Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

January 12th 2009
Sunferries cancel four return services today

Four return Sunferries' services to Magnetic Island have been cancelled today due to the rough conditions.

In a message to Magnetic Times and Sunferries spokesperson advised that, to minimize the risk of travelling in rough weather conditions, Sunferries has cancelled the following services for TODAY, MONDAY 12 JANUARY.

"All other services are scheduled to run, but the skipper of the vessel will assess the safety of each run.

"With similar weather conditions forecast in following days, further cancellations are expected for tomorrow. This will be confirmed at 3.30pm today after consideration of tomorrow's weather report.

"Sunferries' management & crew regret any inconvenienced caused, however the safety of our passengers and crew is paramount."

Attention Magnetic Times News Club readers. Many News Club readers are presently experiencing repeated emailed alerts to our stories in their in-trays. This is a problem with our server which we are presently working to resolve. In the meantime we hope that you will accept our apologies for this annoying glitch. Ed.

Sunferries cancel four return services today
Gavin Ryan
January 12th 2009
So much for the safe harbour.... wasn't this supposed to be exactly why we had to have that ugly heap of s**t?
Chris C
January 12th 2009
ha, ha "Safe Harbour" ha, ha

PS: - Can's wait to see Peter L-G's comments on this one!!!!
Sharon Crowe
January 12th 2009
I wonder if anyone else sees the irony of the so called safe harbour. It seems it is not so safe after all. In the 20 years I lived on Magnetic Island, with the ferry docking at Picnic Bay, I do not recall a situation where four scheduled runs were cancelled because of similar weather conditions. Maybe the safety lies in there being no ferry.
January 12th 2009
Let's all note and remember this as yet further evidence of the exaggerated claims invariably made by developers who want to 'sell' their ideas to the community and decision-makers. Be warned, those who would pillage the island: in future, more of us will be less gullible.
January 12th 2009
It's far from a safe harbour - as those who've travelled in rough weather would know, negotiating the entrance is truly scary, and a death-defying experience at night! I recall some rough arrivals & departures at Picnic, but never cancellations like these, except when a cyclone was imminent and/or the port closed due to rough weather. One of the original descriptions of Nelly Bay as "an all weather harbour" is true though - you get sunburnt on the ramp when it's fine and soaked when it's wet. I feel for the older people having to negotiate this mess. After arriving safely at Picnic in inclement weather at least people could hitch a ride on the truck or travel on the little bus.
January 12th 2009
Let's remember here that there is a Severe Weather Warning in place and gusts of up to 50kts are ocurring, I would not like to be out in it. Sunferries have made a good call, although being a boat owner I do agree that the entrance to the harbour is too narrow .....
January 12th 2009
"Safe harbour" - how the developers and council conned so many into welcoming that monstrosity. It didn't take a genius to see potential problems. I wish there was more joy in saying "I told you so".
January 12th 2009
No one is disputing Sunferries' call, Kerrie. We are expressing disgust, fury, etc about the fact that we were sold a pup. We were told it would be safer - it patently isn't. And in case anyone thinks that the decision-makers ever believed Picnic Bay was unsafe, I was in the courtroom when the Harbour Master stated under oath that he had not received one written complaint about the safety of the PIcnic bay jetty in 12 years. It's there in the transcript. NHB was never about safety - it was about the people's elected representatives of the time conniving with the developers to hoodwink the public. Never again!
January 12th 2009
Last time I checked the Bureau of Meteorology website it was a mess of bad/rough weather headed our way. Personally, the last place I'd want to be right now is on a ferry anyways. Sometimes I think it would be nice if we could thank the bosses at Sunferries for putting our safety ahead of their profits! At least they didn't cancel all of the services....
January 12th 2009
Peter le Grand
January 12th 2009
Cancelled services!
To NB?
Good grief that will upset the shallow gene pool denizens previously so ardent and vociferous in their embrace of the snake oil nostrums dispensed with missionary zeal by the 'friggit'n'fly' elements of the development lobby.
Why complain, wishes have been granted - notwithstanding the caveat about being careful what you wish for - so look at the bright side.
No hooting and reversing disturbing the peace of the residents of the Council Housing estate encircling the poor blighted NB terminal (no pun necessarily intended).
4 services they say?
Contemplate the possible reality of already being over-serviced.
'Safe Harbour'? Not a patch on what the revered old PB Jetty offered.
Like real island living for starters.
Sunferries? At least it is being responsible. It clearly recognises what is and is not a 'safe harbour' and when.
In summary - well, for starters expect more while so ever hellbent consumer rapacity underpins the causes for increased aberrant weather.
And take a long hard look at those selling dreams.

Chris C
January 12th 2009
Kerrie Azza - it's the skipper & the harbourmaster who make the call not the company - their only role is to inform their passangers
January 12th 2009
The headline of this story is "Sunferries Cancel four return services today". End of story...
January 12th 2009
The prevailing winds/waves are from the south east (135 degrees) yet the NBH entrance is almost at right angles (045 or 225 degrees). Blind freddy could see that coming through at the decreed slower speed means the ferry/barge is getting it broadside on a narrow entrance (no room to tack. As if?)

Yes, it would have cost a lot more to have a wider and suitably angled entrance.
Professional designers/engineers would never have allowed it.

Ah! but the majority wanted it. It reminds me of the US state that wanted pi (approximately three and one seventh) to be officially three to make calculations easier, and the majority were fooled into thinking it a good idea.

The majority is not always correct.

PS Will Sunferries and/or NBH Trust foot the bill for overnight accommodation for stranded islanders on the mainland or mainlanders on the island, the way that some airlines provide?
January 12th 2009
Calm down folks. Today it's not about whether the ferry can find its way into Nelly Bay - with or without a bent over marker post. With the 12.55pm boat it was whether conditions were too rough to come out of Townsville harbour. After a couple of false starts the skipper gave it a go and everything was sweet.
Today it's more a matter of whether these new-fangled smooth water vessels will be used in all weather. Not like the goodoledays maybe but then, thankfully, these aren't the good old days.
January 12th 2009
Hi Chris, I was aware of that, being a regular commuter for the last 12 years.
January 12th 2009
Finally some sensible comments....thanks Chasmac and thanks to Gav for starting this off......
Darin M
January 12th 2009
Thank you all for your comments, The decision that I have made to cancel services today is based on ensuring that the risk to our passengers and crew is minimised whilst also looking after our vessels.

For all other scheduled services ,my experienced skippers ultimately make the call whether they are comfortable dealing with the conditions at hand, and I with my management team make the decision on cancelling a service. Our ferries are very seaworthy and have proven this over the last two years.

My duty of care is to ensure that we can safely get our valued passengers and crew home to their families.

Tomorrow's services will also be reduced to minimise the risks to passengers, crews and vessels and this timetable will be released to Magnetic Times as soon as it has been finalised.
Steve Lane - Cairns
January 13th 2009
Wendy Tubman - you ought be ashamed! Joining in the visceral bilious bile emanating from Peter Le Grand re the loss of just four ferry services due to foul weather.

I felt sure that hidden somewhere in his admiral display of immutable perspicacity would be a link between a small cyclone causing inconvenient delay in the region, something they've been doing for millions mayhaps billions of years and that old (well 30 year old) chestnut - Global Warming. Oops sorry I meant Climate Change, yeah it was global warming in the early to mid eighties when Russia had a few warm winters and the green zealots and their minions first purveyed catastrophe based on excessive hedonism by anthropological carbon based bi-pedal lifeforms. At least until real winter returned and then they went quiet for a few years and regathered and returned with 'Climate Change'. Now, if it's a hot day - "that's climate change", and if it's a cold day "that's climate change too", brilliant you just can't lose either way...bloody brillant.

And yes there it was hidden within the prose of Peters' verbose perfection, in which it states inter alia: "expect more while so ever hellbent consumer rapacity underpins the causes for increased aberrant weather".

One wonders whether your house Peter is built of bricks/mortar, timber and glass (recycled timber of course as that removes any small mammal killing guilt or overtones of forest destruction). Or does consumer rapacity allow greens to utilise the latest electronic equipments such as and computers and fridges and TVs and books and plumbing and centralised power grids and textiles and mass produced foodstuffs and modern supermarkets or would that be viewed as hypocrisy.

Everywhere in North Queensland is being inconvenienced by Charlotte's errant behaviour, roads are closed, trucks are stopped and some planes and trains won't fly.....Pete, this planet gets 90 to 110 Cyclones every year and the numbers not increasing, nor are the intensity so...DEAL WITH IT.

And with regards the safe harbour I can clearly recall ferries approaching Picnic Bay Jetty but returning to Townsville without unloading due to dangerous seas making it too difficult to land and off load passengers, so in that respect, fond thoughts of PB jetty are there but Nelly is a 'safer' harbour than PB no doubt, albeit with not so an islandish feeling.

In a few days this blow will be over, the ferries will resume normal operations and the sun will shine again at the same temperature it has for the past 4.5 billion years, just wait and see.

Have a nice day ya'all. Wendy please critique my grammer and spelling.

Regards and look after my island until I retire, Thanks.
January 13th 2009
M-m-m-, surely it would be safer INSIDE a safe harbour than out on the ocean waves ? I would leave it to those that go down to the sea and do business in great Darin has my vote.
January 13th 2009
The harbour is safe, its the travel across OPEN SEA that makes it hazardous. You'd think this is the first time a ferry service was cancelled due to rough weather - not. Live on an Island and this is bound to happen occassionally. I don't have any romantic memories walking down the jetty in weather like this and risking life and limb to get onboard a rocking bucket.
norm b
January 13th 2009
what a bunch of whingers with short memories some islanders are.

The Nelly Bay Harbour is a vast improvement from a safety point of view, and the provision of equitable access for the disabled and elderly. The current suspensions are as much for the conditions in Cleveland Bay as the harbour entrance.

I have been a visitor to the island for 31 years and a resident for 16. In that time the ferry services have improved both in frequency and comfort. Compare the current ferries to the Mirimar, Mandalay and even the Islander IV, air conditioned cabins and comfortable seating and stability, the current cats are great.

For those whose memories have faded maybe Sunferries could put on a run to Picnic Bay as a memory refresher.
January 13th 2009
Hello Steve.

Look again. You will realize that my comments were posted before those of Peter. By definition, I could not have 'joined in' something that was yet to happen.

In relation to climate change, I choose to stand with the thousands of scientists worldwide, the World Meteorological Organization, the UN Environmental Programme, and the member countries of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - but defend your right to hold an opinion that differs from them.

As always, let's pursue the debate rather than attack the debater.
January 13th 2009
Having a nice day Steve - all the better knowing that you and only you have connected the word 'cyclone' to the expression climate change. It's great that someone is keeping an eye on things. Brillant actually.
January 13th 2009
Steve - It looks like you
January 13th 2009
A sympathetic voice in Townsville, aware that the Island was 'bully-less' as a result of having no transport because of the weather, alerted me to the following quote from Sunferries General Manager Darin McDonald in today's TB:

'"When we have conditions like that [very rough seas] it is difficult to get into Nelly Bay safely, you actually have to speed up coming through the rock walls." Amazing this wasn't considered when the 'safe' harbour was built...
January 13th 2009
I am unsure as to be amused, bemused or genuinely concerned at the contents of your somewhat less than tempered admonition, reflecting your 'take', on my observations of some of the commentary arising from the cancellation of some ferry services.

But rise to the occasion, I admit, you most certainly did.
That of course you are entitled to - to part paraphrase a (now deceased) noted civil liberty jurist.

However, an inferred challenge to some inescapable realities as it concerns issues of climate change is a somewhat very different ball-game.
A less charitable soul might well construe such as wilful ignorance.
Even a certain venerable ecclesiastical institution finally acknowledged Copernicus and Gallilaeo albeit years later.

As I chose to part satirise the issue and also raise some questions endeavouring to separate want from need that has seemingly been bypassed.

For the record, I criticised the issue of rampant consumerism, I queried, in an island context, the frequency of services, I congratulated Sunferries on their protocols and I passed an observation - as I am entitled to - as to the aesthetic judgement of some of the development lobby.

And as an unapologetic critic of the process that resulted in the NB development as it now presents, especially the fact of it reflecting, in so many ways, the hallmarks of rampant consumerism as I perceive such, I suspect time and tide will prove that correct.
And yes Steve, seasonal weather travails are part and parcel of life and I for one take that as it occurs.

I shall now take my tongue out of my cheek, enjoy the rain and listen to the island gladly soaking it in.
It has been pleasantly diverting corresponding to a presumed alumni of 1452.
January 21st 2009
I think after having read some of the silly comments regarding the safe harbour at nelly bay and also the the rubbish coming from the sunferries management. ie. some comment on the news from "julie" saying the boats come out of the water(are the boats suitable?) on the news tonight and also Darrin McDonalds comments with reference to keeping the people safe and the crew. It has been obvious to the public over the past 12 months that alot of experienced people have either been termintaed from the company or left. A comment was made today to the media indicating that his experienced "masters" and crew had made decisions not to carry out the service. Please tell me who made that decision. Was it made by the experienced bread maker or the person that owns the company? What would a person that only knows how to make a loaf of bread know about running a ferry company without being guided by a mentor(who would that be?)Truth be known those boats are quite easy to handle if you know what you are doing however the drivers are soooooooooo experienced that some of them have not even had their tickets for a few months.
I know alot of the island people are not happy with the service and they have reason to feel that way.
Peter Le Grande you are a gentleman however against the harbour but the problem is with the boats. They were the cheapest on the market and taking into consideration that in the future i will be divulging to the public about the subsidy that the palm island people get for their trip sit on the edge of your seat as i will divulge that soon. Watch this space as i consume
January 14th 2009
As much as I loathe the look of the packing sheds and the lean-to excuse for a ferry terminal, it is easier getting on and off the ferry now.
But, I thought the fact that the ferries are actually designed as riverboats had something to do with the lack of comfort and safety in rough weather. Anyway, an ocean liner wouldn't suit me in these conditions!
Steve Lane Alumni 1452
January 15th 2009

Please sir take no umbrage at my dissection of your comments in the annals of these channels!
I thoroughly enjoy your infusion of allusion and as Wendy rightly point out, attack the ball and not the man. I adhere to free speech principles whereupon all men can be heard.

Further, I feel it important that people enrich their word power and so as you tend to send them scurrying to the dictionary more oft than Ex PM Paul Keating was wont to do, it makes for enlightening reading even though you just happen to reside on the wrong side of right as it were. I also enjoy the soubriquet 'Alumni 1452' so much I will absorb it into my ID title! Though research tells me that the Alumni system of peer recognition did not come into being until 150 years or so later than 1452.

My injection of wit into the merriment was to open up the realisation to the huddled supressed masses that although mass brain washing of the media and the young people of this nation has been sadly very nearly completed such that we now ride a national guilt trip of Green quagmire worthy of the inventors of the Millenium Bug circa 2000. Unfortunately no 'use by' date is evident on this Climate thingie.

The green movement can now connect, attribute, apportion and more earily forecast their thoughts with gay abandon on a jaded population. Scary when now I speak with young people they actually accept Climate Change as a Fait Accompli and not the stuff of fantasy that it stands to be when suffered to the smallest or surface scratching scrutiny.

Simply claiming any outrageous doom sayeth when precursed (pun intended) with "Scientist's say" or "Modelling Suggests" is enough to have your views aired by a thoroughly dumbed down media as a credible given.

Even recently this very magazine presented the views of (Insert appropriate Scientist's names here) that the GB Reef would be dead or at least under threat of blessure de grave by 2050). Seems to me that if some of these claims are to be believed than the the word Great should never have been associated with this one of natures nicest projects in the first place. The reef will be there for a long time yet me thinks, and certainly in the thousands of years until some other natural perturbation modifys it's existance.

So just so that Greens don't get too comfortable with the printing presses of doom, note that still some of us, well one anyway, stands sentinel to the Doctrine of Common Sense, in lieu of the 10 second grab that televisual life has become in the recent past.

And Wendy surely the IPCC stands out (I think) as the most one sided lobby group in history. 'Kill the Heretic' may be effective policy, but that don't make it right.

I too like you all shall enjoy the rain and wine (or beer) and continue to tab the alliterations of the enviro movement at Maggie in this fine publication.

Regards Steve

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