Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

June 10th 2010
State budget: Pity there's no coal on Magnetic Island

Nelly to Arcadia track still not funded General learning area renewal work at the MI State School, support for MI Limited Childcare and some guardrail upgrading along our narrow Island roads, were the only Magnetic-specific expenditures we noted in this week's State Budget. And, while this community shouldn't expect more than its fair share, there was still nothing that might suggest any progress towards the, long needed and much petitioned for, Nelly to Arcadia Walkway. It's a pity there's no coal on Magnetic, otherwise we might have our own inter-bay railway seeing the government was perfectly happy assist our massive greenhouse gas exporting coal industry with extra train tracks, upgraded locos and wagons to the tune of $864 million.

The significant details in the budget for Magnetic are as follows:

$75,000 towards upgrading guardrail on various sections of Magnetic Island Road, Alma Bay, with a total State Government contribution of $75,000.

$352,031 for General Learning Area Renewal at Magnetic Island State School at a total cost of $359,231.

$30,852 to assist the Magnetic Island Limited Hours Care child care service with a total State Government contribution of $61,704

While state politicians have over the years intimated that because the Island roads are owned and operated by Townsville City Council, the walkway isn't really their responsibility. But the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme which, although dwarfed by the corporate welfare directed to the coal industry, involved expenditure of over $100M in 2009-10 (click here) might well have been tapped for 50% of the Nelly to Arcadia walkway costs.

As has been said in the past, it will take somebody being killed on the narrow road over to Arcadia before there is action. Or, we could start swinging our picks for the toxic black rock which has such a mesmerising power over governments and their purse strings.

George Hirst

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

State budget: Pity there's no coal on Magnetic Island
Vivienne Withers
June 10th 2010
Good report George, perhaps we should start a petition for "The Walk Way"
jenny Stirling
June 10th 2010
Yes it would be funny if it weren't so tragic George. Someone will be killed eventually and there will be a hue and cry. But just as the government has no real thought for precautionary measures about climate change, (NB support for the coal industry) so too there is no committment to the precautionary measure of the walkway. I imagine that if someone was hurt, people could sue if it was established that the Council knew that the lack of a walkway posed a real threat to life and limb.
June 10th 2010
Great comparison to the coal welfare state that Qld has become. Guy Pearse writes in the May edition of the Monthly saying that Qld has spent $15.6 billion on coal infrastructure in the last decade - more than made from royalties of $11.4 billion. All so we can become the largest Co2 exporter in the world! I recommend it as a good article about the coal rush - also go to this website to find out more.
June 10th 2010
If you think the 400m from Greystone Corner to Arcadia without provision for pedestrians is bad, really bad or just "tragic", think about what the State and Local government have in mind with the three kilometre Radical Bay access. Remember, this is not even a legal road reserve - so far it is simply a space set aside upon which to maybe, one day, some day create something, a road maybe - to a design specifically approved by the State Minister, which will, after it has been constructed by the private developer, be handed over to Townsville Council for ratepayers to own and maintain.
According to the developer's (vague and meaningless) plans they only intend to have four metres width of tarmac which means that in many places even cars will have to leave the tarmac to get past each other. Trucks and buses? Forget it. But what about pedestrians and cyclists? What about "upgrading guardrail" or stormwater management? Oh well, that will be down to ratepayers sometime later, down the track (ha ha), somewhere in the never never. See above how much it costs.
If we want a pedestrian walkway from Nelly to Arcadia the impetus will have to come from here, on the Island. And while we locals fall over ourselves and demand that governments spend our budgets to make it possible for car drivers to access every possible beach, creek, dune and mangrove on Magnetic Island, no government is going to bother about a few pedestrians, cyclists and ecotourists. We keep telling them our cars are a higher priority and they happily take notice. Walk to the Florence and Radical Bay car parks on the weekend and you'll see what I mean.
June 11th 2010
As a family, the kids and i walk to arcadia, we enjoy the walking track that goes over the hill, not the road side walking. . . that said , it is still very dangerous trying to cross the road to get to the track, then at the other end, trying to cross to get to the beach. . . better signage and better crossing and we all should use the track for walking. . . Riding bikes is another problem all together. . ..
Sylvia Hayes
June 15th 2010
I wonder if bike riders are warned about the hazards of biking on this island when they hire out bikes. I'm sure NOT!
I won a voucher for a day's cycling for 2 people...any takers?

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