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The Magpie

Sunday, December 16th, 2018   |   107 comments

The Townsville City Council IS Under Investigation By The CCC … Says Who, You Ask? The CCC Itself, That’s Who.

In what appears to be an inadvertent admission, a Crime and Corruption Commission official has confirmed that the corruption watchdog is looking at unspecified matters concerning the Townsville Council. The Magpie tells the somewhat bizarre tale of how this admission came to be made.

Giving developers and businesses incentives to invest in Townsville is all well and good, but the ask from the Double Tree stadium hotel people is a step too far … and would be real thigh-slappers if they didn’t carry such a serious outcome.

The Bulletin sinks to a new thoughtless low, with two cruelly stupid headlines that makes one wonder if they’re all drunk already at the Daily Astonisher.

… and the typo of the century … this boo boo from a NY newspaper will be ranked among the most unfortunate of all time.

Plus our regular report from Trumpistan (the clock is ticking) … and DO NOT MISS the musical offering of the year … a side-splitting ode to Trump’s year.

But first ..

It would seem we saw a glimmer during the week that Townsville folk are just over it when it comes to council promises … especially those that have Mayor Mullet happy-clapping up and down like a bouncing Hari Krishna with a hooter full of Peruvian marching powder. Our Mayor Mullet’s latest beads’n’blankets offering to the local voting natives announced during the week was the tired old trope of a Castle Hill make-over.

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Nothing wrong at all about this in principle, Castle Hill, both in fact and in potential, has been sadly neglected and ignored for yonks – but it’s a can that’s been kicked down the road for almost 20 years. And almost always trotted out when a tarnished image needs a spruce up.

But it seems the general public are on to their mayor, and now there is open the skepticism about her PR tap dancing and plans … this time it has gone beyond social media scorn and even made it into the Astonisher.

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One writer to the paper encapsulated the widespread weariness of this ridiculous soap opera. “How many master plans has Townsville seen in the last decade which have resulted in absolutely nothing. It would be great for the community to see projects actually come to fruition for a change.”

Quite.

Bentley has dipped into his metaphor bag to sum up the electoral situation if there’s no action this time – it’s all downhill at top speed.

zippetydoodah FIN

And as a footnote, The ‘Pie found it informative that the mayor announced that the concept plan was open for public consultation ‘until the end of January’. Between now and then, minds will be on those traditional matters of the festive season and holidays away. This needs a close watch.

Domestic Violence Just A Laughing Matter? The Townsville Bulletin Thinks So.

The paper set a new basement benchmark in both credibility and professional responsibility this week, when this headline appeared over the details of a brutal DV attack.

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There’s nothing much that can be said about this, it speaks for itself. A new low for the Townsville Bulletin – a paper incidentally that has a female editor in Jenna Cairney. You really should apologise, Ms Cairney and not just to the assault victim … the reporter Sam Bidey has every right to feel let aggrieved; his story was good standard reporting, but the public generally ascribe the headline to the writer, which as you know, is not usually the case (we hope). So say sorry to Sam while you’re about it. Ha, as if! But if it was him, kick his arse.

And you might just want to have a re-think about the use of humour in this stupidly punning headline a couple of days later as well.

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In this age of HIV and AIDS, spitting on anybody goes beyond grossly foul, it is also dangerous, and is not the subject of public attempts at (very lame) humor. It is also a criminal offence … like DV. This loss of perspective is yet another credibility killer you’ve managed to find, Ms Cairney … and far more serious that allowing the entirety of page two every day this week being given over to advertising and subscription promotions.

Are you really up to this job, Ms Cairney … or just have no pride and don’t bloody care?

Speaking Of Blunders, Calling This One A Cock-up Would Be Highly Inappropriate.

The Magpie doesn’t doubt the truth of it for one minute, but really …

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… and maybe the story above it, about Dolly Parton, avoided the same pitfall when talking about Dolly’s massive hits.

And for the record, the paper is the Post Journal, a local paper in the New York region, and one of the few NOT owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Tick Tock Townsville Council

This a very tortuous tale, twisting and turning for more than a year now, but allow The Magpie to get to the nub of it.

Businessman Philip Batty

Businessman Philip Batty

Phillip Batty is a man not to be denied or deflected, and for over a year now, he has lodged complaints about, and made applications under Right To Information laws, on the very murky issue of our mayor’s relations with Gutem Adani, her trip to India and above all, her provable lying to councillors about the Adani airstrip deal so the council would vote for the $18.5million for the project 400kms away. Mr Batty has also been seeking background material on why the state government dismissed part of his complaint involving the Wagners – who were to build the Adani airstrip – just two days before the government and Qantas announced that Wagners Wellcamp airport at Toowoomba would be the location of the airline’s new pilot training school.

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Wellcamp Airport, Toowoomba

Batty sees the timing as just a little too coincidental, and way too convenient, since the rest of his complaint is being dragged out through the bureaucratic jungle of red tape. He told The Magpie he believes the unusual move of ‘partial dismissal’ was timed to ensure that the Wagner company had no flies on it when the Qantas announcement was made. Not that he thinks Wagners have anything in particular to answer for.

The Department of Local Government, to which the CCC had flick-passed his original complaint, had in effect told Batty his complaint had no substances and that was that. but then, last Tuesday, Mr Batty received an 15-page email from the CCC’s Freedom of Information officer refusing all documents he had sought to obtain. The CCC had mysteriously determined that ‘releasing the documents would be disclosure of information which, on balance, would be contrary to the public interest’.

Mr Batty was confused by this, since he had been told by the Department of Local Government that the matter was closed. So he rang a CCC officer, who said in essence, it was news to the CCC that the matter was ended. Indeed, the woman said, his complaint was far from the closed as far as the CCC was concerned, and he had not received the information he wanted because ‘it now forms part of a much bigger investigation which is current’.

Which seems plain enough for a change … if Mr Batty’s complaints and seeking of documents were denied because ‘investigations are current’, and that requested information involved Jenny Hill, Adani and actions within the Townsville Council, then ergo, the Townsville mayor and council are being investigated by the CCC.

No amount of buzz talking bureaucratic bullshit can deny this interpretation.

Tick, tick, tick.

Here’s Something New The CCC Might Have A Peek At

Last Tuesday, we were treated to this story about the new stadium hotel, which appears to have been designed in the classic Manus Island Refugee Barracks school of architecture.…

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The details were regurgitated development application ‘rose-coloured glasses’ views of the hotel’s proposed attributes (including bars and fine dining places, which will be so appreciated by struggling Palmer Street restaurants). But then, tucked away well down in the yarn, we get this little time bomb. And the hilarious reasoning behind it.

“Although there are 166 rooms planned for the hotel there would only be 83 car parking spaces, which the developer says the council has agreed to. They say the proximity to the city, public transport connections and on-street car parking are reasons why there does not need to be a spot allocated to every room.”

They, and the council, have got to be kidding!! Surely they jest! But if the council has agreed in advance to this, they can kiss their collective arses goodbye next time around. That concession is a staggering construction and area-saving of several tens of millions of dollars for developer Focus Pacific (estimates vary, but the amount is way up there.) And that’s a lot of lolly to be floating around.

But worse still is the intelligence-insulting reasons given for what really does look like a rort on the ratepayers.

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Proximity to the city? Is the suggestion guests will be coming to Townsville just to be in the city and won’t need a car? Christ, what sort of guests do they expect to attract? Oh, no, sorry, forgot, just across the bridge, there will be the glorified line of sun shelters we will call the Bus Hub (if it ever gets finished) where guests from a swanky hotel can line up behind the four other people using the bus service to get to whatever far flung part of the city they wish to go. And celebrate a couple of birthdays during the trip.

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But the yuk-yukery and jokes stop at the last one. What drooling dimwit would argue that on-street car parking for hotel guests – right across the road from a stadium touted to be pulling in punters from all points of the compass – is in any way feasible. In an area where the councils of previous years have all failed to come up with a solution to a chronic CBD bugaboo. Do guests have to nip out early in the slippers and jim-jams to feed the meter, in case the council wallopers decide on an early raid to keep up their quotas? Or – and this is the serious one – will there be some sticker or other system to identify guests’ vehicle and the wallopers pass them by? All the while being driven past by potential shoppers and diners of rate-paying businesses, until the frustrated drivers give up and head back out to the suburban shopping centers?

Or is there some unannounced deal with Stadiums Queensland about the oodles of parking that presumably will surround the stadium? There had been some plain talking on this one. If this council has decided, in its desperation, to allow the ratepayers to bend over and cop a massive financial rogering by developer Focus Pacific, they really are as spineless and as dumb as the electorate is coming to realize. Or worse.

This measure has no doubt been urged along by the likes of Focus Pacific’s local spruiker Lewis Ramsay (late of Bulletin advertising and the Cowboys) and no doubt ‘city council economist’ David Lynch, featherbedded author of Townsville Enterprise’s redundant Hells Gates feasibility study and sometimes business partner of Labor back room heavy Dolan Hayes.

The council handling of this development application will be most interesting in an election year (you know what I mean), and any amount of waffle about job creation and, God help us, vision, will not stop the parade of baseball bats being taken to voting booths in March 2020.

We will be watching this one closely. Someone has to, sure as hell the Bulletin won’t.

The Astonisher Takes Truth And Fiction To A New Level

At least the Bulletin has realised the right marketing strategy to tempt new on-line subscribers … forget headphones and iPads … give ‘em booze. But even then, there is a problem.

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Now the questions: does Ricki really exist? And if so, why wasn’t she used in the ad? The Magpie thinks he knows why. Meet the real Ricki.

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But the Astonisher is capable of a genuinely humorous touch – not only fake pics, but fake facts, too.

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But Typo still awaits the call of the Walkleys.

Bound To Happen.

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The Latest Drinking Game

The latest meme doing the rounds is the new Donald Trump drinking game … you have to have a drink every time he says ‘witch hunt’. There have been some beaut comments, including the bloke who said he was at the same time doing it when Trump said ‘fake news’ and is now about to have a liver transplant.

But if we have anything to thank this ‘bigly most stable genius’ for, it is that he has stirred the creative juices of all sorts of artists, especially musicians. Take a strange incident during the week when Mike Pence nodded off while Trump was having a heated White House confrontation with Democrat Nancy Pelosi. There has been much speculation.

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But The ‘Pie reckons this pretender to the throne was having a musical interlude.  The word ‘brilliant’ is thrown around perhaps a little too liberally sometimes, but this ode to Trump deserves it … The Magpie gives it his highest accolade, which is – it’s as good as our own beloved Minstrel could manage.

So now to our Trumpistan gallery for the week, with further

proof that Trump could qualify for a job on the Townsville Bulletin, given his command of the language.

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And in other matters, his hunt for a new Chief of Staff was a favourite subject.

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And Finally …

It’s a long, lonely crusade for some journalists some times, but recognition comes along every so often. The Magpie is humbled … heh heh heh …

time cover mock-up……………..

That ‘s it for this week. The ‘Pie is aware that this is the time of year when politicians and bureaucrats like to slip disagreeable decisions into the news cycle, in the hope they will be missed through the distractions of the holiday season, so the bird’s beady eye will be watching. But it may be a slimmed down Nest for the next three or four week’s, unless something unavoidably tasty comes along. So if coming offerings are somewhat briefer, or perhaps don’t happen at all, fear not for the health or sanity of the old bird (>well the health anyway) , he will be back in early 2019 … wouldn’t miss it for quids. Comments will remain open throughout. And if you’re in the Christmas spirit, you might consider a donation to keep the Nest from becoming too mildewed in all this rain. 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.

107 Comments

  1. upagumtreeperson says:

    Have a great break, Magpie.
    Go to your nest and rest and be ready for more fun and games in 2019. Townsville would be a much duller and less informed place with the Magpie’s nest. Your reporting is what the Astonisher should be doing in an efficient and responsible way. Having studied journalism and worked as a contributor at the Astonisher I deplore the lack of attention to detail particularly in on-line reporting. Are there sub-editors these days? Are journalism schools up to the task or has reporting gone down the tube? A sacred and happy festive season to all.

    • The Magpie says:

      Thanks, Tree Bonker, have a good one yerself.

      • Kingswood says:

        Have a welcome break, from yet another occasional ex – contributor…

        “I saw him sitting in a tree, my source of news in black and white, what other sources remained for me? A load of shite and the ABC….”

  2. Bing 4814 says:

    The State Government of the Great Southeast Kingdom, Chairman Billy at a federal level and the three local head nodders continually push the line for 50% renewable energy targets for Queensland. I live in a Disability Public Housing unit, I do dialysis 3 days per week at the hospital, the unit has asked myself and several other patients if we would consider having a machine set up at our places of residence, saving the government $tens of thousands, my water and electricity bills would more than double to do treatment at home. So I got a quote from Origin energy to install a solar system on the unit, no cost to the Department of Housing for installation or maintainence, system belongs to Origin and I buy the electricity generated. I buy the electricity in daylight hours for 11 c/kWh as apposed to 28 c/hWh from Ergon. Any excess power generated gives me a credit of 6 c/kWh towards the night time Tarif at full price. I applied to the Qld department of housing pointing out it would help the government policy of achieving 50 percent renewable energy and not cost the taxpayers anything. Also saving Qld health a considerable amount of money for ongoing treatment. The answer “NO”. My question is why ? Does the government not want to lose the Stealth electricity tax collected by Ergon ? Why isn’t every State Government owned building from toilet blocks, police, fire, ambulance stations, hospitals, government offices, public housing even electoral offices all covered with solar panels. From a lay person looking on all I see is a thought bubble to sound good to the gullible masses but no action to follow through. An example of “Do as I say, not as I do”

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Classic socialism Bing, “our ideas, your money” . I advise anyone who, by whatever circumstances can’t or won’t access the solar gravy train, don’t be a solar customer, don’t buy your electricity during the day where you can, use most of your discretionary power consumption early mornings or late afternoon and into the night, don’t support the system that won’t support you. I use 90% of my power during peak times, because there is no incentive for me to use it otherwise, when the system allows for me to access cheaper power at certain times, and it is to my advantage, I will consider it.

  3. WTF says:

    Car parking concessions are par for the course … ‘pie, you only need to reflect on the sorry saga down at Solarus which achieved a development approval with insufficient car parks … this transfer of wealth on the B-Grade Hilton site goes with the sweetheart “never put to market” deal that was struck with Dolan Hayes’ fishing buddy Michael Graham, the erstwhile developer. Now, Lou Ramsay has his gums firmly wrapped around the teat on this one, no doubt with a brief to keep the wheels greased but at arms’ length from Hayes. So, will the Mullet release the full details of the lease for the Hilton site?

    • The Magpie says:

      Will the Mullet … what … splutter? Hey, The ‘Pie will do the jokes here, sport.

      And par for the course is not always ethical or within guidelines. But in the case of the Forked Trees or whatever, it’s location makes the deal even more unpalatable for a responsible council to make. The Magpie generally tries to restrict himself to asking difficult questions and avoid the elaborate conspiracy theories of others, but when it comes to whiffy odours, this one beats a damp dog on a hot day.

    • Irreverent says:

      Some dots, feel free to join. (1) Townsville Council sells Riverside Ridge development site to Peter Bega’s Glen Alpine in the 2000s. Glen Alpine pay a pretty penny and fill Mooney’s coffers. Rumour at the time was that the Legal Foghorn and his consortium missed out on the “bid”, and was miffed that Glen Alpine got the inside running courtesy of their well-connected whisperer. Astute observers believe said Whisperer was manipulated with drip-fed information to extract a high price from fly-in Peter Bega. Big Greek Egos were seen as easy pickings. (2) Glen Alpine subsequently pick up the Solarus site and achieves a DA from the same Council with major car parking concessions. Same whisper. (3) Glen Alpine agree to sponsor the Cowboys. Lou Ramsay was the dot to connect on this occasion. (4) Glen Alpine made frequent donations to local Labor, with Bega bragging that he had His Radiance in his pocket.

  4. One legged tap dancer says:

    No surprise to see Lewis Ramsay involved negotiations to gain “incentives” for the so-called “luxury” hotel development.
    He, like his mentor Lancini, is an expert at flying under the radar and doing back scratching deals, while maintaining a squeaky clean public image.
    Lancini is running the stadium project and now old mate Ramsay is running the adjacent hotel development.
    Now that’s what I call keeping it in the family.
    As for the “luxury” hotel tag, I have stayed at Hilton properties all over the world and Double Tree is a budget style poor relation to Hilton’s 4 and 5 star hotels and resorts.
    Staying there will be like living in a motel compared to our only 4-star hotel, The Ville.

  5. Inside TCC says:

    Magpie, is there any chance Ms Young was aware of the CCC investigation prior to her departure? Would they need info from council or can they access without anyone being made aware?

  6. SPQR says:

    In the tops turvy world of those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome the crime of blackmail is committed by them that the pay the money, not by those who demand it!

    • The Magpie says:

      Think you’ll find that ‘blackmail is different to ‘extortion’ – although no ndoubt some legal bod will set the record straight. And if you pay blackmail money, as often as not you have committed a crime … moral or actual … you want hidden. Extortion is when you, say, kidnap Mayor Mullet and demand a huge ransom or otherwise you’ll give her back.

      • Achilles says:

        You must be kidding “Pie, pay a ransom to get the kidnapped mullet back, NO WAY but I’d consider paying an even larger sum if they will keep her.

        • The Magpie says:

          (Sigh) Read it again, mate, read it again.

          • I’ll be plucked says:

            Nice one Pie with the ransom and thanks for opportunity to have a rant over this year.
            All I want from Santa is Mullet, the three state ALP ‘members’ and the ALP federal member to go far away and not darken our doorsteps again. I know, wishful thinking and Santa is not real anyway! Is he………:)

        • Achilles says:

          Yep head hung as required, Merry Christmas and a GR8 New Year to your Pieness and all contributors.
          Cheers

  7. Mike Douglas says:

    Mayor Mullet 101 “ look over there strategy “ pulling Zip line and cafes out of the drawer full of plans paid for by the rate payers but mothballed to take the focus off the “ Woes in Walker St “ . Have the punters woken up to the “ Mayor who cries Wolf “? . Merry Christmas to the Pie and his family and to all the contributors trying to make Townsville a better place and to make our Pollies more accountable for what they are paid to do and that’s represent us .

    • The Magpie says:

      And the season’s best to you, Mike, and thanks for your contributions over the year … The ‘Pie might not always agree, but believes in the old ‘I might agree with what you say but … etc etc’ principle (within limits). At least 80% of this blog’s marginal popularity comes from reader input, whether it be comment or info, so it is your blog as much as mine (within limits). Hope to be bigger and better next year, an d if folks are generous enough, start paying for some RTI applications on various matters, so as to live up to the motto ‘it’s the blog you love … juntil your in it.’

      Merry Christmas and a great 2019 to y’all.

  8. The Third Reader says:

    The season’s best to you Pie. I may not be visible as much as other contributors but rest assured I am always here and always appreciating your efforts to keep us great unwashed informed and entertained. Have a well earned rest mate and I will look forward to your regular return in 2019.

  9. The Real Philip Batty says:

    Magpie
    Just to add a little context for your readers.
    My complaint with the CCC and referred to the DLG had been in place for 264 days when the DLG decided with the agreement of the CCC that the part of my complaint which referred to the awarding of a contract to build the Adani Airstrip to Wagners without going to tender was to be closed on the basis that it “lacked substance and had no evidence to support the allegation”

    264 Days to decide this, to which I pointed out again and amongst other things this direct quote from the TCC minutes ” we will be funding the constructor of the airstrip which will be John Wagner, and the mining company will be our prime client.” LACK SUBSTANCE AND NO EVIDENCE!!!

    Then within 24 hours of this closure the Qld government announced that it was entering into a JV partnership with Wagners and Qantas to locate the Pilot Academy at Wellcamp Airport owned by Wagners.

    Coincidence? you tell me

  10. Pat Coleman says:

    These are the offences that can get you disqualified from being or remaining as a councillor in Qld.

    https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2009-017#ch.6-pt.2-div.1

    https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2009-017#sec.157

    Unlike state or federal parliament , it appears you can get convicted for a protest charge and get disqualified, and also get suspended if you are against a council policy or resolution . Note The entire council should then be disqualified for that pitiful fine

    https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2009-017#sec.325

    . Thing is, the electoral commission is refusing to state what charge it was, against whom , whether it was a plea in writing and whether a conviction was recorded.

    Take a look here https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2009-017#ch.5A-pt.3-div.1

    They were already going after Jonathon Sri down south for not being labor or LNP. These are the ganging up laws. However under those and the next provisions the cops and CCC still have the right to conduct criminal investigations . The assessor applies to fmt councilors too

    S150 ( P) (3)
    https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2009-017#sec.150P

    Now the irony is that the CCC and its previous incarnations were notorious for referring conduct back to departments and councils. Same with overlooking criminal offences. Technically they have to persue every public service offence under this code provision disobedience of statute law
    https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-1899-009#sch.1-sec.204

    They says you can get massively fined for repeatedly making a complaint. That is unappealable and ultimately you go to gaol for default . that makes it unconstitutional according to CH3 of the constitution. So too anything says you can’t be opposed to policy or disqualification for non fascist protest.

    So CCC has to investigatecrim conduct but refers it to the assessor who makes an unappealable decision , well , a “bit”of one cos they only have to give summaries https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2009-017#sec.150DY

    Then the tribunals ex tempore decision on criminal offences proves it was the coppers and the ccc’s job in the first place but we can’t see it. Motherfuckers!

    https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2009-017#ch.6-pt.2-div.7

  11. J Jones says:

    Merry Christmas Pie
    You are never shy
    To express your views
    And keep us up to date with the news
    Making as all laugh and cry
    Hohoho

  12. Al says:

    Happy Christmas to you and yours, Sir Pie. Wouldn’t miss your weekly missive for quids, wherever I am roving. In fact, I think you should be on my Chrissy card list
    at bottom of your page. Cheers young fella

  13. Woodduck says:

    Have a great break Pie, all the best to you and your family. Now is a good time for me to go back into the archives and read some of your past writings. Classic Pie I call it.

  14. Bentley says:

    Well I guess that’s it for 2018. To the Magpie and all his subscribers I wish you a safe and enjoyable Christmas and look forward to a prosperous and otherwise extraordinarily satisfying New Year.

    • The Magpie says:

      Thanks, Benters, and let’s not overlook your massive contribution to reader fun and hilarity during the year, so sincere wishes to you and the missus (better not name her, association with The ‘Pie is always welcome). However, you’re not quite right … Over the holidau break, The Magpie remains on the branch porch in front of the Nest, and will swoop if the spotted morsel is tasty enough. Keep an eye out.

  15. The Happy Chef says:

    First read of your blog for me Magpie. Think I’ll hang around old bird. But I do have traumatic memories of Barossa Valley swooping magpies as I rode by trusty bike to school in the 1950s. About your era hey?

  16. Gonzo says:

    Great blog as usual, Pie. You’ve had a great year of news, views and boos (at the Bulletin). Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. PS The Trump cartoons are wonderful and well chosen!

  17. Grumpy says:

    May I also join in the chorus of well-wishers, ‘Pie.

    A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you. May the next 12 months bring you health, many favourable judgments and increased wealth for your lawyers.

    Best wishes to my fellow commentators as well. May the New Year bring you eloquence, wisdom and wit. And especially for you, Dredges, may your search engine never miss a beat.

    I don’t know if it is an Irish blessing or a Chinese curse, but we are bound to live in interesting times for the next twelve-month.

  18. Ando says:

    It’s been a pleasure reading the warblings for another year in Townsville, Malcolm.
    Long time fan here…even from your Bully days.

    Mate…you should wear a sword!

    Have a great Christmas and New Year Pie’
    Looking forward to the offerings in the Nest in 2019.
    Also a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the Nest regulars.

  19. Dutch Reverend says:

    All the best to all for Christmas. Be safe and hear from you all next year. Hey, Miss Lou has been conspicuous by her neglect in wishing you the best Pie. Have you been dropped from the Christmas Card List ?

  20. J jones says:

    Great to see so much love for independent reporting

  21. The Magpie says:

    Did anyone watch 7.30 tonight?

    Two things … anyone (as commenters to this blog occasionally do) deride Leigh Sales as a dud journalist need to think again – she nailed this publicity seeker Yael Stone well and truly in a masterful exposition of the art of the interview.

    https://iview.abc.net.au/show/7-30/series/0/video/NC1801H201S00

    Two things … anyone (as commenters to the blog occasionally do) deride Leigh Sales as a dud journalist need to think again – she nailed this publicity seeker Yael Stone well and truly in a masterful exposition of the art of the interview.

    Simply put, Leigh Sales is a brilliant interviewer, in no small part allowing the v iewer to reac h theirn own almost inescapable conclusions, and despite Yael’s obvious coaching by unseen interests, and almost certainly (although denied) motivated by an admitted casual friendship with the woman at the heart of the Rush trial against the Daily Telegraph, this Stone woman could not hide that she is an outright liar. And/or one of the most delicate snowflakes in an industry happy to not only flaunt their naked bodies, but depict the horrendous violence, all in the name of art. Stone apparently appears the womens’ prison drama Orange Is The New Black.

    And who is harmed most from this? The very credible #MeToo movement, that is who – which does not need this thinly-veiled opportunistic attack by a cheap shot publicity seeker. It only boosts the growing concern about the damage caused to a legitimate movement by publicity hounds and virtue seeking luvvies like this woman pogo-sticking on to a bandwagon for the personal spotlight.

    The ‘Pie calls absolute bullshit.

    • seagull says:

      …. this is what my missus has to say

      being a “naughty boy” does not make one a sexual predator … those were the times & this type of “play” was common … you could choose not to take it on board & be a victim … you could brush it aside & sometimes even take it as a compliment … the use of mobile phones these days has added another level of invasiveness to the problem … we all now know behaviour needed to change … old school guys like Rush are getting tangled up in the new attitude to this type of behaviour … we need to be able to call it out & stop it without shredding a person’s reputation

    • No More Dredging says:

      Just saw the interview for the first time. I thought both interviewer and interviewee gave excellent professional accounts of themselves. Interested in your use of the word ‘liar’, although I guess you did use the ‘and/or’ mechanism. But mainly I’m fascinated by your ” concern about the damage caused to a legitimate movement” (#MeToo). I would have thought that Yael Stone would be embraced by #MeToo for her courage in coming out despite her regrets. At least she had the strength to put her feelings directly to her tormentor in writing before going public. I admire her candour.

      • The Magpie says:

        So you thought the interviewee ‘gave an excellent professional account of herself’. NMD, you cloth-head, interviewees in the victim category aren’t supposed to be ‘professional’ but you are right to label it so … not just Yael but also the small army of ‘professional’ shifty lawyers, media types and urgers with other agendas who groomed her for this totally self-promoting bullshit interview. Her snowflake account of matters – so conveniently timed – is so transparently cheap shot interference in a totally separate matter (which is also complete twaddle), that, yes, it does weaken the strength and credibility of the #MeToo movement. A classic case of Unintended Consequences.

        • No More Dredging says:

          “Cloth-head”? Whatever. Late in the interview, Yael Stone revealed that she wrote to Rush once Norvill’s allegations (in the Telegraph defamation case) were made public but did not receive a response.

          “I reached out to Geoffrey privately and wrote a letter that basically said, ‘I’ve struggled a lot with the relationship that we’ve had’,” she said.

          “I saw him as a friend. And a really respected colleague. And we had become close over the years. He’s an incredibly fun, charming man. And we had spent time together. I wrote that I never addressed the uncomfortable parts of our relationship because they were just so hard to deal with. So I put them away in a box, in that too-hard basket, and I just didn’t address it.

          “I wrote in the conclusion of that email, that this was written in the spirit of healing and that I hoped we could come together privately and work through it. Unfortunately I didn’t receive any response.”

          This is hardly the script of someone in thrall of a “small army of ‘professional’ shifty lawyers, media types and urgers with other agendas who groomed her for this totally self-promoting bullshit interview”, although you know more than you’re letting on. As for the timing, the court case is over. Public opinion won’t change the outcome.

          • The Magpie says:

            That, old chum, is EXACTLY the script the backroom boys (or gals probably) would think up. because they know the world is largely made of of people like , like … well, like you, you gullible duffer.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            No. More Dredging you surprise me, here I was thinking you would be completely occupied for the 3 day socialist stiffy fest that is the Labor party national conference in Adelaide but you still managed to pop into the nest and make a comment, multi tasking, I am impressed.

    • Jatzcrackers says:

      The interviewee has rehearsed that performance more times than she has with her prior stage performances. Sales is very professional, no question, and appeared at times to be resisting the urge to laugh out loud at the orchestrated performance by Ms Stone ! Be interesting to see if the judge running the court case involving Geoffrey Rush cancels the trial and orders a new one on the grounds of blatant interference! As a good mate of mine (not know for his tactfulness) says ‘My bullshit alarm just went off’ !!

  22. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Merry Xmas to you Pie and to all the nesters, may your beers be cold and your whisky top shelf, your Xmas lunch conversation robust as we look to the year ahead with the knowledge that barring a minor miracle or interference from a higher power, Labor is coming!

  23. Wily Wombat says:

    I wonder how Slomo is going to react to 006.5 Andrew Broads Sugar Daddy shenanigans.
    I am afraid he will have to declare war on New Zealand to take our mind of it.
    I know, move the Australian Embassy in the UK from London to Belfast Slomo.
    This guy is a worse dud than Turnbull and is now fast approaching Onion Man in stupidity.

    • Grumpy says:

      Yep, Cubics, one has to wonder if it is a form of hari-kari to avoid being in control during the upcoming world recession everyone is talking about. Even Labor must be getting suspicious of these gifts of wooden horses being wheeled into their Kolkhoz practically every week. But perhaps this really is the death of the Liberals as a political force.

      However, one has to wonder about the appetite of the great unwashed when news editors think that running a story about some nobody getting a bit of internet-sourced nooky will attract more readers and be of more intellectual interest than the first budget surplus in ten years.

      One thing, though, I have had the privilege of meeting a number of Rhodes Scholars and none of them struck me as being particularly stupid.

      • No More Dredging says:

        Grumps, yesterday I heard the Treasurer patting himself on the back for all the hard work he had done to bring in a recent and brief wave of tax income to the Treasury to help land a surplus. He didn’t congratulate taxpayers or struggling farmers or the “great unwashed”; he claimed the credit himself. In doing so he has diminished whatever “intellectual interest” taxpayers have left such that a bit of tawdry Nationals laundry and a public flogging of Indian cricket on daytime TV easily rates higher. Even the now-concluded Labor national conference is more interesting than the slow-motion car crash of the Abbott Turnbull (Joyce) Morrison coalition government. Are we there yet?

        • Grumpy says:

          …and your point is?

          • No More Dredging says:

            Oh, Christ, eat your greens Grumpy. You made an observation:

            “However, one has to wonder about the appetite of the great unwashed when news editors think that running a story about some nobody getting a bit of internet-sourced nooky will attract more readers and be of more intellectual interest than the first budget surplus in ten years.”

            What sort of appetite do you expect of the great unwashed when politicians think that news of a fucking surplus is supposed to be interesting? It’s about as fascinating as watching paint dry especially when delivered by a drongo who thinks that his hard work is what makes the tax intake rise. FFS. Are we there yet?

          • Grumpy says:

            “Are we there yet” ?

            We are. Unfortunately.

            If you are not interested in a fairly significant fiscal achievement and the little fat marsupial thinks something is wrong with family values, then it says much more about you two poor losers than it does anything else. Probably that you are both man-vags.

          • No More Dredging says:

            Grumpy, back at the time of the 2018 Budget, the then-Treasurer announced there would be a surplus. Now, the Government has received $8.3 billion more than it expected in the first half of this financial year, thanks largely to greater collections of individual and company taxes. So there is a golden opportunity right now, this year to really seriously address the “debt and deficit crisis” that we are constantly reminded that Labor got us into. So what does the hard-labouring current Treasurer do? He plans to blow most of the dough on tax cuts leaving the expected ‘surplus’ much as expected. The ‘debt’ stays where it is, Google and Amazon and Facebook still walk off paying no tax and those government services crying out for funding (health, education, energy, the environment, water) are left where they are while legacy projects such as the Nationals pork barrel inland rail project spills Barnyard dollars and small-town backyard corruption all over the joint. Which is LNP business-as-usual. Even without the cricket, Grand Designs or Days of Our Lives, daytime TV is still more exciting. Sorry but we ain’t quite there yet.

          • Grumpy says:

            NMD (reply button not there again)

            So you are interested in the budget surplus? Seems that you have plenty to say about it. Even if it is virtue-signalling, pretentious, googled bullshit.

            Which sorta proves my original point, don’t it?

          • No More Dredging says:

            Grumps, in the spirit of Christmas and recognising that in a time of surplus we should all be thanking our lucky stars, all hail Mighty Treasurer Josh and his fucking hard earned little Surplus-thingy. Let’s hope he doesn’t choke writing out the cheque for the stadium + that little bit extra for Jenny and the CFMMEU and a touch more for the Barnyard Inland Murray Darling Rail Irrigation Federal ICAC War Memorial Uluru Statement Channel Widening Knob Throttling Feminist Submarine Corporation. It’s all good. Hope you find an F35 in your stocking (because it may not be flying overhead).
            And BigBird’Pie, thanks for the Nest and its contents this past year. With the Ross River dam levels rising even before we get to birth the baby Jesus, 2019 seems destined to be the year of the Flood. Industrial deafness may prevent me hearing your shout-out (or not) but please know that I’m listening. Hooray and bugger ya.

          • The Magpie says:

            Oh, dear, when cousins marry ….

            But your angst about any Federal government surplus will soon be calmed, with Labor about to get in … there won’t be one for long … look up your history books.

      • Wily Wombat says:

        Well, I don’t have to be an Einstein to see that you are full of yourself Grumpy. I’ve met a Rhodes Scholar once also. Well, I went to a Kris Kristoffersen concert anyway. Does that count? Tones isn’t a very stable genius like the Don but, is he?

        Of course, Broad deserves front page status. Sex sells, especially from hypocritical happy clappers who espouse family values.

  24. Mike Douglas says:

    Smoke and Mirrors Mayor Mullet and Townsvilles Christmas present as she has carved off $4.5 savings off a $5.7 mil 18/19 deficit down to $1.2 mil . As a reflection of her management she can’t manage a surplus or pay down any debt . Of course timing means a further $30 mil has been cut from a strong works program of $399.7 mil . Am I the only person that thinks timing means T.C.C is running on empty re cashflow ?.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Interesting to note that the council have not awarded installation of Stage 1 and Stage 2 of our much publicised bigger than JT pipeline. Stages 3 and 4 have been awarded at more than $23 million each. We have been told the the state government were good for the funds so why the delay?

    • Dearie Me says:

      Wasn’t this the biggest capital works budget in the history of the world?

      Anyone who has ever read TCC financial accounts will know that the capital works budgets are never spent in full on what is originally intended. So this bigger is better approach was always doomed. Especially since engineers are now being contracted in due to excessive cuts and resignations during the reign of the mad witch Adele.

    • "Waste" OFTAM says:

      Vehical purchases and maintenance are something that has been cut also. If I were you all I’d be very cautious around any council vehicles as they pass you buy. Vehicals meant for essentially services are 4 to 5yrs overdue for replacement. Overtime is through the roof from mechanical failure. Jobs that should be done on normal time is being performed on double time. Name any business that will last that long running like that. The famous nous report recommends outsourcing services to contract. The council only recently approved the 20mil in funding at a council meeting for the stadium. If my amount is incorrect I’m sure someone will correct me. Timing of this handover of funds whilst our frontline services are being run into the ground. Will the unions back the ground workers when hill contracts them out? Her excuse is to use the nous report and have every rate payer believe that everything she will contract will bring your rates down. What nobody realizes is that contractors charge to profit not to serve. Your utilities will increase dramatically. Tcc has some of the lowest cost of utilities services in qld. Not to mention the job losses because of poor management. Last point on finances of tcc, when Jensen dump closes on 26th January 2019 this is another high take revenue stream lost by the council. Where do you think the money’s coming from then?

      • Concerned says:

        Well a lot of idiots voted for the bogan, and now those that voted for the bogan should be happy that our once beautiful city has been decimated by this ALP team of Fwits.
        Anyone with half a brain could see that the writing was on the wall and nothing else was ever going to happen when the bogan got the majority.
        CBD, CBD, CBD

    • Tangerine says:

      “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
      ― Margaret Thatcher

  25. seagull says:

    after a few beers at the old post office yestday ….. had to have a bit of a laugh … there seems to be 1 type of retail outlet that is flourishing in the dead heart of TSV …. op shops , yep there are now 4 of em more or less side by side up that end of flinders st … says a lot … what a treat for the cruise ship pax !

  26. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Good to see the Astonisher editor stick her head up and give it to the state govt and union lackey De Brenni about the farcical situation at the stadium regarding new workplace arrangements and a puppet union appointment to oversee the project. If she could just bring herself to look at the absolute cluster fuck that is this council and Jenny Hill with the same vigour I could almost see myself buying a newspaper again.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Cbh,

      Get a pet bird and a wood burning BBQ and you have a valid reason to purchase the Astonisher once every 10 days or so.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie fully agrees with one question … did Jenna Cairney actually write this editorial, one of the best examples of what editorials are about that has been printed in this paper for some time? It is well known that senior journalists from time to time are invited to write the editorial if they have some expertise on the subject. But The ‘Pie isn’t sure it could be Tony Raggatt, it seems too strident for the normally diffident and inoffensive opinions Raggers expresses in his occasional columns. Ray Anderson, maybe? And indeed, although it is much to be doubted, it is pure Shari Tagliabue in style and tone. Maybe it is Jenna after all, learning some style and analysis from others.

      But whomsoever is the author,, it is well worth posting here.

      • Grumpy says:

        Wow!

        Away working and had not seen this.

        You go, girl.

        • Kenny Kennett says:

          …or boy

        • Non Aligned Worker says:

          Grumps
          Trying not to appear negative but maybe the Bullsheet has seen the writing on the wall and figures now is time to capture the (revised) popular readership opinion?
          Maybe their on-line questionnaire results have shown where the popular opinion lies?

          • The Magpie says:

            That was the driving force behind this purely marketing idea when it started years ago … as if anyone with any power would take any notice of such an unrepresentative sampling … except the Bulletin as a basis for jumping to convenient conclusions forn the sake of filling space that doesn’t come at the cost of investigative journalism.. And then when they start running stories based on what people box tick (need to keep it simple, now) and then those in power see it in the media, and start to react to it, and the most inane ideas gain some traction. That is the way of the world nowadays.

          • The Stockman says:

            These editorials are few and far between. Too few, too far.
            Newspapers should hold government and business accountable, not pander and act as an advertising arm. Too little too late to claw back the readers now I rekon.
            Blogs like this one flourish in the absence of real reporting.
            Thank god.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Humm, sorry to say, but the ‘roar’ from a Nth Old mouse will not be heard by the CFMEU Government for South-East Queensland. It will make some locals feel good but that is it.

        Don’t believe me? Watch and you will see that nothing will change.

  27. Dave Nth says:

    Some Townsville businesses don’t help themselves. Neighbour gives big thumbs down to Townsville Fruit Barn Currajong. No signs on door or registers stating they charge 20c for using an eftpos card no matter the size of the transaction but a pushy just press ok to the surcharge after swiping, no explanation till he challenged them on what it was for. He won’t be back & is currently wording everyone up he knows about it. FMD how hard is it to put a sign up and be upfront…

    • Grumpy says:

      …and how about them credit card surcharges by the airlines?

    • Little Miss Muffet says:

      I’m pretty sure that’s illegal now. A surcharge can only reflect the true cost to the business of completing that transaction. Someone should remind them of that.

      Not me though. I stopped going there a while back when I realised the poor attitude and service wasn’t a one-off ‘bad day’.

      • Dave Nth says:

        He is adamant, debit card from savings. He said he used the credit card first but was withdrawing from the linked savings account then changed to the debit card cause he thought it was a credit surcharge. When the charge appeared again he challenged it & was told as such.

        He said they were Caucasian when I asked because the only places I have seen that tight usually are Asian grocers around Box Hill in Melbourne & Liverpool in Sydney though in fairness the practice is dying now. He is not so much annoyed about them chosing to charge just the mere fact they don’t have signs up & the pushy nature to just push ok to agree to the charge with no explanation…

  28. Mike Douglas says:

    Gotta love Carey Ramm. The blokes company AEC has ( and still does) earn a motza from T.C.C. + Tel in research to attract investment but when we get an International Brewer wanting to build a micro brewery he lodges an appeal “ not in my backyard” . Carey has used his Townsville profits and invested in Asia building multi million $ operations . Does he even still live in the Ville or FIFO ?.

  29. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Looks like Carey Ramm ain’t too keen to have any competition to his brewery in town by opposing the council approval of a new brewery across the bridge in Sth Townsville. This is a typical response from lazy Townsville businesses that havent changed for many years and then become faced with competition. Rather than looking at their own tired bland offering and changing to meet market expectations the easiest option is to tie it up in court proceedings for as long as possible, I hope the challenge is thrown out of the planning court and a message is sent to the tired old guard of Townsville business who want to keep Townsville a backwater for their own gain, no more, it’s time for a change.

  30. Dave of Kelso says:

    Christmas greetings Dear “Pie,

    Hope you see fit to publish this.

    I wrote this after going from my work across the road into Stockland Shopping Centre to get lunch. It was a couple of days before Christmas and I could not believe the frenetic crowds, lack of courtesy and the obnoxious youth. It was horrible! I am not against Christmas, just what the shopping centres have done with it. This poem fell out of my head in the hour or so that followed my return to my office. You might say it was a case of the Government sponsoring the arts in a very minor way.

    Christmas Time Again

    by Dave of Kelso, December 2006

    Christmas time is here by golly
    Let’s indulge in Christmas folly
    Merchants smile and give a sigh,
    While we go out and buy! buy! buy!

    Shopping centre crowds a tussle
    Push and shove, hustle bustle,
    At this joyous time of year
    Buying things is in top gear.

    Buying pressies that are nice,
    Don’t pay too much now watch that price.
    Into the trolley stuff more more more
    Pressies for relies you don’t adore.

    Christmas cards from those afar
    Can’t remember who they are
    Write them out a yuletide card
    Let’s keep alive this Christmas charade.

    Hark the Herald angle sings
    And another Christmas carol flings
    Endlessly through the shopping centre
    Just to enhance Christmas shopping pleasure.

    Peace on earth and to all good will
    And all our money goes in the till
    Coles and K Mart, Woollies and Myers
    They just love us little Christmas buyers.

    Credit card it gets a thrashing
    As through the shops we go flashing
    Later on we can pay the bills
    When post-Christmas debt depression builds.

    Christmas time is here by golly
    Let’s indulge in Christmas folly
    Merchants smile and give a sigh,
    While we go out and buy! buy! buy!

    —ooo000ooo—

  31. Dutch Reverend says:

    So TCC collect rubbish 365 days of the year. REALLY ??!! Hands up who gets a collection on the weekends.

    • Over this Hill mob says:

      The Strand and other public places.

    • Wily Wombat says:

      They collect from parks and gardens on weekends Dutchie, seen them do it.

    • "Waste" OFTAM says:

      Lots of high volume units and mostly commercial properties are on weekends. Technically it’s correct lol. That is if you have vehicals that haven’t broken down or failed main roads inspection. Yes there is a collection Christmas and boxing day as normal. Maybe not normal this year as there are 14 drivers away because they are sick of not being able to get leave during the year so maybe you’ll get your bin picked up. And again that’s if every truck has managed to make it through the day without breaking down. But this is the new Jenny hill way of savings ratepayers money, just dont spend it on essentially services or maintenance and you save heaps in the very short term. That way she has more money to give to consultants. I see there’s a new public consultation AGAIN! to do with future cities. Its was already done last council did they lose the outcome or because TVs first did it.

  32. Dutch Reverend says:

    Thanks everyone.. I stand corrected on the rubbish collection

    • Dearie Me says:

      I wouldn’t worry too much… In an effort to cut costs, bins have been removed from public spaces. No bins… No collection…. Seems so logical
      People now just throw their rubbish in the bushes instead and TCC promote recycling and sustainability on their Facebook page

  33. seagull says:

    Council looking at offering free CBD parking

    FREE 30-minute parking in the Townsville CBD is being considered as part of a push to further entice shoppers into the area. Townsville City Council is investigating a proposal to double its current free 15-minute parking in two-hour spaces permanently from

    no doubt about it …. we have some true visionaries heading up TCC

    • The Magpie says:

      Worked a treat on whatever planet they all come from, why not here?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      TCC must live in a vacuume. 30 minutes is still not enough time for that anxiety free shopping experience.

      At The Plaza at Maroochydore (a true holiday destination) where parking is near impossible at peak season (most of the year these days) the first 3 hours are free.

      Now there is an example our Boof Heads could follow.

      • Inside TCC says:

        It’s not their fault, they live in a bubble and are being advised by a bunch of complete morons. We really should feel sorry for them, except of course they hired those morons and their friends and their families and now everyone is so busy telling them how wonderful and smart they are nobody is living in the real world.

    • Scotty says:

      But there needs to be something to visit. Why would I drive into the city to look at For Lease signs?

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Our son, who grew up here, is visiting from Brisbane. Today we went to Ravenswood. Tomorrow he is keen to visit the CBD to see how they compare.

  34. The Magpie says:

    More from a sharing, caring News Corpse. seems it’s a company thing, not just Townsville.

  35. young fella says:

    hmmmm

    this may be the service one will get at new hotel

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/28/us/black-man-kicked-out-hotel-portland.html

    • The Magpie says:

      Crikey, if that’s DoubleTree policy worldwide, The ‘Pie can think of about 50 NRL players that won’t be able to stay there. And if JT has a blue with his missus and decides to stay out for the night, don’t bother trying Doubletree, mate, they have their rules.

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