I lived here for most of my life. I was raised on the taste of lawnmower fumes in the air and the dark gleam of perpetually circling crows. It is the tyranny of this Lynchian landscape, dominated by intolerance and unexpected violence, where I became a reluctant witness to more crimes than I knew the names of by the time I was 18. All of this set in a town that looked and was marketed like a suburban paradise.
"A sunny place for shady people" became a term that began circulating through the Australian media when referring to the ongoing melodramas of shysters that end up settling on the Gold Coast. A perfect strip of golden beach where one of ill-repute can reinvent themselves, where tales of rape, drugs, murder and extortion are whispered behind pastel colored walls and porcelain veneered grins.
Once labelled as a tourist capital and now declared as the crime capital of Australia, this is a tale of a place that laid the flawed foundation of its character upon a mirage of tranquility. It is about the price of those swimming pools and sun drenched afternoons. It is about real estate and the beautiful lie sold and bought here every day.