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The Magpie

Saturday, March 17th, 2018   |   114 comments

Jenny Hill Shows Why Our Next Mayor Should NOT Be A Politician.

Is there nothing this woman doesn’t fuck up? Her Ineptness now adds water pipeline funding to illustrious list of inglorious cock-ups … all of her own egotistical political considerations.

And here’s a newsflash for all your regular Nesters … the mayor doesn’t like The Magpie one bit. (Audible gasp). And shoots her foot clean off when she says why …

The Astonisher’s schoolboy howler of the decade, …

…and the big question in comments during the week … if airport boss Kevin Gill’s $3 ticket tax were to be introduced, how much would airfares go up? One scenario will make you wince in disbelief, but could it be right …

But first …

The ‘Moron’ Is At It Again …

The busiest job in Washington is the bloke with the oil can at the White House turnstile for sacked staff. It continues to run white hot.

This time around it was Rex Tillerson, The Trumpet’s erstwhile Secretary of State – yup, the very same man who described Trump as a ‘fucking moron’ – which is a bit hard on 8 to 11 year olds, which is the clinical mental age ascribed to morons.

Tillerson, holding down what is traditionally the second most powerful position in world politics, got the heave-ho via Twitter, which says all that needs to be said about the parallel universe of Trumptania. But according to Bentley, there are some Townsville locals who don’t think the orange-frosted fruitcake’s staff changes are anything to write home about.

T-Rex out flat small

Interesting to note in a recent US survey asking people for one word to describe Trump, one, two and three in order were ‘idiot’, ‘incompetent’ and ‘liar’. The ‘Pie is convinced the survey was rigged, because asshole came in 11th.

But he’s no dill, The New Yorker magazine knows how The Prez has it all worked out why all those kids abandoned classes across America during the week to march against gun laws.

They probably got the idea from one of these protesty video games. (Courtesy New Yorker Magazine)

“They probably got the idea from one of those protesty video games.”

Police Put Out All Points Bulletin For Missing Comma

And haven’t stopped laughing all week at this trap for young players. Even the legendary tough-guy cross-examining barrister Harvey Walters hasn’t caused an agonizing death in the witness box.

Screen shot 2018-03-15 at 8.44.34 AM

Here’s Something To Think About

The ‘Pie makes no claim to mathematical competence  – Christ, words are enough trouble – but here’s something for you to think about.

Airport liesThis projection of the Kevin Gill’s demand for a $3 passenger tax to fund his company’s proposed upgrade of facilities may end up with you paying a lot more than an extra three bucks. Here’s how regular and generally sensible commenter Cantankerous But Happy painted one possible scenario. This was challenged by others (all this is in comments under last week’s blog) but original commenter Cranky is sticking to his guns.

Cantankerous but happy

March 13, 2018 at 9:34 am  (Edit)

Pie I think it’s important for people to understand how this $3 airport charge works and the blatant lies being told by Gill, the Astonisher and others to make people think $3 will be tacked onto every ticket, it doesn’t work like that. The facts are it is not a $3 charge levied on the passenger, it is a $3 increase in airport charges per passenger that has to be paid by the airline, it is a direct increase in costs. The naive public and even those in small business in this town that I talk to don’t understand how these changes are viewed by large companies and the effects it has on ticket pricing.
Qantas currently returns an average 10% on every airline ticket it sells across its network, and that is the benchmark it would use on how cost changes effect that return. A $200 airfare TSV- BNE would nett Qantas $20 profit, add $3 to the $20 would be $23. In order for Qantas to maintain its average 10% return on every ticket sold means they would lift the price of that ticket to $230, you don’t separate input costs because some tosser wants to call it a levy. The fact that so many in this town don’t understand this goes a long way to explaining why our economy is in the shit and why many businesses are struggling to keep their doors open.

Be interesting if Qantas could give us an opinion, but as said, this comment was challenged by two others, and these were replied to by Cranky, who maintains he is right.  Have your say in comments this week.

The Fright Bat Fumbles Again

Jenny Hill

In case you were mistaken, it would seem our mayor is no Abe Lincoln … it’s getting to the stage where she can’t fool any of the people any of the time. For reasons known only to herself, Jenny Hill continues to take knives to gun fights.

Screen shot 2018-03-15 at 6.52.35 PM

In short order, she’s declared there is no water crisis (resulting in a massive climb down ), flick passed the bus hub debacle to deputy Goofy, ludicrously called for a boycott on Qantas for refusing to support a ticket tax at Townsville Airport, told Adani to get their act together or else – although she failed to say what the ‘or else’ could even start involve – and refused to front the media when an independent review found she presided over a council and with CEO operating in a culture of secrecy.

pipeline sod tuning 2

Now she’s decided to sink a dainty Blundstone into Labor mate Anna Alphabet, over funding for the water pipeline from the Burdekin Dam…

Screen shot 2018-02-01 at 2.16.15 PM

Blundering around in her dishonest pose as the battler’s champion, the mayor is demanding – yes, demanding – that the government pony up the entire agreed 4-year tranche of $225million in just two years.

There never was any such agreement and the government has basically told her to get stuffed. Indeed, they’ve done their best to ignore this embarrassing Labor grandstander … as The ‘Pie reported when all this started, the government is already stretched to the limit what the stadium and all and we’ll be lucky to see the money within the stipulated four years. Mayor Mullet has fudged, dodged and straight-out lied about the progress of the project. Now our gal has got herself in a pincer movement … it looks like she will have to choose between two unpalatable political choices … if she wants the pipeline finished by next year to gain bragging rights for the council election early in 2020, she will have to borrow money. If she accepts the  original four year timeframe without expensive interim borrowing, she doesn’t have the pipeline completion as a campaign plus. Plus she’s borrowed money, which in the end, the ratepayers’ pony up. Her dilemma is succinctly summed up in a letter from the Water For Townsville people to the mayor, which demands (as is our right) to answers to crucial questions.

Executive Officer to the Mayor

Dear Inga,

As per our phone conversation this morning, I am requesting an urgent phone discussion with Jenny Hill.
WFTAG admin, as the acknowledged community partnership in the City Deal process and Water Security Taskforce deliberations, require clarification on the following.

Please forward this email to the CE0, and all Council members who attended the last mtg with WFTAG admin, Feb 26th and to Matt Thomson.

1. Did Council formally apply to the State in 2017 to have 4 year funding for stage 1 of the new pipeline altered to a 2 year timeframe?

2. Did Council receive written confirmation from the State that the request had been received and approved?

3. Please  confirm in writing that Council was unaware of the State’s position, as per Dr. Anthony Lynham’s statement published in the Townsville Bulletin yesterday, that the $225 million grant was still over a four year budget timeframe.

4. Please guarantee in writing that the pipeline will be operational by December 2019 as promised.

5. Please guarantee in writing that no ratepayer money will be used for any subsequent loan that Council might need in future to be able to deliver the project, in the promised timeframe.


Jenny Skinner
Email Officer

Good luck with getting straight answers, water people.

And will it come to this, as it did in America recently.

funds lack ad

But At Least She’s Good For A Laugh

Magpie laughing Screen shot 2014-12-13 at 5.25.57 PM

It seems the mayor flew into a rage with The Magpie in the past few days (she normally just contents herself with a Magpie dart board). She was upset with a commenter who posted a claim that one David Donahue had been sacked by the council – the commenter was obviously sympathetic to Mr Donahue and –ahem – critical of the council.

Now as a matter of housekeeping, after some exhaustive investigations, it turns out that Mr Donahue was a sub-contractor to a council contractor, and his departure was an internal matter with the contracting firm, and did not involve the council admin or mayor. They say.

But for some reason, it was this issue that sent our Jenny up the wall, telling all and sundry that everything in this blog is ‘lies, lies, lies’ but the real kicker came when she ranted that ‘The Magpie is being sued, you know, lots of people are suing him, so he can’t be trusted.

Ahem … (update Sunday morning)  First and foremost, an unsolicited email from a senior legal person simply said ‘ …simply can ‘t be trusted’? Sounds like defamation to me.’

An interesting grasp you have there of the laws of defamation, dearie, you are saying if someone is BEING sued but the matter hasn’t yet reached the courts, they can’t be trusted. (Chortle, wheeze snurffle) what a merry prankster you are, madam mayor. BECAUSE were you not sued by Clive Palmer recently (you went to jelly in an instant on that one and are paying Fatso $50K). So surely by your reasoning … wait for it … that means … wait wait … that you can’t be trusted? Heavens, no, say it ain’t so, how can we have a mayor who can’t be trusted? And by her own admission?

It would seem that the mayor is about to disappear up that …errr … twilight zone where those ever diminishing circles end.

Oh And While We’re Here, Mullet, Care To Lend Some Transparency To Another Council Secret

Gosh, another of those pesky commenters on the blog … and The ‘Pie knows this former employee’s background at a senior level, so you’d better believe him … and reply if you dare next time you’re waffling on about using water responsibly.


March 12, 2018

I was wondering if you were about the problems that council was having in the past at Riverway. Thousands and thousands of litres of water had been running into the river due to cracks underground within the pool recirculation and pumping system.

I know that council spent a lot of money fixing the problem. Maintenance in these areas is why the pool complex was closed over the school holiday period about 18 months ago.

I can recall that there were times when the entire river bank below the lower lagoon was just gushing with water. Yes this may have been pool water, but it was our town water that kept the pool complex topped up, which I understand took a massive amount of water.

I don’t believe that the previous management of Property Management ever told the Mayors office how bad this situation was. Yes they knew about the problem, but were either unaware or just kept quiet about the actual magnitude of the problem.

IF we ever need to know factual numbers from Riverway, I’m sure we can dig up an ex-pool contractor or maintenance person.

Anothe water issue: Council water tankers used for road cleaning and construction work would constantly fill the tankers from the city water mains situated within the Garbutt Depot. It was not uncommon to have a water tanker with a Large sign on the side saying BORE WATER come into the depot and fill up from the mains.

I raised these issues with senior management and all that changed was that they asked the tanker drivers to fill up at different hydrants so as we couldn’t see them.

This use of town water was still occurring when I departed council in November and had been occurring during the periods of time council was under water restrictions.

All of this got up my nose as they had council crews going out to local residence booking them for washing a car or watering the garden.

All when council has been the biggest abuser of them all.

Don’t worry, The Impaler will knock ‘em into shape, by gum – if there’s anyone left to knock into shape.

A Brief Observation

It is becoming clear that the last thing Townsville needs ever again is a politician as mayor.

It is clear from this current and previous administrations that the requirements, wishes and majority agreement of the population is necessary for good governance. And that can only come from a person with respected business credentials, a sense of responsibility and fairness and who is not distracted by competing loyalties. A person who can represent the city with dignity, intelligence and a willingness to strongly present the community’s stance on issues.

Those who argue we will be overlooked if we don’t play the political game are wrong … the mayoralty and council should be to one side of state and federal politics, and it follows as night follows day that THEY need US more than the obverse, and ignore us at their peril. For the simple and bleedin’ obvious reason that all those council voters are also state and federal voters. And these certainly are perilous knife-edge political days.

It is impossible to ban political parties from local government, but it is not mandatory to have them… indeed, truly independent, locally focused councils everywhere are the first real step towards keeping the bastards honest.

partisan politics

Climate And Water: The Long Game

Interesting little snippet has wafted into the nest from regular commenter Memory Man, who writes:

Here’s some sobering news for those who want to think climate change risk is bunkum. Fact is, insurers have copped a hammering by under-provisioning, and places like NQ will continue to face increasingly hostile climatic events into the future. As things stand, with existing insurance models, there is only one direction for premiums – up. Politicians can bleat all they want, but the first line of defence on premium rises is investment in avoidance actions. One wonders what Council is doing to keep a lid on the costs of insurance for public facilities

Temp 3

Temp 2

Temp 1

Neatest Headline Of The Week

Nutt Jobs

Sent in and not sure where its from … AFR maybe? Deserves an award anyway.,


That’s for another week, but the comments are open 24/7, wade in and have your say, give us a laugh or something we can all ridicule (it happens). And if you are of a mind to lend a hand to a lying, dishonest and untrustworthy Magpie, spare a bob or two … the How To Donate Button is below.

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  1. Mike Douglas says:

    Always found the Pie to be reasonable person so as a small business operator a right of reply to the comment about the $3 airport fee to passengers tickets.Pretty sure the contributor behind this comment lists his credentials because he works for a top 100 Australian company ( entry level $1.7 bil market cap). There may be some substance to the contributors costing analysis if all Qantas seat charges were the same but options to fly to Brisbane today $291,$423, $810 and because of supply and demand return via Rockhampton $1.112.So clearly Qantas don’t operate like most normal companies and slap on a set % margin.Dont take my comments as support for the $3 fee because that would be like Shopping centres charging customers a levy so they can upgrade and make the centre nicer and more enjoyable.

    • The Magpie says:

      An idle thought which has recurred to The ‘Pie for years … why do some people pay twice the fare to be a bit more comfortable for an hour or two, get ‘free’ drinks (which they have in fact obviously paid for) and arrive at the same destination about 10 metres ahead of other passengers.

      • Alahazbin says:

        I think it’s called ‘elitism’

      • Scotty says:

        Because they need to remind you of how much better they are than you.

      • Scientician79 says:

        As a tall person, over 6 feet, the continued shrinking of the economy cabin makes the pointy end of the plane seem more desirable all the time.

        Notably as a frequent flyer Qantas often offer a deeply discounted price, along with some points to enjoy that part of the cabin, an offer I have taken them up on once or twice after a long week away.

        Certainly difficult to justify for the 2 hour routes at full price, but if I had the cash I’d probably be more inclined to pay a on regular basis.

      • Grumpy says:

        Because, me old lovely, most of them are not actually paying for the fare. Senior public servants who have business class travel in their EA -SES level and up, I believe. Years ago, any public servant who had to travel 2+ hours automatically got an upgrade. “Management” in companies such as Telstra and Ergon need to thoroughly wet their snouts. I am relatively lucky in that the number of flights I do for my job every year and the occasional holiday overseas allows me to maintain platinum in my own right – at no extra cost to my employer.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Spot on Grumps, but that doesn’t quite fit with Pies recent response not long ago indicating that you are a little on the tight side when it comes to parting with your cash, you are either flying a bloody long way and often at the back of the cabin or parting with a bit of cash and jumping up the front on occasion to maintain Platinum each year, either way good on you for not being like half the hypocrites I know who have top shelf tastes on the bosses card and drive thru tastes when paying for it themselves, nothing pisses me off more.

          • Grumpy says:

            Cranky, don’t believe everything the old bird says. Ask my wife for her view of my spending habits. It’s all going in the affidavit, she says.

            And, yes, I do spend a bit on upgrades. Only on interstate flights. It makes the inevitable waiting between flights more tolerable. The Significant Other is particularly impressed with the toilets in the Q Club – something on which women place some importance.

          • The Magpie says:

            Whereas ‘ …. something IN which blokes place something of importance.’

      • Mick says:

        Because they are not paying themselves for that position on the plane from their own pockets. It’s amazing the lurks that are available to Commonwealth Public Servants i.e. fly for more than three hours, you are then entitled to fly in the pointy end.

      • The dildo man says:

        There are many sme’s like myself who don’t fly often and only hold QF’s lowest status.
        But due to clever business spending on QF sponsored biz credit cards, paying everything from taxes, suppliers and most biz expenses l find myself in receipt of huge amounts of QF points but without any frquent flyer status.
        The purpose of doing this is to use these points to cover a personal trip or two to wherever on the back of my biz spending at no personal cost.
        well thats how its supossed to go.

        I refuse to pay $850 for an annual QF club membership when l don’t fly that often. and my status does not give me a comp membership either.
        So l have a heap of points, many hundreds of thousands of them which are very difficult to use because almost every other frequent flyer gets the pick of free seats before l do due to the fact they have better status.

        so one almost gives up trying to book international trips in the pointy end with points, due to no availabilty for us plebs on the dates we want to, or can only travel.

        Domestic upgrades on a paid economy ticket are much more easily attained.
        An example
        I am booked to fly to Syd via Brizvegus this week for a dildo trade fare and conference.
        My economy return ticket cost me $810.00
        Using a very small amount of my overall points the whole trip is upgraded to biz class.
        this gives me access to the qantas club in Townsville, Brisbane and Sydney and the same on the return. I also get extra luggage which helps after my dildo conference, returning wth many samples and new stock saving on excess luggage.
        it also gets my luggage as a priority and helps my status towards the big elusive free pointy end trip somewhere or other.

        So not bad for 800 bucks.
        Plus l get to use the damn things.

        So for me its not about status but convenience and a slightly more pleasurable trip.
        At the end of the day its all a bit of a suckers game.
        They wave the carrot and we try to eat it.
        I feel like a dog, chasing my tail.

        The points cost me nothing, therefore are free to begin with as l pay the cards on time in full so no interest.
        so why wouldn’t you take the big seat if it was free.

        There are many others just like me

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Mike good points and that’s why i indicated QF would average the return on seats to a set figure, I just picked $200, could be more could be less, they have the advantage of every route is a cost centre within itself with easily definable cost centre margins. Airlines use a return per ticket or sold seat irrespective of the price of that seat, because the fixed costs don’t change, the plane has to fly anyway, whether it’s half full, or business class is empty. Defined costs such as the per passenger charges from airports can be easily costed against each destination, you wouldn’t spread those costs against other cost centres as you would with fuel etc. The return on each seat is part of QF reporting each FY and is a something that analysts and brokers watch carefully, Qantas currently return 10%, the average across airlines around the world is 5%, QF would guard this margin carefully, especially on its domestic business.

  2. The gnome from Nome says:

    Kevin (rhymes with) Gill wants Qantas to pay to his employer, Queensland Airports Pty Ltd $3 per passenger to assist in increasing the value of QAL’s assets. (about a $50m infrastructure upgrade).
    So why doesn’t Qantas ask QAL to pay $3 per passenger to Qantas so Qantas can purchase a new Boeing 737 (about a $50m asset upgrade) to handle the QAL’s claim of increased passenger numbers?
    quid pro quo!

  3. One legged tap dancer says:

    No need for an independent council to keep the bastards honest.
    Our new editor Jenna Cairney is already doing that. In fact it’s her slogan.
    Given her obvious blind support for all things Mullet and the council’s advertising spend, any opposition mayoral candidate won’t stand a chance.
    Same applies to Channel 7 not-so-local news.
    It would be interesting to find out just how much of our ratepayer funds go to the Astonisher and Channel 7. Might be worth a Freedom of Information inquiry.
    The only media organisation even attempting to keep the bastards honest these days is WIN Television, who I’ll bet hardly receive a cent in advertising from the council.

    • The Magpie says:

      Right facts wrong assumption, Hoppy … the Astonisher is now, and will further be. held in such contempt that the only danger to a Mullet opponent is that the paper starts supporting and praising him or her.

      And sad to say, the policy of regional timidity has both ABC radio and TV MIA.

  4. SPQR says:

    Power corrupts, & absolute power corrupts absolutely. I believe one of the best means of keeping the bastards honest is fixed terms.
    The greatest fear of a corrupt leader must be his/her successor. Putin cannot leave the big office because he’ll be prosecuted & end up in boob, or assassinated. He must hold onto the levers to survive.
    Clearly this is also the case with a Xi Jinping. The passage of the law allowing him to rule indefinitely is one of the most dark & frightening developments in world affairs in the last decade or so.
    No matter how much you bang on about Trump (like every other nandy pandy lefty journo) the fact is that he will be gone in 7 years, if not sooner. That is reasonably assured (subject to the Roosevelt factor). And then all the muck rakers can comb through the residue looking for mischief.
    The mayoral office should be the subject to the same 2 term restriction, as should many other publicly elected offices. Knowing that your out & open to scrutiny after your term may make you a little more sober in exercising executive power whilst you have it.
    Without fixed or limited terms you are much more likely to see pork barreling, lying, cheating, threats i.e. all the usual dirty tricks played, in the effort to retain power.
    We’ve had our 2 terms of this Mayor. Please no more.

    • The Magpie says:

      Agree with your general sentiment, but a couple of observations … Trump – gone in 7 months, not seven years.

      And The ‘Pie may be wrong, but don’t council’s have fixed terms anyway?

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Fixed terms but the same turkeys can be reelected many times if the electorate is so inclined.

        p.s. weather is grate here in Uralla

        • The Magpie says:

          Make sure you have a gander at Thunderbolt’s Rock … it’s … it’s … well, it’s a rock.

        • Mick says:

          What gets under my skin is the “family dynastys” that have been evolved over the years eg. Katter family’s: Bob (Snr), Bob (Jnr) and Robbie (3 generations); Palaschuk daddy and daughter; Pitt’s, daddy and son. Personally, I don’t know why anyone would want to be in this profession unless it is for the rewards of office. Maybe, just maybe,they have a commitment to public service.

          • I'll be plucked says:

            Commitment to public service? If you believe that Mick you are a plucker like the pollies!

    • Polythene Pam says:

      What pray tell is the “Roosevelt factor”? If you are referring to the 4 terms FDR served (Presidential election wins in 1932, 1936, 1940 and 1944 before dying in April 1945) that possibility is long gone – for many years now Presidents have been limited to 2 terms.

      • The Magpie says:

        The current arsesole in chief is 73 … say he were to get a second term, his tenure would end in 7 years, and he’d be 80 … if Dave is right, he’d be 84 before he could run again, an unlikely scenario given his current mental state. Ronald reagan was the oldest person be elected Prez, at 73 (just 90 days short of 74).

      • SPQR says:

        I understand they were limited to 2 terms before Franklin D Roosevelt too.

        • SPQR says:

          Wrong, it was customary to only serve 2 terms before Roosevelt. In 1951 it became a constitutional bar.

          • Mick says:

            And America was so fortunate to have had Roosevelt for the time that he lead them. God Help America, now.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      Term limits (say 2 or 3 terms) is an appealing idea but rhe devil would be in the detail.

      What would be an appropiate number of terms? Would it be an absolute limit or could someone step aside at the end of their term, sit out a term, and then renominate?

      Another factor could perhaps be the loss of experience and responsible oversight of limiting a good and decent mayor or councillor tbat is doing a good job and deserves to continue their good work.

      The real problem is the quality of candidates that present themselves. I agree with the Pie. At the local government level we do not need professional politicans and party apparatchiks who see it as a stepping stone to further pilitical or party advancement.

      • Council workers "shovel" says:

        Everyone critersize the tsv first mob who apart from crisafulli and last not one of them held membership in any conservative party. Yes they were very liberal in thinking but when you have absolutely labour card holders in councilors, ceo and upper level management like we do now there’s no chance of getting a non political council. We had a non political council last term no matter what you all think but the dickheads of labour townsville followed the red flag. And my feelings come from how both tyrell and tsv first treated us workers on the coal face. Concider that last point.

        • I'll be plucked says:

          I conCIDERED your point Shovel and decided to have one old mate!

        • Alahazbin says:

          The last administration was just as bad as this lot.
          With Mullet as mayor and only 2 councillors on her side and the other ‘Magnificent 7′ blocking everything, the city went nowhere.
          And I don’t believe they were not aligned with another political party.

          • Council workers "shovel" says:

            It’s very easy to see just how many things were blocked by the last council through FOI. A large number of items that the mayor put through were surported unanimously. could you enlightened us all just what did they block that has you complaining? Talk about blinkers. What did they block?

          • Dearie Me says:

            The last council at least asked some questions. This lot of brainless flunkies aren’t worth their pay. They don’t have a clue what’s going on, they don’t ask questions and they don’t care. As long as they have the cash jingling in their pockets and they don’t have to face the abuse of the Impaler or be set upon by the Mullet they are all happy.
            Spineless blancmanges the lot!

  5. Gonzo says:

    Dear Pie “who can’t be trusted,” Just one question … er make that two. How did Mayor Mullet get elected, and how has she lasted this long.?
    Good blog as usual.

  6. Dave Nth says:

    Had interesting conversation yesterday about the drainage in Deeragun during the wet period a couple of weeks ago adding to what we already know. Seems that whoever built the ring rd extension stuffed all the drainage up around Jensen rd/Stony ck area causing quite a few flooding problems that weren’t there before the bypass was built. Residents are seething.

    Don’t know how far they’ll get if flooded out again but heard a reference to legal action being considered. Know this was a state/federal thing but show the depth of anger at the constant stuff ups in an area that polled between 19-26% for the angry ant at the last election. Think the next council election is going to be a whitewash to even the drovers dog if he stood.

    • Council workers "shovel" says:

      Yep Dave and don’t forget the water that was coming down from the dump face at jensen landfill that night either. Didn’t matter what creek it fed into there was that much water it all become one river in the end. Guess who is still the committee chair of waste and water in the council? Just seems to all fit together. All that time in the media posing as a ghost councilor for the mayor who was giving Jacobs info against tyrell and tsv first. Both backstabbing warts. There time is coming karma just is late.

  7. Old tradesman says:

    What amazes me the most is how Cathy O’Foole associated with Billy Shorton Brains say in Astonisher paid adverts, that they will give $100m for Townsville water supply, has this amount been worked out on the back of another postage stamp like the NBN calculations,out of which thin air module has this money been made available when they are not even in power yet. Goodness, the tender, or the type of pipe have not even been decided. Like Anna with the Dora the Explorer saga they want the Feds to hand them a blank cheque. Something is rotten in the state of Townsville.

    • Linda Ashton says:

      Sounds a little like old mate bleating. I’m referring to the representative at senatorial level who has had 27 years to advance the most critical infrastructure for this city. It has always been a council-state budget argy bargy. No change there but the new City Deal surely expects something more from the Feds, for this top priority project in the Townsville Deal, than dry ink and three cheesy (nonpartisan guaranteed) grins.

    • Mick says:

      Is this not similar to what was promised by Talkbull prior to O’Foole being elected. My view is that this sum has already been allocated!!!

      • Linda Ashton says:

        Funding flowed for a second stadium – not for water security which was apparently not a problem pre-2017. Originally the stadium was under the Urban Renewal initiative then surreptitiously relocated under the Townsville City Deal. Right about the time of the Federal election after the double dissolution. The cash splash didn’t go quite the way the PM would have liked and he’s probably kicking himself for not funding water security before football. There’s always the next election.

  8. Non believer says:

    Nearly drove off the road this morning listening to a TEL update from the sock puppet CEO O’Callaghan.

    According to this genius Townsville’s economy is being held back because airfares in and out of the Townsville are to high. She wobbled on that even a modest 10% reduction in fares would be a huge boost to our struggling economy.

    How on earth can this stupid woman make this statement and along with the Mayor tell us Qantas are failing this city because they won’t increase their airfares to support Kevin rhymes with Dill’s airport upgrade.

    Am i missing something here or is this shear hypocrisy or just plain stupidity. Either way this woman should be sacked.

  9. Memory Man says:

    From nowhere to nowhere. It’s something of a repeating theme. First, an airstrip in the middle of nowhere. And, closer to home, a bus station from nowhere to nowhere. The CBD has been long dead. A new bus stop won’t change that. And yet, it took the fools in Walker St / George St how many years to haggle about which side of the road it should be on. FFS!

    • I'll be plucked says:

      The state member for Townsville, Captain Cupcake (no substance, doughy, full of crap) has done nothing for our community. Apparently when addressing his union hack mates he calls them Comrade – perhaps he would do better to eff off to Russia and hang out with Vlad. No jobs, bus hub fiasco, Adani rort, no insurance relief, all talk no action from this very, very lame ‘politician’.

    • seagull says:

      I see Bendigo Bank who were in NABs old digs have decamped……….

      I remember the Mullets spray when Westpac pulled out the CBD tent pegs a while back but missed it ? ….. this time

  10. Cantankerous but happy says:

    “ Local jobs, local jobs” , people I know in the plumbing industry who are quite reliable tell me that the 3 local plumbing firms bidding for the stadium work are now down to 2, and that Watpac have asked a large company called Beavis and Bartell from Brisbane to now quote on the job also, don’t know how that fits with the local theme, another lead for you to follow up Tony Raggatt and I would imagine we will read about this in a week or two, you should be paying Pie a spotters fee.

  11. The Owl says:

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for Raggat to do any digging on a story. If it’s not a media release it doesn’t see the light of day.

    • The Magpie says:

      Bit unfair, Hooter – Raggatt led the charge with good dogged reporting and research on Storm Financial long before the national media became interested and followed his excellent lead. And yes, The ‘Pie knows Tony (or used to) and he isn’t bought by anyone, but its abit presumptious for us to judge him when we don’t know the constraints and dirctives he works under … and as recently reported in this blog, he recently was ropeable that his front page story about job prospects was heavily edited to remove the balance he had written into to it.

  12. Cynical Cricket says:

    Seems that Clive Palmer and Jenny Hill have ignoring pipelines in common:

    News today:

    A few years ago:
    HILL REJECTED WARNINGS ON WATER “Water crisis? What water crisis, we don’t need a pipeline”

    • seagull says:

      re the QN oil pipe

      a little bird told me a while back that they didn’t pig the line after the last oil transfer (push all the oil out) .. which was a bit hard to believe……… but they did do some dumb shit…….. so a pipeline full of heavy oil starts to leak … well well what else is going to come out of that box full of spiders

    • Sandgroper says:

      Does anybody know the status of the toxic waste ponds and if there were any spills during the big wet?
      Surely the Bulletin would think those questions worth asking in its role as champion of the community?

  13. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Well old Numbskull Gill lost out to Vladivostok at the routes Asia awards last night for airports under 4 million passengers, but did receive a highly commended which makes one wonder what the hell is the criteria for these awards, he wil soon have an international terminal pushing through around 10,000 passengers a year when the Bali flights cease, with a bit of luck someone at these awards might offer him a job, be the best win Townsville would get out of it all.

  14. Cynical Cricket says:

    This in the news today:
    Brisbane risking $270m in ratepayer funds with secretive investment strategy, economist warns

    I’m not a money person, so could someone explain to me the following:

    Is the City of Brisbane Investment Corporation (CBIC) like the up and coming Townsville Development Corporation and the in hot water Ipswich ones?

    Why do councils have these sorts of business entities when they are costing the ratepayer to supposedly make money; the supposed profits appear to be ratepayer money anyway?

    Is there any benefit at all with these entities?

    • The Magpie says:

      They’ll think of one, and wrap it up in spin and buzz words as they renovate the trough to accommodate places for cronies at the feast.

  15. wild colonial boy says:

    Greetings from the deep south Magpie

    As a long-time (now ex) reporter and subeditor, the demise of the humble comma pains me greatly. I have lost count of the number of (presumably) reputable newspapers (and online sites) which feature stories containing paragraphs which differ from what the writer intended, simply because he or she has failed to use a comma. As you point out in the court story example above, it’s a real trap for young players. What can you expect, though, when Uncle Rupert guts newsrooms right around the country, leaving too few subeditors to do far too much.

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed. The great example youngsters were taught about ‘caps and commas’ when Americanisms started to creep into our language was: ‘I helped my uncle jack off the horse.’ No commas, whole new meaning. And in extreme cases, it could have some rather nasty legal outcomes for the paper.

      • Achilles says:

        My favorite was the boss who had to downsize so he sent a message to Mary. “I am sorry but I have to lay you or Jack off.

    • Sandgroper says:

      Like you, Jack Duggan, I’m pained by the sloppy writing so common nowadays within all sources of news and views.
      Some of it is because experienced subs have been sidelined, but I believe there has also been a marked decline in writing skills over the past two or three decades due to poorly-trained teachers and less emphasis on basic literacy.
      You just have to look at letters from the front in the two world wars to see what I mean. Most of these letters, often written by lads who left school at the age of 14, would shame the efforts of many university graduates I had the misfortune to mentor and counsel in my newspaper days.

  16. No more dredging says:

    ‘Pie, you’re into defamation, especially when it involves Murdochland. Here’s something from today’s law list:

    Rush v Nationwide News Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 357

    Very interesting manoeuvring.

  17. Dave of Kelso says:

    Dear ‘Pie,
    Listening to ABC RN Law report on deformation. Keen that we keep up the pressure where necessary but, dear Bird, please don’t make yourself vulnerable.

    • The Magpie says:

      Deformation? Is that a reference to the mayor’s gradual imitation of the Michelin Man? And as far as defamation goes, since The ‘Pie has no money and is a pensioner with no assets (the Nest is rented), the only thing that can happen is the old bird is forced into bankruptcy … any money he had is long gone.

      • Sandgroper says:

        Your detractors will whinge that the cat-‘o-nine-tails has been phased out. Now it’s just them on a flogging to nothing.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        Body imaging insults shouldn’t be allowed on the blog. Go for the other comments regarding competence and administration issues but you should leave the personal comments out of this.

        • The Magpie says:

          Your soulful PC pleading would have carried more weight had you been just as indignant about The ‘Pie’s frequent mentions of his body shaming of Tony Abbott (‘wing-nut’), Clive Palmer (‘fatso, ‘blimp’) or the reference’s the strain experienced by Gina Rinehart’s undie elastic. But no, you only bob up with your bumptious instructions on rules for this blog when our winsome mayor is mentioned. Hmmm, do we have a teensy weensy little ‘thing’ for the mayorsy-warsey, even when she clumps around representing this city looking like she’s been dragged through a hedge backwards? Maybe not quite as non-aligned as you’d like us think, perhaps?

          • Non Aligned Worker says:

            You are entitled to your opinion you fat c#!t

          • The Magpie says:

            Classy comeback, full of wit … or something that rhymes with wit. And while you’re knob-throttling over body image, you have obviously never heard of ‘two-way pejorative belittling’ – in this case, insulting all female readers, who will not be happy to know that they possess a moulting, bedraggled old bird as part of their natural equipment.

  18. The Magpie says:

    Product placement of the week:

  19. Moment says:

    Did anyone see the announcement with Anna P, by a spoke person (blonde) that the Queensland tax payers investment was all approved. (No ScoMo required) The block buster animated cartoon movie ‘Dora the Explora’ would create jobs and more, ‘jobs for all those Concretors and the local Bunnings Store’’. Yep, the Gold Coast is going to continue to boom after the Com Games the result of a cartoon movie? Be worried, very worried South East.

  20. Council workers "shovel" says:

    So I see in the bullsheet today the mayor opposes the service station. So my point to people here who critersize the tsv first mob about blocking the mayor all the time, add this story along with 450mil for the redevelopment of the queens hotel area (hive) and I’m pretty sure that all that blocking last council did wouldn’t even scratch the nose of what the mayor has managed to chalk up. Still haven’t heard anyone tell me what was blocked by tsv first yet???? The people who work for your rates ( council workers ) wish they would run again. It was so much better.

  21. Council workers "shovel" says:

    It’s also worth mentioning that as fact and recorded in voting all 3 including the mayor, message bank walker and doyle 90% of the motions brought forward by tsv first councilors were not surported but yet tsv first is blamed for blocking. Just a true point. We only have to look at the debacle of 2 seperate budgets where the mayor was on a spending spree, hasn’t history proven that correct. Every budget measure past was voted against by the magnificent 3. The number of businesses that opened during the last 2 councils have been doubled by the closures in this one term.

    • Hercule Poirot says:

      Vern Veitch Broke the Party Line Several Times I call recall he voted against the Sand mining at Cape Cleveland…

      • The Magpie says:

        The ‘Pie trusts that a seasoned observer like yourself has not fallen for this orchestrated latest scene in the immorality play titled ‘The Re-Making Of Jenny Hill’? This is such a clumsy, hoked up attempt to make the council look democratic – 10 to 1 vote, oh, come on for Chrissake – and Mayor Mullet look like an inclusive leader (HA!), someone who can roll with the punches, and not let her lower tremble at this devastating loss – on an issue that no one gives tuppeny fuck about and is never going to lose the mayor any votes at an election.

        The Astonisher is either stupid or complicit (The ‘Pie’s bet is both) in this resurrection of a fallen heroine, as they stroll hand in hand down the path to perdition and ignominy.

        The absolute gall of this mob of jellybacks.

  22. Dearie Me says:

    Well well… On the down low… All very secret, hush hush, and stuff… Council is planning to hand out not 1, not 2, but 700 tablets to the outside workforce. These are hand outs. Not recorded on the asset register.
    Someone’s idea of “free” includes a sim card, an Optus one, so coverage will be pitiful, and a custom built app which will provide connection to the Council systems, and among other amazing bonuses, a subscription to an unnamed crappy local source of news.. If you lose it.. ah well… Council didn’t have a record anyway, so don’t fret too much….

    • The Magpie says:

      WEll OK, if you say so, but what is the point? Is it an Astonisher-connected hand-out because they couldn’t get rid of them on the offer to subscribers a while back? I think the only tablets needed by the 700 would be one with a good percentage of codeine to dull the pain. More info as it comes in, please.

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        Could it be that the Arse-tonisher has found a devious way to increase their online subscriber numbers by 700?

    • The Magpie says:

      Strandboy, your comment wasn’t published because you didn’t say to whom you were replying or the issue you were addressing. Happy to publish if you can fix those small but vital matters.

    • Strandboy says:

      Dearie me … I’m sure the 700 tablets are GPS enabled to track the strand runs and long lunches of outdoor workforce … also to clock in and out of shifts once within the gps fenced locations.
      HR Stacey long been pushing for this and the app was for private phones but that went down like a lead balloon, so handing out free ones gets overs that hurdle.
      I can see many tablets going diving in the rock pool …

  23. Kenny Kennett says:

    Oh Patricia, surely you and the Do-Nothings can display Maggie Island better than that. Sunrise visit Maggie Island and that’s the best you can do. A decrepit Horseshoe bay. And yes, your people would definitely have had input into the content – they were always on the TV in the background with their phone cameras on instead of trying to find something a bit more interesting. In my opinion (IMO) it showed a scrappy feral destination with a baby koala, 2 horses, a hippy scientist and an outdated topless car. Certainly a far cry from the beautiful beach of Whitehaven presented the day before. At least they didn’t interview our feral mayor (Mare). Our rates at work.

    • Old Hack says:

      Hope they didn’t tell readers the hire charges for that outdated topless car. Last time I visited the island, one of those cost me more for the day than I recently paid in the UK to rent a brand new Ford Mondeo for a three-day tour.

  24. The Magpie says:


    To Comment poster ‘Dreamer’ – your missive is way way too good just to go into posts (The ‘Pie is serious, it is excellent). Indeed, it is so Magpie-esque that is it going into Saturday’s blog untouched.

    Inspired! And boy, is The ‘Pie jealous.

    • I'll be plucked says:

      Okayyyyyy, can’t wait for this! :)

      Oh and Pie, well done on your professional mauling of the comment made by Non Aligned Worker. It was simply………..MAGNIFICENT. Hey there Non Aligned, go and get plucked!

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        Soft target by a soft clot. Afraid I can’t compete with the self appointed gentrified few. You know, the ones that use the old fashioned gramma.

        • I'll be plucked says:

          Like I said pluck off you planka!

        • Mick says:

          The lesson from the unfortunate event is that you should not call anyone “fat”. As to the other construction of letters in your comment I see nothing wrong with the use of the word “colt”. Even though the Magpie is feathered, he still likes horsing around.

  25. Sandgroper says:

    Many in Townsville will be saddened to learn the inimitable Richard Robertson has died in Brisbane just two weeks after being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer.
    We have kept in touch over the years and he was scheduled to visit me here today (March 22) in Perth for three weeks of long lunches, winery visits, sightseeing, motor racing track days and general frivolity. Sadly, we will not have that last hurrah.
    Richard was a Clare Valley (SA) winemaker before chronic asthma led him to relocate to the tropics with his family in the late 80s. He was GM of the local tourism authority before it was amalgamated as part of TEL, then had management and marketing roles with TCC, JCU and other organisations. After leaving Townsville, he worked for local authorities in Queensland, a Granite Belt winemaker and on private projects before retiring to live on an island off Brisbane.
    He was a larger-than-life character, widely travelled, with friends throughout
    Australia and around the world.
    Aged just 67, Richard died long before his time and leaves a family that includes brother David, son Hamish, daughter Mary and three grandchildren.
    He was one-of-a-kind and, along with many others, I will miss hearing his raucous laughter and classic catchcry……… “I’m excited!”

    • Airline says:

      I can recall long lunches at the Holiday Inn Myself & Airport Staff Staff and his efforts to convince Qantas to put his Mango Wine on Aircraft Yes for a While they Did put the Mango Wine On Domestic Flights Townsville Brisbane and return.. Farewell …

    • Alacan says:

      Dont know you and didnt know Richard, Sandgroper, but lovely lovely words and a respectful and obviously heartfelt tribute to someone who was clearly a great contributor

      Well said !

    • No more dredging says:

      I’ll second that and raise a toast of Mango Rico – a fine liqueur brought to this town by Richard (if my memory serves) and sadly unavailable these days. Vale.

    • One Of The Motley Crew says:

      Those who knew Richard should google Rick Robertson of Clare to read a superb 1982 interview of him by one of the wotld’s greatest wine writers.
      It perfectly captures Richard’s outgoing personality and lust for life, which remained undiminished to the end of his days.
      He will be sorely missed by his family and multitude of friends.

      • Polythene Pam says:

        Just did – thank you – “I’m in the wine industry because I like drinking actually ” – I would’ve loved a long lunch with him

        • Sandgroper says:

          Pam, lunches with Richard were epic. He often also caused a Pavlovian response at sundown with his neighbours wherever he lived.
          As the first cork popped, most of the non-wowsers in the vicinity would turn up bearing food and drink — ranging from casks to vintage French champagne.
          Nobody ever got fighting drunk — although we often discussed religion and politics — because rule # 1 was “Jocular, not jugular.” And you could usually meet somebody new and interesting because Richard attracted such people.
          You couldn’t label his regular get-togethers as a ‘salon’ because the participants were a ragtag bunch from very diverse backgrounds, but we sure had a lot of fun.

  26. Honkers says:

    With the departure of CQU’s VC Scott Bowman, it’s time for questions to be asked about how the trumpeted partnership between CQU and the Council has actually delivered. When CQU’s CBD campus was launched with much fanfare in June 2016 this is what was claimed: 

    “Up to 5000 new students could soon call Townsville home, as CQUniversity partners with Townsville City Council to drive major plans for a new campus in the city’s Waterfront Priority Development Area.” 


    So, one wonders what was involved in this partnership? Let’s see some details about who was responsible for what. As for results, how did the partners go at cracking 5,000 new students?

    If these forecast numbers were to be in a prospectus for property investors, one suspects you’d be pretty cranky at the moment. The nearby Honeycombes development isn’t teaming with overflow, the most obvious example being the Bulletin pinning its own tail between its legs and retreating to the print room.

  27. I'll be plucked says:

    TB Online – ‘Jenny Hill snubbed by councillors’. Hmmm ok, about the placement of a service station.

    This smells of crap and a setup from the ‘inside’. Will reserve judgement on the ALP Mullet and Impaler controlled weak ‘Councillors’ to see what other MAJOR issues they are prepared to stand up to the two despots on……….

    • The Magpie says:

      Please see Magpie comment on this issue, in reply to Hercule Poiret.
      EDITORIAL ADVISORY: It will make things a lot easier if commenters ensure they identify to whom they are replying, even if it is not a direct reply as such but a thought on the same subject. The ‘Pie is working on ways to be bring abit of order and ‘easy find’ to comments, but this would be a start to keep groups of comments on the same issue together.

      Thanks. Yours Truly, Mother Magpie.

    • The Magpie says:

      Please see Magpie comment on this issue, in reply to Hercule Poiret.
      EDITORIAL ADVISORY: It will make things a lot easier if commenters ensure they identify to whom they are replying, even if it is not a direct reply as such but a thought on the same subject. The ‘Pie is working on ways to be bring abit of order and ‘easy find’ to comments, but this would be a start to keep groups of comments on the same issue together.

      Thanks. Yours Truly, Mother Magpie.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Good grief Dear ‘Pie,
        Surely you are not suggesting that a comment contain:
        A to whom address or salutation,
        An introduction,
        A main body or argument,
        A conclusion and recommendation, and finally
        A signature block, of sorts.

        This would bring too much clarity and civil discourse.


  28. Memory Man says:

    If Col Dwyer is the economist’s version of a poodle, then David Lynch must surely be that Labrador who’d roll in his own shit if he was told to.

    Lynch has been offered the guernsey of City Economist, a new role created to sit in the Impaler’s office, charged with the task for pumping out fatuous nothings masquerading as information and analysis. Word is he was preferred to candidates with PhDs in economics, most probably because Lynch is a well-known patsy not much better than The Poodle.

    Before rewarding him with this sinecure, Lynch was frequently retained by ratepayer-funded TEL to write drivel, and “project manage” the Hells Gate feasibility (even though SMEC – the engineering firm doing the real study – already had a project manager).

  29. Strandboy says:

    Agree that the leaking lagoons at Riverway were carefully avoided by the Astonisher, when water was a touchy subject, what water crisis? Management execs did know and reported to the mayors office … measurements provided dutifully by minions but a fix still not funded as that will just hurt further, water crisis or not.

    What is also on the nose, is the reported stealing by property staff on a number of occasions blissfully ignored until the theft of thousands of $ of fuel became evident and put the wind up their kilts … move on nothing to see here CCC.

  30. Dearie Me says:

    I see the role of Senior Executive Officer to the Impaler is advertised. How many has she had since she started? Perhaps she’s trying to set some kind of record.

  31. Old tradesman says:

    I see that Anna would like to get Elon Musk to set up a Battery factory in Qld, what will happen to the Mullets Calcium proposal, maybe Dildo Man can fill us in.

    • The Magpie says:

      Allow The ‘Pie to point out that requesting the Dildo Man to ‘fill you in’ could result in watering eyes … a real pain in the bum.

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