Macleay Island is an island located in Moreton Bay, South East Queensland. It is in the Redland City Council Local Government Area and has the postcode 4184. Perulpa Island is a small attached to Macleay Island by a causeway.
For some time the island was called Tim Shea’s Island after a convict who lived on the island for more than a decade. The current name was given by Surveyor Warner who named the island after Alexander Macleay who was the Colonial Secretary of New South Wales from 1825 to 1837.
The permanent population was 1,958 in the 2006 Census. However, the population has a high number of weekend owners with nearly a third of the 1,259 dwellings listed as unoccupied at the time of the Tuesday night census.
The island as a part of the southern Bay Islands can be accessed by passenger or vehicular ferry from Redland Bay. It is the fourth largest island inMoreton Bay after North Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island and Russell Island.
Macleay Island has sandy beaches and mangrove foreshores. These are popular spots for fishing, swimming, sailing, picnicking and barbecues. A popular launch spot is the new Dalpura Ramp towards the north of the island. Other recreational facilities include boat, bowling and golfing clubs. Macleay has a reasonable range of shops including cafes, restaurants and supermarkets. It has a lively Progress Association which runs the island’s well-stocked library.
In 2007, after a short segment on the Nine television network’s nationally broadcast A Current Affair based on the comments made by real estate watcher John Edwards of Residex said that Macleay Island was a “boom suburb” and worth watching by first home buyers. All the SMBI Islands received an considerable amount of interest from buyers for a short time.
A surge in building followed which forced the Redland City Council to do a review of the official census figures. It estimated 2,319 permanent residents on Macleay in 2008. However with a count of 1,479 dwellings, the peak number of people on the islands during holidays and weekends the total population is thought to have been 3,254.
During the 2006 state election, the Queensland Government prioritised construction of a single-officer police station for on the island because some locals claimed crime was getting out of hand. The station started operation in June, 2008.