Russell Island residents are living in the dark ages with insufficient infrastructure, no street lighting and no side walks resulting in recent deaths.
We have dirt roads which are a health risk. Ferry terminals are outdated and uncovered, on the Island, leaving people to suffer extreme weather conditions, rained on while blowing a gale.
Trip hazards with uneven old planking and steel rail track as obstacles mean it is only a matter of time before serious injury results. Ferries, packed to the gunwales, are not coping. Break downs mean people are now unable to rely on this service for work.
People sitting in the back open area in winter are getting sprayed along the way, just to get a seat or in the case of claustrophobia, just to get away from feeling packed like sardines. Queues are getting longer by the day. The disabled, elderly and young children are standing in what looks like at times 80 meter line up’s after pulling luggage trolleys for a long stretch. That’s if you are lucky enough to get a car park !!
Barge/ ferry fees are continuously climbing (barges now $100 return), leaving residents unable to afford to continue to travel for work or to see family and friends. Rarely do visitors come to visit family on the Island due to the high costs involved.
We have a subdivided community that has suffered enough due to the bridge that was originally planned for, but never built.
Parking is a problem
Parking is at breaking point. Some calculations are provided for example. A large car is about 2 metres wide by 5 metres long that’s 10 square metres. A thousand cars would take up 10,000 square metres or 2.5 acres. If we needed to park 10,000 cars that’s 25 acres without room to open doors or reversing room. Close to 40 acres would acutually be required for this number of cars.
That is a lot of prime real-estate. If calculations are correct 40 acres equals 270 house blocks. That’s probably half the money for a bridge just in land value, then add barge infrastructure that’s probably the other half that would pay for a bridge.
Redland Bay rate payers I’m sure would prefer the ocean view not a growing car park facility for the Islands. So come on Redlands get in with the fight for the bridge.
Will there ever be enough parking for us all ? Would barges ever cope? I don’t think so.
Years of neglect
People are continually screaming out for required infrastructure as it is like living in a poverty stricken third world country !!
I know a fellow who used to live on the other side of the Island who would walk to the 4.20am ferry. It took him about 2 hours to walk and after a hard day’s work did it all over again, he was trapped. Due to high cost of travel he could not afford a taxi or to move. There are no buses. Essentially you are stranded and at the mercy of the Bay Islands Transit Service (BITS) and the Council.
Some sleep in their cars and are put at risk as they have missed the last ferry. People experience entrapment as ferries stop running before midnight and do not resume until 4.20am.
Most people would say bugger that, too expensive or could not sleep in a car. Then claim unemployment and perhaps lose all you have worked for.
The isolation contributes to kids turning to drugs and alcohol as a future with jobs and university is out of reach for some. As a result, we have another line up for unemployment. Lets give our kids the opportunity to get out of the poverty trap, provide a dream of a future and build the bridge.
The children don’t often get a say so lets do it for them. Lets get the Island an economically beneficial future not backwards or stuck in the present where it is a “haven for the unemployed”. It is not too much to ask to have the Island full of working people, families and retired living comfortably, where family can visit without breaking the bank.
We do it all the time in other communities, we build we put in and move to the future with a good growing economy. I can’t see why the Council leaves Russell Island so neglected. It is shameful.
You would think government would back the economy and the working man, rather than leaving it dormant and only attractive to people who want it to stay dormant and non productive while collecting Centrelink, costing us all more in taxes.
Destruction of marine life
We now have a highway of ferries and barges tearing up our bay. Our protected marine life is being slaughtered by outdated propeller driven ferries and barges. Another turtle has just been found washed up after being hit by a boat. It has died a slow and painful death, as have many dolphins, dugongs and other sea life.
A bridge would solve issues of the Bay being destroyed, having constant marine life slaughter.
Where else do you have such a cluster of beautiful islands?
If a bridge came the land value would increase. Tourists would visit and investors would invest.
I cannot understand why the Council does not see what they have had sitting there for decades, being left dormant.
I’m sure if these islands belonged to another council they would have seen what true gems they really are and realised their potential.
Imagine the Bay Islands as a prosperous tourist icon for the Redlands.
We need a bridge
The Bay Islands have a right to their gateway to home !!
Lets get with the times and get the infrastructure and economy moving. Russell Island pay higher than average rates and are forced to pay an $88.00 levy to Translink which other communities don’t have to pay.
The Council owns many blocks of land which if sold could generate a substantial amount towards a bridge,
The fact is we cannot continue as we are. A bridge to Russell Island is now the only answer. No more wasted money on band-aid fixes.
The only solution is A BRIDGE.
Post by Rita Brathaug