State Government announcement a good start: Mayor

Redland City Council has welcomed with cautious optimism, today’s announcement that the Queensland Government will kick-off their North Stradbroke Island transition strategy this week.

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said while today’s long-awaited announcement was a positive; she needed to see the full detail of the transition plan to gauge its effectiveness in supporting the island’s transition away from sandmining.

“The actions announced by the State Government today are very welcome and I look forward to seeing the full detail of the transition plan,” she said.

“In particular I am pleased to see there will be a local State Government coordinator based at Dunwich from tomorrow.  Having someone on the ground to hear the concerns of the community and see first-hand what is needed to support the island’s transition will be critical to its success.

“Anyone who has spent time on the island also knows public transport is a major issue and I am pleased to see the State Government plan has prioritised public transport improvements for the island.

“It is also good to see cultural heritage included in the State Government plan including progressing the first stage of the Minjerribah Cultural Centre and supporting the Quandamooka Festival.”

Cr Williams said while the State Government action plan was to be applauded there was a great deal of work still to be done in a very short amount of time if the island’s economy is to successfully transition from sandmining to tourism.

“While the actions announced today are welcome they not a silver bullet,” she said.

“The proof will be in how these actions complement what is already happening on the island and the strategies being implemented at other levels of government and in particular the work being done by the island’s Traditional Owners the Quandamooka People.

“I also repeat my earlier comments that while the $20 million in funding included in the transition strategy is a nice down payment, there needs to be a lot more funding provided by the State Government if they want it to succeed.

Redland City Division 2 Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Peter Mitchell said the community was keen to see work on the ground as soon as possible.

“With less than two and a half years until the cessation of mining we can’t afford to delay and I know the community will be keen for the State Government plan to be put into action as soon as possible,” Cr Mitchell said.

Cr Williams said she would contact Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham to request a full briefing on the transition plan.

“Council stands ready to work with the State Government Quandamooka People to secure the future of Straddie and I am keen to see what role we as a Council will be playing in this transition strategy,” Cr Williams said.

“The island’s Traditional owners will be vital to Straddie’s long-term economy and I will also be contacting QYAC to discuss these actions and hear their thoughts.”