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The Magpie

Sunday, October 21st, 2018   |   115 comments

She’s Back … And She’s Running … But Have Ratepayers Been Hoodwinked Into Funding Mayor Mullet’s Re-election Campaign?

It’s been said here before, but worth another gallop: when you’re being run out of town, get in front of the mob and look like you’re leading a parade. Arrogance and stupidity breed on each other, and if Jenny Hill thinks she fooling us with what appears a blatant undeniable misuse of public funds, the only person she’s really fooling is herself. The ‘Pie’s claim is based on  a timely photograph.

Also, a new low, even for the Astonisher – hundreds are irate with the paper for one of the most irresponsible bits of reporting the paper has ever done … and that’s saying something.

And is this a WORLD SCOOP? Megan and Harry a same sex couple? We got a hint during the week.

Sing a song of Wentworth … a Beatles classic reworked for the by-election of the year, the result of which has put what funnyman John Birmingham terms ’ScoMo’s Turd Reich’ totally on cross-bench life support..

Plus the week from Trumpistan in pictures, and that includes the dastardly attack by an unarmed, paunchy journalist on 18 innocent Saudis armed with bone saws  … but don’t panic, it’s OK, they survived Their attacker didn’t.

But first …

Palmer Redux

As usual, Clive ‘Novichok’ Palmer’s was in the news again this week, and again, for all the wrong reasons. But there’s a kind of weird sort of poetic justification in appointing his namesake and nephew, rip-off grub Clive Mensink to head the Titantic replica project. Even the name Mensink has the right ring to it.

But we folks around this bend in the river are more wondering about what Palmer might have in store for Townsville, which has clearly hit its own leadership and financial iceberg. There’s plenty of speculation about his possible impact on the future fortunes on this town, with all sorts of (pretty far-fetched) rejuvenation scenarios being put about. But trying to a get a sensible statement from this babbling brook of a garbled grandstander about anything is a bit like nailing water to a wall, as Bentley so neatly points out.

clive small w magpie copy

And the ‘will he or won’t he’ question remains: will he put a candidate to run for mayor against Jenny Hill? Many believe Townsville Ratepayers Association’s Peter Newey has been angling to be tapped on the shoulder by Clive for the job, with a series of several fawning, mewling pieces on his Facebook page (Mr Newey denies this most strenuously, but people will read what they like with such guff.)  If Clive is set on the idea, he’d better get his skates on, Mayor Mullet is off and running, and all on the ratepayers’ dime.

If madam mayor wishes to dispute this claim, The Magpie seeks the answer to simple one question?  Who paid for the signage, who is paying the rent, and just who will man (person?)  this Flinders Street edifice that has suddenly appeared?


There are echoes here of the stadium move to the CBD. You will remember, in that instance, there was no gradual build-up,  the idea, never heard of one day, and all over the paper the next, and soon after the rest of media sheeple. And so it is again, all of a sudden, a freshwater lagoon is a council ‘priority’. Until a few weeks ago, no one had heard of the idea in any serious sense, it was just a passing Cairns copy-cat thought-bubble from southern grifters Pure Projects, which came and went in the Bulletin with the longevity of a fart in a fan factory. But now, the idea is suddenly front and centre as the ‘must have’ item for the modern NQ city. This questionable ‘priority’ is further foisted upon us and reinforced with the eye-catching Flinders Street office frontage … on quick first glance, The Magpie thought someone had made a political statement with a rifle on the edifice, but closer inspection what at a distance looked like bullet holes scattered over the expensive blow-up illustration revealed that they were actually bathers in a … lagoon!!

And ‘a clear view for for our city’? ‘2020’? Ummm, that would be election year, wouldn’t it?

If Mayor Mullet is coughing up for all this herself, or even using legitimate donations (are there such things any longer?), all well and good. God knows, she is now a very wealthy woman in her own right through inheritance, and that’s apart from her super-generous public stipend with travel and car perks and a reported bulging family share portfolio – hardly any of which is declared, not being in her name.

But if this is connected to and paid for by the council as a ‘means of communicating with the community’, Jennifer Hill should be again referred to the CCC for possible corruption in local government, along with hired-in smart arse urger Stephen ‘The Screaming Midget’ Beckett, now her mayoral office manager. Surely The Bulletin could have the decency and credibility to ask the question (well, this is meant to a humorous blog in parts).

And Now We’re Treated To Jenny The Gymnast – Speciality: The Back Flip

For further proof that Mayor Mullet is on the campaign trail, make up your own mind about the following.

Screen Shot 2018-10-20 at 10.51.31 pm

The chest thumping, Canberra bashing from our bargain basement Boadicea went on and on, how she was gunna sock it to ‘em, she’d give ‘em what for if they diverted Eastern Rail Corridor money to Hell’s Gates and so on … and bloody on …  but proof of both its pointlessness and the Astonisher’s complicity in her campaign came in the very last line of the story, which completely nullified all that had gone before. It said: Last night a spokesman for Mr Morrison said the Government confirmed the remainder of funds set aside for TEARC project would stay in Townsville for other opportunities.’

But it seems the mayor and her minions have been too clever by half on the issue of stages one and two of the pipeline matter. It would seem she has reversed her stance on the crucial second stage, which she has baulked at in the past, insisting the money set aside for the now shelved rail corridor to the port be directed towards the second stage pipeline. Her pre-back flip stance was  amusingly illustrated by Linda Ashton of the Water For Townsville group.


But now, a dainty and oh-so-convenient change of heart. Olga Corbett would be green with envy.

The Bulletin Sets The Bar Even Lower, But Still Manages To Limbo Under It With Ease

Last Wednesday, an RAAF Hercules alerted the Townsville airport that it had been forced to manually power it’s nose wheel because of an hydraulic fault. Following normal precautionary practice, emergency services were put on stand-by. The plane landed without incident and everyone went home. The details weren’t  known at the time, and the Bulletin presumably only knew what it had picked up from someone with a scanner, but that didn’t stop them trying ever so hard to make a minor matter a possible major catastrophic emergency. The Bulletin’s Facebook page – which it urges people to have set up for breaking news alerts – then indulged in a bit of the most irresponsible journalism imaginable. The words were generally right, but were skewed out of all proportion with a lazy and downright stupid file photo grab. This from comments on Thursday.

The Magpie  October 18, 2018 at 8:09 am  (Edit)

The Astonisher’s habit of ‘crying wolf’ over absurd beat-ups is highlighted regularly on it’s Facebook page. Early last night was a prime example, which justifiably infuriated many, including regular Nester Hee Haw, who wrote ‘If the plane that landed was not a commercial 737 then this is disgraceful’.

Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 7.54.55 am

Indeed, in The ‘Pie’s guess, it was Kevin Gill panicking on approach in a Tiger Moth – “can’t find how to get the nose wheel down …heeeelllp!!!”. (The thought of someone of Gill’s apparent cognitive ability flying a plane is both amusing and terrifying in itself.)

But Facebook is a great leveller in some ways, and the Bulletin still doesn’t get the message … the first 20 or so comments to the Astonisher’s post were all derisive, mainly about the paper.


  • Hee Haw  October 18, 2018 at 8:17 am  (Edit)Update:
    This really is despicable and the comments agree.
    The last 10 FB posts from the Bulletin got an average of 9 comments, this one has 216 so far most of them either concerned for family flying in or condemning the Bulletin for no information and using a jet in the pic.

There was a time when the irresponsible jerk in question would’ve had their arse kicked til their nose bled, but those days are long gone at the Astonisher. With 216 complaints, iditor Jenna Cairney certainly knew of the incident (or if not why not?), and surely an apology was merited. And it wasn’t until 6.34pm on the 18th, almost 24 hour after the initial story, that any follow-up explanation was posted on the paper’s website. And nothing like an apology for the pic that so alarmed everybody.

And still they wonder …

But Even A Seasoned Journo Like John Anderson Goes A Bit Bonkers At Times

To question the courage of a terrified woman injured when protecting her child from a hail storm last week, you’d have to have a bloody good reason. In this weekend’s Bulletin, John Anderson didn’t.

Screen Shot 2018-10-20 at 10.16.21 am

For a normally sensible bloke like Ando to suddenly start dictating the rules for being judged brave enough to deserve an award is dopey in itself. (John, to take your own rhetorical question – wouldn’t your surf swimmer, soldier, firey or policeman just be doing what they ‘should do’? And what’s more, being paid to do it, in the case of the last three.) But more to the point, why go down this path anyway? We need all the courageous people, all the real heroes  we can get in this day and age, and it seems churlish in the extreme to try to lessen what this woman did.

One wonders if that’s a deliberate stirring of a reader hornet nest? Perhaps a totally misjudged pot shot at the premier for jumping on a publicity bandwagon? Doubt it, so let’s talk bravery and courage in all its forms in our community. For instance, John,  should there be a bravery medal for an experienced and ethical journalist to put his job on the line for the sake of the community which has fed him so well for so many decades? Should that journo front the editor and management of the Bulletin about the massive and ruinous disservice they are doing to this community and to the reputation of responsible news reporting in this city.

At this stage, you don’t qualify for that sort of bravery medal, old mate … don’t worry about laying down your life, at worst it’d be your job, and even that is unlikely. So lay off the mum who didn’t ask for any medal, it was an uncharacteristically churlish piece from a normally good bloke like you. Who knows, maybe she shouldn’t get a medal … but neither should you, sport. The ‘Pie writes this in sadness about a man The ‘Pie has always believed to be among the best journalists in North Queensland.

Very disappointing.

Done And Dusted


The least surprising election result in Australia was all over in less than a hour of counting last night, with Independent Kerryn Phelps winning Malcolm Turnbull’s old seat of Wentworth. The woman whom Mongrel the Barrister reckons inspired the term ‘head like a racing goanna’ enjoyed an Australian record swing, wiping out Turnbull’s previous 17% margin, and then some.

The ‘Pie had the pleasure of meeting Dr Phelps on several occasions when she was doing guest spots at radio 2UE in the 80s … intelligent, no-nonsense and friendly, and at that time, fearlessly pioneering the cause of gay women – this was back when that was an issue.

Her candidature in Wentworth, where the locals were furious that Turnbull got turfed,  was always going to be a challenge for the established parties. And one supporter came up with a catchy way to get attention, via a parody of the Beatles classic ‘Help’!. 


Phelps, we need somebody!

Phelps, not just anybody!

Phelps, you know we need someone!


And now the House has changed in,oh,so many ways,

Our independents seem to vanish in the haze,

But ev’ry now and then, we feel so insecure

We know that we we need you like we’ve never done before

Phelp me if you can, I’m feeling down

And  do appreciate you being round

Phelp me get my feet back on the ground

Won’t you please, lease Phelp me,

Phelp me, Phelp me


Speaking Of Gay Folk

The Magpie, normally unflappable unless airborne, was set back on his claws when he thought he’d stumbled across the story of the century … Harry and Meghan are actually a same sex couple!!!

No, he couldn’t believe it either, but this is what startled him. Not to mention the Queen.

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 10.29.56 am

And in that general area, The ‘Pie cannot believe that this nickname will last …

Screen Shot 2018-10-07 at 9.41.46 am

But there were other surprises during the week. Like this from the BBC itself.


And Canada has legalised marijuana. Like, dude, eh? Big changes are signalled, like the flag …

Warp - Paranoid Mountie FINISH v.2

…and unexpected side effects on neighbours.


At Least Trump Will Have That As An Excuse From Now On

The overwhelming issue of the week was the murder of Saudi junta critic journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi government killers, and Trump’s hedging his bets and refusing first to condemn the regime, and then, when that could no longer wash, offering a piss-weak wrist slap response. Somehow, this caught the imagination of illustrators across the US.

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 10.01.58 am

141_216975 7c73620a-b72a-4741-8944-7b3e04658c8b enos_7 Trump deny 141_216885 141_216341

And Finally, The ‘Pie’s Techno-Wars Continue.

Last week it was the bloody computer, this week, The ‘Pie bought a drone on-line, good price, but can’t seem to get it to fly. Any advice from anyone out there with a similar model to this one?



That’s it for another week, get those comments flying in, it’s your forum. And as always, donations are much appreciated … and needed to cover the various costs associated with the blog. 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. Strandboy says:

    Heard there is a $80k lift installed in the future cities leased office and countless hours of overtime by council carpenters … Jen will not pay and it’s a tidy upgrade for the landlord …
    Where is a vision for greater than 2 years? A future city in less than 2 years is a joke.

    • The Magpie says:

      Precisely The ‘Pie’s point about the date being a dead giveaway. But hats off to the Walker Street Wankery, they’ve thought this one out an d made it a legal rort.

  2. Mike Douglas says:

    Pie, if the signage “ Townsville a clearer vision for the future” is on a shopfront in Flinders St that’s where T.C.C,,s “ Future Cities “ office is going. It’s part of City Deals and I think a line in the Council budget at $1.5 mil a year with its on GM and team, premises .

    • The Magpie says:

      Then the 2020 date is a dead giveaway and should be questioned.

    • Amanda Huggenkiss says:

      The city deal is for a 15 year period. If the future city project was really part of the City Deal it would be Townsville 2031. After March 2020 Jenny couldn’t give a crap. It’s so brazen it’s disgusting.

  3. Sandy says:

    I have an idea. How about readers print off a copy of “the Magpies blog” and leave it in places like lunch rooms, pubs, dentists waiting rooms, hospitals etc. anywhere you can think of. Pie, put your blog adddress clearly on the top so people can log in at home. Let’s do all we can to get real stories about our community into the community. Our local paper just isn’t cutting it.

  4. cobalos says:

    Re your drone: “well, first you’ve got to throw it!”

  5. Alahazbin says:

    Pie! The Astonisher couldn’t run an apology that morning. That space on page 16 was already taken for their daily apology.
    Monday’s apology should be to the Townsville Turf Club for calling them TCC in Saturday’s article.

    • Tricky says:

      Or the apology that they totally botched the TTC story & Townsville doesn’t form part of the Racing strike action on Melbourne Cup Day as it’s hosting a Non-TAB race meeting on that day. It even states that Non-Tab race meetings don’t form part of the strike action in the same story! Sloppy, lazy & totally inept journalism, trying to combine the big brothers news story to make it ‘local’.

      • Cast Netter says:

        There is a TAB meeting on Cox Plate day which also forms part of the action being taken. So yes Townsville will be affected albeit not on both days.
        The Astonisher still sux…. Yucatan.

  6. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Townsville 2020 should be renamed “ Townsville Tossers “ it is a collaboration of the cities tossers and driven from people within council and the parasites on the fringe feeding off it. You see it online as some tosser posts about the 2020 vision, then some other tosser will like the post and throw up a link about a workshop about DATA or STEM and the “connected economy” , then someone likes that post and comments “ this is the future for Townsville” and then hashtags more of the tossers around town including the people at the council where it all started, propaganda at its best, and the dopey ratepayers of Townsville are paying for it.

  7. Lesley Jogger says:

    Surprised Tony Raggat buried the lead on the Hells Gates/stage 2 pipeline yarn with the mayor. Pm’s office saying the tearc money would not be spent outside of Townsville was clearly the hook. Bit more iditor interference do you reckon pie?

    • The Magpie says:

      Cannot think of any other reason… you’d be entitled to think that Tony was told the angle the paper wanted, otherwise, it’s a non-story.

  8. Col Foley says:

    Fatty Palmer’s breathtaking bumptiousness would be comic relief if he didn’t owe Australia $80 million and hadn’t done so much damage to Tsv and many of its families.

    Part of me hopes he does come back, so I can see what our locals do to him.

    The other part says that if he funds a mayoral candidate, I will a very noisy, prominent and embarrassing disruption throughout that person’s campaign.

    • No more dredging says:

      Col, a few months ago Mr Palmer advertised widely for anyone who wanted a job at the soon-to-reopen (!) Yabulu nickel refinery to apply direct to the company. I imagine that Palmer now has a list of hundreds (?) of email addresses to send all sorts of promotional gumpf explaining the troubles with the state government (they won’t let ‘us’ use the port to import), the federal government (they won’t let ‘us’ discharge into the Barrier Reef), Townsville Council (baseless accusations about ‘us’ for which the mayor has apologised) and any number of carefully selected causes which are holding up Clive’s dreams for the electorate. For some reason the mailing recipients sit on these biblical tracts as if they are privy to insider information and if past results are any indicator there will be some surprises when an election happens.

      Mr Palmer seems to have a free hand to do whatever he likes, claim whatever he likes and dismiss out of hand anyone who’s view he disagrees with – including all the local daily media. Facts don’t seem to matter any more, bullshit is par for the course.

  9. Pat Coleman says:

    How to get your drone to fly pie. Wave it in the air and call it a “crown of wheels starfish” .

    Get a federal government grant to make it fly. Buy a seat for the drone and an office to hanger it.

    But you see, now the drone is too heavy because of the seat and pilot and needs further modifications….. Like propellers or something.

    Donate some of the grant back to the people who gave you the grant for another grant for the propellers.

    If there are any questions about a drone with a seat not being therefore a drone , but an aircraft, and therefore a rort, another donation will clear that up.

    No worries Pie, I reckon that’ll fly !

  10. Critical says:

    Have a read of Mullets 2016 election promises and then the TCC Corpirate Plan. The Corporarte Plan mirrors her election promises. How much of tphe 2020 document will fit into the Corporate Plan.

  11. The Owl says:

    Excellent letter to the editor in the Bully yesterday revealing that the plastic pipe our mayor is so keen on should be costing a LOT less than the quoted price. Another shonky deal the CCC should be looking at but won’t because the mayor is protected.
    The LNP should be calling for an inquiry into the CCC.

    • No more dredging says:

      Owl, could you give us out-of-towners the gist of the pipeline price set up? Do we know who is actually paying? Is it the Queensland government, shared between the Feds and Queensland or are Townsville ratepayers picking up the entire cost – whatever that number actually is? Or is no one saying?

      • Linda Ashton says:

        WFTAG info – Haughton stage 1 pipeline is $200 million. The full state grant is $225 million and that includes the $10 million Water Transition Package strategies and a contract of $300,000 + for the celebrity gardner. Contingencies are in the mix as well. Brad Webb’s recommendation in the interim report 2017 was for MSCL pipe and the full cost was covered in the state’s grant. The GRP is significantly cheaper – estimate $25 million+ saving. We are still unsure if, how or where the promised solar component fits in. The Haughton Channel upgrade that’s planned for drawing almost double volume for TSV is $20 million. It’s SunWater maintenance and irrigation upgrade work but included in the urban pipeline grant. Odd. WFTAG would prefer the artificial channel at the Haughton pump station end was left as is and stage 2 connection proceed end to end to Clare. There’s a much larger pump station – Tom Fenwick. That’s the extra 32km.

        What’s not being talked about in the 3 point water security solution is the new treatment plant at Toonpan. No point pumping a gazillion extra ML if you can only treat 235 per day through Douglas Plant. No state or fed money should be diverted to this as it’s a local government responsibility.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      The actual price paid for the pipe has not been disclosed. Still listed as “schedule of rates” on the tenders awarded section of the TCC web site. As yet no award for the installation or the pipes. No pipes have arrived to be installed and no updates on the clearing and grubbing on the pipeline alignment.
      For such a high profile project it seems to be shrouded in secrecy.
      Another normal day for the TCC.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Perfect timing NAW. Photo in today’s Astonisher of pipes arriving at the Port. Wait for the mullet to start skiting. (Or skating if you like)

  12. Tug Master says:

    The pipes arrived by ship today at the port.
    Expect a major love fest exclusive between the Bullsheet and TCC in Tuesday’s rag.
    Plastic fantastic.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Thanks Tugger
      All of them? Or first shipment.?
      Now we need to know who will install.

    • No more dredging says:

      Looks like the Eckert Oldendorff arrived from Adelaide into Townsville today. It’s hard to imagine there could be more than thirty kilometres of 1.8m pipe in one shipload so I guess we can expect to see a string of arrivals as the project proceeds.

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, yes. ????

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        So I guess along with your “ I voted for Jenny Hill” certificate hanging on your wall is your masters degree is stating the fucken obvious.

        • No more dredging says:

          Cantankerous, are you over yourself yet? My reply was to NAW’s question/s: “All of them? Or first shipment.?” Read the sequence then get back in your corner and lie down with your medication. Twit.

  13. Woodduck says:

    With Phelps getting the seat of Wentworth,do we still call it a hung parliament?

  14. The Owl says:

    Sorry Dredger but I threw out the paper yesterday so can’t provide the excact details but the letter writer was a bloke with expert knowledge of the cost of such pipes and was comparing what Townsville’s pipeline was costing to other similar projects. The difference in cost per kilometre was staggering. No wonder Mayor Mullet is trying to keep the details secret.

    • Squizzy says:

      A PIPELINE capable of carrying 37.5 megalitres a day has been built for $467 million.

      The W2BH pipeline is a steel pipe lined with a plastic compound.

      In Townsville, we appear to be getting a pipe of a similar diameter made entirely out of plastic, not steel, that extends only 40km for $225 million.

      The cost of the Townsville pipeline appears to be vastly higher at $5.7 million per kilometre than the W2BH pipeline that comes in at $1.6 million per kilometre.

      At a cost of $1.6 million per kilometre, we could have had a steel pipeline all the way to the Burdekin Dam for $270 million, not much more than the money being wasted on duplicating the Haughton pipeline at $225 million.

      I smell a rat! We are getting a cheap plastic pipe for three times the cost of the W2BH steel pipeline at Broken Hill.

      We are also being told that it will cost more than $1 billion to build a pipeline from the Burdekin Dam to Townsville. This would appear to be nonsense.

      A pipeline can be built across half of New South Wales for about the same amount as our 40km plastic pipe to the Haughton.

      I would like an explanation from our Mayor and from the State Government who have sold us what amounts to an expensive white elephant when we could have had what Broken Hill has received.

      How come Broken Hill can have a pipeline and we cannot?


      South Townsville.

      • The Magpie says:

        Linda Ashton? Brief and to the point, right or wrong?

        • Linda Ashton says:

          I commented. My briefs are different to yours. Too much information??

          • The Magpie says:

            Putting aside any reference to our differing tastes in underwear, Linda, the short answer is yes.
            You created your own site to publish such voluminous detail and The ‘Pie is happy to host sharp and relevant retorts to other commenters or clearly made brief points on the issue. But you do yourself no favours trying to get your short and highly technical novels published here, and The ‘Pie believes he has a duty to his readers to not the comments section hijacked on a single issue, but at all the time eager to point interested others to the WFT site, which The ‘Pie supports and admires (except for some pig ignorant commenters, people about which we both must forebear).

            An equivalent example would be if The Magpie, who is critical of the council, published whole TCC financial documents and his refutation of alll or parts of them in detail. Tedious detail.

      • No more dredging says:

        Chris, according to the project parameters the Wentworth to Broken Hill (W2BH) pipeline is 270 kms delivering up to 37.4 megalitres per day. The Haughton duplication pipeline is 36.5 kms delivering up to 234 megalitres per day. I can’t find a figure for the diameter of the W2BH pipeline but from photos online it looks to be maybe 800mm compared to the Haughton pipeline’s 1800mm. Chalk and cheese really.

        • No more dredging says:

          Also Chris, you have chosen to compare price per kilometre of laid pipeline (without realising/knowing that one is at least twice the diameter) when you could have compared price per delivered megalitre capacity. The W2BH pipeline will cost (according to your numbers) $467m to deliver 37.4mL/d whereas the Haughton duplication will cost (on your numbers) $225m to deliver 234mL/d. In other words the Haughton scheme will deliver more than six times the water for less than half the price. Damn statistics eh?

          • No more dredging says:

            From the horse’s mouth, the W2BH pipeline is steel lined with concrete, 762mm diameter and comes in standard lengths of 13.3m and 12.2m.

          • Non Aligned Worker says:

            Gravity fed could deliver 24/7 365 days per year. Would keep the dam topped up for free. Nobody has raised the question of the pumping costs for the new line. Probably 3 times current cost so about $100k per day.

          • No more dredging says:

            NAW, the Taskforce put a price of about $1 billion on a ‘gravity feed’ pipeline – mainly because of the cost of construction of the outlet facility at the dam wall.

  15. The Owl says:

    The Astonisher printed the letter but so far there has been no follow up story. So Ms Cairney, why aren’t you all over this and asking the mayor some serious questions?
    Will be interesting to see if tv news does its job but I’m not holding my breath. The mayor is spending a small fortune with both the Bully and Ch 7, thus providing herself with the protection she wants.

    • The Magpie says:

      And sad to say, the local ABC is not game to venture out of its Wickham Street mouse hole, that would involve some proactive reporting, some actual involvement in the independent reporting of affairs in this city. Whdere iois Paula Tapio;as when we most need her? Or what about you, Mr Hession?> Anybody, anybody there, is there anybody who isn’t pre-occuppied with getting their head on Brisbane-based news bulletins?

  16. The Magpie says:



    Rort recipient Clr Ann-Maree Greaney

    The scam:

    This is how it works.

    Foshan Colour Parade

    Townsville’s Sister Cities Forum (check out who the members are) were invited to send a delegation to Foshan, China and participate in their 2018 Autumn Colour Parade.

    This year’s parade will be held from the 2nd November through to the 3rd of November inclusive. The parade route covers 3.5km in duration with set points for performers to play with a stopping duration of around 90 seconds.

    Townsville was tentatively invited to provide a delegation of up to 10 performers and a city delegation.
    The invite is open for a 4/5 day period with suggested dates arriving in Foshan, Thursday 01 November through to departure Monday 5 November.

    The Mayor tabled the opportunity to invite a chef delegation into the 2018 Autumn Festival to showcase our cities great agriculture produce. Culture can be shared with open dialogue of food. The Mayor further tabled the requirement for the facilitating staff to ascertain further details to see if we can send a culinary delegation or a performance troupe.

    Foshan were unable to accommodate a culinary delegation this year as suggested above. Due to short timeframes and approvals, Council has supported the request and has approved to send Cr Ann-Maree Greaney, Chair of Townsville Sister Cities Forum to Foshan for the Colour Parade. There will be no performance group attend this year.

    So Ann-Maree gets an all expenses paid trip to China to do nothing except watch a parade.

    That this has been going on for years under Labor regimes in Walker Street is irrelevant, it is particularly heinous in this straited times.


    Cr Ann-Maree Greaney
    Business phone: 13 48 10
    Mobile phone: 0448 378 111
    Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

    • No more dredging says:

      Perhaps TCC could sponsor a journalist, Adani-style, to travel in the councillor’s suitcase, Saudi-style, to attend the cross cultural culinary function, Aussie-style by bringing their own bone cutter. Sure to be an embassy that will put them up and even shake them down. Could the Nest ‘tout’ for a volunteer, Barnaby-style or would that be too crass?

  17. The Magpie says:

    It doesn’t take long for them to come out of the woodwork, proving Jack Lang’s great truth” ‘In the race of life, always back self-interest – at least you know it’s trying.’

    This from Facebook soon after the Greaney rort was posted.

    Nigel Grier:
    Sister City initiatives are vital for cross cultural awareness and to develop long term economic relationships between regions. Especially in Asia. Anything that can get TOWNSVILLE and NQ on the Asian maps of Australia should be embraced. AMG will do a great job representing the city I’m sure. I agree that with a bit more forward planning a delegation of chefs and produce would have been a real coup for the city.

    Nigel Grier Ps Magpie I still love your columns 

    • The Owl says:

      Methinks the good folk of Foshan will see more of Greaney this month than the ratepayers she is supposed to represent.

  18. I'll be plucked says:

    Hey there Mullet! For the rest of your term, starting today, how about you and your elected ‘team’ and TCC senior staff consider the following, as it’s NOT about you!!!

    Stop creating personal fiefdoms and keep your noses well clear of the trough

    Stop talking bullshit and keeping secrets from the Townsville community

    Genuinely consult with the Townsville community to hear opinions BEFORE making decisions or announcements

    Too hard to do any of the above, which you were elected to do? Then, stand down, please!

  19. Achilles says:

    Something stinks in the fishy state of King Salmon and CP Bin Salmon’s Saudi Arabia.

    • No more dredging says:

      Something stinks more in Queensland’s LNP. After the historic abortion law reform vote last week in which the LNP party room allowed MPs a conscience vote, the LNP state council is now expected to consider a motion by some party members to ban LNP parliamentarians Nicholls, Minnikin and Stuckey from seeking re-election. The Courier-Mail reported on Saturday that the party president, Gary Spence, wrote to members saying he expected “robust discussion about party values, policy and how they are implemented by our parliamentary teams” at the meeting.

      “It has been long-standing policy of the LNP, and the majority of our members, that the abortion laws in Queensland were fair and did not need changing,” Spence wrote. “I could not be more disappointed that three of our MPs voted in the parliament on Wednesday night in a way that was contrary to these long-established values.”

      These people are in LaLa Land. Maybe because they don’t have a conscience they can’t understand what a ‘conscience vote’ means.

      • The Magpie says:

        All true except for one aspect … the call for the three MPs to lose their endorsement came from the Young Liberals, a gaggle of goose-stepping Shitler Youth. The call came specifically from one little turd who has a Nazi past … not a cheap shot, its true, can’t find the details immediately.

        Spence, as ineffectual and as irrelevant as ever, will huff and puff and will hopefully be put in his place … he is a bloke who, to quote Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam, really needs a good blow job.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Not at all, the issue is why the members were allowed to take their own conscience onto the floor, I am somewhat removed from the process these days but from my many years with the National Party a conscience vote is expressed in the party room, once that is over and everyone pretends to give a shit about what you think and say a vote is taken and the party vote is then backed unanimously on the floor, no exemptions. I would say Nicholls doesn’t give a shit and probably won’t stand at the next election anyway, and can’t really say on the other two bit would imagine their preselection would be problematic.

      • Grumpy says:

        Really, Dredger?

        The senile ramblings of some inconsequential pissant about the goings-on in a pissant party of pissant politicians is a more concerning matter than state-sponsored murder and dismemberment – and no doubt torture – of an internationally respected journalist?

        Hardly matters of the same import.

  20. No more dredging says:

    Cantankerous, you reckon: ” . . . from my many years with the National Party a conscience vote is expressed in the party room, once that is over and everyone pretends to give a shit about what you think and say a vote is taken and the party vote is then backed unanimously on the floor, no exemptions.”

    A couple of weeks ago, on ABC TV news, I watched and listened as the Leader of the Queensland LNP Opposition, Deb Frecklington, announced that the LNP party room had agreed, and she would now officially condone, a conscience vote on the floor of parliament in the matter of the abortion law reform. The party room having given its consent, three members took the opportunity to vote with their conscience. Also, I recall over the years all sorts of Nationals, Liberals and LNPers at least threatening to ‘cross the floor’ when they felt strongly about things – Katter (back in the day), Geo Christensen and Barnaby Joyce come to mind. Isn’t that par for the course in Australian politics? Aren’t politicians, even LNP/Nationals, allowed to have a mind of their own – like they always used to?

    • Grumpy says:

      All except Labor. Crossing the floor (unless specifically in a conscience vote) is verboten and at the risk of being labelled as a rat – from where there is no salvation or forgiveness.

      “I agree with what she said”. “But what did she say?” “ I don’t know, but I agree with it”

      Blind, unswerving and unquestioning loyalty. Nothing less. Whilst slipping the stiletto between your factional opponent’s ribs.

      • No more dredging says:

        Grumps, as it turns out, Labor allowed a conscience vote on the abortion law reform too. I believe one Labor member, Joanne Miller, voted against the legislation. The point I am trying to make is that if a party has decided to allow a conscience vote – it’s quite a rare thing – then it must allow a conscience vote. If the party executive (in this case the LNP president, Spence) wants to stick his nose in and threaten members with disendorsement then the media should give them hell.

        • The Magpie says:

          Now deep breaths, everybody, we’re getting out tits in a tangle over simple English. It is ridiculous to suggest that any party allows a conscience vote in the party room only …. party room meetings behind closed doors are is secret because members get to say whatever they want to say (these shit fights are politely called robust discussion) , BUT when the dust settles and a vote is taken, EVERYBODY is expected to toe the party line and support the majority decision. A conscience vote is a very different matter …. individual members of whatever party agree that one can exercise one’s conscience (yes, strange, I know, when talking about politicians), each individual votes however they choose without reference to party policy or =direction from the hierarchy … with no repercussions expected … as you say, conscience votes are rare, but the term speaks for itself. To suggest someone should be disciplined by their party for exercising their conscience when told they are allowed to do so is cretinous, open to challenge and a disastrous electoral move.
          PS Gary Spence is a fuckwit, and his time should be almost up.

          • Concerned says:

            Hey Pie
            Any idea why people (so called politicians) with direct ties to, or the same principles as the ALP or Greens dont run inder the ALP or Green banner but instead choose the Independent flag, two come to mind, the Mullet and the latest Phelps.

  21. The Magpie says:


    Seven wheelchair athletes have been banned from the Invictus Games after they tested positive for WD40.

  22. Robert Jordan says:

    Pie, can you get some details on these water vouchers residents are supposed to be getting. Are they actually refunds because TCC have overcharged residents on various water plans for many years? Is this turning a well known negative into a positive? Transparency?

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie has never heard of any such vouchers, you’d have to ask the council. Will be interested to know what you find out.

      • Critical says:

        Look at today’s media releases

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Looks to me like the Mullet has been caught out by the state govt trying to keep the $10 million from last year that was supposed to go toward water saving initiatives, she just kept the money and did fuck all hoping no one would notice, I guess not, so now they trot out some useless scheme, very short on detail regarding up to $300 per household to spend on water saving devices, it will be another fuckup, like everything she does.

          • The Magpie says:

            Hmmm, not quite up to the usual standard of conspiracy theories for which this blog is renowned, so let The ‘Pie help. What Mayor Mullet was hoping was a later release of the voucher system, closer to the March 2020 deadline she is facing. Great little campaign boast about a scheme that seems so unnecessary, since there is no water crisis. Is there?

          • No more dredging says:

            ‘Pie, when the dam is 68% full (today) with a recently-tested backup pipeline in place and a new one about to start construction, there is no water crisis. Still not entirely clear who is paying the $225m price for the pipeline duplication but it looks like it’s the Palaszczuk government – which is fine by us Townsville ratepayers isn’t it?

          • The Magpie says:

            There in a nutshell is the crippling blight that this city suffers … total lack of coherent and informed vision, promoted by insurgent urgers. A reactive attitude rather than a positive pro-active and intelligent plan. All we are getting is fairy floss, and as you may know, fairy floss is spun sugar.

  23. Non Aligned Worker says:

    I saw one of the of the new GRP pipes being transported along Woolcock St.
    I will say that it looked a bit ordinary compared to the display pipe samples that were presented as representative of what we were to get.
    The GRP pipe had obviously been repaired due to either manufacturing or transport issues. It looked pretty ordinary. It was obviously going to be used as a standard pipe because it had a coupling on one end.
    I wonder how many production and transport issues will have to be repaired and how the final repairs will be tested and signed off as acceptable.
    And why were the couplings assembled in Adelaide and not here?

    • No more dredging says:

      NAW, like Chris Squelch who wrote a letter about comparative pipeline installation costs, you seem to have gone off half-cocked (from numerous past personal experiences, I know a lot about ‘half-cocked’). Mr Squelch was of the opinion that in relation to the W2BH pipeline under construction in western NSW, ” . . . we appear to be getting a pipe of a similar diameter”. I can’t imagine how a 762mm diameter pipe could be similar to an 1800mm pipe and that installation costs would also be similar. Maybe he just guessed.

      You say you saw a Haughton duplication pipe section going past on a truck and from this sighting concluded that the pipe had “obviously” been repaired and was “obviously” going to be used as a standard pipe. If it’s so obvious, why do you need to wonder how many production and transport issues will have to be repaired and how the final repairs will be tested and signed off?

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        If you bought a new car and it was delivered with obvious panel damage repair as well as a couple of welds on the outside of the engine block, would you accept it as new?

      • Grumpy says:

        Ummm. Because he saw only one and was asking whether a common theme could be extrapolated from the observed sample. Maybe not in so many words.

        Come on, Dredges. Sometimes you make sense, but others you come across as a clever dick that gets tied up in knots by your own clever-dickery .

  24. Old tradesman says:

    It seems that there is a lot of work going on at the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre, 35 new cells I am informed, to be finished in a hurry, this is all good, but the problem is that only special local contractors are carrying out the works. Apparently they submit a price, be it what it may, they are the only tenderer, are given the job, and it is under the supervision of B.A.S. No transparency and are told to finish it quickly so that the general can say, look at what I have done.

    • The Magpie says:

      But isn’t ‘local contractors’ good news. We can’t have it both ways.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Not unusual with prisons and even less so when it’s an extension or alteration, they would tend to go with proven contractors with all the accreditation required and runs on the board, whether or not they are local is a secondary consideration.

  25. Plannit Townsville says:

    Piss myself laughing…

    Hear ye Citizens of Townsville… Henceforth the great leaders of our city shall command the minions to enhange ye on matters we should have engaged ye unworthy ingrates on anyway…. We might even consider making this city liveable


    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Citizens Centric Council and other weasel words. The shame is our rates are being used to pay someone to come up with this sort of bullshit.

  26. Lefty Luvvies says:

    How about instead of building new cells at Cleveland Detention Centre – they stop the crime!!!!!! We don’t want more cells!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The average tax payer can’t keep this up. Someone stand up for the law abiding taxpayer.

    • The Magpie says:

      Ummm, let’s think that through.
      Big blitz on crime, YAY, offenders nabbed left right and centre, YAY , bundled off to face the unforgiving beak – YAY – and then … ummm … then, ahhh … perhaps the beak might say, ‘Well, you little snot, for jumping on granny’s head, I’d normally give you a spell in chokey, but I will instead stand up for the law abiding taxpayer who can’t afford detention centres, and release you into the custody of the Do Good Hanky Wringers Foundation For Misunderstood Correctable Youth. Go forth and sin no more … well, at least give us a break for a week or so …. please.’

      • Concerned says:

        Yes lets build detention centres but lets not make them equal to 3 star accomodation, lets make them somewhere they are safe, are a fed 3 BASIC meals a day that meets the requirements, provide a basic education to those which require it, and make them responsible for their actions, and make it somewhere they will not want to go back to.

        • The Magpie says:

          And in most cases, forget this pants wetting nonsense about remaining in the vicinity of friends and family …. in probably 95% of cases, IT IS friends and family that allow and even cause the offending to happen. And that environment will not have changed when the little smartarses get out to jump on granny’s head all over again. Place them far away, in a possible inhospitable area, where they are looked after fairly but with discipline and education, their release being dependant on their progress in these areas. Make going inside something to be feared, and not the usual family and friends reunion that it is. Cue all the hanky wringers, off you go.

          • No more dredging says:

            ‘Pie, re. your suggestion to: “Place them far away, in a possible inhospitable area, where they are looked after fairly but with discipline and education, their release being dependant on their progress in these areas.” I thought that place was the possibly inhospitable Cleveland Youth Detention Centre. I can’t think of any other “far away” place where even the most primitive facilities are available to support inmates, let alone staff. Both governments had a go at some sort of hard work camp up the back of Ingham but it was abandoned a while back. Either no one knows how to run such places or they simply don’t work, or both. If the community really wants to lock up children with a bit of harsh discipline and hard yakka (sleeping on boards and fed cold gruel), they might have to import 457 visa workers from some dictatorship because apparently we don’t have anyone suitable here.

            But then there is the matter of “release”. If these children refuse to be disciplined, refuse to be educated and will not buckle under the punishment regime no matter what, where do you go? Because the evidence from the NT is that you end up at Don Dale and that is not a pretty outcome. That’s when paid public servants become more morally bankrupt than their juvenile charges.

          • Grumpy says:


            More of the Same?

          • No more dredging says:

            Grumpy, more of the same is building 35 new spots at Cleveland. I’m not objecting.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Police I know were dissapointed the intermediate option was removed when Labor closed the youth farm in the upper Herbert. It provided an option to remove the kids from some of the influences without sending them to an actual prison like Cleveland. The farm was something the kids responded positively to, and also could have been used as a reward for good behaviour in Cleveland.

          • The Magpie says:

            Didn’t stay across that at the time of closure. What was the reason from our busted arse government?

          • Dearie Me says:

            If this is the cattle station style farm you are referring to CBH then news of its closure was received by the neighborhood with much joy. The government did not engage the community in their decision and it was extremely unpopular. While the concept was great. The implementation was poor.

          • The Magpie says:

            Why are we not surprised.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Very little reason Pie, but as a program started by the Newman Govt and run by private enterprise and not Labors union mates it was never going to last too long under this lot and got the chop real quick.

          • No more dredging says:

            In August 2015 the Labor Attorney-General closed all the ‘boot camps’ in Queensland after a three year trial. According to the Queensland Times:

            “Ms D’Ath said the review found that the three-year cost of the trial had reached $16.7 million – and “more importantly … has shattered the myth on which the trial was based”.

            “It has found that the youth boot camps do not break the cycle of youth re-offending and recidivism rates of participants in the sentencing boot camps were no different to offenders in areas such as the youth detention centres,” she told an estimates hearing on Thursday.

            “It found the program was hastily set up and the program was not supported by appropriate research.

            “In short it was an expensive failure, cooked up by an Attorney-General (Jarrod Bleijie) who measured success by the amount of media interest he generated.”

          • Grumpy says:

            Dredges – come to the next Magpie piss-up – I mean lunch – and I shall bore you to sobs with my take on the issue of youth crime. Hint – I start with the breakdown of the family unit and the growth in made-up “rights”.

          • The Magpie says:

            Geez, that’s sooounds like so much fun … so much, lunch booze up is cancelled.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Thanks for that NMD, now all I have to decide is to who to believe, a perennial parasitic flea like Yvette Dath or my many friends serving in the QPS.

      • Dave of Kelso says:


        I say there should be stocks at all of the shopping centres. 3 weeks in the stocks together with 3 weeks of ‘advice and counselling’ from the passers-by should do it. As well we would get to recognise the little snots. As a Government money maker a small fee could be charged for a selfie with the snot in the stocks. That has a good ring to it, “The Snot in the Stocks.”

        Sofala has the right idea.

        • The Magpie says:

          And we ought to all carry pitchforks and have a witch burning at least once a week. Hey, there’s an idea for some Walker Street entertainment.

  27. The Magpie says:


    The ‘Pie doesn’t usually concern himself with day-to-day news matters, but allow him to be the first tio bring you a story that is in fact a disgraceful and lazy miss by the Astonisher, commercial TV and ABC TV and radio.

    Here is what The ‘Pie has been told, by a person closely involved in the near fatal disaster (you will find The ‘Pie is not exagerrating when you read on).

    Right this very minute -10.30am Thursday – a recovery craft ihas arrived at Frenchs Reef, 48kms off Townsville, to raise a 10-metre cruiser which sank on Saturday night, leaving the four people on board in shark infested waters, clinging to a floating Esky (how Aussie can you get.)

    Let’s start at the beginning.

    Last Saturday evening, four mates left Townsville in the 10-metre Riveria crusier JOE for a trip out to French’s Reef for a relaxing weekend jaunt.

    But shortly after safely anchoring at their destination, the JOE started taking on water and, although what was causing the calamity was (and is) unknown, it was clear that the boat was about to sink. The men quickly realised that their efforts to save the boat were in vain, but they didn’t panic, they activated their emergency beacon and released flares seeking help. The JOE quickly disappeared under 15 mteres of water and the four men, who had put on floatation the vests, ended up in the shark infested waters clingiung to a large Esky (how Aussie can you get).

    This was 11.30 at night, and the distress signal was immemdiately picked up by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) in Canberra, who diverted a nearby Challenger jet to the scene. The aircraft circled the men while they waited for other rescue teams to arrive.

    Then happened a mystery yet to be answered. A Charter fishing boat at a nearby reef (believed to be the Holly J) …

    … either saw the flares or was alerted by authorities, and travelled over towards the floating men. But for reasons not yet explained, they did not pick the men up. It is possible that the charter boat couldn’t locate them, or judged the area too dangerous. One report says the charter boat left the area after a time.
    A rescue helicopter was soon overhead and made a perfect drop of a liferaft to with 50m of the men, who were then understood to have been picked up by a rescue craft after two hours in the water. They were understood to be unharmed and uninjured, much to the relief of relatives and friends who greeted them back in Townsville.

    The ‘Pie has heard that the helicopter crew were mystified as to why the charter boat did not pick up the men.

    This is the night vision of the raft drop.

    (On the AMSA site if doesn’t open).

    Today it is planned that the Northern Conqueror would be at the reef to raise the 30’ foot Riveria, with maritime officials and insurance assessors on hand to try to determine what caused the sinking and the failure of the charter boat to pick them up. It is understood at no time did the JOE get holed by any exterior reef or object, but we will not know the full details until the Bulletin finally catches up with this story.

    In the meantime, we will just have to be satisfied with more of this sort of vital Facebook shock and awe from this Walkley winning publication that is so ALL FOR US.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      If they wrote a detailed story about this event like you did Pie then there probably wouldn’t be enough space for the real important stories like Kirwan is the most likely spot you will get a flat tyre in Townsville, priorities I guess.

  28. Woodduck says:

    Had to have room for the Townsville suburbs you’re most likely to get a flat tyre story, journalism at it’s best wouldn’t you say.

    • Kingswood says:

      I really dont get the flat tyre storey…like who sits in a room ad dreams this stuff up? “Hey, how about…”

      Given the location of Kirwan, most of those flat tyres would be via kiddie crims with concealed knived or tyre deflation devices attemoting to stop stolen cars…..

  29. Doug K says:

    Whilst reading a magazine in a doctor’s surgery this week I stumbled upon this very interesting story entitled “Runways of Gold – Is running an airport a licence to print money?”
    Sums up the situation with Queensland Airports and its “licence to print money” aka Townsville Airport.

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