What a complex month! Headlines intimating that ‘Noosa is closed’ or has ‘No Vacancy’ caused conundrum, stakeholder roundtables on flight paths saw frustration, and a 4 year journey for one of our much loved all abilities charities came to an end setting them up for an exciting future. And that was just to start. Add in interviews on short term stays to ‘budget bits’, fabulous events including our Tewantin Community Bank opening, CCIQ and Screenworks, all mingled amongst seeking what lay in the fine print of estimates!
Regarding ‘that’ headline – if the article is read objectively, this has been a decade long discussion on how to manage our much loved visitors and key pillar industries. Tourism is not only a major employer in Noosa – it is synonymous with the memories for the majority of residents.
From beachcombing as a kid, to those who first ventured here for an event – there is something about Noosa that encourages visitors to flick off the fluff of city life, or the dust in the lungs from the outback, forget the tooting horns, smells and silence of big city communications. Yes silence, and anyone that has spent time in Sydney understands that!
L-R: QLD Day Awards 2019; Noosa Permaculture Festival; Our Backyard official opening
When Noosa becomes a target for headlines such as this – known as ‘click bait ‘on social media to encourage readers to react and respond driving ‘reach’, it can be either a positive or a negative. It is well known that ‘bad’ news stories drive more traffic than the feel good (exempting puppies methinks?), and as for the old saying that all publicity is good publicity – not so. Facebook (FB) responses were fast and furious on managing our resources – however I am not sure why anyone – whether business owner of not – would be outraged by efforts to ensure that our ‘uniqueness’ our ‘Noosafication’…our ‘mojo’…is managed not just well, but with foresight by industry representatives such as Tourism Noosa or CCIQ, and elected representatives. It is not only our duty, it must be a passion to protect, maintain and grow jobs in this sector– whilst at the same time diversifying, and keeping our ‘liveability’.
The logistics of car parking, congestion, behaviour and waste is one aspect, and relies on groups and individuals to drive positive efforts, hold respectful debate and make good decisions. There are many drivers in the mix, and there has been criticism recently regarding a number including organisations such as Noosa Parks Association (NPA). Can I say if we had a similar entity representing our business and social sectors we would have progressed much further and quicker in diversification, affordable housing and other issues?
There has been efforts to encourage and build these. As a former Councillor, and part of developing the Local Economic Strategy, we ‘stormed’ a Local Economic Focus Group made up of ‘movers and shakers’, decision makers and business representatives to feed into the development of that plan. They identified that a ‘vehicle’ similar to NPA and Tourism Noosa needed to be formed to accommodate the diversification of our economy. This has not been without challenges – Innovate Noosa was born, however has not grown to tackle big projects as yet, and neither has the Noosa Employment and Training Alliance (NETA), where outcomes from the youth employment forum we hosted last year were fed into.
L-R: Tewantin Noosa Bowls Club birthday; CCIQ Noosa at GT’s; Spare Harvest at Cooroy
One of the important aspects of diversification for our economy is the ‘vibe’ needed to attract alternate industry, and over the years I have written about these components. Lifestyle, food, events, our natural ‘lures’ and connectivity are all part of this mix. One such article was titled ‘Bite to Byte’ – connecting the relationship between online business /satellite companies with a base that has everything one could offer. Noosa as a unique ‘headquarters’ is undeniable.
We have fought hard to bring the decommissioned TAFE ‘home’ as part of diversification, and the opportunities this site provides for enterprise and education, as well accommodations for workers, students and families? Just imagine a diverse, vibrant precinct that co-exists happily with our biodiversity overlays, wildlife and ability to lead the way in the modal transition from cars to bikes and public transport. This site is near perfect, and as I write we are working to resolve an 11th hour glitch with its native title status, which may constrain use outside of the current footprint, and I will update on this shortly.
Noosa is not only open for business, it will thrive if we concentrate on getting on with the important jobs, and not get sidelined with ‘fish and chip wrapper’ headlines. Business needs affordable accommodation for our workers, and a retention of brand ‘Noosa’ in order to provide customers. We do not need ‘same-same’, we need to continue to strive for that point of difference and a ‘vehicle’ to drive great ideas and manage projects in amongst the mix. To breed success – you need to promote success. To give airtime, valuable advertising and resources to detractors is the antithesis to this.
L-R: Endeavour crew@parliament;Screenworks@Peregian Digital;Tewantin Bendigo Bank opening
Access plays a vital part in our tourism and diversification, and yes, that means planes and flight paths. The recent stakeholder roundtable highlighted how two sides can agree to disagree, in this case over the community consultation held by Air Services Australia. The presentations demonstrated where much of the confusion and frustration lay, and for those of us representing residents, why the process is flawed. That an EIS in 2014 which highlighted the expansion and construction of the airport, did not highlight that the flight path ‘concepts’ it referred to in essence would set the physical parameters for the design of those paths in concrete is misleading. And that the current process was on the ‘tweaking’ within those paths, or ‘swathes’, and only those residents under ‘tweaked’ areas were documented for consultation added to the confusion. Understandably, this has been frustrating, causing great angst to hundreds, and needs to be addressed by the Air Noise Ombudsman, as well the various levels of Government involved, to ensure these types of processes are reviewed to avoid this happening again. Until then, the Air Noise Ombudsman will finalise its investigation on the consultation process, and Flight Path Forum will update regarding documents and questions taken on notice once received.
Within our electorate, officially we have just over 100 residents classified as homeless, however front liners will say closer to 500. As many readers know, over the years I have hosted women who are sleeping rough, and we have a looming crisis for our over 55 year olds. This is unacceptable. As I continue efforts for affordable accommodations for our own, our office is supporting the efforts of our front line organisations whom are providing emergency relief services by being an ambassador for the 2019 Sunshine Coast Vinnies Community Sleepout. Not only will I be swagging it, I ask 100 readers to support our contributions by donating $25, or any amount that you can, by visiting this link. Alternatively, I invite you to join us on 8th August as the company and conversation will be vibrant, and the soup hot!
And last but certainly not least, congratulations to Sunshine Butterflies on their incredible journey, not without many challenges along the way! To stand there and celebrate access improvements with hardworking staff, volunteers and incredibly loving clients was a highlight and a privilege for this MP. Just goes to show what commitment, vision and love can achieve!
Please visit Noosa 360 for all updates including our latest discussion topic ‘Sharing of Space’.
Jump to our Parliament page here and click on “all speeches” to see the full list which includes this month:
- Disability Services & Other Legislation Bill 2019
- Budget Reply (Appropriation Bill)
Recent Questions on Notice (QON’s) are as below and you can click onto our Parliament page here and click on ‘Questions’ to see the full list which includes:
- Pipi bag limits
- GP shortages
- High rates of recidivism
- Future health requirements for aging population
Have your say
Have your say: to see all areas open for consultation click here.
Proposed amendents to the Fisheries Reform 2008 – closes 19 July
Review of the Cultural Heritage Acts – closes 26 July
Review of the Racing Integrity Act 2016 – closes 19 August
Cooloola Great Walk Ecotrail – closes 22 August
Energy from waste policy – closes 26 August
Agri Business and Food Inductry Development – closes 31 August
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 Today, Coolum Advertiser and at SandyBolton.com where you will find helpful links, as well current bills and committee reports. To catch up on ‘Hot Topics’ or participate in a discussion forum register for Noosa 360.
Our very best wishes to our Electorate Officer Brett who has now moved on to his next journey, and a big welcome to Cliona who is our new ‘Team4Change’ family member!
Our office currently is in a flurry of activity preparing for Committee Estimate Hearings which are part of the Budget process. Our next edition will provide an update on this, and you can view my Budget Reply speech in parliament here.
In closing, let us take a moment to celebrate the lives of those that we may have lost over this last month to illness, age or accident. Although a sad occasion for family and communities who grieve this loss, our lives have been greatly enriched through the sharing of pathways with these incredible people. Regardless of which particular set of beliefs you prescribe to, I’m sure we would all welcome the opportunity to see these loved ones again. Until then, let’s treasure the memories and remember that we and our lives are the better for having known them.
Until next month…..