Legal soap Oprah of Aussie Adventure

A NORTH Queensland dive boat operator who claims he first came up with the idea to bring Oprah Winfrey to Australia has threatened to sue Tourism Australia.

Reef Encounter managing director John Heuvel said he had spent $200,000 developing and pitching his idea between 2004 and 2009 and would sue the tourism body as he had “got shafted”.

The Cairns-based tourism identity claims the then-managing director of Tourism Australia, Scott Morrison, assured him in 2005 he would not be shut out of any deal to bring Winfrey to Australia.

But when Winfrey finally did bring her crew and audience to Australia during a highly publicised tour last month, they did not spend time in Cairns or use his dive services, Mr Heuvel said.

Although he is yet to prepare or file a statement of claim, Mr Heuvel said he planned to sue Tourism Australia for “millions” on the grounds of breach of contract.

Read the full story at

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Race day to help locked out miners

No Caption

Moranbah race day held to help raise funds for locked out miners.

On the verge of history

Brooks Pleasure, won Race 1 at Callaghan Park.

Brook's Pleasure is making history at Callaghan Park.

Extend Valentine's this year

HAPPY VALENTINES: The Emerald Outside School Hours Care is holding a Valentine's Ball tomorrow night.

Support local organisations through this years' valentine's ball.

Local Partners