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The Magpie

Sunday, June 20th, 2021   |   176 comments

A Mini-Murdoch In The Making – Or Just A Grifter Looking For The Main Chance?

A proposed new newspaper planned for Townsville sounds like an good idea, long overdue – Cairns has two independents, both doing well, and the Burdekin News in Ayr is going great guns … but from what little solid information is available, this Townsville project raises more red flags than a May Day march in Moscow. The ‘Pie has a dig around what looks like a very dubious venture .

Now he’s Aaron the Arrogant … nothing in the state budget to tackle Townsville’s crime wave, but the member for Thuringowa says he’s doing a great job, and his critics should shut up.

Will the shit finally hit the fan for the TCC the Wulguru backyard shit? The outcome of a court case down south could have major ramifications for the Townsville City Council over its third world neglect of a third world problem. Court action cannot be out of the question.

We have two great contenders for Comment of the Week …

Plus our regular gallery of Americana and some silly laughs to relieve the grey clouds of gravitas.

But first …

A Fortnight Of Financial Fizzers

First it was the wild claims about the benefits of the State of Origin match for (a small portion of) the Townsville economy, with heated debate about both method of calculation and amount. Some say $7million, others $8million, but neither estimate accounted for the deeply secret amount the council paid out for its ramshackle line-up of poorly attended events and its tent city (6 bookings for the hundred tents!!)

Then in the past week came the state budget …

Funding promises IMG_0793

…and there was bugger all argument about what we DIDN’T get … not a single extra razoo for Townsville’s fight against its most urgent threat … juvenile crime. Apart from the complete absence of social responsibility, the Palaszczuk government claims the prize for the most wilful tin ear in politics that almost rivals Smirko’s abysmal reading of community fury over the Biloela family.

As always, Bentley makes his scathing point …

Dicks Budget fin small

Of course, that is assuming any of these little charmers actually attended classes long enough to be able to read.

Quote Of The Week

In his budget reply speech, which highlighted the many shortcomings of the budget, Kid Crisafulli gets the Quote of the Week, when he delivered this punchline : ‘Mr Speaker, during his budget speech, the Treasurer said this was a typical Labor budget. Mr Speaker. I agree.’

But curiously, the Astonisher was mostly silent on the lack of crime fighting funding. In fact, all The ‘Pie saw was a closing line of an iditorial that basically said it was shame.

But OK, The ‘Pie Is Forced To Admit It …There Is Some Top Notch Writing In The Townsville Bulletin …

… but with the honourable exception of Shari Tagliabue, it is all from letter writers. As a bloc, they are kindred spirits with The ‘Pie. There has been raging indignation flaming through the letters pages aimed at Bozo the Harper, a running battle between arrogance and reality.

Screen Shot 2021-06-19 at 11.47.38 pm

Harper’s ill-conceived ploy is a blubber-lipped pout when someone takes him to task, suggesting he shouldn’t be criticised, that we idiots have all got it all wrong, we’re all LNP plants. Time and again, he is the very embodiment of letter writer Judi Hinspeter’s quote: ‘the Left do not debate, they demonise.’

Another of the many writers offended by Harper’s arrogance is Kevin Hueir, who decried Harper bad mouthing those who expressed their democratic right to have an opinion that differs with his.

“NO ONE expects our politicians to be Rhodes Scholars.

But the stupidity in the claims made by Aaron Harper that the new legislation introduced by the Labor state government to address the serious recidivist offenders problem in Townsville and across Queensland are having an effect in crime reduction, shows he is out of his depth as a community representative, out of step with his constituents, and out of touch with reality.

As we travel around town and see the burnt out and damaged vehicles on the side of our roads, as we see in the media news of the thefts and break-ins throughout the district, there is nothing to give us any confidence that this government has any workable solutions to solving the problem or any real interest in finding one.

When you consider the number of arrests being made by the officers stationed here, it indicates that they are working hard, but are continually frustrated to find that your government, through its inadequate legislation, allows the courts to put them back on the streets almost immediately.”

Legislation that Harpic doesn’t say boo to his fellow geese about. His cackling insults to his constituents show, as the old school yard saying has it, Aaron Harper is so up himself, he could whistle in stereo.


This from comments during the week.

The Magpie 

June 16, 2021 at 1:43 pm  (Edit)

Fran O'Callaghan Screen Shot 2021-02-09 at 10.48.20 am

This is one gal who ain’t gunna pussyfoot around. Or be bullied or brow-beaten.

Clr Fran O’Callaghan not only takes on council and Mayor Mullet, but The Bulletin, too.

Good to see an independent councillor stating what the issues are with the Budget process.


And How Does This Fit In With That Budget Process, a Reader Asks

The Wulguru Wonder 

June 18, 2021 at 4:55 pm  (Edit)

Screen Shot 2021-06-18 at 4.39.26 pm

This story in the Astonisher on Thursday about the Townsville Fire moving their home games to TECC next season left me pondering two things.

Mayor Mullet’s says that TCC are “thrilled that we’re able to help them make the move to a new home”. I wonder if this “help” involved any ratepayer dollars, and if so, how much?

And Michael Jones, the Ville Resort-Casino CEO, says that the Ville took over operations of the TECC at the end of last year. Is this the same TECC that council wrote off as being absolutely worthless and of zero dollar value in their budget of two years ago? I wonder under what terms and conditions the Ville are now operating the TECC on, and if there is any return to ratepayers, or did council just hand over the “worthless” asset free of charge?

Of course I’m sure the Astonisher will also be asking these questions!

Why Does This Happen Down There, But Not Up Here?

In fact, there is another issue Clr O’Callaghan should take on. Again from comments.

The Magpie

June 17, 2021 at 11:57 am  (Edit)

CALLING CLR FRAN O’CALLAGHAN, TIME TO WADE IN AGAIN – LITERALLY, MAYBE. And it’s in your division, the one you promised to fight for.

At least one Queensland council isn’t willing to take any shit. And this court ruling should Raise BIG BIG questions about the TCC’s culpability.

Sewage fine Screen Shot 2021-06-17 at 8.44.47 am

From the Courier story:
The court heard Larkman made little to no attempt to fix a faulty sewage system despite raw sewage “bubbling up” from underneath a carpark, attracting dogs licking at the human waste.
Shoppers and children had to walk through “pungent sewage” while of the effluent ran into a nearby waterway and was directed into a stormwater pipe, the court was told.
Tests would confirm colony-forming units – a unit used in microbiology to estimate the number of viable bacteria or fungal cells – from leaking effluent as high as 100,000 were found in a nearby creek, described in court documents as “a huge cause of concern”.

Acting on behalf of Redland City Council (RCC) barrister for the prosecution Keith Wylie described Larkman’s negligence as the worst he had seen.
“Apart from some sort of major Exxon Valdez (oil spill) type approach when it comes to the offence of releasing a prescribed water contaminant to a stormwater network it is difficult to see a more egregious breach,” Mr Wylie said.”… I have never seen a case where there is such egregious conduct that is so indefensible and yet with a complete absence of remorse. I will say no more.”
There is clear evidence of his failure to take command and replace the antiquated, depleted, dysfunctional and dilapidated sewage treatment facility,” Magistrate Sarra noted in court documents.
“Mr Larkman’s apathy toward developing strategies to prevent unlawful discharge of pungent illicit effluent, particularly those samples containing exceptionally high levels of colony-forming units, into the community has conceivably exposed the Russell Island community to serious health risks.”

So what does this say about the laissez faire attitude of our own Townsville City Council towards the backyard lakes of shit in Wulguru, and the regurgitating toilets of at least one major accommodation property in the area.
In fact, why hasn’t someone – the Pooami group, for instance – sued the council over a third world life threatening failure of THEIR infrastructure?

And what does it say about a council … every single elected councillor and responsible staff, that let the issue go dormant, knowing nothing will happen until the next wet season. And then making egregious ‘excuses’ that the problem has been caused by some illegal hook-ups to the sewerage system. The answer to that is so fucking what, it is YOUR responsibility to fix the problem – urgently – no matter what the cause. Funding cannot be given as a reason for doing nothing … this sort of emergency – and that is what it is – demands that no matter how, the money MUST be found and the urgency of rectification of this possibly deadly debacle realised.

Or is Jenny just waiting for someone to die?

Quotable Quotes

Kid Crisafulli’s budget reply zinger mentioned earlier gets the quote of the week, but a close second was this one

The Magpie

June 18, 2021 at 10:18 am  (Edit)

QUOTE OF THE DAY – or maybe the decade.

You don’t have to tackle Mayor Mullet’s frailties head-on, just
announce some good news with a sad fact of her failed leadership.

The Ville's Chris Morris

The Ville’s Chris Morris

The quote of honour goes to this bloke, Chris Morris.

Announcing that work on the multi million el swisho new hotel adjacent to the casino would start in August,  Mr Morris said:
“We are hoping to have an 18-month build so it will be late next year or early 2023 (and) this is not like other plans you hear about in Townsville – this is going to happen. We have so many plans that never happen. This is.”

 Careful, mate, we might have to elect you mayor.

Paper Tiger?

An information vacuum creates the perfect environment for rumour and speculation. (Malcolm Tucker, (Peter Capaldi) in the BBC political comedy The Thick Of It.)

The ‘Pie weekly runs the risk of being seen as a conspiracy nut by certain incurious folk, but it is axiomatic and reasonable that questions are always going to be asked when credible information is not forthcoming. Especially when what little real information is available raises many questions.

And so it is with a mysterious new newspaper entity that is said to be about to enter the scene in Townsville … the latest in a series of planned mastheads in a claimed Queensland-wide operation by an outfit called Regional News Group (RNG). These are the locations of a planned string of printed newspapers, all with the highly debatable claim that they will adequately cover ‘local’ news in their respective regions on shoe-string, begging bowl budgets.

  1. Regional News Group Foundation (Non-Profit Organisation)
  2. Mackay Regional News
  3. Whitsunday Regional News
  4. Bowen Regional News
  5. Emerald Regional News
  6. CQ Regional News
  7. Townsville Regional News
  8. Toowoomba Regional News
  9. Cairns Regional News
  10. Mount Isa Regional News
  11. Fraser Coast Regional News
  12. Sunshine Coast Regional News
  13. Gold Coast Regional News

14       Brisbane Regional News

But solid information about how this new newspaper empire will operate and benefit the target areas is far from clear, obscured by a blizzard of buzz speak and blurry half-fact bullshit that raises more red flags than a May Day parade in Moscow.

There are two entities’ that we know are involved so far.

Regional News Group

The first is this crowd called Regional News Group (RNG), a new player in the Queensland media scene, but there is no information The ‘Pie could find that revealed the names of those behind the organisation.

But the second entity involved in the proposed Townsville paper is known to those with a memory for mischief makers – one Troy Joseph Thompson.

Thompson and Hanson Screen Shot 2021-06-19 at 12.10.28 pm

Name sounds vaguely familiar? Or perhaps those who follow court matters may better know the name Troy Joseph Birnbrauer. This from the Townsville Bulletin last October.

Screen Shot 2021-06-19 at 11.28.47 am

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Thuringowa candidate Troy Thompson had been on the hustings for the party for weeks in the marginal Labor-held seat, and had been tipped as a frontrunner, when he suddenly pulled out of the race on September 22 citing “personal reasons”.

The Townsville Bulletin can reveal Mr Thompson, according to leaked documents, had been disendorsed by the party following an executive meeting two days prior.

The party reasoned it was because he had failed to disclose his previous legal name and that he failed to disclose his directorship in a company that went insolvent in 2017.

(The Bulletin) can that Mr Thompson, under his previous name Troy Joseph Birnbrauer, faced Southport Magistrates Court between 2017 and 2018.

Senator Hanson had been in Townsville just a day before Mr Thompson announced he was pulling out of the race, with the firebrand party leader opting not to attend a community crime forum with him on the day and instead visiting Magnetic Island.

It’s understood the party moved to disendorse Mr Thompson over fears the skeletons in his closet could emerge and haunt the party.


Christ! How do you explain copping Pauline’s Size 10 R.M.Williams in the quoit, and get the old POQ and DCB from a party that employs that creepy maniac James Ashby?

But Back To This New Paper – Some Background

This interesting venture … interesting in the sense of the ‘may you live in interesting times’ curse of ill will… came to The ’Pie’s attention through an email passed on from a Magpie mate. It was apparently an email from Mr Thompson/Birnbrauer to an unnamed person thanking them for contributing to the Mackay version of the start-up paper, which had published several editions. The long rambling and vague email then tried to outline what the future may hold.

Some exciting changes are happening within the group, all positive and as such, this allows us to reach deeper into Regional Queensland. Where there are stories reported, contributions made, we would like to extend those segments, with your permission to other regional newspapers, where there is relevance.

One contemplates why it was thought necessary to say that the changes were ‘all positive’ … as versus what?

So we can expect some local news supplemented by unpaid contributions from other areas written by God knows who. Elsewhere, it is stated that material from other regions, interstate and even overseas will bulk out the weekly offerings.

Sounds like a mini and even more amateur News Ltd model so far.

But what made The ‘Pie sit up and have an ‘AHA!’ moment was this:

“RNG recently set up our Regional News Group Foundation, a non profit organisation that collects commissions, donations and a percentage of advertising revenue and donates funds back into each community where we are represented, you will see this being put into effect shortly in your region.”

Huh? OK, Troy, so how does that work?

“All are locally owned (85%) by local shareholders within each region, the purpose is simple, to build a sustainable, local newspaper that supports its community, tells its stories and builds both social and economic benefit organically. We encourage advertisers into the paper and where possible help them by running their advertising multiple times after the paid advertisement, if it helps their business, it helps our business.”

This is Business Looney Tunes 101 – a sentiment put in a more forthright manner when a financially astute chum ran an eye over the material. His verdict?

I have to say I found the whole thing very hard to read, very amateurish and if i am honest seems full of bullshit.

When you see sentences like this “ $1.50 per newspaper rebate per paper for the agent, or 50% of current retail value.” Per newspaper rebate per paper!?!

Then the business model :-

It appears that each paper will retail at $3.00

The agent will get $1.50

The sub agent will get $1.00

Where does the GST LIVE?  It leaves 20 cents per copy for production, journalism, overheads, distribution etc etc etc.

A one page incomplete website with links to regions, none of which work, makes this so suspect i cannot believe the gall of some people to put this shit out there.

Complete bollocks.

Tut, tut, mate, language, dear me.

But The ‘Pie reckons he knows where the money will come from. The red flags had started fluttering in a breeze of misbelief, but that breeze turned into a cyclonic wind when we read this:

“This week we launch the Yarning Circle, our connection to the indigenous communities across the regions, its exciting times, something I have been personally involved with for many years. There will be story telling, education and advertising of local indigenous businesses, supported by a wonderful team from DATSIP.’

For those of you unfamiliar with the Queensland Government gravy train schedule, DATSIP is the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Partnerships, which is a very generous distributor of our tax dollars to not just indigenous groups, but those that ‘serve’ that sector of society. Like a start-up group of newspapers, for instance. And that hasn’t even touched on the multiple federal gift baskets of cash available for those who spin the right yarn.

 So WeAsked Some Questions

This, and other stuff too tedious to bore you with, dear readers, prompted The Magpie to email Mr Thompson with several questions. Particularly two matters: if 80/85% of each masthead is owned by local investors, who gets the other 15%/20/%, is there serious money behind this venture? (no reply), and a query about journalistic staff elicited this: “All our Journalists are qualified, we will be employing what is needed to properly cover each region, built on demand and ensuring we do not lose sight of the bottom line which must always be part of the consideration, without an excessive spend, no C Level wages in the group, it’s not a business for those looking for big salaries and titles, it’s all about social contribution, the rewards are many.  …. It’s not a franchise, there’s no secret formula, it’s about ground up community connection and hard work, community contribution and connections. Shareholders earn recognition socially and this drives economic benefit, outlay is minimal, ROI is healthy, it’s not always about money directly.”  

Phew, let’s pause for a breath.

And then this about the Yarning Circle, a hollow homily that is as insulting as is it is banal.

We are about educating people of our First Nations culture and how important it is to build a community together, identification has caused much separation. RNG is about bring our community back together, giving our real community a voice, not the diatribe we have been exposed to for so long. Their is no political alignments, we can ill afford to pick sides, it’s about community building, a social enterprise. 

Oh, just a sec, let’s get this straight – so you are educating people about ‘our First Nations culture’. That by inferencem means that you yourself are indigenous? Is this an indigenous exercise?

The good news is that Troy tells The ‘Pie his is not a journalistic role, which is perhaps just as well – he deserves The ‘Pie’s occasional award The Bronze Statue for Buzz Word Bullshit for this:

As the COO my role is very much around building our structures, ensuring fluidity and managing all organisational shared services, inclusive company oversight whilst utilising the unique skills of our shareholders. 

Sounds like pure Public Servicie -speak. On that evidence, one suspects you had a hand in writing this bumf about RNG ‘values’, which is so off with the fairies that even Tinkerbell will need a Bex and a good lie down.

RNG values Screen Shot 2021-06-19 at 5.01.08 pm

As you say, Troy, it’s not always about money. And to avoid disappointment, that is a sentiment your investors had better share.

In The Meantime, We’ll Have To Make Do With This Sort Of Stuff From The Astonisher.

The Magpie

June 18, 2021 at 10:08 am  (Edit)

Well, at least it’s nice to know about their responsible hygiene – no doubt clean fingernails, hair combed, clean hanky and polished thongs.

Clean kids Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 11.52.37 am

Turns out the Astonisher was suggesting these little arsesoles had ‘clean’ records – also hard to believe.

Elsewhere …

Just another standard week in the ol’ Yew Ess of Eh …

Trump bluster, Biden baiting, a mass shooting or two … and despite one of those shootings happening in Austin, the Texas Government two days ago passed a law allowing people to openly carry weapons without a permit – which means no a chance of tracing a weapon used in a crime. But this is hardly something exclusive to the Lone Star state. The gun law lunacy is highlighted in this somewhat unbelievable but authentic video.

All other issues were overshadowed by Joe Biden’s meeting with Vlad the Putin – and Biden was out to impress. As one commentator had it, he was Putin on the Ritz. (groan) Our gallery.

Screen Shot 2021-06-19 at 8.35.59 am Screen Shot 2021-06-19 at 8.36.24 am Screen Shot 2021-06-17 at 9.20.59 am Screen Shot 2021-06-18 at 9.12.35 am Screen Shot 2021-06-18 at 9.13.00 am Screen Shot 2021-06-18 at 8.53.31 am Screen Shot 2021-06-19 at 8.33.49 am Screen Shot 2021-06-18 at 9.14.53 am lk061521dAPR Screen Shot 2021-06-17 at 9.36.21 am Screen Shot 2021-06-18 at 9.14.30 am Screen Shot 2021-06-18 at 9.14.41 am 252511_RGB_768 Screen Shot 2021-06-17 at 9.22.26 am Screen Shot 2021-06-17 at 9.35.49 am Screen Shot 2021-06-17 at 9.21.54 am Cjones06192021 Screen Shot 2021-06-16 at 8.40.56 am Screen Shot 2021-06-16 at 8.42.46 am Screen Shot 2021-06-16 at 8.43.04 am Screen Shot 2021-06-16 at 8.41.42 am Screen Shot 2021-06-16 at 8.40.46 am

Just Dickin’ Around

As The Magpie has mentioned on previous occasions, he has to dive down all sorts internet rabbit holes to compile this weekly load of old cobblers. So this could be described as a ‘hard news story ‘ … sort of.  And it will be the blokes suffering any envy.

Info from Snopes, the fact checking folks..

Screen Shot 2021-06-19 at 5.05.15 pm

This is a genuine photograph of a penis-shaped rock. This picture was taken by photographer Chris Henry in Arches National Park in Utah.

Screen Shot 2021-06-20 at 12.53.05 am

The Phallus is described as a 100-foot-high tower in a 2012 rock climbing guide of Utah:

The Phallus is an obvious 100-foot-high phallic tower next to the Testes on the west side of the park road past The Great Wall and before Balanced Rock. The slender tower offers an interesting, thought-provoking, and slightly scar clean-aid route up the side opposite the road. The tower is composed of the soft and crumbly Dewey Bridge Member of Entrada sandstone.

The Magpie has always said there’s nothing that can beat ‘a slightly scar clean-aid route up a Dewey Bridge member.

Of course, a phallic-shaped rock isn’t all that unusual. If you want to see something strange, check out these similarly penis-shaped Nepenthes plants.

Screen Shot 2021-06-15 at 11.12.43 am

In March 2019, images of a plant dubbed a “penis flytrap” — a play on words that evokes the comparatively less phallic Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) — went viral.

From The Salacious To The Sublime

Just because I like it.


and Finally ..

Just to leave you laughing, an American mystery solved.



That’s it for the week, folks, dive into the comments section 24/7, just for a read or have your say. And as ever and always, The ‘Pie is grateful for any support you can offer to help defray the on-going costs of the blog. 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. Mike Douglas says:

    Another great and informative blog Pie especially the insights on Townsville City Council budget process and the lack of engagement with the Independent Councillor which begs the question ” did Team Hill Councillors get better access ” and whose budget is this ? . What seems to be clear is that it appears little consideration for ratepayers via cost cutting opportunities to ease the burden on business / residents of Townsville . Is Chris Morris aiming ” this project is not like other plans you hear in Townsville it is going to happen ” at 30,000 people living in the cbd , Hilton Double Tree Hotel , wave park , TaskforceNQ a special taskforce charged with ” leading the recovery of the City ” with its number one project Lansdown Mayor Hill . What i have seen from Regional News Group in Mackay is they take Council to task and ask questions Newscorp arnt making Council more accountable which has been very lacking from the Astonisher both Council and State locally .

    • The Magpie says:

      Interesting about RNG. The Magpie will admit he was infuriated with the too-smart-by-half evasion and refusal to honestly answer some perfectly legitimate question with a blizzard of totally meaningless buzz words and fridge door philosophy. Without knowing the controlling background to an organisation … and they all have one, Crikey the left, INQueensland the LGAQ, The New Weekly the superannuation industry, News Ltd right wing fascists … you are never able to make a reasonable judgement on any possible hidden agenda. And as quote, an information vacuum is the ideal breeding ground for rumour and speculation … and the Magpie’s Nest is ground zero.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Lansdown is done, another epic failure from the inept Mayor Mullet, the state govt didn’t allocate a cent for it in the state budget, so Philip Thomson will do the same, the Mullet can’t whinge about it, if the state govt aren’t prepared to fund it why should the feds, if the battery chemical refinery wants to come to Townsville it will have to find somewhere else. Looks like Fran has had a win and she didn’t have to do a thing, just wait for Jenny Hill to fuck it up, as always.

  2. HiBeam says:

    Generic names like “Anonymous” will likely result in your comment being ignored. Then I don’t suppose A. Nony Mouse will get a guernsey either. C’ya

    • The Magpie says:

      Chortle, wheeze, snurffle.

      But you miss a valid point … the comment to discourage all commenters just using the one moniker. Besides, the pseudonyms are half the fun of comments.

  3. Nickster says:

    Interesting report on the new Townsville Newspaper and no surprise we have “media” looking to control the agenda, but sometimes (maybe often) they get manipulated.

    Unfortunately even those with the best of intentions lose control. Here is an interesting article from the UK where the scientific group advising the government started given good advice on using behavioural psychology to increase compliance but the government control and it manifested to fear.


    Horrible to read this and realise I have been manipulated.

    • The Magpie says:

      Oh, dear, Sky’s favourite closet queen will have a field day.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Nickster, mostly, the Covid public relations effort is controlled by politicians who go to great lengths to demonstrate that they take advice from ‘science’ and ‘medical’ experts. It’s a curious situation in your linked article where those ‘experts’ start admitting they tried to manipulate the public – although they don’t say how they managed to grab the public microphone from the politicians. Of course the situation in Britain with thousands of deaths was always very different from Australia.

  4. William H Bonney says:

    Oh dear, the Magpie has mention ‘that’ name – CRISAFULLI. Now watch as NMD implodes with anger and bursts a foofer valve. It’s like a red flag to a bull.

    • The Magpie says:

      Note ‘mostly’ … but fair comment, must’ve skimmed those yarns, which is always a danger when one ignores a top flight investigative reporter’s stories who goes beyond re-writing press releases. But can’t find Mayor Mullet’s reaction … she must be furious not to be included in the Mulletin’s story (see what I’ve done there!!) And TEL must be appalled at how the crime wave is affecting their tourism push. Also strange the Chamber of Commerce has remained silent. And the churches usually have something to say on moral questions.

  5. The Magpie says:

    It is decreed that all those returning from evil lands must receive a booster shot from the Jesus Indoctro Gun.


    • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

      So lucky he scored home isolation at The Lodge rather than a proxy room at the Ibis at Sydney airport – luck of the draw I suppose.

      • NQ Gal says:

        Assume Scotty flew directly into Canberra on the government jet. I wonder if the RAAF crew and anyone else that was traveling with him also get to isolate at home?

    • The Mandarin says:

      Ummm Mr Magpie, if you look closely you will see that the nurse is actually removing a dick off his forehead. As for the COVID temperature check, I thought that being a religious man he would prefer the rectal thermometer.

  6. Prince Rollmop says:

    From the department of snouts in the trough – although I wish I hadn’t, I did a little digging around to see what our entitled and supposedly esteemed federal government trough swillers receive by way of salary, superannuation, parliamentary pensions, post-parliament payments and so on. There are two linked below if you dare to take a read. But be warned, you are going to become very very pissed off. One link is a Crikey article from 2019 and the other link is a blog about the perks these grubs are receiving. My reason for research was quite simple – to compare how many Australian business owners have fared during COVID and the endless shutdowns and restrictions to Politicians. Well, there is no comparison. Aussie taxpayers have been decimated while the politicians get richer. Team Scomo may be hearing the China drums beating, but hopefully one day the sheeple of this country will rise up and the only drums that these political parasites will hear will be the drumroll of 26 million Aussies shouting out “viva Le Australia, off with their heads”!!



  7. Hee Haw says:

    Following up on your blog piece about the Regional News Group.

    Says they are on Facebook:

    They are in 4 locations, the Whitsunday, Bowen and Mackay seem to be a single publication. Also if you look at Townsville’s FB page it show the Whitsunday edition not Townsville.

    It also says they are on Linkedin:-

    They are, but with ZERO followers, not even people associated with or work for them, follow them.

    It says they are on Instagram:-

    If they are then I cannot find them

    It says they are on Twitter

    If they are then I cannot find them

    I tried searching for a company registration that owns them but couldn’t find anything at all.

    I will keep an eye out.

  8. Scummo says:

    Seriously, that photo is ridiculous and it makes him look like the fuckstickle that we have come to know so well. It’s all part of the stage show and the COVID theatrics. Spare us the bullshit Scott ya moron.

  9. Harpic full flush says:

    Pretty funny how old mate Harpic has fired up over the lack of support for his folly, and he is upset with people sticking it to him. It’s almost too hard to believe that the fool actually thinks of himself as some kind of valuable and important regional asset. News to Aaron- you are a wanker mate. An incompetent and lazy politician without the kahunas needed to get the job done. You are just another footstool to the incompetent Queensland Premier. Go cry into a tissue you tosspot.

  10. Bentley says:

    Anyone else heard a story about a would-be break and enter getting a bit of a thrashing from an occupant last night?

    • The Magpie says:

      No, but we can hardly wait.

      Of course, if the thrasher administered the the thrashee anything from a black eye, broken tooth or dislocated elbow, he/she/they are the ones to be charged. And then sued by the intruder, who will claim to be greatly offended by this unlawful behaviour of hurt, pain and suffering.

  11. Interested observer says:

    Woe is me.
    Just when I thought we were finally going to get an independent newspaper willing to shine a torch on the backroom deals of Jenny Hill and per puppet councilors, we get more smoke and mirrors in the form of this Regional News Group.
    And those still hoping for the Townsville Bulletin to have a sudden change of policy and put readers and the truth before advertisers and politicians will not be encouraged to hear that our poor excuse for a newspaper is moving its offices from its huge, upmarket Flinders Street West premises to – wait for it – a former coffee shop in Sturt Street.
    I am realiably informed that there will be space in the new premises for just 14 staff. Not just journalists (or the unqualified, inexperienced whipper snappers they pass off for journos these days), but also advertising reps, a general manager, and various other odd-bods who don’t write stories.
    Explains why they print so may media releases word for word without question – Jenny Hill, TCC, TEL and Cowboys are obvious examples.
    As I said, woe is me.

    • The Magpie says:

      Then it really become the Townsville Daily Mulletin. Yuk yuk yuk.
      Got an exact location?

    • NQ Gal says:

      CQU have been taking over that building one section at a time. Last year the editorial floor was halved to make room for more Learning areas. Doesn’t surprise me that they are leaving completely.

      • The Magpie says:

        Shame they didn’t stay and sign up for some courses … English grammar, journalism and business 101 would have been handy.

  12. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Just reading the RNG statement of ‘values’….

    While I’m fully supportive of “reporting events objectively, without fear or favour”, I’m not so sure that “taking a position of neutrality in conflicts between good and evil, justice and injustice, right and wrong,” is the right way to go about it, or something to be commended.

    One would think that in the battle between good and evil it is always better not to sit on the fence.

  13. Beetroot Head says:

    Well well well, it’s all fun and games while the PM is away. Well, sort of, he is back now. Old Beetroot Head Barnaby Joyce has stirring some shit and threatening to force a spill so he can oust the cardboard cutout Michael McCormack from his DPM role. Something tells me that the next 12 months leading up to the federal election is going to be interesting for the LNP. No wonder Lickspittle Albanese is so quiet. He doesn’t have to do anything other than watch Morrison’s ship continue to sink.

    • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Can anyone with a number for the Nationals let them know that fighting the Libs is probably less useful to the nation than taking on the ALP

  14. Interested observer says:

    Re the new Townsville Bulletin “coffee shop” offices, I made a blue in saying it was in Stuart Street.
    It is actually the former Torte Cafe in Walker Street, not far from the TCC office building where Jenny Hill runs her puppet show.
    And this is not just a rumour, its fact, from one of the few remaining staff of our once great paper.
    And it’s an Ideal loccation considering Jenny edits the paper.
    Anyone remember how many staff the Bully had in the glory days of Ogden Street?

    • The Magpie says:

      ‘Ideal location’ doesn’t start to describe the brilliance of the move … Mayor Mullet’s office just a 2 minute walk away when the iditor needs to the green light on something, and directly across from the court complex, a 30 second stroll to the Magistrates’ Court to see how Jenny fares next month.

      Big signage should be going up shortly ‘New Home of the The Townsville Daily Mulletin.’

  15. Gentle Annie says:

    Well it’s a big day today for Mayor Mullet and TCC’s Prince Ralston as they welcome Scott Mason into the bosom of TCC. (Well, the Prince will meet Scott once the Prince lands on Wednesday night for his maximum 8 hour week). The former CEO of the Emerald region is being brought to Townsville to play with the big boys, so to speak. What skills will he bring with him? Not many apparently. He loves to dye his hair black, struggles to make eye contact when talking to you and he is a real odd one with the communication skills of a concrete statue. Perhaps he will be the perfect whipping boy for the smelly Prince and the bad haired madam Mullet? Fun times ahead.

    • Jenny's Pipe Dream says:

      Based on Brisbane’s 3.75% rates increase , Fraser Coasts 3.5 % and Fran O’Callaghans comments on T.C.C.’s budget process I am not getting a lot of confidence on whats in store for Townsville residents this Wednesday when the local budget is handed down.

      I don’t believe the Mayor or Prins engaged business on how things are around Town, and the fact our Mayor makes a habit of leaving any business functions to avoid actual talking, I don’t think she has a clue .

      It doesn’t even seem Council has done anything to adjust after COVID unlike everyone else especially business .

  16. The Magpie says:

    Cynical or what!!

    Well, the big upside is that at least this chucklehead is removed from any real decision making. The QGG has no power whatsoever, apart from being required to sign things of little consequence, and smile winsomely at the long line of dorks paraded in front of her for a variety of tiresome reasons.

    And The ‘Pie knows that body shaming is a no-no, but hair shaming? First De Jersey, now this.

    • Polythene Pam says:

      It should be policy that only lawyers – and preferably ex-CJs – can be governor – eg Catherine Holmes CJ – what the fuck is Young going to do in the middle of a constitutional crisis? Impose a fucking lockdown?

      • The Magpie says:

        if there was a constitutional crisis, all Young would do is recommend eating more fibre.

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        If you’re considering lawyers for Governor, why not Salvatore Vasta? He’d cause lot less damage sitting in Government House than on the bench….

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        Pam, could we broaden that to include organised crime figures? That way there is a bit of management depth in the candidate pool.

    • Achilles says:

      Metaphorically it shows yet again, that the hand that wanks the captain, gets to steer the ship.

    • Tas says:

      Text book example of the Peter Principle.

    • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

      I am reminded of the Latin: oferfuksake waddaclusterfuk

  17. Elusive Butterfly says:

    Mr. Pie…whoever said those Bulletin sub-editors didn’t have a sense of humour?

    “Ingham Court: Woman escapes stiff sentence for viagra possession

    A female healthcare worker took two erection tablets from her father to give to her boyfriend, a North Queensland court was told.”

    “erection tablets”…?? The author, Cameron Bates, has to be taking the piss!
    Lock up those blue pills fellas!

  18. One legged tap dancer says:

    Hold on a sec. Didn’t the Federal Government force Google, Facebook etc to pay News Limited zillions for its content on the basis that some of that money would be used to improve journalism.
    Obviously not at the Townsville Bulletin, if their total staff is being cut back to 14 to fit into a coffee shop.

  19. Young Jeanette says:

    This footstool is the perfect fit for the GG role as she is used to spin and bullshit and doing SFA about anything that is of real importance. Plus she is a female so that meets the Palasczuk governments ‘women first’ agenda. This is another poor joke and.

  20. Beetroot Head says:

    Well, the mentally deranged Barnaby Joyce is back as DPM with the cardboard cutout McCormack rolled. Interesting times ahead for the Lib/Nat marriage. Ha

  21. The Magpie says:

    The coalition now has the whole spectrum covered … a Beetrooter and a God Botherer

    • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Perhaps he’ll do to us all what he did to his family with young miss Campion?

      What a champion of Aussie values.

    • Taz says:

      Geez Pie what’s the alternative Albo???

      Albo is that hopeless if he was a grain of rice he couldn’t do an impression of a maggot.

    • The Magpie says:

      awww, c’mon, folks, give the guy a second chance.

      Personally, the pledge to be a better person would be more believable if he publicly pledged to stop rooting the staff. Vicki must be getting nervous, probably vetting all staff to make sure they’re all ugly lesbians.

  22. I’ll be plucked says:

    (With apologies to Pegasus) – ‘I am Beetrooter, my name means………’

  23. Johnny Depp says:

    WTF are you people doing re-installing the tomato-head to high office? I’m mortified, as are Pistol and Boo.

  24. Fugly says:

    Oh my god, the ugliest person in Canberra, physically, emotionally and morally has been re-elected Deputy Prime Minister. God help us all!

    • Ray Ality. says:

      If pollies are supposed to be representatives of society and the population I reckon Barnaby has a lot of us covered.

      I know plenty who aren’t going to win beauty contests, are on their 2nd marriage or more, have stuffed up etc.

      I would love to meet a journalist they must be a very special breed of human being who have never done anything wrong, live by the strictest of moral codes and are so smart they alway make the right choices.

      • The Magpie says:

        Drop around to Alan Jones’ place for a cuppa sometime … he’s that rare special breed of journo you want to meet, just ask him.

        But seriously, journalists aren’t elected and paid for by the people to make the laws that govern our life … let alone out morals. You seem to be suggesting that people in public life … whether elected or just influential … should go unexamined and not be commented on.

        Your reality is not The ‘Pie’s reality, chum.

        • Ray Ality. says:

          Not at all Pie, I think it’s refreshing that there are people in parliament that aren’t robots and not locked into whatever the focus group spin is of the day.

          Agree people like AJ are or think they are special but they’re not. But he like many in the media offer themselves at best, the smartest and the purest and they’ve done fuck all.

          The world is screwed when everyone agrees all the time, especially with media. Sometimes crazy people turn out to be correct, remember when UFOs where make believe then the US Government started releasing videos and saying we don’t know but there are UFO’s.

          I am the first to acknowledge that there are heaps of people not like me, and that’s great. I don’t agree with Bob Katter but ask his voters and he is the best by a mile and the polls prove that time after time.

          • The Magpie says:

            Hmmm, let’s see now. You seem to think its refreshing to have people in parliament who have extra marital affairs with staff and get them up the duff, leaving the family home of decades and several kids, employees who rape women in ministerial offices in the wee small hours and then have the non-robot people responsible evade that very responsibility, refreshingly original people who rort the taxpayer over sports grants and spend tens of thousands of tax payer dollars for private helicopter use … AND THEN, when these things are reported by hypocritical journalists, you think that the reporters personally should not do so because they have no doubt plenty of their own skeletons in the closets.

            No wonder you believe in UFOs in your parallel ‘reality’.

          • Ray Ality. says:

            Your website, you win.

            Sad to see you becoming a scared old man like your nemesis Rupert.

          • The Magpie says:

            That all you’ve got? You’re running on empty when all you’ve got his an ad hominem snipe.

          • Alahazbin says:

            Pie, Didn’t Bill Shorten have “extramarital affair and leave the wife and kids”. and ‘Albo’ has been exposed as having his snout in the trough.
            Bob Hawke was another glowing example of a person with a crooked moral compass .
            So Barnaby will be forgotten by next week.

          • The Magpie says:

            All true, with the added little nicety that it is still widely believed the The Short Un is a rapist. Root rats one and all.

          • Lucifer's Love Child says:

            I unreservedly pledge my allegiance to the saucer people and Barnaby.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie has a suspicion they’re one and the same.

  25. Pistol and Boo says:

    Here is the lunatic in full swing. So now we have two god-bothers in the PM and DPM positions. Scomo lays his hands on people to heal them, so maybe he can put his hands on Barnyard Joyce and heal his mental sickness??

    Please please Mr Magpie, ask Bentley to do a cartoon of Joyce and Morrison clapping hands and healing the environment while sporting red faces!


  26. Borat says:

    Sitting in Mount Isa airport with the three stooges. How is your day going?

  27. I’ll be plucked says:

    What a plucking nightmare of a day – The Scarecrow as Qld Governor and Barnabee Plucking Joyce back as deputy PM. Things come in three’s right? What’s plucking next………

  28. Nickster says:

    The home to the some of the richest people on the planet and biggest banks – Switzerland have rejected climate change laws in a national referendum.

    If rich European won’t pass laws and change their economy to meet Paris Climate target why should we?


    • Westie says:

      The answer to that question is obvious, unless you are a science denier- oh…..sorry.

      • Nickster says:

        It’s not a comment on science it’s a comment on commerce.

        Following your logic and having science absolutely rule all decisions we must absolutely accept aboriginal ownership of the country we should all March down to hand over our title deeds to Angie Akee.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, a clever answer but eristic – aimed at winning the argument but not finding the truth. Ownership of this country in the sense you use is not a matter of science, there is no scientific basis for ‘ownership’ of anything, ownership is a social construct, and rightly or wrongly, like history, ownership is written by the ‘winners’ i.e conquerors. It is not a matter of right or wrong and certainly not science, it is about power.

  29. Parker Pen says:

    ??? Quote : “ Where does the GST LIVE? It leaves 20 cents per copy for production, journalism, overheads, distribution etc etc etc.”. GST is adequately covered from what I can see. I have also purchased a few of the Mackay papers in my travels and it appears local businesses are supporting it very well with advertising. If I do a rudimentary calculation on estimated advertising revenue from a recent publication I think production and operating costs should be covered. O.20c x est. 20,000 covers @ 3 runs a week = $12,000 + est. $18,000 min per week advertising is $1.56M per annum. Cost synergies in piggybacking off someone’s else’s press maybe along with reasonable distribution costs I can’t see a loss there. And if it grows then achieving a critical mass will further drive cost effectiveness. I think it will be successful because I were a newsagent I could survive on $1.50 a paper and it would be compelling for me to support them. Do you know what newscorpse pays newsagents these days? It’s been a long time since I was involved in newsagents but I seem to recall something like 0.20c a paper? Could be wrong on that.

    • The Magpie says:

      Does it write itself?

      But thanks for the insider information, confirming this is financial cloud cuckoo land. This whole group may well survive, putting out publications largely cloned from each other but stays afloat because of a plethora of government grants. And you don’t mention where you’re getting your bright informative and entertaining stories from … media releases? If so, your advertisers will soon wake up to what’s going on.

    • Hee haw says:

      A print run of 60,000 papers per week?

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, one supposes that is in toto for, let’s say, 12 different papers, all fearless local champions, filled with each others content to cut down n the costs of real journalism. We in the ‘ville are just gagging to know about that wonderful nic nac shop in Goondiwindi – but we already get all that from the Astonisher.

        So that’s 5000 papers per masthead (or as RNG tellingly calls them, ‘brands’). Look, the bottom line for The Magpie is that these folks can do whatever they want, it’s a free market economy, and be what ever they want to be, it is just better if they explain to us what it is they want to be. The ‘Pie for one does not consider an operation that he bets is based on scamming public funds from governments – using pious mouthings about the indigenous community as a coercive lever – to be much of a free market exercise. No halfway decent independent businessman or woman would touch this with a 40′ foot barge pole.

        • Hee haw says:

          The 60,000 was based on the 3 runs (assuming that means 3 publications) per week of 20,000 copies. You may be right about 12 mastheads but the Bulletin print as i understand it about 6000 copies each issue I find it hard to believe.

          • The Magpie says:

            Yup, sure sounds like a bus full of elderly shoe makers… a whole load of old cobblers.

  30. The Magpie says:

    Great idea, no exceptions … ummm, well, that is, unless you’re indigenous and are attending a funeral … it’s a cultural thing you see. Or if you’re a celebrity.

    Wonder if Anna’s BFF is cleared this policy with her, and if the premier is gurglingly happy to forego the millions of excise dollars the fags bring in? Doubt The Dick is too chuffed.

    • Heydoctorlady says:

      Wot, no more smoking ceremonies? You bloody tink, lady.

    • Winnie Blue says:

      While she is at it, how about she make Queensland ‘politician free’ as well? I wonder if as the GG she will keep the “I’ve just been electrocuted hair style” along with the stupid Pearl necklace that she wears every single day? Banning cigarette use in Queensland is the most stupid and impossible things I have ever heard. It really shows how out of touch with the real world she is. Moron.

      • The Magpie says:

        There are two reasons why smoking will never be completely banned … money and crime. Two immediate consequences that will happen if it is is loss of state revenue ( and no, the ‘better health -lower hospital emissions’ argument will never match the dollar value of excise income, no matter how they want to spin it) … and the already existing ‘chop chop’ trade, with clandestinely grown tobacco being shipped by the semi-trailer load about the place, will explode into a full blown criminal empire that will cost untold millions to police.

        • Grumpy says:

          You know, it wasn’t that long ago that there were more Federal coppers in the anti chop-chop squad in Cairns as there were in the Drug Squad.

    • Cockie says:

      Why not go the full hog and introduce drug and alcohol testing for all public servants including politicians. On starting work with the public service coming from the mining industry I shocked people by even mentioning testing, I was shocked it wasn’t in place.

      • Ralph says:

        I can not understand why members of the Police Force aren’t tested for drugs and alcohol before they start work, these people carry firearms and drive vehicles at high speed when required. I worked as a Safety Officer and on a construction site
        and workers were tested for drugs and alcohol before they started work, they did operate machinery but they didn’t carry firearms, once again seems like one rule for the Police Force and one for the rest of us. A drug and alcohol affected gun carrying Police Officer is a hazard no one in the community wants, testing should be mandatory for these people, this is something our three useless Labor members should be pushing for, Take Care, Ralph.

  31. Prince Rollmop says:

    There are lessons to be learned from the latest Barnaby vs McCormack saga, and it is this; politicians are public servants. They are paid by the taxpayer to serve us. It’s about time these fucking morons went back to basics and started implementing the general wishes of the taxpayers of this country. Stop spending our taxpayer money bickering and fighting over power and position. Bring your collective heads together and unite in finding a way forward through the COVID and economic tragedy that we are enduring. Call time out, call a truce and don’t stress as your fat taxpayer trough isn’t going anywhere. Just stop the bullshit and fix the problems.

    • Moment says:

      Here ! Here !

      • Russell says:

        It’s Hear! Hear! Moment, and what the Prince has said above is nothing but a rant. No substance whatsoever. Prince, to whom are you speaking? And what are you trying to say? Love to hear your thoughts on just what are “the general wishes of the taxpayers of this country”.

        • Moment says:

          Russell, does sound like we hear one in the grass.
          The Prince, I applaud you.

        • Prince Rollmop says:

          Herr Russell, let’s see how this works; you ask me a bunch of questions. I answer those questions. You reply with more questions or make dissatisfactory comments about my answers. It goes back and forth until the Magpie spits the dummy and intervenes. So how does that sound – I made a comment on this blog, which happens to be my democratic right, and Mr Magpie allows it to be printed. End of story. I don’t owe you any explanation on anything, Russell, so please take a long hard look at my middle finger which is fully extended just for you. Cheerio Russell.

  32. Alahazbin says:

    I wonder those lefties on here like Steve BG & last drinks think of the quote “the left don’t debate, they demonise” Going by some of the comments I have read on this blog by those people, I would say it is the latter.

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      You had to do it didn’t you Alahazbin. You mention Steve BG and Last Drinks. They have been deathly quiet. Next thing they will be back in force along with NMD and a couple of other Labor prostitutes.

      • Grumpy says:

        There you go, Steve and NMD, proving that the fishy Princess – like a blind cat – can be right at least once. Walked right into it like a couple of bloody Wallys. You should know better than that.

        • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

          “Walked right into it”, i.e. responded to a request for comment? What a cunning ploy that was!

          • Grumpy says:

            I would say “lured”.

          • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

            You can say a lot of things, it would be better if you said things that made sense though.

          • The Magpie says:

            Steve, small technical point about blog comments. You’re replying to yourself. Who was this intended to wound?

          • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

            This has come up before Pie – your comment threading settings mean the reply button vanishes after the fourth level.

          • The Magpie says:

            It appears that the frapple hose wasn’t properly inserted into the glammis. The ‘Pie will fire someone in his tech department.
            Anyway, if you’re unable to automatically indicate to whom you are replying, Steve, suggest you just preface the comment with ‘replying to’.

      • Last Drinks says:

        I don’t need to comment. Your side has Scummo and the Beetrooter as your leaders. Enough said.

    • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

      That was a risible letter and an exercise in projection. The right wing for decades has energised itself not through a coherent philosophy supported by facts or logic, but by kneejerk opposition to a series of straw bogeymen, the latest of which being “critical race theory”. The description “irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas” continues to be the most apt description of conservative “thought”.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Alahazbin, in your lexicon what are the others after the “Left”? I can think of the Right and the Arrived. What do you call your clique and how do you personally encourage ‘debate’? From what I’ve seen you are quick, if not instantaneous, in categorising people which is hardly accommodating. How do you categorise the mayor and/or the Townsville Bulletin in your scheme?

  33. Snatch and grab says:

    I see New Zealand have picked a transgender woman to compete in the weightlifting at the olympics.
    I’m with the feminists regarding transgender athlete’s competing at elite levels. A woman who was a bloke for the first 31 years should not be able to compete against women.

  34. Elusive Butterfly says:

    Mr.Pie..I am just so excited!.

    Tomorrow, courtesy of our marketing marvels, Townsville Enterprise, I have the “exclusive opportunity” to join our somewhat subdued Opposition Leader, David Crisafulli and the Shadow Treasurer, David Janetzki, to….wait for it…

    “understand the Opposition’s economic vision for Townsville North Queensland.”

    I was planning to go next door and watch the neighbour’s grass grow, but, at $125 a head, how could I miss out on this one.

    However, I’m a bit confused.

    The “vision” should take up about 10 minutes of the two hours allocated.. so, what are we to do for the next hour and 50 mins?

    Oh, there it is. A one-course menu, a cup of tea or coffee…and…juice!

    $125 well spent!.

    Thanks TEL…

    • Exhibit A says:

      When the fanfare of this fluffpiece from TEL naturally takes its last rattling gasp everyone can go outside and find their car has been stolen.

      • The Magpie says:

        Was there an attachment meant to be included with this comment? If not, may we have a Pauline (i.e please explain).

  35. Golden phallus says:

    Those dick plants are quite amusing. One imagines that the Mullet has several of these growing in her garden along with Steve from Belgian Gardens?

  36. Mike Douglas says:

    113 pages of Townsville City Council budget with $1.8 mil projected as a deficit 2021/22 and Townsville plans to borrow another $70 mil ? . Prins really is a white shoe brigade spin doctor with these gems in his Executives Officers Message . ” In the last 18 mths Council has been agile and determined in responding to the threat of COVID and like other businesses around the world both public and private we are forced to adapt to the changing environment ” . He then tells us ” decisive steps in the early months gave the City the foundation for recovery as a position of long term growth ” . Interesting considering with all the changes at T.C.C. no one has seen the three so called ” $250k + senior managers , or Prins . No increase in rates , 5% increase in water , 3 % increase waste .

    • The Magpie says:

      Like an Olympic ice skater, the spin is dazzling, flashy and fraught with the peril of falling flat on your arse. Prins, our part-time CEO, is so proud of his work, like this …

      … that he felt compelled to repeat it as the opening of his budget letter of lies.

      But there is just a small problem … THESE GOALS ARE ABSOLUTELY MEANINGLESS BUZZ WORD BABBLE. And those small parts that aren’t are redundant and therefore meaningless.

      Here’s a serious challenge for anybody out there … can someone … anyone … translate these goals into plain, understandable English?

      • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

        Easy to oblige –
        – you can use your phone most of the the time to connect you to police to report breakins, and you can track your stolen car on facebook with fast internet
        – the Mayor, Pric and the other klingons at TEL, the Chamber of Cobblers, and the other also rans make their money in a huge circle jerk while not achieving anything
        – like the hub of a wheel Townsville is the bit going nowhere really but squeaking and creating heat
        – we are still here despite everything and the Bullsheet thinks all we care about is the footy and some poxy two-bob festivals. There are also some fucking murals scattered around to scare the kiddies
        – we have schools, a tafe and what used to be universities before they became “woke” hotbeds of, well hotbeds.

        That my friend is what the Screaming Midget 2.0 is trying say in his impenatrable “consultese”.

  37. Interested observer says:

    So the council budget is out and according to Jenny Hill’s newspaper, we should all be paying tribute to our mayor’s financial management.
    Millions splashed around – strewth there’s even some money for maintaining infrastructure – but according to Jenny, its not going to cost us a cent.
    But as usual our Townscille Bulletin kid reporter, Caitlan, failed to ask the obvious question: how much has the city’s debt blown out?
    In the interests of transparency (look it up in the dictionary Jenny) the council should be releasing details of debt levels for the past 10 years, year by year.
    Only then will ratepayers know what this new budget, and others of past years, has cost them.
    Getting that information will be impossible from Jenny and her Labor puppets, who will no doubt claim it is “commercial in confidence”.
    But surely our independent councilors Sue Bombed and Fran Can would have nowledge of the magnitude of TCC debt.
    And surely we ratepayers are enttled to know just how much our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will have to pay off in the future.

    • Just Say'n says:

      I understand your “debt is always bad” mantra but if I was going to rack up debt it would be now when interest rates are rock bottom. This is the time to borrow to build infrastructure.
      As for assets that are designed to last for 70 years (roads, water pipes, sewerage treatment plants, dumps etc) I’m happy for my great great grandkids to be paying for them as they (like us) will be using them. If the current generation had to pay for all of the infrastructure needed now and for the next 70 years without borrowings, then the current generation would really be on the bones of their arse.
      Borrowing to fund operations (wages, maintenance etc) is a different matter. I’m not sure if the shit house rats at council have done that. One of the clever tricks is to borrow for capital works and put all costs to the capital project including the wages etc of those working on the project. Sounds logical except wages for the same staff are also normally budgeted for in the operational budget. Should never run out of money for salaries!

      • The Magpie says:

        The mayor and our part-time CEO are also shy of revealing the costs of renovations to their offices … especially the mayor’s and the CEO’s. The ‘Pie was intrigued to read in Tuesday’s Astonisher (The Daily Mulletin) about the renos to the Walker Street building, especially since there were very reliable insider reports that tens of thousands if not hundred of thousands have been on refurbishing the officers of the mayor and CEO.

        TOWNSVILLE City Council has provided an update on renovations of their almost 50-year-old Walker St administration building.
        In 2016, a rolling building program was launched to bring the facility up to code compliance and increase its cyclone category rating capacity to a class 4 building.
        A TCC spokesman said the council was continuing the works program to ensure the building was code compliant and maintained to Building Code regulations
        But then his now customary upside-down fashion, reporter Leighton Smith ends with this …
        While unable to provide an exact dollar figure for the renovations, TCC said the works “were are all funded within council’s existing budget and Works for Queensland funding next year”

        And did you ask WHY the council was ‘unable to provide an exact dollars figure for the renovations’, Leighton? That surely cannot be commercial in confidence, because once again, the question is how much, not how it was disbursed, which would possibly be C-in-C. Or don’t they know, which is in itself a story. And you, being an avid reader of The ‘Pie (don’t lie, all the Astonisher staff are), would also have known of the rumours of big bucks for the offices of the mayor and CEO.

        The headline is dead wrong – no real light shed in this media release re-write, mate – a more community-responsible headline would’ve been ‘Council Refuses To Reveal How Much Office Renovations Are Costing.’

        • Prince Rollmop says:

          The spend on the offices is in the hundreds of thousands. Those monies have to be planned for and budgeted. It is against local government legislation to ‘just go and spend on a refurbishment, on a whim’. TCC had advanced notice of the project how much it would cost. If there is nothing to hide then why not publish the actually cost? Sneaky, dishonest grubs, that’s why.

      • Prince Rollmop says:

        Just Say’n;
        “ If the current generation had to pay for all of the infrastructure needed now and for the next 70 years without borrowings, then the current generation would really be on the bones of their arse”.

        Be careful, you are starting to sound like a local Councillor or State/Federal Pollie. They often say (in private) – ‘fuck that, why should we have to work hard and pay for huge infrastructure spends when the asset has a 50 year life cycle, future Councils will reap the benefits, and after all we only need to worry about spending for the next 3 or 4 years only’. Don’t believe me? I’ve personally heard it many times.

        • Addled says:

          Given your numerous displays of complete ignorance of any political process I suggest your claims to have had many private conversations with local, state and federal politicians is just plain bullshit.

      • Interested observer says:

        So Just Sayer, are you saying that no matter how much the council is in debt, and what the repayments are, it’s okay to spend money like a drunken sailor and just borrow more to cover it?
        And do you really think the interest rate is going to remain low indefinitely?
        I remember when we were paying 18% interest on our mortgages

  38. The Magpie says:

    Nope, sorry JB, way too long winded and rambling – 13 minutes of this bloke who just likes the sound of his own voice it – the repetitiveness is infuriating – and on a subject of passing relevance around here, is not something The ‘Pie is willing to foist on Nest readers. Edit it down to the core message – say three minutes tops – and it is a powerful message about misuse of police power in NSW. Do that and The ‘Pie will be happy to publish it.

    And don’t fret about your perception of The ‘Pie’s political leanings … knee jerk party stances are not the old bird’s go.

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      The budget is shite. It’s a lazy budget which is hardly surprising as we have a lazy Mayor and a lazy part-time CEO. The document is basically telling us that COVID is to blame for everything and we are going to borrow another $70m to add to the huge debt we hold. People, this Council is insolvent. They have no money and more money is going out than is coming in. They are kicking the can further down the road each day. There are some real problems beneath the TCC scab and one can only hope somebody rips the bandaid off sooner than later.

      • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

        Couldn’t acree more my fellow balloon (trying to stay in shape and avoid the Prics around us).

        I’m not especially political but I fear the only hope is that Phillip OAM and Kid Krisafulli maintain their rage and focus on TCC until the next state election then put the blowtorch on the ALP. With what we are seeing about transparency and honest from our local and state masters plumps new depths of darkness – Stalin could learn a thing or two about “revisionist history”.

  39. The Magpie says:

    Too good not to pass on … the best piss takes are the ones that could so easily be true.

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian has finally revealed the reason behind NSW’s strange COVID-19 data reporting structure, saying it is based on the same astrological analysis used to write horoscopes.
    “It’s seven cases since the last time Virgo entered Mercury and a further eleven cases since Venus crossed Taurus – as long as it’s not a full moon of course. Then it would be eighteen cases, five of which will be counted in tomorrow’s numbers. So you just take that number and add the number of days since Saturn aligned with Pieces and you have your total figure. It’s really all quite straight forward,” she said.

    Berejiklian passed to Dr Kerry Chant for further clarification. “You might think that telling the public how many people are infected is as simple as counting them, but it’s far more complex than that.
    “Firstly we can only release figures on a given day if that given day happens to be in Sagittarius AND a Thursday. If Venus is in alignment with Jupiter, well, forget it. If it looks like a go-er, then we simply multiply it by 17. Even a layman could understand that doesn’t merit a lockdown.”
    As Sky News reporter Nick Scaffold pushed for a demonstration, Ms Berejiklian tipped some Metamucil into the cauldron and briefly closed her eyes, uttering what appeared to be an incantation, before a puff of smoke protruded from her left nostril.
    “See? There? There!” she screamed, pointing excitedly on the handkerchief at what could have possibly been interpreted as the number 5. “There are tomorrow’s results!
    The NSW Fisheries spokesperson, who for some reason was also at the conference, suggested, “With the sun and Mercury moving across the sky from the solar seventh house, we have concluded that only 50% of Rugby League players should be allowed onto the Ruby Princess at any given time. Any more window lickers than that and we risk another Joh Bailey Hair Salon incident.”

  40. Doug Kingston says:

    Here’s another scoop for the Magpie blog (in other words a story tipoff for our finger-on-the-pulse local newspaper).

    Australia team training in Townsville.

    Old timers will recall that in the late 50s and early 60s Aussie swimming teams, including legends like Dawn Fraser, Murray Rose, Jon Hendricks. Lorraine Crapp etc, trained at Tobruk Pool on The Strand in preparation for the 1956, 1960 and 1964 Olympics.
    Well history is repeating itself because I’m reliably informed that our Olympic swimmers – well some of them anyway – are doing laps at Tobruk to get ready for Tokyo. Apparently half the team are in Townsville and the other half in Cairns.

    The photo is of Olympic gold medallist Matt Horton with a young fan (an Olympic prospect for 2036?) at the pool this week.

    Wonder how long it will take the Bully sports department – if they still have one – to catch up with the Olympic training camp in Townsville?
    Too busy publishing Cowboys media releases, I suspect.

  41. The Magpie says:

    Love him or hate him, you have to admit he knows how to play the game. Now Anna’s really got her tits caught in the political wringer.

    “Prime Minister Scott Morrison has offered to pay for a purpose-built quarantine facility next to Brisbane Airport to help get Australians home faster and limit further outbreaks.
    The surprise offer came in a letter to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Thursday night, and has the potential to end the bitter stalemate over the Wellcamp proposal at Toowoomba.
    The new hub, proposed for the Damascus Barracks at Pinkenba, would have 1000 beds and would help limit outbreaks from hotel quarantine.
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has offered to pay for a purpose-built quarantine facility next to Brisbane Airport to help get Australians home faster and limit further outbreaks.
    The new hub, proposed for the Damascus Barracks at Pinkenba, would have 1000 beds and would help limit outbreaks from hotel quarantine.”

    If she accepts – and she’ll look a total dunce if she doesn’t – she is going to have some interesting conversations with her mates, the Wagner family, owners of Wellcamp Airport, about why they’re going to miss out of such a government-funded business bonanza.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Toowoomba will be breathing a sigh of relief, not too many wanted it anyway, nothing but a distraction and drain on it’s already stretched health resources. You are right about Wagners, they are Toowoombas version of Lancini, built up an image of community minded locals supporting locals but the reality is they don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves and not liked by most in town. Puddleduck will have to come up with some other subsidised project to make up for this one, they will work something out I am sure.

    • The Magpie says:

      Hahahaha …. warble warble … told you so.
      Smirko has the George Street political amateurs in a right old tangle with his sudden offer of building a quarantine facility on Commonwealth land near Brisbane airport.

      On Thursday night, Smirko sent a letter to Anna Alphabet offering to provide land and the funding to build a 1000 bed quarantine facility at the old Damascus Barracks at Pinkenba, near the Brisbane Airport.
      Anna is not quite the biggest political tool around, and knows when the PM has her in the female equivalent of the Christmas Hold (the Commonwealth Finger Stall Hold, perhaps?) After a year of hiding behind her state governor-elect and dizzy ditz CMO to deflect responsibility for a economy so unnecessarily damaged by inane covid rulings, she is on the same tack now on the quarantine facility, and has shoved The Little Boy Called Smiley over the parapet to take on the PM politically.

      And this flapdoodling fool is so flustered, he’s already been caught out lying straight up in response to the offer.
      In a confused and gabbled media interview, Miles said:
      (The Pinkenba barracks) was one of the sites already identified by the State Government, but it was in part ruled out due to contamination and asbestos in the old buildings.’

      But then without taking a breath (always a good rule for liars) he says:
      “We’ve looked at it on Google Maps but we’ll need people to get out there on the ground and look at how the facility can be developed and kept safe.”

      Mr Miles, a polite question or two. So you are saying that you managed to reach a conclusion about the unsuitability of the site contamination without an inspection, or when did the Commonwealth give you permission to go on to a defence force site? While it is still in use for critical items for storage? If so, when?

      But wait, hang on … a moment later, you’re saying that to make a decision on this possible development, (what decision, you moron? The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘thank you’) you have to get people ‘out there on the ground’ to see how a safe facility can be developed. But surely you had that evidence and information BEFORE you ruled out Damascus Barracks as a possible site? I mean, didn’t you?

      Google fucking maps indeed, you really do take us for utter fools, don’t you, you gormless hack.

      There’s an even more disturbing aspect than just your lack of gracious acceptance of Commonwealth funding to build a facility better located for the ease and comfort of people who will involuntarily and compulsorily lose their freedom for two weeks. No, you boorishly and without any response to its shortcoming, go on and on with your government’s insistence that Wellcamp is a better choice.

      You ‘protesteth a tad too much’, sport. What is the deal with the Wagner family, the Wellcamp Airport owners, that hasn’t been revealed?

      This is on the nose the big time, it is just crass small minded politicking without a single thought for the good of those quarantined, their families and more importantly, the state economy.

      In short, another rort seems to be hiding in there somewhere.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        Yeah Pie! Left hook to the face, right jab to the torso and an upper cut right under the chin for good measure!!! It’s a knockout, The Pie wins :)

      • Al says:

        Steven “pants down a mile”

      • Westie says:

        Magpie, are you saying here is an improper relationship between the Labor State Government and Wagners. First I have heard of it. Evidence?

        It seems to me that the Morrison Government is only doing what it should have done over a year ago- manage quarantine. However the nature of this Trumpian style government is never to admit a mistake. The Toowoomba site is out, because it was the Labor State Govenment’s idea. Maybe the new site is a good one- if so go for it. Unfortunately the recent history of the Libs under Scomo is I doubt if he cares if it a good site or not- he just wants a political problem to go away.

        At the moment, I trust the State Government more than I do the Federal.

  42. Mike Douglas says:

    Townsville City Council is a Autocracy not a Democracy says both independent Councillors Fran Ocallaghan and Sue Bloom when they tried to save $700, 000 off the Council budget the Mayor requested the motion be “speed up ” and the Team Hill Councillors voted against the savings that would reduce Councils $1.8 mil deficit 2021/22 . The Mayor always in a hurry either when she is attending an event ( comes in handy avoiding those pesky ratepayers and business owners ) that dare complain or ask pertinent questions . Can anyone verify Sue Blooms concerns that the 5% early discount has been removed for non occupier owners ? .

  43. The Magpie says:

    No, Barely, you’re right, fat shaming isn’t allowed here … your comment not not published because, mate, that was just nasty, and towards someone trying to do something about our crime wave. A surprising departure from your usual standard.

    • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Fair enough Magpie – just made me smile. No offence taken.

      • The Magpie says:

        The Magpie will be honest- checking it out, The ‘Pie will admit to a private similar reaction, especially wondering if the Astonisher was being snide. But still, that’s their affair, which isn’t worth amplifying.

  44. Prince Rollmop says:

    Interesting world finances this week- Europe, USA and Australia all flagging rising inflation will result in interest rate rises in 2022. Seems that the Ponzi scheme is faltering and our debt ridden countries are starting to buckle. So, with rising inflation, a housing bubble of overpriced houses and interest rises coming next year, how will this affect Councils coffers considering that the incompetent Mayor and lazy part-time CEO want to add another $70m to that bright red bank account?? You would hope that the Councillors are paying close attention to the world markets considering the potential ramifications. Or are they all blindly bedazzled by the mystique of Mayor Mullet.

  45. In the trenches says:

    Pie do my eyes deceive me ?
    Page 6 bottom left a Tcc ad claiming 0% rate rise .
    Surely the advertising and publishing standards should protect us from false and misleading statements.
    Our rates include Water (5% increase ) and waste (3% increase ) how does that equate to 0% . ?

    • The Magpie says:

      Bulletin maths at their best.

    • NQ Gal says:

      Shell Shocked – General Rates haven’t increased. Water and waste are utility charges which is a separate line item on the Rates Notice, but it should definitely be explained better.

      I do believe however that Council have snuck in a backdoor increase for landlords in that the miniscule discount for early payment no longer applies. Watch how many people will just not pay rates on their rental properties by the due date if there is no incentive to do so.

      • Westie says:

        Rental vacanies are at a historic low, and rents are increasing. What an opportunity for landlords to pass on a 5% (or more) increase to renters and blame (rightly) the Council.

        Money does not grow on trees.

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        It’s not really a discount. People were charged an additional 10% if they did not pay within the payment period. All commercial ratepayers have actually received a 5% across the board (and on top of the additional charges) increase on their rates but the meeedia haven’t bothered to question it.

  46. Dave of Kelso says:

    Nice to see a bit of good news for once. Somehow I suspect Clive Palmer will not make good company around the dinner table tonight. (or any night perhaps? )


  47. The Magpie says:

    EXCLUSIVE: George Floyd killer Derek Chauvin has been jailed for his deep religious beliefs.

    Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22.5 years in jail for murdering George Floyd in May 2020 after a trial that was widely seen as a watershed moment in the history of US policing.
    Chauvin, who appeared in court for the sentencing, had asked the judge through his lawyer to sentence him to probation, writing that the murder of Floyd was “best described as an error made in good faith”.

    So you see, Chauvin is the real victim here, he was actually spending those nine minutes praying in ‘good faith’, unaware that George Floyd’s neck was under his knee. And for that he gets 22 and a half years!?!

    C’mon, give the guy a break, as his fellow in mates are sure to do to a rogue cop … first a leg, then an arm, his own neck later.

    • Achilles says:

      I have never been able to understand how Floyd was able to say he couldn’t breath, If you can’t breath then you can’t say anything.

      Asphyxiation was not the cause of death, so how can Chauvin be guilty?

      Shades of the Rodney King case maybe? when riots (mass looting) broke out when the 3 officers were (correctly) found not guilty.

      So to appease the mob rather than satisfy justice they were tried again in (kangaroo) court and of course the baying mob (and probably shop keepers) got the result they wanted irrespective of truth in justice.

      • The Magpie says:

        That is surprising, unsupportable nonsense, doubly so coming from you of all people. Have a bad night or something?

  48. The Magpie says:

    News Corpse and maths … the twain shall never meet.

    Today’s on-line Courier.

    900,000, eh? Or 12% of the entire NSW population? If that were true – it’s not, the real but just as unbelievable figure is 87,000, which the paper tried tom round out to 90,000 – it would create another record of sorts … Queensland shiny bum pen pushers would have processed 17,400 application each day (allowing for no work weekends). That is a task which on past performance would take between 6 months to a year, unless you have a dying father, then it will be a fortnight.

    • Dr Felchy says:

      So now it is ‘sleeper COVID’?! What a load of fucking dribble. They just keep making this nonsense up as they go along.

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