‘Disappointing’: Tensions high on Straddie
TENSIONS have erupted on Stradbroke Island as residents allegedly resort to intimidation and refusal of services to stop non-locals isolating in their neighbourhood.
Local police have urged locals not to take matters into their own hands, highlighting "concerning and extremely disappointing" behaviours.
Cleveland MP Mark Robertson said there had been varied views about who should be allowed on the island.
"Largely island residents don't want (those with holiday homes) to be here … while there are others on the mainland that believe they should be allowed," he said.
Mr Robertson said no matter what the living situation of those on the island was, locals needed to stay calm as tensions heightened.
"Everyone needs to show a lot of grace and understanding at this time," he said.
"There are heightened tensions at the moment that we all feel … But if locals do come across people they suspect aren't local residents, and if they do want to question them, they need to do that politely.
"If they aren't happy with the response, the best thing to do is to report it to police on the island rather than try to take any action into their own hands or be too intimidating."
Mr Robertson said due to the age of many on the island, as well as the large indigenous community, several Stradbroke residents were in the high-risk category of contracting the virus.
An email from local Stradbroke Island police to locals earlier this week addressed the community debate.
"I'd like to say how patient and understanding everyone has been and how frustrating this must be for many of you," the email read.
It went on to say that there were a "few spoiling it" for others on the island.
"A concerning and extremely disappointing feature identified in my inquiries was the numerous complaints made to me about the way occupants have been treated since they were here," the email said.
"Complaints of verbal abuse, intimidation and refusal of commercial services have been at the forefront.
" … I know this is not the what the local community are all about."
The police email warned formal complaints would be taken seriously and poor behaviour would not be tolerated.
Redland City Council Mayor Karen Williams said locals were very passionate about "their island".
Under COVID-19 restrictions, anyone who arrived on the island before March 26 is allowed to stay, while anyone who has arrived, or attempted to go to the island with insufficient reasons after that date will be asked to return to the mainland.
Police confirmed occupants at three premises had vacated the island without incident, while occupants of another residence refused to leave and were issued with an official direction.
Originally published as 'Disappointing': Tensions high on Straddie