Arab Sheik to Buy Coffs Harbour Jetty

Sheik Abe Ben Adam O'Brien pictured at Coffs Harbour Jetty.
Sheik Abe Ben Adam O’Brien pictured at Coffs Harbour Jetty.

Banana Republic aghast!

The infamous Coffs Harbour Jetty may fall info foreign hands following an announcement today by the El Presidente day of the Banana Republic in Coffs Harbour.

In a hurriedly convened press conference the President shocked reporters with the news that negotiations are well advanced with a wealthy Arab Sheik who has indicated a keen interest in this historical piece of real estate.

Sheik Abe Ben Adam O’Brien from a Persian Gulf Emirate has been in Coffs Harbour this week personally supervising negotiations.

Sheik O’Brien told reporters that the Jetty would provide an ideal shipping terminal for the export of life sheep, chickens, rabbits, kangaroos, politicians and women.

“The Australian Government has been obstinate and uncooperative,” he said, “I bargained for more than four months to buy Circular Quay and got nowhere. I just went round and round in circles”.

Confidential information leaked to the press through a crack in the Jetty piers reveals something of the intrigue that has flavoured these unusual negotiations.

The Jetty was put on the market by the Banana Republic Navy for the sum of $250,000. Sheik O’Brien has driven a hard bargain and sort deductions for rust in the cranes ($85,000), pier rot ($62,500), lack of a suitable railway station to go with the train lines ($47,500) and the removal of two dead fishermen from the jetty shed ($54,999.90). The Navy finally excepted of the price of ten cents as reasonable.

The sale of the Jetty will be by private treaty. A suggestion that it should be auctioned was rejected as it was feared that the fall of the hammer would reduce the Jetty to splinters.

Sheik O’Brien has made no secret of the fact that he considers the Jetty a available piece of real estate. “The oil reserves in the old cranes have enormous value,” he said, “In an energy-starved world every drop counts. Australians take a very casual view of oil. They wipe millions of dollars off their dipsticks each year.”

Outspoken on oil.

The Sheik was outspoken on the subject of oil. “We need to explore new untapped resources,” he asserted. “People should plant olive groves throughout Republic to produce olive oil. Furniture castors should be melted down to create castor oil. The philosophy of ‘I’m oil all right mate’ was very laissez-faire”.

Asked if he played any major changes the Sheik she said that he had great visions of what the Jetty could become and these are shown in the sketch below.

Artists impression of how the Sheik plans to remodel the Jetty. (Drawing courtesy of Brian Mildren)
Artists impression of how the Sheik plans to remodel the Jetty. (Drawing courtesy of Brian Mildren)

Research has shown that very few Sheiks own Jetty’s. This fact alone will exalt Sheik O’Brien in the eyes of his pier group.

Australian authorities have show little interest in the rumoured purchase. Rumours have been circulating the BHP are interested in acquiring the iron oxide in the Jetty cranes for smelting purposes.

One of the key factors emerging from the deal is that the Sheik will inherit a 200 kilometre fishing zone around the Jetty this will also include fishing rights in swimming pools and creeks throughout the republic as far west as Thora.

If the Sheik successfully acquires the Jetty that he will enlist his harem to check the piers for banana rot.

Sheik to expand his harem.

The Sheik plans to bring ten of his harem with him to Coffs Harbour. We will set up a desert tent on the Jetty from which he plans to recruit local women as wives. Unsuccessful candidates will be dropped over the side into the sea.

The President would not be drawn into detailed discussions but was quick to rebut the argument that the Jetty had any sentimental value for the people of Coffs Harbour. He merely described it as “an interesting piece of real estate with an ocean view”.

The above article was published in the satirical newspaper “Revolutionary Times – the Newspaper of the Banana Republic” on Thursday 12th June 1980. The Banana Republic was the most successful tourism promotion ever devised by Coffs Harbour and it conceived by Paul McKeon who was Tourism Director in the early 1980’s. The part of the Sheik was played by Keith O’Brien.

Revolutionary Times - The Newspaper of the Banana Republic.  Article published on 12th June 1980.
Revolutionary Times – The Newspaper of the Banana Republic. Article published on 12th June 1980.

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