The following article was authored by Sandy Bolton MP and published in the Noosa Today on the 10th of May 2024:

With so much happening and some great progress, grab a ‘cuppa’ as this is a big ‘share’!!

Democracy and Trust in QLD

Recently I delivered a ‘Matter of Public Interest’ (MPI) speech. The impetus for this came while I was researching other unicameral (one chamber) Parliaments to discover why they were performing better than Queensland in obtaining bipartisan agreements on issues that move beyond a political term or party. Relayed was that our issue was one of ‘immaturity’ and sadly, this has shown to be correct, evidenced by a reliance on media grabs, misinformation and fearmongering in politics and election strategies which diminishes voter trust.

That trust is further diminished through practices from the major parties that ‘hoodwink’ Queenslanders into providing their personal information.  Last month I asked both sides of the chamber to support my Private Members Motion (PMM) to end data harvesting via the postal vote applications process, a practice which has been recommended to be banned in a Commonwealth inquiry. Yet only the crossbench voted for greater transparency, with both majors not giving any acceptable rationale for using your personal information in a way you have not authorised. Australia is one of the only advanced democracies where parties are completely exempt from privacy legislation, and I will continue to fight to see this remedied on your behalf. The full speech is available at under ‘Democratic Performance’, with the PMM available at

Integrity in our politics

Having called for integrity and credibility in the run-up to the next state election, the response has already been disappointing. Two weeks in a row, a political party candidate for the Noosa Electorate has been misinforming our community.

First by implying that the future of our hospital is uncertain, which is incorrect. The slowness of renegotiating the lease to accommodate the expansion of the emergency department has been the issue, not that an extension or new lease would not occur. The use of baseless ‘petitions’ also raises the issue of data harvesting, as this is another known tactic to obtain your personal information. In addition, these petitions are used by political parties or Members of Parliament (MPs) to claim it was due to their ‘petition’ or ‘work’ that a headline-chasing announcement was made.

Secondly, after the Interim Report into Youth Justice reform was released, I asked both major parties to get on with committing to the recommendations and stop the politicking out of respect for all, including victims. However further falsehoods were broadcast, including that it was the government who had delayed, stalled or blocked that report, which is incorrect.

How can Queenslanders ever trust any MP, political party or candidate when this type of behaviour continues?

There is so much I could say, however being constrained by the standing rules of Parliament means that it will have to wait until I write a book one day!

Youth Justice Reform

In my role as Chair of Youth Justice Reform Select Committee, I made a commitment to victims, their families and communities impacted that the inquiry would lead to tangible action, and I have delivered that. Within twenty-four hours of my calling on both sides of the house for commitments to the sixty (60) recommendations contained in the report – recommendations born from the voices of Queenslanders during a seven-month inquiry – the government responded, committing to all recommendations either in full or in principle. In addition, tabling of legislative changes through the Queensland Community Safety Bill, which has been referred to the Community Safety and Legal Affairs Committee, to which I have transferred.

Even though the opposition has yet to make any commitments to these recommendations, I will continue to seek their support given that is what Queenslanders sought when they asked for a bipartisan agreement.

The Interim Report, government’s response, and the draft bill which is open for community consultation until the 16th of May can all be found at

Noosa River

Upcoming changes to anchoring and mooring have been released, with information available via our latest newsletter and via Noosa 360 at We have been assured that any residents experiencing hardship that may be impacted by this transition will be provided support through relevant agencies and outreach programs, and I thank Kell and the Maritime Safety Queensland team for this commitment. To dispel some concerns already raised, yes you can anchor for recreational purposes such as shopping, dining etc., just not for days/weeks at a time!

Electric bikes and scooters safety

New laws were passed to expand the application of careless riding offences regardless of age. With concerns raised by residents regarding dangerous riding, I asked a Question on Notice in Parliament on what further consideration is being given to introducing a licensing scheme for operators and riders to improve safety and will update once a response has been received. Information on the new laws is available at Noosa 360 on our website, and as always, please report any incidents of dangerous behaviours to Policelink to assist in identifying locations for targeted operations (

Teewah Cooloola Recreation Area

The overdue recommendations from the Cooloola Sustainable Visitor Capacity study have been released, as well as the draft Cooloola Recreation Management Plan which is now open for community consultation at It was good for the Teewah Cooloola Working Group to have a briefing prior, and I thank the Department of Environment and Science (DES), as well QLD Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) teams for this. Even though there are aspects some will not be happy with, there are parts that provide a path forward and I will update on this after a response has been drafted. To add to our communities’ efforts, the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) has commenced a study on beach driving, funded by the QLD Government’s Motor Accident Insurance Commission, and are seeking participants who have driven on Noosa North Shore, Teewah, Rainbow or Double Island beaches in the past five years. This is available, as well our previous updates regarding Teewah, at


The House with No Step site (HWNS) in Doonan can be used to address our community’s need for temporary worker accommodation, yet it still sits unused after five (5) years of efforts. Yes, it needs work, however nothing is impossible.

Given nowhere ‘suitable’ has been identified by governments over these years, at what point will the reasons ‘why we ‘can’t’ turn into ‘how we can’?  We have at least two (2) years until affordable housing projects in the pipeline are realised, and until then our workers cannot be sleeping in their cars, nor can the community continue dealing with illegal camping. Utilising a portion of this site to address these needs with already a caretaker’s residence in place, would not displace current users including our fabulous Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program, and until any level of government can offer a solution, I will continue to seek support from Sunshine Coast Council and the Minister.

Speaking of interventions, the Housing Availability and Affordability Bill was passed in which to facilitate a ‘fast track’ and fee free process for community housing projects. Concerns are that circumnavigating local government planning schemes can lead to adverse outcomes, as we saw with the Department of Agricultural and Fisheries boatshed which has taken some years to remedy. However, being reassured by government’s response that they will work with Councils prior, and that full community consultation would be undertaken, I feel that this is an opportunity for our community to assess individual projects to deliver affordable housing for our residents.

In addition, the just released ‘Even Better Public Sector for Queensland Strategy 2024-28’ does not recognise or acknowledge major issues including that the housing crisis could have been avoided by having forecasting capacity in our public sector, and that the fallout from COVID-19, such as failing mental health across our state and unsustainable demands on our policing and health systems, could have been foreseen and provision made for them. Having written a response to this given our advocacy, I will update you when more information is received.

Cooloola Great Walk
We expect an announcement in the next month to our request for no commercially built structures in Great Sandy National Park, as well an amendment to the Nature Conservation Act to remove the possibility of a similar proposal in the future. Both the Minister for Tourism and the Minister for Environment have assured us that they are working in line with our community’s expectations, and we will update as soon as received.

Home schooling

Thank you to all of our home-schooling parents who raised concerns regarding the upcoming Education (General Provisions) Bill. In response, changes have been made including further consultation with all stakeholders, and a Home School Advisory Group (HSAG) will be established.  The remaining issue around the changes to the guiding principles for home schooling should be part of the consultations mentioned above, as they are important to address.

Rural Fire Service

Having met with members from our local Rural Fire Brigades on the Disaster Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill, three aspects remain of concern as posted on Facebook and Noosa 360, and I will be tracking the progress of these changes that were passed by Parliament. If it is found these are failing our community, I will seek to have them amended as I raised in an undelivered speech due to the unrealistic times being allocated to debate, which is for another column! Thank you to every volunteer who dedicates their time to keeping us safe, as we deeply appreciate you every day what you selflessly do.

Beckmans Road Upgrade/ Tewantin Bypass

Having just completed a mobile office at the Noosa Farmers Market, I am surprised how many are unaware of the staged approached for this! For a refresh, in late 2022, Stage 1 of the Tewantin Bypass (the roundabout at the corner of Cooroy-Noosa and Beckmans Roads) was completed, with the next stage requested being the Eumundi /Noosa Road intersection which is in design stage and in which I have sought construction funding from government and will also be from the opposition!

Six Mile Bridge #7 replacement

With the new bridge, between Pomona and Cooran, fully opened to traffic, we look forward to the ‘official’ opening to celebrate what can be achieved when community stands united. Thank you to all, including residents impacted through the construction period, as well everyone’s efforts over this long journey to see this dangerous and flood prone bridge replaced.

As you can see, this month has been very full! There was much more including the Environmental Protection Bill still being debated in which I spoke on, however I will report on that after the next sitting as this was vital in relation to the inappropriate volume of heavy haulage through our Noosa country villages.

As always, the many issues we are working on are posted to Noosa 360 at To keep updated, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter via

For any questions, my office can be contacted via or on 5319 3100 as we are here for you!

Until next time, Happy Mothers Day to all, including our foster carers. How we love where we live, and who we live with, and I send deep gratitude to our amazing ‘village’!