Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson. Patrick Woods

Mayor fires back over Daily's coverage of Wellington spat

OPINION: I note Bill Hoffman's strident support of Nicklin MP, Peter Wellington and his unnecessarily inflammatory language and pugilistic imagery following my simple request asking what Mr Wellington has done in his 20 year term as the State Member for Nicklin regarding the duplication of the North Coast Rail line from Beerburrum to Nambour and delivering certainty about the future of the Nambour General Hospital.

I have long suspected Mr Wellington is a mouthpiece for Mr Hoffman as both clearly share an anti-progress agenda, determined to deny others the career opportunities and stability they themselves enjoy.

In fact Mr Wellington has said to me previously that we don't need to create jobs on the Sunshine Coast, as people can work in Brisbane and live on the Sunshine Coast.

Quite frankly, with the current state of the North Coast Rail Line and no clear commitment from the Government Mr Wellington helped into office, I fail to see how his notion of people living on the Sunshine Coast and working in Brisbane can practically work.

READ MORE: Mayor picks a fight that he cannot win

Do we just load more traffic onto an already severely congested Bruce Highway, robbing Sunshine Coasters of more time?

Mr Hoffman and Mr Wellington combined their efforts to undermine the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion and the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm and other employment-creating investments here on the Sunshine Coast.

Their selfish opposition typifies the lengths to which they will go, at public expense, to deny this region a bright and prosperous future and jobs for people who live here.

Fortunately, Council continues to maintain its strong and determined stance to see these vital projects to completion in the interests of the large majority of local citizens.

Obviously my legitimate questioning of the Member for Nicklin about his role in delivering the Rail Duplication and securing the future of the Nambour General Hospital, both State assets and absolutely his responsibly as the State Member, have hit a nerve to the extent that he has sought to claim that the duplication of the North Coast Rail Line was not a priority for me,  when that has never been the case. 

It has always been in the top two advocacy priorities for our Council since I was elected as Mayor and the record shows this to be the case.

Both Mr Hoffman and Mr Wellington have sought "to protect the legacy of the local Member for Nicklin". Mr Wellington has avoided answering the simple questions about the Rail Duplication and the future of the General Hospital, surely the cornerstones of any real legacy?

Mr Hoffman has avoided asking him for an answer.

Mr Wellington, I once again pose the questions: What have you done in the last 20 years to advance these two projects so vital to Nambour's future and why, as you prepare to leave Parliament on a very generous public pension, am I as Mayor, and many others, unaware of your actions to deliver these projects on behalf of your Nicklin constituency?

The current state of both of these assets is a clear testament of what you have failed to achieve.

Your retirement triggers a superannuation payout which will have been significantly enhanced with your elevation to the role of Speaker by the Labor Government.

As speaker you receive just over $300,000 - nearly double the amount you would have received as a back bencher.

Whilst that is your entitlement, have you ever utilised the transparency you assert is such a part of who you are to explain to your constituency or detail the deal that has seen you 'run dead' on two of the biggest economic and social enablers of Nambour and the district?

Please explain how the taxpayer funds contributed to your superannuation scheme have escalated significantly over the period since you were elected as Speaker on 27 March 2015.

Mr Hoffman and Mr Wellington point to his work in ensuring the security of payment to the State's construction sub-contractors which I acknowledge, but first and foremost, those local construction workers and everyone else have got to have jobs.

No one has done more for jobs on our Sunshine Coast than me and my Council, with unemployment falling from almost 11% in 2012 to 4.9% today.

A great deal of those jobs in the construction sector are on major housing, commercial and industrial projects and critical infrastructure which, in the main Mr Hoffman and Mr Wellington vehemently oppose, condemning locals to limited opportunities and household incomes well below the State average.

Mr Wellington - I and the people of Nambour, the electorate of Nicklin and the broader Sunshine Coast would just like you to answer the questions.

Mark Jamieson
Sunshine Coast Mayor

Footnote: Bill Hoffman does not design Sunshine Coast Daily layouts and is in no way responsible for imagery run in association with his writing. That is the purvey of the editor.

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