SENIORS TALK: Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien with 97-year-old Peg Morse and son, Rick Morse at Nambour's Sundale Garden Village.
SENIORS TALK: Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien with 97-year-old Peg Morse and son, Rick Morse at Nambour's Sundale Garden Village.

Forums to air seniors' issues are on MP's agenda

A SERIES of forums to discuss issues affecting seniors is high on the agenda for Federal MP for Fairfax Ted O'Brien.

Starting in the first quarter of this year, the forums will be held in various Sunshine Coast areas.

They will take the form of a round table of experts from different fields meeting seniors to talk and advise on health, the cost of living, aged care, the cost of medicines and other issues important to them.

"It will help prioritise issues for me as the Federal member," he told Seniors.

Last November Mr O'Brien held meetings focussing on seniors at Nambour, Bli Bli, Maroochydore, Twin Waters, Coolum, Peregian Springs and Cotton Tree.

"It reinforced for me the need to establish a Seniors Advisory Committee which will have the potential to develop working relationships with private and public service providers and, indeed, across all levels of government.

"It will also recognise any unmet needs in the community and qualify the thinking the forums will focus on."

Asked how he felt about his performance since he won the seat of Fairfax six months ago, he said. "For me the key outcomes has been to lock in major infrastructure commitments for the Coast. I'm really excited at what we've got now confirmed.

"I was able to get the airport designated as an international airport and a $181 million concessional loan from the Federal Government to enable an airport upgrade.

"The second major area has been the Bruce Highway. Over the next three to four years we should have $1 billion dollars spent on it.

"We also have the study continuing for a six lane highway from Brisbane all the way to Nambour.

"With $1.3 billion dollars already committed, the Sunshine Coast will see more Federal money being spent here in the next few years than ever before in its history."

Mr O'Brien said he had been on a "steep learning curve" since elected. "Having lost in 2013 but not prepared to give up, I spent a few years scoping out what I wanted to do, although I wasn't in a position to do anything.

"But now, more than all these big achievements, when an individual constituent comes into your office for the first time and you can help them or solve a problem for them, well that for me makes me feel most fulfilled."


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