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.

LET THE ICONIC SKATE PARK REMAIN AT DICKY BEACH

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle last week met with concerned residents over mounting speculation that the Dicky Beach Skate Park could soon be moved from its home at the icon beach spot.

It comes as Skate-Aid Australia founder and local skateboarding instructor Dave Fisher recently helped launch the Save the Dicky Beach Skate Park campaign to seek community support for the skate park to remain at its original home after questions arose about the parks ambiguous placement in the Council’s Dicky Beach Precinct Plan.

 David Fisher and Tully with Mark McArdle MP

David Fisher and Tully with Mark McArdle MP

“The skate park has had a long life here at Dicky Beach and so it should remain here and be integrated into future developments earmarked for this area,” Mr McArdle said.

“We enjoy one of the best climates on the planet and skate parks provide another way for children to get outside in the fresh air and escape screens for a while, contributing to a healthier lifestyle.

“Dicky Beach is such an idyllic spot and what I’m hearing is that those who skateboard here, their parents and the surrounding community see the skate park as part of the local landscape and it is loved by all.”

David Fisher agrees that the skate park contributes to a healthy lifestyle for the children who use it but also feels it plays a much bigger role in bringing the community together.

“The Dicky Beach Skate Park means absolutely everything to the kids who use it. It gives them a place to go, a place to belong, it gives them the knowledge that they can turn up to this park and they will have someone to skate and hang out with,” Mr Fisher said.

“It’s not just about the quality of the concrete, it’s the community that is associated with this skate park that make it so important. That’s what we believe we could lose if it moves somewhere else.

“The feelings about this skate park go beyond the skaters who use it and the thing that makes this park special is its location. It’s a multi-use area – in addition to the skate park, we’ve got places in the shade to sit and have picnics and the beach is right there so you can have a swim or surf right after. That’s what so beautiful about this location.

“The majority of people who have spoken to want it left in the same location,” Mr Fisher concluded.

“It’s clear that there is growing community support for the skate park to remain here, at its original home and I completely share that view,” Mr McArdle said.

“If Council has other plans for this park or are in fact “investigating” its future location, I want to stress that the local community needs to be included through proper community consultation.

“I have signed the Save the Dicky Beach Skate Park petition and I encourage anyone who feels strongly about the park remaining exactly where it is to sign the petition as well. If you are a local resident or business, you can write a letter of support for the park and send it to Cr Tim Dwyer, or to my office.

“There are also plenty of great events Dave and the children have planned, so visit the Save the Dicky Beach Skate Park Facebook page to stay updated,” Mr McArdle concluded.

School Holidays highlight need for extra water police on Passage

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today appealed to the Caloundra community and people expecting to travel to the area this school holidays to respect others while enjoying the waterways.

It comes as Golden Beach resident Lyn Gahan’s petition calling for more water police to help patrol the Pumicestone Passage was tabled in State Parliament on 15 November with more than 1100 signatures.

“We are coming up to Christmas 2018 and thousands of people will come to Caloundra to enjoy the beaches and waterways that we benefit from every day,” Mr McArdle said.

Lyn Gahan with Mark Petition.jpg

“Most people who use the waterways do so with respect for others, but every school holidays we see a few rat bags behaving in a way that puts people’s lives in danger and places undue stresses on the natural environment of the Pumicestone Passage.

“It’s during school holidays that the message of Lyn’s petition really resonates – we need a greater police presence on our waterways.

“We have just four Water Police Officers for the entire Sunshine Coast. The teams, made up of two officers each, have historically been kept busy in Noosa and Maroochydore during school holidays. That leaves no one to service this very busy end of the Coast.

“We have welcomed many new residents into Aura in the past 12 months and it would be foolish to think they won’t take advantage of the beautiful beaches on offer around Caloundra.

“The growth in Caloundra needs to be taken seriously by this Labor Government. The community is rightly asking for more police numbers of the Sunshine Coast District Water Police and that a site be purchased in the Caloundra coastal area for a future base which will be needed with further increasing demands.

“However, we know we won’t have these increased police numbers this school holidays so I am asking everyone to be safe and smart while enjoying the waterways.

“Remember, excessive speeds from just one motorised vehicle can cause erosion on the banks of Bribie Island as well as disrupting everyone else in the water such as swimmers, stand up paddle boarders, kayakers and fishing boats.

“Let’s work together to ensure we all have a great Christmas and summer holiday on the Pumicestone Passage and hopefully we will benefit from greater water police number for 2019,” Mr McArdle concluded.

BAILEY FAILS CALOUNDRA ROAD - LONGEST CAR PARK ON THE SUNSHINE COAST - CONGESTION

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today attacked Labor Minister Mark Bailey for his ineptitude and dragging the chain in getting lights and exits lanes off the Caloundra Road - Nicklin Way roundabout on a permanent basis.

It comes as Transport Minister Mark Bailey, on 18 September stated that metering traffic lights at Caloundra Road - Nicklin Way roundabout would, ‘---mainly operate during the afternoon peak,’ and then use ‘queue detectors’ to ‘show a significant traffic build up,’ to trigger the lights.

Caloundra Road Traffic Congestion.png

“How many have to back up – how long do people wait. Simple solution – make them fully operational at all times,” Mr McArdle said.

“To believe that we only have peak hour in the afternoon shows a complete lack of knowledge of how many vehicles use the intersection and when.

“Anybody who knows Caloundra understands, any day of the week, from any direction traffic builds up. I suggest that the Minister be on Caloundra Road at 9.00am heading into Caloundra during the week or from 10am onwards in either direction during the weekends when congestion starts, and increases through the day.

“I am amazed that exit lanes, taking traffic off the roundabout, are not included!

“I pose the question: with 50,000 people moving into Aura and a further 14,000 to 17,000 into Harmony how will they get in and out of Caloundra’s beaches – Caloundra Road of course? More traffic.

“We worked very hard to get these lights in and I want to congratulate the people who took up the fight. But we need our proper share. We pay taxes and we pay a significant amount of those taxes to the State Government. They owe us the use of the money to improve this roundabout and in fact all of Caloundra Road.

“Mark Bailey needs to wake up to himself. He further claimed in an Answer to a Question on Notice that;

‘A future proposed second stage involves the extension

of Third Avenue to form a new signalised intersection

with Nicklin Way.’

“What in God’s name is he talking about. That is of some value but nothing about exit lanes at the roundabout and planning is on the never never. Population increases are coming from the south and west of the roundabout.

“I would also like to hear from the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce – their members use this intersection. They should be pushing hard for a better outcome.

“I say to Mark Bailey – stop mucking around, get traffic lights in place that work 24/7 and put in exit lanes. That’s what you’re paid to do,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Queensland set to debate euthanasia and palliative care

An inquiry into euthanasia and palliative care has been commenced by the Queensland Parliament with it being referred to the Health, Communities, Disability Services and Domestic and Family Violence Prevention (HCDSDFV) Committee on the 14th November 2018, with the final report due by 30 November 2019.

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle said, “Community discussion surrounding euthanasia and palliative care is an invaluable element in the inquiry.

“The questions surrounding euthanasia and palliative care are fraught with deeply emotional, ethical and religious beliefs often coupled with profoundly personal experiences.

“It is because of these experiences I believe it to be incredibly important that we hear from our community. Patients, carers, health care workers, the extended family and indeed all of us have an opinion. Many can tell from personal experience the difficulty these questions arouse.

“Whilst acknowledging the courage and strength it takes to speak about end-of-life options, we can come together and have a genuine and meaningful discussion about a stage of life we will all face one day.

“Within the inquiry the HCDSDFV Committee also will look at the delivery of aged care but with regard to euthanasia the Committee must

‘---report to the Legislative Assembly on:

(b) Queensland community and relevant health practitioners’

views on the desirability of supporting voluntary assisted dying,

including provisions for it being legislated in Queensland and

any necessary safeguards to protect vulnerable persons.’

“The scope for the inquiry will be very wide and will include consideration of other jurisdictions, in Australia and around the world where legislation for end-of-life and voluntary assisted dying is in place.

“I encourage all who have an opinion to read the terms of reference and to let me know their thoughts through a form that has been set up on my website.

“Please note that this is not a formal submission but an opportunity to let me know your thoughts on the matter. You will be able to make a formal submission to the Committee in the coming months. I will keep you updated as to when submissions are open.

“For now let’s commence an honest and respectful discussion here on the Coast about end-of-life knowing that our thoughts and comments could impact on the ultimate report by the Committee,” Mr McArdle concluded.

A discussion form can be access via Mark McArdle MP’s website: www.markmcardlemp.com/euthanasia-discussion

Terms of reference can be found at the Work of the Committees website through Queensland Parliament: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/committees/HCDSDFVPC/inquiries/current-inquiries/AgedCareEOLPC

MINISTER FOBS OFF BARINGA STATE HIGH SCHOOL

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today slammed the Labor State Education Minister Grace Grace after their meeting in Parliament House on Thursday 15 November.

“I went to the meeting with head petitioner Debbie Hardie who has been pushing for a State High School to be built at Baringa for the 2020 school year,” Mr McArdle said.

Baringa_School_0301.jpg

“To be honest, the Minister did listen to the concerns of Debbie but simply failed to comprehend the position the Labor Government has placed the parents and student in, by failing to plan for the High School to open so Year 6 students could transition to Year 7 in 2020.

“When pushed a member of the Ministers office said that the S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) course taught at Meridan College was ‘very similar’ to that at Baringa. I’ve been around long enough to understand what the term ‘very similar’ means, in political speak. If they come within cooee of each other it will be a miracle.

After the meeting, Principle Petitioner and mother Debbie Hardie said, “To say the least I am frustrated.”

“I have been fighting for a common sense outcome for a long time and I’m getting nowhere. Children will now have to travel to Meridan State College, on the other side of Caloundra, and then return home to Baringa five days a week and attend other sporting activities or functions.

“All I want is for my children and the children who live in Baringa to be able to go a school in Baringa in 2020 that teaches Year 7. It can’t be that difficult.

“I can’t understand how a Government could plan to build a school for Year 6 students but not understand that those Year 6 students will have to go into Year 7. It is known when that will occur. No thought has been given to the implications of what has taken place,” Mrs Hardie concluded.

“The Minister agreed that the Department will follow whether a bus being can be made available to transport students between Baringa and Meridan State College on a daily basis. At least that is something, but not much,” Mr McArdle said.

“The Minister also said the Department will liaise directly with Meridan State College to get an arrangement in place to help with school uniforms and books required at the college which will be dumped after the students return to the new Baringa State High School when it opens.

“It’s all well and good sitting in George Street with maps, plans, models of schools, and looking at figures on a bit of paper, but they don’t replace the flesh and blood concerns of parents who live in Baringa and the children who will be disrupted by this lack of forward planning.

“Regrettably, single parents or parents who have children attending both Meridan State College and Baringa Primary School, will be greatly disadvantaged.

“This is a very sad outcome but we must get the best we can for people who live in Baringa,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Major Coast Hospitals Ramping Go from Bad to Worse

Tuesday 23 October 2018

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today slammed the Palaszczuk Labor Government and Health Minister Steven Miles, for the worsening ramping at the Coast’s major hospitals; Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) and Nambour Hospital.

Ramping is how long a patient lies on a trolley before they are treated by a doctor or nurse in an Emergency Department and the absolute most a patient should wait is 30 minutes.

“In December 2017, 24% of patients were waiting on a trolley at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital more than 30 minutes before getting into the Emergency Department. At the same time 18% of patients at Nambour Hospital were waiting more than 30 minutes. This also means emergency care paramedics were not back on the road.

“By August 2018 these waiting times had blown out to 28% at Sunshine Coast University Hospital and 27% at Nambour Hospital.

“This University hospital has been open since April 2017 and with 18 months having passed, it is hard to believe that the Labor Palaszczuk Government has not established how to efficiently co-ordinate the running of Emergency Departments of our major hospitals.

“After spending $1.8 billion on the University hospital, Labor and Minister Miles cannot get the basics right. They can’t get patients off trolleys and into the Emergency Department and then into hospital beds if needed.

“Sadly it’s patients who suffer and paramedics who have to wait. Patients are denied medical treatment, in ever increasing numbers, with Paramedics waiting outside the Emergency Department and not being back on the road looking after the next sick or injured person.

“I won’t accept the argument that “bugs” are still being ironed out. We have had years of planning, years of training and it appears we are going to have years of ramping.

“Next time you pass an ambulance think how long the paramedics are going to have to wait outside the Emergency Department with the patient they are transporting. Consider that the next patient may be a friend or indeed a family member and think how long will they wait because of Labor’s ramping.

“Paramedics do an exceptional job, as do doctors and nurses, but it is the bureaucrats in George Street and Labor that do not understand that patients need to get proper and timely treatment. Ramping is a serious symptom of a hospital suffering many problems.

“Labor’s answer will be to spend more money. How about we get a full return on the dollars we already spend. How about Labor stop believing throwing money at a problem is automatically going to solve it. Let’s spend the money wisely. Sunshine Coast residents deserve that.”

Ends.

For further information contact: Media Unit | Office of Mark McArdle | 0438 449243

Questions loom over Caloundra Road traffic congestion solutions

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today expressed his concern that the Caloundra community could face more years of uncertainly over the notorious issue of Caloundra Road traffic congestion.

It comes as Mr McArdle posed two separate Questions on Notice to Transport Minister Mark Bailey in State Parliament last week, seeking firm answers to when traffic and exit lights will be installed at the Ridgewood Road-Caloundra Rd intersection and when the people of Caloundra could expect a “final result” to the Caloundra Road-Nicklin Way roundabout chaos.

“The traffic congestion on the “Sunshine Coast’s Longest Carpark” – Caloundra Road is something that people who live and work in Caloundra have suffered for years and understandably their frustration is growing because we are still without any holistic solutions to this chaos,” Mr McArdle said

“Together with this community I have been fighting for answers and I recently asked the Minister for Transport and Main roads two Questions on Notice;

1. I refer the Minister to the article in the Sunshine Coast Daily today concerning the ‘intersection of Caloundra Road, Nicklin Way and Pelican Waters Dr’ and to the statement attributed to the Minister – “We have also allocated $500,000 for planning to progress further staged improvements in this area’ and I ask;

When will this planning be complete, what and how many further stages are being considered and when will the people of Caloundra get a final result to the traffic chaos at this roundabout.

2. With respect to the intersection of Caloundra Road and Ridgewood Road will the Minister advise the date traffic lights will be installed.”

“There are two simple questions that require a full and frank answer. This has been going on for far too long. My message to the Minister is – Do the job, we in Caloundra are paying you to do” said Mr McArdle

Ends.

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

Caloundra prepares to welcome the Container Refund Scheme

Queensland will take a major step towards reducing beverage litter in the environment when the Container Refund Scheme (CRS) is introduced on 1 November 2018.

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle said he expects the Caloundra community to embrace the new refund scheme with open arms due to the positive environmental impact it will have as well as the potential financial benefit for local organisations.

“We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, but unfortunately Queensland still remains one of the most littered States in Australia and beverage containers are the second most commonly found item in our parks, streets and waterways like the Pumicestone Passage,” Mr McArdle said.

“The CRS provides an incentive for people to collect and return eligible containers for recycling in exchange for a 10 cent refund per container.

“This opens the door for enormous revenue raising programs for community organisations and charities such as our local Scouts troops.”

Scouts Qld General Manager Gavin Kelly said the scheme had the potential to be quite a substantial income source for community groups and the Caloundra Electorate could expect to see local Scouts become involved.

“I expect every Scouts group in Queensland will eventually act as a donation point with a wheelie bin or caged trailer dedicated to collecting containers so the refund can then be paid back directly to that Scouts groups,” Mr Kelly said.

“It’s not just Scouts; the scheme will have significant benefits right across the board for all community groups, helping them reduce other fundraising programs they may be running.

“For Scouts there will be the added benefit of getting the kids involved with their local community through container drives and speaking with local businesses about potential partnerships.

“Scout Groups in South Australia do very well from container recycling as a fund raiser so the possibilities are remarkable.”

Mr McArdle said new information about drop off locations and exactly which containers would be eligible for the refund will continue to be updated over the coming weeks and months, but Caloundra already has three confirmed locations.

“At this time we know there will be Local Container Refund Points in Caloundra, Dicky Beach and Caloundra West,” Mr McArdle said

“Closer to 1 November community groups will be able to register as either a mobile drop off locations where the community can donate their containers or a virtual donation points so people to choose for their refund to be directed to that group.

“Most aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and liquid paperboard beverage containers between 150ml and 3L (litres) are eligible for a refund when returned to a container refund point. However there will be some types of containers that are excluded such as plain milk containers and glass which has contained wine or pure spirits.

“The containers that are eligible for a refund are those which make up the majority of container litter in the environment. Excluded containers can still be recycled through existing kerbside collection or drop-off services.

“I expect that Caloundra will come together as a community to ensure that we are all aware of which containers are eligible for the refund, support local community groups and do our part to ensure our local environment remains pristine.”

Container Recycling Scheme.png

To find out more about Scout Groups participating in your area, please contact Gavin Kelly by emailing gm@scoutsqld.com.au or ring the Scouts QLD office at 07 3870 7000.

For more information about the scheme, eligible containers or to sign up as a collection point visit: http://containerexchange.com.au/ or www.containersforchange.com.au

Ends.

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