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Above: Picnic Bay jetty low tide 2.30 Tuesday . Photo: Debbie Denison


Magnetic Community News

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).






As of Tuesday the 28th March 2017 at 2:45pm

Based on BOM advice Townsville remains in the Cyclone warning zone and we have been told to expect Gale Force Winds this evening. The Port remains closed by the Harbour Master until further notice and SeaLink will not be able to operate until the Port re-opens.

We have prepared the Terminal and Vessels to recommence operations once we have clearance by the Harbour Master. We are hopeful to recommence from the 6:30am service Wednesday the 29th March from Townsville, dependent on weather and the opening of the Port.

We would like to thank all residents and visitors for their patience in this time of uncertainty.

We hope our fellow Queenslanders are staying safe, and bounce back from the Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie quickly.

Please continue to refer to our website, Facebook page and SMS service for further updates on when services will officially resume

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).







Position Vacant

Lifestyle Support Workers (Magnetic Island)

Three residents of Magnetic Island with disabilities are seeking Lifestyle Support Workers

A male Participant is seeking a person who is active, has interests in the bush, wild life and the land that could assist him in his everyday life and activities.    If you enjoy having a coffee and a chat and interested in the theatre than this could be the position for you.  The successful applicant will also need to be pro-active with household duties to assist when circumstances permit. Prefer mature aged male worker.

Two female Nelly Bay residents with a disability are seeking a reliable compassionate understanding female Lifestyle Support Worker to assist them with community access, personal hygiene, in home support and domestic tasks.  The position will involve the successful applicant assisting with accessing the community on the island and main land, showering, some general domestic duties such as cleaning and minimal cooking.  The successful applicant may also be required to assist with medical appointments if and when required, this can occasionally be at short notice of a couple of days.  They are looking for someone who respects privacy and personal dignity.  Applicants must be aware that the Participants are smokers and have a large (but friendly!) dog.

These Magnetic Island families have selected Tardiss Inc. to employ their Lifestyle Support Workers.  Tardiss is a small not-for-profit organisation in the Townsville region that lives and breathes putting the individual first. We partner Lifestyle Support Workers to individuals ensuring the right fit to ensure the best possible outcomes for all involved.    Worker will need to have a vehicle for occasional transport of the participant for which a mileage allowance is paid.  Experience not required.  Indigenous Australians encouraged to apply.

Let us know your availability and ideal hours and we will discuss shift times further with shortlisted Applicants.


• Driver’s Licence and insured Roadworthy vehicle

• Reliable

• Easy going attitude

• Compassionate

• Understanding

To Apply:

Go to our simple to complete online application form at;


Please also send your Resume to info@tardiss.org.au






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


28th December 2016

Movies and fireworks to bring in the new year

Free movies and fireworks will headline Townsville’s New Year celebrations.

The night will kick off at 6.30pm at Strand Park and Riverway with the screening of the animated family flick UP at 7.15pm.

A second film - Zootopia - will be screened at Strand Park only at 9.15pm.

A spectacular fireworks display has also been planned for both locations as well as at Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island at 9pm and again at the Strand at midnight.

Deputy Mayor Cr Les Walker invited the community to join the celebrations.

“We’ve organised a great night for all the family to welcome in the New Year,” Cr Walker said.

“A highlight of this year’s event will be the ceremonial sealing of the T150 Time Capsule, which will be done at Strand Park.

“This will wrap up the city’s amazing 150th birthday celebrations which have seen a year packed with events and programs galore.”

Cr Walker said a crowd of about 8,000 people was expected to join in the fun across the two locations.

The Riverway event will also include markets and amusements from 6.30-9.30pm.

“Council’s New Year’s Eve program is a great option for families looking to celebrate the end of 2016,” Cr Walker said.

More information is available at whatson.townsville.qld.gov.au.


  • Movie: UP (PG) 7.15pm – both locations
  • Movie: Zootopia (PG) 9.15pm at Strand Park only
  • 9pm early family fireworks displays at Strand Park, Riverway and Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island
  • 11pm live broadcast of Sydney fireworks
  • 12 midnight main fireworks on The Strand


22nd December 2016

Council Christmas closures and services


Townsville City Council offices will be closed from 3pm, Friday 23 December and reopen at 8.30am, Tuesday 3 January 2017.

The Customer Service Call Centre (1300 878 001) will also close, however it will be open from 8am-5pm on December 28, 29 and 30, and then resume regular business hours from 8.30am Tuesday 3 January.

Normal after-hours services will continue during these closures.

There will be no rest for the city’s garbos over the festive season with rubbish collections occurring as normal.

The collection of kerbside wheelie bins will continue on scheduled days and residents are reminded to ensure their bins are kerbside by 6am.

Council landfills and waste transfer stations will be closed on Christmas Day only and open for regular hours on other days.

Council’s swimming pools (Tobruk, Long Tan, Kokoda and Northern Beaches Leisure Centre) will close early on December 24 and be closed on December 25.

Riverway Lagoons, Strand Waterpark, Strand Rockpool and public beaches will be open and patrolled as per the normal schedule, weather permitting.

All CityLibraries branches (Aitkenvale, Flinders St and Thuringowa Central) and mobile library services will close operations at 3pm, Friday 23 December and re-open on Tuesday 3 January.

Loans for library items due back during the closure time will be extended.

For a full list of closures visit www.townsville.qld.gov.au


Billboards offer island residents emergency updates

Magnetic Island residents will have access to key emergency information via billboards in the event of a natural disaster.

The disaster information billboards provided by the Magnetic Island Disaster Coordination Centre will be placed in key locations around the island when the island’s disaster coordination centre is activated.

Billboard locations are:


  • • Picnic Bay: Queensland Police Service  building, 9 Granite St. (window)
  • • Nelly Bay : Magnetic Island Health Service Clinic, 76-82 Sooning St (display box)
  • • Arcadia: Arcadia Newsagency, 1-4 Marine Parade, Armand Way entrance (window)
  • • Horseshoe Bay: Men’s Shed (Solar Cities) building, 64-88 Horseshoe Bay Road (display box).


The billboards will provide a brief update of the current situation, advice on anticipated issues and future activities and will be provided for residents as a back-up if electronic communications are degraded or non-functional.

Local councillor Ann-Maree Greaney said the billboards would be placed in high-profile locations to ensure all residents have easy access to vital information in disaster situations.

“If power is lost or something hampers the flow of communication to residents, they can rest assured that these billboards will provide them with the emergency information they require to get them through,” Cr Greaney said.

Prior to each cyclone season Magnetic Island residents and visitors are urged to develop their own household emergency plan that includes evacuation and shelter considerations based on their individual circumstances and exposure to risk.

There is no cyclone shelter or official place of refuge on Magnetic Island.



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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