The unauthorised diary of George Christensen’s Tropical Cyclone Debbie adventures.
Queensland Liberal National Party MP for Dawson, George Christensen, has had a rough week. Captured by filmmaker Ted Crosby at Canberra airport on Friday afternoon he was heard to exclaim, “Christ all-fucking-mighty!” as he left the Virgin lounge.
With Tropical Cyclone Debbie destroying his electorate of Dawson, the events leading up to this explosive moment may give us an insight into the former National Whip. The man from Mackay, the caner of the canefields, the one they call George.
March 27, 2017 – Last plane out of Mackay
George left on the final flight before Mackay Airport closed. AAP’s Daniel McCulloch wrote that, “Mr Christensen, who left on the last flight in or out of Mackay to get to Canberra for parliament, warned the weather could change on a dime right now and urged people to stay put.”
Mackay Airport posted a statement online confirming the closure and that “stage 4 of its Cyclone Plan” had been activated.
March 28, 2017 – Morning: Appeared on Sky
As TC Debbie approached his electorate, “Emergency” George appeared on Sky News.
George copped a bit of flak for being safe in Canberra.
Unlike his constituents, George explained that he was at parliament house so that he had access to ministers, phones and power.
A flustered George reverted to attack mode and played the “North Queenslander” card.
George also dismissed the presence of a neighbouring, unnamed Labor MP who remained with her electorate. (This was most likely Cathy O’Toole, MP for Herbert. Her electorate encapsulates the Townsville area).
Cathy O’Toole was later quoted by Bettina Warburton in Friday’s local Townsville Bulletin on the repair process, “Fears North Queensland tradies could be left out of cyclone rebuild”.
Herbert MP Cathy O’Toole said she would lobby to ensure insurance claim work was carried out by local tradies.
“It would be such a slap in the face after such a horrific weather event to be told that insurance companies will hire a workforce from down south not from North Queensland,” she said. “I will ensure we get as many local job opportunities to carry out the rebuild.”
March 28, 2017 – Afternoon: Asked a question
Safe inside the Canberra shelter, George asked Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to update the House on, “the government’s preparations for and planned response to Tropical Cyclone Debbie’s impact upon my constituency of Dawson and across North Queensland?”
With the question satisfied, George vowed to return to Mackay.
March 29, 2017 – Postcards from George
Throughout Wednesday, George continued to post helpful links and updates on his Facebook page.
Despite the canefields being flattened, George was happy to re-post an image of himself and boast about the sugar code of conduct.
March 30, 2017 – Morning: Supervised clean-up
On the ground, “Disaster” George offered some advice to people frustrated by the loss of essential services.
George appeared briefly in a video posted by the PM.
George also appeared in the background as the PM and OL mucked out a building. George also pledged to return tomorrow.
March 30, 2017 – Afternoon: Asked a question
Back in Canberra that afternoon, George asked a question about the sugar industry.
March 31, 2017 – Swore leaving Virgin lounge
“Christ all-fucking-mighty!” George was heard to thunder as he stormed out of the Virgin lounge. Something had caused him to blow his top on Friday afternoon and he was forced to sit with the commoners awaiting his flight home.
George later denied he set foot in the lounge and inferred his outburst was due to “Cyclone heartache”.
George spoke briefly about his trip with the PM to the recovery zone on Thursday and provided a helpful link to a Queensland Government website.
March 31, 2017 – Night: The George has landed
Assembled Red Cross for a photo opportunity.
George re-posted a resident’s power coming back on.
April 1, 2017 – Morning: Facebook George
George continues to help out with Facebook posts but warns that due to the high volume of messages he simply cannot answer all of his fans.
April 1, 2017 – Afternoon: SES George
George has been out and about supervising SES crews.
April 1, 2017 – Stretched George
“Journalist” George has also spent his Saturday penning an opinion piece for the Daily Mercury.