Friday, September 28, 2007

"Less work for Mother"??

A new fast food outlet is on the cards for Rotto.

The Rottnest Island Authority is being a bit tardy in providing your humble blogger with more information: we emailed an Authority operative on Wednesday with some questions, but there’s been no response so far.

How many companies submitted a tender? Who were they? Where will the food outlet be in the mall (eg next to the general store)? When will the winning tender be announced?

It’s a mystery so far. While another Red Rooter* or Scungy’s** isn’t to everyone’s taste, you’d think a fast food place on the beautiful island wouldn’t have the, er, issues they do elsewhere.

For example: fast food places seem to attract an awful lot of crime. Here’s a random instance, plucked from the electronic headlines: Axe-wielding man arrested over fast food smash-up.

This is by Chris Mcgoey, who is supposedly a fast food security expert:

‘Fast Food or quick service restaurants are unique commercial properties. They operate late at night or 24-hours a day staffed by crews of young adults or juveniles. They are largely cash-based businesses with a high amount of workplace violence against employees. By design, they are conveniently located on major thoroughfares for quick service. The nature of this business style makes it very convenient for customers. Unfortunately, this style of operation also makes it an attractive target for aggressive or intoxicated persons, robbers, and other criminals.’

Indeed. Another issue with fast food places is litter. Do we really need more fast food on Rotto? Isn’t the beautiful island more in tune with a leisurely meal on the barbie, or a feast prepared slowly in the kitchen?

*and**:for our overseas visitors: Red Rooster, Hungry Jack's

Saturday, September 22, 2007

that's the Spirit

Oceanic Cruises’ new 25m-long catamaran is the first new commercial vessel to service Rottnest in 10 years, according to WA Business news.

The Rottnest Spirit was built by Sabre Cat Marine in Henderson.

Nothing more about the boat on OC’s website, but WABN also reported the company has new owners: Tim and Tammy Shuttleworth.

“We want the Rottnest experience to start when people get on board the ferry,” Mr Shuttleworth gushed to WABN, no doubt thinking of the “full bar, quality sound systems, granite benchtops and LCD screens” on board the Spirit.

Tim told the paper he means to refurbish his six vessels.

Rotto Bloggo likes the sound of OC’s new services: an 0700 from Freo and a 2000 departure from Rotto.

WABN noted Scott Bailey (Bailey’s Marine Fuels) bought Rottnest Express/Boat Torque from Peter Purves recently.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Basin landmark

Rotto Bloggo discovered this week that the beautiful island played a role in a significant precedent-setting legal decision.

This is a bit from Law of the Surf, from a 2003 edition of the Australian Law Journal:

“A significant case especially in relation to surf related liability is that of Nagle v Rottnest Island Authority where the High Court held that the Rottnest Island Authority was liable for injury sustained by Nagle who had been injured in a diving accident and suffered severe spinal injury becoming a quadriplegic.

“Nagle had dived into an area of Rottnest Island known as the Basin and in diving into the water had hit a partially-submerged rock-ledge. The Basin was described as small sand-bottom u-shaped bathing area on the northern coast of the island surrounded on all sides except the north by a flat-rock area known as a wave-platform, approximately 25cm above low-tide level.

“In this instance, it was held that the Rottnest Island Authority should have erected a sign to warn of the dangers. The High Court explained that it was clear that the rocks existed and that the Authority knew of this hidden danger, therefore, a warning sign should have been erected, especially in a context where the Authority encouraged people to use the Basin as a swimming facility.

The Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Kirby has been one of many referring to this case: “…this was the case in which the cost of a sign…was virtually zero and was contrasted with the consequence of the admittedly foolhardy conduct of diving into water from a rock ledge.”

Another reference: “His Honour referred to Nagle v Rottnest Island Authority (1993) 177 CLR 423 (seeE&E Insurance Review, vol. V, no. 1, p. 60; vol. VI, no. 1, p. 42; vol. VIII, no. 1, p. 44) for the principle that a notice may transform a plaintiff’s knowledge of the existence of a danger into a more lively appreciation of the danger.”

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rottnest risk

More Rotto celluloid.

A Fish Tale “expos(es) an issue that needs to be heard by the local West Australian community”, according to its makers.

“The documentary, about exploitation of Rottnest Island’s natural resources, is swimming around the globe without a hint of tiring,” says Black Pearl Pictures (Black Pearl, of course, is also the name of Johnny Depp’s ship in those pirate movies).

The flick won best film at the Margaret River Film Festival and the Hawaii Ocean Film Festival’s Best Short award.

“It explores the delicate nature of the Rottnest marine environment and the risk it is being put under by oil exploration”, according to the Western Suburbs Weekly.

BPP advise you to keep an eye peeled for A Fish Tale at a film festival near you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

great expectations?

Continuing our look at the Synovate research done for the Rottnest Island Authority…

Nearly a third of people stayed in villas; 19 per cent were in units; Kingstown was eight per cent; tents seven per cent.

Ten per cent of people were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the accommodation, with another 20 per cent neutral: neither satisfied or dissatisfied.

The greatest unhappiness is with the linen and bedding: 26 per cent either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, and 27 per cent neutral. Only 47 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied.

Furniture and fittings weren’t far behind in the unhappiness stakes. 22 per cent either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, and 25 per cent neutral.

The ratings for standard of accommodation, cleanliness, cutlery and crockery, maintenance services and luggage delivery were better.

Overall, there were high levels of satisfaction with accommodation: bungalows fared the best, while cottages fared the worst. Tents and villas were the only types that had some very dissatisfied people.

People liked the guided tours, although 80 per cent of visitors said they didn’t go on the two-hour coach tour, or see the Oliver Hill guns and tunnels, or go on quokka walks or Aboriginal history tour or visit the lighthouse.

Expectations: 10 per cent of visitors said their expectations weren’t met – up from six per cent in 2004/05.

A fifth said their expectations were exceeded, and 69 per cent said their expectations were met.
The vast majority of people said they would return to Rotto and would recommend it to others.

A future post will look at the results for ‘Boaters Visiting Rottnest Island’.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

waves reveal happy campers

You’ll recall in our post are you Experienced? we said thanks to Freedom of Information laws we’d got some Synovate research done for the Rottnest Island Authority.

“This report details the findings for the 2005/06 Rottnest island Visitor Survey (based on all data collected in waves 1, 2 and 3.”
(Wave 1 saw 140 people interviewed from mid-June to mid-October 2005, wave 2 was for 271 people quizzed from mid-October 2005 to mid-February 2006, and wave 3 saw 275 people interrogated between mid-February and mid-June 2006).

More than one in four come from the “North Metro” area. We guess this means the western suburbs.
Nearly 60 per cent of people have a gross household income over $80,000.
Nearly half had visited Rotto more than 10 times.

How did they get there? Dunno: a large chunk of page 29 was blacked out: the RIA said it would need to get third-party approval to release ferry information.

About a fifth of visitors had heard about accommodation rate increases/rises/upgrades – nearly half said they would go to Rotto anyway.
A third hadn’t heard anything about Rottnest – nothing at all!

Satisfaction: boaties are the least-satisfied. Visitors from Perth are the least-satisfied of the visitors.
Value for money: 81 per cent think Rotto is ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Seven per cent said it was ‘poor’.
“Reasons for poor rating of value for money of Rottnest Island”: 37 per cent said the ferry cost too much; 32 per cent said the food and accommodation was too expensive.

A quarter said the accommodation was poor value.
Five per cent were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the facilities and services on Rotto.

What did people think about Red Rooster, Dome, the store and the bakery?
Dunno: the RIA removed the seven-page section ‘Businesses on Rottnest Island’, because of the third-party thing.

Tomorrow’s post: what people think about the villas, cabins et al!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

it's a fantasy island

Lots of Rottnest news while we’ve been away. Did you see the ad in today’s West: if you get the job of managing the Rottnest Island Authority (position # EP007 Marine & Terrestrial Reserve) you get from $82,228 to $88,131 a year. The location of your employment is: “Rottnest Island (Commuting)”.

A story on egoli says Westralian Gas and Power has done a $37 million offshore exploration deal with Roc Oil Limited, which can now explore and drill two wells in two offshore petroleum permits.

“WAGP said the deal was with 25 per cent joint venture partners Lempika Pty Limited and Emphazise Pty Limited, and comprises 4530 sq km, in the Vlaming Sub-basin ranging from Rottnest Island to Mandurah.,” egoli says.

Another island list popped up, this time in the Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Fantasy islands’ had Qld’s Poruma Island at the top, then the Tiwi Islands – then Rotto. Some mistake surely? At least we were ahead of Kangaroo Island, French Island, and some place called Haggerstone Island. The plane! The plane!

And this from the West: “More than 40ha of prime Rottnest Island land previously protected from development will be rezoned, prompting accusations that the State Government is orchestrating a land grab for further development…Tourism Minister Sheila McHale rejected the claims as ludicrous, saying any future government would be “utterly crucified” if it tried to build on the expanded settlement zone.”

The Rottnest Society doesn’t like the sound of the rezoning: the West reported Sue Foukes as saying the Rotto task force report hadn’t recommended the zone be increased.