This month was one of flood recovery, and like so many in our community and elsewhere, I spent any spare moment gurney-ing, scrubbing and salvaging whatever we could. There were some sad moments peppered with great delights including that 98% of what I had planted survived being under water for a week!!

In amongst two parliamentary sittings, many meetings and events, as well the realisation that even though we are also in ‘recovery’ from COVID-19 with mask mandates lifted at the start of March, the Premier has firmly rejected any further relaxations. With the passing of the Extension of Expiring Provisions that was opposed by the Human Rights Commission, myself and 35 other MP’s, we now have another 6 months of sweeping powers that fail to have any independent oversight or mechanism to be brought back to Chamber. The inquiry process, and outcome, was indeed a sad day for Queensland. This bill has again highlighted the need for the Committee system to be reviewed, which I have been calling for, as well greater knowledge for residents on how the voting process works in Parliament! The waste of resources to my office through responding to misleading FB posts that I voted for the Bill, instead of against at both readings, demonstrates how little is known, and why it is important to share knowledge on.  Keep an eye out for my next Noosa Today column!

L-R: Flood cleanups; At the start of works on Noosa Parade; Just some of our fab QFES teams!

 From the Chamber and Beyond

Parliamentary sittings saw heightened emotions within Chamber, and my seven speeches were delivered to either a background of peaceful, though loud, rallies where many Noosans attended, or ‘ruckussing’ inside! Covering flood recovery, ongoing COVID-19 mandates, expiring emergency provisions, through to my Legal Affairs and Safety Committees oversight role of statutory bodies, the volume of writing should have led to writer’s block! 😅

Having time dedicated from the Premier’s motion to speak on how the floods affected our electorate gave opportunity to express deep gratitude to our frontliners who, as always, do a phenomenal job, as well the vast number of residents who assisted in so many ways. It also highlighted improvements needed, including the need for speedy clean-ups after disasters such as the polystyrene from those runaway pontoons, and assistance for residents impacted by landslips. The unity, mateship and resilience of Noosa is always incredible to see and feel, and I am so proud of our community!

My Matters of Public Interest speech was used to relay ongoing concerns and hardships, and to address the two continuing COVID-19 mandates when scientific and medical rationale have yet to be provided; restrictions which the Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC) have also said need to be lifted. At the one and only public hearing into the Public Health and Other Legislation (Extension of Expiring Provision) Amendment Bill 2022, the QHRC clearly outlined their opposition to their continuation, with can be viewed here.

My speech and vote of ‘no’ were based on the recommendations put forward by the QHRC and the QLD Law Society, as well that at any time should such powers be required, Parliament can reconvene even virtually. Yes, keeping vulnerable Queenslanders safe is imperative, however, that also needs to include our financially and mentally vulnerable. Access information on the inquiry, including a link to the report, here.

Speeches on the Police Legislation (Efficiencies and Effectiveness) Amendment Bill 2021, the Oversight of Queensland Family and Child Commission and the Small Business Commissioner were delivered, and my Adjournment gave me the joyful opportunity to highlight just some of our youngest Noosa advocates who work so hard in multiple realms including in saving habitats, reducing environmental impacts or through providing curly Q’s during our Q&A sessions!

The events and information sessions provided after hours to offset the many stresses within Parliament were appreciated! From the Friends of Sugar Cane BBQ, Greater Whitsundays showcase (GW3), Queensland Basketball League launch, Friends of Tourism and Flood Appeal receptions, all the way to resilience training and an ASPG session on the ‘Tyranny of Distance’. It was fabulous to welcome our new Parliamentary Youth Advisor, Ayden to the Peoples House, and to discover that he is also on the Legal Affairs and Safety Portfolio, which gave us much to discuss!

L-R: With Minister Di Farmer & Commissioner Maree; Peaceful rallies; A virtual ‘famil’ for GW3

From the Inbox

COVID-19 restrictions continue to contribute to the volume in our inboxes, including the Extension of Expiring Provision Bill, with many taking the time to submit to the inquiry. As reported, the Bill passed regardless of the input from the Human Rights Commissioner.

The speed limit consultation for Noosa River has continued to run ‘hot’ via email and on social media. With the consultation period now closed we thank all who submitted their feedback to MSQ, who will now review and prepare a report for the Regional Harbour Master with recommendations. And for those who keep asking what ‘side’ I take – none! As you know, I seek everyone to come together to find common ground and work out a resolution.

As many roads have been damaged by floods, both Noosa Council and the Department of Transport & Main Roads (TMR) are busy repairing, replacing and in the case of major landslips, seeking expert engineering advice. Patience will be required due to volume of major works required.

With TMR lifting the temporary 10 tonne limit on Kin Kin Rd introduced during the floods, our efforts continue regarding safety and have again met with the Minister to ensure funds are available for what is needed to be done, as we await the outcomes of Council’s court case, as well the assessment report. In Parliament during a Question Without Notice, I queried what the Minister for TMR would do to ensure greater safety on this dangerous road, his response left much to be desired, only including reiterations regarding upgrades.

The floods also introduced some unwelcome visitors – those runaway pontoons from Brisbane ⚠🌊🛶 Maritime Safety Queensland and Noosa Council worked hard to remove the vessels with organisations and residents collecting all debris and polystyrene that have been left in their wake. It’s going to take months for our beaches to fully recover from this, and we send a huge thank you to all who have assisted in the clean up so far and ask everyone when heading to the beach, to take a rubbish bag for any remnants that you find to dispose of. 🙏🏼

If you would like more information or need assistance with state matters, please email our office at noosa@parliament.qld.gov.au or phone 5319 3100 😊 Regular updates are also posted to Noosa 360 and Facebook, including this month on the Cooloola Great Walk, Noosa River, Glossy Black Cockatoos and more.

On the Homefront

After recent floods, it was lovely to get back to some normalcy with my annual St Thomas More Q & A session in preparation for their upcoming visit to Parliament – this year joined by Mayor Clare. The quality of questions asked were fabulous and, alongside our many incredible young advocates, was the inspiration for my adjournment speech this month in Parliament.

After visiting the start of works on Noosa Parade, it was into the ‘hot seat’ with Len from Noosa Community FM. It was like ‘speed dating’, covering 20 or more different topics in such a short time, leaving one breathless!! From our housing crisis, experiences with COVID-19 all the way to our floods and more. It’s a long one, however enjoyable and can be revisited here.

International Women’s Day was celebrated with fabulous women from Zonta Noosa at breakfast💜💜 We left feeling inspired, encouraged, and empowered from the speeches delivered by Sue Davis OAM and the young presenters from Good Shepherd, Coolum District High, Noosa District High, and St Teresa’s. I was asked when International Men’s Day is, and with November 19 the official date, I have reached out to source what is being organised in advance!

Our first responders and community organisations enjoyed afternoon tea with His Excellency, Governor General David Hurley, and her Excellency, Linda Hurley. They last visited just after our 2020 bush fires, and as I shared with his Excellency then without offense, as his role is to visit after disasters, that I trust we do not get to see him for some years now. 😅

It was an honour to welcome all to the Sivyer Family Australian Gathering and to learn more on this wonderful pioneering family, as well join members of Uniting Church Tewantin for their monthly morning tea and answer some of their concerns. Sadly, due to getting bogged in my driveway after floods, I was not able to attend the opening of the Noosa Festival of Surfing, however, was thrilled that it was an incredible event, including for our surfing pooches!

A huge congratulations to Noosa Pelican Boast Hire, who were awarded bronze as Australia’s best Tourism Retail & Hire Services at the recent Australian Tourism Awards which again, I sadly could not be there in person. Noosa ‘biz’ is known for going above and beyond, and I send to all operators heartfelt gratitude for your ongoing resilience during the many hardships for you during the last 2 years which now include ongoing staffing shortages from no housing!

L-R: With Ron learning more on the Sivyer’s; With St Thomas More students; IWD 2022

Grants and Reminders

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

Parliamentary Speeches

Recent Questions on Notice (QONs) can be found here. The latest speeches can be found below on my website.

Have Your Say

For a complete list of Queensland State Government Consultations, including on Incident and Disaster Warnings in Queensland, head to Get involved

Mobile Office

Mobile Offices, also known as the ‘Moby’, are scheduled below with our southern villages in the second half of 2022.

TEWANTIN – Saturday April 23rd, Woolworths 9am – 10:15am

BOREEN POINT & KIN KIN – Sunday May 1st, Coffee Tribe café 8:15am – 9:15am; Black Ant Gourmet 9:45am – 10:45am

POMONA & COORAN – Saturday June 18th Mountain Stop Cafe 8:15am – 9:15am; Cooran General Store 9:45am – 10:45am

Office Reminders

Our office is open 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday, except during public holidays or lockdowns.  For community organisations we have the photocopier, marquees, and trailer available at no charge for your use 😊

Connect

With so much to share, stay up to date via  Noosa 360Facebook page updates or our monthly newsletters. Columns are in Noosa TodayCoolum Advertiser, Cooroy Rag, Your Local Lifestyle and Eastern Beaches News.

And Finally….

The rollout of the long-awaited beach mat was a joyous occasion to finish an otherwise chaotic month. It’s been a long journey spanning two years. From when Libby Doherty contacted me on behalf of her daughter Daisy and all who do not get to experience what we take for granted, after my commitment of $11,000 and much negotiation, this became a reality. Deep gratitude to all involved including Noosa Council, Tewantin Noosa Lions Club, Noosa SLSC, Seahorse Nippers, Steve Mawby and Councillor Amelia who demonstrated how anything can be done! 👍👏👏👏

As I have said many times, effective advocacy is not the result of ‘screams’ on social media. It is the genuine, credible and honourable efforts of those who seek to make our world a better place, and this wonderful example resulting in the joy on Daisy’s face, is just one example of making a difference.

Every small bit you do can make a real impact, with our contribution made possible by savings in our office, including not using the colour copier, nor paying for signage to promote this MP so we can instead provide a bit more support. From little things big things grow! 💪😍

Now to some reminders! A vaccination pop-up clinic has now opened at The J Noosa in readiness for Easter, as well check local sites including ‘testers’ are open via the QLD Vaccination Hub as many may be operating varying hours due to the holidays.

It will be an extremely busy time, so please keep your COVID-19 ‘toolkit’ handy, and for those vulnerable, don a colourful mask (bunny or bilby? 😊) and socially distance where possible.

It is also now turtle hatching season, so for those heading to the North Shore and beyond, please drive slowly, keep your eyes peeled and do not disturb our little mates, either in their nests or when making their way to the ocean.

Have a wonderful and happy Easter everyone, stay safe on the roads and river, and may you find many glorious moments whether on a bushwalk alone, or snaffling hot cross buns with buds! 🐇🐥

Sandy 🙏