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September 25th 2012
Hathaway responds on Picnic Bay Rec Camp future

The MI Recreation Camp at Picnic Bay It took a while but Campbell Newman's man on Magnetic Island, John Hathaway has now responded to our request that he explain what is intended for the future of the Magnetic Island Recreation Camp at Picnic Bay. His unedited response follows.

The Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing has identified three recreation centres (Yeppoon, Magnetic Island and Leslie Dam) in which the government can no longer afford to support, due to the high level of public subsidy ($1.56M per annum for all three centres) required and low usage rates.

It is important to note that under the previous Labour (sic) government, six centres were closed, sold or transferred to different owners due to their under-performance. Whilst the decision to permanently close the recreation centre has not been made, our government must look at all options. We are open to expressions of interest from operators who may be able to invest in the recreation centre in order to reduce the governmentís overall expenditure.

There will be a process announced in the future where by expressions of interest will be sought.

If you would like further information on the budget you can access my website at and click on the news tab and it will provide you with the latest budget news as well as a link to the Treasurerís budget website.

John Hathaway, MP

For Magnetic Times' previous story covering the future of the camp (Click Here)

Hathaway responds on Picnic Bay Rec Camp future
David Crusty Herron
September 25th 2012
Thank you George and Pen, you have achieved what a number of us could not. You obtained a response from an elected representative.

It would be interesting and helpful if Mr Hathaway would provide an honest comparison of patronage pa and the financial returns to the government from that patronage and the individual percentage allocation of the $1.56M per annum support for all three centres including upgrade costs. (Yeppoon, Magnetic Island and Leslie Dam)

What puzzles me most is this; If the government considers that our camp would be a viable investment for an 'operator' then does this indicate that the government, and it's bureaucracy, is incompetent or incapable in it's operation of the camp.
Commercial Operator
September 26th 2012
If this camp has 4000 visitors each year then one wonders why it receives any subsidy, let alone one in the hundreds of thousands. A commercial operator can make those numbers profitable with the right terms of access and probably create more local jobs because they'll generate additional business. Like much of the public service, too much fat and a sense of entitlement. It's a pity the government have trashed whatever goodwill the facility has by cancelling all of next year's bookings though.
Hard reality
September 26th 2012
Magnetic Island's numbers can be gleaned from the recent catering tender documents the government put out. With 96 beds Magnetic Island had a predicted 23% occupancy for 2012/13. That equates to 8068 bed nights. Turnover therefore would be around $480,000. Quite staggering then that the Bligh government saw fit to recently spend more than the annual income of the facility just to upgrade a kitchen. No commercial operator would countenance such profligate extravagance.
September 30th 2012
Hard Reality, it sounds like a commercial operator (whoever quoted for the kitchen) was very happy to countenance such profligate extravagance. But not Commercial Operator, no way! Their position is that "A commercial operator can make those numbers profitable with the right terms of access." So it's all about terms of access. And if those terms are sufficiently extravagantly profligate then Commercial Operator could probably (but not necessarily) create more jobs and generate more business. Talk about a sense of entitlement.
September 30th 2012
If a school stays at the camp and there are 20 or 30 beds left unslept in because other schools who might have booked if there was enough space can't because of the first lot then that it sounds like an easy way to come up with an "underused" story.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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