Pubic Advisory - Camping On West Moore Island

Western Australia-Pilbara Region: Official forum for the Port Hedland Game Fishing Club.

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Islander
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Pubic Advisory - Camping On West Moore Island

Post by Islander » Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:35 am

Public Advisory Notice

Camping at West Moore Island (Opposite Balla Balla).

Just providing a “public notice” for all Port Headland and Karratha based anglers (or passing tourists) who fish out of Balla Balla and wish to occasionally camp on West Moore Island.

Like all Islands in this chain – they are CALM (DEC) vested controlled wildlife sanctuaries, and as such camping is discouraged where possible out of concern for the wildlife (birds rookeries etc) that exist on the Islands. (We have a lease from CALM for the area the lodge resides on).

With that said there’s a long history of folks discretely camping on the sandy spit / dunes area at the eastern end of West Moore Island.

As the Manager out here, I am pleased to advise that from April – you will be able to book and stay at the Island Lodge facility with us if you have a mind too simply by contacting us.

Of course you are still welcome to camp on the end of the island also if you wish – and should you run into any difficulty we are always happy for you to call in for a chat and seek help with water ice fuel food repairs phone, whatever – we are here to help.

Please consider that, just like you, – we cart things like food and fuel from Karratha once a fortnight so sometimes at the end of the fortnight pickings can be a bit slim, but we will always do our best to help out anyone in genuine need. Fuel we have to buy and cart ourselves also…and to give an example – it costs $4500 for a delivery of diesel (6000 litres) by supply boat and we still have to PAY for the diesel on top of that so – if you do need fuel and we supply you – please don’t GAG in shock when we ask for our cost to supply of $2.50+/ liter – quite simply – that’s what it costs us to keep it here in case you need it!.

It’s a fair bit dearer than Roebourne but we are on an island offshore and nothing’s cheap out here!

Water is a case in point – I have to pay diesel to generate power to pump 10,000 litres of seawater to desalinate about 400 litres of fresh potable drinking water, and that takes another 6 hours of diesel generated power to desalinate it (not to mention 3 membranes worth $850 each and countless sub micron filters etc on the desalinator). Then to make it into Ice there’s a Ice making machine running all the time on diesel generated power (all this from the delivered diesel at $2.50+ a litre)

Yes we will gladly supply you fuel food water and ice – but again please don’t gag when we ask for what it really costs us to produce these commodities out here, obviously it’s cheaper to bring your own but heaven’s forbid if you run out, then come see us because it’s probably cheaper to buy some ice or fuel or whatever, rather than go all the way home early and spoil a good fishing trip, coz the beers warm or your food went off, or you ran outta water, or due to lack of ice or your low on fuel or need a small repair!

There is another issue with camping on the end of the island and that’s your rubbish – please take it home with you – we have to cart our own rubbish back to the mainland every fortnight and dispose of it, and at the moment we are STILL carting rubbish from the camping area back to the mainland every fortnight - in some cases stuff buried there 10 or more years ago judging by the age of the bottles and cans. Erosion of the dune is exposing rubbish long since buried and forgotten, Please don’t bury your rubbish on the island, or throw it in your campfire.

Camp Fires.

During the last Barra Bash, someone camped overnight on the end of West Moore and left their camp fire burning when they left! It’s a long thin island & tinder dry vegetation – had the wind changed from the east, before we discovered the fire it could well have burnt out the entire island vegetation including the lodge. We had to extinguish the fire 24 hours later, with sea water ourselves when we saw the orange glow in the dark of night.

These same people – pulled down a steel Osprey perch, erected to help a couple pairs Osprey that nest each year here on the island, and raise healthy chicks here.
The perch was pulled down and used as a seat around the camp fire.
Of course they left their rubbish as well.

Sad as I am to say this we photographed the vessel concerned and I have since seen it depicted on this web site – as belonging to one of the members who participated in the recent October Balla Balla Barra Bash.

Please have some respect for the Island and we who have to keep it clean and tidy and a nice place to visit – you will find if you treat us as you would like to be treated that we will reciprocate and assist you in any way we can out here including swinging your boat off our moorings if needed (hail us West Moore Island Base on VHF 16)!

Lastly I guess… I worked a long time for CALM – and still hold full warrant powers and warrant card under the CALM and Wildlife Acts from my time as a law enforcement officer with them, & I now live on & manage one of their islands which is a designated wildlife refuge / sanctuary under the act!

If you do camp here and disobey the rules as above then please don’t be disappointed when I show up – because I WILL arrest you under the powers conferred upon me by the CALM and Wildlife acts, and hand you over to the CALM people or The Police (Sgt Mark Donnelly) on Delphinius etc – who ever I need to call.

I can’t make it any more simple than that, come out here and stay or camp and fish etc – seek help if you need it – but please obey the rubbish and fires rules and don’t destroy the facilities here!

Treat us as you would like to be treated and we will all get along swimmingly, there’s room here for everyone if we all just obey a few simple housekeeping rules for the sake of the future of the island and wildlife that depend upon it.!

Many thanks,

Shann Low
Manager
West Moore Island
08 918 45145
Flywest Fishing Charters
http://www.flywest.com.au

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Leith Larham
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Post by Leith Larham » Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:07 pm

Islander,

If you could post or forward via email the pictures of the boat you suggest has acted inappropriately, this would be appreciated.

The Port Hedland Game Fishing Club held a Barra Classic on the weekend of Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of November.

I can assure you that no club members that participated in this event camped on any of the islands off the coast of Balla Balla during this event, everyone had made camp at the boat ramp area in Balla Balla creek.

Several barra tournaments have been held at Balla Balla over the past few months by a number of fishing clubs.

If you could provide more specifics on this matter it would be appreciated.

Regards Leith
President
Port Hedland Game Fishing Club
Mobile - 0407441666
Email - leith_larham@westnet.com.au
Quality not Quantity!

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Post by barra_on_fly » Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:05 pm

Leith Larham wrote:Islander,

If you could post or forward via email the pictures of the boat you suggest has acted inappropriately, this would be appreciated.

The Port Hedland Game Fishing Club held a Barra Classic on the weekend of Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of November.

I can assure you that no club members that participated in this event camped on any of the islands off the coast of Balla Balla during this event, everyone had made camp at the boat ramp area in Balla Balla creek.

Several barra tournaments have been held at Balla Balla over the past few months by a number of fishing clubs.

If you could provide more specifics on this matter it would be appreciated.

Regards Leith
President
Port Hedland Game Fishing Club
Mobile - 0407441666
Email - leith_larham@westnet.com.au
I was wondering myself as members of organised fishing clubs tend not be be morons... Also why would they camp there if they were fishing in Balla???

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Islander
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No Names No Packdrill

Post by Islander » Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:25 am

No Names - No Pack drill, please guys

I said to forum owner Bob, that I specifically wouldn't identify any individual. It's not necessary - the damage has been fixed, the fire put out, and the rubbish cleaned up, since then others have been and gone without incident.

All I want is for peace and everyone to get along - theres enough room here for everyone if we all obey the simple rules of common courtesy.

The perpetrator knows who he is and no doubt will learn from the error, and thats enough.

The fact that we commonly photo boats we don't already KNOW, is a precaution only - if they do nothing wrong we delete the pics, pretty simple.

Its some thing we do for a host of agencies - CALM, Water Police, Border Security (Customs coast watch), Fisheries etc etc - when somethings gone down - and they find out about it, they inevitably ask us if "we saw anything" looking for corroborating witness testimony to support their cases in court.

We try where we can to oblige them... by keeping notes of who we see doing what where and when - with the aid of the telescope and 20 power bino's out here!

I don't go out of my way to spy on people going about their legitimate business fishing or diving, sight seeing, whatever, quite the opposite - simply I haven't got time - but occasionally we do see someone doing something a little out of the ordinary & we make a note in the diary, and download a photo or two for later reference if needed!

I have better things to do than be an unpaid policeman.

Its just that sometimes people are pretty blase about nefarious activities out here because they think it's so remote no one will see them.

Water Police Delphinius (Sgt Mark Donnelly & Crew) call in here every trip up and down the coast for an overnighter - cup of char etc and a chat.

Often times we have nothing to report at all - but occasionally we pass on whats called I guess "intelligence" that helps them fill in the missing pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Its surprising how much they know about the anglers of this region - I guess maybe they monitor the forums boards as well, who knows - they obviously have their own methods.

Really I just want to get the message across that we don't bite - we like to meet people and help out wherever we can - we are friendly out here and we want to get along wit everyone wherever we can.

It comes as a real let down occasionally when we spot the aftermath of people who do the dumb thing.

Of course while they are actually there - they haven't done anything wrong at all - it's NOT until they leave that they make decisions like to take or leave rubbish, to cart water and extinguish a fire etc - so it is not until someone leaves, that we know if they were a good visitor or not.

Once they have left - theres no way to confront someone because it's too late.

For that reason we photograph every boat that visits (makes landfall) as a record for after they have left, if we have to report anything to the authorities at all we have some form of ID (Vessel description & rego number).

I really would sooner be friendly with people than police them - I do honestly believe people will do the right thing if you ask them...and give them the info - so they can make rational decisions on their own behalf.

Sometimes it's not the boat owners decision - its his crew who might be inexperienced - and because of the big tides the boat owner has swum out to get his boat off a mooring or from at anchor and is trying to bring it back in close enough to pick up his crew - so it's the crew who make decisions about what gets done onshore, as far as carting rubbish and extinguishing fires when leaving.

It's for these reasons I'd sooner not identify any individuals, because it serves no point after the fact - the whole point is to educate before the fact!

Thats what I'm aiming to do here with any luck.

Even the guy and crew who made a mistake a simple mistake or two are most welcome back here, we all goof up at some point in time, - as long as we learn from it, and do better next time, then no harm done IMHO.

You know the old umpires saying - no blood no foul, play on! :wink:

Lets not make a mountain out of a mole hill - the advisory is about more than just rubbish and fires, it'sto let you know what facilities and help are available and where to seek help.

If it comes down to it - and you need rescue for example in this area - our vessels are located right nearby compared to sending out a Volunteer Sea recue boat from Samson Dampier or Port Headland - surely you'd just hail us on 16 (we monitor it as abase station) and our 25 ft vessel was built and is still in survey as a patrol rescue vessel - if you need help, we WILL come rescue you, simple as that, you only have to ask.

How many more folks would venture out of balla balla creek mouth on a nice day in their boats, if they KNEW there was a rescue craft within 3 or 4 iles and a base station monitoring their calls, spare fuel ice fioid water etc available within a 20 minute run etc etc?

Would this not influence your decisions making process as skipper if you knew help was available ad you weren't the "only boat out there in the middle of no where with no help available"?

As stated this is an advisory notice is all - to help people out - give them a little more confidence in this area, and let them know whats here and were to seek help when needed - even a mooring for the night, dive gear if you dropped something over the side - welding gear etc if you need a little repair to get back safe.

Thats more what this is about than some witch hunt...for a minor mistake 3 months ago, from which we can all learn and move on!

I gave up trying to bang peoples heads together years ago when I was younger and sillier, - far easier to educate people in the first place!

Cheers.
Flywest Fishing Charters
http://www.flywest.com.au

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Leith Larham
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Post by Leith Larham » Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:07 am

Dear Mr Shann Low,

You have, by placing information on the Port Hedland Game Fishing Clubs forum page and by referencing a boats owners details associated with this forum, inferred that some one from our club has acted in an inappropriate behaviour on West Moore Island during the clubs barra tournament.

Unless you are able to forward to me additional facts or proof that it was in fact a member of our club then your statements will be regarded with contempt.

If you are unable to substantiate your claim, the Port Hedland Game Fishing Club strongly requests that you immediately,

a) Recall your message
b) Forward a written apology to the Port Hedland Game Fishing Club

The PHGFC and its members are responsible people, and I can assure you that all members participating in the barra tournament did not participate in the activities you have described.

Regards

Leith Larham
President
Port Hedland Game Fishing Club.
Mobile - 0407441666
Email - leith_larham@westnet.com.au
Quality not Quantity!

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Post by barra_on_fly » Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:11 am

I have to agree with Leith. In reality PHGFC has been named, and I believe incorrectly (just my opinion) accused, without any proof. I believe that Leith, as President of one of the Pilbara's foremost Game Fishing Clubs, is within his rights to defend his Club and tournament. I know Leith is fully capable of defending himself however I am a tad concerned about this thread.
Also the only person on this forum who fished that tournament was Leith, (maybe Shane?) and the likely hood of Leith being the person responsible is nil. I was invovled with PHGFC prior to moving to Karratha and I have know Leith for nearly 4 years and I think he is one of the most dedicated and passionate members of a long standing club whose ethic is deliberately conservation orientated.
Balla is a very popular system with many boats frequenting it on any given day. Just because PHGFC was hosting a tournament is not reason enough to assume the offending moron was in any way involved with the club or the tournament.

End rant.
Now.

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I have inferred nothing of the sort!

Post by Islander » Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:08 pm

I have inferred nothing of the sort, you have chosen to take umbrage, with no basis in fact - and that is your own prerogative.

I gave my word to Bob that I would NOT identify ANY individual involved, for the simple reason I see nothing to be gained from it and lots to be lost. It was never my intention to identify an individual publicly and is something I will NOT do, period - no matter how loudly you protest.

You've been provided with information about the rules for camping out here - simple as that, as an advisory because I saw a need to stop such behaviour before it gets out of hand. (With the danger that fire represents to mine and my families and guests lives - I believe that I have a right & obligation to so do!

I believe the advisory will do just that!

I think a simple education approach is more productive than outing someone on a web board publicly, or in front of his club peers - if I was THAT sort of vindictive person I'd have just laid a complaint with CALM and Fisheries and provided details of the boat and owner.

I've chosen in the interests of good neighborly relations to keep the info confidential and deal with it in an educational manner since that achieves the desired result & leaves everyone welcome to still come here in future without recriminations.

Its the proper way to deal with it - softly softly and no body suffers.

Your reaction to the way this has been handled from a club perspective IMHO is poor - I have no desire to cause problems within your club or it's membership and for that EXACT reason as explained have and will continue to - keep the identity confidential.

This is a small community - although its a big area it isn't heavily populated and most boats are individualized in some way - that makes them readily identifiable - especially when photgraphs are posted to the web.

Owners should think about that if they wish to leave fires burning, or rubbish behind and pull down infrastructure on the island.
The effects have been dealt with - we've put out their fire, removed their rubbish and re - erected the Osprey perch.

All we ask is that people treat the place as if it were their home, as it is ours.

If I stopped outside your home overnight - tore down your letterbox to sit on, lit a fire on your front lawn, and left a string of allly beer cans behind - you'd be crabby about it.

We've got over it - people do such things some times - but we can all learn from our mistakes.

I asked you not to make a mountain out of a mole hill which is exactly what your attempting to do and worse your turning this into an attack on one individual here - me - while I have gone to every length to keep this in generalities!

I ask you to be a little more mature - and think this thru - the important thing is to get the educational message out there to all people who might like to come here that they are welcome and all we ask is to obey some very simple common courtesy guidelines..that make for good neighborly relations in any community.

I intend to leave it at that.

You can act as an injured party and turn this into an attack on me all you like - to my mind that just raised questions as to your motives in this?.

How hard is it, to put a notice into a club newsletter, a few lines outlining facilities available here and rules for visiting to ensure that we all get along?

Getting into a public slanging match might make good internet entertainment for a few bored people but is NOT something that I believe is politic to do, or likely to engender good relations, and for that reason identities are not important in this discussion.

I've deliberately not mentioned any individual or organization or even dates - for the very reason I DON'T want to identfy any one individual!

It is not forum policy to make "multiple posts", I placed it on the Club web forum in the hope it would be noticed and promulgated far and wide within your in house newsletters or publications and reach a wider audience.

If you wish to have it moved to a more appropriate forum, because you feel it reflects badly on your club or membership - then by all means ask Bob to shift it to where you think it rightly belongs.

I have a message to get out to EVERYONE - and if your organization does not want to be a part of that process then I will make due note of that for all future communications.

Cheers
Flywest Fishing Charters
http://www.flywest.com.au

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Leith Larham
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Post by Leith Larham » Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:57 pm

Shann,

You are not making any sense. How can say you are not inferring anything when,
During the last Barra Bash, someone camped overnight on the end of West Moore and left their camp fire burning when they left! It’s a long thin island & tinder dry vegetation – had the wind changed from the east, before we discovered the fire it could well have burnt out the entire island vegetation including the lodge. We had to extinguish the fire 24 hours later, with sea water ourselves when we saw the orange glow in the dark of night.

These same people – pulled down a steel Osprey perch, erected to help a couple pairs Osprey that nest each year here on the island, and raise healthy chicks here.
The perch was pulled down and used as a seat around the camp fire.
Of course they left their rubbish as well.

Sad as I am to say this we photographed the vessel concerned and I have since seen it depicted on this web site – as belonging to one of the members who participated in the recent October Balla Balla Barra Bash.
As president of the Fishing Club it angers me when someone infers that members of this club have acted in an inappropriate way during one of its functions. I know for fact that all persons participating in the Barra Classic had absolutely nothing to do with the activities you have described.

Again i request that you recall you original message as you have no grounds to make any allegations towards the club or its members. If these claims can be substantiated then i will be in agreement with you and constructively go about educating our members in fishing and conservation ethics.

I strongly suggest that in future that you report to the relevant authorities any activities that would be regarded as disrespectful to animals or the environment, rather than using it for self promotional means on an internet forum.

Regards Leith
Quality not Quantity!

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Leith

Post by Islander » Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:16 pm

Leith - I'll take this to PM's with you or email or phone in the interests of protecting the members ID!

I think I need to point out to you - that members of the public or indeed your own club members camping on the end of this island, is in no way "self promotion" as you suggest.

We gain nothing from it yet, are more than willing to assist them if they need it. I think you will realize there is no profit in that - our core business is in accomodation and charter fishing, campers here with their own boats and sleeping under the stars are not a profit making venture for us - yet we remain more than happy to tolerate them - encourage same, and help out where needed, - please don't spoil that for your members, by being bloody minded and indignant about this publicly when there is no need or cause.

Cheers.
Flywest Fishing Charters
http://www.flywest.com.au

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Post by barra_on_fly » Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:30 pm

Ok no one doubts that someone has done the wrong thing on West Moore island.
The Public Advisory Notice you posted states all that on and so on and so forth, yet you did publically, on this forum state that the culprit was a forum member and invovled with the PHGFC Balla tournament, don't publically name them, send the pics via PM to Leith. As you are new to the area you could not possibly know every boat and what club if any they belong too, I have been in PHGFC and NBSFC and I do not know 1/4 of the local boats.

A simple apology works better than digging further in. Nobody has said that it didn't happen just it was NOT someone fishing that competition. How can you say Leith has handled this in a poor way? How would you appreciate this scenario? Someone comes and pulls down my my letter box and starts a fire, I'll just assume it was you and just say it was someone from West Moore Island because they were in town that day. Then say you are immature for standing up for yourself and not just letting a wild statement slip by, in good neighbourly fashion.

By stating that Leith (or myself, as I have waded into this, apparently for good internet entertainment) should be more mature when challenging your unsubstantiated and assuming statement just makes look worse for your argument, which is kind of wayward and varies from high moral ground to assumptions and sarcasm.

Stating that it was a competitor from the Balla tournament does bring PHGFC reputation into disrepute. Leith is handling this a lot better than I would in his position.

Cannot you accept that may just be in the wrong?

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