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The Magpie

Saturday, April 14th, 2018   |   108 comments

Dangerous Dogs: Jenny Hill’s Hidden Agenda Feud With The RSPCA Comes Back To Bite Her On Her Electoral Bum – Big Time.

With the flawless ineptitude we have come to expect, Mayor Mullet has added another spectacular misfire to her growing list of leadership bungles. The backlash has been immediate and as vicious as a Staffy on steroids, and our gal backflip with pike and twist is the envy of Gold Coast gymnasts. The ‘Pie has more damning background info, and proof that Jenny realizes she’s really cocked up this one. But what’s she really up to?

Also, a tale of two cities – separated by just 347.3kms, but planets apart, Cairns Council and the Cairns paper are showing how it can, and should be, done. And an ominous omen for Townsville Enterprise.

Also speaking of TEL … the hypocrisy of the Dudley Do Nothings … it’s all the Ps for our favourite poppet, puppet and parrot Little Patty O’Callaghan who gets the weeks Pure Poppycock Award for her two-faced take on air fares.

And has the Astonisher uncovered a Bruce/Caitlin Jenner gender bender sports spectacular … no, turns out, if ignorance is bliss, they’re in seventh heaven down on Flinders Street West,

But first …

The Mullet Isn’t The Only Fishy Thing About This RSPCA Saga.

Bentley’s on to her.

 Pound fin small

Things just keeping springing out at us from Walker Street … the sacking of a nationally recognised art curator, sparking with withdrawal of millions in dollars in art patronage, a spurious and faked public start to a far from settled water pipeline – add to that today’s news that the council will have to borrow tens of millions to keep to its promised construction schedule – the gift of $18.5million for that Adani airstrip, and now, all of a sudden, a nasty spat and a hastily arranged make-up between the mayor and the RSPCA.

What appeared to be a very high-handed approach to the RSPCA’s request for adequate funding for the valuable work they do has resulted in the clearly intended outcome that the council will take over the management of the animal pound and certain other animal management tasks – a situation that in the TCC’s chaotic state at the moment promises a looming disaster. They can’t even organize that wrong-headed kerbside rubbish collection.

But the mayor and council’s well documented  ‘culture of secrecy’ about this RSPCA saga instantly saw yet another protest demonstration outside the council chambers, and a social media firestorm of outrage. And that outrage could so easily have been avoided by talking the community through various stages of the issue and the perceived value of such a move.

If ever you needed proof that the RSPCA-TCC shit fight was a mess brought on by authoritarian arrogance , look no further than page 8 of Thursday’s Astonisher.

Screen shot 2018-04-14 at 11.01.37 PM

If Trump hides behind his tweets, then Mayor Mullet hides behind selective and dishonest full page spin, which by the way, is paid for by those very people she has outraged with this shoddy penny pinching plan for animal management and welfare.

But even if what mayor Mullet says is true … talk about cherry picking facts … why are we hearing about it now, after all the grossly negative publicity not just statewide but nationally (thanks you, News Corpse), especially the RSPCA assertion last week that they had been bullied by the council.

A informed Magpie reader, well positioned to know the truth of the matter, sheds further light on that claim and airs a popular conspiracy theory of the sort that is the inevitable result of the council’s ‘culture of secrecy’. He writes:

One of the conspiracy theories floating around the current TCC-RSPCA brouhaha is that TCC have a secret agenda to sell the land on which the shelter sits to one of the Gilded Few for development. Usually I don’t have too much faith in this type of speculation but now I’m starting to think it may just be true.

I know that over the last 4 – 5 years the RSPCA has been genuinely trying to reach some level of agreement with TCC over the security of their lease of the land on Tompkins Road.

In January 2017 the RSPCA submitted a development application to TCC to build several new kennel buildings and a new vet clinic building at their shelter the land. This proposal was an investment of a couple of $100K of  RSPCA money into improving animal welfare outcomes in a struggling city desperately in need of local employment opportunities.

TCC approved the proposal for RSPCA to build this new infrastructure, which remember is on TCC land and which would then become a TCC capital asset….(but here is the kicker)…on the condition that the status of the tenure of the lease is finalised with TCC! In other words, no security of tenure was offered in return for this considerable investment.

So let us look ahead and join the dots:

RSPCA cannot get any guarantee of security of tenure and so decides not to go ahead with this substantial investment in the city … eight or so months later, TCC  put out a new tender for animal shelter services with completely unrealistic requirements (see last week’s blog) … rather than being set up to fail RSPCA decide not to submit a tender and withdraw their services from the city …TCC take possession of the land, some time passes and then guess what? Hello, new housing development, with land and approval going to a chosen developer. And a new expensive pound to God knows where.

And just two final thoughts……

I see that over the last 8 months the RSPCA have almost totally rebuilt and upgraded their shelter in Cairns and it is due to reopen again very shortly. I wonder if this was the money they originally intended to invest in Townsville? Have our progressive northern neighbours trumped us yet again?

And secondly, we are constantly told by TCC that the RSPCA have chosen not to submit a tender …what they have not told us is if they have actually received any tenders at all. After reading the tender specifications I don’t think anyone is beating their door down to get to the tender box! On the face of it, it would be financial suicide.

The Townsville Council (and the Astonisher) Could Learn A Thing Or Two From Cairns

The ‘Pie has always been of the opinion that it profits very little to promote the ‘us and them’ rivalry between Cairns and Townsville. Sure, it’s sometimes just jokey, and sometimes prompted by envy, but it usually is not constructive. But there are recent examples where Townsville’s governing hierarchy could learn a thing or two from our northern neighbour.

At the outset. The ‘Pie wants to make clear he isn’t donning rose coloured glasses in the following analysis; he is certain Cairns experiences as much intrigue, whispered back-of-the-hand arrangements and the sort of jiggery-pokery that flourishes around all QLGA councils. But as an outsider looking in, there are some glaring differences between the two communities, the main one being the council’s attitude to informing the community and the way in which the Cairns Post delivers that message.

For example, here is a recent front page from the Cairns Post.

Screen shot 2018-04-14 at 11.08.57 PMScreen shot 2018-04-14 at 11.10.08 PM

Now in your wildest, Chivas-inspired fantasies, could you imagine Jenny Hill saying something like that … and the Townsville Bulletin putting it on the front page? Mayor Bob Manning also guaranteed that the community would be taken along on the process when he said ‘We want the review to give us a report, whether its warts and all, or whether its all ticks – the report will be thrown open once we get it.’

This is in stark contrast to Mayor Mullet telling a protest meeting held after flooding in a Townsville suburb reputedly caused by earthworks approved by council for a new development that they were in essence whingers and basically, stiff cheese.

But there was an item on page 8 of the same Cairns paper which really caught the Magpie’s eye. Advance Cairns is or was that city’s version of Townsville Enterprise.

Screen shot 2018-04-14 at 11.12.24 PM

Key quotes from Mayor Manning include that the council did not need the ‘expensive help of Advance Cairns’ and ‘this is part of a program now of engaging directly with people and not doing it through second and third parties.’ Th council no longer ponies up the annual stipend of $300,000 for Advance Cairns, which admittedly got a bit up itself and took stands that directly opposed stated council policy.

This prompted The ‘Pie to contact Cairns Council ask if they had a council Development Corporation like the one just instituted by Townsville Council. No certainly do not have one, was the crisp reply.

Gill Young and Hill

Yet here, we have an elected council that gives TEL $750,000 annually to achieve God knows what (SFA is the popular belief) and has the mayor as deputy board chair (conflict of interest anyone?), has created another layer of obfuscation with a Development Corporation (mayor’s on that board, too, along with the CEO) and has encouraged and facilitated sharp-elbowed spivs like Pure Projects to join in the whole confused jamboree.

It is clear that in most cases, the Cairns Council takes the community along with its processes and admits possible fallibility. You won’t, as the old saying has it, want to be hanging by the left one waiting for that to happen in Townsville.

The Occasional Janus Two-Faced BUMM Award Goes To

From Magpie’s Nest comments on Friday.

The Magpie

The hypocrisy is breathtaking and can’t be far away from official corruption in the misuse of position.

TEL CEO Patrcia O’Callaghan tells the Astonisher that regional airfares are acting as an impediment to increased investment and – believe this! – goes on to say ‘Reducing the cost of Townsville airfares will not only support investment attraction and encourage visitation, but it will enhance liveability amongst our community’.

It doesn’t come more mealy-mouthed than that, given that Ms O’Callaghgan’s Board Chairman Kevin Gill is trying all sorts of juvenile tricks to lift ALL airfares at Townsville airport with a ticket tax for the sole objective of getting a captive public – passengers – to fund an upgrade that would only enhance his company’s assessment base at no cost. Qantas stands firm against such an iniquitous scheme.

hypocrisy |hiˈpäkrisē|
noun ( pl. -sies)
the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretence.

As If A Damaging Cyclone Wasn’t Bad Enough For Poor Old Darwin

Quick note from the trenches … mate tells the Magpie during the week that he and a couple of other people have been contacted by TV journalists from Darwin, asking what they knew about Townsville Council CEO Adele The Impaler Young being appointed CEO of Darwin City Council. Of course, the Astonisher could ring their sister paper NT News and check out what they know their end, and maybe they did but maybe honorary deputy editor mayor Mullet wants to keep it quiet for the moment.

Only time will tell if this is true, but The Impaler can expect hundreds to attend her farewell … to ensure she gets on the plane.

Don’t Speak ill Of The Dead … But Just Once, How About The Truth?

Social media, especially Facebook, has caused the exponential growth of that modern phenomenon known as recreational grief … displaying or being expected to display grief at the misfortune and mostly death of public figures and increasingly, complete strangers. Sometimes it is a celebrity, sometimes a local accident or illness victim, and sometimes the grief is genuinely heartfelt but sometimes … most times … it is feigned as opportunity for that modern stance called virtue signalling, posturing to make your ‘tut-tutting, what a shame’ enhance your own admirable human empathy when someone stranger’s bad news is made public. The term ‘recreational grief’ was first coined with the funeral of Princess Diana and – with a media knowing a good thing when they see it – descended into the everyday maudlin from there. We are not immune from cynical and wrong-headed recreational grief here in Townsville, led by a lazy and sloppy paper like the Daily Astonisher, whose first port of call every morning appears to be Facebook, Twitter, even Linkedin to check out the morning’s police splatter report.

Talk about modern mores getting it all arse about … surely, social media should be full of discussions about what has been said in the paper, not the other way around.

But that’s as far as checking often goes with this paper … there was the spectacular front page faux pas a few years ago when a vicious and violent convicted thug was stupid enough to kill himself on broken glass during a bungled break-in. The paper was in total ignorance of his considerable violent criminal past (although reported prominently once in the paper itself) put him on the front page as a fallen angel taken too soon – all based on favourable Facebook quotes from friends – when in fact, the whole community agreed they were better off without his violent menace amongst them.

The Astonisher is forever trying to ramp up teary sympathy in readers who are complete strangers to the person in question, whether it be someone ‘fighting’ cancer – a nonsense in itself, cancer runs its own race and either it succumbs to treatment or it doesn’t, – or some unfortunate accident victim. Now, don’t get me wrong, The ‘Pie is not denigrating or sneering at those unfortunate enough to meet an untimely end, and the grief of a family and friends is genuine enough, but their loss is a very private one and there is something very distasteful about a paper trying to profit from it. But what is known as the reporter’s death knock is a very old tradition.

Perhaps The ‘Pie would think differently if for once – just once – the Townsville Bulletin did an Aussie version of the fabled obituary page in the London Telegraph. The London Tele has become famous not so much speaking ill of the dead but telling their life story in unvarnished fact (the paper’ obits are so readable they have been published in several books).

So could we not for see a local story about, say, someone departed through an accident with quotes like:

‘I never liked the way he looked at kids.’

 ‘Ah, yeah, I knew him … he was an A grade knob-throttler since school – probably why he lost control of the car.’

Dead? Shit, he owed me $20 bucks.’

Bit of a prick really, always used to bring low strength beers to the barby and then drink everyone else’s booze.

That unsavoury bastard. I reckon if his dog could talk, he’d be up on charges.’

Of course, if The ‘Pie drops off his twig any time soon, he may well become the first dearly departed to get this ‘honesty’ treatment from the Astonisher, such is the esteem in which he is held by those at the paper and their honorary editor Mayor Mullet et al.
But Hey, You Can’t Say That The Townsville Bulletin Isn’t A Generous Publication

Discounts are an established part of all business is a standard tactics everywhere, from banks (multiple account discount)  to Harvey Norman (sometimes bloody everything). And the Astonisher has proved it is the soul of generosity when it comes to discounts.

A regular Nester needed to place a ‘help wanted’ ad in the Astonisher ($700 ta muchly) was so overwhelmed by the paper’s clever upselling generosity, the reader just had to share it. It’s the last line you want.

BOOKING DETAILS:

Classification:   Community Services & Development

Schedule:   BUL:14Apr2018

Cost:  $700.00

Publication/s: Townsville Bulletin

Inclusions: Your booking includes your print listing and an online listing.

Your online listing will be based on the content of your print advertisement. The online listing will run for 7 days but you can remove the ad by calling us if you fill the position earlier.

This quote also includes a standard listing on finda.com.au for 30 days.

If you would like to run this ad for 2 days it would bring the cost down to $699. Let us know when you approve the booking if you would prefer this option.

One supposes it would be churlish to point out that the saved dollar isn’t near enough to buy a single copy of the Townsville Bulletin.  

Does Tennis Australia Know About This?

Is Sam Stosur tired of being a gal and trying for a Caitlin Jenner in reverse? Davis Cup blooper

For the non-sporty types (and the Bulletin’s sub editor in Mumbai) the Davis Cup is only played by blokes.

Meanwhile Over In Trumpitania

The exodus of White House staff continues apace, and The New Yorker sees there is some truth in the standard reason given.

DC041218

“I’m stepping down to spend more time with my actual children.”

Finally, Forgive Him Lord For He Knows Not What He Does – Yet

tit toucher

………………

As they say in those other Looney Tunes, that’s all folks, but the comments section is at your mercy 24/7, have your say. And if you’re looney enough to the tune of helping the Magpie’s Nest along with a donation, the how to donate button 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.

108 Comments

  1. Litewait says:

    Hey pie would mayor mullet and the impaler be drawing a salary from TEL as well as the council?

    • The Magpie says:

      Very much doubt that … it would be a CCC matter big time if they were given that between them they decide how much of the ratepayers hard earned they pour down this thirsty drain. But one does wonder how a close scrutiny of the TEL books would stand up concerned the occasional flight here or there, the odd event tickets now and then, and even accommodation. You could always ring them up and ask … heh heh heh.

  2. Col Foley says:

    As a long-term tourism operator, I have always thought that TEL’s could not be effective if working on two fronts:
    1 To encourage or facilitate Industrial/investment/construction
    2 To develop tourism.

    Not surprisingly, they are now widely derided, not least of all by The Magpie, who voices what is pretty much the majority view.

    Their role should be revised, but I can’t see any executive ability at TCC to do that. I can see another expensive consultancy coming up! The sound of the favoured fews’ lip-smacking is getting louder …

    • Inside TCC says:

      Not much point engaging another costly consultancy, just look at the costly Nous review, recommended 147 redundancies but more than double that have been paid, roles where people were paid redundancies were then readvertised immediately. Such a waste of rate payer money just so the CEO could bring in the people she wanted and nothing has changed if anything the performance has gotten worse.

      • Council workers "shovel" says:

        Yeah inside I’m hearing you. Our office manager reapplied for his job after a redundancy and guess what, he’s back on full wages after having 2mth layoff. We thought he took long service leave but found out nobody else who applied or lack of didn’t have the qualifications for the job. You probably see alot of jobs advertise have had there postion discription changed to suit labour party card holders!

      • The Judge says:

        I bumped into TCC employee last week who took a redundancy offer that he couldn’t refuse and yes he’s back working for the TCC as a casual and doing quite well,what a joke our Mayor Mullet is!!

  3. Mick says:

    Given that the land where the RSPCA currently is placed and is leased from TCC. Might it be deemed crown land, and subject to Native Title Claim. That will certainly put the “cat amongst the pigeons.” If so, TCC needs to act fast if it is to become a residential development.

  4. The old peterbuilt says:

    In so far as TEL dont worry about a costly review into it just shut it down .it is redundant by virtue of its own performance or lack there of but the trouble for the mullet is if you start shafting allies they soon become enemies. Becarefull of the web that you weave etc etc.

  5. Grumpy says:

    Idea.

    Perhaps NoMoreDredging can arrange safe places for the dogs and cats at the hospital?

    Or a coal mine?

    • Old Hack says:

      You’re such a cynic, Grumps. If NMD’s constant virtue-signalling in the yardstick, he (or she) already has a Green-painted house full of abandoned birds and animals, starving artists, runaway African athletes, disadvantaged children and women escaping their abusers.

      • Alex DeLarge says:

        Actually, Old Hack, probably none of the above. These virtue signallers limit their actual involvement to smart-arse and clever one line zingers. God forbid he actually has them in his house. Well, in truth, his Mum’s place.

        Unless, of course, he actually is our old comrade Muddy?

  6. seagull says:

    could this be so……

    Lawyer touted as mayoral prospect

    TOWNSVILLE businessman Michael Brennan might be headed for the mayor’s office.Mr Brennan, a partner in insolvency firm Offermans Partners and regional chair for the LNP, has been mentioned as a possible candidate to take on Jenny Hill should the Labor-aligned

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/…/townsville-businessman-might-be-headed-for-the-mayors-offi...

    • Council workers "shovel" says:

      Bout time someone poked there head out. Like to see our mayor try run a solicitor out of town for coming up against her. Won’t be any pay backs there. Just ask Clive and his legal team what’s she like when under pressure. Still haven’t seen public apologies yet. Not getting any hopes up but maybe the bulletin is getting to much bad feedback from the business community, especially those who had to shut up shop because of this council. So there now playing the political game of betting each way? Why would you name someone this far out unless there’s shit going on in the background. I’m glad because that’s what alot of us workers want so we can voice our concerns to an opposing side to get rid of hill. He’s got 2yrs to push her and being a solicitor he won’t be fooled by “commercial in confidence” anyone have his contact details so we can call in.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Hey Shovel!
        I reckon you would be in the minority at your depot in being anti Union. Didn’t they divide and conquer with the white collar/blue collar and give the blue collars a better pay rise with the EB agreement.
        I know there are a lot of oxygen thieves amongst the unions.

        • Council workers "shovel" says:

          Not when the unions are nearly in single figures for membership in the council. At present the CFMEU is the main one but they think they run the place but because there numbers arnt there it’s hard for them to stand over now. They forget that alot of workers now face the hardships the whole city does. One delegate got told until he pays that employees mortgage he can go fuck himself. The fear isn’t there like it was. The oxygen thevies you speak of are shrinking because everyone is there own person now after the way all the sackings took place. People arnt willing to stand together rather not rock the boat. Even if I sound loud here when you have a daughter in high school you can’t pay it with centrelink. Hopefully this new bloke might rattle everything up along with the ceo leaving. Can only get better.

    • Mike Shearer says:

      Another one… a goner. Withdrawn, or moved behind a paywall. I suggest that for any significant articles make a copy while you can, or at least do a screen dump of the most significant part to avoid copyright arguments. Then it’s available for reproducing as part of the Nest’s riches.

    • Sandgroper says:

      An expert in insolvency will be exactly the right person for the job by the time the elections roll round.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        An expert accountant.? Within 5 seconds when he wins and looks at the books he will see that economically he should put Townsville to the wall as a basket case.
        However fortuitously with his insolvency skills and background he should be able to map a way forward.
        Will be interesting to see how our mayor treats the NFP orgainisations he heads and how long her commercial in confidence ploys will last.

  7. Cantankerous but happy says:

    I often refer to Cairns when talking to people about the NQ economy, particularly in regards to the demise of Townsville and the turnaround in Cairns. Certainly each had its own catalysts for a general drop in business confidence, in Cairns the drop in tourism and effects of the sub prime collapse around the world in 2008 and Townsville the drop in mining investment, Palmer etc.
    What is interesting is both cities took a big swing to the left as these events unfolded, in Cairns case voting in the loopy lefty Val Schier who had no idea at all about business, and sat by as one after another packed up and left town, it has taken Sleepy Manning one term just to return any confidence at all and now in his second term we can see the results. Here in Townsville our lurch to the left with the Mullet and her team of basically unemployed failures who had accomplished very little of note before picking up the best paying job they will ever have, and our depressed economy is a reflection of that. The other point of note is the performance between the Cairns post and the Astonisher in both instances, during the Schier years and the early Manning years the Cairns post, aided by Advance Cairns, with the Mayor as deputy chair also chased the big dream projects, day after day it was Casinos, football stadiums despite not even having a football team, The Smithfield bypass, Kuranda range tunnel, just an endless stream of shit that was never going to happen, and still hasn’t to this day, and how familiar does that sound to all of us here in Townsville, battery factory, Strand lagoon, wave pool, Adani FIFO, concert hall and others all just diversions away for the the fact that the Mullet and her band of no hopers have no idea how to run an inclusive city promoting business for serious players and sorting out genuine opportunities, something Manning up in Cairns is doing very well, since he stopped listening to the biased and mostly uninformed opinions of those in Advance Cairns.

    • The Magpie says:

      Hey Cranky Pants, if the The ‘Pie ever feels like a week or two off, you seem to be able to channel the old bird pretty well. But must warn you the pay ain’t too hot … non-existent actually.

    • Cairns local says:

      “Cantankerous but happy” needs to visit Cairns and see all the empty shops and office buildings before promoting Cairns Council as a model of economic development virtue. Former Mayor Val Schier had attracted $100m of State and Federal funding to build a world class performing arts centre on the waterfront. Sleepy Manning handed the money back because it was Schier’s project, not his. The land is still sitting there fallow. Schier was hated by the chauvinistic old white male establishment and local shock jock who all vilified her and treated her with total disrespect. If that amazing project had gone ahead, we wouldn’t be faced with the expensive third rate rebuild of the old civic theatre that we’re currently getting (with NO parking to boot!).

      • Grumpy says:

        66.5% of the Council electorate who voted for Manning is “chauvinistic old white male establishment”? What did Val win by? 2.1%? And only then after a typical dirty tricks and gutter tactics campaign by the Labor/Greens.

        Want me to post a photo of the cranes currently on the Cairns skyline? I spend 28 weeks a year in Cairns, up to my elbows in local businesses and can say with absolute confidence (and more than a little expertise) that the economy, whilst not exactly booming, is doing quite-nicely-thank-you.

        Oh – you great big fibber – the performing arts precinct never stacked up from a town planning , community or financial point of view . It was just a thought bubble by a vain, incompetent old duck who could never run a school tuckshop, let alone a vibrant council. It was your very own Lefty tosswomble Curtis Pitt who refused to provide funding – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-18/cairns-performing-arts-centre-funding-bid-puzzles/7040286

        • Cairns local says:

          Sorry, Grumpy, bit of your Alzheimers and lots of male chauvinism at work here.
          Your friend Campbell Newman cancelled the $57m State Govt funding for this project straight after his election. The Feds kept offering the other $40m for months afterwards, but Sleepy Manning sent it back in the end. What a terrible waste for Cairns!

          • Grumpy says:

            Bullshit

          • Council workers "shovel" says:

            Julia Gillard, Jenny hill, Adel young, Anna bligh, Anna palletchuck, Hillary Clinton, camila parker Bowles, Oprah!!!!!! Has any of these beings actually made a difference in the world and have any of them not fucked up what they have been in charge of?

          • The Magpie says:

            Oprah?!?

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Spot on Grumps, the old plan by Schier for a performing arts centre near the port was a dud concept, by any measure. There was a belief that her plan was to eventually suffocate the port to the point where parts of it would simply not be viable, the first part of which is the fuel farm which would have been nearby, and something she thought didn’t keep with the sort of place hairy freeloaders from around the world would want to visit, and she didn’t give a shit about the thousands of jobs the port provided either, they would all be replaced by all the people running fairy bread stalls and hemp clothing at the markets, the woman was truly out with the pixies.

          • Cairns local says:

            Oh, this column really is full of women haters, isn’t it. You lambast and tell porkies about all female leaders, whether they’re Mayors or CEOs, Townsville or Cairns. We can’t have those pesky women in charge, can we; it’s not the natural order!

          • The Magpie says:

            Indeed, you are so right, a contrite Magpie hangs his head in shame … why doesn’t this blog feature scathing critiques and low blows about people like Kevin Gill, Paul Jacob, Ewen Jones, Les Walker, Tony Mooney, Rabeah Krayem, Barry Taylor, Peter Gleeson, Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull, Campbell Newman, Bob Katter, James Ashby, and Donald Trump (that bastard cheated a woman out of her rightful place at the world’s biggest trough).

            A humble ‘Pie (see what I’ve done there, geddit geddit?) will try to do better in future, and always consider of overriding importance what’s between someone’s legs, and not between their ears.

            But Cairns Local, whatever your gender, rest assured, either way, you’re a fuckwit.

  8. The widow in the window says:

    No comment on Michael Brennan’s “leak” to try and position himself for the top job, ‘Pie?

    • The Magpie says:

      Not particularly, although The ‘Pie has known of Michael’s interest for a while. It is just the start of the doh-si-doh of the mayoral election square dance, and we have see who else is going to try some fancy footwork. It will get really interesting closer to the event if those opposing Hill don’t end up with a split ticket … if there is a unified front, be it michael or otherwise, it will be most instructive who The Mullet will put up as stalking horse candidates to gain preferences … nothing like a few brown bags of cash to get some dumbos to do the deed.

      • The widow in the window says:

        Very true old bird. I agree regarding the split ticket. I think Michael’s greatest weakness will be that he is an autocrat and keeping a ticket unified would be very hard for him. He is too divisive and doesn’t think enough about keepimg people inside the tent. Very possibly Jane Arlett 2.0

      • Hercule Poirot says:

        Same as Labor stumping up Paul (Angry Ant) against Andrew Cripps in the last State Election ….

  9. Miss Lou says:

    Fantastic week.

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.

    Always,

    Miss Lou.

  10. Old tradesman says:

    Just returned from Cairns from a long weekend, counted six planes landing in a space of 10 minutes, then went for a few drinks with the bars full of patrons.

  11. Critical says:

    Another example of how Cairns Regional Council does planning involving business and the community so much better than TCC. No wonder Cairns is moving ahead and also has a vibrant CBD.

    https://www.tropicnow.com.au/2018/april/12/have-your-say-to-renew-the-cairns-cbd.html

    • crabclaw says:

      Definitely nor something one sets up overnight…

      Former Cairns Mayor launches new advocacy group to rival Advance Cairns in promoting Far North
      Daniel Bateman, The Cairns Post
      April 16, 2018 5:00am
      Subscriber only

      A NEW regional economic advocacy group led by former Cairns Mayor Kevin Byrne is set to go head-to-head with Advance Cairns to promote Northern Australia.

      Mr Byrne, who was forced to resign as Advance Cairns’ chief executive in October, has launched the new association Enterprise North, to produce “a more collegiate and effective” approach to policy advocacy and investment attraction for the region.
      President of Enterprise North and former mayor Kevin Byrne. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

      It follows a turbulent few months for Advance Cairns, which had $300,000 of its annual funding pulled by Cairns Regional Council, and also lost $25,000 of financial support from the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (FNQROC).

      Mr Byrne, who has taken on the role of president of Enterprise North, said the new organisation had been planned since late last year.

      He said the group included Cairns business and industry identities, however, he declined to name any members.

      “We will have a focus on Northern Australia, but we won’t be limited by a dollar value on the size of the projects that Advance Cairns advocates for,” he said.

      “Advance Cairns has a policy in place that (a project) has to be over a certain economic value before you advocate for it.

      “We won’t be doing that.

      “We will also have a much more attractive membership level for the members of Enterprise North, and we will be advocating across many fronts.”

      There are now five main economic advocacy organisations within Cairns, which also includes Advance Cairns, Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ), FNQROC, and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce.

      Advance Cairns chief executive Nick Trompf was not worried about the newest organisation competing for members, saying his advocacy group had strong support across the region.

      “Advance Cairns has been around for 20 years and has been an effective organisation with a number of important outcomes it’s achieved,” he said.

      Cairns Mayor Bob Manning, who quit Advance Cairns’ board of directors late last year, said he had yet to speak with Enterprise North about council support.

      “We want to work with any organisation, any group, any ratepayers who are promoting FNQ – just like TTNQ or the Chamber of Commerce,” he said.

      “We work with all those bodies, and it’s not our intention to do anything other than that.

      “No doubt at some stage we’ll find out more (about Enterprise North) and we’ll talk with them, as we would with anybody.”

      Originally published as Boost in advocacy group to rival Advance Cairns in promoting Far North

      • The Magpie says:

        That would be Nick Trompf, either former or current high-level News Corpse executive involved in – what else? – sales.

  12. Just curious says:

    Peter the wanker Beattie is out this morning doing what he has done for his entire career, apologiesing for another in a long line of mistakes. The athletes are always the stars of the closing ceremony but this bozo got it completely wrong again and brought them in before the television audience could see them particularly flag bearer Kurt Fearnley.

    How long will it be before this bozo is apologiesing for fucking up the NRL?

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie wondered the same thing. And also noted tht his apology was havily larded with the term ‘the organisers’ and ‘they’, absolving himself of any responsibility, which – like Mayor Mullet – he would only accept when it was good news.

      • Ronny Righteous says:

        For his entire life, Beattie has appeared to be Teflon-coated. He’s made the unctuous apology an art form, flashing that shit-eating grin as he glibly defends the indefensible.

        Sadly, the mugs in the street seem to fall for it every time and absolve him of any reponsibility because of his ‘sincerity.’

      • NQ Gal says:

        What’s the old adage about it being easier to seek forgiveness than to ask permission?

        • The Magpie says:

          That’s why Rasmussen kids don’t pray for bicycles or cars, they just steal ‘em and then ask forgiveness, a plea that is always granted by Townsville magistrates.

  13. Hondaman says:

    Pie, can you or one of the brotherhood enlighten me on how to get a text to the editor, ( of the Astonisher naturally) which makes reference to the possibility of Parkside Develpments contributing to Jenny’s war chest? The disgraceful fiasco whereby the Council did not support, or mediate the stand over tactics of the above developers over the ESTABLISHED Kart Club minor purpose of use indiscretion should send shock waves through any club near a large housing estate! All entries I have sent were heavily edited or completely ignored, surely this is unfair, most of Townsville would support the continuation of the motor sports at the venue, if only the true facts were known. In fact NEVER has a complaint about noise emanating from the car or motorcycle days been posted in the Astonisher!

    • The Magpie says:

      Christ, The ‘Pie has enough trouble with the legalities of this blog! But when you have money (of which The ‘Pie no longer has any), you can be a target for defamation, and that’s an expensive business even when you eventually win. So the iditor probably errs on the side of caution, not seeking to upset a major advertiser with comments that may be challenged.

  14. I'll be plucked says:

    Just watched a Nine News Darwin clip from last Friday, where the Mayor up there, a failed former NT ALP Labor Minister stated that The Impaler was not on the shortlist for the CEO’s position and confirmed that she had not applied for the job.

    Looks like we keep getting plucked by the Mayor/CEO ‘team’……….

  15. BB367 says:

    Jenny knows her time is up as Mayor …. she will lose and labor will give her a nice cushy job somewhere…. she will probably run for a state or fed seat.

    • The Magpie says:

      Starting to doubt she will be pre-selected for a state or fed seat, or the senate … her track record would point to a log of paid featherbedded appointments, boards and advisory groups and other time-honoured rorts (across ALL parties). At least Mooney initially got his just rewards from friends in the private sector.

    • Dripping Tap says:

      Mullett has assets in Malta after a rello carked it, and has a second passport. Seriously doubt she’d give up European coin ‘n’ perks to go the senate. She been heard bragging about Malta being secretive with records.

      • Grumpy says:

        A foreigner can only own land in Malta within certain specific areas of prime land, which are very highly priced and generally for the rich and famous.

        Hill’s holdings over there are, no doubt, outside those areas. If she gives up her Maltese citizenship, she will have to divest herself of the land – which, according to persistent gossip, is quite substantial. If she remains a dual citizen (which I assume she is), then some over-paid, cross-dressing old codgers on the shores of Lake Burley-Griffin have made it clear that a Federal sinecure would be quite impossible.

        So, short of a State gig or a constitutional referendum, her future may be restricted. I doubt whether she will win anything locally at the State level – she has to be voted in and she is way too much on the nose. The incumbent bludgers will hang on with a vice-like. There is no way she shall be able to convince the party to parachute her into one of the safer seats down south.

        Her other problems will be Trad. Sneering Sally will, in all probability, knife bumbling Anna before the next State election, particularly if the polls go south. Trad will never forget or forgive Hill for nearly costing her her seat with the Adani nonsense.

        Unfortunately for us, Hill will be around for a long time to come. Whether as mayor is another thing entirely.

  16. Dave of Kelso says:

    Greetings Dear ‘Pie,

    Just returned from recent trip. At departure time Mayor Mullet’s public apology to Clive Palmer was the topic. Did it go ahead? If so, was it a festive event with balloons and a band to entertain the public before the main event?

  17. Gonzo says:

    Hi Pie, The Townsville Council and the Townsville Bulletin won’t be happy with your comments about the Cairns Council and Cairns Post, which is a shame for the residents of Townsville, who deserve good government and a good newspaper. And imagine a mayor who says he will make sure the community knows about a Floods Review — warts and all. Could that ever happen in Townsville under the present mayor? Keep up the good work, Pie.

  18. Sandgroper says:

    More evidence that the world has gone mad……..
    Talking today with a friend just back from Tasmania, where she did an evening tour to see penguins come up on the beach.
    “Are they fairy penguins?” she asked the young man leading the tour.
    “Yes”, he replied, “but we can’t call them fairy penguins any more because we don’t want to offend homosexuals.”
    This over-the-top political correctness and rampant hypocrisy is reflected in the condemnation of Israel Folau by Alan Joyce after Folau voiced his deeply-held Christian beliefs on the subject.
    It’s my understanding that Qantas has a business partnership with Emirates, an airline owned by an Islamist government that supports the death penalty for homosexuality.
    If Joyce and Qantas don’t think executing homosexuals is a deal-breaker, why should they get so upset over Folau’s comments?

    • The Magpie says:

      While The ‘Pie thinks your mate from tassy was having a gentle leg tug, your other sentiments are spot on. The old bird’s favourite saying of the momentis Salman Rushdie’s dictum ‘No one has the right to NOT be offended’ … and boy, he should know. While The ‘Pie has no time for any organised religion (they are ALL a con), if we want a democracy, we must respect their right to free speech – but that does not include any theocracy that passes capital punishment laws for ANYTHING (except on that bloke who sang Achy Breaky Heart).

      And Folau’s childish (well he is a footballer) parroting of a church-created nonsense was in reply to a question on social media, he wasn’t on the front foot promoting anything.

      And having a politically treacherous, immoral back-stabbing divided hierarchy of a bloody football code handing down commandments on players free time activities says just about all you need to know about the nosey parker nanny state. If Falou was just your run of the mill rugby oaf, and Allan Joyce your run of the mill poof, the media would have to find something else to stir us up with apathy.

      Harumph!!!

      • Mother Inferior says:

        OMG! What’s next? No tooth fairy, no fairy godmother, no fairy bread and no fairies at the bottom of the garden?

  19. Cantankerous but happy says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfYRNahhO10&app=desktop

    Don’t know why we were worried really, its all under control.

  20. The Magpie says:

    Now The ‘Pie is no whiz at maths, but by rough reckoning on the basis of this research, he died somewhere in late 1996. Also, Grumpy and gropes are writing in from the grave if this research is true.

    Hey, maybe that’s why we haven’t heard from Muddy for a while.

    • Sandgroper says:

      Mate, many years ago I took heed of the advice given by two of my heroes, actor Robert Morley and writer Kingsley Amis…….

      Morley: “If ever I feel like exercising, I lie down until the feeling passes.”

      Amis: “No pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of a few more years in a geriatric home in Weston-super-Mare.”

      • Sandgroper says:

        Just remembered a few sage words from another person I greatly admire, former Sun Metals Managing Director Dr Shad Linley.
        We had just finished breafast at a table outside a Palmer Street cafe and were sipping coffees when Shad lit one of his noxious American gaspers.
        I gently chided him along the lines of, “Taking another spin of the roulette wheel, you silly bugger?”
        “Pal,” he drawled laconically, “I didn’t think you were one of those mice who are so scared of death they’re afraid to live.”

    • Achilles says:

      Better change my login to “posthumous”

    • Grumpy says:

      Not too sure we haven’t.

      Heard from Muddy, that is – not carked it.

  21. The Owl says:

    The Astonisher finally caught up with the Games closing ceremony debacle today – 24 hours late, as usual.on Monday, the morning after the event they described it as “A FITTING FINALE FOR GAMES”.
    The editor obviously didn’t bother to actually watch the closing ceremony, instead taking the easy option and going with the info in a preview media release which was issued earlier in the day, before the event started.

  22. The Magpie says:

    The ‘Pie fails to see the problem here … amazing that the one time a Daily Mail reporter tells the truth, she gets fired.


    ‘Daily Mail Australia has fired a reporter who accidentally uploaded her own “musings” about reality television contestants being “vapid cunts” on to the news website on Sunday, where it sat for several hours before editors intervened’.

  23. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Interesting that Casie Scott has come out and announced she is standing by her decision in December and not seeking preselection for the Liberal Party in Herbert ,might be a smart move, Turnbull is looking worse by the day and there is no point putting your hand up for another loss, it is easy to burn up goodwill if the public think you are just a job chaser. With the federal election midway through 2019 it is less than a year to local govt elections and a bit over a year until state govt elections are due in October 2020 at the start of the 4 year fixed terms, she has plenty of opportunity down the track.

    • No more dredging says:

      Cantankerous, what if Turnbull calls an early election towards the end of this year? Wouldn’t the seat of Herbert, the most marginal Labor seat in Australia, be a red hot chance for a second go by a Liberal candidate?

      • The Magpie says:

        Only if you think a margin of 37 votes gets you in with a chance. Ewen Jones would be front-runner, and the sharp elbowed jostling has already begun, with Cassie Scott scratching from the race for pre-selection, and Michael Brennan pondering his options. Other possibles are now in deep contemplation, but in that area, a lot will depend on who the LNP pooh-pahs may approach to run – Prince Peter of Lindsay will probably have a say in that.

        • Alahazbin says:

          Pie,
          Didn’t Prince Peter & Wharton have to show cause to stay in the LNP?

        • Ronny Righteous says:

          The ‘pooh-pahs’ would be crazy not to pick Ewen Jones. He accepted his loss with great dignity and has since shown remarkable restraint with his comments while managing to maintain top-of-the-mind awareness within the electorate.

          Given the current incumbent’s abysmal performance, he should be a shoo-in.

          • I'll be plucked says:

            Agree Ronny; affable bloke who knows his way around the Canberra big-house and its intricacies. Approachable, reasonably well liked in the community. Advocates for local issues. The current Federal ‘member’ has been a disaster and has little to ‘claim’ as outcomes for the last nearly three years – a Bill Shorten puppet and a lousy one at that!!!

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Turnbull has a habit of sticking his nose in preselections, trying to ensure he is surrounded by his kind of people, which in the end puts many in the branches offside. It would be a serious step backward to run Ewen again, I am happy to be corrected but I don’t think he has been employed since losing in 2016, never looks good that we once again might be electing someone to represent us straight from the unemployment lines, we already have enough of that in our council.

          • I'll be plucked says:

            Is that a fact Tanker, or a feeling?

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Just what I am hearing Plucked, that’s why I said happy to be corrected, from what I hear the big fella is hitting the golf ball often and lots, and good luck to him, just tired of revolving door politics like we see in seats like Eden Monaro, just my own personal preference, would like to see someone younger with a few different ideas have a go.

      • Alahazbin says:

        NMD, Depends on how many six packs are offered to Palm Island voters by Labor.

        • No more dredging says:

          Alahazbin, if you’ve got any functioning cells left, ponder this thought bubble (copy/paste it into a search engine):
          Richard Flanagan: ‘Our politics is a dreadful black comedy’ – press club speech in full

  24. Concerned says:

    I have a Jack Russell that could do a better job than our current federal member.

    • No more dredging says:

      Concerned, I wonder how you get news of what our “current federal member” is actually doing. Cathy O’Toole is an opposition back bencher in a Queensland Murdoch media electorate on hard times after the downturn in the mining industry. There’s hardly a lower position on the media pecking order (although the local LNP senator is trying hard to slide down there). I’d guess you’ve never had any actual dealings with your federal member. Perhaps if you had you’d start to think that maybe your Jack Russell could teach even you a thing or two.

      • Concerned says:

        I have done more homework than you think champ, you tell me what Otoole had delivered then

      • Old tradesman says:

        NMD now that the email bandit Bailey has scuttled the TEARC funding due to a supposed lack of business case, could you please ask O’fool how she is going to reinstate the $150m that the Feds have had on the table for a very long time.
        The clown even had the audacity to demand that the Feds throw in the $76m for the dredging of the port when the Pullachook government has fully funded the Cairns port to the tune of $120m. Maybe they need the money for Cross River Rail and stuff Townsville, as it is a safe Labor region.

    • I'll be plucked says:

      Hey Concerned, please don’t insult canines – the Mullet/Impaler are doing that at the moment. No more please……:). PS – Agree with the ‘sentiment’ of your comment – perhaps choose a different animal? Anyone???

  25. Dutch Reverend says:

    While in Cairns this week there was a report in the news in Shortens visit that if put in as the PM the federal government would commit to a 50/50 split in work for the Bryce Hwy in Cairns. Now normally a federal highway funding is usually split 80 fed and 20 state. I’m sure if it was the current government proposing this, Puddleduck and her minions would be bleating very loud and very long. Haven’t heard a peep.

  26. In the know says:

    There is talk in Labor of replacing O’Toole with the community champion, Stuart Smith. Jones would be smashed by an ex-Army, media savvy, throughly capable leader.

    • The Magpie says:

      Stuart Smith has served his country with distinction and hard work, but community champion after he has left the barracks? He is a paid Labor appointment to a nonsense position, an appointment clearly designed for future moves, possibly the one you suggest, although The ‘Pie thinks it unlikely. Although not unknown, dumping a sitting member is generally a last resort in factional fights or seat realignments. And whatever his virtues and his zeal for what is a make-work, achieve nothing campaign designed to let the government avoid real action on the Townsville crime issue, Mr Smith will be quickly subsumed into the party political mindset that is paralysing Australia. His appointment is a cynical Labor move to groom a nice bloke image for future candidature somewhere.

    • Grumpy says:

      O’Toole has some factional might behind her, as well as deep rooted, old-rate party connections. Smith, as flashy as he is, does not have the credentials that the True Believers of old require. My BBQ discussions with the rank and file old guards seem to suggest that there is a desire to move away from the university-educated spivs in suits that have dominated the ALP. parliamentary wing over the last couple of decades. Look at the Albo/Shorten leadership ballot. If they keep it up, they might even win back a lapsed old comrade such as myself. Although I could never see myself voting for a party that didn’t include Julie Bishop.

      • I'll be plucked says:

        Factional might behind her Grumpy – are you referring to her ‘brother-in-law’, the trough swilling Captain Snooze? His influence is waning, like his hair and that bedraggled grey beard……..

  27. Wounded Bull says:

    Jones has his own business ‘All points North Consutancy’ and as I recall was employed as a RE agent before entering the political arena. So I don’t know of what your angling at Cranky. Given he was rolled by only 37 votes I would have thought by preselecting him they would be stopping the revolving door effect that you speak of??

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Wounded Bull, when you see the following words, consultant, advisor, coach, mentor, they all mean the same thing, no one will employ me so I started my own very small business to make it look like I am not unemployed.
      The employment status aside I believe Ewen does not have the support within what is a shrinking membership in town to effectively run a campaign, man the booths, and get some traction on the ground, they even struggled with the advatnge of govt last election, and still lost. Someone like Casie Scott or similar would have a chance to reinvigorate the party and might persuade a few to get off our fat arses, man a booth and make a contribution.

      • Sandgroper says:

        Fair go, Cranky. If what you say is correct, I’ve been unemployed for much of my lifetime?
        How come I paid shitloads of tax and now enjoy a fairly carefree retirement?

  28. Wounded Bull says:

    You may very well be right cranky, about the shrinking membership etc. it’s exactly why I never renewed my membership with the Chamber of Commerce or invest in Townsville as a whole anymore. The reality in this town is if your not aligned with Loza or a card carrying labor party member give up because both will block you. The sad reality is that it never used to be that way!

    • The Magpie says:

      You would be off the mark if you equate Lozza with Labor nowadays … although more than 80% of his projects are outside Townsville, Mr Lancini is still very active behind the scenes, and word is he is mightily pissed off with Mayor Mullet.

  29. Wounded Bull says:

    Loza will partner up with whom ever will promise to deliver on his objectives! Mullet may have pulled the plug on whatever may have been promised but remember this the stadium has been delivered so good luck trying to convince the Astonisher to run a negative story against her…she delivered what they wanted.
    True 80% of Lozas work maybe away from here but don’t kid yourself his presence in the CBD is significant both individually and with partners. Should make for an interesting battle at the next local government election!

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