MAGGIE BRIDGE A GREAT DIVIDE
A TOWNSVILLE tourism operator has revived the call for a bridge to be built from the mainland to Magnetic Island.
Black River Stadium Caravan Park owner William Condon said the project would mean developers could seize the opportunity to invest on the island.
The idea, which has been touted for decades, would see a road bridge constructed from Cape Pallarenda to West Point on the island.
However, the proposal has received mixed reviews, with some business operators dubbing the idea a “double- edged sword”.
Mr Condon, who used to own Pure Pleasure Cruises, said it would put Townsville on the map.
He said he knew what tourism wholesalers were searching for.
“People are falling over themselves to go to Bali, whereas Magnetic Island could easily take the place of Bali for young people,” he said. “It really opens the floodgates for Townsville to become a destination and not just a petrol and grocery stop.
“I believe there are some areas at West Point where you could develop that. Surely there are ways and means around that where the State Government could help.
“It’s such an important development.”
Magnetic Informer’s Mick Doran said there were two ways of looking at the bridge.
“Yes, it would definitely open up tourism and business opportunities on the island, no doubt about it,” he said. “House prices would increase. But on the negative, all you have to do is go and look at Bribie Island; you can’t get a park.
“It’s a double- edged sword. The island retains a lot of its uniqueness by the fact that we have 8km of water.”
Townsville Enterprise tourism and event director Bridget Woods said the tourism body believed the island was a unique product.
“It’s one of the only islands on the Great Barrier Reef with a community who lives there,” she said.
Ms Woods said for the island to keep its “authentic” feel it needed to remain separate from the mainland.
Chamber of Commerce’s Debbie Rains said anything that would generate jobs or local business was welcomed.
“We certainly encourage that type of initiative and business suggestion,” she said.
“It’s good and encouraging that people are having these discussions.
“But if they build the bridge there won’t be a need for the ferries; it’s quite fabulous to be able to get on a ferry.” already a a very bridge special isn’t a