March 22nd 2005
Butler hut moves tomorrow
The last remaining accommodation hut from Magnetic Island's first holiday establishment, Butler's Health Resort, is to be relocated early Wednesday 23 March. Magnetic Island History and Craft Centre Inc.(MIHCC) has successfully arranged all permits and approvals for the historic Butler hut to be relocated to the reserve land beside the Picnic Bay School.
The hut, assessed by the Queensland Heritage Council and permanently entered in their heritage register, had its listing overturned following an appeal by the developer owner Gordon Property Developments (GPD). With a deed of agreement in place GPD allowed the building to be relocated instead of demolished if MIHCC met all costs of the relocation and refurbishment to Townsville City Council standards, and had the building removed within one month.
'To get to this stage, with everything in place for the removal on Wednesday, has required a mighty effort from all concerned' said MIHCC president Zanita Davies. 'We've had tremendous support from our members, from Townsville City Council officers and from community groups and individuals. Real community effort has got us this far considering the time constraints. When time was running short GPD generously extended the deadline by one week and our contractor worked hard to fit in with our schedule.'
Now MIHCC must raise funds to meet all costs, including the $26,000.00 fee for relocation of the hut only. So far promised contributions have been offered by Townsville City Council and GPD. 'Fundraising has been complicated by the non-retrospective policy of government funding bodies - grants are only given prior to the commencement of works on specific projects. Not having the luxury of time has meant available grants are now inaccessible to us,' said Ms Davies. 'We will be extremely grateful for any financial assistance given toward preserving such an important piece of Magnetic Island's heritage.'
MIHCC is a charitable, non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible. All donations to the relocation of Butler hut will be permanently acknowledged in the building which will be used as a heritage and historical research venue for residents and tourists.
Readers interested in supporting the MIHCC in their fundraising efforts to pay for the hut's relocation can contact Zanita on 07 47785007 (wk) or 07 47785606 (after hours)