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the Breeze

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The islands of Southern Moreton Bay and North Stradbroke can look forward to the New Year of 2015 with some anticipation.

The biggest decision we will have to make in the coming 12 months is participating in a Queensland State Election which has surprisingly been called for Saturday, January 31.

We will have to decide whether we have been well served by the current LNP Government, or would we prefer the previous Labor administration?

Perhaps even more important are recent revelations as to the financial state of the Redland City Council.

As we are seeing at a State and Federal level, Governments burdened with 'old debt' are hamstrung. Debt has to be paid and this can only happen by way of cuts to spending or by raising taxes - unpleasant, but necessary.

No such scene prevails at the Redland City Council. In this edition there is an overview of council's financial position. Hard decisions made early by our current council under Mayor Karen Williams now sees our council in the strongest position it has been for many years.

So much so, that 10 years of strong council finances are predicted.

When you are in such a strong financial position, much can be achieved.

We are seeing signs of progress on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

Macleay Island is about to get a foreshore redevelopment in the coming months and huge progress is being made on the sealing of island roads, with Cr Mark Edwards the architect of a new direction on roads that could see sealing completed within five years or less, as opposed to the previous projection of 30 years.

On Russell Island a footpath program has started that will see nearly 8km of pathway the length of the island. The program will then spread to the remaining islands in the group.

Work will also start this year on the Resilience Centre at the sports complex on Russell Island.

Building figures for the islands are on the increase with 184 new homes cleared by council for construction last financial year. With many of these builds running into 2015, it augers well for the island building industry.

It is also believed a major development will start on Macleay Island in the coming months on a modern health complex.

On Coochiemudlo Island, there is some real progress coming by way of the new jetties and considerable dredging works.

It is also believed there will be a resolution soon to the long-standing parking dispute at Victoria Point that could see more visitor parking spaces made available.

North Stradbroke will benefit from the Straddie Economic Transition probe that is already underway.

And the big impact for all our islands linked to Redland City Council, will be the impending development of the Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek projects, literally the gateway to our islands!

All in all, much to look forward to.

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