Today we launch the 2009 inspection of Cockatoo Island for all manner of pests. Because this is the third year since our initial engagement we have planned a more extensive survey, relying not just on sampling, as was the case in the last two years, but on a systematic search through all sections of the site according to the following plan:
1. Former Dockyard Areas
2. Former Prison Area
3. Former Industrial School Grounds and Buildings
4. Air Raid Shelter
5. Tunnels and Associated Cavities
The inspection of dockyard areas including the Fitzroy Graving Dock and the Sutherland Dock has proceeded without a hitch and revealed nothing of concern.
We have now completed the inspection of the former prison areas, again finding nothing out of the ordinary. But I came across a journal of a former prisoner the other day that is quite interesting.
The former Industrial School or Reformatory is quite extensive and contains a number of wooden structures. We have been monitoring them for termites for several years now, but I am happy to report that none has been discovered. One of the largest buildings associated with the school is the old headmaster’s house and we spent several days examining the walls and flooring for signs of pests. In the process we met a new ranger, Ted Wilson, who seems to spend much of his time there. He has also taken over responsibility for the tunnels and associated cavities that we will be inspecting as the last phase of our study.
The Air Raid Shelters are not very extensive, so inspection has not required much time. Again, a clean bill of health.
It would seem that we must forgo any inspection of the tunnel and cavities areas of the site this year as Ted Wilson informs me that he has stored some technical equipment there on a temporary basis. He promises that we may inspect next year if we simply give him a quick call before coming. This area has been clear of pests for the last two inspections and there is no evidence of any problem so we shall have to respect his wishes in the matter.