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BARGE LOADING NEVER SEEN BEFORE Recently a barge from the mainland pulled into Macleay Island on the way to Russell Island. What was significant was that every vehicle on the barge was required to exit the vessel and re-load. There was no explanation, except it was a relative new crew on board and they looked like they loaded a large truck for Macleay behind the many vehicles destined for Russell Island. Definitely a learning curve for some! Anyway, it is also interesting to see the amount of inter-island traffic that has developed in association with the island building boom.

GARY BERRY LIGHTNING RIDGE ISOLATED Karragarra resident Gary Berry is somewhat of an isolated man at the moment. As some will know, Gary is developing a new tourism business at Lightning Ridge, The appropriately named The Chambers of The Black Hand. Consequently he has been dividing his time between our islands and Lightning Ridge; that was until the floods came. When it rains out west, the huge amount of water has nowhere to go, so it spreads out. Rainfall in south-western Queensland and western NSW of late have been significant, to say the least. As a result, the popular opal mining destination has been literally cut off for some weeks now. So much so that the shelves of the local supermarket are virtually empty (see pictures from Gary). Normally desperate for rain, out Outback has been deluged this year in record proportions. Gary says the impact on the road system out west is going to be significant as well and he is hoping to make it ‘out’ so he can join wife Sonia and family for Christmas! SIRROMET CONCERTS VALUE VENUE AT OUR DOORSTEP Recently we attended the Crowded House Day on the Green at Sirromet Winery. What a great day and terrific event. How good it is when we get to live on our unique islands, but can nip over to the mainland and enjoy some of the world’s best entertainment right on our doorstep. Some of the entertainers we have got to enjoy over the years include Mariah Carey, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Barnes, James Taylor, Steely/Dan, and so many great support acts including Jewel, the Angels and more. With Rod Stewart and Cyndi Lauper and Robbie Williams coming next year, we have even more to look forward to. With Up to 16,000 people turning up for these events, getting in is not the problem. It is getting out! And it can take some time! A RECENT REDLANDS HOSPITAL EXPERIENCE The theme in politics these days is to bash something, rather than do something about it! A popular target is the hospital system and funding for health. And we know our Redland Bay Hospital comes in for a fair bit of flack from time to time, particularly when it comes to parking issues. Well, we would like to tell you some of our experiences with the hospital that is closest to our islands. Recently a family member had a medical issue that they were worried about. On speaking to their personal doctor, they discovered that a blood test was necessary and that ‘we will go from there’. Well, the situation was a bit more urgent than that, so they decided to go to the emergency department at the hospital. Despite a few people waiting, our family member was surprised to be ushered in after just 20 minutes and a blood test was immediately taken. A further wait for an hour saw more test performed including an x-ray, a urine test, and a later on, a CT Scan. The whole process took approximately four and a half hours and the outcome was more than positive for our family member. The people involved were more than just nice, they were ‘brilliant’, warm and comforting. On leaving the hospital a survey was being taken near the front door seeking suggestions on how the hospital could be even more helpful to its community. They were slightly shocked when they were told: “I have not complaints. I think your service and care is brilliant. Every time I have had to visit here, it has been the same. Thank you so much.” NEW FLOATING JETTIES 36 MM STEEL PLATE Overheard this bit of information about the new floating jetties that are now gracing and are about to grace the four island foreshores. Someone happened to ask about the possibility of future ‘rusting’ of the massive floating structures. Apparently there is little concern because of the thickness of the 36mm steel sheeting that was used, and the anti-rust measures used for protecting the floating structures. No wonder they had to float them out to the islands! MUSIC BY THE B AY A big ‘hit’ was the recent very first Bernie’s ’Sound Waves By The Bay’. It is Music on the Green held by the Macleay Island Progress Association at their newly revamped islands precinct. The new, wider decks allowed the two bands, Radio Club and Mitchell’s Fold, to play all day under cover and in some comfort whilst the crowd that attended set up on the green space that is now so an attractive setting. Both groups were very popular with the large crowd that attended. Tickets were free and available through the Try Booking Site. Over 220 tickets were booked reaching the capped amount available. The Progress Association had an open bar and also meals, coffee and snacks available for purchase. A wonderful day was had by all and you can bet it won’t be the last of this popular concept at a great new island venue. MELINDA BIGGS and RONALD The news president of the Macleay Island Arts Complex In (MIAC) is Melinda Biggs. When we first met her, we were a bit cheeky and asked her ‘How’s Ronald?’. It seems we are not the first nor the last who have asked her about the former UK Great Train Bank Robber who evaded British Police for years. And all because her surname is Biggs! Well, you surprised when Melinda retorted: “Yes, there is a family connection to Ronald Biggs”. How cool is that! We can also tell you Melinda and her husband are very nice people who just happen to love sailing. Also, Melinda is highly qualified in not only the advertising and marketing industries, but is a former CEO of a couple of country councils. Seems we are very fortunate indeed to have her now as part of our island community.



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