My Local Campaigns
I am proud of the things that we have delivered locally so far, including;
- $3.13 billion of funding for upgrades to the Bruce Highway between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane,
- $390 million toward duplication of the North Coast Rail
- $266 million in extra funding for schools in Fisher,
- $5 million for local mental health treatment and research at the Thompson Institute
- CCTV for Caloundra
- $3 million for upgrades to the Events Centre at Caloundra
- Funding for Mobile Phone Towers near Peachester, Beerwah and Glass House Mountains
- Commonwealth funded placements for a medical school at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital
- $3.2 million for a pilot of an Eating Disorder treatment program on the Sunshine Coast and $1.5 million for Australia's first residential treatment facility for Eating Disorders, EndED Butterfly House.
I am however very aware of the things that are yet to be delivered. We have had a very successful few years, but I intend to continue to fight for Fisher and the issues that local people care about in the years to come.
FAST TRACKING THE INFRASTRUCTURE WE NEED
The Coalition Government has allocated $3.13 billion to upgrades to the Bruce Highway between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, and a further $390 million to the duplication of the rail way line. However, I do not want to see the necessary construction work stretch out over the next decade. We need this new infrastructure now, and I intend to do all I can to fast track these works.
In particular, while the Federal Government has allocated 50% of the funding needed for the North Coast Rail duplication, the Queensland State Labor Government have refused to contribute the remaining 50%, allocating only $156 million, or 20%. I will continue to work with the State and Commonwealth Government's to close this funding gap, and get this duplication completed as soon as possible.
BUSTING ROAD CONGESTION IN FISHER
The Federal Coalition Government is adding extra lanes to the Bruce and upgrading our congested Highway intersections between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane. But now we need the State Government to do their bit and sort out the congestion on our local roads.
Local roads like Caloundra Road, Kawana Way, Brisbane Road and Nicklin Way among others are absolutely chock-a-block with cars and exhaust fumes at peak hour. It is bad for the environment, dangerous for all of us, and takes us away for longer from the people and things we care about. I am determined in 2019 to do something about it. These roads are a State Government responsibility, and I will work hard to put pressure on them. But I have no intention of passing the buck, and on behalf of the many people who spoke to me about this issue, I will also be exploring what the Federal Government can do to help.
Bringing new highly skilled jobs to the Coast
I am committed to encouraging diversification of our economy so that we are not too reliant on traditional industries like tourism and construction, as important as they are. That is why I have launched the Fisher Defence Industry initiative, to get some of the Government’s $200 billion defence procurement spent here on the Coast. There are already Sunshine Coast businesses succeeding and growing in this space and offering highly skilled new jobs in our community. I am continuing to drive this forward with more activities to create greater opportunities for our community. I invited the Minister for Defence Industry, multi-national defence companies like Lockheed Martin, Airbus and Boeing as well as local businesses who have succeeded in the defence industry to speak to more than 150 local companies at the first Sunshine Coast Defence Industry Forum and have followed this up with further Forums and workshops to help local businesses to succeed.
High speed internet and mobile coverage for the Hinterland
I know that there are still far too many areas in our Hinterland that cannot get high speed internet, or even decent mobile phone reception. This affects ordinary people’s lives, and it affects the strength of the local economy. You cannot run a successful business without high speed internet. I have already played a part in securing nbn access more quickly for Eudlo, Glasshouse and Beerwah and in securing ADSL upgrades for Mooloolah Valley, and I have secured Federal funding for mobile black spot towers near Peachester, Beerwah and Glass House Mountains. I will continue to work with Federal Ministers, the nbn, the Council, Telstra and Mobile Phone Carriers to make progress on fixing these blackspots and getting the high speed internet we need.
Improved support for Local Veterans & Mental Health
I want us to do more to support the many veterans in the Sunshine Coast community. I will be hosting a Veterans Forum to get feedback on what veterans on the Sunshine Coast need and how the Government can support them. I will also be pushing hard in Canberra to get further Federal funding for the Thompson Institute so that they can set up a program of treatment and research into post-traumatic stress disorder, an all too common challenge for our local veterans.