EDITORIAL February 2019
MACLEAY ISLAND DILEMMA: NIL INDUSTRIAL LAND IS HURTING ISLAND’S FUTURE
Unlike the mainland and Russell Island, Macleay Island does not have any zoned industrial land.
It has brought about a situation where a number of island businesses are on the ‘borderline’ when it comes to the legality of their operations.
The situation involves many trades and heavy machinery businesses that play a vital role in the growth and development of the islands.
Some have been confronted with a situation where they are open to ‘complaint’ by neighbours and others, some of whose intent could be deemed ‘questionable’.
However, because of the situation, many Macleay business owners are on tenterhooks and are open to possible shutdown by Redland City Council at any time.
It seems that there are two sides to the situation at council that often sees one side counteract the other.
The local councillor and some areas of council have endeavoured to ‘accommodate’ these situations, but then council officers come on the scene and often one counteracts the other.
The situation is untenable and needs to be addressed by Redland City Council as soon as possible, despite the supposed ‘obstacles’ and timetables involved.
What Macleay Island needs is one or some of the following:
1. A designated and zoned ‘industrial area’;
2. The ability to zone certain areas of the island ‘industrial’ where the position is appropriate
3. Give support to a major island private landholder to provide land for industrial development.
4. Make ‘material change of use’ easier for island applicants.
All the parties that we are aware of would be happy to relocate or purchase appropriately zoned sites for industrial purposes.
A zoned industrial area will aid growth, business and more jobs for the islands and will lift a ‘cloud’ that currently exists over many hard working and good business people.
The Friendly Bay Islander has taken the unusual step of addressing the matter directly with all Redland City Councillors.
We said to them” “The problem is that without industrial zoned land on Macleay Island, businesses are at risk of being closed down at any time.
“We are sure that you will all agree that we need to address this problem.
“Would you please advise what proposal you would support or any other proposal to overcome this hardship for businesses?
“Viable and appropriate industrial areas bringing the right services to the islands and the Redlands are a way forward eventually resulting in a strong and healthy island community,” we said to the councillors.
Several of the councillors have replied to our request.
One of the councillors and former Deputy Mayor, Wendy Boglary, told us: “Councillors are presently awaiting a report from officers that will make recommendations in how to rectify the matter. When that report is presented to us, we will consider it thoroughly and act in the best interest of our City. As the report is currently with officers, we are unable to place a timeframe on it at present.”
We have to be able to do business fairly on our islands.
The current situation is like having one hard tied behind your back!
The actions of the FBI have now placed this issue as an important concern for the Macleay Island businesses and we will keep the community aware of the councillors’ proposals.