Redlands MP backed funding for Russell Island bridge


Proposed bridge site on Russell Island. Photo: Ranui Harmer
Proposed bridge site on Russell Island. Photo: Ranui Harmer

Russell Island has come into discussion several times in the last few weeks with numerous changes to the island underway.

Redlands MP Peter Dowling expressed his support for the construction of a bridge and now Bowman MP Andrew Laming announced he will seek funding for the first stages of a bridge from a new federal grant program.

The National Stronger Regional Fund is specifically designed to address issues such as social and economic hardship which also includes isolation and unemployment.

Mr Laming said he would work with the Redlands MP to put in a bid for up to $10 million from the National Stronger Regional Fund program based on “the economic case” to connect Russell to the mainland.

“Funding for a bridge linking Russell Island to the mainland definitely ticks those boxes,” Mr Laming said.

“It’s vital that Redland City Council and the state government lead the way because the application is likely to fail without their financial support.”

Mr Laming said the program would deliver $200 million over five years, with grants of up to $10 million up for grabs.

The island is also facing other changes with the Bay Islands Chamber of Commerce receiving backing from Redland City Council in a bid to revert back to the islands former and traditional name.

The island was called Canaipa until the 1840s when it was changed in recognition of Lord John Russell, the British Secretary of State for the colonies at the time.

A poll conducted by Fairfax media showed 57.25% of voters support a name change.


  1. They must be kidding. The islanders buy cheap land with low rates knowing that the place is an island. They then expect that main-landers should fund an expensive bridge so that they can enjoy quick trips to mainland shops and jobs. I believe that the money could be much better spent elsewhere.

    1. I purchased what you call cheap land in an outer Brisbane suburb in the 1980’s for very similar money to the land I bought on Russell Island twelve months later. The outer Brisbane block had a bitumen road frontage and sewerage the RI land had neither, today the Camira land is worth around $280,000 and many new infrastructure improvements today with the total rates paid significantly less than the same period with Redland council.The RI block worth around $65,000 today and very little has changed over more than thirty years of ownership so please PETER clarify what you mean when you say bought cheap land and expect main-landers to fund an expensive bridge and infrastructure. I have never heard any Island owner ask for or expect other Redland rate payers to fund a bridge to the islands. What we do want is for council and government to put in table a forward plan to have this and other vital infrastructure built via private/public/toll investment for bridge and give our share of rates over to be spent on roads, sewerage, water etc the same as you expect your rates to be spent on your services. If you walk around with a bag over your head you will not see what is going on around you and your comments on the same will be equally irrelevant as you have demonstrated on this page. I am sure the bag over your head is the same type most political representatives still wear although in
      different colours when asked to move these islands into the 20th century let alone the 21st.

  2. My impression is that relative to the services provided, the rates are not low…

  3. Hey James and David, informative and correct reply. But PETER you are very MIS-informed. WE ‘islanders’ would LIKE what mainlanders take for granted today, instead of a poor and dangerous substitute (2 young lads killed in 6mths because of insufficent street lighting) for it. We DON’T have cheap rates – sorry Peter. Our rates are equal to and in some cases, more than mainlanders. Land is cheap not primarily because of lack of infrastructure, but because of our isolation. I bought my block with my late parents in 1972 for $995.00 – that was 1/3 of a Brisbane suburb block at Sunnybank with all ammenities including sewerage, and back then they weren’t any island rates. WHY??? Because everything on the island was virtually supply your own eg:- water, power etc. Once our block was paid off (4yrs later) rates were introduced, Almost every year the annual rates alowly began to increase. In the late 80’s we were charged a nominal amount for water and electricity – even though we weren’t connected to it, but simply because it was ‘available’ and the old RSC (Redland Shire Council) didn’t want to totally foot the bill. That mindset continued into the new millennium, until the NEW council and mayor came into office. We still continue to foot the bill for the mainland’s infrastructure today but we are slowly getting a trickle of our rate dollar back. Our resident workers are continually booked for illegal parking, because they are just trying to come home. There is insufficent parking for us, let alone any family or visitors. We are continually paying for any mainland necessity eg TRANSLINK. Mainland Redland residents DO-NOT PAY any money towards Translink in their rates – unlike other Queensland shires. Every island landholder – resident or absentee, pays $88.00 P/A for the incorporation/inclusion into the Translink system. So once again WE are PAYING for our mainlander residents. If RCC charged mainland residents also on their rates – the cost per annum would be only $4.00 per household. We are rated as Zone 12. Redland Bay (our access point) is zone 7. Where are the missing zones 8 thru to 11 – in the BAY??? Because we are zoned as 12 – we are charged more for our journey – even though it is non-stop. Bribie is getting a SECOND bridge, because locals want 2 lanes. Redcliffe has had 3 bridges built – and it’s only a penninsular. We only want what is fair – not what is more.

  4. Its nieve to think that rates are low on Russell Island, the history is Russell island was subdivided in the seventies with promises from the then State Government of a Bridge being built. All blocks whether built on or not have to pay rates most of the island blocks are not built on so who is getting all this rate money for nothing, 40 years of rates and the Islands infrastructure does not add up. Infrastructure on the SMBI is pitiful we dont want a lot but something would be nice. I would rather be paying mainland rates to get services, and a toll on a bridge would be nice too so I can build the type of house me and my family deserve, similar to the mainland ones solid and brick.

  5. I would be happy without the bridge, but with sewerage. I see my rates going constantly to upgrade the sewer systems in Redlands, but nothing for the Islands. We pay the same rates as the mainland suburbs, but do not even come close to the infrastructure. Where is the infrastructure we pay for in our rates. Oh that’s right, James gets it

  6. An authoritative source of prices is It currently states
    Russell Island Trends – Houses
    Median Price $220,000
    Days on market 678
    Discounting 16.7%

    plus for vacant land, there are 962 propertied listed for sale where …
    464 (48%) are under $50,000
    604 (63%) are under $70,000

    The price for land and houses look cheap to me compared to almost anywhere else in the Redlands.

    Also, as rates are based on the land valuation, then I stand by my comment on “cheap land and low rates”

    If a bridge were to be built, then land prices would increase markedly and the islanders would then complain that the rates had significantly increased.

    1. The rates are already equitable to mainland prices Peter, definitely NOT cheaper. They used to be years ago, but that changed with the last council who saw islanders as CASH COWS for mainland development. This council are PRO-island infrastructure and giving us something back for our rates.

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