Brrrrr…welcome to winter Noosa!
Before we head into this month’s topic and budget time, a quick update for those not on Facebook or Noosa 360. Firstly, the Cooloola Family Clinic at Pomona is under negotiations to purchase, and an announcement is expected within the fortnight which is great news. Thank you to those that put their hand up for the ‘community table’, clinic staff and Robb from PHN who have done a great job.
Secondly in response to requests to the Air Noise Ombudsman, a review will be held into the consultation processes by Air Services Australia regarding the proposed flight paths over Noosa. Congratulations to all whom have rallied the troops and have co-ordinated works, and as the Ombudsman advised, she will update as it is progressed, as well Flight Path Forum on Facebook.
Thirdly, a funding bid will be submitted from TMR North Coast to commence stage 1 of the Beckman’s upgrade, which will be the construction of the Cooroy Noosa end roundabout. We are also waiting on a response to our latest recommendations for making Six Mile Bridge Number 7 safer, and the outcome from the consultation on the Cooroy Intersections. I will update everyone as they come to hand on these. Phew!
To complete last month’s discussion, and given the election outcome and announcements emanating from, it seems fitting to delve a bit further into the world of compliances, processes and approvals! With a plethora of these framing every aspect of our lives, we can find ourselves in a quandary – bamboozled by barriers, alternatively frustrated by a lack of them? One example residents would be familiar with are Environmental Impact Statements (EIS). These are long, extensive and expensive, often years and even decade long processes in relation to mines, nursing homes, airports….basically any development. However, there seems to be something missing in the equation, as we are seeing increasing community objections to approvals.
L-R: With much-loved matriarch Edna Smith, Pomona vollies rock, IDAHOBIT Day 2019
On another front, many cases we deal with on behalf of residents could and should have been quickly and easily rectified early on. Yet they get caught in that elusive realm of ‘bureaucracy’, straddling multiple departments and/or agencies, with no connectivity to bridge gaps. A lack of communication and tracking can progress to that dreaded feeling of going around in circles. This creates headaches for all including Government (and MP’s!), as we saw with the Containers for Change scheme which had a few ‘hiccups’ due to conflicting legislation and policy between Departments and the community. A great litter reduction initiative, however it still needs some tweaking, and for Noosa, some affordable land!
The Queensland Auditor General reports are a good source for tracking improvements to processes. Recommendations from these audits have, and are being implemented, with new entities and bodies being developed as seen in last Parliament with the formation of Health & Wellbeing QLD to connect agencies and reduce competition for funding by working together. We are learning, however frustratingly slowly in comparison to the speed of information and the pace in which we need to work.
Ultimately, the question is – do we trust and believe in our processes? If we do, we need to allow these to do their job. If we don’t, then we need to identify why, and rectify. Legislation aka ‘red tape’ is expensive, adding to the price of the food you buy, the houses you build, the facilities and services that Government, community and the private sector provide, right down to the car you drive. And if they are not effective, how do we do it better, without increasing costs to every Queenslander?
This is such a big discussion traversing everything we do, and every issue that we are currently confronted with. Whether that be transitioning to renewables, or how to provide jobs for all that do not create arguments or divisions between urban and regional Queenslanders. As seen in the recent election, and experienced when travelling with our Committee, there is a widening gap between ‘coast and country’, which has been amplified by the Adani mine debate, and we need to remedy. Many regional communities rely on the resources sector for their livelihoods, and should not be criticised, nor politicised for this. However as most are aware, there is no support for coal mining here, nor as highlighted by our bulging inbox, elsewhere.
L-R: Great Cooloola Walk announcement, Noosa Hospital gems, With our Noosa YP Mia.
Prominent issue updates and discussions posted to Noosa 360 in summary include:
• ‘Sharing of Spaces’ community discussion topic now open
• State Government Plan to improve heavy vehicle safety
• Easement access to Cooroy Mountain
• Tougher Blue Card laws
• New survey to assess contribution of QLD Commercial Fisheries
• Cooroy intersection update
• Cooroora Family Health update
• $2.8 mil State Government grant for Cooroy Adventure Playground
• Lake Macdonald Safety upgrade
• Aircraft Noise Ombudsman update
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:
• Revocation of Yurol & Ringtail State Forests
• Consultation – Flight Paths & Parliamentary Committees
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:
• Sports subsidies
Noosa Electorate Office Reminders
Have your say: to see all areas open for consultation click here.
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.
So what is the answer to the coast/country debate? I have listened to the debate from both sides including the following ‘that’ points. ‘That’ Queensland extracts 480 million tonnes of coal per year with Adani proposing to produce 10 million tonnes – small in comparison. ‘That’ this mine seeks to provide electricity to areas that has not had the luxury of power before in their lifetime. ‘That’ the project will provide jobs and income to Queensland through royalties which will provide more for Queenslanders.
I ‘get’ all of this. I also ‘get’ that this is another hole in the ground, the result of taking what cannot be replaced, or utilised again. When it is gone, it is gone. Many of these holes are not able to be rehabilitated into water storage that is so desperately needed. It is like a farmer who harvests his produce, and does not replant.
My position regarding this mine is public knowledge, has not changed and is based on our Noosa ethos. Regardless of whether you believe that climate change is happening or not, what the contributors are and whether we should be transitioning to renewables – logical sense says it is of social, economic and environmental benefit into the future to reap what can be sown, replaced or recycled. And in the present, we need to sow for the future, while ensuring affordable, reliable, renewable power now, and then.
For regional Queenslanders, and the Noosa residents who work in our resources sector, they deserve much better than short term FIFO and the tragic impacts on these families and communities, or ‘fluffy’ promises. They require a strategy and commitment from all of us. I realise the word ‘sustainable’ has become ‘passé’, however to sustain is at the core of our existence, and how we exist, determines whether we can sustain?
L-R: At the revamped USC Stadium, Ready for QLD Day, Celebrating our first female QLD MP
Economic development for regional and coastal Queensland is essential, and we need to stop alluding to sustainable jobs, and get on and provide them to stop the arguments. While we are at it, it is important to acknowledge the vital role our resources sector plays, including coal for the production of steel and other essentials, as well baseload power if required while we transition. Additionally, an understanding that holes will still continue to be dug after the transition, for those base metals required for solar batteries and the like. In addition, solutions need to be found for the disposal or repurposing of our panels, batteries and other renewable paraphernalia! Did I hear a groan?
To finish – Has the Adani mine, and other controversial approvals, become the ‘poster children’ of objection and frustration? Is this one mine distracting us from potentially larger issues, or could it be a catalyst to address our lack of trust in our processes, decision makers and in each other? Lots of fodder here for your winter debates, enjoy! Until next month.