THE WEATHER EVENT When it rains it pours, and it certainly has poured in the latter half of December. The islands copped a belting with trees and branches down everywhere. The weather event was described by the Weather Bureau as a one in 100 year event. Given the storms we have seen in Queensland and the Australian eastern seaboard over the years, that is a pretty significant statement. Because we live on islands protected by North Stradbroke Island in front of the inner Southern Bay islands, we don’t all get battered by the Pacific waves that have devastated beaches up and down the coast. We also don’t experience flooding like communities that have a river nearby. In these type of events we are better off than most, except when our power gets cut by falling trees! The weather was severe enough in Moreton Bay to halt the barge services to the islands on several occasions. THANKS FOR THE COVER COMPLIMENTS ‘Thank you’ for all those wonderful messages and stopping us around the islands and complimenting us on our December front cover. It was the first (and last) time you will ever see Managing Editor Gerard Thompson on the front cover, but little five-year-old granddaughter Lilah Grant has been on our front cover in December for the past five years. She is a very special little girl, and she follows in the footsteps of her cousins Allegra and Ari Thompson, who were on early December covers. We were delighted the cover captured the true meaning of Christmas for so many. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GAINS ON ISLANDS Mayor of Redlands City Council Karen Williams was over on the islands speaking to Community Champions and presenting certificates, but also telling the story of action being achieved in relation to Domestic Violence. It is a problem everywhere, including our islands. The Mayor has been recognised for her work in this area and has raised a significant amount of money to provide accommodation to those who need help to escape a bad environment. However, in speaking with Macleay Island police constable Caroline recently, she says there has been a marked decline in call-outs of late which is,hopefully, a good thing. For the record, people who commit the various forms of Domestic Violence are bullies and thugs. No excuse, not ever! If you see it, suspect it, please report it. MISSING OUT STILL Following the recent State election, with Labor back in power, let’s hope our local member Kim Richards takes up the fight in relation to the classification of our islands. We highlighted this in a story prior to the State election. The islands are missing out on several fronts because we are not classified as ‘regional Queensland’. We are classified as SA4 area which is designated ‘Brisbane East’. Because of this classification we miss out on Regional funding, in particular the State Government’s Regional Home Building $5000 Grant. The Friendly Bay Islander believes that classification should be changed. We are not only regional, but also remote, which could gain even further State and Federal funding. Kim Richards has told us she will be working hard to have the classification changed. Those who put us into this ‘Brisbane East; classification should make us a visit. They will realise the error of their ways quickly indeed! KIDS ON JETTY ROOF STUPIDITY! Summer’s here, so the stupidity starts. Going past Karragarra Island the other day we noticed these young people on the roof of the jetty. They think it s a fun thing to do! When one of them falls off and injures themselves badly, we wonder then who they will want to blame? Certainly not them. Probably will want to seek compensation in some form.