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.