16 September 2016

Safer Kids, Safer transport and a Busy Spring Sitting: Elmes

State Member for Noosa Glen Elmes said that Noosa children will be better protected thanks to the introduction of LNP legislation ‘Mason’s Law’; and local taxi and ride-sharing users will be safer, following major repairs by the LNP to the Government’s botched taxi and ridesharing policy.

“Not only did the spring sitting of parliament culminate in some important safety gains for Noosa residents, but it was also an opportunity to remind all sitting members of the urgent need for an upgrade to Beckman’s Road and to share the important story of our local experience with palliative care, from which I hope others will learn.

“As a result of a tenacious campaign to further improve child protection work the LNP’s landmark Child Protection (Mandatory Reporting – Mason’s Law) Amendment Bill 2016 was passed, making it mandatory for childcare workers to report cases of suspected child abuse.

“There are several thousand children under five years of age attending child care centres in the Noosa Electorate, and now their carers can better protect them, and lives like that of little Mason Parker who was tragically murdered in 2011, can be saved. Mandatory reporting laws are an important part of our child protection system and are critical in detecting serious cases of child abuse that might otherwise go unnoticed, Mr Elmes said.

Safety remained on the LNP’s agenda which turned its hand to Labor’s taxi/rideshare policy.

“I recently expressed my concerns for how the Government is handling competition in the personal transport space and while the legal debate is still not over, matters of safety, which were glaringly absent from the Government’s Bill will be ensured.

“The LNP successfully disallowed legislation that permitted 20 year old vehicles to be taxis; did not require frequent safety inspections of taxis and ride sharing vehicles and did not require a minimum level of driver training for taxi or ride sharing drivers “ Mr Elmes said.

“In other business, I gave a speech about the need to upgrade the Beckmans Road/Tewantin Bypass, which can be achieved in three stages and over a number of years, at a total cost of approximately $40 million - which is a reasonable investment for priority road infrastructure.  More than a third of Noosa Electorate residents rated this project as an ‘urgent priority’ in last year’s survey and I will not stop fighting until it is realised.

“I also spoke about palliative care which is a major issue for health authorities worldwide and of course a deeply emotional issue for families and communities, such as ours - who for the past five years had the Katie Rose Cottage at Doonan to turn to. Sadly at the hands of a new board, rebadged to become Sunshine Hospice, the facility no longer exists and the belongings of the Cottage have been put into storage.

“I was pleased to table in parliament an impressive non-conforming paper petition, with 954 hard copy signatures and drew the attention of the house to an online petition with more than 1300 signatures. The petitions and many community meetings calling for the Sunshine Hospice Board to step down, is the good work of the determined Katie Rose Cottage volunteers who are committed to bringing the Cottage back,” Mr Elmes said.