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After decades on erratic weather bouncing between crippling drought and devastating flood, embattled farmer Don Kipfler (65) was interested to see what his local MP was going to bring to the table in the first ever visit the property since he was elected in 1984.
Don says he’s not exaggerating when he says how fucked things are, and you can check his sheds if you don’t believe him.
“I’m not one of those whingeing bluebloods on the plains” says the struggling father of four.
“All of my kids were pulled out of boarding school in the 2000s and we got them special licenses to drive into town”
“There’s no luxury off-road vehicles out here. I’m running around on a clapped out 1988 Patrol”
Don says that as a third generation farming family, it’s too late for him and his wife to up-skill and find work in town. Opting to instead work this harsh land until they die, or until a Shorten government announces knee-jerk ban on eating livestock and they end up locking the gate to live as paupers in emergency public housing in Bourke.
“When it rains, I tighten the belt and implement long-term business strategies to survive off what we make” he says.
“When it floods. We try and catch as much of that brown gold in dams that I’ve had to illegally excavate on paddocks I’ve had to illegally clear”
“It’ll be interesting to see what the local National MP says. I know he’s fucken terrified of losing his seat to the Shooters and Fishers”
However, little does Don know, his local MP is out here to deliver some good news. A retirement plan if you will.
“I got a phone call from Gina” says the local politician, who spent the first two decades of his career working as an accountant in Noosa.
“Got some real good news for ya”
Don and his wife Kay tell the politician that they are all ears, before several National Party staffers begin to pat them down to make sure the ageing agriculturalists aren’t wearing any hidden microphones planted on them by The Greens or any number of anti-corruption agencies.
The National MP, satisfied that he won’t go to prison for this exchange, begins to whisper.
“Don’t get mad. It’s good news” he says.
“But if you’ve ever wondered who’s been leaving your gates open, I’ve told Gina’s people it’s ok for them to discreetly come in here over night and do some seismic testing”
An infuriated Don immediately lunges for the MP who’s basically just admitted to being the reason he lost 200 head of cattle over the last 6 months.
He is eventually restrained by the National staffers and told to calm down, because there’s some good news coming.
“Anyway, she reckons you might be on top of some coal. And as a beneficiary of her handsome donations, Barnaby has sent me out here to tell you that she’s keen to buy the place and open cut this rock farm to the size of Sydney Harbour. You’ll get 120% of market value, though. And you can lease it back for pennies until we need the country”
Don, still speechless with rage, lets Kay do the talking.
“We’ll think about it” she says.
“We were kind of hoping for a bit of assistance with the thousands of fence posts we just lost in the flood, though”
The MP tells them to contact him over Wickr once they get over their love of the land, before bidding them farewell.
“Just think about it” says the politician
“Port Douglas is calling”