As an Independent Member of Parliament (MP), Sandy at times is asked about her policies and where she stands on a particular issue. Simply put, her policies are to deliver to the Noosa Electorate outcomes in line with community expectations, as well her commitments which include transparency, accountability and true community representation.

Her specific personal views on issues are not relevant as Sandy was elected to represent our communities’ views, not her own nor those of a political party.

As there are relatively few Independent MPs across Australia with Sandy currently the only Independent MP in Queensland for the last two terms, there is a general lack of understanding in relation to how the major parties and their representatives’ function, versus how an Independent operates. There are major significant differences.

Members of Parliament aligned to political parties are restricted to their broad Queensland wide party-based strategies and policies which provide the basis for how they will vote on any piece of legislation. This in addition to what they commit to, should their party be elected to government.

This can be reassuring for residents who support a particular stance or ideology, however detrimental when it is contrary to the majority of what is sought by their own communities. Broad statewide policy does not accommodate the customization nor specific needs many electorates require such as Noosa, and the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill was an example of this.

Independents are not constrained by a statewide party stance, instead can focus solely on the electorates they represent. Sandy has the freedom to take forward the ‘Noosa position’ by working with the diverse views of constituents to develop the best outcomes possible. These views can be obtained via surveys, incoming correspondence, meetings with advocates, streetside chats and conferring with key stakeholders. When an issue is particularly divisive, it may involve bringing together the conflicting viewpoints to find a united ‘common ground’. This can include a journey of much research, and many roundtables and meetings, which take months, sometimes years such as seen with the management of the Noosa River or Cooloola Recreation Area.

Other differences include the ways used to get to an outcome that remains consistent regardless of which party holds government. Rather than seeking media grabs and being involved in the combative ‘scream’ seen in Parliament, the work of an Independent MP utilises case building, collaboration and promoting partnerships as part of advocating, seen in the results achieved on historical issues such as Beckmans Road, Six Mile Bridge #7 and the successful transport to Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) pilot program.



At times, this will also involve seeking parliamentary reviews or inquiries to remedy a problem, as we have done regarding the Committee system and Estimates processes. Other examples are when there is a need for new oversight bodies identified such as an Independent Environmental Protection Agency, or amendments to legislation when current laws are insufficient, all of which are lengthy processes. However, with commitment and collaboration, these can deliver the outcomes sought, with many local issues having been resolved through this work including changes to policy, legislation and resourcing. These efforts may not make ‘headlines’ however must be done to address some serious failings.

Queenslanders, and Australians, are justifiably frustrated with politics and governments at various times, including the lack of bipartisan agreements that can result in legislation and policies being overturned when governments change, yet could achieve so much. Hence why it is important to address the very foundations of why agreements are difficult to achieve from the processes and culture that promote divisive politics. Instead, we need a mature approach that encourages bipartisan solutions, which a revised Committee system which acts as our Upper House could deliver, and Sandy continues to work on these in parallel to localised issues for Noosa.

We have previously posted information on parliamentary processes including voting on legislation at

In addition, every vote Sandy makes on behalf of our electorate is recorded by a speech which includes the rationale for how that was arrived at. These include ‘undelivered speeches’ when the timeframes for debate are ‘guillotined’. These are posted to Facebook and are all available in written form at

As part of sharing knowledge about the different levels of governments and the roles of representatives, we have also posted a summary at

Should you have any specific questions in relation to Noosa electorate issues, please use the search bar on our website at as we provide as much information on these to our community as possible. You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay informed as well receive Noosa related surveys via Sandy also posts regularly on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. If you cannot find what you need, simply email our office via or call 5319 3100.