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The Magpie

Saturday, December 30th, 2017   |   80 comments

Let Others Review The Old Year – Better Fun If We Preview The Coming Year

The ‘Pie reckons we need a New Year’s revolution rather than a resolution. So he is inviting you to submit the headline you’d best like to see in 2018. The Magpie explains the rules and the prize for the best entry.

One thing we can do without is the insulting ‘consulting’ ploy, much beloved of our mayor.   It is most timely that at the close of 2017, a report has been released decrying the role of ‘consultants’ and their cost to the taxpayers. And the insidious problems reaches all the way into our own little corner of sleazy politics.

A local radio station gives the Astonisher a run for its money to own the slogan ‘yesterday’s news tomorrow’, which until now has been the paper’s sole preserve.

And the Adani saga so far … in pictures.

But first …

All the newspaper subs in England are in panting anticipation of the upcoming royal nuptials, so they can gurgle at their own cleverness with headlines like ‘That Markle Sparkle’   and ‘The Potty Mouthed Princess’, referring to Ms Markle’s self-confessed habitual swearing (she’ll actually be a duchess, so its more likely ‘The Dirty Duchess). Oh, well, at least she’ll be at home around the Berk of Edinburgh.

Meghan Markle

In the world of television, particularly the hit series ‘Suits’,  Duchess Meghan has had more bonks than a bowling ball rolling down a wooden staircase. So it would appear that Prince Harry will need more than a stiff upper lip to hold his own … umm, no, hang on, … oh, forget it.

But all that aside, it is the royal guest list that is about to become heavily politicized. Bentley sees the dilemma in black and white.

invitation 2

If The Donald gets an invite, which is no sure thing, he will undoubtedly have to undergo special training for the occasion. ‘Mr President, as british ambassador, I must inform you that you may get to kiss the bride – on a cheek – an upper cheek – but any attempt at –shall we say – feline anatomical exploration will be considered extremely inappropriate.’ However, his attendance is under a cloud, especially since the American bride, who volunteered for a soup kitchen at 13, is hardly likely to welcome the robber baron of the White House.


What is the difference between this man …

Adani Aust CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj

Adani Aust CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj

… and this man.


Answer: nothing at all, at least according to the latest strange version of the English language employed by the Adani people.

Mr Jeyakumat Janakaraj – Mr JJ from now on – admitted he was caught off guard by Premier Alphabet’s veto on government money for the mine’s railroad. ‘It shook us,’ he said. But he insisted Adani is no quitter, with the somewhat confused non sequitur and cliché ‘(The veto) has set the project back and moved the goal posts, but would not delay the development … I do not accept that the veto had affected the project’s credibility. … because that is delivered on its worth, on its economics, its fundamentals and coal demand.’   Funny that, those are all the EXACT reasons that the project lacks credibility. And to underline that point of view, JJ was coy about money and would not talk about alternative financing. ‘Money is continuously flowing into the project, it is not a problem for us, but when there is a backstop (like NAIF) it is easier to make certain assumptions and go forward, and when the backstop is not there, obviously it changes the transaction.’

Whatever the F that means. Sheer meaningless gobbledygook, except that the assumptions that are out the window being that Australians are financial fuckwits.

With JJ fighting to the bitter end, The Adani Saga can best be summed up as the Black Knight of foreign investment.

flat,800x800,075,f.u6Another Reason To Hate The Nanny State

Bill Shorten must hate the Nanny State just now. It may have been a narrow window of opportunity, but the officious do-gooders of the NSW Maritime Services Board slammed it shut this week. PM Malcolm Talkbull was fined for not wearing a lifejacket while moving a dinghy a matter of a few metres outside his Sydney Harbour mansion. And Bill well knows the PM is so accident prone in steering a steady ship, he may well have ended up in the drink, with Wingnut Abbott the only person around to save him.

But the PM says he’s learnt his lesson, and now takes precautions wherever there is water.

Nanny State small

Insulting Consulting – Townsville Still A Target For The Flimflammers Of This World

The report released a couple days agoi decrying the growing use – and uselessness – of consultants, was ostensibly about Federal – and to a certain extent state – governments. Talk about jobs for the boys – but the underlying dilemma of non-accountable, easily directed (regarding desired outcomes) consultants exists even at the level of local government. And boy, don’t we know it here in the ‘Ville.

It’s like this: we have the Townsville City Council with various folk employed to assist and direct new ventures around town, and be helpful to those developers who can help drag the city out of the abysmal state in which it finds itself – like they did with their speedy efficient cock-u … err … expediting of the excellent Hive project. Then we have Townsville Enterprise, which is in essence a consultancy that the ratepayers fund. The upside to the Dudley Do Nothings is that it keeps a couple of dozen people employed, albeit what for remains a mystery. They’re supposed to promote, attract and land industry and tourism projects. How are you going with that, by the way?

And now, courtesy of Mayor Mullet’s empire building, we have this crowd of snake-oil salesmen Pure Projects setting up office here. Led by that master of the glib patronizing platitude, advertising has-been Don Morris, Pure Projects has no skin in the game, but is paid handsomely to tell us, ‘hey, here’s a good idea, how about you get someone to do it’. Then they bill either the council or some flim flam mate or other for the trouble.

Lot of old Labor mates in there at this particular trough.

Couple of problems there, though. Most of the tired old ideas, like those of Mayor Mullet herself, are informed by a vision that looks no further than their own self-interest. Which means Pure Projects doubles up on the TEL money sink-hole faced by the ratepayers. We’re paying handsomely for the privilege of being talked down to by yesterday’s men who know an easy quid when they see it.

meaningful and attractive breaks for big investors should be the way to go, and stop depending on gobvernment hand-outs. We may as well rename ourselves Mendicant City.

We need a community minded businessman in charge of this city, not a third rate, bitterly disappointed politician desperate to cling on to office by trying to rule in secret and threaten court action against those who ask what is going on.

But if That Isn’t Enough …

… during the week, a somewhat schizoid Astonisher , running front pages about Crimsville, and ‘Worst Crime Rate In Queensland,’ seem to agree that TEL, Pure Projects and the mayor are bereft of ideas to promote the city, and have turned to … who else but Mr Front Bar Ranter and BBQ guru Mr Joe Average. The paper is now inviting readers to put forward their solutions to Townsville’s jobs and tourism crisis – a clear admissin that the Dudley Do Nothings are useless.


Now don’t get the ‘Pie wrong … builder Steve Moir has his heart in the right place, no doubt – what builder hasn’t – but sorry, his ideas given circulation in the Astonisher are just empty, ill-informed, shallow dinner table boring. Like suggesting we should advertise in Europe and the US (gosh, really?) and, with deep analytical insight, backs his call with this statement: ‘It really comes down to what we’ve got … we’ve got better beaches, our steaks, our seafood , our fruit and veg that is all to offer.’ Then the crowning idiocy ‘For Americans, take them to a game of rugby league to get the atmosphere’. Better beaches? Better food? Footy? Have you been further south than Giru lately, Steve? Better bloody beaches!?!

Now look, mate, the paper asked you and you answered, so it’s a bit hard on you, but they have made you look like a goose. Which The Magpie is sure you are not, although you do seriously spin-out weirdly when you suggest a come-on for freezing Europeans is to invite them to ‘our summer paradise’. Don’t worry about Giru, have you stepped outside recently?

This article ends with a statement from the paper: ‘ Do you have a great tourism idea? Email (us) etc’ . Now a cynic – which The Magpie is not of course – might suggest this is just a no-cost way of filling space with ill-informed guff that fits in with the rest of the paper. The purpose could be two-fold – make a claim to be the people’s paper, and maybe save enough money to sack another journo or two as News Corpse continues its fruitless flundering against the financial riptide.

a little New Year’s gift of yet another reason not to read the Astonisher.

In passing …

Oh and that 4 to 5 star Hilton-affiliated hotel to be built near the stadium, a deal earning the mayor’s Labor mates handsome finders’ fees, no doubt. The ‘Pie was intrigued at all the guff about 5-star, especially when he read this on the hotel’s website.

Screen shot 2017-12-16 at 8.45.47 PM

‘Warm chocolate-chip cookie welcome … that sets the tone for the guests entire stay’? Now that is real 5-star service, bound to knock the sox off the royalty, sports stars and music celebrities guests who are so sick of all that bowing, scraping, and complimentary bottle of 100 year old Scotch that southern 5-starrers offer.

Doubletree should do some local research and chuck in a carton of goon, which would certainly set the tone for the stay of the average guest … especially when the Cowboys are playing the Broncos.

The News Is So Good We’re Going To Tell You Again

The ‘Pie is reliably informed that a radio station of which he has never heard – Star FM – had a slight problem with yesterday’s (Sat) 6am news … they played last week’s news, which they presumably get in pr-recorded from down south somewhere. Or the listener was mistaken and thy were just reading Friday’s Astonisher.

Now here’s the thing … a contest.

Send in to comments the headline you’d most like to see in the Astonisher in 2018. Keep it witty BUT classy and if you don’t, no whinging about non-publication. Judging the best will take into consideration the use of the woeful Astonisher style puns and speling erors.

The ‘Pie repeats his example of a few weks again; Got’em Adani A Serial Sex Offender: Charged With Touching Up Thousands Of Townsville Ratepayers.’

Or: ‘Adani Venture Folds – Mayor Mullet Says ‘Sari About That’.

The prize is a beauty … 10 – yes, 10! – $10 scratchies (but don’t get too excited, The ‘Pie has checked them and you don’t win anything.)

A New York Cock-Up

While the ‘Ville has a few great murals about the place, it would seem that New York is the cock-o-the-walk in this area … literally. But the perils of public painting is that the public is your critic, and enough people have objected to one in particular to have it painted over.

penis graffiti

Dunno, reckon it could make an eye-catching fountain. But where’s the equality? The same artist, Swede Carolina Falkholt has also done a huge mural of a vagina, and no one is game to say boo to that, apparently. Well, most probably don’t know what it is.

Vagina graffiti

The Magpie must admit he’s never been that drunk.

If that’s Ms Falkholt’s own private area and self-portrait, she must’ve used a fun house mirror.


That’s it for the week, and the year. Happy New Year and thanks to all of you who helped make the Magpie’s Nest so much fun. Business as usual in 2018. And hopefully, donations when able will be a great help … donation button 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. The old peterbuilt says:

    Interesting article in Saturday’s astonisher involving LPG shipments into tsv port. The article said origin couldn’t come to agreement with the townsville port. It didnt specify why they didn’t reach agreement but it would be reasonable to assume it was over costs of leasing facilities. As a result the LPG ships will berth in cairns and Townsvilles requirement of 60000tonnes per annum will be trucked down. Now liquid gas is something that I have not carted but let’s assume they can get 40tonnes on a b double. It will require 1500 loads per annum or 30 per week. My old mates at road trek are going to be busy on the old Bruce highway.
    This got me thinking about the logistics of the haughton pipe line. Correct me if I’m wrong but did I hear a distant of 34klm and a pipe diameter of 1.8metres. A standard semi trailer is 12metres long so you would need 2834 pipes , one per trailer as a semi is 2.44 wide . Now I’ve been out of the loop for a long time but if we bring them from Melbourne up the inland in road trains and working on $3per kilometre per trailer that’s between 9 and 10 grand a pipe. That’s 28 mill approx just for bare transport. If the pipes are concrete lined transporting them long distances has its own damage problems. I guess these are all issues the experts will address in their own efficient manner.

  2. seagull says:

    O I C …… origin have as of this year 2017 built & occupied a new facility @ the bohle which now makes sense in light of what The O Pb mentions above……..
    back in the day talk was that when origin departed the port their land area would be given over to further container storage…….. which further makes sense now that berth 4 has been upgraded again.. but is F ing useless without the adjacent ex origin site for storage & handling purposes…..i would suppose origin were offered an alternate site within the port precinct but balked at the setup costs therefore neutralising any immediate TSV port expansion

  3. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Got to ask what the hell Tony Raggatt is doing at the astonisher, apart from feeding the readers the same mundane shit the younger journos write on a regular basis. His Saturday article listing his “bold ideas” for 2018, water security for Townsville and affordable electricity, WTF is bold about that Tony? it’s only what everyone has been talking about for the last few years. Then later in the article in regards to water security he addresses the issue about the cost of pumping with a new pipeline and asks, “why aren’t our leaders screaming form the rooftops about this” the real question is why isn’t the Townsville Bulletin screaming from the rooftops about this, and asking a few questions.

    • The Magpie says:

      This goes to the nub of the Astonisher’s thought disorder … they ask a question that only they themselves can force an answer to. but won’t because they’re listening to the wrong people through both avarice and timidity, a combination that derailing the Bulletin into the slow motion train crash that it is. Sadly.

      But this is the question of the week, month, year: “why aren’t our leaders screaming form the rooftops about this” – the real question is why isn’t the Townsville Bulletin screaming from the rooftops about this, and asking a few questions”.

      Says it all, Cranky pants, right on the money.

  4. Colin Foley says:

    Good article in the Weekend Oz about Craig Gore, his associates and victims.

    A bit disturbing that he is not stuck in Cardwell, however; he could be prowling Townsville for suckers. Anyone seen him here?

  5. Sandgroper says:

    “We need a community minded businessman in charge of this city……”

    The feminazis will have your blood, ‘Pie!

    • The Magpie says:

      Yeah, but it was used as a generic. People like Caroline McManus would do a grand job, except people like Caroline are too busy running businesses, employing people and paying them wages, to suffer the slings and arrows (aimed at the back usually in Walker Street) of petty bureaucracy and left-over politics. But Walker St really does need to address the tacky state of the city right now … we know we can’t help the brown grass, but there are weed clusters everywhere and streets, including tourist areas, are dirty. There is surely a minimum standard.

      • Oldtimer says:

        With the current council, what we have is maximum standard maintenance. It will get worse.

      • Alacan says:

        Yep there are minimum standards for grounds developed alomost 20 years ago .. but churned up and spat out by degrees over the decades

        Like all standards they were designed with metrics of success at the forefront.And were written in such a way to be agile enough to move with city management imperatives and changing conditions.

        More importantly what standards are being followed against civil works including the most basic of tasks such as pot hole patching etc ..

  6. Mike Shearer says:

    “Townsvilles over the Hill” – Tell forcasts bright future

  7. Alahazbin says:

    Speaking of the “Dudley Do Nothing’s”. Have seen the latest self serving promotion on the telly.
    What a fucking joke! A complete misuse of money that we ratepayers give over to them.

  8. Old Moll says:

    The vagina mural might be a metaphor for that classic Humphrey Bogart line in ‘Casablanca': ” Here’s looking at you, Kid.”

  9. Bentley says:

    OK, so the Council has let us down, the state government has let us down, our so-called leaders have let us down, and the Bulletin has let us down. So where does that leave us? Perhaps the ratepayers need to do some screaming. Or alternatively find a way to give the aforesaid something to scream about. We as a nation are an extremely complacent lot, apparently mollified by distractions such as stadiums, beehives, State of Origin success, serial feasibility studies, and other distractions. But if Townsville ratepayers have ambitions of regional supremacy we need the tools to achieve economic success. THEN we buy our trinkets. Now is the time to start screaming THAT from the roof-tops as Tony Raggatt said. But don’t leave the screaming to everyone else. When the foreign investors take over, we’ll see what could have been done, but by then it will be too late.

  10. The Lone Ranger says:

    As mentioned here previously, Pure Projects have charged ratepayers a small fortune to come up with the “vision” of copying Cairns and Airlie Beach by building a lagoon on The Strand.
    A Year 10 student could have done better than that.
    With The Astonisher calling for ideas from the public, perhaps Mayor Mullet could ignore the Pure Projects drivel, cut them off the ratepayers teat, and offer the money saved as a reward or prize for the best idea.
    After all, Pure Projects didn’t even bother to do a google search before coming up with its “visionary” idea of a lagoon.
    Had they done so they would have seen this amazing tourist attraction:


    Now that IS a “visionary” idea, which could be financed by getting the $18.5 million back from Adani for that airport which is no longer needed.
    So come on Mullet, do something for the city for a change.
    Either step down and give someone else a go (anyone except Messagebank Walker) or scrap the lagoon and build a wave and rapids park that would be the first of its kind in Australia, and attract thousands of tourists and North Queenslanders.
    Alas, I’m betting that the Mullet will ignore all alternative advice and leave it to Cairns to build a wave pool, or even a full blown wave/rapids park.

  11. Achilles says:

    Re headlines
    “In my hayday the grass was always greener” says Townsville Mare Hill

  12. The Magpie says:

    Can Donald Trump actually READ? Not a trick question or a snide one, as Samantha Bee presents the evidence that he CAN’T.


    • Tropical says:

      That would be the Samantha Bee that mocked a young man with stage four brain cancer during one of her shows.
      She is all class – not.

      • The Magpie says:

        FFS Tropical, you comment sums what is wrong with half news from social media sources … tell the whole story or none of it mate. Bee was NOT mocking a stage four cancer patient, she was mocking a general hairstyle for being Nazi-like … it just so happened to be on a stage four cancer patient. Understandably, there is no way Bee could’ve known that – several other young men appeared with him in the clip with similar haircuts.



        When the bloke’s sister immediately advised her of the situation, she instantly apologised for any unintended offence – she was not ‘forced to’ as the television airhead reported, Bee was genuinely upset at the error. The clip wasn’t particularly funny anyway, but if people are going to be smeared for not being funny, The Magpie is in deep shit.

        It has never been made clear if the haircut had anything to do with cancer, and the victim himself, was more worried about people – including himself – being called Nazis.

        Hey, there’s a job waiting for you at the Astonisher, Tropical … uh, wait a sec, do you already work there? Hmmm …


  13. Achilles says:

    As published on SEEK last week, looks like QA needs a QA

    QA/QC, Techinical Writer, Mill Maintenace


  14. Gonzo says:

    Great blog post to end the year, Pie.
    Much as I enjoy your stories about Townsville (I have learned a lot in the past few years from your blog!), I have to go with a Trump headline ( inspired by the Bentley cartoon):

    Donald the Great: The commander-in-chief with his fingers in every pie. (Pun intended!).

    Happy New Year!

    • The Magpie says:

      Never THIS ‘Pie … but that does allow me to repeat the possibly only funny original joke the old bird has come up with … describing a local businessman with wide interests as having a finger in more pies than the Collingwood proctologist – boom-tish.

      Happy New Year, Gonzo, in 2018, may the Swanees fly higher, faster and longer than the ageing Magpie.

      • Gonzo says:

        Boom-tish indeed. I’ve heard that one before, but it still works! I’m hoping it’s also The Year of the Eagles … the Philadelphia Eagles! (Unfortunately, their number one quarterback is injured, out for the season!)

  15. I'll be plucked says:

    New Years wishes to the ‘Three ALP Stooges’, O’Rort, Harpic and Captain Cupcake – f..k the three of you – hope you all get robbed or have your cars stolen tonight so can feel it like the mauled populace you are supposed to represent!

  16. The Magpie says:

    Worth a moment’s reflection before midnight.

    This has been around for almost 30 years, but the poetry and wisdom of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot is ageless and timeless.


  17. The old peterbuilt says:

    The dove orchards are flowering, rain on the way but I wouldn’t turn the pumps off just yet.

    • The Magpie says:

      What’s a dove orchard?

      • Grumpy says:

        Silly. A grove of dove trees

      • The old peterbuilt says:

        One of those things that my bride makes me water every other day. And yes I know it’s spelt differently but make some allowance for the festive season and the merlot. Enjoy the fireworks old bird and let’s hope we get fireworks in walker st in 2018.

        • The Magpie says:

          despite your opening line – which is an open invitation to crass ribaldry – ,The ‘Pie was serious. What did you mean, or exactly what is it?

          • Grumpy says:

            Dove orchid. Little white dove shaped flowers. (Imagination required). Said to flower more profusely before rain. Mine don’t have a single bud. ATM.

          • The old peterbuilt says:

            An orchid and it only flowers just before rain. How do I know this. My wife told me and she knows everything. Cheers

          • Sandgroper says:

            That first line had me panting with salacious expectation until I deduced that our old mate is probably sprinkling some orchids. When it gets dark, I do the same with my lemon tree.

          • The Magpie says:

            Why does The ‘Pie keep thinking there’s some sort of code in there that he’s missing?

          • Creaky Craig says:

            ‘Pie, don’t feel bad. We old blokes often miss — and usually leave the seat up.

    • Mangrove Jack says:

      Should this be Dove Orchids, and not Orchards, perhaps due to the Merlot.

  18. Cantankerous but happy says:

    My little contribution towards the 2018 Astonisher headline,
    “ Our Economy Booming”
    Townsvile has the only profitable Sizzler in Australia.

    Happy new year everyone.

  19. Crow says:

    Happy New Year ‘Pie.

  20. Old Hack says:

    Great news in today’s Bulletin online: Magnetic Island has been praised by a ‘renwoned’ travel writer.

  21. The Magpie says:

    Well, that’s a great start to the year, Guardian … probably beat the Astonisher the bests blooper – the story, unlike the headline, explains that it was NOT the wallopers who pulled over for a quick slash.


  22. Old Hack says:

    A New Year headline some would like to see…..


    (Dislaimer: Just a joke, Yeronner).

  23. The old peterbuilt says:

    The dove orchid never lies

    • The Magpie says:

      What do ya reckon, Mayor Mullet will find a few lazy million to plant orchid orchards … not understanding that they react, don’t cause … which is the problem with nearly all her ideas.

      • The old peterbuilt says:

        More problems for the mullet. The coconut palms have started dropping their nuts green. This usually means another failed wet season or a blow job is on the way. Ps don’t stand under them. Green nuts are 4to5times heavier than dry ones as most of us can testify to.

  24. Giru Guru says:

    Another headline for the times….

    $18.5M. love-nest in Cayman Isles

  25. Mundingbird says:

    Happy New Year !
    Got an auto reply to an issue from TCC ,saying they will be back on deck Monday 5th January 2014…?
    They cannot even get the simple things right.One would have thought it may be proof read first,but that would be silly.

  26. The Magpie says:

    Wow – great start to 2018 with a big WIN-WIN for truth.

    Prez Trump says Pakistan is full of lies and deceit, and Pakistan says he is, too.

    And they’re both right.

    Is this progress or what?

  27. Local Now says:

    Townsville City Council … Serves You Right!

    • Sandgroper says:

      That would have to be the most appropriate council motto ever devised. You are a genius, but probably a little too truthful to be an advertising copywriter.

  28. Sandgroper says:

    While quietly welcoming New Year with a dram, it struck me that we atheists might have to reconsider.
    With people like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump in charge of the world’s destiny, could we already be living in Hell?

    • The Magpie says:

      You’re asking people who live in Townsville? Oh blitz where is they sting-a-ling-ling? (apologies to Brendan Behan).

  29. The old peterbuilt says:

    Never a truer word spoken old bird but isn’t it a sad indictment on the world when this is the standard of the worlds leadership. I’m depressed now, going for a pint or two.

  30. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Bulletin Headline 30 December 2018

  31. The Magpie says:

    When Michael M dreams big, he thinks of long pants and safety boots so he can legally go on construction sites.

    And not sure how ‘dreaming big’ applies to leaving a bigger, perfectly good stadium for a smaller white elephant in the CBD.

  32. The Magpie says:

    Seriously, what fucking planet do you live on down at the Astonisher?

    (NB Nothing wrong with the story, which is basically a straight advertorial of the local ice skating rink, but the headline is a big negative for the paper’s credibility.)

  33. The Magpie says:

    Apropos nothing:

    The ‘Pie has over the years written several articles about race horse names – usually involving the wit of owners trying to outwit the name police of the industry.

    He was reminded of this a few minutes ago when he watched the second at Albury, and hors #1 was called … Nothing. So we had a call peppered with commentary featuring ‘Nothing moves up to take the lead’, “nothing is running third on the fence’ ‘Nothing is battling on in the straight’. There seems to be an Aussie racing version of Abbott and Costello’s classic ‘Who’s on first.’

    Alas, like most of The ‘Pie’s fancies, Nothing finished nowhere.

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