$13.2 million State budget boost for North Stradbroke

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams has welcomed state budget funding of $13.2 million over three years for planning, mining lease negotiations and the progress of Indigenous Land Use Agreements on North Stradbroke Island.

The Mayor said the new Council had actively lobbied the Premier, Deputy Premier and Ministers, as well as local MPs, to get policy and planning commitments on the island up and running again after the state election.

“A whole of government partnership is essential for addressing strategic priorities on the island, including future planning, environment, and employment, mining, community and tourism issues,” she said.

“I wrote to the Premier outlining a range of issues impacting North Stradbroke Island only last month and I am delighted with the positive budget response from the Government and the potential for a reinvigorated planning and policy process on island issues.

”It is now essential that the Council and the respective government departments work closely with each other and the local community to ensure the best short and long-term outcomes.”

Yesterday’s state budget allocated $7.3 million over three years from the Environmental Initiatives Fund towards the $13.2 million North Stradbroke Island Strategy.

The funds will be directed to the protection of North Stradbroke Island through the implementation of the Indigenous Management Agreement and for managing the recently declared national park and recreation areas with traditional owners.

A total of $4.9 million from the Environmental Initiatives Fund will be used over three years to negotiate mining issues, manage Indigenous Land Use Agreement implications and for the coordination of the North Stradbroke Island Strategy.

Additional funding of $1million from the Environmental Initiatives Fund was also earmarked for the implementation of Indigenous Land Use Agreements between local government, the State and the Quandamooka People of North Stradbroke over three years.

Broadly acknowledging the State budget as tough, but necessary, the Mayor said it reflected a similar back to basics approach to that taken in Redlands.

“While we acknowledge the restraints on the state budget, we look forward to local benefits from the positive budget initiatives in housing and tourism and for school maintenance,” the Mayor said.

“We will also be fighting to ensure Redlands gets its fair share of funding for vital economic development, transport and infrastructure initiatives.”