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The Magpie

Saturday, February 24th, 2018   |   199 comments


The ‘Pie sometimes indulges in joke headlines – this isn’t one of them. It’s true, according to no less than today’s Australian Financial Review. Clive has accepted the offer. But will the unwitting ratepayers have to foot the bill?

And the Politics of Petulance … our childish city leadership hits a shameful low during the week on two fronts … one which could also cost a pretty penny in fines and/or damages.

Damien ‘Adolf’ Tomlinson writes a farewell love letter to Townsville, before he heads off to join the Courier Mail … but funnily enough, he didn’t sign it.

And we come a timeless cracker of a headline, one of the best we’ve seen in years …

But first …

She Shoots Her Mouth Off In Haste, Now We Can All Repent At Our Leisure

Tucked away at the end of this page 5 Australian Financial Review story today was this startling bit of information ….


She’s agreed and he’s accepted? And our mayor will be apologizing publicly AND paying $50,000 to the man most responsible for devastating this city’s economy?

Has The ‘Pie just missed his meds? Nope, it’s a fact.

As usual, this all went down in secret, and, as usual, raises some very serious questions.

Jenny Hill

First and foremost is just who will pay the $50,000 – we the mug ratepayers because she made the comments as mayor, or will it come from Mrs Hill’s personal account, because she behaved as a self-interested and bombastic vote-seeking loudmouth? She’s an extremely wealthy woman by general standards, she can and should afford it. The ratepayers not only can’t, but shouldn’t.

The other lurking question is will Jenny Hill try to make the apology on behalf of the people of Townsville – which you can bet they most certainly WOULD NOT endorse because while she may wrong in careless fact, she is right in general sentiment – or will she have the uncharacteristic honesty to make it all her own mistake? Which it was.

And since the Astonisher published the claim, will they have to ante up some of the dough, or have they done a deal with Palmer on the quiet, since his ambition to re-launch the Palmer United Party would be even more doomed with News Ltd against him.

Jenny Hill

Jenny Hill’s swift capitulation is plainly more a political than a legal decision. It’s true that a court case would have become a lawyers’ picnic, and could have cost the council a million or more over time. And multiply that significantly if Palmer won.

But you can be assured this consideration did not wholly inform the mayor’s decision. Had she not quickly caved in, (and perhaps more importantly, had Clive not accepted the  final offer) the matter would’ve proceeded at snail’s pace but with maximum publicity through the legal system, right up to and perhaps beyond the next council elections. And those costs caused by a careless mayor would really poison the well of goodwill Mayor Mullet kids herself that she still can dip into. The pay-out will come under the heading of her bulging advisory file of bumbling fuck-ups, from trashing the national and lucrative reputation of the Perc Tucker Gallery, the inexplicable and unexplained delays with the bis hub, the nebulous boardwalk project which still hangs around indeterminately, the proposed battery factory where the smell is getting stronger by the day, the secretive creation of a council development Corporation, and of course, the scandalous unilateral decision to give Adani $18.5million towards an airstrip 400kms away. Which we won’t own, operate or make a profit from, and will in effect have to pay to use.

And this week, the thinly disguised fascist tactic of banning an film night because she didn’t like the perfectly legal subject matter(more on that in shortly).

After this debacle, surely, surely, surely, the administrators cannot be far away.


What A Croc(k) Part One

While that was a surprising event, the week started predictably enough, with the ‘smarm offensive’ from a panicked mayor – predicted by The ‘Pie some time ago – unfolding in the pages of the Astonisher and unfortunately for the city’s reputation, on national morning television. One edition of the paper –Monday or Tuesday – featured no less than five photographs of the mayor, hyping puff pieces like a spurious ‘maybe, perhaps’ water cycling thought-fart, cutting a cake to celebrate the council website getting a few thousand hits and so on.


But the most cringe-worthy – which also went onto the Sunrise program – was the absolutely nothing story of a Crocodile Dundee revival movie (Hogan is adamant there won’t be one and the whole thing is a mischieavous beat-up ) that the mayor wants shot in Townsville. While The ‘Pie can think of at least one other thing that should be shot in Townsville for the betterment of the city, the paper insisted on wannabee stories of would be stars and the mayor and Clr Margie Ryder making gooses of themselves – and the city – on the Sunrise program. Bentley placed tongue firmly when he offered up the one person he reckoned was ready to take over the Hogan role.

 Bring back dundee

Crocs and poofs, too many of one and the others don’t exist in NQ, h, Bob?  … but that croc does look a bit on the gay side the way you’ve got him, there mate.

But Then Things Took A Decidedly Dark Turn

In a blatant misuse of by-laws this week, Mayor Mullet and council CEO Adele The Impaler Young used their position and some very flimsy reasoning to block a function they found politically unpalatable … although quite legal.

Some background.

When Bill The Short Un was in town last Monday to waffle around his stand on mining and Adani, there was a bit of girlie slap and push between a doddery pensioner type bloke and some superannuated hippie type layabout outside the meeting. This was vastly blown out of proportion by the Astonisher and TV, which as we know, both hate sensationalism.

It was this totally inconsequential little push and shove that council CEO Adele The Impaler Young and Mayor Mullet pounced on cynically to ban an already booked film night at the Old Magistrates Court in Sturt Street. The North Queensland Conservation Council (NQCC) had been given a booking at the venue for the film night, but then the mayor and the CEO decided it didn’t suit their politics.

So the permission was withdrawn on the grounds that the screening was ‘political’ and therefor not allowed ata  council venue – which was demonstrably biased codswallop – but when that nonsensical ruling was challenged, the NQCC received the following a letter:

Following discussions held by council with local representatives of the Queensland Police Service over emerging community tensions surrounding debate on the Adani Carmichael Mine Project, the council is not in a position where it is able to satisfy itself or guarantee the safe and peaceful conduct of the above-mentioned event for our staff or for members of the community.

Christ, we are in trouble in this town if the coppers couldn’t handle that powder puff stuff. They handle worse every night down in Via Vomitorium.

This piece of prize sophistry moved The ‘Pie to comment the time:

Since the disruption to peace and safety would only come from those supporting the Adani project, we now have the situation where a peaceful and democratic event is banned by the council because of what others – with whose views the council happens to agree – may or may not do. A couple of old farts do a bit of push and shove at The Short Uns meeting and this passes for ‘tensions with the community’? So this is what this current council, elected and administration has come to. They cannot argue against the charge of fascism … or, yet again, outright lying. We are now a nationally disgraced city. Thanks Mullet, thanks Impaler.

The Magpie imagined to two girlie chums then went hat shopping … Mayor Mullet picked a jaunty little number …

Nazi cap 1

… which pissed off CEO Adele Young so much, she decided to show the mayor who is real the boss in the Walker Street bunker and bought this ….

nazi cap 3

Now the council’s WH&S have ordered several dozen outdoor hats for their staff in keeping with the Executive style.

Nazi cap 2

These will specifically be used by staff to close down the next Groovin’ The Moo, where the council also cannot guarantee the public’s safety.

What A Crock Part 2

If Mayor Mullet made an expensive error with Palmer through ignorance of the law, then man-child airport boss Kevin ‘Rhymes With’ Gill could come an even more spectacular – and way more expensive – cropper through one of the most petty and petulant action we’ve ever seen from a CEO.

Townsville Airport boss Kevin Gill (on the left), we think)

Gill is still furiously pouting and talking to himself about Qantas’s steadfast refusal to agree to an airport passenger tax in Townsville to fund a $80m airport upgrade – the airline correctly says that Queensland Airports Ltd should pay for it out of their own profits and not slug passengers. So in a foot stamping display, Gill has ordered a totally unnecessary rearrangement of seating in the main public waiting area … effectively blocking easy and obvious access to the popular Qantas lounge.

Q Lounge airport

Readers were astounded and not amused.

Alex DeLarge

February 23, 2018 at 3:16 pm  (Edit)

Oh, dear. Not only an obstacle course to the Qantas Lounge entrance in the background (which my aged mother could barely negotiate) … there was a 20 minute delay on the carousel. It backfired, Gill, the disgruntled passengers were blaming your incompetence. As were the yellow shirts who had to handle some mightily pissed off members of the public.


February 24, 2018 at 10:08 am  (Edit)

I thought the same thing about blocking the walkway.

I would also think it’s a safety hazard, how is someone in a wheel chair or on crutches supposed to negotiate the chair maze.

What a juvenile display from our so called “leaders”.


The Magpie is willing to bet that the tiled areas are on safety plans as areas to be kept clear in case of emergency. So if anyone – either in the general run of things or in an emergency – gets injured, not only will a damages bill be substantial, there could be fines or even harsher penalties for incompetent management.

But could this become a wider churlish modus operandi to get his own way. The Magpie contemplated that possibility in comments during the week.

magpie contemplating navel copy

The Magpie 

February 23, 2018 at 4:12 pm  (Edit)

It is clear that Kevin Gill has the emotional age of a petulant prepubescent who didn’t get his own way … and the mental age to match. Because how in his wildest two-fisted dreams could he imagine that pissed off passengers would blame Qantas … they know full well Qantas has nothing to do with terminal management and creative furniture arrangement.

And this puerile action from the man who is chairman of the ratepayer funded group tasked with attracting people to Townsville now raises a very serious question … in the light of this idiocy, will there be further deliberate but ‘unforeseen’ disruptions to baggage handling and carousel ‘breakdowns’, in a juvenile attempt to convince passengers they should pay a passenger tax to fund an upgrade of the airport Mr Gill’s parent company owns.

Damien ‘Adolf’ Tomlinson’s Lying Love Letter To Townsville … Just Before He Leaves To Live In Brisbane.

Damien Tomlinson

It seems in five or six weeks, Brisbane’s loss will be Townsville’s gain. Damien Adolf Tomlinson is heading off to the Courier, moving closer to his dream of becoming Andrew Bolt’s anointed successor of alt-right ratbaggery.

Yes, our boy is leaving the farm and family for the big smoke, but just in case we were about to forget him even before he left (Damien who?), he managed a sly reminder of his writing talents with this, which took over the valuable real estate of pages two and three on Monday

Bulletin 'committment'

Yes, yes, it says it was written by new editor Jenna Cairney, but that is patently an obvious fib, she has been here five undistinguished seconds, and could in no way know, or perhaps even subscribe the to fanciful, self-congratulatory flapdoodle of Monday’s effort.

Some background.

The whiff of panic that wafted about every word is a corporation-wide News initiative directed from Holt Street across all News Ltd mastheads. Forgetting how grating it is when people forget the old adage ‘self praise is no rcommendation’, individual iditors all produced their own purple prose of blarney about just how good they are, like a kid with a toy steering wheel sitting next to Dad in the car and going toot toot. (The Magpie’s favourite would have to be Ben Bogan English’s tortured claim for his Gold Coast Bulletin that ‘We’ve been the bodyguard of this city since 1885.’ Oh, purleese.) Jenna/Adolf’s best thigh slapper was the assertion ‘We’re for keeping the bastards honest, whether its big business, lazy politicians or bullying authorities.’ You couldn’t ask for a more succinct description of what he Townsville Bulletin doesn’t do.

This great pile of steaming doggy doos could be further dissected but no, suffice to say it again News Ltd wilfully rejecting reality – it is patently obvious that in every instance, news and reporting where shuffled into the background and ways to attract advertisers very much to the forefront. All this wittering on about partnerships, campaigns, fighting for the battler (ha!) overlooks the bleedin’ obvious: that good solid, well-written (and subbed), and balanced reporting would attract more readers, which in turn would attract advertisers, even as advertising rates went up commensurately. But as usual greed and panic have made them get it arse about yet again.

If Ms Carnie and the motley moth-eaten crew in Holt Street won’t heed the wisdom of self praise being no recommendation, thy might do well to ponder these wise words.

Thought leadership

Shutting The Barn(aby) Door


But trouble ahead for Talkbull.

There ‘s a new name on the political power play landscape in Canberra, but just how feisty she will be is yet to be seen …. Is Joyce Abbott is about to take on the role of government spoiler?

Other stuff

This is a real headline for a true online story … you’ll not see a more mind-boggling come on than this.

Screen shot 2018-02-24 at 10.50.32 AM

And things we didn’t want to know from our newspaper (not The Astonisher, this is American).


And any who doesn’t think Trump isn’t obsessed with money, he seems to view every situation as ringing up a cash register.

But when you’re talking Trump, you’re talking rewriting history.

Trump tree

” Father, I cannot tell a lie … I didn’t chop down the tree.’

And finally, a note on the Winter Olympics. The magpie can reveal details of that doping scandal where a Russian curling competitor tested positive to a banned substance. It seems a bit harsh when those watching on television often take the same drug with no penalty.


I mean, have you seen curling?


Another week gone, but comments run 24/7, have your say on whatever matter you like. And if you can spare a few bob, a donation to keep the blog flying high and looking better would be greatly appreciated … 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.

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