ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
Earlier this year, Li ‘Nathan’ Qiang arrived in Burnie with a suitcase full of dreams – and bugging devices.
The prospective University of Tasmania student had his destiny derailed by Beijing, however.
His Melbourne-based handlers at the Chinese consulate approached him on the Spirit of Tasmania in June. During that faithful crossing of Bass Strait, the 24-year-old received his mission.
Nathan’s mission was to infiltrate one of the nation’s most secretive and potent political organisations.
The Jacqui Lambie Network.
After arriving in Davenport and making it past Rochelle at the Quarantine desk, Nathan made the harrowing 2-hour journey to Burnie on the 72 bus via Ulverstone.
He clip-clopped in his Hush Puppies from the interchange down to the Jacqui Lambie Network’s headquarters on Mount Street and rapped on the front door.
Nathan Qiang explained to The Advocate earlier today that the door swung open and there she was.
“Jacqui stood there and asked me what I wanted,” said Nathan.
“I was shocked. After all my training, it was that easy.”
But things weren’t that easy, he went on to say.
“I asked her for a job and she laughed in my face,” he said.
“Jacqui said, ‘Mate, I don’t know you. What’s your name? I’m Jacqui. Come in,'”
Nathan said he joined Jacqui in her office reception where he introduced himself, explained where he’d come from and why he wanted to work for the Lambie Network.
After doing all that, Jacqui paused and told him to stand up and sing a song.
He could only remember one song from his training and that was Slim Dusty’s Looking Forward Looking Back.
There Nathan stood in Jacqui’s office, singing the title track from Slim’s 100th album.
Accompanied only by his own hand-claps and Jacqui’s finger-clicks, Nathan sung the song from top to bottom then bowed his head.
He stood there in silence for nearly a minute while Jacqui thought.
“Ok, Nathan,” she said.
“I’ll start you at Means on Wheels. Provided you don’t fuck that up, you’ll be drafting policy by Christmas time. Capisce? Can you drive a manual?”
Nathan nodded and Jacqui threw him the keys to an electric purple Nissan Micra.
“Good luck, my friend.”
More to come.