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EDITORIAL JUNE 2021


SEA LINK TRAFFIC JAMS INDICATES THAT OUR TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN!

If you have been on any of our SeaLink barges of late, you will note a huge increase in traffic to and from the islands.

Clearly the major change is the growth of the island building sector.

More tradies and supplies to the islands and growth in newcomers is the reason.

The result is near traffic jams and a requirement to book earlier that ever before to ensure a place on a barge, particularly early or late in the day.

It has reached such a crescendo that SeaLink are now introducing new regulations that will see long-term clients have to pay for trips booked that are not used, without prior warning.

A year or so ago on our islands, there was vacant land galore and heaps of houses for sale and rent available.

Not so today.

Houses going on the market are now selling within days and land is being snapped up like ‘hot cakes’. There are virtually no rentals to be had and rental prices are increasing considerably.

The blame for all this is Covid and its repercussions.

People are vacating the big cities in droves.

And the response by the Federal Government with its Homebuilder incentives has worked ‘wonders’ for our islands.

The transformation that we knew that was going to come ‘one day’, is now on our doorstep.

Throw in what is happening with our new island jetties, and the Weinam Creek and Toondah Harbour PDA’s and the demand and interest increase will continue to spiral.

The irony is, that it is only going to get better, from an island economy point-of-view.

The recent Federal Budget has put even more money and incentives into the system that will see the island growth continue.

Making it easier and providing a form of a guarantee to first home buyers to get into housing is going to have a huge on-going impact on our islands’ growth.

A 5% deposit for a home loan backed by the Federal Government will bring so many more people into the frame for housing.

And because our islands offer unique ‘affordable housing’ the demand is only going to get stronger.

Our cheaper land and unique, convenient island location (an hour from the centre of a capital city and an hour from Australia’s largest holiday playground) puts us in a unique situation.

As the message continues to get out about the above information, island growth will continue at a pace.

And what it will bring about at the end-of-the-day will be eventual ‘price parity’ with our mainland neighbours.

Yes, the traffic on our barge services will continue to get busier, and busier!

TIME N TIDE JUNE 2021 ANOTHER WATER LEAK!! The water leaks in the SEQ water lines to our islands has now spread further than just Karragarra Island. The line between Lamb and Macleay recently sprang a leak, and fortunately it was not a large hole in the line, but is an indication of the state of the line between the two islands. As a result SEQ Water will be replacing the entire old-style water main with a new heavy duty poly 300 ml line in the coming days. SEQ Water told us: “We are working closely with Redland City Council to plan for repair as soon as reasonably practicable and ensure that work results in minimal disruption to the local community. We have mobilised a crew to site with repair equipment and they are undertaking further work to finalise plans. Early investigations suggest we will be able to undertake the bulk of repair works with no disruption to water supply. A small, planned shutdown may be required during the night and outside of peak time, at the end of the repair works.” POT HOLES AFTER THE STORMS Recent heavy April-early-May rains on our islands had an impact on island roads. Pot holes have been identified by many locals with clearly a repair team required to fill them. There have been no sign of any council work teams as yet, but we have been advised by Cr Mark Edwards that the required road and pothole repairs will be carried out as crews are allocated for the works. We shall watch with interest! PLATFORM FLOTATION DECK FOR MACLEAY? It appears boaties on Macleay Island who use the Macleay jetty boat ramp, may one day receive some major assistance. It will be in the form of a flotation deck that will be attached to the boat ramp near the Macleay Island jetty. However, don’t get too excited just yet! It seems the State Government has agreed to the funding, but it won’t be put in place until AFTER the new jetty is built. It is actually part of the plans and budget for our jetties. As we know from elsewhere in this edition, tenders have been accepted for the jetty work, but we do not know when the new Macleay Island jetty will actually be built. This is another matter we will be watching with interest! COUNCIL REOPENS GENERAL MEETINGS Redland City Council is set to re-open its doors for public participation at general meetings, allowing community members to once again address Council regarding community matters. Public participation restarted from 19 May 2021 following its COVID-19-related suspension last year. “This is in line with Council’s commitment to providing wider public access to Council decision-making, including the ability to address Council about community matters,” Cr Williams said. From 19 May, Council will dedicate 15 minutes to public participation, with five-minute sessions being allocated to three separate speakers. The sessions will be timed adhering to Queensland Health directives. Access to the booking system for general meetings could be found on Council’s website.