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EDITORIAL

SNEAKY PLUMBING DEPARTMENT NEW BUILDING REGULATION TO STIFLE ISLAND LIVING AND LIFESTYLE Just a few weeks ago in November, a new ‘regulation’ suddenly became ‘law’ thanks to a directive from Redland City Council’s plumbing section. Someone there decided to change how a building is ‘assessed’ on our islands in relation to its septic footprint. Rooms previously designed, listed and used as an office, TV entertainment room or ‘work or project’ room in an island home design, are now to be classified as a bedroom. The classification is regarded an ‘operations directive’, so it was not required to come before the council table and councillors. Under the way councils are managed and operated in Queensland, there is a clear distinction between the council table and council operations. The result is going to impact the size of homes dramatically on our islands. If you have recently purchased an island block of land and have dreamt of building your ‘forever’ dream home destination with a bit of space in mind, forget about it. The new plumbing regulation will stifle the size and use of all future homes to be built on our islands. It will mean you will not be able to plan with any ‘space’ in mind. Forget about a games room, a study, a hobby room or any other such luxury. As far as Redland City Council is concerned, any of those classifications are now regarded as a ‘bedroom’. And that means it has an impact on the septic imprint on any approved plan. The Friendly Bay Islander believes the very future of our island living and lifestyle is at stake. It is known that this new regulation has been decried on many levels in the design and building industry. It will put many projects and new homes on hold for many new landholders and future home builders. II is believed the impact on the building industry has been considerable. One such person told the Friendly Bay Islander that they were ‘gobsmacked’ and predicted a dire future for the islands and the design and building industry. So why now would a plumbing department introduce such a classification about rooms and bedrooms? It is believed a ‘personnel change’ in the department may be a factor. The regulation indicates a presumption of ‘lying; when it come to plan submission. It also disregards the previously successful compliance permit that ensured that house design was true and accurate. A survey of homes built in recent times under the old regulations would prove and show that the majority of homes on our islands are occupied by just two people! Many lovely homes have been built on our islands in recent years, under the previous regulations. That has now come to an end, with a restriction of space to become the overall factor. Perhaps the Redland City Council plumbing department should consider the old adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Let’s hope this ludicrous regulation is sent back to where it came from with the help of a notice of motion by councillors at a near future council meeting!