I moved to the islands from Sydney 5 years ago and I have to say I was a bit surprised about the prices too! I thought that there must be something really wrong with the place. I am so glad I did not listen to the people who had an opinion without ever visiting because I feel like the luckiest person in the world.
The island is cheap because in the 70's people purchased land for roughly $2000 a piece and never intended to build on it, fast forward 40 + years later and Russell Island is now an overgrown housing estate with thousands of empty build-able blocks. Elderly investors who never developed their land are now selling up and taking what they can. It truly is an example of over supply. Also, the island does not flood despite what people think
Russell Island has a police station and Max Employment which has cleaned up the islands to the point of very little crime, in fact I feel safer now walking the streets at night than I ever did in Sydney.
The island is still an island though, you have to catch a ferry to go to the mainland it takes around 15 minutes, so this is something you really need to think about when coming over. The average age is 60+ so it truly is retirement island. If you like the quiet, laid back boating lifestyle this is more the place for you.
I have seen a few snakes, but only maybe 2 in 5 years. There is plenty of wildlife!
I built my house for $189k, it has 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms, double lock up garage slab and render! The builder was great, his name is Nic Beslic and he's doing quite a few builds on the island
I have a block of land on Russell Island, It was my husband and myself dream to have a little house there.
Unfortunately, my husband past away unexpectedly on a stroke on xmas 2014. So my plans have drastically changed. To those who complain about snakes, sand flies, I would like to remind that we're living in Australia, and you'll have those everywhere specially if you live near the water. Now, where else in this country can you live cheaper near the water? Yes, not everything is perfect on the island, but you do have the simple quiet life away from all the hassle and bustle of the chaos of a main land, and it's really not far to the main land, only 25 minutes with the ferry, what else does a person need?
Bottom line.. The only reason why land is cheap is because there is so much of it!!
Russell Island is an absolute beautiful place to live, I was so surprised that it is only a 15-20min scenic ferry then only 35 min drive to Brisbane and 40 min to Gold coast.
Just in the last 2 years that i've lived here the demographic is completely unrecognisable.
Homes have become mainly owner occupied, rental properties have increased in price and as a result the quality of tenants have improved drastically.
My own investment property has a lovely 70 year old couple that are renting while they build, I had 5 applicants in less than a week and not one of them were unemployed or on dole benefits. With little rentals properties that are available I was told that the real estate agents are very picky in who they rent to.
You only need to visit / live here to see how nice this place is. Heaps of building happening and lots of new faces!
PS. never had any crime happen to me or my family on the island.
PSS. Never seen a snake, I have dog and not concerned at all about snakes. I have a well maintained yard.
I brought land and built my first home 3 years ago. Im a tradesman and commute daily from Russell, on 450am ferry and home on 550pm. No issues, definitely worth commute. We have saved and brought second home for investment. In our 20's, and going to buy and build again. Houses get great rental return (100 extra a week over mortgage). This place is going off. Dont think it will last for long though. I think a lot of these entries are not correct, never had any problems. Majority of people on island are either workers or retired i reckon.
I have lived here for over 6 years and I love it, I have only seen 2 snakes and one of those was dead on the road.
I am in my 50's and live on my own, I have never felt unsafe, its funny, I used to live on the Gold Coast in a duplex, and didn't talk to my neighbours even though we shared a party wall ,I waved to them when I moved in and waved good bye when I left, yet now I know most of the people in my street by name.
I have found Russell Island to be a very friendly and a safe place to live, I was able to own my own home which would have been impossible for me to do on the Mainland,I'm so very grateful that the Island is affordable.
This Island is truly a paradise, Avocados and Mangoes grow all over the Island and the rich red soil means that I can grow almost anything, mandarins, lemons, limes and all the veggies. You ask me why its so cheap...well I don't care I'm so happy to make this place my home.
Visited Russell Island for the first time yesterday. I had heard rumours about the island and wasnt expecting it to be as civilised as what is is. I seriously do not understand why the land is so cheap. Does not make any sense how and why it is. Its like a quiet country town inbetween 2 major cities. Incredible value. I dont see it remaining the prices that it is right now. The island has everything you need, shops cafe bowls RSL etc. Great place
What a difference only a few years has made! I was really suspect on buying on the islands, I went over and saw the place in early 2016 and decided to buy a town block for $25k in Dempsey Street! I was worried that this might be a bad investment, however, I have found a great builder who has built me a cute 2 bedroom house for $120k. Ive moved over and this place is so amazing! I am a frequent at the bowls club but if you don't see me there, im probably out fishing around the pin between North and South Stradbroke! I don't care why it's so cheap, I just know it's home to me. Plus it is quiet and I love the wildlife
WOW I am in complete shock over the aged and/or mis information in this thread!!!
This place is a complete gem. It cant be any further from what some of these keyboard warriors are saying .. they probably never stood foot on the island!!!
Yes the land is cheap... but from no fault of its own. This place is a paradise, its getting busier so I wouldn't be on here taking this thread into consideration, come over and check it out, I reckon you will be in just as surprised as I was!!
Snakes are not a problem on Russell. Yes, they are there, but certainly not in any greater proportion than anywhere else. Keep the grass down around the yard and they will usually stay away. In part, I agree with James31 on the '70s disaster that real estate developers caused. It was a massive fraud back then. Some of us are old enough to remember it well. Not sure I am with him on the infrastructure part though. Council could always do more but generally I think they do a fair job on Russell. More sealed roads will always be a good thing. My only complaint is the lack of dining out options on Russell, I guess it will come but might be a while. The costs of living on an island are a little higher than most people think but like anywhere you can do ok if you are smart. Not going out to entertainment venues all the time saves a lot. If you are thinking of buying there, I would not leave it too long, there have been a lot of sales recently on vacant land and prices have started moving up already in the last few months. We have seen the last of the cheap land in the better areas I am certain.
I came across a fair bit of information regarding to the history of Russel Island and the Redland Council in general which might prove to be an eye opener.
1970's - Russel Island Scam. Developers sold parcel of lands, which is under water during high tide. This resulted in damaging the Russel Island.
Redland Council suffered a massive debt which they inherited from previous MP's and council. This damaged the local council tripple A credit rating. Recent elected council members are much much more conservative with their spending. Seems to be a bigger focus on trying to claw back their credit rating and brand image.
(Not exactly sure regarding the details. Might be good to do your own little research.)
In 2014 Channel 7 had a episode called Dole Island which further tarnished the image of Russel Island. If you do a bit of research into the local demographics, Russel Island has one of lowest median income nationwide. A large proportion of the populace on the island is on Centerlink support. A lot of this is the result of lack access to jobs and opportunities on the Island - it's a poverty trap. Russel Island has one of the highest high-school drop-out rate. Unemployment rate sits just under 20% while youth unemployment (15 - 25yo) sits around 80%. There is no high school on the Island.
There is a monopoly on the barge and ferries (which controls the cost of travel). Lack of parking on the mainland because taking the vehicle barge on a daily basis is suicide (~$80 return). The last ferry to Russel Island is around 7pm - which makes it quite difficult for people to possibly find a job in the evenings or late weekends.
There is also a lack of infrastructure (sewage, power, sealed roads, commercial area). Council rates are ridiculous relative to the mainland. There is also a bit of a drug culture. Lack of a policing - there is a local police station but supposedly they're understaffed.
Overall, the islanders are fairly neglected but the area is improving (so I heard from the local). I bought a piece of land...hoping to build in the future. There won't be a bridge any time soon. If you are hoping for one...then it's going to be a long time.
Personally I believe we should have bridges connecting the 4 islands (creating 1 big) so it becomes a lot more affordable to service each other...while also increasing the job opportunities, where we can travel by car to the other islands for potential work.
So if you buy into Russel Island, you're buying into the future and hopes that things will get better...and so far, for the past 24 months, it looks up and up.
I am glad that Russell Island does not have a bridge. If it did, then all the people would come and that would be a disaster. It would be worse than Byron Bay. It was cool once and now all the yuppies go there.
You can buy a nice piece of land, have a house with a rain water tank and a solar panel roof. Maybe keep a few ducks or a even have a fruit an veggie garden. Ride your bike everywhere and generally just chill out. It is the perfect place to live. If you work over the Internet or as a contractor or a writer or something like that, you can have a really nice life.
I would much rather live on an Island and be happy than on the main land and deal with all the mundane and annoying things most people have to deal with.
For me, Russell Island is exclusive. It costs $124 return on the barge for a car. I am okay with that. I don't want everyone going there. Island life is the best life.
there is power, water connection and internet, we are on septic not sewerage. It is not backward here, just a little isolated!
Snakes are everywhere (it's Australia) and my experience buying land on Russell Island has taught me they exist in large numbers in lawyers/conveyancers offices!
Agreeing to buy land on Russell Island is easy. Actually going through the process with a local conveyancing firm is another matter! Do not find yourself in the position I found myself as a virgin to conveyancing. Do your research and make sure the firm actually delivers what they promise, in a timely and effective manner.
Good luck finding a great deal. I know I did and have only positive things to say about Ray White Real Estate. LJ Hooker not so much :D
I purchased a 2 bed house and wish I had asked more questions first. The QLD transfer fee 9stamp duty) is very high. In NSW pensioners get free rego. for 1 vehicle but not in QLD. Pensioners even have to pay the Road Improvement Fee as well. Transport to the island is not cheap so your first year will be expensive. I have decided to stay in NSW for a while until they get a sensible state govt.
Certainly is a lot of misinformation in the above comments. There is snakes, not in biblical proportions though. The rates have actually FALLEN, and a return trip on the passenger ferry cost me less than $12, yesterday. Come have a look if your interested, I did, bought land and moved my young family over here. Great spot to raise kids. ps there is a ship load of biting insects.....
I went to Russell island to find out that exact question and still after talking to many people who live there Im having trouble see why so cheap, I suspect it is because there is no bridge to the island and so harder to go to work but I went over on the ferry which is a beautiful big boat that takes less than 15 mins and only cost a few dollars with my pension discount, I see they have all shops, businesses, ambo's and fire, school, Rsl, bowls and many others, seems a nice spot for retirement so Im looking.
As for the snakes I saw none and generally islands do have less snakes than mainland, death adders were wiped out in QLD by the cane toad(only good thing they ever did) and the island is close enough to have canetoads so no death adders. (Witsunday Island has no canetoads and a death adder problem). I will be looking at buying there. AJ
Snakes are 3+ meters long.. spiders the size of dinner plates and the island is infested. The island is full of crackheads and psychotics that haven't left in 20 years.... no cops after 5pm. No ambo in a prompt time.. junkies leave needles through park areas especially around the ferry area. It is an absolute hole. It is cheap for a reason. The only ones that like living here are crackheads.
The bridge Group have had an awesome video done on the Islands,
Pleas be aware though QLD GOV have knocked It on the head " NO Bridge & latest Cable car Ferry proposal is dead as well in the water to!"
Redland city council & gov have friends in high places & or friends with brown paper bags full of under the table money and have put a stop bridges and cable car ferries plus sealinks hold with passenger and car ferries alike, and power to be have approved and allowed developers multi store unit blocks/complexes on the mainland right next to ferry car park development
( one is approved and two more are in the final stages of approval)
Then you have new unit owners taking up car spaces with two or three cars then you have their friends & or family coming to visit or stay.
Council have always wanted the car park development and the developer have want the car park to get the high rise units higher and get dispensation to show their developments will not put any more undue pressure on current parking levels around the area.
Now you you know why the council keep these new works/upgrades so secretive as there is no real benefit to come to island residents with the multiple storey developments on the mainland areas servicing the islands.
This is why your bridges and cable car ferries have been disallowed !
So at the end of the day all smbi residents will still be searching for parking spaces now and into the future and with current island rates of new home build and mainland high rise development this is only going to get worse!
Just love that song by Joni Mitchell Big Yellow Taxi - They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
Link to her song>>>
So island life is not for everyone, like CBD high rise living is not for everyone.
Where else can you enjoy a Seachange & Treechange in one location with an affordable price tag and easy access to a capital city like Brisbane? Russell Island is unique and more people are starting to realize its unique charm.
Russell Island has a police station, IGA supermarket, butcher, post office, service station, Ambulance station (also with a dedicated ambulance ferry) bottle shop, veteranarian, a medical practice, pathologist, chemist, computer repair services, web-designers, hairdresser, bakery, newsagency, landscape/hire centre, Uber, Taxi, storage sheds, video hire, lawyer, library, two licensed clubs, large aquatic public pool, and four real estate offices.
The two licensed clubs, an RSL and the Russell Island Bowling Club, provide entertainment and bistro facilities most nights of the week.
A multi purpose community hall near the main wharf is available. The Bay Islands Community Centre on Jackson Rd is also a hub for community activities The Russell Island Community Resilience Centre includes sporting facilities, tennis and basketball courts, soccer field, emergency evacuation building and a community farm.
The water supply for SMBI is piped across from North Stradbroke Island to north eastern tip of Russell Island. The supply is then piped via Karragarra Island to Lamb Island and then onto Macleay Island. The mainland water supply is connected to the SEQ water grid and therefore the risk of the water supply failing is extremely low.
The electricity supply provided by Energex to the SMBI group and North Stradbroke Island comes via Russell Island. The supply originates on the mainland north of Cabbage Tree Point and crosses the Western Boating Channel, connecting to the southern end of Russell Island at Rocky Point, then continues north through the centre of Russell Island before branching off to service North Stradbroke Island and Karragarra Island.
This sequence of connections highlights the importance of Russell Island to the electricity supply for SMBI and North Stradbroke Island. A new substation has been built on Russell Island to assist in ensuring the power supply to Russell Island is more robust and with less power fluctuations.
Landline access to North Stradbroke Island and SMBI is via a microwave link from the mainland to exchanges on the islands. The exchanges on North Stradbroke Island are located at each of the three townships of Dunwich, Amity Point and Point Lookout and for SMBI the exchanges are located on Russell and Macleay Islands
There are eight waste transfer stations in the Redlands:
Mainland: Birkdale and Redland Bay
Islands: Coochiemudlo, Karragarra, Lamb, Macleay, North Stradbroke and Russell Island.
Redland City Council provides a waste and recycling collection service to all domestic premises on Russell Island.
General waste - weekly collection
Recycled waste - fortnightly collection
(Source: https://www.redland.qld.gov.au/info/20152/parking_in_the_redlands/278/parking_at_weinam_creek )
In June 2018, Council confirmed its commitment to the rejuvenation of the Weinam Creek Transport Hub, announcing plans to develop the site to provide the community infrastructure that the area requires. Council's proposed master plan which will be delivered in stages, will transform the waterfront of Redland Bay, improve the usability of the transport hub, attract visitors, create jobs and drive economic development in the area.
The master plan will include:
More open space
New pedestrian and cycle ways
Rejuvenation of existing parkland
More car parks
Improved drop off and storage facilities for island residents and visitors
A new boat ramp to separate emergency and public access
A mix of residential and retail spaces including cafes, restaurants and potential for a medical precinct.
CURRENT COUNCIL WORKS ON RUSSELL ISLAND ( source:https://www.redland.qld.gov.au/WorksUpdate )
Russell Island - PDG-43611 -
Pavement and Seating Canaipa Point Park, Russell Island
Redland City Council Internal Construction Crews and Contractors will be upgrading Caniapa Point Park, Russell Island. These works will involve installing a reinforced concrete slab, Aria mix and match bench seat, turf and associated works.
Russell Island - PDG-80920-1 -
SMBI Green Seal Program Russell Island
Redland City Council Internal Construction Crews and Contractors will be upgrading various streets on Russell Island. These works will involve the installation of gravel pavement and the installation of two coat bitumen seal. The following streets are to be sealed: Aquamarine Avenue from Opal Court Minjerriba Road Venus Court from Aquamarine Avenue to end Opal Court from Aquamarine Avenue to end Gem Street from Opal Court to Jasper Street Neptune Street from Jasper Street to Aquamarine Avenue Ferry Court from Minjerriba Rd to End Satton Street from Kings Road to 6/10 Satton Street Canna Street from Satton Street to Oaklea Street Meadstone Street from Canna Street to 4 Meadstone Street Oaklea Street from Kings Road to Waterlea Street Waterlea Street from Oaklea Street to Elcon Street Goolagong Street from Fern Terrace to Titala Street Illagona Street from Fern Terrace to Titala Street
EMERGENCY AND MEDICAL SERVICES
Russell Island Ambulance
High Street Russell Island
Fire & Rescue
0408 077 188
28 High Street
(07) 3409 1244
Russell Island Medical Services
2 Alison Crescent
(07) 3409 1151
Russell Island Veterinary Services
High Street Russell Island
0408 981 531
8 Outlook Crescent
(07) 3409 1145
1 Weinam Street
(07) 3488 5300
Bay Island Carriers
(07) 3206 8633
0408 785 218
0408 785 555
Russell Island Style Uber
(07) 3409 2350
Russell Island Taxi Charter & Tours
(07) 3409 1670
IGA Russell Island
18 Jasper St
(07) 3409 2777
0408 785 218
Black Pearl Caf
29 High Street
(07) 3409 2211
Russell Island Bakery
29 High Street Russell Island
(07) 3409 2006
Bay Island Meats Russell Island
(07) 3409 1657
RSL Sub Branch
9 Anzac Drive
(07) 3409 1372
Russell Island Bowls Club
59 Jackson Road
(07) 3409 1330
Council Depot Russell Island
6 Cambridge Street Russell Island
(07) 3829 8633)
Russell Island State School
38 64 High Street Russell Island
(07) 3400 9333
Russell Island Community Centre
55 Jackson Road Russell Island
(07) 3409 1177
YMCA Russell Island Pool
(07) 3409 1503
Russell Island Library
26 High Street
(07) 3409 1684
Russell Island Recreation Hall
1 Alison Crescent
(07) 3409 2238
(07) 3829 8999
69 High Street
(07) 3409 1910
6/29 39 High Street
(07) 3409 1366
Bay Islands Excavations
245 Centre rd
(07) 3409 2655
83 High Street
(07) 3409 1996
Sparta Tree Services
(07) 3409 2418
73 High Street
(07) 3409 1269
Ray White Russell Island
13 High Street
(07) 3409 2000
Russell Island Motor Inn
20 High Street
(07) 3409 1399
0459 465 380
The Love Shack
0415 577 243
Find out more:
Here is the new Sealink passenger Ferry pricing 2018 for adults $2.65 -$3.20 each way and for concession holders $1.30 -$1.65 each way. REFERENCE https://www.bayislandsinfo.com/a-note-about-fares/
Passenger Ferry Schedule here: REFERENCE https://jp.translink.com.au/plan-your-journey/timetables/ferry/t/southern-moreton-bay-island-ferry/
Vehicle Barge Ferry: Prices effective until 31st March 2019, For travel to Karragarra, Macleay, Lamb and Russell Islands, To / From Redland Bay One Way Price: Car, 4WD, Ute (up to 5.4m long and 2.0m wide) $62.00 Residents ($52.00 ) REFERENCE
Passenger Ferry Prices are great.
Adult Gocard $2.60 -$3.25
Concession Gocard $1.30 - $1.63
I follow this instagram site, and it has lots of images of Russell Island https://instagram.com/russellisland.qld/ Also the Russell Island Ferry Terminal upgrade by State government now underway.
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I am researching the same ideal for investment purposes . All builds are required to follow local laws an engineer may or may not be required depending on the lay of the land and structure. Septic tanks are required through out the island. A soil test is required to access the septic requirements and the allocation of bedrooms in the house. You will need to have a survey if you are building and your block cleared for the build, this is required wherever you build.Russell Island is the only island with a concrete plant its a plus. My experience with councils is they do not accept liability for anything and they love fees, in saying that there are a few still living in caravans on the island , I guess they are under the radar. You maybe able to get the fire brigade to do a practice burn to get ride of the rubbish on your block after is cut and stacked.It is illegal to burn rubbish yourself .I guess the leading question is where else can you buy land so cheap and or buy a house so cheap in Australia . The police as I understand have cleared the island of undesirables so if you fit that description I suggest you forget Russell Island.
Glad to help
Hi all i have few questions about Macleay Island
I was planning to buy Land for 20-30k and to bring foldable prefab home aprox 40m2...
I wanted to ask you guys about this things:
1. I need around 8k for septic system right ?
2. Is connection to the house included with septic system, if not how much aprox ?
3. Is there Electricity on Island ? If yes how much would it cost (aprox) to connect it from the street ? (because prefab home got all internal installations already)
4. Is there water system ? If yes how much would it cost (aprox) to connect it to the house ? If not what options do i have ? and How much should i expect to pay for it ?
5. I was thinking to get this house on the Macleay : https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Expandable-Two-Bedroom-Folding-Granny-Flat-House-37sqm-Free-Upgrades-Best-Value/122846370792?hash=item1c9a36dbe8:g:JcQAAOSwUwFaAPmo
May i ask you how much does it cost to get all council approvals, etc for this one or for similar one ?
6. I saw few comment about camping/caravan on your own block... I just wondering if i bring this prefab home can i stay permanently there ?
7. Someone mentioned 2 year rule for Caravan/Container on your own land, is this true or ?
8. Garbage collection / Water tanks etc... How do you get rid of garbage if there is no garbage collection on island ? If there is no water system, that means that i need water tank or something on my property, so how much would it cost to install one and what are rates to get water weekly etc aprox ?
Thank you upfront :)
I'm really interested in purchasing a piece of land on Russell. A lot seem quite small. With the tidal waters... some land gets flooded easily so have those pieces of land been red zoned for building? ... im guessing i can find out that info from redland council? This might be quicker though.
I am a young woman but I'm a country girl and nothing bothers me about not being able to get to a shopping centre but i do care about obtaining a good piece of land, something that i can build on, have a vegie patch etc. can you install a sewage tank or is there a main sewer for the island tgat you'd need to get a plumber to connect you to? (excuse my ignorance, probably a silly question).
Lastly, my son has asd. Is there special needs teacher at the primary school?
Clearing can be very expensive. My block which is cleared and surveyed on Russell at 8 Martin Place needs to be sold so that I can continue upgrading our other 3 blocks which we love living on.
I spose with everything there comes the good with bad. I am looking at buying property on Russell Island for me, partner and 3 yr old son. To be self sufficient and eco friendly with low cost living is what I am looking for. Getting back to basics is what I am looking at by living off the land and sea which I am very familiar with. I cant wait until we can come for a trip sometime during the year to see whether or not from your reviews it is worthwhile. But just reading all of the comments I still like the sound of everything. Sounds like my sorta place.
Hi Everyone, so good to see all your answers, from people living on the island. I want to but some land and build for retirement, but people scare you that the island is sinking and that are lots of drugs and all sorts of things. Does anyone has any advice what part of the island to buy for better soil or better breeze etc? I'm a single mum and a bit scared, but I'd like the idea of living there tho
You Got It wrong!
It was channel Nine A Current Affairs.
The scenery back drop was an ideal display of the islands and birds chirping along with good fair feedback provide by locals in may 2012.
P.S. Bless Val she has now moved on and up the range to Toowoomba and I thank her for keeping it cheap for me to buy here!
Link below >>>
Dole Island A Current Affair 8-5-2012
FYI...Queensland rates include all water supply and usage costs.
See 2019 quarterly rates notice below for Redland City Council for 690m2 block with 3 bedroom home Russell Island 4184.
Redland City Council Charges & Rebates
General Rate Category 2a Min $273.25
Rural Fire Brigade Special Charge $5.00
Environment Charge $28.89
Landfill Remediation Charge $10.97
Redland City SES Administration Charge $1.75
240Lt Waste / Recycle (Island) $102.35
State Government Charges & Rebates
Emergency Management Levy – Class E Group 2 $26.65
Local Government Distribution and Retail Price
Water fixed access charge $ 65.90
Water Consumption - Residential $ 11.21
State Bulk Water Price
Bulk Water Consumption $ 52.21
Total Water and Wastewater Charges $ 129.32
What is the Internet like? Reliable? NBN?
I have a general question for the residents of Russell. My husband and I are looking to retire on Russell. We have seen a few properties that we like and were wondering is it best to by land and build or purchase an existing house? Also as regards to properties currently on the market, how long generally does it take to sell on Russell?
We haven't put our house on the market yet but it should only take approx 3 months to sell.
I would really like existing residents to answer as I don't trust Real Estate Agents. No offence.
Hi Everyone, I am interested in buying some land and building an off grid eco home with a wind turbine - Does anyone know the council rules regarding wind turbines?
Also is there good internet there? Haven't seen any comments about it
If anyone is looking for a builder / handyman feel free to contact me Ill be looking to spent a few months there from July onwards
I've had 2 snakes in my lounge room in the last few months, one was a harmless blind snake, the other more recent visitor was a red bellied black snake... there are quite a few snakes here and that's not even mentioning the pythons that come after your little dogs or cats at night... and eat your chickens or outdoor caged birds!
Because in the 70's the land was cut up into tiny blocks so some people could make big profits (see Russell Island wiki). Now we still have a council that allows development of these tiny blocks but doesn't provide any infastructure.
Try living here before you buy to find out the real costs of living on an island with a return ferry costing $18 (30mins each way) or return barge $84 (1hour each way).
Don't worry about the snakes/wildlife they are being run over by all the undesirable types living here for the cheap rent, they can afford to live here, they don't need to go to the mainland because none of them work.