Bankers sweep into Broome
They were hoping for aliens, or perhaps Katy Perry, but in the end the good people of Broome didn't even get Ian Narev.
On the other hand, they did get 350 Commonwealth Bank employees and a dinosaur joyriding on a car bonnet.
All month the seaside Kimberley town has been abuzz with wonder - and not a little angst - as workers constructed a mammoth marquee at the Cable Beach Amphitheatre, north of the surf club.
Event organiser G1 Group started putting up the marquee on October 5 on behalf of - at the time - a top-secret client.
Adding to the controversy, as works started, the group lacked permission from Broome Shire, having filed its paperwork only on October 1. Permission was given on October 11 at a hastily convened special council meeting, for which shire president Graeme Campbell cut short an overseas holiday.
All this to host a CBA shindig for its top sales performers over the weekend just gone.
To give the grass a chance to recover between gigs, shire
policy is that the amphitheatre site is only to be used for three days
in a row.
While CBA's people arrived on Friday and left on Monday, the marquee won't be removed until this Saturday - 21 days in total.
"The lengthy time frame is due to the fact that this is the largest, most complicated, marquee ever built in Broome," shire officers said in a report to the council.
Features of the temporary pleasure palace included "scaffolding, deck area, airconditioning, green room, toilets and bar", the officers said.
"Due to heat and to ensure safe working conditions the applicant has allocated 14 days to build and fit out the site to a high standard."
Council officers also pointed out that the three-day rule had been broken before: for an Icehouse gig (five days) and an "opera under the stars" concert (four days).
The event rained cash on the Cable Beach Club resort, which the ABC reports was entirely booked out at more than $400 a room a night. Other businesses council staff listed as "involved" in the jaunt included camel ride operators, local restaurants and Matso's Broome Brewery, which offers a wide range of gourmet boozes, including a "desert lime and wild ginger cider".
But it was far less popular with the next-door Broome Camp School, which uses the amphitheatre to run school programs.
"It's very disappointing, there's been no consultation from the shire whatsoever," acting manager Kerry Fitzgerald told the ABC.
Meanwhile, Broome police arrested a woman on Sunday morning for allegedly driving past them with a man wearing a dinosaur onesie and a snorkel hanging off the bonnet of her car.
Sadly, it appears the allegedly fun-loving pair were not part of the CBA extravaganza. They are reportedly French backpackers.
Does this signal the top of the market? Back in action is the old Bull and Bear name, last seen across a Sydney bar door when chalkies hung up their dusters at the end of the trading room era.
Spotted on a hot, hazy day at the Aurora Bar, at 88 Phillip Street, were rugby league's Benny Elias, union's Nick Farr-Jones, who these days is at Taurus Funds Management, and former Olympic swimmer Geoff "Skippy" Huegill.
The Aurora is being transformed into the new Bull and Bear, taking on the moniker of the old place under the Sydney Stock Exchange at 20 Bond Street, which was known as the "extremes" bar because it was the place where brokers became "marooned" during torrential rain or high temperatures. The new spot is within walking distance of "HQ", the Rockpool bar and grill in Hunter Street. It's like the '80s never ended.
Hello, Michael "Pup" Clarke, who is "so pleased" to sign on as "education ambassador" for James Packer's new casino in Sri Lanka. CBD has a lesson for would-be punters: the house always wins.
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