Old Phil’s 2024 almanac

The People's Park.


Your old almaniac is a bit slow out of the boxes this year, so with January half over you probably already know that Noosa Council’s “People’s Park” trial in the surf club car park has been hailed as an outstanding success, with police and ambulance services herding dozens of over-sippers into a hessian enclosure out of sight of high net worth revellers parading along Hastings Street. Word on the street is that a sound-proofed “chunder chamber” will be installed for next year at the cost of another dozen parking spots.

But what you will be saddened to hear is of the tragic death of former Noosa Today restaurant reviewer Trevor Pepys, who apparently exploded in a private room at a Bangkok restaurant on New Year’s morning after masterminding a three-day re-creation of his favourite movie, the 1973 bad taste classic, La Grande Bouffe (aka The Big Feast) in which the great Marcello Mastroianni and his mates attempt to eat themselves to death. Typically of Trev, who was completing a year-long world tour, reviewing the great restaurants of the world for a gourmet website, he took the joke too far and expired during dessert after 73 hours of continuous eating. Fortunately, no details are at hand. Condolences to his family and friends, and let’s now move on into the future.


As election fever heats up around town, a surprise announcement from Barry “Bait-breath” Barramundi (not his real name), 93, who emerges from his wreck of a houseboat hidden in the Everglades to reveal his intention to run for Noosa mayor as leader of the It’s My Bloody River Party. Wading ashore on the mud flats along from Luxury Afloat, he tells a hastily-arranged press conference on the steps of the Pelican Street council chambers: “It’s about time we First Fleeters of Noosa stood up to all these acronyms who want to turn our river into a nanny state. If elected, my policy will be, no rules, no pack drill. What happens on the river, stays on the river.”


The Noosa Festival of Surfing enjoys a record year despite 14 competitors dying of sunstroke and thirst while carrying heavy longboards across the Main Beach Desert to reach First Point. A spokesperson for the Hastings Street Association says that this should be considered as collateral damage, since the four-kilometre sandbar from boardwalk to tide-line was able to accommodate a record 15 million Cool Cabanas, mostly owned by high yield consumers, over the summer.


In the wake (literally) of the shock Noosa Council election results, Mayor Barramundi announces the dismantling of the oyster reefs, the downscaling of Maritime Safety Queensland’s operations, the ending of bag limits and the introduction an all-year, all speeds zone stretching the width of the river, from the bar to the Everglades. “It’s every man for himself now,” he told admirers who chaired him into the chambers on a throne fashioned from a tinnie, “just like in the good old days.”


Noosa Council and Tourism Noosa jointly announce a bold new one-event-fits-all policy, as part of the Destination Management Plan to reduce the intrusion of major events. A spokesperson says: “We’ve listened to the residents, we’ve listened to the event organisers and we’ve come up with a brilliant solution that will make everyone happy. For the first half of June, traditionally a low point for visitation, all Noosa events will be conducted simultaneously, with restaurants and bars open 24/7, cultural events held anywhere there’s a door and a few chairs, a family fishing tournament and jet ski races run side by side in the river, the surf festival, ocean swim, outriggers and surf life saving all in together somewhere on Laguna Bay, a hill climb up Noosa Drive to the Reef Hotel, go-karts in the Lions Park and the Eat, Drink and Puke Festival held continuously throughout. The mayor has advised dissenting residents to “clear out” for the fortnight, offering his houseboat and bush camp to the highest bidder.


The Noosa Free-For-All Festival is a tremendous success, with fatalities in the single digits and the hospitality industry reporting record revenues, only offset by considerable damage bills. A council spokesman says infrastructure damage all over town should be fixed in time for the summer rush.


Hastings Street remains empty as businesses recover from the NFFAF and realtors report that their stocks are at record levels as residents make exit plans for quieter beach resorts, like Kuta in Bali or Odesa in Ukraine.


An unseasonable Coral Sea low moves south and smashes Main Beach while on the other side of the hill, several Sunshine Beach mansions slide into the sea. The mayor reiterates that there is no such thing as climate change, and the sand at First Point doesn’t move.


Nothing happens.


Noosa MP Sandy Bolton is returned by a healthy margin in the state elections, promising to ban the Free-For-All Festival and restore order to the river.


Noosa mayor Barramundi is run over by a speeding boat late at night while wading out to his tinnie after a big night at the Royal Mail. His recovery is expected to be long and uncertain.


As the holiday crowds pour into a cyclone-lashed Noosa, Mayor Barramundi announces from his hospital bed that he will step down from all duties at the end of the month, offering best wishes to his successor, whoever she may be.