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Weed warriors

EARLIER this year 39 volunteers organised by the Rottnest Society cleared Mediterranean sea splurge weed from the beach at Porpoise Bay. At the same time another group of volunteers removed another weed wild cotton bush from one of the island’s wetlands. These are two of 19 unwelcome weeds on Rottnest covered by the island’s weed management plan.



Native Title issues

NATIVE Title is another issue confronting the island. The entire metropolitan area is subject to a land rights claim and Rottnest has been caught up in that. It also holds an Aboriginal graveyard. “I have fairly regular contact with the Rottnest Island Deaths Group,” island CEO John Mitchell said. “Our relationship is working effectively.” The most recent problem concerning the graveyard was the re-laying of sewerage pipes. While the pipes did not go through the graveyard, they went close to it.



Pub talks continue

NEGOTIATIONS are continuing over the lessee for the Quokka Arms. The previous lessee, Holden dealer Brian Gardiner, finished his stint in June. Access Management is running Rottnest’s only pub until the new lessee is decided. This has allowed the hotel to keep operating. It is believed both the Swan Brewery and Carlton & United Breweries are chasing the lease, which offers a strong business opportunity. The Rottnest Island Authority has concluded the request for proposal stage and a decision is expected soon.



Centre to shortern wait

TEN operators at the Rottnest Island Authority’s new $150,00 call centre in Fremantle will cut the delays experienced by people booking holidays. The centre aims to answer 70 per cent of calls within a minute. Island CEO John Mitchell said it would mean the end of huge queues for booking during peak holiday times. “The centre should eliminate complaints about delays and make booking a lot easier and more convenient,” Mr Mitchell said.



Master of Rottnest

Freemasons are associated with Rottnest through Wadjemup Lodge (the Aboriginal name for the island), after which the hill in the centre of the island is named. Last April Bill Brown became the first man to be made a freemason on Rottnest Island. Wadjemup Lodge will install its new master in the island’s Picture Hall on May 26 next year. The lodge was formed by masons with a keen interest in the island and is a memorial to William Kirkby one of the founders of the island’s volunteer Winnit Club.



Trees do time on island

MORE than 75,000 trees grown at Bunbury regional Prison are being interned on Rottnest for the term of their natural lives as part of the island’s woodland restoration plan. Seed is collected on the island by community groups, sorted and sent to the prison where it is propagated and raised to seedlings. According to island environmental officer Chas Hanson life in prison is great for these plants – they are watered daily, fed regularly, given their own cells and kept away from the elements. On the island they will have to fend for themselves.

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