The Friendly Bay Islander - Dec 01, 2013 22:10

Looking at the future of our Islands

The future of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands is in the balance.

There are two major issues that are ahead of us that could have a huge impact on our immediate and long term future.

One of them is the safety and security of our islands; the other is the future control and management of our islands.

Both issues are confronted in major articles in this November issue of The Friendly Bay Islander.

The safety and security of our islands is the 'hidden agenda' that no-one wants to talk about openly.

It has been brought to the forefront in an excellent interview with former Macleay Island police sergeant Dave McDougall.

Supported by his active wife Karen, they say the community has to take some responsibility and stand up and be counted when it comes to safety and security.

He particularly aims at a certain segment of island residents who have no interest in being here other than to take advantage of 'cheap rents' and who have no sense of community, family or caring. They are about self interest, any way they possibly can.

The result for our island community is that a very small number of troublesome people who have no respect for the law, themselves, or anyone else, holds their neighbours and the rest of the community to ransom.

As Sgt McDougall says, they abuse their own families; smoke and drink in public where they are not supposed to; commit crime at will; are abusive to themselves and everyone else.
The Safety and Security feature in this edition covers many of these matters, but the bottom line is that we HAVE TO REPORT!
It is a fact that politicians respond to figures and the more reports that are registered with Crime Stoppers, not matter how seemingly small, could see future changes in our police management.

We also have to play a role ourselves and we believe there is a room for a community group, not dissimilar to Neighbourhood Watch, but with an island influence, that provides community support and keeps a watchful eye out in their street and neighbourhood.

As for other future directions, surprisingly the Redland City Council believes the islands' future could best be determined by ourselves.
Mayor Karen Williams has written to the State Government requesting a feasibility study to consider a separate Bay Islands Council.
This is a huge shift in direction and a lot of water will pass under the bridge before a likely Southern Moreton Bay Islands Council becomes a possibility.

The concept idea has come from Division 5 island councillor Mark Edwards. His position on council in heading up the Audit Committee has been integral to his thinking and, hence, his proposition for a feasibility study to council.

The unanimous support for his suggestion and the letter to the State Government from Mayor Williams brings into question the motives of some of the councillors.

Maybe they see us as a 'problem' with which they are 'well rid'?
Who knows, but if the State Government does agree to the study, then this issue will still have a long way to go.

We just want to make sure that the islands best interests are protected and any changes in the future are heavily weighted to our advantage.

Times, they are a changin!