It was a month like no other, from the residual fallout from COVID continuing to create some challenges and frustrations, to the other side of the emotional spectrum notifying some of our fabulous organisations about their successful grant applications totalling $475,161. To see the first outcomes from this year’s round of our Community Connect grants was inspirational, especially knowing how hard NICA’s ‘wee’ critter drone will be working! In addition, Noosa being acknowledged as Queensland’s Top Tourism Town 2021 gave a fabulous boost to our operators who have battled through this last year. A very hearty congratulations to all!!👏👏 And in amongst 2 sittings of Parliament, I managed to head to the NT to see my beautiful ‘grandies’, and was fortunate the flight we secured to replace our cancelled flight home was via Sydney, and not Melbourne! At the time of writing, all of Victoria remains a COVID-19 hotspot, and to stay updated including on vaccination rollouts, please visit www.covid19.qld.gov.au.  PS. Sunny Street Respiratory Clinic has a new home at 10 Pelican Street, Tewantin with same hours/service as previously. To make a booking visit https://www.hotdoc.com.au/medical-centres/tewantin-QLD-4565/sunny-st-mobile-respiratory-clinic/doctors

L-R: A special moment after the tabling of the VAD Bill; Our LASC Committee; Checking out NICA’s new drone.

From the Chamber and Beyond

National Reconciliation Week was a prominent feature of Parliament this sitting, with a First Nations Women’s Panel, and an enormous official opening. As one of the co-chairs of the Parliamentary Friends of First Nations People, I encourage everyone to take time to start sharing your stories, as discussed in my Noosa Today column on May 28.  Understanding of diverse lived experiences both indigenous and non-indigenous creates greater understanding as we journey along the Path to Treaty. 👩🏾‍🤝‍👩🏼👩🏾‍🤝‍👩🏻

While Bills were not plentiful this month, they were very educational. The Nature Conservation Joint Management Bill highlighted the complexities of transferring land ownership and management, while additionally demonstrating how important it is to resolve concerns early via effective community consultation and potential resolution. My full speech is available here.

The Debt Reduction and Savings Bill 2021, whilst good in its intention, led to concerns surrounding potential risks by diluting the objectivity and scrutiny of statutory bodies to achieve what appears to be minimal savings. In this case as I mentioned in my speech, independent review processes are essential for efficiency and credibility, and I will continue to advocate for an increase, not a decrease, of these.

The volume of meetings this month resembled speed dating, even though I have not had that experience. 😊 Sessions with Ministerial staff, to briefings with the Hon Margaret McMurdo from the Women’s Task Force on legislating against coercive control in Queensland. To have your say on the Taskforce’s first discussion paper, you can visit www.womenstaskforce.qld.gov.au/. Then to the Climate Council on grass roots initiatives, and question time with Justice Applegarth who authored the 900-page QLRC report on Voluntary Assisted Dying which is available at www.qlrc.qld.gov.au/publications. With the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill introduced to Parliament, it will now be scrutinised by the Health and Environment Committee and is expected to be debated in September. A long journey for so many, and it was a special moment after the tabling to meet some of the advocates who have worked so hard on this. Submissions to this Bill are now open at www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/committees/HEC/inquiries/current-inquiries/VADB2021.

My Legal Affairs and Safety Committee are immersed in the Defamation as well Hate Crimes and Vilification inquiries. As part of reaching out for consultation, we filmed a social media clip (whilst sinking our high heels in a very soggy Speakers Green!) which I hope will see as many people as possible sharing their experiences at www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/committees/LASC/inquiries/current-inquiries/VilificationandHateCrimes. Remember if you don’t tell us, we won’t know.

As you may have seen on the Sandy Bolton MP Facebook page, there were many events outside of Chamber.  The Supercharging QLD Showcase gave opportunity to catch up with some fellow ‘Noosans’ from Council and ZEN, whilst 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 who were in attendance. How fortunate we are to have these sessions, as much is learnt.

Tourism’s new ‘norm’ was dissected at the Queensland Future Conversations breakfast. As has been well documented, the new norms for us here in our community, as well elsewhere in Queensland, includes a lack of staff and accommodation, which is creating even greater angst for our businesses. Noosa has demonstrated great resilience and capacity to re-invent during the challenging COVID period and will tackle these current challenges in the same manner. United, determined and reaching outside of that ‘box’!

QLD Future Conversations; Zonta Brisbane DFV Prevention Breakfast; 2021 Resources Dinner

From the Inbox

Again, an extreme month, with good news, as well as some not so good news. The fear and anger on the heavy haulage on Pomona Kin Kin Road saw moments on Facebook that are unnecessary and detrimental to those impacted, as well as those who are fighting for them. As known from the beginning, this would be a long haul, and requires unity, trust and focus, not abuse, misinformation and divisions. Due to the failure of Australia Post (Grrrrrr! 😠), the Kin Kin range survey has now been delivered to Pinbarren and Kin Kin rural residents via our fabulous local contractors. For those that had already received, accessed via FB posts or requested emailed copies, please disregard if you already submitted. The response date has been extended to Friday 11th June to accommodate this situation, and please note that this survey is for identified areas along the range that are most impacted by the deterioration of those now infamous ‘book ends’. An update from my recent meeting with DTMR Ministerial staff can be found at www.sandybolton.com/kin-kin-pomona-cooran-heavy-haulage-update-may-2021-2/ as well from the last Roundtable.

On a happier note, works have commenced on Tewantin Bypass Stage 1 with the removal of vegetation in preparation for building the Beckmans/Cooroy Rd roundabout. Main construction is projected to commence later this year, weather and conditions permitting. Even though I look forward to that ‘shovel’ moment, I now need to secure funding for Stage 2 which is the Eumundi Noosa Rd end. No rest for the wicked? 🤣

Ecological surveying for the Six Mile Bridge #7 replacement project will begin in early June 2021 and will take approximately two weeks to complete, weather permitting. These investigations will help inform the design process. If you have any questions, you can email the Department of Transport and Main Roads using northcoast@tmr.qld.gov.au.

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 the work they are undertaking can be emailed to nrsac@noosa.qld.gov.au.  This includes questions on issues such as moorings, houseboats, speed, hazards and water quality.

Concerns raised with us regarding the Coastal Hazards Adaptation Plan currently with Noosa council, have been relayed to the Minister for Environment, and we appreciate the extension of time for this important consultation process. It is a journey we need to gear up to travel together, as it may be bumpy!

@ the Brisbane First Nations Women Panel; A very special tree; Fellow Noosan’s at Parliament House!

The K’Gari Bushfire Review Report, which the Cooloola fire ban was reportedly based upon, has now been publicly released and can be found at www.igem.qld.gov.au/kgari-bushfire-review. We have requested this current indefinite ban come for consultation to the Teewah Cooloola Working Group as soon as possible.

Community consultation on the Cooloola Great Walk has opened, with the first session at The J on June 7, from 4pm to 5:30pm. To book in, head to https://events.humanitix.com/cooloola-great-walk-ecotourism-project-community-and-stakeholder-forum

With so much more to relay and so little space, stay updated via Facebook as well as Noosa 360 at   www.sandybolton.com/noosa360/. Just type a topic into the search bar, and the most recent post will be at the top. If you cannot find what you are after, call us on 53193100 or email noosa@parliament.qld.gov.au.

On the Homefront

Meetings dominated, with the ongoing issues around Short-Term Accommodation (STA’s) now including the impacts of owner occupiers taking up residence, decreasing the letting pool for visitors, which on top of decreased long term rentals, is confronting now on two angles. The Housing Action Group met again to report on progress made including legislation around secondary dwellings, and access to worker accommodation with micro-apartments already housing hospitality staff, and agreements with providers being negotiated. For anyone at risk of or experiencing homelessness, there are supports available at  www.sandybolton.com/emergency-housing-contact-list/ including Rent Connect for workers. If you are currently awaiting assistance through the Housing Service Centre and your situation changes or worsens, it is important that you update them immediately on 5352 7333 or via maroochydorehsc@hpw.qld.gov.au Whilst we wait on the Council workshopping around the pilot on secondary dwellings, there is an increased need for share lets, and I ask any residents with empty rooms, to consider this as both an option for earning some extra dollars and assist our workers and over 55’s women.

Announcements regarding the decommissioned TAFE site are expected this month. Gosh, I feel like I have said that so many times, however this time there was a valid excuse for the last delay.

Our BE Noosa Connect transport pilot has already identified some concerning gaps, mainly that residents who are eligible for My Aged Care, and eligible for subsidised transport, have not registered. So please, anyone who is aged over 65 head to www.myagedcare.gov.au/help-at-home/home-care-packages. as you never know when you will need what is available!!

It was fantastic to recently assist some of our organisations and schools with funding via our Community Connect Grants Program. In addition to the drone to assist in water pollution identification, land restoration and detecting navigation hazards, connectivity, liveability and viability have been enhanced through assistance to the Noosa Outrigger Club, Tewantin Noosa and Pomona Lions Clubs, Peregian Family and Friends Association, Cooran State School, St Teresa’s Catholic College and the Cooroy Future Group. I can’t wait to share some of their projects, including our youngster’s businesses in the 100 Entrepreneurs 👌

The Peregian Mobile Office gave not only opportunity to meet some more of our new businesses, I snuck over to look at the Peregian Digital Hubs ‘greying’. This took me back to how when as a Councillor; we had poured over this initiative endlessly. To see how successful it has become blending into the community, and what it is delivering, reiterates how important it is to take the time to revisit the past, for the future 😊

Whilst I was in Parliament, it was lovely to receive photos from nights that I could not attend, including the joint Cooroy Pomona Chamber of Commerce, and I thank everyone for sharing the fun remotely with me!

Magical moments during the Peregian Mobile Office!!

Grants and Reminders

For further State Government grant opportunities see the QLD Government Grant Finder or Grants Guru.

Parliamentary Speeches and Questions

Recent Questions on Notice (QON’s) can be found here. The latest speeches can be found below:

Recent Questions Without Notice can be found here. Estimates Hearings can be found here.

Have Your Say

Designing our Tourism Future – Open until 28 June 2021. https://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/gi/consultation/8305/view.html

Proposed Fees for Exhibiting Animals in Queensland– Open until 15 June 2021. https://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/gi/consultation/8304/view.html

Women’s Safety and Justice TaskforceOpen now https://www.womenstaskforce.qld.gov.au/consultation/make-a-submission

 

COVID-19 Links

General information- www.covid19.qld.gov.au

Business supports- www.sandybolton.com/covid-19-business-support/

Mobile Office

Noosa Heads is on 26 June from 9-11am. To organise a meeting, please let us know on 5319 3100 ☺

Office Reminders

Our office is open 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday.  For community organisations we have the photocopier, marquees and trailer available at no charge for your use, though you will need to book? 😊

Connect

With so much to share, stay up to date via  NOOSA 360 , Facebook page updates or our monthly newsletters. Columns are in Noosa News , Noosa TodayCoolum AdvertiserForest Star, Cooroora Connect, Your Local Lifestyle and Eastern Beaches News.

And Finally….

With Budget Week fast approaching, it is well and truly all hands-on deck for preparation, with the weeks after immersed in those Service Delivery Statements! 😖 I need not go into the list of capital requests again we are chasing this term, however the majority are not at construction funding stage yet, so this year includes getting that ‘prep’ dollars for those parts that we all find extremely longwinded and no fun at all!

To finish. They say some of the extremes this month were due to that fabulous eclipse, and the alignments of certain planets? If that is the case, may June bring a little less influence from external forces, and more from our internal selves! Greater appreciation, tolerance and consideration, with a dash of calm. There is nothing like a Noosa winter, so grab that cuppa, sit with a bud and breathe. And yes, the physical distancing, good hygiene and stay clear of everyone if unwell is still very valid. Symptoms? Get tested and wait until you get the all clear before heading out and sharing your favourite ‘iso’ story over bubbles? 😍🤣🤣

Sandy 🙏