Jan 20 2011
Since 1990, when DEC bought the run-down cattle station, 240km from Derby on the Gibb River Road with public monies, in The West Kimberleys, Taffy has slaving in good faith with blistered hands restoring the original homestead, establishing new buildings and setting up Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge – now a place on the global tourist’s map. To the people of Western Australia, Taffy Abbotts lived up to his end of the bargain those WA people’s money was invested in.
Alas, after enduring 20 years of hardship, sweat and blisters building the Mt Hart back up from a resoundingly neglected failed cattle station under a contract of services licensing agreement, late last year he was incongruously offered a paltry $200,000 to walk off it, whilst being advised “big business” has an interest in taking out the lease.
Listen to Taffy’s SOS-NEWS interview on how government ripped him off then read on further to the next page…
Taffy, who recently had the replacement costs of improvements at Mt Hart valued at $1.85 million and the business valued at an additional $305 000, ostensibly had no options but to decline the insulting offer. After much negotiation and ;lawyers being a necessity, DEC condescended to present another offer at 4.21pm, on Christmas Eve just gone.
The price taffy has on his business is in the opinion of many we know, one that fails to really take into account the immense goodwill that his efforts have brought to fruition. Thousands of people from around the globe have over the years visited and partaken in his Kimberley hospitality and have nothing but raves for the experience.
Taffy is an outback man. This means calluses, sinewy arms, bad backs and weather facial complexion, dry humour and a wealth of experience to impart. It does not mean a sly city centric attitude to proprietary and ethics and this is perhaps his undoing. While he now has DEC accepting a figure for his business and business name, there is no way it will be a figure in the magnitude it should be and yet DEC are still squabbling over that which they know they owe.
Taffy puts it to SOS-NEWS like this, “DEC have now accepted the value of my business as a going concern, and the business name, but are still not prepared to accept or acknowledge that I have spent the last 20 years building up the derelict homesteads and gardens into what they are today,” he said. “And they will still not acknowledge the fact that according to the contract agreements I had with them, they should have paid for these capital improvements.”
It is clear that DEC have major tourist corporations in their sites, or is that pockets, and Taffey’s efforts are about to be officially stolen unless we the people say, DEC get stuffed. You manage the money for the people and we expect you to pay for and to those who not only honour an agreement, but honour all Australians and Australia by their actions. Pay the man his dues and let the big corporate entity who has been romancing you fill your coffers as it should be.
Brumbyy (With 2Ys)