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The Magpie

Sunday, October 28th, 2018   |   147 comments

Townsville Council’s Annual Report Is Just Fairy Floss – Spun Sugar With A Bit Of Colour

And it’s a report full of interesting claims and at least one major error in a crucial graph … but that’s bound to happen when you’re telling half- porkies. The Magpie is a bit mystified and raises a few points, for which he is  sure out newly transparent council will be quick to clear up. (Oh, stoppit – The ‘Pie does break himself up sometimes!!)

It hasn’t been a good week at the Astonisher, which means we have to at least give them credit for consistency. We have a little compilation – by no means complete – to tickle your funnybone.

The state government, the police and Townsville Council challenged with some undeniable facts about the wrong-headed plan to close of the Castle Hill PCYC in favour of one on the Northern Beaches – why is this an either or decision? …

The ACCC agrees with this blog that the exorbitant charges by airport monopolies needs to be walked back in the interests of passengers ….

And on the international scene, just when you were starting to think he couldn’t become more blatant, The Trumpet chastises his Saudi chums … for their incompetence in carrying out THAT political assassination.

But first …

Pointer And Setters: It’s Not Always About Dogs

Now that the laws have been changed decriminalising homosexuality and gay marriage is now a fact and sexual differences are now widely accepted (see #SoWhat), we thought we could less furtively open our papers or our browsers and not be ambushed by tiresome yakkety yak on the subject.

But we didn’t reckon with the fringe lunacy of the Greens – we never do, do we?

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Tassie Greens Cassie O’Connor

This publicity hound is Tasmanian Greens leader Cassy O’Connor, who will put a bill before the Tasmanian Parliament later this year that seeks to outlaw the recording of gender on birth certificates. She apparently wants  a whole bunch ‘its’ from the Addams Family running around, until they can make their own decision  as to what their God-given tackle is to be used for.

As if Tassie didn’t have to put up with enough taunts already about the reputed sexual predilections of the populace.

The Tassie Government will almost certainly laugh the bill – about what is officially termed ‘non-binary data’ – out of the chamber. Non-binary meaning involving just one, and not two, of something. Which, when you think about it if you must,  just about sums the principal sexual activity of all pimply young people who live in a house with a lock on the bathroom door. About the only upside to being undecided would be that it doubles your chances of getting some steamy ’action’ in the cleaner’s closet on Prom Night.

A bemused Bentley foresees other problems until the age of self-declaration is attained.

tassie gender small

Not sure why Bentley thinks The ‘Pie’s pee is blue.

Of course, the division of the sexes in public toilets has long been a subject of invention …


…. and droll yuk yuk yukery, which even gives a nod to secular considerations …


… also to the nautically minded – or maybe the naughtily-minded if these are in a bondage club ….


… and the literally minded, although why the women get their hair blown at the same time  seems a tad strange, risking, shall we say, blow-back.


Well, now, are you overjoyed you came to the site that gives sober, measured analysis of the REALLY important issues of the day. So here’s some more.

Notes From The Mayoral Campaign Trail

During the week, the Townsville City Council issued it’s Annual Report Card for 2017/18

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A couple of stats catch the eye up front … the 2016 census (last available figures) gives the city’s population as 186,757, a big retreat from the looming 200,000 the Astonisher kept honking on about just three or four year ago, and quite amazingly, males and females are almost equal in numbers – if they’ve all made their binary decisions, blokes 93,352 and the gals 93,402 . The ‘Pie was interested in the employment figures offered in the report until he noted that the source was TEL, so he decided not to waste his time.

But regular reader Phillip Batty had a stroll through the reports 97 pages, and on first look, was less than a happy camper. Mr Batty summarised a few matters that bothered him as not being wholly transparent. So he did a little comparison with other TCC information.

‘Firstly the document is not signed by the Mayor, Les Walker Signed it off as Acting Mayor’.

(Magpie query: he can write!?!)

From the Annual Report:

Page 59

Other comprehensive income

Items that will not be reclassified to net result

Net gain / (loss) on revaluation of property, plant and equipment 8               134,244 (2018),            (93,350) (2017)

Share of other comprehensive income of joint venture                                      (3,827) (3 mill loss in Ent Centre 2018)      (863) (2017)


Total comprehensive income for the year                                                            198,982 (2018)             (49,287) (2017)


Bit of a gain $134m in revaluation which was management not valuers.

Net Financial Liabilities Ratio

TCC’s own target        “not greater than 60%”

TCC Actual                     86%

And we could be excused for thinking The Bulletin had a hand in setting and proofing this report. It is up to, or actually down to, the paper’s usual standard. Check out this graph … that yellow bit  is actually loans of $344.2 million.


And GDP $14.9BN??? The highest this has ever been according to the TCC Economic Profile is $11.4bn, yet they just quote a higher number.

 Then this …

“The only beneficial enterprise conducted during the financial year was the Townsville Breakwater Entertainment Centre Joint Venture”. No mention anywhere of Townsville EA2 Pty Ltd – the TCC’s newly created council development corporation.

After some further digging, here are some actual facts:

Lowest number of Employed Residents since 2010

Unemployment Rate up 110% since 2011

Administrative Complaints to council up by 65%

FOI Applications to council up by 61% (this year)

Median House Price down 11% on 2011 figures. (Qld + 9%, Regional Qld -1%)

Rental Returns Houses down 16% since 2011

Rental Returns Units down 14% since 2011

Mr Batty closes with the comment: ‘That’s just a few “highlights” if you want to call them that, not all from annual report but all from councils own publications. Not a pretty scorecard is it’

But The Magpie thinks Mr Batty has overlooked how the rosy aspects of the Annual Report came to be featured so prominently.


What’s Really Behind This Inexplicable Kick In The Head

There is simmering resentment among a group of ratepayers and taxpayers who feel mightily disenfranchised by the high-handed handling of the decision to close the popular Castle Hill PCYC.

High handed? Well, that is explained in this email sent to councillors, the state member for Townsville (good luck there) and the police regarding the closure and the failure of transparency particularly by the council.

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There seems to be more going on in the background of this than we are being told. And lack of funds cannot be one of the reasons if Mr Todd is correct about ‘a positive profit last year’. We are eager to share any reply Mr Todd receives from any of the parties, but the old bird would not like to be , as they say, hanging by the left one waiting for enlightenment.

From Time To Time, The Magpie Doesn’t Feel Quite Alone In His Universe

There are those happy to believe that this weekly missive is just an old bloke barking at the clouds (hi, Jen, Kevvie, Patty) but there are moments when it all comes into perspective.

The ACCC seems to take The Magpie’s point of view when it comes to Queensland Airport’s Kevin Gill and his attempt to rort the travelling public with a ticket tax to enhance his company’s bottom line. This was spotted during the week.


And this reader comment coincided with that article.

Doug K

email hidden; JavaScript is required

Submitted on 2018/10/26 at 8:32 am

Whilst reading a magazine in a doctor’s surgery this week I stumbled upon this very interesting story entitled “Runways of Gold – Is running an airport a licence to print money?”
Sums up the situation with Queensland Airports and its “licence to print money” aka Townsville Airport.

Our mayor stance in all this?  … boycott Qantas for refusing to be bullied into ripping off ratepayers and visitors. Good call, Mullet, you’re going to have your own boycott problems in 18 months or so.

Ghost Busters Busted:The Astonisher Pays The Price For Being Cheapskates With Staff

The highlighted problem this week for the Astonisher was their old bugaboo, picture captioning. And although the paper’s photographers will generally do basic captioning correctly, it would seem unsupervised and sloppy juniors in the newsroom sometimes swap images but not captions. Hence today we had a magical disappearing act …  AND an ‘exclusively revealed by the Bulletin’  first you can bet no Townsville historian was aware of.

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Seems spookmeister Brett Rosalen has either passed 16 and made a binary decision that he’s actually a sheila, or he has just gone … umm, no jokes now … poof!! and vanished. It will also be news to local historians that there are headstones and presumably bodies at the old Railway Station.

Now the Astonisher must know that Mr Rosalen is a bloke … one with a beard, no less. And how would that be? Because the Astonisher has a roster of subjects that it tediously revisits when they have neither the wit or inclination to think of anything original (or in this case, serious and believable) … this paranormal flapdoodle is one such oft visited subject, and here is Mr Rosalen in August last year along with old stalward Karina Looby (again, no name jokes please.)

Image 2018-10-27 at 2.14.38 pm

It would seem that the old Railway Station IS being haunted … by Mr Rosalen and Ms Looby and the on-duty photographer from the paper.

In other matters, there was this hilarious piece of ‘close enough is good enough’ tomfoolery, this time on their Facebook page, sent in by a Magpie mate who is getting a tad tired of this sort of insult.

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That is either one bloody big Japanese, or one tiny samurai sword.

And there is a small matter of consistency (stop laughing). You’ll recall there were howls of outrage when that  ninny Fraser Anning used the phrase ‘final solution’ in a speech to parliament about Muslim immigration. The general thrust of the argument was, even for one deluded reader of this blog, that those words should never be used in any other context, and they had effectively been appropriated to exclusively epitomise the Nazi’s appalling policies. The ’Pie disagrees with such appropriation of language but the Bulletin wholeheartedly endorsed the idea, piling into Anning and the KAP party over it (along with a very misguided and extortionate premier). The paper agreed that the term ‘final solution’ should not be made light of. So when KAP this week kicked Anning out of the party over the matter, what does the Bulletin do … it commissions Cartoonist Harry Gordon to draw this.

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We await the howls of indignation similar to those that followed Anning’s original statement. Or are there different standards for senators and for cartoonists in a pissant little regional paper.

But two matters put in stark contrast the widening disconnect the Townsville Bulletin has with this community.  One was just a piece of unbelievably hyped-up utter tripe which astonished just about everyone.

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Honestly, words fail us.

But then there was this, which clearly demonstrated that there is no local knowledge left at the Astonisher.

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To suggest that that a forecast 33 degrees was a heatwave shows whoever wrote that has little knowledge of Townsville … but then, the iditor comes from Scotland, where anything in double digits would bring out the beach umbrellas … if they had anything that remotely approximated a beach. Her ‘heatwave’ is what we call ’Spring’. and the story had the patronising ‘advice’ to drink lots of water and ask oldies if they’re OK.  Inexplicably, they failed tell our grandmothers how to suck eggs. 

First one to ask The ‘Pie how he’s handling the ‘heat’ will get a kick in the shins.

And still they wonder.

A Serious Question

A lingering question from an old court reporter about that heinous murder of the young girl on the beach north of Cairns … no one that The ‘Pie knows of has mentioned her dog which she was apparently walking on the beach at the time of her murder. The file pix of the dog showed it to be a pretty large pooch, big enough if it chose, or was trained to be, unfriendly, and would give any attacker pause. Was the dog OK, and examined for perhaps any possible DNA l.eft by the killer, maybe on its collar if it was wearing one?  If The ‘Pie has missed it, please enlighten. Just wondering but genuine question.

In Passing

Eupemism of the day:

FBI Director (this week anyway) Chrisopher Wray gets the gong while describing the contents of the ‘letter bomb’ packages not as bombs but as ‘energetic material’  that ‘reacts to heat, shock or friction’. So now The ‘Pie discovers that he drives around town in some old ‘energetic material’.

And here’s something that may well change the tune of a few front bar loud mouths around the country. Oh, no!!!

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And this looks like a good start … two down, many to go.

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More holed up in the building behind them.

And don’t want to harp, but it still looks like pig-hunting hoons have been doing some illegal target practice.

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The Trumpet Scolds His Saudi Mates – Not For Murder,  But For Being Found Out

It seems we are all so mesmerised by the non-stop toilet flush of Donald-speak that we have long stopped actually parsing what Trump is really saying … have we sunk in the deep lethargy of ‘oh, whatever’ because of bullshit fatigue?

The ‘Pie was genuinely amazed that no one seems to have picked up on Trump’s early reaction to the assassination of a Saudi hit squad against regime critic, the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump said: “They had a very bad original concept, it was carried out poorly and the cover-up was the worst in the history of cover-ups. Whoever thought of that idea, I think is in big trouble. And they should be in big trouble.”

‘The worst in the history of cover-ups’? ‘ …. carried out poorly’? And the ambiguous ‘who ever thought of idea, I think is in big trouble’?

What idea? The killing or the cover-up?

That, in plain simple terms of English, is this man-child’s criticism not of the murder but of the shoddy cover-up (and Christ, if anybody would know ….). And ‘They had a very bad original concept’, can only mean he considered the planning and execution of the murder was a very bad original concept, and they should’ve been a bit more clever about it.

The ‘Pie’s opinion of this rolled gold, 24-carat dangerous fuckwit is well known, but language is language and Trump is Trump, and this old bird will never be convinced that the President of the United States was not telling the Saudis that their plan was poor, not necessarily the outcome.

That mind-boggling bit of mind boggling leads off this week’s Trump gallery, but, as it always is with this bloke, other events and his reaction quickly overtook the news cycle … in this case, the pipe bomb story.

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Suspicious package cole_440 7965ad7f-13e0-48fe-9b20-04ad066f485e 141_216341

Then there was Trump’ demonstrating his ‘tremendous, biggest respect for women’ by calling the ex-lover who unsuccessfully tried to sue him ‘horseface’.


And there’s been some high spirits about Canada’s decision to legalise Mary Jane … plenty of pot shots being taken, but this one gave us the best laugh.


Loved the Pottawa!

But Canada seems to have some innovative citizens in their fledgling wine industry, especially from Nova Scotia, their equivalent of our Tasmania … if this one ever hits our shores, it will be interesting to see how the usual wine-gabble guff about ‘mouth feel’  and ‘exploding flavours’ is handled. Please feel free to send your own review, but don’t think it will necessarily be published.



Another week gone, but those comments have become a weird cross between a fight club and a comedy store … join in, it’s fun if your not a sissy, and its free. But that shouldn’t stop you considering a few bob to help maintain the soaring standards of the Magpie’s Nest … 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.


  1. Mike Douglas says:

    The figures don’t lie, whilst Townsville City Councils target net financial liabilities ratio is 60% actual is 86% . Instead of paying down debt, the Mullet and Screaming Midget are adding more headcount to the pr, communications team to peddle us more bullshit so she can regain office and gravy train in 2020 . She isn’t smart enough to see a train wreck coming and it will take the next Councils years to clear the debt and restablish culture and efficiency back at T.C.C. funded “ of course” by ratepayers and the city will suffer .

  2. Dave of Kelso says:

    Greetings Dear ‘Pie,

    Regarding Tassie birth certificates, christian (can we still say that?) names will also need to be omitted as they can be a gender giveaway. That will be helpfull. Or will the Greens want everyone to be called Tarquinnn, or Lovebunny or similar. Yech!

  3. Crankie Frankie J says:

    As the ad says ‘All you need is just one drink” to discover the best cheeses to pair with Nova Scotia 4 Skins wine are hearty ones – semi-firm, firm and aged hard cheese like dick cheese, amazinly it pairs well with aged Gouda and Cheddar, aged Manchego or Pecorino and other similar cow, goat or sheep milk cheese as well

  4. NQGal says:

    Just wondering what The Magpie’s thoughts are on the government considering a $40,000,000 variation to fund CFMEU pay demands for the stadium?

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie’s immediate thought was to join the CFMEU, sure beats the pension. That has got to be another Bulletin subbing gem, surely, a 20% increase in the overall cost because of possible pay claims? But then again, its a Labor government and its a union, in a nominally Labor town. ….

      • I'll be plucked says:

        I will be blunt, NQGal and Pie – don’t cave in or give these weak kneed union thugs anything – fuck all!
        If the current workers don’t want a job at the current rate, they can move on and be replaced (preferably by locals who need work and can do the job, if not, workers from out of town). Hey Captain Cupcake, the woeful ‘member’ for Townsville (doughy, no substance and full of crap), how about stepping up to the ‘dying and irrelevant union thugs’ and getting them to piss off abd keave this project alone!
        Our city is on its knees, these people have a job and the union wants to flex up and fuck the whole thing up! C’mon Captain Cupcake stand up to them on behalf of your constituents………

        • The Magpie says:

          My dear old Chook The Colonel Rejected, you’ve been told before, please take note … you take the BLUE pill when waking up, and the RED one at least an hour before attempting a reply to any comments in the Magpie’s Nest. NQ Gal asked a question only, and The ‘Pie, curse him, attempted some humour. And also suggested the $40m might be a subbing error, since it came from Tony’s unnamed source, which may well have been a Watpac apparatchik. We’ll never know, because even if true, and even if it is our money, it will be … guess, go on, have a stab in the dark … YOU’RE RIGHT!!! – Commercial In Confidence

          • I'll be plucked says:

            Pills taken Pie! :) Comment about unions and Captain Cupcake stand. It was reported in the Astonisher so it must be true………? :)

          • The Magpie says:

            Was relieved … until last line. Change doctors.

          • NQGal says:

            Given that a chippies rate with a CFMEU deal is somewhere north of $150k, a 20% increase in costs is not out of the question. I believe there are quite a few local businesses that were scared off tendering because of likely union involvement and not being able to meet the pay demands that would trickle down to subcontractors. Interesting to see if Watpac are able to tender on federally funded contracts if they cave in to thug demands on this project.

          • The Magpie says:

            Keep across it for The Nest, please.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Not sure how Watpac would awarded the contract without a code compliant EBA arrangement in place.
      Can’t change horses mid race.
      Slow down the completion date until 2021. No one wants a new stadium any way.

      • The Magpie says:

        Yeah, wondered about that too, but didn’t get fussed by it because the claim is an unnamed source, which, as said in a previous reply, could be someone from Watpac, the union or the tea lady on a break. Loved the government spokesman said even they did give Watpac an extra $40m OF OUR MONEY, we are not allowed to know because it would be Commercial in Confidence.It’s a cactus situation … pricks all round.

  5. Miss Lou says:

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.


    Miss Lou

  6. Gonzo says:

    Pie, Another great blog post. My two favourites: Astonishing findings by the Astonisher on gender in a graveyard, and another astonisher, Donald Trump, who poorly covered up his worst cover-up. PS: Macintosh would love the potted map of Canada and Nova Scotia’s 4 Skins!

  7. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Blowouts in costs are generally provisioned on any EBA project of of which the stadium is one, it won’t necessarily show as an increase in wages but a general cost increase, non specific, as long as those funding agree to the provision, it isn’t an issue, and the reason now why Govt projects are obscene form a cost perspective. If the stadium wasn’t an EBA site it could have been built for well under $200 million..
    To give you some idea of the costs of an EBA project, the Nova City project in Cairns has had an increased cost of $28 million since it became an EBA site, developers are now trying to find $28 million worth of savings so the project can proceed, the savings can be made only one way and that is to change design, change spec to the cheapest materials you can find, all so the CFMEU promise not to shut the site down during construction, tells you who really has the power in this country.

  8. Plannit Townsville says:

    How curious that the TEL data was used for the annual report.
    TCC has a subscription to our own purpose build economic profile data which can all be found on the following link.


    This data is extremely accurate.
    Population in annual report from the 2016 Census 186757.
    Population from ABS Estimated Resident Population for 2017 192988

    GRP in annual report $14.9 Billion
    GRP from Community Profiles year ending June 2017 (which shows ACTUAL data related to Townsville local government area) $11.23 billion – not sure HOW it suddenly jumped up so much… unless you take into account the data TEL uses is not the Townsville local government area data and is the regional data.

    You can compare the rest of the data for yourself.
    My question is why is this not sourced from accurate data that TCC is paying for? And why is TEL being used to source it?

    I do wish that on page 6 the report included data on the number of employees who got shafted by TCC or finally gave them them the big FU and found new employment. This would be a very interesting piece of information.

    • The Magpie says:

      To pinch Linda Ashton’s great line, being seen through is not transparency.

    • Little Miss Muffet says:

      In order to pretend that TEL is relevant? Or worth the money we throw at them?

    • The Real Philip Batty says:

      Plannit, I am glad we seem to agree and I did use the economic report from TCC as per your link to cross check data. It’s a sad and sorry scorecard when on almost every metric you use Townsville is in a worse position than 2010. Except of corse for complaints and freedom of information applications they are a growth industry. The big one for me is th3 revaluation of assets by $134 million or so which changes the whole annual report dramatically.

      • Peter Newey (TRRA) says:

        The terms “smoke and mirrors” are very relevant when looking over the latest TCC report. One can only wonder at the modern “miracle” of financial reporting.

        • Plannit Townsville says:

          TCC is counting on the average ratepayer being too stupid to read or understand the report. The execs here think the general population are easily duped. So far the general population is proving them correct.

          The report needs to be distributed widely, read and questioned publicly. Don’t rely on the Astonisher for that. You’ll have to do it on blogs like this and social media.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie does not to pretend to be able to do a forensic study of such documents and then give a much needed plain language summary (expose in this case). But he does have a couple of readers, especially Hee Haw, who have very sharp eyes and a strong sense of smell, to help out. Non-partisan readings of same are always welcome, but hidden agenda wankers are not.

      • Garry says:

        Of course in 2010 we had the mining boom, QNI was operating and everyone was happy and now after the mining boom and QNI closed what more do you expect.
        Its not local councils job to create employment, its more state and federal, local councils are there to manage the town and its assets, well not this incompetent lot bot other councils.

        Anyone else notice how the CEO walks around as if her shit dont stink?

  9. Dave of Kelso says:

    Dear ‘Pie,

    This is a true story of a minor disaster back in ancient times when birth certificates without gender were briefly trialled.

    It was on the foredeck of Noah’s Ark where the two unicorns finally met up. Conversation along these lines.
    1st unicorn, “Hi baby, I guess the unicorn future is up to us. My name is George. ”
    2nd unicorn, ” Err, my name is Bill.”

  10. Pat Coleman says:

    Today 28/10/18, the low tide was 0.98m at 04.13. High Tide was 2.91m at 11.32 am. On my camera time, I have one of the 2 largest Australian Navy ships coming into view past Gowrie Bay Magnetic Island in the Townsville Port Channel just before 6am. Right out front at 6.30, and going through the breakwater at 6.37. That’s 5 hours before high tide.

    All arguments that our navy has trouble with our port channel is sunk. There is no other argument other than ships that may not have been built yet or be contemplated -cant get in.

    The reality is the corrupt business mafia knows how the electoral game is played. Last federal election Herbert came down to 38 votes. All bi-partisan corruption was overlooked and covered up by a “city deal” . We got a dodgy stadium to please an “altruistic bipartisan donor” with hundreds of millions in taxpayer money that could have been spent elsewhere for a few hundred votes.

    The business mafia knew since the Nelly Bay case that the courts say that if you half destroy something, they will say you can finish off the rest. So they had to take advantage of the corruption that exists now to reek the necessary irreparable environmental damage on our world heritage Cleveland Bay with the unnecessary channel widening while all their ducks were in a row. They got the funding pledges from Labor and the LNP. So kiss your fishing and your underwater sculpture tourism goodbye cos you wont catch or see bugger all with all that silt .

    If you think they wouldn’t do something so outwardly corrupt to pick up a few hundred votes, then why did they float moving the embassy to Jerusalem??

    Todays low tide, and many others are ample enough water for all you corrupt types to go jump in the channel with cement boots to create some nice tourist attraction.

    • No more dredging says:

      Pat, funnily enough, Townsvillains won’t see any channel widening happen for ages. For a couple of years beforehand, a couple of hundred thousand truck trips will rumble 50 kms from the Port’s quarry at Granitevale through Kelso to Riverway Drive and down the RingRoad and Port Access Road to the waterfront delivering some of the eight million (yes, 8 million) tonnes of rock and fill needed to contain the reclamation site. The 152 hectare (370 acre) reclaim will have to be rock-walled before it can begin to take the dredge spoil. Has the Townsville Bulletin covered the quarrying story? Will Labor or the LNP mention it?
      Not a chance.

      • Tug Master says:

        In fact, dredging will begin at the Magnetic Island end in very early 2020…
        A mere 15 months from now.

        • No more dredging says:

          Yeah right, Tugger, so with that specific information at your fingertips, what is the name of the contracted dredging firm? Also, where will the dredged spoil be deposited – or are you talking about some sort of maintenance dredging to be sea-dumped in Cleveland Bay?

          • Tug Master says:

            No contractors – all done in house, they’re even hiring their own dredge equipment. Why do you think the Port is recruiting 120 workers mate, and the union are all over it like white on rice I tell ya. Dredge material all goes to the reclamation area.

          • No more dredging says:

            Tugger, what reclamation area – or are you referring to the ‘proposed’ reclamation area? And what 120 workers? You haven’t been watching Clive Palmer adverts have you?

  11. The Magpie says:

    It’s good to able to say something nice about The Bulletin (no, really, it is), even if it is simply for doing what they are meant to do anyway – rare in itself.

    Unremarkable … but correct, which is more than one can say for the Courier Mail, which clearly has trouble with anything to do with numbers.

  12. One legged tap dancer says:

    Its a miracle!
    The value of every property in Townsville – houses, units, warehouses etc – has gone backwards during the past 12 months, some by as much as 30 percent.
    But Mayor Mullet and the Impaler wave their magic wand and council owned properties suddenly increase in value to help balance the books with an election looming.
    The fact that the council itself has come up with this increase, and not a qualified valuer, is yet another example of the mayor treating ratepayers like fools.

  13. Money down the drain. says:

    Talk about wasted rate/tax dollars. If you google Council Contracts July 2018 to June 2019 over $200000 updated Oct 2018 on 27.7.18 Looks like Councl is still going pay Jamie Durie $350000 to give us water saving solutions. Sadly Council still must believe we have no water wise local talent here. Also saw in the paper that $30000 was spent on travel by Councillors, how come we, their employers do not get a report about their travels? Imagine that happening in private enterprise.

    • The Magpie says:

      As The ‘Pie has been saying to the point of tedium, no KPI’s for these rorters.

    • No more dredging says:

      MDTD, actually I don’t even have to imagine it happening in private enterprise. I see doctors going to international conferences as a work expense, mining execs doing ‘leadership’ frolics in exotic locations, and lots of ‘contra deals’ for people in tourism. Whether it’s called ‘professional development’, skills training or simply a junket, there are plenty of offers in private and public enterprise though to be sure, often they’re dressed as something more sophisticated than a mere junket. You must have missed out?

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Big difference dickhead is who pays, if someone in a private business whether their own or with the approval of management have travel expenses paid for whatever reason then that’s up to them, it’s their money they can do what they want with it, as opposed to these parasites in the council who are travelling at ratepayers expense and should be made to produce a diary of travel, appointments and why the travel was undertaken and what benefits to the ratepayers of Townsville.

        • Garry says:

          Cantankerous, you do understand that private enterprise would just jack up their prices to cover the cost wouldn’t you, hell even use it as a tax exemption and then charge us the tax payers anyway? Its a flow on effect whether its local council or private enterprise.

          Who do you think is going to pay the fines for the banking royal commission, LOL wont be the banks, will be the shareholders and customers. No business absorbs an expense like that when they can call it a new Fee.

        • No more dredging says:

          Cantankerous, it’s difficult to ‘debate’ public servants’ expense accounts with someone who simply will not acknowledge that any expense whatsoever, under any circumstance, is reasonable if it is occurring inside Townsville Council. For example, the mayor of Townsville has, for decades, been supplied with a work car. As far as I know, the mayor can drive wherever they like, whenever they like and not be expected to provide line and letter on their ‘use’ of the vehicle. Someone has mentioned elsewhere that JHill went to America to look at batteries. I’m sure if you bothered to ask you could find a ‘report’ for such an expense. I’m guessing that Council people are ‘junketing’ around the place right now working out what to do about recycling in Queensland now that the China option is closed – who else do we expect will find these solutions? And whose idea was it to set up sister city relations with China, PNG and others? Long before we had a TEL the TCC used to do tourist promotion (amongst numerous other roles many of which have now been privatised and flogged off). If you think sister city arrangements are a waste of space and an excuse to junket then why didn’t we hear from you years and years ago when these things were being set up under way-previous administrations – some of which you probably admired and voted for?

          And on the matter of who-is-paying when it comes to private enterprise junkets. When the V8s, Melbourne Cup or Cowboys corporate boxes are being filled with revheads, sports fiends and office-juniors in funny hats, who do you think is paying? No really. Do you think all that champagne, pink salmon and party pies are being paid for at a cash register operated by the CEO?

          • The Magpie says:

            Ahem … you, NMD, did hear about the waste and indeed the danger political manipulation of the sister city rort years ago, even when The Magpie was writing for the Astonisher. For instance, here’s a snippet from yore , which The ‘Pie regurgitated in 2016, on that very subject … and look what disaster that ultimately spelt for us. The subject was the mayors Townsville Defence Support Policy.
            From The Magpie’s Nest, February 27, 2016:
            ‘Another key focus of the policy is to rebuild relationships with countries like Japan, Korea and the United States to help lure more international navy ships to the city for refuelling and recreation.’
            And guess what that means?
            It means opening the door for more councillor freebies and wastage of precious ratepayer dollars on – ta da – sister city junkets, which have been largely sidelined in recent years. The Mooney era went ape-shit with them for awhile, with His Radiance even managing to use them in 2003 as a personal political tool, sending at least one councillor – Toni Kirkpatrick – on a three week holiday to Japan as a kiss-off for her resignation to make way for – would you believe, one Jenny Hill.’ End quote.
            Yep, Sister City rorting gave us our current mayor. Case closed.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            To the contrary NMD, there are many reasons why a public servant may need to travel, those in the building and certifying area of council and those in water, waste etc would benefit from attending conferences on latest practices and ideas from around the country, god knows in this brain dead joint the current tossers we have in the planning dept should be encouraged to actually have a look at other places, perhaps some of them might realise the billions of dollars of private investment happening around the country of which Townsville is getting sweet fuck all, much of it due to the onerous provision this council puts on developers, but there is absolutely zero benefit in one if the elected parasites attending a junket in China.

          • Grumpy says:


            What particular training and expertise does Hill have that would enable her to make an assessment of a battery factory? Some chicken-shit, obsolete science under-grad degree with below-average marks don’t cut the mustard. Maybe if she had a Masters in electrical engineering, together with relevant industry and professional experience. Simply being a pissant bogan grub politician probably not good enough.

            No doubt she has brought home (a la Adani) pretty brochures, selfies and PowerPoint presentations prepared by her hosts. But forget about any informed comment – other than the scones were nice – will not be forthcoming.

          • No more dredging says:

            Grumpy, the one relevant qualification the mayor (any mayor) brings to the table is that they have the keys to the council’s real estate and other assets cookie jar. If you want the Qantas training centre, the Google, Adani, Apple or whatever Australian head office, on your patch, then you probably have to put up some inducement to compete with everyone else. State governments give stamp duty breaks, mining royalty ‘holidays’ and similar, local government can give rates relief, DA assistance and lovely parcels of land – if they want to. We keep reminding ourselves that politicians have expert knowledge of the contents of the trough. What else do we expect them to do with it.

          • The Magpie says:

            As they say in the front bar, if you want an argument, change the subject.

      • Kenny Kennett says:

        Did you miss out NMD or did you travel on the public (or TEL) purse?

      • Grumpy says:

        Dredges. Come on now. Chalk and cheese. If I was paying one of my employees to travel overseas for work purposes, I would expect to be convinced that it would be to my ultimate benefit. As a business owner, however, if I want to go to a business trip to, let’s say, China, then that is something completely different. My business, my money. Do I detect a hint of jealousy?

        • No more dredging says:

          Grumpy, you wrote:

          “If I was paying one of my employees to travel overseas for work purposes, I would expect to be convinced that it would be to my ultimate benefit.”

          And if you found that you were convinced that the trip was very ultimately beneficial for you and your business you would probably consider sending them next time – regardless of whether the employee thought (privately) that it was so piss-easy making a buck for the Old Man they wouldn’t mention the fine old time they had junketing around the region on the fair and reasonable expense account that you had so thoughtfully provided.

          • The Magpie says:

            Pardon The ‘Pie for saying so, NMD, but that is the silliest comment yet published here this year. It doesn’t make sense, and is published to allow others to decide how they view your stand on this particular issue.

          • Grumpy says:

            I know my business, my customers and my staff a lot better than that, NMD.

            If I thought that a staff member was rorting the system or taking advantage of me they would never work in this town again.

            Having said that, my employees enjoy working for me and I have absolutely no issue with them having fun whilst making me richer.

          • Al says:

            NMD. Still a Dumb Arse

      • Money down the drain says:

        Yes business owners get perks but here we are talking about rate payers dollars. Jenny flew to USA to look at a battery factory. Where is the report to the ratepayer?

      • No more dredging says:

        Apparently, there’s an educational possibility to these junkets and other expenses opportunities:

        “The book, The Forgotten People – R.G Menzies (75th Anniversary Edition), is a compilation of former prime minister and founder of the Liberal Party Robert Menzies’ weekly 15-minute radio broadcasts which began in November 1941.

        The tome was printed for the Menzies Research Centre, a Liberal Party think tank, which described it as “a creed to guide the conservative cause for generations”, on its website. The contents of the book are available for free online.

        Boothby MP Nicolle Flint, who bought 400 copies of the book for $5818 last year, spent more than any other politician on publications between July 2017 and June 2018 – $8443 in total.

        Ms Flint said it was a “one-off cost that has helped support many community groups and schools” in her electorate.”

        • I'll be plucked says:

          Hmm Dredge, I can say with some confidence that the majority of kids and staff in schools don’t give a peking-duck about what was said in the 1940’s. More wasted money, but hey, it’s not hers, so……….Pointing schools at a digital link would have been more than sufficient for the odd interested person!

    • Bentley says:

      I this must be the waste referred to in the ‘waste levy’.

    • Mike Doiuglas says:

      Money down the drain, I’m glad the Councillors spent $30,000 on travel because do you think they are getting insight on trends, opportunities, ideas from Mayor Mullet and Messagebank. Townsville people need to get out of the Ville away from much of the negativity and small mind thinking spruiked by many and perhaps they will see the opportunities . I would rather them study and review programs and processes rather than using ratepayers $ and stuff up .

    • Tweety Bird says:

      27-July-2018 Durie Design Pty Ltd $350,000 TOW00120 Water Security Solution Package Services

      Yep, here it is. So all the communication and marketing work around water consumption reduction is being done by a company based in Melbourne. Because of course Melbournites have a good understanding of dry tropics.

      Funny, that wasn’t mentioned in the Council’s press release last week.
      I hear a lot of local businesses collaborated to tender… what ever happened to local content???

    • Concerned says:

      I would be asking the Mullet the question if council complied with the specific requirements of the Local Government Regulations 2012 that are required to award a contract with a value over 200k.

    • Over this Hill mob says:

      I can’t remember ever seeing a tender going out to deliver the service that Durie was meant to provide.
      Yet there is a requirement for all contracts above $200,000 require three tenders…does anyone know if this was ever referred to whichever agency for investigation?

      • Dearie Me says:

        I think you’re missing what is happening….

        If you split the contract for $590,000 into three smaller contracts all under $200,000 then you don’t need to go to tender or take the contract to Council for approval.

      • I'll be plucked says:

        It was refereed to MIT, Ova. The Mullet Investigation Team and she determined it did not need investigating………

  14. Kenny Kennett says:

    Finally, Cricket Australia’s culture is being put under the microscope. Hopefully there will be a number of heads on the chopping block and I’m not talking about cricketers.

    • Kenny Kennett says:

      Nepotism, bullying, favouritism and it doesn’t take a genius to see that they lean toward hiring women aged in their 20’s. So much for their equal opportunity HR statement. And that’s off the field. On the field the player selection hasn’t changed for decades. Australia’s best aren’t necessarily the best.

  15. Another Bird says:

    Over the past few days there have been continual sightings of a large croc in Ross Creek, in front of the Metropole Hotel, where fishermen and kids often fish on the water’s edge and people swim their dogs.
    The Port was advised and warning signs (see pic below) have been placed in the vicinity.
    But not a word in the Bully!

  16. Cockie says:

    I see a lot of talk about funding the water pipeline and an editorial suggesting the federal government chip in funds. I ask those in power and from the Bully, has Townsville Council or the State Government made a formal submission for funding, or is it just winging, again. I really don’t expect an answer. I do note that on any given day O’Tool is saying $M100 delivered, or $M100 pledged, depending on the wind direction.

    • Cockie says:

      I did get an answer, no, it appears council and State MPs have not submitted a formal request for funds to the Federal Government. The local MPs and the Bully Editor consider it’s not required. If the Bully Editor requires funds to buy a new printing press does she just ask the boss for a couple of million without justification. Our current ALP government got caught out putting in a new rail line and more trains, but no more train drivers, or locally, removing 17 year old crims from Stuart, then finding insufficient beds at Cleveland for the kiddy crims, seems there were no business cases. Council and State Members stop the BS you got caught with your pants down, again.

  17. I'll be plucked says:

    Two stuffed shirts standing behind our useless Mayor on local 7 news this evening – Mullet with the begging bowl out again for another 200million bucks for stage 2 of the water ‘solution’, with Harpic the Gowa ‘ALP member’ Goose and Captain Cupcake the incredibly poor and weak ‘state ALP member’ for Townsville standing in their usual background position, smirking and nodding!!!

    Then next story in the queue we had to endure the ‘screeching’ of the ALP Federal member ‘C. The Fool’ about call centre arrangements for Centrelink. Pluck me, how did it come to this with these amateur heads on a stick as our ‘representatives’!

  18. Cockie says:

    Have a look at this then think what fools we have in government, we can’t even get a pipeline underway to supply a large city.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      I saw a UK report on this bridge. The average Chinaman will never be permitted to use it. Exhaustive permits from 3 juristictions are required and only party members or those in “favour” are likely to be approved. Heavy freight will continue by sea. Serious safety issues with foundations from man made islands drifting.

      This bridge was built for one reason, to deploy Chinese armoured fighting vehicles and infantry to Hong Kong.

  19. seagull says:

    that time of year again….. the home & contents renewal

    only a modest 14% increase this time ( 20% last year)

    managed to negotiate an 8% increase with S corp

    totally over it….no wonder ppl are taking on huge personal risk
    & going without

  20. Trevor Elson says:

    The report of liabilities on page 59 is probably the most deceptive financial graph I have ever seen. Thank You to the magpie and “friends” for the hard work bringing awareness and accountability reference these matters. Keep up the good work.

  21. Cappuccino_in_hand says:

    That little bridge you mention just happened to cost $A26,385,444,722. Seems a fair comparison!

  22. Another bird says:

    Suggestions that the Ross Creek croc is only a metre long are rubbish. I saw it yesterday and was able to size it up against a 1metre wide concrete post near the old CB Marine spillway. The croc I saw is close to 3 metres long and was reported as such to the Dept of Environment.

  23. Al says:

    I like to do the puzzles in newspapers and magazines. Sacre bleu, yesterdays Bullsheet had the same as Mondays. Wasted my 1.70 .Sloppy.

  24. The Magpie says:

    Idle comment: You really know you’re well into senior golf when all four of you standing waiting with a driver in hand … on the tee of a par three.

    Then one says’ Hurry up, I’ll go first, I want to go and TRY to have a pee.’

  25. I'll be plucked says:

    Captain Snooze continues the trough-swilling with the ‘plum’ port position. What an arrogant human to think that this is acceptable – doesn’t pass the pub test, or ANY test Snooze and won’t EVER. Any honour left in that politicians body? If there is, stop all the swilling. Quit, withdraw, go away, vamoose. Please. PS – Pie, I know ‘dreamin’, but always worth an ask.

    • The Magpie says:

      Dentures Beattie and The Blight after him had a wonderful way to keep clear of Snooze. They installed a series of full length mirrors along the corridor to their office, and whenever Snooze made an appointment to brown-nose them, he never made it on time.
      The ‘Pie well remembers when this man, so full of himself all the time, was Speaker, and there was an major issue facing Townsville. A reporter for the Astonisher at the time, The ‘Pie managed to get him on the phone – a miracle in itself – and when asked what he intended to do about said issue (cannot recall it exactly) he loftily referred me to the relevant minister. When I asked, as part of his elected job, what HE would be saying to the minister about as the member for Townsville, he sniffily told me he was the Speaker and THAT was his job … and hung up.

  26. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    So if I’m interested in a job with the Qld govt I can just shoot in a quick resume to the relevant minister’s private email? It worked for Capt Snooze….

  27. I'll be plucked says:

    Captain Cupcake the state ALP ‘member’ for Townsville continues to cover himself in shit! Again on the local 7 news this evening his comment about better managing car thieves who are out of control and injuring people in our community was some garbled remark about a ‘review’ mentioning that car immobilisers might be a help. Hey Cupcake Stewart – you are hereby demoted from Captain, to Corporal. Corporal Cupcake, doughy, no substance and full of crap. Embarrassing, no idea and needs to go! What a useless plucker of a ‘politician’!

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Hey Pluck
      Maybe instead of handing out free waterwise sprinklers, they hand out free immobilisers and trackers. Would save the community a fortune.

  28. One legged tap dancer says:

    Buried away in a single column snippet on page 2 of today’s Astonisher is a revelation that the 3 x $10,000 “loans” Team Jenny Hill received before the last election came from companies involving Tony Mooney, Dolan Hayes and herself.
    So what did Mooney and Hayes get for their money?
    Come on Jenny, get real. Surely handing over total control of the council is worth more than $10,000 a pop.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, maybe, but think we might be on the wrong tack here … Mooney and Hayes are both declared and long-standing Labor Party members, and the latter remains an adviser to the Mayor who in return gets lucrative gigs like ‘selling’ the stadium to a reluctant populace and other such odd chores (usually at $10k a pop and paid through the wholly ‘independent’ Townsville Enterprise). Mooney was featherbedded into his wholly redundant hospital Chair by his Labor mates in George Street, and his wife is reported to hold several leases on hospital retail outlets. He and George Street have also managed to ‘rort’ former Brisbane Labor councillor Shayne Sutton into a $47,000 p.a spot on the hospital board, further proving Mooney’s unblinking devotion to fair and honest dealing in the best interests of … of … well, I dunno fill it in yourself.

      What is absolutely amazing that Mooney and Hayes, these two undoubtedly and unswervingly Labor stalwarts would help facilitate a declared independent mayor who repudiated her continuing affiliation with Labor (declaring it would have no influence on her governance as mayor), and actually assist her in her repudiation of Labor at local government level and help her become out most inept leader since Mike Captain Snooze Reynolds sold Townsville down the river in favour of Cairns in the 80s.

      Funny old world, ain’t it?

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Sure is Pie, I see the PM will be in town next week on the Paul Murray live show in Townsville, answering citizens questions. I will bet this is a setup for the gilded few to bring out the begging bowls and take a knee to beg for some $$$. The real interesting point is whether the local members from the LNP take the opportunity to sink the boot into the Mullet and come out hard on the real issues in this town, a complete failure for a Mayor and a complicit council, that have ruined this economy. This is a Liberal Prime Minister in a rundown to an election, this is where the local branch should completely control the agenda, dominate the debate, grow a spine and stand up for once in their lives.

    • The Real Philip Batty says:

      OLTD, the Astonisher even got that wrong. The three loans were $10,000 from Jenny Hill herself, $15,000 from Empower Pty Ltd and $10,000 from Maynlion Pty Ltd. It would be nice if someone got things right wouldn’t it. My question would be who repaid these loans from what funds, and when ?

  29. The Magpie says:

    Hmmm …. it would seem they should be breaking out the champagne down at Astonisher Central, with the news that Townsville is one of ten Australian cities to debut Facebook’s new ‘local news’ initiative.


    At first glance, it seemed that News Ltd regional newspapers might have a powerful rival, but it does not appear to be the case, quite the opposite. The Facebook local news tab will not take advertising ‘pop goes another bottle’ , and it will simply reprint a summary of news from the currently available sources with appropriate links thereto (bring in that whole case of Moet).

    So in effect, we get a weird echo chamber reverberating back and forth, with the Astonisher’s notorious dependence on Facebook trolls for news leads, with the resultant story going into the paper’s website which will now be repeated on the new Facebook site, with a link to …. the Astonisher’s website, which got the original story from Facebook.

    So in fact, unless Facebook pick up items and comments from The Magpie, – highly unlikely but they’re welcome – we’re back to the current situation plus one. Which in plain terms, means the
    massive amplification of both the lies and the sloppy ineptitude of the current local media.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, at least there is the rare occasion the Astonisher can be funny and clever with headlines … at least we think they were being deliberately funny, but sadly with this crowd, you never know.

    • No more dredging says:

      ‘Pie, last week you brought us a scoop in the Comments section:

      “The ‘Pie doesn’t usually concern himself with day-to-day news matters, but allow him to be the first to bring you a story that is in fact a disgraceful and lazy miss by the Astonisher, commercial TV and ABC TV and radio.”

      Haven’t been following local news to the limit but it looks like no one wants to know about your sinking boat story from the reef. Is there something fishy?

      • The Magpie says:

        The Astonisher did eventually have a ‘white bread’ version of the yarn in the paper, but it is clear they were mightily peeved … in normal times, they would’ve been raiding their seriously depleted pantry of adjectives to splash it all over the front page … but it ended up just a small item well inside the paper. And we still don’t really know why the nearby charter vessel didn’t make any attempt to save the four in the water, ropes, lifebuoys anything … leaving people adrift in the sea is one of the most serious acts that can be committed, and there always has to be a good reason to do so, like endangerment of those in the vessel. No explanation leaves speculation wide open, which includes the possibility that alcohol – well, it was a fishing charter – played a role in that no one wanted too closer contact with authorities. But that is pure speculation, and it would behove the skipper to be open about what happened to clear the air.

        Happy to publish any explanation. Which any worthwhile reporter would have sought.

  30. I'll be plucked says:

    Corporal Cupcake (doughy, no substance and full of crap) S Stewart, the inept ALP ‘member’ for Townsville AGAIN standing behind the woeful Mullet and staring into space on 7 local news this evening.

    This time about the water pipeline tenders. WTF does this ‘political head on a stick’ actually do??? Plucked if I know! Absolute embarrassment and trough swiller on the public purse.

  31. The Magpie says:

    Waste OFTAM, The Magpie’s address is hardly a secret … it appears under the name The Magpie when commenting.

    email hidden; JavaScript is required

    But anyone can send material through comments, they are not published before being checked by the old bird, so hence, your missive today will not appear as requested.

  32. Mundingbird says:

    Pie, when do you think this is all going to catch up with them? Or do we have to wait till the next council elections. My fear is that half the people in this town will still vote Labor ,and they will remain, God help us!

    • The Magpie says:

      Two things are relevant … that the dept of local govt can be very tardy about the complaint about the mayor passed on the CCC, and the other issue is who stands against her, and what financial clout that person will have to run an effective campaign … god knows, there’s enough ammo there to sink her if it can get out to the sheeple. Have a close look at this week’s upcoming blog … The ‘Pie might be loading a bazooka with some info just to hand.

  33. The Magpie says:

    Those Guardian swine!!!
    They have the hide to challenge not just the management of Adani over financial matters – what would those knobthrottlers know, bunch of latte swilling inner city Green snowflakes – but they also actually challenge the balanced, well argued and compelling evidence of such an indisputable source as the Jenna The Jester Cairney, iditor of that journal of absolute probity, the Townsville Bulletin. Today, Ms Cairney, may God preserve her amongst us at his leisure – wrote:

    Her sainted view was amply supported by the front page, which suggested something may be happening somewhere about something, probably money.

    AND ON THE VERY SAME DAY, these metrosexual mongrels at the Guardian have the unmitigated gall to publish this utterly fabricated rubbish.

    The odious level of the garbage in this report is spelled out in two outrageous quotes:
    1.The report said high coal prices were not the result of a strong and growing industry. “In fact, they can be seen as an indication of just the opposite, heralding growing concerns over the industry’s medium to long-term viability.”

    2. Renewables were now about half the cost of imported coal in India.

    Bloody commies, they’ve really got it in for airstrip construction workers. Grrrr …

  34. The Magpie says:

    Christ can’t they catch this guy!?!

    If a Bulletin photographer can get this close to him twice, why is he still at large (at least in the paper)?
    From today’s Astonisher …

    … and from last week’s Astonisher, although by then, the bloke had downsized from a samurai sword.

  35. The Owl says:

    I have a theory about the “charter boat” that failed to help the poor bastards in the water.
    A lot of the drugs that are peddled in the nightclub strip are delivered by sea via Ross Creek and Ross River.
    Crimestoppers was alerted to the suspicious activities of a local charter boat in Ross River but after investigation claimed it was a legitimate business.
    But was it just a coincidence that the said charter boat immediately stopped its Ross Creek “activities”?
    Would be interested to know if the charter boat that failed to help the stricken sailors was the one suspected of drug running.
    Might explain why it didn’t want to get involved.
    Just a theory but…….

    • The Magpie says:

      That is a very long bow, mate, and The ‘Pie has no evidence or even hint that that may be the case. However, if there are those out there like The Owl who harbour these and similar dark but unproven suspicions, all the more reason why there should be a full explanation of why a professionally crewed charter boat was unable to rescue the stranded men. The only reason given in the greatly delayed snippet in the Astonisher was because of its size. The sunken pleasure cruiser went down in several fathoms of water, according to The ‘Pie’s informant (who is closely linked to one of the rescued). Currents and drift may well come into this explanation, but that still doesn’t explain apparent reluctance to do more – ropes, life buoys, did the charter boat carry a dinghy?
      This is what proper news reporting is about … not just uncovering ‘scoops’ of wrong-doing or negligence, but also and perhaps more importantly, putting to rest valid and damning speculation about unexplained circumstances.

      Another triumph for the paper that is “All For You’.

  36. The Minstrel says:


    The ‘Pie

    Hello Magpie,

    Its been a while. I’ve been off touring the world with my orchestra, The Cynical Senile Sextet and working on my upcoming album “The Minstrel Sings! – Dirges, Ditties and Dance Tunes” (out by Christmas on K-Tel Records and Cassettes).

    Keeping an eye on my old stomping ground from afar, I have penned a little operatic rock symphony inspired by the recent release of the Queen/Freddie Mercury bio-pic.

    With apologies to Freddie et al, here is Townsvillian Rhapsody. I’d suggest readers read this while playing the original along to get the phrasing and tempo of this masterpiece (Queen’s not mine.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ
    Its long but hey, it is a rock opera (in Townsville’s case a tragedy).

    The Minstrel.

    Townsvillian Rhapsody
    Is this the real life?
    It must be fantasy.
    Won in a landslide
    No escape from this travesty.
    Open your eyes
    Look through all the lies and seeeeee.
    She’s just a poor girl, no political destiny.
    Because her ideas come, ideas go
    Where they come from – no one knows.
    Any way the party shows
    Is all that really matters
    To she.
    To she…

    (little piano bit – imagine Jane Arlett at the Steinway)
    Just hatched a plan
    Put a figure at its head
    Independent so she said.
    The spin had just begun
    Their contempt for us just blows us all away.
    Laborrrrrrrr Ooooh ooooh
    The water crisis lie!
    If they get back again next time – its sorrow
    They’ll carry on, it is wrong.
    It’s like we don’t really matter.

    Too late. Their time has come
    Pala’ whispering down the line
    Midget screaming all the time.
    Come on everybody – they’ve got to go
    Gotta put them up to face electoral truth.

    Laborrrrr ooooh ooooh (any way the spin blows)
    They’re full of party lies
    Team Hill was never inde-pen-dent at all.
    (insert raunchy guitar solo here – maybe Cool Cat Kurt the Fireman)

    I see a little silhouetto of a man
    Mooney Who? Mooney Who?
    The political fandango!
    Thunderbolts and lightning
    Adele is very frightening
    Molachino Molachino?
    Molachino Molachino?
    Molachino?……where’d he go? (where did he go oh oh oh?)
    He’s just a poor tool, nobody knows him.
    He’s just a poor fool looking for identity
    Spare us his crap and his overblown CV.
    Easy come easy go, Jacob had to blow.
    Impaler! NO she really runs the show.
    (Let her go!)
    Impaler! Will she ever go? (Let her go!) (repeat)
    Never never never. Let her go oh oh oh ooooh. No No No No No No No
    Oh, Vereeena oh Vereena, oh Vereena you’re not slow..
    The party and the unions have a safe seat
    put aside for thee
    for theeeeeeee….
    For theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
    (big guitar bit – Big Les Walker in a silver jumpsuit on lead guitar)

    So they think they can fool us and spit in our eye?
    So they think they can bullshit, hide detail and lie?
    Oooooh Baby. Can’t do this to us baby.
    You’ll be thrown out
    And this town might finally breath ahhhh!!
    (musical crescendo – Russ Cook cutting sick on the drums)..

    Oooh Oooh yeah. Oooh yeah.
    But then
    nothing really matters.
    The plebs all love Jen-nee
    Nothing really matters
    Cause they just got
    two dump days
    For free..

    (GONG – Mad F’n Margie).

  37. Kingswood says:

    Some wag had this in the astonishers comments section regarding the ‘ten things to do in Townsville this weekend’

    “Steal a car, rob a house, stab someone randomly, do some drugs…..oops…wrong story I think.”

    Can think of a few others;

    Conduct a high speed chase, end up in Hotel Cleveland, feel safer and be fed better than in all your years, smash a tv, riot and dance on the roof (sea views A1), wave to the passing airport traffic, escape Stuart and be on the run…

    Or start your own ice factory in a rented house, use facebook to advertise! Steal numberplates, get your fuel for free!

    Groan. Was driving in the upper ross last week. (local cop accidentally let slip it’s called ‘Fort Apache’ now). While driving outbound in the four lane part the driver in the right lane next to me was swigging away at a xxxx tally at the lights….Detroit is on the upswing I hear….


    I see on the local news tonight that tourism spending in Townsville plummeted 33% in 2018. What an indictment on our local Townsville enterprising group and associates.

    • The Magpie says:

      Of course, the answer to this, and other dilemmas besetting our poor old town, Gary is if someone of proven integrity, a track record of devotion to public service and transparent dealings with the community were to stand for mayor, with a team of like-minded councillors ,,, but where oh where could we find such a person?

      • Cockie says:

        I think Gary has the knowledge, and the ability to understand and work with the community, but who would dump the current liabilities of Townsville on anyone, and who will stand to accept the mess that will fall out in the next four years.

        • The Magpie says:

          We all have to start somewhere.

          • Dutch Reverend says:

            It needs to start with the appointment of administrators so that the next council representatives (hopefully none of the current duds) are not saddled with the blame when they need to make tough decisions to clean up the mess that is going to be left. Phew…..didn’t even take a breath then.

  39. Wounded Bull says:

    Gary Eddiehausen exemplifies integrity! Still can’t believe the dummies in his electorate did not return him at the last election.

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