Maggie may­hem as full moon­ers go wild

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Nathan Paull nathan. paull@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.

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