With so much to report on this month, where to start? The Easter long weekend was well managed due to the incredible efforts of our frontliners along with the support of our community who were their ‘lookouts’. We have seen infection rates begin to decrease due to the measures undertaken and efforts of so many, including residents and I thank every single one of you. Our youngsters and their parents braved the world of online learning; our new Council was sworn in, and we are about to embark on our first set of relaxations on COVID directives from tomorrow Saturday May 2nd. Yes, you can go for a drive, shop for non-essentials, have a picnic with your family, sunbake on the beach or head out on the water, as long as you stay within 50kms of your home. Physical distancing measures still apply, and outdoor gatherings are limited to family members of the same household, or you can go out with one other person. Remember, our police will be monitoring public areas and fines for non-compliance will apply. So, get out there and enjoy the sunshine, and don’t forget your sunscreen and 1.5! 😃👍

From the Chamber and beyond

Parliament sat last week to vote on the COVID-19 Emergency Bill, and this was an interesting sitting to say the least, with restrictions and confusions in amongst the deliberations, with some MPs needing to change from heels to flats from standing for hours in the hall waiting for our turn in Chamber! 😊 Legislation was passed to underpin several COVID related matters including residential and commercial tenancies. The resulting residential tenancies information is available at the Residential Rental Hub, however the commercial tenancy guidelines are still being developed with stakeholders. In the meantime, a Small Business Commissioner will be appointed to provide much-needed advocacy for commercial tenants and landlords. While we await the finalisation of this role, if you are being impacted please contact our office and we will arrange assistance. Alternatively, please contact the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman on 1300 650 460 or www.asbfeo.gov.au/disputesupport.

Our Question Without Notice to the Premier sought a commitment to have the voluntary assisted dying legislation debated in this term of Government, or to provide a timeline for when this will occur. The Premier in response promised to advise of the ‘when’ before our next sitting on May 19, which has been appreciated by so many in our community, and across Queensland.

      

L-R: Honouring with Sub Branch President Adel Amin; Congratulating Mel from Tourism Noosa

On the homefront

Paying our respects this Anzac Day was very different, but no less powerful in both intent and emotion. Laying wreaths prior to the day on behalf of our community was a great honour and standing at the end of our driveways to light up the dawn, was also an honour. To capture the incredible moments from that morning posted to Facebook, the Tewantin Noosa RSL Subbranch is compiling a booklet, and I will be providing these to those who were or are not online. If you have any photos from Anzac Day, please post with the hashtag #tnrsl so these can be included. #lestweforget.

It has been fabulous to see our Noosa youngsters leading the way in providing innovative solutions during this crisis as George Gleeson and his team began production of personal protective equipment (PPE) using 3D printers at the Peregian Digital Hub. They have delivered over 400 face shields to medical professionals across the region. Top job everyone!

We have begun our road to recovery, with both our Business Roundtable and Local Disaster Management Group moving from crisis mode to strategy development. However, the journey has many challenges ahead. Vigilance is key.

It has been wonderful to be able to get on the road to take essential recovery information to businesses we may have not been able to capture online or through our Business Roundtable. This week, I went on the Noosa Country Drive, visiting Kin Kin, Cooran and Pomona. Our beautiful villages were full of positivity, sharing of information and yes, ‘takehomes’ including some of my favourite homemade goodies! For anyone that I missed, please call me on 5319 3100 and I can drop off or send any information you may need.

Although across our electorate we have many businesses that have had to close their doors during this period, for others this forced ‘pause’, as well JobKeeper and other assistance, has given owners a chance to revisit their business models, to diversify and come out the other side stronger than ever, with many renovating and reinvigorating their outlets. If you need business support or assistance during this time, please call the Qld Small Business Hotline on 1300 654 687 or go their websiteNoosa Council is also offering a free specialist advisory service via their website or call 5329 6500.

New initiatives have also been very welcomed, including Buy Local Noosa and  Eat Local Noosa. These online platforms connect Noosa supply to demand, with ‘Eat’ focussing on local produce, drinks and takeaways, and ‘Buy’ encompassing everything else made locally. Please support these platforms, as this not only assists our local businesses to survive during COVID, they are also job creators, now and post-COVID. Congratulations everyone, a top job!! 👏

    

L-R: A beautiful invasion this month; Country Noosa ‘biz roadie’ with Lisa; The Easter Bunny was exempt

Grants and funding announcements

This month over $250,000 worth of Community Benefit Fund grants have been awarded to local community groups and clubs. Katie Rose Cottage can now upgrade their outdoor garden area; the Cooroy-Pomona Lions Club is building a new shed and the Noosa Show Society will be constructing grandstands. Pomona District Meals on Wheels start next week on a much-awaited kitchen upgrade, with the Noosa Touch Association, Pomona Bowls Club and Pomona & District Horse and Pony Club undertaking facility upgrades. Congratulations to all!

For current grant opportunities see the QLD Government Grant Finder or Grants Guru.

COVID-19 assistance links

STATE GOVERNMENT – 13 74 68
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT – 1800 020 080
NOOSA COUNCIL – 5329 6500
CENTRELINK – 132 850
JOBKEEPER (ATO) – 13 28 66 (Business) or 13 28 61 (Individuals)
SMALL BUSINESS HOTLINE – 1300 654 687
AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS AND FAMILY ENTERPRISE OMBUDSMAN – 1300 650 460
CORONAVIRUS HEALTH NATIONAL INFORMATION LINE – 1800 020 080
QLD HEALTH – 13 43 25 84
TELEHEALTH – 1800 066 888
COMMUNITY RECOVERY HOTLINE – 1800 173 349

Parliamentary speeches and questions

Please note – Without Parliament sitting, we have not been able to lodge Questions On Notice, or deliver speeches since February. However at the COVID Emergency sitting, legislation was passed to host virtual sittings, which hopefully will commence next month.

All speeches can be viewed on our website here. If searching on the Qld Parliamentary website go to: Members Speeches then select Ms Sandy Bolton.

Recent Questions on Notice (QONs) can be found hereon the Parliament page on my website.

Recent Questions Without Notice can be found on my website here:

Have your say

Please note that some public consultations may be suspended at this time. To see all areas open for community consultation click here.

      

L-R: EatLocalNoosa launch with Mayor Clare; So many wonderful initiatives – ‘pop up’ free books in Kin Kin

Mobile office

Mobile offices are still postponed until we receive further directives, however I will be continuing to visit individual businesses across the electorate to ensure they are receiving information on the recovery assistance available, and am always just a phone call away for everyone!

Office reminders

As of Wednesday 25th March, in accordance with the directive of Parliamentary Services, access to the Electorate Office has been limited to staff only. Even though you will not be able to sit down face-to-face with us, we are always available via the following non-contact methods.
Email: noosa@parliament.qld.gov.au
Phone: 07 5319 3100
Please leave a message if phone lines are busy as we action our messages as a priority.

Photocopying services, marquee and trailer hire are not available during this time.

Connect

Our monthly newsletters can be viewed by clicking here, and stay updated by ‘liking’ our Facebook page. You will find monthly columns in the Noosa NewsNoosa Today and Coolum Advertiser, as well quarterly in the Forest Star and Cooroora Connect. Go to NOOSA 360 at SandyBolton.com to find helpful links, as well current bills and committee reports. #stayinformed

And Finally…

During this pandemic we have all learned a new kind of adaptability and ability to source solutions quickly, including Government, which is a skill I truly hope is not lost when this is over.

Even though we have commenced the journey to recovery, it is vital during this time that we continue to follow the Home Confinement Directions to avoid a retightening of restrictions, and to continue being ‘lookouts’ for our frontliners by reporting any activity against these directives. Most of all, look after each other as we still have a long journey to travel. To do this, we need to look after our own mental wellbeing. 🙏 There are lots of resources available, including ‘tips’ and strategies. Here are a couple of the most basic, however very effective. Exercise both the body and the mind! Just thirty minutes each day can make an enormous difference. Enjoy a brisk walk, a bit of surfing or gardening. There are some beautiful sunrises and sunsets to capture alone, or with your ‘plus 1’. Don’t forget to call out a greeting to others on your way past, it DOES make a big difference to your day, and theirs.

For the mind? Tackle a puzzle, write a short story, construct a musical masterpiece? 🤔 Second tip. ‘Quieten’ the noise of media and social media by switching off for a few hours each day. Specialists say that the difference this can make for emotional wellness is profound, so take the leap, and ‘unplug’. The news will still be there when you log back on! For more tips head to Qld Health’s blog, visit Beyond Blue or call 1800 512 348.

Until next month, again, thank you Noosa. Don’t forget to check my nightly updates (though I have been letting everyone have the weekend off!). Even though last month I said I would be sharing hugs ‘ferociously’ on the other side of COVID, the volume I have stored up means it is both ferocious and voracious!!

Sandy 🙏