Monday 6 February 2017

24 January 2017

Noosa Public Transport to New Hospital a Disgrace

State Member for Noosa Glen Elmes has slammed Translink’s new timetable which commenced today as a slap in the face for passengers who live north of Maroochydore.

“A recent review of public transport services to the new $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital across the Sunshine Coast Region failed to include Noosa, Peregian Springs, Doonan and Eumundi, in fact any suburbs north of the Maroochy River.

“In what should have been the region’s most significant and comprehensive review of public transport services, namely those that access public healthcare, the Minister for Transport has once again failed to perform.

“Despite many attempts to bring the needs of residents who live in my electorate to Translink’s attention, including several appeals in writing and in person to both the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Health, my requests have fallen on deaf ears.

“The Minister for Transport announced today the introduction of 3 additional routes and 401 extra bus services to the Sunshine Coast regional network, none of which will operate north of Maroochydore. I fail to understand how the Minister can be proud of leaving fifty percent of the region out in the cold.

“Whilst I concur a 10 minute reduction in wait times between Noosa and Maroochydore services and a direct service from Maroochydore to the Hospital are improvements, the fact remains that people travelling from Noosa to visit loved ones in hospital, or who themselves need to access day procedures or attend review appointments, will travel a minimum of three and a half hours on four different buses each day they visit.

“During the Review I publicly appealed to Translink by highlighting the looming disaster of a public transport system that will not adequately or efficiently connect the residents of Noosa to the new hospital and health hub at Birtinya.

“I also engaged with residents in a survey on my website to gauge community support and demand for a direct service from Noosa to the hospital, which of course received overwhelming support.

“It is well known that public transport on the Sunshine Coast runs at a multi-million dollar loss. If commuters south of the Maroochy River can be afforded improvements then surely Noosa residents should have access to at least one direct return service in the morning and again in the afternoon. To isolate fifty per cent of the region from these state of the art medical facilities is verging on negligence.

“As I have said before, if Translink cannot find the funds in their coffers then the responsibility is ultimately left to Queensland Health to provide access for patients and their visitors to the $1.8 billion masterpiece.


“Caxton Legal has produced this comprehensive and user friendly legal resource for some time in hard copy but now it is available for everyone, anytime and at no cost. Even if you don’t have a computer at home you can visit your local library or internet café to find out your rights and responsibilities.

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“As a State Member I am often approached for help in legal matters and whilst I am not a lawyer I still find myself listening to many constituents who are struggling with a number of life’s challenges and changes of circumstance.

“If you or someone you know is looking for reliable information and guidance regarding marriage and divorce, parenting after separation, work matters, contracts and consumer law, victims of crime, domestic violence, wills and estates visit queenslandlawhandbook.org.au,” Mr Elmes said.1169

Background:
The Caxton Legal Centre has provided free legal help to Queenslanders for over 40 years.