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The Magpie

Sunday, June 10th, 2018   |   118 comments

From Branch Stacking To Board Stacking: Why Tony Mooney Should Resign As Board Chairman Of The Townsville Hospital And Health Services.

But since the issue at hand involves internal Labor politics, ethics, avarice and personal mendacity, don’t hold your breath. The Magpie puts the case.

Taking a punt with Rupert: the odds are stacked against you big time in one of the silliest come-ons News Corpse has ever dreamed up …

And Townsville’s own cackling battery hen is at it again, Mayor Mullet signs some sort of agreement about something that may happen sometime, somewhere … or not. That’s as much as we’re being told about the fabled lithium battery factory proposed for Townsville.

Bentley is still on a break so The ‘Pie has dug up a nice little gallery of ‘toons from Trumptainia. And elsewhere.

But first

The Astonisher’s Schizophrenic Take This Week On The Townsville Property Market … And Other Idiocy.

A small and predictable round-up of the naughtiness/dopiness/sheer unintended entertainment of the Townsville Bulletin this week.

First, we give center stage to regular commenter Memory Man.

Here’s a  prime example of how our schizophrenic newspaper is damaging not just its own but the city’s credibility. Clearly the house prices story and the Maidment story are linked and begging questions of each other.

Here’s a trio of well-placed pieces, illustrating reality versus spin versus unsubstantiated puff.


Reality = property values over a cliff.

Spin = housing market on the rebound as Maidment expands. Those in the development game (a la Maidment) have little choice but to build a facade of impending explosion.

Puff = more “could be” nonsense from the Bullsheet. Residue value in Yabulu’s tailings dams have long been part of industry speculation. Efforts to develop a cost-effective recovery method (that is, a profitable one) have so far floundered. 

Why didn’t the Bully ask Glen Maidment what he thought of the “prices over a cliff” reality?

But the best proof of where we’re at icomes from the Bulletin itself. Specifca;;y, from its regular Saturday Real Estate lift out. This little rip-off money spinner for the Bulletin used to boast a proud regular 80 plus pages, and was matched by a bullying arrogance to go with it. But Real Estate has steadily been shrinking, and a couple of weeks ago was just 40 pages. And this weekend, it has shrunk to just 32 pages … and a distinct absence of the once popular home-maker ads like furniture and bedding places. No wonder News has put the paper on the block … and it may already have done a deal.

Then There’s This From Today

But honestly, how can iditor Jenna Cairney expect anyone over the age of ten to take the paper seriously when we get these sorts of hysterical (as in manic AND funny ridiculous) items in today’s Astonisher. First this screaming pants-wetting lie in the headline.

Thurston headline

Truth: Thurston was coming out of his hotel in Darwin when he saw there was a bit of a road bingle. He wasn’t involved and simply did the right thing to see if anyone needed help. They didn’t. And indeed, the paper apparently failed to notice that far from any drama, Thurston thought the whole thing a bit of laugh.

Thurston m:s

Thurston c:u

This is the sort of thing that continues to drive away what few readers are left, along with other pieces in the past week, including a tease about a multi-million dollar housing development, which turned out to be Bowen. Which, if only we had someone with some local knowledge was left to advise our blow-in iditor, is of zero interest to 99% of Townsville.

But Wait, There’s More

Now, you may find this hard to believe that our hard-hitting, campaigning newspaper printed this on page 3 today – a page traditionally deemed the most read and important in a newspaper, reserved for the main story of the day …

Screen shot 2018-06-09 at 11.47.58 PM

Now you expect this sort of flapdoodle – a Monopoly board with local place names instead of the traditional ones – would be good for a little bit of light-hearted fun and pisstake, but NO … it was taken seriously. Very seriously, To the extent that it prompted a typical a hectoring, lecturing iditorial …

Screen shot 2018-06-09 at 11.53.11 PM

… which contained this bumptious paragraph.


Don’t worry about your presumptuous ‘us’ being generous, ma’am, given our current governance and rorting, Cairns and Mackay probably would not want to be associated with Townsville for fear of tarring themselves with the same brush of stalled progress. Of which the Townsville Bulletin is part.

Little wonder they have to resort to giving the paper away … but even that doesn’t seem to to be working, if these hundreds of freebies at the Murray Sporting complex this weekend are any measure. Same as last weekend.

Screen shot 2018-06-10 at 1.13.41 AM

Truly sad,

Wanna Have A Bet? Want Good Odds? Has The Burdekin Advocate Got A Deal For You, Sucker …

Interesting little tidbit floated into the Nest this week from Frank Pete Jerkic, who runs the Stardust Drive In down in Ayr.

Wow money to burn if I advertise my Drive In in the local rag, last time they wanted $2k for a full page, we stopped advertising in the local paper when they put the price up from $43 to $96 overnight for their new MODE? and wanted to charge us $350 for the school holidays colouring in competition block which they gave us free from 1964 

But the Advocate was obviously missing Frank’s dollars and sent him this email which contained what they termed an ‘amazing offer’ … which it certainly was, but not the way they meant it..

Subject: Advertising Promotion: ‘Million Dollar Piggy’

Good Morning,

Would you like to be a part of the ‘Million Dollar Piggy’ campaign, where you have the chance to win $1,000,000 cash, simply by placing a full page advertisement in the participating newspapers from now until Sunday 1st July?

News Limited is making an amazing offer of a full page advert for just $440 per page (GST inc) with each full page advert you place, under the ‘Million Dollar Piggy’ promotion, earning you one free entry into the competition, getting you one step closer to the chance of winning $1,000,000.

One major finalist drawn from all participants in the competition will be chosen to play Million Dollar Piggy in Brisbane for a shot at a massive $1,000,000. They must correctly identify three piggy banks from 100 identical piggy banks to win. If they don’t, they’ll still walk away with $10,000  cash! Five regional winners will be drawn from all other participants from the regions and newspapers listed in the competition terms and conditions to win $1,000 each.

BOOK TODAY! Remember the more ads you run the better your chance to WIN! 



Advertising Consultant | Booking Clerk


So let’s see … one free entry for each $440 page ad you take out in any one of the five participating papers, the five satellite papers run by the Bulletin.  THEN you have you be lucky enough to be one of five winners from a lucky draw at each paper THEN you have to be even luckier and be the finalist picked by lucky draw from ALL participants, to go to Brisbane THEN where –The ‘Pie just loves this one –   you have to ‘correctly identify (i.e guess) THREE piggy banks from ONE HUNDRED piggy banks to win a million bucks.

This just a bee’s dick away from being an out and out scam, of the sort that, done by anybody else, would have the paper howling for blood. The ‘Pie is no mathematician, but even if you ignore the odds of actually getting to be the ultimate guesser, the odds on getting the million dollars by picking three out of a hundred is so astronomical as to be virtually zero chance. You’d have a better chance picking the trifecta in a hundred horse race … at least you’d have some form to go on … and you’d still lose.

Not only do they think readers are idiots, they also think their advertisers are , too.

Well, at least we know who the real piggy is in this matter.

At Least There’s Some Good Writing In The Bulletin

And its nearly always in the Letters to the editor.

Like this excellent offering in Tuesday’s Astonisher – and despite the very apt name, Mr Squelch is a real person, a counsellor who, appropriately enough considering his letter, specialises in depression and anxiety.

Squelch letter 

And Some Other Nonsense Mayor Mullet Should Stop


Love the looks on the faces of the onlookers, all seem to be thinking ‘Sucker’.

Most people of good will would wish for the battery project to succeed and be commercially sustainable. What we shouldn’t have to cop is a lack of transparency from the Mayor about what exactly is in the “high level” agreement signed with one project proponent. Like MOUs, condescending tripe like ‘high level’ mean nothing and like MOUs, unlikely to be legally enforceable. And if our mayor is going to gush like some latter day Boadicea that her council has ‘thrown all our resources to make sure this happens’, alarm bells should be going off big time.

Publish the agreement in full so the community knows what you’ve actually done, Madam Mayor.

Or is it another “deal” like the Adani airstrip (“still in negotiation”, so we’re now told), or a secret “exclusive” mandate for a developer connected to a Key Mullet backer for the Hilton project? Is the mayor our battery hen about to be be plucked? Again?

A Magpie Clarification.

The Magpie is in error (gasp! yes, it occasionally happens).

Shayne Sutton

Shayne Sutton

Last week, he made light of the remuneration for Labor appointment to the Townsville Hospital Board trough, Shayne Sutton, suggesting the money involved was of little import and Labor’s manipulations of her into a starting gate for a political gig was of more interest.

Well, that last part is true, but the money isn’t exactly piddling. Someone with better research skills than The ‘Pie (faint praise indeed) points out that Ms Sutton gets a handy part-time stipend of $44,503 as a member and an extra $4000 for each committee she chairs and an extra $3000 for each committee she is on.

And you can bet you’re hernia support she’ll be on two or three committees, so this Labor-sponsored blow-in picks up a handy $50K at least for the next year for doing absolutely bugger all (don’t kid yourself otherwise, it’s a dead set rort) until she gets a pre-selection nod. Understand she’s been sniffing around Hinchinbrook … good luck with that, me old chiseller, they go in for a different brand of electoral lunacy up that way which will see the Katter Party’s Nick Dametto tighten his grip on the seat unless he’s caught doing exotic things with small furry animals.

Actually, in Hinchinbrook, caught doing that may even increase his margin.

Mooney’s Mendacity – As Usual

 Tony Mooney

Chairman of the Townsville Hospital Board, Tony Mooney was quick to jump to Ms Sutton’s defence when others echoed The Magpie’s sentiments about Labor board stacking. It was the usual ‘lot of offer, wealth of experience’ line and suggested no local came up to scratch under the selection rules. Oh, really?

And that’s funny that Mooney is suddenly being finicky about rules. He has broken a major ethical one that, if he were a man of principle, he would resign as hospital chairman forthwith and failing to do so, should be removed for a clear breach of his position’s ethical obligations. (Yeah, a Labor government is going to do that, right?)

Mooney picks up $110,000 salary for his role as chairman, but for all that, he is a public servant, and as such, is required to avoid anything that would make his position appear political. So how does that sit with Townsville MP Scott Stewart’s public bum kissing when he told parliament three weeks ago:’ I also thank Tony Mooney who worked with me just about every day on my campaign.’

This raised more than one eyebrow around town, including some Mooney people who wished Srtewart had kept his thanks private.

Needless to say, among th many annoyed by information, Stewart’s statement greatly and justifiably aggrieved one Cassie Scott, the LNP candidate who came within a whisker of defeating Stewart at the last state election. She let fly on her blog:

The Hospital Chairman’s role is a trusted one in our community which should be, and has been, above politics. As the employer of the region’s largest public service work force, it is imperative that the organisation remains a-political.

As Chair of the Board, Tony Mooney should not have been anywhere near a Labor Party election campaign. Regardless of his well-known political orientation, he has directly breached the values he sets for the more than 6-thousand staff who work at the Townsville Hospital and Health Service.

There is a clear conflict of interest which, in my view, Tony Mooney has failed to manage to an acceptable standard. His actions have not been open, transparent or ethical.

Predictable perhaps, but Ms Scott makes a very valid point, which should apply across the political spectrum.

As things have developed in Townsville over the past few years, one is reminded of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. From that classic came the saying much quoted in Labor circles and corporate boardrooms ‘ All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.’

Given the shenanigans of Mooney, Mullet, Sutton, her hubby Stephen Beckett and The Impaler et al, another quote from the book would be more apt:

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again. But already it was impossible to say which was which.’

A Perceptive View On Our Dilemma In Townsville

Spotted this on one of The ‘Pie’s rare forays into Facebook land . Too good not to share. The ‘Pie does not know the author, whose name is Kirsten Heritage.

I’m quite certain that it’s narrow mindedness by local council who (sometimes wrongly) consider anyone outside of the local area to be vastly superior in their knowledge and experience. The Townsville community holds considerable untapped and unrecognised expertise. This is one of many circumstances where I’ve seen outsiders brought in at great cost to do work that could be done by locals with more specific understanding of the problems and solutions to fit our unique needs.


At Last …

It’s taken more than 16 mentions in court for over more than a year, but finally …


Obituaries Are For Fond Farewells Right? Well, Not Always.

This one was posted in a US newspaper … by the family!


Trouble Brewing Between The Gals Of The Night In The Shaky Isles

For services rendered, no doubt …

Screen shot 2018-06-09 at 11.25.07 PM

But it seems good news always makes someone jealous, especially in New Zealand.


You brazen hussy … what about me?

A Week In Trumpitania


Trump forgets the words to God Bless America, and ad libs his own.

Kevin Siers God Bless Trump

Trump channels his movie hero at the G7 meeting in Canada

Tom Janssen Darth Trump

Meanwhile that OTHER summit meeting surely couldn’t be derailed again, could it? Whew, no, it’s apparently on track

Paresh Nath summit Summit


That’s it this week, keep a line open for comments during the week, lots of good stuff in there. And brother (or sister) if you can spare a dime to help The Nest stay populated, 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. The old peterbuilt says:

    Ray whites monthly auction at casino started 5minutes late at 6.05. Finished at 6.45 . One out of 12 properties sold. Yep the boom has begun. Oh by the way JT went to a second crash in Darwin. It was the footy game.

  2. I'll be plucked says:

    The secrecy continues with the Mullet – what’s in this battery MOU and what have you committed to giving away you plucker? TELL US!

    Captain Cupcake aka Scott Stewart (doughy, full of crap and no substance) shows he is a rank amateur who scraped into a second term on what’s left of the Mooney coat-tail. Cupcake, another useless, achieve nothing trough swilling plucker.

  3. Alahazbin says:

    Isn’t it strange that the two most toxic workplaces in Townsville are run by Labor appointed/elected boards.
    Cassie Scott was spot on about bullying eminating from the ranks of that organisation.

    • Hercule Poirot says:

      The Previous State Liberal Government appointed well known Liberal Identity John Bearne to the position of Hospital Board Chairman….

      • Kenny Kennett says:

        Yes we remember him and his ‘appointment’ of his lady friend into a top position in the hospital. But he swears he had nothing to do with it.

        • The Magpie says:

          The ‘Pie may be wrong here, but seems to remember reporting at the time that bearne’s squeeze, a well qualified financial person, had applied for and got the job before his appointment. He then turned down ‘greater glory’ at TEL (smart man) and took on the hospital board appointment, promptly instigating paid parking.

  4. Old tradesman says:

    If the Hospital Board appointment was so transparent, who were the other candidates pray tell Tony?

    • The Magpie says:

      Oh, you old silly, nothing to do with him, all done by the Office of Health Statutory Agencies. Which is in Brisbane. Whose members are no doubt ‘vetted’ by the Government. Which is Labor. Which is a party that sees Tony Mooney as a leading figure whose recommendation should be followed. Mr Mooney’s recommendations invariably run to Labor party members regardless of other candidates suitability and experience.

      But nothing to do with him.

    • Inside TCC says:

      Would be interesting to know if the lady with shoulder length blonde hair wearing a black top during the May 24th Townsville Hospital childrens ward upgrade media op with the Premier is Ms Sutton/Beckett (its definitely not O’Rort) and would predate her appointment to the board

  5. Robert is your mother’s brother says:

    Another great column Magpie. Big shout out to I’ll be Plucked. “Captain Cupcake” is gold. It works well with Aaron “Showbags” (he is alway full of shit) Harper. Suggestions for the third member of the band?

  6. Dave Nth says:

    Mooney is no stranger to grey area, like most of the modern ALP he knows where the line is & not to step over it. Fallout from the Sir Joe era I’d say. Shepherdson Inquiry is an eye opening read on how far the rot goes back with how the ALP operates. Nice list of local names & later Beattie/Bligh ministers well but that is a different point.

    As for the Hospital, a neighbor has to use the Women & Children’s clinic out there for their son. He says in his opinion the place is going backwards basically has thought about heading south so the child gets closer attention.

    • The Magpie says:

      What you neighbour says may well be true, at least in his case. But The Magpie must here disagree with that as an overall summary. Over the past couple of years, the post-op support following my laryngectomy as been nothing short of magnificent,(especially the speech therapists – speechies as they are known) and I haven’t come across a single bad egg amongst the staff, all fully dedicated who face daily the stress of dealing with those who, apart from their illness (cancer where I go) also suffer understandable anxiety and in some cases depression. The saddest ones are the parents with ill kids. Heart-breaking – The Magpie may have lost his voice but every visit when he looks around, he realises that he is one of the lucky ones.

      • Dave Nth says:

        Don’t think his gripe is with the actual front line medical people, though he did say it has been like a revolving door at times and they were slow to act on concerns at the start. Just the time to get seen & multiple rescheduling further out frustrating him I’ve heard about. He does admit there are other kids much worse & probably why they get pushed further down the line.

        NMD yes he has made his feelings known and things do change for a while. Even had second opinions but that went down like a wrought iron hang glider as Townsville is very small & all the medicos know each other.

    • No more dredging says:

      Wonder if the ‘neighbour’ actually spoke with anyone in the relevant department at the hospital about the apparently low quality service provision their child received? Of course no institution with such a huge turnover of patients can be spared the occasional stuff-up but ongoing poor performance is a different matter. Feedback, straight from the horse’s mouth, is miles better than rumour and gossip though sometimes harder to deliver.

  7. J jones says:

    Word from inside the astonisher hq is that many staff think madame editor has no idea.

  8. Concerned says:

    Hey Magpie
    It would apear the name Tiong is aligned with the ALP.
    Our ex Mullet and Impaler appointed CPO is now a CPO for the Vic Gov Infrastructure.

  9. Cantankerous but happy says:

    According to the astonisher we have 5 fast selling suburbs in Townsvile, fast in Townsvilles terms anyway, the question is if you live in one of these 5 suburbs should you be feeling positive because houses are selling in your area, or should you feel bad for the people who did sell because they obviously had to pants themselves to get a sale.

    • Mundingbird says:

      A local crime page ‘Expert’ blames Real Estate Agents for the jacking up house prices……? I mean,WTF.

  10. Mike Douglas says:

    The Queensland Budget is handed down this Wednesday and leaks have State debt increasing from $69.5 bil to $75.2 bil with the Tradster blaming having to keep up with population growth. Like the previous treasurer, Labor’s mathmetics arnt very good with population rising 3% vs debt 8%. With record business closures and personal bankruptcies structural reform i.e. reducing household bills is required but with Labor running the State and T.C.C. I dont hold much faith.

  11. Alacan says:

    So ..here a thought three aussie icons that are presented weekly on a sunday morning

    The Insiders

    Macca on Sundays

    and of course .. yep you guessed it

    Magpies Weekly Wrap

    The other two are in good company Pie

  12. Cynical Cricket says:

    This will be the next labor filled job at the TCC

    Commercial Leasing Manager

    • Alahazbin says:

      Yep! CC, I see the TCC don’t use the Astonisher anymore for vacant positions. Trying to fool the ratepayers that they have the right staff levels after all those ‘redundancies’. Believe me they will be recruiting for some time to replace all that lost experience.

      • The old peterbuilt says:

        Talkin to ex tcc employee on weekend. Made redundant and now back there on $120per hr on contract.

    • Fancy That says:

      I think most people understand that ALL council jobs are political. The recent sackings are to clear out the political appointments under the LNP. Long before Hill came in some rats were already jumping ship, they knew what was coming.

      Dale Last ( remember him ?) resurfaced as an LNP shoo – in after being banished from Townsville to eat squirrel and dance to the banjos of the lesser regions . When change happens again you’ll see more sackings as mates from the other side are brought on board to suckle on the teat, strutting around in shirts and ties making decisions about shit they don’t understand.

      Don’t be too sad, all the council jobs are sewn up through political ties. All government is corrupt and usually bankrupt to boot.

      • Alahazbin says:

        That is exactly the comment you would expect from a loony tunes. “The lesser regions”. That’s is why those regions are crying out for more.

        • Old tradesman says:

          Talk about eating squirrel, Ive heard that Dale Last does more in one day than the three Townsville furry blind mice have done in their first and now second terms.

  13. The Owl says:

    Mooney has been getting away with murder for years. I’d trust the Mullet before him and that’s saying something. A mate who is involved in a local development company is adamant that Mooney still rules Townsville with an iron fist. The brown paper bag society lives on.

  14. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Apparently everything is moving along at a snails pace at the new stadium site. The main issue seems to be the multiple small contracts that enabled many locals to get a piece of the action are a complete pain in this arse. Example quoted to me is one company supplies the rebar, another the casing then finally the concrete is poured in, this is being replicated on the steel and fixings as well as multiple excavators etc from different companies, this can only lead to fuck ups and delays, the busiest person onsite is the stop go man out the front as vehicle after vehicle go in and out of the place,. 20 months till kick off, what’s the odds they might be starting off the season out Kirwan way.

    • Ando says:

      Another issue I’ve heard is the amount of rubbish getting tangled up during the boring operations. From tyres to swathes of oily rags. Older locals claim this was the site of the old railway dump.

  15. Kenny Kennett says:

    Opposition leader Bill Snorton on Q & A. What a wanker, liar and hypocrite. I’m worried that this brain dead fool could soon be leading our country. And Q&A just happen to do their show from the blue collar area of Elizabeth in South Australia. The challenging questions are catching him out, the desperate questions are being fluffed over.

    • Droopy draws says:

      KK, the only way this ‘wanker, liar and hypocrite’ as you say WON’T run the country soon is if the LNP get down in the gutter with the Labor Party and run the typical scare campaign.

      Hasn’t happened before that I can recall so your concerns just could come to fruition….

      • The Magpie says:

        Hey, good idea for the LNP … after all, it almost worked for Labor … or have you forgotten the totally untruthful Medicare scare campaign?

        And on the local level, that favourite Labor tactic DID work for Mayor Mullet against Dale Last, when campaign guru Dolan Hayes planted the last minute lie in a totally compliant Townsville Bulletin that rates would rise by something like 7% a year under a Last administration. The claim was timed so Last had no real opportunity to call out the blatant and obvious lie, (no reporter sought an response for balance in the original story, which was printed on the Thursday before election day. It was swallowed whole by the sheeple of this electorate.

        • Droopy draws says:

          I guess they’ve worked out their target audience, Pie at all levels of government.
          Run a series of black and white ads saying whatever you like; throw in the mandatory red stamps slammed across the screen and there it is. The majority of halfwits punch the air in solidarity….

          Not sure if we need worry about the tag ‘Brownsville’ being a public relations issue…. more the point that traveling folk heading for ‘Boganville’ will be redirected here.

  16. Red Treadway says:

    When a local newspaper closes, the cost of government increases. That’s the conclusion of new survey from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, which draws a direct line between loss of the watchful eyes of local newspapers and a decline in government efficiency.


    • The Magpie says:

      Yeah, noted that report, but then realised, all the papers that closed down did so because they couldn’t make any money. So don’t hold your breath about the Astonisher folding its tent any time soon, if it were not for the arrogance of the News octopuses’ head in Sydney, there would be a still be a lucrative quid to made with a more aware and scaled down publication. But as it is, the Astonisher’s monopoly position still allows it to make a profit, but not the sky-high arrogant rip-off of yore. So a print version will be with us for a long time to come. Perhaps soon in different hands.

  17. The old peterbuilt says:

    Sweet Jesus. Bill shorten has promised to reinstate the funding to the ABC plus some if we elect him. If this isn’t the worst case of cash for comment this country has ever seen . 2.1 billion dollars of taxpayers money per year and only 6% watch it. Shut it down. It has become the media arm for the cfmeu and it’s subsidiary , Federal Labour.

    • The Magpie says:

      As a journalist for more than half a century, The ‘Pie is consistently mystified by claims and conclusions like that, OPB. Especially when you look at the ABC’s journalistic track record – which, old chum, is the organisation that first revealed the ‘cash for comment’ scandal years ago – and particularly its coverage of union rorts. How do you perceive it to be favourable to the CFMEU? And oh how Labor wishes it was more compliant, especially that Leigh Sales hussy … she just will keep on interrupting their party political non-answers.

      Noted a saying of worth t’other day, OPB … truth is like poetry, and everybody hates fuckin’ poetry.

      • The old peterbuilt says:

        I and many others will continue to disagree with you on this subject . That said it is one of the great aspects of democracy. To discuss and to agree and disagree but I am fearfull those days are coming to an end.

        • The Magpie says:

          The end may well be nigh, but because of the ABC, more the likes of the rapacious Rupert, the banks (the ABC pioneered the push for a Royal Commission and look what that’s turned out to be) and multi-nationals, whose shenanigans are revealed by the one organisation that has no pecuniary imperative or fear of competition … yup, like it or not, you’v got it … the ABC.

          And you still haven’t given any example of the ABC’s support for the CFMEU.

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            It was the ABC 4 Corners that gave us the Moonlight State. Need more shows like that such that the politicians have nowhere to hide and the spineless courts have to act.

            I wish 4 Corners would come to Townsville.

    • No more dredging says:

      Peterbuilt, talk about making up shit. According to the accounts published on the ‘net (you know, that typewriter thing you write shit on), the ABC receives about $1.1 billion per year. That might sound like a heap of money but it’s about half the shitload you claim the ABC receives. You learned nothing, you know shit and in desperation you make up shit.

      • The old peterbuilt says:

        You forgot to add in sbs old son and as for knowing shit I know I’m a self funded retiree who spends most of his time travelling the country and overseas and who has worked hard enough to be able to hand over to the next generation so NMD you just sit back old boy and wait for the next rent assistance cheque.

        • No more dredging says:

          Peterbuilt, here’s the figures for ABC funding – which is exactly what we were discussing despite your incorrect and irrelevant waffle about SBS:
          “Federal funding to the ABC: of $1,022.6 million in 2016-17; $1,029.9 million in 2017-18; and $1,036.5 million in 2018-19.”

          Meanwhile, I’m on self-employed smoko. If you have retired and have a few moments to spare, catch up on your research before you embarrass whoever you are handing over to. Making stuff up or quoting some bullshit blog post is so naff.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        $1.1 billion is about $1.09 billion too much, a disgraceful waste of taxpayers funds, it no longer represents anything but the leftist inner city agenda and fails its core purpose badly, even the once prized country hour is nothing but a program produced and presented by people in capital cities about life in rural Australia, it’s a fucking disgrace. How it can justify paying that snivelling Tony Jones $400k a year whilst letting real talent like Ticky Fullerton leave to go to Sky is hard to fathom. It’s representation in Townsville itself is embarrassing and pathetic. It’s own Nth Qld web page updates about one story a day, tokenism at best, if the govt cut the funding tomorrow it wouldn’t bother me at all, it no longer serves any valid purpose whatsoever.

    • FNQ says:

      Is that 6% right.. Totally agree with all the other statements too.. 7.30 and Q& A you don’t have to bother with anymore. Insiders and 4Corners still ok.. On the bully front.. A newsagent in NW ran out at 6pm saturday night.. Whats the bet the print run has become a cost cutting manoeuvre..

  18. Old tradesman says:

    Looks like the electrical contract for the stadium has been awarded, $18m to a SA company, also the solar farms are being built by cheap overseas backpackers, as Dale Last informed us, once built these heavily subsidised, by taxpayers, will be sold, 50% renewables privatisation via the back door. Could get very interesting by the end of the day.

  19. A Keen Eye says:

    The Rocky road to speculator fame. The Townsville “sling” donations were all organised through the same “Registered Agent” on the returns. And then those who got the inside goss used the same address as those who joined the bandwagon. If you wanted to put beyond doubt what all the political donations from Ferry, Townsville Resorts, Rocky Springs Rural and others associated with it were for read this from an industry blog . Construction on the $4.7 Billion Elliot Springs Project to Start in April. (Published on March 13, 2017 Sally McPherson Chief Executive Officer at iSeekplant.com.au )
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/construction-47-billion-elliot-springs-project-start-april-mcpherson Last accessed 10.31 am 8/5/2018
    “Prominent real estate agent and an absolute champion of a bloke, Richard Ferry (who has been working tirelessly on the project for several years) commented,
    “Mayor Jenny Hill and new council CEO Adele Young have turned a protracted process into a positive development,” he said.
    Richard and the other Directors of Elliot Springs (formally named Rocky Springs) almost got the project over the line several times in the past but were held up by various issues with town planning and approvals. Lendlease came to the party when they purchased Delfin Property Group way back in 2001 and have been working on Elliot Springs/Rocky Springs ever since to make this exciting new project into a reality.” The article ends with ……..”We would like to say a big well done to Mr Ferry for sticking to his guns and working so hard at getting this incredible project off the ground. It’s quite an achievement for someone who drinks VB.”

    follow the article link to That picture of Leonardo Di Caprio in the Wolf of Wall st re captioned “The people of Townsville cheers you, Mr Ferry and co.”

  20. Sandgroper says:

    Say what you will about the ABC — and I detest the pompous bias of presenters such as Tony Jones — but it’s still the only Aussie media outlet giving real-time coverage of important news. Today’s events in Singapore and the reactions around the world prove the point.

    The investigative efforts of its journalists over the years — although sometimes misguided and over-zealous — have made our country a better place to live and rooted out crooks and charlatans from all their nooks and crannies.

    And finally, OPB, isn’t it great to be able to access ABC radio and TV broadcasts when you’re out in the sticks on your travels?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Not where I have been lately, Stuart Highway & well East of Darwin.

      Understandable really, mosquitoes don’t listen to the radio.

      Nonsense aside, there are vast tracts of the country where there is no coverage at all from any source.

      Maybe short wave but I have not had a SW receiver for many years.

  21. I'll be plucked says:

    Hey Pie, a thought on Trumpet – despite his apparent madness he has managed to do what no other United States President Plucker has done, in meeting with the North Korean despot in search of a solution to the Korean Peninsula impasse. Now, we gotta give him something for that, right?………Or…

    PS – I wonder what the Trumpet thought when the young fella with funny haircut turned up in a China decaled jet!

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, there is the fact that no other President has met with him because it would accord him a status no one thought or thinks he deserves. And we’re yet to see if he’s played the blow-hard carrot with white eyes for a chump.

  22. A keen eye says:

    Oh gawd! Its only been a couple of months since Christensen Left the calithumpians to join the Anglican Protestants as a priest , and it seems he has a case of early onset nostalgia. He longs for more attention of his ring it seems!

  23. Miss Lou says:

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.


    Miss Lou.

    I’m thinking of a new slogan for next year. Love your reporting.

  24. A keen eye says:

    The whole – “if you love my finger put your ring on it” routine by George

  25. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Had to have a laugh at the state budget, three fifths of fuck all for good old Ville, no money for the pipeline until 2019/2020 so the old ratepayers will have to cover initial costs, $75 million for half a new shipping channel, WTF, how does that work, let’s hope we can find some skinny boats, $10 million to secure land for the rail corridor but no money for the actual rail line, but not to be deterred Little Patty puts out an advocacy alert advising TEL will continue to work with the state govt on securing outcomes for the North, are you serious lady, you have just been swiped aside and completely ignored like the novices you are, what a waste of time and money.

  26. The Magpie says:

    It’s always rude to say I told you so, but …ummm … I told you so … some weeks ago … and so did a couple of commeners.

    Interesting it came from the Courier while the Bulletin snoozes on … or was that it would make the mayor look like th gullible dill she is.

  27. Dave of Kelso says:

    Re the bazaar Trump/Kim reality show, I am reminded of the UK PM’s 1938 statement upon returning home from Germany.

    “Peace in our time!”

    • The Magpie says:

      And even the ABC isn’t thinking this through, when they proclaim’The President can claim he is the first US President to lure a North Korean leader to the negotiating table’. The North Koreans have wanted nothing else for decades, to give them some sort of legitimacy … so Kim is the only North Korean leader to have suckered a US President into a face-to-face meeting. This soap opera/reality TV show has a long way to run, before one or the other says ‘You’re fired’.

  28. The Owl says:

    The Mullet has played Raggatt for a fool in today’s Astonisher. When discussing the interest on the $200 million loan we ratepayers will be stuck with so she can use the pipeline as an election ploy, Raggers simply accepted her excuse that it was impossible to calculate the interest (rumoured to be more than $10 million).
    If he believes that then we can expect an exclusive from him tomorrow about pink elephants.

  29. Just Curious says:

    I see the Mayor of Mackay Greg Williamson has put in a bid with Qantas to have them locate their training academy in Mackay. This would be a big win for any regional centre.

    Unfortunately Townsville has been ruled out of winning this facility because our idiot mayor has been attacking and ridiculing Qantas for several years now to prop up the Dill’s airport upgrade. Could you imagine the fits of laughter at Qantas if our bogan did put in a bid. Oh well another opportunity lost because of this city’s incompetent leadership.

    • Afterthought says:

      I’ve been hearing that the Bluewater airport fits the bill perfectly and that they have a bid in … but the mayor and council bureaucracy have been frustrating all efforts to make this a thriving business to the benefit of Townsville. You can bet Townsville Airport and QAL have been Mullet-whispering on this. Are they waiting for the Tiong’s Landmark company to make a bid and then drop all objections when the big money tourism developer becomes involved?

      • Bluey (Water) says:

        Aside from the fact that most Bluewater residents would be opposed to any change in operations at the Airstrip (not an Airport)….

  30. The Magpie says:

    Another new low for the Townsville Bulletin.

    This is disgraceful , and possibly worthy of a class action for damages. What possible purpose can this story have other than to stigmatise whole suburbs, where 99% of residents ARE NOT criminals? Yet another Bulletin story that further divides our city and there are clear dog whistling undertones of blatant racism bubbling just below the surface.

    Simply disgraceful, iditor Jenni ‘ Couldn’t Care Less’ Cairney.

    • Droopy draws says:

      My goodness!!! What goes through the minds of these journalists during their morning brainstorm!!!

      This whole ‘best this’ and ‘worst that’ in recent weeks is doing nothing for an already disolutioned community dealing with some of the worst times this town has endured…..

      Seriously Pie, please explain to me from a journo’s perspective what the objective is here? Surely they don’t think that writing this horse shit will actually sell more papers?????

      • The Magpie says:

        All the iditorial decisions are being made by blow-ins, with no connection to this community, and they are governed by what they think are universal algorithms (as in Daily Telegraph = Townsville Bulletin, no community is unique to these turkeys, and what works in one will work in all others).

        They’re floundering.

  31. High Range says:

    The Budget of “Broken Dreams” love it !!!!

    And not a hope in hell in paying down this growing debt that QLD is in. And why should they? Labor never accountable. Ever.

    Bunch of dunces.

  32. Mike Douglas says:

    Things just go from bad to worse with our hapless Mayor with T.C.C already paying Jamie Durie $33,000 and if Durie has a contract be assured his administrators will be chasing enforcement to pay his creditors. Let’s not also forget the words from Mayor Mullet when Lnp Federally were re-elected as well as State Labor “ I will work with these parties to get the best outcome for Townsville” but clearly using the same relationship technique Mayor Mullet used with Qantas Townsville has been bypassed in $ millions of funding in both budgets resulting in more pressure for ratepayers who already fork out the highest rates in Queensland. Let’s hope the Astonisher takes a closer balanaced look at T.C.C.s budget this year and not trot out the script from GM communications.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Mike I am beginning to think the Mullet is being advised by the dwarf and others that negotiations by media is the way to go, it was the preferred method of Richard Branson and others when looking for an outcome after initial negotiations had stalled, sadly the Mullet is no Richard Branson and doesn’t have the business or political savvy to mix it with the big end of either and just ends up looking like an incompetent dickhead time after time, lifting expectations and delivering nothing.

      • The Magpie says:

        Negotiations? What negotiations? What she is attempting to do is rule by fiat. And like its namesake, that fiat has broken down, beyond repair, but the mechanics can’t get to it until Match 2020.

        (See what I did there – geddit, geddit?fiat – car – bro… … Oh, forgeddit.)

        • Sandgroper says:

          I’ve just bought one of those old fiat things to turn into a vintage racing sedan. I intend to rule the raceway by fiat and am happy to learn the Mullet’s has broken down.

          Seriously, this ragrag administration continues to sink deeper into a massive hole it seemingly can’t stop digging.

  33. Cynical Cricket says:

    From an ABC story today, what do these rules say about the Astonisher:

    How to spot dubious news
    Michael Jensen and Mathieu O’Neil from the University of Canberra, which conducted the Australian arm of the research, say the motive for spreading fake news can be as simple as making money, or as complex as international information warfare.

    Either way, they suggest watching out for these signs that a story might be dubious:

    Grammatical errors;
    Mistakes regarding non-controversial facts;
    Lack of sourcing;
    Factual claims being linked to a political agenda;
    Links to sources that don’t back up the claims of the article.

  34. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Adelaide Airport have just commenced a $165 million terminal upgrade with larger Virgin lounge, new retail offering, check in and drop off areas, sounds familiar, the only difference is no levy for the people of Adelaide. Last year Adelaide airport did just over 7 million passengers about 4 times Townsville and the upgrade of $165 million is about 4 times the $40 million Numbskull Gill wants to spend on the Townsville terminal, surely it is time for Gill and his puppeteer CEO from the Gold Coast to drop the levy charade and just build the bloody thing.

    • The Magpie says:

      Oh, Cranky Pants, you are the embodiment of Alexander Pope’s immortal dictum ‘hope springs eternal in the human breast’. And eternity is about the time scale for your wish to eventuate.

      In other words, as if.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        True Pie, as much as anything I live in hope that just one of the gutless worthless excuses we have for journalists in this town might actually ask him one day, “why are all these other airports undertaking expansion and upgrades without slugging a passengers with a levy” , it’s a straight forward question, just one.

  35. Droopy draws says:

    Can’t sleep.

    Just saw the headline posted half an hour ago online stating ‘Mayor pulls Adani funds for airport’!!

    Should make for an interesting read tomorrow… in mean today.

    • Droopy draws says:

      Almost missed it actually as it was twelve stories deep.

      Even ‘Townsville’s top speeding hotspot’ beat it on rank….

  36. Memory Man says:

    What a humiliating backdown by the Mullet. Just as well she was lying when she told the people of the city that a “deal had been done” with her Indian Billionaire mate. The fact is, there was no deal; just PR spin and waffle.

    • The Magpie says:

      First time The ‘Pie has ever heard the words’ humility’ and ‘Mullet’ in the same sentence.

      • Kenny Kennett says:

        Sorry but I don’t believe it. The Astonisher and the Mullet have done enough in the past to make me very skeptical about anything they publicize. With the amount of backflips and lies that float from both Walker and Flinders Street west, I just hope that there is a collection gathering of all the bullshit for a smart opposition to use in a clever opposition marketing campaign come the next election. Otherwise the Labor machine will pump out enough fluff and lies to win another term.

        • Kenny Kennett says:

          By the way, is there such a thing as clever opposition in Townsville anymore?

        • The Magpie says:

          Working on it, working on it.

        • The Magpie says:

          And refer to Memory Man’s parsing of the wording … there never was any done deal as claimed, just a ‘proposal’. She’s a galumphing club-footed politician who’s had her day. And she is now a proven liar, aided by that poisoned dwarf Stephen Beckett whose wife is trying to get a bigger slurp from the Townsville Labor trough.

    • I'll be plucked says:

      Mullet is now trough swilling scum and worse than shit on our shoes! Can she go any lower on the fuck-up scale??! This Mr and Mrs Beckett bullshit has a rotten fish smell about it too……..

  37. Memory Man says:

    At the risk of repeating myself, but the message has to be hammered home.
    You can’t fool all the people all of the time. Mayor Mullet’s Mouthpiece now describes the Adani airstrip rort as “proposed” funds … hoisted by their own petard. The Mullet’s claims of deal being done are now exposed by her own minions as nothing more than a “proposal”. She’s been caught out as a liar and a fool.You can’t fool all the people all of the time. Mayor Mullet’s Mouthpiece now describes the Adani airstrip rort as “proposed” funds … hoisted by their own petard. The Mullet’s claims of deal being done are now exposed by her own minions as nothing more than a “proposal”. She’s been caught out as a liar and a fool.

  38. Old tradesman says:

    If all these so called jobs were “shovel ready.” Why were all the council workers leaning on their shovels instead of doing them. Maybe Mr Beckett should end up in the Tower.

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed.To paraphrase King Henry11’s comment about Thomas Becket ‘who will rid us of this meddlesome pest.’ But where do we find the four knights to go and do the (metaphorical) number of this poisoned dwarf, who is anything but saintly.

  39. Dave of Kelso says:

    I’ll now need different wording, short and sharp. I am open to suggestions.

    Imagine, scores of ‘Nesters’ all driving around town with pithy anti Mullet roof rack signs preceding the 2020 elections.

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