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The Magpie

Saturday, March 31st, 2018   |   135 comments

EXCLUSIVE: Cricket Australia Gets A New Sponsor   … And The Sinking SS Townsville Loses A Rodent Overboard.

And Mayor Mullet may soon no longer be able to stonewall behind the coward’s castle of Commercial In Confidence. Her stand on the secrecy surrounding the Adani airstrip deal is eminently challenable, according to a legal think tank.

But hey, it’s a holiday weekend, so laughs will be the order of the day, but there’s still a bit of interesting goss about.

But how lucky can we be this Easter … maybe God sacrificed his only son in the year 30, but in 2018, he has gifted every front bar in the land an equally telling sacrifice … the crucifixion of a handful of erstwhile cricketing heroes. What else can it be but a rare gift when the words ‘ball’ and ‘tampering’ are so prominently linked together.

It’s Been A Week Of More Moralising That Aesop’s Tales

Warner and smith

For song of the week,   a re-working of Hank Williams ‘Your Cheatin’ Heart’ comes to mind …

You cheatin’ fart.

You made us weep.

You cried and cried,

But you’re still a creep

And sleep won’t come

The whole night through

Your cheatin’ heart has told on you.

Shall we go on? OK


When tears come down,

Like falling rain,

You’ll toss around,

And cry with shame,

But sleep won’t come,

The whole night through,

You cheatin’ fart, we’ve told on you.

The Magpie won’t waste your time with any unnecessary and lengthy personal dissection of this whole disgraceful episode, except to say that all three should be out of the game, globally and forever. They have betrayed the trust of an entire nation. And any subsequent offenders, too.

But the fine line of hypocrisy being peddled by politicians of all stripes – who openly cheat and lie every single day (and probably tamper with their own balls) is an added burden we have to bear. But hang on, Bentley thinks there may be a place for Steve Smith in Labor’s advisory ranks.

tampering copy small

But sometimes we lose perspective, and think this is just an Aussie sporting matter of little import or interest elsewhere. Allow The ‘Pie to disabuse you of that notion. If we still get justified jibes about the infamous and shameful ‘underarm bowling’ incident in 1981, get used to a regular onslaught of ‘ball tampering slurs’.

A story in London during the week, saw that haystacked boofhead Boris The Bore Johnson reprimanded by the speaker of the House of Commons for an alleged sexist remark (it wasn’t, but some other time …). The Guardian in London decided to make merry with two issues at the one time.

Screen shot 2018-03-31 at 10.57.09 PM

And of course, there’s been a fine selection of yukyukery on social media. Even The ‘Pie was overcome by the moment and suggested that Cricket Australia has seen a new sponsor step forward.


And there it is best to leave these particularly unlovable Easter Bunnies.

The Rabster Scuttles Off South

The ‘Pie has been told that one of Townsville’s most loved, respected, upstanding, intelligent good looking, dashing and philanthropic businessmen is leaving Townsville and re-locating to Brisbane.

Rabieh Krayem

Yep, Rabieh Krayem is – or has – upped stumps and headed off to Brisbane to continue earning incredible sums of taxpayers money with his innovative take on the federal government’s job placement program.

One trusts that some not insignificant unpleasantness regarding his similar business here in Townsville is now behind him. Several people contracted to run ‘training courses’ for him in this Charters Towers Road offices had a bit of trouble getting monies owed to them when Mr Krayem abruptly dispensed with their services. It is understood authorities stepped in and things have more or less been put to rights, although surely it would be unwise to think Rabieh’s relocation had anything to do with that. Or with other surely scurrilous allegations that he made his government money by advertising a single job, then telling ALL applicants that the job was theirs if the would just complete ‘this little course’. For everyone signed up for the course, Rabieh billed you, the taxpayer, for his efforts.

But what’s a bloke to do when his soccer team is taken from him (it surely can’t be right what they’re saying about mismanagement and ripoffs there). And what’s a bloke to do when two of kids are about to start at Nudgee College (reputed to be $1800 a term).

And boy, did The Magpie ever put a flea in the ear of a sacked contractor in Brisbane (Rabieh had been running his employment sca …err …scheme down there too) who made some very nasty allegations against his operational methods. Gosh, people are so base.

Anyway, no doubt we’ll all learn the truth about all that and many other matters when Rabieh takes to the witness box to answer all these sorts of questions when The Magpie’s trial for allegedly defaming him as a ‘dud businessman’ in this blog finally comes to court.

When That Trial Starts, The Magpie Will Be Locking Up His Legal Team’s Drinks Cabinet.

Just a precaution, mind.

The ‘Pie and his legal chums have often discussed the differences between Aussie law … based mainly on British principles … and US law practice. The guffaws have been long and loud. It would be most interesting if the this had happened in an Australian court.

We learn the lesson from all that is when making a  closing address scornfully attacking the prosecution argument, NEVER DRINK AND DERIDE.

Stacking The Walker Street Deck Continues …

David Lynch 3See old mate Dolan Hayes’s sometime business associate and bush-bashing buddy David Lynch has been appointed as Townsville City economist. Mr Hayes’s lobbying on Mr Lynch’s behalf was said to be a masterclass in the art of business diplomacy. Others say he merely gave his mate a reference. Anyway, Dolan is more than an occasional Mullet whisperer … those are the times she takes his advice and doesn’t fuck up, so he doesn’t do too much whispering nowadays, it is supposed.

But The ‘Pie wants to know why we need a ‘city economist’ when we pay someone a small fortune to be the council’s Chief Financial Officer. And if the mayor is an economic dunce, why are we paying both her and her CEO mate The Impaler somewhat larger fortunes.

adele and jenny

‘Now how do we put a smiley face on this?’

Mr Harvey, by all accounts a personable chap, seems to specialize in redundant positions … his last gig, also said to be gained through the good graces of Mr Hayes and TEL deputy chair Mayor Mullet, was the a totally unnecessary (and about the eighth) Hell’s Gate Dam feasibility study.

But Perhaps The Council’s Culture Of Secrecy Is About To End – By Law.

An alert commenter during the week sent in this MOST informative report titled ‘Identfying and Protecting Confidential Information’. It deals with the use of Commercial In Confidence edicts, which seem to be thrown around like confetti these days by all government bodies … especially the Townsville City Council.

It makes fascinating reading when taken in context with local matters, especially the $18.5 M for the Andani airstrip, the details of which the those funding it … the Townsville ratepayers … are not allowed to know any crucial details. There is more than a touch of Joh’s famous ‘Don’t you worry about that’ in Mayor Mullet’s wittering about this disgraceful matter.

But if any organization chooses to, the secrecy about the details of that airstrip issue can be challenged in court … and probably successfully.

Here’s the salient bit from the report (all of which is worth a read).


When consideration is being given to whether certain information should be treated as confidential information, an agency should also consider:

  • ‘public interest’ issues;
  • relevant statutory provisions prohibiting disclosure of certain information; and
  • relevant provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1982and the Privacy Act 1988.

There are limits on the kind of information which can be protected as confidential under a contract. For example, if an attempt is made to protect from disclosure certain Government Information as confidential information when an analysis of public interest issues leads to a conclusion that the information is not confidential in nature (‘inherently confidential’), a court may refuse to enforce a contractual obligation not to disclose that information.

Tests for Existence of Equitable Obligation

In order to establish that an equitable obligation of confidence has arisen, all the following elements must be present:

  • the information must be specific and not merely global;
  • the information must be ‘inherently confidential'; and
  • the information must have been communicated and received in circumstances which imposed an obligation of confidentiality on the recipient.

The elements are not satisfied by simply marking documents as confidential or COMMERCIAL-IN-CONFIDENCE.


The ‘Pie admits that is cherry picking, but on balance, this report from a legal think-tank clearly says the secrecy – Commercial In Confidence designation – regarding the Adani airstrip decision is challengeable.

But here’s the catch 22 (the legal system is full of ‘em). If a group of citizens representing the ratepayers were willing to put up the considerable sum to mount a challenge, the Mayor and the council could oppose them – using in essence ratepayers’ own  money to do so.

This really has got to stop.

But To The Lighter Side (Depending On Your Point Of View)

Making a quid out of Easter is nothing new, but someone in the States seems to be pushing the boundaries somewhat.

Screen shot 2018-03-27 at 9.37.10 AM

If that doesn’t creep the kids out, nothing will. But then again, parents could get a real rock and keep the kids in there for a couple days for a quite holiday break. That way, the kids are sure to find religion, or at least, they’ll sure be saying ‘Jesus Holy Christ!’ for a long time afterwards.

But we all have a little think about religion around religious festivals. Let’s remember, it wasn’t a bed of roses for the disciples.

Jesus heals

But if Jesus tries his magic tricks on today’s audience, he might not get the unquestioning belief he did back then.

Jesus PC

And matters more attuned to the modern era have been with us for a long time … even from the days of the ark.

Gay ark

And certain Christmas characters may have had their reputations somewhat exaggerated

wise man

Donald Trump’s New Wheels

The Prez has just had his first ride in a new vehicle ordered especially for him, to make him more recognizable on the streets. His Secret Service bodyguard is allowed to dress casually.

Screen shot 2018-03-21 at 9.04.29 AM

A Personal Observation

There was a moment time, after many an unscheduled Laundromat visit after a picnic in the park, when The Magpie believed this to be man’s greatest ever invention.

tomato sauce sachet

But perhaps that has now been surpassed with a new product … solid tomato sauce slices, particularly for hamburgers.

Dried ketchup Dried ketchup 4

dried ketchup 1

It has the unnappetizing name of Ketchup Leather, and is the invention of a (where else?) Californian restaurant. Needless to say, there is a furious debate on this earth-shattering culinary offering, best summed up by this article in the Atlantic magazine.

Helpful Crim Of The Week

This bloke …

Screen shot 2018-03-27 at 12.26.45 PM

… greatly assisted authorities not only identifying him physically, but giving a clue to his mental capacity. Having DORK tattooed across your throat would seem to rule out Mensa Membership.

Rube Goldberg Would Be Proud

Ever had a chuckle at those incredible drawings by Rube Goldberg of dreadfully complicated machines designed for the simplest of tasks … like this way to cool your soup,

Rube Goldbergg soup cooler

The idea has been updated to the YouTube age with this little doozy, which actually proves something … that the designer had waaayyy too much time on his hands.

Finally, From The Medical File

The ‘Pie was startled to see this story during the week.

Brain 2 Brain 1

The old bird was so fascinated, he made further inquiries and learnt when the patient regained consciousness, he sat up and said “ How long have I been out … has Qantas approved my ticket tax for Townsville Airport passengers yet?’


That’s the lot for this week, hope this fills a hole in what The ‘Pie sincerely hopes is a happy Easter break (don’t forget to let the kids out of the cave – if you must). Keep piling in those comments during the week. And what better time to succumb to your charitable instincts and make a donation to help keep the blog aloft. 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.

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