Locals shine in biggest ever Caloundra Community Awards

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has congratulated the local community for their outstanding representation in the sixth annual Caloundra Electorate Community Awards. In the largest ever showing, 180 people filled the CCSA Hall on Friday to hear the winners announced for each of the nine award categories, which were selected from 71 individual nominations.


“These Awards are about recognising the best of the best in our community and I am continually inspired by the people who are nominated each year.” Mr McArdle said.

Fourteen individual students and two classes from across the Caloundra Electorate were nominated this year in the two youth categories, Young Achieve and Young Sports Achiever. Molly Rava from Caloundra City Private School took out the Young Achiever Award for her work towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award and countless hours of dedication to charitable causes.

Li-Lou Burns- Gillet from Baringa State Primary School was recognised as the 2018 Young Sport Achiever for her outstanding achievements as an accomplished International Rhythmic Gymnast. Li-lou has won a number of accolades which include Overall Champion AA Gold Medal at the International Rhythmic Gymnastics Tournament Prahran Invitational, QLD Senior Challenge 1 and 2 and the QLD Senior State Championship – just to name a few.

Dicky Beach Surf Lifesaving Club’s Jess Simpson was recognised in the adult Sport Achiever category this year for her dedication to community safety in her roleas volunteer Club Caption. Jess was recently named the Young Lifesaver of the Year and was previously named Summer Surf Girl in the same year she helped raise almost $100,000 for the club.

In the Environmental Contributor category, Friends of the Forest member Jan Kesby took out the award for her role for devoting 23 years to the environment including educating thousands of children and adults on waterways, fauna, flora and bush tucker.

Across the three community award categories 31 groups and individuals were nominated for their dedication to supporting local residents through volunteering, support programs and special events. There are many great events across the Sunshine Coast but Caloundra’s New Year’s Eve Celebration too out this year’s Community Event of the Year. Organised by Pelican Waters resident Rhonda Pattinson, the event has grown from fireworks, to a full family celebration which attracts locals and tourist alike.

Pacific Lutheran College’s own Gary Graves was award Volunteer of the Year for single handily leading the kayaking program at the College for over 16 years. Gary has also been instrumental in providing opportunity for students who are not naturally inclined towards sport to find a sport they love and experience success. This has had a profound effect on the self-esteem of many students.

Caloundra SES was awarded the Community Group of the Year award for their work behind the scenes preparing themselves and the community to minimise the effects of a disaster. The volunteers of Caloundra SES have and continue to empower people to help themselves and others in their community in times of emergency and disaster.

Business Achiever of the Year, Caloundra Garden and Pet Supplies has become a fixture in Caloundra in just seven years of operation. Owner, Will Waterford’s dedication to his customers will also be recognised in the State Government’s ‘100 Faces of Small Business’. Will says there is no point starting a business if you don’t love it and feels his customers keep coming back because they know the staff want to be there.

To cap off the morning’s celebration of outstanding community achievers, The Barry Family of Ithaca-Caloundra’s Surf Lifesaving Club were honoured with the top award of Caloundra Hall of Fame Identity.

Mr McArdle, who referred to the Barry’s as the “First Family of Caloundra” said three generations of Barry’s have been keeping Bulcock Beach safe for the community for more than 30 years.

“Tony, Trish, Lynda, Paul, Samantha and Laura Barry are fixtures in Caloundra, and you will see them patrolling every season,’ Mr McArdle said.

“People like the Barry family epitomise the community spirit we are so lucky to have here in Caloundra and these awards give us a little glimpse into the selfless, quiet achievers working behind the scenes for all of us.

“I am so proud to be part of a great community that works so well together and tend to look after each other.” Mr McArdle said.

“I would like to thank our sponsors at Caloundra Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank, Henzells Agency and Caloundra RSL Services Club for helping to make these awards possible.”

“Again, thank you and congratulations to each of our winners and all the nominees for their hard work helps make Caloundra the wonderful place it is,” Mr McArdle concluded

2018 Caloundra Electorate Community Award Winners

Young Achiever of the Year: Molly Rava from Caloundra City Private School

Young Sport Achiever of the Year: Li-Lou Burns- Gillet from Baringa State Primary School

Sports Achiever of the Year: Jess Simpson of Dicky Beach Surf Lifesaving Club

Environmental Achiever of the Year: Jan Kesby from Friends of the Forest

Community Volunteer of the Year: Gary Graves from Pacific Lutheran College

Community Group of the Year: Caloundra SES

Community Event of the Year: Caloundra New Year’s Eve Celebration

Business Achiever of the Year: Caloundra Garden and Pet Supplies

Caloundra Hall of Fame Identity: Barry Family from Ithaca Surf Life Saving


For further information contact: Shari Engelbrecht, Office of Mark McArdle, 5329 4100.

Fresh lick of paint gives Iconic C.C.S.A. Hall a new lease on life

Volunteers, community supporters and sponsors gathered this morning to celebrate the C.C.S.A. Hall’s first make over since the mid-1990s thanks to painting supplies donated by Dulux and Bunnings Caloundra.  


State Member for Caloundra and C.C.S.A. Executive Committee Member Mark McArdle said the hall was an integral part of the community and the fresh coat of paint would benefit both the facility and everyone who enjoyed its services. 

“The Hall is important to so many in the community but it has been a very long time since the building has been painted,” Mr McArdle said. 

“Everything is looking fresh and new which I am certain the volunteers, staff and patrons will be very pleased with.”

Frank Gower, another C.C.S.A. Executive Committee Member said the committee approached Bunnings Caloundra when they knew it was time to give the older Hall a mini-makeover. 

“The C.C.S.A. is run by the community, for the community and as a community we knew it was about time that the whole building received a little love in the way of a fresh coat of paint,” Mr Gower said.

“We approached Howard Montgomery from Bunnings Caloundra earlier this year with our plan to repaint the Hall knowing they support similar community projects. Howard made contact with Ken Feeney at Dulux, and together they were instrumental in putting the wheels in motion to make this happen.”

Dulux Sale Executive Ken Feeney said the building required about $1,500 worth of paint but it was exactly the kind of community project the company liked to support.

“Dulux is an Australian company and we support many local community projects such as the surf clubs and other community spaces,” Mr Feeney said. 

“As Sales Executives we are able to select a number of projects to support each year and when I heard the C.C.S.A. Hall was looking for support I was happy to put the project forward for sponsorship.” 

“Thank you to Dulux and Bunnings Caloundra for their support of this project and congratulations to everyone at involved with the Hall, which is now deservedly up-to-date with the local streetscape,” Mr McArdle concluded. 

Community consultation a certainty for Landsborough Rail Overpass plan

Members of the Landsborough Sub-Committee made an important trip to State Parliament last Wednesday with State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle to discuss the contentious issue of a proposed Rail Overpass in Landsborough with Mark Bailey, the Minister for Transport and Main Roads. 

Mr McArdle said that while last week’s meeting with the Minister was preliminary only - with many more expected in the future – the discussion would give the community a bit more clarity surrounding the project. 

“Firstly, I would like to thank the members of the committee who came down to the meeting with Mr Bailey,” Mr McArdle said. 

“The Minister was open and frank during our discussions, and there were a few important take away points from the meeting:

“It is now certain that the overpass at Landsborough will go ahead and the State Government will be closing the level crossing at the rail line. 

“However, we have some way to go before any shovel breaks ground on this project. 

“Members of the committee who attended the meeting questioned the Minister about community input and Mr Bailey made it clear that nothing would be finalised without community consultation taking place. It is also important to note the current proposal is only a ‘reference plan’ and costing and a specific timeline are not yet complete. 

“It is likely at this stage that two or more construction companies will compete for tender which means Landsborough will be given the best opportunity for the best outcome.

“The sub-committee was formed under the umbrella of the Glasshouse Country Chamber of Commerce after the Labor Government announce a possible overpass at Landsborough in 2016. 

“The residents and business owners who make up this committee are strong members of the community, committed to ensuring everyone has a fair say and they will remain active for the foreseeable future.

“For those interested in being directly involved, I would encourage you to join the Glasshouse Country Chamber of Commerce and immerse yourself in the Committee. 

“However, I will continue to keep the greater Landsborough community informed of all progress on this project.”

To be added to Landsborough Rail Overpass Community emailing list, please send your details Caloundra@parliament.qld.gov.au. For more information about joining the Glasshouse Country Chamber of Commerce and the Landsborough Sub Committee please visit http://www.glasshousecountrychamber.com.au/


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

Petition demands Baringa High go “full S.T.E.M. ahead” for 2020

Last week the Education Minister gave a speech in Parliament regarding the importance of S.T.E.M. Education saying, ‘we want more Queensland students to pursue the subjects that will set them up for the jobs of the future.’ During his follow-up speech in Parliament, State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle urged the Minister to follow her own recommendations when considering a petition to fast-track Baringa’s S.T.E.M. High School. 

“During Parliament last week, I gave a speech in the House about the recent Baringa High School petition, saying;

“I tabled two petitions this week signed by 1,500 people calling on the government to construct Baringa State High School to be opened for the 2020 school year. I want to congratulate Deborah Hardie, the principal petitioner as she was the driving force behind the petitions,” Mr McArdle 

“Yesterday, the Minister for Education stated, ‘Baringa State Primary School is our first S.T.E.M. school of excellence.' We therefore agree on the point that Baringa State Primary School is a school of excellence. 

“Yet we find that the government will build a secondary school at Baringa to open in 2021 knowing full well that children will move to grade 7 in 2020. Those children will need to go to another school and transition back to the Baringa High School in 2021 which raises a number of issues. 

“Firstly, children will attend a school that was not purpose built as a S.T.E.M. school. Secondly, children will be separated from friends they have made at their current school. Thirdly, the curriculum at the new school, though good, will not mirror what would be taught at a purpose-built S.T.E.M. school. 

“The education minister is in the House tonight. I ask her to consider her response to the petition carefully. I ask that she considers the children and parents who will be impacted by her response. The minister and I share an understanding of S.T.E.M. and appreciate that it is critical that there is continuity in terms of the place of education for these children. 

“Deborah Hardie has fought this battle. I ask the Minister to acknowledge that and bring forward construction of the Baringa State High School so that it opens for the commencement of the school year in 2020.”

“The Minster strongly supports S.T.E.M., I want her to strongly support Baringa State High School,” Mr McArdle concluded.  

Baringa families shunned by Education Minister in final days of petition

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has slammed the Education Minister for failing to comment on the contentious issue of the Baringa State High School not opening in time for the 2020 school year. 

It comes as Mr McArdle and Deputy Leader of the LNP Tim Mander joined Principal Petitioner Deborah Hardie yesterday to provide a final push for her petition to fast-track the opening of Baringa State High School for the 2020 school year. The petition has amassed more than 1,500 signatures but concerned parents continue to be shunned by the State Government and Education Minister on the issue. 

“During Grace Grace’s visit to Baringa Primary School on 28 June she told the media and concerned parents that the sister High School was ‘---on time, on schedule, on budget and meeting our commitment to open the school by 2021.’ This time she did not even respond,” Mr McArdle said.  

“There is a mounting attitude from this Labor Government that the issue of Baringa State High School is not an issue worth looking at, despite so many parents saying this will impact the lives of their children. 

“The ABC News bulletin on 12 June quoted the Treasurer as saying—‘Getting our schools ready for 2020 means we need to make the investment in this year’s budget to have the additional infrastructure and classrooms available for that full Year 7 cohort that will hit in 2020.’ 

“If the Education Minister is going to stand by her statement that the high school was always expected to open in 2021, then I have to ask WHY? Why will Baringa miss out when the rest of Queensland is going to be ready for 2020?

“The simple fact the high school was never planned to be open and ready for the 2020 school year is ludicrous and insulting to the parents who came to this community believing that their children would have a flow on STEM education from Baringa Primary School. 

“The petition will finish this month but we are nowhere near finished fighting for this community’s children and the high school they deserve, when they need it.” 

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

Community Awards need your help to recognise Caloundra’s top achievers

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today called on the local community to help recognise individuals and groups doing outstanding work by nominating them for the Caloundra Electorate Community Awards.

The annual awards, which are hosted by Mr McArdle and sponsored by Caloundra Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank, Caloundra RSL Services Club and Henzells Agency, aim to recognise Caloundra’s top achievers in nine major categories. Nominations will close on 31 August 2018. 

“I have hosted these awards for six years and I always enjoy reading about people, groups and businesses who are doing important work behind the scenes in the Caloundra Electorate,” Mr McArdle said.  

“They are quiet achievers, therefore it is important the community takes the time to nominate so we can shine a light on the work they are doing.” 

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 volunteers who are nominated.”

"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.”

Manager of Caloundra Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank, Pip Fawcett has urged the local community to take the time to nominate someone who deserves the recognition.

“We all know that person who goes above and beyond for our community, now is the time to honour their dedication by nominating them for an award,” Ms Fawcett said. 

“Come on Caloundra, there are just two weeks left so get your nomination in today.”

The Awards will recognise selfless talent and high achievement in the following categories: 

•    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, 31 August

Nomination forms can be collected from Mark McArdle’s Electorate Office at 1/20 Ormuz Ave, or alternatively can be completed online at www.markmcardlemp.com 

The Awards will be presented on Friday, 14th September at the CCSA Hall, 1 Nutley St, Caloundra. 

Parents urged to protest over school delay

LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander has condemned the Palaszczuk Labor Government for leaving Sunshine Coast families in the dark over their children’s education. 

“Many local families moved into the area to send their children to Baringa State School and then Baringa State High School, only to find out the high school won’t open for another three years,” Mr Mander said. 

“Parents now have to face the tough choice of moving their child to another school and then moving them back to Baringa High when it opens. 

“This is nothing more than poor planning from the Palaszczuk Labor Government and shows their lack of understanding of Queensland schools.

“The Premier was only too happy to cut the ribbon at the opening, yet won’t tell families when the new high school will open.”

LNP Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle said Annastacia Palaszczuk needed to fast-track Baringa State High School. 

“Labor claims that preparing schools for year 7 students is important, so why are Baringa’s students not getting their high school until 2021?” Mr McArdle said. 

“I have been listening to the concerns of local families and encourage everyone to support the petition to get Baringa State High School built sooner rather than later. 

“The petition has been signed by more than 1500 residents so far, but it will close on Monday [August 20].

“I urge any concerned parent who hasn’t signed to do so and make sure their voice is heard.”

Sign the petition here: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/petition-details?id=2941

Baringa Petition Release.png

Community consultation open for proposed Telstra facility in Landsborough

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today advised that community consultation is open for a proposed Telstra radiocommunications facility at 6 Caloundra Street, Landsborough and feedback can be submitted up until 27 August. 

“A representative from Kordia Solutions/Telstra wrote to me on 10 August advising of a proposal to install a new radiocommunications facility on the company’s existing Telephone Exchange in Landsborough,” Mr McArdle said 

“The correspondence states, ‘the purpose of the new facility is to enhance coverage of the surrounding area’.

“The Landsborough community will have until 5pm on Monday, 27th August 2018 to provide their feedback on this proposal.

“More information about the facility can be found in the attached document, by contacting Kordia Solutions directly or by visiting the project website: www.rfnsa.com.au/4550004.

“There are only two weeks left to provide your comment on this proposal so if this matter concerns you, please submit your feedback as soon as possible.”

Written feedback can be submitted to Kordia Solutions at Unit 1D, 400 Nudgee Road, Hendra QLD 4011 or at Community.consultation@kordia.com.au. Comments will be accepted on the proposal until 5pm on Monday, 27th August 2018.

Residents petition for more police as water traffic booms on Passage

Australia Day 2018 was blistering on the Sunshine Coast with many thousands taking refuge at popular beaches and waterways. However, Golden Beach resident Lyn Gahan said the busy public holiday was the catalyst for her petition urging the State Government to put more police on the water. 


“It was a beautiful Australia Day and naturally our beaches and waterways were full of locals and tourists, but there was absolutely no presence of Water Police around Caloundra or Bribie Island,” Mrs Gahan said.  

“I have lived in Caloundra for 36 years and in that time I have witnessed so much growth but it is nothing compared to the growth we are about to experience. For this reason I am petitioning the Queensland Government to increase officer numbers of the Sunshine Coast District Water Police immediately. 

“We have just four Water Police Officers for the whole of the Sunshine Coast District which encompasses Tin Can Bay to north of Redcliffe and out to Somerset Dam. The teams, made up of two officers each, are generally kept busy in Noosa and Maroochydore. That leaves no one to service this very busy end of the Coast.

“Only Queensland Police Services have the jurisdiction over water, speed and drink driving. Without officers, offenders have no sense of consequence and Caloundra’s residents are essentially at a greater risk each time they get on the water.” 

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today said he strongly supports Mrs Gahan’s petition, emphasising that traffic on Caloundra’s waterway was set to boom with the Aura Development. 

“Recreational water usage is increasing across the Coast but with more than 50,000 people expected to move into Aura it would be foolish to dismiss Caloundra and the Passage because their popularity as outdoor destinations will only increase,” Mr McArdle said. 

“The Gold Coast has a 14 officers to manage their waterways. While I am aware that the Sunshine Coast does not have the population of the Gold Coast, we have certainly grown well beyond the four officers we currently have.

“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. 

“In addition to sponsoring Lyn’s petition, I am asking the Caloundra community to help make our waterways safer by ‘dobbing in a Pumicestone Passage Idiot.’ If you have photos or videos of a motorised vehicle operator behaving like an idiot please visit my website and complete a form to dob them in*.”  

The petition can be signed at Mr McArdle’s Electorate Office 1/20 Ormuz Ave, Caloundra or by visiting: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/current-epetitions 

*Members of the public can ‘Dob in a Pumicestone Passage Idiot’ by visiting https://www.markmcardlemp.com/dob-in-a-pumicestone-passage-idiot or notify the police, BUT if a life-threatening emergency or serious crime occurs, please always contact 000. 


Caloundra small business woman wins building industry recognition

Caloundra-based business woman Alyssa Pepper has been awarded the prestigious 2018 HIA Business Development Professional – Small Business (part of the Women in Building and Construction Awards) for her exceptional work as Business Owner of Hotondo Homes Sunshine Coast.  

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has congratulated Mrs Pepper on her dedication to rebuilding the Hotondo Homes franchise in Caloundra and for being an inspiration to young women in the building and construction industry.  

“Alyssa has worked incredibly hard over the past two and a half years to make her business what it is today, and that hard work has been acknowledged through the HIA Recognition of Women in Building & Construction Awards,” Mr McArdle said. 

Mrs Pepper said winning this year’s award was humbling, but meeting so many other notable women in the industry was an honour in and of itself. 

“To be a finalist was a shock but to win it – I don’t think I’ve ever been so speechless in my life. At the awards ceremony you meet all these incredible women in the industry, and you think ‘there is no chance I could win’, so it really is an honour,” Mrs Pepper said. 

“These awards encourage women to get out there and gives them the confidence to be in a male-dominated industry. As a female builder I don’t encounter many female trade workers day to day so it would be great to see more women in this industry on the Coast.

“For young women thinking about a career in building and construction; if you love it, just do it.
 I love building, I love seeing homes created for clients and seeing their dreams come true and that makes work exciting.”

“While she is supported by a big national brand, Alyssa is a local, independent builder who lives right here in Caloundra with her family. It is great to see our own people set up shop in Caloundra and work hard to help the local economy prosper,” Mr McArdle said. 

“This is yet another example of the strong work ethic we see behind many of Caloundra’s small businesses, but I hope Alyssa’s success also encourages young women to enter this and other trade industries, and make a mark on them.”