Can you believe it is our last newsletter for 2019? It almost seems surreal, and when I think of what I would like to convey for the month, and end of year, I am almost ‘tongue tied’! (Now for those that know me, I can see your faces right now! lol)

Firstly, I will be sending everyone a copy of the annual ‘Connect’ this month, which gives an overview of the year, handy information and contacts, and most importantly, the SURVEY!! We have included some questions from last year so we can assess whether there has been any change in the community’s perception on issues that may be brought before Parliament in 2020. This includes voluntary assisted dying, decriminalisation of cannabis, and yes, a hot topic from last year, daylight saving! We will also be transitioning to a new website in 2020 that incorporates the pilot Noosa360 platform to make it easier to access information, resources and discussions on important issues.

Secondly, the last sitting of Parliament brought relief, and an intense sense of pride. The difference Independents and Minor parties can make is tangible as has been demonstrated throughout the year. The Crossbench consists of seven very different personalities, representing diverse communities who despite opposing views, can find common ground in many arenas!

Thirdly, fire. Noosa has gone through so much again. Following the unprecedented Peregian fires; our North Shore, Teewah, Tewantin, Cooroibah and Ringtail Creek were in emergency mode with over 8,000 residents evacuated. There is no amount of gratitude I can express to our frontliners for their continued heroic efforts. Many are volunteers who go without sleep for days to protect us and our property. No words can convey our heartfelt gratitude to all those who assisted, donated, sheltered and cared for us. Thank you.

    

  L-R: with the Tennis SC Girls Squad; Cooloola Singapore Cleanup; QFES crew at the Recovery Hub

During this time, there has been a number of questions, concerns and suggestions from residents regarding fire bans, mitigation and emergencies. In response I have sent recommendations to the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) and to relevant Ministers on a number of items including the alert systems, communications, and cool burns/firebreaks, and will keep you updated on these. These were also touched on in my last speech for 2019, which can be viewed at www.sandybolton.com/parliament/speeches.

On the home front, it has been lovely to catch up with so many, albeit sometimes far too briefly! From unveiling art works depicting ‘togetherness’, to visiting matriarchs and patriarchs in our aged care homes, as well celebrating the vast talent at our annual School Excellence Awards. It was wonderful to see first-hand the positive results State Government grant funding has delivered for our community groups and local businesses such as Noosa Landcare, Coast Guard QF5, Noosa Men’s Shed and Helitak to name just a few. Welcoming our newest ‘Noosans’ at the latest Citizenship Ceremony is always an honour, and just watching competitors at the Noosa Tri had me exhausted! We also celebrated 50 years of the Noosa Arts Theatre, attended a cyberbullying session with our primary schoolers, and trudged through some serious Singapore Daisy with visiting International students. Of the numerous interviews this month, was the joy of meeting inspirational young women from the Sunshine Coast Tennis Girls Squad who asked brilliant in-depth questions about MP life and women in politics. Remembrance Day, as always, gave opportunity for reflection and deep gratitude, the sharing of sorrow, as well ongoing commitment and heartfelt wishes for peace.

   

L-R: Sunshine Beach High awards; Remembrance Day Tewantin; Six Mile Bridge #7 meeting

There were many update meetings throughout the month including the Munna Point boatshed which has been a long journey, and with Maritime Safety Queensland to address the complications of multiple agencies managing our river.  An initial ‘roundtable’ discussion regarding the former House With No Steps site gave opportunity to express the demand for an integrated project to address our greatest community needs. While this site is not in our Shire or Electorate, I have been tracking for two years and have appreciated the willingness of Sunshine Coast Council to include Noosa in these discussions.

For nearly a year, as many are aware, we have hosted the ‘infamous’ Envirobank orange bags whilst working to source depot sites for the Containers for Change program. With now a number of drop-offs and two depots in place, demand for bags has dwindled to the point where we are no longer required! For those who have yet to start ‘cashing in’ around the corner from our office in Noosaville,  Envirobank has a pod at Waves of Kindness, 25 Production St and Express Recycling Noosa, 26 Action St, is just across the road. It is fabulous to see the take up of this initiative by our community, and we are thrilled to have been a part of resolving the original challenges!

    

L-R: Sunshine Butterflies Family Central opening; Noosa Chances scholarships launch

Parliamentary Speeches Highlights 2019

A sample below of Private Member Statements and Matters of Public Interest speeches delivered throughout the year. All speeches can be viewed here; click on Members Speeches then select Ms Sandy Bolton – Noosa.

– Participatory Budgeting: Empowering Queenslanders to have input into expenditure
– Chamber Rituals: Request for review of Parliament protocols for increased inclusion
– Illicit Drug/Pill testing: encouraging further considerations
– Violence: Domestic or otherwise is increasing and importantly – how do we resolve?
– Voluntary Assisted Dying: request recommendations of inquiry to be debated in this term
– Equitable Resources: non-government staffing to be allocated by the IR Tribunal
– Community Consultation: the need for improvement of processes and time to respond

Parliamentary Questions 

Recent Questions on Notice (QON’s) can be found hereat our Parliament page.

  

L-R: with our Rural Firies; Evacuation Centre volunteers; Lions Club looking after our evacuees

Grants – QLD Government Grant Finder

  

L-R: SES get a well-deserved break; the Carramar team during the evacuation

Noosa Electorate Office Reminders

Community Trailer & Marquee: Please call the office to book on 5319 3100.Our monthly newsletters can be viewed by clicking here, and stay updated by ‘liking’ our Facebook page. Monthly columns are in Noosa News and Noosa TodayCoolum Advertiser and at SandyBolton.com where you will find helpful links, as well current bills and committee reports.

 

Christmas Office Hours

The office will close at 4pm on Friday 20 December and reopen at 9am on Monday 6 January 2020.

 

And Finally…

Did we get our early Christmas present of announcements requested regarding Beckman’s Stage 1, and Six Mile Bridge #7? At the time of printing, not yet. However, I will wait patiently until Christmas morning before I jump on my soapbox.

To our incredible volunteers who assist us greatly throughout the year, blessings and thank you. To all volunteers across the electorate, every day in every way, you continue to make a difference. It is always such an honour to meet you, see your works, and be inspired by your dedication and care for each other, our home and all its inhabitants. How blessed we are to have you, and I trust that you all get a well-deserved break over the coming weeks, with a couple of treats under your tree!

By the time we come back in the New Year, I would have sorted through 27 years of beautiful memories at Cooroibah and moved to our next ‘forever home’. We did not change postcode, just downsized to a property with five year’s work ahead eradicating Singapore Daisy!! A gift that just keeps giving!! 😊

From myself and my very hardworking Electorate Officers, Lisa and Sharon, we wish you a very merry, safe and happy Christmas!    Enjoy the holiday period, don’t forget to stay #fireready and please drive safely.

May you love who you are with and treasure the memories of those no longer with us.

Happy holidays everyone!

   Sandy x