RUSSELL Island will get two extra police officers – doubling their capacity – and a detective branch has been set up at Redland Bay.
The long awaited announcements were made by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Police Minister Mark Ryan and police Commissioner Ian Stewart at Weinam Creek on Monday.
Ms Palaszczuk met with Water Police and inspected the new police barge that has been operating from Redland Bay for about two weeks.
The visit followed the cabinet’s first meeting in the Redlands.
Commissioner Stewart said the Redland Bay Criminal Investigation Branch – with four detectives – had opened a few days ago.
The Russell Island police appointments would depend on accommodation on the island.
“It will happen as soon as we can get them there,” Commissioner Stewart said.
Redlands MP Kim Richards said the detectives would serve Redland Bay, Victoria Point, Thornlands and Russell, Macleay, Karragarra, Lamb and Coochiemudlo islands.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the government would also look to increasing policing on Macleay Island over the next two years.
Ms Palaszczuk said island policing was something the government had been looking at. This included staffing, proactive patrols and service calls.
“The new police vessel has increased Water Police capability enabling more joint deployments and multiple island visits in a single voyage,” she said.
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington slammed the government for not meeting with community members.
“Pretending you are governing from a region and then not speaking to the community is a slap in the face to the local community members,” she said.
“...The community couldn’t even find out where this community cabinet supposedly was going to be.”
Ms Frecklington said Redland Hospital had the worst emergency wait times and ambulance ramping in Queensland, the Cleveland train line had been dubbed the misery line and fewer jobs had been created on North Stradbroke Island than promised.
Ms Palaszczuk said she had planned to visit Southern Moreton Bay Islands but had to attend a disaster management meeting about bushfires.
“I will have to do that (visit) another time,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I am sorry for that but there’s other needs in the state at the moment.
“I am quite sure the residents will understand.”
Mayor Karen Williams thanked Ms Palaszczuk for meeting in the Redlands.
“While many ministers have visited our city in their individual roles and privately on well-earned breaks, it is a wonderful opportunity to have cabinet here as a whole,” Cr Williams said.
“I hope the premier and ministers have a chance while here to experience some of what makes Redlands Coast and its people so special.”