Creation for Cottesloe

WHEN creating a piece of art, many things have to be considered.

The size, the shape, and the colours don’t always come together on their own; it sometimes requires agonizing over tiny details to make a piece of art just right.

For Albany artist Kevin Draper’s most recent project, a sculpture for the Cottesloe Sculpture by the Sea public art exhibition, he had to consider the position from which people would view his artwork.

“Because it will be on the beach, you’ve got to consider what it will look like close up and far away, from the water, and from above,” he said.

“If people are looking up close at the paint work, it will be different to when they look at it from a distance, so you have to think about that too.”

Draper said his creation, Configuration, has no storyline as such, but is instead a series of references – the fragile crossing over of the natural world and the constructed world, of which he was inspired by viewing the aftermath of a bushfire.

“The concept came from seeing a fire-damaged landscape that had some plantation trees arranged in lines,” he said.

“The linear pattern of the plantation made such a contrast with the rest of the landscape that I decided to work with elements of their shape and branch forms.”

Configuration is a series of 16 tree shapes constructed from steel, painted black and white; a colour scheme Draper has made a habit of keeping for several years.

“Black and white breaks up the form of the piece,” Draper said.

“It gives it lightness and permeability, and it’s creating an optic.”

The tree shapes will each be pushed down about a metre into the sands of Cottesloe Beach in Perth at the end of the month during the installation period, with the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition officially opening on March 2.

This is Draper’s 11th time participating in the public art show that draws in international artists.

“Installation is a bit chaotic, but I love it,” he said.

“It generally lasts about three days and it’s a really special time, because you have this crossing over of the art industry and the community.

“You’ve got artists from overseas who come [to the exhibition] and can’t understand or speak English, but we can all understand each other’s art, so there’s a lot of hand waving and gestures but we can understand each other still, because art is a way of communicating.”

This year will be the 14th annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Cottesloe Beach.

Photo: Ashleigh Fielding

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Rubbish mix-up could be costly

ALBANY residents face the spectre of a $350 fine if they toss recyclable waste into their general waste or organic waste bins.

Under a draft local law set to be considered by a City of Albany committee last night, ratepayers could also be fined $350 if they place general waste in a recycling or organic waste bin, or organic waste in a general or recycling bin.

In a report drafted by the city’s manager for governance and risk, Stuart Jamieson, recyclable waste is defined as paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, steel and aluminium containers, liquid paper board and any other waste determined by the city to be recyclable.

On November 22, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation consented to the draft law.

Mr Jamieson has advised the committee that the law will need to go back to the department’s CEO for consideration if city councillors make even minor changes.

If major changes are requested by the councillors, city officials will need to start the legislative drafting process over again.

Mr Jamieson foresees the city may favour education over “other enforcement options” when administering the law, but only if it is in the public interest and if education is likely to achieve compliance. He advises that factors to be considered when deciding what is in the public interest will vary from case to case.

He notes that “negative community feedback” could be a major consequence for the city if it fails to communicate and justify the new law adequately to residents.

The local law is based on a model prepared by the department and the WA Local Government Association.

If endorsed by the committee, the draft law will advance for approval of the full city council which next meets on Monday.

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Roll out the barrel

ON THE heels of last Saturday’s launch of Albany Roller Derby’s new track, The Weekender can reveal the league has sought a licence to serve alcohol at its Gledhow HQ.

Kendell Smith, who on January 25 submitted the licence application to the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor, said the planned bar would open on “limited days” to cater for quiz nights, roller hockey and events such as birthday parties.

“It would work much like a football club or a bowls club,” she said.

“Those people that are coming would need to be a member or their guests would need to sign a book like members and guests of those clubs would.”

Ms Smith, who works in Albany’s hospitality industry, stressed that alcohol would be served in a designated area away from the track, and nobody would be allowed to drink while skating.

Roller discos, ultimate frisbee contests, basketball, and rock-climbing are on the cards for the new venue.

“If the bar could benefit them and we saw no risks involved with combining the bar and those sports then we’d be keen to do so,” she said.

The league’s new track is in a light industrial area on Roundhay Street.

“We did a letter drop around the area this morning,” Ms Smith said of the league’s efforts to inform locals of the planned bar.

“There’s not a lot out there, a few businesses, the wreckers, Grande Food, and a couple of houses in our radius.

“Everyone was so positive.”

She said club membership was open to anyone, and the bar would help to broaden Albany’s mix of social opportunities.

“Hopefully we’ll sign up some new members who would like to have a drink and play a bit of sport,” she said.

“I’m not a skater myself.

“Most people skate, but if you don’t want to that’s fine.”

Attached to the league’s licence application is an alcohol management policy and league code of conduct.

The league has already received a Section 40 approval from the City of Albany, which is usually the first bureaucratic hurdle to be cleared before obtaining a licence from the state department.

The licence application says the bar’s target clientele will be aged 18 to 65.

“We provide a positive recrea- tional space for the community of Albany, with occasional games including the potential to bring tourists to watch,” the applica- tion says.

“The addition of a licence will help to build the social aspect of the sporting league.”

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House prices surge

HOUSES across urban Albany have leapt in value by 7.2 per cent, faster than in Bunbury, Esperance or metropolitan Perth.

Real Estate Institute of Western Australia figures for the December quarter show the median house price for Albany’s urban area is now $392,000.

That makes Albany more expensive than Greater Bunbury with a median of $365,000, Mandurah/Murray ($380,000), and urban Esperance ($340,000).

Albany’s 7.2 per cent increase in the three months to December 31 outpaced Greater Bunbury’s 2.8 per cent, urban Esperance’s 6.3 per cent, Mandurah/Murray’s 2.8 per cent and metropolitan Perth’s 1.2 per cent.

REIWA President Hayden Groves said Albany was one of eight regional centres across the state where median house prices rose.

He said 74 houses were sold in urban Albany in the December quarter, compared to 85 in the September quarter.

“That’s about 13 per cent fewer sales in the December quarter, but a 7.2 per cent increase in its median house price,” he explained.

“Interestingly, in the $150,000 to $360,000 bracket there were 39 sales in the September quarter versus only 25 sales in the December quarter.

“And if you go up a tier from $360,000 to the $500,000 bracket there were 31 sales in the September quarter but 34 in the December quarter.

“So that shift in the composition of more expensive property being acquired in the December quarter is what’s made the median price rise.”

Residential/lifestyle sales manager with Elders Albany Blair Scott agreed the higher end of the local market had seen most action.

“Certainly what we’re seeing is more movement in the 6, 7, 8 hundred thousand and a million bucks area,” he said.

“You only need to sell a couple in there and it will change the median price.”

Mr Scott said that at the depths of the housing slump it was difficult to sell any high-end houses.

“The prices at that top end gradually came back,” he said.

“And finally, when you get to a point where the buyers actually think there’s value, and you have buyers with that amount of money then that’s when they will start transacting.

“I think until recently that top end continued to come back a bit, and all of a sudden it’s off.”

Despite the increased median, it took an average of 89 days to sell a house in Albany over the December quarter, four days longer than in the three months to September 30. This compared favourably to 91 days across the whole of regional WA, where 1191 houses were sold.

The REIWA figures were for detached dwellings only, not units or townhouses.

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Residential mix for hotel

LUXURY residential apartments will probably be needed to make a 12-floor hotel proposed by the State Government viable at Middleton Beach, Minister for Lands Rita Saffioti has conceded.

“There’s a mixed-use option in particular to get the business case up,” she told The Weekender last week at Albany’s best-known beach.

“The reality of financing hotels is that in many cases you need a residential component.

“Sometimes you actually need that combination to make the finances stack up.”

She said Landcorp would seek expressions of interest from hotel operators to get one to run a hotel overlooking the beach.

“What we’ve seen in the past is some difficulties getting developers in, Australia-wide, so what we’re doing on advice from CBRE hotel group is actually go out to hotel operators and see if we can get interest in an operator to come down and be the preferred operator, who will then work with the developer to get the project up,” she explained.

“So this is a new way with the aim of getting the attraction and actually securing the operator first, and then getting financing and a development up.”

Ms Saffioti said an announcement on results of the expression of interest process would be likely about May this year.

“The advice is, there may be some interest by some big [hotel company] names, but we’re very keen to test the market and see what we can do,” she stressed.

She said Landcorp would not specify a star-rating for the mooted hotel.

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Alert card safety measure

ALBANY people living with autism will be among the first to trial a new level of support and security provided by a simple identification card.

The Autism Alert Card initiative was instigated by Great Southern Police District Superintendent Dominic Wood in collaboration with local disability services, and is designed to aid emergency responders to identify people on the autism spectrum, in order to adapt their approach to people with autism in an emergency situation.

Supt Wood said when people with autism are in a stressful situation, their behaviour, which can include eye contact avoidance and anxious behaviour, may suggest to emergency responders that the person is potentially threatening.

The alert card will prompt responders to the person’s condition and allow them to tailor their approach.

As a parent to a child with autism, Supt Wood said he was extremely proud to officially launch the initiative, which is the first of its kind for WA Police.

He said the card was “two-fold” in its purpose, providing security for the alert card holder, as well as giving crucial aid to first responders in a situation which includes a person with autism.

Twenty-one-year-old Darrian Graham is on the autism spectrum and said the alert card was a great idea, as he says not everyone understands autism.

However, for Darrian’s mother Di, it’s about the reassurance the alert card can provide her when her son goes out on his own.

“Darrian’s a young adult now, so he wants to go out more on his own and with his friends,” she said.

“This card can offer me reassurance that he can be out in the community and people will put his safety first.

“It’s empowering for both the child and parents, because there’s such a gap of understanding in the community about autism.”

To obtain an autism alert card, you can contact the Autism Support Network of Albany on 0408 914 324 or visit the Great Southern Police District office on Stirling Terrace.

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Hole in the shark net

MIDDLETON BEACH bathers may not be as safe as they think over the next month as a one-metre gap opens up in the Ellen Cove shark barrier.

City of Albany Executive Director Infrastructure and Environment Matthew Thomson said the shark barrier would be lowered by about a metre to allow a barge to move in and out of Ellen Cove while work was carried out on the Ellen Cove jetty.

“The sign at Middleton Beach warns swimmers that the enclosure net is open from February 19 to March 23 to facilitate the jetty works,” Mr Thomson asserted.

Inspection of the sign confirms that’s not strictly the case.

Under the heading “Swimming Enclosure Information”, the sign warns that no water activities will be allowed within 10m of the jetty while it is closed for re- pairs.

While there is a small ‘NET OPENING’ annotation on a diagram that illustrates the exclusion zone around the jetty, nowhere does the sign explain there will be a month-long, one-metre gap in the shark barrier.

At the beach on Tuesday, The Weekender collared Albany postal workers Andrew Walsh and Fred Norzel after their weekly swim inside the shark barrier.

Before their swim, neither of the men had noticed the sign.

Nor did they know of the impending hole in the shark net.

“I think I’ll continue on swimming,” Mr Norzel said when advised of the gap.

“We used to swim before when there was no net, so it doesn’t really matter now.”

Mr Walsh said he intended to keep joining Mr Norzel on the pair’s weekly swim.

“You do feel safer with the net, I must admit,” he said.

Both men said advice to the public on the planned net opening could be better.

They agreed the net raised public expectations of safety within the enclosure that may not necessarily be delivered between February 19 and March 23.

Mr Thomson said the jetty was being reconstructed because the timbers had reached the end of their useable life.

“Replacement will be like-for-like, and existing piles will remain in place to support the new structure,” he explained.

“During the work period, there will be no access to the jetty and a 10m exclusion zone will apply around the jetty.

“Swimmers are permitted to use the remaining area of the enclosure but should be aware the net is open.”

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Investors lick wounds as coin boss does time

AS HE stepped into the dock of the District Court on Monday, the bankrupt former director of Albany’s Rare Coin Company, knowing he would go to jail, turned and mouthed ‘I love you’ to his wife and one-time business partner, Barbara.

Robert Colin Jackman, 63, had earlier pleaded guilty to 36 counts of stealing a combined $1,856,020 from rare currency investors between September 2011 and July 2013 when he placed his company into voluntary administration.

Five of Jackman’s victims listened in the public gallery as prosecutor Katie Kemm said the company had grown from an annual turnover of $615,000 in 1997 to $44.3 million in 2010 when the impact of the global financial crisis hit.

Defence lawyer Bruno Illari said Jackman became overwhelmed by investors “clambering” to call in a coin buyback guarantee the defendant had offered.

“This became a bit of a flood,” Mr Illari told Justice Julie Wager.

“To try to dig his way out of these problems, Mr Jackman tried, unwisely as it turned out, to expand the business rather than contract it.”

Jackman bought a Sydney coin company Mr Illari said had “turned out to be a real lemon”.

He considered entering the Chinese market where Mr Illari said a business partner had “ripped him off”.

Coins sold for one client were often used to pay other clients who were demanding their money back.

Mr Illari said the company had grown “exponentially over a period of time with no review of the business model”.

The company, which had 40 employees at one stage, only had one bank account from which all receipts and expenses, including staff wages, were paid.

Ms Kemm said Jackman had ordered staff to lie to investors, telling them that valuable currency he’d been keeping for them had not been sold when in fact they already had.

In a 168-minute interview with police, Jackman later explained he had become inundated with stock “and clients who were pushy”.

Ms Kemm said the amounts stolen from “ma and pa investors” ranged from $6000 from Pauline Hanlon, to $380,000 from Stephen Hallister, who had stored a rare holey dollar with Jackman.

Jackman’s victims included 93-year-old Molly Sweet, who is now 100.

Ms Sweet lost $45,270, $50,310 and $76,590 from three pieces of rare currency Jackman sold but did not pay her for.

She has a disabled son who Ms Kemm said was “no longer able to be sensitively cared for in the way anticipated”.

In her victim impact statement, Brenda Barrett, 67, who lost $98,500, said she had worked at a fish processing factory all her life, and now could not enjoy her retirement.

Mr Hallister, a FIFO worker, was “extremely angry” after losing $452,000.

Another victim, Leanne Marshall, said she felt betrayed after Jackman’s staff “lied straight to her face”.

Ms Kemm argued there was “an informal and trusting relationship between the offender and his clients”, and the breach of that trust was an aggravating factor in Jackman’s offending.

She told Justice Wager the charges on which Jackman was being tried only dealt with the complaints of 21 victims.

Receivers for Jackman’s company had identified a total of 136 investors who allegedly had not been paid.

Justice Wager ordered Jackman to pay restitution for each piece of stolen currency.

But defence barrister Bruno Illari warned the chances of Jackman ever repaying the monies were slim.

He said Jackman had no prior criminal record, which was “unusual in a case of this kind”.

Mr Illari said Jackman was once named Albany entrepreneur of the year, and neither he nor his wife – who together owned a $6000 and a $4000 car and had $6000 in savings – benefitted personally from the thefts.

“They didn’t have a lavish lifestyle,” he said.

“It was all done to keep this company afloat.

“By 2013, the wolf was well and truly at the door.”

Ms Kemm argued Jackman “might have been a first offender at the start but not at the end of the offending”.

“Clearly, social status was of some importance to him,” she submitted.

She argued that imposing a significant term of imprisonment was the only option open to Justice Wager.

“There is evidence of remorse,” she conceded.

“The real difficulty is the sheer loss at a community level and at a personal level for each of the complainants.”

In summing up, Mr Illari said Jackman accepted there would “most likely be an immediate term of imprisonment”.

Jackman, who has Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, will spend at least 25 months in jail after being sentenced to a maximum four years and two months imprisonment.

Each of the 36 charges carried a maximum seven years penalty.

As Jackman was escorted from the dock into custody, Barbara Jackman got up from her seat and walked toward him to say goodbye from a distance separated by security guards.

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Cop shop celebrates 150th

A WHO’S WHO of the state police force, and their political master, will attend on March 3 when the Plantagenet Historical Society celebrates the 150th anniversary of Mount Barker’s first cop shop.

Commissioner Chris Dawson, Police Minister Michelle Roberts, Great Southern District Superintendent Dom Wood, one-time corrective services minister Terry Redman, the president of the retired police officers’ association, three police union delegates, a police piper and several mounted police have said they’ll be there.

Plantagenet Historical Society archivist Camille Inifer warned that a VIP or two might find themselves embroiled in some punitive shenanigans on the day.

“We’ll have a policeman in uniform from the Plantagenet Players, the drama group, and he might be arresting a few dignitaries if they don’t behave themselves,” she winked.

“We’re gonna have a bit of fun with them.”

The 150th anniversary is also the fiftieth anniversary of when the historical society stepped in, in 1968, to stop Plantagenet shire demolishing the police station.

“It was set for demolition because it was so derelict,” Ms Inifer said.

“One of the policemen, in his wisdom, had let the chooks roost in there for a number of decades, so you can imagine the state of the floor.

“But being history buffs, the society thought they had to save it.”

Ms Inifer said up to 1500 people were likely to descend on the Police Station Museum on March 3, given the Labour Day long weekend timing and the 30th Porongurup Wine Festival kicking off the next day.

Between opening in 1868 and closing in 1908, the state heritage listed building filled a vital public role – as a focus of law and order, and a telegraph office and stopping place for mail coaches travelling from Perth to Albany.

Chair of the committee pulling the anniversary celebrations together John Sales said the commissioner would deliver a speech and unveil a commemorative plaque.

The station was built by convicts who still play a big role in the building’s upkeep, with inmates from the Pardelup minimum security prison doing gardening and odd jobs around the place.

“They’re coming in for a few days before the commemorations and they’re going to do a bit of painting and gardening for us to really showcase the complex,” Mr Sales, a retired police sergeant, said.

Admission is free, and no convicts will be participating on the day.

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ASHS chalks up 100 years

THIS year marks 100 years since Albany Senior High School (ASHS) first opened its doors and welcomed students from across the Great Southern.

The centenary celebration will be commemorated throughout the year with various archive projects, an open day, activities and a ball.

The first tick off the centenary celebration list was a special assembly yesterday to officially unveil the new centenary mural, located across from the canteen.

Students listened to a variety of guest speakers reflect on their memories of ASHS, including ex-student and City of Albany Deputy Mayor Greg Stocks, ex-student and former WA Premier Alan Carpenter, ex-principal Jo Lynch and ex-principal Arthur Richards.

Mr Carpenter attended the school in the early 1970s and despite admitting he “wasn’t a model student”, said he valued his experiences with ASHS.

“I owe so much to the education and ethos I gained from this school,” he said.

“We’ve had people like Tim Winton, Kim Scott and Dianne Jackson come from here, so it goes to show that no matter where you’re from, or your background, you can achieve anything with an education in WA.”

Mr Stocks has maintained his link to ASHS after attending and teaching at the school by holding the role as chair of the school board, and has seen both his children graduate through ASHS.

“Attending ASHS was the foundation of their success,” he said of his children.

“We all talk about our time at ASHS 20, 30 and 50 years later, so treasure your time here.”

If you would like to find out more about the ASHS centenary celebrations or would like to join the alumni, visit alumni.

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