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Hindsight

Hindsight describes events in Far North Queensland when the author was Chief Engineer and Joint Chief Executive of the Cairns Harbour Board from February 1971 until October 1974. It presents the insider’s view of how the author managed to survive repeated attempts by the Harbour Board Chairman to have him fired. Spurious situations were manufactured by the Chairman for the sole purpose of discrediting the author and bring about his dismissal. It was a one-sided feud with only one possible outcome.

Hindsight is a unique memoir looking back at four turbulent years in Cairns when the author was Chief Engineer and Joint Chief Executive Officer of the Cairns Harbour Board in the early 1970s. It is the inside story of how he survived repeated attempts by the Chairman to have him fired. Eventually the Chairman's attempts to have the author dismissed became an obsession so bizarre that it led to an unprecedented joint sitting of the Cairns City Council and the Cairns Harbour Board.

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Author's Notes

The Cairns Harbour Board comprised the Mayor, and Deputy Mayor, of Cairns together with the Chairmen of the surrounding shires. A total of eight in all. In addition there were two Government appointees, ostensibly to represent local industrial interests.

The Harbour Board Chairman, seated second from the left at the Board Meeting in January 1972, was a government appointee to the Board, and also Chairman of the Mareeba Shire.

The author is seated third from the right, in the foreground.

The Board was responsible for the administration and operation of the port facilities. A large area of land comprising, and adjoining, the port facilities was vested in the Board. The Board was responsible for the dredging of the harbour and entrance channel and the provision of wharf and other facilities. Its operations were funded by way of dues payable on cargoes imported and exported.