The demise of the Noosa Journal is sad for the workers and I
wrote to them expressing my condolences for their loss of their
jobs. During the election campaign the paper asked candidates in
no more than 75 words to answer a number of questions. The task
of limiting answers in that way takes some considerable time for
the candidates and it was remiss of the paper in its last edition
not to have published their efforts. I thank MySunshineCoast for
publishing my answers to Journal's questions.
What is the biggest issue facing the Sunshine Coast and how do you plan to address it?
Coast businesses need a stable environment to survive national and global financial uncertainty. The sector employs more people in the region's private sector and stable jobs mean better financial security for families. Businesses, banks and landlords need to cooperate on lowering high commercial rates that undermine business prosperity and regional jobs. In line with Greens' policy I'll promote support systems to help businesses achieve efficiencies through energy efficiency, better internet commerce, and accessible advice on compliance issues.
Ensuring the Sunshine Coast University Hospital is constructed in a timely manner?
The Kawana university hospital must be built without delay to service our expected population expansion. I will oppose Government repeating the mistakes made in Maryborough where the Health Minister moved facilities from Maryborough to Hervey Bay leaving the town without a public labour ward or emergency services. Nambour hospital should retain and develop existing services and health competencies. Noosa likewise should have an integrated health service, including a mental health service, to maximise local patient access.
Improving public transport in the region?
My strategic vision for public transport by 2020 is an environmentally efficient, light rail system servicing the key centres, including Noosa. Frequent, low emission local bus systems will be integrated with the light rail. In turn light rail should provide access to a rapid rail system to Brisbane and SE Queensland. This is essential infrastructure for a low carbon economy and a growing regional population. Current public transport is inefficient, infrequent and designed to clog our roads.
Jobs are a big issue. How will you attract new industry to the Coast?
Development of renewable regional energy sources on the Coast can attract and support appropriate industries. We should build on the existing strengths of communities. As the member for Noosa I would encourage the cooperation of government, business and communities in identifying appropriate niches for new industry, eg., Noosa is ideally suited to creative industries and IT. I would urge government funding to assist the Coast Council(s) to promote any consequent Economic Development Strategy to industry.
Businesses often complain that there is too much government red tape. How would you improve on this?
Collection of data is important for government planning, analysis and compliance but reporting systems should also be designed to service business. Any need for legislation reducing red tape must be evidence-based and data collection designed to assist business become more efficient, competitive, and in meeting valid compliance requirements. A balanced view of red tape is needed: the CCIQ includes all legislation in the term, including such matters as employing workers, wages, licenses, permits and renewals.
MY KEY ISSUES IN THE ELECTORATE ARE:
• Improved health service delivery
• promoting secure work opportunities for families
• planning for the effects of climate change on the electorate
• a light rail system linking all centres and a rapid rail system to Brisbane
• a regional food security strategy protected from mining and coal seam gas extraction
• a decent regional arts and culture policy giving equal weight to the arts and sport in our electorate
• ensuring senior citizens have opportunities for a fulfilling retirement
• promoting aged care and improved access to palliative care services in the electorate
• ensuring the people of the electorate get the Council they really want, and
• restoring the electorate's water to the control of our Council
Dr Jim McDonald
Greens Candidate Noosa
23 March 2012
Noosa Journal's questions