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The Magpie

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018   |   139 comments

Stocks, Shares And Shonks … Looks Like Mayor Mullet Has Been Suckered Big Time

Courtesy of our hapless Mayor Mullet and her pal Premier Alphabet, it’s looking increasingly like we taxpayers have been right royally rogered. Southern auditors believe Magnis Resources, the company leading the consortium for the proposed battery factory project for Townsville, is on the verge of collapse, just when its been given a taxpayer gift of $3.1million for a ‘feasibility study’ for the project. There’s a massive coincidence about that amount, too. The ‘Pie reports on the latest chapter in this saga of politically driven idiocy.

Another Mullet mate who has suckered her,  Got’em Adani, is in a court battle in India as he tries to stave off corruption charges … and guess what? It’s all about coal imports, albeit from Indonesia.

The danger is writ large and the evidence is in – council development corporations are an invitation to corruption. Secrecy is the key. And it ain’t just The ‘Pie saying so … an expert weighs in.

They come, they go … another departure …. the Walker Street fright bats ought to consider replacing their staff entrance with a turnstile …

… and as the final curtain approaches for America’s Agent Orange president, we have a bumper pictorial file of his week as the noose tightens … with one of the cleverest musicals spoofs of Trump yet devised.

But first …

Letters To The Iditor … From idiots?

A newspaper’s letters column certainly attracts some who enjoy a different reality to the rest of us, leaving you to decide if they’re really fuckwits, or just funnin’. Sometimes more literate (not hard),  and less far fetched than the news and opinion pages (easy), letters to the editor can come up with a different … really different … perspective. During the week, Bentley was bemused by a writer’s suggestion that everything would be OK if crocodiles could be persuaded to turn vegetarian. Benters thinks that will confuse the poor animals no end.

crocs greens flat small

But letter writers occasionally have insights we lesser mortals know not of … like the link between droughts and …

drought letter

 Seems Our Mayor Shares A Different Reality, Too

Tricky language, English, in which a single phrase can mean more than one thing. For instance, take the term ‘material uncertainty’. That could mean a bride having trouble choosing her wedding dress, or an opinion of Steve Price’s choice of shirts … or, when used by a company auditor, it can mean that a company is so deep in the shit that it unlikely to survive.

Mind you, the official definition is somewhat more sedate.

“A material uncertainty is one relating to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern and that may, therefore, indicate that it may be unable to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business.”

And that is exactly the verdict on Magnis Resources Pty Ltd, the mob with whom Mayor Jenny Hill and Premier Annie Alphabet have so eagerly hopped into bed, evidenced by the highly unusual circumstance of gifting the publicly listed company $3.1million of taxpayers money to ‘assist’ in a feasibility study of the proposed lithium battery factory plant for Townsville. That is rare enough – public companies almost always seek to raise capital though the open market, and generally, governments are loath to commit public funds in this manner. But hey, as the novel almost said, Queensland is a different country, they do things differently there.

But the Magnis gift – Anna Alphabet twee-ly calls it an ‘assistance’ … is doubly strange because the simplest of due diligence tests would’ve set off alarm bells. The Courier Mail’s Anthony Marx’s City Beat column heard the clanging during the week, aptly naming the item ‘Losing Proposition’.

bleedmagnisThat $3.1million loss in the December quarter is, by a massive coincidence, exactly the amount we the taxpayers have involuntarily stumped up to prop up a failing company. As Dame Edna would say, ‘Spooky, eh, possums?’

Screen shot 2018-09-01 at 11.37.56 PM

And it’s not hard to work out from this share graph that all the up-ticks roughly correspond to the council, or the Queensland Government, making meaningless but encouraging noises that are repeated by Magnis in reports to the ASX.

The Magpie reckons you’ve been conned ladies, well done … now about that Harbour Bridge I have for you down in Sydney … it’s a bargain.

But Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Get More Disturbing …

Should this deal wobble through to getting closer to reality, two things will happen. This sort of project could attract federal money through the Smart Cities deal with Canberra, which will add another layer of obscurity to what is actually happening. Like the cack-handed Townsville Stadium deal, which will easily out-do the empty V8 garage building on Boundary Street (btw, what happened to the proposed Farmers Market there, eh?) as a criminal example of poor planning and political expediency.

And the second thing will involve the council gifting land at Woodstock for the factory in return for God knows what return and any resultant financial exposure for the city, but we will probably never know until it is too late. BECAUSE it will all be done through the council’s newly minted Development Corporation with its convenient Commercial In Confidence shields to hide all sorts of scrutiny and transparency.

As Ipswich has taught us, council’s running Development Corporations can end in tears all round … and jail for some, most likely.

It’s All Political Jitterbugging

This move to DevCorps in local government was always going to end up a pan-parties stitch up, perpetuating all politicians wish to where possible operate in the shadows. Turnbull, the man who didn’t want a banking inquiry, designed the City Deals arrangement – with a caveat that to take part, a council development corporation must be created – to ensure that all sides of the trough were ready to support it. And not be examined too closely.

Well, The Magpie was pleased to discover during the week that he is not alone in his criticisms and warnings about council DevCorps.

Professor Paul Burton

Professor Paul Burton

Paul Burton, Professor of Urban Management and Planning at Griffith University sees flaws and clear dangers in the whole hurried political patchwork arrangement of City Plans and deals. In an Article in The Conversation, Professor Burton was critical of the way the City Deal agenda came into being … it was pure political pork barrelling. He wrote in part:

This goes to the heart of the deal-making approach to urban policy, or indeed to any central or federal government policy initiative based on deals. They tend to be opaque and to hide behind commercial-in-confidence clauses that deny the public (whose tax dollars are at stake) much insight into who is getting what from the deal.

Without principles of consistency and transparency there is often a suspicion that decisions about major infrastructure projects are influenced as much by pork barrel politics as they are by assessments that are both rigorous and transparent.

The A$250 million North Queensland Stadium is underway and is expected to generate around 2,000 jobs during its construction. There is no doubt such projects are having some impact – large scale infrastructure projects invariably provide a boost to the local construction industry – but we don’t and can’t yet know of their long-term impact.

This has always been a challenge when trying to measure the costs and benefits of long-term urban policy. The evaluative challenge is not only to assess whether the Townsville City Deal (under which the North Queensland Stadium is being built) has delivered more or less of what it promised

And the manner in which the whole arrangement was conceived does not inspire hopes of good governance … or intelligence, as one commenter on the blog wrote this week:

The worse thing about the Townsville City Deal is that it was actually a contrivance to provide a veneer to a bad decision RE a stadium. Because the ALP had committed to $100m, and the electorate was marginal, Turnbull in the end caved to match Shorten’s offer … the problem for Turnbull was that he couldn’t look like he was caving to pressure or simply copying Shorten; Ewen Jones was always hammering the line that the stadium shouldn’t be a Commonwealth responsibility … in this febrile electoral context, a confected public policy fig leaf was needed … and so we ended up with a light weight, vacuous “City Plan”.  Real issues such as “value capture” were ignored, and the benefits / cost equation for the stadium (which showed a big net negative for the community) was also ignored (contrary to the principles of city plans). 

And sadly, with all sorts of battery factory and other unicorns prancing about, we must paraphrase the old saying to ‘the worst is yet to come.’ As was said here a couple of weeks ago, in politics, being seen through is not transparency.

Oh, FFS, Jenny, Do You Have Any Straight Mates?

Your brown-nosing of Paul Pisasale when he was Ipswich mayor just before his fall from grace was more a matter of poor timing than anything else, but hot on the heels of what is shaping up as the Magnis debacle, news that your old chum Got’em Adani is in hot water back home.

Screen shot 2018-09-01 at 9.43.18 PM

Seems the bloke with whom you share an avid interest in aviation may have been a bit enthusiastic in his pricing policies, up to the point of possible massive corruption. The nub of the story is: ‘According to DRI documents, the companies allegedly used fake middlemen to inflate the price of coal they were importing from Indonesia. The scheme allowed the companies to charge higher tariffs by exaggerating their production costs, the DRI claimed.’

Good heavens, the rotter, bet he’s off your Christmas card list, eh, Jen?

The Australian Kennel Club Condemns Clive Palmer

Dear Mr Palmer,

On behalf of all those female canines we hold so dear, we wish to protest your use of the word ‘bitch’ to describe Townsville mayor Jenny Hill. As you know, dogs – especially bitches – are known as man’s best friend, and our inquiries among Townsville ratepayers have assured us that this is a description that cannot be applied to Mrs Hill.

Our bitches are receiving counselling.

Yours in disgust

Kennel Club President

Ima Barker (no relation to Fay).

So Ol’ Novochok Palmer (he gets on everyone’s nerves) continues his role as political disruptor, and knows just how to have Bulletin iditor Jenna Cairney clutching her pearls in outraged disbelief.

 Bulletin front clive swear

But an interesting fact has come to The Magpie’s attention. The public apology Mayor Mullet was forced to make to Palmer for calling him a crook came with a small matter of $50,000 in damages. It is assumed that council insurance covered it, but if it didn’t and the Mullet has to cough it up herself, don’t be distressed for her. She can afford it … and then some.

Madam Mayor stiffs the public purse for annual take-home of $191,966 for her bumbling role as our civic leader (about half what The Impaler tucks into her socks when she gets home). But our Jenny isn’t dependant on that measly stipend, and she picks up about half as much again – somewhere in excess of $100,000 of public money for a few days work each year.

You see, ths battler’s mayor picks up the extra as one of just 4 board directors of the Local Government Association of Queensland. Actually, given her limited understanding of anything fiscal or having any discernible vision for community welfare and good governance, she probably gets it for just turning up to that particular trough. See the first item under Other Expenses and divide by four … or even five if the board president’s $120,000 comes out of that figure. (And try to to goggle too much at the consultancy fees just below.)

 Screen shot 2018-09-01 at 8.41.44 AM

The $575,055 figure inthe latest -2017 – the next is the previous year … and that in itself leaves one wondering why an extra $210,000 – more than a 50% increase – was thrown into the trough,

So Mayor Mullet, who is party to a rumoured (non declarable) bulging family share portfolio, a couple of local houses,  and a nice little inheritance on her ancestral Malta, can easily stump up fifty grand for Clive, and maybe throw in a few extra thousands to bring nephew Clive Mensink home to face the music.

From Comments During The Week

Critical

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138.130.52.23

Submitted on 2018/08/28 at 7:45 am

WTF is going on at Qld Fire and Rescue. Emergency evacuation of Northtown on Flinders Street yesterday and fire brigade took over 25 minutes to arrive because it had to come from Kirwan as this was the closest vehicle. No trucks at South Townsville. Luckily it’s evacuation was a false alarm but what would the consequences been if this had been a real fire in Northtown or any of the other multilevel buildings in the CBD or the private hospital in Wills Street.

The ‘Pie replied:

The Magpie
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138.130.233.218

Submitted on 2018/08/28 at 7:55 am | In reply to Critical.

Excellent point, Crits, but The ‘Pie can see an upside if the Council Chambers caught fire … give the flames time to do a good clean-out job. (Probably started by the mayor’s pants on fire.)

The Owl

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1.128.111.8

Submitted on 2018/08/29 at 8:06 am

Buried on page 7 of today’s rag is a story from Raggatt about TCC doubling its “borrowings” for this year – $30 million now $60 million. Council’s chief financial officer said the need for the extra $30 million “had emerged with the closing of the 2017-2018 financial books”. That should have happened two months ago but ask any accountant and they will tell you the CFO should have been aware of the perilous state of council finances even before that. We don’t just need a new mayor and council, we obviously need a CFO with some accounting expertise.
Only one councillor voted against this outrage, Paul Jacobs, who Raggatt described in the story as a “new renegade”. So Tony, does that make the mayor an “old renegade”?

Hee-Haw

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101.162.84.81

Submitted on 2018/08/29 at 10:26 am | In reply to The Owl.

The matter of raising the borrowings provisions was not on the agenda for the council meeting yesterday, it was slipped in as a confidential matter as an Addendum which was not added to the website prior to the meeting.

Nice way of both slipping things in to avoid attention and also to keeping them confidential so none of us plebs know the truth.

Cantankerous but happy

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203.47.115.242

Submitted on 2018/08/29 at 12:53 pm | In reply to The Owl.

I have no doubt this is to cover the councils cash flow problems bought on entirely by its own decision to cut the discount for paying your rates on time, I know many who are happy to lose the now pissy discount and put council rates on the bottom of the pile, there is little action the council can take in the short to medium term to enforce payment so fuck them they can wait, just another dickhead decision by Queen Dickhead Jenny Hill.

This blog really is getting easier to write … our growing list of citizen journalists are doing the Nest proud.

But Wait, There’s More.

Proof that all people bring some joy into others lives … some by arriving, some by leaving.

Honkers

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138.130.233.218

Submitted on 2018/08/30 at 8:25 am

gerard Nelson

Gerard Nelson is the first rat to jump ship, or was he pushed? He was a great ingratiator, heading up the laughably acronymed DevOps pretending to be a leader in council’s smart cities strategies, policies or what have you over the past few years (the results speak the truth), and was for sometime the Impaler’s chief whipping boy and gofer, and – of course – a hander-outerer of ALP how to votes … and now, he’s off presumably to Brissie. He was either too good for the council or … well, I’ll leave that to your imagination …

Reply

  • Better the DevOps without you

August 31, 2018 at 5:58 pm  (Edit)

I’m sure whatever poor bastards have hired Gerard Nelson will be regretting their unfortunate decision in no time. I believe you will also find he’s the ‘architect’ behind some giant waste of ratepayers money projects such as the miserably unsuccessful implementation of ServiceNow. He is also the reason council has been declared a hostile client by organisations such as Optus and Adobe. And he has been heavily involved with some ever failing money pit dashboard project, which has been contracted out to an organisation called GWI. Mr Nelson has left a legacy of power games, backstabbing, undermining, insults, scheming, interfering, obstruction and wasting money. It is unfortunate he was walked out of Council 2 years too late.

Speaking Of Not Appreciated …

Shari Shazza Tagliabue

Shari Shazza Tagliabue

An Open letter To Ms Shari Taglibue

Columnist.

C/- The Daily Astonisher

Townsville

Dear Ms Tagliabue,

You write in last week’s column ‘(I was) wearing a just singlet, shorts and thongs , barrelling up the highway’ … or somesuch … You hussy! Couldn’t you wait for the slurred and heavy breathing late night phone call to ask what you were wearing, and breathily imparted that knowledge in what should’ve been a very private conversation? But no, you put the whole thing out there in public, you brazen trollop!!! Absolutely no regard for the misty-eyed, shuffling old hornbags who read your weekly musings, trying to remember why they had that lower torso tingling as they walk out into the traffic with your words bouncing around in their heads.

To openly give out that information in a column read by tens of … umm, thousa … err .. hund … well, I read it, is unforgiveable, and scanning your words as I left the newsagents, my fond imaginings were cut short by the strategic height of a supermarket trolley handle.

Have you no shame, no sense of responsibility for your tens of readers?

Watch it, girlie, just watch it – and it’s a long time since I said that to a sheila, it’s now more ‘look away while I turn out the light.’

Yours in Disgust

Disappointed of North Ward

PS Well what ARE you wearing as you read this?

In Passing …

As reported today, British band Chumbawamba have forced Clive Palmer to take down a YouTube video that used  their hit song Tubthumping, calling the political hopeful a “Donald Trump-lite egomaniac”.

The controversial mining magnate, who recenly announced a political comeback, posted a video to his personal Twitter page and to YouTube in June that showed a group of men singing the famous lines from the 1997 anthem: “I get knocked down, but I get up again.”

Wonder if President Chump will receive a similar demand from the Michael Jackson estate. This is one of the more clever and hilarious pisstakes of Trump, the precise editing must’ve taken days, with the lyrics taking on a even crueler edge than originally intended.

The Ever Decreasing Circles Keep Decreasing

Screen shot 2018-09-01 at 10.32.48 PM

Trump’s approval rating has slumped to its lowest level, with 60% of those surveyed unhappy with having an egotistical moron for a President. Only 36% of those polled stopped foolin’ with their sisters long enough to say ol’ Donnie was doin’ a damned fine job up thar, stickin’ it to them thar  goddamned lefties, poofs, and wetbacks.

Most interesting was that 53% of those who disapproved said they ‘strongly disapproved’, and that really does translate into votes. Moscow must be worried.

trump-putin-america-first

It is the first time a sitting president’s disapproval rating has passed 50%. The ‘Pie has one question of you doubting Americans – what took you so bloody long? Bit dim, aren’t you? Maybe you belong to Eamonn ‘Call Me Ted’ Lindsay’s Saturday morning coffee klatch down on The Strand.

The death of genuine war hero and political straight shooter John McCain caused the deepest embarrassment for a man who probably doesn’t possess the cognitive make up to be embarrassed, just peeved.  His dismissive attitude to the much loved senator led to a back down about the half mast flag on the White House being returned to the top way too soon. The outrage was national. But the wily McCain got him from the grave, and got him good, leaving instructions insisting that Trump not be invited or allowed to attend any memorial service. That was an opportunity not to be missed by American cartoonists

Trump funeral john mccain Trump petty

The net is tightening on this dangerous and mentally disturbed goof. But America’s satirists and those who write demo placards will kinda miss him, on suspects … Trump has been a great outlet for cutting humour.

trump-wives-immigrants-sign free-melania-sign dont-blame-trump-unfit super-callous-sign trump-make-country-small trump-tower-see-russia-1000x840 Trump stars and stripe Trump homework Trump rats Trump tariffs 3 Trump seal Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c180826.tif tighten seat belts. -avi steinbergjpg Trump he said he said Trump mirror Trump penceAnd Back Home For A Final Note On National Politics … How It All Started

Fuhrer

Or ever, Darth Potatohead.

……………….

That it for another week, but got any reliable info that you know won’t make it into the Bulletin or elsewhere, jump into comments and become part of the solution. And if you enjoy these weekly maunderings, you might consider whacking in a few shekels to help cover the costs of running the Nest … the donate button is below (and thanks to those who have already helped out).

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.

139 Comments

  1. Mike Douglas says:

    So WFTAG are surprised T.C.C, under Mayor Mullet and Messagebank is not a democracy, just look at the way T.C.C. treated the residents of Metro Quays on the bus hub. Many of these residents have been long time investors and supporters of Townsville and they were simple steamrolled with minimal transparency. T.C.C doesn’t even follow the advise of the Chair of their Water security taskforce Brad Webb. Even after appointing an inexperienced Labor ring in Adele the impailer as CEO who is out of her depth effecting efficiency, culture Mayor Mullet provides a gravy train of more Labor aligned appointments to the detriment of Townsville ratepayers. All for “ what ever it takes” to keep Labor in Council and the Mullet as Mayor as she wouldn’t earn those type of salary and benefits outside T.C.C.

  2. Fayzz says:

    Glad you clarified it wasn’t that other Barker gal upset by bitch naming. She wouldn’t use that phrase. What’s that other saying…. where there’s a bark there’s a bite ……. something about if the cap fits … oh I don’t know. Just need to adjust my speakers, I mean …. woofers.

  3. Spooka says:

    Christ is Raggart still at Rupert’s rag, only that publication would breastfeed a scoop of his calibre. Strange Mullet has not pilfered him, he would fit in perfectly with her bunch of dumbo’s and shifties, a royal commision into theTCC would be warranted on her actions alone lol
    Regards
    Long time out of towner

  4. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Great blog Pie! One of your best.

    • The Magpie says:

      Nice of you to say so, but a goodly chunk of it was written by others to make the old bird look good. It’s a trend that will hopefully continue.

  5. J jones says:

    Spotted at the JT Finale
    The Impaler -wonder who,paid for that trip to the Gold Coast
    Benny English -looking much older than this profile pix and in a sickly light brown leather jacket

  6. Kelsie J says:

    How does a Mayor get away with globe trotting on ratepayer funded time, first India, then America, without comprehensively reporting back to her employers, us? How many Townsvillians struggle to pay their rates & she gives millions away. Saw on Water For Townsville Action Group that apparently Jenny’s Deputy Mayor Angry Ghost who Walks (new Chair of Water and Waste) doesn’t have to answer legit ratepayer water related questions on his Les Walker DIVISION 10 Facebook page, because it is his page, and he hates trolls that don’t phone him. That’s why he chucked a tanti at the Rasmussen Community Council meeting when asked about the Townsville water crisis, “what water crisis” he duly echoed his leader’s words, we have water to drink” Just give them beer hey, Les? Also Les reckons that no local could have done what Jamie Durie did for teaching us yokels how to conserve water. Costing us $33000 apparently luckily not $330000. Beers not enough Les we need double vodka.

    • The Magpie says:

      Huh? The ‘Pie for one never saw anything from Jamie Drury on anything, let alone the intended head-patting patronisation of how to turn off a tap. Where was there anything to be seen? Anybody?

    • Hee - Haw says:

      Kelsie, not $33,000, not even $330,000 but $350,000 tender number TOW00120 awarded 27th July 2018 to Durie Design Pty Ltd.
      Ask Les to explain that one.

      • Kelsie J says:

        Magpie, you need to put “ Jamie Durie Townsville images” in Google and you can see Jamie hard at work taking pictures from a helicopter! Also Hee Haw if you ask Les legit questions about water or Durie he will throw a passive aggressive tanti and you will be labelled a pesky troll, after all according to Les a local could never take pictures from a helicopter and make Townsville pretty.

      • Dearie Me says:

        So if the Tender was awarded in July 2018… How come everyone knew Durie was going to do the work in 2017?
        Is this a different job? A different Tender? The original amount was in the vicinity of $600,000. $10M from the State for us all to be water wise, of which the Impaler had partially implemented a scheme to rebate the residents on purchases of water saving devices. And $600,000 of that was going to Durie.
        What happened to my water saving device rebate?
        How much money has Durie been paid in total from Council?
        What happened to the $10M from the State?
        Was this an additional Tender that Durie has been awarded? And if not, why was he appointed prior to the tender process?

        • Hee - Haw says:

          All great questions Dearie Me for which I am afraid I don’t have the answers

        • Concerned says:

          Submit an RTI to council requesting where and when the Tender was advertised.
          Also request the number of responses and who responded.

          • Hee - Haw says:

            Concerned I really love either your enthusiasm or sarcasm in suggesting an RTI.

          • Dearie Me says:

            Wouldn’t that be commercial in confidence?
            Anyway it’s a waste of time. Between the Impaler and Finlayson, the legal weasel, they’d find some reason to refuse to release the information.

  7. master baiter says:

    Magpie is there any truth in the story going around that the only reason this battery crowd are interested in setting up here is that Anna and the princess in waiting are going to replace Q-fleet with electric vehicles?

  8. Ross. says:

    Is Doug Kingston going ahead with his e-newspaper.

  9. Gonzo says:

    Pie, An excellent blog: Mayor Mullet’s salary and Clive’s bitchiness and her Magnis Eruptis of taxpayers’ money among the highlights, but your piece de resistance is your Trump cartoons, including John McCain giving the Donald the finger from his casket, his plummeting polls and that wonderful pisstake of Trump singing the Michael Jackson song. Well done. PS Go Swannies!

  10. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Another kick for the old Ville, the Cairns region population increased by over 3000 in 2016-2017 whilst Townsville a pissy 900, who would have thought we would wind the clock back 15 – 20 years to have Cairns once again making Townsville look like its standing still, just a complete failure by all of our political representatives at every level, and a complete fail by the Townsville Bulletin for not asking why.

    http://www.conus.com.au/2018/08/updated-regional-population-data/

    • The Magpie says:

      These things don’t just happen, they are let to happen … someone has to take responsibility for our backsliding. Any candidates?

  11. Critical says:

    My contact tells me that council is in the advanced stages of planning to lease and open an office on the Wollies area of Flinders Street. Apparently it’s to enable council to make more contact with the community and so that there’s not so many empty shop fronts in Flinders Street.
    WTF this is another example of lunacy and wasting ratepayers money. The main council buildings, remember there are two buildings after Jenny bought the second building a couple of years ago, and these buildings are two blocks away with free two hour parking. If council is genuine about making more contact with the community then put your shop front where people actually go, like Stockland Aitkenvale and Mullet can direct her councilors to actually get out of their air conditioned offices and talk to people face-to-face and to answer their mobile phones. As for a occupying one vacant shop front, this is a token gesture and won’t do anything for the hopeless vacant look of the CBD.

    • The Magpie says:

      If that is true … and it easily could be – then it is a perfect example of social engineering Labor style when in electoral panic.

    • Inside TCC says:

      They had a shop front at Stockland a couple of years back, closed it and moved their customer service counters to the libraries. Cost cutting apparently (old CEO)

  12. The Owl says:

    Note that Lancini owns the Woolies building. Mayor Mullet will do anything to help feather his nest.

    • The Magpie says:

      Jenny Hill is trying to patch up a rift with Lancini, who believes he cannot do business in Townsville under her administration and has hinted on more than one occasion that he will back a suitable opponent (how he will do that will be interesting to see, given the developer scrutiny now in play). Whatever strings are attached to Lancini money, his backing remains a pivotal factor in our local government elections. But Clive has thrown a spanner in that equation, and no one seems to have considered that Lancni – always a solid backer of the Lancini Party – may well throw his influence behind Clive – let’s face it, they tend to think alike when it comes to steamrolling such niceties as good governance and pesky bureaucratic ‘meddling’. LL has used Labor simply because that was the indomitable party under the long Mooney reign, but will change to whoever best benefits the LL Party.

      All that said, at least Lancini actually does something, and does use his own money, and doesn’t continually have a whingeing hand out for public funds.

      • No more dredging says:

        I guess we’ll know more about Clive’s motivations when we’re done with the federal election – in which his lordship will be meddling up to his elbows. But how will Clive play in the local government election? Surely not Clive for Mayor? Surely there’s no attraction in the ermine robe and brassy jewellery? And anyway, if Yabulu is still silent and smokeless in 18 months, won’t that be its own signal?

        • The Magpie says:

          Mayor? Christ don’t even think about it. But peter Newey might run for him, he’s been very kind to Clive on the ratepayers site.

          • No more dredging says:

            Very much doubt that local government can do much for Clive. Waiving various rates and charges won’t make the refinery viable although a free onsite airport could be a goer, for something.

          • The Magpie says:

            What about a dinosaur park along the Strand? Council sponsored twilight cruises on a Titanic replica? Or he could buy Chris Morris out and run the casino/hotel into the ground? Or he could decide to change the name Townsville to Titanic of the North … oh, what was that … that’s already inprogress? Gosh, he might sue.

  13. Lady Byron says:

    Laugh?
    My K Mart polyester nana knickers are still drying!
    Fab blog, Pie; the Trump doing a Michael Jackson spoof was a side splitter.
    More next week, please?

  14. Some Sheila says:

    Anybody know what happened to the planned twinning of the Bowen Road bridge? https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Projects/Name/B/Bowen-Road-Bridge-repair-project

    Expensive repairs make this seem very unlikely to get up.

  15. Lois Lane says:

    So Annastacia Palaszczuk has employed as her media advisors the following:

    Spencer Jolly, Phil Wilmington, Shane Doherty from Channel 9.
    Geoff Breusch from Channel 7
    Chris O’Brien from the ABC.

    Labor stitch up of the media. No oxygen for any opposing views. This is Queenslands loss.

  16. The Magpie says:

    Last week, someone sent in a comment headed An Open Letter From Maltese Voters To Mayor Jenny Hill.
    It was in Maltese, and The ‘Pie declined to publish whatever unknown defamatory comments and untruths it may contain (like ‘ job well done, Jen’). Someone suggested The ‘Pie whack it into Google Translate and publish it., which he has now done.

    Boy, is The ‘Pie sorry he didn’t do it straight away … your goose is cooked, Mayor Mullet, burnt to a crisp, they’re onto you big time m’dear, get out of town while you can. Seems you’re on you way, too, Messagebank Walker.

    • Scotty says:

      Not sure what’s worse, the photo shoot with camel toes or Walker breaking his crank?!

      • The Magpie says:

        … and bet you can’t wait to partake of ‘goat cheese for meetings of the arm pit’.

        • The Magpie says:

          … but the idea “stop(ping) the thickness of the rectal integrity bent Maltese voters on no lagoon goat goat” conjures up lurid (apparently Maltese) voting practices that sounds somewhat historical and hysterical. Bending a goat over anything let alone a public lagoon could draw some unwanted attention to the participants.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      Mayor Mullet, brown bikini and camel toe…..there’s a mental image I don’t need to have…..now I’ll just have to try to kill those brain cells with alcohol….

    • Dutch Reverend says:

      I just can’t stop chuckling to my self as I read it. What a load of twaddle. It reminds me of so called experts trying to translate and interpret one of Nostrodarmus’ quatrains.

  17. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    One to watch for the Trumputania file….although it might not really be suitable for children….

    http://forreadingaddicts.co.uk/childrens-literature/new-satirical-kids-book-dont-do-that-donald-is-on-its-way/28326

  18. The Magpie says:

    PURE PROPAGANDA!!

    The Townsville paper has dropped any pretence at its recent feeble attempts at balanced news coverage, and has at least been honest enough to change it’s name.

    Well, they didn’t actually, but they may as well have. This highly selective story … yet another “could possibly – may happen” story of the type in which the Adani Bulletin and Courier Mail specialise – has as an online feature an Adani produced (or at least funded) propaganda video about how people have mistaken this hand-wringing forked-tongued Gollem is really a misunderstood humanitarian trying to pull millions of his people out of poverty. Yeah, right … and using corruption to do it, eh, Got’em?

    And reporter John McCarthy (the story was lifted holus bolus from the Courier) has his own wrestle making language match logic, when he writes:
    ‘Coal and gas are hot commodities, according to Queensland Resources Council chief Ian Macfarlane.
    “Commodity prices are holding up but it’s not in the boom territory,” he said.”
    Ummm, Johnno, mate, your ‘hot commodities’ is a far different thing from Mr MacFarlane’s ‘commodity prices are holding up.’ Indeed it could be interpreted as exactly the opposite of your claim, with MacFarlane’s statement suggesting ‘hanging on’.
    The whole confabulation is a complete Fox-style News Corpse sell-out. On the mine issue itself, The ‘Pie isn’t barracking for one side or the other but maintains as he always has, if these swivel-eyed grifters want a rail line, fine … but pay for it yourself.
    This grab at public money by corporate pigs is worse than QAL’s attempt to gouge Townsville air travellers with a ticket tax.

  19. Mike Douglas says:

    Many Townsville residents peaceful Fathers Day afternoon was rudely interrupted by Robo calls from Bill Shorten announcing a community meeting Tuesday night at Cotharinga Bowls club. Cathy Ofool on Q+A also highlighted FIFO Bill had made 14 trips to Townsville since the last election so has anyone noticed any improvements?. Wouldn’t It be better if Bill actually met Anastasia Alphabet because most of the issues he wants to discuss are Qld State Government related. Perhaps they will be passing around a collection bowl to assist Cathy with her legal bills or if Clive wins $50k in compensation.

    • Old tradesman says:

      Billy’s mate Setka of CFMMEU fame really spoilt fathers day by getting his children to hold up a “Get F@#D ” sign. Nice people.

  20. Grumpy says:

    I see that the ABC has become too Left wing even for the Commies.

  21. The Magpie says:

    A short one on the Short Un.

    Radio National this afternoon around 4.20-ish.

    Bill Shorten dismissing Morrison’s call for Labor to disassociate from the CFMEU.

    ‘He’s like a drowning man clutching at a fig leaf.’

    Huh?

    • Dearie Me says:

      Poor Bill … he’s metaphorically challenged

    • Lucifer Morningstar says:

      Well, under that fig leaf may be Shorten’s only soft spot and ScoMo’s only chance.

      The Libs need to do what they failed to do last election and drive home Shorten’s association with the grubby CFMEU.

  22. J jones says:

    I feel like chicken tonight

  23. Pat Coleman says:

    On ch7 Tsv tonight there was Little proud and his senate candidate . She was stated as being a candidate which touches off the electoral reporting requirements of the state and CTH Electoral Acts . Was it a drought story or an early campaign announcement for that weir. She is at around 1 min into this Facebook news clip

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1679190042210553&id=529629870416437&ref=bookmarks

  24. Sir Rabbittborough says:

    Having never had pay tv otherwise known as cable . And , only having flicked through the channels and seen a few minutes of Sky News , I have come to a learned conclusion its where bent pollies , their advisors and hacks who cant sell Ruperts papers go to die slowly because of some contractual arrangement about palliative care.

    • Trump is God says:

      SR

      Obviously The Outsiders with Rowan Dean and Ross Cameron was to much for your room temperature IQ to deal with.
      Yours is not a learned conclusion, it is typical ABC groupthink.
      To come to your conclusion after watching a “few” minutes of Sky is a joke.

      • The Magpie says:

        Small housekeeping point: Please ensure you state to whom you are replying, or otherwise comments won’t be grouped, and will not make sense … hmmmm …. no, won’t say it.

      • No more dredging says:

        Tig, presumably after a few exposures to the current president of the US – was it the TV show or the on-bus commentary? – you have sold your soul to the old devil. If Trump is your god, how can you waste your precious time worshipping oxygen thieves on cable TV? Aren’t they false idols?

  25. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Well No More Dredging it seems your begging mates in the Labor State govt along with your Labor mates who dominate the board at Townsville port are going to dredge the channel, so at the next election when you stand at the ballot box and tick the Labor box you will have the opportunity to think “ so this is what it feels like to fuck yourself”, enjoy that.

    • No more dredging says:

      Cantankerous, I live (and vote) by my principles not yours, or none that you’ve ever exhibited here. I’ve already told you I voted against Labor at the last state election (i.e. I put Labor last) and at the time of the Julia Gillard election I also voted against Labor by putting the LNP candidate in Herbert, Ewen Jones, ahead of whoever the Labor hopeful was back then. I’m as promiscuous as all hell so there’ll be no slut shaming here.

      Apparently, when today is done, PM Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will both have blown through town promising another few million for the Port Expansion – dollars that will mostly be spent quarrying millions of tonnes of rock and fill up Granitevale way and loading Riverway Drive and the streets of Kelso with heavy trucks for some years to come. The Upper Ross mob will, in their infinite and inscrutable wisdom probably support the PM for his trouble but for me it’s going to be difficult to find any local member, council, state or federal, to park my vote with. No one in mainstream politics seems to have a rational environmental bone in their body these days. Don’t know about you. You haven’t said.

      • The Magpie says:

        ” … who ever the Labor hopeful was back then’ – Oh, that will really hurt!!! The Labor hopeful back then is, unlike Jones, still on the public tit, as he has been for the past three decades. Jones beat His Radiance Tony Mooney in the 2010 election.

        • No more dredging says:

          Well ‘Pie, that may be so but I don’t remember that the Labor candidate was the actual problem (although . . . ahem!). I do remember that I was pissed off with the Labor factions, particularly the AWU, for rolling Rudd in what was clearly payback for Rudd’s dumping of factional control of the ministerial selection process straight after he had won. Like Abbott’s payback on Turnbull last week, they simply couldn’t control themselves, no matter how hard various members and media types tried to make excuses for them. Anyway, it’s ancient history now. The port expansion is not. It is a very large piece of dredging and reclamation and it will have a very savage impact on Cleveland Bay no matter how loudly and disingenuously the various bludgers and rent seekers trumpet about the “worlds best practice” and “draconian environmental oversight”. Cleveland Bay and Magnetic Island will suffer and the evidence will be lying supine on the reefs and beaches that face the access channel. They’ll be dead, or deader than they are today. Because it’s already clear that Arcadia, Nelly Bay and Florence Bay’s reefs are fucked. They were in good shape in the early 1990s with standing gardens of branching corals – now they are rubble and none of the environmental studies can explain why. In fact, no one will even admit that it has happened.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        That’s ok NMD, come and join the ranks of the politically homeless like me, my party doesn’t exist anymore and no conservative govt worth its salt would fold and give $75million to a state govt owned asset, a true conservative govt would have told Anna Alphabet to go root her boots and pay for it out of the state coffers, guess that’s why the undecided vote sits around 20% on most polls these days, but I reckon you will still vote Labor anyway, it’s what you lefties do, don’t forget to tarp up.

        • Old tradesman says:

          Well CBH at least the Astonisher will miss out on some dollars, as The O’fools ad about no money for the port will now have to go.

        • No more dredging says:

          Cantankerous, no thanks, won’t be ‘joining’ any group with views such as: ” . . . no conservative govt worth its salt would fold and give $75million to a state govt owned asset”. That’s just dumb. How much of the Bruce Highway would even exist if the federal government didn’t pitch in? Remember (before the GST) how the state premiers used to go every year, cap in hand, to plead for their share of income tax from the Feds – because states are not allowed to raise funds from income tax. It’s the way our federation is constructed. All federal governments give money to states for infrastructure, for education, for health – all of which will ultimately be ‘owned’ by the state. If you don’t like that or approve of it then you’re likely to remain in a lonely political place.

          • The Magpie says:

            Perhaps a lot of you Nesters can stop hyperventilating from both sides of politics and keep this in mind. The ‘Pie imagines he will be harping on this in the months to come, but every single move at federal, state and even local level (certainly here in Townsville), will be governed by one simple principle … losers don’t legislate.
            Although Cathy The Tool would have you think she’s got the purse strings and is creating jobs. She will be returning to her home planet shortly.

          • Grumpy says:

            Can anyone spot the glaring error in NMD’s supercillious little harangue?

          • No more dredging says:

            Good onya, Grumps. Turn up at the death just so you can have the last word. Typical!

          • Grumpy says:

            Five hours after the post?

            At the death?

            Moron.

  26. Scientician79 says:

    So I see the Astonisher is today promoting the Council for the “milestone” of “creating” 300 jobs through the utilities project.

    Aside from whatever dubious maths is involved in coming up with that number, it really doesn’t compare to the hundreds of permanent jobs Mullet and Co have removed from council over the last several years.

    I also hear on the grapevine people continue to face the axe at council, maybe someone closer to the action can confirm – or maybe not for fear of being next.

    • The Magpie says:

      We all know the old story about the Astonisher and maths, but clearly Iditor Jenna Cairney is having problems with reality, when we look at today’s front page.

      That statement correct only in that any announcement did chronologically come after Ms Cairney’s sustained bout of regularly quacking on in a suitably brown-nosing-her-betters campaign on a subject with which she now admits she became a player rather than an independent observer (look it up, Jenna, it’s under ‘J’ for journalism). But the hubris of this patently absurd claim would earn a male iditor the title of knobthrottler, but you being on the distaff side of the ledger M’dear, The ‘Pie can only suggest – as the Americans now say – stop flippin’ the bean.

    • Dearie Me says:

      The grapevine is correct Scientician. Jobs axed in Infrastructure and in Business Services. And it looks like their might be cuts in the already short staffed finance section. Apparently not a restructure but a realignment. Perhaps it’s the Impaler cleaning out anyone who dares to speak out or ask questions. Or perhaps it’s how the pound is being funded. A special email went out thanking staff for their hard work with the pound so it’s clearly the new focus.

  27. The Owl says:

    Mr Maybe, I just tried to find that Ross Creek dredging application and got nowhere. Can you please give us the details?

  28. SS Sunrise says:

    ACMA has bitch slapped Sunrise for false claims about removal of indigenous kids from families. Prye McSween has appeared since and her fellow commentator lost his radio job. 7 supports Hanson who is supported by the same Nazis Anning was trying to steal from her.
    https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/article/2018/09/04/sunrise-broke-tv-rules-controversial-segment-removing-indigenous-children

    • Lucifer Morningstar says:

      Thoughtful and insightful comment.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      SS so obviously there are no disproportionate problems with crime, child neglect, incest, STD’s, truancy, substance abuse, burglary, theft etc. in the indigenous community. You have to learn to go with the umpires decision.
      Our current state government has it all under control.

  29. Here we go again says:

    The NFL Bulldogs are in trouble for a naked romp in The Rocks in Sydney filmed grabbing each others cock’s. Perhaps Oxford st may have been a better mad Monday venue.?

  30. Troll Slayer says:

    The start of this story proves the the writer is clueless.

    Magnis has never had a problem raising money and have just raised $11 million dollars. So the verge of collapse comment is a stupid one at best.

    • The Magpie says:

      So the auditors are wrong, silly old auditors! So reporter Marx is gullible, silly old Marxie! Thanks for helping clarify everything, Mr … Mr… oh, just give us your title in Magnis. Boy from the mailroom brown-nosing the boss? Or the boss, pissed off at being called out? $11million? For a $2billion project? Sure your not a Nigerian princess who needs someone to look after her inheritance.

      And pray tell, why does Magnis need public money to do a feasibility study for a private venture?

    • I'll be plucked says:

      Troll by name, Troll by nature??? Back under your bridge – PLEASE!

  31. Pat Coleman says:

    You would think there would have been a big stink but no. Ipswich council full of labor types got sacked for corruption. Who better to take the reins as administrators than KPMG

    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/interim-administrator-appointed-for-ipswich-city-council-20180822-p4zyyk.html?crpt=homepage

    Go to http://democracyforsale.net/search-aec/
    And. https://disclosures.ecq.qld.gov.au/Map

    And type KPMG into the search box

  32. Concerned says:

    What a paper we have, the online version today has some ALP / Green Pie in the sky crap as the headline, and the visit to the North from our PM with actual spending buried down with the rest of the crap.
    And of course oyr ALP Local and State governments have done so much for Townsville and have made so many promises but what has actually been delivered by them that is apart from High unemployment, falling land prices, high vacancy rates, and of course our lovely crime rate, F all.
    Townsville dont be conned by the Union thug Shorten.

  33. The Owl says:

    See Maybe blog 3 Sept. Cheers.

  34. The Magpie says:

    There’s nothing quite as vexing as a implied question left dangling in a news story.

    So in an early version of the account of the murder of a Cranbrook woman found her in backyard, there was this . Quote: “‘A post mortem examination was conducted (yesterday) in Cairns … the results from that would be expected in coming days,’ Insp Watts said.”

    Why Cairns? The tragic victim was found less than 10kms from the Townsville Hospital. Any local sub would immediately know that Townsville readers would be asking this question, rushing a body more than 400 kms for an autopsy is interesting enough, but if there was any real connect with the community they are so much for, the Astonisher would know that this would raise a query in readers minds.
    Perhaps a minor point but indicative of a much bigger problem … the Townsville Bulletin’s growing disconnect from its readers (unless you want to know the best places to get your nails done or buy a burger).

    And also, is there possibility that a vital service is no longer available in Townsville, and if so, why? If that’s not the case, what’s the problem?

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      People will not be surprised by the fact that Anna Alpahabet has right royally screwed the people of Townsville in the 4 years since her election, much of this has been done quietly and without any media scrutiny, services supplied to Qld police is no exception with the ranks in Cairns swelling and many of the services they require. The number of new state public servant numbers in Cairns has dwarfed Townsville at a rate of 3 to 1 over the last 4 years, no coincidence that recent population figures reflect the same ratio. Cairns state public servants now stand at 13,500, some 400 more than Townsville, despite being 1500 fewer than Townsville only 4 years ago, again the Qld police numbers reflect this trend, once again the Labor faithful in Townsville bent over and shafted by their own, dumb fuckwits.

  35. Pat Coleman says:

    P27 if today’s bully. “Magnis given power to power to ramp up battery plans with backing” no mention at all of financial troubles. If the bully were a financial planner or advisor wouldn’t that put them in the same boat as those before the royal commission and Cassimatis ?

    P.s. As an advocate of optional preferential voting I will be advocating an informal vote in Herbert. This channel widening and adani to and fro and previous decisions on deployments shows that when they are equally corrupt they take advantage of compulsory prefs . The money they use to fly here is either from bribes or stolen from the taxpayer who can’t say no to illegal wars either.

  36. Cantankerous but happy says:

    $300 million expansion to Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs airports including an export facility and cold storage at Darwin Airport, $150million loan from the NAIf and the rest from NT Airports, this is exactly the outcome we have all been pushing for here in Townsville but all we get is the same shit from the gilded few, no wonder Townsville is a basket case.

  37. Dutch Reverend says:

    So, Mayor Mullet on 7 news maintains that Townsville is a safe place to live. However, if anyone wants to protest against the council in Walker street the police have to be called in because it could be unsafe fir the public. By the way ….. what has come out of the investigation carried out by the army general (ret) into the crime in Townsville at the expense of the taxpayer. What a load of rubbish. I reckon that money should be given back to the taxpayer.

  38. Ando says:

    I see some new reports are saying that Julie Hutchensons killer may receive early parole now that the lady’s remains have been recovered.
    Wondering if any of those in the know on legal matters consider this may be true?

    The killer didn’t give up the location of the body, so how could the discovery make any difference?

    • The Magpie says:

      Interesting point. Although the informal term is ‘no body, no parole’ maybe it doesn’t necessarily mean the killer has to give up the information that will bring some sort of closure to family and friends. Maybe the extra penalty was for the terrible uncertainty and anguish brought on those people, which is extinguished if the body is found even by others. Anyone know?

  39. Dave Nth says:

    Outta town at the moment but a mate is linking a number of articles from an online magazine in e-mails that I am curious on. TREN (Townsville Real Estate News), any idea who owns/backs them and their reliability? I cannot find nothing & a cursory look seems very soft on Palmer & Developers. Any publication that I can’t find out about easily I instantly treat with caution…

  40. Yet another voice says:

    Yet another TTC pie in the sky dream shattered…

    Today a new undersea communications link from the Sunshine Coast to Guam was announced:

    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/faster-internet-speeds-for-queensland-as-undersea-cable-confirmed-20180907-p5029p.html

    The foolish leadership at TCC had hoped to head this off at the pass at the last minute and lay the cable from Townsville instead. The idea was for a too little too late boost for the nearly non-existent local tech sector. Never mind that serious people at the Sunny Coast had worked dilligently on their project for years while brainless, feckless Jenny Hill has spurned all things IT related for years. But then her mates including Greg Toner and assorted Labor pals (thanks, recently departed Mr Nelson) ripped us off to build a useless IT data centre at Garbutt.

    Another Jenny Hill white elephant. We’re getting used to those.

    Seriously on the inside TCC is like F-Troup.

  41. No more dredging says:

    Mike, why don’t you go to the bowls club and tell us out-of-towners what’s happening? Ask the question. If you don’t want to go because, well you know, Bill’s a socialist and everything, who would you break a leg for? Are you a Pauline fan or maybe you’d get get out of bed for a Barnaby or a comeback Malcolm? I like a politician who’s prepared to show up and show their face, even take on a heckler or a whinger. Surely there’s nothing wrong with a politician giving a speech in the town square (although I agree, bloody robo calls are a pain)?

  42. Mike Douglas says:

    NMD, we have a different benchmark for Politicians whereby you rate them for getting up and facing a crowd whereby I rate them for getting action and fixing issues. If you are from out of town I gather you don’t see the wasted thousands of $ Cathy Ofool spends in Duo magazine telling us all the money she has secured when in fact she isn’t in Government. Many of the issues on the robocall where in fact the Qld State Government,s responsibility so has Shortens 15 th visit to Townsville fixed them? .

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