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EDITORIAL JANUARY 2024 




2024 A YEAR OF CHANGE AND SOME TREPIDATION FOR OUR ISLANDS

The Year 2024 is here and and it offers plenty of speculation based on two forthcoming events

They are two elections this coming year, one Local Government and the other, State.

Both outcomes are unknown, but it is likely they will take on a whole different look and performance that could profoundly impact our islands.

The Local Government elections will be held on Saturday, March 16, and the result most certainly will have a huge impact on our islands.

That’s because two of our greatest advocates, Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards and Mayor Karen Williams will no longer be in Local Government.

Both have indicated they will not be standing again, after 12 years on council.

Prior to their election, the islands were treated abominably by a succession of councils who worked under the premise: ‘Make the Islands Pay’.

It wasn’t until Cr Mark Edwards, in recent years, produced hard historical evidence that it was the islands that ‘saved’ the Redland City Council; and not the other way round, which was then the ‘popular’ thought.

An island community of now close to 12,000 people across six islands and the size of a good-sized town, was constantly forgotten, wrongly classified, and ignored.

This is still the case when it comes to our various ‘classifications’ that often link us to mainland suburban areas while we are definitely ‘remote’ communities: Just another reason not to give us the funding we deserve from all levels of Government.

Cr Edwards’ contribution can’t be understated.

He was the ‘architect’ of our ‘green seal’ roads program that has made such a huge difference to our islands, with complete road sealing now in ‘sight’.

He could not have achieved so much, after so little, were it not for the strength and support of Mayor Karen Williams.

Both fought opposition from areas including one particular former councillor who campaigned under the banner ‘Make The Islands Pay!’

So the makeup of the new council from March 16 onwards will have an entirely new look and possibly, direction..

The State Government election on Saturday October 26, is another ‘big one’ for our islands.

There is no doubt that any community is better off if their State or Federal representative happens to be a member of the Government of the day.

To be fair, we have to say our Member for Redlands, Kim Richards, has been a ‘superb’ representative. 

We have been around politics for a long time, and she is the hardest-working politician we have ever seen.

However, it seems the State Labor Government could be on the ‘nose’ this time around, and there are poll suggestions that Labor to a fourth successive term of Government, even though Annastacia Palazachuk has gone and Stephen Miles is the new Premier.

This could significantly impact our islands as well, not so much from a Government point of view, but effectiveness of our direct Members of Parliament, both involving the SMB Islands and North Stradbroke (Minjerribah) Island.

It is vital that our Member of Parliament is a Member of Government; and that’s the $64 question!

This time last year we were writing about ‘results soon’ on issues such as the Botanical Gardens on Russell Island and movements associated with Toondah Harbour.

Sadly, they have hardly moved at all in the year, a sad reflection on the areas where they are now ‘stuck’ in Government departments.

Our islands continue to grow and attract new residents, realising just how fortunate they are to live on our unique group of islands.

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1 Comment


Guest
Jan 03

Not sure if Friendly Bay Islander has adequately represented or captured the vibe from the local community towards the actions vs outcomes of this current outgoing council administration? The editorial frequntly appears quite partisan running either "paid" or endorsed political stories that again does not reflect the sentiment of our SMBI population. Perhaps the Friendly Bay Islander could also possibly benefit from a change, and seek more local islanders input with surveys like the Bay Island News use to do, then back the local community by publishing the results with genuine performance scores and readers points of view. Any way, hoping to reading some quality articles, productive surveys and vetted paid ads that truly reflect the actual reality of article o…


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