Gascoyne Regional Visit – Governor tours Shark Bay and Carnarvon
The Governor completed his seventh regional visit last week with a four day trip to the Gascoyne.
During the visit, the Governor met with representatives in Shark Bay and Carnarvon, attending civic receptions with both Shires and touring local industry, tourism, cultural and environmental hotspots.
“The trip was enormously beneficial to me in my understanding of one of the most productive and interesting parts of the State of Western Australia.
Firstly, I appreciated the opportunities in both Denham and in Carnarvon to express my appreciation to the volunteers who are absolutely vital in ensuring the health, safety and welfare of the people of the Gascoyne. In particular, I was appreciative of the Shire of Shark Bay civic reception in that regard which gave me the opportunity to meet with and talk to a substantial selection of the volunteers associated with a variety of emergency and first responder organisations at the Joint State Emergency Centre – a brilliant centre.
Secondly, I appreciated the opportunity to look at some really quite fascinating parts in the sense of global history, in visiting Hamelin Bay to have the opportunity to discuss threats to the oldest creatures on earth – the stromatolites. The area is host to a very important set of, if you like, canaries in the cage of the problems with climate change. Threats to these ancient beings would be a sign that there are threats to all of us.
Thirdly, I appreciated the opportunity to see what a brilliant use, both at the Shire of Shark Bay and Carnarvon, is being made by local organisations and authorities of the fabulous history of the area. In Carnarvon, a fantastic space centre. In Shark Bay, a great maritime centre with a good interpretation of, among other things, the events of the battle between the HMAS Sydney and the Kormoran, with a most haunting and evocative media piece associated with the museum’s core static displays. In Carnarvon of course, being introduced to our intimate connection with the American space program, a great Australian history that has come to prominence this year in particular with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
And finally, it was an opportunity for me to see how productive the region is with some innovative industries like the banana industry, Big River Plantation and Morel’s Ice-cream Farm Shop, all the sorts of, if you like symbolic things, which have come to represent the productivity of the region as a whole. And very appreciative of a very nice dinner provided by Sue and Dudley Maslen on their plantation on one of those evenings.
There was also a chance to look at education activity and the brilliant Carnarvon Community College campus which is really a one off in this State and worth learning from, and emulating elsewhere.
So thanks to those who made the visit such a useful occasion, particularly the Gascoyne Development Commission and local authorities.”
The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia
Tuesday, 27th August
Met with community representatives and volunteer groups at a civic reception hosted by the Shire of Shark Bay
Wednesday, 28th August
Visit to Old Hamelin Pool Telegraph Station
The Station has a collection of artefacts and interpretative material including an informative live stromatolite display.
Met with the Bush Heritage team at Hamelin Station
Briefing about the important work carried out in conserving the precious Shark Bay World Heritage area.
Visit to Hamelin Pool to view stromatolites
Accompanied by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, the Governor received a briefing on the most diverse range of stromatolites in the world: known as “living fossils” they provide a snapshot of life on earth some 3,500 million years ago.
Visit to Shell Beach
Formed from billions of tiny shells, the aptly named Shell Beach is located 45 kilometres south-east of Denham in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.
Thursday, 29th August
Tour of Carnarvon town with Shire President
Stops included the HMAS Sydney II memorial, One Mile Jetty and the “Don’t Look at the Islands” memorial.
The Museum celebrates the little known history of the role Carnarvon played in the manned space program and in the Australian communications industry. The museum focusses on two parts – the Carnarvon Tracking Station and the OTC Satellite Earth Station, for which each station played separate roles in the early space industry.
Met with Traditional Owners and artist Raymond Edney. The soon to be reopened centre will be used to drive Aboriginal business development and tourism opportunities in the Gascoyne, and to celebrate the region’s Aboriginal heritage.
Tour of horticulture areas and local businesses
Accompanied by the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development, visits were made to Sweeter Banana Cooperative and Dudley and Sue Maslen’s Big River Plantation.
Met with community representatives and volunteer groups at a civic reception hosted by the Shire of Carnarvon
Friday, 30th August
Met with students and staff at Carnarvon Community College
The College offers many innovative, specialist and support programs including Clontarf Football Academy and Shooting Stars Netball Academy. The College is recognised at national level for developing exemplary partnerships with the Remote Schools Attendance Strategy.
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