Named after Ruth Fairfax who was the founding President of the Country Women’s Association (CWA) from 1921 to 1930, the Federal seat of Fairfax was formed in 1984.
In his maiden speech to the 45th Parliament of Australia, Ted said:
“Named after Ruth Fairfax, a wonderful founder of that organization, the Country Women’s Association, my electorate lies in Gubi Gubi country, right in the heart of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, where an eclectic mix of towns and villages combine with unrivalled natural beauty and a near perfect climate.
And for me it’s a rare place that still possesses all that old style romantic charm of a small community but with a happy, vibrant, modern population. It’s one of those unique places in Australia where the values of the past and the opportunities of the future genuinely co-exist.”
The Towns of Fairfax
The electorate of Fairfax covers an area of approximately 1,036 sq km in the central part of the Sunshine Coast: extending from Peregian Springs and Eumundi in the north, to Maroochydore, Mountain Creek and Palmwoods in the south to Kenilworth in the west. Other towns include Bli Bli, Buderim, Burnside, Chevallum, Coes Creek, Coolum Beach, Diddilibah, Eudlo, Forest Glen, Ilkley, Kiels Mountain, Kenilworth, Kuluin, Kunda Park, Kureelpa, Landers Shoot, Mapleton, Marcoola, Mons, Mt Coolum, Mudjimba, Nambour, Ninderry, North Arm, Obi Obi, Pacific Paradise, Perwillowen, Rosemount, Tanawah, Twin Waters, Valdora, Woombye, Yandina and Yandina Creek.
The Queensland state electorates of Maroochydore, Ninderry and Nicklin fall wholly into Fairfax while Buderim, Glasshouse and Noosa partly overlap the electorate.
Four Sunshine Coast Council Divisions fall into Fairfax - 7, 8, 9, 10 – fall wholly in Fairfax while divisions 5 and 6 partly overlap the electorate.
The Fairfax Economy
The Gross Regional Product (GRP) for the Sunshine Coast region is $16bn a year of which Fairfax would constitute over 50%. The top five industries in Fairfax which employ local residents are:
- Real Estate Services
- Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
- Financial and Insurance Services
Other industries which are strong in the region include food, accommodation, manufacturing, transport and administration. It is expected that tourism, sport and leisure will remain a significant feature of the regional economy and authentic characteristic of the region for the foreseeable future.
Local agricultural has played an important role in the history of the region and while it doesn’t contribute as much to the economy as it once did, it remains a crucial industry nonetheless. Local produce includes avocados, ginger, sugar cane, fruit juice, tropical and exotic fruits and dairy and beef cattle.
Ted O’Brien is the fourth person to represent the people of Fairfax in Federal Parliament:
· Evan Adermann, National Party, 1984 - 1990
· Alex Somlyay, Liberal National Party, 1990 - 2013
· Cliver Palmer, Palmer United Party, 2013 - 2016
· Ted O’Brien, Liberal National Party, 2016 – Present