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The Magpie

Saturday, March 10th, 2018   |   170 comments

Spun Sugar … The Townsville Council’s Fairy Floss Reply To A Damning Official Finding That It Hides Information.

The Townsville City Council agrees with the independent State Information Commissioner’s Compliance Audit Report finding that it operates in a ‘culture of secrecy’ and says it couldn’t ‘sugar-coat’ the findings … then proceeded to do exactly that.

But to see if they’re sincere in coming clean, The Magpie puts a simple, easily answered question about a surprise and so far unreported development in the battery factory saga.

And it seems the white shoe brigade still sees the Townsville market an easy pickin’s … until they come up against a no-nonsense NSW judge … a Palmer Street scammer gets pinged for more than a million bucks in damages. But did the council waive procedure for his family company on his way to his comeuppance?Also, the hopelessly compromised Astonisher seems to be de-canonising some its sacred cows.

But first …

This week it became even clearer that the first weapon – the most dangerous weapon – that should be banned in America is Donald Trump’s scattergun. As pointed out in the tell-all book Fire & Fury, Trump ricochets around like a pinball and at such speed that there is no time for any issue to become the subject of sober debate, because literally within hours – ping – there’s another thought fart on twitter about something else entirely.

This week was a minor example … further waffle and backtracking on arming teachers in high schools wasn’t playing well, so – ping – big tariffs on imported steel and aluminimum … then because of the universal howls of outrage, – ping – maybe not Canada and Mexico, and then maybe some others, but this also wasn’t playing well, so out of the blue …ping… he’s going to meet with the man he disparagingly calls Rocketman, that North Korean bad haircut who should kidnap Jenny Craig and not release her until he’s lost a couple of tonne.

But our Bentley is a man of strong concentration and won’t be bustled. He’s also a man who believes we should think globally but act locally, so he sees some value in The Trumpet’s call to arm teachers, applying it to one of our own Aussie school problems.

Naplan 2 small

The ‘Pie reckons Bentley is on to something here … why not fully-loaded AK-47 to the speaker of the House of Reps? Question time might suddenly become more civil if a tad dull.

But the US armed teacher argument provided proof during the week that humankind have a knack for laughing in the face of adversity, and we don’t always need words.

IMG_4294

Is Rupert Rooted (In The Ultimate Sense)?

It has never been the ‘Pie’s private or public practice to wish the ultimate censure – dispatch to the next world – on any other human (with the possible exception of the person who wrote Achy Breaky Heart), but the old bird couldn’t help wondering what happens if an ailing Rupert Murdoch finally trips over his wallet and bids us farewell. The old boy – he’s 87 –  is said to be in an extremely bad way and confined to bed after a fall on his son’s yacht in the Caribbean (some claim he fell in the Hall way). I’s a pretty serious back injury, aggravated by his age.

The ‘Pie mentions this because the eventual meltdown could see papers like the Townsville Bulletin go under the hammer. And such a meltdown wouldn’t take long in coming because, with the exception of his TV savvy daughter, Roop’s kids are all blithering nitwits.

Just sayin’, ya know.

A Quiz Question For You

What is the difference between this man – Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock ….

stephen leacock

… and this man. Matt Thompson, head of the TCC’s Business Services division.

Matt Thompson

Here’s the first clue: years ago Leacock wrote this about reporting matters of public interest. ‘Special Correspondence. I learn from a very high authority, whose name I am not at liberty to mention, (speaking to me at a place which I am not allowed to indicate and in a language which I am forbidden to use)—that Austria-Hungary is about to take a diplomatic step of the highest importance. What this step is, I am forbidden to say. But the consequences of it—which unfortunately I am pledged not to disclose—will be such as to effect results which I am not free to enumerate.’

And here’s the second clue: this week Matt Thompson said this:

(The damning criticism) of the Townsville City Council (by an independent audit which found the TCC had a ‘culture of secrecy’) was historical … and the council’s dealings concerning millions of ratepayers money for that Adani airstrip was ‘commercial in confidence’.

So what’s the difference. Just this – Leacock was joking, Thompson wasn’t.

A quick background. Last Monday, March 5, a independent report on the practices of the Townsville City Council was tabled in Parliament. And a damning document it was, too. This was the thrust (with graphic grabs courtesy of Linda Ashton on Facebook … just easier and quicker, dear).

audit 1 audit 2 audit 3

The loss of local knowledge through the hundreds of redundancies is also lamented in the report

So you’d think that should really have set the hare running, with high level meetings between the Mayor Mullet and the council CEO Adele The Impaler Young, working out what to say to the media. A grave but brave face, ‘fessing up to shortcomings and promising to do better in future.

Good luck with that. Alas no, when the media sought a response, the mayor was otherwise engaged – amongst other things, a photo shoot for International Women’s Day – and Adele Young wasn’t around either. So what did we get? We got Matt Thompson, the council’s head of the Business Services division, a bean counter who a) isn’t what the media would call ‘good talent’ – well, he is an accountant, and b) as in his position, has been given a hospital pass on something he probably has little if any control over (only two shot callers in th Walker Street Wankery) and even less knowledge of. The fright bats cleverly left him to sip at the posoned chalice.. Our Matty gave some carefully scripted non-answers (‘Oh, dearie me no, we can’t have a culture of secrecy can we?) which showed us a few things.

First of all, the cocksure contempt with which the Mayor and the CEO hold the community, not only by hiding in corners on this most telling of issues, but trotting out an executive who really has fuck all to do with the issue they have nurtured and promoted.

But this button-down buffoon wittered on about how these serious lapses were ‘historical’ – which seemed to mean it was before his time (he joined the council in July last year, and it was ergo not his fault and nothing to do with him). But when asked about the secrecy surrounding the Adani airstrip deal, he smoothly slimed ‘That matter is, of course, commercial in confidence.’

Really? So much for the transparency Mr Thompson espoused with such shining insincerity. Let’s have a quick look at this, the supposedly legal modesty screen for Mayor Mullet’s biggest secret.

Commercial in confidence. A classification that identifies information that, if disclosed, may result in damage to a party’s commercial interests, intellectual property or trade secrets. You must not disclose any information marked ‘Commercial in Confidence‘ without permission from the party who supplied it.

If we’re giving money to Wagners to build an airstrip, surely that cannot apply. What commercial interests may be damaged, what trade secrets? And (stop laughing even if we are talking about the council) intellectual property? Come on now.

So Mr Thompson confirmed that it will be secrecy as usual in the Walker Street Wankery. Instead it would be nice if Mr Thompson, instead of having his chain jerked by the two fright bats, could at least explain why the truly absurd KPMG report that was a precursor to the Adani airstrip money is also Commercial in Confidence. When you project fantastical findings 30 spurious years into the future, what’s commercial in confidence got to do with anything. Commercial in Connivance, more like. It was our money, but we’re not allowed to even know why we have been so unwillingly generous.

But Here’s A Chance For A Bit Of Transparency, Madam Mullet.

We keep getting occasional filler reports of no substance like this, with no probing background questions even attempted – and boy, are there a few of those (which we’ve asked in this blog before … to no avail.)

batery plant

Then a real WTF hits us between the eyes.  Hey, Mayor Mullet, put on your transparency knickers … no, no, wait, make that … your transparency goggles, and tell us what this all about in the respected Queensland Industry newsletter. Note the second paragraph.

Screen shot 2018-03-10 at 9.13.17 AM Screen shot 2018-03-10 at 9.14.28 AMSo, nothing to do with the proposed lithium battery plant. So what’s going on that you can’t prance and dance at this good news? Care to share madam … just in the name of transparency. Or is this matter also Commercial in Confidence (although this newsletter didn’t seem to think a mention was breaking some pact.)

As a commenter recently said, ’I thought a Jenny was for spinning wool, but apparently its also good an spinning a yarn.’

Honestly,  everything this woman touches turns to shit. Now we are left to wonder how much we may have funded to Mr Durie’s legal obligations. From the weekend SMH.

durie to pay

A Dodgy Family Company Gets Its Come-uppance In Court – But Did It Get A Hand In Its Dealings From The Council?

 solarus

One Peter Bega and his family have been up to some not very clever shady shenanigans in connection with the Solarus/Allure development over on Palmer street next to the Metropole Hotel.

Fortunately, none of the unit owners has been affected by the financial dirty water back-wash involving the Begas, who have just received one of the most comprehensive and un-judge-like bollockings from a NSW judge over the financial finanglings. Scroll down to the witness assessments and you’ll see what The thank Christ the judge decided on the bench instead of banking … check out those interest rates at the top. Whew!!! But there’s more than a raised eyebrow about a lack of diligence on behalf of the Townsville council (and we know there is no point in asking them about it).

Here’s what The ‘Pie has been able to learn.

Peter Bega had a controlling interest in buying the Allure construction site (the one behind Solarus) for a bargain price – from his original company, which he put in liquidation

Council apparently granted the new Allure development company a rebate of around $190,000 of fees paid on the original Solarus/Allure development which went into receivership. Some locals believe this money should have been paid to the liquidators and not to a company in which the Bega family was involved

Bega’s son, Matthew, has been involved in two other companies associated with the Allure development, both of which were put in liquidation but he is now involved in Allure Events, which operates from a function centre. These premises were originally meetings rooms in the Allure building and controlled by the Allure body corporate, but council gave approval for it to become a function centre WITHOUT the need to lodge a material change of use application.

The question of how a common area was transferred into the ownership of a private company connected to the Bega family remains a question that perhaps Transparent Jenny can answer for us.

The stench is wafting all the way down the creek, and it ain’t rotten fish.

The Bulletin Goes Even More Schizoid

There seems to be some sort of internal tussle going on with the bulletin’s policy wonks. There are signs that Jenna Cairney is slowing coming to see (perhaps via The Magpie blush, blush, humblebrag) that the paper has been backing the wrong horses under her predecessors, which blatantly turned the paper from an observer and impartial reporter to a player in the game. Today, (Saturday) was Tony Raggatt Day, and one gets the feeling that the somewhat moral Mr R is fed up with being muzzled. In all, a frustrating edition for the paper’s most senior and respected reporter.

Screen shot 2018-03-10 at 11.37.24 PM

First he got this front page, which was a rewrite of the latest (and oh so heavily qualified) flapdoodle research from the paper’s pet economic poodle, the affable Colin Dwyer. The real worth of the story, with a myriad of if, buts and maybes which Raggers clearly pointed to, is that the inside story on page 7 takes just a quarter of page.

But then Raggers seems to hit the ‘mad as hell and not taking it anymore’ button on pages 10 and 11, with a double page spread laying into the council and the government about inexplicable delays in promised project. Some of which Raggers points out, were not favoured by the public in the first place.

DP spread

But wait, said the steak knife man, there’s more … our boy really hits his straps on the Op Ed page, in a column that points out the childish absurdity of Kevin Gill’s pathetic furniture shifting antics as a churlish response against Qantas’s refusal to help fund an airport upgrade through a passenger tax.

Better late than never to the party on that one Raggers, you owe The Magpie a spotter’s fee.

Oh, and Ms Cairney, if you want to file today’s front page with it’s like, just pop it into the file with this one.

Fairytale front page

How’s that one going for you, dearie?

But The ‘Pie Wants To Leave You Laughin’

In case you missed it in comments during the week … nothing surprises me about this paper, but have has the schoolgirl done – refused to subscribe?

bully schoolgirls

And looking forward to BarnBundle of  … umm … joy. There paternity possibilities are many. First, proof that the kid is Barnaby’s.

baby barnaby

Then bub and Barnaby both get a surprise …

baby boo

And then the unthinkable …

mySupeShorten baby jpg

But Barnaby leaves the public consciousness, up steps Michaela Cash and her incredible performance before that senate committee.

michaela Cash

And that prompted this side splitting spoof imagining the PM’s reaction … stay with it right to the end.

https://www.facebook.com/BigMalTurnbull/videos/340462366450401/

And with Easter just around the corner, make sure you get the message right.

Easter stutterer

……………..

That’s it for another week, keep the comments rolling in on any topic on which you wish to be transparent. And always remember, a donation to help the blog along is always greatly appreciated … and much needed. Ho to donate button 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.

170 Comments

  1. Peter Newey (TRRA) says:

    Word has it on the day the Information Commissioner release the report on the fact that the Council is particularly bad at talking to and releasing information to Its resident and ratepayers the Mayor and underage were south in talks.

    We will leave that vision up to you as to what they were talking about.

    We can say is that on the return trip they were all spotted with expressions that would melt the paint coat on the outside of Aeroplane if given half a chance.

  2. Kenny Kennett says:

    Trump’s arming of teachers puts new meaning to teachers in Catholic schools:
    “Is that a gun in you pocket Sir, or are you just happy to see me….like you were yesterday during confession?”

  3. SPQR says:

    I suspect that Commercial in Confidence was claimed on the basis that a trade secret was at risk of disclosure.i.e. that the Mayor & her minions are absolute fuckwits. However that was already in the public domain, due to your efforts, oh mighty bird of truth.

    • The Magpie says:

      Everything this woman touches turns to shit. Now we are left to wonder how much we may have funded to Mr Durie’s legal obligations. From the weekend SMH.

      • Concerned says:

        It would be interesting to see how many TCC rates dollara have been paid against the TCC Purchase Order that was sent to Mr Durie.

        • The Magpie says:

          Sure, easy, just ring ‘em up, they’ll give you a print out of the break down immediately. But don’t ask the name of to whom you speak … it’s Commercial In Connivance.

  4. Bentley says:

    Kenny,
    now there’s a punchline I didn’t think of……

  5. The Magpie says:

    Nothing like matching a news story to an advertiser. Didn’t take the Bulletin back room boys long to come up with this sensitive effort.

  6. The Magpie says:

    Nothing like teasing a reader to read the whole story. One really does wonder how this sentence ends in the on-line Courier.

  7. Genre B. Goode says:

    Was anybody else at Perc Tucker on Friday night? I cringed at Jenny Hill unable to pronounce the word ‘manga’ (in reference to an exhibition in the upstairs space), and the name of our state gallery, QAGOMA, right there in front of Tim Fairfax and the director of QAGOMA. At her inability to say it, she proceeded to say that, and I quote, ‘it sounds like a disease’. It was rather embarrassing.

    Just sound it out, Jenny, or simply call it ‘the Queensland state gallery’ if that works better. QUAG-OMA. It’s simple. Same with Manga. Man-gah.

    Fortunately the QAGOMA Director seems to be a total pro, and delivered a very eloquent little masterclass in public speaking without missing a beat. In this five minutes he demonstrated a deeper knowledge of the Townsville art scene than Jenny has during her entire mayorship, even if we stitched all of her misbegotten utterings together in sequence.

    Good god.

    • Frida’s Monobrow says:

      Curious how manga was actually pronounced as I missed Jenny’s speech. It tends to be a commonly mispronounced word similar to karaoke and the like.

      I did arrive in time to hear Chris’ speech though. I enjoy his ever-so-polite roasting of the mayor and council for their lack of vision, and failure to support/build a purpose built arts centre. He’d done his research unlike her.

      • Critical says:

        A purpose built arts centre needs to be built but not in a storm surge area like Central Park. I assume that such a centre will have climate controlled storage for the city’s art collection etc. So what’s going to happen when a cyclone is heading towards Townsville. TCC seems to be hell bent on building this facility in the CBD area to reactivate the dead CBD but forgets the practical aspects snd location of such a centre. Look at your storm surge maps TCC.

      • Ezra Pound Axe King says:

        I find the laughter is the only thing stopping me from crying…

    • seagull says:

      when it comes to art ….. what Mayor Mullet lacks in knowledge she makes up for with vision….. I recall in the not to distant past that our Jenny said she would like to see TSV become the yarn bombing capital of Aust …….. now THAT is vision !

  8. Lady Byron says:

    I have an old issue of the Australian Women’s Forum from 1995 that has a very nice and tasteful nude centrefold of Mr. Durie. And what a handsome devil he was back in the day. (Sigh).
    But he will be a little bit poorer after this judgement you mention here today Pie – so it may be time to get out the leopard print G-String once again Jamie?

  9. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Perhaps the most basic failure of information from this council is in regards to water being a perfect example, and particular water allocations. With the dam at 86% there is no compelling argument for allocations not to be returned to householders for the current financial year, that have been paid for in full. Every ratepayers understands that it is the councils right to withdraw allocations, when there is not enough water to supply the allocation, the same thing happens in agriculture and mining all the time.
    The council has no legitimate reason at all to not return allocations to those who have purchased them but I would envisage the Mullet and the gutless 10, plus the CEO and director of water, pissweek Scott Morehead have looked about two years ahead and noted a failed wet season next year will leave Townsville in water restrictions during the summer of 2019/20, in the months leading up to a council election. Well they can get screwed, I spent my Saturday cleaning out the irrigation system for my few yards of grass and it’s working a treat.

    • The Magpie says:

      That’s a valid point which raises yet abother question; who is advising the Mullet on PR? Surely it was obvious even to this dimwit mayor that with the rain pelting down, find out at what levl it would be prudent to drop water restrictions, thn the moment it arrives, special media conference, lights cameras, action Jenny in spangles doin’ ‘singin’ in the rain’, and banishing those hated restrictions. It would’ve been a sugar hit all round, and the Mullet would be looking good as a caring leader.

      But no, we now await with tapping to feet for the announcement which will have lost any electoral oomph when and if it does come.

      The ‘Pie will bet it ain’t Dolan Hayes in the mayor’s shell-pink, he would’ve been all over this like a cheap suit.

      • Scientician79 says:

        Apparently the Mayor was saying on radio one day saying that the level to drop the restrictions was 50% and they would be removed shortly.

        But by the next day she had changed her tune, and was saying they would need to have some meetings and review things.

        Wait and see I guess, because I was of the understanding that if we don’t remove the restrictions and use the water it will just evaporate away.

        • I'll be plucked says:

          Yep, use it or lose it! Any science types out there that can comment on average evaporation rates/loses from large volumes of water? Our pool loses heaps but I’m not sure how to quantify that………

        • Mike Shearer says:

          Mark Harvey in Oct10, 2017 Nest wrote that Ross Dam loses water at about 80 ML/day due to evaporation and leakage. The current restrictions are intended to rein in demand to 100 ML/day. At present the dam holds 205,000 ML. So with evaporation and use there’s about 3 years supply.
          If you look at the graphs of dam levels since 2009 and the rate at which water is used in non-restricted years then by the end of this year we’d be back to having restrictions. Question: do we have 3 years supply if restrictions remain or one year only if all restrictions are lifted?
          Mark’s made an invaluable contribution on this subject in the blog comments Oct 10 2017 – it’s factual detail written by the then Manager of Water is relevant to current discussions)

      • Dave Nth says:

        One thing about Hill as a Councillor I remember is her stance against the allocation system. Not being Politically expedient IMO she likely hiding her real feelings. Watch for something pushed through by stealth to go part way to this.

      • Linda Ashton says:

        Ross Dam was under 15% and after rain, is stirred up with sediment from the base and inflow from the shallow catchment.
        If a dam goes from 15-87% with just a week of decent rain, it reminds us that it is no longer an adequate stand-alone storage for the growing city.

        We can only drink what meets health department regulations for potable water. Some treatment plants can process turbid water. Ours can’t. Even deep rock-based overflowing Paluma Dam is cloudy. The a Burdekin is a magnificent mud flow. Douglas treatment plant can’t operate at full capacity with the turbid intake. So until the mud settles, cannot produce more per day than pumping through the old pipeline at level 3.

        Talking up ‘modelling’ ad the reason for delay in lifting restrictions, when we know Ross Dam when full supply lasts up to 3 years with no further rain, is RTI-iffy. Elaborating on the limitation of the main treatment plant might highlight the need to fast-track the proposed new Toonpan plant which will be able to process turbid water directly. It will also provide much needed backup ASAP. If Douglas plant suffered a catastrophic pneumonic mud-induced moment, TSV needs to start shipping bulk bottled water in quick smart. The turbidity should settle in a few days and old Doug can return to max capacity yielding 235 ML potable water per day. Restrictions will lift – perhaps level 1 for a period of grace. Level 2 is water-wise and adequate. Mind you, at 87% the dam loses around 400 ML per day to evaporation.

    • Costanza says:

      Council’s own water policy available on the public website states that Level 1 Water Restrictions commence when the dam is at 40% (https://www.townsville.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0021/3297/1-Water-Restriction-Policy.docx.pdf).
      To try and enforce a quasi-level-2 type restriction shows how out of touch the council is. And the PR advisors…when the restrictions weren’t immediately lifted, it was pretty easy to see the council was waiting for a few sunny days, and an Astonisher front page was looming with the cliche phrase of “listened to the community”.
      To every Townsville resident, use your water as and when you need to. The restrictions don’t apply once the dam is above 40%. Last reading at 5am today: Ross Dam 88%.

      • Linda Ashton says:

        But no one is talking about the Douglas Treatment Plant’s limitation to treat turbidity. Even if level 1 had been announced, the infrastructure we have cannot process that volume while it has such high sediment.

  10. Bentley says:

    Everyone I speak to on the subject has the intention of washing cars, testing their watering systems, repairing them as required, and hosing off mold, dust, and bird/bat poo. And why not? Common sense will prevail despite the TCC. After all the duplicate pipeline will be finished before we run out of water in a couple of years without follow-up wet seasons. Or will it????

  11. The Third Reader says:

    Brilliant effort this week ‘Pie and one of your best. Scrolling down though found this relating to donations to the Nest… wishful thinking maybe?? “appreciated … and much needed. Ho to donate button below.”

  12. Hee-Haw says:

    I seem to recall Azure Events hosting a TEL function probably 12 months ago.
    Too many things interwoven in this fair city.

  13. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Obviously someone in Brisbane thought this was a brilliant idea….just proves how out of touch they are with the average punter in regional Queensland if they think using $20M of taxpayer’s money on a vanity project in SEQ like this will bw well received.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1677910452265815&substory_index=0&id=728796440510559

  14. seagull says:

    its like a dog with a bone…. the bullsheet just cant let go

    Survey: Qantas passengers ‘willing to pay’ for Townsville airport upgrade

    RACHEL RILEY, Townsville Bulletin
    March 11, 2018 9:45pm

    & the first readers comment…before they take it down

    GLEN 6 hours ago
    Qantas would only care what their high status flyers thought and as a long term high status FF I have let QF know I do not support the $3 levy and fully support QF in their refusal to collect the levy and emailed them directly, Qld Airport Ltd should fully fund the investment in its own assets out of its own funds like every other airport in Australia does and not slug the flying public of Townsville.

    FFS

    • TheOtherGuy says:

      Does anyone have the full article? I would be keen to understand how and when the survey was done (and for whom) as I struggle to accept that passengers would ‘happily’ pay for TAL’s very own capital upgrade that only TAL financially benefits from. I fly Qantas to Tvl and I would be unhappy. Were the surveyees handpick by Gill?

      • The Magpie says:

        The Bleedin’ Obvious, Dept Of:


        First, the article in appeared in the Astonisher (and was reported nowhere else that The ‘Pie knows of). Do you believe it? Second, there is no mention of who commissioned the survey. But it is clear it would be the airport and Gill fighting his rearguard action. And we all know whomsoever commissions the survey, gets the results they want (mainly through the framing of the question).

        The paper’s credibility continues to remain in the toilet.

  15. Mud skipper says:

    Yes HH, our Mullet has been “friendly” with the Bega family for years.
    When the truth is revealed about the deals done on the Solarus and Allure projects the local suppliers and tradies who went to the wall when Peter Bega liquidated his Glen Alpine company will be ropeable.
    Its a ticking time bomb due to explode just before the next council election.
    The Mullet is not the only one planning in advance for that poll.

  16. Bemused says:

    Colleen’s quote about the current PTRG show;

    “The good thing with Perc Tucker and the work our staff do is about creating an entree for people all the time,” she said.

    “In this particular work you’re actually getting exposure to international works from across the world. As the title says, it’s a world view and it really is.”

    WTF is she even trying to say with that repetitive gibberish? The works are from overseas I guess. Insightful.

    And the relevance of a PTRG assistant being in the Bulletin photo when not quoted? Colleen couldn’t come across the road?

  17. Miss Lou says:

    Good morning,

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Miss Lou

  18. Sandgroper says:

    A timely question for your readers, ‘Pie: When do we get to celebrate International Men’s Day?
    I’ll volunteer to iron the sign.

  19. Cantankerous but happy says:

    A story today in the astonisher really typifies the attitude of many in Townsville, a two page spread on the Castle Club, whatever the fuck that is but it looks like something the astonisher has dreamed up to fill their paper with nice pics and bullshit.
    230 people gather to drink and eat and raise money for charity, great stuff, what a good idea, but 230 people raised $2500, WTF? Obviously a misprint, would have to be $25,000 at least, but no, coupled with the dollar for dollar match of the astonisher a total of $5000 was raised for charity, what a waste of time. It’s hard to be critical of people doing anything for charity and my wife always says my attitude stinks and not everything is about the nett $$$$$ but seriously people, just give the amount you spent on booze and dinner ( at $12.50 a schooner at the Ville it will be substantial) plus a tax deductible donation and the charity will actually get twice as much money, but I guess you don’t get your picture in the paper.

    • The Magpie says:

      Perhaps the olfactory senses of your missus (a fine woman no doubt) are confusing the stench of cronyism mixed with the odour of the dying corpse of the Astonisher with your attitude. And if she feels everything isn’t about dollars, she must surely hold the paper in very low esteem.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Indeed Pie, in fact the poor thing has a terrible case of trying to see the best in everyone on most occasions, except for me of course, but she does have a bit of inside information and knowledge in regards to that.

        • The Magpie says:

          Given her overall attitude then, The ‘Pie will thank you to NOT pass on her thoughts-if any-about The Magpie.

  20. Honkers says:

    Why would Gautam Adani risk his own money when he’s got such Gormless allies as Mayor Mullet?

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/adani-owner-rich-enough-to-fund-carmichael-mine-himself-analyst-says-20180312-p4z3yf.html

  21. upagumtreeperson says:

    I want to comment that I enjoy your comments. So, the water restrictions have been lowered to level two as announced in tonight’s Seven news. What are they?

    Incidentally, I notice on the Townsville Bulletin website that the editor is Ben English! I thought it was that deliciously lovely lass from Ireland!

    • The Magpie says:

      And The ‘Pie enjoys that you enjoy the comments (this could go on for a while). And no, she’s from Scotland, but it may as well have been Bogan English, the weird mindset remains the same.

  22. The Magpie says:

    We know that the Townsville Bulletin censors its own journalists and has done for a while, but according to one be of the Magpie’s several spies in the paper, one senior reporter … the respected Tony Raggatt … is spitting chips over the editing of his Saturday front page about jobs galore for Townsville. The ‘Pie understands Raggers had some tart observations regarding the pissweak and oh-so-highly qualified findings in a media release from Colin Dwyer … but they were edited out at a higher level so we got an anodyne piece of populist and lying pap. Which would make the reporter look lazy, easily fooled and pliable. Which Raggers is not.

    But Raggers did have a good weekend, tweaking Gill’s nose over his childish furniture shuffle to block the Qantas lounge, but even better was this no-nonsense spread on Saturday about ‘stalled projects’ holding the city back.

    But looks like the censors have had a hand in softening the blow for Mayor Mullet, who must’ve hit the roof and read the riot act to the iditor Jenna Cairney on Saturday, when we are served up this headline and first par for the on-line version today.

    Joke doesn’t even start to describe it.

  23. Hee-Haw says:

    Ohh for fucks sake this is really getting beyond a joke. The chairman should be ashamed of this conflict of his interests.
    On the flip side this blows away the bullshit push to increase all the fares by $3 to upgrade which will impact the local economy by $25 million per annum

    https://us7.campaign-archive.com/?e=%5BUNIQID%5D&u=0210d17208ad706e6743d4362&id=25e119e376

    • The Magpie says:

      Christ, whoever put this out can expect a visit from the TEL chairman … he’s trying to put prices UP.

      • Hee-Haw says:

        2 surveys!
        2days apart!
        2 hard to believe
        I do hope one didn’t use the survey data collection to ask questions on behalf of another?

  24. The Magpie says:

    Just received this from a very pissed of (and very courageous) council employee.

    “I have never made contact with a site like this but something done by Council today has so disgusted me that I have to. The consultants hired to deliver the Haughton Pipeline Duplication are all a top team and the tender process that brought them together was exhaustive and transparent to make sure the best possible people were hired. At the time there was noise from the CEOs office that her friend Lewis Ramsay did not get the senior community relations position. The job rightly went to Dave Donahue from QCCN who has done a lot of work for Council in the past and has always worked hard and well. I have supervised him so I should know.

    Just a month in to the project and Donahue has been summarily sacked and Adele is proposing her mate get the job. This is unbelievably dirty and a good man has been thrown under a bus and his reputation trashed in a piece of absolute bastardry. I don’t expect you to believe me but this would be easy to check if you ring and ask to speak to Dave. I would give you more but I have to worry about my job. The culture is so bad here that anyone who speaks up is gone.

    • Inside TCC says:

      A sad but very accurate explanation of TCC currently. The CEO and her hand picked few are removing anyone who dares to question, challenge or even seek a better option for the ratepayers. I’ve been watching this site for awhile and it seems the Mayor gets a lot of blame, while she may have let the fox into the henhouse the fox (and her crew) are removing anyone who is remotely aligned to the Mayor or councillors. Theres a bloodbath coming and Mayor Hill will be the victim of the bleached blonde CEO wannabe

      • The Magpie says:

        Ahem (humblebrag alert) … A massive bitch slap and power play was predicted by The ‘Pie almost on the day The Impaler took up her position. You know, when gals get together, they so often fall out sooner or later. Adele Young is used to playing water girl to Labor’s First X1, and the party power brokers do not rate The Mullet even in the thirds. The infrastructure remodelling is all aimed at entrenching administrative power, and it would seem the only way to right whatever wrongs that may entail is to remove the CEO … a move a new council would almost certainly at least consider. But The ‘Pie must say, the lack of subtly in stacking the deck is as astounding as it is an insult to the whole community.

        • Honkers says:

          Had a call last week from council folk telling me the place is going from bad to worse, and where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The latest to leave is a senior lawyer (not Graham Finlayson), and the planning department simply doesn’t have the quality or quantity of folk to deal with serious projects at the moment. As for the debacle around water – Jamie Drurie and the abject inaction on the “smart city” front – and you’ve basically got an organisation whose culture is so rooted, it’s not funny. The fact that the youngish smart cities bloke bailed out after less than a year speaks volumes …

      • Cynical Cricket says:

        The mayor is to blame. She played labor politics by bringing in the adeled one. Now labor have woken up to the mullet, and won’t be progressing her application for higher office.

    • Sandgroper says:

      If true, this is probably the biggest mistake ever made by the Walker Street coven. David Donohue (note the correct spelling of the name) is probably the one person currently living in Townsville with the experience and ability to plug a few holes in their leaky cauldron.

    • Mike Shearer says:

      Re the claimed sacking of Mr Donohue as a consultant on the Haughton Pipeline Duplication project: I have made enquiries and have received information that satisfies me that the report in the ‘Nest was mistaken, and that neither the CEO, the Mayor nor the Council were involved.

  25. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Pie I think it’s important for people to understand how this $3 airport charge works and the blatant lies being told by Gill, the Astonisher and others to make people think $3 will be tacked onto every ticket, it doesn’t work like that. The facts are it is not a $3 charge levied on the passenger, it is a $3 increase in airport charges per passenger that has to be paid by the airline, it is a direct increase in costs. The naive public and even those in small business in this town that I talk to don’t understand how these changes are viewed by large companies and the effects it has on ticket pricing.
    Qantas currently returns an average 10% on every airline ticket it sells across its network, and that is the benchmark it would use on how cost changes effect that return. A $200 airfare TSV- BNE would nett Qantas $20 profit, add $3 to the $20 would be $23. In order for Qantas to maintain its average 10% return on every ticket sold means they would lift the price of that ticket to $230, you don’t separate input costs because some tosser wants to call it a levy. The fact that so many in this town don’t understand this goes a long way to explaining why our economy is in the shit and why many businesses are struggling to keep their doors open.

    • The Magpie says:

      Interesting analysis, although The ‘Pie thinks the maths assumptions might be questioned (why add the $3 to the ‘profit’ and not the overall ticket price? … but don’t expect to see that in the Astonisher anytime soon. Wonder if it’s worth putting that hypothesis to Qantas (who can charge whatever they choose).

    • Mike Shearer says:

      Is that not a bit simplistic? When I buy a (Virgin) ticket there’s a breakdown of the cost, including various taxes and fees that are collected by the airline to be passed on. For a $305 ticket the fare is $218 (which presumably includes $19.80 GST), and there’s another $87 for “safety and security”, three “head taxes” and credit card surcharge. So the 10% profit would be based on the $198 that the airline gets to keep for itself, and the $3 Gill surcharge would increase the $87 to $90 that are handed on to others. That is a $3 increase, not $30. (Don’t misconstrue this as me supporting the $3 levy!)

    • Scientician79 says:

      Not that I’m one to defend Gill and the rest of the brains trust.

      But that maths doesn’t add up.

      Using your figures of $200 and 10%

      Cost – $180
      Revenue – $200
      Profit – $20
      Return – 10%

      So if the $3 is added to the costs a 10% return would be

      Cost – $183
      Revenue – $203.33
      Profit – $20.33
      Return – 10%

      So increase to the user of $3.33

      Of course add in some additional administration costs and we could easily see a number greater than $3.

      Personally I’d rather Qantas cancelled all flights in and out of Townsville for a month to prove a point, maybe Gill would move the chairs out of the way then.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        To both the scientist and Mike Shearer you have both fallen for the crap,
        Mike, this is not a levy, this is a net increase in costs by over 20% of passenger charges by TAPL, a levy is imposed by govt, this is a direct increase in costs by Townsville airport to the airlines, you cannot allow incremental dissolve on returns.
        Scientist your post is the calculations of a small, bottom up, cost plus business, doesn’t relate to major corporations, who start from the top, this is how the numbers are presented to market, revenue and profit on that revenue. Your numbers relate to Virgin for example, because they don’t really make any money or a token return at best.
        As someone who works within a top 100 company we have to go through this process every time we want to add costs to a product for any number of reasons, performance, market expectations, competition etc, ,the increased price we take to market must represent sowmeher close to our average return on revenue, it’s why changes are so difficult to get approved in a competitive space, it’s why you see large increases in the price of mobile phones when they don’t really add much in the way of features, it’s because the cost of that phone still has to reflect a minimum return on revenue, otherwise the costs would slowly dissolve that revenue at every incremental change, it’s how big business operates these days, finance has to approve everything.

        • Scientician79 says:

          Take your point on returns Cantankerous.

          I just hope Qantas keep holding firm and not bowing to this manufactured public pressure created by the Astonisher and Gilded Few.

  26. On The Nose says:

    When I was around the joint, Council water tankers used for road cleaning and construction work would constantly fill the tankers from the city water mains situated within the Garbutt Depot.

    It was not uncommon to have a water tanker with a Large sign on the side saying BORE WATER come into the depot and fill up from the mains.

    I raised these issues with senior management and all that changed was that they asked the tanker drivers to fill up at different hydrants so as we couldn’t see them.

    This use of town water was still occurring when I departed council late last year and had been occurring during the periods of time council was under water restrictions.

    All of this got up my nose as they had council crews going out to local residence booking them for washing a car or watering the garden.

    All when council has been the biggest abuser of them all.

  27. Memory Man says:

    While Mackay ratepayers have been reaping the benefits of auto-water meter readers and behavioural change …

    https://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/saving-water-mackay-shows-how-its-done/3358694/

    … Townsville was left behind by the Mullet and her Gormless Gang. Word is the Mullet and the Gang just can’t bring themselves to adopt a proven and fit for purpose Australian technology (www.taggle.com.au), because Mackay beat them to the punch years ago. Instead, they’re going to experiment with an unproven technical response at great risk to ratepayers. Council insiders have been told in no uncertain terms by the Impaler to forget about the benefits of Taggle, even though Council’s own trials of the tech proved it cost-effective and sensible. Council’s water guys might know what the best answer is for ratepayers but are clearly inept when it comes to internal suck-hole politics.

    • XWaterworker says:

      If Townsville residents limited themselves to 175 kilolitres of water per year per household, as do the good burghers of Mackay, then our usage from the Ross River dam would be less than 40 Ml per day, without water restrictions, and meeting WFTAG’s definition of full water security. We would not need a new half billion dollar pipeline, with an accompanying $200 or more pa rates increase.

      How do they do it? So do Cairns. And Rockhampton. And Brisbane. And the Gold Coast. And ……..

      Easy to check and find out. Then we can do the same.

      • Rusty Nail says:

        Well come on then XWaterworker, how DO they do it? I’m all ears as I’m sure so are many others. Hard facts only, please.

        • XWaterworker says:

          Not hard, Corroded One. There may be many useful things they are doing in Mackay and elsewhere to conserve water, but you were after hard facts.

          The residential water tariff in Townsville is $755 per year for 772,000 litres or part thereof. Water in excess is charged at $2.89 per kl. This is an allocation tariff. Most people (unless they use a prodigious amount), pay no extra if they use more water.

          In Mackay the price is $357.10 water access charge, plus $1.75 per kilolitre for 0-150kls in a half year, and $2.62 per kilolitre for every kl in excess of 150kls. This is called a consumption tariff, where users pay extra for every litre they use from the first litre onward. More water, more expensive.

          A quick check shows that Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Rockhampton, Cairns, Sydney and Perth use a consumption tariff- different numbers but the same user pays structure.

          In Townsville, it is costs you nothing to let a leaking tap run because a plumber charges big bucks to fix it. Why invest in drip irrigation or a climate appropriate garden when a sprinkler is much cheaper and the water costs the same.

          • Rusty Nail says:

            Thanks for this XWw, but the different means by which water is charged are very well know to anyone who is interested. In fact I plotted both scenarios several years ago when the Water Saver Rate was introduced ($337 + $1.35 per kl) and noted that the lines intersect at about 300 kl, which is pretty much exactly what I use. I decided at the time to stay with the allocation tariff as it’s consistent for family budget purposes.
            I have family in Brisbane and can tell you that they have quite large rain water tanks, the water from which they use for watering the yard, washing the car, filling the washing machine, etc, because the price of water in Brisbane is horrendous. I have also lived in Mackay and Perth and can tell you that both places have abundant supplies of bore water which act like the tanks in Brisbane. (So do many areas of Townsville BTW).
            So, using facts, would you please outline the “many useful things they are doing in Mackay and elsewhere to conserve water”. Thanks in anticipation.

      • Sandgroper says:

        And Perth. It always used to puzzle me why the allocation for my Townsville property was almost four times greater than for a similarly-sized house and garden in WA.
        It certainly made me more careless with water in Queensland.

      • seagull says:

        no jokes……..its called “Brownsville” for a reason…… its rare when TSV has monthly rainfall events to make up the annual total…. you have to keep the greenery alive by watering in between & that’s where about 1/2 of our h2o goes ……… 2 of us in this house + dripper system & no lawn…… yr 2000 = 196 kl & a wet wet year …. 2017 = 313 kl just the basics only….. it is not reasonable to compare “Mt Isa by the sea” to those other centres due to its rainfall pattern

        • XWaterworker says:

          I take your point, Seagull, but there is an argument that in a dry area it is even more important to conserve water than otherwise.

          There is an equity issue involved as well. I see you use less than the average in Townsville- how do you feel about subsidising those properties on acreage with their rolling fairways. There are 22,000 non- detached dwellings in Townsville- apartments, flats, townhouses etc with no garden, who pay their $755 for a full allocation they can’t use. Many of these residents are lower socioeconomic and couldn’t afford gardens for themselves.

          I can’t see a problem with a consumption tariff in that respect. If you love green lawns and gardening, or you are a business which needs a verdant frontage- fine- pay for the water and you can have one. If you aren’t interested in gardening, or don’t have one, or have a bore- then you don’t pay. And if a leaking tap is costing you $5 a day, you might get the tap fixed and save the water for someone else who needs or wants it.

          And if we can reduce the water usage to less than 130Mls per day, we can avoid the $500 Million second pipeline, and its concommitant $200 (or more)per year rates increase.

        • Sandgroper says:

          And take note, Seagull, Perth is set on a sandy coastal plain which soaks water like a sponge. It also receives virtually no rain whatsoever in summer, which has temperatures regularly in the high 30s.

          Despite this, Perth is green all year-round because we plant appropriate gardens, use drip irrigation, fix the taps and cover swimming pools when they’re not in use.

          • The Magpie says:

            Mongrel the Barrister reckons Perth’s maternity hospitals also provide a regular supply of drips, who go on either to play whinge politics or to play for the Fremantle Dockers.

    • Guy says:

      mackay gets more rain than townsville

      mackay is surrounded by lush cane fields because its in a zone known to receive decent rainfall

      more rain means less people watering gardens

  28. Cynical Cricket says:

    Anna Puzzledchook is going to ban developer donations. Here’s why it won’t make any difference.

    ABC news today:
    With several Queensland councils in crisis, what is going so wrong?
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-13/south-east-queensland-councils-in-crisis/9513242
    Tony Fitzgerald, the man who famously conducted one of the biggest anti-corruption movements in Queensland’s history, said new legislation was never enough.
    “changing culture was more important, because new laws “are often easily exploited and need to be supported by an ethical culture”.
    “Laws which proscribe particular conduct by specified persons are frequently inadequate,”
    “They effectively imply that other improper activities are permissible — and even that proscribed conduct when engaged in by other persons — is acceptable.
    “Hence travel entitlement rorts, for example, are often justified as within entitlements.”

    Former Brisbane lord mayor Sallyanne Atkinson said it was impossible to “legislate for honesty”.
    “Somebody who’s corrupt is always going to find a way around it,”
    “the best way to change culture was from the top down.”
    “You have to build up a culture of honesty for people in local government,” she said.
    “I think it has to be made known right throughout any organisation … that dishonesty will not be tolerated — bribery, corruption, call it what you will — that will not be tolerated.
    “If people don’t know what’s right or wrong, they’re always going to find ways around things — they’re always going to find a back door.
    “People know that if a particular developer is giving them money that might be fine, but if that particular developer asks for a favour — no, that’s not fine — and people know that’s wrong.”

    This is why Townsville city Council can’t change. It must start at the top, and as we’ve seen the top is corrupt; if not legally than at least morally.

  29. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Looking at a photo of that Stephen Beckett from TCC and thinking to myself who the hell does he remind me of, then it hits me, Lewis Stolnick from Revenge of the Nerds, only much much shorter, and not as harmless.

    • Inside TCC says:

      Lord Farquaad from the Shrek movies, with the same attitude to those peasants beneath him

      • Grumpy says:

        He’s a poisonous little dwarf and a social wannabe. Obnoxious and socially challenged.

        Desperate case of Small Man Syndrome – punched way above his weight with current missus, though.

  30. Critical says:

    I hear that Richard Holiday has left TCC. Can anyone confirm and if so why?

    • Old tradesman says:

      Informant tells me that the Mullet and Impaler are not seeing eye to eye. The Impaler has cut most of the anti Labour toes off and will be departing our fair city by July, job done.

      • Sceptical Sally says:

        Can’t you just see Bentley’s cartoon upon her departure?……
        The Impaler, surrounded by hacked bodies with bloody sword held triumphantly aloft, proudly exclaiming: “Goodbye, Townsville, my work here is done!”

        • The Magpie says:

          This is how the original Vlad took his leave of his castle occasionally. Could look like a metaphorical farewell dinner.

        • Council workers "shovel" says:

          Concidering that fuck all ground staff arnt in a union shes still got a lot of people to sack.

      • I'll be plucked says:

        My money is on Impaler heading to the NT – there are two CE spots up for grabs – Darwin Council and Palmerston Council, just out of Darwin city. That is if she has any goodwill left, after a fair bit of previous time in Darwin working for the ALP and the public service.

        • Two Dogs says:

          My impression is that Ms Young is what is euphemistically known as a “change agent” — a toecutter sent to do the dirty work so those calling the shots don’t get splashed with too much blood.
          Such operatives generally move on to their next slaughteryard as soon as the job is done.
          A lot of organisations need pruning to get rid of dead wood and promote regrowth, but this particular trim and regeneration seems to be based more on politics than merit.

          • The Magpie says:

            Different words but a complete echo of what The ‘Pie predicted shortly after her appointment and the ‘Pie’s subsequent background check. We’ve seen a few ‘change agents’ and the results of their handiwork in this burgh … Michael The Ogre Of Ogden Street Wilkins gutted the Townsville Bulletin down to the disgraceful shell it is today and then sashayed back to Sydney, where he’s been effectively sidelined in the executive ranks. Doubt such a fate awaits the Impaler … Labor love their metaphorical equivalent of a CIA ‘wet worker’.

    • Dearie Me says:

      Yes Holliday has left. Unsure why. Assume it’s because he had pissed off most of the business people around town and that’s a problem when your job is economic development.

      Now if the Impaler, and her troop of wannabes can pack up, and go too, we might be able to get a functional city again.

    • Mooney Street Blues says:

      Yep, he’s gone.

  31. The Magpie says:

    FFS … and what if some dumbos out there guess wrong – if they bother at all. Just what is the point of this pointless post, which one would of thought that someone as smart, diligent and dedicated as Linda Ashton would avoid. The ‘Pie’s message is included.

    • Grumpy says:

      No sign of that comment on their current FB page – probably subjected to the usual heavy handed brook-no-criticism censorship by Linda and her toadying minions.

      Linda – look up Founder’s Syndrome – particularly the symptoms as described in Wikipedia.

    • Cynical Cricket says:

      Me thinks that Linda Ashton should have taken the Magpies advice on board. She seems to be getting cosy with the politicians. Probably a result of the meetings they hold with her where they make her feel important with all their lies and political conniving.

  32. Hee-Haw says:

    I see the LGAQ is once again paying for the mayor to fly to Brisbane with accomodation and tickets to the Cowboys v Broncos game at the weekend.
    Wonder if she is taking a fiddle to play while Townsville struggles

    • The Magpie says:

      Now come on, a little bit of consideration … first of all, lamenting the lack of her presence here misses the opportunity for some things to right themselves in and because of her absence, Also, we’re not paying for it. And we should all hope and pray that karma takes a holiday and she doesn’t break her leg rushing in for a pre-flight booze-up in the Qantas Club.

      • Lord Howard Hertz says:

        No wishin’ just sayin’ but it’d make no difference if she broke both legs… she hasn’t got a leg to stand on anyway.

  33. Dave Nth says:

    If only the print & TV media in NQ were as inquiring as the NSW media about Lancini Stadium and other goings on around here… Notice Beattie in his new role slithering all over this as well. (Beware Paywalled but can paste article if needed just a bit longish)

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/nsw-stadiums-strategy-in-disarray-as-parliamentary-inquiry-gathers-support/news-story/7f2c00630b62bc15a4a2c6cb0c12f375

  34. Achilles says:

    To prove they are consistent the TB on line published an article titled Stunning before and after photos of dam.

    But the pics show the “after” filling before the “before” filling,

    Just sloppy lack of pride or attention to detail in their work

    https://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/

  35. Council workers "shovel" says:

    Poor linda dosnt like to much critical comments judging by the bulletin Facebook story on the pipeline disaster. Now that the mayor has been caught out by the state government funding agreement for the pipeline will she now admit what Jane arllett was saying at the time about having to borrow for this was true. The water for townsville group has had its chance but now sounds like a wing of the mayors office. Even my daughter got blocked because she challenged why harder questions have not been asked in these so called meetings. Notice the water task force dosnt get a mention now? Brad Webb disappear did he?

    • Grumpy says:

      This organisation will be a case study for an example of how Founder’s Syndrome distorts and degrades even the best intentioned amateurs.

      Linda comes from a lifelong membership of academia – an echo chamber of naive leftist views and an arrogant self belief in their own righteousness. And we are surprised that she supports Labor’s agenda?

      • Sceptical Sally says:

        My assessment of academia is that its inhabitants grow more self-righteous by degrees.

        • The Magpie says:

          With certain exceptions, The ‘Pie must confess to an academia theory of ever diminishing circles. But we should not, for the sake of a glib line, dismiss the absolute effort and rigorous discipline Linda Ashton has brought to the water issue … but we will probably never know whether she is either politically naive (apolitical? No such thing when you start this water lark) or had a political agenda all along (Oh dearie me, no perish the thought, one hears her cry).

          The nub of the water argument has moved emphasis over to allocation/users pays models. If Townsville is out of step with the majority of other councils, our newly transparent, caring and sharing council will no doubt let us know why in a timely manner(i.e just before March 2020).

          • Tricky says:

            To be honest I think this latest announcement is all a game and a ploy to reignite popularity for the TCC Mayor and Councillors, who we are are all well and truly aware are on the nose with their constituents. I think we will see the Mayor unleash a rant in tomorrow’s or Monday’s rag aiming up at the State and a “backflip” by the State on the 4 years to 2 years by next week.

            I’m telling you this is all a case of “spin” at its best. We all know it’s called a Labour version of Good Cop/Bad Cop! Or perhaps I am way off the mark and this is just a sign of complete incompetence from an out of depth Local Council and State Government….over to you TCC #whatwatercrisis

      • Quiet conservative academic says:

        Well Grumpy and Sally, as one of the very few in academia that doesn’t dance to the loony leftist line, I reject your all inclusive assessments of academia. You are IMHO only 99.9% correct. A more correct description from my close observation would be ‘loony, leftist/green line.

  36. The Magpie says:

    One for irony corner … the Townsville Bulletin deploring the Townsville Council for not providing the public with information (chortle wheeze) – charity begins at home folks.

  37. The Magpie says:

    Court trials can occasion be quite exciting, but the action in a Townsville court yesterday must’ve been something to see. Even the legendary tough guy barrister Harvey Walters has never come close to killing someone in the witness box.

  38. One legged tap dancer says:

    Is this new editor dumb or what.
    To draw attention away from her continuing list of failures, Mayor Mullet decides she needs to have the pipeline completed before the next election, so she completely ignores the fact that the State Govt funding was never promised to be paid in the Mullet’s personal timeframe and tries to bully her mate Anna into fast tracking the cash.
    This is more of the same from the Mullet. By coincidence the new Cowboys stadium will also be built just in time to be used as a distraction and/or promotion for her re-election campaign.
    So what does the editor do? She cranks up a campaign to try and get the State Govt to cough up the funds earlier than promised.
    Is our latest blow in just dumb, or has she realised that the Mullet is the paper’s “most influential advertiser”?

    • The Magpie says:

      Same old, same old … Just as the iditor continues to do with spurious and dishonest half-stories about Qantas and the ticket tax. Perhaps Mayor Mullet will repeat the resounding success of triumphant call to boycott Qantas with a call to boycott Anna Alphabet.

      What iditor Cairney fails to realise – inter alia – is that those few remaining readers are suffering, as we all are, Mullet fatigue, and the mayor’s transparently dodgy ‘good news’ stories – the only transparent thing from this woman – cast as much gloom as these hectoring tilts at windmills.
      Oh well, at least the crossword and suduko haven’t been fucked up. Yet.

    • Scientician79 says:

      It truly is a lovely trap she has built for herself.

      Radio announcers this morning were celebrating the fact that as soon as the pipeline is built we won’t have water restrictions any more, not quite my friends.

      So heading into the election she can either have have a completed pipeline, and most likely a mountain of additional debt, but people angry about still having restrictions

      Or

      Have the pipeline well under way, and blame delays on the state govt for not funding it, kicking the difficult restrictions conversation until after the election.

      And then there is the pricing surprise which you can bet is coming as well. User pays no allocation anyone?

    • Achilles says:

      P’raps getting Got’em Adani to hand back the $18M or Jamie Dreary his unearned $10M would help fill some of the excesses.

  39. Alex DeLarge says:

    Interesting. According to ABC News.over 60,000 “residents of Biloela” have signed a petition to keep some Tamils in their fair town. Why anyone would want to stay in that depressing and backward dump is beyond me.

    “Bilious Billo” – as it is known to us unfortunates who have had to live there and suffer the redneck hillbilly locals – has a population of 6,000, max. A goodly proportion of them being retired cockies who live in Redcliffe but maintain an electoral address in town so they can keep voting for the Country Party. Unless there has been a social upheaval since I was last there eight years ago, the local mindset is hardly progressive or refugee-sympathetic. Xenophobic, racist and intolerant, maybe.

    More southern keyboard warriors, I presume. Perhaps the local council should set staff to the job of finding out the identities of those who signed the petition.

    • The Magpie says:

      Mayor Mullet’s on the job … she’s an expert on dodgy petitions, ain’t she?

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      I laughed reading that Alex, Biloela, a blast from the past for me also, many years ago we had to head out there a few times, they booked us in to stay at Settlers, good feed they said, smorgasbord/ carvery arrangement, went in to eat around 7 and all the food was gone, locals got in early and scoffed it all down, it was still daylight FFS, certainly a funny old town.

      • Sandgroper says:

        Deliberately detoured to look at Biloela on my second-last circumnavigation of our wide brown land. A day of my life wasted, plus a broken windscreen and spotlights due to the goat tracks they call roads out there.

  40. Cynical Cricket says:

    So the baton relay is for deserving people. This from Counciller Ryders facebook page:
    So one arm push ups to strengthen my arm for carrying the Queens Batton this Sunday , called into work today to get quick lesson from the legend himself Councillor Maurie Soars !! #igotthis one more training day left ., thank god this has all been an amazing experience I think I have lost so much weight I mean pride in the last 5 days ., life is an open book , laughing one minute , crying the next ., getting so nervous I recon I am going to either cry or laugh all the way , starting to feel very proud today., Denise Soars
    The only good thing about her being a council muppet is that the workers in the Rydweld workshop are left in peace.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Pathetic isn’t it, the fucking parasites in this town are in plague proportions, nose in the trough, then this morning to read Rachel Finch is carrying the baton, WTF, she hasn’t been here for a decade and probably can’t remember where the bloody joint is, yet so many wonderful deserving people won’t even get a look in, typical of Townsville to turn an event like this into something for the parasites to revel in.

      • The Magpie says:

        Whoa up, there, fella, give your high horse a bit of a breather after that gallop – you make a point Cranky, but its a bit scattergun. Clearly you are suggesting – inadvertently one hopes – that all those selected to carry the baton are parasites. That is not a view shared by The Magpie. Anyway, it’s all harmless tomfoolery of absolutely no consequence of exposure value to the city.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Good point Pie and I am sure there will be some who deserve their spot in the chain and I certainly wish them a happy day, but I am sure we will see the astonisher and the angry dwarf turn this into a media opportunity for selected parasites, it’s what puts people off becoming involved or participating in many things around town these days and the town is much poorer for it.

  41. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Waiting for the budget blowout for the pipeline to be announced. Cannot be delivered for the $220 million (installed) budget. Where will the extra money come from?. Wonder when the announcement will be made?

    • Alacan says:

      I thought it was unlawful for local government to call tenders , quotes , when funding for goods, services or works was not available ?

  42. seagull says:

    np longer the Adani Advocate…..

    it looks like the Bullsheet is now the Airport Advocate

    “Airport PASSENGERS travelling to and from Townsville are being forced to make do with seating and amenities designed for significantly less people.

    An Airbiz survey found Townsville Airport’s departure lounge is 42 per cent undersized based on current passenger numbers”

    FFS

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, hang on, Airbiz may well be absolutely correct, although there’s always been more than adequate seating on The ‘Pie’s recent trips. The QUESTION is who pays for the proposed upgrade … and it SHOULD NOT BE THE PASSENGERS in order to enhance the Queensland Airports bottom line at no cost to themselves. This is not only an impost on this community directly, but it also makes Townsville a more expensive destination, whereas Cairns has the volume to attract special flight deals on a regular basis.

    • Parson Blossomnose says:

      Rally round, language pedants … ‘significantly less people’?

      Has Mr Gill been unfairly maligned and this is his deliberate contribution to the obesity epidemic, making life more amenable for thinner people … significantly thinner people?

      Or did Airbiz mean ‘significantly fewer’ people?

    • Grumpy says:

      Another fucking survey?

      Who do they think they are kidding?

  43. Alahazbin says:

    Reading Dr Linda Ashton’s letter in today’s Astonisher. Now there’s an opening for a TB journo to seek answers to her questions.

  44. Guy says:

    as far as the water situation goes , my assessment of the situation is this

    the tyrell council was trying to privatise the water network after running council into the debt into the tune of 419 million dollars (the QTC clients list is now secret so we must assume that the state government is now bankrupt)

    to do this they jacked up the price of water to

    1 pay off existing debt

    2 be able to take further debt

    eg a bank will normally finance you based on your ability to pay the money back with interest – raising taxes allows the threshold of lending to be raised. more taxes and higher taxes allow for a lending institution to lend more money to the client as they are seen to be able to pay more money back.

    3 and here’s the kicker

    the tyrell council and their fellow travellers were setting the scene for the water network to be sold off, privatised and then water rates to soar

    by raising water taxes you are demonstrating the resilience of the market to absorb the increased cost of water, its showcasing the point that the price could potentially go higher. when water is privatised all restrictions are removed – you can use all the water you want but you will need to be middle class or above to water your garden (no doubt you might even use the water bill to reduce your tax bill)

    a council that takes 200 – 500 million in further debt to fund the pipeline is most likely going to privatise water.

    • Grumpy says:

      10% genius. 90% nonsense.

    • Council workers "shovel" says:

      Guy you have tried this shit before give it up. Your mayor who’s now been in power 2 terms is set to do exactly what tyrell was going to do and that’s user pays system which will abolish the allocated water for ratepayers. Your bullshit should be piled up so we can increase the capacity for the dam. Go feed the plants over with linda. The council, on record through out the tyrell and tsv first time had debt paid down only to now find itself nearing administration because of excessive borrowing. It’s only going to get worse because we now have to pay for the mayors 2020 election promise now with the pipeline and her useless hard rubbish collection. Exactly 10% knobless 90% wanker

    • Cynical Cricket says:

      Dear Guy,
      From connections close to Mooney, the debt carried by Townsville water was eye watering at the time of amalgamation. Looking at the history, all I can gather is that Tyrell tried to be professional and carry on in the way that had proved successful.

      To try and rewrite history and ignore the facts shows how gullible you are, or how blind you are when it comes to keeping your and/or your friends snouts in the trough.

      When are we ever going to get representatives who care about Townsville rather then their own selves.

  45. Exxxx garbo trash says:

    I have some not so good information out of the waste services department from this week. I’m not working there but we all stick together us garbos and what I have been told is truly disgraceful of what’s going on. This is what it has come to that someone outside of council needs to share the problems. No surprise.

    For 3 mths now the HR department, who only have 5 people working down from 12, have had 3 permanent positions not filled. This is a valuable and an essential service in any city but gets no attention unless your bins don’t get picked up on the day. Why am I saying something? The department is so caught up in hidding problems from the mayor and ceo because they fear sacking. Sure I would to but what I hear about drivers not taking breaks or working overtime every day or some trucks picking up hundreds of bins more than others and about no less than 5 trucks a day break down at some point.

    With this stupid hard rubbish collection everything else is put back. The manergers are to gutless I’ve been told to do anything to balance what was meant to be fixed the year of amalgamation. They still run a service from thuringowa and old city council. More needs to be investergated in this department but people will only talk in secret. The people I speak with say that every week is cost around 1.50 to collect both bins, it should be under a dollar. Dosnt sound like much but times that over the whole city that’s alot of money.

    As I said trucks break down everyday drivers have more sickness leave because they can’t get holidays and old machines everywhere in council is not being replaced. Why? Because we give millions to adani and Jamie durie and a hard rubbish collection and neglect what a council is meant to be doing. This corrupt council has become a merchant banker not a service provider

    • I'll be plucked says:

      Thanks for sharing this information Ex – appreciate your concerns. Hey Mullet and Impaler, for starters give us back our plucking dump vouchers from next rating period! For seconds get some better trucks you wasters!!!!!!

  46. Cynical Cricket says:

    Townsville Bullsheet shows its local knowledge:

    Man jumps 20m onto rocks at Alligator Creek weir
    ANDREW BACKHOUSE, Townsville Bulletin
    March 17, 2018 4:55pm

    Comment by Lily:
    There is NO weir at Alligator Creek swimming hole. None. Not one. Nyet.

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