The Bolton Report with Sandy Bolton

Sandy Bolton

When I’m out and about, people commonly ask: ‘How can an independent MP effect change?’ Good question and I’m excited and looking forward to sharing how over the coming months we together can tackle some of Noosa’s challenges. It’s the collective effort that can most effectively identify issues, develop initiatives and help find solutions. On the whiteboard back at the electoral office is a simple statement – ’How We Can’.
It’s a little over six weeks since our small team occupied the office at Noosa Civic. It’s been hectic, invigorating and humbling all at once. A big thankyou to everyone for your overwhelming support, especially to the generous ‘shares’ from our amazing artists whose brilliant works are on display, showcasing Noosa’s spirit, intent and reminders of what is most important.
Among the hundreds of emails and the constant stream of people calling there are clear and serious challenges expressed. People often find it hard to negotiate the confusing and at times frustrating processes of government agencies. The most difficult cases are those already in a legal process – as we are not able to be involved. At these times at least we can offer a human face to what can seem a mechanical process.
Some residents may be confused about whether their issue is the responsibility of Noosa Council or whether it is a state or federal matter. Unfortunately, State MPs can’t get involved at other levels of government and even Ministers are unable to interfere in these other processes unless they involve state laws and regulations. Rest assured, here at the office we will always assist and refer you to the appropriate level of government, and let you know who the contacts are.
Other questions raised have concerned the State Government’s role in our community. The state receives funding from its own sources and federal taxes to provide and maintain state assets such as schools, main roads, health, infrastructure, services and programs. As a state member I take your collective voice into the discussion about what is to be funded and what policies and legislation Queensland should pursue.
Here in Noosa, our office researches, studies and prepares positions on those community issues that has been identified as a priority for funding. As you can imagine, every MP is advocating on behalf of their community, so our ‘Noosa axe’ must always remain sharp. For individual issues, I work through the relevant departments and at times the minister, to discuss how situations can be addressed, and then we work through the process.
The hot election topics including Beckman’s Road and the TAFE campus will be reported on after I meet with the relevant ministers in Brisbane during the first sitting of parliament, which isn’t far away. Other issues brought forward since then are either in progress, gathering information or tagged for research and community discussion through the pilot Noosa 360 project.
This 360 (degrees) engagement platform is your ’voice’ and a space for respectful and constructive sharing of information and opinions that will cover a range of topics through the year. It will provide residents within the Noosa electorate the opportunity to be part of solving and meeting our community challenges.
You can register to participate in this exciting interactive project at www.SandyBolton.com/Noosa360, or, if you’re not an ’onliner’, call the office and we can notify you by mail. There will also be face-to-face community forums and ‘Meet the Pollie’ coffee corners during the year.
The first Noosa 360 discussion and fact finding mission is in February, so join us in looking at ongoing concerns about our river – derelict vessels, effluent, fishing and usage which all continue to be debated on Facebook. We look forward to seeing you there!

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