August 2020 – Edition #29

Spring is upon us, and very welcomed after another month of COVID-19 changes. This included border reclosures, positive cases, contact tracing and limits of 30 for gatherings in homes and public places. Regardless of recent media reports, there is no timeframe in place for lifting our border restrictions, with the Premier stating that while community transmission is still occurring in NSW and Victoria, the border will remain as is. Nobody wants these restrictions in place longer than necessary, however, currently the focus remains on managing the risk to Queensland residents and businesses through suppression.

The University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology teams hosted the QLD Future Conversations with speakers covering health and economic aspects of the recovery from COVID-19. Many questions were posed, with our Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young in attendance. Much to do and consider as part of our strategies with regards to both the challenges and opportunities in front of us, especially in transitioning workers and workplaces, and for our school leavers to target jobs that are rising versus waning.

We were uplifted and inspired at the Mayor’s Luncheon, which saw over 100 people committed to ending homelessness. Together with our newly formed Project Action Group, the power of the collective and all levels of Government working together, we can and will deliver affordable housing as part of these efforts. Thank you to Jo and the Women’s Circle team, who have ensured a further 6 months of operational funds for Campsite Rescue.

In response to concerns regarding amenity, driver behaviour and the conditions of the Pomona Kin Kin ‘range’ Rd, Mayor Clare, local police and myself met with residents in a packed (under COVID safe conditions!) Kin Kin Hall. In the short term, remedial works have already commenced to the damaged sections, a ‘blitz’ and ensuring that the Quarry Master Plan is adhered to. Regarding the longer term, we have scheduled another meeting as this will be a ‘together’ effort, as was done to secure the funding to replace the notorious Six Mile bridge.

L-R: Qld Future Conversations; ‘Changemakers’ Luncheon; Tewantin Noosa RSL Sub Branch Centenary Mural

From the Chamber and Beyond

It was another month of cognate Bills that on the surface seemed simple yet were far from it. The Biodiscovery and Other Legislation 2019 related to the use of traditional knowledge of plants and to ensure that the benefits of biodiscovery are shared equitably with our First Nations people. Of concern was that these discoveries are not delayed or withheld as outlined in my Statement of Reservation. The second part through the Environmental Protection and other Legislation 2020 provided for the appointment of a mines Rehabilitation Commissioner. Both bills are admirable and essential, though raised some concerns and I trust that the management processes proposed will sufficiently address these.

The Forest Wind Bill demonstrated how the path to renewables is not without challenges.  While everyone supports the notion and intent of clean energy and low carbon targets, there are potential impacts, which will be addressed during the Development Application phase with the relevant Council and agencies as these were outside the scope of this inquiry. Mitigation, consultation, and negotiation is key for these types of projects.

From the Inbox

Our inboxes continue to be filled with COVID-19 matters, particularly from families who have loved ones in quarantine or need urgently to care for family members over the border. We have been deeply appreciative of the assistance we have been able to obtain from government when possible and continue to share the frustrations and grief when we cannot resolve. To those who have acknowledged the incredible work undertaken by our team, thank you. The girls have treasured their lovely flowers, chocolates, and the heartfelt wishes.

On the Homefront

There were so many events, catch-ups and webinars this month, and we thank everyone who continues to work through the difficulties posed to be ‘COVID safe’ to provide the connectivity our community needs.  Meetings included with Ramsay Health CEO Justin Greenwell regarding plans for our Noosa Hospital now that the public services contract has been signed off, and the teams from Pomona Men’s Shed as we work to accommodate their growth!

We celebrated the unveiling of a wonderful Centenary Mural commemorating 100 years of support to ex-service men and women, and congratulated Rotarian John Gabb, who has just retired after 47 years of service.  Thank you to the entire Sub Branch team, and to Rotary for tireless efforts for our community.

United Synergies have rebranded as ‘YouTurn’ with fabulous initiatives including ‘Big Hearts Needed for Tiny Homes’. This to raise funds for transitional housing for our youngsters which as you know is desperately needed. Thank you for a very productive ‘unveiling’ and to all who work in this space. We have, we can, and we will!

L-R: Skilling Qlders for Work @ Landcare; Cooloola Great Walk inspection; Kin Kin comes together on the ‘range’  

It was fabulous to check in with our Skilling Queenslander trainees who continue to rock our world! This program delivers outstanding results with over 80% of participants securing full time work at completion. Currently there are 18 based at Landcare, with 2 our first indigenous trainees Ruby and Dallas passionate about conservation. This is an exciting time as we see our advocacies regarding the Protected Area Strategy and increased funding for our organisations and their volunteers come to fruition. We have an ‘army’ on the march, watch this space!!

The War on Wrecks forum was packed with the Task Force seeking feedback from participants on their 11 recommendations. Having first met with them some 18 months ago, the progress we have achieved in hulk removal and working towards legislation for the prevention of abandoned vessels has been tangible, if at times made frustratingly slow by the current legislation. Our Noosa Advisory Group is ready to convene!

Inspecting the Cooloola Great Walk camp sites with departmental staff as well as representatives from CABN and our Kabi Kabi was both educational and delightful. This included twigs and spiders in my hair, and blisters on my toes from heading into niches within our gorgeous landscape that may have preferred to remain a secret?

Book week at Tewantin Primary School was a gift for this MP and our prep students kept me on my toes! Fabulous questions and a reminder from one young gentleman, who said he did not want to be an MP. Why? Because he wanted to ‘go to where the big bucks are’ – yes to be a miner! Out of the mouth of babes

Parliamentary Speeches and Questions

All speeches can be viewed on our website under the Parliament Tab.  Recent Questions on Notice (QONs) can be found below:

Recent Questions Without Notice can be found here.

Grants and Funding Announcements

MULTICULTURAL QLD GRANTS – for events that engage people from culturally diverse backgrounds and the wider community to contribute to building an inclusive, harmonious and united QLD. Apply by 25 September 2020 at www.dlgrma.qld.gov.au/cmq-grants

SKILLING QUEENSLANDERS FOR WORK ROUND 2 FUNDING – For any Community Organisations that would like to deliver a Skilling Queenslanders for Work project, information and applications available via desbt.qld.gov.au/training/community-orgs/funded/sqw

RECREATIONAL FISHING GRANTS – These grants support fishing and community groups to run clinics, conduct research, promote recreational fishing or improve fish habitats. Applications close 13 Sept, at www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/fisheries/recreational/qld-recreational-fishing-grants

SMALL BUSINESS ADAPTION GRANTS – Congratulations to all local businesses who were successful during the two rounds. Noosa had 353 businesses successful, totalling $3,157,664 in funding.

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

Have Your Say

Current government public consultations can be found at www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/gi
Current committee inquiries can be found at www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/inquiries

L-R: YouTurn Unveiling; Book Week at Tewantin State School; With John Gabb celebrating 47 years in Rotary at Cooroy RSL

COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Links

Mobile Office

Our mobile offices during COVID took on a new look, with our ‘roadies’ being COVID safe, and fabulous! Our ‘country’ visit this month was full of delectable local food and product, incredible views and scents, and even though raining, warmth from meet ups and hospitality that is pure Noosa country.  From the misty Kin Kin hills, to the eclectic shopping in Cooran (and furry new friends!). The bustling markets and street side meetings in Pomona, to jumping the ‘border’ to visit our buds in Cooroy!

Coming up next month our mobile office will be on 5 September from 8am to noon visiting Peregian, Noosa Junction and Tewantin.  I look forward to seeing you out on the streets!

L-R: War on Wrecks Taskforce; With our ‘Rescuing Dogs Who Rescue Humans’ vollies; Farewelling the gorgeous Tricia Bradford

Office Reminders

Our office is now open to residents with COVID Safe distancing and hygiene measures in place. Community organisations are welcome to use our photocopier for newsletters under COVID Safe conditions. As always, we are here to help, so please email us at noosa@parliament.qld.gov.au or phone 5319 3100 if you need assistance or advice.

Connect

With so much ‘news’ to communicate, stay up to date via  NOOSA 360 , our Facebook page updates or our monthly newsletters. Columns are featured in Noosa News , Noosa TodayCoolum Advertiser as well quarterly in the Forest Star and Cooroora Connect and the soon to be released Eastern Beaches News.

And Finally…. 

Yes, on the 31st October is our State Election. How quick was that? To ensure that you do not experience the difficulties of the Council elections in March, we are sending to your letterbox on 14th September the annual ‘Connect’ and MP Survey, as well information so that you can get in early with your postal votes. Alternatively, just call our office on 531 93100  Pre-poll will commence 19th October, and for those unwell or unable to leave the house, phone voting will also be available. We have reiterated again the importance to the Attorney General that there needs to be sufficient resources to the ECQ to accommodate volume in calls and postal votes. As details come through, we will post onto our Facebook page and in the next newsletter. For more information or to check your enrolment, please visit www.ecq.qld.gov.au/  

As always in the ‘sign off’, please continue to not become complacent with physical distancing and hygiene measures as part of our COVID efforts. If you are not well, get tested and stay at home until getting the all clear.

And yes, I continue ‘banking’ those hugs, and look forward to a time when I can collect!  Until then, it is virtual hugs and high fives all round!!

Sandy 🙏