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July 1st 2010
Councillor calls on Juniper to repair Radical road

The damaged culvert at Arthur Bay Magnetic Island's Councillor, Trevor Roberts, is trying to get Juniper Developers, the private owners of the Radical Bay road, to address safety concerns from the public.

Cr Roberts said the council had contacted Junipers, to request action over a partial collapse of a section of the road at the culvert at Arthur Bay.

“Townsville City Council is doing all in its power to have the collapsed section of road repaired,” Cr Roberts said.

Cr Roberts is asking residents and visitors to avoid using the road until repairs have been completed.

It seems that nobody has mentioned the collapsed part of the road to council before as the undermining of the road, which has caused the collapse, has been evident for years.

“The council contacted Junipers as soon as the collapsed road was reported. Our staff have erected warning signs and done a partial road closure around the collapse. " said Cr Roberts.

“As the road is privately owned the council does not have the authority to effect repairs. Council must work with the owners to have the road repaired as swiftly as possible.

"A representative of Junipers was in Townsville last week and gave council an undertaking that they will attend to the issue and will advise council of the action to be taken. I am particularly concerned about the safety of road users visiting Radical Bay and our staff will be in constant contact with Junipers until the matter is resolved. "

A media release from Cr Roberts notes, “As part of their development agreement Junipers must upgrade the road to the standards required by Council. Plans have been submitted by the developer and Council will continue to work with Junipers to ensure the road is built to standard.”

Magnetic Times understands however that Junipers' response to questions over the future of the Radical Bay development are yet to be finalised as concurrence agency reports, which require Juniper's final responses to questions over the development before they can be presented to Council for assessment, have yet to be provided.

A Magnetic Times' story about Juniper's most recent plans - which saw the erosion prone area, which identifies where buildings can be safely located, shifted well forward of the position Juniper's consultants had recommended - can be seen (HERE).

Magnetic Times has also sought comment from Junipers' lawyers as to whom would be liable if an accident, caused due to the poor state of the private road, were to occur. We have yet to receive a response.

"Access to the beach at Radical Bay is vital to Island residents and Council have worked with Junipers to ensure, as part of the development, both public car parking and clear access to the beach will be provided." said Cr Roberts.

On the most recent plan presented by Juniper, access to the beach is planned via a 500 metre path from the public car park which skirts the western perimeter of the 24 lot gated community.

Story and photo: George Hirst

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

Councillor calls on Juniper to repair Radical road
July 1st 2010
Actually, the so-called 'road' is merely a track built on Unallocated State Land (USL) - which used to be called Vacant Crown Land. Upkeep of USL is entirely the responsibility of the Queensland Government through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DERM). Ratepayers and Townsville Council have no responsibility and in fact would be well advised to check on their own obligations / responsibilities. The road should be closed forthwith. Councillor Roberts should immediately hand all responsibility to the relevant State Minister and stay out of it. The traffic that is coinciding with the school holidays should be stopped completely so that only walkers have access. The one residence at Arthur Bay might be in a difficult position but that is entirely of their own making and they have been able to 'come to some arrangement' (with Juniper and the State and Ergon) in the past and can do so again. Why are we pandering to the pathetic demands of car drivers?
Jack Wilson
July 1st 2010
In the interest of the island community Trevor Roberts should be urging council to repair this road immediately and sort out the bill with Junipers at a later date.
July 1st 2010
Nice to see your on the ball George. The Magnetic Community News broke this story two weeks ago.
Good to see your keeping up!
George Hirst
July 1st 2010
That's interesting Ed as I only received the press release from Trevor last Saturday, four days before I ran the article. Slow I guess but I did try to give Juniper's lawyers a reasonable time to respond as well as checking other details. Still, who could ever compete with the MCN for great journalism.
Claudia Gaber
July 1st 2010
Thanks, George. I love a sincere compliment.
Valerie Brice
July 11th 2010
As the owners of the house at Arthur Bay we find chasmac’s attack damaging to our reputation. The statement that “owners of the property have been able to ‘come to some arrangement’ (with Juniper and the State and Ergon) in the past….” is inexplicable. ‘Come to some arrangement’ brings immediately to mind the possibility of bribes having been offered and received in some form or another. This has never happened and the inference is offensive.

Chasmac’s words follow “The one residence at Arthur Bay might be in a difficult position but that is entirely of their own making…”. Is chasmac referring to the fact that we bought the property? Or is there some other implication here?

Juniper’s manager contacted us some time ago when they were planning to upgrade the road to enable them to pull down the unsightly, vermin infected buildings, and to clean up the dumps that had been created by previous owners (have we residents all forgotten these improvements?). He asked if we would consider a long-term rental of the Arthur Bay property for some of their employees once work began in earnest. We declined.

My only contact with the State Government was in January, 1998 after the heavy rainfalls from 10-12 January (the Night of Noah). Radical Bay Road had been washed out so that it was impassable even by 4WD’s. Like chasmac, we were aware that the road was USL. My pleas to the State Government (and to the TCC) that they fix the road fell on deaf ears. We were living at Arthur Bay at the time with our daughter and son-in-law. As our daughter was seven months pregnant the lack of road access could have been a major problem if things went wrong in her third trimester. After pointing out to the TCC that they had agreed to use disaster relief funds to repair a private road on private property which served tenants of fishing huts (also owned by the landowner) near the Bohle River, they finally agreed to partially fix the Radical Bay Road – I assume out of the disaster relief funds, but am unsure of this.

As far as any arrangement with Ergon goes, the Arthur Bay House had electricity when we bought it. From time to time, we have lost power at the house, particularly after storms. Naturally, we contacted Ergon and thankfully, they eventually restored power. If this is an “arrangement” then it’s one which everyone, including chasmac, has.

Hopefully, this clears up any misconception by readers of chasmac’s phrase “come to some arrangement”.

I remain mystified by his statement “The one residence at Arthur Bay might be in a difficult position but that is entirely of their own making….” We made nothing but the purchase of a house.

Valerie Brice
114 Gifford Street
Horseshoe Bay, Qld 4819
July 13th 2010
Never in my wildest dreams would I have suggested anything unsavoury or underhand about whatever arrangements were made to have the privately built track down to Arthur Bay (the Brice's driveway) repaired after the 1998 downpour. Until Mrs Brice explained this matter in such detail here I had no idea the works had been carried out at public expense. I made no suggestion whatever about "bribes", did not infer anything about "bribes" and am amazed that such an inference could be drawn.
Mrs Brice's mystification about my expression"...entirely of their own making.." seems, with respect, a bit wilful given that when she wrote that "We made nothing but the purchase of a house" (a perfectly accurate and complete statement) she somehow overlooked the relevant fact that the Arthur Bay property has no road frontage, no Council street address and is, strictly speaking, in the legal sense, only accessible by sea - the same as numerous other freehold properties at Radical Bay, White Lady Bay, West Point and possibly Cockle Bay and Maud Bay. This is exactly the reason why Council is out-of-bounds operating on that private track.
Respectfully yours (!),
Valerie Brice
July 14th 2010
Thought I should inform chasmac that the bitumenising of the pre-existing track that leads into the house area was paid for by the company that owns the house. The 'public funds work' was on the USL: at the instigation of the QPWS, a 'carparking' area was bitumenised, with the barriers erected to protect the natural bush from cars pushing into it. Val Brice
July 17th 2010
While we're on the informing routine I'd like to point out to Jack Wilson (comments above) that his proposal that Council should " this road immediately and sort out the bill with Junipers at a later date", is about as mad and irresponsible as they come. As a long-time councillor with Townsville City Council Jack would know full well that the Council is, thankfully, forbidden from spending a few thousand (or hundreds of thousands) simply at some personal whim, on a track through the bush on State Land. Junipers do not own the track, Jack, or the broken culvert at the bottom of the hill in Arthur Bay. Nor do they own the land it is located on. Junipers are not obliged to spend any money on the track at all, nor refund Council for any operational works carried out " the interests of the Island community". In my view it is an affront to the Island community to suggest that we should take responsibility for the upkeep of that track because it is somehow in our interest. One day Junipers will simply walk away from any connection to that track as every single previous Radical Bay landowner has done.
When will the supposedly informed portion of the Townsville community (let alone the Island community) face up to the fact that the track to Radical Bay is not a formal Road Reserve, it has no legal "road" status notwithstanding its apparent engineered construction and more or less sealed surface, it is not the responsibility of Townsville Council or Junipers or anybody else and we all use it (driving, cycling, walking or whatever) entirely at our own will and decision and therefore at our own risk?

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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