Mayor denies calling constituents ‘bogans’
A flamboyant Tasmanian mayor has been forced to deny he called his constituents “bogans”.
Frenchman-turned-Tasmanian Bertrand Cadart, who also appeared in the film Mad Max, has come under fire for suggesting the opponents of a tourist venture on the state’s east coast are “the most bogan of bogans”.
“The people here, they are too disparate, you know, from the most bogan of bogans … to the greenest pains in the arse,” Mr Cadart told The Monthly magazine.
Mr Cadart, the mayor of Glamorgan Spring Bay for seven years, is as infamous for his straight talking as he is for his handlebar moustache.
He played the bad guy Clunk in Mel Gibson’s 1979 cult classic after making his way to Australia on a motorcycling odyssey.
The 65-year-old was interviewed by the magazine for a story about millionaire environmentalist Graeme Wood’s plan to turn a former woodchip mill at Triabunna into a tourism complex.
“It is an ugly spot,” he said.
“Not because it’s ugly intrinsically, but because it’s populated by people who have no concept of aesthetics.
“I don’t really give a s*** about these people.”
Mr Cadart says he used the word “bogan” because it is in the Macquarie Dictionary, but wasn’t referring to his own constituents.
“I talk about bogans and green pains in the arse, and everyone in between, for the whole of Tasmania,” he told AAP.
“I never say anywhere that Triabunna is populated with bogans.”
But he is sticking by his assessment of the project’s detractors.
“I didn’t mean to offend anyone except for the ones who refuse to turn the corner and say Triabunna should go back to being the town of woodchips and forestry and log trucks,” he said.
“Those people, I hope they won’t vote for me anyway because that is not the way we can turn the corner.”
Mr Cadart says he has no gripe with The Monthly but was not told the context of the interview.
Wotif founder Mr Wood and fellow environmentalist Jan Cameron, who founded adventure-wear company Kathmandu, bought the Triabunna mill from Gunns in 2011 to prevent it shipping native woodchips, angering the timber industry.
Mr Wood has announced plans for an eco-tourism development that includes a botanical garden, art gallery and education centre.
Mr Cadart stood unsuccessfully for the Liberal Party at the Tasmanian election in March.
Last year French president Francois Hollande awarded him the country’s Ordre national du Merite, a prestige award recognising the achievements of citizens living abroad.