ANNASTACIA PALASZCZUK MAKES FIRST EVER VISIT TO OUR ISLANDS IN AFTERMATH OF FIRE TRAGEDY The family fire tragedy on Russell Island has had a massive impact on the island’s recognition, particularly from our leaders on almost every level. Leading the way was The Premier of Queensland, the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk. She came to the island, guided here by an exhausted Redlands MP Kim Richards, two days after the massive fire that gripped a nation. Ironically it was the first time a Premier of Queensland has ever visited our islands; certainly in the 12-year history of your Friendly Bay Islander. Premier Palaszczuk was here for several hours, first attending the Memorial Gardens in High Street, where a special community hub was set up by Redland City Council, and where many flowers and a memorial tree had been established. The Premier and Kim Richards, laid wreaths at the foot of the tree. Ms Palaszczuk then męt with some of the community volunteers who have been assisting the community in dealing with the fire tragedy. These also included several island Community Champions. The Premier spoke with them at length as they explained the ‘impact’ the horrific fire had had on many island neighbours, friends and community. She then attended the Redland State School where the Premier met with school staff and students. Several of the family children who died, attended the island State School. From there it was to the Russell Island Fire Station in Jackson Road, where the very first responders to the horrific fire, were introduced to The Premier. Again, she spoke with them at length. Then the Premier promised the Russell Island Fire Brigade a new shed for their headquarters, which was well received by all the volunteers present. Premier Palaszczuk went on to visit the Russell Island Shopping Centre, enjoying a coffee as well as a visit to some of the shops where she met and spoke with many island locals. The Premier also met and spoke with The Friendly Bay Islander, apologising for visiting the islands in such circumstances. “Clearly these islands are a beautiful part of Queensland and I am so sorry for the tragedy that has occurred. “It does not surprise that the island community has responded in the way it has. “The support for one another is obvious and also tremendous,” The Premier added. “I thank all the fire fighters, ambulance and police along with all the volunteers who have given and done so much in recent days,” the Premier concluded.
• The Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, with Redlands MP Kim Richards meeting with island volunteers.