Police in the Hunter Valley region of NSW have corrected an earlier media release that said a freak tornado had caused significant damage yesterday morning to a number of farm buildings and crops near Scone.
An updated police media unit release put out overnight said the damage had been in fact caused by “human activity” and was not a meteorological event after all.
The property manager of Ellerston, a magnificent 27,000 hectare spread near Scone that was once the pride and joy of Kerry Packer, former Channel 9 media baron and the man who launched World Series Cricket in 1977, explained what had happened when The Bug rang for this worldwide exclusive interview.
“We were having smoko in a shed near the polo field mid morning when Channel 7 began its exclusive coverage of the First Test against India at the Adelaide Oval.
“Right at that moment when all those Channel 7 talking heads were doing their pre-game spiels and, quite frankly talking rubbish compared with 9’s revered and legendary Wide World of Sports commentators, we heard this constant sound like someone knocking on a door, and it just got increasingly louder and faster over the next 30 minutes as if someone was getting angrier and angrier at the door not being opened.
“It was then that one of the farmhands realised where the noise was coming from and said simply: ‘The old man is not taking this at all well.’
“We looked across the polo field to the grave site where Kerry was interred in 2005 and sure enough the ground was shaking and a large cloud of dust was flying into the air over his final resting place. Kerry was clearly spinning in his grave and that noise was obviously Kerry’s skull knocking against the inside of his coffin as his spin rate increased.
“I remember hearing at his funeral that the big fella was certainly a tight fit in his coffin so when he started spinning our guess is that his coffin did too.
“Then at the moment the first ball was bowled by Mitchell Starc, Kerry’s coffin erupted from the earth and flew skywards, spinning so fast that it did in fact create a major whirlwind that then wandered around the property and others nearby, causing a fair bit of damage.
“By the noise the coffin made, I reckon it was spinning at about 12,000 rpm as it flew skyward. Deadset, it sounded like the property’s biggest diesel tractor pulling a heavy load of lucerne bales at full throttle in low range. It was an unbelievable din.
“The coffin then split open and fell back to earth but it took us three hours to find poor old Kerry stuck in the lower branches of a lemon-scented gumtree near a creek right on the edge of the property.
“At the moment, we’ve got him tied up and covered by heavy chains on a shelf in our tractor shed. We don’t see much sense in putting the poor bugger back in his plot until we see whether he does the same thing tomorrow.”
ABC News Breakfast weatherman Nate Burn said that he hoped police would not take this as a criticism but technically, the damaging winds created by Kerry Packer spinning so violently in his grave was a meteorological event.
“Regardless of Kerry’s contribution, it’s a still a vortex situation created by friction between areas of high and low pressure. Did you know that these tornados spin in a clockwise direction in the southern hemisphere?
“And at the very least we now have proof positive that at least one form of climate change, albeit a very localised one, has been caused by human activity,” Burn quipped between dimples.
A Channel 7 spokesperson said the network’s very first day of televising Test cricket had gone off splendidly: “We’re all delighted with the day’s flawless coverage. And we think criticism of our commentators is unfair and premature. It will obviously take time for our on-screen talent to build the following and star status of your Richard Bennetts, Hugh Lawries and Toby Griggs.
“And we did get Ricky Ponting to slow down his delivery so you can almost understand him now, which we guess is a good thing.”