Sunday, May 20, 2007

the attractive Rotto reserve

The language of bureaucrats is a thing to behold.

Witness this verbiage from the Rottnest Island Authority's 2005/06 annual's on page 22, under the heading 'Indigenous Heritage':

"Aboriginal people refer to Rottnest Island as Wadjemup. This year the impacts of the post colonial Aboriginal prison era have been proactively addressed in a sustainable manner by the Authority. The Authority created a new position to engage with Aboriginal Community from across the State in dialogue to develop a Strategy to go forward with the desired outcomes of repair of the Burial Ground physically and spiritually and development of quality Aboriginal Cultural ecotourism product."

Impacts...proactively...engage...dialogue...the language is dying! George Orwell (who knew a thing or two about islands) is thinking 'I told you so'.

Rotto Bloggo thought of this annual report perissology after seeing a media release from the State Government last week.

'People who obstruct Rottnest Island rangers from doing their job or refuse to leave the island will face higher penalties under changes to the Rottnest Island Authority Act,' it said.

"People value Rottnest as a safe, relaxed holiday environment - it is essential we ensure the Rottnest ethos is maintained," said Tourism Minister Sheila McHale (love that word ethos, too).

Obstructing rangers or refusing instructions to leave Rotto means you can be slugged $10,000 instead of $1000.

But this also caught our eye in the release:

Ms McHale said another feature of the Bill was the creation of the Rottnest Island Wadjemup Conservation Reserve.

“The new reserve is intended to raise awareness of the value of the A-Class Rottnest Island reserve,” she said.

“The name Wadjemup means ‘land across the water’ and highlights the indigenous history of Rottnest, and seeks to increase the island’s attractiveness to visitors and tourism markets.”

We're not sure how the new reserve will increase attractiveness: it's already there.

What is the Rottnest Island Wadjemup ConservationReserve?

According to the Act:

(3) In subsection (2) —
“Rottnest Island Wadjemup Conservation Reserve”
means —
(a) that reserve —
20 (i) as shown on Deposited Plan 52582;
(ii) on a diagram or plan notified under
subsection (4)(a); or
(b) a part of the Island declared under
25 subsection (4)(b) to be the Rottnest Island Wadjemup Conservation Reserve;...

But where exactly is it?

This from the Act's explanatory memoranda:

'The creation of a new conservation park in the area west of the settlement requires an amendment to the definition of the Reserve. The Rottnest Island Wadjemup Conservation Reserve is created in recognition of this area’s status as an environmental ‘icon’. The creation of a new conservation reserve is intended highlight the value of the reserve. This will make the Island more attractive to potential tourism markets assisting the Island’s drive towards financial self-sufficiency.'

There's that more-attractive thing again. Call Rotto Bloggo gormless, but we're still not sure exactly where the new Reserve is, or why it's needed, or what it really means.

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