The following article was authored by Sandy Bolton MP and published in the Noosa Today on the 1st of September 2023:

‘Flood or Flooding the Zone’ is terminology becoming more widely used than beyond a sporting strategy! This in relation to information saturation, used to offset beliefs, creating widespread cynicism about truth and the institutions charged with unearthing it. Apparently, it seeks to disorient audiences (that’s all of us) with an avalanche of competing stories to produce a certain nihilism (if you wish to look this up in Wiki do so at your own peril!) where people become so sceptical about the possibility of finding the truth that they give up the search. Articles have been written on this globally, and we have seen this on a smaller scale locally with the referencing of a resort being built on the Cooloola Great Walk (incorrect) and that crime has increased in Noosa (incorrect according to data) as examples. If enough people are saying similar, it then becomes more believable as truth, rather than the actual facts themselves.

In order to get to the facts, we need to ask the relevant questions of government and to those working at the ‘coal face’, whether about crime, housing or our health services. In our electorate, statistics show we have not had an increase in offenses, hence the question would be around what the data is comprised of when there are contradictory anecdotal reports. Insufficient police resourcing? Not according to our Head of Police, and during Estimates I asked Commissioner Carrol the relevant question as to what determines ‘adequate permanent policing numbers to regions’. The response in summary was a number of factors, including current, historical and ‘hidden’ demand.

Issues with our health services? As reported, we have temporary triaging transportables while Ramsay Health and the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Services work to co-fund a permanent expansion, estimated within 18 months. However, what I believe to be an unresolved issue is mental health services, and as a result of investigations, have sent to the Minister a series of questions and recommendations. And that big one, housing! Noosa unthankfully was impacted much earlier than other areas, which led thankfully to us seeking how to address earlier. Within 2 years (cross fingers with Development Applications, materials and builders!)  the partnership projects between state government, Council and community housing providers in the pipeline will go a long way to provide the affordable worker accommodations needed. The pressing issue is the need for temporary solutions until these are constructed, and why the former House With No Steps site needs to be secured through the current tender process with Sunshine Coast Council by our community housing providers and the Department of Housing.

Being aligned only to our community, I have no reason to provide anything except what we unearth when digging for facts which can be challenging at times, and there are a number of avenues we use, including the Budget Estimates processes. This year retained the same basic flaws as previous years, even though there were better behaviours and clarity provided via a vast number of questions. As one of the key mechanisms to examine government expenditure, performance and effectiveness, except for Public Works as there is no dedicated committee or hearing for this rather large expense, the process needs to be efficient, however that is for another column!

To recap on what I have spoken on before in Parliament and elsewhere, any system that lacks transparency or allows processes that serve to frustrate their very intent or reason for being, as well promote what has been termed as ‘immature’ governance, are a breeding ground for mistrust, misinformation and misunderstandings. This must change as it provides a fertile breeding ground to ‘flood the zone’.

There are many examples, however as I am currently awaiting the determinations from the Committee of the Legislative Assembly to my requests for a review of these systems and processes, I will revisit at a later time, and instead jump to the reasons why they must be remedied.

It is to do with foundations. We need to get this right, as until we do, we will continue to see reactionary politics and legislation as we saw in Chamber last sitting, accompanied by policies that are ‘band aids’ instead of cures. When governments change, partisan decisions can be promptly overturned, going through the same flawed processes and responses, which are not only ineffective, but also incredibly expensive to taxpayers!

That both major parties do not seek to address these flaws when in power ‘floors’ me, as this would potentially see an end to the nonproductive combative culture that infiltrates every aspect of decision making and would see more collaboration in line with community expectations.

My Budget Estimates questions this year included what has been confusing for many around who is telling the truth. One was in relation to courts not using the legislative tools available for repeat offenders and what can be done about that? The Attorney General said through appeals due to the separation of powers, however, mandatory sentencing, and removing detention as a last resort, are other avenues. Though as seen, there has been no appetite for mandatory sentencing from either of the major parties, with the opposition supporting a motion to amend detention as a last resort in the Youth Justice Act. The facts around this would take a whole column, so I will leave it for when there is a response to our latest information request.

Another was in relation to what processes are available to retain a potential perpetrator of family and domestic violence who presents to a hospital, assessed as not eligible to be held involuntarily under mental or drug assessment and therefore is released. The response was that in these cases the police should be called, however as the Commissioner reiterated, there needs to be grounds to ‘hold’, hence this as another aspect to review, alongside the police pursuit policy which the State Coroner has asked to be expedited.

The Inspector General’s Emergency Management (IGEM) Report of 2020 recommendations are well advanced which we have been tracking as a result of our Peregian and Cooroibah fires, and extremely relevant coming into a high load fire season. Compared to the very long delays (six years) regarding recommendations from the Queensland Family and Child Commission relating to Child Safe Standards, this progress is appreciated.  May the Public Service Commissioner in our efforts for the much-needed increasing of capabilities to our public sector, analyse the roadblocks in processes and implement changes to ensure that recommendations are actioned much quicker than what is being experienced.

Links to the transcripts from Committee Hearings, including my own Legal Affairs & Safety, as well a full list of my Estimates questions (fifty five?) and answers to date, can be found on our website at Make sure you have a large coffee ready!

Now to the draft Southeast Queensland plan. Statements that Noosa is being ‘forced’ to include eight storey developments are incorrect, and as I have posted, I will be working with Council and State to address any elements not in line with community expectation.  Noosa Council in its 2023 amendments resulting from 4 years of work that started with our Housing Action Group, articulated how we will achieve affordable housing for our residents. This will be clarified again via a Housing Supply Statement in response to the draft plan, and in which I am confident of a good outcome for our communities. The major related question is, how do we manage visitation numbers should the expected increase to surrounding regions be realised? And this is what I am also working on in parallel to ensure resident amenity is not further impacted.

For those who did not see my response to an interview with Jim Fagan last edition, be assured I will be fighting again to keep Noosa Independent at the next election, as this has served our community incredibly well, demonstrated by what we have achieved. This is our home, and I will always do whatever it takes, to protect it and all inhabitants. In efforts to keep everyone focussed on the many tasks at hand, we need to leave state election matters until well after the local government elections in March as we have much to do!

A reminder that many updates are available on our website at, including the draft SEQ Regional Plan, the roles of the three levels of government and their representatives, and much more. However as always if any questions, just give my office a call on 53193100.

In addition, if you wish to receive Noosa Community MP specific surveys direct to your inbox, just subscribe to our newsletter at This will ensure you do not miss out on having your say on issues important to our community, with the current one on the Cooloola Great Walk to close on 8th September available at

Until next month, remember who we are. A community of passionate, connected people with a deep love of each other and our home. Protecting all that we hold dear, and creating a future all can be proud of, must be fact based.  We have the capacity to lead the way, and not fall into the rhetoric, propaganda or ‘easy sells’ that come from an old strategy with new terminology ‘flooding the zone’ which may be easier to digest, though not particularly healthy nor productive. We can, and we will….and I will be right there beside you!