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    quokka
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Top End Doctor - 18. Dr Chapter 18

With the four blocks fronting the south side of Namarada Drive, there will be one or two sheds, with six parking bays on each block, as well as the usual 40 metres of trees and shrubs between the car park and the main street and these buildings will be available for small businesses to lease.

The three blocks that together have three street facings, will become a public pool, with it to be entirely covered with a shed roof, with only one side wall, and just tall fencing on the other side and the two ends, and it will consist of a 25 metre long 15 metre wide main pool, and a 20 metre diameter circular shallow paddle pool.

On the side where there is a wall, there will be female, disabled and male toilets and change rooms, and a pump room in one corner, and a entry foyer and offices in the other corner. Above this there is a central seating stadium, with 60 seats, plus three community rooms, one big enough for a basketball court, one for a fitness gym, and the last for fitness classes.

The block of land behind the pool centre on Balanda Drive, will be a car park with 24 parking bays, while the last two blocks of land on Balanda Drive will remain empty for now, but Uncle James was thinking of turning them into a jungle nature park like what we have at our new home, with raised boardwalks, and heaps of tropical palms, trees and shrubs.

When we finally arrive back at our Dundee Beach home, with one additional person onboard, that being our new housekeeper, Mrs Loraine Kennedy, a widow, who looked to be about 50, with no children, who has agreed to a three month trial basis, and Tim had decided to make one of the safe rooms into her bedroom, since it has a bathroom, kitchenette and a store room, with access to the side balcony and the verandah.

Because of this, Tim and Uncle James had packed up their bedroom suite, from our old home, and are on the back of the yacht, instead of it coming via barge in a few days time. With the assistance of the lads, the bed was transported up to the house, and lifted up onto the verandah to get it into the house, and we left Mrs Kennedy to get settled in, while Tim, the lads and us boys headed into town in the Land Rover.

When the small remaining group of the community saw us arrive, they stopped what they were doing, and we headed for the undercover area of the Lodge, which only had minor damage, which has been repaired, but they are still without power.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, since being accepted into the association, and with our offer to assist financially with getting the community up and running again, we have put together a plan,” Tim announced, as he place a large roll of papers on the table and rolled them out, to reveal an enlarged map of a small part of the community, namely the area where we now owed a large parcel of land.

We have purchased a total of 12 blocks of land on either side of Namarada Drive, totalling 63 acres, and this is what we propose to do with the land for the community. We will keep ownership of the land, and we since we are an unincorporated region, we suggest that the Association put forward plans to introduce rates for all land holders, in the region that will help to keep these facilities operational, and also to allow for improvements like roads, and road drainage, rubbish collection, and paying for the Association to manage all of these things,” Tim suggested.

“Just to give you an idea of what has happened in the past, the Territory government proposed that we be included in the expanded Coomalie Community Council, and twice it has been rejected by a large majority of members of the association, and so far we have relied on grants from Territory and Federal Governments to pay for all of the things we need, even if it does take months to get the funding.

So I guess I am asking, do you propose that we establish our own Community Council, to keep the place going and well maintained?’ Harry asked, and we could see that Tim was serious considering this question, “Yes, yes I am proposing that we do just that, we have offered to finance the costs of building some of the facilities but we are not made of money, and we are relying on the sale of our home in Darwin to pay for it, so after that we will need money to pay for things in the future,” Tim responded.

“Well, I think that we had better send a letter to all property owners in the region and call for a community vote on the matter,” Harry said, “I second that idea,” Gladys stated, “Ok, well I can type out a draft letter tonight, and bring it back tomorrow for all to see,” Gill suggested, and all were in agreement.

“With that decided, let me show you our ideas for this community…” Tim said, as he brought out a clear plastic sheet, and placed it over the top of the map, which now showed all the buildings, entry driveways and car parks.

“Wow, this is incredible, and you can finance all of this,” Annie asked, “Yes, it has all be costed out, and we can start within a fortnight, as we have hired a building firm to come out by barge to do the work for us,” Tim replied, “Sounds good to me, I totally approve that it goes ahead, as long as each building are up to cyclone code, George said.

“They will be stronger than that, just like our house which received no damage,” Tim replied, and he began explaining what each building is and what they will be used for. “You haven’t included a school at all?” Gill commented, after Tim had finished explaining each building.

“No and there is a reason for that, I feel that we should make this more of a holiday destination, and that the community will consist of mostly business people, and if there are any children, then like my partner’s nephews they can do home schooling.

I suggest that we encourage more tourism ventures here, like your holiday park George, and the three private accommodation businesses, then we have the motel at the roadhouse and at Crab Claw Resort that are nearby too. One other thing I will assist with, which is to extend Namarada Drive a further 2 kilometres to go around the west side of the mangroves, to the creek, where the Yacht was anchored, as it would provide a better location for a boat ramp, ” Tim responded.

“So what exactly are you suggesting?” Harry asked, “George I believe you have quite a large block of land of which a lot is unused, I suggest minimal removal of existing vegetation, but establish more caravan bays, camping sites, and bed and breakfast homes in the community, get Brian to expand his boat hire business to include, kayaks, and maybe quad bike tours along the beach, others could start snorkelling and scuba diving, and even fishing charters, all it takes is good marketing and we will have a booming tourist community,” Tim suggested.

“I see that you have done that with your plans here, left a large amount of trees fronting each block, with one access driveway to each,” Annie commented, “That is correct, I think that the less number of trees we remove from each property will provide us with a better looking community, and help reduce high wind damage, if we thicken the areas with more trees, palms and shrubs.

Let me show you what has been done at my place up the road,” Tim said as he retrieved his phone and showed recent photos of the boardwalk and the surrounding jungle that has been created. “Wow, I want to see this place, it is incredible,” Gladys said.

“Thanks, it has taken five years of hard work to get it into a tropical jungle garden, including the raised board walk, and I’m sorry you can’t go and see it, as it is our personal retreat,” Tim replied.

“Let me guess, it is at the end of Launceston Road with the big fence and big sign at the front,” Harry asked, and Tim chuckled and nodded his head yes.

“We value our privacy, so that is why we have gone to great lengths to build the fence, to ensure that we do not have any unwanted visitors,” Tim said. “Understood, and we will respect your wishes, at least we know that you are indeed locals now,” Harry replied.

“I think all of this that you have presented today is great, and I for one fully support your plans for these facilities, and the idea of marketing it as a tourist destination, especially since we are only two hours by road from Darwin,” Gill said. Everyone else present was in agreement, and suggested that we go ahead with what is planned here as a starter to get our community operational again.

“I spoke to Department of Main Roads NT, and they say that it will take 2 to 3 months to rebuild the two bridges, and fix the roads, so it looks like we have the time to get the improvements made, before any former residents make the trip back out here,” Harry said.

“Oh by the way, on the trip back here from Darwin, my husband announced that he intends to set up a medical clinic here, using one of the small commercial properties as his base, so we have our first small business tenant, ready to move in once the building is complete,” Tim announce.

“Excellent, we will have our own community doctor, that will make a big difference,” Annie said happily, and we continued on with discussion what other things need to be done to clear up from the cyclone, and it was suggested that the Association declare a state of emergency, to allow us to enter all the properties, to clean up any buildings that have been destroyed by the cyclone, collecting any salvageable belongings as we go.

After a few phone calls to NT government department, we were given the go ahead to do this, by the Minister of Local Governments, even thou we are not incorporated, but he was the one to give the go ahead, with consultation with the Minister of Emergency Services, and that a email will be sent to every home owner to inform them of this situation, with the properties asked not to attempt to come to the community because the two bridges have been washed out, and only barges will be permitted to land at the beach.

“Just as a matter of interest, how many blocks of land are there in this region, vacant and purchased?” Tim asked. “I have that information being the fire service coordinator, and I also have a map listing each of the 990 properties that have been surveyed.

There are five specific areas, Dundee Beach, 320 lots, which is everything north of Mermaid Circuit and Lepanto Street. Dundee South, 228 lots, which is everything below Mermaid Circuit, down to the corner of Namarada Drive and Fog Bay Road, including Launceston Road.

Dundee Forest, 128 lots, which is everything from the west end of and everything north and south of Fog Bay Road, and ends at the corner of Fog Bay Road and Barramundi Drive, Dundee Downs, 194 lots, which is everything north and south of Fog Bay Road, and east to lot 3585 on that road, and finally there is Bynoe, 120 lots, including Crab Claw Resort and Sandpalms Roadhouse, with the road to Crab Claw as the Eastern boundary of our region,” Harry said.

“Interesting, and how many of these lots have been purchased with homes or sheds on them?” Tim asked, “Approximately one quarter of that, so about 250 homes or sheds,” Harry replied. “If we do go ahead with establishing a community council, I suggest that the areas with 150 or more lots have two representatives and anything below that have one, which would be eight in total,” Tim suggested.

“That sounds very reasonable, that would work well I am sure,” Gill said in response. How about we as for a community meeting to be held somewhere in Darwin, and we travel there in the yacht, so everyone is in the one location,” Harry suggested, “That is fine with me, anything to get the community going will be good with us,” Tim responded.

Later that day after a number of phone calls, Harry was able to secure a location to hold the meeting that would take place Saturday next week, and this would be added to the letter that would be sent tomorrow.

Copyright © March 2020 Preston Wigglesworth. All Rights Reserved.
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Awesome chapter, they have certainly not wasted any time getting the community setup and going again

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Whew, what a lot of organizing...but somehow the story of two orphaned boys and their uncles seem to have been hijacked by outside forces.

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Q. you have a tendency in your writing to get wound up in description and away from interactions between people. The number of parking spaces has very little to do with the story of two orphan boys and their guardian uncle. I would suggest that some of the detailed descriptions be omitted or reduced and human interactions be substituted, just to make the story more interesting to the casual reader. NOTE: this is a suggestion only; the story is yours to write. I am pleased to see that there are only a very few grammatical errors, your mechanics (grammar and spelling) are superior. The troll who lives under the bridge between writing and publication has not had to nip at your bare toes very often!

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