Warnings of a virulent new election virus
by Viv Forbes of the Saltbush Club

It was a happy settlement

     the people strong and free.

They tended flocks and tilled the soil

     and fished upon the sea.

The north wind brought the raiders

     with their swords and greedy eyes.

They stripped the land and left behind

     a blight of funeral pyres.

“We must unite” the people said

     “to beat these robber bands.

We’ll arm ourselves and train our men

     to sweep them from our lands.”

T’was thus they formed a government

    to save them from the foe.

It levied tax and raised the troops

     and laid the looters low.

The system was a great success

     and wealth grew all around.

The idle troopers then were used

     to police the roads and towns.

Said thinkers from a foreign land

     “You must assist the poor.

You orta get the government

     to pass a welfare law.”

AORTA spread like smallpox germs

     it raced down every road.

As every loafer raised his voice

     “AORTA ease my load.”

“AORTA keep the prices down,

     AORTA teach the kids,

AORTA start a dancing troop,

     AORTA print the quids.”

Alas, AORTA has a sting,

     a dreadful side effect.

It brings a rash of taxes

     which the troopers must collect.

The troopers’ swords grew rusty

     and the farms were filled with weeds.

The cities turned to hives of drones

     whose product was “Free Feeds”.

But hungry eyes were watching still

     the grim north wind did blow.

Soon bloated corpses filled the streets

     “AORTA” laid them low.

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Viv Forbes is a geologist/pastoralist who has walked along or been flooded by many rivers of Qld and NT. He and his wife have fed starving stock in the droughts and carted water for them. They have built, deepened or repaired at least 23 farm and station dams and managed construction and operation of mine dams. When Viv was employed by the Queensland State Government as a field mapping geologist they inspected the Nathan Gorge Dam site in 1964, 60 years ago. This dam was first proposed in 1922. It is still undeveloped over 100 years later.