MIRRA October Report
DESPITE the Covid restrictions, 35 people turned up for the October meeting of the Magnetic Island Residents and Ratepayers Association at the RSL Club in Arcadia.
Much of the meeting focused on the proposed animal management laws aimed at getting rid of pet cats on the island and the public consultation on this matter planned for next Tuesday, October 12, at Amaroo from 5.30 to 7.30 pm. The Council’s complete reliance on the internet for feedback on these laws and many other issues was called into question as many island residents are elderly and not computer savvy with no internet access, and they are often the ones who depend on their pets for companionship.
Claims of a huge population of feral cats were dismissed as fanciful as both the vet and National Parks have indicated that the feral cats were wiped out several years ago by feline aids. It was also reported that a number of domestic cats in Picnic Bay had disappeared in the last month, leading to a suspicion that they were being trapped.
The meeting agreed that domestic cats should be controlled, but as the Council has yet to replace the Animal Control officer in the five years since they got rid of the last one, it is difficult to enforce the present rules, let alone the new ones. The President urged members to attend the meeting to make their feelings known.
In other matters, it was confirmed that the Barrier Reef Foundation grants money to councils for reef protection, opening the way for Townsville City Council to apply for a grant for the sewerage upgrade. Otherwise there has been no action on either the sewerage upgrade or the dump site for caravans.
Concern was expressed about the dangerous operation of the new electric hire scooters – no helmets, small children riding them, riding on the road etc - and it appeared the police were not keeping up with enforcing the rules. One member said he had reported two separate instances to the police but there had been no response. The police will be contacted about this.
Debbie Barber, from the Arcadia Hotel, reported a meeting with the council last week when she had asked why the bus stops were being moved and services reduced but had not received a satisfactory answer. She asked whether MIRRA could invite a Translink representative and the council officer responsible for transport matters to the next meeting to explain and this was agreed to.
The saga of the public toilets at Picnic Bay is still dragging on with no resolution in sight, similarly the completion of the Nelly Picnic walkway which was supposed to be completed in November 2020 but has not even started. The request for a footbridge across Petersen Creek is in a similar black hole. The meeting resolved that the island was not getting satisfactory service from the Council and the CEO will be invited to the next meeting to see if this can be improved.
Michael Schmidt reported that the Townsville Port Project has been reduced but dredging would start soon.