State’s only independent prepares for “lonely road”
To any other person it was just one word, but for proud Noosa Independent MP Sandy Bolton it represented everything she stands for.
On election night at Noosa Pirates Leagues Club, Ms Bolton took a moment out from thanking her 100 volunteers and ignoring the wild weather to survey the election coverage on TV.
A proud smile grew across her face with the sight of one word.
Of the 93 members of the Queensland parliament, there is only one "other".
Speaking from her Noosa North Shore home on Tuesday, Ms Bolton opened up on what life is like as the only Independent MP in the state.
"As an Independent I get to bring really true community representation," she said.
"It is very grassroots and earthy representation in its truest form."
But she admitted not being aligned with any political parties was "a really lonely road".
"When I'm in parliament I don't get to go and have dinner and functions with all those in my party," she said.
"I stay in my office and do work and I work through the night.
"It's really lonely and it's exhausting."
Ms Bolton has outlined her biggest priorities for Noosa as she eagerly prepares to get her teeth into her next term.
Finishing stages two and three of Beckmans Rd, the wellness hub in Tewantin, and affordable accommodation are all a huge focus as she begins her next four years in the job.
"We have a duty not just of care but for our economy," she said.
"Our businesses at the moment, they can't get cleaners.
"Our aged care can't get workers.
One person enjoying having the state MP at home for a couple of days is her partner and Australian lawn bowls icon Ian 'Schuey' Schuback.
Mr Schuback reached the pinnacle in his sport and is now more than happy to pass the baton on to his better half and play the supporting role.
He always makes a point of setting aside a couple of minutes to ask Ms Bolton "what was good about your day?" despite her long hours and late nights.
"People ask me, 'how could you possibly live with Sandy? She is always so busy'," he said.
"I could fill an A4 sheet of her annoying habits because she is always working, but I could fill a dozen A4 sheets on all her good qualities."
"But you can fill a lot of things on one sheet, especially with little writing," came the reply from the smirking politician.
He rarely gets involved in his partner's political endeavours but Mr Schuback knows this is what she was made for.
"You really have found your calling" he told her in the car as they were returning home from a recent outing.
"Yeah," Ms Bolton said.
"I think I have."