The following article was authored by Sandy Bolton MP and published in the Noosa Today on the 7th of June 2024:

We are halfway through the year, and with so much to share, this month it is another ‘speed dating’ column which may be long, however, has some very welcome news for our community.


What started in 2020 with an invitation to visit the proposed sites for a project to assist our Kabi Kabi realise their aspirations for better management of Country and provide tangible social and economic benefits, fast became a ‘hotbed’ of environmental concerns for residents and groups. After much research, meetings, advocacy to Ministers and Departments, and a Noosa dedicated survey, I stood in Parliament and requested that the proposed commercial accommodation structures not go ahead, with the welcomed response that this will now not be progressing. Thank you to all who joined us in respectful, credible, knowledgeable and informed advocacy to preserve this area for future generations as our community has requested.


With improved management of Noosa River being one of my first commitments when elected in 2017 now in the second phase of being realised, how appreciative I am of all I have worked with along this time. This has included two Transport & Main Roads (TMR) Ministers and two Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) General Managers every step of the way, as well two Noosa Mayors, the Noosa River Stakeholder Advisory Committee, advocates and many residents. The latest announced changes whilst difficult for some, were very much welcomed by the majority of our community, and I am especially thankful to the MSQ team for the assurances that anyone vulnerable on liveaboards is being supported through this transition as this was a non-negotiable for me. A special thanks to former TMR Minister Mark Bailey who delivered all that we requested of him, as this was not an easy undertaking given the rivers long, and often very contentious history!


All I can say is how fabulous after such a long journey to get to this moment, and to have at the opening some of the residents who stood with me at this dangerous and flood prone bridge back when first elected as a Member of Parliament and committed to getting this historical issue addressed, made it really special. Even though Jim Grant who was the first to walk over the old timber bridge when it was built in 1934 could not be there, that he was the first when this one ‘unofficially’ opened for traffic, has made this project memorable in more ways than one. Thank you to all who contributed to this journey including long-time residents Phil Moran, Stephen Hilditch, Brian O’Connor, Ron Green, Anita Poteri, Mia Hacker, Nathanael Ford among so many others!


Back in 2020 I met with Kabi Kabi in efforts to secure funding for Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers for Noosa as part of better management of our lands and waterways, and it was really good to catch up with Nathan when in Parliament who will be assisting in the establishment phase! We have a way to go, however getting the funding and resources is a wonderful start, and I look forward to sharing the journey in the coming months!


The Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI) have announced they are working towards this site at Teewah being transitioned to national park in recognition of significant environmental values following community consultation in 2023. As I said in our submission to government at that time, it is imperative that changes not be actioned until suitable alternative locations are identified for current users. After our long negotiations on their behalf, DESI together with other government agencies have advised they will be working with the users on a two-year transition period to source alternate locations within their requested radius, and we will continue to monitor the progress. They also gave assurance that emergency services including our Rural Fire Brigade would not be impacted as during emergencies they can access any site as needed.


Elements of this have been hard fought for by many, especially those of us in efforts to see an end to the inappropriate volume of heavy haulage through our Noosa country villages. However, the recommendations needed were watered down when the bill was drafted, leading to our submission and my speech in Parliament against. As the debate has not yet been completed, I have made a last-minute appeal to the Minister to make an amendment to restore the full recommendation to give powers to the Chief Executive to open Environmental Authorities in efforts to rectify failings in our systems.


The first public hearing into the Community Safety Bill 2024 was held, and the message was as clear as it was during the Youth Justice Reform inquiry earlier this year and the sixty recommendations that emanated from. That included we need a stronger focus on community safety and supporting victims; provide much earlier interventions and rehabilitation for young offenders, and that detention for repeat offenders must be rehabilitative, longer in time, community led, and place based. With four of the seven legislative recommendations incorporated into this Bill, it is good to see action, however we have a way to go as there is still opposing viewpoints on the impacts of the clarification around detaining children within the legislative changes. As one witness said, if detention isn’t the last resort for youth or adults, what is?


After my Adjournment speech in Parliament on the urgency to address safety concerns, I was advised that a dangerous rider on Noosa Parade has been charged with nine counts each of dangerous operation of a vehicle, driving without a driver’s licence, unregistered vehicle, and driving uninsured. We thank our police who have acted swiftly, and have posted a Noosa 360 update regarding at, which also contains my speech and how other states are managing this.


Debating four bills at once is inappropriate, especially when you can only vote ‘aye’ or ‘noe’ to the bundle instead of voting on each individual bill! The Emergency Services Reform, Marine Rescue Queensland and State Emergency Service Bills I was firmly supportive of, as they ‘formalised’ what we had been advocating for on behalf of our local heroes including our volunteer Coastguard QF5. However, the fourth bill, Disaster Management, I could not as it stood given the concerns raised by our rural fire brigades. These are essential to be addressed given the example we gave from Victoria, with more information available at


Even though as you know I have worked for a long time to get affordable housing options for our residents, I spoke against the Housing Availability & Affordability Bill as there were concerning issues around the lack of clarity. After our submission on the ensuing regulatory amendments associated with and having met with state planners, I feel reassured that the concerns we raised such as around the definition of ‘affordable’ will be addressed including in the Ministers Guidelines. With the State Facilitated process similar to the existing Ministerial Designation used for schools and community infrastructure, any applications will need to go through the standard referral processes, and it cannot be used for mixed development. One arena I do not believe will be remedied is the shorter time frame for community consultation, nor that there is no appeals process, which means we will need to be vigilant and ensure as I have said before that any potential projects align with community expectation.


During Parliament, it was great to catch up with our Brisbane State Emergency Service (SES) teams as part of ‘Wear Orange Wednesday’ (WOW!) and I look forward to meeting with our units in Cooroy and Tewantin to celebrate them receiving $100,000 in the latest State Government SES grant rounds. In addition, southeast Queensland Councils including Noosa are set to share in $100 million for projects that will deliver critical housing and local infrastructures.


There will be a full article sharing this celebration of just some of our incredible volunteers in next week’s paper, however, I want to say thank you to our amazing community including those who nominated them. That we smashed last year’s record is a testimony to how our heroes grow every year!

Upcoming elections always make for interesting times and claims as again it has this last month! As always if you ever need clarification or information, please visit our website call 53193100 or email And don’t forget our newsletter is available via

Enjoy the start of winter everyone! With the next parliamentary sitting being for the 2024 State Budget, I have no doubt I will have some news from there for next month, both what we may enjoy, as well not so?