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The Magpie

Saturday, January 27th, 2018   |   176 comments

It’s Here! You’ll Laugh, You’ll Cry, You’ll Gag, You’ll Clench Your Fists … Yes, It’s …

Mayor Mullet : The Musical!!

Forget Tonya Harding – this is the heartrending tale of a failed darts player who fights against atoning for her many mistakes, and eat … err … humble pie. But will an unforgiving public buy it – it’s a gripping toe-tapper that documents her pitiful struggle against the skeptics … when you’re not laughing out loud, you’ll be … well, laughing out loud. The Magpie examines the background the event, and presents the stand-out song that you’ll be humming as you leave the theatre. Hint: The Magpie’s resident musical maestro, The Ministrel has done it again … and outdone himself with his Ode to Jenny.

Also this week … echoes of Ming Menzies famous ’36 faceless men’ jibe – but this time it can be aimed at the Walker Street Wankery aka the Townsville Council.

Just what the hell is going on down at the Astonisher … not only does the paper openly admit is hasn’t a clue was newspapers are all about, but there is a dastardly attack on this innocent old bird, getting it in the neck from none other than Ms Shari Tagliabue … so just who do you think you are, girlie? Stern words follow.

But first …

Mayor Mullet The Master Marketer

This just gets weirder in a weird week. Let’s start with the Magpie’s comment on Thursday.

The Magpie 

January 24, 2018 at 3:28 pm  (Edit)

Uh oh, here comes the Charm Offensive … more like offensive smarm. Realising just how deep in the do-dos she now is with the electorate, the Mullet trots out a real winner – she thinks.  

parking fines slashed

And what a strange boast … Townsville now has the lowest parking FINES in the state. Since fines are at the discretion of the council, and are hardly likely to solve the CBD parking problem, this is straight-out politicking, or a make good as it is known. It was just 18 months ago, in July 2016, when we were reading this.

Screen shot 2018-01-27 at 10.54.39 PM

No mention that the fines were ridiculously high to start with, and are a major source of ‘voluntary taxation’ for the council, the loss of revenue is clearly a Mullet ploy to spend – or in this case forego – public money to ingratiate herself with an electorate that has finally wised up to her.

This strange woman said she believed this move would bring back people to shop in the CBD. is she demented? This bit of thimble and pea politicking had quite a few Nesters hyperventilating, not the least of whom was a caustic Bentley.

parking fines-small

But if that was weird, the week saw another effort from the Queen of the Walker Street Wankery that was just plain dopey … and dumb. It was a video on the council website supposedly spruiking the darts tournament during the week. Now if you are he type that gets embarrassed for others, you won’t want to watch The Mullet’s whole cringe-worthy performance, but right at the end, we got this.


As it turns out Mayor Mullet went for the jugular but just skewered her own foot. Some saw it as a tacit admission that The Magpie was getting under her skin, but since she professes loudly and often that she doesn’t read this blog (well, you know how Jenny is and the truth) then we can only conclude that she was recommending either killing a protected native species, or she has violently parted company with her beloved Collingwood footy team.

And to make matters worse, the video also featured this WORLD’S FIRST in dart boards.


But this is all part of an attempted Mullet makeover, she wants to be seen as the fun fish of the people and not the mad, irresponsible spendthrift she has recently been revealed to be.

But dangers lurk behind this benign bit of nincompoopery. We need only have a look at history to spot the very real danger.

Mayor Mullet And Bob Menzies’ Faceless Men

Back in 1963, the famous phrase ’36 faceless men’ entered the Australian political lexicon. It was coined by veteran political journalist Alan Reid, and first appeared in the Frank Packer’s Daily Telegraph. The story was accompanied by this photograph …


… showing then Labor leader Arthur Caldwell and his deputy Gough Whitlam cooling their heels outside the union-controlled Labour Party delegate Conference, waiting to be called in to be told on what policies they were to fight the upcoming election. Menzies couldn’t believe his luck, and seized on the phrase in the election campaign, describing the ‘faceless’ delegates as ’36 unknown men, not elected to Parliament nor responsible to the people’. Menzies won the election with an increased majority, and the term ‘faceless men’ became a permanent part of Australia’s political lexicon , always used in a sense hostile to the Labor Party.

So what’s the point of that trip down memory lane? Just that it’s as relevant in Townsville in 2018 as it was in Canberra in1963, and reinforces George Santayana’s timeless truism that those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it.

faceless person

Increasingly, the citizenry of this city are being fed unquestioned statements on contentious issues by faceless ‘council spokesman’. Not even a softening attribution like ’the mayor says’ or ‘the council believes’- just a blunt an biased position statements on contentious issues, from an anonymous person but which should only come from an elected official. These statements are duly printed without question or rebuttal interviews by a docile and compliant Townsville Bulletin.

This disturbing development was covered in last week’s blog, but the drift to anonymous opinion that should rightfully be owned by our elected officials is part of a broader ploy cooked up by Mayor Mullet and her Labor pal Adele The Impaler Young.
Jenny Hill

As part of Mayor Mullet’s attempts to paint herself as a visionary ‘can do’ leader (pause here for a moment … gasp, wheeze … ah, now where was I?), she is adroitly (she thinks) moving statements on contentious issues like the Adani airstrip rort and hard rubbish collection to arms length by using ‘faceless’ staff for comment. The frequency of this is increasing, while Mayor Mullet mounts a charm offensive which, as previously mentioned, actually comes across as offensive smarm. She is stepping away from the hard stuff, and is fronting only’ good news’ fluff stories, like the aforementioned weird crowing about ‘the lowest parking fines in the state’ and that darts tournament debacle – just how much the ratepayers lost on that daft promotion is anyone’s guess, as is why a council should be involved in the first place? Haven’t we learnt any lessons from the V8s?

It’s All A Staged Production Worthy Of A Stage Production

And while the various bits of the jigsaw puzzle are yet to be completed, our resident musical genius, The Minstrel, has come up with a centerpiece song which will have you rolling in the aisles. Here’s an exclusive preview if you missed it in comments earlier in the week. Sing it out loud, folks, don’t be shy.

Jenny's council

(The Minstrel acknowledges the leader of the original Rat Pack, The Chairman of The Board – Cranky Franky – this version is sung by the leader of Townsville’s pack of rats)

I Did It The Sly Way

And now..the end is near
And so I face the enquiry’s curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ve fucked it up, of this I’m certain
I’ve lived a life of bull
I’ve marched each and every Labor Day
And more…much more than this
I’ve stuffed it …my ..way

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But none of them, the papers mention
Adani told me what to do
And I saw it through, without confession
I planned each brain-fart course
Each secret step along the by-way
And more, much more than this
I spun it my way

Yes, there were times
I’m sure they knew
When I told more lies than I could chew
But through it all when there was doubt
They ate it up – till Jacob spat it out!
I faced it all
The airport stalled
And shit came my way

I’ve ducked, I’ve dodged and lied
I’ve got my fill, and I hate losing
But now, as votes subside
I find it all not so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not all was my way
Oh no, oh no, not me
It was the sly way

For look at this town – what has it got?
Rubbish on footpaths, water that’s fucked.
I say the things I think they feel
And none of the words – not one is real
The record shows
I’m on the nose
For doing it….
my…. way.

Simply breathtaking in its accuracy and wit. Well done, Ministel.

So, like all celebrities, can we be far away from Mayor Mullet’s Cookbook – the combination of cooking and books would pose no problem to Jenny.

One Councillor’s Wrestle With English

One can sympathise with the mayor in one aspect … it is completely understandable that she does not allow her trained aerobics class aka councillors to have anything to do with policy explanations. But this one – a reply to a resident questioning the Waste Management Levy (i.e tax) – a got though the censorship net recently.

Jacob letter

So, councilor Jacob, either you get bagged for idiotic language, or you’ve let the cat out of the bag, revealing that a campaign promise of ‘free dump days’ is actually being paid for in the Levy.  Thank Christ the voters of Hinchinbrook gave you a simple plain English message at the last state election, two words involving sex and travel.

BTW Paul, when you stood down from council for a tilt at state, you said your council salary – which the law says cannot be halted unless you resign – would be donated to charity. Care to let us know how much and to whom? Yeah, right, your trough snurffler.

Open Letter To Shari Tagliabue, Astonisher Columnist

Shari 'Taggers' Tagliabue

Shari ‘Shaggers’ Tagliabue


Look here, we used to be friends, but The ‘Pie picks up today’s paper and what does he read?

Screen shot 2018-01-28 at 8.46.04 AM

YOU trying to put him out of business, talking about Mayor Mullet and Anna Alphabet being shifty spinners, the mayor telling campaign porkies about the Kerbside Hard Rubbish collection, the chaos of stopping free dump vouchers and the revelations about her dopiness regarding the water task farce. Listen, that’s The ‘Pie’s turf, how dare you!

Look here, missy, cut it out. And in the Bulletin, too, have you no shame … if you start doing this sort of writing of facts, you’ll be cruelly showing up your colleagues for the conditioned Pavlov pups that they are.

Did you for one moment, Ms Tagliabue consider the effect on The Magpie if you continue down this road of truth and criticism? Did you, eh, eh? Do you realize that soon, The Magpie’s will have to cease his weekly maunderings – he never likes to be second in on the story – and his Saturdays will be filled only with reading you, watching footy on TV, playing golf, relaxing with a drink or three and never having to deal with the dreaded writers block ever again. What sort of life are you condemning this blameless old bird to, it’ inhu … ummm, hold on a sec. Hmmm, just a mo now.

Ahem. Let the old bird rephrase all that.

Shari dear, well done on the column today, and a nod to your new Ed for letting it run. Almost Magpiesque. Hey, may be we could team up on the quiet for each week’s effort, maybe under the name Tagpie. Or listen, you were always knows as Shaggers in the newsroom, so it could become The Shagpie! (which in another context would’ve been an exciting suggestion maybe 10 years ago … alas that bird has well and truly flown and The ‘Pie must remain faithful to the chaste but not chased Ms Lou.)

Anyway, hope you don’t get fired too soon, you appear to be one of the few green shoots of renewal at the paper.

The Iditorials Should Be The Next Area For Rehabilitation

The foibles of this little-read part of the paper have been well documented here, but Friday’s utter confusion about the Astonisher’s place in the world was a corker. The subject was the debate about whether the date of Australia Day should be changed (it shouldn’t but that’s for another time) and there were the usual bromides, fence sitting and virtue signalling until we came to this piece of sheer tripe, quote: ‘Whatever the solution, it would be far more helpful for the discussion to happen around a meeting table instead of in the pages of newspapers and on television.

WHAT? Or, as Nesters are so fond of saying WTF? So much for democracy and the fourth estate. ‘Helpful’? You jest.

So you, Ms Editor are saying that robust democratic debate is off the media table and should only be on the meeting table, while you await the cheap option of a media release. Not sure where you got your training about what real journalism is about, but it is roughly exactly opposite of that truly idiotic unsustainable statement. Of course, if it was Adolf Tomlinson who wrote it, we all know where he got his training – on his papa’s knee, no more need be said.

At the risk of getting Ms Tagliabue in the shit with you, her point that transparency can come if there are fewer ‘Commercial In Confidence’ excuses trotted out for issues with rubbery figures, can be applied in spades to the aboriginal industry. And to the Bulletin reporting of it … and everything else.

The sort of thoughtless waffle quoted here will have people humming a different version of the Mayor’s ‘I Did It The Sly Way’ in reference to the Townsville Bulletin.

A good start to reform would be to keep Adolf Tomlinson as far away as possible from penning the paper’s policies – or lack thereof. At least in his Andrew Bolt-Lite column, we know it’s only him and quickly move along after the opening paragraph,

Now has The ‘Pie forgotten anything this week. Ummm, dunno. But on that very subject, let’s leave on another musical note, which will resonant with many Nesters. It sure does with The ‘Pie.


That’s all this time around, the comments are getting really lively, have your say 24/7. And if you are one of those people who believe in reward for effort, a donation to help keep the Magpie blog aloft will be greatly appreciated. The donate button is right below.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.


  1. Miss Lou says:

    ☑ Always Good
    ☑ Always entertaining

    Best Wishes,

    Miss Lou.

    • I'll be plucked says:

      Reel him in Miss Lou, he’s sniffing around The Mullet!

      • The Magpie says:

        That is a reflex reaction when in her proximity, The ‘Pie is informed.

        • Miss Lou says:

          The Mullet ? Oh dear. She’s no bullseye. Pie, keep your eyes front. I’m a little jealous.

          Shaggers should adventure over to the Pie’s blog. If it’s good enough for Lisa Wilkinson, it’s good enough for Shags to jump ship.

          Miss Lou.

          • The Magpie says:

            The magpie and the Mullet? Excuse me a sec while The ‘Pie finds a wire brush to scrub that image from his eyeballs. And Shaggers? She is welcome in the Nest (that is, the blog, Ms Lou, only the blog) and The ‘Pie will publish anything she may choose to sent in if her current employment is ended.

            There, that should keep her at the paper for a while longer, unless they really are fuckwits. Don’t these arselickers ever learn?

  2. Dave Nth says:

    Only had time to scan previous offerings after my return from a month away but looking like CCC not wanting to go near this. What was the out? Local democracy, you vote them out yadda yadda yadda? I was hopeful that something would come of this but cynicism told me that these bodies have been nobbled & my recollection is that the CMC was certainly defanged to a large part by Beattie especially after the inconvenient stench of his Government started surfacing that even his mates at the CM couldn’t ignore.

    Anyway here’s hoping that Katter starts raising some hell, I don’t care if he is doing it for Political purposes as we concerned seem to be hitting a wall at every turn. I’ve seen councils in other states sacked by the minister for less malfeasance. Big thumbs up for Peter Newey to keep this going people like are still signing your petitions albeit identifying as residents now, I see all the signs of Ipswich Council Mk 2 and all we need now is a whistleblower…

    That said other half & I are now in a position to leave if we want. Am staying put for the time being but if this mob or ALP backed candidates get up in 2020 we are outta here. Crunch is going to come sooner or later & flashes in the pan like solar panel farms or works on Lancini Stadium aren’t going to last forever; then what?

  3. Cantankerous but happy says:

    I see on the Red Barons website they start joyrides in Perth in February and are looking at returning to Townsville later in the year, he used to fly over my house every Sunday morning, many a time when I was laying in the pool starkers after doing some gardening around the house, just adding to the Townsvile scenery! anyway be good to see it flying around town once again.

    • The Magpie says:

      And maybe you wonder why the Baron went to Perth for half the year?

    • Crow says:

      On the other hand, many people who live in Rowes Bay, Castle Hill and North Ward are glad the plane has gone and hopes it never comes back. The return of peaceful weekends is wonderful without a very noisy plane flying over homes at low level and doing aerobatics every 20 minutes. Good riddance, I hope it is making big bucks on the Swan river and stays there. Residents have a right to a peaceful weekend.

      • The Magpie says:

        With all due respect … however much that may be … if they live where you do, they DO NOT have a right to peaceful weekend. They didn’t build the Strand for you, mate, and the water isn’t there for you to occasionally stroll along in perfect peace. You especially, you are right on the Strand. You’ve made some good points on this blog Crow, but your starting to sound entitled and look selfish … and couldn’t give a fuck about the city, your fellow citizens or visitors. Time for a reality check, sport.

        • Mike Shearer says:

          hang on, Magpie! why should intrusive noise be a public right? If I made a stink in my yard that wafted over the neighbourhood I’d soon be having visits from all sorts of killjoys. If you shone very bright light into my windows at night there’d be remedies that I’d not have to fight for. But noise? There’s a law that sets the allowed noise of motor bikes, it’s rarely enforced because of the problem of proving the level in court. Noisy cars? not covered. But otherwise, and excepting industrial noise, it’s fair go from early morning until midnight. Why is the sense that it is the most difficult to exclude from a personal space so sacrosanct? Why?

          • The Magpie says:

            Great argument, Mike, the Wavererly Council in Sydney might take it on board in Sydney for Bondi Beach … if you buy into an area or happen to live in one already that is a key to attracting visitors, is or could be a showcase for the city and open air lifestyle, and has had massive public money invested in it like the Strand (which greatly increased property values), only selfish elitists would buy your argument outside proscribed hours that operate by law everywhere. Your perennial beef about the V8s re noise and parking locally etc is fully justified because the location was a totally unsuitable rort anyway interfering with – as they say in court – ‘the quite enjoyment and amenity’ of your property. That clearly does not apply to places like The Strand where Crow lives. Christ, he wants to police the airways, but won’t succeed … some old Mrs Bucket on Maggie Island tried that a decade ago and it was chucked out.

            And where have you been for the last 15 years, mate … as a former court reporter, may The ‘Pie assure there are welcome laws regularly enforced by the wallopers (inter alia because they can raise revenue from doing so) that crack down on excessive noise from vehicles and motor bikes. Which is easily and incontrovertibly proved in court scientifically. So the cops can’t catch them all the time? So let’s have a gated community denying access to the environs of the Strand from say 10pm to 7pm, just before Sambo comes to do the lawns and Missy Mary makes your coffee before doing the house cleaning.

            You and Crow could run for council on that one issue alone. And good luck.

        • Crow says:

          This is a commercial activity not a community event. Just the same as builders are not permitted to make environmental noise on Sundays.

          • The Magpie says:

            Quite so, and neither are those pesky military helicopters that keep endlessly flying along the Strand to the airport … why can’t they fly directly from Lavarack over the homes of the landlocked suburbs where the lesser likes of our community live. A stern letter to the Minister of Defence is called for.

          • Ronny Righteous says:

            Quite right, ‘Pie. Missy Mary and Sambo need to be woken early to make Crow’s breakfast and polish his golf shoes.

          • Alahazbin says:

            And don’t get me started about that emergency helicopter that takes off from the hospital at some ungodly hour of the morning and flies over Annandale. You would think people would be more considerate and hurt themselves at a more convenient time.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            A plane flying over, a noisy Harley, someone’s loud music, a lawnmower or someone’s barking bloody dog, it’s all noise, get a life, that’s the problem with half the people living in North Ward, they think the entire suburb is a retirement village for exclusive use, a pack of whingers, you sound like the sought of person who buys a house on a golf course then whinges about golf balls banging on your roof, no wonder this town is going nowhere.

          • Dearie Me says:

            At this rate you’ll soon be complaining about having to see your neighbours in their yards and God forbid their homes! How dare they walk around scantily clad in their own homes!!!

  4. Jatzcrackers says:

    My goodness Pie ! 5.29 am on a Sunday from Miss Lou ! You may be being stalked my old feathered friend !! Appears the Astonisher is the only print media rag to ignor the obvious with Peter Cameron of TRAPS, Sunday Mail today, singing Mullets praises re ‘slashed’ parking fines !

  5. Alahazbin says:

    Look out Miss Lou! First they say don’t like each other and then it’s kissy kissy in the corner.
    It will be interesting at the Magpies knees up.
    Bring along the Minstrel to sing a few numbers.

    • The Magpie says:

      Interesting use of language …’kissy kissy’ then ‘knees up’. That’s the usual sequence. Ah if only.

      • Sandgroper says:

        You sad old missionary. I’ll send you a picture book I picked up in India many years ago.
        Sadly, arthritis and age make it superflous to my requirements.

        • The Magpie says:

          Thought of you while watching th cricket this arvo … Tubby taylor apparently finds things a bit different in the populous over there, telling us there were 60,000 odd West Australian at the ground. perhps he meant 60-odd-thousand. Maybe not.

  6. Crankie Frankie says:

    Half price parking fines (which are unfair to everybody who already has paid the full amount) won’t bring one more person into the deserted CBD Ieven doubt that FREE parking can save it now, even BATIK BAZAAR at 265 Flinders Street has had enough of nobody in the CBD and closes it’s doors today Sunday 28th after 33 years in the city, shame.
    Was sorta hoping that a dart would go through the 240 volt lead next to the dart board just to see whose flash / bright idea it was to put it there when explaing it to WPHS but at least we learnt who her favourite pin up for 2018 is

  7. J.B says:

    I can see ‘” I did it the sly way”” in next years hottest 100, much much better than the song? that won yesterday.
    Is Shari going for a redundancy? I don’t think she will see long service unfortunately. I think her comments are great.

  8. The Magpie says:

    In case you aren’t aware, you can follow The Magpie on Twitter.

    latest tweet:

    Townsville Magpie


    Hear that Donald Trump is fed up with #MeToo and has come up with his own for his followers …. #SoWhat

  9. The Magpie says:

    Go for it, “Waste OFTAM”

  10. "Waste" OFTAM says:

    I’d like to inform all of the readers about our hard rubbish collection starting this week. In order to paint the picture of this complete waste of money to the ratepayers of townsville we need to look back at our rates from February 17 to present.

    It’s cost the council around $250 per property per year to collect your wheelie bins every week and fortnight with recycling. That has only ever gone up with CPI normally. However from August rates 17 until now we found a reduction in collection cost by around 30 or 40. Sorry for not exact figures but anyone can read there notice to compare. This reduction then appears as a waste levey to pay for hard rubbish and FREE greenwaste and recycling at the tips. Obviously it’s not FREE is it. The question I’ve asked as well as other ratepayers, is why has our rubbish collection every week been so exspensive that the department can just hand over all the money so quickly? Our tips and our collection fleet have done an incredible job for years without much hype and do the city a very cheap service. Concider how much a contractor will charge for what they do.

    Any surplus of funds after the collecton year is used to go back to other service departments, like roads and other infrastructure projects. Waste services is a business unit but does not profit. But now that money is being diverted away from the revenue source that keeps the council moving forward. WHAT
    SERVICES WILL BE EFFECTED BY THE REDUCTION IN THIS DIVERSION OF MONEY? Everyone has known the mayor has borrowed money to pay wages and all the redundancy payments. Even as far back as ray burton. The ceo must abide by the request of the mayor for added borrowing. All from treasurey at higher interest rate.

    It will cost much more than 2.5mil for this and yes the crews won’t get to section 25 for over 12 mths. I direct everyone to the standard q and a on the council website about the collection rules. Secondary questions arnt answered. It won’t work. At last glance there are 4 garbage trucks, all used and not very good working order, a brand new flat bed truck and 26 casual staff. They will go through staff very quickly because they don’t need to give notice, what about sick leave? It’s true too that these trucks will be given priority over everything else. When your rubbish starts getting missed you know why. The directive given to waste services managers is “get this done by any means necessary” what a place to work.

    Ask your councilors why the money is being diverted away. I know you won’t get an answer. Ask why we’ve spent millions on converting hearveys range transfer station into a dangerous conveyor belt system. Ask why we haven’t got a new dumping site for the nth beaches when jensen is closed. Ask why we still have a townsville city and thuringowa city waste collection. They still have the same runs as it was before amalgamation. So many people want the vouchers back. The council lied about the numbers there too. 25% returned to the tip yes, but that 25% actually made up over 80% of visits to the tip. Which means only 20 paid. All this is to make everyone pay, it’s also the mayors last big thing to destroy from les tyrell and ChrisafullI. If only they were still here.

    Lastly I wonder who will take on the mayor next election? I know you don’t play your cards to early but look what damage hill did as opposition councilor all those years. Mayby it’s time to play her game back and make our news services take notice and ask the question needed. Hopefully somethingwill stick, count how many labour councils in Australia are under investigation.

    • The Magpie says:

      Very well made points, but The ‘Pie thinks just the tip of the iceberg. If the mayor didn’t have such a tin ear for what people are saying, she would know that not so much the kerbside nonsense but the LOSS of the free vouchers, dropped only because it was a Townsville First/Tyrell initiative.

      The ‘Pie sticks to his argument made months ago … you buy a fridge or a couch or a bed, and you pay to have it deleivered. When you’re finished with it, YOU get rid of it AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE. At this rate, Jenny Hill will hire a team of arse wiping officers to help out with that chore when you get too fat or lazy to do it yourself.

      She is a political populist disaster.

      • The Judge says:

        Not in NSW Pie,it gets moved to the footpath for others to take and if they don’t take it,that’s where it stays. I took a heap of photos of household wares sitting on the footpaths in Wollongong..not Woolongong and that’s because dump fees are extremely high,and you guessed it’s run by private enterprise and the same people send it to Qld for disposal.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      “Waste” OFTAM, you seem to have a fair knowledge of what’s happening in TCC waste. Can you answer this for me?

      Up until 2 months or so ago my weekly bin collections was done by one bloke using a large side arm bin lift compactor truck. Now it takes 3 blokes using a smaller rear bin lift truck. Why the change? Surely this isn’t more efficient? It seems to take twice as long to do the street and there are extra wages for the additional staff.

      • "Waste" OFTAM says:

        I too have seen a group of guys doing this. Next time, if there is, take a look at the stickers on the trucks. The one I saw had hard rubbish sticker on it. You only know alot if you ask the right people the right questions. There’s an abundance of knowledge out there from council staff who are very unhappy. When your garbo gets back ask him. Apart from that I’m not sure.

      • Council workers "shovel" says:

        Ok that’s alot for someone simple like me to take in but wulga I’ll tell you that the truck your asking about is the hard rubbish crews learning how to operate the vehicals. Mechanics told us last week at the workshop what was going on as we sat around waiting for the stupid thing to get fixed. If people remember what I said in last week comments. I haven’t heard that name in a while but how ironic it reflects what the mayor is doing to us workers and the city. WASTE OF FUCKEN TIME AND MONEY! ! Lol loved it. Anyway good points you raised. If you work in council mayby you can shed the light on some of the bullshit going on in the works department and water. I’m guessing you don’t work here because you sound like your passing info on. That’s how I’d do it, but hey I do work for council and I’m happy more than one person is bagging the tripe out of this woman. Interested if your last comment about who ever runs for mayor. I too think it’s time someone came out of the closet now and start the campaign aka paul Jacob? It’s always easier in opposition they say. Hills gota prove whatever the candidate is saying is false. Wonder how many ex employees would start spilling there guts knowing someone else is running now. 2yrs is a long time but it’s perfect timing to watch and keep presure on any investergation going on. Keep raising questions too. Am I bold enough to ask are you running for office but can’t say yet. You got my vote.

  11. Narbloc says:

    When I first came here 30 years ago I got my first parking fine $5.00 so I left it there all day as in Sydney I had to pay $20 an hour to park.

    • The Magpie says:

      The’Pie’s exact experience too in 1990 … actually swore when saw the fine then couldn’t stop laughing … had also just come from Sydney, where I’d paid $85 for three hours in the Hilton car park during a farewell lunch … that would probably be nudging $300 in today’s equivalent. For some years, never bothered to pay for parking on the street.

      But agree with previous Nester’s comment that it won’t make a bit of blind difference to CBD businesses, and in and of itself, is NOT an incentive, that’s laughable.

  12. "Waste" OFTAM says:

    Some examples of questions about hard rubbish on TCC website.

    If someone puts rubbish on your lawn without you knowing you call council and they put a sticker on your stuff so the crews only collect yours. Very nice but what happens to what’s left, it’s not mine I’ve proven that so is it my responsibility at my cost to get rid of it?

    As a owner of a vacant property you are required by law to keep it tidy. If the crews come across rubbish in front of a vacant property it gets left. I now go to mow the grass 3 weeks after the crews have been through and I find rubbish on my property that is not mine. Who bares the cost? It’s on the footpath it’s council land?

    Cyclone is fast approaching we have 4 days notice. How far until impact do crews work? If they only get halfway up your street what happens to rubbish that’s left? What do the neighboring streets do? Put everything back in and risk missing your turn after cyclone. Very clear if you miss your turn council isn’t coming back.

    You are only allowed 2 cubic meters of hard rubbish. Not sure how average person measures that. But the mayor has clearly stated that you use this fantastic service she has provided to clean up your yard for the cyclone season. Will she double back on that too just like owning an airport for adani but then only leasing it.

    If someone else leaves dangerous goods on your property after the crews have collected it is not councils problem it’s yours. It happened in past collections where grubs got the streets mixed up when they dumped thinking that street was next but was already done. Who bares the cost? The council will have no choice but to return. They don’t have proof you left it there and cannot by law leave these substances on the public footpath anywhere in the city. We have special crews for that everyday. I.e battery collection at campsites.

    So just with these couple of examples the cost will blow out dramatically fast. The council is providing this as a service. These rules cannot work unless honesty is present. It won’t happen straight away but the call backs will be it’s downfall. Other services in council will need to be diverted so crews can keep moving forward. Where is the money for that budget?

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Exactly right, I remember the one years ago and it was a mess for months, it is legalised littering, people put shit everywhere for months beforehand and well after, they either forgot or don’t care, own a rental and are moving out and it’s someone else’s problem or as you say just leave it on someone else’s footpath, just a really stupid idea from the start.

  13. Shari Fan says:

    What an excellent opinion piece by Shari. She is spot on.

    How good is it see something that challenges this incompetent Mayor and her equally incompetent Council published in the Bulletin? If they keep this up I might have to buy the Astonisher again.

    Well done Shari, please give us some more. Never turn that blowtorch off, hold it to their feet until they sizzle!

    • The Magpie says:

      Well (humblebrag humblebrag virtue signal etc) if one reads The Magpie long enough, one gets the hint heh heh heh. But it is definitely a great departure for the paper, but doubt it will not last too long …. either Shari will be subject to the heavy blue subbing pencil of the editor, or getting the pink slip (BTW she’s an independent columnist now, no longer full time at the paper, so the Astonisher would be just shooting themselves in the foot by (again heh heh heh) letting a star columnist go (again). Plenty of room on this blog for Shaggers if it comes to that.

  14. The Magpie says:

    Seems to be few glitches with distribution this week. Anyone else?

  15. Sandgroper says:

    My cup runneth over! Two Magpie columns to enjoy this week: one by Malcolm, the other by Shari.
    Unfortunately, because I’m a non-subscriber, the Bulletin wouldn’t let me give a thumbs-up or post an appreciative comment to the wonderful Ms T.

  16. Linda Ashton says:

    I‘m on strict instructions to be less verbose than the bird himself – Shari T picked up and ran with info from our WFTAG article last Tuesday. The dusty winds of council transparency swirl across the plains, in our minutes from the mtg with council, her column and Pie’s blog. Sounds like a new species in flight – a Shag-Mag-WFTAG bird warbling. Credit though to the Bulletin Pie for publishing our increasingly thorny WFTAG stories.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie is guessing all that in the Bulletin is a planned veneer to try and win back some credibility … afraid that stable door is rusting on its hinges the horse is so long gone.

      Good length, Linda, keep ‘em coming like that … and re your first line, don’t wish to be harsh, but, mate, The ‘Pie’s blog, The ‘Pie’s rules. Same as your famous authoritarian rule over your own patch.

  17. Compliant Ratepayer says:

    The grubs are out in force! We only had one item to go out for the “free ?? ” hard rubbish collection. After a 15 minute trip to the shops, we returned to find our one item stolen and two larger items, (not ours) put in its place.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, it can hardly be stolen if you wanted to be shot of it, but that raises a good point. Mayor Mullet has been listening to southerners who witter on about the fun of trolling the streets looking for ‘stuff’ they can use … something even Ms Tagliabue once extolled some years ago from her years in Melbourne. But Melbourne ain’t Townsville, in attitude or council governance (the only problem with the melbourne City Council is that the mayors can’t keep it in their pants, not the sort of problem given the current incumbent we are likely to encounter here in Townsville).

      But the replacements you mention are exactly one area where the system is shown to pure nonsense. making laws that cannot be enforced is not just dumb, it is irresponsible encouragement of the lower elements of a society. Mostly known as the bogan in all our souls.

      • Sandgroper says:

        It’s common in Perth to either donate useful but unwanted items to the charity shops or leave them on the verge for anyone to take. It works well and nothing stays long on the street lawn.
        My council, Bayswater City, gives all ratepayers a choice of four free tip vouchers (each good for a ute or trailer load) or a couple of medium skip bins annually to dispose of hard rubbish. This is in addition to the usual wheelie bins for general trash, recycled materials and green waste.
        I never seemed to have any rubbish problems in Townsville, so things have obviously gone downhill in recent times.

        • The Magpie says:

          No problems here either … yet. The Pie sticks to his argument … you buy it and take it home or pay to have it deleivered, you take it to the dump when you’re finished with it. Christ, how over-entitled can you get?

    • Cynical Cricket says:

      Why do Townsville people have such an issue with recycling? If it’s no use to you, what’s wrong with someone finding a use for it? Remember the old adage; One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

      • The Magpie says:

        Then you go to a market area, or start one, but not on the uncontrolled footpaths of the city … unless you want the place to look even more of an unkempt (Donald Trump African quote here).

  18. Dutch Reverend says:

    I live in Kelso and have noticed heaps of shit being stacked up on the footpath. Mind you, we haven’t had a letterbox drop advising when it will be collected. I hope we don’t get a Cyclone any time soon or we are fucked with heaps of debris blowing around. To put it out there that this collection would be going on at Cyclone season is dangerous, irresponsible and another sign of the total lack of common sense and planning. It creates a situation of endangerment. The Mayor and councillors should be held personally responsible and subject to criminal charges should anyone be injured or worse as a result.

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed, just one serious injury or death from this self-serving fuckwittery will have this shower out in an instant. And not just from a cyclone … a mild wind blowing stuff onto roadways, or pedestrians falling over stuff. Fanciful/ Just have a loom at the number of TV ads hawking personal injury services.

      The mayor and her councillors have no shame, no ears and no brains.

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        The Mullet may well have no ears….just be thankful she hasn’t lost her sight!

        From the Urban Dictionary via the wonders of the interweb:

        Type any word…
        blind mullet
        a floating turd
        I was swimming in the ocean when a blind mullet drifted past me.

        • The Magpie says:

          The ‘Pie hears there was a time when visiting her favourite hideaway boozer The Patriots Club (for ex-vet bikers) she was indeed a blind mullet.

        • Dearie Me says:

          The mullet is certainly turning a blind eye to what’s going on in Council and within the city so I’d argue we do in fact have a blind Mullet.

          • The Magpie says:

            Oh no no no … she is very much eyes wide open, because she is behind all the crap that is going … and all in the name of keeping herself in a very cushy job with lots of perks. I’ll bet if she loses (sorry when) she and hubby will head south in a heartbeat.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Dear DR

      We received a TCC flyer in the letter box about 10 days ago stating collection from the 29th.

      In my area it looks like the Harvey Range dump of the 1980s. Rubbish everywhere and youthful scavengers aplenty.

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, Dave, maybe an upside is that the little snots don’t have to break in to get what they want.

        Any chance of some pics? From anywhere, anybody?

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          Yes they will. What the little snots want is cash, jewelry and booze.

          About 10 years ago, while we were away on Christmas holidays the house next door was broken into 3 TIMES IN THE ONE WEEK! They entered next door via my back yard and over the fence. On the first occurrence the post break in piss up was held in my back yard. After the second break in the occupants installed CCTV and clearly recorded the little snots on their third visit. They were an indigenous brother and sister, barely into their teens and very well known to the police.

          On the last police visit the police admitted that there was bugger-all they could do to prevent or deter, and to claim losses on insurance.

          We installed 360 degree motion activated security lighting to our property. The door to the back shed still has the deformation where the little snots tried but failed to get into it.

          Rubbish on the footpath is unlikely to be attractive to this cohort of “cherubs”.

          • Sandgroper says:

            They sound like the pair I heard breaking in downstairs at my place in Mundingburra.
            Chased then down the driveway and along the street, but they were far too fleet for me.
            Turns out it was lucky I didn’t catch them as they took off because, next morning, the police found a bloody great hunting knife on the driveway’s edge.

          • Ando says:

            3 times in a week. Maybe they should buy locks not CCTV gear.

  19. The Watcher says:

    When, o when are we going to hose the Tomlinsons out of town?…………I seem to remember a pair of Daddo’s in the media some time ago that even nuclear waste couldn’t kill.
    Surely we are not to suffer the same banality for weeks to come hocked up as ‘opinion’ pieces in the Astonisher?
    The prawn heads won’t even agree to be wrapped in a page that bears their utterances.

  20. Interested Observer says:

    Day one of the mayor’s hair brained hard rubbish collection and already a truck break down. One of the two delapidated secondhand compactor trucks drove all the way to Kelso then had to turn around and head back to the workshop after the compactor mechanism failed yet again.

    Why would you buy this crap if you weren’t seriously concerned about a cost blowout. Out of curiosity took a ride around Kelso yesterday to see just how much rubbish was out. The mayor told us everyone was desperate for this collection but I would suggest hardly one in twenty houses had anything out. A large percentage of those properties with rubbish out look like dunnies themselves.

    Let’s not forget as we were told you yesterday buy other contributors you can only leave out two cubic metres of rubbish. Hardly likely to allow anyone to truly clean up their ptoprty.

    Finally I saw a number if fridges with doors still attached. I wonder if these fridges will be picked up or have a sticker placed on them and left behind. It is dangerous to leave these fridges out with the doors attached with the risk if a child being trapped inside.

  21. Phobetor says:

    Now that there is a smell of political death emanating from the Mullet, I wonder if the jackals are circling the carcass. Who is the heir apparent?

    I see His Radiance has been popping up recently standing beside every visiting Labor pollie, patting medical machinery and spruiking about advances in medical technology at the Hospital. Is he positioning himself for another run (perhaps as the head of a Labor Team in direct competition to Team Hill)?

    Is there another Wannabe out there that we haven’t seen yet? Walker is obviously one and perhaps Jacobs wants the job. I’d love to be a fly on the wall at some of their meetings with the faceless men/women.

    Can you imagine the joy in the electorate if we had a three horse race with two of the contenders being Hill and Mooney!

  22. Memory Man says:

    Another one bites the dust, as Freddie Mercury used to sing … after 37 years in Flinders Street and the Mall years, Batik Bazaar has closed it’s doors. The owner says she has no faith it its future.

    What a sad indictment on the Mullet’s reign. False hopes on the back of bad ideas left businesses in the decaying CBD hanging on for grim death. But it’s over. It’s been over for a long time. Tricky Jenny and the Walker St Gang – not to mention the lapdogs down at Do Nothing House – have overseen over $100m of public money flushed down the proverbial. And what’s the Mayor’s latest offerings? Public money to build a laneway and the nonsense that reduced parking penalties will bring people flocking to the CBD. Bentley nailed the stupidity of all this. The Empress is without Robes.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:


      No talk about a naked Mullet…..even in jest. There’s simply not enough eye bleach in the world.

    • Ronny Righteous says:

      The rot started long before the Empress donned the possum fur-trimmed mayoral robes. It was obvious the CBD was doomed when smart business people like Graham Jackson opted out in favour of suburban shopping centres.
      Memory Man is right in saying more than $100 million has been flushed away, yet the council inexplicably keeps pissing.

      • The Magpie says:

        Indeed, and while the Chamber of Commerce rightly expresses its concern, it amounts only to hand wringing because the CoC has not come with a plan of its own to present to council to turn things around themselves, apparently saying ‘that’s what the council was elected to do’. Unfortunately, what this Labor inspired mob of dunderheads – instructed by the Dunderhead in Chief – is good old social engineering, trying to force people to do what they don’t want to and won’t do. But the big shopping centres will any day beat a piss-ant poorly led council like the TCC. Reality has bitten it on the bum. The only person believe it or not to actually DO something has been Laurence Lancini, but coffee shops, cafes and a supermarket need other players to build them with innovative contributions.

        This loopy idea of yet another City lane project funded by the council – ostensibly to link the Bus Hub whenever that comes – to Flinders Street is sheer irresponsibility with public money. Sorry Mullet, no votes in ‘Well I tried’ … that’s not leadership and its also a grossly irresponsible waste of public funds, a subject you know all about … or was it all just a flight of fancy.

        • Droopy draws says:

          Yet another City Lane? Are you referring to the old sport store building that the council bought, Pie?
          That doesn’t look anymore that ten metres wide so how does that work as anything other than a pedestrian way through to the bus hub?

          • The Magpie says:

            Of this, The ‘Pie only knows what he reads in the Astonisher … surely you’re not suggesting that …. nah, you wouldn’t dare.

  23. FF says:

    Arrived at the airport for my 2:30 to Cairns. Qantas Club closed.

    Get your act together Qantas. Piss poor service.

    • The Magpie says:

      Oh dear flying sober not flying high, eh?

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Yes that is piss poor, it is a QF flight number and the lounge should be open, I have spoken to them about the lounge being closed for the flight to Darwin also but they advise because its a code share flight they don’t have to open, just happy to take the margin I guess and offer nothing. Interesting numbers on the Cairns airport site this week, they have predicted a drop of 14, 800 available seats to Townsville for the first 6 months of this year v same period last year, a drop of 10% to 135,600 available seats, certainly not good.

  24. Interested Observer says:

    I have been told rubbish has been left out in places like Garbutt, Currajong and South Townsville. These places won’t be picked up for months. If this happens across the city the place will look like a shithole all year long.

    That truck that broke down before it even started up at Kelso is still off the road. Bloody good buy. Day one of the hard rubbish collection not going plan. No surprise there.

  25. Gonzo says:

    Pie, Wow, you have really let the Magpie Magic cat out of the bag. From the Walker Street Wankery to the Faceless Men to I Did it the Sly Way to Shari Tagliabue, the Astonisher Columnist, who I hope has a good sense of humour because it’s obvious you do like her and are impressed with her journalism, you have cast the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune at some of the finest citizens of Townsville. I dips me lid to your brave blog post.

  26. Woodduck your Burdekin Correspondent says:

    Not sure if you got the emai I sent a few weeks back Pie, but it had a flyer with a funeral director saying that certain crematoriums, were burning more than one body at a time. I also posted it on the Astonishers Facebook page. Today’s news seem to indicate there may be more to these claims. Queensland Funeral Directors Association head Anton Brown is calling for an inquiry. Had to smile when he used the words” where there’s smoke, there’s fire”. Well Duh.

  27. The old peterbuilt says:

    Anna Alphabet sure is coming down hard on crime. 17yr olds will now face the children’s court rather than adult sessions. Next we’ll hear the retired General will be the Uber driver to take them there

  28. I'll be plucked says:

    The pluviophiles are in 7th heaven this morning! :)

  29. Memory Man says:

    What a greeting this morning from our August Journal of Record! That’s the Bullsheet, I’m talking about. Here, we have a 3 strikes and you’re out blockbuster. 

    Strike 1: a bit of media spin about Council’s (same old failed) CBD strategy. This comes on the back of stories of further shop closures, which tells us this is just another bit of nonsensical and unbelievable charm offensive. Offensive it certainly is. 

    Strike 2: violence and crime. Enough said. 

    Strike 3: the place is getting fatter and more unhealthy at a great rate of knots. This public health epidemic has been well known for years. Councils can do a lot to contribute to a healthier city environment, to get people out and about exercising. Its obsessions sadly have had nothing to do about a healthier city. 

    Instead of making the city (by which I mean our long-suffering suburbs) shadier and cooler, we get $10m for Jamie Drurie, $18m for Adani’s airstrip to nowhere, the sacking of hundreds,and a total shermozzle of a waste collections system to name but a few.

    • Alahazbin says:

      Speaking of the $10 mil for JD. How was it used. I never saw any little snippets of info coming from him telling us things we already new. Or was that it. “This lot know everything anyhow, I’ll just take the money and say nothing”

      • The Magpie says:

        Didn’t that bit of blarney have Pure Projects fingerprints all over it? And since they are in it for the quick quid off the yokels, very good question.

  30. The Magpie says:

    So IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad has karked it at 91. But things aren’t going smoothly for the funeral. The family had troub le agreeing on a suitable casket …

    … finally selecting one after long squabbles …

    … only to find that when the undertakers got the body back from the mandatory autopsy, they were having trouble sorting out old Ingvar for the open showing.

  31. Dave of Kelso says:

    During travels this morning spotted rubbish on foot paths in Rasmussen, Condon and Kirwan. If this is replicated across the city the place will be an eyesore for months to come.

    Clearly the TCC has failed to explain to the citizenry that the “FREE” rubbish collection is being done suburb by suburb.

    I would love to see the risk analysis for this project, especially in the event of a cyclone.

    • The Magpie says:

      Or kids climbing into fridges. Dave, unable to open in th format you sent the pics … email would be good. And that goes for anybody else who has something unsightly to photograph.

  32. I'll be plucked says:

    Hmmm, some wierd things happening when accessing the blog Pie (some examples – posts jumping all over the place; defaulting away from the comments, back to the access site address; comments not posting); is there a hacker at work, or a nosey type trying to get information on ‘posters/participants’? Nothing would surprise me and of course very happy if it’s nothing. Might just be an ‘innocent’ IT gremlin.

    • The Magpie says:

      Yeah, there’s been a few such matters of late, very minor but just put it down to The ‘pie’s DTs. in truth, don’t really think the blog is important enough in the scheme things to try and nobble, and besides, going down that path is someone playing a losing whack-a-mole game.

  33. Linda Ashton says:

    I noted the recent comments querying the desirability of a desalination plant to help alleviate Townsville’s water woes. We at WFT have found it is not feasible.
    • Desal is horrendously expensive to install, operate and maintain. If you want rates to rise BIG time it’s a great option.
    • It’s very site-specific suited. Israel fine. Perth Adelaide fine. Gold Coast where’s its operating virtually full time, fine. It’s for deep water, large ratepayer base and not adjacent to a world heritage reef.
    • The process produces and dumps mega volumes of salt into the sea and can destroy habitat. TSV region has RAMSAR international protection for Cape Bowling Green. Desal in the bay would clearly not make it through EI. Standards have changed since the ‘good old infrastructure plonk days’ and better technologies are now available.
    • Cleveland Bay is very shallow. The sediment and cleanup or salt harvest would also add huge costs.
    • Our techs have considered a transportable unit that might be installed at old QNI site with gas to power. Again the cost would crush our tiny ratepayer base.

    • Sandgroper says:

      Thanks for that explanation, Linda. I suspected the dispersal of salt might be a major problem given the shallowness of Cleveland Bay and the GBR’s proximity.
      Anyway, it’s good to hear that all options are being considered. Keep up the good fight.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Would your “techs” care to release project evaluation, costing, comparisons and conclusions, in detail, I mean the actual numbers, they must have been compelling for it to be dismissed, or did your techs just come up with a whole list of reasons not to proceed to the data stage.

      • The Magpie says:


      • No more dredging says:

        Cantankerous, surely it must be obvious that if you/we already have available a large dam mostly full of water (the Burdekin Dam that is) and a pretty economical channel/pumping/pipeline system that can deliver that water to Townsville long term, there’s no point investigating the feasibility of making fresh water from salt? Desal is ridiculously expensive to build, let alone maintain, hugely power consuming, has difficult environmental issues and may be parked-up doing nothing for years. Why would we go there?

        • The Magpie says:

          See Linda Ashton’s informative comment on this matter.

          • Alex DeLarge says:

            Why can’t we use the by-product salt to make table lamps to sell to the hordes of tourists at Cotters Market?

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          No more dredging your comment is correct, desal is expensive, but it is also the only option that adds capacity, the new pipeline does not add any capacity, all we are doing is going down the road and taking more of existing storage, we are not “securing” Townsvilles water we are “stealing” it from someone else. The Burdekin dam was down to 50% only two years ago and only some unexpected flows from down Balyando way filled the dam late in the season. So I will wait patiently for the “ oh fuck” moment when the time comes that our dam is empty and the one up the road is empty and Townsville is left looking stupid once again, anyway it’s all academic now as they say, the decision has been made so let’s hope it pisses down rain in the right places, because nothing has really changed and rain is still the only thing that will secure Townsvilles water supply.

          • Old tradesman says:

            Well CBH it purely means that we need a coal fired power station. Even if you lift the wall of the Burdekin to the required height for say Hydro then in the event of another drought then the Hydro System cannot guarantee supply, but still do it as the water supply will be inexhaustable.

          • Mike Shearer says:

            Yep! rain but only if it comes packaged with a cyclone or a extreme storm event. Have a look at the graphs on the TCC website of the level of the Ross Dam year by year, since 2009. From 2009 to 2012 Cyclone Hamish and Yasi filled the dam; in 2012 an extreme storm did the job. In 2013 there wasn’t enough rain to top up the dam, but in 2014 rain preceding and associated with Cyclone Ita did top it up. Since then there’s been no top-ups. In 2014-15 we ran down Ita’s supply, now it’s pump and pray (the latter never having proved itself). It will take a lot more than a normal wet season to make much difference. It’s a cyclone, maybe two, in the close vicinity that is needed.

          • Mark Harvey says:

            Water security is a very complex topic which extends far beyond the building of a piece of infrastructure. I do agree that the second pipeline is the best solution in the short term. Burdekin water comes in 2 priorities – high (HP) and medium (MP). HP is far more expensive but is also more reliable. No matter how large a pipeline we build, if we do not buy the correct allocations then we have no further security than we have now. Having spent considerable time interpreting the modelling of required water allocations, I was stunned to see that the WTF only recommended 15,000 ML more HP water on top of the 10,000 ML we have now.

            To make it clear for everyone, you have to buy or lease an allocation and pay for it every year if you want it to possibly be available when you need it. You cannot just take what you want. Each 1 Jul the allocations for the year are announced. MP started at 63% in Jul 15 but rose to 100% by Feb 16 as some inflow had occurred. HP was 100%. If the dam level is around 13%, MP will be 0% (ie the farmers get no water) but HP is still 100% – and no, there are no refunds on the money you paid for that year’s allocation no matter how little you are allowed to draw.

            The Burdekin will always play a part in our water security and is the only affordable solution at this time. The problem with building infrastructure to suffice for 80 years is that better solutions may come along in the mean time. When you do not have the optimum solution, a series of smaller steps is better. And by the way, when the new 1800mm pipeline is 40 years old, the current one is likely to have been retired and we are then back to relying totally on 1 large pipeline!.

          • The Magpie says:

            So Mark you are basically saying HP source is best. be careful at the next BBQ mate.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie knows absolute zero about desal plants and serious defers to your knowledge of water husbandry, so a question: why does a desal plant have to be in the ocean, cannot it not be land based adjacent to the seawater source and th salt harvested onto land and recycled into any number of the uses salt lends itself to?

      • Alex DeLarge says:

        Like salt lamps

        Or salt flats so we could attract the likes of Sir Malcolm (the other one) and Burt Munro

        68% of salt produced is used in the manufacture of commercial chemicals, 12% water conditioning, 8% for road de-icing (not much use here), 6% agriculture and only another 6% on our chips.

        Plenty of spin-off industry there if we just keep the brine and evaporate it.

        And we don’t have to build a fucking airport.

        Besides, modern technology is working on the brine problem and a solution (see what I did there?) is in sight. Also uses CO2, rather than produces it. Ask Qatar.

      • No more dredging says:

        Pie, in Wikipedia there is a useful introduction to all the many and varied designs and models of desal plants. And recently, quite a bit of work was done in our particular location because there was a real water crisis at Palm Island and a desal plant was under consideration for that place. One of the main issues with coastal desal plants is that when a proportion of the fresh water is removed from the incoming seawater the now-highly salty outflow (brine) has to be re-introduced into the sea in such a way that the brine doesn’t, in effect, ‘pollute’ the marine environment. This was/is a major issue for Palm Island because of its location, like Townsville in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It can’t be brushed aside with a ‘she’ll-be-right, mate’, it really is an important issue. So the type of plant we might consider using here doesn’t actually remove salt from the water, rather it removes some of the fresh from the seawater and returns the rest to the sea with an increased salinity.

        • The Magpie says:

          Yup, your points are well made, but refer to the Magpie’s question to Linda Ashgton and her response … also another interesting commenter on that thread.

          And BTW as a past emplyee of the GBRMPA, anyone who tries anything in their area will soon learn that their motto is ‘She’ll be wrong, mate.’

  34. Dave of Kelso says:

    There are A LOT of children’s bicycles in the foot path rubbish. They cannot all be unserviceable or unrepairable. What a waste.

    • The Magpie says:

      And don’t you just the feeling that the light is starting to dawn on Linda and her worthy group … ‘sidelining’ is a major political art and when it’s done in concert with a cynical self-seeking newspaper, you don’t have a hope.

  35. The old peterbuilt says:

    Not long to go now. The front page of the astonisher and courier mail are same same.

  36. The Magpie says:

    From the Inevitable Consequences, Dept of:

    The ‘Pie is reliably informed that there have already been several filing for divorce from gay couples. Not just elsewhere but here in the ‘ville. Seems the expensive rainbow glitter has ended in a pot of gall. It seems that while we were spending millions on doing the politicians jobs for them (Christ, don’t they get overpaid enough?) some of the luvvies out there were drumming their fingers after having been wed overseas … but unable to divorce because of the lack of an Act to allow them to do so.

    So the Bulletin’s (and everyone else’s) prediction of a flood of marriages may be a tad off the mark, more likely a spate of uncoupling legal hissy fits. No doubt, the lawyers love it.

    But hey that’s equality for you.

  37. Linda Ashton says:

    In the previous response I mentioned that our techs considered the idea of a land-based plant at the old QNI site – gas powered. The costs to install run and maintain any desal (plus reservoirs, pipes and residue) are extremely high. When we pump water we need at least more than the current capacity >130 ML per day. The second pipeline for stage 1 will provide 234 ML per day. Stage 2 if it’s ever designed and installed will increase that to 356 ML per day. Our new infrastructure must be an improvement and for the next 80 years – feasible, affordable, suitable, sustainable, EI compliant, durable, timely and high tech. Desal in our location with our rate-payer base is none of these.

    • The Magpie says:

      A beautifully concise response. WFT’s stand on this issue was no doubt covered before … where was that, Linda, page 587 of an appendix to sub-section B of article 9 of the Act?

    • Kingswood says:

      Seriously Linda and with all due respect, how can anything be ‘an improvement for the next 80 years’ ??? Cars, electricity generation, water, thousand-year Reich proposals….we have 3-4 year government terms here, that’s all things are based around.

  38. Gull says:

    You’re quite right, the old peterbuilt … but you underestimate what happened today. The Courier Mail, Astonisher, Cairns Post AND Gold Coast Bulletin front pages are all the same! The story is about saving children’s lives in the water, and that’s a fair enough cause, but it’s a News Ltd campaign, not a story. In normal circumstances, if there was a genuine news story common to all those papers, such as a state election result, you’d expect them all to put it on the front page. But each paper would produce a different version, with different headlines, photos, copy etc, to suit their target audience. But this story, headline and photo is identical in all four papers, meaning only one site has produced it and the others have lifted it, no doubt at Brisbane or possibly Sydney’s behest. Easy night for some production staff perhaps, and maybe they’ll have a few more easy nights soon. Pie, how long before there is one daily Murdoch paper for Queensland, the Courier Mail, with regional editions containing, say, eight pages of Astonisher or Cairns or Gold Coast news? A year at the outside? Circulation has fallen so far across the board that they don’t even report it any more and claim it’s not a true reflection of a paper’s success. They’re like pollies, making it up as they go along and backflipping when it suits them. Even Murdoch has acknowledged his Aussie papers are struggling and that surely spells the end for some. Won’t be till after the Commonwealth Games though.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie is a tad ahead of you there, Mike, on this very blog six years ago, that was the prediction … that Townsville and Cairns etc would become bureaus, with maybe one or two pages daily devoted to local news. There is an upside to that … most days, one or two pages would cover what needs to be reported and still have room for the crosswords and suduko.

  39. Guy says:

    For what it’s worth

    There is only one way to solve townsville’s quickly , cheaply and efficiently


    Desal: expensive and potentially damaging. If you really wanted to do it have a small pilot project that mixes desal water in with RECYCLED water. Advantages : you arent shipping money out of townsville to sunwater and jobs are kept here. Maintenance is much easier because it would be in town. The water goes round and round till its all used up.

    Supply from BFD is feasible but costs are high. Build a concrete channel above ground to keep animals out ( the irrigation system of the burdekin kills unknown numbers of animals and you have to dislodge their stinking carcasses from gates on a regular basis. I rescued an emu from the open channel near clare by jumping in and getting soaked but it was worth it.) Pipelines have problems.

    Any water from the burdekin will still have to be paid for.

    As i said – we must recycle water

    Kerbside collection is common in places such as melbourne and sydney – no one has any problems with it. When i was a student in sydney i found three thrown out victor lawn mowers on the kerbside and made one working one and started a lawn mowing business to fund my studies. Most people scavange through the rubbish to see whats worth salvaging. I used to cut the plug and leads off white goods so i could power various electrical projects. Its quite normal for councils to have kerbside collection.

  40. Mick says:

    Pie, I was researching your Korean cousins and came up this cocktail recipe:
    Korean Magpie

    2 oz. of gin ( Bombay Sapphire)
    1 oz. of Violette (Violet flower liqueur)??? (my ???)
    1 oz. of fresh-squeezed lemon juice

    Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into a cocktail glass.
    Add a splash of cold tonic water
    Garnish with:
    a lemon twist and a sprig of lavender flower

    May this cocktail bring you good luck and fortune, just like the Korean Magpie. ”

    Failing this resort to a nice Shiraz.

  41. Dave of Kelso says:

    Rubbish collection occurred yesterday in my area. The area is now dotted with refrigerators and the occasional water cooler. I am assuming it is because these should be de-gassed before being squashed in the back of the rubbish collection truck, which has an on board compactor or sorts.

    The FAQ on the TCC web site, Items that cannot be collect, makes no mention of refrigerators.

    • "Waste" OFTAM says:

      Just wanted to let you know some information that came to me earlier this morning. So far out of the 4 vehicles only 2 have made it through the four days so far without a breakdown. Out of Kelso alone the driver’s have been called back already to pick up streets that have already been completed. Workers have already pulled out and alot of people are putting out way more than 2cubic metres of rubbish. And it’s all being collected by order of management. I don’t think anyone is going to inform the councilors of the call backs, perhaps to scared the truth might hurt there jobs. Plans are in place at looking at purchasing 2 more trucks with workers already because of volume. Suburbs like garbutt and south townsville already have massive amounts of hard rubbish out for collection. I thought the budget was only 2.5mil. The only tender that was put to council for this was just over 8 million for the first 12 month period. But that number was from January 17

      • Westie says:

        My observation in the streets of Kelso is that very few houses- maybe one in ten or one in twenty are putting out any rubbish at all, and many of those that do are putting out one item- maybe an old chest of drawers.

        There is no way the average is anything like two cubic meters. The pickup should be very quick and way under budget, because the residents don’t think it is a worthwhile service.

        Give us back our dump vouchers and we will take the rubbish out to the dump ourselves when it suits us.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Better tell ‘old Mate’ in procurement to throw away his latest edition of Deals on Wheels and actuall go an have a look at the next two trucks. Even take someone with with a bit of knowledge.

  42. Achilles says:

    The PC Mob have gone too far, no grid girls at the F1 anymore. If they must be politically “balanced” then why not include grid boys poncing about in similar revealing outfits?

  43. The Magpie says:

    MEMO BERNARD TOMIC re petulance.

    Old Jewish saying: it’s the kid who can’t dance that says the band can’t play.

    • Droopy draws says:

      So very apt, Pie.
      The fact the kid can dance or play is the real disappointment….

    • Sandgroper says:

      Whenever I hear that petulant snot mouth-off I think of another proverb, this one from Sweden: “Being young is a fault which improves. daily.”
      Sad to say, it’s not happening with Bernie.

  44. Dave of Kelso says:

    Greetings Dear ‘Pie, Greetings All,

    Yesterday I had cause to make a serious complaint to the Dept of Main Roads and I would encourage all to do the same in similar circumstances in order to get things fixed.

    Short version; whilst avoiding (emergency stop and veering slightly to the right) a car that entered the Bamford Lane / Dalrymple Rd roundabout outbound at speed and well after I was on the roundabout my right front contacted the left rear of a car on the inside lane of the roundabout causing paint and minor panel damage go both vehicles. Offending car continued on at speed, horn blaring.

    This was most upsetting to myself and especially to for the young lady driving the other car who I learned later had her small daughter with her. Had I been a second further into the roundabout or the speeding car a second later I may well have been killed.

    The Queensland Govt does not have a classification, ‘Physiologically Unsuitable to Drive’, so road design and construction needs to cater for this cohort of drivers, commonly referred to as, ‘Idiots.’

    In my complaint I recommended that there should be a 40 kph sigh just before the roundabout (after all that is the max speed for roundabouts) and a signposted speed camera.

    I will let you know the outcome of my complaint.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Go directly to the Department. Going via our local elected members just adds an necessary and weak link to the chain of information.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie fears the only ‘sigh’ will be you when you get fobbed off Dave … but good to know no one injured.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Dear ‘Pie,

        You are probably right, but if nobody does anything, the Government’s Do Nothing option is a dead certainty, as opposed to just an extremely high probability.

  45. Alahazbin says:

    Reading the ‘Astonisher’ this morning and seeing the headline on page 3 “Maggie’s ugly look”
    You can put all the blame for that landscape wholly on the green activists of the day, headed by Julia Walkden and ably assisted by Captain Snooze.
    If the Linkon had been allowed to finish what they started, there would have been a prettier sight than what we see today.
    It was really not about protecting the environment, more to stop somebody making some money.

    • The Magpie says:

      Yeah, but misleading headline …here was the old bird looking in the mirror for a second opinion!

    • No more dredging says:

      Alahazbin, your self-righteous bleating about the state-funded final development of the Nelly Bay harbour is woefully uninformed – but don’t let a few facts get in the way of your rave. Julie Walkden (and Capt Snooze for that matter) had no part in the Nelly Bay development after it collapsed in 1990 – that’s 28 years ago. About 2000 the Beattie government picked up the baton and ran to contractor Mick Curtain to undertake the finalisation of the development for a fee ($6m for the construction of state-owned facilities – ferry landing, boat ramp, car parking etc.) and to become the owner of the acres of reclaimed land which could/would become unit developments etc. By about 2005 most that real estate had been converted to freehold and sold leaving Mr Curtain holding one parcel of still-leasehold land called Lot500 – the hole in the ground beside the terminal. So, for at least 10 years the Curtains have been able to sell the land or develop it – no one, least of all Julie Walkden, has had any interest or capacity to stop the owners from doing whatever they like.

      • Kenny Kennett says:

        Hey NMD, can you enlighten us all on why Nelly Bay Developments went bust? Was it because they were held back all the time fighting Court challenges, etc? I don’t remember the intricacies of it from back then. But I do remember every man and his dog wanted to lynch Ms JW and the Snooze. Things were taking one step forward before they stuck their green snotty noses into progress; then waddya know, the Island took two steps back.

        • Alahazbin says:

          Google Magnetic island Developement. Phil Dickie’s report is fairly balanced.
          NMD Walkden was stirring earlier than 1990 and Captain Snooze was Mayor and a member of NQCC.
          Nothing wrong with that, but he did have a foot in both camps.
          Walkden lost a court case against the Council and they were awarded costs of over $300,000.00 which Mayor Radiance later wiped. What a good little labor mate.

          • No more dredging says:

            Alahazbin, $300,000 owed to Council? – twaddle. Absolute bullshit. Finally came down to an amount of about $45,000. One case in the Local Government Court (1989) Walkden v TCC over the development approval before Judge Wylie, another (also 1989) in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Island Voice v GBRMPA). Then there was the 1992 Review of the Magnetic Island Marina Development before JF Whitehouse for the Department of the Arts, Sport, the Environment and Territories with terms of reference to investigate the procedures followed by GBRMPA in issuing a permit and secondly specific criticism and allegations made by Island Voice and by the Australian Democrats leader, John Coulter, against the Authority and its Chairman, Graeme Kelleher over management of the project. It’s all public knowledge on the record but some know-alls know nothing and then just make stuff up.

          • Sandgroper says:

            Forty five grand? A mere bagatelle when it comes to writing off ratepayers’ money.

          • No more dredging says:

            Sandgroper, ratepayers money was not “written off” or “wiped” – regardless of the empty-headed pompous fabrications of Alahazbin. The City Council spent money defending its decision to approve the development of North Queensland’s largest hotel – much bigger than the Townsville casino – on Bright Point. Not the units that are there now, a much larger uglier 5-6 storey, 234 room hotel dominating the site. Not that they wanted to build any hotel. What they wanted was an approval which would allow a gigantic quarry in the middle of suburbia – for breakwater rock – under the guise of ‘site preparation’. The outgoing mayor, Reynolds, rezoned Bright Point to Tourist Facilities (an unappealable council decision) in one of his very last administrative decisions. It was never going to be a surprise that the whole Bright Point development (not the harbour, that was a separate issue) would be controversial and likely appealed in court. Council faces these situations regularly and we ratepayers expect our Council to defend its decisions robustly – which it did.
            After the six week Local Government Court case, the then-new mayor, Mooney, made it known that the Council would be pursuing the losing appellant for the costs it had been awarded – I think the TBulletin suggested it might be $100,000. But the Council would not have the actual costs figure “taxed” in the Supreme Court to determine the proper agreed amount; the “$100,000″ figure just drifted around in the media, for years, a handy stick to regularly bash the island community for the ten years that the site lay idle after the developers had wrecked the joint, blown $30 million of the State Bank of Victoria’s (Tricontinental Bank) money and left town at the end of 1990. Their disgusting incompetence had been ably demonstrated in March 1990 when a big flood carried away thousands of meters of quarry and reclamation spoil through the half-constructed breakwall, irreparably damaging the Nelly Bay fringing reef and contributing to the demise of the Arcadia and Picnic Bay coral reefs as well. That side of Magnetic Island has never been the same since.
            About the mid-1990s or later, Council finally spent the money to get the Supreme Court to “tax” the costs owed to Council. The final figure was about $45,000 – but the scurrilous actions of certain councillors and the malicious incompetence of council itself finally led the court to exempt the appellant from paying. See that? Council did not “wipe” the bill. Council was ordered by the court not to collect the bill. Of course Alahazbin has no recollection of any of this.

          • The Magpie says:

            Excellent background, the latter part which The ‘Pie personally recalls to be accurate (wasn’t here for a lot of the 80s stuff when Capt Snooze oozed his way up the slippery pole with self-seeking, destructive decisions like this one – your words ‘empty headed’ and ‘pompous’ spring to mind). Indeed, Mike Reynolds is the root cause of many of Magnetic Island’s current problems to this day.Hey want a job as a researcher heh heh heh.

            But you say, quote: ‘we ratepayers expect our Council to defend its decisions robustly': well yes, true, but we also expect that the council not make transparently stupid decisions against the interests of ratepayers too, and we most certainly don’t want it defending those decisions with our money (Adani airstrip anyone).

          • Sandgroper says:

            Thanks for that, NMD. There was so much bastardry going on throughout that period I’d forgotten the fine details.
            Looking back over the years, nothing much has changed with the TCC. No matter who’s been in power, it often seems to have been run as some sort of mini-fiefdom with ideology and ‘mates’ trumping the interests of ratepayers.

        • No more dredging says:

          Kenny, you ask why the Nelly Bay harbour (Magnetic Quays) project went bust. I know it’s a long time ago but it’s fresh as yesterday in my memory. But I don’t know what language to use when I have to deal with your idiotic insinuation: “Things were taking one step forward before they stuck their green snotty noses into progress; then waddya know, the Island took two steps back.” So WTF do you know about Magnetic island?
          Let’s look at something that’s happening today for a kind of comparison: Adani and the Carmichael coal project. If, in twenty-something years you look back and wonder: ‘Why did Adani fail?’, are you going to say the bloody greenies dunnit? No really, do you think the involvement of local, state and federal governments, all the Australian and several foreign banks, several unions, several multinationals like Aurizon, all of that has nothing whatsoever to do with the prospects for Adani’s project? It’s all just ratbag greenies, left wingers and communist Aboriginals? Well, if that’s your bag then I can’t help you. Sorry. What I can say is that the Townsville Bulletin is not a reliable source of information and never was. Oh, and the boss of the Tricontinental Bank back in the day was busted for fraud and did time. I won’t bother telling you his name and we’ll never get to see the secret fourth volume of Justice Woodward’s Tricontinental Royal Commission into the actions of those crooks who funded the Nelly bay project but rest assured you know fuck all about it.

  46. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Someone is seriously taking the piss here, Townsville Airport nominated for a marketing award, WTF is next, Numbskull Gill, CEO of the year.


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