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Sunshine Coast MPs Claim Coast Missing Out


Image: CC BY SA 3.0

Member for Buderim Brent Mickelberg has called for there to be more focus on the Sunshine Coast, after the 2019-20 State Budget was unveiled on Tuesday.  

“The Sunshine Coast is a great place to live, but governments at all levels need to do more to support the massive population growth, which we are experiencing. It’s time for the State Government to put aside political point scoring and invest the money to solve problems that effect locals every day. Issues like traffic congestion, community safety, providing better
health services and ensuring kids get the best education we can provide”.

“The Sunshine Coast population is expected to grow by almost 200,000 new residents over the next two decades. Traffic congestion on the Sunshine Coast is getting worse and we
need to plan much better for the future. This budget was an opportunity to solve some of those challenges, but yet again the Government have dropped the ball”.

“This is a budget that goes part of the way to addressing some of these issues, but what we have seen announced today simply isn’t enough. Many of the funding commitments
contained in today’s budget are recycled old announcements, with no new money. Projects like 6 laning of the Bruce Highway between Caloundra and Caboolture and duplication of
the Sunshine Coast Rail Line need to be a priority for Labor, not just the Sunshine Coast community. It’s time for the State Government to stop playing politics and commit to fully
fund these critical projects, just as a future Deb Frecklington LNP Government has”.

“The budget acknowledges the need for more schools here on the Sunshine Coast and I am pleased that the Government has listened to the communities voice in that respect. I,
along with my community, have been calling out for new schools in Palmview and the commitment to building a new primary and special school is an important step to support
the explosion in student numbers we have seen. The commitment of $34,334,000 for these two projects is a good start”.

“But the job is only half done and we need a new secondary school sooner rather than later, so that existing schools like Chancellor State College are not placed under even more
pressure than they currently are. The allocation of funding for “early stage works” is not enough. It’s time to stop talking about a new secondary school in Palmview and it’s time to
start building it.”

“Traffic congestion and road safety is a massive issue here on the Sunshine Coast. Locals tell me they are sick of sitting in the parking lot that is the Bruce Highway. They tell me that
they are sick of seeing accidents on the dangerous Mooloolah River Interchange at Mountain Creek. They also tell me that they worry about the safety of their children on local
roads at school pick-up time”.

“At Chancellor State College Primary Campus in Sippy Downs, we have Scholars Drive, which is a grid-locked and a dangerous mess. Parents, teachers and students have to deal
with Scholars Drive every single day, but despite countless calls for the State Government to work with Sunshine Coast Council to solve this issue, Annastacia Palasczuzk and her
Ministers continue to ignore the problem”.

“The safety of our kids is paramount and this is sadly being compromised by the current government’s lack of funding to address this critical issue”.

“Perhaps the most concerning aspect of this budget is the Government’s addiction to more debt and more taxes. This is a budget of waste and mismanagement. It is a budget that
shifts the responsibility for paying down Queensland massive state debt to the next generation, or the one after that”.

“The biggest concern of residents within my electorate is the crippling cost of living. Families and retirees are breaking under the weight of escalating electricity, water, food, fuel and
housing costs. Despite this, Sunshine Coast residents have been slugged with even more new taxes under this Labor State Government. It is clear when Labor run out of money, they
come after yours. This budget continues that trend and it has to stop."

"Residents on the Sunshine Coast tell me that they are losing sleep over the increase in youth crime in our suburbs. This State Government’s first obligation is to ensure the safety
of Queenslander’s everywhere. Our local Police do an amazing job with the resources they have, but more needs to be done. I was hoping to see an increase in funding for local police
in this budget, but it’s clear we have been let down on this front again”.

“I will continue to fight for the Buderim Electorate. I am pleased that my communities voice has been heard on some issues and that we have seen some of the much-needed
investment that we so desperately need, but more needs to be done.”

“I am committed to working to deliver the investment that is required to support the growing needs of my community and the Sunshine Coast as a whole”, Mr Mickelberg said.

“Queenslander’s deserve nothing less.”

Fast Facts:
1. Funding allocated for new Primary School at Palmview:
a. FY 2019-20: $17,332,000
b. Total Estimated Cost: $58,021,000
2. Funding allocated for new Special School at Palmview:
a. FY 2019-20: $17,012,000
b. Total Estimated Cost: $62,547,000
3. Funding allocated for a new Secondary School at Palmview (early stage works):
a. FY 2019-20: $4,134,000
b. Total Estimated Cost: $10,335,000

The Member for Caloundra agrees saying "Labor is working for Caloundra – and there are fairies at the bottom of the garden".

Mark McArdle has 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. 

“The Government has committed to start construction of Baringa State High School committing $24 million 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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

Ninderry MP Dan Purdie welcomed the significant investment in new classrooms at Coolum State High and Eumundi State School, as well as the long overdue Coolum Police Station.  

Mr Purdie said Coolum State High will receive $8 million for additional classrooms, and Eumundi State School $7million, while $1.6 million has been allocated to finalise plans for the new Coolum police station.

Mr Purdie said he was pleased to see the multi-million dollar expansion plans for two growing local schools which were setting high standards when it comes to providing quality educational outcomes for students and families.

“Both Coolum and Eumundi are home to an increasing numbers of families, and it is vital that our educational facilities are able to cater for this growth.

Mr Purdie said he had been fighting for more than 18 months to Coolum police out of a donga and into permanent accommodation so that they can carry out their jobs properly.

“There is no doubt our communities are crying out for more police and resources, and this commitment of funds to finally build the new station is a step in the right direction, however I am disappointed there has been no allocation of extra officers.

Mr Purdie said while the funding was welcome, a lot more investment in vital infrastructure projects across the electorate was needed to keep up with population growth.

“Taxpayers expect and deserve a return on investment when it comes to what their hard-earnt tax dollars are spent on,” Mr Purdie said.

“This Budget falls short in every sense.

“While education and law and order are essential, so too is transport infrastructure, and when it comes to roads in my electorate, there is not a penny to be seen.

“Investment in our roads network is vital if our region is to keep pace with population growth,” Mr Purdie said.

“Yet again, the Sunshine Coast has been short-changed by a short-sighted State Labor Government who have failed communities across the Coast with their short term goals, and spend and tax mantra.”

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