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Pictured above:  60th Anniversary  HBRFS -Horseshoe Bay Rural Fire Brigade, L-R First Officer – Gary Williams - Regional Manager, Rural Fire Service Northern Region – Tony Hazel, Cr. Ann-Maree Greaney, Mayor of Townsville Cr Jenny Hill, Area Director Rural Fire Service, Michael Thomson, Horseshoe Bay Rural Fire Brigade Chairperson Richard Poutney. Photo  Kobie Rhodes

Magnetic Community News

23rd December 2019

NYE fireworks to support communities battling drought and bushfire

Locals and tourists attending Townsville City Council’s New Year’s Eve Beach Party are being asked to dig deep in support of communities across Australia battling bushfires and drought.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said New Year’s Eve parties, to be held across three locations, would include donation points for locals to help support other communities doing it tough.

Cr Hill said the decision to collect donations at the events came after careful consideration of feedback from locals.

“In light of the extreme fire events across the state, Council has seriously considered its position on providing fireworks for New Year’s Eve,” Cr Hill said.

“At the end of the day, Townsville has a community that has personally experienced disaster this year, with some people still recovering.

“The social benefit of bringing everyone together in this way is important to mark the start of a new chapter in 2020.”

Local Recovery Resilience Group Chair Cr Les Walker said while there was still a way to go in Townsville’s recovery, if anyone knew how important recovery support was following a natural disaster was it was the Townsville community.

“Council is still heavily involved in ongoing local recovery efforts. We have chaired four recovery groups for human social recovery, economic recovery, natural environmental and built environment since February and have partnered with agencies across the community to help rebuild our city,” Cr Walker said.

“While some people are still trying to get back on their feet it is still important for others to take the time to support our neighbouring communities who have been affected by this bushfire season and ongoing drought.

“We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas and we hope to see you this New Year’s Eve.”

The New Year’s Eve Beach Party events are free to attend with plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained.

Event details


Event starts at 7pm and includes food trucks and fireworks at 9pm

Strand Park

Movie starts at 7pm.

Beach Party includes food trucks and runs from the 9pm fireworks until the midnight fireworks.

Nelly Bay

Fireworks at midnight.





Immediate statewide fire ban for all national parks and forests.

Due to the current fire situation all Queensland national parks and forests now have fire restrictions in place until conditions ease.

This means no open fires in any park, anywhere in the state, regardless of the local fire danger.

The restriction is in place to ease pressures on the state’s firefighting resources, which are stretched to capacity including in response to the worsening situation in New South Wales.

We would appreciate the public’s help by being aware of the fire risk and respecting the fire ban so we can focus on protecting people, wildlife and property.

Rangers will be closely monitoring conditions and park closures will be considered as needed.

Before leaving home, visitors would check QPWS park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Also check current weather warning and conditions at the Bureau of Meteorology and the Queensland Fire and Emergency website for the latest information on fire bans.

Visitors should observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and should not enter closed areas.

QPWS has carried out a large number of controlled burns in recent months to reduce fuel loads, train staff and co-ordinate efforts across multiple agencies.

If you see a suspicious fire, immediately call 000 for emergency assistance


31st October 2019


17th October 2019

First coral spawning – an opportunity for reefs to rejuvenate

The first corals are set to release their egg bundles in the annual ‘mass’ spawning on the Great Barrier Reef tonight, and marine researchers at the Australian Institute of Marine Science will be there to witness the event in the National Sea Simulator, near Townsville.

This year, we will see corals spawning over three months in October, November and December, with the timing of the seasonal phenomenon following the full moon of each month.

Spawning is also linked to seawater temperature and only happens at night, when researchers will collect coral egg and sperm bundles for use in a range of projects, including reef restoration.

The event allows AIMS scientists to develop greater understanding of how the Great Barrier Reef is able to renew itself and recover from the effects of coral bleaching, cyclones, water quality and other pressures.

This is an important time of year when many corals and other important reef creatures reproduce.

AIMS coral biologist Dr Line Bay said during spawning, researchers were able to harness the critical life-cycle in nature, in a bid to discover answers of how to help reefs restore and adapt into the future.

“In the lead up to each of these spawning events, our scientists bring corals back to the National Sea Simulator; where spawning occurs in this highly-advanced research aquarium, as they would in nature.

“Teams of scientists work through the night to conduct a range of experiments that address critical knowledge gaps in how corals respond, and recover from stress.

“This year we expect to see corals spawn on mass three times, which is the first time we will have seen a split spawning of this kind since 2017.”

“The corals set to spawn tonight are inshore corals from Magnetic Island, with another two larger spawning events expected on the outer reefs in the days after the November and December full moons.”

Researchers have collected one species of reef-building coral from Magnetic Island, and will be returned once the experiments are completed.


17th September 2019

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I can’t praise loudly enough the Emergency services, including National Parks, Rural Fire Brigade and Qld Fire and Rescue for their exceptional and dedicated work during the recent controlled, low intensity burn on Magnetic Island.

As someone who has lived on acreage along the West Point Road for many years, I trust and respect those responsible for managing these burn-offs  so that when there is a real fire emergency their expertise comes to the fore.

Controlling those situations and keeping us safe is what these people are trained for and in some cases paid for, and they do it very, very well.

I know some people were affected by the smoke as I was, mildly, but that is perhaps one of the costs of living in paradise.

There are also ways to reduce or eliminate smoke, such as closing windows and staying inside or in extreme cases, temporarily moving elsewhere and for people with breathing issues, increasing medication.

Also you must consider what happens if you don’t keep fuel loads down. Losing property or,  worse still, lives.

The hysterical claims of some people that smoke-affected residents were medevaced off the island are simply not true (checked with the Ambulance service).

I can’t believe that a few residents and visitors to the island are still complaining about the burn.

Most, I fear, are relatively recent arrivals from Sydney or Melbourne who have not experienced wildfire on the island, and see only TV footage of the recent, and not so recent, horrendous blazes that have affected large areas of Victoria, New South Wales and the A.C.T.

These places usually have very low humidity. When this occurs and you get high winds, dry conditions and a large build-up of fuel, being dead trees, branches and leaf litter, caused often by political activists who oppose anything progressive, like burning off, that’s a recipe for catastrophe – and often becomes reality.

In the North we have relatively high humidity, but we can get quite intense and dangerous blazes, If fuel loads aren’t managed properly. (Ask any firey.)

Also, for more than 40 thousand years, the Aboriginal Australians burned large areas of bush (fire-stick farming) to control fuel build-up and clean-up the land so their food sources and animals could thrive.

Thanks again to all those, including food and drink providers, involved in the recent burn-off.

Long term islanders know who the real experts are.

Richard (Rick) Vernon

West Point Rd

Picnic Bay 4819

8th September 2019

Community update

Smoke from Magnetic Island National Park

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and fire agencies are constantly monitoring the planned burn on Magnetic Island. The burn is progressing as planned. It is slowly moving along the hill sides and control measures are in place.

The aim of this burn is to reduce risk to life and property from wildfires and provide favourable conditions for natural forest regeneration.

The burn will reduce fuel loads and create a mosaic pattern of burnt and unburnt areas in open woodland communities.

For more information, please call QPWS North Tropical Coast Marine Park on (07) 4722 5343 or (07) 4778 5378.


2nd September 2019

SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week: Competition and fun factor ramp up

Racing was delayed for an hour as officials waited for a light 5 knot breeze to fill in on Day 3 of Townsville Yacht Club’s (TYC) SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week (SMIRW); and finally, all but Division 1 yachts were on their way in the White Rock Race.

Once the other classes were clear, Division 1 boats started the first of their two short races.

As the bulk of the fleet set shy kites halfway to the first mark, most chose to hug the Island’s coast. Barry Waugh took it to a new level, shaving the rocky shoreline on Kite Runner (NSW), tacking out in the nick of time each time.

“Blame it on Ian Ford, a cunning old man on board. He called it,” said Waugh, who is racing in Division 3. “We gained half a knot from hugging the shore. He knew how much water was under us, so we trusted him. We were a bit nervous though, because we chartered the yacht.”

Waugh said the most breeze they saw today was 9 knots. He has returned to Maggie Island, he said, “because the sailing’s great, the weather’s good and it’s laid back.”

In the Multihull class, Dennis Coleman, owner of Mistress, was regretting trading his son Nathan for a bag of lollies at this event last year. “In the end, we needed him more than the lollies, which is why we kept him this year.”

Just three sail the Corsair Sprint Mk1, but do so fairly successfully and are fourth overall after today – the top two are on equal points, as are third and fourth. “We’ve been to every Magnetic Island Race Week - on different boats. We keep coming back because we love it so much – it’s the Maggie spirit,” Coleman, from Townsville, said.

“I wish I’d got into sailing earlier. I didn’t start until I was 45; I’m 58 now and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Mistress broke the start today. “We were being aggressive,” said Scott McInerney. “I had a feeling it might happen, so I started in such a way that we could return and re-cross quickly.

“The racing here is so good; Denis (Thompson, the PRO) makes it so easy for everyone to know what’s going on. He is a real professional and makes sure we all know what’s happening.”

Hughie Lewis, a Tasmanian who is racing David Currie’s Farr 40, Ponyo, in Division 1, also acknowledged Thompson’s professionalism. “Too often people complain about things, like their handicap, we forget to praise. Denis is a class act. He makes it so easy. Everyone gets clear and concise details on the water every day.”

Division 1 did two short races today, “one that had a bit of everything and then a windward/leeward,” Lewis said.

“We got good starts in both races; better than yesterday when we started too early,” he said laughing. “We got clear of Highly Sprung (Andrew Pearson/Adam Brown), but on the last bit of the work back to the finish, they caught us up a bit in some pressure on the shore. We took line honours, but I think they got us overall.” They didn’t; Lewis was second, her adversary third.

“The second race we led from start to finish, so I hope we did alright out of that,” the Tasmanian said. Ponyo was fifth in that race, and takes the Division 1 lead from Highly Sprung (NSW), and Tim Campbell’s Private Equity (Vic). Campbell, the son of eminent Tasmanian sailing journalist, Peter Campbell, won Race 4 today. But for an 11th in Race 3, he would have retained the Division l lead.

Meanwhile, Wine Dark Sea entertains competitors with a famous song every day. Today it was Tom Jones’ Delilah. While the voices leave a bit to be desired, the theatrics, led by skipper, Peter Lowndes, are impressive – a glass of champagne in each crew member’s hands. Fortunately, you could hear the distinct tones of Jones through the crew’s singing.

In spite of their post-race antics, Lowndes (NSW) is determined to win Division 2, having finished bridesmaid the last two times he was here. It’s become a pot boiler, with the top three boats on seven points apiece – and all are equally ambitious, including Lowndes.

Currently ‘Sir’ Robbo Robertson has moved into the lead with It’s Time. The Queenslander is ever competitive with a take no prisoners approach. Ian Edwards (NSW) with Wings is the other.  He is sitting pretty in second having finished second in Race 3. Lowndes is third.

Racing continues at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week tomorrow from 11am.

For all information and full results: www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au/

By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

1st September 2019

Division 4’s competition within a competition

Day 2 started much the same as yesterday, except the light breeze came in on queue; Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson, able to proceed with racing on time from 11am at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, held off Townsville in Far Northern Queensland.

There was some early argy barby in Division 1, with individual recalls putting manners back in place in Race 2 of Townsville Yacht Club’s (TYC) major annual sailing event. One boat (no names mentioned) was called three times before it finally returned to the start line. Costly.

From there, it was a downwind leg to a mark off the Strand in the Strand race, which took the entire fleet to a mark near the foreshore of Townsville.

Locals and visitors to the region were able to see the boats. Most were carrying spinnakers, making a kaleidoscope of colour. Little zephyrs of breeze filtered through every now and again, but not enough to make any real impact on that leg.

Rounding the mark became a little tricky for those racing together in small packs. Effarrvescent, a North Queensland Farr 11.6 owned by Lyndon Borgas, was caught in a yacht sandwich. She stalled, then started to drift backwards. A quick smooch and a light kiss with one neighbour,  and Effarrvescent went merrily on her way again.

Others had close calls. On Brian Yarnall’s Mika (Vic), communication was not up to scratch; her white kite taking a dunking before pairs of hands set to work pulling it in. It’s all in a day’s sailing and gives boaties something to talk about over a drink later. Scotty Hiller and the drone crew catch all the action and show it at the daily prizegivings amid comments and laughter.

A short while after rounding the Strand mark, the breeze filled in nicely as the fleet sailed up the work towards Magnetic Island.

In the hotly contested Division 4, there are competitions within competitions between the 16 entries, for both line and overall honours. Warrigal’s (owned by James Finch – a local) chances were gone when her kite shredded.

It is on every day between the four Farr 1104’s and three are TYC members: Son of a Son (Peter Webster), Vaya Con Dios (Wayne Simonsen) and Akarana (Vicki Hamilton) along with Whitsundays boat, Infarrction (Carol Roberts). Drinks go to the winning Farr each day.

Akarana’s crew as enjoying the spoils today, having beaten the others over the line. ”The drinks are on them,” she said. “Yesterday we did a Steven Bradbury when the others went round the wrong mark.”

This morning, the ladies, plus a token male, dressed in theme as they do each year. This year it was ‘Heaven and Hell’, with fallen angels, goddesses, demons and a devil – complete with black leotard, red horns and a tail. They help make the event what it is.

On It’s Magic, Peter Sarda and his Cavalier 37 crew from Apollo Bay in Victoria are relishing their first SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week: “Each year we cruise up the east coast and friends said if we were going to do the regatta, this is the one we should do. They were right,” Sarda said. “We’re enjoying ourselves; the friendly people and all the fun. We haven’t been let down so far.”

Sarda said they had “a fantastic day. We had a good sail with a great finish with Unhinged (Vaughn Thompson’s local Hunter Legend design). We chased them down and came within a boat length or so, but just couldn’t quite sail through them. It made our day, though.”

Another local boat in Division 4 is Lynda Sawbridge’s Helena May. Being local, the Bavaria 38 is a regular at this event and it’s one they are happy to support.

“It’s a very good regatta,” Sawbridge commented. “We had just enough breeze (12-14 knots) to get us around the course today. We’ve got a lot of gun boats in our division and the one we like to beat is Celebrity (Wayne McNee’s Swarbrick S111 from RANSA in Sydney).

“They were around half a boat length in front of us at the Cleveland mark today and because we were faster getting our kite up, we beat them home. Yesterday Vaya Con Dios beat us over the line by four seconds. We’re having a great tussle and I’m sure it will continue,” she ended.

Tomorrow is lay day, so racing continues at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week on Monday from 11am. The event finishes on 4 September with boats racing across Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker and Multihull classes.

For all information: www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au/

By Di Pearson, SMIRW media


30th August 2019



Regulars and newbies agree it was a magic day at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week

A number of newcomers joined the multitude of repeat offenders for the opening day of Townsville Yacht Club’s (TYC) SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week (SMIRW), and although competitors waited for over an hour for the breeze to fill in, when it did, competitors agreed it was superb afternoon of racing.

PRO Denis Thompson kept competitors updated and sure enough, shortly after midday, news came through that the breeze had filled in at 5 knots and racing was underway, the course shortened to reflect the late start.

New South Welshman Peter Lowndes is a regular here with his Wine Dark Sea. This year is different though. Lowndes’ partner in life and in the boat, Sarah Goddard-Jones, tragically passed away in June this year following a diving accident on the northern NSW coast. She would normally be at Magnetic Island with him, enjoying he five minute wind he and a mostly regular crew notched up in Division 2 today.

“The crew entry for this regatta was a six pack of French champagne in Sarah’s name,” Lowndes said this afternoon, apologising for his emotions which are always close to the surface. It seems perfectly fitting, as Goddard- Jones had a bubbly personality and the two loved sailing and cruising together.

“We have a new sabre to open the Moet,” he said, pointing to the shining silver sabre as a crew member demonstrated its use.

“We won the race by five minutes when the handicap was applied. It’s all in tribute to Sarah – and I have donated a trophy in her name too – it will reflect sportsmanship and good seamanship,” Lowndes ended after beating offshore racing veteran, ‘Sir’ Robbo Robertson to the punch for the win.

Robertson turns 80 in December, but as the old saying goes, you can’t keep an old sea dog down and so the Queenslander is here to try and add a third Maggie Island title trophy to his cabinet. He was wearing an ear to ear grin this afternoon having sailed his ‘It’s Time’ to second place.

Aboard Blue Water Tracks, their beautiful Moody 54DS, husband and wife team, Grant and Delma Dunoon from Victoria were pleased to get away from their cold local weather to take part in their first Magnetic Island Race Week.

“We first took the opportunity to be at the BBQ at Cape Upstart,” Delma said. “We thought, ‘oh well, another barby’, but it was anything but. It was so special and they went to so much trouble – even down to the fairy lights on the tables.

“The food was fantastic – the Barra (Barramundi) on the beach was the highlight for me. It was an unforgettable experience.”

Grant added: “We loved meeting people and introducing others, the quiet music and the bonfires.”

The pair is racing in the Non-Spinnaker division; a white chesterfield couch taking pride of place at the back end of their boat. “It’s our interview couch,” explained Grant, who with experienced sailor, Sue Bumstead, took on the 5500 nautical mile Melbourne Osaka Yacht Race last year and will add another Sydney Hobart to his credit this year.

On being at Maggie Island and partaking of all it has to offer, Grant commented: “We arrived at the Island after Cape Upstart, spent the day at Horseshoe Bay. We had a short race today, but it was a good race. We didn’t win, as it was too light for us, but we came here to relax, not so much to win.” They finished sixth from eight in the division that was won by Lance Denby’s Ostara.

The pair is staying on board Blue Water Tracks, calling it, “our five star accommodation.” And it really is.

The last word goes to Mal Pirret, Event Chairman from TYC and owner/skipper of the well-named ‘Champagne’, which is racing in Division 3, won today by Ian White’s Kite from Lake Macquarie in NSW.

Pirret, who finished sixth from 18 entries, said of the day: “We expected the breeze to come in and build. It got up to 13 knots going to the top mark after being a bit light on at the start.

“We got gassed at the start and then kept away from the rest of the fleet. We had a good run though. Merlion (Eddie Mackevicius, Vic) went around the mark in front of us, with Popeye (Craig Douglas, NSW) just behind. It was a close finish between the three of us and a beautiful day on the water,” he said after the fleet set spinnakers for the run home.

Racing continues at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week tomorrow and is due to get underway from 11am. The event finishes on 4 September with boats racing across IRC Racing, Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker, Multihull and Trailable Yacht classes.

For all information: www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au/


By Di Pearson, SMIRW media

27th August 2019

22nd August 2019

20th August 2019

Death Notice

Peter Anthony Kearns

Passed away peacefully Monday morning. Aged 60

Much loved Brother of Rosemary, Kate, Darryl & Kath, cousin to Julie and related families.

There will be further notices regarding his funeral and memorial



20th August 2019

Juniper Property Holdings has lodged an appeal in the Planning & Enviroment Court of Queensland on Townsville City Council refusal of an application for an extension of their development permit for Radical Bay.

Graeme Juniper told the MCN "My phone has been running hot with support from Townsville and Magnetic Island."

14th August 2019

Developer And Mayor Exchange Words

Debbie Denison

Last Thursday Juniper Property Holdings received a letter from TCC dated 17th July 2019, refusing  an application for an extension of their development permit for Radical Bay, which lapses on 19th September.

The refusal from TCC reads:’The proposed development is not consistent with the Townsville City Plan in particular the Environmental management and conservation zone, the Bushfire hazard overlay code and Natural assets overlay code’.

Mayor Jenny Hill told the MCN “Junipers has owned the land at Radical Bay for 17 years and during this time there has been two separate development approvals, and nothing has happened.

“Given that nothing has happened in such a long time, the council has decided not to extend the current DA, but we are willing to meet with Junipers to discuss their intentions for the site."

Graeme Juniper hit back questioning Mayor Jenny Hill’s commitment  to jobs and development of the region. “If Townsville wants developments to happen then they should welcome projects, not hinder them”.

Mayor Hill went on to say “The DA was rejected by Council in the first place on community grounds – particularly because it would have restricted public access – and given that nothing has happened in 17 years it’s appropriate that the community has a say on any development proposal for the area.”

Graeme Juniper refuted those claims “Frankly, the existence of our development approvals seems to have been used by many in power to ignore the facts and the reality. At the point the Unallocated State Land ends near Radical Bay, the existing track you drive on or walk on is in fact Juniper’s private freehold Land.  The Council’s own gazetted road reserve land that provides car park areas and direct access the remainder of the way to the Beach from that point is to the right of our site as shown on the Council Zoning Map. This existed even before we bought the land and could have been built for the community at any time by the Council rather than public trespassing through Juniper’s land.” ( See maps Back Page)

He went on to say “Any suggestion that Juniper’s development is needed for the community to get the access it deserves has always been a political excuse for the Council and the State to simply not have to pay for it”.

Mayor Hill  concluded by saying “The Council has previously stated that we would be open to providing assistance repairing the road if it was fully funded by the State or the developer.

Graeme Juniper went on say ”You can see why I am frustrated and why investors in Townsville are turning away!”

The MCN asked if Juniper Corporation would appeal the TCC decision Mr. Juniper’s reply  “We are talking to our legal team now.”

The  long and protracted war of words between the developer, TCC and the State Government appears to be far from over, the passing of the buck of whose responsible continues.

Watch this space.

9th August 2019

Councillor “ Give us the money and we will repair the road”

Pictured above: The Road between Arthur Bay and Florence Bay. Photo Karl Sharp 26.3.19


Debbie Denison

Last Saturday 60 people attended the monthly MIRRA meeting. Member for Townsville Scott Stewart was presented with the petition initiated by MIRRA to have the road to Florence Bay repaired.

Those in attendance were hostile and frustrated  with the continued passing  of the buck and lack responsibilty   shown by both the TCC and State Government, which has the left the road a complete hazard and impassable in various places.

Mr. Stewart told the MCN “ The petition will be tabled to the Queensland Parliament, in the next parliamentary sitting week which begins on the 19th August. After it is tabled, the clerk will send the petition to the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Protection who will respond.”

The petition attracted over 2,000 signatures requesting the road be repaired.

Councillor Ann Maree Greaney said council would do the work to fix the road if the Government provided the funds.

When asked regarding the rateable property at 2 Arthur Bay Road, Ms. Greaney said “That property does not have any road  access and has only sea access”. The MCN is aware there is an easement attached to that property ( see photo below). The TCC response regarding the property at 2 Arthur Bay Road is something quite extraordinary considering the property is rateable and over 40 years  various owners have carried out extensive additions to the home, all with TCC approval. This revelation relinquishes TCC responsibility to maintain access to the property. The MCN contacted the current owner Alastair Douglas for comment he told the MCN “ This is all very concerning and new to me”. The MCN understands he will be contacting both the TCC and Member for Townsville.

MIRRA President Cameron Turnbull told the MCN “ MIRRA will continue to agitate to get the track to Radical Bay repaired”.

After the petition is tabled the Minister has 28 Days to respond to MIRRA.

The MCN understands the Development Permit for Juniper Property Holdings has an initial currency period of 6 years, lapsing on the 19th September 2019.

If the road was to become part of the National Park there would be no vehicle access and the whole area would be walk in only.

Watch this space!

30th July 2019

Petition Attracts Over 2,000 Signatures

Debbie Denison

On Saturday Member for Townsville Scott Stewart will be presented with  the MIRRA organised petition to have the road to Florence Bay repaired. It has been signed by over 2,000 residents and tourists. Tired of the inaction of both the State Government and the Townsville City Council who have for years just passed the buck on whose responsibly the road is. The road has been in disrepair for years and the monsoon event has left the Bays inaccessible to only 4 wheel drive vehicles.

Many feel both the government and TCC have let down Magnetic Island residents and Magnetic Island tourists operators who daily have to deal with tourists who complain about the condition of the road and why it has not been maintained over the years.

The owner of the freehold land at Radical Bay is not responsible for maintaining the road.

The  road is on unallocated state land  and is own by the state government .

See some of comments made on petition and why people have signed it.

“That access to these beautiful beaches, which include marine protected areas and the magnificent golden beaches and flora and fauna tourists are seeking when they visit, is not reflective of the history of the island and particularly its first settlers, who worked so hard to open the island up to all tourists (not just those able to walk in) and all its land and sea treasures. Townsville Council, please recognise the importance of this part of the island to both its residents and the thousands of tourists that visit every year. Sadly most miss the opportunity to explore this wonderful section of the island as the road is basically impassable now, the road being further damaged by the recent floods. Please take responsibility for this road! Make it passable for walkers, bikers, drivers and all those keen to explore this stunning section of Magnetic Island - thank you - Glenys Reid (great granddaughter of Robert Hayles)”

Anne Mathieson “I walk my little scouts kids in from time to time and walking is even dangerous. Either seal it or remove the seal. The pot holes are downright dangerous. You wouldn’t leave walking trail in disrepair like this. Fix it for safety reasons nothing else

Other comments include:

“I support this completely as access to our prime national park beaches is disgraceful”

“Radical bay is one of the many beautiful beaches on magnetic island. It is a special place for not only locals to visit but also the million tourists who visit Maggie island every year. Please fix it so people can enjoy it. Thank you”

“You can’t even walk there safely now”

“it is such a shame that you can not get into these beautiful bays at the moment...… we should be showing them off to the world”

“A tourist destination needs infrastructure, no road= no tourists, no tourists= no profit, no profits=no taxes paid, no taxes=No economy, NO ECONOMY=NO GOVERNMENT. Very simple really!!!!!!!!!!!”

“It’s a disgrace!”

“The road is quite simply dangerous. Cars can be trapped, damaged, be thrown sideways, and lose traction with the  worst case scenario being a car over-turning and/going off the road and down a hillside resulting in injury

or death. Regardless of ownership of the road it is about ownership of the responsibility to ensure people are safe in the national park and the government needs to stand up.”

“Why is there a disabled toilet at Florence Bay when the disabled cannot even contemplate getting down to that beautiful beach to experience snorkeling or beach combing or gazing at its beauty?”

“This is a disgrace to Queensland. They spend millions on a sports stadium while this road disintegrates. Shame on the Govt.”

The MCN will  attend the MIRRA  meeting and report on the government and TCC  responses as they come to light.



24th July 2019

17th July 2019

Your Opportunity To Have Your Say Magnetic Island Trails


10th July 2019

9th July 2019

Nelly Bay groyne works begin

Work has started today on a project to prevent beach sand from passing under the southern breakwater bridge and into the Nelly Bay Harbour.

Once constructed Council will then be able to begin restoring the Nelly Bay Esplanade and beach without losing the sand into the harbour.

The Queensland Government is providing Council with grant funding to construct the 50 metre groyne made of sand filled geotextile bags.

Equipment was moved to the site this week.

Local Councillor Ann-Maree Greaney said the project has development approval and a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Permit has been issued.

“The construction of the groyne will provide a much better environmental outcome and a more effective control for the erosion issues and the sand build-up than the current costly practice for the Queensland Government of dredging and redistributing sand,” Cr Greaney said.

“Once the groyne is in place, excess sand from Gustav Creek can be transferred to the beach for sand renourishment that will not be lost into the harbour.”

The sand used to fill the bags will effectively become part of the beach slope and the majority of sand between the groyne and the bridge will be transferred to the beach area.

Annual maintenance of the groyne is expected to be low cost and will be jointly funded by State and Local Government.

The project is expected to take up to six weeks and only requires a partial closure of the northern end of the beach.

Residents can direct enquiries to Council’s Construction, Maintenance and Operations section on 134810.

4th July 2019

22nd June 2019

Petition To Repair Radical Bay to Florence Bay Begins.

MIRRA Magnetic Island Resident & Ratepayers Assoc Inc have launched their petition to have the Radical Bay road repaired afer it was damaged during the monsoon event in February. The Petition will run until the 20th July, there are also numerous outlets on the island where the petition can be signed. Below is the link.



How We Voted

Pictured above: Volunteers handing out how to vote cards at the Nelly Bay State School. Photo Debbie Denison


234rd May 2019

Townsville public hearing announced for the Care Inquiry

Townsville will next week host a public hearing as part of the Queensland parliamentary committee inquiry into aged care, end-of-life and palliative care and voluntary assisted dying.

This inquiry is considering whether Queenslanders should be allowed the right to die at a time of their choosing, as well as the future of aged care and how the terminally ill and their loved ones are supported.

The Townsville public hearing will be held at The Ville Resort on Wednesday 29 May from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

Persons wishing to address the committee at this hearing or just be in attendance are asked to first register either online via:


or by phoning the committee secretariat staff on 3553 6626 or 1800 504 022.

The Committee Chair and Member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper MP said that the committee was looking forward to hearing the views of people in Townsville next week.

“I encourage people to register to attend our Townsville public hearing and to come along and have their say on these important issues,” Mr Harper said.

“The committee received over 5,000 written submissions on aged care, end-of-life and palliative care and voluntary assisted dying. We have also held public briefings and hearings with palliative care doctors as well as holding public hearings in Caloundra and Toowoomba. Now the committee is travelling across North Queensland to hear further oral submissions about these issues.”

Committee Members Aaron Harper MP, Member for Thuringowa

Mark McArdle MP, Member for Caloundra

Michael Berkman MP, Member for Maiwar

Martin Hunt MP, Member for Nicklin

Barry O’Rourke MP, Member for Rockhampton

Joan Pease MP, Member for Lytton

Full details of the Townsville public hearing are below:

Wednesday 29 May 2019

 Townsville public hearing - 9:30am to 12:30pm


Location: The Ville Resort, Sir Leslie Thiess Drive, Townsville

Registrations: https://qldparlcomm.snapforms.com.au/form/townsville-public-hearing

or phone the committee secretariat staff on 3553 6626 or 1800 504 022.

Further information about the inquiry is available at: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/careinquiry


19th May 2019

Forts Carpark Upgrades To Enhance Visitor Experience



Pictured above: Concept plan for the new upgrade of the Forts Carpark.

Debbie Denison

Funding has been granted for the $2.35 million Forts Complex Upgrade with more parking and better facilities to address traffic concerns and improve safety at the site.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart told the MCN the project is being funded through the state’s $40 million Growth Area and Regional Infrastructure Investment Fund (GARIIF), with works to support around 15 jobs during construction.

“These upgrades mean more jobs for North Queensland and improved community infrastructure, which is why I’ve fought so hard to secure this investment,” Mr Stewart said.

“The works will not only benefit locals on Maggie and the mainland, but will allow for more visitors to enjoy this beautiful part of our region.

“A fit‐for‐purpose 40-bay carpark, including bus turning area, motorcycle parking and bike racks, will improve access to the forts while addressing existing traffic and safety issues.

MIRRA President  Mr. Cameron Turnbull told the MCN “MIRRA welcomes the funding of the Forts Car Park. It is the gateway to 2 important tourist assets, the Forts Walk and Radical Bay Road which is the next big ticket agenda item which MIRRA  intends to tackle”.

Scott Stewart  went on to say “The project will also see much needed upgrades to public amenities, including drinking water, toilet facilities, and interpretive and educational information, and will better connect the island’s track network.

“Each year thousands of visitors, many of them walkers and cyclists, visit this beautiful site to absorb the history and sweeping views,” he said.

“Tourism is a major part of Maggie’s economy, so by investing in this infrastructure the Palaszczuk Government is investing in the island’s future.

President of Tourism Magnetic Island Norman Jenkins told the MCN “ The Forts Complex is one of the key tourist attractions on Magnetic Island and the Forts Junction Hub is the access point to this site. In its current state, it is not conducive for growing tourism on the island as there is inadequate capacity for current visitor numbers and numerous issues relating to safety for pedestrians and vehicles at the site. TMI welcomes the upcoming funding for this facility  as it will these address safety concerns, increase the carrying capacity, improve connectivity with the public transport and the track network on Magnetic Island and provide a suitable staging area for accessing the Forts Complex and the National Park.”

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Palaszczuk Government’s coordinated approach to delivering infrastructure was benefitting all Queenslanders.

Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch said the Magnetic Island works will ensure the national park’s history and beauty can be observed and preserved in the years ahead.

“This is about best managing visitor movements to the island, so tourists and locals can keep experiencing the magnificence of Magnetic Island,” Ms Enoch said.

The Magnetic Island Forts Junction Hub upgrade will be led by the Department of Environment and Science. Work is expected to begin in the 4th quarter of this year and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2020.

The MCN suggests that while the road works are being carried out in the area it would be an ideal time to carry out repairs on the Radical Bay Road.

Watch this space!

1st May 2019

Mayor  praises public transport improvements

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill welcomed TransLink’s announcement of an updated timetable for the city’s bus network, a 24-hour public transport hotline and access to an online journey planner.

“This is an important first step to improving public transport services for the Townsville community,” Cr Hill said.

“Being able to access information more easily to plan a public transport journey will be a win for local public transport users.

“Townsville City Council will continue to work closely with the Queensland Government to realise further public transport improvements for our community.”

Cr Hill thanked Transport Minister Mark Bailey for listening to the Townsville community’s concerns about the city’s public transport service.

“The Minister has made an important commitment to improving bus timetables and providing more up-to-date information that is also easier to access,” Cr Hill said.

“I’d like to thank Minister Bailey for fostering a constructive relationship between Council and the Queensland Government – and also Townsville MP Scott Stewart’s continued advocacy – to deliver better bus services for locals and visitors.”

Cr Hill said these enhancements to the network will coincide with the opening of the CBD Bus Hub in mid may.

“Public transport users will soon notice a number of improvements when they use buses throughout our city,” Cr Hill said.


Pictured above: Dawn Service ANZAC DAY. Photo Geoff Barlow


6th April 2019

Emergency Services Response Time Seriously Compromised By the State Of The Road

Pictured above: The Road between Arthur Bay and Florence Bay. Photo Karl Sharp 26.3.19

Debbie Denison

Following last weeks front page article ‘Road Now Impassable And At An Impasse’ in reference to the condition of the Arthur,Florence & Radical Bay access road, after the February monsoon event.

Nick Doran  Auxiliary Captain Magnetic Island Fire Station|Northern Region told the MCN “At this stage due to access issues to Florence and Radical Bays all emergency response is on foot only for QFES Personnel.

As such response times and capability are seriously compromised.”

A QAS spokesperson told the MCN “The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) utilises the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS), which is a system used by ambulance services throughout the world to prioritise calls for emergency medical assistance. When a caller contacts Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance, a number of scripted questions are asked to ascertain what type of ambulance is required and the urgency of the response.

This is no different for residents who live on or are visiting Magnetic Island. The closest most appropriate ambulance will be dispatched in an emergency.

Incidents on Magnetic Island are able to be responded to by paramedics stationed on the island by use of a four-wheel-drive ambulance vehicle. Additionally, the QAS has an agreement with a local company who provide a vessel  service for local paramedics to gain access to beaches and bays if necessary.

In the event that further support is required to assist with the treatment or transport of a patient, a range of options are available. The QAS utilises the services Surf Lifesaving, Queensland Police, the Coastguard and aeromedical support co-ordinated by Retrieval Services Queensland.”

We are waiting for an official response from the Queensland Police Service, however local officers have indicated there are serious issues because of the state of the road conditions and the lack of communications in the area.

Peter Nobelius from NBJ Automotive who are the  authorised RACQ station on the island told the MCN “We can not take our vehicle on that road to tow anyone out and we have notified the RACQ. We have also told anyone who does take their vehicle down that road and breaks down or gets stuck we can not assist with vehicle retrieval”.

The MCN has been advised the worst section of the road is between Arthur and Florence Bay, our front page photo this week was taken past Florence Bay! We have had a few residents remark they can get their vehicles down the road, but they own serious off road 4 wheel drive vehicles and are doing so at their own risk.

All of the car hire businesses on the island tell their customers not to take the vehicles on the road and also the West Point road. The MCN has heard of many cars being damaged.(See letter to editor from Isle Hire Cars page 3)

Business operators Dale & Janie Brooker told the MCN  ‘FNF Outdoor Adventure has dealt for many years with the issue of Radical Bay Road and safe vehicle access.

Thousands of visitors arrive on the Island with expectations of accessing 3 of our most remarkable and picturesque bays.

Arthur Bay lookout is one of the most popular lookouts on Magnetic Island with views over the coral covered bay and many remaining Hoop Pines.

Radical Bay is arguably one of the best swimming bays, and Florence Bay fish encounters are the topic of many a travel blog.

Social media is an extremely powerful tool for modern tourism and the magnetism of all the Radical Bay Road attractions draws many visitors, adding dollars to the Island coffers.  All too often we see and hear the disappointment of visitors to the island who must miss out on the pleasure of these iconic bays.

It is past time for a working group to sit down and solve one of the key issues affecting tourist satisfaction and allowing safe, easy access for all.’

The MCN contacted Member for Townsville for comment on the issue at the time of going to print we had not received a response. Mr. Stewart will be attending this Saturday’s MIRRA meeting. along with the candidates for the seat of Herbert, we will seek comments.

The MCN also contacted Charlie McColl who is Vice President of MINCA who ran the campaign many years ago ‘Save Radical Bay‘ for a comment on the issue, once again at the time of going to print we had not received a reply.

Of the locals we have talked to regarding the state of road, many are of the opinion that the State Government and TCC should bear the cost along with the owner of Radical Bay freehold land to have the road repaired,  for residents and visitors to  enjoy the 3 iconic bays.

With the Forts car park upgrade which is due to proceed this year whilst the machinery is in area, works could be carried out on road at the same time,which would be more cost effective.

We will publish any updates, keeping our readers informed.


30th March 2019



Road Now Impassable And At An Impasse

Debbie Denison

The road no one wants to take responsibility for, has declined to a state of being impassable between Arthur Bay to Florence Bay and on to Radical Bay since the recent monsoon event in February.  Leaving arguably the 3 best bays on Magnetic Island  which attract large tourist numbers to the island, and, are enjoyed very much by local residents. The only way to access the bays is by walking into the  area or accessing the bays by water. In effect blocking anyone who does not have a high level of fitness from enjoying the beautiful bays.

For years all stakeholders have been passing the buck on whose responsibility the road is, which has lead to the current impasse.

Owner of land at Radical Bay Mr. Graeme Juniper told the MCN “If we repair the road the vehicular traffic will increase as will the maintenance and it really is up to the authorities to decide what access they wish to give the public to Radical Bay, put simply no developer could withstand the financial impost of doing the State and Council`s job for them in a highly trafficked area that Visitor want to see and enjoy.

It is evident by the need to upgrade the Fort site to handle the extra traffic that there is interest in this area and maybe it is time to reconsider that it is time for the authorities to build the road as part of the Fort considerations.”

At the March MIRRA meeting TCC Mayor Jenny Hill said  the road was not council responsibility and that anyone who had concerns regarding the road should contact DES and the state member for Townsville Scott Stewart.

A spokesperson for the  Department of Environment and Science (DES) told the MCN “This road is not the responsibility of the Department of Environment and Science and is not part of the national park. The road is on unallocated State land and the responsibility of the landholders of Radical Bay who hold a permit to occupy for the road.”

President of MIRRA  Mr. Cameron Turnbull told the MCN “There is a case for the developer and Government to share the cost because the road serviced the national park, the popular fort walk and Arthur, Florence and Radical bays”.

President of Tourism Magnetic Island Mr. Norman Jenkins told the MCN  “TMI acknowledges the need for a solution for Radical Bay in the future and encourages the developer to continue to work closely with the relevant stakeholders. TMI also has identified the greater need for an overall plan for Magnetic Island and for both local, state government & departments to have an holistic approach in identifying the opportunities for the future needs for the community but also for the visitor economy that many small businesses on the island rely on.”

Townsville Enterprise Director Tourism & Events, Bridget Woods told the MCN “We’d be open to working with all relevant stakeholders to determine the best possible outcome for the community, National Parks and visitors to the Island.”

Pixtured above: The road into Radical Bay

Visitor numbers have  continued to rise every year on the island and in recent years the number of tourists visiting Radical Bay and camping there has increased dramatically. Mr. Juniper went on to say “ We fenced part of the site about 15 years ago this was after the Caretaker left the old resort. It did not last long unfortunately before people who wanted to visit the site pulled the fence down to gain access through our land , this was the only access that enabled them to drive their vehicles to the beach  as the land owned by the State at Radical Bay was not suitable for vehicles to get to the Beach”.

When MCN asked Mr. Juniper about the 3 pianos that over the years had been left at Radical Bay and had  either disappeared or were used as fire wood he said “I am unable to control people abusing Radical Bay and this is a matter for the authorities , I find it sad that there is a lack of responsibility by those bringing the Pianos to the Bay , if the Piano was not there then there would not be a mess left when it was burnt , they should clean it up. It would take more than one person to deliver such a large instrument to  this secluded spot so it cannot be a secret  who they are , someone should remind those responsible to show some care.”

Of interest it has come to light that TCC were recently involved in a plan to place a 4th piano at Radical Bay however those plans have been put on hold since the monsoon event.

In our next edition we will follow up on this article, seeking comments from those in business on the island and also Island residents.

A Man, a Rock an Island

Dot Church

Verne Thomas JACK: 01.06.1942 – 18.02.2019

Love him or love to hate him, Verne Jack was an icon, a force to be reckoned with. Suffer fools he did not! Verne quietly slipped away from this world leaving a legacy behind, on Monday, 18th February 2019. He is survived by his one sister and three brothers.

Verne attended primary school at John Fishers, an all boys’ primary school in Currajong, Townsville; from there he continued his education at Our Ladies Mount, Stanton Hill. Verne than graduated as a primary school teacher.  Verne began his teaching at Currajong State School and ironically finished his career at Currajong many years later. In the intervening years he held many different positions and taught at several one-teacher schools throughout the North.

In those days, the teacher was the real ‘chalkie’, using blackboards as their main resource for imparting knowledge. Information, especially in the middle to upper primary years was prepared and written up on these blackboards. The teacher had the knowledge and imparted it to the student and if you dared to talk or play up while he had chalk in his hand you could find yourself an easy target to be reprimanded with the same. The classrooms were ruled with a firm hand and many like Verne imparted a vast amount of knowledge in this way!

It was during these earlier days that teachers were required to display their CCP (Current Curriculum Plan) to the visiting inspectors. When asked to present his Plan, Verne is rumoured to have laid his head on his work desk and responded with, “Here it is! It is all in here.” These men were heralded in fear by school staff; one would have loved to see the look on the inspector’s face that day!

Verne taught for many years at Railway Estate School. He was also the sport organiser in most schools at which he taught; he became the co-ordinator of the Townsville Schools Junior Sport’s association. During the athletics season he could be seen at the Townsville Sports Reserve organising students into their various levels to compete. Verne never needed the assistance of a loud hailer: his strong voice was enough. So, much so that in his latter years in this job, he yelled to the Magnetic Island SS Principal, could she give him a ride to the ferry on the way home. I believe, in replying, her voice was not carried quite as loudly as Verne’s. He continued to assist at these Sports Days long after he had retired from teaching.

As a youngster he played rugby league and was almost a ‘walking encyclopaedia’ in his extensive knowledge of various sports; God help you if you dared to question his authority on such. It was sometime in the seventies that Verne went to Brisbane to compete in a Sports’ Quiz and those here on the island thought he was a red-hot favourite to win but unfortunately that was not the case.

He had a great love of tennis, especially the various big competitions held in the larger southern cities. He would often invite ‘a guest’ to accompany him to these venues and pay their costs.

Verne’s involvement with the Arcadia Surf Life Saving Club began at the beginning of the 1968-69 season. At the time there were members from the Brothers Rugby Leagues Club who Verne coached, that were also associated with the Club. Cyclone Althea took its toll in 1971 and the weekend accommodation Verne had, at the time, was destroyed. He than became a weekender at “San Marino” and thus in 1972 he took over the organising of the food for the infamous Good Friday party; a tradition of the Arcadian Surf Life Saving Club.

The Toad Races were initiated by Jim Fry in 1980 to raise funds for the Nippers and the Magnetic Island Kindergarten. When Jim moved to Town,  John Bennett and Warren Butler were involved for a few months and it was around 1987 that Verne took over the running of the races and remained there until recent times.

The Toad Races became well-known and Verne’s identity as Toad Master spread throughout Australia and in many places overseas. Probably as he was the only person who would kiss a toad or place its head in his mouth. The funds from this event has assisted many youngsters here on Maggie in life saving and early education.

As Verne got older, he tried various pursuits and he used to cart fruit and vegetables to the island to be sold straight from their boxes. He set up his tables under the Moreton Bays in front of the park at Alma Bay. Anyone who bought from Verne knew that did all the maths in his head. He would weigh the items and then work out the cost, all done in his head – not always simple arithmetic!  Verne could be seen most mornings doing laps across the Alma Bay right up until he lost his leg through diabetes.  He often donated fruit and vegies for various charities on the island.

Verne gave up the swimming along with the vegie stall but would still go down to the old jetty site in Arcadia and feed the wallabies. He made sure that the people who came to visit, fed them the correct food. He became acquainted with many visitors, though not your typical ambassador he was however very knowledgeable. A postcard from Europe was delivered to him via X Base when back-packers he befriended, wrote to him.

Verne was an active member of the Catholic Church here on the island. He could be seen sitting in the back seat at St Joan of Arc for most masses. In earlier days he was accompanied by Al Pal, (Allan Hurst) and Scotchie (John O’Neil). He initiated the second collection, which stays here to purchase needs and repairs for this quaint little building. The money to kick-start this was a bequeathed by the late Betty Burdett, who was a well-known identity in earlier days.

Prior to Verne’s leaving for town, the good folk at St Joan’s had a rhyme which went: “Sit here if you dare! This is Verne’s chair!”   Maybe a plague with theses words could be placed there in memory of Verne.

Verne had a good command of English and a voice to go with it. If you said something that he disagreed with you were quickly reprimanded. Priests, bishops, ordinary folk and youngsters were very much aware of this. Verne challenged them all. Wayne, a previous owner of the Arcadia Store knew this well, as Verne often corrected Wayne’s English on signs outside of his store; much to Wayne’s chagrin! At one time a visiting priest, on holidays, came to say Mass and would ask various parishioners to give a reflection on the Gospel of the day. Verne gave an excellent lesson with the use of a Rugby League Football; cleverly providing an analogy to the said Gospel. It was obvious that he could bring sport to life in many different facets.

As Verne got older and his health deteriorated, he found it more difficult to take proper care of himself. With the assistance of various agencies, he left his beloved island and moved to a nursing home in Townsville. He may have left some of the things he loved and those that were familiar to him, but he never lost his zest for life. He took each phase of his life and embraced it fully. Lyn Coomber, a long- time friend of Verne’s and member of Life Saving, here on Maggie was a regular visitor of his. One day she turned up to his room to be told that Verne was at the auction and so she went off to the recreation lounge. Yes, there was an auction, but Verne was not in the bidding, he was the auctioneer. This is reminiscent of the times he ran the Calcutta at the Arcadia for the Melbourne Cup. Simply put, this was the next step.

Another time on going to visit, Lyn found Verne studying an atlas. He was just checking out all the countries he had not visited. He was well travelled and very knowledgeable about the places he had been.

There are probably many, many more anecdotes out there; enough to fill a book. The Saturday Mass, on March 16, at 5:15pm at St Joan of Arc, Cook Road will be dedicated to Verne Jack. This will be followed by a memorial to be held at the Arcadia Surf Life Saving Club.

As said, Verne quietly departed this world; perhaps one of the quieter moments of his life. Meanwhile, I’m taking bets he’s up there running the show and correcting the spelling in St Peter’s great book.

Verne was renowned for his booming voice and his rough exterior but inside beat a heart of gold. For those of us who knew him; he leaves a gap in our lives.

Rest in peace Verne and may God’s light shine upon you always!


26th February 2019

Rates extension to help ease burden after floods


Townsville City Council has extended the payment date for all ratepayers by a month to Thursday, 4 April

Ratepayers that make payment by 4 April will be eligible for the on-time discount.

Council is working with the Queensland Government to provide extra support to ratepayers directly impacted by the recent floods and will announce any further measures as soon as possible.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said Council understood the unprecedented floods would have a major financial impact on many ratepayers.

“Council is delaying payment due dates for rates to help alleviate some of the financial burden of the floods,” Cr Hill said.

“The clean up is still continuing and I don’t want people stressing about having to pay their rates bill while they are dealing with other matters such as insurance.

“Council will be working very closely with the Queensland Government to try and provide even more support to those ratepayers who were directly impacted by the floods.”

Governance and Finance Committee Chair Cr Verena Coombe said the rates extension would apply to all properties.

“Every ratepayer will have an extension on paying their rates because these floods have been unprecedented in our city’s history and the impact is right across our community,” Cr Coombe said.

“The extension include rates for residential and commercial properties because we know both residents and local businesses are doing it tough.”

19th February 2019

Townsville  & Magnetic Island beaches reopened

Townsville City Council crews have reopened beaches in the city with tests determining they are safe for the public.

The unprecedented flood put extreme stress on the Cleveland Bay Purification Plant and there was the potential for beaches to be affected while the plant was repaired.

Stinger nets will also be restored at most major beaches once the king tide is over.

Reopened beaches are:

  • The Strand
  • Strand Rockpool
  • Pallarenda
  • Rowes Bay
  • Alma Bay
  • Horseshoe Bay (stinger net has been reinstated)
  • Picnic Bay
  • Balgal Beach

The dog beach at Bentwell Road remains closed to the public.

All recovery information is available through the Emergency Management Dashboard atdisaster.townsville.qld.gov.au.

17th February 2019

Our Community Shines Through

Debbie Denison

When we are faced with adversity it is the community spirit that shines through. Our latest major weather event the ‘no name  monsoon drenched the island for nearly 12 days. Our local volunteer SES worked tirelessly  responding to a total of 64 call outs on the island. Ironically the majority of the job were in Picnic Bay (where the petition against a new SES shed began),  18 members were active across the event. A total of  575 volunteer hours, which is quite a staggering amount.

These SES  members are our local heros they have homes, families, businesses and employment obligations, their dedication to our community is to be commended. Currently our local SES is operating out of an overcrowded shed which is not even air-conditioned, they should have a new facility built to accommodate their needs.’ As a priority TCC need provide land and support a new facility for them.

Southern SES crews have bee arriving in Townsviile, our local SES is on standby for our community.

Currently Jody McLaughlin is coordinating donations which will be sent to town for the folk of Townsville who were affected by the devastating floods, Jodie is also a members of our SES, she is always there for our community, a very quiet achiever  who shuns away from the limelight. Jodie told the MCN “Donations are going great, had a lot of community support. Could use some more children’s clothing and toys and general household items. All items can be arranged to be picked up by myself or Jay Wyatt. Or dropped to 11 York Court Horseshoe Bay.” A truck load of donations will be sent across later this week.

The Community News is aware of great kindness showed sometimes by complete strangers, accommodating people whose houses were damaged or people who just didn’t want to be alone through the weather event, supplying meals , cleaning up debris from their yards, getting food supplies to them , this is what community is all about! They  don’t whinge, they just go about making a difference to the life of someone in need.

We fared so much better than Townsville, the MCN is not aware of any major power loss through the event and Ergon should be congratulated for their efforts. TCC staff cleared roads, drains and creeks removed fallen roads from roadways, our rubbish collections didn’t miss a beat.

There were and still are some issues with phones many Telstra users didn’t not have land lines or mobile reception for days, but the majority of customers had internet.

The island fuel supplies did not run out and fuel supplies were delivered as usual last Thursday.

Our food stores remained open through the event Magnetic Harbour  IGA received their first re supply load last Tuesday to restock emptying shelves, another one on Friday.

Our Ferries and barge service continued through with full timetable resuming on Monday.

Magnetic Island Sunbus have resumed  services throughout the island, there were a few days when they did not travel into Horseshoe Bay due the  road conditions.

Magnetic Island State School resumed on Monday.

14th February 2019

Townsville beaches closed for contamination testing

Townsville beaches have been closed while repairs to the Cleveland Bay Purification Plant are carried out following the unprecedented flood.

There is a potential that beaches have been affected by contamination as a result of the extreme stress put on the Cleveland Bay Purification Plant during the rain event.

The affected beaches will remain closed until the repairs are completed and testing is carried out to make sure they are safe to reopen.

Beaches closed include:

  • The Strand Rockpool
  • The Strand
  • Rowes Bay
  • Pallarenda
  • Horseshoe Bay
  • Alma Bay
  • Picnic Bay
  • Balgal Beach

All recovery information is available through the Emergency Management Dashboard atdisaster.townsville.qld.gov.au.

11th February 2019

The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group moves back to Alert

The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) has moved back to Alert following the unprecedented flood.

The TLDMG will continue to monitor conditions across the city while the Local Recovery and Resilience Group continues implementing recovery plans and assisting residents.

All recovery information will be available soon through the Emergency Management Dashboard atdisaster.townsville.qld.gov.au.

10th February 2019

Busy recovery week ahead

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group Chair Mayor Jenny Hill and Local Recovery and Resilience Group Chair Cr Les Walker have expressed their gratitude and thanks to all agencies, organisations and residents involved in the recovery effort.

The multi-agency recovery response continues in force this week with city-wide activities occurring.

  • Townsville City Council has opened a number of temporary waste disposal facilities throughout the city and has increased operating hours and personnel at some waste transfer stations.
  • Townsville City Council crews will be collecting flood waste and debris in the Collection Zones until Sunday 17 February. Fees are being waived for flood-affected domestic waste throughout this event.
  • Townsville City Council has a Memorandum of Understanding with Team Rubicon Australia (TRA)to help with recovery from natural disasters.
  • From Wednesday, TRA will coordinate its registered volunteers to undertake controlled clean-ups of residential properties including flood waste removal, mould remediation, and general household and yard cleaning. Please register to volunteer at https://emergencyvolunteering.com.au/qld
  • Australian Defence Force personnel will be operating throughout the Collection Zones on Monday and Tuesday to collect flood waste materials removed from domestic and residential properties over the weekend.
  • The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service is helping clear accessways, clean houses and move flood-damaged hard rubbish to the kerb this weekend throughout the Collection Zones. Support is also being provided to residents outside of the Collection Zone at Alligator Creek, Bluewater, Gumlow and Nome.
  • The Queensland Government is operating 4 Community Recovery Hub locations across the city and 5 grant programs.
  • The State Emergency Service has completed more than 1,800 tasks with less than 100 remaining. Crews have started transitioning to support cleaning operations in homes impacted by floodwaters.
  • Ergon Energy continues to work on restoring network supply. Ergon is aiming to have supply available to all customers impacted by the floods by Tuesday 12 February.
  • GIVIT - Goods for Good Causes is working with Townsville City Council to manage donations.


For more details please visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au

7th February 2019

Safety for Queensland park and forest visitors during the Wet

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers are urging people to stay out of flooded streams innational parks and State forests and be aware of changed conditions.QPWS Acting Principal Ranger Sarah Jess said a number of parks and forests in the state’s north and westwere closed or partially closed due to monsoonal rainfall and flooding.“As of Wednesday afternoon, this includes Conway National Park near Airlie Beach, Alligator Creek inBowling Green Bay National Park and Cape Pallarenda and Townsville Town Common conservation parksnear Townsville, Josephine Falls creek in Wooroonooran National Park south of Cairns, Murray Fallssection of Girramay National Park north-west of Cardwell, and all trails in the Atherton Forest MountainBike Park on the Atherton Tableland,” Ms Jess said.“Before heading to a park, I urge everyone to check park alerts at www.des.qld.gov.au, road conditions bycalling 13 19 40, and weather conditions at www.bom.gov.au“Remember these are wild places, so exercise caution especially during severe weather events. Obeydirections from rangers, and observe signage.“Aside from the swimming and driving hazards posed by floodwaters, keep in mind that crocodiles andvenomous snakes move around in floodwaters.“Also, remember that once waters recede, your favourite swimming spot will have hidden hazards, andboulders may have moved since the last time you swam there.“Rangers will assess the damage to visitor sites once areas are safe to enter. QPWS is already aware ofsome damage to national park infrastructure around Townsville, Mossman and Daintree areas,” she said.

6th February 2019

Massive joint effort for targeted cleaning of streets, houses and bulk waste removal

The Townsville City Council, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the Australian Defence Force will commence a three stage clean up from Thursday 7 February to Tuesday 12 February in the worst impacted suburbs including Railway Estate, Hermit Park, Oonoonba, Idalia, Rosslea, Annandale, Mundingburra and West End.

Stage 1 sees the Townville City Council and Australian Defence Force starting road cleaning and debris pick up on Thursday 7 February and Friday 8 February.

Stage 2 sees Queensland Fire and Emergency Service and Team Rubicon move in from Friday 8 February to Sunday 10 February to clean houses and yards and move hard rubbish to the curb for collection.

Stage 3 will see the Townsville City Council and Australian Defence Force begin the collection of hard waste from Monday 11 February.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee Chair Russ Cook said the community understandably wants to begin cleaning up, but it must be done safely, urging residents not to place spoiled or damaged items on the footpath until Council advises it is safe to do so.

“The city remains in a disaster response and is still at risk of flood events in the next few days.”

“We are still seeing water moving in flood-affected suburbs due to storm rain or tidal activity – so we don’t want old furniture, mattresses and garden waste being placed on the kerbside interfering with the important recovery work of Ergon and SES.

“I encourage residents to take advantage of the free access to waste facilities at Stuart, Hervey Range and Magnetic Island, which are open for residents to dispose of flood waste items.”

Ergon Energy has specifically requested residents do not place waste items near electrical pillar boxes and power poles.

Food waste dumps are open at Bunnings Domain Central and North Shore for residents to dispose of food waste. An additional food waste disposal site will be open in the carpark at the Murray Sporting Complex soccer field carparks on Murray Lyons Crescent, Annandale from 9am tomorrow.

Council’s normal rubbish collections have resumed for households on streets not impacted by flooding.

5th February 2019

Rubbish collections to continue

Normal Tuesday rubbish collections will continue for households on streets not impacted by flooding.

Residents are asked to put their bins on the kerbside by 6am to allow for collection.

Any residents whose bins weren’t collected on Monday, and their street is not flooded, should leave them out for collection on Tuesday.

Residents are asked to ensure bin lids are closed to prevent them from filling with water.

Regular waste will be prioritised over recycling. Recycling bins will be collected when the flood waters have subsided.

Council crews are working hard to return to normal services.

For more information about the weather event, road closures and flood warnings, residents should visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard at http://disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au/

Council Waste Services operational

Waste facilities at Stuart and Hervey Range are now open and will remain open until normal closure times unless it becomes unsafe.

Magnetic Island will reopen as scheduled tomorrow.

Residents are asked to only visit the dump if it is absolutely necessary, to minimise traffic on the road.

Stuart Landfill is open and accessible via the Port Access Rd and Stuart Dr.

Two temporary food waste dumps are open at Bunnings Domain Central and North Shore for residents to dispose of food waste. These sites will be open until 6pm today unless deemed unsafe.

Council’s normal rubbish collections will continue for households on streets not impacted by flooding.

Residents are asked to put their bins on the kerbside or in an area of the street unaffected by floodwaters by 6am to allow for collection.

Council crews are working hard to return to normal services.


For more information listen to local radio, phone 1800 738 541 or visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au

Waste Facilities now open

Waste facilities at Stuart, Hervey Range and Magnetic Island are now open and will remain open until normal closure times unless it becomes unsafe.

Residents are asked to only visit the dump if it is absolutely necessary to minimise traffic on the road.

Stuart Landfill is open to heavy vehicles and has limited space for cars to access the site.

Two temporary food waste dumps are open at Bunnings Domain Central and North Shore for residents to dispose of food waste. These sites will be open until 6pm today unless deemed unsafe

For more information listen to local radio, phone 1800 738 541 or visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au

**SeaLink Service Announcement as of 9:40am Monday 4th of February 2019**

**Magnetic Island and Palm Island passenger ferry services**

This is a reminder notice on the service we will be conducting for Monday the 4th of February 2019:

**Palm Island Service**

SeaLink will be depart for Palm Island at 12 Midday Monday 4th of February 2019.

**Magnetic Island Service**

SeaLink will continue to operate on a reduced schedule with the first departure at 6am from Townsville and 6:45am from Magnetic Island. The last departures for Monday will be a 7:30pm from Townsville and 8:00pm from Magnetic Island. The breakwater terminal will be open from 7am to 6pm.

The safety of our passengers is our highest priority and we will continue to monitor the weather. SeaLink will inform you of any further service cancellations through our website, Facebook and SMS service.

Our next update will be this afternoon at 5pm Monday 4 February 2019.

GIVIT managing donations for Townsville residents

Townsville City Council is working with GIVIT to manage any donations during the severe weather event.

100% of the donations made to GIVIT will be used to purchase essential items from local providers.

Those who would like to donate, or charities and frontline agencies who would like to access donations, can do so by visiting givit.org.au

Ross River Dam flood expected to peak at 11am

Residents in flood-affected suburbs are being warned that the Ross River flooding is expected to peak around 11am and last until at least midnight.

The Ross River Dam spillway gates remain open to their maximum setting, releasing up to 1900 cubic metres of water per second.

The Dam level has stabilised but is not expected to drop significantly soon.

Homes in Rosslea, Hermit Park, Railway Estate, Townsville City, Oonoonba, Idalia, Cluden, West End, Rowes Bay, Garbutt, Aitkenvale, Cranbrook, Currajong, Mysterton, Pimlico, Mundingburra, Douglas, Annandale, Kirwan, Thuringowa Central and South Townsville areas coulde experience further flooding today as the flood level reaches its peak.

If you require evacuation assistance, contact SES on 132 500. If it is a life-threatening emergency call 000.

For more information listen to local radio, phone 1800 738 541 or visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au

3rd February 2019

Rainfall predictions over Ross River Dam upgraded

Residents in flood-affected suburbs are being warned that the Bureau of Meteorology has increased its rainfall prediction over the Ross River Dam catchment overnight and into tomorrow morning.

Up to 450mm could fall over the dam catchment until 9am tomorrow morning, which would cause floodwaters to remain elevated until midday tomorrow and possibly longer depending on whether more rain falls.

Rosslea, Hermit Park, Railway Estate, Townsville City, Oonoonba, Idalia, Cluden, West End, Rowes Bay, Garbutt, Aitkenvale, Cranbrook, Currajong, Mysterton, Pimlico, Mundingburra, Douglas, Annandale, Kirwan, Thuringowa Central and South Townsville areas could all experience major flooding.

If it is safe to do so, residents in those areas should move to higher ground.

If you require evacuation assistance, contact SES on 132 500. If it is a life-threatening emergency call 000.


For more information listen to local radio, phone 1800 738 541 or visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au

Flooding warning for Townsville suburbs

Residents in many suburbs across Townsville are warned that they may experience flooding from rapid rises of the Ross River.

This includes Rosslea, Hermit Park, Railway Estate, Townsville City, Oonoonba, Idalia, Cluden, West End, Rowes Bay, Garbutt, Aitkenvale, Cranbrook, Currajong, Mysterton, Pimlico, Mundingburra, Douglas, Annandale, Kirwan and Thuringowa Central and South Townsville areas.

The dam spillway gates may open to their full setting between the hours of 8.30pm tonight and 6am tomorrow. This setting would release up to 2000 cubic metres of water per second out of the dam.

Everyone should ensure they move away from riverbanks and get to higher ground before 8.30pm tonight. Residents still in their homes in these suburbs should move to the highest ground in their dwelling before 8.30pm tonight. 

A map of potential inundated properties will released shortly.

If you require evacuation assistance, contact SES on 132 500. For life-threatening emergencies call 000.

For more information listen to local radio, phone 1800 738 541 or visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au


SeaLink Service Announcement as of 4:40pm 3rd of February 2019

Magnetic Island and Palm Island passenger ferry services

SeaLink has assessed the weather forecast and as of tomorrow the 4th of February will be conducting the following services:

**Palm Island Service**

SeaLink will be conducting the service to Palm Island tomorrow at 12 Midday Monday 4th of February 2019.

**Magnetic Island Service**

The Magnetic Island service, SeaLink will continue to operate on a reduced schedule with the first departure at 6am from Townsville and 6:45am from Magnetic Island. The last departures for Monday will be a 7:30pm from Townsville and 8:00pm from Magnetic Island. The breakwater terminal will be open from 7am to 6pm, Click Here for the reduced Timetable for Monday the 4th of February 2019.

The safety of our passengers is our highest priority and we will continue to monitor the weather. SeaLink will inform you of any further service cancellations through our website, Facebook and SMS service.

Our next update will be tomorrow morning at 9am Monday 4 February 2019.

To keep up to date will all the local disaster information please head to http://disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au/

**Service Announcement as of 11:45am for 3 February 2019 Magnetic Island Service**

SeaLink would like to advise we will depart for the Midday service from Townsville and also the 12:45pm service from Magnetic Island.

All service will be weather dependent please keep up to date on our website.

The safety of our passengers is our highest priority and we will continue to monitor the weather. SeaLink will inform you of any further service announcement ahead of time through our website, Facebook and SMS service.

SeaLink will provide further updates throughout the afternoon for Sunday 3 February 2019​

2nd February 2019

Dam spillway gates opened further to reduce risk of major downstream flooding

Authorities have opened the Ross River Dam spillway gates further to increase the amount of water released from the Dam.

The increase in the spillway height will allow 1000 cubic metres of water to be released per second. The spillway gate opening was increased about 5pm.

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) Chair Mayor Jenny Hill said the decision was not taken lightly.

“We are receiving expert advice about rainfall predictions, inflows into the dam and how much water needs to be released to try and reduce the level of flooding downstream,” Cr Hill said.

“Thousands of properties could be inundated if this torrential rain continues over coming days. We are doing everything we can to reduce the risk of major flooding downstream from Ross River Dam.

“This is a huge and very unpredictable rain event.”

Cr Hill said the Queensland Police Service and Australian Defence Force Personnel door knocked homes in several suburbs today to make residents aware of the flooding risk

“Residents in these areas should determine if they evacuate their home and move to higher ground and stay with friends and family or move to one of the evacuation centres established around the city,” Cr Hill said.

“There are no forced evacuations at this stage but I’m asking everyone to please use common sense and stay safe.”

For more information listen to local radio, phone 1800 738 541 or visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au

SeaLink Service Announcement #4 as of 5PM 2nd of February 2019.

Magnetic Island and Palm Island passenger ferry services

Due to the continuing severe weather conditions experienced this morning and forecast, the number of services operating to Magnetic Island will be further reduced.

This evening Saturday the 2nd February 2019, the SeaLink Magnetic Island’s last service will depart Townsville at 7:15pm and the last service departing Magnetic Island will be at 7:45pm.

On Sunday the 3rd of February 2019, services to and from Magnetic Island will be further reduced due to the forecast conditions. Services to Magnetic Island will commence at 7:45am and the last service will be at 6:00pm.

Passengers intending to travel to Magnetic Island should visit our website to confirm service times here - https://www.sealinkqld.com.au/timetables/magnetic-island We will continue to monitor the weather but we expect normal services to Magnetic Island to resume from the morning of Monday the 4th February 2019.

For Palm Island Residents a reminder that the services to Palm Island are still suspended today and Sunday as a result of the deteriorating weather conditions associated with the monsoon trough. The next scheduled service to Palm Island will be 12:00 Monday 4th of February 2019.

The safety of our passengers is our highest priority and we will continue to monitor the weather. SeaLink will inform you of any further service cancellations ahead of time through our website, Facebook and SMS service.

Our next update will be tomorrow at 12 Midday 3 February 2019.

Council crews deployed across the community

Townsville City Council continues to work on the flooding response across the Townsville community.

More than 600 Council staff are out undertaking urgent works to reduce the impact of flooding across our community.

This includes responding to calls on Magnetic Island to clear blocked roads, removing trees and repairing infrastructure and addressing sewerage spills on Banfield Drive.

They are also repairing burst water mains and pipes across the city, closing flooded roads such as Veales Road in Deeragun and controlling traffic along Charters Towers Road where 500mm of water is flowing across the road.

Townsville Local Disaster Management Chair Mayor Jenny Hill thanked Council staff and Emergency Services for working together to help residents across the city.

“Council staff and Emergency Services have been making a monumental effort to mitigate flooding impacts and keep our residents safe during this weather,” Cr Hill said.

“I have to thank each and every person that is out working in these conditions – despite what may be happening in their homes – helping residents across the entire city.

“We also have the Australian Defence Force out helping with our sandbagging efforts and doorknocking which has been a fantastic help.

“The way our community comes together, including all our volunteers helping with filling sandbags at locations around Townsville, is really a testament to our North Queensland spirit.”

For all disaster information visit the Emergency Management Dashboard at: disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au/

SeaLink Service Announcement #3 as of 12 Midday 2nd of February 2019.

Magnetic Island and Palm Island passenger ferry services

Due to the continuing severe weather conditions experienced this morning and forecast, the number of services operating to Magnetic Island will be further reduced.

This evening Saturday the 2nd February 2019, the SeaLink Magnetic Island’s last service will depart Townsville at 7:15pm and the last service departing Magnetic Island will be at 7:45pm.

On Sunday the 3rd of February 2019, services to and from Magnetic Island will be further reduced due to the forecast conditions. Services to Magnetic Island will commence at 7:45am and the last service will be at 6:00pm.

Passengers intending to travel to Magnetic Island should visit our website to confirm service times here - https://www.sealinkqld.com.au/timetables/magnetic-island We will continue to monitor the weather but we expect normal services to Magnetic Island to resume from the morning of Monday the 4th February 2019.

For Palm Island Residents a reminder that the services to Palm Island are still suspended today and Sunday as a result of the deteriorating weather conditions associated with the monsoon trough. The next scheduled service to Palm Island will be 12:00 Monday 4th of February 2019.

The safety of our passengers is our highest priority and we will continue to monitor the weather. SeaLink will inform you of any further service cancellations ahead of time through our website, Facebook and SMS service.

Our next update will be this afternoon at 5pm 2 February 2019

1st February 2019

SeaLink Service Announcement #2 as of

5:00pm Friday 1st of February 2019

Magnetic Island and Palm Island passenger ferry services

Due to the continuing poor weather conditions, the number of services operating to Magnetic Island will be affected.

Please be reminded that the last service this evening 1 February 2019 will be from Townsville, Breakwater Terminal at 9:00PM and the last service from Magnetic Island will be at 9:30PM.

Across the weekend the SeaLink Magnetic Island service for Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd of February 2019, services will operate on a reduced timetable to ensure essential travel can still take place for the communities of Townsville and Magnetic Island.

Passengers intending to travel to Magnetic Island should visit our website to confirm service times here – https://www.sealinkqld.com.au/timetables/magnetic-island We expect normal services to Magnetic Island to resume from the morning of Monday the 4th February 2019.

For Palm Island Residents a reminder that the services to Palm Island will be suspended on Saturday and Sunday as a result of the deteriorating weather conditions associated with the monsoon trough. The next scheduled service to Palm Island will be 12:00 Monday 4th of February 2019.

The safety of our passengers is our highest priority and we will continue to monitor the weather. SeaLink will inform you of any further service cancellations ahead of time through our website, Facebook and SMS service.

Our next update will be tomorrow at 12 Midday 2 February 2019.

SeaLink Service Announcement #1 as of 12:30 am Friday 1st of February 2019

Magnetic Island and Palm Island passenger ferry services

The Townsville region is experiencing an extreme weather event and Townsville has been declared a disaster zone. The latest forecast indicates the weather event will continue through this weekend and into early next week with high tides, freshwater flooding and strong winds predicted.

Due to the severity of the weather conditions being experienced and forecast, the number of services operating to Magnetic Island will be reduced from this evening and across the weekend.

The last service this evening 1 February 2019 will be from Townsville, Breakwater Terminal at 9:00PM and the last service from Magnetic Island will be at 9:30PM.

Across the weekend the SeaLink Magnetic Island service for Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd of February 2019, services will operate on a reduced timetable to ensure essential travel can still take place for the communities of Townsville and Magnetic Island.

Passengers intending to travel to Magnetic Island should visit our website to confirm service times here.We expect normal services to Magnetic Island to resume from the morning of Monday the 4th February 2019.

The safety of our passengers is our highest priority and we will continue to monitor the weather. SeaLink will inform you of any further service cancellations ahead of time through our website, Facebook and SMS service.

Services to Palm Island will be suspended on Saturday and Sunday as a result of the deteriorating weather conditions associated with the monsoon trough. The next scheduled service to Palm Island will be 12:00 Monday 4th of February 2019.

Ross Dam spillway gates to be opened further

Authorities will further open the Ross River Dam spillway gates to try and prevent more significant flooding for downstream suburbs if this major rain event continues.

The spillway gates will be opened to a higher level, allowing more water to flow out now in order to reduce the potential for significant downstream flooding given the forecast for heavy rain to continue for the next few days.

Residents in areas such as Rosslea, Railway Estate, South Townsville, Idalia and Oonoonba should prepare their homes for potential inundation – which includes sand bagging and moving items to higher ground.

Police and the State Emergency Service will be doorknocking homes in the affected areas to notify residents. Residents are urged to have a plan if their homes become inundated.

Council crews will also be doing targeted sandbagging to protect homes in the area.

The Australian Defence Force will be assisting with the sandbagging effort.

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) Chair Mayor Jenny Hill said all on-ground conditions, rainfall predictions and data were being constantly monitored.

“The TLDMG is totally focused on ensuring the appropriate response to this big rain event that our community has been dealing with,” Cr Hill said.

“Our expert staff believe the most prudent course of action is to release more water from the dam now, to reduce the risk of significant flooding if this heavy rain continues or gets worse.

“This monsoonal low is dumping huge amounts of rain across our community and we want to keep residents safe.”

Cr Hill encouraged residents to listen to safety warning and prepare their homes and consider leaving their property to find higher ground, if necessary.

“It’s really important that residents listen to emergency services or Council employees because they are working hard to ensure your safety,” Cr Hill said.

“We’re no strangers to big wet events in the North but this is one of the most significant rain events Townsville has had in many years.

“Please use common sense and stay safe.”

31st January 2019

Pictured above: Upper Gustav Creek Nelly Bay 9am 31st January, view from my verandah.

Photo Debbie Denison

School closures – North Queensland - flooding

All schools in the Townsville area and surrounds will be closed tomorrow (Friday 1 February) due to significant flooding.

The decision to close all schools in the affected flood zone has been made in the interests of the safety and welfare of staff, students and school communities.

There is currently a widespread Flood Watch for significant parts of north Queensland due to the effects of the current weather system.

Parents should check local weather conditions and road access, and place their safety — and that of their children — above all else.  It is important to remember that If it’s Flooded – Forget it!

We urge parents to continue checking the Department’s School Closures website for the most up-to-date information about the status of schools in affected areas over the coming days as the situation is subject to change.

The school closures website – a live website that is constantly updated – can be found athttp://closures.det.qld.gov.au/

The safety of all of our staff, our students and their families will always be our highest priority.

Independent and Catholic schools

Parents with children at independent and Catholic schools should check with individual schools about local arrangements.

Early Childhood Education Centres

Parents are encouraged to make direct contact with their Early Childhood Education Centre/Provider for advice on whether it will be closed.

Please listen to your local ABC radio service for updates and advice. Further information about current weather conditions can be found on the Bureau of Meteorology website at www.bom.gov.au

Council providing free sand and sandbags

Townsville City Council is providing free sand and sandbags at the following locations.

  • Dalrymple Road Depot Carpark
  • SES Magnetic Island
  • Bicentennial Park Car Park
  • Leichardt St Carpark
  • PCYC Rassmussen
  • Lou Litster Park
  • Pallarenda Boat Ramp
  • Cnr Pilkington St & Bolam St
  • Oonoonba Community Centre
  • Bushland Beach Boat Ramp


The following locations have run out of sand, but Council crews will be working to replenish the sand and sandbags today.

  • Cnr Bentley & Nome Rd
  • Wulguru Community Centre
  • Cranbrook Depot Carpark


Residents will need shovels to fill their sandbags.

For more information about the weather event, road closures and flood warnings, residents should visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard at http://disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au/

30th January 2019

Disaster response call centre now open

The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group has activated the disaster response call centre for any information relating to the current weather event.
Residents can call 1800 738 541 until 7pm today and will re-open at 7am tomorrow morning.
The Council Customer Service number 13 48 10 is still operating 24 hours a day.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill reminded residents to visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard for up-to-date information about the weather event, road closures and flood warnings.
“We want everyone to stay safe in the wet – and, if it’s flooded, forget it,” Cr Hill said.
Visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard at http://disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au/


Townsville Local Disaster Management Group moves to Stand Up

The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group (TLDMG) has moved to ‘Stand Up’ as heavy rain continues to fall over the Townsville area.
TLDMG Chair Mayor Jenny Hill said the rain event has caused flooding in outer areas of the city – such as Bluewater.
“Significant amount of rain has fallen across Townsville – with flash flooding occurring in some areas,” Cr Hill said.
“We want all residents to take the necessary precautions to stay safe in the wet conditions.
“It’s important that motorists don’t drive in flooded roads – if it’s flooded forget it – and people take precautions to ensure they stay safe in the wet.”

Cr Hill said the TLDMG will monitor the weather and provide updates to the community regularly.

“Anyone wanting to stay up to date should visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard.”

Visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard at http://disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au/


Spillway gates on Ross River Dam to be opened

The spillway gates on Ross River Dam will be opened today, as the level approaches 100 per cent.

Opening the gates is standard practice when the dam is full to prevent major flooding issues downstream.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee Chair Cr Russ Cook said the spillway gates were recently tested.

“Ensuring the spillway gates are in good working order is important for when we get significant rainfall and the dam fills up,” Cr Cook said.

“There’s still expected to be a bit more rain coming down over the next few days so that’s why Council, in conjunction with Sunwater, has opened the spillway gates.

“I’d like to remind everyone to stay safe in the big wet – particularly around the city’s weirs.”


Townsville Local Disaster Management Group moves to Alert

The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group has moved to ‘Alert’ as the wet weather continues.

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group Chair Mayor Jenny Hill said there is a chance the rain will continue into next week.

“Townsville is currently experiencing decent rain this wet season and we are monitoring our rivers and any localised flooding,” Cr Hill said.

“This type of weather is typically normal during the wet season, but we do urge residents to remain cautious.

“The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group will continue to update the community with any new information as we receive it.”

Sand and sand bags are available in the car park opposite Council’s Dalrymple Road depot.

For all disaster information visit the Emergency Management Dashboard at: disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au/




On Monday 28 January one of our vessels was unable to continue service after it was struck by a rogue wave (approximately 4 metres in height). The wave caused damage to the front ramp of the ferry, also exposing vital electrical components on the vessel to sea water. As the safety of our crew and passengers is held at top priority, we discontinued our secondary service.

Magnetic Island Ferries is pleased to advise that all customers and their vehicles were able to be transported back to Townsville by 9 pm on Monday 28 January.

We would like to thank our passengers for their patience yesterday while our staff worked well into the night to get everyone home in time for work and school starting today.

Services today have returned to normal.

28th December 2018

Situation Vacant



25th January 2018

Townsville celebrates Australia Day with free family event

Townsville City Council is celebrating Australia Day with a jam-packed community event.

The day will include the traditional Citizenship, Flag Raising and Australia Day Award ceremonies, and will also feature an Aussie Fun Run, a free Aussie Breakfast and the Great Australian Bites.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP and Governor of Queensland, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC will visit Townsville for the 5th state ceremony held in the city.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said she is thrilled the Premier and Governor are again joining the Townsville community to celebrate and recognise our shared history and values.

“We’re lucky to live in a beautiful city that has a rich history and it’s fantastic that we will again have the Premier and His Excellency here to share our celebrations for 2019,” Cr Hill said.

“The flag-raising ceremony is an important tradition and highlights the role of our Defence Force in Australia today – while raising the flags from our nation.”

Cr Hill said Townsville will also be welcoming 122 new citizens and awarding the Australia Day Awards throughout the day.

“The Australia Day festivities are significant for a variety of reasons and one of those is that we get to welcome and congratulate our new citizens by sharing our country with them.

“We also get to celebrate the achievements of seven outstanding community members when we award them with their Australia Day awards.”

The event will begin at 6:45am with the annual fun run and the Flag Raising ceremony will conclude with a 21-gun salute and Air Force fly past.

The traditional proceedings will be followed by the Great Australian Bites held at Strand Park from 12pm.

The 2019 Australia Day Flag Raising Ceremony is presented by Townsville City Council in partnership with the Queensland Government and is assisted by the Australian Government through the National Australia Day Council.

Council also acknowledges the Australian Defence force for their support towards the Flag Raising Ceremony.

Australia Day Celebrations

Where: Jezzine Barracks

Key times:

•        6:45am: Fun Run begins

•        8am: Free Aussie Breakfast (for the first 500 people)

•        8:30am: Australia Day Awards Ceremony

•        10am: Flag Raising Ceremony

•        11am: Citizenship Ceremony


Great Australian Bites

Where: Strand Park

When: 12-4pm


Road Closures

Road closures will be in place within the Jezzine Barracks precinct between 5am and 12:30pm on Australia Day. No entry will be permitted from The Strand, Mitchell St and Cook St.

Noise Warning

The Australian Defence Force will be conducting a traditional 21-gun salute and the Royal Australian Air Force will follow with a fly past following the Flag Raising Ceremony.

For more information, visit: https://whatson.townsville.qld.gov.au/events/australia-day


Most Interesting Stats from the ABS for

Australia Day 2019

  • With 26 per cent of us born overseas, England and New Zealand are still the next most common countries of birth after Australia (14.7 per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively but the proportion of Australians born in China and India increased between the 2011 Census and the 2016 Census  (from 6.0 per cent to 8.3 per cent, and 5.6 per cent to 7.4 per cent respectively).
  • There is no accurate data on the population of Australia before European settlement. Since the 1971 Census, the first to fully include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, estimates of the Indigenous population have risen from about 150,000, or 1.1 per cent of the Australian population, to about 798,365 (at 30 June 2016) or around 3.3 per cent of the total population.
  • Midway through the long, hot summer, we spend more on alcoholic beverages; on average $453 for each household compared to $426 in spring, $385 in autumn and $433 in winter. Beer is the beverage of choice, with $166 spent on average in summer compared to $150 in spring, $145 in autumn and $128 in the colder months. Wine is not far behind beer in summer with an average household expenditure of $136.
  • A quick check on the price of barbecue staples shows the only items coming down in price are tomato sauce and white bread which have fallen by more than 21 per cent and 23 per cent respectively in real terms over the past two decades.  Snags and lamb chops have gone up in real terms by 41 per cent and 36 per cent respectively.[1]
  • Australia Day is a holiday for most of us … and we’ve earned it. In 2016 the average number of paid hours worked was 39 hours per week for men and 30 hours for women. On average, men in the 35-54 age group work the longest hours (42 hours per week). However, women are more likely to be cleaning up after the barbecue than men. Employed women did more hours of unpaid domestic work such as housework, grocery shopping, gardening and repairs than employed men. In 2016, over half of employed men did nil or less than five hours per week of unpaid domestic work (60 per cent) compared with a third of employed women (36 per cent).
  • Last year 89 couples tied the knot on Australia Day. In line with the 112,954 couples who married in 2017, it’s likely they were married by a marriage celebrant (78 per cent), had not been married before with brides having a median age at first marriage of 28.8 and grooms 30.
  • Six hundred and thirty-one babies made their appearance on Australia Day in 2017, setting the scene for the 309,142 babies born throughout the year. March was the most common month for births followed by January although Australia Day itself is one of the least common days to be born.


9th January 2019

Algal bloom detected on Magnetic Island

Townsville City Council is recommending people and their pets avoid contact with a naturally occurring Marine Algal Bloom in coastal waters.

A Townsville City Council spokesperson said the effected beaches include Balgal Beach, Alma Bay and particularly Peterson Creek in Geoffrey Bay.

“Council has erected signage at the beaches advising the public to avoid contact with the water,” the spokesperson said.

“Pets should be kept away from the water and any fish caught should not be consumed until conditions improve.

"Council will continue to monitor the situation and advise the community when the algal bloom has dispersed.”
The blooms – known as ‘Red Tide’ – can cause skin irritations and make pets sick.
Council thanks the community for their co-operation and patience during this time.

24th December 2018

Response From Ergon Energy

After a number of  power outages on the island last week and the instalment of generators around the island.

"There are two submarine cables that provide electricity supply to Magnetic Island.

A fault has been identified with one of the cables and this will be repaired in January.

The intact cable is capable of meeting the electricity supply needs of the island community but Ergon Energy has placed a high voltage Pegasus generator unit and a number of other generators as a proactive contingency over the Christmas and New Year holiday periods when there is traditionally higher electricity demand on the island.

Additional Pegasus units are staged at Townsville for rapid deployment to the island should they be required."

18th December 2018

Kelly Street Rezoning

Townsville City Council has approved a re-zoning of land in Nelly Bay to allow Magnetic Island businesses to grow without being so heavily reliant on the mainland.

The proposed rezoning area has been significantly reduced after the community consultation, with 0.6 hectares of the 5.6-hectare site to be changed to low impact industrial uses to allow buildings such as storage sheds for construction or tourism businesses.

The site is mostly vacant except two sheds being used by Townsville Water and the local State Emergency Services Group. It has previously been used to accommodate the Nelly Bay Sewerage Treatment Plant.

Planning and Development Committee Chair Cr Les Walker said Magnetic Island needed some lots of land zoned to accommodate low-industrial uses to ensure its economy continued to grow.

“The types of businesses that will be using this area will be in industries such as construction and tourism primarily for storage,” Cr Walker said.

“We want businesses on Magnetic Island to keep growing and not be so reliant on the mainland.

“This rezoning will provide the option for businesses to set up in the Kelly St area and better plan their local operations.”

Local Councillor Ann-Maree Greaney said the re-zoning was done to ensure minimum impact on the local community.

“Council staff understand the unique character of the Island and any future developments in the area will be sensitive to the local community,” Cr Greaney said.

“However, we do need to provide space for local businesses to grow and expand their operations.”

The re-zoning includes conditions to upgrade Kelly Street along the length of the proposed low-impact industrial area.


5th December 2018

Port of Townsville opens public consultation on Long-Term Maintenance Dredging Management Plan

Port of Townsville Limited (POTL), which is responsible for the management of the World Heritage Ports of Townsville and Lucinda, is seeking community feedback on its draft Long-Term Maintenance Dredging Management Plan (the Plan).

Founded in 1864, the Port of Townsville is one of four Priority Ports under the Sustainable Ports Development Act 2015.  Handling more than 30 different commodities, it is the largest exporter in Australia of sugar, molasses, copper, lead, zinc and fertiliser, and the largest container and automotive port in Northern Australia, servicing around 80% of the population.  Townsville Port plays a critical role in the fast growing cruise sector, and is a strategic naval facility providing enduring capability for the north.

The Port of Lucinda is a significant facility for the export of raw sugar from the Herbert River growing district, and also services nearby islands with regular general cargo barge services.

Maintenance dredging is essential to remove natural sediments which settle and fill channels and harbour areas, affecting declared navigation depths needed for safe ship movements.  Maintaining safe and efficient navigation routes is critical for port operations which sustain economic activities in the region.  The Plan is an important document that captures all aspects associated with maintenance dredging and the placement of dredge material on either land or sea.

The Plan has been prepared in accordance with Queensland and Federal Government frameworks and outlines POTL’s management approach for maintenance dredging at its ports and continual improvement in environmental performance for maintenance dredging.

POTL Chief Executive Officer Ranee Crosby said both Townsville and Lucinda Ports are within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and operate under significant environmental controls and a broad range of legislative processes to ensure port operations are managed with the highest of environmental standards.

“The Plan recognises the Outstanding Universal Value of the Great Barrier Reef, has been developed on the foundations of the best available science, embodies the principles of ecologically sustainable development and implements best practices.”

“The Plan also incorporates Ports Australia’s Code of Practice and has been informed by extensive research and monitoring undertaken by the Port in Cleveland Bay, and by Queensland Ports Association under Reef 2050.”

The Plan covers both Townsville and Lucinda Ports (as all world heritage ports are to have a Long-Term Maintenance Dredge Management Plan), however POTL notes that maintenance dredging is not currently undertaken at the Port of Lucinda as the natural deep water at this site is adequate for sugar export operations, and this is not expected to change.

In addition to direct engagement held with a range of key experts and stakeholders, POTL is now seeking public feedback on the draft Plan to ensure community views are incorporated into the final document.

The Plan will be used as a supporting document for future dredging and placement applications to Queensland and Federal regulators.

The draft Plan can be downloaded from POTL’s website townsvilleport.com.au.  Submissions can be made using the form available on POTL’s website, or by email to environmentdg@townsville-port.com.au  by 5pm Wednesday 12 December 2018.

5th December 2018

Tropical Cyclone Owen downgraded

The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group has stood down after Ex-Tropical Cyclone Owen was downgraded.

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group Chair Mayor Jenny Hill said residents should continue to remain vigilant over coming days as significant rainfall has been predicted.

“The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting there could be some significant rainfall around Townsville over coming days so residents should take normal precautions – particularly if they live in low-lying areas,” Cr Hill said.

“The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group will continue to monitor the weather conditions and update the community with any relevant information.

“Residents should visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard for the most up-to-date information.”

For more information visit Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard at:




28th November 2018

Online dashboards to help make Council simpler, faster, better

Townsville City Council today got a demonstration of new online dashboards as a way to improve transparency and provide the community with important information in an easy-to-use format.

The dashboard project is part of the Open Council reforms and, when completed, will provide information on water consumption, maintenance requests, building approvals, animal registrations, response times and much more.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the new online dashboards would help ensure Council was simpler, faster and better to interact with.

“The dashboards will be like a one-stop shop for information relating to Townsville and Council,” Cr Hill said.

“Council is totally committed to ensuring residents can easily find and access information that is useful to them.

“There’s a lot of information already on Council’s websites and other Queensland government departments but it is scattered in many different areas.

“The dashboards will consolidate this information in one place where residents can go and easily search for what they want.”

Governance and Finance Committee Chair Cr Verena Coombe said the demonstration of the dashboards was valuable for everyone to understand their potential benefits.

“The first online dashboards will be up and running soon,” Cr Coombe said.

“This project will continue to evolve and we will be making regular refinements to ensure we are providing the information our community wants and in a simple format.

“We will keep the community informed about when the dashboards will be up and running and once they are, we’d like to hear feedback about how they work.”


15th November 2018


Magnetic Island Ferries, previously known as Fantasea Cruising Magnetic, officially launches December 3rd 2018 following a complete rebranding exercise.

The iconic local business has been providing reliable ferry services between Townsville, Magnetic and Palm Islands for vehicles and freight since 1989

Angus Campbell of Magnetic Island Ferries said that the new name and look of the business had been in the planning for some time and marked a significant milestone in their history.

“Although from today we have a new name and the vessels and terminal look different, our passengers can expect the same outstanding service from our local team.,” said General Manager Angus Campbell

“The new name more clearly describes our service and will ensure that we are more easily found both online and in the social space by both tourists and locals.”

“Magnetic Island Ferries will be launching several new services and initiatives over the coming months, including exclusive tourism offerings to cruise ship passengers, kicking off with the brand-new cruise ship Viking Orion’s arrival on 10th December.”

“We’re also working hard on tours and services for the corporate market, which will be launched in the first half of 2019. Although these ventures will not take away our primary focus of Connecting you to ‘Maggie’ everyday”

Information on ferry timetables, ticket prices and other services can be found on our website www.magneticislandferries.com.au.

You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram.


Pictured above: Around 300 people attended the reunion of Past & Present Residents Magnetic Island 1970 -1980 at the Arcadia Village Hotel Sunday 4th November. Photo taken on roof top by ShotbyJay.

8th November 2018


Mayor’s Christmas Tree Appeal launched

Townsville businesses and residents are urged to dig deep to support the 2018 Mayor’s Christmas Tree Appeal.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said Council was seeking the help of the community to assist thousands of locals doing it tough this festive season.

“This time of the year can be tough for some families so we are asking the public to reach into their pocketsto help make Christmas brighter for those in the community who are really struggling,” Cr Hill said.
“Townsville is a strong, tight knit community that always bands together when times are tough.
“That strong community spirit really shines through when residents get together and do their bit to make a difference for those struggling in our area.”
Cr Hill said the donations will go towards providing up to 1000 hampers to locals in need this Christmas.
“We will be distributing hampers with hams and other items for community members to enjoy at Christmas time,” Cr Hill said.
“This is about putting food on the table for families and individuals who may be struggling or would otherwise go without.
“We are encouraging community to focus on bringing joy to others this Christmas.”
Donations can be made online at www.townsville.qld.gov.au or at 103 Walker St, Townsville City.


1st November 2018

Port starts preliminary works for Channel Capacity Upgrade Project

Pictured above: Aerial view. Photo: Budd Photography

Preliminary works for the $193 million Channel Capacity Upgrade has commenced, a significant milestone since concluding full funding for the project in September 2018.

General Manager Infrastructure Kim Gebers said the commencement of preliminary site works is a significant achievement and delivers benefits to local suppliers.

“Preliminary activities include several work packages to prepare a ten hectare site within the Port’s eastern reclamation area to be used for rock receival, storage, staging areas and site offices for the project,” Mr Gebers said.

“Fundamental to the project is to ensure works are efficient while promoting local economic benefits wherever possible.”

“Site preparation earthworks work packages have been awarded to three local companies, including Clarke’s Excavations, Thyxco and Halloran Excavations.”

“Site offices are being fabricated and installed by local company Ausco Modular, with fencing and gates for the site compound being installed by NQ Fencing.”

Larger earthwork tenders will be released to the market in the coming months and will be available on Qtender.

“POTL looks forward to seeing a strong showing from the local suppliers and companies through this process,” Mr Gebers said.

Tendering for the construction of a new site access entranceway and installation of water and sewer services has been finalised and awarded to CES Civil, a Townsville based civil contractor, with works to commence in November 2018..

For more information on the project www.channelcapacityupgrade.com.au


26th October 2018

Stinger net installation marks the start of the Stinger Season

The start of the stinger season is officially here with the installation of the nets beginning today.

Community Health and Environment Committee Chair Cr Ann-Maree Greaney said protecting swimmers from getting stung is a priority.

“Stingers are a known danger in North Queensland and these nets play a vital role in protecting our beach users,” Cr Greaney said.

“Council puts out six nets across the city to ensure locals and visitors can take full advantage of the Townsville lifestyle while staying safe.

“The water is an important part of the North Queensland lifestyle and that’s why Council ensures we have areas where people can swim in stinger season.

“While the nets offer a high level of protection, they are not able to stop every sting – swimmers may like to take other precautions like wearing a stinger suit or keeping vinegar with them when at the beach.”

Townsville City Council contracts Uninet to deploy nets at Townsville’s popular beaches to keep beachgoers safe.

The nets will be installed as follows:

  • Monday 29 October: Balgal Beach
  • Tuesday 30 October: Picnic Bay & Horseshoe Bay
  • Wednesday 31 October: North & South Strand Beaches
  • Thursday 1 November: Pallarenda Beach


23rd Octber 2018

Support Package to help residents become more water efficient

Townsville residents can now register their interest in being part of Council’s $10 million Support Package to help our community become more water efficient.

The Support Package, funded by the Palaszczuk Government as part of $225 million grant to improve water security for Townsville, will start in the first quarter of next year and provide vouchers or rebates for water-efficient irrigation systems, low-flow shower heads, drought-resistant turf and compost bins.

The Support Package is open to all homeowners, renters and body corporates.

Three tailored packages will support those on low incomes or Centrelink payments, households and body corporates.

Townsville pensioners and low-income families will be big winners as they are eligible for a $500 voucher to purchase items to make their garden more water efficient.

Remaining households can receive up to $300 through for the same items.

Up to 80 per cent of Townsville’s water use is outside the home so it’s crucial residents use water as efficiently as possible on their gardens and lawns.

The Package will be available to both homeowners and renters – if they can provide proof of permission from their landlord.

Body corporates will be able to receive up to $1000 in rebates to install water-saving devices such as pool covers, rain water tanks and drought-resistant turf.

Townsville City Council today received an update on the $10 million Community Water Transition Support Package – which is funded by the Queensland Government.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the Package would provide the opportunity for all residents to become more water wise.

“The way Council has structured this Package will give everyone the chance to access support to make their homes and gardens more water efficient,” Cr Hill said.

“Pensioners and households won’t need to dip into their own pocket to receive water-efficient garden products such as irrigation timers and drought-tolerant plants.

“Council has deliberately structured the Package so anyone in the community from homeowners to renters and those on low incomes homeowners can receive a voucher to make their garden more water efficient.

“This is the first time such a scheme has been created to ensure local pensioners and low-income households aren’t left out-of-pocket.”

Cr Hill encouraged anyone interested in participating in the Package to complete a registration of interest form.

“This is a great opportunity to upgrade your irrigation system or install new drought-resistant plants and turf in the garden,” Cr Hill said.

“The Package also provides rebates for water-efficient devices such as shower heads and washing machines.

“There really is something for everyone in this Package and it will encourage all Townsville residents to become more waterwise.”

The Package is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2019, and the funding will be available on a first come first served basis.

The Community Water Transition Support Package is an important plank of Council’s 3-point water security solution.

Council’s 3-point water security solution includes:

  • The new 1.8-metre diameter pipeline
  • A recycled water re-use system for public greenspaces and industrial use
  • The Community Water Transition Support Package

The Queensland Government has contributed $225 million investment to improve water security in Townsville.

for more details and to access the registration of interest form for the Support Package please visit:https://fs6.formsite.com/townsvillecc/form602/index.html



$193M Townsville Channel Capacity Upgrade all systems go following $75M funding commitment from Federal Government


Port of Townsville Limited has welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement today of a $75 million funding contribution towards the Townsville Channel Capacity Upgrade; meaning works can now get underway.

The $193 million project involves widening of the shipping channels to accommodate larger ships and is the vital first stage of works under the $1.64 billion Townsville Port Expansion.

Port of Townsville Limited Chair Renita Garard said that the funding announcement by the Federal Government was a significant milestone in the Port’s 154-year history.

“Having certainty that the Port can accept larger ships is a catalyst to attract and retain investment into the region, just as the Port has underpinned economic development and growth of this region since 1864”, said Ms Garard.

Townsville Port is a vital trade gateway for Northern Australia and for the nation – it is the country’s largest sugar, zinc, lead, copper and fertiliser port and Northern Australia’s largest container and automotive port.  It is the point of entry and departure for products shipped around the world.

Port Chief Executive Officer, Ranee Crosby, said the channel widening is essential for growth of the Port, ensuring goods produced in the region can get access to the Asia-Pacific and beyond, and that the everyday items people buy like food, clothes and electrical goods find their way onto retail shelves in North Queensland.

“Ships are getting bigger, making channel widening vital.  Bigger ships coming to Townsville will mean lower freight costs, better connectivity to global markets, as well as allowing larger cruise ships to visit the city, which will further boost cruise tourism in the region,” said Ms Crosby.

“After more than ten years in the planning, our team is ready to start delivering the biggest investment project in our history.”

The Queensland Government has committed $75 million towards the channel works, and Port of Townsville Limited will fund $43 million.

Queensland and Commonwealth environmental approvals for the project are in place.



Pictured above: Congratulations to long time Magnetic Island residents Arne Hellum and Stephen Smith who were married on Sunday at the Water Garden Oasis in Picnic Bay. It was a beautiful emotion filled ceremony witnessed by their family and many, many friends. We wish them every happiness. Photo Debbie Denison


15th August 2018

Townsville talent Will Oxley to share knowledge at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week

Renowned navigator and marine biologist, Will Oxley, is to attend opening night at 2018 SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week to impart his weather knowledge - and it is anticipated the Townsville sailor will recount a story or two on his vast experience as a yachtsman.

Oxley has clocked up more than 250,000 sea miles to-date, inclusive of five Whitbread/Volvo Round the World races and 17 Sydney Hobarts, in which he navigated Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban to overall honours last December.

The unassuming and highly respected sailor also skippered 'Compaq' in the BT Global Challenge 2000/01 and filled the role of weather coordinator for the Swedish ‘Victory’ Challenge for the America’s Cup. Oxley also provided navigation and weather services for Puma in the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race and others.

During his Sydney Hobarts on various yachts, Oxley has ‘kitted out’ various boats’ navigation stations with the latest in equipment, leaving a legacy, which is always greatly appreciated by incoming navigators. It is also acknowledged by media personnel who have been able to receive up-to-the-minute information from Oxley and his successors during long ocean races.

Townsville Yacht Club (TYC) director and Event Chairman, Mike Steel said, “Due to sailing commitments, Will isn’t generally in town at this time of year. But when he is home, he’s been very happy to oblige us and competitors really value his knowledge and insights.”

Oxley will have a full audience, with a good spread of entries across IRC Racing, SeaLink Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker and Multihull classes.

The latest to join the likes of Paul Clitheroe’s two-time Sydney Hobart winner Balance (NSW) and William Goodfellow’s Miss Scarlet (NZL), line honours winner in June’s Groupama Race, in IRC Racing is James Irvine’s Mayfair from Queensland.

The Beneteau First 40, representing Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, is currently at Airlie Beach Race Week where is her crew is going through drilling practice in Cruising Division 2. Irvine will step it up when he and the crew arrive to take on some highly-rated competition.

“I’ve not sailed there before, but I go to Townsville quite a bit and like the place. Maggie was always something I wanted to do - it was on my wish list. People talk about it and lot say it’s fun and relaxed and that suits me.”

Charm Offensive, the Hanse 445 owned by James Permezel, is one of 48 starters in Cruising with Spinnaker division. The Victorian says, “A dream family boat enjoying cruising northern Queensland and doing races with mates and family.”

One of those mates is likely to be fellow Victorian, Bruce Taylor, a 37 Sydney Hobarts veteran who competed with Permezel at Maggie Island last year. Taylor recently won the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and Permezel, one of Taylor’s regular crew on Chutzpah, was aboard. The Chutzpahs are a tightknit bunch, most have sailed 25 plus Hobarts together.

Joining them is Hughie Lewis, who has been loaned David Currie’s modified Farr 40, Ponyo. “It all started with us offering David our spare main when his was torn at Magnetic Island last year. Now he’s kindly loaned us the boat,” Lewis explains.

“We want to go up to Maggie and have some fun – and using David’s boat we didn’t want to put ourselves in any situation where we might damage it by sailing in the cut-and-thrust of IRC,” the Tasmanian admits.

“We have a group that doesn’t always sail together, including some friends. We’re ‘Gerry and the Atrics’; we’ve got to get our Zimmer frames on the boat somehow,” he says amid laughter.

On a serious note, Lewis says: “I’m really looking forward to sailing a Farr 40 again. I was the first to have one in Tasmania – I had it for 10 years – and I’m sorry I sold it in retrospect.”

Lewis continues: “We loved Magnetic Island last year. Everything is easy to get to and it’s nice spending time with lovely people there. And the sailing is really good. Denis Thompson (Principal Race Officer) is such a good operator - he’s brilliant. We learnt so much from him at one event that we took back to Tasmania – he’s so professional and does such a great job.”

The date for the Round the Island Race has been moved to Tuesday 4 September. No matter the division or the day, all enjoy themselves at SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week, the first of Australia’s major spring regattas.

If you don’t know what you are missing, watch last year’s recap at: https://www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au/

For all information and to enter SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week now, please go to the official website:  www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au/

6th July 2018

Townsville City Council confirms limited exposure to Typeform security breach

Townsville City Council has confirmed it has been notified about a security breach on a company used by Council.

Council is a customer of Typeform – which has suffered a data breach – along with other organisations such as Cairns Regional Council, the Tasmanian Electoral Commission and Airtasker.

Council used the external platform to manage entry forms for the 2018 Percivals Portrait Painting Prize.

Chief Financial Officer Matt Thomson said none of Council’s own IT infrastructure or systems were breached.

“Council’s systems have not been affected by this data breach as it only relates to information held by Typeform – an external technology company – on behalf of Council,” Mr Thomson said.

Despite affecting only a small number of people in total, limited personal information has potentially been breached.  No financial information was collected using Typeform.

Typeform have identified compromised data may include names address, phone numbers, email, and dates of birth – which were collected as part of the competition terms and conditions.

Mr Thomson said Percivals entrants were notified about Typeform’s data breach yesterday.

“Council staff investigated the issue as soon as we were made aware of the Typeform breach to ensure everyone potentially affected was notified,” Mr Thomson said.

“At this stage Typeform have indicated that they have reviewed the breach and addressed the initial security problem.

“Council, along with many other private companies and government organisations, has used Typeform to collect and store limited personal date.

“No banking details were in the information stored by Typeform on Townsville City Council’s behalf.

“If anyone who has entered the 2018 Percivals Portrait Prize wants further information about the Typeform data breach, please contact Council.”

Based on the data types exposed, guidelines from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner indicate this breach would be unlikely to cause any serious harm to those affected.


Hundreds Sign Petition Against Re-zoning

Debbie Denison

Magnetic Island residents have showed their objection to the TCC proposed rezoning of Hurst Street Recreational Reserve in Picnic Bay to house a new SES facility on the island.

The current SES building is in Kelly Street Nelly Bay next door to the Citiwater building , that area was found to be contaminated with asbestos and a new SES building-is to be  built. Remediation work has begun on the Citiwater site. Locals are asking why a new SES building is not to be built on TCC land zoned ‘Community Facility’nearby, that area has no environmental issues and is in close proximity to other emergency services.

Picnic Bay resident Linton Watkins told the MCN “As a long-term resident of Picnic Bay and Magnetic Island I object to the rezoning of the only public sports ground in Picnic Bay which has been used for a number of sporting activities including basketball, netball and football as well as a training and parade ground for the Naval Cadets. At present it is used for more individual activities such as family cricket, kite-flying, dog-obedience and athletics training.

If this sporting area is taken away from the community the only other sports ground on the Island will be at Horseshoe Bay. It is not fair that the community should lose this asset, especially when there are other locations at Nelly Bay that are more suitable for the SES to operate effectively. Available locations in Nelly Bay already have the required zoning and are near all of the other emergency services: Fire, Ambulance, Doctors, Outpatients Clinic, Helipad, Barge and Ferry along with emergency power and communications’ infrastructure.

It is logical to retain the SES centrally in Nelly Bay”.

Acting Assistant Commissioner QFES Michael O’Neil told the MCN “The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) is a relative new department that now encompasses Rural Fire Service (RFS), Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) and the State Emergency Service (SES). This department gives the community that it serves an exceptional response capability during times of emergencies and disasters. The SES is a capability that the QFES shares and supports with the Local Councils across Queensland and would not function without a very close working relationship.

The SES facility on Magnetic Island is currently meeting the needs of the community however as part of the Strategic Planning process we need to ensure that our response facilities meet the needs of the community now and into the future and part of that is ensuring that we have a stable base to deploy equipment and staff from post an event. As part of the future planning process we looked at all our existing facilities on the Island:

RFS in Horseshoe Bay

FRS in Nelly Bay

SES in Nelly Bay

Mr.O’Neil went on to say “It would also give the community a point in each bay to access during the preparation stage prior to an event where we could stage such items as sand and sand bags. The QFES is a response agency but also a  community agency that is embedded in the community and works with and for the community and this proposal allows for service to all the communities on the Island.

The proposal is at the consultation stage and it is important for people to have their input into this and all input will be tabled and discussed.”

The MCN asked if TCC had offered other locations in Nelly where the new facility could be built, Mr. O’Neil declined to comment.

Residents are saying ‘Nelly Bay Not Picnic Bay’. The MCN understands that residents will formally hand over the petition this week. Residents are reminded if they wish to make a submission to council, all submission need to be in by 30th June.


Townsville City Council

PO Box 1268

Townsville, QLD 4810


21st June 2018

Picnic Bay To Lose  Recreational Reserve?

Debbie Denison

Picnic Bay residents are up in arms regarding the TCC proposal to rezone 2 Hurst St Picnic Bay adjoining the golf course to house a SES facility for the island. The proposal is rezone  a parcel of land 1620m2  in size next door the now vacant  Naval Cadets Building.

The current SES building is located  next door to the Citiwater building on  44 - 55 Kelly Street Nelly  Bay   Lot RP715779  which is zoned Community Facility.

The MCN put  a series of questions to both TCC and the QFES requesting information as to why the SES would be moving from Nelly Bay where it is currently situated which is close proximity  to other emergency services such as medical, fire and ambulance.

TCC has responded saying they were working closely with the Department of Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the local State Emergency Service Group to find a suitable site for the new State Emergency Service building on Magnetic Island.

Local councillor Ann-Maree Greaney said the local State Emergency Service Group was growing and its current facilities were in need of a major upgrade.

“We have been working very closely with the Department and Council has proposed a parcel of land on Hurst St Picnic Bay that would be suitable for a new State Emergency Service building,” Cr Greaney said.

Many residents have asked why the Picnic Bay location is deemed to be the most suitable, Ms. Greaney went to say “The site is free from flooding and storm tide inundation and isn’t in an environmentally sensitive area.

“It’s also well located for access to necessary services and infrastructure and close to other community facilities in Picnic Bay.”

Magnetic Island Residents and Ratepayers Assoc. said they would need a lot more information on the proposed rezoning before they would make a submission to the proposal.

The MCN has become aware that Picnic Bay residents are currently  circulating a petition for residents to sign objecting to the re-zoning proposal, as they ask why should Picnic Bay lose a recreational park which is used by the community, when there is other suitable TCC land available in Nelly Bay?

Cr Greaney said the next step is to apply to the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy as the proposed site is currently an unused park and recreation reserve.

Long time Magnetic Island residents question the move from Nelly Bay to Picnic Bay as historically Picnic  Bay is often the bay which is cut off in extreme weather events such as cyclones from  other bays as Butler Creek floods.

“At this stage, the site selection is just a proposal and anyone in the community can have their say on what they believe to be the best site for the new State Emergency Service building. Community consultation will be running until June 30,” Cr Greaney said.

Cr. Greaney concluded by saying “There’s no doubt the local State Emergency Service Group need to have modern facilities but they also need to be in keeping with community expectations.”

Residents can make a submission to

Townsville City Council

PO Box 1268

Townsville, QLD 4810


24th May 2018

Pictured above: Koopa in the Turtle Hospital.  Photo: courtesy GBRMPA

Pictured above: Reef HQ Aquarium aquarist Rohana Rogan-Darvill (left) and Adrenalin Dive and Snorkel Master Scuba Diver Trainer Nadine Huth Photo courtesy GBRMPA

Rare turtle returns to the Reef


A juvenile turtle affectionately known as ‘Koopa’ returned to the sea yesterday — on the eve of World Turtle Day — following a lengthy recovery at Reef HQ Aquarium Turtle Hospital.

‘Koopa’ is a hawksbill turtle — a critically endangered species — and was found in Cleveland Bay last October, malnourished and suffering from floatation syndrome after ingesting pumice stone and plastic fragments.

Without the help of Reef HQ Aquarium Turtle Hospital, ‘Koopa’ would not have survived.

“Plastics can block a turtle’s digestive tract. Gas builds up behind the blockage and causes the turtle to float, meaning they’re unable to dive for food or protect themselves from boat strike, sun burn or predation,” Reef HQ Aquarium curator Stephen Menzies said.

“Right from the start we knew ‘Koopa’ was a fighter. He showed a voracious personality and appetite, consuming an average of two squid a day.

“After regaining a healthy weight and his ability to dive for food, ‘Koopa’ was ready to be released back into the ocean in the outer Great Barrier Reef.”

It is rare to encounter juvenile hawksbill turtles within the inner Great Barrier Reef.

At this age, turtles are in their “lost years” and it is assumed they use ocean currents to head far out to sea before inhabiting a reef upon reaching 10 to 15 years of age.

‘Koopa’ was taken to Lodestone Reef and released by Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive staff on Tuesday, in the lead up to  World Turtle Day (Wednesday 23 May).

World Turtle Day aims to increase knowledge of and respect for turtles and tortoises, and encourage human action to help them survive and thrive.

“World Turtle Day is a timely reminder to think about how much plastic you’re using, identify ways to minimise your use and help reduce the amount of plastic finding its way into our oceans and impacting on turtle populations,” Mr Menzies said.

To report a sick or injured marine turtle, please call 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).


Floatation syndrome can be caused by blockages in the digestive system. Turtles will try and eat anything they come across including marine debris such as plastic bags, cigarette butts, plastic fragments, fabric, styrofoam and fishing line. These items can block the digestive tract. Gas builds up behind this blockage, causing the turtle to float.

Hawksbill turtles are critically endangered. Over the past 100 years, it is estimated their numbers have declined by 80 per cent worldwide due to humans hunting them for their shells.

Reef HQ Aquarium’s Turtle Hospital cared for 239 patients since opening in 2009. Just under half have were successfully rehabilitated and released back into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The majority of patients are green sea turtles, as they are generally found closer to shore feeding upon the seagrass beds around Magnetic Island and Cleveland Bay. Over one-third of patients suffer from floatation syndrome upon admittance.



Pictured above: WW2 veterans L R Colin Fulford, Dawson Reimers and Jack Lunn at the Magnetic Island Sub branch hall in Arcadia on ANZAC DAY. Over 500 peopple gathered for the dawn service at Alam Bay LEST WE FORGET. Photo:  Debbie Denison

7th April 2018

Surrounded by family and friends  Luke Gilbert and Matthew de Vries from Brisbane were married this afternoon on the foreshore of Nelly Bay. Photo:  Debbie Denison



Pictured above: The wedding ceremony of Luke Gilbert and Matthew de Vries  this afternoon on the foreshore of Nelly Bay. Their wedding is the first same sex marriage officiated on Magnetic Island. Congratulations guys!. Photo:  Debbie Denison


Island Family Shines In Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games

Pictured above:  Magnetic Island's ocean loving Hinks family featured in the Opening Ceremony of the 21st Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast tonight - you did us all proud!


Friday 6th April 2018

Council and RSPCA agree to transition animal services

Townsville Mayor, Jenny Hill, invited the RSPCA Qld to attend a meeting this week, regarding its plans to transition away from providing services in Townsville.

Cr Hill said the meeting was extremely productive and a way forward has been agreed to by Townsville City Council and the RSPCA Qld.

The agreement allows both organisations to focus on their core responsibilities, Townsville City Council focussing on animal management and the RSPCA on animal welfare and most importantly, fund those responsibilities.

“I’d like to thank the RSPCA Qld for meeting with me and holding such productive discussions,” Cr Hill said. “Both Council and the RSPCA want to ensure the highest levels of animal shelter services are provided to our community during this transition.”

By the end of the month Townsville City Council will manage the city pound operations and the RSPCA Qld will concentrate on the welfare responsibilities particularly its Inspectorate operations.

Council has generously offered to accommodate the Inspectorate needs with provision of pens and an office area.

RSPCA Qld CEO, Mark Townend said, “whenever you go into negotiations you look for a way forward and in this case, thanks to the very reasonable approach from the Mayor and support from her fellow elected members, an acceptable  outcome has been achieved.  Council will take over the management of the pound and the RSPCA can return to direct welfare and cruelty prevention programs.  The animals of the region will be the big beneficiaries with an increased focus on animal welfare into the region.”

Festival 2018 officially launches today!

The wait is over with Festival 2018 and the Commonwealth Games officially launching at an Opening Event at Jezzine Barracks tonight.

The event will kick off at 5pm and audiences can watch Townsville’s own 1RAR band perform and catch the official Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on the big screen.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill encouraged residents to come along and get a taste of what is in store for the next 12 days.

“I’d really like to see residents and visitors at Jezzine supporting the opening for this amazing event,” Cr Hill said.

“We officially welcome our national and international athletes to Townsville tonight and this is our chance to show the world that Townsville is a destination city.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing Festival 2018 bring Townsville to life over the next 12 days.”

The festival’s major art installation, Uncontained, will officially open on Thursday 5 April and Queens Gardens will open on Friday 6 April.

Commonwealth Games Working Group Chair Councillor Kurt Rehbein said he is excited to see all the hard work and preparation in action.

“It’s been hard work getting ready for Festival 2018 and to see it all come together like this is really exciting,” Cr Rehbein said.

“Jezzine Barracks, Strand Park and Queens Gardens all look fantastic and are ready for the 12 days of culture, music, theatre, art and sport

“I really recommend that if you still haven’t booked tickets for the performances you do it now so you don’t miss out.”

Tickets are available now from Council’s website or the Box Office at Townsville Civic Theatre and Riverway Arts Centre.

For more information about Festival 2018 visit www.townsville.qld.gov.au, or view the full program here.


21st March 2018


The federally funded Hells Gates feasibility study commenced in May 2017, led by the Snowy Mountains Engineering Company (SMEC), and managed by Townsville Enterprise.

The Feasibility Study is assessing the viability of constructing a dam at Hells Gates to deliver the following potential benefits:


  • ·       Staged development of an initial 50,000 hectares of irrigated horticulture and broad-scale agriculture of both perennial and annual crops
  • ·       Augmentation of the Burdekin Falls Dam in support of industry (Galilee Basin etc.)
  • ·       Up to 1200 megawatt pumped hydroelectric scheme and 15 megawatt run-of-river hydro
  • ·       Long-term water security for the City of Townsville (Post 2035)
  • ·       Long-term water security for Charters Towers


The study is nearing completion and is expected to be released in May 2018.

The final phase of the study currently underway is the financial analysis being conducted by AEC. This will provide a preliminary finding on whether the project is capable of achieving a return on investment for government or private investors.

While the initial studies, including engineering and environmental reviews, point to the project’s technical viability, it would be a multi-billion dollar investment and the economics of that decision are still yet to be determined.

Any decision to move forward or otherwise with the Hells Gates project will be a negotiated process with government and will depend on the findings of the final report which will be released in May.


16th March 2018

Local firms encouraged to attend pipeline Information Session

Townsville City Council will host an Industry Information Session on the $215 million water pipeline on Tuesday, March 20.

The Information Session will bring together contractors, subcontractors and suppliers to provide details on the project and how local firms can secure work.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the Information Session would encourage local firms to be part of the pipeline project.

“This is project will create a huge amount of jobs in our city and we want as many local firms to be a part of it as possible,” Cr Hill said.

“The pipeline will need everything from gravel to site offices to heavy machinery and portaloos.

“There’s plenty of work available on the pipeline and we want to create as many jobs as possible so that’s why we want businesses to come to the Forum on Tuesday to find out how they can be a part of the project.”

The Information Session will be held at Reid Park, doors open at 8.45am for a 9am start. The event is expected to conclude at 10.30am.

Registrations are essential. To express interest in attending please RSVP toenquiries@townsville.qld.gov.au with the subject title “HPDP – Local Industry Information Session” and please provide details about your company and who will be attending.

RSVPs close 3pm, Monday, March 19.

12th March 2018

Water restrictions eased back to Level 2

Townsville residents will be able to use sprinklers on their gardens and wash their cars with a hose, after Council decided to ease water restrictions to Level 2.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the Level 2 water restrictions allow residents to use sprinklers twice a week – on an odds and evens system – and wash cars and boats using a hose on any day.

“Council reviewed all the relevant information on water use, dam levels and long-term forecasts before making the decision to ease water restrictions to Level 2,” Cr Hill said.

“We’ve also listened to the community to allow residents to wash their cars with a hose – instead of just using a bucket or water-efficient car wash.

“This is about getting the balance right between trying to prolong the amount of water in the dam while still allowing residents to use water how they want to.”

Handheld watering is allowed at any time on any day.

Level 2 water restrictions will commence from Saturday, allowing residents to use sprinklers on their gardens over the weekend.

Cr Hill thanked the community for being water wise during the long dry spell.

“Residents did a great job reducing their water use so we could get through the drought until a rain event arrived,” Cr Hill said.

“However, we all know how fickle the weather can be and that’s why we need to ensure the dam level doesn’t get too low too soon.

“We want to ensure we have water security until the $215 million pipeline is built at the end of next year.

“Praying for rain isn’t a strategy and that’s why Council is doing everything we can to ensure Townsville has long-term water security.”

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chairman Cr Paul Jacob said Council would continue to monitor the dam levels and would review the restriction level again if more significant rain falls over the catchment.

“If we get more rain over the dam and the level keeps increasing then we will again review the water restriction level,” Cr Jacob.

“Council understands how important our water is and that’s why we want to ensure we preserve such a precious resource while still allowing residents to use water when they need it.”


1st March 2018

Pictured above: Upper Gustav Creek Thursday 9,30am view from my balcony. Creek looking and sounding great and the birds are full of joy! Photo Debbie Denison

28th February 2018

Pictured above; Gustav Creek other side Sooning Street bridge debris builds up low tide 3.30pm. Photo Debbie Denison

Residents urged to stay safe and check Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard

A serious weather event is expected to hit Townsville later this afternoon and this evening, with heavy rainfall throughout the city.

Townsville residents should go to Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard at disaster.townsville.qld.gov.au for up-to-date information about the weather event, road closures and electricity faults.

Townsville Local Disaster Management Group deputy chair Cr Kurt Rehbein said the Dashboard was the best place to go for information relating to the serious weather event.

“The Dashboard will provide residents with the information they need to know to stay safe as we’re expecting significant rainfalls later today,” Cr Rehbein said.

“The information on the Dashboard will be updated throughout the day and is a one-stop shop for residents to find out about rainfall, flood warning and road clsoures.”

Residents in areas such as Kelso, the Bohle and Deeragun should regularly check the Dashboard as there may be some localised flooding.

Cr Rehbein said motorists needed to take extra care in the wet conditions and never drive on flooded roads.

“Don’t drive across any flooded roads – if it’s flooded, forget it,” Cr Rehbein said.

“We’re expecting a lot of rainfall later this afternoon and into the evening so where possible people should try and avoid being on the road.”

The Local Disaster Coordination Centre has been activated and the weather event will be monitored by Council, Queensland Police Service, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the State Emergency Service.

Regular updates will be provided but the best place to check for up-to-date information is Council’s Emergency Management Dashboard.


Pictured above: Upper Gustav Creek 9.30am creek level has drop by about a metre since peek this morning. Photo Debbie Denison


TLDMG to stand up to monitor low-pressure system

The Townsville Local Disaster Management Group has stood up and will hold an operational meeting at 10.30am this morning.

The low-pressure system sitting above Townsville is causing significant rainfall and has the potential to cause flooding in areas around the city.

Deputy Local Disaster Management Group Chair Cr Kurt Rehbein said authorities would monitor the weather and provide updates to the community regularly.

“Significant amounts of rain has fallen across Townsville and more is expected. We want all residents to be safe in this weather,” Cr Rehbein said.

“It’s important that motorists don’t drive in flooded roads – if it’s flooded forget it – and people take precautions to ensure they stay safe in the wet.

“Council along with Queensland Police Service, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the State Emergency Service are all monitoring the low-pressure system and are ready to respond.”

Council crews and SES are responding to sandbagging requests for residents in the Deeragun area.

Cr Rehbein said Council was providing free sand bags and sand for residents who need them to protect their homes and property from flooding.

“The sand and sand bags are free and anyone is welcome to pick them up and take them back to try and protect their property,” Cr Rehbein said.

Sand and sand bags are at two locations:

Lou Litster Park, behind Officeworks

Transport and Main Roads Depot at the Corner of the Bruce Highway and Mount Low Parkway



Pictured above: Gustav Creek my back yard. Photos Debbie Denison



22nd February 2018

GBRMPA Stonewalls Groyne

Pictured above: Diagram of the proposed site of the trail sand bag groyne at Nelly Bay.


Debbie Denison

The much anticipated installation of the sand bag groyne in Nelly Bay has been dealt another setback with the GBRMPA who have not issued the necessary permits for works to proceed. At the MIRRA meeting earlier this month Cr. Ann Maree Greaney said “Council were shovel ready for work to proceed in March but council was still waiting for permits to be issued by GBRMPA”.

In a statement issued by GBRMPA yesterday “The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has received an application for a sand bag groyne wall in Nelly Bay and the application is being assessed.

The application is under assessment and no work can start until the appropriate permits from the Marine Park Authority and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service have been given. The Marine Park Authority is waiting on more information from the applicant”.

In June last year the Palaszczuk Government announced funding for the project which is estimated to cost $210,000.

The proposed construction of the groyne will involve using sand-filled geo-textile bags and was based on the recommendations outlined in the Nelly Bay Shoreline Erosion.

TCC commissioned the SEMP report for Nelly Bay which was completed in 2010.

The MCN understands the information sought by GBRMPA involves another scientific study be prepared by the applicant which is TMR.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart told the MCN “ We have to make sure we get this right the first time, the money is there, Council is shovel ready , this is tax payers money”.

The MCN sought comment from TCC, and Minister for Main Roads and Ports Mark Bailey yesterday, at the time of going to print we had not received a response.

The Palaszczuk Government already spends between $50,000 and $70,000 annually on excavating sand in the area that is relocated to nearby Nelly Bay Beach.

Questions need to be asked ‘The application for works permits was completed months ago, why has is taken the GBRMPA this amount of time to request yet another scientific report be completed?'

The GBRMPA were stakeholders in the preparation of the implementation of the SEMP for Nelly Bay, 8 years on since its completion are they now rejecting its recommendations?



14th February 2018

Pictured above: This campaign began in 2014 with a petition signed by thousands of people , nearly 4 years on Horseshoe Bay Foreshore is still being eroded and TCC continues with a band aid approach, with no long term solution - we ask where is the SEMP for Horseshoe Bay  and where is the funding?

Procrastination within Council?

Debbie Denison

Frustration has turned to anger over councils inaction on long term policy for Horseshoe Bay Foreshore erosion. This follows council admitting no SEMP report had been completed and they were  now looking for funding to produce a SEMP.

In September 2014 local resident Bill Downing began a petition to save the Horseshoe Bay Foreshore which was signed by thousands of people. In an MCN article 16-9-14 ‘Council To take Urgent action over Horseshoe bay erosion’ then Cr. Vern Veitch stated  “An Erosion Mitigation Options Study that identifies potential solutions is almost complete and will help guide work council does now and in the future.

“The options study will also be important to enable medium term actions and forms the first part of a Shoreline Erosion Management Plan (SEMP) which will provide a longer term plan.

“The SEMP provides the detailed science essential to gain environmental approvals for any substantive works.”

David Stafford owner of Barefoot Art Wine told MCN “ I have attended so many meetings with councillors, engineers and locals regarding the foreshore over the years, it is frustrating this council still has not even completed a SEMP after all these endless  meetings and reports .

He went on to say “How many studies have been carried out, this council doesn’t have any foresight to say  we need do this and lets get it done.”

“ Surely  Horseshoe Bay which is the most visited bay on the island deserves better, we don’t receive the joy of expenditure here at Horseshoe Bay compared to Alma Bay and if this was the The Strand it would have been fixed a long time ago”.

Peter Smith owner of Magnetic Jet said “ In my opinion what ever work they do here it needs to be done when the tides are low, not this time of year when the tides are high.  Any work they do now the next high tide just washes it away. The sand that has been washed away from the foreshore is still in Horseshoe Bay it hasn’t left the bay, its just in a different place. “

Several years ago works were carried out with a front end loader and exacavators at the right time of year but this hasn’t happened recently.

Peter went on to say “ I believe some of the problem is that council has not planted any new trees to replace the 20 or so we have lost, they have not planted any stabilising vegetation and what ever reports have been done by the previous council have gone.”

MIRRA President  Cameron Turnbull said “MIRRA will be pursuing funding for the SEMP and completion of its recommended works for the Horseshoe Bay foreshore.”

Norman Jenkins President of Tourism Magnetic Island told the MCN “A sustainable and clear management plan of the bay is needed to be communicated to the business and the community to maintain what is the highlight for many visitors to Magnetic Island”.

Surely there must be someone left after all the redundancies and retrenchments  within council who knows the background and has the reports that have already been completed on Horseshoe Bay foreshore and is working towards a solution?

It would appear not.


15th January 2018

Labor refuses to act on insurance premiums

Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald has called on the Labor State Government to ease cost of living pressures on local families by abolishing costly stamp duties, strata commissions and other levies on general insurance premiums.

Senator Macdonald said the move would immediately reduce household insurance premiums by around 9 per cent.

“For a local family whose insurance coverage costs $5,000 per year, that would mean an instant saving on the household budget of over $400 per annum,” Senator Macdonald said.

“It’s time Labor came clean and stopped using these stamp duties and strata commissions as a secret tax on North Queensland families.

“Skyrocketing insurance premiums have seen many residents across the North struggling to pay their bills and in many cases people are actually going without coverage because they simply can’t afford it,” Senator Macdonald said.

The Australian Government is undertaking major reforms to put downward pressure on insurance premiums through increased accountability and transparency within the industry, resulting in a fairer and more efficient sector.



24th December 2017

Pictured above: Santa waving  as he busily hands out lollies and good cheer on the annual Santa Run here on Magnetic Island Christmas Eve. Photo courtesy Debbie Denison.

The Santa Bus on the annual Christmas Eve lolly run organised by the Magnetic Island Boat Club. Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas.


Pictured above: Have a Happy & Safe Tropical Christmas from our home to yours from us here at Magnetic Community News. Photo courtesy Debbie Denison.

20th November 2017

Australian oceanographer honoured in new reef naming

Pictured above:  Magnetic Island resident, the late Dr Don Kinsey, has been honoured with a Reef named after him. Photo courtesy GBRMPA


Magnetic Island resident, the late Dr Don Kinsey, has  been honoured with a Reef named after him.

The life and work of late Australian scientist Dr Don Kinsey AM is being celebrated with a reef within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park named in his honour.

The reef scientist and manager worked as the executive officer of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority from 1985 to 1992, going on to establish the Reef Cooperative Research Centre (Reef CRC).

Dr Kinsey pioneered science focused on metabolism and calcification rates of coral reefs, and gave an understanding of how fast coral reefs grow and how stresses degrade reefs.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chairman Russell Reichelt said Dr Kinsey’s diverse scientific work and passion to share knowledge about the Reef had left a great legacy.

“Dr Kinsey was known for his eloquent radio and television media interviews, explaining Reef matters of deep consequence to the general public,” he said.

“He was acting chairman of the Marine Park Authority for a time and, with experience across the world in varied scientific areas, had a real drive to connect reef science with the public.”

Early in his career, Dr Kinsey designed and patented the oxygen electrode which enabled the instantaneous measurement of oxygen in seawater.

He also developed the methodology to measure carbon dioxide in seawater which is still in use today.

Much of this early work was either self-funded or helped by small grants.

The second international Coral Reef Symposium in 1973, convened by what was known as the Great Barrier Reef Committee, connected Dr Kinsey to larger scientific programs across the globe.

This led to him to managing projects at One Tree Island and later at Lizard Island.

Dr Kinsey completed a Doctorate of Oceanography, studying effluent sediment and reef degradation based in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

He was then appointed as Director of a saltmarsh ecology program with the University of Georgia where he drew connections to Reef ecology.

Wanting to head back to Australia, Dr Kinsey accepted an offer to work for the Australian Institute of Marine Science between 1982 and 1985 then worked with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority until 1992.

His passion for the Reef did not wane after his retirement — he became involved with the University of the Third Age offering lectures, talks and trips to the Reef, always sharing current scientific findings.

Dr Kinsey passed away in October 2016.

The newly-named Don Kinsey Reef, reef number 22-101, is located 227km north-east of Yeppoon.

Don Kinsey Reef was officially named through a formal process involving the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Royal Australian Navy’s Australian Hydrographic Office and the Queensland Government.


9th November 2017

Island’s Wish List For Up Coming Election

Debbie Denison

With the date of the up coming State Election finally announced the MCN sought comment from various associations  on  the island  for their wish list.

MIRRA President Mr. Cameron Turnbull said “ We would like to congratulate the State Government  for the funding to complete the  walkway/ footpath on Sooning Street and also the new toilet block which is under construction in Horseshoe Bay. We now seek  the redevelopment of the Forts car parking area, bus hub and associated facilities/”

Ms. Lorna Hempstead President said MICDA’s wish list is “Supporting Queensland Tourism Industry Council’s  specific initiative around natural heritage (see below) with specific reference to a National Parks public hub at the entrance to the Forts to include more interpretation, better vehicle parking and bus set down

DEVELOP SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH QUEENSLAND’S NATURAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE Commitment for new visitor infrastructure and experiences in Queensland’s protected areas of $50million over the next four years. A long-term commitment of the State Government to work with the Commonwealth Government to increase funding for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef to the level required to achieve the goals of the Reef 2050 Plan. Commitment of $5 million for the development of new cultural experiences and business opportunities, with a specific focus on Indigenous experiences. · Sustainable development of tourism opportunities in National Parks. · Increased funding to the Great Barrier Reef to meet 2050 goals. · Dedicated and coordinated commitment to Indigenous tourism development.

Commit to support the Port of Townsville in investigating and then implementing the highest quality dredging methods and the dumping of dredge spoil in a location that will neither impact on the Reef in general and especially on the eastern shores of Magnetic Island and our fringing reefs.

Increased support across the state and particularly for smaller communities (such as Magnetic Island) for positive youth engagement programs.”

Mr. Norman Jenkins President of Tourism Magnetic Island told  MCN “ Our wish list is support for:

1.Underwater Museum.

2. Upgrade of the National Parks Walking Track Network on Magnetic Island

3. Continued Tourism support in industry development and promotion”.

We at the Magnetic Community News are seeking all three levels of government work together to achieve a new out patients clinic, a community centre/ cyclone shelter/cyclone recovery centre and a new SES building to be built on council land in  Kelly Street across the road from the  ambulance and emergency services centre , the reason for this particular location is this area is the first area on the island to have power restored after a cyclone or natural disaster.

Residents have also contacted the MCN requesting that funding be given for  more walkways/cycle paths to be constructed across the island.

The Nelly Bay to Picnic Bay walkway to be completed.

The sealing of the West Point Road.

We welcome any other suggestions readers may have and please email us on magneticnews@bigpond.com with your wish list.

Seat of Townsville Candidates Profiles


Casie  Scott

Casie is an award-winning journalist with over a decade of experience in radio and television news presentation and production. She has co-ordinated live coverage and reported on major events including cyclones, floods, inquests, royal visits and many other stories in between.

Since 2012, Casie has worked in crisis communications, specialising in the public relations and stakeholder engagement fields. She has worked as a Ministerial Adviser in Queensland and the Northern Territory, as well as holding a Departmental management role.

In January 2017, Casie was announced as the Liberal National Party Candidate for the State seat of Townsville.

Casie is a mother to a young daughter and is passionate about securing the future of Townsville by making it a safer and more prosperous place to live and work.


Scott Stewart

As the local State Member, Scott Stewart has worked hard to deliver for the people of Townsville and Magnetic Island as a dedicated member of the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

Scott Stewart is a former high school principal, a proud husband, and father of three who is passionate about the Townsville community.

Born in the Burdekin, Scott has lived and worked all over Queensland, before settling in Townsville, where he and his wife Jackie and their family have lived for more than 18 years.

As a former school principal, Scott is passionate about education, and sees the value of education as the key to personal success.

During his time as a principal, Scott was known for his willingness to try new initiatives and established a successful boxing program targeting truant and under-achieving students to re-engage with learning through the discipline of boxing.

Scott has become a strong and active leader within the Townsville community. He is a Rotarian and works tirelessly within his school communities to promote education and learning.

Scott is the Chair of the Education, Tourism, Innovation and Small Business Committee and has been appointed Temporary Speaker of the Queensland Parliament. These roles he conducts with integrity and impartiality, and is honoured to do so.

He is passionate about initiatives that are aimed at defining our future, in particular renewable energy.

Scott supports the many new renewable energy projects which are starting across Queensland and the many more which are in the pipeline.

He is proud of the fact Queensland has more renewable projects under development.

Scott believes in having a diverse range of energy options, including solar panels, which will provide a more diversified mix of energy for North Queensland.

He is excited by the fact it will increase the amount of energy generated by renewables to almost 17 per cent – more than double what it is now.

Scott is determined to keep energy assets in Queensland hands, to help keep costs low for the people of Townsville.

Scott is adamant that all profits from the Government’s energy assets are invested into reducing the cost for everyone.

In November, Scott helped unveil SeaLink’s proposal for a $56 million ferry terminal and transport hub, which has progressed to Stage 2 of the Market-Led Proposal approvals.  A project he has supported since its start.

The project will provide a new, state-of-the-art ferry terminal for the region, including two new ferries. This will significantly boost connections between Magnetic Island and the mainland.

The Palaszczuk Government has also contributed $210K to the construction of the Nelly Bay Groyne to help hold back the effects of the movement of sand and water and its impacts on beachfront residences.

Subject to relevant approvals, work will start on this project early next year.

Scott is working hard for the people of Magnetic Island, and looks forward continuing this work

One Nation

Allan Evans

Although born in Brisbane Allan was raised in Townsville by his grandmother and his early years were spent between boarding schools in Cairns and Townsville. Like many youngsters of that era Allan left school at grade eight, aged fourteen. He turned his hand to many jobs to survive and one of these was as a Jackaroo on a sheep station near Hughenden.

At seventeen Allan joined the Navy qualifying as a Clearance Diver, seeing active service during a six-month tour to the South-East Asian region. After discharge from the Navy Allan and his young family returned to Townsville. Work was scarce. His first opportunity of work was as a labourer with the Copper Refineries in the smelter section. Twelve months on and he was offered a position as a commercial diver with the Townsville Harbour Board. Allan was one of the divers who worked on the pipeline to Magnetic Island bringing town water to the island for the first time. During his time with the Townsville Harbour Board, Allan successfully studied for his senior certificate at the Town High Night School. He then studied for many years for a Bachelor of Commerce degree often working two and sometimes three part-time jobs to support his family. Allthis hard work resulted in Allan successfully operating his own Management, Accounting andTaxation business for the past forty years to present day.

Allan is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, National Taxpayers Association Australia (NTAA), Townsville Chamber of Commerce, RSL Life Member, past member of Australian Society of CPA and Townsville Sunrise Rotary. He has represented Australia in his respective age group in Triathlon World Championships and more recently in 2014 became the Australian Champion at the Australian Natural Body-Building Championships.

It is clear Allan’s background provides him with an excellent understanding of the difficulties encountered by individuals and businesses. He also has the tenacity, focus and ability to face the challenges giving them his total commitment.

Allan is a proud Queenslander and citizen of Townsville committed to giving a voice to the concerns confronting the Townsville community today. He looks forward to the day when he will provide a strong representation for the seat of Townsville and the State of Queensland.

Townsville is a wonderful place to live, and I want to help ensure it stays that way.


The Greens

Rebecca Ryan


I work as a Radiographer at The Townsville Hospital and have done for over 7 years.  I am best known however as the driving force of Townsville Bicycle Users Group (BUG).

My vision for the future of Townsville goes far beyond safe and convenient cycling. That is why I have taken the bold step of entering politics.

I have chosen to run with the Greens for many reasons but largely because they stand firm against corruption. Working with diverse opinions and agreeing on how to justly allocate funds for the maximum benefit of the community is a difficult enough ask but when you also have rampant corruption it is us who lose.

The LNP gutted the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC), and Labor has done little to bolster its powers. The Greens want to give the CCC the teeth it needs to police dodgy politicians and public officials in Queensland.

4Labor and the LNP rely heavily on donations because it helps them win elections. It also corrupts their decision making. The Greens will do their best to ban corporate donations to political parties and “cash-for-access” meetings with Government Ministers and MPs, and jam the revolving door between politics and big lobbyists like the Minerals Council and property developers.

Community involvement in politics is essential to healthy and desirable development into the future. Please get in touch. I might not get there this election but I love this city, and I will continue to do my bit to help it to prosper.



8th November 2017


“MIRRA has resolved to do another survey/audit of terminal car park spaces.

This time, vehicles recorded as being left in spaces from week to week, will be reported to the appropriate authorities for action."


1st November 2017

Update - Fatal traffic crash, Magnetic Island

Police have charged a woman following investigations into a fatal traffic crash on Magnetic Island on June 1 this year.

Around 1am, police attended Sooning Street in Nelly Bay and discovered a mini moke had left the roadway and crashed into a power pole after failing to negotiate a roundabout.

The two men, aged 41 and 48, were pronounced deceased at the scene.

A woman who was driving the vehicle was taken to the Townsville Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A 26-year-old Richmond Hill woman has been charged with two counts of dangerous operation of motor vehicle causing death and driving under the influence.

The woman appeared in the Townsville Magistrates Court today and will next appear in Townsville Magistrates Court on December 13.

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.


Pictured above:  Cover of the 2018  Heritage Calendar the Honeymoon cottage at former Arcadia Guesthouse c1990. This building, used by service personnel on R & R leave during World War II, was relocated to   Magnetic Museum 2014.  Gift of Val Reid

22nd October 2017


Building Stories, the fifteenth in a continuing series of pictorial calendars produced by Magnetic Island History and Craft Centre can now be ordered for 2018. Almost 200 heritage photographs from the Magnetic Museum collection have been published in these limited edition calendars. The 2018 calendar, Building Stories, provides an insight into the stories behind some existing early buildings of Magnetic Island.

Only three structures on Magnetic Island are listed on the State Heritage Register – the Forts complex, the Picnic Bay school and the jetty at Picnic Bay.

Much of the Island’s built heritage has been lost to the ravages of nature and man’s intervention. Some heritage buildings have been preserved by relocation – both Butler Hut and Hayles Cottage were relocated by MIHCC when they were under threat of demolition.

Buildings with heritage values do exist: no grand edifices as on the mainland but buildings rich in the stories they tell of past owners, residents, activities and associations.

Calendars are $30 each including delivery within Australia. Payment will secure copies. Calendars will be ready for distribution toward mid-November. To make your order contact Zanita (0488050145 or zanita@optusnet.com.au) or call into Magnetic Museum at Picnic Bay, open 10am to 2pm daily, except Tuesdays.



6th September 2017

Another matchless SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week comes to an end

Townsville Yacht Club’s SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week came to an end this afternoon, after six days of sailing and fun - a sailing event like no other in Australia.

Once again the AP set the tone for the morning, as the heat took control and no breeze was to be found, so crews lazed around, enjoying a long breakfast, reading and chatting aboard or sipping coffee at Peppers Blue on Blue resort.

The AP was pulled down shortly after midday when on-water officials reported a 4-5 knot easterly which looked set to increase.

Coming into the final race, Peter Lowndes’ Lyons 49, Wine Dark Sea, led PHS Division 1 by five points from TYC Commodore, John Stokes Mach 1 and Adrian Walters Shaw 11 Metre Little Nico (NSW). This division sailed six races, one more race that the other divisions.


“We’re sweating on whether Mr Thompson (PRO Denis Thompson) will pull down the AP,” he said, referring to their leading position. No sooner had he said it than the AP came down.


And sadly their dream finished there when Adrian Walters and his Shaw 11 Metre Little Nico won Race 6 and took the series by four points from Wine Dark Sea with TYC Commodore, John Stokes finishing third with his Bavaria Match 38, Mach 1.

Little Nico, from Sydney, named for Walters’ daughter Nicoleta (nicknamed Nico and Little Nico), was a family affair with Walters’ wife Sonja and son Aaron sailing along with Mitch White, Peter Ryan, Steve Perks, Bryony Gregory and Gus Williams, who recently won the Youth Match Racing Worlds with Harry Price and Tara Blanc Ramos

“We couldn’t have asked for a better course,” Walters said ashore. There was a lot of reaching in 8-16 knots on a 19 mile course. It’s been a hard but fun week. The harder you go, the more you get punished on handicap, so it’s pleasing to win,” he said. “Mitch and the boys give it their all – we go out early training, practicing sets and gybes etc.

“It’s a fantastic regatta – very laid-back and chilled with a lot of camaraderie,” said the Maggie Race Week first timer.

Vanilla 2 and Vanilla 1 from Victoria were, paradoxically, on equal points sharing the Division 2 lead. The final race decided it in favour of Vanilla 2, skippered by Doug Shields, her third place today giving her seven point advantage over Vanilla 1, skippered by Steve ‘Harpo’ Harper. Little Miss Sunshine (Sam Pavic) also from Victoria, took third place.

Geoff Adams S99, Rampallion (Vic) led Division 3 from Rainbow (Stuart Cocker, Qld) and the elegant Oasis (David Keyes-Tilley, Vic), but it was the fun crew of Librian, owned by Stanley Barnes who stole the show and the top trophy by winning the final race .

Librian won by one point from Rampallion, with a further point to Rainbow – 10th and eighth respectively in the last race.

In the Non-Spinnaker Division, Lady Virginia (Nicholas Cable, (Vic) was in the top spot going into the final race and won from  Lady Katherine (Peter McDonald, Qld) by just a point and Poppy (Michael Phillips, SA) by a further point. Both have been her toughest adversaries all week.

“We came all the way from Melbourne, we campaigned her at Hamilton Island and here at Magnetic – it’s our third time here – and we’re thrilled to win,” Cable said.

“We’ve had a lot of fun here – a lovely time – we really enjoyed Richard and Karen’s barbecue at Cape Upstart too. We did our very best today (they were third in this race which was won by Lady Katherine, with Chloe (Ian Burns), a local boat third. We had fierce competition. I’ll be 70 in April and feel like I’ve done it all – I can go happy,” he said.

The Multihulls were an all-Townsville affair led by Mistress (Dennis Coleman), with Salacia (Ian Johnson) and The Boat Graeme Etherton, hot on her heels, one point behind on equal points. So Coleman finally got the win he has hankered over for years.

Mistress, a Corsair Sprint Mk1, finished third in the final Race 5 to take the overall win by two points to Graeme Etherton’s Crowther Windspeed 32 Cat, The Boat, while Rupert King’s Re1066t jumped up into third after winning Race 5.

Coleman, whose crew is a tight-knit affair of eight years, includes son Nathan and Scott McInerney, a dab Contender sailor, who helms the boat.

Prior to racing, Coleman and McInerney agreed: “We’d be happy if they cancelled racing today – it’s our best shot – we’d win!”

“Actually I’d be happy if we were even second or third – it would be the first time, we always end up fourth,” said Coleman, who fixes machinery in a meatworks by day and works with pizzas by night and has never missed Magnetic Island Race Week.

“We always start out well, so when we win, the handicapper nobbles us. Today will be interesting to see how it pans out,” added McInerney as the pair received an SMS to say racing would get underway shortly.

“Despite small numbers this year, the competition is fierce. You have to sail well every day,” said Coleman who loves sailing so much, McInerney says “he’s told the crew: ‘If I die while we’re racing, finish first, then drag my body ashore.”

On one of their main rivals, Salacia, owner Ian Johnson, has sailed here every year since the event started “and this boat (a Lightwave 38).

“We’re a bit slower than the others, but we’ve done OK. I think the handicappers have done a good job with our fleet,” said Johnson who was thinking the weather might be a bit light on for them today.

“We absolutely prefer the windier days because we’re heavier, but having said that, we won on the really light day. We found a gust and then the race was shortened. Lucky us.”

The fleet as a whole benefitted from ideal mid-range breezes on the first two days of SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week. Day 3 was light but gave those specialists their opportunities, and while an AP started Days 3, 4 and 5, competitors could not complain about those days, because as the racing progressed, so did the breeze.

Warm sunshine every day, flat water sailing some days, with a little swell and waves on others.

As Ian Johnson and others pointed out – seven degrees in Melbourne, excessive cold gale-force winds in Sydney, snow in Bass Strait and on Mount Wellington in Tasmania and cloudy cold wet days in Adelaide versus the sun, green flat water and tropical setting of Townsville and Magnetic Island. Not to mention the convivial company you find at this regatta.

“It’s like the old style regattas where everyone sits around on their boats at the marina chatting and then we’re all together ashore for the prize giving and entertainment,” Johnson said and many others echoed throughout the week.

At the official prize giving, the winner of each division will receive a framed Andrea Francolini photo of their boat taken during the week – a special prize that will be appreciated for years to come.  The top three in each division will also receive trophies.

Full results and all information: www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au/

By Di Pearson, SMIRW media




25th August 2017

It's Daffodil Day


Pictured above: Lyn Coomber, Gwen Gifford with Cr. Ann Maree Greaney at the Nelly Bay Terminal Photo: Debbie Denison


22nd August 2017

Sunbus Magnetic Island Route 250 – Elena Street diversion

Please see below link for more information on bus diversion.

Several questions have been sent to Townsville City Council regarding this matter - we are awaiting their answers.

Townsville City Council response:

As part of an ongoing bridge inspection program, Townsville City Council identified the structure on Elena St to be over-stressed, and further investigation was undertaken with an external consultant.

Investigations determined that an 8 tonne load limit needed to be implemented. This is required by law.

Council is currently in the design phase to correct the structural capacity of the structure with final hydrology checks being done.

Remedial works are expected to begin prior to the start of the wet season with  works anticipated to be completed by the end of March 2018.

Council has offered a revised temporary bus route to Sunbus and signage will go up tomorrow to advise heavy vehicles of the restriction.

Council’s waste services will ensure residents’ waste will continue to be collected.




15th August 2017

Power interruption to repair fork lift damage

Ergon Energy will interrupt power to parts of the Townsville central business district, Magnetic Island, South Townsville and Railways Estate for approximately two hours from late Wednesday night  16th August into Thursday morning.

An Ergon spokesman said power will be interrupted at about 11pm  until 1am Thursday to enable crews to repair damaged equipment at the local substation following Tuesday afternoon’s fork lift incident.

“We believe this time will have the least inconvenience to the majority of customers. However we appreciate it will not be convenient for all customers. Our crews will work quickly to undertake repairs to an earth wire at the local substation and then safely restore power,” he said.

The repair work is critical and follows Tuesday’s incident where a fork lift contacted a power pole and wires resulting in damage at the nearby substation.

Major high rise accommodation centres with elevators and customers registered with Ergon’s Life Support Program in the affected areas are being contacted and advised of the power interruption.


15th July 2017

Boaties must keep watch for whales

Boaties need to keep watch day and night as more than 27,000 humpback whales and other whale species move along the Queensland coast from now until December.

Mike Joyce, Manager Southern Operations in the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, said the risks to boaties and whales increased each year as whale numbers recovered from near-extinction in the 1960s.

“Winter and spring are times for great care on the water,” Mr Joyce said.

“Humpbacks are moving along the coast day and night during the migration, and can surface at any time without warning.

“These are unpredictable, 40-tonne mammals and you don’t want to get in their way.

“Humpbacks are known to nudge boats, and also to slap their tails when close to vessels, or leap out of the water when breaching.

“Southern right whales are also turning up in our waters.

“If your vessel does strike a whale you are required to complete a marine incident report for Maritime Safety Queensland, and also report the incident to a conservation officer.

“The best way to do that is to call the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL. The RSPCA will then pass on the information to a conservation officer in the area where the incident occurred.

“No-one may take a boat or Jet Ski within 500 metres or fly an aircraft closer than 610 metres from a ‘special interest’ whale like Migaloo the white humpback without authorisation," Mr Joyce said.

“For all other whales, and dolphins, the vessel approach limit is 300m for Jet Skis and 100 metres for other vessels, unless three vessels are already in the area, in which case the limit is 300 metres.

“In the whale protection zone of the Whitsunday, Lindeman and Gloucester island groups, where many humpbacks deliver their calves, no boat may go closer than 300 metres.”

“There’s a $630 on-the-spot fine for getting too close, and a maximum penalty of $20,814 for special interest whales such as Migaloo the white whale," he said.

“Follow the regulations for your own safety as well as the whales’ welfare.”

Details are at www.ehp.qld.gov.au.


Above: Concept Plan Walkway Nelly Bay

7th June 2017

Port of Townsville welcomes funding commitment for Channel Widening

Port of Townsville Limited (POTL) has welcomed today’s announcement by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that the Government’s State Budget will allocate up to $75 million in funding for the Townsville Channel Capacity Upgrade Project.

The $193 million Channel Capacity Upgrade, which is Stage 1 of the $1.64 billion Townsville Port Expansion Project, will widen the shipping channels to accommodate larger ships.

POTL Chief Executive Officer Ranee Crosby said that the project would future-proof the port by ensuring it remains competitive and viable for major shipping lines and providing certainty for industry investment into the region.

“Being able to accommodate larger ships will have significant and far reaching benefits for Northern Australia; larger ships are more efficient, which means lower operating costs per unit, particularly for container and car ships.”

“By widening the channel North Queensland will be competitive for exporters and provide lower freight costs for importers. Townsville will also be able to attract larger cruise ships, providing a much needed boost to the local tourism industry.”

POTL Chair Renita Garard said that today’s announcement was a huge milestone for the project and future trade opportunities for the Port of Townsville.

“Since 1864 the Port of Townsville has been the economic cornerstone of this region, supporting around 8,000 jobs,” said Ms Garard.

“It supplies a population of nearly 800,000 people with essential everyday goods, allows our farmers to export agricultural products, and mining company’s need the port to export minerals.

Townsville Port is also a strategic port for Northern Australia’s Defence capability, and is enabling the city to become a genuine player in the booming cruise industry in North Queensland.

The project will return $580 million in benefits to Queensland, providing the safest, most cost effective and environmentally sustainable solution for meeting the freight requirements of North Queensland.

Dredging work for channel widening could commence in 2018, subject to environmental approvals and final funding, meaning the region would begin to see larger ships visiting Townsville within two years. The Channel Widening Project will take up to six years in total with completion in 2023.

POTL has submitted an Environmental Impact Statement to State and Federal regulators for final assessment which has included comprehensive scientific assessments and consultation processes to address key issues and controls to ensure the health of Cleveland Bay is safeguarded.

POTL has completed a Business Case for the Channel Capacity Upgrade which has assessed funding options. With the State Government’s $75 million funding commitment, POTL is now in a position to finalise full funding to ensure this vital project for North Queensland and Northern Australia proceeds.



2nd June 2017

Fatal traffic crash, Magnetic Island

Two men have passed away this morning after being involved in a single vehicle traffic crash on Magnetic Island.

Shortly after 1.00am police were called to the crash at Sooning Street, Nelly Bay and discovered a mini moke had left the roadway and collided with a power pole after failing to negotiate a roundabout.

Two men were pronounced dead at the scene.

The 25-year-old, female driver of the vehicle was taken to the Townsville Hospital with unknown injuries

The Forensic Crash Unit investigations are continuing. Anyone with information about this crash is urged to contact police.


1st June 2017

Concept plans provide preview of city’s bus hub

Conceptual designs for the CBD Bus Hub are now available on line to provide the community with a snapshot of what the new facility will look like.

The release coincides with the call for tenders for the detailed design of the project and follows initial consultation with local businesses and residents in areas adjoining the proposed facility in Ogden and Hanran Streets.

A decision on the tender for the demolition of a council owned building in Ogden Street, which is central to the plan, is due in June with work expected to start in July.

Planning Committee chairman and Deputy Mayor Cr Les Walker said feedback from the community would inform the detailed design process.

“This facility has been a long time coming and will provide major activation of Ogden Street and the adjoining area. It’s important we get it right in terms of usability and design,” Cr Walker said.

“We have taken on board feedback from consultation with local stakeholders and a number of issues and ideas including noise, traffic flows, streetscaping, lighting, security and potential impacts on amenity.

“That input will now be considered in the detailed design work and the consultation with locals will continue throughout the design process.

“The current location is the best option we have with in the inner-city and we want to achieve the best outcome for the CBD revitalisation. At the same time we want to mitigate potential impacts on people who live in the local area.”

The bus hub has received $4 million in funding from the Palaszczuk Government and is being project managed by the Townsville City Council.

As part of the project, the council purchased the old hardware store site in Ogden Street to enable an access road to be constructed for buses to loop around the former Urban Quarter shopping complex.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the project would play a major role in revitalising Townsville’s CBD and encouraged residents to view the plans.

“The bus hub will transform the heart of Townsville’s CBD in many ways,” Mr Stewart said.

“Public transport and the ease of access to the CBD’s shopping and restaurant precincts will be vital in the future. The bus hub is key part of the broader plan to revitalise the CBD and will integrate with the new stadium and link with the $28 million waterfront promenade,” he said.

“I urge Townsville residents from all suburbs to view the concept designs and have their say on the design. We welcome all feedback, to help produce the final, detailed design.”

Tenders for the detailed design contract will be open for three weeks. The design and consultation process will be carried out over a three to four month period with construction of the bus hub expected to be completed next year.

The concept designs and information about the project are available on the council’s website at the following link  https://www.townsville.qld.gov.au/building-planning-and-projects/council-projects/townsville-city-bus-hub


25th May 2017

Ashes tour match for NQ

Townsville to host England

Tony Ireland Stadium will host the main lead-in match to this year’s opening First Ashes Test at the Gabba with the touring English team to play in Townsville for the first time since 1962.
Cricket Australia and Queensland Cricket today announced that England would play a Cricket Australia XI in a four-day match in Townsville from 15-18 November as part of their build-up to the First Test from 23 – 27 November at the Gabba.
Queensland Cricket Chief Executive Officer Max Walters congratulated the Townsville City Council and Townsville Cricket on their efforts to ensure the match would be played in North Queensland.
“Cricket fans in North Queensland will now have the chance to enjoy international cricket in their own backyard and experience first-hand the 2017 Ashes campaign,’’ he said.
“Tony Ireland Stadium has earned an enviable reputation in recent seasons. As one of only three International Cricket Council (ICC) accredited venues outside of a capital city and featuring a 1000 seat grandstand, excellent player facilities and the ability to incorporate potential broadcasting capabilities, we consider TIS as leading the way as an international cricket venue in regional Australia.’’
“Cricket acknowledges and values Council’s continued support of cricket in Townsville and the considerable investment in facilities at TIS which have secured the success of previous events.
"It also complements our desire to inspire grass-roots participation in the game as well as deliver positive impacts for the local economy and provide opportunities to promote the destination both domestically and internationally,” Walters said.
Townsville Mayor Cr Jenny Hill said hosting the England tour match was a huge honour for the city.
“When it comes to cricket nothing compares to an Australia-England match and this is fantastic news for the city and sporting fans throughout the north,” Cr Hill said.
“The council has worked very closely with cricket authorities at a local, State and national level to secure the match and it’s fantastic that they have put their faith in the city with today’s announcement.
“Townsville will attract huge attention with the lead-up match before the First test and we look forward to the influx of fans and of course the Barmy Army.”
In recent years, TIS has hosted international one-day and first class matches featuring the likes of Papua New Guinea, Ireland and Hong Kong as well as the Final of the 2012 ICC Under-19 World Cup and last year’s Quadrangular winter ‘A’ series featuring teams from India, South Africa and Australia.
The my FootDr Queensland Bulls played their first Sheffield Shield match at the venue last season when they defeated Western Australia while the ground record was set in 2007 when a T20 match between the Bulls and Victoria attracted 10,024 fans.
While it will be the first time that England has played at TIS, Townsville hosted the MCC in 1962-63 when the touring Ashes squad played a two-day tour match against Queensland Country at the Sports Reserve.
Current Australian Test batsman Matthew Renshaw was on hand today at the announcement and affirmed player satisfaction with the venue.
“I was here during the winter series and the venue couldn’t have performed better,’’ he said. “I’m sure the fans will enjoy the chance to see what England have to offer before the First Test gets underway.”



19th May 2017

Residents urged to report potholes to council


Townsville residents are urged to report any potholes caused by the heavy rain of the past few days to council.

Potholes can be reported via the online form on council’s website www.townsville.qld.gov.au (under About Council/Report a Problem) or on the mobile Apps - iCouncil for iPhone and iPad, or Snap Send Solve for Android.

Residents can also call council’s Customer Service Centre on 1300 878 001.

Infrastructure Committee chair Cr Mark Molachino said the cooperation of the public was needed.

“Residents are the eyes and ears of the city and we need their help to identify any problem areas,” Cr Molachino said.

“Our road crews will be working around the city to fill potholes and ensure the local roads are safe for motorists.

“Reporting it via the website or app means we can dispatch crews as quickly as possible.”


7th May 2017

First look at pathway plans

A new concrete pathway stretching from Yates Street to Base Backpackers will complete the ‘missing link’ for pedestrians and cyclists, boosting safety and promoting tourism.

Preliminary plans for the proposed pathway were released late last week with MIRRA members getting a first look at the concept on Saturday (May 6).

A further community feedback session on the proposal will be held at the RSL Hall from 10am-11am on Saturday May 20. The concept proposal will also be uploaded to council’s website for viewing.

The project is one of 51 projects from across Townsville to receive funding under the State Government’s Works for Queensland program.

All projects met the Government’s criteria that they be unfunded works and could be completed by November.

Divisional Councillor Ann-Maree Greaney presented the plans to MIRRA and also walked the route with group members on Saturday morning.

The proposed pathway will stretch for 1160 metres along the coastal side of Sooning St and Nelly Bay Road.

The footpath will provide a safer passage for both pedestrians and cyclists along the notoriously narrow roadway.

The project will also involve an upgrade to the two Base Backpackers bus stops and installation of a new taxi rank as well as a 15m span bridge over the Creek outlet, near the Serene Place intersection.

“Residents living along the proposed pathway will receive a letter from council soon, outlining the extent of works,” Cr Greaney said.

“There will also be an open information session for others who may be interested in having a look at the plans and discuss issues including the impact on vegetation at the RSL Hall on Saturday May 20 from 10am-11am.

“This is a big project for the island and will make a big difference in terms of safety for all road users but it’s important everyone has the chance to have their say and I urge everyone to attend the open information session or view the plans on council’s website.

“We’ve had many, many requests for this work over the years so it’s terrific to know that it’s finally happening and that the pedestrian and cycle network between the Picnic Bay walkway and the commercial area of Nelly Bay will be connected.

“We’re also taking the opportunity to upgrade the Base Backpackers bus stops and installing a new taxi rank given the high number of people that use these facilities.”

Council is working with relevant government agencies to obtain development approval, with construction to get underway as early as August. A funding condition, the project will be complete by November.


18th April 2017

MIRRA Place Carpark Users On Notice

MIRRA Members undertook a survey of cars parked in the Nelly Bay carpark over a period of a fortnight in March.

At the end of the first week, it was established that 26 cars in the carpark had not been moved all week, with an average number of between 50 and 60 cars being present in the carpark each morning, prior to the first ferry.

At the end of the second week, it was established that 23 cars had remained parked all week and 4 cars had in fact remained parked and not moved for the fortnight.

There were also 3 cars parked without plates and again, the average number of vehicles parked of a morning prior to the first ferry, was about 50.

It is therefore apparent that town people with Island residences are parking the vehicles they use on the weekend, in the carpark during the week, to the disadvantage of Island residents.

MIRRA therefore believes the practice to be unfair and therefore puts the owners on notice that, if they persist in leaving their vehicles in the carpark on a week to week basis, the registration numbers of those vehicles which have already been recorded, will be given to Transport, to enable ticketing.

A further survey in the car park  will be conducted  in May.

Cameron Turnbull

President – MIRRA


11th April 2017

Power secured for Easter on Magnetic Island

Ergon Energy is transporting large generators to Magnetic Island today to secure and supplement the island’s power supply for Easter.

Three ‘Pegasus” generation injection units and five other smaller generators will be installed at the Island’s three main bays and connected to Ergon’s network.

Customer Delivery Manager Mark Biffanti said the generators were all about making sure the island had enough power for the peak Easter period.

“The generators are needed as one of the island’s main submarine cables malfunctioned late last week. We suspect anchor damage but can’t confirm that until we get it out of the water today. “

“The remaining cable continues to supply the island but the generators will ensure there is adequate power to meet demand over the Easter holiday period,” Mr Biffanti said.

The damaged cable sits in three metres of water on the sea floor about 600 metres off shore near the Nelly Bay Harbour rock wall.

“Specialist cable technicians are on site. A sling will be put under the cable and it will be winched onto a pontoon where it will stay until repaired. “

“Our crews will work quickly to get it back into service which is expected next week. However, the time frame is also conditional upon the extent of damage,” he said.

While crews are working on the damaged cable, other crews are on the island and will position the generators and connect them to the network.

There are no power interruptions expected when the generators are connected.

“We understand the importance and significance to the island of Easter and the school holiday period and these generators will make sure the tourism operators and local shops have enough power to trade over this period,” he said.

4th April 2017

Down to business for City’s Water Taskforce

Members of Townsville’s intergovernmental Water Taskforce met for the first time today, officially kick starting investigations into solutions for the city’s water security.

Independent chairman, Townsville businessman Brad Webb, said the Taskforce was off to a positive start.

“My message to the members of the Taskforce is straight to the point - our community demands an outcome to the city’s water security issues,” Mr Webb said.

“The Taskforce has brought all three levels of government to the table – Federal, State and the Townsville City Council - to investigate the options and we are getting down to business.

“Our task is to have a draft report outlining the preferred options ready to present to both the Prime Minister and the Premier at the end of June.

“While the Taskforce is working to an extremely tight timeframe, the work must be thorough and must include engagement with community groups and residents.

“An important part of the process will be a series of community meetings later this month to enable people to ask questions and put forward their views.

“We will also be launching a dedicated webpage to provide the community with information on the work of the Taskforce.”

An expert advisory panel has been appointed to assist the Taskforce with its investigations of infrastructure options, as well as water demand strategies including water efficiency programs and water saving technologies.

Part of the Townsville City Deals agreement, the Townsville Water Taskforce was set up by the Australian and Queensland Governments in partnership with the Townsville City Council.

Townsville Water Taskforce

Independent chairman Mr Brad Webb


  • Mr Adam Sincock, Director, Urban Water and Competition Policy, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
  • Mr Paul Simhauser, the Director-General of Queensland’s Department of Energy and Water Supply Department
  • Ms Adele Young, CEO of the Townsville City Council

The taskforce will be supported by an expert advisory panel which includes Townsville community engagement specialist Lewis Ramsay.


29th March 2017

Council to repair Horseshoe Bay erosion


Townsville City Council will carry out remedial work on the Horseshoe Bay foreshore on Friday to repair erosion caused by big tides.

Temporary restoration work on the beach is planned for Friday afternoon when damage from high tides is expected to ease.

Council’s Community Health and Environment Committee chair Cr Ann Maree Greaney said it was important to ensure the beach area was safe for the start of the school holidays.

“The Horseshoe Bay beach is highly susceptible to erosion, especially during the cyclone season, and council has plans in place to respond to situations like this,” Cr Greaney said.

“Staff are gearing up to move sand up the beach to reinforce areas where the tides have caused washed out areas on the foreshore.

“The work is planned for Friday when the tides and wave action are expected to ease. Any earlier would risk having the work washed away again.

“Council will get the work done as soon as possible with the busy school holiday period starting this weekend.”

Hazard meshing will be in place from tomorrow in areas worst affected as a safety precaution. Council machinery suitable for the beach work is being transported to the island.

The council will continue to monitor the foreshore area


28th March 2017

TLDMG Cyclone Update

Based on the latest advice from the Bureau of Meteorology, Townsville has now been removed from the cyclone warning zone, however, areas south of Townsville, including Cungulla and Cleveland Palms, are still within the cyclone watch zone.

The Bureau has advised that there is no longer a risk of storm surge for residents at Cungulla and Cleveland Palms, so those residents who evacuated are advised it’s safe to return to their homes.

The city’s cyclone shelter in Heatley is now closed, as well as the Places of Refuge (North Shore building, Suncorp building and council’s 143 Walker St).

Council’s Disaster Co-ordination Centre will cease operations later today, however staff will continue to monitor the situation off-site and concerned residents can still call council on 1300 878 001.

Normal council services will recommence tomorrow.

Residents who missed today’s rubbish collection are advised to put their bins kerbside by 6am tomorrow for a catch-up collection.

Residents are asked to remain vigilant due to strong wind gusts and are asked to stay out of waterways and creeks.

Townsville Mayor and TLDMG chair Cr Jenny Hill praised Townsville residents for their response in preparing for Cyclone Debbie.

“While Townsville escaped any destructive winds and flooding, it is reassuring to see Townsville residents took all necessary steps to prepare for the potential of this cyclone,” Cr Hill said.

“I also thank all organisations involved in Townsville’s disaster management response to this weather event.”

Staff and resources remain on standby to provide recovery support to our southern neighbours.

  • Roads remain open
  • Townsville schools will re-open tomorrow
  • Townsville Airport will re-open at 4.30am tomorrow
  • Sealink services will resume at 6.30am tomorrow
  • Up to date information available Council’s website www.townsville.qld.gov.au
  • Facebook (Townsville Disaster Information) as well as Twitter account (@TCC_News).




TLDMG Cyclone Update

TDLMG chair and Mayor Cr Jenny Hill warned residents that Townsville remained in the cyclone warning zone despite Tropical Cyclone Debbie tracking south of the city.

“Based on the latest advice from the Bureau, Townsville should be prepared for dangerous winds later today,” Cr Hill said.

“Cyclone Debbie is just to our south, and will continue to be a threat until it crosses the coast and moves out of our region.

“While other communities are facing the full force of Cyclone Debbie, Townsville residents should remain vigilant, stick to your cyclone plan and stay at home until the danger passes.”

The Disaster Co-ordination Centre remains operational with all necessary emergency services available. Tropical Cyclone Debbie will is be monitored around the clock.

Staff and resources are also on standby to provide recovery support to our neighbouring communities to our south.


  • You should listen to updates
  • All schools are closed today
  • No rubbish collections today. New collections times to be advised
  • Public Cyclone Shelter at Heatley is open
  • Up to date information available Council’s website www.townsville.qld.gov.au
  • Facebook (Townsville Disaster Information) as well as Twitter account (@TCC_News).



27th March 2017

TLDMG Cyclone Update

Townsville and Magnetic Island residents should remain vigilant and prepared for dangerous winds from Tropical Cyclone Debbie according to latest advice.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie is currently a Category 3 system and is expected to intensify to Category 4 strength before it crosses the coast between Ayr and Mackay tomorrow morning.

TLDMG chair and Mayor Cr Jenny Hill warned residents that Townsville remained in the cyclone warning zone despite Tropical Cyclone Debbie tracking south of the city.

“Based on the latest advice from the Bureau, destructive winds could still reach Townsville by 8am tomorrow morning depending on the final path of the cyclone overnight,” Cr Hill said.

“The Disaster Co-ordination Centre remains operational with all necessary emergency services available. Tropical Cyclone Debbie will be monitored closely throughout the night.”

“Staff and resources are also on standby to provide support to our neighbouring communities to our south who are tonight bracing for the full force of Cyclone Debbie.”


  • You should listen to updates
  • All schools will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday)
  • No rubbish collections tomorrow. New collections times to be advised
  • Public Cyclone Shelter at Heatley and Places of Refuge are staffed and open
  • Up to date information available Council’s website www.townsville.qld.gov.au
  • Facebook (Townsville Disaster Information) as well as Twitter account (@TCC_News)




Above: Presto Breakwater Nelly Bay Sunday 4.00pm



Above: Tidal surge area


16th March 2017


Council to support Magnetic Island film festival

A film festival to be held on Magnetic Island later this year has received the support of council.

The Community and Cultural Development Committee this week agreed to provide a $27,920 grant to the Magnetic Island Community Development Association for one year, to go towards the Barrier Reef Film Festival, September 7-10.

Festival organisers are expecting to attract about 6,500 attendees, including island residents, mainland residents and tourists.

Committee chair Cr Colleen Doyle said the festival was an exciting opportunity for Magnetic Island.

“This is a great way to attract more people to the island as well as provide island residents with unique entertainment,” Cr Doyle said.

“It also opens up possibilities for film makers with workshops planned and a chance for associated creative industries to get on board.

“Council will also waive the venue hire fees of $400 for Alma Bay and Geoffrey Bay for the event.”

The $27,920 will include ticketing, marketing, equipment hire, film costs and more.

Magnetic Island divisional councillor Ann-Maree Greaney said she would like to see the association work with the island’s cafes, restaurants and associated operators, so as many island businesses as possible benefit from the influx of people coming to the festival.


7th March 2017

Search for missing man found, Magnetic Island

UPDATE: A man missing from Magnetic Island has been found safe and well.

Michael Johnson, 54, was being examined by paramedics but appeared unharmed.

He went missing from Nelly Bay yesterday afternoon after leaving on foot to walk to a house 250m away.

A search has resumed at Magnetic Island for a man missing since yesterday afternoon.


Michael Johnson, a 54-year-old man from Nelly Bay (Magnetic Island), was last seen about 2.15pm when he left an address on Kelly Street on foot for an address at Warboys Street, some 250 metres away.

Police hold concerns for Michael’s welfare as he suffers from a medical condition.

Michael is described as Aboriginal, 175cm tall, proportionate build and brown eyes.

He was last seen wearing a black and white shirt with horizontal and vertical stripes, dark coloured knee length shorts and thongs.

A combined search and rescue operation including water police, rescue helicopter 521 and around 16 SES volunteers are involved in the search today.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


8th February 2017

1700km of NQ coast to have no on-site BoM technicians: MP

BoM responds to automation concerns

Denise Secomb

Meteorological observations from the Bureau of Meteorology's Townsville and Rockhampton will be fully automated by the end of 2019-20, with observations from the bureau's Mackay and Longreach offices to be fully automated by the end of the 2016-17 financial year, according to Queensland Regional Director of the bureau, Mr Bruce Gunn.

Among the concerns noted by Magnetic Community News about the automations was an allegation by the Member for Dawson, Mr George Christensen, that when technical officers were removed from the Mackay bureau in August, and then in Townsville as well, it would mean no BoM technicians along a 1700km stretch of the Queensland coastline.

Mr Gunn replied to this concern, saying the former Minister for the Environment, Mr Greg Hunt, wrote to Mr Christensen on April 26, 2016 to advise that of the two bureau staff members (both observation staff) employed in Mackay, one had retired and the bureau had extended the deployment of the remaining staff member to March, 2017.

Mr Gunn said: “The bureau's observing systems strategy involves a staged, phased approach resulting in fully automated regional stations by 2020-2021. We continue to work to our planned timeframes for automation of regional weather stations and redeployment of our valued technical and observations staff.”

He told MCN: “The bureau is currently implementing a strategy to automate its observation equipment and consolidate the location of its weather observations and technical staff, with these changes planned for completion nationwide by 2020-21...Affected staff will remain at their station until the equipment at their station has been fully automated. All affected staff will be offered redeployment options within the Bureau of Meteorology.

“By 2021, all automated equipment in Queensland will be monitored and regularly serviced by bureau technicians working from observation operations hubs at Brisbane and Cairns. With the consolidation of the hubs, the maintenance program will be more proactive and effective to ensure the performance of the bureau's observing network is improved across the whole region.

“There are no changes to deployments of forecasting staff as part of the strategy to automate observation services. Forecasting operations in Townsville will not be impacted by the redeployments of our technical officers. The affected staff are not forecasters, they are meteorological observers and technical officers and are not qualified to provide professional advice in emergency situations or, in the case of Mackay and Longreach, to repair and maintain complex equipment.

“On October, 2013 the Next Generation Forecast and Warning System (NextGenFWS) commenced operation in Queensland. This system has dramatically increased the availability of seven-day forecasts to communities across Queensland with rural and remote communities now enjoying the same standard of forecast that was previously only available in Brisbane. With the roll out of the NextGenFWS, the bureau concentrated public forecasting services into capital city regional forecast centres.

“The bureau's support for emergency services remains very strong. Specialist detailed tropical cyclone, severe weather and flood forecasting advice for emergency services in regional Queensland is provided by the bureau's Queensland Regional Office in Brisbane. Given the complexity of the science associated with major events such as cyclones and floods, the Regional Forecasting Centre in Brisbane continues to be the point of truth regarding critical advice for emergency services as it has for many years.

“Service delivery has been enhanced through the embedding of forecasters within the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services State Disaster Co-ordination Centre at Kedron. This forecasting capability is in place to ensure that emergency services are well informed before and during major events. The embedded capability is well versed in the needs of emergency service managers throughout the state and provides specialised advice throughout the year.”

Community concerns about the automation of Bureau of Meteorology field offices in North Queensland were also taken up with the current Minister for the Environment and Energy, Mr Josh Frydenberg, with the help of the Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, the Member for Mundingburra, Ms Coralee O'Rourke.

Mr Frydenberg replied to MCN: “The bureau is committed to providing the best possible weather forecast and warning services. This commitment requires ongoing delivery of service improvements and efficiencies through making use of the best available technology.


“Automation, together with consolidation of staff, will deliver a marked improvement in the service the bureau provides to all of North Queensland. Both the quantity and quality of data will be vastly enhanced and the observations service will be more responsive to support forecasters in severe weather situations.


“The bureau has assured me the affected staff are not weather forecasters, they are meteorological observers and technical officers. The role of these staff is primarily to take meteorological observations and to maintain observing equipment. They are not qualified to provide professional advice in emergency situations. Once field stations are automated, the observers and technical officers based at those offices will be offered redeployment to one of eight specialist hubs across Australia, including Cairns and Brisbane. There they will support the operation of the observing network across the whole region...

“The automated equipment in North Queensland will be monitored and serviced by bureau technicians working from Brisbane and Cairns. The bureau has very low failure rates for its observing systems and multiple sources of information, including radars, satellites and automatic weather stations. If there is a failure at a critical time, the bureau is able to draw on alternative sources of information while making repairs.

“The bureau has worked hard to explain these changes to the community, including offering community information and consultation sessions in Rockhampton and Yeppoon … and a briefing to key media and community stakeholders in Mackay...

“I am advised the bureau is continuing to work to identify any local issues associated with field office automation and to provide information to address any concerns raised.

“The technical improvements through automation complement the Australian Government's significant investments in a new bureau super-computer in the 2014 Budget. This investment will enable the bureau … to provide more accurate and localised weather information, such as the location and timing of severe thunderstorms and cyclones, improved timing and direction of wind changes in fire weather and better flood warnings.

“Recent years have seen a rapid improvement in the bureau's services to the people of Queensland, in particular to regional areas. Seven day forecast services across the country through the graphical MetEye interface, longer lead-time tropical cyclone tracks, an increased frequency of tropical cyclone warnings and graphical severe weather warnings have all been released to better inform communities of impending weather.”

Observations are accessible on www.bom.gov.au/australia/meteye/


6th January 2017

Call to remain water wise despite recent rain

Townsville’s Water and Waste Committee chairman Cr Paul Jacob has urged residents to continue to be watchful of water use as the city waits for wet season rains.

Levels at Ross Dam remain largely unchanged at 14.61 per cent today, up from 14.01 on the weekend.

This is despite up to 50ml falling directly over the dam in the past four days.

Up to 60ml has been recorded in the catchment around Woodstock, but this would be unlikely to boost dam levels, Cr Jacob said.

“The reality is that the drought conditions has rendered the ground dry and we will need more than a few short bursts for runoff to make it to the dam,” Cr Jacob said.

“There is still plenty of time to receive good rainfall to replenish the dam but in the meantime, everyone should be conscious of their water consumption and stick to the restrictions.

“While we are pumping from the Burdekin Dam, we must all continue to do all we can to make our water supply stretch as far as possible.

“Average daily water consumption came in at 93.04 mega litres over the past week, which goes to show how much water use is on gardens and lawns.”

Paluma Dam is at 58 per cent.

Dam levels

02 Jan – 14.01% (prior to rain)

03 Jan – 14.14%

04. Jan – 14.17%

05 Jan – 14.25%

06 Jan – 14.61%


Average daily water consumption

30/12/2016 - 95.07

31/12/2016 - 86.89

1/01/2017 - 121.33

2/01/2017 - 89.54

3/01/2017 - 96.87

4/01/2017 - 87.62

05/01/2017 – 73.97


13th December 2016

Council limits use of weeper hoses

Weeper hoses will be restricted in line with Level 3 water restrictions.

Council today voted to limit their use to four hours per week - one hour in the morning (6am-7am) and one hour in the evening (6pm-7pm) on the odds and evens system.

The decision was made after community feedback, and consultation with the councillors and staff.

The change will commence on December 19.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the change was necessary to prolong the need to move to Level 4 restrictions for as long as possible.

“Our target on Level 3 restrictions is 100ML per day and if we can stick to those levels then there will not be a need to move to Level 4 restrictions,” Cr Hill said.

“Many residents have done the right thing and used weeper hoses to protect trees and garden beds and this will ensure those people are not disadvantaged.

“Our current pumping from the Burdekin in conjunction with Level 3 consumption targets is a sustainable strategy until the drought breaks.”

Watering days:

Odds – Wednesday and Sunday

Evens – Tuesday and Saturday


9th December 2016

Pictured above: Colin Fulford aged 25. Photograph circa 1941.

Col celebrates his 100th Birthday today 9th December







1st December 2016

Urgent call to curb excessive water use

Townsville residents have continued to exceed water consumption targets despite the threat of Level 4 restrictions.

More than 115ML a day was drawn in the past week (November 24-30), well over the Level 3 target of 100ML.

Mayor Jenny Hill said residents needed to share the burden of restrictions and urgently cut back on water use, particularly outdoors.

Weeper hoses were of particular concern with water patrol officers reporting a sharp rise in their use, Cr Hill said.

“While weeper or dripper hoses are allowable under the current restrictions due to their relatively low water use, they are designed to be used on garden beds, not lawns.

“Despite this, we continue to receive reports of people running them in open spaces all day, every day.

“To be clear, the Ross Dam is at 14.46% and falling daily. Unless consumption drops in line with current restrictions, we will be forced to re-examine allowances, and that includes weeper hoses.”

Compliance patrols have been stepped up with three cars now operating at various times throughout all suburban streets day and night, seven days week.

All calls to the new water hotline are also being investigated as a matter of priority, with officers responding to calls as they come in.

On the spot fines of $365 for an individual and $1828 for a company will be issued to those caught flouting restrictions with council warning residents may also be fined  based on photographic evidence provided by the public.

“These are tough measures and it’s sad that there are some in the community who continue to ignore the restrictions,” Cr Hill said.

“We have proven that we can meet the Level 3 targets, even on watering days.  So being forced to adopt Level 4 would only be due to people not doing the right thing.

“Townsville is drought declared and we are pumping water from the Burdekin Dam but it’s imperative we all do our bit to stick to the water restrictions in order to see us through.

“It’s also important to note that while the residents of Townsville are working to cut back their usage, we are calling on the State and Federal Governments to step up and address water security for the region in the long term. The City Deal process would be the perfect avenue for this.”

Council has further reduced irrigation in the city’s parks and gardens by 60% since last week, up from 44%.

Water consumption for the past week was as follows:















28th November 2016

Townsville CBD parking spots change with the times

Time limits for some parking zones in Walker and Stanley Street have been extended as a result of public feedback.

Council voted on the changes as part of a suite of adjustments to CBD parking in July.

The changes reflect the need for additional time for people accessing the courthouse as well as the Event Cinemas, where neighbouring parking bays will move from 2hrs to 4hrs.

Meanwhile, 11 bays in Stanley Street, between Hanran Street and the creek have changed from 2hr to all-day to better align with other bays in the immediate surrounds. Also, 19 bays on King Street, near Reef HQ has been changed from 8hr to 4hr parking.

Infrastructure committee chairman Cr Mark Molachino said council had made the adjustments based on feedback from the community and to reflect commercial activity in the area.

“Time limits have been changed in a couple of targeted locations to improve convenience,” Cr Molachino said.

“Our city has grown and in some areas we have paid parking alongside free parking, which is totally inconsistent and in some cases, confusing.”

The cost of parking in the CBD remains unchanged at $1 per hour to a maximum of $6 per day. Free parking will continue to be available at the Dean Street and Leichardt Street carparks, the Sturt St cutting, and along Dean St and nearby streets.

The plan will also see a change to some paid and free parking zones throughout the city early next year.

This includes the conversion of off-street car parks at the top of Eyre Street to paid all-day parking, and changing 4hr parking to  all-day parking in the Aplin Street car park (beside Norm Hyatt Locksmith), and 8hr paid parking on Jones Street and a section of Flinders Street.

At a glance:


  • ·         65 bays in Walker St, in front of the courthouse, have been converted from 2hr to 4hr
  • ·         An additional 25 bays in Walker St, between Blackwood St and Stanley St, have also been converted to 4 hourly in line with those in Blackwood St to better service movie patrons
  • ·         11 bays in Stanley Street, between Hanran Street and the creek changed from 2hr to all-day
  • ·         19 bays on King Street, near Reef HQ, from 8hr to 4hr parking


21st November 2016

LNP announcement of plastic bags ban welcomed by AMCS

The Australian Marine Communications Society (AMCS) welcomes the LNP’s announcement that they are supporting the phase-out of single-use plastic bags in Queensland.

Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls today announced the new environment policy in Cairns.

AMCS is pleased to see that both degradable and biodegradable bags are included in the announcement.

AMCS Marine Spokesperson James Cordwell says “Plastic pollution travels easily from land to sea. It blows in from bins and garbage dumps, or flows through stormwater drains into our waterways and eventually the sea. Once in the ocean, degradable bags in particular slowly break down into smaller and smaller pieces which are eaten by animals at the bottom of our food chains.”

He continued “Larger pieces of plastic floating in our oceans are readily mistaken for food by marine life such as the green sea turtle, and can lead to marine life becoming entangled and strangled or choked and starved.”

“There is now solid support for the QLD Government to make the crucial move to ban single-use plastic bags, as we put an end to an era of these highly damaging items from impacting on our marine environment.”


17th November 2016

Search on for Strand Ephemera artists

The search is officially on for the artists who will transform Townsville’s Strand as part of the 2017 Strand Ephemera exhibition.

The 2017 event will be the 9th time the nationally acclaimed Strand Ephemera has transformed The Strand with sculptures and artworks in various media.

Coordinated by Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville City Council, the event reached new heights in 2015 with more than 138,000 visitors attending the 10-day biennial event.

Council’s Community and Cultural Development Committee Cr Colleen Doyle said she expected crowds to the 2017 Strand Ephemera would again be treated to an array of works.

“In past years we have exhibited work that has provided inspiration, insight, and humour in equal measure,” Cr Doyle said.

“I look forward to seeing what the 2017 event will bring to our beautiful foreshore.”

Artists are invited to submit concepts for Strand Ephemera using entry forms available from Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Pinnacles Gallery, or as a download from council’s website www.townsville.qld.gov.au

In developing proposals, artists are asked to consider the specific site for which the work is intended.

Selected works will be on display along The Strand, from 28 July – 6 August 2017.

Successful applicants will be granted a $5,000 artist fee to support them in making their work, and vie for a major $10,000 prize. A People’s Choice Award will also be offered.




APPLICATION CLOSING DATE: 5pm Friday 24 February 2017


EXHIBITION DATES: Friday 28 July - Sunday 6 August 2017

15th November 2016

Pumping to commence as Ross Dam hits 15 per cent

Water will flow through the Burdekin pipeline for the first time in 10 years from tomorrow.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said pumping would be initiated around 9am Wednesday morning with Townsville’s Ross Dam expected to hit the 15 per cent trigger point.

Cr Hill said water would travel more than 30km from the Haughton Channel, near Giru, before making outfall in the head of Ross Dam. The water will then have to travel a further 5km before it reaches the main body of water in the Ross Dam.

“Council has access to 10,000 megalitres of High Priority water from SunWater and an agreement for the rights to 110,000 megalitres of Medium Priority water, with the high priority allocation being enough to supplement reserves in Ross River Dam through to mid-2017,” Cr Hill said.

“Council has budgeted for a deficit forecast for a worst case scenario of $6.7 million to cover the cost of pumping water from the Burdekin until the middle of next year however, rain in the catchment and a reduction in pumping during the wet season will result in a much lower figure.

Water and Waste Committee Chairman Cr Paul Jacob said the pipeline would deliver up to 130ML of bulk water a day, safeguarding the city against another failed wet season. Level 3 restrictions will remain in place.

“It’s important to understand that even with the pumping, between 20 and 40ML of the 130ML pumped will be lost through evaporation at very low dam levels, meaning the level in the Ross Dam will continue to fall. We will still need water restrictions in place until it rains to see us through the drought,” Cr Jacob said.

“I ask residents to continue their good work in reducing water use, and help to meet the city’s consumption target of 100ML a day.”

The pipeline was established in 1988 to provide a back-up to supplies in times of drought.

The last time the city pumped from the Burdekin was in 2006 when the dam dropped below 5%.

The Ross River Dam has a catchment area of 750kms2 and a current capacity of 233,187ML.

Details of water restrictions are available on the council’s website link


Level 3

Level 3 restrictions ban the use of sprinklers. Hand held water 6-7am and 6-7pm. Odds and evens apply. Council Parks and Gardens irrigation is reduced by 44%.


Breaches of the water restrictions can incur an on the spot fine of $365 for an individual and $1,828 for a company.


7th November 2016

Q&A session part of council’s recycling week program

Residents will have the opportunity to have their recycling questions answered thanks to a Facebook Q&A session on Wednesday to coincide with National Recycling Week, November 7-13.

Council’s recycling experts will be online on council’s Facebook page from 12pm-3pm to answer questions such as what can and can’t be recycled, what happens with the rubbish and tips on increasing recycling around the home.

During the week, Townsville residents are urged to take a closer look at their rubbish habits and how they can help to reduce the amount of rubbish that ends up in landfills.

The annual event hopes to raise public awareness of the benefits of recycling and to dispel some of the myths around what can and can’t be put into the yellow-lidded wheelie bins.

Townsville Water and Waste Committee chair Cr Paul Jacob said Townsville City Council provided 74,500 properties with waste and recycling services and annually collected 12,500 tonnes of recyclables.

“The more we can recycle, the less goes to landfill,” Cr Jacob said.

“Items such as car batteries, TVs, computers, clean metals, used oil, gas bottles and clean soil can all be recycled for free at council’s transfer stations.

“Items that should be regularly recycled include steel and aluminium cans and aerosols, glass bottles and jars, paper and cardboard products like pizza boxes and plastic bottles and containers.”

Cr Jacob said one of the biggest mistakes residents made was putting their recyclables in plastic bags.

“We really need to get the message out there not to bag recyclables,” he said.

“It makes sorting difficult and has the potential to cause damage to the machinery at the recycle facility.”

During National Recycling Week, council will host a pop-up stall at the Cotters Markets on Sunday, November 13.

The stand will feature recycling competitions, composting and DIY worm tubing. There will be prizes up for grabs including movie tickets, compost bins and worm farms.

Pick up great household recycling tips while you’re there.

To find out more about our city’s recycling visit www.townsville.qld.gov.au



Vale Ian “Macca” Macmillan

Many Islanders will be saddened to hear of the death of  Ian “Macca” Macmillan formerly of Compass Crescent, Nelly Bay.  Macca will be remembered as the affable taxi driver who established his own rank on the cool Harbour wall in Nelly Bay, and later as the friendly telephone voice who took your details for a taxi ride at the call centre on The Island.  A man big in stature and in spirit, Macca was a friend to many locals, and a champion taxi dispatcher 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for about five years. Macca will be farewelled at a memorial service at the Northreach Baptist Church, 38 Canterbury Road, Kirwan next friday the 11th November at 11.oo am, conducted by Celebrant Amanda Medill.  All are welcome to attend.


KENNETH ROGERS – 21/05/1940 – 02/11/2016


Another of our Past Presidents, Ken Rogers, passed away on Wednesday afternoon after almost a year of fighting bowel cancer which was detected in a blood test following back surgery last November.

Kenny was so resilient and intent on defeating this affliction, that he entered a team in MM20, the 20th Anniversary of our Magnetic Magic Weekend of Bowls, and continued to assure us throughout the year that he and his team would be in attendance. It was only eight days prior to the event that he finally conceded and withdrew his team.

Ken will be remembered as an Electrical Contractor and an Ergon employee on the Island residing in Magnetic Street, Picnic Bay.

Kenny joined the Club in 1992 having not previously been a Bowler. But he was obviously a fast learner as the listing below shows. But there was one outstanding achievement for the Club which he was part of. He was a member of the Sub-Committee of four who dared to dream and started the Magnetic Magic Weekend of Bowls in 1997 – thus the reason for his determination to try to participate in MM20.

Kenny was Club President in 1999 – 2000 and again in 2006 – 2007.

He won Club Championships as follows:

‘B’ Singles in 1995.

‘A’ Singles in 1997 and 1998.

Open Pairs in 2005, 2007 and 2008.

Open Fours in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2006*, 2007 and 2008.

*In 2006 he led his team to win the North Queensland Champion of Champions Fours.

Kenny and Claudia moved to Mission Beach in 2009, but he maintained his connection with our Club as a Dual Member.

After trialling some of the Clubs in that district, Kenny settled on the Silkwood Bowls Club where he served as President and Secretary in recent years.

From 2014 he enthused Members of that Club to enter two teams in ‘The Magic’. Through his efforts a strong bond has formed between the Members of our two Clubs. Hopefully this will continue into the future.

Ken was 76 and is survived by his Wife Claudia, and three Daughters, Jo-Anne, Lisa and Sue. To them we convey our sincere condolences.

Rest in Peace, Kenny.



4th November 2016

Ferry Fares To Increase

On Tuesday SeaLink announced that as from the 15 th November ferry fares would increase.

SeaLink will continue to operate up to 18 services a day between Townsville and Magnetic Island. The standard adult fare to Magnetic Island will increase by 50 cents each way.

SeaLink’s General Manager, Paul Victory told the MCN “The majority of residents and regular visitors to Magnetic Island travel on a Flexi ticket which will increase from $102 to $105 for 10 trips’ or $10.50 per trip. Even more cost effective ferry fare prices are available for workers or for people willing to buy monthly and six monthly ticket options to Magnetic Island where travel is further reduced”.

With regular use of our monthly ticket a return fare is $16 and a six monthly ticket the one way fare reduces to $7.00 per trip, or $14 return.”

SeaLink confirmed there will be no increase in Group fares for school children to Magnetic Island and no increase to our tourism trade partners. The School Holiday $60 family fare will also continue with no increase and the half price saver on the 7.05am service to Magnetic Island also continues.

Fares have not increased to Magnetic Island since August 2012, Ferry fares will also increase to the Palm Island service on 15th November.

SealInk have stated that increase is due to significant increase in fleet maintenance costs including vessel supplies, increase in Government passenger landing fees, port leases and licenses taking fees and charges to in excess of $750k per annum and increase in core wage costs to in excess of $3m per annum.

SeaLink will continue to invest into the Magnetic Island and Palm Island fleet over the next few years and plans to upgrade our fleet by 2020. SeaLink General Manager, Paul Victory told MCN “The comfort, convenience and reliability of our fleet is paramount for the success of the travel routes for resident and visitor travel”.

Paul went on to say “We are proud to continue our support for local community groups and organisations such as the Arcadia Surf Life Saving Club, Magnetic Island Bowls Club, Magnetic Island AFL team, the Naval Cadets, and on Palm Island the schools, Obe Geia, Cathy Freeman Foundation and local QRL teams”

Paul concluded by saying “ We are proud annual sponsors of Magnetic Island Race Week, the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, The Magnetic Island Swim, the Magnetic Island Adventurethon and other events on Magnetic Island. Our commitments to Palm Island extend to developing tourism opportunity, investment into tourism infrastructure and working with the community.”


14th October 2016

Independent Review reveals need for management overhaul

Townsville City Council today released the full Nous Group review report following a period of consultation with staff and unions.

Big reforms include cutting a third of management (22 positions) to achieve $5M in annual savings, running a leaner council with three operating divisions instead of five, and commencing a series of 24 projects that will drive greater efficiencies across council.

Council CEO Adele Young will lead the Review and project implementation including establishing a Business Transformation Taskforce that will help guide the delivery of the projects over the next 12 – 24 months. The Taskforce will be led by the CEO and will include private sector leaders in fields such as economic development and community engagement.

Townsville Mayor Cr Jenny Hill restated her earlier commitment that the new sleeker, management structure would not impact front-line staff or services.

“In total 24 projects will be activated to cut red tape, simplify operations, and work to boost local economic development and jobs,” Cr Hill said.

“Today’s decision delivers on a core commitment my team made to the residents of Townsville to reform what has been an overly bureaucratic business into a higher performing and more productive service for our community.”

Chief Executive Officer Adele Young said the implementation of priority projects would begin immediately with transition to the new structure expected to occur on Wednesday October 26.

“The new structure will be transformational for council, not just for financial sustainability and easing pressure on rates, but for building trust and confidence with the community,” Ms Young said.

“I have elevated in the structure the importance of economic development to capture the job and growth opportunities in front of the city currently, and sharpened our focus on decision making to ensure customers see us as faster, simpler and better to deal with.”

Management review key recommendations

Cut 22 management positions, removing a tier of senior management.

  • ·           Savings estimated at $5 Million annually

Consolidate number of divisions from five to three

  • ·           Infrastructure and Operations Division
  • ·           Planning and Community Engagement Division
  • ·           Chief Financial Officer (Division)

24 projects to roll out over 12 months – 24 Months

To target red tape, drive efficiencies and financial sustainability, economic development, community partnerships, including:

Reduce management by 1/3

Cut corporate overheads from 45% to 35%

Slash excessive labour hire

Savings through better council purchasing and local procurement

Cut credit cards by 50%

Boost council e-business by 50%

Cut light fleet by 50%


13th October 2016

World-wide scoop for Magnetic Island

Pictured above: The common Irukandji jellyfish, Carukia barnesi, is only 1cm tall, with four tentacles that may reach up to a meter. It is small enough to easily pass through stinger nets, so protective clothing is recommended (Photo courtesy: Dr L. Gershwin).

Denise Secomb

Today Magnetic Community News brings you a world-wide scoop – we bring news of a Jellyfish App that is due for imminent release internationally,

The Jellyfish App, as it's called, will include a geo-code feature enabling users to key in Magnetic Island for information on known jellyfish here and risk and treatment factors.

Developed by Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin, director of Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services, together with two colleagues, cutting edge information on the app can be found on thejellyfishapp.com.

Dr Gershwin is Tasmania-based but has been studying jellyfish in Queensland waters for 20 years and internationally for 25 years.

She says the app was due to be released last week but was instead being tweaked. Release is imminent.

MCN uncovered this news while speaking with Dr Gershwin at the weekend after reading in the Whitsunday Times of an irukandji sting in the Whitsundays last week, heralding the start of the Stinger Season in tropical Queensland waters.

Tropical Australia's stinger season kicked off late in September this year, with two irukandji stings recorded in Darwin, according to Dr Gershwin.

All swimmers are advised to swim at patrolled beaches and to report all stings to lifeguards on duty who will render medical assistance.

Not only will your outcome be optimised but the information then can go into a database that will help with an Early Warning System being developed for stinger seasons.

However, Dr Gershwin said it was early days yet for the development of this system.

Locals generally know to swim in the Horseshoe Bay and Picnic Bay stinger nets during the stinger season, described by Dr Gershwin as lasting from anywhere in late September through to early June, to avoid being stung by the deadly box jellyfish, as the Chironex fleckeri is called locally.

Dr Gershwin has observed that busy stinger seasons in the tropics of Northern Australia, including tropical Queensland, tend to follow summers of high jellyfish activity in the Northern Hemisphere. While this potential correlation has yet to be studied formally, she feels that it is worthy of investigation as a potential season predictor.

That said, she says based on these observations, we may be in for a busy stinger season.

The nets are due to be deployed on Magnetic Island by Uninet on October 25 or 26. A Townsville Lifeguards spokesperson said yesterday that drags of patrolled beaches for jellyfish would begin in the next couple of weeks but no stings of any kind were recorded for Magnetic Island and Townsville region last season.

Horseshoe Bay beach is patrolled by Townsville Lifeguards daily, as is Alma Bay but Picnic Bay is patrolled and the water sampled only during the school holidays when club lifeguards are on duty.

Dr Gershwin said she was keen for the new app to take the guesswork, fear and misinformation out of swimming all over the world.

Magnetic Island's jellyfish are among some 230 jellyfish species in the world which will be featured. The aim is to put the information in the context of what is dangerous or life-threatening and what is not for any geographical area where you visit throughout the world.

“A person stung by a box jellyfish can die in an average of four minutes – generally long before an ambulance has time to get there,” says Dr Gershwin. “Deaths have been recorded two minutes after a deadly box jellyfish sting. We want people to have this information and to make safe swimming choices.

“Most life-threatening stings in tropical Queensland are from irukandjis, though.”

In the tropics, the treatment for box jellyfish, irukandji and stings of unknown origin is the same – pour vinegar over the affected skin.

Dr Gershwin said there had been two known deaths from Irukandji Syndrome in Queensland: one at the reef off Port Douglas, the other in the Whitsundays.

“Many more people have been affected, though.”

She said the statistics belie the real risk that is present which varies with wind conditions. A number of drownings in the tropics may therefore also be due to Irukandji Syndrome.

Dr Gershwin said: “Irukandkji Syndrome symptoms can include: nausea and vomiting; difficulty breathing, profuse sweating; lower back pain; abdominal cramping; and high blood pressure that can cause strokes and ultimately death.”

She said the sting can be difficult to see whereas Townsville Lifeguards spokesperson, Russell Blanchard, described box jellyfish stings as leaving whip-like welts.

During the stinger season, even in the nets when swimming, most wear full-body lycra “stinger suits”, as they're known colloquially on Magnetic Island, The stinger suits are like a huge “rashie”, which surfers wear the world over, but the lycra stinger suits also covers arms and legs.

The nets keep out box jellyfish but not irukandjis, according to Dr Gershwin.

Visitors can buy full-body lycra stinger suits from Island Fever, Horseshoe Bay, or buy or hire them from Fish'n 'N' Fuel'n in Nelly Bay.

Dr Gershwin recommends the lycra-style rather than mesh-style stinger suits.

Rather than be frightened of jellyfish, she recommends being vigilant and making safe swimming choices, including asking the lifeguards about beach conditions before entering the water.

On Magnetic Island, beach conditions are recorded on blackboards by lifeguards at patrolled beaches daily.

Pictured above:The Australian deadly box jellyfish, Chironex fleckeri, reaches up to 30cm across the body. The stinger nets offer a high degree of protection from this species (Photo courtesy: Dr L. Gershwin).

27th September 2016

Council adopts organisational review recommendations

Townsville City Council today adopted the recommendations of an independent organisational review that is expected to reduce management numbers, slash red tape and improve productivity.

Townsville Mayor Cr Jenny Hill said the council would implement the review conducted by the Nous Group immediately, seeking budget savings to keep downward pressure on rates and improve council’s customer focus.

Ms Hill said the review recommended a range of projects to improve council’s operational performance, including an immediate restructure of the council administration and cutting an entire layer of management.

She said Nous had identified that council was significantly over-managed and this had led to poor decision making and a risk averse and overly bureaucratic culture.

“Council will cut the number of operational divisions from five to three and introduce a new, flatter management structure that combines two existing layers of management into one,” Ms Hill said.

“We will not however know the final number of positions that will go until the CEO is able to complete a process of consultation with all of the affected managers.

“Once that process is complete we will release the final report, which will also detail immediate and long term projected savings from its implementation.”

Cr Hill said the sleeker management structure would not impact front-line staff or services.

“Today’s decision delivers on a core commitment my team made to the residents of Townsville to transform council into a leaner business, focused on delivering value for its community,” Cr Hill said.

“This review should have happened in the last term of council, but I couldn’t get the support I needed in the council chamber to get it through.

“This time around we have a mandate to deliver our policy agenda and today we are following through on our promise to make the council leaner and back in tune with the needs of our residents.”

Council and the CEO are committed to releasing the full review following proper communication and consultation with staff.

The Executive Summary of the Nous Group Review is available on our website


Buskers needed for biggest event on T150 calendar

Calling all entertainers … Townsville City Council is seeking expressions of interest for buskers to perform at the upcoming T150 Defence Force Air Show and Townsville Bulletin Sky Show.

Musicians, singers, roving performers, clowns, dancers and entertainers of all kinds are sought for the event on Saturday, October 15 on The Strand.

Selected buskers will be paid a $100 performance fee per 1.5 hour timeslot with the opportunity to busk for money as well.

Community and Cultural Development Committee chair Cr Colleen Doyle said this was a great opportunity for local performers to get exposure.

“We’re expecting around 80,000 people along the Strand for that event so this is a unique chance to be seen, get performance experience or to just share your talent with the community,” Cr Doyle said.

“This will be an amazing event for the city and we want local people to be involved.”

There will be no power allocated, so all buskers must be fully self-sufficient and all equipment easily portable.

To be eligible to apply, buskers must fill out an online registration form on council’s Vendors and Suppliers page and hold a Townsville City Council Busker’s Permit, which is free. Visit the Payments, Rates and Permits section of council’s website for details – townsville.qld.gov.au

Applications close Wednesday, September 28 at 5pm and successful applicants will be notified Friday, September 30.


24th September 2016

Dump for free on long weekend

Residents will have three days of free access to Townsville’s waste facilities during this year’s free dumping long weekend ahead of the cyclone season. Townsville Water and Waste Committee today endorsed a staff report recommending the event be held from Saturday, October 1 to Monday October 3.

Residents will once again have unlimited free dumping access to dispose of domestic and green waste at the Jensen, Hervey Range, Stuart, Toomulla and Bluewater facilities as well as Magnetic Island. Committee chairman Cr Paul Jacob said the three days of free dumping was a prime opportunity to clean up the yard ahead of the cyclone season, which officially commences on November 1.

“Gates at the landfills will be open to give residents the opportunity to clean up around their yards and homes ahead of the cyclone season,” Cr Jacob said. “Residents can make as many trips to the tip as they need.”

Parents in lurch for holiday care

Denise Secomb
Working parents of primary school-aged students have been left in the lurch by an extremely late cancellation of the PCYC Magnetic Island Vacation Care Program on Friday, leaving them scrambling to find care for their children for the September school holidays.
P&C spokesperson, Helen Mowat, who told Magnetic Community News about the consternation the cancellation of the holiday program had caused, said the P&C was advised of the cancellation at 1.07pm Friday, the day term 3 ended.
“We only received the school holiday program by email the day before,” she said, “which didn't leave much time for parents to make bookings.
“There is a new co-ordinator of After School Care on the island for PCYC but I don't think that's where the problem lies. This should have been sorted out ages ago and staffing be in place in preparation for this busy period. They offered a good school holiday program.”
However, Helen said PCYC needed to make the school holiday program available to parents earlier and to be taking advance bookings some time ago.
Another parent with whom MCN spoke, who did not wish to be named, said: “It's not like Maggie parents can just go down the road and get another placement. For some working parents, the school holidays are their busiest period because they rely on their tourism. They need a reliable service.”
Helen continued: “It took us 12 months to do all the leg work to get PCYC in place. Last school holidays there were a number of days the service was fully booked. So PCYC can't claim it's under- utilised.
“I'd like to see parents put their names down for when the new term starts and for PCYC to be organised enough to take bookings for Week 2 of the school holidays and for this not to happen again.”
PCYC general manager of operations, Kel Clarke, was contacted a number of times to make comment but had not done so at the time of MCN's extended production deadline for the press edition. We hope to have a reply to our emailed questions for the online edition.


PCYC replies to criticism

The Queensland Police-Citizens Youth Club has advised Magnetic Island parents and other members of the community that it was unable to operate its usual vacation care program during the September school holidays.

PCYC Operations General Manager, Mr Kel Clarke, stated: “The quality of care at our facilities is paramount and we are committed to creating a safe environment for all children in our care. Rather than put any child or Educator at risk, we made the decision to suspend services over the school vacation period.

“This service requires a minimum of four staff members to conduct the program, in order to cover breaks and the full operational hours.

“Despite all our efforts, we were unable to secure sufficient staff with the appropriate qualifications to operate the program.

“Running the program with too few suitably qualified staff would not be acceptable to PCYC, nor would it meet our legislative obligations.”

Mr Clarke said while he understood cancelling the vacation care program would be inconvenient for parents and care givers, safety needed to come first.

“Affected parents and guardians were invited to send their children to the Aitkenvale or Castle Hill PCYC instead and that offer still stands,” he said.

“We regret that on this occasion we are unable to provide this service to the community.”

Members of the community with questions about the closure are encouraged to call Melissa Flanders, PCYC Outside School Age Care Operations Manager on 3909 9555.

17th September 2016

Public comment invited on proposed permission system improvements

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is seeking public feedback on proposed changes to its system of granting permits for activities in the Marine Park.

As part of its commitment to streamline processes while maintaining high levels of environmental protection, the agency is undertaking a major review of its permission system, which includes revising key policies and guidelines, and amending the Great Barrier Marine Park Regulations.

GBRMPA’s general manager for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use Bruce Elliot said the updates included new guidance material for permit applicants and the public on how permit decisions are made.

“The proposed changes will strengthen the system by improving consistency and transparency through a range of guidelines so the process and the basis for decisions is clearer,” Mr Elliot said.

“It will also ensure better integration with processes relating to Australia’s national environmental law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.”

Key changes being proposed include:

  • an updated risk assessment procedure to consistently consider all values of the Marine Park (biodiversity, heritage and social values)
  • guidelines for considering indirect or flow-on impacts that may be caused by a proposal
  • guidelines on the use of drones
  • guidelines on assessing potential impacts to social, historic heritage and Indigenous heritage values
  • expanding opportunities for tourism-related whale-watching, provided they comply with existing approach distances and other whale protection regulations
  • introducing longer term permits where risks are deemed acceptable (such as tourism programs)
  • introducing checklists of information that needs to be submitted before an application can be accepted
  • changing the types and frequencies of inspections required for fixed facilities.

Mr Elliot said the documents out for public comment were developed or updated after an initial round of public consultation was held between October and December 2015.

“During that period, we sought feedback on what changes the community, including permit applicants and holders, would like to see to the permission system,” Mr Elliot said.

“Respondents identified a need for greater transparency of decision-making, availability of information on how decisions are made and streamlining of processes.

“We have taken on board that feedback and reflected this through improvements to our environmental impact management policy, and the development of new application and assessment guidelines.

“I encourage interested stakeholders to comment on all or any of these documents.”

The draft documents are also consistent with recommendations from the Australian National Audit Office, which released a report into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s permission system in 2015.

Changes are expected to take effect for all new permit applications received on or after 1 July 2017. No amendments are being introduced to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 or Zoning Plan.

The period for submissions is open until 4 November 2016.

Documents and information on how to submit comments are available at www.gbrmpa.gov.au.

12th September 2016

Magnetic Island paramedics celebrate Ambulance Week with station open day

It’s Ambulance Week from September 12 to 16 and the Queensland Ambulance Service is inviting the community to join in the celebrations.

This year also signals 25 years since 96 individual Queensland Ambulance Transport Brigades (QATB) transformed into one state-administered service to become the Queensland Ambulance Service as we know it today. It is also 25 years since Local Ambulance Committees (LACs) were introduced to maintain the ambulance service’s close connection to the community.

To celebrate this, Magnetic Island Ambulance Station is holding a station open day to give locals a chance to discover more about QAS and its vital work as well as learn how to keep their loved ones safe and help them in an emergency.

As Magnetic Island is a joint Emergency Services Facility, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) will also be present on the day.

QFES will conduct a Road Crash Rescue scenario to demonstrate the specialised cutting equipment they use to extricate patients trapped inside a vehicle. This scenario will also showcase how QFES and QAS work together to treat patients in emergencies.

If you live in or around Magnetic Island, drop by the combined station and learn how to conduct CPR, check out the vital medical equipment in use and have a Q/A session with paramedics, LAC volunteers and firefighters.

WHO: QAS and QFES Magnetic Island staff and volunteers will hold a station open day and Road Crash Rescue scenario to celebrate Ambulance Week

WHEN: 10am - 2pm Thursday, September 15, 2016

WHERE: Magnetic Island Ambulance Station

52 Kelly Street, Nelly Bay



* Opening and introduction from paramedics, LAC volunteers and QFES Captain


* CPR Awareness training session

* QFES fire safety training


* Road Crash Rescue scenario


* Sausage sizzle and steak


* Emergency vehicles familiarisation

* Station tours


* CPR Awareness training session

* QFES fire safety training


* Closing words and thank you

Activities throughout the day:

* Face painting

* Meet and greet local paramedics, firefighters and LAC members

* Learn how to become a QAS volunteer driver or auxiliary firefighter

* Grab a ticket in the IGA Meat tray or IGA Foodworks voucher raffle with proceeds going to the LAC

9th September 2016

SeaLink Queensland launched their new campaign video on Magnetic Island last night (8 September 2016) that has garnered more than 6,000 online views in less than 24 hours.

The campaign video encapsulates the beauty of Magnetic Island and the memories made on each and every visit. Elements of the campaign features local businesses and newly appointed SeaLink ambassador Jade Holland.

The 90-second video, produced by Townsville's Bluekino highlights some of Magnetic Island's top experiences while setting out a list of Holiday Rules including "Shoes are optional, goggles are not", "No holiday is complete without ice-cream" and "Stop, look, listen, feel and forget".

SeaLink Queensland General Manager, Mr Paul Victory said the new look and feel successfully positions Magnetic Island as a must-visit destination for holiday-makers of all kinds.

"Our values as a travel company centre on making memories and we're proud to align this vision by showcasing what tourism operators on the Island offer as a holiday destination that help make Magnetic Island unique," said Mr Victory.

"The reception from viewers at last night's premiere screening was even better than we'd expected and this campaign will mark a new era for marketing our business and Magnetic Island to the world."

The clip will be followed by new safety videos on SeaLink's Magnetic Island services, starring Townsville's own country star Jade Holland and Magnetic Island local’s.

Holland said she was proud to announce her new affiliation with SeaLink Queensland.

"I've always been a passionate North Queensland girl and honestly believe Magnetic Island is one of the most beautiful slices of Australia, if not the world," said Holland.

"I used the Island as the backdrop of my latest music video for 'Good Day' and am really excited to get to expand on promoting Townsville through my music by working closely with SeaLink."

The video can be found on the SeaLink Queensland’s Facebook page and at their website www.sealinkqld.com.au – Where you will also find great school holiday deals this September!

8th September 2016

$3.3m cost for dump capping revealed

Denise Secomb

An estimated $3.3million will be spent on the job of capping the Picnic Bay dump, according to the latest figure from Townsville City Council released to islanders at the weekend.

Division 3 councillor, Cr Ann-Maree Greaney, brought the council employee who is the designer of the Picnic Bay landfill capping, Hayley Page, with her to the Saturday annual general meeting of Magnetic Island Residents and Ratepayers Association, where the extent of the costing was revealed.

Ms Page told the meeting Level 3 watering restrictions had influenced council thinking on the issue.

She said the landfill site had been shaped and capped with clay to prevent exposure of the site via erosion.

Ms Page said: “We would normally follow the clay cap with a topsoil cover and then plant grass but Level 3 water restrictions would not allow for the establishment of the grass.

“Instead we are going to cover the landfill site with synthetic matting while the landfill settles. This will take 18 months to two years, then the permanent cap will be installed and grass will be planted. The site will then be fenced for up to 30 years until it is declared safe and it will revert to public space. The whole process is expected to cost $3.3million.”

There were three suggestions made by residents at the meeting in relation to the dump:

* that an island resident could be appointed to monitor run-off into the creek;

* that the golf club recycled water line from the Cockle Bay Sewage Treatment Plant could be extended to the dump; and

* that a bore could be sunk at the dump site so the cap could be covered with topsoil and grass be watered in immediately to help stop erosion.

Ms Page said she was yet to work out the best way forward for treated water to be used from the sewage plant.

There was concern raised that further development for Nelly Bay could be stalled by inadequate infrastructure with the Cockle Bay Sewage Treatment Plant now at full capacity.

President of MIRRA, Cameron Turnbull, noted that $5million was being spent on The Strand in Townsville and said he felt the island was being neglected. Among projects he put forward as pressing was the need for a permanent toilet block at Horseshoe Bay and a walkway from Yates Street to X-Base in Nelly Bay.

Cr Greaney said she was determined that the be achieved during her four-year term but noted it was not in this year's budget. She has agreed to look into progress on the toilet block.

Residents made it clear to Cr Greaney they are unhappy with the diminished standard of cleanliness in the Picnic Bay Mall since a new contractor took over, with one resident saying wedding bookings were suffering. He has prepared an illustrated report for Cr Greaney which also highlights park areas around the island which are not suitable for weddings at the moment that need to be addressed.

Cr Greaney said council was examining council's tendering process but she could not say more until it was officially announced.

Residents made it clear they did not want to see the island economy suffering from this process.

All previous office bearers were elected unopposed, with Cameron Turnbull president, Ewe Cheng Koo vice-president, Mary Allen treasurer, and Mary Vernon secretary.

The next MIRRA monthly meeting will be held on Saturday, October 8, 2016, at 10am at the Magnetic Island RSL, Arcadia.

Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week: A unique week of fun comes to a close

Unique is the only way to describe Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week which wrapped up today after the record 71 entries concluded their courses - some halfway around Magnetic Island to pretty Horseshoe Bay return, the rest on a shorter course to White Rock return.

Magnetic Island Race Week is the last of the northern regattas, which traditionally starts with the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, then moves to the Brisbane Great Keppel Race, Airlie Beach Race Week and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

Townsville Yacht Club has come up with the right recipe for those who make it this far north and are tired out from serious grand prix racing. It should be proud of the event which celebrated its 10th year in 2016.

Event Chairman and Club Director Mike Steel and his co-organisers have done a wonderful job from the ground up, this year taking over running the event from sponsor, Sealink.

The Club invited competitors heading here from Hamilton Island to a barbecue on the beach at Cape Upstart. Inaccessible by land, and totally unique to this event, around 100 people attended and dined on seafood donated by the Club.

“Competitors supplied the drinks. It was a wonderful night with a big fire on the beach. The seafood was fresh and it was really beautiful gesture enjoyed by all,” said Fair Winds owner, Mark Chew.

The location and setting is unique too. Conducted from Peppers Resort where the majority stay, a one minute walk from the Nelly Bay Ferry, Peppers has it all. Everything is within a one minute walk – the marina, restaurant, rooms, pools, a local IGA store and cafes. There is no need to wander far – only on lay day to experience the rest of the compact picturesque island.

Mike Steel, owner of the yacht Boadicca, along with Rear-Commodore, Tony Muller (owner of Brava), also support the event by racing at it, as they did again in 2016. TYC board members and general members are behind the event 100 percent, supported this year by entries from other parts of Queensland and as far flung as Victoria, NSW, South Australia and Tasmania.

“I am very happy with how it’s gone. It’s rewarding when skippers come up to you and shake your hand and thank us for what the Club has put together.

“When you walk around, everyone has a smile and is having fun. The whole mood we have tried to put into place – it’s a party, it’s fun – has caught on. I thank the 20 people on our team who help put Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week together and to our many volunteers who have worked so hard this week. We’re all looking forward to doing it again next year.”

Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week started with 21 entries 10 years ago; that’s equates to a 30 percent increase over a short period of time.

And the conditions and courses could not be complained about. It’s warm and mainly breezy. The opening day eased competitors in with 6 to 13 knots of breeze, enough to keep everyone interested and active. Day 2 was very light, but sunny and warm, and the final two days, after a lay day delivered the quality in easterly winds of up to 20 knots.

Elena Nova, chartered from Craig Neil by Andrew Pearson found the groove early on to claim first overall in IRC, counting four wins from five races. It is the fourth time he has attended the event and is just as enthusiastic as ever, despite an 'oops' in the windward/leeward race today.

“It (fourth) was our worst result – a result of too much Pommery champagne last night,” Pearson said. “We had to haul the spinnaker out of the water, but we didn’t hit the start boat. The rest was good. After all the effort Craig Neil (boat owner) has put into the boat, it has reached its potential.”

On the event as a whole, Pearson said: “I still believe what Bob Steel said last year; it is the best regatta on the eastern seaboard.” His crew concurred, as did those moored next to them on Champagne.

“Denis and his team did their usual great job – we had great racing and great conditions.”

Denis Thompson and his race management team set daily courses to suit the conditions, allowing yachts to return to the dock in time for the afternoon festivities, where it became one big party. On the penultimate evening, guests were ferried to TYC for a cocktail party.

Poppy’s owner Michael Phillips, who has come all the way from South Australia commented: “It’s a fantastic regatta, but we should have done better. The average age on our boat is 66 and we’ve all had a great time and we’d love to come back.”

Well known Sydney sailor, Peter Sorensen has done the regatta a few times. “We’ve enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, despite a few mishaps, including running into Middle Reef yesterday and breaking a jib halyard today.

“We’ve loved the entertainment and particularly enjoyed the MC (Scott Hiller) – he made the regatta for me – kept us entertained – he lifts the whole entertainment,” said ‘Sorro’, who chartered IRC third placegetter Botany Access Cocomo.

After a day on the water, it’s back to Peppers for the daily prize giving over drinks and barbecue food, or dinner at the restaurant, right in front of the action, where you can view the daily racing and dockside antics on the big screen.

It’s a fun regatta, and a few crews dressed up each day. Stanley Barnes’ Librian crew kept us guessing with different dress. Goddesses one day, Disney characters the next and on the final day it was the Supremes. Librian has attended every Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week since its inception and will be here again next year.

Because it is such a unique event, the prize giving is a buffet dinner in Peppers Restaurant for all competitors. Remember when we used to do that at regattas years ago?

For the first time there is a Perpetual Trophy – the winner of each division will have their yacht’s name engraved on this inaugural trophy. In another first, each crew of a division winner will receive a gold medallion.

Overall prize winners receive a bottle Pommery champagne, a Sea Hawk voucher for two gallons of boat paint and a Musto cap, while second and third places receive prizes from Ross Haven Marine and Musto.

Full results and all information on the official website:  www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au/

By Di Pearson/SMIRW media

Overall top three in each division:

IRC – five races:

1. ELENA NOVA, Andrew Pearson, CYCA, 4 - 1, [4], 1, 1, 1

2. PONYO, David Currie, HIYC, 7 - 2, 1, [4I], 2, 2

3. BOTANY ACCESS COCOMO, Peter Sorensen, MHYC, 11- 3, 2, 3, 3, [3]

Performance Racing – five races:

1. LAST TANGO, Phil King, CYCA, 11 - 3, 2, 2, 4, [5]

2. OS WINE-DARK SEA, Peter Lowndes, RSYS/CYCA, 14 - [11R], 4, 1, 7, 2

3. 6838 PONYO, David Currie, HIYC, 14 - 4, 1, [9I], 5, 4

Multihull – four races:

1. THE BOAT, Graeme Etherton, TYC, 7 - 1, 1, 3, 2

2. 1S, MALICE, Malcolm Richardson, PDYC, 11 -, 4, 5, 1, 1

3. MISTRESS, Dennis Coleman, TCYC, 11 - 3, 3, 2, 3

Cruising – Division 1 – four races:

1. TEVAKE II, Angus Fletcher, HBYC, 12 - 5, 3, 3, 1

2. 3S, CHARM OFFENSIVE, James Permezel, RYCV, 17 - 2, 6, 6, 3

3. BIDDY HU 11, Paul Lindemann, RYCV, 17 - 4, 2, 5, 6

Cruising – Division 2 – four races:

1. WHITE NOISE, Daniel Edwards, SYC, 20 - 5, 12, 1, 2

2. FARRAGO, Paddy McCutcheon, TCYC 21 - 1, 1, 11, 8

3. AKARANA, Vicki Hamilton, TYC, 22 - 4, 6, 6, 6

Cruising – Division 3 – four races:

1. NORTHERN MOMENT, Vic Stevens, CCYC, 17 - 2, 3, 10, 2

2. BEROCCA DAZE, Mickey Ink, CYC, 21 - 5, 2, 5, 9

3. MARGARITA PEARL, Gary McCarthy, MOOLOOLABA YC, 23 - 7, 9, 6, 1

Non-Spinnaker Cruising:

1. FARE THEE WELL, Angus Jackson, WSC, 13 - 1, 3, 5, 4

2. FLASHDANCE II, Brian Evans, CSC, 17 - 2, 7, 6, 2

3. 2S FORTIFIED, Graham Van Brederode, TYC, 18 - 7, 8, 2, 1

By Di Pearson/SMIRW media

5th September 2016

Townsville siblings on mission at Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week

Pictured above:Jenifer Jurss and her brother Simon Graham on Boadicca

Photo: Andrea Francolin

A Townsville brother and sister competing at the 10th anniversary Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week have their sights on a much tougher goal – the 628 nautical mile Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Simon Graham 40, and his 34 year-old sister, Jenifer Jurss, lost their father David Graham in January 1995 when he was swept off the yacht Impetuous while returning from the 50th Sydney Hobart. Graham had taken part in the race on Impetuous without incident, but fate stepped in on the return journey.

Despite an intense three-day air and sea search, the 40 year-old husband and father was never found. Simon was nearly 18 and Jenifer just 12 at the time.

Simon points out, “I am almost the same age Dad was when he lost his life.”

Fast forward nearly 20 years, and the cards dealt the pair another cruel blow, when their father’s brother, Andrew, disappeared in mysterious circumstances after the social worker left his workplace at the Christmas Island Detention Centre.

In September 2014, Andrew, in his mid-50’s, finished work on a Friday, telling colleagues he was going for a swim at Winifred Beach. He was supposed to return to his workplace on Tuesday, but failed to arrive.

It was three days before the alarm was raised and authorities spent a further three days searching the jungle and sea. The ruling was death by misadventure.

“It was like living through losing Dad again. I was 12 when Dad died, Simon was turning 18 two weeks after he died, says Jurss who is married with two children, 5 and nearly 3.

“We were kids when Dad died, but adults when Andrew died. Adults deal with this sort of scenario very differently to kids who have a greater capacity to move on with things,” she says, admitting she has little knowledge of the father who left them prematurely.

This week the two are competing at Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week aboard Boadicca, owned by Townsville Yacht Club director Mike Steel, who is also Event Chairman for Race Week. Steel is teaching them the ropes for the much harder voyage ahead.

“This came about, because in my mind, I always wanted to learn about Dad. After losing Andrew, it solidified that fact. I’ve been thinking about it a lot more since Andrew - so I started sailing. Mike has been very good to us.

“We want to do the Sydney Hobart in Dad’s memory, to honour Dad and our uncle,” Jurss says. “And to raise awareness for the Missing Persons Advocacy Network. They provide support and guidance to loved ones and family members of those who goes missing. They’re great for guidance and assistance.

“I sent them an email back in June to say I am planning on doing the Sydney Hobart. I plan to fundraise and at the same time I can help lift their profile.”

Jurss adds: “I thought doing it (the Sydney Hobart) would be easy. I didn’t realise it’s a little like climbing Everest; you need to prepare and train. You need to know people to get on a boat.

Although they have no offshore experience, the two are not novice sailors. Simon sailed at Westernport in Victoria when he was very young: “The waves were high, I was terrified and I threw up, sick as a dog,” he said, smiling at the remembrance.

“I bought a Nacra (multihull) in the late 90’s after Dad died, so we sailed a little bit. We also sailed in Burnie (Tasmania) and now here.”

“We always had an interest,” adds Jurss.

Simon admits: “It’s hard up here to get offshore experience, and hard to go south to get it.  Ever since Dad went missing, I decided I wanted to do the race. I think I would have done it anyway, but life got in the way. And we know it’s a big ask for someone like us to come in from outside after a crew has trained together for a long time.”

Jurss is now looking at paying her way, as there are commercial yacht charterers who take a mix of experienced and paying crew: “That’s Plan B, because it costs $8,000 – quite a bit of money. I have $4,000 now, so I still need to fund raise for the rest,” she says.

“Our hope has always been that we could find someone, somewhere, who would take us offshore sailing and in the Sydney Hobart. We would love to come to Sydney and get some experience if someone would take us,” Jurss ends.

By Di Pearson/SMIRW media

Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week:  Round Island Race

The breeze have arrived in timely fashion at Townsville Yacht Club’s Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week, allowing Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson to send the 71 record entries on a Round the Island course, taking in the entirety of Magnetic Island and starting at 11am.

Thompson said he would send IRC, Performance, Cruising 1 and the multihulls on the longer 20 nautical mile version, while Cruising 2 and 3 and Non-Spinnaker Cruising would take on the shorter 14 mile course.

“Malice (Mal Richardson’s carbon catamaran which is also taking part this year) has the record of 80 minutes for this race, which he took in 2011,” Thompson said.

Today’s forecast early on his for 13-14 knot winds coming from slightly south of east. Winds will build during the afternoon to 20-25 knots, ideal for this longer race on the penultimate day of the regatta.

Competitors are ready and looking forward to the race after enjoying a layday yesterday.

Well known veteran Victorian campaigner, Bruce Taylor, is here minus his boat Chutzpah, instead helping Victorian mate, David Currie, aboard his Farr 40 Ponyo.

“We’re looking forward to the race. We got on a power boat yesterday and had a look at the course – checking out the tide and winds. We’re hoping we get the windward/leeward races that were scheduled for today, tomorrow, so we can get back in the game though,” Taylor said.

Full results and all information on the official website:  www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au/

4th September 2016

Light win a boon for Jimmy’s Ghost at Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week

A slow start to the day at Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week, when the wind refused to play ball and race management was forced to delay the planned 11am start until they were able to get the IRC, Performance Racing and multihull classes away from 12.15pm, and while the conditions did not suit some, it was a boon for others.

Simon Monfries sailed his Hartley Custom, Jimmy’s Ghost to a win in Cruising Division 3. That he won at all was something of a surprise, as Monfries sailed the boat two-up and the twosome were able to set spinnakers because of the light air.

“We had a fantastic start – we actually started with the right division today – we were late to the start yesterday,” Monfries, who represents Townsville Yacht Club said.

“We had an excellent spinnaker run and everything went well. The light air made it easy for us to set a kite, if it had been windy, it would have been ‘forget it’. Everything just fell into place.

“I originally had more crew, but they pulled out at the last minute, which was really annoying, but we’re getting around alright and enjoying it very much. It’s our first time here and we’ve met heaps of great people – it’s fantastic and the organisers are doing such a good job,” Monfries ended.

Not all were well behaved. Antsy to get off the start line, there were individual recalls in at least three classes, including Dennis Coleman’s Mistress, a Corsair Spring MK1 representing event organiser, Townsville Yacht Club. Like her fellow transgressors, Mistress lost time having to re-start.

Finally, as predicted, wind on the Townsville side of the course, but little off Magnetic Island, so it was a little slow going in places, but a beautiful day out nonetheless.

Malcolm Richardson’s Nacra 36c, Malice, was the first boat drop kite and round the mark near Middle Reef after a long run, but was taken on a course away from the mark.

Richardson, who has his nine year-old son Giles and 12 year-old daughter Grace sailing with him explained: “Apparent wind took us away from the mark – it’s not always directional sailing on multihulls. We enjoyed the day. Beautiful conditions and Malice lights up fast in any increase of pressure.

“We’re looking forward to a good finish to the regatta too, because we’re expecting big breeze for the last two days. It’s a family affair this week with my son and daughter and we’re all having a great time,” ended Richardson who last raced here around five years ago when his carbon Nacra 36c was new.

Malice was first home and first overall, beating Mistress and Graeme Etherton’s The Boat.

In IRC Racing, the Andrew Pearson skippered Elena Nova had another cracker of a day to score her second win of the series, in fact yesterday’s top three remain the same, with David Currie’s Ponyo second and the Peter Sorensen skippered Botany Access Cocomo third.

Wayne Miller’s Zoe, with Mark Vickers in the skipper role, won Performance Racing from Leon Thomas’ Guilty Pleasures VI and Elena Nova.

Tommorrow is a layday. Racing continues on Monday from 11am. The fleet is represented by boats from Queensland, Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and South Australia.

Full results and all information on the official website:  www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au/

Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week: Light airs weren’t in the brochure

A light fluky second day at Townsville Yacht Club’s Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week will keep competitors guessing and on their toes according to race management, but it doesn’t seem to have dampened the enthusiasm of competitors who were up bright and early, ready for the day ahead.

The 10th anniversary seems to be striking a chord with the record 71 entries, as old friends catch up and in true yachtie style, ‘tell lies’ over breakfast and the prize giving each evening.

This morning, the event’s Principal Race Officer, Denis Thompson, had re-thought plans to send the IRC, PHS, the four Cruising divisions and Multihull fleets on an islands course, as conditions do not favour a longer race.

“I’ve changed my mind. Instead it will be a 15 nautical mile course for IRC/Performance, Cruising 1 and Multihulls. Cruising 2 and 3 and Non-Spinnaker Cruising will do a 12 nautical mile race,” Thompson said.

“There will be lots of marks and courses will take the boats towards Townsville where the forecast is showing more breeze – 12-15 knots this afternoon from the east-south/east and east. Otherwise, the breeze will be all over the place. The forecast is for 5 to 6 to maybe 8 knots closer to Magnetic Island.”

Either way, it will be another fun day on the water for all. This morning, Vicki Hamilton and her Akarana crew themed up in ‘Formal and Burlesque’ for the day ahead. They may have an unfair advantage, distracting the rest of the fleet, which could mean a win.

And with a lay day scheduled tomorrow, it will be a big night back at Peppers Resort at Magnetic Island where the daily prize giving is held over a few drinks, with a band to entertain afterwards.

Thompson will reconsider holding a longer islands race on Monday, once he has a clearer picture of the forecast.

Full results and all information on the official website:  www.magneticislandraceweek.com.au/

Pictured above: The whales are back, with the first  whales of the season for Magnetic Island sighted at Florence Bay on Sunday by folk on the Earlybird Fishing Charters. Photo: courtesy Jullian Taylor.

Magnetic Island Community News

Which Zone Do You Live In

Above: TCC evacuation zones for Magnetic Island



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Sep 8, 2016
Media release
Sep 8, 2016
Denise Secomb
Sep 8, 2016
Denise Secomb

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