The Road Ahead : 01-Aug-2011
MAKES YOUR DAY 17 AUG/SEP 2011 THE ROAD AHEAD QUEENSLAND INTERVIEW LIFESTYLE Q.: How did Mick Jagger come across in the interview? easy to get along with, and he was no exception. What was obvious was he controlled the (Rolling) Stones. Q.: Tell us about being knifed? A.: It was my own stupidity. I wandered up to have a word with a group of people outside a tenement building. They told me to '@#%*' off and then a bloke came up from the basement, clearly affected by drugs, and went 'bang'. I thought I had been punched in the side, but when we got back to the car, the cameraman noticed I was bleeding. It wasn't anything too serious. Q.: What was the highlight of your time working on radio and television? A.: That's hard to say -- it was all so different. Probably the best gig was Wild Life. Olivia (Newton-John) was the host. Covering the royal wedding (Prince Charles and Diana Spencer) also comes to mind. Q.: How did you come to work for the RSPCA? A.: I was waiting to go on a job to China when the SARS outbreak happened. (The incumbent PR person at the time) was going away for six weeks, and she asked if would care to fill in for her. She ended up not returning and I ended up staying. Q.: What are the best and worst aspects of working for the RSPCA? A.: The best is when an animal comes in in a bad way and finds a new and loving home. The worst is when an animal has to be put down. It's not just hard for me, but all the staff here. Q.: There's a big move ahead for the RSPCA in Queensland. What does that entail? A.: We're relocating (from Fairfield) to Wacol on November 16 to what will be our new Animal Care Campus which will include an animal hospital, wildlife clinic, education barn, farmyard, stables, auditorium, interactive areas -- even retail space and a coffee shop. We've still got to find another $6 m (to cover this). It's a big ask. Q.: Are the courts tough enough on animal cruelty offenders? A.: Not really. There are penalties of up to two years jail and a fine of $100,000 but the longest time handed down has been three months. There have only been four or five cases where people have done time in jail. Q.: Finances aside, what is one thing that would improve the lot of the RSPCA? A.: Legislation that would make it compulsory to desex cats at the point of sale. That would help reduce the number put down during the breeding season. Some 12,000 are put down a year -- they're born to die. We live in hope that education will make inroads into the neglect and cruelty we see. STORY BARRY GREEN | PHOTO JIM MCEWAN STORY BARRY GREEN | PHOTO JIM MCEWAN DURING A LONG D and diverse media career, Michael Beatty has come under fire on the Thai-Burmese border, been stoned h and knifed in London's infamous Brixton riots, had a stick of a chalk shot from his mouth by bush legend Larry Delhunty, c at on the back of a 3.6-metre crocodile and even worked as s barrel man for rodeo clowns Pat Speedy and Ken Smith. b He's interviewed the likes of Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Fred Astaire and Ingrid Bergman, worked with Olivia Newton- F ohn and written for, reported, presented and produced a Jo number of leading Australian and British shows: n BBC Radio, New Musical Express, Good Morning Australia, 7.30 Report, Wild N Life L and Beyond 2000 -- to name a few. Based for a time in Bangkok, his byline peppered several South-Asian publications, such as the S Bangkok Post, Sawasdee, Fah Thai, Hot Property Asia F and Phuket Magazine. You could literally write a book on his life experiences (and hopefully he, or someone, will one day), but we've got one h magazine page and Michael is just as keen to talk about his m vocation since 2003 -- RSPCA Queensland media consultant v and spokesman. a THE RSPCA QUEENSLAND IS A BENEFICIARY OF THE RACQ FOUNDATION.