Chris ‘Pineapple’ Hooper

Chris ''Pineapple'' Hooper.

The colourful Chris ‘Pineapple’ Hooper has already written his name into the region’s political history with his near ascension to the mayoral throne following former mayor Margaret Strelow’s resignation.

His thwarted ascension has implications for how local democratic government is arranged in Queensland and, in an interview with CQ Today at his renowned arts collective on 20 East Street, Mr Hooper claimed democracy itself was on the ballot in this election.

“A lot of people come in here saying that the principle of this, is democracy doesn’t work anymore. Because they voted, I got in, and then they changed democracy, so what’s democracy all about when someone can change that. So it’s not a democracy anymore.”

Whether or not the people of Rockhampton approve of Mr Hooper’s unconventional policies and lifestyle, he hopes that the deeper issue of how power is transferred in the region will put him over the top on January 23.

“A lot of people understand that. But whether they’re going to hang onto that as the thing, or whether they’re going to vote for someone else. But there’s a lot of people really upset about that. Now I hope they do, and stick to their guns and say listen, ‘this shouldn’t happen’. And the only way they can do it is to vote me in really, and say ‘well, there, Annastacia, cop that.’ And then they wouldn’t be game to do it anymore,” Mr Hooper said.

“There’s a lot at stake in this little game.”

Mr Hooper acknowledged he had considered legal action.

“We thought about it. We had a yarn to a couple of pro bono people, that sort of half-offered. There was an interview on the ABC, and he was a lawyer at the university or somewhere, and he said you might win, you’ll win your discrimination case. But apparently they can change the legislation to change that back again. So it’s a no-win situation there. But we might consider it later on.”

Mr Hooper does not have much faith in the legal system, however, or the integrity of the region’s power structure.

“I sort of know how it all operates in there and I don’t like that system. That system now, why aren’t the lawyers spewing that the legislation was changed? See they go by the law as it stands. And the law as it stands says I was supposed to go in but then what happened was, they all worked together you know, Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Electoral Commission, the Local Government Association had a fair bit to do with it, and the council, and they all decided to drag it right out until the legislation changed. That’s what they done. They dragged it out for a couple of weeks so they didn’t have to swear me in.”

The radical nature of Mr Hooper’s vision for life should not be underestimated. In effect, he wants human civilisation to dramatically de-scale and return to a more simplistic, agrarian form of life, or what he calls getting back to the basics.

“Covid is a dress rehearsal for man-made climate change,” he said.

“It’s simple. The planet has had enough of humans. We’re destroying the planet. When are people going to wake up to that?

“The business people in Rocky are really scared if I got in, they think I’ll destroy the local economy. One bloke, I know him, he said I’m a communist. Well I’m not a communist. But they did talk in the American election about socialism, bringing back a bit of socialism. It’s not all about money. One per cent of the people in the world own everything and then we got, you might as well say peasants. Even the middle class is getting destroyed. So you got to get people around to that.”