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TIME N TIDE May 2024


The latest visit to our islands by Leader of the State Opposition, the LNP’s David Crisafulli, was significant. He came here with Redlands LNP candidate, the impressive Rebecca Young, at the invitation of The Friendly Bay Islander via our new correspondent, Mark Edwards. It was primarily for a special interview with us, designed to focus entirely on the needs of our islands. For that we took the duo, along with former Redlands Mayor Karen Williams, to a new little boutique coffee place and eatery, Russell Tucker in Chanel Street, Russell Island, opened by owner Jim Thomson, especially for our visit and interview. (see cover and stories in this edition). To get leaders of our governments to visit our islands has been a very rare occurrence in modern Queensland political history. In recent times, the only visit was from former Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, not for a regulation political visit, but to offer condolences in the aftermath of the August 6 fire tragedy last year. The surprise we received was that David Crisafulli had a very good grasp of our islands, and admitted he had visited here several times privately in previous years. Our goal, was to our group of islands’ case for better ‘recognition’ from all levels of Government and to get then to understand that our islands are ‘remote’ destinations. Many areas of Government still rate and regard us as ‘metropolitan’, the same classification as Brisbane suburbs. Ridiculous! Having to get on a ferry or barge to go about you daily living is all about living in a remote or regional location. This is the argument we put to the LNP Opposition, with a State election scheduled in October this year. David Crisafulli gave us an undertaking that he would take the matter to his Shadow Cabinet and promised to give the request for re-classification of identity, full consideration. The classification means nothing more than being able to qualify for grants and subsidies from State and Federal Governments. These are grants and subsidies that are available to most other islands in Queensland. We can’t wait for it to become LNP policy, and Queensland Government policy.


In the interests in fairness, The Friendly Bay Islander has issued an invitation to the Premier of Queensland, The Hon Steven Miles, to visit our islands. The idea was suggested to us by our new columnist and former Redland City Councillor, Mark Edwards. It follows in the wake of the recent successful visit by Queensland Opposition Leader, David Crisafulli. We have sent a request to Redlands MP Kim Richards, to see if she can organise the visit. If the Premier comes, we will put to him our request for our islands to be classified ‘regional or remote’; not the current classification of Metropolitan. Perhaps our politicians need more rides on our ferries and barges to see just how ‘remote’ we really are, and to enjoy our laid back island lifestyle to know we are ‘regional’. No way are we anywhere close to being ‘metropolitan’.


It was interesting to sit and listen to LNP Opposition Leader David Crisafulli and his interaction with former Redland City Council Mayor Karen Williams, and former Division 5 Councillor, Mark Edwards. The amount of knowledge the two have about our islands, infrastructure, expenditure and overall information is ‘priceless’. With both now retired from local politics, it is such a shame for that knowledge and ability to go to waste. The  other observation is that it takes time to accumulate knowledge like that. New and younger politicians might be enthusiastic and make unrealistic promises, financial one’s in particular, but reality is a far different story. We wonder how some of the new councillors and Mayor around our Redland City Council table now realise just how wrong and unaware they might have been prior to getting elected. As for the knowledge and experience of Karen Williams and Mark Edwards, we reckon an advisory capacity of some kind should be a priority!


The writing is on the wall for the Toondah Harbour project, thanks to the most recent statement from Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek. In a statement she has said she will be acknowledging the Moreton Bay site as a ‘recognised wetland of international importance’ but has invited comment on the "proposed decision" before making it final. And ‘final’ means there project won’t be permitted to go ahead. ALP state member for Capalaba Don Brown probably said it best when he said he was disappointed with Ms Plibersek's decision. His words: “Three billion dollars in lost investment, hundreds of jobs and thousands of homes in the middle of a housing crisis," he wrote on social media. He followed it up with some definite accuracy: “Let's be clear, Toondah Harbour is not protected now; it is dredged regularly and has [sediment] from being a working port."


From our pojnt of view, Toondah Harbour is poorly named. It is definitely not a Harbour in any way, shape, or form. To be honest, it is more like a swamp. If Minister Plibersek had visited as she claims, she obviously did with her eyes shut. Did she miss the hundreds of cars parked literarily everywhere and anywhere? Did she miss the swamp-like state of the foreshore? Did she miss the sub-standard mooring amenities that the island operators are forced to contend with. Did she not witness the continual dredging in place to allow the area to act as a very poor port of some sorts. Is she unaware that the current sub-standard area is supposed to be the ‘gateway’ to one of Australia’s pristine island environments; does she escape the fact that the proposed PDA and plans for Toondah Harbour were to the ‘highest standards’ of future care for the environment and sustainability, but in an attractive way that could be enjoyed by more Queenslanders and visitors, who will always continue to come via this gateway. It seems good, controlled development will never be allowed, under any circumstances. What a huge waste of money and time this has been. So much for being declared a Priority Development Area (PDA)! It is now a Priority Damaged Area!


Redland City Council is holding a free forum to provide parents, carers and educators with information on how to keep young people safe online. The Tech Savvy Tech Safe Forum will be held at Redland Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday 15 May 2024 from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. Mayor Jos Mitchell said the delivery of the forum aligned with a number of actions outlined in the Redlands Coast Young People’s Action Plan 2024-2027. Council is delivering the forum in partnership with key child safety agencies including Queensland Police Service, Australian Federal Police and its education program ThinkUKnow, Centre Against Sexual Violence, Kids Helpline and Crimes Stoppers Queensland. Places at the forum are limited. Bookings are essential via the Redland Performing Arts Centre website. There will be information stands from each of the presenting organisations in the RPAC foyer prior to the forum.



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