COMMUNITY TO FIGHT BELLVISTA BUS STOP CLOSURES

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today sponsored a community-led petition calling on the State Government to reinstate the six bus stops that were closed in Bellvista and Bells Reach as part of the introduction of Bus Route 606 in March.

“The Bellvista and Bells Reach community have been left stunned by a decision to close six bus stop locations in the local area with many only learning of the change when the fronted the closed stop locations on 25 March,” Mr McArdle said.

“To provide a very simple overview of the situation, Translink introduced new Bus Route 606 to Caloundra and as part of this new service significant changes were made to the existing Bus Route 603.

“Route 603 originally had six bus stop locations to service the areas of Bellvista and Bells Reach, but these six stops have been removed from Route 603 and one new bus stop was introduced on Bus Route 606. This means there is only one public bus stop servicing this community.”

Mark McArdle sponsored the community petition launched by Bellvista resident David Thomson and his wife Robyn

Mark McArdle sponsored the community petition launched by Bellvista resident David Thomson and his wife Robyn

Principal Petitioner and Bellvista Resident David Thomson said the bus stop closures are already having a significant impact on the lives of many people in the community.

“My wife Robyn and I have decided to launch a petition calling on the State Government to reopen the bus stops they have closed in the Bellvista area – particularly around the Bellcarra Retirement Village where people are getting older and rely heavily on public transport,” Mr Thomson said.

“Because of the bus stop closures I, along with other people in the Village have started volunteering to take residents to the shops and their doctor’s appointments as they can no longer walk to the bus stop,” Mr Thomson concluded.

“The closures of these stops means older and vulnerable people from this area now have to walk much longer distances to catch a bus. This is a devastating blow to a person’s independence when they rely on public transport,” Mr McArdle said.

“For the sake of everyone in Bellvista and Bells Reach I am hoping for some common sense, with the bus stops reopening quickly,” Mr McArdle concluded.

The petition can be signed in person at the Caloundra Electorate Office at 1/20 Ormuz Ave Caloundra and online at https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/petition-details?id=3116

Zonta Caloundra celebrates 30 years of changing lives

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle recently presented the Zonta Club of Caloundra with a special commemoration to celebrate three decades of advancing the status of women, both locally and globally.

“In February of this year my wife Judy and I had the great honour of attending the Zonta Club of Caloundra’s 30th anniversary event,” Mr McArdle said.

Zonta’s Marilyn Holness, Simone Ricketts (President) Pam Hall (Vice-President), Kelly Callaghan (Past President) and Jillian Scott are presented with a special 30th anniversary commemoration by Mark McArdle MP.

Zonta’s Marilyn Holness, Simone Ricketts (President) Pam Hall (Vice-President), Kelly Callaghan (Past President) and Jillian Scott are presented with a special 30th anniversary commemoration by Mark McArdle MP.

“The following week I spoke in State Parliament of the incredible work this group of women do for our community because I felt that it was important to highlight the club’s history, their achievements and their projects which support women and children.

“In celebrating the past 30 years, Zonta Caloundra looked back on its many achievements which included the RISE project. RISE stands for ‘Restart In a Safe Environment’ and offers a domestic violence refuge in Caloundra for women and children.

“Raising the funds and constructing this refuge was a tremendous achievement and I think we can look to organisations like Zonta for guidance and inspiration.”

Zonta Club of Caloundra President Simone Ricketts said the milestone further highlights what a group of women working together can accomplish.

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of women seeking to make a difference in the lives of other women,” Dr Ricketts said.

“Looking to the next 30 years, we will continue to promote service and advocacy projects to empower women and girls both internationally and locally.

“I can only imagine what we will accomplish going forward if we remain inspired by all our goals realised so far,” Dr Ricketts concluded.

“Again, I salute Zonta for the great work they have done. I wish them all the best for the next 30 years in Caloundra and beyond, Mr McArdle concluded.

FUNDRAISER FOR BEERWAH AND DISTRICT RSL LAUNCHED

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today launched a fundraising initiative for the Beerwah and District RSL Sub-Branch to construct a new home for the members.

In October 2017 Mr McArdle met with the Sub-Branch to discuss the difficulties they had faced, but it was clear at the time that members had not lost their spirit or enthusiasm for the important work of supporting veterans and their families.

The Beerwah and District RSL Sub-Branch are aiming to raise $30,000 to help contruct their new “home”

The Beerwah and District RSL Sub-Branch are aiming to raise $30,000 to help contruct their new “home”

“The Beerwah and District RSL has been being doing it tough of recent times but, undeterred by past events the members have pushed forward. They have now secured a parcel of land on which to build a structure,” Mr McArdle said.

“The Sub-Branch now are seeking community support to raise the funds needed to build this new ‘home’. The fundraiser will be to the tune of $30,000 to allow construction of a suitable premises and connection to electricity and water.

“Beerwah and District RSL commenced its life just after WWII and has played a significant role in supporting veterans in the community.

“The current members acknowledge the important ground work done by the founding members which included Nev Anning, Cliff Barr, Bill Neil, Bill Swann, Alan Free, Tom Baker and Finch and Jack Barry. Of course so many more men and women have contributed to the RSL’s proud history.

“Full details of the fundraiser will be released shortly and I am simply asking organisations and people who have enjoyed the comradery of the RSL and acknowledge their wonderful contribution to our system of government and democratic lifestyle to give as much as they can for this very worthy cause.

“We cannot allow this proud RSL Sub-Branch to fade and importantly your contribution will renew and revitalise the spirit that has so long lived in Beerwah due to its connection with the RSL,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Labor Isolates Bellvista by cutting bus stop numbers

Public Forum Saturday 18 May 10am – 12 noon

Caloundra Power Boat Club, Golden Beach

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today claimed the Labor Government and in particular the Transport Minister Mark Bailey has gone out of his way to virtually isolate Bellvista from public transport leaving many people and families unable to connect with other regions of Caloundra and the Sunshine Coast.

“When I read that the Palaszczuk Labor Government was going to govern from the Coast for a week I assumed that would mean initiatives that would help people in Caloundra,” Mr McArdle said.

“I was stunned to read that the opposite was true concerning Bellvista. The fact they have cut six existing bus stops from the area and replaced them with two new ones flies in the face of common sense and is another burden on people who require and use public transport.

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“I am also aware that the Labor Party in Caloundra organised a meeting with Mark Bailey whilst the Government was ‘Governing from the Coast’ but within 12 hours of that meeting the cuts in the number of bus stops was announced. I congratulate the ALP in Caloundra for this outcome or was it the fact that they simply we’re not advised what was going to happen. ‘With friends like’ as the saying goes.

“If Labor claims they are working for the community it is hard to reconcile the language to the actions. We can’t let this occur without one hell of a fight.

“It is vital that the Government understand this isn’t people ‘whinging’ that they will have to walk an additional 600m to the next bus stop. Public transport gives people who do not have a vehicle or are unable to drive freedom and independence. We cannot take that away from them.

“From the inquiries I have made no, and I repeat, NO consultation was undertaken by the Department before doing this. I have been told by numerous people they first they heard of it was when they fronted the bus stop to see a notice stating the stop would cease to exist.

“I will be holding a public meeting on Saturday 18 May, 10am – 12noon at the Caloundra Power Boat Club so the community can explain exactly how these thoughtless changes will impact their lives. I will be inviting both the Minister and Translink.

“As I said Labor was supposed to Govern from the Coast; I believe what Mark Bailey has done is dud the people of Bellvista who, like all Queenslanders, pay their taxes.

“Labor, Palaszczuk and Bailey are the complete opposite to what we want here on the Sunshine Coast; that is a Government and Minister who are prepared to put the hard yards in. People in Bellvista who rely on public transport have every right to be outraged at the cut in bus stop numbers,” Mr McArdle concluded.

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.

Ends.

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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Ends.

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