Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

November 28th 2010
In geology, 21 years is nothing unless...

Bright Point before... It’s now 21 years since Bright Point was first quarried to create the Presto Breakwater and Nelly Bay harbour. In those last weeks of 1989, Queensland was shaping up for a December State Election which would see the Bjelke-Petersen National Party era end and a Labor government, led by Wayne Goss, assume power.

It must be a coincidence that Joh Bjelke-Petersen had also been around for 21 years before this all started. In fact old Joh had spun out two years before the end of ‘his era’ so two other Nationals had a go until the time was really up.

The Chronology of Premiers
8 August 1968 – 1 December 1987 Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen
1 December 1987 – 22 September 1989 Mike Ahern
22 September 1989 – 2 December 1989 Russell Cooper
2 December 1989 – 20 February 1996 Wayne Goss


In the picture, which would have been taken a bit before Joh came to power and Boulder Court was created, you can see the shoreline as it had been since about 1930. The rock wall carrying Sooning Street across the end of the bay towards the large house (Our Island Home) was apparently started as a work creation project during the Depression.

In the extreme bottom left you can see the flowing water of Gustav Creek turning sharp left and proceeding to the end of the bay, and the rock wall, behind the frontal dune which is fairly intact. In fact there is a Casuarina growing right where the creek would break through at high flows.

Sticking out into the sandy shallows and mangroves amongst the boulders on the shore of Bright Point is the rusting skeleton of the Presto, beached there as a breakwater after it had been wrecked inside Townsville Harbour during Cyclone Sigma in 1896.

The house on the left was moved forward a few metres in the 1990s and then to a new location in Kelly Street. Our Island Home and those surrounding it were all gone by 1990.

H.O. (Charlie) McColl
24 November 2010

Aerial photo courtesy of Jo Wieneke who lived at ‘Our Island Home’ for many years.

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In geology, 21 years is nothing unless...
 
6 comments
 
Denise Colk
November 29th 2010
Thank you for the lovely photo and info. I first came to Maggi in 1984 and have marvelled and been saddened in turn at the changes on each following visit.
Since I don't live there, I shouldn't comment, I know, but oh dear, some "improvements!!
 
Alf Goater
November 29th 2010

You ask "What do I think." I think it should have been left as it was, not looking like a bomb site.as it is now.
 
Alec Bissett
December 2nd 2010
was better than the concrete monstrosity that is there now,why didn,t they build a break water in picnic and put pontoons on the jetty?
 
Narelle and Herb Adams
December 4th 2010
Environmental vandalism. Say no more, say no less.....
 
Ture Sjolander
January 6th 2013
It was great then and so natural!
And do remember the meeting about Florence Bay just before the devastation started.
Merde!
 
Zany M
March 17th 2013
I got a shock when I came to Nelly Bay last year for the first time since 1990 - I remembered it as shown on the above photo. It's now the industrial suburb of the island. The harbour is convenient, but at what cost?


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