William Landsborough’s memorial plaque to get a new lease on life

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today said he would work with the Caloundra Residents Association to fund the replacement of a bronze plaque memorialising founding Caloundra settler and famous explorer William Landsborough, which has deteriorated over the years.

Mark with Caloundra Residents Association Inc members Brady Sullivan, Ian Smyth (President) and Peter Ryan (Vice-President) at the deteriorating William Landsborough Memorial Plaque in Golden Beach.

Mark with Caloundra Residents Association Inc members Brady Sullivan, Ian Smyth (President) and Peter Ryan (Vice-President) at the deteriorating William Landsborough Memorial Plaque in Golden Beach.

It comes as Mr McArdle recently meet with Caloundra Resident Association executive committee members about the sad state of the plaque which sits at the park located in the middle of the Golden Beach Shopping precinct, across from the pedestrian crossing.

“I have been discussing the issue of the plaque with Residents Association President Ian Smyth and I agree that something needs to be done about it,” Mr McArdle said.

“The plaque was placed here to commemorate the first resting place of William Landsborough and honour his legacy as one of Queensland and indeed Australia’s greatest explorers.

“As can happen, the plaque has aged and deteriorated with the elements but the time has come for it to be replaced so we can keep Landsborough’s legacy alive. Memorial items of this nature should not be allowed to fall to this level of disrepair before being replaced.

“I have acquired a quote of $1,032.90 to have an exact replica of the plaque cast in a stronger metal and affixed to the rock. As this falls under the jurisdiction of Council’s heritage department I have asked Council to cover half the cost; otherwise I am prepared to fund it completely.”

“This park and the plaque are significant to Caloundra and the district because William Landsborough was one of founding Fathers of Caloundra,” Mr Smyth said.

“Many things are named after him such as Landsborough Pde and Landsborough itself, so it is really important that we maintain this commemoration of him.”

Peter Ryan, Vice-President of the Caloundra Residents Association said he believed the plaque had nearly been forgotten by the community and its replacement would help highlight its existence.

“This plaque is hidden away and nearly forgotten so I thank Mark very much for bringing it to the community’s attention. This should be used as an opportunity to do something appropriate for the memory of William Landsborough,” Mr Ryan said.

Brady Sullivan, Residents Association Executive Committee Member agreed that the important role Landsborough played in Australian history should continue to be memorialised at the Park.

“William Landsborough’s story is significant to the heritage of both early Australia and the Caloundra region. His choice to call our beautiful region by the Pumicestone Passage home made him one of the early settlers of Caloundra,” Mr Sullivan said.

“In order to celebrate Caloundra, I think it is important to commemorate our wonderful history.”

“I look forward to announcing the future unveiling of the new plaque, but I would encourage the community to take a moment to visit the park and pay tribute to Caloundra’s rich history,” Mr McArdle said.

“I also wish to offer the existing plaque, with Council’s permission, to the Landsborough Museum to add to their collection,” Mr McArdle concluded.

William Landsborough was one of Queensland’s earliest explorers, best known for leading the search for Burke and Wills, and becoming the first European to cross the continent from the Gulf to Melbourne. Landsborough purchased 2372 acres of land on the Pumicestone Passage that he named “Loch Lamerough” – which is modern day Golden Beach. Landsborough passed away in 1886 and was laid to rest on his land. In 1913 his widow had him re-interred in Toowong Cemetery.

LABOR BUDGET PAPERS SHOW IT FAILS THE HEALTH OF SUNSHINE COAST RESIDENTS

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today said Labor’s own Budget Papers show it continues to fail to provide timely treatment in public hospitals across the Sunshine Coast.

“The 2019/2020 Health Budget Papers for the Sunshine Coast region show a dismal result by Labor for Coast residents,” Mr McArdle said.

“The papers reveal a number of failures including:

  1. Treatment times in our Emergency Departments

  2. Elective Surgery patients treated on time

  3. The percentage of Specialist Outpatients waiting within the clinically recommended time to be assessed to establish if they need surgery, and

  4. The actual number of patients who received elective surgery.

“These are basic yardsticks to gauge how effectively our public money is being spent and the impact that spend is having on the health of Sunshine Coast residents.

“The reality is Labor has failed on many of these questions with the loser being Sunshine Coast residents.

“Steven Miles continues to trumpet record budgets and more staff, yet the budget papers say our results are not improving. It is not the quality of the medical staff that cause concern, it is the malaise in Miles’ office and increased bureaucracy that stop people seeing a doctor or nurse.

“You can spend as much as you like but it is the outcome that matters and it is the outcome that is so poor here on the Coast.

“The figures (below) point to a bleak picture in many areas; some of the ‘lowlights’ include:

  1. Only 68% of Category 2 and 61% of Category 3 patients were seen in our Emergency Departments on time. In fact they could not even manage to treat all Category 1 patients on time. These are the most seriously ill or injured.

  2. Only 87% of Category 1, 78% of Category 2 and 86% of Category 3 Elective Surgery patients were treated on time. Delayed treatment compromises outcomes.

  3. Only 64% of Category 1, 43% of Category 2 and 78% of Category 3 Outpatients were waiting within recommended times to be assessed to see if they required surgery. Patients need certainty, and delays can cause complications and anguish.

  4. Of 9,179 Coast residents who should have had Elective Surgery in the 2018/2019 year only 7,251 got it, almost 2,000 less than the target.

“Let’s remember the $1.8billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital opened in March 2017 – a period of over 2 years ago. What do we have to do to get the services we need?

“Labor are supposed to be operating a world-class hospital and we were promised it would not open until it was fit to run. These figures again condemn Labor’s ability to run a sophisticated medical service,” Mr McArdle concluded.


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COMMUNITY CLAIMS VICTORY ON BELLVISTA/BELLS REACH BUS STOP CLOSURES

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today commended the efforts of the Bellvista and Bells Reach communities as the fight to reopen closed bus stop locations has seen a great victory, though at a reduced service and frequency with details yet to be finalised.

It comes as residents of the area were left reeling in March when signs appeared on six bus stop locations stating they would be permanently closed, effectively isolating anyone in the area who required public transport. After intense public pressure the Transport Minister Mark Bailey confirmed that stops would be reopened as part of a dedicated service for the area.

Mark with Principal Petitioners David and Robyn Thomson

Mark with Principal Petitioners David and Robyn Thomson

“It is hard to believe that a Government would be so cruel as to take away so many bus stops from citizens, many of whom rely on buses for their independence. Finally the Government has taken action but it was a situation that never should have been allowed to happen in the first place,” Mr McArdle said.

“There has been a lot of upset and anger in this community over the unceremonious closer of these bus stops. It’s very clear that Translink and Mark Bailey were not listing to the needs of the community, but this weekend it seems they finally unblocked their ears.

“I held a public forum on 18 May to push the Government to take action because the community demanded action.

“I want to thank everyone who stepped up to the plate including David Thomson who took the step of starting the petition and would not back down.

“In State Parliament last Friday night I called on the Minister to intervene as the action by the Labor Government had caused great angst among the public.

“There are still many details to work through before we see this resolution finalised so I encourage those who were already planning to attend the Community meeting with Translink on Tuesday 18th June to still go and tell the representatives what they want and need from this service.

“A great outcome for this community and I truly hope the next announcement will be a dedicated school bus service to transport Baringa’s children to High School. We must ensure these communities get their buses,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Labor is working for Caloundra – and there are fairies at the bottom of the garden

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today labelled Labor’s Budget as saying a lot but not doing anything.

“The reality is, though Caloundra residents pay registration fees, payroll tax, land tax, stamp duty and many other taxes, they have been left out in the cold by Palaszczuk’s latest budget,” Mr McArdle said.

“I describe Labor as living in a completely sterile and safe cage in George Street without understanding the needs of all Queensland residents and in my case, particularly those in the seat of Caloundra.

Baringa State High School and Baringa School Bus Service

“The Government has committed to start construction of Baringa State High School committing $24million in 2019/2020, with the balance of $58.5million to be spent in the forward years. This construction start is two years too late. It is unclear from the figures whether the school will open covering grades 7-12.

“The Primary School opened in 2018 with about 35 students, who completed grade 6 last year and who are currently travelling to Meridan State College for grade 7. There are another 65 students in grade 6 this year who will need to travel to Meridan and other High Schools from next year. A total of 100 students at least, having to leave Baringa for High School, compounded by no dedicated local bus service existing to take them to and from school. I can’t believe a Government that boasts the primary school as a S.T.E.M. school didn’t plan, leaving children and families to fend for themselves.

Nicklin Way/ Caloundra Road Roundabout

“The irresponsible, almost negligent inaction of this Government in not building slip lanes off the Nicklin Way/ Caloundra Road roundabout is again evident by the lack of any real funding to correct the problem. Mark Bailey’s belief in farcical lights as the solution is laughed at by those who use the intersection. If we keep putting more traffic on the roundabout the problem will only get worse.

Landsborough Rail Overpass

“The Landsborough Rail Overpass has the potential to seriously impact residents and businesses. Despite requests to the Government, no public consultation is planned to occur, and in fact the Minister has made it clear ‘---that public consultation will occur as the project progresses.’ This is not good enough given the residents have a right to be informed and equally to inform a Government of their wishes and desires. An arrogant Minister is being led by his department. The department clearly doesn’t have the wherewithal or the capacity to engage with the people of Landsborough on what are critical questions about their future.

Bus Stops at Bellvista and Bells Reach

“Let’s not forget Translink’s wisdom in closing six bus stops in Bellvista and Bells Reach without notice, hurting many people who rely on public transport. I can hear Translink saying ‘it is only a short walk’ to the bus stop without acknowledging older people find it very hard to do ‘…a short walk.’ Translink didn’t attend a public meeting on 18 May to discuss their actions – I didn’t expect much from such an arrogant body.

Caloundra Hospital

“Bursting at the seams is the Kawana Public Hospital (SCUH) with figures showing people waiting for long times for treatment, even the most seriously ill or injured. Yet Caloundra Hospital’s ability to provide excellent care of lower acuity patients is being overlooked. We need a detailed study to understand its future capacity. With ‘Aura’ and ‘Harmony’ being constructed, the need to plan is now.

“Believe me there are more failures.

“The budget is more taxes, debt and more hyperbole without a vision or statement of the future,” Mr McArdle concluded.

McArdle sponsors Caloundra environmental organisation’s growing web presence

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle this week donated $1,000 towards a major website redevelopment for local environmental organisation ‘Take Action for Pumicestone Passage Inc (TAPP) which will be undertaken by Caloundra-based firm F/8 Media Pty Ltd.

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“We are living in rapidly changing times in which organisations such as TAPP must be active on the ground and have a strong presence online,” Mr McArdle said.

“I am proud to be supporting this next growth phase for TAPP but I am also very pleased that a Caloundra business, F/8 Media Pty Ltd, will be managing the website redevelopment. It is heartening to see local bodies working together.”

TAPP President Ken Mewburn said the website overhaul was long awaited and a vitally important step for the organisation to better communicate their projects with the local and wider communities.

“A website is a great contact point to an organisation so I believe it is very important to have a website that actually works,” Mr Mewburn said.

“We will be starting from scratch and working our way towards a completely brand new site where we will be able to detail all the projects we are involved in as well as provide an interactive opportunity for the community to ask us questions.

“TAPP, along with a number of local organisations are currently undertaking the incredibly important ‘TS Onslow foreshore Mangrove Rejuvenation Project’ which involves the restoration of mangroves to help control erosion on the shores of the Pumicestone Passage,” Mr Mewburn concluded.

“Many people in our community have seen the teams out planting mangroves and placing Coir logs as a soft engineering alternative to rock walls, but are not aware of exactly what is going on. This website will provide TAPP with the opportunity to showcase the work they are doing which benefits everyone,” Mr McArdle said.

“I think people will be fascinated by the innovative engineering that is being used to protect our Passage and I’m happy that this sponsorship will assist in developing the platform that this information can be accessed from,” Mr McArdle concluded.

TAPP’s new website is expected to be launched by the end of July 2019.

Community Information Session on Palliative Care and Voluntary Assisted Dying

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Friday 28 June, 9.30am for 10am – 12noon at CCSA Hall, Caloundra

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has invited the Caloundra community to join him for an open community information forum regarding Palliative Care and Voluntary Assisted Dying.

“Many people are aware of the Inquiry before Queensland Parliament’s Health Committee, of which I am the Deputy Chair, looking a number of questions including Palliative Care and Voluntary Assisted Dying,” Mr McArdle said.

“These are complicated, confronting and deeply personal matters that all Australians will one day face, and indeed many are currently facing. It is important that our community has the opportunity to speak, ask questions and listen to the views of other members of the community about these issues.

“We will be joined by guest speakers from Dying with Dignity Queensland and Palliative Care Queensland who will provide a prospective specific to their area of coverage. The forum will give our guest speakers the opportunity to present their case and take questions.

“This will not be a debate or a public hearing. I am hosting this session in my role as State Member for Caloundra, for the local community to ask their questions and gather the information they are seeking about the current laws and potential changes to the laws surrounding critical issues and what that may mean for them.

“All Sunshine Coast residents are welcome to join – not just those who live in the Caloundra community. I welcome everyone to lend their voice and ears to this critical conversation and I believe we can all leave a little better equipped to face what is a challenging part of all our lives,” Mr McArdle concluded.

This is an open community forum hosted by State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle for members of the Caloundra Electorate. This forum does not replace the formal public hearings held by Queensland Parliament’s Health Committee.

Ends.


Labor Minister says Landsborough Overpass public consultation is ‘premature’

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today released details of an Answer to a Question on Notice by Mark Bailey, Minister for Transport and Main Roads in which the Minister said that ‘---public consultation will occur as the project progresses.’ in regard to the Landsborough Overpass.

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“There is no timeline, no budget and no consultation, only uncertainty for the people of Landsborough,” Mr McArdle said.

“On 26th April 2019 I held a forum in Landsborough on the Overpass and in a letter from the Minister which I received on 18 April concerning the public forum, the Minister said;

‘Community feedback plays of course a key role in initiatives and projects undertaken by TMR. The B2N (Beerburrum to Nambour) project team will actively engage with the community in order achieve the best outcome for everyone involved, however, it is premature to attend a public meeting at this time.’

“Strange they held a sham consultation in late 2016 announce the overpass proposal to a targeted audience but two and a half years later it is suddenly ‘premature’ to ask the public what they want.

“Before the forum I also asked the Minister a Question on Notice as to when consultation would happen and he said;

‘I can confirm, however, that the Department of Transport and Main Raid (TMR) is progressing a detailed design that proper consultation will occur as the project progresses.’

“To my knowledge there has been no public consultation since late 2016 when people were forwarded letters saying their land could be affected and only a limited number of people were notified that they could attend a public consultation event.

“This is not good enough, notices have been issued to people saying their property may be resumed. This affects both residential and commercial businesses on both sides of the crossing. Where the Overpass lands, on the western side of the crossing will have impacts upon businesses that have operated in Cribb Street and the vicinity for years.

“Businesses on the Eastern side of the crossing will also be impacted but the Labor Government doesn’t appear to care.

“To delay consultation only adds to people’s concerns and ignores the fact that because of the notices land values are affected.

“People have retired to Landsborough on the clear understanding that they would live in a semi-rural area in a quite environment and would at a future date be able to sell their property to meet their ongoing costs.

“The refusal by the Government to consult and inform them of what is happening will cripple their ability to plan for the future.

“The question for businesses is equally dire. The Overpass may have significant impacts on businesses on both sides of the rail crossing which could result in a Beerwah-style economic situation.

“The Labor Governments action in Beerwah, when they suddenly closed the rail crossing in the middle of the night, greatly impacted the economy and took years for it recover.

“The people of Landsborough deserve better than this. They have worked and are working at the moment to ensure their future security. The lack of any consultation on the premise that it is ‘premature’ is an absolute disgrace when one considers the obligation of all governments is to protect and ensure the best outcome for their citizens,” Mr McArdle concluded.

Caloundra community serves up $2,800 for charity at Morning Tea

More than 170 people packed out Caloundra’s CCSA Hall today, raising $2,800 for the Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea, hosted by State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle and the Rotary Club of Caloundra Pacific.

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Mr McArdle said the event allows the community to raise funds for cancer research, but it is an important opportunity for people to support each other and learn about the future of cancer care in our region.

“The success of this year’s Morning Tea is in no small part due to the support of the Rotary Club of Caloundra Pacific. I sincerely thank them,” Mr McArdle said.

“Today we saw how a community can band together for a cause that impacts so many.

“Though raising funds for the Cancer Council is important, it is the many stories we heard at morning tea, both devastating and uplifting that make us much closer as a community.

“We have a better understanding of how funds we raise support people after a cancer diagnosis and learnt where we are heading in terms of cancer treatment and support services on the Sunshine Coast.

“Cancer Council Queensland’s General Manager of Advocacy James Farrell join us this year and spoke of the important work the organisation does to support patients and their families from the time of diagnoses through to remission.

“James also discussed the fact that we now know one in three cancers are preventable. We have much work to do as a society to understanding the role that a healthy lifestyle plays in that prevention.

“Haematologist Dr Joshua Richmond spoke to the crowd about the significant growth in services available to patients on the Sunshine Coast since the opening of the Adem Crosby Centre at SCUH, where he works.

“Dr Richmond highlighted the positive impact the Centre is having on patients, giving them access to more services locally instead of having to travel to Brisbane.

“Our panel of guest speakers finished with the lovely Olwyn Jacobsen who is a breast cancer survivor and a volunteer at the Cancer Council’s wig and turban library.

“Olwyn shared her humbling journey of receiving two breast cancer diagnoses and emphasised the importance of self-checks and regular screening.

“ I want to thank everyone who helps make this event such a success every year – everyone at Rotary Club of Caloundra Pacific, the whole team at the CCSA Hall for putting on the delicious morning tea, Shari and Lisa from my office and everyone in the community who came out to ‘gather, share, give.’”

Community demands further action on Baringa/Buslink and Bellvista/Translink Buses

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle today said that the forum held on 18 May demanded further action by both Buslink, in ensuring children in Baringa attending high schools across the Coast get a bus service originating from Baringa, and get Translink to attend a public forum and explain why they have taken the action of cutting six bus stops from an existing service.


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“There was a real degree of anger and frustration at the meeting on 18 May from parents and residents of Baringa, Bellvista and Bells Reach who met to demand further action on behalf of themselves and other residents in the region,” Mr McArdle said.

“Buslink did attend the meeting and provided an assurance that they would meet with myself and Jamie Broderick, the Principal Petition and Louise Hodder, a further parent and petitioner, to discuss what information they need to move toward a bus service starting in Baringa to take school children to and from their high schools given the Baringa State High School is not due to open until 2021. I will provide an update on this meeting.

“There are sixty-five children in grade six at Baringa State School this year. Sixty-five children who will need to leave Baringa for High School in 2020, but no school bus. I believe the total in 2020 will be over 100 combining this and next year’s high schoolers.

“In relation to Translink – they didn’t even have the curtesy of replying to my request to attend the meeting but on 17 May I received correspondence from Mark Bailey the Labor Minister which stated in part;

‘I have asked officers from the Department of Transport and Main Roads to liaise directly with Mr Les Thomas, President of the Bellvista and Bells Reach Community Association, regarding the suitable time to meet with the association's members to discuss the reasons for the change and to listen to their concerns.’

“The Minster has to in fact direct Translink to attend a meeting, otherwise I would suspect they wouldn’t be there of their own initiative. At the meeting I said that if Translink can attend a meeting at some point in time in the future, why couldn’t they attend one on Saturday? It’s disrespectful and quite disgusting the way they have treated the residents of Bellvista and Bells Reach.

“Mark Bailey, in his very late letter said a further meeting would be organised through BBCA and Mr Les Thomas, who spoke at Saturday’s meeting on behalf of BBCA, undertook to ensure all residents were advised of the relative date and time.

“During the meeting, I asked if there had been consultation by Translink before closing the bus stops and it was unanimous that consultation had not taken place despite a claim by Translink to the contrary. Clearly Translink act in their own best interest and have little regard to how the people of Bellvista and Bells Reach are impacted.

“I call upon Minister Mark Bailey to get this mess sorted out. It’s not good enough when you have people who require and depend upon public transport having to walk longer distance to a bus stop.

“It’s also nonsense to argue that the next bus stop is only a short walking distance when there are people who are unable to walk even short distances and rely upon walkers or other assistance to get them from A to B.

“This isolates Bellvista and is simply disgusting the way this Government is treating the residence of the area,” Mr McArdle concluded.

PETITION DEMANDS BUSES FOR BARINGA SCHOOL CHILDREN

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has today sponsored a community-led petition calling on the State Government to create a dedicated school bus service to transport students who live in Baringa to high schools in the region.

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It comes as parents are demanding that a Buslink bus service be put in place because Baringa Primary School’s sister high school is not yet constructed and children must travel to other schools.

“There are 60 Year 6 students enrolled at Baringa Primary School this year who will go to Year 7 in 2020. It is safe to say that with so many new families moving into the area and children already going to other high schools, we can expect there will be at minimum of 90 Year 7 students from Baringa who will need to attend a high school in the catchment in 2020,” Mr McArdle said.

“With no high school opening in Baringa until the 2021 school year all those students need to commute to other high schools such as Meridan State College, but at the moment there is no school bus to collect and return them to Baringa.

“This is pathetic planning by the State Government and the Baringa community is demanding a Buslink service be put in place to safely take their children to and from high school.”

Principal petitioner Jamie Broderick said that not having a school bus service in Baringa has put notable strain on families who already have students making the commute to Meriden State College.

“We are launching this petition because currently there is no school bus service to take our kids from Baringa to Meridan State College or other high schools,” Mrs Broderick said.

“Students need a bus to come to Baringa because the current school bus leaves from Unity College which is up to 4.5km from some households.

“Buslink says it is only 3kms to the bus stop, but they are using Baringa Primary school as the starting location and that is simply not accurate. Many students are walking from much further away and it’s too far. It’s not good enough,” Mrs Broderick concluded.

“So far there has been no commitment from the Education or Transport Ministers to put a dedicated school bus service in the area,” Mr McArdle said.

“The children of Baringa deserve better than this. I am asking everyone to sign this petition – not just those who have children impacted. As a larger Sunshine Coast community let’s support these students getting their school bus,” 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=3136

A public forum to discuss the public and school transport needs of Baringa, Bellvista and Bells Reach will be held this Saturday 18 May, 10am- 12pm at the Caloundra Powerboat Club.