December 21, 2023

The spirit of Christmas is encapsulated in the expression of peace and goodwill, where we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and remember those less fortunate than ourselves and consider how we can share the Christian message of hope, love and salvation.

While there is still much to be done to address disadvantage on our own shores, the tragedy of conflicts in Europe and Middle East and other volatile parts of the globe remind us of how fortunate we are to live in a united, peaceful and democratic nation.

Next year, we look forward to the opening of the Gympie bypass, which will transform one of the deadliest sections of the national highway into the safest.  We now need the Federal Government to deliver the funding committed by the former Coalition Government for the four lane Tiaro bypass, and the Queensland State Government to fast track the project.

On a positive note for Wide Bay, a number of funding commitments from the former Coalition Government have been honoured by the Federal Government, including a $1.5 million expansion of palliative care services at Katie Rose Cottage in Doonan, enabling them to offer end of life care to an extra 40 people and their families each year.

Other funded projects include a $1.3 million expansion of the car pork at the Noosa Golf Club to improve safety on the Cooroy-Noosa Road, a $700,000 upgrade to the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum, and $1.8 million to create a new Veterans Memorial at Gympie’s Memorial Park.

Your safety on the road is always at the forefront of my mind.  This holiday season will be particularly busy and a number of roadworks are planned along the Bruce Highway.  Please take extra time and drive to the conditions to arrive at your destination safely.

Also, as we move into 2024, please remember that shopping locally and buying Australian-made helps create jobs and boosts our regional economy.

I wish everyone in Wide Bay a safe and happy Christmas and healthy and prosperous New Year.

Llew O’Brien


In the spirit of Australia, I acknowledge all citizens who contribute to making our nation the greatest on earth.

I acknowledge our defence force personnel, past, present, and emerging, for their service to our nation, and particularly those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of Australia.

I also acknowledge the Australian taxpayers who, through their hard work, pay for the infrastructure, health, education, and emergency services that keep our proud nation healthy, safe, and prosperous.