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The Magpie

Sunday, January 14th, 2018   |   210 comments

As Alice Said. Curiouser And Curiouser  … But Our Wonderland Is The Townsville Council’s Answer The Adani Airstrip Criticism.

And appropriately, the half truth and selective reporting in the Astonisher has come from Domanii Cameron on her final day with the paper.

During the week, the big stink around town was literal and maybe turned deadly … the council is tight-lipped about a mishap at a sewerage works that is reportedly killing wildlife on the Town Common …

And a tale of two cities: the latest newspaper readership figures show the Townsville Bulletin continues its slide into irrelevance, while the Cairns Post is on the rebound.

And what Fido can tell you about fidelity.

And please note on the right of your screen, rolling through every few seconds, two new advertisers have decided to get valuable exposure in the weekly Nest

But first …

Rocky Horror Irony

The overblown and questionable (as in unproven and unprovable) claims against song and dance man Craig McLachlan has had everybody clutching their pearls to their throats during the week. But most have missed the massive irony that McLachlan’s alleged sins took place during a musical show that has remained popular and lauded for more than 40 years for its promotion of kinky naughtiness and depiction of rape-like seduction.

But that irony hasn’t been lost on our cleverman Bentley, who allows some of the Rocky Horror Show lyrics – with one tiny alteration, see if you can spot it – to highlight the hypocrisy of life imitating art.

Sweet transvestite

But The ‘Pie must ask, whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? If the multiple claims (and numbers are not proof) are true – one in particular which would be classed legally as digital rape – then he’s a grub who deserves all the censure and cost he has incurred. But what if they’re not true? The cost will be just the same.

And we will never know the truth of the matter unless McLachlan admits to it, which he vehemently does not – boy, have we ever awarded ourselves a dystopian world of its own special rocky horror.


During the week, a deep thinker and dog lover posted this guide to infidelity.

dog sex scandal

Obviously an American import, but The ‘Pie suddenly realised that we shouldn’t be laughing too loud in this neck of the woods. Those depicted have all been found out, but seems we in Oz have the tell-tale proof of our own down-in-the-mouth doggies yet to declare the extracurricular activities. We speak of course to what are referred to in polite circles as Canberra Calisthenics, otherwise described as Political Playtime On The Posturepedic’.

Are certain people in Canberra thinking about Craig McLachlan and muttering ‘There but for the grace of God ….’

Bill Shorten grimacing

And it goes across party lines.

Malcolm Turnbull

There’s a lot of sheep in New England, or New Zealand, or wherever, who probably have sent secret emails of their dags …

Barnaby Joyce 2

… and other daydreaming about how green is her valley…

Richard di Natale 3

… but our new found tell-tale alert also raises questions, as in this case, where the question is: whose the lucky bastard?

tamya plibesek

No Such Shenanigans In The ‘Ville, Though

Checking through various pix, The ‘Pie reckons fang farrier Darryl Holmes could lend his business slogan to this toothsome pair… just the reversal of two letters and bingo – a joint slogan for Townsville Enterprise and the Townsville Council.

Jenny and Patircia

1300 SmLIES

Did The TCC Make The Our Wetlands The Deadlands?

OK, a touch of Astonisher overstatement there but …

The Magpie published a startling bit of information from a trusted source during the week.

The Magpie 

January 9, 2018 at 12:48 pm  (Edit)

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.

Town common -

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?

Well, over the days there was nothing forthcoming in terms of solid proof for this claim, but then, of a sudden, a (different) informed source tells us that shortly after news of this debacle appeared in comments, a senior council bum polisher stormed out to the Mount St John site, gathered the workers together and went thermo-nuclear about leaks to not the media but to – ta da – The Magpie (Flattered as usual, thanks, humblebrag, humblebrag). Now there are jokes to be made about leaks from a sewerage works, but this got serious, right down to people’s jobs being threatened … apparently on suspicion but also possibly for being responsible for the cock-up in the first place.

It was made worse, The ‘Pie is told, by the fact that the executive spray was prompted by an inquiry about the incident from the Astonisher (they are The ‘Pie’s most avid readers, and give a little cheer when they get a mention or a story lead.). Needless to say, with Anthony Simpleton, the putative head of media and the likes of Labor arse licker little Dickie The Poisoned Dwarf Holliday gatekeeping council information, the paper was easily fobbed off (‘dearie me, no, how could you think such a thing, nothing in it, that lying Magpie, and I’ll see you at your farewell drinkies tonight Domani – several councillors are going to be there, you’ve been such a good good council girl’).

But if nothing happened, why the jack-boot visit to staff to threaten their jobs? And just for the record, The ‘Pie is happy to say that none of the information came from a council employee.

The Battles Of Philip Batty Continue

And he got in a nice little uppercut in during the week. In addition to the CCC passing on two of his three complaints about the mayor to the Department of Infrastructure (see last week’s blog), Mr Batty now has the Queensland ombudsman involved, who is also looking at his claims.

But things are moving quickly.

Now there have been revelations that Wagner’s announcing that after four years (yes, four years) of discussions with Adani – and no one else – they have contracted with the Indian company to build and operate the airport. Which will be owned by Adani. If the project ever goes ahead. And will involve NO income for the TCC’s $18.5million contribution.

The Karma Sutra Expert of Townsville Politics

The Indian classic naughty book The Karma Sutra will, as you will obviously know, specialize in positions of the intimate kind and how to get the old lingnam together with the yoni for a bit of recreational refreshment. So it would seem that Her Wankery Mayor Mullet – apparently of late a keen student of all things Indian – has decided to adapt the Karma Sutra to local politics.

She has experimented with so many positions on the Adani airstrip fiasco that makes a nonsense of the standard phrase ’policy position’.

For a succinct summary of where we stand – or more likely, touching our toes and gritting our teeth – allow The ‘Pie to defer to reader Memory Man in comments.

Memory Man

January 13, 2018 at 9:40 am  (Edit)

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.

In fact or in fiction, there is only one side getting screwed by this dishonest contortionist – that would be YOU, the Townsville ratepayer.

What can we say but Wham, bam, and thank you ma’am.

But All This Again Prompted The Very real Question – Just Who Is Running This Town?

The ‘Townsville Council’, according to the Bulletin, made things even more interesting in a story which was fittingly Domanii Cameron’s last story for the paper (and for the council)
Screen shot 2018-01-13 at 10.27.19 PMNB terrific how the paper downgrades what could be major corruption or governance misbehaviour by our council into a dismissive ‘squabble’.

The reporter kept quoting an unnamed ‘council spokesman’ saying he dismissed Mr Batty’s claims of irregularities. But the clincher from the same unnamed council source who said ‘’repeated and inaccurate claims ‘(about the airstrip) came from people running political campaigns to stop the coal industry.

WHOA!!! As that nice Mr Meatloaf says, now hold it right there, I gotta know right now!

What in blue blazes is a ‘council spokesman’ – by description that can only mean a paid staffer, and an anonymous one at that  – making politically biased statements like that and speaking to a matter that can only rightly be addressed by our elected representatives? Reluctance to allow mega-goof and acting Mayor Les Walker anywhere near a serious media matter is understandable, but as they say in court, that may ‘explain but does excuse’ the hired help piping up. Again, Dickie The Poisoned Dwarf and/or Simpleton spring to mind, and neither have a mandate to make political statements with which a large section of the rate-paying, voting public oppose. It would be wrong even said public agreed with them.

Anyway Domanii, nice to see some of your council chums along to see you off – must say, Adolf’s looking far from heart broken that you’re wisely pissing orf..

image1Memo Jenna Cairney


Townsville Bulletin

Jenna Cairney 2

The Magpie is reliably informed that you, unlike your predecessors, have taken a shine to Townsville and hubby and nipper are moving here soon if not already. That commitment to this poor old town is commendable, unlike your predecessor, who couldn’t wait to be shot of the place. The ‘Pie is also informed that you have publicly stated that you want to be more positive in The Astonisher’s (aka Townsville Bulletin) news pages, which is also commendable.

But here’s the thing. A whole line of your predecessors mistook and refused to question unsustainable fleeting suggestions (known somewhat uncharitably in this blog as ‘thought farts’) – suggestions often aimed at boosting the popularity of those sorely in need of credibility – for done-deal conclusive issues. People like our mayor, or Little Patty O’Callaghan at TEL, who spends her professional life treading water, so out of her depth she finds herself, or certain developers, one of whom is actually a crook, but still get laudatory space in the Astonisher. Sadly, almost all of these bright ideas are not critically examined in professional journalistic fashion, and are just parroted into print, with the result that the paper makes as ass of itself regularly to those who – unlike the paper’s apparent misapprehension – are not fucking idiots.

But when the usual suspects – known hereabouts as the Gilded Few – aren’t throwing out their self-interested little gems, the paper seems to have caught their fever for making inane statement without attribution (therefore personal opinion), explanation or a shred of proof in the news columns.

An instance.

Screen shot 2018-01-13 at 10.13.42 AM

Now here is a very readable story in itself which the News Corpse chaff mill would welcome around the globe. But then Mr Backhouse ramps up a story that stands up by itself with the lame crutch of this opening statement:

Screen shot 2018-01-13 at 10.14.03 AM

Nowhere in the story is anyone quoted as suggesting this … possibly because it is a desperate attempt by Mr Backhouse to follow your dictum of being ‘more positive’. As you of course know, being positive and being stupid should be worlds apart in journalism, the difference often policed by sub-editors.

What’s that, what are sub-editors you ask? Those are the skilled long-serving folk who mentored and guided people like Mr Backhouse and all your young tyros, but who were all unceremoniously sacked in a job lot about 8 years ago, as it was laughingly decided – purely on monetary grounds – that reporters could do their work, too. Well, they can’t.

The result is a newspaper whose real competition is MAD Magazine, except a lot funnier.

Good luck in your endeavours, Miss Cairney, what between a skimpy budget, a rapacious Holt Street, junior staff and your predecessors susceptibility to venality, you’re gunna need, m’dear.

Yours in fading hope,

Magpie, The Esq.

What A Cokc Pu.

Now that may all harmless frippery, but this …

Screen shot 2018-01-12 at 9.42.36 AM

… is getting serious . This lazy, sloppy little bit of amateurism can’t be covered by the paper’s usual close enough is good enough policy … because this involves MONEY. What dwindling money this busted arse publication makes comes mainly from real estate and cars, and when you start making such glaring fuck-ups as this, the people who pay the bills … the advertisers … start to have second thoughts. There is already a stampede away from the Bulletin across to on-line sites To counter this, the Astonisher, instead of spending some money on sub-editors whose first language is English, has come up with the Castle Club twaddle, which is reportedly cut-price packages … AND four annual nibbles and free piss knees ups (known as ‘networking’).

Sounds awfully like membership of the Dudley Do Nothings … only cheaper … much cheaper … and at least you do get something for your money.

But The Grimness Of The Numbers Has Been Cruelly Underlined In The Latest Readership Figures

These figures for the third quarter of last year speak for themselves, and the salt in the wound you will see is the comparative performances of the Townsville Bulletin and the Cairns Post

Screen shot 2018-01-13 at 3.50.03 PM

Screen shot 2017-11-09 at 10.17.50 PM 

Bot weekday and weekend Bulletins are down around a whopping 20% over a year – the cairns Post on the other hand seems to have found some magic formula and is increasing its readership.  To thrive again, Townsville must regain a credible, honest newspaper that people trust and respect as one of our core pillars of growth … News Ltd has damaged this town immensely through its greed and bad decisions.

Other Matters …

Given the undeniable crime wave – particularly car theft – by mainly little indigenous little snots around town, The ‘Pie wonders if they will ever get enough education to graduate to this sort car theft perfected by Pommy tea leaves. Nary a shattered window, jimmied door or hot wired start. A tribute to our amazing modern world.

And finally ,,,

Seems the egregious Donald Trump isn’t sure of Australia’s status in his racist world. But here’s a map of Trump’s global view, as seen by Kuper in the New Yorker.

Kuper in the New Yorker…………

That’s it for this week, comments bound to be lively so like Labor voters get in early and often for your say. And now you’re in the vicinity, the How To Donate button is right below you … feel free to give it a test run, it will both much appreciated and most helpful to keep the blog aloft.

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.

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