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Our Sustainable Future
and 'Whole of Island' Plan

Transitioning our World Heritage Island to a sustainable future


In July 2022 the Magnetic Island Community Development Association (MICDA) obtained a $50,000 grant from the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.


This grant, under the Community Sustainability Action Grants Program, was for a community-led project that helps deliver sustainable actions in Queensland.


The purpose of the grant was to establish and work with community-based Working Groups, creating Whole of Island (WOI) solutions to address a sustainable future for Magnetic Island. Addressing these issues helps preserve, remediate, restore, and enhance the Island’s World Heritage Values within the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.

From November 2022 to December 2023, the grant enabled the employment of a part time Island coordinator, who engaged with about 100 Island community members and stakeholders in this WOI approach by using, and helping to establish, community-based Working Groups.


These Islanders and stakeholders contributed their collective knowledge, enthusiasm, and precious time, to create innovative and practical solutions that aim to address the important issues facing the Island.

Many of the projects implemented and being further developed may lead to more local jobs and businesses opportunities for Islanders.

MICDA wishes to thank the Queensland State Government for the grant and for their support.

"The grant has aided and enabled our Island community to progress the vision of - The Leading Sustainable Island Community. Our Whole of Island community driven approach using working groups will enable us to speak more often with one voice to key stakeholders to gain further support for our Island’s sustainable future.

Our World Heritage Island is best protected and enhanced by way of us and the next generations being united in a community approach. We acknowledge the Wulgurukaba people as the traditional custodians of Yunbenun (Magnetic Island) and value our collaboration with them for our Island’s future.”

- Les Sampson, MICDA President.

What were the results of this grant funding?

The final Report in December 2023 examined and made recommendations for Our World Heritage Island: Yunbenun/Magnetic Island (OWHI), as a Whole of Island sustainable future plan.

Download/view the MICDA Final OWHI YMI Report Dec 2023.


The community Working Groups are continuing their ongoing efforts covering the following issues as part of a holistic approach to our Island’s sustainable future. The 10 groups are:

  1. Energy: Totally Renewable Magnetic (TRM)
    More info >


  2. Health: Magnetic Island Health (MIH) Working Group
    More info >
  3. Marine: Marine Action Magnetic Island (MAMI)
    More info >
  4. Sustainable Planning: Yunbenun Sustainable Planning Group (YSPG)
    More info >
  5. Sustainable Tourism: Working with Tourism Magnetic Island (TMI)
    More info >
  6. Terrestial Ecosystems (Currently being created)

  7. Traditional Owners
    More info >
  8. Transport: Magnetic Island Transport Action Group (MITAG)
    More info >
  9. Waste: Zero Waste Magnetic Island (ZWMI)
    More info >
  10. Water: Magnetic Island Water Group (MIWG)
    More info >


While these groups have goals focused on their specific aims, they often have values and goals that overlap with each other. The final report details the background context of the OWHI plan, followed by a summary of each group’s values, aims and projects.


In summary:


As an island, the Magnetic Island community is an ideal playground for testing new ways of working, to close the flows of goods, energy, water, food, and capital. Creating and implementing circular economies on Magnetic Island (Yunbenun) has benefits, which includes the potential to scale to mainland communities.


Any developments tailored to the island, (in collaboration between community members, policymakers, NGOs, government and businesses) need to be holistic to be effective.


Magnetic Island’s transition to a sustainable model for residents and visitors to live and thrive, needs to be supported by all levels of government.


It has been identified that a Whole of Island approach recognises, protects and enhances Yunbenun’s World Heritage Values. Such an approach draws volunteers and community groups passionate about their field, to create actions around transport, energy, health, waste, water, planning, marine, terrestrial and health, drawing them into a framework together with stakeholders and the Wulgurukaba traditional custodians.

Would you like to be part of our sustainable future?

Any contribution, both large and small, is warmly welcome from members of the Magnetic Island community, including new residents and businesses. Generally the Working Groups meet once a month and often have online Zoom meetings.

If you are interested in contributing to this community-driven, grass roots plan for the future of our Island, please fill in the form below or contact the individual Working Groups listed above.


Too busy to contribute but want to stay in the loop about our sustainable future?

Simply fill in your details below, click submit and we'll keep you up to date with public consultations and events.

Thanks for submitting!

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