Why this blog exists...

The Magpie

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018   |   156 comments

Feasibility Fantasies: Fact And Fiction In A Leaked TEL Report On Hell’s Gate Dam.

It’s a wonder this over-egged bit of partisan enthusiasm hasn’t predicted a lucrative unicorn farm on the banks of the proposed dam. The report seems disconnected from reality on at least one major front, if not many others.

Also The Magpie explains why iditor Jenna Cairney has become – in American slang parlance – the advertising department’s bitch.

Townsville Airport’s Kevin Gill bites his bottom lip in frustration … and confusion, proving the one thing successful fibbers need is a good memory.  But he is forced to acknowledge The Magpie’s existence (fame at last – yay!)

Even the Bulletin seems to have caught up with the fact that anything Adani says should be taken with a grain of garem masala ….

Plus a global gallery of Comrade Trump’s week, along with a sobering and chilling video of FACTS for anyone who still labour’s under the misapprehension that Donald Trump is a misunderstood victim of prejudice. (Morning Max, Julian, Eammon).

But first, to the local circus

Flights Of Fancy … And Other Fibs

There is a much quoted famous line by humorist Stephen Leacock that surely applies to Townsville Airport manager Kevin Gill. Leacock said of one character ‘…he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions’.

Gill is going off in all directions, contradicting himself and tangling himself up in his web of self-interested flapdoodle. He has finally been goaded into responding to concerns raised by The Magpie in this blog last week. Well, indirectly.

Regular reader Tony Raggatt, who like all Astonisher journos gets news tips to follow up from this blog, put The ‘Pie’s criticisms of last week to the hapless airport manager, pointing out that Cairns is doing a $55million upgrade out of its own funds … no government money, no passenger tax. Mackay will also be doing some upgrading on a much less grand scale, and again, paying for it themselves (it’s also owned by the Cairns airport people).

But, oh no, not our Mr Gill.

Townsville Airport boss Kevin Gill (on the left), we think)

Following up his childish obstacle course created to make the Qantas lounge difficult to access, he has now started a social media campaign presumptuously titled #GetOnBoardTSV, in an effort, he told Raggers, to win public support (for the ticket tax) and get Qantas ‘on board’ – for the tax to be implemented, the airline has to agree to it, an impost the airline has flatly rejected. Therein lies evidence of the first outright lie by Gill, who last week was quoted in the Bulletin that the whole community was behind the expansion plan, clearly suggesting they were happy to pay the rorting tax.

If that is so, me old sweety, why have you started a social media campaign ‘in an effort to win public support’.

The old saying remains ever true … liars need good memories.


Then he suggests that Townsville airport is different to Cairns (sure is) because ‘it has significantly less passenger numbers (than Cairns)’. A painful ‘ well, duh’ statement forced from a man who is also board chairman of this city’s peak tourism body the Dudley Do Nothing aka Townsville Enterprise. But if you’re so much smaller, mate, and with strong benefits from sharing with Defence, why do you require an upgrade almost half as much again as Cairns. Bad management, maybe?

Bentley isn’t impressed with Mr Gill or his parent company Queensland Airports Limited … not at all.

QAL scam flat small

A footnote: Mr Raggatt, who knows more than The ‘Pie about numbers and stuff, has stumped the old bird when he mysteriously tells us, quote: ‘Domestic passenger charges arriving and departing at Cairns total $30.30, (while) Townsville’s domestic charges are $30.72 – the $3 ticket levy would add $6.’

3 makes 6? Well, if you say so, Raggers. Nice to know that our tourism supremo is happy that it is $6 dearer – and his company $6 better off – for people to visit Townsville rather than Cairns. Where do we find these bloody people, really?

Jenny Must Be Jumpy Just Now

Stories started in the Australian media during the week, that Adani had tied up finance for its Carmichael mine, and now just needed the matter of the rail line to be settled before they start – a rail line they said on many occasions they could actually pay for themselves, but would prefer the Aussie tax payer stumped up the billion or so for it.

The news was imported from News Ltd down south, and gave the source as Karen Adani, son of Got’em Adani, who told Indian TV that not only had they secured funding for the mine,- no details of the sucker revealed – but it was now also closing finance for the $1.35billion rail project. No mention of where that was coming from, either, but crikey, if he said it, it must be true, yes? Well gosh, then, the Townsville Bulletin, the unquestioning and often duped cheerleaders for the mine, would have this as a front page splash, surely.

Bulletin withiut sticker 1

Well, it was on the front page … if you missed it, see, down there bottom left . It would seem th Astonisher is learning from previous bullshit announcement from this mob of twisters and tucked the story away on page 7.

But maybe they did it to protect their honorary iditor, Mayor Mullet. You see, Kim Un Jen faces a bit of a dilemma. If folks get all in a lather about this imminent start to the mine,  (they haven’t before but the paper seemed to think so) then is she going to reinstate the ratepayer’s  $18.5million gift to Adani for that airstrip 400kms away? When she withdrew the offer a few months ago, in a carefully worded get-out-of-jail card, she said the matter would be revisited when the mine went ahead.

Given that this ‘gift’, decided in secret and only accidentally revealed, is the single biggest blow she has copped to her already flimsy re-election aspirations, it’s a bit of a poser for her. There have been universal howls of outrage about the gift and a petition signed by more than 50,000.

So does she, or doesn’t she? What’s a gal to do?


But Mr Hayes May Be Already Working On The Hell’s Gate Imbroglio

Mayor Mullet is greatly mixed up in this one, too … Hill’s Hell, maybe … in her role as Townsville Enterprise board deputy chair. Because this …

Bulletin withiut sticker 1

… was prompted by a strategic leak of a ‘feasibility study’ of the Hell’s Gate proposal. Water For Townsville founder Linda Ashton was rightly outraged at the leak, as her group had been promised a briefing on it before it was released.  Stern words (you mess with Ms Ashton at your peril) forced TEL CEO Little Patty O’Callaghan to admit that the report wasn’t finished, inferring it should not have been released. Yeah, sure, Patty.

David Lynch 3

The other interesting fact is that the report’s main author, one David Lynch, Dolan Hayes’ partner in Empower Economics, was given the lucrative TEL contract to cobble together this load of old cobblers for a pretty penny. That done, Mr Lynch now rejoices in the title of City Economist for the TCC, whatever that is.

String and Sealing Wax And Other Magic Stuff

Peter, Paul and Mary would’ve been proud to put their name to this Hell’s Gate ‘study’, for like their famous song, this title should include the word ‘puff’. Lots of it. Maybe dragon lover ‘Little Jacky Paper’ had a hand in writing it.

The Astonisher for some reason took the ridiculous posture that it was somehow their investigative work and respected status that prompted some sort of whistleblower to ‘leak’ the report to them. Whistleblowers reveal hidden wrong doing, this is just a half-arsed fantasy wish list of what might happen, all of which you can bet the paper would support anyway.

But those claims, those claims!!!


They are highly qualified ‘possibilities’ and include the hotly disputed claim that Hell’s Gate would provide long term water security for Townsville and Charters Towers. But the one claim that really interested The ‘Pie was Mr Lynch’s assertion – and he would have an eye to his boss Mayor Mullet’s mantra of jobs ,jobs, jobs – was that the construction would create 12,000 jobs.

Really? Who did those calculations mate, the same bloke who did the Adani mine staff estimates, found out to be a massive lie when tested in court? 12000, eh? Just as a guide to The ‘Pie’s disbelief, he checked out a few local and state employers,:

Port of Townsville – 100

Sun Metals – 350

Ergon (statewide) – 4624,

JCU – 5191

… and the Qld Dept of Transport and Main Roads totals only 10,000 employees.

And here’s the kicker, from the Feds Snowy 2.0 website …

How many jobs will the Snowy 2.0 project create?

It’s estimated that Snowy 2.0 will create up to 5,000 direct and indirect jobs across the region over the construction period. A workforce plan will be developed as the Project progresses to final investment decision and a lead civil works contractor is appointed. The Project workforce will grow from a small base in year one, to an estimated 1,000 – 2,000 at peak times across different locations across the region.

12,000? C’mon, really? If The ‘Pie has fallen into the trap of false equivalence (like comparing Cairns and Townsville’s Airports), he would like to hear about it. The ‘Pie breathlessly awaits the results of Tony Raggatt’s eventual interview with the report’s author.

BTW, Raggers didn’t write the unquestioning and one-sided report on the leaked report.

The Capitulation Of The Bulletin’s Editor Is Now Complete

Jenna Cairney 2

It’s a strange fact of life that scenarios played out on the larger world stage are often reflected in microcosm in smaller arenas, even relative backwaters like Townsville. Although the local results don’t hold the capacity to be as catastrophic as, say,  Trump becoming Putin’s bitch, these world lessons writ small can be hugely damaging to a community.

So let’s have a look at the recent pronounced swerve of the Daily Astonisher aka the Bulletin.

Screen shot 2018-07-19 at 9.08.20 AM

Let’s begin with that interminable series of ‘The Ten Best in Townsville’ … pizzas, hairdressers, electricians(!), you name it. Lazy, unimaginative drivel that does not in any qualify as journalism, and anyway, of very limited interest – it’s surprising how little people care for other’s opinions (The ‘Pie should know), so those that do read this sort nonsense will do so in light of their own prejudices. But you may rest assured these lists are either vetted in the boardroom or tweaked with an eye to future advertising sales.

Then there are those endless bits of puffery about the latest addition to The Ville Casino/Hotel, with what is it now, three new restaurants?

Screen shot 2018-07-19 at 8.54.03 AM

This is legitimate advertorial for a big advertising spender, but there is not a whisper about the easily verifiable fact that Chris Morris’s canny business sense and drive to upgrade the casino precinct is having a major impact on several CBD and Palmer Street restaurants. At least three have gone to the wall, and while The Ville’s expansion would only be one of several factors in their demise, at least two other well established Palmer Street nosheries are under severe pressure. That means for all the new staff The Ville hires, may well come from places that have to let staff go.

But the final editorial sellout has been demonstrated twice in the past fortnight. First there was a front and back page ad for Pickerings, no news, just an anniversary ad for car sales. OK so it was a ‘wrap around’, with the legitimate paper inside, but many thought it was the actual paper. It was a bad look. Not sure what Pickerings, a true blue Townsville business that’s been here for yonks, thought they would get out of this deception except consumer hostility … there was plenty of that down at the ‘Pie’s local newsagents and supermarket

And on Wednesday, this …

Bulletin withiut sticker 1

See that blue sticker for the Austax people. Legit ad, timely for July and all that. But The iditor either decided or was directed where to put the peel-off flyer. So was it covering anything  important?

Well only this …

IMG_1672Now by her own admission through action, Ms Cairney judged the 12,000 jobs important enough to put on the front page to help sell papers and inform the public of the supposedly good news … and then was complicit in covering up the most salient matter of interest to the community with an advertising sticker.

410 years ago, the barbaric Visigoths sacked Rome, entering the walled city through the Salarian Gate, opened for them by traitors. Almost 1600 years later, around 1990, Townsville’s Salarian Gate – the boardroom of North Queensland Newspapers – was opened by a traitorous executive to rapacious invaders interested only in money, slashing and burning jobs and community memory, and the values of community governance by the residents.

This last week has shown just how complete the conquest by the carpeting bagging rapacious southern barbarians has been.

The Jinx Of The Juxtaposition

It’s been mentioned here before that the placement of ads in newspapers is a delicate business, which, if put close to a serious report , can result in unintended embarrassment and hurt. The London Telegraph of the 60s most famous one was the headline about Kenya nationalist terrorists ‘Mau Mau Slaughter Two Nuns’, right next to an ad for a popular pipe tobacco which carried the well known slogan ‘I prefer Three Nuns’.

And this problem hasn’t gone away in this digital age. This can be highlighted when the technique is used of inserting an inescapable ad mid story that must be scrolled through to continue reading. So one imagines there may be some red faces down at the SMH right now, when the on-line edition ran a report on the Missouri tragedy which saw 17 people die when a tourist duck boat overturned during a storm on a local lake. Here are screen grabs of what happened mid story.

Screen shot 2018-07-21 at 12.06.03 PM Screen shot 2018-07-21 at 12.06.45 PM Screen shot 2018-07-21 at 12.07.07 PM

But if that was unfortunate, other things are unforgivable. There is a certain class of lawyers in the United States composed of really bottom-feeding, rapacious sleaze bags. Virtually within an hour or two of the Missouri tragedy becoming known, this appeared on the web .

Screen shot 2018-07-21 at 5.58.26 PM Screen shot 2018-07-21 at 5.58.49 PM

Here’s more and it gets worse. Grubby at best, vile at the worst … and that really is the worst. At least let the poor bastards bury their dead.

A Burning Issue In Railway Estate

It will be interesting to see how the TCC handles a certain development application that came to light this week.

IMG_1663 IMG_1665

Funeral parlour, hmmm, yeah, ok, I guess. Mortuary, well it sort of follows … but a crematorium.? Will be interesting to see if any of the locals have anything to say when submissions close on Wednesday. One assumes there would be a smoke inhibitor, local householders certainly want that black dust drifting down onto the delicates on the Hills Hoist to come from the Port, and not be Great Uncle Eric returning home one last time. But if approved , it will soon be featured in a Bulletin Best Ten Must See Crematoriums in Townsville.


And the Ross Island pub across the road will no doubt convert their beer garden BBQ area into a specialty area for wakes, perhaps called Ribs and Remembrance or maybe they could purloin the name of popular Sydney chicken shop chain Charcoal Charlie’s. – refreshments would of course feature casket wine .

Hey, let’s have your best name for the Ross Island’s new business opportunity … best entry will win …ummm … the Best Entry Award. Anyway, if this approved, at least the CBD will no longer be the ‘dead center of town’.

A Different problem With Bullshit

The good people of Roseneath, and at Oak Valley, are up in arms about the proposed holding yards for export cattle just along the Flinders Highway from them.

Screen shot 2018-07-14 at 8.13.51 AM

According to a Bulletin story ( yeah, well …) the yards will be able to hold 15,000 head, with annual bovine total of 100,000 head. The objections are many but the Astonisher’s reporter Chris Lees failed to mention one of the major question marks over the application – water.

Campaign Manager for the NQ Conservation Council is a chap who bravely rejoices in the name Tarquin Moon, And Tarquin certainly thinks water is a crucial issue, but like all Greenies, manages to throw in another irritating non-issue to muddy the waters, so as to speak. He wrote a letter to a local protest organiser, which said in part ….

There is bound to be times when effluent from 15,000 cows overflows and ends up in Cleveland Bay, adding to water quality issues in the Great Barrier Reef.

Many residents of Oak Valley are limited in their land use because, as a community, we don’t want to be responsible for eliminating part of the last remaining habitat of the black throated finch and driving them to extinction.  At least 24 acres of habitat would be destroyed by this proposal.

Residents, even on larger rural residential blocks, face careful regulation of their septic tank/sewerage disposal facilities because the output from just one household can damage neighbours. What will bore water be like when it is shared with 15,000 cows?  Will the bores be sucked dry?

Now, the odds are that maybe one in 200 local residents give a flying fug about the housing dilemmas of the black throated finch, but given the delicate issues surrounding water, pollution and the marine environment in this town, those water issues will have to be a consideration for the council. Roseneath depends on bore water, since it isn’t hooked up to the Oak Valley mains pipe for some reason, although it runs right past them along the Flinders Highway.

Those who learned about this in the Townsville Bulletin on Friday, and were moved to want to whack in a submissions … well, tough titty. It is clear that reporter Lees wrote the story several days before it was published, and as is the Bulletin’s wont, the subs were asleep at the wheel.

The final line of the story advises that ‘The application is open for people to comment until July 18.

The story appeared yesterday … July 20.


But Now To World Matters, and Putin’s Bitch

This week, Moscow’s Agent Orange, Comrade Trump, turned on a performance that had it been written as a Hollywood black comedy, it would’ve been rejected as too outlandish. The media across the globe has been agog at these unprecedented antics, and cartoonists in particular have had a field day.  So to mark a momentous week, here is a pictorial round-up of reaction from a gob-smacked world, which tend to confirm that defending Donald J Trump as a misunderstood victim of prejudice is like defending smallpox . First up is a collection of the famous Pommy barbed humour … couple of absolute crackers in here.

Screen shot 2018-07-16 at 9.14.35 AM trump putin laugh trump imaugral trump - doors trump foot and mouth trump putin spanking Trump genius trump queen Trump - ouldn't Trump bus

The ‘Pie’s opinion is neither here nor there in the scheme of things: he also knows readers of this blog are more interested in local matters and have no interest in the old bird’s global view. But it is important that we know just what is the Russian connection all about really. Here is a detailed explanation of the problem and the possible chilling consequences of having a deranged megalomaniac as the most powerful man in the world. This lays out FACTS and reporter Rachel Maddow’s conjectures are clearly flagged as such and do not pretend to be facts. It’s long, it’s scary, and The ‘Pie thought he wouldn’t look at it for long, but was riveted until the very end.

The Last Laugh

As all regulars here know, language can be hilarious … and perhaps even more so for those of other cultures trying to learn it. Like this Finnish comedian, two unlikely words to be seen together but is he funny? You bet your ass he is.

That’s yer lot, time for a beer … or is it?

Screen shot 2018-07-16 at 6.07.29 PM


That’s all for this bumper edition, but the fun and info that you won’t get elsewhere continues throughout the week in comments. Dive in, it’s fun. And if you can spare a quick dive into the old wallet for a helping hand with blog costs, 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.


  1. Dave Nth says:

    They forgot one salient point on the airport. The runways & taxiways would be upkept by the RAAF. So adding that one in there is absolutely no excuse for QAC not dipping into their own pockets.

    However I will say this goes to the root of the problem, the privatisation of monopolies like airports has been less than beneficial and it has just encouraged profiteering at the traveling public’s expense. Brisbane airport should have had runway 2 finished 3 years ago to cope with extra traffic. They build paid parking instead. The amount of time I have spent over the Gold Coast Hinterland in holding patterns I have lost count of. Yet no government has the spine to do anything. I won’t even start on the crumbling Kingsford Smith at Mascot…

    • Mick says:

      The Queensland Government recently allocated $9,000,000 interest free loan to Townsville airport for apron work. Townsville airport coughed up $1,000.000, and yet ratepayers will have to pay interest on any borrowings for our water pipeline.


      • Dave Nth says:

        ALP is really sandbagging this area isn’t it? What I would like to see is a comparison between Townsville & Newcastle. Similar passenger numbers, be similar demographic minus the FIFO miners (i.e. Defence & family of residents, some tourists) and both facilities shared with RAAF. Difference Newcastle isn’t owned by a corporation desperate to screw every cent out of the place to feed shareholders as it is a joint partnership with Newcastle & Port Stephens Council.

        I can’t seem to find a website that deals in a breakdown per passenger otherwise I would post the comparisons myself. Interestingly Newcastle pays the RAAF a fees, I’m not sure such an arrangement exists in Townsville. There is much more to find here but the Bully predictably just pokes around the edges.

        • The Magpie says:

          The ‘Pie is already on record that in the current climate of rapacious abuse of the commercial free market system, the Townsville City Council should acquire Townsville Airport, a crucial monopoly for the progress and prosperity of this city. Then passenger ripoffs for owner gain would be tempered by the ballot box.

    • Airline says:

      Also Dave include Runway Lighting ,Air-Traffic Control , Fire Fighting Facilities and Limited Taxi-Way lighting …….

  2. Miss Lou says:

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.


    Miss Lou.

  3. Sir Rabbittborough says:

    New Ross Island beer garden name- “the stiff nip” , “Mengele’s Patio” or from May Poppins “Chim Chimneys” ….just wait till I get a coffee in me

  4. Cantankerous but happy says:

    One of your best Bentley, summed it up perfectly, and a big blog this week Pie, great stuff.

  5. Mike Douglas says:

    Had the misfortune to see a few minutes of Typo Gleeson filling in for Paul Murray on Sky . Typo needs a personality transplant suited more to print but I see he is spruiking his new position as Sky News host and Colimnist for the Sunday News Corp papers and every Tuesday in the Courier Mail .

  6. Bentley says:

    Where is our MSNBC? What a clear concise report which was absolutely necessary to clear the waters muddied by the media, and Trump himself. I’ve seen such investigative journalism in Australia, but not for a very long time. Pity.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, hang about there, pard. Umm, cash for comment (an extortion racket), kids overboard, Kate McLymont bringing down sleazebag Eddy Obeid, and of course that brave and dogged Newscastle Herald journalist who started the tsunami of protest about paedophile priests. And you oh so conveniently overlook the painstaking investigations that led to the revelations of Townsville’s ten best pizzas in the Bulletin. (BURP!!!)

  7. Bentley says:

    Whoever poured that beer was cheating the customer. Too much head.

  8. Col Foley says:

    Hi ‘pie. If you want to damn Trump there’s plenty of real fronts to attack on.

    But to join the semi-hysterical wave of teeth-gnashing, pro-Dem U.S media commentators and say the Rachel Maddow clip was included because it’s “…important that we know just what is the Russian connection all about really. THAT VID SHOWED NOTHING OF THE SORT. NOR DOES IT PROVIDE ANY “detailed explanation of the problem” FACTS OR EVEN BASIS FOR CONJECTURE OF “…possible chilling consequences … a deranged megalomaniac” etc. A PRETTY BASELESS AND PISS-POOR PAR, IRRELEVANT TO TSV, I THOUGHT.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie stands humbled before your well reasoned, eloquently written and incisive and instructive piece so chock full of facts, not to mention your inventive imaginative use of punctuation. Your exposure of Ms Maddow’s shortcomings is breathtaking and irrefutable, why are you frittering away your time on a remote South Pacific island, Fox News awaits. BTW sure you are aware that the elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party. ‘Nuff said.

      Folks (especially any like-minded discombobulated thought disordered gabblers), The ‘Pie doesn’t want to have keep repeating this but he has two firm views. Great steaming pats of vitriol like Col’s say more about the writer than about either The ‘Pie or about Trump … and the old bird repeats: ‘defending Trump is like defending smallpox’.

      Oh, and Col, is The ‘Pie now only allowed to opine about things relevant to Townsville? On his blog? Since this is an issue for you, The ‘Pie hereby calls off the goons he sent over to put a gun to your head and threatening you unless you read this weekly missive. The threat is removed, you may stop reading The Magpie now. Better you catch Typo Gleeson on Sky ‘News’ … more your speed, old son.

  9. Frequent flyer says:

    The cunning Mr Gill appears to have pulled another swifty that has, to my knowledge, gone unnoticed.
    Back in 2015, Mr Gill announced a “$40 million upgrade to existing terminal and apron facilities” at Townsville Airport.
    This announcement from the airport’s website confrims both the value of the upgrade and that fact that it included the terminal and apron.
    Since then, in 2017, the Federal Government funded $10 million in improvements to the apron. I suspect that some of this $10 million was used to also upgrade the third-world toilets in the arrivals area of the terminal, but lets assume that QAL actually paid for the loos from the millions they collect from current passenger levies.
    So take $10 million from the original cost of $40 million and you get $30 million needed for the terminal upgrade.
    Mr Gill obviously uses a similar method of calculation to the Cowboys in the bad old days (count the heads and multiply by two) because he now claims the upgrade is going to cost $80 million, half of which he says will be funded by Queensland Airports Limited and the other half by a $3 passenger levy (if Qantas ever agrees to it).
    So it appears that of the $40 million originally announced as the total cost of the upgrades to terminal and apron, Queensland Airports will now pay nothing.
    If they eventually get Qantas on board Queensland Airports will get the terminal improvements for free. Strewth, they will even make a profit on the deal because $10 million of the original $40 million in improvements have already been made, thanks to the taxpayer.
    Then there’s the additional profits QAL will make from rental of the new retail areas and Virgin Lounge, and additional car park charges.
    Given that approximately 1.5 million passengers pass through the airport each year, Queensland Airports would collect $4.5 million a year in levies, so the $30 million would be paid off in under seven years.
    Which begs another question. Will the $3 levy be dropped after the cost is covered in seven years time or will it continue indefinitely, adding $4.5 million a year to the airport’s already substantial profits?
    Over to you, Mr Gill.
    Now I’m off to buy some QAL shares.

    • The Magpie says:

      Interesting points you make, but don’t be swinging by the left one while waiting for Gill to reply. Last February, former Bulletin journo Doug Kingston was so pissed off with Gill’s stonewalling on very reasonable questions in a face-to-face meeting, that he wrote to the Bulletin, suggesting they take up nine crucial aspects with Mr Gill. (Hah ha, nice one, Doug, you are a jester, aren’t you?) Those questions were:
      1. Will these new assets, paid for by the travelling public, be included in your company’s balance sheet?
      2. What area of retail space will be created and what rent/lease payments will be received from businesses that occupy the new shops and food outlets?
      3. What rental/lease payments will be received from Virgin for its new Business Lounge?
      4. What additional rental will be asked from Qantas for its improved Business Lounge should it approve the $3 passenger levy?
      5. What extra income will be received from added car parking spaces?
      6. Will all of this new revenue be included in the terminal’s profit and loss accounts?
      7. Will the $3 levy per passenger per flight be discontinued after the upgrade has been paid for, and how will the public know when this has been achieved?
      8. Is it fair that all passengers should pay for a Virgin lounge and improvements to the Qantas lounge when most will never be able to use them?
      9. Mr Gill has stated in the media that there has been no improvements made to the airport terminal since 2003. How much profit has your company made from Townsville Airport in the 14 years since and why hasn’t Queensland Airports spent some of those profits to make the improvements?

      Doug – and Townsville – is still waiting.

  10. Lady Byron says:

    Some ideas for business names for the proposed new funeral home & crematorium at Ross River Island.

    Come & Get Roasted and Toasted

    Chilled and then Grilled

    Ashes to Ashes

    Who you gonna call? Toast Busters!

    Shrouds in the crowd

    Cry me a Ross River

    Disco Inferno: (Burn, Baby, Burn!)

    Shroud Mary

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      How about:

      The Smoke House

      Grill Masters

      And their theme song for their advertising could be “When Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” (The Platters)

      • The Magpie says:

        ‘Yet today, my love has flown away,
        I am without my love, without my love.
        When a lovely flame dies,
        Smoke gets in your eyes.’

        Medium rare please.

    • Grumpy says:


    • Achilles says:

      Names for the Ross Island Hotel barbie area, how about?
      D’ots and D’ashes
      Ross Island Roast
      Smoke gets in your eyes
      Where there’s a Will
      Urn 10% discount
      Departure lounge

  11. The Ferret says:

    You are slipping old bird, you have missed a very important connection with the leaked Economics study on Hell`s Gate

    Was it NOT Empower who did Mayoral Candidate Jayne Arlett`s costing on the duplicate pipeline for the 2016 council elections?

    Date and brief enclosed Jan 24, 2016 – MAYOR Jenny Hill has accused election rival Jayne Arlett of using a dodgy report … Ms Arlett’s economic impact report, prepared by Empower.

    Funny that the TCC is now borrowing money to complete the pipeline by the same deadline. So how dodgy was that report really?

    Maybe the leak come from the same person leaked both and actually had NOTHING to do with Little Patty?

    Let you do your best work and set the hounds lose :p

    • The Magpie says:

      Perhaps it is you who’s slipping, as ferret’s do, old chum. You’re info about Lynch/Arlett report – which the mayor called rubbish during the campaign – has been reported here for various join-the-dots reasons at least three times in the past year. Can’t kep repeating what The ‘Pie reasonably believes his readershav already been informed. But all these snout snufflers, with both front trotters in the trough, treat the Nest with lofty disdain … unless you’re a darts playing mayor.

  12. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Your comment Pie about Palmer St and the effect of The VIlle is having on businesses there as well as other venues in the city itself is a valid one and is something I have noticed myself, but I have to add I dont have a lot of sympathy for many of them, I like many are frustrated by the amount of these businesses that are closed on a Sunday, and have been for many years, they can’t complain someone is taking their business if their doors are shut, I drove through there late this arvo and the place is a ghost town, they need to change the way they do things.

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed. And if we really did have a tourist trade, a lot of places would be out of business because visitors wouldn’t put up with the swingeing prices and erratic hours. (The Pier, lovely restaurant, is open for lunch just one week day (Friday) a week). The reality is that cashed up professions, especially the legal mob, and ladies who lunch before becoming ladies who lurch, keep a lot of places remaining complacent. In the end, Chris Morris might just b responsible for making a few players lift their game.

  13. The Real Mr Batty says:

    As the topic of the Adani Airstrip may be coming back into flavour I though I would update your readers before one asks.

    The CCC complaint lodged back in October last year is still active and has been handed off to the local government department to report back to the CCC and presumably me too.

    Neither one will provide any updates no matter how many times I ask until the matter is resolved.

    I would still allege that the Mayor misled the councillors at the meeting, by stating that TCC would own the Airport, in order to get their vote in support of the $18.5m (Paul Jacob confirmed this in the Bully) The mayor misled the media and the public on the ownership of the Airport and then backtracked.

    I do not understand how it can take this long to investigate.

    I don’t go away so I will keep you posted as to anything I hear.

    • The Magpie says:

      Good man, we need more like you.

    • Dave Nth says:

      Few tit bits from around that may be nothing or not, feel free to scroll:

      Friend whose wife works at the Hotel Mr Adani was staying at recently when in town commented his wife had heard that the project isn’t going ahead. Second hand and hear say, could be rumours again or maybe a closure of the Townsville office is nigh.

      Someone else I know who works at the Port said they have been unloading containers full of railway building gear, much more than what they would normally. He thinks they are for Adani as all the Dugald River supplies have arrived.

      Also have been doing some work down in the coalfields lately & Emerald radio has had large advertising schedules for Standard 11, S1S2S3 & working around railway courses/refreshers even mentioning Adani.

      We all know the trucks will be automated so removes the need for a large workforce to begin with. Knowing the area I wouldn’t be surprised to see the jobs advertised as a DIDO role targeting Emerald/Clermont. Heard there’s plenty of guys trying to get back into the mining game round that area. The professionals I have heard have already been using Doongmaballa Airstrip 13km away from Labona Outstation not far from the camp & have been mostly Brisbane based.

      Be interesting to see if ratepayers have dodged a double cross here with an airport that may never be utilised for anything other than somewhere to park Mr Adani’s private jet… Anyway big thumbs up Peter, it is sad the fourth estate is not covering this and that private citizens are doing their work. Suma suma Pie.

  14. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Mr biscuit barrel

  15. Scientician79 says:

    As one of the five people left in the world without a facebook account I’m not privy to the details of the Water for Townsville Action Group, so apologies if this has been addressed there or elsewhere previously.

    But can someone explain to me how Hell’s Gate Dam provides water security for Townsville any better than the current Burdekin Falls solution? It will still require a pipeline and all the associated pumping costs, as well as needing Townsville to pay a tidy sum for access to a water allocation to draw down on.

    I’m not opposed to the idea if it genuinely offers improvements over our current situation. But it strikes me that the money for this dam could be put to better use on some of our current Burdekin Pipeline issues (alignment, lack of treatment plant) and pay for a lot of years worth of electricity to actually turn the pumps on.

    On the topic of water I notice that the propaganda from Mullet and Co on the pipeline duplication refers to a “3 point” plan for water security and point 3 is the rather orwellian sounding “Community Water Transition Support Package”, which refers to “assisting the Townsville community to adopt water efficient practices and devices”.

    Sounds to me more like permanent water restrictions, and changes to water pricing. That may well be required but how about telling us what the plan is, or is that a little surprise to drop on us after the election in 2020?

    The entire water fiasco of feasibility studies, and papers, and self interested politicians promising solutions looks like something straight out of Utopia on the ABC, but maybe I’m just too cynical.

    • The Magpie says:

      Yes, The ‘Pie asked some week ago what this meant, and received no intelligble reply. Time to revisit Community Water Transition Support Package. It’s been suggested that this was initially the buzz word bullshit to cover the aborted Jamie Durie deal, but it sounds more like a change by stealth to metered water. The ‘Pie isn’t necessarily against this which as far as can tell is slf monitored and self interested voluntary water restrictions. But why must we be governed by a dictatorship in Walker Street that rules by fiat, are Mayor Mullet and her Labor inspired CEO The Impaler afraid of what a debate might do to the current regime? This nonsense must stop.

      • The Magpie says:

        But it is worth noting that this year’s council budget mentioned a sum of $6.4million carry over of the $10million campaign that was aborted. What happened to the other $3.6million? A question worth trying to get a straight answer to.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        The Community Water Transition Support Package just means “ we think the community is a pack of fuckwits and don’t know if they have turned a tap on” campaign. It’s just more of this water saving campaign leading to the inevitable installation of stupid meters ( because we think everyone is stupid and ignorant) and millions more pissed up against the wall, it never ends in this joint.

    • Concerned says:

      My understanding is that Hells Gates primary role is to drive Australia’s largest sustainable industry further, yes I am talking about agriculture, and in particular irrigated agriculture in the upper Burdekin River catchment, it would also be capable of providing backup water to Charters Towers and Townsville.

      • The Magpie says:

        That may well be so, but then a quick examination of the recent past would show that TEL and the Mayor Mullet have used to groundswell of public demands for water security – primarily with enhanced supply from the BFD – as a deflection to muddy a debate they didn’t want (as in Hill’s ‘there is no water crisis’). In the process, people like David Lynch have made a nice public penny from cobbling together largely meaningless buzz word ‘feasibility studies’ and thus wheedling his way into the local power structures good graces to slot into a completely featherbedded job as ‘City Economist’. Hell’s Gate is probably a most worthy project to debate, but it is a SEPARATE debate, as it will never be primarily about Townsville’s water security. And the Burdekin Dam, as is or enlarged, will always be able to supply our needs without depriving any other users at all.

        • Dutch Reverend says:

          Got to love the “Chief Economist” gig. Doesn’t TCC have a Chief Financial Officer ? I would have thought that the economy of the Council was the primary responsibility of the CFO.

      • No more dredging says:

        Concerned, could you explain a bit more your “understanding” about this irrigated agriculture that will be such an outstanding and sustainable industry to justify a massive commitment of funds for a dam at Hells Gate. The lower Burdekin sugar industry has hardly ever enjoyed good, sustainable times – surely you aren’t suggesting that sugar might be a goer in the upper Burdekin? If not, then what is the particular mix of agricultural pursuits that might make viable an investment of several billion for a dam and all the irrigated agriculture infrastructure that would have to follow – such as for the cotton around Emerald, the sugar around Lake Argyle at Kununurra or indeed the sugar and rice that has been developed in the lower Burdekin. I’m not sure the prospects for this development are quite as rosey as they are often portrayed – usually without numbers.

        • Scientician79 says:

          Appreciate the response Concerned, but as NMD has mentioned, wasn’t agriculture the promise of Burdekin Falls dam when it was first built?

          If Hell’s Gate is viable on the basis of opening up farming land all well and good, but don’t sell it to the voters of Townsville as the cure to all our water security problems when that’s likely to be an afterthought if we are lucky.

          • The Magpie says:

            Precisely. Please see The ‘Pie’s similar pearls of wisdom on this aspect. Comment should be in this thread.

          • Concerned says:

            Correct me if I am wrong but are you saying the Burdekin scheme is not a success, if you are I suggest you get out and go for a drive and get of the black stuff and try a few roads from the dam to the burdekin to see exactly the full extent of what the Burdekin does.

        • Concerned says:

          The possiblities for agriculturr in the upper burdekins fertile soils are endless if water was available, do some research yourself on google and read the numerous reports which have been done over the last 30 odd years, and go for a drive to see what farmers are starting to do for themselves and only with bores up around those areas. From fruit and veg, cane, stock feed, the opportunities are endless with one of the words largest populations just to our north and in the not to distant future ethanol will alao play a significant role across the world. And guess where that comes from. And yes it is our largest sustainable industry.

          • No more dredging says:

            Concerned, for the last couple of years I have listened to farmers, irrigators, politicians and DNR&M bureaucrats from the various upper Burdekin catchments (above the dam, including the Belyando etc) as they have pondered the future Water Plan for the Upper Burdekin. I know about most of the possible scenarios because several operators are already trying some of them out. I have also heard people like Bob Katter go on at length about the potential for cotton in the Gulf river catchments and Noel Pearson about Cape York’s rivers. There’s no doubt in some dreamer’s minds that these places could be the ‘food bowl’ for Asia. But there’s competition for the Australian money that might make these things happen – especially since we have a history of dismal failures in irrigated agriculture (the first Ord River scheme for example). So when TEL release their report into the Hells Gate dam and finish listing how many jobs will be created and how much money will be spent, you and I can look beneath the pap and search for the irrigated agriculture plan because that will be the only thing that could save the project since there’s no need (now) for that dam for Townsville’s water supply. Sugar and rice? Unlikely, if complaining lower Burdekin cane cockies are anything to go by. Ethanol? Maybe – but unlikely with current national government priorities around climate change. Mangoes, feed lots, fruit and veggies – Hmmmm. Still, if anyone can make a project stack up for Townsville it will be TEL. If they can’t, maybe the project and the promoters should be shown the door.

          • The Magpie says:

            Oh, dear, NMD, and you were doing so well. Then we came to the second last line and you lost the plot. Big time.

            Have a little lie down, laddy.

          • No more dredging says:

            Let me put that another way, ‘Pie. TEL has been commissioned to write (or otherwise make up) this report. Haven’t they been paid a motza? Undoubtedly it will be positively glowing in its praise for the concept. I’d say that TEL could do that better than anyone, especially if the project was, in reality, a dog. They’ll probably have a project manager ready to recommend as well.

          • The Magpie says:

            Ah, gotcha … apologies for being dense.

  16. No more dredging says:

    Following a weekend of unending TV and radio advertising of the virtues of Clive Palmer I’m wondering if a stone has been rolled aside and the old National Party is about to be dragged from its slumber and resurrected. Clive, or one or other of his numerous businesses, seems to be presenting him/itself as the newest saviour of Townsville whether it’s the unfunded expansion of the Port to allow bigger imports and therefore jobs (Channel 9), opening up the Galilee Basin coalfields for jobs (local radio) or the old chestnut – government support for the re-opening of the Yabulu nickel plant – for JOBS of course. Clive’s no socialist and won’t benefit from lower taxes for big business (ha ha) but he once had a big following in the National Party:

    “His official entry into politics came at the height of his real estate career in the early 1980’s. Palmer was appointed as the President of the National Party Speakers Association, and assisted in the 1983 Queensland State elections.
    Around the same time Palmer began investigating opportunities in resources and in 1985 started Mineralogy – which remains his flagship company today. Mineralogy began acquiring mining leases in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and soon after its inception acquired the Australian assets of Hanna Mining and negotiated the transfer of Tenneco Oil.
    Palmer’s ascent in the ranks of the National Party continued, where he became the official spokesperson of the National Party, as well as the Media Director. In 1990 Palmer was made an Honorary Life Member of the National Party.”

    Now I know 1990 is a fair while ago and a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then but there’s a lot of disillusionment in regional Queensland’s conservative LNP and Labor ranks and it’s not finding much comfort in the meanderings of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation or the fading embers of the federal Katter dynasty. Could it be that Clive is now riding into Herbert as a white knight ready to befuddle and confuse electors in ways that only Clive knows how?

    • The Magpie says:

      That last line should read ‘TAKE ADVANTAGE OF Townsville electors natural state of being befuddled and confused in ways that only Clive knows how.’

      Nature’s rule: You are what you eat, and if you wilfully eat the wrong thing, you suffer terrible consequences. Same with politics.

      • No more dredging says:

        ‘Pie, it’s pretty hard for voters to find out facts about issues (Hells Gate dam, pipeline duplication, coal-fired power stations, Townsville port expansion, viability of reopening Yabulu) when governments of the day, local, state and federal, hide stuff or hide it in plain sight within thousands of pages of reports, tell truth and lies in equal portions and keep decision-making processes under the table. Although it has always been a bit like this, I can’t remember a time when government was so opaque, and so proud of it. Not only opaque but seemingly blatantly colluding with the enemies of transparency to hide, first their incompetence, then their venality and finally their contempt for the electorate. Clive plays with the cards he is dealt, lord knows who pays the croupier.

  17. Gonzo says:

    Pie, A great blog post … one of your best. You have done a terrific job of bagging your mate, Kevin Gill, the editor of the Astonisher who has capitulated to the advertising department (I remember those executives from my days at News Ltd), Donald Trump, whose visit to Britain showed what he was made of — absolutely nothing! — and last but certainly not least, someone worth watching: Rachel Maddow on the Russian connection. Opinions, but good opinions. Well done, Pie!

    • The Magpie says:

      It was written through the tears of a stunned Swans supporter. Really, the blooody Gold Coast WTF???!!!

      But thanks as always for or your kind words, Gonzo.

  18. Dutch Reverend says:

    Bobble head Scott Stewart was bagging the PM on his visit and not coughing up $75mill for the port. He said that it would give a $3 return for every $1 spent. Firstly, the port is a State Government Asset and secondly, if the return is so good why on earth wouldn’t he push for the State Government to make sure it is fully funded by State. After all, the return of 3 to 1 is assured. Scott said so.

    • I'll be plucked says:

      Great post Dutchy – the Townsville Port is a profit making state owned asset (we own it, the hard working tax payers of Qld). If its return, as stated by ‘politician’ Captain Cupcake (S Stewart – doughy, no substance, full of crap) is predicted to be so strong at 3 to 1, then the state govt further investing on behalf of us taxpayers makes great sense!

      Perhaps that’s the issue – it makes great sense, therefore it won’t happen and the federal begging bowl comes out again! The other likely reason is this state govt are SE Corner centric and only throw scraps our way when it suits them. Cupcake appears to have no economic credentials or understanding around business at all.

      • No more dredging says:

        I’ll be plucked, it might be worthwhile considering in some detail the proposition that BECAUSE the port is a profit making state-owned asset, “the state govt further investing on behalf of us taxpayers makes great sense!” Over the past 5-6 years, state governments of both stripes have put forward commercial or business cases for the $1.2 billion expansion of the port. If you read them you can tell they have been drawn up by overpaid children with no idea. The most recent version, written by adults this time, didn’t even bother to make a case because only the government itself will read it and they already know it will be bullshit because, surprise, surprise, it’s their own adults that wrote it. Like the Townsville Airport mob and Adani, they will lean on the federal government for as long as it takes and eventually get hold of the goods. Meanwhile, millions are being spent on the road access to the Pinnacles quarry site where upwards of 8 million tonnes of rock will be quarried for the revetment walls and breakwaters of the expanded port – a component of the port development that will not likely be paid for by the Feds. The next time a coral bleaching event smashes another percentage of the GBR remind yourself that it’s the Queensland government with its publicly funded port development and constant sea-dumping of maintenance dredge spoil that is the biggest destroyer of the Reef – by a long way. And they don’t care. In fact they’ll sell the port when the price is right.

  19. FF says:

    Strong rumour at Q Club is that Gill is on the way out. A “management position” was recently advertised. Gill’s house, already on the market, has had a significant and sudden drop in the asking price. Could be wishful thinking….

  20. The Owl says:

    The Astonisher finally caught up with the Railway Estate crematorium fiasco today.
    Jenna Cairney should be paying the Magpie a spotters fee for providing leads.

  21. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Heard a rumour that TCC are considering the idea of moving all the water meters in town outside the boundary fence and putting them in pits in the ground, something that would cost tens of millions of dollars and be another disaster, source is reliable but not from within council itself so might be something your bloggers from within council might have some knowledge of Pie.

    • The Magpie says:

      You been on the turps for lunch? Buried water metres in pits? Outside city boundaries? Why? Or is the old bird missing the joke.

      • Dutch Reverend says:

        He didn’t say outside the city boundary. That would be outside the fence boundary of each property. A common practice in other cities such as Brisbane. However to spend money on doing it here would be an absolute waste. The other problem with doing this is that after rain the meter becomes covered in silt, rendering it a pain in the arse to read. Could be something in future developments with installation of smart meters. Could be, maybe, should be.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Yes, always a drink with Lunch, good for the GERD, it’s about moving everyone’s water meters from there current location which is above ground, inside the property boundary to the footpath and putting the meters underground in meter boxes or meter pits, something we looked at 30 years ago and quickly rejected after a long list of issues. it would be a very expensive exercise and a total waste of funds for a council already deep in debt.

        • The Magpie says:

          Also be interesting when and if we ever get agood wet season.

          • Grumpy says:

            Was in the Auxiliary Fire Brigade way out west. the hydrants were, as they almost always are, in pits. The mains water supply came from a bore with very warm water (almost boiling point at the head). These cosy little pits were absolute heaven for snakes, particularly in winter – when we had most of our house fires. Mr Mulga Snake used to get mighty pissed off when you dropped a stand pipe on his head in the pitch black at 3:00 AM.

  22. Grumpy says:

    Malcolm, I am sure you and the Piette would appreciate the obscene irony of Gleeson on Sky News tonight pontificating about workplace bullying.

    • The Magpie says:


      • The Magpie says:

        What time was this?

        • Grumpy says:

          About 20-30 minutes before I posted. I think it was in Peta Credlin’s show. Sorry, mate, but I was in the midst of making dinner and deep into my second pint of Guinness. Was not taking much notice until I heard Mr Squeaky. He was talking about Ema Husar.

          • The Magpie says:

            Here it is, in all its bright shining hypocrisy, the man who bullied my daughter in the News Ltd workplace, although she had done nothing to him and he didn’t even know her, he still threatened her job because of something this blog and my comments therein. And now HE’S decrying workplace bullying … and by a woman. Peter Gleeson really does have issues on both these fronts. In the instance involving my daughter, he was forced to apologise, and subsequently lied to a News Ltd columnist about me, costing his employers an estimated million dollars in costs, their own legal fees and damages for defamation. All because he was a proven workplace bully … and now he is lecturing us about the issue on television?


  23. Gull says:

    More editorial redundancies announced at the bulletin. Only skeletons left.

  24. Sir Rabbittborough says:

    Speaking of banks
    What was that about if you are getting run oatta town get in front and make it look like you are leading the parade.
    Well , Westpac just started running an ad you could say was a celebration if suicide , it follows a family through thick and thin till the big funeral. With the soundtrack being seekers? “I’ll never find another you” they never showed how the husband died , but it showed they were on the land. Beats news using ….I heared the news today…blew his brains out in a car….

    And. In the same hour during 10 qld 5pm news today, Wongarra crematorium starting to advertise , so , it seems the Boyles railway east claim that they can’t keep up us blowing smoke up our arises.

    • The Magpie says:

      Interesting you say that about the cremos … those ads may indeed be free ‘make goods’ as they are called, because the dumb reporting allowed the wife of the crematorium proposer to suggest there were no cremations available in Townsville, and bodies had to be shipped to Bowen to get their final firelighter. Now this was obvious nonsense, as The ‘Pie proved with a single phone call, and in fact, it seems the crematorium at Julago – known as Woongarra, which has been in business for over 50 years, sometimes does as many as ten cremation a day. The woman who was quoted in the paper, Lori Boyle, was, she said, as surprised as anyone at the reported statement and she had clearly meant bodies that HER COMPANY handled had to go to Bowen. So the Astonisher managed two possible defamations in one sentence … one from from a cremation company which is very much alive that the paper said didn’t exist (or allowed someone to say so, same thing really), and one from Ms Boyle for making her look like either a fool or a liar. One assumes she is neither.

      Be interesting to see what the council makes of all this (read ‘what Mayor Mullet make of this, hoping for votes but which way does she jump?’)

      The ‘Pie hears there’s a petition coming up … and now that that possibility has been mentioned here, expect to see something in the paper in a day or two.

      Really, Jenna, how about a spotter’s fee, eh? Or is it your Scottish background making you reticent to part with money? But no trouble parting with six more staff as of last Friday, The ‘Pie hears. Funny, didn’t see that in the paper, but if it was any other company, it would be screamed from the rooftops.

  25. The Stockman says:

    Good article in today’s Australian about the job Mayor’s SHOULD be doing.

    There are more than 500 mayors of local communities scattered across Australia. And every one of them wants to make a difference.

    In the old days administrative success meant opening new buildings or commissioning new bridges and roads. But I think the world has moved on from these key performance indicators. A generation of unbroken prosperity has bred a community that expects this as business as usual.

    And then there are communities faced with special challenges. What do you do in an area that is losing population? How do you manage overspill from a nearby capital city? How can we stop young people from leaving our community? How do we deliver the scale and range of services ­demanded by excessive population growth?


    • The Magpie says:

      As mentioned on several occasions before, no point in posting links to Oz articles – or any News or fairfax online publication- they are all behind a paywall. The comment itself was interesting though, and should raise questions about the Magoo-like views of our local luminaries – a stadium to rescue a city??? So sad.

      • The Magpie says:

        And now that The ‘Pie has mentioned paywalls, can some technically minded bod out there explain why in this day and age, publications can’t demand pay per view of each specific story. If they charged say a dollar a peek at just the story in which a reader is interested, surely they would make tenfold what they make out of a financially problematic subscription model that makes many baulk at signing up. A dollar a throw is psychologically attractive – hey, it’s just chump change, right? – Those interested could whack $20 or $30 in a paypal or CC account that will automatically pay per view and warn you when more dough is needed. Which would likely be infrequently, but would attract a wider paying audience. Would this be feasible (of course it would be possible, but at what cost?)

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Pie I have been advised it’s all to do with advertising and nothing to do with a technical aspect but rather the requirement of advertisers to reach across a viewer or readership in its totality, rather than trying to pick out the types of stories a certain demographic would access. It was explained to me by a good friend in the media business when I enquiried about a similar thing with pay tv, why do I have to pay to access a whole load of shit that I will never watch to watch the few channels that I do, apparently advertises don’t want media outlets to designate what stories they attach their ads to, and going by the quality of the media of late I couldn’t really blame them.

      • The Stockman says:

        Sorry bout that Pie and noted for next time.

        • The Magpie says:

          No probs, mate. And just while we’re here, The ‘Pie would like it on record that he is not against paywalls, someone has to pay the piper (and the journos, photographers, artists and the phone bills). His fun with the Astonisher is based on the abysmal tripe they call news and the wanting us to pay for biased arse licking of the Gilded Few.

  26. Old tradesman says:

    You all forgot that famous book,”The Cats Revenge” by Claude Balls.

    • The Magpie says:

      ‘The Russian defector by Ima Nickanoff and that other great Russian tome, The Curse of Bad Snooker by Inoff The Red.

  27. TCC engine room says:

    This morning the ceo held a bbq at the waste services department to tell everyone that every worker is getting a tablet to use. Ipad. No idea why but did hear that next year they were going to be having the workers do their own time sheets electronically. This maybe the start. How much false overtime will be awarded mmmmm? The best part about the bbq that it was held in the wash bay were garbage trucks clean everyday. How ironic our ceo chosen to speak there. Top it off was a boutique coffee van that was towed in especially for this at high cost just so the bosses don’t have to make there own or settle for nescafee blend 43. This is labour! More info when I get to speak more to the crew that turned up. Also tonne of food cooked nobody ate. Waste of money.

    • Strandboy says:

      GPS tracking will be turned on by default on each iPad … plenty will end up in the ocean

      • Alahazbin says:

        Those Waste trucks have had a form of GPS tracking for the last few years, as well as other light vehicles in the Waste Fleet.

        • TCC engine room says:

          The whole fleet were installed with trackers during Tsv First time. This is different these are personal devices. Very expensive exercise for no gain. Interesting to read about this labour clown Husar in Sydney. Calling her staff cunts and fuckwits and one ended up in hospital with mental issues. Segway to the city council and our CEO?

          • The Magpie says:

            Adele Young’s sometimes bizarre and often foul-mouthed abuse of staff – The ‘Pie believes his information because it has come from so many different and separate sources – would normally attract intervention and disciplinary action. Imagine if she tried her stunts at JCU or maybe GBRMPA, let alone big commercial companies sensitive to legal costs of such behaviour? The Impaler would be back south talking to her Labor chums about another gig somewhere.

            But the TCC ‘cleansing’ was so swift and wide ranging that remaining staff have been cowed into silence, in fear for their jobs. All new appointments to senior management are Impaler confreres from a mostly southern Labor pool of bludgers and featherbedders.

    • Dearie Me says:

      The tablets the staff will get won’t be iPads. They are android tablets of some sort
      Why give run of the mill home use style tablets to staff working in outdoor environments you might ask? Apparently Optus gave Council a big pile of tablets, so it’s the cheap and nasty solution.

      The Council IT department has been working on a project to roll these out for over 18 months. One of the most recent hiccups is a failure to put a web filter on them to stop the users accessing porn and gambling sites. And despite all having sim cards, they don’t connect properly to the Council system once out in the field. Something to do with the wonders of the Optus…
      This project has been the source of many arguments between managers, and it’s now a bit of a joke amongst staff.

      • The Magpie says:

        As a passing matter of interest, who chose FlOptus for council business in the first place?

        • Dearie Me says:

          It shouldn’t be too hard to guess Pie…
          There were special junkets for CEOs on offer and she just couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
          Ask a councillor how much they like Optus… Or an outdoor staff member.. or even a staff member from the IT department and you’ll get an earful on the giant fucking disaster it’s turned out to be.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie is obligated to say that as an Optus customer, he has never had a sinble problem. But then, the old bird is that rarity who with very rare exceptions, uses his phone in a unique way … to make and receive calls. AZnd tell the time.

  28. Old tradesman says:

    Have just had a relaxing month in the southern parts of the state and northern NSW, NSW booming, South east corner all happening,Hervey Bay splendid, had a whale of a time, Rocky moving ahead, Airlie Beach bit slow but still beautiful even though the effects of Cyclone Debbie are still evident, suddenly back to Townsville, first thing to greet me was a police aware sticker on a stolen car, then I read the Astonisher and find the town is still full of artistic impressions, nothing will change while our so called leaders like Capt’n Snooze Reynolds, who once declared to me that he wanted the town to be like it was when he was a little boy.

  29. Dave of Kelso says:

    Strewt you lot! For a while now I have been in the land of ‘No Network Coverage’. I return to find a comedy show.

    This reinforces my view that there should be an annual formal black tie ‘Magpie Dinner.’

    After the loyal toast to the Magpie (and much port) the banter would be robust and riverting.

    By the way, do you know the results of drinking champagne from a lady’s shoe?
    1. It tastes bloody awful, and
    2. Said lady complains all evening of a wet foot.

    still here in travelling WA.

  30. The Magpie says:

    NMD what is the point you’re trying to make. All you’ve done is give details of a TCC employee.

  31. Hee-Haw says:

    Twice in one week we have seen this…..

    Townsville City Council
    2 mins ·
    Morning all,

    Our call centre is currently unavailable we will let you know when we are up and running again. Apologies for the inconveince.

  32. The Magpie says:

    Good one, Astonisher … at the going cut price rate of about $5000 per weekday page (by memory used to eight grand or more), that’s 20 grand in just one day. From what little clues that can be gathered, it seems the digital take-up is around 4000 … and a good percentage of those are likely to be digital and home delivery, so counting one reader twice fits in with News policy

  33. The Stockman says:

    Can anyone tell me where this project is up to? It appeared in the Astonisher in FEBRUARY 2017. Is this it the same project that Council is trying to get more funding for from the Feds? So many announcements, zero construction in the CBD, on anything.

    $28m Townsville walkway project awaits report on city’s future

    THE start of work on a walkway project in the CBD has been delayed as Townsville City Council consultants prepare a masterplan on how to shape the city as a lifestyle and investment destination.

    But sources say the council appears confused about how to proceed with the project. Mayor Jenny Hill and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced construction of the $28 million stage one of the Waterfront Promenade project last October, saying it would be under way “within months”.

    A walkway and cycle path is to be built between Healthy Little Eaters Reef HQ and Stanley St fronting Ross Creek with the council’s preferred option being to secure easements over properties.

    Yesterday Cr Hill rejected suggestions the council was confused but conceded the design of the project had been delayed to ensure it was in line with planning to reposition the city.

    The council announced last month that tourism identities Don Morris and David Williams, of Pure Projects, had been engaged to develop a masterplan and Cr Hill said it was this work which the council wanted to include in its considerations.

    “We need to make sure we’re getting the best possible outcomes from the promenade project, (that) it’s functional, ties in with integrated transport options, including the bus hub, and connects with the rest of the city,” Cr Hill said.

    “Concept planning has been done, and before we lock down funding agreements and final design it makes good sense to have the project reviewed as part of the broader context of the positioning work.

    “The promenade is an important and expensive project, and we’re making sure we don’t plough ahead with something we might want to change in a matter of weeks.

    “We would anticipate the review would add about 12 weeks to the process which would mean work could start in July.

    • The Magpie says:

      Good questions indeed, Stockman. This is delegated leadership, executive direction by default. So now we do not have elected councillors and skilled staff with the wit or will to come up with viable plans for relatively minor improvement projects – they are only minor, the old trick is that they want us to be dazzled by big numbers and an ‘overall’ vision in stages – which in reality, each stage is not that big and anyway are certainly inflated for the likes of Pure Projects to get their corner of the trough. Now we have to wait for the Pure Project carpetbaggers to try and think up schemes that will give them leverage with potential developers dollars. And all the while, we have the Dudley Do Nothings slurping away with both trotters dangling in the same ratepayer replenished trough. Unless you prefer crying, this is laughable.

  34. Dave Nth says:

    Looking like even the Government is not buying the CDB Rejuvenation line… Bully website leading a story (Paywalled so won’t bother posting link) of Bureaucrats being scolded for abandoning the CDB office space for the suburbs. The amount of vacant office space in the suburbs is substantial & I reckon on the rise from casual observation. Am unsure but have heard rumours that rents in the CDB are eye wateringly expensive. Perhaps that is behind the move and if it is cost driven why not when you can pick up commercial space elsewhere with significant savings. Also the neverending works on the main roads into the city, clients generally being more in the suburbs maybe the feedback has been going into the city is a hassle nad to move closer to the major client base.

    If anything I haven’t been into the CDB in probably over a year now and try to avoid going in there when I have to with a car, the motorcycle is much easier & is free to park.

    • The Magpie says:

      Drat it, Dave FFS!!! You know they all read these comments in Walker Street. Now you’ve mentioned it publicly, expect motorcycles to be charged for parking.

  35. The Magpie says:

    And CRIPES! it’s a sheila, although a quick cyber rummage says it Tarquin is ‘gender: male’ … presumably disappointed mum and dad in one department but did them proud with obvious academic success. Big improvement on the Shakespeare villain in the Rape of Lucretia.

  36. Scotty says:

    now now, you should know better than to pre-suppose a persons gender, they could be a card carrying member of the LGBTIQAto Z brigade!

  37. Critical says:

    Reminds me of Keeping Up Appearances

  38. Grumpy says:

    Don’t we have an occasional commenter here, “Tarquin-gobble gobble “?

  39. The Magpie says:

    Very occasionally nowadays. Used be one of my favourite monikers, Conan The Grammarian, but got a fit of the tom tits when The Magpie accidentally outed him (he’s an old mate from court days). He then went somewhat peevish and pinched a long-winded nonsense character name from Monty Python. Drops into the Nest very occasionally, sad to say.

  40. Mike Shearer says:

    Magpie, I’m surprised and very disappointed that you have fallen into the trap of third rate debaters that when you can’t win an argument then get personal. “Tarquin” is a popular name for girls and there was no need, nor justification, for any smears about disappointed parents, nor allowing others to allude to ” the LGBTIQAto Z brigade”. As Roseneath Red points out, Tarquin’s accomplishments are impressive, her name or gender is not relevant.

    The extinction of any species should be a matter of concern, not derision. You might not care that the last remaining habitat of the black throated finch would be at risk. How does the finch fit into the ecology generally? A bird whose loss would change the balance of nature and oh dear, an unexpected consequence (say) of a plague of insects ravaging the local lychee crops? You don’t know, but that Tarquin is concerned is enough to make me want to know more. The worst environmental pest (humans) has done and is doing enough damage to justify armies of Tarquins ringing the alarms.

  41. The Magpie says:

    Christ Mike, The ‘Pie is getting worried about you. Even allowing for the fact that you are a retired academic (sort of) your lack of a sense of humour and proportion is surprising, you appear to have become one of those shadow flincher’s who find a threat in every rustle of a leaf of life.

    First of all, from just one of the many websites:
    Gender: Male Pronunciation: tar-kwin or tar-kin Origin of Tarquin: Roman clan name of uncertain meaning Meaning of Roman: Latin, “citizen of Rome”

    And your selective interpretation of my gentle jibe at an unusual name – with a name like Weatherup, The ‘Pie retains the right to have a little fun with names, as one with a mundane name like Shearer does not – is so extreme that you need a moment of quiet reflection, chum. Extreme in describing it as a smear, and your failure to see the harmlessness of a lame joke about parental disappointment is more the hysterical reaction one expects from the offspring when counsins marry.Eespecially when the main thrust of Ms Tarquin’s argument was wholly agreed with.

    And listen, old mate, since you are in the business of advocating censorship regarding comments that appear here … in your case, references to other sexual orientations – if The ‘Pie adopted your admonition and started to cull comments for PC reasons, you may rest assured your comment to which I am taking the time to reply would not have appeared in the first place. Stop flinching and stop bloody finching, too … and then The ‘Pie will stop attacking a fellow avian, in this case, the Hermit Park Sparsely Haired, One-Eyed, Turkey Throated Warbler.

    Yes, The ‘Pie agrees that SOME humans are some of the worst pests.

  42. Grumpy says:

    Silly old bugger. You need to get a hobby. You know, like finding a fucking sense of humour, you pious prick.

  43. TCC engine room says:

    Christ if that’s what is worring you in life then you should go visit the salvos or st vines to see if you can get a secondhand one. (Life) Point being obviously your feeling other people’s presure and believe you need to stick up for them. That’s the problem with the ” LGBTQOSRTBBFDAKL” community you all just want to tell people how to have a joke or tell people what they are allowed to say. Here’s a joke for you! My very gay friend of 20yrs and I recently attended his mums birthday. As we entered he gave his mum a kiss. I couldn’t help but ask him if he used mouth wash before such an affectionate gesture. Obviously gay men would have oral sex too? Just weather it’s before or after is the question.

    By the way he did answer yes. Most gay men enjoy a joke about them.

  44. No more dredging says:

    Ha ha ha ha. Grumpy offering humour advice. LOL.

  45. Grumpy says:

    What? Am I bit too subtle for you?

  46. Sir Rabbittborough says:

    Useless info for the day. A warble was the description of the tone in a Mosquito pilot’s earphones when the IFF said a Nazi was behind him.

  47. Mike Shearer says:

    Oh dear, have I touched on a sensitive toe or two? I do wonder whether in the lady’s presence it would still be considered good humour to allude to her parent’s choice of name, or gender.

    I accept, though don’t agree with, the admonishments and advice given by yourself and others.

  48. The Magpie says:

    Indeed, being ‘loud and proud’ has been a necessary tool for social adjustment of phobic attitudes, and slowly, the next step will come when humour – in non-abusive instances – will be seen as a further step in acceptance of the modern world. Same goes for women, most of whom have shucked off the early excsses of feminist idiocy i.e all men are rapists. Sadly, it is many a person not directly involved eg. not gay who feel they virtue signal by becoming scolds. Those people think they are being champions of the underdog, but that dog will always stay under when a taboo about words and humour is built up around them. They think they are being little ‘l’ liberal … they’re not, they’re being puritan pains in the arse.

  49. Sir Rabbittborough says:

    Really, after the royal commission ?! Are you serious??? faaark

  50. The Magpie says:

    Something for everybody – or nobody – on this blog.

  51. The Magpie says:

    Sure these things happen. Like the Murrays, who named their first born Callum (as per TV ad.)

  52. No more dredging says:

    Callum Murray? I don’t get it. Maybe I don’t watch enough commercial TV.

  53. The Magpie says:

    Clue: squid

    Yours sincerely

    Drew Peacock

  54. Grumpy says:

    Told ya…he does not do subtle

  55. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    If Drew Peacock met Lotta Fargina it would be a match made in heaven….

  56. The Magpie says:

    Hardly … think about it.

  57. The Magpie says:

    Or honesty … he obviously approves of workplace bullying …. or used to until News management grabbed his miniscule balls to make his heart and mind reluctantly follow.

  58. Cantankerous but happy says:

    What a coward, fucken low life, and the notion that any of us are responsible for the action of our parents is laughable, I am getting very tired of Sky News with the likes of this tosser, Ben Bogan and others chirping away on TV like a pack of budgies, its like Fox news lite these days, especially the evening and night slots, getting very repetitive and boring.

  59. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    I know you’re not keen on a Dad joke segment each week….but how about potential book titles and author names?

    Here’s my suggestion to start things rolling:

    “A Woman’s Place” by Kit Chin

  60. The Magpie says:

    In fact, there is a flaw in your idea, WW, because The ‘Pie has a whole tome here on the subject of REAL book titles with incongruous but REAL authors. The ‘Pie’s fav is How To Make Money by Robyn Banks.

  61. I'll be plucked says:

    What about Glass Dunnies, by Seymour Shite?

  62. Scotty says:


    Parachuting by Hugo First

  63. Cockie says:

    40 Yards to the Latrine by Willy Makeit and Betty Wont
    Back Row Of The Orchestra: Clara Nett
    Chicken Dishes by Nora Drumsticks.

  64. The Magpie says:

    (Sigh) Just KNEW this would happen.

  65. No more dredging says:

    First he said no, then he said yes, put it in a little bit (“Robyn Banks”, really ‘Pie), now he has regrets. Fancy Cockie breaking the camel’s back! Bad thinkin’, Ninety Nine.

  66. The Wulguru Wonder says:


    100 Days Lost in the Desert by Wanda Ring

    Feed Your Family on $5 A Day by Ty Tarse

  67. The Magpie says:

    The ‘no’ was to Dad jokes, not book titles, which can involve clever play on language. Dad jokes are lame, generally not funny and would only appeal to those of deficient humour and low intelligence …. oh, wait a sec …., hmmmm ….

  68. The Magpie says:

    Read a similar book Across The Chinese Gobi by Lotte Sand.

  69. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Very rare edition this one, but you might find it in the fantasy fiction section….

    Jenny Hill Does The Right Thing by Hope Full

  70. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    This is my last one I promise Pie…..

    The Clive Palmer Diet Plan by E Titall

  71. The Magpie says:

    Wasn’t that author Hope Fool?

  72. Scotty says:

    Full Moon by Seymour Buns

  73. Kenny Kennett says:

    Triumphs of Jenny Hill by Jo King

  74. The Magpie says:

    Magpie note to Achillies. Thanks for your unpublished book contributions, but no mate, no.

  75. The Magpie says:

    A slim volume indeed. Love it, Kenny.

  76. The Magpie says:

    The ‘Pie fails to see whatever point you’re making regarding your post about a council planning officer. Bit more info before published, please.

  77. The Magpie says:

    OK see your idea, and amusing but no, bit nasty to someone who probably doesn’t deserve it.

Post a Comment

The Magpie encourages all to take part in the discussion and let their voice be heard.
In order to post a comment, you must provide a name. While you don't have to use your real name, it should be something unique so users can identify you in the discussion. Generic names like “Anonymous” will likely result in your comment being ignored.
Let the discussion begin!

Current ye@r *