Independent candidate for Noosa, Sandy Bolton, says she is developing a plan backed by leading members of the Noosa community to create an education and enterprise hub at the mothballed TAFE site in Tewantin.
Ms Bolton said sitting member Glen Elmes, a Minister in the Newman LNP Government when the decision to close TAFE was made, in the five years since has not proposed a future use for the site.
“Noosa has good schools, a number of satellite university campuses and a world class language training centre,” Ms Bolton said.
“Since we lost TAFE, there are new threats to the growth and even survival of some of these entities.
“Immediately after being elected, I will accelerate plans to breathe new life into the decommissioned TAFE campus and into making Noosa an education and enterprise hub.
“This new focus, already backed by leading members of our community, will involve training and other activities in information technology, education, hospitality and creative industries.
“It also proposes using other sites and will deliver significant benefits to Noosa, making it an innovation hub,” she said.
Ms Bolton said the modern Noosa economy has been created by commitment to the environment and the sensitive development of tourism, now a billion-dollar industry.
“Since the global financial crisis of 2007 there’s been much talk of economic diversification but not nearly enough action.
“I will lead a determined effort to change this to buffer our community against any future downturns and provide more jobs for young university graduates and school leavers so they and their skills are not lost to the Noosa community and economy.
“I will be advised by local business, civic and educational leaders to plan and drive economic diversification and development across critical sectors, especially aged and health care and education,” she said.
“I believe the role of a local MP in developing the local economy is to bring together local leaders, State Government and Local Government to determine the most effective ways to facilitate and support the growth and diversification of local economic activity.
“I do not see my role as a bystander utilising photo opportunities to convey an impression of effort and engagement,” she said.
“Your local member of parliament should get involved and get things done.
“I believe in doing not watching.”