Netflix, One Tel, and me, a nostalgic love triangle

Britt and I are watching Netflix’s new show The Mole at the moment and as that guy who knows Queensland like the back of his hand I’ve been following the filming locations keenly. (If you know what that Daintree resort is, please tell me!)

So as the team reached “The Great Barrier Reef” aka The Whitsundays I immediately recognised the location as Woodward Bay, just a few minutes' drive north of Airlie Beach. Visitors in the past include the King of Morocco, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, but most importantly for this story, the owner’s husband, Jodie Rich. Apparently, they all helicoptered in, but I just drove when I visited.

I’ve been brought in - pretty sure it’s 1999 or 2000 - to install two Alcatel PABX telephone systems, one that sits at the front gate, and another in the main compound, connected by fibre optic, to allow the main compound to make and receive phone calls, but also for the fancy new gate to be opened by phone call.

I worked for a local company called Business Solutions, and my experience there has always stuck with me. We were a one-stop shop where we provided actual business solutions, not just products. I still love doing that in businesses today.

Anyhow, I’m on this amazing property that Tom Cruise has just stayed at, and Japanese property developer, Kumagai Gumi, has just dropped $150 million on the property, then sold it to Jodee Rich’s wife for $2.5 million so that’s probably a totally cool and normal transaction.

The whole thing was out of reach of ASIC as One Tel went broke because the husband didn’t own the property that was attributed to him, but his wife did. That’s the kind of business sense that gets you places, like starting your own top-level domain (.CEO) and NFT.NYC, kill me now, this bloke has such an epic legacy of grifting.

Seeing the property in The Mole was cool, it looked so similar twenty years on. It is honestly a really beautiful property. Back then they allegedly had lasers across the bay to keep people out, and as a young bloke, it’s the nicest property I’ve ever stepped foot on. I remember being told that the coffee table was made from a door of a monastery.

Interested in staying the night? It’s only five figures a night.

And if you need a PABX installed in a weird situation twenty years ago, give me a call.