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The Magpie

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018   |   178 comments

A Pain In The Arts – The Walker Street Junta Continues Its Secret Bludgeoning Of The Townsville Arts Scene

Not that you’d hear about it from them – secrecy continues to be the watchword in the Walker Street Wankery.

The mayor shows her real colours on Townsville’s water issues.

And Astonisher iditor Jenna Cairney confirms it’s to be more of the same shameful manipulation under her iditorship.

And The Magpie awards his latest Well Duh Headline Trophy (no, not the Astonisher).

But first …

Fish Gotta Swim, Mullets Gotta Lie … ta dum

The relief was palable. Rain, rain, and a bit more rain … wow, what a relief … especially for Mayor Mullet. Bentley has her pegged.

water aplenty small

And as if to put an exclamation mark to Bentley’s assessment, this arch twister showed she really doesn’t know when to keep it shut, such is her arrogance.

At a Disaster Management meeting during the week, when she was told that Ross Dam was over 65% and was expected to head past 80%, she said to the 50 or so people present, ‘Really? Good, that’ll be the end of the Water For Townsville group.’ Great way to dismiss close on 20,000 people concerned about the city’s long term future, and who had put in long hours of excellent research and (mostly) civil debate on an issue that remains outstanding, notwithstanding the current great news.

And This Was Before The Deluge

As predicted by The Magpie many times. IMG_9742

There are those who say they love the idea so they can troll around and find treasure for themselves in the trash. Sadly, most of these peotagonists are from places like Melbourne, where those from the ‘lesser’ ‘burbs head for Toorak, South Yarra, Balwyn and the nearer beach suburbs. So please let me know what you score when you troll Garbutt, Condon and Rasmussen.

But It Set The Tone For The Mullet’s Week

The two fright bats running the Walker Street Wankery continue their assault on the arts community of Townsville, and not only affect the entitled amenity of the local residents but further erode the city’s well deserved reputation of hosting a ‘thriving arts community.’

The week started when the Astonisher gave much fanfare to the appointment of a new Director of Arts Services, a very grim and glum-looking person called Lee-Ann Joy.

arts scene

The seems to be some confusion in the paper (unusual, eh?) about Ms Joy’s title … the caption on the pic says one thing, the opening sentence of the report says another, terming her Creative Arts Director. CEO Adele Young’s mind-set is obvious in the first title … arts are a service in the same manner as garbage collection (and how’s that going for you, dear?), and are therefore at the whim of the council’s largesse or lopping. Although no criticism of her, Ms Joy’s appointment could be seen as a quiet and tacit admission that they really fucked up in dismissing Shane Fitzgerald, the nationally respected boss of Perc Tucker. Not only were tens of millions in arts patronage lost by furious national arts patrons, but the agenda of the new director gives the lie to the fact that Mr Fitzgerald’s dismissal was a total waste of time, money and most importantly credibility, both for the council management, the tourism market and the distant circle jerk of cut-and-paste Nous ‘experts’. Ms Joy unwittingly acknowledged this when she told the Astonisher ‘one of my priorities will be re-building relationships’.

“At the moment my priority is the staff and rebuilding the team and supporting them with the current programming that is in place until the end of 2019,” she said. “The program has already been set until the end of 2019 so the emphasis will be on the gallery operations, updating equipment, getting the facilities in place for overseas exhibitions.”

In other words, doing what Mr Fitzgerald was doing when he was stabbed in the back for some imagined slight.

 Silence In The Court

Then later in the week, the typical secrecy now regularly employed by the ruling junta was unmasked, by their own dopey doing. Last week, The ‘Pie reported on the NQCC’s booking of the Old Magistrates Court for a film night about Adani was cancelled by the council for being ‘a political event’.

This was of course a whole load of hot cock, both figuratively and in fact, and was quickly withdrawn when the NQCC challenged the ruling. The fright bats then called in their step’n’fetchit legal clerk, Ian Finlayson, who hatched a Balrdick-like plan, and the night was cancelled because ‘the council could not guarantee the safety of the public’ because of ‘tensions about the Adani project’. Of course the only risk would’ve come from Adani supporters aligned with the Mayor Mullet and her council, who would not otherwise be attending, and was also a load of old cobblers, but the night was shifted to a hall in Denham Street belonging to that bastion of left-wing hotbed greeny nest of radical dissent the Queensland Country Women’s Association. at last report, it hadn’t been burnt down.

But that piece of outright chicanery brought to light this matter, from a very well informed reader.

 Old Magistrates Court

FYI, the Old Magistrates building houses the the Court Theatre, which has had a great little theatre set up for years – some tiered rostra, blacks a couple of lighting bars and a basic rig. So the building – which is a difficult one at the best of times, has had really quite good use exactly because it has had this set up (open mic nights the TMPAS, small concerts, the film screening and others).

Now TCC are insisting that all this be REMOVED (it’s owned by Full Throttle Theatre who are more than happy to share their gear and see the venue used by more than just themselves). For reasons known only to themselves – they are now notorious for not sharing and just ruling by fiat, but it is clearly hinted that a typical mis-reading of financial outcomes is behind it – they want the charming old venue to become just another flat floor meeting room with the flouro lights only – making it unattractive and not much use to anyone. (But wait – you can PAY THE COUNCIL extra over and above the hiring fee to have the “Theatre” set up put back in – so it will not get used, small hirers won’t be able to afford that set-up charge).

Then if it remains largely empty, you can be sure under the present Council will – if their hubris reaches the point of lunacy – will put up a case to put the building and the adjacent Perfumed Gardens Park up for the highest development bid.  Heritage listed – who cares – such is the wrong headed emphasis on CBD decelopment at ANY cost.!!

Well, The ‘Pie is sure that last bit won’t happen, but the usage change is another small disaster for Townsville … they can rationalize it all they like, but this can only been for what it is, plain and simple – another piece of inexplicable civic vandalism of a secretive council junta.

Oscar Wilde once defined a cynic as a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. But the Fright Bats and their Labor hobgoblins can’t even get the price part of it right. As in the following.

Clr Mark Molachino Gets The Steggles Award Of The Month

 IMG_112eyre st parking8

Remember this desolate scene, the Eyre Street car park after the council owls decided it was a good idea change it from free parking to paid parking late last year. City workers instantaneously abandoned it and its expensively installed ticket machine, with many figuring if they were going to have to pay, they may as well take up a space in the CBD and move their cars every couple of hours.

Across the road, behind the Mike Reynolds Early Childhood Learning Centre (he never graduated), where parking remained free, it was regularly packed to the gills. The ‘Pie wondered at the time what failed social engineering fuckwit thought this one up, and he had no sooner ask than he was answered in the form of Clr Mark Molachino. Checking the TCC website, he had this to say:

Infrastructure committee chairman Cr Mark Molachino said council had made the adjustments based on feedback from the community and to reflect commercial activity in the area.

“Time limits have been changed in a couple of targeted locations to improve convenience,” Cr Molachino said.

“Our city has grown and in some areas we have paid parking alongside free parking, which is totally inconsistent and in some cases, confusing.”

Well, he said … and the past tense is so appropriate … those comments – the only ones The ‘Pie could find after a reasonable search of the council website – were made in November 2016. But last year, Molachino said the move to convert Eyre Street to paid parking had been made after ‘consultation with business people and stakeholders’. Very frothy and flimsy, that one, Cappuccino old mate, The ‘Pie can just hear the beleaguered business people imploring him ‘ Oh, councilor, we need more PAID parking, that’ll help our faltering businesses, please hear us’. The punters no doubt besieged him with fistfuls of fifties, begging to pay to do what all those council-approved shopping centres do for nothing.

Well, guess what? First impressions are that someone recently stole Eyre Street ticket machine, but no, the signage now says it Free Parking again.

Screen shot 2018-03-03 at 10.43.32 PM

And the result has been just as instantaneous, despite th council’s secretive move. That predictable ‘well Duh’ result has turned out to be an expensive exercise in failed mendacity and dopey bureaucratic avarice, and Clr Molachino’s ducking and weaving about the reasons will be interesting to hear.

But this is, to anyone with an IQ bigger than their shoe size, good news, worth shouting to the rooftops. But sadly, this mob have not a single clue on how to win back the trust of the people.

Same Problem At The Astonisher – Cairney Caves In

The ‘Pie had hoped in vain. He misread some signs that under new editor Jenna Cairney, the paper might start clawing back some credibility.

Alas. Quite the opposite, demonstrated in stark fashion this week.

Just imagine for a minute that you are a journalist – God knows, they do at the Bulletin, so why not you.

Scene 1: Clive Palmer siphons off millions of dollar to finance his political ambitions (and his private jets) then closes down his nickel refinery, throwing more than 800 people out of work, wrecking the city’s economy and causing untold anguish to hundreds of families, many of whom didn’t receive their legal entitlements. Palmer becomes the most loathed person in the city.

Scene 2: Mayor Mullet, in yet another cheap attempt to shore up her badly faltering vote, publicly calls Palmer a crook (or words that mean the same thing). Now that might be OK in a pissant little blog like this (well, it isn’t OK even here but nobody except one much cares what is written here) but it is reasonable to expect that the city’s top elected official has a rough knowledge of defamation laws and the need for circumspect speech.

Scene 3: Palmer issues court papers to sue the mayor for $10million.

Screen shot 2018-02-11 at 9.06.17 AM

Scene 4: The Australian Financial Review reveals that Jenny Hill has agreed that because of her loose ignorant lips, she will make an out of court settlement of $50,000 and issue a public apology to the most reviled man in this community.

IMG_1416

The Bulletin either didn’t know about this or kept it under wraps, both conjectures distinct possibilities.

Scene 5: The Magpie headlines the matter on his website last weekend, attracting an avalanche of disbelieving comments. All are waiting for the Bulletin as the city’s paper of record on Monday. It will be front page for sure.

Scene 6: And this is what you got.

Front page … nothing.

Page 2 and 3.

Bulletin 'committment'

A puff piece in a panicked news campaign of self-praise and demonstrable nonsense about ‘keeping the bastards honest’.

Page 10, this piece top left.

Page 10 jenny

Th can be little argument that in the real world, this is one Townsville’s stories of the year. In other words, Jenna Cairney has confirmed like all her predecessors since Peter Typo Gleeson, she has sold out and is snuggled happily in Walker Street’s pocket.

If Walker Street and the Gilded Few had all the previous iditors by the balls – the Christmas Hold as it is known – then they surely have Jenna Cairney well and truly in what cold be called the Trump Clutch.

Yet another Astonisher disgrace to the once proud independence of journalism.

Hero Of The Week

rump award

Courtesy The New Yorker

Who else?

The Well Duh Headline Of The Week

Screen shot 2018-02-08 at 9.00.26 AM

Well, yes, but, but ….

And Finally …

Well Well, it’s a cocky not a magpie, and it’s a kitten not Jenny Hill, but gee, wishin’ wishin’

…………….

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The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.

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