This page will tell the story of how people are expected to behave if they are to be accepted into the community.
Also, listed below in no particular order are some of the topics that will be discussed on this page;
1/ Contaminated sites.
2/ Contaminated water.
3/ Inappropriate/illegal use of Crown Land.
4/ Kalbarri's Self Determination.
5/ Coast camp demolition.
6/ Kalbarri Visitors Centre.
7/ Kalbarri Sport & Rec.
8/ Kalbarri Development Association.
9/ "kalbarri-truth" website & emails.
10/ "King Ronny" and his supporters.
11/ Public Meetings. (Video/DVD)
12/ "Hay Shed".
13/ "1 Tick Voters".
14/ Kalbarri Residents Ratepayers Association. (KRRA)
15/ Kalbarri Town Talk / Chairman.
16/ Kalbarri District High School.
Life in the 'Old Kalbarri'.
To understand the desperate need for the rebirth of Kalbarri you must first be aware of how it use to be. (yesterday)
Life in the 'Old Kalbarri' was great if you were comatosed, just visiting or holidaying. Visitors and town folk often complained of lousy service and how expensive things were. Fuel was especially expensive, but it was excepted, after all Mother Nature was very generous in what she built there and many saw it as a tolerable inconvenience to live in such beautiful surroundings.
The town and its people were well controlled and very poorly informed, especially on matters of Local Government. Sadly for some that was their choice because to live in peace and be accepted into the greater community it helped to become uninvolved and adopt an attitude of apathy.
A Shire Councillor appeared to have elected himself into the position of owner. Others have referred to him as "King Ronny". He is on KT's records saying "This is my Town, I built this Town". If this is so then he must now accept the consequences for what has been created. In the opinion of some Kalbarri has earnt a reputation of being a non-caring, spiteful little community built around greed, ego and control by bullying and threats while calling in the favours. The sad part about this is that the many unselfish community minded folk who live in Kalbarri have to wear this reputation as well. But that was yesterday in the 'Old Kalbarri'.
In the 'Old Kalbarri' it became apparent to some that if you wanted to operate a business or join in the Tourist Industry you needed the approval of the so called "King Ronny". Some of his comments recorded when people wanted to start an enterprise were; "I will send you broke", "I will snap you like a twig", "Let's keep it under wraps", and "I'll do the talking, you'll do the listening".
It must have been a benefit to prevent the town from ever becoming united. Control would be easier. There would be minimal to no support for victims, they would just pack up and leave as many have done, taking with them their wisdom, knowledge and wealth. (For those who have suffered this fate the KT would love to hear from you as we have information that needs confirming before it is posted on our website.)
There were many attempts made to benefit the community and Kalbarri's Tourist Industry, the only industry left.
Just a few examples;
Some sort of autonomy/self rule for Kalbarri.
A safe river based swimming facility.
Six Council meetings held in Kalbarri to allow community participation and information.
An all weather tourist bus shelter with toilet facilities.
A water-slide/entertainment centre.
All these quickly put to rest because of the lack of support by a Northampton ruled Council and an uninformed divided community, possibly too afraid to be seen supporting ideas of those who saw the need and were prepared to work towards a brighter future for the community especially for the youth and elderly.
A recent visit to Dongara/Denison, a few kilometres down the road from Kalbarri reinforced the view that under the old regime Kalbarri has been deprived of many things, most obvious being sealed car parks, also the shop attendants there were for the best part more courteous and attentive.
Kalbarri has three major car parks that are unsealed mud holes in winter along with a gravel boat ramp! Commuters get off the bus in winter in the rain, there are no toilets, both them and their luggage get soaked, the nearest shelter is the pub. (Welcome to Kalbarri, set your watch back 20 years). Kalbarri is known as a West Australian premier holiday destination. But in the 'Old Kalbarri' no one cared.
1/ Contaminated Sites.
Much of this rubbish is asbestos and inside Kalbarri's ground water reserve, all within a hundred meters from peoples accommodation. It appears that the old regime under the control of some non-caring Shire Councillors thought it was ok to s - - t in their own nest. But that was yesterday when no-one cared!
LAND FOR SALE
DPI commissioned a contractor to take samples of one of these contaminated sites, results unknown. The picture below tells a thousand words.
The pictures below show the before and after of a coast camp which comprised of 3 fully equipped caravans. This fishing camp also acted as an out-post for sea rescue complete with a 27 meg. radio.
DPI was encouraged to demolish it, burn it and bury it in a pristine part of our coastal dunes north of the Kalbarri Town site. This act of vandalism was carried out at night with a police escort.
The owners of the Murchison House Station allowed access through their property for a contractor from Geraldton to do the deed.
It stands today as another contaminated site and an example of our administration's legalised act of vandalism.
Here it is the Kalbarri Bus and Coach Terminal.
Kalbarri's main tourist boat ramp just after our Shire Council did a $114,000 upgrade.
2/ Kalbarri Drinking Water Analysis.
An independent analysis.
Test Date: 30 October 2008
Test commissioned and paid for by KRRA.
Source: KALBARRI TOWN SUPPLY
Electrical Conductivity: 770 uS/cm
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): 492.8 mg/l-ppm
Total Hardness (CaCo3): 14 mg/l-ppm
Calcium Hardness (CaCo3): 18 mg/l-ppm
Calcium: 7.2 mg/l-ppm
Magnesium Hardness (CaCo3): 67.2 mg/l-ppm
Magnesium: 16 mg/l-ppm
Sodium: 95 mg/l-ppm
Chloride: 92 mg/l-ppm
Total Alkalinity (CaCo3): 0 mg/l-ppm
Saturation Index (SI): -4.85
Sodium Absorption Ratio (SAR): 4.49
1mg/l (Millegrams per litre) = 1ppm (part per million)
Comment: The test sample was found to be OK for drinking. However, due to the low mineral content of the water it is extremely corrosive which is indicated by the Saturation Index of -4.85. This water would cause damage to any metal surface that it came into contact with.
The test results on the sample do not indicate that etching of glass should be occurring.
Etching; is an actual eating away of the glass. It is sometimes called "soft water filming" and can be caused by the action of high temperatures and detergents and is more prevalent or intensified in soft or softened water supplies.
The 'Saturation Index' is a scale showing the relationship of calcium carbonate to the pH and hardness of a given water. The 'Saturation Index' is commonly used to determine the scale-forming tendency of a particular water.
KT Comment: Our records are full of complaints about the Kalbarri tap water etching glass and paint work on vehicles if hosed down and left to dry (ie. not wiped dry)
The current Kalbarri Land Fill (Tip) site, which opened in 1998 is situated upstream from the Kalbarri bores. The Shire were to cap each cell with 1m of compacted clay and 300mm of local top soil to ensure that no contaminates would leach into the ground water. This was not done until Dec.2003. Illegal dumping by locals occurred at the old green waste tip site which is located within the Well-head Protection Zone(WPZ) of bore 1/86. This site is reported to have never been sanctioned or officially authorised by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and now creates some concern. Lot 564, No. 55 Atkinson Street has been reported to the DEC as a suspected contaminated site. This site will be classified based on its risk to human health and the environment. A sad result of some past non caring naive Shire Councillors and a non involved community. But that was yesterday, we now have new, experienced and caring people moving here to live, the old regime has lost its hold, things are changing for the better. We will unite and prosper.
For a lot more information go to http://drinkingwater.water.wa.gov.au
-'Search'. Type kalbarri in the box provided and press 'Search" link.
Then open the "Kalbarri Water Reserve Drinking Water Source Protection Plan WRP64"
(Pages 31 & 35 make interesting reading.)
To be continued.
Some of the things buried at
this contaminated site are;
27 meg radio
12 volt batteries
Knives & forks
3/ Inappropriate/illegal use of Crown Land.
A Shire Councillor found guilty of fudging the boundary.
The owner of the Murchison Caravan park, Cr. Ron Allen was found guilty of expanding his business over his
boundary and onto Crown Land (public reserve 25447). State Land Services (DPI) made him move all his infrastructure off Crown Land and back to his side of the boundary. There was a cost to the tax payer but no penalty was issued for this offence even though "it is an offence to place anything, or construct anything, on Crown Land without the necessary approvals," source, Office of the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure.
An undesirable precedent swept under the carpet?
The Black Rock Cafe is situated on Crown Land (Lot 587 on Crown Reserve 37435) leased to Cr. Ron Allen by the Shire of Northampton. His building has now been officially identified by the Dept. of Planning and Infrastructure to have progressively expanded over a number of years to the point where its current use is not appropriate with the current tenure. A letter from the Ministers Office (dated 23rd March 07) states that DPI is liaising with the Shire of Northampton on the possible sale of this land in freehold at current market value. Another letter from the Ministers Office dated 8 Nov. 2007 states that sale of the land in freehold is considered the appropriate method for dealing with what is currently considered an inappropriate use of the public reserve by the Shire.
To date there has been no penalty issued for this breach and it appears to have been swept under the carpet. Another undesirable precedent set by this discriminant Council?
It has been confirmed (DPI ref. 02-034305) that the Kalbarri Spring Water Shed which is situated on Crown Land was put there without the necessary approvals. Correspondence from the Ministers Office dated 1 June 2007 states that if the facility is unauthorised, instructions will be issued under section 270 of the Land Administration Act 1997 for its removal.
This officially unauthorised structure, constructed on crown reserve 25447 has lasted 17 years with the full knowledge of the Council and DPI. Once again, "it is an offence to place anything, or construct anything, on Crown land without the necessary approvals." Yet another undesirable precedent swept under the carpet by a discriminant Council. It is on record Cr Ron Allen was to receive a royalty from its operation.
There are those who are equal and there are those who are more equal. To give our readers an example of this Council's inconsistent decision making we supply a copy of a public document for your education and information.
SHIRE OF NORTHAMPTON Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of Council held at the Northampton Council Chamber, Hampton Road, Northampton on the 20th November 2009
11.10.10 ILLEGAL STRUCTURES RESERVE 12996 - QUAD BIKE COMPOUNDS (ITEM 6.5.10)
Moved Cr Booth, seconded Cr Parker
1. That Council reiterates its previous decision and the compounds and the items being housed within them be removed from Reserve 12996 immediately;
2. The applicant be advised that if Council were to allow the current compounds to remain then a precedent would be set allowing other structures to also be located on the land which could encourage other illegal structures which will have to be removed and legally this is the current situation with the existing structures.
CARRIED 9/0 (The motion was moved and seconded by 2 Kalbarri Ward Councillors.)
The KT will continue to monitor the above and will inform our readers of the outcome.
To be continued.
The next contaminated site. (Reserve 31883)
Part of Crown Reserve 31883 is the fuel supply site at the commercial fishing jetty in Kalbarri. There was a major fuel leak (between 21,000 and 62,000 litres) in 1994. In 1998/9 a contractor back-hoed the main feeder line that runs from the bulk tank out to the end of the jetty. It appears the spill was never reported to the DoE. It is believed the contractor was charged $4,637.30 for the loss of fuel (diesel). That is a significant amount of diesel that must have been soaked into the river foreshore (DoE estimate 5,800 litres). Test bores were installed by Shell and the contaminated sand was removed from the site and used at the Nothampton refuse site. This is still causing concern as it has been reported that at times an oil slick appears on the water at that section of the river. KT understands that your Council doesn't want to know about it. Just another one of those things that happened in the old 'I don't give a s--t' Kalbarri.
Message from the DoE states;
"The DoE is concerned about the ongoing dispersion of contaminants into the Murchison River, its potential impact on estuarine ecosystems, recreational users, and possible nearby groundwater abstraction wells (known and unknown). Furthermore, the DoE is concerned that the actual significance of these impacts has not yet been determined and that the site's occupiers responsible for the contamination did not report it to the DoE and have not proposed to remediate the contamination".
This site is once again leased by your Council to Baileys Fuel Supplies for $15 a square meter. (you are asked to remember that lease amount for when you are reading other parts of the KT that refer to Council managed land leased to ex Shire President and now Councillor, Ron Allen)
The KT applaud the new lessee's, Baileys Fuel Supplies for updating this facility with all new equipment and to the safe standard it is today.
4/ Kalbarri's Self Determination.
Some of the following information has been reproduced from a report done by a Local Government Consultant, August 2004. Presented for the purpose of public information/education.
This report was generally accepted by our community as an honest, balanced and well researched document but greatly angered those in the minority who vehemently opposed any changes to the status quo which could effect their position of authority within the community.
The possibility of Kalbarri's self determination was first raised during the Shire's Ward/Representation review back in 2002/2003. The issue was revived by Cr. Owen Simkin at the November 03 meeting of Council as follows;
Copy of Minutes 28 Nov 03.
11.21.2 CR O SIMKIN
Cr O Simkin raised the possibility of the Kalbarri ward operating independently of the remainder of the Northampton Shire given the population of the ward. Council discussed the issue and the process
involved to determine the feasibility of such a separation.
The Chief Executive Officer advised Council that in accordance with the Local Government Act 1995 Council can request the Local Government Advisory Board to research the proposal of the Kalbarri ward operating
Moved Cr O Simkin, seconded Cr Allen
That Council request the Local Government Advisory Board to consider the possibility of the Kalbarri Ward operating as a separate Local Authority to the remainder of the Northampton Shire.
CARRIED 7/2. End of Minutes.
The matter was referred to the Local Government advisory Board (LGAB). At that time the Department of Local Government and Regional Development (DLGRD) considered that a test case could be made to look at other alternatives , such as Kalbarri, instead of being a separate government, having its own governing body but still operate under the umbrella of the Shire of Northampton (a locality council model). In part, the test case was seen as a possible model that could be relevant to, and implemented, in other smaller rural local governments.
The LGAB's nominated consultant became unavailable and the DLGRD subsequently withdrew its support for the project. However the issue continued being debated in the community and Council. In May 2004 Council decided to progress the proposal by conducting an independent review to identify the issues before deciding whether or not to make a formal approach to the LGAB.
That gave birth to the 'Garry Martin Report' (Local Government Consultant). The report gave a balanced argument both for and against the move to self management. In the opinion of the KT and many other ratepayers of the Shire the reported end result was that Kalbarri could manage its own affairs, resource sharing the administration, plant and equipment with our big brother Northampton. (The Martin Report is a 50 page report and for the purpose of this story considered too large to reproduce but can be made available upon request).
Council carried out a community survey and held a public meeting in Kalbarri, Northampton and Binnu to further gauge ratepayer opinion on Kalbarri managing its own affairs and if Council should continue by asking the LGAB to investigate weather it could be financially achievable.
This was not a question to separate but simply to take the proposal to the LGAB which in turn would give the community more information on whether it would be financially viable or not, done at no cost to the ratepayers.
The next contaminated site.
The Red Bluff Caravan Park.
The following is a copy of a question asked at the October 08 Meeting of Council, presented to help explain the contamination concerning this site. It is believed that Council has known about this contamination for quite some time but it appears nothing has been done.
Council Meeting 17th October 2008.
Public Question Time
Questions by Barry Kramer, ratepayer.
Directed to Cr. George Parker, President,
"Being told that one gallon of petrol vapour is the same as 10 ton of TNT, Could you tell me what has this Council done in regards to the leaking diesel tank and the two empty bulk petrol tanks at the now defunct Kalbarri Red Bluff Caravan Park?"
The CEO, Garry Keeffe advised that the Council has done nothing. The matter of administering such issues rests with the Department for Minerals and Energy through their Dangerous Goods Division and stated that Mr Kramer as a resident can refer the matter direct to them.
It was then suggested by Mr Kramer that it was a Council Community Health and Safety issue and as Council is to work for the community it should be that they follow it through with the DME and not expect a ratepayer to do their job.
The CEO then advised he would correspond to the Department for them to investigate the claim.
The KT will report on how Council propose to deal with this community safety issue and the diesel contamination. Our records show it was reported to one Councillor well over a year ago and to date nothing has been done, adding to the ineffectiveness of this administration lead by President George Parker.
The KT ask George Parker; Do any of these empty underground tanks protrude onto the road reserve?
Time out from our story for a snapshot of Kalbarri
- 25th February 2009 -
We (the KT) thought it appropriate to divert from our story for a moment to inform our readers of current affaires in Kalbarri. The KT received a copy of the Geraldton Guardian news paper dated Friday February 20, 2009 with a request to read the headlines on page 1 and a story on page 3 and offer a comment.
The page 1 headline reads "Call for action as tourism numbers slump BACKYARD BLITZ".
Under this heading the reporter writes "Tourism, for years the mainstay of the town, is down 25% on last year and in a "drastic state", according to Australia's Golden Outback chairman Jon Jessop."
Mr Jessop who owns the Kalbarri Palm Resort and the new Kalbarri Edge Resort which now stand side by side has apparently called on the Federal Government to spend taxpayers money to introduce a stimulus package to promote tourism in Australia with a "See Your Own Backyard" campaign.
In the article Mr Jessop complains about his new Edge Resort being 50% down on his "carefully budgeted" figures admitting he is struggling to pay the interest bill. Is Mr Jessop asking for taxpayer money to help Australia or to get more customers for his new Edge Resort?
As we at the KT believe in KARMA, we find no problem with Mr Jessop's new Kalbarri Edge Resort struggling to pay the interest bill, as he built his new resort in a time of crisis right next to the Palm Resort, one he owns and leases to a young family who have also been struggling since he covered them and their customers in dust while clearing the block next door, knocking down the Kalbarri Entertainment Centre (a Kalbarri icon) that housed the Tramps and the Mini Golf, informing Council he was only doing a fire break at the time the Council Policy states that because of wind land clearing is prohibited. It would also be logical to assume that Mr Jessop created hardship by taking business from his tenants in the Palm Resort with his flash new Edge Resort built right next door.
In the past, greedy people have been more than happy to build unwanted "monuments" in communities they believe will bring them a handsome profit, arrogantly doing it without having any consideration for the wellbeing of others in the industry or the community. Continually building more holiday accommodation in a small community like Kalbarri soon creates an over supply, everyone in the accommodation supply business hurts.
The KT also believe that because of the lack of community consideration by certain developers whose prime objective appears to be the accumulation of wealth, community peace and well being has suffered.
We now refer to the next item in the Guardian which headlines on page 3,
'Crime out of control - assault victim'.
This article reports on crime in Kalbarri and the apparent lack of police action. The KT have much on reported Kalbarri crime and the negative effect it is having on our community.
The article goes on to read that a resident was bashed with a baseball bat on his front lawn in view of his partner and four kids. Police were called twice but didn't arrive until 20 minutes after the attack. The result was 10 stitches in the victim's head and a broken arm while trying to stop further hits to his head. Surely this sort of behaviour would have people staying away in droves?
Developers may have second thoughts about investing in Kalbarri if they first researched the problems years of drugs, greed and ineffective planning and leadership has bought to our beautiful little town. Surly those who are not blinded by greed would never invest into a community with such a reputation. The problems we are currently experiencing in Kalbarri would no doubt have visitors staying away in droves?
Next is the Police report in the Kalbarri media (Kalbarri Town Talk). Part of this reads, "January in Kalbarri saw an increase in seasonal crime with caravan parks and large resorts being targeted by opportunist thieves. Of 36 offences reported, 19 were for stealing . Quality bikes, fishing rods and boogie boards were stolen as were wallets, laptops and money from vehicles." We repeat, surely this would have visitors staying away in droves?
Like many others we don't believe we have an answer to all this other than to continue with our web site in the hope it will educate others of our plight and possibly anger the community enough for them to come out of the coma and take more of an interest in their future wellbeing and if possible unite to help resolve their problems. It appears Kalbarri is going further down the sewer. Surly it's it time to care? Surly it's it time to get involved?
They say life begins to end when we do nothing about the things that matter. The KT believe Kalbarri matters!
The sad part about this is that the many good community minded people who live in Kalbarri and those who are trying to run and create a successful business will inevitably suffer for the greed, antisocial and anti-community behaviour of others and of those who have no regard for law and order and the hurt they cause.