Noosa, Election Commitments

Mr ELMES (Noosa—LNP) (6.43 pm): Since the election of the new Labor government on 31 January, a number of Noosa residents have talked to me about the fulfilment of commitments that I gave during the lead-up to the election. The stand-out for me and my electorate would have been the establishment of a fund that would have allowed the state government and the Noosa Council in partnership to clean up the Noosa River and maintain it as South-East Queensland’s cleanest waterway. Given the election outcome, I will now be looking to achieve this essential project for my community through other means. However, there are some individuals and groups in the community who, while fully understanding the political system but acting through political motivation, pushed the line that an undertaking given by a candidate or a member can be fulfilled even though the political party that the candidate or member belongs to has not been able to form government. I therefore question the commitments given by candidates who were not elected but whose party is now in government as to why there should not be a call on fulfilling those election commitments.

Given that today the Labor Party is in power and has control of the Treasury, the election commitments made, particularly those announced by either the leader and now Premier or officially ticked off by party headquarters, should be fulfilled. I therefore draw the parliament’s attention to a number of announcements made by the Labor candidate for Noosa on behalf of those seated opposite. Firstly there was an announcement made in Noosa by the now Premier in July 2014 that the communities of Eumundi, Doonan and Verrierdale deserve a say in deciding whether their future is with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council or with the Noosa Council. Then there was a significant and state-wide announcement made in January of this year with regard to the future of our TAFE colleges and the case of the Tewantin-Noosa facility which would be reopened with an emphasis on job creation. There was also the future of the Noosa Hospital, and tonight I recognise the meeting I had with the health minister in that regard. The 2014 Queensland Labor state policy platform at page 60 under the heading ‘Freight’ at section 7.76 states—

Labor will develop and publish a plan for the progressive priority upgrade of the North Coast Rail Line to improve safety, efficiency and reliability.

I agree with the three local commitments made by the Noosa candidate, as I campaigned on them as well. I also agree with Labor’s policy on the upgrade of the north coast railway. On behalf of the people of Noosa, I am now looking to collect on the promises made by the government during the election campaign and I particularly go back to my earlier comments on the Noosa River. I have already begun to write, ask questions and I am seeking appointments with the relevant ministers on these important undertakings. It is my intention to work progressively and collaboratively with the ministers concerned to achieve a worthwhile outcome for the people of Noosa.