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Redland City Council Mayor Karen Williams says the Southern Moreton Bay Islands deserves its regional status to be reinstated by the Commonwealth Government, and regional status to be provided by the Queensland State Government.

Her comments were made in her announcement that she would not be standing again for the position of Mayor of the Redlands Coast, and will be retiring from Local Government after 20 years of contribution.

Karen Williams says that the only way our group of islands will ever get a ‘fair deal’ when it comes to Federal and State funding, is for the islands to be classified as ‘regional status’.

At the moment it is a ‘hodge podge’ of classification that makes major funding almost impossible.

The outgoing Mayor said that ‘regional status’ classification by both levels of Government “is the only way that Council can access much needed grants funds to continue delivering roads, improving social services, and developing adequate mainland facilities to make island life easier”.

Karen Williams added: “As we near the state election in October this year, I encourage you to keep reaching out to your state members and prospective candidates to lobby them for funding more sealed roads, and for your park ‘n’ ride facilities, like every train station in the south-east has access to and enjoys.”

At the last Council meeting for 2023, Mayor Williams called for the State Government to work with Council to deliver the much-needed park ‘n’ ride facility at Weinam Creek as they do for many TransLink transport hubs in south-east Queensland. 

In announcing her official retirement from Local Government, Karen Williams said there was still more work to be done, “and I will continue to advocate in my last months as Mayor to see that much needed and critical infrastructure is delivered to SMBI residents.”

During her term in office, the Mayor has delivered on several commitments to the Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBIs), including:

  • negotiating for the integration of Southern Moreton Bay Island ferry services into the TransLink network, providing significant savings and free inter-island transport and reducing the need for infrastructure duplication across islands

  • introducing the green seal program to seal kilometres of dirt roads to the sum of $19 million

  • delivering $48.6 million in upgraded ferry terminals in partnership with the State Government

  • providing an additional 500 carparks at Weinam Creek

  • negotiated declaration of two of Queensland’s first three Priority Development Areas, at Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek to transform the waterfront areas into dynamic precincts.

Her two decades of dedicated service, comprised eight years as a local councillor for Division 9 and 12 years as Mayor.

• Mayor Karen Williams



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