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The Magpie

Saturday, June 16th, 2018   |   96 comments

Oh, That Flapping Sound During The Week, You Ask? Just Jenny Hill’s Chickens Coming Home To Roost.

Slowly, slowly, it is all unravelling for Jenny Hill, but this week, she copped multiple hits, challenges and was forced into a humiliating backdown. The ‘Pie compiles the list.

And what’s this … seems some councillors have visited the spine doctor for a backbone transplant, and have challenged one of the mayor’s most cherished political prerogatives.

A surprising admission by the federal member for Herbert … seems The Tool needs our sympathy, not our scorn …

And Bentley’s back chirpy and chipper as ever after his overseas sojourn.

So let’s go right there.

Those Who Don’t Know History Are Bound To Repeat It

It was more a meaningless trough than an enlightening summit, but this week, the world’s eyes were on Singapore and that hairdressers’ nightmare of a meeting between two of the world’s most dishonest and unstable leaders. But they had more than that in common by the end of their mutual admiration hootenanny.

trump and kim reverse

Bentley was there at the end.

Kim & Trump copy

Indeed, the whole shebang was a cartoonist’s picnic, and how could it not be when the theme of the whole circus was basically ‘how the fuck did it come to this?’, although, in the end, the ‘this’ wasn’t even remotely spelt out. There was distinct feeling of déjà vu for one.

trump historical with NK

So this generation’s Chamberlain-returns-from=Munich moment came and went, but, yes, it was historic, just as Chamberlain’s moment was, so later in the Nest, The ‘Pie will give a small gallery of the global take on this troubling and dangerous ego-fest.

But speaking of egos, let’s go local.

Successful Liars Need Good Memories … Someone In Walker Street Has Amnesia


To quote the perceptive Effie, ‘oh how embarrassment!’

Screen shot 2018-06-16 at 10.19.13 AM

It’s been a week of sphincter-clenching for our Mayor Mullet (heh heh, now just try and scrub that image from your mind), a classic tangled web all of her own making.

It all started earlier in the week, when local Labor folk had their usual factional bitch-slap meeting to decide on their delegates for the state conference, Mayor Mullet’s faction headed by the right-wing(ish) AWU got just three delegates, while Cathy O’Toole’s lefty supporter got the other six . That lopsided outcome would never have happened in recent times past. But maybe not a big surprise for those in the know … last month, a pub event with Hill and former Treasurer Wayne Swan attracted just 16 of the faithful, while a week earlier The Tool played host to Anthony Albanese and 110 turned out.

But it would seem that the mayor’s stocks are not just low with a growing number of disgruntled Labor punters.

Seems Some Councillors Have Visited The Spine Doctor For A Transplant

The ‘Pie is hearing that her aerobics class councillors, previously so silently compliant to her every whim as part of the deal in getting a ticket on the gravy train are starting to show a glimmer of rebellion. But wouldn’t you know it – and do try to control your astonishment- it isn’t about ratepayers welfare or visionary projects, but that issue everyone is talking about – how their deputy mayor is chosen, FFS!!!

Clr Mark Molachino

Clr Mark Molachino

It is said that Mark ‘Frothy’ Molochino, one of the great do-nothing public leeches of all time, has gathered some of his fellow gravy-trainers seeking support to push for an amendment to allow councillors to decide on their deputy doodah from among their number. Messagebank Walker is widely regarded as thick as Gina Rinehart’s left ankle and is not too popular as a goofy spokesman when Mayor Mullet is away. Or when he gabbles on about the Fabled Bus Hub, which is almost approaching mythical unicorn status. He sees himself as an heir apparent, a laughable vision not shared by his fellow councillors, apparently. probably not the voters, either, one guesses.

Deputy Doo Dah Les Messagebank Walker

Deputy Doo Dah Les Messagebank Walker

Whether this nascent rebellion goes any further no one knows, but it seems having dyed-in-the-blue Laborites as numbers one and two on an ‘independent’ council is rankling some who are already worried that they may be left on the gravy train platform when that choo choo pulls out in March 2020.

Several theories have come from this sudden show of self-interested spine, but you can bet on one thing … that Frothy Molochino – known as the Invisible Man in his division – will be putting himself forward as a people’s champion deserving of the hefty pay increase that goes with being Deputy Doodah. Anything is possible, as there is no love lost between Mullet and Messagebank. And of course, we have Shayne Sutton lurking in the wings.

But the whining amongst mummy’s little helpers is the least of the mayor’s concerns this week.

First came this, in spite of playing footsie in first class with her BBF Premier Alphabet.

Screen shot 2018-06-13 at 8.43.18 AM

Then this …

Screen shot 2018-06-16 at 10.59.20 PM

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Then there was the revelation that the operators of the Bluewater airstrip had approached Qantas to be considered for their pilot training school … along with something like 44 other operators from around Australia. (More on that shortly). But this obliquely reflects on Mayor Mullet, who ludicrously and fruitlessly called for a passenger boycott of Qantas because they couldn’t be conned into paying for an airport upgrade which the airline quite properly believes should be paid for by owners Queensland Airports Ltd – not by a passenger tax the airline would have to impose. Qantas basically ignored Jenny Hill’s pompous hysteria on an issue that is in fact none of the council’s business – ignored but certainly noted. So the actions of our mayor will certainly be remembered when it comes down to short-listing and eventually choosing the community to host the Pilot School multi-million dollar lottery. So thanks, Mullet.

Then this weekend , mindful that time is ticking towards the next election, Mayor Mullet bowed to the inevitable and we got this …

Screen shot 2018-06-16 at 10.19.13 AM

… a story in which she simpered that she was withdrawing from the arrangement with Adani to co-fund an airstrip for the stalled Carmichael mine. Of course, this financial genius said they would revisit the arrangement once Adani had secured finance for the project, but the initial $18.5M will be spent in next week’s budget on local projects. Or far more likely, it wll go towards the first matter, the shortfall in pipeline funding. Which indicates if she is so utterly stupid enough to re-pledge that money, where is it coming from? Borrowing and more debt is the only answer.

But even when she does the right thing, her bumbling performance and perception is highlighted.

In yesterday’s announcement, the mayor said the money was going to be ‘redirected to shovel ready projects around the city’. But hang on, couple of question, me old stunned one – you have consistently said it was a done deal, although you stubbornly have refused give us any details of the arrangement with OUR money, APART FROM REPEATEDLY INSISTING IT WAS A DONE DEAL, WITH THE CLEAR IMPLICATION THAT IT WAS IRREVOCABLE. But unless whoever the deal was with sues you for dishonouring a contract, then there was no deal. Your pants are a three alarm fire, you liar.

Also, if things hadn’t unfolded in this way, your statement can only mean there were $18.5M worth of ‘shovel ready’ projects around town that would languished for years, while all shovels would’ve been borrowed by out-of-towners to build a bloody airstrip 400kms away.

Look The ‘Pie could go on but he’s starting to hyperventilate, suffice to say that you, Madam, are an A1 grade first-class, rolled gold self-interested nitwit. (pant pant, water please).

Talk About Metaphors

During the week, this video came into the Nest. It is ostensibly about some researchers trying to determine if cow shit contains methane, but the results are a great metaphor for what happens when you look into the current Townsville Council and its executive administration.

Talk Softly and Tiptoe Around, She’s Not Well

Far be it from The ‘Pie to make fun of the afflicted, oh, mercy me, no, so he asks you to spare a kind thought for our beloved Tool, that is Cathy O’Toole, the federal member for Herbert. She’s been looking a bit vacant during question time on telly lately, and she has now bravely confirmed our worst fears, by admitting she can’t handle things just now. She advised us all through our letter boxes of her plight. The ‘Pie was not surprised but was nevertheless so upset, he couldn’t read further than the first line.

Cathy O'Toole committed Get well soon , dear one, your contributions to our welfare will be sorely missed.

For Once, The Astonisher Tells It The Way It Is

A double page spread to give us the bleedin’ obvious

Good idea ... a Panadol should do the trick.

Yup, a couple of Panadol should do the trick. No-Doz even better.

But This Is NOT Funny

Big reaction during the week when The Magpie posted this comment.

The Magpie

June 13, 2018 at 10:18 am  (Edit)

Another new low for the Townsville Bulletin.

crim suburbsThis is disgraceful , and possibly worthy of a class action for damages. What possible purpose can this story have other than to stigmatise whole suburbs, where 99% of residents ARE NOT criminals? Yet another Bulletin story that further divides our city and there are clear dog whistling undertones of blatant racism bubbling just below the surface.

Simply disgraceful, iditor Jenni ‘ Couldn’t Care Less’ Cairney.

But that effort earned The ‘Pie’s Ironyman Man Award for the week, which went to News Limited CEO Robert Thomson, during a regular whinge about no longer having the free run of the press. The headline could well be a question for Jenni Cairney.

Screen shot 2018-06-15 at 3.59.33 PM

By coincidence, the Bulletin criminal suburbs story came out on the same day that an international research study on fake news was released. As well as discussing its rise to prominence, the report had a helpful guide to help you spot bullshit reporting.

Spot Fake NewsThere ya go, Astonisher, four out of five ain’t bad – and a special mention for the first and the fourth tell-tale signs. Even The somewhat more professional Australian has its Murdoch moments … like this silly stuffing around with a photograph, which was quickly smacked down on Twitter.

The Australian

That Bluewater Bid For The Qantas Pilot School – Will The TCC Back The Potentially Lucrative Move? Don’t Count On It

There’s more than aircraft in the air up Bluewater way – there’s growing evidence that there’s some clandestine and murky goings on with property deals and secret projects. There’s more and more evidence of a land grab by a cashed up international group, with the aim of creating a ‘sealed’ tourism network that has the potential to be set up in such a way that there may be little benefit to the local economy, and indeed to the Australian Tax Office. Visitors would have an all expenses experience paid up front but in their country of origin … mainly China.

 It’s A Tale Worthy Of Hollywood Treatment

The verifiable bullying and intimidation of Rollingstone property owner, 76-year-old widow Sandra Richards has been the catalyst to reveal some very disturbing possibilities. These involve the Townsville Council, the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) , real estate agents and developers, as well as prominent law firm Emanate Legal, whose principal is Barry The Legal Foghorn Taylor – he’s in the thick of all this, although that is not to suggest he or a key member of his staff, Connie Navarro, have done anything provably illegal. At this stage. But if Mrs Richard’s son Cameron’s research is correct, Ms Navarro’s activities in allegedly providing legal advice to both the Townsville City Council and the DNRME in relation to a stock route road closure that virtually locked Mrs Richards off her property deserve a closer look .

Mr Richards has files that indicate the intimidation of his mother is aimed at getting her to sell her property (which has a lucrative mahoghany tree plantation soon ready to harvest) at a low price. Ms Navarro’s family property, which is adjacent to Mrs Richards, was bought from international developer Landmark, one of the companies belonging to the billionaire Tiong family of Sarawak.

Cameron Richards is adamant that the Navarros managed to secure the property, although there were at least two substantially higher bids (one from well respected Townsville businessman Conor Kersh). When anyone, especially a savvy and successful company like Landmork, takes a lower bid for a property, it is not unreasonable to assume something is going on.

Tiong interests own or control a growing number of properties along the northern beaches including land earmarked for an equestrian holiday resort at Bluewater aimed specifically at the Chinese tourism market. Plans for that project have been with the TCC for more than three years now, but just what the hold-up is is not clear.

David Wadley

A property developer and real estate agent, David Wadley, is involved with the Tiong/Landmark moves in the area. And there is definitely something afoot, according to Mr Wadley’s latest update on his website.

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Moongobulla is the name of Mrs Richard’s property but also refers to the general area. So there is some plans for an unnamed project in that vicinity, according to Mr Wadley’s website. And the Brisbane address he lists on his website is also the office of Landmark in Brisbane.

Mr Richards is in discussions with the Townsville Council trying to determine why they suddenly and secretly reversed an approval for a road on which Mrs Richards, on the strength of the approval,  then spent $25,000 upgrading. He is also seeking information from the DNRME about the closure of a vital stock route that serviced his mother’s property without any notification or discussion. And which may not have been legal under Queensland’s stock route laws.

Then there is the issue that the police and bush fire brigade HQ are looking into a possible arson attack on Mrs Richards property three years ago, allegedly deliberately started by an off-duty member of the local bush fire service. Mr Wadley was involved in maters between Mrs Richards and the Navarro property, which he was managing at the time, and is expected to interviewed about the matter.

This is a very complicated matter, and all sorts of theories abound – one being that with the Tiong money involved, there may be an associated resort, possibly involving a golf course, to complement the planned equestrian centre at Bluewater and therefore the Bluewater airstrip could be a target for takeover. The ‘Pie has been told that one property owner close to the airstrip was contacted by Barry Taylor for a meeting, but the owner decided not to take up the invitation.

That’s as much as The Magpie is able to share at the moment – especially since Bazza is such a touchy bastard – wonder why?

We will be keeping a close eye on developments.

An Interesting Statistic From The ABC’s Election Analyst 

Speaks for itself.

Screen shot 2018-06-16 at 8.04.40 AM

A Small Gallery Of Cartoons Of The World’s Biggest Cartoon Character

The Singapore Bromance between Don and Kim, coming straight after Trump shafted Canada,  had the illustrators pens working overtime. Here’s a small sampling.

Trump enemy

Trump  flattery


G-7 Summit

trump canadaAND FINALLY …

The whole ludicrous affair of Trump making an enemy of America’s neighbor and staunch ally Canada before jetting off for a love fest with a man who had previously been his deadly enemy, had people veering wildly between unstoppable hilarity and abject terror. The best take of all was Borowitz in The New Yorker … the brilliance was that in this upside world, it could well have been true. But it wasn’t and isn’t.



That’s this week’s burnt offering, more next week unless someone mentioned this week sends Da Boyz aroud for a terminal chat with the old bird. So if you’ve been meaning to get in touch with your generous self and make a helpful donation to the upkeep of the Magpie’s Nest, better get in quick, might be your last chance. 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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