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Thanks to Russell Island technician Travis Place, CCTV security cameras will finally start being installed on the Southern Bay Islands.

Travis has ‘come to the rescue’ following a debacle that has seen the CCTV camera issue plague the islands for the past two years.

It was that long ago the Federal Government made a $10,000 grant available via Member for Bowman Andrew Laming for the purchase of CCTV cameras for the four Southern Bay Islands of Karragarra, Macleay, Lamb and Russell Islands.

The idea was to provide two cameras per island to focus on safety for island jetties.

However, to receive the funding, a local organisation was required to put it into practice, and the Bay Island Chamber of Commerce was selected.

That was under a previous administration which ended up selecting the wrong equipment and the incorrect technology.

As a result, the CCTV issues ‘blundered’ along, after it was also realised that no-one had ‘budgeted’ for installation cost and electricity.

That was until a new management group took over the chamber, led by former LNP Member for Redlands Matt McEachan and vice president Chris McGregor.

Since taking over the organisation several months ago, their prime objective was to ‘fix the CCTV issue’.

They soon realised the previous administration had been on the wrong track.

Technician Russell Place was brought on board.

He had previously been outspoken about the ineptitude of the previous efforts.

“I knew the equipment that had been selected was not workable.

“Not only were the cameras not good enough, but the whole method for their installation was never going to work.”

Travis was able to work out that by utilising certain existing facilities, the situation could be fixed.

Matt McEachan told The Friendly Bay Islander: “Chris and I soon realised that the CCTV issue was a complete mess and some quick solutions needed to be found.

“Travis Place provided us with the answers we needed,” he added.

However, before Travis could make it happen and start installations, approvals were required from Redland City Council which meant his credentials needed to be ratified by council and ‘regulations’ needed to be fulfilled.

That has taken some weeks, but we are please to report that installation has already started on the first of the camera placements on Russell Island.

The process has also revealed another ‘issue’.

The Federal Government funding is specific and must be used in the manner for which it was approved.

That means the cameras now purchased by Travis that can do the job, are only able to point in the direction of the jetties on our islands.

Matt McEachan said: “For the system to be totally efficient, it would be desirable to have cameras also keep an eye on car parking areas as well, to provide protection from vehicle break and enters on the islands.”

To achieve this goal, several island businesses have indicated they would be prepared to ‘donate’ a camera or two to the project.

The Federal Government Funding pays for two cameras aimed at the jetties on all four islands.

Another eight to 12 cameras or more would be required to provide additional secure observation of car parking areas on each of the islands.

The Friendly Bay Islander believes there are several businesses that would be prepared to ‘donate’ to add to the cameras, as well as other businesses providing other ‘practical’ donations by providing equipment and labour in certain areas.

Matt McEachan said: “There is still much work to be done and funds to be raised to see the cameras installed on all four islands.”

Anyone who would like to donate or assist, please contact The Friendly Bay Islander by phone or email:

• Chris McGregor (left) and Matt McEachan (right) with technician Travis Place installing the first system on Russell Island.

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