By Margaret Maccoll
Glen Elmes won high praise from LNP Noosa party members last week when he bade them farewell before making a move from Noosa to Redcliffe.
A stalwart of Noosa for the past 30 years Glen was Noosa MP for the party from 2006 until 2017 and held a variety of roles in government including Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Multicultural Affairs, temporary Speaker and shadow whip.
Newly elected LNP Noosa branch chair Leigh McCready said it was Glen who took her under his wings two years ago when she made a move to join the party and helped her navigate the treacherous waters of politics.
That Glen held so many roles was tribute to his ability to get along with everybody, Leigh said.
When you think of Glen’s achievements in politics what stands out is his work to achieve de-amalgamation for Noosa, despite the costs to his own political career.
“He really sacrificed himself for the community,” she said.
Leigh told the meeting how Glen had led a rally of 7500 people (most from Noosa) in Brisbane with megaphone in hand to protest the amalgamation of Noosa with Sunshine Coast Council.
He battled for de-amalgamation against Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson and took the fight to then Premier Campbell Newman along with signed forms from 30,000 Noosa residents – an amazing feat for a region with 35,000 voters at the time.
Newman said it would go to a vote and Noosa voted 83 per cent in favour of de-amalgamation, Leigh said.
“I’d like people to remember what a quiet achiever he was and we are all the beneficiaries of it,” she said.
“There are few members in Parliament for so long.”
Glen said it had always been an honour to have been a Member of Parliament especially for a community that you really love.
He said the de-amalgamation battle had taken up years and years in Parliament but it showed they should never again try to move Noosa from it’s rightful place.
Glen told the meeting he’d joined the Liberal Party as a 17-year-old in Mt Isa and moved to Noosa in 1985 when the area was National Party heartland.
Glen said his move to Redcliffe would take him closer to his business in Brisbane but he would continue to be a regular visitor to Noosa.
A party man Glen said it was unfortunate Noosa now had an independent member.