A man living alone on an island like Robinson Crusoe for almost 20 years faces eviction from his castaway oasis.
The Australian man has been living on tiny Restoration Island off the north-eastern coast of Australia since 1993 after the former high-flying Sydney businessman lost £6.5 million in the 1987 stock market crash.
Living off crabs and coconuts, and connected to solar-powered internet, David Glasheen has enjoyed a life of private tranquillity his dog Quasi, calling himself ‘the luckiest bloke in the world’.
But the Queensland government is trying to evict the voluntary castaway, in his sixties, after he failed to build a resort on the 1.53ha island, a condition of the lease which allowed him access to the land.
The Queensland Supreme Court recently ruled that the land should be repossessed and that he and his business partners are ‘trespassers’.
He told The Daily Telegraph: ‘This judgement is just horrible.’
Living a reclusive life, Glasheen learnt to be self-sufficient, growing vegetables and brewing his own beer. He also still trades stocks using an online trading account.
He said: ‘You soon learn in the bush to survive. If you don’t you die pretty quickly.
‘It is a fabulous place, I am a lucky bloke to be there.
Glasheen leased one third of the island from the Australian Government for £13,000 a year on behalf of Restoration Island Priory Ltd.
The 43-year lease which allowed Glasheen required him and a business partner to develop fishing facilities and tourist accommodation valued at a minimum of £131,000 on the island, a condition which they failed to do.
A Supreme Court judgement said the island’s directors had been trying to get Glasheen to vacate the island since 2000.
The court said: ‘The defendants have wrongly deprived the plaintiff of its asset for over a decade during which time they have enjoyed its benefits.
Glasheen is considering appealing the decision.
Asked what he will do if he is forced to leave his island home he said: ‘I have no idea. I live on now. Tomorrow I might be dead.’
Restoration Island was named after Captain William Bligh found essential supplies that had been set adrift by mutineers of the HMS Bounty.