Welcome to Spring, Noosa!

With Estimates just past and a letter to the Premier sent with suggestions for improving the process, it has been interesting to see this week, at a Federal level, similar efforts to address concerns and the value of ‘Question Time’. Could this be a turning point, and what would a ‘revamped’ system of accountability look like? Would it include ‘Participatory Budgeting’ (PB), which is on the rise nationally and internationally?

As I outlined in my speech last sitting on this, whether in response to discontent on the decisions Governments make regarding rate or tax payer funds, concerns surrounding transparency and the ‘whys’, or efforts to increase community engagement, PB could play a role in changing how our systems operate.

Whilst PB is a process in which residents directly decide how to spend parts of a local or State budget, there are multiple formats it can take. These processes are only truly participatory if they include underrepresented groups, and effectively identify and manage resource allocation and implementation. Good decisions can only be made through a realistic lens, with relevant unbiased information provided to residents. This includes an agreed methodology for prioritisation, as well as how funding would be allocated to each electorate. Most importantly, clarity for our communities that increased funding for one sector without taking from another, requires further income overall. As we all know, increasing rates and taxes is not a favored avenue!


L-R: Kerbside with U3A Choir; Noosa Orchid Society Annual Show; Heart Foundation walk at Parliament

There are benefits from PB, as well as concerns, possibly creating further divisions in our communities. As we have seen increasingly here at home, there are vast differences of opinion on what the priorities are, creating some heated debates via ‘dinner table’, coffee shop and Facebook discussions. From sealing dirt roads, to re-sheeting existing ones, to housing, buses, bike pathways, and more ‘manpower’? Just like our own household budgets, there may be smiles from some members of the family, and not so from others!

PB may give opportunity to increase Queenslanders’ knowledge about their own communities, as well as assist in developing solutions that are currently eluding us, or issues that emanate from what may be unrealistic or unsustainable expectations? Just imagine how much money could be saved if we all took greater responsibility and accountability for our mental and physical health, how we communicate and interact in public spaces, what we waste, and what we take?


L-R: Vietnam Veterans Day 2019; Better Together Housing team

Our poor behaviours are costly, and it could be invaluable to see how our own communities would tackle their domestic violence, recidivism, addictions and road statistics as examples? Alternatively to creating divisions, it may bring ‘unity’ back into community, and promote the collaboration, discussion and diverse perceptions sought.

This is very much a conversation that needs to be had, and I trust that communities and all levels of Government will consider PB as a means for greater engagement within and across QLD communities, as well create less angst and anger from constituents and between Governments and MP’s at Budget time? ☺


L-R: Celebrating our newest ‘Aussies’!; Changemaker Samuel Johnson; With Noosa Coast Guard

Before heading to Townsville this weekend, where Parliament is sitting, I will be meeting with TMR and next month’s newsletter (as well via Facebook!) will report on Six Mile, the Beckmans-Cooroy Noosa Rd intersection progress, and the QLD speed review. Other updates will include the Katie Rose Hospice funding, Air Noise Ombudsmen and Noosa Springs fire investigations.

After every Sitting, I am grateful to get out and about, with many beautiful memories to share. From the Noosa Orchid Society (yes, I now have a ‘Phala’), tearful moments with Rev. Leonie’s reading of ‘The Unknown Soldier’ at Vietnam Veterans Day, street-side shenanigans with the U3A Choir, to celebrating our newest ‘Aussies’ at the Australian Citizenship Ceremony. As well as much laughter and country catch-ups whilst ‘mobile office-ing’! To the Better Together Housing team, congratulations on winning the National Award for Leading Innovation at the Australasian Housing Institute Awards!

Thank you everyone, you make my world!!


Jump to our Parliament page here and click on ‘all speeches’ to see the full list.

Recent Questions on Notice (QON’s) can be found here at our Parliament page.Have your say 

To see all areas open for community consultation click here.

Changes to Child Protection Act 1999 – closes 6 September
Proposed Reforms to Child Sexual Offence Laws – closes 20 September
Moreton Water Plan Targeted Amendment – closes 1 October
QLD Freight Action Plan Consultation – closes 1 October
Body Corp and Community Management Regulations – closes 18 October
Annual Report Survey – closes 26 June 2020


L-R: Vinnies Community Sleepout 2019; New Express Recycling Depot Noosavile


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And Finally…

Sleeping rough gave opportunity, through hard cardboard and frosty conditions, to ponder why many still consider our issue of homelessness as one that is through the choices made by a minority. The reality is that a lack of affordable options for our elderly, our youngsters and our working families is placing them in the position of either sleeping in cars, couch surfing through the goodwill of friends or moving away from their networks and often birthplace. Is this acceptable? No it isn’t. The great outcome of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout was not only the funds raised to build emergency accommodation but importantly, connecting with those who have committed to assist in finally addressing the challenges to the delivery of community projects. I look forward to the coming months.

Changemakers were not only at the sleepout. To meet Samuel Johnson, who is on a mission to ensure that every person diagnosed with cancer is funded for testing to identify the most suitable treatment, was more than inspirational. It was a privilege.

For all the incredible positives within the month and how blessed we are for these, there have been a number of incidences, including stray stock on roads, that again leads to questioning how we can keep everyone safe, informed and committed to resolutions. As an example, the recent ‘cool’ burn by QPWS and QFES at Noosa Junction, to decrease fuel loads as part of efforts to keep residents and our environment safer, was met with some anger over the risks these burns present. Finding a balance between impacts to flora, fauna, environment and people is not easy, and we should always seek to improve.

We never want to lose our furry and feathered friends, however as pointed out, to not address fire risks can lead to wildfires, which would see greater losses including potentially the lives of residents.

I welcome your thoughts on how we can reduce risk and impacts, resolve our challenges and keep everyone safe!

As always, warmest regards and enjoy the ‘pondering’,