Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

November 28th 2008
Vote on our speed limit

A road-killed barking owl It's pretty clear that road kill is a big issue on Magnetic Island and has been for years. With letters and responses, such as we have recently published, we thought it time to find out just how strong support amongst the Magnetic Times readership is to lowering the speed limit. To do this we have started a new poll.

Most streets on Magnetic have a 50kph speed limit but some of the main arterial streets and the main road connecting the bays have a 60kph limit. A few months ago Deputy Mayor David Crisafulli flagged an interest in what Islanders thought about a reduction to 50kph so let's give the issue a shake.

Our polling software is, sadly, a little limited and unable to record much else than two possible responses but we invite readers to put their opinions out there as well by telling us what you think about lowering the speed limit.

As our poll is only able to identify 50kph as an option we suggest that if you want another figure then tell us about it also in the comments box below this story.

To find and vote in the poll go to our front page and look to the bottom of our right side column.

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Vote on our speed limit
Simon Albert
November 28th 2008
While I fully support dropping the speed limit to 50, it seems some of us already disregard the 60km limit. So perhaps if we really want to reduce roadkill we need to consider aggressive speedbumps in the roadkill hotspots of HSB road, Gifford, Apjohn, Marine Pde arcadia. Perhaps all drivers on maggie need to experience the MIFCO reality of feeding wallaby joeys at 2am after their mother has been killed because somebody was late for the ferry.
November 28th 2008
A 40kph mandatory limit over the hills might not be a bad idea either (to protect walkers as well as wildlife) along with more reflector posts and speed humps on the flats. What I've found most distressing is seeing cars hit an animal without stopping to check its wellbeing leaving others to clean up the mess. And some of the people I've seen do this weren
November 28th 2008
On a recent visit to the Island I found it odd that there were no speed cameras. Perhaps its time to make the speeders suffer by hitting their pockets regardless of them being visitors or residents. (As they do everywhere else.)
November 28th 2008
Congratulations for the prompt 'straw-poll' initiative.
And while 'straw-poll' it may be at least it should provoke thought.
I would challenge, however, the seemingly easy recourse to introduce and then define Maggie's roads as poor.
Roads per se are not the issue.
Comparitively - given like concentrations on the mainland - roads here are consistent with real needs namely it is an island.
To introduce road standards into the equation is a bit of a cop-out suggesting an orthodoxy of thought most certainly not worthy of Magnetic Times.
It must have been a slip-up or tight corner skid!
While 'roads' might appease the rates and rubbish brigade its introduction actually deflects from the real issue of what this island's road kill crystallises.
Namely that of prevailing attitude, habits and even hubris.
If people really want to enjoy mindless, middle (and not so middle) class suburban mediocrity then the boundless joys (roads included) of any larger mainland conurbation (legions of salivating, mendicant, real estate persons eager to supplicant their dwindling incomes in these 'dire' times will assist in that transition) gleefully awaits where people may then revel in their manicured curbed and guttered, smooth macadam, hoon strip environment.
Replete with their allocation of unleashed dogs and nocturnal cat habits.
Conversely, electing to live on a small island is, presumably, a deliberate choice.
Axiomatically that choice invokes disciplines together with a clarity of focus upon lifestyle and attendant values not least being the defining of need over want.
Especially so in the instance of 'Maggie' given that, rather uniquely, more than half the island is National Park.
Consider the attitudinal change that has been invoked on such as Fraser, Kangaroo, Bruny et al where such like choices and consequences have had to be made.
And tourists don't come to visit suburban locales but are more likely escaping such.
People who rubber neck suburban locales are mainlanders weekend cruising, on the mainland, in neighbouring suburbs checking out real estate.
The poverty of such a mindset deservedly draws the observation 'get a life' and while doing so 'get it' as well.
Besides, 'better' roads only sublimates attitudinal change rather than encourage such change.
Perhaps, sadly, a brutal speed-hump strategy might be the answer.
But attitudinal change is required.

Peter Safe
November 28th 2008
Having just spent a month in Malaysia where there are cats, dogs, cattle, buffalo and monkeys roaming the roads, I did not see one road kill the entire time.
This included both country and city roads where the traffic can be a lot more congested than here on the island. There was also no litter alongside the roads.
Coming back here I find echidna, wallaby, curlew and kangaroo dead on the roads. These are animals that will quickly get out of the way of traffic (except for the echidna perhaps), if given the time.
These roads are not designed for speeds greater than 50kph.
It is a fact that some drivers (local and tourist)do not adhere to the speed limit as it is and they need to slow down.
I am all for a 50kph speed limit.
Danielle Bell
November 29th 2008
My husband and I are residents of Magnetic Island and share the same concern about the unabated killings of wildlife as a result of reckless driving and speed. I fully support the views expressed above and agree that the speed limit should be reduced to 50km. As stated above, a bylaw alone is not sufficient to address the core of the issue - loss of wildlife - since many choose to ignore the current speed limit without any ramification. I agree with Simon Albert that effective speed humps speed bumps should be established in those areas most prone to road-kill. Furthermore, as an ardent cyclist, motorists (mostly local
Marie de Monchaux
November 29th 2008
The louder the noise for reducing speed limits the better, we just have to find someone to listen and act! I feel for the wildlife slaughtered but also for my own safety over the hills pedalling as fast as I can on my electric bike! So I am all for a speed limit of 50k monitered when possible to really make it happen and I am sure eventually drivers will realise that a minute or two delay in getting to the top of the hill really is not a life changing experience.
November 29th 2008
I wonder if we could probe a little more forensically the process by which the 50 kph suburban limit, with 60 kph exceptions, was (fairly) recently imposed throughout Queensland? As far as I can recall the only streets with a 60 limit are the main drag from the Picnic Bay jetty to the Horseshoe Bay boat ramp, Gifford Street (?), Mandalay Avenue and I think Kelly Street. There must have been a structured process, either in Townsville City Council or Queensland Transport, to select these exceptions - perhaps based on submissions from particular operators (taxis, buses, police or whatever) who desired a particular outcome.
Perhaps this structured process could be re-activated in the form of a review with the relevant officer/s from whichever agency charged with re-assessing the criteria for the original decision.
We should not forget that the West Point Track, which is at least partly a 'legal' road, has a full time 40kph limit and the Nelly Bay school zone a school hours limit, both of which, in my opinion, are ineffectually or inadequately signed. Many drivers just don't understand what the danger or hazard might be. Somehow, the threat of a speeding ticket is not an effective signal to slow cars down. Some other means (speed humps, flashing light, flapping flags, traffic calming devices etc.) are called for. Some cyclists and pedestrians that insist on rubbernecking on blind corners with double lines and no path could make themselves less of a target as well. Sometimes they just don't get it.
Apart from a boardwalk from Nelly to Arcadia, does anyone know where to start with a review?
November 29th 2008
Great idea to lower the speed limit. I mostly go from the other end of Nelly to the Harbour and it is very difficult to safely travel this distance on Sooning Street at 60KPH. I think speed bumps usually work but are annoying and unsightly; why not signage, cameras and police reinforcement. Hitting the pocket usually does the trick.
gary williams
November 29th 2008
I believe an enforced speed limit of 40km for the whole island is essential.
If you stand on the verge of Hayles Ave near any corner and watch two vehicles, especially buses and larger cars, pass at the designated 50km speed limit you quickly realise that with all the pedestrian traffic our roads carry, it is only a matter of time before there is another serious accident or another death on our roads. The difference in time from Horseshoe Bay to Picnic Bay at 40km compared to 60km would be les than an advertisement break during the 6pm news.
By lowering the speed limit to 40km we will enhance our safety as well as our childrens' and the visitors' to this unique Island and by default we also make the wildlife safe.
I say 40 km now.
November 29th 2008
To start the 'Speed limit down-size review' process might I suggest that the MT Editor compile the doubtless reams of correspondence amassed by MT and address it to Councillor Vern Veitch - who, at his own request, as I have been given to understand, has the island as his particular bailiwick - with copies to both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
Why this route?
Simple given the MT is seemingly as good a barometer of community opinion as any nominated community representative body.
One might even describe the readership as a credible focus group.
Moreover, local newspapers tend to be community focused - even if at the rabid end like some of MT's near mainland competitors.
By MT inviting, very publicly through a specific Editorial, the TCC to address the issue and to maintain that process, again in very public view (including the machinations of the 'build more freeways brigade' in Transport et al) the community may well prove to be far better informed as to how our collective best interests are being served - or not - and by whom.
At least this way vested commercial interests may then need to publicly square away their pecuniary interests against that of the community and environment.
There will be resistance, obfuscation and mendacity in the process but perhaps it is time to lay siege to some shibboleths.
What better way then via a very public airing and accounting.

Don Kinsey
November 29th 2008
I totally support the imposition of a general speed limit of 50km/hr and would not be at all opposed to 40 km/hr. While the focus on roadkill of wild life and human safety are important strategies in making such an application, I believe there is a need for lower speeds simply from an ethical and lifestyle point of view in this beautiful and peaceful (hopefully) environment in which we residents have chosen to live. Visitors should wish to, or if necessary be made to conform to this.
Simon Albert
November 29th 2008
I agree Dot, speedbumps are annoying an unsightly but if we are serious about reducing roadkill this is the only option. We have proven we are not responsible enough to follow speed limits. Police enforcement of backstreets like Gifford is unlikely. Gary I agree this is about public safety as well, Its amazing the combination of cyclists backpackers and 60kmh buses has not led to more deaths on our hills. While 40kmh would be nice I dont think it would be widely accepted. Appropriate footpaths and walkways in conjunction with 50kmh would be the ideal balance between speed and human safety.
The five reccommendations I see are:
Speedbumps in roadkill hotspots
More "slow down for wildlife signs"
50km on all roads
40km over the hills
Installation of more headlight reflectors.
November 30th 2008
I have been 'tail gated?' at 1am coming home from 'baby sitting' Horseshoe to Nelly, by a Cab driver, I am aware that I drive an MG (didn't buy it to be a flash smarty pants, anyone who knows me , knows the story)... but I was very frightened knowing at any moment I could hurt/kill a precious mum, ...go for the lowest speed possible PLEASE !
louis warwick
November 30th 2008
what are you bunch of greenies on about? next you"ll be wanting backpackers with motorbike licenses! or buses not crossing the double white lines or roadside footpaths! what are you guys on that hippy weed no doubt!
Beverley Murphy
November 30th 2008

I agree with Simon Albert and Dot. Speed humps
are the go. I know for a fact that some male locals deliberately hit the animals. They will slow down for speed humps because it will wreck their cars. BUS DRIVERS need to set a better example, SLOW DOWN guys.
November 30th 2008
PLEASE SLOW DOWN!!!!! It's their Island too. As another member of MIFCO who for the past 2 1/2 years has spent countless days/nights nursing and rehabilitating the 'lucky' surving orphans back into the wild these roads kills cause (which by the way takes on average 12 months for a rock wallaby), I can only implore everyone to think about what a blessed place we live in on Maggie and urge everyone to respect ALL of the Island residents starting with slowing down, particularly at sunset and dawn.
December 1st 2008
Of course the speed limit shold be lower - I mean if we in the national capitals can have 40km/ph for humans in the shopping strips what's the problem with 50 to save the animals.
And as has already been said before - the more I know about humans the more I prefer animals
December 1st 2008

What are you on about LOUIS WARWICK? You need to be educated. The Curlew will be extinct in 50 years at the current state of carnage.How nasty you are with your comment. We are trying to help wildlfe.Destructive behaviour is so easy,it's the arena of the idiot. Get out of our peaceful space!
December 2nd 2008
When I became a wildlife carer on the Island, a scheme was developed whereby those who can, take it in turns to man the 'wildlife emergency' phone. I volunteered eagerly, thinking I would get first pick of little animals who had strayed from Mum. I soon found that each five-day week or two-day weekend 'on duty' means collecting at least two curlews with broken legs, no option but euthanasia. In the seven years I have lived on the island, I have noticed a dramatic drop in the number of curlews. Road accidents don't count for all of these, but 200+ curlews euthanased per annum must make a considerable difference. And this does not count those who were killed outright, and those who managed to scramble into cover and die slowly and painfully from lack of food and water.

And of course there are all the other birds, the possums, wallabies and echidnas who get scraped up from our roads.

At present, roadkill is removed daily along the 'main' road from Picnic to Horseshoe. I would like to see one week when instead of removing them, the corpses were placed in the middle of the road for everyone to see. It just MIGHT make people like L.W. see clearly exactly what cars and their drivers are doing here.

Reflectors....speedbumps....reduced speed limits to 40 and 50kph with mandatory 40kph on hills....ANYTHING to make all of us aware that Magnetic Island is not a racetrack, but a unique place where people and wildlife can interact WITHOUT a ton of metal coming between them!
Ursula Murphy
December 2nd 2008
It all makes sense, the lower the speed limit, the more we can enjoy the beautiful island views while driving, be more relaxed and more pleasant to be around AND be able to watch out for the wildlife on the roads and ALSO use less fuel.
It's a win win situation. Too easy??
Trish Collier
December 2nd 2008
As the very lucky owners of a property in Arcadia, ( unfortunately we only visit a few times a year), We are gobsmacked at the lack of adherence to the speed limit on Marine Parade. The few times a year we are there, we see cars speed past (in particular at night and early morning) with no regard for humans or animals. It is now at the point that we cringe and wait for the bump when someone hits an animal. We then have to go and rescue the poor creature. We observed some idiot in September go speeding past with an echidna on the road, in full view, they did not take any action to avoid it and of course consequently ran it over without even slowing or stopping. We have seen similar incidents with wallabies and curlews.
I whole heartily agree with lowering the speed limits BUT will it make any difference. It appears to me that these motorists are not adhering to the speed limit now, what difference will it make to them if it is lowered, they obviously will go whatever speed they like.
I wonder if the speed hump idea is the way to go, unfortunately this causes more noise to locals and are a good source of "fun" for vehicles to do burn outs on. It is worth it to save some of the precious and beautiful island wildlife on the island.
We also wonder about peoples thought processing with regard to littering, for the life of me I cannot understand how people can just throw their rubbish down wherever they are, or leave it behind. We have even seen people throw bottles out of vehicles as they drive past. This island is so beautiful, shame about the some of the people that have no regard for it all by speeding and littering.
John Becker
December 2nd 2008
At the RSL Friday night markets, we members live in fear of our customers due to the speed that some retards, idiots, louts, richard craniums etc drive past our grounds in Hayles Avenue. A police presence from 1700 to 2100 hours would really help.
December 10th 2008
It is an undeniable fact that experience shows well located,well signposted and well designed speed bumps slow everyone down. If we wish to live on or visit our beautiful island then we will get used to them and there will be no backlash.
Vicki Walker
December 10th 2008
A 40 km speed limit would be excellent. Mmm... perhaps 20 would be better, as many drive at around 80 when they should be doing 60. I put in a complaint recently about a bus hurtling recklessly around the island (not the first complaint).
December 20th 2008
A speed limit of 50 or less is the go, but I'm afraid there's a real problem in drivers not observing the speed limit anyway. Could we have speed cameras as well as speed bumps?
December 31st 2008
Blanket speed limit 40kph!!!

Speed humps, traffic calming islands the the road.

Speed Cameras along most of the long 'drags'.

Heavy penalties for speeding.

Publicity campaign / Shock Tactics as per Jill
to shake people up to the consequences.

Buses + Taxis SLOW DOWN!!!

MORE police presence on the roads.

Educate kids on the importance of caring for their eco system from a young age, use shock tactics if necessary - I remember as a 7 year old I was shown a Documentary in Biology Class, it was on smoking related diseases - the images of cancer patients with tracheotomies and gangrene had such a powerful effect I have never touched a cigerette EVER in my life.

Alot of Aussie kids seem to be quite ignorant of any need to preserve their natural environment - given that Australia's eco-system has already been savaged by past ignorance on these matters, surely it should be a top priority on the syllabus for future generations.......?????

Just a thought...

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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