Locals from the Billabong precinct have turned to the courts after decades of nuisance from the ghost of the Jolly Swagman. “It’s relentless,” stockman Harry Baker said. “Day and night, he never stops moaning ‘You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me’. OK we understand, you’re not happy. But it was just a jumbuck. And a tucker-bag sized one at that. It’s not a license to be a noise polluter.”
Angry residents have tried everything to quieten the sonorous spirit. “We tried reasoning with him,” said Baker. “We tried bribing him with jumbucks. We even called in the troopers to deal with him, one-two-three. Although that just made things worse – he seemed to have a real problem with them.”
If the complaint is successful, it would confine haunting of the Billabong to the hours between 8am and 10pm on weekdays, with strict fines for any tormenting outside these times. But the ghost insists this constraint will cause “irreparable damage” to its livelihood.
“This action is completely uncalled for,” said the ghost. “It’s not like I haven’t made an effort for them. How many spirits do you know that would remain jolly after being driven to their suicide by overzealous police? Next they’re going to ban sitting under a Coolabah tree.”
“It wouldn’t be such a problem if he wailed something that made sense,” said Baker. “But it’s just this Waltzing Matilda rubbish. I even tried waltzing with him once, just to shut him up. But of course you can’t, because he’s a ghost. It’s just stupid.”
The resident’s case is due to be heard in Newcastle Local Court this Thursday, and the ghost’s case may be heard as you pass by the billabong