Extract from Hansard – Tuesday 1 November, 2016

Sunshine Butterflies

Mr ELMES (Noosa—LNP) (6.55 pm): I rise tonight to share a remarkable story of how the will and determination of one person has changed the lives of hundreds living with a disability in my electorate of Noosa. I speak of Sunshine Butterflies, a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation, established in 2005 by Leanne Walsh whose son has cerebral palsy.

Sunshine Butterflies supports people of all ages living with a disability and their families through a number of programs, including arts and crafts, swimming, social clubs, support groups as well as case management and NDIS advice. Following an extensive fundraising effort two years ago the charity purchased a five-acre property at Cooroibah that would become a hobby farm and central location of services. I table the master plan for Our BackYard which shows the scale and intent of this truly remarkable community facility.

Tabled paper: Document, undated, titled ‘Landscape concept plan: Our Back Yard—468 Mckinnon Drv Cooroibah’.

Previously a wholesale nursery, this facility has been extensively renovated and fully fenced; stables, animal enclosures and garden beds have been erected; $15,000 spent on a new sewerage system; and $10,000 on earthworks. The property is accessed from McKinnon Drive, a road carrying approximately 2,000 vehicles a day. The site shows a dedicated entrance and exit to the property that ensures safety.

Despite all this hard work Sunshine Butterflies is facing one of its biggest hurdles. As part of council’s Material Change of Use application, Sunshine Butterflies has been told to pay for the construction of turning lanes into and exiting the property. Courtesy of a free bus service, which operates outside the morning and evening peaks, Sunshine Butterflies is responsible for just 1.7 per cent of traffic volume. Slogging this valuable community group with the bill to install infrastructure on a state owned road simply does not pass the fairness test. I would argue that as McKinnon Drive is currently zoned 100 kilometres an hour, a reduction in the speed limit to 80 kilometres an hour would be more appropriate, less costly and benefit a number of other private dwellings, including a family day care along the same road.

Arguably the disability services and care provided by Sunshine Butterflies has, and will continue to, save all three tiers of government considerable funds. I have met with a representative of the Minister for Main Roads and asked that a reduction of the speed limit be the solution rather than expensive roadworks. It is ridiculous to expect this charity to redirect funds, much of it donated in good faith, away from their cause. I await Minister Bailey’s response and hope that he will, as I do, see that a helping hand is well and truly justified and required.