It’s a Long Way (Back) to the (Cop) Top, If You Don’t Want to Be on the Dole

It seems like only yesterday that the former Head of the QRIC Integrity Investigation Unit Tracey Pelling pulled up stumps at the Brekky Creek office, and decamped down to Melbourne to go and work for Sal Perna in day and pursue a career in stand-up comedy by night, but I must be getting old and losing track of time, for its actually been about a year.

My advice to Queenslanders thinking about moving south is always not to go any further than Sydney, and even then only to the eastern suburbs or the north shore, because once you get past there you are entering the badlands, and it’s bloody wet and cold in winter too.

I would have given Tracey Pelling the same advice if I’d had the opportunity, but given that I was on bail for writing racing stories at the time, and friends with Boom-Boom Benny, I didn’t judge it prudent to pick up the phone and give her a call. A comedian’s gotta live and learn by her own mistakes anyway, and a bit of sub-arctic suffering is the perfect prep for a life on the stage, because you cop plenty too there if one of your jokes misses.

Well, all cold things come to an end, and the word yesterday on the track was that Tracey Pelling’s sojourn in the city of gangsters, dopers, jigger merchants, aerial ping pong footy and freezing your arse off has come to end, and that she’s back in BrisVegas, or soon to be anyway, and we welcome her back warmly too, if you pardon the pun.

Ms Pelling escaped the cold, but of course it doesn’t mean that she hasn’t walked straight back into a cold chill, for it appears there is no desk available for her to return to work at the QRIC at, and no job on the offer either.

It’s not easy for a middle-aged gag teller who has spent her adult life working in law enforcement to find a job outside of being a mall cop or night watchperson in these dastardly COVID-19 semi recession days, and the dole doesn’t pay real much my mate Laura tells me, so what’s a lady to do except go back to the future and make an application to rejoin the thin blue line and once become a girl in blue?

So that’s what the form analyst cum commission agents say that Tracey Pelling’s done, and there mail is normally better than good.

Sadly for the stand-up comedian herself though, the QPS recruiting procedures were changed a few years back –  bloody Ross Barnett and his mates – which means that former Officer in Charge of the Racing Squad Pelling now has to go through the same application process as a smooth skinned youngster fresh from 3 years standing outside a Woolies wearing a Dunoitfromclay Security uniform and catching the occasional pokie-addicted mother of three does.

It gets worse too, for if the former mid-ranking cop can pass the psych and physical tests and win enough favour with the recruit panel that they decide to put her on, then unless the Commissioner grants special approval otherwise – which appears unlikely, given Pelling’s well-known previous allegiance to the now-boss’s rival for the top cop job –  then she will be back off to where she started all those decades ago, to a job as a general duties officer at a local station.


If she makes the cut and gets posted back to the North Queensland of her youth, I might go and get myself arrested again just I fill the time before bail court shooting the breeze with Constable Pelling about racing, and reminiscing about the good old days when her cousin Mick used to employ the full array of his considerable riding talents hiding the fact that he’d just hooked a horse for a well-known giant scale punter.

Then again, maybe not.

The CCTV camera in the cell might be on the blink, and when you’re wearing handcuffs in the dark with lesbians toting truncheons, some things can happen that just ain’t funny.

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