Maggie mayhem as full mooners go wild
Almost every time this event is held, there is damage done
– Dr Lindsay Simpson
DRUNKEN louts who stole a boat from Magnetic Island after a full moon party and drove it back to Townsville, leaving it abandoned on The Strand, have left the island’s residents fuming.
The incident was one of several after t he Friday beachside party, prompting an island tourism body to speak out about the event, saying residents had had enough.
Tourism Operators and Businesses Magnetic Island c hai r woman Dr Li ndsay Simpson said operators were already struggling after Cyclone Yasi.
Inconsiderate revellers were making it even harder.
Dr Simpson said vandals had also thrown the ferry terminal gangway into the harbour, smashed signs at a resort and thrown undelivered newspapers around.
‘‘ At least one business has closed its doors ( as we) have come through weeks of rain in an unprecedented wet season,’’ she said.
‘ ‘ To encounter rampant vandalism at the end of this is more than anyone can be expected to take.
‘‘ The main issue facing businesses is the big hole in their cash flows."
Dr Simpson said the vandalism was directly associated with the full moon party held monthly at the Base Backpackers in Nelly Bay.
‘‘ Almost every time this event is held there, damage is done,’’ she said.
‘‘ At the Nelly Bay harbour, marina goods are stolen a l most every full moon party.
‘‘ Locals have come to expect to wake up and find stuff stolen.’’
Dr Simpson said on Saturday morning she discovered a dinghy from Providence V, a tall ship she operates with husband Grant Lewis, had been stolen.
It had a full tank of fuel and had been taken to Townsville. It was found washed up near Kissing Point, full of beer cans and water.
‘‘ We are going out on our first charter for weeks foll owing bad weather and thought we had to cancel," she said.
‘‘ No tourism benefits flow from this event. Mostly the participants are inebriated before they arrive.
‘‘ It is of no benefit to the community ( and) it is time something was done about it."
Base Backpackers general manager Aimee Jones hit back, saying residents were always welcome to discuss any problems they had with the business or its events.
Ms Jones said there were no incidents at the event and the hostel had even put on extra security at the marina to alleviate concerns.
‘‘ We’re extremely disappointed to hear that a few people ruin it for the others that are well behaved at the event,’’ she said.
‘ ‘ We welcome f eedback from anyone who lives on the island. The door’s always open here.’’
Magnetic Island police officer-in-charge Sergeant Kerry Kraut confirmed police were investigating the unlawful use of a vessel and several wilful damage complaints after obtaining CCTV footage.
Anyone with information about the incidents should call Townsville police on 4759 9777 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.