Welcome to my 2019 Christmas newsletter!
2019, another brilliant year in beautiful Bundaberg!
Over the course of the year, I’ve continued to fight for Bundaberg’s fair share from the State Government.
Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter. I hope it provides you with an insight into what I achieved for Bundaberg this year and the important projects I will continue to fight for into the future.
From my family to yours, we wish you a very merry and blessed Christmas and a happy new year.
Please note the content published in this newsletter is valid as at the day of print, 28 November 2019.
Visually Impaired Queenslanders FINALLY eligible for disability parks!
After calling for change for almost 2 years, visually impaired Queenslanders will finally be able to obtain disability parking permits for their carer’s vehicle!
When I first asked the Minister to change the eligibility criteria in March 2018, he said no – but that didn’t stop me.
This is a really positive change for Queensland’s 18,000 vision impaired residents and I’m so proud to have fought hard for it.
I’d like to thank Cheryl and Kevin Callaghan who brought this issue to my attention and Helen Willett and her assistance dog Hank who stood beside me throughout my fight for change.
I’d also like to thank Guide Dogs Queensland who threw their full support behind my campaign, as well as the more than 3200 Queensland residents who took the time to sign my petition.
This fantastic outcome is another example that shows hard work, people power, persistence and perseverance pays off!
COOL news for Bundy state schools!
After putting up a strong fight for the last two years, funding for air-conditioning in every Bundaberg state school has been secured.
Classroom air-con for Bundy state schools was one of my commitments at the last election and it’s been very high on my list of priorities ever since.
I’ve asked Ministers several questions, written many letters, spoken in Parliament on numerous occasions and continually called on the Government to honour the LNP’s commitment and they finally have!
This is another example that proves people power works and persistence and perseverance pays off!
There shouldn’t be winners and losers when it comes to education. Every student deserves an equal opportunity to learn to the best of their ability.
Thank you to all parents, grandparents, teachers, principals and students who threw their support behind my campaign.
We know cool kids are smart kids so this is a fantastic outcome for Bundy students and teaching staff.
Give the Gift of Life this Christmas
Organ donation is very important. That’s why on Jersey Day this year, I joined forces with DonateLife to set Bundy a 12-month challenge.
I am very proud to know that 75% of Bundy residents say they are willing to donate their organs when their time comes – that is amazing. But, while three quarters of our community want to be donors, only 28% are registered.
Previously, your organ donation preference was displayed on your licence, but over the years things have changed and the system is now online.
On Jersey Day 2020, I’d love for Bundy’s registration rate to have jumped by at least 500 people. While this may not seem like a lot, I’ve learnt that registrations are increasing very gradually, so this feels like an achievable place to start.
If you’d like to register as a donor please visit www.donatelife.gov.au – all you need is internet access, your Medicare card and 60 seconds. It’s that simple.
Paradise Dam debacle
The State Government has decided to reduce Paradise Dam to 42% capacity in response to an undisclosed safety concern related to the dam’s original construction.
Each day, 400 megalitres of precious water from Paradise dam has flowed down the Burnett River and out to sea – all while two thirds of our state suffers through devastating drought.
The plan to reduce the dam’s spillway by 5 metres has the potential to change our region in its entirety and it’s arguably one of the biggest issues affecting our future.
There are so many questions that need to be answered.
What is the safety issue? Why was the decision made prior to the completion of expert reporting? Why is it going to take 5 years to complete the work? Will Paradise Dam ever before restored to 100% capacity to ensure water security for our farmers? What does the reduction in the spillway mean for Bundaberg in a future flood event? What is the Government doing in relation to flood mitigation?
Our community deserves a transparent explanation. That’s why I called for a full Parliamentary inquiry into the design and construction of the dam, but the Government voted against it.
I will continue to call on the Minister to commit to delaying any permanent work on the dam until the outcome of investigations are known and publicly released, but so far he’s just not listening.
Hinkler Regional Deal
This time last year the Federal Government announced the Hinkler Regional Deal worth $173 million – the most significant Government investment our region has seen in a very long time.
The deal is a game changer and is designed to create a platform where all levels of Government can readily work together to deliver important infrastructure projects, creating jobs and boosting the local economy along the way – exactly what Bundy needs.
After the deal was announced, both local and State Governments voiced their unreserved support and were ready to sign the ‘Statement of Intent’ when the State suddenly withdrew at the last minute with claims Maryborough would “miss out”.
Not only has Maryborough secured more than $127 million of State and $49 million of Federal Government funding in the past 12 months alone, residents of Maryborough will benefit from the deal, with projects in the Maryborough electorate already included.
Our community deserves to know why the State Government is refusing to invest in projects that will better the Bundaberg region.
A new Bundaberg hospital
I am committed to keeping you up to date on the progress of a new Bundaberg hospital. Unfortunately though, there isn’t much to report since my last newsletter. Plans are still in the Detailed Business Case phase where the final design, costings and final location are being determined. All we know is that the site will be announced at some stage in 2020.
A new hospital will benefit our entire region and I will continue to keep the pressure on the State Government to ensure each step in the process is complete as soon as possible so nothing is strategically delayed until the next election, which is now less than a year away.
A snapshot of what I got up to this year…
- Met with over 200 Bundaberg residents in my electorate office and assisted hundreds of others via email, phone and social media.
- Facilitated more than $1,100,000 of grant funding by acting as a referee or supplying a Letter of support for local sporting groups, business entities, local Government, community groups and not for profit organisations.
- Contributed over $28,000 towards sponsorship and donations of raffle prizes and provisions of goods for over 100 Bundaberg schools, community groups and sporting organisations – including 6 Weber barbeques which I donated to state school P&C’s to use as fundraising raffle prizes.
- Wrote to over 1800 constituents in celebration of significant birthdays, anniversaries, sporting and academic achievements, successful grant applications, becoming a Justice of the Peace or welcoming them to Bundy.
- Took part in over 260 community events.
- Phoned hundreds of residents to wish them the very best on their birthday.
- Welcomed nine Shadow Ministers to beautiful Bundaberg, including the leader of the LNP Deb Frecklington MP four times.
- Secured air-conditioning for ALL Bundaberg state school classrooms.
- Fought for and secured $520,000 for a drop off, pick up zone at Walkervale State School.
- Secured flashing school zone signs for Branyan Drive at Branyan Road State School, Mt Perry Road at Bundaberg North State School, Elliott Heads Road at Woongarra State School and George Street at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School.
- Secured funding for a face-to-face Elder Abuse Prevention Support Service at Relationships Australia at 14 Tantitha Street.
- Teamed up with Hepatitis Queensland for their Test Cure Live campaign to raise awareness of the new, affordable cures for Hepatitis C.
- Personally wrote to over 1000 school students to congratulate them on graduating primary and high school.
- Joined forces with the ‘Polished Man’ and painted my fingernail blue for the month of October to help spark conversations regarding the fight to stop violence against children.
- Successfully lobbied for change to Disability Parking Permits in Queensland to allow visually impaired residents to have access to disability parking spaces.
- Visited every resident in each of Bundaberg’s aged care facilities for Mother’s Day and again for Father’s Day.
- Held 12 mobile offices within the Bundaberg community.
- Displayed the amazing work of six Bundaberg artists in my electorate office.
- Established a campaign with DonateLife in a bid to increase the number of Bundaberg residents who are registered as organ donors.
- Visited six Bundaberg residents for their 100th Birthday.
- Visited hundreds of local students at school to talk to them about the three levels of Government and my role as their State MP.
- Visited new households to personally welcome the residents to our area and deliver a ‘Batt Bag’ filled with locally made product, a cafe voucher and my Bundaberg directory.
- Hosted more than 40 local businesses and community groups at Queensland’s Parliament House for Bundaberg Promotion Night.
If you’re 60 and over, you may be eligible for a Queensland Seniors Card. A Seniors Card allows you to take advantage of a number of special offers right across the state. My office can provide you with the relevant information, the application form and we can send your request to the relevant department.
My office provides a free black and white printing service for Bundaberg community groups. If you would like to take advantage of this service, please get in touch with my office.
If you or someone you know is celebrating a special birthday or anniversary, my office can assist with requesting a letter of congratulations from the Premier, Prime Minister, Governor-General, Her Majesty the Queen, the Mayor and our Federal Member. Simply provide my office with a copy of a supporting document that verifies the date and we will organise the rest.
State Government Queries
My office is available to assist Bundaberg residents, businesses, schools and community groups with State Government queries. Depending on the circumstances, I may be able to put you in touch with a beneficial service or contact, make a representation on your behalf to a Minister or Government Department, and/or advise you of any additional action you can take. If you think I might be able to help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
State Government Grants
If you would like me to write a letter of support or act as a referee for a current grant application, please provide the details of what you are applying for via email. You can see what grants are available by using the Queensland Government’s grant finder available at www.grants.services.qld.gov.au
Queensland state flags
I supply Queensland flags to Bundaberg schools and not-for-profit organisations. If you would like one, please put your request in writing via email and we will order one for you.
If you think I can assist you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Office Phone: (07) 4111 3100
Office Email: email@example.com
Office location: Ground floor of the WIN Tower, corner of Quay and Barolin Streets
Postal Address: PO Box 935, Bundaberg, QLD, 4670