Russell Island on the Bay - Feb 14, 2014 07:51

City of islands to host unique forum

The benefits of living in an island community will be discussed when the Redlands hosts the first South East Queensland Island Forum next week.

Redland City Councillor for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands (Division 5) Mark Edwards said the unique forum would focus on topics specific to island communities.

“This forum is an opportunity for locals who live, work or play on any of our islands to discuss issues that affect them and ways to benefit from belonging to an island community,” he said.

“Topics to be discussed include tourism, transport and local economies, which are all subjects that are critical to the success of island communities.

“The Redlands is known as a city of islands so what better place for the first forum of this kind to be hosted?”

Being held from Monday 24 February to Wednesday 26 February, the forum will be on North Stradbroke, Russell and Macleay Islands.

Division 2 Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Cr Craig Ogilvie said it was a privilege for the Redlands to host the inaugural forum.

“Guest speakers at the forum will include representatives from Kangaroo Island and Magnetic Island as well as tourism and cultural specialists from the Redlands; so there will be a wealth of knowledge on hand,” he said.

“When people mention island communities we generally think of the picturesque coast lines and holiday locations.

“While this is a key part of island communities there are other characteristics including cultural and environmental that create a unique community on many islands.”

The forum is being supported by Council along with Southern Cross University, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, Straddie Chamber of Commerce and Straddie Camping

Topics include:
- Sustainable islands tourism.
- Transport - Crossing that crucial gap.
- Cultural tourism.
- How much buy-in does tourism need from the community beyond those in tourism, and how to get it.
- The economics of autonomous islands - Can you make it alone?
- The rents of paradise - What to do with Island economies?
- Islands and indigenous business opportunities.

Speakers include:
- Jayne Bates, Mayor of Kangaroo Island
- David Thomson, general manager, Transit Systems and chairman of Straddie Chamber of Commerce.
- Dr Michael Kortt, Southern Cross University Economist specialising in local government economics.
- Karen Williams, Mayor of Redland City.
- Cameron Costello, CEO of Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation.
- Lorna Hempstead, Magnetic Island Community Development Association Inc.
- Dr Howard Guille, Stradbroke Centre for Island Learning.