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FUTURE ISLAND POPULATION

WHAT IS OUR ISLANDS' FUTURE ISLAND POPULATION LIKELY TO BE?

The Friendly Bay Islander has been addressing some issues that need to be known and discussed on our islands. One of them is parking, which we covered in detail in our editorial in our March edition. The other is future population growth. Just how many people can our islands actually sustain? It brings into focus other subjects about services, facilities and infrastructure to support future island residents. As it stands at the moment, collectively our six islands has a collective population of around 12,000 people. Anywhere else in Queensland, that would represent a good-sized town where the support services and amenities would be far greater than currently exists on our islands. To say our islands have been consistently neglected over many, many years by all levels of Government, is an understatement. Being a group of islands, we deserve special considerations and support which we currently are not getting. Admittedly, there have been some improvements in recent years, but we are still and long way behind in many areas of important infrastructure and particularly community support. So, that brings us to JUST WHERE ARE WE HEADED? and HOW BETTER CAN WE SUPPORT OURSELVES? A recent check by The Friendly Bay Islander has revealed that there are around 5000 blocks available on the SMB Islands that could possibly be built on. The island real estate industry tells us at this very moment in time on the Southern Moreton Bay islands there are around 600 blocks of land currently for sale. There would only be a small number of blocks available on Coochiemudlo and North Stradbroke Islands. The Figures are: Macleay - 171; Russell - 434; Lamb - 25; Karragarra - nil. We received this information from council: “There are more than 5000 vacant lots on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, North Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah and Coochiemudlo Island. “Not all are in areas zoned residential, which means it is unlikely they would all be developed for housing,” a council spokesperson said. We were not able to find out just how many could actually be built on, so we calculated that this figure could approximately be 3000 blocks. If that is the case and you multiply 3000 X 1.9 persons per household (average household population on our island according to Australian Government most recent census). That would result in a future additional population of 5700. Add that to the current approximate population of about 12,000 people, and you come to a total future population of approximately 17,700 people. The question remains, are our six islands equipped to provide the infrastructure and services to cater for the needs of 17,700 people? ABORIGINAL NAMES FOR OUR SMBI ISLANDS It might not be long before all the SMB Islands have Indigenous names. Member for Redlands, Kim Richards, has told The Friendly Bay Islander that she has spoken with Queensland Minister for Resources, Scott Stewart MP whose portfolio also is responsible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land interests and titles and land management. The Redlands MP has already started steps to change the name of Russell Island to Canaipa Island. She is currently conducting a survey on her website to gauge community support for the name change. Kim Richards says that whilst Canaipa/Russell Island is the subject of the initial survey, she believes that indigenous naming will eventually apply to Lamb and Macleay Islands as well. Karragarra (obviously) is already using its original indigenous name. She also added that any name change need not necessarily have an impact on island businesses and name changes. The names in question for the islands are likely to be Canaipa Island for Russell Island. Its indigenous meaning is believed to be’ Ironbark Spear’. The suggested name for Macleay Island is the Aboriginal name Jencoomercha. It was regarded as an aboriginal meeting place of spiritual importance, mainly for the women of the tribes. The name suggested for Lamb Island is Ngudooroo (or Ngudjuru) (which means Ti-tree or Paperbark Tree – googled from Lambisland.org) Karragarra (obviously) is already using its original indigenous name. She also added that any name change need not necessarily have an impact on island businesses and name changes. Surveys for these name changes will also be started soon by MP Kim Richards. Kim Richards said “There will clearly be multiple use of names for some time during a period of transition. “It does not have to impact any current business names, unless the businesses themselves wish to do so,” the Member for Redlands said. You can participate in the current survey and email her office with your thoughts at redlands@parliament.qld.gov.au

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