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The Magpie

Sunday, February 18th, 2018   |   222 comments

The Mayor Goes For The Danish Pastry Model Of Governance – Layer Upon Layer Upon Layer

Perhaps it is time to have a look at the brave new world Mayor Mullet is creating to take into the broad sunlight uplands of Townsville’s future. How to handle this headlong rush to prosperity and progress? She’s got a plan, but she probably doesn’t want you to know about it But The Magpie will snitch.

It must be chilly down in Hades, because The Magpie has oft said it will be cold day in hell when he agrees with Kevin ‘Rhymes With’ Gill on anything … the day has arrived Gill got it right … before he yet again got it wrong, winning the Thumb-Sucker of the Year Award.

Also, the Townsville Bulletin at its selective best … the paper purposely misses a major Townsville story – because they are made to look like fools.

And Bentley back with a bang … or about a bang, yes, THAT bang that gas the whole tittering and twittering.

So Let’s Go There First …

It seems English is continuing its tradition of accepting new coinages for new situations, which while a hit and miss affair, goes to make the language one of the richest and most nuanced in the world. The New York Times runs an annual contest inviting people to offer new definitions of words, and they are allowed to alter just one letter only. The ‘Pie’s all time favourite is ‘reintarnation’, being reborn as a hillbilly. But in that vein, The ‘Pie offers his entry in the lexicon of new words we need for our changing world, a redefinintion of a ‘barnacle’ a debacle caused by someone named Barnaby which attaches itself to the ship of state and won’t let go.

There are plenty of folk upset with Barnaby Joyce and the revelations of his extracurricular recreational activities, not the least of whom are those hundreds of players of the city’s most popular game, ‘Keys In The Middle’. The whole tawdry lifestyle and culture of the political industry, long just hinted at, is now in the glare of the hypocritical media’s spotlight. A media that has some of the most prolific players in its own ranks. Seems they’re all at it like rabbits, to the extent that Bentley reckons there definitely should be one major change at Parliament House.

Parliamentary knickers small It seems the country is split into pro- and anti-Barnaby factions, The ‘Pie falling into the latter category if for no other reason that he’s not happy having a completely careless dopey fuckwit as a leader … America went down that path and look what has happened there. One of the most comprehensive damnations of the Joyce legacy comes in today’s The Saturday paper, which contains the priceless line ‘Joyce’s career is untouched by competence’.

And then there are others who just calmly look on, with a certain quiet satisfaction.

 All The News That Fit To Print – But Isn’t

It’s always been true about the Astonisher that it is what they don’t print rather than what they do print that gives their game away so easily.


This weekend is a good example with none other than the much-loved and always respected Johnathan Thurston bluntly but politely rubbishing the cringe-worthy Bulletin/Mayor Mullet thought-fart campaign of getting a State of Origin match to the new stadium in 2020.

Speaking on Friday, Thurston was as diplomatic as he could be. ‘I have no problem with Adelaide securing an Origin game Townsville’s new stadium is simply not the right fit for Origin. It would be great to play there but it’s only a 25,000-seat stadium,” he said.

“When we played at the MCG we almost got 100,000 (a record 91,513 in 2015). I think you need to play State of Origin at the biggest venues so we can get the biggest crowds to the match.’

Another Cowboys favorite son, the admirable Brett Tate, said exactly the same thing on southern radio a couple days ago.

The back scramble now by the Astonisher and Mayor Mullet is the claim that the NRL wouldn’t talk to Townsville even about the possibility (probably laughing too hard to talk, and thank Christ for that or we’d be out another $19 million or so). But this dunce of a woman didn’t have the wit to realize that she virtually admitted her State Of Origin hokum was a personal publicity stunt when she spoke to Pat Hession on ABC radio – it was meant to be the classic victimized ‘we wuz rbbed’ bullshit, but it didn’t quite come across that way.

Hession: So have you gone to the NRL to pitch for a State of Origin in Townsville? 

Mayor Mullet: No we haven’t but it’s the highest bidder here that wins.

Hession: Again – you haven’t approached or spoken with the NRL about hosting a game here.

Mayor Mullet : No


And as The ‘Pie has said in comments, surely this false sense of entitlement is upside-side-down Alice In Wonderland stuff … the NRL owes Townsville and North Queensland nothing beyond what it has already done … agreed to license a team from the region, which during the regular season brings the city excellent economic benefits on match weekends, and has created the need for up to two to three hundred jobs (minimum) in players, staff, groundsmen, venue workers and let’s not forget the Cowboys Leagues Club permanent workers. Plus the work for taxi and bus drivers.

If either the mayor or the paper had any shame, they should be embarrassed – a proposition that answers itself. They don’t realize what a laughing stock they are making of themselves and as a consequence of Townsville.

It’s Just Like An Enid Blyton Kid’s Story – Jenny And The Secret Seven

Jenny HillWhen our mayor isn’t being so transparently stupid, she’s trying her hand at secrecy, to make a nice little gain for herself … including ratepayers money for her re-election campaign. Keeping we the great unwashed uninformed, confused and, she hopes, baffled by bullshit, she is making bureaucratic moves to consolidate her now shaky hold on her Walker Street office.

It seems that Mayor Mullet’s clever Baldrick-like plan is what could be termed the Danish pastry model – layer upon layer upon layer, as you might remember was advocated in this famous Sara Lee commercial of the 1980s by this Danish crumpet.

Screen shot 2018-02-16 at 3.12.20 PM

So let’s have a look at Jenny’s recipe for her own Walker Street layer cake.

The top layer is the Townsville City Council, the elected body and the staff rightfully appointed to run the city.

The secondary layer is the newly created TCC Development Corporation (TDC), which will be the entity handling various projects and making decisions in respect of tens of millions of public dollars.

The third layer – demoted to three following the creation of the TDC – is Townsville Enterprise, with vacantly grinning clothes horse CEO Patricia O’Callaghan and whiney Board chairman Kevin ‘Rhymes With’ Gill at the helm. They will toe the line, dependent as they are on the ratepayers’ unwilling annual donation of $750,000.

And the fourth layer, somewhat obscure in title and responsibilities at this stage, is the blow-in Pure Projects mob, which has been described in the completely opaque term’ city placemaker’, whatever the fuck that means in childish buzz talk In English, it means nothing coherent, it is just a invented phrase of some over-fevered spin doctor, possibly after a longish lunch at Michel’s.

The Layers

So let’s have a quick squizz at these layers (if it sounds like a chook farm, it is starting to resemble one, too, everyone in for their peck at the wheat bin.)

THE COUNCIL is the democratically elected body – and the staff rightfully appointed – to assist it – to run the city. (The Public Service Union and the QLGA probably see it the other way around, and maybe they’re right, but not in theory.) However, the electorate is being marginalized in another subterfuge … the use of public money to employ a person whose sole aim will be to get the mayor re-elected. Of course, his/her title will give no hint of this agenda, an agenda which becomes oh-so-blatant in the job description.

TCC vacancy

Some things stand out about this extremely vague position.

We should watch this appointment closely (The ‘Pie will bet t has already been filled and the ad is there because it is legally required). In all likelihood, there are two possibilities: it will another ‘jobs for boys’ with yet another labor’s yesterday men (or women) owed a favour or who need to be removed from the proximity of real power i.e. George Street. The possibility is that it current communications spinner Anthony Simpleton (assume he’s still there but how would you know, his impact has been that of a flea on an elephant’s bum) has been deemed worthy of a raise (ha!) and this is the way around that ticklish issue.

But this clearly a paid political position, aimed at keeping both elected and executive status quo in the Walker Street Wankery. And here’s why.

Fact: the council is a Local Government entity with no competition in its field, so why do we need to pay someone a squillion undeserved dollars to ‘provide high quality marketing and communication campaigns and activities that promotes and enhances the council brand, image and reputation’. Since when does a city council become a ‘brand’, (as versus what?), why does it have to worry about its ‘image’ and ‘reputation’ if it’s doing its job. None of this spin should be required unless it is to disguise the current incompetency, like classic ‘look over there, not here’ exercises that we are already so use to.

Let’s call this ‘new position’ (one assumes it wasn’t hitherto required) for what it is … this is a political appointment solely aimed at putting the best face on the constant misjudgments and dumb decisions so the incumbents look good. And the ratepayers are paying this salary to assist the mayor retain her position next time around. And ‘ensuring that the council has an ‘informed and participating community’. That means informed of what they want you to be told.

And then there’s little number, at a no doubt eye-watering salary.

Screen shot 2018-02-16 at 1.36.04 PM

One reader has suggested that this position is already ear-marked for Inga Davis (?) the CEO executive assistant.


The Next Layer; How To Keep Public Expenditure Away From Of Public Scrutiny.

We now have a new council entity, a Development Corporation, essentially controlled by the CEO and Mayor, plus her legal Step’n’Fetchit Ian Finlayson and a CFO who is listed at an address in Brisbane. But as pointed out last week, three ‘independent’ paid directors are being sought to join the board. Now like the communications co-ordinator and the Future Cities featherbedding positions, the ‘independence’ of these directors will be interesting. Of course, if push ever came to shove, they could be outvoted four to one. But that is only if they are voting directors. If not, the council DC will be able to ram through whatever it chooses with the minimum of checks, balances or heaven forbid, public debate.

This is ripe for the temptation of corruption (for reference, see Ipswich Council DCs and Mayor Mullet’s close mate Paul Pissale.)

Next Layer: The Dudley Do Nothings Of Wishing Well House.

You will note in the job description for the TDC directors says that the TDC ‘will play a vital role to shape the implementation of the City Deal and economic activation across the City of Townsville’. The directors will be required to guide strategy and support the council’s broader 2020 City Vision.

But … but … but … hang on a sec.


Oh, what’s that, creation of a TDC is a requirement of the City Deal? OK.

Then finally put us out of our misery, and stop supporting TEL with ratepayers money, let them do their valuable work (whatever it may be, they never really let us know) subsisting on membership subs from sweet-talked businesses around the place.

Also note so far, Mayor Jenny Hill is on all three boards – as the council itself can be described a s a board. So the duck-shoving when unpopular but personally beneficial decisions are made, the endless finger pointing will frustrate any chance of putting things to rights for the electorate.

Fourth Layer. The Pure Bullshit Supernumeraries.

Now there those ill-informed snipers around town who be on the make for mug’s money, believe ure Projects is just a flim flam, cheap quid effort to fleece the yokels facilitated by a murky background network of old Labor affiliations, yesterdays’ men, supernumeraries and cronies.

Perish the thought   – they’ve opened up a Townsville office, no doubt at the urging of our top business brain, Mayor Jenny Hill, and we all eagerly await for their valuable input. And won’t it be interesting if someone associated with Pure Bullshit gets one of the above mentioned jobs?

We’e all atingle watching for it.

Magpie Message For Kevin Gill: Aww, There There, Didums

One of the few things the Astonisher has got right is the unspoken agreement among its staff … dunno, maybe its an edict … is no talking about The Magpie in the paper, and preferably not responding to his critques in personal emails. Only a couple have strayed from that sensible idea, much to their subsequent discomfort. The idea is not to give your critics any oxygen of publicity yourself, and the satisfaction of acknowledgement.

Obviously a well-tried strategy of which airport boss and wannabee passenger rorter Kevin ‘Rhymes With’ Gill is unaware.

Screen shot 2018-02-17 at 9.49.34 PM

Hmm, any futuire mayors amongst this lot? Only four need apply.

The latest issue of BD magazine has a cover story talking up Townsville’s prospects, while not denying it’s going to be a long haul. It was run of the mill team bolstering stuff but one – only one – was dense enough to stray into combative negative territory. Yes, it was our mate Gill, who prompted a regular reader to comment:

Cantankerous but happy 

February 16, 2018 at 1:51 pm  (Edit)

An interesting article in the latest BD mag Pie, an interview with Numbskull Gill and a few others about the Townsville economy with all the usual excuses but an entire paragraph under the heading, “ Is negative talk the reason we are struggling” of which Gill has the following take on a “toxic” cycle of social media and those feeding off it harming our city, he then goes on to say, “ those types of people are just negative and not representative of Townsville, they may look representative because it’s easy and anonymous, but we need to switch off from that. Reasonable complaints and feedback is fine but this horrid stuff is too toxic to let in”. Sounds to me like they have all been to a Mullet and Dwarf spin session about trying to discredit any criticism of the current group of no hopers running the place.

As The ‘Pie said, nice to be acknowledged, but he would be most interested to know Mr Gill’s understanding of ‘reasonable complaints and feedback’. Do you mean like the feedback and avalanche of complaints when you attempted to swindle airport passengers to fund an upgrade which would only enhance your company’s asset portfolio and bottom line?

Was it toxic (i.e. poisonous) of The ‘Pie to suggest that imposing a ticket tax making it dearer to arrive and depart from Townsville was diametrically opposed to his role as the board chairman of Townsville Enterprise, which is paid handsomely to encourage people to come here?

If that’s what you meant, The Magpie agrees with you, and long will this old bird be ‘negative’ about commercial bums like you trying to rip off your own community.

Where’s This Wally Disappeared to?


Has mega grub Craig Gore skipped the country? Has he slipped through the often palsied fingers of ASIC and their acting agencies, including the courts?

It ‘s a fair question. On Friday, Gore matter on fraud charges was heard for the 13th time, and it was again adjourned to March 2nd. Gore wasn’t there, and he is supposed to live in Cardwell under the bail conditions imposed. But on one has seen hide nor hair of him around there for weeks.

There are plenty think he’s done a Christopher Skase, but no one seems too fussed. Except the public if they ever find out how much this is costing them … and his shattered victims whom he and wife (now in Sweden) unmercifully scammed.

A Polite Question of The Bulletin – WTF

Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 8.24.50 am

This story ran during the week, and The ‘Pie wonders, won’t the parents be thrilled with the second last paragraph. Which bears absolutely no relevance to the story, is a cruel and heartless thing to print under the circumstances, and is just plain thoughtless.

No subs, see.

Gotcha, Mal

There are those who don’t think Malcolm Talkbull is all that bright politically. His bonking ban has the world laughing, and conjures up images of him as Inspector Cloreau while a Pink Pnther ducks around the corner. It must rank up as one of the misjudgments of his tenure.

But then, poor Mal has always been an easy mark for smartass bullies in the parliamentary schoolyard.


That’s the labour of love for this week, have fun in comments 24/7, plenty happening to exercise your wit or worry. Speaking of worry, The ‘Pie would lay off the aspirin and valium if you could manage a donation to help the blog along. The how to donate button is below.

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

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