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The Magpie

Saturday, August 5th, 2017   |   119 comments

The Blunders Of Iditor Ben Bogan – It’s A Big Book, But Two This Week Are Doozies.

And you can bet one local mover and shaker ain’t a happy camper, and both blunders probably have seen iditor Ben English’s arse kicked ‘til his nose bleeds.

Not that The Bulletin will tell you, but guess which Townsville millionaire businessman owns one of the CBD’s long standing derelict eyesores on a main artery into the CBD.

Join the dots time again folks … let’s see how convincing our new four and a half star (??) hotel is … and the very real dangers of a Townsville City Council Development Corporation.

And a state election within three months gets more certain.

Why A State Election Is More And More Likely To Be November 4 …

As if the fact that Labor had its state conference in Townsville wasn’t a dead giveaway that Anna Alphabet is in panic mode, almost certain proof has come to light for an early election.

Palaczszuk finds herself in a pretty little pickle. She and no one else in Labor have been able to see the blindingly obvious – that around, the community’s biggest concern is NOT water, jobs or crime … it’s politicians who do nothing about any of these things. Complete arrogant duds, one and all, with no spine to really stand up for their electorates. Adding to Anna’s fit of the yips,  Treacherous Trad is forever prowling in the background, playing the factional card at will.

But most certainly most importantly is the real concern of Labor types, both local and in the seats of power, who have been appalled at Palaczszuk pal Jenny Hill slicing the legs from under the local Labor members. She has often made none-too-subtle self-serving attacks on them in her PR sheet, the Townsville Bulletin, and The ‘Pie reliably hears that patience is growing thin, even here in the ‘Ville.

Not that our local goof-offs don’t deserve it, with their incessant talk and no-action aloofness from community concerns. This week, Bentley has picked up on a typical example of the empty chatter from chatterer-in-chief, the self-serving Coralee O’Rort.

o'rouke girlscout fin

But the irrefutable giveaway that that we will go to the polls – probably November 4 – is because of this bloke.

Liam O'Reagan

Liam O’Reagan (on the right)

This is Liam O’Reagan, a former Palaczszuk staffer before moving across the office of Labor Senator Anthony Chisholm – Chisholm being the force behind Anna Alphabet staggering across the line in 2015.

Young Mr O’Reagan has been sent north from the comfort of Brissy to Cairns, from where he will run the campaigns for both Cairns and Townsville seats, those being being Barron River, Cairns, Mulgrave, Cook, Townsville, Mundingburra and Thuringowa.

But hang on – no party tends to send their professional hit people out into tiger country more than three months ahead of an election. So buckle up. Senator Chisholm is known for negative campaign tactics, and O’Reagan is known as his protégé, so things are likely to get down and real dirty, real quick.

The informed TropicNow site reports: With so many multi-million dollar announcements in the Cairns region in recent months – including the $120 million dredging of Trinity Inlet, the $176 million extension of the Cairns Convention Centre and $152 million Smithfield Bypass project – local political pundits predict the election will be held on November 4. 

Given the three duds around here, the betting is that the baby-faced assassin will have his hands full making an impression in Townsville.

History Is Rarely A Simple Thing

But there are those occasions when history can be simplified.

president history

But the clowning wasn’t restricted to the current deranged President. Lawyers for Donald Trump Jnr who were trying to defend the indefensible are tricked into telling the truth by accident. This report from the Washington Post. ‘Trump Jr. did not respond to requests for comment. His lawyer, Alan Futerfas, told The Post that he and his client “were fully prepared and absolutely prepared to make a fulsome statement” about the meeting, what led up to it and what was discussed.’

Fulsome? That accidental truth is worthy of The Astonisher. Here’s what Merriam’s has to say about ‘fulsome’. The correct current meaning is ‘disgusting because overdone, excessive.’ The word is still often used to mean ‘abundant, copious.

Indeed, we can expect copious and abundant amounts of disgusting bullshit, from the Son of Trump. But another rule turned upside down by by the White House whacko is the old rule that history is written by the winner … but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to know who that might be, and poses its own questions.

Trump and kim by Peter Schrank

by Peter Schrank

Bogan The Bewildered Must Be Wondering What Hit Him

Locally, let’s start with one of the biggest roll-on-the-floor-laughing mistakes Ben English could make as both iditor and as a member of the Gilded Few.

Richo, Krayem, English

Ben ‘Bogan’ English (r) and friends put on the nosebag.

Reporter Bettina Warburton nee Giardina is an experienced journo and by today’s standards, a well trained one, with a good track record (you make a much more believable reporter than defence witness, Bets). But even she either failed to make some rudimentary checks – or had her story personally subbed by management – so as not to mention a very salient fact in this yarn.


The main building in this picture, 687 Flinders Street, less than 100 metres along from the Astonisher offices on one of the main entrances to the city area, has been an eyesore greeting thousands of visitors to Townsville for some time now … years in fact. So who is the owner of this derelict building which has been progressively deteriorating due to neglect on one of the main entrances to our city heart. And why hasn’t the council complained to him? Is it because it is this bloke, as seen in his company’s fanciful home page?

Barry Taylor home page

Yup, legal foghorn and sometime Noosa resident Barry Taylor. That Mr Taylor is responsible for 687 Flinders Street and has been for some time appears to sit at odds with his boastful puffery – which he himself probably wrote, who else would write this stuff with a straight face – which informs that he has quote:

‘ … specialist expertise in relation to corporate and property law, compensation, local government, strategic town planning, environment, native title and major project management. Taylor has been adjudged by his peers “with a quick mind, phenomenal memory and an easy going charm”. (!!!)

Bazza’s understanding of local government cannot be questioned, especially when a Mooney or a Mullet is in charge, and he could no doubt argue that his stewardship of 687 Flinders Street is a canny ploy involving ‘strategic town planning’ and ‘environment’. However, one suspects that yesterday, that the fabled ‘easy going charm’ was left at the Chez Taylor breakfast nook when he opened the paper. Has he called for Mrs Warburton to be sacked? Wouldn’t be surprised.

But That Is But A Cool Breeze Next To The Southerly Buster Bogan Copped

But while Ben Bogan may be able to weather that particular blustery wind, he has probably found more difficult the ‘please explain’ he no doubt received from Holt Street HQ over last Monday’s email to staff. In it, he in essence admitted that the paper’s policy is NOT about good journalism, objectivity or – God forbid – truth. He circulated this instructive missive to the Townsville Bulletin iditorial staff on Monday. Note the last two pars in particular.

Ben English  email

When The ‘Pie published it – and was subsequently picked up by the national publication Guardian Australia – all hell broke loose in Flinders Street, and from sketchy reports, Holt Street went thermo-nuclear.

An upside though: that listing of priorities is probably the most truthful thing English has written in years.

Different Problem For Pinocchio Heywood Down At The Courier

The Courier Mail has a bloke named Chris Jones, who is tasked with the mysterious chore of ‘editorial production reforms’. He sure lived up to his title in an unexpected way, when it turned out a big splash story in the Courier was written by his high school student son. This was not acknowledged until Amanda Meade who writes the media column for Guardian Australia chased the details – she was bemused and not too amused by this interesting journalistic standard.

The Hinchbrook Horrors Continue For Residents

The Passage Holdings company which has been battling with angry Hinchinbrook Resort residents in Cardwell it has been trying to rip off ever since it took charge of the beleaguered resort after Yasi, has been ordered wound up and a liquidator appointed.

The ‘Pie doesn’t have all the details yet, but the order was brought down in a Brisbane court yesterday (Friday) following an action brought by residents. Where to now no one knows, but a new owner is presumably to going to emerge from somewhere.

Hey here’s a thought … Bazza Taylor’s Emanate Legal recently represented Passage in another Hinchinbrook matter in a Cairns court. Wonder if our old mate is now in the queue, taking the begging bowl up to the liquidator, and use some of that ‘easy going charm’ any owed loot?

A Song For The City – Time For Townsville To Have Its Own Tune

And The ‘Pie suggests we borrow that little foot tapper ‘Kansas City’ from Roger and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Come to Townsville City on a Friday

By Saturday you’ll learn a thing or two

Up ’till then you didn’t have an idea

Of what the mod’rn world was comin’ to.

Everything’s up to date in Townsville City

We’re goin’ about as fer as we can go

We’re gunna build a skyscraper seven stories high

About as high as a buildin’ orta grow.

Yup, this week we learn that the Hilton hotel people are going to think about thinking about (i.e feasibility study) building a 7-storey, strangely-rated ‘4 and a half stars’ bed and breakfast next to the intended stadium.

hilton drawing

Now, let us put aside a couple things … first, that for some reason, we are yet again meant to go bananas about something that MIGHT happen – sure, it’d be nice, but for Chrissake, a bit of proportion purleasse – it’s a just a smallish hotel – but in the Townsville Bulletin’s usual sloppy way, we’re not sure how small … they whack up in a generic ‘concept’ drawing, with the totally spurious claim it is specifically drawn for the proposed Townsville project. We should also overlook that the paper’s famous wrestle with numbers is on display … it says seven storeys , but is caught out in its lie because the drawing is only of six storeys. (NO a basement does not count as a storey!)

But Maybe Our City Song Should Be The Theme From TV’s ‘Friends’

And let’s suspend disbelief when we learn that one of the prime movers behind this proposal is Focus Pacific CEO Michael Graham (whose name inexplicably morphed in to ‘Grahamaid’ in today’s online Bulletin). He is a close and long-standing mate of our old pal and Mayor Mullet’s advisor Dolan Hayes. Old huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ buddies, from way back apparently. And possibly have done the odd deal in the past, at least one in Mackay The ‘Pie is told.

The Focus Pacific Group owns negotiating rights on behalf of Hilton in this matter, a gig which will no doubt be a nice little earner for Mr Graham and crew. And nothing wrong with all that so far, as a weary-sounding Bulletin iditorial itself said, ‘the council (read Mayor Mullet) needs a get some wins on the board’, and the well-connected Mr Hayes is just the bloke to call on an old mate for that. Again, nothing wrong with that, that is the way things work around here.

But there are those already asking whether this is a cosy inside deal cooked up by Hayes, Hill and Graham, all for their own different objectives.

So Let’s Examine That

Could it be that the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) would have been initiated via an unsolicited proposal which then sought out an exclusive mandate? Granting an exclusive mandate, which is what Council has done, is a very big decision because it basically accepts that there’s no need to test the proposal in the market due to some known “unique intellectual property” component that doesn’t exist elsewhere.

That’s easily provable hogwash. A global hotel chain is not a unique proposition for the simple reason that there are plenty of other major brands.  But there’s always a good laugh at the latest insult to the intelligence, such as it may be. We read today Mullet’s words of wisdom:

The MOU establishes an exclusive four-month negotiation period to ensure the proposal stacks up commercially and “represented best value for ratepayers”.

Best value for the ratepayers? Is this woman deranged? Oh sure, Jenny, Hilton say yes but suddenly you say no because it isn’t the ‘best value’ for ratepayers. That’s the lamest of attempts of the tail wagging the dog from someone who clearly hasn’t a clue what the best value for ratepayers is.

But This Is Where Things Could Get Murky

Mayor Mullet has never denied her admiration for former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale, (who incidentally faced court yesterday on two new charges from his recent bizarre behaviour). The Mullet was particularly taken with Mr Pisasale’s creation of the Ipswich Development Corporation, which ultimately – unbeknownst to her – became an out-and-out rort for dodgy developers and, it seems, for Pisasale himself. (with a little nooky thrown in on the side).

Our mayor now wants to create our own Townsville Development Corporation, which Mayor Mullet says will be primed to start unlocking the best development options for council-owned land within the Priority Development Area and other strategic areas,”

The very first question is why? Actually, that should be WHY FOR CHRISSAKE??

Why do we need this extra layer of decision makers on top of the very costly council itself – and at a stretch, TEL as well? Where’s the advantage? (Cue a blizzard of buzz words and empty phrases from interested parties.)

Allow The ‘Pie to put forward a possible scenario, which, before Bazza starts ringing around to see if he can talk anyone else into suing The Magpie, the old bird does not suggest this has happened, that it will, or that anything illegal has happened,


  1. Jenny Hill has been hawking the stadium site for more than a year. She’s been talking about carving it in half, and offering it as inducement to get someone in. She wanted to do a “land for equity” swap, and has also offered Council into the mix for a second casino license on the basis that having Council as an equity partner would looks good for the probity checks. (That is really spooky).
  1. D Hayes would have sniffed a political opportunity to cut a sweetheart deal which could get those ‘runs on the board’ for his boss. He could have approached Graham with the idea of Hilton having a look around, and together they concocted a proposal to Hill on the basis that Focus Pacific would have exclusivity, however limited that may be.
  1. Hill, being as desperate as she’s become for those ‘runs on the board’, would have leapt at the chance to have a “brand name” on the front page. There would have been a small number of formal meetings between Graham and Hill ( FOI-able); and many an offline chat between Hayes and Hill. 

 4. A confected MOU would have then been hashed up, delivering Focus Pacific an exclusive mandate.

Stuff You Need To Know

Really, even this early in this bullshit, we should be demanding a copy of the terms of the MOU, including details on which parcel of land we are specifically talking about.

The formation of the Council Development Corporation will see ratepayer owned land transferred to it by a docile puppy dog council, and once it has been transferred to a corporation, that corporation has no obligations to tell the public anything. Our old mate Commercial In Confidence will flogged within an inch of its life.

Under such an arrangement, the stadium site could be subdivided, the surplus half transferred to the Development Corporation and then the land chipped in for nix to a joint venture with Focus Pacific. Secret Mullet business one might surmise.

Alternatively, the land could be sold on a long settlement, Graham will get a fast tracked approval, and then on-sell the approved development at a substantially higher price. Because Council is on the deal, the settlement terms can always be set up so that settlement won’t be needed from Graham, until he sells the site.

The Magpie emphasises that this is all conjecture, but a council development corporation raises these sorts of questions, to which we are entitled to answers. Provable answers. And safeguards.

Jenny – Dolan – as political creatures, you may run with Richo’s credo ‘whatever it takes’, but this isn’t just politics, and whatever it takes has to be transparent to the ratepayers.

Other Matters

The dizzy array of modern apps for mobile phones may have come full circle. The latest gadget may have two legs, two eyes, two hands and a lot of patience.

Taxing Times

Many of you are probably putting off the annual battle of the tax return, but we can all sympathise with a pommy bloke who had a claim knocked back. But his cool response to the knock back is Pommy humour at its best.

Tax dependents

That’s the old load of cobblers for this week, join or keep up with the lively chat on comments throughout the week. And if you’re of a mind to help a bit, a donation is always appreciated. How to donate button is below.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.


  1. Linda Ashton says:

    History is rarely a simple thing but more often than not it’s a guy thing.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie is tempted to be norty and say ‘Oh, get over it girly’, but he won’t heh heh heh. Anyway, The Clint was nominated and a lost a dirty campaign that had nothing to with gender, and The ‘Pie’s bet at this moment is Elizabeth Warren may well become Prez 46.
      Of course, we don’t suffer from the deprivation of female leadership around here, do we? We’ve got Mayor Mullet AND The Impaler, so stop whinging.

      • Alahazbin says:

        About the only organization around here that hasn’t got a female CEO is the Hospital Board. And look who we have there!

      • Mark the Jazz says:

        For someone who won’t tolerate even mild political comment on the WFTAG page Linda seems to like to make political statements in pages like these.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, that’s what The Magpie is for – his decision – and that’s what her’s is for – her decision. Her stewardship of her faux ‘non-political’ site is her business. Here she is just another commenter, and willing to pay the price of being commented on herself. That’s ‘Pie policy.

    • Kenny Kennett says:

      Pathetic comment Linda. Do you really want to go there? There are plenty of replies to your stupidity that live on our own doorstep. Go ahead if you want to open the can of worms…

  2. alpha says:

    “An upside though: that listing of priorities is probably the most truthful thing English has written in years.”

    I agree Pie. Ain’t it lucky you got to read it and share it with your readers?
    Now, your blog is worth subscribing to.
    That’s good journalism.

    Excellent week. Jam packed.

  3. alpha says:

    Also, doesn’t Graham Richardson own the Watermark restaurant?

  4. Stuiie says:

    I wonder if Mayor Mullet is the mayor to be named under parliamentary privilege next week? Only time will tell but if I was a betting man …..

  5. Mike Douglas says:

    Bunker mentality are the most common words Business and ratepayers say about TCC Walker St.Shari Tagliabue summed it up in her column ” if they can’t get a bus shelter sorted what hope is there for other projects”!.Well said Shari as these are the same clods dealing with the Hilton and possibly the biggest lithium plant in OZ let alone setting up a development corporation.The Mullet is so naive about development she stated the Griffin Groups Strand project was to have been started.Hers a tip Mayor Mullet,you need a certain % of signed tenants for the banks to fund.Re our Councillors,the nous report highlighted our last Councillors didn’t understand how they fitted or responsibilities, our current do but control freaks the impailer and Mayor Mullet won’t let them including returning residents emails.How many times would the Mullet, Messagebank, Councillors have driven past the labor connected derelict milllionaires building and did nothing.Are TCC heading for a costly legal stoush with Urban Qtr residents over noise and bus fumes from the Bus Shelter?.

    • Lady Byron says:

      Dear Mike D.

      Let me begin my saying that I love your sentiments in your comments to the Pie. But may I just ask you to do one thing – just to save my brains that usually have a hangover on a Sunday morning- to please hit the space bar twice after you type a full stop?

      Its so hard to read your wise words when I have to focus on where your sentences actually begin and end. Oh, and do a space after a comma too.

      Many thanks.

      Yours pedantically,


      • Mike Douglas says:

        Apologies Lady Byron, most comments completed on iPhone. Will try harder to ensure you don’t strain Sunday Mornings .Glad you enjoy my comments as plenty ” skin in the game” as a rate payer so playing for sheep stations .

  6. Sunshine Sal says:

    Pie, thanks for providing us with info the Bulletin wont or cant. Does TCC own the stadium site? Is this why there has been no work on the stadium despite State and Federal funding? Can we expect to see the sitting Labor members drop this in Hills lap during the election? Does anyone care about the stadium anymore? Probably not, but the jobs it promised are nowhere to be seen. In fact things gave gotten worse. And even us mug punters can see that all the feasibility studies are done to line the pockets of a few and promote the appearance of action. This community has been taken for a ride.

  7. Watcher says:

    Another cockup in Saturdays Astonisher on the txt the editor page with a comment on a proposed residential and commercial development on the Strand next door to the Seaview Hotel accompanied by (drum roll please) … the image of the Double Tree by Hilton “luxury” hotel proposed for the Cowboys Stadium precinct in the CBD.
    And yes, it still only has 6 stories, not the promised 7.
    Surely this qualifies as a doubly whammy?

  8. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Interesting the ALP will run their northern campaign out of Cairns, would seem to indicate their own numbers show they are in real strife in Townsville and are focusing more on winnable seats in the Far North, with the exception of Barron River I would envisage Cook, Cairns and Mulgrave to all stay with the ALP.
    When I was involved in the LNP I long argued with Spring Hill the worthless dud they had based up on Cairns meant they will never succeed in Townsville, they never listened and many of us left the party, we were basically wasting our time. I would like to know what the internal numbers from Labor show in regards to Townsville, I would suggest a strong ONP and KAP vote that means they have no confidence of preference flows and are just hoping they get enough to get across the line, or as you suggest Pie, maybe they just want to get the fuck away from Townsville, the Mullet and Richo and get a bit of clear air without being blindsided all the time.

    • I-Hope says:

      Cantankerous, I feel your latter conclusion is on the money. To win the votes of the the Townsville bogans, the ALP would need to go down a path that would loose them too may seats down south. Townsville is a land to itself and not part of mainstream Queensland anymore. The SE corner of Qld. is growing fast and the north and regions are slowly dying away. We are not a not a long-term bet anymore for any political party..

    • Peter Sandery says:

      Right on the money Cantank as myself and several others did the same thing as you but eventually realised that party HQ would never listen – in fact I was once told by someone down there in the know that they were on “an existential trip to who knows where’ – and we have also now left the party .

  9. Sir Ossis O'Fliver says:

    Just finished reading Saturdays edition.

    Does Shari have a death wish or has she been given free rein to criticize so the Bullshit Tin can claim balanced reporting in order to stifle criticism. Mainly from a certain avian source.

    • The Magpie says:

      Shari is no longer on staff – left amicably in the latest shake-up – but remains a contributor. One thing that is for sure … she didn’t wait for the relative latitude that a contributor has, she was saying her piece even when at the paper – but The ‘Pie understands from inside sources that this had nothing to do with her friendly departure – seems she just did a Gough and decided ‘It’s Time.’

      • Old Hack says:

        Bravo, Shari! You’ve brilliantly summarised the thoughts of most Townsville electors.
        Let’s hope this disgust is registered at the ballot box.

      • Sir Ossis O'Fliver says:

        True, but the Bogan still has the final say on publishing what she writes,doesn’t he? And he still wants to promote his an friends agenda.
        Perhaps he is prepared to cop her flack rather than have two attack birds to deal with. ie. a Magpie an a female Plover perhaps.

  10. Kenny Kennett says:

    Perhaps Bogan’s email to staff has a different aim than what it appears to have. Suppose he’s finally seen the writing on the wall and realized his biased reporting and alliance with the Mullet, Impaler and three State stooges has turned against him. He can’t publish negative Walker street comments UNLESS it sells papers. That would allow his reporters open slather on these elected shonksters and their crooked clans. Yes I know…tell him he’s dreamin’.

  11. The old peterbuilt says:

    Just packing for my impending travels. Thought I would leave you with a little general knowledge.
    Arabs were the first to invent the condom during the mid 1700,s by using the inner intestine of a goat but it wasn’t until 1903 when an Englishman improve the design dramatically by first removing the intestine from the goat.

  12. The Ferret says:

    Hey Old Bird
    Looks Like Shari rouge after reading her column on Saturday
    The bottom part copied and pasted OUCH

    Add to this the questionable quick fix second pipeline, the proposed closure of the waste transfer station with no hard rubbish collection in sight and photo opportunities with Jamie Durie, sent to help us clueless regionals manage our water woes, and you would be forgiven for losing faith.

    I’ve ended countless columns with the sentiment, “If they can’t get a bus shelter sorted, what hope is there for other projects?”

    Help us out, TCC; the public will applaud a good outcome.

    All you have to do is actually deliver one.

    • The Magpie says:

      Umm, help us out here, Ferret … what does ‘Shari rouge’ mean, and copied and pasted from where to where?

  13. Sandgroper says:

    Just back from one of my regular road trips — this time through WA’s northern wheatbelt — which really highlighted the energy nonsense being spouted by the Greens and their Labor fellow-travellers.
    They won’t consider nuclear power yet continue to rule out coal for reliable baseload energy until renewable technology improves.
    One interesting stop along the way was at the new Walkaway Wind Farm, which is being touted as an energy saviour for the Midwest. It features an impressive array of 54 giant turbines and has a generating potential of 89.1MW when the wind blows.
    The guide appeared a little nonplussed when I pointed out that Stanwell’s power station, near Rockhampton, has a nameplate capacity of 1,445MW and can pump that out 24/7 for 365 days each year.
    Power bills everywhere are skyrocketing , but the pollies (insulated from the real world with their fat salaries and many perks) can’t see that their mad dash towards ‘sustainability’ needs to be tempered with reason or we will all soon be broke and in the dark.

    • TweedleDee says:

      So I guess you reject the advice of scientists who say that it is important for the wellbeing of our children and grandchildren that power plants like Stanwell be replaced with ones like Walkaway.

      I am not sure the pollies are wholly at fault here.

      Lending institutions in particular (amongst others) seem to believe that science still has a role in the decision making of modern communities.

      • Sandgroper says:

        The scientists have it right. I’ve seen plenty of evidence of global warming here and overseas, and agree the trend must be reversed.
        However, my point is that blind ideology should not rush the process to the degree that it financially cripples the less well-off and drives civilisation backwards.
        Renewable technology is improving apace and, as you point out, the banks will (as always) have the final say. Coal has no long-term future, but it still has a vital role to play as a baseload provider in this transitional phase.

      • Peter Sandery says:

        TD, it is becoming more apparent that the science to which you refer is based not on empirical evidence but on modelled evidence that is taken from fudged and in some cases deliberately falsified figures – see Jennifer Marohasy, Peter Ridd, Judith Curry et al as well as the papers of the late Bob Carter.

  14. The Gnome from Nome says:

    For Tony Raggatt’s information, the Consortium Nightclub was not built in Palmer Street, but Flinders Street East. Nobody checks anything anymore.

  15. The Magpie says:

    Memo Old Tradesman:
    What is the significance of your information (unprinted as requested) and why shouldn’t it be printed?

  16. Watcher says:

    Cant blame Tony Raggatt for making the mistake with the location of the defunct Consortium nightclub. After all, that’s what the media release said so it had to be right – right?

  17. Dutch Reverend says:

    There is no water crisis …… THERE …IS …NO …WATER …CRISIS !!! So why would we need to fast track the funding for the Haughton pipeline duplication ? Sorry Jenny, what was that, I can hardly hear you whispering. Ohh, you were wrong, why didn’t you just say so ?

    • Alahazbin says:

      She is right. We don’t have a water problem, just a water delivery problem. But don’t duplicate the existing pipeline, how about gravity feed and I don’t care what it costs. Once it’s built no more cost to the ratepayer.

      • Dearie Me says:

        LoL “Once it’s built” the poor bloody ratepayers will be paying it off for years to come. And don’t think it comes without ongoing costs. Becauseo those pipes need maintenance, faeries don’t maintain them you know….. Best you get your head back out of where you had it stuck.

      • The Accountant says:

        Dear Alahazbin, with respect your comment simply makes no sense. You need to read the Water Taskforce Report.

        A gravity feed pipeline would cost over $1Billion, while a pumped pipeline can be had for about $200Million. You could never, ever, make the $800,000,000 difference in electricity charges. No government, federal, state, labor or LNP would ever spend $1Billion in capital towards negative return infrastructure like this in a small town like Townsville. If they did every other place on the continent would want a hand out from Canberra and the place would go broke. It is the job of the ratepayers, through the local government to pay for kit like this.

        We are lucky the state is helping us out, but really this is a TCC issue. They have been screwing this up for years and now it’s time to pay the piper.

        • Rusty Nail says:

          Where do I get a copy of the Water Taskforce Report? And does it come with details of the $1,000,000,000 cost for a gravity pipeline, i.e. how much for what materials, how much for land acquisitions, how much for survey, how much for civil works, how much for mechanical works, how much for electrical (which should be minimal), etc. etc. Or would that be too much information for us mere mortals?

          • The Accountant says:

            From the Water Security Taskforce website:


            “For example, a gravity fed pipeline from immediately downstream of the Burdekin Falls Dam to Ross River Dam (including incorpora ng new outlet works at Burdekin Falls Dam) would be a very expensive short to medium term op on (likely to be in excess of $1.2b) and be likely to require signi cant me to plan, design and construct.”

        • Alahazbin says:

          And Cross River Rail proposed by this Qld’s Labor Gov is going to cost $5.6 billion, so how is $1.2 billion for Gravity feed too bloody expensive !!!

      • Guy says:

        Sunwater owns the water

        They will jack up their prices if they can’t at least pump the water to you.

  18. Miss Lou says:

    Always good,

    Always entertaining.

    Best Wishes to the News Hound,

    Miss Lou.

  19. The old peterbuilt says:

    Bloody typical, as soon as I leave town the old pie is trying to spread his plummage across the heavenly body of miss Lou .

  20. The Gnome from Nome says:

    @Watcher…… But Tony is touted as an ace “journalist”, surely he wouldn’t stoop to blindly using a press release without some sort of checking?……… or has he betrayed his former standards??

  21. Droopy draws says:

    Just on the topic of checking things so that you don’t look like a goose…..

    I forced myself to read the Pure Projects over the weekend and really should have wiped my arse with each page I got through. What a disjointed, ill researched and poorly compiled paper it is…..

    Grammatically, it would make any Year 5 teacher cringe, not to mention referring to Ross Creek as Ross River throughout. And the gold medal clanger is the reference to what ‘Honeysuckle’ Developments are proposing for the old rail yards…. REALLY????

    What an embarrassment for the authors and even more so for TCC to not even ask for it to be corrected before accepting it and putting it up on the website for the punters to read…

    I wonder if the $150k fee has been paid?

  22. The Magpie says:

    Boy, they kept that quiet, didn’t they?

    Or at least that’s according to the Bulletin concept photo montage this morning. And its square, not round!

    • Droopy draws says:

      Pie, they actually refer to the PDA and what [minimum] development has been happening in the area; only ‘Honeysuckle’ Developments and the slow turning wheel on the Stadium site.

      It’s there in Section 3. Have a laugh and have a read for yourself….

    • Scientician79 says:

      How old is that photo??

      If you look across the river no sign of the apartments and buildings near the old railway!

  23. The Magpie says:

    Rumours sweeping through the Walker Street council offices this morning – several versions reaching these feathered ears – is that Adele Young has been given the shove.

    This is most likely wishful thinking, with The Impaler just on three weeks leave, but it does kinda make sense. Adele Young, known public liar and Labor head kicker, was brought in for one task only, to hack through council staff and existing working structures, to allow Mayor Mullet and Labor to get tighter control of Walker Street bureaucracy.

    That task is essentially done, and Townsville is no place to hang around for an ageing and ambitious bottle blonde with a taste for exotic nightlife.

    • Dearie Me says:

      So Pie.. while the rumours of the Impaler meeting a none too soon demise appear to be just that… It appears the much talked up Transformation Team which has been at war within itself and the rest of council, has finally found an eject button for its leader.

  24. Watcher says:

    How many of Tony Raggatt’s stories are rewrites of media releases, rehashes of stories written by southern journalists, and pick-ups from the internet?
    A mate who is unfortunate enough to still work at the Astonisher told me that to get a story in the paper these days you simply have to write it yourself and send it in.
    Then, bingo, it gets rewritten and published but only after clearing the editor’s agenda roadblock. Explains why there is so much flim flam in the paper these days.
    They don’t need company cars any more because the journos rarely venture out of the office. Another cost saving for Rupert.

    • Sandgroper says:

      It was much the same when I was “feeding the chooks” in Townsville on behalf of my clients. There were quite a few competent and questioning journalists — including Tony R and The ‘Pie — but standards began to slip when the paper became part of the Murdoch empire.
      Some days, it featured more of my (sometimes) rehashed stories than were written by staffers. In one memorable incident, a significant local historical feature story, with pictures, was reproduced word-for-word in a double-page spread under the byline of a senior writer.
      At least he had the ethical sensibility to call me and blame it on a “subbing mistake.” I shrugged it off, truthfully remarking that I was writing for “gold, not glory.”

  25. Rusty Nail says:

    “Pie, there’s no “Reply” under Accountant’s reply to my query on the veracity of the $1.2M estimate for a gravity pipeline. Perhaps that means the conversation’s over – if so so be it.
    On the other hand, meanwhile, I don’t believe it’s reasonabe to just pull that big figure from thin air and state it as fact. It certainly does achieve its objective, though, of convincing Politicians and, dare I say it, Accountants that the option should not be considered further no matter what its merits.

    • The Magpie says:

      Problem is your end Rusty, reply possible from this end. And may The ‘Pie add that that never happens on this blog … non-appearance is always because The ‘Pie chose not to publish, and he usually lets the poster know and why … unless they are just being silly dickheads. Only room for one of them on this blog.

    • Alahazbin says:

      Accountants & Lawyers eh!. Have stuffed this world.

  26. J jones says:

    Sad to see Ray Thompson retire from the Cowboys. He was a courageous player

  27. Memory Man says:

    Townsville City Council also has gone down the TechnologyOne path, as did Brisbane City Council. One wonders whether the Council implementation went smoothly and without cost overruns. Maybe our Mullet might like to release full details of the TechOne rollout in Townsville and answer three simple questions:

    1. How much did it cost in total?
    2. Did it run over budget, and if so, by how much?
    3. Did the rollout run over time, if so by how many months?


    • Dearie Me says:

      Have you seen anything implemented by council that has:
      a) been implemented within budget
      b) been implemented within estimated project timeframes
      c) not blown out project scope?

      But don’t worry.. there’s rumblings from the upper echelon that they will transform the organisation with yet again more software, in fact loads of it. (Because of course…software is always the solution to improving a dysfunctional organisation that lacks effective leadership)

    • Alahazbin says:

      Original cost to ratepayer was $8 million. Don’t know about over runs or blowouts. It is more a financed based software.

    • The Magpie says:

      A Townsville City Council IT debrief:

  28. Shawn Anderson says:

    Attention Bulletin – Bettina Warburton:

    Just making contact as the owner of the Queensland Building, 104 Flinders Street, Townsville, QLD 4810 to inform you very clearly that the building has been in fact fully renovated internally over the past 2 years and has only just been freshly painted externally at considerable cost despite your appalling article in the Bully showing my building with the heading “CBD-Must Lift It’s Game” written by Bettina Warburton. This picture of my building within this article gives the perception that it’s run down which isn’t the case as all. I absolutely love this building and have put lots of time and effort into keeping it exactly how it’s meant to be in line with all of the requests by QLD Heritage internally and externally!

    Please do better, stop allowing people to write incorrect material and start doing better positive stories that showcase Townsville for god’s sake!!!

    • Grumpy says:

      This genuine?

      • WTF fan says:

        I reckon – it’s my favourite building in town and def not derelict, when I saw it pictured Iin that story I nearly choked on the weeties, owner would definitely not be happy

        • Grumpy says:

          Checked it out myself. You are right. this is far from derelict.

          Retraction/apology forthcoming?

        • Droopy draws says:

          One of my favorite heritage buildings in the city also. Good on the owner for spending money on it inside and out. If only more property owners sitting on quality properties would take a leaf out of his book….
          If not, put them on the market for someone else to take a chance at making them good again.
          It’s really the development community that will have to lead with making a difference to the CBD landscape.

  29. Watcher says:

    Noticed how many stories these days in newspapers both print and online are devoted to so called reality tv shows – you know the ones that are supposed to be real but are scripted right down to the last temper tantrum.
    Updates on what happened last night, rumours of behind the scenes fighting, bitchiness over whos scoring on the Bachelor or whos cheating on the Block, revelations about the hard luck past of contestants on the Voice – the papers are full of this bullshit which is obviously provided by the tv networks in an attempt to whip up interest in their shows.
    The fact that we are expected to pay for these nothing stories says it all about what newspaper editors think about their readers.
    Of course the space taken up by tv publicity handouts also allows newspapers to employ less journalists to actually write stories about real people and events.
    And they wonder why newspapers are dying.

    • Old Hack says:

      It’s enough to churn your guts. Sadly, some gullible people lap up this bullshit so they keep serving it in big dollops.
      While this might provide something of a ‘sugar-hit’ for circulation figures, it eventually erodes confidence in a NEWSpaper’s credibility and it starts shedding readers who are seeking truth rather than sensationalism.
      Legitimate human interest stories have always been part of journalism, but this confected nonsense is debasing our craft.

  30. Wounded Bull says:

    Sadly, Magpie, the shinnanagans at Port Hinchinbrook don’t appear dissimilar to the goings on at the Willows Golf Course as reported by Tony Ragget. An entity owns the property with a sizable mortgage and racks up a heap of debt. Then before placing itself into voluntary administration/liquidation they on sell the mortgage to another entity that they are associated with. Mr Brennan is correct in suggesting that there needs to be an intervention by a government agency only I think that agency should be the ATO.

  31. The Magpie says:

    Rare sighting of a common bird.

    Pauline Hanson graced the ‘Ville with her presence on Sunday and Monday, but at least one local One Notion candidate had his nose out of joint. Alan Evans grumped that she hadn’t contacted him during her visit.

    Turns out Big Red was here as a witness in a Family Court matter, and presumably – and thoughtfully – didn’t want to draw attention to the private matter.

  32. City dweller says:

    The story of the continued liquidation of Port Hinchinbrook is remarkably similar to that of a Townsville company which goes into liquidation to avoid debts, then starts up immediately under another company name with close connections to the previous one.
    The latest version of this pass-the-ball company was placed in liquidation a few months ago but this time around the intended on-sale of the business for a bargain price has struck a few hurdles. Serious questions have been raised about the real value of the property being sold or transferred to the “new” company.
    End result is that the business will be advertised for sale in the coming weeks and will go to the highest bidder.
    But a word of warning to any innocent party that might be interested in getting involved in this web of intrigue – make sure you thoroughly check the validity of the ownership of all assets before signing any contract.
    ASIC has been alerted to the goings-on including the very interesting way part of the property involved has been obtained and what role the council played in it.
    To add to the intrigue the main player in all of this just happens to be closely related to a developer who went into liquidation some years ago leaving behind millions in debts and sending local businesses and sub-contractors to the wall.
    What has happened since then would make a great script for a movie.
    The Astonisher has been made aware of all of this but refuses to cover the story.
    The question is – why?
    After all, they covered the Port Hinchinbrook saga.

    • The Magpie says:

      Intriguing stuff, we are now all on tippy toes awaiting developments. Good info. But The ‘Pie raises an eyebrow at th final line … the Bulletin’s coverage of the Port H saga has been at the very best selective and patchy. often it has been local urgers clearly on a promise from people like Passage Holdings and Gamma Grub Craig Gore. Well, anyway, City Dweller (The ‘Pie thinks he has an inkling who you are, but as ever, ain’t sayin’) drop your info in here (names and all, it’s timed we stopped dicking around and named names – yes yes, The ‘Pie’s in the poo for doing just that, but boy is that party in for a surprise. Help the blog pull back the veil so we can get this town back on he rails again.

  33. Sceptical says:

    Yes do tell City Dweller.

  34. Jack Daniels says:

    No doubt there will be a fire storm of indignant concern about 4 Corners reports of the shipping of vast amounts of waste into the Ipswich area from points south.

    I have no current knowledge of the situation but for years the Johnstone Shire Council based in Innisfail employed Subloos, rough & ready then local road haulge contractors to daily haul much of their waste to land fill sites here in Townsville.

    While not on the scale of the Ipswich operation I reckon this might still be the situation but with a different contractor and something our council might well be ashamed of.

  35. Critical says:

    Reckon that Rob Pyne, Member for Cairns, has got it right. Make allegations of corruption against councils in Parliament and publish the documents on the Parliamentary website under parliamently privilege so they can’t be swept aside by the government or dept of local government. Looks like the way to go.

    • The Magpie says:

      Ummm, might be a teensey weensey problem with ethics, potential corruption and abuse, doncha think? Let’ throw in extortion for good measure.

      • Alex DeLarge says:

        All I can think of is the irony of the father’s son calling out dodgy local government deals.

        If you get what I mean…

        • Old Hack says:

          Got you, loud and clear. Also agree with The ‘Pie that the privileges of Cowards’ Castle can and have been abused.

  36. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Someone needs to tell Liitle Patty at the Dudleys to pull her head in, shut up and focus on her job instead of interfering in the make up in the boards of businesses, talk about forgetting your place, if she wants to call for anybody’s removal it should be the worthless dud sniffing around Enterprise House all the time instead of running the airport.

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed, Patricia O’Callaghan’s bumptious attempt to play with the grown-ups is all the worse for the selective morality of her waffle, considering her moral indignation on this principle of two masters she has been cowardly silent on her passenger-taxing, traveller rorting chairman in the Dudley Do Nothing’s Board Room. Calling for people to resign board positions is childish and misguided (please note, Mayor Mullet – Ben Bogan) but at least Little Patty has the excuse that the glass ceiling Lancini hurled her through must have been reinforced plate and the head is still addled by the bump.

      And yes, don’t bother with a reminder, The Magpie knows he has called for the none-too-bright Gill to step down, so that makes him whatever you want to, on the above analysis.

  37. CBD Type says:

    Anyone else noticed a strangely high amount of cat-related articles from the Astonisher online? A “Townsville’s best cats” and now “how to tell if your cat loves you”. Quality posts!!

  38. The Owl says:

    Patricia Puppet has been quiet for a while. Figured one of her strings – the one that controls her mouth – had broken.
    But she’s back in business again giving advice to a company director.
    Surely she knows what a fool she looks.
    But then she has no control over her mouth. That is operated by her good mate and fellow dud racehorse owner Mayor Mullet and of course her boss, airport boss Kevin Dill, who obviously doesn’t have the guts to fire the bullets himself

  39. Woodduck says:

    The Mullet and the Impaler are definitely killing Townsville, the place is looking old, tired and dirty. Death by a thousand cuts, the cuts being, staff, contracts, services to the public, parks and gardens etc. It was once a vibrant place, sad to see it in such a state.

  40. The Magpie says:

    Christ, at last.

    The Townsville Bulletin has been forced to print the bleedin’ obvious which The Magpie has been saying almost every week for the past four years. And at the same time, clearly demonstrate the financial ignorance of Mayor Mullet and her side-kick Messagebank Walker.


    The key quote from the managers of established big-name hotels gave the key quote:

    “They have also questioned what incentives Townsville City Council will provide for a proposed Hilton DoubleTree hotel alongside the new stadium and why a large world-class convention centre is not the main game.”

    But the paper only reluctantly came to it because big advertisers cannot be ignored … especially in favour of a potential one yet to arrive – if that happens at all.

    This is another reason why a TCC development corporation and its lack of any real accountability is a danger to this city’s well being. That idea MUST be scrapped.

    And boy, do we need council leadership with business brains.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      How many board members of the Hilton chain are based in Townsville. Another great opportunity for the muppet to get headlines.

  41. Watcher says:

    See in todays Astonisher the Port is going to develop some land on the southern bank of Ross Creek around where Curtain Brothers used to be.
    The image in the paper shows what looks remarkably like a high rise hotel, so if that is the case it will be interesting to see how Mayor Mullet balances the Double Tree proposal near the Cowboys stadium against this new development.
    As stated by existing hotel and apartment operators there isnt enough business for one new hotel let alone two.
    But the Mullet wont have to think too hard before deciding which hotel to support. We all know that absolutely everything has to go in the CBD and preferably close to the Lancini stadium and just across the creek from Honeycombes apartments and commercial space with a walking bridge linking the two.
    Mullet knows that something is going to be needed to prop up the football stadium which will run at a huge loss with just one tenant.
    And dont give me that bullshit about big concerts coming here in droves. The Elton John show a few years ago packed out Dairy Farmers Stadium making the promoter millions but he hasn’t been back since. In fact there hasn’t been anything in the way of big concerts for years.
    Promoters and artists prefer to put on additional concerts in the capital cities rather than going to regional areas because it costs them a shitload less in expenses like transporting all the gear up the coast for one concert.
    The stadium should have been just part of an entertainment and convention centre but rather than go for gold Mayor Mullet has settled for third best in the form of a carrot to convince locals to vote for our 3 Labor drones at the coming election.
    I hope she is going to personally foot the bill for the losses on the football stadium. After all it is all her idea.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Whilst I agree about the hotels and the Mullets push towards Honeycombes end of town to the point where it effects wonderful projects like the Hive , but to assume the stadium will be a dud is premature. Many of the events you listed would never have come to Townsville anyway, with a new stadium there is a chance these events may happen, without a new stadium we had zero chance of getting another Aleague side for example, with the new stadium it gives us some chance of getting one in the future, so we would need to debate this in another 10 years as to whether the stadium is successful or not, my money is on the side that it will.

  42. Watcher says:

    I also see the Astonisher has finally caught up with the story about the brand new you beaut Cluden racetrack needing urgent repairs as reported in this blog after the Townsville Cup a couple of weeks ago.
    There is a good story behind this but as usual we get the usual sugar coated version with no questions asked about how a new track which costs millions can deteriorate so quickly.
    And I had to laugh earlier this week when editor Ben Bogan heaped praise on a handful of his journalists for being named as finalists for awards, saying it proved what quality journalists the paper had.
    Wonder if he has considered that it might actually show how poor the quality of journalists all over the country has become as News and Fairfax sack experienced reporters and replace them with greenhorns who wouldnt have a clue.
    Whats next Steve Price and Jess Steele in the running for columnist of the year.

    • The Magpie says:

      As noted here before, entrants have to nominate themselves for these awards, there isn’t an independent judging panel that checks out stories and pics for a field of finalists. So Ben Englisg is simply patting himself on the back for being such a nice boss and selecting mostly mediocrity as his showcase. The PANPA Awards are an industry circle tug anyway.

  43. Alacan says:

    I was driving around the crispy brown , dirty streets of our once shining city this morning and turned on the radio to once again here Pricey’s famously nasly upbeat morning show.

    Love him or hate him ( I often been tempted to count the amount of I’s he uses in any one show) you have got to give the bloke top marks for his positivity and continuing contribution to the life and in some ways soul of this city. But is he bravely swimming against this terrible tide that besets the city. Regardless it was great to hear his light hearted and heartfelt response to some of the stories bout lefties … that is left handed people not the other type of lefty .

    We have become a soulless place in Townsville due to the style and very being of those that hold positions of leadership .. I have worded that carefully .. as they are not leaders.

    Yes we need business minded people and most business minded people are not habitual haters, do have a sense of humour and don’t shift and shaft the way the mullet and impaler seem to think is good business. They care about people and for the most are genuine which is the exact opposite of the classroom bullies that we currently endue as they set about what I have no doubt they think is a healthy reset of the affairs of Townsville.

    • Sandgroper says:

      Pricey IS Townsville for me. I know I’m home when my car radio picks up his distinctive tones and daggy humour as I roll into town. There is no other jock like him and he deserves a place in Aussie radio’s Hall Of Fame.
      He has become an institution (and at times sounds like he should be in one) who represents Townsville in happier days when there was cooperation, not confrontation, and a true spirit of community.

  44. Memory Man says:

    Well, well, well … Low nickel prices forces Ravensthorpe nickel plant to shut.
    And what have we got in good old Townsville?
    We’ve a mayor who thinks QNI has a market of willing buyers, just waiting to pick it up if only dear old Clive would see the light and sell up. Reality once again mugs the Mullet’s brain fart.


  45. Droopy draws says:

    The lead story on the 2pm ABC radio this arvo was that the Murdoch news empire has made a $817M full year loss and the value of the flagship rags ‘The Australian’, Herald Sun and Telegraph have been written down by about 40% in value…. Ouch!

    I bet there’ll be some trembling knees down Flinders Street West in the coming weeks.

    • The Magpie says:

      Especially wehn The ‘Pie reveals the latest readerhip figures just released … and worse to come next week when the circulation figs – now including digital subscribers – hits with a resounding SPLATT.

  46. Old tradesman says:

    Good morning Watcher, I suppose you want the true story about the Cluden repairs that the Astonisher failed to report on. Just go to a site called letsgohorseracing.
    Tenders for the works closed last Friday, however some very watchful eyes saw 500 tons of sand delivered earlier in the week by a NSW based contractor called Green Options, Also refer to SMH for story of said companies involvement with Parramatta Leagues Club. Racing Queensland has been caught out big time. Cannot say anything more at this stage, except government spin doctors are working overtime and the contract has been awarded to a local contractor.

  47. Ronny Rotten says:

    Interesting comments by Terry Butts on the letsgohorseracing website. But better tread carefully there, ‘Pie, because Emanate Legal appears to be a major advertiser on that site.

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