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The CSIRO could be looking towards our Bay Islands for future research.

According to Cr Mark Edwards, the world-renowned innovative Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is looking to new directions in assisting the Redland City Council.

Partnerships with communities is not unusual for the Australian scientific and research giant.

Many major innovations come from such partnerships including community sewerage and soil improvement programs that have been highly acclaimed, among others.

Cr Edwards observes in his report published in the Friendly Bay Islander that: “The continued reliance on septic systems cannot continue with the population growth and density of housing.

“At some point we will need to transition away from septic towards a more reliable wastewater management system.

“These are just a few of questions that our councillors are eager to work through as part of a wider discussion on how Council can plan for and deal with these challenges.”

He says to emphasise the commitment for planning and delivery, the CSIRO have met with Council and commenced initial discussions in how we can engage the scientific expertise of Australia’s premier scientific research organisation to assist us develop a future blueprint for all our islands and deliver on the ground solutions.

That means a division of the CSIRO could engage with our community on our islands in the not too distant future, and the spin off for future island industry and employment, could be enormous.

The councillor admits that the scope of CSIRO’s involvement has not been fully crystallised at the moment.

“However I anticipate that the outcome will involve looking at the holistic needs of the islands’ community for at least the next 10 years, and how technology can benefit all of us.

“It may be health services, education, waste transfer management, or other needs..”

It is a clear understatement when Cr Edwards concludes: “Having Councillors and an organisation such as CSIRO working together to plan the best future for the islands is a great opportunity.

“Although we have had just the initial discussions, and much more work needs to be done to determine the next steps, I believe it is important for residents to know that Council is committed to forward planning for the islands, and as matters develop I will keep the community aware of them,” Cr Edwards said.

Greenlight for Toondah Harbour Environmental Impact Study

The Commonwealth Minister for Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg has given the greenlight to progress the environment referral application for the Toondah Harbour project in Cleveland.

Walker Group will now be able to take the application to the next stage of the process, which is to have the science tested.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said: “We have always supported such scrutiny, and believe Walker Group should have the opportunity to demonstrate the acceptability of the proposal through an environmental impact assessment. This is a sensible approach and proves commitment to both the Redlands and our environment."

The harbour is the main departure and arrival point for ferry and water taxi services between the mainland and North Stradbroke Island. It is also used to launch recreational and commercial craft, and comprises of residential and open space lands.

The project is seen as being critical to the future economic transition of North Stradbroke Island. It will also generate more than 1000 jobs per annum during the construction phase, 500 jobs per annum post construction, with jobs supported by visitor expenditure equating to more than 250. The project will now be assessed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act for a decision.

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