EDITORIAL and TIME and TIDE
MACLEAY INDUSTRIAL ZONING SITUATION NOW ‘RIDICULOUS'
In our February edition, the Friendly Bay Islander highlighted the ridiculous situation that exists on Macleay Island when it comes to doing business on the island.
When it comes to industry, Macleay Island does not have any ‘zoned’ industrial land.
We highlighted how many island businesses operate on the ‘borderline’ when it comes to the legality of their operations.
Not because there is anything wrong with these businesses; it is just that council has never adequately put proper planning methods in place on our islands, for whatever reason.
Now it has expanded to even sillier heights and has shone the light on the major differences that exist between the two branches of Local Government: the bureaucratic side; and the council representatives themselves.
Clearly at Redland City Council there is a huge difference between ‘intent’ that exists around the council table and the elected councillors; and those who are left to interpret intent and policy: the council officers.
It has come to head in recent days involving Macleay Island excavation operator John Bonet.
John purchased an existing business located in Arthur Street several years ago.
He has developed the business to such as an extent that he has played a major role in the development of the islands.
John was aware of the planning ‘nightmare’ on Macleay and endeavoured to ‘do the right thing’, so he purchased two adjoining blocks of land, fenced them off so they would be unseen, and endeavoured to grow his business which employs up to more than half dozen employees at given times.
He has endeavoured to seek council approval for his operations, but to no avail.
In fact, the FBI has attended some of the meetings he has had with council officers where every intention of some form of co-operation and guidance was indicated by those officers.
Behind the scenes, Cr Mark Edwards has tried to assist, with council flummoxed because of its lack of future planning.
Now, several months later, John Bonet has been told by those same officers to ‘show cause’ why an enforcement notice should not be applied.
It says:” An enforcement notice would require you to refrain from committing the offence/and or remedy the commission of ‘the offence’.
The ‘offence’ is not having development permit from RCC and use of the premises for a Transport Depot is an offence.
The trouble is, John can’t apply for a development permit because there is no zoning on Macleay for industrial use such as this.
It means he can’t park his heavy vehicles in the well hidden area, but he can park it out in the street!
No attempt has been made to assist John Bonet with his dilemma, which means that also applies to others in a similar situation.
People like John Bonet are needed on our islands.
Council officers need to be more ‘in tune’ with the island community, rather than the rule book.
There are those who will say we are suggesting ‘flaunting the law’.
Fortunately, we are not the first, or the last to utter those famous words of Charles Dickens: The Law is an Ass.
Council officers are to prepare a report to council on the Macleay Island situation in the coming weeks.
Depending on what recommendations are made, it will be then up to the councillors to set policy in place that could see an industrial area identified on the island.
TIME N TIDE MARCH
REDFEST WANTS ISLAND INVOLVEMENT
The Redfest committee is getting active and this year they are keen to engage with the Bay Islands as potential performers, stallholders and patrons. The interest this year follows criticism last year of Redfest’s previous non-inclusion of the islands in the big Redlands annual festival. In particular this year Redfest is trying to locate quality businesses who are using local produce in food and beverage production. They hope to raise the bar in quality and interest this year. If you would like more information, contact your Friendly Bay Islander or go to the Redfest website https://redfest.com.au
LATEST MOZZIE PLAGUE!
Redland City Council is aware of the elevated numbers of salt marsh mosquitoes currently being experienced across South East Queensland. Aerial treatments are currently underway across the city, including the Southern Moreton Bay islands, with ground treatments also scheduled. With abnormally high tides and the possibility of heavy rain, Council is monitoring breeding sites and, if needed, organising further treatments. While all efforts are made to manage mosquitoes, it is not possible to eradicate them from our environment and therefore numbers will increase at times particularly after high tides, rainfall or storm events. For tips on how to protect yourself from mosquito bites or for further information about mosquitoes visit Council’s website https://www.redland.qld.gov.au/info/20076/health_risks_and_regulation/80/mosquitoes
BIG PRIZES FOR OUR POST OFFICES
Anthony and Katrina Gleeson of the Russell Island Post Office are the second island Post Office to be significantly recognised by Australia Post. Anthony and Katrina are currently touring India thanks to being major winners of an internal Australia Post award. It is a similar award to that achieved by Lil Threadgate of the Macleay Island Post office when when she was sent to Paris back in 2015. The island Post Offices are among the highest performing in Australia. Apparently this is a ‘top end’ tour and the Gleesons are going to be totally amazed and delighted by it all. We shall find out on their return!
OWNER BUILDERS MAKING A MARK ON OUR ISLANDS
Owner builders on our islands are definitely having an impact on the home building industry. The Friendly Bay Islander contacted the QBCC to find out just how many homes on the islands are being owner-built. According to a QBCC spokesperson, there were 45 new owner builder licenses issued on the islands from August 1, 2018 to January 2019. There were licenses issued for Perulpa, Russell, Macleay, Lamb and Coochiemudlo Islands. There were no owner builder licenses issued for either North Stradbroke or Karragarra Islands.