The Barometer Tower with the world's largest barometer in Denmark, Western
Australia, now completely dismantled.
Denmark WA, May 2011
*End of free world attraction - Denmark in WA lost the Bert Bolle Barometer*
*The Denmark Visitor Centre in Western Australia has lost its world's largest
barometer. Differences of opinion between the Dutch maker Bert Bolle and Denmark
Tourism Inc. about promoting and signposting the water barometer lay at the
bottom of an ongoing conflict. Eventually Mr Bolle asked for the more than 12
metre tall instrument to be given back to him. The Barometer Tower was
dismantled mid February 2011. *
In 2007 Mr Bolle and his wife Ethne had gifted the huge instrument to help
lifting the profile of Denmark. The barometer gift had been eagerly accepted by
the former Denmark Shire CEO who wanted an interpretive centre for Denmark,
focused on transfer of knowledge and information, with the world's largest
barometer as an important instructive and entertaining drawcard for the
visitors. Unfortunately this Visitor Centre had slid further and further into a
commercial institution, focused on hard selling bookings rather than treasuring
the long-term value of a unique asset like the big barometer and flaunt it. One
of the conditions of the gift was that no entry fee be charged, thus
guaranteeing access to all. Accordingly, as it did not bring money in, it was
dealt with in a stepmotherly way by the Denmark Visitor Centre and its Board.
Its long-term value and potential was ignored or just simply not understood. All
this was certainly not what Mr and Mrs Bolle had in mind when they donated the
barometer. After fruitless attempts to negotiate with Denmark Tourism Inc., Mr
Bolle asked for the more than 12 metre tall barometer to be given back.
'The Denmark Visitor Centre has strange ideas about tourism, where only visitors
seem to count who make bookings or who buy. The Centre likes to boast of
Denmark's wineries, its forests, and its beaches. No doubt these are an
impressive part of the main tourist magnetism but eateries, and beaches being
part of the normal beach culture of Australia; their lure is a) restricted to
good weather periods and b) are subject to the normal and healthy competition
from other states with equally decent attractions. *Value is added only when one
thinks outside the box.* What does one do in a small rural town like Denmark in
the rain' Shopping, eating and drinking and then what'The world's largest
barometer was a unique free indoor attraction, which could have been a landmark
for the region for perpetuity. Now Denmark Tourism Inc. has blown this drawcard
forever because of their lack of passion,' Mr Bolle says.
Mr and Mrs Bolle have stored all barometer parts at their place and meanwhile
negotiations about a new spot for the world attraction are in an advanced phase,
albeit not in Denmark anymore.
Web site about the water barometer http://www.bertbolle.com.