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  1. quokka

    IOI Chapter 26

    When it came to the matter of permitting the project to go ahead, one of the councillors expressed concern about it being forced to go ahead, without all the required checks. “Commander Shaw, I see you in the back of the room, would you mind coming forward, so we can ask some questions” the shire president asked. “Certainly sir, I would be happy to do that” I replied, as I moved forward and stepped up to the podium, and for the next fifteen minutes, I was asked plenty of questions about the project, the Corporation funding the project, the tall ship and the owners of the corporation, by the shire councillors. When it came to the vote on whether the shire accepts the proposal, it was 7 for and 1 against, meaning that the approval was given, and this brought a round of applause from the crowd. The shire president called for a fifteen -minute recess, to allow those in the crowd who wanted to leave, and for the councillors to have a short break. When the meeting resumed, only a dozen ratepayers had stayed, and I had decided to stay a bit longer, to get an idea of what is happening within the shire. By 6pm, I had enough, and waiting for the shire president to glance in my direction, I gave a short bow, and left the room, “Now that is a man who shows respect” I heard the shire president say just before the door closed behind me, and I smiled. Two days later a building team were preparing, for the lifting of the tall ship, with the water level in the creek now a trickle, two trenches were dug under the ship, to allow large straps to get under it. The next day, a heavy crane arrived in town, and from the carpark beside the creek, the crane lifted the tall ship by the two straps, and backed down the gravel carpark towards the water, stopping on the edge of the beach, where the sand was getting a little too soft to cope with the heavy load. Still twenty metres short of the water, the crane would only be able to lower the ship into very shallow water, not deep enough to get the ship to float, and with power lines in the way, it was not possible to truck the ship to another location. I had already managed to employ two fishing boat skippers and two crew to assist with motoring the tall ship up to the river, but we still needed to get the ship into dep water first. One of the skippers made a few calls to some locals, and about an hour later, we had a truck load of old railway sleepers, and a front-end loader, plus we had two fishing boats just off the beach, ready to pull the ship into deeper water. With two tracks of railway sleepers laid down on the beach, the crane was now able to get within 5 metres of the water, which would allow the ship to be almost able to float, and hopefully the fishing boats would be able to do the rest, to get it into deeper water. The project ended up attracting a large group of locals, some came to just watch, while others pitched in to help, and we soon had the crane and the tall ship near the water’s edge, and once the crane was stabilised, it extended its lifting arm, to take the tall ship back to the water where it belongs, with heavy ropes used to pull the tall ship into deeper water, with the help of the two fishing boats. Everyone cheered as the ship was finally floating on its own, and the crew of four plus myself, as I didn’t want to miss the chance to be on the ship when it was afloat, the ships engine was started and began to make its way up the coast, once the towing ropes had been disconnected and pulled in. I wish we could take her out for a sail, I said to one of the boat skippers, who was at the wheel of the ship, “That would be a grand thing to do, if only we had the experienced crew to do it” the skipper replied, with a smile, and the short 4 kilometre long journey neared its end, as the ship came about and entered the mouth of the Murchison River, with crew on each side, fore and aft of the ship, to make sure it didn’t hit any rocks or sandbars. Large crowds of people were lined along the river banks watching as we came into the river, and headed 2 kilometres upstream to the first main jetty in just deep enough waters, as I could feel the drag on occasions, when the ship was touching the bottom of the river, but the skipper kept the speed up, to stop us from getting stuck, luckily it is nearly high tide, which was assisting in a small way. I had checked the tides and the river depths a day before moving the ship, and I knew that it would be a close call to get it up that far the river, and I was not sure about when the tide drops down, leaving the ship in lower waters. Very carefully the skipper steered the ship into position and headed straight in towards the south side of the service jetty, gently rubbing against the side of the jetty as we reached it, and the skipper stopped the engines, to allow the ship to drift the rest of the way, coming to a sudden stop, when the front hit shallow waters. The crew and some of the helpers from before, got to work to properly secure the ship to the concrete jetty, with the end of the ship being 10 metres in from the end of the jetty, and the bowsprit being a further 15 metres past the bow of the ship, looming over the riverbank, by about 5 metres, but about 6 metres above the ground, so it can’t be reached, if anyone tried. By the time the ship was secured, there was a huge crowd gathered to have a look at the ship up close, I asked the two skippers and two crew members if they would mind staying for a bit longer, and coming back after lunch time, and they happily agreed, and with that sorted I went to the forecastle of the ship. “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I will be happy to allow ship tours commencing from 1pm this afternoon, with a cold coin donation, which will go to a local charity, so please come back in just over three hours’ time at 2pm, and we will be able to commence the tours at that time” I announced loudly to the crowd. A lot of the crowd moved away, while some decided to remain and watch for a while, as I made my way back to the main deck. “Right Mick and Jack, and your two crew, how about having a one afternoon job conducting ship tours, I am happy to pay for your troubles, lets’ say $35 an hour for the skippers and $25 an hour for the crew, which will come out of my pocket and not the donations, does that sound reasonable?” I asked the four men, and they all happily agreed. “I know you have your own fishing boats and livelihoods to look after, so I will just make it this one afternoon for now, until the Wagner twins return with some assistance. By the way, can you also make a list of the people who assisted down at the creek and here with tying up the ship, and what machinery was used, so I can compensate them for their time and machinery costs” I mentioned as we headed inside. Once in the Captain’s cabin we all sat down, “Ok, now I need to organise some ladders, or better still if there is a scaffolding company, where we can build stairs from the jetty up to the main deck that would be good, to make access easier” I commented, “Yes, there is one company that I know of that has scaffolding, I will get onto it right away” one of the skippers – Jack said. Good, once you have called them, we need to make up a plan for the tours, I will write out a bit of a history of this replica tall ship, and the history of the original ship, so you have something to say to the visitors, and I suggest that we make each tour group no more than 8 people, with 15 minute intervals between each group, and the tour should take no more than 40 minutes to complete, have a look around this section of the ship, while Jack makes that call” I said to everyone gathered. When Jack had finished the call, we headed back inside, “The scaffolding will be on its way in half an hour, and should be up before 2pm” Jack announced, “Good, now let’s try a dummy run for the tours, we may need to have two people down on the jetty to collect the donations, and count the number coming up the stairs, so it’s not to overcrowded on the main deck. “How about I organise some of my colleagues at the Lions Club, they will be happy to assist” Mick said, “Good, can you organise that once we have finished up here?” I asked, and Mick agreed. “Right, let’s go back out onto the main deck, which is where the first group will arrive, whoever is going first, will make sure that they all remain together, and not wonder around the main deck. Once you are ready to start, take them up onto the Helm Deck, so let them see where the ship is steered from, then down the other stairs and into the stern section, I will have the two officer’s cabins unlocked, as well as the Captain’s cabin, so the visitors can have a look inside, but don’t let them touch anything. Then after a walk around the captain’s cabin, we will come down these stairs, to the next deck down, and enter the guest lounge room, for a quick look, don’t forget, you will have some facts and information with you to ramble off as you are moving around. Most of the ship on this deck, consists of guest cabins, and I will have two of them unlocked, so the guests can have a peek inside. Moving further forward, we will enter the galley, which is the kitchen, we will then go down to the bottom deck, where I will have two more crew cabins open for looking into, and we will move back to the cargo hold in the centre of the ship. Here you might want to point out the roof of the hold can be opened, with the small lounge above being its location, allowing access to the main deck, where the hatch is located. From the Cargo hold, we will move forward again to the stairs, and go up two decks, to the Dining room and forward lounge, and out the door, back onto the main deck, where you can allow the visitors to check out the forecastle deck, before they leave the ship, and there should have five minutes, before the third group begins, with the second group on the centre deck by this stage” I said as we walked through the ship, as if it was part of the tour. “The parts of the ship that we didn’t see on the bottom deck, what is there?” Ben, one of the deck crew members asked, “A good question,one that the visitors may also ask, if we had continued on further back, we would have passed store rooms, a crew lounge and mess area, 4 more crew cabins and the engine room” I replied. “That sounds easy enough” Mark the other deck hand said, and I chuckled, “Wait till you have done it half a dozen times and you might change your mind, I have worked on charter yachts both on the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, and it’s not as easy as you think” I said to them. “A man of many talents, Commander” Mick said to me, “Yes, I guess you could say that, now go and rest, and I will see you all at 1.45 this afternoon, thanks again for all of your help” I responded, and the four men climbed down the ladder, that was secured to the side of the ship. With just two security guards remaining in town, at my request, one was on the jetty, keeping everyone off the jetty, and I climbed down the ladder, after locking the two doors that provide the only access inside, with the cargo hatch being locked from the inside. “A scaffolding team will be arriving soon, to install scaffolding and steps up to the main deck, they are the only people authorised to be close to the ship, they are not to be onboard. I will be back at 1.30” I said to the security guard, before walking back to the apartment, realising only then, that my vehicle was still down at the creek, and Ben arrived in his vehicle. “Do you want a ride to retrieve your vehicle?” Ben asked me as he came to a stop. “I had only just now realised where it was, thanks, that would be a great help” I said as I climbed into his ute, and we made the 4 km drive down to the carpark at the creek. “You know, I did a 14-day sail on the STS Leeuwin, a few years back when I was still in high school, it was the best two weeks I had ever had, something I will never forget, and being on your ship today, brought fond memories back of that time” Ben commented. “Maybe if it can be arranged, we could have sails on this tall ship, after I have returned from Christmas Island” I responded, “Yes, that would be awesome” Ben said, as he slowed down and turned down the gravel road, where my vehicle stood on its own. Once I was back at the apartment, I changed and headed to the restaurant for an early lunch, and taking my laptop with me, I did all the research on the original tall ship and its replica. I had reception print out five copies of what I had typed up, and after lunch, I walked back to the service jetty, where a crowd was waiting. I looked at my watch, and it was just past 1pm, so I knew I had a little bit of extra time, as I stepped on to the jetty, where a completed scaffolding with steps stood, with the security guard standing at base, chatting to a man, I didn’t know. “Commander Shaw, my name is Giles Patterson, owner of the scaffolding here” the man said to me as I approached, “Hello Giles, I thank you for your prompt service to get it here and put together” I responded, “No problems at all, since you are doing so much for our little town” Giles said. “Well give me an invoice of the costs for what you have done today, and the hire of it for a period of say two weeks, actually, how much is it to replace a setup like this brand new?” I asked. “Well, it would be about 7.5 thousand dollars for a rough guess” Giles replied sounding a little surprised, “Then how about I give you that much to buy this lot from you, and you can buy some new scaffolding to replace it” I offered. “Well that is quite generous of you Commander, let me get a more accurate quote of what a new one costs, and I will get back to you” Giles said, and I agreed to this and shook his hand, before heading up the stairs.
  2. quokka

    IOI Chapter 25

    I will be able to tell u more about Christmas Island, when I go there on holidays in March next year
  3. quokka

    IOI Chapter 25

    The audio-visual company had two cameras to record and broadcast the event, and they were located at each side of the first row of chairs, with the audio and visual controller sitting in the bar area, as crowds began to arrive at 5.30pm, with the local State Emergency Service appearing, in their distinct orange overalls, to assist with crowd control. Making it easier to ensure that all the seats are filled. At 5.45pm, the first of the officials arrived, with the two politicians, and Mr Logan met them and directed them to their seats on the front row, and they were soon followed by the local government officials, while the twins and I and the planning team remained in the main entry foyer just behind the main hall. As it neared 6pm, I took a look through the door, and the meeting hall was already full and overflowing to outside, so I exited the building and walked around to the front that faces the oval, and saw a large crowd gathering outside, looking at the two big screens, which are currently just showing the empty 4 chairs at the very front. “Good evening, we will be commencing in one minute, can you please get settled in your chairs or on the ground if you are outside, later in the evening we will have a question time, and there will be two microphones available for those outside, to ask questions” I heard Mr Logan say through the loud speakers, and I walked back the way I came and entered the hall and sat down next to Michael Logan. I smiled at the twins, who were also seated along with all the officials, and I was shocked to see that there were also 6 armed police officers inside and at the doors. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I was talking to the organiser of this meeting earlier, questioning, if we would get a big enough crowd to just fill the chairs, but I was clearly mistaken” Mr Logan said, and there was a small amount of laughter at that comment. “My Name is Michael Lotan, I am the Director of Town planning for the Shire of Northampton, which includes this beautiful coastal town. I wish to acknowledge the Honourable Commander Lewis Shaw, VCO,who was recently appointed Administrator of Christmas Island. The Honourable MLC for the Agriculture District, the Honourable MLA for the Moore District, the Shire Council CEO, Councillor Adams, President of the Shire Council, Councillor Jackson, Vice President of the Shire Council, Councillors Neville and Yardley for this ward, and Mr Louis and Mr Joachim Wagner, from Wagner Family Corporation” Mr Lotan said to kick start the meeting. “We have called this meeting this evening, to put to the Kalbarri community a number of proposals, some of which will be very beneficial to the community, to start with explaining this I will now hand you over to Commander Shaw” Mr Lotan said and he backed away from the podium, and sat down in the empty seat behind him. “Thank you, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I had originally been asked by Wagner Family Corporation to assist with managing this project in Kalbarri, but unfortunately, due to vice royal commitments, I will be flying to Christmas Island in a few weeks, to begin service on the island, to assist the community there to get back to a normal and beneficial routine for all on the island, after what has happened there over the past few months. As all of you know, and probably seen, due to unusual circumstances, we have a tall ship stranded at Wittacarra Creek, just south of town, and it was Wagner Family Corporation who purchased the stranded ship from the previous owners. Since then the state Environmental Department have deemed the ship as an environmental hazard and have ordered for it to be removed within twelve days, which expires in a few days’ time. Wagner Family Corporation would like to keep the tall ship here in Kalbarri, as a tourist attraction and additional accommodation in town, to do that we would like the community’s blessing for this to happen. In the meeting room behind us, is a scale replica of the tall ship, and a description of what it has onboard. In brief, the ship has 4 officer’s cabins, a captain’s cabin, 16 guest cabins, and 8 crew cabins, all which can be used for guest accommodation. The ship has two living areas, a dining room, the main, helm and forecastle decks, the Corporation has purchased severalproperties in the town recently, and it is on one of these blocks of land that we would like to place the ship. The property is 144 Grey Street, on the corner of Cotworthy Street, just opposite the Kalbarri Beach Resort, and in return for your blessing to allow this to happen, the corporation is prepared to invest heavily in the town” I said. There were a few minutes of quiet talk amongst the crowd, before Mr Lotan call the meeting back to order, “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is very simple, if you allow the corporation to keep the tall ship in town, on the mentioned block of land, we will be extremely generous in return. One of the other properties that was purchased recently, was the six old cabins, known as the Riverfront Budget Cabins, we plan to have those demolished and cleared away, to make room for a shady public park, we own the land behind that on Hackney Street, and we will consider building additional holiday accommodation, if the demand calls for it. In addition to that, we will build a 504 seat-grandstand, with 12 rows of 42 seats, that includes four disability access spaces, on the north east side of the football oval, directly across from the football clubrooms. This will include additional player and officials changerooms, two public bathrooms, with disability access ramps on both ends of the stand, 2 rear access equipment stores and a curved roof that will cover 2/3rd’s of the spectators seating area” I said, and the Power Point presentation started above me, as I spoke. “In addition to this, the corporation will build two extensions to the Football Club building, with the first being to the west side, to provide an additional function room, and six viewing suites for corporate groups, plus two bathrooms, and above that an open viewing area, with half walls on the side and back, front balustrade and a high roof, that can be doubled as a stage for community concerts. The second extension would be to the back of the existing and new building, that will be big enough for 2 full size basketball courts or 4 badminton courts, plus two sets of changerooms, an officials’ office, and upstairs, a total of 5 rows of 24 seating area for 120 spectators. In all the corporation will be spending 16.2 million dollars to the benefit of the Kalbarri community, and no there are no conditions to this offer” I said. One of the councillors stood up from his seat, and a microphone was handed to him, “Sir, you mentioned that time was almost up to have the tall ship removed from the creek, where do you plan to put the ship while the place is being prepared for its new proposed location?” the councillor asked. “Thank you for your question councillor, we are hoping to have the ship lifted back into the water by a heavy crane, and motored up the coast and into the river, where we are hoping to have it moored at the south side of the service jetty opposite the Kalbarri Beach Resort, so it can be opened to the public for tours. When the block of land is ready, then we will lift it by crane out of the water, and onto a low flatbed trailer and taken around the corner to its planned resting place. I might add, that this property is the only location available to have the ship located, as there are no restrictions for access due to power lines, as most who have visited the ship down at the creek know, it has some mighty tall masts, that are virtually impossible to lower. Does anyone outside have any questions?” I responded. After a bit of a delay, a question came through the speakers, “Sir, how long do you expect the building process to take for the sports centre extensions and the grandstand?” the questioner asked. “Thank you for the gentleman outside for your question. If the council gives the approval for the plans, which have already been drawn up, we can commence building as soon as building companies can be found to build them. I would like to add that the Wagner Family Corporation, is an International corporation, based in Switzerland, but it has a few connections in Australia and particularly in Western Australia. They have several properties in Claremont, Toodyay and Albany, plus for those who may recall, they have a supply ship, called the Southern Explorer, that was based here in Western Australia, while completing twice yearly circumnavigations, to supply remote islands and research stations with supplies, with Albany as its home port. When I have completed my duties on Christmas Island, I am planning to return to Kalbarri to make it my permanent home, but in the meantime, while I am away, both Mr Joachim and Mr Louis Wagner will be managing the project, during its construction period” I replied. I was surprised to see a young boy, aged about ten, put his hand up in the air, and I stepped forward and squeezed past a few guests, to reach the boy in the fourth row from the front, and four seats in from the centre aisle. “Yes, young man, what would you like to ask?” I said to him and I placed the microphone near his mouth. “Excuse me sir, but what are all those letters after your name?” the boy asked, and the crowd chuckled at the question, “That is a very good question, let me get back into the aisle, so I can explain it to everyone” I answered, as I made my way back to the front. “Although I do not like talking about it very much, I really don’t have a choice, since a lot of my past work has been made public, with my work in the Indian Ocean before. My full Name is Commander Lewis Shaw CVO, because I have won an award, but the rank of commander is alsoa Naval rank that I hold. I am a Commander of the Victorian Order, which is one rank below a knighthood, that was given to me for the work I have done as a Vice Regal for the Chagos Archipelagos, when you get home or at school maybe ask them where it is located on a map, as most who have followed the story in the news, the Chagos Archipelago is now an Australian Indian Ocean Territory, just like Christmas and the Cocos Keeling Islands, As I mentioned before I am a Naval Officer, and I have recently beendischarged on medical grounds, due to me being injured while on overseas service,” I explained, and there was sudden applause coming from outside, which soon spread to inside. I waited till the applause died down before continuing, “thank you for that, but I was only doing my duty” I said as I sat down again, feeling embarrassed by all this attention. Mr Lotan stood up, and asked for order again, and as it quietened down, a man half way down the hall stood up, and a microphone was taken to him. “Mr Lotan, as a Kalbarri resident, small businessman and rate payer, I move that Commander Shaw’s proposals be accepted with thanks, and that the council accept the plans for the proposed buildings for the community, so construction can start as soon as possible” the man said. As he ended his comments, someone shouted out, “I second the motion”, and the first gentleman added, “All in favour of the motion?” and almost every hand went up into the air, both inside and outside. “Itis good to see that the community is in favour of this proposal, but as was just stated, we will have to wait until the council deliberates on this matter, once it has been tabled” Mr Lotan said. “Already done, Mr Lotan, it will be discussed at the council meeting in two days’ time” the Shire Vice President said, and the audience cheered. “Very well, that is settled, is there any other questions for Commander Shaw, the Wagner Corporation or the Shire Council” Mr Lotan asked. “If I may please” the MLC member of parliament said as he stood up and stepped towards the podium. “As you may be aware, I am your elected representative in the Upper House of WA Parliament, I wish to thank Mr Shaw and his team, who presented an interesting proposal, that I hope will benefit the Kalbarri community for many years to come, and I look forward to returning to see the outcome of the building project, when completed. On behalf of my parliamentary colleague, I wish to thank the Local government elected officials and staff, for their hospitality this evening, and thank you to all who came here tonight, to what has been the biggest public community meeting I have seen in a long time, goodnight” the politician said. I stood up to the microphone stand one last time, “Thank you all for coming, as I mentioned before there is a scale model of the tall ship and of the proposed plans, in the small meeting room, if you wish to have a look at them, goodnight” I said, and sat back down. With the meeting room having a door at each end, a line soon developed for those wanting to see the models, and I retreated to the foyer, with the twins, and the planning team. “Well that went a lot better than planned” Louis stated, “Yes, thank goodness we organised the extra equipment for broadcasting outside, or we would have a lot of unhappy people outside” Joachim added. After meeting the two politicians, and the rest of the local government councillors and staff, I decided to retreat to the apartment, and the twins decided to do the same. Once there, we ordered some takeaway to be delivered, as we were tired and hungry, even with the meeting lasting only 45 minutes. Two days later, while the twins flew back to Perth, as a matter of interest, I went to attend the Shire Council meeting, which started at 4pm, and I was surprised to see that the public gallery was full, so I had to stand along the back wall along with many others.
  4. quokka

    Calling All Aussies

    G'day Sheila's and blokes, stop hanging around like a galah, and send me a message without stoning the crow, and splashing around in the billabong. i am wanting to promote all the Australian Authors & Editors on my Facebook page, to promote gay authors.org around Australia. Can you please send me a private message of your GA user name and what city / town or just state that you reside in please. Thanks in advance, Regards Preston, aka Quokka p.s, I thought the old Aussie slang will seive out the fakes... lol i have 9 on the list so far, come on Aussie come on....
  5. quokka

    Calling All Aussies

    G'day Sheila's and blokes, stop hanging around like a galah, and send me a message without stoning the crow, and splashing around in the billabong. i am wanting to promote all the Australian Authors & Editors on my Facebook page, to promote gay authors.org around Australia. Can you please send me a private message of your GA user name and what city / town or just state that you reside in please. Thanks in advance, Regards Preston, aka Quokka
  6. quokka

    IOI Chapter 24

    News Flash- I am going to Christmas Island for holidays in March next year.... i cant wait to check it out in person instead of boring research...
  7. Hi Cezdon, are you in the UK or Downunder?

    Regards Preston

    1. chezdon1997


      Right now I am on holiday in France but I live in England now. After all the political nonsense in Australia the last 24 hours, I don't know what is more outrageous, Brexit or the Aussie Survivor in Parliament LOL. Why do you ask? Go the Pies!

  8. quokka

    IOI Chapter 24

    Chris, go to Messenger plz
  9. quokka

    IOI Chapter 24

    The town planning team thought my suggestions were good, and worthwhile putting to the community as a beneficial project, not only for the community and the public, but also to the local district highschool. The Director called a friend who runs an architecture firm in Geraldton and asked him to draw up some rough plans of my proposals, so they can be submitted to the community at next week’s community meeting, and I agreed to pay for their work that they do for this project. After spending three days in Geraldton, I headed back north to Kalbarri, with there now being just nine days till the deadline for getting the tall ship moved, and still 4 days till the community meeting, which was making it very tight for time. Arriving in town in the late afternoon, I had just enough time to call into the other real estate agents, who had the listing for the two properties on the corners of Grey, Cotworthy and Mortimer Streets. I was very pleased when I walked out half an hour later, having secured the purchase of both properties, which I could use for the tall ship, or if that failed I could develop it into commercial space. The following day, I went to the council offices in Kalbarri, to submit a request for a permit to demolish the six budget holiday cabins on Grey Street, once the last group of holiday guests had departed. Once that was done, I decided to spend some time having a good look at my latest land purchase. When I arrived, I did some pacing to measure up the land, thinking about how to position the ship, if the go ahead is given to relocate the tall ship there, and how to protect the ship for the weather, when storms come, as I had discovered while doing some research on Kalbarri, that there can be some strong storms, during summer and winter. The idea of having a 2.5-metre high retaining stone wall around the boundary, with a sloping ground towards the ship, stopping half a metre, with another stone wall, sloping upwards, and the sloping ground between the two walls, having medium to low native shrubs to provide a noise barrier from traffic and a wind barrier from storms, but not obstruct the view of the river from the main deck. The ship will sit on a concrete trench, that will drop it down by 2 metres below the ground, putting the ships waterline roughly level with the ground, and sitting in a secure level position. A drainage pipe would also be installed to all any rainwater collected inside the walled area, to drain away into the towns drainage system. At two points each, bow and stern, the ship will be anchored down to the concrete, to keep the ship in this position, no matter how much wind a bad a storm will give, the ship won’t budge. From the Cotworthy street side of the property, I will have, 8 off street parking bays for guests. At the end furthest from Grey street, near two gum trees that will be kept, a 2-metre wide and high tunnel created from concrete, will provide access to the tall ship, and down the portside, a square staircase, will provide access to the main deck of the ship 5 metres up off the ground, with a small set of steps from the edge of the ship onto the main deck. From the streets, it will look like that the ship is sailing through the ground, away from the river, with its top two decks and the two masts clearly visible. From the Captain’s cabin, there is an unrestricted view of the river, while the aft officers’ cabins have a small view of the river, all other cabins only have a view of the native garden bank, which I planned to have filled with lots of colourful native plants. After I had come up with the plans for positioning the ship in my head, I headed back to the apartment to jot the ideas onto my computer, before heading to a café to get some lunch. Before entering the café, I spotted a notice on the window advertising a community meeting, to be held at the football club function room at 6pm next Tuesday, and that all town residents are encouraged to attend. Knowing that the town population is about 1,400 people, I thought that maybe ¼ of the population would attend the meeting, which is just over 350. That was only a guess, so we would just have to wait until Wednesday to find out how many do turn up. Over the next two days, I had regular discussions with the town planners and the architect down in Geraldton, who have been working overtime, to get everything prepared for the community meeting. The day before the meeting, the Wagner twins returned to town, flying in on a charter jet, and they called me an hour before, to ask me to collect them, and we spent the rest of the day in the apartment, discussing what I had proposed to say at the meeting, and how to answer any public questions. In the late afternoon, my mobile beeped with a text message from the team in Geraldton. “We will be arriving at about 10am tomorrow morning, can you find a place where we can sit and meet, to show you what we have put together for this community meeting” and I smiled after reading this, and send a quick reply to say I will arrange it. Once Louis and Joachim were happy with what was planned for the meeting the next day, I took them for a drive to look at the properties that I had purchased, firstly the property where the budget cottages are located, and I showed them, what I thought it would look like once the cottages have been demolished and cleared away, leaving a nice shady park area for the community. Next, we went to the property where I was hoping the ship will be placed, informing the twins that I have a building company on standby, ready to dig out the trench, for the base of the ship, plus the drainage trench for storm water removal, before putting the wall shells in place, ready to pour the concrete. All of this would only take about 2 weeks to complete, and in the meantime the ship will be moored at the jetty, until it is ready to be lifted out of the water and into its new position on land, once the concrete has cured. Finally, I took them to the main sports oval, where I showed them the location that I was going to suggest for the proposed grand stand for sporting events, and community events. Just as we were heading back to my vehicle, my mobile rang, and I nearly didn’t answer it, as it was a silent number, but then decided that it may be important, “Hello, Lewis Shaw speaking” I said, and I waited for a reply, and received one, that was totally unexpected. “Commander Shaw, please hold for His Excellency, the Governor of Western Australia”, “yes I will” I responded, and I softly groaned, knowing that I was about to be dragged into something important, and I walked away from my vehicle, so that I was alone and couldn’t be overheard. “Commander Shaw, I would like to request your services for a very important task. As you are probably aware, the Indonesian invaders, who spent some time on Christmas Island, left the island in quite a sorry state, and we need someone, who can get things back into order again. I expect that it will take at least six months at least, you will regain your position as Deputy Administrator of the Indian Ocean Territories, and it will require you to be there on the island. We have managed to find you a suitable home, with house staff included. The majority of the Indonesian citizens are still on the island, and the Prime Minister and cabinet have refused to allow them to travel to the Australian mainland, or allow them any Australian benefit or allowances of any kind, which is causing a few headaches for the PM, we are hoping that you may find a solution while you are there” the Governor said to me. “Sir, I am currently working on a large project in Kalbarri, with a community meeting being held tomorrow evening, so I cannot possibly accept this position on Christmas Island” I responded, “Commander Shaw, this is not a formal request from me, it comes directly from the Governor General, with your experience on Indian Ocean matters, you are the only person suitable for the position” the Governor replied. I signed… “Ok sir, I will accept the position, but I cannot start until the end of next month, 6 weeks from now” I replied, “Alright, that is acceptable, come and see me in Perth before you leave, goodbye” the Governor said and he ended the call, and I walked back to my vehicle. “What was all of that about” the twins asked at the same time, “I have been roped into clean up that mess, the Indonesians left behind on Christmas Island” I replied, “How and in what capacity?’ Louis asked, “In a vice regal position, like I was before, but on Christmas island, instead of the Chagos Archipelago” I replied. “Oh, I see, when do you have to go?’ Joachim asked. “I said I can’tleave till the end of next month, six weeks from now” I said, not feeling very happy about having to spending six months or more on Christmas Island. The following morning, the twins and I headed to the Football Club, as we are meeting one of the shire council workers, who would open it up for us. The centre is not exactly very big, with one function room that can seat about 160 people, and it is the biggest indoor area in the whole of town, which I was worried was going to be too small. I suggested to the twins that they try an organise audio visual equipment, to be able to broadcast the meeting to any people that are overflowing out of the building. With it being a rush request, the twins offered a large bonus, if they can do the job before 5pm today, with two large projection screen and speakers, sitting on the veranda pointing towards the oval, which will be connected to the microphones and cameras located inside, and two microphones will be made available for those outside, who want to ask any questions. By 11am, three trucks arrived with all the audio and visual equipment, and 6 men got to work to start setting everything up, ready for the community meeting. Just an hour before they arrived, the Architect and town planning team arrived, with Power Point presentation made up, plus a scale model of what the place would look like when all the work is completed, which I thought was very impressive, considering the short period of time they had to make it. Consulting with Ms Phelps, the council staff member based in Kalbarri, we decided not to have a front row of tables, but just a small number of chairs at the front, and then what ever number of chairs are available to set up in the clubroom hall, which was only 100 chairs, so 60 additional chairs were borrowed from the Bowling Club. Shortly after 5pm, the Shire Town Planning director – Michael Lotan, arrived along with Ms Phelps, and they looked around the hall, and I went to greet them. “Mr Lotan, this is Mr Lewis Shaw, representing Wagner Family Corporation, Mr Shaw, this is Mr Michael Lotan of the Northampton Shire Council” Ms Phelps said making the introductions, and we shook hands. “It appears that you have everything in hand, including so audio & visual, are you expecting a large crowd?” Michael Lotan commented to me, as I spotted the twins approaching "Well sir, I estimated that 25% of the towns’ population is likely to appear, which is over 300, and we only have seating for 160 in the hall, so we made some contingency plans to allow for a bigger crowd, if we only get 120, well then we won’t turn the outside facilities on” I responded, and I smiled to the twins as they stood on either side of me. Looking at Mr Lotan and Ms Phelps, who looked from one twin to the other, I could not help but laugh. “Stop it you two, we have council officials present… Mr Lotan and Ms Phelps, may I present Mr Louis and Mr Joachim Wagner, 2/3rd’s of the Wagner Family Corporation” I said making the introductions, and the twins shook their hands. “They do the twin swap thing with me all the time, and it gets confusing at best of times” I added, which had the twins chuckling and nodding their heads in agreement. “Talking about officials, we will be having a few with us this evening, apparently the word has spread around, so theShire Council CEO, the Council President and Vice President, and the two council members for this ward will be attending. We will also have the Western Australian MLA - Member of the Legislative Assembly (Lower House) for the Moore District, and MLC – Member for the Legislative Council (Upper House) for the Agricultural District attending, since it is within their jurisdiction in Parliament” Mr Lotan announced. “Well I didn’t expect that, but I guess, if they want their say in it, then I guess we must, but they will have to sit in the front row, as I have only allowed for 4 people to be seated at the front, if you would like to officiate the meeting Mr Logan, you are welcome to do so, also there will be myself, Mr Anders who is a town planner based in Geraldton, and Mr Hutchins, who is an architect from Geraldton, that have been assisting me with setting up plans on the ideas I have come up with” I announced. “Yes, I will be happy to officiate, when I have done my bit I will hand the floor over to you, and you can take it from there” Mr Logan replied.With the 7 officials, plus Mr Lotan and Ms Phelps, and the twins, to be seated in the front row, the twins and I went to the front row of seats, and removed the excess number of chairs, leaving just two for spare and moved them to the back of the hall. Quickly we made up signs for the front row of chairs, marking them reserved for Officials, and we listed the positions of each official below the word reserved, with the twins on either side of the centre aisle, and the politician’s next to them, and half of the local council officials on each side, so it was evenly spread.
  10. quokka

    IOI Chapter 23

  11. quokka

    IOI Chapter 23

    I've done the research mate...
  12. quokka

    IOI Chapter 23

    I've done the research mate...
  13. quokka

    IOI Chapter 23

    The ship is permanently attached to the ship, right down to the hull of the ship, so no it's not possible to remove the masts
  14. quokka

    IOI Chapter 23

    “Might be hard to drive if it is gift wrapped, would you like to take it for a test drive now?” Paul asked as he lead the way towards the main building where he retrieved the keys for the SUV car, and once Paul had driven it out of the display lot, after unlocking the gates, he let me take over driving, and we went through town for about twenty minutes, before returning to the car dealership. The vehicle already had roof bars, a tow hitch, front bumpers, fog lights and side steps, so it had everything that I needed, and the vehicle drives very well, so I told Paul that I was interested in buying this vehicle. What surprised me, was that he said that he could do the paper work with me now, and I can collect the vehicle in the morning. The problem was that I did not have a residential address yet, so while Paul was getting the paperwork organised, I gave the twins a quick call, and explained the situation. Joachim suggested that I put care of the post office at Kalbarri, and that I can change it to a more permanent address when a good place has been found. Paul said that it would be fine to have the post office as a temporary address for now, and I filled in all my personal details, presented my driver’s licence, which was Western Australian, with my Chagos Archipelago address, as I have not had a chance to change it, because I have been overseas. When I explained this to Paul, he seemed happy with it, and once he had filled in everything that he needed to do, I handed over the credit card, to pay for the vehicle, letting him know that I was staying at the hotel across the road. With the transaction finalised, I was handed my copies of the paperwork, and we set a time of 10am to collect the vehicle in the morning. Happy with my vehicle purchase, I went up to my suite, and I prepared for bed, as it had been quite a busy day, and I slept very soundly, even being in a strange bed, which is surprising for me. The following morning, after a bit of a sleep in, I packed my overnight bag, and headed downstairs to check out of my suite, before having some breakfast in the dining room. At 10am exactly I arrived at the dealership, where my new vehicle had been freshly washed, and Paul was waiting in the reception area for my arrival. “Good morning sir, did you have a good rest?” he asked me as I approached, “Yes thanks, all ready for my two-hour journey back home, after I’ve done some shopping” I replied. Five minutes later, I had the keys for my new vehicle and I drove out of the dealership. Less than ten minutes later, I pulled up in the carpark of the local boating and camping store, on the main highway just north of the centre of town. When I exited the store about forty minutes later, I had a car fridge/freezer, a Pro Fisher Kayak, with PFD vest, comfy seat and double paddle, a roof rack and straps, kayak straps, a side vehicle awning, a king singe swag, with self-inflating mattress, and a sleeping bag. Once I had fitted the roof rack onto the vehicle, I put the kayak on the rack and strapped it down, then I attached the awning to the side of the roof rack on the passenger side, and the paddle, PFD vest, sleeping bag and swag were stowed away in the back of the vehicle, while the fridge was strapped into a back seat, and plugged into one of the power sockets. Happy with all of my new purchases, I stopped at the service station to fill up the fuel tank, before beginning the journey north west to Kalbarri, arriving shortly after 2pm, and I went straight back to the apartment, where I changed and went for a walk to find a snack to eat, before heading to bed for a short nap, as I was tired from all the driving. I woke up to the sound of my mobile ringing, and sleepily I answered it. “Hello, is that Mr Shaw?” the caller asked, “Yes, I am he, how can I help you?” I replied, Mr Shaw, this is Ms Davies, I am the executive assistant to the Minister of Environment, I am sorry to inform you, that the minister himself does not approve of having a tall ship stuck in a creek bed, and he has given you 14 days to have the tall ship removed from its current position” the caller said to me. “Very well, thank you for letting me know”, I said before ending the call. I called Sebastian, knowing that it was sometime in the later morning in Europe, to let him know of the situation, and I mentioned the idea of finding a block of land in town, and placing the tall ship on the property, and he thought it was a brilliant idea. Seeing that it was 4.30pm, I quickly changed and dashed out the door of the apartment, and walked down the street, to where the two Real Estate agents are located, and I glanced at the window listings of the first office, before entering. “Good afternoon, I would like to purchase some properties that you have listed” I said as I approached the reception counter, and a gentleman appeared from a back office, before the receptionist had a chance to respond. “Hello, I am the Principal Real Estate Manager, which properties are you interested in sir?” the man said to me as he stuck out his hand. When I stated that I was interested in purchasing all 6 of the Riverfront Budget cottages on Grey street, and the land immediately behind it, that fronts onto Hackney street, the real estate agent’s eyes widen dramatically, and he became more eager when I informed him that I was willing to pay 10% above the valued cost of the properties, if it was taken off the market immediately, and sold to me. By 5.45pm that afternoon, I had secured the purchase of the holiday units, plus the property behind it, with the holiday units currently booked for the next three weeks, due to holidays. All other bookings would be cancelled, and refunds given to those who had booked a month or more ahead. When I arrived back at the apartment, I telephone Sebastian to let him know of the purchases, and that in the morning, he would submit permission to demolish the 6 holiday cabins, keeping the existing shady trees, and build 12 modern holiday units, on the back block of land which has virtually no trees on it, making it possible to build bigger units, more suitable for families. After the call to Sebastian, I called Joachim and Louis, and mentioned the same to them about the purchases, and my ideas of what to do with the land. Once the six cottages are demolished, I planned to move the tall ship into position in the centre of the front part of the property, between all the shady trees, although this was going to be a bit of a logistics nightmare, with having to move the tall ship to the new property. Although, there was one major problem with the height of the masts of the ship and power supply pole scattered around town. Removing the two masts and all the rest, would take a lot more, than the twelve days allotted to remove the ship from the creek, but I decided to have some discussions with the local council, to see if we can come up with a better solution to the problem. The following morning, after a quick breakfast, and the clock now counting down for the removal of the tall ship, I headed over to the local council office, to see if we could come up with an amicable solution. Just as I was arriving at the office, my telephone rang, with a local number calling, so I answered it. “G’day, is this Mr Shaw, the guy who came to see me the other day about buying our property on Red Bluff Beach Road” the caller asked, “Yes speaking, have you come to a decision?” I responded, “Yes, we don’t want to sell the whole property to you, but we are willing to sell the front half of the property, which is approximately 8 acres in area, would that be acceptable to you?” the caller asked. “Yes sir, on the condition that you give us approval to place the tall ship, on that piece of land as a tourist attraction and accommodation for guests” I replied, “…well, I didn’t expect that, I was wondering what was going to happen to that monstrosity, I am not sure… I would have to consider it and let you know, once I have discussed it with my family” the caller responded. “Very well, but do it fast, as I have other options that I am considering, bye” I said and ended the call, before entering the council building. Ten minutes later, I was in the small conference room, with one council staff member, commencing a teleconference call with the Planning manager of the shire council, who is base in Northampton, and after half an hour of deliberations, I could see that we were not progressing very well, and I was getting very frustrated. “Ok… can I make a suggestion, how about we call a public meeting of Kalbarri residents, to see what their views are about the tall ship, and maybe we can get some ideas from them on what to do with it?” I said to the planning manager. “Ok, I will go with that, I will leave it up to the Kalbarri office to organise it, at a time that suites me, so that I can attend, goodbye for now Mr Shaw” the Planning manager said before ending the call. The Council staff member had a bookings calendar for the planning manager, and together we looked at the best possible times for the community meeting, and came up with 6pm the following Tuesday, at the local football club function room, which would be two days before the next full council meeting. Once this was agreed on, I left the council office and decided to have a bit of a drive around the town, trying to find some solutions to the problem, which wouldn’t involve moving or disconnecting main power lines around town, and would be acceptable to the local council. I was getting tired of driving around the town looking at any way to resolve this problem, but the issue of the power lines kept on coming up as the main issue. It wasn’t till I started to drive back towards town,beside the riverbank, that a possible solution appeared in front of me, and I pulled over to the side of the road and stepped out of my vehicle. I was standing at the corner of a T junction, of Grey Street and Cotworthy Street, with the main yacht and boat anchorage less than 75 metres away. The first jetty at the anchorage, has a solid sealed area, and the road to Cotworthy street was free of any power lines crossing over the street. On that particular street, there are two vacant plots of land, with the front one being perfect for the tall ship and the second could be used for additional accommodation and parking, I smiled as this idea started to develop in my head, and I decided to take a drive into Northampton, to the main Council building, to see if I could get hold of a copy of the town plan of Kalbarri, so I could start to formulate my idea into a presentation ready for the community meeting. Heading back to the apartment, I packed another overnight bag, and headed for Northampton, then back down to Geraldton, booking into the same hotel that I stayed in before. During the drive, to Northampton, using hands free, I called Louis and Joachim, and ran the idea past them, and they thought that my idea had potential to be beneficial to the Kalbarri community and to Wagner Family Corp, and I asked the twins to purchase a few items that I needed before the community meeting, which they agreed to come and attend as spectators, preferring for me to take more control of the project. Failing to get the required town plan of Kalbarri, I had a quick bite to eat, before I headed south to Geraldton, where I hoped to have better luck, as there is a Landcorp office there, which provides maps for everything. Arriving in the middle of the afternoon, I checked into the hotel first, before heading to the Landcorp office, where I was able to get an up to date town plan of Kalbarri. From a stationary store, I was able to buy still clear film, to cover over the town plan, so I could draw ideas over the town plan. Next, I went to a town planning firm, and managed to get an immediate appointment with the company director, and I sat down with him in the conference room, with the Kalbarri Town Plan that I had obtained. After explaining the situation with the purchase of the stranded tall ship, and the deadline given by the state government to have it removed, I said that I was interested in making the tall ship a major tourist attraction, in the town of Kalbarri, but the location was difficult, because of power lines causing issues with transporting the ship into town. The Director of the firm stopped me for a moment, and ducked out of the conference room, and called two other staff to join us, and once again I explained the situation to the new arrivals, before I started running the idea of having the tall ship lifted out of the creek by crane, and put into the water, with a skeleton crew, and using the ships small engine, to sail the sip up the coast and through the Murchison river mouth. Moving upstream to just past the main yacht anchorage, where there are no power lines, we could then use the crane once more to lift it out of the water and transport it on the back of a low flat top truck & trailer, to the block of land on the corner of Grey and Cotworthy streets. I also suggested that if the company that I work for is permitted to have the tall ship permanently on this land, that we would donate the recently purchased land, where the 6 budget cabins are located on Grey street, to create a shaded community park, and as a bonus, we would build a permanent semi-shaded grandstand, on the opposite side to the clubrooms, and possibly build an extension to the west side and back ofthe existing Football Club rooms. This new grandstand will have 12 rows of 42 seats for a total of 504 spectator seats, including two sets of players changerooms and bathrooms, two sets of officials changerooms and bathrooms, and public bathrooms at each end, plus two large rear access sports equipment stores. I suggested that the grandstand have 6 lots of aisles, after every 7 seats, with stairs and ramps at each end, and the front row have an extra wide access space, to allow easy access to all seats, with two seats at each end removed to allow wheelchair space, and that a curved roof cover the back half of the stadium from rain. If approved, I suggested that we build a sheltered walkway above the two ramps, and maybe as an addition, the council may like to add a public swimming pool to the back of the grandstand.
  15. quokka

    IOI Chapter 22

    Just 12 chapters to go...

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