2000 people converge on Nerang for Commonwealth Games

Member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas MP  has questioned how Nerang will cope with 2000 people being  bussed  into Nerang National Park  during the one-day mountain biking competition at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Details of people being  bussed on shuttles from park and ride locations and heavy rail stations, as well as riding their bicycles,  have been released in the Transport Strategy Plan draft for public consultation until September 23.

“I’m worried that Nerang and surrounds will become grid-lock on day eight, April 12,  of the competition when the mountain bike event will be held in the national park,” Dr Douglas said today.

“The draft lists the venue as having a capacity of 2000 people but I’m concerned with getting that  number of people into such a small area in a residential area.

“Along with many others, I’ve always said the event should have been at Hinze Day where access would be easier.

“Transport will be crucial to getting spectators to the mountain biking but I also question about the day to day traffic through Nerang, which after all is one of the busiest thoroughfares of people accessing the Gold Coast from Canungra,  Beaudesert and the Hinterland.

“I’ve already had people upset about the noise and disturbance to wildlife in the National Park, as well as adjoining neighbours who are concerned about their lifestyles being disturbed, but now they will also have to contend with 2000 people on one day.

“I’d advise community members to provide feedback on the transport plan by September 23.”  Details are available at www.gc2018.com or they can post their views to PO Box 8177, Gold Coast Mail Centre, 9726.

Pacific Pines residents call for police station

Pacific Pines residents believe a community police beat can no longer adequately service the area’s residents, Member for Gaven, Dr Alex Douglas MP says.

“More than 600 people have  so far signed paper and electronic  petitions calling for the establishment of a new police station because of the spiralling population growth from 8000 in 2003 to 18,159 last year,” he said.

“I’ve asked the Police Minister in State Parliament, as a question on notice (p.19),  if he will consider a new station and if there have already been studies into the station. He has 30 days to respond.

“Recently I attended a meeting of Pacific Pines Residents’ Group where there was  support for a new station.

“Earlier I was approached by a resident Nigel Jesson to sponsor a petition as he believed the areas of Pacific Pines, Oxenford, Maudsland and surrounds had seen significant population growth, but their policing wasn’t adequately covered by the Pacific Pines Police Beat which had been established when the suburb was quite a bit smaller.

“Petitioners say increased population is contributing to a significant upturn in crime and a new station would relieve pressure on neighbouring Coomera and Nerang Stations, as well as improve response times to incidents.”

“Residents have until October 17 to sign a petition on-line http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petitions

Teacher performance reviews should be three-yearly

Member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas MP says the State Government’s plan for annual school teacher reviews is too onerous for schools and should be extended to three-yearly reviews.

“Schools will be distracted from teaching, bogged down in government-imposed red tape and unnecessary paperwork if annual reviews are implemented,” Dr Douglas said.

“A review involving head of department interviews with teachers and subsequent follow up with the principal takes away valuable teaching time when executed annually.

“If held annually, it will be merely a tick and flick exercise.

“Rather Education Minister John Paul Langbroek should be reviewing his own failure to deliver on a key performance indicator for teachers that they are properly qualified to specialist subjects such as maths and science.

“What’s the point in appraising physical education teachers teaching physics?

“I also question whether student feedback should be part of the assessment as when tried elsewhere, teachers’ reputations have been unfairly trashed.

“The reviews should be part of the overall management practices of individual schools and not left to be implemented by teaching staff.

“It’s about using the best people for the job.

“Schools need to be managed by qualified business managers and have professional human resources protocols in place to make sure that their limited resources are well-managed and well-used.

“This is about keeping checks and balances in place in view of the critical importance of quality teaching and the high cost in providing education.”

Mini-bus the answer to Nerang’s public transport woes?

Member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas MP has asked the State Transport Minister to investigate a mini bus to provide public transport in Nerang West and Clear Water at nights and weekends.

“When the State Government decided in January to stop bus services mid-afternoon and not provide weekend services in these areas,  the Transport Minister claimed it  was too costly to run buses for a decreasing number of people using public transport.

“But I believe a mini-bus would be cost effective in providing people with public transport.

“To leave these people without public transport from 3.14 pm Friday to 6.48 am Monday  is appalling and takes away their transport options for work, social occasions, sporting events and appointments.

“For some families, particularly students, weekend work is their only source of income, and by failing to provide public transport, the government is compounding these financial difficulties.

“Often their parents cannot drive them to work, requiring students to walk, often at night, to get home.

“I’ve asked a question on notice to the Transport Minister to consider a mini-bus for these areas and he has 30 days to provide an answer.

“This LNP Government continues to both ignore the everyday needs of our community, as well as   many representations I’ve made to him on behalf of my constituents for a better bus service.”

Community worker wins Gaven seniors award

A community worker who has spent 25 years through her commitment to bringing happiness to people’s live through pets has been  awarded the Gaven Electorate’s most community-minded senior citizen for 2014.

Member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas MP presented  Yvonne Cody of Nerang with the award at a seniors morning tea he hosted in Nerang this morning to mark Seniors Week.

“Yvonne  formed the Pets for Therapy program which through volunteers and their dogs visit aged care homes and respite centres,” Dr Douglas said.

“Behind the scenes Yvonne and her team work tirelessly to ensure the service is of the highest standard.

“Much time and work goes into the selection process, co-ordination of the program and volunteers and training of the dogs.

“Yvonne’s commitment to the cause is further demonstrated by her follow-up with the people she works with.

“She liaises with both the aged care homes and volunteers to gain feedback and input to continue to deliver a high standard service.

“Yvonne’s program demonstrates her ongoing commitment to the community.”

Dr Douglas started the award in 2010 to recognise the contribution of seniors in the community. Previous winners Edna McLeod and Elsa Easton attended today.

Alex and Yvonne Cody 22.8.14