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EDITORIAL February 2021

A CASE ‘NOW’ FOR OUR RE-CLASSIFICATION FROM GREATER BRISBANE TO REGIONAL OR REMOTE

The recent hand-out of the Queensland Regional Homebuilder grant highlights the ridiculous classification of our islands as part of ‘Greater Brisbane’.

The Friendly Bay Islander has been saying for a long time now that our islands need and deserve to be re-classified by the Queensland State Labor Government.

We are not a direct part of Brisbane and never have been.

Our islands are just that: ISLANDS!

We are not connected to the mainland by any permanent link and we have a lifestyle that is totally alien to the suburban people of Brisbane.

We work and live differently; and our lifestyles are totally different.

When it comes to just about anything and everything, we are in a totally different ‘bubble’ to the rest of Queensland.

We are additionally ‘protected’ by the waters of Moreton Bay that surround us.

If our ferry operators were more diligent when it comes to travel protection and insisted on us all wearing masks when on board their ferries, we would be living in one of the ‘safest’ (health-wise) places in Australia.

Unfortunately, our State Government continues to classify us incorrectly as being part of metropolitan Greater Brisbane.

This has occurred at a a State level whilst our Federal Government classifies us as ‘regional’.

It is our belief that our group of islands, and any island off our coast, should be classified as ‘remote’.

First things first and we would be happy to settle for ‘regional’ status from our State Government; something our Federal Government already does!

Having ‘regional’ status will then allow us to receive assistance and grants that are currently being denied us, such as the $5000 regional Home Builder Grant.

There are many others when it comes to regional and remote assistance that can be handed out to the controlling authority; in our case the Redland City Council.

We therefore are appealing to our Member for Redlands, Kim Richards, to put our classification on the ‘must do’ list.

As a member of the Government, she is in a better position than most to do something about it and get a positive outcome.

We have made her aware of the situation and she has promised to take it up with her Government.

We look forward to a positive outcome in the not too distant future.