Thursday, 8 September 2011


"Fuck me dead!" growled Cush. He and Horsey were looking out from the windows at the Cairns Regional Council Office at the huge crowd gathering around the Council building.

It was the day the Council was to vote on the sale of 21 hectares of land at Mt Whitfield to a Chinese corporation for developing into an "Executive Training and Retreat" complex, featuring a hotel with 3,000 rooms, several restaurants, swimming pools, tennis court, mini golf course, squash courts and small shopping centre. It was to be one of the biggest single complexes ever built in Cairns and Cush and Horsey were to receive a substantial "fee" each for the transaction.

Cush had never anticipated the people of Cairns would react to the sale of pristine land on Mt Whitfield. As he watched the crowd growing larger by the minute, Cush thought sourly how everyone claimed to be against the greenies, but in reality supported the greenies when their own properties were threatened. Oh, yes, it was a different story then!

In fact, there were many Cairns people who really couldn't care less. The mountains around Cairns had been largely undeveloped while urban growth had been centred on the narrow coastal plain. Perhaps they thought, it was time for the mountains to be developed?

However others looked at the range of blue green mountains enveloping the city, and in their minds eye could see a huge red and yellow flag looking back at them. They enjoyed their Red Arrow and Blue Arrow walks, and the thought of those tracks being filled with thousands of Chinese executives made them angry. Oh, they were not against the Chinese mind you, but the mountains of Cairns and the Red Arrow and Blue Arrow walking tracks were part of what made living in Cairns so good.

The people of Cairns had come out, in force, in their thousands to protest. Galvanised into action by an unprecedented social media campaign. Mrs Angela Warrington-Mather, whom Cush had belitted on the radio shock jock's program two days before, had been very busy. She had made a list of all the people she knew in Cairns, obtained their phone numbers, and had spent almost an entire day and two evenings phoning all three hundred of them. Also she had SMS texted her daughter, Samantha, a student at the local James Cook University. Samantha had the same communication skills as her mother, and within an hour the entire population at the James Cook University knew Cush was going to sell Mt Whitfield to the Chinese.

The university students in turn SMS texted their friends, and within hours, people all over Cairns and the surrounds, from shopping centres, to restaurants, to loading docks, to sugar cane farms, to the Base Hospital, to schools and to day care centres, and wherever people worked or gathered, received the news. Tens of thousands of people. Cush is going to sell Mt Whitfield to the Chinese. We have to stop him!

Traffic banked up along Ray Jones Drive, and many people simply parked their cars beside the road and walked to the Cairns Regional Council offices. Traffic jams occurred along Sheridan Street and Spence Street. The police were called in to direct traffic along both Mulgrave Road and Spence Street.

It was the biggest public protest in Cairns since October 1989 when over 7,000 people attended a rally on the Cairns Esplanade to object to a huge development at Trnity Point. On that occasion, the Mayor of Cairns, Keith Goodwin, had supported the protestors and the project was scuttled.

A heavily pregnant Heather was there, holding Monsoon's hand. Ky and David from her Same Sex Parental Support Group were also there, as were the Reverend Matthew Harmon, his mother and father, Mrs Angela Warrington-Mather and all the members of her womens community service club and Siobhan, the fashion editor at "The Cairns Post", was there with her partner, Zane.

"I hope the Editor doesn't see me here," fretted Siobhan nervously. "He thinks only hippies and ratbags and mentally deranged people protest against develoments."

"He wouldn't recognise you with those huge sunnies on and that floppy hat," reassured Zane, who was proud that Siobhan had decided to make a stand and try to save the mountain.

Siobhan smiled nervously and handed Zane the Editorial from the mornings newspaper. She had torn it out and put it in her shoulder bag purposefully for him to read.


His Worship the Mayor, Colonel Ken Cush has again demonstrated what a strong leader he is, and the strong direction in which he is taking Cairns. He has worked damned hard to sell a piece of Mt Whitfield to a Chinese corporation for the purpose of building an "Executive Training and Retreat" complex. This will be one of the largest single developments ever built in the region, featuring a 3,000 roomed hotel, tennis courts, squash courts, swimming pools, a mini golf course, restaurants and a small shopping centre. The jobs such a complex will provide to the people of Cairns, will be obvious. The people of Cairns will prosper greatly from such a visionary development. The sale has been a delicate one, requiring skill and confidentiality at all stages. His Worship the Mayor has expressed disappointment that one of his own Councillors, Councillor Dom Piper, representing Division 7, single handedly almost scuttled the delicate negotiations by posting details of the deal on his Facebook blog. The Mayor has expressed his disappointment in Councillor Piper. "Councillor Piper has made a very serious transgression here, and I cannot condemn him strongly enough for his calls for the people of Cairns to be consulted on such a delicate matter. The Councillor obviously doesn't understand that he was elected, along with myself and others to run the city and make all the decisions. If he is too weak kneed to make decisions, then maybe he shouldn't be in the Council."

His Worship the Mayor has made a very valid point. When a Councillor protests that the people have not been consulted and maybe the people should have a say, then that Councillor is demonstrating his own weakness and inability to provide leadership. I also believe that Councillor Piper may have taken on far too much for his abilities. He really should have remained a plumber rather than taking on the duties and responsibilities of a Councillor.

Finally, no doubt Councillor Lovelady, she with the unfashionable yeti look, will once again gather up all her friends and supporters, the hippys, the greens, the socialists, the unemployed, and all the deadbeats and maggots of Cairns and district to come out and protest this wonderful development. Cairns people should see them for what they are, destructive, selfish people who would send Cairns back to the time of the Walubarra Yidinji when development meant a few gunyahs along the banks of the Barron River.

Zane's eyes widened with shock and his voice was thick with disgust. "This is just revolting!"

he turned to Siobhan, who nodded in agreement. "I wish you didn't work there with that bastard!"

The Reverend Matthew Harmon worried about the safety of his elderly and frail parents who were finding the crush of people a bit much. "I wish you hadn't insisted on coming down here," he lectured his parents.

"Matt, wild horses wouldn't keep us away from this," his Mother replied. "Your father and I have some very good memories of the Red Arrow walking track!" She smiled across at her husband. "In fact Matt, I do believe you were conceived under a tree on that walking track!"

"Muuuuuuuuum!" wailed the Reverend with embarassment as his parents both laughed.

"Hehehe," laughed his father. "Probably a good number of Cairns people started off their life on that track, if the truth be told. We all knew of a few good spots there to take our dolls for a bit of a roll in the hay."

"Daaaaaaaaad!" wailed the Reverend, feeling his face grow hot, and realising for the first time that there was a lot about his parents he didn't know.

"Save our mountain!" shrieked a shrill high pitched voice, as Monsoon waved her placard.

Heather rubbed her daughter's shoulder protectively and waved to Ky and David who pushed their way through the crowd to join them.

Standing at the top floor window, Cush and Horsey watched as yet another surge of people crowded into the surrounding gardens of the Council building, and Councillors Lovelady and Mingin climbed up onto the back tray of a council ute. The crowd roared and waved their placards. "Save our mountain!" "Save Mt Whitfield!"

Councillor Lovelady attempted to speak but was drowned out in the cheers from the crowd.

Skye Lovelady, the Councillor for Division 9, was a former James Cook University student and very popular on the James Cook campus. Almost the entire population of the university had come out to protest the sale of Mt Whitfield and the university had closed for the day.

Councillor Mingin then attempted to speak but was also drowned out by the cheers from the strong aboriginal and torres strait islander contingent in the crowd. The aimiable giant Mingin was a highly regarded man, particularly in the aboriginal population.

"Fuck, look at those two deadbeats," grunted Cush to Horsey.

In the background, Cush could hear the local radio shock jock who was hosting his radio talk-back show.

"I hear there are a few hippys, greenies and the usual rent-a-crowd down at the Council offices," said the shock jock. "No doubt these useless morons have all been stirred up by that female yeti, Councillor Skye Lovelady. You know, in previous centuries, that creature, that woman, would have been burned at the stake. People would not have tolerated her to live in their community.

I mean, all she ever does, is to criticise, oppose and undermine His Worship the Mayor, at every single opportunity."

The first caller was "Reg of Redlynch".

"Mate, mate," said Reg. "You know the Bible tells us that we should not suffer a witch to live. Fair dinkum mate."

"The Bible is a pretty good source of wisdom. Maybe they had it right," answered the shock jock. "I mean what sort of woman grows her underarm hair so that it almost reaches her waist? Tell me that?"

"Mate, she isn't normal that's for sure," answered Reg.

What gets to me," said the shock jock, "is the way in which she obviously bewitches people, casts a spell over them, so that they all rush out whenever she snaps her fingers and start their yelling and screaming, and holding up the traffic. I mean, what do the tourists think when they come here and see all these screaming ratbags?"

The next caller was "Shane of Forest Gardens."

"Hello Shane," said the shock jock. "You want to comment on the demonstration outside the Council offices? I believe you are there right now?"

"Yeah mate," said Shane of Forest Gardens. "If you got off your fat, elephantine arse and walked down here, you would see about ten thousand people, not just a few greenies and hippys like you are making out. You're the fucken ratbag mate...."

There was a sudden silence as the shock jock realised immediately that "Shane of Forest Gardens" was once again, none other than "Wayne of Bayview Heights."

"Oh, we seem to have lost Shane," he stumbled before turning the program to music.

Cush and Horsey turned reluctantly away from the window and talked to the Council

Chamber. They could hear the noise of the people in the public gallery well before they reached it. The noise sounded like several swarms of angry bees.

The public gallery was full, with several security guards standing nearby. The crowd booed and hissed at Cush and Horsey as they walked to their respective seats. Cush spotted the two representatives of the Chinese Corporation sitting nervously in the gallery and waved to them.

They did not wave back but stared stonily at him.

Cush noted all his Conservative Party Councillors were there. He looked around.

Skip Jarratt from Division 1, Phil Browne from Division 4, Jim Howard, Division 8, Brad Buttonworth from Division 10, and of course Horsey representing Division 6. With the vote from Dougie Dunnysmore the new Councillor for Division 2, he had the vote in the bag. It was a cinch.

To be continued..................


  1. Lets' just hope that the other councillers " grow some" and stand beside the delightful yeti - Lovelady and the ever-popular Mingin. Another amusing chapter...

  2. Neil at his office desk8 September 2011 at 16:35

    Christ mate, what happened here? Line spacing, spelling mistakes what have you.

  3. Geeshh Terry, mate, you back on the turps?? Not that it matters, great blog content, BTW! Neil at his office desk, lol, good one!

  4. I wrote it in the wee hours of the morning, Neil and tried to Edit it, but could not. Sorry! Here it is only 10.00am, and already 35 people have viewed it.

  5. I like the way you have brought in the local people we have met before like Heather and her daughter, Monsoon. David and Ky and the Harmon family as well as the impressive chardy drinking Mrs Angela Warrington-Mather. Did Maria Bonbomiere and Marg Piper attend the demonstration too?

  6. Not forgetting the fashion editor at "The Cairns Post", the daffy little Siobhan and her partner, Zane, Tegan! Of course Maria and Marg were at the demonstration. I omitted to mention that.
    So, too, of course was our favorite caller on the shock jock's "call back radio show"...the one and only "Wayne of Bayview Heights."

  7. I would chuck a sickie off work and go to a protest meeting if any council wanted to sell off mt Whitfield. Some of my friends would too I know.

  8. I would of chucked a sickie too. Wayne makes me laugh getting stuck into the shock jock.

  9. I couldn't help but feel a stab of unease when "Reg" referred to that line from Exodus about witches. It was used as justification for the execution of so many people, women and men during the Salem witch trials in the USA in the mid 1600s, when something like a cow getting sick could see someone accused of witchcraft or sorcery. So it is that the shock jocks of todays radio and print also go witch hunting, seeking villains and culprits to "blame" and victimise for any number of societys ills. Whilst there is no burning at the stake, or drowning of their victims, many victims see their reputations and careers destroyed. The radio shock jock is no better than the men who presided over the Salem trials and who sent dozens of innocent people to their deaths.

  10. Hell, what happened here? Lines all over the place. Todays shock jocks are only about hate and blame and stirring the people up. Theyre all sick fucks I reckon, got something a bit wrong with their wiring up top, and I won't listen to them.

  11. Caroline at home drinking chardy10 September 2011 at 01:45

    Terry has the dialogue of a certain shock jock, spot on. I can actually hear his voice saying those reprehensible things about Skye Lovelady. (Dialogue is one of your fortes as a writer Terry!)
    Also Terry has captured the style of a Murdoch Editor very well. The editorial here is arrogant, superior, judgemental and infers the people in the street are simple minded idiots.

  12. Just showed the blog to some of me mates all round for a few snags and beers and christ they all laughed hey.

  13. Thanks Caroline and bogan. Liz, I have also read up on the Salem Witch trials, and yes that line from Exodus was used as the justification for murdering all those innocent people (and two dogs!) Yes, they hung two dogs as well, for being witches' "familiars".??!!!!

  14. The radio shock jocks have killed democracy on the air waves. They do not allow discussion or debate on any issue apart from callers agreeing with their own individual point of view.

  15. Mate I was there in 1989 at the protest on the Cairns Esplanade and watched Mayor Goodwin wade out to sea and plant a flag symbolically claiming "Cairns for Cairns people." Ive always reckoned that those bloody bastard developers behind the Trinity Point project would wait silently behind the scenes and launch their monstrous development again one day.

  16. Sherry in California11 September 2011 at 01:47

    American shock jocks say worse things than infer women are witches. I've posted comments here before about the inflammatory vitriole and demonisation they indulge in day after day, particularly against anyone with left wing or liberal ideas and beliefs. However Chris and I and our friends here find the comments from Australians about your own shock jocks very interesting.

  17. I see "the Editor" of The Cairns Post (compost) is still true to form, exhibiting his misognistic tendencies.

  18. gosh the things you learn about in this blog like how some dogs were hung in the Salem witch trials in America and how there was a big demnonstration in Cairns in 1989. I would chuck a sickie off work too if some bastard tryed to sell off Mt Whitfield.

  19. I always laugh at Wayne and how the shock jock always says "oh oh we seem to have lost Wayne or Wade or Shane". So funny.

  20. Brandi's hairdresser in Melb11 September 2011 at 13:36

    You have The Cairns Post down perfectly, Vance.
    The "editorial" is exactly the way they write, full of exaggerated hyperbole, littered with character assassinations, double flipping on issues of public accountability and transparency and of course the usual misogynism. They have to stick it into women at every possible opportunity.

  21. Loved finding this... inspiring and very funny :)

  22. Thanks Anonymous above and everyone. My stats reveal the blog is now attracting close to 1,000 hits a week, mostly Aussies but a good sprinkling of steady Americans, Europeans, Brits and people from other countries.

  23. I must point out that this work of fiction is fast tracked to 2013, one year after our next Council Election. I don't know who will be "Editor" of The Cairns Post, then, nor the local radio "shock jock". I am therefore only guessing at their style of writing and speech.

  24. I've been catching up on this in the early hours of this morning. There are times when I laugh and cringe. What a poisonous scoundrel this Cush is. His sidekick, Horsey is ratlike to Cush's obvious toadlike characteristics. I agree that you have an "ear" for dialogue Terry Vance. Your writing also reveals that you are not a novice at writing. Let an old teacher guess - you have worked as a journalist in your past? A professional writer? Don't tell me this is the first time you have written something. I wouldn't believe you.

  25. Mrs Northy, you are correct, as usual. I have written professionally in the past and that is all I am saying.

  26. Good riddance to Mt Whitfield I say. It's nothing but a heap of rocks and bushfires waiting to happen right in the heart of the city.