Tough out on the land
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.