Tuesday, 16 March 2021
Bonner Electorate: Moreton Island
Last week, I took the ferry over to Moreton Island in my electorate to meet with constituents, community groups, rangers and tour operators to see how they fared during the summer holiday season. I must say it was fantastic to see so many Aussies heading over to holiday on Moreton Island. Special thanks to Trevor Hassard, a Moreton Island local and director of the Tangalooma Island Resort. On every visit, he takes me to the islands and to the various townships and he goes out of his way to be accommodating. Thank you very much, Trevor.
In heartening news of our economic recovery, Tangalooma Island Resort has graduated off JobKeeper and is running at near full capacity. With sunset over the bay, white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, it is great to see tourists supporting our local tourism operators. My first stop was at the Bulla Fire Station to see its amazing upgrades and to meet with residents in the area. Crime has been somewhat of an issue, with some groups of campers abusing the region and not obeying speed limits on the beaches. The Wynnum police have recently taken over the jurisdiction of Moreton Island, so I look forward to chatting with officer in charge Wayne Richter to discuss the concerns of locals. I have been told that locals are impressed with the Wynnum police response times to any issues. If anyone is thinking of heading over to Moreton Island for a camping and 4WD adventure, I implore you to please follow the rules, respect others and respect the natural environment. It is there for all of us to enjoy safely.
I know the Indigenous joint management of Moreton Island by QYAC has been somewhat of a concern to residents and tour operators on the island. The biggest issues fall around the lack of community consultation, communication and accountability. I'll be raising these issues with my state colleagues and will implore them to visit with their constituents. Jobs, livelihoods and tourism depend on all groups working together harmoniously and more needs to be done. I would like to see that happen.
Over at Cowan Cowan, I met with residents and was updated on the work about to start on the fire station's new shed. I also learned one of Queensland's last remaining signalling stations is located nearby, and residents would like to see something done to preserve this slice of history. While it was built to help ships navigate into port, it was later used during World War II to set off explosives planted in the bay if enemy ships or subs were sighted.
I then finally I caught up with Ranger Rusty of Queensland Parks and Wildlife who, with his team, has done a tremendous job of eradicating feral pigs on the island. On the day prior to visiting, we found out we were also successful— (Time expired)