Maggie Island Wins Battle Over Defence Sale
Herbert MP Phillip Thompson has welcomed a decision to press pause on the sale of old asbestos-riddled holiday apartments on Magnetic Island so community consultation can take place.
A David and Goliath battle between Magnetic Island Residents and the Federal Labor Government has been ongoing since the beginning of the year, with residents strongly objecting to the sale of the former Amaroo Holiday Apartments at Bremmer Point, which are owned by the Department of Defence.
Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence and Federal MP Phillip Thompson has been working with the residents of Magnetic Island to help voice their concerns, after the Department of Defence announced it would be disposing of the land without cleaning up the site.
While much of the lot was planned to be folded into the Magnetic Island National Park, the waterfront area overlooking Geoffrey Bay was to be sold on the open market. The process had even progressed to the point of expressions of interest to purchase the site being sought.
But after multiple invitations from Mr Thompson to meet with local residents, the responsible minister finally met with community members on Monday, announcing he would be pressing pause on the sale to finally engage in community consultation.
Mr Thompson said it was a positive step but it was clear more work needed to be done.
“From the start of the year, this has been a case of a Labor minister telling locals what was happening – but what he didn’t count on is that our community has a loud voice and nothing will stop it being heard.
“I’ve attended meetings with the Magnetic Island Residents and Ratepayers’ Association (MIRRA), written multiple letters, met with locals and visited the site.
“We never gave up the fight to tell the minister that we didn’t just want this decision waved through without a proper process being followed.
“Proper community consultation from the beginning would have saved the community a lot of grief about what’s going on with publicly-owned land in their backyard.”
Mr Thompson has said he will remain in close contact with the local residents and the minister to ensure appropriate outcomes are achieved through the consultation process.
“The minister has been trying to ignore this problem for a long time. Now that he’s finally listening, I’ll be ensuring he also acts in the best interests of our Magnetic Island community.”