March 13th 2008
Mayoral candidates respond to Magnetic questions
With the Townsville City Council election this Saturday Magnetic Times asked five questions of our prospective Mayoral candidates on Magnetic Island subjects. Unfortunately we have only been able to obtain responses from two: Les Tyrell and Jenny Stirling. The questions and the candidates' responses follow:
1.Magnetic Islanders have, for years, sought the completion of the Nelly to Arcadia walkway to end the dangerous use of the road route by pedestrians. What priority would you give to the completion of this project?
2.With the liklihood of increased cyclones of greater intensity predicted for the future, Magnetic Island has been assessed for structures which might be suitable for a public cyclone shelter and government inspectors found that there were none suitable. Given that thousands of people could be stranded (over Christmas for instance) on Magnetic Island in the face of a major cyclone, would you support the construction of a multi-purpose building which could be used to temporarily shelter the public through the storm's duration?
3.Magnetic Island is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and also a suburb of Townsville. What value do you give to the World Heritage status and in what ways do you think Magnetic's status can be enhanced as a World Heritage destination?
4.Magnetic Island is a fairly small and close-knit community. In what ways would you like to see the values and qualities of this small community enhanced by a future council?
5.What do you see as the most effective initiatives you could introduce to benefit Island businesses?
Team Tyrell's mayoral candidate Les Tyrell
Les Tyrell's response
There seems no doubt that the Nelly to Arcadia walkway seems to be the most mentioned piece of infrastructure required on the Island, and I have given a commitment to find a design and cost it in order to fit it into a future works programme.
I note that in 2004 there was a commitment by the Townsville City
Council to proceed with a Local Area Plan for the Island. Unfortunately
there does not seem to have been any progress on this. A Local Area Plan is a planning instrument designed to reflect the needs of an area, and to set priorities for development and community
infrastructure. It must, of necessity, be a document that evolves from community consultation, and is designed to reflect resident's wishes.
Whilst Magnetic Island is a suburb of Townsville, it is unique in that
it is an Island situated in a World Heritage Area.
It would be presumptuous of me to offer comment on your other questions
without knowing the residents' views on these issues. Therefore I have committed to engaging consultants to carry out the public consultation required to put in place a Local Area Plan, which will in fact answer your questions by the people who know the island best-its residents.
If elected, I would assign a Councillor to the Island and they would participate in the consultation process.
I am familiar with the special needs of a smaller isolated community, and whilst a lot smaller, Paluma is a similar example of an area with distinct needs.
I look for your support in my quest to be elected as the Mayor of the new city of Townsville, and look forward to becoming more familiar with the needs of Magnetic Island.
Greens & Community Voices mayoral candidate Jenny Stirling
Jenny Stirling's Answers
Q1. A walkway between Nelly Bay and Arcadia is a priority to protect residents and tourists from road accidents.
Q2. After seeing the devastation of Cyclone Larry, I believe Magnetic Island needs a public cyclone shelter.
Q3. Magnetic Island is unique as the only dry tropics island in the Great Barrier Reef. A future Townsville City Council's Town Plan should recognise this Listing and move to protect the island against development which threatens those values.
Q4. The population of Magnetic Island should be limited to around 12,000 including tourists so as to protect the village like atmosphere.
Q5. I recommend the Kenyon Report (2001) A Community & Business Development Action Plan for the Community of Magnetic Island be implemented to benefit Island businesses.
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