Andrew Powell MP
Glass House Issues

It was schools, schools and more schools last week with lots of ceremonies taking place in the last school week for 2016.  It was great to share in the celebrations at seven different schools for the end of year award ceremonies and to wish the graduating students all the best for their journeys into high school.  Congratulations to kids from Palmwoods State School, Maleny Primary School, Mt Mee State School, Beerburrum State School, Wamuran State School, Eudlo State School and Delaneys Creek State School.

The merriment continued as I hosted my two annual Christmas Community events in Maleny on Tuesday and Woodford on Friday.  Thanks to everyone who came along to share in the festivities.

It was a pleasure to host Tim Nicholls MP, Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Arts and Major Events, in the Glass House electorate during last week to showcase some recent achievements, outline the issues I am still fighting for and allow Tim to spend some time with locals from all corners of the electorate.  Almost 100 community members were able to talk to Tim at a morning tea in Woodford and an afternoon tea at Montville and the rest of our tour included:

• Inspection of the new Pumicestone State School which is opening in 2017 and was approved and funded by the LNP government
• Visits to Woodfordia and the Woodford Sale Yards which highlighted the diversity of our local communities – the artistic and creative excitement that is the Woodford Folk Festival and the honest, hardworking, salt of the earth cattlemen and women, one of our many local agricultural pursuits
• Briefing at the site of the proposed Maleny Indoor Aquatic Centre and new Drop ‘n Go at the Maleny State School
• Inspection of the intersection at Jubilee Drive, Chevallum Road and Woombye Palmwoods Road which is a nightmare for those who use it on a regular basis and while the rail duplication would ultimately solve the issue we all know that is a long way off under the current Government.

On Wednesday I popped in to see Neil and Wendy Crane, proprietors of the Elimbah store who sadly will be closing their doors after over 20 years due to their lease not being renewed. It’s just not going to be the same without Neil and Wendy at the helm and we will miss you  (and your dim sims) so much. Thank you for your years of serving our community.

In between schools I also had the opportunity to catch up with Malcolm Holst of Ilkley and say thank you for more than 40 years of service to this state as a Justice of the Peace.  Outstanding!

I attended the annual Maleny Christmas Street Carnival on Friday night and this year I also got to help judge the ‘best decorate beard’ competition.  Congratulations to Ray – very impressive.

In amongst all the Christmas cheer, I dropped in on the Glasshouse Mountains Sports Club “Save Our Club” update. I’d like to pay special tribute to both the past and present committees as it’s only because of their efforts that the lights are still on!

My office will be closing on Friday 16 December and will reopen on Monday 9th of January 2017.  I look forward to sharing with you again in 2017.

The last week of Parliament sitting last week brought some late nights with a lot to be finalised before the end of the year.

Highlights of the week were:
•The LNP announcing that a future LNP government will implement ‘No Body, No Parole’ laws in Queensland.  This means that convicted killers who fail to tell authorities where they have dumped a body will be refused parole under a tough new LNP policy aimed at empowering victims not offenders.  The news was welcomed by Bruce and Denise Morcombe who said it was a huge win for victims and their families!
•The turning on of the Parliamentary Christmas Tree lights!
•Standing up against violence against women with my parliamentary colleagues – White Ribbon Day 2016.
•Debate on the Taxi Industry Assistance Package.  This bill is flawed and botched and is a real kick in the guts to taxi and limo operators.  The LNP also welcomes competition but there must be fair compensation and a fair and level playing field for the personalised transport industry and I am working with providers for a fairer go.

On returning to the electorate on Friday morning, I attended the Elimbah Excellence Parade and was honoured to present the award for Dux of the school to Emelia from year 6.  Then it was off to Beerburrum State School for a pizza party with the year two class.  The winner of my Christmas Artwork Competition this year was Andre De Clara who not only won a prize for himself, but he also won a pizza party for his whole class.  Well done Andre and thanks kids for the fun at lunch.

The Glasshouse Country RSL recently picked up $12,500 through the Gambling Community Benefit Fund to install solar panels so it was great to catch up with them and discuss their plans.

Another school event to finish off my Friday and it was a huge night, full of brilliant kids, dance, drama and carols at the Peachester State School Awards Night.

Ironically on Saturday night a storm took out the power at the official turning on of the WoW – Windows of Woodford illuminated art boxes. Regardless, it’s a brilliant project and brain child of the Woodford Lions, ably supported by the Woodford Folk Festival and Cr Adrian Raedel.  If you haven’t seen them yet, go and take it look.  They look great.

Not even an almighty storm could stop Crystal and Fred Peters and the Stoney Creek Rural Fire Brigade from holding their Christmas bash on Saturday night too!

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In case you missed the story in last week’s Glasshouse Country & Maleny News, the new Maleny Indoor Aquatic Centre and new school “Drop N Go” took a huge step in the right direction recently. The Education Department has agreed to a new aquatic centre being built on the school’s lower oval. Plenty still to do – my immediate focus is to get detailed traffic designs prepared for the new intersection and “Drop N Go”. Great partnership to date with Cr Jenny McKay and Greg and Kim from Maleny District Sport and Rec Club.

Click on the link to see the full media release:

Powell and McKay Media Release – New Maleny Indoor Aquatic Centre and School ‘Drop n Go’ take huge step forward

 

My week started out in Cairns where the Shadow Cabinet team met with community members and groups.  It was great listening to the local government, transport and main roads concerns of locals in that region.

I was back in Glass House by Wednesday and it was a pleasure to catch up with Ali, Marty and Ryan who are the owners of Altitude on Montville, the Blackall Range’s newest accommodation and fine dining venue complete with a Matt Golinski Restaurant.

On Thursday it was party time at the Palmwoods Community Kindergarten when they picked up nearly $15,000 through the Gambling Community Benefit Fund to enclose their verandah. One of my favourite parts of the job is to make these presentations to groups and enable them to make improvements to their services.

The Sunshine Coast Business Council got in early with their Christmas drinks this year and on Thursday I congratulated chair Sandy, the Board and all the Members on a stellar year.  Congratulations also to Maleny Commerce who celebrated their 30th Birthday on Thursday night.

I had the pleasure of judging entries in the Maleny Arts and Craft Group Christmas Fair this week and then presenting prizes to the winners. A huge congratulations to Judith, Renee, Joanne and Mieke on their success.

On Friday I took the Oath for White Ribbon Day, to stand up, speak out and act to prevent men’s violence against women.

On Saturday I dropped into the Wamuran Country Markets before grabbing some precious family time on Sunday ahead of

the final sitting week of parliament.

This year my office will once again be a drop off point for Kids in Care.  The tree is up so if you would like to donate a gift they will be merrily received up to the 13th December.

 

Great to see the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) maintenance contractor undertaking bitumen resurfacing works on Maleny-Kenilworth Road approaching Witta Road.  I know this is only a very small part of a much bigger problem.  Many of you would be familiar with my annual walk along this stretch of road – some have even called it a political stunt.  And you know what, they are right, and I make no apologies for that.  This is just one way of showing the community and the government of the day, regardless of which political persuasion, I have not given up the fight to fix this road once and for all.  I will stop at nothing to get a funding commitment from TMR and will continue to update you as further works are done.

On Tuesday I travelled to the Gaven electorate where my colleague Sid Cramp and I launched a petition to improve safety measures for emergency vehicles exiting the Nerang Fire Station.  We also discussed other transport and road concerns within the Gaven electorate.

It took some organising but on Wednesday we managed to have three levels of government in the same place at the same time!  In attendance were Ted O’Brien, Andrew Wallace, Fiona Simpson, Glen Elmes, Steve Dickson, Jarrod Bleijie, Noosa Shire Council Mayor Tony Wellington, Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie, and Mark McArdle on the phone, and we discussed future plans that will benefit the Sunshine Coast.

It’s tradition in November each year that I catch up with my mate Bill Hauritz to check everything is on track for another brilliant Woodford Folk Festival so on Thursday I was thrilled to chat to Bill about what to expect this year.  It is set to be as sensational as ever so get your tickets now – it’s going to be a ripper!

My “Arty Day” continued on Thursday when I met with renowned Queensland visual artist Tom McAulay and Tony Gill of Art on Cairncross fame. We really are very spoilt in the Hinterland!

My Friday began with Rowena Crouch from the Mt Mee Historical Society who used an Anzac Centenary Queensland Grant to work with students from Mt Mee State School and research locals who served in WWI. The product of their endeavours – “Mt Mee Anzacs” – was launched.  Congratulations to Rowena and the kids from Mt Mee.

Also on Friday I was excited to announce, along with Cr Jenny McKay, that the Education Department has provided an in-principle agreement to a new Indoor Aquatic Centre and “Drop n Go” being built on the Maleny State School lower oval.  The announcement follows a lengthy and exhaustive process that explored all options for the siting of a new pool and improved school drop-off facilities and involved considerable consultation with the broader community and the Maleny State School P&C and staff.  I’ll keep you updated as things progress however in the meantime please see my media release for further details.

On Friday evening I enjoyed my first Christmas drinks and the first “Merry Christmas” for 2016 at the Maleny Community Centre with current President Phil, former President Heather and the team.

On Saturday I travelled to Cairns for Shadow Cabinet.  Great to be in Far North Queensland, listening to the local government, transport and main roads concerns of locals.

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I was back in Parliament last week and while there were some late nights and lots of important bills to consider, we also managed to have some fun at the annual Parliamentary Friends of Rugby League Charity Touch Football Game.  It was five in a row for the mighty Country team!!

After returning to the electorate on Friday, I attended the National Servicemen’s Assoc Caboolture District Remembrance Day Celebrations at Wamuran.  It was a privilege to stand alongside many who have served our nation and to pause and reflect on the lives of those who served, died and suffered in wars and armed conflicts.

On Saturday morning I called in to the Montville markets before heading down to the 20 year celebrations for Glasshouse Country Care.  Offering quality care and lifestyle support to our older citizens and the disabled, Glasshouse Country Care are to be commended for their years of service to the community.

On Sunday the family celebrated the birthday of my amazing, beautiful, superwoman-of-a-wife-and-mother-to-our-kids…Taryn!

Please note my speeches from Parliament will be loaded onto the website as they become available.

Last week I attended Parliament however due to illness in my immediate family I had to return home on Thursday and was unable to attend any scheduled events over the weekend.  My speeches from Parliament will be loaded onto the website when they become available.  In the meantime if you would like to read more about what has been happening in the Glass House electorate, please follow the link to my recent e-newsletter.

http://us11.campaign-archive1.com/?u=74135fcee0f5302a2c335e2ed&id=d8b5c5670b&e=f5e6db9e5e

 

 

I started the week by travelling to the Gympie, Hervey Bay and Burnett electorates to discuss all things Transport, Main Roads and Local Government.  It was a great opportunity also to catch up with my good friend, and now Mayor of Bundaberg, Jack Dempsey over breakfast. He has a real vision and passion for where the Bundaberg Region can go.  Thanks to Tony Perrett, Ted Sorensen and Stephen Bennett for hosting me in your patches.

My thanks to Andrew Wallace for the opportunity on Wednesday to brief Federal Minister Darren Chester MP on the importance of the North Coast Rail Duplication. Great having Ted O’Brien’s support too with both levels of government working together towards this vital service.

On Thursday I presented a Queensland Flag to the 5th Light Horse Regiment Maleny Troop in preparation for the grand opening of their Beersheba Living Museum which I attended on Saturday with my family.    It started with a Anzac Centenary Queensland grant but the 5th Light Horse Regiment and the Maleny District Sport and Rec Club have turned it in to something truly special.

I was honoured to be a part of the Maleny State High School Awards Night on Thursday where I met one of our leaders of the future – Sholto Muir who collected several awards on the night.

It was an absolute pleasure to host Ros Bates, Shadow Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Child Safety and the prevention of Domestic and Family Violence and Shadow Minister for Disability Services and Senior, in the Glass House electorate last week.  It was great to show Ros the amazing things that the Compass Institute are doing by taking her on a tour of the Compass farm with DJ as our host.  We met with Bruce and Denise Morcombe before taking part in the Walk for Daniel on Friday morning followed by a Community Morning Tea in my office.  Special thanks to John Pearce from the Daniel Morcombe Foundation for attending and sharing with us the wonderful things the Foundation is doing for victims of crime.

On Friday afternoon it was great to introduce Ros Bates MP to Mal Thomson and the amazing team at the Caboolture Neighbourhood Centre.   They offer an impressive array of support programs and their work with the broader Caboolture community is irreplaceable.

 

I began my week visiting the Aspley electorate in my capacity as Shadow Minister for Transport and Main Roads where I spent the morning with my good friend Tracy Davis MP inspecting road issues in the Aspley electorate.  Later that day I travelled to Canberra where I met with Ministers, including Senator Fiona Nash, ensuring that the  Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay regions are front and centre on the Federal Government’s agenda.

On Wednesday I was on the Gold Coast to attend the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Annual Conference.

Needless to say I was glad to be back in Glass House later in the week in time to welcome and introduce Miss Rodeo America, Miss Rodeo Canada, Miss Rodeo Australia and Miss Rodeo Warwick to Wes and the team at Australia Zoo.

Unfortunately it was necessary for me to head back to Brisbane on Friday to front a media conference and ask the Transport Minister to explain why one hundred train services were cancelled that day.  An incredible disruption and inconvenience for commuters and I fear there are more disruptions to come.

It was my great pleasure to present grant certificates to the Maleny Men’s Shed and Maleny Girl Guides over the weekend who between them received over $65,000 from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund for construction and upgrades.  I finished off the week attending the Wamuran School Country Fair.

 

 

 

I was back in Parliament last week and was fortunate to be a part of two very important bills being passed through the House.  The first was the Public Health (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2016 and the second was the Domestic and Family Violence Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016.  I have been approached regularly by constituents who have an interest in both these issues and I know they will be overjoyed by these Bills being passed.  If you would like to read my contribution to the debates, please go to my facebook page at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/andrewpowellmp/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

We celebrated Yellow Ribbon Day on Tuesday where we thanked our amazing volunteers in the Queensland Rural Fire Brigades. We are fortunate to have many Rural Fire Brigades in the Glass House electorate and our communities are safer because of them.   I would like to again thank the Elimbah/ Donnybrook RFS, Wamuran Rural Fire Brigade, Mt Mee Rural Fire Service, Delaneys Creek RFSQ, Woodford Rural Fire Brigade, Stony Creek RFB, Stanmore Rural Fire Brigade, Peachester Rural Fire Brigade, Glasshouse Rural Fire Brigade, Beerwah Rural Fire Brigade, Landsborough Rural Fire Brigade, Maleny RFB, Conondale RFB, Montville Rural Fire Brigade, Palmwoods Rural Fire Brigade, and Eudlo Rural Fire Brigade.

Back in the electorate on Friday, I did some doorknocking in the Glasshouse / Beerwah area encouraging people to sign our petition calling on the Minister for Main Roads to commission immediate planning, funding and construction of safety upgrades to the intersection of Kilcoy-Beerwah Road and Old Gympie Road at Beerwah.  People power certainly worked at the Reed Street and Bowen Road intersections, so we are hopeful of another great result for this intersection.  Thanks to everyone who has signed so far!  You can also sign the online petition by going to the following link:  http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petitions

The Maleny State School Country Fair never disappoints and on Friday night I was able to take some of my tribe along to share the festivities (and fairy floss).

On Saturday I attended one of the community consultations for the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Duplication. Unfortunately the first stage of the duplication from Beerburrum to Landsborough is no closer to being built and Labor’s consultation process on yet another study into the Beerburrum to Landsborough duplication is a sham.  The fact that the Government has planned to spend millions of dollars on upgrading platforms indicates that they never intend to straighten or improve the line past Landsborough.   The fight for the duplication continues……..

Sadly my Celebrity XI were not triumphant this year against the Maleny Maulers at the Annual Charity Cricket match but we did manage to raise a decent wad of cash for the Lung Foundation of Australia and had a blast along the way.   Thanks to everyone’s support on the day, over $1200 will be passed along to the Lung Foundation.

On Sunday morning I emceed the Lions Mountain View Challenge where there was a great turnout of those eager to participate in a 10km run or a half marathon early on a Sunday morning.   All in support of the Maleny Blackall Range Lions Club and the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation (ALCCRF). Well done to everyone who competed.

As Unit Patron it was an honour to be present at the National Inspection of TS Centaur at Maleny on Sunday afternoon. They are one of five finalists for the Navy League’s Most Efficient Training Ship in Australia Trophy and are a truly inspirational group of young leaders.  Outstanding achievement.

 

 

 

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