Sunday, May 06, 2007

who's who in the Rotto zoo

The alphabet soup that is groups associated with Rotto just got thicker.

We had the Rottnest Island Authority (RIA), the Rottnest Island Foundation (RIF), the Rottnest Society (RS)…and now we have the The Friends of Rottnest (TFOR).

The RIA runs Rotto. The RIF is a bit mysterious but according to something on the RIA site, it’s “a voluntary organisation established to raise funds to to enable future generations to enjoy an unspoiled Rottnest Island experience”.

The RS is acting up about the Mt Herschel hotel development.

TFOR, according to an article in The Post yesterday, “supported the proposed hotel development at Mt Herschel and hoped people who stayed there would become members”.

Fair enough. Some people like the idea of the new hotel, and some don’t.

It’s who’s in TFOR which is curious. In a Post photo were Frits Steenhauer, Lloyd Smith, Pat Barblett and Laurie O’Meara.

Laurie is the chairman of the RIA.

Frits is listed in the RIA’s 2002-03 annual report as a ‘community representative’ on the Rottnest Island Marine Issues Advisory Committee.

Lloyd is a member of the Rottnest Island Interpretation Facility Stakeholder Group and was chairman of the RIF in 2004.

Pat is the chairwoman of FACET, or Forum Advocating Cultural & Ecotourism. She was on the RIA for 15 years, with three of those as chairwoman. FOR’s phone number is the same as FACET’s, in fact, and FACET grew out of a 1991 cultural event hosted by the RIA.


FOR thinks the flash new hotel is a good thing.

FOR seems to have people in common with the RIA.

Is it reasonable to believe the RIA likes the proposed Mt Herschel hotel as well?

Maybe there’s nothing wrong with the RIA giving the stamp of approval to the development.

But why not just say so, instead of going through the palaver of setting up another Rottnest organisation?

We called the only P.Barblett and Steenhauer in the White Pages, but no answer. We left messages for the RS’s Sue Folks, too. We’ll try again tomorrow.

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