Tough out on the land

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

AT Shane Knuth’s croc­o­dile fo­rum in the Port Dou­glas Com­mu­nity Hall I started chat­ting with a bloke who looked in­ter­est­ing.

Not a tall fel­low, but ev­ery inch the cow­boy in his jeans, boots checked shirt and weath­ered cow­boy hat.

His hands be­longed to a man of the land, and the boxer that he is.

His name is Kane Booth and he told me a story, in just a cou­ple of mo­ments, that was ab­so­lutely fas­ci­nat­ing, though much of it not good.

Af­ter­wards I won­dered if it was all true. Peo­ple do tell you lots of things and it some­times takes a while to sort it out.

But there he was on 60 Min­utes the other night, for the sec­ond time in the past 18 months, as the TV show fol­lowed up on his bit­ter and an­gry bat­tle with a gas com­pany that has set up on his land at Chin­chilla, and he claims, ren­dered it un­fit for his cat­tle busi­ness.

He’d come from a hard scrab­ble back­ground, leav­ing school young, and gone out and worked very, very hard.

He’s a de­ter­mined man, as the CSG peo­ple are find­ing out.

I think he said he’d had learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties at school but yet he had a laser of a mind that dealt well with com­plex­i­ties and de­tails.

He built con­sid­er­able hold­ings in agribusi­ness.

He promised him­self as a kid he would have a heli­copter, and that’s what he had even­tu­ally, fly­ing him­self around his prop­er­ties.

All of that has been torn apart in his le­gal bat­tles. It’s taken a ter­ri­ble toll on his fam­ily.

I think now his most vi­able busi­ness, if I un­der­stand him right, is his chicken farm in Ma­reeba, which is long way off his dreams and am­bi­tions.

What can be done to a man on his free­hold land makes you won­der, and it makes you sad.

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