Russell Island High School
Rosemary Binks addresses Council
Here you will find the video and transcript. The video has been cut to size and is about 5 minutes long.
And here is the transcript:
Good morning Councillors, my name is Rosemary Binks. As a private individual and as a representative of the action group Friends of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, I wish to speak to you regarding the proposal that has come, or is soon to be coming, to Council for the development of a Botanical Garden on the site that has been allocated by the Education Department for the express use of a future high school.
I understand that the Council have requested the Bay Islands Conservation Incorporated group, to conduct private community consultation of the residents of Russell Island in order to determine the community’s wishes with respect to the use of this site as a Botanical Garden.
I and others are deeply concerned that the consultation conducted by this private group does not accurately reflect the wishes of the community for the following reasons:
1 – In the published results of the consultation, there has been no mention of the number of respondents to the questions asked, only the percentages of people who have responded in a specific manner. This does not give an indication as to the populations response, and may only reflect the responses of a few people.
2 – There have been no detailed concept plans presented to the community for information prior to answering questions regarding the proposed Botanical Gardens. Information regarding potential costs to the Council and Community have not been presented as a part of the consultation. I am deeply concerned that respondents to a survey cannot give informed responses without the information being made clearly available.
3 – I am concerned that the consultation is not being conducted by an independent group, instead it has been conducted by the proponents of the Botanical Garden proposal themselves. Therefore, I am concerned that the manner in which the survey is conducted may not be completely independent, and am concerned that the results of consultation undertaken by the proponent of a proposal may not be an accurate reflection of the wishes of the community.
As you know, there are residents on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands who know that data exists that clearly demonstrates the benefits of a high school being developed on the island to be significant, not only to the residents of Russell Island but also to the residents in Southern Moreton Bay Islands as a larger community.
It is my intention to approach the relevant authorities on both state and local levels- separately, to consider a suitable approach in order to facilitate the development of a high school, HOWEVER my purpose here today, is to express my concern that the community’s wishes are not being accurately reflected in the consultation that has taken place so far with respect to a Botanical Garden on the future high school site.
With the above in mind I would like to request the Council to conduct fully independent community consultation of all residents, land owners and ratepayers of the Southern Moreton Bay Islands in order to gauge their reaction to the proposal for a Botanical Garden on what is, the future high school site.
I also ask that accurate information regarding the proposed development, approximate budgets and costs and benefits regarding the proposal are provided INDIVIDUALLY to all members of the community in order that informed responses that reflect as much of the islands population as possible can be made.
I also ask that Council provide assurances to the community in that information, that the current proposed land usage and future zonings of the land will not impede- in any respect, the intent of the state government that the site is to be used eventually for our high school.
I ask that, given the communities interest in this proposal, that determination of the application for the development of a Botanical Garden on the High School Site is to be brought directly to Council for consideration, rather than a decision being made by other officers under delegated authority.
Thank you for your time in hearing my presentation