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An island real estate agent is trying to garner the support of island property owners to implore the Queensland State Government to take immediate steps to plan for the future transport needs to the Bay Islands, and Russell Island in particular.

Kieran Fitzsimmons of Ray White Real Estate has sent out a pack to island property owners with stamped addressed envelopes and included letters of appeal in the form of petitions to Premier of Queensland Anastasia Palaszczuk and Transport Minister and Deputy Premier, Jackie Trad.

The petition letters ask the Premier and Transport Minister for an ‘increase in transport options to and from Russell Island in particular’.

They say the options are vital ‘for not only the rapidly expanding population of Russell island, but also for the environment, marine life protection, tourism, business development and employment.

The petition says the current policy position of water transport as a sole mode of public transport to and from Russell Island is ‘not sufficient to continue to meet the necessary need of the community and tourism’, due to the following:

• Rapidly expanding population

• Community needs and expectations

• National standards, professional standards, safety and ethics

• Environment and marine life protection

• Increase in tourism and the promotion thereof

The petition does not indicate what forms of transport options should be desirable.

However, Kieran Fitzsimmons says there a number of options that need to be looked at.

This could include additional operators; new modes of water transport; or the establishment of a cable barge; or other more desirable links to the mainland.

“Until such time as we get it on the State Government’s draft plan for the island, adequate new directions cannot by considered by Redland City Council.

“This is the first step in getting our transport needs on the Government agenda.”

Kieran Fitzsimmons says the exercise in sending out the petitions has been ‘enormous’

“We have been helped by a great band of volunteers. They have been wonderful.’

He says reactions to the petition have been ‘outstanding and positive’.

“It is putting our island first and foremost in the eyes of our legislators,” he told The Friendly Bay Islander.

• The Ray White team sending out the petitions!

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