Island residents group calls for access between southern end of Russell Island and mainland

MEETING: Attendees at the Moreton Bay Combined Islands Association meeting.
MEETING: Attendees at the Moreton Bay Combined Islands Association meeting.

SOUTHERN Moreton Bay Island residents have called for a bridge between the southern end of Russell Island and Jacob’s Well, rather than more car parks at Redland Bay.

The call was made at a Moreton Bay Combined Islands Association meeting attended by about 120 people.

MBCIA’s incoming president Ian Olsson said attendees agreed overwhelmingly that the association and other groups should write to the state government and Redland City Council calling for solutions like a southern gateway to Russell Island.

Mr Olsson said the proposed Redland Bay multi-level car park and parking on former farmland on Moores Road were not suitable in the long-term.

“With increased demand, the multi-level car park solution is likely to exact premium car park charges which islanders should not be expected to pay,” he said.

“We seek alternative solutions such as a southern gateway to Russell Island to take parking away from Redland Bay, not add to it.”

Bowman MP Andrew Laming, and representatives of lobby group Redlands2030 and Redland Bay residents living near to the proposed Moores Road car park attended the meeting.

Mr Laming said the federal government could be approached for funding for a bridge but the Queensland government first had to be convinced by residents.

“...You need a state government minister to come down and look at the site and agree to doing it,” he said.

“The state government has to want to do this and the rest falls into place.”

Redlands MP Kim Richards, who had sent her apologies for the meeting, told the Bulletin that Mr Laming was desperate and trying to distract from 14 years of broken promises.

“Mr Laming promised SMBIs would be the first to get NBN, a Russell Island bridge feasibility, CCTV and mobile communications tower – all broken promises,” Ms Richard said.

She said council had secured federal government remote classification to access Federal Building Better Regions infrastructure funds for the SMBIs but to date there had been nothing.

“MBCIA should discuss with Redland City Council and the federal member their proposal...”

Mr Olsson said the Moores Farm car park and its access road would be subject to flooding and was 700 to 800 metres walking distance from the ferry terminal.

“This is too far for islanders – many old and frail – to walk,” Mr Olsson said.

“There was a show of hands (at the meeting) as to how many would park there and only two said they would.”

MAP: Southern Moreton Bay Island residents have called for access between Rocky Point on the southern end of Russell Island and the mainland. Image: Google Maps

MAP: Southern Moreton Bay Island residents have called for access between Rocky Point on the southern end of Russell Island and the mainland. Image: Google Maps

He said the MBCIA would call on the state government and council to push for federal government funding for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

“Over the past 50 years the state and council have not funded adequate quality island infrastructure and appropriate southern gateway access to keep up with population growth and stimulate the islands’ economy,” Mr Olsson said.

“Federal government funds are urgently needed and we urge the state and council to apply for grants to provide access to the island and improve island infrastructure.”

Mr Laming said federal grants were available through the Building Better Regions Fund but needed council support.

Ms Richards said the state was delivering services and infrastructure like the Redland Bay marina, and Coochiemudlo Island and Victoria Point terminals.

“The business case for SMBI ferry terminals was completed last year and funding committed to assist council in delivery of upgrades,” she said.

“This is in addition to continuing free inter-island ferry fares.”