Future of Brampton Island Resort hangs in the balance
IT was the place people went to do absolutely nothing.
New South Wales couple Gai and Michael Mitchelson visited Brampton Island, just off the coast of Mackay, consistently for more than a decade.
They loved the tropical spot so much they even chose to get married there.
Although they remember the island as a relaxed and secluded retreat, the resort now has stagnant water in its swimming pool and the buildings have that neglected look.
An application to refurbish the island resort is in the hands of Mackay Regional Council but it's unknown when any work will get under way.
Mr Mitchelson said it was a shame Brampton wasn't being used.
"We would have been visiting the island for about 12 years," he said. "We used to drive from central New South Wales to Brisbane and then fly to the island."
"We both had high-stress jobs - so it was just for relaxing," he said.
A highlight for him was listening to the cool sounds of the island's band, The Zarb Brothers.
"There was also the SS Waiben, which was a small ship, and they used to do sunset wine cruises," he said.
It was a different tourist market when Mr and Mrs Mitchelson were visiting the Mackay region.
"There were never any kids there," he said. "It was all adults, probably in their 40s ... a lot of people from NSW would go over but we used to run into a Mackay couple who used to go fishing there for the week."
The couple married on the island in an intimate ceremony in 2006, and his daughter spent her honeymoon on the island as well. "I would love to return," he said.
Mr Mitchelson contacted the Daily Mercury to find out what was happening with the island after his request for information to the island owners was unsuccessful.
WAITING ON INFO
MACKAY Regional Council is waiting for more information before making a decision on whether the refurbishment application for the island will be approved.
Director of development services Kevin Jefferies said the Brampton Island applicant has two months left to provide information to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.
"Once the State Government agencies have reviewed the information and provided their feedback, council will be in a position to finalise its assessment of the application," he said.
The island's current owners, United Petroleum, declined to comment on the story yesterday.
- 1879 - Named Brampton Island by EP Bedwell of SS Llewellyn
- 1905 - The island is opened for occupation
- 1933 - Busuttin brothers begin building accommodation and operate the island until 1959
- 1997 - Resort purchased by P&O Resorts
- 2010 - Brampton Island is bought by United Petroleum