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When will SMBI pay their share?
Cried CrElliot, during the Council election.

How many ways can you make a story seem good, when it really is not?
Here we go:
1. The arrears, despite the headline are not only for the SMBI. They include 24 properties across the city from Russell (17) to Macleay (3) and mainland suburbs of Victoria Point, Sheldon, Capalaba and Birkdale with one each.
2. The amount for SMBI, last time last in 2015 was $240,000 or about $8,500 each block. So our share is going to be about 18 x $8,500 or $153,000. But that doesn’t make for a big headline.
3.Mainland properties will account for about 98% of the arrears.
4. If I were to use the same style of ‘journalism’ I could then say that mainlanders from those suburbs of Victoria Point, Sheldon, Capalaba and Birkdale were 98% of the rates defaulters.
5. When is SMBI going to pay their share? They will pay when Capalaba pays, Cr Elliot!
6. The ‘cranky Residents’ were protesting the poor management of fire preparedness of SMBI blocks. With particular reference to Council owned blocks in particular.
Moreton Bay Combined Island Association President, Greg Hartay-Szabo said:
‘ I find the subtitle under the picture “cranky residents” outrageous, actually. None of those on the picture, the ratepayers we represent, are at fault of the neglect and shortcomings we are not receiving in return for our rates. Diabolical inference…’
Unsurprisingly, more fires started after a few weeks.
7. Greg Hartay-Szabo pointed out that, ‘The Macleay fire was on 18 November 2016; first Russell fire 15 December 2016, second Russell fire 8 February 2017. The rally at council was on 25 January. We also organised a post-fire community meeting on Russell Island on 22 January, 3pm at St Peter’s Church.’

But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story!

And from Clem J Ebber, past president of the MBCIA, and Convenor of the Transport and Infrastructure Working Group of the SMBI Futures Forum And Master of Engineering Architecture (Ger) MEngArch(Ger).

“What sort of very poor journalism is this? The people in the picture were protesting abut the neglect which led to the recent bushfires on Russell Island. What does this have to do with unpaid rates, Mr Brian Williams?”


 Click above image to read the Redland City Bulletin article.






Mayor Karen Williams

Dear Resident,

Thank you for taking the time to contact me recently regarding the December fires on Russell Island. During a community meeting on the island on Sunday 18 December I committed to writing to all residents who provided their details to let them know what Council is doing to ensure our community continues to be safe and prepared for future emergencies. As you are aware, we have had a second fire in the same area of the island, reinforcing our commitment to enhancing the safety of islanders.

As head of the Redland City Local Disaster Management Group I take disaster preparedness very seriously, which is why Council instigated an independent review of our fire preparedness following the first Russell Island fires. The fact that there were no homes or lives lost as a result of this fire or the second fire is testament to the response of Council and emergency services that battled the first fires for five days and more quickly brought the second outbreak under control. Rather than resting on our laurels Council has engaged Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) to undertake a full review of our annual prescribed burn plan for Council-owned land to ensure it continues to protect Redlanders.

We are also separately looking at how we can streamline the process of getting landowners to clean up privately-owned vacant lots. The community has told us unsightly and overgrown properties on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands contribute to the potential fire risk, and we are listening through this review.

I am concerned that not all residents maintain their properties to a satisfactory standard and while Council works hard to remedy this we are looking at ways to make private landowners more aware of the consequences of letting their properties become overgrown; this is in addition to us taking the necessary steps to ensure Council-owned land is maintained.

Another concern raised by residents during the fire was the need for better telecommunication. While this is not a Council responsibility we have taken up the fight for residents by speaking with Telstra about providing better phone services on the island. We are also looking at other options for communicating with residents including the potential for an emergency SMS alert system, I will keep you updated as these options progress.

Council s first priority is and always will be community safety. A major part of protecting the community is listening to your concerns, which is why we have initiated this review and is why it will report back to a panel that includes a member of your community, along with a representative from QFES and Council. Council will also make the review public through our website.

While the review follows the Russell Island fire, it is not restricted to the Southern Moreton Bay Islands; it will look at our fire preparedness across the city, ensuring all suburbs and communities are well-prepared in the event of a fire.

Disaster preparedness is a whole-of-community responsibility. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and only by working together in a strong and resilient community can we all be protected.

For this reason I ask you to also look at your own disaster preparedness. You can start by getting a copy of our disaster plan from our website. It can be accessed at: This document provides a plan specific for your community, which can also be used to develop your own home emergency plan.

Council will be holding a series of disaster preparedness engagement sessions on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands starting this weekend:

o Saturday 11 February 2017: Russell Island SUPA IGA, Sam – 12pm

o Saturday 25 February 2017: Macleay Island SPAR, Sam – 12pm

0 Saturday 11 March: Lamb Island Convenience Store, 9am – 12pm

0 Saturday 25 March 2017: Karragarra Island Jetty, 9am – 12pm

These events will be a great opportunity to learn more about how you and your family can be kept safe in an emergency, copies of our disaster plan will also be available.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information about Council s fire preparedness review or broader emergency management plans.

Yours sincerely,

Karen Williams.

Get ready for the heat in the Redlands

Redlanders have been urged to take care, with a severe heatwave forecast to hit the region over the next few days.

Details on News page HERE

Girt by Sea competition a Bay Island art boon

A week remains for artists to submit works to the lucrative 2017 Girt by Sea art competition and exhibition, which this year boasts a $94,000 prize pool.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the Council-supported competition, run in conjunction with Macleay Island Arts Complex (MIAC) and Russell Island Community Arts (RICA), offered outstanding opportunities to sculptors throughout Australia and painters from Russell, Macleay, Karragarra and Lamb Islands.


Image: One of the 2016 Girt by Sea winners, ‘I Sea
by Giuseppe Filardo

“The Girt by Sea art competition is one of the most lucrative events of its type in Australia with prizes offered from $500 to $14,000,” Cr Williams said.

“The sculpture section of the competition is open to all and is already attracting national attention, while the painting section is open to SMBI artists.
“Entry forms detailing artworks must be received by 3pm Friday 17 February, even if artworks are not yet complete or still in transit.
“The 2016 competition opened everyone’s eyes to the potential of a bay islands-based art exhibition like this and I have no doubt this success will be echoed in 2017.”
Division 5 (Redland Bay and Bay Islands) Cr Mark Edwards said the competition and exhibition not only celebrated the artworks, but also the SMBI’s unique Island lifestyles.
“Anyone who saw the calibre of artworks from the 2016 Girt by Sea competition would agree that it has the potential to be a major cultural tourism draw card, not just for the Bay Islands but for our whole city,” Cr Edwards said.
“With a total prize pool of around $94,000, and an entry fee of just $5 per painting and $30 per sculpture, it is a great opportunity for all exhibiting artists.
“Acquired sculptures will be installed in key public spaces, so the Girt by Sea competition is a rare chance to make a lasting impact on our city’s landscape and I really encourage everyone to get behind this exciting project.”
Entries to the 2017 Girt by Sea competition and are subject to terms and conditions and entry forms must be received by 3pm Friday February 17 2017.

Application forms can be downloaded from and
The Girt by Sea awards evening will be held at Russell Island Recreation Hall at 6pm Saturday 18 March, with all welcome.
The following acquisition prizes are available to participating artists, subject to selection by judges:
Sculpture Section: Four prizes of $8000 and three prizes of $14,000.
A total of $74,000 in acquisition prizes
Painting Section: 10 prizes of $500; five prizes of $1000; two prizes of $2500; and one prize of $5000.
A total of $20,000 in acquisition prizes.


From channel nine news 15 minutes ago


Greg Hartay-Szabo interviewed on Channel 9



Roger McMillan I just went for a ride on my mountain bike and the fire is under control. It burned out most of the reserve north of Glendale as far as Cunningham and up to Centre Road. There are a few spot fires that the guys are attending to, and plenty of smoke, but it’s all under control.

From Greg Hartay-Szabo  On one of the streets before Glendale turns into Crescent Drive. Down on the southern end of Russell, in the Centre Rd – Cunningham Ave – Glendale Rd triangle.


Many reports from facebook flowing in to various pages including Bay Island News Group:

Here is a sample:

I walked down to Waikiki Beach Rd and took a photo then zoomed for a better look. It appears to be about Bourke and Kennedy according to a bike rider who had been down for a look.

Vision from Channel 9:

and another news report from a local:

Roger McMillan The fire started on the northern side of Glendale Road (the opposite side to where the bush was burnt in the last fires. There is a strong SE wind blowing so the fire is moving north, but there’s not a lot of vegetation in that area and hopefully it will be under control before it gets near any houses.

Seems to be some confusion as to what the situation is:

9 news showing choppers, conflicting messages QFES cautions yet cancels warning?

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services – QFES

*This warning is no longer current. For the latest information visit*

Russell Island – vegetation fire as at 10.40am Wed 8 Feb

Four Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) crews are on scene, and further crews and air support are enroute, to a large, fast-moving vegetation fire burning in the vicinity of Cunningham Avenue, Russell Island. Firefighters are working to contain the blaze, which broke out earlier this morning. Smoke is affecting the area. Residents are advised to close windows and doors, and keep medications close by if suffering from a respiratory condition. Motorists should drive with caution and to conditions. If you feel your property is under threat, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.


Are we the Jewel in the crown or the sludge in the septic?
An opinion piece by Tim Barker

A press release issued today, starts the response from Council to the sad litany of woes exposed a week ago to council.

Released as a notification of Tenders being let, it was an opportunity not to be missed by Council to spruik achievements, past, present and future. Factual or Fictional.

A broad brushstroke from the release itself  the ‘foreshore redevelopment’, ‘one of the largest single infrastructure projects currently planned for Redland City’ to:
parks and community facilities and strengthening island economies, Mayor Karen Williams put a figure on the cost of this development and entombment of asbestos found lying throughout the area for years.

“Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the estimated $6 million project represented part of the substantial ongoing investment in the City’s unique Southern Moreton Bay Island (SMBI) communities.

“The community has been calling for this project for a number of years and the advertising of this tender signifies a major step towards its delivery,” she said.”r0_116_800_566_w1200_h678_fmax

There is, however a caveat: ‘
“Subject to a successful tender process with tenders closing on 2 March, we anticipate work could start as early as this financial year.’ Undoubtedly Island residents will watch and wait eagerly for confirmation of a success in this tender.

The release continues with Cr Edwards praising all the achievements of Council:

“The Macleay foreshore upgrade dovetails well with the separate ongoing State and Redland City Council joint project work towards future upgrades of the ageing island jetties, new recreational boating facilities and the substantial investment underway by the state government in new public transport facilities at Weinam Creek.

“Council’s own Green seal funding initiative aimed at improving SMBI island roads is also continuing apace with over 26 kilometers of roads already sealed and a further 14 kilometers expected to be sealed this financial year.’

With Sports centres, Foreshore developments, four new jetties, economic initiatives, 26 Km of road sealing and another 14 to come, recreational boating facilities, substantial investment underway by the state government in new public transport facilities at Weinam Creek (‘the six million dollar bus stop’ as it is known by  Islanders), parks and community facilities,


In the Redland City Bulletin, an article titled:

Redland City Council cops a blast from Russell Islander over “deprived existence”

Unsurprisingly council has had to make a response to the many factual and historical points raised by Alby Sutton. One curious point is that it took council a whole week to gather their response.

On facebook, conversations were many and varied, the majority in favor of and praising the well presented speech of Alby Sutton.

It was predicted in the relevant group, ‘SMBI Infrastructure & Passenger Ferry Terminals’ that perhaps the only defense the Council would or even could offer would be a good offense.

Well, it seems Council is attempting a defense with a rather ham-fisted offense by listing anything and everything they possibly can.

If the accomplishments are so many and varied, then why were almost all of Mr Sutton’s point, not covered in the council’s glowing self-assessment?

31 January 2017

Macleay Is foreshore redevelopment a step closer with invitation to tender.

Another major milestone has been reached this month with Council advertising for tenders for the multimillion dollar Macleay Island Foreshore redevelopment, one of the largest single infrastructure projects currently planned for Redland City.

The tender invitation calls for civil and marine engineering to construct a new seawall and sealed carpark, associated road works and ancillary marine infrastructure, a queuing beach, and new two lane recreational boat ramp and access stairs

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the estimated $6 million project represented part of the substantial ongoing investment in the City’s unique Southern Moreton Bay Island (SMBI) communities.

“The community has been calling for this project for a number of years and the advertising of this tender signifies a major step towards its delivery,” she said.

“This project has been a particular challenge with significant project design hurdles to overcome over several years, including negotiation and planning approval involving the state government and separate marine authorities and utility providers, in order to reach this important stage.

“Subject to a successful tender process with tenders closing on 2 March, we anticipate work could start as early as this financial year.

The completed work will provide substantial long term improvements to island parking issues, seal asbestos contamination on the foreshore and provide recreational boat access improvements.”

Divisional Councillor Mark Edwards said the foreshore project was just part of Council’s ongoing commitments to improving SMBI infrastructure, parks and community facilities and strengthening island economies.

“The Macleay foreshore upgrade dovetails well with the separate ongoing State and Redland City Council joint project work towards future upgrades of the ageing island jetties, new recreational boating facilities and the substantial investment underway by the state government in new public transport facilities at Weinam Creek.

“Council’s own Green seal funding initiative aimed at improving SMBI island roads is also continuing apace with over 26 kilometers of roads already sealed and a further 14 kilometers expected to be sealed this financial year.

‘The SMBI are a unique and vital part of our City and I believe the momentum of these investments will make a strong contribution to the appeal of the islands for business and jobs as well as unique places to live.

A draft outline of planned foreshore improvement work is available for viewing on Council’s website (MCU013484).


This gem goes way back, prior to the 2012 election, Translink and numerous broken promises.
Tim Barker and Fare Subsidy Planvlcsnap-4555-11-18-15h00m30s838


Yet another series of observations and complaints about inequalities and discriminatory conditions on the SMBI.Wednesday 12th August 2015.
Robin Harris at council

Robin Harris on Translinkrobinharristranslink

Official MBCIA response to Councillors and Media with regard to comments raised by Gayle Nemeth at 25th Jan 2017 Council meeting:

This MBCIA response to the first public participation address on 25 January at RCC has just been sent to all Redland City Councillors and to the Media. The SMBI Futures Forum and The Transport and Infrastructure Working Group is endorsing this response wholeheartedly.

Well done, MBCIA and especially Greg Hartay-Szabo

Dear Councillors,
Rather than taking up public participation time next Wednesday, the MBCIA has decided to post the following in response to the first address concerning us at the 25 January RCC meeting.
Please also find attached a copy of the leaflet that was being referred to, but not produced at this address as evidence.
Thank you for your kind consideration and best wishes for the new year ahead.
Greg Hartay-Szabo

MBCIA response to the first public participation address on 25 January at RCC

The Moreton Bay Combined Islands Association wishes to express its shock and disappointment at the first public address made at the first Council meeting on 25 January 2017.

Not only did the speaker fail to understand and sympathise, as a fellow islander, with the cause the MBCIA leaflet was referring to (calling all islanders to make Council aware of a thorough reform needed for fire mitigation and evacuation/transport points on islands subject to fire hazard) – the author of this address arbitrarily picked a single sentence of an entire page thereof to build an expression of personal angst to Council in a composition also suffering from statistical deficiencies and exactly quoted source.

While also failing at producing the original document the speaker attempted to condemn – the actual MBCIA leaflet besides 2011 GHD that advocates alternative routes for more than just Russell Island, including the speaker’s own, Macleay – one could have done better in asking Council to finally make an “executive decision”, not on excluding bridging from any future planning but asking the local community (this speaker oneself being also part of), in a Council survey about bridging any of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands. The MBCIA has already asked for such a survey, even offering to bear printing costs, to be included in the rates envelopes but to this day, has been declined by Council (despite another survey granted the same way around the same time to another island-based lobby group).
The notion that no one would want a bridge could easily border on being downright ridiculous. For the above very reasons, a lack of a comprehensive, authoritative, official survey result published on part of any government, claiming no one wants a bridge could be regarded as comically delusional as the opposite, ie “everyone wants a bridge”. This bizarre argument could only be aggravated by implying that once an island is bridged, it would be no longer an island – the argument which is clearly refuted by such examples as Bribie Island in Queensland and Phillip Island connecting to San Remo in Victoria, to quote merely Australian ones. Besides, no environmental study has officially excluded any possibility, even remote, of bridging any of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands – if anything, one of the rare authoritative studies conducted in this very region actually prove that seagrass and dugong populations actually flourish near the Bribie Island bridge in the Pumicestone Passage, as explained in a CSIRO/UQ study as follows:…/documents/WR04063_final.pdf.

In contrast, several studies and articles have been published on the possible hazard of large vessels repeatedly injuring or killing marine animals such as dugongs, turtles or whales in a marine park as follows:…/boat-strike-turtle-dugong-mbm……/nomination-boat-strike-200……/draft-national-vessel-stri……/whale-dead-after-horror-b…

Since the current routes have been several years (even decades) old and do not reflect increases in population and building applications granted, the MBCIA will continue to support keeping options open for diversifying transport and access/evacuation points for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, both in the short-term and long-term future. Such options will include bridging as that has also been sought by a relevant number of Bay Islands ratepayers from the beginnings of the MBCIA in the 1980s.

We do realise this could materialise in short alternative water transport routes in the short term but since neither level of government nor the community have excluded it formally, bridging will certainly not disappear as an option for future consideration by this organisation, either.

The speaker at this address also implied that people moved to these islands for isolation, quasi not to be connected to the mainland or each other ever. While this may be true for a part of this community, it is by no means all-inclusive: we know from our own membership base that a number of our members were lured to the islands with the promise of a bridge, or chose to live there because of the strikingly low real estate and rent values, among other reasons. Therefore, to generalise this on the sole motive of desiring to be isolated by sea could be construed as pretentiously misleading.

The first public participation address on 25 January has lacked both perspective of changing demands of an increasing population on offshore Queensland and consideration of previous attempts to consider and advocate diversifying these options. The speaker was remarkably at odds in offering any rational and feasible alternatives to existing issues: “market forces” that have so far not succeeded at all to drive down travel costs on vehicle barges and produced no improvement to parking on the mainland or the islands; “roll-on/roll-off” cheaper barges that have also not shown any evidence of interest on part of Sealink ; “double-decker ferries” that have not been studied in terms of any improvement in embarking/disembarking times and modes, let alone assurance for reliable adherence to an integrated (Translink) timetable with bus/ferry synchronisation; or a PDA project the timeline of which, after three years(!) is still mystery for a community already desperate for affordable mainland parking at Weinam Ck and around the Redland Bay Ferry Terminal.
Finally, the MBCIA categorically rejects and condemns the irresponsible, inconsiderate and preposterously insensitive argument of this speaker in stating the following in the above address (interjected by incredulous laughter from the public gallery):

“Bushfires might be considered a serious danger to Russell Island – indeed, all islands – but would never require a mass evacuation. The recent bushfires on Russell support this conclusion. They reported the biggest fire in recent memory with no houses or lives lost. Irresponsible scaremongering should never be used in an argument to support the argument for a bridge”.
Had this speaker considered talking to emergency services involved in these fires or one’s own local community affected, the speaker would have received a far more rational and sobering picture this community was facing – besides compassion for fellow islanders – understanding that both fires displayed a high degree of volatility and at times, unmeasurable hazards where it could not be predicted how many lives besides property could be lost.

In conclusion, perhaps this speaker could have done better in attending recent fire-related community meetings (also partly organised by the MBCIA) where a distressed community has indeed expressed complaints for insufficient evacuation routes and the challenges of emergency vehicles reaching the islands. It is rather regrettable that instead, without approaching our organisation first, the speaker preferred choosing the very first Council meeting in 2017 to spread some unsolicited angst in Council and among the public on an arbitrarily picked passing subject from our leaflet that, even in one’s own admission, has not been financially viable. Why the precipitation, one might ask? One can only hope that next time, such an address – as the following one by Mr Alby Sutton, in sharp contrast to the former – would display an approach more mature, more inclusive, more compassionate, more mindful of relevant local issues – and more capable of uniting rather than further dividing the Southern Moreton Bay Islands community.

Greg Hartay-Szabo
Moreton Bay Combined Islands Association…/
0414 699 899

Alby Sutton’s Speech to Council: MP4 and youtube


Right click and ‘save as’

MP4 format



Here are links to videos of the Meeting which led to the protest. Further links to th 7 and 9 news segments will be uploaded once found, as will the council ccty video.

Firstly the MBCIA meeting:

Now the protest (note the news crews): Videos of Meeting and protest courtesy Chris Connor.

Alby Sutton, a long term resident and past private secretary to Bob Hawke penned a brilliant, accurate and flawless presentation to council. Not a spelling mistake nor any grammatical errors to be seen!

My name is Alby Sutton and I have been a land-owning resident of Russell Island for more than 10 years, and am a member of The Moreton Bay Combined Islands Association.
After retiring from a 35 year Federal Public Service career, embracing administrative appointments at senior levels in 13 different Departments, two overseas postings, and a 2 year period as a Private Secretary on then PM Bob Hawke’s personal staff, I made a rational decision to move to the Island, because I loved the beauty of the place and thought I could see tremendous potential for development.
Sadly my forethoughts have proven to be misplaced, and I am now a very concerned resident.
The Island, located only about 50 km from the Brisbane CBD, is a beautiful place to live in, but in order to enjoy its natural beauty we residents are forced to live quite a deprived existence.
We residents have to suffer:
∙ Unsealed dusty roads which need regular repair at great cumulative cost; and repairs that are carried out are piecemeal and at best temporary. The recent move towards polymer sealing, while appreciated, lacks considered planning and is no more than another stop gap measure.
∙ Poor street drainage, and privately built sewerage systems that leach human waste effluent into the waters of our beautiful bay. a situation that will have disastrous long term environmental impact.
∙ Bad street signage and inadequate street lighting.
∙ Abysmal parking provision at ferry terminals on both the Island and at Redland Bay.
∙ High cost of purchasing items unavailable for sale on the Island. This high cost factor extends to larger building materials and associated infrastructure needs.
∙ High transport costs which isolate families from their close relatives. This isolation often leads to loneliness, depression, and even suicide.
. And last but not least, Council neglect of unoccupied properties throughout the Island.
And for these and other deprivations not listed here, we pay rates totally disproportionate to their return in material benefits.
There seems to be reluctance, either contrived or perhaps conspired for reasons only known to the apparent conspirators, to suppress development in this place.
And this reluctance seems to be shared by the three arms of governance under which we live.
Whenever we residents complain, we are either treated with disdain or told that we chose to live here and therefore must accept the deficiencies that exist.
This is an unacceptable argument, and rings of governing bodies’ attitudes of ignorance, self interest, or incapability to cope with the requirements of their elected governance.
In choosing to live somewhere, you don’t surrender your right to protect your entitlements as a resident or landowner!
Each resident is a shareholder in Southern Moreton Bay Islands’ development.
Governing body support staff and elected representatives must better recognize that they are in the employ of we, their electors, and must act with more considered integrity in making decisions that affect our welfare and lifestyles.
We are not puppets to be manipulated, ignored by exclusion from participation in decision making debate, and then used as vehicles for the self benefit of our elected representatives.
We land owners have had our island holdings devalued by often more than $30,000 in recent years, and we have had enough of being cheated and maligned and treated as virtual third world citizens. And another 30 or forty years of suppression is not acceptable.
The recent fires on both Macleay and Russell Island graphically demonstrated the cost of these governance failings, and the cost could have been much higher in both personal and economic terms.
Had the Russell island fire started three days later on the Sunday when the South easterly wind was raging at near gale force levels, there could well have been a disaster of monumental National proportions; contributed to in no small way by the overgrown state of vacant land on the Island.
Surely the impact of the fires and the deficiencies of infrastructure and prescribed emergency action they exposed, must penetrate the minds of all the governing bodies and hopefully it will result in a greatly increased and immediate interest in quickly beginning to correct the years of neglect and perceived disinterest that have occurred.
Against this background I would like to ask each of you here in Council to reflect on your own capacities to make appropriate judgments on future decisions you make; and when making such judgments, ensure that you have a complete understanding of all considerations and effects of such judgments, before putting them in to practice.
The practices of this Redland City Council, in adhering to a culture of secrecy, the lack of
adequate scrutiny enabled by comprehensive community and stakeholder consultation, has
now put property, and peoples very LIVES AT RISK!
In my professional opinion, based on 35 years experience, culminating in Senior levels in the
Departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and as Private Secretary to Bob Hawke, then
Prime Minister of Australia, I submit to EVERY COUNCILLOR HERE, that this council, and the
previous Redland City Council, by its negligence, has committed, and continues to commit, a
Note that I do not merely allege a DUTY-OF-CARE BREACH, I challenge, on the basis of my 35
years of senior and extensive, and international Parliamentary experience, that this
I advise that this statement has been copied to relevant authorities, for appropriate action with the written endorsement of SMBI Forum Stakeholders and other SMBI Community Leaders, and Authority reference as relevant, and a written more informative submission will follow
Thank you.

Redland City Council to undertake

fire preparedness reviewrcclogo

Redland City Council has begun a full review of fire preparedness in the wake of the fire on Russell Island in December.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the review would include engaging Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) to look at Council’s annual prescribed burn plan.

“Council has an annual conservation management plan based on expert fire preparedness knowledge to help reduce fuel loads across the city and protect life and property during a fire,” Cr Williams said.

“Through this review we will ask QFES to review our annual plan to ensure it continues to protect Redlanders.

“QFES is the expert in fire management and so having them review our annual plan will give us the confidence that it is robust enough to stand up to any fire threat.”

Redland City Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards said this review would look at fire management on Council owned land, with Council also separately reviewing the process of getting landowners to clean up privately owned vacant lots.

“There is no doubt overgrown private properties on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands contribute to the potential fire risk, with a number of vacant lots not maintained by owners for extended periods,” he said.

“Last year Council responded to 229 enquiries relating to overgrown properties on Russell Island, with similar figures on the other Southern Moreton Bay Islands.

“For each of these requests officers go to the property to assess the risk, where there is a risk they then issue a notice to the landowner asking them to tidy up the property and if this is not done Council cleans up the property and bills the owner.

“Council is committed to the safety of the island and we are looking at ways we can streamline this process and make private landowners more aware of the consequences of letting their properties become overgrown.

“The Southern Moreton Bay Islands are an active and resilient community who quite rightly want to protect each other and for this to happen all landowners need to do the right thing, including those who don’t live on the island.

“I will be attending the next Moreton Bay Combined Islands Association meeting along with our Local Disaster Coordinator Mike Lollback to discuss these reviews with residents and answer any questions.”

Mayor Williams said Council had listened to community feedback following the fire and enacted the reviews in response.

“This is all about community safety and a major part of protecting the community is listening to them,” she said.

“At the community briefing held during the fire we asked the community to contact us with feedback and questions and so far we have responded to more than 35 enquiries, including delivering 150 copies of Council’s Disaster Management Plan to island residents.

“The disaster management plan provides an emergency management response specific to the Southern Moreton Bay Islands and anyone who still doesn’t have a copy should contact Council so we can send one to them.

“We want to make sure everyone is prepared for an emergency, whether it is a fire, flood or another event; and the best way to do that is to get a copy of the disaster plan and use it to develop your own household plan.”




Invitation to media – Arrr bring ye pirate hat

Redland City Council invites you to Raby Bay this Friday (20 January) to welcome the Notorious as it sails into Raby Bay, turning the normally quiet bayside area into a celebration of all things pirates.notorious_1

The Notorious, a recreation of a 1480s Portuguese or Spanish caravel, will be open for inspection from 10am-4pm daily until Sunday 22 January, giving visitors the chance to experience life on the high-seas.

The Notorious will be welcomed to Cleveland by Redland City’s Traditional Owners the Quandamooka People who will perform a traditional welcoming ceremony and dance.

Everyone is encouraged to dress as a pirate to celebrate the vessels arrival, the second pirate ship to be hosted in Redland City in as many years following the Dying Gull docking in Raby Bay during filming of The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

When:         Friday, 20 January 2017.


Between 9am and 10am: Media will have an opportunity to speak with Notorious owners Graeme and Felicite Wylie and view the ship.  The welcoming ceremony than starts from 10am.

Where:      The pontoon between the Cleveland Railway Station and restaurants at the Raby Bay Marina, Shore St West, Cleveland.

What:          Media opportunity to tour and get footage/photos on the Notorious.

The official welcoming ceremony will include traditional Quandamooka (the Redlands’ Traditional Owners) symbolism and performances, including a performance by the Yuli Burri Ba Dance Group.

At conclusion of welcoming ceremony the public will have the opportunity to board the Notorious (adults $5, children $2 must be accompanied by a supervising adult).

Vision/photo opportunity:

There will be plenty of colour with people dressed as pirates, Redland City’s Traditional Owners the Quandamooka People welcoming the Notorious in a traditional ceremony and of course the Notorious itself against the backdrop of the beautiful Raby Bay Harbour.


Interviews:    Redland City Mayor Karen Williams,

Notorious owners Graeme and Felicite Wylie

General public/children





Keeping cool as the heat returnsenergex



With the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting a return of mid-30 temperatures later this week Energex is encouraging power users to keep cool without heating up their bills.

Executive General Manager for Service Delivery Jeff Philipson said air-conditioners were still South East Queensland’s favourite way to escape the heat with 75 per-cent of homes having a system installed.

“With three quarters of Energex customers turning on air-conditioners to remain comfortable over the next few days now is a good time to ensure they’re running at their most efficient by checking filters are cleaned thoroughly,” Mr Philipson said.

“Clogged and dirty air-conditioner filters make the system work much harder to cool the house needlessly costing more to run and often not getting as cold.

“Once the air-conditioner’s filters are clean simply set them to the most efficient running temperature of 24 degrees and relax.”

Mr Philipson said moderating the use of air-conditioners is one of a number of measures households can implement to save on their bills not only in the summer, but all-year round.

“Making wiser energy decisions in our own homes can lead to savings on power bills, while also reducing the demand on the electricity networks,” he said.

“Energy-intensive appliances such as hot water systems and pool pumps are a great place to start, simply by operating them during the day, or outside the peak demand period of 4pm to 8pm.”

Other tips include:

  • Turn off your second fridge or freezer
  • Wash in cold water and do the laundry outside of 4pm to 8pm (peak demand)
  • Run the dishwasher outside of 4pm to 8pm (peak demand)
  • Defrost your freezer regularly. The frost build up should never exceed a thickness of 6mm. A fuller freezer prevents heavy icing
  • Use your clothesline instead of your dryer
  • Ensure the seals on your fridge are clean and in good working order to stop cold air getting out
  • When not in use, switch off appliances, including TVs, computers and game consoles, rather than leaving them on standby

For a full list of summer energy saving tips, visit and

Redland City seeks land for sport


Redland City Council is looking to buy land for new sports grounds and amenities in the city.

It follows studies which show Council has a shortage of suitable land to meet residents’ future sporting and recreational needs.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council wanted to talk with landowners who might be interested in selling their land for future sports parks.

“This invitation to landowners aims to identify, investigate and, if agreed, acquire land that could be used for sporting fields, courts, facilities and associated uses such as carparking,’’ Cr Williams said.

“I want to stress that Council is in no way looking to acquire land without agreement from the landowner but we feel it is important that we move now to identify what is available and, where agreed, preserve that land for community sports facilities.

“Redland Bay, Mt Cogoalpoststton, Sheldon and Capalaba West have been identified as ideal areas.’’

Council is looking for large parcels of land, such as three or more adjoining 10ha to 20ha blocks up to single blocks of 100ha-plus.

“The land needs to be mainly flat, largely cleared and on a main road with good access and plenty of road frontage,’’ Cr Williams said.

“The bulk of the land should be flood-free and not need significant earthmoving.

Following a site investigation, Council will seek its own property valuation, with any sale dependent on the approval of Councillors.’’

Interested landowners can contact Council at or by calling the Property Office on (07) 3829 8494. Invitation will remain open until 3 February.



– what an apt name)!

Redlanders urged to be wary of stonefish


Redlanders and visitors should take care when wading in the bay and estuaries due to the possible presence of stonefish.

It follows an unusually high occurance of stonefish last January, particularly at Raby Bay. Tourism operators have advised of recent sightings at Peel Island.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council was erecting warning signs at popular wading and swimming spots as a precaution.

“We just need people to be aware that stonefish can be in our waters at this time of year, so I urge all beachgoers to wear thick-soled shoes if wading in the Moreton Bay,” Cr Williams said.

“While last year’s high numbers right along the southeast Queensland coast were quite unusual, public safety is paramount and we want to make sure people understand that stonefish can be prevalent at this time of year.”

The sting from a stonefish is very painful and victims should seek immediate medical attention. Watch for updates.


Tredrockethe ‘Red Rocket loop service promises to be a godsend! Well done council – Credit where Credit is due!
Only a ‘Trial at the moment though ..

Due to health reasons (stress) I will no longer be actively updating this site.
Over the course of my illness (MS) my doctor, wife, psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist and even physiotherapist all told me to avoid stress. Curiously they are all women except my Neurologist. Who am I to argue with so many women?

Just got home from seeing my doctor and , for want of a better phrase, I had a personal revelation.

So good luck, I’ll just let the online paper die a natural death.
The newsgroup(s) have just over 700 members, so they will (have) been passed to others to run.

Important events will be looked at and put up.




Island Umceachan-300x72pdate

I’ve made a commitment to making myself available to all constituents with mobile offices and listening posts.

Continued in NEWS section


Full story in ‘NEWS‘ section.


Council introduces Community Response and Parking Patrol Car

carRedland City has a new ally in its aim to provide safe parking across the city, with a brightly coloured Community Response and Parking Patrol Car recently taking to local streets.
Redland City Council Acting CEO Louise Rusan said the new patrol car was fitted with a dash-cam to identify illegal parking in the interests of making local streets safer for pedestrians as well as motorists.

Full Story on NEWS page

From ‘Bay Island News Group’ on facebook

Doug Lewis:
Read and send email if you think this is a good idea.. Don’t let one sour puss destroy what is good..

Hello friends.
Council has received a complaint from a negative person living very close in regard to the colour of the Railway Seat installed in Benowa Street just before the Bowls Club.
This seat has RCC site approval, design approval and installation approval. It is painted in a colour included in the Club’s playing colours and is indicative of the colours seen in the bay.
The concept of the seat is humorous with the ability to create some Eco Tourism visitation. The location with its magnificent views provides an excellent amenity for residents and visitors alike.
The seat is strategically located on the Heritage and Recreation Trail ( a Lindsay Hackett and Heritage Group initiative) where our local group ‘The Renegades’ are providing facilities for the community’s enjoyment while supporting the Trail. Many are to be located at designated kayak launch locations.
These senior volunteers now need your help as all that they are doing could be put at risk by nimbyism like this. They don’t need to deal with these type of petty complaints that create the thought of ‘why do we bother?’
If you support their efforts can you pleaseatse email supporting this seat with a comment as simple as ‘ I love this seat and its colour’ or ‘what a fantastic seat in a beautiful location’ or ‘i love the seat near the Bowls Club with its humour and its uplifting colour’ or any other words to that effect.
Please pass this to your friends and fellow club members to elicit their support.
This project initiated from the island with a view of showing Council that the public and they could work together for the greater good of our community.
The results have been excellent with informal gatherings of neighbours occurring and reinforcing community spirit.
Thanks in anticipation. Ian Kirk.

Designer appointed for SMBI ferry terminals upgrade

Engineering and design firms Cardno and Architectus have been engaged by the Queensland Government and Redland City Council to design an upgrade of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI) ferry terminals.

Full story on NEWS page


I have now made a special page Macleay Fires





It is now, apparently, now further notice. Some bureaucrat has decided in his/her/their infinite wisdom that you cannot call it a “BAN” Whooops, too easy to understand, 
No, it has to be a fire restriction level 1. Or was that two?.. Hang on it was level 3. I still don’t know what than means, anyway!
Come along now gentlemen. You are talking to potential firebugs, arsonists. Don’t tax their stupidity any more than you have to, hey?

Just call it a BAN. We have all known what that meant for decades. Don’t go getting all politically correct on us, please,
The fires don’t care, neither do the bloody arsonists. Just BAN them and be done with it!


Day 1

Friday 18th November. First images were from the mainland. Residents were concerned as to
20161118_155252whether the smoke was from Macleay or Stradbroke.

There were some rumours (as always) that there was a fire near or at the 5 Star centre.

20161118_153651 fire was well alight by 3.30. Who knows when it started is anyone’s guess, we don’t yet know how or where or why it started.

Most locals in the vicinity first may have noticed smoke and
the odd siren wailing.

Things became concerning when the sound of choppers started. ‘Ray’ a Vietnam veteran reckoned he had never seen so many choppers since ‘Nam. He may well be right.

Matt McEachan got the Kedron Emergency services centre onto the job and we had extra, well, extra everything really. Too much to mention. 

I had a chat with him about the response. He kindly sent me a quick precis of the view from his side of things:

“G’day Tim, good to chat yesterday.

For your info.

As soon as I heard about the fire from locals on Friday I contacted Council’s emergency controller Peter Gould, to see if there was anything I could do in my capacity to assist.

Then called the Minister for Emergency Services who made contact with the Fire Commissioner.

From there we kept each other informed of the latest info.

Did the same again yesterday!”

Continued in the NEWS page






From TODAY TMR (that’s Transport and Main Roads for those who are acronym impaired) has planned to mobilise two wheelchairs with two attendants each (to assist with luggage, walkers etc.).

This will be in place for one week in order to validate demand, and will be extended as necessary.  The use of Golf Carts for this purpose is still being investigated.

By the end of next week the contractor will install awnings to the two temporary bus shelters, to provide additional weather protection.

I am tempted to use a ‘political’ term (moving forward – yeech), Instead I’ll say it is a step in the right direction.

mceachanNow make no mistake, there is one person who is responsible for rubbing the genie’s bottle and getting all this done.(Credit where Credit is due). Not me, Matt McEachan. So, heartfelt thanks Matt. Worthy of a free plug, I think. And, I believe it is vindication of the concerns which have been raised by all and sundry Islanders. (Especially Gayle Nemeth).

I urge all those who are needful of this service to use it. One week is a very short period for any appraisal. Many would have need more like on a monthly, weekly or fortnightly basis, not only a daily basis. So those will not be accounted for on such a short period. Perhaps a month may give a broader cross section of needs.
Well, perhaps not precisely. golf-buggy1At the risk of appearing greedy and looking a gift horse in the mouth.

A golf buggy service would probably be more effective. While those of us in wheelchairs would undoubtedly appreciate a helping hand with parcels, we already have a chair, fitted to our size. A golf cart can help more people, walkers can fold up, sticks are easily stowed as well. Also some may feel stigmatised if a chair was the only option and they had never had to use one before (we are an independent lot).

Definitely not complaining, but there is more to this than meets the eye at first glance. But it is definitely a step in the right direction. Thanks Matt for implementing this and Gayle for bringing it to government’s attention!


Yipee! Some good, 7-gse-logosome may say excellent TV coverage for a change.
Courtesy of Chanel 7’s ‘The Great South East’ Just go to the ‘News‘ link..


There are some private cars parked in the Ambulance Bays. This is hindering many important construction activities, not to mention Ambulances, and possible disastrous consequences if there is an emergency!
Now in fairness, I don’t even know where the bays are any more. but council has requested that I put out this message. If it is a mistake, well,newsignemergencyservicesvehiclesambulance
they happen. But the car(s) have been there for some days it seems.

If this is selfishness then pull your damned finger out and move your car. You are already loosing money and points. Next stop is loosing your car. Make NO mistake you have really ticked off council. There will be an inspection to morrow (I wonder if tow trucks are invited) by some very senior officials. So, move it or lose it!



In the interests of fairness and an unbiased approach, I present for you the Council’s official release about Weinam Creek:

Parking increased at Weinam Creek ferry terminal

Residents parking at the Weinam Creek ferry terminal now have an extra 100 car parks available after Redland City Council and the Department of Transport and Main Roads constructed a new $150,000 parking area.

(Full story in the NEWS section.and an OPINION piece by yours truly, Tim Barker).


Consequencesafter of Cutting Down Trees
by Maggi Carstairs

There were three blocks of land that were full of trees. There were White gums, River Gums, paper barks, Grevilleas, different smaller shrubs and undergrowth, grasses and flowering plants.
Read the whole terrible tale in FEATURES


For those who 20161018_155242doubted.. I did say the bus shelters were expected by Wed. Seems I was right. Of course those who are hale and fit, I would hope they would make way for those who are not as fortunate.

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