Magnetic Island North Queensland
  Phone 0427 398 838 Wednesday 23rd o May 2018 on Magnetic Island  
A young koala's beach adventure

Writer Comments
Fair raises $15,000 for school
Syl Hayes What a wonderful outcome for the school! I had a great time face-painting with Luke and Sasha, met lots of kids and parents,scored some great books at the Trash n Treasure stall, and even remembered to vote. Everywhere you looked people were enjoying themselves...such a tribute to the organisers. Well done!
suemac Well done everyone! Once again our fabulous community had a great day out and raised funds for a deserving cause - pat on back to all.
Will Greens' voters fall into a trap?
Jenny Stirling If you are of the Left then you will be voting Green in the Senate because realistically Labor is highly unlikely to get another quota for a Senate seat, whereas the Greens can.
Gail Hamilton Just to clarify the headline, the trap is for Labor voters not Greens voters. When people vote Greens in the senate, their vote will stay with the Greens ( probably) but a vote for ALP WILL be distributed to Katter
George Hirst Yes Gail you are correct and my apologies for the confusion. I was thinking more in terms of Greens preference intentions by voters who intended to place Labor first.
gr0m1t I don't understand how these extra senate seats (anyone got an Australian political system for idiots guide?)work, but isn't it always possible to take the loooooong voting slip and fill in your own preferences?
gr0m1t btw lovely pic, Gail, and you look very comfortable in your own skin.
Gail Hamilton Yes, it is possible (and recommended) to vote below the line in the senate and control your own preferences. Voting above the line requires trust in your primary party to allocate preferences appropriately. In the lower house, voters always have control of their preferences, how to vote cards are merely a suggestion.
(Perhaps Magnetic Times could do a story on the electoral system?)
Chasmac There are a number of excellent explanations of the Australian electoral system available online. Just Google 'Australia preferential voting' and look at the Wikipedia entry for example. It is well worth learning properly about how to vote because the way political parties manipulate voters (because of their well known ignorance), whilst blatant and shameful, is easily countered by a little self-obtained knowledge. Voting is an empowering experience - we should never let our politicians forget it. Don't be intimidated by pushy party operatives handing out how-to-vote cards at the voting station. You are entitled to vote any way you like. No one can decide the allocation of your preferences unless you specifically invite them to do so. So, get some knowledge, make up your own mind and go to the polling station with an intent to get your own way. This is your individual chance to send your own message. Use it!
Pat Coleman I warned labor at the highest levels to bring in optional preferential before parliament finshed.Im not labor and they are the authors of their own demise just as they were at the last qld state election.

The labor party has been found to be corrupt and people like Penny Wong admitted it.

And on the issue of Penny who cried in parliament when the parliament refused to legalise same sex marriage (and for the life of me I cant see a problem with it ,there is no god) I would say that feminists would say to people in a violent relationship ,get out of it THE LABOR PARTY IS AN ACT OF VIOLENCE. They always say they are united , very well, they re a UNITARY ACTOR , one in all in, they are bent.

After this election Optional preferential MUST be a central issue, when it is brought up the libs will try to cynically counter it by suggesting voluntary voting like the yanks have got. The Voting age should be dropped to 16 (though the right to stand be retained at 18). The big parties are laughing at us and hold democracy in contempt. Read this from Anthony Albanese (The Australian 23-4 2013 p 18)
“That’s why compulsory preferential (voting) is such a winner .It just stops these pricks from grand-standing the way they love to do by just saying ‘vote one’ . They have to make a choice , which is something they hate to do”

Please vote for my mate Gail if you havent already done so. Everyone else is a right winger or is preferencing them. Whatever happens I know it wont be the last anyone sees of Gail.
Should local scientists now fear for their jobs?
Jenny Stirling In 2004,John Howard PM cut funding to Reef CRC and Rainforest CRC. It was widely rumoured it was because these projects were finding evidence for climate change with coral bleaching and rain forests displaying stress from rising temperatures. So then if Howard behaved this way, and he said he thought climate change was real, why would Tony Abbott support science and scientists when he says that climate change is crap? I feel for these people because they have devoted their lives to researching one of the wonders of the planet. But their research is political dynamite when mining companies want to dredge the reef to expand coal ports, drill the great Artesian Basin area for csg, and report on the health of the reef coping with farm and urban run off, warming waters, ocean acidification and star fish infestations. AIMS, JCU and GBRMPA are in for a hard time, I am sorry to say. Unless of course Abbott does not get in
Joan G Apart from looking like he doesn't want to interact with anyone, do you think our current member, at his current size, will even last the next three years?
carla ghezzi Our local member is very much in the Í'm not listening'arms across the chest defensive position. Amazing that he hasn't learnt that simple technique afraid.....
Jazz festival returns this weekend
Chris C Thanks for the story George. We put the stage cover up this morning and will finish the rest of the set-up on Friday.

The venue is looking fantastic and the first Musos arrive today - I'm not sure who's more exited, them or me :)

See you there for Party No. 17!!!
Men's Shed takes hold of community centre
Lorna Congratulations to the Men's Shed group. Well deserved and they are so supportive of other organisations. See you for movies under the stars during Bay Dayz in September
Bush ceramics studio open to visitors this weekend
Syl So glad I took the walk up to Jenny's studio! I bought just a small bowl/cup, then tried to replicate it myself on the wheel. Have tried many times but get nowhere near Jenny's fine shape. It makes you appreciate the skill of an experienced potter.Highly recommend you go next time...I will definitely take more money next time.
Massive rock rolls into popular Island swimming hole
Ian I first came upon the boulder on 25 May and understand it fell a week or so before that.
robert Someone pushed it. :)
B B H The name of the pusher is G.R.Avity.He also stops us from floting in the air
kas why not chisel it away? make a sculpture out of it, a water feature or a sculpture of Julian Assange.
Lana I wonder if the someone who pushed it will volunteer to help get it out of there before the wet season. Sad old waterfall season if the kids can't use that hole. Many of us dug it out every year so our kids could enjoy it. Don't think this one can be moved so easily.
Musos at Bungalow Bay this Saturday
Kelly Grech The big act is a six piece band called Block of Flats, afraid they can't make it this Saturday but they are considering coming to the next Musos Club
PJ And Dani Ceccarelli is unable to make it :(
Imogen Rogers at Barefoot
Kelly I like Purple the best! Goes to show we all have different tastes.
Sylvia Hayes Well reviewed George, I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments. Your profound comment :"It is the...less stressed over works..." encourages me, as a practising artist, to work bravely and intuitively. Then to know when to stop. My best works are definitely those that I didn't stress over for too long!
Beth Interesting review. Don't normally find that quality of interpretation in non-metro publications. Just the sort of constructive criticism and encouragement so many artists need.
Imogen Rogers Thankyou George for such a wonderful review.
Also to Beth, Sylvia and Kelly. 'Purple' was one of 6 canvases that featured in my graduating exhibition You are right George with your insight into that one as I spent months on them and was trying to create some master pieces. As Nicole Smith ( my lecturer at COFA ) said to me you bit off more than you could chew im. They are however very special to me.
No one has quite captured in writing style what I was attempting to achieve with 'Adams apple' and 'Janet Frame' well done George you clever man.
Sorry about all the Goddess worship George but I am a woman after all lol !!!!!!
Thanks for all the feed back I so appreciate it and am glad you have enjoyed looking at the paintings. They are much better in the flesh.
That is all for now keep on a paintin or whatever makes you tick.
Love blessings and happy paint brushes.
New operators for Recreation Camp announced
Alan Great result, tell every school that came here before they book & go elsewhere!
tony paps The elephant in the room there is who are "Apex" ?

Commercial enterprise, charity, church, death sect?

Who are they and how have they lessened the cost to the taxpayer?

I'd like to know.

Jason S. Judging by the enormous amount of comments to this story it would seem all the blowhards looking for their 5 minutes of fame couldn't really give a stuff about the future of the camp... I think its great its gone to Apex, i couldn't think of a more appropriate and responsible "private operator". See folks, the world hasn't caved in, the camp is "saved" and i agree with Alan, now we have an operator lets hope the right channels tell every school, scouts, sports juniors groups etc etc, that the Magentic Island camp can host groups once again.
Anon I do question the decision to hand the facility to an organisation with no local presence, that didn't engage the local community, has a limited understanding of local needs and issues, and will rely on government funding for any infrastructure upgrades or if anything major breaks/goes wrong (defeats the purpose of assigning the facility to someone else in order to remove financial burden on gov).
James D. Hello all,

Just to answer some of your queries and explain who Apex is...

Apex has a longstanding and positive history of running youth camps. Apex Camp Mudjimba at the Sunshine Coast has been operating for over 20 years and hosts many school and other camps annually. Apex Queensland Youth Camps is a non-profit organisation and all profits raised by running the camps go back into the community. For example, Apex regularly operates camps that underprivileged children can attend at no charge.

Apex certainly does have a local presence (albeit in Townsville and not on the island itself). There are two clubs (Townsville and Ross River) that are active in the local area.

Apex Australia, the parent organisation of Apex Queensland Youth Camps, is an organisation comprised of 159 service clubs located Australia wide. Men and women between the ages of 18 and 45 volunteer in Apex clubs to undertake altruistic service work in their local communities. The organisation is not faith based, to answer a specific question above.

Apex clubs from throughout Queensland will assist with operating and improving Apex Camp Magnetic Island. Matt Gahan, President of the Townsville Apex Club says, "As a club here in Townsville we're really excited to seeing the camp's doors opening again given the benefits it will bring to those that use the camp and the benefits to the local community." Amanda Gillespie, President of the Ross River Apex Club states, "Being able to apply Apex's considerable experience running camps down south to the camp at Magnetic Island is going to be great for all involved and we really look forward to being a part of it.

Costs should be less for taxpayers through the elimination of the bureaucracy normally associated with government operations. All paid staff are actively involved in operating the camps - as in on site, working with campers. The executive that overseas Apex Queensland Youth Camps are all volunteers with substantial experience in running successful businesses.

Unfortunately Apex was not able to engage with the local community until the announcement was made earlier this week due to confidentially constraints. However the intention now is not only to engage with the local community but to start sourcing materials, hiring staff and identifying activity operators to partner with all locally.

Apex's history at other camps demonstrates that long term maintenance will not be a problem. Not only will things that break be fixed but in all likelihood facilities will be improved by Apex to a standard that could not be expected when run by the government.
Anon James - given that there was no engagement with local community how do Apex even know what the local (and regional) community needs? Is there any real understanding of the issues faced previously and into the future by the centre beyond just 'we're going to eliminate the bureaucracy normally associated with government operations'.

How do Apex plan to tackle some of the larger and (for those who know anything about the history of the camp) obvious problems?

How does Apex plan to get the facility up to code (is there even an awareness of how much money this is going to take and where is that cost going to be paid for)?

Is Apex planning anything to do anything to improve on the community benefit of the facility or is it just going to be business as usual?

Apex's history at other camps demonstrates a reliance on government funding including $150,000.00 (approx) from the very same department who tendered the camp out so that it wouldn't continue to be a financial burden on the government.

@Tony Paps - Who are they and how have they reduced the financial burden to the government? The answer - a charity like most, with a strong reliance on volunteers and local/state/federal funding and from what I've seen and those I've spoken with little understanding of the facility, the island, local/regional needs or any kind of viable plan to create sustainability of a type which will actually ensure that the government doesn't end up putting further dollars into the facility in some way/shape/form and that the facility not only continues its community benefit but develops it into the future.
Patrick Collins Dear Tony
I am Gob Smacked that you are nor aware of what good clubs such as Apex
Lions & Rotary contribute to & for our Australian Community.

Patrick Collins
Historic Island site ransacked
Sue Sharpe Thats awful on such small island with such community spirit. Even from the UK I know how much he meant and had read about his work and dedication. Hope the theives are caught.
Melitta Unfortunately there is a small minority on the island who have no moral code and would care non for the legacy of this man, they obviously think an abandoned shack would be theirs for the taking. Disgusting! I hope that those who do know, (someone would know) have to the courage to stand up to them by reporting it....

Alan Just in reference to the above comments by Melitta, the only thing certain about his incident is the culprits would have needed a boat. Consequently they could also be opportunists from Townsville. This element exists in every community.
Reefwalkers visit Magnetic Island
Jenny Stirling I see in the TB today that the question is asked: why not just kill the reef and be done with it? The state government acts as though the Reef is done for which is interesting becuase the Environment Minister challenges the science of climate change. So well done June, Rosalie and Nick for your passionate resistance to the end of something marvellous, unique and infinitely more worthy than the fossil fuel trade.
Denise Oh how I wish I could join you, Rosalie, but I am down here in Chelsea, Victoria. I will do my 6000 steps each day and dedicate them to you.
Karen Allen Great that 3 passionate people have connected and are supporting each other in this way. lovely to think of you all inspiring folk along the way and planning seeds of change and seeds of hope. Heart hugs to all walkers!
rebecca I just hope the reef is protected before June, Rosalie, Nick or anyone else walking gets squashed! I was in the position to walk two lengths (fortunately NOT 30 kms!) and it was scary along the roads. Good luck and best wishes for GBR saving.
Watch out for thunbergia
Lea well done on the great photos which accompany this article - all too often the photos are inadequate making the identification of nasty plants harder.
I know we have spots of this one - so out they come.
Best wishes and good luck.
Ex-Picnic Bay student, Roy Morton, remembers
Syl Hayes Such a nice article, thanks George. I had a lovely time at the Centenary, and I'm sure I met Roy! Hope it;s ok to put a link to the Magnetic Museum Facebook page.
A Reunion with Luke Phillippo
chasmac Totally amazing Luke, especially No.4. Good on you.
Lorraine Well done Luke, great interview, also he's very resilient ... when he went to USA the contract was to teach Drama, when he arrived it was more art than drama, disappointing at first, but he's been able to turn that into another skill! We are very proud of you! All our love, the 'Rentals!
Tatjana Yes Luke, wonderful to watch you mature and live OVERSEAS...
each episode is truly what I would have dreaded to happen and I can relate to it. Well done and keep keep following your big dream and I hope you get more than noticed, you deserve it good fortune for you yours Tatjana
Picnic Bay School Centenary - an entree
Pat Trewin Nice one, Charlie - it certainly adds an extra dimension to this important event to have it placed in its local historical context.
Carla Thanks for the éntree, Charlie - it is lovely to read about local history when succinct, and readable to the masses. What a great start....
Syl Hayes Great work by all involved in the organising of this momentous celebration. Eagerly anticipating The Book! and lots more special unveilings.
Annette Great article
World Oceans Day this Saturday
Syl Hayes Well done Rick Braley for taking on the organising this year and congrats to all involved.
Thanks George you do a great job promoting our island activities.
Magnetic Island 1926 - film footage uncovered
Oliver Howie The rocks at Alma are still the same!
Rob Isaacs Wow - has anybody noticed the rocks on the far side of Alma Bay have not yet been blasted away to make way for the submarine cable and shark net stretching from one side of the bay to the other ?
It's fantastic to see what the rocks originally looked like - Cheers ... Rob :)
Julie Thanks for the link! Terrific to see ! Many thanks Julie
Denise What a gem! thanks to all who found these clips and made them available. Regards Denise
Lea Fantastic!!! Many thanks for making them available to view.
Peter Hughes Is this the movie with Valda Madden late of Magnetic Island in it. I had heard her talk of this film on one of her trips to the island.
Peter Hughes
Rescuers heading for Horseshoe Creek
chasmac I take it that the "end of Henry Lawson Drive (east)", is at the point where Dent Street intersects with Henry Lawson St?
Stafford As delightfull as you percieved the name "Wellbeloved Creek" to be, please acknowledge that waterway had an Aboriginal language name well before any anglo name was assigned. Any signage promoting this creek (and all the other creeks mentioned)should also include the respective traditional Aboriginal language name (and story references) too.
Don and Marjorie Excellent news. It's long overdue.
Congratulations to those who have initiated this.
Angela Moore good idea Stafford. For heaps of signs,how good would that be
Jen Parry I am a resident in Picnic Bay and would love to volunteer to help with the clean ups. I've only just found this website and missed the bbq to get more info. Please let me know where and when I'm needed and I'll be there. Cheers Jen
See Gatsby and help two great causes
Jenny Stirling I don't know what it is with Baz Lurhurman but he turns his movies into cartoons with 2 dimensional characters. I thought it was tacky compared to the most recent version with Robert Redford and left early.
Cannes screening for young Islander's short film
Karen Congratulations on your achievements! Great place for kids to grow up too.
Tatjana Very lovely interview George. Here a good example of what it means growing up in a community that offers opportunities for their young ones to discover what their passions are. So we shall never underestimate the importance of youth projects and creative initiatives like the film society used to offer. I hope that these continue to inspire people, Thanks for all the clubs that help " keep the kids off the street" and we need more funding and dedicated people with their Hearts in the right place... these initiatives work, Thanks for the encouragement. Have fun Kas Love ya, Tatjana your proud MUM
Maree Well done Kaz. Maggie film makers Rock!
Mick Mc Nice work Kas great to see an island boy chasing and living his dreams!
Lorraine Wishing you all the best for the future Kas!
Port expansion questioned as Xstrata dumps coal export plans
Jenny Stirling The economic argument for preservng the Reef is important. But the intrinsic value of the Reef lies in its beauty and scope of bio-diversity. Would we allow anyone to pour dirt on the Mona Lisa?
Brony You just don't know what you've got till its gone. If Townsville really wants a highly industrialised port then are the citizens ready to lose so many of the things that we enjoy about living here? Our clean air, reasonably healthy marine environment, our health, the lovely vista and all the activities we enjoy, fishing, boating and so on. Well you can say goodbye to many of these aspects of our life if an industrialised port happens and subsequent other polluting industries that we so desperatly want to attract to Townsville for the sake of 'jobs'.
I grew up in Gladstone, a heavily industrialised port and city. Black coal dust, red bauxite dust coating every surface in my house, aluminium windows being eaten away by the pollution blowing in the prevailing south easterly winds. Myself and many other children suffering asthma throughout childhood, and parents accept it because they make good money. Caustic blow outs from QAL that ate the paint off cars and caused my school to be evacuated on a regular basis. The local beach covered in chunks of coal, and the water stinging when you went for swim. Watching my natural environment being destroyed to make way for a bigger dam to provide more water for the industry. And not to mention destruction of the harbour to make way for more industry....
People of Townsville need to ask them selves how much they appreciate and enjoy the quality of life we have. The development at any cost mentality is not all that it is cracked up to be, and I left Gladstone for a very good reason.
Patrick Gordon Bartlett If you would like proof of the damage that even "small scale" dredging does to our fragile fringe reef, all you need to is go diving, snorkeling or spear fishing on Nelly Bay reef, Picnic reef, Middle reef or any of the headlands on the eastern side of magnetic island... almost all the large stagghorn corals that used to abound in these places are gone. (and its not from the cyclone) when the cutter suction dredge Brisbane is operating in Cleavland Bay the water around Maggie is as turbid as pea soup and every single living thing that can't swim is covered in a suffocating layer of silt and mud... including protected species like clams, corals, seaslugs and starfish. is it worth it? i for one will be long gone before they finish this harbor expansion.
Barb Gibbs We are already MUD island. When I walk the beach along Nelly Bay and Geoffrey Bay (allegedly a Marine Park) I see nothing but used to be clean and live corals and shells could be viewed without effort. No wonder no tourists want to come back...there are better beaches on the mainland now. Dredging of Gustav Creek and placing putrid mud (from years of mangrove and property waste decay creating toxic concoctions) dumped on Nelly Bay, and huge stormwater runoff going directly into Geoffrey Bay, and very recently having council dig up the putrid toxic mud and spread it further into the bay have destroyed any semblance of reef or clean waters. Too late to wake up, but may not be too late to stop more carnage. Tourists don't mind being ferried into destinations like any other shallow port. WAKE UP TCC!
r. gledhill this council believes that it is not accountable to anyone or anything, except the almighty dollar.
they will go to any lengths to make money. they do not give a hoot for the enviroment.
like bob irwan says . it is your enviroment, but you are going to have to fight for it.
stand up and be counted or lose it.
Will Magnetic become
Mcoutts This is also a difinitive line from UNESCO:

“ 5.…further requests the State Party to not permit any new port development or associated infrastructure outside of the existing and long-established major port areas within or adjoining the property..”

I am adding that to my submission. Also, Unesco advised for surveillance to prevent spills, yet that was prior to the fumigation canisters that washed up on our beaches. The "state party" appeared to have assured UNESCO that it had an efficient mechanism to prevent such spills at the time.
Marjorie And it is even more concerning when the current State Government is now slating the Port of Townsville to be sold into private hands!!
Wendy Tubman Under the State and Federal systems nowadays, any damage that the developers can't avoid or 'mitigate' away has to be 'fixed' by the offer of an 'offset' - to make up for the damage they will do. (Call it a bribe if you like - and don't start me on the definition of avoid.)

The offset is supposed to be related to the damage caused (a sort of like for like system). This all falls down when, as UNESCO noted back when they started looking at how the GBR World Heritage Area was 'managed', the offset offered up is supposed to be already protected. This was the case with the Curtis Island LNG plant; the developer offered a bit of the GBRWHA as an offset for the damage they were planning (and it was accepted!).

In the case of the proposed expansion of the Townsville Port, the developers have excelled themselves. Over 90% of the value of the damage that they haven't been able to 'mitigate' away is 'fixed' by their promise to 'rescind their objection' to a sliver of sea between the existing Fish Habitat Area in the east of Cleveland Bay and the edge of the proposed expansion being incorporated into the Fish Habitat Area. Nice ... but, as they admit, they don't actually own or lease that bit of water! We are expected to accept $142 million worth of damage to the GBRWHA in exchange for the Port no longer objecting to something! Would be funny if it weren't insulting.

In your submission, tell them what to do with their offset offer. You might also like to follow the Port's example and put a price on your objection.
Biocycle position vacant
Alexander Bissett trade qualified plumber,city and guilds of London institute,yep!
Invite to talk about Port Expansion Project EIS
Lorna Hempstead I encourage all island residents and businesses to ask questions about the dredge soil dumping site in Cleveland Bay,(both initial and maintenance) how the spoil will be contained, and how we can be assured that fine silt will not slowly move with the currents to further degrade our east facing beaches and areas of coral cover and seagrass. Both Nelly and Geoffrey Bays now have snorkel trails with the opportunity to expand on these, Alma Bay is the location for much recreational dive training, and Arthur and Florence are terrific snorkelling beaches too. Any degredation will impact on tourism, residents amenity and scientific activity and student training.
Rick Braley Most important that individuals write even a short paragraph on their concerns about the proposed development. Today there are 700 ships visiting Tvll. Port per year, by 2040 it is predicted there may be 1300 and the draft of the newer ships will be deeper. The most damaging effect on our coral reef community around Magnetic Island will be due to increased dredging / deepening of the platypus and sea channels. The Fine sediments that cause the plume behind the dredge is the most damaging as it is not contained in any way. Dumping of the spoils also requires the safest site so it is not constantly re-suspended the the worst problem for the coral reef community is the fine sediments.
wendy Tubman Townsville Port was established back in the 1800s to cater for small ships doing local and regional runs. Back then, no-one imagined the size and scale of ships that would come. This shallow area adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef is just not suitable for the massive, international behemoths that ply the oceans these days. Keep in mind that the construction of this expanded port would include deepening and lengthening the Platypus/Sea channel by 2.7 km right along the Island's east coast. It would involve 9.9 million cubic metres of dredged material. Plans are to dump 5.6 million cubic metres of that in the ocean, about halfway between Cape Cleveland and Magnetic Island. (The rest will be used to create new land around the new outer harbour extending a kilometre into the bay.) The material to be dumped is described as 'highly re-suspendible'. The regular maintenance dredging would need to be greatly expanded to cope with the increased size. Would the Island be subject to permanent turbid water?
chasmac As a precursor to the 1993 capital dredging program the Port Authority published a number of papers outlining the results of various research studies into the issues likely to be arising. One of those papers about reactive monitoring (short term responses) of coral species (Stafford-Smith, Kaly and Choat) made a number of observations about the capacity to respond to episodes of observed coral stress being caused by the dredging - obtained from experience of previous dredging. A quote (p.49):
"In the period leading up to observed episodes of coral stress the dredge was active in the extension to the channel, working close to Nelly and Geoffrey Bays, while tidal and wind driven circulation in Cleveland Bay tended to carry dredge and (ocean) dump plume material towards Florence and Arthur Bays. Sediment plumes were recorded entering both Geoffrey and Florence Bay in Week 3, but by Week 4 any plumes were indistinguishable as the entire region became turbid."
Later in the same paper:
"4.3 Cause of Stress in Geoffrey and Florence Bays.
Plumes of sediment surrounding the dredge and leading from the spoil dump towards the northern tip of Magnetic Island were recorded in aerial photographs on several occasions during the course of the dredging program (Raaymakers, pers. comm). The dredge was working predominately in a high risk area for Florence and Geoffrey Bays during the critical period leading up to observed stress in Acropora latistella. Thus the potential for increased turbidity and sedimentation from the dredge was present at this time".
The proposed new lengthening and deepening program will be even closer to Magnetic Island, especially Florence Bay and will involve greatly increased quantities of sea -dumped material and, on all the evidence so far presented, will impact even more than the already well-described events of 1993. Nelly Bay has had further insults visited upon it in the interim - a couple of flooding events in the half-constructed Nelly Bay harbour and open quarry on Bright Point, and the extensive sedimentation arising from the unprotected excavation and later widening of the NB harbour ferry access channel about 2001. Those sediments, lying just offshore, are still regularly disturbed by wave action and can be seen moving across the reef flat.
There is no doubt that the coming conflagration will make the 1990s seem like a curtain raiser.
Islanders recognised in NQ Arts Awards
jan phillips congratulations Marilyn !!!!! you so deserve this ..we are all so proud of you and the Jazz Festival..would love to see more islanders come and enjoy this years festival...and MIFCO applaud you for your tireless work since the beginning with caring for our wildlife <3 are a wonderful person..hugs
Alli Well done and well deserved!
marie de monchaux A well deserved recognition of all your efforts to keep the Festival alive on the island. Congratulations Marilyn!
Lorna Congratulations Marilyn, Your face on Friday was a picture as you walked to the stage, utter disbelief, followed by walking on air! Congratulations to Matt and Fairlie too, the projects you have worked on with disabled people are truly inspiring. I hope we can get the short film to the Island sometime.
Alan Patterson Congratulations Marilyn! Really well deserved.
Marilyn Thank you all for your encouraging comments, your
input is greatly appreciated
The Port responds
Jenny Stirling Meanwhile an EIS under Newman and Abbott will be as useful as used fish and chips paper. Already Qld is unravelling protections in EIS assessments that actually make a difference to sustainable outcomes for people and the environment. And that started under the ALP state government as we saw with the recent 4 Corners program into the csg impact assessments for Gladstone. so much for the expansion of the Port of Townsville's EIS.

P Colins I thought Gladstone port was all approved by the previous State Government?

The one thing we can be sure of in this life is that things will change, is it not best to try and plan those changes so that they are effective and meet the future needs of the people of Townsville with the least disruption of our envirement
Why the port doesn't need to expand
Jenny Stirling Thanks Wendy for your analysis. I don't think the expansion of the port is about trade. I think it is part of strategic military long term planning. The expansion of the port would dovetail nicely into America's expansion back into the Pacific after pulling out of the Middle East to a large extent. And as Greg Sheridan (The Australian) said in 2011: Townsville is one of 3 sites the US navy has it's eyes on. And when you think about where it is positioned in regard to Asia, it makes sickening sense. Darwin and Stirling (WA) were the other 2 places he names and they have been ear marked for such a purpose.
PCYC for Island
Patricia Congratulations to all concerned in the opening of a PCYC here on the Island,
Yin and Yang- The Weather Maketh the Writer
Sylvia Hayes Wow...what a wonderful way you have with words, Lindsay. I was carried along on your journey feeling I was right there. Congratulations on your well-deserved award too!
Steph We are hoping to move to 'Maggie' soon (if things work out) THANKYOU - your words are painting a picture I treasure.
Magnetic Islanders of all ages in Adventurethon
Alan Patterson Henriette Pikoulas, is a remarkable, lovely lady who completed the Kayak leg of the shorter event on Sunday. Henriette is a young 75 years! She joined her son and daughter as part of this team! She even rounded up other competitors. She has been in training since January and mows her neighbours yard in the summer heat for conditioning.
Fiona Great to be back on the island for this brilliant event and catching up with friends. The Dirty Duo was a tough challenge that took us down some of the island's best trails.
Townsville Port Expansion: have your say
gr0m1t My concerns are:
The dump site for dredged materials is such that the prevailing seas would push the material back into the channel and towards Magnetic Island.
Coal is only mentioned in passing. There is no provision for coal storage mentioned. Will they be able to upgrade the port facilities to coal without asking the community?
A bit concerned that there was reference to an adaptive and monitoring strategy rather than a monitoring and adaptive strategy, was that a freudian slip?
The positives as I see them, and I invite these to be shot down, are:
A deeper channel may reduce the amount of silt disturbed when vessels go though. I'm guessing that bigger ships are being let through than those for which the channel was orginally dredged - clouds of murky water can be seen from the air when a ship goes through.
The re-use of dredged material for land fill?

John Gill I spoke to GBRMPA, and was told that the more submissions made by individuals, the more likely we are to get a good outcome with regards to where they dump the sediment from the dredging. As many people as possible of Magnetic island, please write. It doesn't have to be scientific, but just to mention their environmental or economic concerns.
GBRMPA suggested that a copy of submissions be sent to them because they will be making the final recommendation to the Federal government.
Address for mail: GBRMPA - 2/68 Flinders St, Townsville.
(To see the EIS online click on the link below the notice "Ed.)
There is a huge amount of material, but the "Executive Summary" should cover what most people are concerned about.
Learn how to save a turtle or dugong
Spencer Pickering Excellent idea, should also try to get the school involved. Maybe a small training session at the school would be good. Teach the kids what to do at strandings.
david Ede Cyclone Yazi had a big impact on turtles over it's following twelve months and the area where I live at West Point. Between West Point and the mangrove end of Young Bay we found 18 dead turtles ( mainly young ones around 350mm in diameter).

This year just past 2012 counted only four and three were large turtles about 750mm in diameter.

The seabed in the area has about one meter of added sediment that covered the sea grass after Cyclone yazi.

We look forward to having a meeting time for the 19th of May.

It would be good to know where to take the sick turtles as I am a volunteer at Coast Guard and we get a few enquiries about sick turtles.

David EDE
West Point

Potter-upperers needed
Marilyn The lower section of Gustav Creek has been beautifully cleaned up, but the upper section of Gustav - above Barton Street needs attention as it carries debris, weeds etc into the restored area.
wendy Tubman I agree that it would be great to get the upper reaches of Gustav Creek cleaned up - but maybe it's partly a case of following what has been done downstream in some cases. There are two very substantial sites downstream that were initially been taken on by individuals concerned about the state of the creek. They now have others, including TCC and CVA, involved. Much of the creek upstream of Barton Street actually belongs to the owners of properties adjacent to the creek - so it shouldn't be too hard to make a start. Maybe neighbours could join together and take on adjoining stretches - take 10 metres each, for example. If people are not sure what to do, help is available. Contacting Magnetic Island Nature Care could be the first step in finding the information and help needed.
Ron Brennan The creek running into the northern corner of Alma Bay was once lined, in the lower reaches, by natural mangroves.
As was the thinking at the time, (circa late 50's/early 60's), these mangroves were removed, and the creek bed and banks redesigned with a most unsightly concrete drain built combined with one-way valves (under the bridge leading up to Alma Den) to prevent seawater intruding up into the creek.
After representation to authorities some 10 years ago, the one-way valves were removed, but the concrete drain remains, choked with weeds, and the environ can only be described as an eyesore.
Suggest the said drain be torn out and young mangrove trees be planted along the banks to return the lower part of the creek to its former natural self.
Don't worry about the CIA Minister
Jenny Stirling Liberals and Labor both adept at keeping a 2nd set of books under the counter when it comes to budgets. The problem is with accounting in natural systems, there are no 2nd set of books where things such as the damage to the GBR can be hidden. Hmm how to be all things to all people and corporations.
chasmac Actually Jenny, the "2nd set of books", are meticulously kept and are sitting in plain view at the Great Barrier Reef. Has anyone thought to look?
saratt Obviously a Yes Minister fan George. I could actually play out the script in my head. You had the nuances perfect! Nice work and a very important issue.
Gr8timer I'm with you saratt. I could hear those two as if I was watching them on screen and I just loved the grease proof rainbow paper! wuld never have known what a CIA was if I hadnt read this.
Horseshoe foreshore under threat - but what can we do?
chasmac Interesting and timely article thanks MagTimes. A few weeks ago I circumnavigated the Island and had a chance to see each of the bays and beaches from the sea. The apparent erosion at Horseshoe Bay is sometimes emulated at Balding and Radical, with similar aspects, but not at Alma Bay (or not to the same extent). And yet Florence Bay has changed quite a bit over the past twenty years, not only in shape and slope but in foreshore vegetation. And while the harbour end of Nelly Bay is undergoing rapid change and other (southern) end seems quite stable even though it is occasionally overwhelmed by high seas.
Clearly there are different forces at work in every location but all are being slowly nibbled at by insidious sea level rise. If rock walls were ever started, at any bay, almost inevitably the erosion would move to the end not protected and would continue until the whole waterfront was closed off. Maybe it would make sense to consider moving infrastructure (streets, houses, shops etc) back from the coast where appropriate to allow the natural processes of beach and foreshore fluctuation the space to function properly. Necessary compensation and reconstruction would probably cost ratepayers less in the long run if the figures quoted by the Deputy Mayor are anything to go by. And anyway, do we really want to start another ugly quarry on Magnetic Island? Just maintaining the Presto Breakwater requires additional rock work every five years or so. Imagine the quantities necessary to protect every esplanade on the Island. It doesn't make sense.
Intricate Do the maths and it's always smarter to respect the island as we learned from the Nelly bay idiocy. The obvious cost effective solution is to move structures away from the coast and count it as a stupidity loss. The only worthwhile money spent from council would be an IQ test on developers.
mal hamilton previous generations thought it insane to build near the sea. time to rethink our coastal lifestyle and make a better plan for the future.
BBH The sea level has not risen in the last 20 years at Arcadia.I know the hight of the king tides back then and they have not been near them since.The damage was only from wind driven waves from a localised windstorm.My tide marks are very stable and can not be moved
George Hirst Appreciate your contribution BBH and thought I would dig up a little more about the SEAFRAME system I referred to as used by GBRMPA to measure sea level rise.

Following is some info about that system which might help aid understanding of this very important issue.

I cannot post the url into a comment but google "Australian Baseline Sea Level Monitoring Project" if you are interested.

Monitoring stations (closest is Cape Ferguson)
"The monitoring stations use the SEAFRAME (Sea-level Fine Resolution Acoustic Measuring Equipment) system, which has also been installed around Australia. The equipment has built-in sensors that measure:
water level
wind speed and direction, and maximum wind gust
air and water temperatures
atmospheric pressure
vertical changes in land level.

"The SEAFRAME monitoring stations use an Aquatrak sensor, which operates acoustically. A pulse of sound is fired down a tube to the surface of the water, and is reflected back. Measuring the time taken for the sound to travel from the sensor and back allows the sea level to be determined. The speed of sound varies with temperature, humidity and air pressure and the Aquatrak sensor automatically compensates for these variations, which are also measured by the SEAFRAME station.

"The equipment has the capacity to measure sea-level changes to within one millimetre accuracy, every six minutes, which is important for recognising small changes. Other measurements are recorded once every hour. The sea level and climate data are regularly recorded and transmitted to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology National Tidal Centre (NTC) in Adelaide.

Sea-level trends
Measurements of sea level vary considerably over time due to variations in tides, storm events such as cyclones, ocean events such as El Nino and catastrophic events such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. These variations are referred to as ‘noise’. This noise makes it difficult to determine any long-term change in the sea level, so other information such as tidal analysis and barometric pressure is used to remove the noise and gain a more accurate picture of sea-level change.

As the sea-level record becomes longer, the relative sea-level trend estimates become more stable and reliable.
chasmac If I was BBH I would be inviting scientists from BOM and other such agencies to Arcadia to experience this miraculous geophysical anomaly. The people who publish the tidal predictions for the port of Townsville assume an annual increase in sea level of 1.5mm. If it is true that Arcadia (is that Alma Bay or Geoffrey Bay?) is a uniquely inexplicable exception, our tourism and/or religious reliquary industries might be able to capitalise on it. Is there a weeping virgin amongst the boulders there?
BBH What year did they use as the base year as there is a big veriation from year to year .Did they pick a low one or one at random.This new way of mesuring needs to run for 100 years to give a true average reading.After all we are only half-way out of the last ice age.The scientists can only release data that fits gov. thinking as it is gov funded
chasmac What a letdown! It's not a miracle after all but a conspiracy to keep the government funds flowing. Make BBH the prime minister! Or better still, leader of the opposition.
How is it BBH that your method of measurement (paraphrased - "I know the height of the king tides 20 years ago and no modern king tides have been that high") and your fixed baseline heights ("My tide marks are very stable and can not be moved") are so totally reliable and yet you insist that the scientifically verifiable and repeatable measurements of the agencies need to "run for a hundred years to give a true average reading"? You don't seem to have any readings, at all.
It's one thing to say you don't believe the science, it's another thing entirely to say that the science is wrong - and not have any evidence other than a belief, a feeling or a bit of a guess. Is your "tide mark" in Alma Bay or Geoffrey Bay?
Barb Having been the first student of Climate Change Adaption in Queensland, I can tell you we assessed everything and the only way out is to move away from the shores and build higher. Walls create more erosion and the seas will only get bigger and winds stronger with increases in climate temperatures, creating warmer seas. REALITY CHECK! Get out of the clouds and stop wasting money rebuilding the sand piles...prevention is always better than don't last.
Maria Sorry but I meant a timber frame barrier like Picnic Bay, I did not mention rocks, let alone a quarry. Where was the hue and outcry when Picnic Bay had a barrier erected to stop future erosion and to maintain the picnic area along the Mall. What Vern is proposing or should I say obstructing with his arguments is so ludicrous it's laughable. Vern thinks by quoting astronomical, insurmountable $$ figures that we'll go away and shut up. My God if I owned the Marlin Bar or owned property at Sails or any of the shops along that beachfront I would be up in arms. I cannot believe some of you are quoting climate change as a reason to NOT do any thing and saying instead “I told you so”.

Are we all going to let Horseshoe Bay Foreshore slip into the sea when a very simple solution is at hand.
Read this article property owners along the beach, not just Horseshoe Bay but anywhere. This doesn't affect me financially, my property isn't slipping into the sea however my Horseshoe Bay foreshore is and that's worth fighting for
(To see the article Maria is referring to google "Byron Bay owners win right to protect beach property" Ed.)
George Hirst My apologies Maria, Vern did mention the timber walls at Picnic in a separate comment and I simply forgot to add it to the material above. It read:

Picnic is very low risk compared to Horseshoe but I note the exposure of surf club foundations. I doubt wood would survive one strong event at Horseshoe and could even add to damage further back as it broke up and became missiles pushed by the waves. We would not use wood to stop waves today.
I know I am going to cause a storm but this has to be said. I loath council bashing but we elect these members in and regardless of who is reponsible, something has to be done, or it's all over red rover for Horseshoe Bay.

Firstly, owners acquired the properties in good faith, reasonably expecting that the land they purchased would continue to be available for their use as business' or homes or investments - just like anyone else. Secondly, they are not personally responsible for climate change and storm events. Finally, it is not just about their benefit, the beach that is enjoyed by the general public would cease to be accessible if allowed to encroach into private property, this will than impact all of Magnetic Island and our vital tourist industry.

It is rightly an issue for the public purse. At some stage in the far past Council zoned the land suitable for development - people relied on that to develop homes and business' on it. Clearly, buildings exist there today because of Council's approval. Logically this is not a case of "Buyer beware" effect. If someone else suddenly decides that your right to rely on Council zonings is void, where does that leave anyone - waterfront or otherwise ?
Chasmac Maria, I think you'll find that cadastral property boundaries are established by the State government (Titles office). If there is to be any change to boundaries it is possible under state legislation but rising sea levels are a new phenomenon that may require a new legislative regime.
I think the situation in Radical Bay provides an excellent example. The freehold land there extends to an 'Esplanade' (Council street) which begins at Highest Astronomical Tide (HAT). The owner proposes to either build an existing approved multi-storey resort or further subdivide to house blocks - in either case building as close to the high water mark as is legally possible. You would think that neither State nor owner (developer) would want to gamble with climate change (given the odds and the evidence before their very eyes) but in fact by staying with the status quo Queensland is giving a government guarantee that any encroachment by the Coral Sea onto the site will be sorted out using taxpayers money. So even when nothing has been built and plans are still being drawn and negotiated we have this disconnect between what we know needs to be done (or at least considered) and what will in fact be done. This not only applies to existing waterfront streets like Pacific Drive in Horseshoe Bay but to every tinpot esplanade up and down the coast - whether or not it has any development.
We know that in a hundred years something will have changed along with the estimated one metre of sea level rise. It's a pity that taxpayers will watch huge amounts of government money spent on holding back the tides when a multitude of alternatives awaits appropriate legislative changes. Will that happen shortly? Will government actually discuss climate change and the various approaches to dealing with it? Or will we continue to bullshit ourselves that 'she'll be right', that tomorrow is another day and anyway let's put a new coal loading facility at Townsville port so that we can watch while the stockpiled carbon gets pumped across the sea and eventually under it, pushing the ocean higher and higher while we gaze in dumbfounded amazement.
John Gill Rock or timber walls cause more erosion and beach loss - often requiring sand pumping etc to remake a beach . Much worse than current problems ! It's science - just look at the Gold Coast and Noosa ! The beaches there are gone right now .
Maria @ John Gill, the timber wall at Picnic Bay even after Yasi has sustained the foreshore, yet the pier was destroyed ,so to me that suggested enough of a pounding by waves to have destroyed a structure. Horseshoe Bay cannot be compared to the Gold Coast, we don't get any of the constant surf or pounding that they get, we get occasional northerlies that pound and erode the sand dunes, as I said ,we cannot be compared to the Gold Coast. What is your solution ? or shall we just give up on Horseshoe Bay foreshore. Maybe you just don't care enough for Horseshoe Bay to be bothered.

@ Chasmac, what an excellent reply, thankyou for explaining all that, you are a wealth of information.

Please let me reiterate this one last time , I have nothing to lose by erosion that is occurring on the Horseshoe Bay foreshore but alot of people that own property and interests on the foreshore have. I don't know why I am stressing to fight this issue if the people that have everything to lose can't even be fazed to do anything about the situation. It's not rocket science to know that the far end near Sails, Pacific Drive, is going to erode and by the look of the last Oswald pounding, it took quite a few metres already, won't be long before there's no road left.

Get off your back sides and find a solution, don't just throw up your arms like John Gill did and give up because you can't be bothered with a solution, surely this is enough of a cause to fight for.

Reading between the lines I suspect our dear Editor knows this is an issue for Magnetic Island, something has to be done and lets all be constructive in our solutions and not negative.

Over to you all now, what is the solution ???
Carol Mills I would be opposed to the building of a rock wall. This was done by a number of residents at Flying Fish Point about 10 years ago in order to protect homes. The rock wall moved and created a number of spaces that were small enough for 2 young boys to crawl through. After they did, the rocks moved again. One of the boys survived, the other was crushed and died.
It was a terrible tragedy.
Maria @Carol Mills we are trying to save Horseshoe Bay NOT kill children, solutions please, not hindrances.

Don,t anyone bother to reply unless you have a solution to save Horseshoe Bay, I can't be bothered to reply to the lame negativity and the defeatist attitude that some readers are replying with.
chasmac Maria, I had a chance to more thoroughly look at the shore in Picnic Bay on Sunday afternoon. I noted the 1m+ high log retaining wall that is built above high water along the strip between the jetty and the stage construction which juts out from this retaining wall. If you climb down onto the actual beach next to the stage structure you will see that in fact rocks have been used to create the foundations for that stage and there is erosion developing around those rocks and the trees next to them.
On the opposite side of the jetty, along the edge of the access road to the boat ramp, you can see that a large mass of rocks has been placed there to protect the road foundation and the banks of the creek/estuary which opens out there. Some serious erosion of the bank BEHIND the rock, ie. between the rock revetment and the access roadway (with casuarinas growing all through it) has occurred in some recent times, possibly associated with the flooding of that creek or with some high tide/ high seas event. In both locations, casuarina trees growing along the shoreline are now being undermined in much the same way but to a lesser extent than in Horseshoe Bay and/or Nelly Bay. Also, just in front of the Picnic Bay lifesaving building you can see how the join between the lawned public space and the actual sand of the beach is slowly retreating landward.
The point I am making is that Picnic Bay is in fact subjected to the same sea level rise issues (with variations) as every other beach on the Island. However the retaining wall in Picnic is well above HAT on a foredune which appears to be slightly higher and of a different shape (cross section) to that found in Horseshoe Bay. Where rock has been used in Picnic Bay there are definitely issues arising - you just need to acknowledge what is actually there before starting to make comparisons with other places. You might find that there is some rocket science in it after all.
Steve Lane Geeze, I've read some Green drivel in my time, but Chasmac you deserve 9 Eco stars for this effort!

I just love the; "but all are being slowly nibbled at by insidious sea level rise."
Contains all the calamitous gravitas of a ‘Catastrophic’ bush fire warning doesn’t it?

Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the water. No, that’s far too dangerous to the coral and fish, here’s some interpretative signage for you to really enjoy and a bucket of actual, yes actual, ocean water to touch (obviously we can’t let you touch the real thing, as the acids in your skin would adjust the ph and all the fish would die and the sky will collapse in and cause etc, etc)…

Thing that bothers me is why are you guys so het up about people building on the foreshores, who take their own risks. If you’ve built safely (with your eco grant) 500 metres up the hill already!

Your own eco interpretative sign at the end of Horseshoe Bay showed clearly 100 metres of up and down sea level change in the past 16,000 years or so. Prior to that the GBR was grazing land for the mega fauna of the day, so why worry about this 6.567433cm of eco certified change in the past 20 years. The reef moves with the seas.

So Chasmac, understand this one thing. Using crass insults, superior tones and bullshit stats impresses no one, with one

So even if your alarmist rubbish came true and the rains stopped (Flannery got that one wrong eh???, not before it got him an Australian of the Year Gong, I s’pose eh!) and cyclones became more frequent and sea levels rose one or five metres etc, people will just rebuild further up the beach, as they have done for thousands of years.

Yeah, Chasmac I know, the IPCC has enough eco data on land loss to sea and salt etc, to ensure that innumerable grants are made available to ensure that more grants are available to write yet more doomsday scenarios, and ensure that thousands of useless unneeded eagle swatters, oops sorry, I mean Wind Powered Eco Turbines are subsidised into existence, on every hill.

But you see Chasmac, one day in the eco future, there will be no more oil, and no more coal will be allowed to be burnt…People will have to walk to enviro conferences to quaff the finest wines then.

Makes one wonder where all the grants funding is going to come from then, doesn’t it? Wow a world without grants and interpretative signage, where will we be then???

It’s the year 2456… A father talks gravely to his son, explaining the extinction of Interpretative Signage makers and how they died out as their craft became…
chasmac Steve, I never said I was "..... het up about people building on the foreshores, who take their own risks." In the Radical Bay example (above) I clearly stated that if the Queensland government and local council allow the developer or future owners to construct dwellings on the sand within about ten metres of the Esplanade - in exactly the same way as they have allowed development over the past century in Horseshoe Bay, then the government is obliged to guarantee the protection of the freehold property boundary at taxpayer's expense. Don't you get it? The property owner doesn't take the risk because the government indemnifies the property owner against any and all encroachments. If Pacific Drive gets washed away then it will be rebuilt to exactly the same boundaries no matter what and hang the expense. I don't think it's a good idea to deny the obvious and to propose to continue doing waterfront planning this way indefinitely. Like at Cardwell after Yasi, some thing, some time, will have to give.
Another example, just to make it clear old mate. Inside the Nelly Bay harbour, in the canal where the house blocks have pontoons out the front, if those revetment walls are damaged by storm surge, high tides, 'floods', subsidence or any other 'natural' event, it is not the home owner's problem because the 'owner' and guarantor of the rock revetment walls is Townsville Council. If there is damage to the walls Townsville ratepayers will fix it because that is the guarantee that government gives to people with waterfront properties. If those canal revetment walls need raising in time because the 1980s calculations of sea level rise were unrealistic (as has already happened, twice, on the Presto Breakwater), ratepayers will foot the bill. And man, is that expensive or what? I'm not saying there should not be waterfront property but I am suggesting that if government can see that in the foreseeable future many dune-backed and other low gradient shorelines will need to naturally migrate to absorb expected sea level rise (which I hope even you acknowledge is a fact not a conspiracy) then why not take the opportunity, in places that have not yet been developed or built on, to plan on creating that buffer zone by changing property boundaries now and dealing with compensation issues etc? And if the State is proposing to create new man-made land like canals (say, at the Duck Pond outside the Casino in Town where 700 dwellings have been proposed) wouldn't it be a tiny bit strategic to expect a metre of sea level rise, to expect increasing frequency and intensity of cyclones, to know for a fact that a storm surge of 1, 3, 5 metres is quite possible and to maybe decide it's not such a good idea to put government guaranteed man-made land like that out on a platter for the ocean to just swallow in one gulp, residences and residents alike?
Carol Mills Maria, my comments were made from first hand experience while living in a community where the very same discussions you are having now took place. Unfortunately some owners of beach front properties decided not to listen to the experts and built walls without going though council approval.

The rock walls destroyed the beach and a young child was killed.

Many properties at Fllying Fish point were built within the natural tidal area so it was not climate change that was threatening the homes but rather poor planning that allowed building within a place that was not suitable.

Many lessons could be learned from studying what has happened at Flying Fish Point and other coastal areas.

This is not being negative, I am voicing my opinion and giving the reasons for it.

Steve Lane Thanks Chasmac for a considered and nicely toned reply. My umbrage with all these issues is why do we have to plan for the unplanable.
Sea levels are going to change over time. Coastlines will erode no matter what the sea level. Look at the U.K. coastline, it’s been eroding and receding for thousands of years, just by the actions of the seas and storms that happened long before we blamed ourselves for altering the environment. Deal with these issues as they happen. If sea levels rise, then deal with it when it happens. It is a slow process, scary pronouncements from people like Flannery aside.
Even if anthropological activity directly caused sea level increase (and I certainly don’t believe there is any credible evidence) then steps will be taken by governments as and when required to deal with same.
Scaring the bejesus out of young people as Prof. Steffen did today, stating the environment is ‘on steroids’ is not science, is it? The use of climate extremes as evidence is in no way scientific, is it? but no I don’t see any conspiracy, just a big waste of natural resources fixing problems that don’t yet exist and that probably will never happen.
At the end of the day if a revetment wall fails, well look at fixing it and decide who pays for it at that time…
Maria @ Carol I' m sorry I should never have said that you were negative , I never mean' t to imply that, must have been shocking what happened at Flying Fish Point, my inlaws had property along there and sold up in the 90's
@ chasmac that wall at Picnic Bay has lasted longer than the foreshore at Horseshoe is going to last at the present rate of erosion.
Obviously a solution isn't, at hand for the foreshore , well none that the council wants to invest in anyway
chasmac Steve, you will notice that this article is about the apparent effect of sea level rise in Horseshoe Bay. Residents there and many others including the local authority, have seen with their own eyes that waves breaking at high tide just off the beach can sweep water right over the berm onto Pacific Drive bringing sand and water to the shopfronts. I think it is being suggested that this is a new phenomenon - or at least, it seems to be happening with greater frequency and at higher levels than ever before in local memory.
You take the position that: "If sea levels rise, then deal with it when it happens", which is fair enough. But who decides that sea levels have risen? Do you agree that the evidence on the ground in Horseshoe Bay, the evidence of Council workers having to clear sand nearly a metre deep from around the BBQ area, the receding shoreline at Gerry Kearns Park, the collapsed boatramp, the falling trees etc. etc. now constitutes something that needs to be 'dealt with'? Can we expect that "...steps will be taken by governments as and when required to deal with same"? Because many people believe that we have already reached the point where action needs to begin. It's easy to imagine that in Horseshoe Bay the next storm event will see waterfront buildings being actually damaged or even undermined as seawater swirls past and into the estuary behind or actual waves break across Pacific Drive. The Council has already decided to not locate the public toilets back on the beach (where they were originally built overlooking a shark proof swimming enclosure just after WW2). If more changes are needed then local and state government will need a plan - mainly because ad hoc decisions made over and over again for more or less the same reasons become incredibly expensive - far more than ratepayers will ever be able to afford. Some places have pressing needs, other can wait. Others still will have unexpected political pulling power or the opposite - expendable public assets like scenery or a fishing spot that are abandoned because no one cared enough. These challenges are not "unplanable" - they are just extremely difficult to push to the top of the priority list, especially when outspoken commentators, with all sorts of personal agendas, are able to deflect, obfuscate and mess up the playing field so that ordinary decision making is nearly impossible to conduct. I suggest that Kevin Rudd was on the money when he stated that climate change is the greatest moral challenge facing society. We don't have space or time in that debate any more for personal agendas.
chasmac Maria, to the best of my knowledge, waves breaking at high tide in Picnic Bay have never swept up over the undisturbed berm (for example at the Granite Street 'headland' or the paved approach to the jetty) or threatened the buildings on the Esplanade there - before or after the construction of the raised retaining wall. I don't pretend to know why but the different aspect (one faces north the other south), different reef shape, different wave regime and numerous other factors have created different places. But hey, maybe you are correct and a treated pine log retaining wall the length of the commercial strip in Horseshoe Bay would create new recreation and business space that is sustainable and functional. I simply do not know.
Steve Lane Cairns Chasmac. I think the expression is; agree to disagree.

Yep okay, I plead guilty to making up a word - unplanable - but I like it alot LOL...

Any reliance on your part to retort with words of wisdom from Kevin Rudd surely diminishes your arguement into laughing stock territory though?

He, her and that party are just about to be annihalated in the coming election and you submit his words of wisdom. Surely you could do better than that. They have put us in the hole for near $200 billion and still you sing his praise - Go figure!

One of main planks of your position is cost, tied with the fiscal impact of climate change, again, - $200b - Go figure?

But I caveat my comments referring to my membership of the LNP...

You know, it seems to me that history in a couple of hundred years from now will judge these current generations pretty harshly. I think it will be viewed as a time of wastrels and lost opportunities for manusia and the squandering of many and great resources by the smallest of men.

The best thing about it, will be that none of us will be around to bear the shame...

Keep planning the unplanable...
John Gill Maria , rudeness is not constructive . I live in Horseshoe . The breakwater has caused repeated severe erosion on Nelly Beach .A timber wall,constructed illegally, in front of 1 of the foreshore houses on the Eastern end of Horseshoe also causes erosion . There maybe another solution but not walls.
Pacific Drive , Horseshoe Bay is built on a sand dune . Up until the 1950s , Henry Lawson was the main street .
chasmac So Steve, you enter the 'debate', shake a few branches and chuck a few grenades and then you leave. You are cool about government 'dealing with stuff when it happens' or 'fixing stuff that needs fixing and working out who should pay when the time comes' but you won't come to the nub of this discussion. That is, when will you personally be well enough equipped with information to accept that the time for action has in fact arrived?
You seem to want to wait for more evidence of global warming, of sea level rise, (probably) of ocean acidification, even possibly of increasing atmospheric CO2, even though these parameters are being measured accurately every day and accepted as scientifically verified facts. Perhaps you still hope that someone will find a way to contest that factual scientific evidence (rather than the social/political/economic scheming that is now occurring in response to those facts) so that they are found to be completely wrong, that the world doesn't have to do anything at all, that climate change is 'crap' and we/they were all barking up the wrong tree. Sheesh!
I think that could be a lonely wait Steve. And so confronting given that your high school education taught you about the greenhouse effect (so you know that's true), the Cairns Post reports on the measured global sea level rise (so you know that's the absolute truth!) and all the senior members of your personal political party agree that climate change is real and they intend to take Direct Action to counter it if only they can win government. Coming to grips with that challenge will provide you with some moral dilemmas. Perhaps not the greatest moral challenge of your life but still, it will be up there. Because you don't want to believe it. You don't want it to be true. But every day another plank falls into place on the stairway to heaven. We're all going up Steve and I'm sorry but we are all going to be around to see it, in technicolour, right before our very eyes. In fact I suspect it's already happening in downtown Horseshoe Bay. Oh, and don't worry about the money or the shame. No one does these days.
HJ Di Why not lobby to triple the Carbon Tax? That changes the climate. Right?
chasmac As you probably already know HJ Di, the carbon tax will disappear next year when it turns into an ETS. Then the price will fluctuate according to the market. The evidence so far is that over the past couple of years electricity demand is down across Australia and as more people make the intellectual connection between electricity/fuel consumption and the cost of living so demand will sink further. I think this is the objective of a carbon price (either by direct tax or by ETS). If it comes to pass that consumption of electricity continues to fall even as renewable electricity production increases (competing with and slowly replacing coal-fired production) then we will have achieved a turnaround in Australia's greenhouse gas production and a start on the long haul towards carbon free electricity and fuel generation. This is what will eventually change the climate.
In my opinion it will also change the nation. Even in the last couple of years we have all become much more aware of our ability to waste energy resources - mostly because they are so cheap as to not worry us financially. Witness the number of homes with air conditioners running all day, even with no one present, the number of large gas-guzzlers clogging seriously expensive roads, the incredible growth of landfill, all point to a high consumption society. But the impact of the carbon tax, even though small in comparison to the other drivers of price rises ("gold plating" of electricity transmission systems for instance), has brought rapid change in consumption behaviour, far and away ahead of alternatives like government regulation. People really do respond to price signals and the carbon tax and soon the ETS will continue that trend. We won't see global warming reversed in our lifetimes but one step at a time we will be able to reverse the growth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and that will be a major achievement.
ShaunOMalley Increase the carbon tax.
tony paps Amazing isn't it that every discussion about the environment ends up in a group of conservatives bashing everyone over the head with politics and useless jingoism.
We have been looking at Mag Is as a retirement option for several years. We will not be purchasing anything in West Point, Radical Bay or on any of the "Esplanades"! Horseshoe bay beachfront and anything surrounding the Lagoon is also out.
I am glad some of you locals are concerned about what is a obviously a problem. I suspect one or more of your hecklers may be in Real Estate.
Fay Maree Seechius As a regular visitor from Canberra, I would hate to see the foreshore disappear. But from what I know you have nothing to worry about now that we have a Carbon Tax and eventually an ETS.
Maria Z Whether we like it or not sand dunes come and go and should never have permanent structures erected on them. What is more of a worry is putting shops and houses in such a vulnerable area in the first place. Usually where there are vegetated dunes these have a chance to replenish next time there is a quiet period which is going to be seldom under climate change.
Unfortunately Horseshoe has this fantastic view that everyone wants to build close to at their peril. Ditto Nelly B where an engineering problem has required an engineering solution. Smart people buy their real estate with flood maps and storm tide surge maps. Others write to Magnetic Times time after time defending their opinions.
Great travel deals for walkway opening
Dennis Schinkel Shame that Sealink did not give adults a discounted rate - their excessive fare is what keeps Townsville residents from visiting wonderful Maggie !!
Jason S. On the money Dennis... What a pathetic "offer"... Fantasea is advertising something a little bit better, but how many people would think of using the barge as a walk on service? I for one would love to see the barge full next Sunday and Sealink empty...
A tasty invader?
grom1t There's a plant I've never seen before in my veggie patch. It looks suspiciously like Piper sarmentosum. with small, waxy leaves and a vine-like look. I guess I dig it up and put it in a pot on the deck. Anyone got any recipes? lol
Musos Club is back for 2013
Lorna How terrific to see community activity coming back to Picnic Bay!
Susan Zann Looking forward to being a member and listening and dancing of course to some great music and singing. A good line up of performers already. See you in June
George Hirst Since we first posted this story Magnetic Times has removed the references to the Sara Shaw band performing as we have learned more recently that this will not be possible. Magnetic Times apologises for this error but remind readers that there are many other fine performers on offer for the first Musos gig in quite a while.
Council thinks twice after storm erosion
Barbara I was wondering why they were re-building on the same site after the previous damage...considering the proximity to the estuary. so common sense does prevail eventually?
Wendy Tubman The wonderful climate reminder service at work, Barbara!
Magnetic generosity continues to flow
Jo A great night. A wonderfully generous community and a very worthy cause. Thank you Dani, Anne, Peter, the bat-girls and all others who pulled such a remarkable auction together.
Magnetic Islander tells of her life in Aleppo
chasmac Terrific piece. Thanks Geo and Dani.
Ally A wonderful read- thanks Dani and MT
rebecca that was really interesting
Sarah Brings back memories of my childhood trips to Syria, thanks Dani.
Lance Jackson Heartwarming way to discover more about your daughter-in-law and worthy human interest reporting by M.I.
Lance J
Les Danis' interview puts a different face to the often heavily biased reporting of not only events in the Middle East,but also the Muslim religion in general. As Dani mentions, perhaps one day we'll all realise that it doesn't matter whether we're Australian, Japanese or whatever; at the end of the day we're all members of the human race. Thanks Dani & MT
Jenny Thank you for sharing that with us. Your desire to help them is admirable. It is likely there are people in our community who (for a variety of reasons) are not able to attend the function on Saturday but who would love to make a financial donation to such a worthy cause. Is it possible to arrange this as part of the Magnetic Island fund raising effort?
Dani Ceccarelli Hi Jenny, thanks for posting your message - if anyone would like to make a donation, please email me on and I will let you know what you can do.
Jo A great night. A wonderfully generous community and a very worthy cause. Thank you Dani, Anne, Peter, the bat-girls and all others who pulled such a remarkable auction together.
Maggie Cocks Thankyou Danni for your wonderful comments about life in Aleppo. How privileged we were to have spent our years there. I grieve for the people and the wonderful country it was. God willing peace and harmony will return in time. I hope your auction was a great success
Garage Sale this Saturday
Not fair Sounds great, but I've all but given up on garage sales on the island because certain people always arrive before start time, and even prior to setting up, and are allowed to skim the cream.
Maybe this acceptable on the mainland,but in a small, and isolated community, we don't have the abundant opportunities when it comes to garage sales and other second-hand goods.
I hope you let it be known that there will be no pre start-time sales.
Wet season treasures
wendy Tubman Just love them frigate birds. In the Islands, they say that a low flying frigate foretells bad weather; high flying, better (or is it the other way around?!)
Eric Vanderduys I reckon low flying might mean "bad", Wendy. On the arvo if Yasi, I had one fly through my yard!
Magnetic Island turtles get a second chance
Wendy Tubman Well done to all involved. A great initiative and an inspiring example of people seeing a need for something and getting on and doing it! I am sure it will be a great success.
Denise Wishing this initiative all success!
sarat Fantastic job guys. Congrats to Ali and all the volunteers.
Jo A BIG Thankyou to everyone who turned out to help us at this working bee. It was such a productive morning, we really got so much achieved, it was a really big effort on everyone's part - especially in the heat and humidity! The Turtle Clinic is really coming along, and we now surrounded in gardens, that will one day grow and help cool the site. Our community should be very proud of what we have created.
Sue Nolan Will be moving over there this Friday, can you let me know if I can help, would love to get involved , thankyou
John Becker: Life Celebration
Kylie Lewis Wow... sorry to hear... He was my neighbour for a few years. He was a great man indeed. Many a wise words share with John over a few sips... I shall light a candle of my own in his honour...
Gabul Walkway: pros, cons and ribbon cutting
pam barlow quite frankly I would wonder why drivers would be paying so much attention to the view when they really should be watching the road when driving!!!!! as to the structure I am happy to see it so strongly built considering its proxcimity to the edge of the cliff and having more possibility of wash away or minor collapse particularly in wet season as in comparison to the picnic bay walkway which had more solid grounding. otherwise I find THIS WALKWAY a must have for MI. especially seeing people in wheelchairs and young families with prams already using this walk way. I look forward to that great day 3rd March when the 16yr wait is over thank you to all who have been involved over the years.
angelamoore the gabul walkway is the name.and"the birdcage"?I reacon its a benefit from a walkers perspective,in fact acts as a partial visual barrier from the trafic passing by
Chris C Looks to me as if it was designed by the guy who took the island to new hights in ugly industrial architecture - the Ergon Power Station at the HB skate park
Syl Yes I've heard several detracting comments about the metal appearance but let's get back to the important function of the walkway and pay credit to the work of Hutchinson employees who worked in extremely difficult and hot conditions to get the walkway open by Xmas.
Also I sincerely hope that Claudia, who named the walkway, will be acknowledged on the eventual signage. Wouldn't that be a first!
Wendy Tubman Yes, it's functional; but in this day and age, I would have thought it possible to combine beauty and functionality. I agree, it look likes an extension of the (now officially shifted from 'award-winning' to 'unattractive and in need of a re-think') Nelly Bay Harbour Terminal (and surrounds). I also understand that the failure for it to link well with the over-hill track is a problem. Good to have a safe walkway but an opportunity missed.
Tim Johansson i agree with pam, sick of idiots driving at 30km like they are the only ones on the road looking at the view when they should be looking at the damn road. Get out and walk if you wanna see the view
Francoise It's wonderful to be able to walk and cycle safely over the hill, while enjoying the view! Pity nobody thought about leaving a gap in the security railing on the Nelly Bay side where the walking track comes down from the forest. Maybe it can still be done?
Barbara Gibbs I agree it is a lovely walk and has its advantages for the disabled and elderly to have safe passage from one bay to the next. However, it IS an island and heavily reliant on tourism, and it has been the custom for many years that tourists hire mini mokes or topless cars, all of which are quite small and cannot see over the infrastructure. the huge cement bases look like a mini freeway and as George rightly said, detracts from the natural aesthetics greatly. However, like all bad development, once it is in, there is little to do to change it. With regard to the speed over the is only 40kmph anyway, and tourists come here to admire the views, not infrastructure. Honestly, I wonder why so many choose to live on an island when they really prefer a city.
Jane I think it is fantastic. Safe for everyone, peds, cyclists and cars. Easy to walk and should be low maintenance.
Kasimir you know what should be done, get the school kids to paint it.

the old Picnic bay jetty looked way better once the kid's paintings were installed in the gazeebo.

or you could always crochet it

Jenny It's a pleasure walking over the hill now. 20 years of tramping along the road dodging busses are almost forgotten. Any idea when a couple of solar powered lights will be installed for the safety of night walkers and to, hopefully, reduce the increased road kill which now occurs as the wallabies are unable to 'escape'. If we've paid $5.6M and it doesn't include some lighting that would be very disappointing.
Anonymous Personally I am tired that people seem to assume council and engineers don't consider beauty in design. Even more so that they bag council rather than celebrating the positives.

I am neither a council employee not an engineer.

I am aware of the process this project went through and am pleased to say that beauty, engineering and life cycle costings were all considered to achieve the best product for the available funds for council and the community. This is also why it was not just an engineer but an architect involved in the design process.

Key factors in product selection are
- environment (sea side)
- life span
- environmentally sensitive products
- cost of maintenance

How about a bit more positivity.
Alf Goater The dreaming carpet python Gabul, lets give Arthur Johnson on the behalf of the Wulgurukaba people the honor of cutting the ribbon on opening day, and his name on the eventual signage. to let tourist and the future Islanders know what the walkway is all about.
Steve Ashton I am an architect and I think it looks pretty good from the photos. I will be up there in March to see it for myself. The height of the balustrades and the spacing of the vertical balusters are not optional (they are regulated) so the choice of the metal actually gives the least interruption to the view. if they were in timber the elements would all be thicker and obstruct the view more. The only bit that looks a bit strange is the pieces of in-situ concrete wall at the Nelly Bay end - they look a bit out of place. But I will wait to see it in the flesh. Basically looks like a good job.
Lucie de Monchaux As a joyful visitor to your wonderful Magnetic, the walkway is long overdue. when you all think ahead, tthe basics are : saftey and more safety and to enjoy your incredable place to live or visit
Thanks so much to all who pushed long and hard for it to happen. Lucie de Monchaux
kas zierl you should crochet the walkway, make it look like a colorful python:
ian watson I have nothing but praise for those workers who constructed the walkway. From its beginning to the end they were cheerful, courteous, friendly and as can been seen, professional in their trade.
It is a very functional piece of engineering and one can now wheel ones suitcase over the hill if so inclined (Yes I saw it being done yesterday).
It is easy to use, has a springy surface and is safe.
However a tourist track - it is not.
The seaside barrier, at least, should be lowered by a foot to allow most adults an unimpeded view of the rock sea interface.
It is like walking through a sheep run.
It is a sadly missed opportunity that has not delivered on the scenic aspect so much vaunted and anticipated.
The two seats are so positioned to afford a prison like view.
There are many walkways in both Australia and overseas that are so much more friendly to the walker, that hang over high cliffs, that go nowhere near the engineering overkill that has been employed on Gabul Way.
Whether it was the standards that had to be employed or the interpretation of them - it misses the mark.
In all, a functional pedestrian walk. Sadly ,very pedestrian, that for less dollars could have been so much more enjoyable to traverse.
A return and a farewell
Steve Lane What a lovely guy. John was a bright light with a gregarious personality who always gave me a giggle. Sad loss, wishes to his family.
angelamoore feeling sorrow at the passing of dear john becker.such a brave and generous man,and always funny.he gave so much to this community in the 13 years he lived here.he will be missed by many.
Pat Trewin Our farewell to John will be held at the RSL Memorial Hall on Saturday 19th January, commencing at 5pm. All friends of John and Allyson, as well as all our Sub-Branch members, are invited to attend to remember this wonderful and unique man.
Patricia MacQueen Farewell John AS YOU R.I.P.
Sending positive thoughts and prayers to his wife Allyson to help you through this very sad time....
suemac So sorry to hear of John's passing - he was very interesting and entertaining to talk to and had some great philosophies worth hearing. He was an asset to the RSL and to our lives. RIP John Becker.
Mark Tull RIP Major. My apologizes for the farewell. Please pass on my very best, and I hope you all have no shoes on when you have your knees up! Great mate, sadly missed.
Barbara Gibbs A great loss to the cultural centre of the island community. Beautiful wit and humour, brilliant mind, always finding the positive side of life, right to the end. A definite no shoes event...he wouldn't have it any other way(: A year of many endings on the island and in many of our lives...topped off by the loss of the jovial John and the just as witty Tony Greig.
rebecca John, you were a groover with a great bookshelf.
Changes to Picnic Bay landfill hours
Pamela Are the new days/hours the same for green waste?
chasmac Pamela, yes.
Horseshoe Public toilets to be replaced
Brad Smith Exactly how is the council proposing to limit the use of reversing beepers? Deactivate them? (Which is illegal.) or Only use their vehicles in a forward motion? (Which is impossible.)
chasmac Brad Smith, the article states that Council is proposing to limit the use of reversing beepers " providing respite periods during extremely noisy works". I guess Council shovels will be installed in the ground in a shady spot where the machine operators can periodically lean respitefully.
davo Wonder if there are figures on whether it's better for the wider population to cop a squished bod every now and then from silent reversing machines compared to the number of people who could go completely insane and top themselves from being exposed to those maddening bloody beeps?
Ture Sjolander Shit Happens !
Sue I guess it will be "flushed" into the sea with the next storm northerly.

We require a timber wall such as the likes of picnic bay otherwise we are going to end up with NO recreational council parkland.

Magnetic Islanders should be very concerned about what is happening at Horseshoe Bay parkland and start to constructively lobby the council to protect this part of the bay.

I'd be very concerned if I owned any business's along that foreshore let alone owned the property rights from Maggie's Beachfront apartments all the way to Lotus house, those properties are going to end up in the sea if nothing is done to
Save that beachfront. Before any tall poppy syndrome people say that's their fault for buying beachfront properties think about what it will do for the viability of Maggie if there isn't a Horseshoe Bay recreational parkland
Nelly Bay man attacked while in bed
A.Mous Thats a much better article than what the Bully came up with!
Sarah Thank you for giving us the news in a balanced way George.
Alf Goater
It scares the hell out of the elderly,when the Bully has headlines like (home invasions )thanks George, now we have it.
George Hirst Ta guys, I think we can all see the levels that the Murdoch owned Bully will go to exploit a story. Nothing like a fight to attract attention. it's all so predictable and little wonder their circulation keeps falling.
Claire Don't worry George most of what your articled stated was what went through my mind, and I daresay other island residents, after reading that well known rag known as The Townsville Bulletin had sensationalised. Magnetic Island residents "reeling". Give me a break.
Jason S. But this is a crime island... A ghetto even...LOL
X base marks the spots for turtles
sara Well done Aimee and staff!
Do you know what Julia Gillard is up to on Friday?
chasmac The Gillard government had a golden opportunity in the last month to indicate that it had even a vague interest in the outstanding universal values of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and Magnetic Island's unique terrestrial contribution to those values. The issue? The proposed transfer station and its location on undisturbed woodland and recognised wetland at the Cockle Bay turnoff, just outside Picnic Bay.
Townsville City Council referred its proposal to the Commonwealth for assessment under the EPBC Act and in recent days the federal environment minister has indicated he is not interested and will take no further action - the Council is free to do whatever it likes, subject to the usual approvals by the Queensland government.
So, one has to ask what is the point of national EPBC legislation if the Commonwealth is not actually interested in acting to protect and present outstanding assets which it has gone to great lengths to identify? Is our national economy so dysfunctional that in order to hand out $250 electricity rebates, baby bonuses or business subsidies we have to tar and cement another piece of the national estate?
If that is the case then we are all responsible. We can't hide behind the skirts of the Council or the State or the Commonwealth when it is our demands for more roads (to Radical Bay for instance), more infrastructure (Nelly Bay terminal car park parkland for instance) and more government protection (body corporate home insurance for instance) that drives cost cutting at all levels of government. Apparently we can't afford the natural environment we have inherited so we will have to let some of it go. Horseshoe Bay is now excised from the GBR Marine Park (thanks Canberra), the half-completed conversion of Magnetic Island State Land to National Park is on hold indefinitely (thanks Brisbane) and the 40 acre woodland next to the golf club is on the way to becoming the Island's next industrial zone (thanks Townsville City Council), all because we aren't the smart state we think we are.
Of course there is an alternative and it won't be found in Canberra, Brisbane or Townsville city. Unity of purpose starts here on Magnetic Island but the more we demand from outside the more they need to take from the Island to 'pay' for it.
Wendy Tubman Great news just in ... THE business lobby's big victory in eradicating ''green tape'' has collapsed as the Gillard government shelves controversial plans to hand over environmental decision-making to the states.

Well done to all the many, many people who have fought this crazy suggestion - let's keep up the pressure and make sure the Federal government does not shirk its responsibility to protect our environment. The thought of a Newman/Seeney term in charge curdles the blood.

chasmac Unfortunately Wendy, the Commonwealth's powers under their EPBC Act have, in the particular case of the transfer station development, been devolved completely to Townsville City Council - or perhaps even as far as the Deputy Mayor, Vern Veitch. A story in this weeks MCN says in part:

"Cr Veitch was, in part, referring to a petition gathered and presented to TCC by MIRRA fronted by local businessman, Paul Wightman, who claimed to have 90% of Picnic Bay residents supporting the closure of the Picnic Bay landfill and the development of the transfer station site at Cockle Bay.
Paul greeted the news that the EPBC hurdle had been averted by saying he was “happy we're moving forward on the Cockle Bay solution”.
He said of proceeding with this: “The sooner the better because the Picnic Bay dump's starting to become a mountain and it's seeping black stuff into the creek and needs to be rehabilitated.”
Cr Veitch disputed this claim, saying he'd walked along the creek a fortnight ago when on the island for the Save the Rec Camp protest and had seen no evidence of leaching into the creek."

I'm sure 90% of Picnic Bay residents are happy to have an unelected spokesman representing them to Council (and indirectly to the Commonwealth) and furthermore expertly outlining the current status and future rehabilitation needs of Butler Creek - especially now that there is no budget for rehabilitation because all the $8.5 million will be spent on the transfer station and the rebuilding of roads through Picnic Bay to carry the new traffic out to the site.
But even better that Council and our budget-conscious State government can make decisions about the dump site rehabilitation and the status of Butler Creek by having the Deputy Mayor take a walk up the creek and cast his expert eye over it at the end of the dry season and discover that there's nothing seeping into the watercourse. Brilliant! Kill two birds with one stone. So nothing need be done. Residents can take heart in all this because Townsville City Council has such a great record of rehabilitating old dump sites next to watercourses. How many millions and years are required to fix the dump site now leaching crap into Ross River?
Vern Veitch picks and chooses which bits of unauthenticated, unevidenced gossip and rumour he uses, he can dismiss years of Council studies and plans about a Picnic Bay-located transfer station and without demonstrated justification opt for a more expensive, more invasive and more distant greenfield site leaving no budget to rehabilitate Butler Creek.
And 90% of Picnic Bay residents support this? That's the 90% you can count on one hand? Whatever.
Wendy Tubman I agree Charlie that the Federal EPBC Act is nothing like strong enough and that its use and enforcement is way too 'sporadic', but the thought of this piece of legislation in the hands of Newman and Seeney, who appear to know nothing other than economic growth at all and any cost to the environment, is positively blood-curdling.

We need to keep up the pressure to make sure that the legislation is not handed over to the states (what next - trade? defence? immigration?) and that the legislation is strengthened.

I know, big ask - but I'm up for the challenge - and I'm sure there are lots of others who will join me.

And as to where the new transfer station will go - the fat lady hasn't sung yet.
Froggy Field Guide launch goes wild
Lorna Sorry to have missed such a rip roaring event, but have found frogs to be a big hit in Nepal! Splendid brass ones but very heavy. Hope this message gets through as emails are not. Eric, what's the next book?
Anti-uranium rally tomorrow
Gail Hamilton Rallies are being held concurrently in Brisbane and Townsville, and we are hoping for a big show of support so the Newman government gets the anti nuclear message loud and clear.
For those islanders wishing to attend and need a lift, there are a few of us driving out. You will need to be on 3pm ferry, and I can't guarantee being back before the 9pm ferry as most of us are going to the simulcast of Madama Butterfly after. (Free but book with ticketek). if you need transport, call me on 0447032455. Cheers Gail Hamilton
jan phillips i wish i could make the rally !!!! but will be there with Keith in spirit...this was one of Keith's biggest fears...lets not let this happen !!!!
Island expert publishes a froggy field guide
Lorna Congratulations Eric, the book has been a long time in gestation. Have a good amount of lomandra in my garden, but pond building now on my agenda!
Alice Congrats Eric, I look forward to reading my own copy soon! It'll just mean I'll have to come and visit QLD again (and again!) to find the frogs you have documented in your guide! :-)
Edwina Congratulations Eric, what a great achievement!!
jan phillips well done ordering mine now :)))
Piero V. Well done mate! Looking forward to read the book!
Opposition leader says Hathaway should resign over Rec Camp closure
Sue "One of the organisers of the petition to save the camp, David ‘Crusty’ Herron told Magnetic Times that apart from the response we published from John Hathaway"

After what you said on ACA Crusty, who could take you seriously. You are one hell of a grand stander anything to get yourself noticed, whatever the cause.

John Hathaway has broached this subject with the relevant associations on the Island, he works tirelessly for Magnetic Island and he's smart enough to know you can't flog a dead horse. For goodness sake ,surely what the government is proposing isn't so bad, private enterprise isn't a dirty word. The new private operators will be able to contact all past attendants that have been to the camp and offer the new facilities to them.

And who is Anna ??? Opposition of a party that
IS no party...great Crusty, that you got the big guns to take notice of you.
David Crusty Herron We understand that the government does need money. And that the government will not continue managing the camp. A Private operator will manage it better than the department of communities or any government could. That is accepted. But... and a big but.

Decommissioning is not an option. Decommissioning the Magnetic Island Active Recreation Centre and only designated Disaster Relief & Recovery Centre with no alternate facility available is not an option for this year’s cyclone/wet season. The Centre cannot be decommissioned. The decision to decommission the centre was made without consideration of regulatory guidelines

Premier Newman, Minister Dickson and Senior Bureaucrat Ashton have got it wrong!

To ensure that the centre will continue to cater to the school visitor groups that traditionally makes up the major market segment and incoming revenue source and that the centre stays online as the island’s relief & recovery centre there are only two options. The first (1.) will not happen leaving the second (2.) as an acceptable option and (3.)If/when option 2. is unacceptable.

1. The camp either stays open under government control to operate as it has and the cancelled bookings to be restored (impossible)OR

2. The Camp stays open to operate as it has. The cancelled bookings could be restored with the government continuing to manage the camp during a transitional operating period until the private operator takes over after 1 July 2013 - OR

3. The camp is not to be decommissioned but is closed to clients until the new operator takes over.

We get to retain what is ours in the meantime with the imminent cyclone season - our only designated relief and recovery centre.

Don't decommission our camp! Only 3 days left to sign the petition and 24 days to lockout and decommissioning.
Alan On another issue, funding for the Child care centre, my wife sent a letter to John Hathaway. She checked with the receptionist he received it, which the office did. No acknowledgement of the letter was sent. No correspondence given. Every other member or interested party responded. Fortunately this state government increased the funding for this child care centre. Maybe JH was hard at work on it, but how would we know. He is not doing his office or position any benefit by not consulting with the constituents. Unfortunately Sue, anything can be inferred by his 'no response' on issues.
Linda Good on you Annastacia
Shame on Hathaway and the Newman government
Stella I have taken a number of concerns to Mr Hathaway. Not only did he respond in a timely matter, his staff kept me updated continuously through the process. The vocal minority strikes again!
Stella With the amount of whinging you lot do its a surprise he responds at all! I have emailed concerns to Mr Hathaway and his office has responded in a timely manner. If you read this Mr Hathaway, it's a case of the same vocal minority!
Patrick Collins Wat can you expect fron Ms missing. Hathaway has replied to any correspondenc we have sent.

Jenny Stirling I wonder how long private interests will be bothered in providing a service like this if they can't make enough profit. And then what will happen?
Jason S. I'm curious how many islanders know it is a "designated relief and recovery centre". I have lived here for nigh on 7 yrs now, and never heard of this place as quoted above...After Yasi i went over to the RSL to fill out some paperwork, could i have done this at the camp??? Now you tell me??? 8 times out of 10 that i drive past the camp it's deserted anyways....
David Crusty Herron Thank you Jason S, yours are all good questions. from recent experience we found that very few islanders knew that the camp is a designated relief & recovery centre.

The reason for this is simple and found in the notes bottom page 1 of the current 'Disaster Management Centres Short Term Welfare Sub Plan' which states,

"The decision to prepare and open a building / facility, once made by the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG), will be broadcast to the community via internal communication tools and the local media" "ALL BUILDINGS LISTED MAY NOT BE OPENED FOR AN EVENT SO FURTHER ADVICE IS REQUIRED"

The LDMG activates a facility designated or not according to appropriateness for needs and circumstances in a given area. The RSL would have been chosen as convenient for the purpose.

You can download the plan easily, Google "Disaster Mgt Centres_PUBLIC Revised Dec 2011.pdf"

The camp is also one of 5 designated evacuation centres on the island.
John Hathaway MP In response to the Magnetic Times article “Opposition leader says Hathaway should resign over Rec Camp closure” dated 25 Nov 12, I would like to provide the following comments. I do not have much time for the Leader of Opposition's Crocodile tears and call for my resignation because:

• The Bligh Government closed six centres during their time in government, one of which included the Lake Julius centre.

• It was noted in 2008 the Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Sport, The Hon. Judy Spence indicated that the six centres had been losing money for years due to low occupancy rates. Lake Julius is approximately 90kms from Mt Isa and had an occupancy rate of 1.7% and its operating cost per annum was $237,177.00. Notes the revenue was as little as $15,402.00.

• Fast forward to 2012 and the Opposition Leader is concerned about the Mt Isa students not having a recreation camp to conduct their activities, yet in 2008 her government closed the Lake Julius centre (They also closed Seaforth in Mackay).

• In 2008, the Bligh Government were developing alternative options for the ongoing management of the centres which included management models similar to those the Newman Government is calling on through their EOI process.

• The MIARC was given a second chance at life on a trial basis for 18 months after Minister Spence said major changes will be made to the centres operating structure. It was also noted that occupancy rates were under 20% and it was costing tax payers more than $328,000.00 per annum to keep open.

• I note also Crusty's comments re the costs to government so lets put the opportunity cost in some easy health terms, $300,00.00 will buy any of the options below:

o 15 knee replacements
o 15 hip replacements
o 8 cochlear implants
o 109 tonsillectomies
o 50 appendectomies
o 4 x nurses per year

• The Newman Government would like to see the MIARC remain open, hence the request for EOI through the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing website. I urge all interested parties to come forward, view the centre and put forward a management model that will ensure the future viability of the centre. I have also suggested to the TCC (VV) that the Centre will remain available this cyclone season, and simply that TCC need to write to the department to establish the processes for access after a storm event. You should also note that the centre would traditionally close down during the XMAS period and this has never been seen as an impediment to its use as Post Disaster Recovery Centre before.

I will consider the Opp Ldr's call for my resignation when she and her colleagues publically apologise to all Queenslander's for the disastrous managment of the state's finances that has led us to this juncture requiring the critical examination and prioritisation of all Govt expenditure to get our state back on track.

John Hathaway, MP

David Crusty Herron In response to Mr Hathaway's comment.

The Bligh Government did close six centres, however it was former State Member for Townsville, Mike Reynolds, in conjunction with members of this community who stopped the camp from being closed in 2008 by the Bligh government, we recall the solid case he put to the committee at the time with the same reasons being valid today. The centre then was a disaster management facility as it is today.

Why did you not intercede for the kids and us in the same way?

Regarding the the operating costs pa - The revenue for the camp in 2010-2011 was $290,445, an increase on the previous year, with a net loss of $162,226 this compares to a net loss of $223,347 for 2009-2010.

The Mt Isa students are the largest user group but are representative of the remainder.

The community accepts that alternative options for the ongoing management are necessary and will serve to remove the financial strain from the government for the operation of the centre and still provide for the School Kids market segment.

With regard to occupancy rates; based on a 364 day year availability for the year 2010-2011 the occupancy rate was 22.8%. For the 2011-2012 year the occupancy rate was 26%. A marked increase in both years over the previous.

The principal limiting factor for occupancy rates is the single occupancy requisite imposed by the department. All the centre needed was some additional amenities to permit dual occupancy and thereby increase occupancy rates dramatically.

As for the number of costs to the government in easy health terms - how many knee replacements will the $70million plus for the governments' Brisbane/Gold Coast Olympic bid buy? Let alone the billions required from public funds to stage the games?

We do now understand that there is no way that the centre will be available for it's primary use as a recreation centre until after the new management takes over after 1 July 2012. But what we want is simply that the camp is not to be decommissioned during this period so that it may fulfill it's secondary role, as a relief and recovery centre. It is our only recovery centre and one of 5 essential evacuation centres. The centre is currently in the hands of the government until the new operator takes over. Therefore, It is the government's responsibility to keep the centre usable.

It's as simple as that. This is not an issue for political brow beating or point scoring. We are not interested in who did what. It is a simple community welfare issue.

Reassure us, please, Mr Hathaway that's all we ask.
Now for a little poetry
Daune Hess This is a love song in poetry from a father to his baby daughter. It's simple enough that a small child can respond to it, and complex enough to joyfully hold the attention of an adult reader or listener. I read it to myself out loud the second time and realized--this poem is exactly like the poet -- who shared it with a tiny girl. I think both father and daughter are rare creatures who are extremely blessed.
Ilya Shambat Thank you Dawn. Just in case anyone else misreads, it's the last poem that is for my daughter; the first two are for my wife. Lilian is a delightful child, and I'm happy to have her for a daughter.
Nelly Bay Gateway concept plan puts legs first
M.Subke As a "concept plan"it will attract many opinions,as a "viable plan" to fix the present reality it is a joke and an excuse by TCC to make us think something will be done.
During 41 years as a resident I have seen many ferry companies come and go,landing places changed and peoples objections,suggestions,ideas ignored by TCC and State Gov.
My opinion is:The Nelly Bay Harbour is an "ugly but usable"reality.
The dropping visitor number will not improve by sprucing up buildings,car parking,planting trees.
The main complaints by visitors are:
1. Ferry costs
2. High food prices
3. Bus services
4. Business attitudes

These complaints could be addressed by local companies sitting together and changing their profit attitudes.They will not be fixed by dreams of a "New Harbour Image".
As a PS: For over 30 years southern retirees came to the island to overwinter and stayed for weeks and months,I know some personally.
They find it cheaper to go to Bali or Thailand now.

gromit I'm sort of with you, George. It would be the incentive to get me on the bus. Another incentive to use the bus has been the traffic lights. I digress. In my experience,schemes which often say that they are trying to promote public transport put down paths which detour all over the place instead of going straight from A to B and also make it difficult to get to public transport. The bus stops and taxi ranks should be as close to the terminal as they are now. The elderly and disabled don't only travel by car and the terminal also services back packers and holiday makers with all their bags.
Chris Chappell I think M.Subke has it the nail on the head. The report doesn't produce any evidence that revamping the entry to the island will do anything to tourist numbers although I would have to concede that it may help with real estate sales at Peppers and 1 Bright Point.

While many returning visitors most certainly have fond memories of the old Picnic Bay jetty entrance - that is not the reason they return. As then and as now, visitors get off the ferry and are dispersed within minutes, off to their accommodation or their day destination - that how it should be and always will be. And as Mr Subke notes, it's their experience when they get to their ultimate island destination that will determine whether they return

Given that most of the "plan" involves private investment (eg fixing the hole in the ground or the unfinished Peppers development) or significant TCC investment (eg to buy the land for the proposed re-located carpark) I don't expect that it will ever happen. Rather it looks to me like one of those $100K 'plans' that governments commission when they want to appear that they are doing something. I would have done it for half the price.

patrick Collins what a cock up, to walk wth bagage from those car parks will test not just thee pensioner sand Lisabled members of our community, leave the area as it is at least we have learnt to live with it as it is
Alan Surely logic would suggest the only way is up! I am happy for more pot plants, along as it comes with another level for a car-park. Does this model suggest how the elderly, young families & disabled will make the extra hard yards to the ferry, so we can go green & back to nature? 75% of the Island is National Park, why have a reversal on a car-park? If people were silly enough to buy units next to a car-park, too bad. I think Chris is right, some consultant has pocketed some money, thank you very much. How ridiculous. I am sorry George but I am not riding my pushie bike from Horseshoe in the rain with kids on the back to have a feel good moment about one less car on the road.
Double Standards George
Another lame attempt by you and a few of your cronies to have a go at the Nelly Bay terminal and Nelly Bay harbour.
It works well as a transit centre it is a safe harbour, Yasi proved that. And your still on about a battle you lost years ago , isn't time you and your mates moved on. Preferably sooner than later.
As for preaching the benefits of not driving motor vehicles, don't you drive a large gas guzzling 4 wheel drive around the island?
On your bike George - in more ways than one!
Allyson At the risk of being sceptical, is this another rort to get MI rate payers to pay for another of the developers' planning mistakes? A major winner of a greening plan for the car park would be Blue on Blue and those sad unsold units which overlook the asphalt and cars and fumes and noise. Meanwhile, we park our cars further away for a longer walk in the hot sun, or we leave them at home and pay exorbitant fares for the bus. At least with the jetty it was a lovely walk.
George Hirst Gee Double Standards, call it 'lame' if you like but it's started to get a bit of discussion going and that's what I wanted to do. And yep the Nelly Bay 'battle' was lost years ago but when the subject is raised, such as in this concept plan, why not remind readers of a little of the history which led to us needing a Gateway Plan after millions in taxpayers dosh were spent making the harbour and terminal? Only seems fair that newer residents be aware of how the ugliness of the harbour facilities came about.

As for the (4 cylinder diesel) 4WD, yep, it was the only car we could reliably run when we lived in very floodable Bolger Bay but those more familiar with my means of transport would tell you that I ride my pushie, or walk, a lot - whenever I don't need to carry heavy loads etc. And why would I preach a pushie-favouring design if I was such a gas guzzler?

Pity you only wanted to have a crack at me DS. My transport habits are not that interesting and it's so easy to go personal rather than contribute something worthwhile.
Sue This upgrade/Greening of the Ferry Terminal can be accomplished without having to go to the extremes of outlaying 1 million dollars+ for extra land, elevatating said prone flooding land and that's just for the new carparking without the calculations of uplifting the existing carparking and greening the existing carparks.
This is an outrageous proposal, a complete waste of taxpayers money and really will not create a better tourist experience.

Green the terminal by all means, have plants from floor to ceiling, interior and exterior, waterfalls within the ferry terminal would replica a tropical oasis, lots of plants at a fraction of any costs that they are proposing in that ridiculous proposal of the recently commissioned Nelly Bay Gateway Concept Plan. Soften the carpark with shadecloths or some sort of cyclone proof coverings.

Goodness even by todays over pricing on quotes for Government jobs this would be relatively simple and cheap, with hardly any interruptions to the day to day commutors.

I shudder to think if this concept plan goes ahead what would happen to the daily commutors when we are in our wet season, them all having to trudge from those far away carparks, in the rain and wind, umbrellas not covering anything really.

Let's face it, the tourists get off the ferry, heads down , trying to cope with their luggage, they're not too concerned about taking a walk around a ferry terminal or the surrounds, they just want to get to the accommodation, have a drink, unpack, shower and relax, unless the terminal supplies all that for them just lets be sensible and green the ferry terminal with an abundance of tropical plants .

If Peppers are the main instigators of this proposal to there benefit surely a screen buffer of green plants could be erected. Could be as high as the council would allow and still be safe through a cyclone. We need those units sold, it's not good for the reputation of the Island to have realestate just sittng unsold and unused; yes it's a mistake having units overlooking carparks, so lets try and correct it but surely this could be corrected without having to get rid of the carparks and inconveniencing the daily commutors

That hole in the ground, make the owners place a wooden deck over it and fill it up with plants, stragegically placed this could green up the place even more and logically that's what the tourists notice as soon as they struggle off the ferry with their luggage that god awful hole in teh ground.
Barrie Saunders We have been enjoying Magnetic Island in September for most of the last 20 years. Before that my late father came, as did his father, who traveled from New Plymouth, New Zealand, for months at a time in the 1930s and 40s. So Maggie runs in the blood.

I agree the present terminal is functional but not really what one might expect for this Island. However it is there and fundamental change at public expense is not warranted. But that awful hole in the ground should be dealt to and maybe some greenery could be incorporated into the surrounding area.

To get more visitors from southern states, New Zealand and offshore, there will need to be more promotion, probably via the web.

It would be nice if service standards at restaurants and elsewhere were somewhat upgraded. The prices at some restaurants match the big cities, but the whole food/service package doesn't which is why we eat at home 90% of the time.

It is unfortunate for those of us who play golf, that the buses take so long to get from Arcadia to Picnic Bay. The golf club could come up with a package for medium term visitors that is a bit more affordable - I know of kiwis who now don't play because of the cos, but the course is rarely under pressure.

Occupation rates at the various condos appear to be quite low and greater profitability is possible, with more creative pricing and marketing.

Maggie is a great island for us visitors and we would like to see more but it will take a collective effort.


Barrie Saunders
Wellington, New Zealand

Peter Neil Although I have only recently moved to the island I couldn't help but admire the proposal to "landscape" the arrival point at Nelly Bay. My initial perception was that there is a lamentable shortage of true landscaping around the built environment leading to an impression of harsh and unfriendly scenery. Then the overwhelming presence of the paved car parking area just makes you wonder where it is that you have landed? An urban ghetto? So imagine my surprise in reading your draft proposal and finding myself agreeing with the direction and scope. I have been involved in community committee work liaising with councils and this is the first time that I have seen a council generated proposal more than adequately address the problems and then also propose meaningful solutions. Magnetic Island presently lacks a cohesive "direction" or visual sense of purpose. It is...nothing more. Any work undertaken to create a new and invigorated "arrival experience" should also recognize and help formulate an overall theme (signage, access) that could then be replicated over the island to create that all important visual harmony that enhances a visitor's experience and memories. Use of natural elements should include the almost iconic "boulders" that set this island apart from other coastal areas. Sandstone paving, for example, mimics the colour and texture of these rock forms and would provide a continuous background theme that visitors would continue to experience. Pedestrian and cycling paths should link to those outside this precinct and be of a similar form to further create a seamless visual pathway. Moving the longer term car parking areas further away is not harmful to users but may require a "soft touch" level of encouragement? Possible one-way lanes inside the precinct (entry from south) would allow for increased number of car parking places? The main pedestrian spine could be curved to allow a more natural walkway rather than a forced angle as depicted?
Palm trees...lots of palm trees...and even more palm tress...please...inside the terminal, around the terminal, all over the "heart". And please hide the solar panels; there is absolutely no reason they need to be "stuck on" to an existing roof structure. Integration of these panels is not difficult and shows a sophistication of design development. Finally, no grass...plants, shrubs, trees...yes. Sun/rain shades...absolutely...The reworking of this terminal and arrival precinct can and should be a visual treat to be enjoyed by all, and set the scene for what they are about to discover on the island.
joyce More pot plants is a great idea. They will give the back packers somewhere to urinate and spew on full moon party nights when the terminal building is closed.
Rally to save Magnetic Island Camp
Darren D. Will ch9 be there...
Angela I think I have an idea on how to keep the site, and put it on the tourist map.
Convert it to craft venue, learning, making, selling, donating.
A back to basics, serene, relaxing, invigorating, quiet, making, discovering, learning etc. etc.
Exclusive, no carbon print, warm fuzzy feeling, just what the world needs
kind of enviting, neutral place.
Thank You
Elizabeth Sawbridge With you all the way and good luck.
Andrea Grondall Yep Magnetic as a visitor Im right with you and would be there too. Will write to Campbell but fear deaf ears. Think that idea for craft learning making and carbon free would be so cool. Would like to see that at the Magnetic International too. Wouldnt it be great to have low cost artist's residents, making wonderful things and selling from the same location. Would be a huge attraction for Magnetic as artists need support with cheap accom and workspaces but repay many times over with creativity and buzz.
Davo Lovely ideas ladies but can't see the government wanting to support something that wont make them a fast buck. Maybe if they could see that those ideas make the community richer and more interesting to visit and that this actually grows business across the island and therefore returns more tax to them they might start to get it but these are the guys who ripped straight into the arts with the Premier's book award the first lesson for creative types that hairy chests rule again. Oh and yeah, they did have to support that poor old hard done by racing industry to the tune of $80M smackers about the same time. Its all a matter of getting the priorities sorted ladies and who ever heard of artists voting LNP?
David Crusty Herron Mr Newman desperately needs cash. and her's one reason why - Queensland Premier Campbell Newman touts Magnetic Island to host Australia's next Olympic Games!

Oops! That should read, "Queensland Premier Campbell Newman touts Brisbane as Australia's next Olympic Games host city, but not yet" Not Magnetic Island.

So the truth is out! the News Limited site (14 Aug 2012) exposes the focus of LNP Premier Campbell Newman push to rob us blind. He wants our gold to get Olympic gold - for Brisbane.

It seems that Premier Campbell Newman, Queensland's version of the wicked evil Sheriff of Nottingham, is intent on frittering away, in 2012 dollars, A$3 billion of public consumption resources, your money, that have to be redirected from elsewhere. Just to give the south east corner of Queensland a bit of PR with a momentary cash flow for Brisbane & the Gold Coast. Goodness knows how much inflation, CPI and the continuing mismanagement of Queensland's economic basis will add to the costs between now and then.
Nago With all the talk that has been going on about 'what to do with the International?' and now the Recreation Camp, with particular reference to the International, is it an inconceivable idea to advertize and market the units/place as an artists/writers space/place? For artists and writers who don't need huge spaces, it could be a perfect. And there is gallery space. It would only need to be opened, maybe by the onsite artists voluntarily during the high season, long weekends etc. And, when the gallery is open, visitors could wander around and talk with artists. A pop up coffee bar when the gallery is open. This wouldn't need any finance, just a shift in where and how the units are advertized? Maybe some startup funding although I'm not even sure that's needed, and a working group which would include the Body Corporate, maybe some inkind support from local community. Really, for the owners nothing changes. The cost for them remains the same, their units are occupied, the artists have low rent accommodation/space, there is a new tourist attraction during the season. There are places like this all over the world...! From whole precincts in Tokyo, to allocated areas in Suzhou, container shops in NYC, Montsalvat down in Melbourne. Fully functioning, living/working/tourist zones. From listening to conversations, I see that there is such a vibrant artist community around the place and in Townsville from which there must be expertize to be part of the working group. This could also work for the Recreation Camp, couldn’t it?
Tree planting to celebrate Gustav Creek’s restoration
Linda Fabulous work and perseverance Charlie
Graham and Terrie Nicholson Well done

Michael Deany Charlie - you know I'd be there to help plant trees if I was thousand of kilometers away. The last I saw the place look great.

cheers mate
Katrina Cullen So wonderful! cant wait to visit again one day and see all the little plant babies grown up and the creeks flow restored. goodonya everyone:>
Vale Keith Bryson - The man behind White Lady Bay
jan phillips thank you George.. a fitting tribute for an amazing man and true friend of Maggie Island and The Great Barrier Reef..a real Icon, it was such a pleasure and privilage having him in my life ...such a very special person.. RIP Keith you will always be in my heart were truely one of a kind <3 xxx
Linda Keith was a truly remarkable man,a d despite the stories of him scaring people off, Keith was 'One of Nature's Gentlemen'. To his very great disappointment and everyone's loss, JCU have not continued his work at White Lady Bay.
Jennifer McLennan Thanks for reprinting this. It was so enlightening. It was an inspiration reading it.
david great article George. all the best David
cathy matthew Great story George...curls. ange , michael and myself had the pleasure of catching up with keith and his lorikeets a couple of years ago...seems like yesterday. he certainly was an icon and i'm sure his spirit will remain in white lady bay for many years to come.
Sylvia Hayes That strong old walnut-brown man who was rowing his supplies back to White Lady Bay...from Horseshoe Bay I watched him row for about 20 minutes till he was out of sight. So impressive. Thanks for the memories.
Marilyn A very memorable story of this gentle hermit & his years of work for the marine environment. Keith was blessed having Jan as his devoted carer for the past 18 months...Jan opened a whole new world to him, enriching both their lives.
Alf Goater.
Thank you George a great tribute to a remarkable man, now he is a great Islander,that deserves a statue at the side of the White Lady rock, and his spirit will remain in the bay for years.

jan phillips you will be pleased to know that Keith has officially had a young male whale shark in the Maldives named after him and that this story has gone world wide..a fitting tribute to this amazing man..:)
Aquapella annual concert this Saturday
gr0m1t Nice picture, George but did you have to get a fist in my face? lol
Magnetic Island's koala secrets revealed
chasmac What excellent news. Maddeningly, I have a prior engagement in Town on Wednesday evening and will not be able to make this community presentation. I would dearly love to trace the documentary history of the 1930s 'introduction' of koalas and wonder whether there is any new evidence now of (shall we say?) native Magnetic Island koalas, at the time of the introduction.
Sue S Amazing Koala information about our island. I too am unable to get to the meeting but hope to have the information disseminated to islanders. It will be interesting to see how our Koalas compare to those on islands off Victoria and perhaps S. Aust.
edwina very nice photo Pen :)
and Im impressed with numbers, but can we have some more??
is the habitat here more conducive for their survival than other places??
Sea treasures become art
Angela moore Beautiful little film. Am away from home right now,and seeing this makes me Keen to be back soon.
Beware of canisters on our beaches
rose Thanks for bringing this to our attention. For someting that has been a hazard since february I wonder why our 'fabulous' other media outlets have not seen fit to bring this to the public attention till now?
Kam Lewis I am sure I saw this same warning on a qld fire and rescue page last year...
The walkway - a taxi driver's opinion
Ex Cabbie Mr Cab Driver, You along with half the Island will have to suffer in one way or the other, I have a friend that has been waiting to visit a specialist, for nearly 12 months, she was late for the Ferry and has to wait a further 6 Months for the next appointment. The night time cab driving is very quiet anyway, and I know from experience you can go from midnight to 5am without a fare sometimes, but you will make it up on your X base nights, and I also know what you can earn then, plus your tips and dont forget Xmas is coming up, more tips. I have run a cab of my own on the Island,and driven for quite a few years for other cab owners too. Just sit back and enjoy your nights off, and what about the people that have to go "Mountain climbing" because of footpath closure. Ex Cabbie.
Help spot the gang of four
chasmac There was a single myna in the car park at the Nelly Bay terminal on Tuesday, 16th.
mrs b. burford I was unfortunate enough to be pecked in the eye whilst drinking coffee on Cairns Esplanade by a Mynah bird.Fortunately the medical centre staff very promptly delt with my eye with no further trouble. I am very grateful to the staff. This was on one of our regular visits to Maggie Is via Cairns so I agree with the culling of these aggressive birds.
Open Letter to the Residents of Magnetic Island
Chris C On ya Judy - great letter
Trish Young well said Judy, I wish the body corporate and owners all the best in your quest to make once again make this a great resort for visitors to the island.
Brett S. Thank you Judy and well done. Let me know when the next tennis tournament is as I would love to compete. That is exactly the type of event that the island needs more of. The Magnetic Island Open sounds like a great idea! I look forward to the day when the resort returns to its former glory and the Townsville Bulletin does some accurate reporting promoting the island instead of denigrating it. You should send them this letter and have Townsville Enterprise demand that they print it! Good luck for the future!
Kat Cheers to you Judy - support all the way.
Great to see positive, pro-active behaviour from a true island lover.
sheila roach Well done Judy!
I also lived peacefully at the resort and hope to continue to do so.I enjoy the pool and gardens and was upset when it was reported that all crimes emulated from here.To call Magnetic island CRIME ISLAND was dreadfull and can only hope that people will soon forget!I had several calls from concerned friends.Thanking you Judy
sarah picnic Excellent letter Judy and good luck!
Patrick Collins Will some one come lean and tell us what is the mix of people who are at the resort from the prison centre ,centre link etc
chasmac Patrick Collins, if you want to satisfy your morbid curiosity (or whatever it is) why don't you write to the prison and Centrelink and ask them yourself? Better still, go knock on a few doors and poke your nose into someone else's business. They'll probably give you the answer you deserve.
Ben Keech A follow up to this story with the truth with respect to the Body Corporate for MIR should be forthcoming
A fabulous effort all round
Trish Congratulations to everyone concerned with organising and assisting at all the events. And also thanks Magnetic Times for some positive reporting on our beautiful Island.
The follow-up: how it's done
Chris C Nope!! - sounds just about right to me George!!

And as I explained to the kids - it all started from a similarly motivated and unintelligent piece by our very own Townsville Bully.

And the "investigative" "journalists" at ACA picked it up, as they do all of their "leads", by trolling through every newspaper in the country (well, through the clippings at least)over their morning coffee looking for a bit of juicy conflict that might make for good vision.

Think about it... tropical island...with a magnetic name no less...a run down "resort"... a few dole bludgers...blackfellas are even better... a few aging neighbours...not too bright ones are even better...the coppers...etc.

A simple but timeless recipe for 180 seconds of ragingly purile TV that works every time. Total cost = two sponsored airfares and two ferry tickets (they stayed in Town I bet)all paid for by Woolies or whoever it is that likes to associate their brand with such trash.

Well I guess the upside is that at least ACA spent more money on the island in one day than the Bully would have spent in the last 6 months!!!

Tabloid TV belongs in the same place as tabloid newspapers I reckon!
Claire Spot on article and response from Chris especially your comment on "ACA spent more money than the Bully would have" etc. When the local paper seems, well to me, to have a bee in it's bonnet about publishing negativity about Maggie on a regular basis it's no wonder Tabloid TV is onto it purely for a ratings exercise.
gr0m1t They say bad publicity is better than no publicity. Let's hope that beautiful Magnetic Island stays in people's minds longer than "crime island"
Helen This story has really shocked me. Earlier this year I decided to spend a couple of months on Magetic Island to recover from an illness thanks to a friend who suggested the island was 'quite healing'. I found Magnetic Island to be a beautiful and peaceful sanctuary. Are there drug users and alcoholics on the island? Of course there are! They are every where in the world but definately nowhere near to the degree ACA has claimed. Personally I found the island to be a perfectly safe place to live and extended my stay to nearly 6 months. The wonderful local residents of Magnetic Island made me feel welcomed and safe and at no time did I ever feel threatened by others. I have walked around the island at different times of the day and night without any concerns. Visitors to the island enjoy the opportunity to take in one of Australia's wonderland of fauna and flora and to breath in the amazing scenery the island has to offer. As for the full moon parties - well that's all they are - parties!. The young ones love to dance, drink and have fun - so what!! We were all young once and these experiences become a part of our unforgettable memories later in life as we remember the freedom we used to enjoy before life became serious. If the particular resort in question has damaged it's reputation by allowing undesirables to dwell on its property well that could have been avoided by being more selective about who they accepted as tenants. Someone who appears healthy and capable of working and yet hasn't had a job in years is a clear indication that something is not right. One only needs to accept a few tenants such as these to realize before too long that they should have been more selective. I cannot praise Magnetic Island enough and highly reccomend it to singles, couples and families who are looking for somewhere special to have a memorable holiday. In my opinion Magnetic Island is one of the few holiday destinations left in the world where you can still feel welcomed, safe and totally at home with nature at its very best!!
How Nine makes
David Crusty Herron Some have have asked: "Everybody knows what ACA is like. Why did you agree to be interviewed??! Why defend yourself?

1. Why did I do the interview? I'll answer that. * I did not initiate the ACA involvement. more than 4 Island residents and some operators had a hand in that. * Initially I declined an interview. * The report was going ahead with or without me. * It could not be stopped.

* By Sunday several people, residents, operators and absentee landlords and a couple of Maggie International residents had already been interviewed. * What some of them said was mindbogglingly outrageous. I was not going to stand by and let it happen. The report would have been far worse.

* I stuck my neck out in an attempt to "contain" these proposed on air comments and to help bring about a more favourable balanced report. Simply this and nothing more. It worked a little.

* What would you or anyone else have done to lessen the impact?

* My interview content was carefully worded but grossly cut. As I knew it would be. I became 'the fall guy', the sacrificial patsy. But that is what the media is like.

2. As for defending myself? * I 'm not going to. I did what I could to lessen the impact. I stuck my neck out. Now I pay the piper. No one else had the guts to stand up to ACA.

As I already stated I had nothing to do with this debacle until Sunday.

I have been abused, vilified, accosted, subjected to one act of physical violence.

Can I PLEASE ask you to NOT assume that I support or even wanted this type of program to go to air about the island.

"There are two sides to every story aren't there? The truth is somewhere in the middle mixed up with the spin, and the delusion that exists in the minds of both as the struggle for peace, tranquility, and cooperation goes on."

Our police force have done all they were legally empowered to do. They are amazing. And as for these unfortunate people, it is a sad indictment on our government and the welfare system.

David Crusty Herron
jan phillips thank you George for your wonderful article..and to all the beautiful people who posted on FB and the ACA link, supporting our beautiful Island...Maggie is a true paradise and i wouldn't live anywhere else.My 1st experience of Maggie was a 2 week holiday at the International,I fell in love with the island and all her diverse people, went home sold up everything and moved here..and have never for a moment regreted it ...thank you again George..kind regards Jan
Good in you George. that (last) resort was always a bummer.
Brony A level headed, well researched and fair assessment as always - great work again George. I'll certainly be putting pressure on ACA - I'm not sure how they can class them selves as journalists.
scarecrow What TV attack?
Why do these people think they can get on National TV and make outlandish statements and it will not be taken out of context.
Who ever made Crusty Herron or Lorna Hempstead spokespeople for the island? The answer is NO ONE!

George Hirst Just to clarify a point, Scarecrow. Lorna Hempstead is President of a widely respected Island body, The MI Community Development Association. As you may have learned, her comment was lifted from an old story about Full Moon parties which she noted on ABC radio this week was no longer a problem. There is no official spokesperson for Magnetic in my view but that doesn't mean individuals cannot or should not speak their mind about issues that concern the Island they live on. Whether you agree is for you but you get to put that out too, right here.
lulu The story upset me, not only because it is a massive beat up, but because it showed a certain lack of compassion toward the people who reside at the international resort, many of whom are simply people down on their luck looking for affordable accommodation. I'm not sure how further stigmatising these people and making these people feel unwelcome and unwanted helps anybody? I think most fairminded Australians appreciate that in any community you will have all kinds of people, including shock horror those with a criminal past or who use drugs and/ or recieve welfare. everybody deserves a second chance and people have to live somewhere, and to their credit these so-called criminals have not created a crime wave on Magnetic Island
Lorraine Have heard MANY people whinging about the new tenants at the resort. Gloss it over all you like, but there does seem to be a problem. The new residents may be "down on their luck" as Lulu says, but if they were all offered a job tomorrow would they take it (like many other people on the Island, probably NO). Maggie lost the "true paradise" tag a long time ago, but it's still a better place to be than so many other places. I applaud Crusty for appearing, even more so after reading his reasons for doing this (unlike the many long-time residents who have been complaining about this situation). I don't know the full truth of the situation, but villifying Crusty won't get us anywhere. I've always found him to be an honest person who truly loves the Island.
Alan I agree with Lulu & Lorraine in a sense. "If offered a job, would they take it?" I have met one young couple with children residing in the "Resort" & I believe yes they would. They actively have asked about work & even made enquiries about volunteer work. We need to be careful not to generalise about all the Residents at this place. Even so, if a person is an ex-crim, doesn't that mean we should give benefit of the doubt they have left crime behind after paying dearly for their prior mistakes.
This issue is unfortunate, it needs to be addressed but why did other property owners have to suffer (one commented to me they lost 2 bookings the next day) over the mistakes of management etc in one previous resort (over many years). I feel for the owners now, but that was their investment, not other residents, tourist operators or accommodation keepers on the Island. Should everyone else have to pay for this debacle of failed property management?
Buyer beware and if it seems cheap than it probably is. Holiday makers looking for a cheap holiday at <$400 a week should surely be thinking ....too good to be true. Yes, most have so now you have private letting by owners looking to recoup. Who is right, who is wrong? Free choice and consequences, it's a tough world, one 99.9% of Magnetic Island residents, tourist operators have to rebuild, again after ACA did a number on us. Not David Herron.
Sue .....These people have to be removed and have to be removed soon...Verbatim ,David Heron

.....They fight, they tresspass, they shoplift, interfer with people who walk down the street.......Verbatim ,David Heron

......We don't want it to become a dumping ground for these people..we do not want it to become a dumping ground and that's what it will become because it will become a GHETTO literally.....Verbatim David Heron

.......people may say we are blowing this out of all proportion-no we're not because everything starts small and it works up and we see this as the BEGGINNING OF THE END ON MAGNETIC ISLAND THE WAY IT IS..........Verbatim David Heron

David Heron did a number on us NOT ACA. Alan did you not listen to what Crusty said on that report. There is NO way Crusty was supporting the Island and the tourism and market values on the Island. You even said yourself that 2 property owners lost bookings.

Crusty's apologetic comments above just don't cut it-truely doesn't matter what slant he puts on the ACA report....those SENTANCES came out of HIS mouth.

At least that female resident ( I'm told she does have health issues and shouldn't be judged ) at the international didn't dramatise the demise of Magnetic Island, she was referring only to what was happening at the All Seasons.

I think Crusty Heron needs to take responsibility and not try and put a condescending slant on why he talked to ACA . The damage HAS been done and goodness knows how many accommodation homes and business' will suffer next year because people regardless of taking ACA seriously or not, have already passed judgement on Magnetic Island, lets hope not too harshley.

I am just so mad at the injustice that is this report and the irreparable damage it has done to our fantastic Island.

…..I became 'the fall guy', the sacrificial patsy. But that is what the media is like …...

and YOU should have known better !!!! trying to make out in your above comments
that you are a courageous unsung hero of Magnetic Island !!!!
.....I was not going to stand by and let it happen. The report would have been far worse....

Far worse, yeah right...You ,Corina and that other lost soul---FAR worse!!!! ACA didn't deem so as they ommitted the "mindbogglingly outrageous" comments for your more succinct ones....

and less damaging.....NOT

scarecrow George,
Thats, right get in there and defend your left wing activist mates, it is what everyone has come to expect from your egotistical blog site. As a wannabee filmmaker you know it all??
The point is these people get on a national TV program like Current Affair appear to be speaking for all the island??? All these statements will be held in Nines archives and can be regurgitated at any time. Their actions are reprehensible.
There are plenty of associations on the island not just 1!!
Has the island heard an apology from all of you?

George Hirst Ouch!! "egotisical blog site" and "wannabee filmmaker"! My ego is both shattered and emboldened. Why? Scarecrow, I get the feeling you want to be my own personal troll. How exciting, scary, spooky! But I just wish you made a bit more sense. If I get you, you are saying that nobody from the Island or anywhere for that matter, should ever talk to the big commercial media because they always mix things up to suit their interests. And, because some people like Lorna made comments about full moon parties years ago, she should apologise because she would have to expect she would be taken out of context months/years later. Hmm, that's a big call. And while I perfectly understand your distaste for the likes of ACA etc, where does one draw the line? ACA out, tick, Today Tonight out, tick, Townsville Bulletin, yep, tick, they really stuffed me around recently, ABC radio? Hmm, well, surely not the ABC? Nah, they must go too. You can't have rules for one and not the other. But then you say "there are plenty of associations on the Island not just 1!!" So would the situation be improved if all the associations spoke to the ACA's of this world and made them promise not to cut anything or ever use it again? Then you ask, "Has the island heard an apology from all of you?" Umm, do you mean all of the associations(?) or, all of Lorna and Crusty(?) or, all of me(?) - seeing you addressed your comment to me in particular. Well I can apologise for all of me and will do so herewith. I'm very sorry I cannot make sense of what you are saying Scarecrow, but Im hugely chuffed that I might have my own, dedicated troll. Maybe I could make a little film about it. I mean, everyone would expect that wouldn't they?
Peter F Hughes Whilst I rarely watch the mainstream current affairs programs, it was with interest that I watched the program on Maggie Madness.
Shame they didn't show the landslide behind the building at the resort which in my opinion changed its value some years ago.
Ahh North Queensland, beautiful one day, reality the next. Interesting which people had their opinion aired on television, interesting indeed.
The damage has been done to tourism down here in Vico, several people commented to me about it the following day. It has presented a picture of Magnetic Island that has a place in potential holiday maker's long term memory.
Cairns and Port Douglas will benefit from the defamatory remarks on Magnetic island.
One disused resort in what I believe is the least attractive bay on the island has ruined your reputation for the short term at least.
But then again, we all know better than that don't we?
Peter F Hughes
Yarra Valley
Gay Magnetic Island is unique and very beautiful. It is a shame that one of the resorts has got into difficulty and needs to lower their prices so much; but lowering prices does not mean you have to lower your standards. The tennants who are getting this cheap rent should have to sign a 'code of conduct' to be eligible to live there. If they don't abide by the 'code of conduct' they should be made to leave as, I am sure there would be a lot of other people out there who are in need of cheap rent, who would be happy to live there and abide by a code of conduct.
chasmac Gay, the place referred to in the article is no longer a resort. It is not the 'resort' that is lowering its prices it is the individual private owners of the strata titled units at what is now basically a block of flats. There is no central scrutiniser, no 'code of conduct' and no obligation for tenants to do anything other than their arrangement with the owner/landlord specifies.
Walkway night works road closure notice
gr0m1t Let us all sleep soundly knowing that the Fire Service has organised a second fire truck to be based at the Rural Fire shed at Horseshoe Bay for the duration.
Hathaway on the future of Magnetic Island's Clinic
Chris C In other words we should expect a cut in services and it will be everyone's fault except Hathaway's or Newman's.

Hathaway seems to have forgotten that he is the member for Townsville and NOT the member for Newman !!!!
Andrew Under Joh Bjelke Newman and his 'team' things will only get worse.

So, what could be next??

Better get to the shoe shop before there is a run on white shoes. Doesn't Arthur Bay need a marina???
rose I think mr hathaway hit the nail on the head& identified the problem perfectly- they are comparing qld to Victoria! Of course health care costs more on qld, it's a lot bigger! OMG, someone please tell them!
Hathaway responds on Picnic Bay Rec Camp future
David Crusty Herron 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 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 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.
chasmac 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.
Davo 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.
Vale Patt Thaler
Carol Kyle So glad to have been a part of her life. Truly an inspiring woman!, not to mention a kickass scrabble genius who annihilated all.

Well done Helene for the years of dedicated fulltime care of your mum at home. We will all miss her.
How we might save the Island's last recreation camp
Chris C I'll put my money on it, within a couple of years, either looking like the old church camp opposite the health clinic does or becoming low-income housing like the old International has ;-)

PS - you forgot to mention that Dear Vern was fully supported by the LNP at the council elections. Vern of course would never mention it.
Skwiz Do not fear only for the camp, word on the street is that the Jetty refurbishment funding has been hit also. Major "alternate" plans are in the wind for our poor old jetty as well.

ASHLEIGH MCGINN Save Maggie Island Camp for future generations! Please!
Rolf It’s ironic, or tragic, or both; they’ve been trumpeting at every opportunity the need for “BOOT CAMP”, and now they’re closing an institution which stops kids turning into “BOOT CAMP” candidates.


Brian Seems ironic that, in the state's budget figures, $30.4 million has been allotted to continue expanding the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre while a miserable $2.9 million will be saved by cutting funding to three youth centres in NQ, one of which is the Maggie Island centre. Have to agree with Rolf.
Davo Guess we will soon hear the now very tired line about how, just like a household we have to live within our means blah blah. This is such a load of bs. Households cannot adjust subsidies or payroll tax thresholds for starters or borrow at specially low interest rates. Nor can most households hand out a cool $80million for racing which seems to be far more important to John and Campbell's crew than any educational recreation camp for north Queensland kids on Maggie.
Andrew Even my life long Liberal voting brother, who was too young to remeber the Bjelke Petersen dictatorship has now lost his job and, ironically, decided to change his voting habits.

At the end of these ferocious short sighted cost cuts and associated job losses will we then see the sort of sycophantic behaviour towards developers and the resulting atrocious environmental damage that was the hallmark of the Bjeke Petersen era? This seems at least indicated as an outcome by Newman's time as Brisbane City Council Mayor.

Already we are seeing disproportional cuts in the North, making 'Fatty O'Barrel's' (another Liberal) statement 'The world sees Australia through Sydney's eyes' seem almost tolerable.

In my view Newman is a city centric LNP disaster, the sooner he and his 'cronies' go, the better.

Brony We had to cancel our conference on the island next year. We planned to stay and use the facilities at the Recreation camp. In trying to find an alternative it drew my attention to the lack of affordable conference facilities on the island - especially in the absence of the Internation Resort. That's 100 people from around the state that now won't be coming to experience Magnetic Island, who may have brought thier families back for a holiday or told their friends about how much of a lovely place it is to come and visit, let alone the money that did not go into the community because we couldn't go ahead with our conference.
Indigenous film festival for Magnetic tomorrow
Chris C B#gger!!! - I wish I'd know about this earlier :-(.
I also wish (the now quite old) Babakiueria (“Barbecue Area”) was included - I'd love for my kids to see it.

Good luck with the night Michael
Chris C PS: Here's a Utoob version of Babakiueria:
Lea M Scherl What a great idea for an event! What a pity I will be back from travel that night. Let us know if there is another way or opportunity to see some of the films afterwards. Thanks Lea
Beach works to protect Magnetic turtle nesting area
Rose It is excellent to see an outcome for this important project in time for this year's turtle nesting season. I hope that along the way the informal car rental lot on the public land can be relocated to a proper commercial site, and that there is a first-rate plan for the rehabilitation of the southern end after Hutchinsons complete the Walkway and paths.
Ian Speaking as one of those local residents who voiced concern over the placement of bollards or, more accurately stated, raised concerns about the lack of community engagement on this aspect of the project, I have still NOT been approached let alone listened to. This is despite repeated assurances from Council that there would be a community meeting; clearly lip service to appease concerned residents. My views on the matter are expressed in a blog (Google: "Geoffrey Bay strategic outcomes" Ed.)
Sue Well done Council and Geoffrey Bay Coastcare group. Getting cars off the sand dunes is a terrific leap forward! Wouldn't it be great to see this happen on all our beaches? So many of our beaches have dead or dying trees on their foreshores. We need to do everything we can to give these trees half a chance of surviving. Stopping cars from driving on the dunes and planting more trees will surely help.
Lea M Scherl What has taken place with this project is simply a poor demonstration of commitment from the part of TCC, community organizations on the island and individuals to participatory planning process with the community. Regardless of the final outcomes on this particular small project a number of people have been for months now asking for a sound discussion on integrated planning of the Goffrey Bay foreshore. Surely this is in the best interest of all and a role that TCC should be playing - ie facilitating such discussion and involving people that have shown interest a few months ago. This latter announcement here has been made in the absence of any such facilitated discussion taking place. This is appaling and particularly within a small community like ours. Let's empower all to collectively share ideas, expertise and experiences rather than create a legacy of misunderstandings and potentially ill feelngs and divisions within the community! Lea
When's a good time for the e-waste skip to return?
Chris Corbett I missed the first skip and would love to see another one ASAP as I have been storing my e waste with a view to taking it to town bit by bit. Congratulations to MINCA for taking the initiative.
$25,500 raised for Zack
george You are a truly amazing woman Liz and to see our community repond in such positive ways when one of our island kids needs a bit of help should help to strengthen your resolve no end - you are doing just great! My wonderful little friend Zackary has many challenges ahead I'm afraid and thank god everyones efforts make this a whole lot easier for his family. So proud to be a Maggie Islander rite now! By the way, it was a fantastic nite!!!!
YouTube channel for Magnetic Island
emiliano Well done guys! A nice project that soon became reality .. and then, it is a good thing that Magnetic Island has a thematic television channel, this is due to the passion and commitment of Lyle and Antonella.

Antonella is very competent in making the video documentation and I hope that her talent allows her to find a sponsor to be able to continue to live and work in this wonderful land that is Magnetic Island!

Good luck guys and please keep it up!

See you soon,
Bye! :-)
Iko (Emiliano)
(Letter translated from Italian Ed.)
Antonio Magnetic Island is for Antonella and her friends the Paradise regained. Europe is Paradise lost. I am a supporter of Assange because i think that "GLASNOST" is a necessary pivot of political life. Can we Work to all the Earth become a Paradise as it was before? Yes!!!!!! For Antonella and Magnetic Island and CREATI8VITY, Hip Hip Hip Urrahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Sylvia Martina Eliza's video is such a highly polished production. It always makes me chuckle at the end. Antonella and Lyle keep up the good work! It is amazing how many hours of filming go into making the few minutes we watch on YouTube.
Debbie Richardson Antonella, this is a fantastic idea and well done, Charleville Chamber of Commerce should do something like this. I love it.
Why is this music so good yet still not popular?
ST I can't comment on this year but in the last few years it has been the venue that has let the festival down, not the music or work the committee has done. Because of this I didn't even look at this years festival
ST I know some people weren't happy with the red bus service from the Breakwater Terminal but the current arrangement is proving even worse. The timetable and hype state a bus every 10 minutes in the CBD. On Tuesday we waited over 20 minutes at the Walker St stop and ended up snagging a cab in order to catch the 5.20 ferry. Today I was at the bus stop at 4.52pm and a bus didn't come until 5.16pm - needless to say we missed the 5.20 ferry. I urge anyone who is having similar issues to let qconnect know. You can lodge a complaint (along with compliment and enquiry) online at their website.
Bryan I spoke to a group of 9 people who were on holiday from the UK at the beach in Horseshoe and they were so excited about the Jazz festival and would have definitely gone to it if it hadn't been $35 each for the evening , they would have gladly paid $25 each, these venues are pricing themselves out, surely a packed venue at $25 an evening would be better for everyone, pub needs to have drink and food specials as well, look at it next year and see it take off, advertise specials accordingly, especially to the local market. That's the reason we didn't bother going this year as last years $35 was way too over priced for us and many other locals I spoke to, what a waste because like you George I absolutely love Jazz music but not at that price. Before anyone goes off about this it's a fact and if you were honest with yourselves that's the reason the venue attendance is down, the price, full stop.
By the way these tourists bought up big from the local fish shop (Marlene) and had a great fry up on the beach BBQ ,they said it was absolutely fantastic and the fish prices were reasonable, so a local venue did well.
Maggie gal Nice story maggie times. I love jazz too and think bryan has a point about the price. It's a hard thing to get the balance right and I feel for the organisers trying to get a reasonable return for their costs. It would I think be worth experimenting with a lower price maybe for a groups of 5 or 10. I thing price down volume is well worth a try. Gotta say that the food was way better than the old venue where you felt a bit trapped with a high price for mediocre meals and overpriced drinks. So well done Arcadia pub and thanks anyway to the organisers for such cool music.
Marilyn Sheather Bryan,you need to get your facts straight, the cost of an evening ticket was $25(concession $20) for both the Fri concert and the Sat concert & jam session with the San Gabriel 7.(the same as last year). The day pass was $35/$30 which covered 5 sets ie five different bands; where would you see/hear music of this calibre for $7 a set. Our weekend pass is only $80/$70 for five concerts, the musicians comment that this is the cheapest festival they have been to.Locals need to be reminded our major audience pay an additional $32 for their return ferry fare plus flights etc. to be part of this world class event. Incidently, the Venue does not set the prices, the Magnetic Jazz Association have struggled for years to simply survive (averaging a $2,000 - $3,000 loss each year)it costs in the vicinity of $30,000 to run each Great Tropical Jazz Party.
We would like to thank Hotel Arcadia management & staff for their support,they did extensive preparation for the event & the food quality & pricing was superb. Also, thanks to our sponsors & volunteers. Can I suggest locals read the brochure we distribute to all island homes,as all the event pricing & other important info was included & you could pass this on to tourists. Bryan,if as you say, you are a jazz sad you missed this brilliant weekend,it may not be repeated. Our numbers were actually up, but more local support would guarantee our future.
Bryan Marilyn your Jazz festival is ABSOLUTELY worth $35 however some people just don't have it ,maybe more don't have it than the ones that do, according to the attendance. The tourists definitely said $35, I presumed the evening part, my apologies. Needless to say, somewhere along the line this is way to pricey for some people and not for others and in saying this something has to suffer whether it's attendance numbers or people like myself that don't want to pay the $35. If the whole day was $25 maybe an increase in attendance will be seen and say $20 for 5pm onwards. I truely sympathize with Magnetic Jazz Association who have struggled for years to simply survive You Marilyn have done a fantastic job and always have ,this is not a slight on you but on trying to get the venue so packed next year that you will run at a profit. As I said before a packed overflowing venue is surely better than a half packed venue financially and morally for the great performers you bring out here to perform. You have already gone in the right direction by relocating to Hotel Arcadia.

Yes I will definitely read the brochure next year with interest and hope that some of my rantings have been noted.
chasmac Sometimes Bryan, if you really like something and you really want to have it then you just have to pay. You can't possibly know if the Jazz Festival is ABSOLUTELY worthwhile if you didn't go. Your computer is not much use without an internet connection so I imagine you simply pay the price to your ISP and don't expect or dare to plead for a more "affordable" arrangement.
Live music of a certain class, delivered to your neighbourhood, is out of reach for some. Some don't reach very hard because they aren't really that interested. I don't think you can discount live music. If you don't really, really want it then just don't go.
Why music lovers and hooligans will both appreciate this weekend on Magnetic Island
gr0m1t And don't forget the choir is singing at the concert in Alma Bay. Around 13:00 Sunday.
Tom T Wow, This has got to be one of the least known treasures on the Oz music scene. You lucky island people. Wish I could be there.
Our new feathered fan
Louise Byron Just as an aside to the Assange debacle; I have yesterday posted (via air mail) to Mr Assange (c/- Embassy of Ecuador) a copy of the Magnetic Island Community News, with the said article on a statue to his good self. I do wonder though, if the customs in the UK would open it just in case there is a metal file included, allowing 'our Julian' to make an escape. I just hope the UK police do not storm the embassy before my letter arrives for Mr A.
Chasmac Magnetic Community News - now there's a journal of record! NOT. But hang on, they've never done a story about Julian Assange. You must be confused Louise. If you bought a copy of a local newspaper at the corner store it did not mention Our Julian inside. MagneticTimes is only an electronic newspaper. Whatever did you mail to London?
Ture Sjolander My Swedish pension now goes to Assange Defence fund.
If Sweden stop it I'll renounce my citizenship.
Letter: Online shopping costs to the local community
M Sorry Alan but on some of your comments I must disagree, the quality of fresh fruit and vegetables at the 2 supermarkets on the island are NOT fresh at the most it will survive for 2 days after buying (not everybody can shop every 2/3 days) and the quality of the meat leaves a lot to be desired. I applaude the Arcadia for their fresh goods at a competetive price but I for one will continue to shop onlin
alison I totally agree with what Alan is saying. If you can't support our local businesses what hope is there. If you dont support one day you just may wake up and they all will be gone.
Wendy Tubman Yep, with you Alan.
Nelly Bay I'll support the local supermarkets when they price themselves back into the market, the fruit and veg at IGA is revolting, i gave up yrs ago. I work on the mainland (who would have thought) and will continue to support W, i try to avoid the island S/M's as much as possible. Alison, i might wake up one day and "they" will be all gone, so what? Alan, sorry mate, my wallet talks the loudest, i can consistently buy more for less at C or W... Will C and W drive everyone else out of business leaving only C and W to then jack up their prices...? Most likely...
shirley I too agree with Alan.My husband does all the shopping - saves stacks on ' specials " and as two old age pensioners we have no complaints. He does enjoy his shopping and meeting Island people.
STPIcnic I shop online for a lot of day to day household goods - and those I can't get on the island. There are also other fresh ingredients I can't get on the island.

While I do shop onlne for stapples, staff at Foodworks and IGA will attest to the fact that I also shop on the island on a mostly daily basis.

I support local businesses and for the main part it is Food Works for day to day goods (this is due to to the lovely staff and owners).

I would also like to say that the Arcadia Store has some of the best priced and freshest ingredients available. As well as beautiful different ingredients; they have amazing bread from 3 loaves on Friday and Saturday.

I buy locally almost every day but I also buy online.

Alan Patterson @M Trenarryray2. Thank you for entering the discussion. I guess tastes are subjective. Have you retried lately? We only buy fruit & veg on the Island. We refrigerate most like most NQ's. We do not experience the "going off" you suggest & only buy weekly.
Now doubt you all have heard how C & W are squeezing the farmers! So "Nelly Bay" your "wallet talks loudest". Pity your wallet doesn't have a name! I disagree, I think if you watch what you buy you don't necessarily save that much. I tried online once & gotta say it was not that great! C & W have great loss leaders, but once in store they grab your money as much as the next retailer. Move to central Australia if you want to experience limited choices & services.
Alan Patterson Oh "Nelly Bay" my wallet only person! "Who Cares" . I do! So do the people who work in these S/M's. Maybe you can look them in the eye & tell them you don't care about their job. Look their kids in the eye while you are at it.
Remember it is only money talking right?
Nelly Bay Oh boy, Alan calm down. "Move to Central Australia if you want to experience limited choice and services"... Why would i need to do that, i live on Magnetic Island, i experienced limited shopping experiences everyday, thats why i started to pick up my groceries after work in TSV city. You have immediately assumed that i must experience great customer service and am also happy parting with my hard earned at W and C, i'm not, SOME of the kids that work there (C and W) have the personality of a milkshake which leaves me wondering sometimes how they deserve their job when there would be plenty of hardworking kids who would jump at the chance to work. Remember this discussion is only about groceries right? Did you stop to think i buy most other things "local" before heading over to the dreaded mainland? Of course it is money talking, i thought i had made that reasonably obvious. If i had enough extra disposable income i would be happy to pay an extra 30-40+% just on my weekly shopping bill. Should i take up break and enter as a hobby or maybe pawn some goods so i can do my weekly shop here? In fact with the recent ferry ticket price rise i am contemplating moving back over to the mainland, i know you would be ecstatic with that news, i'll let you know if that happens. But would you be equally ecstatic to learn that my family and friends who come up from Adelaide almost each christmas (and some at least once during the winter at some point) wouldn't bother to come over if i didnt live here? They buy everything "local" when on holidays here, buy big they do too. I bet Jessica Johnstone from the TSV Bulletin fired you up as well... Last time i checked i lived in a democracy, i've had my say like you have had yours.
Alan Patterson Dear Nelly Bay
I am calm. My point was if you personally like that there may not be services then "Central Australia" would be an example of what happens when services disappear.
No I don't want you to move & am glad your family visits. Hopefully they have a great Island experience.
Obviously the local services don't suit everyone, all the time. You made that clear in your situation.
My appeal is for people to reconsider what they support because once services go, jobs & sponsorships do aswell.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, pity you couldn't put your name with yours.
I don't even know what you are referring to with regard to the Townsville Bulletin.
This letter comes because of my concern for the community at large. I am putting my name down as someone who does care before job loses & the cry of those who complain "there is nothing on Magnetic Island"
Good luck with your choices!
Jan K We shop locally and online. But the majority is online as the prices here are too much. We are self funded retirees and I don't think IGA honour the scanning code of practice.
Very Concerned There is something happening in IGA and Foodworks that is more worrying than expensive groceries - but I'll get to that in a minute.
First, I do support locals as much as possible, many times a week. I also shop online and travel to the mainland for supplies.I do understand the difficulties of running a business - been there.
Now that's out of the way I'll get back to the big worry.
Over the past 5 weeks I have been overcharged $24 at Foodworks and at IGA! This has been happening for some time but the past few weeks have been the worst. I check my dockets every time I make a purchase from any shop.
I wonder if this is an island phenomenon? I've never experienced this to such a degree anywhere else and I know other locals who have the same problem.
I suggest these two businesses train their staff a lot more efficiently. What do you think, Alan? (abridged Ed.)
Alan Patterson I have to say I am surprised not one person has refuted my 10 points by online C & W shoppers.
Nor has anyone answered the question "How will property prices go with services disappearing? Can you afford to risk this?"
I didn't post this letter to bash businesses online. I would hope people extend complaints to management courteously. I am not interested in "why" you support C or W, choice & the perception or reality of price is obvious.
My question was if you "online" shoppers are happy to see sport sponsorship, jobs & service disappear!
Only "Nelly Bay" said they didn't "care" if services disappeared. Judging by the next response they were probably "trolling" for a reaction. I might respect their opinion if they had self-respect to leave a name!
Apparently this letter has caused a stir. Good. I remember the days when people complained there was only 1 supermarket & complained. Has anyone thought what happens to 30-40 jobs disappearing from 1 supermarket? What about the transport deliveries & jobs there? What goes around comes around, that is for sure.
C or W pay $265 return to bring a truck over here. The cost of these deliveries paid by you the consumer on a sliding scale dependent on how much you spend. You are subsidising their free ride! Do they pay rent here? NO
If two pensioners "Shirley & Alan" can enjoy local shopping, I put the challenge back out there that most of us can too!
As a business owner I will be asking more questions when I get asked for donations or support. If you are not as an organisation prepared to support Island business then I don't see why the support should be reciprocated.
I think we have a great community, one which has great achievements. I just want people to reconsider the "costs" to our community.
J I believe it is like everything we are told in life and that it all comes down to moderation ! Everybody can't afford to shop on the island 100 per cent of the time and everybody that shops online still shops on the island too!
marlene Yes I have tried lately and still standby what I said previously, I am retired and I did not retire to 'make do' both on quality and variety I will continue as said before to buy online
Gabbie I buy online especially when I have a big bulky order as it suits my budget for a start. Oi I wish Coles or Woolworths did deliver booze with my order but other companies do that as well. I also pop into IGA and FW's when on a small shop. Fair enough if they have decent specials but half the time what is on special isn't what I would buy in the first place. I support other island businesses so it all comes out in the wash.
Bek I believe that both the supermarkets on the island and C and W serve a great purpose - it is not black and white. Foodworks and IGA are indespensable - they do provide a great service to many who live on and visit this island, and we shop at their shops regularly for bits and pieces, we would be lost without them. On the other hand, having a large family, we simply cannot afford to shop on the island - we have a food budget - and cannot afford $100 for a couple of bags of food. I have also been caught out just about every time we buy vegetables - getting them home and finding out that they have been packaged to look fresh but are actually off - it makes me very cranky - I might as well just throw my money in the bin!I am very thankful that we have C and W, and actually think that it increases property prices Alan - we live on a tropical island and have great services - we should be grateful - there is room for both. I have owned a small business in a small community before, and the community will support you if you provide similar prices to the big guys and great service.
Alan Dear Very Concerned
What do I think about register mistakes? They are mistakes. I hear from online shoppers they have "mistakes" too! Everyone makes them. Check your docket & speak to management. If they "undercharge" you, I am sure you would do the same.
Bryan Alan ,I shop "locally" last time I heard we are a Townsville suburb. As for property values decreasing, ask a real estate agent, I did and they think it fantastic that we now have Woollies and Coles on the Island, great to promote the resale of houses, no more making do! always able to get what we want when we want. It's not about shopping locally anymore Alan, the internet has seen to that, it's about business' moving with and keeping up with the internet. Your chemist business has the same problem, people are buying pharmaceuticals online ,nothing you can do about it but join in, place your pharmacy online ,match the internet prices and watch your business grow, before you say what about the staff, someone has to fill online orders, pack and send, we are just rearranging retail shopping. Also have you asked the post office what they think, they are benefiting 100 fold from internet sales through their deliveries. This is not about Woollies and Coles delivering to the island, this is about the internet revolution....just like Mr Hirst here, he saw the internet for what it was way before anyone else. Also Foodworks, Nelly Bay online store needs to be brought into the 21st century for them to stand any chance competing with W&C
Bryan Oh by the way Alan the butcher was cut by the very supermarket you are trying to defend!!!!!
The Baker was not a fatality of C&W
Chalkie Better to do without than accept second rate 'rip off' prices.
Alan Thanks for your comments Bryan. I agree with you about the Internet age and take your point. Foodworks provides online shopping & free delivery. My concern for propery prices is based on regional towns when services disappear. Good answer though, who else better to talk to about property prices than the real estate agents. No offence to my friends in real estate, but they they will always look for that silver lining & saying C & W do home delivery just makes the sales pitch better. As for FW competing against C & W or anyone else for that matter, seriously. Predatory prices, 80% market share, intimidatory pricing pressures on farmers but the consumer doesn't care as long as they get their milk for $1 per litre. I am standing up for local business, not particularly supermarkets. I understand the new supermarket put pressure on the butcher. I wish he was still here. I made a point of buying meat from him. I wish the baker was still here too, I understand there can be a host of reasons why a business goes. However, I don't want to see anymore go, nor people leave the Island because they lose jobs. What the post office has lost on mail they pick up now by online sales. My argument was not against online purchasing, just at the expense of Island business, jobs, sponsorships etc. what does C & W contribute to this community other than people/families having the perception of not paying as much or the reality of it in their own pocket? Don't complain when the local supermarket pulls it's sponsorship from the local AFL team because little Johnnie's family dowsn't support them! Just a hypothetical, no inside info at all.
Alan Another issue is resale of businesses. My understanding with the bakery, it closed down because it did not sell!
Services disappearing makes it harder for other Island businesses.
Secondly, C & W online supporters. Tell me how you will order & receive your groceries in the event of a natural disaster like Yasi? No power. No phone. No mobile coverage. No local services. Do you really expect C & W to come to the rescue? Maybe some army amphibous landing with your online groceries!
Bryan Alan , times are a changing and we all have to move with the times even IGA and Foodworks. They are both from the same umbrella company surely they could consolidate and make their prices reasonable and competitive . Also it's most of little "Johnnie's" family doing all the online grocery shopping, so maybe signage around the 2 big shopping stores plus your own store indicating that sponsorship is in jeopardy due to lack of patronage. I have had an argument with a friend about this very thing and she said that she pops in to IGA for emergency staples before her next W order. She has no idea and cares even less that her 2 bit purchases won't keep a big shop like IGA afloat. Another friend stated that if IGA or Foodworks close than something else will pop up. All these big stores initially closed all the corner stores, maybe we are now heading back to smaller corner shops on the island for emergency supplies only, once these big grocery stores close on the island. You can even do bulk groceryrun online and they send it to you for a cap of $11 freight charge from Sydney and these food prices are extremely cheap and it's capped at $11 doesn't matter how much you buy. Also Mr Hirst is advertising to your left bedsonline, absolutely everything is going online why not groceries. It just doesn't wash anymore about supporting your local business' , these said business if they want to be in today's market need to be competitive to stay in the game . I have seen so many people buying alcohol from Dan Murphys (me included) even the restaurants don't support the local bottlos, they go to Dans or buy their wine online. I could go on and on but the truth is that if it's too expensive people are not going to buy or patronage that store regardless of loyalty. I think the only ones that are on your side are the singles/couples that don't have to buy bulk and of course you. Sorry mate to be so brutal, you're wasting your breath trying to argue this issue but very commendable that you care.
Alan Thanks for your last comment Bryan. This is my last. I have put it out there. People can choose to discuss, agree, disagree or ignore. I don't think it was a waste of time, maybe more people will consider what they support has a flow on effect. Thank you to all the people who have been supportive of this letter to me in person. It has been encouraging & far out weighs the negative comments.
One thing that stops online services is power outs. Hopefully there will be services in the "future" on this wonderful Island & I am wrong. I'd rather that than people being unemployed and support for local organizations to continue.
Nobody has told me though "how does C or W" support this community at large?" Some say it is their hip pocket, some choice, but how do we all benefit?
I enjoy shopping locally, I know I can get what I want & if not the helpful staff are willing to organize it for me. I like knowing their names and seeing the local teens grow in confidence & experience. I do prefer the service offered locally.
Good luck with your choices.
Bryan Sorry Alan didn't see to reply to,

".......Secondly, C & W online supporters. Tell me how you will order & receive your groceries in the event of a natural disaster like Yasi? No power. No phone. No mobile coverage. No local services........"
you're just clutching at straws here, if and when the Island is hit by a natural disaster the whole of Australia will pull together and give us aid, we won't need to order from C&W because undoubtedly they would have had the same disaster as Maggie in Townsville . You're right about the army, at least they have loads of those amphibious ducks ,that's why I knew we would never be isolated, regardless of any disasters, that's called progress.

Another good point you've just brought up about being isolated after a disaster is a cyclone disaster kit. For goodness sake everyone have lots of food staples in your cyclone kit so IF a disaster does occur it's not desperate and you'll lose those excess kilos that you needed to lose in the first place but you won't starve, I have never heard of a fatality from starving after a natural disaster, in Australia, in fact the opposite is the case, in Yasi we had so much food because we had to eat all the contents of the fridge - freezer. Our street on the second day had a combined BBQ where we all pulled out our BBQ's if we had one and fried up big, we all pulled together and shared. I never even thought to run to IGA or Foodworks for supplies , never even crossed my mind.

Other Island business will do fine, they will adapt as we all have to when things change, in an ever changing world.
Very Concerned After reading the ongoing conversation regarding small versus big businesses, the conclusion seems that we all try to do our best supporting local shops etc.
Alan, I think you have to be philosophical about this. I would be very happy to only shop locally. How pleasant it is, as you say, to know the staff, stop for a chat,and not have the huge amounts of time and drudgery shopping on the mainland.
Some of us do not have the income that gives us that choice - that's the essence of the problem, I think.
Maggie Islanders stood up for Julian Assange
Jenny Stirling Just in: Julien has been granted asylum by Ecuador. Thank goodness. Now all we need is a plan to get him out of Britain. The amazing way Assange's legal and human rights have been abbrogated by Sweden and then Britain over allegations, not even criminal charges, are only exceeded by the way his own government has let him down. In my view.
chasmac While Ecuadorean Julian Assange paces up and down the quarter acre of his new country a small group of Australians is working to carve out a larger chunk of World Heritage Magnetic Island for industrialisation. According to Council's Referral of the Magnetic Island Waste Transfer Station to the Commonwealth agency for assessment, the 40 acre Cockle Bay site has no environmental or social values worth keeping. Our elected councillors, past and present, would sooner connect with Our Julian and his plight in London than concentrate on Our Patch and their part in the dismembering of its numerous integrated parts.
We now know they paid consultants thousands to go to Cockle Bay for a day looking for signs of life. The consultants looked at the ground and saw the foundations for infrastructure, the sightlines for drains and fences, the roadbase for access and entry statements. Oh, and maybe batshit.
Our Mayor, Jenny Hill, years ago identified the 40 acres next to the Golf Club as the Island's next industrial zone. This would be the place for competition in readymix concrete batching, for new engineering workshops, for garaging and storage - when the Kelly Street, Nelly Bay site was filled. Well, that time has come. If the Transfer Station is built it will consume about two hectares of the sixteen hectare (40 acre) site. The millions spent on access, stormwater and sediment control and acres of tar and cement will make possible the future expansion of the site to create a brand new industrial zone on the west coast. Jenny's dream come true. Birt Street becomes Kelly Street, the Golf Club gets a roundabout and Yule Street leads to the Bohle.
Here's lookin' at you Julian Assange.
Ture Sjolander It is only a matter of time until we all shall see who the real criminals are in this whole matter, with or without national or international courts.

This whole ongoing story is simply an extension of Wikileak's works, and much more revealing than any of the earlier leaks of secrets.
All news media in the world, outside this limited four nations in question, have a lot to learn from this current exposure.

Chris & Vicki Copping A fantastic effort of everyone who turned out to support Julian last Sunday....we are very sorry we didn't make it. Good on you all.
jan phillips i would like to know what, if anything, this person has done for long he actually spent time on the island..we have so many long standing residents ..who have done so much for Maggie..tireless work to help the community, endless hours or whole lives committed to this island and the great barrier reef as a whole...ummm and this person ..alledged sex offender to boot ..gets this reverance from a few of the islanders..what is the matter with you lot !!?? or are you just doing it for the publicity..he has never lived here or done anything for this island..and now is badmouthing Australia....i could name so many people more worthy of your support...get real people and support those truely worthy..:(
Steve Lane Irrespective of whether you like him or not...

The Australian government sits back in ignominious moot testament as the poor treatment of one of it's citizens gathers ill winds.

And what has this man done to deserve the ire.

He has simply peddled the truth.

That's all...He has spoken the truth.

Should not speaking the truth be the first fundament of a democracy.

Shouldn't the truth be protected at all costs?

deadgecko "The Julian Assaunge Freedom Walkway"-not a statue but a memorial from Nelly to Arcadia?
Jack McCain Re Jenny stirlings comment "Now all we need is a plan to get him out of Britain." Is this an aspiring politician {ha ha will only ever be aspiring} conspiring to subvert justice by plotting to aid and abet a fugitive fleeing from justice. If assange was any sort of a man he would face the courts and if innocent as claimed he should have no problem clearing his name.
Chasmac Jack, tell that to Lindy Chamberlain.
Mick Adamek Just back from the UK. As an ex Islander I support Julian. Wikileaks articles help to keep the bastards honest. Very disappointed the UK police are acting as America's puppets. Most of Julian's "leaks" that seem to be pissing off the Yanks are stories that can be obtained from diligent web searches, other stories were given out by employees of various agencies. He is not guilty!
Brad Smith As an island resident I am embarrassed by this show of support for a man who has done nothing to support or improve our island since leaving and who is alleged to have committed sex offences. It will be interesting to see how much coverage or support this website provides if he is convicted. And as the father of a small child I am disgusted at the suggestion that the new walkway be named after him.
Andrew Ignoring the whys and what fors of the Swedish case and Assange\'s personality, what bothers me is the treatment (or indifference) he is receiving from the Australian Government. To begin, I have absolutely no doubt that the US Govt vis the CIA is attempting to pressure Sweeden to first \'capture\' Assange and later extradite him. The US has form!!! In doing this it appears to me that the US is attempting to export its laws to other countries claiming the borderless nature of the internet as an excuse. This cannot be tolerated and Australians, unless in the US, cannot be held accountable to them and our Government cannot condone it. But beyond that, what crime is Assange accused of? (Besides the Swedish allegations). I have worked in areas of Governemnt and have had access to very sensitive stuff. I still do. If I were to betray my nation\'s trust in me and give things to Wikileaks I would have commited a crime and would deserve to be punished. But what crime have Wikileaks, and vis-a-vis Assange committed by publishing any now leaked material?? In my view none. There is a disaffected gay US soldier being held for allegedly leaking a lot of stuff, and so he should be. I wonder though at his motivation being what he is in the US military and I wonder at the US military\'s culpability at letting him become so disaffected. Nontheless, he allegedly leaked and if found guilty should be punished. Assange did not and the US has no right to assert its law over an Australian citizen and the Australian government is shamed by allowing it to happen.
Supporting Julian Assange with a picnic at Picnic
Editor George,
You probably could hold the gathering in the phone box outside your current abode.
Julian Assange is not Magnetic Island's favourite son, in fact he lived here only briefly, did not even attend the local school.
He is a peddler in stolen goods - plain and simple.
As for any monument to him perhaps the Julian Assange Rape Crisis Centre or the Julian Assange Sexually Transmitted Diseases Clinic would be appropriate.
Keeping his name on your website will give you a bit of media coverage. As Andy Wahol once said " Everyone is entailed to 15 minutes of fame'" his has passed and so has yours.

George Hirst I just love free speech even when it's wrong, plain and simple. So thanks "Editor" whoever you may be(??) but can you really call yourself "Editor" and misquote one of my favourite people? As Andy once, actually said, “Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches.”
Crusty Herron I agree with all who commented on the Bulletin item, "Islanders Float Statue Idea". The concept was and is outrageously ridiculous. We would be, as Lorna suggested, better off donating to Julian's fighting fund. When contacted by the Bulletin regarding The Picnic at Picnic in support of Julian Assange I immediately referred the inquiry to George Hirst, editor of the Magnetic Times. I made it quite clear, both verbally and in an email to the Bulletin journalist that I was not making any public comment on the issue, and that I did not want my name mentioned in any article about the proposed Picnic. When the journalist mentioned the statue my response was immediate. The Picnic was not about statues, it was simply an opportunity for supporters to get together at a show of support for Assange. With over 20 years of campaigning and commenting on numerous and various issues I am very aware of the associated protocols and meticulously observe them, particularly dealing with the media. I am not responsible for journalistic interpretation and license in creating a news item. I make no apologies for supporting Julian Assange. However I do sincerely, publicly apologise to George Hirst and
the community for what has appeared in the Bulletin. I support the man Julian Assange and what he has achieved not a statue.
John Paterson Picture Perfect at Picnic Bay: Lovely
Michael Smith "Editor": Julian has never assaulted anyone, sexually or otherwise. He has done excellent work, Wikileaks had been exposing corruption in other countries long before the cablegate releases. The charges against him are trumped up, maybe some research on wlcentral dot org or other sites would be in order before you repeat the corporate media lies that the world has been fed again and again.
Ture Sjolander Be careful! Look up tomorrow. A drone will take pictures of all of you by remote control in The White House, and broadcasted to William Hague and Fredrik Reinfeldt.
Nell We are all be proud to be in a CIA picture taken anytime. We need to bust our generation to speak the truth :-)
Ture Sjolander A little bit of common fantasy, a couple of limos, a couple of passports, a couple of similar nations like Ecuador, a little bit of mascara, hair color and brown contact lenses, a few word of voiced spanish, a number of legal visitor getting in and out like in sliding doors, the electronic devise changing users...
and there we have another brilliant Thomas Crowns Affair ala Hollywood.
If it's suddenly 3 Julian Assange's, subject to harrassment by the authorities it will create a huge international scandal.
On top of that Tunisia, Venezuela, Ecuador...could issue an arrest order with a Red Alert for a few Swedes on Interpol International.

There is as many ways as there is numbers of people on this planet to crash this current insane "legal" construction concocted by the establishment of Western Gestapos.

Can you imagine if Julian had walked in to the US Embassy in London asking for asylum at the time he went into the Embassy of Ecuador, instead.
Would we have got a straight answer then or would they have sent him to Sweden first.

Sweden and US are leaking 24/7 and more than ever before. It is oceans of dirt getting out from them. They try to stop their own stinking leak in finding a single person to blame so they can wash their monumental failures.

I strongly suggest US and Sweden to swallow their pride, and get on with their life!

Alan Patterson "Should Magnetic Island commission a sculpture to celebrate the achievements of Julian Assange?
28463 votes received 28159/304"

Looks like Maggie Times is a "victim" of Cyber Hacking too! Or just happy to have more hits on it's website. Surely this is a clear example of Spam voting. Given our population has been fairly constant at 2500 & with about 2% showing up to support the man you claim as "Magnetic's" own (has JA ever mentioned Maggie Is?) one couldn't be really serious about a statue? Seriously!
Publicity at it's best. I would've expected this release on the 1st of April.
I support human rights & the right to support humans too. Maybe JA should not have missed the "Safe sex" cables from PD & he wouldn't be holed up in the Ecudorian Embassy in the UK.
What about the rights of the 2 ladies wanting to know if they had STD's? Is JA not concerned about their health & why did they resort to going to the police to see if he could be compelled to have a sexual health check? (Four Corners 23/7/2012)
So I ask, seriously, do you want a statue of Julian Assange on MI?
Ture Sjolander At this point in time it would be much more motivated to make a sculpture group of a number of naked people picturing not only Julian Assange but also William Hague, Fredrik Reinfeldt, Hillary Clinton and both Julia Gillard & Tony Abbott.
At this point in time neither of them are convicted.
This 4 collaborating nations boys and girls are only a fraction of the numbers of all the nations in the world.
This so called case is not driven by "authorities" but driven by a gangland of few individuals in the utmost ugly secret fashion.
Assange's credibilty is absolutely as good or even better than the other naked people in the sculpture group, one should never ever forget.

What is now going on is the best and the biggest leak ever released by the Wikileak upto date, anyone shall understand with the most basic understanding of newsmedia&politics in mind.

Downed aircraft mystery appears solved
Rob Isaacs Great detective work by all concerned and good luck with the snorkel trail guys :)
TEL and Sealink to promote NQ overseas
Alison Well this is nothing new, both TEL & Sunferries (now Sealink) used to be well promoted in International markets. So basically they are all going back to their grass roots.
Suzy If Sealink lowered their ferry fares that would pretty well solve the's not rocket science. Why waste all that money on promotion, put that money into subsidizing the fares.
chasmac Suzy, since you know about rocket science why not specify which fares you would like to see reduced and by how much. Should regular daily commuters benefit from (say) a 10% cut on their already discounted fares or should children and pensioners, who only use the ferry occasionally, come first? Or should daytrippers, who pay the highest rate and effectively subsidise local's 'Flexi' tickets, be given the cheap tickets first? Do you really think that an across-the-board price drop of 10-20% would lead to an increase of 10-20% in patronage? If so, how come you aren't running the show?
Opera on the Rock
Rosemary A wonderful inititaive for the Island - I do hope that the word gets around Townsville too. However, there is a clash with the final night of the Australian Festival of Cahmber Music which will take away some staunch music lovers who have had their tickets for that for some time. If you are not at the AFCM - make sure you are at Bremner Point!
Barbara Gibbs Sorry to those who have tickets to the other events, this was not planned to clash, as the CMF was later last year, and we set dates to not clash with other events, as well as availability of performers and presenters.

WE do appreciate the support of those who have chosen to attend the local event, as the success this year will see more in the future. There will always be clashes of dates or weather, and nothing can be done about that unfortunately(:

We hope you enjoy the show.
More down there than coral for snorkellers
andy cooper i thought it was well known about it!
pascal See the rope attached to the prop?? I put it there last december to mark the engine !! People had been there before me too !!
Notice: Sand movements at Nelly Bay
chasmac Ah, replenishment! What a concept. Refilling, restoring, renewing and all the while the Casuarinas are falling into the sea. It must be close to ten years now that the Constitution Bridge has been in place and all that 'topping up' has been going on. Yet the shoreline remains completely unstable, it has eroded and retreated close to 20 metres, there is no end in sight and now the No-Can-Do government is able to find another $100,000 to scarify and aggravate the running sore one more time.
How can we get the three levels of government to sit down together, put their cards on the table and look at what they are actually presiding over? How can we ask (nicely) the Federal Government, through GBRMPA, to examine its conscience about the phony status of the Marine Park INSIDE the Nelly Bay harbour? About their dogged determination to keep open the space under the Constitution Bridge so that that phony arrangement is maintained?
The previous State Government jointly funded a study of the shoreline erosion issues in Nelly Bay knowing that the problem is centred around the bridge and the constant disturbance of the building sand there. That study, completely handcuffed by GBRMPA's 'we-don't-change-nothin'-for-no-one' position, came up with a proposal that no one wants to implement - because it is completely unworkable. Does anyone review it? Does anyone care? Or are all governments just happy that Queensland has found another $100,000 to rub into the wound for another year while they go away and scratch their shiny bums. Bum engineering, bum planning, bum observation and totally mindless bum administration. Will one sensible CanDo manager please take a look at your work sometime and do something differently. It is not working.
How to help rangers in danger
Jo Thankyou to everyone who came along to see this documentary and supported the Thin Green Line Foundation.
Council offers storage shed to Men's group
PJ Chambers What is the Men's Shed organisation. What do they do and who is involved. Is it a charity group? How do they help the community? thanks. PJ
PJ Great news! And good to see Council step in so quickly to ensure community based use of a community asset. I hope that will continue with the Sport& Rec Club building, in its turn.
Community action plan man returns
Cynic How much is all this costing?
As for Ergon and the solar cities project - for the amount of money that was spent, we could of all had a solar hot water system installed free of charge that would of taken a load off the grid.
The island has ended up with very little - no solar street lighting, we did not get what was promised.
And now they are spending money along with MICDA for consultancy - that didn't work last time.
Many people holiday on the island for various reasons and many stay at Blue on Blue and One Bright Point and love it.
What a lot of Bull pun intended Peter!
jaen I agree entirely with Cynic, Solar city was a waste of money. We were told it was not possible to feed back into the grid by Solar city, we shopped around and have had 3 years of large refunds from Ergon. This Island has not progressed in the 10 years we have been here, in fact it has gone backwards. Businesses closing down everywhere. As for street lghting they are often still on at 7.30 am when I walk my dogs. What a waste of energy. It has been light for almost an hour in winter and for one and a half hours in summer
chasmac jaen, as far as I can recall, the Solar Cities project involved households 'hosting' solar panels for the duration of the project so that the industry could use the data collected in the trial. The hosted panels were not connected into the house but directly into the grid. It was not intended that the hosting house would collect any financial benefit from the hosted panels. This trial was carried out in a small number of locations around Australia to give a spread of data. Presumably that data collection is ongoing.
Of course it was still possible that a householder could choose to purchase their own solar panel array and enjoy the benefits that arose from that. But that was a separate possibility not part of the Solar Cities funded 'experiment'.
Apparently, one benefit that has already manifest itself is that the submarine electricity supply line from the mainland has not had to be upgraded/duplicated because sufficient power is being generated on the island to be able to delay this eventuality for a number of years.
I can't see a connection between the Solar Cities trial and businesses closing down. Is there one?
jaen Chasmac, There is in fact a connection between soaker city aand businesses closing down. Firstly solar city just wanted to use peoples rooves to host their panels for free and obviously did not care about the comunity at all. If they did they would be helpingg businesses reduce their electricity and get some refunds from Ergon for having panels on their rooves and feeding bsck into the grid, thus helping them in some small way financially. Instead all they wanted to feather heir own nest and for everyone to think how great the islanders' were in hosting their rooves. Who will pay the restoration bills when the first cyclone hits the islansd and panels are damaged and rooves uprooted. I bet solar city will not they will not wnnt to know the first thing about the affected houses! This island is a quiet little island with old fashioned values and it is not a place to develop a new business. Let it remain that way!!!
Davo Yasi was about a Cat 3 here. Did anybody lose any solar panels or find the panels lifted their roofing iron that night? Hadn't heard of any.
chasmac Jaen, Solar City built (renovated) the Smart Lifestyle centre in Horseshoe Bay and will hand it back to "the community" at the end of the project. That's a gift to the community which would have cost a small motza.
It's true the project "...wanted to use peoples rooves to host their panels for free", but they did ask nicely, it was entirely voluntary and every participating household was given a free electricity budget check and many received updated monitoring equipment and other aids to help understand how to reduce consumption. Clearly some people had expectations that they should be able to get more for free - no one was ever offered "refunds from Ergon" for hosting panels.
What to do when you find a stranded turtle?
maralyn Thanks for the article and phone no. I found a dead turtle washed up on the eastern end of HSB Beach early Sunday morning.
Steve Lane You can't be serious!!! "A rough time over the past few years". as opposed to the Golden Years when Turtle life was so much better...

"Turtles are affected by cooler water temperatures.": In what way?
Is 2012 the year of the great first Turtle Winter. To be later remembered as the first year in 4.5 billion years in which Turtles encountered a cooler water temperature during the non Summer months and thus, the great decline in their population began...Due obviously to anthropological ominous climate change...
Give me a break...
I. Getit Sure Steve there probably haven’t been “Golden Years” for turtles for a long time. Like before plastic bags appeared which look like their prey but choke them horribly to death, or longer back to when steel propellors didn’t chop them to bits as they rose for air, or even further back before feral pigs discovered how tasty the eggs are and, in places like Cape York, dig up masses of nests to wipe out future generations. They don’t get listed as vulnerable or threatened or endangered or critically endangered for nothing. So, yep Steve, sure has been a while since the Golden Years but I just don’t get how you can’t get it that these days aint what they used to be.

Plants and animals have times of the year when there’s plenty of food and conditions are good. It seems pretty obvious to me that the Turtle Network people are talking about winter as always being harder for turtles - like it is for us in February if you’re working outside all day long - and because turtles have had such a hammering from all the stuff above and plenty more than that, it’s more likely that, when the harder time of year arrives, we will see them sick and in need of help.
Brony Ahhh... The Golden Years! I guess that before extended wet seasons and flooding washed the sediments and chemicals of human making into our oceans drowning out the sun and causing the sea grass to slowly die back. And just to top it off the biggest cyclone in recorded history and state-wide flooding resulting in widespread collapse of sea grass along the Queensland coast.

I suppose times for turtles would have been better before their main food source collapsed. Reptiles find it hard in the cold every year, let alone when they are starving and diseased!

Climate sceptics would be in a better place to be sceptical if they would only inform themselves of the realities of our world. Our environment is falling apart before our eyes - are we to blind to see it?
Ture Sjolander I would make a soup of it sprinkled with fine smoked slices of a death adder skin,together with a small side dish of cold smoked dugong genetalia, decorated with feather from a curlew, and present it on the Television Master Chef Show.
How the Qld Government just crippled the state's enviro defenders
Jenny Stirling Newman has overplayed his hand here. It looks very bad that he has shut down the one place that farmers resisting coal seam gas development could go and get free legal advice that was so well informed about their issues.
Wendy Tubman This withdrawal of support is a devastating blow for the environment. The EDO is basically 'legal aid for the environment'; it enables landholders, individuals and community groups to exercise their legal rights to defend the environment - not for personal gain but in the public interest.

We know that from our massive loss of diversity to the threats on the Great Barrier Reef our environment is at serious risk of permanent damage - and that damage is overwhelmingly related to human development.

The EDO assists government to monitor and protect the environment. It plays a vital role, and the loss of funding will weaken considerably its ability to assist, advise and stand up for those defending the legal rights of the environment, often against developers with bottomless pockets. The EDO redresses the imbalance between big business and the voiceless environment.

Without the EDO our world will be a poorer, a less healthy and a less sustainable place to pass on to future generations.

We are talking about a relatively miniscule amount of money versus the potential loss of significant parts of our world.

I urge everyone with an interest in environmental protection to please contact the Minister - by email, phone or letter - and ask him to reconsider.
David Ede I agree with Can Do Campbell cutting out waste and over supported committees like the Enviro Defenders.

The penny has not dropped yet eh.

The Labour Government sent this wonderful state of ours down the gurgler. Some one has to fix it and fix it quick. Unfortunately the medicin will not be nice.

I have just had seven goes at starting that business. Those attempts got got blocked six times until I got all my ducks in a row.

So: there are enough State and Federal Government Departments blocking possible and actual environmental transgressions and policing things now. If you have a problem go to one of those bodies. They would love to here from you. They have wonderful and dedicated people ( Seriously) willing and ready to stop bad environmental issues.

David EDE
West Point.
Sue Hey David from West Point I hear there's talk that coal seam gas exploration might be happening out your way. Don't worry though. The proposal will only affect ground water, biodiversity, property values, fish stock and your lifestyle.  You might be able to get help from a Govt Department but if the Govt is so blatantly wanting development at any cost do you really thing some Bureaucrat is going to stick his or her neck out to help you? I think they'll be more concerned about keeping their job. I guess the alternative is to take out a loan or mortgage your house to defend your patch of paradise. Good luck with it!! 

Sorry mate, just joshin, but there's plenty of people it is or will be true for.
Can our Navy Cadets survive?
Daniel Daniel I must say how sad it was to read that the Naval Cadet unit on Magnetic Island may have to close down due to lack of staff.
However I must correct the original story printed, where it said that Lieutenant Jim Davis started the unit known as TS Magnetic island.
I wish to seperate fact from fiction.
The fact is that I, Chief petty Officer Daniel Daniel, who asssisted in starting a Naval Cadet unit in Dampier WA, eventually came to Magnetic Island in 1998.I made contact with TS Coral Sea in Townsville, and made it known that I was available to act as an Instructor for their unit.
They accepted that offer. One day I received a phone call from the Officer In Charge, and I was asked if I would be prepared to start a unit over on Magnetic Island, and if I was, Jim Davis was prepared to assist me in this. I met up with Jim, and we discussed it, and we decided to go ahead and do it.I put my Naval uniform on, and Jim and I went to the MI Primary school, and we had a talk with the prospective cadets. We then had a meeting with parents who would form the Parents Committee, and also to draw up a roster of parents who would take the cadets home after the parade finished at 9pm (2100hours)on a Monday. As I was the only adult there who had the applicable marine qualifications to teach boat handling etc. I was responsible for the vast majority of the cadets training.
Jim Davis was the Officer In Charge,which is mainly a ceremonial roll, and he attended many of the parades as well.
Towards the end, at the end of the parades, there would be no parents to take the cadets home, and that was also left up to me to get them homeas well.
I couldn't very well leave them there at that time of night. I was a bit jaded by then as well, as I had been driving a public bus since 0500 hours that morning as well.I also did a lot of cadet work at home as well, getting lessons and equipment ready, and also organising cadets a place on the Queensland Sail Training ship. I was quite disappointed to read that I had received no recognition at all for all of the hours that I had put in training the cadets.
If I had not agreed to start the unit originally, there would possibly have been no Naval Cadet unit on the island. I really feel that I was never there, never part of the unit and that is just not true.
Amanda ward I'm an old cadet (1995 to 1997) of ts dampier where Daniel Daniel was our P.O and a great teacher and story teller
He deserves to be credited for all his hard work in building the magnetic island cadets
I would also like to thank him for the reference he wrote for me prior to my leaving dampier
I have manny fond memory's of dampier and manny of them include Daniel Daniel and John Lally and the cadet unit
I hope the magnetic island finds away to continue running a cadet unit and provide manny young people with the same life skills and confidence it gave me not to mention the fond memories.
Thank you P.O Daniel Daniel
From Amanda ward
A young koala's adventure at Geoffrey Bay
Basil Poor fellow looks so lonely, just as well he (is he a she) is not too acutely intelligent, it might get to him his social isolation.
A Maggie Island car show?
chasmac I saw the Rolls Royce being loaded on the tilt tray today. Would that be a Roller On / Roller Off operation?
Robert Ones I heard someone say that it would be a nice a idea to have a bicycle race from horseshoe to picnic. From roundabout to roundabout.. guess thats a nice idea too to attract tourists.
Brett Sounds like a great idea Sue. I own a 1970 MGB roadster that I would love to showcase on the day. However, the reason I haven't brought it over to my holiday house on the island before is the prohibitive cost of the barge. If registered participants in the car show are given a discount ticket for the barge then count me in. Feel free to email me for further discussion.
jon hi sue sounds a great idea.i help organise a group of vw owners in townsville with a couple of owners on the island. i am sure a group of us would be pleased to come along if a discounted ferry price could be arranged.
Chalkie Perhaps visitors could go on a tour to see all the rusting hulks and abandoned cars littering the Island. Sorry...couldn't help putting that comment in. Also, how about encouraging a 'tidy town' concept on the Island?
Sealink’s secret plan for Island tours
Anna I have sympathy for the local operators but on the other hamd, last year I tried to contact the Providence operator as I had a group of friends visiting who were interested. left message for them and NEVER received a reply, so unless operators can operate efficiently then bring on the big operators
Rose With one short, notable exception when Sunferries had genuine and committed local owners our ferry service has not stepped up to the "local" mark since the days of Hayles. Trips round the Palms Group would be sensational - I bet there are very few in the region who have ever experienced the great beauty and fantastic snorkelling up there - so create a genuine new offer for our visitors and for local residents too. - and at least support Island business in these difficult times by laying off their small patch of turf.
chasmac Even Sunferries could not sustain their monopoly Reef Trips when times got tough - and it wasn't about the quality of the experience or the competence of the operation. Probably (and I'm no expert), there's a certain demographic with a certain budget that just might occupy a ferry for a half day trip around the Island - that could not afford the cost or threat of rough weather and seasickness traveling to the Palms. Must Sealink's "secret" plan be portrayed as all negative, all glass half-full?
Just possibly there will be an opportunity for local Island businesses to piggy back on Sealink's tours which surely will showcase Magnetic Island's scenic coastline and World Heritage setting. Sealink will no doubt bring new blood - tourists, even mainland locals that would otherwise not bother about the Island. Can't we be positive about a new tourism initiative which could be a life boat for a tropical Titanic.
Magneticmd I agree that we should be positive about a business trying to breathe new life into tourism in the Townsville Region and on the island.

Ideally, it would be great if Sealink would be able to alternate day trips to Maggie Island, The Palm Group and The Great Barrier Reef as this would appeal to a wider range of people and obviously encourage guests to embark on all three destinations on offer.

I do understand that the previous company Sunferries ran trips out to the reef but they used a large boat and employed dive crews as well as their staff. I believe that if they run a small boat and initially do not incorporate the dive operation that this idea could become a great success for their business and the Townsville region.

I don't believe that this would affect operations for Providence or Aquascene as they offer a completely different product ie: Sailing and small group tours compared to a large catamaran....but Grant and Lindsay will always continue to complain and whinge in their 'vendetta' to improve the island. Maybe they should focus on promoting and running their business effectively.

Sue If I could I would never travel on Sealink. The service and attitude of the company towards locals is way below par and this just proves it yet again. Whenever I can I take the Barge to Townsville. It takes a little longer but they provide a much better service. Or I just try and minimise my trips to Townsville. Maybe the tour operators should try doing "sightseeing" trips to Townsville and back
Paul Mills I agree with Chasmac,
I think it's time to think outside the box.
Wendy Tubman A sorkelling trip around the Palms - I'd pay for that!

While I sympathise with those affected by the potential change in the market, I trust that those who are concerned make a point of supporting other local businesses rather than the big stores on the big island (thinking in particular of the mega-pokie-owning one with a name that begins with 'W').
Grant Lewis Anna, I notice you have posted a comment like this earlier. We pride ourselves in Providence V serving our local market and being an attractive feature as the region's only tallship.
We do apologise if you weren't able to get through to us. We have always got 'mates' rates for locals and have seen many landmarks for local residents egs 50th birthdays, kids parties, hens nights. We would like to offer you to contact us for half price for you and your friends. You've probably highlighted one of the issues of trying to run a business as a small operator - that is trying to be everywhere at once.

On that topic big operators have backup. They also bring other issues. For example, do locals want to see up to 110 people snorkelling or lying on the beach at Radical or Florence Bay on a regular basis and a large vessel moored within sight on the horizon? Not to mention environmental damage caused by this potentially massive influx of people. These people may not visit the island, nor will they necessarily be taking up other tourism product on the island. They may well simply board a ferry in Townsville, ride around the island and return to Townsville with no local businesses benefitting . We buy local, employ locals and support local businesses. This is not a local endeavour.
Barb That would explain why they no longer advertise local tours on board the ferries, or local events. Surely therre has to be something to be done to prevent these big corporations taking over! No Chas, for once I am disagreeing with you here! The locals need to be able to keep THEIR businesses operating and Sealink DO NOT need the money! It is the little guy who looks after the place and what happens to their families when they no longer have an income because some freaking big company walks all over them?? As a community we need to stand up against these bullies and regain composure. I also notice when, as a local, visitors ask directions in my company, the Sealink staff now try to take over as if they are the ONLY source of information. This is a new attitude and sad that we have to be dictated to by interstate bully tactics. How many locals are secretly involved in assisting them?
Mongo its about sticking up for islanders and Sealink should explain what they want to do. If it really was something new and wasnt hitting the little guys then great but when youve got a booking office each end and commercials on board whos gonna know about anybody else.
George Hirst Correction: I wish to correct part of the above story. I have, since publishing the above story, removed quoted statements attributed to Lindsay Simpson which were in error. I sincerely apologise to Lindsay for this misunderstanding.
George Hirst, Editor.
ella (((((On that topic big operators have backup. They also bring other issues. For example, do locals want to see up to 110 people snorkelling or lying on the beach at Radical or Florence Bay on a regular basis and a large vessel moored within sight on the horizon? Not to mention environmental damage caused by this potentially massive influx of people)))))

this is the reason why the island has gone down hill b cause the locals are rude and do not want the tourists here. but than complain when their businesses go under. you cant have it both ways..
chasmac magneticmd, it is likely that the ferry company is looking for work for a particular vessel (and crew) that is only available on certain days or for a certain amount of time -perhaps the vessel that does the Palm Island ferry service. So they wouldn't actually be starting something from scratch with completely new equipment.
If reef trips weren't viable then, they probably aren't viable now - Palm Island being about 50kms away would constitute a "reef trip". The distance is important, very important. Fickle, fragile travelers, slightly grey or windy weather and the boat is empty. Magnetic Island's status as the most accessible inhabited island in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is a valuable asset. Sealink has an opportunity to promote Magnetic Island like no one else and to benefit most from that promotion.
If a round-Island-tour called in at Nelly Bay before and after it could easily bring new business to the Island's tourism sector. No doubt Sealink will suck it and see. Good luck to them.
Paul S On the money there ella.
Alan Patterson Dear Editor
1. I think if people are making criticisms they should give their full names.
2. Ella, your comment is a bit general but not all locals are rude & not wanting tourists here. Are you a resident? My experience as a business owner is most of us are working very hard to give a good Island impression or experience.
3. I am not buying into the Sealink issue so much but would like to highlight Wendy Tubman's comment about supporting local businesses & trade. Maybe this could be followed up more but I understand the context of this article & relevance is about tour operators.
George Hirst Alan, Your point regarding people not giving their names comes up quite a bit on internet forums. Some think it a coward's castle thing to go anon while others may have good reason to remain anon if they think they could suffer from disclosure. I'm inclined towards the latter because I want to see as many points of view as possible and people are easily intimidated.

However, I moderate every comment before it goes up. My main concerns are that the comments not be racist, sexist, offensive or libellous. This said, I think it's good to have lively and even heated discussion but some people take offence more easily than others.

I personally think that, for instance, magneticmd's last par was unnecessary and smelled of a grudge but I allowed it because Grant is making strong statements in a public forum. I also expect others reading such lines may well see that level of criticism the way I did.

What is best, ultimately, is just to see as many people caring enough to write as possible.

George Hirst, Ed.
Louise Byron Dear Sir; with regards to the remarks made about the M V Providence service, My husband and I went on them with a chum from the UK last November, and while the trip was OK, their webpage displays lunch consisting of large prawns (we got small servings of quiche) and boasts about a boom net for use of its passengers (no boom net used on our trip), so I am not surprised that their passenger numbers are falling. As for Sea Link providing some kind of tourist experience around Maggie, good luck to them, if it employs some locals. Any jobs for the Maggie residents must be a good thing?
Anna Thankyou Providence, but as this was a one off when we had friends visit I won't be taking you up on your offer
island girl Perhaps Sealink should look at the viability of whale watching tours during the 3 months they are in our waters - the weather at this time is always great - around the island tours/snorkeling surely wouldn't be weather viable year round - just a thought....
chasmac Barb, whose post somehow got slipped in way back up the top, raises the spectre of the big bad ogre with interstate bully tactics. Next time you are at the Sealink terminal in Town look outside at the advertising posters lined up in the most prominent position along the front of the building next to the main entrance (Providence features). Look inside at the travel desks and various other facilities that are used to promote Island-based businesses. I can't remember a time when local businesses have been better served at that frontline position. How can anyone argue, realistically, that the ferry company, or any business for that matter, "DO NOT need the money"? It is the basis of our economy that every business needs the money and Sealink (let alone the barge company - based in devilish, mercenary Brisbane!) is the most fundamental and essential business serving Magnetic Island. Our lived experience has been that poorly managed transport businesses (including ferries) go broke and then we really face the music. There is no evidence presented here that a tourism initiative by Sealink will negatively impact any or all other Island businesses. If their business case passes their economic hard-heads then maybe it will suit Magnetic Island's situation as well. It's their gamble - shouldn't they be encouraged to give it a go?
Warren Ambrose SIMPLE QUESTION: Does this company receive Government grants as a TRANSPORT operator and proposes to use its muscle to conduct TOURS?
chasmac Warren, this is Queensland under the new NO-CAN-DO government. No one gets a "government grant".
Jones keeps bagging the report he hasn’t read
rebecca smith last time I went snorkelling on the island, the fringing reef was far from 'magnificent' - it was smothered in algae and sediment and mostly dead. And the sea in Townsville is positively disgusting - full of sediment and foul to swim in. A far cry from when I swam island and town beaches 25 years ago.
A great green gain from Gillard government
Jenny Stirling Yes the marine parks are a good thing BUT The same Labor government is going to allow the state government to do the commonwealth's part of assessments on the EIS for new mines like Alpha- one of the largest coal mines on the planet. This effectively means that EPBC ACT will be neutered in these instances and the inner reef, the one that supports the 60,000 jobs in the tourism industry, will not get the protection it deserves. And if anything goes wrong, say there is a vessel that collides with the reef, or the world heritage listing of the reef is downgraded because of the impact of coal mining facilities, then the buck will stop with the current Qld govt. And Newman is in such a rush to get these sorts of projects off the ground that he does not see the danger.
chasmac Glass half full I reckon. The watering down of the EPBC Act and the transfer of some/all assessment to state governments was mostly achieved under the Howard government - enthusiastically supported by Labor state governments of course - especially if the Commonwealth would put up the money for the states to do the assessments. There's Buckleys chance of any Commonwealth government beefing up the EPBC Act again so it's better that they get on with the hack work of effort-reduction in the fishing industry, buy-outs and bans where appropriate and laying the foundations for an expansion of tourism and infrastructure development for the time when the economy bounces back - as it most surely will.
stuart Sadly the zoning scheme has been delivered with minimal political disruption end effectiveness. Look closely and you will notice that the no fishing areas are in waters people don't fish. It really has been a case of a zoning scheme designed by fisherpeople who want unlimited access. Hard to see how it will make any difference to anyone including the fish. The mining limitations are one of the more positive aspects. Lets not rejoice at the public perception that the area is protected. its not.
chasmac stuart, local experience is that Magnetic Island's green zones are definitely located in places that fisherpeople would love to fish.
Kaylene AVAAZ are currently running a petition, to Queensland Environment Minister Andrew Powell, to stop the shocking destruction of the Great Barrier Reef and protect this incredible global heritage. Google the following for more information. "avaaz save the worlds 7th wonder" (Abridged Ed.)
A memorial gathering for Carolyn Pike
dani ryan I will not be able to attend the service on Sunday. My thoughts will be with you Tony and with all who loved Caroline. Hoping the gathering/memorial will bring some healing for you...X
Nell We make sure, we will be there for the Memorial ceremony. We can't miss that (at least we are not away). We love Carolyn Pike very much. We, also love Tony. We will never forget you Carolyn, especially your beautiful smile. You and Tony have a such a wonderful smile all the time, we see you.May Tony have strength to face this situation. Nell, Rick and Fia <3
Carol Moore I wish I could be there for beautiful Carolyn's memorial gathering but am down in Albury. Love to you Tony.
Jan Phillips we MIFCO members will be there to support you Tony and to send our love out to Carolyn..a beautiful, smiling, caring lovely soul...who's smiling face and one of a kind caring personality we shall miss very, very much...our hearts are with you Tony in this saddest of times..she will always remain in our hearts and will always be a part of our beautiful Maggie...see you there sweetheart xxxxxx
Lindsay simpson Will be there to bid you farewell Carolyn
Lindsay and Grantxx
Mary Gilliver This is such sad news. Carolyn was a ray of light, so warm and kind. I'm very sorry to hear of your loss, Tony, and am thinking of you from far away.
Jamie Havighurst It is with heavy hearts that we read about this sadness in a family so full of hope and excitement of future adventures. Please know that we are thinking of you Tony from here in Greece.

Jenny and Jamie
Benita Sparrow This one of the most sad news. Some times it is really difficult to express thoughts in a few sentences.
Kirsti and Meggs Tony our thoughts go out to you. Carolyn was so special and we will miss her. Love Kirsti and Meggs
Wulgurukaba turtle art opened on Geoffrey Bay
Wendy Tubman Congratulations to Geoffrey Bay Coastcare for continuing to do such a great job to protect the Bay from degradation. Keep up the good work - it is much appreciated. Hope we can get the rest of the plan in place before long.
Lifeline op-shop closes at Picnic Bay
julie v My best score at the Picnic Bay op shop was a genuine set of his and hers "Beverly Hills Polo Club" watches. I had them serviced and the jeweler admired them for their quality. $12. What's yours?
gr0m1t I got my orange,red and gold plus my blue and green choir outfits there. It's not just bad news for people who want to pick up a bargain, it's bad news for the environment. Much better to recycle things down at the op shop than put it into landfill. Very sad.
Patricia MacQueen It would be a great idea if someone could keep the shop going as a second hand shop with AFFORDABLE and REALISTIC prices that go with 'Second hand shops' there are many in our community that would welcome such a shop -most second hand shops get their stock for near to nothing and in some cases for nothing,so why not help out anyone doing it a bit tough and making it so they DON'T have to go without - in this day and age no one expects to get everything for nothing but whoever takes on such a venture please make whatever you sell affordable ,there are many of us who would gladly donate our surplus goods to anyone with good intentions on helping the needy, Cheers and good luck Patricia
Two new sightings of Magnetic's mystery big cat
Kelly G Thanks for noting that the animal has not shown any aggression, as I would hate to think that some islanders out there may get it into their heads to hunt this creature down. It would definitely be amazing to have it captured, but also sad for the animal who is obviously used to living in the wild. What would happen after it was captured? Could it become part of the Bungalow Bay zoo?
Wendy Tubman I appreciate your concerns for a living thing Kelly, but if this is a wild cat, it is probably doing an awful lot of damage to our native wildlife. Even domestic cats are not supposed to be roaming around outside at night.

I live very close to Gustav Creek and know of at least one koala that moves between my place and other trees around Gustav. We lost one to a dog (or was it a big cat?) a few years back - it would be awful to lose another one.
Liz I live in Lintern Place and had a very young possum living on my veranda until last week, I last saw it when I got home one evening running of the veranda with a big black car in hot pursuit. It is an aggressive animal that should be under control, not roaming around at night killing things
Louise Byron My husband and I saw some very big cat paw prints in the dirt track at Swensen St. Horseshoe Bay about 10 days ago; could this be the marks of the big cat?
sabrina Great! The big cat has struck only waiting for its capture to discover the truth on this incredible animal...on the internet everyone is commenting on the strange sightings...p.s. for Louise Byron: I think so....I saw the animal in the bush behind the Bungalow Bay!
Remembering Carolyn Pike
Alan Patterson Dear Tony
I am saddened & shocked by your loss of Carolyn. She was a delightful lady, we will all miss her smile and happy disposition. We were all excited for your adventure together, sailing the Pacific Islands and were looking forward to tales of your journey. I hope you can draw strength from our prayers & best wishes, to carry on the journey, as Carolyn would wish. Take care, Alan & Sonia & staff at MI Pharmacy.
Pat Coleman Tony mate,Im shocked aswell . She was always nice to me as you have always been . I 2nd what Alan said . Hope you can be strong mate.

Sylvia Dear Tony
I will always remember you both building Bottigers Hut at the Picnic Bay museum. You were such a great team with a marvellous spirit that got things done. How sad to lose your joyful partner. Thinking of you. Sylvia Hayes
Patricia MacQueen What terribly sad news,I think Alan has spoken for us all,on Maggie we don't always know people personally but we do know of them and being the tight caring community that we are,our thoughts and prayers are with you Tony and all of your friends,Carolyn will sail with you wearing her beautiful wings Cheers Patricia
Julie Venables I'm thinking of you Tony. Much love JV.
LIz Such incredibly sad news and a terrible loss for you and Carolyn's family and friends. I didn't know either of you very well but remember your wonderful work for NQCC and your lovely personalities. All I can think of to say in such circumstances is that "grief is the price we pay for love." Cherish the love and joy that you shared
MIFCO darling Tony, words cannot express how shocked and deeply saddened we all were to hear of Carolyn's sudden and unexpected passing..our hearts and all our thoughts are with you ...she was and always will be a beautiful butterfly...please let us know if there is anything at all we can do...we are there for you ....thinking of you with love ..all the MIFCO members..........<3<3 xxxxxx
Elena Higgins Thinking of you Tony. Sorry to hear about this news!
Merran Cooper Dear Tony I knew Carolyn "Cal" at school, loved her happy, caring spirit, then caught up again by phone a few years ago. She sold some books I wrote to help raise funds for a mutual friend. it was lovely to hear how happy she was with you, and with your life together. I know you made her very happy, and I'm grateful to you for that. I'm really sorry for your loss and hope you can find strength, meaning and love to keep on with your own life. Carolyn was a shining light and she will never be gone Merran
Rob & Kim Tyndall Tony, both Kim & I were deeply shocked & of course saddened by this terrible news, receiving same whilst cruising the Whundays in "Sweet As".
We won't make it back in time for Sunday but we extend our thoughts & sadness to you. Rob & Kim
Wulgurukaba turtle art unveiling at Geoffrey Bay
brooke It will be lovely to see art work from Traditional Owners of Magnetic Island. It would be nice to see a lot more of it. Aboriginal history on this island is strong and it would be nice to have more artwork around.
Sylvia Good on you, Arthur, and well done Vandhana for your support of this event.
Libby Illidge Thank you Arthur, for sharing your knowledge about Magnetic Island with us, through your art. We appreciate it.
Liz Gallie It's wownderful to see strong partnerships being forged with Traditional Owners in conservation efforts to achieve positive environmental outcomes such as this.

I will make a special trip to Magnetic Island to see the site and Arthur Johnson's artwork.

Tony O'Malley is tireless in his committment to the natural environmnet wherever he is so I imagine he has been as much an inspiration to those who have worked with him on Magnetic Island as he is to those who know and work with him at Mission Beach.
Notice: Picnic Bay Jetty restoration
Vivienne Withers Thats great news, how long will it take.
Sylvia Hooray!
Mick Scarcella Sensational news. We spent a very long time on that jetty in Sept 2009 whilst on our honeymoon and yes we both love fishing and we definitely will be back as soon as the work is complete.
Threat of
Judy How clear can UNESCO make it?! I for one am appalled to learn that corals can die within 36 hours when overcome by nutrient rich sediment and that vessel traffic through The Great Barrier Reef waters will increase 5-fold within 8 years. How can any caring decision-makers sit back and ignore the experts’ advice on protecting this iconic World Heritage area for not only the present generation but for future generations and for the environment's own sake.
Lorna Thanks for the story, George. Having 'our' Barrier Reef at risk of being classified as 'In Danger' by the objective international experts is a situation that needs to be taken extremely seriously. And to have our Federal member of parliament provide inane comment on the issue is alarming to say the least.(When asked yesterday by the Townsville Bulletin for his reaction to the environmental arm of the UN's report on the World Heritage listing of the Great Barrier Reef, Herbert MP Ewen Jones remarked: "I don't go to New York and tell Americans what to do ... Who the bloody hell are they?").

Davo Ewen shafted one of his own Liberal people and backed his golfing mate in the council election instead. Looks like he's happy to do the same for the reef tourist industry too. Wonder which mining boss he plays golf with? Your drive Clive. lol
audrey It's about time someone recognised the damage being done to the reef. I guess the story has already played out on Magnetic Island. Our tourist information talks about crystal clear water. I don't think we have seen "crystal clear" water here for years and I would hazard a guess that the blame could be laid fairly and squarely on the deep water channel that is continually dredged to allow access to Townsville for the big cargo boats that use the port.
chasmac The calm and measured approach of the UNESCO stands in stark contrast to the ignorant reaction of conservative politicians - ignorant because they assert they don't even need to read the document. This is part of the statement:
"At its 35th session, the Committee noted with serious concern that a single Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant on Curtis Island had been consented. The mission noted that the plant had been assessed as impacting on attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. It transpires this is one of three such plants on Curtis Island, with a major associated dredging programme underway, and a fourth application still to be determined. The information provided by the Australian authorities and the findings of the mission, shows a rapid and recent increase in proposals for coastal development with potential impacts on the OUV of the property. The information illustrates that, to date, about 70% (41 out of 61) of all such proposals determined over the past decade (1999-2011) have been approved, presumably with a range of attached conditions. More than 60% of all such development proposals (67 of 108 proposals in total) were made in the last 5 years, with a substantial and consistent increase since 2008 notably in relation to projects associated with the export of coal and Liquefied Natural Gas. Proposals for development located both within and outside the property currently under consideration (circa 45 in total, of which circa 35 applications are seeking determination before the end of 2013) include LNG and other processing facilities and associated infrastructure, port facilities and dredging, tourism developments, aquaculture and agricultural developments, mining and extractive industries, transport infrastructure (excluding port facilities), pipelines, water treatment facilities and water supply infrastructure, and residential developments. Considering the high rate of approvals over the past 12 years, this unprecedented scale of development affecting or potentially affecting the property poses serious concerns over its long-term conservation.
The mission further noted that, whilst many aspects of the management of the property set standards, there is a range of unaddressed concerns regarding the protection and management of the port and LNG facilities in Gladstone Harbour and on Curtis Island and the protection of its surrounding environment. Concerns raised by stakeholders include reduced water quality from dredging, inadequate independent, scientific oversight in monitoring water quality, suggested lack of government response when water quality targets are exceeded, impact on traditional use, and lack of satisfaction regarding procedures for public consultation and transparency. It does not appear that offsets that were part of the conditions for consenting developments in Gladstone Harbour and on Curtis Island are appropriate and sufficient mitigation of the impact the facilities have on the property. The mission considers that these concerns should be addressed prior to any port development and ensure that port facilities and operations throughout the property meet the highest international standards of best practice, commensurate with the status of an iconic World Heritage property.
Until the results of the Strategic Assessment noted below are achieved, and a related plan for sustainable development has been put in place, a highly precautionary approach is required in relation to all developments that might impact the OUV of the property, together with effective and regular reporting to the World Heritage Committee. Without such a precautionary approach the outcomes of the Strategic Assessment may be compromised, and there are a number of developments that, were they to proceed, would provide the basis to consider the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger."
With some considerable luck (unlikely to be good management) our new state government may realise that it needs to confront the push for unlimited, unconstrained coastal development to support the mining and gas industries. Just once I'd like to hear Premier Campbell Newman referred to as 'No-Can-Do.
Peter Jones Thanks for the great coverage of this issue MagTimes.In a calm and measured world, where cool, clear and rational analysis guided policy-making, this report would serve as a very significant wake up call, giving all citizens, as well as politicians and developers, cause to pause and consider the path we are on. Unfortunately the reactions from our political representatives has been a lot less than encouraging.

It would be nice to think that the 'lucky' outcome Charlie suggests may come to pass, but I suspect that without strong pressure from the public, our pollies are likely to think they can simply ignore the report, dis UNESCO as a bunch of interfering outsiders and get on with business as usual. Now is the time for those phone calls, letter, emails etc to your elected representatives!
Steve Lane Oh no...Not - 'In Danger'. Surely not that...Anything but that.

"Would Sir like that with a Critically Endangered on the side, or would that be too much?

"No thanks, thats a bit too rich really isn't it. I think I'll just have the Really, Really Endangered, if it's all the same to you - Critically Endangered gives me gas".

Wonder why UNESCO just didn't say it was at risk of being 'Badly Bruised' or here's a better one: 'Fully Sick'.

Love those Green Superlatives...

Like it or not that reef will be there in a thousand years, irrespective of what mans throws at it. "Move on people...Nothing to see here".
chasmac Steve Lane may not be aware that years ago GBRMPA initiated and coordinated the development of a 25 year Strategic Plan for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area beginning from 1991. This plan provides for a healthy environment for the Reef which maintains its diversity of species and habitats, and its ecological integrity and resilience, parts of which are in pristine condition.
The Plan also provides for sustainable multiple use ie. non-destructive activities which can continue forever, that is, in such a way that maintains the widest range of opportunities for sustainable use, and does not adversely affect the ecological integrity of the Reef's natural systems.
I think the UNESCO notice signals that although in a geological sense there will always be coral-reef limestone formations on that part of the Australian continental shelf, the way things are going we may risk losing the "healthy environment" (as we Australians accepted the definition of it) and that with the healthy environment goes the "sustainable multiple use". So Steve may be happy that the limestone outcrops are there forever but the next person may lament the passing of the coral reef lifeform which is now, right now, being slowly and steadily degraded. Some parts of it are actually dying. Call it whatever "green superlative" you like but acknowledge that we are being gently informed, by eminent authorities, that the living reef is indeed endangered - mainly now by "what man throws at it". Moving on is turning a blind eye. Dumb really, because in fact there really is something to see on the Great Barrier Reef as almost everyone who has ever actually experienced it will attest.
Assange demonstration: “Drug smugglers are getting better treatment!”
Claudia Thanks for the story, George. I think it would be helpful if you did not use the phrase "WikiLeaks embarrassed the US by leaking thousands of secret..." because it perpetrates the mistaken notion that he, as a journalist, did the leaking. He did not. Others leaked the information; Assange / Wikileaks merely reported or published it.
In 1972, when the Watergate scandal broke, Mark Felt of the FBI leaked information, under the pseudonym of "Deep Throat" to journalist Bob Woodward, who reported it and the Washington Post published it. Nobody expected the government to shut down the Washington Post or execute Bob Woodward.
So - leaks come from informants, not journalists.
Alister Ferguson Hats off to the people in this protest & to you George Hirst for reporting the story & proclaiming your solidarity! I wish there were more journalists like you in the world! I am forwarding this link to my Bob Carr urging him to help Julian.
editor George,
Are you a journalist? News to me!
George Hirst It's a general term but, the last time I looked, I was.
Letter: Christine Assange responds to Julian
Chris C Thanks Guys - please make sure you link to/republish the article on your FB page - I suspect it will get heaps of shared/traffic if you do
George Hirst Julian Assange has now lost his extradition appeal to Sweden. There is a demonstration in support of Julian planned for tomorrow at 4.30pm in front of Ewan Jones' Office opposite Stockland, Cnr Ross River Road and Nathan St.
Horseshoe-Arcadia win Bay of Origin
rebecca I think the only reason Horseshoe Bay won was because superstar Mab played with them this year.
Horseshoe Reunion and BoO follows the Biggest Cuppa
dani ryan A big WOO-HOO for a great Island weekend!
Magnetic Fitness changes hands
gr0m1t Two beautiful young ladies. Can't we have some decrepit person running it instead? Well done re obese children. Mind you, I know of at least 3 parents who are standing over their kids MAKING them eat a 4th piece of cake so that they can get training for free.....LOL.
Good Luck Sarah.
Jimbo Beleive in you Sarah! Really great to see you back.
Sally As one of your oldest clients (in every sense!) Fiona my sincere congratulations on your extraordinary ability to build a wonderful business from scratch
Very best of luck to you in your future endeavors!
Denise Colk Good to see a business for locals and presumably others wanting to be fit, not just backpackers!!! Wishing all local businesses catering to locals and visitors well in these difficult times. Great to see young people leading the way.
Magnetic Times joins facebook
Dot Congratulations! Well done!Look forward to reading about events and happenings there.
Patricia MacQueen Wonderful news Since my Noel's{ O'Brien's passing on the 17-5-2009}when sleep won't come and still being awake in the wee small hours,who better to spend my time with then you George the Editor of Magnetic Times,so congratulations George on your forward move Cheers ....
Let's help the RSL
Barbara Gibbs i just want to add that the regular tourists from southern states have been absolutely shocked and horrified that their beloved market has been depleted so badly. i have suggested that as Verne Jacks is on holiday, and Heike and Kai are away for 5 months, and they supplied the only alternative vegie and herb sales, that locals bring down their backyard surplus and take in turns to sit at a table from 3-30pm and not only make pocket money, but also provide the community with an alternative resource, and possibly organic/free-range. If you make jams or chutneys/sauces/pesto etc, why not put it together with anyone else's produce and share the love. This is a beautiful setting and southerners love it...change is as good as a holiday(;
alli Support your local RSL before you lose it altogether. Why did everyone move from the RSL to the pub. I know I would rather support my local RSL and guarantee that the money will stay on the island.
jaen What is the reason for the stalls being no longer at the Friday night markets? Purhaps the price rise to havea stalls there has made the stall holders feel it is no longer worth it. I would like to know the correct reason
Pat Trewin The two food stall holders gave the RSL different reasons for their move to Arcadia Hotel.
One felt that the cost of providing their own public liability insurance was prohibitive: as they are deemed to be businesses, they are not eligible to be covered under the RSL's P/L insurance.
The second cited the advantages of being under cover during wet weather and not having to set up and pack up each week.
Several stalls still remain at the RSL each Friday night, but others have followed the food stalls to the Hotel, presumably to follow the customers and also because they have the opportunity to trade there several times a week, instead of just on Friday nights.
The RSL would be very happy to receive expressions of interest in running food or other types of stalls on Friday evenings. There is currently no fee for stall holders.
brooke Now their are the Arcadia markets on Saturday at the pub. most people will choose 1 markets or the other. I'm a little confused why we have markets on Friday than another on sat. It will be a real shame if the RSL is suffering from the 2nd markets being on. I know on facebook magnetic island group their is always advising for the Arcadia pub markets i have never seen anyone post about the RSL markets. Seems a lot of the locals are really getting behind the pub markets. And forgetting about the RSL.
Letter: What does the NQCC contribute?
Wendy Tubman
Hello David

First, may I congratulate you on your wonderfully low impact lifestyle. Despite our different views, I am guessing that, because you live as you do at West Point, you share my love of our wonderful natural environment.

You ask how I and NQCC contribute to the livelihood of the area.

The answer is that we speak up for the welfare of the voice-less environment (in the same way that the RSPCA speaks up for the welfare of voiceless animals) in order to ensure that there is the strong, healthy basis necessary for our community and economy.

The idea that, without a healthy environment, we are doomed to a lesser life is not new, and is widely shared by all sides of politics. We need healthy land to grow food and earn export dollars, we need a healthy ocean to provide fish, we need healthy waterways to irrigate crops and to drink, we need wildlife to spread seeds and pollinate crops, we need trees to provide habitat and absorb carbon dioxide and many of us – possibly both of us David – need unspoiled environments to help us feel good.

Unfortunately, because it is hard to put a dollar value on the environment it is often not taken into account when decisions are made about how we use it. NQCC works to ensure that all aspects of the environment are taken into consideration; that laws are adequate and are policed, that impacts are minimized (or in some cases avoided) and that use is sustainable so that the environment we leave for those to come is as good as it was when we took it over – or better.

Turning to the so-called ‘carbon tax’. The idea of putting a price on carbon is based on two common views: (i) if people damage something they should make up for the damage they caused, and (ii) that, generally, when the price of something goes up, people use less of it and business looks to use alternatives.

We know that carbon emissions – largely from the burning of coal – contribute to climate change. So charging those industries that burn a lot of coal makes sense; it encourages them to use less of the damaging coal and more of the other forms of less-polluting energy.

It makes even better sense when the money that is collected is used to encourage the development of those other forms of energy (eg solar, wind, wave etc) and to compensate those who might be affected by any increases in prices of ‘carbon-heavy’ items.

This is how Australia’s carbon tax will work. It is a model used elsewhere around the world.

The alternative being offered to Australia by Tony Abbott involves using people’s taxes to help decrease energy use and the development of renewable energy technology, while allowing carbon-heavy industries to go on polluting our atmosphere. It’s the reverse of the carbon tax – we pay to support better ways of producing energy while the polluters keep on polluting. To me that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

In terms of needing the coal industry to pay for infrastructure, it is important to note that, while the heavily subsidized coal industry claims to be of great benefit to Australia, the figures (ABS) say something else. In April last year the coal industry directly employed just 51,900 people, less than 0.5% of the Australian workforce. The mining sector as a whole directly employed less than 2% of Australia’s workforce, accounted for less than 10% of Gross Domestic Production, paid an average of 13.9% corporate tax and sent over 80% of its profits overseas to foreign investors. At the same time, it contributes significantly to the high value of the dollar, which hurts exporting industries (such as agriculture) and industries competing with imports (such as manufacturing). Only this week, it was reported that Queensland reached a peak in terms of businesses (especially tourism, retailing and education) ‘going under’.

The resource boom in Australia is phenomenal – but that’s all it is, a boom. What happens when the boom busts and we have done irreparable damage to our environment, economy and communities in the rush to dig up and export coal?

One final point – how would you feel if a coal or coal seam gas company applied to the government for a permit to first explore for and then mine coal or CSG on your place at West Point? They would be within their rights regardless of whether you agreed or not and they could, all with government approval, turn your land into an open-cut mine, whether or not you wanted it. This is happening to countless individuals and families around NSW and Queensland. Regardless of the natural environment, the human cost alone of this boom is overwhelming.


Wendy Tubman

Wendy Tubman And in that long response, I forgot to mention all the potential jobs in renewable energy!
Basil One thing the coal miners do remarkably well,they probably inflict more damage to the environment per employee than any other industry.In north Qld,the nuclear reactor shining above your heads can supply all the energy needs required.@ David The carbon reduction incentive that you are totally against does not affect you, seeing you have independence from the grid,so what is your gripe,the idea of the incentive is to speed up the transfer to renewable and is more pertinent to states south of Qld.
NQCC takes on the 'dinosaurs'
Jennifer McLennan I've been hearing this story over and over for years. Will they ever learn???? Money rules! It is all so obvious but power and wealth is the only focus.
Basil The silly part is that coal will not arrest the continuing rise in energy costs even without taking the environmental catastrophe of unregulated mining on the environment. That 'living treasure', raping the land for fossil bounties, is against the environment and the economy that is not driven by ephemeral gains of a gradually vanishing resource. (Abriged Ed)
Men's Shed coffee morning
Gabbie This is a great project and inoovation. I hope Solar City has a back up plan for power as I believe Ergon will be doing works around Horseshoe that day and there will be power cuts going by the notices received in the letter box. Also, ditto for Thursday 24th May which I believe is the same date as the Big Morning Tea being held at Solar City.
World music concert on Magnetic
sue Why is this on when Musos is scheduled?? How dumb is that!?
chasmac Sue, you may not have noticed that the World Music Concert story was published on 8 May (having been organised for some weeks if not months) whilst the MusosClub announcement came on 9 May. A rock and a hard place. Ho hum.
Letter: Do we have Alien Big Cats in Australia?
paco Great read, i love this stuff. But, a lot of stories does not make a big cat.
lets set a big trap, and we can all have a look at the big black cat.
Rex Gilroy They are not called the Penriff Panfers for nothin. They are in Penriff too
Notice of roadworks
barb Good to see the common sense prevailing with night work for complete closures. Buses may have a problem getting to and from ferries on time though, unless they are given special treatment...more common sense(:
Patricia How exciting to be finally having a SAFE walkway between Arcadia and Nelly,if some are annoyed that the work is going to go on for six months or so,when it is all over we will all be happy,how many times have we nearly run over a tourist on that stretch of the road,we are pretty laid back up here and because we live in a beautiful tropical part of Australia it does not give us the right to amble in the middle of the road,or stop two a breast on the scooters to have a chat around the bend,so thank goodness the walkway IS going to happen at long last.
Carol Looks like we will all have to leave for work fifteen minutes earlier.
Carla Night works - woo hoo; how sensible. Really only the police and taxis out after midnight!!!!! Yeah for being clever. Goodluck.
I was lucky enough to see this movie not so long ago at a festival. It captures a time in a delightful and humorous manner - you won't be disappointed. Not on Island over the weekend or I would go again. K x
Did the MTA visit affect Magnetic Island voting?
gr0m1t Love the cartoon, George.
We very nearly didn't vote. I didn't get an official notification that there was to be an election and that I had to vote.
Don't know if that had something to do with why people didn't vote. Yeah yeah, there was plenty of advertising from the protagonists, so no real excuse.
Somehow, to me, it's not official unless I have received notification.
I understand that councils are hot on fining people who don't vote, so I'm glad we remembered.
Patricia Love the drawing and the caption George lol very artistic,
Lorraine This is a brilliant cartoon George and captures the feel of the Island so well!!! As for the elections, certainly well enough publicised to know they were on, and there's always the bus! I gave a lift to someone going to another Bay as they weren't using their car. All very well, but hey, I'd hate to hurt someone because of a defective/dangerous vehicle. I would ask though, if Palm Island received the same attention???????
Dani I love the art work too! Onya!
jaen What a pity the police were not so vigilent on booking parents whose chilrden are under age and who are not seated in approved child safety seats. The police could make a fortune if they sat outside the school and checked for this with parents drpooing off and collecting their children Also how about a campaign to book drivers for not having their dogs appropriately restrained{according to the new laws}in the back of their utes!!! Probably too much paper work for the police.
barb I do know that because we are so used to this all being a waste of time as the councils will do what they want anyway, many of us either forgot or nearly did. The amount of WASTED funds being spent on lip service style roadworks at present turns you off for starters. No wonder there are a lot of unroadworthy vehicles when they have to tackle the disgusting alleged repair work...sure it hires a lot of staff, but a job well done would save a lot of stress and money for locals having to constantly repair cars. And yes, love the artwork(: ps I woukld have thought police were Campbell Newman's responsibility...Liberal means liberal amounts of money
Magnetic Island saves 40% on power
Steve Ashton The energy savings achieved by the Solar Cities program are really impressive. That made me think of a really simple thing that Council could do to save more energy and money, which is to turn off the security type area lighting that still runs all night at Picnic Bay over an empty car park. This lighting is a hangover from when the ferry came to Picnic and there was a need to provide safe access to commuter parking after dark. Now it is not required, and simply blasts light out all night for no purpose. It could be replaced with fewer lower power normal street lights of a suitable sustainable design , why not powered by their own solar panels so they use no grid energy?

As an added bonus, Council could use the recurrent savings generated to reduce the amount of asphalt roadway on the west side of Yule St which is no longer required for the same reason, and just make Yule St back into a normal street instead of looking like a supermarket car park.
Letter: Street blow-off
Alf Goater
Well you are lucky to have your street cleaned each day in Horseshoe bay, we in Arcadia like the rest of the Island, have it cleaned once a year with the Mobile sweeper from Townsville, quite an occasion.and in some cases the Gravel and dust is so thick the machine cant shift it.
Steve Ashton The leaf blowers start at 7am in Picnic Bay and wreck the peace and quiet there for many visitors. Today one worked all around the seating rea of the R and R bar whilevpeople were sitting outside having breakfast It is definitely a negative for tourism. What happened to brooms?
Patricia Gets worse doesn't it,something has to be done,it is a real health hazard having to ingest filthy dust etc that may end up on your plate,I think there would be lots of willing broom operators out there who would jump at the chance of having a bit of paid work,nice views thrown in while you work,
just saying.
gr0m1t I'm totally sympathetic to everything said, but I do seem to remember the council coming round with a "sweeper/vacuum" lorry a few weeks ago. I'd guess that the piles on the road were intended for that. So the intention was probably not simply a case of dust chess. I daresay that the breeze made it all a complete waste of time and it would make far more sense to use the vacuum option on the blower (if there is one) and collect the rubbish. It must be far more fun to use the blower though, you never know where it's going to send the stuff. Men and their toys!
Really? It would be a beautiful world if everyone were to be happy, boring but beautiful. I cant help but wonder how this state of nirvana is to be attained when you have one group of people criticizing council workers whenever they do not seem to be productive enough. So we shout the council workers a leaf blower so one person can do the same amount of work as a multitude armed with rakes. Brilliant they said because of that other mob that used to complain when hoses were used on driveways and paths put the kybosh on that option. What a waste of water! Then the anti fossil fuels lobby stepped up to the mark and have their say. Your suggested solution is a great idea if you think it has any chance of working. I have seen work for the dole schemes and, to put it simply, they dont work.

The ones that do turn up, usually to give themselves a bit of work experience and a greater sence of self esteem, soon get paid employment. The rest who dont care never turn up. Could you imagine what it would be like trying to set a work programe if you had no idea on the amount of workers you could count on to turn up and do the job. I agree, leafblowers are loud and dusty but in the end they are the most cost effective way of achieving the job at hand. A little short term pain for the greater good. As for waking up the tourists. Once they see whats outside, Horseshoe Bay is beautiful in the morning, they will want to get up and make the most of it. Give the people who maintain these public areas a break, all they cop is criticizim as everyone else seems to know better than them. The practical solution is often the best, cheers.

Magnetic Island Council election candidates' Q&A (Part 3)
Bill Nelson Now that land valuations have fallen slightly should our rates follow? or will we cap at last year's or increase with CPI. Whichever the council is unlikely to reduce rates even though " the vg has nothing to do with rates " was put to us during the high VG increases and our rates are based on vg? It makes me wonder why council is not trusted by many ratepayers.
chasmac Magnetic Island Transport re-located from Bottiger Street to Kelly Street.
Magnetic Waste Management re-located from Horseshoe Bay to Kelly Street.
The most conspicuous Island mechanical garage, a melange of previous business experience, re-located from Picnic Bay to Kelly Street.
Island Engineering, a now-missed Island business was located in Kelly Street.
All of these businesses are classed as industrial and each is likely to be repeated over and over in the life of Magnetic Island. We all use and need them and their location is intimately tied to very limited available sites. There are probably a dozen others that belong in an industrial area but cannot or won't re-locate. Competition, seen by many as essential to a healthy capitalist economy, is impossible if available 'industrial' land is so limited as to be unobtainable. If the waste transfer station is located on a small portion of the 40 acre Council-owned block between the Golf Club and the Cockle Bay turn-off then it is almost inevitable that various other 'industrial' businesses, particularly of the storage, transport and engineering variety, will, over time, co-locate there - simply to save ratepayers from the outrageous costs (now over $8m) of setting up the transfer station there. The public study of the proposal (seemingly supported by all members of the current Council including the mayoral candidates) revealed that the budget for the station includes rebuilding the streets through Picnic Bay and past the Golf Club so that the traffic to the "Cockle Bay" site would not ruin the quiet ambiance of that part of Picnic Bay. All the current users of the Picnic Bay landfill site plus the new traffic generated in the transfer of all Island garbage and recycling to the mainland, will travel those streets.
Some locals believe that a new industrial area should/will eventually be created on the site of the old sewerage treatment plant at Kelly St (opposite the current industrial zone) but you'd have to wonder where the enormous dollars would come from if more than $8m will have already been spent ruining a perfectly undisturbed lowland woodland at "Cockle Bay".
I wonder why all these businesses and the waste transfer station itself could not be located on the currently Council-owned land at Kelly Street? With a suitable green belt buffer zone and a creative relationship with the new 'Can-do' Queensland Government, I can't see any downside to an industrial zone located so close to the barge terminal and all other essential transport services.
I think the land at "Cockle Bay" is far too important to the integrity of the Magnetic Island ecosystem to be interfered with and ultimately consumed by a tawdry political process as small-minded as the 'two mates and a dog' campaign currently running.
Letter: Beachfront blowers
Wendy Tubman With you 100% of the way David. Leaf blowers have nothing going for them. They are annoyingly noisy, dusty, fossil fuel burning, greenhouse gas emitting machines, that offer the user no healthy exercise and succeed only in destroying an ecological system that has worked for millennia - notably the system whereby leaves fall from trees and, in decomposing, provide nutrients to support the trees above them.

Whoever invented them should be... blown away?
brooke they should make people on the doll do work for doll raking it, its about time people who are payed for doing nothing get their hands dirty and help clean up our island at the same time,.
davo beaudy Brooke. I wouldn't mind getting the doll for raking leaves. It would nicely undercut the rate the leaf blowers work for and put em outta business in no time. I just hope I get to choose my doll.
Beach boy About time and well said Dave. Leaf blowers are bloody awful crap and how often do you see the blower dudes wearing earphones but making us all listen to the blower. How much effort do we put into protecting our beautiful beach views, so what about noise which ruins it. Ears have rights too.
Patricia Fully agree with all the above comments,leaf blowers
only move leaves/dust/litter from one place to some-one else's place - how many times have you had to sit on dust covered seating,maybe a petition could be put out to rid leaf blowers operating on Pacific Drive,enough noise was made to rid the 'Red Baron' from Horseshoe Bay which absolutely destroyed the livelihood of the operators{sad as it was},I think the guys who operate those annoying leaf blowers most likely hate them too,and refusing to use them could possibly find themselves on the 'doll' thus making Davo's chance of choosing his own 'doll' almost impossible,
PS - Cheers Brooke you have a great day, we ALL know what you are saying - you keep on offering your views...
Magnetic Island's big cat mystery continues
Patricia Years ago over 25 years or so while holidaying up
here,Noel and I took a walk to the look-out at the end of Olympus Crescent Arcadia,we got to chatting to a Lady { named Mary} who was hosing her garden,she told us about not being able to stay out too late in the evening, as there were HUGE feral cats that appeared of a late after-noon, she told us they were as big as dogs,very sleek looking and appeared to have no fear,who knows what lives in the hills on our Island,on the Westpoint Rd - the Kempshall's Noel and I saw a gigantic Goanna ? so large was it we were in a state of dsibelief as to what we had just seen,that is another story,like Anne there are most likely many folks without the use of a computer and are not aware of these sightings,very interesting,thanks George for keeping us up to date on what's about on our Beautiful Island
George Hirst That's fascinating Patricia. I'm also intrigued by the huge goanna you saw. Seems like the toads cleaned most of them up years ago but when I lived on the west coast we had a beautiful northern monitor living in the ceiling rafters but they only get to about 2 foot.
chasmac Ah, the West Point Road.......
Russ I also saw a large Goanna, towards the end of the West Point Rd about 25years ago, about 5-6 ft.
sabrina I am very happy that I am not crazy but the big cat is real and I understand the fear of Mrs. Anne..I read many articles about the sightings of this mysterious animal in Australia and I hope that on your island will be easy to catch it...or not???
ANZAC Day 2012
Jeff Barret Jeffrey Barrett, of Mount Barker S.A. our ANZAC Day Service will commence at 0630am SA Time and about 6 degrees and wet. Wishing you a successful service and wishing you all the best on this day of Remembrance. And Hello to Wonderful sister Patricia O'Brien, thinking of all your service men & women on the Island, have a great day.
"Lest we forget"
Support for plastic bag ban applauded
Kelly Grech It was so heartbreaking when I was in Bali swimming at Kuta beach after a night of heavy rain. The ocean was literally swarming with plastic and I filled two shopping bags with plastic packets in my 20 min swim, everything from nappy bags to noodle bags, absolutely anything that floats. It sickened me and although it would be somewhat helpful to phase out plastic bags at the supermarkets here, it seems like a drop in the ocean when it comes to this worldwide problem. What about plastic bottle lids, can't we ban those? This problem is so huge and it breaks my heart to see the planet's population destroying its wildlife with plastic.
Barb Gibbs As I stated in the last post...the supermarkets need to reduce the amount of products containing plastic they order onto the island...we are not like the mainland, and even the mainland should do the same. We as island residents, need to collect as much of the broken down pieces of plastic to help our marine fauna if we are to be serious about our future. It has gone beyond a joke, now is even too late, but we need to reduce the hazard as much as possible...we on an island have the perfect opportunity to make a mark in this domain.
Anne I too had a similar experience when snorkeling in Bali. I dove down and looked up to see the water surface covered in debris. I agree it seems a huge problem but if we address one thing at a time (such as not using single use plastic items) then thats better than burying our heads in the proverbial plastic sand!
JV Kelly I agree that we will not solve the global plastic problem by banning single use plastic bags from MI. We may however start to change attitudes which will certainly help to solve the problem. In the words of another Kelly "from little things big things grow".
Magnetic Island council election candidates' Q&A (Part 2)
chasmac Vicky Salisbury's reference to the current official Council position on Radical Bay (p.38 of 106 pages in the download) demonstrates why there is so much confusion amongst the general public about what is happening there. Juniper has for several years held full all-government approval for a Sea Temple Resort development at Radical Bay (100+ units in about eight five storey buildings plus twelve big houses along the waterfront). Part of that 2005? approval is that they construct, at their expense, the 3 kms road and infrastructure trench along the alignment of the current privately-built track (not a legal "road") which would subsequently be handed to Council (ie. ratepayers). Juniper would rather not build that road (est. cost $9m) and now they no longer want a resort development either. They want to subdivide (by group title - like the Hideaway in Nelly Bay) into 24 lots and create a completely different gated residential community on the site. This is what the agenda item for the Council meeting actually said back then in March 2011:
"A Development Permit for Reconfiguring a Lot (Code Assessment) - 24 Group TitleLots on Lots 34, 129 and 130 EP 825, Lot 74 EP 2327 and Lot 192 EP 1237, Lot A and
B AP 11602 and Lots 6-10 AP 11603, situated at Radical Bay has been received fromApplicant/Owner: Juniper Property Holdings No. 7 Pty Ltd - RC08/0214 4201029 andhas been recommended for approval.
Officer's Recommendation >>
That council approve the application ........ subject to the following conditions:"

Remember, that was an agenda item for the meeting. The upshot was that Townsville Council rejected the (planning) "Officer's Recommendation" and did not approve the subdivision (reconfiguration) proposal. Since then, Juniper has begun proceedings to appeal that refusal. The court has not sat yet.
If ever the State buys out the developer (to add Radical Bay's 7 acres of freehold land to the surrounding National Park), I hope the QPWS can decide what should happen next, not some bunch of councillors with no mandate and nothing better to do.
Anyone who has an eye for financial and carbon austerity given Council's whopping deficit would avoid road building down there like the plague. Why can't a World Heritage "eco-tourism destination" like Magnetic Island have a world class eco-tourism WALKING trail to Radical Bay? If we get to keep bricks and mortar out of that place the last thing we need is a bloody road with bloody lazy tourists and even slacker locals demanding that their cars, buses, trucks, ambulances and police cars and the outrageous cost of upkeep is the most important priority for this community. Road access to Radical Bay is a zero priority UNLESS you want to build a resort there. Now who would want that?
Vern Veitch Not sure who wrote the above comments but TCC no longer has a deficit. We inherited $56m in the first year but have got that to a small surplus this year.
We do have a debt as we borrowed to build sewage and water treatment plants that cost nearly $300m although these were partly subsidised by State and Commonwealth governments. We presently spend less than 6% of our total budget paying the interest and capital on our loans.
The most recent assessment of TCC’s finances and financial position is that we are rated above every other council in Queensland except Brisbane City Council which does not own or operate its water supply infrastructure and is many times larger than TCC.
As to the planning issue, council must have a legal reason to reject an application. This is rare but more commonly, conditions are placed on applications to minimise the environmental impact and costs to ratepayers.
I believe the best outcome for Radical Bay is what I said in the first place – for it to be bought by the Queensland Government and turned into a National Park with limited camping facilities to boost island tourism.
Vern Veitch
chasmac Thanks to Vern V. for clarifying Council's financial and planning situation. On the matter of the future 'use' of Radical Bay were it ever to be "...bought by the Queensland Government and turned into a National Park", the site still would not have legal road access. In such a situation I can't imagine Townsville Council, let alone ratepayers in general, ever being interested in investing the millions necessary to create a proper road with 21st century safety, environmental and other attributes - keeping in mind that the soon-to-be-built half kilometre boardwalk from Nelly Bay to Arcadia is costing around $5m and won't carry any cars, buses or trucks. Also, in the early 1990s when Florence Bay was added to the National Park, although it had once been a Scouts camping area the site was considered too vulnerable to fire and other damage to allow random camping down there. Considering the obvious environmental impacts of creating a proper legal road and probably some other amenities at Radical Bay, I can't see how Council let alone QPWS could promote the idea of developing camping facilities at such a remote and vulnerable site. Preventing vehicular access beyond Arthur Bay (where the one house is) would save the State, Commonwealth and local governments heaps of money, would save Magnetic Island's natural heritage heaps of aggravation and would create a golden opportunity for the Townsville and Queensland tourist industry to show what eco-tourism actually is.
Last “happy to support” Townsville plastic bag ban
Barb Gibbs Well done, and hope it works. However, plastic bags are not the worst of it. The small chips of broken down plastic on the beaches is very dangerous to not only fish, but birds as well who feed them to their chicks. Go to the 5 Gyres web page for more info or like them on facebook for regular updates on international action. The best thing is to get the supermarkets and stores on the island to reduce the amount of plastic items they order in...then we may get somewhere. These messages were relayed in all 3 World Oceans Day events here...slow uptake. Go Last.
Rosemarie Of course a ban is possible, several communities have had plastic bag bans in place for years. So much so that those communities have almost forgotten about such bags - so ingrained are the new habits.
Towns in Tasmania and NSW have banned them since 2003, (11 years ago) and Victorian towns started from 2004. The NT banned them across the state last year.

Australians currently use 3.9 billion plastic bags annually, which means on overage over 10.6 million new bags are used every day, or that we each use 175 a year (Source Planet Ark report)

I would suggest that those on Magentic Island who remember seeing the gruesome encapsulation in perspex of the stomach contents of the whale which beached and died further north a few years ago - might care to describe that image to their friends! What that animal had digested, plastic bags, plastic fragments, pieces of synthetic rope etc, was not a pretty sight.

Many residents on Magnetic have opted to just not use the single use plastic bags at all, and for them the sky has not fallen in, they have just taught themselves to do what previous pre-plastic generations did - take a bag with you when you go shopping!
Davo Love the Jenny Hill nothing-speak, seeking a partnership in developing a program aimed at blah blah blah
Jenny Stirling Good one Dale, just imagine how much rubbish will be saved from going into Townsville tips and into the sea killing killing marine life.I can only imagine the publicity for Townsville as an example of responsible local governance.
Maryanne It's great to see some commitment on this important issue - and good on MINCA for keeping up the fight for so long. It is not a difficult ban to live with. The older generations carried string bags to the store and wrapped items in paper - they coped just fine. We have the added benefit of light weight bags that fit into the pocket and can be reused numerous times. Now we know the damage that plastic bags cause to our environment, we have the responsibility to act.
Mark Hamann I absolutely applaud the move to ban plastic bags in Townsville. Single use plastics are looming as one of the greatest threats to marine turtles and other wildlife in Australia and globally. We as a society need to ReThink our use of plastics - this includes banning the bag.
Sue Thanks Dale for giving the plastic ban bag a go! I always try not to use or get given a plastic bag. If a ban cannot be done at least then there should be a significant charge for every bag "given away". If they cost $1 each it wouldn't take long for people to stop using them. Maybe the funds raised could go to waterway cleanups? I wish the supermarkets here on the Island (and everywhere!) wouldn't sell fruit and veges on foam trays wrapped in plastic. I try not to buy them but sometimes you can't avoid them. We as consumers need to avoid buying items that use excessive packaging and ask that our supermarkets demand this from their suppliers. It can be done!
Anne There are many things that we can do to reduce our use of plastic, taking a reusable bag shopping is just one but very effective way of doing this. As Barbara says there are many other types of plastic that are harmful but putting a ban on single use plastic bags is a first step. Other actions may include drinking from a reusable metal drink bottle instead of a plastic water bottle (not good for you to reuse plastic water bottles anyway) or saying no to take away food offered in a plastic bag. If it is necessary to have a bag then a corn starch bag could be substituted for plastic. It great to see so much support for this initiative.
Olivia if i were over 18, i'd definitely be voting for Cr Last! Unfortunately i still have 997 days to go, but i can still influence my parents' votes.
Frank Pagram Unfortunately, the second-last sentence of the letter gives the incorrect date of 2103.
Musos rocks at Arcadia
Curly Whos in the first photo George.
Patricia Great News- I wasn't there but I heard it was well received,it will be great to have a bit of life back into Maggie - When I arrived 20 years ago the Island was so alive with Muso's maybe this will bring them out again to share their Talents- Good Luck to the Muso's Club
George I'd say it was a Carpy Kyle type situation Curls.
Mark Carpenter Great Nite Awesome Pics Top Music Cool People Super Article.

Thanks George
Wills, powers of attorney & other difficult stuff
Allyson Islanders might be interested to know that the Public Trustee, in Flinders St, Towsville, prepares wills free of charge and will also prepare a Power of Attorney, at no cost (due to the island being affected by cyclone Yassi).
With the will, it means that the Public Trustee acts as executor of the will, which will cost at an amount depending on the complexity of the estate, but then so do private solicitors.
Magnetic Island's council election candidates' Q&A
Jennifer McLennan Thanks for this run down. I was interested in hearing about our own Magnetic Islander contender. With the election coming up it is important to know what these people stand for. I would like to hear more about Harrison as I think someone who lives on this island would protect our interests better than someone who comes from town now and then.
Darryl Kerrigan Tell him he's dreaming!
ella its all good to want them things for the island but in reality its never going to happen, id be happy with a 10 bed hospital.
Wendy Tubman Thanks George for seeking the views of relevant local government candidates on what they would like to achieve for Magnetic Island.

However, I think it important to give readers some idea of the accuracy and feasibility of some of the responses.

Harrison Duncan is very misinformed if he thinks that tourism is the main source of income for the state; Tourism Queensland Industry Council puts the figure at just 4.5%. (Possibly starting a debate for another time, I also note that, while it is often said that tourism is the main source of income for Magnetic Island, I would like to see how it compares with the money brought to the island week-in, week-out by all those residents working on the mainland or electronically from home – or even that brought to the island through various pensions.)

As for a 50-bed hospital etc, Duncan, must surely know that provision of health services in Queensland is a State responsibility – quite apart from which, the likelihood of a 24-bed hospital and a 50-bed nursing home for a population of 2500 is economically just out of the question.

When voting (as well as standing for election and advertising), while holding to dreams and aspirations, it is important to maintain a firm basis on the facts and the feasible.
gr0m1t Keep up the good work, George, interesting to hear what our candidates are thinking. It sounds like Duncan would like to spend Townsville's entire budget on Magnetic Island, so I guess even if he were to be elected, the West Point road will stay dirt and our shoreline will be safe from further ugly foreshore development.
20th Bay of Origin training starts
Nick Mulcahy Hey guy's. I think this was 2001 or 2002 bay of origin
George Hirst But which one Nic?
Earth Hour alternative
Sara Great point, I have to agree why not do something that actually makes a difference, however a statement like 'don't eat meat' isn't realisitc or going to get too much buy in, perhaps the message here should be 'eat a little less meat, and animal products and eat more plant grown food all year round to do your bit.
Basil Am in sympathy with the ethical treatment of animals including we despicable humans. Eat a little less meat and animal products is also very caring,however to do both abstain, or less eating animals, is only a band aid to the real evil of overbreeding humans along with some of their divide and rule religious tactics,and cultural expressions.This selfish overbreeding does not only impinge on other animals but is detrimental to their fellow humans especially children.

As for Australia,we should prosecute our billionaire miners and media exports for crimes against the environment.You should be ashamed of yourself in Queensland for giving cannotdo such a huge majority.

And another thing, you the populace that have been brainwashed by vested interests, in my 74 years lifetime - that have supported the Korean then Vietnem war and ad nauseum - bringing devestation on humans not to mention innocent animals. If you believe in a creator (I don't) then you are sinning against your god.
Davo 50 billion animals a year! Not that much different to the Matrix scenario.
Magnetic Island teen wins national design award
Steve Lane Well done Georgie. Great inspiration and design for a safety message. Lovely photo too...
Regards the Lane family, Cairns.
Sue Love both designs! Im sorry I missed the deadline for voting. Sue
Magnetic Island set to celebrate Horseshoe Bay School's reunion
chasmac This is a little story about the Horseshoe Bay school from Ross Woodger, published in the Magnetic Island State School 75th Jubilee booklet:
"In January 1972, I was appointed as Principal of Horseshoe Bay State School. Unfortunately Cyclone Althea had struck the area in Christmas 1971 and instead of having 33 students at Horseshoe Bay I found only 11. Many families at the bay had left the Island due to cyclone damage. Following discussions with the Horseshoe Bay school families, and with the official opening of the new school building at Nelly Bay in April, 1972 by Sir Allan Fletcher, Minister for Education, Horseshoe Bay State School closed in May 1972 and its students transferred to Nelly Bay. Soon afterwards the (Nelly Bay) school was renamed Magnetic Island State School as it had become the only school on Magnetic Island." (PIcnic Bay school had closed about 1970).

Ross Woodger, District Director, Townsville North and West Education District, 1999
How Magnetic Island voted
Jenny Stirling Many thanks to the people of Magnetic Island who voted Green :) and heart felt thanks to those who ran the booths. We have an uphill battle ahead of us to preserve the world heritage values of the Reef but then it's been that way for a while now.
All the best to the other candidates and congrats to John.
Vicki Walker A surprise to see Bobcat so popular. As he works industriously, I hope he remains conscious of the fragility of what lies beneath...
Linda You didn't mention that the figures you have reported are the Primary Vote only.
While the voting system is optional preferential that does not mean people's preferences should be forgotten. The Katter Party did get about 21% of the primary vote but a large part of that (53.5%) was a vote '1' only vote and was exhausted on the first round of counting.

Mandy Johnstone won the Nelly Bay booth on preferences, with 54.21 % of the Two Candidate Preferred vote, down about 4.8 % on the last State election. In Arcadia Mandy's TCP vote went down about 8.2%. Hathaway won the Arcadia Booth on the Two Candidate Preferred vote.

George Hirst It's good to get some more interpretation on the vote Linda but if you look to the second paragraph of my report I did acknowledge that my article was based on primary votes. At the time the preferences were not listed on the Electoral comission's website.
Linda Easy to miss, George. The rest of your article glossed over the fact that we do have preferential voting.
Unfortunately the ECQ is making it harder to get the 'Two Candidate Preferred Vote', booth by booth. I am told you can get the figures 'on the night' in the Virtual Tally Room. But I tried and found it was only available to Microsoft and Internet Explorer users.

By the way, if you put the two booths together, Mandy won the island by a whole 4 votes, after preferences were distributed. Thank you Magnetic Island.

The Greens percentage vote went up slightly, about 1.45%. Congratulations, Jenny.
Name a creek challenge
Monica Murray Street Mud Flats
or Murray Molucca (after the white ibis or "dump chook" common pest!)
Sara Love the idea George! Granite Gorge, and Barbarra Banks or maybe Picnic Lakes?
Denise Look forward to some cheeky names here. Trust everyone dries out and hasn't suffered too much water damage.It is so good to read the Maggie News again.
George Maybe Horseshoe Bay Road can just become, well, Horseshoe Bay!
JV In the wet we've always called Donny bowman's driveway 'river drive'
Rosie Eve Hi , We have always called Apjohn st, "Apjohn Creek Gorge" for years every time it floods. Horseshoe Bay Road, "Horseshoe Gully Creek" only happens when Apjohn Creek Gorge is full of sand and water can no longer travel down Apjohn Creek Gorge due to the sand backlog created from the flow over the Sports Club Oval into the drain at the intersection of Horseshoe Gully Creek and Apjohn Creek Gorge
Alf Goater How about Mandalay Falls.
200mm overnight but Magnetic escapes tornado
Marjorie Thanks for the info George. Those of us who are comers/goers appreciate being informed.
PJ Great to have MT home and back in real time reporting!
Island sculptor aims high
Shar Miller Would love to view his work. Is it at the McClelland Gallery?
Severe weather on the way
Paul Vassallo typical council the island is last on the list to repair their stuff ups
How green are your state candidates?
Jenny Stirling I look forward to it with the annoucement today by the CSIRO: that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are now higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years; that the last decade in Australia was the warmest on record. I also note that 91% of those surveyed in a galaxy poll are against dumping waste from the dredging at Gladstone Harbour on to the Great Barrier Reef. Where will the waste go if the channel near Magnetic Ilsand is dredged to allow more tankers to load coal at Townsville's port?
chasmac We already know where dredge spoil from maintenance or development of the Platypus Channel is placed: in the spoil dumping grounds way out towards Cape Cleveland. And we know from the studies done around the early 1990s that most of the dumped spoil eventually disperses northwards with some small but significant quantities making it to Florence and other east and south-facing bays.
Current plans to further develop the harbour and channel will bring further pressure on this dumping ground and can reasonably be expected to impact on fringing reefs around the Island, although not to the disastrous extent of the early 20th century dredging which so damaged Middle Reef, Virago Shoals and the the Bolger Bay reef for more than 50 years.
But Jenny, what is this talk of tankers loading coal at Townsville? Is Clive Palmer that far ahead of the pack or are we mistaking BHP's zinc concentrate for liquified natural gas?
Sinister forces chasing Assange revealed
Jenny Stirling Julien Assanage is a threat to the US because aspects of the home security forces are a state within a state: they are worse than even Wikileaks revealled.
Jenny Stirling Julian Assanage is a real threat to the United States because home security forces operate as a state within a state- there is nothing democratic about them
rebecca smith I had a freebie subscription to Stratfor - didn't want to pay money but was interesting to see their take on international issues. After the hacking, subscribers were sent an 'apology' from the CEO, which turned out to be a super funny mock by Anonymous.
I suspect the Australian gubbment has been under denial - don't ask the right questions, so don't get the right answers, if any. Like Downer and the AWB scandal.
Robert I truelly believe certain matters should not be open to the public.
Therefor wikileaks should be punished. Homeland security matters are there to protect the people.
Julian Assange is theirfor a danger to the human race. A statu for a man that bring others in danger??? No i dont believe that is right.
Davo Protect which people Robert?
Basil Dunno Davo, but we should be be protected from Robert's poor spelling, besides his ridiculous assertions.
Michael Johnson Julian Assange's and Wikileak's actions have simply but overwhelming provided a mirror to the corruption, deliberately exercised by Governments, and individuals, throughout the world. Their work is inspirational. Thumbs up to Anonymous, who recently pulled down the websites of several hundred Paedophile groups.
TURE SJOLANDER Full Moon Tonight on the International Woman's Day, International Woman's Night.
I have no opinions today. Is there any left over opinions I can use.
Ture Sjolander Today I have opinions > Here they are:
THE LIARS MACHINE 2012 Ture Sjolander

Senator Julian Assange, sound good to me.
President would be even better!
Ture Sjolander Please, just do not imagine that a "permitted" idiot suddenly throwing a small Molotov cocktail or a smoke granade in through the windows at the Ecuador embassy in London.
Shit happens all the time!
Men's Shed meeting leads to working group
Alan Patterson What a great effort from all those involved. The health benefits for men & women involved will have a positive effect in this community as it has in others nationwide. Best wishes keeping the momentum going forward!
roo Is their any kind of women's support group on the island? I have been looking online but have not found anything yet.
Gabbie Is it BYO tissues? I'm the biggest blubberer when watching dog movies and from reports they may be needed.
Calls for a Magnetic Island Men's Shed
Gabbie Ahem, some of us girls do work around our homes and can't see why it can't be "peoples shed". I'm not a rabid women's libber but you would be surprised at the number of single/widowed/divorced whatever females who have their own homes on Maggie which they maintain themselves and would appreciate swapping ideas and hints.
Patricia I hope this idea comes to the real thing, no doubt there would be plenty of interest here on this beautiful Island,So go for it Guys,Good Luck to all concerned.
ella would be better if its not just for men.. kinda sexest.. what about all the women who would like to to??
Alan Nice try ladies but it is called "Men's Shed". It is not about whether woman can do the same roles or there been a need amongst single women etc. As the article states it is " an important way for men to make friends and, as is increasingly a problem, even on Magnetic Island, help counter the isolation and depression which can strike people, particularly as they get older". Woman generally socialise better, interact in groups & hence prevent isolation. This is a proven tool (pardon the pun) to get men interacting, mentoring and preventing isolation illness such as depression. Woman are brilliant developing social networks! Men need help to socialise, "Mens Shed" is a great, alcohol free environment to do so!
ella alan its not just men who have these problems, i don't see why men can not be friends with women, if its a people shed, it would benefit alot more people.. its easy to say women socialize better.. but are you a women do you really know , i doubt it.. i see no reason why a people shed would not be as good as a mens shed. i really find it quite offensive to generalize women. they need something like this just as much.., but alot of women do not want to go to knitting groups and so on, they want a people shed!!!!
Stuart Gabbie, Ella....
I think you have a great point about being able to do your own maintenance and needing handy hints and tips the tradies have...maybe instead of crashing the guys party you could ask them to have education days were they teach everyone (ladies, kids) handy tips about changing a tyres, tap washers and general home maintenence stuff....
You might need to bring a plate of food/cake etc and you could make a day of it once a month.
Better to comprimise than start a war :-)
ella how is that a compromise. ermmm,,,,, seriously i doubt that many women would get in to the shed thing, but it should be open to all who would like to, the island is isolated and alot of men and women do not socialize it would be good for everyone, not just men..
Alan Dear Ella
I couldn't agree more with Stuart. Men's Shed is not anti-woman. These men would just more likely attend a Men's Shed. It is a nationwide success & has Govt backing. Maybe you can be the pilot for "Women's Shed". If you feel so passionate maybe you can attend the meeting & suggest a different day for the gals. Most of these men would probably love to donate time doing maintenance jobs for woman disadvantaged. Sorry but "People's Shed" just not cut it. I have not intended to offend you about my general social comment of woman, but it was general . Go to the meeting, it would be great to get this going for all the community.
Gabbie Good idea Stuart. Don't know about the cake baking aspect though, not when you can buy one. I wish they had home maintenance courses for me when I was at high school, sure worth more to me than getting a B for French.
Chris All of the comments are very constructive and encouraging, I think to fully understand the concept it will help to look at
I guess because the first Shed was "simply" named due to how it was formed, the name stuck because it was easy on the tongue, certainly better than PeopleShed. I implore all interested people to attend the meeting on Wednesday Feb 1st at the Community Care Center in Apjohn Street, Horseshoe Bay.
Women are very welcome noting that as the concept did grow out of the "backyard shed", activities have tended to centre on sheddie type stuff. Women can come and learn tradie skills and men may wish to learn many home skills. However if we think that we can break what has been a phenomenal success story, almost 600 sheds in 10 years by trying to form a just a social meeting place on Maggie we will need to look elsewhere for an organisation.
The Australian Mensshed Association AMSA is a nationally recognised organisations with affiliations to Beyondblue, our Prime Minister is a major supporter and her partner Tim Mathieson is together with Jeff Kennett the former Victorian Premier a Patron.
Please consider that in general simply as a function of age, men are retired or made redundant earlier and may have many years of use to the Community left, the MensShed is one way of utilising their talents for the good of all.
Kim Pierce Just to let you know that according to the Australian Men's Shed Association, "Women are welcome in most sheds". What the Magnetic Island Men's Shed ends up looking like in terms of its activities, membership, location etc will be decided by the working group in the coming months.
Peter F Hughes I was recently involved in the formation of the Woomelang Men's Shed in the Mallee, Victoria. What impressed me was the way the community, men and women, came together to get it started. Men doing the things they do best and women, well, doing those things men often leave out.
One lady wrote 100 letters to various organisations and corporations in the district, asking for donations. Imagine the joy of the men when tool vouchers, plumbing supplies and an electrical rewiring of their shed followed (Old Woomelang Courthouse.)
I spoke with a member of Parliament in Canberra last year about men's sheds. John Forrest MP talked about suicide rates for men being much higher than women in the bush. He encouraged me to help organise the shed.
Now I am hearing about one on Magnetic Island. It reminds me of my favourite shed there which often had issues of men's mental health as the topic of conversation for many years. Ofcourse I am talking about an old mate's shed who has sadly departed. I am sure Peter Legrand would have had his thoughts behind it.
Why not dedicate it to him!
Peter F Hughes
Lorne, Vic
Vicki Walker I understand Ella and Gabbie's comments on the men's shed, but people aren't invited to every party in life - and this is one party that should happily remain the men's. Let's not be selfish.
Most women are better at socialising and enjoy pottering around at home on their own. Men don't have to be single, widowed, or divorced to be lonely.
When I was young, there were years when I worked in hotels behind the main bar. I discovered that many men don't spend hours in pubs because they love the grog - they are very lonely, and just want company.
So give the men a fair go in the Men's Shed.
May it have a long and happy life!
Liz Its a good idea but I thought there were several 'mens sheds' already on the island in the form of pubs?! During my time living on the Island I always felt that as a twentysomething female there wasn't really a place for womenfolk to go. I always wished there was some sort of welcoming coffee shop or something like that where as a single lady you could go and sit, have a coffee, relax in a comfy armchair and read a book or do some knitting or other activity. There are lots of cafes and pubs on the island however I always they were all quite uninviting for women and not particularly welcoming....anyway thats just my view.
Helene Rankin I agree that a Mens Shed would be a great idea for Magnetic Island, a way for "blokes" to come together and support each other in their own space. Of course women could be made welcome on occasion, or when they have a keen urge to drill and hammer; but I think it's great if the guys have a space where they can relax & share, without the potential pressures of women folk. It's not sexist ( in my view ) to care for individuals in a way suited to their individual needs. Women are good socializers and often have great friends & support networks ; men, especially slightly older men are more likely to be isolated and could greatly benefit from a chance to gather with other blokes.
Magnetic Island National Park grows by 826 hectares
chasmac I guess for some, it's just a matter of another 826 hectares of diverse bush added to and safeguarded in the Magnetic Island National Park. For others the start of a new relationship with a new neighbour - a terrestrial protected area and its managers. For me though, this declaration signals the outcome of more than a dozen years of dogged, determined campaigning by the Wulgurukaba for recognition of their connection to and custodianship of Magnetic Island from time immemorial. I congratulate all of them for their patience and understanding during the drawn out Native Title process which has now been settled, for good, and hope that our state government and its agencies can preserve, promote and present this now-expanded property in a way which brings honour and prosperity to all of us.
Rose So was this 826 hectares unallocated state land?
chasmac Rose, if you look at the table in the top RHS of the map you will see each separate block of land (about 38) referenced. Many of them are USL. Some blocks may have once been 'allocated', such as a Special Purpose block like a quarry (Sails Rock land) or leftover bits of some historical leases - at Radical Bay, White Lady Bay and Balding Bay for example. Then there's the odd little bit on the Horseshoe Bay Rd leaving Arcadia (can't remember what that was about) and most of the steep land behind Rocky Bay - which was not part of the military land (Hawkings Point) handed back years ago. It all appears to be state land.
Interestingly, about half of the west coast, to about the pump station, is National Park to the waterfront but from there on, through Bolger Bay and Young Bay to West Point, the park only comes to back of the freehold properties or to the road/track. I think the waterfront along there, around Retreat Creek for example, is being given a different environmental/conservation status and hopefully DERM will create another map soon to show what that is and what it means.
Sylvia Hayes I love coming home to our beautiful island and can always picture it as it must have looked before any houses were built. It's wonderful to see virgin bushland stretching up the mountainsides. This growth of the national park is so important, when in so many places the opposite happens. I come from Wollongong, NSW, and over the years have watched houses being built further and further up the escarpments in the Illawarra, as well as high-rises built directly on the beach front, blocking out sun and seascapes for others. Everyone wanting a water view. How lucky we are here in this paradise!
Look out for nesting turtles
Michael Johnson Hello George. No turtles have laid their eggs on Nelly Bay beach. I can attest to that because I walk my dog regularly. Well she walks me regularly. Sea grass depletion as a result of the floods and Yassie point towards this non event, however six nests are recorded in Horseshoe Bay.
Lea It is important that turtles are not disturbed while they are considering laying eggs. I understand that if they are disturbed they will go back out to sea and 'abort' their eggs.
Jenny Stirling As someone who is involved with integrating the steady flow of humanitarian entrants (refugees) into this community I see Maggie Fun 4 Kids as a wonderful way to introduce these children to the wildlife of their new country. If either Sylvia or Claudia are interested please ring me at TMSG 47751588 (Mon- Wed).
Angela Moore What a great idea.Must get one,I love colouring in.
Alan Patterson I'll definately get some for our visitors & our own boys will love them. Brilliant. Good on you Sylvia & Claudia :)
Musos back this Saturday
Indy Wow, sounds wonderful. Sign me up.
Solar Cities saves Islanders $900k
DavidJ Benefits aplenty? I am sceptical of big business touting that consumers are winners in such projects. I don’t have access to all details of the project but it would be interesting to explore claims and assess just how better off consumers are. After all the devils in the detail! Heres a few suggestions.

Claim 1. “Consumption levels are now 12 per cent below their peak, having returned to 2007 levels,” she said. What has been the price increase for power in the intervening 4/5 years? Have prices increased more than 12% ? If they have, bills have remained the same in dollar value, there’s no real dollar savings here. Sure there may be a saving in real terms but Northern Queensland isn’t actually setting the National pace maintaining wages in real terms, especially those reliant on superannuation, tourism or affected by cyclones etc. I suggest many have gone backwards and perhaps they are using less because they can afford no other option?

Claim 2 “In August this year alone, residents reduced their energy consumption by 8.5 per cent compared to the same time last year.” Sounds marginal, what was the July and September results? Could weather have influenced the decline in say the use of Aircons?

Claim 3 “Ms Johnstone said the program aims to change customer behaviour to not only reduce their electricity bills but also reduce peak demand” Of what interest is it to reduce electricity bills? I would surmise it’s the organisations lack of willingness to invest in infrastructure and maximise profits here, the reduction in electricity bills is a side effect. It’s a shame voters cant change Ms Johnstone’s behaviour.

Claim 3. “Successful implementation of the project has significantly delayed the need for network upgrades in the area,” she said. “This has resulted in the $17 million investment required for an underwater sea cable to Magnetic Island to be deferred for eight years.” Ahh heres the devil in the detail. And exactly how have residents been rewarded – with nothing, just put up with the same crappy power supply with frequent interruptions for another 8 years, so long as they don’t have to spend anything that’s a win! And what will the cost differences be then? Will it be cheaper putting it off for 8 years? Show me something else that has? This seems the real issue, a reluctance to fund infrastructure maintenance.

Claim 4. “This is enough to power a school of 1200 students for two years, so the systems have made a significant contribution to the electricity needs of local residents.” How is the power usage of a facility that runs from 8 till 4 for children, somehow benefiting people in their home or their electricity needs? Can I expect the school principal to ring and tell me that I have been able to use my fan for half price?

Claim 5 “Maximum demand is now 32 percent lower than projected levels, had the program not been implemented, and greenhouse gas savings are approximately 34,000 tonnes… Ms Johnstone said the mainland was also benefiting from the project”. There’s been a serious decline in tourism and cash flows with places going broke – has that got anything to with peak demand decline? No doubt the mainland is benefiting, they don’t have to put in a power supply and still reap the same in rates and big note their carbon savings etc.

Claim 6 “Last month the Energy Minister and I announced that work would start soon on the region’s largest solar project - a $2 million solar array on the roof of the Townsville RSL stadium.” Well this will add to the profits of the Poker Machine operators!

Claim 7 “The 335kW PV system will produce approximately 1320kWh of energy per day, enough to supply somewhere between two thirds and all of the daytime use of the stadium, or up to half of the daily use. Who gives a toss?

Claim 8 “The Townsville Solar City project is a blueprint for how the State Government will optimise and roll out energy efficiency programs and initiatives right throughout Queensland. I suspect this will be more along the lines as a reason for having to fund infrastructure.

chasmac DavidJ, I'm interested in your view about the quality of the Magnetic Island electricity mains supply. I live in Nelly Bay on the Arcadia side of Mandalay Avenue so I didn't experience the blackout that affected Picnic/western Nelly during the thunderstorm the other morning. I can't remember having a blackout for quite a while, weeks at least if not months (even since Cyclone Yasi?) so I'm surprised at your comment, ".... And exactly how have residents been rewarded – with nothing, just put up with the same crappy power supply with frequent interruptions for another 8 years, so long as they don’t have to spend anything..." That's a pretty sweeping statement, do you have any evidence?
MacJack David says it for me too.
Dob a dumper - online
M Subke I applaud DERM for trying,BUT let's be realistic:Most large dumping is done by night and away from public areas.How many people will note rego.numbers and car details?. And as usual the reporting forms are very detailed and complicated for people to bother.
It would be better, for residents or visitors, to pick up and dispose of smaller litter items found on beaches or in the bush themselves. All it needs is a bag and the intent to clean up !
Alan Patterson Dear Editor, is DERM getting ready for the probable increase in dumping due to hefty increases in commercial waste disposal? I understand that the "dob in a dumper" initiative includes cigarette dumpers, does this only involve incidents from cars? You can call me cynical but it seems that it may just be a double case of revenue raising & making joe public the policeman!
PJ While I applaud the State Government's initiative and do hope that it assists in reducing litter of all sorts, I am concerned that its effectiveness may be compromised because 'dobbing'is a necessary part of the process.

Before DERM will act on information received in the "Littering and Illegal Dumping Reporting Form" the person notifying DERM must sign the report, including a declaration that states, "I declare that the information contained in this report is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and that I am willing to testify in court if required."

From my observation a willingess to appear in court is rare. The inability to provide a credible witness is often a stumbling block to effective and complete enforcement action.
Rick Thurley Hahahaha
Paul Vassallo it is okay to dob in a dumper but because of derm allot of residents are finding it very costly to go to the dump so in fact they are causing more rubbish to be left lying around and this costs the TCC to have to send out their guys to clean it up thanks DERM
chasmac To protest against the government department we dump shit in other people's back yards. Terrific.
Notice: Vending machines for Nelly Bay Harbour
Chris C I only hope that Macca's isn't going to follow at some stage
ella why not macca's or some other reliable shop. its so hard to get take away food on the island beyond a joke.. of the FEW places who sell take away food, most close at silly times. on the weekend your out to fend for your self here and their. you cant even buy a drink..... so why not some take out places, if the locals can't be bothered opening their shops (half of which close for a massive part of the year at that)
and than the price of stuff is way to much least with them commercial take out shops you can get a feed for cheap.... if the locals cant provide these things than why shouldn't other places not get to??
janet johansson Ella;go and buy yourself a cookbook or even better open your own take-away shop.
ella tourists do not want to cook when on holidays. this is not just about me. this is about the tourists who bring the money to this island.. who wants to cook when they are on a holiday? half the places to stay do not have kitchens at that. they need easy food. their is none. the few their is do not open. so yes i think it would be great for a macca's or something to open. and yes if i could get the permits to do so i would. the locals hold this island back so much than they expect people to come here. what will they eat? grass????? we want people to come for a holiday here but we don't provide enough services. family's can not afford to eat at restaurants every night.and jenet i could cook you under the table!!! just because i thnik the island needs something does not mean i can not cook.
Davo Is it food that they sell at Maccas?
rod Ella; i,m one of those tourists your refering to, we love Maggie and we love the fact that there is no McDonalds. We come to Maggie to escape the franchises and "sameness" that so many other places have developed.Enjoy your island its beautiful just as it is

ps cant wait to be able to fish the jetty again
Leanne Ella, completely agree with you, I am embarrassed to invite people from down south to come for a visit with the way things are at present
Lea Yep - no Macdonald's for the Island please.
ella i love the island. its great how it is. and if their was local shops who could provide food like them franchise do than id have no problem with it. but they do not. so many close. i had my family come up recently and they went out on a weekend day over the island they could not even buy a drink except at the pub. if we want this island to be how it is we need to provide the services that people need. so many have to work off the island because their is no work here. their is no work because a lot of tourists do not come here. and i do not blame them,. you can see the island in less than a day. you can not get food to eat. what you can its over priced. and only at some times of the day. the hotels are over priced so family's can not afford to come to stay at the island, it seems to be that businesses would rather have their high prices and have no one in their motels/hotels etc, than put them at rates people can afford. i do love this island how it is. but living here and getting my online shopping every week is 1 thing. if i was a tourist i would not come back as its really expensive and their is no cheap easy food, open at times people eat. people need to eat and if lots of shops close half the year and the rest only open odd times. how is anyone to get some food? do we expect them to cart their own electric frying pan to go get food at the supermarket? and cook their own?
Gabbie I would hate to see the "Scottish restaurant" or any "Southern" fried chicken emporium for that matter, on Maggie for a start. Ella, your family mustn't have looked real hard if they could only buy a drink at the pub? Not that I'm adverse to having an ale or two at one of Maggie's public houses. I'm over tourists, whether they be day trippers or longer stays, who come to Magnetic Island expecting the same facilities as those rah rah destinations of SEQ or home. It's different and if you can't accept that then stay home and gorge on greasy, high carb burgers. Maybe, if you are coming for a day, pack a picnic lunch if anything over Five dollars is too high for your budget. People used to do it years ago or would that be too hard a concept for some. A final point from me, when will people learn the difference in there, their and they're. For heavens sake.
ella A final point from me, when will people learn the difference in there, their and they're. For heavens sake.

very childish, no wonder the tourists don't want to come here with people who are so narrow minded that they have a go at others spelling.

and food is not just $5, 1 pie is around that alone. and just because i think the island needs food shops that are open does not mean i'm at home eating greasy junk food, another typical childish generalization. and their is none to buy here if i wanted it. is their.. and why should a family with little kids have to go to the pub for a drink ? they should not have to.

you might be over the TOURISTS but they bring money to this island. they are the reason a few people do not have to work on they main land.

i'm over the bunch of pathetic locals who think their way is the only way. i mean look their is some talk of 2 vending machines being put in and right away someone is porking on about we hope maccas does not follow.... its not even in the same ball park as a vending machine. least tourists can get a drink when everything is closed hay..
Barbara Gibbs Wow! What a disgusting display of peurile nonsense you locals have put up here!! this is a tourist, who pays your way, giving you ideas to improve the fast ailing island economy and actually give them what they need...NO to McDonald's, but YES to a decent takeaway outlet at the ferry for those of us who are running late and need to get nourishment for early flights etc. Or, those who arrive early from the other side! I personally had to forgo breakfast that was ordered at Peppers, take away breakfast, as it took too long and the ferry was leaving at 07:10am. On Saturdays there are scores of parents and kids waiting for ferries and some have had to rush out the door and would enjoy a hot cuppa and bight to eat. Not everyone is punctual...we live on an island for god's sake! Sirrocco's isn't fast food and is too far from the terminal to make a run for witnessed personally. And for Ms Johanssen to make a snide remark....I would hold my tongue if I were you.
Grow up people! Listen to feedback from those who keep the island going and who have thousands of friends and family or the internet to aire their distaste to that can reduce future support for your businesses.
chasmac ella, you make the point that "...people need to eat and if lots of shops close half the year and the rest only open odd times. how is anyone to get some food".
You must know that this observation is complete drivel. However, you are free to make whatever observation you like I guess. There is no chance that Maccas or any other high turnover chain is going to open on Magnetic Island when there is no consistent stream of patronage. Check the ferry arrivals. Some weekends there is virtually no traffic. Some eating houses/restaurants close completely during the month of February because that is well known to be the quietest (also hottest, wettest, most tourist unwelcome) period of the commercial year. But you aren't talking about February. Things aren't great in the tourism sector at the moment, clearly connected to the financial downturn, the drop in backpacker numbers all along the east coast and to national concerns about prosperity. It is absolutely deadset normal that tourism is the first to feel the pinch especially outside high profile areas like the Gold/Sunshine coast, Whitsundays and Cairns etc.
A family with kids does not have to go to the pub to get a drink - unless they simply refuse to use public transport or walk around the corner or up the road to the local shop - there's one in every bay open at least 12 hours a day, every day. Perhaps you hadn't noticed?
First look at walkway designs
Jenny Stirling I have always thought it would be a tourist attraction but others on the island disagreed. Looks splendid!
Lindsay simpson Think it will definitely be a tourist attraction particularly if the walk extends through to Picnic ie are funds going to be put aside to finalise walkway to Picnic and then we will have an ocean walk from Picnic to Jeffreys.
TOBMI has also received (thanks to Rick Braley) $26,500 for snorkel trails. One is at Jeffreys so with both of these initiatives will provide some free things to do for everyone, tourists included.
Alan Patterson Whether it is a tourist attraction or not I am just happy not to be faced with some visitor wheeling their luggage on the road! I am sure it will be worth the wait! Any chance it will extend into a bike track across Geoffrey Bay?
Lucinda It looks fantastic! as a regular visitor to this beautiful island I think this is a fantastic step forward for safety and will encourage tourists and locals to keep active without having the concern of safety. I know this might be a longshot but are there any plans to extend this through to Horseshoe Bay? It feels pretty dicey walking or cycling on that stretch through the narrow roads with the bus bombing around the bends (or having to coem to a halt completely until it is safe to pass). Just a thought.
Peter Edwards-Davis Nice to see this finally going forward. Slight worry that the lower walkway is described as disabled access compliant, but no such description is applied to the upper walkway. Surely, the whole walkway should be disabled access compliant.
Chris C Please - do not use the stainless steel - it will look as ugly from the sea as the HB Power Station at the skate ramp does!! And close-up the stainless steel will no doubt, against all assurances, start to rust within a year or two (have a good look around the NB Harbour, Bright Point etc.
Surely it would be logical (and warm the cockles of any designers heart) to have the design of the PB-NB walkway "flow through" to the NB-GB walkway
Geoff I think the concept of a safe walkway from one end of the island to the other is fantastic. ( And well over due.

However - from the draft photos it will make Maggie like like a goal (Alcatraz comes to mind)

Why can't it be moved to the other side of the road, up the hill a bit, so that the road view remains unimpeded. For years part of the joy of travelling on the island roads was the view.
Just about every travel magazine book\brochure of MI has a picture taken from the road over the PB-NB-Rocky Bay headland or the NB-GB Headland... Now you will have those bars in each photo. Who wants to look through bars. Surely we can do better!

Here's a thought... Maybe even a Skyrail like at Cairns / Kuranda... from Picnic to Horseshoe...
That would be a tourist attraction on its own.

Just a little more thought should go into it first... you really only get one chance at it.
Mark Pottinger I think the use of Replas recycled plastic decking is a great initiative; the council should be congratulated on their commitment to the environment!
Andrew Robson Spent the day on Magnetic Island today and saw the completed walkway. VERY dispappointed. In no way is the design in keeping with the existing walkway already in place on the Nelly Bay to Picnic Bay hill. It looks ugly and obscures the magnificent views to all who travel by road. The Picnic Bay walk way uses timber which is more in keeping with the natural surrounds. The Nelly Bay walkway is all metal and concrete and gives the impression of walkway in a bird cage. It reminds me of the original Flinder"s Street East revamp that was full of ugly grey metal structures. Please get rid of the vertical metal bars to free up the view
Amazing read this summer
Patricia What a fantastic idea, there is so much enjoyment
in reading,it opens up a great big world of knowledge,fantasy and fun as well as an escape to other lands and cultures,Enjoy !Kids and take advantage of the "Summer reading club"
Congratulations to the Organisers
Magnetic Island residents: Are you cyclone ready?
ella i read once their is no where on the island that is deemed stable enough to be used as a evacuation center if something really big hit is this true?
chasmac ella, there is no building on Magnetic Island (and probably Townsville) that is guaranteed to be cyclone-proof and able to hold several hundred people. If there was a severe storm surge or if "something really big hit" and several hundred people had to leave their homes, they would probably be put up in the nearest available substantial building still with a roof on it. That might be the Council shed or a pub or, here's an irony, the new Julia Gillard school hall.
Aircon costing 40% of power bills
Jenny Stirling Ever wondered why stately homes in Europe had curtains? Obviously the velvet drapes enhanced the decor but I now realise that they were designed to keep the heat from open fire places in the freezing rooms. A similar thing with 4 poster beds which originally had curtains around them. Here in NQ, most of us leave curtains open to encourage breezes and let in the light. But I can see the point of closing them against the heat, especially with the cost of aircon.
Jonathan Volkwein Ceiling insulation will slow down the transfer of heat into your home, but by the end of the day a lot of this heat will get through.
use a low power fan to remove the hot air from your roof space and replace it with cooler air at ambient. This means less heat will get inside.
ella the cost of electricity is way over priced. if anything the government needs to start pumping money in to alternative energy like wind and solar. my electricity bill for 3 months is around $1000 for using 1 aircon constantly in 1 bedroom. i hav e to budget to be able to afford this my daughter sleeps on a mattress on the floor of my room when summer hits. it just costs to much to run her aircon to. if we do not have them on its a uncomfortable sleepless night. i would rather be cool and poor than hot sticky and rich.
If you ever wanted to make a difference...
Delphine Geia Julian is certainly at risk in a way that is very concerning. I have been praying for his protection and will continue to make that a matter of high priority.
Jina One Bring him back as well as turn the marina sundial into a monument to his freedom.
REG Where are the 17,200 people on Maggie who voted in the Julian statue poll or is one side of the island sinking!!!!!!!!!?? RED DOG
Dark side of the balloon
Ken Sington In the unlikely event of any irreparable damage being done to a precious ego I reckon Dale Parker should hand back his OAM; the local balloon release of course was a famous Parker stunt.
ella haha , seriously as if the balloon shop lady or anyone would eat 3 balloons even if they are biodegradable.
i challenge you to eat 3 biodegradable plastic bags!!!! you expect some shop lady to eat her balloons but would YOU eat a biodegradable plastic bag. i highly doubt it.
Dacid Surtees Do you think, Ella, that the letter was about whetheror not people should or should not be prepared to eat balloons? Perhaps there was a more important message than that "hidden away" in the content !
Barbara Gibbs It seems the injured and dying crocs see this as their retirement home...not unlike many who live here(: Poor thing, hope he gets good treatment in his new habitat.
brooke aww the poor little thing its so cute.
seems the only time the crocs come to magnetic island is when they are sickish.
Swimmer I prefer to see such creatures as far away as possible from the island. Swimming in the sea is one of Maggie's greater assets. So thanks QPWS for the good work in capaturing this recent crocodile and thanks the locals who kept monitoring the situation. We want our beaches safe first and foremost!
Trap set for croc seen at Nelly Bay
RD BRENNAN Once again, I would suggest that with a crocodile sighting in our environs, the lifeguards/lifesavers at Alma Bay reposition themselves on either the RHS or LHS of the bay, at height, to give themselves a much better chance of spotting a predator, rather than from a low trajectory, sitting on the verandah of the lifesavers' clubhouse.

This was the modus operandi in the days of yore when sharks were prevalent, and there were no nets to restrain them.

It was very effective.
Charlie McColl has some explaining to do
Alf Goater
Eh George , are you sure thats not an Oregon county Jail photo.?
George Hirst Missed the jails Alf but gotta say that Charlie looked totally at home and well in charge of his equipment.
Patricia Wow !! even on holidays you are still hard at it George, ever observant and getting a good scoop,ha ha .
Hope you and Pen are having the best time and having too much fun,
chasmac Thanks, Geo. I'm hardly ever in charge of my equipment and I'm about to sack my caddy. Just stepped up out of the ruins of the Forum in downtown Rome and pondering a walk tomorrow along the other Appian Way - the one paved in stone with wheel ruts worn in it after 2000+ years.
Cannot explain the identikit oddity but must say there is some good looking talent in America. A twin? More likely the DNA gods finally got their shit together.
mccoll hi
The current threat to Magnetic Island's most famous son
REG Judging by the results on Julian,s statue one side of the island must be sinking with the 16,000 votes received so far. How come all the hotels and accomadation aren,t filled to capacity????????!!!!!!! P.S. I didn,t think there were that many people on the island??
What did Sabrina see?
Ian Yes, we do have big black cats on the island. I have seen them myself, not as large as the one Sabrina saw, but big, black and wild. They're called feral and they are a serious problem on the island.
chasmac My suggestion is: do not write off the possibility of a panther=like dog. There are plenty of genetic oddities in Horseshoe Bay and we are proud of all of them. Some are sleek and well groomed, others make unusual sounds = often at night. If the observer watched this one for two minutes and it never showed its face I would have even more confidence that it is a Horseshoe Bay local, born and bred.
Nick What a fantastic story, and at 80cm's long a feral cat seems more likely. Very entertaining though. A pity the lady involved didn't contact QPWS or as it's now called DERM for her sighting as they keep all records for this sort of thing,crazy or not. Especially when it's a sighting of a supposed panther, again crazy or not. got to love tourists for this sort of thing though, very entertaining indeed.I vote for a feral cat but chalmac could be right lol.
sabrina tessari Thank you very much for your answers…I’m sure to see a big cat, not a dog….it walks very slowly and with elegance….I didn’t know the QPWS but when I came back in Italy I looked for every kind of news on internet about my experience and so I discovered an interesting story of big cats in Australia, do you know? Then the night before the sighting I heard a strange growling under our bungalow and I came back soon inside the room very frightened (my husband heard the same sound some days before and saw ad animal like a cat but later we saw a possum in the same point so I thought that the sound is the voice of an angry possum because there was often one in the evening which walked with its baby, for this reason I didn’t write of this to the journalist)….Surely I’m only a tourist but in my country I see every kind of dogs and cats and nobody of them is like the animal that I see on Magnetic Island….just a last question…why only on Horseshoe Road are there strange scarecrow in front of the house?
Patricia MacQueen Hello Sabrina I hope with the latest sightings by two Island residents who also sighted a LARGE cat like animal that your strange black animal will be identified,I wouldn't doubt your encounter at all for I too saw a creature {West Point Rd Charlie lol}that scared the daylights out of The Kempshalls,Noel and I it wasn't a cat but it was something you would never expect to see on the Island that alone on the West Point Rd - I have said before we wouldn't know what lives on our beautiful Island, good luck to all concerned for taking Sabrina,Ann,Patti and anyone else who has seen this animal serious,the people who have seen it are respected Islanders and would know the difference between a domestic and wild animal..
sabrina Thank you very much Misses MacQueen I hope too that this animal could be identified..I much appreciated your beautiful island because is very exotic and mysterious and inhabited by incredible creatures..why do not you contact National Geographic for a documentary on the island?
Lex Gilroy Possibly a Penriff Panfer on holidays?
Cockle Bay site announced for transfer station
Wendy Tubman So, once again World Heritage Magnetic Island's environment is sacrificed for human convenience. But it's not just the 'high value conservation area' that was Cockle Bay that will suffer, IF the site is approved by other levels of government. Given what we all know about the impact of carbon emissions and the climate, how any Councillor can justify transporting waste around the island any further than needs must, beats me. Oh yes, I can hear it already, what will this little bit of carbon do in the scheme of things? The answer: just another example of death by a thousand cuts - the situation that is played out over and over again on the Island. I live in Nelly Bay and argued for the site to be in Nelly. With the environmental state of the world, 'not in my back yard' shouldn't be enough any more. And, tell me again, how much did Council pay for the not one, but two independent expert studies that both rejected Cockle Bay on ALL grounds (environmental, social and economic)?
davo Gee, what a call. Theres a block of land loaded with animals that are protected by the state and feds and councils betting they can get permission to rubbish it in 2 years time. But what kind of bet is it? Looks like a political one cos theres a Council election much sooner than that and Trev can now say, well boys, we delivered. So when the 2 nd or 3 rd umpires call it a no ball and the crowd start spewing it will be al against those fat cats in Bris or canberra and eachother. But maggie needs to sort this problem and chances are they will have blown a fortune in getting approvals for something that isn't and then times up. Sounds like short term smart divide n rule politics but not adult behaviour.
sue Once again the environment is put last so we are all doomed - and so hopefully is this council!
Ben Chapman I don’t understand!

Opinion was evenly divided and yet council still ignores two independently commissioned, expert reports, which concluded that the Picnic Bay site was the most suitable location for the waste transfer station on the basis of economic, social and environmental factors.

Out of the three locations, Cockle Bay was assessed as the least environmentally sound, least convenient and costing $500,000 more than the Picnic Bay site. What was the point of paying for two independent reports and asking for residents’ opinions? Appears the decision was already made.

Here goes another valuable and unique coastal fringe on world heritage Maggie.
Wendy Tubman Bear in mind everyone that the ‘consultation’ that, according to Council, ‘showed residents evenly divided over a location for the facility’ was a ‘survey’ that required no voter registration, and copies of which were freely available. In other words, it was possible for individuals to ‘vote’ multiple times.

Could we please have more information about the ‘consultation’ on which Council based its costly decision to walk away from the two expert consultants’ reports?

And while Council is digging out this information, could they also please find and provide to the community written proof of the 30-year-old promise to move the facility made by a previous Council that, for some strange reason, Cr Roberts seems so very keen to honour.
rose Well put davo! & I'm sorry Wendy but I'm cynical enough to think that looking at the consultation process & asking for proof of promises made 30 years ago won't alter anything:(
The birds out there in that lagoon are magnificent- last chance to see............
chasmac Council has recently employed a new director of town planning with local expertise. Why bother?
Anne so this is democracy in action - a divided vote and council makes the decision based on the loudest voices. The loser once again is the environment and generations to come.
Basil When is this horrible backward country of ours going to legislate for the rights of nature?WE DO NOT OWN OUR CHILDREN,SLAVES,SPOUSES,LIKEWISE NATURE.It is high time this is realised federally,and by TCC.If we make waste,we live with it,not impose it on our fellow beings!
$150 prize for Magnetic Island story, photo/s, drawing, cartoon
Patricia MacQueen Hello George and Penn,
Enjoy your well earned holiday,and do have too much fun,
Travel safely and keep well,
Patricia ..
Gabbie Aloha enjoy your holiday but does news stories also include the usual Maggie rumours LOL!!!
calvin Mervyn Dodd COOL BANANAS !!!
George Hirst Aloha Gabbie, To rework Mr Wilde, I don't wish to hear any rumours unless they are about me!
chasmac Bonjour Geo et Pen,
Sorry, but all the rumours are about you.
Rose Breaking news-I think I've found Wally! lol
I'm wondering if the esteemed eds. would do a review on Air BNB?
Pat Coleman Wow George , you got in ? and you aint on a watchlist? Well I'll be buggered theres hope for us all yet!
curly Is that Pen in the back ground getting a tan
Gabbie OK George I'll start the first rumour. Rumour has it our fearless scoop George was last seen hanging ten at Waimea Bay while belting out songs from "Blue Hawaii".
George Hirst In all me natural Ive wanted to see a big Wiamea wall coming in but on the day it was as calm as Cockle. But everywhere we went you got the funny feeling that Elivis had been there before you. Blue Hawaii was the first flick I ever saw in a picture theatre and now ma dreams have come true in blue Hawaaaiiiiii
Gabbie So no fantasy of hiring a Red Ferrari, donning the loudest Hawaiian shirt in your wardrobe and cruising around Oahu? or Are you more likely to Book em Danno!!
peter morrison-conway Curly your right ,I can see magnetic touch on the thong that pen has on. what a way to advertise the island, have a great break
Steve & Tracey Lane All right George, You've had a good holiday (deserved) now get back to work so ex pat Magnetickers can keep up with the goss.


Steve Lane
$5.3M Nelly to Arcadia walkway funding announced
marie de Monchaux As a user of the Nelly bay to Arcadia road mostly on my bike the news of a walkway has prompted me to celebrate a longer life. Make sure it does happen!
Lea Fantastic news. I've NEVER actually walked over that hill - I'd rather take the bus than walk that dangerous bit of road.
Lea of Rheuben Terrace
chasmac Walkers should remember that in the meantime the hundred year old walking track up above and parallel to the roadway (signposted at both ends) still offers the best views and a superb granite boulder/hoop pine experience.
Christine Assange recalls her Magnetic Island days
Chris C A fantastic and well deserved scoop, beautifully written.

Well done and congrats George
Wendy Tubman Ditto many times over to Chris's letter. Well done, George. Nice to think that dear old Maggie Times can scoop the world's media - but what else would we expect?!
Alan Renton A terrific woman, an incredibly brave son and a heart-warming story.
Lorraine A fascinating look into Christine's and young Julian's life (and a great look back at the Island, which sounds pretty much the same as when we first arrived).
Peter Morrison-Conway Well done George, what a great read and thanks to Christine for shareing their amazing story, It does bring back the days of having dinner on the point at Nobbys headfor me in the early 90's
judy chapman Thanks George for a great article which I with others have thoroughly enjoyed . I couldn't agree more with Christine about the ferry cost for the local regular commuters or the development of Nelly Bay
Patricia Thank ou for sharing this scoop with us George,
It is always good to read your well written and very informative stories,
Chris C ... and I'll be fascinated to hear when The Bully (or some other part of the Murdochracy) calls to negotiate re-publication rights!!
Alan I suppose you could call this Maggieleaks!
Anthony Go guys..... I remember partying or should I say kind of remember partying in the shack, it was an amazing place in a most amazing spot, and attracted briliant artistic folk.
Who would have thought the man was a maggy kid!!!
Nice family photo's, pity he turned out to be such
a pillbox..

e-lena Thank you very much for sharing memories, photos and the beautiful painting as well as for correcting distorted stories about Julian Assange. I've found this article thanks to,00.shtml. It is a pity that many people around the world will not be able to find it :-(
simeon scott thanks for the memories. good luck
Ture Sjolander Ground level at the Esplande in Picnic...same flat i was living proud I'm!!!
The front window with the view to the Jetty and Townsville was great to catch the ferry without a watch.
Wendy Mac I have been very proud of this young Australian and to find he was also a Magnetic Island boy is fantastic. The question is how can we help him.
Lindsay simpson Hi George,
Caught up with this one late...for a journalist. Maggie Leaks indeed. Well done. Enter it in the Walkleys...
Sophie C-J Thanks for this great story, George. We're proud to know this amazing, brave man shares the island's history.
Peter Pirate Dowdall A great read,I wonder if anyone remembers Christine ,how could you miss her in her home made lime green terry towel bikini,her easy going smile, in a then quiet Horseshoe Bay and old Hut with its Wallabies Sad to hear it was not there an important link to early M.I. history .Ah old Maggie may - and does ,bring out fond memories.A good read George,Take Care of Maggie she`s one of a kind.As the Ol Mayor (Gerry Kearns)used to say Look after the island and she will look after you.
jean fletcher I too,am very proud of this incredibly brave Australian.Julian Assange has gone where no on else feared to go.Many people worldwide are so grateful that ordinary people can claim back their voice.jean f.Sydney.N.S.W.
Kate Great story. As a child of the Island during that time, it brings back lovely memories. I can't remember Julian (he would have been a few years ahead of me at the M.I primary school at that time), but am not at all surprised that such a brave and thoughtful mind once lived in such an extraordinary place. Best wishes to Julian and his family.
Liz I used to go to the island in 1968 when I worked at Townsville Hospital- there was a holiday house there for nurses. Quite a culture shock from central London. I loved it and would love to go again but it's probaby too expensive now. Anybody want a house-sitter?
Katia Leitao I could say the same words as lindsay sympson.
I am Portuguese, but awfully proud of this young man, he brings the sense of humanity in me and in that sense I am proud.

But like Lindsey, I feel taht what really matters is teh answer to the question- how can we help him?

Can I vote for him? Can ( beciome Australian just to do so!? Can I anything at all?

It hurts to not be able to contribute, support , help this young man. It hurts.

His motives, his actions and his manner, inspire total allegiance, and a profound need to participate.

christine is incredibly intelligent too, and has (many of) the values Julian does. She is a very special individual too. Very.
Mark Wedge I was there the night of the fire and can remember standing around with a few of the locals waiting for Lorrie Butcher and Vic Crow from NORQEB (Ergon)to arrive to cut the power so the fire could be extinguished.I thought the house was further down the road,but then again that was 40 years ago.The population of Maggie at that time was around 600 and nealy everyone knew each other.But sadly I can't remember Christine or Julian.
Women making it work in Island history
jeanette jackson Many years ago I receive, as a gift, your CWA recipe book. It had in it a crecipe for sweet and sour pork. Unfortunately the page as a result of overuse was lost. Do you know of anyone who would have this recipe??? It was probably published about 50yrs ago.
jackiereilly Hi my name is Jackie,

i was wondering if you had any history that you could e-mail i am trying to do some family history for my gandma her great aunty owned nellie bay many years ago her name was minne hambling if you have any information please e-mial me at
Jeanette Jackson I contacted you a recipe for Sweet & Sour Pork published in a CWA recipe book. I am trying to find information on a resident of the Island about 1960. Her name was Annie and I am unsure of surname. Could be Doran, Bartholomew. Her relatives lived at Hughendon. I am one but a long way down the line. I will be visiting in September.
A tale of two parties
Chris C Call those parties?

Come to the GREAT Tropical Jazz Party this weekend if you want to see (and hear) how to really have a good time :-)
Mikeymike What to wear, what to wear!
Lindsay Simpson Hi George,
Can see why you found this one difficult to unravel.
The idea for a Horseshoe Bay street party came out of a TOBMI committee meeting (attended by previous GM of Sunferries) where it was decided TOBMI, as an incorporate assn, would apply for separate funding to host an event that meant focusing on another bay, other than Nelly Bay for Race Week. However, in spite of repeated phone calls to what was then Sunferries, from TOBMI, asking about letters of support for the funding, TOBMI remained in the dark.
Much to our surprise, the event was announced. When contacted by TOBMI re-iterating support to help galvanise the community (several eateries at Horseshoe are our members), TOBMI was told Sunferries would doing this alone. As Lorna states above, this lack of communication led to confused messages. Unity is the way to make this event happen and thanks to Guy Tickle's efforts for putting something on Sunday September 4.
On a brighter note, new GM of Sealink is attending our next TOBMI meeting to better plan for next year.
Chris C Ah! Is there anything more amusing (or is that sad) than a committee organising a party?

And isn't it interesting that of the two longest serving events on the Island (apart from Anzac Day), Vern's Toad Races involves no committee and the (15th) Great Tropical Jazz Party involves a committee of just three !!!

So come to the Great Tropical Jazz Party today or tomorrow if you want to see what a non-committee can achieve!!

And perhaps TOMBI and the Island's other interminable committees might want to come along and count how many visitors come to the island specifically for the weekend GTJP and then compare that to how many come to the island and overnight next weekend specifically to attend either of the dueling parties!!

I reckon I know which weekend island businesses are going to make the most money from but I wonder if they do?
Carpark koala
judy chapman Great to see these cute little creatures are welcoming the tourists but as a recent visitor to the island I was alarmed at the large number of off-lead dogs (and roaming cats) wandering the streets day and night and I fear for the safety of these unsuspecting cuddly wanderers.I wonder if the irresponsible animal owners have witnessed the carnage caused by unleashed dogs?
Anne Recently I got out of my car in the carpark to nearly step into a very sizeable pile of dog poo and very close by there was a dead possum lying in a pile of blood. Coincidence? I think not.
Jim George,

Please get off your track against dog owners generally, it drives me crazy and as such I find myself aligning with the views of another Magnetic Island newspaper. I am the responsible owner of a medium sized breed of dog which is securely housed within a fenced yard. In the six years my dog has been around she has failed to find a way out of the yard on any occassion. Sure she is curious by the close proximity of the possums and in the last few days there has been a sizeable male koala take up residence on my property but the dog has failed , quite pathetically, to bring home any prey from its own fenced domain since her inception. In fact the possums and our new koala friend seem to taunt my animal frequently to no avail. I only live on a block of less than 10000qm, should I further confine my animal to a mere percentile of this? Maybe I should chain her paws together for the 23 hours a day she is not excercised outside of my block? Get over it George, sure there is a small number of irresponsible dog owners on the island which tend to give us all bad name but to try and draw all anti dog sentiment in this direction is ridiculous. Spose you've got a cat? hope its got a bell collar and is confined to barracks after dusk? Why not be more possitive and raise awareness about possible "dogs off leash" areas like other Magnetic Island publications?
In short George, "GIVE IT UP ON THE DOG THING" - were you bitten by a poodle as a mere boy?
George Hirst Wooah Jim, I'm real sorry to drive you in the 'crazy' direction of a certain other publication. But don't get too hot under the collar with me. I love animals and have been both a dog and a cat owner but decided not to own either since moving to Magnetic in 1991.

It's fascinating to me that in the past I've been criticised for being too pro-dog and too hard on cats. To be honest I don't think people should have dogs or cats on Magnetic. As a couple we made this decision because we felt privileged to live here in our world heritage environment and want to do as little as possible to disturb it. But that's a personal view.

I'm actually a bit surprised you are upset at what I might want to do about your dog on your land. I don't think I have ever commented on what people do on their own land with their pets. It sounds like you are an exemplary dog owner Jim and my spleen only gets juicy when I see dogs off-leash in public. I think there are plenty of irresponsible dog owners and I see it almost every day! Magnetic's head Ranger Patrick Centurino has said he thinks Magnetic Island is Townsville's worst suburb for roaming dogs and the last time we asked Council there had not been one owner fined for a dog off leash in the last year.

But apologies for not being more positive about an off-leash area Jim. I'd be happy to see one, truly. But just not on Nelly Bay's prime recreational asset, the beach, as was proposed last time to hilarious results. Take a look at this story from 2002 and you will see that while I have been remiss on the subject for too long I was both positive and supportive that two locations be considered for an off-leash area. Look here:
Basil What an over reaction from Jim, to assume George would favour cats over dogs. Your bitch is probably desexed so is not likely to be threat to wild life. To make an assumption that he would hate dogs is offensive and thinking a bad experience with a poodle would colour an obsession of dislike for dogs. I have been bitten a few times by a dog and it has not made me anti canine. My experience with homo inconsiderous has coloured me much more.
jim Sorry George, you caught me on a bad day, I read a few lines in your story and in comments after and got all worked up about anti dog stuff again. You are of coarse rite that it is a few that ruin it for the majority of us reputable owners.
On a slightly adrift note, I have just filled in my survey on the proposed transfer station and in answering questions about the Nelly Bay option I could not go past the potentially huge recreational benefit of the Kelly Street site so had to oppose this option quite strongly. You guessed it.... What a great off leash area this could be.
Thanks for responding George, I was indeed, a little out of line for which I am truly sorry.

and Basil.... "homo inconsiderous"??? I like that, can I use it?

Notice: Women's Health Clinic for Magnetic
jodie Great idea! I hope locals use this service so it can become a regular thing.
Dog bites on meter readers increasing
edwina I have been bitten by a dog whilst riding my bike on a local street. I believe dog owners should be fined heavily for allowing their dogs out of fenced areas when they bite people and victims should be compensated by dog owners for pain and stress inflicted upon them. Big fines hurt and help change their management practices. I also believe legislation should be passed to disallow certain breeds of dogs to live in residential areas and even whether some types should be disallowed completely. Todays news includes a 4 year old in Victoria killed by a US breed of a mastiff pitbull who also attacked other family members who are in hospital. We cant stop bears attacking humans but we can stop dogs when humans are responsible for their behaviour.
Letter: Response to
Wendy Tubman Thanks for your letter and wonderfully clear explanation Andy. Yet further evidence that we need to act now and support effective efforts to reduce carbon emissions. I'm sure (hope!) that that silent majority realises the impact of 'business-as-usual' on future generations. and will not act on the basis of pure self-interest, as some in the spotlight seem to be doing.
Letter: Coal Seam Gas and Japan's nuclear disaster.
Steve Lane LNG is about as far away from Coal Seam mining, as a Greens Spokesperson is from common sense. Quite a gulf really!
chasmac Steve Lane might need to research the subject a bit more. LNG (liquified natural gas) is what is currently being produced by those enormous projects off the north coast of WA. The natural gas is brought to shore and made into liquid before shipping out to Asia and elsewhere.
CSG (coal seam gas) - now under production in Queensland, can also be liquified and it is the intention of several producers to do just that. I quote a recent Reuters report:
"There are currently three coal seam gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects including Santos' Gladstone LNG, BG Group's Queensland Curtis Island LNG, and Origin and ConocoPhillips' Australia Pacific LNG, all expected to come online around 2015".
I think it would be fair to say that LNG is about as far away from CSG mining as a short pipeline. It's common sense really.
Tourism Minister meets locals
Marlene Jackson I can appreciate that tourist groups are doing it hard, but they often don't help themselves, in July I phoned a cruise company on the island and had 5 people interested in taking an evening cruise, left a message with my phone number and nobody even bothered to call us back. So tourist operators give us service if you want us to support you
Chalkie Couldn't agree more Marlene. The Island needs more quality, quality, quality and more services - why do kitchens close at 7:30pm-8:00pm, is there a war on? Magnetic Island is an internatinal destination - Europeans don't actually go out to eat until at the very earliest 8:00pm. I have lost count of how many times I have been embarrassed when over hearing establishments telling potential customers that "the kitchen is closed". One classic example is when we rang up to book at around 6:00pm and said we would be there "about 6:30-ish" and got the respone "Oh good, we are closing early"....they only opened at 6:00pm! A lot of the business operators need to visit Palm Cove, Noosa, Byron Bay to see how tourism is done!
Chalkie Interesting to note that the suggestion of lowering pay rates (for Sundays) is quickly taken on board! Nothing much about providing good service and quality.
Ellie With all due respect I would have to say that the Nelly to Arcadia walkway would have a much more positive impact for tourism than reparing the Picnic Bay jetty.
My thoughts would be to save the money and remove the jetty altogether, redirecting the funds to iniatives such as the walkway which nearly every visitor would utilise, or if it was to be rebuilt to make it a usable jetty with restaurants, shops and bars and agazebo at the end for wedding ceremonies. (however I expect a rebuilt jetty would always pose a risk with future cyclones). Hence I think the money is better spent on the walkway.
It would be fantastic for both tourism and safety of local pedestrians, runners and cyclists to one day have a dedicated path alongside the road from Nelly Bay to Horseshoe Bay.
QPWS Ranger, Jo Petersen Every year Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers undertake a thorough strategic planning process to prepare and undertake the planned burn program on Magnetic Island.

The QPWS 2011 planned burn program on Magnetic Island this year has gone to plan and has successfully achieved the fuel reduction outcomes that were intended. These burns have been conducted from May as planned, with the program recently winding down due to changes in climate and fuel to drier conditions.

One of the main objectives of QPWS fire management is to ensure the protection of life and property which is achieved through fuel reduction burning.

QPWS takes the concerns of local businesses and tourist operators seriously when developing the annual planned burn program and this year avoided carrying out any burn operations over the Easter holidays, Queen’s Birthday long weekend and V8s week.
Denise Colk Maggie has been going down the gurgler for a while. In 1987 I was able to book into restaurants for any night I wanted and do a Reef Cruise. We were there in April/May of that year.

In 2008, again April/ May, I left messages at three restaurants requesting advice as to whether the would be open and could I make a booking, if so. I am still to hear back from any of them.

I also wanted to book a car and do the paperwork when I arrived on the Island. The entire rental for the car was taken out of my account months prior to my arrival. The girl had assured me that she only wanted those details to speed things up! In fact they wanted use of my money for six months prior to my arrival. The money came out of my account the same day, but took a week to replace, when I complained and cancelled the booking. It is those sorts of things that need changing. It's is "let's take 'em down" attitude of some of the tour operators, that is the problem. Ok I understand all the businesses on the Island prefer backpackers and don't really like seniors, even if we have been repeat stayers over 30 odd years. Everywhere is for backbackers, now. Well this is one oldie who is absolutely thrilled all the backpackers may be priced out of visiting. Perhaps then, and only then, renters and tour operators will give older and family Aussies a go.
Chalkie Re burning program - pity no-one thinks of the effect on people's lungs or the ash that covers one's house/windows not to mention new paintwork! And I wonder how many birds/animals die?
chasmac Chalkie, what makes you think that no-one thinks about the effects of fuel reduction burning on peoples' lives? Of course, for some people no amount of explanation, consultation, scientific, social or economic evidence is enough - they simply believe it is wrong or at least wrong-headed. That is their right and it is also their right to be the first to complain and demand compensation when their property is damaged or their life is ruined because the government didn't take all the necessary precautions to prevent a wildfire.
What I most appreciate is the effort QPWS makes (at least on Magnetic Island) to explain their actions, to mount their case with practical evidence and to advise as well as reasonably possible, what they are doing and why.
Ian A "visitor pays" entry to the national park would be a huge negative to island tourism -people come to relax, not to get fleeced. Repair (not restore) the jetty. The force of the waves lifted the deck planks and caused the damage - replace the planks with alloy mesh and it should survive the next Yasi.

Ian PB
Life thanksgiving: Dr Judith Homeshaw (21.08.45 – 15.07.11)
Jill Taylor Hello Malcolm. I have read of, with sorry, the said passing of Judith. Of the little time I knew her through the French group, I found her as someone who could be described as a 'true lady'. Please accept my sympathy. Jill Taylor (10 McCabe/Longueville).
chris&vicki Hi Malcolm. Deepest sympathies from us. We knew we were in the final quarter. But what dignity both of you exhibited during the long battle.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Vicki and Chris
If you think that Climate change is crap...
Andrew Kerans I am deeply concerned at the imminent possibility of having a fool who believes in immaculate conception but denies climate change.

Positively scary!
Weatherman Unbiased to love it.
Jane Sadly, we each need do an inventory of how we live and what in particular decisions we make when building, shopping, contributing indirectly and or directly through waste/consumer product and so on.
Definitely,'positively scary', Andrew.
Qld Small Business & Tourism Minister to visit Island tomorrow
Chalkie Perhaps if there was more emphasis on quality and service there wouldn't be any issues to combat! And perhaps if Council looked after Magnetic Island as it does on the mainland i.e. walkways connecting bays, properly surfaced roads, paid attention to what home owners are doing to council reserves i.e. dumping cars, parking cars illegally on reserves, rubbish and taking no pride in their immediate surroundings. Also opening hours for businesses and not allowing to open when they feel like it. A lot of businesses pick and choose their opening hours so no-one is actually sure if a business is going to be open or not. Not to mention kitchens closing between 7:30pm and 8:00pm - many times we have been embarrassed by overseas visitors wandering the Island looking for somewhere to eat and to be told "the Kitchened closed at 8:00pm"! And yet those business operators are the first to complain they are not making money. Remember in the past when it took up to 5 years to build their business and reputation whereas now it appears if they are not making money in the first 6 months they are high-tailing it from the Island! As I have already stated perhaps if more attention was put on service and quality there would not be any issues to combat! Forget catering to the lowest common denomiator....quality! quality! quality! Case in point on a higher note take a look at the Cafe dell'Isola where the owners have come to the Island with a positive attitude, put their hearts and souls into providing QUALITY food and ingredients and surprise! surprise! they have not only made their business an icon on the Island they have expanded to Horseshoe Bay - all within a year! WELL DONE Lucia & Alberto - wish there were more like you!
Notice: Harbour breakwater repairs
Kearney For the life of me I can't understand why these "works" have to take place during school holidays!! Maybe someone should mention this to the Minister for Tourism whom I believe is on the island this week!!!
Hoyt is looking for a hand
Sylvia Hayes I think you are a fantastic bloke, Hoyt, and truly inspiring. I am just having a garden cleanout and have become very aware of invasive plants (usually the ones with heaps of flower heads that set seed quickly!) that I won't compost or send to landfill. A terrific guide for me has been the website "grow me instead" for our dry tropics region.
Eric Vanderduys I agree tah vine (Boerhavia) is an annoyance when in seed. However, I can't see how its presence, mostly in the lowlands, indicates that it's not native to Magnetic Island. Plenty of plants grow only on the lowlands, or only on the higher parts too. Tah vine is a weed in the sense that it likes disturbed areas - which are found mostly in lower parts of the island. Across parts of its range that I've seen it is tends to be a plant of either heavy soils (the sort of soil that's hard to break with a shovel when dry) or disturbed soils, and that is the lowlands of the island.

In my opinion damaging (environmentally) weeds include lantana (mostly on rocky slopes), snake weed (disturbed areas), mother-in-law's tongue (mostly along creeks) and hyptis (mint weed / stinking roger). And many more of course.
Meningococcal confirmed in Magnetic Island tourist
Alan Thanks for such a comprehensive report on something we must all be wondering about.
Magnetic Island reflections
vandhana Hi George
Thanks for the few samples of Nick's poems - I find them very insightful, quirky or moving, according to the topic. Robyn's drawings are a beautiful complement for Nick's words in this gem of a book
Waste Transfer Station: Let's think together
Rose Gordon To all the consumers who don't want a waste transfer station and green waste in their back yard........have you thought of making less rubbish?
Carol Pemberton Let’s forget for the moment which proposed site is more suitable. And let’s think SAFETY. My comments at the meeting on Saturday raised little or no response from residents. But do we really want large trucks traversing our roads from Cockle Bay to the barge site at Nelly Bay permanently?
Consider your children, your partner, yourself, and your friends travelling from Picnic Bay to Nelly Bay daily? Have you encountered the odd car/bus/truck slightly over the white line? Well, get used to it. These large trucks used to convey our waste to the barge area will be an extra hazard. This is reality. Visualise our tourists and cyclists playing Russian roulette with them.
The only site suitable to enhance the safety of our residents is the Nelly Bay site. Less mileage, no hills to manoeuvre, less traffic to offend, less diesel cost, less maintenance of trucks, less maintenance of roads. Perhaps if the pre-approved permits for Picnic Bay landfill are an advantage, the pre-approved permits for the decommissioned sewerage treatment plant in Nelly Bay may be also.
I know that the major expense has been pinpointed at barge costs, but surely these local transport issues must be considered. Let us think of the cost of lives before the cost of waste.
chasmac In Wikipedia I found census results for 2006:
1 Horseshoe Bay 484
2 Arcadia Bay 257
3 Nelly Bay 973
4 Picnic Bay 359
5 West Point 35 (probably includes whole west coast?)
Magnetic Island 2107

Any guesses about what will happen in this year's census? Sure as shooting Horseshoe Bay is growing fastest. On this data alone and forgetting "...for the moment which proposed site is more suitable....", I'd have to agree with Carol Pemberton that we should try to keep heavy transport operations centred in Nelly Bay. If only.....
If only the closed landfill dump would remediate itself and the adjoining Butler Creek channel and banks - all the way to the mangrove estuary beyond Picnic Street. Unfortunately, Council must budget hundreds of thousands to carry this out regardless of the location of the transfer station.
If only green waste could be turned to mulch silently, without dust or odour - then it could accompany the transfer station wherever it was located - including Nelly Bay.
If only we had some certainty and advocacy about the planned location of expanded industrial facilities like transport storage, garaging and maintenance, warehousing, construction and fabrication etc. - all of which are called for now, yesterday, not in a decade or so.
If only we could think of pulling together rather than pulling legs or pulling teeth. It could be a constructive exercise but it will be painful joke if we get it wrong.
Rolf I said it before on Magnetic Times when this was first raised but I need to say it again as I'm OS and can't speak at these meetings. The idea of taking rubbish over the hill to Picnic, then to be taking it back, is simply a no-brainer. The transfer site should be in Nelly.
chasmac Further to my previous, how is it that as discussion has whirled around each of the locations, Nelly Bay has been dropped off the radar, more or less completely? The Picnic Bay Push including Cr Roberts, wants to co-locate everything, including new industrial expansion, in Cockle Bay. Presumably, defenders of Cockle Bay would rather nothing was put there. There is a deathly silence (apart from a couple here) about Nelly Bay and yet the conceptual site on the decommissioned sewerage plant there could fulfill most of the demands that have surfaced in this debate:
1. There is ample space to place industrial-type activities and ample space to screen and buffer surrounding residential areas.
2. Direct access from Kelly Street which already caters for limited 'industrial' uses.
3. The complicated access roads for a transfer station could be re-organised to double as access for an expanded industrial area co-located alongside the transfer station.

One thing missing from such a formula would be green waste processing which is noisy and dusty and not compatible with close urban settlement. This may be where Cockle Bay can play a role. We know that the water recycling plant at Cockle Bay (sewerage treatment by another name) will need to expand onto new ground in the foreseeable future. The little maps on the Waste Transfer Station feedback forms show, on the Cockle Bay site, an oblong-shaped shaded area right next to the existing plant onto which that expansion is proposed to fit. Why could not this discreet area be set up with access and stormwater drainage, fencing etc. now and become the green waste processing site for the next few years until either the expansion of the water plant becomes necessary or Council develops a new approach to green waste processing?
chasmac Really I meant 'discrete' when writing about that set-aside area for future expansion - not necessarily judicious, prudent and unobtrusive (discreet) but more separate, individually distinct and discontinuous (discrete) - so that it would not be allowed to become ever-expanding. I'm thinking that the balance of the 40 acre block between the water treatment plant and the golf club could remain in the natural state, undeveloped. Over time the disturbed, excavated, dumped-upon and otherwise abused and neglected areas within the 40 acres could be repaired, inappropriate man-made drainage and access lines erased and new walking and management trails established in appropriate places so the whole mangrove estuary, tidal wetland and eucalypt woodland site could be opened for public enjoyment as a recreation and conservation park. Butler Creek, which is actually in the adjoining catchment, could be connected to the same system of trails.
Patrick Collins The existing site at Picnic Bay is ideal for the Wast transfer station,

To site it at Nelly bay in an area of urban housing would be a major problem . The Site should be the one that effects the least number of Magnetic Island residents this I consider to be existing tip st Picnic Bay
chasmac Patrick Collins, what's the "major problem"? It seems you don't accept that containing the operations more or less inside an enclosed building and screening the whole site with a vegetated buffer zone would considerably reduce the visual, noise, dust and odour issues that otherwise might potentially arise from a transfer station?
If so, and that is your only criterion, then you should be campaigning for the whole thing to be moved to Cockle Bay where more or less nobody lives. What is the actual issue you have with the transfer station that causes you to completely ignore the available evidence about the benign nature of the beast? An ugly shed? Sure, but look at the monstrosities in the Kelly Street industrial area - or on Bright Point for that matter. Look at the Citiwater shed and yard built right there on the Nelly Bay site a few years ago. These are site specific, practical, utilitarian structures. That's what infrastructure is. We don't have to be ashamed of it.
David Donohue Some people have reported problems accessing the web-based feedback mechanism for this consultation. While we can't fault the system and continue to receive input (thanks to all) - the correct link is:

The link published in the Bully in Mary Vernon's column is wrong and does not work - not sure where it came from.

If you need help or advice, please call us on 1800 818 717.

Art Tourism comes to Magnetic Island
Barb On that note, I also mentioned to TCC when dealing with my planned 3 stage opera for the island, that with the new art shops in Flinders Street and gallery etc, there needs to be art tours with Townsville city galleries first, including morning tea, then a ferry ride to Magnetic with lunch on the island , followed by a tour of local galleries on a regular basis. This would ensure the survival of the new shops which are great visits, and assist our tourism levels. Everyone loves art and the TCC had to agree it was a great idea(:
Letter: Why Cockle Bay is the best location
Rose Gordon Nicely written argument Dr Dobson but everything you describe has been going on at the current site for years! Where has your concerned environmental voice been all these years-on holidays? We are now given the option of a state of the art transfer station which from all indicators will NOT add to any contamination which has already occurred. Why relocate it onto a unique wetland area in Cockle Bay? These precious coastal areas are rapidly disappearing- leave Cockle alone. I wouldn't mind if they moved it to Nelly but I would expect the most up to date technology and controls to be put in place- I know of a sewerage facility that is close to it's use-by date!
chasmac I have read Dr Dobson's submission very carefully because it has been thoroughly prepared and thoughtfully presented. There is a section with two paragraphs that succinctly puts at least part of the case as he sees it:

"A visual Eyesore: Dust-laden, unsightly “recycling” activities will take place in open air. Piles of trash/material will accumulate and is located along the roadside. Fences will NOT solve this problem as there is only one roadway entrance to Picnic Bay, with proposed site location on the right hand side coming down the hill.
*The construction and full-operation of the facility will disturb current fill and has the potential to shift the existing underground pollutants and toxic wastes, in addition to adding new ones, into the watercourse which which flows directly into the sea and will threaten the fragile marine life of Picnic Bay."

I am sorry to say that Dr Dobson seems to have confused a number of very important details that have actually been publicly available for some time.
1. The site which is on "the right hand side coming down the hill [into Picnic Bay]....", is the current, operational landfill site. This is NOT where the transfer station is proposed to be located. The proposed location is on the other side of Butler Creek next to the golf course roughly where the current green waste processing site is located.
2. As I understand it, the proposed transfer station will be located inside an enclosed building and will NOT be 'open air'. Any machinery involved (hydraulic compactor, loader/backhoe, truck hook-up) will mainly operate inside this enclosed building.
3. If the transfer station is built like others around Townsville (eg. at Hervey Range Rd, Thuringowa and also at Jensen) there should be very little, if any, runoff at all from the actual work area inside the building.
4. There will be no penetration of the capped and retired landfill site whatsoever by any part of the transfer station. Possibly the newly located access road will pass quite close to the old landfill site.
5. If remediation works on the landfill site and banks of Butler Creek are properly designed, finished, monitored and managed the water quality of the creek, particularly downstream, should improve over time - especially as the recently installed sewerage reticulation in Picnic Bay begins to take effect on the quality of the ground water there. A transfer station properly set up and located on the old green waste site should have no impact on the water quality of Butler Creek.

Dr Dobson's comments about the social, health and environmental impacts of a location at Cockle Bay, including the long term cost aspect, seems to be completely at odds with the most recent study of the various sites conducted by Flanagans for the Council. Without any evidence presented it's hard to know whether the writer has a proper knowledge of the actual location and the various issues that arise there. Perhaps he could attend the public briefing on the weekend or at the very least obtain some of the relevant information which is now publicly available.
paul wightman Response to Minca's letter drop:

It was the same independent so called expert that made the same conclusion that Picnic Bay was the better site.
1. economic Picnic Bay site could blow out by more than $ 500000 just putting piles down to hard ground, they need to keep shifting piles as they hit car bodies and other solid structures
2. social, the independent expert at no time did a sound test to see how noise would invade Picnic Bay. The locals in Picnic Bay already know the answer to this.
3. environmental criteria, the waste transfer station and Greenwaste will only take up a small portion of the block and the site that we showed council is not behind the MIWR (sewerage treatment plant). But up towards the golf club on higher ground and will not impede on the wetlands below. Minca's statement about destroying eucalypt woodland is grandstanding scare tactics which is not true. This land is currently zoned industrial, and under our plan will be replanted and a walking track put in similar to the Horseshoe Bay sewerage treatment plant.
At no stage does Minca's flyer address the Greenwaste facility which is the biggest noise polluter in Picnic Bay. Minca's statement of where the station is built will provide the opportunity to recycle material is not correct. The current Greenwaste recycler has tried for years to recycle everything but has been blocked on this site by council.

chasmac There is no doubt that green waste processing complicates the transfer station question. I think pw has slightly confused one part of the MINCA flyer - a dot point which reads:
"Regardless of where the Station is built, it will provide the opportunity to recycle material."
As I understand it, where this statement refers to "the Station" it means the Transfer Station, not a green waste processing 'station'. The public meeting at the golf club was told that bulk hard waste deposited inside the transfer station building would be separated (by hand or machine or whatever) so that recyclables (glass, metals, paper, etc) could be placed in the recycling stream.
I share pw's concerns about the locating of the green waste processing (and whatever other resource recovery) on top of the decommissioned landfill site. And not only because of the likely noise and dust - regardless of whatever acoustic barrier might be created. Frankly, if the dump isn't closed soon there will be only a pinhead site left on top of the dome of landfill. This can't be a sustainable arrangement?
However, although the location for green waste processing is a critical question it should not influence the location of the transfer station building because they don't have to be together. One is permanent, set in concrete and needs a pretty immediate answer, the other can be temporary and likely will be, even if it starts on top of the landfill. This is where I part company with pw - and whoever from MIRRA produced a different flyer which I received a few days ago. In essence my problem is the equation which says:
There are three sites proposed - Picnic, Cockle and Nelly. Two of them, Picnic and Nelly are "...deemed totally unsuitable as they are located in established residential areas". Therefore there is only one possible location and that is Cockle Bay.
I am confident that a transfer station would be no more 'industrial' than the top end of Kelly Street, Nelly Bay. There is plenty of space for a small expansion of 'industrial' space in the vicinity of the decommissioned Nelly Bay STP. The access roads/paths around the transfer station building could easily serve other buildings in such an area. The whole could be surrounded by a vegetative screen/buffer zone and be out of sight to houses about 100m away.
Without an attached green waste processing operation, a transfer station can go pretty much anywhere and not be intrusive - if it is screened properly and if the vehicular movements avoid residential areas. In my calculation, if Council wants to move the transfer station from the Picnic Bay site already proposed, it should only go to Nelly Bay - middle of the Island and right near to the barge terminal. Kelly Street wouldn't even notice.
Sunferries becomes Sealink Queensland
sarah As a commuter of 25 years I am sorry to say but I was very disappointed after travelling yesterday on the "new/old" ferry that Sealink has introduced into its fleet. It is claustrophobic, noisy, smelly and even for a calm day, it was not a smooth ride. I am dreading travelling later on in the year during the wet/cyclone season, and when the ferry is full of happy tourists? Shame on you Sealink for providing this ferry, it sad to say that once again the Islanders have been let down, big time.
Notice for resident briefing on MI Waste Transfer Station
chasmac It is with considerable concern that I note Council's intention to initiate an unpopularity contest on the location and operation of the Island's waste transfer station. When the Mooney council started public consultation around the 'user pays' principle about six years ago it seemed that a properly practical and sustainable solution would be reached in time for the ending of landfill at the Picnic Bay site. After all, we have known for about ten years that the landfill is full. Now it is overfull. Every step in that consultation so far (including under the Tyrell administration) has indicated that the transfer station would end up in the vicinity of the current landfill/green waste site at Picnic Bay. The most recent consultant's report has only confirmed, this time in economic, social and environmental terms, the outcomes of every other study.
Whilst I have been well aware of the campaign by a number of people to change the direction of Council on this matter, Council has consistently indicated that it is taking a long and wide view and won't be tempted to pander to narrow or vested interests.
Recently, Cr Trevor Roberts has tossed an ambiguity grenade into the process and thereby opened up a completely unnecessary can of worms. Commenting on Mayor Tyrell's statement that, “The report found Cockle Bay would be more costly and the council would virtually have to start from scratch to secure the necessary State environmental approvals which were likely to take a long time if they were granted at all”, Cr Roberts concluded that he leans ".....towards the Cockle Bay site because the sewerage is there already and I'd like to see it all lumped in one area." So several years consultation, numerous difficult discussions and a long period building confidence and bringing the Island community with him is simply tossed out the door, seemingly as some political expedient. The healed sores are reopened, the old arguments are back on the table and there is now no proper basis for a sensible discussion to be progressed in a timely manner.
David Donohue Charlie, hopefully we demonstrated at the meeting that this is not an "unpopularity contest" as you colourfully put it.

The consultation now running isn't a plebicite, it's an opportunity for us all to identify all the options and innovations and present them to Council, along with the preceding reviews and reports, to help make the most enlightened decison possible.
A huge day and night on Magnetic
PJ It was a great day and a great night! Long live Magnetic Island musicians and the making of music!
chasmac Hats off to Townsville City Council, Ergon and the Solar Cities team for the fantastic re-development of the sports and recreation facilities in Horseshoe Bay. Long live the Sports and Rec. Club!
chris copping Very well organised event- particularly liked Vacant Lot.Well done everyone particularly Mark Hannan and Ray Kennedy
ryan smith good day, good turn out, enjoyed myself. NOT impressed with the young kids behavior after hours though, the skatepark is covered in a sticky liquid, and not just on one part, the ENTIRE park has been covered purposely by the looks of it, and now is not usable for me to skate on or any others!! NOT IMPRESSED!!
Chasmac Fantastic development. I think we have half-accidentally stumbled on a new generation of recreation facility. So let's attract young people to it and reassure their parents and other adults that it isn't some hotbed of revolution, risk taking or stranger danger.

What would be really good would be a coin-operated (or free for local calls) public phone located at/in the skate park facility. With a broadband connection. And/or one of those wi-fi stations - the Telstra mobile phone tower is about 200m away.

Why can't we jump right through to that new dimension where all the latest communications devices are hard-wired into the (public) building as standard infrastructure? Perhaps at a viewing platform or desk/lounge in one corner. Lots of people would go there just to plug in, with entertainment, by their peers, happening on site.

Some sort of readout for what is going on on the roof could also be included at that desk. The 'flight desk' maybe?
Elena Higgins Wow, sounded like another truly magical muso event, bringing the spirit of the community together! Great to read about the wonderful occassion! Thank you Maggie Times! Huge kudos and blessings to the musos! Love ya all!
CGN I enjoyed the Musos Club night. Great music for us folk who have moved on from our "clubbing days" and aren't into the thumpity thump music. Gee am wondering if it could be a bi-monthly event, at least, weather permitting of course, as the location and venue is GREAT. I'd be prepared to pay a small entry fee, say $5, to cover expenses and even any left over cash could go to an island charity. How good were those Fire Flyz, four thumbs up from me.
Martin Gibson Life Celebration today
vale & peppe Martin was so proud of Magnetic and it's sunset!It's a fantastic idea to give his name to a new track and lookout.We will be honered to make a donation for this project that can represent which special and wonderful person Martin was. A big hug with love to Lorna.
Val & Peppe from Italy
Musos 10th Anniversary Concert set for July 23
Edwina Carey love this poster and hope to be there
chasmac Shit-hot poster AND Vacant Lot! Electrifying!
Tony Love the poster, but where's Wally?
Claire Yeah I'm there!!!!
Hock Hey, I will share a bottle of Yellow with whoever can correctly name all the faces on the poster, looking forward to great night!
elena Fab poster and article! Love it!
Bastille Day French flavour to Jazz Party benefit this week.
David The character in the poster mustn't be French; mon ami, mon amie, mes amis, mes amies... but not mon amis
Skate park goes solar
Kylie Dodd Congratulations Maggie! To the Townsville:Solar City team and the local committee that have made this happen, you guys ROCK! Go Jules, and I hope you have a great day Maggie but I thank all the gods that I'm not there to have to cope with the official unveilling!
Cr Roberts' update following budget
Gabbie Where is "Manday" Avenue?? typo?? How about some money being spent on establishing paved footpaths? Uneven footpaths, with divets due to loss of tree courtesy of Yasi, contributed to a sprained ankle of one resident taking her morning walk today to my knowledge.
Islanders rally against the accident that's waiting to happen
Jenny Stirling What do I think? I think there was a lot of hot air blowing around on a cool winter's day on Maggie. The issue is one of duty of care as part of a social contract that an elected council makes with its residents. The road is unsafe, dangerous even and the council should spend the money on it, regardless of the failure of other levels of government. End of story.
Helen Has anyone been able to find the proposed artist's rendering of the walkway that the pollies said was on the council web site? I did a search on Arcadia from their home page and got 0 matches. Obviously we don't exist!
Chris C Great report George - especially for anyone like me who couldn't be there (if you'd seen me goal umpiring the kids footy on Saturday you'd understand why!!).

While the politician's buck passing (and omisions about their own party's failure to act when they held power)was as expected, the thing that I find fascinating about this debate is the total absence of discussion about cost effective alternatives to a walkway.

In particular, there is already an alternative walkway over the hill which , while not the easiest of walks, is far, far safer and is manageable by all bar the infirmed, the disabled or those on skateboards or bikes. My guess is that it could be vastly improved at probably a 10th of the cost of the proposed walkway.

But the most interesting thing about this option (other than no one talking about it) is that it seems that Council has gone out of its way to ensure that the walkway isn't used - the only signange is a small sign opposite on the Nelly side and similar on the Arcadia side where both the sign and the actual entrance to the walkway are almost completely obscured from the walkers' view!

If I weren't cynical, I'd be suspicious!!

Steve Lane
Go you good things!

The footpaths from Pinic to Horseshoe are probably one of the busiest in the country outside a major metro inner-city area.

There are not many projects in Queensland so sorely overdue of funding. Locals, tourists and backpackers alike use those roads daily in huge numbers.

What a dangerous oversight...
Islander creativity on show in health planning
Dot Church I was so sorry I could not attend as I was so worried about what QLD Health had in mind. I really thought they had an ulterior motive but from what you have reported I feel a little better. Thanks to Angie Moore and to all attended and raised some of our issues.
Rusty Carvolth Gee, sounds like a pretty positive meeting. But I would have thought having RAAF and Army bases over town would have meant a local backup for evacs. It's certainly the case for emergency evacs from Lord Howe Island, a much more remote location than Maggie. Maybe someone needs to persuade the State and Federal MP's to get talking and sort it.
Vale Martin Gibson: 1942 - 2011
Wendy Tubman Doesn't the smile say it all? What a lovely, kind and sincere man - who will be hugely missed by very very many. Hard to believe we won't be seeing you again, my friend. Thanks for being you. Sincerest condolences to Lorna.
nev grimshaw Martin was one of the nicest persons I have known.
Sincere condolenences to Lorna- Nev and Dot Port Fairy Vic
Barbara Gibbs So doesn;'t seem so long that I got a wave and a big smile from Martin. He was vigilantly assisting in the cleanup in my yard after the cyclone and welcomed the rainwater and cake(; What a loss! Martin always had a big smile and kind word and was an enthusiastic student of Don Kinsey's Science classes at the U3A. He will be sadly missed by many, but none more so of course, than Lorna. She will be lost without his company. Thank goodness they finally had at least a little time away together.
rebecca That's really sad, thinking of you Lorna.

Margot & Paul Curtis We were very lucky. Martin was our neighbour. Martin was the neighbour from heaven. He would do anything for you...from fixing your leaking roof, to giving you a lift to the ferry, to sharing a quiet little drink on the veranda as the sun went down. His sense of humour and fun was an inspiration. He had a comedic talent that would have made him a fortune on the stage. Martin’s Monday Mumblings, his weekly emailed group bulletin, had us in fits of laughter each week and showed his great talent as a writer. Together, Martin and Lorna were the dream team....the dream friends...and they lived right next door. But we couldn’t help but notice that we weren’t the only ones fortunate to have Martin as a neighbour: for Martin and Lorna had many neighbours, spread right across the island. Martin was the perfect and most wonderful neighbour to us all.

alastair What else can I say about a wonderful neighbour and an all round lovely man -good bye old mate and you;ll live on in our thoughts always
Sylvia Hayes So sorry to hear this sad news.My thoughts are with you, Lorna.
Sue I couldn't believe the news and I am extremely sad that this lovely, lovely man is not with us anymore. Such a nice gentleman has left us all too soon. His cheerful and helpful nature will be sorely missed in everything he was involved in and I can't express the loss I feel even though I was only a peripheral member of his circle of friends. I will miss your cups of tea and background support at our meetings, dear friend. RIP xoxo
Gill Nash
One of the kindest men I've ever met. I am so grateful for everything he did to help my old dad, Bill Tubman and for all the hospitality and assistance from both Lorna and Martin on my visits to MI. My thoughts are with you Lorna at this very sad time.
Natalie Please could someone pass on our note to Lorna as we are not on the island and cannot do so in person.

Hi Lorna,

Our most sincerest condolences.

We will be thinking of you over the next few days and feel for your loss. I was shocked to hear the news and can only give you my best wishes at this hard time. I am sure you will be surrounded with good friends to pull you through the coming days, although the past few (especially those overseas) will not have been easy, at least you don't have to go it alone on the island.

Love Perry and Natalie
Daniel and Rose daniel Dear Lorna,
Sorry to hear about you sad loss.
We knew Martin many years ago when we lived in Dampier WA.
He had a yacht called Hobbit, and many a time we spilt our beer on Hobbit while Martin was telling us yarns.
Lorna our thoughts are with you at this time.
Regards Daniel and Rose and Puppies.
alison Such a sad loss to such a wonderful man. Thoughts are with Lorna and family at this time
George & Jenny Brachmanski Rest in peace Martin our thought are with you Lorna.
marie de Monchaux An extraordinary man, may he rest in peace. My thoughts are with you Lorna.
pamela My prayers are with you and your loved ones in the time of your loss, Lorna. Losing your soulmate and partner is sad and we all here on the island are thinking of you. Pamela Chambers
Ray Gartrell Thinking of you at this time Lorna and we will be praying for you. Linda and Ray Gartrell
George Hirst Hi Lorna, This is so sad and I have been thinking about Martin a lot since the news. It's sometimes just the little things that mean so much and I can hear him so clearly, when answering a phone call from me, exclaiming with great enthusiasm and cheer and drawing it out just a bit for effect, "It's young George!" And, the weird thing was, it always made me feel a little younger too!

Hoping you can find the strength to make it through these hard days.
Claire Condolences to Martin's family and friends on his passing. I only met Martin once over a SES matter and I thought "What a nice gentleman". Another star in heaven.
Sara Shaw So many wonderful memories of such a great soul who we will be sadly missed, especially his quips about moving those "blooming" Bay Days Festival flags followed by his cheeky smile and a chilled glass of white after a hard working day. Our thoughts are with you Lorna. Have a safe trip home. Lots of love to you through this time. Sara xx
Patricia MacQueen Dear Lorna,
Thinking of you at this very sad time,
Have a safe journey back home,
In our thoughts and prayers,
Patricia and Family..
Tania Honey
Love and thoughts for you Lorna, very sad indeed. Martin was a gem. xxx Tania, Phil and the boys.
Ric Thompson and Candy Butler Dear Lorna,
As you know we knew Martin but didn't get to know him well. But in reading the many, many tributes it is clear that perhaps in fact we did know the real Martin. For Martin, on dropping Lorna off at the ferry would always share his infectious smile towards us in the presence of a more than generous wave whilst somehow keeping control of his loyal Moke as it headed off into the distance. Lorna our thoughts are with you during this most difficult time and we wish you strength, especially over the forthcoming days ahead. With love Ric and Candy XXX
John Chapman Martin was always most welcoming and hospitable whenever we visited the Island. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Lorna.

John Chapman
Paul and Carol Mills Dear Lorna, it seems only a few minutes ago that we were talking to you and Martin about your trip. Martin, the best of neighbours and a wonderful, kind and thougtful man, will be greatly missed. Love Paul and Carol
Murray Withers Martin was a lovely, helpful man who was a great supporter of Lorna and her work. Vivienne and I send our thoughts and prayers to you Lorna
Mandy Johnstone How very sad to hear this terrible news. Martin, you were such a wonderful and special person who will be so greatly missed.
Lorna, know that we are all thinking of you at this most difficult time.
Mandy Johnstone
Alan Patterson We are all saddened by Martin's sudden passing away. He was a true gentlemen & was always considerate & courteous to all of us at the Pharmacy. Our sincere condolences to Lorna, you are in our thoughts & prayers at this time.
Alan & staff @ Magnetic Island Pharmacy
Shirley Sorokin Dear Lorna, I will always have a warm feeling when I think of the welcome Martin always had for us. I don't think I have ever met a nicer man. All my thoughts are with you, your family and friends. Love Shirley and Toby.
Allyson A lovely man who'll be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with you Lorna,

John and Allyson
Judy Chapman Martin was a man who on first meeting made you feel you'd been friends for a long time. On every visit up to the island he popped round to welcome us back and to invite us for a meal. We always felt comfortable to pop in, ask advice or share a drink. He "went the extra mile" to be kind and helpful and his death is a huge loss. Dear Lorna our thoughts and prayers are with you. May you gain comfort from all your friends at this sad time.
Michael Schmidt Dear Lorna,
Oh, gee whizz Lorna, my deepest sympathy, thoughts and well wishes are with you at your extraordinarily tragic loss of Martin.
Michael Schmidt.
Pen Sheridan Martin was such a lovely bloke. I have a picture in my head of him tootling along in his moke giving me a big wave and a chirpy smile. He was creative and passionate too, the Island will be a poorer place without him. Lorna, we are all thinking of you at this very sad time. love Pen
Pete Jessop Lorna, I am devastated by this news. I have never met Martin, but I feel as though I have. I have known you since Manchester University Theatre days. My heart reaches out to you.
Much love, - Pete
Dot Church Sincerest condolences Lorna, what a sad time for you and even sadder as you were enjoying a well earned holiday and so close to entering the twilight years: the best years of one's life together. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Jil and Michael O'Keeffe Dear Lorna, We, like the whole of the island, are so saddened to hear of our dear Martin's passing. The term "nature's gentleman" may well have been invented for Martin. We will miss his anecdotes, his cooking, his laughter, his contribution to community,and above all his friendship. Our thoughts are with you.
Jo Asquith Lorna, you and Martin made me feel so welcome when I arrived on the Island with your warm stew and company. Your house was one clearly filled with love and my thoughts are with you.
Lindell & Tom Vaudrey Sad as our family is that Martin has gone to the great drawing board in the sky, we will have the fondest memories of such a warm loving man who loved his life with great gumption. His love for his wife, the friendship & support to us all, and our community has earned him the greatest respect and love from all who knew him. Lorna our love & thoughts are with you.
Julie Heath So sad to hear about Martin - way, way too soon. Sincerest condolences Lorna, am thinking of you. Such a wonderful funny gorgeous man, such a loss. Love Julie
Val and Norm Lorna, your twilight years with Martin have been so tragically cut short. Judging by the comments above, memories of Martin across the Island and beyond will extend well into what would have been his octogenarian years (and wouldn't he have loved such a celebration). His was a life well-lived but he deserved longer on this earth of ours. Travel safely, Val
Jim Davis My condolances and sympathy are with you Lorna. Martin was a real gentleman of the highest order. My thoughts are with you and I share your sorrow.
Andrew Huyton Will be missed tremendously by all his family, relatives, friends and colleagues. Just glad that he was able to see all his relatives and a lot of friends in England over the last couple of weeks on their European Tour.
All my love and safe journey back to Oz tonight. xxx Andrew
Marion Lorna, Martin's kindness, his infectious smile and generous nature will certainly be missed by me and obviously many many more. Thoughts and much love surround you at this time.XXX
Rosie and Bill Bill and I are so upset to learn of Martin's premature death so far from home. Lorna,I am sure the island community will give you the support you need to see you through this catastrophe. Condolences Bill Giles-Grigg and Rosie Whalen
peter morrispn-conway I have just read all these amazing and touching thoughts and words about you martin and they are all very true. Thanks for being my great neighbour and friend and not letting me know what new invention you were working on, I'm sure we will find them all in the garage. I will miss our times together, you on the verandah with a cup of tea and me with my fingers through your hair. Lorna we will be here for you when you get home, big hugs peter xxxxx
Geoff and Sharon Sad news.
Martin made some visiting English friends of ours so welcome at the cottage a few years back that I think they thought that it came supplied with an Instant Friend,typical,eh!?!?!?
He will be sorely missed and our thoughts are with you Lorna
Derek & Lorraine Our thoughts are with you Lorna. A devestating loss for you and a major loss for the community. We will all miss this quiet achiever. RIP Martin.
Cassandra Sigsgaard Terribly sad news. I am so sorry and shocked to hear of Martin's passing, having just seen him so recently here in London, and looking so well. A wonderfully warm and kind man, with a great sense of humour, and the giver of wonderfully warm hugs. Lorna, all our thoughts are with you at this very sad time.
Gary Hunn Such sad news, our thoughts and prayers are with you always Lorna. A truly wonderful man that we feel privileged to have known. We've all lost one of life's true gentlemen and a fine friend.

Gary & Susan
Kelly Grech So sorry to hear the sad news, a devastating loss to the island. Sending my deepest condolences to Lorna, my thoughts are with you.
Damien I had the pleasure of knowing Martin briefly. The above tributes highlight his many fantastic qualities. I will always think of Martin as a polite gentleman with an infectious and somewhat sheeky smile!
My heart is filled with sadness for you Lorna however irrespective of the future path you find yourself on, I and many many others will provide you with all the support, hugs, laughter and tea you need.
George & Jake Such tragic and sad news. I am lost for words.

Thinking of you at this time Lorna.

George & Jake
peppe + vale we have lost a big friend but overall I (peppe) have lost a man I called Dad in my married day.Now we are crying but I aknow that He is looking on every body and smile and protect us.
karen How very sad that Martin's time on this earth has ended. He helped me as a fledgling celebrant. From the guest list for Val and Peppe's wedding, to the fantastic reception and of course the wonderful accomodation. Lorna you are the luckiest lady on earth to have known Martin so closely. Take care, be gentle to youself and allow yourself to grieve.
John & Pauline Moore Have only just heard. So sorry that we missed the chance to catch up with M.and L., having moved some distance from London just as they were due to hit the UK. We would endorse so many of the lovely tributes here to Martin - not least Margot and Paul's reference to his 'comedic talent'. We hardly knew Martin but, having recently been added to his 'Mumbles' distribution list, looked forward greatly to his next set of whimsical musings on life. Susie and Dave, our two, spoke so warmly of Martin's (and Lorna's)generosity and hospitality when they stayed with them. We were really looking forward to getting to know the old boy better when he next visited here. More than a gentleman. We shall miss what might have been.
(Our love, of course, to cousin Lorna)
Jo & Bernie Fisher Dear Lorna,

So very sad for you. You both had a marvellous and full life together. Thinking of you through these very difficult times. With love and best wishes.
Carden Dear Lorna, sending you all my loving thoughts at this very sad time. Well, we all know that it was difficult to catch Martin without a smile, and that life was always sweet around him. I am on long service leave at the Sunshine Coast and will not be back in Townsville until October. I do hope that you are surrounded by kind people to help you at this terrible time. Love to you, Carden
Dave Frew So sad to hear such tragic news about Martin. He was a bloomin' good bloke. We are all thinking of you Lorna.
Marjorie and Don Glasson Dear Lorna
Our loving thoughts are with you at the terrible loss of your soul mate. The Island will be all the poorer without the presence of Martin. He has been such a key person in ensuring the care of the beautiful environment that you and he have treasured.
Mrs Jill Yates (nee Gibson) Please dedicate the screening of the film Made in Dagenham to Martin. Our father worked at "Fords" during the war 1939-1945.
Thank you all on Magnetic Island and Nelly Bay in particular for being part of Martin's very happy life. My four children, in NZ and now in Sydney and Brisbane, were in part his four children (neices and nephew). They loved him dearly.
Miss you Martin from Little sister Jill.
Sally Elliott Dear Lorna
Thinking of you and hoping you feel the warmth and affection during this sad and awful time for you. You are in my prayers.
Ann Waller Dear Lorna - it was such a shock to hear of Martin's passing. We can only imagine the circumstances you found yourself in so far from home.
I first met Martin in Tom Price, Western Australia in 1971 and we were friends for 40 years. I still remember him bopping around his kitchen 'singing' his rendition of "LA International Airport" whilst he cooked his famous pork chops and mashed spud! A dear friend who welcomed Graeme and I to the Island on our honeymoon in 2004. Many wonderful memories and we will miss his Christmas newsletter and emails.
You were married to one of the best Lorna and I know you made him very, very happy. Take care of yourself and God bless.
Ann and Graeme Waller
John and Ruth Spalding We didn't know Martin very well, but have very fond memories of our soiree at Paluma where he kept us greatly entertained. Lorna, please accept our deepest condolences. Life just sucks sometimes and seems so unfair! You live in such a beautiful community where Martin made a huge impact and will be hugely missed. John Freeman also passes his best wishes to you. Hugs from Ruth and John xxx
Garry Taylor We're so sorry to hear of your tragic loss Lorna. We rented Kareeka two years ago and Martin and yourself welcomed us like old friends. I supplied you with freshly caught fish and Martin supplied me with laughs and a fantastic outlook on life,when god made Martin he broke the mould, truly one of the best, from Garry and Karen Taylor.UK
janet muir Dear Lorna. Martin was a Gentleman and a Gentle man. A privilege to have known him Travel slowly Lorna.

Janet Muir
sue hempstead It's taken me all this time to get my head round Martin no longer being with us. How very very sad. He was a very special man & how he put up with me in his house for 2 years I shall never know. He & Lorna re-awakened my life. Wish I lived nearer Lorna. Sue hempstead
Hether Ghelf I am saddened by your loss. Our thoughts are with you, Lorna! Deepest sympathy. Take care of yourself.

Hether Ghelf, Blackbaud
Joanne Backen Keune Dearest Martin, always good for a cuddle, you and Lorna were there at my marriage last year and have mentored me since I was 19. I am greatly saddened by our loss - and wish like Sue that I again lived nearer to you Lorna. all my love. Joanne Backen Keune, Montana USA
margy gaynor Darling Martin our friend. How we all miss you. And how I will always expect to hear your cheery voice when I drop round to "Another Day...". Some things are never the same.

Big hug to you Lorna. I think of you and your Martin so often.

Bridget Riggs Dearest Lorna,
I am so sorry to hear of Martin's passing, my thoughts are with you, Bridget
Notice: Public meeting over future of Island health services
julie V Does anyone have any idea about what is being proposed?
Patrick Collins are we to be told of a cut to services ? or is this to establish the need for a permanent Dr at the Clinic working reasonable hours ?
$30,000 for limited hours childcare funding to continue for 2011-12
Tatjana Good news,It is such an essential service for the island, also big THANKS to Lana who decided to committ herself to run the Kindy as well as the Limited Hours CC and save the Magnetic Island Child care in the first place. What would we do without you? Lets hope the island can remain a place for the young families to raise their children in Paradise >Come on Mr Dick make it happen...Love Tatjana
Deb Fantastic news and a credit to the persistence and hard work of Lana and all parents and friends of the centre who fought so hard to have the funding reinstated.
Ray Gartrell This is a great outcome for the Maggie Island Community and in particular those who will now have a service that is much needed. I congratulate Lana and all the people who were persistent in their endeavours to maintain the pressure on all levels of Government. Good to see the State Govt has funded this and they need to be given credit for this. Well done to all. Regards Ray Gartrell
Walkway protest on the way
wendy Tubman There is confusion in the land! The correct way to address our local Federal member is: Mr Ewen Jones MP. A simple way of remembering when to use the title 'The Hon.' when referring to a Member of Parliament is to ask the question: 'is the person a Minister/the Prime Minister?' If the answer is 'no', then, with a very few exceptions, which do not apply to Mr Jones, the correct title is just plain old Ms, Mrs, Mr, Dr etc.
Lea But however we should or shouldn't address Parliamentarians, the main issue being addressed here has to be recognised. I am unable to attend the meeting but send my full support for the completion of the very dangerous walkway.
Lea of Rheuben Terrace
Mondo Sounds like it could be a good weekend to come to the Island. That road has been a risk to public health and safety for far too long. Exercise is supposed to be good for your health.
Ian Great initiative, finally a little action rather than just more talk. I won't be on the island to join in but fully support the initiative.
Letter: V8 event shuts down computer shop
Gabbie You know you're hitting your head against a brick wall going to the TCC and the local media as they will be ghung ho and all "geared" up for this race. They're probably working out which corporate box invite to accept. Have you gone further afield seeking legal advice? Law firms outside of town, e.g. Slater & Gordon. They like a good "fight". Ever consider writing in BIG BOLD LETTERS on a BIG SHEET something like "v8's = LOSE OF BUSINESS" and hang said sheet from the top of the building? Cameras bound to pick it up. Good Luck.
Barbara Gibbs Then it is time to get petition together and see how many back you for compensation. The TCC brag about the millions they make from this event, whilst denying smaller events funding on that very basis, so they should be forced to compensate an existing business for every hour of business lost.
Alan Renton The Council closes the road. Surely the Council should compensate.
Kerry Pretty typical of how the council panders to the corporates in Townsville.The state of the Townsville Mall for the past 10 years is perfect example of how the corporates have trashed,degraded,shamed and abandoned our beautiful city. Be assured the TCR are not the only business that has suffers the V8 invasion.Many of our regular customers at Comics Haven avoid the city region in an attempt to bypass the bogan V8 event all together. Sure it makes millions of dollars and provides casual work for several hundred people for 3 or 4 days but the money doesn't stay in Townsville or benefit local business unless you are lucky enough to land the catering contract. I think it only fair that they pay for Townsville Computer Recyclers rent for at least the duration of the race.As a family owned small business we have endured the racket and noise for the past two years being situated on Charters Towers Road but this year we will probably do what our customers do and leave town its just not worth it!
Tony COCKran V8 Supercars is a BUSINESS. It is not motor SPORT. Everybody in V8 Supercars is paid. Sue them. And the Council. And everyone else. But Channel 7 broadcasts it so they will not want to know about it. Maybe try Current Affair. Good luck.
chasmac Try contacting the V8 corporation and asking for some free advertizing (maybe on the Safety Car) to compensate for lost business. Bagging them will get you nowhere but loving-up might get you a freebee.
Tell them you support the V8s and would be happy to carry promo advertizing on your shopfront. Sucking's as good as blowing old mate.
Al You could try the old fashioned "protest: to draw attentiion. Possibly chaining yourself to the crash barrier outside your shop (as opposed to a tree). As a fellow business owner I sympathise with your predicament. I suppose Council does not credit you Rates for this period?
Mike This concept that all of Townsville falls to its knees and pays homage to the V8's is rubbish. There are people out there who aren't petrol heads and want to continue with their business.
The comments in this string are quite sensible. Surely some compensation is due!
Byrnes - Business Lawyers Legislation relating to motor racing in Queensland is the most outlandish Act. The law says that the race organiser is boss of everyone and has absolute power over the gazetted area and is answerable to no one except the Minister. It says no environmental law, noise polution, compensation laws or anything apply.
WALLY Funny how they can promote the sale of the V8 Supercars business for multi millions of dollars and it makes big news on how everyone wins. Everyone except the honest small business operators that suffer.
The Federal, State & Local governments don't care as they make the laws so that V8 business is untouchable.
Go to the opposition media & fight your case.
Ponder this,, what happened to the mangroves that were chopped down to build the bridge behind the Civic Theatre. Nothing !!!! Get the greenies on board Oh did I suggest that
Fight hard Graham
John Ah yes, you can't beat this Queensland Labor Government for sheer hypocricy and arrogance in passing outlandish laws. Makes Joh seem a rank amateur in comparison. After all, why would the strain being put on all of the small businesses in the gazetted area be of concern to the race organisers or TCC. They're not losing money or their staff being put off.
Sally I am just wondering why people visiting his shop aren't able to access his shop from Railway Avenue, from Queens Road.

I note that this premises has no problem having people access the rooftop during the event - so why not leading up to it. Perhaps he could be a little more proactive and advise his customers that they can access from Queens Rd.

If he had no access whatsoever then I think that there would be grounds but that is not the case.
Graham Sally, I guess that if your employer said that they were going to pay you 10% of your weekly wage this week because of the V8 event you would just except that?
Pat Coleman why not diversify your busineess during the event.get onto both the feminists and the adult shops and offer penis enlargement therapy for all those who see a v8, want one but cant afford one . It would surely be a complex protest (in terms of winning the business of those ashamed of their old fella and have one of those inadequecy issues ..hence the nature of the complex!).Noisy things drive me nuts and they are 200 mts away ....boom boom bloody boom of the gear boxes drives me nuts!
Gustav channel dredging to begin
Barbara Gibbs And if there weren't rock walls causing the accretion in the first place, there would be a deeper harbour(:
Libby This 7000 cubic metres of sand, through normal riverine transport processes, was on its way to Nelly Bay. I have been pondering the rationale behind removing this material from the sand-budget of Nelly Bay (a bay with a major sand erosion problem) and relocating it to Picnic Bay, and the land-fill site that is already very close to its use-by date (hence the need for a waste transfer station very soon). Can someone explain how this activity doesn't exacerabate both of these problems (the cost of which will ultimately be borne by the entire rate base of this city).
chasmac Um, if there weren't rock walls there wouldn't be a harbour.
chasmac It's a shocker, Libby. The terms and conditions of the original construction of the harbour included a clause that no material excavated in the marine park (State or Federal - creek or reef flat respectively) leave the site. It was intended that any sand washed down Gustav Creek be captured in the sand trap just above Sooning St before it reached the harbour and trucked across to the Nelly Bay beach outside the harbour. Of course it has been discovered that the creek sand is often half mud and filled with trash and not suitable for spreading on the beach. In other words, the original idea is a failure and the authorities have to find another solution.
The excavated mouth of Gustav Creek (downstream of the Sooning St bridge) is now a canal estate which, under the Qld Canals Act is a Local government responsibility - much the same as a street. Not surprisingly, heaps of sand has found its way straight under the bridge and into the canal which is now so shallow that many boats touch the bottom and cannot be anchored at the pontoons. Council must put this right - it is a 'street' after all. What to do?
As ever, government authorities at every level are deaf and blind to each other's issues. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) insists that the Constitution Bridge be kept clear of sand so that the Presto Breakwater remains an island. The Queensland Government ducks the beach erosion question by making Townsville Council responsible for fixing it. The Council carries out a review and comes up with a cockeyed 'solution' which actually depends on consents from State and Commonwealth governments who simply do not oblige. So another short-term solution is sought.
The problem is right in the court of GBRMPA but no one ever demands that the Feds take responsibility for the cock-ups their decisions have wrought.
When Member for Herbert, Ewan Jones, is on the Island in a couple of weeks he should forget about meddling in local issues (the Nelly Bay-Arcadia walking track) and actually do something that is squarely related to his own federal role down in the Marine Park at Nelly Bay.
Gabbie But will Ewan be able to find his way here in the first place?
wendy Tubman This is yet another cost of the Nelly Bay Harbour. This dredging; the recent dredging and loss of trees in the creek up-stream of Sooning Street (between the Sooning and Barton Street bridges); the loss of Nelly Bay beach (foreshadowed by JCU's MMU's report, commissioned but ignored by government; the loss of paperbarks downstream of Sooning Street (who remembers them? - there was even a management plan prepared for them...).

And of course, we will not mention the economic disaster that is the NBH residential development - the development we had to have in exchange for this so, so costly harbour...

OK, its over. But, can we at least learn from past mistakes.

Let's think a bit more carefully about the longer-term impacts of the location of the transfer station, Radical Bay etc.

Notice: New water mains pipeline project
wendy tubman I do every dietary thing I can to ensure that I am not an impacted resident.
sheila roach I absolutely agree -I have seen these animals in our outback and have watched them loaded onto road trains to be transported to the middle east and indonesia and have felt even then ,so sorry for them.They deserve respect and care which they obviously arent getting in Indonesia.Humans dont get much so why would animals?Stop all live exports.
Island scientist reveals a climate-changed future reef
Barbara Gibbs Wouldn't it be great to have Katharina speak at World Oceans Day on the topic?
Maybe AIMS will have her info in their tent.(:

Steve Lane 'Fabricius'. Hmmmm....
That's Latin for 'Fabricates' isn't it?

chasmac Well, you asked the question Steve. Did you bother to look an answer or are you just a fabulist?
Davo Lane, Hmmm, is that another word for "dead end"? About right for the subject. Don't let mugs spoil your day Dr Fabricius.
Ferry timetable changes cause mixed reaction
Melitta I used to catch the last ferry's when I lived on the island & worked shifts in Townsville and more often then not I was the only passenger on the boat, Sunferries cant seriously be expected to run services just in case a couple of passengers might use it
Barbara It is wrong that those who may need to work on the mainland in hospitality are condemned to either pay for accommodation or lose jobs...or give up their lifestyle altogether. It is also wrong that we do not have the ability to have a night out on the mainland without having to act like boarding school kids and be home early.
labra Service providers need to provide a service and like so many providers they need to take the good times with the bad. I totally agree with Barbara. So many service providers these days only will provide a service that suits them and do not consider the clients they are providing a service for!This also happens when there is no competition i.e. from another ferry company. I bet they would not cut these services if there was anther ferry service involved as well!!!
chasmac Whatever. I don't mind baseless whingeing about the wrongness of service providers but condemning Magnetic Island to the tyranny of 'competing' ferry services is one bridge too far. We have done competition - it was a dismal failure. For at least ten years through the 1990s we had two or more operators - ending with two services operating at exactly the same times so that one wouldn't be disadvantaged. They both charged the same (high) fares and each business struggled because there wasn't enough turnover (about 280,000 return trips per year) to maintain both and each cut costs to the bone meaning working for them was also bad news. We're in clover now.
Fortunately, I don't have to argue the case here because the State of Queensland has spared me the trouble. Sunferries is a service provider to the Queensland Government and cannot change its fares or its timetable without specific consultation with the government. It's all there in the record but who cares?
Ron Hocking A few points

Lorna: If you missed the 1030 PM, you wont have the luxury of waiting for the 1130 Monday to Thursday.
We will all have to be home by midnight Fri an Sat.
Townsville has regular cultural events that some islanders attend such as folk club and PBLSC on Thursday nights. These are no longer an option for islanders. Very few events finish in time to catch a 1030 ferry.
The offer for Grammar was for one night, not the whole week as was needed for those in the play for rehearsals.

Mellita: At least you had the option to get home from shift work, we no longer do.

Chasmac: So the government was consulted on this these changes? Does any islander remember being asked if we wanted the late ferries cancelled?
The letter drop to homes from Sunferries fails to even mention the cancellation of 1130 ferry, perhaps they hoped we wouldnt notice.
I dont think we should be taking the reduction of services lying down. Protest to the provider and the government. You maybe the one that misses the 1030 PM and has to find somewhere to stay in TSV.

chasmac Whilst it's true that the public has not been consulted, we virtually never have been. However, I am certain that the QG has approved this change after consideration of what would be commercial-in-confidence submissions from the company. Should these materials be publicly available? I doubt it would help.
When Sunferries first became the sole operator and entered into its protected business model with the government there were (I think) about 15 services per day. Now there are about 19, soon to come back to 18. No one has ever complained that there were too many services, that this might be wasteful, that the luxury of virtually empty vessels operating late on week nights should continue in perpetuity regardless of the expense.
On a slightly tangential subject, the 'old' Magnetic Island 'new' ferries, Sun Cat and Palm Cat were seen very recently plying their trade on Sydney Harbour - Sun Cat on the express Manly run and Palm Cat seemingly on some sort of whale watching operation - both out of Circular Quay.
Lea On this debate what we need to pay attention to is the following: Sunferries has been given "exclusive commercial rights" to operate passenger ferries to the island on the condition that they provide services to cater for the community of residents living on the island. The fact that late ferries have fewer passengers and may not be commercially viable as such should not be the only angle to consider here. Under the agreement of "exclusive rights" haven't those late services been part of the deal? Can Sunferries please disclose what the conditions are of their "exclusive rights" more openly to the island community with respect to provision of services? Can Sunferries please also detail to us what has been the consultation process with the island community prior to introducing those changes? Exlusive commercial agreements should cater for "diversity" of needs not "majority" of needs. The lack of late night services has serious implications as highlighted by some of your readers not to mention others like younger generations wanting to stay until later at parties on the weekend but still be safely back at home to sleep (which is much appreciated by the parents!). The exclusion of the late services means a clear reduction of the "opportunity" spectrum of cultural, social and ocupational activities to be pursued by island residents on the mainland at night. This should be a serious issue to consider.
labra I totally agree with you Lea. As I said the Sunferries are a service provider and as such have to provide a service to their clients even if the late night one does not pay!!! No one on the Island as far as I know was consulted about these changes.
chasmac Lea, when you use the expression "exclusive commercial rights" in inverted commas, you imply that this is some sort of quote from some source like a contract. Is this the case? I think you will find that there is an agreement (not "exclusive", not "commercial" and not detailing "rights") between the company and Queensland Transport, very similar to other agreements with the previous Magnetic Island Bus Service and presumably now with Sunbus. That agreement, which contains numerous mutual obligations and responsibilities, is administered by Q.Transport, not Sunferries. Why not follow normal convention and ask Q.Transport for details of its publicly administered agreement?
Do you want Magnetic Island's RSL to continue?
Barbara Gibbs In all honesty, the RSL have lost a lot of business and marketeers due to high prices. I simply cannot afford to have a stall as it is a large chunk out of my costs, and after paying for goods to create stuff, cannot make a profit...I keep prices way down as it is. Drinkers complain bitterly that the RSL is way too expensive, so prefer to make their own or go to the pub. I learned in business that to keep customers happy, you cannot charge too much, and if they are able to afford your venue, they will be inclined to support you more. sorry, but I am known for brutal honesty...just reflecting what is being said by visitors and locals alike.
Anon stall cost went up because insurance and electricity went up . . .
drinks prices are the only income of the RSL and this need to pay for the electricity, lawn care, water,
drink prices are the same at the cheapest pubs. . . what are you on about . .you never buy a drink. .
John Becker Some stall holders make a good profit, depending on numbers, and sometimes a loss, due to inclement weather, reduced attendance and other variables.
It is the stall holders products that create the profit or loss - the RSL is not empowered to control attendance or weather.
We at the RSL are sorry that stall holders profits are sometimes marginal or even run at a loss; we would prefer that all stall holders were happy with their takings, but this is beyond our control.
The RSL has ongoing expenses and rents stalls at a rate which goes towards covering some of those costs, but not all. Bar takings also go towards covering those costs which include insurance, utility bills, staff wages and the like. An alternative would be taking a percentage of stall holders' profits which would be intrusive and somewhat draconian.
The stalls are just rented; no leases, no commitment, just have a go. Just so you know, the stall fee Barbara is complaining about is $9
Davo I dunno how the RSL would want to be charging any more than is absolutley necesary. They are an island non-profit not a business. Im just really happy they dont have pokies which are a cancer that pays for many other clubs and RSLs we should appreciate that and pay what is needed.
Patricia It would be a real shame to loose yet another Magnetic Island Venue- it is hard to know what to do to save the R.S.L.from closing other than to hold fund raisers like Bingo- Old time Dance night- Country & Western- Parents without Partners- Mums Dads & Bubs play group-Trivia-Kids Blue light Disco- as there isn't much for the Tweens in the way of entertainment they could charge an entry fee and people could perhaps bring a plate- Good Luck it is hard one..
Kylie Good idea Patricia - I am like-minded and dont want to see our RSL close its doors. We need to get creative and support our island.
Island golfers' triumph
Pete and Sally Clark Fantastic!! and congratulations to all concerned - we're very proud of you
Pete & Sally C
Kylie Harwood Well done guys! You make us proud:)
Stan Wojo I had the priviledge of playing against Magnetic Island in 'B' grade. I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to both Magnetic Island teams on their long overdue success.
Queensland Health responds to e-cig critics
Chris C They won't admit that their press release was misleading and plain wrong will they?

E-cigs are not illegal as they originally claimed - only the importation of nicotine.
jr french I wonder if all of the health workers share the same publicity writer because if you do he or she should be sacked. Pathetic and boring, stop using are children to shock people, its really disrespectful to believe we are that miss informed as to the dangers of any poisonous substance that could harm our children. I have searched and searched to find any child that has suffered from miss use of nicotine juice made for a e cig and guess what NOTHING. Try searching child deaths from cigarettes,bleach,passive smoking and even shampoo and bingo, so why your at it ban all the above as-well. So on a closing note, do your homework before you write any more ill informed junk......
Roberts updates Islanders on Apjohn drainage, waste and more
chasmac Oh dear. Does the opening up of the 'greenfield' site at Cockle Bay for a transfer station suggest that, in due course, other industrial-type activities like workshops, warehousing, concrete batching and steel fabrication will be encouraged to move there? It sure looks like it. It would make sense for Council to recoup some of its costs in setting up the site by selling off a portion for private development. Any money raised would of course be invested in new infrastructure to service the site including better street approaches through Picnic Bay, lighting, drainage etc. Clearly, a transfer station at Cockle Bay is the start of a new stream of heavy vehicle traffic right through the middle of Picnic Bay. Now who would have thought.....?
Townsville residents warned e-cigarettes are poison
Chris C Me thinks that Mr Sellers chose his words very poorly. E-cigs are not by definition dangerous nor do they necessarily contain nicotine.

If fact e-cigs are readily and legally available from a number of australian suppliers none of which sell nicotine 'juice' for the cigs.

Of course, Mr Sellers also doesn't seem to see the irony that nicotine is legal if you buy it from a tobaco company but not in a form so that you can control the amount of intake and (more importantly) do so he without also having to consume the 40-odd toxic chemicals that the cig companies include in their legal products.

As for the effectivness of e-cigs in stopping smoking - I know of two on the island (including myself) for whom they (the non-nicotine type)have helped cut down immensely where none of the other therapies have worked.

It seems to me that they only ones to benefit from this ill-informed (or just badly written) release is the tobacco companies and big-pharma (think nicorette).
Elaine Keller Sophie Dwyer needs to keep up-to-date on medical research. Miss Dwyer, look up these researchers' names: Bullen, Laugesen, Vansickel,Darredeau, Polosa. All have conducted research with smokers and found that e-cigarettes supress nicotine abstinence symptoms without raising BP or heart rate. Have a chat with Dr. Coral Gartner at Queensland University. Look up these names: Etter, Heavner, Siegel, Goniewicz, Dockrell. All have surveyed consumers of e-cigarettes and found that users are successfully substituting them for their smoked cigarettes and reporting their health has improved. In fact, Dockrell of ASH UK found that 3% of UK smokers have made the switch. That's 300,000 fewer smokers in the UK. Wake up Queensland Health. These surveys show success rates of as high as 79%. Contrast that with the patches and gum QH is pushing -- at best a 7% success rate. The Heavner survey showed that 65% of the e-cigarette users had tried at least 4 times in the past to quit, and 21% had tried 10 or more times. Why do you insist on pushing folks into using what's ineffective? Do you still prescribe rubbing butter on a burn?
Phil Sheather I thoroughly concur with both of the above contributors. I am one of two mentioned by Chris and can say quite positively that if you want to give up tobacco, then e-cigarettes are a viable solution. The harmless vapour they produce comes in many flavours (tobacco being just one). Those that I use are completely free of nicotine, as well as all the other toxins involved with tobacco. There is no smell, combustion, ash, or holes in your clothing.
The other incentive of course is the cost: an outlay of around $20 gives the equivalent of 50 packs of cigarettes - work out the math for yourself.
For the doubting Thomases, I suggest visiting the following reseach site

Happy vaporising - it works
chasmac So, are e-cigarettes "illegal in Australia" or are they not? There seem to be two arguments in the same information here.
Patricia After trying and failing dismally to quit many times -where do you purchase e-cigarettes? I am willing to try them,if the law permits!!
David At this time e cigarettes are legal to own and use in Australia. Electronic cigarettes do not have to contain nicotine.

However nicotine is a schedule 7 poison and the unlicensed sale or distribution of it is illegal under federal law. Each state has different regulations, but Queensland just prohibits the sale of nicotine in all but approved forms.

Currently there is no legislation to prohibit the import of nicotine liquid for personal consumption, only the quantity is restricted. This falls under the Therapeutic Goods act 1989 and permits for up to 3 months supply to be imported at one time, and no more than 15 months supply in any 12 months.

As yet, except for exceeding this quantity, there is no other legislated reason to seize shipments.

Not all electronic cigarettes require nicotine in solution in vial form some come with sealed pre-filled cartridges, these are in no way appealing to children, or indeed anyone without the apparatus to use them (constructed from metal and plastic).

Also be aware that NRT lozenges, vapour spray and "breath mints" laden with nicotine can prove fatal to children if ingested. These are freely available without prescription form all pharmacies.

Most of the problem seems to be the fact that electronic cigarettes are perceived as smoking (especially using the name cigarette) which they are not. Nicotine is delivered to the lungs suspended in a non combusted vapour form. Many users refer to the apparatus as personal vapourisers to avoid the stigma associated with tobacco smoking.

Over 300,000 people use electronic nicotine vapourisers in the UK and more across the USA these are almost without question people who have used these devices to cease tobacco use. There have also been no recorded incidence of fatal nicotine poisoning relating to these form of nicotine products.

A simple search of google will find companies willing to provide these products to Australia, there is also an online support forum for further information Aussie Vapers - I cant vouch for the content as I am not a member.

Finally I am not aware of any qualitative study carried out by Queensland Health or indeed any Australian public body into the safety or benefits of vapourised nicotine inhaling. Or if it can be used smoking cessation or as NRT. The claims of Queensland health that there are no benefits is completely without foundation.
Glenn Brown Obviously David Sellars is not a smoker and has not personally felt the effects of nicotine withdrawals and therefore should not really comment on anything at all regarding any smoking aids,the whole e cigarette thing is just another problem for the qld government to have to deal with so an easy cop out is to ban it.

On a personal level i am a truck driver and smoked two packets during the day.after trying patches,tablets and with no success decided to try e cigarettes and along with purchasing 24 mg nicotine liquid from overseas have reduced my smoking to around one packet a week.

In my eyes anything that reduces smoking cigarettes in any way shape of form should be welcomed with opened arms and not just swept under the carpet with a quick" banned"

E cigarettes are freely available online in nsw and qld should give the same privilege to the people also,i am starting to think that it is more the loss in tax dollars that is more the problem in the future.

Buy the way i am smoking an e cigarette as i write this with my family in the same room with no complaints about the smell ,the ashtray how much it is costing and how i am damaging my health and everyones around me so how can this this be a bad thing?
Jay Well have to say who is this Turkey. As already mentioned obviously not a smoker.
having tried everything under the sun, I can certainly say they work in getting off the evil sticks. have not touched one in over 7 months from the day I tried an e-cig and never looked back.
In Fact similar story to Glenn and my family love me for what I have done, no smelly ashtrays, no smelly breath, no smelly clothes, no 2nd hand smoke, I'm fitter, I look healthier, my skin colour has returned, I can smell and taste really well again, the list could go on.

As to the so called seizure and destruction, I hope someone somewhere takes them all to a court of Law as it is not 'illegal' to import for own use, it is illegal to import and sell and fair enough. Of course if all 70 were for one person then that is a bit suss, but if not what is the issue?? (I guess although seems real stupid that no one other than the Big Smoke companies can bring it in and sell) Hmmmm maybe, just maybe there is a good reason for that. Perhaps as said Tax Dollars has a lot to do with it - I'm just saying, you make your own conclusions.

David Sellars says '“We also run mass media campaigns, a Quitline service and programs for high-risk people.”

“Our anti-smoking programs are reducing Queenslanders’ exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, contributing to a culture that supports smokers trying to quit and discouraging young people from taking up the habit,” he said.'

O Really well all I can say is you and the Gov have a very strange way of showing it. E-Cigs work absolute!!
They got me off sk\mokes after smoking for 40yrs how can that be a bad thing in no longer sucking 4000+ Chemicals, Tar and CO2 into me???

As a well known pollie once said;
Please explain!!!!
Mick Cherry I have been a long term smoker, over 45 years. After hundreds of attempts to give up the deadly weed to no avail I finally found the ecig. Not only have I been able to last for over 3 months now without a cigarette, but I have found it easy to gradually reduce the nicotine content of my ecig down from 2.4 to 1.2, next step is the .6. Dont know if I will be able to quit totally but I seem to be heading that way. I am breathing easier, my clothes dont smell, my kids and grandkids are rapt and have finally stopped nagging me. I feel 100% healthier and happier because my sense of smell is returning and that I am no longer a social outcast due to smoking.
These bloody ill informed and moronic pollies are only interested in their loss of tax revenue from me and thousands like me. They would rather ban the only effective means of quitting (for me) than reseaching the true facts about ecigs and encouraging smokers to at least try every method available.
My only regret is that they weren't available 40 years ago because I know that, for me, the damage is probably done.
ECigs are the best product on the market to help quit smoking and I would encourage every smoker to give away the weed and start vaping, they are bloody marvellous.
As for the pollies, you are just proving what we already know - you havnt got a clue
Julie Rayner Cudos to everyone who has written in with their success stories. Here's mine..... I have been smoking for over 30 years @ 40 smokes/day. I have COPD and my doctors have been hassling me for years to give up. The day I got my ecig was the day I gave up. Six months ago now with no withdrawls or nasty side effects. I even used it during my last hospital stay with the blessing of my treating medical team and my lung specialist.
If politicians took the time to listen to the people, they would find that there are heaps of us that have found these things to be the solution to a life time of lung abuse. Not only do they address the physical nicotine addiction on a sliding scale, the cater for the physical addiction as well. I have not met a person yet who has tried an ecig and then continued to smoke. That's a 100% success rate in my circle of the world. Show me another device available that will achieve those results in the ongoing fight with the nicotine demons!
Get a big dose of reality and introduce the ecig as a cessation device. The best thing the Qld Government could do would be register them as a device to stop smoking and offer Medicare rebates. The taxes you loose will be balanced by the reduction in costs for the health system. Think about it! Seriously!
New walking track now open
Bruce J Dargie Absolutely GREAT news! (Perth, WA)
chasmac This must be the first piece of new walking track in the Magnetic Island National Park for decades. A great new walk any time of day, any day. There are grass trees, stringybarks, giant compass-point-aligned stone formations and if you are lucky, a koala or two. For the adventurous there are two or three high granite outcrops surrounding the 'plateau', some of them with fantastic balancing rocks and views to heaven. One of them, an enormous balancing tor with one tonners on top, unnamed I guess, has a stepout shelf with a priceless view over Geoffrey Bay. Take someone with you, they'll enjoy it too.
Thanks to Patrick, Jo, Brian and Co at National Parks and their stone step building team. We are so lucky!
Paul how about the walk at the end of Mandalay ave to H/S it is really bad and some one could slip and fall as the track needs repair desperately
Ron Brennan It is an excellent track, and Patrick and his team are to be commended.
What is needed now is for Ms Johnstone to make representation to senior management of Qld Parks and Wildlife for more resources to be made available for the proper maintenance of this and the already established network of tracks.
Lea Thoroughly agree with Ron. There are some areas of tracks which are badly in need of maintenance.
Lea of Rheuben Tce.
Concerned Yes, but what about the tracks that have been closed? We now have more pedestrians on the road between HSB and Arcadia.
Nelly Bay
Rob Great to see this new track open - it's a really lovely experience. Dear National Parks, could you please send a team or two armed with wipper-snippers to trim the spear grass growing profusely along the existing tracks. It's all at face height and not a pleasant experience for kids and backpackers. (Arcadia to Nelly/Sphinx) Perhaps work for the dole?
I'll even volunteer with other like-minded people. Cheers ... Rob and Bodhi. :)
WOD on the way
Alan Renton Hi,
All strength to the World Oceans Day. However I must ask who gave permission for the nude snorkelling event last year!? Doesn't it break the laws of the land. Whom did it benefit? Perhaps only sales at Xbase.
If we have nudity on this day at this beach why not every beach every day - it is a public beach!!
Or maybe the Townsvillians would like it in their public parks.
Fair go Aussie.
Alan Renton
chasmac I'm not sure if there is any permanent connection between WOD and nude snorkelling at XBase but I would have thought that since no-one in government, Council etc. has authority to give such consent, one of the prerequisites of skinny-dipping is that one neither asks nor expects to receive permission.
Other than the rampant coral spawning around the full moon in November, there is no evidence any nudity 'took place' last year so can't we just assume it was a dream rather than a reality? I'm sure the Great Barrier Reef doesn't care one way or the other.
Andrew Kerans Yes, why not.

Great idea!

It would drive the prudes off the island too :)
Croc sighting off Radical Bay
Skwiz Good job Marty, had a ready hand all day.
Rolf Typically tragic coverage of this story in today's Bully.

Begins "RADICAL Bay residents were given a snappy scare after reports of a crocodile sighting."

Haven't they heard Council refused that application?
Ron Brennan Before nets or baited lines, Alma Bay had an anti submarine net strung across the bay to keep out sharks which were more prevelant then than now.

This net was periodically destroyed by strong south easterlies, and, until replaced, the Arcadia lifesavers would position a spotter, or sometimes two, high up on the rocks half way out on the RHS side of the bay to watch out for sharks.

If one was spotted, a bell was rung to clear the bay.

In light of this sighting, I would suggest a simiar practice be adopted by the lifeguards/lifesavers, especially over the holiday period.

It would be much more effective in sighting nasty predators than being positioned on the clubhouse verandah with a pair of binoculars.
davo Good idea Ron and I rolled laughing too about the radical residents who live in the bullet headed heads of the Townsville Bully. Maggie Times had the real story even if its a pain to hear over easter but better to know what really happened than not, eh?
chasmac I agree Ron, perhaps the Townsville Bulletin could sponsor a couple of spotters on Orchard Rocks? Townies of course. They could look out for submarines as well.
Gabbie I had a laugh at the Bully report as well. Maybe they're so far behind with current events they haven't realised the Boer War is over.
It isn't just Easter this weekend
chasmac This Ken guy's got few issues eh?
Magnetic Island Tourism & Business Awards winner's announced
Barbara Congrates everyone for doing an great job
Barb Interesting to note that 3 of the main awards were awarded to TOBMI members.
chalkie Please....don't make me laugh....Magnetic Island has a long way to go before it would earn 'awards' for service! Talk about "self praise". The whole Tourism award is a farce!
Rose The problem with these types of awards is that it breeds a culture of 'winners'and 'losers'. Already ONLY the 'winners' names have been published but what makes them winners and the other losers???
Neil I heard that only 14 tourist operators entered. Its not hard to work out why some people won.
5.4 earth tremor felt on Magnetic Island
Rob What seismic movement ? That was me letting the big one go after a good night of gastronomical delights the night before !
chalkie I'd like to know where the "gastronomical delights" are to be found on "Maggie".
Kitchen Kev Apart from my own kitchen Id say that the eggplant pizza at Cafe della Sola isn't half bad but wouldn't a good Indian restaurant that keeps most mains around $15 be a godsend on the Rock.
Barbara Gibbs This is a good thing for the island...I have long been advocating that there are far too many useless, toxic products brought to the island and taking up several aisles in the supermarkets, and the sad thing is, all the containers have to be returned to the mainland for processing, and the contents cause pollution of our waters and soils. When are we as an ISLAND, going to realise we have to change our habits and forget the bad living habits that were used in the dirty cities???
Young Magnetic women awarded
Barbara Gibbs What a great idea. It is so important to boost the morale of youth and show appreciation which is so often not the case. Well done girls, keep up the good work. Maybe next time the boys will also be considered...they do a good job too(:
Kylie Harwood Conratulations girls on a job well done! You make our community proud:)
Young Magnetic film makers impress
breanna harwood hope it was good.I wanted to go and see it but we were doing stuff
Chris C What a fantastic bunch of kids (and tallented too!!)

Thanks Matt and the sponsors
amanda With intentions to support local entertainment I attended the film night with an open mind. Unfortunately I left promptly after the slang "gay" was used in a negative manner more than once over a period of 5 mins. To hear a child use this colloquialism is as offensive to a mixed crowd as are racial slurs etc. These are school aged children- what message is being sent here? Needless to say, I am only targeting my distaste toward the adults that organised/edited this project.
TCC’s Radical decision raises questions over DERM's role
Wendy Tubman Congratulations to Townsville City Council, in particular to Crs Veitch and Roberts, for their decision not to approve developer Juniper’s application to create 24 residential lots at Radical Bay. This is certainly a right and proper decision, and neither the Council nor the Councillors need be nervous about establishing a ‘landmark indicator’ in relation to coastal development in Australia or for being ‘principled’ or ‘leading the charge’ – both of which might sound scarily like ‘courageous’ in ‘Yes Minister’ speak.

Not only is the decision sensible, it also reflects similar decisions being taken around Australia. In an article placed online, Freehills (Law Firm of the Year 2010 at the 12th Annual Insto Distinction Awards and first on the US peer survey of Australia’s best lawyers) stated: ‘Local councils are likely to adopt a more conservative approach in approving development as they consider the risks of future negligence claims if landowners suffer loss or property damage. The article, edifyingly, examines recent developments in case law and policy in response to climate change and potential sea level rise, and discusses the implications for developers, owners and local councils in coastal areas – providing examples Australia-wide. It’s the sort of reading that would make our Councillors sleep easy in their decision.

The Freehills article goes on to discuss liability in the event of individual claims of negligence related to property damage associated with climate change and sea level rise. It not only notes the risks to council of being sued, stating, ‘It may be possible to seek contribution from the council to the extent that they are negligent in granting development consents’ but also the risks to developers, ‘...developers who fail to develop and adopt adequate adaptation strategies and measures are likely to attract some form of contributory negligence.’

Freehils also noted a NSW Court of Appeal decision that stated that ecologically sustainable development principles ‘are likely to be an element of public interest in relation to most planning decisions in coastal areas, and failure to consider ESD would provide strong evidence of the failure to consider the public interest’.

The Council would also draw comfort – in the unlikely event that such were needed – from a 2008 paper prepared for the Sea Change Taskforce (made up of local councils around the nation – currently over 68 members, of which Townsville is one). The paper, ‘Planning for climate change: Leading Practice Principles and Models for Sea Change Communities in Coastal Australia’, noted: ‘Failing to exercise due care in approving new developments that may be at enhanced risk of natural hazards such as storm events, flooding or erosion may also become a legal issue for local governments in Australia’. Three years on, this is definitely the case.

Steve Ashton I also congratulate TCC and Crs Veitch and Roberts in particular for their principled stand. There have been major changes to the beach with Yasi and the 2010 king tides which indicates how tenuous the hinterland is. When this risk to ratepayers is combined with the other issues arising from the proposal (such as the 500m access for the public, the consequent impact on island tourism, the environmental impact of the road upgrade that would be required etc) this site is quite unsuitable for development. The real solution would be for the State to purchase the land back (or compulsorily acquire it)and return it to National Park, which is what it should always have been. In the meantime Council have done exactly what they can do, and should be congratulated. Hopefully DERM will review their position and support Council when this matter reaches the Planning and Environment Court.
Wendy Tubman Further to my earlier letter, I would like to know the basis on which DERM accepted the developer’s decision that the ’top of bank’ would be the line, inland from which the (reduced) erosion prone area would be measured. As you note in your article, the ‘top of bank’ was not the line used by Juniper’s consultants when it recommended to the authority that it reduce the width of the erosion prone area from 95 to 60 meters.

But that is not the end of the apparent sleight of hand.

Under the Coastal Management and Protection Act, DERM is required to prepare a document showing declared erosion prone areas, and give a copy of the document to the relevant local council. The document for each council area is an annotated map (in the case of Magnetic Island, Plan No. SC3391).

The document, available on DERM’s website, sets out methods by which the position of the erosion prone area can be determined. The methods are based on various accepted terms: ‘mean high water springs; ‘highest astronomical tide’, ‘seaward toe of frontal dune (normally approximated on aerial photography by the seaward limit of terrestrial vegetation)’ etc ¬– but not one of the methods uses anything called the ‘top of bank’.

This ‘top of bank’ is nothing more than a spurious line on a map, not defined in DERM’s permit. Who will be able to say whether or not the erosion prone area, where development is prohibited, is in the agreed place?

Furthermore, DERM’s document, provided under the Act, states that the method used to determine the location of the erosion prone area must be ‘whichever provides the greater erosion prone area width...’. The made-up ‘top of bank’ method does not do this.

The document also states, ‘Erosion prone areas defined in accordance with the [methods outlined in the document] are deemed to exist throughout all the local authority area/s...’. The erosion prone area accepted by DERM is not so defined; presumably, then, it does not exist.

It is facile for DERM to say that it will not allow development in the erosion prone area when it has reduced the width of the erosion prone area (from 95 to 60 meters) and, inexplicably, shifted the area seaward – both allowing development closer to the water.
Judy chapman As a frequent visitor to Magnetic Island I agree with the other writers in congratulating TCC and specifically Cr Veitch and Roberts for their stand to not approve Juniper's development application at Radical Bay. We have already seen so many disastrous effects of the coastal development around Australia, including at Nelly Bay and the thought of not learning from this beggars belief. I am baffled that Juniper intends to appeal the council's decision and trust council to continue standing firm in their principled decisions
John Chapman As a regular visitor to the Island, Radical Bay is one of a few very special beaches and environments on the island. The Councillors are to be congratulated for their incisive and pricipled stand on this issue that goes way beyond whether the development should be gated or not. No doubt any (hopefully hypothetical) residents of the proposed development would want the Council and State Government to bale them out when the rising waters affect their homes. keep up the good work to protect Radical Bay from such exclusive and out-of-place development.

Ben As a soon to be resident of Magnetic Island - I was dismayed to hear about Juniper's application to develop Radical Bay. I am now encouraged to hear of TCC decision not to approve this development. Over the years of visiting the island I have seen poor development spoil Nelly Bay and indirectly Picnic Bay. Thank goodness there are those standing up against such outrages plans to develop Radical Bay as well. Congratulations to all who endeavor to protect the beautiful and unique place that Magnetic Island is.
B B H The readings from AIMS show that the sea level is rising by .01 of a mm per year so it would take about 5000 years to rise .5 of a meter,not 50
Vandhana Rising sea levels, slow as the rate may be, are part of the picture here: storm surges, and cyclones complete it. Radical Bay, and its proposed development, may become an iconic precedent, as Councils, Government Departments, Scientists and Developers rethink how climate change is actually affecting our coastline already, and will certainly continue to do in the future. Well done to all of those people who have the courage and tenacity to think and act on our behalf beyond the now and look to the future
chasmac BBH,
If your maths is so terrific, provide a specific reference for your AIMS sea level numbers. The IPCC says the number is about 1.7mm per year.
Tom Cameron I applaud the TCC decision on haulting development at Radical Bay. As annual holiday makers (13 years now) we have come to love Radical Bay and Magnetic Island and to have it butchered by developers for a quick profit so they can fund an overseas holiday or flash car for themselves - or even worse fund further vandalism somewhere else - would be a great shame. We have to live with the destruction while you sip pina coladas. Thank you to the locals who have kept up the fight on this - keep going - we are behind you all the way.

Tom, Janet, Anna, George, Clare and Robbie Cameron.
Margy RE BBH's comments and sea level rise, I note that past rates are no guide to likely future rates.

There is great uncertainty about future continental ice melt rates, which will be the great driver of sea level rise, beyond thermal expansion of the ocean, which I understand has driven sea level rise of past decades. Furthermore, actual sea level rise is now at the upper end of the rates predicted.

BBH's past-based projection into the future is both uninformed, and dangerously complacent. This person needs to realise that planning based on rigid insistence and reliance on past conditions will (not "might") place development and people in harm's way.

For example, Victoria's "stay and defend or leave early" bushfire policy was based on analysis of past bushfires, particularly those of 1939 and 1983. Thus, information about future climate change, including predicted increased temperatures, bush dessication and related fire intensities, was not incorporated into Victoria's bushfire response planning, which operated right up until Black Saturday. By 2009, it was 16 years out of date.

In February 2009, citizens were thus operating under applied policy that failed to anticipate or recognize unprecedented conditions, even though environmental scientists and the Victorian government's own modelling predicted these, with great accuracy.

On Black Saturday, the government's Fire Danger Index (based on many factors such as temperature, wind, dessication, litter load etc) broke all records in many places, clearly indicating unprecedented environmental conditions reflective of likewise unprecedented protracted drought and record temperatures beforehand. The tragedy was that, under the entrenched dated policy, many ordinary residents truly believed that if well prepared they could defend themselves and their homes, when this was simply not so. Many stayed and died, or perished when fleeing their failed defences. Critically, this severely outdated policy precluded Plan B (local community shelters in the event of such failure) and lots of people died as a result.

We were not far off this disaster with Cyclone Yasi. Anticipated surge innundation, as mapped by Townsville City Council's disaster response team (the equivalent of Victoria's Fire Danger Index) showed huge areas of Townsville underwater, including all of Radical Bay and large parts of Horseshoe and other bays.

Current state cyclone response policy -- shelter at home or leave -- has a remarkably similar failure point as Victoria's disastrous bushfire response planning, in that there is no Plan B for failed home shelter during a major event. Luckily, there wasn't much of this, for two major reasons: firstly, we experienced the side of the cyclone -- it was not a category 5 storm here, and secondly, Yasi's thoughtful little rest off the coast, delaying landfall until after high tide. If Cat 5 Yasi had hit either Townsville or Cairns on the rising tide, especially at night, I would expect a death toll in the hundreds. Ms Bligh certainly had this risk in mind when she went to air.

It's get real time here. Climate change is expected to drive both cyclone intensity and frequency, and sea level rise, with compounding risks over time. Given meteorological and geological processes already underway, predicted sea level rise is highly unlikely to remain at a steady low rate, as so confidently assumed by BBH.

Planning that fails to ancitipate and incorporate predicted future changes, at the higher end, and include a robust safety margin, is therefore negligent -- even reckless. If sufficiently unresponsive and/or outdated, I suggest that it is potentially culpable, by omission. Given recent official innundation mapping, and known environmental trends and predictions, I absolutely see DERM's permit to Juniper in this context.

Katie Dubon I know I'm really late but hopefully contributers get notifications of replys. It is plain to me that most of the comments here are based on people not wanting the development to go ahead for personal reasons. It's not about public safety in the event of king tides or cyclones. So just say I'd rather not have an ugly building on the beach rather than harp on about zoning. pfft..
Advice to road users
Sue I've just had a look at the maps of the mountain bike route. It looks to me like the riders are going through the National Park!! How come there has been no consultation with the Island community about this - or have I been asleep and missed it!!??
Vale Alan Green 1936-2011
Heike von Mellenthin Together with Verne Jack, Alan has supported our local Kindergarten by running the toad races. This much needed and steady support has been vital over many, many years and so many children have benefitted from his dedication. It is impossible to say how many litres of paint, books and puzzles he has sponsored, but his generous and unselfish acts have given so much joy to our precious little people. They will miss "the man with the big eyes" (Alan wore pretty thick glasses). Personally, I admired him for the continuous effort and time he spent on fundraising and his quiet, steady presence in the community. Our thoughts are with the family and friends who will surely miss Alan's love and support.
Heike for the Magnetic Island Kindergarten
Ken & Megan Stronach We are so sorry to hear the news of Alan's death. We were fortunate to have worked with Alan at Arcadia Resort over a number of years, and counted him as one of our very best friends. We would like to send our condolences to Alan's family and friends, and we hope to catch up with you all in the very near future, when we will raise a toast to our good mate!
Vale Alan!!
vonnie van bemmel Alan was my alarm clock, he used to jog past my house in Hayles ave, every morning at the exact same time, 5:30 am with his little radio on, same speed, same shuffle of the feet, and then, when I took my walk,around the block (somewhat later),there he would be, at the pool @ Arcadia pub, I think a bronze statue Alan wouldn't look out of place, I will miss your friendly smile Vonnie
camille eyre Its nice to here the lovely nice story that poeple have about my dad. Thank you for your well wishes. CAMILLE (ALAN DAUGHTER)
Elizabeth Hackett I was in England when I heard that we had lost Alan to cancer, the tears flowed, I dread going back to the Island knowing Alan will not be there, it is simply hard to even imagine. Alan never forgot my birthday, he never missed sending me a Christmas card, a get well card when I was unwell, he was a wonderful friend. Alan was an inspiration to me and I know many of the young people who passed through his life. My life was certainly better for knowing Alan. I wish I could have been at Alans farewell, I would have told him he was dearly loved and will be missed. God Bless you dear Alan, you deserve to rest peacefully. I have a feeling you will never be forgotton on Magnetic Island, just the way it should be.
Patricia MacQueen What a pleasure it was to have known Alan,
Noel{R.I.P}and I first met Alan about 25 years ago,and that was the start of a great friendship,
I would like to think they would now be reading the Horse Form Guide together again,and also met
up with Gerri & Steele and so many good friends that went before him,
Camille & David and the Grandchildren will miss their Dad and Grndfather so much,He was very proud of them all...
God Bless you Alan you will be not be forgotten..
Shauna Eyre(grand daughter of alan) It's nice to see him beacuse mum said i would of not recognized him every day when mum came to see me i would ask if he was ok and i asked mum if she can tell him that i love him and always will and she did, when every one talks about him i still get tear's i love him so much who ever wrote the big story thank you it's good to hear stories about him. hear about grandad again. When i was in hospital grandad was there 2 i never got to
Meghan Green he was a great man i love him so much he is in my heart forever the day he went i lost my whole world. I LOVE YOU GRANDAD!!!!
Meghan Green I've just turned 17 grandad, my first birthday without you<3 It has been almost a year since my beloved grandad has been gone, it's made me so sad in the past few weeks. He is going to miss my mocktail and graduation! I will be coming a flight attendant very shortly when I turn 18. I will miss my grandad so much. I still can't believe his gone! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH GRANDAD!!!! I WILL MISS YOU DEARDLY!!!!!! XXXXXXXXXOOOOXXXX
Meghan Green 1 year and 7 months he has been gone for ): it sucks but i dearly miss you grandad so much !!! xoxoxox And it was your birthday on the 23 of october happy birthday, to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear grandad happy birthday to you!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxo
Base takes new measures to stop Full Moon Party vandalism
Barbara Gibbs Well done Aimee. It is a hard task to monitor patrons at the best of times, let alone once they leave the premises. It is obvious X-BASE have gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of not only the marina and patrons, but also to maintain a clean environment and this must be applauded. I don't see any other hotel on the island going around cleaning up after patrons who dump copious amounts of cigarette butts on beaches and leave things lying around. X-BASE have done a lot for the recognition of Magnetic Island, and my recent trip to Perth proved that. I stayed at a backpackers and people were raving about the island who stayed at X-BASE and others really wanted to come just to be at the full moon party. Regardless of the fact that profits from the venue go abroad, the patrons DO spend a lot of money in many businesses on the island, and it is not only X_BASE that accommodates the patrons,many places on the island profit from them. i fully understand Lindsay being upset, but her own children actually attend X-BASE It provides a valuable release for teenagers and younger adults on the island. Let us all be adult and less negative towards the only available venue for these and appreciate the added visitors in a time when there are very few able to afford the higher level of accommodation.
Maz Good moves Aimee, maybe Sunferries could run an extra ferry once a month to get the party goers off the Island before they feel the need to take boats from the Marina to get home.
Grant Lewis Thanks Aimee,
Im the owner of Providence and the tender that was stolen from Nelly Bay Marina. We found the tender ourselves at Kissing Point Townsville as the Police where exhausted from a long night at your venue. The replacement value for this tender is approx $9000 with an insurance excess of $2000 so as you can see it is distressing to have this happen to ones poersonal property which we use to make a living.The tender was less a full tank of fuel, full of empty cans of beer, half full of water and sustained approximatly $500 damage which we will have to cover.This is the fourth time our property has been interfered with on Full Moon nights. Costing us dollars each time. By the way our passengers that morning where not that impressed when we couldnt sail, just another $500 loss to us. Hey everyone its okay when its not your money or property.Barbara our children are now adults and make their own choices, we do not monitor their whereabouts as you obviously do??
Aimee it is great that you are the first manager at X-Base to take this issue in hand and make constructive sugestions. Lets see if they happen.
Alan Patterson Dear Editor
I think most businesses on the Island have been the victims of crime. Sporadic acts from people under the influence of alcohol or drugs are still crimes, even if there is a "claimed" diminished responsibility. At the end of the day, vandalism & theft are all crimes committed by people who probably wouldn't otherwise do these acts had they not been under the influence of a substance. People need to take personal responsibility. I asked the Police seargent "what is it we can do as a community to help the local Police?" . His reply was simply ban the excessive use of alcohol.
I think we must applaud the response of manager Aimee Jones to help resolve the concerns of residents towards the "Full Moon: event at X-Base. However, she can not be held responsible for the irresponsible actions of a few. I sympathise with Grant, it must really be disheartening to discover he has been the victim of another drunken act of theft & wilful damage. 3 times in 9 months we were broken into at the Pharmacy, deliberate calculated acts. Each time I was woken at 6am with the news, attended & started the clean up process. Each time a small excess of $250 for the incident & the time & inconvenience of insurance claims was the biggest cost. In the end we installed a security grill costing close to $10K. Unfortunately crime does pay. It keeps the economy going. Problem is the people working & paying taxes are hit again. Xbase full moon party puts Magnetic Island on the international map. The cost benefits can be argued but the buzz factor from travellers is priceless. I think you would find most incidents are caused by local Island Townsville residents just going too far. The international traveller (backpacker) stays longer & spends more on their Australian journey. We need to work together to help tap into this potential market for now & there return journey in the future. I say ban all Townsville visitors to the full moon party. No accommodation no Full Moon ticket. Sell it as a package or no entry. The ones straggling back to the boat at 4amish are the hands that make mischief.
chalkie We do not need Full Moon parties. Let's all cut to the chase, it is to your benefit (and your pocket) to get as many people on to the Island, regardless of the types you are attracting. What benefit is a Full Moon party to the residents? Why do the residents of Magnetic Island need to attract people from Townsville for drunken/drug parties. Why not keep them in Townsville? Oh, I forgot - it is the dollar(s)! No matter how many security guards are employed whether it be for 2 or 202 will not prevent people who are intent, and whose reason for coming to the Full Moon party, is to cause fighrs, or damage to people's property. I think it is time the local businesses upped their standard and tried to attract people 'across the board' who will not only enjoy but respect the natural attractions of Magnetic Island. For too long Magnetic Island businesses are happy to lower the bar rather than raise it just to get a dollar, to the detriment of the Island. With respect, all your suggestions Aimee to make it better, are not only self-interested but a pathetic attempt to justify something that is untenable. We do not want or need Full Moon parties on the Island.
Peter Safe The licensee/responsible manager needs to remember that under the Liquor Act 1992 there are various penalties for irresponsible service of alcohol. Some of these penalties are outlined below.

Unduly intoxicated patrons
• sell liquor to an intoxicated patron
• give liquor to an intoxicated patron
• allow liquor to be given to the patron
• allow the patron to consume liquor.
Licensee or manager—$50 000
Bar attendant or individual—$8000

All licensees must ensure that noise coming from their establishment does not exceed the noise limit that is a condition of their license. This includes noise from:

* entertainment
* patrons at, entering or leaving the premises
* motors, including generators and air conditioning units.
If a licensee does not comply with an order, the order can be enforced through either:

* prosecution, which carries a maximum fine of $2500
* disciplinary action, which can have results ranging from fines to cancellation of the license.

Licensees have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for patrons and staff. This applies not only to your premises but also to the surrounding neighbourhood.

I do agree with Alan Patterson when he says "No accommodation no Full Moon ticket. Sell it as a package or no entry". If the locals or visitors from Townsville want to attend the full moon party they can find accommodation at Base.

Personally I believe that the guests residing at Base are not the ones wandering around the island creating the damage.

Islander Well batten down the hatches as the next FM party poster is out advertising Ruby Rose as guest DJ for 15 April. Will be interesting to see how some of the partygoers "behave" this month. Seriously, how can 2 security personnel control a group of feral drunks, unless they have been issued with riot hoses. I just wish that those attendees who are staying on the island with nanna/relos/friends or at their own parents holiday home would NOT have noisey heart starters at the bus stops and leave their empties behind on the footpath/road. Not very fond of going for a walk and having to look out for broken glass all over the place. As someone else has said, no accommo no party ticket or charge non bona fide travellers/tourists staying on the island/residents MORE for their ticket.
Les Autres As a visitor from Europe I am amazed that everyone wants to "blame" the Base.
There are perfectly adequate laws regarding alcohol which are much further reaching than in most other countries. It seems that although the residents ( and visitors in the main) pay their taxes they are not afforded the protection which should be provided by the police.
With regard to theft of a boat.......surely any mug would take adequate precautions and would also have business interuption insurance....particularly if it is a required necessity for business.....I am surprised the insurance company paid out at all.
I am also surprised that the pharmacy is legally allowed NOT to have adequate security. You will be telling us next to stick the key back through the letterbox when we leave. I dont suppose you will be claiming tax relief on the $10k cost of the grill either??
It will be interesting to have a comment from the ferry companies re the viability of ferries without the visitors to base..........there might be some big numbers all you wingers just might have to put your money where your mouth is.
COME ON GUYS you live on a TOURIST arent castaways..If you really dont like Townsville visitors or other people then take a referendum .........and shut the ferry...
You have a wonderful island STOP WHINGING!!!!!!
Information meeting for Island businesses after Yasi
Barb On that note, I am once again organising the World Oceans Day festival 2011. To create greater chances of business, I chose to have it on 4th June, being the Saturday prior to the actual date of 8th. This is to encourage overnight stays, and it is hoped many businesses will try to take advantage of the event to enhance their own businesses. seafood for the weekend would be preferrably of a Sustainable nature...NO Coral Trout etc, but definitely Makeral and Barramundi(: Put your thinking capos on to see where you can benefit with minimum layout/maximum income(: Call me on 04298876448 if you have an idea.
Mandy Johnstone Dear Editor,

I having been speaking to a number of local island businesses who are doing it tough as the moment. I encourage as many small business and not-for-profit organisations as possible to attend the DEEDI workshop on the 31st March.

I hope people find this session useful in what I know are difficult times, particularly in the toursim sector.

My main message is to NOT self assess what support your business could receive. Instead come along on the night and make use of the DEEDI staff who will be on hand to assist.

Best wishes,

Mandy Johnstone MP
Member for Townsville

Young Magnetic artists take out top exhibition award
Julie V Good on you Vonnie and all.
danieldaniel Congratulations Vonnie, well done to you and your budding artists Dan and Rose and puppies
Full moon vandals irk local business body
AC I would be interested to hear where Dr simpson got her information that “No tourism benefits flow from this event” i am sure the scooter hire,car rentals and various eateries would disagree!!
Lindsay Simpson My comments:
X-Base has been approached numerous times by TOBMI to come on board and help tourism on the island.
I have never heard of a police force being paid to be anywhere. I didn't know there were 'cops for hire'.
X-Base has been approached about vandalism which is a recurring issue for everyone where there is no security provided ie between X-Base and the ferry terminal. Security guards are provided on the ferries and the venue. That's it.

A resident on the island picked up several bags of rubbish on the beach after the Full Moon where everyone was 'well behaved.' A syringe was found among the rubbish as was considerable amount of faeces. Faeces was also found at the terminal.

This goes nowhere to bringing more people to the island for longer stays.
Curlew porn lover Pure Crap
Kerrie We too bore the stupidity off Full Moon revellers. Friday Night a group of people walking past our property decided that it would be fun to jump on the back of our trailer which has our machinery on it and take photos of themselves, OH what FUN for you. We have also coppped the spate of theft and vandalism that has encroached the island. We had 100ltrs of diesel stolen out of our truck 1 week after TC Yasi and someone had gone through the cabin last Wed night, islanders please be aware there are people helping themselves to vehicles, particularly in Nelly Bay.....
Aimee Jones Kerrie, i am sorry to hear that the incident happened on your property, please be assured that Base does not condone such behaviour hence us paying for bus services to run the night of full moon, we do encourage the use of these buses to avoid such behaviour happening.

It is unfortunate some people do decided to take the walk instead of using the bus service provided.

In saying that this doesnt excuse such behaviour and I totally agree it is unacceptable.

Lindsay, you will actually find we are members of TOMBI, i was approached October last year and signed up straight away.

The police are paid for special services by the event, i can assure this is in fact correct as i am the person who approves the invoices. Feel free to check on this, i assure you it is in case Fact.

The island resident you refer to picking up rubbish is a paid employee by base and yes they are a island local, as are all staff here at Base Magnetic. We make our responability for cleaning the beach after the full moon a priority as soon as the sun comes up we have staff picking up rubbish as we acknowledge that patrons drop this rubbish on the way to our event, i will correct you by saying that WE in fact picked up 10 bags of rubbish though. It is a disappointing to see that people do not feel responsible for disposing of there own rubbish in a correct manner.

Yes you are correct in saying there was faecus found, this was found by the same staff member who quickly disposed of it in a proper manner.

Base Magnetic island and our Events do not condone the use of drugs and patrons found with drugs are handed over to the police.

Lindsay as mentioned a few times now our door is always open here at Base Magnetic island, i welcome your feedback, cristism and suggestions the only issue i have is the process you have decided to act these out in.

I have been the general manager here for 9 months now, many locals and tourism providers have stopped in during this time to welcome me to the island and given up there valuable time to give some feedback in regards to full moon parties and any other issues they may have.

You have never approached me by phone, email or in person therefore i have never had the opportunity to meet you to discuss your concerns.

I am disappointed that you have come to the conclusion that we do not help with tourism on the island i am sure that many would beg to differ, i do welcome your suggestions in how you think Base can improve on this.

I look forward to meeting with you in person Lindsay, feel free to drop in any time.

Hock I saw at backpackers buying FM tix at Breakwater ferry, travelling to Maggie well over a week before the FM, I suppose they just lived on fish and slept on the beach?
This event attracts backpackers from all over the world, as well as many locals from TSV who otherwise may never experience the island.
It is a world class dance party, that puts Maggie on the international stage and a highlight of many people's month locally.
Luv the FM, thanks XBASE!
PS Curlew porn lover, sounds like your the one responsible for the FAECES.
Helen I was disgusted when I arrived to board the 6.20 ferry to go to work on Saturday morning. Newspapers were flapping around everywhere empty bottles and debris was just everywhere. I can just imagine if tourists had just arrived on the early ferry how stunned they would have been and wondered where on earth they had come to. If this is good for tourism I'm astounded.
Martin I am sure there are some positives to come out of holding Full Moon Parties for the Island but in my opinion far outweighed by the negatives.
We have a holiday rental property that sits in a direct line between Base and the ferry terminal. We promote the property as being quiet and peacefull etc, and so do not take bookings for FM party nights. We have to put up with the screaming and shouting and the obsenities, and we take special precautions in locking up property and items normally left out. Despite a paid clean up there is always plenty of left over rubbish for locals to collect. What about bent street sign posts, they are a regular vandalised item. (last Friday the one on the corner of Yates/Sooning). To be fair the noise level has been put under control, although that dorf dorf can still be heard in the wee small hours and over the years I lost sleep listening to that racket.
If Magnetic Islands fame and fortune rest with a monthly 'world famous?' alcohol fueled dance party then heaven help us.
CGN Someone has said This event attracts backpackers from all over the world, as well as many locals from TSV who otherwise may never experience the island. Errrr not saying much for TSV locals if this is the only reason they would come to the island. Many "moons" ago TSV locals came to Maggie for a day or longer to enjoy what it had to offer without trashing the place, stealing property and being down right feral. Maybe they had respect for the others, island and residents. As a resident the backpackers/tourists I've come across have been well mannered and keen on just making the most of their stay on the island. Shame I can't say that about some, though a minority, TSV folk.
Seamus Aimee, I have to say that you are handling all this brilliantly - if only there were more like you maybe our Tourism wouldn't be in such a mess. I had previously sat quite comfortably on the fence with this issue (even though I too have suffered property damage and disturbance from FM's)but you've got me coming over to your way of thinking.
Island View George, I see that The Bully's article yesterday lifted at least 35% of their content from your piece published the day before!!

I've blogged about their rip off at "Blogging Townsville" (Google it or click the blue banana on The Times' front page).

As for the substantive topic, I'd encourage all islanders to visit Base regularly - especially from the beach front. I'm sure you'll come to the same conclusion as I have
Libby A quick correction from Aimee's contribution - as I had a conversation with Lindsay Simpson over the weekend, I assume that I am the island resident she refered to, that picked up the rubbish, dealt with faeces, and found a syringe on the day after the last FM. Like many locals (not employed by x-base), my children and I often walk Nelly Bay beach and always take a bag to collect any rubbish we come accross. Immediately after a FM party we know to take extra bags, and last weekend was no exception. Last Saturday we filled 3 large bin liners in one sweep of the beach (didn't collect on the way back as we had to run due to rain), we found faeces (assumed to be human due to presence of tissue/toilet paper), and a syringe which may or may not have been from the FM party - amazing to add our tally to the 10 bags and more faeces found by the x-base employee (and possibly more picked up by other residents).

I've no objection to people having a good party once a month - but am getting sick of the aftermath.

Really pleased to see the likelihood of constructive dialogue to improve the situation.
edwina clearly if the island continues to approve such events that impact negatively on the community then extra security and clean up measures are necessary at the expense of the hosts ie XBase please take responsibility for bad behaviour of few
Chris C Libby's input clearly shows that Base's response to all of this is totally inadequate.
The Recreational Tourism Group’s (owners of X-Base) business model is a high turnover / low margin one (think Sam’s Warehouse or Crazy Clarks). As such, they have little interest in increasing visitors length of stay in any one location (knowing full well that most backpackers tend to have a per day and per location budget and aim to see as much of the country as possible in the time they have). Rather they have every interest in shifting their guests up or down the cost to their other ‘resorts’ in order to maximise the company’s over-all return from any one visitor. This of course explains why they have clearly been reluctant to partner with TOBMI and other operators on the island – there’s little in it for them as they already have a company-owned pipeline of customers.
Edwina also hit the nail on the head. Base (and Sunferries) are the ones who profit from this event and as such it is completely their responsibility to ensure that it leaves no mark on the community or its assets.
And as raised on Blogging Townsville - I’d also be fascinated to know if the post storm-surge repairs that they are doing on their beachfront are being inspected by the relevant authorities to ensure that they are up to standard, particularly given the location and its susceptibility to further storm surges (think TCC’s decision to NOT approve the Radical Bay development for the very same reason).
Aimee Jones You will find Chris that our response to all of this is far from totally inadequate.

Libby, i would like to thank you for feeling the need to pick up rubbish left behind, as a thank you i would like to invite you and your family down for a dinner at Base. As you mentioned you were the island resident that was mentioned, i apolgise for presuming it was my staff member who also in fact had to clean up faeces and collected rubbish, it is such a shame we live in a world where people believe it is acceptable to leave either behind. Feel free to contact me direct if you would like to take me up on my offer of thanks.

Since this story first came to light we have done the following:

Organised two security guards each full moon to patrol the Marina and Ferry terminals. Paid for by the event.

Ensure that every full moon a staff members walk from the terminal to base on both road and beach picking up rubbish dropped by patrons. Paid for by the event

Ensure that every full moon a staff member picks up all rubbish left behind at the ferry terminal. Paid for by the event.

Hireage of a extra bus dedicated to a direct service between the Ferry terminal and Base in Nelly bay, It will run during the whole event.

And this is just the start.

We would like to work with the community and listen to suggestions and complaints rather than work against you.

We understand that you may believe that we hold events for person gain, but these belief couldn't be further from the truth.

We just ask that you work with us and accept us as part of the communitiy.

Our full attention is focused increasing average stay for guest, which is why our main focus is on selling packages that get the guests to stay for 2-4 nights, and is by far our biggest seller.

Yes that is correct OUR biggest seller, but whilst people who have booked theses packages are staying on the island we book rental cars, dive trips, scooter hire, nature experiances but not only that we recommend supermarkers, doctors, chemist, shops, we make dinner bookings, we even suggest a great pub where people can catch the footy or cricket game.

Guest and patron safety is paramount to both Base and myself, after the cyclone we employed both a engineer and a geo-technical engineer to report on property damage, all works completed have been approved recommended by these engineers.

I again invite any member of the public to come down and sit down with me to discuss your concerns, so far i have had no one has take me up on this offer.

Have a fantastic day.
Liz Having lived on the island, and enjoyed the monthy full moon parties, I was always dismayed at the litter and vandalism by idiotic drunk louts.

As a female in my 20's I love the FM parties and of course I enjoy a drink but it would never cross my mind to start damaging property or dropping litter along the streets (for wildlife to inevitably later be harmed by). I struggle to understand the mentality of these louts.

Alot of the time, from my experience the troublemakers are often not tourists or backpackers but infact townsville youths who come over, high on alcohol and goodness knows what else.

It really makes me angry to know that there are all these ungrateful, uncivilized, anti-social Australian youths who have no respect and no appreciation for their stunning natural environment, I would do anything to move back to Australia permanently but don't have the necessary work experience to qualify for citizenship, yet so many Aussie kids are lucky enough to be born in your beautiful country and have nothing but disrespect for the environment and the community, it really makes me livid.

Whilst it's good to hear Aimee saying 2 security guards have been hired for the FM parties, I worry that it might not be enough, after all they can't be everywhere at once. Personally I'd like to see a zero-tolerance approach - anyone who is caught littering, vandalising or damaging/stealing property should be fined and banned from any future events.
George Hirst Hi Island View, Sorry to be slow to set the record straight but the quotes you saw as lifted from my article by the Bully were from a press release which they would also have probably received. Really appreciate your preparedness to defend Maggie Times' against the Murdoch empire but this time I stuffed up and posted your comment without checking. Thanks again and apologies for causing this misunderstanding.
George Hirst, Ed.
Magnetic Island SES news
Chris C No Murray, you don't thank us - we all Thank you and the crew - an amazing job done so well!! You (and the rest of us) should be very proud of your contriubution to our community.

And shame on those (at least one I know of) who had the SES and other volunteers cleaning up their yard on "volunteer weekend" when they were perfectly capable of doing it themselves)!
Alan Patterson Good on you Murray & all the SES crew of Magnetic Island for a great job, volunteering yourselves to training & service when required. Thank you :)
shirley renton We really appreciate your work especially when there is so few of you.Congratulations !
PT SES Bay Leaders' phone numbers are in the Magnetic Informer phone book on the Emergency Numbers page- and the main SES number is not!! I was one who rang for assistance prior to the cyclone to help me with securing a trailer which I could not move, but was told there was no-one to help. While I understand that resources were stretched, I was very disappointed and somewhat disillusioned. We definitely need more island volunteers and I would love to help, however Monday night training is not suitable for me as that is also choir rehearsal night. So all I can do is complain, not help - and encourage those who can attend to do so, to be available to support our island community in times of need.
AP Dear PT
Having been a member of the SES I would like to make a couple of comments in response to your complaints/concerns about the local SES.
1. The "E" in SES stands for "Emergency". Many days notice was given regarding TC Anthony then TC Yasi. If help was needed to secure your trailor may I suggest you organise some friends to help. Living in this great community, many people are only too willing to help a neighbour, but in those last hours with a cyclone bearing down, SES members have families & responsibilities at home as well. Remember they are volunteers.
2. As for volunteers to the local SES, every year the leader Murray Withers goes on a recruitment drive. Some people respond, some have good intentions, others are "busy" doing something else & others just plain can't be bothered. It takes not just the sacrifice of Monday nights training but a willingness to sit & do compliance bookwork because of Work Health Place & Safety Standards. Gone are the days of climbing up on the roof to tarp it without the requirements of harnessing, securing ladders & having a safety officer. All for the better but this requires training.So, PT it comes down to decisions & committment, yours is to your interest the choir, Murray is to teaching new recruits & year after year remain optimistic that "some more" may come, for training. I think he is entitled not to have people ring his home number. Before the cyclone I loaded up my phone with emergency numbers, here is the SES number 132 500. For the SES to repond to "jobs" they need this proceedure to be followed. Don't ring local memebrs, record the job through the appropriate channels. No paperwork, no job. I agree with you in regard to the way the Informer has displayed the numbers, it would be better to have this number in there instead of our great volunteer's personal numbers.
Hopefully those can make it on the 18th of April will do so & enjoy the great learning, training environment of our local SES group.
Lorraine Sorry Murray, I rang your number(no other volunteers were available) when seeking assistance for a neighbour, however, this was after being advised to contact a local leader by the person I finally got hold of on the 13 number!
Linda Very many THANKS to the SES. You helped many a resident and always with smiles and good will. Thank You.
sheila roach Yes thank you all so much for your hard work after cyclone yasi.I have since had a look at exits from the bays should we ever have a tsunami-all roads up are gated.I find this concerning and wondered if these gates would be unlocked to enable cars to get to higher ground in a hurry.Maybe a key at the ambulance station/all seasons would be handy should something happen of some magnitude (god forbid).The forts are good for Horshoe Bay residents.Lets hope it never ever does happen but the world is full of uncertainties.
Once again thanks for your hard work
sheila roach
Aussie tells his Japanese earthquake story
David Pierce What a excellent story, thank you.
Lea Thank you for publishing that. It helps us to understand a minute part of what things were like if we can read real-life stories such as this.
Susan How pleasant to have access to this story amidst all the devastation and sorrow.
Council saves Radical for the public
edwina great news
Mal A small victory for Radical Bay but it's not over yet. "The door has been left open for the developer..." (from the above report).

The Radical Bay access track (not a gazetted road) is too steep for garbage trucks. Any "concept" that goes ahead there will necessitate a garbage depot at the turnoff where people get off the bus or park their cars to take the forts walk. Is this a good thing?

It's time to wake up and smell the garbage.

Added to this is the infrastructure cost and disturbance of connecting the site to utilities like water, power, phone (NBN) and sewage. Only squillionaires will afford to buy land at Radical Bay. Then of course they will want their pets to live with them, surrounded by World Heritage national park and Marine Park green zone, full of rare and endangered species for their cats and dogs to hunt.

Not that it matters, apparently when there's money to be made.
chasmac The last paragraph in this article, which I think is a quote from Councillor Trevor Roberts, suggests that our Council will be happy with Juniper's proposal to "maintain the road". In fact it makes no reference to what road that will be, who will build it and who will ultimately be responsible for maintenance and upkeep. As I understand it, once a road has been constructed (to what standard or extent has never been revealed) Townsville ratepayers will own the road and it will be maintained and in particular upgraded, by us at our expense. Some transparency in this matter from TCC would be appreciated.
At the moment it looks like all Junipers have to do is not swing the gate and everything can go ahead as planned. The road and its steepness, ill-design, outrageous maintenance costs and ugly scarring intrusiveness, is no concern of Junipers, Council or the State government and very soon we'll hear that Islanders are equally enamoured with the thing because they'll all want to drive cars to the car park to show their friends the new millionaires-row subdivision. They won't be able to go inside of course and it will be a long walk to the beach with it's remnant of eroded Esplanade maintained by hike-in Council workers, but hey, it will still be paradise...... just a bit lost.
Lea No way can Radical Bay be gated to exclude the general publis - Islanders or drive-yourself-visitors. I don't think any Australian coastline should be allowed to be private property. I'm not against development there - the The Precedent was set all those years ago - and we loved driving down for a swim and lovely meal among the palm trees and peacocks - remember them and their noise !!

Let there be a development, which incorporates parking for day visitors and easy, close access to the beach.

The garbage being left at the top of the road concerns me - it would have to be well done to keep in with the Island lifestyle.

Pets such as cats could only be allowed if they were restricted to call runs ALL day.

Best wishes
Wendy Tubman Charlie - at least TCC has (thanks Councillors) excluded the possibility of a gated community, so a visit to Radical, with or without visitors, would mean that all could have a good gawk. I guess that somewhere there may be mugs wanting to fork out a mill or more for a very small (587sqm) block of land overly close to the water, staring cyclones and eroding shorelines in the face and with one road in and out (except, of course, after storms when it's likely to be cut), and being stared at by all and sundry – but they really would need to be mugs, wouldn't they?

As I understand it, when making its decision, TCC did not take into account the extent to which the proposed blocks would be in the buffer between the blocks and the sea - the 'erosion prone area' (that's the official one, not the one determined by the developers) - on the basis that this was a matter for consideration at the state level. My concern is, where will we ratepayers (and/or taxpayers) be when we have to pick up the tab for damage done by natural disasters or the encroaching sea at Radical? About where we are with respect to Nelly Bay beach after the Harbour project, I predict - out of pocket. And this time, just for 24 rich folks.
Scott Smells of an ambit claim,and that TCC will likely approve after a little tweaking.This sort of development could be pasted down in many already developed parts of Maggie,not in this very special and totally unspoilt place,i would often comment to visitors that radical and Boulder are so unspoilt that you almost might expect to see a terradactyl flying overhead,of course even with the best camouflage, pools,paths,gates and concrete are hard to disguise,this is worse than allowing that Arthur bay house long ago,that's a great example of how this may play out ,the local walks down his private walkway to the beach,the rest of us wade through the creek and over collapsing concrete.This development would be hideous and turn many people away from what is still the natural beauty of Maggie,unlike many areas in QLD which have been ruined by massive over-development.Perhaps most people want condos and glitz,not me.
I know I am not alone with feeling this way,protest now,I smell a rat with this partial back down.
nev grimshaw It is about time Juniper got real about Radical.Being one of the outstanding gems of MI
a Juniper should maintain the track in for all including the mokes.
b Realise that beach access to all, and of course their vehicles is a prime requirement and not subject to compromise.
c Then they can plan a subdivision to please themselves.
The high cost of re aligning the road in to accommodate rubbish, concrete and other heavy vehicles whilst not interupting public access plus provision of all services including the NBN through Telstra's pipes makes the project a dreamland blue sky financially viable project, and hopefully with a pub in their plans then I would wish them well.
chasmac Nev Grimshaw, the road alignment, which was fixed by survey in this childishly naive and ignorant location by the Goss government in the early 1990s as a sop to the then-owners, cannot be changed in any way without intruding into the Magnetic Island National Park - surely there is some limit to public largesse for speculative developers? If a massive excavation was required to widen, straighten, level, flatten or deviate the road to make it two lane, all weather, pedestrian-friendly and capable of access by half-heavy vehicles (eg. concrete mixer, Council maintenance, removals trucks), the scarring and other visual, environmental and aesthetic impacts could not be justified simply for the benefit of a single developer and a handful of multi-millionaire beneficiaries. I am certain that the Federal Government would take a strong interest in the impacts on its World Heritage property through the EPBC Act - regardless of the crap you can read in the Magnetic Community News.
Please tell me that it is not necessary to provide a road to Radical Bay just so the infirm, the lazy, the real estate salesmen, the visually impaired or the simply bloody minded can get close enough to take a look. Please remind me that in this era of carbon footprint sensitivity we are not going to create thousands of tonnes of CO2 in construction and future vehicle use so that otherwise enviro-friendly locals, eco tourists and their body image conscious mates can drive bloody rental vehicles down a road to a car park 500m from a beach that has no pub or restaurant, no public facilities for toilet, childcare or pet tending and is actually slap bang up against a bunch of unoccupied McMansions. Or are you already sold on the idea?
If Townsville Council is being asked by the developer to accept ownership of this redeveloped track (through application to the State Government to create a new road reserve on Unallocated State Land), then surely Council is entitled to expect that the road will meet Council's 21st century needs and not be left with completely unacceptable situations like the Nelly Bay to Arcadia road where there is no pedestrian access and no one prepared to put up the millions needed to create it. Or do you think ratepayers should fork out in the future to bring the road up to scratch?
Junipers have, since 2005, complete all-government approval to build their Sea Temple resort and a new road - complete with in-ground infrastructure. If they no longer want to do that then the DA should lapse altogether - if it hasn't already (?). Junipers knocked back a genuine offer of several million dollars to purchase their 7 acres of freehold land for environmental protection a couple of years ago. Maybe they should think again? (abridged Ed.)
Mal It's all academic since the Arthur Bay causeway was washed away in the recent heavy rain. Who is going to fix it? Not TCC or National Parks, since the track is part of the freehold.

The original resort was very low profile and on a small scale, approved during Joh Bjelke Peterson's premiership. Enough said I reckon.

As far as domestic animals are concerned, we already have pet laws here that are ignored by irresponsibe owners. A koala was recently mauled to death near the golf course by a pet dog on the loose. We don't need to make this problem any bigger.

It is my opinion that Radical Bay should be all National Park, with parking, picnic facilities and composting toilets to welcome locals and visitors alike.

Wendy Tubman Point of clarification, Mal. The access track is not part of the freehold. The developers currently have a permit to use the existing track in order to assist in the building of a multi-bed resort (not, as I understand it, residential building blocks) in Radical Bay. If (big 'if' there), any development goes ahead at Radical, we, the poor (relative to the mugs who would even consider buying down there, VERY poor) ratepayers/taxpayers could very well be responsible for the cost of maintaining any road to the development that were to be gazetted. A sort of Robin Hood in reverse.
chasmac Not quite Mal. If you pull over into the actual driveway of the house in Arthur Bay you come onto the freehold land. But out on the track over the now-washed-out causeway - that's State Land - a twenty metre wide strip from the Forts car park to the back of Radical Bay. The Queensland government is responsible for that land but it has no responsibility to maintain the causeway or any other part of the track to Radical since there is no gazetted road reserve.
In my opinion, all vehicles should be turned around at Arthur Bay and only pedestrian access continue to Radical.
Dr Andy Lewis It's fairly important that Florence Bay, the jewel in Magnetic Island's marine ecotourism crown, remains open to vehicles. It's a Green zone (with demonstrable improvements in fish density and abundance since the re-zoning in 2006), with all tide sand bottom access, and a diverse reef community with some 900 year old corals - there is nothing else like it on the Island. If the Island is to have a viable ecotourism industry, it's vital that we can get into Florence and Radical Bay in vehicles as well as boats. My business (Reef EcoTours) is badly affected and will remain so while the road remains closed; we have operated in Florence for the last 11 years and have important long-term photo-monitoring sites in the Bay. There are of course other green zone sites we could operate in (Alma and Geoffrey Bays), but they are a far less attractive ecotourism experience.

In terms of the bigger picture, industry research shows that as carbon prices start to bite, ecotourism will increasingly happen closer to centers of population. Places such as Magnetic Island, which offer national parks and marine parks in close proximity to large population centers, will become increasingly important as sites for ecotourism in the coming decades, and to that extent, properly managed access is a vital component.

I would certainly advocate better signage and facilities in both Radical and Florence Bay to facilitate the visitor experience, however restricting access to these bays to walkers only, would certainly cut off large numbers of potential ecotourists, ecotour businesses, families, locals, and school groups, and we cannot afford that if we want Maggie to be presented as an "Eco-Destination".

Given the recent natural disasters that have flogged both the reefs and many Island businesses (except the tree loppers! ;-) ), we'll need to be maximising the performance of our ecotourism infrastructure, not choking it off. Access, and sensible development at Radical Bay to support day visitors and not property owners, is needed.
Guy Tickle I seem to think they may go back to the original plan and build a home there for themselves, fence off there private property and enjoy the quiet life.

But the problem with that is they will not have to provide access to the beach for the publc we will have to go there via boat or climb around the rocks to walk in.

And come off it Charlie with Real Estate slur, your better than that.
chasmac It's a real shame that none of these discussions about Radical Bay or the track down there is ever represented with an actual map or diagram of the gazetted road reserves, the freehold land, the National Park, the Unallocated State Land (USL) and the various proposed access paths.
Never showing a drawn plan means most people have no idea. When councillors sit in deliberation in Town they rarely have access to a diagram and therefore make statements such as "...public access to the bay should be non negotiable.” If only the Council, let alone commenters here, would look at a title plan they would see that the Esplanade in Radical is connected to the so-called public car park at the rear (southern end) of the bay by a legal gazetted road reserve called a boardwalk passing around the eastern edge of the freehold. This arrangement was set in place in the early 1990s when an earlier gazetted road through the middle of the freehold to the beachfront was closed and all five freehold blocks could be considered as one. The 'boardwalk' was created as a sop to the public so that access to the beach was "guaranteed". It is "non-negotiable" already.
Junipers would rather not build that boardwalk because it runs along and crosses Small Creek and would disturb a whole lot of the ecosystem there. So they have proposed that an alternative path be built down the western (Horseshoe Bay) side of the freehold on a strip of their land which they would give up to the State. It is this alternative path arrangement which the Council is not comfortable with. The eastern 'boardwalk' pathway is legally locked in place but it is inconvenient to acknowledge its existence.
Guy, there are numerous "original" plans going back to 1989 - none of them for a single house. It is not possible now to build a single house there without also building a complete new road access, electricity line, water supply line and connecting to the Horseshoe Bay sewerage system. If they make application to do just that I will be the first to protest the wanton destruction of landscape, particularly between Arthur and Florence bays, simply to make a safe basic road which fellow sucker ratepayers will have to maintain at huge expense.
And just for the record, when the Scouts occupied their 36 acre lease in Florence after WW2 they did so because the only access was by hiking. You know, putting a pack on your back and walking - it's a novel experience these days. That spectacular locale was violated by Bob Wake's Radical Bay track in the early 1970s and by 1976 the Scouts had lost interest in the place altogether. On my observation, nearly all the family groups and 'eco-tourists' who park their cars at Florence Bay are perfectly capable of walking there and would probably walk there now if only they weren't offered a seat in a car.
Unexpected outcome from Yasi
Vicki Yes! I was beginning to think I was going loopy over the last few days. Every time I went outside, I saw one skinny black caterpillar. Was this a message from beyond? (HA!) Suddenly, I see hundreds. I've been feeding the birds seed and lorikeet mix, and understand that within a few weeks I should scale back, and leave them to their own devices.
After coming to terms with the wasteland that is now my back garden, it is healing to hear the birds singing, and the flutterbies fluttering.
monica Yes, i am having to clean the outside table every day because of the large amount of caterpillar droppings from the gum trees, the possums poo is increasing in that area, and into the pool, so maybe they are feasting on the caterpillars too.
Bruce J Dargie Nice 'aftermath' story - loved the book ... a real 'coffee table' treat!
Cheers - BjD (Perth)
Kerrie Funny after reading this story, this afternoon I was downstairs with my boys in our entertaining area, we went back upstairs to prepare an afternoon snack and there was this 'Oh MUM' you have got a catapillar on your BUM and upon checking in the mirror, yes a skinny black catapillar was happily crawling over me.
Lorraine Also coming to terms with devestated garden (Picnic Bay)! Thankfully the deadly hairy caterpillars seem to be decreasing, now have lots of very skinny brown/orange hairless ones dropping from everywhere, no clue as to what they are but, unlike the hairy ones, they are people friendly. Tried to look them up online, but no luck so far in identifying them.
chrissy These caterpillers are EVERYWHERE , the island school has become covered in them, some kids like them others love them , then there is the kids who hate them. . it is causing a lot of disterbance for our island kids trying to get by without hurting them. . .. and us teachers trying to get the kids to ignore them. . .how much longer will they be around. . . hoping with no kids at school over the weekend maybe the birds can get in. . .. .
Work to start on Qld's biggest solar array and it's on Magnetic Island
Dani Ryan Great to hear that Yasi has not held things up too much. With all of the recent rain we have had I am very pleased to know that things are progressing.
I'm sure there are a few skaters who will be a bit stunned with the closure...but think long term, it will be back with fabulous new advantages.
Bring it on Solar Cities. And I say that knowing that the noise will possibly become a pain as I live in close proximity. 'No pain, no gain' Looking forward to seeing the result.
vicki copping I regret that it didn't occur to me earlier (was working constantly in N/B when all this was happening)...that a Tennis Wall would be fantastic in that large space as well! Kids with rackets bashing against a wall, with a net level indicator, would not only encourage tennis as a sport/possible obsession (a good one), and also just to thrash a ball around if you're not into skating?
The good story that bit me
David Donohue good on you George - great yarn and a good outcome all around. Loved "toxic sock"
Calvin Dodd Glad you're still with us George, and didn't suffer much. Sounds like the adder just gave you a warning bite without injecting it's valuble venom. He probably considers you a mate whom needs to be reminded of the safe work wear requirements on MI
Mal Good story George. The more we learn about the snakes that live on the island the better for all. Sadly they are much feared and maligned by many people. Once on the forts walk I found a Spotted Python (non venomous) that someone had stomped on, obviously an unthinking reaction.

Luckily the Death Adder is the only Elapid (venomous) snake on the island with the potential to kill humans- there are no Taipans or Brown Snakes here as far as we know.

Snakes need to kill their prey in order to swallow it whole. Venomous snakes (Elapids and Colubrids) don't always deliver a full dose of venom when alarmed- the "fright bite" which is saying "leave me alone!".

Good on you for knowing the correct first aid, being to constrict and immobilize. Gone are the days of cut, suck and tourniquet as I learned in my Boy Scout days way back when.

Snakes are amazing animals that share our beautiful island. I implore everyone to learn all about our wildlife as you will know the dangers and how to deal with them, and you will also be totally amazed.
basil Obviously the Death Adder put 2 and 2 together,and decided your ecological footprint was a threat.
Barb Gibbs Great story George! What a lucky day...shoulda bought yourself a lotto ticket I reckon.(:
Had you not been the calm., collected guy you are, it may have been worse, even without venom...just the anxiety and heart problems. From now on you are Lucky George, by George. What a tale indeed(:
Vicki Great to hear you came through unscathed, George. How lucky for you that Pen was there - it would have been a more serious outcome otherwise!
My family say I'm over-cautious, but I think a compression bandage in your pocket whilst out working in the yard is a good idea - and a life jacket in the bath,too. (Just joking!)
Seriously, you are a most entertaining writer, and we need more tales of your Magnetic life.
Gav some people will do anything for a story, eh... :)
good story though... maybe he was a life adder... wellness adder, perhaps... false alarm adder..? free trip to the mainland adder...
Vicki & Chris Hi George & Penny, were very lucky!
Strangely enough 2 months after coming here to live, I was bitten by a snake, in the dark. I had no idea what type of snake but it felt as though I had rose cuttings or brambles attack my ankles. I also spent time with fantastic medical professionals both at our clinic and in Townsville. Very pleased you are OK.
PJ So glad you lived to tell the tale, George.
Helene Rankin Glad to read your story & find the happy ending! I walk the bush every day & have been fortunate to just have close encounters with tree snakes. Recently my mum needed to have an emergency trip to TGH and we also experienced the kindness and professional excellence of the island clinic, ambo's and emergency staff at TGH.
Good on you George!
Cath Such a great story of your encounter with the sock, so glad you are ok and very impressed that you didn't bludgeon the sock to death as a lot of people would have done. Sounds like you care about the beautiful environment on Maggie. Hope you have some boots now though! Cath
Allyson Hi George, glad to hear you're ok. (loved the story, too)
Gav would you believe straight after reading this and writing my little reply I had a callout from one of the people here at Jaspers to remove a snake from a room... turned out to be a green tree snake.. so there I was playing with it and showing to around and saying how they never bite when, right on cue, it latched onto my ear!
mmmmm... oh well, they ALMOST never bite!... but syncronicity or what?
prue Dearest George,
We are all so glad that you lived to "tell the tale" As quoted above,good for us all to be reminded of the right medical management. Bless Pen for her loving and professional care. I don't think I would be strong enough to live on the island. Just too much excitement.
Hope to talk to you soon.
With much love
Your sister
Elizabeth Great story, wonderfully told. I nearly picked up a "dishcloth" one day and at the last moment saw it was an adder. The snake removalist breezily told me that there would be dozens of them within a 10 metre radius of the house so I started wearing my glasses outdoors.
Keep up the great work and stay safe,

rebecca great story, and now I know what to expect come the day I tread on one :)

glad you survived so easily :)
IoEsq Phew! Surely one of your nine lives is gone now Geo. p'rbly for Pen too. Dunno who to thank, but I'm very glad you had at least one spare.
Karen The lengths people go to for a story! Great news you're OK and were looked after so well :)
Pat Coleman Glad you still kikcing George, but I think I have a theory as to why it actually bit you. It must have been a serpent with a foot fetish that was thoroughly insulted by your totally ugly feet.
Lea Fantastic story. Very pleased to hear that you're okay. I wonder if you might do an article reminding folk of the correct proceedure to take for snake bite? You might even do another on basic CPR. It's amazing how many people don't know the basics of either.
stephen adder boy george, news of your near demise only reached me the other day at mullum market via gavin
boots only in the yard please.
2011 Magnetic Island Film Festival
carmen i think you should definitely advertise the independent movie fectival better. i'm a big fan, but sadly i only received information now, that the festival has already finished. :(
chasmac carmen, as a fan of the Magnetic Island Film Festival I think that you should definitely read your email more often. The Film Festival article appeared here on February 25, fully two weeks before the show. It was advertized on a rolling basis on Sunferries' Island services during that time.
For a no-budget operation, I am very impressed with the Film Society's presentation.
TCC notice regarding Picnic Sewerage Upgrade
Barb I personally thought simmons were doing quite well under the incredibly hot and wet conditions. They worked extremely long hours and tolerated harsh conditions. The workers were always very polite and minded their own business.
Just goes to show, nothing is permanent. The other contractors will have to be very good now. (abridged Ed)
Peter I agree with you Barb.
No problems at all from my end with Simmons. Seems to me they were doing an excellent job.
They worked hard & long in tough conditions & were always (for me) approachable & polite.When our place was finished they came back TWICE to check we were happy with their work. What went wrong?
Yasi clean-up:
alan Hi,
I dips my lid to the editors of Magnetic Times who have given us the very best records of the cyclone and its aftermath that anyone anywhere could have wished.
Thank you
Chris C I agree with Alan - Another goodun - Thanks George & Pen
Linda The Community volunteers were just amazing. They worked so hard and achieved so much. They looked absolutely exhausted when I last saw them and they had half a day to go. Everyone was so so helpful and dedicated. Friends beat a path to my front door on Friday after the cyclone so I could just get out. They came back and worked even more the next day and then the SES got the tree off my roof and stopped another one from falling. The community volunteers included people from hundred of kilometres away who worked their socks off for people who couldn't do it themselves. No words can fully express the good that they have accomplished. THANK YOU!!!!
TrishM Thanks Magnetic Times for the YASI articles, I am reading from Melbourne as we holiday annually on Magnetic and loving your coverage. The community is fantastic there. Can anyone give information about Arthur Bay - is the road/bridge ok?
vandhana Hi George
To all those who helped in the massive clean up effort, often in difficult, power-less conditions, I say, 'well=done!'
Down at 'our' block in Picnic Bay, the School and Museum stand unscathed, but with many branches and two large bloodwoods down, Rick Braley, myself, Zanita and Gary Davies,and Kay Finn have united to do the best we can with our own clean-up, until the council send in their machinery and man power.
This was a great exercise in preparedness, and I think the Island community did extremely well.
Barb Gibbs Thanks guys and gals, it made me feel quite inadequate that I needed help and most were elderly persons braving extremely hot conditions to help those of us who are unable to lift heavy objects due to bulging discs etcetera.
These teams made very short work of big jobs and deserve great credit.
wendy Tubman Yes, as always, the island did very well - formally and informally - in pitching in. And we can pat ourselves on the back. But why is it that our younger members don't take as active a role? As Ronnie Wilkinson says in the story, "When you’re older you appreciate things more and you want to give something back", but, for many of us, community contribution is something we have grown up with. As youngsters we joined our parents in all sorts of volunteer community activity, and continued to do so though all stages of our usually very busy lives. I know that many (most?) island community organisations are finding it very hard to attract younger members. With apologies to the younger ones who ARE involved, questions to the younger ones: Why is it that you are not keen to become involved in community activities? Are we oldies doing something that discourages you? Or are we not sufficiently encouraging? Or are we not explaining how much fun and how satisfying it can be? We really need to get some new folk to take on various volunteer roles before those currently in the positions die off!
chalkie Bill Lade and his team were worth their weight in gold. Saturday we were very appreciative of Bill and Co's help. Thank you guys. BUT we were not so appreciate of the week before - community spirit? - I think not, all we had were a group of ferals who moved in opposite, stood around drinking, sniggering as they watched me drag green waste for hours and hours for days, not only that they let their dogs poop on other people's property and found that even funnier! Thankfully on the other side of us we had excellent neighbours who threw a life line (from their generator) to keep our small fridge going so we could keep our breakfast foods edible. I think it is true to say one has to be "in the know" on Maggie to receive "community spirit" - THANK YOU again to Bill & Co strangers who helped - your assistance was most appreciated.
The green ant
Jenny Stirling I too had ants every where prior to the cyclones but not Green Ants. They did the right thing by me and stayed put in the mango trees which did very well in the cyclone compared to other trees. No my painful moment was with paper wasps which decamped on to the fascia boards of the house. $120 later they were gone. PS no good trying to get rid of them in the day- too angry. Leave it till the evening.
Lucie de Monchaux A great story, what happens next with the green ants?
Lorraine Great story Helen! Green ants were also rampant in Picnic and did an excellent job of protecting themselves! I will happily swap todays influx of hairy caterpillars for the green ants though!
pamela chambers At 6am post Yasi morning, we ventured outside to take a look not sure what to expect. being at the Hideaway wih lots of trees down and leaves on the ground over 3 inches thick, un beknown to us, those nasty little green ants were angry and lost. with our thongs on, we didn't know and they ran up our legs and did their biting. so bad even got into the car and covered the house. in a frenzy and mad. needless to say, I went back into my house, just awaiting hopeing they would eventually build their nests again, off the ground. I remember when I first moved to the island 8 years ago and didnt know what they were. I soon found out after backing into a nest trying to avoid a spider web in my garden. The green ants attacked me and I jumped into my pool with all my clothes on and learned from this stay clear of them. they hurt and bite and i still have scars on my body from those little suckers.
Sylvia Hayes I learned the hard way to leave the broken branches alone till they were brown!I'd like to heartily thank those SES volunteers and the clean up crew who visited my yard one week later and STILL got stung by green ants, because they removed large broken tree limbs. Above and beyond the call...
Stacey We too have a colony of paper wasps under the eaves...Jenny, How did you get rid of them!
Sue Stacey, I've not been troubled with paper wasps, I've had them build nests under my eaves too. As long as you don't accidentally run into their hanging nests they seem to mind their own business and do their wasp thing without bothering us humans.
pamela chambers oh by the way, I had a couple from the UK inspecting a home to buy on the island a few years ago. and they loved the garden. they saw the big green ant nest in the bush and thought it to be a huge flower ready to bloom.!!! with the little green creatures helping to open the flower. The started to "smell" the so called flower (they thought) and I warned them immediately and they jumped back in a rush never forgetting the fright. no blooming flower!!! only a nest I told them and watch out. they bite!!! you should have seen the look on the UK visitors faces. and and thought the ants were there to help the flower bloom...needless to say they didn't buy the property...wonder why?
Sylvia Hayes Haha, Pamela, that reminds me of a story about an English friend who invited me over for coffee years ago. She pointed out a tall eucalypt in her back garden, saying, "That tree is dying and my hubby's going to cut it down." When I looked confused, she said, "It's really sick! Look at all the bark peeling off!" True story!!!
Report from “Cyclone Alley” Magnetic Island
Penny Lehmann Living in Florida the US, I can relate to these photos and stories living through hurricanes. It's living in the tropics! We learn too how preparation is so important. Living with cooking on the barbie, canned goods and nonperishable foods. It was a good feeling restocking the refrigerator with fresh foods again. The clean-up is grueling, but one thing we have learned is trim the coconuts off the coconut trees before the storm, they can be flying cannon balls and create damage.
Kylie Backler Poor Imogen (aka cyclone Yasi) Had her birthday on the cyclone and missed out on her 9th birthday party, pony rides and all! We have a house and are all healthy and well!
Fay Glad to hear you are safe and well. Do you know if they are going to rebuild the jetty, my husband loves fishing of it when we are up there. If they are going to raise money to rebuild it can you let us know so we can contribute.
Love you magazine, read it all the time
Fay (owner at Bright Point)
Sylvia Hayes Hard to believe that two curlew eggs survived that night out in the open, exposed to the easterly wind coming through the gap into Horseshoe. Mum and dad still expecting, both doing fine.
Mark Tull Island Palms suffered minor facia damage and some panels on reception left the building, but we got through it well. Our fearless managers actually weathered the storm in Unit 3 after evacuating all the guests and did a stunning job in the days that followed. Alas they suffered the loss of a family member shortly after the storm passed and had to leave to attend the funeral, so I went up for a few days and gave a hand. Power and water were the major concerns and of course transport and petrol rationing etc.

Our people, staff and contractors, worked tirelessly, even without power and without running water in their homes for days, to get our resort back on its feet. We were able to continue to do the 6 kitchen upgrades, clean rooms and bring the resort back to life with them. Our systems, human resources and cohesion were up to the task, and I am amazed we have done so well. Much of the Island had to pull together, as there were only 5 SES staff on Maggie, and no reinforcements arrived from Australia. In terrible heat, without water and some still without power, our team have done us proud. To those that work at Island Palms, have worked there, or are members, Thank you all, but there are some special mentions in dispatches.

Tom Birt - Generator Hire and Transport
Murray Withers – Generator Hire, Transport and advice
Vivienne Withers – Volunteered her time in the managers absence to keep the office open.
Michael (the handyman) – best worker I have ever worked with
Our cleaning contractors – Their home still without power or septic and turned up to clean our rooms and help with the kitchen demolition
Tom and Lindelle Vaudrey – Food Storage & Support
Pete Langley – Getting our phones working
Sheena and John Austin – Above and beyond the call
Rod Ritchie That's a great account of the event George. We are so glad that you, Pen and co came trough it all intact and with your sense of humour undiminished.

Really sorry to see the images of the damage to the Island property and vegetation but particularly to the PB jetty, surely the MI icon. Don't let the bastards demolish it.
Jack Daniels Excellent report there but you forgot the most important thing.

Was there any damage to the contents of "our solar powered home office still" - mentioned in first paragraph.

A good still is hard to replace quickly. LOL

On a serious note trees regrow but the images of the Jetty are particularly tragic.
alastair Well written George, your piece conveyed the feeling of what things were like that night,I was not far away in Mandalay Av with Anne.Very pleased that everyone survived/ I particularly liked Rosie's story of the nuts.
Vicki One couldn’t fault the sincerity and lack of self-importance about Anna Bligh that night.
Hi George & Penny,
I love your journalism and expression in this article. I also love your piece "Since the floods her character or at least our perception of it has been reset. We could actually see her on the job as a working leader. The talent she has demonstrated, day after day, in understanding and explaining the technical details of the disasters while pulling no punches but showing a genuine compassion for those experiencing them, was masterful". What must her life as a person be like...I agree, she has been a fantastic Premier through these devastating events...very happy you and your friends - everyone is safe...sad looking vegetation. Thanks George!
Pamela Chambers We stayed on the island during Yasi and my first cyclone. Being from the USA, I have been in Tornados and Blizzards. I prepared with ice blocks, canned goods and candles and bunkered down in the bathroom tub with a large cushion on top. it was scary and at any minute I though that the roof was going to peel away like a can of sardines. The power and the feeling of the unknown was frightening. Living close to Gustuv Creek, it was so dark and with so many mature trees around me uprooted nearly missed my home. Shell shock the next morning, everything was covered with leaves, green ants and debri. We were safe though and with the sun shining it was a new day. But the memories are etched in my mind forever. Whatever you prepare for it someone may not be enough. It is in God's hands.
Carol Kyle Handy Hint- A 12 pack of solar garden lights cost approximately $20 and will provide all night light to your inside rooms when the power is off. We use them regularly especially on all our camping trips to avoid tripping over pegs at night. Even better is the fact I'm not constantly nagging my children to "turn that bloody torch off, your wasting the batteries".
George Hirst Thanks Jack Daniels, You're right, the "Solar powered home office still" is important. It's OK but we have had some ongoing technical problems with our power so I may have to reach for one of your namesakes sometime soon. lol. Cheers, George
Denise Colk Thank you for the article.Living in Melbourne, I could only watch as first the floods, then the cyclone hit Queensland.So much for people to cope with! So pleased all are safe and sound.
Jennifer Cheyne Great journalism and the photographs were frightening. Glad to hear everyone survived the fury.
Marjorie Thank you George and Pen for allowing us through your writing, to understand a little of your terrifying experience. We were very concerned for you all, but when communications no longer existed, it was even more worrying and frustrating. The courage and the cameradie of the Island folk really shines through.
David & Donna Hi George & Penny
Thank you for such a heart felt article.We own a block in Horseshoe bay.The main stream media had given little coverage on Magnetic Island, so we were really concerned. Your online paper is our contact with happenings on the island.
Vicki Arrowsmith (cramp) Hi George.,
I'm so glad you're alright after Yasi. I asked Guy if he'd had any contact with you so was relieved to hear (& now read your fantastic online paper) that all is ok. My daughter Jacqui & I happened to be on Hamilton Island in the lead-up to Yasi and were there for Anthony, which, while scary, was nothing like what you went through. We were so lucky to have our week there when we did, leaving for home just before Yasi belted through. Would love to keep reading your paper. I hope the clean-up and rebuilding to damaged sites goes well.
Vicki Please think of the wildlife and give them a handout in the form of fruit, some lightly steamed yellow veg., wild bird seed,and the yummy mix for lorikeets.
There's nothing on the trees for them to eat- and there won't be for some time.
Some say you should let them fend for themselves - They say it's nature's way of sorting the weak from the strong.
Yes, well we humans would save a lot of time, heartache, and money, if we applied that philosophy to ourselves when we face hardship and disasters.
Claire Great read of not a great night. Agree with Vicki, I had 4 Lorikeets come to my place last Sunday at Horseshoe and today there were at least 20 or even more. Also, remember to feed them in a spot where your own pets i.e. dog/cat can't get to them as one poor Lorikeet who was having a drink of water mixed with honey in my backyard was nearly dog's lunch two days ago. Lorikeet o.k. but this owner has jarred finger as a result of resuce mission. All good.
Marie Warnecke Great Article, and thankyou for sharing your thoughts,George. my heart broke when I saw the first pictures of my beloved island, even though I don't live there any more. How many times I have painted that iconic jetty! As one who was vigorous in the last protest to save the jetty, I will be there again!
Greetings to all our friends, and our hearts are with you
Nancy Walsh Have just read the wonderfully courageous accounts of surviving Yasi. We were thinking of you all & wondering how our Winter home was faring.Fluking a quick call to our friends Murray & Viv Withers we were pleased to hear that they had survived the terrifying night but at that stage had not been outside. It seemed a long time before we had any news of Our Island. We really thought you must have sunk!! Your amazing spirit is shining through & hopefully we will be back at Kooyong again in June. We wish we were able to help you. Specially loved the Ants story & we have been very concerned for the wildlife so loved the Curlew story also. Love to all our friends on the Island & just hope you don't have any more cyclones for a very long time!
Ray Douglas A very informative article. My wife and I have visited your lovely island for a couple of weeks a year for the past two years staying at the Railway Station, aka, the Billy Guy units and are planning to visit again this year in May with our kids and their girlfriends. We are looking forward to introducing them to such a lovely place. So pleased to learn of minimal property damage and no injuries to the locals. God Bless
Ray & Annette Douglas Perth WA
anne Beautiful piece George. Thank you
125kmh winds predicted for Cyclone Anthony
Charles Are there any sand bags available on the island?
Lorna I would like to propose an addition to the standard cyclone kit. That of an “old fashioned“ telephone – one with the hand set connected to the base with a curly cord and does not require power from an electric socket. I am sure that most people do not associate “power cut” with loss of all land line phones, if you only have modern hand held (and main’s powered) phones in the house. Mobiles might be fully charged – but they require the back up batteries at the phone tower to last till the power comes back on.
Councillor responds to off-leash dog issues
Davo Good to hear you've upped patrols Trev but if your guys want to find the dogs off the lead easily just go down to Nelly Bay beach after five. May cost a little overtime but youd cover costs cos plenty of locals think the beach is Ok for that, cept the nesting turtles, beach birds and dog owners who do the right thing.
CGN Bit of deja vu happening here. Similar article in the Townsville Bulletin last week I believe. Hey Tev while one lot of your guys are patrolling Nelly Bay after five how about send some down to Horseshoe Bay Beach and nearby recreation ground then on the way back keep an eye open around Geoffrey Bay. Spotted one young lady today trotting along with her rat sized dog down Marine Parade around 8.10a.m. , no lead, nada.
chasmac It might be splitting hairs a bit Davo but really the problem is not dogs off the lead WHILE THEIR OWNERS ARE IN ATTENDANCE. The problem is roaming dogs who apparently don't have an owner, or whose owner is at work or whose owner doesn't give a stuff. I know rools-r-rools and you'll get plenty of support for draconian policing to the absolute nth degree - but not from me.
CGN Something similar to this response was published in the Townsville Bulletin last week. Copy and paste going on if you ask me. Trev about you get your guys up and early as I noticed at leat 2 different dogs on the wander around Horseshoe this morning.
Greta (pen name) V. Walker The wandering dogs are to be pitied, as they live with owners who care little for their welfare.Its like letting your toddlers out to play in the traffic.
Occasionally, a dog will do a Houdini trick, fair enough. But then the problem has to be rectified.
Yoy know, in some sensible communities (none in Australia), the RSPCA, or equivalent, come to inspect your yard for suitability when you wish to buy a pet from them
How intelligent is that! No more working, and large dogs stuck in an unsuitable environment, going nuts with boredom and loneliness.
No more runs and chains that control their miserable lives.
As I said, not in Australia...
The Husky and Lab cross were out this morning running down Yule, and into Picnic Street, and given the reputation of the Husky (whether deserved or not), we made a very quick detour with our dog.
Also, a white Staffie with brown eye patches was wandering up and down Granite Street at the same time.
Wendy Tubman Thanks for the further info George. The number to ring to report wandering dogs is 4727 9000 (Council's main customer service number). The person answering the phone will take the details and pass them on the the legislation folk in TCC. So let's all make a point of ringing Council when we see wandering dogs because, to be fair, with only nine complaints (versus 406 dogs) last year, it is not surprising that Council hasn't acted. Let's make sure they are fully aware of the magnitude the problem.
DogWalker Read similar article almost word for word in the Bully last week. Hope the owner of a male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel spotted wandering around Horseshoe today is able to retrieve their dog. Dog last seen chasing after early morning jogger down Gifford Street past the Horse Ranch. Would said owner PLEASE HAVE A NAME TAG PUT ON SAID DOG'S COLLAR. Honestly people are SLACK. Council has been informed.
Leash lady Chasmac, Think of a woman with a well trained friendly big dog walking on the beach without a lead and someone asks her why its off the chain and she says, this dogs under my control and would never hurt a flea and shes probably right but then the bloke with the dog thatsnot trained and loves to run about sees the other bloke walking his good dog off the lead and does the same. Ask him and he says, My dog would never hurt a flea too. Lots of owners dont know how to control their dogs properly and if people stop to talk often the dog has disappeared off somewhere chasing wildlife before the owner has noticed. Leashes are a pain in the butt but its a little price my dog and I will pay for living in this beautiful place.
chasmac Leash lady - if you want to take your dog out in the public space you know what the rules are. Everyone does. If a separate section of beach or sports ground or some other public land was set aside as an official "off leash" area you would still have to deal with owners whose dogs are as undisciplined as they are. That's the way the cookie crumbles. Leashes are not a pain in the butt. If you want to stop and gasbag on the beach while your dog or the other person's dog wanders off "chasing wildlife" - help yourself. When you get busted, tough.
adam lewis Target roaming dogs. Enjoy the others, and let them walk off the leash!!
A mauled Koala may be evidence of roaming dogs, but is unlikely to be dogs being walked off the leash.
Magnetic Island is probably the most stressfull place to own a dog in Australia,and the lack of off-leash areas is little more than cruelty.

Now you can Google a Sunbus
Chris C Thanks for letting us know but I reckon I'll just go down to Sooning St a bit before the boat is due
Peter Edwards-Davis Unimpressed - any trip starting from the Island and ending in Townsville is apparently out of their area. I will stick to bus timetables and plan my tripby the old manual method.
Linen appeal for flood victims
Mya It's just Thursday morning and already the Island has contributed a pallet load of linen,thankyou and please keep it coming,this is such an awesome response and its just started...please ensure that items are bagged and labelled...thanks Lorna for orgainising this.
Flood benefit concert on Sunday Jan 23
Magnetic Jazz Assoc. Magnetic Jazz Assoc. has donated two vouchers - ie double weekend passes to the 'Great Tropical Jazz Party' for auction.
Vale koala 049
Barbara Gibbs And so is cause for the sunset clause to be introduced...sad for those who comply, but others cannot be trusted and don't care.
Chris C Sickening! Again!

An incredibly balanced report Georgie - far more balanced than I could have been!! Your choice to publish was spot-on.

If Cr. Roberts cares to give me a call I'd be happy to point out where the Nelly Bay wanderer you photographed resides.
melinda I tried to walk my dogs at Picnic Bay on leash but it was impossible because of two big local dogs known to the community that regularly roam. I can't walk my dogs in my own area again because of dogs (which are regularly reported as vicious) living down the road. As I have young children I cannot risk an attack because I cannot care for both my dogs and my children. In my own area I was told a backpacker had to climb onto a car and ring 000 to save herself. These dogs are still at large to attack and maim. We can report dogs off leash all we want but we cannot make the authorities respond. Let's hope a child is not the next victim.
Island View Cross-posted at Blogging Townsville - or is that back-linked??
Arcadian resident There are dogs continually roaming in Arcadia. The dogs bail up residents and tourists alike. I try to walk my dog on a lead but it takes some guts to do this! There are also dogs continually roaming in the National Park. I know that some of the dogs belong to a family in McCabe Crescent. I've certainly complained about them and I know others have too, but nothing ever seems to happen. When is Townsville City Council going to do something about this menace?
Peter T> We have had a "Tagged" koala living in a tree in our yard for about 3 years.AN incredibly healthy specimen also..It has not been seen for 3 weeks now.Possibly the same one.
Dining in Picnic Bay last evening there were at least 2 dogs roaming freely with no leads and no council tags..This certainly needs to be addressed..Good article George
Sara S Can I suggest that people report wandering dogs directly to Townsville City Council? You can do it easily on their 'Report A Problem' page.

That way Cnr Trevor Roberts will have a list of dog wandering offenders in writing that he can act upon, and also see the number that are on the loose. (TCC URL removed due to software constraints Ed)
John Grieg Until they get an independent dog catcher this problem will continue. No point in having a guy who knows all the long trem residents (and their dogs) and has to live along side them @ golf, the supermarket, the pub etc. It's not just Koalas, it's curlews and small dogs that hare killed. Wasn't a Bichon taken in Nelly?
Kelly I agree Melinda, how long before a child becomes the victim? I was chased by a large black dog in McCabe Cres Arcadia a few years ago when I was letterboxing. I had a baby in a pram and was very frightened by this snarling dog which I was later told by the owner would not hurt a fly. Yeah right! A big issue on the island is people living with dogs on unfenced properties, of which there are many. I would love to see council finally acting on the dog problem here. Thanks Sara for your suggestion, I hope people do start reporting.
Hewie An absolute tragedy yes, very sad. But please stop the beat up of all dog owners! I too had dinner in Picnic Bay last evening and was very pleased to see numerous responsible dog owners with all animals either being walked on leash or tied up whilst their owners enjoyed their dinner. I counted at least 8 dogs being more than appropriately controlled and didn't see any roaming free. In fact I think that Peter T may have even been sitting at the next table? As a responsible dog owner myself I'm a bit over a few ruining it for the masses - bring on change with tougher Council rules by all means but at the same time us responsible dog owners could do with a bit in return. In NSW, under the Companion Animals legislation, every council must provide off leash excercise areas for dogs. These areas work extremely well and are a pleasure for all, including folks without dogs. Townsville Council has failed dog owners over here as we have no such area. The breakwater and Helliport would have been ideal as you can see everyone come in and go out so dog owners have plenty of time to get their animals under control. Unfortuneately it looks like that possibility has been taken from us now thanks to the encouragement through artificial means of fodder being placed there for the Wallabies. I will be personnally lobying council for an off leash area and will check for Qld equivalent of the NSW Companion Animals Legislation. Finally, as a note to John Grieg (above) - It's a bit rich to be so harsh on our Dog Catcher, he does an absolutely marvelous job and is very pro-active in his work through his knowledge of the owners on the island. It's a great shame his hands are tied as far as feral cat irradication and irresponsible ownership of moggies is concerned because these animals are also capable of such slaughter of our wildlife and are largely unchecked.
If anyone wants to join a loby group for an appropriate off leash area I'd be very interested.
Sue I agree with John - Council it's time you got some independent animal officers (dog catchers) to the Island on a regular basis. With the amount of dogs off leash it wouldn't be hard to more than adequately cover the costs of doing this. Of course dog owners like our dog catcher - why wouldn't they? He's a nice bloke and accordingly no one ever gets fine. Yeah it's hard fining the mate down the road who's got a little yapper that harms no one or no thing but is walked off-leash but if you don't fine him then how can you fine the ****head who's got a dog that's allowed to roam all day and night chasing wallabies and curlews for it's exercise? When it bites a kid then something happens but until then nothing much happens. Every beach and street on this island is an unofficial off leash area - not to mention the national park. If Council wants to fix this problem they need to regularly (every week at least) send animal officers to the island. This would reduce the off leash and roaming dog problem over night.
ED I own two dogs I am a responsible dog owner,, I have a back yard completly fenced, my dogs have not wandered into my front garden, and are caged in a ute securly when I go out, but I am sick to death of being harassed by other dogs. to start with four dogs in Arcadia, one at a beach front business Marine parade, off leash and wondering over two years now, 3 others RSL area , one never on a leash and wandering round for over 3 years, I was walking one of the dogs one evening when I was attacked by two dogs, these people own a Island home and come from town and let them run about, whilst here, another in Arcadia, my dog was sitting inside the fly screen door and was confronted by another visitors dog, consequently I finished up with a fly screen ripped, go to Picnic and another dog always near a cafe, jumps up to the car scratching it, anoying both my dogs, again why should I and others have to put up with this just because so and so knows so and so, and "we have been doing this for years". typical Island! and before someone tuts , I have been here 24 years. Nelly bay shopping centre has a dog wondering all the time near two cafes, no one says or does anything, people have to leave there tethered dogs while doing shopping and you have to worry whats going on outside. I have seen a dog eating a Roo on two occasions outside the Rec Club once again off leash, its not fair on responsible owners, when I take my dogs for walks now I have to carry a BIG stick and a handfull of pepper, I do have photos to back up anything I have said. come on dog owners do the right thing for once,
chasmac Hewie, nothing has changed at the helipad / Presto Breakwater area. You can still walk your dog there and the wallabies still have their refuge in the stone breakwater.
But what of the roaming dogs? The dogs which have no collar, no leash and for all intents and purposes, no owner. These are not 'companion animals' within the meaning of that legislation you quoted. Off-leash areas are for owners who are willing to stick around and attend to their dog's exercise and recreation needs. Sticking around and attending..... now there's a challenge.
Chalkie How very very sad. There are many issues for TCC to tackle: wandering off-leash dogs, noise, litter, dumped cars, mowing of footpath reserves - the list is endless. Mind you, people too could help and take responsibility for their own backyards (literally)and actions: walking their dogs on leash, not letting their animals roam, being considerate of neighbours re noise and barking dogs, not throwing litter, not dumping cars on their front reserves, taking pride in their immediate properties and surrounds and of course Magnetic Island itself. Magnetic Island has a long way to go before it could by any stretch of the imagination be awarded a 'Tidy Town' award.
chalkie Back to the sad tale of Koala 049 - it was a pity a tree had to be lopped at Picnic Bay to cause Koala 049 to be relocated. Yet another tree gone, I wonder when people will learn to live with trees - remember the song 'Yellow' Taxi' - (paraphrasing) chop all the trees and put in a parking lot!
Dahlia That big Ridgeback in Nelly is a problem when I try to walk my little dog. It is disgusting how the longer term residents think they own everything and have no respect for the dogs of newer residents who use leads. Not to mention the wildlife they kill. Those poor Curlews!
Andrew Krockenberger I was very sorry to hear that koala #49- we called him Dennis- had been killed by a dog. Dennis was a young male koala, probably around 3 years old and in prime condition (nearly 8 kg), who would have relatively recently established himself in his range around Picnic Bay and could possibly have managed another nearly 10 years as a Picnic Bay resident. On the upside, Peter T, he couldn't be the tagged koala you've been seeing for several years because he was only tagged in September 2010, so your one may just be having Christmas break from your garden.

Thanks for the article George. As an outsider, I'm not going to buy into the discussion around control of dogs on MI because it is clear that there is a solid discussion going on and your NPWS staff are supporting you and providing you with good information.
Gerry Dahlia is onto something. I have seen that big ridgeback many times near the park opposite the Habitat roaming free. Scary. What's wrong with some people? And why is it allowed to roam free?
kylie @ Melinda, I know you are talking about my dogs, but you are sadly mistaken..YES I had a problem with them getting out which has been resolved. Of late, I have had no back fence as they were doing the septic, BUT, they have been on a runner outside. As for being vicious, 1 is a pup ( lab cross 5mths old ) and 1 a husky that talks which may sound intimidating and scary! They are not vicious ! Akira, which is my husky, has kids laying over her all the time and doesnt batt an eyelid' So you dont have to worry about your kids ( maybe your screaming at the top of your voice has something to do with it )
And seriously, if they were reg reported, would they still be here ??
Interested Obsever @ Kylie. Are you saying that your dogs are the ones which roamed Picnic Bay? The Bay where the Koala was mutilated? Not Melinda LOL
kylie No, lol..not putting my hand up for that one ! they got out a couple of times in the past but have been on runners our hard working dog catcher knows :D Its really sad about the koala but could have been any dog or anything, maybe another male koala as it was recently relocated ??? just a thought :D
CGN Chalkie you're preaching to the choir as far as I'm concerned. Maybe it's time for residents to get tough and "dob" in those dogs who are wandering the streets or being walked unleashed. Use your mobile cameras if you have to for proof. People don't like a dobber but enough is enough. They'll be baying for blood the first time a child is seriously hurt or worse by the dog belonging to one of their neighbours. Most residents know who's dog is who's in their area, which ones are allowed to roam and those that are kept restrained, and so does the resident dog catcher.
Long time visitor from Melbourne What a terrible story. Everybody loves Koalas.

Over the years I have noticed on my many visits the number of roaming dogs on Maggie, mostly very large dogs too.

I could never understand it but about 4 years ago my wife got a little white fluffball that she claims is a dog. We walk it everywhere and are never harassed by any wandering dogs in our suburb.

But then we literally crossed the railway tracks one day on a walk and it seemed that EVERY house had a big angry dog.

Now real estate prices on our side are crazy and there is ZERO graffiti. But over ther in the (Housing Commission) side the prices are low and there is graffiti everywhere but it is the large dogs wandering everywhere that we notice most over there.

Can someone explain this phenomenon to me please?

I would have thought that sensible people moved to beautiful Magnetic Island not the other type
Islander Thank you for your kind thoughts regarding Koala (049) Long Time Visitor from Melbourne. However, I find your comments "I would have thought that sensible people moved to beautiful Magnetic Island not the other type" and reference to Housing Commission two bob snobbish and down right offensive. Newsflash, the dogs that are allowed to roam free on Maggie come from all sorts of socio economic homes.BRRRRRRIIIIIGGGTTTTOOON and Toorak have a fair share of undesirables living there as well.
Long time visitor No offence intended there Islander!

I feel for those poor people too and pay huge taxes which help them, not to mention some other things we do.

The fact remains that Koala 049 would be alive today without large roaming dogs. So would plenty of Curlews and other wildlife.

From the comments above it seems that I am not the only one who recognises that large roaming dogs are a real problem on Maggie.

It surpirses me that it is so tolerated as normal on Maggie.

Is it just an historical thing that old timers have done for decades or do the newbies allow their large dogs to roam also?

And I suspect even I know what dog that big Ridgeback is in Nelly. I have seen it wandering near a business I frequent

Thinking about the floods
Kylie Harwood Well said Barbara! We are blessed beyond words and what a practical and caring way of giving to someone less fortunate.
Andrew Kerans Barbara

The idea of housing is an excellent one. Unfortunately I only own vacant land.

I am not a climate change skeptic, however I beg to differ on "This is the big change that has been due us for a long time to prompt us into being more self-sufficient and more respectful of mother nature".

This is La Nina. From the BoM site: "The term La Niña refers to the extensive cooling of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean. In Australia (particularly eastern Australia), La Niña events are associated with increased probability of wetter conditions"

In fact from 1970 - 2009 the area in question has suffered a decrease in average rainfall of over 50 mm per year!!

So really all we are seeing is the second verse from Dorothy MacKellar in 1906

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains

Andrew (info source url deleted due to technical limitations of website Ed)
NYE “generally good”
Hewie Having witnessed the utter chaos at Alma Bay 2 years ago and after watching our boys in blue in action this year I take my hat off to our local bobbies for a job well done! Thanks guys. Was there a little less focus on X Base tho this year? That's not necessisarily a bad thing however because their liscensing hangs on a thread from what I hear, and so it should! If a venue wants to bring 2000+ to Maggie and reap profit from it then they must put in place every conceivable harm minimisation approach for it's customers and local residents.
Well done fellas, NYE 2010 had potential to be a nightmare for residents and you handled it very well.
Jill Edwards-Davis What a shame it is that teens these days seem to be unable to have a good time without becoming drunk, vandalising property, making an appalling mess and indulging in senseless violence!
Were we like that when we were young? I don't remember any of that though I do remember one party at which somebody arrived very drunk. A couple of the older boys, with that rarest of posessions in those days, a car, took him home....We were all very shocked. No, I don't think we were a bunch of boring goody-goodies, either; we enjoyed ourselves all evening, and woke up feeling fine next morning.
Marilyn Sheather I'm equally concerned about the full moon party at X Base as I've been informed that it's the expected hatching time for the turtles. As a precaution, wildlife carers are staking out on the beach between the nesting area & X Base.
melitta I think it a bit unfair to write all teens off because of the behaviour of some. Every year teens gather at Alma for the new year, every year (before & after) there is controversy about it. They go there bacause its 'fun' some get out of controll because they can. Solution? Why not plan a supervised event for teens at Alma? They are doing it themselves anyway, fighting it has not worked to date. There are some great local youth bands around, an organisation like the surf life saving club could sell drinks & snacks raising much needed funds. The council could privide more bins so rubbish does not build up. Security would come with an organised event taking pressure off Police.

Get the teens involved in organising the event, give them ownership of turning a negative into a positive, some may even be pleasantly surprised at how much teens of today can achieve when trusted & believed in....

(my mention of SLSC only an example only & not meant to be directed at that organisation specifically)
Walkway “commitment” walk away
sylvia Maybe I'll have to throw the infamous blowup man overboard and hope it's mistaken for a tourist floating down below.
Now there's an idea.
pam 14yrs ago I was responsible for the first pertition to go to council...with the help of many kind volunteers we collected a significant no. of names this was then submited to council .6mths later we still had no reply to say they had even recieved it let alone considered it! many people since have tried to no avail.surely we don't need more petitions! that road way is a health & safety hazard. I was 53yrs old when I came to our beautiful island I am now 67yrs. Come on Magi residents lets make our polies stand up and be counted. the money is there they are too busy useing it for other progects,I am sure we could all name a few. thanks for the oppertunity to respond.
Linda Obviously, from the English, Tony Mooney made a personal commitment to get the federal funding. As he didn't get elected he is hardly in the position to do it now. The voters denied him the position of influence. Simple really.
Island View A beautiful bit of double speak by Mooney which I must admit I didn't pick up on at the time.

"I have committed to deliver federal funding of $4.7 m ..." is of course a promise by Mooney not by the then government!!

And I thought I'd heard all of the weasle-words!
Mark Blacknell As one of those tourists who quite enjoyed his time on Magnetic Island, I think an addition of a walkway would very much encourage visitors to filter over the hill and down into Arcadia. I went for a run one evening, and had one of the closest calls of my life at the very spot pictured above. Truck came flying around the corner and I had nowhere to go but into the railing. Terrifying.

In any event, I had a grand time on Magnetic Island, and I think it would be wonderful to make it a bit more pedestrian friendly.


Mark Blacknell
Washington, DC
A poem: Reef-Walkers
Tom Cameron complete crap
Bruce J Dargie Loved the book, poems and continuing Magnetic Times! Best wishes to all for the upcoming season and 2011!
Davo your complete crap comment Tom is, well, complete crap
chasmac Interesting response to Nick Flittner's poem. Obviously some people think fringing reefs are pretty much indestructible and should be open to visitation at all times.... which they are. However, there was a time when the reef at Geoffrey Bay was set up with a self-guiding trail with labels etc so that people could take themselves out there at low tide and learn something in their travels. This was around the time when the discovery of 'coral spawning' was made at that very place. There was special signage erected for both purposes and it became quite a popular activity. If I remember correctly, after a couple of years there was a seriously worn trail across the fringing reef and the managers in Marine Parks and GBRMPA realised that their good idea had a downside. They removed the signage and the labels and no longer promoted the self-guiding trail and the reef began recovering.
I reckon Nick's poem dates from that exact time.
Nick Flittner Exactly right, chasmac! I remember sitting on the beach at Geoffrey Bay watching people walking all over the reef, following that trail set up by GBRMPA. It did seem odd to me at the time that they were encouraging people to walk on the reef. You could also snorkel around the trail at higher tides, which seems a much less intrusive use of the reef. BTW, Magnetic Island Reflections are now available at the MI Heritage and Craft Centre.
An Assange sculpture for Magnetic Island?
David Crusty Herron Whilst the tourism operators are doing their SWOT analysis of the proposal I suggest that a sculpture providing a photo opportunity is an excellent idea. What better means to spread the word? The gospel of Freedom of Information & the rights of the individual to self determination. So I propose the folowing;

The Sculpture;

Julian standing (or seated), next to a waist high 'Egg Timer' WikiLeaks logo -

With one of his hands (right or left depending on which symbolism works best) resting on the top.

The sculptured WikiLeaks Logo could have water leaking from various points - a sort of fountain - solar pump recycled of course (perhaps topping up with recycled water from the Cockle Bay Sewage Treatment Plant)

Next to the Sculpture there could be lectern style brief description (like those already around the island at points of interest) with a touch pad to activate a voice commentary &/or video on the who, what, why, when of WikiLeaks.

The plinth could have something carved on two or four sides, eg; or, WikiLeaks Whistleblower Web... forget the latter... a bit frivilous.

In keeping with Maggies participation in the Solar Cities program, naturally, the sculpture would be solar lit at night.

I sugest that by creating something such as the above we provide a unique attraction with promotional opportunities for tourism. Most importantly we address the issues George mentioned; it is not public art - it is a public symbol. Safe? the sculptures message celebrates our determination to secure freedom of information and the rights of the individual for self determination. Attractive? Not in the usual sense of art. WikiLeaks is & will continue to be a household word. Worldwide. It will be an attraction. Think of WikiLeaks - think of Magnetic Island. It would be interactive. Giving a message. And yes it wiould provide an unusual photo opportunity and assist in spreading the word.
Rolf Given that he was here as a child for those formative years, one of those cutsie little boy peeing sculptures seems to hit the spot.
Peter Jackson Going with Rolf's suggestion, maybe we could recycle one of the peeing sculptures from the previous Flinders Mall. PJ
Robert van den Berg How commercial, thats not maggie.
And who remembered him? and his mother on the island....?
No one.. yeah crusty? but hey.. this is wrong as he didnt do anything for the island.., and now all of a sutton he is being painted down as the son of maggie.. boooo i say to this.. wrong.. perhaps we can sell t-shirts and cups and stubby holders with his name and face on their..
paco wikileaks pier.
julie v Go Rolf.
Jullian Assange taking a leak.
Works on many levels.
David Crusty Herron Commercial? Of course. Reactionaries and dissidents have potential to publicise their cause. However, the extent and usefulness of this publicity is often restricted and limited, relatively speaking, if knowledge of the cause and it's impact/efects have only a narrow support base.

History indicates that oftimes success in making change happens more effectively and expediently with a broader, vocal and influential support base from a diverse cross section of the community. To achieve this we need to use whatever means available that are appropriate.

If we provide the local tourism industry with a unique & marketable promotional material then they will be assisting the cause and indirectly/directly adding their influence. This is appropriate.

Most of us think globally but act locally. Julian and Wikileaks act globally. The message is global with a local impact.. because it is our individual rights that are affected - and in essence is providing a means to achieve what most of us desire.

So let's get help from the tourism industry to spread the word. Win Win.

Now, whether he did or "-didnt do anything for the island..," in his early years is not of any consequence. It is what he is now and what he is doing now that is important. Wikileaks has the potential to make changes that may have a positive impact on "the island" and for every individual who make it what it is.

Any sculpture or object proposed will Not be just a memorial to Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Per capita Maggie has spawned an incredible number of dissedents & reactionaries with a diversity of just causes, whose actions have changed life & our environment for the better in so many areas and on so many levels of our society. One would hope that whatever object is put in place, it will be a reminder of these islanders and those who will take their places, what they stand for and what has and is being achieved by them.

Like all of us, these islanders, Julian among them, are products of their environmen. Maggie provides some of this environment. It is our past and the people, with their philosophies and ideaologies, we encountered and learned from that help make us who and what we are - and empowers us locally to work toward making global changes.

So let's at least give it a go.
chasmac Going with the leaks thing, why not a nicely sculptured urinal?
Sylvia Seems we already have that at the terminal, chasmac.
Stan Ed, my $500 donation offer still stands, but with progress at this rate, it won't be worth much by the time something finally happens.

Stan PB
Island View When you think of the types of people who might come to visit the childhood home of Assange, I think that any monument would need to be able to be visited in all anonymity and would need to include a free and highly encrypted wifi connection and highly secure server.

Sorry George and Rolf but I'm not sure that electricity and water together is going to work!
Linda Given Julian's apparent predilection for complications in his sexual relationships, perhaps we should make it a Cupid sculpture with bow and arrow and of course the leaks.
Albanian Might I suggest a combination of fountain and equestrian statue, with the horse taking the leak. That would be impressive and unique enough to attract tourists, and the efforts of the horse would represent the sheer quantity of the leaks.
S.P Yes!
S.P Yes! Great FNQ tourism idea too :)
Ture Sjolander The very first original proposal of the Julian Sculpture on top of Mount Cook (497 meter above sea level)was presented and published by me on the internet, well documented and still present.(townsville.homestead)
There you go! Just to let you know...
Al Goater Arcadia

Put the Staue in the picnic Bay toilets then all of us can have a leak.
TURE SJOLANDER Sacrifice the biggest and most visible granite bolder on the Island and carve Julian's head in large scale all over the rock. That will do!

Another great big bolder in Picnic bay could be used for a bronze sculpture of The Man in life-size climbing it, half way up.

Financed by the Townsville City Council of course.

Text plate: Lest we forget.
John Paterson Up above the units on Bright Point: Mount Rushless
An ex-Buddhist monk tells his remarkable story
chasmac Great piece, nicely written. Thanks to Chittapala and Pen. I did wonder though about this bit....

"Buddha often mentioned that the monk’s life if lived loosely, without making effort, does not bear great fruit."

I love the idea of a metaphor (bearing of great fruit) but I can't relate this particular metaphor to the pursuit (then teaching) of spiritual awareness and enlightenment.... if that is what is being pursued. Aren't all fruits great? Isn't every bite of the cherry a suck on the sauce bottle?
very very interesting.
Sylvia Hayes What a wonderful and interestingly told story. I learnt a lot about the Buddhist monk's life.
Helene Rankin Congratulations Penn on a brilliantly written interview. Chittapala is such a caring person and has been of the greatest benefit to so many people , both on & off the Island. He is genuinely humble and kind with a great sense of humour. Even though I've been fortunate enough to be a friend for many years, I had not been aware of all the details of Chittapala's earlier life. This was a great article.
Thank you & well done.
PJ I echo Helene's words, "Even though I've been fortunate enough to be a friend for many years, I had not been aware of all the details of Chittapala's earlier life. This was a great article. Thank you & well done." PJ.
Tatjana Thank you Chittapala & Pen for the fantastic information . The "effort" perhaps means to apply oneself. Chittapala is assiting the girl and her family who's life has been improved due to her possibility to get an education. For a girl a way out of poverty no doubt leads "bearing of the fruit" as it can lead to a productive life. We here in the wealthy world where we are all complaining how bad business is, sitting in our airconditioned houses or cars taking our fruit out of fully functioning fridges & feeding our already overweight children might have some spare change to support this cause. Sharing is caring. Thank you for the opportunity and we know that the money goes directly to the people.Tatjana
Billie Chittapala has an inspiring life, and from looking at his face, I can see he is genuine in his path.... thankyou Chittapala
Shahab Thank you very much.Respected Chittapala.Chittapala is rely Great man of the world.I like very much.Shahab
Steve Lane Wow. What a life! What a story! Lovely fella too!
Oliver Inspiring and a great interview. Thank you. Oliver
Suzen Meagher Lovely to hear Chittapala's story - very nicely written, Thank you Penelope.
He is a friend of a friend of mine Jillian. She would love me to meet him when I visit Magnetic Island next month.
I hope you might be able to let him know that his friend from the Buddhist Library is asking for him. She rang his Mum but her phone was disconnected. I was able to tell her that she moved to the Gold Coast in 2010 - Chittapala mentioned this in a post I found. The web's very useful for this kind of info.
Thank you in anticipation of your assistance
In Kindness
Tajo Indiga I found this story very touching, and the parts where he talked about before he was a monk and didn't really fit in, like not knowing a career path, questioning the meaning of life etc, I could really relate to.
A few months ago I started looking into spirituality, since then my life has been absolutely amazing,
I know now my calling in life, someday I will become a monk and live in pure bliss with the planet.
Saving Assange from Fox News
Jenny Stirling You did that likeness George? Hmm it has captured something of his curiosity and distain. As for the moral of the story, there will be a mock trial and all hell is set to break loose. Wikileaks will certainly be a facor in the US presidential elections.
Mal Hamilton Is it possible to buy a newspaper in Queensland that is not owned by Rupert Murdoch?

Those in the USA baying for Julian Assange's blood should rightly be more concerned about American citizens committing terrorist acts against other American citizens on American soil. Assange merely presents a softer, more visible target.

Haven't they found Osama yet?
Chris C Agreed Mal - Isn't it interesting how quickly Assange was cornered (courtesy of the Swiss) and yet Osama (the reason for at least two wars) is still apparently free after all of these years and deaths?

Could it be that each of these seemingly contradictory outcomes (i.e. Assange neutralised and war continuing) represent exactly what is in the best interest of the US weapons industry(and quite possibly therefore, old Rupert as well)

Nice pic too George although, for the statue, I still prefer the idea of the fountain rather than the bust !
David Crusty Herron Right or wrong, I feel strongly about this...

A rabid minority are seeking, by any means, the demise of Julian Assange, ("he should be killed", Lt Col Ralph Peters. USA), thinking to end Wikileaks and what it stands for. But I do not believe for one second that whatever happens in the next few weeks will bring an end to the outrage many of us are experiencing as a result of the revelations in the WikiLeak disclosures.

Elected governments, along with their powerful and insidious bureaucracies, have taken away our inalienable rights to self determination. Open, democratic, representational government is a farce. The Code of Secrecy & fallacy is the norm for all our governments actions. How can we exercise our rights if we are 'kept in the dark', lied to, and disenfranchised?

The democratic processes, for freedom of information and the rights of the individual, that should be the essential basis of our way of life are denied us.

It appears that our governments mandate no longer includes the provision for open, honest representational democratic government for the benefit of the people.

And further, In the light of what is happening in our own state, our own country, any thinking person would be forgiven for concluding that our governments finally have come to the misbegotten realisation that we the people, the people they govern are powerless and have no rights.

Once elected precious few of our representatives represent us or our needs. Oh they sometimes listen but they don't hear us. The well being of the people, the battlers, is no longer a consideration. They believe that they do not need to be honest and open in their governace. They believe that they can do whatever they like and that there is little we can legally do or say of influence to stop or guide them. They seem to think that we do not scare them at all.

But they are wrong. Julian Assange and his team have set out to do what many of us just talk about or are too scared to do. He has found a way, right or wrong, to remind those who rule us that we, the people still have the power not only to make our governments and their bureaucrats accountable but to restore, at least in part, some of the democratic process that is rightly ours.

Regardless of what is being said, or done, Julian with Wikileaks has set an example of how and exposed why "the space between the citizens and the government needs to be reduced" (Brett Solomon, GetUp!)

They may try to remove Julian Assange but others will follow and act more stridently until our governments not only listen but act accountably and openly in accord with the rights, needs and will of the people.
David Crusty Herron In regard to Julian Assange & WikiLeaks; when our feral politicians state that they have a mandate to act in the national interest which nations interest do they mean?
George Hirst Ta Chris and Jenny re the sketch. It's hard for us to get photos of the man that don't raise copyright so this way I can claim originality. Meanwhile the "fountain" will be up tomorrow. George Hirst Ed.
George Hirst Thanks again Jen. It's probably appropriate that the drawing has no original as it is the first drawing I have undertaken with an electronic tablet. No pencil or paper just straight onto the screen. So, in keeping with the subject's passion, a computer generated image which can go anywhere instantly and in unlimited numbers. I am thinking about a T-shirt though. Cheers, George
jenny Stirling Yes the sketch is good and I like it because it is interpretative. Perhaps you might like to put an 'original' up for auction to further highlight Magnetic Island and its link with this famous son. What other Australian community could have produced such a prodigy? Think about it: Magnetic Island has an online newspaper; access to a global commnunity including many back packers from Sweden; a history of political dissent; provides the joys of an unrestricted childhood; an amazing natural and beautiful environment which lends itself to the development of a 'critical' spirituality; and an ongoing committment to free speech. Perfect in every way.
Liz Crusty - fully agree with you, the more people start to stand their ground against government lies and tyranny, the more extreme we see governments clamp down on 'political dissidents' (now absurdly relabelled 'terrorists') such as Julian Assange. It sickens me that America's neo-con AND republican politicians AND media goons are calling for his assasination on the basis that the USA has 'lost face'... no trial, no jury, they want him strung up - hung drawn and quartered it would seem, this is something akin to KGB or Nazi mindset...."silence the dissenter!" Luckily people ARE starting to wake up and I think we are in for a bumpy ride, we the people need to stand our ground and be strong - not be intimidated by fascist thugs such as Bill O Reilly and Ralph Peters, Hillary Clinton etc etc.

George - yes please - print the sketch of Julian Assange onto a White T-Shirt I will buy it for sure and I bet lots of others will! Sell them on ebay I reckon you'd sell loads!!!

PS Check out my youtube channel - I am Lemonyofthestate

Wish I could be back on Maggie Island I miss it like crazy!!!
Julian Assange’s Magnetic Island connection
Stan Picnic Bay is the ideal place for a permanent life size statue of Julian Assange. How about a Magnetic Times appeal, before some where else decides to claim him?

Stan P.B.
Alec Bissett Crusty still trying to get his head in the news eh!?
Davo great story george. Loved that 70s island info. and yep Id be up for a donation to Julians statue - bring it on
Latinamerican Reader Wonderful informative article. Having someone like Julian Assange on your ranks must be a source of pride to all Aussies.
Georgia Crusty. You haven't changed a bit. And Stan's idea for a statue is pure GENIUS. Stan" You really are THE MAN. Keep those big dogs locked up.
Johno Good article but a little thin on the ground to claim a place on MI for someone who could be classed as a whistleblower !
Chris C My guess is that in 50 years time Wikileaks will be seen as one of the most significant change initiatives/power re-balancings of at least this century. Or it will be seen as the trigger that started the end of the internet as the free and open exchange platform that it currently is.

Either way Assange presents the best global marketing opportunity the Island could ever hope for. Maybe instead of spending their money on frocks to wear to local tourism award piss-ups, those who want to profit from Tourism could fund the statue themselves.

I'd love to see TEL & sunferries get their head around that!!!
chasmac Place the 'statue' as a bollard on the Nelly Bay landing pontoon so that every time the ferry docks they throw the noose right over Julian's head. He'd love that.
Stan P.B. Wright He's not a whistle blower. He's just a naughty boy!

By the way Geogia there must be more than one Stan - I don't have dogs.

I'm happy to kick off the appeal with $500 - just say the word ed.
Island View Great article and comment thread - cross posted at Blogging Townsville (see banner link) with a challenge of sorts:
Jenny Stirling In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. --George Orwell.

Bo Jangles What ever happened to the hippie/artist Denis Dean?
Ture Sjolander I would like to see a group of 4 bronze sculptures life size on the old jetty in Picnic Bay picturing Hillary Clinton, Julia Gillard and Fredrik Reinfeldt in combat uniforms surrounding a fallen Julian Assange surrounded and protected by the Islands infamous death adders.
The sculpture installation should be opened by the two silented Swedish girls in question, and the Swedish procescutor, after invitation.
The opening should be broadcasted via satellite to Washington, Gothenburg, London, and to Ecuador, and shorter after world wide.
One month free holiday on Magnetic Island for the worlds most famous art critics would be an axiom.

Ture Sjolander Today it is Thursday, Torsdag, kinda Odens Day 19 July 2012, and coincidentally my 75th birthday, and by a coincidence I got a birthday gift from our impeccable government, A Brand New unconditional Driving Licence C, to use for the next 5 years. Not bad!
Driving smart is better than fast.
I heard on the news that the Liquor Stores gonna cover their products. No brand names, and warnings like they do now with the cigarettes.
Same thing may soon apply for international governments secret files. Just rubberstamped with warnings: "Don't U read this, we gonna kill U"

Ture Sjolander ADDENDUM: VETO vs NATO.
Fasten your seat belts!
Here we go again. Same individual pirates as last time is out hunting - not for Libya's international gold in bank accounts around the World this time - but for Syrias. The very same pattern is repeated.
A new war fare of the 21th Century as easy as to pick an apple tree...right into private huge pockets.
You know what I mean, don't you?
Ture Sjolander It is due time to cover up the whole World, it is deadly.
Ture Sjolander Have any of the current so called "World leaders" ever invented a pioneering politics or are they all completely obsessed with the usefullness of consensus. The same question shall apply for journalism, a not very old "profession" in the long history of Art.
matt Hi david, I knew you as "gypsy" at black and white cabs radio room. I worked there with you. Hope you are well.
You always read out "doctor dingles dental surgery" at nundah quite well. Saw you on a current affair last week which brought me here.

Matt Hennessey
Free tags, registration for cats on way
Cat Lover How are owners of older cats going to get their cats , especially they are older cats to wear a collar with a tag on it. This is also dangerous as the collar can get stuck in a tree or on an obstacle and could hang the cat. Surely microchiping is enough. My cats wear collars and are microchipped but lived indoors and on an enclosed verandah. They would have long been gone with the cane toads and death adders by now if they had been allowed to roam. I will not be registering them.
Jill Edwards-Davis I have two cats, one extremely elderly, and one about 5 years old. The elderly cat was microchipped under a previous free scheme (2001) when we moved to the island. The younger one was purchased from the pound and came ready-chipped.
Collars are difficult for cats - but a proper cat collar with a strong elastic insert is a pretty good answer. Making it known to the local kids that there will be a reward for the return of collars removed by the cats cuts down the expense when you have a dedicated non-collar-wearer.
Both my cats live largely indoors, with access to an outside run (the full length of the house, so they CAN run) and a "sun park" with grass and a hammock. Both still manage to escape from time to time, mainly by looking pathetic at the door when we have guests. Fortunately they seem to have forgotten why they were shut in, and regard it as a game - if they get out, they rush to the front of the house and make sure we can see them, then happily stroll in at the front door with smirks on their faces.
I love cats. I also love wildlife. Cats do not belong on the island; wildlife does. If we are going to keep a cat here, it is surely our responsibility to do our best to ensure they are unable to indulge their natural instinct to hunt. Cruel? Well, if you feel that way, the answer is simple - don't have a cat!
The sustainable Christmas dinner
Anne thanks George for instigating some thought behind our food choices
Sylvia Hayes Thank you for another very informative article. I especially like the links you add. Always learning!
In geology, 21 years is nothing unless...
Denise Colk 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
You ask "What do I think." I think it should have been left as it was, not looking like a bomb it is now.
Alec Bissett 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 Environmental vandalism. Say no more, say no less.....
Ture Sjolander It was great then and so natural!
And do remember the meeting about Florence Bay just before the devastation started.
Zany M 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?
Magnetic Island koalas in the spotlight
chasmac Isn't it terrific that Magnetic Island's tourism icons are to receive a bit of scientific spit and polish from the groves of Academe. Melbourne people, no less.
While everyone spectates from the lofty heights of the Forts or the Sphinx, patting each other's backs about the priceless environment we have saved for the benefit of these inscrutable eucalyptivores, think a bit more about the 24-lot gated exclusive community that Mr Juniper would like to wall-in at the centre of his 7 acre subdivision in that actual tourism icon - Radical Bay.
Don't say you didn't know that Townsville Council is being asked, by Mr Juniper and the Queensland Government, to let that three kilometre track down to Radical Bay be slightly touched-up and then to be called a Road - which Townsville Council will have to accept as a Townsville street - something for ratepayers to maintain in perpetuity. Won't that be great?
Don't say you didn't know that, in the deal between the Queensland Government and the developer Juniper, the only access to Radical Bay beach (from your compulsory paved car park half way up the hill) will be a 500m walking track around the perimeter fence of a locked gate (guarded?) enclave. We're not talking Nobby Head here. You can't go on their internal 'streets'. This is serious concrete.
And don't say you didn't realise that although the general public will always have 24/7 access to the beach (as long as you can walk the walk), Townsville Council workers will not. That track down to Radical (think about the kilometre from Arthur Bay to Florence Bay) is so steep, with such tight turns, that Council will not allow its trucks or garbage collection vehicles to use it. That'll be handy. That'll be a great road for ratepayers to have to upkeep. We'll just love having to spend millions so that a bloody truck can use a brand new street in 21st century Townsville. And pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities will be more or less excluded from the whole road because, like the Nelly-Arcadia road, there's no provision for pedestrians - presumably the intended biggest users - no one will take responsibility and our icon is tarnished because of it.
Townsville Council is being asked now, before Christmas, to form a view, to take a position, to give a consent. What do you think?
Anyway, just saying. While you cuddle the Koala.
Steve Ashton Nice writing! And pretty accurate assessment of the issues. We have written to Cr Roberts about those exact matters and received polite replies but no promises. if you want to change the course everyone on the island and everyone who loves the island should be writing to Council -its the only way to change direction.
Beach Ball postponed till next Saturday (Nov 20)
Rose Such a pity that it will now clash with the long-advertised Picnic Bay Jetty Celebration BYO Picnic Dinner. Postpone 2 weeks and there's no major public event that night showing on the community web calendar and everyone can support both.
Peter Jackson Pehaps the organisers were too busy to advise MT, but the Aquapella World Music choir is performing on Saturday 13th November at the MI Golf club. Concert starts at 7pm and runs for a couple of hours (leaving enough time to get to Musos afterward for the headline acts). The concert is an Island Launch of the second Aquapella CD "New Waves".
Cockle waste site will threaten rare plants and animals
David Pierce The Nelly Bay site is unpopular due to the very close proximity of residences as you point out. It is therefore an unacceptable option for me because I live in one of the homes that abut the council holding.

I appreciate the desire to protect flora and fauna, and I agree that species should be protected. However with the same passion that you choose to protect those animals, I shall protect my future. I will contest and if necessary fight any moves to have Nelly Bay as the site.

If the evaluation is to determine the best location based on certain specific economic, environmental and social (and governance) criteria, Nelly Bay is very unlikely to be the preferred option. Neither do I think Cockle Bay will hold up as a viable option. I don't think the animals' interests or my interests will be supported by altruism but the hard rationalism of politics and economics.

I have seen and used waste transfer stations. They are much less obnoxious than a dump but they are still handle refuse. They may be more aesthetically constructed and be state of the art, however refuse processing is a light industrial function that should only be placed in an residential area as a last resort. Perhaps that great big hole in the marina precinct has a possible renewed lease on life as the WTS! It's even closer to the barge, and access for garbage trucks is much easier ... Nothing wrong with thinking broadly about this issue.

I think we have different paths we wish to follow. What we both can agree on is what we don't want. How can we as a community work together to get that outcome that is acceptable? We need to open our thinking, identify points of accord and build on what we can agree on. This is not parliament, God forbid we ever plumb those depths. This is not a matter of 'winning' or doing the other lot over - this is an opportunity to work as a community for the good of the Island and all its occupants.
Col Foley I suspect that your opinion and story has more to do with you living at Cockle Bay than conservation fact.
Had you been at the MIRRA meeting you might know what the important facts are. For your elucidation, I'll explain them.
Only approx 10% of the 13.81 Ha council-owned site we propose would be needed. You acknowledge that the WTS is unobtrusive, so I'm sure your allegedly endangered creatures could happily co-exist on the other 90%.
The Picnic Bay site has at least 13 metres of fill on it. Unstable land, unsuitable for construction of a site for trucks and heavy machinery.
Access to it would be by a new road and a bridge. A bridge will cost a lot more than upgrading a short stretch of West Point Road. We pay enough in rates to be entitled to ensure they are not wasted.
All manner of buses and other trucks already go over the Picnic hill and always will. Another 18 movements per week is insignificant.
The total number of houses to be passed by any new traffic is far less than the number that will continue to be disadvantaged by the Picnic Bay option. About 18 as opposed to 300.
I suggest you attend the next MIRRA meeting at 10 am on Sat December 4th and speak to people who have very good knowledge of ALL the pros and cons and see this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get the Island's waste out of a residential area, after 30 years of suffering.


Col Foley
George Hirst Thanks for the contribution Col but if it's facts you want to put then your case would be more credible if the first one you assert was right. I don't and never have lived at Cockle Bay but, these days, about 3.25kms away from Cockle as the crow flies towards West Point. George Hirst, Ed
huey Great article George but I have to say that I too read a little of your spin into it - that's ok though.

Oh Maggie Islanders when the hell are we gonna wake up and start embrassing change and working with the powers that be to put our concerns into a forum where they may shape afforesaid change! The green waste site is a done deal I'm afraid, with TCC rate payers already committed to the site to the tune of well over $2M in early works and design - even if it doesn't go ahead! Full design has been completed and the project is out to tender - you will not stop it, you've missed your mark! Calm down folks and rather than form various action committees opposing absolutely everything, offer your services to such projects under the banner of "community consultation" or "environmental logistics" for example. Local government are always accountable and to have such groups "on side" rather than just another anti everything bunch of "Maggie whingers" and "action committees" making fools of themselves and avoiding at all costs anything proactive can only help our cause over here. Give TCC a call and offer your services free of charge and see what they say? They have to listen if you do it rite.

I for one look forward to this project setting sail as forecast in March 2011. Delays associated with futile public protest will undoubtedley have huge financial ramifications for all of us rate payers.

Get over it, get on with the job in hand,

George Hirst Ta Huey, In case you didnt notice (the section header isn't so clear on this site) but the article was actually an editorial so call it spin if you like but I was trying to put a reasonable and informative opinion this time - not just straight reporting.
Stan Go Huey!!! I,ve had it with the whingers too.

Victoria Walker Well, that is a disturbing article,George.
I can see all sides of the story - but I feel particularly sad when I see the bush gobbled up to make way for human needs. I am naive, as I imagined there was a clear area already that would be suitable at Cockle Bay. Thank you for the information.
One disturbing piece of info jumped out at me. You quote: "automatic odor suppressant sprays which will activate regularly throughout the day."
Surely these are toxic. I have an image of this miasma(in more ways than one),drifting across the bay being breathed in by all living things! Can you tell us more about these sprays?

Cameron Walker I agree with Col, apart from his mistake regarding George's residence.
What environmental issues do or did the 100 dumped cars create? Most of the garden waste is dumped on the West Point road.No,Huey,the cost will most likely be less next to the treatment plant because they won't have to pile through unstable ground to achieve the necessary result.
chasmac It might help non-MIRRA meeting attending residents (I'm one of them) to know that no wheelie bin waste will ever be taken to the transfer station - wherever it is located. Under the new arrangements, when wheelie bin waste is picked up from the street in the normal garbage run it will be taken in the compactor truck onto the barge directly to Townsville. The only stuff going to the transfer station is what residents and businesses take there themselves. There should be minimal putrescent waste.
Also, regardless of where the transfer station is located the landfill site at Picnic Bay, on both sides of Butler Creek, will have to undergo major rehabilitation before it can be 'retired'. There is no way that Council or the state government can just walk away from the long term remediation that is now urgently required there. The newly proposed access with bridge or causeway (I haven't seen any drawings) would appear to be located along the toe of the landfill mound - at just the place where long term access for monitoring and management of seepage from the landfill could be conducted. In other words, since monitoring, remediation and possibly revegetation are mandated for the whole site at Picnic Bay why not plan to integrate the new facility into the works that have to take place there anyway? And with an access that disturbs the absolute minimum of residences.
rob It really depresses me that, even in the 21st century when there are 7 billion of us, when humans have a problem nature is still the one to pay.
Basil Yes Rob u r one of the whingers those people complain about.I would prefer to call u, and any others like ourselves as enlightened,but they will learn one day, that exploiting nature in a harmful way is counter productive and ultimately to the detriment of human existence as well.
Rolf Having been a frequent user of an Sydney inner city waste-transfer facility, I am confident that many Islanders engaged in this debate greatly over-estimate the inconvenience/detriment a well-managed facility creates.

I refer to the Leichhardt Council facility, which readers can view at,151.16501&z=19&t=h&hl=en One can see here for onself that this facility, which services the entire municipality - over 50,000 -, is centred in a small industrial precinct but is only one premises separate from residential blocks. I have not known this proximity to be a source of complaint in this community though it is very vocal with its complaints whenever they arise.

That said, I am fully supportive of Picnic residents who don't want it there. They have put up with the stench of the dump for decades and they deserve a break.

For me it seems a no-brainer to be taking rubbish over the hill to Picnic and then to be taking it back again. Traffic on the roads over the hills are the big problem for the Island and to be requiring heavy trucks to be traversing the hill to Picnic when that can be avoided is irresponsible. There would seem to be suitable sites in the industrial section of Kelly Street, Nelly Bay and in my estimation this is clearly the best site.
wendy Tubman Thanks for the article and information George. It seems from the responses that no one is really out to shoot the messenger in a big way, but, inevitably, it will be a somewhat controversial issue. Best that we all have the opportunity to be involved in an informed discussion. I find Rolf's argument persuasive - and I live in Nelly Bay!

But given that the whole of Magnetic Island is World Heritage would it be too much to ask that ALL the waste is transferred off the Island? Of course, this would require a short-term 'holding station' but if removal of the type of waste mentioned by Charlie was reasonably frequent, the site would not be huge. And we should consider residents having to pay to have waste removed (although I realise that this could lead to illegal dumping).
chasmac Interestingly, residents already pay to have waste removed - but we get given free vouchers every year so that even this tiny impost is made painless. Despite this, some residents still expect the landfill site and separate green waste processing area to be kept open for them at all hours of the day and night - and if the gates are closed or they've forgotten (or never possessed) a voucher, some will go to great lengths to avoid paying five lousy bucks to have their ute or trailer load of domestic crap taken care of. It regularly happens right next to the Golf Club.
We've had a free-for-all on the Island for a hundred years with a landfill site we now have to pay to monitor, maintain and keep safe in perpetuity - just like all the other enormous landfill sites on low lying land in the middle of Townsville. Town High, the Civic Theatre and the Reid Park V8 racetrack are almost entirely located on a mangrove estuary landfilled with garbage and now thinly covered.
At the moment on the Island we have it nearly-free-for-nearly-everyone-nearly-all-the-time and soon we'll have about the same deal as nearly everyone else in Townsville - if you want to get rid of unwanted domestic stuff you'll take it to the transfer station, pay a few lousy bucks to separate it into the appropriate bins and everything will be taken care of for you - it's a pretty good deal.
If you still want to dump your car or garbage on someone else's land then you can expect that the computer collector will trail around after you for ages and you'll just have to accept whatever administrative consequences eventually catch up with you.
Sue The dump should just stay where it is. The thought of spoiling a perfectly nice bit of bush for a transfer station is just absurd!
50% off ferry ticket to Magnetic on early boat
Marilyn What took them so long? They should have been doing this years ago.
Chris C Well, well, well. How long exactly have they been in business?

It's taken them all this time to realise that the one single market they have to crack is Townsville locals, that the major barrier for them is price/value, and that the smart thing would be to offer things like 2-for-ones to get them over them line - it's very simple really, 1 fare is better than none.

No doubt TEL will give them a tourism award for their 'foresight'. Or perhaps, restricting the offer to early boats will doom the exercise to failure so that they can continue operating in blissful ignorance?
Rob couldnt agree more chris. It's like duh! - drop the price and go for volume. Wonder how many marketing experts that took to figure or how desperate the numbers were getting
paco for me the main barrier to locals going to the island is the price of the tickets.
Susie What a sad bunch of whingers above. I would say THANK YOU. Better late than never.
Rob Isaacs Does the 50% price cut in fares apply to islanders as well ?
Tilly H Maggie unfortunately is a place with many who ran away to their paradise only to find that they took their problems and attitudes with them. They just don't get it and have nothing better to do than winge at their unhappy self destructive lives.
Stacy Williams Beware of this half off scam! On Sunday (October 7th) my partner and I took a trip over to Maggie Island. We hadn't read this article and the woman at the desk charged us full price for our 7:05 ferry w/ return. The man who punched our tickets asked us if we were locals and when we said yes he told us we should only have been charged half price (I am originally from the U.S. and partner is originally from the U.K so the woman obviously just made the assumption that we weren't local) and that we should ask for a refund when we returned. When we did so, the woman told us that it was only for locals, again making an incorrect assumption that we weren't from Townsville. When we told her we were locals she said that you can only get the discount if you mention the ad and show your id when you buy the tickets and refused to refund us. Where in this article does it say that you must mention the ad? I think she just didn't want to fess up to her blunder. Two thumbs down to Sunferries awesome "deal" and the way in which they handle their mistakes!!!
chris g We are lucky to have such a good service. for what is really a three month business Thanks SF for the special offer. You will always get whingers here no matter what you do, They are a sad mob and well done for the initiative
Remembering Claude Timms
Patricia I was absolutley engrossed in this story of Claude,Elena and Bill you have been left with beautiful memories that will stay in your hearts forever,what an inspiration Claude was and always will be,A great son - great father- great friend and now through his great gifts he will be renewing so many peoples lives..
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Love Patricia and Family
Carol Moore Thank you for this article about dear Claude and for including his father's beautiful eulogy. It was hard to be in Victoria on the day and not able go to Claude's funeral. He was a gentle, funny and caring friend.
Jane Thomson I was so saddened to hear of Claude's death. He was a gentle and quirky character- I am so sorry for his son Harlee and hope that he is being well cared for. Bill and Elena and family, my thoughts are with you and I will always remember Claude as a wonderful human being
harlee timms thanks alot for writing this about my dad
Lindsay Simpson The most endearing thing I remember about Claude is that when you spoke to him, you thought you had a special friendship with him. Now I realise he brought this specialness to all his friendships. As George said, a conversation with Claude was always so much more engrossing than the usual chat and brought a different meaning to the day.
Mark Ellis Such sad news to hear of Claude's passing. As an old school friend who had only earlier this year, caught up with him in person, after nearly 30 years, will miss a friend who hadn't changed much in that time and who was gracious enough to give 3 hours of his time to reminisce and catch up on all that had happened in those years. The special banner above says it all.
Chris I never knew Claude but am so much richer for reading his story. Stories like his only inspire us to become better people. Thankyou for sharing his story. I wish you well Harlee.
Ally Smith I first met Claude at Dotswood where I was working as well. Instantly Claude and I became very good friends and have remained friends ever since:)He is a true inspiration to many and will be so sadly missed. He always spoke very well of Harlee and was very proud of him. Rest in peace my friend. XX
What kind of boat ramp pontoon do we want?
werner floating walkway for me
jimmo Pontoon would undoubtedley be of greater general recreation benefit so it gets my vote
Don Kinsey floating walkway please
Matt Opt 1 for me too
Jas does the 2nd one come in from the side so the pontoon is parrallelto the side of the ramp? If so would take up lots more space
Skwiz Option 1 is a clear winner.
Pete With either system the floating landing stage should be at a right angle to ramp keeping both lanes of ramp clear while while car/trailer is being parked or collecte