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The Magpie

Saturday, April 28th, 2018   |   41 comments

If I Were Mayor: Have YOUR say. 


Now it’s our turn to put up or shut up.

The Magpie is aware that there some ill-informed folk who believe the Magpie blog is simply a negative, nagging opponent of the mayor – those naysayers obviously do not distinguish between negative whingeing on the one hand,  and the exposure of secret agendas, abuse of office, deliberate evasiveness and just plain dumb populist ideas that use ratepayers in an attempt to remain in power.

So now here is the challenge. Have your say what YOU would do if you were the mayor today, right this minute. No abuse, no low punches, just your policies for the governance of Townsville. You can include measures already in place or proposed to be adopted, but it is crucial to remember, THIS IS ABOUT WHAT YOU WOULD DO, NOT WHAT JENNY HILL HAS DONE. Since this could get unwieldy, the following guidelines must be observed to be published.

1. Make it brief, relevant and readable. War And Peace ranting diatribes will not be published.

2. No abuse of the mayor, the CEO or their policies, or anyone else for that matter.3. Don’t restrict your policies simply to reversing things you don’t like, suggest new initiatives  to help our city chart a bright future.

The best suggestions that The Magpie judges to be both positive and thoughtful will be featured in next week’s blog and on The Magpie’s Facebook page (don’t worry, on FB you will remain anonymous and just carry whatever name you post under).

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. Rob McI says:

    1) replace the Tsvl Enterpise board and management with serious players (not the club) and set a real charter and KPIs for achievement
    2). Replace the expensive contractors in TCC with employed staff
    3) use the sewerage treatment plant filtered water for council gardens and city / road beautification
    4) fast track the Burdekin water pipeline
    5) tropically landscape both drives to the airport so it doesn’t look like the entrance to the Beirut airport – make it inviting and welcoming for tourists
    6). Apply to the northern infrastructure fund for funding to build a toll (modest toll fees) bridge from Pallarenda to magnetic Island
    7) build an overhead foot bridge from the international ship terminal to the entertainment centre side of the water so tourists don’t have an industrial port as their first impression of Tsvl
    8) hand the pet shelter back to the RSPCA and incentivise them (no rent) to stay rathe4 than it turn into another poorly performing, poor reputation and expense creating council operation.
    9). Incentivise more events to be held in Tsvl (running festival, major triathlon events etc)
    10) remove paid parking from city but retain meters to limit parking time.
    11). Fix the transient indigenous issue which is a developing major issue in Flinders street
    12) sort traffic light timing once and for all
    13) replace TCCs auditors every few years

  2. Kelsey Johnson says:

    If I was Mayor, All my actions would be transparent & I would encourage community involvement in decision making and I would listen to Water For Townsville Action Group with their amazing talent pool, before making a decision about the construction of the Burdekin Pipeline. I would use the $500 million from state & federal funding to ensure Townsville’s long term water security so a green Townsville can prosper. I would not allow 2 people including the CEO and the aptly named Adam Sincock both from Adelaide to be on WSTF that was originally named WTF (What The F***) to give the pipe tender to an Adelaide plastic company. which means minimal local jobs

  3. Twilly says:

    : Stop advertising in the Astonishment.
    : Review council’s payroll list of employees.
    ; Make Palm Island a State.
    : Same as number 8.

  4. Cynical Cricket says:

    I believe that the council requires a new broom put through it and to start afresh.
    TCC needs to return to basics:
    Roads – Pavements are currently cracking everywhere around the city.
    Water – The city deserves a guaranteed water supply.
    Sewerage – There are failures which are impacting on the environment
    Waste – The current waste plans have failed the city. There is rubbish everywhere.
    Planning – Needs to be more conscious of the cost to TCC of the uncontrolled development that appears to be occurring.
    Animal Control – Return it to the RSPCA. What was council thinking?
    Funding to TEL, and any other programs like it would be cancelled as there is no evidence of any benefit to the people of Townsville.

    To start the repairs, it would require a return to morals, principles and ethics.
    This would require all nepotism and corruption to be eliminated; from the top to the bottom.
    To set the example, Mayor and Councillors would take pay cuts and less lurks and perks.
    No more snouts in the trough, you stand for council as you care for Townsville; not for the perks. Management would be expected to lead by example and improve the cost/benefit ratio for the long suffering rate payers. Transparency would become the norm, rather than the exception.
    Once budgets are fixed without borrowings to balance them, then there is room to expand beyond the basics.

  5. Kramer says:

    No free junkets for journalists to write pr stories from India.

  6. two bobs worth says:

    As Mayor I would lobby the State Govt to reverse (or at least review) the decision to make Councillor positions full time. There has not been a review of this decision since it came in several years ago (exactly when ???) but in my opinion the workings and governance of local government has not improved. Certainly the community has not seen the positive results that were projected.
    The Mayor and Councillors are the equivalents of a company board members – not full time employees and their responsibilities should be about dealing only with the strategic issues.

    Other issues on my agenda would be removing bias executives with properly appointed professionals who can implement the policies and projects on behalf of the Mayor and Councillors.

  7. Sandra says:

    The people of the City of Townsville pay rates for services and infrastructure for the benefit of the the people inhabiting the city. As mayor I would prioritise providing water, sewerage, roads, garbage collection. I would investigate how we as a city could make money. Selling some of our bountiful sunshine through solar panels on all public buildings, perhaps expanding into a separate facility. There are projects happening all over the world utilising recycled materials, which we should investigate and start one employing locals.
    I would use council resources to provide a hub for services and programs for the aged sector. Keeping seniors healthy and active is cheaper than keeping them in hospital.

  8. Council workers "shovel" says:

    If I was mayor the first order of business would be an increase in rates. At present rates might seem high but do not cover what is needed to do the basics otherwise the council wouldn’t be borrowing money to pay wages. Rates freeze would be abolished but the discount would be increased to intice people to pay on time so cash flow increases. This in the short term won’t be pretty but after one and a half terms rates will be dropped back to CPI. Rates freeze dosnt work.

    Secondly our workforce is more important than any mayor or councilor. They stay for decades not terms. We are already paid well but the number of front line staff needs increased. At present there are too many management roles. The old system before nous will be beought back. There was nothing wrong with it. The way staff are hired is based on a point system. Which means if you have been casual for years someone else can come in after 2 mths and get the job because they might have a heavy truck license over you but not experience but score more points. Unsuitable people get position. E.g. CEO being 5th in line.

    Hard rubbish collection is gone. Back to the Mooney future. The city looks disgraceful with rubbish everywhere. That money would be allocated to bonuses for outdoors staff across council not just one department. Not a cash splash or a union vote getter. You bust your arse in the heat, rain the cold the dust, you get a bonus not because you have a degree.

    Unfortunately people will need to start being a user paid city. Weather it water waste or any other services. Nothing is free and modest pricing across everyone will decrease that cost. All development corporation will be disolved. No need for council to be in the investment industry. Buy property and machinery for services only to this city not an Indian mining company or battery factory.

    An increase immediately in outdoor staff numbers and a complete audit of plant and equipment to purchase new or reconditioned to bring back our services away from hiring contractors.

    Unions will be welcomed into discussion but heavy handed tactics and striking will be ignored. We all observe the law and any discussion involving EBA or industrial action will be published in media and council website. No need for secrets.

    • Inside TCC says:

      Shovel, coming from literally inside (as in not outside staff) there are plenty of lazy people sitting around getting paid and doing nothing. Before proposing rates rises i would suggest implementing management who actually manage their people and their output. Lots of wastage and terrible procurement happening that could save ratepayers millions if they hire some commercially savvy non-government trough snuffling folks who have had to earn the money they want to spend.

      • Council workers "shovel" says:

        Well inside your Going to need to raise rates immediately because at present without all of what you said the council has not collected enough revenue. Which like in the days of Mooney rates freeze in alligator creek, would need to be increased to catch up to what they should have been paying. None of what you suggest will work when you don’t collect enough revenue. Everything after that we can talk about. Got to have the capital first.

  9. Woodduck says:

    Water park built, encourage restaurants, cafes to open in the defunct mall, to establish an area where patrons can have a meal and then go to nightclubs, movies etc. Townsville to be given a facelift, to ensure clean and safe environment, main entrances to be landscaped and move the dumps to more suitable locations. Pallarenda to be revamped, extra toilets and rubbish bins through out the city. Remove bogan saint off castle hill. Contractors gone and employ permanent staff to council. Close TEL and council to take over its role. Shopping centre encouraged to place more security cameras and hire more security to ensure public safety, especially of a night time. More security,cameras and lighting throughout the Townsville area. Free 4 hr parking. Free dump days quarterly. Open the dam to the public. All council vehicles to be reviewed and more fuel efficient vehicles used where practical( no V8s). All Staff regardless of position to use vehicles for work use only and left in compound of a night, not taken home. Give the Magpie the key to the city’s wine cellar

  10. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Reduce the generous annual 776 Kl allocation to 600kl, the extra revenue gained from this would be used to lower the access fee for user pays and encourage more to switch over.
    All new subdivisions must not have blocks of land larger than 1000sq/m , any block of land larger than 600sq/m must have minimum 20kl rainwater storage.
    The Increased grey water use on parks and gardens.

    General businesss
    Council to investigate options for securing the Townsville airport , including what if any Govt regulation prevents another terminal operator constructing another terminal north of the paint shops.

    Raise the height restrictions to 8 storey on the Strand, the current 5 storey puts most projects in the death zone of construction and prevents them progressing.

    Cut funding to TEL and sell the current land they occupy for development.

    Trial free parking in the CBD after 2 PM and encourage traders to operate later into the evening, parking inspectors would monitor cars by number plate software and send notices and fines to cars abusing the system.

    Introduce a vacant land and building levy in the CBD to encourage land owners and building owners to develop the land and entice tenants into vacant buildings.

    A bus loop where a free bus constantly loops around the CBD, North Ward and South Townsville via the car park.

    Council will produce an expenditure budget by suburb in regards to how much is being spent on maintenance, parks, gardens and small projects to ensure equity across the city.

    Council to return to focus on delivering core functions and services and not a poorly run, unqualified quasi business partner of private enterprise.

    Executive expectations
    All councillors will be supplied council mobile phones with numbers published and all calls logged and response rates. Response rates to be benchmarked and published, the same for email enquiries.
    All councillors must hold community forums on a regular basis, a minimum 2 per year.
    All councillors to produce a public register of associations and affiliations of which they belong and have activity with which must be updated on a quarterly basis.

    • two bobs worth says:

      I agree with much of what you proposed CbH especially the 8 storeys plus on the Strand – the only way to get developers interested in investing.

      • Mike Shearer says:

        Where’s the advantage in having “development” on the strand? Who benefits other than the developers and the agents who market the units or collect management fees? How do the city ratepayers benefit? More traffic along the Strand, ugly rear sides of building for everybody living behind the Strand, and ugly views from Castle Hill. This is surely an example of “development” being the wrong word, “defacement” or “degradation” come to mind as more appropriate.

        The cap on building heights is one good decision made in the town plan. It must not be overturned. Short term profits for a few, long term social costs for many.

  11. Scientician79 says:

    1. Immediately Cancel the Adani Airport Agreement

    2. Terminate the Services of the CEO and Restaff Council, providing the resources needed to support core services.

    3. Cease Hard Rubbish Collection, reinstate Dump Voucher System

    4. CBD Roadworks – Accelerate this program to complete as soon as possible including night works, and weekends. Additional funding comes from the Adani Airport Saving.

    5. Burdekin Pipeline – Adjust timing to align with provided funding to eliminate borrowing costs. Work with the Water Taskforce on ensuring all recommendations are reviewed and implemented as appropriate.

    Finally with the basics sorted a forward looking piece.

    Instead of continuing to focus our future on the past, eg Mining, look to encourage opportunity and investment in future facing and growing industries/sectors.

    Data Centres for large corporate customers – work with providers on bringing these facilities to Townsville

    Hospitals and Age Care – This is a growth industry with the ageing population

    Universities – Both JCU and CQU should be encouraged to further develop campuses, and diversify there offerings. Look at adding not just promoting existing courses.

    The Key here is diversity – lots of smaller industry and businesses instead of having all our eggs in the one basket, and actual agreements and outcomes. No more memorandums of understanding, and studies, go out meet with these organisations get them interested in our city.

  12. Kayla says:

    Build gravity fed water to Townsville using old existing Sun Water and Burdekin reports. ( Not second pipeline pumping into the dam to evaporate instead of going direct to water treatment plant)
    Water parks and gardens, clean up rubbish up to Mooney day standards!
    Do roads, infrastructure, parks and gardens.
    Stop money to TEL.
    Stop Adani funding.
    Stop sacking Townsvillites and employing consultants and southerners.
    Sack CEO.
    Replace that ugly red Townsville sign outside the airport with tropical aqua one and put in lush tropical garden.
    Link eastern Palmer Street to the Strand with river pedestrian walkover.
    Plant trees and shade structures along Palmer Street, Flinders Street and new pedestrian walkover and Strand.
    Stop promoting noxious industries.
    Make airport fund its own uogrades.
    Stop shady decision making and bullshit. Be honest! Don’t treat ratepayers as fools.
    Spend public monies frugally and wisely.

  13. Adele's reg grundies says:

    If I were Mayor I would:

    1. Pass a local govt by-law banning The Pie from Townsville
    2. Start a crowd funding campaign to support The Pies relocation to the Deep South of Tasmania. I would start this by kicking in 3 grand
    3. Before he leaves, have The Pie sit in a locked room with former Mayor Mullet and the full council to clear the air and talk shop
    4. Towards the end of above ‘meeting’ have TEL give The Pie a full briefing on its achievements and get his feedback on each point presented
    5. Provide my Mayoral vehicle and chauffeur to deliver The Pie to his plane at Townsville Airport, where he will be greeted and sent on his way by Mista Gill
    6. Once The Pie leaves I will take 3 month paid break, breathe deeply and then employ ex-Mayor Mullet as a consultant to get our city moving again

  14. Col Foley says:

    1. Make all Council meetings open.

    2. Ask all of TCC’s Managers and Senior Staff to openly declare and list the 3 biggest problems in their department, with their proposed solutions to each one.

    3. At the first TCC meeting: Propose an urgent forensic assessment of TCC finances by a firm of independent auditors.

    4. At the same meeting: Call for the executive right to immediately and personally handle all outstanding matters that have a cost of less than $250,000 (one off, or p.a.)

    5. If the auditors report nominates any historic costs as being possibly legal concerns, decide which, if any, would be viable for TCC to prosecute.

    6. Have TCC Managers and Senior Staff recommend solutions for each category identified by the auditors as being of concern.

    7. Implement the solutions, in order of importance as decided by the newly elected councillors, and the financial practicality of each solution.

    8. Adopt a policy of making TCC’s internal decision-makers proud owners of their projects and policies and using outside consultants a resource of last resort.

    9. Take Tourism and $200k p.a. off TEL, making their sole focus the physical development of the area’s infrastructure and projects.

    10. Give the $200k p.a. saved off TEL as funding for a Regional Tourism Operation, as an Incorporated Association run by tourism operators, as exists in Cairns and most other tourism destinations.

  15. Tenacious D says:

    1. Axe TEL, bring the work in house.
    2. Reverse any support for ADANI
    4. No more companies formed by council to hide council activity.
    5. Focus on roads, parks, waste, water and every other grassroots area of council responsibility.
    6.Job creation is great, but does not fall within the council’s mandate. Look after the ratepayers interest’s first and foremost whilst ensuring all council jobs are held by locals.
    7. Budget review with the empathy toward setting rates on a downward projectory to align with similar local government area’s.
    8. Review of all council land adjacent to Ergon/Powerlink substations with the view to developing revenue producing solar assets.

  16. Mike Shearer says:

    1. stop bitumenising suburban streets wider than 2 lanes, and plant trees instead. All the extra black bitumen does is raise the temperature. Trees would do the opposite. Narrowed streets discourage excessive speed.
    2. stop using speed bumps which are useless and use speed dips which do actually work.
    3. stop approving “developments” of blocks so small there is no scope for cross ventilation, every room has to be air conditioned. (an example: take a tour of the housing where the DPI used to be)
    4. for all developments and activities which use any TCC funding, other than core responsibilities, publish at least 2-yearly audited reports of their actual economic and social performance. Comparisons of forecast or promised benefits with actual to be used to review TCC support, and inform future proposals.
    5. cap Townsville’s population until it can be shown that the value of additional people is worth more than the additional social and economic costs.
    6. refuse all development proposals on hill faces around Townsville.
    7. licence persons to collect supermarket trollies left in suburban streets which the supermarkets then have to redeem at a high cost per trolley, to pay for their collection with left over $$s going to improve playgrounds and health equipment in parks.
    8. publish annually a list of all organisations etc which receive rates exemption or reductions. Require such organisations to publish “social warrants” to justify their favoured treatment.
    9…. all of the excellent suggestions in previous posts.

  17. Westie says:

    Organisational Issues

    1. The first urgent business will be to review the performance of the CEO. I would require demonstration that she has met the KPIs in her contract (if there are any), that the organisation she leads has a customer focussed culture (outwards oriented rather than inwards), and that all staff demonstrate they can give honest advice without fear or favour. There would need to be an appropriate level of transparency for a public sector organisation. If that is not the case, I would find a new CEO.

    2. I would require all service departments of Council nominate Key Performance Indicators (for review by me and the Councillors), and within six months have measurement systems in place to report performance against those KPIs.

    3. I would require all Directors to benchmark similar Councils and compare their performance and costs with ours.

    Town Planning

    1. I would designate the old CBD as industrial (proximity to port), with existing uses to be grandfathered.
    2. I would designate Nathan Street and Thuringowa Drive as a 10 story limit for commercial and office buildings and hotels.
    3. I would negotiate a lease back of a new Civic Centre in one of these two new commercial centres, and sell the Walker Street Building, as well as all the current Council owned buildings in the new industrial zone.

    Economic Development

    1. Industries are to be identified as Future Proof and Rust Belt. Future Proof industries are to be encouraged and supported, rust belt industries (eg coal mines) are to be ignored.

    2. Future proof industries should be selected dependent on Townsville’s key competencies (high insolation, surplus cheap land, access to NW minerals province, transport infrastructure (rails north, south and west, port, airport), major defence presence, university, AIMS. Future Proof industries include

    (a) Renewable energy generation (including pumped storage) for export south over the overbuilt Powerlink Network
    (b) Battery plants
    (c) Biofilm industries (algae ponds)
    (d) Metals processing powered by solar thermal heliostats
    (e) Defence support industries (including aviation)
    (f) Astro- Tourism aimed at China
    (g) Fish farms
    (h) Education export

    3. I would put in place measures to attract Future Proof industries- for example as of right zoning, rates holidays, use of Council owned land as equity, procurement of land on the Bohle Plains.


    1. I would immediately introduce User Pays water tariffs, and I am confident that the need for a pipeline would disappear. If it did not, at least we will have a revenue stream to pay for it.

    2. I would negotiate to transfer the $225M funding from the new water pipeline to economic development projects. Jobs are more critical at the moment than green lawns in the dry tropics.


    1. I would require a review of the Council property holdings, identifying the strategic need for such holdings and divestment where not justified.

    2. I would negotiate with State and Federal Government to transfer funding for the new Stadium to higher priority economic development projects (a second stadium is not our highest priority). I would offer the stadium site as an industrial site.

    Community Services

    1. I would create a new department (Community Group Support) to help community groups take over the management of the City’s Arts, Sporting, Cultural and Charity sectors. Volunteer groups are wonderful value, they are committed, and they only need support and nurturing. Council’s internal Community Services departments can be downsized to a point where they are merely supporting the volunteer sector.

    Corporate Communication

    I would downsize the PR department, and clarify that their goal is community consultation- not protecting my arse. I am confident that my performance will stand on its own merit with the voters, and if not, then the next mayor can try to do better.

    • Mike Shearer says:

      “User pays” for water is available, it’s the Water Watcher plan. If you use less than 312 Kl or more than 1192 Kl each year then it’s the best choice. You pay $1.38/Kl for each Kl used.

      It would be interesting to know what proportion of ratepayers have chosen it. If it’s a high proportion then making it the only choice would have little impact on the overall water demand.

      My observation driving around the suburbs (older ones east of Nathan St mostly) is that ¼ to ⅓ homes are unlikely to be using anything like the 772 Kl/year that the Standard water plan assumes, and that User Pays would affect.

      • The Magpie says:

        Agreed Mike, your stats are probably close to the mark, but the issue here is transparency and if the Fright Bats have decided to make it no choice, without any consultation or reference to users i.e all of us. This is how blinded by hubris our mayor is … seems there is a great argument to go down the userspays path, why not make something positive about it. God she’s dumb …. DOLANNNNNN, she needs you.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Missing a few numbers in there Mike, the $344 connection fee makes the watchers plan a complete dud by any measure. Even a dirty pommy who doesn’t wash very often would use 100kl a year so at $1.38per kl plus $344 makes $482 for 100 Kl or $4.82 a Kl where as 776kl allocation for roughly $1 a kl, the pricing structure is clearly flawed.

        • The Magpie says:

          Whether Cranky Pants figures are right or otherwise, this is the conversation we should be having with our elected members and the mayor, a conversation it appears they don’t want us to have.

          Typical, really.

        • I'll be plucked says:

          Tanker, a dirty pommy who doesn’t wash very often???? What the……..next you’ll be saying Collingwood supporters have no teeth and very little between their ears! Jaysus old mate, steady on there!

    • Sandgroper says:

      Westie, you would have my vote with several of this week’s other commentators as your sidekicks.
      Might I also suggest that the mayor and. councillors be elected on a part-time basis and be given lessons in good governance, with strong oversight from an external body to ensure staff appointments area based on merit rather than politics and cronyism.
      Finally, appoint Warwick Powell to produce a policy master-plan, and cast his jaundiced eye over the entire operations of the council and symbiotic organisations such as Townsville Enterprise.

  18. Jack says:

    1 : people have given up

    2 : putting up rates isn’t going to solve anything

  19. EM says:

    replace the rock pool on the strand with a world class skate board bowl(s) like those on Venice beach in California – build a lagoon style pool further up the strand

    • The Magpie says:

      Yay, yeah, dude, gnarly, sick (swish … the sound of turning cap backwards).

      (No, The ‘Pie does not know the latest in kiddy speak, but you get the message, yes?)

      • Inside TCC says:

        EM? Not code for Beckett and his mates at Pure Projects by any chance? Lets drum up that washed up lagoon idea again

        • EM says:

          No EM just my initials,

          Thanks for the “swish” Magpie, I will return it with a “tip of the hat”

  20. Lady Byron says:

    As I live on “the jewel in the Townsville Crown”, Magnetic Island, as Mayor I would do the following:

    1. Immediately fix the effing potholed road that runs from the Forts Car Park to Radical Bay; thus freeing up for public use the two best beaches here, Arthur Bay and Florence Bay. Then build some top class accommodation at Radical Bay and get that bay going again as a ‘trendy place to be seen’.

    2. Build a very long steel cantilevered walkway high up among the trees from Arcadia Surf Club through the hills to Horseshoe Bay. (Any pedestrians walking on the road now risk life and limb.)

    3. Get a decent footway made over the hill to Balding Bay. Another cracker of a beach but hard to get to unless you are a mountain goat, or have super strong ankles.

    4. Introduce another ferry service to the island by another company; the present monopoly is unhealthy and IMHO is overpriced.

    5. Get a Council Ranger installed permanently on the island! We have NO ONE living here at the moment, and this is why abandoned vehicles, stray dogs etc are becoming a problem. TCC sends a ranger over in a van now and then and only during daylight hours.

    6. Open a large green space for the ‘grey nomads’ to come over in their campervans and enjoy our lovely island. (I am told that there is a space behind Bungalow Bay that is used now, but something bigger with a shower/toilet block would attract visitors I’m sure.)

    And it has to be my second favourite “F” word; Free!

    7. Repave the Picnic Bay Mall; it was done yonks ago and the whole thing is looking a bit shabby.

    8. Do something about the great big vacant hole next to the ferry terminal and Bright Point. Its the first thing peeps see getting off the ferry – so not a good look for our fair island.

    9. Install a staffed ‘Tourist Info Kiosk’ near the main shops so visitors can book tours, accommodation etc.

    10. Hasten the building of the new ferry terminal in Townsville. The one we have at the moment is looking a bit sad.

    — Thanks for reading thus far! My rant is over. —

    Cue song ‘If I ruled the world…’ (Harry Secombe)


    • No more dredging says:

      Lady Byron, re: getting Radical Bay going as a trendy place to be seen. The 1990s reconfiguration of the freehold blocks of land at Radical had the highly undesirable effect of closing ‘street’ access to the foreshore creating a virtual gated community in the bay – entirely consistent with the white shoe brigade’s plan to shut off the place to locals and visitors alike and get someone else to pay for it. If the bay is developed as planned and approved (Sea Temple Resort with 100+ apartments and 12 luxury houses along the foreshore), the only ‘public’ access to the ‘public’ beach would be via a narrow boardwalk around the eastern edge of the resort complex. No doubt such a gated community would employ security goons to protect the privacy of the snoots who paid millions to live or holiday there. Walk-ins would not be welcome at any of the upmarket facilities. If you think this would be a satisfactory arrangement that met the standards of Maggie Islanders and Townsville locals then keep on dreaming. But take account of this article from Moreton Bay just this past week – “Resort warned after ordering family off south east Queensland beach”. The white shoe brigade knows no bounds. Remember, the owners of Radical Bay are already lobbying Townsville Council and the State government to subsidise their project by paying for a massive reconstruction of the private road that will only serve their private interests. Stuff the World Heritage listed national park. Stuff the natural environment, the peace and tranquility. Your mayoral support for such a rort (should you be elected) would be a disgraceful abuse of Townsville ratepayers and a low act of disloyalty to your fellow Maggie Islanders. If you want to go to undisturbed National Park Florence Bay or Radical Bay why not just walk there like locals have done for hundreds, if not thousands, of years?

      • Lady Byron says:

        Dear NMD
        Thanks for the info; I had no idea what was going on behind the scenes. A gated community? I think NOT! That beautiful beach at Radical should belong to everyone, and be open to all comers.

  21. 2020 Vision says:

    A TEL Initiate discussion and changes (Rate Payers money and the Mayor is on the Board)
    B Tenure of Board members to be ‘refreshed’ after 2 years maximum 3 years.
    C More varied selection from Professional and Private enterprise as Board Members.
    D 20 % of Total Funding from TEL to an Independent Tourism Group (Local Tourism Operators)
    E Rethink short term Tourist / Visitors to TSV and focus on long term population growth and permanent Residents.
    F More than disappointed of short term political decisions as an excuse for not funding critical projects. A little subtler adversary required with more detailed submissions.

    Townsville Council working for the residents and Yes be more accountable.
    1 Review and action Back to Basics ideas and comments mentioned in this BLOG.
    2 Detailed forensic investigation with review of all studies and reports already performed. Include not limited to Finances, Consultants, Selection, Budgets, and Time frames, Recycling and importantly Rates comparison with other Councils and only required services supplied. OR (we can supply stickers for yellow bins for what should go in them)
    3 Investigate and rectify Cleveland Bay treatment plant requiring many million $ upgrades to ‘world standards’. Is it still too salty to use the recycled water successfully and ensure there is a return pipe installed back to Town.
    4 Complete the replacement U/G Pipes, Footpath, Road works and report how much it has really cost and what was achieved with a real cost-benefit analysis.
    5 2020 Ideas and implementation working party on the City Centre to progress TSV for the long term. Possible change of use, rate incentives, rebates for marketing funds to assist to fill empty buildings. The City Centre can be viable so what can make that difference.
    6 Revitalize Townsville as a Destination. The City street scape including half demolished and unkept property. Railway Yard on Flinders. (Nomads base camp with a visitors Centre) Re use Dan Gleeson Gardens, 100 Thousand Trees and Green Up Townsville. We may / will have The Pipe.
    7 Remodel the Rockpool area in total. Extend and design a world class structure, New Salt Pool (filter the sea water to highest standard) the point of difference from all the other Lagoons around Australia. Include an aquarium.
    8 Renew ‘The Strand’ from end to end. Not another big Lagoon.
    9 Start ‘The Esplanade’. Rowes Bay to Pallarenda Development. Strand 2
    10 Commence and complete the 2015 PDA work on Ross Creek fronting the length of Flinders St and include ‘the bridge’ to Palmer St
    11 Review opportunities for use and / or sell strategic TCC property holdings including and assisted with those of the Port Authority. Currently valuable useable land is being held without a foreseeable plan. eg End of the Strand and South Townsville. No required Port access, offices or future storage capability. With prior approval of State, sell or transfer it for real use to benefit Townsville and not State revenue.
    12 Clearly designate action, responsibilities, funding and expected outcomes of the Council, TEL, The Port Authority and The State Government. Three current state members, one Federal Member to be ‘coerced’ to stand up and be counted for real progress and achievements for Townsville.

    The Townsville 2020 Vision Group are all invited to work together with the Council and create a difference. Are you part of this Group?

    • The Magpie says:

      All valid ideas up for consideration, except for ‘coercing’ anyone to do anything.
      coerce |kōˈərs|
      verb [ trans. ]
      persuade (an unwilling person) to do something by using force or threats : they were coerced into silence. See note at compel .
      • obtain (something) by such means : their confessions were allegedly coerced by torture.

      Although The Magpie would agree a touch of torture to the three present incumbents may wake them from their irresponsible and selfish slumbers.

  22. Dave of Kelso says:

    In addition to the mostly sound suggestions and a well established theme from many contributors if I were mayor I would;

    1. Establish an TCC environment that would encourage and support community based arts, cultural and sporting groups to conduct public events or festivals promoting there organisation and a sense of grass roots community and dump Council contrived, ratepayer funded fiascoes such as the V8 Super Pests which killed our Riverfest. (Anyone remember that?), and

    2. Work with the Townsville performing arts community and win funds from State and the Feds to progress the Townsville Performing Arts Center, a much overdue development of the current Civic Theater. Go to http://www.tpac.net.au Remember the current Civic Theater was originally stage 1 of a larger project which was forgotten by successive Councils but not the performing arts community.

  23. Ezra Pound Axe King says:

    If I were Mayor, I would…

    1) Encourage and empower Councilors to be true representatives of their electorate. No more hidden conversations, back room deals and so forth (at least with me as Mayor). Make it very clear that Councilors are accountable to their voters and nobody else, not developers, not state or federal members, and least of all, ME as MAYOR. I would ensure that Councilors are indeed responsible for their division, and for representing the interests of their division in Council.

    2) Diversify the Townsville financial ecology, We are too reliant upon specific income streams, and waste a lot of money trying to flog dead commercial horses, A strong economy is built around diversity; some ideas will come through, and some will fail, so backing the one pony just won’t work long-term.

    3) I would Introduce big discounts to rates for CBD property owners who take on new and fledgling businesses. The CBD is absolutely dead, but not for lack of trying- various people have tried and are still trying to bring life to the city, but long term it is just not possible: property owners cling on to blue chip mining boom rent prices, backed up by their insurance, in blissful ignorance of the fact that, due to online shopping, the game has not only changed, it has gone from a board game to digital. People need a genuine reason to trek into the city, and anything resembling the mouth-breather bait of Stockland or Castletown just won’t cut it.

    4) I would start talking with JCU again. The ignorance of this institution, on behalf of a whole council, is just intellectual thuggery, You can harp on about innovation all you like, but if you don’t have a functioning relationship with your local Uni, your word isn’t worth shit. There are these things called words, use them.

    5) I would build a free tram from the University, or maybe even Willows, to the CBD, via Ross River road and Charters Towers Road. This would cost about as much as any of the many ‘reports’ TCC has commissioned over the last few years. Establish a corridor of commerce, and a healthy blood supply through the city.

    6) I would find some balls and take on Cairns for their claim of being the Cultural Capital of North Queensland. TCC has been letting this slip for a decade, the one and only advantage the city has ever had over our Northern neighbors. Invest in what we’re good at; tourism is fine, but we’ll never be able to compete on the same level, it is all about proximity to the reef and the rainforest. Take a different tack, and go hard.

    7) I would scrap this kerbside pickup nonsense. There is crap laying around the street, months ahead of the pickup (of which date nobody has bothered to check). Who gives a crap, really? Bogans with rusting cars in their backyards. Nobody else is fussed, seriously.

    8) I would ditch the parking meters. Seriously, it’s peanuts. The pros will vastly outweigh the cons.

    9) I would bring back the Palmer Street Jazz Festival. That shit was boss.

    10) I would actually read Warwick Powell’s many papers discussing Townsville’s woes. I am not saying I would agree with every shred of it- I am just saying that I would take the damn time to read these things, Knowledge is power. Fuck, read the Magpie, even if you disagree with it, it’s a very accurate barometer for a pretty broad swathe of our northern brethren.

    11) I would stop firing the talent, and give them the freedom to work with confidence that they will not be micro-managed within an inch of their life, or punished for having a thought fart of their own.

    12) I would put the nitwits at TEL (if I didn’t cut their funding) and TEQ (sadly I can’t cut theirs) to work rebranding the coast from, say, Rollingstone down to Elliot Springs, as the Magnetic Coast, or somesuch, in an effort to make TOWNSVILLE, the dumbest name for a city ever, less distracting. I mean, FFS. We can still call it that, but lets be real, it is dumb, and is named after a fucking slave trading scumbag. Fuck Robert Towns, seriously, what a piece of shit. Can we please name our city after somebody that wasn’t a fucking slave trader? Please?

    • Sandgroper says:

      Some good ideas there. I proposed an umbrella designation of “The Magnetic Coast” or an alternative, “The Magnetic North,” about 25 years ago. It was given some consideration, but the inane competition between the so-called ‘Twin Cities’ cruelled it because they each jealously promoted their own identities.

      • Ezra Pound Axe King says:

        The Magnetic Coast makes a whole of sense, and promotes the whole region rather than just a small part of it. And the beauty is that nobody has to argue about changing the name of Townsville, Paluma, etc etc etc. It’s bigger than that (mind you, I personally thing we should ditch it wholesale, I can see the benefits of rebranding the broader community).

        I believe the town, before Robert Towns’ involvement, grew under the designation ‘Castletown’ for quite some time, as the town (or camp, earlier on) at the base of the previously-named Castle Hill.

        Re-reading my post, I apologise for all of the profanity, It appears that I got worked into quite the lather! I am sure we can all understand the frustrations of being a voter in Townsville.

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