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The Magpie

Sunday, July 7th, 2019   |   131 comments

Ironywoman!!! In Three Short Years, Jenny Hill Has Gone From ‘No Water Crisis’ To ‘ We’ll All Be Rooned If We Don’t Get A Second Pipeline’ .

The Magpie presents his occasional award, The Ironywoman Chalice , to Mayor Mullet, for being forced to do a complete 180 degrees on the water security issue. And with her magoo-like vision, she’s ballsed that up too.

And the next big stoush will whether the ‘user pays’ system should become mandatory.

it’s so blatant – the mayor keeps raiding the city council’s piggy bank to fund her re-election campaign.

Also, front page follies at The Astonisher widen the disconnect with the community …

… and overseas, another telling example of the powers of the cartoonists pen … so powerful it gets the artist fired. Plus the regular Trumpsylvania gallery.

NB Bentley is on a computer-induced absence this week – The ‘Pie will spare you his commentary on modern technology, which involved some imaginative and frankly, impossible anatomical imagery.

But first …

Devious Or Dopey: Mayor Mullet’s Muddied Waters

Poor old muddled Mullet … it’s cliché city for our mayor, who this week, in short order was caught with her pants down (now, now, stoppit!), was backed into a corner (I said stoppit!) and found herself between a rock and a hard place (look, go and stand in the corner)

Our visionary Battler’s Boudica was apparently blindsided by a federal Government report that found there was no pressing economic or financial argument to build the second Burdekin pipeline simultaneously with the first one, which itself seems to be mysteriously languishing on its timetable. The report suggests it would be better to wait 15 years, be cause among other things, releasing the promised $200million for the project now would increase water charges to Townsville ratepayers by 8%.

It was a nice little dose of political poison for our gal – in bald terms, the mayor now has the choice of endorsing a seriously unpopular rates rise (well, water charges, but in this instance, much of a muchness), or accepting that she can’t keep her election promise to secure Pipleline 2, which the Feds may choose to build in 15 or so years. Canberra will no doubt use the ‘stages’ method, much like the one use for the staged stadium/entertainment/convention center scheme .,.. and we all known how that’s coming along, don’t we? And we need look no further than the Ring Road, built in two stages several years apart, at more than twice the cost had both stages been built at the same time.

But crikey, stiffing the ratepayers 8 – bloody – per cent!?! Geez, you can bet your bottom dollar the Townsville Bulletin, which is All For Us, would go ballistic, screaming from front page to iditorial with demands for the mayor to explain herself, and what dastardly bastards those report writers were. Err, well, if you took that bet, kiss your bottom dollar goodbye, you lost. Check the teensy box and wimpy language bottom left.

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Gobsmacked doesn’t even cut it, and The Magpie felt it his civic duty to inform the Bulletin’s blow-in iditor of some local knowledge, when he wrote in comments on Thursday:

Magpie 2

Anyone involved in the Townsville community knows that anything to do with Palm Island politics is of marginal interest at best, and no matter what the issue, putting the words Palm Island prominently on the front page of the paper will guarantee indifferent sales of what are already be – indifferent sales. Only blow-in iditor Jenna Cairney could be ignorant of the fact that Palm is a world unto itself of practically no general interest anywhere else unless they riot, and has a council headed by a confessed illegal bootlegger. And no, that’s not racist, the same rule would apply to equivalent stories out of say, Hughenden or Winton … it’s a long standing issue of relevance.

But putting a prominent screaming headline telling punters the Townsville mayor has been backing a scheme which she has neglected to tell us will cost ratepayers significant extra water charges, and the edition is likely to sell out. But no …

 Pipeline cost

… not only does comprehensive Tony Raggatt story get plopped onto page 3 after a small front page pointer, the headline completely misses the crucial news point (to which headlines have been traditionally written) … that there is no financial or economic case to be made for the second pipeline. And water charges will rise by 8% if the money is borrowed and P2 is built now.

To use that low rent American saying, go figure.

User Pays: What’s The Problem?

The whole water issue reintroduced the question of the user pays system. It seems a simple and fair premise, but it also seems to have fooled even usually sharp thinkers like Shari Tagliabue – really gal, you put your delightfully ageing knees in danger of damage from such knee jerks as your headline in today’s Astonisher..

IUser PaysMG_2861

It was a headline to which commenter Memory Man took great exception. He writes:

Reality is a bitch, sometimes. This headline suggests that- somehow – if Stage 2 proceeds – despite an ever-so-predictable business case that says “no” – the public is let off the hook; and that user pays is outrageous. Folks, the public will always pay because it’s publicly funded, owned and operated infrastructure. Don’t be fooled into thinking there’s a free lunch. The only possibility of a discount is when other taxpayers from elsewhere subsidise the short fall. 

Ratepayers could actually win big time with user payers because those who use the most pay the most and those who conserve pay the least. Whatever the payments system there are always “winners and losers”. The real question is, should those who consume huge amounts of water be subsidised by those who don’t?

Oh, dear, The ‘Pie can almost hear the stampede to the keyboard, and is ready to weather your indignant instruction on this matter.

The Fine Line Between ‘Cunning’ And ‘Corruption’.

It’s pretty blatant really, but no one is stopping her. Jenny Hill openly uses council money to bolster her re-election campaign. This was page 8 of today’s Astonisher ($4k, thanks, if she got mates rates).

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 9.26.58 am

At a glance, it looks innocuous enough, just a council bullet-pointing for its ratepayers what they’ve done in our name in the annual budget.

But hold it right there – looks can be deceptive. Check out those items closely, and then ask yourself why your own money has been used to be told undetailed blather about ‘rebuilding a more resilient community’ or the airy fairy, highly questionable claim – totally irrelevant in a budget summary – of a third consecutive year of a balanced budget delivered and reducing debt. Then we also have the old lying chestnut – a favourite con of council’s everywhere – of a 10% payment discount on rates if paid by the due date. It is a con because the rates early payers fork out are the actual rates the council expects and budgets for … the late payers are in fact paying a 10% penalty over and above normal rates.

All the solid information in this expensive full page ad has been made available previously in news stories across all media, and on the council website. And most of the fluff, too.

The Magpie knows he said it last week, but it’s worth repeating: voting for Jenny Hill next March is like saying ’These prawns taste funny’ … but you keep eating them.

The Sydney Tele Comes To Townsville

A few people have mentioned this Astonisher headline of a couple of week’s ago about a grub warder bonking the missus of a prisoner at the prison farm

Palm fronter

Opinion has been mixed – seems all agree it is, to varying tastes, a funny if racy play on words, but some question whether it was appropriate. Given the general tenor of the paper nowadays, The Magpie reckons the Bulletin has moved into new territory and deserves full points for being intentionally amusing for a change.

Perhaps the sub who thought up this one had heard the apocryphal old journos’ folkloric headline about a mental inmate who raped a woman in the prison laundry before escaping through a window. Headline was Nut Screws Washer And Bolts. And no, The ‘Pie cannot count the number of politically incorrect outrages that joke raises, but loves it all the more for it.

But of course, we best love the Astonisher for its unintended humour, like …

 Barking Mad

This must be a world first … proof that dogs can be trained to do anything, including using phones and talking. Proof that is, if you believe the Astonisher.

Dogs on phopnes?

“But Officer …”

Who doesn’t offer lame excuses when pulled over by traffic police for some naughtiness or other? From the drunk’s ‘Good evening, trouble, what’s the officer?’ to The Magpie’s favourite, when a cop told a speeding kid ‘I’ve been waiting all day for you’, the kid replied ‘Well, I got here as fast as I could, officer’.

But on Magnetic Island, where driving can be akin to an obstacle course at the moment …

Screen Shot 2019-06-28 at 7.29.02 am

… some excuses are likely to have a ring a of truth.

potholesScreen Shot 2019-03-04 at 8.33.22 am

Arseing About In Federal Politics

unnamed-5

Seems reasonable.

Seems Unreasonable

Cartoonists are suddenly under attack from within … publishers are getting skittish about the power of their artists pens. Recently, the NY Times International Edition published a cartoon critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, depicting him as a guide dog leading a blind Donald Trump.

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In the way of cartoons, the Netanyahu dog had a blue Star of David (presumably meant to signify the Israeli flag) dangling from his collar, while Trump wore a yarmulke.

There was an instant outcry from the Jewish community, which not only forms a sizeable chunk of the papers readership, but an even more influential chunk of its advertisers. The Times immediately buckled, and declared it no longer publish political cartoons in its international edition – it has long not used cartoons in the NY edition. So it also terminated contracts with its two in-house cartoonists. It’s a tricky business at the best of times, (as Larry Pickering was forever finding out).

Last week, The ‘Pie pointed out that cartoons don’t always have to be funny to pack a powerful punch, and gave an example. That point is reinforced with the news during the week that when Canadian cartoonist Michael DeAdder’s cartoon of Trump went viral, his contract with Brunswick Publishing was terminated two days later.

Cartoonist Michael DeAdder fired

The company says it had nothing to do with the cartoon (below) but because they were re-employing a previous cartoonist and negotiations had been going on for weeks prior to DeAdders cartoon. Quite the coincidence.

Of course, that ensured that the image was even more widely circulated.

And There’s Plenty More Where That Came From

Trump is getting little respite from angry pens – his visit with Kim Ill Haircut hasn’t helped – although some attention is now on the Democrats’ dithering and fighting over who will take him on in next year’s election. This week’s gallery.

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And One Last Thing … If Beyonce Was White … And Was A Root Vegetable.

A rapping carrot & that cool Swede is a turnip for the books...

Would she go out with a rapping carrot?

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Sorry, but it is late.

……

That’s yer lot for now, hit the comment trail to have your say. And you can also hit the donate button below, if you think you can help maintain the Magpie’s Nest blog, it will always be appreciated.

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.

131 Comments

  1. Linda Ashton says:

    Does including $139.9 million in the local government budget which is actually state money for the first pipeline payment, seem like double dipping?

  2. Mike Douglas says:

    The 2nd stage pipeline kerfuffle shouldnt be a surprise, Jacobs report states that it isnt required and will increase water costs to ratepayers by 8% but the Mullet wants to overrule the report and proceed . Add that to the Adani airport $ commitment only telling her Councillors and Business half the story (CCC enquiry update). Then there is using different pipes than those suggested by her committee the list goes on . Ask any business person around Townsville who dares to provide feedback to T.C.C. , “if it isnt Jennys idea it isnt any good ” . What Townsville should be calling for is the release of the report on how the Dam was managed during the floods which has been given to the Palaszczuk Government . Regarding the social media changes and the legal onus on the owner of the site being responsible the Astonisher was very quick to delete online comments by individuals about the Palm Island fraud situation . Hopefully the law will make a certain other facebook site that proposes to represent Townsville ratepayers and proposes to be an association stops “naming and shaming ” individuals at their will based on hearsay and rumours .

    • The Magpie says:

      Regarding the release of the flood management report … isn’t one entitled to think that Jenny Hill would be the one of the loudest and most insistent voices calling for its immediate release. She has maintained a relevant lofty silence on the issue but indicates that the deliberate flooding wasn’t her doing but if she played an acquiescent role, it was because it couldn’t be avoided – it the best decision for ‘the greater good’, as she put it at the time. So she should confident that the report exonerates her, and should demand its immediate relief – for God’s sake, Anna, the woman’s got an election to win. Or to the two besties know that it won’t end well for our mayor … maybe the Mullet has got her own non-exonerating Mueller report to face.

      But then, Mueller wasn’t in anybody’s pocket. Political expediency will be the death of this state … and Townsville, too.

  3. Just Sayin' says:

    Linda,

    I would like to congratulate you………………………..on beating Mike Douglas to the first comment!!

  4. Alacan says:

    Id reckon the math against information garnered to compare comparative salary, wages, management labour hire costs and consultants prior to the impalers instigation of workforce reform (read rout) and what pours out the door today should be simple enough.

    However the garnering of such information would even through a freedom of information request probably prove less so. Imagine the spin to obfuscate.

    On the same theme of potential labour … even today it appears that past very senior executives are lent upon ( read flown in ) years after departure to support events like the v8’s.. unless of course they do it for practice.

    Other examples of inefficient and ineffective labour deployment and the cost of same are visible through outward facing activities .One only has to follow the extreme number of addendums issued to request for tenders as a pointer to possible waste and inefficiency in inherent staff costs .. you know all that which was to be successfully sorted by Mullett and Impaler. The tender for project management of recovery works is a classic example.

    Hell there is so much investigative opportunity that a committed rag could dig deep or even scratch the surface on.. but one can only conclude , from obvious omissions, that is not in the interests of the Astonisher to pursue. Labour costs within Council might be an electrifying one for the rate payers association to go after..but again ..

  5. Non Aligned Worker says:

    I would think that the GRP pipe having a significantly shorter design life than the originally proposed steel pipes would be a major factor in the business case.
    When ultimately the long term water volume is required, the GRP pipe is at the end of its design life.
    Goes to prove that the cheapest price isn’t necessarily the best option.
    Jacobs is a very professional outfit and emotions and promises will not be in their calculations. Just facts.

    • Linda Ashton says:

      We have a make or break mtg with heavies this week. The JACOBS Business Case team, George Christensen, Phillip Thompson, Senator Susan MacDonald, council, Brad Webb, chamber of commerce and TEL. We haven’t seen the full 1100 page business case yet. From the executive summary alone that they gave us in a mtg last Thursday, we’ve found some issues to challenge and to be clarified This mtg with our latest evidence is make or break now for the second stage pipeline as it’s clear they’ve dismissed the recommendations in Brad’s final Taskforce report. I agree they are a very professional team but we still do not know the scope of the study. That needs to be known and may have determined the findings before a calculator was switched on. We haven’t rolled over yet.

  6. Guy says:

    Whoa

    Let’s back things up a little and consult the sacred chronicles of the magical land of Townsville.

    Back in 2008 the amalgamation of thuringowa and Townsville happened and Tyrell took over, that council then went on a wild and unbridled spending spree and the rates soared. They were easily adding 100 million or more to council debt every year. When I used to bother looking at council finances I’d notice wild Yo Yo ing of debt predictions. just before the following election substantial amounts of predicted debt disappeared and more conservative – dare I say it conservative spending figures appeared. As I remember it under another 5 years of Tyrell rates using my own calcs would have seen rates hitting an extra 1000 on my house.

    The damage was done to council finances back in 2008 I’m afraid and has dealt a death blow to every budget since. As for team hill they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Initially they no doubt reasoned that a pipeline wasn’t necessary and would create a budget blow out – then given the traction of another water group they back tracked and tried to give the community what they seemingly wanted.

    My own solution involves no pipelines that will be rarely used – the most cost effective, short term and long term , fastest way of building cost effective water security is WATER RECYCLING.

    • Just Sayin' says:

      Guy,

      Your comments about Tyrells local government is just bullshit. Most of the “wild and unbridled spending spree” was directly due to the actual cost of amalgamation. I know I was there.

      In respect to water – recycling is a part option but demand management of water use through a user pays system is the key measure that needs to be instituted. I remember when Tyrell tried to implement it, Jenny Hill led the screaming masses at Walker St to oppose it. Obviously, a scare campaign followed by a loud public demonstration played into Hill’s political agenda. Great to see that it has come back to bite her on the ample arse.

      • The Magpie says:

        Can someone out there give The ‘Pie a reasoned, non-rant argument why user pays is not the way to go, given the undeniable truism that there are those, possibly now a majority, that pay for water they do not use. Simple questions do sometimes require complex answers, but complex does not equate to buzz word bullshit.

        • Just Sayin' says:

          Pie,

          The simple answer to your question is that it MIGHT cost you more. Depends on how much water you use. What a two part tariff DOES do is encourage people to not use as much water. A bit like the way we think about electricity use.

          If we use less water then we don’t need as many pipelines (thats an 8% saving). The TCC website has teh details to let people decide whether they are better off under the standard plan or the two part tariff Water Watchers Plan.

          As an example I switched to the Water Watchers Plan some years back and I reckon Ive saved at least $1000 over that time. I would need to do some more calculations to better quantify that.

          Ive reproduced the text from Councils website below. People can decide themselves whether they would be better off. Water usage is laid out on the rates notice so it isn’t too hard to do.

          Standard Plan (fixed allocation)
          You will be allocated 772kL of water for $784 per year. This is split in two equal parts and charged over two rates notices each financial year. If you use more than the allocated 772kL, you will be charged $3 per kilolitre as an excess water charge.

          Water Watchers Plan (two-part tariff)

          You will be charged a service connection fee of $358 per year. This is split into two equal parts and over two rates notices. This is $179 for six months.
          Your actual water use on the Water Watchers Plan is billed at a lower rate – $1.43 for every kilolitre of water you use.

          Which plan should I be on?

          If your water use is low (under 297 kilolitres), you will benefit from being on the Water Watchers Plan. Are you a water watcher or waster? Regularly checking your water meter will help you work out how much water your household uses.
          Check Your Water Meter Day is held on the 14th day of every month. Keep an eye on your water use by using our simple water monitoring chart and tips for saving water at home.

          https://www.townsville.qld.gov.au/water-waste-and-environment/water-supply-and-dams/water-opt-in#accordion__target-0

          • The Magpie says:

            Ok, thanks, that is solid info – it is already out there for anyone who has been interested enough to look for it … but there is one BIG problem with your reply, Chatterbox … it doesn’t address the underlying issue here. Times change, populations change, the weather – for whatever reasons – changes … so the next logical step in a well regulated society is that rules are change to adapt to altered circumstances that can’t be legislated away. So could you ponder this, Just Sayin’, and give us your thoughts in another reasoned non-rant (really, it is such a brief respite around this neck of the woods): the question is WHY ARE PEOPLE GIVEN THE CHOICE? It is no use arguing that that is the way it has always been, and people don’t want to change. Let’s face it, if that argument held, everybody would be paying the rates existing when they bought their property, and new laws governing such property, animal fencing requirements, footpath responsibilities and so forth would not have been updated in the community interest.

            And we’re talking responsible governance here … not the welter of politically expedient, self-serving decisions that has helped make Townsville the lesser community it is today. It would take political courage and a ‘clear vision’ for the exercise of real leadership (and good luck with that at the moment).

            There would surely be the added benefit of a massive reduction in council red tape and double filings, billings etc for the different schemes. Sometimes, certain sections of the community have to dragged kicking and screaming like little kids in a supermarket to the realisation that choice isn’t always an option as we grow.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Mark Harvey presented a paper a few years ago as to why Townsville charges for the water the way it does, essentially the Ross River dam is a poor storage and you might as well sell it and make some money before it evaporates or leaks out anyway, but this doesn’t allow for the discrepancies in post treatment charges where the current Townsville policy is a poor one. The issue for Townsville is the access fee for user pays is way to high, one kl costs the consumer $359.43 or a consumer can buy 776kl for $784, you can see the flaw in the current pricing system. Apart from the access fee pricing issue, I have always supported a user pays system as a way to drive efficiency in the system and respect for the value of the product. A user pays system also provides value in any water saving initiatives the council try to implement, which currently fall on deaf ears when a person has an allocation, and does not bare the cost of water wastage and one of the key reasons why any data from domestic meters is worthless without a user pays system.

        • Linda Ashton says:

          Not I said Wftag as long as the user pays system is to benefit those who use the water not only those who sell it.

          • The Magpie says:

            Sorry, something lost in translation up front there Linda, but yes to the rest of it.

    • Kenny Kennett says:

      Ah, there you are Guy. The old Guy dumping on Tyrell as usual. Now given you supposedly had a house in Thuringowa you would know that the rates were lower than Townsville and the discount was much higher. I don’t believe your figures, I don’t trust your solution, and I don’t believe you owned a house. Change your pharmacist, I think he gave you the wrong meds.

    • Linda Ashton says:

      No argument there but $200 million is on the table right now for the second stage of the pipeline. Without it there is no third stage in future to connect directly to the BFD and full gravity fed pipeline addition. In 15 years $200 million wouldn’t pay for the next feasibility study.

  7. Fstop says:

    Great read. Thanks

    • The Magpie says:

      Pleasure.

      • Linda Ashton says:

        The bit list in translation was my direct response to your request ….
        The Magpie July 7, 2019 at 11:16 am
        Can someone out there give The ‘Pie a reasoned, non-rant argument why user pays is not the way to go, given the undeniable truism that there are those, possibly now a majority, that pay for water they do not use. Simple questions do sometimes require complex answers, but complex does not equate to buzz word bullshit.

  8. Insider says:

    I love the way that people like Guy reinvent history to support their political agendas. When the two Councils were amalgamated, the new Council had to take on the huge existing debt from NQ Water, and really hasn’t recovered since. Nothing to do with Les or additional “spending sprees”.
    Yes, Pie, water charges should be in two parts; a base fixed cost for the infrastructure, plus a variable cost based on actual usage by each ratepayer. That’s the most equitable approach.

    • The Magpie says:

      How is that the most equitable approach? And even if it is, can we actually afford it in real and changing terms?

      And a straight forward question: cannot a charging system under a single user pays scheme be calibrated so that if you did use the current allocation amount that you would be paying the same anyway?

      And BTW, while we’re with this subject, The ‘Pie has noted that tomorrow’s Four Corners looks at the whole issue of water as a saleable commodity (or at least that what the blurb sounded like). Might be instructive.

      • Just Sayin' says:

        Hey Pie,

        You asked me why we don’t have one water charging system. The answer is politics. There is an interesting article in the Bulletin dated 27 Oct 2010 “Tyrell’s rates promise”

        Old mate, Paul Jacob (Townsville City Council Watch Group spokesman) is the illuminating light that makes it clear for the great unwashed.

        In essence it is the first shot in the battle of the two part tariff war that Hill eventually won with the help of the Bulletin. Tyrell backed off, Hill became Mayor and Jacob got the Water and Waste Chairperson’s job.

        Hill wont go back on her ill considered promises to not implement a two part tariff and Jacob (for one) will not go near it as exposes him as a fool.

        We will continue with the current “choice” system until Council changes.
        Small water users will continue to subsidise big users and standard plan users will continue to pay full wallop regardless of how much of their allocation they use.

        Council hates a drought, not actually because it doesn’t rain, but because all those people on the standard plan use heaps more water. When they use more water, Council has to buy more from Sunwater. When this happens Council bears the cost because it doesn’t recover anymore revenue from the standard plan fees.

        • Cappuccino in hand says:

          Matey, “the Council” is us ratepayers. You (if you own property), me, my mates, plenty on this blog. We are the council. If we choose to sit back and do fuck all in the next 250 or so days we get what we deserve, another 4 years of appalling local governance. How can we make individual decision about water plans without quality information? Where is the smart water meter on my place(s)? Proven technology we need now but this council spent millions on “dark fibre” and under utilised public wifi rather than technology that could save millions of dollars.

      • Linda Ashton says:

        Gina is investing in water now. Liquid gold.

    • Alahazbin says:

      Excuse me Insider!
      “nothing to do with Les or additional spending sprees”
      Thuringowa Council maintenance on their sewage and water reticulation was abysmal. Bow hunters road sewage treatment plant was condemned and a proposed upgrade by TCC Mt St John sewage treatment plant had to be considerably changed blowing the cost out by millions.

  9. guy says:

    whatever happens from this point onwards – i’ll be fine

    to be honest i don’t see the present council doing anything stupid as to make people’s bills explode, the form so far has been small increases in rates every year.

    my own feelings about the matter of water in townsville is that the other side were planning a coup to overthrow the status quo and privatise the water system – start date 2008. the current crisis need never have happened if the council of 2008 hadn’t driven the debt up to 419 million dollars. – it left every successive council in serious trouble. the game plan was to drive townsvilles debt levels to a point where the council would have to sell the water system.

    i think the problem with over taxing basics such as water is that it falls victim to the natural law of unforeseen consequences. dark forces have been pushing the “user pays” system for years.

    • The Magpie says:

      ‘Dark forces’? The term user pays is a misleading misnomer surely … everybody pays for water (as they should) what we are talking about here is how we pay … and we are also talking about fairness. And fully privatising water, if it were possible with riots, would be the worst politically driven decision of greed and incompetence ever since pubs were allowed to have poker machines (which The ‘Pie has from the outset regarded as the most outrageous attack on society’s general well being. At least restricting pokies to clubs, the members got something back, like support for sporting, cultural and charitable causes.)

    • Kenny Kennett says:

      Dark Forces? Council of 2008 being totally to blame? You’ll be fine?? Have a glass of water,Guy, and put some very very strong pills in it.

  10. Alan Sheret says:

    Re :- Magnetic Island Roads
    What do you mean roads are no good on Magnetic Island ? Jenny Hill with her FIFO maintenance manager have been spelling a Gazillion on the roads !!

    In June 2018 TCC awarded a Magnetic Island road maintenance contract to a firm that used machinery with NSW rego and another one with none at all.

    TCC acknowledged these issues in a response to a complaint. Then in the Townsville Bulletin article 4/5/19 TCC awarded the same firm another swag of work over the Island with the same NSW rego and various safety concerns raised.

    Maybe if local companies were not excluded, using various means by this council, they and rate payers might get better bang for their buck.

    What a novel idea, a local council employing locally owned and operated businesses what a dream !!

  11. Kenny Kennett says:

    I think the advantage of ‘user pays’ is actually that. It allows those who use the water to pay for it. When somebody leases a property they have to organise to connect the water themselves and pay the quarterly bill based on their usage. It doesn’t get charged on the rates bill like it does now. By rights that should reduce the rent price slightly but in reality it’s no different from electricity or gas bills. The smart meter is installed by the water company and like most cities, there is a connection charge included in the price. If that is introduced watch the water usage decrease.

  12. Mark Harvey says:

    Cantankerous has a slightly worse memory than me! What I presented was that our high outdoor use came about from the 2001 “Greening Townsville” resolution – whereby Council wanted enough water available at reasonable cost to make the place green. Ross Dam does have high evaporation loss when full, and that is why I changed the water restrictions to commence at 40% as there was no point restricting it when higher – I was not talking about water pricing!

    In regard to the two part pricing discussion (as pointed out, the user already pays), it is amazing how quickly the claim of higher prices for everyone is raised.
    If the standard plan was abolished, a new two part tariff (TPT) would be required. The current water watcher plan was structured specifically to reward low consumption users as an alternative to the standard plan.

    The details of water pricing can be long and involved, but basically the amount of money that needs to be raised from water remains the same no matter which tariff is in place. That value is, in part, determined by how much water is expected to be produced. If everyone actually used their entire allocation every year, then production costs would be higher and therefore the price of the allocation would be higher than it currently is.

    Ignoring CPI, someone using the average volume under a standard plan (used to be around 450-500KL, not sure what it is post drought) should expect to pay roughly the same under a TPT. The price rise scaremongering would typically come from those who do use the entire allocation and want to continue to be subsidised by those who do not.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Thanks for the clarification Mark, yes the memory ain’t improving, and my attention span is about the shortest of any human being on the planet. I don’t remember any of the greening reference and frankly my quirky mind always just defaults to the revenue and numbers, evaporation rates etc and that’s what stood out.

      To clarify the second part of my earlier comment in regards to pricing is strictly my opinion and not related to your presentation or anything attributed to you, so apologies if anyone reads it that way.

    • Linda Ashton says:

      Mark have you read the JACOBS Business Case Executive Summary yet? They recommend among other things, permanent level 2 restrictions. Problem is that the tcc level 2 tiger has changed its stripes 3 times in 5 years. They’ve also gone for the Haughton channel option to draw up to 364ML per day rather than the second pipeline from Clare. That goes against the Taskforce final report and WFTAG’s before theirs, recommending a concurrent build with stage 1. Do you have thoughts about this?

      • The Magpie says:

        Linda, is it wise for you to publish your mobile number here? The ‘Pie has subbed out your phone number for Mark, as a general policy of avoiding unpleasantness among our merry little band. I could name half a dozen callers you wouldn’t want. But if you’re OK with it, the number will be reinstated.

      • Mark Harvey says:

        To address Linda’s point on water restrictions in the Jacobs report – I do not believe that they were advocating permanent level 2, but that is what we appeared to be on when they started their investigation. I think of that as the political restriction – the only purpose of it seemed to be to keep your mind on the election winning pipeline. We are now on the conservation measures which sound compulsory even though only a restriction meeting the criteria under the Act can be compulsory.
        Is it any wonder Jacobs was confused?
        They have had to make some assumptions about future restrictions to do their modelling but there is a note on page 2 where they acknowledge that It is up to TCC to decide future restrictions.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, the TCC won’t be deciding that or anything else this Thursday. This is the ultimate rain check!!!
          Even with the current debate about Stage 1 versus Stage 2, and water pricing, and ‘allocation’ v ‘user pays’……they still have nothing to discuss?

    • Feritt says:

      Average usage across 80000 connections was 548 KL in the 14/15 reporting period

  13. Guy says:

    If they are installing “smart meters” they are intending to charge not only by use but by time of use.

    Who ultimately bears the cost of installation of a spanking brand new meter??

    Lots of poor people ultimately have to chip in to pay for rich people to have the good life.

    Townsville returns back to Brownsville as people cut back on watering their own property.

    Ostensibly a “user pays” system is about “fairness” but in reality is about charging and getting more money for water by any other means. What happens when poor people cut right back on water use ? Then it means the revenue stream of the water system loses money – but that’s fine, the charges for water will simply be increased so the same or more money is made.

    A user pays system is installed at the users cost and then the water system is privatised and water costs soar to make a company more money.

    Taxes and charges are never introduced to make the system less money – think about it.

    A user pays system in simple terms is the work of devil.

    • The Magpie says:

      Should we worry about you, Guy? You OK?

    • Cockie says:

      A lot of water meters around town have already been changed, I opted for a trial of a smart meter which consists of the hardware in a small plastic enclosure screwed to the exterior of the meter. The smart meter shows how much water used and when and if there are any leaks in the household plumbing. Apparently Mackay have had them for ten years and the meter readings are recorded on a transponder carried on the garbage trucks, i.e. no meter reader walking the streets. Good or bad who knows.

      • The Magpie says:

        All reports from Mackay say punters are happy with the arrangement, but then, maybe the dissatisfied don’t speak up down there.

    • Water watcher not p jacob says:

      Great input guy! Now go and ask jenny hill today why she’s is going to implement thisuser pays system in her next term if re elected? If not before! She’s always wanted this to happen.

      • The Magpie says:

        Sorry that’s a bit confusing, sarcasm doesn’t always come across in the written word. Or have we misjudged you, and you actually are congratulating Guy? But overall, you’re against user pays or what?

  14. Mike Douglas says:

    Innocent until proven guilty but surely the spotlight should be focused on the LGAQ (local Government association Queensland) who has two of their board Jenny Hill and Alf Lacey facing enquiries, is it 10 Queensland Councils that have either been sacked or failed CCC investigations . Surely there may need to be changes at LGAQ to improve their credibility as Ceo Greg Hallam said in 3rd May 2018 ” enquiries into Ipswich Council were a witch hunt and not required ” . Even Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe asks for more details after LGAQ contract petition . Is it $350k T.C.C. pays the LGAQ a year then the LGAQ pays the Mullet fees and travel expenses.

  15. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Can I just add some clarity for those who don’t know, and those who think they know, there is no such thing as a smart meter, they don’t exist, it was a name taken from the power industry many years ago. Every water meter in Townsville and the whole country for that matter can produce limited data in regards to usage, it will deliver data on usage as a volume and time of that usage but that is it, they don’t do anything else, so Guy no need to panic, the existing water meter out the front of your house is all ready to go as soon as someone decides they want the information from it.

    The power industry has driven this agenda for many years now, about 30 that I can remember as the power industry needed real time data to address demand as the renewable sector grew. Grid demand has to be responsive in a fraction of a second or the network trips and the lights go out. The power industry sees the domestic metering as a source of delivery control, but long term the goal is to also control supply by way of pricing at certain times of the day, example would be power between 16.00-20.00 hours could be twice the rate as between 10.00-16.00 when all that solar is flooding into the system, so the power industry sees these meters as a necessity as well as a way to make $$, the reason we all do everything.

    The water industry does not need real time data on a domestic supply for demand management like the power industry does, water isn’t that critical, they want to make money out of it, its that simple. So everyone should not be so dismissive of Guy here and his scepticism on why all this is happening.

    It is not the work of the devil Guy but your concern is warranted and it could get very interesting over the years as all this plays out. Unless there has been a change in regulations that I am not aware of any of us at anytime can pull out of the power market and cancel our power supply, go off grid, get solar, wind, batteries etc but we can’t do that with water. Under local govt provisions we have to pay for the water service even if we never use a drop of water from that supply,. The Mullet could decide to put our water connection fee up to whatever she likes, and there is not a thing we can do about it, we can’t opt out, even if a person had rainwater tanks, a bore or other alternative supply you still have to pay the water charges as part of your rates,. So you can not pay your power bill and they just cut off your electricity, not pay your gas bill they just cut off your gas, but if you don’t pay your water bill they will sell your house from under you, now that you should be worried about Guy.

    • The Magpie says:

      All well and good, Cankers, well argued, informative and a matter that will be debated as times roll on BUT it does not address the question of whether user pays (in the proposed metred manner … God knows, we all pay one way or another) is the fairest and most desirable way to control personal water costs. Guy’s proposals are not realistically going to become reality (if proven to be as good as he says they will be) any time soon. In the meantime, it would be far more relevant to debate the more immediate question of the desirability or otherwise of user pays.

      As a general observation, many comments posted here on various subjects that go off on a tangent remind The ‘Pie of the famous Stephen Leacock line in his story Gertrude the Governess – “Lord Ronald said nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.”

      Keep galloping, folks, (almost) always informative and entertaining.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Fairest? No, due to the high access charges, low volume users in units, townhouses will still subsidise high volume users.
        Most desirable? Yes by a whisker, as it will address wastage and supply issues but those with larger blocks of land will be affected most and many homeowners and renters will simply neglect footpath areas etc so there will be a cost in the overall appeal of the town.

        • The Magpie says:

          Soooo ????

          Cankers, best you go have a chat with Mayor Mullet, she knows all about water – lots of it – and ‘the greater good’.

          But mate, your last point is self-evident tripe.

          • Non Aligned Worker says:

            User pays ignores the cost of infrastructure to deliver the water to the point of use.
            The cost of the water is very small vs the cost of the delivery system. (pipes, valves, pumps etc)
            The person who uses more water should not have to bear an unreasonable cost burden.

          • The Magpie says:

            Quite so, NAW, but one man’s ‘unreasonable’ is another one’s ‘fair’.

  16. The Magpie says:

    Didn’t want to laugh, but …

    • Cappuccino in hand says:

      Unless you’ve seen the ravages of PD up close like I have. Tasteless. As bad as any slur on race or colour. :(

  17. Rowdy says:

    I thought the water allocation block was so that we could keep Townsville green and get rid of the Brownsville name tag. That’s what Pure Projects wants us to do. I take it no-one got close to using their water allocation during the restrictions.

    I have a smart meter installed on my flooded house. It is quite handy as I can see that I am using 0kl per day from my computer at my temporary accommodation.

    Holding my breath for the Ross River Dam report by a Government department about how the Water Supply manual was followed to control the dam gates?

    • The Magpie says:

      No doubt that’s what it will say, anyway. But you’ll hope you’re not hanging by the left one, as they say, waiting for the report. Depending on how it is spun, it will timed just before or just after the election. If they think they can get away with. A Jenny Hill is very selective in her indignation about delays in the public release of reports, damning the delay of the Second Pipeline Business Case, but not a dicky bird about the Fllod report. Wonder why that is, you’d think little Ms Innocence would be screaming for exoneration

  18. Kingswood says:

    Jeez Louise, just went to get the news on the ABC website and its blanket coverage of NAIDOC week, couldnt find a single story on their frontpage otherwise. Same with ABC radio coming back from the west, I turned it off. I’m all for inclusiveness but this is totally over the top.

    Reminds me of what Dad said driving up to Townsville at a certain time in the 1960s. He said every station was giving blanket coverage of the Beatles songs at the height of their screaming fame (1964??), he couldnt get away from it on the radio and it turned him off them for life.

    I’m feeling a bit the same way about a certain ‘celebration’ atm…

    • Ezra Pound Axe King says:

      I’ve got a great solution for you Kingswood, don’t listen to the radio or watch the telly. It’s the only way timescale the white noise, especially during election time and state of origin. Plenty of good alternatives out there.

  19. Guy says:

    I lived in Melbourne briefly a few years when jobs dried up in Townsville. They use smart meters on the houses down their, it costs more to use water of a day than say 12am. People programme their dish washers to run at 12am. The only ones making money from smart meters are the people that make them.

    • The Magpie says:

      What’s wrong with a manufacturer ‘selling’ his product, Guy? And it sounds like people are responding to the basic idea , at least with dishwashers and probably washing machines.

      Mate, what the fuck is up with you? Your contributions on this debate appear have descended into one long sneer instead of reasonable discussion, and seems to amount to ‘if we can’t have my recycled water idea, then everything else is wrong’. Geez mate, c’mon.

      • Hercule Poitot says:

        Putting the wheels in motion to stand for Council (For The 3rd time are you Guy) While i respect free speech your comments are becomming complete SHIT>>

        • Guy says:

          No way in hell

          I’ve been round twice, I can’t waste anymore money, time or effort on running again. My limited and achievable aims have been met. You’ve got to know your limits and goals and know when to walk away

          I ran the first time because the Tyrell council kept taking massive debt and putting up rates. Rates are one of those nebulous and mysterious things that no one cares about unless they are paying for them out of their own pocket. Consider it as a ordinary citizen identifying a serious problem and acting to rectify it. Gaining a seat in council allows you take the reins and bring the horse back to heel. On my door knocking rounds I learnt many things, in fact its amazing what you learn

          The second time I stood again because I didn’t know very much about the candidates and felt nothing had changed. I managed to help some people on my door knocking. Some people were ecstatic to see someone like me banging on their door, I only had one abusive person the entire time. A recurrent theme of my supporters were working class elderly with not much time in this world

          Why does any responsible adult stand for political office ? Because they have identified the existing order is asleep at the wheel and driving everyone over the edge

          Hopefully by next election all of those helpful chaps working in the council that tear out electoral signage will have been sacked. In the first election they were running around tearing out team hills signage, the second election they were still doing it, one of the candidates complained to me that the council had torn out all of their signage the night before. At kelso school they tried removing someones sign on a small foot of grass near the entrance because it was an unapproved sign

          To be honest I don’t see the opposition getting a look in next election but who knows what might happen ?

          • The Magpie says:

            Seriously and sincerely, The ‘Pie is willing to recognise that you didn’t just talk (and talk and talk and talk), Guy, but actually went out there and at least tried. But your Bob Katter style of jitterbugging around with language and issues probably points to the best result in the end.

            A couple points The ‘Pie cannot resist. One wonders at the mind set of anyone who is ‘ecstatic’ to see you on their doorstep … loneliness is a real curse, isn’t it? The ‘Pie will also bet among the many things you learnt while door knocking were anatomically impossible or invitations to sex and travel.

            And you bring dogs to heel, not horses.

  20. The Magpie says:

    FFS, what sort of juvenile pants wetter is responsible for this. The 19 pix range from unprofessional, boring and pretty … but this is the only one of the V-8 ‘crowd’.
    Which begs the question:L why has the paper broken with the yearly tradition of Trump-like crowd estimation, and haven’t seen anything at all about this year’s attendance. Was it tucked away somewhere? From this sole aerial shot, it sure doesn’t very ‘bigly’. And weren’t we promised an announcement of the race’s future during the event? Anybody?

    • Feritt says:

      128000 down a lot from previous years

      • The Magpie says:

        Thanks. Where was that?

      • Mike Douglas says:

        Feritt, the media are quoting the V8,s were down 18,700 in attendance (12.8%) . details sent to your email Pie. Checking into the Hotel last night and a guy advised the reception staff Townsville has lost the V8,s ?.

        • The Magpie says:

          Given the lack of over-the-top gushing and the usual outrageously massaged figures from the Astonisher, that may be the case. The apparent delay in the decision also doesn’t bode well towards retaining the event, but Premier Alphabet will be all but rvetting down (forget nailing) the long awaited political coffins of the three Labor members, her not so BFF Mullet … and probably herself. The Freckle has become a pain on Anna’s arse.

  21. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Crowds were certainly down, I have a feeling they will extend the event but rumours are the timing might be different, probably wont be in school holidays, if that is the case I would anticipate it becoming a two day event like other regular races, Townsville is currently one of the big 5 race events throughout the year that run for 3 days and is shown on commercial TV as well as Foxtel. I don’t think that would be a major issue to go to a 2 day event, Friday is a bastard of a day anyway, nothing really happens, we sometimes cant even give away seats in the box with free food and booze all day, most people still have to work. Would be a logistical nightmare for those going to Town High though, kids might get an extra long weekend.

    • The Magpie says:

      ‘… we sometimes cant even give away seats in the box with free food and booze all day …’?
      The ‘Pie is ever ready to help make up the numbers mate.

  22. Frequent flyer says:

    Seven news last night said it was 130,000.
    I went out to the track on Saturday (no rain) for the first time in 4 years and the difference was startling. Stands that used to be there have disappeared along with a dozen or so corporate boxes. Even the stands that remain had scores of empty seats. Messagebank (the Mullet must have been recovering from a big weekend in the corporate area) was on tv last night saying the V8s just HAD to stay for another 5 years (the contract is usually for 10 years).
    Wonder how much ratepayers and taxpayers money is being thrown at the organisers to offset the plummeting crowd numbers and cover the Mullet’s posteria in the lead up to the election.

    • The Magpie says:

      Just in:
      ABC says the V8s were down 18,700.
      Reasons canvassed were
       
      -lack of accommodation
      -wet weather, locals gave it a swerve
      -tired format

      For the record:
      2019
      128,300 in total.
      FRI 37,021
      SAT 48,234
      SUN 43,045
       
      2018
      147,539 in total.

      • Rusty Nail says:

        V8s can’t be very entertaining if none of those 128,300 people bothered to go more than once.

        • The Magpie says:

          You touch on an interesting point which The ‘Pie canvasses annually. It is not unreasonable to assume that majority of rev heads turn up for all three days …, especially those much touted out-of-towners. Now if ALL spectators turned up on all three days (not suggesting just sayin’) that would be an attendance of around 42000. And that seems about right when it is averaged out.

          The Magpie’s maths ability is akin to your average Bulletin reporter, so anybody? Mike Shearer, perhaps?

          • Rusty Nail says:

            No doubt Mike will be happy to respond, ‘Pie, but until then here are some indicative figures. Assuming that 15,000 went for all three days the total number of people attending would have been 103,300. If it was 20,000 that went each day there would have been a total of 88,300 actual attendees. Now how many of these would have been “out-of-towners” do you think?

          • Jatzcrackers says:

            I didn’t go to the V8’s !

      • Mike Shearer says:

        The following statistics come from reports prepared by JCU. In 2009 the total V8s attendance over three days was 168,000 of which 86,860 were local residents. In 2012 total attendance was 152,000 of which 84,500 were local residents. So it would be reasonable to assume that about 84000 local fans attended the event each year, including this year.

        If attendance in 2019 was 128,300 and 84000 of that was locals, then visitors account for only 44,300 attendance over the three days. So about 14-15,000 persons “visited” Townsville. In 2009 there were reckoned to have been double that number of visitors. And the point was made then that it is the visitors who bring $$s into the economy, not locals. So over the 10 years the economic boost that the V8s were supposedly going to cause has halved. In 2009 it was doubtful that the V8s actually brought in more $$s than went out again. It is now even more doubtful.

        Two problems: first, there was never a clear definition by JCU of a “visitor” and there’s good reason to believe that anyone living north of the airport was regarded as a “visitor”. So it’s possible, even likely, that fewer “real” visitors spent money in Townsville. Second, we’ll never know because nobody is prepared to do a thorough survey – and if such was done it’d certainly be “commercial in confidence”.

  23. Grumpy says:

    Interesting observation in the Bne Q-Club this morning. I was there for the 0630 flight home. An announcement was made for a Rockhampton flight and a gaggle if Hi-Vis shirts got up and wandered out. At least a third of a Dash-8 400 capacity. On my flight, I was sitting beside a clean-cut young bloke. I commented on the number of Hi-Vis shirts on our plane. He said that he, too, was in the mining industry and “ at least half “ of the other passengers were as well – not only the worked-shirted. I raised with him the prospect of having to register his address. His response, replete with expletives, seemed to suggest that it ain’t gunna happen. He also said that Adani won’t cure cancer or put a chicken in every pot. He had actually never heard of Jenny Hill, but was a great fan of the Katter mob.

    • The Magpie says:

      Interesting. But not sure about your question re ‘registering’ his address. He will have to give it or has already. The ‘Pie’s understanding is that all mining industry employers require (probably by law) to know where employees live. One reason is that if someone lives, in say Brisbane, a decision on hiring might involve associated costs.The question actually is whether Adani is allowed to share any or all that information. Doubt they legally can go beyond advising how many workers come from Rocky, Townsville and so on, certainly no names and definitely no addresses. Figures THEY DO NOT HAVE TO, OR ARE ALLOWED, TO PROVE.
      Neat, eh?

  24. Old tradesman says:

    Private Cupcake Stewart just dropped a nice coloured pamphlet into my letter box, detailing all his achievements, I nearly choked on my muesli bar, most of his deliveries for Townsville have mostly Federal money. Is there an early election in the wind? or is it to do with quickly counting black throat finch. Two items of note are that there are going to be an extra 535 police over the next 3 years and a splash pool for Palm Island at the cost of $4.1m, what about the water situation on Palm and the funny bank accounts Private?

  25. The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

    Sorry to come in late on the water debate, but here is my 30 cents worth (I have valued it up 10 cents as I found a degree in civil engineering lurking on my office wall so I’m calling it “expert advice”.

    There is a great lie hiding in the emotional debate about the second stage of the Haughton Pipeline, and it is actually quite simple.

    The current pipeline, and the one now being built to supplement it use pumps to lift water out of the Haughton Channel irrigation system and pump it over a slight ridge to get from the valley of the Haughton River into the valley of the Ross River.

    The proposed Stage 2 pipeline simply extends this pipeline about the same distance again and uses even larger pumps to lift water out of the Burdekin River near Clare (at a lower level than the irrigation system) and push it over another ridge to get to the Haughton Valley and then on to the Ross.

    All it really does is replace the open Haughton Channel which has successfully supplied water to the Burdekin for many years. There is no capacity increase, there is no reliability improvement, and there is cost saving to be provided by investing this $200m.

    The water being pumped comes from the same supply and Ian Hamilton’s hysterical comments about agricultural chemicals are laughable as the levels in the Burdekin are roughly the same and ALL Townsville’s water is thoroughly treated before it enters the reticulation system.

    The only sensible final solution for Townsville’s water supply security (except of course for TCC to hire a bankrupt stripper) is to spend the $2b to run an always-on gravity-fed pipeline from the Burdekin Dam to the Ross – potentially driving a hydro-electric poser station on the way The problems with this solution are solely political: it is very expensive and no government wants to stump up for it (Joh where are you now?); it makes the current pipeline project completely redundant; would not provide the Mullet with ongoing promise points; and would show how inept the sycophantic circle (TEL, WFTAG, Brad Webb, the Wanker Task Force and others) really is.

    $200m is already being spent on a really poor engineering Band-Aid solution to an occasional problem, and the preferred option is to add a second $200m Band-Aid? Please!

    Townsville continues to pump about a third of its daily fresh water supply out into the bay after it is extensively and expensively treated at Cleveland Bay and Mount St John treatment plants which are conveniently sited right beside major industrial areas.

    Beneficial reuse of this water is an easy, cost-effective in fact money-making way to all but double the useful capacity of the water storage we have. But, there does not seem to be any votes in recycled water. $100m spent on recycling industrial process and open space irrigation water would give maximum bang for buck.

    • The Magpie says:

      Christ if that’s 30 cents worth, what do we get for a dollar?

    • No More Dredging says:

      The Jacobs Business Case is now available online:

      Stage 2 Haughton Pipeline Project, detailed business case – City Deals

      • Memory Man says:

        The basic reason why a duplicate pipeline built today or in the future is nonsensical economically is fundamentally about logic. For a given level of (projected) demand, assuming that the first pipeline is sufficient (which it is) then a duplicate adds no value unless either (1) there’s an expectation that the first pipeline will fail, so that the second one is there as a backup, or (2) the level of demand significantly exceeds the capacity provided for in the first pipeline. Whether it’s pipes or roads or any kind of additional capacity, the same logic holds.

        If there’s an expectation that the first pipeline will fail, then it’s a question about the cost of reducing the risk of failure versus the cost of a superfluous duplicate.

        Regardless, what seems certain is that the cost to the community will rise. Promises that it won’t aren’t sustainable. Such promises are “kept” only by covering the additional cost elsewhere. Reality is, once again, a bitch.

        • No More Dredging says:

          Memory Man, the Stage 1 duplication requires a capacity upgrade for the open channel across the back of the Burdekin irrigation scheme in order to provide sufficient water for the enlarged pipes at the Haughton pump station. This $55 million earthworks project will be made redundant if and when the Stage 2 pipeline is built. This $55 million expenditure is not nonsense.

    • Guy says:

      I agree

      An always on supply from the BFD could also be used to irrigate crops between Townsville and the BFD. continuous, cheap water supply to farmers is essential to create stability in the agricultural market.

      I’m not sure I would bother with hydroelectrical generation, simply allowing the water pressure to be used to facilitate flow is most effective to my mind ( to my understanding the natural resistance of the pipe needs to be overcome meters head of resistance based on the flow). Just use the 150m ‘ish drop between BFD and sea level to help push water through. Adding hydro adds complexity, maint costs, start up costs and these costs increase every year after start date.

      Last I heard the current council was intending to SELL recycled water to the zinc refinery.

      Of course, the other benefit of cheap, reliable and plentiful water will mean in a world where water is becoming scarcer and more expensive industry will move to Townsville as a necessity. All the recycled water from the town can be on sold to industry after processing. No treated water is allowed to flow into the ocean.

      The money from selling recycled water to industry helps pays for the upkeep of the water system from the BFD to TVL.

      as the land between BFD and TVL can now be utilised for farming more employment increases and is stable thanks to a large reliable source. The ross river dam is used for flood mitigation and supplementing supply to TVL and industry – basically for the first ten years we’ll have more water than what we know what to do with and industry will come storming into town as they catch on

      A massive investment in a supply straight from BFD and water recycling is the dream team. The council is probably just doing what they think best on the advice given. If you really wanted to hard core you’d build hells gates as well.

      Supposedly they are going to spend 40 billion on subs soon – yet no money for economic sustainability. Oh yes I suppose China can cut the sea lanes but in reality they would just supply of their products to Australia via sanctions – any way I digress.

    • Alahazbin says:

      T(M)CE.
      The Southern Rising Main is currently being done through Annandale at the moment. This scheme will be using recycled effluent water for our parks and I think the golf club will be using it.

    • Mark Harvey says:

      The much touted gravity pipe has a few challenges.
      The full supply level is RL154m but in order for the pipeline to work in drought, it has to work when the Burdekin is also in drought. So if we assume a water level of RL138m and the back of Ross Dam is around RL38m then there is only 100m of driving head. A pipeline via Dalbeg is 150km long – and even longer if it has to join the stage 1 or 2 mains. Depending on assumptions about pipe size and flow rate, it is possible that the head loss in the pipe is greater than the driving head and it therefore would not work.
      The first 50 km of pipe to Dalbeg would pretty much be in the river bed as the river is in a gorge (check out the imagery on google earth). That is not a nice place to put a pipe! The first 100m of the Mt Spec pipeline is in Crystal Ck and that section was destroyed in the Night of Noah.
      There seems to be a widespread belief that once we get a pipe up to the dam then we can take all of the water that we want – but this is false. Every litre of water in that dam is subject to allocations which you have to buy, and then pay for every year. Even when the dam is overflowing, any water you draw is from your allocation. Allocations can be expensive – especially when you want some of your water to be high priority – which will be the only water allowed to be drawn if the Burdekin was below 25%.

  26. The Magpie says:

    Someone in the marketing dept is going to get their yass kicked.

  27. Frequent flyer says:

    The crowd calculations for the V8s are similar to the ones the Cowboys used in the bad old days. Count the heads and multiply by 4, 5, or whatever it takes to get the required result. Big problem with the contract extension is that current ticket sales don’t provide anywhere near enough return to warrant coming back for another 5 or 10 years. So the State Government and TCC are being asked to stump up the additional required cash to make it profitable for the Super Pests to survive in Townsville. But don’t bother asking how much. It will be “Commercial in Confidence” of course.

    • Radiohead says:

      Just like the numbers advertised on 4k1g about the savings and investment the TCC is putting into Townsville in this budget. Very biased and manipulated. How much are we ratepayers paying in advertising to radio for this bullshit election campaign??? Especially when at the end of the ads you can go to council website for free to look, no need to pay to tell people. Have a listen to the ads there very pointed in the direction of harmony and balance.

      On a second note, asked my garbo today, not my regular driver, WHY she’s so late. Since last Monday the department had already done in one week over 60hrs just in overtime because they all have to go to Stuart tip to dump now and because the pick up schedule is still done exactly like the Townsville/thuringowa before amalgamation. What the fuck???? I said so how much have we been paying for 10yrs if that’s what you done in one week and still in pre amalgamation setup. Is this what the ads are saying about finding savings, this department (not drivers obviously) needs investigating. Truck looked like it was from the 1970s too

      • Alahazbin says:

        All trucks are less than 7 years old, apart from the 2nd hand ones they bought for kerb side rubbish scheme.

        • Radiohead says:

          Mate if the truck that was here was less then 7yrs old I’ll walk naked backwards to Perth with a cat up my arse. Where do you get your info from? I’ve read things here over the last couple of weeks and it’s pretty obvious that vehicals havnt been replaced for a long time. Just so you know I do know the model of some trucks and I can tell you that the ACCO/IVECO that was here was a 2010 model just by the grill on the front. Just like I can tell a 1974 HQ monaro from a torana people arnt silly. Have you got a rego number that we can verify your comment with?

          • The Magpie says:

            Ah, the Bob Katter ploy, although the cat that Bob referred to had to legs but didn’t live in NQ.

  28. No More Dredging says:

    ‘Pie, in the Jacobs Business Case for the Haughton Stage 2 pipeline there is a mysterious ‘fact’ . As we know, Stage 1 of the duplication is currently underway and the jockeying now is around whether to go ahead and extend the larger diameter pipeline from the Haughton back to the Burdekin River at Clare to bypass altogether upgrading (i.e. enlarging) the open irrigation channel alongside which the Stage 2 pipeline would be buried. About half way through the Jacobs business case it states:

    “Engineering of Option 1 and Option 2
    Option 1 involves the construction of a 34.5 km pressurised steel pipeline, with a life of approximately 80 years, as well as a low-lift raw water extraction pump station at Clare Weir and a nearby transfer pump station.”

    That 34.5 km is the duplication connection from the Haughton to Toonpan (i.e. Ross River dam). Why are they talking about “steel”? The pipeline is already under construction using Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) pipe. Are Jacobs on the case or is this the start of a new argument?

    • Mark Harvey says:

      NMD has stages and options mixed up. In the business case the stage 1 pipeline (the GRP pipe) is the base case – it is already being built.
      The stage 2 pipeline is 34 km long and is proposed to go from the current pump station to the Clare weir.
      Option 1 is to build stage 2 now and option 2 is to build stage 2 later.
      They have indicated stage 2 would be steel but that is just the default “normal” choice. Any material meeting the spec could be used and there are pluses and minuses for each material.
      The main conclusion was of course that stage 2 offers no further water security than stage 1 in either option.

  29. Ex TCC says:

    That’s the least of the worries in that department. ( waste) Last 2 months 8 trucks towed by ABC towing, 7 drivers away this week, not enough trained to replace, 4 brand new trucks sitting in fleet depot waiting but can’t start because they were delivered incomplete. All arrived mid may. The councillor in charge is Russell cook, no experience in anything even worse than Paul Jacob. The budget has been syphonded by the mayor to pay for the fucked up hard rubbish collection ( not free by the way) and now lost a revenue stream after closing down Jensen tip. I left to drive tow trucks again because nothing gets done in that place and everything that goes wrong never sees the light of day. Incompetent as I said Russell cook is the management keep the problem hidden and he’s got no chance of knowing what is happening. KPI’s tell that if a missed bin gets picked up 24hrs later it’s not a missed bin. It wasn’t done on the correct day so there hidding a problem that the numbers don’t tell. Recycling is a joke with that much contamination going to new facility for processing but nobody gets charged for putting the wrong, sometimes dangerous, items in a recycling bin. TCC spent in the millions in fees paid to REGROUP recycling last year for unnecessary processing. The overtime will get worse because of the travel time and the fact that now every commercial rubbish collection company now has to go to Stuart. I spoke yesterday with the guys I worked with and it’s like a Carpark when waiting to tip. Its dangerous and the public are also tipping there to alongside heavy vehicles. The department is a ticking time bomb and the only ones that will suffer are the workers because they will be the ones that face the public. Just this Monday gone a customer was told that there was a break down for the reason there bins wernt collected. The driver had no idea when he was asked by the customer what happened and told him the truth about having no drivers, didn’t know that TCC lied to the customer. These people are commercial client’s not ratepayers. I’m so happy I’m not there anymore but I don’t mind telling the drivers stories so they won’t get in trouble. Just goes to show that TCC isn’t in the business of SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITY!!!!! like they are meant to be.

    • The Magpie says:

      Wonder who the council insurers are? LGAQ? Good luck if anything happens. But hey, Ex-TCC, not to worry mate, the Bulletin reads this blog and its comments, so there is little doubt they’ll now be in there with their tough journalistic questioning looking for answers that we want. After all, They’re For Us, aren’t they? expect an investigation … when Jenny gets turfed out and the incoming mayor inherits the mess.

  30. Chappy says:

    Regarding the comments here on recycling water.
    If the intended use is for potable water then recycled water is worse than a bad pipe dream. The more that it is recycled, the more concentrated the water becomes with antibiotics as well as eostrogen from womens contraceptives. Recycling for anything other than lawns is not for this little black duck, even the veggie patch maybe a problem or a fish pond, mullet?? maybe not so much.

  31. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Watched the news and couldn’t help but notice the filthy look on Jenny Hills face at the press conference when the 2 local federal members were talking and she had to stand in the background, looked like she had taken a big bite out of a shit sandwich, relegated to the status she deserves, the Mayor of a regional city, stand over there, shut up, let the important people talk, about time someone put her in her place. I bet the Astonisher put a different spin on it in tomorrow’s newspaper, grovelling crawlers.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Link please so we can all have a look.

    • Cappuccino in hand says:

      And therein lies the central issue … TCC is a $1/2 billion a year business. Big enough to be listed on the ASX300. We need a Chair and Board with the experience to run such a significant financial entity.

      And what have we got instead? 11 people with what appears to be the biggest pay check of their lives.

      Be careful voters in 260 days time.

      • The Magpie says:

        What are you talking about, Frothy? Mayor Mullet (forget the other holes in the air) deals only with the big boys of the ASX. Take that saviour of a battery factory, the ASX company Magnis is the driver behind the proposal which will get free land from the council in return for a share of the action. They are a hard driving, financially thriving outfit of vision with genius executives at the helm, and they will … sorry, what? Look at what? Oh, this …

  32. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Is this a major Astonisher stuff up in their online edition?

    Court report headline names a women sentenced for a fight with a family member, but the first paragraph of the actual story says she can’t be named to protect the identify of the family member. Isn’t this contempt of a court order?

    • The Magpie says:

      It certainly is contempt, ands Magistrate Steven Mosch should demand the editor front the court to apologise … at the very least.

      Completely amateur effort, and The ‘Pie notes that the story has been run on the Cairns Post website unchanged.

      Doesn’t anyone in News Ltd give a fuck about anything any more? Disgraceful as well as illegal.

      • The Magpie says:

        And of course, they don’t read the Magpie down at the paper do they? Less than 20 minutes after all this was posted, they changed the name in the headline to ‘sister of’.

  33. The Magpie says:

    Occasionally peeping from behind the couch?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Reminds me of the story (vaguely recalled now) when a commentator or interviewer made reference to an incident where an opposition player repeatedly attacked Artie Beetson’s fist with his face.

  34. No notion says:

    I don’t often agree with Pauline but I think she makes a good point here:

    “Senator Pauline Hanson has slammed ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremonies at regional airports…..

    “I actually flew into Rockhampton today and into Townsville and prior to my landing they actually put across that we must acknowledge the Aboriginals as the traditional land owners of this land and it is basically Welcome to Country,” Senator Hanson said”

    When I think about it, why am I being welcomed? I was born here. Probably a lot longer ago than some of those doing the welcoming.

    I understand Ernie Dingo made this “ceremony” up, not sure why its got so much traction but I think its time we gave it the flick.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Guess you’ll be climbing the Rock pretty soon then. Since you are (and have) No notion, you probably haven’t noticed that parts of Australia are not in fact ‘yours’, or ‘ours’. That’s because our government/s, and therefore us all, whether we like or not, now recognise that some Aboriginal people, in some parts of the nation, are the Traditional Owners of the land, the place, their Country. So the Wulgurukaba, or Canoe People, of the Townsville area, are acknowledged by the State and us locals as being the Traditional Owners of the national park and some Unallocated State Land (“Vacant Crown Land”) on Magnetic Island. It is just a fact. A thing. It is not something you can give “the flick”. And it’s completely irrelevant whether you like it or not.

      • Rumpy Pumpy says:

        Operation close down Australia

        Merry stupid day Australia !!

      • Kingswood says:

        And its this kind of sneering pontificating to us, the great unwashed, that turns moderate people off this issue and does nothing for harmony

      • No Notion says:

        NMD you have missed the point I was trying to make and gone off on some rant about native title. I am not commenting about native title. I am simply saying that the welcome to country stuff is a nonsense.

        I don’t need to be welcomed to the country I was born in.

        In respect to the “Rock”, I have no intention of ever climbing Uluru. However, in the dim past I did climb Ayres Rock and I didn’t even have to pay for the privilege then.

        In summary, native title isn’t the issue it is the “welcome to country” farce that is.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      WTC is shallow meaningless PC bullshit, the preserve of inner-city soy latte sipping academics. Will someone save us from these wankers.

  35. Guy says:

    This is the just start of it

    It’s already been proposed that places such as mount warning in NSW be shut to tourism too and a whole host of other places.

    There is no end to it now, this is decision being put into place now is going to cost the country billions in tourism revenue.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Guy, the tourists can go to the Great Barrier Reef which we whiteys have been so good at managing that half of the live coral cover has been lost in the last 30 years. Anyway, when were you going to climb Mt Warning?

      • Guy says:

        I’ve already climbed mount warning.

        In the interest of fairness and respect, future tourism campaigns abroad need to tell prospective tourists to australia that major tourist sites are being closed so they don’t waste their money coming here then discovering they can’t actually go where they wanted to go. I’m thinking of an American campaign where you have a pictures ayers rock with a massive “CLOSED” stamped across it.

        It’s a domino effect you start closing one thing and before you know it everything of interest is locked up, shut down and restricted.

        The only silver lining is places like Townsville are slowly being reopened, tourists that MIGHT have gone to ayers rock might head up along the east coast instead. Also, If it’s a sacred site why should people be allowed to see it ???

        As it turns out the fatwa against tourists to the rock has only started recently , a previous aboriginal elder custodian of the rock had no problem with people climbing it.

        As for the welcome to country thing from a tourism perspective it makes sense – a tourist from elsewhere wants an alternative experience . Tourists go to places so they can fully experience somewhere. Maybe they figure the welcome to country thing works As a tourism gimmick so be it.

        I hope closing down their tourist interest industry works out for them – other places can benefit from the billions of dollars, employment and sustainable future.

        Once you start closing down one place there is NO end to it. Stop trying to divide people and turning everyone against each other.

        I have an alternative vision, the rock stays open and the money and investment continues into the area where the locals can enjoy those benefits.

    • Insider says:

      Oh, what a load of alarmist (possibly racist) twaddle! How can you complain about simply acknowledging the traditional owners of our land? It’s called politeness and respect….remember those?

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Politeness and respect? Hummmmm? Where is that in the Troubled Indigenous Youth who break and enter, and steal our cars. And yes, they have been in my back yard and tried, and failed, to do over my shed some time ago.

      • No Notion says:

        Is that a two way street?

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