Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

May 22nd 2009
Grubs did it

Party animal mess They smoke Winfield Blues, drink Tooheys Extra Dry, alcho-pops, some lemonade and like to smash bottles and light fires at their beach party near the mouth of the small creek midway along Magnetic Island's Nelly Bay Beach (a well-known turtle nesting ground). They are probably locals but they are definitely grubs.

MI Rangers recently discovered this fireplace recently close to a similar fireplace we reported on last year (click here) during turtle nesting season. At that time there were concerns the heat from the fire could have cooked the eggs below.

This time it looks like the damage will mostly be in the form of glass shards that remain in the sand, which the rangers may have missed after a clean up, so a warning to barefooted beach walkers is in order.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Ranger Michael Johnson sent us photos taken at the site. According to Michael Johnson, “There must have been hundreds of glass pieces and fragments as a result of smashing bottles into the fire place. The surrounding area about three meters in circumference also had shattered glass in it.”

The mess and remains collected by Magnetic Island rangers

Michael Johnson also observed that a turtle tried to lay outside Xbase last year and as it had dug a hole it discovered a broken bottle in the sand. It laid elsewhere.

There is no evidence to suggest that this little party was connected to the full-moon parties held monthly at Xbase and, given the presence of alcho-pops bottles, a more likely scenario is that teenagers were involved.

With Nelly Bay beach suffering from increasing erosion, dogs continually off-leash and defecating, ongoing parking and opportunistic camping on top of sensitive foreshore areas, littering plus bottle smashing parties, the most accessible beach on Magnetic Island, is clearly still under threat from the species most capable of preserving and or restoring its great natural charm: humans!

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

Grubs did it
Kylie Dodd
May 22nd 2009
How disappointing. Until a year ago I lived in Nelly Bay for 2 years, and walked my dog daily on the beach for those 2 years. I never saw anything worse than the evidence of the fires and perhaps one can or bottle to mark the Nelly beach party site near the creek mouth. Standards are definitely deteriorating. I'd like to think they're not local residents, but maybe I'm being naively optimistic.
May 22nd 2009
I think we all need to be vigilant as we pass these 'venues' and take some action by at least alerting the police. This sort of irresponsible and anti-social behaviour needs to be stopped before it becomes acceptable and wide spread.
Barbara Gibbs
May 22nd 2009
Thank you for this has helped me regain confidence in the need to have World Ocean Day here on Magnetic educate those who live here and do not appreciate their heritage and the dire need to protect our oceans and the creatures that inhabit it. It all starts with you...all of you, no matter where you are from. It is the responsibility of every human being on this incredible Earth, NO-ONE EXCLUDED, to seriously consider every move you make if we are to get out of this mess we have created. By the way, for anyone thinking I am pushing my own barrow...I do NOT gain anything from this harrowing exercise, other than the satisfaction of knowing I have done my very best to ensure my child has a place to live in. I am out of pocket and in the red to ensure this educational exercise is a success. The winners are businesses, our children and the marine life if lessons are learnt. Thank you to all those who have given support.
Frank E Gibbard
May 22nd 2009
Shame on these unknown bozos. Have they no respect for their natural environs? Cannot they at least take their rubbish away when done with them.I'd love their gift to be on such a beach. I loved my visits to your marvelous island. Frank Gibbard (Ealing, London)
Martin Gibson
May 23rd 2009
I believe the mess was made last Friday week (May 15th) I first became aware of the 'party' by all the female shrieking and lots of shouting and lots of obsenities. I telephoned the police at about 10:15 as we have been asked to keep a lookout for underage binge drinking. A small party, I estimated there must have been about 10 or 11 in total and I estimated them to be in their mid teens,staggered along the Esplanade in two groups and some had backpacks. I believe they were on there way to the ferry terminal.
May 23rd 2009
I'm a teenager who lives on the island, and if you would actually all like to know maybe 4 kids from the island go and about 30 kids from town go there. I don't even drop my rubbish my and my friend take a bag to put it all back in, and i know a few another islanders who do the same. It is disgusting but you should stop jumping to conclusions and blaming local teens because most of us care about this island as much as you do.
George Hirst
May 23rd 2009
Great to hear your comments anonymous. If that is the attitude of Island teenagers then fantastic and I apologise for making that assumption - even though it was only a "probable" one. As other contributors write in we learn that it is very likely the mess was caused by Townies. Most of the teenagers I know on the Island are terrific people and I am very happy that this information is coming out.
George Hirst, Ed
May 24th 2009
I have a suggestion and I'd be interested to hear other thoughts on it, how about having a police presence at the Ferry terminal for the incoming boats on a Friday and Saturday afternoon and evening services. If most of the problems are coming over from town then much of this could be nipped in the bud from the outset with a few random bag searches. In principle it would be similar to the town police having to walk the beat but realistically would be much simpler and less time consuming by having the duty officer only required for the arrival of the boats and then back on their merry way. I am aware that this already occurs when they suspect that a big party is going to happen but in could be expanded to run consistently for a period of time to deter people from holding these events to a lesser exstent. With the speed of information from texting it wouldn't take long for the trouble makers to realise that Maggie is too much of a bother and lose interest. People such as "Anonymous" could become proactively involved by having an anonymous (no pun intended) local text hotline so that they could relay information to our local police if they feel that there may be unsavoury elements heading to the island which may disrupt their own social events. It's only an initial idea and I'm sure input form others could refine it to a more workable solution but I guess we have to start somewhere before the problem escalates further than it seems to have done already over the last few years.
Ps. Hats off to you Anonymous, I was proud to read your comment, you and your friends are a credit to the community and please don't read my suggestion as a proposal to stopping you all from having fun as the intention is only to remove those who are not as mature as you, we were all teenagers once and appreciate that many of you can still party responsibly :)
May 24th 2009
Island police are able to create enough aggravation for themselves without conducting random bag searches on passengers coming off the ferries - whether such would be applied to local 'suspects' or just unknowns who presumably wouldn't be offended by such heavy handed intrusions on their privacy (yeah, right!)
Anyway, what would they be looking for? Winfield blues and VB stubbies? Next we'll be asking police to check which school kids have their socks pulled up or commuters are parked in the IGA shopping parks. More nanny state? No thanks Scott.
May 24th 2009
When I mentioned that it was only an initial idea I actually meant just that. I wasn't for one minute dictating that I had the answer, in fact my intentions were quite the opposite, I was hoping to start a bit of an open forum to see what other ideas were out there. I have already seen the police conduct random bag searches on youths at the terminal when there were 'known' parties happening just I have also seen them there with the drug detection dogs for Full moon parties it was only these examples that gave me the idea in the first place. Ok, maybe random bag searches are over the top and just a police presence would be enough of a deterrent, are you starting to see how these forums work chasmac. We can all bounce ideas around without the need to be cynical. But thank you anyway for shooting me down when I was only trying to help, I truly hope you feel much better for it. Probably all for the best if we go on ignoring the problem anyway really as it's working a treat so far!
May 25th 2009
No, seriously Scott. Asking for police intervention to correct anti-social trivia is actually worse than totally ignoring it. Littering, swearing or skinny-dipping at the beach might be 'issues' about which the community might have 'concerns' but surely we can do better than look to the police to provide solutions? For every "underage" teenager playing up at the beach there are heaps of bored, disconnected adults idling at home. Each could be a role model for the other. Now there's a challenge.
island visitor
May 27th 2009
Scott. Think before you write something to a public forum and thanks to chasmac for thinking clearly!
Another island visitor
May 29th 2009
Wow, more critisism for Scott's post and still not a single alternative solution offered. That was some rare insight there 'island visitor', perhaps you have a better idea?
May 30th 2009
Not sure what "Another island visitor" has in mind for the objective of this article / post / forum / debate? In the beginning it started as a piece of news - unwelcome perhaps, not new, a local update on a quandary the whole society has been grappling with, unsuccessfully, for generations. Some may think a 'solution' can be found by simply making a suggestion - any 'ol suggestion - and just waiting for the thing to get put right. No consideration of "...easier said than done..." or the like, just sit back and wait for someone else to get on with the job. So Scott thought he might like to see the cops get on with the job - a job of basically getting a small number of adult-like people in our society to grow up. Do we really have to go through the tedious procedure of explaining to Scott (and A.i.v.) that such simplistic and frankly lazy suggestions will have to wait in a very long queue while all the other lazy and useless suggestions are dealt with first. The front of the queue is down at the beach near the creek mouth.
From the Outside looking In
June 1st 2009
I frequently visit the island and understand these concerns. I think, however, that it is difficult to start pointing fingers and making it island kids? it town kids?...probably locals?... full-moon party-goers?...MAYBE this is just a case of humans not respecting their earth or others. There are good kids on the island but on the same hand you can't just assume all trouble comes from town.IF and only IF teens are possibly involved (I wouldn't like to assume- I know some teens that are more responsible than some adults!!)then searching bags won't stop them from somehow getting alcohol etc. from the island anyhow.(If you think this to be unlikely, I have personally observed young teens accessing alcohol) Nice try with the "policing solution" but if you want to do things like that then how far do you go.... we have just opened a pandora's box. Scott, would you like having your bag searched for(as an example) drugs or alcohol as you get off a ferry in town??? If you want to make suggestions such as this then there can be no discriminating as to who gets searched and for what.Imagine if the drug detection dogs were let loose on the island???? Remember that the island is for EVERYONE to enjoy, not just those that reside there.What is good to see is that people do care and at the very least,have the desire to see things change... Now it's time for ACTION. Action starts at home..teaching our kids the right way,not to be complacent, trying to set a good example by WHAT WE DO not just by what we say.

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