The Early Years

History of PGLOA

The Early Years

As part of the process to achieve and maintain high standards of dwelling design, landscape and environmental standards for the Port Geographe Development, the vendor proposed the creation of an “association” of landowners. This was intended to “regulate and control” the covenants of the Development Guidelines, and the landscaping and maintenance of common facilities. (Link to Covenants and General conditions on development pdf).

Interestingly there was even the requirement that the purchaser “shall join and maintain the association”.

That “association” when it came to be the PGLOA, had no statutory powers of course, but was guided by the conditions and covenants of the Development Plan. PGLOA became a strong advisory and advocacy organisation, whilst still claiming it mandate to seek the enforcements of the covenants and the provisions of the development plan.

The PGLOA was formally incorporated in under its initial constitution in 2001.

The objectives then were:

  • Be a catalyst for community action and activity
  • Be a spokesman for the community on issues involving the residents of Port Geographe
  • Represent the Port Geographe residents and land owners, on all matters of general community issues, to the City of Busselton, Land Developers, Government authorities and other relevant organisations
  • Provide support, encouragement and guidance for any sporting, cultural and social groups wishing to promote any activity in the Port Geographe area
  • Promote the Port Geographe area as a dynamic family community with a relaxed and healthy outlook.

After several procedural amendments, and a re-write in 2015 to conform to the model rules of the Associations Incorporation Act 20, the objectives remain the same as originally stated.

The PGLOA became operational in February 2001 under the management of current stalwarts Bob Godridge, John Valentine and Steve O’Brian. It received a grant of $200 from the Busselton Shire for “establishment costs and small projects”.

In May 2002 PGLOA agreed with the Busselton Shire to a differential rating system to provide funds for the maintenance of the waterways and the proximal coastal features, to be funded 75% by Port Geographe landowners and 25% by the Shire of Busselton. A more detailed background to the SAR issue is given in another section.

Records for PGLOA are incomplete for the first five years. However in 2006, under the stewardship of Jeff and Gail Priest, regular newsletters under the banner of Waters Edge were produced and more structured AGMs were held.

The first decade was full of challenging issues for Port Geographe, generally related to the poor performance of the groyne system at the entrance to the port, and the recurring financial stresses of the developers. The PGLOA committee faced many challenges in order to meet its objectives, and addressed many issues in partnership with the Shire, the succession of developers, and the ever changing government departments. In those difficult years issues included:

  • Agreement on SAR
  • Timing, mechanics and funding of by-passing of seagrass wrack and sand
  • Dust suppression on un-developed land
  • The H2S scare
  • Appointment of marine safety officers
  • Landscaping of parks and gardens
  • The footbridge fiasco
  • Canal flushing and circulation in enclosed waters
  • Policy on mechanical boat lifters
  • Participation in coastal studies

The first by-passing occurred in the Spring 2003 and became a yearly problem for the next decade. These problems related to complex interactions of underestimation of material movements in the littoral zone, financial stress of developers, controversies on responsibility for funding, and the adverse impacts on residents outside of the designated Port Geographe area.

The PGLOA committee under Peter McClurg (2009-2013) grappled with these complex issues, in concert with the Council, many government departments, and other community action groups. These issues were made more challenging in August 2012 when the developer (at that time Saracen and Macquarie JV) went into voluntary administration, and eventually into liquidation when the liability for coastal management exceeded the value of the security bonds.

It was not until 2013, after the granting of State Government funding of $28M for the re-alignment of the entry groynes, that the issue was decisively addressed. Re-construction commenced in July 2013 and was completed in May 2015.