Staff shortages, the ongoing housing crisis and the threat of more flooding served as the backdrop for May, in amongst two parliament sittings, a federal election and the invasion of mould into our homes, leading to vinegar being added to my disaster kit! 🙄 With COVID still active, a reminder for us to keep regimes up, as well consider the free flu vaccinations available at local pharmacies and GPs, until 30 June 2022. With our community experiencing it’s second flooding event this year, gratitude again to all who supported their neighbours, friends and family through this latest weather event, as well emergency services and volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure our safety.

L-R: Trialling the new Hinterland Playground; Volunteers Week with Parkyn’s Hut; St Thomas More’s visit

From the Chamber and Beyond

In amongst my Legal Affairs and Safety Committee (LASC) schedule, I spoke on a number of reports including the Evidence and Other Legislation Amendment Bill, and we hosted the public hearing into Matters Relating to Donor Conception. This brought forward questions as a society of: when we make a commitment to retain anonymity, in this case for sperm or egg donors, at what point is it acceptable to go against that commitment with retrospective legislation? The diverse viewpoints require compassion and a new ‘lens’, with our report due at the end of August.

The Public Trustee (Advisory and Monitoring Board) Amendment Bill 2021, and Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020, previously appointed to LASC prior to the dissolution of Parliament in the 2020 election, were debated this month. Both bills are not flawless; however, their ratification is a step in the right direction in ensuring the safety and protection of our children and most vulnerable Queenslanders. You can view all my parliament speeches on my website.

Parliament always holds many informative, celebratory and charitable sessions during our sitting weeks. This month we learnt more on how we can contribute to bettering the futures of vulnerable children, the lack of awareness surrounding palliative care and eating disorders, and what is required to adapt to our weather extremes, including improvement in our language, labels and communications. One of the most fascinating was an insight into ‘institutional amnesia’, and how it is costly, not only in relation to disasters, but also in every realm we operate in. Amongst the celebrations, we acknowledged our brilliant First Nation athletes as part of National Reconciliation Week, the successful summer season of Surf Lifesaving Queensland, and the centenary year of Queensland Country Women’s Association (QCWA), which saw a $1m birthday gift to renovate another 50 halls! We also managed to share some scones at Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea with the Governor of QLD, which you can still host this month if you weren’t able to during May! ☕ Pheww!!

It was a special gift to host our grade 6-ers from St Thomas More on their annual school visit, as well catching up with our very own Taylor – a passionate youth activist for shark net alternatives! Even though one of the options she has brought forward is not suitable for rougher waters, the data that is set to be collected through drones will be another step in understanding how we can transition with surety. What we learn from our youngest constituents is invaluable, listening to their views of the world vital, and encouraging their interest in advocacy, representation and politics is of the utmost importance for the future of our community, QLD and Australia.

L-R:  Aussie’s Biggest Morning Tea; 100 years of QCWA; Noosa Community Training Centre at ADD1 event

From the Inbox

Disaster remnants are the unwanted ‘gifts’ that keep on giving ☹ Polystyrene pieces from February’s floods are still present, and it has been fabulous that Noosa Council has invested in an industrial vacuum system to extract the small fragments from our shores. The deployment had been delayed due to the continual rain, however with the improved weather, we look forward to seeing that machine humming away on our shores! 🌞

The reinstatement of the 10 tonne limit on Kin Kin Road filled our inboxes and Facebook feeds. Thank you to all who contacted us to ensure the regulations were upheld and to prevent further damage. Whilst the Gympie – Kin Kin Rd section no longer has a load limit, Pomona-Kin Kin Rd does (at the time of writing) and we ask that all heavy vehicles respect this until repairs are completed and the limit is lifted, as well to avoid the $27,000+ fine!  Meanwhile we await the outcomes from Council’s court case with the quarry operators for greater safety on this road.

The Cooloola Great Walk, including environmental concerns on two of the sites, continue to be brought forward. Again, I reiterate the reassurances I have been given that these will be addressed, and we will post up some news shortly!

We have a large volume of advocacies coming in that are outside state jurisdiction such as local government or federal matters, with one example this month being the WHO Treaty.  It is important to remember that there is a reason for having representatives at each level, and for efficiency we need to concentrate on where we have influence, including through our vote! To spend time investigating matters outside of this takes time away from what we are elected to do, and I have no doubt that our community prefers that I focus on state government issues, in which there is plenty!

A reminder that our transport trial to Sunshine Coast University hospital was successful in securing government funding to fill the gap and is now administered as part of the Queensland Government’s Community Transport Program through Anglicare. So if you are aged under 65 years old and have limited access options to SCUH, please contact Anglicare on 1300 610 610 📞, to find out if you’re eligible for assistance, and if not, please let us know.

On the Homefront

Stage 2 of the Yurol Ringtail Conservation Project has commenced, and even though I was not able to attend the officialdom, I spoke in Parliament in a Revocation Speech about the 2,400 hectares of former Noosa state forest and plantation that is to be added to Tewantin National Park. This collaborative project between local government, state departments and community groups demonstrate what we can achieve by working together! We look forward to the coming months of more rehabilitation, creating greater connectivity and protection for our flora, fauna, and people.

Volunteers Week was celebrated at the annual Tewantin Parkyn’s Hut’s volunteer breakfast, with acknowledgments to those who have contributed so generously (one couple having served for a combined 36 years!). It was an honour to become a Patron, joining the ever-incredible Elvie and Olive, who will be closely watching my every move! 💙

Venturing into our beautiful Country Noosa, I let out my ‘inner-child’ and enjoyed the new Hinterland Playground🌳, which has something for everyone, big or small! It was also a real treat to test run Friends of Kinaba’s new vessel, Jabiru, which will assist in the efforts of volunteers who service our waterways. 🚤

Netball season kicked off with the annual Noosa District March Past – a celebration that has been put on hold for 2 years due to COVID-19 restrictions. With costume designs that had been in storage over the hiatus, I was given the impossible task of judging, alongside Mayor Clare and veteran member Lola – although every team would have made worthy recipients!

Meeting with our very own Sarah Graham-Hooper, recently appointed on the newly formed Queensland Small Business Advisory Council (QSBAC), was an opportunity to touch on some of the challenges we are facing, as well opportunities. There are plenty of challenges, and it is no solace that what we are experiencing is state wide.

And there was more! Including the Noosa Chances annual fundraiser, which announced the increase in scholarships and the ADD1 to Your Workplace event, connecting subsidies to businesses and residents to training and jobs.

My deep apologies to those whose events that I was not able to attend after I came down with a dose of something unpleasant, which may have been from the scrubbing of mould? 😂 Just joking, and happily not another dose of C-19!

L-R: With Sarah from our new QSBAC; Noosa District Netball March Past; Welcoming ‘Jabiru’ with FoK

Grants and Reminders

Five of our community organisations were successful in their QLD Government Active GameDay Grants this round!🎉 Congratulations to Noosa’s District Netball Association, Pirates Rugby League Club, Lions Football Club, Council and Tewantin Noosa Pony Club, who will all be using the funding to upgrade their facilities. With our Seeds for Change grants now closed, we will post up successful applicants shortly!

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

POMONA & COORAN – Sat, June 18th Mountain Stop Cafe 8:30am; Cooran General Store 10:00am

NOOSAVILLE – Sat, July 22nd Gympie Terrace from 8.15am – 9:30am

PEREGIAN BEACH – Sun, August 21st Peregian Beach Markets from 8.15am – 9:30am

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 AdvertiserCooroy Rag, Your Local Lifestyle and Eastern Beaches News.

L-R: With Mayor Clare supporting Don’t Bottle It Up; Taylor and her dad, Daniel; Noosa Chances Lunch

And Finally….

The Federal election results led to many unexpected interview requests from media due to the success of the ‘teal’ movement. Why? Commentary ran that as I was an independent with a campaign colour of teal, I was the original ‘tealer’ and now the ‘mother of tealers’ 😂! The reality is there are commonalities, as well differences including that I was not financed from a movement (except grass roots) and have no alliances except to Noosa! The ’disruption’ created by the wave of teal is not unwelcomed as it assists in continuing what we set out to do in developing the change needed in Parliament that aligns with community expectations, not those of a party, or faction. And that our politics become a reflection of what you seek, versus what has been delivered, including a ‘decades long in the making’ housing and aged care crisis, just two examples of many which should have never eventuated.

So, I continue to encourage all potential future independents that have a focus on their community, not just a specific issue, to come forward as part of ensuring the momentum grows at all levels of government!!

Sandy 🙏

PS. It was wonderful to receive so many nominations for the QLD Day Awards, and I look forward to recognizing these fabulous volunteers next week at the awards ceremony at the J. 💗

PSS. It was also wonderful that I got to see my grandies for a weekend, as well get rid of our sandbags!!😍