Monday 11 June 2012


His Worship the Mayor of the Cairns Regional Council, Colonel (Retired) Ken Cush, was eating breakfast and reading the local Murdoch newspaper, "The Cairns Post",  with grunts of satisfaction.  The days edition carried banner headlines on its front page, THE FACE OF DESPERATION, and featured a photograph
of the rioting crowd from the day before in front of the Cairns Regional Council Office in Spence Street.

Cush glanced quickly at the picture and could just recognise Councillor Enzo Bonbomiere's head from underneath two bodies.  He laughed outright.  Serves the bastard right!

He read quickly through the text and again grunted his approval.  He couldn't recall the Editor of The Cairns Post phoning him, as he and Horsey were on the piss and were well and truly maggotted, but obviously he was lucid enough to give the Editor a good response. 

"This whole riot was caused by desperate people, desperately wanting jobs, desperately wanting income and the means to support their families....."   Cush couldn't remember for the life of him saying that, but by Christ, it sounded good. Real good.  He always had a knack for the right words, he thought.

His concentration was broken by his wife Brandi, who was sitting opposite, nibbling on her platter of fruit in between delicate sips of green tea.  "Cushy darling," she began in her irritating little girl voice, "Have you seen my diamond bracelet, anywhere, you know the one you bought me on the Gold Coast, not long after we first met?"

Cush felt a flash of irritation.  Reluctantly he looked up from the page of "The Cairns Post" and noticed Brandi for the first time that morning.  He scowled as he looked at her multi-coloured hair.  "What you done to your hair?" he snarled. "You look like a fucken parrot!"

Brandi flushed.  "It's the fashion Cushy, you know I like to be fashionable," she replied trying to keep the whine from her voice.  "Do you know where my diamond bracelet is?"

"No!" Cush snapped back retreating to his newspaper.  Inwardly he seethed.  His good mood on seeing his brilliant speech on the front page of The Cairns Post had melted away.  He was acutely reminded of the throbbing pain in his head, despite taking a handful of painkillers in the morning, and the knife like pain in his groin.  Christ, it hurt like hell when he tried to take a piss.  Something was wrong with his waterworks. Maybe he should go and see a quack somewhere. 

The Council C.E.O. had phoned him earlier to say that the Regional Superintendent of Police wanted an interview with him at the Council at 10.30am concerning the riots.  The C.E.O. had also told him that Councillors Bonbomiere and Piper were both OK.  Cush had made the right murmerings of gladness, while thinking how damned unlucky he could be that both hadn't been killed.

Cush's black mood darkened even further when he thought of the meeting with the Regional Superintendent of Police.  Another fucken split-fork!  One who used cockroach words like "concerned" and "comfort zone".  He heard her voice coming back from a previous encounter, "I am concerned at your attitude, Mr, Mayor."  Concerned at your attitude!  Unconsciously, he stuck his jaw out.  He would give her some concern alright. 

Brandi Cush bit her lip as she returned to nibbling her piece of pineapple.  She needed that diamond bracelet, but after searching fruitlessly for several days, she had to acknowledge that the bracelet was gone, either stolen or, as she suspected, pawned by Cush.

Brandi had need of some urgent cash and the bracelet would have realised at least $1,000 from a pawnbroker, she estimated.  Covertly, she slid her hand down to her waist and stroked across her stomach. There was no trace yet, but she could feel the growing life inside her.   She smiled secretly to herself.  Every now and then she could feel the tiniest of flutters, like a small butterfly opening its wings.   She wondered, as she often did now every day, who the baby would resemble most.  Herself or Ky. 

It had all happened so quickly, her and Ky.  She knew there had been an instant physical frisson between the two of them, yet Ky was in a gay relationship with David.  They had both fought it, but, well, they just hadn't been able to fight a very powerful attraction.  Ky had proposed marriage to her, and Brandi had accepted.  "As soon as I can divorce Cushy," she said.  "And as soon as I can make some arrangements with David," Ky replied.

Brandi closed her eyes and day dreamed of the wedding.  This time around, she wanted a lovely gown, and she wanted that old Julie Rogers song playing in the background.  She thought of the words, "You, by my side, that's how I see us. I close my eyes, and I can see us.  We're on our way, to say I do-ooo. My secret dreams have all come true-ooooo."  Better still, she thought, if we could find a singer to sing it for us!

Cush finished with his newspaper and noisily finished his breakfast plate of four eggs, six pieces of bacon and four slices of thickly buttered toast.  Gulping down his coffee, he burped, wriggled around on his char and farted loudly so that other diners at the sidewalk cafeteria looked disgustedly at them.

Brandi looked away, her face flushed with embarrassment.  Cush stood up and noticed the other diners staring.  "The wife will insist on eating baked beans for breakfast," he said, motioning Brandi with his hand.

The diners only stared.

Cush folded the newspaper under his arm and, with a wave to Brandi, started his walk along the Esplanade to the Cairns Regional Council office.  Normally he liked his daily walk which gave him a chance to talk with people he met along the way, however this morning he noticed that people were avoiding him, not going out of their way to come up and meet him.

He had a lot on his mind anyway.  He had heard back from the Pentagon that they were interested in buying Munro Martyn Park for the US military. They had also requested extra land for some sort of military training base close to Cairns.  He would see the Council's C.E.O. as to what was available that morning and reply quickly to the Pentagon.   Then there was another annoying little incident which had happened at the Cairns Civic Theatre.  Some trumped up, fingers upherself bloody singer had tripped over a board in the dressing room, had fallen against a wall, bounced back into another wall, knocked herself out, and come to with a broken arm in the local hospital.  Now the bitch was suing the Council for mantaining a community theatre where the dressing rooms did not meet any Occupational Health and Safety standards.  The C.E.O. had told Cush that the Council could fight it, but his own advice was that the dressing rooms most certainly did not meet with any O.H. & S. standards and that Council should look at a settlement out of Court.  The singer was going for a million bucks.  "Over my dead body!" roared Cush. 

Cush wondered too, if he could bring back the sale of Mt, Whitfield to the Council again, now that Piper and Bonbomiere were temporarily out of action.  That way he would be guaranteed that the Councillors would all approve of the sale.  He toyed with the thought for a while, and then thought of what the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull would say.  Overall, he thought he should play it safe, for the time being, anyway. Turnbull could always persuade Newman to sack him.

Yes, he had a lot on his mind, and didn't see with all the thoughts flitting back and forth through his mind, the tiny girl who had skated on her skate board right out in front of him.  "Monsoon!!" shrieked a shrill, high pitch voice, "Watch, where you're going!"   Too late!  Cush felt himself falling, then lying flat on the ground,
while a small girl thrown from her skateboard, sat crying in front of him.

Furious, Cush sat up, and unsteadily got to his feet.  His shoulder hurt, his arse hurt.  Some creature with a hairless skull covered in tattoos came running up to the little girl and picked her up.  "I'm so sorry," the creature said to Cush, "She wasn't watching where she was going.  Are you alright?"

Cush brushed the dust from his suit and nodded curtly.  He had seen this hideous creature before, he realised. In fact their paths seemed to cross a lot.  Grunting, he walked on down the street, not looking backwards.

Berry stared after him as she comforted Monsoon.  No bones were broken, thank goodness, but the little girl was in shock, more than anything.  "What a fucken bastard," thought Berry, "Didn't even ask how Monsoon was."

As Cush finally made it to the Cairns Regional Council Offices and took the lift to his own Mayoral Office, the Deputy Mayor, Horsey met him outside his office.  "Christ, mate, how much piss did we drink yesterday? I feel like I'm about to die."

Cush grunted.  Horsey looked like death all warmed up. 

"We got Her Majesty, the fucken Regional Superintendent of Police, coming in at 10.30," he told Horsey, as he walked across to his desk and sat heavily down.

"Oh fuck," answered Horsey, plumping himself down on the seat opposite Cush's desk, "It's all we bloody need."

"At least I got a good coverage in The Post," Cush said, throwing the newspaper across the desk to Horsey.

"Let's listen to what the radio is saying."

The local radio shock jock was starting off his daily program.   "This whole riot was caused by desperate people, desperately wanting jobs, desperately wanting income and the means to support their families..." the shock jock was reading from the front page of The Cairns Post.  Here, he paused.  "Oh, how well said by the His Worship, the Mayor.  You see how empathic he is.  He really is the most empathic, caring man."
"Empathic," the shock jock repeated the word again, emphasising it. 

Cush grinned.

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

Saturday 5 May 2012


The Editor of the local Murdoch owned newspaper, "The Cairns Post" looked furiously at the young female journalist standing in front of him.  She was showing him images taken on her mobile phone from the riot at the front of the Cairns Regional Council Chamber that morning. 

For the hundredth time, the Editor inwardly cursed mobile phones and all the Generation Yers who never ventured as far as the John without one.  They all appeared to have been born with one permanently attached to their bodies, like tumours or something.  Amber Martingdale, al of 23, was typical.  Trying to suppress his growing anger, he listened to her as she prattled on.  "Councillor Mingin was clearly attacked as soon as he arrived at the Council carpark," she was saying.  "He had barely stepped out of his car, when several men descended upon him and began to physically attack him.  Look, you can see it all here."  She thrust the phone up closer to his face.

"Yeah, yeah," I see it, he snapped back thinking he would now have to change the lead story, which, he, the Editor himself, had painstakingly wrote, insinuating, oh so delicately, that Councillor Mervyn Mingin, the only black Councillor on the Cairns Regional Council, and in fact, the first elected black Councillor on the Cairns Regional Council in over one hundred and forty years, had initiated the first physical violence, thus directly causing the worst public riots in the history of the tourist city of Cairns.  He was furious that now he would have to change the report entirely.  Now people would end up sympathising with the black bastard, instead of demanding his resignation from Council!

Brusquely, he waved the confused Amber Martingdale away.  "Leave me then and close the door!" he rasped curtly.  As he watched her small, neat departing figure he wondered sourly why Universities were still churning out half-baked "journalists" who still believed in the quaint idea that "NEWS" had to be factual and accurate.  They either quickly learned that "news" was a commercial product, readers were consumers and that their top and bottom lines were to ensure that profits to the shareholders continue to rise, or they gave up journalism and went to work as bar-tenders or waitresses somewhere.  Frankly, he thought Amber Martingdale would end up as a dish pig somewhere, washing thousands of dirty dishes.  The thought brought a brief, cruel ghost of a smile to his lips.  So many young female journalists had drifted in and out the doors of his newspaper office.  It was a bit like staffing revolving doors.  He couldn't remember many of them.

He went back to the story on the riots outside the Cairns Regional Council that morning, and cursed again as he deleted his entire script in wich he had subtly suggested several times the riot was the sole cause of undue and unnecessary force by Councillor Mingin.

Oh, it wasn't that he himself was a racist, the Editor always maintained, even to himself.  It was just that local government representatives were public figures and as such had to be well esteemed by the community.  Counillor Mingin might have been a star football player, representing the State of Queensland in many State of Origin matches, and idolised on the football grounds.  But, really, he thought, the man came from a very poor, welfare dominated area of Cairns, known for its high crime rate. Mingin had never been a businessman either, a key essential in local government as far as the Editor was concerned. Mingin's only claim to fame had been playing football.  Besides, the City Fathers had all been of white European descent. The Council itself had always been dominated by men of white European descent, almost entirely British descent and what was good for Cairns in the past was good for Cairns in the present.  Why change the formula, that is what he always argued.  Cairns had already experimented "outside the square" so to speak with the one off election of a female Mayor back in 2008.  Well, it just wasn't on.  After a hundred and thirty years of men running the city, the fools of Cairns had to go and vote for a splitfork!  The local media machine of which he was proudly a part, all made sure her days in office were pure living hell.  They were satisfied with their results.  The first female Mayor had been soundly trounced at the last Council Election and Colonel Ken Cush had effortlessly been elected.  Everyone, not the least of which was himself, had heaved a great sigh of relief.  Cairns was back to conservatism and normality. Well, almost.  The fools of Division 5 had gone and elected a black man to Council as an "Independent" and the half-wits in Division 9 had elected a female Greens Party Councillor.   As if that wasn't bad enough, the bogans and hillbillies out in  Division 2, had subsequently elected another "Independent", the seriously freakish, Doug Dunnysmore. The Editor was determined to get rid of them. They were all a serious blight on the normality of life in Cairns.  Some of them had the sheer audacity to oppose His Worship the Mayor, Colonel Cush himself.  The Editor was outraged.

He thought for a few moments before typing in the headlines:-


.Yesterday saw the worst rioting ever in the history of Cairns outside the front of the Cairns Regional Council offices in Spence Street.  In what senior Cairns Police described as "wild, frenzied, unrestrained behaviour" three people were killed and several seriously injured.  Police said they had no options but to use clouds of capsicum gas and the liberal use of tasers.  "I have never seen anything like it," said one police officer. "People were crazed, and beyond reasoning. They were out to kill. It was mob behaviour at its most lethal.  It was only because of the quick thinking of the police that there were not more people killed or seriously injured."

The Mayor, Colonel Ken Cush, who was contacted immediately after the riots said.....

Here, the Editor stopped, and thought.  Yes, he had phoned Cush on his direct phone and found him almost incoherent.  He sounded like he was laughing, but then he could have been crying too.  The sheer stress of it all!  The Editor shook his head, thinking about Cush.  Such a good, good man, one of the best Mayors Cairns had ever had!  He was proud to call him a close friend.  He thought briefly of all the wonderful evenings they had spent down at The Red Plum....But, he had better not. He steeled himself to continue writing.  He could attribute some suitable words to the Mayor. He started writing again......

The Mayor, Colonel Ken Cush, who was contacted immediately after the riots, was visibly upset at the events, and gave way to his emotions.  "It's a sad, sad day for Cairns!" he said.  "This whole riot was caused by desperate people, desperatey wanting jobs, desperately wanting income and the means to support their families, desperately wanting  to pay their bills and their mortgages.  Poor, poor people.  That they had to go to these lengths to show the naysayers in our communituy how desperate they are for work really says it all, doesn't it !"

The Editor leaned back and viewed his text thoughtfully.  "Desperate" was a good word, and using it several times he thought added to its emotional impact as well as demonstrating the compassion of Colonel Cush for those down on their luck.  He continued....

Mayor Cush of course was referring to the outcry from the conservationist element of Cairns who decried and protested the planned sale of several hectates of Mt Whitfield Conservation Park to the Chinese Shangai Hangyang Corporation.  Their action effectively halted the giant Shangai Hangyang Executive Training and Retreat Centre, expected to employ over 1,000 construction workers, from proceeding.
Had the project been given the "green light" it would have been the biggest construction project in Cairns in decades.

Councillors Skye Lovelady, Mervyn Mingin, Doug Dunnysmore, Enzo Bombiniere, Dom Piper and Brad Buttonworth however had all opposed the sale of the Mt Whitfield land, despite the efforts of Mayor Colonel Cush and his team at explaining all the benefits to Cairns of such a huge complex.  Councillor Lovelady is a member of the local Greens Party, while Councillors Mingin and Dunnysmore and Independents.

The Editor thought it worthwhile always mentioning that Councillor Lovelady was a member of the Greens Party and that Mingin and Dunnysmore were "Independents".  He knew people were not fooled.  "Independents" only ever meant one thing. They were both pinkos, reds, Labor dogs, whatever you wanted to name them.

Colonel Ken Cush assured The Cairns Post that an Inquiry into the riots would be conducted.  'We can't have this terrible sort of thing happening again, not under my watch," he said. "We will be getting to the bottom of it all, and finding out who the key instigators were and dealing with them harshly. They won't be allowed to get off scott-free on this one, don't you worry about that!"

The Editor thought that the above text was sufficient for the front page.  He had some "eyewitness accounts" written by Amber Martingdale, plus several large photos for a substantial layout.  He leaned back in his chair and thought with a smile that he might nominate himself for a media award again this year.

He leaned across and switched on his small radio transister sitting on the cabinet beside is desk and tuned into the local radio shock jock and his "talk back" program.

"Mate, maaaaaate," Reg of Redlynch was saying, "I agree with you mate, its all them greenies mate, they're the ones causing all the trouble mate. They should all be jailed and the key thrown away.  I reckon give em all life imprisonment for this one."

"Reg," the shock jock replied, "I have always said, I don't know how many times on my program over the years, that these idiots, these simpletons, these crazy know it alls are causing so much damage to our society and our economy.  I mean, they put trees and mountans, moutains for God's sake, above the lives of people."

The Editor smiled.  He was good friends with the radio shock jock, and he whole heartedly supported the mans viewpoints immensely.  With any luck, they might succeed in getting rid of the Greens Party from Cairns permanently after the Inquiry into the riot.  He personally, couldn't wait to see that splitfork Greens Councillor Lovelady booted out of office on her arse.  She was one woman way too many on the Council.

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

Monday 9 April 2012


The Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull watched transfixed with horror at the screen on his wall. Usually a most temperate man with his language, he couldn't help uttering the odd shocked exclamation as the scenes of violence outside the Cairns Regional Council that morning unfolded in front of him. "Oh shit! Shit!" he muttered.

The video filmed by two ASIO agents had been sent to Susan Clourdy, the Secretary for National Security that morning. Ms Clourdy had immediately alerted the Prime Minister and sent the video for his personal viewing.

Malcolm Turnbull shuddered at the sight of one man swinging a golf club aggressively at the closely packed crowd around him, hitting many. Streams and gushing arcs of blood poured from the faces of so many. Turnbull had never in his life witnessed such a crazed mob. Finally the frantic, crazed crowd settled on their knees or lay down as a gigantic cloud of red gas enveloped the entire scene. Turnbull wondered vaguely how much capsicum gas the police had used.

The film ending, Turnbull swung round in his desk and picked up his phone. He had seen enough. If Queensland's Premier, Campbell Newman had any sense, he would sack that fool of a fat despot, the Mayor of Cairns, Colonel Ken Cush, he thought savagely. His mind settled on the Queensland Premier for a few seconds as he scanned the telephone numbers. Elected in April 2012 with the largest majority ever seen in a State Parliament, Newman was an ultra conservative, almost USA "Tea Party" style politician. Frankly, Turnbull didn't like him. He reminded him too much of that old rabble rouser and despot, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, a former long time Premier of Queensland whose style of Government was never one of consensus, only confrontation. Yet Joh Bjelke-Petersen had also received the admiration and support of Queenslands being elected again and again for over twenty years. Queenslanders are different, Turnbull reflected for the thousandth time since he entered politics. On a par with the Deep South of America in their choice of ultra conservative fire and brimstone, bible thumping, hate mongering, divisive political representatives. Call Queensland the Australian State of Mississippi and Alabama! he thought disgustedly.

He had other reasons to dislike Newman. Since becoming Premier with the largest Parliamentary majority in all the Australian States, Newman had transformed into a domineering, unpleasant little Napoleon. The little man syndrome! as some of the Liberal Party called it. He had no Parliamentary Opposition following the 2012 State Election, only a mere handful of Opposition ALP members. Six or seven, Turnbull could never remember exactly.

Some of the changes Newman had made in Queensland since his election made Turnbull shudder. Riding high on the growing anti-green, anti-conservation feeling, Newman had overturned or demolished so much of the State's environmental protection legislation, and there were growing reports of mounting toxicity around mining sites and heavy pollution up and down the Queensland coastline, including the Great Barrier Reef. He had opened the doors up to foreign investment and Queensland was well on the way to becoming an open quarry of international corporations with absolutely no requirements for maintaining the environment.

Another aspect which Newman had succeeded in doing was to re-write the Local Government Act, empowering regional councils to make their own decisions regarding international investment in their region and to provide whatever incentives the investors required. Hence Colonel Cush's brilliant idea to sell off an area of Council parkland to the Chinese Shanghai Hangyang Corporation, known for its strong connections with China's Intelligence Agencies and Military, Turnbull thought savagely, as his call connected and he heard the voice of the Queensland Premier responding.

NEWMAN: Campbell here.
TURNBULL: It's Malcolm, Campbell. I need to talk to you.
NEWMAN: I hope you don't take long. I'm a busy man you know.
TURNBULL: Too busy to talk with your Prime Minister?
NEWMAN: You do tend to waffle on Malcolm, and frankly I don't have the time to sit
here for hours listening to you waffle.
TURNBULL: I will only take a few minutes. I want you to sack that Cairns Mayor,
Colonel Ken Cush.
NEWMAN: Won't do that Malcolm. He's one of ours mate. One of ours.
TURNBULL: I don't care if he is one of YOURS Newman or one of OURS. He has
compromised our national security with China.
NEWMAN: You must have wrong information. Cush is ex army, like me. He's
as savvy as I am on National security. Whoever gave you any information to
the contrary got it all wrong.
TURNBULL: I have just viewed video footage filmed this morning by two of my Agents
of a huge disturbance at the front of the Cairns Regional Council offices caused
by Colonel Cush wanting to sell off a huge tract of public parkland to a
Chinese Corporation with links to the Chinese military.

NEWMAN: I know what happened. The Member for Cairns is a good mate of mine and
he tells me the bloody greenies up there fired up the whole thing. The entire
fracas was caused by greenies and some big abo bloke who's on the Council.
I've always said the greenies, conservationists, environmentalists, whatever
\ they call themselves are all commos and pinkos in sheeps clothing. They are
nothing but shit stirrers and wreckers of the economy and I'm determined to
quell them once and for all. Don't you worry about that! Now Malcolm
don't waste my time any more. Cush stays. You reckon I want Labor dogs
to take over the Cairns Regional Council? Over my dead body. Got to go.
See you in Canberra next month at the Premier's Conference no doubt.
Good morning.

The phone clicked off and Turnbull found himself, dazedly holding a mute phone. He had definitey heard more than an echo of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, he thought, shaking his head.
Don't you worry about that. It was one of the old rogue's favorite expressions.

He was alerted to an incoming call.

"Mr Prime Minister Sir," said one of the Parliament Huse switchboard operators, "I have a call for you from the Chinese Ambassador. He says it is urgent and about a riot this morning."

Shakily Malcolm Turnbull listened to the Chinese Ambassador who was one very angry man.

"China will not forget what happened in the city of Cairns," the Ambassador told him angrily. "We will never forget the humiliation given to one of our leading corporations, the Shanghai Hangyang Corporation. We will remember this, yes we will, in our future dealings with Australia. Good day to you Mr Prime Minister."

For the second time that morning, someone hung up on Malcolm Turnbull. Wearily, he stood and appraoched the window overlooking the gardens of Parliament House. There standing on the lawn and laughing at the antics of a small girl, was the Parliamentary Leader of the Opposition, ALP Member, Penny Wong. Malcolm knew she was in a lesbian relationship and the small girl was undoubtedly her daughter, born with the help of invitro fertilisation.

For a few seconds he watched the laughing little girl and Mother with a wistful expression. It was so much easier to be in Opposition, he thought. Not having to cope with fools such as Colonel Ken fucking Cush, Campbell Napoleon Newman, or bloody pissed off Chinese Ambassadors!!

He stood and sighed and sat back down again at his desk. There was some correspondence there from the USA Pentagon. It had been on his desk for a cuple of days, but he just hadn't found the time to read it. Resolutely, he picked it up, and instantly his head swam.....There it was again! Colonel Ken Cush, the Mayor of Cairns Regional Council!

With growing dismay he read the correspondence and found that Colonel Cush was negotiating with the US Pentagon to build a Rest and Recreation Hotel for its Pacific troops on a large central parcel of land in Cairns called Munro Martyn Park.

Malcolm groaned and held his head in his hands. Why oh why, he thought, did he give up his job as CEO of one of Australia's fastest growing information technology companies to become a bloody politician? Oh if only he had stayed with Information Technology, he wouldn't have to deal with all of this....


Councillor Enzo Bomboniere survived the brutal assault at the front of the Cairns Regional Council office. He had two broken ribs, a broken nose, and concussion, but Doctors were
optimistic he would recover well. Councillor Dom Piper was also lucky not to receive severe injuries and was released from hospital that night still coughing and choking on the residue of the huge clouds of capsicum gas released by the police to quell the riot.

Not so lucky were two men and one woman who died from their injuries. Five men were left with severe crippling injuries and one man was plunged into a coma.

Constable Ruby Frome was the only police casualty and was hospitaised with a broken collar bone and suspected concussion.

Councillor Mervyn Mingin, the big aboriginal Councillor had sustained nothing more than severe bruises. He judged he owed his life to the quick thinking of KelliAnne the Council's Customer Service Supervisor, who had promptly become hysterical after opening the doors to let him
inside to safety. Mervyn was thinking a lot of KelliAnne and realising now why she was always so pleasant to him.

At the end of the day, when the swarms of flying foxes flew over the tropical city, and the central district began to open up for the nightlife, Councillor Doug Dunnysmore was monged out of his consciousness. He lay still as death itself on his mate Pedro's couch. In front of him, the six o'clock evening news led with the awful events of the morning and the worst ever riot in the history of Cairns. Councillor Dunnysmore couldn't have cared less.

Councillor Skye Lovelady sat hunched in front of her television set, watching with fearful and disbelieving eyes. Beside her, Ryan held her hand.

Still inside the Mayor's Office at the Cairns Regional Council, Colonel Ken Cush and his Deputy Mayor, Horsey Horsemann were so drunk as to be only described in one word - maggotted.

Cush was laughing. "Christ Horsey haven't had such a good bloody laugh as when Newman smashed the fucken Labor Party. Geez that was a fucken laugh hey. Did yer see that fucken
poncey little wop fella wazza his name, Bomboniere getting clobbered. Geez I laughed hey. I laughed and laughed."

Horsey couldn't reply. He had passed out.

To be continued........


Wednesday 25 January 2012


"It's a war zone, a bloodied, frenzied war zone! I've never seen anything like it in Cairns!" shrieked the Cairns radio station shock jock in his talk-back show.

"I'm looking at images sent to me on my mobile phone by someone who is down there, right now, at the front of the Cairns Regional Council offices, and I tell you, there are people with blood pouring down their faces everywhere. I tell you, I have never never never seen anything like this in Cairns before!" The shock jocks voice took on a shrill tone, fired by unchecked excitement. "This is all Councillor Mingin's work!!"

Driving down Sheridan Street, Councillor Brad Buttonworth, the Division 10 representative, listened to the talk back program with a mixture of disbelief and mounting horror. Somehow he doubted Mingin was at fault, although he knew the big fellow was powerfully built and still worked out regularly with weights. Suddenly his mobile phone buzzed. A text message had been sent.
Intuiting it could be urgent, he pulled his car over to a park alongside the Cairns State High School and read the message. "CEO ADVISES ALL COUNCIL MEETINGS CANCELLED TODAY. DO NOT ATTEND COUNCIL OFFICES. REPEAT DO NOT ATTEND COUNCIL OFFICES." For a few seconds, Buttonworth hesitated. Pulling out of the parking zone, he continued down Sheridan Street. He would park his vehicle somewhere in the city, he thought, and walk down to the Council Offices. He had to see what the hell was really going on.
As he continued, the radio shock jock was saying, "The people down there are saying that it was a peaceful demonstration, and suddenly this thing, this aboriginal Councillor, Mingin, just started laying into people, breaking noses, bustng lips. There is someone with broken ribs, another with head injuries.....".


Constable Ryan Lake was driving Councillor Skye Lovelady down Spence Street towards the Council Offices, and both were listening to the Cairns radio station's talk back program. "I don't believe Mervyn would throw the first punches," Skye said to Ryan. "This can't be true, it can't be!"
Ryan only shook his head and declined to comment. He had been a copper for only a few years, enough time not to trust third party analysis. He slowed his car and pulled up behind another vehicle. A long line of vehicles were stationary down Spence Street. Up ahead, Ryan could see the familiar strobes of flashing blue lights. The police were at the Cairns Regional Council offices, and, judging by the sheer amount of blue lights, they had arrived in force.
"We're going home," he announced, taking in the situation with a hard glance. "It isn't safe for you here!"
"But I'm a Councillor!" Skye protested. "We have a meeting today....."
"I don't care if you're the Queen of fucken Sheba," Ryan retorted angrily. "You are not going in there or anywhere near the place! There's a fucken riot going on!"
Skye looked at Ryan with alarm. Her first instincts were to argue with him, to retort angrily at his manner, yet she knew. She knew. She knew the people of Cairns had been so fired up over the Mt Whitfield issue that it had come to violence. Part of her mind tried arguing that it was a nightmare, that none of this, her beloved cat being killed, someone trying to drive her off the road, someone breaking into her unit, and now this - it was all so surreal. It just couldn't be happening here in Cairns. Cairns! But it was. It was. In God's name it was!! Dully she leaned forward so that Ryan could not see the tears falling. She did not feel Ryan putting his arm across the seats and gently rubbing her back.


Shakily, Councillor Dom Piper raised his head, disguised with an old hat of his wife's pulled firmly down on the crown of his head, and peered out the window of his range rover. He was at the front of the Council public car parking zone, and immediately adjacent to the riot. When he saw the fighting, struggling, shouting crowd, he let out an involuntary moan of terror.

There was a break in a crowd of fighting men, and he spotted with disbelief, Enzo Bomboniere, the Division 3 Councillor, being assaulted by several men. The slightly built Italian Australian was no match for the three enraged men, and even from where he sat cowering his his car, Piper could see the blood rushing from Bomboniere's mouth and nose. He was staggering under the blows and buckling, but still the men kept at him.

Piper moaned again and felt his bottom lip trembling like blubber. Hastily he ducked his head down, but in the process he noticed something in the seat behind him. Margie's golf clubs!
Without thinking, he leaned back and pulled one club out. The thought of it being a weapon filled him with courage. He grasped it firmly. As he felt the steel handle, he could feel himself calming down. He took some deep breaths and whispered to himself. "I'm a man, not a mouse. If I don't do something to help Enzo, they will kill him. I'm a man not a mouse!"

His voice grew louder. Stronger. "I'm a man, not a mouse. I'm a man, not a mouse." It was calming. He kept on saying it. So saying, he opened the car door and holding the golf club before him, ran to help Councillor Bomboniere who was lying on the ground being kicked by the three men.

Holding the golf club aloft, he swung as hard as he could at the three men, collecting one instantly in the chest. The man staggered back, reeled and fell on his knees. Piper swung again collecting another man in the face causing a plume of dark red blood to gush forth. The last man who was standing rock still, frozen with indecision, he rammed up his crotch with the golf club. The man screamed and bent over, also falling to his knees.

Standing over and straddling the prone body of Councillor Bomboniere, Piper held the golf club threateningly in front of him. Men were pressing around, but staying at a distance. He tried shouting above the noise. "I'll hit anyone who comes near!!!"

He lunged the golf club at one man who stepped a bit too close, but then there was a strange red gas everywhere. He could see it spreading amongst the crowd and suddenly he could hear the sounds of coughing, of throats gagging. He felt his own eyes sting, then his throat constrict. His chest felt tight. He couldn't breathe! He opened his eyes briefly, then had to shut them tight again! The red gas was redder, thicker. He could scarcely breathe! Tears started streaming from his eyes, even though he had them shut. He could hear gutteral choking sounds all around him and when he opened his eyes as wide as he could, he could see people falling to their knees trying to breathe. Gradually, he sank to his knees, lying as close as he could to help protect Enzo who was also making strangulated choking noises. He grabbed Enzo's hand and tried to say, "It's alright mate," but no sound came out. His throat and larynx felt paralysed. He concentrated on his breathing, trying to get as much air as he could into his lungs.


Councillor Brad Buttonworth had parked his car at a local shopping centre and had walked briskly to where the Police had set up a roadblock in Spence Street. "Stay away Sir!" cautioned a young police officer. "We are not letting anyone through!"

Buttnworth held up his identification card. "I'm a Cairns Regional Councillor," he announced, "and we have a meeting today. I am expected to be there."

The young police officer looked momentarily confused and he hesitated. "I'll just check with my superior," he said. "Hang on a tic will you?"

As he turned away, Brad walked past, ducking down and crawling on hands and knees past the police vehicles. Police called out him but he ran, ducking weaving past police and spectators to see the riot outside the Council offices. He could see a large cloud of reddish gas amongst the rioters, could hear them making choking sounds, could see people with blood pouring from them.
Sickened, he stood and gaped. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think Cairns would see this. It looked like a battle zone! A man and a woman were approaching him. He looked at them dazedly, wanting them to say something, say that it wasn't real. That it was a nightmare!
"He's one of them fucken greenie fucken bastards whose taking the jobs from us!" said the woman pointing a finger at him.
"Is he then?" roared the man rushing at him with his arm fisted. Buttonworth stood, frozen with shock. Suddenly, materialising out of nowhere, a stout, freckle faced police woman appeared in front of Buttonwroth, putting herfelf directly between the charging man and the Councillor. "Stop, or I will taser!" she screamed. The man kept on charging, and there was a sudden flash as Constable Ruby Frome fired 50,000 volts into the mans legs. He collapsed instantly onto the ground. The woman screamed. "You fucken dirty fucken cop bitch!" she shrieked at Constable Frome. "Get back! Get back!" screamed the police officer at the woman. Buttonworth watched as almosty in slow motion the woman kept on coming, screaming obscenities at the police woman. There was another flash and the woman too, fell to her knees. Buttonworth could never recall what happened next because he fainted.


At a unit in Edmonton, Councillor Doug Dunnysmore lay back contentedly on a couch, languidly puffing away on a cone. He was listening to the radio shock jock's account of the riot and trying to imagine the sheer violence and horror of the riot, an event unprecedented in the history of Cairns. "Fucken hell mate," said his mate Pedro, lounging on a chair and smoking a cone himself, "You did the right thing by pissing off quick smart hey!"

"Yeah," said Dunnysmore slowly. "Not my scene man, know what I mean?".
"Yeah man," replied Pedro blowing out a circle of smoke.


From the first floor of the Cairns Regional Council office building, a man and a woman were standing close together filming the riot. No-one in the Council knew who they were, apart from the Mayor, Colonel Cush. Most assumed they were journalists from a local television station.
They had arrived the evening before, specifically to advise the Mayor of Cairns Regional Council not to proceed with any business dealings with the Chinese Shanghai Hangyang Corporation.
They were ASIO agents, and neither had ever witnessed such a violent confrontation in Australia, ever. Determinedly they kept on filming, watching as ambulances arrived. They zeroed in on two men in particular. One man held a bloodied golf club firmly wrenched in one hand and despite the efforts of the ambulance medics, would not let go of it. The other man who was slightly built and who had a distinctive Southern European appearance, appeared to have broken limbs and looked in a bad way. The couple filmed as many faces amongst the crowd as they could, noting how the capsicum spray had turned everybody's face a bright red as blood rushed back to it. The crowd was now silent with the effects of the capcicum spray.


Colonel Cush, the Mayor of Cairns Regional Council, was in his office with his Deputy Mayor, Councillor Bob Horseman. Both were drinking scotch and water heavily.
"Fucken idiots," growled Cush.
"Yeah," mumbled Horsey.
"At least they got that fucken Eyetie bastard, Bomboniere," Cush said undisguised relish.
"Hope they killed that cunt of a Piper too."


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

Monday 2 January 2012


The crowd writhed and growled. Like a living creature. It was waiting. Waiting.

It was a blue sky day in Cairns. December, traditionally the start of the tropical wet season when the heavens burst with a roar sending torrential hot downpours on the city, had been very hot and humid. The crowd of over 1000 men and a few women sweltered outside the Cairns Regional Council offices in Spence Street as the humidity reached 90% by ten o'clock.

Placards dotted the writhing crowd. "KICK THE GREENS OUT!" "WE DON'T WANT GREENIES" "WE WANT CUSH" and "BURN THE WITCH!"

The protestors were tense, speaking in low voices, and watchful, their eyes looking past one another as they spoke.

A large, muscular black man, who bore a striking likeness to football legend Mel Meninga, walked resolutely into the crowd, which at first became silent, parting to let the giant through. Then something happened, no-one knew what, and the crowd erupted, surging forward, its voice rising to an angry shriek. Councillor Mervyn Mingin felt the first few fists with a sense of shock and disbelief. Even as a painful blow fell against his back making him gasp with pain, he could not believe this was happening to him. Here in Cairns. Here in front of the Cairns Regional Council building. Dazed from another savage blow to his shoulders, he stared in shocked horror as a man clothed in the workman's dark blue clothing thrust an angry red face near him and snarled, "We don't want niggers in the Council!" Then the taunts came. "Boong!" yelled another man nearby. "Coon!" shouted another voice thick with menace. A fist came from nowhere and Mingin felt the pain, the spongy crunch and felt the sensation of warm sticky fluid running down his face. There was a series of painful blows to his back and shoulders as the crowd pressed even closer around him. "Get the nigger!" he heard from somewhere behind him.

Dazed, shocked, in pain and trying to shake off the sense of unreality, Mingin went on to autopilot. He had an instant recall to when he played with the Broncos and how the adrenalin was pumped and pumping, surging and soaring, loud in his ears, during the matches. Only this wasn't a game, something said to him. Something struggled through his uncomprehending consciousness that he was fighting f0r his life. The adrenaline coursed through his powerful body. Fight for your life! Fight! Fight! Fight!

With a roar he didn't recognise as his own, he kicked out with a powerful lunge of his right leg, catching the man pressed in front of him and delivering him a painful blow to his crotch. Simultaneously he threw a punch in the face of the man to his left, then to the man on his right. He felt his massive fists connect with spongey bone and tissue and vaguely saw the aerial sprays of blood. There were many of them, at first, in his path, as he fought his way, grunting, and roaring, to the doors of the Council offices. He thought he broke someone's ribs with a few powerful blows to their stomach with his powerful legs, but he couldn't be sure as he bodily picked another man up and threw him head first back into the crowd. He could see the Customer Service Counter and the scared looking security guard standing behind the closed door. He roared for the guard to open the door and let him in, but the guard was frozen with fear. Then another man threw a fist in his face and he felt it land in his eye. Enraged, he grabbed the man by the front of his shirt and drove his other fist in wild fury into his face, smashing the bones in his nose amidst a huge spray of heavy smelling blood.
Then he picked the groaning man up and threw him bodily back into the crowd. He yelled again for the Council Security Guard to open the door and let him in, but the Security Guard stood there mute, his eyes like saucers.

Then Mingin saw KelliAnne, the Supervisor of the Customer Service Section of the Cairns Regional Council run past the Security Guard and open a single door to the right. It was the staff door that the Customer Service Officers used to arrive and leave. She motioned to Mingin to come to the door. Mingin ran, aware that a crowd of men were still around him. He made it through the door along with two other men, as KelliAnne, then slammed the door closed.

"Mervyn!" shrieked KelliAnne, as she saw one of the men lunge at Mingin with a stick.

Mingin swung around and ducked and planted his huge fist in the mans face. He fell to the floor with a loud crack. The other man ducked nervously away. "Don't hurt me man!" he croaked, as Mingin opened the glass door and threw him out to the shrieking crowd.

KelliAnne had sunk to her knees and was retching violently. The Security Guard was beside her, his entire body shaking, his eyes shocked,

Mingin fought to get his breath back, and wiped blood on his sleeve. Turning around, he spotted some of the Council staff staring wide eyed and white faced at him. "Phone the Police immediately!" he yelled. "And notify all the other Councillors." He coughed and fought for his breath again. "Notify Coucillors Lovelady, Piper, Bonbomiere, Buttonworth and Dunnysmore on their mobile phones, NOT TO COME INTO THE COUNCIL today!" Some of the staff made moves to follow his directives. He turned back to the Supervisor, KelliAnne, who was still on her hands and knees moaning above a puddle of vomit. Without thinking he lifted her up and carried her into the staff room. She was hysterical. "Arrrrng, arrrrng, yerroooooo," she babbled, trying to talk, but her brain couldn't carry the message of speech. As he put her down on a chair, she looked at him and focussed. "I HAVE TO SAVE MERVYN!" she screamed, as tears ran down her face. "I HAVE TO SAVE HIM BECAUSE I LOVE HIM, I LOVE HIM."

Mingin was shaken by KelliAnne's hysterical outburst and looked curiously at the Supervisor whom he had barely ever noticed in the two years he had been a Councillor. She was a white girl, and Mingin had only ever dated aboriginal women. As he called for one of the staff to come and look after her, he wondered briefly at human attraction.


Councillor Doug Dunnysmore was on his way into the Council in a Black and White taxi. On account Pedro had helped himself to the keys of his car and had disappeared with it, without telling Doug when he would be back. Dunnysmore was furious as he phoned for a Black and White cab to come urgently as he had a Council meeting to attend.

As the taxi made its way from Bentley Park, Dunnysmore listened to the local talk back radio show hosted by the local shock jock. "There's over a thousand people down there outside the Council offices," the shock jock was saying. Dunnysmore turned the radio up loud and the cab driver protested.

Dunnysmore looked across at the taxi driver, a young man of Pakistani or Indian origin.

"Listen mate," Dunnysmore snapped, "I am a Councillor and there is something happening outside the Council offices. I need to know this!"

Someone was talking to the shock jock amidst a huge noise. Dunnysmore leaned forward and strained to hear the radio station. "....Mingin....injured men.....threw punches....". He could only hear a few disjoined words.

"Mervyn Mingin threw punches and seriously injured some of the protestors, is this what you are saying?" said the radio shock jock in excited tones.

There was answering crackling and heavy static and Dunnysmore leaned even closer to the car radio.

"....broken ribs...busted noses....carnage..." was all he could hear.

"So Councillor Mingin, the aboriginal Councillor, has launched a savage attack on the demonstrators, is that what you are saying," exclaimed the shock jock loudly. "He has broken several noses and someone's ribs."

This was greeted with more static and crackling and Dunnysmore leaned back and thought rapidly. From what he knew of Mingin, he was a gentle giant, not the sort who would launch an attack on someone first. Besides the shock jock had said there were over 1,000 protestors outside the Council offices and Mingin was just one man. Dunnysmore didn't require any more mental exertion. He turned to the taxi driver. "Look man, turn around at the next corner and drive me straight home. I won't be going there today."

The taxi driver nodded. "I can do that for you sir, no problems."

Dunnysmore leaned gratefully back wondering if perhaps he should get the taxi driver to take him to Pedro's house. "No, hold on," he said. "Take me out to Edmonton instead, would you?"

Hiding out at Pedro's house in Edmonton was probably the best, he thought. Besides Pedro should have a few cones of ganga for him and by Christ he needed it after all of this!


In the Council car park, Councillor Dom Piper lay curled up on the floor of his Range Rover.
He couldn't stop himself shaking. He had seen what had happened to Mervyn Mingin. He had been about to get out of his own car when he witnessed that first punch thrown at Mingin, then someone sneaking up behind him and hitting him with a cricket bat. He had then retreated into the car, locked all the windows and peered out from time to time, disguised as best he could with Margie's large straw hat, she always left in the car. He had tried with shaking trembling fingers to call the Police on his mobile phone, but he realised with dread, he had forgotten to charge his phone and it was as dead as.

He had cried as he lay curled up and aching with cramp on the floor. He had once confessed to Margie, his wife, that he had no courage. "I've got no guts Margie," he said once. But Margie wasn't worried. "If I wanted to marry someone like Chucky Norris, I would have done so," she replied. "Instead, I wanted a soft and gentle man, and lucky girl that I am, that's what I got. I love you Dom!" Dom had felt a million dollars when she said that. Today curled up like a crying child, he felt disgusted with himself and all the negative emotions of himself, the loathing, the lack of self confidence. the poor self-esteem came roaring back. He was the scared, bullied boy in the school yard again, crying, always crying.

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

Monday 12 December 2011


"Political correctness is for fools!" The Cairns radio shock-jock couldn't resist bringing up one of his favorite subjects before His Worship, the Mayor of Cairns, Colonel (Retired) Ken Cush, arrived in his studio as guest speaker on his talk-back radio program.

For years the shock-jock had ranted and railed against the curtailment of free speech, arguing that freedom of speech was one of the greatest freedoms bestowed upon the common person. He had his supporters too and the shock jock was delighted to find one on the line waiting to talk to him.

"Hello, we have Tremayne of Forest Gardens on the line," jovially announced the shock-jock.

"Oh, I agree mate with what you said about political correctness," rushed in "Tremayne".
"I mean, all those bloody academics and milksops reckon it's some sort of brake society needs in order to maintain decency and civility....."

"Which is utter crap," broke in the shock jock. "I mean, what would they know?"

"Oh exactly, exactly," agreed "Tremayne" in a deferential tone, buttering up the shock jock and lulling him into a sense of false security.

A sharp rat a tat on the glass door leading into the on-air studio, momentarily distracted the shock jock and he looked up to see Colonel Cush grinning back at him. Abandoning his head set for a moment, he stood up, greeted Cush with a hearty handshake and motioned Cush to the seat opposite his desk. "Tremayne" was continuing, but the shock jock wasn't worried. After all, the caller agreed with him.

"I absolutely agree with you, no problems. I mean why should I be prevented from telling you publicly or privately that I think you are a simple minded, half witted, fucked in the head, alcoholic, closet dick licking, dog fucking, goat molesting imbecile......"
"Tremayne" alias "Wayne" alias "Shane" alias "Zane" couldn't believe his luck. All other times he had attepted to exercise his rights to free speech, free from the constraints of "political correctness" on the radio shock jocks program, he had been cut off. For all his raving and mouthing, the radio shock jock couldn't take anyone being honest with their opinion.

"You're a bloody liar and you're a shithouse bred hypocrite........" "Tremayne was saying, as the radio shock jock realised suddenly that all of this was going on-air. He found himself colouring up and trembling as he cut Tremayne off. "Oh, oh we seem to have lost Tremayne," he announced in a strangled voice. "We will go to music and when we come back, we will be talking with His Worship, the esteemed and great Mayor of Cairns, Colonel Ken Cush."

Colonel Cush had heard some of what "Tremayne" had said and he laughed. The shock jock looked sharply, accusingly at him, and Cush attempted to disguise it in a coughing fit. He noticed the shock jock had turned a beetroot red.

"There's some turds of people out there," said Cush when the coughing had died down.

"Oh, I know, I know," gushed the shock jock in aggrieved tones. "They think they can say whatever they like. Some of them are just so crude! You wonder what the world is coming to, you really do."

"Yes indeed," agreed Cush. "Cheeky buggars, all need sending into the army, over to Afghanistan for a couple of years, that'd straighten em all out."


The music break ending, the shock jock commenced the interview with Cush regarding the recent controversy in Cairns over the sale of Mt Whitfield to the Chinese Shang Hai Hangyang Corporation.

"So Mayor Cush," asked the shock jock, "I hope you read the Editorial in yesterdays "Cairns Post" begging the Councillors who voted against the sale, to go back to Council and rescind their vote?"

"Yes," said Cush, "and I congratulate the Editor of The Cairns Post for writing such a fine editorial, taking into consideration the needs of the city and the region...."

"He's a clever fellow," broke in the shock jock. "He's a good mate of mine and he has always impressed me as being passionate, just passionate about the needs of this city."

"Undoubtedly," agreed Cush passively. "The Cairns Post has always stood beside me as I have steered this city in the right direction...."

"You've changed the entire city ambience, since you were elected," gushed the shock jock, "I mean the streets of the central business district are just full of people and the night life is now just to die for. Just to die for, so many adult clubs and entertainment...."

"I gave the people of Cairns, just what they wanted," returned Cush. "The previous Council led by Mayor Schier wanted some unholy monstrosity of a performing arts theatre built on good land, which we have sold off to a Chinese corporation as you know for a good profit. "

"The building is magnificent, a real asset to Cairns with the Chinese national flag painted on the side overlooking the city," broke in the shock jock. "I mean so many tourists comment that it makes the skyline of Cairns so much more colourful."

Cush almost choked at this banality by the shock jock, however he merely nodded instead. Frankly, he was pissed off by the sight of the Chinese Communist flag overlooking the entire city, but few people apart from some old RSL boys had bothered to complain.

"Yes," said Cush. "People are very supportive of my decisions and they all tell me Cairns just is not the sort of city to have a fancy schmancy modern theatre so all the chardy drinking toffs can dress up in tuxes to go see the ballet."

"Exactly," said the shock jock, "I have been telling the people of Cairns that for years!"

"So I give them the type of entertainment the people really wanted, places like The Red Plum. Well, they tell me that there's standing room there only most nights, especially when Erris and her Snake are performing. Have you seen her show by the way?"

The shock jock had, of course. However he didn't think the details should go out on air. Not really. The Catholic Church, the womens groups, the feminist lobby, all had been up in arms and screaming their heads off when it was revealed that Erris, an "exotic" dancer from Thailand, performed certain erotic acts with her pet snake.

"Eeeer, yes, Mr Mayor, and I agree with you. Cairns people, so many of them, phoned me daily saying they didn't want a new theatre, and I agree, adult entertainment like The Red Plum is much more suitable for Cairns people and for the tourists, and let's face it, tourists want adult entertainment, not to see something ridiculous and stupid like Phantom of the Opera or Swan Lake. But let's move forward shall we, to this latest controversy over the sale of Mt Whitfield to the Chinese, Shanghai Hangyang Corporation. I mean, I can't understand why some Councillors voted against this? It is the best thing to happen to Cairns in a long long while. I mean, we have had no major project since the additions were built to the Cairsn Base Hospital. Governments all forget about us, and give everything to Townsville or the South East corner. Surely the Councillors must know this? Surely they know that this project, which is an Executive Training and Retreat complex, with over 3,000 rooms and almost an entire resort town, will be a major source of employment for the people of Cairns?"

The moment had come for Cush. He hoped it would come off, as he planned. Now was the time to be "cagey" and crafty.

"Well," he began, trying to sound laid back, "I guess those Councillors feel for the environment, and believe in the aesthetic value of the undeveloped hillslopes around Cairns , and don't see them in terms of economic value."

"Greenies!" spat back the shock jock. "I have been saying for years that these people are holding Cairns back, holding back our progress and development. I mean where do they get off?"

Cush could hardly believe his luck.

"Ahhhh," he began cautiously, "They have considerable ummm clout, if you like, even as far as our nation's Federal Parliament."

"Canberra?" the shock jock latched on like a pit bull on a bare leg. "What's Canberra got to do with this? This development is OUR decision, not Canberra's surely?"

Careful, careful, thought Cush. Just give him so much, he'll do the rest.

"Our Greens are represented in Canberra," Cush replied, "and they do have influence in many ways, and I'm afraid I can't go any further than that."

"You can't or you won't?" broke in the shock jock.

Cush could see the shock jocks mind racing away, making Olympic leaps into wrong conclusions, and he laughed inwardly. It was going better than he thought.

Cush took is time answering, making it seem that he was struggling. "Look, I really don't want to go into this in any more detail except to say that I won't be asking the Councillors to rescind the vote on the sale of Mt Whitfield. I feel I may have said more than I should as it is."

The shock jock was now all fired up, his mind, Cush knew, had already somersaulted to incorrect conclusions.

"Mr Mayor," said the shock jock in outraged tones, "Are you saying that the Greenies in the Council, the likes of Skye Lovelady and company, have called in Canberra on this issue? Is this what you are saying?"

Cush pretended to be embarrassed and a little distraught. Hastily, he pulled out his handkerchief from his pocket and wiped his face. "No, no, no," he muttered in an anguished soft voice. "Look, umm, I really can't talk about this any more except to say that the sale of Mt Whitfield won't be going ahead. And if you excuse me, that's all I am saying on the matter. I really must get back to Council."

Cush stood up, still wiping his face.

The look on the shock jock's face said it all. Cush could see exactly what he was thinking, and it was all he could do not to guaffaw out loud. Drop the tiniest little hint..........

Hastily, he shook the shock jock's hand, and left as quickly as he could.

Downstairs from the building, he switched on his car radio to listen to the rest of the program. The shock jock did exactly what Cush knew he would do.

"I hope everyone heard that interview with His Worship, the Mayor of Cairns, Colonel Ken Cush," the shock jock was saying. "It seems, if we can use our brains, and work out what he wasn't saying, or wasn't prepared to say, that our Greens Councillors, namely one Councillor Skye Lovelady, has been whinging and whining to Canberra about the sale of Mt Whitfield. I mean, the Mayor himself, is just too much a gentleman, too gallant to betray a lady, even if it is one of his own deceitful Councillors who has undermined him from the day they were elected."

The shock jock was in true form now and his voice rose higher with indignation. "Councillor Lovelady has obviously called in the Federal Government to stick their noses into a local government matter, and they have obviously threatened or intimidated our Mayor. Our wonderful Mayor, who has done great things, great things for this city."

"You wonder again, as I have said before many times on this program, at the sheer influence of this Councillor. I mean, how does she have such good friends in Canberra, to do her bidding whenever she snaps her fingers. How does she do it? How does she do it?."

"I have some callers online now, to discuss this latest development. Hello Reg of Redlynch."

"Ohhhh mate, maaaate," said Reg, who was a regular caller on the shock jocks radio program.
"I listened to Colonel Cush and I heard him well and good. He was too much of a gentleman to betray his Councillor even though she has obviously done the dirty on him."

"Exactly!" agreed the shock jock. "He's a thoroughly nice bloke, our Mayor. You know, people just don't know how nice he really is and when you see something like this, this treachery from a Councillor, and yet here he is, our Mayor, still unprepared to name her and shame her, still trying to protect her name..."

"Oooh I know, I know," said Reg. "So I reckon the people of Cairns should all get behind Colonel Cush and go down there to the Council offices tomorrow and let those Councillors like Lovelady know they want this project to go ahead. That'll teach Canberra to keep their bloody noses out!"

"I've been calling for a big counter demonstration for a few days now," agreed the shock jock. "And the time has come, Reg. I want all those tradies, concretors, painters, plumbers, wholesalers and so on, out there at the front of the Council offices tomorrow morning. A big demonstration to let the Councillors know, we want this Shanghai Hangyang development in our city."

The next caller was "Jimbo" from Mooroobool.

"Yeah mate," said Jimbo. "I'll be down there tomorrow morning, around 10ish I reckon, and I'll give that witch a bit of what for."

"Good on yer mate, that's the spirit!" said the shock jock. "Spread the word too mate!"


Driving back to the Cairns Regional Council offices, Cush laughed and laughed so hard, he almost had an accident in Spence Street. Tomorrow, he thought, was going to be a fun day!

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

Monday 5 December 2011


HIS WORSHIP THE MAYOR OF CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL, Colonel (Retired) Ken Cush was in his Mayor's Office leaning back in his chair and discussing with his Deputy, Councillor Horseman, how to best get rid of Councillor Piper. It was a subject enthusiastically pursued by both Cush and "Horsey", however despite the number of conversations they had on the subject, they could not come up with a fool-proof, perfect murder.

"You reckon we could get someone to tinker with his car, just before we send him up to Port Douglas for the day?" Cush speculated. "Take a chance he just goes over the side on one of those bends."

"A bit dicey hey, I reckon." replied Horsey, leaning back in his chair and putting his legs up on Cush's desk.

Cush spotted a blinking light on his desk phone, indicating an incoming call. Hastily, he sat up.
"We'll think of something." He motioned with his hand to Horsey that the conversation was over, and leaned forward to take the call. Horsey stood up and left the Mayor's Office, thinking he might play the Red Plum Nightclub a visit and put out some feelers for a possible hitman.

"This is Susan Clourdy, the Secretary for National Security, Attorney-General's Office, in Canberra," announced a crisp, confident female voice, when Cush answered. "Am I speaking to His Worship the Mayor of Cairns Regional Council, Colonel Ken Cush?"

"I just told you, lady!" replied Cush, instantly hating the confidence and efficiency of the female voice and thinking he would give this Susan Clourdy something to remember. Bloody females, taking over the whole bloody world, he fumed inwardly.

"We have secured this call, Colonel Cush," continued Susan Clourdy. "So that no-one can listen to what we are discussing, other than you and I. Is that clear?"

What the fuck! thought Cush. "Why does it need to be secure?" he grunted aggressively.

"Colonel Cush, we are about to discuss an issue of National Security. I am sure you can understand the need for caution on such a delicate issue?" replied Ms Clourdy.

"No I don't know what the hell you are talking about, you better bloody explain yourself." Cush was getting really pissed off.

It was Ms Clourdy's turn to sound irritated. "I am going to, Colonel Cush. I am going to."
"It is about the issue of the Shanghai Hangyang Corporation and the plans by your Council to sell a large tract of land to them......"

"So what's it got to do with you lot?" Cush cut in. "I'm Mayor of this city and I have the right to sell off Council land. Why the hell are you lot in Canberra sticking your noses in where you're not welcome?"

There was a brief silence before Ms. Clourdy continued, "We believe the Shanghai Hangyang Corporation is not a legitimate corporation but in fact a front for Chinese intelligence agencies. We believe if your Council approves the sale of land to this corporation, you will be exposing Australia to serious and grave concerns regarding our national security."

Cush was genuinely astounded. "Well fuck me dead!" he growled. There was a shocked silence on the other end of the phone.

"Colonel Cush, do you understand the gravity of what I am saying?" continued Ms Clourdy who was now sounding exasperated and who was starting to understand why the Prime Minister's Secretary had mentioned something about Colonel Cush being a bit of a "Northern rednecked fuckwit."

His mind still reeling with this totally unexpected information, Cush rallied. "Yeah, yeah." he replied. "But are you sure you blokes down there got it right?"

Ms. Clourdy's reply was cold and abrupt. "Our intelligence sources are beyond doubt on this one, Colonel."

"We demand that you and your Council no longer engage in any discussion or business activity with the Shanghai Hangyang Corporation. We understand that your own Councillors have voted recently to not proceed with the sale of the council owned land. We ask that you let that decision stand." continued Ms. Clourdy.

"And if I don't? What are youse gunna do, hey?" snarled back Cush hating this so efficient and so superior Ms. Clourdy even more.

"Colonel Cush, this matter is known to the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull on whose direct advice I have contacted you. I will be reporting the results of my telephone conversation back to his office. Should you continue to have contact with the Shanghai Hangyang Corporation and should you attempt to rescind the original vote by Council on this matter, the Prime Minister can request State Government intervention in your Council. You must know the procedure. The State Government can sack you as Mayor and dissolve the Council and appoint an interim management committee. Now do you understand!" Ms. Clourdy's voice was raised to a high irritated pitch.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." replied Cush, thinking furiously.

"Good day to you then Colonel Cush," replied Ms. Clourdy, ending the call.


Susan Clourdy sat back in her chair and looked across at her colleague, Dean Jansen, the Assistant Secretary. "What a horrible man!" she exclaimed. "He was so aggressive!"

Dean Jansen laughed hollowly. "Cairns is the "deep North" of Australia. They like 'em rednecked, neanderthal and misognist up there. Even had a political candidate one time who actually stated that women who drank should take some of the blame for being raped."

Susan Clourdy shrieked. "You're kidding, right!"

Dean Jansen shook his head. "Nope!"

Clourdy frowned. "I just don't trust this Colonel Cush character. I have a gut instinct about him, and I'm going to act on it. Can you see that two of our field agents are briefed and sent to Cairns. I beieve Cush needs watching and I want to be kept informed of exactly what is happening, full reports day by day. The Prime Minister will also need to be briefed."

"Done!" said Jansen.


Cush leaned back in his chair, digesting the information delivered by the Attorney-General's Office. He was due to be "onair" in an hour's time, as a regular guest on the local radio shock jocks call back program. The shock jock had discussed with him before that the issue would be solely about the sale of Mt Whitfield to the Shanghai Hangyang Corporation, which had fired up the people of Cairns. The more Cush thought about it, the more he started smiling. He could work this latest information to his advantage and no-one would be any wiser! He chuckled to himself at the daring of it all.

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