LNP candidate for Gladstone Ron Harding. Picture: Rodney Stevens
LNP candidate for Gladstone Ron Harding. Picture: Rodney Stevens

Calls for deputy mayor to stand down over song

CALLS have come for Gladstone’s deputy mayor to stand down after he published a satirical version of Redgum’s legendary song I was only 19 to social media.

LNP candidate for Gladstone Ron Harding said many people had spoken to him about the parody of the John Schumann song, which he says should be “heritage listed”.

“I come from a family of Anzacs who fought for our country and our freedom and what councillor Goodluck did is totally disrespectful to everything the Anzac spirit represents,” he said.

“He didn’t even consider whether he had breached copyright laws, let alone if he was rubbishing the tradition we as Australians celebrate every year, and have done since the Diggers returned from the First World War.

“Why shouldn’t the people of Gladstone get a public apology, or better still, why should the ratepayers of Gladstone pay Cr Goodluck more than $100,000 a year to make fun of such a respected work of music.

“Cr Goodluck is the deputy mayor of this city and he didn’t even read his town’s own paper, The Observer, which published a story on March 19 about I was only 19, with John Schumann asking people not to publish satirical versions of his song.”

Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd and LNP candidate Ron Harding in the engine room of the HMAS Gladstone. Picture: Rodney Stevens
Flynn MP Ken O'Dowd and LNP candidate Ron Harding in the engine room of the HMAS Gladstone. Picture: Rodney Stevens

It wasn’t only the Anzac tradition Mr Harding said Cr Goodluck disrespected, but the US President and China, plus those who have lost their lives to the virus.

“Here he is talking about the virus originating in the Wuhan wet markets, President Trump injecting himself with bleach and attacking China,” Mr Harding said.

“I want to see the virus eradicated and the US ships coming over and using our magnificent port here in Gladstone.

“How would the families for those who have died from COVID-19 feel about him making fun of a virus who killed their relative?”

Several days after Cr Goodluck published the story on his Kahn Goodluck Entertainment Facebook page, the song’s writer, John Schumann contacted him and asked for it to be removed, which councillor Goodluck swiftly did.

Mr Harding said he would like to know what all Gladstone councillors and Mayor Matt Burnett thought of the deputy mayor disrespecting something as solid in Australia culture as the Anzac tradition.

“What do the rate payers think of what he did and what does the Mayor and other councillors think about him in his position as deputy mayor?

“As deputy mayor of this region, did he even consider what his position is about?

“I’m sure it’s not about wasting ratepayers time and money producing songs that some may find funny, but are totally disrespectful to everything the Anzacs fought and died for, and disrespectful to everyone who has served for Australia in every war since.

“Cr Goodluck should stand down from his position to give him a chance to learn respect, tradition, copyright law and find out what the Anzac’s did, so he could become deputy mayor.”

Gladstone Regional Council claim the fact the deputy mayor published the satirical version of the Redgum song, I was only 19 was not a council issue.

“Kahn Goodluck, in his personal hobby as a musician, posted that video on his Kahn Goodluck Entertainment Facebook page,” a spokesman said.

“It is not a Gladstone Regional Council issue.”

Kahn Goodluck at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020
Kahn Goodluck at the Meet the Candidates event at CQUni March 12, 2020

Cr Goodluck told The Observer he did not intend any offence or to denigrate the Anzac tradition by producing and publishing the song.

He said he had spoken to several prominent community members who thought the song was very clever and humorous, given the current COVID climate.

“This is news to me because it’s the first time I have heard of it,” Cr Goodluck said.

“I would have thought, if there were, and I’m not sure who these people are, but certainly nobody has contacted me and have advised that they have had that sort level of grievance.

“So it's a little bit of a surprise.”

Cr Goodluck said if people had an issue with the song he did they were welcome to contact him.

“I’d me more than happy to chat to Ron (Harding),” he said.

“I’d suspect that if Ron’s first thoughts were to approach The Observer with such a grievance, rather than come and talk to me about it, then perhaps it’s more politically motivated, given his recent announcement as a candidate in the upcoming state election.

“I do offer my sincere apologies to Ron, if he does have any grievances, I’d be happy to chat to him about it.”

Since The Observer ran the initial story on Cr Goodluck’s version of the song, he has sounded out community views on it.

“I took it upon myself to contact a couple of handfuls of the community, a number of them are senior leaders and respected members of the community,” he said.

“I just asked them whether or not they’d seen the song and what their views were.

“A number of these people are quite, I would consider, in tune with what’s right and what’s wrong, and what’s appropriate and what’s not.

“The feedback I got from all of them was that most of them had seen it and most of them thought it was quite clever and humorous and no one suggested to me that they had any issues with it being appropriate or not.”

Cr Goodluck was contacted by I was only 19 writer John Schumann.

“John Schumann, very briefly and very politely, did advise me that he hadn’t seen it,” he said.

“He just explained to me that it was a very special song to him and he asked me if I would consider removing it.

“Out of respect for him I told him that I would happy to do that.

“He even responded and was very appreciative and suggested that we might be able to catch up for a jam one day, so I thought that was pretty cool.”

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