The millionaire and the island
I’ve blogged extensively about the need for businesses to reclaim their validity by finding ways to do business not just to benefit their bottom lines but also to contribute to the societies on whose health those same businesses depend. Well here’s a great example.
The Founder of Computershare Ltd, Chris Morris, who now runs hotel chain Colonial Leisure Group has just dropped a few million to purchase a luxury Great Barrier Reef Island called Orpheus Island. To build bigger and better resort facilities, and maybe a new airstrip as did the owners of former paradise Hamilton Island which is now a showy millionaire’s mecca imposed onto beautiful natural origins.
Bizarrely the Hamilton Island Golfclub boasts it’s environmental credentials – did anyone tell them that building a golf course into a tropical environment isn’t exactly respecting natural values? No worries, as their website says “Hamilton Island Golf Club makes available electric buggies for transportation to minimise emissions”. I know for a fact that low emission vehicles are not so smiled upon by the island management to stop them from refusing to allow scruffy kayakers to land on the island. Nor to discourage them from running jetski, helicopter and quad-bike tours! Hamilton Island’s yacht club is shown above…ah those natural values!
Anyway, back to Orpheus where new owner Morris is recruiting and training indigenous staff as part of a plan to endow the resort with an indigenous theme. “Wherever possible we will be working with local indigenous communities to provide staff and enrichment activities for future guests,” he said. “And we’ll be looking to source and train staff from Palm Island wherever possible.”
Orpheus island expects to reopen in June. we wish them well. And hope that success there does not lead to further development of the island but rather to a replication of the positive employment and cultural policies in place there.