~Comments on Taffy's Story & Mt Hart's Future~


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.




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



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 O’Brien - 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 Taffy’s 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 you’ve 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 visitor’s paradise! I’m not a “Johnny cum lately” in the Kimberley and I know you aren’t and I’ve Known you for far longer than that.

For “the government” (if that’s what THEY call it!) are going to SCREW you like this ... what bloody hope is there for bloody any of us ............I’m 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!!! It’s a total disgrace!!! AND an indignity to every bush person in the Kimberley.

I’m 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 you’ve built that place up – in God – Forsaken country and now they WANT TO RIP YOU OFF? In simple terms mate ,,, that’s total ****** and as a mate – I cannot stand by and see that happen without a bloody good fight --- I’m seasoned for it --- so I’m with Ya, Boots and all! You have my total support because we’re brothers from so far back I can’t 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 you’ve put in a lifetime’s hard work at Mt Hart. I hope you get what’s 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.




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 DEC’s 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 hasn’t 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 Taffy's 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,“Marmindi”. Walcha. NSW. 2354.




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.