Senior Fun Walk celebrates 20 years

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today congratulated the Sunshine Coast Australian Pensions and Superannuants League on 20 successful years of organising the hugely popular Seniors Fun Walk, which took place over the weekend.

It comes as more than 400 people gathered early Sunday morning to take part in the annual Senior’s Week festivities organised by the group which included a picturesque 4km walk between Oaks Oasis Resort and the Caloundra Powerboat Club in Golden Beach.

“The APSL annual fun walk is about so much more than a morning stroll. It aims to promote physical activity and a positive outlook on aging, and it does so while also bringing people in our local community together,” Mr McArdle said.


“I commend the entire team for their hard work in putting this event together year after year and for always creating such a welcoming environment.

“In particular, congratulations to the organising committee which includes Frank Gower, May Shaw, Terry and Hellie Strath, Don Gilbert and Carole Stolk.”

APSL Sunshine Coast President Frank Gower said the event came from humble beginnings but it did not take long for it to grow into the bustling morning it is today.

“Our sole desire was to create an event that proves age is an attitude not a liability. We also wanted to get people out of the house and connected with their community,” Mr Gower said.

“We first held a Seniors Olympics in 2000 with a small turn out but we knew we were on the right track. We realised that the Coast didn’t have a fun walk for over 50s so that is what we put on the following year and we haven’t looked back.

“In the early years we averaged 200 attendees but it wasn’t long before we started to see an average of 400 people every year.

“Today, we have a 4km fun walk which culminates with a BBQ, trophy presentations and a forum to promote services and activities relevant to seniors and their families.

“It has been a fantastic 20 years. Thanks to everyone who helps make it possible including the Oaks Oasis Resort and the Caloundra Power Boat Club, Mark McArdle MP for sponsoring and presenting the trophies each year, the SES volunteers, Resolve Fitness and all the local Caloundra businesses who donate prizes.

“The walk will continue on for many years to come - promoting activity, mobility and social wellbeing,” Mr Gower concluded.

“Anyone who has organised a community event would understand that having this kind of long term success is no small feat,” Mr McArdle said.

“It has been a pleasure to be a sponsor, awards presenter and participant of the APSL fun walk for so many years.

“May we take a page out of their book and remember that age is all in the attitude,” Mr McArdle concluded.

William Landsborough Plaque will be replaced

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today thanked the Caloundra Residents Association for working with him to push the issue of the long-deteriorated William Landsborough Memorial Plaque as Council finally confirms that it will be replaced.

“The Resident’s Association first made me aware of the state of the plaque earlier this year and I commend them for taking a special interest in ensuring its waning condition was not ignored,” Mr McArdle said.

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“I met with Ian Smyth (President), Peter Ryan and Brady Sullivan from the executive committee in July and we agreed that something needed to be done about the plaque.

Caloundra Residents Association Vice-President Peter Ryan said he was pleased that the Sunshine Coast Council had agreed to finance the replacement of the William Landsborough memorial plaque in the park named after him.

“The original plaque, well weathered and worn, recently uncovered by the association, is currently in an inconspicuous corner of the park which is in the centre of the Golden Beach Shopping Centre. Council decided to replace the plaque when it was found that repairs would be uneconomical,” Mr Ryan said.

“I believe this plaque and the park in which it resides, are important reminders to future generations of the contribution that explorer William Landsborough made to Caloundra,” Mr Ryan concluded.

“To some it may seems like a simple, nearly forgotten decoration on a plinth but this plaque and others like are important reminders of our history. Organisations such as the Residents Association play a vital role in monitoring these types of issues in our community to make sure they are being looked after by the relevant level of Government,” Mr McArdle said.

“Council has advised that officers were unable to restore the existing plaque and that they are currently arranging to install a new plaque in its place.

“I would like to congratulate Council on taking the step to replace this important memento of Caloundra’s history. I have written back to say that my offer to pay for at least half of the plaque still stands.

“I have also passed on the contact information of the Council’s Coordinator of Heritage Services to the Landsborough Museum so they can apply to display the plaque on loan. The team at the Museum say they would ‘all love to have the plaque on display’.

“All in all this is an excellent outcome for the memory of one of the founding fathers of Caloundra,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Charity Fishing Day good for families and good for the environment

Sunday 29th September, Caloundra Power Boat Club

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has proudly sponsored the Caloundra Power Boat Club -Fishing Club’s Take-A-Kid-Fishing Day for another year so Caloundra’s junior anglers can learn about responsible and sustainable recreational fishing.

Mr McArdle said the annual event, which is run by the dedicated volunteers of the CPBC Fishing Club, promotes a number of important values while giving families a fun day out on the water.

“Take-A-Kid-Fishing Day is about a lot more than just fishing. The Club’s aim is to foster family togetherness, exercise outdoors and connection with your local community while also teaching young and old the importance of respecting the environment,” Mr McArdle said.

“It is a phenomenal program that the men and women of the Fishing Club have created and I am all too happy to donate $1000 to help ensure this day remains free for those who attend.”

Terry Graham of CPBC Fishing Club accepts Mr McArdle’s sponsorship for this year’s Take-A-Kid-Fishing Day

Terry Graham of CPBC Fishing Club accepts Mr McArdle’s sponsorship for this year’s Take-A-Kid-Fishing Day

Terry Graham of the CPBC Fishing Club said the event has grown significantly since its inception 14 years ago.

“The Fishing Club commenced Take-A-Kid-Fishing Day in 2006 and we started off with just 35 children that year. Today, we expect over 200 coming – it’s a BIG day,” Mr Graham said.

“The goal of the day is to get the community involved in taking their children out to enjoy themselves and becoming more family oriented. But it is also about education around the environment and fishing safety.

“Fishing and the environment very much go hand-in-hand. Our club promotes: whatever you do on the water you must minimize the impact.

“We find it better to start with juniors because they really take on board what they learn and they take that information home. Parents often say - ‘My son or daughter told me I was doing the wrong thing because the Fishing Cub taught them that is the wrong thing’

“We think that’s a great outcome because the message is getting through,” Mr Graham concluded.

“Don’t forget to mark September 29th in your calendar to take your children or grandchildren fishing,” Mr McArdle said.

“Get outside for a great day with the family and help foster a deep love for the Pumicestone Passage and respect for the environment with the next generation of fishers,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Date: Sunday 29th September 2019 Location: Caloundra Power Boat Club

Registration: 7:00am–9:00am Weigh In: closes at 11.00am followed by Presentations

Cost: No entry fee. Free sausage sizzle and sample bags for the kids

Bring: Sunscreen, bait and fishing gear Major prizes: longest Whiting, Bream & Flathead

All children must be accompanied by an adult. Fishing permitted from boat, beach or shoreline.

Replacement of William Landsborough’s Memorial plaque stalled in “investigations”

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today said a community bid to have the memorial plaque of William Landsborough replaced has been stalled with Council as their team investigates the matter.

It comes as Mr McArdle wrote to the Council about his intentions to work with the Caloundra Residents Association to fund the replacement of a bronze plaque memorialising founding Caloundra settler and famous explorer William Landsborough, which has deteriorated over the years.


“After meeting with members of the local Residents Association, I wrote to the Council on 3 July to advise that I had received a quote of $1,032.90 to have an exact replica of the plaque cast in a stronger metal and affixed to the rock,” Mr McArdle said.

“I also asked, as this falls under the jurisdiction of Council, would they cover half the cost, otherwise I am prepared to fund it completely. I was promptly advised that the Community Response Team are ‘still investigating this matter’

“As we are nearing the expiry of the initial quote and I have yet to receive an update from Council, I wrote again today seeking permission to fund the plaque in full. As the plaque is the property of the Council I cannot undertake the replacement without their consent.

“In the follow-up letter I also requested the Council’s permission to donate the original plaque to the Landsborough Museum as it is a cultural artefact of great significance to our region and deserves a place in our historical archives.

“Until the time at which I am granted permission by Council to pay for the replacement of the memorial plaque, it appears it will remain in disrepair,” Mr McArdle concluded.

William Landsborough was one of Queensland’s earliest explorers, best known for leading the search for Burke and Wills, and becoming the first European to cross the continent from the Gulf to Melbourne. Landsborough purchased 2372 acres of land on the Pumicestone Passage that he named “Loch Lamerough” – which is modern day Golden Beach. Landsborough passed away in 1886 and was laid to rest on his land. In 1913 his widow had him re-interred in Toowong Cemetery.

Labor State Government sells historic caravan site out from under Caloundra’s nose

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle wants to know who in the Palaszczuk Labor Government signed off to give freehold title on one of Caloundra’s most valuable pieces of land to a developer.

It comes as the Caloundra community was only this week made aware that the State Government converted the Tripcony Hibiscus Caravan Park lease from leasehold to freehold, just eight years after promising it would remain as public land for the next 30 years.

“Not only did this Labor Government sign the papers to freehold land they promised they would not freehold, but this is a Government that blatantly sold an asset after saying they would not sell assets,” Mr McArdle said.

“To add insult to injury, they have sold away public land without telling the people of Caloundra, and they will not disclose how much money they made off the sale.

“Back in 2007-08 the lease on this site was coming to an end and there was much community debate about what should happen to such an iconic and valuable pieces of Caloundra land. On 27 April 2008, Premier Anna Bligh and Minister Craig Wallace attended Caloundra to announce that one of the State’s oldest coastal camping grounds would be retained so Queensland families could continue to enjoy affordable beach holidays on the Sunshine Coast.

“Importantly, and I would say critically, this Government did not consult with anyone in Caloundra about their intentions to freehold and sell an iconic parcel of land.

“There was a clear, moral obligation for the Palaszczuk Labor Government to do the right thing and they have failed this important test.

“We will never get this land back and the legacy is a government that failed the people of Caloundra!” Mr McArdle concluded.

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Wheels finally turning in Baringa’s school bus fight

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today congratulated the Baringa community for their perseverance as the long fight for a school bus service looks set, finally, for a win with the Palaszczuk Labor Government having to be dragged to the table to see common sense.

“My office received a phone call from Buslink on the morning of July 22 advising that a new school bus service had been approved. It will extend into Baringa and take students from the area to Meridan State College,” Mr McArdle said.

School bus supporters gathered at the May 18, 2019 Bus Forum

School bus supporters gathered at the May 18, 2019 Bus Forum

“We have also been advised the new service ‘Route 5737’, will travel from Unity College to Baringa State Primary School then to Meridan College and back, and will begin on 9 September. We now need to wait for more details to be announced by Buslink but this is excellent news in a long fought battle by this community.

“Congratulation to everyone who has lent their voices to this issue, in particular Principal Petitioner Jamie Broderick. No one gave up, no one backed down and now Baringa’s most important residents, children, will have their school bus.”

Baringa’s State High School is not set to open until the 2021 school year leaving students to commute to other schools in the catchment including Meridan State College. However, the existing school bus service stops only at Unity College forcing students to walk upwards for 5km to catch their bus. Mr McArdle sponsored Mrs Broderick’s petition and held a community forum on 18 May in which Buslink representatives finally committed to working with parents to find a solution.

“It is incomprehensible that the Palaszczuk Labor Government opened Baringa State Primary School but leaving grade seven students without a school bus service to attend grade 7,” Mr McArdle said.

“It is sad that it took a community forum and countless hours of communication to get the State Government to see that Baringa’s children need a safe, reliable bus service to get them to school.

“Needless to say, the wheels are finally turning and soon these student will have their bus,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Caloundra Electorate Community Awards shine bright for another year

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today announced the official opening of nominations for the seventh annual Caloundra Electorate Community Awards.

The awards, which are hosted by Mr McArdle and sponsored by Caloundra RSL Services Club, Caloundra Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank and Henzells Agency, are about recognising the best of the best in the Caloundra community.

2018 Community Award Winners

2018 Community Award Winners

“We are half way through another year but I always look forward to July because it officially marks the opening of the Community Awards. With each year I am increasingly inspired by the stories that accompany the nominations,” Mr McArdle said.

“There are so many dedicated people and organisations who add to the richness of our electorate which extends from Caloundra out to the Hinterland. We need the community’s help to shine a light on those working hard behind the scenes by completing a nomination today.”

Cathy Stamp, President of the Caloundra RSL Services Club said the club has been involved with the awards from the beginning because it is a great way to promote and recognise the work of volunteers in Caloundra.

“Volunteers are an integral part of the community and without them many services would cease to exist,” Mrs Stamp said.

“It is also a wonderful incentive and reward for those who are nominated.”

Bendigo Community Bank Branch manager, Pip Fawcett, says it is often the quiet achievers that are among the most unsung heroes of our local community.

“We all know that person who goes above and beyond. They’re the ones that don’t look for recognition or honour. Now is the time to shine the light and give thanks for their selfless dedication.

“The nomination process isn’t onerous so let’s make this the biggest year yet. Nominate today,” Ms Fawcett said.

"As a local business it is important to the Henzells team that we invest in the local community so it is a pleasure to be part of such a well-deserving event for another year,” said Katherine Allen, Operating Manager of Henzells Agency.

“These Awards provide an important forum to acknowledge the contribution that each nominee makes to our way of life.”

“Remember, it isn’t just about the nominees and the winners but also everyone who takes the time to nominate. I strongly encourage the community to help recognise businesses, community groups and outstanding individuals doing important work here in Caloundra,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Award categories include:

• Young Achiever of the Year

• Young Sport Achiever of the Year

• Sport Achiever of the Year

• Environmental Contributor of the Year

• Community Volunteer of the Year

• Community Group of the Year

• Community Event of the Year

• Business Achiever of the Year

• Caloundra Hall of Fame Identity

Nominations close Friday, 27 September. Nomination forms can be collected from Mark McArdle’s Electorate Office, or by phoning 5329 4100 or alternatively can be completed online at .

The Awards will be presented on Friday, 11 October at the CCSA Hall, 1 Nutley St, Caloundra.

Information session opens valuable community discussion on End-of-Life programs

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today thanked residents of the Sunshine Coast for attending his Community Information Session on Palliative Care and Voluntary Assisted Dying on Friday 28 June.

“I want to thank everyone who took time out of their morning to join in an important community discussion about both Palliative Care and Voluntary Assisted Dying,” Mr McArdle said.

“These are not easy topics to hear and speak about but they are significant as this is a stage of life we must all face some day.

“The community needs to be given the opportunity to learn more about what the current laws are and what changes to the legislation might mean for them. They need to be able to do so in both a safe and informative setting.

“I also want to thank our guest speakers Shyla Mills, CEO of Palliative Care Queensland and Jos Hall, President of Dying with Dignity Queensland. Both provided invaluable insight on their respective topic and answered all question posed to them by attendees.

“We also heard from Kelly Gourlay, the National Policy Advisor for Palliative Care Queensland, David Muir, the Chairman of Clem Jones Trust and many other members of the community.

“Based on the feedback I was given on the day I believe we all came away with a lot of new knowledge about Palliative Care, Voluntary Assisted Dying and end-of-life programs in other states and countries.

“The morning was not about having a debate but providing an opportunity to learn from each other. I think that we achieved that but of course, this conversation is certainly not the last,” Mr McArdle concluded.


William Landsborough’s memorial plaque to get a new lease on life

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today said he would work with the Caloundra Residents Association to fund the replacement of a bronze plaque memorialising founding Caloundra settler and famous explorer William Landsborough, which has deteriorated over the years.

Mark with Caloundra Residents Association Inc members Brady Sullivan, Ian Smyth (President) and Peter Ryan (Vice-President) at the deteriorating William Landsborough Memorial Plaque in Golden Beach.

Mark with Caloundra Residents Association Inc members Brady Sullivan, Ian Smyth (President) and Peter Ryan (Vice-President) at the deteriorating William Landsborough Memorial Plaque in Golden Beach.

It comes as Mr McArdle recently meet with Caloundra Resident Association executive committee members about the sad state of the plaque which sits at the park located in the middle of the Golden Beach Shopping precinct, across from the pedestrian crossing.

“I have been discussing the issue of the plaque with Residents Association President Ian Smyth and I agree that something needs to be done about it,” Mr McArdle said.

“The plaque was placed here to commemorate the first resting place of William Landsborough and honour his legacy as one of Queensland and indeed Australia’s greatest explorers.

“As can happen, the plaque has aged and deteriorated with the elements but the time has come for it to be replaced so we can keep Landsborough’s legacy alive. Memorial items of this nature should not be allowed to fall to this level of disrepair before being replaced.

“I have acquired a quote of $1,032.90 to have an exact replica of the plaque cast in a stronger metal and affixed to the rock. As this falls under the jurisdiction of Council’s heritage department I have asked Council to cover half the cost; otherwise I am prepared to fund it completely.”

“This park and the plaque are significant to Caloundra and the district because William Landsborough was one of founding Fathers of Caloundra,” Mr Smyth said.

“Many things are named after him such as Landsborough Pde and Landsborough itself, so it is really important that we maintain this commemoration of him.”

Peter Ryan, Vice-President of the Caloundra Residents Association said he believed the plaque had nearly been forgotten by the community and its replacement would help highlight its existence.

“This plaque is hidden away and nearly forgotten so I thank Mark very much for bringing it to the community’s attention. This should be used as an opportunity to do something appropriate for the memory of William Landsborough,” Mr Ryan said.

Brady Sullivan, Residents Association Executive Committee Member agreed that the important role Landsborough played in Australian history should continue to be memorialised at the Park.

“William Landsborough’s story is significant to the heritage of both early Australia and the Caloundra region. His choice to call our beautiful region by the Pumicestone Passage home made him one of the early settlers of Caloundra,” Mr Sullivan said.

“In order to celebrate Caloundra, I think it is important to commemorate our wonderful history.”

“I look forward to announcing the future unveiling of the new plaque, but I would encourage the community to take a moment to visit the park and pay tribute to Caloundra’s rich history,” Mr McArdle said.

“I also wish to offer the existing plaque, with Council’s permission, to the Landsborough Museum to add to their collection,” Mr McArdle concluded.

William Landsborough was one of Queensland’s earliest explorers, best known for leading the search for Burke and Wills, and becoming the first European to cross the continent from the Gulf to Melbourne. Landsborough purchased 2372 acres of land on the Pumicestone Passage that he named “Loch Lamerough” – which is modern day Golden Beach. Landsborough passed away in 1886 and was laid to rest on his land. In 1913 his widow had him re-interred in Toowong Cemetery.


State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today said Labor’s own Budget Papers show it continues to fail to provide timely treatment in public hospitals across the Sunshine Coast.

“The 2019/2020 Health Budget Papers for the Sunshine Coast region show a dismal result by Labor for Coast residents,” Mr McArdle said.

“The papers reveal a number of failures including:

  1. Treatment times in our Emergency Departments

  2. Elective Surgery patients treated on time

  3. The percentage of Specialist Outpatients waiting within the clinically recommended time to be assessed to establish if they need surgery, and

  4. The actual number of patients who received elective surgery.

“These are basic yardsticks to gauge how effectively our public money is being spent and the impact that spend is having on the health of Sunshine Coast residents.

“The reality is Labor has failed on many of these questions with the loser being Sunshine Coast residents.

“Steven Miles continues to trumpet record budgets and more staff, yet the budget papers say our results are not improving. It is not the quality of the medical staff that cause concern, it is the malaise in Miles’ office and increased bureaucracy that stop people seeing a doctor or nurse.

“You can spend as much as you like but it is the outcome that matters and it is the outcome that is so poor here on the Coast.

“The figures (below) point to a bleak picture in many areas; some of the ‘lowlights’ include:

  1. Only 68% of Category 2 and 61% of Category 3 patients were seen in our Emergency Departments on time. In fact they could not even manage to treat all Category 1 patients on time. These are the most seriously ill or injured.

  2. Only 87% of Category 1, 78% of Category 2 and 86% of Category 3 Elective Surgery patients were treated on time. Delayed treatment compromises outcomes.

  3. Only 64% of Category 1, 43% of Category 2 and 78% of Category 3 Outpatients were waiting within recommended times to be assessed to see if they required surgery. Patients need certainty, and delays can cause complications and anguish.

  4. Of 9,179 Coast residents who should have had Elective Surgery in the 2018/2019 year only 7,251 got it, almost 2,000 less than the target.

“Let’s remember the $1.8billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital opened in March 2017 – a period of over 2 years ago. What do we have to do to get the services we need?

“Labor are supposed to be operating a world-class hospital and we were promised it would not open until it was fit to run. These figures again condemn Labor’s ability to run a sophisticated medical service,” Mr McArdle concluded.

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