Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

February 2nd 2010
$250,000 estimated for Horseshoe damage

Damage at the Horseshoe Bay boat ramp $250,000 will be spent at Horseshoe Bay according to Townsville Mayor Les Tyrell at a press conference yesterday, following the damage wrought by wild weather from ex-tropical cyclone Olga combined with king tides over the weekend.

According to the Mayor's Office yesterday, damage to the Horseshoe Bay boat ramp is in the order of $200,000. However, Council will be inspecting the boat ramp and other infrastructure in more detail this week to ascertain the level of damage.

A spokesperson for the Mayor said, "We have had no reports of major road damage on Magnetic Island. Over the past year, crews have resealed a number of roads and streets on the island which has helped to minimise damage.

Co-ordinator of the Horseshoe Bay Community Markets (which are usually held on the now-damaged foreshore on the last Sunday of each month but presently in recess), Ms Di Mackie, told Magnetic Times, "It was the worst I've ever seen it at Horseshoe Bay in 28 years. I've never seen Horseshoe Bay trashed like it was on Sunday."

As for the destroyed new boat ramp, Di Mackie said, "They should have left the rocks from the old boat ramp. The concrete from the new boat ramp was totally demolished."

In response to a Magnetic Times question, regarding the destruction of the new boat ramp while the old ramp beside it remained in place, the spokesperson said that, "...the boat ramp was built to the standards set down by Queensland Transport."

The old boat ramp remains

Photo: Sylvia Hayes

Di Mackie thought that between one quarter and a half of Gerry Kearns Park (west of the boat ramp) had gone but related a story that her son Jett, had managed to save a $5000 dugong sign from the raging surf on Sunday.

Damage and loss at Gerry Kearns Park
Photo: Pat Trewin

But Di Mackie was "Absolutely pleased" with the work of Townsville City Council staff. "The boys got right into it yesterday. By 10.30am, when I arrived, they had done a tremendous amount of work chopping up the huge trees that went down," and added, "Hopefully it wont be a long before it's looking nice again".

But given the loss of foreshore some seaside stall areas may, according to Di Mackie, need to be relocated.

While Horseshoe Bay took a major pounding on Sunday when high winds pushed a 4.07m king tide smashing into the foreshore, Radical Bay which faces in a similar direction was also punished.

Radical Bay at the height of the king tide
Photo: Paul Groves

A 24-lot gated community is planned for Radical Bay by Juniper Developers and expert reports provided recently to Council make assurances that the developement is a safe distance from the water's edge. But as photos requested from QPWS show, during Sunday's tide it was clear that the surf repeatedly overtopped the vegetated foredune and flowed many metres inland.

Radical Bay during the king tide.
Photos courtesy QPWS

As this event, which was only a wind-assisted king tide and not a cyclonic storm surge, could make such inroads one might wonder what distances inland a category 4 or 5 cyclone might achieve. A question no doubt being considered by many other residents in beach front locations along the cyclone-prone Queensland coast.

Story: George Hirst

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

$250,000 estimated for Horseshoe damage
February 2nd 2010
$250000 huh? well that will be coming out of taxpayers pockets i'm sure - if we had have had a ramp built to Cyclone proof standards and not "the standards set down by Queensland Transport" then maybe we wouldn't have to pay AGAIN and have the road closed AGAIN limiting access to HOrseshoe Bay AGAIN during which i'm sure will be the only time the ascertain to be appropriate the BUSIEST tourist season of the year, AGAIN.
Yeah thanks for the $250000 boat ramp.
February 3rd 2010
Having been coming to Horseshoe Bay since 73 almost in tears when I saw the photos.
Dont only limit the works to the ramp. Spend good money on restoring the parklands and grass verges and re vegetating the beachfront and restoring the beach via pumps from an off shore barge etc.
You cant allow the area to be eroded back to the road.
February 3rd 2010
More evidence that development at Radical Bay should not be allowed to go ahead! What are the developers waiting for - a category 5 cyclone to wipe out their 24 lot community paradise?!
February 3rd 2010
If concerned residents can't convince the council of the utter disaster that the proposed development at Radical Bay would be, perhaps nature can??
February 3rd 2010
Good coverage Maggie Times on a radical development that's just getting dumber each year as the sea moves forward.

But Im hardly impressed by the way locals treat that beautiful place either. When I have visited it's common to see cars all over the dune, tents and camp fires that are messy and a fire hazard and of course the roaming dogs. "No my pretty pooch would never dig up a turtle nest or chase those seabirds or a wallaby away".

It's always someone else's mongrel but the "good' dogs from the "good" owners are setting the example like: it's OK here, hell the developers are only gonna get the place so why bother caring? So we just blame someone else's dog or a developer or council or rangers for not being there. Whatever! Just shift the responsibility - that's what's important ay!?
February 11th 2010
I'd like to inform absent readers (Lauren in particular) that the wording of this report has a slightly unfortunate implication. The report (above) states:
"According to the Mayor's Office yesterday, damage to the Horseshoe Bay boat ramp is in the order of $200,000."
It would probably have been more accurate to state that the damage was AT the boat ramp because the newly constructed extra lane on the ramp and the old ramp is more or less completely intact. All the serious erosion and beach collapse is at the top end of the ramp, adjacent to it and extending a great distance in both directions. Obviously the collapsed trees, dead (from salt water inundation) lawns and fallen playground equipment were never part of the 'boatramp' but will be a major cost to repair or replace.
The actual boatramp is still in use and fully functional.

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