‘Please allow me to introduce myself – I am Suzzanne Erskine Wyatt, a Cairns mum of two kids, a sometime (and still) ‘rock chic’ in more bands than I can remember – and, most importantly, a Queensland senate candidate for the Australian Fishing & Lifestyle Party. And yes, I am the elder daughter of fishing legend Jack Erskine, whom we lost last year – and to whom I am dedicating my campaign….
OK, dedicating a political campaign to my deceased Dad might seem like a whacky, way-out idea, even a tad morbid maybe – but Jack was a pioneer of most forms of fishing in Far North Queensland – and was recognized world-wide for his contribution to the big game fishing industry that really put Cairns on the global map, the countless fishing tournaments he organized – and his role in developing the specialist retail sector that caters still for all kinds of customers who love to fish.
In a way, our family is the Erskine ‘dynasty’ of fishing: my brothers Dan and Rob are as much a part of it, or more, as me.
Dan is a qualified reel master engineer – and Rob manages the family firm that bears our name – Erskine’s Tackle World.
Even Tina, my younger sister, is an absolute fishing fanatic.
I feel honoured to join Daniel McCarthy on the AF& LP Queensland Senate ‘ticket’. Dan and I go way-back – kids growing-up at the same time in Cairns. We work together on the annual Ribbons Ladies Fishing Tournament, the largest all-female event of it’s kind in the world: Dan hosts entrants on his boat Moana III – and myself, as Executive Media and Liaison Officer of the Ribbons Ladies Game Fishing Club, have a range of organizational tasks – too many to list here !
Last year, the TEN Network produced a brilliant doco on ‘Ribbons’, seen by millions all over the world – and excerpts of which will soon appear on this web-site.
Media, as it happens, is what I do for a living. My C.V. boasts that I am “a professional actor, singer, song-writer and producer” – which is admittedly a bit of a stretch, because to make a living in beautiful Cairns, you have to be able to sing, tap dance and play the piano – all at the same time – on a high wire without a net !
So I get to work a lot of shopping malls and public halls, not to mention pubs and clubs – as an emcee, entertainer, singer and spruiker – I even get gigs as a clown – for which I am colorfully qualified, having studied ‘clown acting’ at university. Seriously,
you can get a degree in ‘clowning’ – although a few of my friends suggest I have a ‘natural talent’ in that arena !
And movies and TV too – I was a nurse in ‘Home & Away’ for several months, appeared in the recent hit ABC TV series ‘The Straits’ – and in that great movie about the country music star ‘Doin’ Time for Patsy Cline’. Which you can hire at video stores for $2 – a week !
I’ve graduated from several schools, from the local high school to the Australian Academies of Dramatic Art and Contemporary Singing, even the On-Camera Connections Film School – with Honours – BUT, the ‘school’ that’s proved most
useful for all of my 40 years is the ‘school of LIFE’.
Thanks to my Dad, I could rig a bait before I could tie my shoelaces – truly – and I’ve been a dead-set fishing freak ever since. So I care passionately about all fishing interests – but my candidacy is not by any means ‘all about’ fishing issues, as important as they are.
I am equally as concerned about the countless violations of what used to be our basic rights as citizens – largely denied to us
by red tape and, even worse, green tape. Environmental extremism has robbed farmers of their right to draw water from creeks on their own land. They are prohibited from chopping down trees and burning-off waste without ‘permits’, which are so difficult to acquire that they’ve doubtless been designed to discourage any farmer from ‘applying’ for ‘permission’.
You can no longer ride a horse in many of our national parks, or boil a billy let alone light a campfire – and, of course, you’re
told where you can, and can not, fish.
Unlike a lot of people, I don’t blame the Greens and their well-monied foreign backers for all this – well, not entirely. Indeed, I see people of Green-leanings as good people, rightly concerned about the welfare of the planet. However, all too often they’re misled – dare I say ‘manipulated’ – by overseas interests who have hidden agendas: the so-called Marine Park no-fishing-zoning of the Coral Sea is a striking example….
This mega-ban on all forms of fishing is the brainchild of an American outfit, funded by an OIL fortune, that has no understanding or interest in Australia’s well-being – and couldn’t give the proverbial stuff about the basic rights of Aussies.
At it’s extreme end, the global Green movement is worshiped by followers with a religious fevor but my sense of most environmentally-aware people is that they’re on-the-right- track.
I just wish they would take the time and trouble to check-out a few facts for themselves, rather than ‘swallow-hole’ the spin
that comes from dubious foreign sources. Such plain and simple facts as the fact that fish-life in the Coral Sea is as prolific as it ever was, and in no need of supposed ‘protection’. All the Marine Park declaration does is open the Coral Sea for foreign fishing fleets to plunder.
You can be bloody sure that Australian Fishing & Lifestyle Party senators will work tirelessly to RESTORE the rights that have been so savagely violated in recent years…
Thanks for having a squizz at ‘where I’m coming from’ – and why I have chosen to stand as your Queensland senate candidate. Sincerely, Suzy Erskine ‘
FOOTNOTE: AF & LP salutes the late Jack Erskine. The Bluewater Club with assistance from the R.L.G.F.C are organizing the Jack Erskine Memorial Blue Water Fishing Tournament, taking place out of Fitzroy Island from 7 to 10 August this year.