Mount Hart

This is the story of our Battle which went public on the 6th December 2010...


For those of you who are returning to this page to see how we are going Click Here


Gidday,


My name is Taffy Abbotts and over the last 20 years I have created Mt Hart homesteads and gardens into an icon of tourism in the whole of the Kimberley, in partnership with The Department of Enviroment ad Conservation (D.E.C) formerly known as C.A.L.M (conservation and Land Management). At 64 years of age they have now informed me that they are not going to renew the contract of services agreement I have with them, after November 2011 and they are going to take Mt Hart out for expressions of interest. They have large corporations interested in getting the Mt Hart lease which means I don't stand a chance. They have told me they are not taking my business out as a going concern with the lease, which means I am going to loose my home, my livelihood, my business and the country I love.


Over the years a vast amount of Capital developments & maintenance work has been completed by myself, and funded by myself. The contract of service agreements I have had over the years say they should have paid for all developments & major maintenance works that were agreed upon as necessary. DEC informed me on 26th November 2010 via the state solicitor that they do not owe me anything for the capital works I have completed at my own expense.


And you can imagine how I felt about that...but then they told me I have 28 days to accept an offer of $200 000 compensation, or their offer will lapse, and that I have to have completely vacated the property for 7 days before they will pay me...


I rejected their offer on December 10th 2010 saying it was an unfair amount and the terms of this acceptance are also unfair


Some of you might say – I should have just taken the $200 000. But if a government Department was going to take away the house you live in, the buildings you have built, the place you call home, the garden you have made, your business valued at $305 000, your jobs, everything you have worked for over the past 20 years, and the country you love…. And then tell you they don’t owe you anything for all the work you have done building and improving their assets over all these years because in their eyes this is legal….But having said this they will give you $200 000 if you and your family move out, go away and just disappear….And that they will only pay you this money if and when they decide everything they are taking away from you has been left in a reasonable condition….”


I bet you’d do the same thing. And I bet you would feel the same way….



For those of you already know how much work I have done at Mt Hart, you can read a shorter version of this story that just outlines my current plight if you: Click Here


If you would prefer you can watch a 12 minute you-tube film outlining all the work I have done at Mt Hart and my plight by; Clicking Here


Or if you already know what I have done at Mt Hart you can watch a shorter 7 minute you-tube film that just outlines my current plight by; Clicking Here


Otherwise please keep reading to see a detailed outline of the work I have done, photographs showing how much of my own finances, sweat equity, labour, blood, sweat and tears have gone into building Mt Hart over the past 20 years...



Myself, Peggy Lawrence and Jenny when we first came to Mt Hart in 1990


When I first came to Mt Hart at the end of 1990 Mt Hart homesteads was extremely run down. It had been in receivership with Elders for 3 years and only the bare minimum had been spent on the place. There was only the original homestead here which was semi derelict, an old ramshackled building known back then as the old 'canteen' or 'mess', the manager's house which was also derelict, and a couple of sheds.



C.A.L.M (conservation and land management of Western Australia) –now known as D.E.C (Department of Environment and conservation) had declassified Mt Hart as a viable cattle station and took over the property turning it into a conservation estate. I negotiated with C.A.L.M (D.E.C) in order to set up a tourist business out here, under a contract of services licensing agreement.




The original semi derelict old homestead when I came here had no door frames, no window frames, bare concrete floors and whitewashed walls...


Here's the original homestead in 1990


No two window frames or door frames were the same size, so each one had to be made individually and then flyscreened. The original homestead could only take 5 people, so with the approval of Allen Grosse (District Manager of the West Kimberley for C.A.L.M) I renovated the house adding more rooms so that it could finally house 13 people overnight.


I also added on a stone sitting room...


Here's the stone sitting room I built


Here's what the outside of the stone sitting room looks like now


Each one of these granite blocks for the stone sitting room came from 50km away...


Here's me taking a smoko break in between carting rocks for the stone sitting room and building the stone walls back in 1992


It took me 3 years to restore the original homestead and convert it so it was suitable for guest accommodation.


Here's what the inside of the building looked like during restoration




Here's what the inside of this building looks like now


After this, with the approval of C.A.L.M I set about building the dining room. I gutted the derelict canteen keeping the existing roof...


Here I am back in the early 90's gutting the inside of the derelict canteen to turn it into a restaurant


This is what the inside of the restaurant looks like now


Then I laid the cement slab, erected the tin and steel walls and all that took me around 8 months to do. In latter years I bought tiles and tiled & paved the whole dining room.


This is the old canteen looked like from the outside when I started working on it...


This is what the old canteen looked like from the outside prior to renovation


This is the restaurant today...


This is what the restuarant or 'dining room' looks like from the outside now


Over the years I have gradually extended & extensively renovated the kitchen adjoining the dining room. Once again mostly at my own expense with the approval of Allen Grosse the then district manager of C.A.L.M...


Here are some photos of a chippie I employed helping me renovate the kitchen halfway through renovation...




Here is a photo of the kitchen today...




And then I built & paid for the construction, and did all the work in putting an office on the side of the dining room. This is the office prior to it's construction...


Here's a photo of me in the process of constructing the office...


This is the office as it is today...


I got all that done and then with C.A.L.M’s help we built a new homestead. So now we were able to take 23 tourists overnight. C.A.L.M put up the majority of funds to build the new homestead. Myself and a group of contracted labourers built the frame, put on the roof, poured the cement slab, built the walls with a team of men. Once that was all done off all the labourers went and I was left to finish off render the walls with cement, paint the walls, wire the whole thing, put up flyscreens around the verandah, and finish it all off ready to start the tourist season, once again all at my own expense.


Then I also converted a 2 bedroom demountable into a cottage, so now the place could accommodate 27 overnight guests.


The bar originally came from the mangrove hotel in Broome. Ken Fitzgerald – the owner of the mangrove at the time said if I could get it down in 3 days I could have it. So I paid for a contractor, and Allen Grosse and Henry from C.A.L.M helped him take the bar down. I paid for the materials to be transported out here from Broome to Derby and then Derby to Mt Hart. And then I reassembled the bar - once again Allen Grosse and Henry came out for a couple of days to help me make a start on reassembling the bar.










In between all of this I was doing up my house. Now this building was just about derelict...




It used to be the old head stockmen’s quarters. This building had 3 pokey tiny rooms in centre of it, no flyscreen left on the verandahs, & all the old wood floors had been coated in sump oil to stop them rotting...


So I gutted the walls inside...




...and then I had to put up a new ceiling because the old one had collapsed. Then I got another demountable cottage, made a frame to put it on top of and connected it all up into the existing building...








I also built another bathroom, in this building as well.




This is the manager's house today...




Doing up my house was not a priority because it wasn't for guests so it's restoration was spread out over quite a length of time.


Also after the new homestead was built I had to build a new large toilet and shower block for that homestead.





Then I did up the 10 acres of gardens. When I first came to Mt Hart the gardens were pretty well dead because it had not had much watering while it was in receedership. But over the years I have spent 1000’s and 1000’s of dollars on landscaping, replanting trees & making new gardens. There is always the natural enemies such as termites, cyclones, dry rot, borers - there is always something that tries to kill the garden out here but you've got to keep on top of it.








Also, I grade & roll the airstrip 3 times a year at my own expense. There is a lot of work involved in maintaining the airstrip. And it is critical because that's how we get the flying doctor in if we need medical help in an emergency. We also get a mail plane once a week that delivers mail, freight and food. We especially need the airstrip in the wet season when you can't get into town by road for about 3-4 months because the rivers flood.




I have got a contract with the local shire to grade the Mt Hart access road. Fortunately, I get paid from Derby shire for this. I grade the road three times a year – which takes a lot of doing – 50km, 36 creek crossings and a lot of rock. It takes me 5-8 days to do each grade.


2 years ago I finally got permission from DEC to build a new campsite, about 800 metres away on the site of stumpy's old homestead. The construction of the campsite took a lot of work – clearing the land, laying the slab for the ablution block, putting in an irrigation system, water tank, tank stand, and sceptic system. Which was all at my own expense - DEC did not put one single cent in towards it.










And so that's the building side of things...


Most years I also end up fighting the bushfires out here on my own. We had one come in just the other day - came in on 3 fronts all at the same time towards the homesteads and gardens – And I do this to protect DEC’s assets.








Now then - you wonder where all this is going... Back in May 2010 - (only 12 months later then we'd asked!), some representatives from D.E.C head office in Perth finally came out here to discuss what was going to happen at the end of 2011. This is the first time anyone from head office in Perth has been up to see me in 10 years. Well, they told me they are putting Mt Hart out for expressions of interest and they told me that they are not taking my business or any of the fixtures and fittings, plant and equipment I own out as a going concern with the future lease, because they 'deal in land, not in businesses'.


My business had a separate valuation on it of $305 000. So failing this, what have I now got to sell? Some beds, some tables, some plates.... It will cost someone a lot of money to get all the fixtures and fittings, plant and equipment necessary to run a tourism business out here again that I've already got - such as dishwashers, washing machines, stoves, fridges and freezers. But if I try and sell any of this at an auction, I will get nothing for it - everyone's out for a bargain.




So this is where we are at now. I am going to loose my home, the country I love, my business and my livelihood...


It's heartbreaking...


I got the place valued by a professional valuer at the end of last year. He did a valuation, and he valued the replacement costs of capital improvements at 1.85 million dollars. Which is how much it would have cost DEC over 20 years if they had to pay for all of the capital improvements that have been done. Then we deducted from this total the cost of improvements DEC have paid for...and the replacement costs of improvements I have completed over the past 20 years came to $1.3 million. I also have photographic proof of all the work I have done and all the labour I put into it. Anyway it goes through my lawyer and then it goes to DEC and they sit on it for 3 months. Then it goes to the state solicitor.


And...The state solicitor writes back on DEC's behalf on NOvemeber 26th 2010 stating that D.E.C don't owe me anything for all the capital improvements I have completed.


Well you can imagine how I felt about that. But then they did turn around and say; well okay we will give you $200 000. But you have only got 28 days to make up your mind if you want it. Otherwise the offer is withdrawn. AND you cannot have this $200 000 until you have vacated the property, given the keys to a Departmental representative and then waited 7 days so we can do an inspection to make sure the place is left in a 'reasonable state and condition'.




Now how is that for trust? 20 years of building their assets and they treat me like this...Where am I supposed to vacate 20 years worth of gear to if they are not going to pay me prior to my departure so I can set up somewhere new?


Well...I haven't finished yet...I'm not going to give up...


But it is heartbreaking....What they are doing is morally and ethically wrong. They don't care - they are a big corporate...Big Government body. Everything out here has been put in with blood, sweat and tears.




As I said in the beginning, this was a partnership between The Department Of Environment and Conservation and private enterprise. During the 1990's Mt Hart was promoted as a positive example of a partnership taken with the Government. Back then the old district managers, regional managers and CEO of CALM (now DEC) saw all the work I was doing to improve their assets first hand.


This is not just about a monetary issue anymore...it has become a moral and ethical victory that I want.


I've sent D.E.C a DVD showing all that I have done. With photographic proof of before and after shots of all the buildings with me working on these buildings. To show not only the cost of the materials but the sweat equity I've put into it. And they do not want to believe that...


Then they are going to put the place out for expressions of interest. Put out expressions of interest on what I have created, restored and maintained over the past 20 years for someone else to come in and take over. They are not giving me a chance to lease out or sell my business, or the chance to negotiate a decent compensation settlement for all the work I have done developing their assets.




There is no justice in this. There is no fairness. If I had not created Mt Hart into what it is today, there would be nothing to take out to expressions of interest. Because it would still be a run down derelict cattle station. An ex shire president said to me recently; "Taffy..what you have done there, has put Mt Hart on the map, and D.E.C should be so proud of what you have done, because no one else put in there would have put in the dedication, hard work, sweat equity, or finances to create it..."


That's me...I cannot do anything half hearted, it has to be done to the full maximum potential to improve things.


So if any of you can do anything to help, whoever reads this....Do it, please.


***How You Can Help ***

~Letters Of Support~


Thank-you so much to all of you who have sent us words of support and encouragement, and stood by us throughout this battle.


Comments have been closed prior to signing a deed of settlement with DEC on 24/05/2011








From: Chris Done Dear Taffy, I was sorry to hear about your situation. After you started work on the Mt Hart project (when I was Regional Manager - Kimberley for CALM) I am very aware that you put in a huge effort both physically and I understand, from your own finances, to develop the project and to ensure that its momentum continued. Your input was indeed well above and beyond what was envisaged. Mt Hart would not have developed to the stage it has without your enthusiasm and tireless efforts. I hope you are able to reach an amicable agreement with DEC if you depart. All the best. Chris Done.




As stated in Chris Done's (Ex Regional Manager-Kimberley-CALM) letter of support (above), I too would like you to receive a fair and adequate compensation for your "Sweat Equity" and the 'Direct Financial Input' you injected into the Mount Hart Homestead project. It needs to be stated that CALM was established in 1985 as a new and exciting organisation that was challenged by the Government of the day to upgrade National Parks throughout the state. The new department was further challenged to raise its own funds under a net appropriation budget system and not rely so heavily on the public purse. Times were busy and exciting and the challenges many. My appointment to CALM as the District Manager for the West Kimberley in 1989 was the best thing that ever happened to me. I found the autonomy provided to Chris Done and myself refreshing and invigorating as we set out to get things done and work with the private sector, Aboriginal Groups and the local governments to achieve outcomes. I was the CALM Manager directly responsible for Taffy Abbotts appointment, our shared vision, the strategic initiatives, developed agreements and the approval of capital developments at Mount Hart Homestead from 1989 through to 2005. My corporate memory, written documentation and knowledge of events, developments and agreements is as accurate today as it was then. Should you require any assistance that may help resolve the issues between yourself and DEC, I am willing to provide information and advice as to management strategies, community involvement and other matters. It is my absolute assertion that the level of development at Mount Hart Homestead far exceeded what CALM was able to finance at the time and the standard of accommodation and service prompted many Ministers of Government, Premiers and Governors to seek to stay at Mount Hart. CALM in its own right organized many significant events to be held at Mount Hart Homestead, including but not limited to, the official opening of the "IBIS' Aerial Hwy, the formal Gazettal of the King Leopold Range Conservation Park and many regional conferences. The Facility is a credit to your effort and energy to deliver a shared vision of both parties at the time.Allen Grosse,Ex District Manager for CALM 1989-2005




Dear Mr. McNamara, For 20 years, since 1992, I travel across the Kimberley, at least once a year, by car or by aeroplane. During this time I visited and lived for a few weeks at several places (Homesteads and Lodges) in this area. I could have a look with a view from an overseas tourist, how those people work in a climate and a surrounding, which is not easy to handle for human beings. One of those areas I visited at least every year, about 20 times, became my second home, and a part of my life, Mount Hart! The first time I visited Mount Hart was in 1994. There were two buildings, a lodge containing sleeping rooms, a dining room, a kitchen, a shower and a toilet. In addition there was the house of the owner. Now in the year 2010 there are 8 buildings (two lodges, a cottage, a staff quarter, the owner’s house, a kitchen with a dining room, a laundry, and a shed), two shower and toilet blocks and a bar. In addition Taffy Abbotts built a campground, at the shore of the barker river, in the shade of big trees. The whole lodge is surrounded by a beautiful garden with lots of trees and wildlife, especially birds, and a few half wild dingos. The last point is always in the mind of the visitors. Especially the first question of the kids, after leaving the car, is: where are the dingos? This is exactly the point, when I wrote a few lines above, leaving in harmony with the nature! I saw this place gently growing every year. Every single building of Mount Hart wilderness lodge has been built or improved by Taffy Abbotts himself. He has about 30 years of experience in the Kimberley, lived 20 years at Mount Hart in harmony with the nature and his guests. He made the difficult act between the protection of the nature and the satisfaction of his guests. It’s not easy to show the visitors the unique landscape and wildlife, without to destroy the environment. Taffy Abbotts could and still can handle that. Now I heard that you are not willing to renew his lease for Mount Hart. This decision you made, is one thing, on the other side you offer Taffy Abbotts only A$200,000 for 20 years of work, and for the 8 buildings of Mount Hart wilderness lodge. Your decision doesn't look very serious. In addition you set Taffy Abbotts a very short term ultimate for his decision. I'm not quite sure, but I think this is not legal. Could it be that people like you from DEC, who are working all day in an office surrounded by walls, are missing a clear farsightedness? Did you ever live for a while at a lodge like Mount Hart, or at a cattle station like Charnlay River in the Kimberley, to enlarge the horizon? Can you imagine, what will happen with a place like Mount Hart if you replace a person like Taffy Abbotts? Is it possible to chase away people of a living place with at least 20 years of experience? What happens afterwards? From my view, such a replacement is not possible without to leave some damages behind. I think, this could end in disaster for the environment and finally it could have a negative affect of the tourism. Maybe the history of Australia has an answer to all my questions. Do you remember, what happened in Australia 320 years ago, when immigrates from Europe chased away people of there living place, and what happens now? Anyway; it's never too late to change the mind. Kind Regards, Rolf Seiler, Switzerland



First Name: Andy Last Name: Peart Your comments: I suggest that the plan not to renew the contract with Taffy Abbotts is a serious mistake and will not serve the country or people of the Kimberley well. Please pass on this feedback to policy makers responsible.




Hello, I believe that as a taxpayer, that contributes many $$$ towards this government (mining worker for over 15 years) that I can have a say, and that is, that I am truly appalled by a decision of the DEC to 'buy out' Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge. Yes I did read the article in The West Australian and I did read that your department "declined to comment" on the matter. Is that not the standard red-tape, bureaucratic response expected, even though you have stated that it is in the hands of the legal team. It would not be in legal hands had you offered Mr Abbotts a reasonable figure for his property and actually sat down and discussed matters in a consultative forum. Has the department taken the opportunity to view the property, read the guest book and take into account what the Abbotts have contributed to this business and how many happy people have left the Lodge with fond memories - something that you want to destroy. It's annoying that a Government Department can just walk up to an owner, offer a rediculous figure and hope that they will just roll over and take it. I hope Mr Abbotts fights this to the wire. A piece of advise - sit down, watch the movie "The Castle". Ummmm this seems to be a similar case - all I can say is that it's unconstitutional and un-Australian to do what you're doing. Think about your ramifications and if you do that a little more, then Mr. Barnett will inspire confidence in his voters - this sort of action from the DEC makes a mockery of the democracy we live in...think about it! If I recieve a reply to this, then at least someone in the DEC is listening, and if I don't (which I believe will be the case) then at least I have said something I feel I should as a taxpayer.



Although I am now having problems with D.E.C, the history of this partnership is something the current Government, myself and Australia should be very proud of. Included below are some certificates of appreciation from governors, premiers and ministers who took the time during the 1990's to come out to Mt Hart, experience the place and acknowledge my hard work with letters.













From: Steve Hurrell, East Sussex, England

Dear Julia Gillard MP, I am writing to you regarding Taffy Abbotts and the Mount Hart Homestead in the Kimberley's, Pam and I were very fortunate to travel round Australia and across the Kimberley's via the Gibb River Road, our journey was inspired by the likes of Ray Mears etc showing us what is called the real Australia, it is because of men like Taffy Abbotts that we wanted to see the outback and the men and women that have made it accessible for us townies, someone said they are the last pioneers of Australia. We have just learnt that Taffy Abbotts is about to lose all that he has built over the last twenty years, for someone to give up the best years of their lives { he is now 64 } only to have it taken away from them by D. E. C. is unbelievable, he turned Mount Hart from a run down overgrown shrub land in to what it is today. The Kimberley's have been built and opened up by people like Taffy, if you take them away and make it in to a soulless commercial business then there will be no point in going there anymore, the true heart and spirit of the Kimberley's will have been lost forever, surely you, and Australia, owe it to Taffy to give him another 20 years with no strings attached. Steve and Pam, England




First Name: Kym Last Name: Kilpatrick City: Armidale NSW Country: Australia Your comments: Dear Taffy and Kim, This seems so wrong. We travelled through the Kimberleys in July this year and our stay in your camping ground at Mt Hart was an absolute highlight. Your work at Mt Hart has added hugely to the tourist Kimberley Experience and when I think of returning to the Kimberleys (we are planning a number of trips in the next few years) Mt Hart has been very very high on our list. This decision from DEC seems incredibly short-sighted and negligable. Not to say criminal in its approach to you individually.



First Name: Peter Last Name: Gohl Your comments: Taffy, congratulations to you and your "helpers" on your fantastic efforts over many years in transforming a run down & derelict station settlement into a most delightful tourist destination with many comforts and surprises to those who visit. Your efforts appear to go above and beyond what could have been expected and no-doubt everything has been done with great care and devotion, it is so sad to read that those whom you had agreements with are now wanting / forcing you to leave your created piece of "heaven on earth" with such scant compensation. Hopefully the wider travelling community can generate the level of awareness required throughout the land of Oz to make the Govt realise how stingy that they have become with their "offer". So often we hear about the wealth of WA yet no government seems to properly appreciate or recognise efforts by people like you and those close to you for what has been created entirely by your effort and monetary contribution. I didn't notice any trough on the property so the gov't decision makers & their lawyers will peddle their noses somewhere else. Keep up the fight, you definitely deserve much better treatment and if you have some written record of agreement with CALM / DEC then hopefully you WILL get some very fair compensation. Kindest Regards, Peter G




From: Paul McMahon


Dear Taffy, You have an interesting case which I am sure will be positively resolved to comply with the 'fair and reasonable aspects' of settlement.I have observed the influences of Corporations upon Governments and in the past these have generally reflected political affiliation/friendship/self interest.To understand the complexity of the how the infrastructure works; a typical example would be Tipperary Station in the Northern Territory 1989-2000, it's political connections at the time - WA Corporations, Political Figureheads and Indonesia.I wish you well in establishing a reasonable settlement. Kind Regards, Paul McMahon




From: Mel Wiersma


Hi Taffy, I am in shock! What a sad sad sad email. I am devastated for you. Mt Hart and your passion for the place really touched mine and my family's hearts when we stayed there in 2008. My in-laws still raves about it almost every time I see her. They say it was the best experience they'd ever had their whole lives. That is a pretty amazing thing to say when you are in your 70's and have travelled the whole of Australia and a fair chunk of the world. I have shared your video on my face book page, and have emailed your story to my friends and family. Wishing you all the best, Melissa Wiersma




From: Jane and Peter Moore


Kim and Taffy, Thanks for emailing us – we can’t even start to comprehend how you both must be feeling – words seem inadequate – as we stated before we only did a ‘quick’ trip up the Gibb – yours was the first home – and then we stayed in the ‘so called new upmarket – big money properties’ only to be disappointed – your home was the best by far.... This sums up the worst aspect of Governments and big corporate businesses around the world. Our best wishes to you both, Jane and Peter Moore




From: Rowena Moore


Taffy and Kim, So very sorry to hear your news - I was fortunate to stay with you this year in May with my Ma and Pop. We have just the best memories of our time with you and your hospitality was just outstanding. You were both so very generous with your time, knowledge and experience and in sharing it. Through your efforts and hard work we were able to spend a few days in your world and experience the beauty of Mount Hart - thank goodness there are people like yourselves, without whom people like myself wouldn't have the opportunity to experience the wilderness out on the Gibb. Again so very sorry to hear of your plight - there is already home valley and el questro on the road and this must be balanced out with establishments and characters such as yours otherwise it will just become a theme park.Rowena Moore.




From: Pat O'Brien


Hi Taffy,

We are fully sympathetic. Nothing governments do surprise me anymore, but this seems to be about corruption within the WA Conservation Department, and there's nothing new about that either. Best of luck, Cheers, Pat OBrien - President Wildlife Protection Association of Australia Inc.




From: Marlene Harding


Dear Taffy,

Please feel free to use the following: Taffy’s Mount Hart is THE iconic destination on the Gibb River Road and is exactly what tourists want and expect to see in the Kimberley.The history of Mount Hart is a major part of the history of the Gibb River Road and settlement by white man in the Kimberley, with the old cattle station and the important attempt to fly out meat directly from the station and with Taffys indisputable knowledge, love of the Kimberley and expertise in hosting travellers at Mount Hart. I am an ardent supporter of my many longstanding Aboriginal friends and of Indigenous Tourism, especially in the Kimberley; however it is essential that the whole historic story is properly told of the pioneering station owners in the Kimberley and the part that they and their many employees played in settling the Kimberley. I can think of no-one more equiped than Taffy to host Mount Hart and to continue to tell the tale of his experiences in the days of the Kimberley Cattle Stations. I have personally known the Kimberley for some 40 years as a professional in the business of tourism and hospitality and know the trials and tribulations of running a tourism business in the remote Kimberley. It is important to note that in 14 years of working with Taffy at Mount Hart, we have never had a single complaint from any visitor about Mount Hart under the stewardship of Taffy. DISCOVER WEST HOLIDAYS generates 1 in 5 visitors from the Eastern States and 1 in 10 from overseas am willing and able to speak with anyone from DEC if anyone would like the benefit of my experience before any decision is made to de-throne the King of the Kimberley.


Kind regards, MARLENE.


MARLENE HARDING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR




From: Chris Brown


Dear Taff and Kim, I am so sad to hear this news after all youve put into that homestead over so many years and through so many trials and tribulations! I know the history of Mt Hart and I know how you have transformed the place into a visitors paradise! Im not a Johnny cum lately; in the Kimberley and I know you arent and Ive Known you for far longer than that. For the government; (if thats what THEY call it!) are going to SCREW you like this ... what bloody hope is there for bloody any of us ............Im angry!!!!!! You are a good bushman & man and Kim is the loveliest girl and to try and throw you mob out is totally against any moral, spiritual or ethical code I’ve ever bloody heard of!!! Its a total disgrace!!! AND an indignity to every bush person in the Kimberley. Im sorry old mate but YOU built that place into what it is today; otherwise CALM would NOT have any asset at all; now the beaurocrats (I have other words for them) basically take advantage of all your blood, sweat and tears and flog it off to the highest bidder?????THIS MUST BE ONE BIG SICK JOKE! After all these years youve built that place up & in God Forsaken country and now they WANT TO RIP YOU OFF? In simple terms mate thats total ****** and as a mate; I cannot stand by and see that happen without a bloody good fight Im seasoned for it --- so Im with Ya, Boots and all! You have my total support because were brothers from so far back I cant remember....Take care & lotsa luv, Browney




From: Robert Vaughan
Taffy, Heard through the grapevine DEC are coming down hard on you. I think I know how you feel. I fought off the threat of eviction from One Tree Beach for ten years. But won through in the end.I know youve put in a lifetimes hard work at Mt Hart. I hope you get whats rightfully yours. Hope it works out for you. Regards, Bluey


From: Birgit Bradtke, Hi Kim and Taffy, I don't have much time right now but I wanted to let you know that hearing about this made me feel sick in the stomach. You know how much I fell in love with Mt. Hart. And I know what it means to you. I can certainly get the word out about this! There must be more people in my 13,000 strong newsletter list who'd also be willing to fight for you. Maybe even some lawyers? Journalists? You never know your luck. There must be a way to put some pressure on the DEC. I definitely want to let people know in my next newsletter if that's ok with you.. Please keep me updated on what's going on, and if you have any material that I can use (e.g. the video), or anything in particular you'd like me to tell readers about, any ideas how to best tackle this, please let me know. B.




To The person with the ability to make the right decision I don’t personnel know Taffy Abbotts but I have read his side of the developing story. I’m still hoping that the DEC has some discretion available to its managers, that allows common sense and decency to be applied in situations like Taffy’s. Below is a copy of someone else’s letter that has known and obviously work with Taffy for a number of years. I believe this highlights the love of the land Taffy has, not his commercial greed or reason for putting his heart and soul into Mt Hart. Remember he currently lives in a remote part of the country and I don’t think he has the resources, ability or desire to fight the DEC in court – basically you’ll win the legal battle, but be a long long way from making the “right” decision. At the end of the day please take the time to communicate directly with Taffy, I believe the situation can be amicably resolved if the lawyers are left out of it. The starting point should be to immediately remove the ridiculous 28 day clause from the existing offer. Daniel Towers



Dear Premier, I am not a prolific writer of letters nor am I a flag waving radical who believes his voice should be heard above others, preferring , like the silent majority to go about my business in the relative background. Having said that, I am driven to writing this letter as I strongly believe the state government on this occasion has got it very wrong in their dealings with Taffy Abbots of Mt Hart Station. You may recall Mt Hart as our company conveyed you there a number of years ago. For almost 30 years my company has been flying into and out of Mt Hart Station and since Mr Abbotts has held the DEC lease ,the property has been transformed from where the outhouses were largely derelict , the historical station house falling down , the road impassable and the gardens needing attention to it now being a must see tourist attraction and stopping off point on the Gibb River Road. Mr Abbotts has been known to me for the past 20 years and in that time I have seen his love for the land, the pursuit of making something out of nothing and the sheer hard work he has undertaken in converting this lease into something of worth. Broome Aviation of which I am a director regularly flies into Mt Hart on tourist flights and we naturally monitor passenger feedback using it as a tool to further enhance our product. Of this feedback virtually all mention Mt Hart Station as a highlight and the guided tour of the Mt Hart homestead area by Mr Abbots as both informative ,enlightening and enhancing of Mr Abbotts reputation in the Kimberley as a character and raconteur. DEC in its wisdom has decided not to renew Mr Abbotts lease when the current lease expires at the end of 2011 preferring instead to put the lease to tender in a process similar to that that occurred in the Bungle Bungles National Park ,which to my way of thinking is firmly aimed at taking the lease from Mr Abbotts and delivering it up to one of the National Tourist Companies ,which, unfortunately removes one of the last characters from the Kimberley making it now devoid of what the & outback has been so famous for. That being said it is in DECs right to put a lease out to tender and attempt to realize the maximum return on the lease area. Mr Abbotts in my association with him has been readily accessible at all hours of the day and night continuing to work and improve the Mt Hart area lease especially during the quiet months ,not leaving the property for anything up to 12-15 months at a time. From the attached pictures it can be seen the massive improvements that have been undertaken by Mr Abbotts primarily at his expense, to which, at this stage he hasnt been compensated to an appropriate level. My understanding with all this companies dealings with the management of CALM as DEC was formerly known was that Mr Abbotts was authorised to conduct all the improvements shown in the pictures to ensure that the tourist venture paid off . Similarly my understanding is that an independent valuation of the improvements placed the improvements at over $1.5 Million yet the government has offered Mr Abbotts a paltry $200,000 for the improvements as long as he goes quietly and accepts this offer within 28 days. It is this big brother attitude that has really caused me to become incensed about the governments attitude. Surely the DEC should be instructed to come up with an offer that is fair and equitable and ensure that a person who has given his heart and soul to a fledgling government owned tourist venture be correctly compensated for authorised improvements that have been paid for out of his own pocket.

Brenton Hanson Broome Aviation Group of Companies Broome Aviation P/L North West Air Spares North West Regional Airlines Broome Air Maintenance Broome Air Charter




First Name: sharon Last Name: pittock

Your comments: hi taffy, i am deeply saddened to hear of your current situation its disgraceful behavior what is happening to you i only hope the departments concerned see some sense in this madness and leave you where you are in the most beautiful country /place in oz.you have done an outstanding job to ensure travelers have a relaxed comfortable safe place to bed down for the evening. i cycled the gibb river road last year.. gods country !! dig deep and stay strong i am right behind you along with thousands of travelers around the world.




From: Margaret Noonan

What a bloody disgrace. It is totally un-Australian. It seems that every state government in Australia are no longer working in the interest of the tax payers, but big corporations. The very least the WA government should do is reimburse Taffy for his expenses and time that he has put into Mt Hart. It seems to me that they are now aware of the financial gain that they can get after all of Taffys hard work and money that has gone into building up the asset. As one that has traveled through the Kimberleys, and intended to again, if Mt Hart is sold to big business then I will not return. Wake up.




To DEC, We are writing to you in the hope that you might urgently turn around the current situation regarding Mt Hart in the Kimberley. To be kicking Taffy out of his home that he has put so much effort into over so many years & without adequate compensation is truly a travesty of justice. Were it not for Taffy the place would still be a derelict cattle station & you would have a virtually worthless asset rather than the iconic tourist destination he has built. Please look to your hearts & stop this dreadful abuse of a man who has given so much.


Yours sincerely, Ian & Julie Lock,




First Name: Karen Last Name: Foxon

Your comments: Dear Taffy and Kim, I have sent emails to everyone on your list. Everyone must do the same. We cannot let this happen! There is power in numbers. PLEASE everyone do not let such a wonderful place and people like Taffy and Kim be taken from us. For everyone that has been to Mount Hart you know what I mean and to those of you that would love to have the wonderful experience we have had and would like to have again, help us preserve Mount Hart and Taffy and Kim by sending letters, emails to any one that you can. Please keep fighting. Our thoughts and prayers are with you both. Grateful to have experienced Mount Hart. Mark and Karen




From: Lyndon Sparrow

Give them a fair go DEC its such a magic place which Taffy has built this up from nothing to what it is to day. I bet the people that wrote up the original contract would not be expecting it to be finalised as it currently is being managed. Perhaps you should get out from behind your chairs and experience the place for what it is, and then see if you want to go through with your government bureaucracy. From, Lyndon



Name: Garry & Sharon Green,

Your comments: Taffy ,we are heading to the Kimberly next year and Mt Hart was to be one of our stops but not anymore if you guys are not there! Who do these government idiots think they are? They work for the people not themselves. I hope they 're ready for Current Affair, Sunrise and every body else I contact ! Hang in there Taffy




First Name: Dan Last Name: Kell, Your comments: Dear Taffy, am doing the GRR in July 2011 with 4 family members in 2 vehicles. Hope you are still at Mt Hart when we come through. Sorry to hear of your situation and have emailed the listed oxygen thieves of my disgust. Hope all in power can settle this dispute in your favour. Good Luck..




First Name: Johann Last Name: Raeburn Your comments: The unfairness of what CALM proposes is very wrong and goes against the expectations of Australians. This is particularly wrong in a state as rich and underpopulated as WA. On our one trip to Mt Hart we had the best (and best value) meal and the warmest welcome so we are incensed. The park campsites are soulless places in comparison.Good luck Taffy - let us know what you'd like us to do in the way of letter writing etc.




First Name: gary Last Name: thornton Your comments: add my name to your protest - what a wonderful part of the 'top end' they are trying to take over.




First Name: Marilyn Last Name: Thornton Your comments: I am horrified - this is typical big bureaucracy versus the little person - so unfair!!!!! We will help in any way we can - many voices must surely make a difference.




First Name: Esme Last Name: Henderson Your comments: This story should be aired on every 'Current Affair' on every tv station!! We haven't done our 'big trip' yet - and guess we will miss out on seeing your lovely place. Hang in there - I'm sure you will get a lot of support - just hope the Government will communicate and re-consider like decent humans!!



First Name: Esther Last Name: Munnik Your comments: Dear Taffy, As an Australia loving traveller it's heartbreaking to hear your story. You've spent your life to build a piece of paradise and now the government comes by like a cyclone to wash it all away. What's the harm for them to let you stay and enjoy your own creation? Good luck and I hope it works out to a better solution.




First Name: Rod Last Name: Blitvich Your comments: Re Take Over of Mt Hart: Taffy - what a disgrace! You have my full support. What they have offered and what they are trying to do is immoral. You have made Mt Hart and there needs to be some acknowledgment of that if they decide to take it off you.(Ideally you should be left there to continue your great work)We were thinking of dropping in next July. Hope you are still there so we can share a beer mate. od Blitvich (Grumpy Old Men On Tour)




First Name: Lin Last Name: Morris City: morbihan Country: France Your comments: Have you got a petition going? Have you made a list with all your costs on it to present to the government. Have you been on local/National/ world T.V/news and radio as well as the internet. Phone them all. You can prevent this with people power???? TWITTER and go for it you can call on the people to turn this around.Good Luck,If I can help let me know - It Would make a very good world story - Certainly the competition for a ranger on an island there made the world ???!!!




First Name: Florence Last Name: Roca Your comments: Hi Taffy,I am completely stabbed by the way you have been treated. I forward your story to the 4wd club I belong to. I am sure your story will reach a large audience.Cheers,Florence




From: Timothy Nivison


Dear Taffy and Kim, We stayed with you in 2009 and loved it. I have forwarded the following to all the contacts you listed. Best of luck. Tim Nivison.

Dear Minister, I am writing this letter to express my concerns about the current plans DEC has for the Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge. Having enjoyed a stay there with my family in 2009, I was dismayed to hear that DEC was not going to renew the Contract of Services agreement it holds with Taffy Abbotts. Having seen firsthand the amount of blood, sweat, tears and money that Taffy has put into the Lodge, I feel that DEC should look very carefully at their reasons for this decision I have also learnt today that DEC has offered a paltry $200,000 compensation to Taffy Abbotts if he vacates Mt Hart within the next couple of weeks, but only if he leaves behind a substantial amount of property that is rightfully his. Whilst DEC may legally have the right to take this course, I feel that that it is the most shabby treatment of a man who deserves better. If I was to think that Western Australias’ DEC was operating in a less than satisfactory fashion in this matter, I would have to seriously reconsider visiting both Western Australia and certainly any DEC run facilities in that state. Without Taffy Abbotts, Mt Hart is just another National Park. Taffy Abbotts IS Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge. Regards. Tim Nivison




First Name: Peter Last Name: Harvey Country: United Kingdom Your comments: Taffy, Passed through the Gibb last year (9 months off-road in OZ). Sorry to hear of the DEC manoeuvres. Have sent an e-mail to the list you provided and alerted several other people. Best of luck mate,Peter




First Name: Ross Last Name: Scanlon Your comments: Hi Taffy,I'm disgusted with CALM's attitude. We were at Mt Hart in 1998 with The Outback Air Race and thought the place was idyllic.We had intended being back there next year but if CALM takes it over we will never return. Their abysmal running of every other location will only detract from the beauty and serenity we found in our short stay at Mt Hart. I'm sure all the other Air Racers will be of the same opinion as us. I'll pass this info on to all that I can from the OBAR and am sure they will make every effort to support you and Kim. Cheers, Ross and Belinda. aka The Whitsunday Wookies PS in case you don't remember us (which with the number of visitors you have is more than likely) were the team that had the accident at Kununurra the day before and had two hitch a ride the rest of the way in two different aeroplanes.




First Name: Jean Last Name: Grapes Your comments: As one who had travelled the Gibb River Rd and experienced that wonderful country, where places like Mt Hart are absolutely unique, I am most perturbed to hear of the situation the present occupants are in. I know they have put an amazing amount of time and effort into making it the place it is- and to think that they will not be able to continue, let alone be compensated is ludicrous! I hope that there is sufficient protest so that the "powers that be" will have to look very carefully at what they are doing. It will not only be a tragedy for them but a sad situation for all those who travel the Gibb River Rd.




First Name: Kevin Last Name: Thomas, Your comments: Hi Taffy/Kim. We visited the North for the first time this year but were not able to travel the Gibb road. Mostly likely because of not knowing if we would make it.I have just read your story and found it most moving. I wished we had been able to visit. To think a Goverment of the people of Western Australia operates its departments with out any principles and has treated you in such a disgusting manner is just terrible.I can only say to both of you hold your head high and be proud of what you have achieved. Good Luck. Kevin




First Name: Ron Last Name: White, Your comments: What heathenistic bastardtry this story reveals . Some little smart ass robber from a safe little possie tells a bloke that his twenty years of his pride in what he has achieved, his home, his dreams of what may be, his passion to succeed is worth money-any amount!!? It's not and the local first comers should use these bureaucrats for target practice at their next corroboree. Taffy should be left to reap the rewards of his outstanding fortitude,initiative skill and determination. These people are sick. What a degrading,insulting thing to conjure up. I'm 82 years old and in all my time I have never experienced such an inhuman story such as this. It is totally immoral and the appropriate Minister will certainly be getting a full spray from me when I find out who this is. A copy of this e-mail will be included. I will contact the local Victorian 'AGE' newspaper to alert them to this injustice and pass on your e-mail. Thank goodness for the Internet or we would not hear of this cruel maltreatment of another worthy human being. What has become of words like compassion,consideration and fairness? Thank you,sincerely for informing us of this situation. PS. The best ever holiday my wife and I enjoyed was a ride on the Oceanic Discoverer from Broome to Darwin but I do enjoy your inland stories. I just wish I was young enough to drive some of them and see more of the beautiful Kimberleys. Good Luck. Warm Regards, Ron White.




First Name: Gavin Last Name: Baker Your comments: contact 60 minutes crew, A current Affair, Its just like a marriage gone wrong!




First Name: CHRIS Last Name: WARTNABY Your comments: I will be visiting the Kimberley in 2011 and have been told by many friends who have visited, that Mt Hart is a must do, it would be a great tragedy for to this disappear from the Kimberley but an even greater tragedy is what the government are doing to you.Surely there is something that can be done or someone that you can go to about this situation. It is very un Australian and the Federal government should do something. I am sure that you have already tried the papers and current affair programs on TV to make it known to not only all of Australian but the Government as well. Good luck in your endeavours my heart goes out to you and if a petition is started please add my name to the list.




First Name: Johan Last Name: Claassens City: Kimberley Country: South Africa Your comments: My dear friends, I feel terrible & know the area from what i have studied. I am a member of the group & see what is sketched as blatant stealing, where integrity & honesty is not in their vocabulary capability. What are the chances to apply for Mineral Prospecting Rights any mineral to get cashflow going,there must be something & serve a dual purpose. Where I can help I will. Speed, correctness & action is now your vision daydream,remember action without vision is a nightmare. Friendly greetings,Johan




First Name: Jane Last Name: Ramsay Your comments: Disgusting the way gov institutions treat people. What does legal aid say. Request an extension via you or many public signatures AND go to the media. What does dec want to do with it?? The short timeframe does not sound legal. Can u send us all a petition to sign. Def GO TO THE MEDIA AND OR A POLITICIAN maybe for tourism




First Name: Charles (Chuck)Last Name: Ganley Your comments: Dear Taffy & Kim - what a blow!! knowing how sincere and hard working you are. I'm currently in San Diego finalising our trip for next May which includes 3 or 4 nights at Mt. Hart and remain confident that you'll be there to welcome us and renew our acquaintanceship from 25 years ago. I've written to both Bob Katter MP (my local MP in Kennedy) and Warren Entsch MP (a man of the land) soliciting their help in your battle. We wish you well and looking forward to meeting up again. Charles (Chuck) Ganley (Edmonton/Cairns) and sister, Edie Olmstead (La Mesa/ San Diego)




First Name: Penny Last Name: Gallagher City: Vancouver, BC Country: Canada Your comments: I traveled around the continent and this place is magical! It is unbelievable that a government, especially one that vows to protect wilderness, can take such an unconscionable action. I hope you forward this outrageous plan to all travel and tour offices that promote not only the Kimberley, but regions surrounding it that also benefit from us 'tourists' (Broome, Kunnarra, etc.).




First Name: Carolyn Last Name: Garratt Country: Luxembourg Your comments: My husband Chris and I travelled the "Gibb" at the end of August this year and, although unfortunately we didn't make it to Mt Hart, we are absolutely OUTRAGED at what is happening to you. To us, it's the beginning of the end of the fascination and wonder of the Kimberley region and of the reason tourists go there in the first place - we don't want it to be taken over by big corporations specialising in unaffordable luxury lodges and "theme parks". Over the 10 years we have been coming to Australia (7 times) we have seen the subtle changes. Let the wild Outback of Australia stay the wonderful unique place that it is with true pioneers like yourself! Like you say, it is morally and ethically WRONG. We support you 100%, Carolyn and Chris Garratt




First Name: John Last Name: Ettles Your comments: Stick with it Taffy, don't let the b@57ards grind you down. Can't let the big money win out over decent friendly service from local people.




First Name: kathy Last Name: wheatley Your comments: Dear Taffy, i just received an email from B. Bradtke regarding this bull#*#*#. ( excuse the french ) I am heading up the way in May next year and i am appalled what the DEC is doing. what are they going to do with it, destroy it and mine it like everything else, look what they tried to do with the land that Steve Erwin owned and Terri won, maybe with the help with the aboriginal people you might be able to do something as they respect the land more than the government does. They always think of money and not the damage they will cause. Fight them to the hills don't give up, people power can be very strong against the government. they are just fat money grabbers !!!!!!!!good luck, hope it is still there next year. Kathy




First Name: Heather Last Name: Wilson Your comments: Dear Taffy Abbotts, I have not visited the Kimberleys but Bob (husband) and I are planning to in May 2011. I have subscribed to the Kimberley news letter and read about your story and am not shocked but outraged. Bob and I have traveled into the outback over the last 4 to 5 years ( mostly to remote areas)and know how hard your lifestyle is and how beautiful the place can be. I can only offer moral support, and hope that you can win your fight. It is all about GREED as it is with most of these disgraceful acts by all big power brokers. All the best with your fight. Sincerely, Heather Wilson




First Name: Dave Last Name: Williams Your comments: Taffy, I don't know you but I was alerted by Birgit about your sad story. Without knowing all the facts, I lay myself open to criticism by your opponenents but it is abundantly clear that there is something very wrong here. The essential thing is to get some time to sort this out by getting DEC to suspend their deadline. Failing that, it is vital that the state government is made to understand there is a total miscarriage of justice here and get them to hold DEC back. In order to do this, you must recruit as much support as you can from the media, TV in particular, private companies, individuals with backing, and of course ordinary guys like me. I will write to the TV stations and newspapers and direct them to your site and if they cannot make something happen there is no future for any of us. Dare I ask what your local MP's views are and whether he supports your case ? I will be writing to the contacts you have listed to try and assist. If everyone who reads this will do the same, there may be a chance. But whatever happens DON'T EVER GIVE UP. You must know that everyone who hears about this will back you, it is just a question of how. If you need a fighting fund let people know, they will respond in true Aussie fashion. Thanks to Birgit for bringing this to people's attention, Good luck and stay in there, Dave




Taffy, I have no idea what on earth I can possibly do to make your situation less burdensome apart from offer my moral support.What I hear and see is a story of a typical "Aussie Battler", a moral man with a great Dream, being taken advantage of. This is downright theft on a grand scale. A moral travesty and something I am personally ashamed to see happening. How so totally UN-AUSTRALIAN! Shame, Shame, Shame to all those pen pushing immoral government bureaucrats-you represent a Thief!If this is what this country is coming to then I am ashamed to be called an Australian.My question is...Who is showing an "Expression of Interest" in YOUR wonderful property and the work that you have so painstakingly put forth? What "Foreign Body" is rubbing their hands together in the anticipation of acquiring another part of this wonderful country we all so proudly are privileged to live in? Seriously Taffy and Kim, what else can I possibly do over here on the Eastcoast? Warmest regards and my total support, Marylyn(SuperNan) www.family-getaways-melbourne.com




First Name: Mary Ann Last Name: West City: Pakenham Country: Australia Your comments: sorry I can offer only morale support for the wonderful work the people of the Gibb River Rd do enable us all to enjoy the vast area. I seem to remember something similar happened to Jim Cotteral at Stuart Wells NT maybe they can offer more tangible help. Kind regards, Mary Ann




First Name: Peter Last Name: Butler Your comments: Hello, Having recently travelled the whole length of the Gibb River Road and visited most of the sites/camp areas I am most dissapointed to learn of the fate of Mt. Hart. Whilst Taffy may have been naive at the start he may have also "trusted" the CALM people to do the right thing. I would support the independant valuation so that a mutual finiancial agreement can be reached. I would also like to hear why CALM are not prepared to extend (and enhance) the agreement to allow Taffy to continue with his work achieved to date. The campground was a pleasant surprise for us and we met some intersting travellers who shared a common support for the work done to date. The historical significance needs to be maintained and the financial amount that is eventually agreed cannot replace the fond affection that Taffy has for this property and the amount of passion he has shown over the years. I expect that many travellers had a pleasant surprise at Mt. Hart. What do CALM intend to do with the place? I ceratianly hope they are not going to let it go to ruin!!! Perhaps the faceless CALM people (who may sit in Perth) need to get out into the great Kimberley area and see what people like Taffy has done to increase tourism. I am also impressed by other CALM areas in the Kimberley so find it hard to understand why they would want to change what is a gem in the Kimberley. Kind regards, Peter Butler, Melbourne




First Name: Trevor Last Name: Smith Your comments: Dear Kim and Taffy, It was sad to hear the news about what is happening there. I have emailed my views to the Prime Minister and those concerned. We are planning a trip to the Kimberley next year so I do hope the government see sense and we can look forward to meeting you. Trev & Ali Smith




First Name: Clare Last Name: Marquis Your comments: Taffy, King of the Mountain! even when you're pushed to the wall do not give in (great words Peter Garrett who unfortunately buried his talents in politics) I have supported your product for many years and am sad to hear the news DEC are trying to move you on. I do not have much faith in DEC given back in the 90's they wanted Dampierland National Park and now in the 20's they want to build a gas precinct. What are they trying to do to our iconic Kimberley? Remove its icons? why? You have a good solid product that is easy to recommend. Keep up the good work and let's hope common sense provails.




First Name: Rae Last Name: Stagbouer Your comments: I have just receive some worrying news about you (Taffy & Kim) being unfairly displaced from a property that has been your home and work for many years. This treatment and consequential eviction may seem to be within the bounds of the law, but it is morally corrupt? I hope that you can find the right representation to fight your cause for you and buy yourselves some more time. Good luck, Rae




First Name: Neville & Sally Last Name: Cook Your comments: Dear Taffy & co. I was writing a long letter to you & it disapeared. Too long I spose, I can't find it now!!! Just saying that we know exactly how you feel but on a far smaller scale. I think it's happened to many a cattle station manager & his wife when the station changes hands. Be sure, if the worst happens to go through and check off the list of things with the DEC and a couple of witnesses. I bet they'll try to say you took something you shouldn't have just so they don't have to pay you. It happened to us & we lost out, we had to pay for something we'd bought ourselves...No proof! To quote dear ole Slim Dusty."big frogs in little puddles laying down the law" & "Ned Kelly was a gentleman compared to the likes of some" !!! Contact A current affair. Get hold of a good mediator,don't despair. Ask for more time to try to Negotiate. I will write to one of the places in your list maybe more. Birgit alerted us to your plight & I put a post on ExploreOz. Leading up to Christmas isn't a good time. There has to be a loop hole in their cunning loop holes. Take care & don't give up. With best wishes' Bye for now Neville & Sally.




First Name: Stuart Last Name: Norman Your comments: Taffy...I’m one of the thousands of people that have had the privilege of being to Mt Hart and meeting you. I came through back in the 1998 Mobil Outback Air Race, supporting the RFDS. We had a sensational time with you and the dingoes, they ate part of my mascot (a stuffed toy Kangaroo) but he survived. My question is have these people Keiran Mcnamara, Rod Quartermain Rod Annear and Peter Sharp ever been to Mt Hart, I doubt it. Have they ever done a hard days work, I doubt it. To build what you have done in the location you have done it, is exactly what the first pioneers did hundreds of years ago. Through blood, sweat, tears and plenty of laughter. What is happening to you is typical of what is happening throughout Australia, beauracrats in suits, parked in an office, who hide behind procedures and protocols. My support is with you. Send this on to the four mentioned beauracrats if it will help them open there eyes and try and visualise what you have achieved in one of the toughest locations on our planet. All the best Taffy




First Name: phil Last Name: Reid Your comments: Have you tried the ABC "Four Corners" program ?..or similar ? Also, do not give in, tenants that do not move when told to can be an almighty headache as there are things like legal aid, squatters rights and some things under common law. Good Luck. Phil



First Name: Bruce Last Name: Cameron Your comments: I visited the Gibb River Road and a lot of it's attractionsin JUNE this year 2010 but unfortunately did not have time to go to Mt Hart. I have been wanting to go to the kimberley all my life (60 years)to experience it's beauty. We had a great and memorable time (www.wallistonSafari.com) Tell the government to go to buggery and leave you alone. You have my support. Bruce




First Name: Allan Last Name: Parnell Your comments: I make no apology for the rather strong terms used in my comments. Even to a casual observer, what is happening here is symptomatic of what we are seeing right througout Australia - and it has to be called for what it is. I travelled through the Gibb River Road and extensively in the Kimberleys about 10 years ago.Obviously the region is hauntingly spectacular but also tough, much like the people who live and work there. There people make what is a wild wilderness, accessable for us all to enjoy. They invest their lives and their life's savings to be there for us, the tourists. They battle isolation, heat, humidity, bushfires, floods and non existant infrastructure because they love the place. Then along comes the bureaucrats, driven by their economic rationalist masters, to impose their will on the ordinary productive citizens of our country. These lilly white, soft handed parasites, sitting in their airconditioned palaces and who have never produce anything of value in their lives, believe they have a right to impose their will on hard working productive people of this country. The mentality seems to be command and control (no doubt for fat bonuses)rather than congratulate and support the productive people of Australia. So where to from here? For the good of the nation, this sort of thing must be stopped, so keep the information flowing. If it can't be properly settled through meaningful negotiation, let us muster the tens of thousands of tourists, grey nomads and other interested parties to man the baricades and stare these parasites down. You know, it's good to be old enough not to have to be politically correct!




First Name: Diane Last Name: Campbell Your comments: Dear Taffy, All 4 of us stayed at Stumpy's Campground in May this year, and visited the homestead. We relaxed in the outdoor bar, and had great conversations with your wife learning about all you have done there. What a great experience it was to be able to enjoy your surroundings. The great Australian Outback is the most beautiful place in the world. We wish you and your wife well in your plight with the DEC. It would be shameful to not keep Mt Hart as it is.



First Name: Jeanine Last Name: Bessell Your comments: I have been planning to make a trip to the Kimberley region within the next year but if this is how the Western Australian government treat one of it's treasures, they can stick it!!! I'll take my tourist dollars somewhere else. What a disgrace. I feel very saddened and disgusted for the treatment you have received.




First Name: Brett Last Name: Pritchett Your comments: Taffy, I have lived in the Kimberley for 30 years now, in the bush and now in Derby .I know how bloody hard it is to live and survive in the bush and for someone to come along and take away the blood and sweat you have put into establishing and developing your business and lifestyle in this harsh country is a low form of life to me. I support your coming battle with the DEC and hope common sense will prevail,in your favour. Regards Brett.



First Name: Darren Last Name: Blogg Your comments: Hi Taffy and Kim, I've just heard about this appalling news via an email from Birgit Bradtke (Destination Kimberley) and I am utterly disgusted as to what DEC is doing to you. This is just pure outright taking advantage of someone for financial gain. I really hope they come to their senses and reconsider their stupidity in what they are doing. We were lucky enough to spend a few nights at the campground in June this year (when that family flew in with the helicopters). The dinner we had at the restuarant would have been the best out the places we ate of our 5 weeks in the Kimberley. We also really enjoyed our little trips out to a couple of the gorges and Barker Pool and basically just lazing around by the camp and riverside. I regret I did not actually get to meet yourself and Kim properly although I did say g'day to you on the way to the bar one day. You've done an amazing thing to the place and the people you have working/volunteering there are genuinely friendly and take the time to talk to you, unlike some other places we've been to. I have posted Birgit's email and links to your website on our 4WD Club's forum so that all our members can see what's going on. I've also noticed that a few other forums I frequent show that the word is getting around. All we can do is offer our moral support at this time and hope that it all works out for you in the end. Take care, Darren and Janella



First Name: Diane Last Name: Erian Your comments: I can't describe how bad I felt about this story. I can't possibly know what you are going through and I guess nobody can. I feel greatly for you and your wife and anybody that has helped you over the years. What a disgusting thing to do to another human being who has put so much effort into something that most people would find a daunting task that was too difficult to take on. The DEC need to take a good hard look at themselves and what they are doing. Surely there is something that can be done via solicitors or barristers to overcome this bad situation. I know you may think that you cannot afford to do this but if enough people get behind you (and they should) anyone that has ever been into outback Australia. Once again the DEC are the most inhuman beings of all time to do this to you. You have given your life to this project and should be rewarded instead of being kicked off the land that you obviously love so much. Imagine how much it would have cost them to have all these jobs done if they had to pay outsiders to do them. They should look at this and pay your accordingly.




First Name: Diane Last Name: Erian Your comments: I can't describe how bad I felt about this story. I can't possibly know what you are going through and I guess nobody can. I feel greatly for you and your wife and anybody that has helped you over the years. What a disgusting thing to do to another human being who has put so much effort into something that most people would find a daunting task that was too difficult to take on. The DEC need to take a good hard look at themselves and what they are doing. Surely there is something that can be done via solicitors or barristers to overcome this bad situation. I know you may think that you cannot afford to do this but if enough people get behind you (and they should) anyone that has ever been into outback Australia. Once again the DEC are the most inhuman beings of all time to do this to you. You have given your life to this project and should be rewarded instead of being kicked off the land that you obviously love so much. Imagine how much it would have cost them to have all these jobs done if they had to pay outsiders to do them. They should look at this and pay your accordingly.




First Name: Deb & Albert Last Name: Rodgers Your comments: Having returned from a Kimberley trip in July 2010 for 5 weeks travelling the Gibb Riv Rd and everywhere in between, what a magnificent area for all to visit. We are saddened to hear of your plight Taffy & Kim but not surprised, typical of DEC they are doing this sort of thing all over the north of WA. It's happening east of Carnarvon DEC are buying up all the land/stations with the promise of maintining them and keeping up the water supply for the animals. HaHaHa we have returned to this area in the last two years west of the Kennedy Ranges and shocked to see the stations run down/falling apart and the water supply completely cut off. Many dead animals now surround these derelict stations which is very sad to see. Currently they have the bulldozers in levelling a station now. God forbid if they should touch or do the same with Mt Hart. Who knows what they're up to. We wish you all the best in what you can do, they are force within themselves to deal with. All the best, we feel for you. Deb & Albert



First Name: Ray Last Name: Moore Your comments: Mongrels, must be pay day for someone. All the best, Ray



First Name: Daniel Last Name: Bersan Your comments: Taffy, best of luck with the fight. No one deserves to be treated that way. I hope some common sense previals in the near future.




First Name: Gary Last Name: McCrea Your comments: Hi Taffy, I have been up your way in June 2010. The Gibb River road is one of the most unique places my family & I have ever visited.We didn't go to Mt Hart Station due to time reasons but if you keep it as well as all the other places along the road it is worth more than money can buy. I feel that you are being treated wrongly by D.E.C. by having to leave at such short notice. If D.E.C. had their way every bit of land & coast line that is own by the crown would be turned into conservation parks, then no one would be able to use them. I hope that you get a good result from all this and are not kicked out just before Christmas.



First Name: Daniel Last Name: Bersan Your comments: Taffy, best of luck with the fight. No one deserves to be treated that way.I hope some common sense previals in the near future.




First Name: Rob Last Name: Verryt Your comments: Sounds like some brown nose in a high office from the city wants to make his/her budget add up. Taffy and Kim are the best asset that DEC/Calm and the station environment have got. As usual DEC/CALM will ban everyone and call it protecting the environment for the future, which means they can't look after themselves. Give DEC/CALM the finger Taffy and Kim and fight the basdards because you belong there. Cheers,Rob



First Name: Peter Last Name: Richens Your comments: Sorry to hear about your problem. The entire thing stinks of a payout or under table dealing between some corporation and an Government official. I would be interested to know is some other party has been nosing about looking to buy at some earlier stage. Either way good luck with your fight and one day I hope to be able to get out your way for a visit.




First Name: Lee Last Name: Brodie Your comments: Sorry to hear about the situation your in mate. you may remember us we swung past earlier in the year and i actually proposed to my fiancée while we where there. Im outraged to hear about how your being treated by the DEC, i have created post a post on the Perth 4x4.net website which will hopefully spread the word a little further. Also my partner is going to create a facebook group. Save Mt Hart, i hope you approve http://www.perth4x4.net/forum/showthread.php?t=38584




First Name: Michael Last Name: Sesin Your comments: DEC totaly wrong, I would go to the media, current affair 60 minutes, to put the pressure on the government to do something moraly right for a change. No wonder these departments have a crap name. Dinamite the lot, hit the pension and let the government look after you. All this is commong out because I am seriously angry. Michael




Good Day, In the interest of transparency, I am forwarding a copy of my letter of support to Taffy and Kim, the people of Mt Hart. The time of bureaucratic bullying is over. Now is the time for Governments to understand that they have a real responsibility to the people they represent. This starts with Ministers pulling their pompous Departmental heads into line and making them properly accountable for their actions (and inactions). I look forward to seeing a far better outcome here than what is evident at present. Allan Parnell “I make no apology for the rather strong terms used in my comments. Even to a casual observer, what is happening here is symptomatic of what we are seeing right throughout Australia - and it has to be called for what it is. I travelled through the Gibb River Road and extensively in the Kimberley’s about 10 years ago. Obviously the region is hauntingly spectacular but also tough, much like the people who live and work there. These people make what is a wonderful wilderness, accessible for us all to enjoy. They invest their lives and their life's savings to be there for us, the tourists. They battle isolation, heat, humidity, bushfires, floods and nonexistent infrastructure because they love the place. Then along comes the bureaucrats, driven by their economic rationalist masters, to impose their will on the ordinary productive citizens of our country. So in addition, they now have to battle the bureaucrats too. These lily white, soft handed parasites, sitting in their air-conditioned palaces and who have never produced anything of value in their lives, believe they have a right to impose their will on hard working productive people of this country. The mentality seems to be command and control (no doubt for fat bonuses) rather than congratulate and support the productive people of Australia. I also wonder whether there is another agenda here. Perhaps there are mining deals up for grabs? So where to from here? For the good of the nation, this sort of thing must be stopped, so keep the information flowing. If it can't be properly settled through meaningful negotiation, let us muster the tens of thousands of tourists, grey nomads and other interested parties to man the barricades and stare these people down. It would make wonderful television. You know, it's good to be old enough not to have to be politically correct!” Allan Parnell



First Name: Dags & Kerry Last Name: Cross Your comments: We have known Taffy and marveled at his efforts for 12yrs now and we find it offensive that the DEC is trying to muscle their way in to Mount Hart now seeing as though all the real hard work and financial risk has been done. Taffy obviously knows how to run this property, does it profitably and with more affection than anyone else in the world. Where is someone like Taffy supposed to go and do after he's put his working life into this place, where does he hold his pride of place when he's kicked out of his home and life of twenty years. Mount Hart is a place of pride for everyone in the Kimberley and we are all proud of how Taffy has turned this patch of untamed scrub into a place where we want to visit and show our friends and family. You have to understand as we do here in the Kimberley, Mount Hart is Taffy and Taffy is Mount Hart, you can't simply take one from the other via some yellow edged contract and no good ethical reason. We strongly oppose the DEC's greedy decision to take a man's dream that he's worked so hard for away from him.




First Name: Paul Last Name: Harrington Your comments: I used to be horrified by political assassination but am now coming around to the idea that some of our government officials deserve nothing less. I just wonder how they would feel to be put in a similar situation. I'm sure the screams would be heard on the moon. If this man is denied natural justice 'The' Government, (I will not say our. These people are unelected and seem to think they run the world)should be piloried by the people at the ballot box and the individuals concerned in making such decisions should be turfed out of their jobs and denied their fat pentions. This is usually the work, funnily enough, of people who call themselves Socialists. Disgusting individuals. I am so angry that they should do this to you that continued words fail me. All I can do is wish you good luck and suggest that some of our television programs like 60 minutes both here and overseas will be interested in the story! Please put out a news letter to keep us all up to date with what the bastards are up too. regards, Paul H.



First Name: Dig Last Name: Lynch Your comments: Taffy and Kim, All I know of your situation is via www.kimberleyaustralia.com and if it is true, as I presume it is, your treatment by DEC/CALMis an outrage and downright un-bloody-Australian. Good luck. PS: I have long, long dreamt of traveling the Gibb River Road, but unfortunately my 2 girls wife and daughter aren't keen.



First Name: Scott Last Name: Jones Your comments: Taffy, I heard about this terrible news through Birgit Bradtke's newsletter. Unfortunately i have not been to Mt Hart, but i have travelled the majority of the Gibb River Rd and i know, along with ten's of thousands of other Australian's, what a magical and wonderous place it is. What you have done to try and preserve that place so more people are able to see what a special part of Australia it is, is such a great and generous deed and now you are being stabbed in the back by the DEC. I will guarantee that the majority of the people who you are fighting with have not packed up thier 4wd and tents and experienced the road themselves. Keep fighting hard and try to keep your spirits high. I would like to get there one day and i hope you are still running the place.




First Name: Peter Last Name: Wilden Your comments: Shame, shame, shame, I will be emailing those departments listed on your web page, in FULL support of your dedication,commitment and love of the land and all that you believe in. Kind regards and best wishes,always Peter Ricki Skani & Kael Wilden




First Name: geoff Last Name: lay Your comments: what a sham ,definately a big rip off...shame on you to take these people's lively hood away just like that all the work , money, sweat, and tears...to build this up into a profitable business, and take it of them... $200,000 what a laugh there must be some thing done to stop you...




First Name: RAY Last Name: BOULTON Your comments: Taffy and Kim I am sorry to hear of your problem, I am afraid all the support for conservation groups come from the cities where they do not understand what goes on in the bush I think all we can do is get as many people as possible to send letters to these organisations to try and get some common sense to prevail. It does not seem to happen very often but while there is a chance you have got to go for it. I wish you all the success possible in your fight to stay at Mt Hart, Ray Boulton



First Name: Pat Last Name: Weller Your comments: Hello Taffy, I am not much with words but am so disgusted with what is happening to you. I am so sick & tired of hearing about good ordinary Australians doing great things for our country & working hard only to get kicked in guts whenever the govts /powers that be feel like it. Possibly some big consortium has offered them "a deal". I am a member of a motorhome club & most of us are out & about & are just sickened when we hear things like like this.I am e-mailing 3 wa ministers including the Premier. What other help can i do? It would only be small but i can certainly let other campers know of your plight. Kind Regards, Pat Weller




First Name: Noel Last Name: Irwin Your comments: Hi Taffy and Kim. A couple of thoughts: check what information you have from the original agreement. All correspondence - including verbal - constitutes a contract. If you have anything that indicates they were going to pay for the capital works, or you presented a bill, then you should be able to chase this. Also, consider getting someone like A Current Affair or that type of program up there. One of the TV channels has been running a program covering a family living on a station. Either they, or another station, may want to cover a real-life problem out there. They enjoy getting stuck into banks and government, so you may get some real assistance. Also, who is the local state member and the federal member. You should use them, that is what they are for. If you state you are contacting the media they will get off their butts. Best of luck, Noel




First Name: Wangari Last Name: Yeeran Your comments: Your pictures tell a thousand words, words of pride in a job well done but also words of heartbreak and betrayal. I have watched what you have done over the years and the many things done not only for yourselves, but for others, and have been so proud to call you friends. In fact it was my dream (and that of others) to come out there and see you next year; what a shame that the Government of Australia can stuff up so many people's dreams, all for selfish and covert reasons. This country is not what it used to be and whether the government wishes to listen or not, it needs to know that the voice of the people MATTERS. I'm crying tears of empathy for you and just want you to know that We The People are watching, and We The People are the ones who vote. MORE THAN THAT, WE CARE ABOUT YOUR PLIGHT.




First Name: Peter Last Name: Bush Your comments: Dear Taffy, Typical Beauricratic buggery. You have my empathy as I have run across it a few times in my life of 55 years. I didn't get out to Mt Hart while I was living in the Kimberley (7 years) but I do know the problems any sort of project in isolation can throw up, but to offer so little for all your work is damdable. I wish I could do more in support for you. Best Regards Bushy



First Name: Smokey + Ali Last Name: Smoker & Southern Your comments: Dear Taffy, Sorry to hear all this. Smokey's suggestion: Try all avenues possible, and if you can forgo the $200,000, burn it and leave em nothing mate! They gave you nothing, so leave them nothing. Best wishes in anything you decide and dream up. We wish you well. We are not going to have a business soon either if the LNG gas hub comes to the Kimberley. Cant make non-toxic products with a toxic industry nearby. Blessings to you Taffy. All will still be well, one day, Ali & Smokey



Dear Mr Barnett, I am writing this letter, because I am very concerned by what is happening at Mount Hart. I always loved our country’s landscapes and I think we are very lucky in Western Australia to have so many different as well as so beautiful sites. I have also always thought that the DEC does a great job protecting and Conserving our Environment. What was my surprise when I learnt that the same DEC, today, instead of rewarding the hard work of Taffy Abbots (as it should do), is on its way to take away from him everything he has dedicated his life to. I am certain that none of us have expected this from the DEC which goal is to protect wilderness. I understand that the DEC was in its legal right when it decided not to renew Taffy current lease when it will expire at the end of 2011. But for what ? To give away the lease to a major tourism company ? What I do not understand is that such a beautiful place that Taffy has built from nothing at his own expenses, is now taken away from him without consideration and without giving him any chance to negotiate. What I think is that the Kimberley have been built by people like Taffy who really love it. If the DEC takes away Mount Hart from Taffy to give it to a soulless tourism company, all this part of Western Australia will lose its magic and I will see no point to go there anymore. Please, Mr Barnett, help us all who love wilderness to convince the DEC to reconsider its point of view. Let us keep the true heart and spirit of the Kimberley. Show us that people like Taffy who loves this country will always be rewarded for dedicating their life to our wilderness. Florence Roca




Sirs, I have just found that Department of Enviroment and Conservation is not intending to renew the "contract of services agreement" and are intending to "take Mt Hart out for expressions of interest". I find this absolutely disgusting and an abuse of your position. Mount Hart would not exist without the work of Taffy and Kim. Therefore you would not be in a position to even consider offering it for expressions of interest if they had not spent the last twenty years bringing it to the status it has today. The tourism industry in WA will be all the worse for this decision and I can see it going the way of Karijina Eco Retreat, with shipped in frozen and reheated meals with no community spirit attached. Your measly offer of compensation is no where near the value that Taffy and Kim have provided to the Kimberly during their time there, nor what any future leasee will benefit from. No other place even came close to the hospitality and enthusiasm show by Taffy. Today I understand nothing has changed. We had intended to visit Mt Hart again next year, now we will definitely make it before November 2011 (assuming that Taffy is still there) and will never return once DEC or any other leasee takes over Mt Hart. While I throughly support the objectives of DEC in conserving the environment, when you make misguided decisions like this you loose all credibility. I do not expect a response from you, for as all bureaucrats you will just dismiss this as the thoughts of a minority and not of any concern to your position. Yours Sincerely, Bob Davies




First Name: Gary Last Name: Blake Your comments: Hi Taffy,I'm a bit gob smacked by the stories that I have been shon and feel very much for you mate. Although I have not heard the other side of the story. I doubt if I ever will. If what you say is all true (and I believe it is), there seems to be a case to answer here. I am no lawyer but compensation appears to be needed to a figure that is worthy of the work you have put in and the costs that are directly attributable to the capital spending. I am keen to know haw this pans out and will try to follow the trail. I have recently experienced the Kimberlies over a 3-4 week period and can understand the country has meaning that I am sure you feel fo so strongly. I hope this little ditty puts a bit of weight behind your case and that the DEC get 'real' with the situation. Kind Regards, Gary Blake.





First Name: Paul Last Name: Steele Your comments: Taffy & Kim, I missed getting to your property earlier this year & had intended visiting in mid 2011. I am amazed but not surprised by the way you are being treated."Lets sit back & see how much the place can be improved before we take it back,good tactics". The order of the day seems to be lets rip off the average Australian. I hope your situation gets plenty of media attention, perhaps this may assist. DEC should have good look at themselves because without people like you about they would be redundant. It's a shame our taxes are paying their way. There's probably not much I can do, but if there is anything I can assist with I will. Keep your chin up mate, Steely. P.S. Dec reminds me off the term crooks.




First Name: Annie Last Name: Collins Your comments: Taffy, I wish you and yours the best of luck in this endeavor. The W.A. government should be applauding and encouraging your efforts at Mt Hart. They should all hang their heads in shame at the treatment they have handed you. "Shame, shame, shame on you Mr Premier!" It is so rare to find someone so dedicated to the land, and it's protection. You trusted and believed in the W.A. government and their word....now we know that's a load of ****



ATTENTION: Premier - Western Australia....Although we have never visited Western Australia nor do we know Taffy Abbotts. On face value, from what appears in the above mentioned Web Site, Mr Abbotts is not getting fair treatment by the WA Government. Please reassess this situation. Yours faithfully Therese Goodwin




From: Allan Parnell To: 'mt.hart' Subject: Mt Hart Hey guys – what is happening to you is just the tip of the iceberg. This jackboot activity is taking place all over Australia. Bureaucracies are out of control. For example here in Queensland we have: The Health Department killing people in our hospitals (and Dr Patel was the scapegoat for their lies and incompetence) Main Roads Department killing people on our roads through poor tarmac selection and total neglect Education Department turning illiterates out of our schools (can’t read & write but know all about their “rights” – nothing about their responsibilities) Natural Resources stealing irrigation water allocations because of poor planning but still wanting to look good in the eyes of city slickers Our Justice system releasing multiple offenders back on to the streets to reoffend Poor security in our jails (some genius delivered live ammunition to a jail workshop just this week) Police are hopelessly undermanned and dammed if they do – dammed if they don’t And to top it off, I now have hard evidence that Building Services Authority and the Crime & Misconduct Commission are corrupt. We have no reason to believe that things are better in other states; indeed some are worse – just look at NSW. Surely it’s not much to ask these people to do their jobs properly and to be accountable. I have passed your email on to most of my Outlook contacts so hopefully some will respond. Regards, Allan



From: Dave Williams, Mt Hart Dear Minister, I have been made aware that DEC is involved in closing down Mt Hart in order to invite expressions of interest from private companies. From what I know, this action will result in a great injustice for the present occupier in that he stands to lose his livelihood and his life's work. I would ask that you allow more time for this matter to be fully explored since there are clearly issues that need resolving. The imposition of a time limit for Mr Abbotts to make a decision by 23/12/10, is absolutely unreasonable and insensitive and so I would ask that you use your influence to provide an acceptable period in which this matter can be fully explored and resolved. I would also ask that you put yourself in his position in that you would be forced to leave your home, suffer significant financial loss and be forced to see your life's work destroyed. On compassionate grounds, if for no other, please allow justice to be served by insisting that DEC provide adequate time and information so that this issue can be properly addressed. Regards, Dave Williams




From: Kachana Station Sent: Thursday, 9 December 2010 6:15 PM Subject: Mt Hart "Today's governing class is not interested in the consent of the governed. It correctly realises that it doesn't derive its power from that consent, but from the power to throw people in jail for not paying taxes or for breaking any one of myriad laws which the State has erected in private and public life."




Ian Denning: Crisis At The Periphery, Monday 22nd November, 2010 Dear Taffy, The changes I have seen in this country since 1979....makes one wonder why so many young people both risked and gave away their lives in the great wars of the last century... Not sure if you knew the Salerno's; they were the owners of ElQuestro who sold us Kachana back in 1989. They are back in town and have a law office. http://www.salernolaw.com.au/index.php?page=people Wishing you well in your battle for a just outcome. Chris Henggeler, Kachana



Therese Goodwin, ATTENTION: Premier - Western Australia Although we have never visited Western Australia nor do we know Taffy Abbotts. On face value, from what appears in the above mentioned Web Site, Mr Abbotts is not getting fair treatment by the WA Government. Please reassess this situation. Yours faithfully, Therese Goodwin




First Name: Alan Last Name: O'Neill Your comments: Taffy & Kim, I travelled the Gibb last May, but unfortunately, due to unseasonal weather conditions, was unable to reach Mt Hart camp. I have been alerted to your situation by Birgit Bradtke, and must say I found the situation presented by the WA Govt to you, to be totally outrageous.I have read what others have written in support, and wholeheartedly agree with their sentiments.It would appear that those mindless bureaucrats in Perth have no appreciation of the efforts you have made over the years, and I defy any of them to post their reasoning on this site. I also challenge any of them to justify the pittance of compensation. Saying that they do not wish to purchase the business, but want to ensure you take nothing with you, is pure arrogance, and reeks of corruption. $200,000 for 20years of sweat and hardship, as well as out of pocket expenses? How was that calculated? And what's this rubbish of a few weeks to make a decision on the paltry offer? Are the DEC decision makers worried that if it takes longer they will not be able to sleep at night? Get real! "Tell them they're dreaming". One could probably get more compensation for 2 terms in political office, and the nearest thing you would face towards hardship, would be the controlling of the remote for the air conditioning. I wonder how many of those DEC staff have actually been on the Gibb River Rd. To all those responsible, total shame. Not wanting to understate my feelings, "You are Dingo's in the true Australian sense" Do the right thing and properly compensate these people for the work they have done and for the improvements made. The meaningless paltry gesture you have so far offered by way of compensation is an insult to all Australians, and reeks of the type of story you constantly hear about on current affairs programs where pigheadedness and blatant "screw the underdog" mentality prevails to make the quick $$$ at other's expense. If Taffy and Kim had simply maintained the property in the same condition as when they took possession, what would the property be worth now?




Dear Taffy and Family, We have read your heart wrenching story on the Net with increasing disbelief. Whilst politicians and bureaucrats are renowned for their often total insensitivity to many issues, this one has to be a classic. As committed "Grey Nomads" we have not yet had the pleasure of visiting you or any part of Western Australia and we can say that, should you fail to reach a compromise that is totally to your complete satisfaction, then WA is off any of our future itineraries as a measure of our disgust with the manner in which you have been treated. Furthermore we will do our utmost to convince our fellow caravan club members to do likewise. Some parts of WA have already achieved notoriety as being areas to be avoided and should you elect to pass your story on to the approximately 400,000 (and growing) caravanners and motor homers via their Clubs and Chapters, many potential visitors may feel as we do. From experience we have found that writing letters to politicians and senior bureaucrats achieves little when they have minions to act on their behalf. We are not avid fans of TV when so much puerile rubbish abounds but we assume that you will have already brought your plight to their attention and possibly we have missed the current affairs programmes that may have aired your grievances. Please feel free to use this email in any manner you feel is appropriate to your cause, we will sign any petition or assist in our own modest way (we are service pensioners) in any appeal for funds that you may choose to instigate. The fight has only just begun Taffy! Warmest regards, Bill and Mary




From: Kachana Station Sent: Thursday, 9 December 2010 6:15 PM Subject: Mt Hart "Today's governing class is not interested in the consent of the governed. It correctly realises that it doesn't derive its power from that consent, but from the power to throw people in jail for not paying taxes or for breaking any one of myriad laws which the State has erected in private and public life." Dan Denning: Crisis At The Periphery, Monday 22nd November, 2010 Dear Taffy, the changes I have seen in this country since 1979 makes one wonder why so many young people both risked and gave away their lives in the great wars of the last century...Not sure if you knew the Salerno's; they were the owners of ElQuestro who sold us Kachana back in 1989. They are back in town and have a law office. Wishing you well in your battle for a just outcome.Chris Henggeler, Kachana




Dear Taffy and Family, We have read your heart wrenching story on the Net with increasing disbelief. Whilst politicians and bureaucrats are renowned for their often total insensitivity to many issues, this one has to be a classic. As committed "Grey Nomads" we have not yet had the pleasure of visiting you or any part of Western Australia and we can say that, should you fail to reach a compromise that is totally to your complete satisfaction, then WA is off any of our future itineraries as a measure of our disgust with the manner in which you have been treated. Furthermore we will do our utmost to convince our fellow caravan club members to do likewise. Some parts of WA have already achieved notoriety as being areas to be avoided and should you elect to pass your story on to the approximately 400,000 (and growing) caravanners and motor homers via their Clubs and Chapters, many potential visitors may feel as we do. From experience we have found that writing letters to politicians and senior bureaucrats achieves little when they have minions to act on their behalf. We are not avid fans of TV when so much puerile rubbish abounds but we assume that you will have already brought your plight to their attention and possibly we have missed the current affairs programmes that may have aired your grievances. Please feel free to use this email in any manner you feel is appropriate to your cause, we will sign any petition or assist in our own modest way (we are service pensioners) in any appeal for funds that you may choose to instigate. The fight has only just begun Taffy! Warmest regards, Bill and Mary



Taffy this is shocking ! My heart goes out to you. I am with SBI as well, but have not launched yet. Great job in documenting your case - best of luck with your campaign. I wonder how big the SBI community in Australia is. I have noticed you know at least 2 SBIers. Has the press picked up on this yet ? Have you thought of doing an on-line petition ? I am not sure it makes sense to write to a heartless DEC. I suggest you petition the Premier and inform the press, Radio and TV. I will follow your campaign and I belief you will win. I think you should go for everything you want, that is for staying on the land with an extended lease at reasonable conditions. More than 5% increase pa in lease hold costs would be excessive. If you are on a lease hold maybe the tenancy act is applicable if they want to evict you.



First Name: Cathy Last Name: Robinson Your comments: I find that this whole situation is totally unreasonable, unfair, unjust and without doubt VERY UNAUSTRALIAN! Taffy has done an enormous amount of work to improve this unique place in the Kimberly. people from many parts of the world have come to enjoy this very unique experience that Taffy provides at Moumt Hart. My husband and I had the good fortune to enjoy a stay at Mount Hart in May 2010 na shared our experience with travellers from Germany and Hungary who were all impressed with the hospitallity that we were all provided. How can a government body simply walk up and take what is not theirs - it defies belief that this can happen to such a hard working and forward thinking man who has done more than was required of him to provide a unique outback experience to the weary traveller. I for one find this situation outrageous and it should be stopped!




First Name: Tim Last Name: Anders Your comments: Mt Hart without Taffy would be like a garden without a gnome. If the DEC fails to do the right thing, the moral thing, in this instance, then I fear for the rest of the Kimberley. I hold hope that whatever the fate of Mt Hart Station you, Taffy, have as big a role to play in it's future as you have had in it's past. I hope this with all my heart. Tim Anders



First Name: Lyn Last Name: Williamson Your comments: I am shocked and appalled to hear of what is happening to Taffy and Kim. My husband and I travelled the Gibb River Rd. 3 years ago and are planning another trip in 2012. We didn't get to Mt.Hart last time but were planning to on the next trip. It is magnificent country, the Kimberley and made even more so by the efforts and committment by people like Taffy and Kim. I do hope that you "win" out in the end and that people power can change the petty minds of those stupid people who made such a disgraceful decision. The very thought of taking away a persons way of life, life's work and efforts, let alone the financial "rip off" which would be sustained by Taffy and Kim is morally and ethically wrog, and if they are so obtuse to see that point of view, well what are they doing in such positions of power? Good Luck Taffy and Kim, you have many supporters, even from people like me who have never even met you but know from our observation of the land of the Kimberley the amount of effort you have made to achieve such a marvel. Best of Luck from Lyn Williamson



First Name: Rod Last Name: Read Your comments: Hang in there Guys, I have had similar in the past and beat em, all due to lack of consultation on their part. They are a heartless bunch of shiny arses and want the property for an undiclosed reason I would say. The poo will hit the fan, now that you have declined their offer I would say.Find the chink in their armour. I wish you the very best of luck and would love to visit your Haven some day. Regards Rod.



First Name: Len Last Name: Archer Your comments: Taffy, sent an email to the Minister,. John Day as soon as I read of your plight, haven't had a reply but urged him to pull these power hungry public servants into gear. They don't care about the citizens they are supposed to serve and allow their big business leaseholders to charge what they like because they get a percentage of the income. They got a good kick in the ribs over Ningaloo, not that the war has been won, but the supporters are watching them carefully and I sincerely hope we can belt them again on your problem. Best wishes.




First Name: Lyn Last Name: Williamson Your comments: I am shocked and appalled to hear of what is happening to Taffy and Kim. My husband and I travelled the Gibb River Rd. 3 years ago and are planning another trip in 2012. We didn't get to Mt.Hart last time but were planning to on the next trip. It is magnificent country, the Kimberley and made even more so by the efforts and committment by people like Taffy and Kim. I do hope that you "win" out in the end and that people power can change the petty minds of those stupid people who made such a disgraceful decision. The very thought of taking away a persons way of life, life's work and efforts, let alone the financial "rip off" which would be sustained by Taffy and Kim is morally and ethically wrog, and if they are so obtuse to see that point of view, well what are they doing in such positions of power? Good Luck Taffy and Kim, you have many supporters, even from people like me who have never even met you but know from our observation of the land of the Kimberley the amount of effort you have made to achieve such a marvel. Best of Luck from Lyn Williamson




First Name: Merrill Last Name: Witt Your comments: Dear Taffy, Devastated to hear about DEC's plans for Mt Hart. I have written to everyone you suggested. Here's a copy of my letter to Premier Barnett. Please let me know what else we can do! Dear Premier Barnett, I am writing to urge you to consider renewing Taffy Abbotts' operation lease of Mt Hart. My family and I are from Sydney. We spent two weeks touring the Gibb River road in July this year.One of the absolute highlights of the trip was our experience at Mt Hart. Taffy and his staff made us feel so welcome, and the property was impeccably managed. It was by far the best experience we had of the 'real' Kimberley. While we were there we spoke with many international and interstate guests who had equally glowing assessments. What was wonderful about Mt Hart was the way Taffy brought everyone together. Afternoons were spent relaxing at the Dingo Bar and dinner was very much a community affair. I hope you can visit the property and see for yourself. I think you should be advertising for more people like Taffy Abbotts to run Kimberley operations. These are the experiences that everyone talks about. The 'real' Aussie adventure. Thank you for reading my letter. Regards, Merrill Witt




First Name: Roger Last Name: Paech Your comments: Plain Australian language `what a mob of bastards'




First Name: beryl Last Name: haragan Your comments: how can our government, in all good conscience do this. This is not why we voted you into power. We expect you to behave in a fair and moral way.You should feel ashamed.




First Name: Cath & Huntly Last Name: Gordon Your comments: As Gibb River Rd devotees we are appalled by the action of the DEC. We are planning another trip next June with all our kids & grandchildren & Mt. Hart was on our "Must See" List. Whilst the actions of DEC may be legal they are obviously morally inexcusable. We suggest some serious lobbying through influential people. Probably the local MP would be a good start because Mt. Hart is on everyone's special list. This whole situation should be addressed in Parliament so that pressure can be applied to DEC by the government. You still should seek legal advice, there may be a loophole in your favour. The legislation governing DEC may contain some provisions which could help. Best of luck. Cath & Huntly Gordon "Cromarty" Ben Lomond 2365



First Name: Geoffrey Thomas Last Name: White Your comments: I visited Mount Hart station on a Royal Flying Doctor outback air safari in 1998 and it will always be a special memory. I can not believe something so callous and un-Australian could possibly happen in this wonderful country of ours. Especially when so much has been done for the benefit of others, by such an unselfish person at his own expense. It makes me ashamed to think that this could happen here. It is so much like what has happened in Africa and I have never until now, believed that it could happen here.Please right this wrong, or I will lose my faith in our Australian way of life...




First Name: Wayne Last Name: Matheson Your comments: Taffy and Kim, I heard about what DEC are doing to you via a post by Darren on our club site (The Western Patrol Club inc). Everyone in our club is behind you as well as a lot of other people around Australia, so you are not alone in this that's for sure. I am a Moderator on a new national Patrol forum (nissanpatrol.com.au) and asked Darren to post all of the info concerning what DEC is doing to you on this forum which he has done. Everyone on this new forum is behind you as well. So you are not alone with this, keep your chins up and hopefully all of our voices will be heard and the right thing will happen.




First Name: Clare Last Name: Kenny Hughes Your comments: So terribly sorry to read this news. It should not be happening - and is definitely Highway Robbery . I hope that it resolves itself in a commonsense / just / fair way and that you can continue your great work there...Beautiful part of Australia.




First Name: Nick Last Name: Marlow Your comments: Just typical of these bloody politicians. Stick it up em! I found out about your story from the website www.sosnews.org. Maybe you should contact them and arrange an interview with them. They have been fairly involved with Peter Spencer, who has had his land stolen by the federal government to use as a carbon sink to absorb all of the cow burps. Good luck, and whatever you do, dont let them distract you with their bureaucratic bullshit process. It serves only two purposes: 1) to keep you busy and distracted, and 2) to wear you out and make you give up. Give them hell.



First Name: Heather Last Name: Locke Your comments: As a nurse who worked in Wyndham in the 1960's I understand the effort you have put into showing the wonderful Kimberley to the world. The iconic Gibb River Road would be much poorer without people (and it is people who make this area so special) like you & Kim. Heather Locke, Margaret River (down south).



First Name: Joanne Last Name: McKay Your comments: My words are so very little, for the grief you must be feeling Kim and Taffy..I know of Mt Hart from afar ...but what a tragedy for all Australians. I promise to share with all I know! In life with love, integrity, COURAGE and tolerance.Jo



First Name: John Last Name: etheridge Your comments: Hi Taffey, I spent four days there in 1972 it was a wreck ihave seen what you have done its great,what is going on now bloody stinks, I cant do much to help but hang in and fight them if you can.If i can do some thing send me an email. Best of luck John



First Name: Ted Last Name: Tarrant Your comments: Please keep up the good fight, we all must support you in this nightmare. This is another example of Government madness rsulting from some public servant making misery to suit their own agenda. Again we witness single bloody mindness with a "yes Sir" mentality. Mate, Keep Fighting and do not leg the mugs destroy you.



First Name: Richard Last Name: Adams Your comments: This is what a true Aussie is all about,getting out there and having a go. To see a goverment department come along and say you have to leave a lifetimes work for a mere pittance is just absolutely disgraceful. I wonder if a politician has their snout in the trough with some huge tourism company to come in and take over. Makes you wonder about their intentions.



First Name: Peter Last Name: Hemming Your comments: Dear Taffy, My partner, Helen Drimer and I visited you and Kim in September this year. We were both working for a big touring company many years ago and knew you from there. Your situation is beyond belief, heartbreaking and sad. I will try to rustle up as much support as possible through the Toyota Landcruiser Club Victoria and through Four Wheel Drive Victoria. The government in WA (and elsewhere)needs to be reminded that they are there for the people and not only for big business - in this case turning a personal and caring tourism venue into a simple product number. Don't give up yet. Cheers Peter Hemming




First Name: Chris Last Name: Ryan Your comments: Hi Taffy and Kim I have read all you have said about your dreadful situation, I have also read today's updates. you have my hope that you succeed. I have written of your plight on my site at http://www.perth-getaways.com/Mount-Hart.html Not having been and seen your place I have nicked some of you photo's, hope you don't mind. The two of you have built something very precious and beautiful, a holiday oasis that all who have seen it must have loved. If you know of any way that I can help you do not hesitate in asking me for even 1 minute. Good luck my friends Chris




First Name: nicole Last Name: dehoog Your comments: Good luck. We are following any avenues we can think of, and will send the utube film on to our mailing list. It's a disgrace to think that this could happen here where we treasure independence and initiative......or used to!




First Name: HELEN Last Name: DRIMER Your comments: Hi Taffy and Kim, We came and stayed at Mt Hart in September and we are very disturbed by the current news and situation. We have also been contacted by our 4 wheel drive club (Toyota Land Cruiser Club)to let us know what is going on and if there is anything we can all do about it. I must say that we are unsure what to do next but you have our full support if anything can be done. We really wish you all the best and will keep in touch to see what is happening. It was fantastic to see what you had done up there and to see you and it is truly magical country. Lots of love Helen & Peter (Peter hemming & Helen Drimer who used to work with AAT KINGS back in the old days with Bobby Hughes and Hughie Bland etc).




First Name: Simone & Torsten Last Name: Fruehauf Your comments: Dear Taffy, having learnt about what is happening to you,we wonder about how seriously the officials have considered all aspects before making this very unfair and shortsighted decision. We have sent e-mails to the adresses on your list,hoping that they'll be read and so help to make a difference. Keep spreading the word, Simone



First Name: Elizabeth and Hermann Last Name: Ruckstuhl City: Olsberg Country: Switzerland Your comments: Dear Taffy, In 2001 we travelled across the Kimberley and spent some time at Mt Hart Homesteads, enjoying true hospitality, excellent food and your good sens of humor. It was the highlight of the Kimberley experiences, and we love to remember the jewel in the wilderness. You have devoted 20 years of your life to make this place into what it is today, a paradise. It goes without saying that it needs not only an allrounder, but also a person capable of defying difficult circumstances like heat, flood, fire etc. Therefore, it sounds like a bad joke that the D.E.C. wants to compensate you for all the work you have done and your financial engagements with the lousy amount of $ 200'000. Congratulations for having rejected the deal. We call on fairness and goodwill of the D.E.C. responsible(s) in order to reach a compensation settlement that deserves its name. Sad to say but Mt Hart without Taffy will never be the same. We wish you all the best, stay strong and don't forget that you have supporters all over the world. Elizabeth and Hermann Ruckstuhl



First Name: Edwina & George Last Name: Hall Your comments: How can this be allowed. A hardworking couple putting their sweat and toil into the making of a wonderful place in the outback for tourists to stay and have time out. We have little enough being done to encourage the tourist now the hard work has been done lets see what money they can now get on someone elses sweat. there must be some one out there that can get this couple a fair deal. How dare the goverment do this to these people. Colin Barnet has stayed there lets see him do something to help an aussie worker. This a scandle to the highest point it can go. They should have been informed at the very start that this could happen. What an insult to offer $200,000 for what has been done for the tourist over 20 years SHAME ON the goverment to let this happen. Good Luck I will spread the word



First Name: Alan Last Name: Arthur Your comments: Good luck mate - I hope your fight pays off for you, and you get some kind of outcome you're happy with. Without the improvements you've made, and the reputation you've established, there wouldn't be many businesses interested in taking over the lease.




First Name: Ted Last Name: Tarrant Your comments: Please keep up the good fight, we all must support you in this nightmare. This is another example of Government madness rsulting from some public servant making misery to suit their own agenda. Again we witness single bloody mindness with a "yes Sir" mentality. Mate, Keep Fighting and do not leg the mugs destroy you. Ted




First Name: John Last Name: etheridge Your comments: Hi Taffy, I spent four days there in 1972 it was a wreck ihave seen what you have done its great,what is going on now bloody stinks,i cant do much to help but hang in and fight them if you can.If i can do some thing send me an email. Best of luck John



First Name: Kate Last Name: de Heer Your comments: Hi, I just read the post on our Facebook page (I am one of the Admins of your Facebook page run by Susan),Site address http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_113431032060568&ap=1 I am very glad that you now have at the least a glimmer of hope, I will continue to find more people in the media to aid in your plight. What you have done is remarkable and you should be applauded and supported not thrown aside and robbed. I look forward to one day soon being able to come and visit you, the beautiful Dingos and Experience The Kimberley for the first time. Hang in there you have more supporters than you know. We wont give up! Regards Kate



First Name: Ben Last Name: Bridges Your comments: to taffy and the team, i really hope these coffers in perth wake up to reality and realise this is a massive mistake.and they must reconsider. not even reconsider. just withdraw the expression of interest. and leave you at your home. the terms they have set out to me means these pollies have become unaustralian. as any fair dinkum aussie wouldnt even comtemplate this criminal act upon yourself. best of luck bloke!



The Premier , Government of Western Australia 24th Floor, Governor Stirling Tower, 197 St Georges Terrace Perth WA 6000 Dear Sir, Ref: D.E.C. Dealings with Mt Hart Station I do not normally put pen to paper to write letters like this, but I felt sufficiently strongly about the denial of natural justice and the sheer unfairness inherent in the recent dealings between your government and Taffy and Kim Abbotts to make an exception in this case. It hardly needs a genius to see that the current position being taken by the WA Department of Environment and Conservation is not fair or reasonable, and I'm quite surprised that those responsible in the Department for the proposals to put Mt Hart out for tender did not take a more balanced position at the outset. Quite apart from the value of the improvements Taffy has made to Mt Hart, the impact on tourism and the reputation of the Kimberley and WA as a tourist destination has been very significant, and it would be only reasonable if this was taken into account in deciding a fair settlement with him if Mt Hart is put out to tender. There is also some justification in questioning the intention to put Mt Hart up for tender if the outcome is that yet another real outback tourist destination becomes the private domain of a large corporate, and ceases to be a real outback experience. Perhaps allowing Taffy and the existing Mt Hart operation to continue whilst splitting off some of the current park for tender would be a better alternative. I urge you to ensure that your government makes a fair and equitable settlement with Taffy and Kim Abbott, and at least considers alternative approaches in deciding the fate of Mt Hart. Yours Sincerely, Adrian



First Name: Richard Last Name: Adams E-mail Address: Your comments: This is what a true Aussie is all about, getting out there and having a go. To see a goverment department come along and say you have to leave a lifetimes work for a mere pittance is just absolutely disgraceful.I wonder if a politician has their snout in the trough with some huge tourism company to come in and take over. Makes you wonder about their intentions.



First Name: lorraine Last Name: malloy Your comments: once again beauracy gone mad.. stay strong and let more people know through media outlets etc, let the people know and they will support you. Good Luck




First Name: Alan Last Name: Crilly Your comments: Taffy, I have never been to the Kimberley's but your situation smacks of whatever is the opposite of a 'Fair Go'. I wish you well. Alan Crilly



First Name: Nick Last Name: Marlow Your comments: Just typical of these bloody politicians. Stick it up em! I found out about your story from the website www.sosnews.org. Maybe you should contact them and arrange an interview with them. They have been fairly involved with Peter Spencer, who has had his land stolen by the federal government to use as a carbon sink to absorb all of the cow burps. Good luck, and whatever you do, dont let them distract you with their bureaucratic bullshit process. It serves only two purposes: 1) to keep you busy and distracted, and 2) to wear you out and make you give up. Give them hell.



First Name: Heather Last Name: Locke Your comments: As a nurse who worked in Wyndham in the 1960's I understand the effort you have put into showing the wonderful Kimberley to the world. The iconic Gibb River Road would be much poorer without people (and it is people who make this area so special) like you & Kim.



First Name: Joanne Last Name: McKay Your comments: My words are so very little, for the grief you must be feeling Kim and Taffy..I know of Mt Hart from afar ...but what a tragedy for all Australians. I promise to share with all I know! In life with love, integrity, COURAGE and tolerance. Jo



First Name: wouter Last Name: potthoff City: delft Country: Netherlands Your comments: Mount heart should stay the way it is!!!



First Name: moses Last Name: gatt Your comments: Hi Taffy, it breaks my heart to hear about what"s to happen to you and your place, to all the hard work that you and others put in to improve the place that many travellers enjoyed. No body can comprehend the reason and the amount of compension and conditions set. Alot of Sydney siders have and would like to travel through that part of our beautiful country to enjoy and memorise the beauty of this majestic country of ours.



First Name: Amy Last Name: Dewhurst Your comments: Dear Taffy, My name is Amy Dewhurst, and I am a 20 year old, long inspired creature of the bush. I look up to people like you and I am quite appalled at the way you have been treated by the Department of Environment and Conservation. Please know that I will do anything in my power to help support you, and protest against this spiteful behaviour of these bureaucrats. I will do anything I can, please let me know. You have christened the land up there as a unique, shared, valued part of the great West, for national and international tourism, and environmental awareness and knowledge. And we cannot afford to let somebody take over you like this. You would be a great loss to the community, and also a devastating loss to the development of infrastructure, as well as a dismal future for environmental knowledge. It should be in every best interest of the D.E.C to keep you involved, as you are the key to some of their economic future. I personally would hold a grudge against the D.E.C if they go through with this. If anything, you are probably as unique and inspiring as Malcolm Douglas (may his soul rest in peace), and your journey should continue on forever, and may you continue to be a pioneer of remote tourism, and Australian dedication. You deserve the utmost respect for what you have done & I sincerely hope that I can make a difference somehow. Yours truly, Amy Dewhurst



First Name: CHARLIE AND JOAN Last Name: GRAHAM Your comments: Dear Taffy and Kim, We are so sorry to hear what the Government is doing to you with your business, greed takes over with them when someone else can build up the business. Di Lang sent the letter to us, we did the same tour with Scenic Tours Outback Discovery last year, what an adventure it was. Mt. Hart was one of the highlights of our tour, we cannot stop singing it's praises. The hospitalilty shown to us was unsurpassed by any of the large hotels. We always say we would love to go back. I have tried many times to send emails to you but always came back, hopefully this one makes it through. Regards, Charlie and Joan Graham.



First Name: Gary Last Name: McMillan Your comments: To Whom it May Concern, After seeing the report on You Tube about Mt Hart in the Kimberleys I feel it necessary to contact your department and voice my concern over the treatment of Taffy Abbotts after many years devoted to upgrading and promoting this particular section of the Kimberleys. My wife and I have been nomads for 4 years now and much of our time has been spent in North West WA. We promote the region throughout our travels. It appears that once again a Government department has decided that it knows best - or at least better than the locals. I cannot believe the offer that has been made to Taffy as compensation not only for improvements made but labour involved and the way that he is being treated is very unaustralian. I can only hope that common sense will prevail. Yours faithfully, Gary McMillan



First Name: Wayne Last Name: Matheson Your comments: Taffy and Kim, I heard about what DEC are doing to you via a post by Darren on our club site (The Western Patrol Club inc). Everyone in our club is behind you as well as a lot of other people around Australia, so you are not alone in this that's for sure. I am a Moderator on a new national Patrol forum (nissanpatrol.com.au) and asked Darren to post all of the info concerning what DEC is doing to you on this forum which he has done. Everyone on this new forum is behind you as well. So you are not alone with this, keep your chins up and hopefully all of our voices will be heard and the right thing will happen. All the best, Wayne



First Name: Karel Last Name: Klinker Your comments: Hi, First I want to give you my support. This is really outrageous what is happening. Secondly, I don't know how to address the DEC or your government. My English is not that good. Can you please, set up a standard letter and put it online? I think this is very useful and effective. Big organization like Anesty also use standard letters to gather a great deal of support for there case. Hope you like this idea and really hope you can stay where you live now. Best wishes, Karel



First Name: IAN Last Name: DUNLOP Your comments: KEEP FIGHTING, MATE. YOU ARE A TRUE AUSSIE. DO NOT LET THEM (THE BIG CORPORATIONS/GOVT ) BEAT YOU. WE ARE RIGHT BEHIND YOU.



First Name: John Last Name: O'Shea Your comments: Hi Taffy, We were gobsmacked to hear about your situation with the Western Australian State Government Department of Conservation and Environment (DCE) in respect of the Mt. Hart lease. We stayed at Mt Hart for 3 days about 2 years ago. Reading between the lines it strikes me that some DCE bureaucrats are seeking to collect a few brownie points at your expense to show to Premier Barnett - a sort of "look at what we've just done Premier" moment. What a sham we have here.




First Name: Alan Last Name: LAWRENCE Your comments: Taffy & Kim, Keep up the great work at Mt Hart. Stand your ground with DEC & GOVT. It's people like you who have made this country what it is. This should remain an Australian tourist destination for all to enjoy. Maybe the GOVT could throw some money into help you rather that get rid of you. True Aussies like you and people like Malcolm Douglas don't come along everyday.




First Name: Bruce Last Name: Gardener Your comments: Taffy, Keep up the fight. We are totally behind you at this time. We had such a wonderful trip to Mt Hart in 09 and were planning again next year to visit and explore the wilderness area further. Really an emotional area to us that calls us back again. DEC typically has no idea of what goes on outside of their city glass towers! Bruce and Kathy



First Name: Wendy Last Name: Coyle Your comments: I was appalled to hear about the situation at Mt Hart. My husband and I have travelled in this region, often with overseas visitors, several times over the years and it is dedicated people like Taffy who make the region so unique and so valuable to tourism in Australia.



First Name: dale Last Name: pearce Your comments: Taffy, The experience you are able to offer at Mt Hart is extraordinary for Australians who have traveled the outback extensively and must be life changing for overseas visitors. To sit at you water holes and listen to the insects in that environment is unique! The hospitality that you and Kim offer is first class. I have not visited Mt Hart for about 3 years, but every time I grab the Mt Hart Stubbie holder I cannot help but smile, remembering our few precious days there. Australian politicians would have no ides how unique Mt Hart is. How can we help you and Kim Taffy?? Dale and Julie Pearce



First Name: Steven Last Name: Faulkner Your comments: Hey Taffy, I was shocked to hear what the department had planned for you and the ultimatum they delivered. We did the Gibb River trip (West to East) in June 2010 and stayed overnight at My Hart as our second stay on the "Gibb"; after stopping at Windjana Gorge. Not only are the sights and scenes so spectacular along the Gibb River Road, or the accommodation and range of activities so inviting and enjoyable, but one of the most important aspects, is the Characters that you meet along the way... If the DEC take you out of Mount Hart, they'll be removing the Heart and Soul of the Gibb River experience; an irreplaceable Character that will be sorely missed. You have worked extremely hard to get Mt Hart to where it is today; keep going and I'm sure the rewards will come!



First Name: Alan Last Name: Patrick Your comments: I have been involved in a campaign to stop the inappropriate NSW State developments in Ryde www.marsfieldars.com.au - Your fight for proper dealings with a government department and yourself is always a worthy fight to have. Build your supporter base and lobby your local member of parliament. Your life's work should be recognised and if they insist you leave they should meet you in a commercial way with good faith always at the front of negotiations. You of course may never get that but you should demand it, as you are. Try keeping an ongoing role as a representative or on-site Manager no matter what happens. I have said all this and never been to your location, however, the last two years have seen my wife and I travel out from Darwin to Katherine, Kakadu and Kununurra for holidays in July. We look forward to our next trip to get to your part of the world. Good luck and keep fighting. Regards, Alan Patrick




First Name: Favaad Last Name: Palekar Your comments: Hi Taffie, It saddens me to hear of your plight. I have visited the kimberly and fell in love with the place even though I have only been in Australia for 3 years now. Having come to love everything about this fantastic country and understanding what people like yourselves have done to make it as unique as it is, through simplicity, hard work and just for the love of it.. your pain is understandable and does not fail to tough everyone who reads about this. I may not be able to do much for you from this afar, but know that even as a new citizen of this country, it is the efforts of individuals such as yourself and similar others who have and will allow our future generations to enjoy the natural beauty of Australia. My family's thoughts and prayers will be with you and I will keep myself informed of this situation, spread the work around as much as I can, and offer any assistance that may be required. All the best Mate.. and keep your chin up ! Bad things dont happen to good people.. you just have to believe in it and keep at em.




First Name: Niki Last Name: MacLennan Your comments: Dear Taffy, I have stayed at Mt Hart on 2 occasions and just loved being there. I am in awe of the work that you have done to create a beautiful place in a beautiful landscape, this is to be treasured. I read of your plight in the West Australian, it is extraordiary that DEC assume they can renounce Society that meets in Perth, for people with an interest in the Kimberley and who have a desire to preserve its unique state. I will do what ever I can to help you remain and prevent the bureaucracy taking over the asset that you have built. Thank you for publicising your predicament. I am sure that something can be worked out. Regards, Niki MacLennan



First Name: Helen Last Name: Clement
Your comments: I visited Taffy and Kim in August whilst working in Derby. They are an inspiration to us all. It is disgusting what the DEC want to do to Mt. Hart. Leave this beautiful place be in the hands of the carers - Taffy and Kim. They do a great job. Big business has no business at Mt. Hart.



First Name: glenys Last Name: ball Your comments: Taffy , so sorry to hear of your difficulties. We have visited twice , once by flying in for afternoon tea , the second time by driving in and staying the night. Both visits were magical. You have our greatest admiration. I sincerely hope you have the best lawyer to defend you in this very unfair situation. Glenys Ball.




First Name: Han Last Name: Verbarendse Your comments: Dear Taffy and Kim. I am just read about the that happens at Mnt Hart. I can nothing do about it but I am very angry about this. For me is this unbelievable that this can happens in Australia. I hope that you may stay on your beautiful station. Greeting, Han Verbarendse



First Name: Ken Last Name: Fogden Your comments: We visited Mount Hart as a part of our Kimberley's Tour with Scenic Tours. It was a highlight in a magnificent trip - an experience of a life time and a great aspect of WA to show to the world.




First Name: Francis Last Name: Ward Your comments: Hang in digger it looks like the force is with you. I'm a new Austrailian (1989) who loves and respects this land with my "hart" for she is the giver and taker!. I have only being in your neck of the woods one time (so far) 2009 Gibb RVR. I will go in to bat for you. You are are a True Blue Dinkie Di Aussie. Cheers Fran.




First Name: Marc Last Name: Schmook Your comments: Our country and charachter has been shaped by people like Taffy and Kim. People who fall in love with the wonderful outback and all it has to offer. The Gibb River Road, indeed the Kimberley in general, is dotted with such characters. Whether they run a homestead or are one of the many workers that make these places tick. They are the heart and soul of the region. It is people like Taffy and Kim that bring the visitos back time and again to this beautiful region. So how can the DEC, that does some excellent work in maintaining many great camping spots around the state come up with such a shameful, heartless and 'un-Australian' plan to oust Taffy and Kim. Years of toil in re-building and tending Mount Hart just ripped away. Not a great advertisement for the Australian way of life with Oprah doing so well to ramp it up. Shame on you DEC.




First Name: Diane Last Name: Dott Your comments: I am shocked with this high handed dealing. Mt. Hart is a wonderful place with great atmosphere, terrific camping grounds and well cared for amenities. It would be a crime to have it under the auspices of a government body and considering all the work done to the homestead etc. Please add me to your list of suuporters.



First Name: Peter Last Name: Thistleton Your comments: Typical heavy handed government.Having stayed at Mt Hart it is a great place and Taffy and Kim do a terrific job. May the good guys win and I don't mean DEC



First Name: Julie Last Name: Gill Your comments: Hi i read with great interest your fight with the stupid govement department.You have every right to be hopping mad, i applaud you for your stance you are taking give them hell. There is not enough places in the outback to cater for travellers, yours needs to be protected , i will help in any way to keep your place open . No you have a lot of support , if every body new what was happening you would have a lot more. Have you thought of using 60 mins, current affair programs , to get the message out there i am sure they would be interested WELL DONE WE ARE behind YOU, Kindly regards Julie.



First Name: Stan Last Name: Foster Your comments: Hi Taffy and Kim, I am very distressed to hear of your plight. My partner Di and I spent a couple of days with you earlier this year, there is no doubt the brief time we spent at Mount Hart was the highlight of our trip through the Kimberly and we will definitely be back in 2011. The behavior of DEC is not only unjust and immoral but downright bloody un Australian, one could be excused for wondering what big corporation has an eye on the fantastic place you have built and who in DEC stands to gain by your eviction. We wish you all the very best in your battle and hope justice and common decency will prevail.



First Name: Josie Last Name: Chandler City: Portsmouth Country: United Kingdom Your comments: We are coming to Australia next year and hope to travel the Gibb River Road. We look forward to visiting the place you have worked so hard for. We knew nothing of your battle until the friends we are travelling with told us,and we truly hope you are successful in maintaining your home and liveliehood which you have worked so hard for to the benefit of Australia.



First Name: Craig Last Name: Glenister Your comments: I have had dealings with DEC(the CALM) in the past and I am aware how bloody minded they can be. Taffy has spent 20 years transforming a dump into an oasis. Wonderful to see the Kimberley get behind a battler. Thank you to all the politicians who helped Taffy and for renewing my faith in the political system, Craig Glenister



First Name: Keith Last Name: McKenzie Your comments: Taffy's plight is nothing short of the movie the "Castle". It is not his house but his home. In fact he, like all of us, are the custodians of this great land. Leave Taffy alone to look after this great piece of Australia




First Name: Andre Last Name: Leclere City: Henri-Chapelle Country: Belgium Your comments: Thats not fair, I find for the wonderful work that your have doing over the 20 years ago, the DEC must by give you better and fair conditions. I wish you all the power you need, André




First Name: John Last Name: Graham Your comments: Just another example of big brother doing what they like and not thinking of the real people that made Australia what this great country is. Yes apparently the government may have the right to tender the lease but if so they need to offer fair and reasonable compensation. Fight the bastards.



First Name: Rob & June Last Name: Hudleston Your comments: Taffy & Kim, We wish you both all the very best for the future. We only hope the Government will reconsider your situation and if you do decide to move on, they make a payment reflecting the true cost of improvements you have made not only in infrastructure but also on promoting Mt Hart but the Kimberley region in general. We were fortunate to spend 4 or 5 weeks on Mt Hart last year (2009)and several nights camping this year and know how much hard work you both have put in to the place, it had to be a labour of love to battle the heat and ofen cut off during the wet and the isolation. Congralations on all you have achieved. Come on Colin, step in and see that Taffy gets a fair deal!!




First Name: Val Last Name: Lishman Your comments: Taffy. I visited Mt Hart eight times over eight years often with other people from Derby Regional Hospital. We loved the place you have created and admire your practical skills and hospitality. You are being unfairly treated by a mindless bureaucracy. I hope things turn out better for you.



First Name: Lawrie Last Name: Poole Your comments: Keep on fighting and don't give in. Take out a writ for damages and injunction order. A judge with jury in a civil court will award you fair compensation. DEC are stealing your 20 years of hard work and your development money and are trying to lease the asset you made to the highest bidder. Just the fact that the crown soliciter offered compensation tells me they know they are wrong. Keep the pressure up and you will come out on top. Keep a cool mind.


First Name: Paul Last Name: Blattman Your comments: Taffy, What the DEC is doing to you is both unfair and un-Australian. I wish you all the best in fighting this injustice. regards, Paul Blattman



First Name: Greg & Jeanette Last Name: Licence Your comments: Taffy and Kim, The week we spent at your campground in June 2010 was one of the best of our entire trip. Your friendly staff and "nothing is to much trouble" attitude reflects the pride and care you clearly have for your life's (20 years) work at Mt Hart. We visited many locations along the Gibb Rvr Rd & you guys have made Mt Hart number one on our list. You are a shining example of what is best about Australia; honesty, hard work, vision and commitment. Thank you and keep fighting to keep that lovely place open for many more visitors to come.



First Name: Hans Last Name: Wiekens City: Groningen Country: Netherlands Your comments: We've travelled all over Australia and in 2010 Mt Hart was thanks to Taffy (Kim Was with her mother, who was was not well at the time) one of the greatest experiences of all. Please DEC, let Taffy and Kim keep up the good work. They not only did a great job in the outback, but they are the best ambassadors Australia could wish for.



First Name: Christiane Last Name: Jaeger Your comments: Dear Taffy Abbotts - What disgusting unethical behaviour by DEC decison makers in this case and the government, if they do not intervene. The story makes me very angry. I sincerely hope that in the end, you will achieve what you want and not the corporations in questions and I also wish you to stay healthy and sane. Kind regards, Christiane Jaeger




Dear Mr. Premier, To uphold ethical integrity of your government and departments I urge you to intervene in the case of Taffy Abbott and ensure his lease renewal negotiations are fair, socially just, and allow him to renew the lease, if he so wishes, or pay him out the current value of his contributions talking into account the current value of his business. Sincerely, Christiane Jaeger



First Name: Connie Last Name: Smith Your comments: DEC need to understand that it is people like yourself, who are passionate, dedicated and sacrificial to a course, that are the mainstay of the tourist influx and the saviour of our great wilderness. By you dedicating youself to what you have done, you have preserved for countless others, an attraction that would otherwise be lost to the ordinary person. Fight because you are on the side of right.



First Name: Tim Last Name: Smith Your comments: An unbelievably heartless and thoughtless approach from the DEC. Can't they see that the commitment and investment of people like Taffy are worth much more to the state than a quick, one-off profit?



First Name: Nick Last Name: Abbott Your comments: Dear Taffy, What a travesty of justice you are experiencing. Having renovated one old farmhouse many years ago I can appreciate how much gut busting work you have done,the frustrations and anguish endured, the countless dollars spent and then to be treated like this. The DEC bureaucracy are showing a callous indifference to someone that has put his heart and soul into a venture that they originally supported. Nick Abbott



As you are aware, over the last 20 years Taffy Abbotts has developed the Mt Hart homestead and gardens into a WA and Kimberley icon. Outback travellers have marvelled in the work done by Taffy at Mt Hart and would be horrified by the reported treatment he has received at the hands of The Department of Environment and Conservation (D.E.C). By all reports this situation could have been expected of a commercial entity hell bent on making a quick buck at the expense of the little person –not a State Government Department. Four Wheel Drive Queensland is the state association for 4WD Clubs and many of our members have expressed their concern over this issue and in particular your Government’s handling of it. On behalf of our members I implore you to work with Mr Abbotts to fairly compensate him for his efforts and ensure that the hard work and effort he has put into Mt Hart is not lost to some heartless corporate entity with no links to the history – simply looking for a quick and easy economic gain. We wish to be kept informed of your progress in this matter. Regards Peter Fowler, President, Four Wheel Drive Queensland



First Name: Ian Last Name: McCallan Your comments: Its business as usual at DEC. We have a major problem in Australia with autocratic government departments and this behaviour is all too typical. Pity you have only a moral stand, they will take no notice of that, they never do. Seems we should dish out to them what they dish out to you. Bet they would not like to lose there houses.



First Name: Colin Last Name: Story Your comments: Thanks Taffy for being there. You have kick started us on many a journey into the wilds beyond, and welcomed us back with terrific hospitality, great humour and vital presence. Mt Hart lives within, in large measure due to the large presence you have carved out for yourself. And the work you have put in....basic infrastructure, roads and landing strip, and the elabotrtaion of simple but adequate accomodation; as a country Builder, I am under no illusions as to the logisitical fortitude of your endeavours. As a bushwalker, always thrilled to return to your gates. As an amateur historian confident of your place in the history of the Kimberley. We create our own lives, but you have been instrumental in shaping others. Thanks again. Colin



First Name: Michelle Last Name: Gallant Your comments: This is outrageous.



First Name: joanne Last Name: van leeuwen Your comments: it is sad that that the beauty of a place is not enough in itself but that it needs to be develpted and made money out of. Give the small fellow who cares for the Environement a go...




First Name: Phil Last Name: Rayner Your comments: Hi Taffy Just reading about your situation. Bit rough mate. Lets hope you get it resolved in your favour. We are looking forward to our first trip across the Simpson and into your neck of the woods next year and will naturally drop in. Maybe even share a cuppa or a beer. Best of luck mate, Phil



First Name: Bill Last Name: Benstead Your comments: Hi Taffy and Kim, you dilemma is about what you would expect from our two-party system. There is no accountability nor is there any hope of accountability. You see the states removed the Crown from their Constitutions at various times over the past 20 years. Your premier is no different to the ALP rats because all the conniving pollies know they have to watch each others back. You sir are dealing with a corporate government which operates on company policy, there has been no valid legislation in the Commonwealth since 1977 when Whitlam created the 'Queen of Australia.' The Commnwealth was abolished by Whitlam and further enactments were made by that looney liberal Fraser. So you most likely won't get up in any Australian court under a breach of promise common law application. If you had a written contract with the department you could examine that avenue. In 1970 I worked for the Thiess Bros in Qld and they owned Mt Hart at that time. Les wanted me to go there jackerooing but unfortunately I had a girlfriend who didnt think much of that, so much to my future detriment I declined their offer. Contact me if you require more info but there are several high-profile Qld property law cases about to hit the Privvy Council, so lets see what happens there. Don't give in and stay put no matter what. We have had similar cases in Far Nth Qld and the most recent was Shelbourne Bay where the Nixons hung on and ended up in court and later recevied an out of court settlement from the Qld communist government. Let them forcibly evict you but make sure you have as many witnesses as you can get, including the Northern Land Council and media.



First Name: andrew Last Name: rogers Your comments: What a man, what a life. I met you about 15 years ago when i was in the army and you left a lasting impression along with a Brisy boy called Graham Walsh. I love this part of our great country and am jealous of your life and heart. Hope you kick on there for years to come. Let me know if you need the services of a grumpy old cdo



First Name: Ray Last Name: Moore Your comments: Gday Taffy! Just having a look at the latest news on your website from the premiers office etc. Sounds like someones ass is in the frying pan, mate make em sweat, this is not going to go away. Oh and have a great christmas and new year cheers, Ray Moore



First Name: Jim Last Name: Peter Your comments: My wife and I visited the Kimberley this year but were unable to travel the Gibb River road due to the unsuitability of our caravan. Next year we plan to leave the caravan and explore this unique Australian area by 4WD camping and include Mt Hart in our travels. Please do not allow these special places to be destroyed by bureaucrats for the sake of dollars. We have enough 5 star "resorts" in the area, leave Mt Hart for honest real Australians.




First Name: John & Lyn Your comments: I first visited Mt. Hart in 1969. We broke down on the Mt. Hart Road in 2009. Taffy was extremely helpful and generous both with his time and resources. What nonsense is this that he be treated in such a cavalier fashion by bureaucrats? The Kimberley needs these individuals to retain it's iconic flavour ..... 5-star anything NOT required.




Dear Premier Barnett, I have been reliably informed that the Contract of Service Agreement at Mt Hart on Department of Environment and Conservation land in the King Leopold Ranges in the Kimberley is about to expire. I have also heard that one or more large corporations are interested in the lease. If a new lease were to be granted to one of these corporations in preference to extending the Agreement to the existing operator, Taffy Abbotts, purely on the basis of how much money the government could get, it would be both a travesty of justice and a severe blow to the whole tourist industry in the Kimberley. When Mr Abbotts took over the running of Mt Hart in 1990, it was a derelict ruin. Over the past 20 years, he has turned it into a Kimberley Tourist icon, offering his guests the kind of personalised experience which no large corporation can ever offer. It is people like Mr Abbotts, as much as the natural scenery, which makes the Kimberley such a great place to visit. I have travelled widely in the Kimberley and have promoted its attractions, including of course Mt Hart, to our relatives and guests visiting Australia. I would like your written assurance that Mr Abbotts’ expertise, experience and work will be given at least as great a weight as simple cash in deciding whether or not he should continue managing the place which has been his life’s work for the past 20 years. If, for whatever reason, Mr Abbotts is not permitted to remain at Mt Hart, then I would like your assurance that he will receive reasonable compensation, with fair terms. The pittance that he was offered at first, with unreasonable terms including a 28 day limit to accept the offer and payment only after he had vacated the premises for 7 days is quite unreasonable, particularly in a state and nation which proudly promotes 'the fair go'. The minerals boom which is currently making Western Australia so prosperous cannot go on forever. Tourism can. Removing Mr Abbotts from Mt Hart without adequate compensation will set tourism in the Kimberley back 20 years. I look forward to your reply. Yours sincerely, Suzanne Vidler




First Name: Fred Last Name: Leslie Your comments: Everything that you have written above, is in my experience, so typical of the bureaucracy. Broken contracts and lack of consideration of anything except themselves is so the order of the day. It doesn't matter where in Australia, they are all the same. I wish you good luck but doubt if you can beat the bureaucracy. Keep trying and don't let the turkeys get you down.



First Name: Neville & Sally Last Name: Cook Your comments: I wish I could say happy birthday Taffy. I can't even wish you a Merry Christmas,but I can wish you all good wishes for the coming New Year. May it bring good health & happiness to you both. Bye for now. Neville & Sally. P. S Don't forget good ole Slim dusty with his "Big frogs in little puddles" and "Ned Kelly was a gentleman compared to the likes of some!" There's another song of his too but can't think of it. It's about councils (Gov) not giving a damn When a young boy gets killed working in a mine, it also applies.



First Name: Wally Last Name: Mounster Your comments: Russell Willis has just made me aware of your problems, I do not have any clout with politicians but if you want names of supporters in your struggle for a fair go you can include me! I have hopes some day of visiting your part of the world either with Russell or in my own Land Rover.



Dear Premier Barnett - Request to Treat Mr Taffy Abbots, Mt Hart Station, with fairness. I am writing to express my dismay at a recent decision by a department in your government to force Mr Taffy Abbotts, the operator of Mt Hart station, from the home and successful tourism venture that he has developed over the last 20 years in the west Kimberley. I understand that the contract of service agreement at Mt Hart on Department of Environment and Conservation land in the King Leopold Ranges is about to expire and that one or more large company are interested in taking over the lease. If a new lease were to be granted to one of these companies in preference to Taffy Abbotts, purely on the basis of how much money the government could get, it would be both a travesty of justice and a blow to the whole tourist industry in the region. Taffy is one of the important human faces of Kimberley tourism. When Mr Abbotts took over the running of Mt Hart in 1990, it was a derelict ruin. Over the past 20 years, he has transformed the property, offering his guests the kind of personalised experience which no large company can ever offer. It is people like Taffy, as much as the natural scenery, which makes the Kimberley such a great place to visit. I have been visiting remote parts of the Kimberley for more than 20 years, including a three week bushwalking trip starting and finishing at Mt Hart in 2002. A highlight of our visit was experiencing true Kimberley hospitality from Taffy and his wife. I would like your assurance that Mr Abbotts’ experience and work will be given at least as great a weight as simple cash in deciding whether or not he should continue managing the place which has been his life’s work for the past 20 years. If, for whatever reason, Mr Abbotts is not permitted to remain at Mt Hart, then I would like your assurance that he will receive fair compensation, with just terms. So far he has not been offered any reasonable compensation for all his unpaid work – and the pittance he has been offered is on the basis that he must accept the offer within 28 days and leave the property within 7 days after that. Is this the sort of justice and commercial dealing you wish your government to be known for? I look forward to your reply. Yours sincerely, Dr Martin Wardrop



Please do not allow the unique character of Mt Hart Homestead to be destroyed. Taffy has done a wonderful job in creating a unique Australian experience for all Australians including city slickers (like us) and overseas travellers. We do not need additional 5 star resorts catering to visitors with unlimited budgets. Mt Hart is special, it’s character needs to be preserved as destination for all travelers to experience the outback in a honest friendly and natural way. We do not need another “ECO” resort. Kay & Jim Peter



First Name: kaye Last Name: birks Your comments: I believe that the treatment of Taffy is despicable. He has created a home and an excellent tourist venue and deserves more respect and at the least be offered realistic compensation. Preferably, he should be allowed to continue his business. DEC are behaving in an underhanded way and should be ashamed of this mode of operation!



First Name: Gerry and Julie Last Name: Lovegrove Your comments: Hi Taffy, We have only just heared of your issue with DEC and what they are trying to do for you. We have not visited this part of our wonderful state but it is on our things to do list. After reading about what you have achieved and at your considerable cost I take my hat off to you and there is no reason why you should be treated like this. If DEC had any brians they would give you a new lease and let you continue your good work. Your knowledge and stories of the area will be shorly missed and is irreplaceable. This cannot be provided by some corporate company that we hope does not take over. Please keep us updated and hope to see you soon.



First Name: Alison Last Name: Blatcher Your comments: I was (and still am) planning to visit Mount Hart next year and so am very disappointed by the actions of the DEC. As many others have already said - the DEC's action is a ridiculous disgrace. Taffy Abbotts should be FAIRLY compensated for all the time and money he has put into this place. Why should some large private company benefit from all his work and probably be allowed to ruin the place. As well as being paid I would like him to be asked to stay on in his OWN HOME and continue to provide great hospitality to all the people who travel the Kimberley's Gibb River Rd. Kind regards Alison Blatcher



First Name: John Last Name: O'Shea Your comments: So It'S now finally down to Premier Barnett to resolve this shabby, bureaucratic, ignominous farce, a blot upon the Western Australian Tourism Industry and others as a consequence of the transgressions of the Department of Conservation and Environment(DEC)in Western Australia who are basically seeking to impress Premier Barnett and others in order to justify their tax payer funded positions. In a nutshell these Management jokers within the (DEC) have taken it upon themselves to impress upon Premier Barnett their financial acumen and rectitude in seeking to to fleece some hardworking people at Mount Hart in the Kimberleys of Western Australia. So how have they set upon the owners of Mount Hart Wilderness Lodge in Western Australia in their endeavours to impress Premier Barnett, the State premier of Western Australia? Quite simply they have used the oldest trick in the book in seeking to push someone aside in favour of other interests. Deligitimise the owners of Mount Hart Wilderness Lodge and then give them their marching orders. Hit the road Jack by 23rd December 2010.(ho! ho! ho! Christmas Eve)and don't you ever come back Jack. P.S The Devil (and the regulations) made me do it M'Lud! So exactly what has Taffy Abbotts done wrong in the eyes of the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation. (DEC) over the past 20 odd years. He has taken over the running of a failed cattle station oversighted by the Department of Conservation and Environment (DEC)- a Department within the State Government of Western Australia and turned it into a successful -albeit modest tourism attraction and showcased it for the benefit of many thousands of interstate and international tourists seeking to visit the Kimberley's Region of Western Australia. How good a partnership is that Mr. Barnett? Get it sorted Premier Barnett - now!



First Name: Neville & Sally Last Name: Cook Your comments: Hi Taffy & Kim, Thanks for the Christmas card. I'd have put one of the arrows a bit closer to the right, or maybe right up the back but you did a good job. Who do you want us to write too after the hols? It's amazing you can even think of wishing all of us a Merry Christmas with what you're going through. Thanks. Are you now surrounded by water & crocs? Lets hope the change in the DEC etc..brings a change of heart for the better. One thing we've learnt in life. Is that sometimes no matter how much your heart breaks although you can't see it at the time is sometimes Fate has the best answer. With best wishes. Take care. Neville & Sally.




First Name: Garth and Ann Last Name: Smaellie Your comments: Ann and I camped along the Gibb River Road in 2009 as we travelled the 700 km from Kununurra to Derby. We were amazed by the flora,fauna and the ancient landscape but the best was still to come when we turned off the 'Gibb' and travelled north to Mt Hart Station. We were greeted by Taffy and Kim who have made a project of making us feel welcome and relating the wonderful history of Mt Hart Station over a beer or two in the unique bar. As we moved around the homestead and the camping ground we began to realise how much had been done over the years and what was being planned to be done to give visitors, both Australian and overseas, to Mt Hart a wonderful remote Kimberley experience. It was a shock to learn that all the effort put in by Taffy and Kim to make Mt Hart a unique outback destination would soon amount to nothing. The decision to take away a livelihood and a lifestyle for such a woeful compensation package suggests that those responsibe for that decision are irresponsible. Too many go-getters like Taffy and Kim who chose to live in isolated areas and work their butts off for the pleasure of sharing their experience with hundreds of visitors are eventually disadvantaged by the 'pollies' and bureaucrats. Why not put common sense before their lame excuses and reward a real Aussie for a job well done. GIVE TAFFY A FAIR GO!!! Hang in there Taffy you deserve better. Cheers, Garth and Ann



First Name: Liz Last Name: McLeod Your comments: Hi Taffy, Russell Willis advised me in his newsletter about your situation. We have traveled in the Kimberley a number of times and Mt Hart was high on our list for the next trip. I am so disappointed in our process of government - yet again faceless bureaucrats make ill-informed decisions that take out real people and everything they stand for. Tourism in the Kimberley will suffer a massive blow if people like you are replaced by faceless big businesses. I hope we can band together and change this Taffy, Kind regards, Liz McLeod




First Name: Desert Rose B&B Last Name: Anne Brown Your comments: I think you truely show the Aussie have-a-go...to slog away at your beloved project that many Tourist enjoy, I have been there and its fantastic unconvenional wacky and inspiring. I'm sicked at the thought of Corporate Bodies to dictate This terriable outcome. We need icons in the Kimberley and Mt Hart is that a true Bush retreat from the whizzbang world of money material possessions Oasis in the bush. Fight on Taffy!!! And Good Luck Anne Brown



First Name: jaroslav Last Name: jakes Country: Switzerland Your comments: dear taffy and kim, my english is one thing i really need to improve - i hope, i'll be able to find the right words. quite a long time ago i found your homepage. for some reason, i came back again and again. in 2012 i'd like to come to australia with my family - strange, i love this country without having been there. somehow i have the impression, that your own fascination and passion for your country shines throgh your homepage and makes me come back to share this feeling. i really hope, we'll meet in 2012! kindest regards - jaroslav jakes




First Name: Lesley Last Name: Clarke Your comments: I am disgusted by the attitude of the WA Government. As I am planning a visit to the Gibb River Rd in future I will not go to Mt Hart if the operation is handed over to a big tourist operator, or if it is changed at all.



First Name: Ross Last Name: Sala Tenna Your comments: Good luck, having experienced first hand Government bullying tactics especially when money is involved all I can suggest is to get a good lawyer.Hopefully public opinion will be aroused enough to make a difference. Good to see you are going high profile. get as much publicity as possible, shows like Australia Story on ABC give a fair bias. If you drag the bastards through court it hurts them too. Regards, Ross



First Name: Steve Last Name: McGrath Your comments: What a bunch of parasites the DEC turn out to be!! I have seen the work you have done there my friend, i am a outback tour guide and have been visiting the Kimberly region for many years and i remember visiting your place in the early days when it was all "blood sweat and tears". To have seen what it was to the beautiful place that it is today is really a credit to you and your station family. What a insult the offer is! its just degrading to the integrity that you have on the country and work that you have done to the place. I meet people who just rave about Mt Hart, i have a aboriginal art gallery in Fremantle, Creative Native, have done for near on 20 years, and like you built it from a empty building. if some government department offered me a insulting offer for my place, i would certainly dig in like you are, and dig in deep too. You dig in deep and the more bullshit that they throw at ya well, just dig in deeper, the way i see it you got a god giving right too. What they are trying to do is totally un australian, yea i can see what would happen here take from you after all the work completed and then re-open it and take the benefits, as i opened the letter with, parasites! You want a hand any time you call me! I can dig big holes, practiced in digging up bush grubs with the desert people. Stay strong my friend, Steve "Bushdog" McGrath Creative Native Gallery, Fremantle



First Name: Donna Last Name: House Your comments: We first travelled the Gibb River Road in 1997, back then it was still a remote part of Australia and we cherished the fact that it was so 'untouched' by corporate greed. To return in 2009 and find so much of it has been taken over by faceless corporates was heartbreaking. So, spending time with Taffy at Mt Hart with his dingos and the untouched landscape was an absolute God-send. We loved the fact that this was the true outback Australia. That the hospitality was personal and the people were real. I have sent many people to Mt Hart because of Taffy and the way he has preserved this piece of WA, and to think that our Government is yet again putting dollars before peoples' lives and livlihood reiterates that unless we speak up and support Taffy this too could happen to any of us. I send my full suppport to you Taffy and most likely on behalf of all those who have been fortunate enough over the years to enjoy your hospitality. Don't give in!!




First Name: Karel Last Name: Klinker Country: Netherlands Your comments: Hi, First I want to give you my support. This is really outrageous what is happening. Secondly, I don't know how to address the DEC or your government. My English is not that good. Can you please, set up a standard letter and put it online? I think this is very useful and effective. Big organization like Anesty also use standard letters to gather a great deal of support for there case. Hope you like this idea and really hope you can stay where you live now. Best wishes, Karel



First Name: Mark Last Name: Bayliss Your comments: IN ALL FAIRNESS, this is not the AUSTRALIAN WAY what is wrong with these people, why is it they cant see past there own knock off time. Fair dinkum this STINKS!!!! Blokes like you Taffy, well we need you to go for the good fight mate...GOOD LUCK if i can make any noise i will, Mark Bayliss



First Name: Barry Last Name: Corke Your comments: Taffy I have had some experience dealing with DEC in the Whaleshark industry at Ningaloo. Over a number of years I have collected a large number of documents which demonstrate the manner in which DEC staff conduct themselves. Nothing they do would surprise me. Politicians from both the Liberals and Nationals are well aware of DEC's activities and have consistantly failed to take the required action. Congratulations on bringing this to the attention of the public.




First Name: TOM Last Name: FREEMAN Your comments: Having travelled,explored and hiked the kimberley region yearly for the past 15 yrs, I have had numerous stays and visits to Mt.Hart, which have always been welcoming and a great Kimberly experience. Also it is amazing to see the improvements made over this time to homestead area. I find this a completly discracefull way to treat one of the renown characters of the region. Surely a true sence of fairness and justice can be arranged to this matter.



First Name: Justin Last Name: Rechichi Your comments: Taffy, Very disturbing news to hear of what is happening, I recall staying there many yrs ago and discovered a jewel out there... You, I thought you could not enhance the facility any mre until I returned out there this year... You may remember me. I can't begin to imagine how you feel, nor can I begin to imagine Mount Hart without you, it wouldn't be the same and to see how you have enhanced the facility even more and to have a Government Department even think they want to take it away from you just doesn't make sense, how dare they, what a disgrace and an insult to you. Fight it, you deserve to and you have every reason to also. My confidence in the DEC has been destroyed, are they for the environment or themselves dare I ask. Deeply concerning to me and all who know you and the lucky guests who have had the pleasure in meeting you and staing at such a wonderful place you have created from nothing.




First Name: Vladimir Last Name: Bosanac Your comments: As visiting Kimberleys last year we (my wife Diana and I)were blown away with the beauty of the entire region. I know that we can now safely enjoy such an area due to the enthusiasm of the wonderful people like you.....we are 100% behind your fight for justice and hopefully we will keep out of the Kimberleys the greedy corporate people and their interests (making profit at all costs) forever!!!!! You are not alone Taffy! Vladimir




First Name: John Last Name: Goodale Your comments: Dear Taffy, as a keen bushwalker, including treks through your beautiful lodge and surrounding country and as a person who lived for 12 years in the North[6 years in Wyndham]I add my support to your fight for a fair hearing from D.E.C.As a charter pilot I first saw Mt Hart Stn in 1968 and it certainly didn't look much like the wonderful,welcoming oasis you have created today.Dig in, you will get justice!! John Goodale




First Name: Ms. Robin Last Name: Baillie Your comments: Taffy, I remember vividly the great experiences we had with you on the 2 occasions we were at Mt. Hart.On both occasions we were on bushwalking trips.The first night at the homestead you served roast beef for dinner---a beast from your herd, butchered , cooked and served by you. IT WAS THE BEST ROAST BEEF I'VE EVER TASTED! Nothing to this day has surpassed that beef. It was then I became aware of all your talents: farmer, cook ,planner and organizer, builder, gardener, mechanic and more. After our scenic, hot, sweaty 10 day trek we came back to the homestead to soft beds with cool, smooth, white sheets. WE were in heaven! How did you do it? We were SO IMPRESSED! And now I hear that all you have done is threatened -- to be sold to the highest bidder. This is morally wrong. This used to be the land of the "fair go". Not any more. I am totally shocked that such a thing could happen in Australia. You have our support.



First Name: Mark Last Name: Hollett Your comments: Dear Taffy well done on for all your hard work ,a real credit to you. It is disappointing that you're being bullied by a department of the government who represent our community. I have no doubt that the overwelming majority of Australians would be disgusted. It reeks of opportunism and an "out of sight out of mind" attitude probibly by people who have no idea what it's like to have put so much of ones self into a project like this.




First Name: Kathy Last Name: Patch Your comments: Is nothing in Australia sacred anymore. The government just cannot leave anything alone. This part of Australia is just so special yet just like the rest of the world we don't care as long as we get what money we can and dammed with the destruction we leave behind! Does no government department/politician do things that are right or just things for the money!!!



First Name: Milva Last Name: Olmi City: Reggio Emilia Country: Italy Your comments: It is terrible, it is all your life. I'm with you. Bye Bye - Sorry my english not so good.



To whom it may concern, I am writing to you about Mt Hart Station and the plight of Taffy Abbotts. I've visted Mt Hart a number of times, and will travelling from the UK to go hiking again this year to go hiking in the surround of Mt Hart Station. I think its disgusting what's been happening to Taffy, and the threat of him being . He is an asset to the region, but unfortunately one that can't easily be quantified. I ask you to please look out for the needs of this Aussie battler. The Kimberley is a stunningly beautiful place. It needs protecting, but so too do the people who add to the vibrancy, culture and folklore that form part of the rich tapestry of the Kimberley. Give the old bloke a brake, he needs it, and the Kimberley needs him too. Tim Jessup



First Name: Barb Last Name: Jones Your comments: Taffy, I sincerely hope that you can tuff this out until common sense prevails. Surely there must be a politician somewhere who still has some old fashioned common Aussie decency. As someone who is planning a trip on the Gibb River Road, I for one would love for you to still be there so that we can enjoy what so many others have already experienced. Good luck with your bridge building!!!




Good morning Minister and Premier, I have had the pleasure of using Mt Hart Station as a base for many adventures in the Kimberley outback over the last 15 years or so. Taffy has been an admirable host, entertaining, knowledgeable and considerate and always most welcoming. Frankly I look forward to my visits. The improvements I have seen at Mt Hart have been considerable – ongoing maintenance of the roads, a continuous demand on resources, substantial improvements to the airstrip, and an ongoing programme of the upgrading of facilities. As a Builder myself, I can only begin to appreciate the logistics of construction work in this remote area. Full credit to Taffy for the battler that he is . And with such good humour. Characters of his quality and capability are a rare commodity in this changing world of ours. He is the stuff of legends. I respectfully request that you honour his commitment to the business that he has built up, the lease that he holds, and continue to support him in his endeavours to provide “educated tourism” in the Kimberley.Yours respectfully, Colin Story



First Name: Graeme Last Name: Daw Your comments: I love my country probably as much as the next Aussie. I have not visited Mt Hart but it is in our plans to do so. Thank you for your tireless efforts. How does our Government spend 50 million on CHOGEM but cant find a decent ammount for compensation. Shamefull



First Name: Michael Last Name: Harder Your comments: Taffy, I strongly commend you and support your endeavours. As one should point out a government institution, eg Premier, Prime Minister, ... all receive a fairer go for a minimum of a three year term in office, than what you have. I do not see the support of the Aussie Battler in what is being proposed by the DEC and in the end it is quite disheartening to see our natural way of Australian culture, fair play and work ethic being eroded. My guess is that you would have more chance as a minority body if you have the place declared with the Waggle and taken out of the DECs hands, but best of luck as I fully support your endeavours. Let me know how you go and I will endeavour to get to see your efforts before the DEC totally demoralise you.



Dear Bill Marmion, I'll keep this short. I think the efforts of Mr Taffy Abbotts at Mt Hart are a wonderful example of a true Aussie battler achieving great outcomes through hard work and passion for what he believes in. People like Taffy and his achievements are what make our remote areas special. We don't need corporate tourism in on the Gibb River road. We need to preserve the things that make the experience of visiting remote places like this unique. Apart from that Taffy deserves to be given a fair chance to renew his lease or be paid properly for the improvements he has created at Mt Hart. I have had a look at the online presentation of the work he has done over 20 years. Imagine the psychological harm that could be done if he were to be removed from the place he loves in the manner currently being proposed. As a representative of the electorate please take a closer look at this situation and do your best to achieve an outcome that the Australian community would feel comfortable about. I will be following this with interest. Best Regards, Mark Hollett



First Name: Michael Last Name: Curtin Your comments: It is completely unbelievable that governments and organisations in Australia are acting no better than criminals or spoilt children. It simply is not fair and, to use a term often used in politics, it is definitely unAustralian, to not justly recognise the work that Taffy has put into Mt Hart. It is clear that he needs to be paid a fair fee for the work he has put into Mt Hart, and making it a destination in the Kimberley. So I request DEC and other government and interested corporate personnel to please sit down and discuss this sensibly and reasonably with Taffy - and dare I say, put yourself in Taffy's shoes and then treat him how you would like to be treated. What is so hard about working together to come up with a fair and equitable outcome? Keep on fighting Taffy - you are supported and all your work is greatly appreciated by all of us who have been fortunate to have experience Mt Hart.




First Name: warrick Last Name: findlay Your comments: Good luck with your fight Taffy - See if you can get info on who is driving the "bus" to drive you out. Money says it will be a big corporation who have no interest in the enviroment or the special part of country you live in. Although I have only travelled the Gibb twice I can appreciate what you are fighting for so...GOOD LUCK! Regards, Warrick




First Name: Jen Last Name: Farquhar City: Oxford Country: United Kingdom Dear Taffy, I am APPALLED to hear about your plight, and am writing to express my upset at your predicament, and my support of your fight to save Mt Hart from the money-grubbing DEC. I worked in the Kimberley as a backpacker for quite a while in 2002, up at Charnley River Station (was Beverly Springs). I travelled the Gibb River Road, and stopped briefly (off the Mail Plane) at Mt Hart, en route home. I was amazed at how beautiful your Lodge was, and had made a note to stay there on my return to the Kimberley. I plan to return with my young children, to show them 'real Australia', as soon as they are old enough to appreciate the true beauty of the area (without their current but risky need to pick up all the snakes and spiders that they see :) The Kimberley holds a very special place in my heart; as a well-travelled Brit, I feel extremely priviledged to have experienced living in a unique and special part of Australia. It is my favourite part of Australia by far, and its beauty lives in the unspoilt nature and the special people who live there. What you have done at Mt Hart demonstrates the true Australian strengths of persistance (in what is a hostile environment), and downright hard yakka. You have preserved a piece of Kimberley history through your hard work, and true love of your country. Well done, mate. I wish you all the very best with your fight and very much hope that you persevere, and win your battle against the paper-pushers in their air-conditioned office, miles away from Mt Hart (and reality). Best of British to you, Taffy. You'll be right. Jen Farquhar (was Rundall)




First Name: roger & jose Last Name: nelson Your comments: gday Taffy hope you remember us from Derby takeaway - just heard about your fight with the government.We can not believe the way you are being treated after all you have done to make Mt Hart what a wonderfull place it is today. If there is anything we can do to help. Please let us know. All the best to you and Kim... keep up the fight Roger & Jose




First Name: Brendan Last Name: Mulhearn Your comments: Dear Premier Barnett, Please show your integrity and leadership and intervene in the insulting behaviour being inflicted on Taffy and Kim Abbots by the WA DEC. The facts from Taffy himself are here: http://www.gibbriverroad.net/mount-hart.html I have visited Mount Hart as a tourist and had the pleasure of meeting Taffy Abbot and experience Mt Hart which he has developed through 20 years of life toil into a true Australian tourism experience. Taffy is a true Australian legend known far and wide in Australia and overseas. Premier I demand you give this man just terms and not the slap in the face $200,000 being offered by DEC and the WA government. Sincerely, Brendan Mulhearn, Largs NSW




First Name: Liz Last Name: Turner Your comments: I don't agree with what DEC are doing it's Aussies like this that make Australia attractive to us but mainly oversea's visitors Please all Australians pray for a good outcome for this Aussie Icon our hearts are with you , the money grabbers of this country spoil it for the Aussies that built the outback which is tragic. Bring on the media "Australian Story" Will someone please ask DEC where does the money come from , do Western Australian people pay taxes? Where are the crooks of Aussie all hiding in WA!!!!!you guessed right!!!



First Name: Bernie Last Name: Renwick

Your comments: We visited Mt Hart Station in July 2010 and stayed at the campsite.

We found the facilities and the personnel of a high standard - not 5 star but certainly in keeping with the Kimberley ambience.

We met Taffy, and he seemed a dedicated, industrious person a bit taciturn but he provided good food, good company, good facilities. He and his staff engendered the bush spirit in the campers and those staying at the homestead.

We have heard Taffy's story and it seems unfair that he is not being fairly compensated for his sweat and tears in developing the resort/ bush camp over a 20 year period.

Admittedly we have not heard the DEC side of the story but in the bush agreements are ofen made by the shake of the hand and a good look into each others eyes. That way you can generally tell whether the person is fair dinkum or not.

A contract drawn up and administered in the city cannot reflect the conditions and effort needed to supply, erect and maintain a remote station and in fact change it from a run down cattle station to a tourist resort and desirable destination. It is not a 35hour a week job! We support Taffy in his efforts for a just and reasonable resolution to this problem. After the Qld / Vic floods the Governments have urged their Departments, insurance companies and other agencies to take a reasonable attitude to the claims and losses sustained by the victime. It seems to me that Taffy is a victim of bureaucracy and needs to be supported in his claims. I believe it would be resonable for DEC to reassess their attitude perhaps without reverting to the letter of the law. If that had been applied by Taffy during the last 20 years there would be no Mt Hart to value. Bernie Renwick




To whom it may concern, I have known Taffy since he first established himself at Mt Hart Station. At the time I was living in Derby (moved to Bunbury in 2003.) During that time Taffy developed the Mt Hart accommodation complex into what it is now. The gardens and landscaping was all created by Taffy. Most of the building Taffy did himself with a little help with the heavy lifting jobs from visitors such as myself. Taffy has always provided wonderful hospitality and accommodation for both tourists and Govt employees.

Compensation of around $200K for all the work, development, landscaping, gardens and good-will, is laughable.

Surely compensation can be valued professionally as with any other business. The value of the business could be compared with the initial value of the complex from the early 1990's. It was worth nothing then. It is worth a tad more than 200K now.

Please do the right thing, and provide a chance for a fair compensation settlement to Taffy. All the best Jack Nixon




First Name: Heike Last Name: Thiel Your comments: Hey Taffy and Kim! You are doing a great job out there, not just for Mount Hart but the Gibb River community in total, don't let some heart less government people think they can get away with wasting tax payers money for their own expenses and interests, and cut it out of the backs from hard working humans. They are only concerned about figures and elections, they don't need to worry about getting by, staying dry, keeping supplies and making it all safe for visitors, keeping people safe and happy. Should be the governments job to keep Australians happy, but obviously not in their job description.



First Name: Carolyn Last Name: Maskiell Your comments: Taffy, I have lived in Kununurra for 5 years now, and can only begin to appreciate what you are doing, have done and how immense this task is. I will be travelling along the Gibb this July and I WILL be stopping in to see how you are doing. Contact the media, get up in DEC's face, make them see how UN-Australian they are - or better still, invite them to come visit in November, when the rains come, and leave them out there to be washed away like the scum they are.




Dear Keiran and Richard, You may recall that we have met previously. We met in early 2007 in the context of development of the Browse gas fields. At the time we were mainly discussing INPEX. During our meeting, which lasted over a couple of days I think, you Richard and Keiran were adamant that all efforts would be taken to protect the integrity and unique feel of the Kimberley as it then stood. I recall Richard delivering a presentation that argued against the mass-market (fast-food tourism model as I think you called it or something similar) and defending the importance of continuing to offer what has been a unique wilderness tourism product. The notion of the burgers and fries tourism model that is perhaps prevalent in Queensland is an analogy that has remained with me since that presentation and I think of it regularly. I have known Taffy Abbotts for about ten years now and I have visited Mt Hart in the Dry season and the Wet. Taffy, and the experience that he offers, is unique. He is unique not only in what he does and offers, but also in the degree of commitment and care that he demonstrates to and for the property and the animals on the property. In all my travels throughout Australia – and I have seen more than most – few demonstrate greater care and compassion for their surroundings than does Taffy. The Kimberley is changing rapidly as we all know. Taffy Abbott is worth far more to the Kimberley and the State than a large hotel chain controlled out of a capital city by someone who has never even visited the region. Now is our opportunity to protect the Kimberley from the same burger and fries tourism model that is floating currently down the Brisbane River. Yours faithfully, Hugh Brown


First Name: Vicki Last Name: Richards Your comments: Taffy, I have only just heard. Unbelievable. Your magnificent home, aka paradise, being stolen from you. Whilst working there with you in April/May 2008 I understood your passion, witnessed the results of your many years of backbreaking work, your labour of love to turn Mt Hart into the jewel it is today. No amount of money can compensate for the life you have worked so hard for and what DEC are offering is ludicrous. So what's left - pray for a miracle. It is all such a gross injustice. Vicki



First Name: Bruce Last Name: Winchester Your comments: Like all the people in power they soon forget who put them there and who can vote to remove them I have extended family in WA and have told them of your plight and they all vote ps.hope to see you get a fair deal if people power has its way, Regards Bruce




First Name: Tilman Last Name: Schoening City: Heidelberg Country: Germany Your comments: Dear Kim and Taffy we have been at Mt Hart the year before last year and we were stunned by all the beauty and the tremendous effort you both spent to create this place like it is today. We loved the personal atmosphere and by the way had a very nice talk with your cook. But what we also had to experience on the Gibb River Road was the change of a formerly beautiful natural place called Home Valley which is now a totally commercial and holiday village. It would be terrible if Mt Hart would have to face the same thing. We are shocked about this mean approach of the DEC and you have really our full support. Really we wish you all the best. Yours Silke and Tille




First Name: Annette Last Name: Smith Your comments: Of all my 'Australian' experiences, my visits to Mt Hart and the hospitality of Taffy Abbotts have been the most precious. He is a genuine Australian icon. This will be lost if a corporation takes over the operation, and will discourage other individual entrepeneurs. We need colour and individualism in our tourist experiences, not more Emirates and Club Meds. Taffy is a multi-competent person, a colourful character, and one we need where he is. If and when Taffy hangs up his sign, let him be followed by another individual, not big business. Western Australia doesn't deserve to have the 'Australia' in its title if its government does sell out Taffy and those future icons who should follow him.




First Name: Paul Last Name: Scherek Your comments: What an insane money-grab by government cowards. Notice needs to be served upon the human individuals who make such decisions that they can no longer hide behind the cloak of government anonymity. The decision makers are human and identifiable and should be brought to account. Rule 303 applies...




First Name: Mark Last Name: Timms Your comments: Keep the fight going Taffy. Regards.




First Name: Dorothy Last Name: TRIM Your comments: How dare they!!




First Name: Maria Last Name: O'Halloran City: Karratha Country: Australia Your comments: Taffy, I can't believe some of the bureaucratic bullshit that goes on in our country.....If you hadnt got the place up and running then they wouldnt have an interest in it at all, and you would be able to stay there for ever and a day. The compensation they have offered you is a disgrace, the effort an love that has gone into the place far outweighs any amount of money. We are doing the Gibb River in 2012 and we have our fingers crossed that you will still be there so we can shake your hand and Congratulations, you did it. best wishes, Maria and Chris




First Name: Andrew Last Name: Lavey City: Cranbrook Country: United Kingdom Your comments: I was horrified to read what is planned for Mt Hart. My wife and I stayed with Taffy during a magical tour of the Gibb River Road and the Kimberleys 8 years ago and it was one of the highlights of the trip. It appears that the Governments planned treatment of Taffy is totally unreasonable and seriously dents their reputation.




First Name: Jon Last Name: Race City: Cranbourne Country: Australia Your comments: Taffy, It's hard to believe your efforts are being totally ignored. Very un Australian. What happened to a "Fair Go". Hang in there.




First Name: Steven Last Name: Robinson City: Perth Country: Australia Your comments: From reading this I get the feeling that it is all part of the State Government's agenda to industrialise the Kimberley. Prevent the Native Title land holders and the remaining Pastoralists from having any title to the land. First James Price Point then the Mitchell Plateau and then the minerals still being discovered. We may be the last generation to be able to visit and wonder at the beauty of the Kimberley.




First Name: Dianne Last Name: Brodie City: Perth Country: Australia Your comments: Sorry to hear about this cruel and undeserved treatment you are receiving from our government Taffy. You have my support for all the effort you have made in making Mt Hart such a unique place to visit. Unfortunately, I have not had the pleasure of visiting your place but my son and future daughter-in-law have and they speak highly of you and your establishment. I wish you luck in your plight and sincerely hope someone in the government sees reason and has a 'heart' for Mt Hart.




First Name: Dixie Last Name: O'Shea City: Perth Country: Australia Your comments: Taffy, its people like you that make a difference in everybody's lives, its people like you that make other people care and its people like you that make our great state even more beautiful. How dare they take advantage, its people like them that make us angry, bewildered, and most of all confused. The DEC should be totally ashamed of themselves and I hope they come to realise that as a government body they are representing everybody not just themselves and what they are trying to do to you is morally wrong. I hope you can hang in there and I wish you all the best.




First Name: Karen Last Name: Cassidy City: Perth Country: Australia Your comments: Dear Taffy - I was looking at touristy stuff for a Gibb River Road trip later this year when I came across your 'plight'! It's disgusting what DEC now participate in under their banner! Have you contacted the Perth ABC? Geoff Hutchinson the morning presenter is an articulate journalist and attracts a wide and diverse audience. He often has Colin Barnett on and can ask some of the 'hard' questions. (No I am not affiliated in any way with the ABC) but some of the actions of this State Govt and their Departments are at very least 'questionable'... (I am not a member of any political party either). Fight on Taffy!




First Name: John Last Name: Martin City: Central Coast NSW Country: Australia Your comments: Best wishes to you in the continuing battle. In most places of Aust $200K wouldn't buy you a block of dirt. How have they arrived at that figure, let the DEC explain.




First Name: Colin Last Name: Foster City: Victor Harbor Country: Australia Your comments: Taffy and Kim, What a shocking thing to happen to you both and I can imagine how low and frustrated you must feel made worse by the fact that you are not fighting an individual but the WA Govt with all the resources that they have and if they lose it does not cost the beuracrat who has ordered this action not one cent, no wonder you are feeling dudded after 20 years of hard work and dedication. Reminds me of the Wallara Ranch debacle with Jim Cottril and the owners of the station,Jim has come good at Stuarts Well but he was a lot younger than what you are now. My wife and I flew in to Mt Hart 14 years ago and we were very impressed wit5h your facilities and the beautiful surroundings etc especially the monster scones, jam and cream, one thing I will always remember was when we were waiting for the stragglers to join the group for your talk one of the pilots from the 3 planes that flew in asked you what was the name of the river and you said "Wait" to which he replied " Oh The River Waite" to which you replied " No wait and I will tell everybody once" Broke the crowd up!!! My wife and I sincerely hope that the Govt shows a little sense of fairness in their dealings with you and you at least get enough out of the settlement to set you up with a home and some capital to enjoy your retirement years. Kind Regards, Colin and Brodie Foster




First Name: Lionel Last Name: Monod City: Geneva Country: Switzerland Your comments: Hello, I visited Mt Hart Lodge in July 2009 with a friend. We only stayed two nights only because we wanted to see as much of the Kimberley as possible and had very little time and I was already thinging about the next I would be there. Never in the Kimberley had we experienced such a warm and friendly welcome. I am profoundly saddened and disgusted by what's happening to you. What the governement is doing is outrageously inacceptable. I really hope that you'll get a fair settlement. Many thanks for your hospitality back then. I am really happy to have experienced the true Kimberley before the apparently inevitable changes that are coming. Unfortunately future seems rather bleak for wild places on this planet. All the best from Geneva, Lionel Monod




First Name: Judy Last Name: Romari City: Melbourne Country: Australia Your comments: This is an absolute disgrace. How dare bureaucracy think they can take away your life for a measly $200,000. If you had not done the work there is nothing to sell. I was extremely annoyed reading this. Do not let these spinless, gutless bureaucrats win. They would not know how to work and achieve what you have so therefore what you have done to them would seem irrelevant. You must get this out into the public arena, ring radio stations, go on ACA, ring 60 minutes do anything and everything to save your life work.




First Name: Peter Last Name: Harvey City: Harrogate Country: United Kingdom Your comments: Taffy and Kim, Have been keeping up to date with your battle and it seems that justice is being done at last, but the station will be losing some genuine outback people. Are you staying in the area or moving on to pastures new. We are back in Oz in 2012 for another trip into the outback (3/4months) and will be in the Gibb area once again – the whole outback is amazing and the locals make it better. Hope everything goes as you both wish. Keep smiling, Wendy & Peter Harvey




First Name: Jodi Last Name: Lyra City: Perth Country: Australia Your comments: One of the best things about travelling around Australia is meeting the people who live there. The local knowledge they have and their stories about the land that they call home adds a richness to the journey. What is DEC thinking to take this away? The DEC should work with the locals to support and encourage them in caring for the land they live in and make this kind of Australian experience available to us all. You can't get this from the highest bidder! Good luck at Mt Hart!


First Name: Murray Last Name: Telford Country: Australia Your comments: Hello Taffy, I used to wander the hills and caves as a teenager for a short while. I had the bedroom at the end with the shower and kitchen on the other side. My Father built the 'homestead' on the river. The property had been abandoned for a long time when my father bought the lease. Obviously a lot more has been added. There is a lot of history to Mt.Hart. including some WW2 air strips that were being reclaimed by nature when I was there. I have been over the back to the coast for a muster once, the Beef Road and the "Gap" had just been cut in. There is a lot more history that goes back to the days of the Emanuels and Duracks. I wish you well in your endeavours, I would love to bring my children there one day.


First Name: sharon Last Name: owen Country: United Kingdom Your comments: HI Taffy, I hope you manage to stay in the beautiful mount hart. YOU ARE MOUNT HART. You probably won't remember me but I spent a couple of months working for you in 1999. You make that place and without you it wouldn't be the same. I wish you all the best with your fight. Sharon (from Wales)


First Name: aaron Last Name: todman City: victoria Country: Australia Your comments: Dear Taffy, My wife and i visited Mt hart Station on our honey moon last September. We are absolutely appalled after reading about the way the DEC are treating you after so many years of blood sweat and tears. After seeing your hard work first hand we just cant understand how this could happen. Our experience at Mt Hart gave us a taste of the real Kimberley that we will never forget. We found it addictive and can't wait to get back there again with our camper trailer. Mt Hart would of been a place to stop over and use the new campground facilities, but it is unlikely we will stop there if Mt Hart is taken over by a Government or Corporate body. It just wouldn't be the same. We sincerely hope you win the battle to stay on the station.


First Name: Ruth Last Name: Bakker City: Deviot, Tasmania Country: Australia Your comments: I have just read your story and feel so angry with the DEC but a typical bureaucractic situation with people sitting in offices with no idea of the real world out there and have no understanding that people are prepared to get out there to work and care for the environment who are actual people not just a machine. Also they do not care as it is not their money they are dealing with and they treat people as a number not a human being with feelings and also that they are actually wrecking someones life. Have you contacted the Television stations who present stories on national television like yours? I am thinking of you both and hope that something can turn this horrible situation around in your favour.


First Name: Sheila Last Name: Macauslane City: PERTH Country: Australia Your comments: Only aware of your problem by stumbling on it when confirming the name of the river on the station to enter an art exhibition (a painting from my photo of the river and the blue canoe beside it),Enjoyed a comfortable stay at Mt Hart in unique surroundings, wonderful memories. Don't change the great atmosphere, not many places left where you can experience this. Breaks my heart at what they propose to do at James Price Point Grrrrrr! GOOD LUCK


First Name: Justin Last Name: Garnett Your comments: Taffy...I find the way you are being treated wholly un-Australian. Clearly you have done much to improve this property and yet you are being offered a piecemeal amount to leave. It is the business that nothing lasts forever and contracts get put out for tender. Such is the clients right however in your case I think compensation is due. And yes....whatever happened to trust and loyalty ? Good luck with your appeals. Justin Garnett.


First Name: Colin Last Name: Walters City: Sydney Country: Australia Your comments: Dear taffy, Keep up the fight, never back down. I truly believe that you can win this fight. You deserve to. Colin Walters


First Name: Kathryn Last Name: Taylor City: Bendigo Country: Australia Your comments: What a total disgrace and so very UNAUSTRALIAN! Wishing you all the luck in the world.


First Name: patricia Last Name: martin City: caloundra Country: Australia Your comments: What is the Tourism Commission in WA doing to support your cause Taffy. Surely they must realise the iconic nature of Mt Hart and the success over the years since you have been there has helped promote the Kimberley region.


First Name: Julie Last Name: Lamond City: Geelong Country: Australia Your comments: I am totally outraged by what I have just read and it is an absolute disgrace what is happening to you and the DCE and WA government etc should hang their heads in shame. This is not the Australian way.It is just another example of greed overtaking our way of life with no thought for the toilers of the world. You should justly be very proud of what you have achieved at Mt Hart and I empathise greatly with your situation. I just don't get the immorality of big corporations and the fact they are allowed to get away with it.I can only wish you the very best and I wish I was in a better financial position to help you. I wish you the very best and am about to visit the Kimberly region. Shame upon all of you in the WA government and associated bodies who are responsible for this decision. You should be giving this man a medal not treating him so despicably!


Comments closed 24/05/2011


May 29th 2011








Mark Giblett - West Kimberley District Operations Officer - "Well Wishes for the future"










Taffy, Kim and West Kimberley District office Ranger and overseer Henry C - "Working together"






Taffy with West Kimberley District Ranger Henry C - "Sunrise Over the Ranges"








June 1st 2011













Taffy's last night at Mt Hart - pictured with old mates from Alice Springs who have been following our story and dropped in out of the blue to say 'Hi'