Mon­ster year for Nathin

Townsville Bulletin - - Talk of the North -

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).

Shabby sheds

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.

Ba­nana hotspot

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.

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