Upgrade to Apjohn St & Horseshoe Bay Park
Above: Horseshoe Park Jan 2021
Article & Photos Debbie Denison
On the 15th December 2020 a 900-tonne barge arrived in Horseshoe Bay carrying large quantities of material and equipment to begin work on the upgrade of drainage in the Horseshoe Bay Park as Stage One of drainage upgrade.
Townsville City Council crews installed additional rock protection to an existing stormwater drain which runs between Horseshoe Bay Park and Apjohn Street on Magnetic Island as part of a wider project to enhance drainage in the area.
For the past 2 decades residents in Apjohn Street have battled wth their street and yards being flooded each wet season. TCC over the years has spent hundreds of thousands of ratepayer dollars trying to fix the problem, their efforts have been unsuccessful. The prolonged rain event of 2019 saw the area inundated .
The current works are jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Stage 2 of the works is expected to begin in February dependant of weather conditions. The full reconstruction of Apjohn Street is expected to start then. This work is dependent on the relocation of a number of power poles, which is being managed by Ergon Energy.
While some Horseshoe Bay residents have complained about the lack of community consultation. The MCN has attended numerous meetings over many years and reported on them. Over the years the Townsville Bulletin has written numerous articles. The Magnetic Island Resident & Ratepayers Association which holds public open meetings the first Saturday of each month, TCC staff have attended meetings to address the drainage issues in the area.
A Townsville City Council spokesperson has told the MCN “Council officers briefed a meeting of the Magnetic Island Residents and Ratepayers Association [MIRRA) about the drainage upgrade along Apjohn Street. Following a request made at that meeting, a council officer also undertook one-on-one consultation with nearby residents about the project. As it has done to date, Council will continue to engage with the Horseshoe Bay community as the project proceeds.”
The MCN has received several complaints regarding the current works saying they are not happy as the works have not stopped the flooding and have spoilt the ambience of the area. All of those comments have come from residents in the area who have not attended any meetings or even contacted TCC directly.
Above: Horseshoe Park Jan 2021
When Stage 2 of construction commences TCC has confirmed that the sports oval will be slightly repositioned to accommodate the drainage area.
A spokesperson for the Townsville City Council told the MCN “The existing tennis court in Horseshoe Bay Park will need to be relocated to allow for enhanced drainage in the area. Council will build a replacement tennis court within the park, the location of which will be confirmed following consultation with the community. Fencing will be installed along part of the rock-lined drain to separate it from the park. It is proposed that the height of the fence will be 1.8 metres.”
Further landscaping and tree planting is expected to take place after the works are completed.
Above: Apjohn Street Jan 2021
Apjohn Street Dec 2020 Photo courtesy Kath Munro
Horseshoe Bay Park was once known as the Sports & Recreation Grounds is TCC owned land.
The MCN inquired about reports on the Koala Hospital being built within the park.
A spokesperson for Townsville City Council told the MCN “Council officers have had preliminary discussions with the proponents of a proposed koala hospital in Horseshoe Bay. No plans or applications have been received from the proponents or approvals given by Council to-date.”
Dr. Alison Bee spokesperson for the Magnetic Island Koala Hospital Ltd which is a registered non for profit organisation confirmed this saying, “The Council has NOT provided any land but our preferred location would be at the Horseshoe Bay Park - which would be an ideal accessible location for all.”
The next MIRRA meeting will be held on Saturday 6th February at the RSL Hall in Arcadia.
The above photo was taken on the 2nd of February 2019 of flooding within Horseshoe Bay Park.