October 29th 2005
CURLEW CALLING: No 2. Oct 2005
Welcome to 'Friends' second Newsletter. For various reasons we have not got back to our computers to produce our second newsletter. Our only real excuse is that life on Magnetic Island does seem to concentrate your mind on more wonderful things.
On the down side the weather has not been so good. The continuing desecration around the Nelly Bay Harbour construction site has been sad to see [and hear] particularly for those living in Nelly Bay. When and where will it ever end?? Let's just recall all those wonderful memories of what Bright Point and Nelly Bay were once like.
Congratulations to 'Friends' members Judy and Tony Finlay for their recent Environmental Excellence and Sustainability Award for their superb restoration and development of 17 blocks on Nobby Headland at Picnic Bay. They have set a benchmark for other developments on the Island which other developers just haven't seemed to have heeded.
It is sad to advise our members that Carol has found that she can no longer devote her time to 'Friends'. From day one of the formation of 'Friends' it goes without saying that Carol was the mainstay of our Working Group and we are really going to miss, not only her expertise, but more importantly her friendship and wonderful company. We are hoping that Carol will stay in touch, if only to keep some of us on the straight and narrow, and that, it also goes without saying, would be a full time job. Thank you, Carol.
Summer Sarong Soire:
On July 28 'Friends' conducted a very successful late afternoon soiree at Tony and Judy Finlay's Nobby Headland. Over 30 people attended the occasion. Guests had the opportunity to inspect the development and as a wonderful finale, we were able to count down a most spectacular sunset looking out to the west from Sunset Bay [previously Bacon Bay]. Thank you to Judy and Tony for a very special evening.
What have we been doing?
Apart from conducting a very special soiree for our 'Friends' members and their visitors who were visiting the Island at the time, our major project was to letter-box drop the 1100 households and businesses on the Island with a copy of a letter from Senator Ian Campbell, Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage confirming that Magnetic Island has World Heritage status. We had written to the Minister asking him to confirm this, as unfortunately, despite the evidence some people on the Island still deny its World Heritage status. In accordance with a Regulation relating to the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 it is a requirement that a management plan be prepared for each declared World Heritage property.
* Editors' note: Since this article was prepared the Magnetic Island Residents and Ratepayers Association who had also written to the Minister received a somewhat similar reply clarifying Magnetic Island's World Heritage status.
Friends assisted with
. the information stall in June for visitors to inspect five Nelly Bay 'Open Gardens'.
. the Horseshoe Bay Market Day information stalls . .
. the highly successful VP60 'Jitterbug' Dance in August .
. collecting traffic movement data on the roads leading out of Nelly Bay.
Evening Beach Party:
On September 06 'Friends ' conducted a very successful beach party/ barbecue, at Nelly Bay for over 30 'Friends' and their friends.
Ever wondered what to do with injured wildlife?
[Contributed by Rosie Whalen.]
Advice from the N.Q. Wildlife Care Inc.:
*Place animal in a cardboard box with a towel on the bottom - BE WARE OF TEETH, CLAWS, BEAKS and FEET. DON'T HANDLE FLYING FOXES!!
*Keep animal in a warm, dark, quiet place
* Don't give food or drink
*Handle the animal as little as possible
Contact LANA on 0414 717 374 for further advice and who to contact on the Island for continuing care, if possible.
Snake contact person:
If you find or disturb a snake in your garden contact Eric Vanderduys - Phone 47581972. Eric is licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency and will catch the snake and relocate the animal to another part of the Island. Do not attempt to handle the snake.
[contributed by Kelly Marlin-Zwa]
Our new 'Friends' Ambassador to Victoria is Her Excellency, Betty McDonald. Betty has had a very long association with Magnetic Island dating back more than 30 years, when she and a group of friends lived in Radical Bay. As a committed 'snow bird' Betty divides her time between Anglesea in Victoria and Arcadia. Her interest in ornithology has taken Betty [compliments of Pop Sullivan's tours] to many and varied places in North Queensland. Community involvement has always played a large part in Betty's life, where she has supported organisations ranging from musical and artistic societies through to environment and wildlife protection groups. Betty is passionate about protecting the Island from untrammelled and unsuitable development and supporting the concept of solar passive housing. She supports other organisations such as Abbyfield Housing for Older People, Rural Australians for Refugees, and Friends of the ABC.
Annual General Meeting
In accordance with the constitution of the Magnetic Island Community
Development Association [we are a working group of MICDA], an Annual General Meeting of the 'Friends' Working Group will be held soon after the AGM of MICDA.
Beware: be careful!
[ contributed by John Marlton, semi-permanent resident, property owner and landlord.
Over recent times there has been a very sensible, ongoing debate about sustainable population numbers for the Island.
However, while there is an obvious close relationship, and without wanting to sound too pessimistic for potential investors, I believe there has been no real public discussion about the number of new apartment and units or homes being approved or planned for the Island. It does appear that in the next few years, (economy permitting of course) there is a potential for a huge growth in the number of new residences of all types being built on the Island.
While it may appear somewhat outdated, some interesting numbers appeared in an article which appeared late last year in the 'Sun-Herald' dated 17 October, 2004 titled 'The old dump' ain't what it used to be as developers spend $300m' which was written by journalist Alec May and in which local identity Bill John made some comments. In a section headed 'Magnetic Island Apartment Developments', the article detailed a total of 666 apartments/units were being developed for nine major projects. It would be fair to assume that since that time even more development projects and residences have been flagged or approved.
It does seem reasonable to wonder if investors and planners are stopping to ask themselves just how many new residences are going to be financially viable for the Island. Any straight investor or others wanting a residence for themselves, but with holiday letting in mind, will need to seriously investigate what could become an oversupply of holiday residences on the Island both in the short and long term.
Why is 'Friends' canvassing this issue? Well, it may be an issue you are personally interested in as a potential investor or would wish to take up with friends who are thinking of investing on the Island. We suggest they write to the Townsville City Council and ask for the number of recent approvals or development applications currently being processed for developers and private individuals for the Island.
Why not a solar-powered Island???:
[Contributed by Isobel Crawford, 'Friends' Ambassador to the ACT.
We have all seen the tourist brochures, which say that Magnetic Island and Townsville have 320 sunny days per year. So why is the region not exploiting the sun as a major energy source to heat water and, via the use of photovoltaic modules, to produce electricity? Similarly, why is the region not a centre for tropical architecture, further developing the design and construction of buildings which function well without air-conditioning, and which minimise the use of water and electricity for other purposes?
Premier Peter Beattie often says that Queensland is the 'smart State' but his current policies appear to be hell-bent on producing more energy, more efficiently from coal, and the state rebate on solar water heaters has recently been discontinued.
Bright Point Developer, Meridian, was very proud of its electric car and saw this as being environmentally friendly, but the car's batteries required re-charging by coal-generated electricity. To its credit, the firm had originally envisaged installing solar-powered recharging stations at Picnic and Horseshoe Bays. To add to their difficulties, the car also required a special registration permit to operate on the Island.
With all this free energy from the sun, you might well ask where are the entrepreneurs, scientists and designers seeking to take advantage of the local weather to manufacture more effective and efficient solar equipment? The answer is that there are many good inventions, which have been designed and manufactured by many small companies throughout Australia. Australia may not have put a solar-powered space vehicle on Mars, but we do produce solar water heaters, garden, street and other lighting, water pumps for swimming pools etc., bicycles, cars and even a ferry. We lead the world in the design of photovoltaic modules for electricity production.
Imagine Townsville and Magnetic Island humming so much more quietly to the sound of such machines. While some of them might sound 'pie in the sky', look in the 'Yellow Pages' for the number of firms and their products under 'Solar Energy Equipment'. Peruse the pages of 'Solar Progress' and of 'Renew', the quarterly publications of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, and of the Alternative Technology Association. All that is needed is a determination to do things differently, i.e. using solar energy plus good design and construction, instead of continuing to resort to the old 'tried and true' energy-intensive methods.
So let's talk about it. There are people out there who could make it happen. Perhaps Townsville City Council and James Cook University and others could jointly develop a project to make Townsville and Magnetic the 'solar capital of the South Pacific'.
*** Editors' note: Since Isobel prepared this article it has been announced that the Townsville City Council had sought funding in the Federal Government's $75 million Solar Cities Initiative.
I f you would like to us to invite someone to join 'Friends' please contact any one of the following members of our Working Group;
Kelly Marlin-Zwa 07 47581940
Judy Finlay 07 47581916
John Marlton 0747785717 or 0248464095
Betty McDonald 0747581198 or 0352631265
Liz Beech 0747581256 or 0293415080
John Becker 0747581938 or
Rosie Whalen 0747785951
Marie de Monchaux 0747581347
Also when visiting the Island please contact anyone of us so that we can meet with you. You might like to join our Working Group while on the Island.
If you have any 'Special Project' that you would like our Working Group to consider please contact us at 33 Compass Crescent, Nelly Bay, 4819 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please accept our apologies in advance for any fluctuations in the format of this newsletter during emailing, due to several different computers and programmes being used in its formation.
Editors: Kelly Marlin-Zwa and John Marlton