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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.


  1. Miss Lou says:

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.


    Miss Lou.

  2. TRRA LAAH says:

    Are you sure Keen Eye isn’t related to “Townsville Residents and Ratepayers Association” and wanna be journalist Peter Newey ? Like Keen, he’s big on creating dots and trying to join them for issues that simply don’t exist or could be clarified with a simple call to the right people rather than believing in conspiracies. And perhaps council people won’t talk with him because of his approach ? Just sayin’.

  3. Mike Douglas says:

    Kudos to the Pie for highlighting the Property clock and that Townsville is in recovery as many people after 7 years of falling property prices, high unemployment, high crime rate have hit tough times and caught up with their issues with T.C.C and the State Government whilst out of towners see opportunities. If Clive is successful and re-opens the Nickel refinery there’s approximately 5% increase in values. Townsvilles changing, Qld, the World with the U.S. posting the lowest unemployment figure 3.8% in 50 years. Certainly social media, people’s opinions play a big part in getting Government to change just look at Pauline Hansen and Bill Shorten the past weeks but the facts for Townsville simply don’t support some keyboard warriors with their “ the end is nigh” and the best thing they could do is spend $15 and read the book “ who moved my cheese”.

    • The Magpie says:

      Property as you know and as demonstrated is a cyclical thing, but the cycles aren’t on auto-pilot, and can be slowed or even stalled by inept leadership. Usually when leadership’s main aim is either simply clinging on to power and/or corruption. Which makes the end look very bloody nigh.

      Get my drift, Mike?

      • Mike Douglas says:

        Pie , When you refer to leaders I gather this includes our three labor levels of Government in Townsville who either, due to greens preferences or public opinion have backflipped on Adani , NAIF, Company Tax Threseholds, Paid Parking, dual pipeline funding etc etc etc . If public opinion supports re-opening the Nickel Refinery what’s the likelyhood they will backflip and support it ?.

  4. The gnome from nome says:

    What Clive Palmer fails to realise is that the workers that worked at QNI generally are not familiar nor well versed in the intricacies of the Corporations Act and the way related companies can be at arms length from each other etc. What he apparently wanted to do was known as a phoenix, that is move employees and the operations of QNI into a company that didn’t go broke, and let the unpaid entitlements and creditors in the former operative entity remain.
    He claims he personally doesn’t owe a cent to anybody. That may be so (especially if you have a billion dollars), but he won’t convince those who lost their job and are still owed entitlements . Because Clive was ‘the man’. and in their mind Clive still owes them . We mug taxpayers are still waiting for the $70 million of our funds the Government stumped up to assist the workers to live!!

    • The Magpie says:

      Clive Palmer is the ugly face of capitalism personified. And if there’s a famine in the land, you just need to look at him to know why.

    • Ando says:

      It’s frustrating that during media interviews, the questioner doesn’t point out how his claims to “not owe a cent” may be in fact true. Constantly repeating the question on workers entitlements gets the same answer every time.
      In the last few months I’ve even heard some of his former critics repeating his lines and berating the “evil receivers.”

      One wonders which entity will be processing the ore at QNI if it does reopen?
      Or…whether refurbishment starts at a snails pace until the next election; then is canned as being unfeasible.

  5. Crankie Frankie says:

    Oh dear, I love the councils ‘Introducing 15 minutes 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,’ are they serious! you’d be lucky to get a coffee in that time going through malls Maccas drive through, why not just have FREE in city Parking from 10am to 2pm that way all the city workers will already be at work and won’t hog all the parking and if they did they would have to move at 2pm or be fined, It’s about time Council realises that convenient and easy FREE parking totally determines our choice of shopping destination, I always remember years ago when they started buggering around with the mall the song where singer Joni Mitchell lamented that “They’ve paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

    • Rosemarie says:

      There is at least one shop in the Mall for whom 15 minutes would not be enough. Whenever I visit MaryWho? Bookshop, even to just “pop in” for a couple of cards, I end up browsing for halfan hour. What does this Council think they are doing?

  6. The Magpie says:

    Another enterprise Rabieh Krayem is assocted with goes tits up – Stadiums Quensland board is sacked for ‘pric gouging clubs’.


    Christ, Rabieh, how’re ya gunna pay Barry Taylor now for his defamation action against the Magpie!!

    But how could Anna Alphabet let go of this colossus of business acumen, as is outlined in his bio on the Stadiums Queensland website.
    ‘Mr Rabieh Krayem: A member of the Premier’s Business Advisory Council and Chairman of the North Queensland Fury FC. His previous positions include General Manager of Cronulla Leagues Club, CEO of North Queensland Cowboys and CEO of North Queensland Fury.  He is the Managing Director of Outcome Results, a human resources solutions and consulting business.’

    Of course they skated over a few details, like left Cronulla under dubious circumstances (sacked for reasons not revealed), booed by Cowboys fan s when he attended a game and was subsequently sacked as Cowboys GM suspected of trading insolvent, soccer’s national body disenfranchised the Fury while Krayem was their boss, and no mention of his sterling effort of sending the Humanis job seek company down the tubes to the tune of $14million smackeroonies.

    But maybe The ‘Pie has got it wrong and there are perfectly innocent explanations why Rabieh Krayem isn’t a dud businessman. We’ll all find out when he takes the witness box to explain his side of the story. If he ever does.

  7. One legged tap dancer says:

    Mayor Mullet predictably avoided a clash of the titans, sorry tyrants, last week when Clive Palmer announced plans to reopen the Bohle nickel refinery to reap a billion dollar harvest of cobalt lurking in the tailings dams.
    The possibility of hundreds of new/old jobs should have had our employment focused mayor rolling out the welcome mat.
    But, as reported here (but not in The Mayor’s Own Paper) Clive is suing the Mullet for $3 million in defamation.
    So with that $3 million hanging over her head the Mullet ducked for cover and sent her scapegoat Messagebank Walker to face the media.
    This has become a familiar ploy by female leaders in this city, with Sandra Harding (JCU), Patricia Puppet (TEL) and Renae Crosby (Port) all following the Mullet’s example by turning up only for positive media opportunities.
    When the news is negative they send their deputies to face the music.
    Gutless or just cunning?

    • The Magpie says:

      And BTW, two things: The ‘Pie has good information that the first stage of the cobalt extraction – i.e the tailings being loaded into barrels, has been underway for a few weeks now, with the EPA saying they know nothing about it, ‘that is up to Mr Palmer’ so it seems he has contractors working at Yabulu for him … and he has publicly said that he intends to ship the product to customers overseas through thE Port of BRISBANE.

      • The Magpie says:

        Also has escaped everyone’s notice that cobalt is an element in battery manufacture? Is Mayor Mullet up to her usual two-faced modus operandi and has secretly kissed and made up with Palmer for a deal on the blue-sky battery plant? Watch out for that council development corporation and commercial in confidence deals.

        • The Rolling Eye says:

          Some time back, Mayor Mullet’s journalist daughter did a spot of ‘under the table’ media work for a PUP campaign. Any Clive/Jenny standoff is smoke and mirrors.

  8. Pat Coleman says:

    Pie you Pelican, mine own personal views and research -expressed without the “flourishes” of your manboobed feather dance about why who is who and what , without even a hint of Abbott and Costello is at http://cynicism centraltownsvilleaustralia.blogspot.com Also , I’m the bloke who any writ goes to. For those that relished their “everyone has a right to be a bigot” stance , that unhrc case dealt with reading out the universal declaration of human rights without a permit. They all refused to uphold the unhrc decision. The pie got that pic from http://www.remedy.org.au which was lifted by google. You will find most of the docs at http://cynicismcentral.pvthosting.net so before anyone gobs off I’m can add people to the retirement fund for not checking . Thanks pied pelican for getting out my scoops because most , not all local journo can chose there own species of talking parrot to be named after. On my blog I call for cleaning yabulu off the map. Just scroll through , I will add the rocky springs stuff shortly.

    • The Magpie says:

      Dear readers, as The ‘Pie somewhat more politely pointed out in this week’s blog, the man himself has above demonstrated that a tour of Mr Coleman’s mind is akin to a roller coaster ride through a paint ball fight in the middle of the gay mardi gras while sipping on an angel dust smoothie. Flashes, colours, swirls, dizzying heights and plunges, all in a language which occasionally approximates English. Mr Coleman has been all but begging a flattered ‘Pie to spruik his own website (as above) to which you are welcome, folks.

      Pat, if you really want to make you’re point to the time-poor readers of websites, best stick with the steadying translating hand of The Magpie, otherwise you will continue to be howling by yourself at the lonely sky under your own personal moon. So sad that would be.

  9. Dave of Kelso says:

    Sputtering Tiger Moth, SPUTTERING TIGER MOTH???

    The Tiger Moth is the Lady of the Sky not to be besmirched by feathered creatures that have to flap. Really Dear ‘Pie? I expect better of you.

    • The Magpie says:

      Careful there, sport, The ‘Pie lost his grandfather to a Tiger Moth. Bloody gimcrack things they are, shouldn’t b allowed to share the sky!

  10. Concerned says:

    If Sarah Hanson Young did say that “all men are rapist”, than is she calling her own father a rapist?

    • The Magpie says:

      Yup, certain discombobulated members of the sisterhood subscribe to that idea, apparently. But if we are all rapists, we blokes have had the hard choice of gentlemanly behaviour or thinking of the future of the species, the old populate or perish stipulation.

      • Achilles says:

        Police have arrested a man for shagging with Hansen-Young he has been charged with having an offensive person on his weapon.

        • The Magpie says:

          hahahaha … but will you be laughing when the feminazis with the tin snips, nipple clips, car battery and wet towels catch up with you? One thinks not.

  11. Mike Shearer says:

    With the V8 circus only a week away, I’m thinking of the promises of an economic bonanza and zillions of local jobs… The bonanza has never happened, and the jobs have been advertised on websites specifically intended for backpackers. The huge marquee in Reid Park was erected – you’ve guessed it – by backpackers on minimal pay and conditions.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      If you actually stepped foot in the place Mike you just might see all the jobs and $$ that the event generates, we have 12 this year from as far away as USA for the weekend, just signed off on Friday for the $24k track spend for this year and $15k accomodation, I would anticipate another $7-8k on meals, incidentals for the weekend,. 7 of the 12 are from out of town and two are bringing families along who have no interest in motor sport whatsoever and will amuse themselves doing other things for the weekend. Not one of these people would have probably ever thought about visiting Townsville without a reason to bring them here, will they ever be back, who the fuck knows but without the event they would not have come here in the first place.

      • Mike Shearer says:

        In past years I’ve been to the track, I’ve talked to locals, I’ve questioned businesses, I’ve spoken to service clubs who wanted to put up sales stand. I’ve read the reports of the “studies” by JCU that purported to show a handsome profit for the city. Smoke and mirrors. Hamilton and NZ called the V8’s bluff over claimed economics, Melbourne spends $millions subsidising the F1s, no city anywhere that hosts motor sport events has shown that it has made a profit. If Townsville is the exception why are the details kept so tightly under wraps?

        Could you please explain more your figures: “just signed off on Friday for the $24k track spend”. Do you mean that 12 persons from as far away as the US have in a few days spent $24k of their own money on track work, and $15k on motel/hotel accommodation, etc? If not their own money, whose was it? Part of the TCC subsidy? Those are claims that the event organisers would use to justify their activities, but no convincing detail ‘cos of C-in-C considerations.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          No Mike, all paid for by the business I work for, that is $24k for corporate tickets for our guest to the event, 12 tickets @$2k each for the three days, $15k for accomodation for our guests in town at the Grand Chancellor and the $8k or probably more will cover dinner Fri & Sat nights for ourselves and guests at restaurants in town, whatever our guests spend on other things whilst in town is up to them, this doesn’t include the inflated costs of airfares to get everyone here, that comes out of Global travel and not local promotions funding. I know of many other businesses that spend the same or more on the event as well, it is one of the most popular events on our list that include, state of origins, both footy grand finals and another 3 or 4 of the big V8 events around the country, I know it’s not your cup of tea but to dismiss the benifits of something because you personally don’t like it is flawed logic.

          • The Wulguru Wonder says:

            Hey Cranky but Contented….I would happily accept some tickets to the AFL granny when you are handing them out later in the year…..although as a Doggies supporter it might be a while before I see my boys do the victory lap again….

          • Polythene Pam says:

            I think, with respect, that the point Mike seeks to make is a valid one – his criticism it seems to me comes not from whether or not he likes V8 motor car racing (I don’t know if he does or doesn’t, but let’s assume he doesn’t) but from his demand that the so-called “economic benefits” to Townsville of subsidising the race stack up. That is hardly “flawed logic”. It really is a simple mathematical exercise: what is the return economic benefit to the city in subsidising the V8 race? How is that figure calculated?

          • The Magpie says:

            And one of the most telling factors in Mike’s favour is why back when, at the start of all this, he put a series of very logical and valid questions to the economic gurus who put out the glowing estimates – they were all published on this blog years ago. AND THEY WERE NEVER ANSWERED.
            The reports were full of favourable suppositions about possible spend and very little about what Mike has just pointed out about who gets the dough and where’s the benefit. The ‘Pie does not doubt for a minute Cranky Pants facts, but it’s fair enough for Mike to question the conclusions he reaches from them.

            Hey, let’s ask the Moet-imbibing Mayor Mullet (she of the red vinyl bomber jacket on race day) – she’s fair minded and clearly a financial and economics whizz.

          • Mike Shearer says:

            OK, a reasonable amount of the $12k on restaurants will likely stay in Townsville. What part of the accommodation costs at the hotel do you reckon actually stays here, what is paid to Grand Hotels International? Who gets the $24k paid for tickets if not V8 Supercars? To argue the economics of the Event it’s essential that the money trail is followed to separate the overall local and external sources and final recipients. That has never been done for the Townsville event, and pertinent questions I put to the JCU business school when questioning their questionable reports have never been answered.

            I agree that “.. to dismiss the benifits of something because you personally don’t like it is flawed logic”. I just want the benefits to be proved, with fact-based logic not the flawed logic of claimed popularity supported by favourable anecdotes.

            This is my last post on the V8s for this year, and thanks Magpie for indulging me.

  12. Lady Byron says:

    I must say that you look very handsome in that picture Pie! Do you have a date for the court hearing? I would love to be there to watch the proceedings. We can maybe get a gang together: “Magpie’s Molls” and wave placards? Miss Lou I know would join in.

  13. Cockie says:

    I noticed on the Ranga Leftie Canberra’s representative’s in Townsville display at the show, items advertised as delivered on Friday, have changed to committed, today as I walked past. I was going to ask if the $M100 for water security had come from the coffers of the Labour Party, and who actually received the delivery. Can politicians or political parties be fined for false advertising, if not, why not.

  14. The Magpie says:

    It is with deep personal sadness that I have just been informed that my great personal friend Ron Bairstow passed away overnight at his Perth home. To regular readers here, Ron was Sandgroper, or Gropes as he became more familiar … and also Rotten Ronny. I have no details just at the moment, but will post something further when I know more.

    Ron was 78.

  15. TCC engineroom says:

    Internal email delivered Friday afternoon about the Bowen Rd bridge. Restrictions are in place for vehicles 13t and over due to old age of the bridge. When did they know? How will it be policed? What damage has been done? How is 6-10 cars in a row traveling south bound not the same weight as a truck? Stress would be the same. This is a major artery in townsville why is this not front page?

    • Critical says:

      I thought that Bowen Rd and Stuart Drive were the responsibility of the Qld Dept of Main Roads and not TCC. If this is so, wouldn’t the Bowen Road bridge be a Qld government responsibility? If not, and the bridge is a TCC responsibility then nothing will happen until Anna gives TCC money to either repair or replace the bridge given TCC budget woes and mirrors and what a good election ploy of money coming to Townsville given Qld government and TCC elections due within 21 months.

      • TCC engineroom says:

        That would probably explain why the release was dept of transport. If I’m wrong so be it either way the bridge must have something wrong with it to ban heavy vehicals for extended period. If there’s a weight limit then why is it just internal to TCC? What happens if a semi damages it or worse falls through? The bridge is 60yrs old and should have been replaced years ago and duplicated. If I remember when some ashphelt moved in center of brisbane they had it fixed nearly overnight. Why are we in townsville exposed to a potential disaster? Why hasn’t it been published anywhere? Ok if I’m chicken little and the sky dosnt fall then egg on my face, my point still being if there’s a weight limit then there’s a problem somewhere how much danger is there to the public? How many trucks have driven over since they found any issues? Townsville will end up on national geographic channel on seconds from disaster! Both TCC and state labour have no money so no infrastructure will be built here in near future. 35mil for 3kmof road in harpers area what’s orourke doing to fix this?

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      It’s all to do with the loadings on each axle. Not to do with cumulative weight.

      • The Magpie says:

        And the smaller area over which the weight is distributed.

      • TCC engineroom says:

        I’ll try to find a copy of the announcement to share with the blog. Initially I asked if it was axel weight aposed to actual vehicals weight but was told it was the second of the 2. This is just another worry to our infrastructure. Stanley st had a sinkhole, howitt st and the bridge into the cemetery had axel weight limits applied due to the worry of collapse. This on top of the cleverland bay treatment plant rusting from inside out a couple of years back which resulted in multi million dollar fix. What is hidding under us around the city that was neglected and is now being found. I think it’s also published on tmr website. I’m happy to be proved wrong but very scary knowing it’s a bridge with a very long drop.

        • The Magpie says:

          Look forward to getting it. If possible, for ease and space, can you make it a link rather than a pdf.

          • Scientician79 says:

            On this page scroll down until you find “Bowen Rd Bridge Ross River Bridge” in the second column, then click to expand the detail of the work.


            Small except of the relevant part.

            “During these works, access to vehicles less than 13 tonnes (approximately a bus or smaller) will be maintained. Larger vehicles will need to use alternative routes during the works. ”

            Looks like the restriction is in place because the remediation work is about to commence.

          • The Magpie says:

            Well spotted, and the link tends to answer the other question; it’s a state government responsibility.

          • TCC engineroom says:

            The columns are to be repaired apparently hence the weight restrictions

  16. Mike Douglas says:

    Heads up ! The astonisher has had a price increase from $1.60-$1.70 = 6.25% .like other industries that got a 3.5% increase does this flow onto journos ?.

  17. Droopy draws says:

    That is terrible news Pie. My condolences to his family and all who knew him. He certainly added lively material here to read….

  18. Fat Toad says:

    PFAS foam is at every Townsville fire station site past and present. Out of date foam was put on the lawns as a fertilizer.
    It contained OX blood and some formaldehyde.

  19. Moment says:

    Saddened to read news of loss of a great contributor and a friend, Magpie.

  20. The Magpie says:


    But what a wonderful and fitting way to go!

    For those who missed the earlier post, my close friend of many decades, Ron Bairstow, died in Perth on the weekend. He was 78. As previously mentioned, Ron was commenter Sandgroper (down to Gropes in the end) and Rotten Ronny to those in the family Nest here.

    Ron was born in the farm country of WA, and said he was allowed to drive farm vehicles ‘when my feet could touch the pedals’. Thus a love of vehicles and mobility began early. He became a successful journalist before crossing the continent to Townsville with his life-long love, wife Shiela, and for more than 20 years, theirs was the premier media management company for a string of blue chip clients, including Sun Metals and Townsville Grammar. He was deeply involved in the creation of Townsville Enterprise, and had in recent years was continually dismayed that this once dynamic entity had become ‘a regressive political pawn’, as he put it.

    Ron and Shiela returned to the west in retirement to be near family, especially their grand children, on whom Ron doted. He often spoke with pride about his son Brett, a prominent Perth surgeon and fellow classic car enthusiast, Brett’s wife and their children.

    But throughout his career, Ron’s first love outside family was of cars. and his passion for rallying them and racing them never abated

    He was pretty good at it too. Even to the last, he held a CAMS licence, which certainly spoke highly for a 78-year-old. And he didn’t hold it as some sort of souvenir of past glories, he still rallied and raced, and when not doing that, he was driving the highways and byways of Australia, Ron was never happier than behind the wheel, and after his beloved Shiela died some years ago, Ron managed his grief by taking to the open road. He covered tens of thousands of kilometres in the past few years, and always with relish at the sheer pleasure of driving and the camaraderie of the wonderful people he met and befriended. He maintained many valued friendships here in Townsville, and came back to visit occasionally.

    And here’s an uplifting circumstance of how my great friend departed our company. After he lost his wife, and knowing his family was secure, Ron said, as he told a Today Tonight audience last March, that his philosophy was to leave ‘an empty wallet and empty bottles when the grim reaper arrives”. But there was on extra bonus for Ron’s last hurrah.

    Son Brett, whom I’ve never met, had the kindness to take the time to send me this email.

    “(Dad) had a cardiac event while on a ‘sighting lap’ before a track day on Tuesday, lost consciousness and the car went off the side of the track and rolled to a stop. No trauma, had track medic attention, got to hospital but never woke up. A life lived full to the end”. 

    So Ron, who never wanted to be a burden and have an emotionally trying end with his family gathered around his bedside, was instead, when his last moments came, surrounded one of his cherished cars and was amid the smell of high octane petrol when he set out on that final journey.

    His funeral will be at Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park, Padbury WA on Friday (likely at 11am). Cortège start point TBA and will likely feature a rolling museum given his connection to the racing and classic car fraternity here in Perth and the huge number of people who knew him.

    Vale Ron, I will miss your friendship and wise counsel.

    Malcolm Weatherup

    This is the TV interview from last March.



    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Wonderful words Pie and what a great way to go, doing something that you really love and enjoy, I subscribe fully to Gropes empty wallet and empty bottles theory, I say a similar thing to my family when I shovel a few bucks their way, take it now whilst I am still earning a dollar because when I stop I am going to blow the lot. He was always so articulate when writing comments on here and I enjoyed his back and forth with yourself, Grumpy and Muddy over the years and fitting that the last words I associate with him is “leave an empty wallet and empty bottles” , just wonderful Ron.

      • Old Mudpicker-Saluting Gropes says:

        Wherever you are Old Mate, may the roads be smooth, the tyres warm and engine cranking. Foot to the floor and adios Gropes, we will miss you.

      • Grumpy says:

        I, too, was shocked and deeply saddened by the news.

        I shall always associate him with one legendary, uproarious lunch.

        See you later, Old Fella

  21. Sleepless in hermit park says:

    You know , I had a dream the other night around last years capture of a new fangled drone thingy at the v8’s
    They are cheap as chips and in the dream an enterprising crew of young radical urban guerrilla’s bought a heap down south to carry out their clever but dastardly plan. The plan , devised by their cunning as a rat bald headed militant midget separatist feminist butch lesbian leader with sailor tattoo’s – was to target the Townsville V8’s on behalf of the oppressed peoples of Townsville. The plan was to fly the drones into the rotors of the camera choppers on the Saturday morning. Not that it would destroy them, but they would all have to be grounded for inspection giving a victory to residents cos its a weekend see and it can’t happen till Monday , and so went the cunning plan. But wait, the coppers cottoned on and brought along some drone guns but they all zeroed in on jenny hill ………I’de like to tell you how it ended but the FOF’s (friends of F.O.N.C – friend of no c&%#) woke me up the other nihjt

  22. Kelsie J says:

    Read with interest in the Opinion by Peta Credlin in the Sunday Mail, that OTool won Herbert by 37 votes in 2016 and there were 42 possible double voting cases and Federal Police were investigating. Why has nothing happened. We are supposed to be a technological savvy country yet they don’t use computers to tick off voters when they vote! Herbert might be led down the garden path by the wrong leader!!!!!!

    • The Magpie says:

      Even more interesting, if memory serves, Jumbo Dumbo Jones declined to make any further challenge on the result. Rumour has it that the party refused to back him (i.e pay for it), a theory borne out by the LNP’s subsequent turfing of his candidature quest for Herbert.

      • Kelsie J says:

        Re Jones non contest, surely in a logical universe ha ha ha, if numbers are close in elections, the first thing to be checked would be multiple voters…. Not rocket science me thinks….

    • Cockie says:

      Kelsie J Yes I also read the article, and wondered why the double voting was not followed up. It gives no confidence in the electoral commission, why do we not have to prove who we are when voting, and why aren’t electoral rolls linked so when you present for voting you are marked off across the state.

  23. Kelsie J says:

    U say they are repairing Bowen Road bridge. What about Rooney’s Bridge:
    “ A long awaited bridge that connected the suburbs of Oonoonba and Railway Estate opened in Townsville with the usual ribbon-cutting fanfare in December 1954 and was duly named in honour of a pioneering Townsville family – the Rooney family.”We have nearly 200000 people in Townsville and we have 2 ancient bridges that are accidents waiting to happen. Look at Rockhampton multi lane bridges and weep. No wonder Townsvillians feel cheated.

    • The Magpie says:

      Labor governments can ignore labor communities ,,, they open thir wallets where they’re not in power locally in order to win votes. As the Russian insurance meerkat says ‘Simple’.

  24. The Magpie says:

    Does The Townsville Bulletin’s generosity know no bounds?

    Sincere thanks News Ltd for raising the weekday price by 10 cents – that means when we as usual don’t buy the paper, we are saving $1.70 instead of $1.60.

  25. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Tigerair have given Townsville the arse effective 1 August, no reason on their website just a pop up stating if you have tickets post 1 Aug to contact the airline, very strange, numbers have been solid since they introduced the service.

    • The Magpie says:


      • Hee - Haw says:

        I think we (insert Qld gov and ratepayers) paid a handsome subsidy to bring them here last year and if I recall correctly the subsidy ran for a year.

        Not a coincidence I don’t think.

      • Jatzcrackers says:

        Tiger are owned by Virgin these days and subsequently currently hold the best performance record for on time departures/arrivals in Australia.
        I’m told that all airline in Australia (and Internationally) are actively recruiting pilots so as a budget operation and with the opportunity to advance, perhaps Tigers aviators are jumping ship. Tiger are also going through a fleet change from Airbuses to Boeings so we may see Virgin take up the slack but don’t hold your breath.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, dunno about your doubts in the last sentence. An industry insider has just told me that Tiger sar saying they can utilise their aircraft to better capacity elsewhere. The contact thinks they are becoming more entwined with Virgin and so probably rationalising their services to increase capacity where they can, but finds it interesting that this will push capacity to Jetstar.

          Here’s our industry operators were advised of the termination.

          Good afternoon everyone,

          Tiger have announced that they will cease operating the Melbourne-Townsville services from 1 August 2018. Sale of these flights will be removed from the booking system on 3 July 2018.

          All affected customers booked to travel on these Tigerair services from 1 August 2018 onwards will be notified by the airline and will be re-accommodated on to Virgin Australia services, via Sydney and Brisbane. Where customers cannot be re-accommodated or would prefer not to travel on their new Virgin Australia service, they will be eligible for a full refund.

          • Memory Man says:

            This is a balls-up of not insignificant proportions. It basically highlights the hand-outs mentality of the idiots running the city, and why relying on them (the handouts and the idiots) is foolhardy.

            If you want plenty of regular, direct flights to and from places domestically and overseas you need the demand. Flights to Bali bombed because there wasn’t enough demand, especially on the return leg. Flights to Melbourne bombed because plenty of Townsvilleans took advantage of subsidised fares but few Melbourneans did.

            Poor marketing and promotions is one of the reasons for the failure, as is a failure to realise that volume is going to come from tapping into global growth markets. The place needs a holistic approach to travel and tourism infrastructure, with facilities that can position it to tap the Asian markets.


    • The Magpie says:

      FYI Cranky Pants, your comment beat the Astonisher by almost two hours. Well done, citizen journalist.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        So our airport is doing well?
        I hope that the mayors statement urging Townsville residents to not fly Qantas isn’t taken up. Otherwise we will be a one airline town.
        At least Airports Corp welcome Qantas customers flying in and out warmly to the ninja walk to the Qantas club.

  26. Achilles says:

    So now the acadickheads broadcast yet another contradictory “study” result. bullshit in, bull shit out

    • Mike Shearer says:

      I don’t understand, Achilles. You imply it wasn’t a legitimate study (else why the quotes?) and where’s the “bullshit in.”. A study over a decade with such a large number of participants is about as fair dinkum a study as you’ll get. The conclusions appear to have been based on sophisticated statistical techniques. No bullshit there that I can see. But since academics are obvious dickheads (a belief for which you provide no evidence) who knows? Can’t just anybody’s opinion these days (except mine).

  27. Memory Man says:

    Smart water solutions having an impact on Adelaide. Yes, it’s another solution that involves Taggle. Why? Because it is clearly working, not only here but in many other places. Those who grumble about it are invited to suggest alternatives so that the city knows about as many possible solutions as possible. I’m technologically agnostic, so let’s get plenty of options on the table. Incidentally, the council’s own water people trialled Taggle a couple of years ago and have, in various presentations over the years, confirmed that their own trial results validate savings and a business case.


    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Memeory Man, I hope your commission from Taggle is a good one, because why would anyone think that any sort of data listed from any one of their trails would in any way refer a similar outcome in Townsville here under an allocation system, I presume you are in some way aware of the various models of delivery and associated charges, and I presume you analyse the data against the delivery model in each location, for anyone to think any sort of cost recovery would be applicable under an allocation system is clearly ignorant or analysing the data from a tainted perspective, either way the facts renaming the same, the data is not applicable under the current pricing model in Townsville.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        The Taggle monitoring system would be very handy on the “egshell” pipe bringing water into the CBD. The Brownsville water delivery pipe system from the treatment plant is unreliable and in a very precarious position. Early notification of leakage and potential failure is desirable / essential.

      • Water Water Everywhere says:

        Yet again, why comment on something demonstrating that you know nothing about it dear Cranky?

        The Taggle System was trialed in something like 300 homes in Townsville from 2012 to 2014.

        Results over the 24 months show a 10% reduction of water consumption by residents that could see their hourly consumption through an online portal.

        Further, it showed that at any one time at least 6% of homes had leaks – as high as 400 Litres per hour.

        A business case was prepared which was never released nor acted upon which showed the payback period of a full roll out to be in the vicinity of 4 years with a 10 year lifetime of the system (with a guarantee by the supplier for the full 10 years).

        Why you continue to dispute these claims is interesting, possibly because you have vested interest in another system, or even a specific water meter??

        While some areas of Council are advocating for the Taggle Solution, based on the data and conclusions from the trial and the learnings and experiences from Mackay (which are first hand accounts and not hearsay), those same areas would be more than open to any other solution that is proven, available and cost effective. No one have been provided so far.

        The fact that Townsville is still persisting with the archaic allocation system does not alter the fact that savings can be made by the reduced cost of purchasing water from Trility (who run the Water Treatment Plant) as well as the operational savings from pumping costs. Furthermore, savings are made by reducing the cost per meter read as well as the instantaneous detection of malfunctioning meters.

        And I can go on, the fact that at least 15% of all water produced by the water treatment plants is lost to reticulation leaks, that at the moment go undetected until a catastrophic failure brings water to the surface, and the fact that this can be reduced dramatically by understanding the water balance in the system can lead to even more significant failures.

        And, if the Pie will indulge me ranting on a little longer, further efficiencies can be made through the fact that water consumption data at that level can inform planning decisions to the level were decisions are made, heaven forbid, based on facts and not models and estimates.

        Naysayers like yourself will continue to hold this city back, regardless of your otherwise noble intentions (which I have no doubt are hidden there somewhere)

        If someone would just approach the Council and request the release of the Trial reports, maybe the public could better understand what was actually done in Townsville, and how a Smart Water Solution is vital for meaningful Demand Management and the long term sustainable water supply.

        • Dave Nth says:

          I like my allocation so hands off. I lived in Victoria when it was removed and all it did was create another bloated bureaucracy. From experience we will end up paying more for much less when the fees inevitably rise. The problem here at all levels is the reliance on infrastructure built for times of much smaller populations.

          $200mil could have gone part way to building a new dam instead of white elephants like Lancini Stadium, when Governments start getting serious about real infrastructure and not using lazy methods of continuing their largesse dressed up as green initiatives and looking after vested interests then I think it would be time to have that conversation. Till then no thanks, I don’t want to give them a reason to pull more out of my wallet that already has enough moths flying out of it…

          • Guy says:

            adding “technology” to the water meter on a household water supply is there to do one thing – make money for the company supplying the technology. water rates explode and what was being proposed by the tyrell council and put into action until just before the council election will be a happy memory to what will happen once “technology” gets its claws in.

            so you have 90,000 water meters installed , then you need to maintain them, what if they start going wrong? if it goes wrong the council and fellow travellers that installed them will not survive – elections of any kind are always won with marginal votes – the water rates go up – the existing council first looses some of its seats and finally is driven out , lock stock and barrel.

            keep it simple – recycle all water and either pump it back into the drinking water system or sell it to industry.

            if we can sell cheap water to industry then something magical will happen – industry and jobs will move to townsville , water and power are major costs for industry. queensland has been going backwards because power and water have been becoming more expensive, building houses doesn’t add anything but DEBT to the buyer and DEBT to the ratepayer.

            i’d lay money on the existing council losing votes the day they install the smart meters and water bills go up. the water bill will have to go up to pay for the expensive water meter to be installed – each ratepayer pays for the water meter purchase and installation and maintenance – its only logical unless you think a magical pixie will pay for it – either way someone will pay one way or the other.

      • Memory Man says:

        No commission asked for, none offered, none taken. I could take offence at the insinuation but that would give it too much credit, S through to the keeper it is :-) Pricing model is up the proverbial creek, no doubt, but as ably pointed out by others in some detail, council has a business case that stacks up, based on their own trials. No serious alternatives have been put on the table to date. Time for the city to just get on with it. Other regions and cities have.

        • The Magpie says:

          Taken the points of debate from all contributors on this issue, one question – real one, not being a smart arse … why hasn’t this apparently proven system been adopted? What sensible arguments have been put up against it?

          • Water Water Everyhwere says:

            The answer to that question goes to some of the major faults of the organisation Pie.

            There are too many egos in places of influence.

            The much maligned (mostly unjustly) IT department of Council has been holding the implementation up since the conclusion of the trial as they have a very grand (albeit very vague) vision of a smart city and they have been trying to push their agenda over that of Townsville Water.

            Unfortunately those few that have advocated against it are in a position where they had the ear of the CEO, Mayor and Deputy Mayor for too long, spreading false information and outright lies.

            There is not a single credible argument against the implementation of a Smart Water Solution using the Taggle System.

            If someone has some credible arguments, I am yet to hear them.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Pie the simple reason is the recovery costs blow out back end and timelines of cost recovery grow also as software costs and interchange fees negate any savings. I will point out this is on a domestic fleet install, which is where this debate mostly sits, there are savings to be made monitoring mains delivery which can detect leaks and prevent main bursts etc as identified by Water Water Everywhere, but when people think about monitoring a domestic fleet it is a giant con and cost recovery is at the very best marginal, and in cases like Townsville where an allocation system deters any action by the user to remedy leaks or change behaviour the system will never pay for itself, ever, where as a simple measure of doubling the price of the water will reduce demand by 30% as the amount of users switching away from the allocation to user pays will increase dramatically. I had data on this shit going back to the 90’s when we worked with Sydney Water , Melbourne and Brisbane councils , all of which have not rolled out data complaint meter domestic meter fleet. In Sydney for example a homeowner can purchase a data compliant meter but Sydney water will not, for one very simple reason, they cannot recover the cost. The Taggle system itself is a good product but is an after market add on data device, not a measurement instrument, so it is limited in application and also limits the water authority/ council ability to change meter types if it chooses, with a vast amount of new high performance meters coming into the market any water authority would be reluctant to limit its options in regards to meters because of the data device installed, essentially the tail would be wagging the dog, not a good commercial outcome.

          • Water Water Everyhwere says:

            Cranky, technology has envolved since the 90s…

            The business case prepared by council included all costs, installation, software, communication fees etc.

            The major cost recovery comes from the deferral of infrastructure which is achieved by reducing peak and continuous demand.

            There are no limits what a water authority can do with the data collected by the Taggle System, it complies with NMI requirements for billing. Mackay has been doing this for years. In a dispute, the point of truth remains the physical meter read.

            Monitoring mains meters is great, however, if not all end points are also metetred, how do you distinguish between legitimate use and a leak?

            Having expensive non mechanical meters at a domestic level is not cost effective and has no payback.

            And, Taggle are working with meter manufacturers to integrate their radio into a meter. I believe there is a commercial version available right now from one of the major meter companies.

            You keep harping on about your experiences with Melbourne Water and Sydney water 20 years ago… mayb times have changed and technology along with it? Or how would we explain that nearly all councils on North Queensland are implementing a smart water solution? (Mackay – 40,000 end points, Isaac Shire Council, Charters Towers Regiona Council, Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Mareeba Shire Council, Tablelands Regional Council (in discussions) ) and a host of other councils in NSW, NT and VIC.

            And your continued stance on how it does not pay and all is smoke and mirrors is just that – a deception. It is quite clear that the one council that has a smart water system rolled out is absolutely seeing payback and in more than the areas they expected, would you care to offer some facts as to why you believe all of Mackay Regional Council – from employees to elected officials – are lying?

          • Grumpy says:

            Would it be rude to ask where is IBM in all this?

          • The Magpie says:

            Off message but speaking of IBM, wonder if Big Blue is in technical charge of Queensland Lotteries … the systems for everything … lotto, scratchies (which have to be scanned out at time of sale) the whole shebang went down state-wide this morning at 8.30, with no explanation to agents. And on the night when there is a massive Powerball jackpot tonight … early estimates of lost ticket sales is in the millions. It was supposed to be restored at 12.30, but don’t know if that’s happened. No explanation offered at time of writing.

          • Water Water Everyhwere says:

            IBM is nowhere in this Gumpy. While they were partners in the 2012-2014 trial, the choice of software platform would form part of the tender.

            Mackay for instance developed their own software platform (MiWater) and there are other similar products available.

  28. One legged tap dancer says:

    Been busy so only just caught up with the sad news about Ron Bairstow.
    He was a true blue Aussie and a genuine community leader, unlike the current shysters who claim to be “decision makers” but have never done anything of substance.
    For those of us the wrong side of 70
    his sudden passing is a wake up call to live every day like it could be your last.
    We should hold a wake in his memory at one of his favourite Townsville watering holes on Friday to empty a few bottles and spend some of our kids inheritance.

  29. Dutch Reverend says:

    Just heard on the news that Tigerair withdrawing the Melbourne flights is a blow to Townsville tourism. I would have thought it’s more a case of lack of the tourism was a blow to Tigerair. Is our illustrious Mayor going to boycott Virgin ?

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Prediction: Jenny will boycott all airlines and go Greyhound.

      • I'll be plucked says:

        She may well do that NAW! Or, develop a taste for private jet hire, or, maybe her mate Clive ‘I’m suing you for 3mill Madam Mayor’ will help out with his one!?

  30. The Magpie says:

    Is Mayor Jenny Hill about to pull the rug from under Townsville Enterprise’s long, featherbedded ratepayer-funded ride? There seems to be evidence of this, to which The ‘Pie has been alerted this a bit of sharp web research by our old mate Pat Coleman.

    Pat has just has just put up a post showing that Townsville Enterprise has donated a substantial contribution to the state LNP.
    This is doubly startling given that Jenny Hill is the deputy chair of the TEL Board. Be interesting to know what the general fee paying membership think of this, let alone the Townsvillle ratepayers, who stump an annual $750,000 to the creaking outfit.

    As we know – and if you don’t you will when you take a peek at his website – Pat does tend to run on a bit, so here is the condensed core of the matter, as he has written it.

    Pat writes:
    ‘Townsville Enterprise which has survived on public funding, much of it from previous Townsville Council Budgets has been widely criticised as an arm of the “Townsville Mafia” for many decades by environmental activists.
    It has been an active soldier in the war against the environment and workers rights.

    TEL has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from the Townsville city council over the years, but recently, the council decided it was going to engage with its developer donor mates, in a hostile takeover of the local ‘mafia’ by setting up another development corporation along the lines of the highly criticised Ipswich model.

    It seems the TEL GANG is openly taking up this turf war challenge by buying an alliance with the QLD LNP . The have done this by donating $6000 to the QLD LNP on 25/6/2018. This is evidenced by the real time disclosure entry on the Electoral Commission of Qld Website:
    This is an outright illegal donation by a developer representative organisation aswell, and as they know it its an outright act of desperation.’

    You get see more of the thoughts of Chairman Pat on this issue and many (many many) others on his website

    • Hee Haw says:

      Re TEL making a political contribution:
      I have been searching for a copy of the TEL constitution or charter but
      cannot locate either.

      Any of your contacts have one as I am sure it would say something about
      being non political? I think making such a donation is a massive failure and
      a misuse of money from members and sponsors.

      This should and I think will mark the end of them.

      I will keep looking

  31. Moment says:

    A bit more trivia. From The an old Courier Mail here in Bris Vegas, Qld Councils tabled rate increases.
    Logan 1.48% (water and sewerage charged at $16 per household as only increase due to bulk water cost by Qld Gov. )
    Brisbane 1.7% & Ipswich 2.5% increase. Mention of some old Council developments a little over budget by around $80m and consideration for the tradition of wearing pajamas for future news conferences.
    Reported in the Magpie. Bulletin front page mid week says ‘Townsville’ had ‘touted one of the lowest in Qld at 1.9%’increase’.
    Townsville 1.9% Not too bad, you think? Then reported as $70 increase expected per household.
    Logan $38.76 (1.48% ) Dog Registration is $35 if interested.
    Ipswich $50 (2.5%) No Dogs mentioned. Quite a few at the top recently getting a short shift and a few others looking shaky with more than a few leaving a surprise under the table.
    Now just wait until that new big pipe is connected to Townsville and the ongoing small charge when not being used.
    Ongoing ‘Maintenance’ for Old Pipe, New Pipe, plus the fast tracking and interest payments for borrowing from Qld Gov (Treasury to make a few extra dollars) for getting it all started a little earlier. Jobs you know and add all that to the rates increase next time up. We may need some of those clever Ipswich detachments up here (2.5 % at only $50) everyone would be happy with that small increase.
    Maybe another play on percentages/numbers and another on general land values.
    Last FY year TEL were paid $2M Federal Gov. Budget nb ‘LA’, for the completion of the feasibility of Hells Gate Dam by June 2018, what and where is that report? Water Water everywhere with RR Dam still at 80%.
    Townsville’s WFTAG to raise this (not just a 2m bit of a ‘dog’ on top of BD) Could it be a case of, Don’t Mention, ‘A NEW DAM,’ Shock, Horror, WYMO.
    For those still hanging around ‘B’ Ville in a few years, no need for another feasibility report on Hells Gate. Remember that lost report and June 2018 was the lowest rate increase ever at $70.

  32. The Magpie says:

    Why is this even a question?

    • I'll be plucked says:

      I believe it’s ‘a question’ Pie because teachers and school administrators have, in many cases, lost control of classrooms across our country and in some overseas education jurisdictions. Baby boomer staff ( and the generation after Boomers, whatever they are called) many whom are now in positions of high office in schools and offices, are at a loss to know how to manage digital and IT savvy kids. Parents who have no interest in, or do not support schools are also a big part of the problem.

      Many of our current classrooms are irrelevant to the kids they are supposed to educate due to outdated, boring/mundane curricula and approaches to teaching (according to large numbers of kids). I’m not necessarily agreeing with the kids Pie, just giving you a response to your question…….

      Like it or not, a mobile phone with data connections is seen by today’s kids, from a very young age, as a necessary ‘attachment to their person’ and god help anyone who tries to take it away from them!!!

      • The Magpie says:

        Many schools do take them away at the door … and besides, your argument basically amounts to the tail wagging the dog or the inmates running the asylum. And it’s worth noting that you’re right about the importance of devices to kids, so there is a point of discipline to threaten unruly little snots with. besides, thy have plenty of electronic devics in classrooms now, it’s just that they can’t use them to distribute up-skirts of little Susie in year 7.

  33. Deep Under the Water says:

    Re: Cantankerous but happy on July 5, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Glen, I wonder how much you would comments and opinions would change if RWC, the corporation you represent in NQ, had a competitive product in automatic water meter reading? Just like other utility industries the water industry is in the process of digital transformation and Townsville should get on board now. You are in the dry tropics and you need to be seen to be leading the way.

    • The Magpie says:

      Now there’s the ultimate literary prick tease … if you are CERTAIN of your outing, don’t go half way, Glen who and what company? The ‘Pie sees this as important because some commenters have to remain anonymous for obvious and reasonable reasons (like getting sacked), but pushing a personal commercial agenda behind a false name needs to be called out.

      • Grumpy says:

        He wasn’t hard to find.

        I am getting the distinct impression that these, obviously well informed, techno-heads know exactly who the other posters are and are engaging in a little bit of corporate guerrilla warfare.

        Or…perhaps a triple-sneaky Gruen Transfer trick, designed to intentionally confuse us (we are, boys, rest assured we are) so our eyes glaze over whenever the fascinating and gripping subject of fucking water meters ever comes up in dinner conversation.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      The shortest distance between two points is a straight line and unfortunately you’ve had a detour, close but no cigar, but at least your comment is non brand specific which is refreshing as opposed to others who have hijacked forums and even the Pies blog spruiking a brand specific outcome, there are over a dozen providers of these types of products in the market, that it makes one very weary of the motivating factor for only ever proposing a single brand. If someone proposed the council change to electric vehicles to save costs or whatever that would be a reasonable proposal, on its merits, but if someone constantly proposed a Holden brand electric car for example then wouldn’t anyone be entitled to ask why other brands and models aren’t being considered.

      • The Magpie says:

        Only as a point of argument but maybe other brands and models have been considered and your Holden has come out on toip and is therefore pushed. But your point is well taken in the overall sense.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Thanks Pie, and I can gaurantee you that if I were going to try and abuse your blog to promote a specific brand or product of any sort like others have I will have the decency to put my real name on it rather than slide it in under the guise of a contributor, that way you can decide for yourself to post it or dump it in the trash bin, I would suspect it would be the latter.

      • Water Water Everyhwere says:

        Don’t be surprised here, but I agree.

        Believe it or not there are some in Council that are agnostic to suppliers and solutions. Those same people have extensively investigated the area of Smart Water Solutions, and the mid of technologies associated with them, including water meters, communication types, battery life, analytics platforms, online portals, power consumptions etc etc

        There is one clear leader in all those points, and that’s why that particular company is advocated as the fit for purpose, proven and cost effective solution for Townsville.

        If and when another solution or mix of solutions is available they will enjoy the exact same treatment.

        Some council staff do still want to do what is best for the community and not for their personal gratification or career advancement…

      • Dave of Kelso says:


        Regret to advise the shortest distance between two points is not a straight line, but a great circle. Marine and Aeronautical navigation 101 will inform you of this fact and the difference between the two.

        Yes, nit-picking I know, but there you have it.

        • The Magpie says:

          Nope, sorry Dave, hate to correct you but the shortest distance between say point A and point B IS a straight line… that is if point A is Gina Rinehart and B is a jelly donut.

  34. The Third Reader says:

    I have been out of reach recently Pie and just caught up with the sad news of the passing of your old mate Ron “Sandgroper” Bairstow. I will miss his input to the nest. Sorry for your loss Malcolm.

    • The Magpie says:

      Appreciated mate, yes I knew the old bastard for more than three decades and yup, I’ll miss him. His funeral is in Perth tomorrow.

  35. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Grumps nothing that exciting I am afraid, getting to old for that shit, just get the feeling the good old ratepayers of Townsville are about to be bent over and pumped up the arse once again by another commercial in confidence deal with this stuff, and judging by the constant bombardment of the propaganda from inside council a deal looks to be nearly done, they have even infiltrated Pies nest by stealth and starting “branding” the conversation on here, I think most come on here to escape that stuff but as Pies blog has gained in popularity I guess it is watched carefully and those who ask questions are jumped on from those party to or benefiting from the deal, it all sounds too familiar . Anyway I am off to damage my liver for a few days, if I see the Mullet over the weekend Pie I will ask her what she did with the other two darts.

    • Water Water Everyhwere says:

      Cranky, sorry to disappoint, unfortunately Council is no closer to a deal on a Smart Water Solution than it was 4 years ago.

      And maybe that is part of the reason why more and more people in the know are starting to voice their frustrations in various forums, the Pie’s blog being one of them.

      The only reason Taggle is mentioned is because yourself and others keep making claims about smart water solutions that are blatantly not true, and giving examples of systems (and their successful implementation) that do work inherently includes the naming of those companies.

      Now, if iTron, CISCO, Kamstrup, Sigfox, Ventia, RMC or any other supplier would have a proven system (proven in terms of battery life, reliability, serviceability, payback period, compatibility, climatic conditions) that were cost effective those companies would get as much air time as any others. Alas, this is not the case.

      I understand that is easy, especially at the moment, to always suspect and expect he worst from Council – I guess time will tell and I for one hope that you will be proven wrong.

      • Concerned says:

        4G, garbage trucks receivers, suburb receivers, or taggle?
        What should be happening is the State Government introduces smart electicity meter reading technology and local governments woild then be able to access there network.
        But wait that would be logical.

        • Yet another voice says:

          Dear Concerned, there is already a fully functioning and proven Taggle network operating and available in Townsville. There are also LoRA networks from at least two carriers available, while SigFox is also providing coverage too. In addition both Optus and Telstra will be activating NB-IoT networks over their 4G infrastructure during 2018/19. This is just how it is in most bigger towns in 2018. You have the IoT networks ready and running. I wouldn’t wait for Ergon to help you.

          TCC just needs to do something. Anything. I am mostly based in Mackay and just don’t get why you guys, with your all your water problems, just don’t get it. TBH we are sort of laughing at you guys in local government. I do feel for the poor folk that remain in TCC, every good idea is blocked. A few years back Townsville led the way in smart city thinking, but not anymore.

          • The Magpie says:


          • Concerned says:

            Yet another voice, yes those networks.are available and they do come at varying cost. Sometime ago Ergon have already done the electronic meter reading which was done back over there already existing network. It did have some issues but surely it can be resolved today. If this can be done today why would and shoild all 77 local governments have to go through the costly process when the technology already exist and could be standardised across QLD.
            In other words why waste millions of tax / rated dollars to have duplication of numerous options with the same outcome.
            Blind freddy can see the benefits if this data could be passed back through an existing government network.

        • Water Water Everyhwere says:

          I will repeat myself again, all options were assessed, including GSM/3G/4G, garbage trucks, mesh network technology, star network technology, WiFi, LoRaWAN, CiscoFAN, OpenRiva etc.

          All ‘sim card’ options are too expensive per endpoint – although in fairness is should be said that some meters may well use a different comma technology if they are in an isolated situation…

          Garbage trucks was assessed, was also trialled by Cairns in port Douglas and got canned.

          I am not sure how I can ensure the readers here that the staff that have been looking into this for the last 5 or 6 years have done so dilligently and with the only outcome in mind being a suitable solution for data collection and analysis from water meters, that is both robust and affordable with a clear payback period and measurable results.

  36. Gull says:

    So if $1.70 a day for your favourite paper (and goodness knows what it is on Saturday) is too much, you can always join the stampede to IGA supermarkets and get one free if you spend $20 on your fruit and vegies. What a great idea. Now you can shop six days a week to get your astonishing Astonisher for nothing. As if that’s going to boost circulation. Who dreams up these ridiculous ideas? PS will the papers carry a use by date?

  37. Deep Under the Water says:

    Re: The Magpie July 5, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    Dear Magpie,

    I really don’t want to put anyone into the fire and I am not sure I want this published, but here goes.

    RWC are Reliance Water Controls, ASX listed but mostly HQ’ed in the USA. In many ways it’s a global player in water control, measurement etc. They also sponsor the Holden Racing Team in the Supercars (refer to comments in last weeks blog). You don’t need to be Pat Coleman to do the rest…

    The only reason I raise this is that, irrespective if Cranky knows it or not, RWC are moving into ‘Internet of Water’ tools and services as fast as they can, but it’s taking a while to get there. This is hard detailed stuff, so that’s in no criticism and I am sure they will have a solid offering one day. That said, I just can’t but think there is at least the perception that RWC might be dissing current market entrants in the Automatic Meter Reading space (some are crap, a couple are really good and have business cases that stack up). Of course, when RWC are ready to jump in with their own technology I am certain the rhetoric will change.

    I might be completely wrong, but there is potential for a pecieved conflict here. Feel free to correct my impression and I won’t be commenting on this ever again.

    To be clear, I have no shares in any water company (unless it’s in my super), have fully retired, but I do pay rates on my renters in Townsville. I just want the bloody place to get back on it’s feet so they are worth something for my kids. On just about all other matters I have heaps of respect for Cranky’s input.


  38. The Magpie says:

    When the Dudley Do Nothings down at Wishing Well House actually DO something, it is this!

    They have got to be kidding!! For whatever reason, when is paying a political party to attend their conference somehow NOT a political donation??? NEWSFLASH for you rorters … IT IS a political donation, which is a massive betrayal of trust and ethics which is certainly immoral if not illegal. TEL members, among whom we count all unwilling Townsville ratepayers, deserve a fuller explanation of their political activities of the micro-Hermit Kingdom.
    Now TEL must reveal what if any similar largesse has been afforded to Labor, or the Greens for that matter, and perhaps The Mad Katters got thrown some scraps.

    The Nest’s regular commenter Memory Man summed it up succinctly, when he wrote:

    If it wasn’t so serious, it would be very funny indeed. So, these clowns at Enterprise House take ratepayers’ money, churn it to politicians, get an audience and get no results. One hopes Patty got a few selfies for her CV. We’ve got a Mayor, 5 State MPs*, 2 Federal MP*, and Senator – not to mention the Premier’s special advisor on local crime – and TEL think it necessary to pay for access. Worse, the Mayor – who’s TEL’s deputy chair – apparently condones this.

    *includes Hinchinbrook and Burdekin; includes Herbert and Dawson.

    • The Magpie says:

      And one has to wonder if the Townsville Bulletin would ever known or cared about this if two bloggers – Pat Coleman who found the incriminating evidence in one of his excellent web searches for links to naughtiness. and The Magpie, who gave it wide publicity – had not brought it to the paper’s attention. If it was a real newspaper which, as they claim, ‘We’re for you’, they would in this day and age have a resident expert doing what Mr Coleman, scatterbrained as he occasionally is, does so well to keep the community informed of things that REALLY matter.

      This story will have resounding implications for a long time to come and is of paramount importance to ratepayers, TEL members and the business community, but even when this lazy excuse for a once great newspaper gets it handed to them on a plate, do they make it their indignant front page? No there are more important money-making matters to put under this shameful masthead.

      They just cannot hide the disdain with which they treat their dwindling number of readers.

    • Hee - Haw says:

      I wonder if this will lead the 6 o clock news tonight?
      What do you think the odds are.

  39. The Magpie says:

    And today’s feel good story:

    Hear, hear, lions, should be more of it.

    • Polythene Pam says:

      The “poachers” are almost certainly poor, impoverished locals simply trying to feed their families – their masters will have escaped Scott-free.

      • The Magpie says:

        Oh, well. seems they’ve been successful feeding the lions’ families.Ain’t nature grand. And two question, Plastic Head … 1. just how to do you know they are the down trodden impoverished locals, and 2, ‘Scott-free’??? Is that Clive Scott-free or did you ,mean scot free (an old feudal tax that was waived under certain circumstances?

        • Polythene Pam says:

          1. I assume you missed the word “know” in there somewhere – I don’t “know”, I surmise from a number of press articles I have read over the years about the nature of poaching in
          Africa, and particularly rhino horn poaching – I suggest you do some research in this respect;
          2. The latter – someone with as cavalier use of the word “know” as yourself ‘pie can hardly afford to be pedantic.

  40. Hercule Poirot says:

    Another worst day of his life for Sen MacDonald DUMPED… Just Fade away Gracefully….

    • I'll be plucked says:

      Old Macdonald’s been sent to the farm – the snouting has come to an end………

      • Mike Douglas says:

        Overseas swangsong study tour by Senator Mcdonald before he finishes? .On another subject, can GM Communications T.C.C. sit Mayor Mullet down and explain that attacking Qantas and her latest effort, contradicting Premier Palaszczuk on her captains call is effecting investment in the Ville. No issues for Cairns airport upgrade announcing $55 mil to accomodate more shops, eateries, travellers.

  41. Memory Man says:

    Is it time for all political donations to be banned? Does this proposal (from Greens State MP) to ban donations from for-profit companies go fat enough? Or should donations from not-for-profits also be banned? Alternatively, don’t ban any but enforce monthly declarations, much as they do in the USA.

    Can Townsville show leadership here, and adopt its own regime?


    • The Third Reader says:

      Townsville show leadership??? Just choked on my cornflakes. Its only a word in the dictionary for the Mullet and Impaler

  42. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Haughton Pipeline pipe supply contract award still not on the council website for awarded contracts over $200K.
    A bit strange that it briefly appeared on the site on the 30th of may as “schedule of rates” awarded on the 24th April and then it then disappeared from the site.
    Has the contract been awarded or not?
    Council website states that the site will be updated monthly so I am surprised that a contract awarded supposedly on 24th April still hasn’t appeared.
    This is a contract worth as a guess north of $50 million bucks.
    So much for transparency.

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