From historic debates in Parliament to magical spring events across the electorate, it has been again a month of extremes. So much to celebrate, as well ruminate on. Diversity, controversy, and questioning should never be seen as a negative as it encourages further queries, however when these are not answered? The desperate situations of residents still unable to re-enter QLD is one example causing much frustration and confusion around exemptions, border passes, quarantine, and the long wait for responses. We are currently waiting on confirmation and details of home quarantine trials, which we have been seeking for some months on behalf of our residents. As we continue to advocate daily for our individual residents and businesses, I also take what our community seeks  into Chamber via speeches available at https://fb.watch/7M-YLsV57w/ and https://fb.watch/7M-XeiNFeZ/

Our gratitude to QPWS rangers and our police who work to keep residents, visitors, and our environment safe. Years of advocacy from the Teewah Cooloola Working Group and others, led to multiple improvements regarding the issues on the North Shore and Teewah, with the next just released. The Cooloola Sustainable Visitor Capacity and Management Study is to clarify the path forward, including on visitor numbers. Please take 10mins to have your say! A survey has been sent to businesses, as well previous permit holders, with another at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/G7GFHJF . A reminder also that portable toilets are now mandatory for anyone staying in the beach camping zones. For further information head to https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/cooloola/camping/teewah-beach

Those aged 60 and over are now eligible to receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, with assurance that we now have the supply to meet demand. With local GP’s offering vaccinations, including Sunny Street in Tewantin, as well as pharmacies such as Priceline in Tewantin and Terry White in Noosa, some QLD Health clinics closing, with the Nambour Hospital clinic to close 10 Oct. For current vaccination availability and bookings, visit https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/protect-yourself-others/covid-19-vaccine/book

L-R: Dementia Café Visit; With work experience student Stella; @ the Cooroy Community Meeting

From the Chamber and Beyond

It was a momentous week in Parliament with an emotional debate on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill (VAD) 2021. This has been a long journey for so many, and I had asked throughout that respect and compassion for all be demonstrated, and I was deeply appreciative this also extended into Chamber during the debate. With polls and surveys showing overwhelming support in our electorate, the extensive research, consultation, and reviews undertaken, as well the work over 3 years by two separate Health Committee’s, the right to access choice for those who seek and qualify under very strict criteria was voted in 61 to 30. As submitted by those both ‘for’ and ‘against’, increased funding for palliative care from the day of a terminal diagnosis, must still be a priority!  You can find my full VAD speech at https://fb.watch/82sEbbo9sE/

Listening to the brilliance of Ashgrove State School Year 6 students demonstrated the importance of really listening. Chris Whiting MP, Cynthia Lui MP, Jonty Bush MP and I, were able to share our thoughts on some of the students’ fabulous initiatives, including how to secure government and community support.

The QLD Parliamentary Friends of Clubs annual dinner gave opportunity to welcome and give thanks to our Noosa clubs via Warick and Julie representing Sunshine Beach Surf Club, and Alyssa and Katie from Tewantin Noosa RSL. Our clubs, their staff and volunteers do such an awesome job in multiple realms, especially during COVID, and this is often not realised including the advocacy and fundraising they undertake!

To finally meet two of our interns in person from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Clare and Candice, was wonderful. This term they are tackling the devasting impacts of domestic violence, an issue that unfortunately continues to impact our community with sadly a 30% increase again this last 12 months.

In addition to my Legal Affairs and Safety Committee’s current workload that I have posted up, there are always multiple Parliamentary Committee inquiries open, including an oversight of the Family Responsibilities Commission. All of which can be found at  https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/inquiries

L-R: Queensland Ambulance Service Meeting; National Police Remembrance Day; Meals on Wheels AGM 

From the Inbox

As mentioned in opening, our office is inundated daily with enquiries from residents trying to return home from other states. The current situation is unacceptable and Queensland residents are justifiably upset as they feel that they have been left in a perpetual state of limbo. We have written a formal letter to the Minister for Health regarding the need for clear communication with applicants, as well as resolutions, such as the need for home quarantine options. For anyone also wishing to advocate direct, please email the Minister for Health via health@ministerial.qld.gov.au or the Premier via thepremier@premiers.qld.gov.au

In response to ongoing advocacy for local businesses, the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Program has opened which will provide one-off grants of up to $100,000 to eligible tourism and hospitality businesses  www.dtis.qld.gov.au/our-work/tourism-hospitality-sector-hardship-program As we are waiting on the release of final details, please email tourism@dtis.qld.gov.au so they can send you an update as soon as available. Also, for those non-employing sole traders, please email them regarding your need for inclusion, as we and the office of the Small Business Commissioner have already done.

As always there is much to share that we cannot fit in! Regular updates are posted to Noosa 360 at www.sandybolton.com, including from the Kin Kin Roundtable, Housing Action Group and Noosa River Advisory Group. Whilst there, subscribe to our newsletter, or join us on Facebook. As always, email our office on noosa@parliament.qld.gov.au or phone 5319 3100 if you any require assistance.

L-R: ‘Bear’@ the Noosa Country Show; With two of our fabulous interns; Peregian Gala Fundraiser

On the Homefront

Between Zoom meets, face to face meets, community meets and Woolworths ‘meets’ 😊, the opportunity to attend the Noosa Country Show was one that Bear and I cherished. Congratulations to all involved for tackling the difficulties of running a COVID safe event with huge smiles, and to all that we encountered who were thrilled to be out in beautiful weather, enjoying the simplicity of a ride, fairy floss and good company!

Tewantin Noosa Meals on Wheels have had another enormous year, with 43,857 meals provided, an increase of 21,006. These are incredible numbers and a direct result of the impacts of COVID, however as part of some clients transitioning to permanent care, if you wish to partake in their incredible changing menu, just call 5449 7659 or email tnmow@bigpond.com. And remember, they also cater for events!

The update from the Hinterland (aka Kin Kin) Roundtable was a bit shorter this month due to notification that Noosa Council has filed their court case against the quarry operators. You can find the full update at  https://www.sandybolton.com/kin-kin-pomona-cooran-heavy-haulage-update-september-2021/ The Community Meeting at Pomona followed and gave opportunity to update residents and answer questions, as well clarify on some misinformation surrounding upcoming works and its funding!

Our Housing Action Group met again this month and we now await the results from Noosa Council’s Housing Needs Assessment which should be released in November, and decisions that emanate from. The meeting update is available at https://www.sandybolton.com/housing-action-group-update-september-2021/

As QLD’s longest continuous running picture theatre and the world’s longest running silent film theatre (complete with ghost!!), there was much to celebrate at the 100th anniversary of the Majestic Theatre in Pomona. Alongside Llew O’Brien MP and his daughter Eve as well as Councillors Karen Finzel, Frank Wilkie, Amelia Lorentson and Tom Wegener, we raised a glass to all who have worked so hard to ensure the magic of the screen survived fire, flood and yes, Aussie and US troops who filled the hall leaving no vacant seats for locals! We also read about some historical tomato throwing 😉

Peregian Beach was extremely busy with two major events. The Peregian Beach Community Association’s ‘Code Red for Humanity’ speakers gave much to think about regarding what we can do as part of reducing our emissions, including living ‘minimalist’. Professor Ian Lowe gave the us the ‘low down’ (no pun!!) on the science and data and implications of the recent IPCC report, with our very own Jenna and Madeline from St Teresa’s Catholic College sharing their research, thoughts and questions as to why we are not progressing at the speed needed for our future. The Spirit of Peregian Fundraising Gala was magical, and not only successfully raised $55,000 for the future re-building of the Peregian Surf Club, but also honoured our firefighters and reflected on the events of 9/11. Both events gave much to think about, thank you.

A huge congratulations to the organisers, sponsors and supporters of the inaugural ‘Mingle with the Mayor Ball’, which raised a phenomenal $280,000 for Sunny Kids to employ an extra domestic and family violence counsellor. An incredible demonstration of what can be achieved when Government funds fail to deliver what we need, as well opportunity to ‘glam up’ as part of making a difference 🙏

A beautiful sunny morning was spent at the Noosa Botanical Gardens for the relaunch of the Noosa Community Memory Support Pack at the Noosacare Dementia Cafe. The café provides an awesome meeting space for residents with dementia and their family and friends to catch up over a cuppa, whilst the ‘Pack’ provides everything you need for those newly diagnosed, including an invaluable emergency card which we have needed for years! Congratulations to all involved. Hard copies are available from our office, with an online version at https://noosacare.com.au/wp-content/uploads/NoosaCare_-Dementia-Friendly-Memory-Support-Pack-Carramar_Kabara.pdf

L-R: Parliamentary Friends of Clubs; Code Red @ Peregian; Majestic Theatre 100th Birthday!!

Police Remembrance Day 2021 was where we honoured and remembered our officers who lost their lives in efforts to keep our communities safe and beyond. How thankful we are that there are those who take on the hardest of jobs which has been even tougher during COVID. Our deep gratitude to you and your families 🙏

Hearing our community organisations pitching their projects to the Bendigo Community Banks Forum in Cooroy was inspiring. All were to further our communities or create greater safety, and yes, should be supported!! We look forward to those ‘red dots’ transitioning to these becoming a reality.

Finally, in amongst many, many meetings including with our QLD Ambulance Service, it was wonderful to catch up with Tracey from @No More Fake Smiles, an organisation that provides assistance to child victims of sexual abuse. This as part of advocacies already underway including the What About Us? campaign launched by Tracey Phillips, who as a survivor is seeking initiatives including safe boxes at schools for children to post their concerns. With the Child Protection Reform and Other Legislation Amendment Bill introduced, it is important to add your voice in these efforts by heading to https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Work-of-Committees/Committees/Committee-Details?cid=0&id=4116

Grants and Reminders

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

Parliamentary Speeches and Questions

Recent Questions on Notice (QON’s) can be found here. The latest speeches can be found below: 

Have Your Say

For a complete list of Queensland State Government Consultations, including Funeral Price Transparency and the Queensland Women’s Strategy, head to https://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/gi/

Mobile Office

The rescheduled mobile office will be held at Tewantin on the 30th of October 9-11am. To organise a meeting, please call us on 5319 3100 😊

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 360 , Facebook page updates or our monthly newsletters. Columns are in Noosa News , Noosa TodayCoolum AdvertiserForest Star, Cooroora Connect, Your Local Lifestyle and Eastern Beaches News.

And Finally….

As I write, we sit on edge again waiting to see whether another lockdown is in our near future .  As we know, we cannot keep Delta at bay forever. Now that we finally have supply and choice, for anyone that is getting vaccinated, do it NOW! For those hesitant, make it a priority to speak with your trusted health professional as soon as possible. Even though Noosa currently is in the top 5 in QLD for first shots, should the determination be made to open up at 80%, which projections indicate could be December, we need to make sure that everyone has had the opportunity to safeguard themselves as best possible and avoid any last-minute rushes/supply issues in the lead up to Christmas. Even though my crystal ball has flat batteries, with announcements regarding the possible reopening of international borders, I can already foresee my inbox jammed with complaints regarding long vaccination queues, or hopefully not, supply shortage!

It is important to note that there are legitimate questions surrounding governments’ handling of COVID-19, some currently before the courts. One in relation to industry mandated vaccinations, with the first determination being delivered by the Fair Work Commissioner in a 2/1 ruling. As was relayed in the report, laws are not being broken as some believe, however public health orders were never developed to accommodate long periods. Secondly, many of those questions have been categorised as against vaccinations, which is often incorrect. As I have said before, ‘labelling’ is not what is needed during this time.

We have summarised questions from our community and will post to Noosa 360, as well a catch up with our very own Dr Ian Norton on any outstanding queries next week.

Is COVID to be feared, or the misinformation and miscommunications that surround? I’d say both and we can’t ignore either. It has never been more important to pull together than right now as we have done for these many months.

Thank you to our work experience student Stella from Good Shepherd Lutheran College, who tackled social media as part of getting a ‘feel’ of her forecasted University studies in communications and journalism. How we love our high school students and university interns who keep us on our toes!! 😊 Until next month keep those masks handy and focus on getting to the other side complete with ‘hug’ party!!

Sandy 🙏