Thursday, May 25, 2017

Greens ready for March election

Posted by Jim on January 25, 2012

The Greens candidate for Noosa, Dr Jim McDonald welcomed the announcement for an election date by Premier Anna Bligh, this morning.

Dr McDonald said that the LNP and Labor leaders had descended to a schoolyard level of debate on the election date.

“I have no doubt that the decision will be controversial concerning the decision to push back the Council elections, but people have been confused between coverage of State and local government elections.

“The Greens policy supports fixed terms and the adoption of that principle will take away the demeaning argy bargy that we have seen this week between Campbell Newman and Anna Bligh.

“However, the biggest problem we face in Queensland is that no party once in government seriously commits to any long term action planning.

“People often say to me that The Greens can never win government so it is a wasted vote. But voting for The Greens is a vote for the future. We must leave behind the dysfunctional ratbaggery that has characterised the Queensland Parliament and deal with long term issues beyond the three-year electoral cycle instead of short-term, populist programs.

“If I am elected to the Parliament for Noosa I can focus my contribution in representing Noosa on the solutions requiring long-term strategy and action, such as a commitment to the infrastructure planning and programs necessary to prepare for the effects of climate change in the region and economic prosperity for Noosa in the post-carbon economy.

“This is not something you ever hear from Mr Elmes or the Young Labor candidate from Brisbane.

“Because I am not constrained by the vested interests that support Labor and the LNP, my focus will be on the benefits for the whole of the electorate and the region rather than select groups and the coal and gas industries.”

Dr McDonald said, “The Noosa and Hinterland Greens Branch are organised and ready for the long campaign.”

Jim McDonald
Greens Candidate Noosa
Media Release, 25 January 2012

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Greens candidate to attend citizenship ceremony in Noosa

Posted by Jim on

The Greens candidate for Noosa, Dr Jim McDonald, said he will be attending the Australia Day ceremony at the Recreational Hall at Wallace Park.

He said, “I think it is important that a candidate aspiring to represent Noosa should be present at the formal induction of new citizens into the community.

“Citizenship ceremonies are one of the most moving secular ceremonies in our nation. I have always admired the bravery of migrants who choose to set up a new life in Australia and to formally identify themselves with our nation by taking on citizenship.

“My own migrant origins in Australia stretch back 180 years, so there hasn’t been a tradition in my family of people formally taking on citizenship. But the challenges facing today’s migrants and my forebears who were free settlers are similar in many respects.

“Some of our new citizens will have fled tyranny and persecution and we welcome them into our community and wish them a safe and prosperous future in our country.

“On behalf of the Noosa Greens, I welcome all our new fellow Australians.”

Jim McDonald
Greens Candidate Noosa

Media Release, 25 January 2012

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Greens candidate says funding arrangements fail joint surgery patients

Posted by Jim on August 5, 2010

The restoration of funding for joint surgery by the Queensland Government is a welcome announcement, said Dr Jim McDonald, the Greens candidate for Wide Bay. He was commenting on a report in yesterday’s Sunshine Coast Daily [that the Queensland Government had allocated $1 million to the hospital for joint surgery].

“However,” he said, “The fact that funding had not been available for a year and a half illustrates that the health system urgently needs reform to adequately service the region. Noosa needs a better arrangement than stop-and-go funding of medical procedures for public patients.

“The Federal Government’s takeover of health was announced by the former Prime Minister, Mr Rudd, with great fanfare, but it was short on details. One decent reform measure would be to review the conditions that are presently listed as elective surgery. The definitions of what is ‘elective’ hide the true nature of waiting lists – the real suffering of public health patients.

“Joint surgery should not be regarded as elective. It can be extremely painful and when it is, it severely affects the patient’s quality of life in the degree of pain experienced and their mobility. If the patient with joint pain is working, it will affect an employee’s productivity. There are, therefore, other hidden economic costs in the failure to adequately and consistently fund the procedures.”

Dr McDonald said that he had had hip replacement surgery at Noosa Hospital 22 months ago. “The pain was excruciating at times and I was hobbling around like an old man before the operation. If they experience the effects that I did, then public patients on the Noosa waiting list have been put through hell for the past 18 months.

“If I am elected I will be urging the removal of joint replacement surgery from the list of conditions for elective surgery and ongoing funding for the necessary joint surgery program at Noosa Hospital.”

Media Release, 4 August 2010

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Meet the candidates: Cooroy and Noosa

Posted by Jim on August 4, 2010

There will be two meet-the-candidates sessions in the southern part of the electorate next week on Tuesday 10 August and Thursday 12 August. The first, organised by the Cooroy Chamber of Commerce, will be held at the Cooroy Hotel as follows:

Meet the Candidates evening
5.30pm for a 6.00pm start
Tuesday 10 August 2010
Cooroy Chamber of Commerce
Cooroy Hotel
38 Maple Street, Cooroy
Entry is free

The second occasion where voters can meet the candidates is organised by the Noosa Residents and Ratepayers Association.  This event will be held at the Noosa Heads Bowls Club in Lanyana Way Noosa Heads.

Meet the candidates
Thursday 12 August 2010
Noosa Residents and Ratepayers Association
Noosa Heads Bowls Club,
Lanyana Way,
Noosa Heads

So far, there are no arrangements for similar opportunities for voters in the other major towns of Wide Bay.  This is unfortunate as the 2010 election is one of the most important in recent times.

Jim McDonald, Greens Candidate for Wide Bay, 4 August 2010

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Greens candidate is Noosa’s best choice

Posted by Jim on July 31, 2010

Noosa’s best chance of representation by a candidate who understands the community is the Greens’ candidate for Wide Bay, Jim McDonald.

Jim has been a resident of Noosa for 15 years and has been involved in the community during that time.  He stood for Council in 2004 and has been involved in various community activities since becoming a resident.  He has been president of Noosa Chorale, a lecturer in negotiation for Noosa U3A and for a time on the U3A Committee, a volunteer speaker for the Australian Heart Foundation.  Early this year, he ensured that the Sunshine Beach community became aware of Council proposals to change Sunshine Beach village. His article in the Noosa News led to a large turnout of residents at a Council briefing session letting the Council know the community position, which had been neglected in consultation processes.  Jim is also a member of Noosa Arts theatre and edited an online theatre newsletter and bulletin for the Sunshine Coast.

On the hustings

Jim McDonald on the campaign trail

As the Greens candidate for Wide Bay Jim has thrown his support behind the Kin Kin community’s concerns about the expansion of the Kin Kin quarry and PAGE, which is trying to protect beautiful hills habitat in the Noosa hinterland from Powerlink’s proposed high voltage transmission lines through Eerwah Vale.  The Greens also support Noosa’s de-amalgamation from the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and informed the Friends of Noosa about that a couple of months ago.  Neither the Labor candidate nor the sitting member understands our concerns about the negative effects of amalgamation on the Noosa community.  Once part of a viable and solvent Shire Noosa residents have inherited rising rates in a debt-ridden regional council. We support a Council which unites the common interests of the Noosa Hinterland and the hinterland towns as well as Noosa and the Eastern Beaches.

His was one of the few voices that raised concerns about the inclusion of Noosa in the Wide Bay electorate before the 2007 election.  Many Noosa people are not aware that the administrative centre for the electorate remains in Maryborough. That’s further away than the Brisbane CBD.  The area covered by the old Noosa Shire demographically, economically and regionally has more in common with the Sunshine Coast than the rural communities and towns of Wide Bay.

Despite half the voters in Wide Bay being located in Noosa, the Labor and Nationals campaigns are being run out of Maryborough. Noosa perspectives are neglected.  The Greens candidate understands the Noosa community while having responded for some months to community issues throughout the electorate as he campaigned throughout Wide Bay.  The Greens campaign is being run out of Noosa.

On 21 August Vote 1 Jim McDonald, Greens Candidate for Wide Bay and Noosa

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Kin Kin quarry approval crazily indifferent to community

Posted by Jim on July 29, 2010

The Wide Bay Greens candidate, Jim McDonald, said he is perplexed as to how Councillors and the Sunshine Coast Council can allow a mega quarry to gear up in Kin Kin. The Council has approved a large quarry developed for concrete aggregate at the end of Shepparson’s lane alongside the Noosa Trail Network.

“The roads into Kin Kin village are basically country lanes. The main route from Pomona is not even wide enough for line marking and includes three single lane bridges. There is a requirement for quarry approvals to cover provisions for haulage. That has clearly not happened in Kin Kin.

“The road system is too small for quarry trucks and highway entry is on one of the worst black spots on the Bruce Highway near Pomona. Sunshine Coast Council seems to have broken its own rules. The heavy haulage traffic that the expansion of the quarry will bring will endanger the lives of everyone who travels on Kin Kin district’s roads. That’s a dereliction of duty in ensuring due care in managing the roads.

“Were Mayor Bob Abbott and local Councillor Lew Brennan asleep on the job? The proposal for a large quarry has been on the table for a couple of years.

“A large tourist project had been dumped by Anna Bligh when she was the Minister for Infrastructure because Kin Kin didn’t have the infrastructure. It would never have brought the heavy trucks that the quarry will bring, yet the Titanium project was rejected.

“Now the Council and the State Government are paying pass the parcel, while residents are rightly fearful and annoyed by the intransigence of the Council and the failures of the Environment Protection Authority and the Department of Environment and Resource Management.

“Inappropriate coalmining and quarrying in the Wide Bay electorate represent a major threat to residents’ lifestyle, regional infrastructure, and the environment. They undermine the efforts of the Noosa and the Great Sandy Biospheres to inject a sustainable approach to conservation and resource utilisation.

“In the Kin Kin case, this breach of principle is nothing short of a crazy indifference to the community.”

Jim McDonald media release, 29 July 2010

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Greens commit to referendum for local government

Posted by admin on June 18, 2010

The Australian Greens will move for an amendment to section 96 of the Constitution – the section which sets out that the Commonwealth may grant financial assistance to the states on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit – to add the words ‘and local government’.

Addressing the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly today Senator Brown said that recognising local government in the Constitution is ALP policy and was a promise made by Mr. Rudd in the 2007 election campaign.

“But there’s been no action,” said Senator Brown.

“At the start of the next period of Government, the Greens will present a bill to the Senate for this referendum.

“Previous attempts, in 1974 and 1988, to have the status of local government recognised through a referendum failed because of the confusing nature of the questions put to the Australian voters.”

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A personal ANZAC Day reflection

Posted by Jim on April 26, 2010

This year’s ANZAC day meant something a little different to me.

During a trip to Europe over Christmas, I visited the grave of my mother’s uncle who is buried at the Lijssenthoek Military Hospital Cemetery in Belgium. Lijssenthoek is several kilometres from the village of Poperinge, which was one of the rail staging posts for the Flanders campaign.

My great uncle is one of about 1,200 Australian soldiers buried in Lijssenthoek with some 12,000 other young men – who were in the prime of their life – beneath rows of identical headstones. His record on the Australian War Memorial web site reveals he died the day after being shot in the face and his abdomen. Ten days previously he had returned to the trenches after suffering from the Spanish Influenza. I have a letter written around the time he rejoined the front a few days before he died. The stress of being shelled was palpable as he signed off, noting that he had to go because of the barrage. He was barely 21 years old.

Lijssenthoek Belgium

Graves, Lijssenthoek Belgium

WAIT! There is more to read… read on »

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