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The Magpie

Sunday, May 12th, 2019   |   120 comments

The Ultimate Outsourcing: The Mayor And Her Councillors Contract Out The Job We Pay THEM To Do

The latest disconnect this mayor and council have from the community comes in the guise of a you-beaut, inclusive- sounding initiative … a Livability Survey. But there is something drastically wrong with it. The Magpie reveals.

At last, the CBD gets the much-ballyhooed bus ‘hub’ … which actually turns out to be something else altogether.

And suddenly, The Magpie didn’t feel quite so alone this week when the worm turned for News Corpse … three of their former or current senior journalist blast the Corpse’s biased campaign coverage.

And what’s in a name … the Queen’s not too sure.

But first …

Big Party Blues

As he ages, there are many things The Magpie cannot raise anymore (money for instance, no idea what you were thinking), and he can add to that list any real enthusiasm for the Federal election campaign. Bromide piled on top of bullshit has washed over us for weeks now, and will do until next Saturday comes divine deliverance (divine in that we’ll sigh ‘Thank Christ that’s over’).

In an election that is fragmented across a myriad of sectional and regional interests, the outcome is hard to predict but will be dictated by legendary political truism from Jack Lang ‘In the race of life, always back self-interest – at least you know its trying’. And set to benefit by default, the minor parties are clapping their hands in glee.

But Labor’s release yesterday of its costing for the rosy future of surpluses and billions in infrastructure has added a little more frisson to the campaign, with one particular move – removing the perk of franking credits on super fund earnings – has the ageing section of the electorate waving their walking frames in outrage. Bentley knows how they feel.

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The ‘Pie has repeatedly predicted that many voters will roll a frag grenade into both Big Party tents, and we could be headed for a balance of power, minority administration. Which will vouch for the fact that we will, as the Chinese/Arab curse has it ‘live in interesting times’.

Blasting The Bias

There is a Townsville connection to the biggest story of the week, the quite unprecedented (except for The Magpie) revolt of several senior nationally recognised News Corpse journalist against the disgraceful anti-Labor smear campaigning of the main mastheads. But it is not Rupert Murdoch’s doing, more son Lachlan’s, who is far more to the right than his father … and nowhere near as smart … who is behind the blatant and brand damaging attack on Labor and in particular The Short Un. The final straw for many News journos was this front page of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

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It was prompted by The Short Un’s blubby Q&A homage to his mother on Monday night. The Telegraph sunk the slipper with its front page story, accusing Shorten of being some sort of class traitor because he omitted to say that after all the hardship he listed on TV, his mother went on to become a highly successful barrister later in life.

And that’s where the Townsville connection comes in, because the iditor of the Telegraph is none other than the bloke on the right in this pic …

Richo, Krayem, English

… Ben ‘Bogan’ English, who infested the editor’s office of the Townsville Bulletin for an ill-starred stint a few years ago. He is remembered around town, especially by the Gilded Few and other hanger-ons, as a likeable bloke in person, but behind a keyboard, he reverted to type every time. And now, The ‘Pie is vindicated in choosing his nickname for this blog. And so it was his over-reach to brown-nose Lachlan that has led to astonishing defections of loyalty.

First, social affairs editor of the Australian, Rick Morton let fly to a university audience, saying the ‘(biased) craziness has been dialled up’ in recent months.

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Then, even more surprising and damaging, multi-award winning News stalwart Tony Koch.

Tony KochKoch, who ironically counts in his trophy cabinet the Keith Murdoch Award for Excellence (Rupert’s revered dad), weighed in without compromise, saying “No editor I worked for would have put up with the biased anti-Labor rubbish that, shamefully, the papers now produce on a daily basis.”

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And even Rupert’s former top lieutenant in Australia, Chris Mitchell gave limp-wristed support to Tony, saying Koch’s comment were ‘worth considering’, although he pointed out that the Telegraph’s attack was on Shorten and not his mother … as though that’s OK then. But in media circles, Mitchell’s failure to defend News Corpse under their usual ‘my mother drunk nor sober’ rule, is astounding.

We’re talking national issues here, but make no mistake, that culture of bias and self-interest, which has quietly been around for years, trickles right down through News Corpse to regional outposts … like Townsville. As if you didn’t know that.

Outsourcing Our Future – Christ, As If The Nous Report Wasn’t Enough

Jenny Hill

She’s a clever little Mullet … or was this Dolan’s bright re-election campaign idea?

A couple of Magpie chums report that they were handed this flyer while strolling The Strand during the week.

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They were even offered a voucher for a coffee at a local café while they read it, which since it is a council initiative, means recipients were shouting themselves a coffee.

But this is a deeply cynical invitation to take part in an on-line survey aimed at Jenny Hill’s re-election next year. She’s in full campaign mode because she knows how deep in the shit she is with the electorate.

Now this is NOT cranky old fart stuff. BECAUSE HERE’S THE THING … the flyer says the council has teamed up with (Sydney crowd) Placescore to survey what people think of their neighbourhood and ways to improve it. This is done by filling out a tick and flick survey of pre-determined attributes you like. This all then be collated to – as the flyer tells us – ‘guide council in planning for the future of your neighbourhood in a way that reflects your values’.

So who the hell is Placescore. Well, here’s how Placescore describes itself on-line:‘Today PLACESCORE is the first place experience (PX), diagnostic, engagement, benchmarking, tracking and marketing platform. Our purpose is to make places better for people by providing community insights that help us understand local values and current place experience in order to build a clear evidence base for planning and investment’.

That this is remote control, by-the-numbers pure tosh, a feel-good waste of time, isn’t the point.

THE POINT IS THAT THIS IS EXACTLY WHY WE PAY 10 COUNCILLORS $120,000 PER YEAR TO DO … TO REPRESENT OUR IDEAS TO THE COUNCIL BY REGULAR CANVASSING OF EACH ONE’S ALLOTTED NEIGHBOURHOOD. WHY HAVE WE ENGAGED A SYDNEY CROWD TO DO WHAT THESE SLACK-ARSED, ALWAYS  CAMERA-READY LOAFERS SHOULD BE DOING? SHOULDN’T THEY FROM THE DAY OF THEIR ELECTION BEEN OUT DOING EXACTLY WHAT THIS SURVEY PURPORTS TO BE DOING?

Why are we spending more money on top of their salaries – including free coffee, print costs and people to hand out flyers in various locations? And a fee to an analytical mob in Sydney with no real feeling or knowledge of or for this community … just like the Nous report that so callously shredded our council staff.

Tell you why … because Mayor Mullet is running scared of the ballot box next March and as always, is happy to disguise campaign spending by using council money like this.

Disgraceful in the extreme … in part because no matter what anyone suggests, do you really think this scheming mayor and her featherbedded aerobics voting team will do anything with the information? The only outcome would be to pinch any bright idea and grab the glory, while smothering results in meaningless buzz word rhetoric.

Cynical? Just see if The ‘Pie is wrong … but it’ll be too late by then..

AND ALSO …

The Magpie has often wondered about the strange invented term ‘city placemaker’ foisted on us by Mayor Mullet, no doubt thought up by the trendy Nous mob, or maybe Mojo’s yesterday man Don Morris (who it seems, according to the Astonisher’s letters to the iditor page, now lives in Townsville). Yes, maybe the latter, because doesn’t he have something to do with what the council website tells us here:

WHO IS THE CITY PLACEMAKER/MASTERPLANNER?

Pure Projects has been selected as the City Placemaker/Masterplanner by Council after going through an extensive selection process that was put out to the market The City Placemaker ensures future developments and projects are consistent with the Townsville2020 vision. This includes private as well as public development..

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? The successful consultants will provide concepts and recommendations for each project. When the concepts for the projects have been accepted, the Townsville2020 implementation plan will be released, which will outline the planning and construction next steps.

Given the unusual invented buzz term Placemaker (WTF does that mean anyway in terms of language?), could there be any relationship between Placemaker and Placescore? Unusual coincidence, and spooky eh, possums.

Speaking Of Wrong Words

We have finally got it … whatever it is. We were promised a you beaut, $4million bus hub, so after eight loooong years, as of Monday, we’ve got … a bus stop! Honestly. That’s it.

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Really, is this what all the fuss has been about?

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What a cruel hoax. On the public, on business owners, on the gormless Chamber of Commerce.   Interminable ‘soon, shortly, it’s coming’ statements from Deputy Doo Dah, Les Messagebank Walker raised our expectations, but this is a bloody joke. There can be no denying that this is a strip of shelters where several buses can pull in at once.

In terms of the political ballyhoo this is massive con, no wonder Mayor Mullet made sure that Les Walker took the lead on media announcements about it. And of course, vacuous grin ever at the ready, Goofy walked straight into this swinging door.

And just on the matter language, here’s what ‘hub’ means:

Hub (noun)

a central  transport facility from which many services operate: the city’s major transportation hub for bus and rail | 

The CBD is, for want of a more accurate term, a ‘destination’ and certainly not a hub, radiating buses out into the ‘burbs as a starting point, unless one is a devotee of the council’s dismal social engineering codswallop.

Speaking Of Codswallop

The surprise winner of this week’s Codswallop Cup … and it’s certainly a surprise to The Magpie … is Chamber of Commerce CEO Marie-Claude Brown.

The ‘Pie says he is surprised because in his dealings with Ms Brown over the years, he has always found her polite, considered and competent if somewhat – in a media sense – carefully colourless.

But she earns the gong for her statement in the Saturday Astonisher story about the prospects for the current CBD wasteland. In a somewhat weird write-up, Ms Brown seemed to be having the Chamber’s usual two-bob each way, putting the onus on the council to keep its promises.

But then she said ‘It doesn’t matter what has happened in the past, what is important is right now.’

Marie, have a look along Flinders Street and all the For Lease signs and tell us again … or better, tell your property owning, rate paying members … that what happened in the past doesn’t matter. And think about the timid approach the Chamber has consistently taken for fear of offending the council when it came to pivotal decision regarding the CBD.

Also, your organisation’s failure to act in their own interests and lobby persistently for an entertainment/convention/ concert hall centre instead of buying (and still buying by the sounds of it) the fallacious argument that the stadium will make any significant difference to the fortunes of the CBD.

Look, The ‘Pie has no big beef with you beyond his oft-stated disappointment of you not being more assertive and innovative, but to say what has happened in the past doesn’t matter behooves The ‘Pie to suggest you keep in mind philosopher George Santayana’s dictum: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.’

The convention/entertainment centre should surely be miles ahead of any other consideration of, or on behalf of, your members. And the Townsville community.

The Astonisher Won’t Name Names, But The ‘Pie Will Name One

On Saturday, the Astonisher re-ran an old yarn about the dilapidated state of some properties arolund the place, particularly in the CBD.

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For a fearless, campaigning paper willing to name and shame people for any number of minor sins, the paper was noticeably shy of naming owners of these run-down properties.  Well, The ‘Pie only knows one owner on show here, so he will -albeit reluctantly, because he has a close relationship with the bloke -name the owner of the crumbling eyesore at 693 Flinders Street … that would be the investment pride and joy of the canny investor Barry Taylor.  Hope he keeps his $10million Noosa waterfront pad in better repair. Little wonder the paper didn’t name him, knowing his touchy ego and his eagerness to sue people who mention his name, the paper would be a worthwhile target … at least they have some money to lose.

The Cracks Are Starting To Appear

One single word in a Donald Trump statement this week may have been the signal that this megalomaniac’s rule is coming to an end. Trump tweeted his usual denial of being cosy with the Russians, but said there was ‘essentially no collusion.’ ‘Essentially’ is one large leap backwards for this compulsive liar. The light might slowly be seeping in. But he has a new champion in his corner.

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“Executive privilege.’

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Baby Talk

The new resident of Frogmore Cottage (any more kids born there and it will be renamed Sprogmore Cottage) has been the talk of the town … well, the world actually. But it’s the name Harry has chosen (the missus wouldn’t have had much say in it) that provided some mild diversion from the usual up-chuck coverage.

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…………..

That’s it for another week, do let Magpie Placemaker know your thoughts by posting a comment … of course he will take notice of them – as much as the council will of its survey. And The ‘Pie might get himself a coffee if your feeling generous enough for a donation to keep the Nest up on high, the how to 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.

120 Comments

  1. Mike Douglas says:

    Take into account the new bus hub, Cowboys leagues club upgrade , cbd building purchases( a couple which were high profile companies moving from leasing to their own properties ) the laneway between the bus hub, flinders st and city lane their has been approx $40 mil spent in just over 12 mths ) . I’ve put $ in and will continue as my yields far outweigh residential ( especially if labor get in and stop negative gearing on existing properties ) . The cbd is nowhere where it needs to be but with lots of improved connectivity decent yields are available .I have no issues with sceptics because many don’t even own any Commercial or residential property and on a certain associations fb page ( are they a registered association ?) Townsville is like Detroit so there is less competition buying .

    • The Magpie says:

      You are in a fortunate position, Mike, one assumes none of your properties are vacant and have been for some time? The only way to beat the skeptics is when the For Lease signs come down and there are people in the streets.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Yield is worthless, capital growth is where the real money is and Townsville is not the place you want to be for that, and if you have a tenant today they may not be there next week, as the empty premises and for lease signs clearly indicate, the place ain’t going to well. The only saving grace for many is that a lot of the CBD is owned by family trusts for many many years and most don’t give a shit if the place stays empty for another decade or more, handy to offset growth in other areas, but that only lasts so long and at some stage that situation will change, but not for Townsville , and not for a while yet.

      • The Magpie says:

        How about a council by-law that doubles the rates pro rata for the time the place stays empty. In a free market, someone has to take a hit with lower rents and returns, and those you mention may well have a little thinkette about not caring or making an effort for the wider community. Of course, the Gilded Few would choke on their Louis Roederer Cristal if that were even contemplated – and if you don’t know what Louis Roederer Crital is, then you’re clearly not one of the Gilded Few, and therefore don’t deserve to know.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          I have long advocated a similar approach, they debated it years ago in the eighties in Surfers Paradise, lots of southern owners who didn’t mind places sitting empty and wanted exorbitant prices to sell, creating run down blocks of shuttered shops. Max Christmas lead the calls for the council to adopt a vacant premises levy, if they are happy to take a loss then might as well make it a decent one and hit them hard. In the end the market turned and the council quickly made life a misery for neglectful owners through compliance issues etc and the shops soon filled and eventually many were knocked down and new buildings constructed, which is what most of them were waiting for anyway, but anyone waiting for that sort of outcome in Townsville will be waiting a long time, not exactly a shortage of sites currently, just a serious lack of projects.

      • Mike Douglas says:

        Cantankerous , you don’t think the buyers at the bottom of the Property Clock in Townsville, if bought in the right location with decent leases in place are not going to get capital growth ?. Yield is important as it allows loan repayment, premise upgrades and acceptable r.o.i to retain tenants . Other than GBRMPA I havnt seen a lot of tenants relocating .

  2. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Agree about the election Pie, a complete snooze fest. For those of us in business we have all counted on a Labor win and started taking action months ago anyway, it’s why the country has shit itself over the last few months, but now the spectre of a hung parliament is scary shit, who knows what leeches like Oakshot will want this time if he gets in. So let’s hope one side or the other gets over the line, even a Labor Govt will be better than a hung parliament and we have already planned for it.

  3. upagumtreeperson says:

    Magpie have you heard that the Calvary associated Access van has been canned?
    Short short article on Friday’s Seven local news but no details in full. Nothing on Calvary’s website yet.

  4. Linda Ashton says:

    The CBD that was …
    Maybe open up shopfronts that currently have signs saying “for lease, vacant, closing down” to free undercover parking. As a long time resident of Townsville I weep on the rare occasion I now venture to this arrested city “heart.” To think the average family with kids from perhaps Bushland Beach, Kalynda, or Kelso will be able to afford travel to and from the stadium, season footy tickets, fast food there or restaurant meals plus overnight hotel accommodation, then stroll flinders street next morning and spend generously, is a far stretch indeed. The degradation that’s occurred over 30 years is a travesty. The Strand is the saving grace. How often have residents told council that the absence of multi-storey parking, outrageous parking fines and high city rents for shopowners were major contributing factors for the decline? What would be the total of ratepayer dollars spent on tinkering around the edges with through traffic, no through traffic, trees in, trees out, street lighting in then out, over three decades? It will be interesting to do head counts on the uptake of transport to the city via the new bus hub that’s taken more than 6 years to materialise.

    Now a new council survey is being done (sources out to a Sydney company) to help councillors know what their local constituents think about the city’s liveability? Bang head on “for lease” sign and rush back to car before parking inspector does the deed.

  5. upagumtreeperson says:

    I wish the election was over Magpie. I would like the Libs to be returned. Sick of the polls and smug lefties/socialists saying they have won. Give me a break. Anything can happen on polling day. Do we really need smirking Shortun as our PM?

  6. Nelson says:

    Shortens tears over his mother was a crock of shit. – he most definitely should have been called out on it. He only gave half the story. Crocodile tears.

  7. Elephant says:

    I don’t think the ‘pie can accuse anyone else of being one-eyed when his blog runs only anti-Trump, Democrat-supporting cartoons, never Republican. And I’m sick of them – too many and so consistent they are boring.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie does not support the Dems or their policies, but he certainly makes no apology for continuing to hold Trump in contempt. Your comment says more about you and your values than it does about The ‘Pie.
      PS They’re easy to skip through without looking at them, just tried and it takes less than 2 seconds.

      • Alacan says:

        Chuckle , Chort .. ohh Lordy Lordy .. i think the cartoons are great.. i used to have the biggest collection of phantom comics and the anticipation of my old man bringing each new addition home when a nipper in the Towers was something that ill never forget. Its feels a bit the same as we anticipate the next trumponium teasers.. .and then ..
        each week as the Pie refers to Mr Walker i wounder just wounder … well Nah its not that Mr Walker ..just not the same .. common Elephant lighthen up old mate .. its all a hoot and we are a long time dead… However Mr Trump does need to be called out .. thank your deity that we are not yanks.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Hey Elephant, go play with your trunk, you plucker!

    • The Rolling Eye says:

      Nobody reads Magpie for his politics. Face it, you’re all here for the gossip.

      • The Magpie says:

        OK, The ‘Pie will accept that only in part, because he also deals in facts that the Bulletin avoids, asks the questions that the ‘fearless campaigning journalists’ at the Bulletin are too frightened (for their jobs) to ask, and tries to examine both sides of a coin, which the Bulletin rarely does.

  8. Critical says:

    Another half billion dollars of taxpayers money announced by Anna Alphabets government for the rehabilitation of members of the protected species of criminals. When will this ALP government learn that this is just throwing away money and this approach just doesn’t work and the only people to get anything out of this will be the hoards of social engineers and do called not-for-profit organizations. If the approach did work, why is the community still experiencing high rates of break and enters and car theft etc in both Townsville and Cairns and why is the government to gutless to publish the crimes lists in the QLD Police daily crime wrap email like they used to do in 2018.

  9. Whovians rock! says:

    Labor will win 10+ seats more than Libs for an outright lower house victory. Polls, bookies (Labor $1.13, Libs $6.00 !!), press south of Rocky, all point to this.
    North of Rocky we hang on to the prospect of growing coal markets and vote accordingly. Saturday will show we are in a diminishing minority and need to get on with life without Adani and others like it.
    Libs need their heads kicked for the unstable mess they are and have been for the past 2 terms (so much promise wasted!). The current front bench is a rabble, mostly on training wheels. It will take a few years to get back into fighting shape.
    So get used to seeing more of Shorten.
    I’m not a Labor or Green voter. Just pointing out the obvious conclusion to this election campaign.

    • The Magpie says:

      Let’s revisit your bold prediction this time next week. Or are you cheating and have taken a little trip in the Tardis?

      • Hee-Haw says:

        Pie, as an escape from the election and prompted by your post I would like to invite any readers interested in time travel to a meeting of like minded folks to discuss the possibilities.

        The meeting will be at 6 pm last Tuesday with rsvp by the 10th of March 2020. Looking forward to a full house.

    • Kingswood says:

      That sounds suspiciously like a getup sponsored advertisement whovian…

    • Kingswood says:

      4 million for an awning? I haven’t seen it in the flesh but is there anything the other side of Ogden? Didn’t they bugger the mitre 10 to build this, where has 4 million gone to produce this open sided dunny block?

      • The Magpie says:

        You ungrateful bastard!! Have you considered the number of times Les Walker has had to stand in the boiling sun to have his pic taken by the paper, and even the TV news had him out there, sweating away just to bring us the latest update … you forget he’s been doing this for you for years on this project. It is also rumoured that he unselfishly has actually answered his phone on several occasions when Mayor Mullet and even the occasional bum polisher in Brisbane rang him with his marching orders. And each and every time, he bravely smiled for the media, a public vacuous distracted grin, hiding behind which was an agonising personal question no man should have to ask himself … ‘Will I ever be mayor? Will she ever resign, and give a humble Corrections Officer a go? At this rate, there won’t be anything left for me to fuck up.’

        • Kingswood the ungrateful bastard says:

          ‘Tugs forelock’ . Sorry Les, if the bus passengers fail to turn up it will at least serve as a place for pigeons to copulate & defecate. Same might be said for itinerants and vomatorium devotees…open sided duñny block indeed…

      • LongtimeLurker says:

        Closer to $3.6m (really) for the construction…but then $267k also to design said lean-too roof..plus the purchase costs for the properties…..and in-hand with the above…$600k a year rent for the adjacent lane-way building (1st August 2018, good on the property owners in such a bear market!)

        https://www.townsville.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/54111/Contracts-more-than-$200K-Register-18-19-to-April.pdf

    • upagumtreeperson says:

      If you can do better mate, why not become a pollie.

    • Hear Deah says:

      Do any of the Candidate have odds of 100 to 1. It might be worth putting a bet on them as it worked for someone when picking Archies name in england.

  10. I’ll be plucked says:

    Hey Pie,

    ‘Swanee
    How I love you, how I love you
    My dear old Swanees’!!!

    Second win on the board – bout time and without the over-priced one called Buddy. Nice pole-dancing by Rampe! :)

  11. Dave of Kelso says:

    The pride and achievement of the TCC, the, (wait for it………..) BUS HUB, looks like a down market, slum version of the bus stops at the east side and front of Stockland (Nathan Plaza to the old timers) at Aitkenvale.

    My heart swells with pride at the achievements of our very own local government, the TCC.

  12. DEADTOOLE says:

    So is the bus hub where your journey is meant to start/finish??? Alot of money for nobody using the system. Flat out seeing anyone except the driver most nights in the city. Am I correct in thinking this is for the stadium in some way. What happens for the other 352 days a year? I’m not trying to sound negative im just curious, but like alot of people are saying it’s just a big bus stop nothing else.

  13. Pat Coleman says:

    Lee Bermingham , whom many at the Shepherdson Inquiry of 2001 into labor electoral roll rigging and rorts said had taught them how to do it – is back it seems .

    The realtime disclosure site has him donating to labor https://disclosures.ecq.qld.gov.au/Map

    Lee Bermingham Australian Labor Party (State of Queensland) 26-03-2019 MUDGEERABA 72A North Road Lower Beechmont $1,100.00

    That gives his address and the labor branch that should be bugged .
    The Shepherdson Inquiry report http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/research-and-publications/publications/misconduct/the-shepherdson-inquiry-an-investigation-into-electoral-fraud.pdf/download

    His Linkedin https://au.linkedin.com/in/lee-bermingham-aa51b911b
    His company page https://bermingham.co/about-us

    His company page and linkedin says he is currently General Manager at Qantac . If you type that company into http://democracyforsale.net/search-aec/ you will see $5k to Qld labor in 2015-15

    • The Magpie says:

      So what? That doesn’t mean he’s ‘back’, in the terms you imply of being active in party matters, it just means he – not unsurprisingly – donated to the comrades’s cause.

      • Pat Coleman says:

        Should he get government work ? is he a fit and proper person ? If he does get government work , do his donations, like everyone elses get him the $moolah ?

  14. Gonzo says:

    Pie, A great blog. I particularly liked the bus hub sheltering the shelters. I would imagine Townsville residents might be afraid to take the buses late at night, given the dismal environment shown in the photographs. On the Buses? I think not.
    And yes, the anti-News Limited pieces reminded me of the one day strike by journalists on The Australian in 1975 over the anti-Whitlam coverage of the election. I was one of the strikers and a number of journos left the paper in disgust after the election. Those were the good old days when you could walk across the street and get a job with a rival paper. I fear for Rick Morton’s employment but he’s a terrific writer and The Guardian might find a spot for him.
    And the Trump (and Barr) cartoons, as always, are wonderful. But I think the world is still stuck with Donald until 2020. God forbid he gets re-elected. Cheers.

  15. Pat Coleman says:

    The submissions to the so called inquiry into whether Qld will have compulsory preferential voting for council elections closes on Tuesday 21 May

    https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/committees/EGC/inquiries/current-inquiries/LGElectoralStg2ofBel2019

    As does the other inquiry that implements the high court prisoners voting rights case

    https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/committees/EGC/inquiries/current-inquiries/LGElectoralStg2ofBel2019

    Its a foregone conclusion that there will be CPV for local elections. That PR exercise by the LGAQ was to whitewash the fact that they were spending public money on the ALP and LNP the very week the developer ban, which they apposed was before the parliament https://disclosures.ecq.qld.gov.au/Map

    But, there are a number of constitutional cases stating that the law must have a sufficient connection to its purpose or they will fall like Unions NSW v NSW x2 . a bare statement that you want it like federal Compulsory preferential aint gonna cut it , cos its optional above the line for the senate and that cant be bad for the integrity of the system hey ?? . The 1996 statement that Compulsory is necessary to uphold the “integrity of the electoral system” renders anyone who mutters it a fool.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Prisoners voting?

      1967 studying the now long gone subject (more is the loss) of Citizenship, I found the three classes of people not entitled to vote mont amusing.

      It was then, and should still be, Lunitics, Criminals, and Peers of the Realm.

  16. Hondaman says:

    Re the truly magnificent new Bus Hub we have been blessed with, it surely is a bit of an underkill, I compare it to Hobart, which has a population and urban sprawl not unlike the ‘Ville. The magnificence of that proper Bus Hub, with at least six or eight different pick-up stations is probably how it really should be done, why do we not visit some of these cities to get a grip on how it should be done? Just wondering!!

    • Ducks nuts says:

      Please …. Please don’t suggest official visits… err junkets. In the last few years councillors and senior staff have visited China, India, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, the US, New Zealand and PNG.
      They’ve also been to numerous cities in Australia on ‘official’ visits ‘gathering information’ (and shopping).
      And what have we got to show for it? Other than a few pairs of shoes in councillor wardrobes and duty free scotch.

      • The Magpie says:

        Teh champion of wittering on about irrelevant things has to Little Patty O’Callaghan. No names, no pack drill, but a business mate of The Magpie was on the same flight home from a junket up to Singapore on some trumpeted mission to do some great deal for Townsville, so he naturally asked her how she went. Mate tells The ‘Pie she said something like ‘Great, have a look at all the new shoes I bought … and all a bargain.’

        When the TEL story is told, history will shaken its head.

  17. Townsville Sux says:

    I’ve lived in Townsville for about 30 years. I’m nearly a local, aye?
    Currently living in Kirwan and I had to visit the City on the weekend. Like everyone else, the vista of for lease signs, wire fences, dirty grimy footpaths and neglected buildings really depressed me.

    Then I headed home and looked at the gross piles of rubbish and junk in front of houses as they wait for the “Kerbside” pickup. Its been out for weeks in Kirwan.

    Ive come to the conclusion that this place really sux. It was great when I first arrived (even without the Strand and Riverway. Great place to raise kids, clean and modern and there was always something on the go. Nowadays we make a big deal about a bus stop fronting some down and out getto buildings.

    I know we are building a football stadium and a bridge to get to it. Excellent, I’m sure those that love football will be very happy. Not much in it for those of us that will never go to a football match. An integral entertainment centre may have been different.

    I blame the Council in general and Mayor in particular. I believe that they have all run their race and it is definitely time for a team with some vision and drive to have a run.I know there must be people who have Townsville and not party politics as their motivation.

    As for me, we are looking at moving on. There isn’t anything here to keep us. I used to quote life style as the reason we stayed but that has been eroded to the point whereby I feel we are now living in the third world. Perhaps something a little further north will provide what we are looking for.

    • Ipecac says:

      I’ve lived in Townsville all my life and have loved every minute of it, until the last 5-6 years. You could leave, and others already have…or we could turf Jenny and all of her team out, and bring back a strong ‘independant’ council.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Sadly something we hear all too often, long term residents leaving town, people just don’t see a future under Jenny Hill, just more of the same stagnant town we have had for the last few years. I think there will be a stampede out of town if she gets back in next year, it will be the last straw for many, there are plenty of other good places to live.

      • Cersei says:

        Jenny my dear, I have read the tarot, studied the tea leaves, stared at the crystal ball, examined a dead chook’s entrails and rattled some sheep’s knuckles.

        They all tell me that you are gonski (and that’s got nothing to do with schools).

        My advice is to jump before you are pushed and cite “I want to spend more time with my family” as the reason (they will be nearly as happy as most of the electorate!).

        I think you should “do a Quirk”. Less than 12 months to go to the next election so no need to elect your replacement. Give it to Les and watch him stuff it up.

        When Les loses, you can always say “We would have won if I’d stayed on”

        I hope this helps

    • Alahazbin says:

      It was only a few years that TEL had on their list of important projects for the city/region was 1. HELE Power Station. 2. A new Entertainment Centre.
      What happened?

    • P Terry Dactyl says:

      I too have lived here for 21 years and have watched as this city I once loved has become a rudderless wasteland… My wife has a job she enjoys at the hospital so I will be staying on until she has had enough… and that may not be long with Mr Mooney in charge and then we will leave forever..with some enjoyable memories but none from the last 5 years or so…

  18. The Inside Run says:

    Simpo (i.e Anthony Simpon Templeton head of TCC media unit) on unexplained leave and someone else has been given his role in an acting capacity until further notice. Sound familiar?

  19. Mike Douglas says:

    Politics is a tough game . With polls suggesting Phillip Thompson will Win Herbert Bill Shorten has detoured from Herbert to other Seats hoping to get Labor across the line . Labor Qld and our 3 local labor members won’t sign the Adani pledge and is Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk or Treasurer Jackie Trad showing Cathy Otoole any love ?.

  20. NQ Gal says:

    If I was COT, I would be updating my resume right about now.

    Also, isn’t it great to see that Clive Palmer has thought so highly of his candidates abilities, that he has let them fend for themselves during the last week of the electoral campaign.

    • Achilles says:

      How can COT update her resume, what could she write? “I sat on my arse in Canberra and achieved absolutely FA, but enjoyed lots of freebies and junkets. I am seeking any Quango to keep me in the style to which I have become accustomed”.

      As for Palmer he knows that TSV loathes the toad, so being the driven arse that he is, he knows its a lost cause, but I doubt he`s told his sucker candidate.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      First thing she will be doing is writing a grovelling
      letter to the Qantas Chairman asking not to be turfed out of the Chairmans Lounge or she will have to sit with the plebs in the terminal again.

  21. salty dog says:

    I had the pleasure of using the bus hub the other morning on the 201 which runs between the ferry terminal and the hospital/uni. At 8.30 it was a bottleneck of buses trying to make their way through astonishingly narrow streets and three sets of traffic lights before getting back on to Flinders street and delaying arrival at the hospital by 10 minutes. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you have 9am appointments at the hospital you now have to catch an earlier ferry if you are to make it on time. Progress, old Magpie, is a wonderful thing.

    • Kingswood says:

      The old location in Stokes was the best. Wide & plenty of room to turn around and right in the centre. New location is grotty, dark, unsafe and generally the pits. Cant wait to use it to take in the 202 in the school hols, not.

      • The Magpie says:

        Stokes was ideal. But in that matter, it must be remembered: this all stems from Lancini’s duplicity in conning the council (it was TF for this window of decision making, wasn’t it?) with the redevelopment in partnership with Austex on the old Dimmey’s site … it seems he promoted that excellent idea on the condition that the Flindfers Street pedestrian mall was restored to traffic … then, when, for whatever interesting reason, he withdrew from the Austex deal leaving the Dimmey’s site the derelict property it now is, he built City Lane and Woolies along the road a bit, AND had his underlying desire of the first place, traffic passing the Cowboys Club.

        History will show – if it doesn’t already by his myopic, self-interested vision of a CBD stadium and now a totally irresponsible training field largely funded by the taxpayer – that Mr Lancini, for all his good works and employment, must bear a great deal of responsibility for the derelict state of the CBD, from which it will take years to recover. But that does not exonerate the feeble capitulation to Big Business and and the poor vision of the councils involved, TEL acting as a Lancini cheer squad (he was on the board at the time) and of course, the increasingly redundant Chamber of Commerce.

    • Hondaman says:

      Refer my post about a proper bus hub, just like Hobart and probably almost everywhere else in OZ already has! Regardless of the undoubted excesses of a so called ‘investigative study’ surely we couldn’t have done any worse?? Same thing with the ongoing disaster of the once- a – year Touring Car fiasco. Warwick has Morgan Park Raceway complex, which started off Club run and built, and now is World Standard, is clearly in noise carrying distance of the CBD, but the town prospers because of it, and the locals are all for it!! Years ago I did ask the Mayor through a letter( to the Iditor in the local rag) to inspect Morgan Park, BEFORE a decision was made on the once a year circus/ track construction shambles she approved, to no avail. This place is doomed if the present Council remains!

  22. NQBing4814 says:

    The Palm Island water crisis has impacted dialysis services again in Townsville due to 14 extra patients being added to the roster. Most are being treated at the North Ward Satellite clinic with patients from there being moved to the main unit. Local patients time on the machines cut again. Interestingly enough Gracelyn S isn’t kicking up a stink about this. One would think this is something for her to scream about ?

  23. LongtimeLurker says:

    Leading on from financial mismanagement…just reading Council’s list of wasteful spending, wasnt it 2017 that the demolished Queens Park aviary? You would be (not) surprised to find out that Council are now building a new one…in the exact same location..

    https://www.townsville.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/54111/Contracts-more-than-$200K-Register-18-19-to-April.pdf

    When you follow the line items of expenses listed…AEC group with $240k for water security marketing? My Goodness!

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed, lots of interesting tidbits in there supplied list … hours of fun and education for anyone wanting to troll through.

  24. "Waste" OFTAM says:

    This is how council works under Hill. This is what ratepayers don’t see.
    Today we have a situation where a truck has broken down, again!! And is in the workshop. It happened before commencement of work but the fix is a specified job for a contractor. No drama there council hasn’t or doesn’t need this particular job role as it dosnt happen enough to warrant having a tradesman. However, the council process now is to go to tender for the job before someone turns up….this means ringing around getting quotes and the cheapest wins. This truck is an essential services vehicle. The down time now from the truck not doing it’s work, driver getting paid to sit and wait and the cost savings of bugger all just doesn’t add up. This could have and should have been a 1hr fix as the service is 24/7 for this job. The contractor who wins the job will take more time to arrive because they arnt making much money so they won’t hurry. Meanwhile the customers arnt getting what they pay for and everyone is playing catchup. The short term extra expense far out ways the cost of down time. Everyone knows what to do to fix the problem but it dosnt get any further than a certain management level. Number one reason is money or lack of it. Plenty for a bus stop nobody is using but not enough for the one thing council is meant to be here for, service of the city.

    • Alahazbin says:

      Must be a specialised job WOFT&M.
      The tradesmen in that workshop would be the most skilled in Townsville for repairing refuse trucks & sweepers, paver machines etc. Although there a couple of oxygen thieves in there that won’t pull there weight

      • Alahazbin says:

        Also, what happened to preferred supplier policy.
        If quotes are needed, workshop could get quotes and make a decision quickly providing the business were on the list.

  25. The Magpie says:

    The ‘Pie has been wondering when The Short Un’s shadowy past would be aired in this campaign … now it seems, the woman who insists she was raped by Shorten when she was 16 is seeking to re-open the matter. Kathy Sherriff has been very low profile since she brought the charge in 2013, and does not appear to be seeking to be part of the current political campaign. Her claim of rape against Shorten was investigated by Victoria police six years ago, and was dismissed because they said ‘there was no prospect of a conviction’ … and that in prosecution/copper-speak is a long way from saying no crime was committed. On what he has read and on his understanding of how these thing work, The ‘Pie has always been convinced that Shorten got away with rape when he was a powerful union figure.

    The following summary hands out well-argued brickbats to both sides of politics, but The Magpie warns that posts by the Kangaroo Court author, Shane Dowling, on various matters, including rampant corruption and pedophilia in the NSW judiciary should be treated with caution, but this one appears to deal in facts previously published elsewhere.

    https://kangaroocourtofaustralia.com/2019/05/15/prime-minister-scott-morrisons-proven-failure-as-pm-versus-bill-shortens-dirty-laundry/

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Yes Pie, it is difficult to fathom/swallow that a person with this in their past could be the next Prime Minister of Australia – damned if he did or didn’t do it. As you point out, the decision not to proceed to charges does not mean that a crime was not committed.
      If the newly presented information is accepted, this person becomes PM and then has to face a charge won’t that be………, well, I plucked if I know what it will mean for our country. Did he do it? Well he’s damned either way……., and let us not forget the alleged victim who probably deserves her day in court.

      • The Magpie says:

        Going on memory only (a dangerous proposition in this territory) it appears to have been established that ‘something’ took place, which means it would come down to an issue of consent. And that in turn means who’s word do you take: a 16-year-old girl, or an ambitious union official with political aspirations? The ‘Pie’s heart goes out to the investigators, they’ll be hitting the bottle in no time flat.
        Bet he didn’t mention this to his mum.

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          What a conundrum for all involved Pie – he says he didn’t, she says he did, the investigators back then said conviction not likely, she now says there is further evidence………

          • The Magpie says:

            … which has now been presented to police. It is all to do with witnesses who could not be located at the time of the initial complaint. And her barrister Peter Farris is no lightweight … he’s a former head of the CCC in Victoria.

        • Jatzcrackers says:

          Or his mother in law !

  26. Mike Douglas says:

    The Courier Mail is reporting that regional Labor MP,s have called an urgent meeting with the Premier on the handling of Adani . Could poor polling in Herbert , Dawson, Capricorn as well as business and the community pressure on these MP,s (facing an election in 2020) finally do what they are supposed to do and that’s support the interests of their electorates ?.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      I will come out of political wilderness to help get rid of both the Mullet and the three worthless dickheads who pretend to represent Townsville in the state parliament, the purge is on, 2020 could be a great year for our once great town.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Or their self interest.

  27. I’ll be plucked says:

    Are you out there Pie? Don’t see many posts for today 16/05/2019. Mr Pie, phone home!!!

    • The Magpie says:

      Jeezuz, The ‘Pie does have a life outside this blog, you know … like medical matters at the hospital, the mandatory 9 holes in the afternoon (no pissweak jokes, please, sexual or golfing and an extra today, getting his car serviced … gimmee a bloody break, you paltry poultry poltroon.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        :) :) :). Good to know you’re still ‘out there’ Pieman. Thanks for phoning in!

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Dear Pie,
        Do you feel like a 10yo lad with a 100 or more over protective parents?

        • The Magpie says:

          Do you mind, mate!! The ‘Pie has never felt like a 10-year-old, no matter how many protective parents the kid has. Just because The ‘Pie is black and white doesn’t make him a priest.

  28. Grumpy says:

    Vale Bob.

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed. The ‘Pie flew home from England after five years just to be here to vote for him and settle back here. Glad I did.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Indeed, and lets hope none of the current tossers want to compare him with the lightweight dickhead hoping to be the Prime Minister this weekend.

      • Grumpy says:

        Cranky – His office released maudlin “last photographs” of he and Bob within minutes of the death announcement. Utterly shameless.

        Shorten really is a grubby puddle of dog’s vomit.

        • Kingswood says:

          Noticed Short-one is proclaiming himself as the successor to Bob in an . article in The Australian..

          How that grotty little trouser snake and slimy twerp can compare/link himself to Hawke is beyond me. Like a Rolls compared to a Kia, I guess they’re they’re both cars…

          Repulsive dwarf…If he bloody wins I’ll need a new TV by Monday as the stubby will be embedded in the screen…

          • The Magpie says:

            Hawke was a womaniser, but at least all those he bonked were consenting. It’s doubtful Shorten can make the same boast. We’re all used to be fucked over by governments, but an accused rapist as Prime Minister, that’ll be an unenviable first.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Farewell Silver Bodgie!

      • The Magpie says:

        A suitable musical quote for his eulogy – ‘sail on silver bird, sail on by’.
        That lyric line is from Simon and Garfunkel’s song that some saw as a tribute to another great leader, JFK, in Bridge Over Troubled Waters. In an unforgettable visual and musical marriage, that line was sung over images of the silver train solemnly passing tens of thousands of grieving Americans lining the tracks as the president’s body was transported to his final resting place. But The ‘Pie thinks no one would mind if we Australians appropriated it as an everyman tribute to a man who changed our country for the better in so many ways. Perhaps the Silver Bodgie deserves the full verse
        Sail on, silver bird
        Sail on by
        Your time has come to shine
        Your dreams are on their way

        Interpret that as you will, as you contemplate the great man.

  29. Mike Douglas says:

    Will Aaron Harper call for Cowboys Ceo Jeff Reibel to resign now the Cowboys have signed the Adani pledge ?. Our 3 local State MP,s are so unpopular Labor Caucus has apparently asked them to stay away from the polling booths tomorrow . Let’s hope Townsville people dont forget this when they vote in the 2020 State election .

    • NQ Gal says:

      At the very least, that statue of JT might now be in doubt.

    • Kingswood says:

      Incredible, isn’t it? And in an exclusive, here is a transcript from their meeting.

      “Just letting you know guys, the voters think you stink so for your own safety stay away tomorrow. We’ve been reliably told their dogs will bite or piss on your leg, their kids will throw rocks at you, old men will beat you with their cane and their wives will take to you with knitting needles or poisoned baked goods. Magpies have been swooping on us out of season and even peaceful doves have taken to dropping ‘extras’ into our coffee between the staff car and office. Basically you’re welcome as a turd on a shoe out there….moving forward now, anyone written to the Astonisher to tell them how ‘for NQ’ we are?”

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Mike, these shit for brains political shysters (Tool, Harpic, O’Rort and Private Cupcake) all CHOSE the party machine over their electorates and they will pay dearly at the ballot box. The slippery Mullet will also pay, for a different reason – she actually chose to act for no-one but her own self-interest – she too will pay!

  30. Dave Sth says:

    Friend in touch tonight, got possible structural problems with house built by one of the main players. Anyone know of a legal firm unencumbered by the local scene but local that could help…

    • The Magpie says:

      Connolly Suthers.

      Of course, you don’t like your friend, then you could direct him to Enema Legal and Mr Taylor’s tender ministrations

      • Ducks nuts says:

        Second Connolly Suthers.
        Don’t seem to get themselves encumbered by local development issues

      • Dave Sth says:

        LOL, no thanks. Connoly Suthers it will be if it comes to that, at the moment it’s a bit stressful but the Developer is still talking but the Developer have a habit in hiding behind lawyers to discourage people pursuing them to fix their short cuts especially on a 10yo house in an area that other houses have had similar problems.

        What’s the peanut galleries opinion of the outcome in Herbert today? Does Nanette still have a chance to upset the majors or is it going to be Phil?

      • Grumpy says:

        Savage

  31. Rumpy Pumpy says:

    Let’s face it, the quality of australian houses is crap. No one can do their job and design is terrible. What people don’t understand is that the houses isn’t meant to last its principally a shelter until another property developer forces you out via council rates/ taxes climbing higher and builds something bigger.

    The council water pipe in my area has regular problems because the council never made sure it was installed properly – it blows all the time, then there’s the ongoing leaks beyond the water meter because the same developer never laid that pipe properly either. When you ask around it’s prevalent for water pipe to be installed badly.

    All this stuff being installed or built badly does wonders for the building industry as they have to keep revisiting the same place year after year to solve the very problems they have created.

    You are better off building yourself with minimum input from the “experts”.

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