Redlands candidate puts up golf buggy idea as island transport option

REDLAND state election candidate Peter Dowling has called for golf carts to be made a transport option for three Moreton Bay Islands.

BUGGY SOLUTION: Electric golf buggies should be allowed as transport on three Moreton Bay islands, says Redland candidate Peter Dowling.

BUGGY SOLUTION: Electric golf buggies should be allowed as transport on three Moreton Bay islands, says Redland candidate Peter Dowling.

Mr Dowling said that while some island residents would still choose to use cars as their preferred mode of transport, electric golf carts offered residents a viable option.

“There are some really positive lifestyle benefits including dust reduction, lower noise impact and lower speeds,” he said.

Mr Dowling – the former LNP member for the seat but who proposes to stand as an independent in the forthcoming state election – said golf carts were suitable for Lamb, Karragarra and Coochiemudlo. 

“Residents have been asking for some time to be able to use these low impact vehicles as an alternative form of transport,” he said. “...We need to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and make it happen.”

A Transport Department spokesperson said the government had a conditional registration scheme that allowed limited road use for electric golf buggies under permit.

“Redland City Council have jurisdiction over roads on Coochiemudlo, Karragarra and Lamb islands, therefore approval needs to be provided by Redlands ... and the Queensland Police Service,” she said.

“...Both council and QPS have declined permits on these islands in the past due to safety concerns.”

A council spokesperson said registration and policing of vehicles was a state government matter.

“A November 2014 report to council addressed a request from the Karra Buggy Owners Group, seeking support from council for the use of conditionally-registered vehicles on Karragarra Island public roads,” she said.

“Also presented to council at the same time was a letter from the Queensland Police Commissioner ... stating ‘permits should not be issued to owners of golf buggies on Karragarra Island to drive on roads or road related areas’.

“...Police have not altered their position.”

Mr Dowling said golf buggies were economical to buy. Their batteries lasted up to five years and with no petrol stations on the smaller Islands, they would be convenient.

The three smaller islands would be suitable because of low population numbers and residents in those places were generally in favour of lower speeds.

Coochiemudlo had already cut its speed limit to 40km while Karragarra and Lamb would also need to be reduced to meet regulations.

“Council has supported it, however the state is divided on the subject,” he said. 

“...We need to stop saying no to everything and start embracing innovative ideas put forward by our community.”