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October 17th 2007
All sides positive on walkway

A section of the Nelly to Arcadia roadside The election for November 24 has been declared but, even in the week prior to the Prime Minister's weekend announcement, our Liberal Member for Herbert, Peter Lindsay was promising to find all the dollars necessary to finish the much-needed Nelly to Arcadia walkway.

Citing public safety grounds, Peter Lindsay said, "Of all the community concerns on Magnetic Island. I believe the Nelly Bay to Arcadia walkway is the community's top priority.

"I understand the council has indicated they are unable to find the money to complete the walkway until 2010.

"I don't think that's right to ask the community to wait that long, with the increasing pedestrian and bicycle traffic between the two bays it is a very dangerous situation indeed," said Peter Lindsay.

Magnetic Times also sought the views of Labor candidate George Colbran whose spokesperson was keen to assure readers that George, if elected, will work hard on a range of projects in Townsville and Magnetic where he owns a house.

"If he is convinced the community wants it he will get behind it," the spokesperson said but added that, "George challenges Mr Lindsay to explain how he intends to find the money? Where will the money come from? And will Mr Lindsay guarantee he will deliver the money prior to the ballot box? The Island deserves more than a headline grab."

Peter Lindsay had originally told Magnetic Times he would "get the money now" but qualified this, after the election was called on Sunday, to make it a commitment on his re-election, adding that people knew of his ability to get money for his electorate.
"I have undertaken to get the entire amount from the Australian Government so the project can proceed as quickly as possible," he said.

Not only did Peter Lindsay promise to support the completion of the dangerous hill section but also the completion of a 2.5 meter walkway right through to Alma Bay. He claimed that Townsville City Council had advised that the cost of the project is about $2.3 million but Magnetic Times sources suggest the real figure to be closer to $3 million for the hill section alone.

Greens' Candidate Jenny Stirling shared Peter Lindsay's vision, saying, "As the Townsville City Council is unable to fund the walkway until 2010, I pledge that, if elected, I would seek funding for the walkway from Nelly Bay to Arcadia, including the section from the Geoffrey Bay foreshore to Alma Bay as a matter of priority.

Peter Lindsay added, "There's no point in having a walkway terminated sea level in Geoffrey Bay and have it go nowhere except back on to the road.

"The current situation on Magnetic Island with the interface between traffic and pedestrians is an accident waiting to happen - not that accidents haven't already happened," said Jenny Stirling who sought, "an environmentally sensitive and culturally appropriate approach".

"This project is easily justifiable as a sustainable development: one that enhances the community's safety, well-being and profile as centre for sustainable development in line with its 'solar cities' focus," she said.

To add your comment, see below

All sides positive on walkway
Dr. Lea M. Scherl
October 17th 2007
Thank you very much editors of Magnetic Times for raising this issue to the forefront of discussions with election candidates from this electorate. I have been appalled by Council's attitude towards this vital security issue for the island community. Many of us (and our children) simply don't commute by bicycle on the island and take it across to town on the ferry because of the hill section between Nelly and Arcadia (ie. it is a major barrier). As a long-term resident of Arcadia I would be extremely happy if at least as a first stage the walkway/bikeway across the hill is completed (an extension to Alma Bay would be fantastic but less pressing in terms of safety).Why on earth Council after many months of interruption to the traffic precisely on that hill section for the construction of the sewerage pipeline did not take the opportunity to also address this issue? This is just one more indication of poor strategic planning. Whilst development on the island is encouraged by Council, the essential infrastructure for the long-term residents is poorly taken care of. More development is bringing far more traffic to our island roads and the safety on the Arcadia-Nelly Bay hill section should be of primary concern! It also does not say much for council's approach to encourage a "less polluting" life style in the vicinity of a National Park and a World Heritage Area.
October 17th 2007
October 17th 2007
It might be radical but i suggest we make the road a one way from arcadia to nelly this would fix it.
October 20th 2007
An offer made by a local member after the elections are called is not an offer at all. If Peter Lindsay can get John Howard (ie 'the government) to PROMISE to "fully fund" a walking track then it might be a vaguely more promising promise. Slightly vaguely more.
Marg Sewell
October 20th 2007
I think it is a great idea to build a safe walkway to Alma Bay. Every where we see advertisements and literature about keeping fit and healthy so safe areas to do those things need to be provided. While on that subject I have wanting a safe walkway constructed on Castle Hill for years and years. That also is an accident waiting to happen.
Paul Mahoney
October 22nd 2007
My wife and I holiday each year on Mag. Is and walk almost daily to Nelly Bay shopping etc and cannot believe the walkway has been left for so long. I wrote to Townsville Council this year when I returned to Vic and received a reply saying it was costly and funds are not available. It its current form it is so dangerous and what a feature it would be for the island to have a properly constucted walkway from Nellie Bay to what my wife and I see as the most beautiful beach on the Is at Alma Bay. My point to Council was that there is extra revenue now from properties at the ferry terminal to justify the cost to beautify the island. It just seems to me to be such a logical course to follow.
October 24th 2007
Paul M. (above) has a valid point but the history of this saga is weighed against him - and us. If you go back to the front page of MagTimes and type 'walkway' in the little search box there you will find that history laid out for you. Thn you will see what a waste of space Peter Lindsay's offer is.
Unless someone (or two!) is killed on the Nelly-Arcadia roadway no government is going to do anything quickly. Our best chance is to organise the operation ourselves and put it on all levels of government to split the cost between them. At this stage the odd one out is the Queensland Government which (not completely strangely) is happily blowing $100,000 a year carting sand along the beach in Nelly Bay to keep the Constitution Bridge open. Talk about a waste of space. That government built Nelly Bay harbour and created the problem with the walkway but they seem to have turned their back on any further constructive action for Magnetic Island.
Like the Native Title non-settlement, the non-conversion of USL to National Park and the non-celebration of the National Park 50th birthday jubilee (last year), the walkway has dropped off the radar and Magnetic Island can go jump.

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