suffer from this cold-hearted decision.
The Coalition is calling on the Government to reverse this decision and ensure Fiasp is reinstated on the PBS immediately.
Electricity bills – I want to hear from you
Are your electricity bills going up? The increasing cost of living is stretching household and business budgets and is forcing many people to make difficult spending decisions. The cost of electricity is at the centre of this with treasury forecasting a rise in electricity costs of more than 56 percent.
Households and businesses are hurting and desperately need relief and this is a top priority for me.
I am seeking local examples of rising energy bills to help document and understand the ongoing impacts of the skyrocketing cost of living.
Please let me know by emailing email@example.com.
January 11th, 2023
Planting trees for the Queen’s Jubilee
It was a pleasure to join two local communities in honour of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
I joined student leaders at Coolum State School at the end of 2022 where I helped secure a $8,600 Federal Government grant for the school to ‘plant trees for the Queen’s Jubilee’. The funds were used to landscape a garden area and bike trail precinct on the northern edge of the school’s oval. It was a great morning which was enjoyed by everyone.
Queensland Koala Crusaders in Verrierdale were also supported with a $5,500 Federal Government grant to plant 500 koala-specific tree species and improve habitat connectivity in the area.
These are just two of the seven successful tree-planting projects in the electorate, totalling over $77,000 of funding for the region.
Sporting and Para-sporting Champions
It was great to recently meet another group of local sporting and para-sporting champions.
Thirty-four (34) young sports stars were recognised in the latest round of Local Sporting Champions and Local Para Champions grants for 12-18 year old’s, from diverse sports such as artistic roller skating and sport climbing.
I would particularly like to give a shoutout to:
- Riley Ellis Coolum Beach – Brisbane Lions (Australian Football) Academy
- Belle Jackson of Coolum Beach – Hockey Australia U13 Carnival
- Hudson Jessep of Coolum Beach – National Cross Country
- Dougal McLeod of Yaroomba – Australian Schools Rugby championship
- Henry Smyth of Coolum Beach – Australian Schools Orienteering Championship
I look forward to following their journey to the 2032 Games!
Sportspeople aged 12-18 can apply for the next round of local sporting champion and local para champion grants at https://www.sportaus.gov.au/.
Happy New Year
A big Happy New Year to Coolum Advertiser readers! If my office or I can help you with any federal or local issue, please ring 5479 2800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 28th, 2022
Heavy Rail to the Sunshine Coast
IN MARCH this year, my colleague Andrew Wallace and I announced $1.6 billion to build a new heavy passenger rail line from Beerwah to Maroochydore. This was the single largest transport infrastructure project in the Coalition Government’s 2022 Federal Budget, and it delivered on years of hard work. This is the most transformational project the Sunshine Coast will see for a generation. It would not only improve connectivity to Brisbane but would provide housing density around new inland stations and avoid a ‘glitter strip’ of high rises along the region’s coastal communities.
Since the change of Government, we have been concerned that this important piece of infrastructure could be withdrawn. That’s why I recently raised this issue in Parliament to stress the importance of the Albanese Government honouring this commitment in its Federal Budget in October.
Generation Innovation Finalists Announced
The 2022 GI Challenge has entered its final stage after I announced its three finalists recently. Run by local not-for-profit Generation Innovation, the GI Challenge is an annual program that unleashes the entrepreneurial genius of young Sunshine Coast locals. I founded the organisation before entering parliament.
Three finalists have been chosen from this year’s extraordinary cohort: Josie Pacey who’s creating a 100 per cent natural, female-centred surf wax; Bailey Page who’s deigning magnetic, cordless, and portable phone charging devices; and Eliza Blumke who’s developing an app to assist people with speech and communication difficulties.
They now have one month to refine their business concepts before pitch night on October 12th. Stay tuned.
August 31st, 2022
SPRING ROAD TRIP
I LOOK forward to catching up with you at my pop-up office this week on Thursday, September 1 from 7.40 – 9.00am near the Coolum Surf Club. This is part of my quarterly Road Trip around the Fairfax electorate, so please come along for a chat.
SUPPORT FOR COOLUM SURF CLUB
As the Surf Lifesaving season gets underway, I want to acknowledge how important the Coolum Beach Surf Lifesaving Club is to our community and the safety it provides for all beach goers. This club gives so much and that’s why I was pleased to see them receive help with a $9,345 Federal Government grant towards their new retractable shade sail which will provide some welcome relief for Clubbies enjoying the member’s terrace.
Congratulations to 37 young sportspeople who have received grants of between $500 and $750 to help towards the cost of travelling to state, national or international championships, including:
Lily Bradford of Mount Coolum – Australian Surf Life Saving Championships
Jarvis Miller of Mount Coolum – National Canoe Sprint Championships
Tyson Mitchell of Coolum Beach – Australian Gymnastics Championships
Claire Cameron of Yaroomba – Touch Football State Championships
Sportspeople aged 12-18 can apply before 30 September for the next round of local sporting champion grants at https://www.sportaus.gov.au/.
2022 VOLUNTEER GRANTS
I am inviting local not-for-profit groups to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) for grants to support the work of our valued volunteers. Last year, several Coolum clubs benefitted from grants of between $1,000 and $5,000. These grants helped Coolum Beach Meals provide fuel vouchers; training and equipment for Coolum District Netball Association; storage cabinets and fuel vouchers for Coolum HeARTS; a ride-on mower for Coolum Beach Lions Club; equipment and a laptop for Coolum Community Native Nursery and two new laptops and a printer for Coolum Quota Club.
Please contact my office on 5579 2800 or email email@example.com for information on how to submit an EOI before September 9.
August 3rd, 2022
A 10-Year Green & Gold Runway
THE starters’ gun has officially fired and the 10-year green and gold runway for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games has begun.
Half the world’s eyeballs will be fixated on the Opening Ceremony alone and even more will watch events across South-East Queensland.
The Sunshine Coast will play an integral role in the delivery of the 2032 Games including hosting football, basketball, the marathon, cycling, kiteboarding as well as the mountain biking just up the road from Nambour.
It is now up to us as a region to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“Sunshine Coast 2032”
Once we secured the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games last year, I turned my mind to establishing a local taskforce dedicated to maximising opportunities from the Games for the entire Sunshine Coast.
As such, I was pleased to recently announce the establishment of ‘Sunshine Coast 2032’ along with business and community leader Roz White as its inaugural Chair and two of our sporting greats as Deputy Chairs: Olympic swimmer Duncan Armstrong OAM and Paralympic swimmer Brendan Burkett OAM.
With a 10-year runway before the Games come to town, I am so excited about Sunshine Coast 2032 as a uniting force for our region.
The full board, committees and consultancy groups will be announced shortly.
Generation Innovation Challenge
We have lift off! The 2022 Generation Innovation ‘GI Challenge’ is officially underway after a successful launch this month.
The GI Challenge is a free business program for young locals who have what it takes to start their own business.
As Founder and Chair of the local not-for-profit, I was thrilled to welcome this year’s cohort of budding young entrepreneurs into the program.
July 6th, 2022
THE QUEENSLAND State Government’s so-called ‘rail revolution’ was exposed recently as a ‘fail revolution’ with the revelation of a $1.835 billion underspend on the Sunshine Coast.
State Labor’s commitments for ‘new rail projects’ within the Queensland Budget represented nothing less than daylight robbery.
The Sunshine Coast is focused on three rail projects in particular and Labor is short-changing us on every single one.
- The former Federal Government budgeted $390 million on a 50:50 split towards Stage 1 of the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade. The State committed only $160 million.
- The former Federal Government budgeted $5 million on a 50:50 split to redesign Stage 2 of the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade to allow for full duplication to Nambour. The State committed only $1.25 million.
- $1.6 billion on a 50:50 split towards a new $3.2 billion heavy passenger rail line between Beerwah and Maroochydore to be built ahead of the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The State committed $0.
I will continue fighting to secure the funding required to deliver better rail for the Sunshine Coast.
Power bills are skyrocketing, and people are hurting.
I recently visited the owner of Mapleton IGA, Kelly Anderson, who has been slugged with an additional $160,000 on his annual electricity bill. This is unaffordable.
A global energy crisis has hit our shores and it is up to the government of the day to manage the domestic fallout.
The Coalition was managing the situation up until the May election. It’s not easy, but we were able to get power bills down by eight per cent for small businesses over the last two year alone.
It is now up to Labor to manage the energy system. Labor went to the election promising to cut power bills even further. The Australian people expect nothing less than delivery on this promise.
In my new role as Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, I will play an active role in keeping the Labor Government to account.
If you are concerned about your power bills, please contact my office know.
June 8th, 2022
Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy
I AM honoured to be appointed as Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy by the new Leader of the Opposition, Peter Dutton.
The role of an Opposition is to hold the Government to account and to provide alternative policies for the people of Australia. My approach to holding the Government to account will be simple – to be constructive where I can and critical where I must.
I look forward to working with my experienced colleagues who have also been asked to serve in the new Shadow Coalition Cabinet and the Leader of the Opposition to ensure the Government delivers the outcomes that Australians need and deserve into the future.
This is a challenging portfolio to tackle, and I’m looking forward to it.
While it’s a privilege to have been re-elected as the Federal Member for Fairfax, I am also conscious that the Liberal-National Government lost office.
While there is no shortage of political commentary explaining the ‘why’ of the election result, I always prefer to hear personally from local constituents who I serve as Member for Fairfax.
That’s why I have been back on the road this week across the electorate on a listening tour to chat to local residents on the Federal issues important to them.
One of the objectives of this tour is to receive feedback on the election directly from local residents.
Please see my website for more information about times and locations of the remainder of my road trip, or alternatively, you can have your views heard by filling out my online survey.
More information can be found here: www.tedobrien.com.au
May 4th, 2022
THE 2022 Federal Election has been called for Saturday 21 May. This election will have real consequences for Australia’s future.
A strong economy is a prerequisite for keeping Australia secure in a volatile world. It’s what’s producing record numbers of jobs and underpinning record levels of Federal funding on the Sunshine Coast for roads and rail, for health and education, for local community groups and the under privileged.
A strong economy is how we’re alleviating cost of living pressures with:
•Lower personal income taxes.
•Temporary relief of 22 cents a litre at the petrol pump.
•A one-off tax offset of $420 for low and middle income earners.
•A one-off payment of $250 for pensioners, veterans and others.
•Increased child care subsidies and a removal of the annual cap.
A strong economy is also how I’ve secured record Federal funding for:
•Local stretches of the Bruce Highway ($3.2 billion).
•A new rail line between Beerwah and Maroochydore ($1.6 billion).
•The rail line between Beerburrum and Nambour ($390 million).
•Local roads and community facilities ($300 million).
•The Sunshine Motorway ($160 million).
•The Sunshine Coast Airport ($181 million loan).
What’s more, locally I have delivered:
• $1.06 million for locals road infrastructure.
• $3.5 million for local businesses.
• $521,000 for community groups.
• $659,000 for the live-music industry.
But still, there is more to be done and that’s why I’m recontesting the seat of Fairfax at this year’s Federal Election.
April 6th, 2022
$1.6 billion for Rail
AFTER years of leading a campaign to build a new heavy passenger rail line along the CAMCOS corridor between Beerwah and the Maroochydore CBD, we secured $1.6 billion in Government funding in the recent Federal Budget. Consistent with the normal 50/50 funding split between the State and Federal Governments, that makes the total project cost is estimated at $3.2 billion.
As the single largest transport infrastructure investment in this year’s Federal Budget, it’ll be the most transformational project we’ll see for generations. The project will deliver a new 37 km line, starting at Beerwah and passing through Caloundra and Kawana before reaching the Maroochydore CBD. In the construction phase alone, it will support over 9,500 jobs.
While our rail commitment is a huge investment in our region’s future, the Budget also offers immediate support for Sunshine Coast residents by introducing a cost of living package to take the pressure off the household budget, including a price reduction for fuel of 22 cents per litre. For a more detailed look at this year’s Budget please go to: https://tedobrien.com.au/2022-federal-budget-delivers-for-the-sunshine-coast/
I recently announced a world-first food and beverage manufacturing, and education precinct is set to be built on the Sunshine Coast with $33.4 million in Federal funding. The Turbine Precinct will be a huge 20,000 m2 purpose-built facility located at the Sunshine Coast Airport. Significantly, local start-ups will have access to the equipment and resources required to go to market and the advanced infrastructure and networks will help them scale to meet demand from global markets.
SEQ City Deal
Three tiers of government recently signed the Southeast Queensland City Deal, which will create a collaborative mechanism to deliver transformative projects to the region. As part of the deal, the Sunshine Coast will have the opportunity to share in $435.8 million through two newly created funds and will receive a $35.3 million boost to the Sunshine Coast Council’s Blue Heart Environmental initiative. Learn more about the SEQ City Deal here: https://tedobrien.com.au/city-deal-to-transform-south-east-queensland/
March 2nd, 2022
Disaster Relief Funding
My heart goes out to the family and friends of local residents who have lost their lives due to the recent floods on the Sunshine Coast. Others have lost property and livestock and their pain is also felt.
To help support people who have been impacted by the floods, the Morrison Government has announced that up to $1,000 in disaster relief funding is now available per person through the Disaster Recovery Allowance. This is on top of the disaster assistance funding which the federal government activated to fund the massive clean-up effort now required.
Payments can be accessed through MyGov via Services Australia. Please contact my office if you need any support on 5479 2800.
Thank You SES
I have been in touch with local SES members throughout this period and have been blown away by their generosity and bravery. Many SES workers, with their own lives and jobs to manage, have worked up to 18 hours per day to provide emergency support to those in need. These people are true community heroes. Thank you!
Funding for Emergency Management System
I have announced over half a million dollars – or $561,000 to be specific – for an emergency management and evacuation call system for the Sunshine Coast. It will be installed at the Nambour Showgrounds, a site that doubles as a major evacuation centre at times of disaster.
During the recent floods, for example, over 50 local residents found sanctuary at the Nambour Showgrounds (alongside many horses and other animals.)
Over the past two years, I have helped deliver over $3.3 million in Federal Government for recovery projects here on the Sunshine Coast. The funding has come from the Black Summer Bushfire Fund allocated by the Federal Government.
January 26th, 2022
As you may have seen, I was delighted to begin 2022 with a massive announcement of $560,000 for the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra managed by a Peregian Springs local. This huge funding boost will see the orchestra’s unique brand of classical music return to stages across Australia and will be used to significantly expand their education capacity.
Coolum Beach Australia Day Awards:
I also want to acknowledge the outstanding Coolum Beach residents who were officially recognised for their contributions to their community recently at the Coolum Beach Australia Day Awards. Congratulations to Jessica Appel the Volunteer of the Year, Fay Beutel the Citizen of the Year, Logan Pieters the Young Person of the Year and the Community Bank Marcoola who were awarded the Community Group of the Year.
Summer Road Trip:
My summer road trip around the electorate will commence at the end of February with locations to be announced shortly on my social pages and weekly e-Newsletter, to which you can subscribe at www.ted.obrien.com.au.
Safety Work Begins:
There is nothing more important than ensuring children and their families can get to and from school safely each day. That’s why I was thrilled to contribute 80 per cent, or $570,000, in Federal funding towards the $720,000 safety improvement project at the Havana Road Footbridge.
The before mentioned work will begin early February and is expected to take up to five weeks to complete. Construction will take place between 6am and 3pm during the first week and at night from 6pm to 6am, Sunday to Thursday. The pedestrian footbridge will be open outside of construction hours and drivers on the Sunshine Motorway can expect changed traffic conditions to ensure the safety of workers.
January 12th, 2022
I trust you and your family have enjoyed a safe and happy start to 2022.
Delivery of infrastructure is my first priority and the Sunshine Coast is now receiving more Federal funding than ever. For example, I secured $390M for Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrades and $241M to fund works currently underway on the Bruce Highway at Maroochydore and Mons Rds. I also announced $8.78M a couple of months ago for a regional food and beverage hub to help local food and beverage companies research, develop, manufacture and scale their products using common-use facilities.
As we look to the future, I believe nothing is more important than rail and I have two projects in mind. Both are new lines that would extend the existing network in the short term but should be designed to accommodate fast rail in the future: firstly, we need a new fully duplicated line – that’s two tracks – between Beerburrum and Nambour and; second, we need a new rail line from Beerwah to Maroochydore along the CAMCOS corridor. I have secured $5M for the former and $3M for the latter for planning work, to be matched by the Queensland Government, which owns and operates the rail.
I’m often asked why I’m driving the campaign for better rail when it’s a State Government responsibility. The answer is simple – our community needs better rail and I’m happy to try and secure Federal Government funds to help make it happen. I’m also happy to work shoulder-to-shoulder with anyone who’s prepared to advance these projects regardless of their politics because we need a unity ticket to succeed. If you agree, please register your support at www.fastrail.com.au.
Building Better Regions Grants:
The Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund is now open for community infrastructure, building upgrades, events and planning projects. I encourage interested community groups to speak with my office in the first instance.
I was honoured to be nominated recently for a position on the Brisbane 2032 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (BOCOG), by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Summer road trip:
My summer road trip around the electorate is being planned for end of January with locations to be announced on my social pages and weekly e-Newsletter, to which you can subscribe at www.ted.obrien.com.au.
December 1st, 2021
Australian-first food and beverage hub
You may have heard that I announced an $8.78 million Australian-first food and beverage manufacturing hub recently, which will be based at the Sunshine Coast Airport. This Federal Government Investment will launch our food and beverage producers on the sunshine coast into a league of their own. The facility is being designed to drive innovation, reduce barriers to scale, increase productivity for food and beverage manufacturers and open up new national and international export markets.
The 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games will provide the Sunshine Coast with a once in a lifetime opportunity. An opportunity to think big and be bold. That’s exactly what I’ve done this month by unveiling my personal vision for a world-class entertainment centre to be built in the heart of the Maroochydore CBD to host the Olympic basketball preliminaries. If we were to secure such a venue, it’s legacy would be the most iconic landmark on the Sunshine Coast with a capacity to host major sporting events, exhibitions and conferences as well as world-class performing arts and theatre. Learn more about this vision here: https://bit.ly/3FMVygj
Heavy Rail to leave the station
The Sunshine Coast needs a heavy rail connection from Beerwah to the Maroochydore CBD and the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games are our best chance to deliver it. I recently proposed a realistic plan for real action for fast rail and we’ve had a win. Transport Minister Mark Bailey has publicly supported my proposal, in principle, and has agreed to consider the concept early next year. This is a positive step, but there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure this project really does leave the station. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/3FMVygj
$75,000 for elite cycling event
I was also delighted to join the Australian Cycling Academy recently to announce $75,000 of Federal Government support for their national cycling event to be held on the Sunshine Coast over the next three years.
November 3rd, 2021
Big win for Coolum
It was a privilege to announce $318,404 of Australian Government funding for two fast-growing Coolum sporting clubs recently. The massive funding boost will be used to install an advanced LED lighting system at the Ron Cargill oval facility, which is shared by the Coolum Sharks Cricket Club and the Coolum Colts Rugby League Club. This new lighting system will enable the Coolum Colts and the Coolum Sharks to play and train at their club for longer and more often. The funding was secured through the $1.38 billion Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF), which supports the Australian Government’s commitment to create jobs, drive economic growth, and build stronger regional communities into the future.
Local community groups are the beating heart of civil society here on the Sunshine Coast. As such, it was a great pleasure to recently announce the opening of the Australian Government’s Stronger Communities Programme. Grants from $2,500 to $20,000 are available for local not-for-profit community and sporting groups to undertake small capital projects (e.g. purchase of equipment, upgrades to facilities, etc) that improve local community participation and contribute to vibrant and viable communities on the Sunshine Coast. Previous iterations of this grant have made a huge contribution to local organisations such as the Maroochydore SES who were able to purchase new safety equipment in the lead up to the Summer bushfire season. Expressions of interest are now open until Friday, December 3 for all eligible organisations. Head to www.tedobrien.com.au/grants.
Day for Daniel
It was an honour to walk alongside Bruce and Denise Morcombe at the annual Day for Daniel recently as part of Australia’s most important annual event in support of child safety. Bruce and Denise Morcombe turned an unthinkable, personal tragedy into a message of hope and a vehicle for positive change across Australia. I am reminded every year of the impassioned resilience and strength that the Morcombe’s so openly show each year on this difficult day, and I commend them for all that they have achieved in keeping Australian children safe.
October 6th, 2021
Welcome Home event for Tokyo Olympians and Paralympians
Thirty-seven athletes and officials from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games call the Sunshine Coast home, as do dozens of retired Olympians and Paralympians. Following a stellar performance by our local athletes, I was delighted to organise a civic reception in conjunction with the Sunshine Coast Council, Noosa Council and the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Local residents, sporting groups and school children were able to join in the celebrations at USC Stadium and let our athletes know how much they are appreciated.
While the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games have officially come to an end, our athletes’ efforts will continue to inspire future generations of aspiring Olympians and Paralympians for years to come. This is more important now than ever before, as we prepare for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
International travel to resume
The Prime Minister’s announcement last week that international borders would open next month was welcomed by many Australians who are keen to travel again, particularly those who have been separated from loved ones. This announcement is consistent with the National Plan that international travel will restart as the states and territories reach 80 per cent double vaccination rates.
Australia’s new security partnership with the United States and the United Kingdom, dubbed AUKUS, is the single most important addition to our security architecture in a generation. It sends a powerful message to the world that we like-minded liberal democracies will work together to deliver stability to the Indo-Pacific.
The first initiative of this enhanced partnership will be to support Australia to acquire a conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarine capability. Considering my well-known support for nuclear-powered submarines, you can imagine how pleased I am with this news.
However, to be clear, these subs will be nuclear-powered, not nuclear-armed and this does not mean that we are soon to introduce nuclear energy. These are very different propositions. This is about keeping Australians safe, which we will continue to prioritise.
September 1st, 2021
The COVID-19 vaccination rollout continues to gather momentum as we strive to reach our first objective of 70 per cent double-dose vaccination for all eligible Australians aged over 16 years. We have been fortunate on the Sunshine Coast, so far, to have avoided any serious outbreak of the Delta variant, and I’d urge all to get vaccinated for I fear Delta will make its way here at some point. If you’re a business owner who’s been impacted by the pandemic, the Federal and State governments have reached an agreement to provide additional financial support.
As the terrible news surrounding the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan continues to unfold, my prayers and thoughts are with the Afghan people and the brave men and women of the Australian Defence Force. Throughout this conflict, our servicemen and women have put themselves in harm’s way to protect our freedoms, our way of life and people in need, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their service. I urge anyone who needs support as a result of this tragic situation, or knows someone who does, to contact my office.
There was fantastic news recently for everyone on the Sunshine Coast, with a major milestone reached on the Bruce Highway upgrade at the Maroochydore and Mons Road interchanges. A new, eastern service road bridge over the Eudlo Creek at Forest Glen has now been completed. Work on the $300 million project, which is 80 per cent funded by the Federal Government, is ahead of schedule, and when it is completed, sometime late next year, it will allow more efficient traffic flow and greater capacity, which will mean Sunny Coast residents get home sooner and safely.
A huge congratulations to all the Sunshine Coast athletes who have travelled to Tokyo for the Paralympics. As always, they have done themselves, their families, and their country proud, with so many well-deserved medals.
August 4th, 2021
With the uncertainty caused by recent COVID-19 lockdowns, the Federal Government has put a range of assistance programs in place including the suspension of mutual obligation requirements for job seekers and relief payments in declared hotspots. My office can assist with advice on how to access support and so please make contact on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 5479 2800 if you would like to find out more. And a courtesy reminder – if you have COVID-like symptoms, no matter how mild, please get a COVID test immediately.
I’ve been watching all the inspiring Olympic action from Tokyo, and I can’t help thinking how great the Games will be when they’re held here on the Sunshine Coast in 2032. There’s lots to do before 2032, but at least we now have the comfort knowing we’ve secured the rights to host the Games. The 2032 Games will provide wonderful opportunities for businesses and sporting groups across the Sunshine Coast, as well as pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into our local economy. We will also be better placed to advocate for the infrastructure we need – roads, rail, community facilities – to cater for our ever-growing population. I wonder how many young locals have been inspired by the Tokyo Games. I suspect dozens of Sunshine Coast primary school students now have their sights on representing Australia in 2032.
It was great to talk to so many constituents during my recent winter road trip. Beyond helping constituents, I always learn a great deal from these road trips because locals usually shoot straight on key issues when you see them on their street corners or in their local park. It’s why I dedicate one week each season – that is, four times a year – to these week-long road trips. My next road trip will be in the spring.
I’m always happy to help out local sporting and community groups by providing free marquees. I lend my marquees to groups for their events and sometimes buy marquees for organisations who need them more regularly. Recently I was happy to deliver a new marquee to the Coolum District Netball Association. If you need a marquee, please contact my office.
July 1st, 2021
I’ve had an overwhelming response from senior citizens on the Sunshine Coast about my Fairfax Seniors Forum, scheduled for later this month. At the event, I’ll be updating constituents on what the Federal Government is doing on the aged care front, with a $17.7 billion package of reforms as the centrepiece of the recently announced Federal Budget. I will be joined by a panel of experts who will be providing advice on costing care; tips on how to look after yourself as you age; estate planning; and, choosing Home Care packages. If any of these topics interest you, please contact my office for more information.
I want to give a big shout out to some up-and-coming sporting champions from the Peregian Springs/Coolum area. Young AFL footballer Harley Davies was selected in the AFL 10-12 Girls Sunshine Coast Regional team and received one of my Local Sporting Champions grants for $650. Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast Wanderers soccer player Kyan Bryant received a Local Sporting Champions grant of $550. Well played Harley and Kyan!
Round Six of the Safer Communities Fund is now open for applications. This Federal Government programme provides two types of grant opportunities: 1) Early Intervention grants up to $1.5 million to help organisations that engage with at risk young people, to help prevent them from engaging in criminal activity or anti-social behaviour; and, 2) Infrastructure grants of between $10,000 and $500,000 for schools and pre-schools; places of religious worship; community organisations; and, local councils for crime prevention initiatives, such as infrastructure, for example, CCTV cameras, lighting, doors and fencing, and alarm systems. For more information on how to apply and when applications close, please contact my office.
With the Sunshine Coast going into lockdown, let’s all look out for each other as anxiety levels heighten. If you need information about COVID-19 or you need assistance during these difficult times, please contact my office.
June 3rd, 2021
Some of the Sunshine Coast’s brightest young sports stars have received a welcome boost, thanks to the Local Sporting Champions grants programme. Among those to receive funding was Coolum Beach State High School student and Nambour Crushers Rugby League player, Chekyrah Pita, who’ll receive $650. Congrats Chekyrah!
I encourage young sports people aged 12-18 who are participating in state, national or international championships to apply for a grant through the LSC Award programme. Information is available at www.sportaus.gov.au/lsc.
Support for Live Music
I was happy to secure Federal Government funding in support of the local live music scene recently, with $100,000 for Coolum promoter Red Chair for their COMPASS project: a series of seven concert tours featuring world, jazz, folk and classical music, which will take place over the next 12 months.
I also secured $425,000 for the ‘Offbeat Music Festival’ which will feature more than 100 acts, performing throughout Eumundi. The Festival takes place between November 27 – 29.
These two events are expected to attract thousands of additional visitors to the Sunshine Coast stimulating demand for restaurants, bars, accommodation providers and other local businesses.
Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show
The Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show is back. It’s great to see the Show return after being cancelled last year due to COVID-19. The Federal Government stepped in with $70,000 to help the Agricultural Society survive the pandemic and I was also able to secure an additional $100,000 to help install a passenger lift in the main pavilion of the showgrounds, which will make it easier for people with mobility issues.
If you’re coming to the Show (June 11 – 13) please stop by my stand and pick up your free Ted O’Brien showbag, it’s packed full of goodies and loads of useful information for the whole family.
May 6th, 2021
Autumn Road Trip
Thank you to the Coolum residents who came out for a chat when I visited Coolum recently as part of my Autumn road trip. If you didn’t manage to catch up with me and you’d like help with a Federal Government issue, please contact my office on 5479 2800 or email email@example.com.
Powering Communities Grants now open
Does a community organisation you’re involved with need help to reduce their energy costs?
Expressions of Interest are now open for the Powering Communities Grants Program, which provides grants of between $5,000 and $12,000 to help community groups save energy, reduce carbon emissions and cut power bills. The grants can be used to install solar energy systems or to replace energy using equipment like lighting and air conditioning with new, more efficient equipment.
Please check my website www.tedobrien.com.au for the eligibility criteria and information on how to submit an EOI, or contact my office for more information. EOIs must be received by 28th May 2021.
More funding to help local wildlife recover from bushfires
In addition to the $1.275 million in bushfire relief funding provided to Sunshine Coast Council following the tragic fires of 2019/20, the Morrison Government has announced that South East Queensland is one of seven regions to benefit from a new $14 million bushfire recovery fund.
The funding will go to local Landcare groups, community organisations, local landholders, indigenous groups and Traditional Owners to deliver activities that will aid in the recovery of native wildlife and habitat. More information, including how to apply for funding is available at www.landcareaustralia.org.au.
Protecting our Marine Parks
In more good news for our environment, I welcome the Federal Government’s announcement of an additional $100 million investment to protect our oceans. This investment will support Australian Marine Parks; expand the Indigenous Protected Areas into ‘Sea Country’; and, help to protect our precious marine life. It will target ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems that involve seagrass and mangroves, which play a key role in drawing carbon out of the atmosphere and it will mean cleaner beaches, lower fisheries by catch, more fish stocks and better protection for turtles and seabirds.
April 1st, 2021
SUPPORT FOR COOLUM COMMUNITY GROUPS
Thank you to Coolum Beach Surf Lifesaving Supporters Club for their generous support for other hard-working groups who assist our local community. I was delighted to join with Club President John Ellingsen, Ninderry MP Dan Purdie and Cr Maria Suarez to present representatives from Coolum Beach’s St Vincent De Paul, Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, Quota Club, Coolum & North Shore Coast Care and Coolum HeArts with a share in the $42,000 fund.
Volunteers are the unsung heroes who work tirelessly behind the scenes in many community groups across the Sunshine Coast and I’m keen to support them in any way I can. Please contact my office on 5479 2800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to apply for federal government funding to support local volunteers.
Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now open for grants of between $1,000 and $5,000 which can be used to purchase equipment, help with fuel or transport costs or assist with volunteer training costs. EOIs close on Friday April 9, so please get in quick.
AUSTRALIA POST WIN FOR COOLUM INDUSTRIAL PARK
Coolum’s Eco Industrial Park now have two new street post boxes to support the growing number of businesses located there. Following a request received from local businesses, my office worked with Australia Post to respond to the needs of the business community and the new boxes were in place within weeks, saving businesses a long trip to the nearest post box. This may seem like something small, but I know that time means money in business and I’m always happy to help Sunshine Coast businesses however I can.
AUTUMN ROAD TRIP
After Easter I’ll soon be out and about across the electorate as part of my Autumn Road Trip and I look forward to catching up with Coolum residents on Wednesday April 21, from 8 – 9.30am at Tickle Park. Please come along to chat with my staff and I about any federal government issue/s you would like to discuss.
March 4th, 2021
Road safety funding
One of my top priorities continues to be delivering safer roads for our region and I am delighted to announce $920,000 in Federal Government funding for two significant road safety projects in the Coolum/Peregian Springs area.
Coolum High School students will be safer thanks to new protective screens for the Havana Rd pedestrian overpass on the Sunshine Motorway and Coolum State School students will benefit from a new pedestrian refuge on Yandina-Coolum Rd.
While safety issues on state controlled roads is ultimately the responsibility of the Queensland Government, the Federal Government has provided funding for the fast roll out of lifesaving road safety improvements on rural and regional roads across Australia, to give greater protection to vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians.
The lion’s share of funding is being provided by the Federal Government and is subject to the State Government providing the balance of the funding and delivering the projects by June 30, 2020 under a ‘use it or lose it’ provision.
The $720,000 safety upgrade of the Havana Road pedestrian overpass will receive a $570,000 Federal contribution, subject to a $150,000 contribution from the State Government. Similarly, the $440,000 pedestrian refuge on the Yandina-Coolum Rd, east of School Rd, will receive a $350,000 funding boost, subject to the Queensland Government contributing the $90,000 funding balance.
I’m working with State MP Dan Purdie who’s calling on the Queensland Government to act now to ensure we don’t miss out on these funds.
School Community Grants
Congratulations to St Andrew’s Anglican College on the opening of their new sensory garden which was made possible thanks to a $19,000 Federal Government grant.
The garden will provide a calm, natural space for students to learn via a hands-on approach to sustainable land care and food production and while I’m no green thumb, I was happy to attend the opening and see the students enjoying this vibrant new educational space.
February 4, 2021
BUILDING STRONGER COMMUNITIES
Community groups and volunteers play such an important role and so I was delighted to see Fairfax residents receive Australia Day honours this year, including Dr Carden Wallace AM of Mount Coolum who received a Member of the Order of Australia Award for service to marine science and to museums and galleries. Congratulations Dr Wallace and thank you for your service.
For community organisations, it’s sometimes the small things that can make all the difference and I was happy to provide the Coolum Sharks Cricket Club with a new marquee recently. If any other local clubs need help to upgrade their facilities, purchase new equipment or deliver new events please check my website www.tedobrien.com.au or contact my office on 5479 2800 for information on Federal grant programmes.
DELIVERING LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE
As one of the regions in Queensland that was affected by the 2019-20 bushfires, the Sunshine Coast has received an additional $1.3 million from the Federal Government to help fund a “Train Sunshine Coast” initiative that will help us attract more high value sports tourism.
Our region is already proving a popular destination for elite sporting teams from AFL, rugby, netball and water polo. With our eye on the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Queensland, this funding brings further investment to build our local capabilities in sports tourism while also bringing in revenue for local organisations and businesses.
One of my top priorities for 2021 continues to be delivering infrastructure for the Sunshine Coast and this year we will see the region’s three biggest infrastructure projects progress, and all of these are majority-funded by the Federal Government: Bruce Highway upgrades between Caloundra Rd and the Sunshine Coast Motorway as well as the Maroochydore interchange and upgrades to the North Coast Rail Line.
COVID VACCINE ROLL-OUT
My office has been receiving enquiries about the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out strategy. Answers to the most common questions and links to further information is available on my website, or please call my office and ask for a factsheet.
Look out for my latest newsletter, which is due to hit letterboxes over coming weeks.
January 14th, 2021
I hope you and your family have enjoyed a safe and happy start to 2021. We are all hopeful that this year we will conquer Coronavirus and return to a more normal way of life, but I ask you all to stay patient and vigilant as we move towards that possibility.
As a Federal Government we have been doing everything we can, and there are promising signs of a vaccine rollout ahead, possibly as early as February. But the Prime Minister has made it very clear that we will not rush the vaccine testing phase and will absolutely ensure its safety before it is given to any Australian citizen. Nonetheless, my hopes for 2021 are high and I hope you too are looking forward to the possibilities that this year offers.
As you know, my first priority is our local community and I am delighted to announce that three funding opportunities for not-for-profit groups are now open:
Stronger Communities Program
Grants of $2,500 to $20,000 for upgrades to facilities or purchase of equipment
Expressions of Interest close on 19th February
Building Better Regions Fund – Infrastructure Projects Stream
Grants of $20,000 to $10 million for shovel-ready infrastructure projects
Building Better Regions Fund – Community Investments Stream
Grants of $5,000 to $1 million for local events, strategic regional plans, or leadership and capability strengthening activities
Eligibility criteria and other information is available on my website www.tedobrien.com.au, or by contacting my office on 5479 2800.
SUMMER ROAD TRIP
My staff and I will be out and about in the electorate next week at the following mobile electorate office locations:
Monday January 18, 8.00 – 9.00am at Horton Parade, Maroochydore (outside Westpac Bank)
Wednesday January 20, 8.00 – 9.00am at Mudjimba Esplanade (next to Mudjimba Surf Life Saving Club)
Thursday January 21, 8.00 – 9.00am at Blackall Range Road, Woombye (opposite the IGA)
Friday January 22, 8.00 – 9.00am at Railway Bridge Park, Coronation Ave, Nambour (opposite the RSL)
We look forward to seeing you.