CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
The greater Queensland Channel Country has come together today in support and praise of a local identity who despite old age, continues to service his community.
At 71, Mr Jack Pearson, a fourth-generation cattle grazier and founder of E.H. Pearson Pastoral Company, currently sits at number 45 899 on the BRW Rich List, with an estimated worth of more than $234 000.
However, despite Pearson’s family’s absurd wealth and seemingly endless fence lines – he has made it very clear that he continues to do what he can, when he can, to help the people of the Diamantina Shire.
Yesterday evening, Mr Pearson was out roo-shooting with one of “retirement toys” – a 2003 Landcruiser fitted with spotlights and a 12.7mm M2 Browning machine gun – when he came across a group of six “cattle rustlers” who appeared to be making a move on a mob of his three-year old steers.
The thieves didn’t get very far. The “retirement toy” made sure of that.
“I had heard there’d been a bit of nonsense going at some of the surrounding properties” said Mr Pearson
“I decided to use the Browning to make a point. These blokes were a fair way in front of me and I’m not as young as I used to be,”
“Once upon a time I would have tied them up and waited ’till the coppers showed up. Unlucky for them I had one of the most powerful firearms in Queensland sitting on my roof”
In 2003, Pearson purchased the top-of-the-range Toyota Landcruiser for a cool $AUD 15 000, which at the time made it the region’s most expensive car. Combine that with a high-end machine gun and you’ve got what Pearson describes as “quite a rig” – one that takes a crew of 3 ringers to wash and carries an estimated annual upkeep cost of $1500, plus insurance, registration and ammunition.
As a victim of cattle thieves in the past, Mr Pearson admits he decided to buy the machine gun on the black-market several years after the 1997 Howard Gun Buyback, when he noticed some of his prize bulls were starting to go missing.
“I’m just glad I finally got to use it on these ratbags. It’s been making a mess of ‘roos and wild pigs for years – but I originally bought it for this exact scenario”
“Do you have any idea what a .50 cal projectile does to a human? It’s a bullet that was designed to immobilise cars and tanks,” says Mr Pearson.
“They turn people inside out. Police weren’t even able to identify them. They just pushed their corpses up in a heap with a D6 and burnt them.”
Despite the obvious violations of Australian gun laws, as well as the fatalities caused by Mr. Pearson, he appears to have the full support of both neighbours and gun enthusiasts Australia-wide.
Betoota Mayor, Councillor Keith Carton, has said that the local council are working as hard as they can to see that Mr. Pearson is provided with amnesty in the eyes of the law.
“I am very keen to see this old man pardoned. I worked for him as a young lad and can vouch that he doesn’t have a malicious bone in his body,”
“Personally I would have opted to run the pricks down so the cops could at least identify them – But either way, he’s done this community a massive favour”
Mr Carton stated that in times of drought, it is commonly acknowledged that local landowners will take it upon themselves to stop cattle thieves by any means necessary.
“The city folk might not like what it is that we do… but if it wasn’t for people like Jack, we’d have a lot of families going hungry at the hands of thieves.