June 21st 2006
The President reports
On Monday night the Magnetic Island Community Development Association held its Annual General Meeting at the Magnetic International Resort. The report outlines a wide range of activities in which the association has been involved, acknowedges the contributions of the association's committee members and earmarks some important developments for the future. President Lorna Hempstead's Report to the AGM follows.
President's Report for 2005
The 2005 year saw some great new initiatives for the Association, and thus for the Island.
At the request of Horseshoe Bay shops and restaurants and some of the Island's market stall operators, we met in the early part of the year to investigate the feasibility of regular markets at Horseshoe Bay. Council permissions were sought and given, insurance was organised, our bond paid, and the markets commenced mid year, and are proving most successful. A review just a couple of months ago has changed the pattern to drop markets after Christmas in the wet season, and to recommence in April, or at Easter, whichever comes first!
Australia's Open Garden Scheme came to Magnetic Island on the Queens Birthday weekend last year - very much driven by the enthusiasm of Steve and Coralie Melvin. The garden selectors did the clever stuff and MI CDA undertook to get media coverage and to organise tickets sales and together with our excellent Bus Service, the logistics of moving visitors from garden to garden. Last year all six garden owners agreed to contribute what would have been their share of the ticket price to an Island cause, and as a result over $700.00 was returned to the Magnetic Island Lions Club who are the custodians of the cemetery. In due course they will be blasting and powdercoating the front ironwork of the Cemetery - and this will go towards that cost.
VP 60 was announced at a Townsville City Council meeting at the beginning of the year - and the Association was swift to respond to a mention of support for community initiatives. The result was our VP60 Jitterbug Dance held at Arkies - the site of the original dances of the 1940's, and attended by some 300 keen participants - many who were able to remember the original dances as children or young persons. With the support of Townsville Brass Band, the dancers of Dancetime studios, Doug Edes, Sunferries, MI Bus Service, George Hirst and an enormous team of helper-decorators led by Wendy Macdonald we transformed Arkies and had a great night!
Following a chance discussion with National Parks staff at the end of 2004, the original "goat track" linking Nelly to Arcadia, over the hill above Greystones corner became a real possibility to provide a short term solution to the dangers of walking on the road, and a long term solution to add another scenic link to the network of walking tracks. A partnership between National Parks, TCC and MICDA was formed. We accessed all the permissions and the association was asked to locate $15,000 cash, as our contribution. Russell McCart the developer of No1 Bright Point became our sponsor. The cheque was handed to the Council in June 2005, and though engineering difficulties in making a safe access to the track at the Nelly Bay end, have rather slowed matters down, the top part was completed by National Parks in the latter part of last year and it is due for completion with the access in place in August of this year.
Last year (and again this year) we were delighted to partner with Malcolm Hamilton for the Rebuild Concerts - with 2005 raising a considerable sum towards the Tsunami Appeal
The above demonstrates how active our Executive have been and I acknowledge Heike von Mellenthin (Secretary), Megan Absolon (Treasurer) Peter Edward-Davis, who as past treasurer has been invaluable in assisting Megan in the transition, Allison Hope our membership officer - who keeps the memberships rolling in year round!
We then have a series of dedicated groups, whose leaders are also part of the Executive, who undertake specific activities or tasks.
*John Marlin leads Friends of Magnetic Island - set up to develop a sense of community and to keep informed those who are regular but part-time or part year visitors or residents.
*Richard Pountney leads the Bike Working Group - which by default also looks at matters relating to pedestrians too - and so right now is considering the implications of the Traffic Study - so if you have thoughts or comments - speak to Richard.as well as the consultants.
*Dr Dot Cole is the tireless deliverer of the "Butts Out Containers" and with the demise of the film canisters is now administering and delivering the new bright red containers - which regrettably now come at a cost - but in doing so means that we will always be able to supply them to island smokers! We sell at the cost to us - so we will replenish supplies as we need to.
*Martin Gibson looks after the Community Photocopier
*We continue with the compilation and supply of the New Residents and New Block Owners kits, in 2005 the QCCU again sponsored the items that cost us money, and a great team put them together a couple of times a year. For 2006 - Marie de Monchaux has taken over the co-ordination role.
*Tania Thoreau and Allison Hope represent us on the Port Authority consultative committee. This is mainly a watching brief as the majority of business relates to the mainland - but they are there!
*Heike Von Mellenthin has been our representative on Water Matters
*Tania Thoreau and Libby Illidge have worked with Island and other scientists to assist a review undertaken in 2005 by Richard Kenchinton and Eddie Hegerl who were commissioned by the Federal Department of Environment and Heritage to enquire further into the Island's World Heritage Values. Their excellent review was released in December of last year
Schoolies 2005, was the largest ever, and as such the organisational mechanisms were increased to cope with greater numbers. It is not expected that this will decrease!
I would also like to acknowledge the excellent relations enjoyed with Councillor Jenny Hill and Council staff, especially Jim Cornall and Greg Bruce; with National Parks staff, on the Island, led by Patrick Centurino, and with the EPA staff at Pallarenda
It is also important to thank our regular shop outlets, Foodworks Nelly, Arcadia and Horseshoe Bay, the Island Nursery, Sunferries and Mary Who Bookshop in the Mall; whatever we need to sell or disseminate, they do it willingly and at no commission - thanks all.
Looking into this year
Into 2006, Thea Eastwood, owner of the MI Bus service for the last thirty-so years and very much an Island tourism guru, has taken on the role of leading and co-ordinating the tourism group,
Work on the joint project Gustav Creek Catchment Care, of which we are members has resulted in the transformation of the lower part of the Creek from choked and weed-infested, to the meandering stream bed of former times.
We have worked with the Variety Club of NSW, who are "Bashing to the Island" on an R'and R" day in late July. We were asked to present them with a list of "worthy causes" for young people and they have identified the MI State School's computer programme as their preferred charity. The P&C will be supplying drinks and lunches for some 400 people at the far end of Horseshoe Bay for the recreation day - and in the process could earn an extra couple of thousand dollars more for the air conditioning debt. Rotary have also put up their hand to help on the day - so any member who is feeling community minded is asked to do likewise and contact P&C President Terri at Arcadia News.
In partnership with the Townsville City Council the Association is looking at ways we can pro-actively demonstrate community support for the "proper" Nelly -Arcadia pedestrian access and Barry Sullivan has agreed to be the project leader on our behalf.
2005 was overall, another great year for the Association and I commend my report to you.
Editor's note: Following the Presidents Report, Association member, Libby Illidge, proposed from the floor, that one person, whose achievements within MI CDA which were not mentioned in the President's Report, the President herself, Lorna Hempstead be acknowledged by the AGM. The proposition was heartily endorsed by the AGM with a strong round of applause.