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The Magpie

Sunday, July 1st, 2018   |   150 comments

Bad Boy Behaviour? Bluewater Bush Fire Brigade Officer Under Investigation By Brisbane Authorities

One of the bush fire brigade officers involved in the controversial tree clearing at Bluewater this week could feel the heat if bullying, harassment and even more serious allegations are proved.

And that tree clearing operation itself: was it even legal? Not at all on the available evidence, but was it part of a hidden agenda going on at our northern beachs?

And with the handing down of her bandaid budget, Mayor Mullet’s charm offensive is that just that – offensive.

The lessons from Ipswich Council rorting development corporation were very instructive this week, but has anyone up here learnt anything? The Commonwealth Auditor General sounds an ominous warning to Mayor Mullet and The Impaler about that highly suspicious TCC development corporation.

But first …

There is daily daylight robbery going on before our eyes across Townsville, and while we all experience it, there’s bugger all we seem to be able to do about it. Feral kids? Drugged out drop kicks seeking the means for another hit? Rorting property developers?

Nope, none of those usual suspects. An angry Bentley nails the culprits, catching them in the act.

bowser fin small

Love the Not Too Smart State on the number plate! One of you’re eloquent best, Benters!

A Foul-Mouthed Firie In The Official Firing Line.

Just what the hell is going on up on our northern beaches?

There is evidence of illegal stock route closures, unexplained TCC back flips on approvals, intimidation and harassment of property owners (not just Sandra Richards as previously reported here) and this week, some very unneighbourly behaviour at Toolakea Beach. And there’s enough smoke to indicate there sure is a fire up there somewhere, enough to merit another visit from Brisbane ranking officers. But who’s playing with the matches?

Screen shot 2018-06-30 at 11.09.59 PM

WIN TV News was quickly on the scene when bulldozers suddenly started felling old growth trees and scrub early last Tuesday, with no warning or advice to local residents.

The private land, lots 52 and 54 was bought just last March by a company called PPJK NQ PTY LTD,

There are also as yet unconfirmed reports that PPJK also recently bought the Rollingstone pub, so it seems the company could be building a small empire up that way. Or maybe, just maybe, for other silent investors – private company information is sparse to say the least. This property is almost next door to the proposed equestrian holiday resort aimed at Chinese tourists, being planned by the Landmark company of Thomas Tiong and Kar Wai Chan.

Tiong interests have been increasingly active in the northern beaches area recently, and those connected to the company are keeping their cards close to their chest, either saying nothing or denying any knowledge of anything other than the equestrian center.

But one very active player in real estate in the area, David Wadley (whose son Tomas runs Bluewater Real Estate), gives the business address of the Tiong’s Landmark company in Brisbane. According to Cameron Richards, son of propery owner Sandra Richards, Wadley was deeply involved in  th bullying and harassment of his mother, in an effort to get off her land cheaply, leaving behind a valuable mahogany tree crop.

Wadley senior (probably junior too) is well acquainted with another player in that matter, this fellow …

Michael Cossens

Mr Cossens has an interesting history and has been named by some locals who’ve had dealings with him as a foul-mouthed, over-bearing bully who is very fond of quoting his position with the Toolakea Rural Fire Brigade. One person, resident Laurie Bowater, claims Cossens, dressed in his RFB uniform, even tried to evict him from his leased property, which would seem to be a bit out of the remit of a firie of any rank (except in an emergency which in the quoted instance, wasn’t, it was a bombatic attempt at a permanent eviction, according to Mr Bowater).

All this piqued the interest of the Townsville Ratepayers Association’s Peter Newey, who sought information about the matter, and about Cossens from RFB HQ in Brisbane. Here is part of what he told The ‘Pie via email.

On Thursday last, I finally managed to connect by phone with Dep Commissioner Tom Dawson (0428739415) regarding the land clearing for a fire break at the Toolakea beach residents.

I have lost count on how many I have phoned but Tom confirmed that he has had his staff working on this since early this morning. His investigations are now in 3 stages, all concerning the person Michael Cossens. The two previous reports are now being tied together and I can only assume that one is to do with Sandra and Cameron Richards.

The Dep Commissioner was not aware there had been a CCC complaint filed (regarding the Sandra Richards and an alleged arson matter) and I suggested that he read that and it will expand his knowledge about what is going on.

He suggested that he may have to come to Townsville and talk to us to get the truth, not the modified version after I pointed out that it would appear that his staff here were involved in projects other than what they are being employed for.

He is aware of the News video in which Cossens says he represents the RFB and Council.

We also have information today that there was NO permit issued by the DNRME for tree clearing at that site.

Make of all that what you will, but this is far from over.

But Hey Our Local Councillors For The Area Will Clear This Up. Won’t They?

Fat firkin chance.

Mr Newey’s attempts to contact Paul The Angry Ant Jacob and Margie Potty Mouth Ryder – it’s said her language would make a bikie blush – have, in Mr Newey’s words, ‘gone to ground’.

Thanks for the sterling representation, you bum polishing, trough snuffling imposters. March 2020 can’t come soon enough for you.

Mayor Mullet’s Tricky Budget

Poor old Mullet, bit of a quandary for her. The bandaid budget she handed down on Tuesday was her attempt to position al,l the good news of wonderful achievements for next year, less than 9 months out from council elections. She clearly has her fingers crossed.



The Magpie is seeking a forensic analysis of the financials in this double-speak offering, but if anything ever summed up this council, it was the trumpeting of 15 minutes free parking in the CBD.

Clr Ann-Maree Greaney

The ridiculous handling of this measure which will achieve absolutely nothing for the struggling CBD businesses was compounded by an astoundingly stupid statement from Clr Ann-Maree Greaney. This from comments on Wednesday.

The Magpie
Submitted on 2018/06/26 at 9:37 am

Mayor Mullet’s brilliant ’15 minute free parking’ strategy to solve the woes of City Heart businesses.

bandaid for city heart

This says it all: “Introducing free parking will allow everyone the chance to drop into the city to pick up a coffee, return a library book, post a letter or run errands without having to pay for a park,” she (Cr Greaney) said. Mrs Greaney must live a full and fascinating life.

Before the free time runs out, someone will have time for what? Well, according to the good councillor, a person could do 2 things that don’t contribute one iota of spending to a CBD business (which can be done elsewhere one should add) or buy a takeaway coffee. Yup, that’s it.

The Feds Put The Brakes On Council development Corporations

The Federal Auditor General’s damning condemnation of Commercial In Confidence tenders will surely give the two Walker Street fright bat a moment or two of quiet contemplation. Commenter Pat Coleman (more on him in a minute) sent this in during the week.

Here we go again. This time the Commonwealth Auditor General has handed down a report into the government unduly using commercial in confidence relating to the awarding of contracts.

https://www.anao.gov.au/work/performance-audit/senate-order-departmental-and-entity-contracts-financial-year-2016-17-compliance , https://www.anao.gov.au/pubs .

Publications | Australian National Audit Officewww.anao.gov.au

This comes on top of a recent report by the Qld Auditor General  on the same issue – into how confidentiality agreements and lack of info is obscuring accountability into awarding of government contracts  https://www.qao.qld.gov.au/reports-parliament/confidentiality-and-disclosure-government-contracts    .

If the official auditors and us mug punters can figure out who, sometimes in advance , sometimes after its too late,  have made political donations  affecting the decision making “processes”  from the disclosures and lobbyist register web sites , then why cant the Federal Police or the QLD CCC see it also ?

Indeed why not.

There’s Always Two Sides To Every Story.

Especially when it comes to real estate.

The Astonisher for instance, has followed the American saying ‘If you’re being run out of town, get to the head of the mob and make it look like a parade.

Screen shot 2018-06-30 at 12.30.55 PM

The story has this startling admission.

The latest CoreLogic Pain and Gain Report revealed 47 per cent of homes in Townsville during the March 2018 quarter sold at a loss. These stats have flushed out the carnival barkers and sneering urgers. This from the Astonisher’s report.

Explore Property Townsville principal Dean Dank said “You want to be the first people to get in on the ground and not be the sheep buying in 12 months time when prices have gone up.

Sheep eH? Is that an admission that you fleece people Mr Dank?

But regular Nest commenter Memory Man took a somewhat more pessimistic view when he opined:

‘50% of sellers selling at a loss. Another sign of reality after 10 years of rudderless, clueless, vacuous, conceited and deceitful city leadership.

Folk are being forced to sell up, or are simply wanting to cut their losses.’

On the other hand, a more thoughtful analysis has been imaginatively presented as a property clock and puts Townsville on an upward trend.

property clock

Hmmm, hang on a minute, The ‘Pie is never one to miss the opportunity of an outlandish conspiracy theory. Could it be that prices are actually on the rise and so there is some urgency in the bully, harassment and scramble for the Bluwater/Toolakea/Rollingstone land stock. The place seems to be unseasonally infested with various levels of urgers, real estate wallahs and hangers on.

Just sayin’, y’know.

You Could Write A Parody About A Him

A local version of The Sound of Music could include a special scene with a chorus of nun’s warbling ‘How to you solve a problem like … Pat.’

Pat Coleman

Pat Coleman

As in Pat Coleman. Among those who take an interest in this city’s small collection of oddities and oddballs., opinions of Mr Coleman range from ’Good on him for having a go’, through ‘bloody nuisance’ to ‘idiot savant’.

The ‘Pie leans towards the latter assessment, although never ignoring Mr Coleman’s landmark win in the Human Rights Commission which ordered the rescinding of his arrest and fines for ‘public nuisance’ by making a speech in the city mall in 1998.

Once suspects things have somehow gone a bit downhill after those heady days of the 2006 judgment. Since then Mr Coleman has meandered over the terrain of public issues, posting diatribes (often almost incoherent) against various concerns.


Because he seems to have so much time on his hands, Mr Coleman has become quite one of the most tenacious, inventive and dogged masters of the web search. His links, once things have been deciphered from his startlingly individual grammar, punctuation and spelling and can be most informative and thought provoking. Why he makes it such a chore to read and decipher is anybody’s guess.

Mr Coleman has recently attached himself to this blog like a limpet mine to a ship, and seems ready to explode at any time. His presence is not unwelcome by any means, but takes a lot of watching on The ‘Pie’s behalf. As The ‘Pie explained during the week .

Some of his comments get through because Mr Coleman, who posts here under the name Keen Eye, is clearly an idiot savant … which is literal French for ‘learned idiot’. And The ‘Pie is aware that he has some legal training, not a vocation that encourages clarity, brevity or less than three negatives in one sentence. In short, Keen Eye can find the dots but can’t actually join them in any coherent way.

(NB Mr Coleman is happy to be outed as Keen Eye, but rest assured The ‘Pie does not usually reveal who contributors are , even if he knows.)

Pat (let’s be pally about names, shall we?) submitted this, during the week, It was edited and tidied up a bit with a few little ‘Pie flourishes thrown in.

Fatal foam – why is Cathy O’Toole hiding on this crucial Townsville issue?

The submissions for the most recent senate inquiry into the health and environmental impacts of toxic PFASS (Legacy Fire Fighting Foam) close on the 7 TH of July and we have heard nothing about it from our local Herbert MP Cathy O’Toole or  the LNP’s Thompson, WHY?

 RAA base Townsville jpg

The people of this town ARE concerned about such health impacts that may include cancer. A recent SMH Story has highlighted clusters that MAY have caused by it. It has impacts on our fishing lifestyle and industry too.
Could it be with tight numbers (The Tool won the seat by just 37 votes, dragged over the line by Palmer preferences) this is a potential runaway issue for both sides in this important national seat?
Could it be she might be left to explain why , immediately preceding the RAAF dropping use the foam in 2004, WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, the multinational that specialises in cleaning up environmental nasties, and was eventually given the tender for the nationwide investigation – started donating politically on such a massive scale. First to the Howard government, then to Labor, only ceasing when it would not be a good look to change sides again?
A simple donations search using the DEMOCRACY FOR SALEhttp://democracyforsale.net/search-aec/ site turned up
Search AEC Donations

$26925  to Labor  and  $72550 to Libs since 2004. Just type in “Parsons” in the donor search
Anwhere else this would be a conflict of interest.

But O’Toole is missing in action on this vital matter.

Question Of The Week … Of The Month … Soon To Be Of The Year Probably.

When are those bloody containers going to removed from Strand Park and let kids return to their regular games down there? Slack council again, or just too broke to afford the removal costs? Or worse, do thy think they look ‘nice and cultural’/ After all, this is the administreation that sacked the best regional arts curator in Australia.

These reminders of times past remain in place, looking old and dowdier by the day.

Hey here’s A Quick Larf

News Ltd have apparently given up hope of Peter Typo Gleeson ever cottoning on to the job of editor of a paper, and he’s been shuffled off to the media Siberia of Sky News, where he will be inflicted on even less people than at the Sunday Mail.

But gosh, this is TV, so Typo, a notorious sartorial joke around the newsroom, with his belt buckle tucked under a pouter pigeon pot belly and his shirt tail forever aflap in the breeze, has had a make over. It’s hilarious.

Peter Gleeson

Peter Gleeson

If he looks like he holding in a fart, it’s because he probably is.

Real Classy

As Bill The Short Un turns Labor’s high-flying Spitfire into a sputtering Tiger Moth going into the predictable nose dive over the tax issue – so typical of Labor’s warring factional tribes as an election approaches – our attention in Canberra was more on a really classy exchange of views in the Senate. Get two ratbags going at each other and you get high theatre of absurd, but not a burqua in sight, although both should’ve bagged their bloody heads.

The ‘Pie speaks of the senators David Leyonhjelm and Sarah Hanson-Young. The Guardian got straight to the point.

Hanson young shagging

There was a lot of predictable hyprventilating, but The Magpie reckons the unapologetic Leyonjhelm was justified – he simply gave as good as he got. It wasn’t fully explained in most places that DL was responding to an offensive and tired old feminist trope from Hanson-Young that ‘all men are rapists’. That didn’t, and never has, seemed to raise any ire among the sisterhood, but in that context, Leyonjhelm may have been overly colloquial but fair in his personal advice the senator from South Australia. But when she confronted him seeking an apology, his muttered rejoinder of ‘fuck off’ was perhaps for Hanson-Young, in Shakespeare’s words ‘a consummation devoutly to be wished’.

It all makes us so happy how much we pay these drop kicks.

Over In Trumpitania, Fuck Off Remains The Overriding Sentiment …

No one would’ve been surprised if the carrot-topped maniac in the White House had declared the shooting of five journalists in Maryland were ‘fake deaths, lying media’, but he managed not to. But he still couldn’t do his back flip of family separation any credibility.

Parick Chappatte immigration

But it was the front page of The New Yorker that nailed the hypocrisy of not just Trump but of those Americans, whose most proud symbolic statue carries the exhortation encouraging migrants to a new life in the United States.Eloquent, and heart-breaking.

New Yorker fronter

Finally, A Frank Admission.

There have been certain inquiries from time to time, some none too polite, as to The Magpie’s state of sobriety when puts claw to keyboard to tap out this weekly load of old cobblers. Indeed, one impertinent inquirer even sent in a pamphlet for the old bird to fill out. Which he has duly done in order to demonstrate he is as sober as a judge – a judge on a Friday afternoon after lunch at A Touch of Salt.



That’s yer lot for now, whack in those comments on any subject you fancy, 24/7. So it’s another day and another dollar or two, if you think it’s worth it … the how to donate to keep the bird aloft is below.

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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