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The Magpie

Sunday, June 16th, 2019   |   92 comments

Outsourcing Our Mayoralty. How Jenny Hill Was Led Down The Garden Path

And not by Jamie Durie (she can wish). The ‘Pie has a look at the mysteriously self-named City Placemakers, aka Pure Projects, and calls it out as Pure Bullshit – including one of the two most interesting dots that no one seems to have connected … until now.

The Astonisher’s snide exercise in schadenfreude in its search for a dollar: known for ‘explanations without facts’, the paper turns that on its head with a nasty campaign of ‘facts without explanation’.

Forget Townsville v Cairns, Brisbane v the north or even Queensland v NSW … there is a truly insidious split being manufactured right in here in this city, a damaging us and them scenario.

And looking overseas, we continue our wildly popular weekly visit to the renamed Trumpsylvania.

But first …

Bluffed And Bewildered: Mullet Challengers Still Scared Off 

Jenny Hill

Mayor Mullet doesn’t just look scary, she has long had a reputation of a ‘get even’ ethic … in good Labor fashion, she is not one to forget a single minor slight, and when the opportunity to use her position presents itself, slip in the stiletto of revenge. (God only knows what she has in store for The ‘Pie, but you can bet it’s more than that infamous dart in the neck.)

From conversations The Magpie has had, every possible contender to take her on at next March’s council election is convinced she’s just waiting for someone to peep above the political parapet, so she can cower them out of the race. Bentley has come up with the most graphic depiction of the current situation.

Mice copy Business people, exactly the pool from which we should be selecting a sensible, believable leader, are particularly vulnerable to Jenny Hill’s spite, and more than one has said exactly that … they are frightened of retribution if they even run and lose. Sam Cox is said to be thinking about it, but he is still a bit gun shy after his defeat as sitting member in Thuringowa by Aaron Harper in  2015(voters, beware what you wish for, you may get Aaron Harper), and must feel even more battered by then losing by a narrow 2% when he stood as a One Nation candidate against the LNP’s Dale Last in the Burdekin. That defeat was probably made all the more galling as that is Cox family territory.

The LNP’s Michael Brennan dipped his toe in the mayoral waters briefly, but decided to sit this one out because his partner, Cassie Scott, is champing at the bit to have another crack at the ineffective Scott Stewart. The ‘Pie understands they have given their melded family priority and decided that only one of them can go for public office.

The ‘Pie knows Stephen Motti has toyed around with the idea, but at last report was unlikely to leave a highly successful business (and also one that could suffer payback if did run).

The ‘Pie asked former councillor Gary Eddiehausen if he had any such plans, and he said he wasn’t keen on running for or being mayor, but would seriously consider running as a councillor and even look to become deputy mayor.

(A small digression: a regular commenter, Phillip Batty, who has became a personal mate – mainly because he plays golf as …ummm … creatively as The ‘Pie – had semi-serious plans to run. Phil, a respected Australia-trotting business executive, is incensed with Hill’s performance. However, recent family matters have spiked that plan, and he will be moving away shortly. That he’s not going to take a shot is a shame in another way, The ‘Pie had worked out the best political slogan for caps, T-shirts and bumper stickers – ‘I’m Over The Hill And Going Batty.’ The ‘Pie rates even better than his suggested ‘Knuth ‘Kn’oath).

But not to be.

But What About Current Councillors?

There have been a few petulant rumblings, and you really have to feel for Les ‘Messagebank’ Walker (no you don’t really, just a figure of speech). You’d reckon Les would feel a bit like the restive Keating when Hawkie reneged on the hand-over deal. With The Mullet now no hope of a senate spot, looks like she wants to stick around indefinitely (shudder). Les had just assumed, via Labor hierarchy, that he would get the nod if the Mullet steps aside or is rolled, and he returns Walker Street to a legitimate Labor regime.,

has been behaving in an uncharacteristic civil manner of late, but he has the problem that he is a Labor man, too, and all sorts all sorts of chocolate would hit the rotating blades if he tried for an official Labor team (wouldn’t happen, but, gawd, wouldn’t it be fun).

But Wait – Is Mark ‘Frothy’ Molachino On The Make?

But the person who is reported to not only think he has a chance but also believes he is far and away the messiah we are looking for is Mark ‘Frothy’ Molachino. Self delusion is often a political requirement.
Mark Molachino

Up until now, Molachino has been an A grade dill and Jenny yes-man, waffling out his scripted lines. The mayor set him up for the fall when he was tapped to announce that the dopey cash grab idea that the popular Eyre Street free car park would revert to paid space. Frothy claimed that the decision was made after consultations with CBD business people, conversations that are almost impossible to imagine (Oh yes please, Mark, make our lives even more difficult, please mate.’) That was a spectacular failure, and within a few months of the car park being completely deserted – as reported here on a couple of occasions – the council had to rip out the expensive machines and change all the signage back to ‘free’. Which is exactly what it wasn’t for this short-sighted council.

Being ambitious and a lazy idiot hasn’t been a brake on many a politician (hi, Snooze), but believing your own dreams of grandeur is dangerous bollix. However, Frothy made one good point during the week. In yet another overblown story about how knocking down a building for new food outlets to service currently absent CBD crowds, we read the following:

Upper Ross Cr Mark Molachino raised concerns residents in suburbs away from the CBD were missing out.

He said residents who were “a fair way away from the CBD” would love to see the kind of things happening in the inner-city in their area.

“I have a few areas that would love to see some thing like (tree plantings) to make it look nice around transport corridors and entry statements. Things like that,” Cr Molachino said.

Personally, The ‘Pie will never vote for anyone who says thing like ‘transport corridors’ for roads and ‘entry statements’ for signs saying Welcome to Townsville.

But Molachino’s statement is the first public inkling that The ‘Pie has seen to confirm growing discontent he has been fielding from all sorts of folks out in the suburbs about the mayor’s lop-sided focus on the CBD. People in the suburbs feel they are being short changed with such a strong focus on the inner city. (Naming a long bus line of bus shelters a ‘bus hub’ is just one matter, along with a Cowboys publicly funded ‘training facility’ – read practice field and some offices).

So one of the mayor’s achievements may end up being an ‘us and them’ divide of the city… the ‘them being every day ratepayers and businesses in the ‘burbs, and the ’us’ being self interested power brokers like Lancini and his political pawns in Walker Street and at the Astonisher.

More and more, people are being forced to regret Beattie’s forced amalgamation of Thuringowa and Townsville.

Pure Codswallop – The Mysterious Rise and Rise of Pure Projects

So where does this concentration of council affection for the CBD come from? Let’s join some really interesting dots.

Don Morris

Some history.

The latest grifting blow-in raiding Townsville’s ratepayer coffers, Pure Projects local boss Don Morris, had a brother Alan, who was the Mo in the fabled Mojo ad agency of the 80’s (the Jo being the king of the catchy jingle Allan Johnston). Mojo was flogged off for a squillion to American interests in 1989.

After various adventures in the corporately addled world of adland, scroll forward to 2006, when Alan teamed up with brother Don and a third partner to start an new ad agency called Yabber. Here’s your first dot … the third partner was none other than Jamie Durie. Not much is known about the fate of Yabber, which may have faded when Alan Morris died of cancer in 2007, but subsequent events would clearly suggest Don Morris had a close working relationship with the Durie.

Fast forward to Townsville 2017. Don Morris, now chairman of the global urgers/project management group Pure Projects, pitched for and got the gig as  Townsville Master Planner and Placemaker. (For the ultimate in buzzword bullshit, see here for placemaker). But even those arcane terms seem to be what we elected our councillors and mayor to be.

And it is the creation of this position where Mayor Jenny Hill outsourced her job, the job SHE was elected to do. A panic move it would seem, because she was fresh out of a single clue as to how to get re-elected after several both unpopular, borderline corrupt, and incompetent decisions ($18.5million for a gift Adani airstrip, the damaging and demeaning for a Qantas boycott, and possibly a key figure responsible for deliberately flooding hundreds of homes during the January Ross Dam monsoon floods (many still yet to be repaired) as well as being the architect of wholesale sacking of council staff, a move suspected to ease budgetary pressure she herself had caused.)

So her role was largely usurped by Morris and his fellow dollar-sniffing carpetbaggers, because all the dicking around the edges of this city’s problems – zip lines and a food truck for Castle Hill, for God’s sake – were bought by the mayor holus bolus.


Jamie Durie

But it was barely a nano-second after our Donny sweet talked Pure Projects into the ‘candy off a baby’ gig that we get the next dot. Mysteriously, and without any credible explanation, Jamie Durie is tapped to cop almost $350,000 to tell us how to save water over 10 ‘water use workshops’, and appear in a series of TV ads involving grandmothers and the sucking of eggs. That appointment would likely have been recommended, nay probably demanded, by Don Morris, to give his old buddy Jamie, currently besieged by some sticky legal matters, a helping hand. That’s unconfirmed but an odds-on bet, no way Mayor Mullet, even in the greatest throes of passionate heat and fiscal abandon, would have thought that one up. Or …hmmm … no, not really.

The whole Pure Projects intrusion beggars belief, when you consider the ratepayers are forking out for this kind of no shit Sherlock analysis and recommendations. Which really denigrates our mayor and councillors as morons without a clue. Uh, yeah, well.

But The Magpie has spotted three issues that arise regarding Mr Morris, who now apparently lives here in Townsville, and regularly dashes off Letters to the Ed of the Astonisher.

The first issue is that of domicile. There is no need for our community to feel inferior because of temporary hard times, but there must be a compelling reason why the man who is chairman of this global company has decided to move here. Here’s the list of other places where Pure projects has offices and where, as head honcho, where Mr Morris could park his Lamborghgini or whatever without asking anyone.

Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 12.08.41 amSeems emblematic that Las Vegas is in the mainly Asian mix.

Clearly, it would be churlish not to be flattered that he has graced us with his presence. But would it also be churlish to suggest that finding a sucker like the scatterbrained Jenny Hill is lucrative enough to make it worthwhile? Candy and babies again spring to mind.

Issue 2: The Magpie has often wondered what personal pitch Don Morris put forward. In Pure Projects, bio Donny tells us he was the co-founder of the fabled Mojo ad agency. Really? That appears to be a claim not supported by the five or six potted backgrounders that The ‘Pie has viewed on the agency … he is not mentioned once. And during The Magpie’s time working for Mojo Corporate (the agencies PR arm), he cannot recall ever hearing his name mentioned.

Also his self-penned bio tells us: Currently Don is a director of ASX listed Ardent Leisure, Chair of the business advisory Tourism Think Tank, Chair of Griffith University’s Institute for Tourism (GIFT) where he is also Adjunct Professor of Tourism and a Doctor of the University.

Ardent Leisure, eh? How was your directorial oversight of Dreamworld, then, old chum? And don’t think it wise to talk too loudly about being an academic or that you belong to a think tank.

All who have met him say Don Norris is a personable chap, one telling The Magpie that he when met Morris, his overwhelming impression was that of the Cheshire Cat with the perpetual grin, and couldn’t hide that he’d got the cream. But then, one wonders if that applies to some of his mates for which the Queensland Government and Townsville ratepayers are footing the bill. Because the third issue to contemplate is the final line of his biography, which intensifies the already burning question of why we need Jamie Durie at all, viz:

Don does some serious project management of his own: as an accomplished, award winning landscape gardener.

All this Pure Projects stuff was sprung on all of a sudden, out of the blue, no preamble nor suggested search. The piscine odour is so overpowering, it serves as timely warning to Townsville voters and ratepayers to recall Paul the Apostle’s words of warning ‘…for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’

Getting To Grips With Politics

To other matters, but just as mysterious. Dimwit Fraser Anning gets a helping hand from a mate.

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 12.25.40 pm

Trumpism and Bannonism? … in a word, Onanism.

Miscellany: Best By-Line Of The Year

Spotted this during the week, and still can’t stop laughing – well, sniggering actually.

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.25.53 am

The ‘Pie actually thought it was a stitch-up and was faked, but in fact, Ms Hornaday is very real.

Screen Shot 2019-06-13 at 10.40.01 am

But the news/advertisement clash of the week goes to the good old Townsville Bulletin. The paper picked up this unpleasant story from News.com, who got it off the Daily Mail.

Sth Af mutilator Fredrickson

Nasty stuff, but not made any more …err, palatable … by the Astonisher who did it this way.

Screen Shot 2019-06-10 at 10.32.52 am

In the same vein, not sure if this was featured in a previous blog, but worth another outing. From the Irish Times.

Wardrobe specials

And someone’s not reading the ads very closely down at the Canberra Times.


There’s probably plenty of school bus drivers who would volunteer for the job.

Closer to home, we know that a woman named Cairns is or was working for Townsville Enterprise, but did you know the most name-qualified person to look after mining industry interests in Queensland in fact works for the NSW mining industry… chief executive of the NSW Minerals Council is one Stephen Galilee. Seems just the man to emulate the feats of Jesus at the Sea of Galilee, where the good lord convinced the sceptics by walking on water, calming a storm and feeding the multitudes. All of which has been promised by Gotem Adani, Saint Jenny and Mother Jenna.

But something that isn’t funny is this new regular come-on in the Bulletin.

Screen Shot 2019-06-11 at 12.24.54 pm

This is ballyhooed every day now. And it is SIMPLY WRONG. Sure, court lists have always been a valuable adjunct to public information, listing trials and judgements in District and Supreme, and Coronial inquests. But these lists are for matters in the Magistrates Court, and are now apparently made available to the paper (they definitely weren’t when The ‘Pie was court reporting). But what is wrong with it is this: printing such a list does not serve any public purpose, people due in court know they are, people immediately concerned with know anyway, so this simply amounts to gossip in half-truths and does not do the community one whit of good. But what it does do is place Mrs Smith, who is perhaps contesting a disputed rates notice, alongside Mr Jones, who is charged with the violent assault a policeman, or a jaywalker next to a suspected paedophile … but don’t try to kid us or your yourselves, Bulletin, this is tarring with a snide, click bait brush BECAUSE NO OUTCOMES ARE EVER MATCHED TO THE SUPPLIED LISTS THE NEXT DAY – ESPECIALLY A NOT GUILTY.  Townsville is still just a big country town, and the gossip that goes with that.  Some people may even be found not guilty, but still there name is there, and no outcome recorded. Sure, the juicy stuff gets reported, but not all … just the names.

Cheap stuff in search of readership. A shitty thing to do, Jenna.

Our Weekly Visit To Trumpsylvania

Last week, Agent Orange said the moon was part of Mars. This week,  it was revealed that he had announced tariffs on Mexico if they didn’t take action of transiting migrants, then withdrew the threat when he said he’d engineered yet another ‘terrific bigly’ deal when in fact the arrangement with Mexico had been hammered out with underlings months beforehand – and he also suggested he was open to electoral collusion with any foreign government who could give him information on his opponents. So much for ‘no collusion’ claims, and America really is aghast now, including many of his supporters … the man really is certifiable.


5_130 20_20 20_political_cartoon_u.s._homer_simpson_alcohol_trump_tariffs_problem_solving_-_joe_heller 11_62 Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c190611.tif 23_political_cartoon_u.s._nancy_pelosi_jerry_nadler_impeachment_-_michael_ramirez_creators 20_political_cartoon_u.s._trump_white_house_fbi_foreign_dirt_election_-_chris_britt_creators COLOR

And …



There was a lot of info that had to be held over this week for further checking, and much of it will appear in comments over the next two of three days, so stay tuned … and also have your say. And as always, any appreciation with a donation will greatly assist maintaining the Nest, if you can help, 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. Mike Douglas says:

    Townsville moves on despite our hapless Mayor after her continual poor choices on buying her Mayoralty car in Brisbane, Adele Young, Stephen Beckett, Jamie Durie and possibly misleading Councillors on her “ captains call “ on Adani airport etc etc the business community basicly operates outside of Walker st because based on the Mayor and the qualities of our Councillors what could they offer ?. T.C.C,s budget is due so with a Council election due in 2020 what trinkets will the Mullet feed the ratepayers . Changes in fortune outside the Ville with Mackay and Rockhampton property prices rallying the latter up 15% for March qtr rebounding off a low base and Cairns getting the wobbles . Cathay Pacific is pulling their wide body flights direct to Hong Kong after 24 yrs which will also impact export of live seafood and tourists . Bad weather + all the anti Adani and Greens party “ the reef is dieing “ jargon effecting tourism with cafes and restaurants claiming a 40% drop .

    • Critical says:

      Certain sections of the Cairns economy might not be doing the best atm but at least these areas have been identified and Council, the Qld government and the tourism and business sector are proactively working together to address the symptoms and find solutions. Who knows what would happen in Townsville other than a few more photo and meaningless media opportunities for TEL and probably Mullet would be demanding more government grant $ to throw around.

    • Linda Ashton says:

      Have you visited Cairns lately? Congratulations to Cairns Council is all I can say.

  2. Woodduck says:

    Admitting I didn’t read the story as I wouldn’t buy the shit paper, but the Mullet is calling for fairer air fares for the region. This is the same dickhead that wanted to impose a $3 tax on every one using the services.

  3. Waiting patiently says:

    Just sittin’ on the dock of the bay wondering when Tempos departure to the south will be reported by the ‘pie. Our feverish Mullet media defender will now chance his sword in the defence of the Mayor of Melbourne…..for a hefty boost in the annual income and a swish ratepayer funded city pad no less!

  4. NQGal says:

    What a shame Stephen Motti isn’t putting his hat into the ring for the mayoral gig. It could have set up a glorious battle with Mullet’s minder and fellow IPC 1986 alumni Dolan Hayes.

  5. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Late runs with a notable candidate are actually becoming more common, even lately we had Steggle, Phelps, all only jump in a week or two before nominations close, even old sleepy Manning up in Cairns only officially announced he was standing in 2012 in January. One common thing each of them have is “ anyone but the incumbent” swell of sentiment and it’s virtually unstoppable, something there is plenty of in Townsville for the horrible Mullet.
    So a late run can be very effective, but the candidate must have a profile already, and have everything ready to go behind the scenes.
    I stand at the ready, Bunnings hat in hand to drop off pamphlets and man a booth for anyone taking on this vile horrible woman.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘late run’ scenario has been trotted out before in these comments (some weeks ago), but people need hope NOW, and a clear understanding of what they’ll be voting for. Late runs can also have voters stampeded by frustration into doing exactly what you say, vote ABJ (Anyone But Jenny), which absolutely no way to select a leader at the last minute. That runs the real danger of getting a nightmare candidate into office – think Senate or the political gung-ho-ness of a Campbell Newman.So it isn’t just knocking off Jenny, it is laying out a clear plan of ‘new broom’ changes to the excesses and rorting in jobs for the boys and consultancy appointments, a pledge to a back to basics reform package for our day-to-day expectations, but above all, a believable list of policies to move us ahead and back towards prosperity. All that said, Cankers, there is a school of thought that The ‘Pie understands – that this would be a good one to lose for any aspiring hopeful. For they will surely inherit a hidden budgetary mess kept from us by collaborative self-interest … deteriorating and neglected fleet, infrastructure and knowledge pool (word is the council is short 17 engineers right now but not only can’t find them, and aren’t trying to hard because they can’t afford them), and perhaps the lowest morale of any workforce ever in Walker Street. The last minute election of say a Paul Jacob, or, say, in the extreme, a Les Walker, a Peter Newey or even a Pat Coleman, would be the death knell of Townsville.

      • Budget direct says:

        Please not Paul Jacob or walker!! If you asked them where to find the word budget in the dictionary they wouldn’t know where to start. Neglected fleet needs 42 vehicles across council replaced but this budget can only allow 7 replaced from the pages I’ve seen. 42 more then has already been replaced, some still driving around with rego stamps from 2nd last year of less Tyrell. As for your engerneirs tcc will be even shorter because a number of current ones have jobs offered from adani now. Leave at a moment’s notice these people just like certain vehicles can’t be replaced by going to the used car yard or manpower employment to replace overnight. The worst is yet to come. The only reason I’m here is because I’ve been lucky to keep my 25yr job and the super is to great to loose at my end. I hold some hope that the next mayor will let me stay on to reach my next lot of long service. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy my job alot but as you say moral is non existent and with the CFMEU ( highest donors to hill last election) in charge of the next EBA fuck knows what will happen if anything.

        • No More Dredging says:

          Pat Coleman has my vote then.

        • Alahazbin says:

          “Some still driving around with rego stamps from 2nd last year of less Tyrell”
          That is utter BS. It is the role of Fleet staff to remove old rego stickers every year. Besides rego stickers haven’t been around for a few years.

          • Budget direct says:

            I never said anything about rego stickers. Stamps is an old term I used to describe ownership. Would you like some rego numbers to take to dept of transport to see when they were purchased by TCC Ala??? I’m sorry if you missed my point. A couple of our oldest road vehicles are from when cyclone yasi hit.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Imagine Peter Newey having a run, what a train wreck that would be, very entertaining but a train wreck none the less.

  6. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    The Astonisher’s ‘Today in Court’ load of pointless codswollop perfectly demonstrates the German sentiment of schadenfreude in action.

    The Germans have a lot of good words like schadenfreude that have no direct English equivalent. I suggest that schlimmbesserung (meaning: to make things worse through an effort to improve) is another one that is truely a word for our times.

    We live in an age of schlimmbesserung. Just think: plastic cars equipped with airbags that kill you; introducing multiple TV channels to broadcast even more (un)reality crap; using PC language and words that have absolutely no meaning; building the NBN, NAPLAN testing, (or perhaps 90% of government programs and initiatives); the constant rule changes in the AFL.

    A word like schlimmbesserung can really come in handy these days. It really is too bad we don’t have our own English version, but then we’d probably screw it up and start misusing as meaning “awesome” or something.

    • Linda Ashton says:

      Schlimmbesserung ….. “tried too bloody hard ay mate.”

      • The Magpie says:

        Great word … examples anyone? The ‘Pie thinks mayor’s Qantas boycott call in effort to the airline to agree to a ticket tax resulted in the airline (of course coincidentally) giving us less flights on less salubrious aircraft. Or wholesale sackings at the council to make it more efficient … Schlimmbesserung QED.

  7. Pat Coleman says:

    Thanks for the plug Maggers. Whatever my plans are I do like to keep the enemy on their toes.

    When everyone thinks I’m on trial , think again . Its Townsville on trial.

    Anyone can run and keep their principles, knowing they aren’t going to get elected, and use it to take a swipe at the underbelly , to get elected – otherwise, you have to suck up to and bullshit to all factions of the power elite..
    DO I SOUND LIKE YOUR MAN ??? hmmnn ??

  8. Old tradesman says:

    Why would you have an Elton John concert at the end of February, probably hoping that due to climate change it won’t rain, and probably on the new turf that needs time to be established? Could it have something to do with an event in March that is only 286 days away? It seems lots of things are going to happen at that time.

    • Critical says:

      Mullet said the other day on either radio or tv something to the effect that at the end of Feb and early March the weather is starting to break so it’s an OK time for the Elton John concert. What the hell is she on, it’s the middle of the wet season and it’s an open air stadium. Can someone please send her a copy of Townsville’s rainfall history and QLD cyclone history for the last 50 years.
      Wondering what her alternative venue / plans are if it’s pouring rain or a cyclone is around. Better have on Mullet as I’m certain that the thousands of out of town people from down south who you reckon will come here for the concert because they couldn’t get a ticket for concerts down there won’t be impressed if it’s a rained out concert and that it could be foreseen that an alternate venue should have been arranged.
      At the end of the day, This concert is all about her and her useless councillors hoping to get voted back in on the warm fuzzy feelings left by the concert that is about a month out from voting day.

      • NQGal says:

        I am loathe to defend Mayor Mullet, but she has no control over Elton John’s tour schedule. It’s not as if she can say “I know you are touring the rest of Australia in February, but can you just come back in July?” I got tickets today. Gotta see the old guys as they won’t be back again!

        • The Magpie says:

          Valid point, and Reggie Dwight’s visit is welcome, come rain hail or shine (take your pick at the time of year). The ‘Pie has said this ad nauseum, but will again repeat: DO NOT lay the responsibility of others’ questionable decisions at Mayor Mullet’s door step …. false pot shots such as you highlight, girly, only give the Mullet more ammunition to deflect attention away from her own very real sins … and there are plenty of them without making up others.

      • Linda Ashton says:

        Wonder who is footing the bill for the insurance premium in the event that Elton needs to be compensated and tickets refunded?

        • The Magpie says:

          The promoters, who else, it’s always part of the deal with open-air events like shows and concerts? So let’s just look forward to a great little event for a town in need of a lift, albeit, as we always do regarding outdoor events, with our fingers crossed weather-wise(and in Elton’s case, CFMMEU-wise, as well).

  9. Coral C says:

    Mrs Hill will win again and win well. She won’t get a full house of Councillors like last election but she will get a majority.

  10. Frequent flyer says:

    The Mullet may well win by default. Doesn’t say much about Townsville when nobody is game to take her on. But even if she does win another term she won’t see it out. The LNP will take over the State Government and then it will only be a matter of time before the Crime and Corruption Comission catches up with her. My LNP mate tells me it has already been discussed, and we all know what LNP heavyweight David Crisafulli thinks of her.

    • The Magpie says:

      And take it from The ‘Pie, she is CURRENTLY under investigation for allegedly lying to councillors in order to get their vote for the aborted Adani airstrip … she flipped flopped about ovre the ownership issue did more than anything else to demonstrate that there is nothing as dangerous as a dangerous dill.

  11. The Magpie says:

    Why didn’t we think of it before? The first mass apres le fire in Notre Dame in Paris had the clergy wearing hard hats, because the place is a worksite as repairs start.

    But this priestly protection should give the Pope a light bulb moment … this protection should be extended to choirboys, altar boys and youngsters going to confession. but not hard hats, and not worn by them, but all priests should be obligated to wear a different sort of protection. At all times.

    Should do the trick.

  12. The Magpie says:

    This is news? Well, it is for News Limited. If there was a Walkley for ‘The Most Callous, Cruel Fake News, they’d win hands down.

  13. Rowdy says:

    How much has Pure Projects been paid by ratepayers? They are not listed on the Townsville City Council’s Contracts More than $200,000 spread sheets?

    • The Magpie says:

      Good point. Ask them.

    • Plannit Townsville says:

      Rowdy if you keep all the contract amounts under $200k then it isn’t reportable AND doesn’t have to go before our limp wristed councillors for a decision at a Council meeting. I think that’s the limit. We’ve put a few other dubious contracts through like that in the last few years. The finance team have got to be in on this bullshit too because they are letting it happen.

      • The Magpie says:

        Surely to christ we are entitled to know what we, the ratepayers, are forking out for these useless grifters? Like how much it is costing us to be told that the Rock Pool is dirty and poorly maintained. Or a food truck on Castle Hill would be nice.

        Pure Projects may be a bad joke but a bloody expensive one.

        • Rowdy says:

          I went to a presentation by them at the start of 2017. Ross river dam was at 10%-15% and he was telling us that we needed more green spaces in the mall. We needed to follow Cairns mall. They were all about the CBD activation. They then said we needed a lagoon along the Strand and modelled it on a San Alfonso del Mar Resort which is just over a 1 hour drive from Santiago which has a population of 5.2 million.

          Pure Projects and a few other favored consultants are on the rate payers gravy train and producing bullshit airy fairy concept reports.

  14. Mike Douglas says:

    From “Famine to a Feast “ the Queensland Labor Premier Palaszczuk congratulating her Government on Townsville Stadium “ how good is this “ and Aaron Harper taking credit for 7.6% unemployment . Forget the $50 mil stadium overspend and rampant crime in the city effecting families , Elton John is coming in Feb 2020 and we are holding Queensland Government in Townsville later this year . Forget it Anastasia, we are used to fifo blow ins in regional Queensland .

    • The Magpie says:

      Mike, there are those who think The Magpie is negative when it comes to matters in this blog, but that is seeing things from through the prism of their prejudice … and fear. But when there is a dogged insistence on ‘the emperor’s new clothes’ and ‘build it and they will come’ syndrome in aspects of the local media, some balance is needed. Perhaps not balance but taking what is reported to a further level of inquiry, testing the vision of accepted reality. Something the fearless questioning journalists at the Astoniosher cannot or will not do most of the time.

      All that is a long winded way (The Magpie way) of noting how Townsville’s long-term problem was summed up in a single sentence in today’s Astonisher. The paper’s economic pet poodle Colin Dwyer (nice pic, Col) solemnly told us that the drop in local unemployment to 7.6% was mostly due to work generated by the mayoral inspired floods (well, duh, no shit, eh?), we then read this:
      “Managing director of Colliers International Townsville Peter Wheeler said projects including the North Queensland Stadium, the Haughton water pipeline, the $370 million Sun Metals zinc refinery expansion and the $515 million Bruce Highway upgrade on the Haughton River floodplain were all providing significant work.” It was a classic good news/bad news all in one … the jobs described are a great boost locally, but they are all FINITE, none providing sustainable on-going jobs beyond a couple of years at the most. And three of them are government jobs on short-term infrastructure builds.
      So unless we get some truly professional lobbying and imaginative realistic vision at attract projects that provide on-going employment, we will be back to square one by 2022.
      And there is no hope in sight for private investment in any sector with the current council leadership – both elected and appointed – and the promise of a sad parroting of a lipstick-led recovery by TEL.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        So true, Townsville should have a flying economy currently, the amount of govt spending should have private investment flowing through but the reality is the opposite, our private investment has tanked, due to the failed leadership in our town. If anyone doubts the high level of govt spending in Townsville should have a look at the latest post on Gene Tunney’s Qld Economy Watch. Whilst it is meant to highlight the large amount of spending in Brisbane City due to the underground light rail, the other thing it highlights is how well Townsville is doing in regards to govt spending, top of the regional cities on every count. Perhaps the lackeys at the Astonisher and down at the Dudleys should have a read of this before running around screaming, we want more, we want more.


        • No More Dredging says:

          Cantankerous, you make the observation that “the amount of govt spending [in Townsville] should have private investment flowing through”, but this is not happening (although your link doesn’t tell us much about what is happening in ‘private investment’). You suggest this failure of private enterprise to follow on from govt initiatives is due to “failed leadership in our town”. This “leadership” you reference – is that in the local government (Council), in the local political circles generally or do you mean local private enterprise leaders? Because I don’t see how ‘govt’ can bend over any further – although I s’pose another $18m ratepayer subsidy for an Adani airport or a few acres of Council land for a battery factory or a govt-funded coal loader on the yet-to-be-built port reclaim would be something. If you were spruiking for ‘private enterprise’ in Townsville for a day what further support would you ask for from “govt” in order to get private investment flowing through?

          • I’ll be plucked says:

            Good morning Dredge, you are a dud. That is all. Thank you.

          • Pap says:

            I don’t think that was the point that CBH was trying to make…

          • Budget direct says:

            Coming from me who works in local government CBH is correct. It’s all local labor government that’s the problem

          • No More Dredging says:

            Pap, I asked because I couldn’t work out what point Cantankerous WAS trying to make. I could also make the point that the state government in is the process of spending a billion dollars on the waterfront in Townsville that hardly anyone wants to mention because most people realise the disgusting impact it will have on Cleveland Bay, Magnetic Island and the general GBR area around here. There should be plenty of work for truck drivers and machinery operators over the next few years as the huge quarry at the Pinnacles explodes into operation and several million tonnes of rock is moved through the suburbs to the coast. All those tourists who are apparently defying convention and travelling to Maggie Island (thanks JB for the link) will be amongst the few who get to see the GBR-wrecking dredging operation because no one else will investigate it in case they uncover the filthy consequences.

          • Peter Sandery says:

            NMD, it can be done if you can get a Mayor who can convince his/her councillors that they need vision that goes beyond the edge of a petrie dish or the next gabfest.

  15. J.B says:

    Can any one tell me why my rates are not decreasing with the value of my land?
    and more sad news

    • The Magpie says:

      YIKES!!! That is grim reading … and the saddest thing is the denial of the doldrums. Bet TEL will either make no comment, or burden us with some buzz word bullshit.

      • Frequent flyer says:

        My drinking mate at the Herbert reckons TEL is like a washing machine – you put negative visitor numbers in, give them a good spin, and they come out as positive news.

    • Scientician79 says:

      Because council’s need for money doesn’t also decrease with the value of your land, no matter how much they have contributed to the falling values through the inept management of one Mayor Mullet.

      The thought of another term of this Mayor is enough to make you think about moving, except I can’t afford the loss in value I’d take on my property.

      Ironic I guess.

  16. Fishframe says:

    Maybe Jamie Durie is setting up to run for Mayor. His history in running a company makes him qualified in ‘what not’ to do.

  17. Dutch Reverend says:

    Oh my god !! There is a person going through the recycle bins and taking out cans and pet bottles to recycle and get a couple of bob. Mullet is pissed if and put it out there that he can be fined approx. $2k. What a petty bitch she is. The problem she sees is that that is a couple of bob the council will miss out on to pay for her upcoming Christmas shindig. Go ahead mullet, fine the guy. While you’re at it fine everyone that is rifling through all the shit that is left out for the kerbside collection.

    • The Magpie says:

      Sorry, must’ve missed that one. Where did you see it? Link?

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      It was on the channel 7 news and I thought the same thing Dutchy, if the bloke wants to come and take my cans and bottles for a few bucks then good on him, take the lot. What got me was the thoughtful old Mullets bullshit that she was worried the poor guy cutting himself in the bin, as if, all she was worried about was the 10 cents the council doesn’t get. There must be some sporting clubs or something wanting to make money out of these things, better than putting them in the bin for the council to make money.

      • The Magpie says:

        If only she’d stick to this level of finance, which is about her level of understanding.

        • Linda Ashton says:

          Did anyone else note the infrastructure omission from the stage 1 duplicate pipeline to the Haughton? WFTAG has only been asking about this pledged component for two years. Late in 2018 it was a definite “yes” from the now CEO. Well it’s a “no” now. We will be a solar farm short of affordable pumping folks. Wonder where that saving will go? $30 already million saved on the change from MSCL to GRP. We’re told this went towards the recycling plant. All will be revealed no doubt in future budget details.

          • Old tradesman says:

            Linda, would not the sensible option be to raise the Burdekin Dam wall to the 14.5 m level and then gravity feed the water to Townsville. But then I forgot that this has already been designed and all the land to be inundated was acquired by old Joh, all this is state government controlled, but then again Cross River Rail is more important for the reelection of Jackie.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Does anyone know what happens to the contents of our ‘recycling’ bins when they get into Council’s hands? Does someone sort the aluminium, glass, steel, paper, plastic and crap at all? Or does it all go off to the dump – now that China won’t take our ‘recycling’ because it is always unacceptably contaminated with shit that doesn’t belong there? Apparently there are people on this blog who work for and in TCC. Surely there is someone who knows, as a fact, what happens to Townsville’s so-called recycling. I received notification that from 1st July there will be a ‘waste levy’ imposed by the state government because it has to find ways to deal with our contaminated recycling – recycling that we mostly thought was being ‘taken care of’ for us.

  18. Mike Douglas says:

    No more dredging , the State Government are spending $1 bil on the waterfront in Townsville ?. There is the Port upgrade , PDA around the waterfront with no $ or timelines . Can you list what makes up the billion $ as Naïf funding are loans and that’s Feds ?.

    • No More Dredging says:

      I found this summary online:

      “The Australian Government has invested $75 million through a City Deal towards the Port of Townsville Channel Capacity Upgrade in Queensland, which means that work can commence on the expansion project.

      “The $193 million Townsville Channel Capacity Upgrade will comprise of widening works on the shipping channels to accommodate larger ships. This project is the vital first stage of the $1.64 billion Townsville Port Expansion. This expansion is being delivered by Port of Townsville Limited.”

      The channel widening can’t start until there is a contained reclaim area into which to dump the dredge spoil. The containment will come from several million tonnes of rock quarried at The Pinnacles. Not sure if the quarry will be operated by the Port itself or a contractor but bottom line is that taxpayers will fork out the money.

      • The Magpie says:

        Your point is …?

        • No More Dredging says:

          Mike asked a question.

          • The Magpie says:

            Then perhaps The ‘Pie’s question is, who do you expect to pay for infrastructure like this other than the taxpayer? Or are you in favour of selling the port? To the Chinese, for instance, that worked for Darwin? And while we’re about it, just so we all know where you’re coming from, are you against quarrying per se and rail about it because of the temporary annoyance of trucks using roads, or just against what the rock is being used for?

          • No More Dredging says:

            ‘Pie, the Townsville port expansion project (PEP) has been under consideration since at least 2010. The original plan was to widen and deepen the channel and create 100 ha of reclamation with the ‘compactable’ spoil while sea dumping the unwanted majority in Cleveland Bay. The ‘business case’ was a laughable tract of waffle that makes the stadium look like Microsoft. Then the UN stepped in and threatened to place the GBR on the World Heritage in Danger list – because, you know, after 40 years of world’s best practice management including years under the world’s greatest environment minister, the GBR had lost 50% of its live coral cover and Magnetic Island’s fringing coral reefs had been ruined by 100 years of dredging in Cleveland Bay.
            So there are two connected issues: if the Port cannot mount a standard cost/benefit analysis or business case for a $1.64 billion taxpayer-funded expansion, eyebrows should be raised. And if the ongoing impact of dredging and, in this particular case the increased sea dumping of maintenance dredge spoil, continues to damage Cleveland Bay and Magnetic Island with no attempt to mitigate the damage by adopting less impacting 21st century technology and techniques, then the Port should be under intense scrutiny to justify its actions. Instead, our local media, Council, politicians (red, green and blue) haven’t the slightest interest. The port has acres of unused space because Queensland Nickel is out of action – permanently. There is so much bullshit around about if they build it the ships will come, how bigger ships (containers, car carriers, fuel) are absolutely essential but no one can mount an actual business case to justify it. No one. They don’t even hide behind ‘commercial-in-confidence’. They just do as they like. There is no customer lined up to make use of the now-152 ha reclaim site – except maybe a north Galilee Basin coal miner interested in a publicly funded coal dump and shiploader which would be yet another slap in the face for Brownsville.

          • The Magpie says:

            Phew!!! Is that all? Time to find a quiet corner and start un-bunching those panties, Dredger … and watch the blood pressure.
            But remember, most things the taxpayer fund are losing propositions that private investment won’t take on … so The ‘Pie’s point remains … who else would be expected to pay for a losing proposition? It’s why God made taxpayers … and why so many of us are pissed off with Him.

          • No More Dredging says:

            Ah, but ‘Pie, if the taxpayer thinks it’s a stupid destructive idea they can vote out the government that proposed it. So while the Labor party runs around like a headless chook it only has to look at its Galilee Basin Pledge to find one reason why it lost the seat of Herbert a month ago. And the Queensland LNP can take a hint that its proposal to fund the Adani railway with a loan from the NAIF was a big and completely undeserved leg-up for Palaszczuk at the last state election. Even though there’s a long list of disasters hanging off the skirts of Jenny Hill I notice that one by one she’s neutralising them (stadium, water pipeline, flood disaster) so that, come the council elections, she can paint a picture of herself almost as enigmatic as Mona Lisa. And with the prime minister and JT himself glad handing Elton John on actual Flinders Street a few weeks before the election we can expect that local voters will go to the polls in a state of blind ecstasy. Isn’t that the general idea?

          • The Magpie says:

            Ok. Moving right along now … nothing further to see here, folks.

          • Alahazbin says:

            “50% of the GBR has lost its live coral covering”
            Another fucking exaggeration from the greens.

          • No More Dredging says:

            Alahazbin, you don’t need my opinion and yours is irrelevant We live in a town with two of the world’s leading marine science institutions (AIMS and JCU) but you refuse to either listen to what they tell you or understand simple English.

            “In 2012, AIMS reported that average coral cover on the GBR had fallen by half over the preceding 27 years. That study divided the GBR Marine Park into three regions, each showing different trajectories of change in coral cover over time in response to the cumulative impacts of severe tropical cyclones, outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish and coral bleaching.”

            For your information you dill, “fallen by half” is the same as a 50% decline. Since 2012 some coral cover has recovered but the consecutive coral bleaching events in recent years have smashed the reef yet again. The scientists actually go to the reefs and take measurements. They don’t use models and they don’t make stuff up. AIMS again:

            “Coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has continued to decline due to the cumulative impacts of multiple, severe disturbances over the past four years, including coral bleaching, cyclones and crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks. … Mean coral cover declined from 22% in 2016 to 14% in 2018.”

            Don’t believe me? Well look it up yourself. It’s right at your fingertips.

  19. Cynical Cricket says:

    I remember that there was a fair bit of discussion on this blog as to why the fibreglass pipe was chosen by council for the Haughton project. After talking to a bloke who works for Iplex,
    I think I may have found the reason why fibreglass is better than steel or concrete.

    The story goes that as part of the pipe supply contract, Iplex would reopen their factory at the Bohle for 3 years. This has been done and it has one line making poly pipe. This has led to the employment of 10 people, albeit for 3 years. As the equipment keeps breaking down, none of the workers believe they’ll be there after the 3 years.

    It appears that Iplex have made so much profit from the fibreglass pipe sale, that they can fund a project like this for 3 years. Mayor mullet is then able to go on about the jobs that have been created (10 people on minimum wage for 3 years). The grand opening is next week with media and politicians aplenty.

    Therefore, given the above, were the fibreglass pipes chosen over other pipes because they were a better political option, rather than a better engineering option?

    • Linda Ashton says:

      Go to Water for Townsville Advocacy Group and search key word GRP or fibreglass or Iplex. Lots of info there.

  20. The Magpie says:

    Thanks, good stuff, but will sit on it until later tonight to see if the Astonisher catches up with it. The ‘Pie is a tad tired of giving them story leads. You don’t happen to have a document relating to matter, do you? Nothing sees the light of day without The ‘Pie posting it.

    • Budget direct says:

      Just a heads up that the unions have sent the council a 72hr notice of strike action with a meeting Monday morning. Not happy with the 2.75% pay increase offer. Trying to confirm what else is going on. No documentary evidence to back this up yet, information has just been circulating today through union members. I would point out that in the past threats like this were made but nothing happened so I’m hoping my source is correct. The greater workforce wouldn’t be aware of this as unions aren’t telling everyone everything surprise surprise. I don’t want to be seen as fake news lol.

      One thing I can say is that since Hill took power ( 2 terms) only 2 pay increases have been given to workers in that time. One by Ray Burton before he left and then Adel young, Christmas before last, 2% each time with $1000 bonus from Adel. 4% over 8yrs. In every budget 2% was always put aside for EBA increases but agreements were never made and money never passed on. Where’s that money gone? In essence TCC workers are really owed close to 7% in real time wage increases over Hill’s reign. Pretty much CPI increases nothing more, for both blue and white collars. Just like the vehicle situation at TCC a new EBA agreement has not been looked at since amalgamation and has merely been rolled over without any pay increases in that time. The last official EBA agreement was 3.6% over 3yrs ending 2010.

      • Plannit Townsville says:

        Yeah that’s a 2.75% over 2 years and we are very generously letting you keep your RDO. Which if you know how RDOs work, the worker works extra hours during the fortnight to make up for a day off. So it isn’t exactly a gift.
        Not helping anyone the moment that Stacy Coburn, former General Manager of HR, self proclaimed “smiling assassin”, is the Acting Chief Financial Officer since Matt Thompson got booted out.

        • Budget direct says:

          Yes I’ve heard that RDOS were being looked at being abolished. Personally I don’t care either way if they are there or not. Yes I’ve gotten used to them but if they were not there I wouldn’t miss them considering that TCC workers get 5weeks anual leave as opposed to 4 like everyone else. 2.75% is alot better then others are being offered, example being the srews at correcrions were offered 1.9% I believe over 3yrs there last EBA. There job along with any emergency services would be far more deserving of the rate we are currently offered. As like the recent federal election it was the silent majority who came out. In this instance the silent majority of tcc staff I believe would be happy with the offer. This certainly is not a pat on the back for hill she’s kept money or moved money since day one. sacked workers to save money and spruke to the public how much she’s saved but then bring in consultants by the truck load at massive prices. Jamie durie, pure pleasure, TEL!!! councils should be roads,rubbish and mowing the lawn alot have lost there way in the pursuit of the dollar. TCC is a blueprint copy of Ipswich council but hasn’t been found out yet

          • Plannit Townsville says:

            Disagree with you on screws and emergency services being more deserving. Council staff put up with a lot of shit from elected officials and the public. Also at one point the 5 weeks annual leave and sick days were going to be cut back.
            The silent majority at council are just thankful they have a job and too fucking scared to put their head up in case it gets chopped off.

  21. Dave of Kelso says:

    With only 281 days to the next Council election, and thus far no nominated candidates, Frothy Molachino now has a large(ish), trailer mounted,
    self-promotional sign by the outbound side of Riverway Drive.

    Seems that the Federal election results has really put the frighteners up this Labor (by any other name) Council.

    I will feel a whole lot better when I see a credible Mayoral candidate with an equally credible team.

    What we no not need is an optimistic village idiot nominating against the Mullet and her aerobics team.

    • Just Sayin' says:

      Looks like John Andersen has (or hasn’t) got all the good oil.

      In today’s Bullshit, he reckons Crisafulli might (or might not) challenge the Freckle and that Sam Cox might (or might not) run for mayor or he might (or might not) run for Mundingburra as an LNP candidate if the Kid gets up.


  22. I’ll be plucked says:

    No More Dredge, you are a bigger dud today than you were yesterday and the day before that. Take a few days off to gaze into the mirror, look at your navel and come down off the ceiling. Having done that you MIGHT come back as a regular person, worth a try hey?

    • The Magpie says:

      OK,Plucker, you’ve amused yourself enough (and no one else, one suspects) … either add something to the debate or keep the pointless personal abuse to yourself.

  23. J jones says:

    What’s up lads?

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