After months of uncertainty, the $6 million Macleay Island Car Park can now finally go ahead.
The project has been tied up in State Government red tape for nearly a year.
At one stage, the project looked like it was going to be rejected, with strong signs of ‘rejection’ coming from some quarters.
A belated ‘appeal’ to the Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, seems to have done the trick.
The appeal was organised by Division 5 Redland City Councillor Mark Edwards, with support from Mayor Karen Williams.
Cr Edwards admits it has been a real battle to progress the Macleay Island foreshore asbestos entombment and car park.
He told The Friendly Bay Islander: “What I thought was the biggest battle with Energex was eventually resolved with an expensive bridging solution that gives us the car park but doesn't impact on the area where the cable runs.
“Then the biggest blow came from the change of mind from Queensland Fisheries where the site was deemed to be ‘too important’ to be touched.
“They never gave this as a formal reply but intimated this to Council officers during negotiations.
“The feeling was that this project, under way for many years, was about to be canned.
“I wrote to the Premier pleading the island case; the Mayor made her own lobbying,
The island community was encouraged to make contact via The Friendly Bay Islander and it included island groups, including the Our Spot group, and private individuals.
“The FBI made a huge contribution in getting the message out and needs to be thanked.
“I am sure the community voice had an impact and as a result a consent to the development has been achieved with some conditions, which can all be met without adversely impacting on the project. “The main condition is providing mangrove revegetation offset.
“This is not the end of the process. Next we will see signs placed on the site advising the proposed redevelopment and during this time the community can provide submissions objecting [we hope not -Ed] or supporting the proposal.
“After a month of signage the application will have a final assessment and a decision made.
“I expect an approval and following that project will be sent out for tender, Cr Edwards said.
Because it is a massive multi-million dollar project, the winning tender will need to have a period of time to set up the logistics of the project, deliver equipment on site and organise the vast quantities of materials needed to be shipped to the island.
Cr Edwards believes the project will finally get underway before the end of the year.
• A happy Cr Mark Edwards on the car park site.