Murchison Off Road Adventures have been running an adventure park just outside of Geraldton with activities such as camping, "Mud Nutz and Forbys" and more.
They've been a real asset to our community, providing something other than the run of the mill entertainment we normally have on hand. They're also a fantastic tourist attraction, bringing in visitors and money into the region.
It seems their future is at stake though, all because of a paperwork drama with the Department of Lands.
Geraldton MLA Ian Blayney has put out the following press release regarding the matter.
If you would like to show your support for Murchison Off Road Adventures, contact Lands Minister Terry Redman's office on 6552-6700 or email Minister.Redman@dpc.wa.gov.au
Time for the Minister to intervene in Coolcalalaya lease issue.
Geraldton MLA Ian Blayney is calling on Lands Minister Terry Redman to intervene in the issues relating to the re-leasing of Coolcalalaya Station, near Kalbarri.
“The Lanes purchased the pastoral lease for Coolcalalaya Station near Kalbarri nearly ten years ago for the purpose of developing a 4WD adventure park – Murchison Off Road Adventures.
“I am advised the Lanes sold all their assets to invest in this enterprise, have been slowly building the property and the business.
“My understanding is that approximately three years ago they were visited by the Manager of Pastoral Land and were advised to consider changing the purpose of the lease from pastoral to general.
“They made the applications for a Section 91 Licence and also a Section 79 lease. I’m uncertain whether the need to comply with the renewal conditions for the lease, which would enable this to occur was properly explained to the Lanes, or they misunderstood their responsibility, but the outcome was the expiration of Coolcalalaya Pastoral Lease on the 30th of June 2015.
“Shortly after, the Lanes received a letter from the Department of Lands asking them to close their business, remove their possession and leave.
“The Lanes have continued to negotiate with the Department of Lands in an attempt to comply with the Department's conditions for the issue of a new licence or lease to operate however, time is running out for the Lanes as the application assessment and case referral process will not be completed before they are required to quit the property.
“In the mean time they have been required to dismantle their business and cease operations and I understand, have no other means of income.
Mrs Lane contacted my office in September 2015 to request assistance.
“I arranged for Mrs Lane to meet Minister Redman prior to the Regional Cabinet meeting in Geraldton last year, and have written to him on her behalf, but the outcome is unchanged.
“I had hoped to raise this matter in Parliament, as a Grievance to the Minister, on their behalf. Unfortunately, there is no available opportunity to do so before June, which is too late for the Lanes.
“There appears to be no avenue available other than to call on the Minister for his personal intervention in this matter, so that he may determine what steps can be taken to allow the Lanes to stay in their home and continue their business activities.
“I support the concept of an outback, off road 4WD park.
“This business typifies the economic diversification and investment the Minister is trying to encourage for the rangelands with the introduction of the new Rangelands Lease.”
“Western Australia has limited opportunity for 4 wheel driving in a safe environment. This provides the authentic outback, off road experience with reduced risk. This could be an important local business, providing a broader benefit for the community, reducing risky behaviour on our roads,” said Mr Blayney.