Condolence Speech Mr Gordon Simpson

Extract from Hansard – Wednesday 14th June 2017

Mr ELMES (Noosa—LNP) (2.39 pm): I rise to pay my respects to the family and friends of the late Gordon Simpson, the member for Cooroora from 1974 to 1989. I first met Gordon in 1985 when I moved to the Sunshine Coast. I was always inspired by his dedication to the job and to his constituents. I was impressed with his extraordinary passion for his beliefs. He was ever present and I personally took note of his ability and drive to be out and about and actively involved throughout his electorate.

The then seat of Cooroora took in most of what is now the seat of Noosa. Well before I became the member in 2006, I admired the great things that Mr Simpson achieved for my community, including his contribution to the creation of the local values and unique culture that locals still identify with, live by and treasure today. As we have heard, his legacies include the removal of sandmining leases at Sunshine Beach, the protection of the Noosa Spit from developers, the expansion of the Noosa National Park and Noosa’s first town plan that placed a ban on high rises.

Gordon loved his electorate and his electors. In his maiden speech he spoke poetically about them, comparing Cooroora with a beautiful chrysalis: relatively untouched and unspoilt, yet capable of wonderful growth. He spoke at length about the need to grow the area just enough so that people could live, work and raise a family, but not too much so as to repeat the mistakes made by others, ‘thereby avoiding the monstrosities of uncontrolled and pollutant industries, of garish architecture and of abuse of nature’s wonderland’.

Gordon was a visionary and a man of the people. He spoke of the importance of tourism and the need for state and federal governments to support councils in their endeavours, the importance of protecting national parks and the freedom of the community to access their wonderland. The people of my electorate and visitors alike have Gordon Simpson to thank for the way that Noosa has kept its pristine environmental attributes when other coastal communities have not. Gordon also called for better educational opportunities, including tertiary training and the need for quality medical facilities. The part of Cooroora that is now Noosa is now home to some 15 schools, two universities campuses and the Noosa hospital.

Gordon warned of the danger of violence on the health of society and the dangers of big costly governments. Those issues are still at the forefront of LNP policy today. He said—

Lasting happiness does not come from gifts from Government. True happiness comes from knowing that there is a future to strive for and a wonderful place to raise children to standards that will not be undermined and continually lowered.

Gordon Simpson was indeed an insightful and learned man who knew that answers were not always in the generation of more stuff, but in the creation of opportunity.

Gordon Simpson lived to serve others and fought hard for the environment. He was highly visible in the community, accessible to all and totally committed to his family and to his party. Lesley and I pass on our deepest condolences to Gordon’s wife, Norma, his children, Bruce, Helen and Jock and, of course, the current member for Maroochydore, Fiona Simpson, who continues her father’s great work in this place. On behalf of the electors he served over a period of decades and the people who will benefit from his lasting legacies now and well into the future, I say: thank you Gordon Simpson for your service to Noosa and to Queensland.