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The Magpie

Sunday, August 27th, 2017   |   180 comments

Kevin Gill Townsville’s Three Dollar Man Is At It Again, Ably Aided by The Astonisher’s Two Bob Ben Bogan.

Yes, Gill and iditor Ben English continue to try to dip Queensland Airport’s corporate hand into the community’s pocket, as they ramp up their anti-Townsville campaign. And in the process, the Astonisher gets the Pot/Kettle Award of the Week for its unintentionally hilarious front page on the issue.

Should we do a Charlottesville and tear down that statue of Robert Towns, because he was a ‘black birder’? There are plenty of opinions, but one thing is clear … there are plenty of suggestions on replacement statues, but The Magpie suggests one that is available and free right now.

Does The Magpie reveal exclusively that Senator Malcolm Roberts is not British, but is … oh, you’ll just have to read on.

… and The ‘Pie’s bright idea for a tourist attraction that would attract thousands, and cost the public next to nothing.

But first …

Dancin’ With Hanson Chapter 2

Pauline Hanson is many things to many people, and she certainly has many personal friends in this neck of the woods. In his newspaper days, The Magpie reported on a prominent Labor identity who got a bollocking and, if memory serves, was threatened with being ousted from the Labor party when he and his wife hosted Big Red for a few days at their Maggie Island home. It seems what most outraged those Labor poobahs was that the bloke actually had a DANCE with the One notion leader.

Well, this week, it’s Pauline who gets the bollocking … sort of. And while it does involve that burqua, it isn’t some sort of dressing down for her dressing up. Bentley reports that a special award was given to her by those who admire what they saw as her courage for her senate burqua stunt (sneaky suspicion Benters might be among the admirers) – but it appears Mrs Hanson didn’t understand the honour at first.

Pauline dance Comp

Her fellow One Notion senator, supposed pommy Malcolm Roberts is hogging his own bit of the spotlight.

Malcolm Roberts

When not expressing his somewhat exotic beliefs about all sorts of matters, he is coy about proving whether he actually holds duel citizenship. Which would mean he would have to forfeit the gig of as lifetime in the Senate. But The ‘Pie understands the High Court may have a tricky ruling on its hands, because those in parliament cannot hold allegiance to any other ‘country’. Malcolm could be in the clear, if a recent arrival in Canberra is to b believed.

Alien from Pluto

And to prove his point, the alien brought a baby photo with him.

roberts baby pix

Oh, well, he is from Welsh stock, and the English believe all the Welsh are aliens anyway.

But the One Notion leader is making some of her own rules about who can join the party’s fight for office, as the Courier Mail reported during the week.


Or presumably, Vietnamese.

One Prominent Local Not Bound For Canberra

Fay Barker won’t be standing for parliament any time soon, she would have trouble with the eligibility test, it seems. She recently went into paroxysms of pearl clutching disbelief when she went aramblin’ around Google.

Fay Barker Nigerian

Are you one of those Nigerian princesses with fortunes you want help handling, m’dear? Feel free to call.

Iditor Ben Bogan English’s Ironyman Award of the Week.

During the week, we were treated to some highly selective reporting of the increase Townsville Airport passenger numbers for the month. Yes, one bloody month. This brought forth a oh-so-predictable follow-up (and outright lie) that the airport was ‘bursting at the seams’, which is just tripe. But one commenter had an interesting take on it …

Alex De Large

The story is that Dill (Kevin Gill) has deliberately made a number of seemingly nonsensical changes with the deliberate intent of inconveniencing and annoying the travelling public. This done to cause aggravation and discontent to the extent that they are fooled into thinking that renovations are needed, when competent management is all that is required.

That is as it may be … another person said the tables at the end of the security conveyors have been removed so you have nowhere to put your belongings back together.

But the absolute hoot of derision comes with this front page today, lambasting Qantas for refusing to approve the swindle.

kanga frontIf you could ever choose a wrong week for this sort of transparent flapdoodle, this would be it. Because here we have an iconic Australian company in Qantas which has turned around its financial fortunes and its standings with both investors and travellers in the past three years, being berated for its fiscal policies and lectured on probity by News Corpse, an organization that has proved to be inept in business, and in reading its industry’s direction and requirements, to the extent of multi-million dollar write-downs and losses announced not three weeks ago.

But that hasn’t stopped Ben Bogan penning another schizo iditorial – veering wildly between bum kissing and bum biting – to further alienate the community. Bogan ended with the line: ’Qantas should do the right thing and support the upgrade.’

You really are a dunderhead, mate. Qantas  ARE doing the right thing, they DO support the upgrade, they’ve said so. They just don’t think they should ‘gold plate’ a Queensland Airport’s asset out of it passengers pockets and be used as a tax collector.

Bogan and the Bulletin just don’t get it, not at all. Fortunately, not that Qantas, among News Ltd’s top 10 advertisers, could give a flying fuck what the Bulletin thinks. we don’t either.

The community applauds you, Qantas.

And Incidentally …

Serious question, Mr English. Despite your name, do you actually understand the language? Its meanings?

Pushing your pickpocketing airport idea, you shout the catch-cry in the paper ‘It’s time the community got on board’.

So. This can ONLY mean that you admit that the community is ‘not on board’ – as in ‘opposed’ to the idea? What else can that mean? (Like you did when the community broadly rejected a CBD stadium.) Yet you exhort Qantas to ‘do the right thing by Townsville’ – in your eyes, unfairly tax the community with an unrepresentative impost.

Mr English, you really are special, in fact so special, Holt Street should get you some crayons and a crash helmet.

Art Should Imitate Life

Robert Towns Statue

There was a bit of a commotion during the week when locals got on the Charlottesville bandwagon again and demanded that the statue of Robert Towns, founder of the Townsville, be removed because he was a ‘blackbirder’, a virtual slave trader in islander workers for cane plantations.

The ‘Pie argues against such a move, and suggests that a small change in focus would be beneficial all round. This is how he put it in comments during the week.

The Magpie

 August 24, 2017 at 2:50 pm  (Edit)

By all means, alter the plaques to tell the ugly truth of the history, so the statue cannot be seen as a celebration of a slaver but an historical landmark, while noting he inter alia was founder of our city. Let his statue stand as a permanent rebuke to the darker days of our story, for generations to see, understand and be able to acknowledge history. But expunging it from mention or memory is an act of cowardice and denial in itself.

But many a naysayer wanted it gone, suggesting others more worthy of permanent civic praise. His Radiance Tony Mooney got more than one mention, and no surprise that JT got a good run, but then someone suggested that if we were to feature someone atypical of our history, we should have a statue of ol’ Captain Snooze himself, Mike Reynolds. And it was hard to disagree with the argument.

Snooze was by all reports a disaster as a mayor (just before The ‘Pie’s time) but they loved him in Cairns. It became worse when he became the member for Townsville. Elevated through Labor greasing to Speaker of the Queensland Parliament, it was suddenly beneath him to speak of parochial Townsville matters, and his smarmy dismissal of media questions – even innocent ones – was a measure, in The Magpie’s enduring opinion, of the overweening arrogance and lofty disdain of one of the worst representatives that the electors of Townsville have ever put their trust in.

But hey, a statue of Snooze is a great idea, and guess what … we could get one for nothing with a little negotiation.

homeless jesus

The local Catholic Church has a suitable edifice already in storage, the Homeless Jesus, a gift the city rejected. The face is hidden, so just change the plaque and you have a visual representation of Mike Capt Snooze Reynold’s contribution to Townsville. And instead of votive candles, the faithful could place Iced VoVo’s near his head and a bottle of Scotch near his hand. Not many words needed, really.

 Blind Be The Blankets And Beads Brigade

One of the more unsettling aspects of the attitude of those who hold sway over us until they face their own  ‘Merit Based Selection’ process … an election … is that they are so spooked to discover the depth of their ineptness, they always have to go for the often unattainable ‘big ticket’ items – the beads and blankets with which to dazzle we ignorant oafs. Grand plans get grand announcements that go unexamined in the Townsville Bulletin. Some of these ideas, if they actually get up, will have ‘grand’ consequences. Like the actual on-going costs to council of the new you-beaut CBD stadium. Soil remediation anyone? More on that during the week.

Neither the paper or the protagonists – Mayor Mullet in particular – have cottoned on to the fact that we are more than a tad weary of stories that feature words like ‘could’,

Screen shot 2017-06-07 at 11.18.10 AM

‘may’ ,

Screen shot 2017-07-30 at 9.45.35 AM

‘is expected to ‘

Investment expected

‘on the way’ and ‘down the pipeline’

Screen shot 2017-08-09 at 8.57.05 AM

and ultimately, the hollow lazy journalistic waffle about ‘that may all be about to change’.

could shiftAnd of course, there are the things you never hear about in this big rock candy mountain of a paper. Take this for instance, the ceremonial sod turning for the new stadium (the sod refers to in the soil, not the turners … umm, wait a minute …) …

Stadium start

The stadium project faces a few problem that are played down as much as possible. One was highlighted in the fact from a Magpie spy was that the soil on the former railway and industrial site is so contaminated that the soil being turned had to be trucked in from elsewhere. More on that, too, soon.

Everything seem to have to be a promised three ring circus of acts that rarely happen. No one seems to want to take the baby steps of imaginative little community opportunities that are sitting there waiting to be recognized. Too modest for the likes of our current collection of empty boasting glory seekers

But Talk Is Cheap, So You Say, Like What?

Well, here’s something that can easily be achieved, will have multiple benefits , will have minimal cost (done right, absolute zero to the council), and is just crying out to be done.

Strand Ephemera has just grown ‘like Topsy’, creating its own momentum through its imaginative concept. Calls for the bi-annual event to be yearly are growing louder. But leaving it at that is missing a vital opportunity.

The Magpie’s suggestion is the creation of a Strand Ephemera Sculpture Park.


‘Pie believes a sponsor – Glencore or similar – could back the project for a permanent home for the best one or two sculpture’s every year to add to the collection, and make it retrospective, so perhaps a dozen or so of the most eye-catching of the past few years are sited in parkland, with picnic tables, barbeques and just plain old ‘sit and look’ park benches dotted about Park..

e fish IMG_6198ebs images E3 E2 Strand-Ephemera-Collage-3 E6 strand-ephemera-009 E1 E5

And there is an ideal site. The ‘Pie has noted that the sloping parkland at Jezzine Barracks – it’s little known name is Brigadier North Park, the area bounded by Howitt and Mitchell streets, and the internal road running behind Kissing Point.

data=KlVRY_se9f8H6Wn6Z10wN3YLlq2iGiiKyJtG8jcewbxKgA8RdUdZ_S6enfyO99VtGFEduhoBa7zgxmqwGikBzFJrTa8p-iayF2vYRiiK_S9QABr6JagluIsf5GTJ-84Pcg jezzine-barracks

This sloping part of Jezzine Parkland is little used by anybody and is a much under utilised community asset.

The word ‘epherma’ means ‘things that are used or enjoyed for only a short time’, so the theme could be sold to visitors as ‘EPHEMERA SCULPTURE PARK – capturing the moment in time.

Once the initial work is done – no doubt there is a grant just waiting out there for this worthy cause – the sponsor then ponies up the cash for the annual purchase of art works, and we have created an eye-catching, unique draw card for the city. At virtually cost to the ratepayer. There could perhaps even be a Carpe Diem Carnival Day during the annual Strand Ephemera.

Relatively inexpensive, undoubtedly popular with all demographics and a lively addition to our attractions.

AND it would go a long way to repair the damage that our Goth-like mayor has inflicted on the city, which has suddenly given us the reputation of a cultural hell hole full of banjo-playing politicians and scythe-wielding bureaucratic sociopaths.

And you can be certain that Brigadier North would be proud of his contribution to the city and its citizens.

Same Sex Marriage? Here’s A Suggestion.

This write-in survey – an opinion poll by any other name – represents an interesting hidden sleight of hand introduced by the government.

There was a late switch from the electoral commission over to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which will now be collating the results. But the switch to the ABS collating the results means they will have valuable demographic data about how various defined groups –age, ethnicity, religion – voted. Although there may not be relevant questions that reveal that information, the ABS will already hold information that can be cross referenced to get those bloc results. And the government – presumably the only recipient of the ‘enhanced’ information – can use it as a campaign tool.

So, you may like to follow The Magpie’s example … vote as you would anyway, but lie like hell about your personal data … age, sex, household arrangements or anything else that may be asked.

That’ll keep the bastards busy.


The Magpie has just received a phone call from someone claiming to be Jesus, who wanted to comment on the Homeless Jesus statue. He said he was only too pleased to have the statue that was initially depicting him to instead glorify Mike Reynolds and his achievements, a person he rated on a much higher individual scale than himself. And he said his dad was of the same view.

The ‘Pie is a little suspicious, though, as the caller sounded like he was munching on an Iced VoVo while talking.

And Finally, Just For The Hell Of It 


That’s quite enough nonsense for now, dive into the comments during the week, there’s plenty left over that couldn’t fit, so comments from Monday will as lively as ever. Do join in the fun. And if you care to push out a small financial boat of appreciation, the how to donate button is 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:

    Do you remember when Robert Towns wore a swine flu mask?

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Miss Lou.

    • The Magpie says:

      No, but if you do, in person, The ‘Pie’s ardour may cool slightly, you cougar, you.

    • Red Rat says:

      The Mayor has to be one of the most stupid loud mouthed twats going. What an idiot poking the bear (Qantas) and bagging them for not kicking the tin to fund QAL’s airport. QAL bought the airport so they should pay for it. The grubs make enough money from their airport portfolio, just look at The Gold Coast. Why should Qantas pay for the upgrades? They already get stung for outarageous fees and charges which feeds QAL’s profits! If the Mayor is really this stupid and can’t understand basic economics then heaven help us! Get rid of this loud mouth Cow.

  2. Gnome from Nome says:

    The old adage “fact is stranger than fiction” is being proved in spades with the outrageous demand by Kevin Gill that the private company he works for should be the recipient of an ongoing donation of cash from a non-related public listed company because the unrelated private company wants to increase the size of it’s main Townsville airport asset.
    What arrant nonsense! Thank goodness the Qantas board and management have rejected the idiotic request! (What does that say about the Virgin board and management who have acquiesced mainly because of the promised upgrade to their special lounge).
    Then along comes another idiot from the Bulletin with a headline that says now that Qantas has made a profit it shouldn’t hold Townsville Airport and the travelling public to ransom by not paying the said cash donation to the unrelated private company. The head spins and the mind boggles at the stupidity of Kevin Gill and the Bulletin for assuming the Townsville population is a bunch of nitwits who should sympathise with their cause.

    • The Magpie says:

      Virgin opened its legs because Qantas (with Jetstar) has 74% of passenger business. Classic case of the tail trying to wag the dog.

      • Grumpy says:

        And the promise of a lounge….along with delicious irony of having it paid for by Qantas.

        • Not Withstanding says:

          That’s absolutely it Grumpy. The reno plans for the airport include a second airline lounge – something that is clearly not in Qantas’ interests.

          And when it comes to the “bursting at the seams airport” the main problem with overcrowding is in the gate area upstairs, but from what I can see on the plans this will not change.

          • Jatz Crackers says:

            As a Qantas Frequent Flyer member, for reasons unbeknown to even me, I booked a 5:55am flight with Virgin to Brisbane last week. At 11:28pm Virgin sent me a text to inform me that due to ‘problems’ my flight was cancelled and they had put me on a an 8:55am flight. Their story was problems down at Brisbane with winds causing landing issues. Upon boarding, the truth was clear re ‘problems’ with the earlier flight with the flight barely 60% full and Business Class completely empty. The Virgin powers that be had decided to combine the total bookings of both flights due insufficient bums on seat for the 5:55 am flight ! My aviator nephew in law based in Brisbane, reported no such issues re weather conditions in Brisbane !! Once bitten Virgin, no second chances for you from the Arnott’s Special !!

  3. Non Aligned Worker says:

    At $3.00 per passenger it would cost TCC a fortune for their FIFO management workforce.

  4. Celebrity Observer says:

    Great blog ‘Pie, but please!!!…… four photos in succession of the mullet has a very negative effect on contents of the stomach straight after breakfast !

  5. Watcher says:

    The reason for the shameful front page story and accompanying editorial in Saturdays Astonisher is clear if you flip over a few pages and find a full page advertisement promoting Queensland Airports outrageous $3 passenger levy to pay for improvements Kevin Dill should have made out of the profits HIS company has been making from Townsville airport since the last upgrade in 2003. Its called CASH FOR COMMENT. Same goes for the editors promotion and protection of Adani.
    For the editor and the Dill to suggest that Qantas should be somehow ashamed for making a long overdue record profit and not agreeing to the Queensland Airports rort beggars belief. Surely its Queensland Airports and the Dill who should be ashamed that they have failed to use any of their profits over the years to make improvements to its own asset. I wonder what the editor would be saying if Willows Shoppingtown started charging customers a fee to enter its newly opened improvements.

    • The Magpie says:

      HLet’s make sure we keep an eye on the website, and see how they rort that. Next. Dolan Hayes will be cranked out to run a campaign telling that it is good for us to give a private company money to enhance their own assets.

      • Scientician79 says:

        The levy really is the most galling part of this whole thing.

        Why should travellers be forced into paying for this redevelopment, especially when it plans on being filled with retail?

        They should be able to cover the cost through increased rental alone, which will be passed on through the excessive charges passed on to the customers stuck at the airport.

        As a frequent flyer, and I think it’s been mentioned by others on this blog in the past, I don’t think the current airport is actually that bad. Sure it could used some upgraded seating, a fresh coat of paint and some carpets, but it doesn’t need a multi-million dollar development.

        This may surprise the brains trust that runs this town, but I actually try to minimise the time I spend in airports. Get there as late as practical to minimise wait time at the gate, and charge out the doors after my flight has landed to be away from the place as fast as possible. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’m alone in this opinion of airports.

        • Alex DeLarge says:

          You’re not. There are a few of us here who would be gold/platinum travellers. To us the airport is not part of the “travel experience “. They are places to spend in which you spend as little time as possible. People do not go there for the shopping – and, God knows, not for the coffee either. Townsville airport is drab and uninspiring. But do people really say, ” Let’s go to Townsville – I hear it has a really great airport!”

          On another, distantly related, matter: Are the Tiger and Bali passengers bringing a positive or negative cashflow? I would venture that most would be locals taking out cash that would of otherwise been spent here. As The Pie said many moons ago, they take out local dollars, and in exchange they bring back STDs and hangovers. This we should celebrate?

          • The Magpie says:

            Well, now, ahem, The ‘Pie made those comments about the Bali flights. God knows, the only thing we get from damp old Melbourne is footrot and fairies.

  6. Clap trap says:

    Not sure who is left at TCC to attract a sponsor for your permanent Ephemera idea given the Together Townsville unit was disbanded under the restructure

  7. Crow says:

    The TCC has a quite a few pieces of ‘public’ sculpture hidden away somewhere. It used to be stored in the old hanger at Jessine. One piece used to live on the corner of Flinders and Denham. It would be good to display that before the rate payers are asked to pay for more. This stuff is expensive.

    • Manoly says:

      Just a note, Pie, on the sculpture garden idea… There is already a sizeable prize for Strand Ephemera winners. It would be dead easy to turn it into an aquisitional prize instead of non acquisitional. That would make more sense than finding additional sponsorship (Glencore are generous supporters of the gallery, through Ephemera and the Percival portrait prize, on odd and even years). Also, most artists would be happy for their work to find a permanent home in a collection of some standing, despite our Council’s best efforts. Hard to tee up though, Gallery Services is still short staffed (and short changed) after the Noose report and subsequent witch hunt.

      • Bemused says:

        Most of the works aren’t prepared for permanent display. It is an ephemeral display after all. With some exceptions, most works selected from the show to be permanently installed would need to be considerably strengthened, reworked or refabricated completely to withstand permanent display, all of which would incur costs.

        • The Magpie says:

          Oh, well, let’s forget the whole thing.

          Really, that is an atypical Townsville comment.

          • Manoly says:

            It really wouldn’t take much to retool the prize itself (not neccessarily the festival) to work this way, and there is demand for it. It is the most visited event in Townsville. Even this year, limping on with half its usual budget (thanks TCC) it drew decent crowds.

          • Bemused says:

            You mistake my comment for lack of support, Pie. Was more a caution to Manoly that it couldn’t be pulled off without the additional investment you noted in your article… Permanent public art costs money to do properly, and I completely agree that it should be.

          • The Magpie says:

            OK, accept that, just read it in the terms in which it was couched without any qualifers. Ah well, as Ned said, such etc etc.

          • Mary Unfaithful says:

            This could be done easily enough, and for a lot less than the cost of one of the many ‘reports’ the TCC has commissioned over recent years. How many ongoing water reports are there? Three? Five? To say nothing of the Pure Projects farce…

  8. Crankie Frankie says:

    Yes remove the Robert Towns statue and replace it with something the same as Mojo Joja’s observatory http://www.homeadvisor.com/r/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/18HQ-MojoJOjo2.png this would be ideal as a entrance to the Strand Ephemera or astatue of the Powerpuff girls as they know how to look after Townsville and it’s citizens, http://blossom.wikia.com/wiki/Townsville

    • Ronny Rotten says:

      Frankie, I reckon Mojo Jojo’s Observatory has been used by a lot of people over the years to “spot evil opportunities in Townsville.” There are plenty of shysters (not all of them lawyers) still peering through that telescope and plotting their own enrichment.
      Bring on the Powerpuff Girls. They would be a refreshing change from the horsey Ladies who Lunch and Lurch.

      • Clive Wall says:

        I’m happy for the council to erect a statue of me next to Robert Towns. CFW

        • Sandgroper says:

          A notable local with a social conscience and sense of humour would provide a good counterbalance to the dour and rapacious ‘father’ of the city.

  9. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Whilst the flights with Tiger have certainly added to the overall numbers of Townsville airport it shouldn’t be forgotten that it has come at the expense of our traditional routes especially Brisbane which has seen a further drop in capacity and overall numbers. Further to this the overall numbers highlighted by TAPL include international passengers, if you remove Tigerair numbers and international passengers domestic numbers are actuullay down about 1.4 % of what they were 2 years ago before Bali and PNG services began. The calendar was also a friend of Numbskull Gills with a 31 day month incorporating 5 full weekends which allowed for extra flights over other months of the year. The return of direct FIFO flights to Moranbah under a govt initiative has also helped. On current volumes and no further reduction in capacity TAPL will be close to returning to the 1.65 million passengers it acheived 8 years ago, and this is the sort of managment the astonisher thinks we should be applauding and supporting, but I suppose against the evaporating numbers at the astonisher these actually look good.

    • Scientician79 says:

      I was thinking the same, given Qantas is still running smaller planes for a majority of the Townsville-Brisbane route how can Townsville Airport claim there is a capacity problem?

      To me that only starts to make sense when Qantas returns to full size planes on all routes and they are all at capacity. I think we are some way off that being the case.

  10. Alahazbin says:

    The ‘Sleeping Jesus’ would be a good example for Captain Snooze. When he became mayor after the untimely death of Perc Tucker. He certainly made his life ambition to make himself a motza. First thing was to get a mayoral car. He was in the background supplying Julia Walken info so the first Nelly Bay development was stopped. She later lost her court case and was ordered to pay up, but later Labor council waved the payment.
    Linkon Group were the developers for Nelly Bay Harbour. They allegedly donated to Tony Mooney’s campaign.

    • The Magpie says:

      Nohing wrong with Linkon making a donation to His Radiance, unless it carried an understanding of favourable treatment, of which there is no evidence.

      But the Nelly Bay development reluctantly championed inter alia Capt Snooze, put a spike in the heart of Magnetic Island’s logical tourism progression. Picnic Bay was effectively killed stone dead (with the help of those who inherited the hotel there). And the argument that an all weather terminal doesn’t hold water (sorry, sorry) because these nancy boy ferry operators refuse operate at all if there’s a bit of blow within 200kms.

      • Sandgroper says:

        Don’t we all pine for those wonderful years when Picnic Bay was thriving? For me, its demise and the phasing-out of open-sided buses with quirky names signalled the end of the unique Magnetic Island tourism experience.

        • The Magpie says:

          Classic baby with the bathwater stuff.

          • Old Mudpicker- The Happy Socialist says:

            Ah Sandy, the days of Flighty Flo, Nippy Nell and Gallopin Gertie. The joys of careening down the Horseshoe Bay to Arcadia road wondering if this was the trip the brakes would go.
            I remember the sheer terror of jumping off the Hayles Ferry in bad weather on to the Picnic Bay jetties steps and the relief of reaching the dry planks on top.
            I can even remember when they would take cars across on the old Ferrys roof and drive them off across planks onto the jetty. Good times but it must have been a touch nerve wracking.
            Bloody soft landings now. Big cat, easy access. Where is the fun in that?

    • NoMoreDredging says:

      Takes a major slap in the face to rouse me to comment but that is bullshit beneath contempt about collusion between Julie Walkden and Mike Reynolds. Mike Reynolds’ last administrative action as mayor (before he resigned) was to change the zoning of Bright Point to ‘tourist facilities’ thereby making quarrying in suburbia legally possible and bringing on both the court challenge by Ms Walkden (against the Council’s planning decision) and ultimately the destruction of the Nelly Bay reef flat and the ongoing degradation of Cleveland Bay.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Hooray for Captain Snooze! He has a fan.
        I see his photo in today’s Astonisher. No mention of him being a former State member and Cabinet Minister & Speaker. Must have been asleep.

  11. Critical says:

    Official start to cyclone season is just on2 months off and yet no word on Jenny’s promised free street kerb side rubbish collection. Looks like another of her manifestion promises broken for a second year in a row.
    Friend pointed out the her manifesto also promised grants to sporting clubs to help them improve their club houses and equipment but he reckons that no mention of this on the TCC grants website but applications are open for a whole pile of other grants.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      No word on the kerbside hard rubbish collection but it hasn’t stopped the charge for it appearing on our rates bill as a “waste management levy”…..

    • The "JOHN" says:

      Trying to find info on this from council staff. If you noticed in latest rates the waste department has been slashed from 230 to 199 per year I think it was, or half year I’ll have to double check when I’m home. But a sneaky 30 dollar waste levey put in. This is diverted money from an already slim budget that our garbos need to do the task. They have lost actual drivers from redundancy recently and was told it would be 8 weeks to replacement arrive. That was 13 weeks ago since first one left. Remember that it wasn’t frontline workers effected to help balance the books only managers were going. There’s still 7 managers there none have been cut except the director. This diverted money will pay for hard rubbish. However the tender has been put out a couple of times because it came back millions over. More info to come next week hopefully

    • Dearie Me says:

      Heard a rumour that the much anticipated hard rubbish collection is scheduled for smack bang in the middle of Cyclone season. Assuming we get some rain this year…get your mozzie spray out because dengue mozzies rather like piles of rubbish to breed in and it’s not like theres anyone at council to manage mozzies

  12. Mike Douglas says:

    With the lead up to the State election and Council down the track, wouldnt it be enlightening to invest $ into more sustainable businesses that will ensure net household wealth Townsville doesn’t drop from $524,000 down to $386,000 in Townsville in 7 years!.The $150k+ paid by TCC to Pure Projects could have been done in a room by Chamber, Tel, Lancini, Tapiolas, Honeycombe at no cost.This along with the PR $ paid to try and trick ratepayers could be channeled into realistic opportunities non mining related.TCC seems to want to approve everything and anything to try and make them look good when we know the Mullet falls short on economics.

    • The Magpie says:

      ‘…. could have been done in a room etc etc;? Probably was. And of all the legal firms in the CBD … at least 20 … only one was canvassed by the Pure Pleasure rorters …. Emanate Legal, home to magpie buddy-chum-pal bazza Foghorn Taylor. Must’ve been a quid in it somewhere.

  13. JJ says:

    Does anyone know why Kevin gill was appointed to townsville airport? What We’re his previous achievements to make anyone think he could run an airport?

    • Critical says:

      He ran McAir which went bankrupt,inspite of the massice government subsidies it recieved and mining contracts, not long after he left if I remember correctly and ask anyone who had to fly Mc Air (or nick named Maccas Air by many) and they will certainly be able to tell you stories about how efficiently it was managed, flights consistently late or cancelled, aircraft break downs and the list goes on…

      • The Magpie says:

        CHRIS!T – whatever you do don’t call him a dud businessman, or Bazza Foghorn Taylor will sniff another cheap chiselling quid.

      • Airline says:

        McAir (1) was orginally set up by Peter Collings of Mckinley Aviation and Ground. Handled by Qantas I went Up to Century Mine a Couple of times as Qantas had the On Carriage Passenger Rights Also Flights To/From Dunk Island . McAir (1) was highly regarded in Aviation circles. Mac Air (2) It was sold To Kevin Gill and a guy Called Dave Batke (Radke) A mate of Gill’s who is now (was) Airport Manager Alice Springs Gill & Radke (Batke) ran a very well and highly considered Airline down the drain. Most of the Fly in/out operations were picked up by Flight West . With Flight West’s Demise they Fly in/out were picked up By Alliance who still hold most of them to this day McAir (3) tried to continue Under the control of a Guy Called Brian Burt (Byrt) whose office was a veranda in South Townsville Burt (Byrt) held the Rights to the Ansett Brand and also to the Ben Lomond Mine I understand He was Convicted of social Security Fraud In Brief Gill took a Highly thought of Airline and Ran it into the ground. Among Airport Staff he was regarded as a complete F$^* W#%

        • The Magpie says:

          Byrt was one of those characters who grace North Queensland with such great regularity. Byrt was what could most kindly be described as a basic sort of bloke who made a small fortune on selling mining leases in WA. Thus enriched, he decided he would by the name Ansett and take to the air, eyeing off MacAir. The ‘Pie’s favourite memory was when Tony Raggatt went off to interview Byrt in his office at, he was told, level one of a South Townsville address. Raggers could stop laughing for a week when he discovered, as you said, level one was Byrt’s old Queenslander verandah.

          The venture again ended in tears all round.

          • Non Aligned Worker says:

            Sounds like a similar resume to one that has been in the front of social media recently. I wish to remain anonymous so I should use the initials RK. Deja vu all over again. CP please spell chec for me?

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Previous airport experience was minimal as far as I know,, he worked for a regional airline which was a subsidiary of Air NZ , then was the CEO of Macair for many years and jumped ship in the months leading up to it going broke. Obviously QAL were looking for a compliant lackey who was content with doing enough to keep the doors open and suck a shitload of money out of the place and funnel it down the Gold Coast.

  14. Critical says:

    Change the first letter of the surname of 2 board members of TEL whose surnames consist of 4 letters to the fourth letter of the alphabet and it says it all. What hope has the city got?

  15. Cherry Pie says:

    A good and varied blog this week, Magpie. There’s always something to think about there, especially re what’s currently happening in Townsville, or should I say Boganville-ia? That’s a fetching name, don’t you think? So why not forget that dodgy Robert Towns and relabel the place in honour of a large majority of residents? Much more relevant and nicely floral too, who could possibly take offence?

    Now at the risk of being savagely attacked and told to get a life, I wish some of the folk who reply, often with valid and interesting things to say, would run a spellcheck before they excitedly hit the submit button. Sorry, can’t help it but I have a proof-reading eye I just can’t control. Maybe I should change my name to Cherry Tart?

    P.S. Have checked this over about 10 times in case I’ve made any typos!

  16. The old peterbuilt says:

    Sitting on a stump in the Yookon reading the latest pie master piece . Some one should tell gill and bogan to come up here and see some of the airports you go through to get here. Tsv airport is a palace compared to what is around . Sounds like a major con job. Beer is good here but you need to wear gloves to hang onto the bottle.

  17. Dave of Kelso says:

    The Daily Astonisher has been printing “could happen/should happen/pie in the sky” stories for years. Two clangers that come to mind are the establishment of an aircraft maintenance precinct to the NE of the main runway, to service (get this) all of South East Asia, and, the Australian Army’s School of Artillery relocating to the High Range Training Area.

    Given their form they could rightly print “Dave of Kelso could win Gold Lotto.” Not untrue, highly improbable and of no interest to anyone.

  18. Achilles says:

    Why all the fuss from the churchy mob about SSM? After all big G is gay, isn’t he?

    Well according to chapter 1 of his fairy tail he set his sign (a rainbow) in the sky.

    So surely that legitimises the LGBTQARSE using his/her/its flag?

  19. Memory Man says:

    We now have a mayor that confesses that the State Government’s Change of Responsibility amendments made QNI too risky for Council to take over. These amendments were introduced by her mates in George St, and she was cheering them on. When the risk of these amendments was raised with her last May, it was a total blank. Clueless. She should have known better, because concerns were aired before a parliamentary committee and submissions were available in the public domain as a matter of open, public record. So, we wonder:

    1. What did our August economic wunderkind say when her mates in George St went down this path, when it was evident to many – in public submissions to the parliamentary committee – that the proposed amendments posed significant and unknown risks to future prospective owners?

    2. Why would any prospective purchasers even bother talking to the Mayor about an acquisition?

    3. What can the Mayor do about helping anyone negotiate with Mr Palmer? Can she give ratepayers an insight into what she would propose as her value add to a sensible resolution of the present impasse?

    4. What did she advise the two approaches made to her in relation to why Council decided against taking the asset over and selling it? Did she advise these prospective suitors of Council’s assessment of risk?

    5. Will she tell the community whether she made submissions to the government at the time the Chain of Responsibility Bill was introduced about how the provisions could jeopardize a future sale of the refinery?

    6. Will she now lobby her mates in George St to have the legislation amended to remove this risk, so that at the very least, this set of provisions won’t be the barrier to a successful disposal of the assets when the time comes?


  20. The "JOHN" says:

    Enjoy another comment with your name to it in the bulletin again today. The story about mullet whinging about qantas again. Didn’t print my first comment but did my second. Go figure

  21. Critical says:

    Who the hell does Mullet think she is telling people to boycott QANTAS and Jetstar because QANTAS won’t bow to QAL edicts to support their business model and profits. She needs to take a reality check and look at the state of Boganville and her elected role and get on and manage council and not tell QANTAS how to manage its business.

  22. Scientician79 says:

    So it’s beat up on Qantas week at the Astonisher.

    I’m sure Qantas are quaking in there boots at Mayor Mullets suggestion we all stop using them until they agree to charge us $3 additional on behalf of the Townsville Airport.

    Oh and Jenny here’s a clue, the reason Qantas is using downsized aircraft for the Townsville-Brisbane route is because less people are travelling, you know because of the economy in the town being mostly destroyed.

    Really though Mullet is wasting her talent as Mayor, she is clearly an expert on transport and logistics, between the airport and her suggestions on how to fix railways.

    Someone should offer her a multi million dollar salary to lend her expertise somewhere maybe in New South Wales or Victoria, preferably anywhere but here.

  23. Concerned citizen says:

    Can’t work out whether our mayor is corrupt or just plain dumb.
    In today’s Astonisher she again attempts to blackmail Qantas into agreeing to slug its passengers $3 per trip to pay for Townsville Airport terminal upgrades which will become assets of Queensland Airports and in the case of the proposed new Virgin lounge and new retail shops, earn significant revenue for the company.
    Can’t imagine Qantas taking too much notice, nor travellers boycotting the airline. But wouldn’t it be interesting if Qantas barred the mayor from travelling on its flights, or more importantly entering its lounges. No free drinkies and no free food – that’s gotta hurt!
    Does the mayor not understand even the basics of the rort Queensland Airports and its local manager Kevin Gill are trying to pull here? Or is she part of a group including TEL (of which Gill is chairman) and Astonisher editor Ben English conspiring to defraud the travelling public?
    Either way she should hang her head in shame.

    • The Magpie says:

      How ingenuous, Concerned. ‘Or is she part of a group, including TEL (of which Gill us chairman) etc’? Mayor Mullet is the deputy chair of TEL. Anything else?

  24. Hee-Haw says:

    I have in the last 2 months done 27 Qantas flights in/out of Townsville, plus about 8 Virgin flights when it suited. Which is my normal pattern.

  25. Cantankerous but happy says:

    If we had anything resembling a decent paper in this town there are a coupe of questions these simpletons would have put to the Mullet about her statement regarding Qantas, the first being who else should we fly? Virgin airfares on any given day are actually dearer than Jetstar and on many occasions dearer than Qantas, Virgin also have cut capacity to Townsville and whilst they are streamlining to an all 737 airline they have cut te frequency of trips down to 3 services on some days. If anyone wants to know why airfares are high in Townsville perhaps they should be asking Virgin why they won’t let Tigerair fly the TSV – BNE route, no doubt because it will bite into Virgins profit, a check this morning had Tiger fares from Cairns or the Whitsundays at $59 and $65 to Brisbane, the other airlines then have to respond, instead we are just fed more if the same shit from Bogan, Mullet and numbskull Gill.

  26. Concerned citizen says:

    Ok, ok – I meant the mayor in her role as civic leader, not as a TEL board member.
    In any case it would be great if bloggers who work at Townsville Airport or spend time in Qantas vip lounges could keep and eye out and let us know if the mayor gets on a Qantas plane or sticks her nose in the trough in the lounges in Townsville and elsewhere. If you spot her, take a pic and send it in so we can share it with all the other Qantas frequent flyers who are boycotting the airline.
    Solidarity forever!

  27. Old Hack says:

    Just read the Mullet’s latest attempt to blackmail Qantas into lining the pockets of her mates at the airport. To me, it reeks of extortion and should attract the attention of the various State and Federal authorities charged with maintaining the probity of local government.
    She is so puffed-up with self importance she has lost touch with the reality that she is the pissant mayor of a provincial city, not the all-powerful dictator of North Queensland.
    It’s past time she addressed the failings of her own administration rather than telling others how to run their businesses.

  28. Interested Observer says:

    The Mullet is showing her true colours. Remember this woman was being held back by Townsville First. Look what we have now. She is complete failure as a mayor. All this bullshit about the airport serves another purpose. She is coping an absolute pasting for taking away the dump vouchers and closing down virtually all the waste facilities in the northern beaches. One of our most populated areas.

    By the way if you think dumping green waste is free you’re kidding yourself. There is a cost and we are still paying for it. Her whole waste management plan is a disaster.

    As for Qantas I am a Qantas frequent flyer as well as a Qantas lounge member and that will not change. These attempts to blackmail Qantas are disgraceful. If the Mullet, Bogan English and the Dill thinks they can stare down Allan Joyce, the man who stared down the idiot unions and turned Qantas around, then they are completely delusional.

    She is a bloody embarrassment and the idiots in this city voted for her.

    • Old Mudpicker- The Happy Socialist says:

      Good on yer ” Our Jenny ” . Best Mayor ever. Don’t listen to fake news from this lot.

      • The Magpie says:


      • Swinger says:

        Hello Mudpicker

        I can only guess that you don’t know “our Jenny” personally, and only judge her by her Labour Party membership.

        I have had a bit to do with her over the years.

        In my experience, Jenny Hill is the only really evil person I have ever met. Her empathy for others is non-existent. Her only motivator is vindictiveness and revenge against imagined enemies. Her mind works only in black and white- enemies and friends. Friends are tolerated (until they become enemies), and enemies are to be destroyed.

        Overlay that with a high level of stupidity and incompetence.

        I don’t know anyone who actually knows Jenny Hill who disagrees with my view.

        She will never do anything to improve the lot of Townsvilleans- because she doesn’t care.

    • Busted Chops says:

      Interested Observer:
      Not a single flaw in what you have said. She’s well known for scattering the dominoes and then playing the victim.
      It’s always the newbies on the block still expecting something different. They’ll learn in time…

  29. Jerry says:

    The idea of airports charging airlines for using their facilities does not appear to be a new concept. Darwin Airport actually has a fact sheet on their website detailing the charges and compares them to other airports.
    Fact Sheet here:

    Townsville Airport display all charges on their website, and it looks like they are still well below these charges.

    • The Magpie says:

      So what? And no one has suggested what you strangely posit in your opening red herring line. Seems you’ve completely missed the issue here, especially the way the mayor has so arrogantly and ignorantly ramped it up today. And why is comparing Darwin with Townsville relevant? But the core matter is QAL trying to get the public to enhance its assets and income (from rentals and increased charges) – they are essentially a private company. On top of that, they are trying in their endearingly stupid way, to take on an opponent far more financially competent and even ethically responsible than themselves.

      Anyway, thanks, Jerry, trust QAL have a good retirement scheme of which you can soon take advantage.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Very selective there Jerry, why pick out Darwin when anyone who goes to Darwin regularly as I do knows you pay through the nose for everything up there, airport charges would be no different, so against the other airports Townsville is only slightly cheaper than the others on a domestic charge. What you then also have to work out is the MTOW charge per 1000kg for each aircraft which in Townsvilles case is $12.37, on a 737 that weighs roughly 70 tonne that’s about another $865 per aircraft, but here is the kicker Jerry, TAPL don’t have to pay to maintain the runway like other airports do ( excluding Darwin). The runway is part of the joint user facility and is maintained by defence, so it’s money for jam, the only thing they have to maintain is the apron and offtakes east of taxiway Alpha, so make no mistake Townsville Airport is a good earner for QAL already and doesn’t need a $3 levy.

    • Concerned citizen says:

      Just because they’re getting away with a rort in Darwin doesn’t mean we have to cop one here.

  30. Water Water Everywhere says:

    Interested to see the outrage over a $3 increase – not that I agree with it, however, it seems a bit rich to complain about a $3 increase while sitting back and sipping on a $4 stubby. (or make that an $8 stubby at the airport) Companies make money, and they always want more -surprise surprise.

    On the waste side of things, again I don’t necessarily agree, however, dumps do have a limited life associated with them, when they are full and there is no more land available to expand (because the flash new housing estates have grown to close to them and they now complain they don’t want a dump in their backyards) then they need to be shut down. Of course ‘free’ greenwaste dumping has an associated cost, so does anything which is ‘free’. This is why I am always surprised by advocates of the ‘taking rubbish to the dump should be free’ argument. Running a dump is not a cheap operation, plenty of legislation that stipulates how the a dump has to be covered every night, how lechate has to be treated, how stormwater has to be managed – then add staff costs, depreciation of land value and the forward planning i.e. acquisition of more land or scoping of another area for a dump.

    No easy solutions there unless we all go hug a tree, re-use our waste in our veggie gardens, say goodbye to plastic and bury our wheelie bins…

    Why anyone is still getting outraged by what is said by local politicians and reported by the local tabloid is beyond me when we could all be talking about water! (and coal)

    That should leave a nice hand grenade in the room.

    • The Magpie says:

      That’s your argument? Sounds like your threw the pin and hung on to the grenade.

      • Grumpy says:

        Fuck me. Sounds like Bogan has set a couple of his ace reporters on to us to disrupt the flow of dissent. Sort of like being mugged by a hampster.

    • The "JOHN" says:

      No comment water! Not worth trying to spell such a nasty word. I think you need to get out more though. Just let Bogan know as you walk past your going to lunch

  31. Critical says:

    Wonder if Mullett has issued an edict yet that all council funded air travel is to be booked with Virgin regardless of savings that could be made with QANTAS or Jetstar.

  32. Achilles says:

    Innocence of children! a young lad looking over my shoulder, saw a headline which read “Elderly man drives off wharf in Tasmania”, he wanted to know if these wharf’s were related to Tassie Tigers and are they also in other parts of Oz.

    Monty Python couldn’t have scripted it better!


  33. Laurie Boyd says:

    This letter was sent to Qantas today by a senior legal figure in Townsville, Laurie Boyd.

    My apologies if I have sent this to the incorrect address.

    There is a matter which I wish to bring to the attention of Mr Joyce and other senior members of the Qantas board.

    As you are no doubt aware, Queensland Airports Limited is attempting to extort Qantas into imposing a $3:00 levy on passengers travelling to and from the Townsville airport. The purpose of this impost is, apparently, to fund “multi-million dollar improvements” to the Townsville terminal. There has been very vocal support from the local newspaper, the Townsville Bulletin, Townsville Enterprise Limited and the local mayor, Ms Jenny Hill, Ms Hill is Deputy Chairperson of TEL. The Chairperson of TEL is none other than Mr Kevin Gill, the manager of the Townsville airport and an employee of QAL. The local newspaper, who is also represented on the TEL board, does not consider it necessary to point out the obvious conflicts of interest.

    All the above persons seem determined to convince the public that Qantas is acting selfishly and without regard to the interests of local residents and the travelling public. They seem to be suggesting that, if QAL extends the airport to include retail shops, there will be a surge in visitors to Townsville. This is, of course, absolute nonsense – the only beneficiary of the expansion will be QAL in the form of increased rents and profits. I would also imagine that Virgin Airline would appreciate the irony of Qantas passengers paying for the construction of a lounge for the exclusive use of Virgin passengers.

    The purpose of this communication is to assure you that the vast majority Qantas passengers and Townsville residents are strongly opposed to the suggested ticket levy. We see no reason why we should fund a private business improving its infrastructure. Furthermore, the existing facilities are considered by frequent flyers to be quite adequate – particularly give the downturn in passenger numbers over recent years.

    I am a frequent flyer, travelling through Townsville airport well over 50 times annually. At every opportunity, I express to Qantas staff my support for Qantas’ rejection of QAL’s scurrilous attempts to gouge passengers.

    There has been a recent upsurge in the biased and dishonest reporting of the issue by the Townsville Bulletin. It has culminated today by the prominent reporting of Ms Hill calling for a boycott of Qantas by local residents. This is outrageous. An elected politician is using her position to condone and encourage a boycott of an Australian company that employs thousands of Australians.

    As a loyal Qantas customer (I have not flown on another airline for over 20 years), I am asking Mr Joyce, for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration for his principled stand on social issues, to publicly denounce Ms Hill for her abuse of her powers and Mr Gill for his dishonest conflict of interest (TEL is funded to a large extent by Townsville ratepayers).

    I also call for Ms Hill and Mr Gill to be banned from Qantas flights. I shall refuse to remain in any Qantas Club lounge if she is present.

    Please bring this email to the attention of the appropriate persons.


    Laurie Boyd
    QC No. 1670918
    Member since 1997

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Lozza, as a Q Club member since ’98 I agree wholeheartedly. I would like to see the Mullet and her labor cohorts flying veconomy Virgin (Jetstar will not now qualify). I often bump into Bob K on cattle class Qantas. At least he doesn’t waver in his principles.

      • Sunshine Sal. says:

        Those principles being go where the biggest audience is. Seriously. If Business Class had more people in it, to see him and hear him, thats where he would be. The Kat is one of the best politicans around when it comes to understanding the value of the crowd and its mentality.

  34. Sandgroper says:

    Troops, you’ll love this……
    As from this morning, the Astonisher appears to have put me on its digital readers’ list and is emailing me every breaking story…..WITHOUT ME PAYING A BRASS RAZOO!
    Since the paywall went up, I’ve been able to use a variety of simple methods to freely access each and every story that interests me. This may have thrown an electronic spanner in the works and convinced some computer I am a paid-up subscriber.
    Either that or somebody from News Corpse has got hold of my credit card details. With this in mind, I’ll be keeping a close watch on future statements.

    • Sunshine Sal. says:

      Gropes, the real test will be whether you can give the subscription back.

      • Sandgroper says:

        Sal, believe it or not, that very question had crossed my tiny mind. Am I and others being used to boster online figures to impress potential advertisers?
        I looked to no avail for an ‘unsubscribe’ button so decided to accept what might be a Grecian gift that could smother me in horseshit.
        Incidentally, loved your spot-on observations about The Kat. He spends much of his time back-slapping constituents who are too dim to realise he actually accomplishes very little.

  35. Kenny Kennett says:

    To the tune of Jack and Jill:

    Kevin Gill was up Jen Hill,
    Like TEL board members oughta,
    Jen went down and fucked around,
    Then put Qantas to the slaughter.

    Bogan joined in and made it three,
    And flashed his whopping mast head,
    Kev and Jen were so impressed,
    They created a team of the brain dead.

    They worked a plan to hold Qantas to ransom,
    To pay 3 bucks a chair,
    But Joyce gave them the bird,
    And said ‘fuck off turd’,
    Go get it from the Mayor.

    Joyce doesn’t give a flying fuck,
    rightly so we would all should say,
    Even Margaret Court would commend him on his stance,
    As long as we don’t mention he’s gay.

  36. City dweller says:

    Another “could” idea from Mayor Mullet in today’s Astonisher, with a concert hall that she is “proposing” in the hope of getting it paid for by the State or Federal governments come election time. Good luck with that. They’ve already been conned into stumping up $250 million for the white elephant aka Lancini Stadium.

  37. Old Hack says:

    Qantas executive Andrew Parker has put the whole airport fiasco into perspective with his comments in today’s Bulletin.
    In essence, he says passenger numbers at the airport don’t warrant a $40 million upgrade which is why QAPL shareholders won’t stump up the cash from their own profit pool.
    He also reveals that his company’s Townsville operations are currently marginal and warns that the mayor’s calls for boycotts could further damage their viability.
    Qantas is a powerful company with a lot of political clout and Ms Hill should heed the advice of a sage US philosopher who once said: “If you only have one leg, don’t get into an arse-kicking competition.”

  38. Interested Observer says:

    Very true city dweller. The likely hood of a music hall being built in Central Park is zero. The community had the chance to have it all with the redevelopment of an entire city block including the old Queens Hotel building.

    The Gleeson family who own this site and the Griffin Group put a proposal on the table that included a new purpose built art gallery, a new music hall, a new home for the city library, a central tower including restaurants, commercial space and apartments. All up a 350 million dollar project to be paid for by the owners and the developers. All the counci had to do was become tenants in this amazing projects.

    At first the Astonisher praised the project as the second coming of Christ. The Mullet attended the launch at the Queens Hotel and told everyone this was a city defining project.

    Six months later she walked away from the project claiming it would cost the rate payers and the Astonisher just fell into line. This project known as the hive was to remain privately owned therefore would have yielded significant rates revenue for the council. More than covering any lease outlay for the council to occupy these facilities. The council would not carry depreciation on its books and would not be responsible for the maintenance of these facilities.

    Sounds like the deal from heaven but the Mullet torpedoed the project. Now this hopeless council led by the Mullet and Messagebank have decided to build a music hall in Central Park for which they have no funding and if it ever gets off the ground the rate payers will bear all the costs of maintaining this facility with zero rates revenue because it will be council owned.

    Another potential investor has walked away from this city. An amazing project has been lost and not a whimper from the Astonisher. The Mullet and these useless councillors should be sacked for such sheer short sighted stupidity. A 350 million dollar investment in this city lost to the Mullets bloody minded Labor politics.

    • Jung Talent Time says:

      Interested Observer, you must remember that in that six month period, TCC made the short sighted and foolhardy decision to use their Nous report and subsequent restructure to make the manager position at Gallery Services redundant. Following the manager out the door was a several generous chunks of the money that was going to help that development happen, as well as several disgusted gallery staff and a hell of a lot of community goodwill. Suddenly it’s too expensive. This was a dumb move, pure and simple, and the arts community will be reminding TCC of this for years to come.

  39. Interested Observer says:

    By the way I see Alan Joyce and Qantas have done a major deal to base 15 long haul Dreamliners out of Brisbane Airport. Watched a TV news report last night. Got the impression that Joyce couldn’t give a shit about Townsville Airport or the Mullet’s embarrassing campaign attempting to blackmail Qantas.

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed, why would he? Jenny Hill has become an major embarrassment for this city, and all people who feel so, should take to social media to let her know. Absolutely no point in protesting to her PR department aka the Townsville Bulletin. Chaos and disarray are the hallmarks of this administration, editorship and of course composition and structure of Townsville Enterprise.

  40. The Magpie says:

    Like many of you, The Magpie receives his share of ‘anonymous’ spam emails – although given the inattention to grammar and spelling, it is sometime hard to know if it’s just a regular commenter heh heh heh.

    Obviously these are immediately trashed, but this is a treasure worth passing on. It’s an absolute corker.

    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “The Townsville Bulletin completely sells out – but…”:

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    You’ll have to wait until next Saturday for more subject authored in matter stylish, if The ‘Pie can overcome the shakiness and feeling unwellness inside.

  41. Realist says:

    The current state of affairs in Townsville:
    TEL: Board includes Kevin Dill and Mayor Mullet. CEO is Patricia Puppet, who
    Council: Mayor Mullet and Messagebank Walker in charge. The rest of the councillors don’t even rate a mention. Unless you are part of the “chosen few” you have no chance of getting a development approval eg: Queen’s
    Hotel redevelopment.
    Townsville Bulletin: Edited by a bloke who has to rate as the worst this city has seen. Doesn’t even try to hide his bias.
    Fair dinkum – how did we get to this?

  42. Cantankerous but happy says:

    We are virtually at the stage now where the only way Townsville can escape the disgusting cronyism that has developed in the upper reaches of our civic society would be the voting in of a coalition govt later this year, it is clear that the current Labor state govt will do nothing and by all measures are probably involved at various levels anyway. I still have thoughts of David Crissafulli returning as minister for Local Govt, lining up the Mullet in his sights and firing away with both barrels, bring it on.

  43. Doug Kingston says:

    Sent this email to Victoria Nugent at the Astonisher this morning.

    Good morning Victoria

    I read with interest your story in today’s Townsville Bulletin headlined “Qantas returns fire at mayor”.
    I would like to contact Qantas Group executive Andrew Parker to congratulate him on his stand against the Townsville Airport upgrade, so do you have is email address?
    Also, I note that you have been strangely selective in reporting: “The redevelopment, tipped to support 178 jobs, includes upgrades to the terminal, taxiways, runway apron facilities and core infrastructure”.
    Can you please advise why you failed to mention the improvements previously promoted by Townsville Airports chief operating officer, Kevin Gill, including a Virgin vip lounge and significant retail space – assets which will be owned by Queensland Airports and earn the company a small fortune in rental/lease payments (please see my email to Queensland Airports below).
    I also note that more than 90% of the online comments about Tuesday’s story on the mayor calling for a boycott on Qantas were against the mayor’s stance, yet not one negative text has been published in today’s Txt The Editor.
    Can you please advise if you have received instructions to manipulate the news in favour of Queensland Airports and Mayor Jenny Hill?


    Doug Kingston
    South Townsville

  44. Cantankerous but happy says:

    This should make the residents of Townsville really really pissed off , Whitsunday Coast airport has commenced a $40 million upgrade of its terminal, aprons and runway.
    The upgrade was funded by a grant from the Qld state Govt of $15 million towards apron works, ( Townsville Airport was allocated $9 million from the same scheme in June also) the balance of $25 million will be borrowed by the Whitsunday airport from Qld Treasury Corp.
    If a small regional airport owned by the local council can borrow to invest in its own assets then it just shows the contempt for the people of Townsville by QAL, a large corporation owned by some very large superannuation funds with access to some of the cheapest funding in the world, Kevin Gill, you are an absolute disgrace.

    • Raaflmao says:

      How do you think they’re going to repay the money, genius?

      • The Magpie says:

        Err, extra lease space of commercial space and increased traffic that they seem to think will happen naturally with an upgrade. As you say, genius! But it is rightly their commercial risk, not Townsville’s. Clear?

  45. Critical says:

    Cairns councillors, tourism operators and Far North Queensland people in general must be pissing themselves laughing after reading in the Cairns Post about Mullet asking Townsville people not book with QANTAS and Jetstar. Is there a national joke competition that we can send these outrageous ideas too because I’m certain that Boganville will take out the Grand Champion prize.

  46. Runway Resident says:

    Laurie, as a Q
    Club member since 1984 I totally agree with you! I suggest that the mayor and the councillors should ride to Brisbane in a Greyhound Bus!

  47. Non Aligned Worker says:

    So many public consultation meetings in Townsville over the next few days. I am sure it is coincidence that the State Goverment are here with a Cowboys Broncos game happening.

  48. Sceptical says:

    The laugh of the day goes to the editor of TB in his editorial calling statements from Quantas as disingenuous….talk about pot calling the kettle

  49. Critical says:

    After reading todays news and comments over the QANTAS and QAL standoff I’m convinced that Gill and Hill both need urgent assessments to determime if they are sane enough to manage the airport or city. Both seem to have 100% lost the plot, have become laughing stock and a complete embarassementfor the city and North Queensland.

    Bring on the State election and a LNP win which results in a local government minister who has the guts to order a complete audit of council by the Qld Auditor General and at the same time sack this fiasco of a council and appoint and administrator to sort out the whole mess that council has now become.

  50. Momentus says:

    Magpie don’t read the Astonisher today. Community and Business Leaders have thrown their weight behind the push to get Qantas to stump up some cash for QAL’s /Gills new airport shed. Maybe encourage would be more appropriate. Magpie, you don’t want to see those names / leaders either.
    Qantas Domestic CEO also submits a letter and fortunately it is published with some facts. Passenger numbers have dropped 6% since 2010. Mr A David also advises Qantas had offered a smaller contribution to QAL for infrastructure including water and electricity in October last year. Thankyou Sir and Qantas I am a big supporter too. Oh also they had told the Council and QAL they would offer more for Tourism marketing to encourage more people to visit Townsville because that is really what people are really coming to see. I believe that sounds like that is not to look at Dills / QAL’s new shed.
    Note also Courier reports Brisbane Airport Corporation is throwing $1.3Billion on their upgrade down there. No problem really.
    Now should n’t the Mullet be taking this all in and kicking the Dills arse out the door and getting back to the basics for Townsville ratepayers and building on Tourists numbers. Start with Water and Power charges.
    All is very silent though in Walker St. Phone Anna now Jen there is an election due and time to put the screws in. She may even come good with another Jamie photo shoot to show us all how to water with bucket.

  51. Doug K says:

    Predictably didn’t receive a reply from Victoria Nugent yesterday so, after reading the latest round in the Bully’s one-eyed campaign today – “City’s flying in formation” – I fired off the following email:

    “Good morning Victoria

    I see in today’s paper you have been ringing around trying to find people to support the editor’s campaign to blackmail Qantas, managing to find just four.
    I also notice that one of the “supporters”, Chamber of Commerce CEO Marie-Claude Brown, agrees that the airport redevelopment is needed, but stops short of saying the travelling public should pay for what will become assets of Queensland Airports.
    Everyone agrees that the airport needs improvement. For example, the men’s toilets in the arrival area are more dilapidated than those I have seen in third-world countries.
    The debate here is about who should pay for the redevelopment, not whether it is needed.
    But sadly you and your newspaper are only interested in publishing one side of the debate.
    Surely questions should also be asked about whether Mayor Jenny Hill and the other “community leaders” quoted in today’s story are practising what they preach and refusing to fly with Qantas or indulge in that airline’s vip lounges. 
    Perhaps the time has come for people who are opposed to paying for Queensland Airport’s assets to start their own campaign to “vote with their feet” and boycott the Townsville Bulletin.


    Doug Kingston
    South Townsville.”

    Needless to say I’m not holding my breath waiting for a reply.
    However I did receive a phone call from Kevin Gill regarding the email I sent to Queensland Airports earlier this week requesting answers to questions the Bulletin refuses to ask.
    He wanted another meeting (had one with him about two years ago which was a waste of time) but I told him the time for talking had long gone and suggested he or the Queensland Airports CEO simply answer the questions posed in my email.
    Will keep bloggers posted on any response.

    • The "JOHN" says:

      Hurry up and get your website up and running doug. I know it has a cost but the pie can only go so far. I know alot of people are talking about him but that dosnt equate to the mainstream media which in this city is very corrupt and biased. No use sending letters and telling us all how good you were in the past you have skills in journalism that we don’t. I for one look forward to an alternative news source that will penatrate the hold the astonisher has and contradict there biased reporting. Having competition right now will make them report things the way the public want because if they read it there and then say, we’ll let’s see what dough asked? Then you won half the battle. And in a very short time you’re readership skyrockets. Add that with the magpie and we’ll maybe news corpse flushes out the Bogan to combat proper journalism. It happened with the last guy who tried it here but he sold out.

  52. The Magpie says:

    Really? Let’s unpack that, as Freckles Sales says on 7.30.
    Patricia O’Callaghan a city leader, an inexperienced person shoe-horned into a cushy position to do the the bidding of powerful self-interested board members. And her chairman is Kevin ‘Rhymes With’ Gill, Townsville Airport boss.
    Cowboys CEO Greg Tonner, Lozza Lancini’s front man for the Cowboys who has been in Townsville for all of two minutes and will fall into line as required. That said, both he and Marie-Claude Brown, Chamber of Commerce CEO, do not specifically say they want Qantas to impose a passenger tax, just that, in essence, an airport upgrade would be nice.

    Which it might be but that is not the question, it is who pays for it.
    Then we have the risible suggestion that Labor head-nodder Scott Stewart is a community leader. He is in a double Christmas hold, with the premier squeezing the left one and mayor Mullet the right one, (because of her now waning influence over local Labor). And the paper must have caught him mid-tipple when he made the hypocritical statement: ‘Qantas started in northwest Queensland and you should never forget where you come from.’ Which is more than a bit rich coming from a trough-snuffler who promptly forgot he represented Townsville the moment he made it to the lights of the big city.

    And Kevin Gill? In one brief sentence of spin worthy of Yes Prime Minister or better still, Utopia, you can smell the desperation when he wheedles: ‘“We are not asking Qantas to fund our business, we are simply asking them to adjust the charge they collect to support a much-needed expansion of the terminal and related infrastructure.” In other words ….

    This is the quality of this city’s ‘leadership’.

    Weep, Townsville, weep.

    • Old Mudpicker- The Happy Socialist says:

      Ahh, our community leaders backing up “Our Jenny” again. You whiners on here all vote for Townsville First, did you? Ms Hill has a mandate and a bloody big one at that to act as our Mayor. You lot get your chance in 2 years time. Try and do better with candidates this time.
      I personally think that Magpie should run for Mayor. I would vote for you ‘Pie.

      • The Magpie says:

        That gets the Two Bob Each Award of the Day, Muddy. Be embarrassing though, to run and get only one vote.

        And by the by, oh grubby one, time has now come to drop the ‘you all voted for Townsville First’ as a jibe … it shows the wisdom of a sixzable minority of voters.

        • Old Mudpicker- The Happy Socialist says:

          4 votes ‘Pie. Mine, yours, the Rabster and Big Bazza. That would nearly get you a senate seat if you joined One Nation.
          I can vote for you as well as Jenny. Vote early and vote often is how we do it on the left side.

          • Alahazbin says:

            Yep! That’s an old Labor trick. “vote early and vote often”
            Here’s a couple more: Dead people vote. And sent a pallet of grog over to Palm Is and you get a few thousand more vote. That was in Captain Snooze’s days.

      • Grumpy says:

        Judging from some of the comments here from those to claim to know her personally, asking a “community leader” whether he/she supports one of Hill’s daft policies would be like asking a DPRK general his view of his Dear Leader’s foreign affairs policy.

        • Old Mudpicker- The Happy Socialist says:

          What you talkin about Grumps? I don’t know Jenny. I do know a very prominent member of the Townsville First team who has been a good mate of mine for 40 years. He was a Councillor in the last council. He would have been this time as well if he had listened to me. I gave him good advice but he did not take it. As he used to say to me all the time ‘ Winners are grinners, the rest can please themselves”
          If she stands, Jenny will win next time as well.

          • Grumpy says:

            It’s not about you, you silly old fart…I was talking about comments above made by Swinger et al.

            And, no, she won’t win again. I have a nice bottle of single malt to wager on that. I was going to suggest that you put up a similar stake and The Pie be the stakeholder, but that would be sheer folly.

          • The Magpie says:

            Yeah, be like giving Gollum the Ring for safekeeping.

      • Scientician79 says:

        Even if she does have a mandate she isn’t in charge of the airport.

        And who we voted for is, as you rightly point out, irrelevant at this point.

        What is relevant is holding these clowns to account for all the stupid ideas they continue to pursue.

      • Dutch Reverend says:

        G’day Muddy. Very appropriate that you noted that Jenny is acting as Mayor. Heaven knows she isn’t any good at actually being Mayor.

        • Old Mudpicker- The Happy Socialist says:

          Hello Dutchy, I do the jokes on here. Sometime Grumpy tries but his jokes are so cerebral, by the time I get them, its next weeks blog.
          Bloody Lawyers Hey.
          Anyway,time to put Jenny in the senate. Jenny vs Pauline. It would be like Viagra for the aging bird who writes this column.

          • The Magpie says:

            You do thge jokes here, Muddy? Only when your being serious.

            And tell you what would really stiffen up the old bird … a check on whether your Jenny is eligible for higher office – bet she still holds Maltese citizenship, and probably property there, after a relative – recently carked – left her a reportedly lucrative bequest. So The ‘Pie is told, but no proof, mind you, but I’m sure Dolan will seek a correction if the info is wrong.

          • Alex DeLarge says:

            When considering that issue, have a look at the foreign ownership laws in Malta.

          • The Magpie says:

            That’s what The ‘Pie meant (nice place, actually, liked the smaller island of Gozo).

          • Grumpy says:

            But did you get a “Welcome to Cyprus”?

          • The Magpie says:

            What? A Pauline please.

        • Grumpy says:

          Your mate meeting the Greek paras…

          • The Magpie says:

            Ah, the late great Michael Nicholson of ITN, getting carried away with being on the spot to greet the invading Turkish paratroopers landing in Cyprus in 1974. Forgot The ‘Pie had told you that story. Just goes to show that you don’t have to work for the Astonisher to make an ass of yourself. (But to avoid a nasty diplomatic incident, that never went to air, except at staff Christmas parties from then on.)

  53. Lord Howard Hertz says:

    Question for reporter Victoria Nugent – Daily Astonisher.

    In what one assumes is wide canvassing of the Townsville business community for your story about leaders supporting the QAL attempted swindle of Qantas for a ticket tax, are you telling us that you could not find one – not a single ‘leader’ – who voiced opposition to this unethical move? No one said no, let QAL pay for it themselves, it benefits only them?

    Or was this yet again a choice example of selective and heavily biased reporting directed from the editor’s office?

  54. Watcher says:

    I see in a headline on page 43 of todays Astonisher that a “Regetta” has “lured a bumper fleet” to Maggie Island for the annual yacht race week.
    How embarrassment!

  55. The Magpie says:

    Filler story in the Astonisher today.

    #1 would have to be Ben, wouldn’t it?

  56. Grumpy says:


    What is Hill and Bogan trying to divert our attention from with this Qantas brouhaha?

    Rates are shortly due. Perhaps their purpose is that we don’t focus on bullshit rate “decreases”, broken promises and failure to hold elected representatives accountable for these broken promises.

  57. Cherry Pie says:

    Jeez you guys do go on don’t you? That Jenny woman’s ears must be permanently scarlet and burning. Shall I set the proverbial among the pigeons I wonder? Yeah I will. Could it be because she’s a female or just that she is really, really BAD? I haven’t lived there for some years so have no idea about her, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be her. Not that any of that mob would bother looking to see what nefarious things are being said of them here, this or any week I reckon.

    By the way, thanks for letting me off lightly with my jibe about spelling and grammar, only a few random and predictable shots in return but I must say the standard has improved marginally this week so a tick from the Pedantic One for trying harder:-)

    I accidentally copped a quick squiz at 10’s 5pm news this evening and who should be front and centre but Ana-Lotsaletters and her Townsville minions, talking up solar or something. As usual Fathead Harper was gurning over her shoulder, it quite put me off my gin and tonic. Is it just the big screen televisions or do their heads actually grow even bigger once they get in? All that living high on the hog, I suppose. Miaow.

    • Simon Templar says:

      There is, muggins, a difference between being treated politely and being disdainfully and contemptuously ignored.

    • Jung Talent Time says:

      Cherry Pie,
      I reckon if you took a look at every comment section in every post on here, you would see a pretty consistent issue with Jenny that has nothing to do with being a woman. It has to do with her complete and utter ineptitude as Mayor. It is a joke. We are, as a community, a laughing stock. This council is a joke. The Mayor is a bully, an ignoramus, a philistine and doesn’t care a whit for anybody else’s ideas but her own. She ignores advice, and goes about her Mayorship like a bull in a china shop. I don’t think I have seen a single comment on here about her being a bad Mayor because she’s a woman, she’s a bad Mayor because she has all the political sense of a breeze block.

      • The Magpie says:

        Yeah, The ‘Pie didn’t bother replying along your oh-so-accurate lines, JTL, pulling the gender card is just a lame attempt at stirring. Judge Jenny by what’s between her ears, not what’s between her legs – AND NO, comments on that comment will NOT be published, so don’t bother.

        • Cherry Pie says:

          Ha! I KNEW that question would get you all hot under your collars. I was just jerking you guys about, truly:-D I do commiserate with you on your inept mayor but isn’t it nearly always the case? I’m certainly not impressed with Brisbane’s mayor, an ineffectual type if there ever was one.

          These high-profile people, be they in local, state or federal government, rarely put themselves out there for altruistic purposes, intending to do a good job for the community in general. It’s 100% ego-and-greed-driven, in my opinion. And people will always find something to bitch about, no matter who’s running things. But as the cliché goes, someone has to try to keep the bastards honest. Good luck with that!

  58. Watcher says:

    The Astonishers campaign to flog tickets and sell out the Cows v Broncs game appeared to have worked a treat when tv news announced last night it was “a sellout”
    But the official crowd figure revealed on Nine’s live coverage was just 23,321.
    So we can’t fill the current stadium with a Qld derby blockbuster with finals spots on the line even with the aid of a free publicity campaign in the Astonisher aimed at whipping up a fan frenzy.
    This of course is all bad news on top of the fact the Cows may not even make the finals now.
    Advertisers should take note of the dismal failure of the Astonishers campaign and the Cowboys board must be wondering whether 25,000 seats in the new stadium is too many.
    Maybe in light of this the new stadium should be downsized and the money saved put towards the relatively minor problem of water security for Townsville.

  59. FB Ad says:

    Townsville Airport has paid for advertising on Facebook, encouraging people to book with Qantas. Go figure…

  60. Ronny Rotten says:

    Am I missing something or has the boss cocky at Townsville Airport changed his name? According to Shari in her opinion piece today he is “Trevor Gill.”
    It illustrates the dangers of having remote sub-editors with no local knowledge — or is our favourite Bulletin columnist just twisting a subtle knife to the ribs of the very forgettable ‘community leaders’ mentioned in the story.

  61. Hee-Haw says:

    I think we should go much further than $3 per passenger to make the airport more welcoming I a suggesting we add another $3 per passenger so we can replace all the taxis to take them from the pretty airport, then lets add another $5 so the hotels can renovate the rooms , don’t want people staying in anything less.
    Pretty soon we will have stopped anyone coming here at all.
    People would say this suggestion is ludicrous and it is but no more than the airports extortion of Qantas

    • The Magpie says:

      And Ben Bogan, employee of a corporation floundering in th business world, accuses Qantas of being ‘ingenuous’ in their reading of their own business. It is not so much which planet is he from, more when the hell is he going back there.

  62. Peewee Herman says:

    Why the fuck would The Astonisher bury an excellent story by John Anderson about the “STATE Government funding cuts could sound the death knell for a Townsville job training program that helps young people find work in rural areas.” on page 24/25 and yet the moron Jenny Hill’s stupid head is on the front page and page 5 banging on about a darts tournament. Is that the best TCC can come up with? Fuck you TCC and The Astonisher :(
    Shit that makes me angry.

    • The Magpie says:

      Makes their priorities clear, especially since Mayor Mullet had absolutely nothing to do with the darts circus coming to town. If Ben Bogan thinks he has his finger on the pulse with this shameless boosterism for a much-reviled mayor, that pulse is on his blue-veined flute.

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