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The Magpie

Sunday, January 7th, 2018   |   196 comments

Why Didn’t We Think Of It Before? The Answer To Our CBD Woes Is – Ta Da – Heavy Toxic Industry. It Could Be About To Happen.

It will if it’s true that a local developer has pulled off the deal of the century. The Magpie has the low down on the reported hush-hush deal, a deal which could see stadium costs skyrocket.

They really have picked on the wrong guy when the Walker Street Commissariate decided to tried to bluff, bully and threaten ratepayer Philip Batty for simply asking questions. The saga continues

New Year or not, it’s same old, same down in Flinders Street West as The Astonisher continues to … well, astonish …

But first …

A Cartoonists’ Cornucopia – The Playground Politics Has Become A Frightening Theatre Of The Absurd

If ever there was proof needed that Donald Trump is teetering on the edge of a full mental implosion, this week provided it, with his now infamous tweet about having a ‘bigger nuclear button’ than North Korea’s el lardo president Kim Jong-un.

Like many of the dismayed around the world, all Bentley can do is eloquently illustrate what all but The Trumpaniac see it for what it is.

buttons 2

(Doncha just love Benters take on our defence capability!)

Trump might just as well have flopped it out on the table and challenged Kim with measuring tapes at dawn. Scores of humourists around the world have been of one mind on that score, like this.

Trump and Kim

While the New Yorker’s Kim Warp found a different twist.

Trump NYorker Kim Warp

“Worst-case scenario: he’s compensating for the size of his brain.”

But by week’s end, that was the least of President Chump’s problems.

Loose Cannon Steve Bannon Presses His Own Red Button

Neo Nazi and former presidential pal Steve Bannon has also had his own fit of holding his breath and going blue in the face.

fire and fury

In Michael Wolff’s tittle-tattle book ‘Fire and Fury’,  Bannon – himself a pretty distasteful piece of work – accuses Trump of everything short of honking his nose in the shower. His sums that everyone thinks Trump is a ‘child’, ‘idiot’ or ‘moron’, the latter being The ‘Pie’s bet, given that the technical definition of a moron is someone with the intellectual and emotional age of a child between 8 and 12 (with apologies to the kids).

One day it was like this …

images… the next …

Ben JenningsBannon’s claims in the book, along with Wolff’s own, more measured views of an onset of Alziemer’s, could see the start of a Robert Ludlum-style classic, perhaps called The Trump Descendency. But one of the most startling and not readily observable assertions is that in his year as president, Trump has put on over 45kgs. This is explained because of his morbid, apparently life-long fear of being poisoned.

So in a move worthy of King Mithridates (who took small doses of poison in the hope of building up immunity), Trump eats only McDonalds hamburgers! This bizarre situation recalls writer Robert Benchley’s reply when someone chided him that liquor was ‘slow poison’ –‘So who’s in a hurry’.

On your current toxic performance, Mr Trump, the whole world is in a hurry.

Back Here In The ‘Ville, ‘Toxic’ Has A More Literal Meaning ….

Back in October, the Astonisher carried this yarn about the future of the South Townsville Rail Yards. But it seems some rather pertinent details in which the public would most certainly be interested were not published – indeed probably not revealed to the paper. The following missive wafted into the Nest during the week, and because The ‘Pie trusts this particular source, he shares it with you now.

Pie, I heard a story last night that may bear some further looking into…

Apparently there are rail wagons that transport 100% sulphuric acid – for what I don’t know, but assume for use in the mining industry.  These wagons must be completely re-furbished every two years.  The re-refurbishment involves a complete strip down, sand blasting and re-welding all joins.  It is done by way of private contractors.  The contract is quite lucrative and, until recently, was done by a company somewhere near the Bohle.  They do a string of 13 wagons at a time and it takes six months to complete the string.

The Bohle company has lost the contract to Wulguru Steel, (but they) do not have the necessary facilities to do the re-refurbishment – rail lines into workshops etc.

Along comes Mr Peter Honeycomb.  He just happens to have the perfect piece of property for them.  The old rail yards –  built precisely for the purpose.  Now, I think it is common knowledge that PH purchased that land for $1:00 on the understanding that he was to clean up the toxic site and develop it into usages commensurate with and complementary to the neighbouring stadium.  However, the word is that PH has leased the yards and the largest workshops to Wulguru Steel for 5 years at annual rental of 2 MILLION DOLLARS!

If this information is correct, then apart from the foul stench of corruption, what price responsible town planning principles to allow noxious heavy engineering activities next door to a public amenity?  I cannot believe that even this bunch of thick-headed nongs would allow this to happen.

There are a number of potential complications.  The local business doing the steel fabrication for the stadium intended to fabricate the main beams in the very same workshop that PH has now leased out.  Having to do it off-site now means that the beams will have to be constructed in shorter lengths and trucked in to be assembled at the job.  Apparently, there are some very, very unhappy campers.

Further, Aurizon is mightily pissed off as they still own the tracks into the yards and PH did not bother to inform them of what was happening.  Now they want a cut of the action. There would have to be scores of permits and licences required to get this up and running – an EPA would be the first thing – but maybe not, if the land is already polluted with a restricted use.

The Pie’s source says he he was told this from a person he knows well as a decent bloke who is involved in an ancillary business hoping for some stadium work (but it not the company that lost the contract to Wulguru Steel, so there is no element of sour grapes).

So is this true? Not to worry, The ‘Pie is sure that Tony Raggatt down at the Astonisher will be on the BatFone to Commissioner Honeycombe first thing Monday. And of course, a lesser flunky will be on the mayor’s doorstep, checking that nothing untoward has taken place (oh, lordy, how The ‘Pie amuses himself sometimes). We await Raggers story with interest (no need for a spotter’s fee on this one, Raggers, take it as a late Chrissy gift from The Magpie).

But Not Much Point In Asking The Council Any Questions This Or Anything Else

The disgraceful attempt to bully, browbeat and otherwise intimidate Philip Batty and wrongfully threaten him with court action simply for asking questions has continued into the New Year. You’ll remember The ‘Pie has previously reported on this over the past couple of weeks. And Mr Batty is sticking to his guns, refusing to led the bureaucratic bullies like Adele Young and her cut-price in-house legal smartarse to intimidate him.

A short version (although The ‘Pie is keeping a full dossier for future reference) is as follows.

Mr Batty fruitlessly tried on more than 20 occasions to get the council to answer ssome basic questions about the mayor’s dealings with Adani over the airstrip deal. He then took his concerns to the CCC, who in turn told him that while one aspect of his complaint could constitute corrupt behaviour, his other questions should be addressed to the CEO. (Stop laughing, this is serious!)

This duly he did – again – only to get a high-handed letter telling him his ‘complaint (he didn’t make one, just asked some questions) had ‘;no substance’, and if he persisted in his inquiries, the council had the power to prosecute him (as the matter stands, they don’t actually, but that’s another matter).

Our Mr Batty is not one to be palmed off in such a disgraceful manner, especially when simple answers to the questions are both merited and deserved to a ratepayer. So the latest communication to the council is as follows – it is to the CEO’s legal flunky.

From: Philip Batty

Sent: Friday, 5 January 2018 11:39 AM

To: ‘Graeme Finlayson’ <email hidden; JavaScript is required>

Subject: RE: Your e-mail of the 27th December 2017


Thank you again for your e mail.

It is evident that the councils will use any position, opportunity and excuse to not answer my repeated questions. If, as you have taken the position, my questions represent a complaint and not questions, then the CEO cannot be allowed to determine that the complaint is lacking in substance.

As my first question, and others, on my e mail of the 27th October and everyone since relates, to the responsibility of the CEO to update and maintain the register of interests for all councillors including the mayor then if this is now taken to be a complaint then this complaint must relate to the actions of the CEO.

Given this, the CEO must refer this complaint to the LGA Chief Executive for investigation.

I am sure now you will try to cherry pick which are questions and which are complaints but you cannot have this both ways. If it is a question then I ask that you answer this without delay and if it is a complaint then the CEO must recuse herself from any further involvement and pass this to an independent authority for review.

I again look forward to your reply.


Philip Batty


The ‘Pie too looks forward to Mr Finlayson’s reply, and so should you, folks, if you have any interest in transparency and open governance of this city. Mr Batty deserves our support in any way possible, because he is de facto acting in all our interests.

Honestly, They Just Make This Stuff Up


Really, one can only conclude that the group-think at the Astonisher is all over the place, like the excreta of a mentally deranged female

Even taking into the consideration of the generous discount they give themselves, the Townsville Bulletin has spent tens of thousands, possibly hundreds, on trying to wheedle and bribe new subscribers to its digital edition. But this now embarrassing campaign of giveaways if you sign up – iPads, headsets, the Ferrari GT can’t be far away – is as shallow and well devised as Mayor Mullet’s latest thought fart du jour.

Complaints persist about slow load times, slow, if any updates, site maintenance to keep it fresh (The ’Pie’s fav is the build-up sports stories breathlessly hyping games long decided – the Fire’s decisive win against Sydney today being a great example … all the lead up guff is still there while the victorious outcome is top of the page) and technical glitches, persist. Not enough attention is paid to the product itself, a bit like the TEL tourism mantra of ‘sell the wonders that we’ve got’ when we haven’t really got any that are competitive.

A good example caught The Magpie’s eye a couple of days ago.

Screen shot 2018-01-05 at 9.07.16 AM

Two things: a lazy layout attitude features a stock photograph of a left-hand drive car, which is a small indicator of the care taken with the story. But worse, the headline is exactly 100% WRONG. Doubly so when the reporter – who presumably didn’t write the headline, but who knows? – tells us this way down in the yarn.

Highway motorists were left frustrated over drivers behaving dangerously on a stretch of the Bruce Highway where the speed limit was lowered from 100km/h to 80km/h as a safety precaution against the animals, claiming reckless overtaking manoeuvres were more dangerous than the threat of brumbies on the road.

So it was other drivers angry with other drivers, and nothing to do with angst about the speed limit itself.

But who said this? The cops? Main Roads? RACQ? A mate in the lunch room? Whatever happened to the golden rule ‘always attribute’?

It has always been a rule so that no one would think you’re making it up.

This sort of carelessness means the Townsville Bulletin is doing for journalistic credibility what Wolf Creek has done for outback tourism.

But at other times, the sloppiness can cost people – including regular advertisers – business. You know, business, the stuff that this busted-arse paper warbles on about lyrically while sacking its own staff (just like the council). Example:

Screen Shot 2018-01-06 at 9.58.44 pm

The Palmer Street restaurant? Touch of Salt, one of Townsville award-winning top half dozen nose-baggeries is nowhere near Palmer Street, but the owners probably know two things … the Astonisher management can be quite snarky when mistakes are pointed out to them, and anyway, the restaurant no doubt knows that few customers would result from among the paper’s dwindling readership anyway. So the well-oiled constructed social network of the restaurant decided to put things to rights … far more politely than The ‘Pie would’ve.


The Week’s Parting Thought

The Magpie has long been sought out the right word for the right occasion, and serendipity found two for him this week, from the fascinating world of word warrior Haggard Hawks.

Last week, The ‘Pie had a whinge about the Astonisher’s cheapskate space-filling ploy inviting readers to send in their ‘brilliant’ ideas to improve tourism in Townsville. FFS indeed. Seems a clear admission that TEL hasn’t got a clue, as if we needed any proof. This turns out to be a clarion call to every ultracrepidarian within cooee … it’s a word that means ‘someone who gives opinions on subjects of which they have no knowledge‘. Yes, yes, just like The Magpie.

On a more uplifting but realistric note, the other word all Townsvilleans should adopt is one that takes the starry-eyed looks out of ‘optimism’ … AGATHISM is the belief that all things eventually get better, though the means of getting there may not be easy.

murdoch difference

Well, at least he called Trump an ‘idiot’.

Welcome to 2018.


That’s it for this week, a bit patchy but it is the silly season everywhere. Join in the comments during the week on any subject that takes your fancy – and if your fancy takes you towards the donation button below, who is The ’Pie to argue with your excellent and generous judgment.

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. Peter Sandery says:

    Not sure whether this would in any way help Philip Batty’s case but I had some correspondence with the TCC’s legal adviser some time ago in relation to differential rates which the council, and many others in the State levy on properties being based on the revenue such properties can bring to titleowners. My argument was, and still is,that such an impost was an impost , not on property but on revenue arising therefrom and therefore a tax, something which is beyond the powers of the council and, indeed, the State. Said legal adviser quoted Qld legislation as his authority and said he was not going to argue with me on the issue. Happy to, provide what documentation I have.

  2. The Real Mr Batty says:

    Thank you for the continued interest and support it is very much appreciated. I have had a couple more exchanges from TCC all along the same line of bull, giving me no answers, defending their interpretation of the rules etc.

    It is clear that I am getting nowhere with TCC or our elected councillors and the Bulletin has been provided with the truth on several matters which they refuse to print, or should I say choose not to print.

    I know now that I have to try and reach a national interest with other media companies and I will supply them with a very smoking gun to entice the reciprocal story. When that shit hits the fan quite a few locals will get quite a spattering but they have had more chances than they deserve to represent Townsville fairly and unbiased in the paper like we all expect.

    The CCC investigation should be more clear cut now to “corrupt conduct” as the TCC very kindly put on the minutes of the last meeting that Adani would be a “client” of the Council regarding the airport. This would mean council must follow government procurement guidelines in awarding the build Tender. This was clearly not the story given to the CCC previously, apparently according to CCC council said we will NOT OWN the airport . Rest assured I am following up the CCC regularly and have let them know of the legal action threat in response to my questions.

    If I let this drop now I know that Townsville will be the one to suffer.
    The pressure MUST be put on now prior to the next council meeting on the 25th January. Some key nationals back from leave tomorrow and will be hearing from me.

  3. Crankie Frankie says:

    It seems to me, that the Bully will try anything to improve profitability except the one thing that people want. Haven’t they figured out that they are in trouble because they do not provide quality content? a lot of my friends are giving away the Bully on line as they are sick of getting hypnotised by the throbber (and they are on NBN not dial up) plus their complaints seem to fall on deaf ears, When I did my apprenticeship at Carpentaria Newspapers I was told that a ‘broadsheet’ newspaper was considered to be more intellectual in content than their tabloid counterparts, reporting stories in greater detail, more depth, focusing on news, politics and serious journalism so maybe the Bully should give their tabloid the flick and go back to how it was years ago, They keep attempting to put lipstick on the pig rather than changing the pig. To paraphrase the old saying: “Content, content, content”

  4. Council workers "shovel" says:

    I’ve only been reading your blog a couple of months now due to the talk about the town after our inglorious mayor gave away 18mil to adani or whoever. Might I ad that from what I read and what’s happening within its very accurate. Your sources are obviously unhappy as alot of us are but have nowhere to turn to complain. The paper is an advertising company for the council so it’s no use us small people who actually do the jobs going there because of the dollars spent. Those who are left are just buying time until next election, it can’t last forever but whoever takes control will end up with such a mess it will take 2 terms to even figure out how to fix it. Working in the council now is like a murder mystery, everyone is watching and everyone is a suspect that’s why alot of people don’t talk. Judging by this Phil batty he can be asured that he’s been treated lightly by the ceo compared to us workers. I hope he takes heart that we are seeing his work in questioning the mayor is making them scared because dumb decisions are being made to try and cover up certain things. If you thought the adani decision was bad wait until that hard rubbish collection starts. Seeing the money and resources that is spent already, this is a do everything possible job to help the mayor. Trucks are breaking down now that they bought and hasn’t started. There budget is only 1 million. There has been numerous complaints about the new compactors at hearveys range dump. The people in charge where handpicked who had no experience in there postion. This is everywhere In council. I read more on Facebook about Phil and all the petition going around let’s for the sake of townsville that one actually sticks soon. It’s all about drawings and atisits impression from the mayor but it’s ok to spend millions telling everyone but not doing it. By the way the volentary redundancy are still being offered. Hope you can follow what I’ve shared I would like to make more contributions to this blog as things happen. Thanks, “fake basic blitz crew member”

    • Alahazbin says:

      “Trucks breaking down”. Well the lot running Fleet Services are’nt real bright.

      And Pie? ” a mentally deranged female”.
      Anybody in particular?

    • Dutch Reverand says:

      I feel for you mate. it must be like being in the Nazi regime or East German set up where no one has the confidence to voice their opinion in fear of retribution from the gestapo or stasi. Ah to be under the boot of the Labor jackboot. they and their left mates have the hide to call the centre right of politics fascist.

      • Council workers "shovel" says:

        It certainly not just me you should feel for but thank you. I don’t think anyone in townsville understands just how much services are being affected. Certain departments are getting more money that never got it before. You only have to look at the basic blitz crews that I’m in to see its a lie. All we do is drive around all day waiting for a job call, nothing different from what we’ve been doing for the last 10yrs. I might be a simple person but I can’t understand how so many labour councils in Queensland are under investigation in the news and this one dosnt get a mention. Everyone knows the media here are full of shit, with obvious exception to magpoe. All this to fund the mayor ridiculous election promises. Hopefully phils efforts are working.

  5. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Very interesting Pie about the Honeycombes deal in Sth Townsville, this would indicate he has no plans for the site other than industry in one form or another. What is interesting is how his how plan will be fucked completely if the southern access rail corridor from Oonoonba to the port following the road bypass route goes ahead, and they pull up the tracks branching off from the V8 track down to the port, is this the reason the state govt have gone on the very go slow in holding up this project which already has federal govt approval and funding. Has Honeycombe once again kissed the Mullets ring to get a fauvorable outcome from her Labor mates, the whole thing stinks just like many of the deals in this town at the moment.

    • Not Terry Smith says:

      The plot thickens further when whispers out of Canberra suggest that the TEARC funding is being pushed towards the Channel widening at the port. A cynic would suggest that there is more to this than meets the eye as you suggest.

      • The Magpie says:

        Given the way politics is working right now, The ‘Pie isn’t saying what you hear isn’t true, but the logic isn’t there. The rail line is a lot more than just getting more stuff to the port, and it affects the whole structure of the southern side of the city. Even getting bigger ships in without the rail corridor completed will have the unintended consequence of ships idling away off shore, waiting their turn for their loads to arrive. That said, the port appears to be one of the few well run bodies operating in this town.

  6. Colin Foley says:

    I still want to know why TEL / TCC ads are on TV. To what purpose? And being aired on Ch 9’s expensive times, during the cricket.

    TEL/TCC always claim there is no extra money for tourism (a real money maker)

    But here we have buckshot coverage of common people when they are seeking to influence specifically commerce and industry! As an ex ad-agency man, I know that this a very poor media selection. What a waste!

    Incidentally, the ad’s unknown and anonymous presenter does nothing for the credibility or the necessity of the content.

    Maybe Phillip Batty will ask TCC how much we ratepayers are paying for this wilful indulgence.

    Btw, I wrote to the Minister for Local Govt in Nov requesting that questions be asked of TCC in relation to Adani, a much bigger disgrace, but have not been replied to.


    • Miss Bewildered says:

      Col check out the signage on the road travelling north advertising townsville and Charters Towers,
      Now that’s confusing. It’s cheaper if you have your ads facing the wrong way apparently…yes I know it scares me too.

    • Not Terry Smith says:

      Heard an unsubstantiated statement of fact (some may say baseless rumor) that the Dudleys are in damage control and in serious fear of having the TCC funding pulled in payback for daring to support a HELE power station and the Adani project.

      • The Magpie says:

        HELE? OK Hydro Electric but LE? Sorry, The ‘Pie is a bit dense this morning.

        Anyway, The ‘Pie would say baseless rumour, because the Dudley DoNothings- particularly sock-puppet CEO Little Patty O’Callaghan always has Mayor Mullet’s hand up her back working the gob.

        1300 smLIES?

  7. fwyp says:

    A Happy New Year to All, especially the ‘Pie. Most appreciated.

    I still get the local paper delivered, partly to find if any of my old mates have fallen off the perch.

    However I finally realised last week how small the written contributions have become. We have the full page colour ads, the half page ads, the 2-page photo spreads on the people at the Strand, nightclubs, fireworks, etc., with the news bits sandwiched in somewhere.

    And for once, I bought a Courier Mail as well. Some of the TB general interest articles may have even originated there. They looked identical, but I’m afraid I didn’t think to check in detail.

    • The Magpie says:

      The other side of that coin is that much of the sensational crime/crocs/stingers/booze hound party mayhem etc from the Astonisher, and is regularly featured in the Telegraph, Herald Sun in Melbourne and the Advertiser in Adelaide. If you scan the last couple of months alone, in typical tabloid style, it is only those stories that have a shock/horror element that are published, highlighting and profiling all the negatives about Townsville … not that there’s much otherwise to report, given that those seeking to control our present and future have a shared vision that sees no further than their own self-interest, whether it be money or power.

  8. The Lone Ranger says:

    Given the huge reduction in parking spaces at the new Cowboys stadium compared to the existing one, the common sense thing to do was to turn the rail yards into a car park.
    But no, instead we end up with a toxic operation next door to the stadium.
    Would the reason for the lack of parking at the stadium have anything to do with where the new bus hub is being built, just a stone’s throw from the Cowboys Leagues Club and City Lane.
    Can see it now, free buses to take the fans from the game to Lancini entertainment central.
    What a winfall.

    • Scientician79 says:

      They have already claimed the bus hub as a solution the lack of parking, I think it was mentioned in connection to the Mud Ferry as well.

      Top shelf work from Council in relation to the industrial land, so instead of having the site repurposed and removing the industrial usage from the heart of the city, we will continue to have it function in a similar capacity for many years to come.

      Wasn’t that site originally earmarked in all the artists impressions as the home of the stadium, that was until some bright spark realised it was no longer state government land and belonged to a private rail operator “Aurizon”, then they moved it over the road.

      If they actually had a plan, or half a brain, the powers that be could have had the best of both, the industrial land for $1 to build the stadium on and the private developer on the other side as originally envisioned.

      Now we end up with the stadium and industrial operations right next door. They should all be so proud.

      • The Magpie says:

        Good memory … you mean this concept … which made greater sense with an eye to future expansion and flexibility. Venality on display. History may judge them harshly, but that doesn’t help us, the right-royally screwed.

        • Scientician79 says:

          That’s the one I was thinking of.

          For the record I always thought the city was a terrible location for a stadium because of the traffic issues, but at least that one had space for people to park.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          That was my favourite position for the stadium, the rail runs right past it’s door, a small siding and station at the back of the stadium would have provided a rail option for decades and straight to the turnstiles, unfortunately nothing in the new design for any rail access and with the southern end of the stadium precinct now dedicated to a hotel ( one day) and student accomodation ( maybe) it is indeed an opportunity lost.

    • The Real Mr Batty says:

      Tell Tonto to keep a beady eye on exactly how the Cowboys Leagues Club will be involved in the Stadium.

    • Mike Shearer says:

      I was told in all seriousness that Stadium users would park throughout the CBD and at theStrand and when wandering through the streets to the Stadium they’d stop at the eateries etc and shops along the way and enrich the CBD traders, and by trickle down and other economic fantasies we’d all be the richer.

      How about a railway line be built into the stadium then run special trains from the northern suburbs to the stadium and use the vacant land up near the airport and in the Bohle for feeder carparks. Build special carriages with Cowboy motifs to be part of the excitement of going to the footie. Include special booze and sausage sizzle carriages under service club management.

      TEL, TB editor (we know you’re reading this) I don’t mind if you claim my idea as your own and add it to your tourist attractions. Jenny, just think of the JOBS JOBS JOBS that would be involved in building the rolling stock, organising the carparks, then running the show. Lot’s cheaper than an airstrip.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        How many times a year will the Cowboys actually play at the Stadium? I was told 12 or 13 if they got into the finals. Can someone confirm. I cannot imagine special rail lines and themed carriages for 12 or 13 games a year.

        • The Magpie says:

          But … but … but … you’re forgetting the concerts!!! The ‘Pie understands that Elvis has been booked along with Buddy Holly, David Bowie and John Denver. Mayor Mullet has assured us that ‘we managed to get them at a bargain price, if we paid up front – which we have … $1 million each. Dates to be announced. This should bring to life the dead heart of the CBD’.

          You are so negative and doubtful, Dave, shame on you.

  9. News Views says:

    I’d be surprised Honeycombe’s land would be council zoned for industrial use given it “sold” for residential / commercial use & I assume rezoned that way. And the rail tracks on his land are his asset.

    • Grumpy says:

      So. Honeycombes, too, will have a railway line to nowhere courtesy of our Jenny. Problem – how are the rail wagons going to get there if a Aurizon pulls up its tracks on the other side of the boundary?

      And I have not seen any notice of intention to rezone – have you? As it stands it’s an as-of-right use.

      The whole deal stinks to high heaven.

  10. hoodwinked says:

    all the car parking spaces have been deleted in front of the QUEST HOTEL in Palmer street in the current revamp of the street. There is no off street parking provided by the TCC.

  11. Mick says:

    Regarding Mr Batty’s interaction with the CEO of the TCC. In the name of good governance, the CEO should, as a matter of course, refer the whole ambit of Mr Batty’s claims to the Director, Department of Local Government for an investigation. Then we can all move on, whatever the outcome.

    After all, the current Mayor did the same thing to the councillors in the previous administration when they did not declare “conflict of interest”. So she knows the process.

    When does the Ombudsman come into this fiasco?

  12. Mike Douglas says:

    Its interesting.Whilst many Townsville people get caught up with the shenanigans of Mayor Mullet and the Impailer as well as the town cant fix the water and chew gum at the same time (including parking for the Stadium), many local and outside companies are investing and taking advantage of Townsvilles property clock and contracts for ndis,mining,stadium and other infrastructure projects.Outside of Townsville investors see the town in transition and raising $ isn’t a problem with even a number of the local 4 banking pillars downgrading Townsville risk to the same as Brisbane.Regarding Stadium parking didn’t the research disclose that 60% of attendees would park around the cbd meaning trade pre and after for food and bars?.Whilst I don’t accept the way T.C.C is being run its important not to be too insular on the Ville vs the rest of Australia and Overseas.Feedback on the Quarterdeck is that it matches the quality of some of the best places on the Gold Coast.Are some Townsville people struggling with their ‘cheese being moved”?.

    • Grumpy says:

      Christ, Mike – where do you go on the Gold Coast? The Dolphin?

    • Scientician79 says:

      I think it’s great the town is regarded as a worthwhile investment.

      But the fact is we could be a doing a lot better if the likes of Mayor Mullet and the other associated clowns weren’t jumping from one bright shiny idea to the next with no consistency of thought, while being cheered on by the hopelessly inadequate Astonisher.

      Of course it won’t stop them from taking credit when things do eventually turn around, but I’ll bet you an airport it won’t be because of anything they have contributed.

      • The Magpie says:

        There certainly are elements of Townsville that are great investments … at bargain prices. The sales will go through, and then more will join the moaner/owner brigade of the empty CBD properties, with their hands out of public help with their private investments. There are those among the Gilded Few who are looking decidedly tarnished about now.

  13. One legged tap dancer says:

    In today’s editorial our new Ms Editor claims: “The fight to stop Adani is not about stopping an Indian miner employing thousands of regional Queenslanders”.
    If there are thousands of jobs please explain the absence of Adani recruitment ads in the paper.
    When was the last time an Adani job was advertised? We had the farce of the cancelled Downer job tour but apart from that I haven’t seen any Adani recruitment activity anywhere for 9 months.
    I understand that most of the jobs in Adani’s Townsville office have gone to imports from India, presumably on 457 visas.
    So where does that leave the guarantee of “prosperity for our struggling state for decades to come”?
    There were hopes that the new editor would discontinue the paper’s love affair with Adani, but nothing has changed.

  14. Jeff says:

    I just spent a lovely 3 days with family over on Maggie ,I was talking to a big old mate of mine and he told me the story about the Council and councillors having their Xmas party at a certain hotel there.
    Well I now know why the city is broke , many dozens of oysters had to be put on ice and displayed down centre of table plus large amounts of other seafood too.
    Also why do people always seem to drink Spirits when it’s free, there was only one person (which was a woman) drinking been , oh boy I can’t wait for the next election to get rid of these no good useless council!!

  15. Ando says:

    Happy New Year Pie and crew. I hope a good time was had by all.

    I thought I’d make a couple of points about the rail yards story.
    RE: Acid tanks. They have no acid in them when bought in for refurb. Tanks are tested for weld failures and repaired where necessary. The whole process is comparably similar to work carried out at many industrial workshops in the South Townsville area.
    Therefore I don’t see much difference between Thomas Steel or Wulguru Group operating out of there.
    I also reckon that if TS were in fact, planning to fabricate in the yards, they would have put dibs in on the site well into the tendering process. They’re no dills. Think of the cost of relocating (there and back) their beam welding robot, compared to the transport costs of getting steelwork over there. IMHO it doesn’t add up.
    I’ve not been a supporter of the new stadium idea, although I do hope it lifts the economy locally at least for a while.

    • Alex delarge says:

      “no acid in them when brought in..”

      D’oh. You think?

      I am reliably informed that the refurbishment is a lot more involved than what you suggest.

      I also understand that much of the angst comes from ‘handshake” deals not being honoured.

      • Rusty Nail says:

        That’s right Alex, no acid in them – it’s too valuable to just waste like that.
        A Gatx wagon is just a mobile pressure vessel – 13 to a string. Not sure who “reliably informed you it’s more complex than that” but you can assure them they’re wrong.
        Have a nice day.

        • The Magpie says:

          The’Pie isn’t gunna go all technical (he couldn’t anyway) but he sniffs a red herring here … no one has suggested there would be acid in the wagons except the residue to be cleaned … if they had sizeable acid deposit, it would be a very different story for whomsoever pushed this little number through. The crux of this issue is whether heavy industry has returned for an indefinite period to an area adjacent to where a ‘major crowd drawing tourist attraction’ i.e a footy stadium, and has done so by stealth and without any public consultation. Because of the lack of transparency and Pedro H not being up-front about his neat little coup, questions now hover. No new jobs have been created, those jobs would be here anyway no matter where the acid train housekeeping takes place in the city.

          And the risk of a mishap with noxious fumes so close to a residential and business area should at the very least elicit a reassurance of what the level of risk is. We really are being governed by stealth between the council and the Gilded Few … when an open policy of explanation – providing there is no questionable scenario – would halt speculation such as is seen here in these comments. Nothing that a professional and open public relations campaign form the beginning could avoid.

          The Magpie makes no apology for that, because the Townsville Bulletin has neither the wit not inclination to risk its own withering financial viability by asking hard questions of those who actually dictate what goes into the paper.

          • Scientician79 says:

            The Astonishers lack of independence is a huge contributor to the dodgy dealings being done in this town.

            For fear of rocking the boat and upsetting advertisers they continue to pump out whatever bunk is fed to them by Mayor Myullet and the gilded few.

            As pointed out higher in the comments, still no critical questions in relation to Adani, and they trot out the tired old jobs claim.

            Any normal right thinking person would be suspicious of this airport deal and digging further, oh wait they are trying and being attacked for daring to question the council.

            And where is the Astonisher in all this? Along for the ride.

            At least I live in hope of Mayor Mullet being voted out, the Astonisher isn’t going anywhere and is only going to get more damaging as they cling to relevance.

  16. upagumtreeperson says:

    Hello to Magpie and all Magpies! Happy new year. I checked the directory/web site and found that A Touch O Salt is in Ogden Street, How the reporter got the address wrong one can only guess. This is very bad journalism because the facts must be correct. Perhaps the journo got confused with Jam Corner which may have been Salt some time ago, I think the standard of journalism has fallen and a mistake of not having the right address in unforgivable. Perhaps TB journos are under more pressure to get more done than we realize.I used to be a regular hard-copy subscriber to the TB for many years but now gain what I need from free on-line news services, radio and TV.

    • The Magpie says:

      The cock-up may well stem from the fact that up to about 18 months ago, the owners of Touch of Salt (which has always been at it’s present Ogden Street address) also owned a noshery adjacent to and actually part of the Australian Hotel building in Palmer Street. It had a mildly associative name (Seasoning or something like that?) but was never Touch of Salt. It was sold almost two years ago.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Correct, Touch of Salt was always in its current premises, Salt Cellar was in Palmer St up until a few years ago, now Seasoned, not a bad offering either since it changed.

  17. Achilles says:

    Re you’re questioning the sanity or otherwise of “Don” Trump, to be fair everyone is entitled to be stupid, its just that he abuses the privilege.

    The real nut jobs are the multi-million US citizens who voted for him, same applies to the loony’s who voted for Hilary too.

    Looks like the only sane ones are those who stayed at home.

  18. The old peterbuilt says:

    The acid tanks have to be purged before the work is done. Drain residue liquid out, and evacuate all fumes. Put a welder or grinder near acid and you have a bomb as well as the tanks the bogies and axle wheels and bearings would need to be done so it is major work. Me thinks the cbd is not the ideal location considering there is purpose built facilities for this type of work at the Bohle and Stuart. Where’s the greenies when you need them, oh that’s right they would probably jump on the wrong train.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Bohle Industrial Estate had complaints from 2012/2013 for noise from power presses and the bitumen plant. So heavy industry has now been stopped from that suburb. Really perplexed how any business can operate a defined heavy industry so close to the city. Even with purged tanks (purged where are they one may ask) the welding (fumes into the atmosphere) and grinding (120 Dba) will exceed previous CBD complaints regarding noise. (and smell)
      I wonder what the tame paper will report on this?
      When I was running a heavy industry plant in the Bohle and was dealing with noise complaints from the new Stockland Estate on the other side of the Bohle River the Bully had nothing to say but the council limited the noise to 8 hrs per day.
      Will be interested to see how this pans out.

    • Scotty says:

      Gawd if you had ever seen the threat map in the event of an industrial accident around Bohle and North Shore… scary stuff

    • Alex DeLarge says:

      Rusty? The Old Peterbuilt is misinformed as well?

  19. Miss Lou says:

    Dear Pie,

    A Happy New Year 2018.

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.

    Miss Lou.

  20. The old peterbuilt says:

    I think that confirms what I suspected. We must have our share of nut jobs in this electorate also.

  21. The Magpie says:

    What, already? Chickens coming home to roost – if they live long enough?

    Wildlife on the Town Common is under deadly threat, according to information just received.

    A trusted source tells The ‘Pie that the Mount St John sewage treatment plant has had a major malfunction and have been forced to shut down or significantly reduce its throughput.
    Note here that the Townsville Council under the Impaler’s mercenary and merciless scythe got rid of their trade waste staff and senior experienced sewage engineers, so should we be surprised that it seems the inevitable has happened?
    There are reports of a number of dead birds and even animals on the Town Common, with staff refusing to go and clean up due to union rules and job description.
    The Magpie is seeking proof of this – and no he hasn’t wasted his time asking the council, that would be like asking Adani for a straight answer.
    Anybody else got anything on this?

    • Council workers "shovel" says:

      I heard something did happen today at one of our treatment plants hut wasn’t sure until you printed this. My point the other day about different departments getting money they didn’t have before is exactly why things like this are happening. Read the story today about the old bloke wondering where your water money goes. It’s being diverted everywhere from those money making business units I.e townsville water/ waste. It’s robbing Peter to pay paul. Again I say any surplus just goes to the mayors election promises.

    • Scotty says:

      So, shit happened…

    • Memory Man says:

      This is an issue that’s worth chasing down, no doubt about it. I have no idea whether it is true, in part or in whole, but there’s a lot in town that has that “smell” about it … too much nudge-nudge / wink-wink … it’s the mate’s economy way … less generously it’s often described as cronyism.

  22. Caesar's Horse says:

    America’s Moron-In-Chief, Donald Trump, is calling for stronger libel laws following scathing comments about him in the new book ‘Fire And Fury.’
    This from the man who made countless vile accusations about Republican and Democratic opponents, with “crooked Hillary” being one of the milder taunts.
    If such laws had been in place during the presidential campaign, this chrome-plated hypocrite would now be in prison rather than lording it over the world.
    Feeble-minded Americans, besotted by populism and so-called celebrity, have elected one of their ilk to the nation’s highest office. The resultant chaos could. mirror the fall of the Roman Empire.

    • The Magpie says:

      Hmmm, sounds like the same scenario as Townsville writ large.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      ABC news online today has an article where the 25th Amendment may eventually be applied to the Donald. (Unfit or too incapacitated to govern.) You can read it yourselves. This is another cause to worry about this turkey, as if we didn’t have enough already.

  23. Westie says:

    Concerning heavy industry in the old CBD- the port precinct.

    At least some sensible news.

    Obviously the council has been struggling to find a use for the old CBD. Retail has moved on to where the customers are. It is useless as an office precinct- not central and poor transport infastructure- the only way to force office workers there is if you work for Council, and Council has bought up most of the office buildings.

    A sports precinct- how ridiculous- there is no parking or public transport.

    Tourism- as if. Who would want to go on holidays to look at decaying unoccupied buildings.

    Arts- ha! No-one lives there to look at the pretty things.

    But heavy industry. Of course. Plenty of contaminated land good for nothing else. Train tracks. Smelly cattle trucks going to their fate. Worthless buildings on worthless land. Sandflies. Next to the biggest heavy industry we’ve got left- big boats being loaded with fertiliser.

    At last someone is using their brain. Must be an accident.

  24. The old peterbuilt says:

    So instead of this populists celebrity as the president the celebrity of Hollywood are now calling for the populist celebrity, Oprah, to run for the exzolted office of president. That would be very similar to conducting an uprising in walker st , overthrowing the mullet and installing les walker as mayor, under the watchful eye of the impaler. I agree. Rome is fucked. Of to the dally tomorrow for a beer. Will see what we can find out about mt St. John, what a shit fight.

    • Sandgroper says:

      Don’t know about the rest of you, but I thought the wailing and teeth-gnashing by Hollywood’s celebrity women at the Golden Globes Awards was right over the top.
      As always, show business glitterati (men and women) can’t wait to jump on the latest cause du jour bandwagon despite not having raised the issue during their professional careers.
      Like a murder of ravenous ravens, they ruffled their black plumage and cawed for blood as they croaked “Nevermore” in unison.
      As for Oprah’s “principled and courageous comments”, she has more power than any other media mogul so why wait until now to speak out?

      • Kenny Kennett says:

        ‘Why wait until now to speak out?’
        In several forms, we are all guilty of that aren’t we Sandgroper? It’s called procrastination. If they feel it is important, TIME is not always the priority; COURAGE is. I say ‘good on ‘em’.

        • Sandgroper says:

          Kenny, it doesn’t take any courage to kick people when they’re down and out. That’s cowardice.

          • Old Mudpicker says:

            It doesn’t take any courage to bully or assault people when one is in a position of power either Gropes. The world is full of hypocrites, victims and bullies. Name and shame all the abusers I say.

          • The Magpie says:

            What even suspected Labor rapists?

        • The Magpie says:

          Just an idle thought; whatever happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty’? In the end, proven or not proven, McLachlin, like Spacey and others, will have paid a hefty price – in the millions, let alone reputationally. Yes, the cause of the women is a sadly necessary and belated step forward, but an airy ‘bad luck, collateral damage’ for those found to be innocent hardly meets the criteria of the punishment fitting the crime. In fact, in terms of embedding gender hatred and distrust (and possible violence), a strident bulldozer approach should be tempered with some circumspection about the appropriate approach to such matters.

  25. Council workers "shovel" says:

    I wish I was on Facebook to read any comments on the CCC story in the paper today. Unfortunately the paper dosnt let people comment on the website, surprise. We had our work meeting this morning and this story is everywhere being talked about. First comment from my mate was hopefully the whole lot get sent packing and an administrator brought in. Me personally I hope the ceo is first to go because that will start a chain reaction. This bloke Phil batty must have some good info because it dosnt get this far without a big push. Everyone who used to work in the Mooney days like myself always thought things were fishy, hill was always there learning. Just have a think about the money being spent everywhere. Our 3mil pay rises, 18mil to adani, capital works in the city heart. The state government only gave council 22mil to help last year so how can all this be done with the numbers that keep changing. I’ve been told alot lately that we’ve been borrowing money from somewhere to pay for everything through short term loans. How long can that last? I’m a ratepayer too. Oh well back to driving around today ” waiting ” for another basic blitz job to come in. Hence why I have time to read everything lol.

  26. Memory Man says:

    The machinery of justice grinds slowly. The smell of the corpse gets worse over time, as it rots from the head down.


    • The Magpie says:

      As the full saying is: ‘Governments, like fish, rot from the head down’.

      In this case, a mullet.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        In more ways than one, the astonisher departed from its normal practice of showing the airbrushed smiling Mullet to the one we all know in the photo, looking anything but, then the story originating in the CM about singling out Townsville over its pedestal tax ripping off small motels and accomodation providers in town to the tune of nearly $1000 per toilet, maybe someone from the Astonisher actually sat in the bar of a pub over Xmas and heard the way people off his town talk about the Mullet and her disgusting administration, we can only hope.

  27. The Magpie says:

    Since one never gets the full background to a story from the Townsville Bulletin, allow The Magpie to provide some context.

    This is the letter to Philip Batty from the CCC.

    Mr Philip Batty By email: email hidden; JavaScript is required Dear Mr Batty RE: YOUR CONCERNS
    I refer to previous correspondence between yourself and the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) and to further emails from you to the CCC, dated 27 November, 13 and 21 December 2017.
    I regret the delay in responding to you. Background
    As you will recall, on 1 November 2017 you made complaint to the CCC using our on− line complaint form. Essentially your concerns were:
    1. 2.
    Councillor Hill did not update her register of interests within 30 days. Councillor Hill did not declare a conflict of interest when voting with respect to the Adani airport at a meeting on 14 August 2017. The company Wagners is going to be given the project of building the airport for Adani without going through a procurement process.
    Your concerns were assessed as per the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 (the CC Act). During the assessment process advice was sought from the Department of Infrastructure Local Government and Planning. This information was used to further inform our assessment.
    As a result of the assessment we wrote to you on 27 November 2017 and explained the role of the CCC and why we did not intend to deal with your concerns. We did suggest you could refer your concerns one and two above to the Chief Executive Officer of the Townsville City Council (the Council) for assessment. We did this because these concerns involved possible misconduct under the provisions of section 176 of the Local Government Act 2009.
    In your email o f 27 November 2017 you raised concerns regarding our initial assessment. You also provided information about a public statement made by Councillor Jenny Hill regarding the ownership o f the airport. This information was not consistent with the information provided to us by the Department o f Infrastructure Local Government and Planning.
    We therefore re−assessed your complaint taking into account the additional information you provided.
    Current Status
    In making a decision about the way to deal with a complaint, the CCC must consider the circumstances o f the case and the ‘corruption principles’ set out in section 34 o f the CC Act.
    In particular the CCC has regard to the devolution principle, which recognises the responsibility o f a chief executive officer and senior managers to manage their agency, including dealing with inappropriate behaviour o f staff. It provides that action to deal with corrupt conduct should, generally, be taken by the agency. The CCC, in performing its corruption function, must focus on more serious cases o f corrupt conduct and systemic corruption in accordance with section 3 5(3) o f the Act.
    The Act also recognises that in certain circumstances the CCC can decide not to take any action in relation to a complaint.
    The CCC considers it is appropriate:
    not to take any further action in relation to concern two 2 above. This is because the CCC takes the view that the performance o f the official duties o f a person elected to office could not involve corrupt conduct unless the conduct would, if proved, amount to a criminal offence. In the absence of evidence that would support a criminal offence, the CCC is unable to deal with the matter.
    for the Department o f Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning to take responsibility to deal with your concerns one and three above.
    Accordingly, the CCC has directed the agency to investigate the matter. We have also decided to review the investigation as the alleged corrupt conduct is o f a serious or systemic nature and we consider it is in the public interest that the CCC monitors how the matter is dealt with.
    A copy o f the material you provided to the CCC in your on−line complaint form and emails has been forwarded to the Department o f Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.
    You should be contacted in due course by an officer of the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.
    Please note that any further information we receive from you will be similarly forwarded to the Department o f Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning for consideration.
    Yours sincerely
    Elizabeth Foulger
    Acting Director, Integrity Services

    • The Magpie says:

      If you want to support Philip Batty’s principled stand, might be time to sign this petition as a gesture of support … 4600 already have.

      • Council workers "shovel" says:

        Wow that letter sounds like it’s driven around every roundabout we have in townsville. Before anyone asks we are on lunch break, hence why I can write in. By the look it’s one department passing onto another department that has little or no power to do anything that way it keeps Mr batty busy while the mayor gets away with her corrupt conduct. That’s just an observation but our crew all agree that Phil is not stupid and obviously won’t go away easily. Glad he’s getting motivated by this blog. Also agree that the night of Noah story nobody gives a shit about because most people who went through it probably don’t live here anymore. Seems like a cover up because normally corruption allegations in politics always end up front page. Not in Boganville.

        • I'll be plucked says:

          Hey Shovel, get back to work and stop robbing us ratepayers! :)

        • The Real Mr Batty says:

          I am blushing at your comments shovel, but if there was three of you sitting in your truck I still wouldn’t be able to take my pick tee hee

          Seriously thanks for the support I will keep searching for truth and accountability

  28. One legged tap dancer says:

    Thanks Pie for the detail on how Mr Batty’s complaints are being handled.
    That the Astonisher used the front page for a rehash of the Night Of Noah and ran a small, unimformative story on page 3 about a serious investigation of the mayor says it all about the paper.
    Anyone who pays $1.60 for it is wasting money.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      The best news reporting allows the reader to make up their own minds after reading the facts. Thanks Magpie for the inclusion of the letter to Mr Batty. No lies or opinion, just facts. Sure beats the Bulletin non committal byline.
      Well done Philip for his persistence, great to see it pay off.

    • The Real Mr Batty says:

      And not a single call to me Pegleg from the Bulletin unlike lots of other media around the place and beyond.
      And from media who are “allowed” to speak the truth.

      Watch this space and fasten seat belts.

      • I'll be plucked says:

        Onya Mr B – let’s get the bunch of pluckers!!!

      • Critical says:

        To me passing the investigation to the Dept. of Local Governments is asking the ALP to investigate itself. I’m certain that pressure from the Premiers Office and Ministerial Office will be put onto the investigations team to not dig too deeply or make an adverse finding against a Labor Party Local Government Council.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      This morning I wasted $1.60 for the first time in a while. Surprised at how thin it was.

  29. Mike Douglas says:

    Those of you with gas!. I will re-phrase that to customers of Origin should have received a letter from Belinda Edwards National Consumer Manager stating your new daily supply charge will increase to 36 cents per day from 15 th January 2018.It doesn’t seem a lot in fact $43.80 extra a year but it’s a 50% increase on current.The supply charge contributes to the cost of mantaining the safety and integrity of the gas distribution network.Queenslanders have been taken on Electricity, car rego, higher stamp duty due to insurance costs North Queensland and rates.

  30. The Real Mr Batty says:

    I seems that the construction of the airstrip is contracted between Adani and Wagner who will build and operate the airstrip which now makes one question the many statements from the Mayor saying council will own it!!!

    What exactly will we get for our $18 million dollars?

    This just gets better and better

    • The Magpie says:

      Or worse and worse.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        So much for local jobs. Easy big bucks to Wagner in the immediate term. Promised jobs long term by Adani and guaranteed by Jen?? Performance Bank Guarantee guaranteed by which bank, when? and under what contractual terms.
        Also didn’t see this contract come up on the Adani / ICN website for contracts being let. ICN should be held accountable for false advertising or at least comment on how they have dropped the ball on this tender.

    • Achilles says:

      Jenny could never “own” the airport as TSV has only stumped up 50% of the amount demanded by Got’em. Rocky also capitulated to Got’em’s sleazy arm twist.

      • The Magpie says:

        Haven’t had time to check back, but didn’t The Mullet say we’d be making money out of the airport (aside from the total bullshit about millions in drug testing)? Her wankery knows no bounds. hey, there’s a good monicker for her … Her Wankery.

        Hmmm, ‘pray give attendance, my lord, ladies and gentlemen, announcing Her Wankery, Mayor Mullet’ – accurate ring to it.

  31. Murphy says:

    Does anyone have a link to the Facebook page that makes fun of Julian Tomlinson? For some reason he didn’t name it in his column today.

  32. The Real Mr Batty says:

    This really does get tiresome…..

    Listen to the article particularly John Wagners statement at the 3 minute mark…

    Then read the extract from the Townsville City Council closed meeting held on the 10th July 2017 extract below

    “Council also considered the verbal comments provided by John Wagner at the meeting.”

    Make up your own minds

  33. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Appears it won’t be long until old Numbskull Gill is going to have to pay someone to remove the “ international” letters form the airport roof, latest BITRE stats do not look good post the end of the Denpasar service in March, the POM service only produced 506 passengers from 1260 seats across 18 flights in October, about a 40% load factor on the F70 jets, if things don’t improve soon ANG will have to take some convincing to keep the service going, this is very bad for Townsville, all that work Ewen Jones did to get these subsidised customs staff here completely wasted by the fucking hopeless amateur that runs our airport. If the people of Townsville have any hope of ever making Townsville a considered tourism option the next online petition should be requesting QAL selling its neglected asset in Townsville, it has zero interest in growing its business here and simply sucks cash out out of the Townsville economy and contributes nothing, what a disgrace.

  34. SOS says:

    I predict George Clooney will be the next president of the USA and Oprah will be an Ambassador.

    • The Magpie says:

      Two serious female contenders for 2020 … Senator Elizabeth Warren and of course, Michelle Obama.

      Reckon Oprah really knows she can live without the pain of the presidency. besides, the pays not too hot, much less than our own PM and Opp leader get.

  35. Old tradesman says:

    Messagebank is surfing in his new wet dream water park every day. Where has the 10m gone, and what is the 15m in next financial years state budget for, when they tell us the mugs that the works have already started. The whole thing was a fabrication to prop up Labor and the Townsville mugs fell for it.

  36. The Magpie says:

    Uh oh, some down at the Astonisher, or in Brisbane, Sydney or Mumbai, is about to get their arse kicked until their nose bleeds.

    In the ‘now you see it, now you don’t’ world of the Astonisher’s sloppy subbing, an amazing comment appeared under the on-line edition story about (yet again) Les Walker’s wet dream of a wave pool for Townsville – actually a good idea.

    The following comment appeared for about12 minutes this morning before it was taken down, and the story was subsequently moved to ‘subscriber only’ – and, not surprisingly, no comments allowed.

    The ‘Pie’s comment?
    Hahahahahahahahahah – gasp wheeze.

    • Council workers "shovel" says:

      All we can say is holy shit! Sorry plucked we’re ripping you off again in our lunch break. No offence to the magpie here but is this story really getting southern media attention that it should or is our bubble in townsville keeping it quiet? I mean alot of people would read this blog but you only need to look at last election to know everyone is stupid in this town. The 4 corners report last year didn’t ask any questions but just let them talk crap as usual. Who else can we petition to uncover all this mess? I’m prepared to help people like Phil and the magpie and not just be a fence sitter, it only takes an email to start the ball rolling. Do we go feds? Different news papers? Shock jocks? Fat lot of good Alan Jones did after palmer went bust all he talked about was the Chinese. If I’m out of place I’m sorry as I only just started to take more notice.

    • Peter Newey (TRRA) says:

      Gee wiz you were quick!

    • Jatzcrackers says:

      Hmmmm…Pie, up for 12 minutes and perhaps just long enough to do the damage ! So, this begs the question do we have a comrade mole in the subbing dept of the Astonisher ?

      • The Magpie says:

        No, just a very alert reader. Well, son of a reader who alerted his dad, who thought it would be a jolly wheeze for the b;og … which it was.

  37. Cantankerous but happy says:

    I think the astonisher has some issues with its comments section actually, apart from allowing someone to acidently post a good comment like Johns, I have made a couple of savage, insulting comments online when logged in and they are posted instantly, but they are not visible if I am not logged in, so I haven’t bothered for sometime as I presume no one else can ever see my comment anyway, as opposed to comments on the CM or Oz websites which stay pending for some time until obviously someone approves the comment to be posted, one really has to wonder what the hell is going on with this joint, the paper is a mess, perhaps Ben Bogan was so completely fucking hopeless he was promoted to get rid of him, happens in the military all the time.

  38. Sandgroper says:

    It saddens me as a former newspaperman to see how the Townsville Bulletin, once one of the nation’s best regional dailies, has become largely irrelevant.
    The coverage of many major news stories in the region is grossly unbalanced, with poorly-trained, immature reporters rehashing news releases and constantly failing to seek contrary points of view.
    News media should function as a watchdog, not a lapdog. Neither the Bulletin nor any of the electronic news sources in Townsville — apart from occasional glimpses of teeth from the ABC — is doing its job.
    Commentator ‘John’, whose post was so rapidly removed, is on the money when he mentions “look over here” stories and “guilt by association”.
    It’s past time for the newspaper to start playing a meaningful role in the community and report without fear or favour, but I feel the damage to its once proud reputation is irreparable.

  39. Cajun says:

    Pie, have you heard of any further developments on the proposed alternate news site? Is it still a prospect? Thank goodness you, and the nestlings, are still squawking loudly on everyone’s behalf!

  40. Dutch Reverend says:

    Have noticed “Mike Lewis” making comments on the bullshit Facebook profile about the Adani deal being “in commercial confidence” in a demeaning and arrogant manner, as if the general public is as stupid as the moronic councillors, asking what it is people don’t understand about “commercial in confidence”. My question to Mike is….. do you really think that putting commercial in confidence means that it can’t be questioned and makes it all legal ? It’s a thin veil of bullshit to cover what could be illegal. If it is illegal the “commercial in confidence” isn’t worth the paper it is written on. Illegal is illegal. Here endeth the lesson.

  41. Kenny Kennett says:

    Im a little confused (but not surprised) about the Adani Airport scenario. According to comments here, OUR JENNY made a statement in the media that we are or will be, the owners of the Airport. Apparently it’s against Local Government regulations for us to contribute to, and own such Airport so far outside our LG boundaries. Am I correct so far?
    But OUR JENNY has insisted publicly that we will own it. If that’s correct (and there’s no reason to not believe OUR JENNY is there?), shouldn’t we be part of the tender process? Or if it has only recently been transferred into our name, shouldn’t the tender process start again given work has not commenced?
    And finally, is the so called tender process that reportedly took place 4 years ago, all above board and if so was Adani spending our money back then by means of a secret handshake…and how much was the successful tendered price?

    • The Magpie says:

      The stench just grows and grows.

    • The Real Mr Batty says:

      All bloody good assumptions and questions Kenny but don’t dare try and ask anyone for answers or you may be put on notice legally the way I have been.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      It’s fairly simple Kenny, Townsville Mayor and deputy chair of Townsville Enterprise, Jenny Hill, supported by all councillors except one, committed to pay $18.5 million of Townsville ratepayers money to an Indian billionaire to pay a Toowoomba millionaire to build an airstrip at the Indian Billionaires mine for an undisclosed amount on the provision that flights to the mine originate at Townsville Airport, of which the CEO is Kevin Gill, Chairman of Townsville Enterprise, standard business practice in this part of the world.

  42. The Real Mr Batty says:

    I am sure the pie may choose to elaborate further on this but when the bulletin journo actually says that that they were and were not allowed to say things in an article!!!

    I always thought the truth could be published and that was the role of a newspaper but it seems not in Townsville.

    • The Magpie says:

      The only caveats to that are the obvious legal ones, but we all know that the Gilded Few have the iditor of the day by the balls, or right now, by the tits. So its no surprise but still sad.

      • The Real Mr Batty says:

        I naturally bow to your superior knowledge in this area but I always thought irrefutable facts overrode legal concerns?

  43. Dutch Reverend says:

    Hey Shovel, I’m curious as to what the Union you may belong to has done to improve the situation for it’s members, and how did they represent it’s members when the council was going through the mass sacking ?

    • Alahazbin says:

      I think the CFMEU and the allied unions were the benefactor of all this. The mullet and Impaler successfully divided the workforce and hung the Services Union out to dry.
      With previous EBA’s it was for all employee’s. The latest wage rises favour the outside workforce and trade staff, all controlled by the CFMEU.

      • Council workers "shovel" says:

        I can say yes to your point ala. The CFMEU have been trying to recruit. The TWU lost alot from waste and not sure what AWU have left. CFMEU definitely have control over the council. The latest pay rise was just a vote getter. Everyone is worried what will be taken away in the next EBA. The office staff, even though they get paid more, have been shit on and all the mayor and ceo have done is create friction. We had a royal commission into unions and wasted all that money and all they did was just wait until the next day to continue there corrupt ways as well. CCC should be investergating them as well.

        • Dearie Me says:

          Approx 150 members left of the indoor unions. They got royally fucked over in the pay negotiations while the Impaler was telling them what a great deal they got. Basically staff voted for it because they were too scared not to.

    • Council workers "shovel" says:

      3 words. ” sweet fuck all” on both your questions. I got out of the unions when hill first got in as mayor.

  44. Sam1 says:

    Hillside etstae could be yours

    Another quality headline from the astonisher on 11/1/18

  45. Old Mudpicker says:

    You lot on here have become increasingly whiny. Despite all your huffing and puffing, barely a glove has been laid on the Mayor. She will win the next election again.
    Unlike you lot, she is getting things done. A bit of balance from you would be good ‘Pie. You have become a bit Ruperty in your dotage.
    Call me when you lot have something relevant to say, instead of fake news and personal vendettas.
    Mayor Hill has fought for important issues in Townsville. The new pipeline, jobs, the stadium and others. She is a doer and a fighter. I would rather have her than some insipid twat who cant make a decision.
    In the meantime, I am banning myself from this site for the remainder of 2018. It has become boring and humorless. Be good Gropes and ‘Pie. Even you Grumbles.
    May you all enjoy great times.

    • The Magpie says:

      Sad news. Your absence is no doubt prompted by the news that computers are to be banned in the secure mental unit.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Increasingly whiny, boring and humourless? Describes Townsville to a tee Muddy under your old mate Mullet, it’s hard to be happy and positive when bent over, shafted by a dry pole and blatantly lied to, but you are probably right, she might win again if she runs, no shortage of people in this town addicted to their own misery, and the Mullet has an endless supply of that to go around.

    • Council workers "shovel" says:

      Yeah she has fought for all those things. Just a shame none will ever be completed. As for people not being able to make a decision well the ceo has alot of FIFO managers she hand picked who are doing exactly what you don’t want in council. All have labour tickets and walk around thinking there untouchable. I bet your ban won’t last past your reply to me? An actual council worker.

    • Alahazbin says:

      You want facts? Just ask any TCC employee, current of former. They will give you an idea of the mullet and impalers behaviour.

    • Dutch Reverend says:

      I bet you’ll still be reading it though. All the best Muddy.

    • Local Now says:

      The problem with news blogs is they can quickly become narrowcast mediums and lose their diversity of opinion. This site will function best if the likes of OM stay tuned and active and offer valid comments contrary to the prevailing arguement.

      There are plenty of people out there that voted for The Mayor, Councillors, Qld Labor, Federal Coalition; like Adani, banks and Ergon; and feel well served by their efforts. I might not share OM’s views but I’m open to be convinced otherwise and I’m intrigued as to why he/she might support the opposite side.

      Old Bird, you should encourage alternative views as this is the strength of great news delivery.

      • The Magpie says:

        This is an open blog, and The ‘Pie finds it funny that righties think he’s left, and lefties think he’s a righty … we seem to be label mad, which in itself spells out a lot of the problem, since people don’t argue single ideas, just broad spectrum ideologies. But if that’s their go, then so be it. In seven years, The ‘Pie has deleted less than dozen comments (out of – conservative estimate – well over 30,000), some for legal reasons, some for relevance or just plain unproductive nastiness, but never for a political point of view. OM was never to The ‘Pie’s memory even edited let alone deleted. He is always welcome back here when he finishes sucking his thumb.
        Any suggestion as to how otherwise to encourage ‘alternative’ views?

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          I actually agree with Muddy in a way, your blog was always full of quick wit with a sharp counter view by people who obviously had a way with words that would have filled a broadsheet newspaper that we all knew years ago, and perhaps those of us who have contributed in the last year or two have taken away that sort of conversation that we all came on here to enjoy in the past. Unfortunately with alocal paper that has failed the people of this city badly your blog has become the only source of alternative view that we can get in this town, and the comments reflect that of the city that we have become these days. With that in mind I think it’s imporatnt that all of us focus on more positive things to contribute to your blog Pie, like posting the status of the Bruce Hwy both north and south for those wanting to leave Townsville and seek a better life elsewhere.

  46. Scientician79 says:

    Wagners as a listed company have had to clarify the arrangements on the air strip.

    Click on the download document link in the centre of this page for an announcement released after 5pm yesterday.


    • The Magpie says:

      Doesn’t work for me, S79 … how about you cut and paste?

      • Tenacious D says:

        Your welcome.

        ASX/Media Release
        11 January 2018
        Carmichael Coal Mine Airport
        Wagners Holding Company Limited ACN 622 632 848 (ASX:WGN) (Wagners) notes that
        there has been coverage by media regarding the funding of the potential construction of an
        airport to service fly in fly out workers associated with the Carmichael Coal Mine.
        Wagners has been referenced in relation to the construction of such an airport. The
        Company confirms that it has entered confidential contract negotiations with the mine owner,
        Adani for the potential future construction of this airport. These negotiations have continued
        over a significant period of time and following a competitive tender process by Adani.
        Wagners cannot comment on any discussions or agreements between Adani and local
        councils interested in funding construction of an airport to service the Carmichael Coal Mine.
        These are confidential matters between those parties and not part of the tender or
        construction contract process negotiations involving Wagners.
        Wagners’ success has been largely due to the support of its local community and it remains
        committed to the creation of jobs and economic growth of all regional areas whether through
        this project or others.



  47. One legged tap dancer says:

    So more than 4000 locals have signed Batty’s latest petition. Where does that leave the mayor’s assertion that only 600 signed the previous one?
    And what’s the go with the mayor’s boycott of Qantas? Is she still flying Virgin or back in the Qantas lounge with snout in the trough?
    And Old Mudpicker thinks she’s god’s gift!
    She’s an embarrassment and, but for her bestie Anna would be under investigation for corruption.

    • The Real Mr Batty says:

      Peg leg, it’s not my petition I had nothing to do with it. I have signed it but I doubt the CCC will do anything with it.
      We all know the truth about the 636 from the first one being nonesense and so does the council.

  48. The old peterbuilt says:

    The mud picker will still get out of bed , rub his eyes and scratch his nits and turn on the blog to see what we are all up to. We don’t mind that your one of them muddy at least your honest about it which is more than we can say for our civic leaders. And did you know muddy after 5years of commenting on the blog as a reward you get invited to the tractor shed for a home brew and get to watch the dancing girls from Carlisle gardens in their skimpy outfits.

    • The Magpie says:

      One assumes, with your intimate knowledge of Our Muddy, that those nits are on his nuts.

    • Sandgroper says:

      Mate, I like tractors, home brew and dancing girls — and I’ve been commenting since day one. Do I get a guernsey next time I’m in town?
      Hopefully, Muddy will be there. From memory, he declined an invitation to The ‘Pie’s last piss-up where he could have debated many of Satan’s sons and daughters ( as well as the like-minded).
      Can’t think why he’s foregoing that opportunity in this forum. He almost had me ready to make a left turn.

  49. Achilles says:

    Just when it looked like the LGBUPYRS could get any more demanding, now they have more clout with the PC wimps in our Government.

    The poor super sensitive arses now demand (and got) gender and “height” be removed from Drivers and Marine licenses, hello sailor.

    Its on the bully site too BUT as premium content even though the DM claim they got it first, plagiarism anyone?


  50. Achilles says:

    “The Australians'” header to a story about Julian Assange’s poor personal hygiene in the Ecuador embassy

    “Whiffyleaks” Ecuador complains

  51. Memory Man says:

    According to John Wagner he was happily dealing with Adani without any knowledge or care as to what Townsville City Council was thinking re the Galilee Airstrip. Odd that he was at a Council meeting, where he addressed the elected reps “in camera”.

    If Wagner is telling the truth, it looks like Adani were going to fund the airstrip anyway. Which means Adani simply played the fools at Council and conned $18.5m out of a desperate and gullible Mayor.

    The Mayor is Madam Hubris no less, and then had to brag about her actions and then went about contorting a story about how it would benefit ratepayers … it’s just got messy for her thereafter. We own the airstrip; no we don’t. It’s a done deal; no we’re still negotiating details. There’s a bank guarantee; oops, what’s a bank guarantee?

    Batty is like a dog on a bone, and the community needs to get right behind him. We just need straight answers. Council needs to cough up all documents and records about this sordid deal. Until they do, the stench will continue.

    Back to Wagner: he cares not where the money comes from, but is clearly getting a bit worried that payday may be further away than he thought. He’s probably wishing that idiot Mayor never got involved at all.

    • Better Googling says:

      Let’s not let facts get in the road of good Magpie story more like it. Let’s just ignore the fact that there aren’t too many big ticket jobs generating projects out there in Townsville land after QNI shutdown – or is the Townsville Magpie community happy for the FIFO jobs to all come from down south? The CCC Letter and claims in it are all smoke n mirrors leading to nothing – a bunch of Mayors take an official trade mission trip to India and one of the biggest companies there, Adani shows them around some solar stuff they own like they’re building at Moranbah, apparently (so what) – some bloke reckons the local Council should’ve run a tender process for an airport but that bloke doesn’t really seem to know what he’s talking about – as it turns out the Council seems like it never ever said they were building the airport – can someone find me a quote where they actually say that in so many words. The contractor that won that bid from Adani then explains what’s happened to the whole world and the ASX and Magpie folk are still all trying to find some big X-files conspiracy because the contractor spoke at some Council meeting once – maybe he was just telling the Council where the airstrip tender was at (who knows, who cares) – nothing to see here – can’t wait for Scully and Mulder to get back on TV – at least the stuff on those shows is more believable than the fake news on this site

  52. Doxie says:

    No indication yet as to when the promised Kerbside Hard-Rubbish Collection that we paid for in our rates (Waste Management Levy) might be scheduled? Summer is halfway over and we’re now well into the Cyclone Season and there’s been no mention of it for some time. Can’t be the cost – we’ve already paid for it or was that Levy assigned elsewhere? Just wonderin’…………..

  53. Dave of Kelso says:

    Any word about the Mt St John (or whatever it’s name is) sewerage treatment plant problems mentioned earlier this week?

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