And so it goes...
The signs mentioned in the letter at left
were posted around December we are told. When the law suits final
days were approaching it appears fronts were abandon. Yachties?
TCP has been covering this major concern of the cruising community
since the beginning of the controversy. Though there was always
much question about how the transaction came about where a frail
and infirm old man sold the island's lease for $10, the issue
of reversing such a transaction seemed at first insurmountable.
Possession being 9/10 of the law kind of problem. But then Andrew
Martins family discovered the Queensland "Fair Trading"
laws which contained items that seemed to address this issue
perfectly. Now Mick Cotter had a serious problem. Though the
process was stalled and delayed in the end it was becoming apparent
it was going to go bad for the defence and it did. The judge
was scathing in his decision. "Unconscionable conduct-undue
Cathryn and John Morris, who won the suit, went to the island
a few days ahead of the official turnover to supervise the action.
Just a couple days ahead of the judges deadline the water tanks
were reported to be discovered draining. The Morris's say they
found it in time to save some water but the loss is important.
Without tank water life on the island would be very difficult,
especially coming into the dry season.
Reports from passing yachties and the Morris's tell of a mess
left at the homestead and other facilities and according to claims
from the Morris's, anything of value taken but the rubbish left.
The structures are reported in poor condition, holes in floors,
broken windows, a general sense of abuse and abandonment.
On the 28th of July, Cotter was reported to have left with the
barge, "Redline" in tow (loaded with a Range Rover)
behind the trawler recently called, "Living it up".
The barge and contents were towed to Stannage Bay by Thirsty
Sound and the trawler returned to Percy Island for the Islander.
And now the work begins for the Morris's. They say the bee hives
have been left in a bad state. As the melaleucas are starting
to blossom the Morris's are working feverishly to put the hives
to right before the hives swarm and the colony goes feral. Honey
production is an important asset to the island. The processing
equipment is also a problem. Cotter took the smaller "Honey
Spinner" and the larger machine left is the property of
"Hello Honey" owned by Peter and Lynette Zahra in the
Pioneer valley, as it wasn't paid for by Cotter.
Meanwhile down at West Bay the clean up begins in earnest. Several
yachts have stopped in and are helping and a candidate for a
permanent resident seems to be in hand.
This message in from the new crew; "We have had a
couple of working bees to clean up the thousands of coconuts
and palm fronds under the coconut trees. Some of the boat crews
involved were "Euphoria" Lance & Tricia, "Platinum"
Ross & Diane, "Medusa" Peter & Rose, "Mim"
Mike, Jane & Gary, "Auspicious" John & Win.
We did not get the names of the others.
We have burnt approximately 2000 of the estimated 5000 coconuts
in West Bay so will need more working bees to complete the project.
We are seeking a "used" new roof for the A-frame and
new purlins. The sheets of iron are 9.1 metres long on both sides.
The width of the roof is 10.8 metres on both sides. The purlins
will need to be 10.8 metres long. The existing purlins are way
too light and have sagged badly. We will have to leave the old
purlins in place as may icons are attached to them. We may have
to remove the front and rear verandahs as they are quite unsafe
and may require too much work to repair. They can be reinstalled
at a later date when a willing work team comes forward.
Arrangements to get crucial basic equipment to the island are
well underway and we would like to especially thank Jeff Craig
for supplying the vessel to get it all there. "
if you are cruising around the
area and you have some time and energy to spare
a job for you
. It's your island too.