Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

March 19th 2008
Mike back at the crease over Island camp.

The Magnetic Island Recreation Centre Member for Townsville, Mike Reynolds, said today that he would once again take up the fight to the State Government if there is any further suggestion that the Magnetic Island Recreation Camp would be closed.

The camp, which provides seaside holiday recreation experiences for young people from across the state, was threatened with closure in late 2006 but saved by community protest and the efforst of Mike Reynolds.

News that it could again be closed resurfaced after the publication recently of a, "Report on the Performance Management Review of the Department of Local Government, Planning, Sport and Recreation."

The review assessed the viability of 12 recreation centres throughout Queensland and recommends that six centres be retained. The Magnetic Island camp doesn't make the list which includes: Currimundi (Caloundra); Lake Perseverance (Crows Nest); Lake Tinaroo (Atherton); Leslie Dam (Warwick); Tallebudgera (Gold Coast); Yeppoon (Capricorn Coast).

The review claims, "These six centres have received significant capital investments over recent years resulting in activity areas being built such as ropes courses and swimming pools, new accommodation units and new commercial kitchens. A forward three year capital works program has also been developed for each of the centres in line with their master plans.

"The investment in these six centres as regional hubs would provide Sport, Recreation and Racing with the capacity to service key regions of Queensland and meet demands from high population growth areas."

As for the Magnetic Camp, the reviews finds, "The Magnetic Island Recreation Centre has limited capacity to develop the required infrastructure to deliver sport and recreation activities on site. Currently, the larger schools from Townsville use the Lake Tinaroo Recreation Centre (even though it involves a four hour drive) as it can provide sport and recreation activities for school clients. Magnetic Island has a reasonable occupancy level (17.6% in 2005-06). However, clients who visit this Magnetic Island Recreation Centre do so for its low cost accommodation or to participate in passive recreation pursuits such as arts and craft or religious ceremonies. While these are worthy community pastimes, they do not align with the business objectives of Sport, Recreation and Racing.

"As an alternative to operating sport and recreation activities at Magnetic Island, the division has proposed delivering activities at the Townsville Sports Reserve (which it also owns and operates). This strategy would deliver activities to a larger market in terms of schools, parents and community groups."

The review concludes, "In the case of the Magnetic Island Recreation Centre, the Review considers that DLGPSR should develop options for the future management of the centre. These options would include:

Mike back at the crease over Island camp.
Bruce Williams
March 19th 2008
Well done, Mike Reynolds. Mike, the fact that the Picnic Bay Camp has a ".. limited capacity to develop the required infrastructure to deliver sports and recreation activities on site ..", is an indictment of the lack of imagination and development skills in the Brisbane-based bureacrocacy. To offer the best possible experiences to the Northern clients of our camp, the existing manifold and diverse facilities of Magnetic Island need to be recognised and utilised to augment the primarily residential capacity of the Picnic Bay facility. In previous decades, the then six camps offered camp groups: reef walking, tennis, bush walking, road tramping. These days we can further offer multiple watersports, conservation projects, basketball (at the Nelly Bay School), rugby, Aussi Rules, Football and netball grounds, a growings Naval cadets group and many other activities, both hire and free. We hope to encourage visiting groups to enjoy the Swim-through aquarium in planning in Nelly Bay. As the Horseshoe Bay Sports and Recreation facility is developed, we can then have the accommodation camp in Picnic Bay in concert with the performance venue in Horseshoe Bay. Brisbane-base bureaurocrats need to take off the blinkers and have a GOOD look around Magnetic Island, and talk to the many operators and supporters of the recreational facilities on the Island. It's all here, Mike, as you have shown you understand. You used to come here as a child. Can you possibly knock together a few heads in Brisbane and help reestablish Magnetic Island as one of the TOP venues for visiting groups? Let's work together on the obesity epidemic.
March 21st 2008
Although I support the views expressed by Bruce W I have to pull up at the thought of Mike Reynolds knocking together "a few heads in Brisbane". As someone pointed out long ago, if the heads we have don't seem to produce much that's useful, knocking them together is not going to help.
There seems to be something going wrong in the translation of policy (from Brisbane - the font of all knowledge) into action on site. I think it has always been like this. But now it seems that Brisbane may have ulterior motives. Or at least, when you look at the third option - divestment of the asset (ie. flogging the real estate for development), you can see that they might have other motives. Judy Spence is Police Minister. How has she got tangled in this mess? As I was saying Bruce, let's not knock heads together until we work out where the brain cells might be.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

Readers comments
Syl Hayes In reply to Fair raises $15,000 for school
What a wonderful outcome for the school! I had a great time face-painting with Luke and Sasha, met lots of kids and parents,scored some great books at the Trash n Treasure stall, and even remembered to vote. Everywhere you looked people were enjoying themselves...such a tribute to the organisers. Well done!
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