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A Betoota man doing aid work in Melbourne has been contacted randomly by an ASIO intelligence officer today to tell him that his new mates might not be who he thinks they are.

Born and bred Betootan, Lane Delaney is currently working for the Queensland-based charity organisation QCare in Melbourne, providing aid to the local people down there. The 30-year-old is one of many Queenslanders working to help everyday Victorians find food and shelter. Close to 90% of Victoria is classified as ‘developing’ by the UNHCR.

One aspect of Lane’s role involves him running a boxing gym in West Melbourne with a few locals. They offer the young people a safe refuge and a place to go when there’s nowhere else to go.

Lane told The Advocate that he received the call this morning, shortly after confirming via text that he’d be joining a few of the boys from the boxing gym in the Grampians this weekend.

“The phone rang, and this bloke introduces himself as ‘Paul’ and asks if he’s talking to Lane,” he said.

“I go yeah, who’s this and he goes, ‘G’day mate, my name’s Paul. I’m calling from ASIO this morning, and I’m just ringing to let you know that you probably shouldn’t go hiking with your new mates in the Grampians this weekend.”

Lane asked him how he knew that.

“Oh mate, we can look through anyone’s metadata without a warrant these days. We say we can’t read your messages but we can. Just don’t use Wickr or Telegram, please. We have to call the NSA and get them to do it if you do. Anyway, mate, we’ve had a look through your file and you seem like a pretty normal bloke. Pretty odd taste in pornography but I’m not calling to kink shame you. I’m calling to say don’t go hiking this weekend. You should probably stop hanging out with them altogether if I were you. Anyway, up the Dragons. Catch.”

The penny dropped for Lane, he says, about an hour after the call when his new mate ‘Chris’ turned up to the gym. Lane asked him how the train was.

Chris laughed.

“Oh mate, don’t get me started. Fuck me, this country is bursting at the seams. I reckon I was the only white cunt on the train. It’s fucked,” said Chris.

Lane nodded and went to say something.

“Yeah, you get it, mate. We still on for Saturday? Jimmy can give us a lift. What size shirt you, bra? We got some t-shirts made. It’s going to be sick.”

More to come.


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