Spring has arrived! Longer and warmer days (as well some sneezing from those ‘blooms’) and  welcome changes to COVID-19 restrictions with the reopening of the border to  ACT and outdoor gatherings expanded for businesses including cafes, theme parks, zoos and sports events as examples. We are definitely on the way to ‘thrive’, and it has been fantastic to see so much happening in a reimagined and COVID-friendly way, though I did need a lesson on how to award medallions without touching them? 😊

So many highlights this month, including playing Deputy Speaker for the Youth Parliamentarians to celebrating with two special matriarchs, Else (99) and Joyce (94), who were awarded medals and certificates at Cooroy as part of the 75th commemoration of the end of WW11. How I so badly wanted to grab both in the biggest of hugs.

Yes, we have elections just around the corner! Pre-poll voting opens on 19 October, with election day on 31 October. Postal vote applications are now open, with all information available at: www.ecq.qld.gov.au/elections/election-events/2020-state-general-election. Please say hello to the ‘teal army’ aka Team Noosa when you see them out jogging or walking in preparation for a COVID safe campaign!!

Noosa Community Survey. Have Your Say. Be Heard

Your ‘Say’ is vital to determine your, and our, priorities for the coming year, as well as your thoughts on broader issues impacting QLD. It only takes 5 minutes so jump to the link below before October 15!! Your responses from the last survey, as well as issues raised throughout the year, have been invaluable. Complete online at www.sandybolton.com/your-say-annual-survey/. Alternatively, if you require a hard copy, please call 5319 3100 and we can assist you personally.

L-R: Warming up for the ‘hustings’!; MP lunch and learnings @ Parliament House; With my intern Zac & YA’s Emma and Faith

From the Chamber and Beyond

It was disappointing that the traditional end of year Valedictory Speech was transferred to the November sitting as I was well prepared to again represent the Crossbench in wrapping up the year that was! To accommodate any election results, I raised vital elements in a Matters of Public Interest Speech, including that Parliamentary rules, regulations and policies needed to be revisited as part of modernising an aged system that no longer serves the Chamber or the communities we represent well. The very system itself has developed a reactive culture over many decades, resulting in us hearing all the reasons why we can’t versus how we can, or why we must? We shelved that ‘can’t’ culture during the COVID emergency and now we must leave it on that shelf where it was put. We do not have the luxury, as we did pre COVID, to work through endless reviews, take years to develop strategies and then wrangle for funding. We must get on with it now.

It was a big month for speeches, covering dangerous behaviours in our community and how drones can assist, questioning why we would stop midstream in the transition to renewables, and the one I originally flagged as a new MP as being critical, and is now being declared by political commentators as a crisis, affordable accommodations. We are behind the ‘eight ball’ and as I said, we should be ashamed. All speeches can be viewed here.

From the Inbox

Our ‘inboxes’ continue to overflow with COVID-19 matters, especially getting loved ones back into the state, or residents home after needing to be with their families in the hardest of circumstances elsewhere. It has been a tough month, and to all we have worked with through incredibly stressful times, thank you. We continue to be here and through the night for you and look to when this is finally over and can come together in person.

The increased truck haulage in our beautiful hinterland has brought how historical decisions can negatively impact our economic, social and environmental wellbeing in the ‘now’. It also highlights why the systems which I have spoken about in Parliament need modernising to accommodate a world that has changed, and where change is needed.

And yes, I never realised how election time questions can add to the ‘jam’ particularly around pre-poll, postal and phone voting, as well assisting residents to apply for postal applications! So please if I have been remiss in any tags on Facebook, please call me as many are now buried under thousands of messages. ☹

On the Homefront

Our Annual Connect should be in your mailbox by now, as well postal voting information and the Community Survey link.  If not, please let us know or download from www.sandybolton.com/connect-2020. As always, the hardest job is to condense a year into 4 pages, especially one such as we have travelled!

It has been a month of events, forums, webinars, meetings, roundtables and mobile offices! The first Noosa Chamber of Commerce and Industry AGM since COVID, demonstrated that Noosa is not just open for business, it is powering!  Congratulations to the outgoing and incoming executive, an exciting time as we move from the strive to thrive!!

Speaking at Noosa Business Connect, I was inspired by new (and old!) members who are part of our efforts in developing and diversifying our economy, and what you have created since we first met is brilliant. The key to our future is to ‘Buy Local, Support Local’ as our QLD Commissioner Maree takes our advocacies forward in these efforts.

The Noosa Country Roadshow presented by Landcare, Noosa Council and Tourism Noosa teams highlighted who we are, and where we are heading through initiatives including the Master Trails showcasing our incredible offerings, and why residents and visitors alike  should get Noosa ‘countrified’. It has been a journey, and it is exciting to be that one step closer.

The Noosa Bridge Club, Noosa hosted Qld Softball Championships, Tewantin Cricket net unveiling and a host of other ‘meets’ were heart-warming, especially to see the results of our grant, or State Government’s, that has enabled players to get back to doing what they love best! And how fabulous is our ‘score card’, including the mighty Tigers!!

Congratulations on many fronts, including Katrina Holewa from Noosa District State High School, who won the TUH Health Fund Showcase Award for Excellence in Teaching at Queensland Training Awards.

The Anniversary of our Peregian Fires was an emotional day, revisiting both the trauma, as well support and sheer ‘togetherness’ we experienced in what was an unprecedented event. With a record number of QFES appliances in history fighting to keep our community safe, the incredible volunteers through our Rural ‘Firies’ and SES, businesses, organisations, Noosa Council staff and all who opened their homes and hearts. It has been wonderful to deliver new trucks, equipment, and through our efforts see amongst other requests the review on the terminology in alerts being actioned at a Local, State and Federal Level.

And how can I forget presenting a flag to Noosa Sea Scouts? A huge thank you guys for my woggle and my wobble! 😊

L-R: Learning how ‘not’ to cheat at Noosa Bridge Club; Before the games @ Noosa Sea Scouts 

Grants and Funding Announcements

COVID SAFE ACTIVE CLUBS KICKSTART – congratulations to the many clubs in our electorate who had successful applications for these grants, all extremely well deserved. Combined, our clubs received $70,000. Way to go Noosa!!!

COMMUNITY BENEFIT FUND ROUND 107 – now open and application close on 31 October 2020 at www.gamblingcommunityfund.qld.gov.au

For other current government grant opportunities see the QLD Government Grant Finder or Grants Guru

Parliamentary Speeches and Questions

All speeches can be viewed on our website here.  Recent Questions on Notice (QONs) can be found below:

Recent Questions Without Notice can be found here.

Have Your Say

Current government public consultations can be found at www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/gi.
Current committee inquiries can be found at www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/inquiries

COVID-19 Recovery Assistance Links

L-R: Joining our buskers in Tewantin during the Mobile Office; With our volunteer drivers for the Be Connect Noosa Pilot

Mobile Office

Our mobile offices continue the new look, with our ‘roadies’ being COVID safe, and fabulous! This month we visited the streets of Tewantin to the beaches of Peregian and Sunshine. Always a joy to get street side with our buskers and ‘ressies’, and into our many cool biz who had no room to fit us in and great to see so many new businesses opening up.

Office Reminders

Our office remains COVID Safe with distancing and hygiene measures in place. Community organisations are welcome to use our photocopier for newsletters, and as always, we are here to help so please just call or email!

Connect

With so much ‘news’ to communicate, stay up to date via  NOOSA 360 , our Facebook page updates or our monthly newsletters. Columns are featured in Noosa News , Noosa TodayCoolum AdvertiserForest Star, Cooroora Connect and Eastern Beaches News.

L-R: Being put in the ‘hot seat’ by our matriarchs and patriarchs at Riverlands Retirement Village. Fabulous!!

And Finally….

With just one month to go to elections, reflecting on my first 3 years in which I have been honoured to be your MP, the term has passed so quickly. Yet what we have achieved is monumental, including addressing and progressing long standing issues. We have stood shoulder to shoulder through our fire and COVID emergencies. We have demonstrated who we are, and what we can do together. Representing our community in Parliament is not just a job. It is a passion and a privilege, and how proud I am of Noosa and our journey together.  www.sandybolton.com/ourfuture/

Some reminders! Pre poll voting is from 19 October until 30 October at Pomona and Noosaville, with the Election Day 31 October booth yet to be announced. We will post to Facebook as updates come through, with all information including  telephone voting  available at: www.ecq.qld.gov.au/elections/election-events/2020-state-general-election.

You all know my signoff regarding our physical distancing and hand washing. I realise it gets harder every day; however we are now so close to our destination, and do not want to have a setback. As I said at the beginning all those months ago, we would get to the other side of COVID together. Stronger, resilient, and more connected. And we have. What a unique, beautiful, and caring community we are blessed to live in. And I hope you will spread the word and join us in keeping Noosa ‘independent’ this election!! 😊 Go #TeamNoosa !! #ourvoice #ourfuture #ournoosa #thankyou

Sandy 🙏