September 7th 2011
$5.3M Nelly to Arcadia walkway funding announced
After a very long wait, Magnetic Island will have the walkway between Arcadia and Nelly Bay completed after the Federal Minister for Regional Australia, Simon Crean, today announced that $4.79 million in funding for the walkway has been provided to the Townsville City Council as part of the first round of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF).
“This will make it safe for tourists and residents to walk from Nelly Bay to Arcadia, while creating a new asset in the form of a scenic path overlooking the spectacular Coral Sea,” said Mr Crean.
"At last we have it," said Magnetic Island Councillor, Trevor Roberts who went on to say, "Couple that with the half million dollars committed by the Townsville City Council for the completion of the design work and we should see the project completed within the next twelve months."
Federal Labor Senator, Jan McLucas said, “Magnetic Island is a premier tourism destination and the project will further enhance its reputation to both Australian and international visitors,” she said.
“Many residents on Maggie Island have long advocated for this walkway, so it is fantastic news that the Gillard Government is delivering this important local project that will also address long standing safety concerns.”
Lobbying for the completion of the walkways has been a major community effort over many years with the Magnetic Island RSL taking an active role back in 2004 organising a petition to Council signed by 800 residents. Magnetic Island Community Development Association MICDA) has also lobbied for the walkway over the last decade while more recently the Magnetic Island Residents and Ratepayers (MIRRA) organised a rally over the issue earlier this year.
"I can't thank MIRRA and the people of the island enough for their efforts in pulling together the recent Walkaway rally that gave a clear indication just how important this project is to the island residents," said Cr Roberts.
"The walkway will be a huge boost to tourism on the island and will become an icon for the island and the city. No more walking outside the guard rails or on the road on the point between Nelly Bayand Arcadia.
"For me one of the big wins is for the disabled. The walkway will allow people of all abilities to enjoy the wonderful views on offer," said Cr Roberts.
"Tourism Operators & Businesses Magnetic Island (TOBMI) President, Lindsay Simpson contacted Magnetic Times to comment, saying, "TOBMI is thrilled that the island has been recognised by the Federal government in this way after much lobbying from the community. We are a unique island in the Great Barrier Reef only eight kilometres away from the capital of North Queensland and these kinds of investments can only ensure
that we do become a premier tourism destination both nationally and internationally," she said.
"The project should be completed within the next twelve months and I will do all I can to keep the ball rolling," said Cr Roberts.
Story: George Hirst
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