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The Magpie

Sunday, December 17th, 2017   |   135 comments

Secret Society: They’re Spending Our Money AND Running Our City In Secret – But Not For Long.

Want to know how the Townsville City Council has reached certain controversial decisions? Well, tough titty, they ain’t gunna tell you. The lack of transparency is astounding, and we all suffer in the name of cheap politicking, but The Magpie presents evidence that makes a CCC investigation look inevitable.

A new petition that Mayor Mullet won’t be able to ignore … several thousand signatures strong already, it will be heading for the CCC seeking an investigation into the council. So I you’re fed up … sign up. The ‘Pie gives you the link.

And The ‘Pie manages to join a couple more dots in the background shadows of our civic backroom boys … this time from outside our national borders.

At last an answer as to where that $18.5million ratepayers’ gift to Adani is right now … the answer will surprise you and raise some further questions.

News Corpse decides circulation figures are ‘soooo yesterday,’ and will no longer say how many papers or digital readers they reach. Advertisers will now just have to take their word for whatever they say, but you’ll never guess where they’ll get those stats from.

And a Magpie exclusive …. A former high level Australian government minister is the latest to confess to sexual harassment … but will charges be laid?

(Bentley’s still on a break).

Swings And Roundabouts

The immediate news of the day was the battle for Sydney seat of Bennelong, retained by former tennis player John Alexander. And while the Libs will see it as a rout of the opposition, it is really anything but – Talkbull would be wise not to be too cocky, with a swing of at least 5% against the government. Translated into a Federal election, he would be out on his arse and we would have a suspected rapist as PM.  But as with the Queensland election, it was the political game playing which became tedious, as the incomparable Paul Zanetti nailed in one.

Bennelong Zanetti

Personally, The ‘Pie was happy that John Alexander was returned for the simple fact that the reason for the by-election was pure bulldust anyway – surely a change that says that anyone with dual citizenship must renounce it the moment they are elected would save a lot of tiresome hoopla.

Some Rare Justice In Canberra

At least the turncoat has been turned out – dastardly Dastyari now has to take his Mr Bean impersonations elsewhere, no longer to snurffle at the Canberra trough ever again. If he’s taken it a bit hard, poor chap, he can always figure it was because he was born overseas, as he has claimed in a previous victimhood statement, and that it had nothing to do with him being a King Rat. Larry Pickering bgs to differ.

Pickering Dastyari

The Dasdard’s  future employment is going to both interesting, and given the way of politics everywhere, probably disgusting to the average punter. But at least there won’t be one option open to him.

Dastyari ASIO

The whole Dastyari thing gave inspiration to the eloquent Zanetti again, who summed up the last few months in a single wordless masterpiece.

Zanetti

But Speaking Of Chinese Influence …

There’s a very real chance that we here in the ‘Ville are about to be graced with some Chinese largesse, in the form of a somewhat hidden investment deal with the Townsville City Council. Pure speculation of course, but here’s how it goes.

An interesting addition to this blog’s favourite pastime of ‘join-the-dots’ popped up this week as Mayor Mullet continued her campaign of distraction, known as ‘redirecting the narrative’.

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Still smarting from the massive backlash about her monumental misjudgment about the Adani airstrip debacle, she put on her tap dancing shoes to witter on about a new hotel to built near the CBD stadium. The Astonisher did its duty and took a happy snap and wrote a delirious clappy-hands story along the lines of happy days are here again. In other words, Mayor Mullet’s PR work.

Now we know that the Jimeon look-alike bloke second from the right is Michael Graham, CEO of Focus Pacific. As mentioned in this blog before, Mr Graham is a Good Ol’ Boy fishing buddy of long-standing Mullet whisperer Dolan Hayes. Those dots have been joined here before, and but for the spurious secrecy with the TCC over this hotel development, nothing untoward there. But beaking around Focus Pacific’s website The Magpie came upon this interesting snippet.

Focus Pacific

For Townsvilleans, the key mention of interest here is the Shanghai Commonwealth Investment Company (SCIC), which unless The Magpie is wrong, is the shell company or at least employs one Craig Cuddlepie Wallace.

Craig Wallace

Yes, our old buddy, once member for Thuringowa and the former Queensland Minister For Mean Roads (or Minister for Potholes, take your choice), as well as Minister for Fisheries and – somewhat tellingly – Marine Infrastructure. A handy clutch of contacts there for an Aussie working for Chinese concerns. And in his day, Cuddlepie was a regular bush basher and barra fisherman taking holidays in the Gulf with Mr Hayes and Mr Graham, before he took himself off to China to live.

So, with that in mind, let’s add into the mix that the proposed 175 bedroom stadium hotel will be built by Hilton subsidiary, the somewhat down-market DoubleTree brand. It turns out that many of the DoubleTree locations are operated by franchisees, not Hilton management itself.

So is it so outrageous for The ‘Pie to suggest, courtesy of Cuddlepie Wallace and Michael Graham, the new hotel that is making our mayor so moist will be a Chinese investment? Perhaps involving, say, Chinese management executives?

Now nothing wrong with that at all, indeed, could be a boon, but this is the nub of all the mayor’s problems … a lack of openness and sharing with her electorate. It’s as though she thinks something might be seen as amiss, but that only happens when she tries to hide things. Remember, this is the woman who told a secret council meeting that the she ‘didn’t expect much reaction’ to gifting Adani $18.5million of ratepayer money on a spurious airstrip scheme.  And we all know how that is turning out.

So … ‘Quo Vadis, Adani’?

Indeed, the question posed by the 1951 religious potboiler movie – which as we all know, means ‘where are you going?’ in Latin – would be the ideal title for the corrupt Indian conglomerate.

Seems they’re going to be re-investigated in India for jacking up power prices among other things. And this is just one of several corruption matters old Got’em Adani is facing.

Palaszczuk and Adani

Even the state NLP is now re-examining its support for the miner which virtually assures that there will be no Australian tax dollars on offer, which in turn – barring a miracle of financial stupidity by someone – certainly means no Carmichael mine, no matter what their twisters say.

So Where Is Our $18,5 Million?

Happily, the short answer is ‘nowhere’.

Persistence eventually paid off for several pissed off ratepayers, who finally received this reply from the Council this week (as usual, no names, no PD).

Thank you for your email on 8 December 2017 to the Mayor regarding Council’s joint venture with Rockhampton Regional Council to establish infrastructure to service fly-in-fly-out workers to the Gailee Basin, including those working at Adani’s Carmichael mine. The Mayor has noted your concerns and asked me to respond on her behalf. The answer to question is no, no money has been handed over. Assuming the transaction goes ahead, Council will be funding the construction of the airport built by Wagner, and pay Wagner directly. The Adani mining company will then be a customer for the airport.

Yours etc 

Please carefully note the bit about Wagners, which fits in with a matter a little further on.

But The ‘Pie reckons his original summation of ‘nowhere’ is more correct than you might imagine. There probably isn’t any millions sitting somewhere just waiting to be frittered off to someone somewhere. Once Mayor Mullet learns that the labyrinthian deals within deals have been successfully negotiated by Adani, it is most likely she and BFF CEO The Impaler would put in motion a move to find the money, probably from Treasury. Quite frankly, they have lied so much, it is impossible to believe the rosy tales of stashed savings tucked away in a bank somewhere.

But This Isn’t Going Away, There Isn’t Any Penicillin For This Political Pox

It matters not whether Adani falls over, the performance of Mayor jenny Hill, her councillors and to a lesser extent, the TCC CEO, will still be open to investigation. Just because they gambled and guessed wrong doesn’t mean any wrong doing is expunged.

Just because a projection on which they all based a questionable course of action doesn’t eventuate, the fact that they intended to commit what possibly amounts to corrupt behaviour remains indictable.

Another determined ratepayer, Phillip Batty, who has already approached the CCC, seems to have discovered where Mayor Mullet will come undone. Mr Batty – who is anything but – has been blocked and ignored on more than 20 occasions he has approached the council through various avenues, asking straightforward but polite questions.

So he sent in a complaint to the CCC, making several allegations, including one that there had not been any required tender process for the construction of the airstrip, and that Wagners had been arbitrarily appointed for the job. This is part of the reply received by Mr Batty from the CCC.

Allegation 3

An allegation o f a Council engaging a construction company to build an airport without following the

appropriate procurement process (deliberately, and for the benefit o f the construction company) as

outlined in the Local Government Act 2009 and Local Government Regulations 2012 would, if proved,

amount to corrupt conduct.

However, the CCC understands the Council does not hold ownership o f this airport and therefore is not

responsible for procurement processes related to its construction. In these circumstances, the

procurement requirements o f the Local Government Act 2009 and Local Government Regulations 2012

do not apply and the CCC is therefore unable to deal with the matter.

Since Mr Batty received that reply, our motormouth Mayor has clearly and publicly boasted that the council will own and operate the airport and Adani will just be a customer. She has also indicated that Wagners’ involvement will be for construction only, the question of them owning it has not been broached, and if it has or will be, that will raise a whole set of other questions for CCC.

Mr Batty has fired this information back into the CCC, and is awaiting a fresh reply. It is difficult to see how the CCC cannot investigate further given the guidelines they have provided.

Mr Batty has asked many other pertinent questions in this matter – including conflict of interest voting on the issue – and is like a terrier with a bone, although the CCC laughably suggested he refer other questions to the CEO. He has pointed out that he has done so unsuccessfully at least 20 times.

There can be no doubt we will be hearing more from Mr Batty in the future.

Your Chance To have Your Say

In the meantime, a new petition demanding a CCC investigation into the TCC’s handling of this matter was launched a few days ago, and at the time this blog was published, it was well past the 3000 signature mark. Mayor Mullet won’t be able to arrogantly swat this one away, because it will go directly to the CCC.

You can sign up for it here … naturally, The Magpie has, and recommends you promote it on social media if you agree with the call for an investigation.

My Rules Rule: Rupert Stomps Off With His Bat And Ball

Like boys behind the playground shelter shed, Rupert and his mates are now going to measure themselves.

In a surprise announcement this week, News Corpse announced it will no longer supply the Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA) with circulation data. In a hardly disguised attempt to manipulate advertising rates, News argued that the time honoured way of measuring a publications reach in this day and age was no longer relevant because of digital platforms … strange logic, given that AMAA has included such data for the past year or more.

But guess where News is now going to get its figures from to convince media buyers to stump up big advertising bucks. Ready for a larf …

Screen shot 2017-12-16 at 10.02.02 PM

This swerve does include the very sensible economic decision to end what is known in the industry as ‘bundling’ … printing thousands of dollars worth of papers to drop at airports, hotels and schools for free, which are all valuable numbers when reporting circulations. But now that expensive rort is ended, saving tens if not hundreds of thousands dollars, the number of copies will not be publicly affected … because there won’t be any independent information available, now they will make up a number and that’s it, like it or lump it.

It is clear that the E in EMMA - Enhanced Media Metrics Australia – stands for the key word – enhanced. However, media buyers are tough nuts and not easily bullied, and already there is some resistance to this unilateral decision from a dying corporation. They are well aware that EMMA was invented and is owned by the industry heavyweights, particularly News Corpse, because they didn’t like the disastrous numbers coming from AMMA and the Roy Morgan group. So as said, they’ll be measuring themselves.

So no longer will the Astonisher have to put up with the irreverent humour of The ‘Pie every time circulation and readership figures are issued quarterly. We will just have to believe them. Won’t we?

Get ready to for the joyful news that the Astonisher now has 75,000 subscribers … ah, fuck it, let’s make that 200.000. And then who will care if people ask what the bloody hell does this oxymoronic offering in Saturday’s online Astonisher means.

Screen shot 2017-12-16 at 10.25.36 AM

property prices dropping through the floor, confidence through the roof … typical Astonisher stuff. And note that the lift-out real estate section on Saturday was – at a most modest 24 pages – the slimmest The ‘Pie has ever seen … and just 13 of those pages carried property for sale. A far cry of the regular 80-page money spinner of yore.

Henry Ford Said It … History Is Bunkum.

Things didn’t always happen in history the way they are popularly reported (no surprise to anyone who has read the Townsville Bulletin). It even applies to the most beloved stories of our culture, as told at Townsville’s Stable On The Strand.

Wide men ge44

EXCLUSIVE AND REVEALED!!! Another Sexual Harasser Owns Up

Fresh from the revelations about Don Burke …

Burke song

… and the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Geoffrey Rush and various American politicians, The ‘Pie can exclusively reveal that a much-loved former minister in the Whitlam Government has confessed to sexual misbehaviour. But he says he has learnt his lesson.

les P apologises

Sir Les Patterson

One For People Who Think They Have A Smart Dog

No matter how clever your pooch is, it will never match this fella, who acts for so many of us.

And In This Busy Travelling Season, Worth Remembering

That’s it for this weekend, but there’s sure to be a storm of comments throughout the week, feel free to join in (its free!) and have your say. And if you have anything left over from all that shopping a donation to help keep the Magpie aloft will be much 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.

135 Comments

  1. The old peterbuilt says:

    A friend just told me day dawn nursery is closing in March due to lack of water in Townsville. Don’t know how accurate that is and I hope it isn’t so. Been a good local business for a long time. Family would probably be financially better off selling the land to the developers. Oh well at least we will still have an airport that 99.9% of us will never use or see.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie usually tries to work these things out but ‘trilled’?

    • Charlie Wulguru. says:

      They are closing when all the current stock is sold. Their stock in recent years, for some reason, has been shit anyway. Bunnings at Fairfield hasn’t helped them also.

  2. The Real Mr Batty says:

    Pie

    Just to elaborate on one of your points.
    The CCC in responding to me stated they understood (presumably from council) that council WOULD NOT OWN the airport therefore exempt from the procurement regulations BUT council is telling us lowly residents and ratepayers the council will own the airport.

    So mayor, which is it?
    Corrupt or Lies?

  3. The Real Mr Batty says:

    Another matter raised with council and with the Bulletin the day they published the 636 for the petition in order for council to dismiss it out of hand.
    Let me give you some actual numbers which were provided to the TCC as well as the Bulletin,

    1432 peopled with declared postcode between 4810 and 4819
    1530 people who did not declare a postcode or suburb many of which are from Townsville ( straw pole suggested 29 out of 40 sampled were from Townsville.)
    Many many more from other postcodes yet own property in Townsville.

    All known by Bulletin and council and MP,s yet all ignored.

  4. The Unbeliever says:

    Surely ‘Pie, Trump was a better bet than corrupt Hillary?

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie believes … are you ready for this, sit down … Jenny Hill would’ve been a better choice than Trump. And your assertion is that Trump isn’t corrupt, which could mean you have little understanding of his tax laws and who they benefit. And that’s just for starters. Not to mention his past. At least Hillary would not have trashed the dignity and standing of the most powerful office in the world with lies, insults and dangerous, childish tantrums.

      • Achilles says:

        Hillary probably would not have sullied the “office” but Bill sure as hell set a precedent president MO

        • The Magpie says:

          Irrelevant and ERISTIC (look it up yourself)

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            Thanks ‘Pie, wife and I now know a new word.

          • Lorne Malvo says:

            In many ways we could do with more of (Bill) Clinton style politics… sure, he couldn’t keep it in his pants, but no US president since has been able to work with both sides of the political fence as effectively since he.

          • The Magpie says:

            Yup, and he always had the expedient option of bending them over the fence if they didn’t agree.

      • Peter Sandery says:

        What, then “Pie is your take on the manner in which the economy of the USA has shown amazing improvement and attracting substantial investment into it in the 12 months since Trump’s ascendancy – perhaps a spinoff from Obama’s wonderful legacy?

        • The Magpie says:

          Improvement for whom? There are 41 million homeless – yes, that is the latest stat – in the world’s richest country … but you probably think that every single one of them is a layabout who won’t work or didn’t take the pill. Or better still, it is ‘fake news’.

          Get a grip on reality, Peter, The ‘Pie ain’t no leftie but he knows when something is taking on a massive tilt away from real democracy. And so should you.

          • Tropical says:

            41 Million homeless in the USA – Really?
            From a report from 2016.

            The National Alliance to End Homelessness states that there are 564,708 people experiencing homelessness on any given night in the US. 36,907 (6.38%) are children, 47,725 (8.33%) are veterans, and 269,991 (47.6%) are disabled and unable to work.

          • The Magpie says:

            OK, bit careless with the word homeless, The ‘Pie meant to say ‘homeless or loving below the poverty line’ – often a very marginal difference. And The ‘Pie certainly doesn’t accept your figures. because organisations like the NAEH do not have the resources or political backing to get whole figures, just tip of the iceberg stuff. But this might give you an idea … from a study by Dr William Barber and Dr Liz Theoharis,
            “Compared to 1968, 60% more Americans are living below the official poverty line today – a total of 41 million people. The gap between our government’s discretionary spending on the military versus anti-poverty programs has grown from two-to-one at the height of the Vietnam war to four-to-one today.æ ªMAGPIE NOTE: as your figures show, almost 9% are disgracefully treated defence force veterans.
            The article continues:
            “There’s a strange irony in America when it comes to poverty. The states with the highest poverty rates are in the south. And those same states have the highest rates of voter suppression of black people. Through this racialized voter suppression, politicians who support policies that hurt the poor get elected. While a larger percentage of black people are living in poverty, in raw numbers, there are actually more white than black people below the poverty line.”

            And the stark reality is highlighted by many “real news’ outlets, and that includes stories like this, which someone like yourself will no doubt regard as purveyors of ‘leftie socialist fake news’.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie believes … are you ready for this, sit down … Jenny Hill would’ve been a better choice than Trump. And your assertion is that Trump isn’t corrupt, which could mean you have little understanding of his tax laws and who they benefit. And that’s just for starters. Not to mention his past. At least Hillary would not have trashed the dignity and standing of the most powerful office in the world with lies, insults and dangerous, childish tantrums.

  5. iliketojoindots says:

    Hey pie if the ccc does finally get off its arse and has a look into council does anybody know if they will have a good look through council and the way it operates its procurement process?(or lack of )As adani is not the only questionable use of ratepayers money this council has committed to.

  6. SPQR says:

    Excellent edition. We are all certainly beholden to you for your wit & courage on local matters.

  7. Cantankerous but happy says:

    The digital service of the astonisher is a disgrace, even when you log in the pages are so slow to load that I just give up and don’t bother, the amount of tracker software they use to weed out non subscribers and advertising run time make the page virtually unusable, even though most News Corp sites are slow the astonisher takes the cake, good thing there isnt too much on it worth reading anyway but I guess with them keeping their own numbers now anytime I click on their website I will be counted as a reader, whether the page loads or not.

    • Old Hack says:

      Being counted as a subscriber also worries me, Cranky, although I have managed so far to evade their blocks and access anything I want.
      The arrogance of News Corpse executives in abandoning any form of independent auditing is truly breathtaking, but will not fool the advertisers and their agencies. Other methods are already being widely used to judge advertising impact so they are, to put it in words even they can understand, pissing against the wind.
      However, whatever you think about Rupert and company, you have to admire the old fox’s cunning. Faced with stiff competion from Netflix and the rest, he’s managed to pocket billions from Disney while still retaining enough to keep his brood gainfully employed.

  8. Achilles says:

    Re EMMA that should be ENEMA coz of the effect it has everyone.

    • The Magpie says:

      No it shouldn’t because that would upset Barry Taylor, that is the name of his law firm Enema Legal … Motto: we go through your wallet like a dose of salts.

  9. Sir Ossis O'Fliver says:

    tried to sign the petition, but, as I did not want to share it with my facebook friends, could go no further. Strange attitude.
    Probably missing out on heaps of signatories. Shame.

  10. Dutch Reverend says:

    Shit reporting and editing pisses me off. I just saw a news story on the TV News about a guy arrested for dealing in items of mass destruction with North Korea. Now, let’s have a look at it. The guy is 59y.o. and lived in South Korea for 29years before moving to Australia 39 years ago. Add it up. He is 59. Last time I looked 39 plus 29 equaled 68. Good trick.

    • Old Hack says:

      Saw the same story, but the biggest boo-boo came in the intro to the broadcast.
      The newsreader informed us that somebody had been arrested for allegedly providing weapons TO North Korea. The allegation is, in fact, that he is a broker offering weapon components and expertise to other parties on behalf of the regime.
      As Dutchy so rightly points out, “shit reporting and editing.”

    • Peter Sandery says:

      Just another demonstration, DR, how the journos of today, except blokes like ‘Pie who is obviously like me, of an earlier day, are innumerate as well as almost illiterate.

      • The Magpie says:

        To be completely fair, you, Old Hack and The ‘Pie – indeed all of us of that era of journalism – had generally excellent subs and a number of checks and balances before anything went public. The ‘Pie cannot count the times, even when he had decades of experiences under his belt, that his arse was saved by the subs desk or the wisdom of a good editor. These kids have been thrown to the wolves … and as a consequence, so have we, the public.

  11. One bagged Jolly says:

    Pie, my sweet old bird, I just wanted to drop you a line regarding the internal workings of the once great Liberal Party. John Howard is facing some hot competition from Peter Costello for the leadership. I have no doubt this is fresh news to you and is certainly the most up to date I have. I am an insider so this info is very much on the hush hush, please don’t give away my identity.

  12. Hee -Haw says:

    Well then Downer jobs meetings were cancelled now Downer is no longer Adani contractor to run the mine. But they will have an airport we are paying for.

    This must make walker street shit themselves

    • The Magpie says:

      There are even bigger matters at play here … like Got’em or not, he is a master game player.

      He now says he has dumped manpower manager Downer so the mine will be run out of Adani’s Townsville office … that massages a stunned Mayor Mullet suitably, but she hasn’t considered another aspect. The question of a fully automated mine-to-port operation has been floating around for a while, presumably announced in the early stages through a mis-reading of the kudos this would receive.

      So now we face the very real possibility – no matter what the Adani liars say about not affecting jobs – that we will have a Townsville staff driving mega-trucks and operating train-loading machinery remotely from the Townsville office – at the expense of jobs for actual people who would have had to fly in and use an actual airstrip to get to and from work.

      The Townsville City Council must be investigated by the CCC … sign this petition now and circulate it so we have a chance of proper governance returning to our city.

    • The Magpie says:

      There are bigger matters at play here … like him or loathe him, you have to admit that Got’em Adani is a persistent master game player.

      He now says he has dumped Downer and that Adani itself will manage the mine out of the Townsville office … this will suitably massage the permanently stunned Mayor Mullet, who probaly hasn’t yet worked out another probable move by the corporate shyster.

      It was announced early in the saga, when it wasn’t realised that it would not get the kudos expected for its boast, that Adani intended the Carmichael mine to be a world showpiece of automation, remotely run from mine to port.

      So now, we probably can expect mega-mine trucks and machinery loading trains etc will be handled REMOTELY from the Townsville office by a few staff, obviating much of the need for actual WORKERS to fly in and out to work – using an airstrip we paid for. But with the office operating, Mayor Mullet daren’t say a thing – no way she could explain herself to disappointed workers who remain unemployed.

      This whole thing is heading to be one massive civic disaster.

      • I'll be plucked says:

        Is the Impaler getting reading to do a runner to Darwin? The Darwin City Council CEO has ‘pulled the pin/been moved on’ with a finish date of March 2018. Ex-NT Labor Minister is the recently elected Darwin Mayor. I wonder and wish………

        • The Magpie says:

          Fair exchange really … we recently got this young(ish) lady out of darwin and Labor …

          … one Inga Davis, who s now Mayor Mullet’s executive assistant … who will be lucky to get a word between the constant wittering of Dicky The Poisoined Dwarf’ Holliday.

      • Buttered Parsnip says:

        Remotely from Townsville?
        ….more likely remotely from Bangalore. ICT labour there cheaper and better qualified.

        Either way, not much call for that airport.

      • Achilles says:

        The writing is on the wall for automating mines precedent from today’s The Oz

        Rio Tinto expands automatic Pilbara fleet

        Christian Edwards
        Australian Associated Press
        1:45PM December 18, 2017

        Rio Tinto will increase the number of unmanned autonomous haul trucks it uses in the Pilbara by more than 50 per cent as part of a $5 billion productivity drive.

        Manufacturers Komatsu and Caterpillar will retrofit 48 giant trucks to allow unmanned operation, taking the total number operated by Rio in the region to more than 130 by 2019

      • Scientician79 says:

        Nice bit of spin blaming the loss of the Downer contract on the recent veto.

        If memory serves the proposed Downer meeting was cancelled after the announcement by 3 major Chinese banks that they wouldn’t be touching this shoddy looking operation.

        Honestly this mob wouldn’t lie straight in bed, and Mayor Mullet has well and truly thrown 18.5m Eggs into the wrong basket.

        And is that a large business admitting contracting out services costs more money? Can’t let that one get out boys, how will businesses contract out services if people know it costs more. Heavens. What next paying a fair share of taxes.

  13. The Weasel's Beaver says:

    It was with great sadness that I read that Peter Lindsay had been fisted out of the Liberal National Party without so much as a phone call. While Lindsay does have a tendency to quite literally leave a bad taste in one’s mouth, he was Townsville’s finest ever representative to the federal parliament and, even in retirement, remains a passionate voice for the north. It seems to me that Lindsay was doing little more than pointing out the bloody obvious: that the LNP’s campaign HQ (which, it seems to me, is packed wall-to-wall with troglodytes and near-sighted gimps) was woefully incapable of landing a single blow on Anna-the-accidental-premier, who, herself, stumbled ignominiously through a flip-flopping campaign all the way to polling day. Of course, both sides of politics are a joke, and I am almost brought to tears when I reflect on the “talent” we have sitting on the benches of the Queensland Legislative Assembly. I’ve gone on too long, but I think what the LNP has done to Lindsay is appalling — he’s an old boy, not entirely in possession of his faculties, who had the courage to tell his own mob some home truths. If the LNP won’t bring itself to listen to Lindsay and those like him, it may as well write to the Governor of Queensland, requesting a referendum to bring about the following constitutional change with immediate effect: Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in Queensland shall wholly and solely comprise the Liberal National Party of Queensland from now until the end of time.

    • The Magpie says:

      So much for democracy circa 2017 … prince Peter castigated for telling the truth … oh, well, at least now he knows how The Magpie feels.

      • Old Mudpicker- Anarchist says:

        The LNP are eating their own at the moment. Wash the meal down with bitter tears. Lindsays big mistake of course is that he knows how to win elections. That wont do for this ship of fools.

      • The old peterbuilt says:

        How dare Lindsey speak the truth. For gods sake everyone knows there is no place in politics for the truth. Even the mullet understands that.

  14. Memory Man says:

    Adani has proven once and for all the shysters many have suspected them to be.

    Today, they’ve ditched their non-agreement with Downer to develop the Carmichael Mine citing – wait for it – the vetoing of the taxpayer subsidised loan (naïf) and a desire to do it cheaper in-house.

    What this means is that Adani was happy for taxpayers to subsidise a more expensive process … talk about taking the taxpayer for mugs!

    If Adani are shysters, then those who remain committed to subsidising them are just plain old fools. Talk about clowns in Walker Street, who have variously claimed:

    1. The $18.5m for the airstrip is a deal with Adani in exchange for guaranteed jobs
    2. The deal is not with Adani but with Wagner’s
    3. The deal would come with a bank guarantee from Adani (still waiting, Mayor)
    4. The deal won’t go through unless the mine project proceeds (hence, no need for the bank guarantee – which is it, Madam Mayor?)
    5. Council will own the airstrip
    6. Council won’t own the airstrip, it will be owned by Wagner’s

    Adani has mastered the art of lying straight in bed. The Mayor remains an amateur.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/18/adani-scraps-2bn-deal-to-outsource-carmichael-coalmine-operation

  15. Wun Hung Lo says:

    And so reality sets in for some, while the idiots in Walker Street continue to live in Fantasia.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/18/newcastle-worlds-biggest-coal-export-port-announces-shift-away-from-coal

  16. Memory Man says:

    I’d rather not dwell on these kinds of negatives, but they are really signs of a place that is fraying badly at the seams. Despite all the baloney about recoveries, green shoots, about-to-happen boom times, the reality – exemplified in crime – is inescapable.

    http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/townsville/petrol-station-drive-offs-on-the-rise-in-townsville/news-story/23cde9c7772adb177ddc49ad734c5b6e

  17. Cantankerous but happy says:

    The Adani decision plays out as most thought it would, if they received a $billion loan they would contract via conventional channels in Aust, no billion dollars and it will be done in house as cheap as can be possibly done. A couple of people I know who have been involved in securing water and associated services for the rail line advise me they are surprised at the level of progress and the project keeps close to original schedule.

  18. Chappo says:

    Nearly a year, I think we probably dodged a bullet with Jayne Arlett and her motley crew. Jenny’s not going to win mayor of the year any time soon, but Arlett would have run this place into the ground. And I suppose Townsvillians recognised that. No buyer’s remorse from me!

    • The old peterbuilt says:

      And what you don’t think townsville isn’t been driven into the ground now. wTF

    • Van Gogh's Ear Now Far Removed says:

      And what evidence of Arlett’s competence (or otherwise) in this last year do you base that brain fart on, Councillor?

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      I think Arlett would have gone down the same path as Hill in regards to staff cuts, there was no doubt TCC was bloated and had many inefficiency but Arlett would not have singled out all the ex Thuringowa employees and those who had supported anything of substance in the two previous councils as she did in a toxic revenge filled manner she is known for, and then replaced with brainless dickhead Labor lackies whom most had failed in previous lives elsewhere. Secondly the Mullet is an incompetent business novice whom many business people are embarrassed to be around, to the point where events are starting to be planned at a time to ensure she and that revolting pink dress she always wears are unable to attend.

      • Danny Danglebits says:

        Wonder if we’ll see Tony “the Puffin” Parsons contest the next local council election. Although I hear he is making a motza selling a house every 6 to 12 months, I wouldn’t be surprised if this unqualified git wants to get back on the public take in a few years.

        • The Magpie says:

          looking at the current incumbents, we could do worse – for instance, AWU organiser, party animal and Lucky Starr ‘I’ve Been Everywhere’ wannabee David Moyle – he’s now back with Labor, having been rejected by the Boston Tea Party.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Well, she is not going to wear a blue dress, is she?

    • Scientician79 says:

      That’s a good one.

      Mayor Mullets achievements off the top of my head.

      Sacking of staff in a brutal and undignified fashion, and it still is going on last I heard.

      Failure of basic services and maintenance, hence the need for a blitz to actually do what we pay rates for.

      A long drawn out process on the water issue to create the appearance of action (no crisis remember Mayor Mullet said so), along with staged (fake?) photo opportunities.

      A rates cut that was actually an increase for most people, give with one hand(freeze) and take with the other (half discount)

      Multiple announcements that have gone precisely no where including but not limited to battery factories, hotels, and my personal favorite mud based ferries.

      Vetoing of actual growth opportunities, hive development anyone?

      And then the real crowning achievement, funding an airport to the tune of $18.5m of ratepayers money with the increasingly likely outcome of no one to fly there.

      A list of achievements her and every councilor should keep front of mind.

  19. Achilles says:

    One little, two little, three little Indians,
    Four little, five little, six little Indians,
    Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians,
    Ten Indian scams and ploys.

    Ten little, nine little, eight little Indians,
    Seven little, six little, five little Indians,
    Four little, three little, two little Indians,
    One little Indian boy.

    And then there were none,
    Just a hole, when our money was done.

  20. Alahazbin says:

    Speaking of Cuddlepie and his Barra fishing mates. Back in the day of Mayor Radiance and Dolan was media man, both were keen fishers and crabbers. A vehicle was purchased and fitted out with a special body under the guise of for the use of Events Dept of which Dolan was in charge of. Well, it was used by the fellow who set up events, but also used for fishing and crabbing.

  21. One legged tap dancer says:

    I worked for years in the construction business and companies like Downer don’t pull out of billion dollar deals without good reason, for example not getting paid.
    As for the Adani rail line and mine still being on schedule, if you believe that you probably still leave out milk and cake for Santa on Christmas eve.
    Regarding Dolan and his fishing mates, if you want a development approval from Townsville council you need to talk to 3 people – Dolan, Mayor Mullet and Tony Mooney who believe it or not, is still a powerbroker when it comes to council affairs..

  22. One Hand Clapping says:

    Afternoon, Pie. You’ve been in the game a long time, and I was wondering whether you ever came across a young Malcolm Turnbull in his days as a journo or later when he was a hot-shot lawyer?

    • The Magpie says:

      Therein lies a sad tale … sad for The ‘Pie. The then young bird had been hired by a Melbourne video firm to do a series of interviews with prominent folk who would have something interesting to say about that years annual Federal budget _this was the late 80s. The deal was that I was supplied with a list of questions to ask, and simply nod as one does in these situations. I knew little of the subject of government budgets and finance, but went along for the useful fee involved. One interviewee was an openly preening Gareth Evans in his pre-Cheryl Kernot days, and that went well, since he didn’t intend quickly ignored the first question and slid immemdiately into well enunciated harague mode.. Bolstered by this, The ‘Pie grew in confidence for the next interview with the up and coming young ‘thruster’ and founder of Ozemail Malcolm Turnbull. He bounced in, hair all a la bouffan,t all smiles and bonhomie, the interview started, and quickly turned south. ‘No no, that’s a stupid question, you don’t understand the situation’, and then ‘oh for Chrisdt’s sake,’ and with that, Turnbull grabbed the paper from my hand, read through it scattering comments like ‘rubbish’, ‘nonsense’ and ‘garbage’ before ripping up the piece of paper, disengaging his microphone and walking out with a scowl.

      Don’t blame him … remembering the questions, The ‘Pie made a right ninny of himself, although the producer/cameraman swore he had supplied the right questions. Have to say he hadn’t even got close to what was required on reflection, but one bright spot … the producer had the good grace to pay my fee anyway.

      All this was not his fault, it is The ‘Pie’s ever lasting shame … so don’t tell anyone, please.

      • One Hand Clapping says:

        Great story, Pie. Thanks for sharing. I find it extraordinary that the same man manages to appear so in control of himself these days. Turnbull seems really to have undergone a transformation from his intemperate youth. Was he as sharp (big brained) back in the 80s as he appears now?

      • Local Now says:

        Had a bit to do with MT back in pre-pollie days. He was strongly associated with a VC company – a very good one that’s still going strong. He was a great help to up and coming IT businesses. Very strategic thinker. High intellect. Never back down to negatives. A wealth of business and legal experience – 2nd to none in Australia. You see it at times in his current role. He’s almost wasted to business as PM but if he gets some clear air he will leave a lasting, positive legacy for Australia. Yep, I’m a fan and I’m fortunate to have seen him at work up close. But he won’t win popularity contests, particularly in Qld, as he likes red wine much more than beer.

  23. The old peterbuilt says:

    Shortens been caught out doing secret deals with the cfmeu to protect his position. It involves offering him protection from challengers in return for more power in the parliament for the cfmeu. This little grub would sell his soul and our parliament for his own benefit. Imagine the love child he and the mullet would produce.

  24. Miss Lou says:

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.

    Lovingly yours for Christmas.

    Miss Lou

  25. Mike Douglas says:

    Ying and Yang plays a major part of life and whilst I accept there are disclosure issues in all 3 levels of Government and more accountability required some contributors to the magpie feel “ the end is nigh” for Townsville.On the yang outside investors take a helicopter view and are continuing to see opportunities with over $70 mil in commercial/ retail sales in the past months.6,000 + jobs created in the last 12 mths and taking out Palm Island, Hinchinbrook, Charters Towers Townsville unemployment is 7.1%. Rental vacancy rates have dropped from 7-4.9% and local companies are being awarded stadium contracts.9.5 % return on a commercial property + capital growth is better than term deposits and $ under the bed and Townsville is coming off the bottom of the property clock.Whilst you have the Ying you will always have the Yang.

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed, Mike, it has constantly been of concern to The ‘Pie that the Nest may be seen as a negative refuge for whingers, and OK while there are a few of those,(still entitled to their say) the greater benefit is that we are able to call out wrongdoing and unfairness that others won’t. Your points are well made, and there is a positive 2018 ahead for sure, If only the Astonisher and a spooked Mayor Mullet would just rein in the oversell and happy clapping over inconsequentials, then the chances of disappointment from unrealistic high hopes won’t be so damaging.

      Merry Christmas and thanks for all your contributions for the year.

  26. Miss Loose says:

    Always good,
    Always loose.

    Loosely yours,

    Miss Loose.

  27. Soaked Pussy says:

    Great edition, Piey old boy.

  28. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Merry Christmas Pie and Bentley. It’s been a big year for the blog and I can’t wait to see what comes along in 2018 to ruffle up the old bird’s feathers.

    Hope you have a telaxing break and get the chance to indulge in a few drops of good Scotch.

    Will the blog be going into hiatus over the holiday period?

    • The Magpie says:

      For The ‘Pie’s part, no, but it may just be down to a watching brief and some completely irrelevant and irreverent observations of no consequence. Over the years, The Nest has not taken a break except when forced by medical matters, and will soldier on regardless. As always, the blog will open to Bentley if he has something with which to entertain us, but that is his call and The ‘Pie will be happy if he enjoys a seasonal break.

      And season’s greetings to you Wonderman, and thanks for your (sometimes) informed and funny comments during the year. Keep ‘em coming in what we can only hope is a year of more mirth and greater relief.

  29. Grumpy says:

    And seasons greetings from all of us…

  30. The old peterbuilt says:

    I suspect the pie and I sit at different ends of the political and social spectrum but if we were all the same we probably wouldn’t need the blog. I am appreciative for the opportunity to express my views and display my sometimes weird sense of humour. I believe it is a great blog not only for the contributors but also for the many who read it. Well done old bird. I hope mike Douglas is right about the turn around for the ville, many need it in 2018. A safe and happy Xmas to all and don’t forget to keep hydrated.

  31. Alacan says:

    Thanks pie.. for your efforts and existence … makes one feel like the proverbial blister of a sunday morning when reading the Pie .. that is only appearing after the hard work has been done by yourself

    All the best and merry xmas or is that happy holidays nowadays !

  32. Granny Smith says:

    Maggie, I have bad news – Granny Smith’s apple pies will not be the same for Christmas this year. The sky high price of apples in the North is taking it’s toll on this old bitty. In fact, my pies will be as empty as Aaron Harper’s head and perhaps even his (Christmas?) sack. Just pastry and tears this year I’m afraid. As always old bird my hot, dripping delights are as cheap as a compliment from Prince Lindsay the day after you win an election, but for you readers only. A merry Christmas to you and the family. Look forward to getting baked with you and the crew in the new year.

  33. Memory Man says:

    The jobs of the 21st century are being lost to the region. This is another example. Well done to all those who’ve turned their back on the future in the hope that the past offers hope. The Walker Street Collective and the Dudley Do Nothing Cabal have stuffed the city’s economy and its chance of delivering something real to clever young people. The result? People with smarts and get up and go leave if they can. Others are trapped by circumstance but would pull up stumps and hightail it out of the Mullet’s World if they had half a chance. What a shame.

    http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/townsville-snub-forces-overqualified-worker-to-sydney/news-story/1e427c8c070337ac5455ec08d225a2e8

    • Local Now says:

      Tell that to Safety Culture. And a couple of other emerging hi-techs in TSV. You and the local rag (which I don’t read because I can afford sorbent to wipe my a#$@) are on the wrong track. Good people get work. Better people start something.

  34. Droopy draws says:

    Have been a little quite over the last few weeks but have managed to keep up with what’s happening in the engine room thanks to the nest. Cheers to you Pie for building this place. I’m glad I found it in 2017.

    I’m with Mike Douglas; regardless of the circus that is Adani I think we’ll see a vastly different 2018….dig down a little and you’ll actually see some positives right now and those figures MD quoted are pretty much on the money.

    Anyway, I’m pissing off for a week of so to sun this heavenly bod on a beach in the middle of the pacific….

    Christmas cheers to all of you for the festive break. And a safe and healthy year ahead.

    Aloha!

  35. One Hung Lo says:

    The only one who doesn’t realise she’s been conned is our Mayor. The Alphabet says no to subsidies to Adani. The Freckle now says the NAIF loan is “dead and buried”. One Nation said the public should build, own and operate the rail line to nowhere (enough said).

    So where does this leave the poor ratepayer or Townsville? In the hands of the Mayor and her coterie of fly-in / fly-out knuckleheads in Walker Street, that’s where.

    http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/deb-frecklington-says-1-billion-naif-adani-loan-dead-and-buried-and-gone/news-story/c0dc9613230415cc5ef5cf4460c15a71

  36. Cantankerous but happy says:

    A bit more good news for the old town with the conditional approval for the Hive project, although at a reduced height for the two towers, it would appear that the constant questions from readers on here and other places as to why this project wasn’t approved when it fully met the town plan became too much for the Mullet to ignore. Maybe she has turned a deaf ear to her old mate Honeycombe about how it would effect his Central development to the west side of the CBD, where they are flogging off units at a discounted rate and can’t get enough sales after 4 years to start the Piccadilly complex at that site, anyway it’s a welcome decision that will hopefully steer our focus towards our greatest asset, our foreshore and direct access to the ocean.
    Merry Christmas to you Pie and all the nesters out there, have a good one.

    • The Magpie says:

      Wonder how the Flinders Street traders feel about The Hive … could their protests to the mayor be behind the inordinate and totally unnecessary delay in approval of one of the few developments that will genuinely start to rebuilt this city’s heart?

      Merry Christmas CrankyPants.

    • Droopy draws says:

      Best use of the site and a real boost for the outlook for Townsville.
      Let Honeysuckle have the west side of the CBD; I know where I’d want to be.
      Let’s hope a few more strand developments start appearing to start utilizing as you rightly state Cranky, ‘our best asset’.

    • Alahazbin says:

      So we now know where the next big fire will be in Townsville.

      • The Magpie says:

        Oh dear, oh dear, are you suggesting there maybe what is known is some corners of the business world as a Jewish stocktake? (Before you PC dribblers start foaming, that is a Jewish invented joke … a very old one.)

  37. The old peterbuilt says:

    A positive for tcc to finish the year. Had to meet the last flight in to the ville last night . Drove through the mall both ways. Tcc have done an excellent job with Xmas lights etc in the mall . Gill the dill is right The airport does need money spent on it but not by the quanta passengers. Gill spend some of that parking money you’ve been ripping off every body.

    • Local Now says:

      It took me 20 minutes to get out of Dill’s f’ken car park the other night when the camera system failed, the ticket didn’t read properly and no-one answered the help call at 7pm. 2nd time in a month. I don’t give a flying crap about pretty airports, just get me on the plane efficiently then off and on my way home with the minimum of delay.

  38. I'll be plucked says:

    Happy festive season Mr Pie and thanks for the blog which I have thoroughly enjoyed this year. I hope Miss Lou comes up with the goods for you and you live happily ever after! :)

    • The Magpie says:

      So does the bloody ‘Pie, mate … his next romp with Miss Lou will be his second – bloody sick of waiting for the first.

  39. The Owl says:

    Don’t get too excited about The Hive development starting construction any time soon. The Impaler only gave them a “preliminary approval” which isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
    It’s referred to in the industry as “the approval they give you when they don’t want to give you approval”.
    Under a preliminary approval the developers won’t be able to even put a shovel in the ground.

    • Droopy draws says:

      Of course they won’t be able to ‘put a shovel in the ground’ with a preliminary approval…. what sort of statement is that?
      They’ve been given a preliminary ‘development’ approval, Owl. Nothing at all to do with a ‘operation works’ or ‘building approval’….

  40. Sandgroper says:

    The news about The Hive is the best Christmas gift Townsville could hope for, albeit 366 days after the initial knockback by council.
    As for the development stealing business from other city traders and property developers, they should be whooping with joy because The Hive will live up to its name and attract tourists and locals like bees to honey. The consequence will be more traffic and sales for everybody.
    This is a truly transformative project with the potential to breathe life into a dying city. All that’s needed to complete the resurrection is a purge of the current crop of politicians and incompetent amateurs in charge of regional development.

    • The Magpie says:

      Yes, The Hive is going to be a massive step forward for employment and local experiences. But sad to say this mate, but you fall into the error that some many others tumble into when you say The Hive will ‘attract tourists’ – yes it will, but only those tourists who are here anyway, for whatever other reasons. It will NOT attract people to fly in to visit Townsville, or even drive in from the nearby region, … why the F would anyone from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or any other point south fly to Townsville to visit a what will essentially be a shopping mall with a veneer of culture and learning around the place. Seriously, would you base an entire, not inexpensive holiday on that, even allowing for the woefully inadequate offerings of other diversions like the rip-off experience of Magnetic Island. (Now now Lorna, think about it.)

      • Sandgroper says:

        Reckon you sell your city and region short, ‘Pie. Given some creative marketing and a real effort to brighten up The Strand and CBD precinct, Townsville could have enormous appeal for tourists (particularly the more mature) escaping the southern winter and seeking a relaxing holiday.
        Despite its lack of ‘built’ attractions, Magnetic Island has great natural beauty and would be easy to package into day trips that would appeal to many tastes.
        Events as diverse as the Australian Festival Of Chamber Music and the Supercars should be seen as opportunities to collar visitors and sell them other experiences, such as day trips to places like Charters Towers which has a fascinating history and some of the nation’s best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian architecture.
        Townsville already has marketable tourist attractions, such as the Museum of Tropical Queensland and various wildlife sanctuaries, and it wouldn’t take much effort to devise a tour that capitalised on the region’s rich military history and the new Army Museum of North Queensland.
        Lots of people love the hustle and bustle of tourist traps like Cairns and the Gold Coast, but many (myself included) think they are shitholes to be avoided.
        The Hive, if the naysayers let it get off the ground, could provide the catalyst for some more lateral thinking and attractions to transform the city and region.

        • The Magpie says:

          No, mate, The ‘Pie does not sell Townsville short, and your paean of possibilities confirms that … The ‘Pie states reality but is talking about the overblown claims of the Astonisher, Mayor Mullet et al and the woeful non-performance of that expensive cash sinkhole Townsville Enterprise. The Hive will be a wonderful adjunct – along with the Don Morris vision at the ‘Ville – to providing an enhanced experience for visitors, but to suggest that either will be a reason for tourists to visit – as has been suggested elsewhere – in a clear lack of understanding of basic marketing and attracting investment.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        Chris Morris hs said all along that Townsville needs to utilize its views over the ocean. He has invested his own money on the big house to see his vision realized. The Hive will utilize the view as well. Let’s face it the city hub is boring and removed from where the population wants to visit.
        Townsvilles future tourism is based on Strand development .

    • locutus says:

      Yes , as an international tourist there’s nothing I like better than shopping malls, towerblocks and vast housing estate ponzi schemes.

  41. The Third Reader says:

    Merry Xmas to you and yours ‘Pie. Another brilliant year keeping all your loyal followers up to date with the goings on of the Mullet, Impaler, and the Gilded Few etc. Love your efforts Malcolm and will continue to follow you and the many regular commentators to this blog every week. Have a safe and happy holiday. Cheers.

  42. Craig Leonard says:

    Pie, thanks mate for a wonderful read this year. Much appreciate the tireless effort you go to each week to bring to light (Yang) the stories that The Astonisher (Ying) does not tell, is really a breath of fresh air in this environment of Fake News. Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year, and if the tea leaves are right…..

  43. Ozzie John says:

    Oi Maggers, Merry Xmas to ya. I hope Santa brings ya some of those blue pills that Lazzarus like will rise the dead. This will help ya in yer fantasy wurld with Miss Lou. 50 shades of Maggers. Rite on!
    Also Merry Xmas to all on here form Katterworld up on the Black. Send it down Huey. A nice flow in the crick and I can take down the decky and the esky and toast the New yera in with a bit of the home brew. Luv a frothy and a paddle.
    I bought the missus a electrik grooming razor for xmas. Brazil, here we come.
    See ya in 2018.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, professor, The ‘Pie must temper his congratulations with the observation that your comic attempts are a trifle stretched, but it is always amusing to see someone of certain academic attainments attempt come down the intelligence ladder… some even manage it inadvertently. But you are mildly amusing, though not for the reasons you aspire to, so we trust you will survive all those christmas Pimms No 1 Cups and armadillo cream sherries and grace us with your presence again in 2018.

  44. Lord Howard Hertz says:

    I want to be first in with the inevitable. Asked a mate how he got a black eye, said his wife had sent to the chemists to get ‘some of those pills that give you an erection’ and she wasn’t happy when he came home with a pack of diet pills.

    Boom-tish, and merry xmas.

  45. Sandgroper says:

    On Channel 7 last night our veteran sparring partner, Mike Amor, looking suitably mature and authoritative, was doing a piece to camera about the terrible carnage yesterday near the Flinders Street railway station.

    He graphically set the scene, then blew it all with one line: “Christmas presents were SPRAWLED all over the pavement.”

    What hope do kids have with such role models?

    • The Magpie says:

      Err …. one of several definitions in Merriams.

      sprawl |sprôl|
      verb [ intrans. ]

      • spread out over a large area in an untidy or irregular way
      • a group or mass of something that has spread out in an untidy or irregular way : a sprawl of buildings.

      • Sandgroper says:

        Knew you would resort to Merriams, but accepted usage (except for groups of built objects) generally links “sprawl” to animate subjects. “Strewn” or “scattered” would have sounded better. Anyway, it grated on me and others watching the programme.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, yes, The ‘Pie is happy to admit he is one of those old fashioned people who look up the dictionary when in doubt … but don’t agree he ‘resorted’ to Merriams, which tells us that ‘resort’ can mean:

          resort |riˈzôrt|
          noun
          the action of turning to and adopting a strategy or course of action, esp. a disagreeable or undesirable one, so as to resolve a difficult situation : Germany and Italy tried to resolve their economic and social failures by resort to fascism.

          However, it appears you may have been hoisted on your own ‘pedant’ yuk yuk yuk.

          But if Merriams doesn’t meet your high standards, here is the (literally) thousand dollar version from my treasured Shorter Oxford English Dictionary Volume 2 (that’s the one on the right).

          See definition B

          • Sandgroper says:

            Just making sure your claws and mind are still sharp, old bird. Have a great Christmas and keep up the good fight.
            Hope to see you and the motley crew soon, if my parole officer lets me travel.

          • The Magpie says:

            As they say, mind like a steel trap, even if getting a tad rusted. have a great Christmas mate, and hope to see you sometime in 2018.

  46. The Magpie says:

    Nothing like a little local knowledge for papers. The Daily Mail picked up on the story about a 17 yo having sex with his (female) teacher … she argues that she shouldn’t be charged because ‘he wanted it’ … The ‘Pie empathises … (oh, Mrs Williamson, Class 3A Tamworth High, 1958, you don’t know what you missed out on – sigh). The boy in this instance falls into that rare psychological category technically known as ‘lucky bastard’. But the Mail decided to embellish their panting report with this file photograph.

    The last time this building was used to hear cases, dis-memberment’ was probably still on the books.

    • Mick says:

      That is a rather theatrical location. And even in the correct location, theatrics are a daily occurrence.
      Magpie and all contributors, thank you for a brilliant year. On occasion I sit at the keyboard and comprise some great literary contribution to this blog and consider the quality of other comments ,and then I hit delete. Thank you for your continued defence of “the Ville” and allowing an alternate venue for us to express our concerns.
      I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas .

  47. Memory Man says:

    It must be a quiet news day. A story about a council EOI being reviewed over Christmas with a view to going to a tender is not news. It’s business as usual. Here’s News: there’s talk that specifying the pipeline at 1.8m diameter has caused major headaches limiting the lengths of sections, which need to be trucked up, and creating all sorts of problems with how long it will take to weld the sections together. This specification issue flows through to cost and timing for completion. Now, if a pleb like yours truly hears about these issues from chitter chatter from Walker St, you have to wonder what the Bullsheet hears and doesn’t examine.

    http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/pipeline-work-on-track/news-story/b75974efa6d9925a4ef1f0186acb68da

    • Alahazbin says:

      And Mr Moorhead (the Impaler must like him) said “there were between six & ten expressions of interest” Well what is it? A bloody guessing competition!

      • Old Hack says:

        Well spotted , Alahazbin. Let’s hope the mathematically-challenged Mr Moorhead isn’t in charge of the engineering works.
        The reporter and sub-editor (if any) also deserve a kick in the pants for not seeking a precise number.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Pipe supply hasn’t, gone to tender yet. Can be sourced in 18m lengths easily. Only poor quality suppliers offer shorter lengths.

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