We have had three very successful volunteer weekends this year. All our weekends have been well attended with all places filled. The first weekend was held in early May. Working again in the Henrietta Rocks area, the group replaced some tree guards with the open mesh type, and completed further planting inland as part of the new Rottnest walk trail.
It was wonderful to catch up with Sue Folks (for new members, she was one of the early founders and, through the years, the major driver of the Rottnest Society) She moved to USA to join her daughter and family in USA about two years ago). We have Trish Bevan to thank for hosting a meeting of the Committee and Friends and to have a glass of champagne with Sue on her brief visit back to Perth.
The Society was involved in a project last year to revegetate the area at Henrietta Rocks, where a new walkway and stairs was constructed. The Winnit Club were also part of the project built the walkway and tiered stairs. Our part in the project included the revegetation of the tracks and surrounding area of the new walkway.
The Society is concerned about the Rottnest Island Authority's plans to spend millions of dollars on the Island's low-key golf course and clubhouse by irrigating the greens and fairways to match mainland standards. The only people consulted about this proposal were members of the golf and "country club". There are further talks about a marina development in Thompson Bay which may involve building a sea wall and altering the existing coral structures around Natural Jetty. Meanwhile other facilities agreed to in the official Rottnest Island Management Plan 2009-14 are being ignored or put on the 'back burner", like the aboriginal memorial graveyard development and the replacement camping area still only partly completed.
Rottnest is simply magic. We need you to email you local MP and tell them not to support inappropriate developments. Which means:
- no expensive upgrade of the golf course
- no additional luxury accommodation
- no marina for private boats
Rottnest is the people's island, not a playground for the rich!
Phone, email or write to your local parliamentarians and demand public comsultation on these issues.
The CCWA website includes a "Contact your MP" link where you can add your concerns about Rottnest to an automatic email to your local MP. Please contact your local member directly or use the CCWA link (ccwa.org.au/askmyMP)
The Rottnest Society is an incorporated not-for-profit ‘friends’ group that devotes its' energies to ensuring a future for Rottnest which will allow our children and their children to enjoy many of the same experiences shared by several generations of West Australian holiday makers and other visitors. The Society does this both through ‘hands on’ activities such as tree planting and weeding, and by scrutinising - and commenting on - management plans, lobbying for the conservation and restoration of the natural environment, and for the preservation of the ‘Rottnest ethos’.
We’ve got used to seeing press reports about proposed developments on Rottnest Island that reflect decisions made without public debate. “The West Australian” newspaper appears to print whatever it is told by the Minister or the RIA chairman with no questioning of whether a specific proposal is economically sound and/or in line with what traditional island visitors want. How this can be classed as ‘journalism’ boggles the imagination. Efforts to have the newspaper ask a few relevant questions have failed miserably.
Since the collapse of the painfully protracted negotiations over the proposed Longreach Bay Hotel, there have been a number of announcements in The West Australian newspaper concerning other development plans. These emanate from the Chairman of the RIA, Laurie O'Meara, apparently with the approval of the Minister for Tourism, Dr Kim Hames.
They include the following:
- A proposal to spend $1million on upgrading and greening the island golf course and to lease it and the country club to a private operator.
- An order by the Minister to the RIA to “crank up” plans for a new marina at the south end of Thomson Bay, and to investigate the feasibility of a seawall to protect and accommodate more and larger vessels.
- A plan to privatise the running of Rottnest’s holiday accommodation as part of a “ twenty year vision for the island.
The saga of the proposed Longreach Bay Hotel development continues. Having lost a project partner last year, Pinctada Hotels and Resorts, the preferred proponent, was given a one month extension to come up with the appropriate funding arrangements. Having exhausted that period, they were granted a further three months. More extensions have been granted with a final deadline set for Friday 25th November.
The Rottnest Island Authority Board released a media statement on the 25th November confirming that the Pinctada Rottnest Island Resort and Spa Pty Ltd had advised it was terminating its bid and negotiations for the hotel development opportunity at Longreach Bay.