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on the way 02-08-2006 07:30 PM

Queensland Australia --- funny attitude
My partner and I entered Australia at Brisbane and went to Mooloolaba for a few days before going further north into the Great Barrier Reef and the tropics. Mooloolaba authorities failed to show the well known Aussie hospitality and seemed to resent our visit although I was told we could stay for 10 days maximum. We had been there two days and had two visits from them asking when were we leaving. We then moved further north and found that other Aussies more friendly. If you plan a visit to Australia don't think that all the treatment from the various ports are the same. The experience was not nice.

rod hodgson 02-08-2006 08:47 PM

Sorry to hear about your rather poor greeting - hopefully some others of us can make it up to you. If you are coming south to Victoria, contact me and perhaps I can buy you a drink or two.


Auzzee 02-08-2006 09:25 PM

The area just north of Brisbane has become a bit of a trendy, cafe latte style of place where the APPEARANCE of money is important. Many long time residents of Maroochydore, Mooloolaba etc. bemoan the long gone days when it was a wonderful, warm, friendly area. You will find that officialdom will become less apparent as you move north, although there will be the occasional, allbeit friendly visit from parks and wildlife/fisheries officers. I am sure you will enjoy your trip north and hopefully you will make it to Darwin where you will find excellent facilities and very friendly people. Even the lock operators at the marinas are mostly friendly up here. It is sad to hear many yachties complain about the officers who process their entry to southern Queensland. Please understand these people are not typical of your average, smiling, beer drinking, footy loving, party going, cricket watching (did we flog the South Africans yet again? Bloody oath mate!!!) Aussie dag. May the rest of your Aussie adventure erase your first unfortunate impressions. Davo.....

Swagman 02-10-2006 01:47 AM

Apologies from another Oz.

Officials can be a pain anywhere, but it can come as a shock when you don't expect it......and as cruisers you should not expect it in Australia despite tough coastwatch / policing.

Errrrr. You're not illegal immigrants or boat people by any chance? If so sounds like they've been politer to you than others.>/smile.gif


JeanneP 02-10-2006 11:23 PM

I love Mooloolaba and environs, and we had nothing but wonderful treatment by officials in Brisbane (beyond the call of duty..... in fact). However, why are you having trouble with "officials" in Mooloolaba - it's not a port of entry now, is it? Do you have either a dog or cat aboard? If so, that would explain the problem. Are you anchored out and they're not happy about that? We spent MONTHS there and never had a visit from anyone. Of course, we were at a marina but still.....

Even when officials were doing their job and confiscating foodstuffs they felt I shouldn't be bringing into the country, they treated us with courtesy and sensitivity. Please, I'd like to know more about your circumstances. Your profile doesn't give me much information, unfortunately.

Bedouin 02-12-2006 04:54 PM

Maybe I can shed some light. I think the couple who were very shattered from their experience are on a circumnavigation out of Germany. I say this because of the fact that I sugested they tell their story on cruiserlog which they hadn't heard of and I met them while they were here.

A local canal resident has got a councilor and a state government member 'plugging' for him in the local media. His stories are mostly false so far as I know and his real gripe is that he wants no boats within his view. He has been doing 'funny bugger things' to yacht tenders, cutting anchor ropes, putting the anchor back on board then casting the tender off to the current, dumping sand in the tenders and now graffitti.

I saw the couple arrive flying the German flag and I went over in my tender to do a meet and greet and gave them directions to shopping places. The German couple had their tender given the sand treatment while on the park shore and along with the 'visits' they told me about they were feeling decidedly unwelcome --- and I can't blame them.

They were swinging at anchor and had no pets on board, their yacht was tidy and neat and no fair minded person would take offence at them.

Unfortunately the 'namless resident' has a decidedly un-Australian attidude and doing much harm to the tourism as well as marine service industry here. I've gone to the local media to counteract his damage and tell the truth about his claims --- some totally unbelievable; and hopefully a more balanced attitude from the authorities will prevale.

Somewhere along the way common sense went out the door with the 'old' coast laybacked welcome.

I tried to convince them to continue up to the reef but they had said that they might give Australia a miss and go to New Zealand --- either way what happened to them was disgraceful.

JeanneP 02-12-2006 09:27 PM

How sad. It only takes one bad apple to ruin it, doesn't it? That's a argument for always watching your Ps and Qs. Whether you like it or not, you are a representative of your country.

"Not in my backyard" - such silly people out there, huh?

Bedouin 02-13-2006 02:26 PM

Your right JeanneP, I spoke to the harbour master today, he is aware of what is going on; but; of coarse; has his orders blah, blah. It seems that if you pay council rates you automatically get the council on side. The councillor basically made of goose of himself by agreeing with the home owner and not bothering to think or ask questions first before adding his bit in the paper.

I suggested to the German couple to write their experience to cruuiserlog not to add fuel to the fire but so that they might read some of the replies that I knew would be posted. Frankly anything posted on the site would have to be better than the way they were feeling.I was just plain 'gob smacked' that visitors to Australia could be treated in such a way. Those like myself who regard Mooloolaba as their home port; live aboard or not; are being given a hard time as well. I have had three notices to move my yacht immediately from where the harbour master told me to anchor it; the notices are all signed by the harbour master!!! He admits privately that I am totally legal in every regard where I'm anchored. Pressure from higher up is the story, must be an idiot up there then.

For those that posted I'm sure that the words will be appreciated. Unfortunately I personally couldn't do more for them other than to continue to contact the media and the beurocrats and give 'our' side of the story to try to minimise the damage. As for stopping off on the Sunshine Coast I honestly can't advise it -- maybe it will get better; I can only hope. Meanwhile the tourism and boat service industry will suffer big time.

Proud to be an Aussie; to be honest I'm not sure now


Peter Yacht Bedouin

rod hodgson 02-14-2006 07:10 PM

G'day Peter,

It may be worth listing the names and addresses of the Harbour Master, the local councillor and the Mayor of the local council so that we Aussies who transit through the area can write expressing our concerns and pointing out that we are part of the tourist dollars thet want spending in the area. It may also be worth one of us writing to "Cruising Helmsman" and showing them how such actions impact negatively on them.



Bedouin 02-15-2006 08:46 PM

Hello Rod,

I have taken your thoughts on board but am having a few days off as this fiasco is getting me down. I'll post some information then and maybe enough people will take the time to send an email that some attitude change will take place. I'll be remaining for about 2 weeks then I'll be leaving and won't be back, I have kids and grand kids here but will have to find a way to visit them from another port.

I have a concern that Mooloolaba will go the way of Newcastle and become a 'closed port' unless a booking has been made for a berth at a marina, the same will apply to local boating residents who don't pull their boats out of the water.

I'll post on the weekend.


Gallivanters 02-16-2006 10:01 AM


My darlin' wife was a long term resident from Mooloolaba to Mt Ninderry since the days of the Beer Gardin & Sunday Sessions at the Thommo's Mooloolaba Pub.

She, too, is sad to hear about what's been happening there lately.

We were there only a few weeks ago and quite disappointed to find the doors at the MYC locked on a hot & thirsty afternoon in January. What's with THAT? Never-the-less, I absolutely fell in love with the region and and swore that we'd some day sail back, settle down and stay a while.

She suggests you contact John Stokes at Coast FM in Maroochydore whom she feels certain he will be interested in hearing about these antics in the Canal and it's ramifications on tourism and the marine service industries, not to mention the odd latte shops. John is a long term resident and hosts a daily show on the local ABC station.

For the record - I'm the yank who stole Cath Mahoney from MIX FM's Breakfast Show, which ran from 1994 to 1998.

If you do speak to John, please pass along Cath's regards from the Caribbean. Thanks.

Good Luck

and Happy Sailing,

Kirk & Cath McGeorge ~~~_/) ~~~ s/v Gallivanter ~~~ St Thomas

rod hodgson 02-17-2006 04:33 PM

Greetings Kirk and Cath,

Have taken your advice and emailed John Stokes at the ABC directing him to Cruiserlog and this topic. Hopefully he'll pick it up and run with it.



Bedouin 02-18-2006 05:00 PM

Hopefully John Stokes will contact me as well. If you read this John ring 0438795839. There has been a few local residents who own anchored boats moved out to Brisbane and Tin Can Bay. I can now confirm that there are those who want "NO BOATS AT ANCHOR" in the harbour or river at all. This was told to me by a councillor.

This past week has seen no reduction in abuse to yacht tenders though some are going to extreme lengths to protect their tenders. The 'nameless' homeowner who is behind this lattest fiasco is apparently not interested in talking to anyone unless they will support his radical ideas or at least be prepared to print them - unfortunately there is little to hear from local home owners in recognition that boat owners who are obeying all the laws and rules have a valid right to be there.

I've had some local residents privately say to me that they don't think boating folk are getting a fair go but not prepared to say it publically. Nice to be approached and told but that does nothing for the future of cruising folk wanting to stop over here.

Meanwhile 'muggins' being the only one to speak up against 'nameless' has had a serve in the press as a 'free loader' and 'socially unacceptable'. I'm leaving my job and heading away from here in a week; I don't need to live with this sort of treatment and those that should be standing up and telling 'nameless' that his property finishes at his fense line are doing nothing. I'm sure I'll find a port where I'm welcome and that port will benefit from my presence there. I'm really disgusted that touring yachties, Aussies and visitors to our shores, have been treated in such a hostile way.

Regards to all


Bedouin 02-22-2006 08:10 PM

Hello Kirk and Cath,

To answer your question about the Mooloolaba Yacht Club, it's gone 'bust' due to bad management. It got a few extensions but couldn't trade out of its debts. Unfortunately the marina side of the business put up it's prices although there was no longer a watering hole or place to have a feed on land at the yacht club. The wharf marina raised it's fees on the same date as the yacht club marina - coincidence!!!

To all, the harbour master is Gary Barben, he's maybe the only beurocrat that is simpathetic towards us yachties so by all means email him and I'm sure it will be passed on to his boss. His email is and the councillor is who is the one that couldn't be bothered to check his information before going to the press. The mayors are and Now the 'nutter' from the press is Peter Gardiner email is who has called cruising folk as 'freeloaders' among other things and did the story from the ratbag who is behind the trouble. He is not interested in what harm is being done to the Sunshine Coast marine service industry or tourism let alone the deplorable treatment to visitors to Australia. Mind you if they drove or arrived by any other means but boat I'm sure he would not be such a biased person. Bad manners are bad manners and his complainant and his articles are just plain bad manners with very little truth in them and absolutely no research. I hope he gets enough emails that he is forced to think about what he is doing.

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