Why this blog exists...

The Magpie

Sunday, September 16th, 2018   |   153 comments

Has The Worm Turned? Astonisher Editor Jenna Cairney’s Private Battle Between Policy And Principle.

Can Cairney break the golden shackles of politicians and advertisers’ powerful influence over the news pages … it seems she’s trying, as evidenced this week when she seemed to tacitly admit that a Townsville ticket tax for airport travellers isn’t a good idea. But she is so timid about it, she is tying herself up in knots. It’d be amusing if her job wasn’t so critical to the health of this city. The Magpie translates her iditorial for you.

Jenny Hill apologises to Clive Palmer, again … and again … and again. Why is Mayor Mullet still saying sorry to Novichok Palmer, making Townsville look like Hicksville right across the whole state? The ‘Pie has a theory.

Why even asking questions of our council could end up with you being prosecuted … no kidding, you could. The ‘Pie reveals the jack-boot law being used by the TCC to stifle legitimate debate.

Why The Magpie wishes he could change the name of our city … (because then we could change the name of the newspaper) …

Why the attack on cartoonist Mark Knight over his depiction Serena Williams is a good thing …

And this week’s Galleria du Trump …

But first …

Crocodile Café, Anyone?

During the week, a texter to the Astonisher took the pessimistic view of the proposed underwater art gallery planned for the waters just off The Strand, when they wrote:

Screen shot 2018-09-14 at 8.18.38 AM

Well, there are probably some clever solutions. Airport boss Kevin Gill will no doubt suggest that all sharks and crocodiles be subject to a stiff  ‘entry and food’ tax if they wish to cruise the gallery, but the ever-perverse Bentley thinks that the would-be diners themselves might be in for a painful surprise.

aquatic gallery fin 2

Want More Tourists For Townsville?  Then Let’s Get Down And Dirty

The annual Floriade Festival in Canberra has just kicked off, with one of the country’s most spectacular flower extravaganzas. And Toowoomba enjoys its most successful time of year when it stages it’s Festival of Flowers

So that has the flower festivals already covered, and it’d be a bit dicey if Townsville went all copycat, so how about this? A vegetable festival … with a difference. Vegetables have a habit of occasionally being quirky and often suggestively naughty in their final shape. So let’s celebrate the freaks of nature (the unelected ones, that is) so all hail randy rutabagas, cavorting carrots and tumescent tomatoes.

It’d be a big crowd puller … here’s a selection of what we could expect.


And as a grand finale, there could be an outdoor meeting of the full council in a local park, with stands for spectator seating to see the city’s most unproductive but quirky vegetable patch in action.

There’s Something Freakish Going On Down At The Astonisher, Too.

Have any of you hardy but dwindling band of Astonisher readers noticed the baffling albeit  welcome quantum shift by the paper of late? It would seem the iditor’s ‘protected species’ list is being trimmed. Over the past months, even Mayor Mullet has copped a genteel kick on the shins, and every so often, star columnist Shari Tagliabue goes out on a limb on a touchy political issue, but so far, that limb hasn’t been sawn off. And Tony Raggatt’s stories seem to be as he wrote them, to display how a real reporter goes about his work.

But the biggest surprise came this week with the treatment of the contentious – and hopefully dead – issue of a ticket tax on local airline passengers to fund an airport upgrade that ethically and morally is the financial responsibility of the owners QAL. In one hit, the paper has soured on its previous saccharine diet of Gill-boosting advocacy for the tax.

Here’s how all this unfolded during the week. First we had this ludicrous headline that had the whole town rolling about in mirth …

QANTASScreen shot 2018-09-08 at 10.44.01 AM

… a situation which gets the Abuse With A Wet Lettuce Leaf Award of the Year. On-line was just as risible …

Screen shot 2018-09-08 at 10.44.01 AM

Tony Raggatt did his usual well balanced story, particularly picking out pro and con points in the opening of the story – he usually does but previously, The ‘Pie has it on good authority that the paper have changed his copy to suit their ends, which has greatly and understandably enraged him.

The most succinct part of the story was this:


A Qantas spokeswoman said, “If Qantas agreed to the gold-plated upgrades proposed by airports across the country — like Gold Coast and Townsville — this would ultimately be passed on to customers through higher fares.”

Queensland Airports said its Townsville upgrade involved doubling the departure lounge capacity and establishing innovative check-in and automatic bag-drop facilities, while Qantas said the redevelopment included a 200 per cent increase in retail space, which should be funded by the airport.” Unquote.

And that says it all. Almost.

Then the most astonishing volte-face on any issue in memory, came with this weekend cartoon

Bulletin cartoon

Now that’s truly astonishing, because in essence, that cartoon essentially labels as ‘whiners’ two of the paper’s hitherto darlings, Mayor Mullet (Qantas boycott, anyone?) and that grovelling goose, airport and TEL boss Kevin Gill – (with apologies to all geese). And make no mistake, cartoonist Harry Bruce gets his final riding orders from the editor’s office – he doesn’t even live in Townsville, he’s in Bowen at last report, and only knows of this city what he reads in the Astonisher or is told by the editor. So that airport cartoon also reflected the views of the current editor.

But Really What Are Those Views? So Far, Just A Timid Toe In The Water

While the news columns – particularly from Tony Raggatt – are reflecting the reality of the situation with the Townsville Airport, a tremulous uncertain iditor Jenna Cairney risks bum splinters from so much fence sitting. Still beholden to the advertising executives, she has penned one of the silliest of her two-bob-each-way iditorials which requires translation. The ‘Pie is happy to oblige and asks a few questions that arise regarding what she says and the paper’s general volte-face . Here’s the iditorial from Wednesday, with the ‘Pie’s comments/questions in bold.

Jenna Cairney 2

Townsville loses in airport stand-off

JENNA CAIRNEY, Townsville Bulletin

Cairney: THE stoush between Qantas and the owners of Townsville Airport, Queensland Airport Limited shows no sign of settling, and all the while, the city suffers with a substandard facility.

‘Pie: Just about everybody to whom The ‘Pie has spoken believes the airport is perfectly adequate, considering we are not some glitzy through-port on an international route. It is utilitarian , comfortable and reasonably efficient.

Cairney: The redevelopment of the airport has been stalled since Qantas, the airport’s major customer, rejected the plan to add a $3 contribution onto domestic fares in and out of the city.

‘Pie: The word is ‘tax’, in its generally accepted sense, but levy if you want to be a stickler, but contribution if only preceded by the word ‘involuntary’.

Cairney: In its submission to the Productivity Commission Qantas has slammed the owners and management of Townsville Airport for questionable practices and a sustained media campaign on the national carrier.

‘Sustained media campaign’? Err, that would be, umm, let’s see … YOU, Ms Cairney, no? Blindly parroting the dishonest arguments promoting the tax, suggesting – against all evidence – that you agree with Gill that ‘the whole community’ is behind the move, which it most certainly and demonstrably IS NOT. And then sinking deeper into disgrace by supporting our unhinged, hubristic and panicked mayor when she called for a boycott of Qantas. Not only have you disgraced Townsville with this stance and helped reap the clearly predicted consequences, you have made the once proud Bulletin a national laughing stock.

Cairney: Qantas, in particular, took exception to airport management putting seats outside the airline’s lounge, impeding access for customers.

‘Pie: Hahahahah – oh really, you’ve finally caught up with this, have you? It is simply a statement of fact that the only place where this childish and petulant response by Gill to Qantas’s refusal to implement the passenger tax , was in this blog. There has not been one single mention in the Townsville Bulletin news columns or iditorials of an issue raised by countless travellers. Photographs supplied to and published by The Magpie showed incontrovertible proof of this demeaning juvenilia, but no, Gill and his TEL boardroom chums had you firmly by the short and curlies, m’dear. Other mainstream media were also too timid to delve into this issue.

Cairney: The airline describes the airport’s redevelopment as “gold-plated” and that’s the fundamental point on which we can’t agree with Qantas.

‘Pie: Now this is an amazing – indeed, astonishing – admission. After all this partisan reporting, your name a single ‘fundamental’ objection that in essence is your admission of agreement with everything else in Qantas’s principled and widely applauded stand on this issue. Suddenly, it is just about, in your mimsy vacillating words, the proposed upgrade being ‘gold-plated’. You really have lost either the plot or your hearing, Ms Cairney because no one, including The Magpie, is opposed to a mildly needed upgrade – THE ARGUMENT IS WHO SHOULD PAY FOR IT … AND THE ANSWER IS A RESOUNDING QAL.

Cairney: The terminal is 40 per cent undersized and it’s completely inadequate as a gateway to the capital of the North. To describe it as “gold-plated” is as misguided as it is misleading and anyone describing it as such clearly hasn’t spent much time there.

‘Pie: Newsflash, luvvie … by the very nature of the facility, people don’t spend much time at airports, as little as possible, just long enough to move through and get out. There’s no “Hey, mum, , grab the kid, the dog and the tent, let’s spend a few hours out at the airport.“Oh, Fred you sure … can we afford the parking charges?’

Cairney: Queensland Airports, which also owns the Gold Coast airport, is not alone in its stoush with Qantas. In submission to the Productivity Commission, Northern Territory Airport has accused the national airline of abusing its market power and there are similar stalemates at Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.

Yeah, like the airports don’t abuse the same monopolistic powers towards passengers as the airlines … and if you want to talk abuse of monopolistic power, check your own paper’s performance and ethics.

Cairney: That said, Cairns Airport last month announced a $55 million redevelopment of its domestic terminal from within its operating budget and existing passenger charges.

Airport management would argue that due to Cairns tourism, passenger figures are significantly higher than Townsville and the retail space is larger meaning the airport can recover more of the cost of the redevelopment.

‘Pie: And in one single sentence, you have destroyed any rational argument for passenger funding any upgrade which includes a 200% increase in retail space.

Cairney: But that’s when we start to lose sympathy for Queensland Airports, a company that made $14.5 million of profit last year.

‘Pie: At last, it’s sinking in … this is a swindle on the travelling public. 

Cairney: Whatever it takes, this upgrade needs to progress as soon as possible.

‘Pie: WHATEVER IT TAKES?  So, even if it takes a dishonest impost on the general public which has no business funding the bottom line of a swindling private business, that’s OK if that’s ‘whatever it takes’? Where’s your head at, woman?

Get off the fence, Jenna, or you’re gunna have a baboon-red bum from wriggling around on the splinters.

But Hey, It’s A Classy Publication, Is Our Paper

We were treated too this little piece of ‘what the fuckery’ during the week.

Screen shot 2018-09-11 at 2.54.27 PM

Interesting way to illustrate a serious criminal problem in our society – with a bucks night joke pic.

And still they wonder why the paper is going down the gurgler.


The Obvious Question No One Has Had The Guts To Ask About Serena Williams’ Tedious Dummy Spit.

It’ll get the banshees screeching from the tree-tops of the PC jungle, but The Magpie will ask what is a perfectly reasonable question.

To recap … ever since the truly annoying John McEnroe, we sadly are used to multi-millionaire tennis players stacking on bullying bad tempered hissy fits of gamesmanship (usually happens when they’re losing) but Serena Williams’ extended volcanic disruption in the US Open final makes McEnroe look like a graduate of Miss Manners School of Polite Behaviour.

The details have been raked over enough for you to know the story, which was just headed for the irrelevant talk show circuit when cartoonist Mark Knight penned this very funny cartoon for the Herald Sun in Melbourne.

Williams knoght

And with tedious predictability, all hell broke loose by the usual and not so usual virtue signalling axe grinders, who will need extra strength Voltarin for their jerky knees. The twin hot buttons of racism and sexism were trotted out through thin-lipped whines of self serving drivel. The Knight illustration depicted a petulant (and at the time losing) athlete losing emotional control .. it was not racist and had nothing to do with gender issues. And it was funny because it was so to the point.

The Magpie is mightily pleased at the outrage they vented on Knight, for the simple reason that whether their howling was confected or genuine, it highlighted how uniformly, wilfully and blindingly stupid these bandwagon jockeys are, with their desperate self promotion full of coded agendas.

But here’s the question not asked, at least as far as The Magpie has seen.

williams and baby

Could this outburst possibly have something to do with post partum depression? The text books tell that after child birth, mothers can often feel overwhelmed with responsibilities. This leads to anxiety and feelings of anger which easily constitute to postpartum depression. This problem is especially common with first time mothers.

Williams has wistfully said more than once that her return to tennis has kept her away from her child, and even cancelled out of one tournament to be with her kid, so if this is a gender issue, could it not be to do with this well documented and studied female phenomenon?

But of course, this wouldn’t suit the narrative of moralising self-publicists. And The ‘Pie will admit he is so ignorant of females clearly superior feelings, he finds it difficult to associate the word depression with a woman whose net worth is $190million.

So instead, let’s make her a faux heroine, like this …


Speaking Of Faux Heroines …

When it comes to apologies, Clive Palmer is like Oliver Twist … he wants more. And is getting it, at least from our hapless mayor, Jenny Hill. It was apparently agreed in an out of court settlement that Mayor Mullet would publicly apologise, and its been taken that she would also pay Fatso $50,000. This she duly did, with the apology appearing prominently in the Courier and less prominently well after the fact in out local rag (where it was actually reported as a news story).

This was all two or three months ago. So The ‘Pie was a bit mystified when browsing across a wide range of subjects in the Courier Mail this week , Mayor Mullet was telling Clive ‘sorry’ many times over.

Mullet apology 2 Mullet apology Mullet apology 3 Mullet apology 4

So what the hell is that all about? Well, it is only a guess, but ever since this saga was broached with Clive formally starting defamation actions against The Mullet, one small detail has been mysteriously missing in action. The defamatory comments were published in the Courier Mail, and therefore as publisher, that paper was just as open to action as our loose-lipped mayor. (Trust The ‘Pie on this, he knows, he knows.)

But Palmer has never even hinted at any such action against the paper. So it’s a reasonable guess that being a political animal with ambitions to again gain public office, he did a deal in the settlement with the Courier that they would re-publish the apology several times on their various platforms, and he would leave them alone.

Smart. For an annoying knobthrottler, Palmer has his lucid moments.

Got A Beef With The Townsville Council? Keep It To Yourself

… or you might find yourself spending money on lawyers.

Here’s a legal scam – that is, it is legal but ethically certainly a scam – that has them laughing up their sleeves down in Walker Street.

Ask what happened to Magpie regular Philip Batty. He asked several questions of the council a while back, just seeking some answers to some interesting matters that hadn’t been fully explained by our transparent council.

His questions were to do with the council dealings with Adani, a ticklish subject for the fright bats – however, while they were only questions, the CEO and the mayor were not interested in answering them. Instead, Adele The Impaler Young let Mr Batty know – to his surprise – that he’d made ‘a complaint’ – he vehemently denies this and insists ‘they were only questions with no accusations’. All complaints to council are automatically the business of the CEO – and Adele The Impaler  had decided there was no substance to the ‘complaint’. And she loftily indicated to Mr Batty that was that. But not good enough for Mr Batty, who insisted he had not made a complaint and had just asked some questions, and would they please answer same.

But it turns out that really was that. The Impaler wasn’t about to waste her time with a ratepayer’s repeated pesky questions, so she wheeled out her legal parrot, Graeme Finlayson, who pointed out two things. He kindly supplied Mr Batty with an excerpt from the local Government Act, which in itself raises a serious question i.e had did a law like this come to be passed in a state that pretends to be a democracy? Finlayson wrote:Batty email

The interesting thing here is that under this law, if there really was a complaint, the CEO could simply rule – without explanation – that there was ‘no substance in it’, even if the complaint involved the CEO herself! And the courts have been completely sidelined in terms of any appeal.

As astounding as this is, Mr Finlayson then dragged on his jack boots, and crisply told Mr Batty that if he repeated his ‘complaint’ that had been ruled to have no substance, that was against the law and he could be prosecuted. Although he didn’t provide the section that mandated this fascinating bit of fascism, who is The ‘Pie to doubt a lawyer who works within a culture of secrecy (that’s official) in the council?

So Mr Batty then took his concerns and made them into a complaint, to the CCC and now the Department of Local Government is involved. As reported last week, that was almost a year ago, and Mr Batty is still waiting for the outcome of the investigation the department has undertaken.

Rubbing Salt Into The Wound

This story, initially from the Cairns Post, appeared in Saturday’s Courier, giving some further state-wide publicity to Townsville … of the sort we could do without.

Tradies cairns

The key quote from Masters Builders Queensland president Ralf Dutton spelt it out when he said.

“The commercial sector, anchored by Crystalbrook Collection’s three hotel developments, means builders will be in short supply.

“If housing goes as well, it is going to be even worse,” Mr Dutton said. “Townsville is very quiet at the moment and really just down the road.

“A lot of tradies will come from there, if they haven’t already left to other places.”

Ouch … but one supposes, quite accurate! Wonder what the Bulletin’s pet economic poodle Colin Dwyer makes of that … he seems to think things in Townsville are tickety-boo just now, or soon will be.

Property boomIt is convenient to ignore that the headline writer clearly confused ‘construction’ with ‘property’.

When Your Town’s Name Is A Real Bummer

A rare event in the US this week, with the launch of a new print newspaper, and the first edition is sure to become a collector’s item – all because of its name.

Screen shot 2018-09-14 at 10.26.30 PM

The full story is a giggle a minute … The ‘Pie is still snickering at the Guardian’s  pun-laden report. This title of course is more fitting for the Townsville Bulletin, since our poor old city has been described as a ‘shit-hole’.

From Uranus To His Anus … Trump’s Illustrated Week

And he’s outdone himself this time, declaring that the official 3000 death toll from the Puerto Rico hurricane last year is a lying plot by his political rivals … many of the dead, he said, died of old age and were just added to the list to make him look bad. Trump dems did it Trump maria Trump hurricane Trump deal trump spence Trump high chair Trumped boarded up Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c180913.tif trump air quaity trump walls trump staffers trump big words Trump stable genius


That another week down the tubes, folks, but the comments run 24-7. Share some good insider stuff there, it’s free . And the Magpie’s Nest is also free, but it does incur quite a few costs, so if you think it’s worth it, you can help out with a donation. How to is below … have a good week.

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. seagull says:

    spoke with someone from Darwin last night, who gave TSV a big tick in the box for …….. its lack of “hum buggers” (beggars) ! quite a problem in the top end capital apparently…. so, well done to you TSV

    • The Magpie says:

      Geez, don’t say things are so bad that even the parkies have left town!!!

      And BTW, if the place is beggar (read parkie) free, you can thank Vern Veitch and TF for ignoring the Labor hanky wringers and taking tough action.

    • Dave Nth says:

      Interesting, I was in the CDB today & noticed a distinct lack of the parkies lately. Relative from Melbourne with me who was here a few years ago thought same. Also thought some areas were overdeveloped given all the empty shop space everywhere especially the Townsville Central area, they were especially disappointed with the quality at Max Brenner being a fan of the outlets in Melbourne, but that is another story…

      • Linda Ashton says:

        The Max Brenner “cafe” has deteriorated to the point it should have a full health department inspection and possibly closed until fully renovated. We went once when it first opened. Spiffy and delicious as a once a year treat. We took grandies there a few weeks ago as one had a birthday voucher. We left before finishing the orders. The furniture was putrid. Leather on every seat and bench is cracked to the point of prickly and some rips are sharp. The floor was disgustingly dirty. Though it had been swept, our 3 year old took her shoes and socks off and was walking around for 15 minutes or so while we chatted and waited. Her soles were black. Two of our plates had food residue from previous use. There was a queue so we didn’t line up again to make a complaint. Just left a note. That’s the second only and last visit from us. The CBD truly is a national disgrace. A football stadium is not actually a tourist attraction. What must visitors think ?

        • Dave Nth says:

          “A football stadium is not actually a tourist attraction. ”

          Agreed especially when we have an old but functional stadium that could have been upgraded for a fraction of the cost in a much more accessible part of town.

        • The Stockman says:

          Completely agree with this commentary. I took the family there about 4 weeks ago. The tables were sticky, food was crap, the floor a disgrace. What a shame…

  2. Hondaman says:

    Seagull, old mate- the local’ hum buggers’ as you call them, are all still alive and flourishing in the South Townsville parklands where they receieve daily food drops, clothing, etc from slightly misguided people. This allows them to maximize the free consumption of alcohol via the Government handout, and certainly they are not interested in ‘responsible’ drinking! Surveys have shown that these people are living this way because they actually LIKE it, but still huge amounts of money are spent on looking after their health and wellbeing courtesy the taxpayer. Why would anything change??

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Things have not changed since 1974 (that is when I first got here) and were probably that way well before then. I say they either earn or learn, STOP handing them cash money.

      • The Magpie says:

        In The ‘Pie’s experience, things are no where near as open and problematic as when he arrived almost 30 years ago. And hey, had some great entrepreneurs back then. One bloke ran a power cable from the indigenous building on Stanley Street near the bridge across the road and into the then park (Hanran was it?), where a lot of itinerates from out of town camped, hung a TV from a tree branch and charged punters a dollar or so watch it. And there was the bloke in the mall who, when told The ‘Pie had no money for him, offered to escort him to the near-by ATM to get some. Gotta love ‘em, sort of.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Yes Dave! I remember Captain Snooze’s ’10 Point Plan’. Still waiting!

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          Re CAPT Snooze, there was a photo in the TB, years ago when a credible paper, of a CAPT Snooze truck delivering a matress to Hanran Park. Priceless!

    • The Rolling Eye says:

      Apparently the food drops are being done courtesy of that happy clapper mob calvary temple. More dollars than sense.

  3. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Pie do you think the slight change at the Astonisher in regards to the airport levy may have come after some direction from News HQ now that the story is larger than the local press and referred to in hearings by the productivity commission, Qantas is a substantial advertiser in News Corp publications and supplies thousands of newspapers everyday for passengers at the gates of the larger airports and lounges as well as Sky News on its aircraft, as you point out Cairney referred to media coverage in her editorial, could be someone at head office has told her to pull her head in.

  4. No more dredging says:

    It’s a pity the Uranus roadside sign was slightly abbreviated at the bottom – there might have been a picture from the Uranus Tattoo gallery.

  5. Doug K says:

    With many questions regarding the Townsville Airport still unanswered I went online to check out the Productivity Commission inquiry.
    The website provides the opportunity for anyone to make a submission so I did, outlining the 11 questions Queensland Airports and Mr Gill have refused to answer.
    Should any other bloggers wish to make a submission, here is a link to the website:
    If interested you can also read all the 55 submissions received to date.

  6. Miss Lou says:

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.

    Bentley, keep up the good work. You’re an Ace.


    Miss Lou.

  7. Pat Coleman says:

    Amended – Just trawling https://disclosures.ecq.qld.gov.au/Map again , and , ahoy thar! Terracom , which used to be Guildford coal http://terracomresources.com/about-terracom/ and has former arsehole QLD Labor minister Thuringowa MP Craig Wallace and Jim Soorley former Brisbane Labor Mayor as directors , slipped an $11 000 donation under the radar into the Burdekin ALP branch on 6/6/18 .

    Just so happens they got the Blair Athol coal mine in the area . Jim Soorley was tasked with the review into the 2016 council elections by labor http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-15/ecq-secretive-authoritarian-organisation-report-finds/8619834 , this later appeared to be a fox in charge on the henhouse scenario https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jun/20/former-brisbane-mayor-suggested-candidate-use-third-party-to-solicit-donations

    Remember also , new readers , Former Townsville Mayor Tony Mooney was also a director , as was Peter Lindsay , former Herbert Lib MP and Lib councillor . Also Craig Ransley , a donor to Crissafulli in 2012 , who got a mention in the NSW ICAC . Mooney’s Linkedin has been amended but he puts Maynelion as being current . https://au.linkedin.com/in/tomooney

    • Dave Nth says:

      I found out about the links to NSW Labor a few years back when the Obeid thing blew up. I was so hoping some journalist would scratch the surface like when Nuttall got nailed consorting with Ken Talbot (who later had an unfortunate plane accident in Africa)…

      I don’t knoe but maybe there was plenty of fire but no smoking gun as seems to be the case with the ALP in Queensland, somehow they all seem Teflon coated. Personally I cynically think they all are very astute to where the line is these days & skate close to or on but are too wily to cross, “soft corruption” the type that won’t put you in front of a judge is all the rage now.

    • Linda Ashton says:

      If your ‘trawling’ was in the fishing industry you’ve netted a few sizeable critters. You could retire comfortably after another few trips. All a bit fishy. Who would have suspected?

  8. Just Curious says:

    Malcolm you have spent a great deal of tome lately trying to defend and talk up Tony Ragget. The main gist of the defence is poor Tony is writing great stories only to have them tampered with by his masters at the Bulletin.

    That defence alone says it all about Ragget’s character or lack of it. To allow stories to go to print with his name on the byline when he knows those stories to be nothing but propaganda says he has no integrity and does not care about the readers getting the truth.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t you part company with the Bulletin because you wouldn’t let Typo Gleeson dictate what you should write in his rag? Hence the berth of this blog that the Bulletin and the Mullet hate so much.

    I must admit I’ve had direct contact with Ragget when on one occasion I spent a half an hour doing a phone interview only to read a story by Ragget in the paper the next day that bore no resemblance to the interview.

    At best Ragget is a spineless worm who has allowed his reporting to be raped a pillaged by his masters at the Bulletin or he is just another low life Bulletin reporter who is happy to deliberately mislead the people of this city.

    Either way he is an embarrassment to a profession that is busy flushing itself down the toilet.

    • The Magpie says:

      Your opinion of Mr Raggatt is yours for whatever reason, but The ‘Pie isn’t ‘defending’ him, just expressing satisfaction that an experienced journalist is now allowed to exercise his craft in the way journalists should be allowed to, with balance on the information he imparts. Whether that information is correct will be ultimately judged on the facts, but, apart from some perceptible tongue-in-cheek writing, his stories appear mercifully free of his personal opinion, which he keeps for his column pieces. Certainly as business editor, he has the power to control what stories appear and the weight that he gives them, although he wouldn’t be free of influence by the advertising bean counters via the sock puppet iditor.

      And just for the record, The ‘Pie suspects that he pens some of the editorials concerning his area, just as Herr Tomlinson used to when far right wing trash talking was required, trying to help out the new girl on the block.

      And you seem a bit cavalier about someone else’s livelihood … Raggatt would not be Robinson Caruso among those Astonisher staff who have had to grit their teeth to keep their jobs, often for family security, accumulated benefits or the belief that more professional times will eventually return. But most of them have buggered off one way or another, replaced by cut price, for the most part poorly trained (if at all) staff who see the Bulletin as a stepping stone to greater glory in Rupertdom. And all the values that that entails.

      Even the fantasy of a mass walk-out would achieve absolutely nothing, with News simply extending their own special FIFO operation.

      • Just Curious says:

        I expected you to launch some sort of defence of Ragget.

        Here’s a couple of questions. Didn’t you leave the Bulletin because your principals didn’t allow you to accept Typo Gleeson telling you what you could or couldn’t write?

        If you have the courage of your convictions what about Ragget? Once you put your name to a story you own the content be it truth or lies. Do you believe Ragget has sacrificed his integrity by as you suggest allowing his stories to go to print knowing they’ve been doctored by his masters?

        At some point in life you have to stand up for what is right. If we all go down the same path as Ragget then we all go down the shit shoot. He is in a position to cover local matters without favour. He should stand up to be counted as Shari Tagliabue has done.

        • The Magpie says:

          Mr Raggatt is perfectly capable of speaking for himself, if he could be bothered.

          But unfortunately, you have, shall we say, an imperfect grasp of how reporting works … and always has.

          One of the rules is that you write your story from the pivotal point of what is news about it ‘writing to the news point’ or the crux. There was an old rule which held for both TV and print that the essence of the story should be understood in the opening paragraph. An excellent TV editor in Melbourne would read all the bulletin’s intros using this as a yardstick, and would direct a re-write if they fell short. But it has always been the prerogative – in fact the actual job – of the sub, to police not just spelling, grammar and house style – but also to ensure the main point wasn’t misunderstood and only mentioned in the last sentence (it’s happened, don’t worry.)

          In this process, notwithstanding discussion, sometimes heated, the reporter in the end has to bow to the wisdom of the sub-editor, who also has to answer to his/her chief – who in turn answers to the editor. This is a process that doesn’t quite fit your derogatory term ‘doctored’. Even at the Bulletin, it is almost unthinkable, even at such a shit show of a paper, that deliberate untruths are inserted by someone else after the reporter has submitted his copy. What can be changed is the emphasis of the story … for instance, giving prominence to one side of a dispute (Gill spuriously arguing for a ticket tax) and putting the alternative view well down, almost as a pesky afterthought (Qantas’s insistence that it is QAL’s baby to pay for, not passengers – remember the airline’s bottom line will remain unchanged). In this mix, there is also a valid argument that the local angle be prominent, but in this dispute, that doesn’t apply.

          So Raggatt’s (please note the spelling, if you’re going to call him names, at least have the courtesy to get his actual name right) ‘doctored’ stories may well include everything he wrote, but in a different order. In other words, a change of emphasis.

          On the matter of my departure from the Bulletin, it was more nuanced than you suggest, but is totally irrelevant to your discussion about Raggatt. No two sets of personal or professional circumstances are the same, and your one-size-fits all argument is very brave of you, someone who has no such considerations to cloud your virtue-signalling judgement.

          • Al says:

            Well saìd. Thanks

          • Just Curious says:

            Thanks for the lessons in journalism 101. The structure of a story, however it is laid out, is irrelevant if the content is deliberately unbalanced to push the newspaper’s agenda. A newspaper lies by a number of different methods. One is the sin of omission. Only tell half the story. The half you tell may be the truth but without the full story the reader is led to form an opinion without all the facts.

            Another is the blazing headline on the news stand. People walking past that news stand will form an opinion based on that headline without reading the story. As you pointed out the real crux of a story will be left until the final paragraph. The propaganda is the lead while what little truth or balance is hidden at the very end. Almost as a throw away line to suggest the newspaper is being fair.

            Then there is the blazing headline on the front page that attacks the integrity of individuals or organisations. When that person or organisation demands a right of reply it will appear on page twenty-five three days later. The newspaper will claim they are balanced when we all know the damage was done with the front page beat up.

            The structure of who subs what and when before a story goes to print is irrelevant if the newspaper completely lacks integrity and will pedal an agenda bought and paid for by outside entities.

            You have repeatedly attacked the Townsville Bulletin for doing just that. Experienced journalist like Raggatt and others allowing there names to be attached to stories you have attacked on a regular basis. Stories such a the rubbish with the airport upgrade is why people have completely lost faith in the Bulletin. For that matter newspapers all over the world are destroying their own credibility because they can no longer hide from public scrutiny.

            If journalists have properly researched and reported a story and those subbing it can turn it into something else then the system is failing.

            In the past newspapers or any section of the media could run whatever they liked without being challenged. For all it’s failings social media allows fake news to be called out. It must be very hard for you defend a profession that you attack as much as anyone else. Is it any wonder newspaper readership is collapsing when those working in the industry won’t stand up to be counted. The truth matters.

          • The Magpie says:

            Thanks for the lesson in Journalism 100-half … a completely correct ‘well duh’ analysis, except that The Magpie is defending journalism AS IT USED TO BE. One aspect that was in force when the union (the AJA for most of The ‘Pie’s career) had some sway was that a journalist could demand that his]her name be removed from a story presented in a way that could reflect on their professional integrity (there’s two words that’ll have the Astonisher staff clicking madly for the on-line Shorter Oxford).

            As for your brave directives of moral behaviour for Raggatt and other journalists, expecting them to give up any fight from within and accept dire financial and emotional consequences of resigning from scarce employment, unless you declare here who you are and any courageous stand you have taken to reach your imperious moral height, your further comments on this subject (not others) will no longer be published.

        • Mike Douglas says:

          Just Curious, have you actually participated in doing stories with Tony Raggatt? I have for many years and he is an old style journalist who gets the facts and balance. Let’s not forget the editor has final approval on content and size of article. Corporate Culture changes and add to that a turnstyle of Editors who have used the Astonisher to better their careers. Just Curious, digital and social media have had a major impact on print companies profits and staff levels.Give me Tony Raggatt any day over the young journalists out of Uni ( hasn’t JCU cancelled Journalism) due to lack of interest?.

  9. Col Foley says:

    Hey, Pie, and or Mr Phillip Batty, if you are reading this,

    the revelation of the law quoted by TCC’s lawyer, Mr Finlayson, is the final straw

    I would like to add my (unfortunately, considerable) weight to the numbers asking that the CCC investigate the Townsville City Council’s administration and practices and finances.

    Is there a petition, or some other appropriate mechanism, by which I and other like-minded rate-payers can help to force sunlight and justice into the offices of this sickeningly cynical, secretive and smug Council, please?

    • The Magpie says:

      Your best hope, Col, is the ballot box … just keep talking, texting and posting on social media the problems to ensure that voters are fully apprised of the facts (The Magpie’s mission in life!) so if they can let themselves be conned, they have no one else to blame, and the first to whinge will deserve to be taken to with a horse whip, just like the good old days.

      But whatever you do, do not go in for far fetched conspiracy theories or patently false claims, that only damages the cause of getting our town back on track.

      MR Batty, Mr Shearer and many of the others who agree but won’t own up publicly are doing what they can without having their nuts (or tits ladies) squeezed dry by the dissembling, mendacious and totally untrustworthy Mayor, her puppet councillors and the politcally appointed CEO. The removal of the CEO and her imported apparatchiks is a different matter, but again, the result at the ballot box will have a big influence on stopping the rot in that area and returning some morale – and decency in the workplace – to Walker Street.

      And put the heat CONTINUALLY on your local councillor, arm yourself with facts and performance data, and just keep taking it up to these marionettes.
      The ‘Pie is just waiting to see who puts their hand up to take the Mullet on … there are several waiting in the wings, but they are leaving it a bit late to start the arduous task of putting together a team … they are all aware of the political spite they will be subject to. There are one or two powerful dark horses with the nous (sorry to have to use that word), skill and vision to set us back on the right path.

      Mr Perhaps Mr Batty or Mike Shearer may have some suggestions for you, too. In fact, no doubt plenty of others will too.

      • Peter Sandery says:

        Your point about those thinking of having a shot at unseating our illustrious Mayoress leaving their run too late is well made, “Pie. I have made similar comments to other organisations in the past and was fobbed off, the results were disastrous. I don’t claim to be Nostradamus but I can see when a machine is successful and another one is not as you obviously can; and I cannot for the life of me see why otherwise apparently intelligent residents of this town cannot

    • The Real Philip Batty says:

      I appreciate your sentiment but, a petition was presented by the TRRA which the mayor dismissed stating only 636 Townsville residents signed it and this was duly reported verbatim by the Bulletin. The Bulletin knew on the day of publication and I have had a round or two with Damian Tomlinson who wanted to debate the merits of the petition not the truth about the numbers. I told him you can debate the petition and its merits all you like you cannot debate or defend the Bulletin for simply printing the Mayors bidding.
      Of course this has made no difference. Several other petitions I have seen presented had the same effect, none.
      There are many who speculate and theorise and conspiricise (no I know not a word Pie) about things which happen or not in TCC but I think facts, integrity and openness are all that matters here. So if you want to add your weight then post facts here with the Pie his audience is growing and rightfully so.
      Finally if you do try to get answers my advice is not to go away, I think I would be up to about 30 e mails on the Adani Airport alone, I dont go away.

    • The Magpie says:

      Although fearful for your blood pressure, Col, read this back number from the Magpie
      in which he first revealed threat of prosecution under the signature of Adele Young. It would seem this arch, scheming bully has picked the wrong victim in Mr Batty, who took his concerns to the CCC and the Dept of Local Government, who say they have been investigating the ‘serious and complex’ matter – for the past year.

  10. Mike Douglas says:

    This is not a run for Mayor but is there any Local Government Legislation that states the Mayor and Councillors have to work full time?. Townsville District Hospital has 3 times T.C.C,s budget and over 10 times the staff but run by a Chairman and Board. There is no way the T.C.C Councillors are working full time and have a look at their supposed Committee activities and minutes. Add Mayor Mullet and Adele the impailer,s ,screaming midgets time on playing politics, hiding documents, mistakes and keeping an eye and planning intimidation on any person on social media or in the press who dares make a negative comment. More Professional people would apply if the roles were part time with a good CEO and Council team. The Astonisher still hasn’t printed that Mayor Mullet is being investigated by the CCC ?.

    • No more dredging says:

      Mike, your solution to the ‘problem’ of an unacceptable council structure is: “More Professional people would apply if the roles [elected councillors] were part time with a good CEO and Council team.”

      By “Council team” I presume you mean the people who occupy the desks and lean on the shovels? So, assuming the current administrative and field Council team is OK and a “good” CEO is an actual thing, roughly what sort of money would you offer in order to get a “good” CEO and how much to get “more professional” part time elected councillors?

      • Grumpy says:

        They are pretty brave assumptions…

        • No more dredging says:

          Grumps, I remember when TCC councillors (then called aldermen) were paid little or nothing. But then along came accountability, layers and layers of it. Ratepayers could turn up at the front office and look into every little nook and cranny with council officers going back and forth from the archives digging up stuff and then putting it away. Soon we had a brand new Council building and even more staff to meet the ever-increasing demands of an engaged public. The same thing was happening in some state and federal government offices too – like the Lands Department and GBRMPA. Local ratepayers were appointed to assist various local committees which reported back to Council and produced reams of reports – often in the presence of the elected alderman who turned up for meetings left and right, heaps of them. Then the late ’80s, ’90s and ’00s happened and rationalisation took over. Councillors had so many responsibilities and committees to chair and meetings to attend it was a full time job. Some people think those years (which included mayors Reynolds and Mooney and later) were some of Townsville’s “best” although there are other views. I think the electorate embraced paid councillors and I don’t think we’ll be looking to go back any time soon.

      • Mike Douglas says:

        No more dredging, $350-$400k+ bonus Ceo strict kpi,s, part time Mayor $150k , part time Councillors $60k and beef up quality dept heads. Fraser Coast, Ipswich, Gold Coast, Logan have full time mayors and look at the pickle they are in. Do you think anyone believes Mayor Mullet these days on TV, Radio, Print ?.

    • Alex DeLarge says:

      I wonder how Milky Molochino fills in his day? Certainly by not travelling from where he lives in the inner suburbs to the gross Upper Ross. Best paying job he’ll ever have.

      Enjoy it while you can, Soy Boy.

      • Dearie Me says:

        The same way a number of the other useless Muppets, like councillor Doyle and councillor Coombe and that raucous Ryder woman, fill their days. Running their own businesses.
        Except for Kurt Ray-Ban who is madly door knocking because he HAS to secure his place in the next election as he’s too useless to do anything else that’ll earn that much money.

      • Peter Sandery says:

        Hear! Hear! AD – the said councillor tricked the rate payers in Division 4 by not advising them that he was not a resident, something he was, in conscience, at least, given the categorisation of the council area into wards, rather than one multi-member electorate, bound to do, and he now virtually ignores the area which he purports and gets paid to represent – Shame! Shame!, thy name is Molachino.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Couldn’t agree more Mike, the current situation tends to attract worthless dickheads like the bunch we have now, and this will always happen when the remuneration for a councillor is more than what the hopeless failures could earn otherwise, or in the case of TCC half of them were unemployed which goes to the heart of why Townsville is a failed city, because it is run by failures, no other outcome is possible. Local govt will never attract real quality candidates on a full time basis because anyone of quality would have to take a pay cut, excluding the Mayor, so why not return councillors to a part time role and attract quality candidates who have real value to add to the community, some business sense and engagement, the current situation is clearly flawed.

  11. The Magpie says:

    In publishing as in politics, timing is everything … or nothing.

    Nice one, Coles, with your latest (excellent) foodie mag. Sorry, just trying to needle you.

  12. One legged tap dancer says:

    Townsville has been beaten to the punch yet again, this time by a little seaside town called Yeppoon in Central Queensland.
    Yesterday’s Sunday Mail reported that a Gold Coast company, Surf Lakes, is about to unveil Australia’s first surfing wave pool in the beachside holiday town near Rockhampton.
    About two years ago a Magpie blogger suggested the area in front of the casino known as the duck pond be converted into a wave pool.
    Deputy Mayor Messagebank Walker, who obviously reads the Magpie blog, later trotted out the same idea as his own,
    But instead of investigating the feasability of a wave pool our council and so-called peak tourism body (TEL) paid a small fortune for a report by Pure Projects, which recommended building a lagoon on The Strand.
    A lagoon would be popular with locals (one hopes the council will manager it better than the Rock Pool) but wouldn’t attract a single tourist to Townsville. They would have already had a dip in lagoons installed years ago by genuine tourist destinations Airlie Beach and Cairns.
    But building Australia’s first wave pool would have given tourists a real reason to visit Townsville.
    It comes as no surprise that the TEL chairman is the same bloke who wants travellers to pay for retail space and extra car parking at Townsville Airport, and presided over the cancellation of Townsville’s only two international air links to Bali and Papua New Guinea.
    But despite the bumbling ineptitude of our mayor, councilors and TEL, there is still hope of getting a wave pool in Townsville.
    According to the Sunday Mail, Surf Lakes is “a demonstration facility to entice investors to build $20 million wave parks across Australia and the world”.
    Instead of making worthless begging bowl trips to Canberra, TEL Patricia Puppet and Mayor Mullet should be flying Surf Lakes executives to Townsville in a bid to get a wave park built here.
    But that is unlikely to happen because Pure Projects said we HAVE to have an oldfashioned lagoon and our mayor thinks its a game breaking idea.

    • The Magpie says:

      Allow The ‘Pie a small humble brag … 12 years ago, sitting on his balcony with Kid Crisafulli, The ‘Pie pointed to the duck pond (at the time subject to the predatory plans of Craig Gore for a canal estate) and suggested that very thing. The Kid thought it was a good idea (and believe The ‘Pie when he says if The Kid thought the idea was rubbish, he would’ve said so) but the technology was in its infancy then and nothing happened. The ‘Pie has mentioned it on and off since then, because it remains a good idea. Should be something Don Morris could at least have a look at, done properly, it could be a big money spinner for him.

      • No more dredging says:

        ‘Pie, isn’t the ‘duckpond’ a state-owned real estate asset valued at about $25 million? If an investor purchased the site (it’s hardly ‘land’) and then spent another $20 million building a wave park, that would be a fantastic gamble. Or were you thinking the state could sort of ‘hand over’ the site to facilitate investment – which sounds awfully like that old begging bowl arrangement.

        • The Magpie says:

          Begging bowl arrangement? Returning an otherwise unproductive asset to the community by gifting it to a risk taking business developer … and employer. Nah can’t do that for a wave pool … better we build a battery factory there.

          • No more dredging says:

            Actually ‘Pie, better we don’t build anything in the Duck Pond. It’s basically a two metres deep soup of fine sediments and dredge mud right in the path of the next cyclone or storm surge – held out on a platter waiting to be blown over. The worst part of that is that if the state allows the ‘land’ to be reclaimed and developed it must guarantee the permanence of the title boundaries. So if some structure is put there at one or two metres above high water mark, retained by a multi-million tonne rockwall and some god-awful slop and fill (as was proposed for the “cruise ship terminal”), and if it gets flogged over by a storm surge and the reclamation is half washed away, the state is responsible for full reconstruction and restitution. Why would taxpayers, let alone Townsville ratepayers, want to take responsibility for a fuckin’ Luna Park wave generator suspended out in Cleveland Bay? WTF?

          • The Magpie says:

            So many people have so many reasons not to do so many things, usually beginning with if … but if the ‘if’ is addressed, technology shall overcome to provide the huge benefits even a ‘fuckin’ Luna Park’ wave generator would bring to the city. Well, at least your hidden agendas aren’t that well hidden, NMD.

          • No more dredging says:

            ‘Pie, you suggest that: ” . . . if the ‘if’ is addressed . .”, everything will be alright. Right across the water at Nelly Bay we watched for a year or so around 1990 as Magnetic Keys Ltd did its darnedest to address the ‘ifs’ of digging up a fringing reef and reclaiming land in the GBR region. In March 1990 the exposed and vulnerable quarrying site on Bright Point adjacent to the enclosed beach and plundered reef flat, was plastered by a record flood in Gustav Creek. The flimsy incomplete breakwater was breached, pathetic hay bales supposed to hold back sediment flow off the quarry site were simply flushed away and all the churned up construction site emptied itself across the reef flat . . . . and straight around to Picnic Bay on the tide. Later, when the tide turned, the plume went around into the Marine National Park in adjacent Geoffrey Bay (Arcadia) demonstrating just how clever we are at addressing regulating the ‘ifs’.

            The designers of the once-promoted cruise ship terminal in the Duck Pond – actually a seven hundred (700) dwelling canal estate and marina, agreed there was no way they could prevent a couple of metres of storm surge from completely engulfing the site. What would a four metre storm surge look like in there? Why would taxpayers and ratepayers support such a reckless proposal?

          • The Magpie says:

            A sad chicken little the sky is falling trope, old mate … to avoid this extent of catastrophe, the duck pond would be fully enclosed. The outer wall handled several cyclones and big seas in The ‘Pie’s time, and it wasn’t even fazed by Yasi. C’mon, mate, there’s got to be a limit on Green negativity. (Your issues about Nelly Bay are spot on, and thanks to Capt Snooze Reynolds, the disastrous move from Picnic Bay – which had been basically operating successfully for decades and could easily and more cheaply been modified – had the net affect of killing one community and scarring another, while doing absolutely nothing for tourism.)

          • No more dredging says:

            ‘Pie, I’ll see you on the Chicken Little and raise you one. Google “Raby Bay” and take a look at the Wikipedia entry – in particular about the subsiding revetment walls built on unconsolidated foundations. These dodgy canal estates and shallow sea reclamations are bad enough in sheltered sites but courting disaster on the GBR/cyclone coast. The bottom line is that Local Government simply cannot afford to pay the maintenance and upkeep costs of corrupted design and development processes that lead to dumb infrastructure. Look at the stupid, greedy vandalism of Oyster Point at Cardwell – now called Port Hinchinbrook – and wonder at how usually commonsense locals could be so easily duped by carpetbaggers as blatantly obvious as Keith Williams. At least the Cardwell ratepayers aren’t being hit up for the failure of that pathetic development. Reclaimed waterfront in Townsville, with or without an imposing rock breakwater (with opening for a marina of course), is no place to put up housing because it is always susceptible to flooding from storm surge. At least a harbour or marina is expected to fill with water but not a housing estate.

          • The Magpie says:

            What the hell are you on about? At no stage did or does The “Pie advocate canal estates, duck pond or anywhere. never has. A big ticket tourist bonanza wave pool venture ~ with private money ~ is a different matter altogether. BTW It might also help alleviate the total embarrassment of the Flinders Mall being the overriding memory of Townsville for cruise line passengers.

          • No more dredging says:

            Sorry, I misunderstood. You are envisaging a wave park that takes up the whole of the Duck Pond and has no other development except the wave park – except for another kilometre of breakwater to completely enclose the space. What happens to the two metres of murky swill that currently constitutes the seabed in that location? Does it remain there or is it removed to some other place? Just asking because the previous cruise ship terminal plan had a major headache with that swill.

    • I'll be plucked says:

      G’day ‘Leg’, not sure if you realise, but Darwin has a wave pool/lagoon at the waterfront and has had for sometime. Whatever comes next, wherever, it won’t be a first! Happy to stand corrected. Google Darwin Wave Pool/Lagoon for info.

      • cobalos says:

        How about we use the new stadium as a wave pool for the other 355 days of the year, and it could also provide a water supply fir the inner city units.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Darwin also has Cullen Bay Marina which is protected from the sea by a Lock System. No reason they could spend the extra dollars and do something with the duck pond.

  13. Pat Coleman says:

    No Pie , neither you nor anyone else is getting a reclamation of the duckpond . And dont, for fucksake, if you want to retain any credibility say you are mates with Crissafulli , he’s a target the same as the rest . Sometimes mal …honestly

    • The Magpie says:

      Funny, people say the same to me about you, Pat. And a journo mixes with everybody … and for what it is worth, I was and am friendly with The Kid.

      But thanks for the tips on credibility, mate.

    • Al says:

      Pat Coleman. I was thinking recently that you had some credibility happening, but that shit says what I have thought for a long, long time. You are mostly full of shit

  14. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    All kudos to this bloke for taking the initiative and building a brand around our best and most marketable tourism asset. I know that you Pie have long held the believe that Magnetic Island is Townsville’s most under marketed asset sitting right under TEL’s nose that they somehow continually ignore.

    He must have gotten tired of waiting for TEL to get off its arse and actually do what it is amply paid to do.

    Exactly why do TEL exist again?

    • The Magpie says:

      Valid comment mate but edited out the Astonisher article you sent in verbatim … too long for a comment and was published in the Astonisher some days ago anyway. And The ‘Pie has no idea why you would try to publish here a link to a News Ltd subscription site. You been on the morning turps or something?

  15. The Magpie says:

    Genuine question for any rail buffs out there … Adani says it will now build its own narrow gauge line to link up with Aurizon’s existing standard gauge line. How’s that going to work, won’t there need be a whole set of new rolling stock and engines for the narrow gauge (not cheap), and how will the transfer be made when the two lines meet?

    Sounds messy and something of a panicked move.

    • Mike Shearer says:

      Queensland railways are narrow gauge, so a narrow gauge line by Adani would be fully compatible. Australian railways have had and still use narrow, standard and broad gauge railways. The move is to convert to standard gauge (as in NSW) of lines that are likely to be profitable. Wikipedia has the detail – search for railways, gauge and Australia for starters.

      Oh! for the days of steam! The broad gauge locomotives in Adelaide were just wonderful. In the days before WH&S and nannyism we kids could ride the footplates without any trouble, you just had to ask.

      • The Magpie says:

        Seems The ‘Pie confused himself there … because Adsani was initially going to build the longer wholly owned line on standard gauge (why? but anyway).

        • Rusty Nail says:

          Re-read the first line of Mike’s post, Pie. None of the rest matters in this context.

          • Rusty Nail says:

            Misread your question Pie. Standard gauge allows trains to go more quickly carrying higher loads, hence why Adani wanted to use it initially (as would any organisation wanting to install a rail line for profit). Ultimately just became too hard.

          • cobalos says:

            Doing a deal with Aurizon will end up costing Adani twice as much in the long run.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Adani project scope by GHD in 2014 had the Adani line meeting the narrow gauge Aurizon line just outside Moranbah, giving them the choice of exporting from Hay Point or Abbott Point through the then to be completed Moranbah to Collinsville link. Obviously the subsequent purchase of the Abbot Point facility changed the plan a wee bit.
      Nothing really new in the announcement.

  16. Sam1 says:

    Just watched the 9 news report on the shooting at Mackay this morning. The female reporter said the police are looking for a man who is believed to be carrying a “swornoff nifle.” She should be a shoein for a job at the Astonisher.

  17. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Genuine and serious question, if anyone knows the answer….

    If an item is on the agenda for the Ordinary Council meeting, is there opportunity for members of the public who attend to ask questions as part of the discussion prior to Councillors considering and voting on the item? (Assuming the item is not considered confidential and discussion closed to the public).

    • No more dredging says:

      Contact your divisional councillor (or another one if you have a personal connection), let them know you will be attending, ask them to raise the matter. It is up to the Chair whether you might be invited to speak, or not.

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        Thanks Dredge Meister.

        I am yet to see if the matter is on the Council agenda, but I’m assuming it will be as it was raised at the last Standing Committee meeting.

        I’ll contact the Chair of the committee to discuss.

        • The Magpie says:

          If the chair is Messagebank Walker, good luck with the call. Keep on posted on that score, please.

          • Linda Ashton says:

            MessageBank Walker. Hadn’t heard that description before. The voice recording is “interim” chair for water and waste and doesn’t take too well to women with science knowledge. When a glaring error on his site (about the duplicate pipeline) was pointed out, he squeals that the females are aggressive. He removed said error from the site so they were lying??? Shhhhh. Suspecting this would be the response to being corrected, there’s an aggressive screenshot on FB. Damn it. These ratepayers are just too brazen.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Good in theory NMD however given the fact the current Mayor, CEO and Councillors are a disgusting group of ignorant arseholes your advice is a complete waste of time, The Wulguru Wonder might as well stay at home and do something more constructive like rearrange the sock drawer.

  18. The Owl says:

    WW, you should know by now that any contentious matter Mayor Mullet wants to keep secret will be “commercial in confidence” and no questions or comments will be allowed.
    You should also know that anyone who asks a difficult question will go straight on the mayor’s hit list for revenge at the earliest opportunity.
    Sad, but true.

  19. Kingswood says:

    Jeez Mags, how low can you go?


    What’s next? Old Lady’s walking canes, candy from a baby? A parkies goon?

    Gasp…, even…slightly unkind character readings of Astonisher editor’s?

    • The Magpie says:

      Clearly a coded reference to our mayor. The ‘Pie has obviously robbed her of her hearing … all the good advice from the old bird over the years and she’s not listening so one can only conclude she’s been robbed of her hearing. And the story so accurately reports that most of the magpie season (only 12 months a year) is Walker Street!!! Spooky, eh, possums?

  20. The Magpie says:

    The ultimate DIY book.

  21. The Magpie says:

    From the No Shit Sherlock Headline file:

    It would actually be news if it DIDN’T play such a role. This stuff is just a gabbling space filler as part of the mayor’s re-election campaign.

    • Kingswood says:

      What a deep story; other captivating headlines could be;

      New road to carry traffic

      New public toilets to reduce congestion

      New jail will house criminals

      And if only, ‘new newspaper to challenge astonisher…’

  22. The Magpie says:

    The Bulletin can’t even get the basics right, including basic captioning of photographs (by the subs not the snapper). Have a look at this pic, read the caption and tell me who is the offender.

    The ‘Pie’s immediate thought was ‘that geezer’s looks a bit out of character and a bit too old to be bashing the missus’ … and I was surely not alone. Turns out the grub is the dick in the background (The ‘Pie reaches this conclusion because the story somewhere mentioned Pisano is 29), and the bloke in the foreground is possibly his solicitor or maybe a support relative, who although the prominent part of the overall image, remains unnamed. And presumably, remains innocent of domestic abuse.

    Why not this, as done in five seconds by The ‘Pie, and without the paper’s fancy equipment?

    This is dangerous territory for the paper … The ‘Pie well remembers when one of his court stories about a particularly gross matter of kiddie fiddling was front page with the headline along the lines of Molesting Monster Dad Found Guilty … something like that. But naming, and pics of, the bloke weren’t legally allowed (it would identify the victim) but next to this screaming headline was a totally unrelated story – the night caretaker of the Walker Street council offices swearing there was a ghost in residence. That story featured a three-quarter page shot of the haunted caretaker. But there wasn’t any suitable dividing border between him and the headline. There was some fast talking with the bloke in the editors office and he was dissuaded not to take the matter further. Close call though. That was a one-off error, with stern words doled out by the Ed.

    The above example is a minor matter, but again highlights the paper’s now standard sloppy practices.

  23. seagull says:

    as always the bullsheet brings you the big breaking stories….

    ” How to snag a free Macca’s Cheeseburger
    FREE FOOD STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING — here’s how to get yourself a free Macca’s cheeseburger”


  24. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    I’d be interested to know how TCC determined the figure of 6000 motorists availing themselves of the 15 minute free parking in the CBD since it was introduced in 1 August.

    My understanding is that you think you will be less than 15 minutes you can get a ticket (for 15 minutes duration) without having to insert any money into the machine.

    If you will be longer than 15 minutes you will still have to purchase a ticket and TCC parking officers will add an extra 15 minutes to the expiry time shown on the ticket before they issue a fine for overstaying.

    That is, if I think I will be an hour I can pay for 45 minutes on the ticket and use the 15 minutes free ‘grace’ time from TCC to tack on to the end. (Or more likely the in my case still pay for 1 hour and use the TCC free 15 as an insurance in case I am delayed).

    So are TCC saying that they issued 6000 free 15 minute only tickets, or are they also including people who also paid for a ticket where the 15 minutes is tacked into the end of the paid time?

    Just curious.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie noted that bit of tomfoolery this morning, which is pure hokum, but so obvious he felt a reply would be too tedious, and someone else would spot it and comment. And voila! There you are WW.

  25. Dave Nth says:

    LOL 2 stories have heard this week about the airport. Both times difficulties paying parking fees, apparently talking to an operator in Malaysia when you press the button & the number-plate recognition thing has a few glitches that the Malaysian staff are just opening the gate to let people out…

    Day trip to Sydney last Thursday and I wonder again about privatising airports, holding pattern over BNE yet again not on time in Sydney due to issues at the gate having us hold short. Flights home that evening had issues all airport related not airline…

  26. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Page 8 of today’s Astonisher regarding the ship that broke down while “carrying more than eight million tonnes of copper to Townsville”.

    8 million tonnes? That’s one hell of a lot of copper. It must have been a bloody massive ship! No wonder they have been banging on about the need to widen the channel for the port.

    And also the story on page 5 about the KAP’s push to maintain gender specific language and lavs…..the journo needs a quick revision of Parliamentary processes. KAP will not “today introduce new laws”, they are introducing a bill for debate into the Parliament. There is a big difference.

    OK…..back to the pedant corner for me!

  27. Surely says:

    Each day I look forward to playing the TB’s new game (free in every edition) ‘”spot the deliberate mistake’. Will it be incorrect spelling in an article about education? Poor punctuation? Deplorable grammar? Tortured syntax? The wrong photo? Or that good old standby misplacing the decimal point? Today’s effort reporting that a vessel was carrying 8 million tonnes of copper ore for the Glencore refinery when it broke down was a cracker. No wonder the port needs dredging.
    Even better value for your subscription is spotting the errors in the online version. This can provide hours of fun for the whole family as they can really give their subs free reign (rain? rane?) (Magpie Ed note: or even rein). The online version of the same page 8 article shows just how confusing those the fun loving scallywags from the sub-continent can be when no one is looking at page 8.

    But surely its a joke? (joak?)

  28. The Magpie says:

    Mayor Mullet may well be in a bit of a pickle with this one.

    The story said in part:
    Quote: PCYC Queensland owns and built the building and infrastructure on the site. The land is owned by the Queensland Government and managed by Townsville City Council.
    The council spokesman did not respond to questions about whether a local Australian rules football club had an interest in taking over the Hugh St lease.
    He said no decision had been made yet in relation to the future of the Castle Hill site or any alternative for the PCYC. Unquote
    Well, maybe the TCC hasn’t made a decision, but the owners of the land – the Qld Labor Government – may well have done a deal already, in which the council – and especially Mayor Mullet – will have no say.
    This interesting bit of info floated into the Nest last night, from someone whose information has generally been spot on.
    The Nester spy wrote:
    “Apparently an indigenous organisation has been chasing this site for some years and recently the PCYC board in Brisbane decided that they would step aside and let them have it. Hence their decision to not renew their lease.
    Isn’t it such rubbish that the truth is always hidden.
    The question should be to TCC as to who the new lease is with and what activities will be carried out there.”

    And this raises some interesting political questions, especially for Mayor Mullet. This whole suggestion of the PCYC shift has all the earmarks of a Labor government virtue signalling, and seeking to bolster the state-wide aboriginal vote. Now that’s all well and good from Anna Alphabet’s point of view, she’d be happy to upset a few mainly elderly white geezers and geezerettes to shore up the indigenous vote hereabouts. But that is not something Mayor Mullet would want to be part of … she’s in a fight for her political life – one she’s losing well and truly at the moment – and the last thing she wants is the distinct red tinge just below the necks of her suburban voters turn scarlet when an established facility popular with oldies is turned over to indigenous interests (who have a fine track record of personal nest feathering and creative accounting – Gawd, we’ve taught them well).

    So just how our mayor responds to this little bit of Brisbane political finessing will be most instructive. Anna has been showing a distinct coolness of late towards our ever begging-bowl mayor. Probably sniffing the growing voter dissatisfaction.

  29. Linda Ashton says:


    2014 level 2 Ross Dam at 30%
    2016 level 2 Ross Dam at 40%
    2018 level 2 Ross Dam at 94%

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Simple, To make sure there is water in the dam in late 2019 in the lead up to the council election, as there is absolutely no operational reason that level 2 restrictions are in force at these current dam levels.

    • Cockie says:

      Linda, It an ALP ploy, the same with crime, go softer and softer on the criminals until the general population see the current crime situation as the norm. We have had water restrictions since the mid 80’s so the council just keep raising the levels where restrictions apply until the community accept it as the norm. Just the same as taxes on smokes and booze, we hate it initially but eventually accept the rise. Two years time Water Crises What Water Crises?

    • Water Water Everyhwere says:

      Cool you jets Linda, as far as I understand, TCC’s restriction policy states when restrictions start but not when they are lifted.

      But sure, all Caps writing and some fun looking number sure do grab attention.

      A better question you might ask is why the policy does not have a provision for dam levels at which restrictions are lifted.

  30. Doxie says:

    Why did Tonner resign – for those of us who live in the boonies and know/hear nothing? (Which from all accounts might be a good thing.)

  31. Pat Coleman says:

    The ABC’s exposé on 2 Board members of GBRMPA , who’s companies were in receipt of millions in public funding also showed them to be the people in control of the “association of marine park tourism operators” . http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-19/crown-of-thorns-funds-funnelled-companies-link-tourism-operators/10257306

    Go to http://democracyforsale.net/search-aec/ and https://disclosures.ecq.qld.gov.au/Map and type in “association of marine park tourism operators”

    In another example of public funds being laundered back into political donations , this group has donated so far to Labor $21 550 since 2016 and LNP $ 28 950 since 2017 .

    As far as giving public funding out and seeing it donated goes , you have the examples of the profits made by Lancini returned in donations . Donors getting tenders and donating back . Firms getting legal jobs and donating to get more like DLA Piper who did the last military abuse inquiry stuff . Publicly funded Townsville enterprise donating back to the LNP whilst having Jenny Hill on the Board. Publicly funded LGAQ with Jenny Hill on the board donating to both sides right when anti corruption legislation was before parliament .

  32. Pisces says:

    The latest at JCU is that they are looking to kill between 80-100 positions in round one of redundancies to happen early next year. Let’s hope that includes the bullies (usually found in middle management.)

    • Kingswood says:

      The way they’re going they’ll have more buildings than staff soon as there’s plenty of building proposed and recently completed. Mabye IT plans to fill the staff positions with robots instead.

  33. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Don’t worry if the V8 Super Cars leave Townsville…..TEL and TCC are ready with a backup plan…


  34. Alahazbin says:

    The incompetent Kate Jones referred to Townsville as “The Centre of the Universe” when announcing some Netball comp in parliament. I interperate that as more a sarcastic remark than praise from this Labor Government. It is typical of all SEQ pollies when it comes to regional QLD.

    • The Magpie says:

      It may well have been a swipe at our perceived sense of entitlement and arrogance, with an incompetent leadership like Mayor Mullet L’il Patty and Gormless Gill of TEL and The Impaler incessantly demanding public money because they haven’t a clue how to attract private investment. But the sad truth is that our poor old town is regarded as the arseole of the earth, and no wonder, given all the carpetbagging shits passing through it.

  35. Alahazbin says:

    Got my morning chuckle when I see the Astonisher has reserved a spot on Page 15 for their mistakes.
    Today correcting their 8.5 million tonne blunder.
    The other day for the ‘Latemail’ fiasco.

  36. The Owl says:

    Townsville can not afford to lose the alternate voice the Magpie blog provides, even for one week. I’m prepared to chip in towards a new laptop for the Pie, if that is what’s required. Anyone else prepared to come on board?

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Set up a go fund me page for ol Pies hard drive!

      • Sir Rabbittborough says:

        Don’t put that out , they’ll think it’s druggie code and he’ll get raided for Viagra like Pissale

      • Mike Douglas says:

        Cantankerous but happy, as usual your an “ideas man” and I am happy to plonk some $ into the nest. The Magpie is like the knight on Monty Python with his broken computer” it’s only a flesh wound”. So Mayor Mullet may set a record, fined by Electoral Commission, investigated by the CCC and if Townsville Airport is ruled to be gouging by the ACCC a partner in the strategy. Clearly an over achievour .

    • Old tradesman says:

      Tell me how much.

  37. CR says:

    Losing jobs at the university will have a huge impact on families in the community. This is not good for our city.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      That’s true, this is not helped with the fact the bony blonde has little regard these days for the Townsville campus and offers very little support, there is certainly no doubt she wants Cairns and Singapore to expand leaving Townsville to stumble along and fend for itself, just more examples of the gilded few failing the people of Townsville.

    • Concerned says:

      Slash the so called bosses wages and they would be able to keep quite a few of these sacrificed staff in the name of cost savings.
      What was the Vice Chancellors wage, $900k???
      Pigs to the trough

  38. Surely says:

    Pie I will try to post the link but the online Brisbane Times has a very illuminating article on the bun fight over airport charges. BNE/SYD/MEL focus but relevant to TVL as well.


    • The Magpie says:

      Yup that worked and what a ripoff all round. And our airport that runs on these unethical gouging principles is run by a bloke who is supposed to be in charge of the mob promoting tourism. Gill should resign from the TEL board immediately.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Absolutely right, the article also refers to the cost of runway construction in regards to airport expenditure, something that Townsville does not have to cover as defence picks up the tab, so it blows their argument out the water as it tries to defend a lift in charges.

  39. cobalos says:

    As I am early sleeper, I bought the bully this morning to find out who won the AFL prelim final last night. Nuffin. Just writeup about how we need more lights around our AFL field at Riverway. Go figure.

    • WTF Fan says:

      and they still haven’t figured out that by only featuring one measly AFL story a day on one club at best is why our diverse expat community gets their news online or from other sources

  40. The Owl says:

    Have just made a $50 contribution to a new computer for the Pie.
    If you want to continue to have an alternate voice to the bias served up by the Townsville Bulletin I encourage you to also contribute.

    • The Magpie says:

      A generous and much appreciated gesture, perhaps you should look on it as an investment in Townsville’s future, all the Nesters are refusing to stand by and watch our poor old town continue to be a political swill trough.

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 *