Local politicians embroiled in secret “Outback Fight Club”

Local politicians embroiled in secret “Outback Fight Club”
Betoota, our quiet old town has a dark secret... and it seems quite a few people are involved.
Betoota, our quiet old town has a dark secret… and it seems quite a few people are involved.

25 March, 2015. 12:15

CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact

A tight-knit community in Outback Queensland is in shock today after revelations that suggest several high-profile citizens have been heavily involved in a “secret” organised crime operation.

A whistle-blower from the inside has leaked photographs to both The Betoota Advocate as well as local authorities, identifying well-known politicians, police officers and business owners that have taken part in an underground “fight club” – A highly secretive organisation that pits willing strangers to fight one another, while audience members place bets.

Elderly farming identity, Jack Pearson and his son Kev (E.H Pearson Pastoral Company) place bets on the outcome of an illegal fight in Betoota. Just two of many high-profile characters to be linked to the operation.
SPOTTED: Elderly farming identity, Jack Pearson and his son Kev (E.H Pearson Pastoral Company) place bets on the outcome of an illegal fight in Betoota.

The town in question is our very own, Betoota – situated in far-west Queensland’s Channel Country.

It has been made clear that while many of these allegations appear to be unfounded, the involvement of several men and women has been confirmed through the photos that were leaked on Monday this week.

Although many well-known families have been embroiled in this scandal, one name stands out among the rest. Councillor Keith Carton, the mayor of Betoota, is alleged to have not only placed bets on illegal fights – but has also stepped into the ring himself.

Councillor Keith Carton, Betoota's mayor, identified in the ringside.
Councillor Keith Carton, Betoota’s mayor, identified in the ringside.

When asked for comment this morning, the former roo-shooter was quick to defend the actions of both himself and other community members that have been involved.

“It’s just a couple of blokes having a few beers and getting into it. It doesn’t need to be a scandal,” says Carton.

“Sure, the fact we are placing bets is a bit unsavoury – but I’m sure these bleeding hearts from the city would prefer to see humans getting hurt instead of greyhounds or bloody horses”

Two local primary teachers punch on  in the Betoota fight club
Two local primary teachers punch on in the Betoota fight club

Mr Carton went on to explain how the fight club has created an outlet for many of the frustrated locals and has become an important part of local nightlife, even though it is supposed to be secret.

“These blokes need a good blue. It’s the way things are out in the bush… Outsiders don’t understand. We can’t punch on with the bank managers, we can’t punch on with the drought and flood – we have a lot of men boiling away. The fight club is great for them,”

“When I’m in the ring, it doesn’t matter if I’m the mayor or a garbo – everyone is equal. It’s quite an easy way to make a buck as well. So long as you’re betting on me [laughter]”

“Parkes has the Elvis Festival, Chinchilla has watermelons, Betoota has the fight club. The sooner these bastards from Brisbane realise that, the better. We don’t care if it’s illegal,”

Kerri-Anne Wesser, wife of local policeman Rhys Wesser, earns a few extra dollars as the "ring-girl"
Kerri-Anne Wesser, wife of local policeman Rhys Wesser, earns a few extra dollars as the “ring-girl”

As well as Councillor Keith Carton, other local identities that have been affiliated with the fight-club include, Jack Pearson and his son Kev (E.H Pearson Pastoral Company), Local police officer Rhys Wesser and his wife Kerri-Anne. As well as local primary teacher, Kelly Seymour.

While the town itself is pretending that the fight club isn’t criminal in nature, many “southerners” seem to have a problem with it.

One particularly vocal outsider is South Australian Senator, Nick Xenophon. Speaking to the Betoota Advocate today, a spokesperson for Xenophon says the left-leaning independent is quick to condemn the actions of the community.

“The Senator has no problem with the idea of grown men indulging in physical combat… But for people to be placing bets on the sideline? They should be all hung up and shot!”

Vocal campaigner against "fun" - Senator Nick Xenophon has condemned the illegal fight club in Betoota
Vocal campaigner against “fun” – Senator Nick Xenophon has condemned the illegal fight club in Betoota

However, Mayor Carton has stated that he will be putting pressure on the state government to have the illegal practices “legalised, but only for Betoota”.

“I think what we are looking at here is a terrific tourism opportunity. Sure a lot of people don’t like the idea… but there’s plenty of sickos that do. Senator Rick Xenophobe can shut the hell up.”

Betoota Mayor, Keith Carton, poses for a photo in front of the controlled fires that will make way for the new outback desalination plant. One of the few industries left alive after the town lost country music.
Betoota Mayor, Keith Carton, poses for a photo in front of the controlled fires that will make way for the new outback desalination plant. One of the few industries left alive after the town lost country music.

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