BARINGA CHILDREN STILL WAITING FOR SCHOOL BUS

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle is today demanding an answer as to why families of school-aged children are still waiting for a dedicated school bus service to transport them between Baringa and Meridan State College, amid a new public service in the area opening at the end of the month.

It comes as Transport Minister Mark Bailey this week announced the new Translink service to the Baringa area would begin operating on 25 March.

“While increased public transport options for this growing community is welcomed, let me be very clear – this is not a school bus service. This is not the service that concerned parents have been demanding for months,” Mr McArdle said.

“With no high school opening in Baringa until the 2021 school year there is a large number of children already commuting from the area to Meridan State College.

“For the 2020 school year there will be at minimum of 90 Year 7 students from the area who will also start high school at Meridan State College.

“If this State Government did not have the foresight to open Baringa High School in time for the 2020 school year they could have at least ensured students had a safe and reliable school bus service from their homes to the high school they must attend until 2021.

“So far there has been no commitment from the Education or Transport Minister to put a dedicated school bus service in the area, or extend the stops for the existing service to better accommodate this community’s families.

“Should we read between the lines? Is this new public service supposed to replace the school buses their children have so far been denied?” Mr McArdle concluded.

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Women’s Day strengthened by connection and visibility

A group of women gathered on International Women’s Day at Caloundra’s Happy Days Café, being one of many groups gathering across the Coast and the country today. They shared a meal, a laugh, and a connection that has the power to change someone’s life. For Caloundra resident Lesley Muir, the bond between women is highlighted and enhanced by International Women’s Day.

“This morning I am sharing breakfast with friends because it is International Women’s Day. We always have a get together on this day,” Mrs Muir said.

Lesley Muir (Pictured at head of table) gathers with friends at Caloundra’s Happy Days Cafe to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Lesley Muir (Pictured at head of table) gathers with friends at Caloundra’s Happy Days Cafe to celebrate International Women’s Day.

“I think these days we are all very independent, strong women so it is important that we stick together and support one another. Especially with so much domestic violence, connecting with women lets them know there is support there for them.

“I believe these types of connections should start when women are very young. Sometimes women are seeing violence in their lives from a young age and they know no different. Through connection we can show them it is good to talk about it, and maybe stop the cycle of abuse.”

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle said we need to look no further than our immediate family, friends and colleagues to see examples of strong women.

“On International Women’s Day we tend to draw on renowned women from history,” Mr McArdle said.

“While those women are important to our country and our history, we need to celebrate and honour the women in our day-to-day lives who are, in their own right, just as powerful and important.

“Today we honour our wives and partners, mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters. The women who are often the unseen threads that hold the fabric of our society together.

“We need to stand by them, encourage them and respect the vitally important connections they forge with each other and thereby all of us,” Mr McArdle concluded.

WILL BAILEY HONOUR COMMITMENT TO MEET WITH RIDGEWOOD ROAD RESIDENTS?

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today called upon Transport Minister Mark Bailey to honour his commitment to meet with Ridgewood Road residents while Cabinet is on the Coast in March this year.

“Earlier this year I wrote to Minister Bailey asking if he would meet the residents of Ridgewood Road to discuss the intersection that has so endangered their lives for many years,” Mr McArdle said.

“His office’s response was;

‘The Minister has offered to meet with Mr McArdle and his constituents at a future date when he is next in your area. As soon as I have a date for this, I will contact your office to organise a suitable time.’

“As Cabinet is now going to be on the Sunshine Coast in March of this year, I again wrote to the Minister’s office and was advised,

‘I will certainly factor this meeting in to our planning for that week and I’ll come back to you when I know more on the schedule for the week to work out a suitable time.’

“I call upon the Minister now to honour his commitment. Ridgewood Road Residents have lived for years with a very dangerous situation and he now has a very clear obligation to follow through with his actions of agreeing to meet with them.

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“It will only be a matter of time before someone is killed at the intersection. There have been a number of very near misses and people have been lucky to get away with their lives.”

Greg Walker, a long term fighter for the upgrade to the intersection said he hoped the Minister would not only honour his commitment to meet with residents, but also ensure the upgrade went ahead.

“This is something we as a community have been fighting for in excess of 10 years. We have finally been given approval for traffic lights to be installed but we are just waiting for the Minister to follow through with funding for our safety,” Mr Walker said.

“We welcome the Minister to visit our community when he is on the Coast next month, and witness firsthand what we deal with every day.”

“We have come so close in this fight. The Department of Transport has determined that traffic lights are suitable and recommend for this intersection but there is still the final hurdle of funding,” Mr McArdle said.

“I would suggest that Cabinets’ visit to the Coast would be the perfect opportunity to give these people the good news that their intersection upgrade is going to be funded.

“I think it’s time the Minister allows these residents to show him how something like an intersection can have a profound impact on their lives, and let them know that their decade-long fight for safety has been won,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Ends.

Quota Celebrates 100 Years of Strong Women in our Community

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today congratulated Quota International on 100 years of service across the world.

It comes as the Caloundra Branch of Quota recently celebrated the important milestone with a party in Felicity Park. The day honoured the women who helped grow the local chapter as well as looking to the future.

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“Quota International Inc is not only celebrating the remarkable milestone of 100 years of service, but the significant achievement of being the very first women’s service organisation in the world,” Mr McArdle said

“Right here in our own community Quota has supported some very important causes including Hummingbird House, Currimundi Special School, various women’s refuges and the Hear and Say Foundation, as well as establishing the QuoCKa Reading Program for children.”

Former Quota International President Karen Murphy came to the local celebration and provided invaluable insight into the history of the organisation.

“Quota is unique in that it was the first women’s community service organisation and it was decided right at the beginning that it would be international, which showed incredible foresight by those first women in 1919,” Mrs Murphy said.

“They were a group of incredibly powerful women who were all leaders in their field who came to prominence during WWI. They really empowered each other and they wanted to build a network that would work with young girls to help them reach their full potential.”

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Quota Caloundra President Judy Dwyer said that while the current iteration of the local chapter is still young, having operated for just 8 years, the group was moving from strength to strength.

“I believe this is a time of growth for the Caloundra chapter, certainly thanks to all the excitement of Quota’s 100 years,” Mrs Dwyer said.

“For those women whose interest has been peaked by the 100th birthday, they can find out more about Quota and have an enjoyable time by joining us at the Powerboat Club the first Friday of each month at 10am.” (www.quotainternational.org)

“Congratulation to all the women involved with Quota here in Caloundra and across the world. What shining example of the amazing work women do in our community,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Ends.

For further information contact: Media Unit, Office of Mark McArdle, 0438 449 243.

New Localities in the Caloundra Electorate

I have received this letter from the Minister for Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham regarding the naming of “new” suburbs or localities in the Caloundra Electorate. As the population of Aura grows, new boundary lines are drawn up and therefore new localities are created. There are four new localities that will be created within Aura. Three of the proposed names are derived from the Gubbi Gubbi vocabulary: Banya (Bunya Nut), Gagalba (Shining Place) and Nirimba (The Middle). The fourth proposed name is Corbould Park (after Harold Edward Corbould).

The letter also advises that the names will be advertised and the community will have two months to provide their comments. However, my office has contacted the Department and no one has been able to advise when this community consultation will start.

If you would like to provide your views on these names, please forward your comments to the Executive Director, South Region, PO Box 212, Maryborough QLD 4650 or via email to: QldPlaceNames@dnrme.qld.gov.au,. As soon as I am advised when the closure date of the consultation is, I will let you know.

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CCTV completion a win for Caloundra community

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today celebrated the completion of Caloundra’s long-awaited CCTV network along with the projects’ major stakeholders including the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce, Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace and the Caloundra Police Station.

While the group applauded the important milestone of 23 imaging devices becoming operational throughout Caloundra, Mr McArdle said it is not without reflection of exactly how long it took to get here.

“Today is an important day for safety in our community but the fight for this CCTV network is one that has lasted for more than a decade,” Mr McArdle said.

“In particular I want to commend the Chamber for digging their heels in and seeing the fight for CCTV through to this point.

“With Mr Wallace’s 2017 announcement of $140,000 of Federal funding for the project we all thought we finally had a win, but many more obstacles lay ahead.

“Despite those obstacles Chamber never lost sight of the end goal of a safer Caloundra.

“I have said in the past, CCTV may not stop a crime from occurring but it plays an important role in catching criminals.

“This new comprehensive network will support our local law enforcement by giving them more eyes on the ground. Just maybe the cameras will make someone think twice about committing a crime in the first place.

“All and all an excellent effort by everyone involved. May we all feel a little safer today thanks to that effort.”

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For further information contact: Media Unit, Office of Mark McArdle, 0438 449 243.

Landsborough community to meet again on Rail Overpass?


The Landsborough community is waiting to hold a community forum on the future of the Landsborough Rail Overpass but State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle said the verdict is still out as to whether or not the Department of Transport and Main Roads will have representatives available to meet with residents at the forum.

It comes as Mr McArdle’s office wrote to TMR on 7 January asking if they would be available to attend a public forum in Landsborough in early 2019 so concerned residents and business owners could be provided with more information about the Overpass plan.

“Given the Government’s decision to push ahead with an Overpass at the Landsborough Station, the community is eager to meet again as part of the promised consultation,” Mr McArdle said.  

“Time is marching on and we need to get the details of this forum locked in but I am hesitant to do so without proper representation from TMR.

“This is a community that already feels they have long been left in the dark so I think it is vital to this forum that representatives from TMR be there to answer questions and hear the concerns of the community.

“You can be assured there are many questions to be addressed on land ownership, consultation and community input, to name just a few.

“As soon as I have details confirmed with TMR I will let residents and business owners in Landsborough know when and where the forum will take place.

“The biggest and most important thing Landsborough has fought for is to be heard and to be communicated with about a proposal that impacts the very future of their town. I will do everything I can to ensure that happens,” Mr McArdle concluded. 

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For further information contact: Media Unit, Office of Mark McArdle, 0438 449 243.

Two steps forward, one step back - Why Caloundra Road remains the Longest Carpark on the Sunshine Coast

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today slammed the State Government and the Transport Minister for playing games with commuters instead of actioning a real solution to traffic congestion on Caloundra Road – the Sunshine Coast’s Longest Car Park.

It comes as the Caloundra Road/ Nicklin Road roundabout was this week torn up for resurfacing, less than one week after metering singles were officially made operational at the intersection.

“Metering lights were installed at the Caloundra Road/Nicklin Way roundabout with the goal to reduce traffic congestion in the area,” Mr McArdle said.

“The two-light metering signals that the Department of Transport and Main Roads installed were intended to operate at peak times and the community’s understanding was the lights would, in part, help alleviate Caloundra Road traffic congestion hitting that roundabout.

“The lights have now been operational for one week but immediately after they were ‘turned on’ TMR begun tearing up the roundabout as part of the resurfacing of the Nicklin Way northbound.

“Why on Earth would road works be scheduled after these new traffic lights were made operational? Just when this community thinks they might see some relief to road issues they are dealt another blow.

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“As you can see from these picture taken at approximately 8.45am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week, there is no change in the condition of the traffic on Caloundra Road.

“We haven’t even reached the date where school goes back. Soon enough we’ll have parents taking students to and from school, from sporting events, from shopping centres and from other school actives.

“Lights alone will never solve this congestion problem. We need slip lanes diverting traffic from the roundabout before they get to it. A clear example is a slip lane from Caloundra Rd to Nicklin Way by-passing the roundabout.

“The State Government and the Transport Minister need to provide a real solution to the congestion that plagues this intersection nearly all hours of the day, seven days per week.

“Furthermore, we need real solutions for all of Caloundra Road because this community is sick of the State Government playing chicken with infrastructure commitments in Caloundra,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Government rejects protection of Pumicestone Passage

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today said the ducking and weaving by the Police Minister in failing to protect users and flora and fauna on Pumicestone Passage is one more example of Labor’s inability to govern for all of Queensland

“I’m not surprised but still bitterly disappointed that the Police Minister has rejected Caloundra residents request for more police on the Coast and land to be purchased in Caloundra for the construction of a further water police base. All he could say is that it’s a matter for the Police Commissioner to determine where resources are put,” Mr McArdle said

“Since 2007 we’ve had only four water police patrolling the whole of the Sunshine Coast. Since then our population has grown by thousands and will grow by tens of thousands in years to come.

“This weak Minister, another weak link in the Labor chain of government, has dodged his obligation and responsibility.”

Lyn Gahan, the principle petitioner fought very hard and gained strong support from local signatories to have an immediate increase in water police numbers.

“Importantly, I see the need for a more proactive approach by growing the resources to deal with not only the current high demand but also the expected boom in our population coming our way,” Mrs Gahan said.

“I’m disappointed that this matter has not been dealt with properly and we are now entering a new Christmas season where thousands will descend upon the Passage. Though the overwhelming bulk will obey the rules, there will be quite a number who believe it is their own play thing.

“The Government needs to listens to the people of Caloundra. We live here, we understand not just the impact of water craft on users of the Passage but also on the environment,” Mrs Gahan concluded.

“This issue is too important to let some bureaucrat in Brisbane determine the outcome of infrastructure and resources. We pay taxes, we pay our fair share of taxes but we are not getting our bite of the pie,” Mr McArdle said.

“Despite the Minister’s rejection of the petition it was however good to see a water police craft being put into the Passage on Sunday 9 November. Coincidence you say. I must be a cynic.

Water Police craft deployed into Passage on 9 November 2018

Water Police craft deployed into Passage on 9 November 2018

“This matter is not done and I intend to keep perusing it. If we don’t act we will suddenly find the Passage overused, overpopulated and under threat,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Ends.

For further information contact: Media Unit, Office of Mark McArdle, 0438 449 243.

UROLOGY WAITING LISTS BLOW OUT AT SUNSHINE COAST UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today stated the Urology surgery waiting list plus the Urology waiting list for the waiting list at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital have blown out and is concerned that to claw back the back log other surgery may need to be delayed.

“Data for October 2018 for the two Urology waiting lists – for Urology surgery and those waiting to be seen to assess if they need surgery – is dire. I’m very concerned that to catch up this backlog other types of surgery may be postponed,” Mr McArdle said.

“Figures released by Queensland Health reveal that there are 268 patients who have been assessed for surgery but of those, 41 are waiting longer than clinically recommended. This is the largest number of any category who have been assessed and are waiting. Surgery delayed can lead to adverse outcomes or complications.

“Labor has botched the S.C.U.H. less than two years after it opened. Put simply, Steven Miles can’t do the job and should be sacked.

“But when you consider people on the Urology waiting list for the waiting list, i.e. to assess if they need surgery, it gets worst. The Labor Government doesn’t release the number of patients waiting for each type of Category, but gives the percentage of patients waiting as Category 1, 2 and 3.

“With Urology 57.7% of Category 1 patients are waiting longer than the recommended 30 days to be seen by a doctor to be assessed. In relation to Category 2, 62.7% of patients are waiting longer than 90 days recommended. These figures are a disaster.

“More disturbing is the number of days patients are waiting to see if they need surgery. At the end of the September quarter, the 90th percentile, waiting time for Category 1 patients was 56 days and for Category 2 it was 501 days.

“Recently I was following up a matter for a constituent, not involving urology and I wrote to the Chief Executive Officer of H.H.S. asking ‘---why all non-Category 1 patients are unable to access surgery at S.C.U.H. in the foreseeable future.’ In her reply of 30 November this question was ignored. This raises serious questions about the Government’s inability to provide health services and more particularly Steven Miles capacity for the job.

“The sum of these figures, and nonresponse paints a grim picture and if the Hospital is to catch up, other surgeries may need to be delayed,” Mr McArdle concluded.