The following article was authored by Sandy Bolton MP and published in the Noosa Today on the 23rd of November 2023:

As I spoke about in Parliament last week, recent announcements of cuts to the Federal Government’s funding of Queensland’s infrastructure have demonstrated how our processes are letting us down. While the Sunshine Coast was successful in keeping funding for the rail link to Nambour, other projects were not so fortunate, such as the now defunded Mooloolah River Interchange Upgrade and Nicklin Way Connection near Caloundra. This has been duplicated across the state and Australia, with many vital projects now cancelled or delayed.

These ‘congestion busters’ above often take multiple decades in the first place to get the ‘green light’, born from need and advocated for by agencies, organisations, communities and their Members of Parliament (MPs). For a current Federal Government to halt projects committed to by previous governments, without allowing an ‘independent’ review of their own election commitments adds to the instability and frustration felt by residents and other levels of government and/or private sector partners in delivering infrastructure.

Our two-party partisan system is so entrenched that it has stifled the capacity to remedy the ongoing insecurity of system failures, reflected in our own Queensland Parliament’s reluctance to review our committee processes to move beyond the partisan nature that is impacting every aspect of our lives. The confidentiality of these committees, including the Committee of the Legislative Assembly who we are waiting to make a determination around whether we shall get this review, is one of the biggest issues we face. That even MP’s cannot access information on how determinations are arrived at in these committees is wrong, and we should never stop the fight to remedy.

Without change, where will we be in any future change of government, and the ones after that? In the same costly and frustrating cycle!

So, what is the solution?

When recently responding to a panel question on ‘how the 3 tiers of Government can effectively collaborate to deliver infrastructure’ at the recent Sunshine Coast Business Council forum, my answer was simple. We can provide greater surety through coordination and cooperation between parties and governments via bipartisan agreements with binding agreements between all that ensure delivery of what communities fight for and is promised – regardless of election cycles and changes in government. This would not take much effort yet could make an instrumental change not only in delivering infrastructure, as well the ‘see sawing’ of services and programs.

We already have an independent agency in place, Infrastructure Australia, which maintains a list of priority infrastructure projects such as the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade. However, their recommendations are often ignored or only partially implemented.

If they were ‘upgraded’ to more than an advisory body, there is an opportunity to take politics out of projects, such as what occurs overseas. For example, Infrastructure Canada are directly involved in funding and guiding projects in the provinces (their version of states), signing detailed, binding long-term bilateral infrastructure agreements to deliver certainty.

Effective examples can also be found in European countries, which can maintain a consistent and pre-agreed pipeline of infrastructure projects between governments. However as noted in a recent article in The Times UK, “in countries such as Britain (or Australia) that have a two-party system there is less incentive to agree on long term planning with your main opposition”. Now that is an understatement!

To achieve a similar approach, as I continue to fight for, we first need reform within our Queensland Committee system to build an environment that encourages bipartisanism or tripartism, so that we have the basis for unity on our projects, before becoming binding agreements that transcend levels of Government or election outcomes. The Youth Justice Reform Select Committee is very different from other parliamentary committees as it not only has an independent chair, minutes are made public, and the information/research we are basing our decisions on are posted to our webpage in addition to the standard resources, so that every step of the way there is transparency. In short, how committees should be, and I look forward to sharing updates along the way as the depth and breadth of what we are already investigating is extensive.

Ultimately, our focus must be on how we can end the unsustainable battle where there are no winners, only ongoing congestion, shortfalls and increasing frustrations in governments and our communities. We need leaders prepared to rise up and move beyond the combative cycle, into one that delivers to community expectation versus frustration! A bold move, however, my own Committee could be the forerunner to this, and I do thank the government for taking this step in efforts to achieve greater safety in Queensland.

Now to other matters! There are important consultations underway even though I realise everyone is getting ‘submitted out’ as Council has also been busy, however it is vital that you have your say! One is my Parliamentary Select Committee on Youth Justice Reform mentioned above, who are currently focused on developing its evidence base and identifying potential solutions before consulting more broadly with Queenslanders including travel to regional areas early in 2024. We are already in public hearings and reading many submissions and ask that you share your views from personal experience or in a professional capacity by emailing Submissions are open until 12pm, 10 January 2024, with a reminder that if you do not want your submission to be published, you can request that the committee treat it as confidential.

Then back to infrastructure! My ongoing efforts for better connectivity for Noosa residents have included seeking a trial train shuttle from Gympie North to Nambour in order to connect with the timetable there, and bus services that address gaps to access work and medical services. Funding has now been secured for the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) to open consultation on a Northern Sunshine Coast Transport Strategy, as well on the planned Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line which thankfully was not cut in the Federal Governments review which TMR have stated could connect to the existing North Coast Line, north of Beerwah Station. This would result in trains continuing to the Brisbane CBD and beyond, without passengers needing to transfer.

Further information on these and more can be found at and just use the handy search bar.

Interlinking in all this is the South East Queensland (SEQ) Infrastructure Supplement draft which we have submitted to, and concerns around the upcoming Brisbane 2032 Olympics which has brought opportunities for improvements. However, as I have raised, we must make provision in multiple realms to ensure that the experience and legacies are a positive for all, especially in relation to transport infrastructure and housing. With the “Elevate 2042” Brisbane Games Legacy Strategy not containing anywhere near enough detail to give reassurances, I have a current Question on Notice to the Premier as we need a commitment to transfer all athlete accommodation to community housing to avoid becoming another Olympics statistic such as outlined in the QShelter report of 2022. This highlighted that for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, 6,000 people were displaced from public housing and a total of 30,000 from their homes, and during the Seoul and Beijing Games, over 2 million residents were displaced. That cannot be allowed to happen here.

To finish, a reminder that our office is a collection point for Hope in a Suitcase, DV phones and a Christmas Wishing tree, so please drop off vouchers or items for dignity bags for our Noosa families in refuges by November the 30th.

In addition, keep an eye out early December for our Annual Connect and Noosa MP Community Survey, the results of which helps inform our State Parliament priorities for 2024, and I want to hear from you on a number of matters raised this year including shark nets, desalinated water and much more!

As always, to keep updated on state matters important to our community, subscribe to my monthly newsletter at, which ensures you receive into your inbox Noosa specific surveys and polls.

Until next month which will be a ‘bumper’ on all things Noosa in readiness for the festive season, enjoy our beautiful home and those Christmas preparations!