Monster year for Nathin
THIS year is shaping up to be a monster for the Gulf Country’s Nathin Butler.
The Georgetown born Butler who went to NIDA from Townsville Grammar is gearing up for the release in April of the movie he has been working on in Africa called Black Gold.
The movie is based around the oil industry in the violent world of the Niger Delta.
He’s also got his band Billy Justice sitting pretty to be signed by Interscope Records, which lists Lady Gaga, the Black Eyed Peas, Pussycat Dolls and Wolfmother among an impressive list of its artists.
Interscope is looking for the next pro-American voice along the lines of Springsteen and Bon Jovi and so far is liking what it sees in Billy Justice.
Nathin tells me that he and his Billy Justice sidekicks are campaigning hard for the spot and are in a good position to seal the deal.
They’ll be in the studio in Los Angeles for the next few weeks producing 20 ‘‘ power ballards’’ that will be trimmed to an EP length album which he is confident will secure Billy Justice a signed deal with Interscope.
The band is already playing main stages such as the Viper Room.
This is a far cry from Nathin’s younger days when he was mustering cattle on his mum and dad’s Georgetown cattle station.
( Black Gold trailer: http:// www. y o u t u b e . c o m/ wa t c h ? v = m-4 0 8 i C ZVNE).
Inspired by courage
THIS week’s Butler update ( yep, the Georgetown product is a regular in this column) isn’t over yet. Nathin has written a song On Dry Land
MESS: Rutland Grant clearing trees from a fence line at Lucky Downs Station which was inspired by the courage of 13-year-old Jordan Rice in the Toowoomba floods. Nathin, who lives in California, was watching the news about the Queensland floods on his TV when the story came up about how Jordan Rice gave his life to save his 10-year-old brother Blake. ‘‘ The lyrics of the song came from a story I saw on the news. Thirteen-year-old Jordan Rice was in trouble and about to be taken by the raging waters. When help came rushing in he screamed for them not to worry about him, but to save his little brother, Blake, and mother, Donna, who were trapped inside their car by the floodwaters. Obviously the story touched the nation and I felt it needed to be expressed in a song to accentuate the precious gift of life,’’ Nathin said in an email yesterday. Nathin’s sister Kalesti, a solicitor and Law graduate from James Cook University, won the b a l l a d s e c t i o n a t t h i s y e a r ’ s Tamworth Country Music Festival and is currently on tour in Australia. Nathin actually wrote On Dry Land for her to use in her set-list. You can download it for $ 1. Money raised goes to the Premiers Disaster R e l i e f F u n d . ( O n D r y L a n d : w w w . y o u t u b e . c o m / w a t c h ? v = W2fg7wMoecM).
ONE thing I noticed after Cyclone Larry in 2006 was the large number of brand new farm type sheds that blew apart. Since then I’ve occasionally wondered if shed design standards had been improved. I discovered after Cyclone Yasi that they haven’t. There were new sheds blown to pieces everywhere. I mentioned it to a bloke who knows about such things and he said its because the aluminium used was wafer thin. He’s probably right. You look at these structures dismembered by the cyclone and they look as though they have been made of Alfoil.
JOHN Falvo from the Mareeba Property Office tells me that there is enormous interest in banana growing land on the Tableland in the wake of the cyclone. Growers in the Mareeba area largely escaped unscathed after Cyclone Larry in 2006 and this year the farms up there didn’t cop any damage and are now the main providers of fruit to capital city markets. John says coastal growers are looking for farms on the Tableland as back-up. His industry colleague at Landmark in Mareeba, Dick Larkin, agreed, saying that there is ‘‘ a bit of a frenzy happening’’. He said the word on the street was that two or three places had sold last week. Both John and Dick said that the red soil country between Tolga and Mareeba was the best banana land on the Tableland. Problem is, and they both said, there’s not much of it.
Lengthy fence fix
IT’S hard to believe the number of trees over fence lines on stations in the upper Burdekin area north of Greenvale. Tim Atkinson of Lucky Downs said it will take them probably two years to get the trees cleared and the fences back into tiptop shape. Pictured above left: Rutland Grant starts hacking into an ironbark tree over a fenceline on Lucky Downs at Greenvale.
Cyclone fleet flop
NEWS story a couple of weeks ago a b o u t h o w D e f e n c e M i n i s t e r Stephen Smith had been advised by navy brass that its amphibious v e s s e l s HMAS Tobruk, HMAS Kanimbla and HMAS Manoora would not be available to assist if needed after Cyclone Yasi. Tobruk, Smith was advised would take 48 hours to mobilise, while Kanimbla and Manoora were ‘‘ unavailable’’. The defence minister was not happy to learn this as Yasi bore down on the North Queensland coast. There is though a humorous side to this and it is one that the Defence Minister should be made aware of before he starts being convinced that the problems besetting t he navy’s amphibious fleet are ‘‘ recent’’. In 2007 a young soldier told me that in military circles, because of their tendency not to start when you turned the key, Tobruk was known a s H M A S T o o B r o k e n w h i l e Manoora was known as HMAS Manure.
Flying missile tale
IF you ever you need a lesson in why you don’t go wandering around in a cyclone, just take a look at the photo above. Cyclone Yasi blew this piece of masonite into this coconut tree in Stuart McBeath’s yard at Tully. You can see from the gash in the tree that it was a long piece, but a large chunk of it actually broke off.