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.
“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.