29 May 2009

Private acquisition, but what about the public ?

The front page of today's Advertiser and the Adelaide Now website report a recent significant property transfer on the Fleurieu Peninsula:

The Fleurieu Peninsula's "magnificent and undervalued" land has prompted media owner Kerry Stokes to buy a spectacular 660ha coastal property.The Mt Scrub property has 2km of breathtaking coastal views at Waitpinga, adding to the 9km of coastline already owned by Mr Stokes on the neighbouring Balquhidder Station, which he bought for about $20 million in 2007.

Nigel Austin, the reporter, describes Mr Stokes' acquisition thus:

Mt Scrub, 25km from Victor Harbor, is an environmental wonderland which includes about 40ha of heritage-protected native flora and fauna.It also features the meandering Bollapurruda Creek and offers spectacular views over Waitpinga Beach, Parsons Beach, The Pages Islands and Kangaroo Island.

To those who don't know the area this may read like tourist promotion puffery, but anyone who has been in the vicinity will know that Nigel, apart from misspelling Ballaparudda Creek, is not too wide of the mark.

He has also provided some background material to place the purchase in context:

It will be run as part of the 3046ha Balquhidder Station, with cattle grazing becoming the main enterprise under Mr Stokes' ownership.Balquhidder is also considered to have major tourism and eco-tourism potential.The combined property will include several magnificent beaches and creeks. Mr Stokes, the chairman of the Seven Network and owner of a 22 per cent interest in West Australian Newspapers, also has extensive land holdings on Kangaroo Island.

If the area has " major tourism and eco-tourism potential"[how do the two differ?] would Mr Stokes, as a gesture of good faith, be willing to allow the Heysen Trail to be rerouted from its present inland detour around Balquhidder so that walkers during the relatively short May -November walking season can savour more of the "breathtaking coastal views", as Nigel so accurately describes them?

Update 1 June

The link to the SA Place Names online website appears be to functioning working sub-optimally at the moment. If you can't get through try this and see if you get the search page: http://www.placenames.sa.gov.au/pno/index.jsf

I've also included a link to the Heysen Trail and done some minor reformatting of the post.

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