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The Magpie

Saturday, June 24th, 2017   |   131 comments

Wheeling And Dealing: In Or Out Of Office, The Long-Established Network Of The Gilded Few Continues To Profit From An Ailing Townsville

Forget coal mining, gold digging is where the action is, and one little known out-of-towner continues to mine a rich vein of public money. Along with his local mates.The Magpie beaks around.

There is a word for everything and the word for The Townsville Bulletin this week is ‘chutzpah’ – shameless audacity and impudence. The paper again proves it has a tin ear for irony, with an amazing admission of self-condemnation.

The Courier and The Bulletin directly contradict each other on the front page … and both are WRONG.

Remote control: a vital role for the Townsville City Council is run by senior staff officer from her home … in Melbourne.

And how Donald has turned the world upside down … literally,

But first …

Real Queensland Originals

The Magpie doesn’t trouble his readers with the general inconsequencnes of the sporting world, but there are those moments that cannot be ignored.

And the Comeback Kids did it yet again on Wednesday night, to dumbfound NSW in the second State Of Origin match … and did it right in the heart of enemy territory. And yes, JT is a remarkable athlete and a remarkable man who deserves the accolade of ‘inspirational’.

But from Bentley’s perceptive point of view, this dogged determination is a Queensland trait not restricted to the sporting arena. He believes it is our habit to put ourselves on the line to be pummeled by the opposition, but come back to overcome the odds.

tough finNB Bentley wants The ‘Pie to point out he is not particular fan of Pauline, and is a bit indifferent to RL, but he says any guts in the face of fierce opposition can only be admired.

Quite so.

But News Ltd Does Offer Diversity

On Thursday, The Bulletin screamed …

Screen shot 2017-06-24 at 10.31.49 PM

… while on the very same day, the Courier bellowed …

Screen shot 2017-06-24 at 10.33.36 PM

… and they were both saying the same thing, and they were both wrong, although we had to wait until Friday to find out, although the Courier was a model of sober understatement – not.

 Screen shot 2017-06-24 at 10.34.58 PM

Melbourne Ain’t Mumbai, But C’mon …

In practical terms, it might as well be, depending on your view and trust in modern technology. So ratepayers, decide for yourselves if the modern trend of ‘distance doesn’t matter’ is the way you’d like you ratepayer dollar spent, as Mayor Mullet fumbles around trying to contain the chaos she and her CEO have caused the council.

The Magpie will admit that a restructure of the council was necessary, and many of those in elected office since amalgamation have been remiss in not instituting a more humane policy of down-sizing by attrition some time ago. But the callousness of the current policy, devised by a southern organisation with national Labor links and implemented by an imported Labor head-kicker in Adele Young, shows a fine disregard for people over self-interested policy. As reported here (and nowhere else, it seems) last week, we had a nationally respected senior IT executive, recruited in February, leave because he said he couldn’t work in the council’s ‘toxic atmosphere’.

Juliana Tiong and Adele Young

This week, another key staffer, the recently appointed TCC Procurement Officer Juliana Tiong, decided that for family reasons, she was unable to continue to fly from Melbourne each Monday to work in Walker Street before jetting off on Fridays back to Melbourne, an exercise that was stiffing the ratepayer travel costs in the thousands per month. Instead, she has now become a contractor and does her highly paid chores from her home – in Melbourne. No reflection on Ms Tiong , who is a recognized professional– even if there may be a background tie-up between her, the Nous Group and Adele Young.

Is it really necessary for The Magpie to state the bleedin’ obvious, that this is diametrically opposed to Mayor Mullet’s mealy-mouthed mantra of ‘buy local’, since Ms Liong will be contributing to our economy not a single cent. Apparently doesn’t apply either mayoral to vehicles, or to staff. Fair dinkum, she’d run the whole fucking shebang out of her native Malta if she thought she could get away with it.

The Magpie Goes All Dotty again

It seems of late that one of this blog’s favourite pastimes is joining the dots, which a bit like that game of seven degrees (it supposedly takes just seven connections with different people to be connected to just about anybody in the world).

This came to mind when The ‘Pie learned that this chap …


… one Prins Ralston, has secured a consultant’s contract with the Townsville Hospital to review operations … err, that would be administrative operations, not the medical type.

Mr Ralston you will most recently remember as the head of Melbourne’s Nous Group, which has so endeared itself to TCC staff with its restructuring plan. But if you mistakenly think Mr Ralston accidentally came upon an apparently sorely needed review at the hospital, it isn’t quite so.

Because this Prins among men has a long, if somewhat unheralded links with Townsville and some of our luminaries. He was part of Rabieh Krayem’s IPA Personnel way back when oit started to expand (too quickly, it turned out), but as the organization grew, Prins became Rabieh Krayem’s boss. Yes, the same Rabieh who was great lunching mates with Mayor Mooney and legal foghorn Barry Taylor

IPA eventually was absorbed into the Humanis Group, whose main shareholder was Craig Ransley, Who also controls Guildford Coal through TerraCom.

Humanis started a campaign of aggressive leveraged acquisitions to grow market share, but there was a fatal flaw, it seems. The business model was based on continued growth in resources sector employment and was therefore bound to end in tears. But before that happened, one informant tells The Magpie, at one stage, Humanis grossed $320 million in turnover … but reported profit of only $6million. As The ‘Pie’s informant put it, ‘Either fishy or a bad business model, or both.’

Anyway, when mining employment tanked, so did Humanis, down the tubes for $14million. Ransley was not a happy chook, and rightly or wrongly, laid the blame squarely on Mr Krayem. It is said Ransley did not personally like Mr Krayem at all, anyway.

Dolan Hayes

Dolan Hayes

Separte to all this, old Magpie mate Dolan Hayes,  previously Mooney’s media manager, came on the scene. In 2008, he introduced His Radiance to Ransley and lobbied vigorously for Ransley to hire Mooney for Guildford, which he did. (Coimmunity Liaison or some such utter bullshit). Around this time, both Mooney and Rabieh Krayem spent some time as directors of the Townsville Port Authority, with another of the Labor inner circle, then main Roads Minister Craig Cuddlepie Wallace, pushing then Minister Paul Lucas to make the appointments. Nothing wrong there, that’s politics, and wouldn’t have been any different on the other side of the coin. But it was interesting that Guildford Coal was trying to get access to Townsville Port to ship coal from its proposed Hughenden project, which never got off the ground. Coa; through the port was bound to create some opposition, so always good to have voices on the board, eh?

When Wallace lost his seat of Thuringowa in March 2012, he almost instantly became a Guildford director and subsequently deputy chairman and chairman (including a stint running the company’s operations in Mongolia).

And there is another connection to Prins Ralston. He was boss of Mission Australia, and the accomplished Dolan Hayes had a lucrative contract to do media matters and consulting and stuff. The ‘Pie understands that that is now all past, but the point is that Dolan is a sometime advisor to Jenny Hill, who somehow came up with the Nous Group as the ones to do the hatchet plan on TCC staff. It’s a fair bet although unconfirmed that a former colleague of Ms Young’s who was a Nous director, fingered her for the CEO hatchet job. Mayor Mullet loved the idea, all Labor gals together,

As the cops say, there is no such thing as coincidence, just evidence. But no proof, so The ‘Pie is just saying’, ya know.

The Magpie does not infer or imply any wrongdoing here … crikey, he has enough on his plate, with Big Bazza after him … but just so you know, a it certainly appears a closed circuit of insiders have become very well off, through patronage, public money and political background in the Townsville economy. (Dolan had a nice little earner of quite a few thousand to convince us that CBD stadium was a good idea – which if it wasn’t self-evident, proves the proponents knew it wasn’t. He also is thick with Townsville Enterprise).

With Prins Randall now picking up a handsome dollar from the state government for a consultancy at the Townsville Hospital, Tony Mooney must have a warm fuzzy feeling that his old mate is around. Mr Mooney is, you will remember, chairman of the Townsville Hospital Board.

Photo Of The Week

Bulletin truck

Says it all really.

They Really Do Live In A Bubble

It is not a carping whinge to ask if Bogan or his deputy Tomlinson have parted company with reality. They certainly have when they think no one is going to roll around laughing when they write daft iditorials like this.

The subject was the airport passenger tax no one wants … and even proponents of the unnecessary upgrade do not endorse the public paying to add value to Queensland Airports portfolio.

But let’s have look at that iditorial which backs up a silly story that Qantas might desert Townsville. Building up to supreme idiocy, we read:’ Qantas is simply playing games in denying this vital upgrade. It claims Queensland Airports Limited, the owner of Townsville Airport, is not contributing out of its coffers for the upgrade. Whatever the case, the bottom line is that Townsville is again being treated as a second-class citizen by a southern-based corporate behemoth. It’s time everyone grew up, got in a room and sorted it out to ensure Townsville’s future prosperity isn’t hamstrung.’

‘scuse The ‘Pie a sec, as he wipes away the tears of mirth.

‘Whatever the case’????

Last The Pie heard, a newspaper is charged with exploring and determining the ‘case’ the ‘balanced ‘truth’ , not leaving it as a dangling as a ‘dunno don’t car,’  A teenager ‘whatever’ reply. And the paper’s claim that community and business leaders are unanimous in wanting the $40million upgrade , well, yes, even The ‘Pie would be partial to it, but what The Astonisher DOES NOT SAY ANYWHERE they support the iniquitous proposed travel tax. Business people know there would be a backlash if they did.  Just about everybody except Bogan and Gill believe Queensland Airports Should pay for work that will greatly enhance their bottom line,

But we really descend into ‘special person crayon and crash helmet’ territory when this totally discredited paper can seriously suggest’ Townsville is again being treated as a second-class citizen by a southern-based corporate behemoth.’

Southern-based corporate behemoth … you mean like News Ltd, based in Sydney? Or do you mean Queensland Airports, based on The Gold Coast?

Obviously, the Townsville Bulletin believes it is a paper for mouth-breathing readers who peaked in primary school. After all, that’s the level of iditorials like this.

But At Least They Bogan Reads This Blog

 The ‘Pie is flattered.

The Magpie 


June 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm  (Edit)

Maybe The ‘Pie and his merry band of commenters are having an effect on the Astonisher. Indeed, it would appear we have forced the paper into the admission of our effect in today’s iditorial, decrying anyone who exercises their democratic right to disagree with the city’s current ‘leadership’ … stop sniggering!

What is this, the Townsville Daily Soothsayer, predicting the future in the hope that it won’t happen?

After an opening three pars of empty homilies of which the writers of Yes Minister would be proud – written probably by the iditor-in-waiting Damien Tomlinson – the idirorial gets as close to talking about The Magpie and his merry men as the will allow itself

Quoth the Astonisher:
‘There are (sic – should be ‘is’), however, a very small minority of whingers here who are happy to bag from the sidelines anybody who has the temerity to try something different. In this regard, our city is really no different to many
other regional centres. There will always be those more suited to sitting up the back of the bus and ridiculing the driver than getting behind the wheel themselves.’

OOh, dear …

As if that wasn’t enough of a giveaway – suggesting that Father knows best and no one should exercise their democratic right to disagree with others who are using public money for an unrealistic hope and prayer of a freebie. Indeed, ridiculing the driver is exactly what The ‘Pie and his far from ‘very small minority’ will continue to do, when the driver is actually a hijacker from Holt Street who has taken over the bus and taking us unwillingly to places we don’t want to go.

Note the small sob in the use of the word ‘ridiculing’. Poor pet, upsetting you is it?

But then comes the clincher, which is such a dumb giveaway that Max ought to take you over his knee, young Damien (or you Bogan if it is you, which The ‘Pie doubts).

Try this on for dopey ‘I’m shitting myself, he’s going to be nasty to me’ blub: the caps are The ‘Pie’s)

‘There WILL be those, FOR INSTANCE, who WILL decry plans to send a delegation of business and political leaders from here to Singapore next month.’It’s a tiresome old complaint. ‘Junket!’ they (WILL) exclaim.’


By simply predicting what someone will say so is admitting that there will be opposition to what even they know is just another ‘junket’. Somehow, the Astonisher figures by getting in first – predicting opposition – will nullify any future detrimental comment. Without any coherent argument why this is a good thing, except the usual Bulletin/TEL blue sky policy of floating castles in the air,

Which raises the questions about who is paying for it? If Townsville Enterprise is paying for any of it, themselves or others (fat chance) THAT is ratepayer money from the $750000 dropped into the Dudley Do Nothing’s annual begging bowl.

But all in all, folks, you should be flattered – The ‘Pie knows he is – by the attention from our fearless unbiased and intelligent opinion leader and shaper.

The Astonisher wants ‘junket’ consigned back to the baby’s high chair. If so, it should come with a side serve of Bulletin iditorial … only baby could swallow that pap.

Donald Trump Knows How To Handle The Media

This would be the headline of the Trump Administration so far … and it’s real.

no reporting

True! Think Vlad advised him on this during a recent private visit.

Brokeback 2. The bitch always rides at the back

And in one brief exchange, a Republican spells out what is wrong with party politics EVERYWHERE … but he didn’t mean to. He was asked what he thought of the health Bill planned to replace Obamacare.

“It’s much better than Obamacare,” Sen. Purdue. on new health bill. 

”Why?” we ask. 

”I have to go read it.”

So The Donald really has turned things upside down … ,duck it!

Donald upside down

Finally. Some Product Placements Are No Accident

Certainly not when it comes to bookstores.


Don’t forget to get into the comments during the week, great fun and very informative. And if you’ve a mind for a helping hand for the old bird’s efforts, the 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. Grumpy says:

    I don’t like Townsville airport. I think I’ll get the train to Brisbane instead.

    Said no one, ever.

    I’m not going to visit Townsville because their airport does not have outrageously expensive specialty shops.

    Said no one, ever.

    Kevin Gill and Ben Bogan are absolute tossers.

    Said a lot if people, quite often, actually.

  2. Mike Douglas says:

    Whilst it’s clear TCC is a mess with so many missed project deadlines and toxic culture, Mayor Mullet and Adele the impailer have a lot to answer for but what about our 10 Councillors?.Surely with the number of Committees they head or part of they are aware of the carnage and by failing to act are complicit to the results.It appears some Councillors have private businesses so while Rome burns they feather their own nest taking the TCC salaries.Important date is Tuesday 27 th when the census regional data is released providing a better picture of Townsville and whether the population has to be recalibrated down which isn’t the first time.

  3. Cantankerous but happy says:

    The brainless masses of this town are simply too ignorant to care about the stench from Walker st and the effect it is having on Townsville. The Labor faithful only ever need a few compliant morons to add to their numbers and suddenly they are returned to power once again. This is identified perfectly with a poll in Ipswich of which half the respondents still offrered their support to Pississale and believed he should stay in the job, a couple of banjo playing locals on TV saying he has done so much for Ipswich and should be given a second chance, WTF?

  4. The Magpie says:

    R I P the Dudley Do Nothings?
    Note the final item on the TCC Agenda for this week.

    • Ronny Rotten says:

      The Dudleys/Dudettes should be trembling in their shoes.

      • The Magpie says:

        And the basis of ‘the devil you know’, so should we, given those ever lurking in the background of Townsville affairs.

        • Ronny Rotten says:

          The Dudleys were effectively taken over by the Gilded Few and the council a long time ago. A few good people will be replaced by sychophants and costs will be cut, but it will essentially amount to a reshuffle of the deck chairs on a sinking ship.

    • The Ferret says:

      I suspect that the Development Corporation is more to do parcels of land around Ross Creek, and the value capture than a replacement for Townsville Enterprise
      That is one of the line items in the City Deal process.

      • The Magpie says:

        Most of the land around Ross Creek would be Port Authority land, would it not? And it still sounds like the chance of double dipping on the ratepayer if TEL aren’t touched.

        • The Ferret says:

          Copy and paste straight from the City Deal plan Magpie
          Establish the Townsville Industrial
          Development Board to lead investment
          attraction, market engagement and
          coordinate case management for
          potential investors including working
          to secure priority industrial sites
          to attract freight and port-related
          businesses and services to Townsville’s
          industrial areas, including the SDA.
          Further consideration will be given to
          the final role and function of the TIDB,
          including its role in the negotiated
          acquisition of land together with other
          measures to unlock priority industrial
          sites during City Deal implementation

        • Dragnet says:

          This would be to deal with the Priority Development Area. Setting up the corporation similar to her mate in Ipswich Pissale. With the purchase of the north yard workshop site and the stadium. Council now owns a lot of the land inside this precinct.

    • Dave Nth says:

      36. Catches me eye more… Adani haven’t even made up their mind whether their FIFO workforce will be here of going to be Rocky. Case of chicken before egg again….

  5. Linda Ashton says:

    It’s very timely to focus on the Dolan factor. Mostly behind the scenes but owns the theatre complex and selects the movies (sic moves).

    • Sandgroper says:

      You accord Dolan far too much power and influence. Like all spin-doctors, his primary function is to present the activities and plans of his clients to the public, media and other stakeholders in the most favourable manner.
      Good consultants have a keen ear for public opinion and often advise clients against taking a particular course that will antagonise large segments of the community. The ethical ones will also caution clients against doing dodgy deals, even if such deals fall within the letter of the law.
      Another important function of a good PR man or woman is issues and crisis management, which aims to quickly address problems and minimise damage after an accident or adverse incident.
      When called upon to whitewash scoundrels — we in the trade call it “polishing a turd” — the smart ones promptly resign the account, Unfortunately, there are some (and I don’t count Dolan among their number) who value money above principles.

      • The Magpie says:

        As always, the blog speaks for itself.
        And Dolan is far more than just a spin doctor, he’s a respected voice in Labor in this state. He is the one behind the campaign that got Jenny home last time around. Power and influence don’t come much greater than that. You’ve been away for a while, gropes, but things WERE as you said back then. Not now, DH is an increasingly important player.

        • Sandgroper says:

          ‘Pie, I stand corrected if I have underestimated Dolan’s influence. Of course, there are a few of us who have orchestrated successful political campaigns, sometimes with unintended consequences. One of mine, in the days before I gained political enlightenment, helped elect a Labor man who eventually became Premier (and later a guest of Her Majesty in one of her penal institutions). The shame still haunts me.

  6. The Magpie says:

    Neat. Insert appropriate names for local equivalent

    How Politics Works
    HE SAID, “NO.
    HE SAID, “YES.”
    HE SAID, “NO”
    HE SAID, “OK”

  7. Frequent Flyer says:

    Was out at Townsville airport over the weekend picking up some friends and made use of the male toilets in the arrivals/baggage pick-up area.
    If any other company provided such old and dilapidated toilets they would lose their business but not Queensland Airports, who have a monopoly over air travel in Townsville.
    So the question, Mr Gill, is: how much profit has been made from the Townsville Airport terminal over the past 10 years, and how much have you spent on keeping the facilities up to date?
    The terminal definitely needs an upgrade but not at the expense of the travelling public.
    What about doing what other companies and businesses do – reinvest some of your profits in your business instead of asking the public to pay.

    • The Magpie says:

      And just in case you missed a previous comment, when The Astonisher ran the original story, they were so deluged with scornful comments that they took down the comment section after a couple of hours. But they still don’t get it.

    • The Ferret says:

      This is what the redevelopment is all about I have put my opinions in ( brackets )
      Highlights of the MDP include:

      Reconfiguration of the existing international departure lounge to function as a swing international/domestic lounge for arrivals/departures area
      ( Poor planning when reopening international flights should have been done before Bali flights started )

      Rationalisation of existing, underutilised office space to increase the overall capacity of the seating areas in the arrivals/departures area
      ( This I agree with )

      Upgrade and expansion of the security screening area to reduce congestion
      ( Should have been done before chasing more flights)

      Rationalisation of the existing check-in area to accommodate additional check-in kiosks
      (Again should have been done before chasing more airlines)

      The addition of new shop front spaces, which are expected to be occupied by food outlet and other retail
      (Let the people who want to sell from the upgraded airport pay for it because we certainly will with the prices charged)

      Extension of the upper concourse to provide two new club lounge facilities and help meet the growing needs of business travellers
      (If airlines want the business lounges let them pay for it. Why should we in cattle class pay for something we can not use)

      Extension of the ground floor to relocate Virgin and Qantas engineering offices
      ( Have no knowledge on this subject

      • The Magpie says:

        $42MILLION FOR THAT?

        get real … this is about QAL whacking in a whole bunch of retail outlets, which will be charged whopping rents with prices commensurate with being able to pay the lease.

        If through-put was showing signs of going nuts, then upgrade away … but QAL, you pay for it, you pack of shysters. You are disgraceful, Gill, given yourt other role of [promoting Townsville as a desirable destination as chair of Townsville Enterprise. Business friends tell The ‘Pie you’re none too bright, and the way you’ve handle this, who could argue. When you’re arrogant AND dumb, there’s bound to be tears before bedtime.

        • The Ferret says:

          The State Government is paying for the tarmac upgrade at $9 million
          Sadly Magpie 3 domestic air bridges are not enough, when you consider 3 planes from Brisbane all land within 15 minutes of each other every day of the week
          They could reschedule flights and take a lot of the over crowding out of the airport.
          Your right old bird its about Gill feathering his own nest
          Nothing more evident than this in jobs for the boys and the occasional gal, how else is the mayor deputy chair of TEL ?

  8. The Gnome from Nome says:

    The old story too prevalent at the moment is the perpetrator is portrayed as the victim. For example, the Mullet and Gill claim they are the victims (on behalf of TSV and TSV airport) and Qantas is the perpetrator. That’s arse about in reality!!

  9. Sir Ossis O'Fliver says:

    When it comes to all 3 levels of government and quite a lot of government and private businesses in this country:-
    (a) I don’t mind that they are fucking me.
    (b) I don’t mind that they know that I know they are fucking me.
    (c) It just gives me the shits that they think I am enjoying it.

    • Dutch Reverend says:

      Yeah SOOF. I ageee. The other thing that pisses me is their arrogance to think that we are as dumb and moronic as them, and that we would believe anything they say.

      • Aussiemandias says:

        You’re only a moron if you dare disagree with them, Dutchy. That’s the way they like to work it, whereas in reality they lead such a blinkered existence it boggles the mind. The term ‘dig UP, stupid’ springs to mind whenever I think of the current TCC.

  10. The Magpie says:

    Buying a Monday Astonisher this morning?

    Here’s a break-down of what you’ll get for your $1.40 in the Bulletin – and there might even be a few tidbits of New’s version of news in there.

  11. The Magpie says:


    Please look up the meaning of ‘alleged’, this is getting ridiculous!
    Yes, even you, ABC. The ‘Pie won’t bother with examples but on regular occasions we have seen alleged used in a manner which inadvertently questions information from the police, because while ‘investigating an alleged murder’ is OK (what’s wrong with ‘what police suspect is’ or some other plain language wording) what is not OK is, as seen recently in a southern paper, investigating the alleged death’. Was there a possibility the person pretending, just playing dead?
    And the Bulletin is a serial offender in this, by reporting what police or other authorities say ‘We’re investigating a double murder’) by later referring to it as ‘the alleged double murder’). Are the coppers telling porkies? The Astonisher even treated us to the ludicrous suggesting a few years back of ‘the alleged fire’, when they meant ‘alleged deliberate’.

    Get some proper legal advice, ‘alleged’ is NOT the foolproof legal shield you so tritely believe it to be … and it is a gross abuse of language and insulting to those interviewed.

    And if the police say, that they are investigating an alleged assault, as they did in this story
    why not ask why they say alleged, is there some doubt and these vicious injuries may have been self-inflicted? No one is named, no one identified or described, so why use alleged at all.

  12. The Magpie says:

    Here’s an interesting snippet that floated into the Nest this morning.

    For obvious reasons, addresses and names have been deleted from the information received, but this hasn’t appeared in any media. Have they been told not to criticise a government department for a serious security blunder. The informant was a recipient of the original email.

    “Here you go, security breach…. Communications Access Coordinator from Attorney General’s office accidentally leaked the entire database for Defence Interception points of contact for all Carriers in Australia. They typically BCC industry wide emails but they recalled it, and in recalling the email, has (sic) displayed all BCC recipients.


    The writer then followed this up with:

    “This is a significant issue that ought to be addressed, it’s in the nations interests… Any of the people below can be targeted by foreign adversaries (Hackers etc) now to determine how carriers intercept and retain data.”

    The reference to ‘the people below’ pertains to more than 200 addresses, which The ‘Pie declines to publish. A schoolboy error that needs addressing urgently.

  13. Miss Lou says:

    Good evening, Maggie.

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.

    Yours sincerely,

    Miss Lou.

  14. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Can someone please explain to me the TCC budget article by Domanii Cameron in today’s Astonisher? I consider myself an educated and logically thinking person but I cannot make any sense of it! Are rates to increase or decrease?

    It states that paying early to take advantage of the (now reduced) discount will result in a net increase of 88c a week. but not paying within the discount period will mean a reduction of $44. How can you end up paying more with a discount but less without the discount?

    What’s the saying?……”voodoo economics”

    • The Magpie says:

      And worth mentioning (again) here, although standard practice in many council’s, the Early Payment Discount is no such thing. The early payment amount is what your rates should be by calculation, the ‘undiscounted’ amount for late payment is actually A FINE.

  15. Kenny Kennett says:

    So Jenny Hill has turned the rates circus into a Benny Hill scenario. At a quick read of the Astonisher (please don’t laugh), my ‘Gross General rates’ which don’t include water, sewerage and waste will freeze saving me 5% (of gross general rates ONLY). I presume that’s what the increase was going to be?????? BUT, where I normally get 15% discount by paying early, I now only get 10%. So if my rates were $2000 last year and I paid early, this time they were going to be +5% ($100) less 15% ($315) equals 2100-315=1785. But with the changes they will now be $2000 (no increase) less 10% (discount reduced to 10%) $200 equals $2000-$200=$1800 plus increase in water, sewerage and waste of 2.1%. I call bullshit Mullet, what a crock of shit!!

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      Agreed KK…it appears they are saying that “freezing” rates and not increasing them say 5% is actually a 5% ‘reduction’ on what we could have paid!

      On that basis they might as well say they could have doubled rates but because they are frozen it is a 100% rate cut….complete rubbish!

    • Waz CEOC number 1 says:

      I would like to put our differences aside from last week Kenny to help explain some rates questions.

      First this is bullshit of the highest orderived from mullet. Anyone without a calculator can work out they are wrong. As Kenny said, general rates are just a portion of your bill. Separate the utilities and that’s where your rise is. People in townsville are dick heads because they believe the last 2 councils were gouging us in rises. General rates are cheaper here in townsville compared to others but they contract out utilities. Rubbish, water, sewage and even tip fees. But because you see 1500-2000 they think it worse then anywhere else. Other councils you would get 4 separate bills aside from rates and probably pay nearly 3000 for same services, but ours are in house.

      As far as discount well there never is a discount really and decrease your early bird rate is an increase. I agree with Kenny on his assumption that he will pay more this year if he pays earlier. This is a vote grabbing stunt helped by the paper and if this was done by previous council it would be a full 6 pages from the paper to discredit then. Instead we get a front page story that we have sacked 300 people so we saved money arnt we great. There is a bigger increase this year then any year under tsv first. 2.1 plus 5% less early bird rate.

      Ive said it before that the council needs to charge more for there rates and now that we have less staff that means more contractors will need to do the work left by sacked staff. The only reason it looks like she’s saving money is because she isn’t spending any on works projects. Remember the comments last week about 40mil works budget down to 20mil. I can save money too if I don’t spend it. She’s in such a deep holet from borrowing to pay wages that we can’t afford services. Watch this space I bet you that next year services like waste/water will be contract because????? There to exspensive thus they need to go so we can save money again.

      Every year council budgets for 2.5% wage increase to staff but until an EBA is signed that money goes back to council thus why unions have not bothered to negotiate a new deal in 4yrs. This is a pay back to the mayor for letting unions run the place. How can you go from 10mil deficit to 130000 surplus in 12th. Easy don’t spend money and what ever money you got just move it around. When services go be prepared to pay shit load more for water and the like. You can see she’s sething up areas of the council to fail so she can claim the cost is to much
      Typically labour

  16. Ezra Pound Axe King says:

    Even if the ‘rate cut’ was genuine, I would prefer a functioning council that knows what it is doing that the 5%. It appears that we’ll get neither.

  17. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    I know this is a rhetorical question….but why isn’t the Astonisher all over this TCC budget rubbish and calling it for the bullshit it is?

  18. Alex DeLarge says:

    I have said this before – where the hell is our alternative mayor in all this? Could have turned this into a political killing field.

    Or is he/she going to leave it until a week before the election to get down and dirty with Hill’s bullshit?

    …as happened the last time

    • The Magpie says:

      Way too early … timing is everything in politics, and while going late can be disastrous, the less time you give Mayor Mullet, the Astonisher and most importantly, the bloke smarter than both put together, Dolan Hayes, to smear, lie, go below the belt (like an article on Arlett and partner) manufacture distractions and talk selectively, the better than chances. There are a couple of names being whispered at the moment, and The ‘Pie has heard there is a very dark horse in the wings who would gallop in, judging the right timing and if the electorate’s mood is right.

      • Lord Howard Hertz says:

        Besides, Napolean had it right when he said ‘Never interrupt your opponent when he’s making a mistake’. No one should interrupt The Mullet for at least another year.

  19. The old peterbuilt says:

    Jenny, Jenny dreams are ten a penny , leave them in the lost and found. Oh Jen you little vixen. You’ve screwed me again and slipped away without so much as a kiss goodbye.

  20. Cantankerous but happy says:

    What the dopes at the council don’t realise is that they could cost the budget dearly with an increase in overdue unpaid rates, as the incentive to pay them in time has dropped, I would envisage investment properties in particular where any rates costs are offset by a marginal tax rate anyway would look seriously at whether the discount is worth it, also people who would pay with a credit card to get the discount and then pay the credit card off would have less of a reason to do so, might as well let the rates go well past due date and wait for the never ending letters of reminder.

  21. The Magpie says:

    Want the bad news, or the worse news first?

    2016 census figures show that Townsville has shrunk by almost 5% to around 186,000 … that’s the bad news.

    The worse news these are LAST year’s figures and a lot has happened around here since then … none of good.

    Here’s how Colin Dwper slices up the err – pie.
    Townsville 200k will have to wait a few more years.

    Census 2016 reveals that Townsville population has been revised down (although we need to wait for the adjusted ERP figures), is a comparatively younger community than the rest of Australia, has 74,303 dwellings and is an above average renter community.

    Initial, Census data reveals a Townsville LGA population for August 2016 of 186,757 residents. this is a significant downward adjustment of 4.9% or 9,157 residents. Once again, we need to compare new ERP figure due out soon.

    Townsville remains the largest city in North Australia. Interestingly there are more females than males in Townsville and the median age of Townsvillians is 34; 4 years younger than the national average. Twenty eight percent of Townsvillians said we had no religion, followed by catholics 26.5%. Just over 85% of Townsvilles households only spoke english at home.

    Townsville incomes were higher than state average and 11.7% of dwellings were vacant; consistent with national averages.

    Townsville is a renter city with 38.6% of dwellings rented. This is 7.7% points above the national average and is likely due to our younger student, army profile. Our rents are $35 a week less than the national average but our mortgages are reasonably consistent with the average in Australia.

    Seven percent of our population is indigenous, which is more than double the national average.

    Finally the Australian Mediterranean is still the largest city in North Australia (first identified by Colin Dwyer in 2008) and has enviable specialisations in Defence, Tertiary education, Transport, Sugar exporting and Health. But these population figures are a greater than expected and disappointing downgrade of a city that was seeking 200K status by 2018; we’ll just have to wait a few more years.

    • Scientician79 says:

      Meanwhile the dopes at the Bulletin are quoting a figure of 229,000 – based on the Townsville Survey Region which from what I can tell includes communities to the North, South and West – think Ingham/Ayr/Charters Towers.

      Paints a much rosier picture on budget day.

      Speaking of get a load of the glowing editorial on Mayor Jenny’s benevolent reduction in our rate bill, which manages to contradict itself several times while trying to twist around the facts.


      “But the bottom line is that overall, assuming a homeowner’s land value stays the same, rates will come down.”

      Uh no – because of the reduction in discount most average homeowners will be paying more as pointed out in the comments there and here.

  22. Fed Up says:

    And what role do we suppose this mass migration out of Townsville will have on the value of our houses here in Townsville? Less buyers, less demand, less competition! Its a farce and someone should be made to pay!

    Although, the census could be fake news, what with all the hacking and troubles we all faced when filling it out! How is this to be relied upon as truth?

  23. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Please bear with me Pie….here is my take on the TCC budget.

    Looking at the TCC budget papers on the website the general rate in the dollar on category 1 (owner occupied residential dwellings) has been reduced from 0.010251 in the dollar to 0.009738 in the dollar, a reduction of 5%.

    This means that if my land valuation had remained the same as last year, (it has actually dropped), my general rates would reduce from $1404.38 per year to $1334.11 per year gross,.

    However, if I utilize the early payment discount, the net amount I would pay increases from $1193.73 (with previous 15% early payment discount) to $1200.69 (with new 10% early payment discount).

    In a nutshell, if your valuation is unchanged or increases, and you use the early payment discount, you get no reduction at all on general rates.

    Water and sewerage charges increase by $32.00 for owner occupier residential properties (on the standard water allocation plan). Waste charges decrease by $24, but with the kicker that the voucher system is binned (pun intended) for domestic waste and you now have to pay for each visit to the dump. (Green waste and recycling can be dumped for free). But they are also bring in two free dump days per year. (We saw how well this worked prior to TC Debbie).

    We are also still to find out the changes to a raft of other TCC regulatory and other charges such as dog rego, building permits, etc but I don’t expect these would be decreasing.

    The interesting aside for me is that my land valuation on which the rates are based has dropped considerably, by $14000 between last year’s rate notice and this year’s. This means that the absolute amount I will pay in general rates has also reduced by a significant dollar figure, early payment discount or not.

    While this may be good in one respect (more money for me rather than TCC) in another respect it is a sad reflection on the state of Townsville’s economy and future outlook.

    I imagine that I am not the only ratepayer that has has seen a significant drop in their land valuation. I only hope the the financial wizards at TCC have factored this into their financial forecasting.

  24. Kenny Kennett says:

    The Kingston Town Cryer is at it again with its headline punching into a noisy venue located in a noisy entertainment precinct where the complainant lives. And he bleeted it out via the dark side. Mate, that is the competitor your story is in. Now before you breath fire my way Doug, I think you have every right to make noise complaints and, no, I wouldn’t want my surrounds to be disturbed by deadly decibels. But Doug, have a heart. This is the Cutheringa society’s biggest fundraiser of the year, it finished by 11pm and whilst the venue operators aren’t event organizers, Im sure the planners of the event were.
    It’s a shame that those 20 or 50 continued to make noise in the park after the 11pm deadline but the announcements and music stopped, the bar closed and people were apparently ushered out. All above board as I’m sure they knew you had a snipers sight aimed right at them at the stroke of 11.
    Now get that online news website going and get stuck into the real stories, not the bullshit ‘Astonisher’ stories that only go towards charities getting another kick in the guts.

    • J jones says:

      Spot on
      Dougie needs a new hobby horse

    • Doug K says:

      Now Kenny, you really shouldn’t believe everything you read in the Townsville Bulletin.
      What actually happened, and was revealed (in writing) to the reporter, John Andersen, was that I reminded the Port of Townsville (which owns the park) and the Maritime Museum that making excessive noise after 11pm is breaking the law. Its called disturbing the peace.
      The music stopped at 11pm, so I made NO complaint to anyone.
      As for giving the Cutheringa Society a fair go, there was no way of knowing who was running the function until I rang the Maritime Museum at around 5.30pm on the night of the function (after the 1RAR Band sound check forced us to close up the front of our apartment so we could have a conversation or watch tv).
      Would have thought it would have been sensible for Ms Slocombe to drop a note in the letterboxes nearby to advise what was going on.
      As for Ms Slocombe’s advice for me to “get a life”, I’m too busy looking after my grandchildren one day a week, going fishing and crabbing at least two days a week, working part time for a $600 million renewable energy project, creating an online newspaper and going on overseas holidays to “get a life”.

  25. Critical says:

    Isn’t the surplus on the day to day running costs of the council – much like a household budget.
    Looked at the council budget propaganda but can’t find anything about what our current debt level is and what it will be at 30 June 2018.

    • Waz CEOC number 1 says:

      Debt will be a shit load critical! I noticed that no dollar figure was printed in the paper today about hard rubbish collection . Maybe because they tendered and found out how it will cost. This ridiculous idea of free green waste will be a disaster. Can you imagine how much rubbish will be dumped at green waste areas at the tip. How much will be hidden under those palm fronds. No camera’s up there to spot. We haven’t got enough staff to watch now either. This whole budget should be sifted through witha comb but this spineless paper won’t.

  26. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Too lazy to read he budget. Presuming we now get 2 x hard waste pick ups for 2017 / 2018?

  27. Cantankerous but happy says:

    The census is painting a real bleak picture for the old Ville.
    Population over 9000 down on forecast, that is staggering.
    The median age is still 34 whilst the rest of the country is rising, Cairns for example has risen to 39, that means many of our older residents, particularly retirees have grabbed their super packed up and left town.
    The median wage is virtually stagnant over the last 5 years, in nett terms we are going backwards.
    The Astonisher of course will spin the shit thick and fast trying to skirt around the numbers and try to paint a rosy picture under Jenny Hill but the reality is things are pretty fucking crook, and our pathetic joke of a newspaper is part of the problem.

    • The Magpie says:

      Let’s be clear, as politicians say when they want to be anything but … Jenny Hill didn’t create many of these problems, but she certainly exacerbated some of them ( the insidious rejection of the Queens Hotel project, her disproportionate emphasis on the CBD at the expense of other projects that to this day languish in the council dungeon where politically unsuitable although beneficial projects are tied up). It is her public handling of them, in lock-step with the Bulletin, which has done us a massive disservice. It’s the Emperor’s new clothes syndrome laid bare, which adds a nice dollop of insult to an already injured community.

      It’s called lack of leadership … and that goes in spades for the lily-livered time-serving and money-grabbing bunch of acquiescent councillors we’ve got (except Greaney does do some low level grass roots good in her balliwick) – political cowards one and all, valiant only in defence of your personal purses.

      • Sandgroper says:

        The current councillors would have to be the most spineless mob of no-hopers ever to have been elected by Townsville voters. Their only ‘vision’ is a picture of themselves sucking on the public teat for the rest of their days.
        Can’t wait to contribute to Doug K’s proposed newspaper. The raft of feel-good puff pieces and blatant council propaganda in today’s online Bulletin makes my stomach churn.

        • Peewee Herman says:

          Hopefully Doug launches his new paper with a big knees-up at the Maritime Museum grassed area. Lots of hollering and hooting late into the night :)

          • Doug K says:

            Actually I was thinking about holding the launch knees-up across the road from Ms Slocombe’s house, but your place would be ok too.
            Can you please supply the address so I can pass it on to the heavy metal band I’m hiring to entertain your neighbourhood that night?

  28. Doug K says:

    Wonder how much taxpayer’s money was paid for the “visionary” idea of building a lagoon on The Strand:
    Also wonder where the vision came from – Cairns or Airlie Beach, both of which have had lagoons on the beachfront for many years.
    What WOULD be visionary – and attract thousands of tourists as well as locals – would be a wave pool in the “duck pond” in front of the casino, like the Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia:
    Jenny, I know you’ll be reading this so give me a call and I’ll give you my “vision” – for free!

    • Cornholio says:

      If this lagoon happens, I’ll be the first to go and leave a couple of floaters… metaphorically speaking.

  29. Old Mudpicker- The Happy Socialist says:

    I see Captain Budgiesmuggler, the onion eating knight of the right, is now vowing to stay on in politics to repair any damage that Mr Turnbull does.
    Oh joy. Bill S is rubbing his hands together in glee.
    Old Mudpicker simply nods in quiet satisfaction as the Libs disintegrate.

  30. Hector says:

    Holy crap, have you ready the latest edition of The Jenny Hill Gazette today? Either the Astonisher and TCC are splitting Domanii Cameron’s wages bill or their should be an advertorial tag on pages 1, 4, 5, 6 & 7. What a joke.

  31. Interested Observer says:

    So the budget was a work of fiction as predicted. Blazing headline says our rates have been reduced. But hang on so has the discount for early payment. End result? A rates increase, so how on earth can this appalling newspaper even suggest this is the first rate reduction since amalgamation. Can anyone tell me if either council ever reduced rates prior to amalgamation. So what has amalgamation got to do with it.

    A 30 million dollar surplus over the next few years. Shouldn’t Mayor Mullet just keep reducing the rates if she got so much money. What about those non contributing battlers. Hang on I can hear a funny noise outside. Yes it’s that squadron of pink elephants flying over the city.

    As the Magpie said just how on earth could a mayor who actually had this city at heart torpedo the Kings Street development where the Gleeson Family and the Griffin Group were prepared to completely redevelop an entire city block at their own cost of some 350 million dollars. A new art gallery and state of the art music all was shot dead after the mayor organized a made to order report suggesting rates would go up.

    What the bloody hell does she think is going to happen with the new six hectare rock pool off the Strand. Who is going to put up the millions to build it. It can’t be closed off to the public so it will generate zero income. Apparently they are going to pump in our dirty sea water full of silt from the channel dredging. Is this pool going to have a concrete base or natural base? How will it be cleaned? The cost of maintaining the outer wall will be enormous. Have a look at the problems we have now needing to close the current rock pool when its full of algal bloom. Take all the existing costs for the current rock pool and multiply by ten for this new extravaganza.

    The pretty picture in the Bullsheet showed a water slide. Can’t be done unless you have a clorinited pool with clear water at the bottom. That’s the law. Ask Mooney. He found out the hard way when he wasted 100 thousand dollars of rate payers money buying a couple of dinky slides for the old rock pool then found out it couldn’t be installed or operated without breaking the bank. Add it that any slide structure would have to be fenced to prevent the local idiots from drowning during the night. In fact There will have to be life guards around clock to ensure safety. Particularly children.

    Who is going to wear the enormous cost of this crazy idea. The rate payers.

    • The Magpie says:

      Oh dear, IO, you have fallen into the trap, haven’t you? After some excellent early remarks, you are taking seriously the latest front page thought fart from the Astonisher, which clearly a no-go space filler in the grand tradition of keeping us distracted. This is never going to happen – and why would it, we have beaches not mud flats that made the idea so crucial for Cairns. And there is no chance that if something was done, it would look anything like the artist’s impression … this image was clearly lifted from somewhere else and is obviously some sort of canal development.

      • Interested Observer says:

        What made you think I was taking it seriously. This was of case tearing down the total bullshit being pedalled by the Mullet and the Bullsheet. As we all know there any number of idiots in this city who swallow this stuff. Next thing you know we will be getting a battery plant.

        • The Magpie says:

          And The ‘Pie knows where he’d like to plant it.

        • The Magpie says:

          You DID take it seriously, by using logic, intelligence and deduction to address the flaws in the fantasy … and that is what they want, people outraged at silly suggestions is better than being ignored. Think about it.

          BTW The ‘Pie thrives on the same Modus Operandi.

      • Spin Check says:

        Pie, the lagoon image on the front page of the paper was lifted from a development proposal for a large apartment complex featuring “Australia’s first Crystal Lagoons pool”. Guess where the apartment complex is………Cairns! Hilarious! Do a google image search on “crystal lagoons Australia”. The Bulletin’s remaining journos should just pack their desks and transfer to the Council’s PR Department to end the charade.

    • Dutch Reverend says:

      Note the key word in the report by the Astonisher about the creation of a lagoon and the hive as well as an art and cultural centre being COULD, not will. In other words won’t. Oh, is that a State Election just around the corner heading our way ?

  32. The Magpie says:

    Multiple choice question posed by the Letters Page of the Daily Astonisher today.
    Is Bob Brice of Townsville:
    1) one of the Labor faithful
    2) a sarcastic LNP plant
    3} an idiot
    4) a man with a wonderful sense of humour
    You may choose two. Start judging

  33. The old peterbuilt says:

    Is the tcc debt information available to the public. It would be interesting to see how much the interest repayment is weighing on operating costs. I have several contacts at tcc and they all tell me you don’t talk about such matters unless you want to be tied to a pole in the middle of a fire with big arse naked woman chanting around you on the mud flats at cape Cleveland.

  34. Cantankerous but happy says:

    We shouldn’t forget the role our hopeless airport has played in the downturn of this city, at a time when the economy could use some diversity, access to Townsville is paramount. I read today that Cairns airport have appointed a new Manager, Commercial Aviation, with a clear focus on opening up new routes and attracting new airlines, he is no slouch either, ex GM Air Canada Aus & NZ.
    So Cairns airport is a business coming off a 7.6% growth in passenger numbers looking to change things up and improve their business, meanwhile in Townsville we have the same incompetent dud that we have had for nearly a decade with passenger numbers in decline, and people wonder why we are struggling.

  35. The Magpie says:

    Note to Tenacious. Regarding the link you sent.

    Nice try. Juvenile earnestness sans real analysis, and is probably written by someone at the direction of the people who wrote the pointlessly silly plan ballyhoo’d in today’s paper.

    And here’s a tip from someone familiar with the ways of PR tactics – too quick, way too quick. Such a comprehensive article and argument, purporting to be spur of the moment, final straw stuff, coming out so quickly after it was taken up by the paper makes one suspicious.

    The writer (was it you, Tenacious, or just a mate?) was trying to make out he is a person wishing to distance themselves from the Pure Projects plan with a ‘aww, shucks, nothin’ to do with me, but …’

    But basically, then just endorses this silliness as a great idea, and honest in its assessment.

    Not very clever, really, or interesting, mate, but thanks anyway.

    • Tenacious D says:

      You give me such acclaim, I’m getting flushed! Just found it in my FB news feed, that is why I said i was not sure what to make of this, but you have made it very clear what you think of it, and I agree.

  36. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    So the Mullet wants to give the battery plant consortium TCC land at Woodstock in exchange for an equity interest in the venture…..is this normal practice for local government? I have some doubts about her business acumen in any case but it is concerning when she wants to start playing the role of venture capitalist with council (i.e community) assets….after all her decision to purchase the old railway yards has been a winner.

    • Sandgroper says:

      FMD! Reminiscent of WA Inc. It invariably ends in tears when politicians at any level think they are business wizards. Neither they nor their flunkies have a great record when it comes to contract negotiations or getting value for money.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      I am assuming an EIS has been submitted and approved for the proposed factory and that adequate power is available to the site?
      Hmm Lithium oxide runoff to the reef? Let’s not be so hasty!
      Interesting to see what our (yellow/blue) friends have to say about that. Silence may condemn them into silence on other high profile projects.

    • The Magpie says:

      A council buying property is a very different proposition to offering ratepayer-owned land as an equity chip in private enterprise. The legalities will be interesting but will never bother The Mullet anyway, she will be long gone by the time should a minor miracle happens and something comes of this flummery

    • TweedleDee says:

      Energy storage is one of the forecast growth industries of the 21st century. Batteries will play an increasing role in transport, renewable energy production, portable devices etc.

      This is exactly the type of industry Townsville needs- a future oriented industry- rather than failed attempts to rehash the past.

      We desperately need some economic reason to exist into the future, as minerals processing, coal mines, tourism (as the reef dies) drift into irrelevance.
      Given the lack of competence of the Townsville City Council’s Economic Development department and TEL, perhaps a community lead campaign might convince the consortium that Townsville wants the battery plant, and the community will work with the company to overcome any impediments.

      Can we have a Battery Plant for Townsville Action Group, with tens of thousands of contributors? Can we divert the $300M from the redundant stadium project to support the Battery plant project. Can the City Council proactively get planning approvals in place so that there is no holdup. Can State government embark on any necessary community consultation to bring the population on board.

      And can we tone back on the cynicism on this page regarding the battery plant?

      What do we want- the battery plant? When do we want it? Now.

      • The Magpie says:

        &000 jobs, eh? Not bad, when Yabulu was only 800+.

      • Sandgroper says:

        Totally agree with TweedleDee’s assertion that Townsville needs to foster the establishment of future-oriented industries.
        Stan Grant’s report last night from Townsville painted a very dire picture, with the battery plant seemingly the only spark of light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
        It was a real shame the report’s tone was so pessimistic because — apart from all the shots of empty shops — the vision portrayed a city with gracious architecture in a wonderful setting.

  37. Buttered Parsnip says:

    It’s an odd thing, juxtaposing the Council budget and the new (another) “CBD Master Plan” complete with full colour water feature in the Astonisher today. Could one be there to distract attention from the other?

    In case that wasn’t enough, the irony of an announcement of big new retail in Domain juxtaposed (love that word) with CBD failure astonishment. But not to worry, it looks like we will get a water slide led recovery for the CBD.

  38. Cantankerous but happy says:

    *Advocacy alert*. Townsville Enterprise endorses budget of Mayor and council that just happens to provide many hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in funding to Townsville Enterprise, well that’s a surprise!

  39. Hector says:

    Are we are Facing financial snowball effect.

    For over a year Townsville Business people and the Chamber of Commerce have been redflagging to all 3 levels of Government that key indicators i.e

    -7% rental vacancies
    -decrease in $sales/business closures
    -high unemployment
    -banks increasing deposits for purchasing a house and starting a business

    Because TRownsville’s 3 levels of Government members had little business experience they didn’t connect

    So based on census 9,316 people have departed Townsville

    Business and the Chamber also understood Government funding like Health/Education/Council is based on population

    The decrease in population could results in over a million $ in funds that will be diverted

  40. Interested Observer says:

    So the Mullet is looking to follow in the footsteps of her great mate former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale. Early last term the Mullet tried to get the council to set up a business corporation to develop the CBD based on a corporation set up by Pisasale.

    The corporation was use to do deals on property developments in Ipswich. Sounds dodgy. Certainly presents major concerns when public officials are involved. There is a clear conflict of interest. You can’t be a member of this corporation and be a councilor voting on outcomes for the corporation but that is what was going on. Sounds like the mayor being the deputy chair of TEL and taking part in council votes for funding for TEL.

    In an effort to try to force the council to adopt this corporation in Townsville. The mayor took a small delegation including the council solicitor to Ipswich to meet with Pisasale and some of his councilors. After the meeting the advice from the council solicitor was don’t go anywhere near what Pisasale was up to. It was his belief that if you set up this corporation you would be in serious risk of going to jail because of the obvious conflict of interest.

    Well Pisasale is facing criminal charges and we have the Mullet talking about doing deals with the proponents of this possible battery plant. Looks dodgy to me. How can the council then make decisions that flavour this enterprise over another when you have a direct stake in the game.

    The remaining councilors in Ipswich are all putting on a brave face but I have no doubt there are some who will be looking over their shoulder while this investigation into Pisasale is under way. And this is the man who the Mullet has long been snuggling up to.

    The current crop of useless councilors in Townsville have been asleep at the wheel since day one. You had better wake up in a hurray and get yourselves some legal advice on this one or you just might find yourselves in serious hot water. Following blindly is not what you were elected to do.

  41. Achilles says:

    Ask not for whom the Pell tolls, man in red; it tolls for thee. [Apologies to John Donne].

    Looks like the Vatican has done for you what you did for “erring priest perverts. ie provided cloistered sanctuary, this is NOT the 12th century, even if you dress as if it was.

  42. Eweee Jones says:

    I’m happy to make a comeback – where do I sign???

    • The Magpie says:

      Sorry, Eweee, don’t muddy yhr waters, lot of us are hoping you’ll have a lot of competition from Ewen.

  43. The Magpie says:

    on the day the wallopers decide to charge George Pell with kiddyfiddling, the Catholic Church again demonstrates its capacity for child abuse, but this without raising a finger.
    Can you imagine the impact on your kids if this happened at their school, in their class? This kids are at an age when they believe their teacher as an authority figure.


    The only upside would be the million bucks you’d get out of these thoughtless fucking pricks but even that wouldn’t address the emotional damage.

  44. Neville says:

    Read this!
    Kudos for council for not hiding this but it really is an indictment on those who’ve been perched on the leadership crest for the last decade or more. 

    They’ve been complacent, clueless and feckless. There have been more plans than you can poke a stick at, but none of them have worked. The damning commentary from Townsville residents that forms the basis of this report says so much.

    You could do a quote a week from this report, and slowly peel away the scabs of ineptitude. 

    For example: The CBD is rooted. That’s despite over $100m of ratepayers dollars being spent on it, including development subsidies. Not to mention state subsidies for the two office buildings (Lancini – Ergon; Mark Adams – State Government offices). None has delivered. The money was down the gurgler. Our august mayor (5+ years in the job, plus being a Councillor in opposition and before that the Deputy mayor) is the only continuous thread now. 

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      As a preliminary read it still seems that the expectation is that the CBD is essential to our town.
      Not so for small (er) regional centers. We seem to be the in between city from Brissy and Cairns. We need to accept we are too far from the reef and rainforests. We need to promote Maggie And other one day visits. The city Centre has been re invented too many times I care to remember since the late ’80’s OK the airport is shit but that is due to the original design. That would be Airports problem. I am sure that arriving visitors don’t cancel bookings due to airport design. Let’s look at the city of Townsville not just the cbd.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      An honest assessment, Townsville is full of brainless dickheads who don’t want the place to change, with Jenny Hill captain of the team, the more the council try and do something with the CBD the more they fuck it up. The fact is until Townsville does something with its bland and lifeless waterfront the place will never reach its potential, I can remember standing on the Strand in 1989 saying to my business partner that Townsvile and the Strand will explode and become one of the premium waterfronts in Australia, he went off and expanded into Adelaide, Melbourne and is now on the Gold Coast, he hadn’t returned to Townsville for many years but on a recent trip back we went for a meal down on the Strand and he couldn’t believe that except for the fact the rocks has been removed the place was as lifeless and boring as it was in 1989.

    • WTF Jenny? says:

      1. How much did this report cost ratepayers
      2. How much did this report cost ratepayers to tell us what we already know – just use your common sense
      3. How much did this report cost ratepayers to tell us what has already been reported
      4. How much did this report cost ratepayers to tell us that Jenny Hill, Les Walker and Laurence Lancini are loved, visionaries and our leaders – are there really no other doers and thinkers in this city?
      5. How much did this report cost ratepayers because of the aforementioned it is a complete waste of time, credibility and money

      WTF Jenny Hill and cronies??????

      • The Magpie says:

        Ha, you nearly had the old bird believing you there, until we got to the bit about Les Walker being 1) loved, 2) visionary and 3) a leader.

        • WTF Jenny? says:

          Ha ha Pie I agree although for a different reason. I almost believed that Jenny had commissioned a new report that would show us the path not trodden – or in this case not considered before – but alas I was wrong.

          All credibility went out the window for me on page 18 of the Stage 1 report discussing community role models, of which (besides the legendary JT) there are three, and they quote:

          1. ‘Jenny Hill has done good things. She’s very personable and a local. Wants to do good stuff but she’s hampered by other people’ (cites: Jenny Hill)
          2. ‘Les Walker is strongly committed, a local, and a really good bloke’ (cites: Les Walker)
          3. “Laurence Lancini is a visionary, has done great things with the Cowboys, and developed City Lane, which is our city hang out (cites: Jenny Hill)

          Now I wonder why isn’t TEL doing these reports (they are already paid a considerbale sum to publicly state the same rhetoric), and I wonder what the point of the Waterfront PDA and many many other reports have been – but then I tickle myself a little bit to realise that if I had a slush fund (TCC) to use to commission a report which tells the mugpunters the same wishywashy shite whilst slipping in ‘it’s everyone else’s fault, really good bloke and visionary’ into the “official” report that is then “adopted” by Council as “the path forward for Townsville” which I hope exonerates my uselessness, then WTF wouldn’t I…

      • Sandgroper says:

        A study of this blog over the past year would have thrown up all of the useful suggestions contained in this study, without the enormous slug to ratepayers. It is basically a motherhood statement, most of it obvious to all but Blind Freddy.
        What The Magpie Study wouldn’t have included are the arse-licking endorsements for the Mullet, Lozza and Messagebank. They are totally gratuitous and obviously included to curry favour and ensure repeat business.

  45. Interested Observer says:

    So today I feel like Nostradamus. Several times over the last week or so I have predicted Brad Webb’s Water Task Force would announce we need to build a second pipeline from the Haighton. The front page of the paper today confirms that Brad Webb agrees totally with Jayne Arlett and her team who told us at the last local government elections the second pipeline was the way to go.

    Construction would be started by now if the people of this city hadn’t swallowed the lies from the Mullet, the Labor Party and the Townsville Bulletin. Instead we’ve had 18 months of complete inaction. A fake task force holding fake public meetings. Meetings where people were led to believe their option mattered when the outcome was already determined. All that because the Mullet lied to the people of this city when she said we don’t have a water crisis.

    The LNP didn’t wait for this fake finding and have already committed to an immediate start to this project if elected. The Labor state government has money committed out into the never never and will most likely be forced to follow the LNP.

    What has this council under the Mullet actually done sine the election. Absolutely nothing except sack 150 people and commission more and more reports into issues that have be investigated to death. Let’s not forget she can’t blame Townsville First for holding her back. She now has a council that has simply dropped their collective pants and have no character what so ever. If you want nothing to be done in this city just keep voting Labor it’s a proven formula.

    Bugger me we need a second Haughton pipeline. No shit Sherlock.

    • Critical says:

      Has anyone got the true figure of the number of TCC employees that have left council since the Nous Report last September. I hear that more are still to leave over the next fee weeks too. Be interesting to see who the Customer Service Centre will put calls through tp come Tuesdsy.

  46. The old peterbuilt says:

    Brad Webb introduced me to jayne arllet during that campaign and he was a definite supporter of hers and I got the impression he was also a backer so it’s not surprising that he supports her second pipeline project. Would have much preferred a long term viable fix such as hells gate or the like. Seems like another bandade. How bloody good is this. Page nine of today’s bull sheet. A block of land,4000sq m on castle hill has been identified as strategic to unlocking the tourism potential by the pure projects of Townsville report. As luck would have it , it is owned by the pies mate big bazaar and his cute wife Joanne. Who knows, they might donate it to the greater good.

  47. Guy says:

    I agree lets spend another 220 million on something that will not solve the problem.

    A second pipeline will still cost us 30 – 40,000 dollars a day in pumping, assuming we aren’t also pumping on pipeline 1 as well.

    I’m used to this kind of nonsense now, go for it build another pipeline , it won’t solve anything but hells it so so darned stupid it will be a winner.

    • Dutch Reverand says:

      Come on Guy. it won’t cost a cent to run once it is in place. to run the pumps we can use the solar farm that is being developed and shift a few of the batteries across from the new battery plant that the Townsville ratepayer will have equity in to ensure that we don;t need to tap into the power grid. Done !

    • Realist says:

      Couldn’t agree more Guy.
      This task farce (sorry, force) has come up with a band aid solution to a very serious problem.
      Townsville’s best chance of a water solution is still – a rain dance.
      Meanwhile Brad Webb and Mayor Mullet are patting themselves on the back.
      I used to think Webb was a good guy, but he’s obviously gone across to the dark side and joined the gaggle of geese that run this poor unfortunate city at the moment.

  48. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Just listening to Bill the forehead Shorten in an interview talking about all va members of va govt are too busy arguing wiff each uvver and fighting with each uvver rarva van finking about all va fousands of workers who will lose veir penalty rates tomorrow, you would think by now someone would tell him to stay away from “th” words.

  49. J jones says:

    Hello Pieman
    How has your week been?

  50. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Haven’t seen the recommendation from the WTF. I thought that today was the release date?

  51. Droopy draws says:

    150 sacked workers and counting….
    Had a beer with a council employee this arvo who told me that 20 more got shown the door today just from his department alone which is only small. Said that it’s been happening for weeks now.
    So much for Clive pulling the rug out from under Townsvillians; our own council is doing the same yet the bully is tight lipped.

    Until the majority grow up and realise we’ve been fed porkies for donkeys and put people into power that have runs on the board, the place will continue to founder.

    Nobody else’s fault but our own.

  52. The Magpie says:

    memo Spin Check:

    Quite right, have fixed. Thanks for the reminder.

  53. Guy says:

    From my door knocking i couldn’t find a good word for the managers in the council. From everything i listened to the managers were stupid, spiteful and were cause of many of townsville’s problems and would take only their own advice on many matters. One gentleman had been continually lied to for years by the managers that clearly didnt understand the road rules and signage – the new council has been a victory for the little man. Then there are the other cases of harrassment , intimidation that i’ve listened that have evaporated since the new council. If you want some respect and sympathy from the electorate – spread a bit of love and compassion, not the jack boot of little napoleon syndrome that plagued the place.

    The council has the habit of smashing up electoral signage during elections. Outside kelso school two clever fellows from the council tried removing joanne kuenes sign sat on a bit of grass because it was not authorised. It shouldnt be expected that the council be used a tool of the state to interfere and tamper with the democratic process. I was somewhat bemused when i watched as JKs helpers tear down JHs electoral signage plastered all over the outside of kelso school.

    For the moment as far as the rates are concerned it looks as if this year is another rates freeze. The continual scream for more taxes to solve problems from townsville first wasnt practical and the promise to take another 220 million debt wasnt wise especially as it doesnt solve the problem. Water still has to be paid for and still pass through sunwater “infrastructure” so you’ll still be paying for water and power ( unless magic is real). In 30 years time we’ll be hearing calls to duplicate that pipeline.

    • The Magpie says:

      You poor mutt.

      • Dearie Me says:

        One thinks Guy may need to do a little more door knocking

        If what we had was the jack booting of little Napoleon syndrome what in God’s name do we have now? The Third Reich?
        Do not question the leader. Do not think for yourself. Believe the propaganda machine. If you step out of line you magically disappear. If the impaler wants something and someone stands in its way they are swiftly removed.

        Don’t be a fool Guy. What we have now is far far worse.

  54. Peewee Herman says:

    Townsville City Council PR hack Domanii Cameron is at it again today in the Astonisher. She has delved deeply into the new pipeline project with a whole bunch of could’s & would’s and pretty much reprinted a TCC/ALP press release. Not a single comment from anyone with an alternative view. And to cap it off – a Q&A section with this beauty “How long will it take to build? – It COULD be built within two years”
    Let’s all sing together “Mullet & Bogan up a tree, k.i.s.s.i.n.g”

  55. Sandgroper says:

    ‘Pie, how about we collaborate with Ben Elton, Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson to create a new television series called ‘Pyne In The Arse’?
    The thought was prompted by the drunken boasts of arch-twerp Christopher Pyne this week to a bunch of puffed-up Liberal wets who call thenselves the “Black Hand”. ( They are obviously oblivious to the fact that this was the name of the group of Serbian radicals who sparked World War 1 with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand).
    Our suggested collaborators were chosen because they are the writers behind the Blackadder series, the plots of which closely resemble the cunning schemes of the Aussie Blackhanders.

    • The Magpie says:

      As Sir Humpty Appleby says ‘Oh, very droll, Mr Gropes.’ But don’t agree they are oblivious to the name … right-wing shit heads have a talent schoolboy jolly wheezes when it comes naming secret groups. Must come from their masonic connections.

  56. The old peterbuilt says:

    By 4 pm on Friday there was only 12occupied car parks at tcc depot garbutt. It was last day for many made redundant and add rdo s ,sickies, annual leave and pissed off workers who just said fuck it and took an early march to attend send off parties. Even the dog catches have been made redundant. Some people have been knocked back on their application for redundancy because management are slowly realising it’s not just a numbers game.

    • Ronny Rotten says:

      Not long before the tumbleweeds start rolling through the streets of Townsville.

      • Ronny Rotten says:

        PS: Shari Tagliabue nails it again in this week’s column, pointing out that the latest suggestions to improve Townsville are merely a reiteration of things we have known for years.
        Don’t hold your breath for anything to happen. The report, as has happened to so many in the past, will be archived to gather dust because council has neither the will nor the money to do anything meaningful.

    • Charlie Wulguru. says:

      ‘The dog catchers gone’. The poor overworked volunteers at the RSPCA at the Bohle will be glad to hear that. Theyr’e been doing the Council’s dirty-work for way too long.

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