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The Magpie

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019   |   125 comments

From ‘No Water Crisis’ To Permanent Water Restrictions? Mayor Mullet Swims Upstream

The TCC has just announced revised but renewed water restrictions, without the decency of an explanation.   Are they permanent? And if so, why, and will water rates be suitably reduced? Or are they just letting out water infrastructure settle down after the flood (ha!)?Another masterstroke from the council officially found to operate a ‘culture of secrecy’.

Also … The ‘Pie recently indulged himself with a small rant about police representatives so often turning the narrative to the ‘trauma’ suffered by officers when they attended confronting events, and in some cases pushing the real victims into the background. Well, it would seem Bulletin iditor Jenna Cairney has taken a leaf out that playbook, giving her own staff hero status … for simply doing their jobs. Now it’s got really embarrassing.

Also this week,  a tiny overlooked flaw in the new stadium makes a mockery of the paper’s completely silly look into its future …

And why didn’t we think of it: the Pope’s obvious insight into the sinning of Cardinal Pell.

(Bentley is on a break this week.)

So first

As Nana Used To Say, Self Praise Is No Recommendation.

By tradition,  print and online journalists have always sought the powerful but respected recognition of their work through by-lines, never unnecessarily inserting themselves into any scenario they are writing about, and generally they and their work used only to come in the public spotlight around Walkley time. Times have changed, and journalists are now players rather than observers,  as perceived glamour and power infest newsroom and the minds of those undignified and egotistical enough not to know better.

Jenna Cairney’s cliched gurgling about the Bulletin staff’s  reporting of the floods(indeed admirable if after the fact) has taken wing on a monsoon of congratulatory self-praise, which is bound to end in a crash landing. The Bulletin’s people certainly did their work under difficult circumstances, meriting an in-house herogram. But the self-congratulation, carrying the hidden agenda of regaining public trust, is reaching a nauseating stage.

But it was this excerpt from a two page AD for themselves that raised the hackles of some.

Bulletin boast

Jenna Cairney’s particular take on the role of digital media is simply nonsense – amply demonstrated by an angry reader below, reinforced by the utter tripe about the the  nature of the Astonisher’s FIFO staff (bye bye, Clare Armstrong,  leaving so soon, after what, 12-15 months?).

And one of those looking askance at that empty breast beating was a person very prominent in the fight for Townsville water security who sent this email into The Nest. She chooses to remain anonymous at this stage, obviously mindful of the albeit waning power of the paper and the propensity of News Corpse to bully people.  She writes:

Oh Jenna. It goes without saying that the community is sad at the now widely publicised loss of your possessions and property damage during the flood. It’s also sad that Bulletin journos (who were doing their job covering the event), came home to a stressful reality. Many people who were on duty and others who were simply volunteering that night, met with similar devastating scenes.

So why the need to raise your staff’s salaried contribution above others in that two page essay? (Feb. 28th – excerpt above). 

The difference is, that in your role as a Newscorp editor, you can take out a free double page ad that more than hints that Bulletin staff were behaving altruistically. It’s your job and theirs Jenna, to cover local events and to report the stories. It’s what newspapers do. 

As for “breaking news”, sorry, the reality is that the official sources and conventional media combined, did not provide as much timely information as they could have, either in the lead-up or now beyond the inundation. The lag time is well known and the nature of alternative news sources most people turn to now. 

Social media was way ahead from the get-go with updates and locals were able to have real time conversations street by street. Twitter and other apps were abuzz. The online Bulletin discussion was comparatively quiet. A new FB group NQ Disaster Watch and Noticeboard was convened within hours and membership swelled to over 30,000 in a day or so. If mainstream media (MSM)  like yourself were the go to source, there’d have been no need or the huge momentum that saw this community group formed. Other social media groups connected so the updates were informed, continuous, and illustrated with live footage and heartbreaking images of the unfolding event. Many of these were subsequently used by MSM. 

Beyond the critical hours, was the paper the first media source to warn and educate residents about the deadly likelihood of meliodosis? How about Ross River and Dengue fever? Instead, a freshwater croc up a gum tree was a major headline, so much so that it became a Newscorp icon nationally. 

croc up tree in floods 

Will the Bulletin give other local groups a free column or page to boast about their contribution? How about the army, SES, police, charity groups, volunteers from near and far, neighbours helping each other, strangers risking their lives to rescue people and pets? 

Further claims in your Feb. 28 essay are frankly unrelated. Helping to get funding for water infrastructure? The one-year-wonder fifo journo who first took credit for this, has moved on already, with this spurious claim on her CV. The paper always publishes the truth? Only local journos contribute? Paul Murray is local? While we’re at it … who are “real” people?

This story hasn’t come across as intended Ms. Cairney. At least there were only a few grammatical errors. 

So take off the true blue Aussie hero cape wee Scottish lassie and stop telling the local community they are a breed apart. That label is better reserved for some prominent individuals who spruik or are spruiked about in your small scale publication. 

Whew, The ‘Pie will be out of a job at this rate.

Jenna, the fact that you felt you had to say what you’ve said … vulgar, condescending trite waffle while at the same time desperately pleading to be loved … gives the lie to the fact that YOU KNOW the Bulletin lost any real touch with this community a long time ago, and you hoped this was an opportunity to re-establish this limping paper as part of the core of this community. Given the immediacy of your paean of praise, so soon after the crisis and is still an on-going emergency, readers (such as they are) can smell the desperation. And this embarrassing overkill in claiming some sort of achievement by your troops when they were simply doing the jobs they were trained for and are paid to do, has all but wiped out any goodwill the paper re-established through an outstanding effort of after the fact reporting one of the city’s greatest disasters.

But Hey, Maybe That’s Your Idea Of A Welcome Mat

Wonder who’ll be winging in for this one.

Seek 1Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 1.25.02 pm Seek 2

Hey, maybe the mayor will name and shame you if you don’t choose a local to take the helm. Oh, wait a sec … not likely, given that the mayor who took a wet lettuce leaf to smack insurance companies who might dare to use out-of-town tradies to fix up flood damage, appeared a tad hypocritical. Apart from buying her mayoral chariot (plus shipping costs to Townsville) out of revengeful spite in Brisbane, Jenny Hill chose not to ‘buy local’ when she needed legal representation in her losing stoush against Clive Palmer’s defamation matter. Instead, this firm in Adelaide Street in Brisbane.

Forked tongue doesn’t even start to describe it … especially when she uses the VIP lounge of the airline she wanted us all to boycott … Qantas.

The Chatterati At Full Pelt Over Clive’s Guest List

Speaking of Clive Palmer, perhaps more has been made of just who didn’t attend his so aptly titled Titanic dinner, rather than who did. Plenty of Townsville C-lister desperates rolled up, and plenty named on the table plan were no shows. The standard reply when asked why they went along from some was curiosity (fair enough) and others for the feed and free booze (even more honest). Several said the tucker was terrific. Plenty of ice buckets too, one imagines.

Like everyone else, The ‘Pie trolled through the list and had a quiet chortle at a few of the freeloaders, but read nothing into it, all pretty predictable.

Except one. Check out who was, apparently sitting next to our old mate, Tony Raggatt on Table 20.

Clive dinner list93176eb72e8ad794ad77a9d0280d99c1 2

One Andrew Crook, who presumably (if he turned up, and can’t imagine he wouldn’t have) flew in for the event from his Gold Coast base. Now The ‘Pie wasn’t there, and it turns out Australia has Andrew Crooks surplus to requirements, including a well regarded legal eagle. But the old bird’s money betting that it was this bloke, Clive’s former media adviser.

Andrew crook with Clive Palmer5978968-3x2-700x467

Hey Clive, if that is external lap band surgery for your tucker intake …mate, it ain’t working.

Now Mr Crook is a kinda upfront guy, who for a couple of decades ran his own media company with the very upfront name Crook Media. Based, where else, on the Gold Coast. And it is Crook’s good fortune that his old boss didn’t have his Titantic knees-up off-shore, because, unless things have changed, Mr Crook‘s passport has been in the custody of the AFP wallopers for a few years now. This is why.

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 9.29.05 pm

The matter return to court on a most appropriate date , April 1, where a trail date may finally be set.

Not wishing to pre-judge anything, but The ‘Pie hopes that after Mr Raggatt shook hands with his dining neighbour, he counted his fingers.

When The Real News Goes Away …

… and Jenny and Lil Patty are back farting rainbows for the The Astonisher to print, wonder how long before the money sinkhole called ‘our new stadium’ will be back centre stage. One would like to think that recent events might have caused some nervous reassessment of this foolhardy waste of public money.

It’s the classic good news and bad news. The good is this, reported by Australian Leisure Management magazine:

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 9.51.06 pm

The Queensland Department of Housing and Public Works, leading the delivery of the new stadium, has advised that while the site was affected by some water logging as a result of the extreme rainfall event it did not experience overland flooding.

The Department advised “100,000m3 of fill was used to raise the building platform above the Q100 flood level before construction commenced.”

Which is as it should be, but while that is an accurate summation, it’s not good news at all for the short sighted, bull headed rush to built this white elephant.

A little while ago, we got this pants-wetting dopey glop from the Astonisher.

Barr 1Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 6.04.28 pm

Bit late in the day to realise this snippet of the bleedin’ obvious, you’d think, especially for a council and government who both love a good old, protracted jobs-for-the-boys business study followed by a feasibility study for as a trifling matter as what to do with some dilapidated tin sheds on Flinders Street West.

But in the hands of the nameless author of this inane bit of tub thumping (hi, Jenna, that you again, luvvie?) the blind idiocy reaches new heights when we read this:

Barr 2Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 6.13.02 pm


Sure, perhaps it should’ve been: with a population one third again as large as Dunedin, and high profile footy team like the Cowboys, Townsville would be set to match that part. But The Astonisher yarn goes on …

Barr 3

But there may be a teensy weensy problem with the entertainment ideas when compared with the Barr Stadium. Here, see if you can spot it … here’s the Forsyth Barr (just two ‘r’s, thanks, Jenna) …


Forsyth Barr stadium, Dunedin

…and here’s what our new economic saviour is going to look like when finished.

stadium latest

Spot the difference? Yes, your right, one’s GOT A BLOODY ROOF AND THE OTHER HASN’T.

Bottom lime: our new stadium may be flood proof, but it certainly isn’t rain proof for any entertainment ambitions. And entertainment business is risky enough, don’t think that won’t be noticed.

Once again, the vision of Mr Magoo infests our planning leadership.

Speaking Of Which, Two Questions …

Have a look at this, then contemplate two questions:

business as usual

  1. If the staff at the counter in Walker Street can tell you what you want to know if you visited the Flinders Street office, why do we have extra staff to do that in a rented CBD premises (when its open)?
  2. Why open an office in this location anyway, the sadly true dead heart of Townsville, where there are bugger all people wandering about? Why not at say The Willows, Stockland, or Castletown? Or have they done that, lots of votes out that way, y’know?

This wouldn’t an abortive attempt yet again for Mayor Mullet to use public money for her electoral campaigning? Nah, she wouldn’t do that. Would she?

And Seems Another Magpie Prediction Is True

On more than one occasion, The ’Pie has suggested we need to change our approach to water usage in Townsville, and has been waiting for the well reasoned debate on the issue. Fat chance.

That’s not the way they do things down in the Hermit Kingdom in Walker Street. It is ‘rule by fiat’ and stop whingeing and wanting a say in these matters, peasants. With the amount of water around at the moment, this TCC ad in the Astonisher yesterday – phrased to make it sound like happy days are here again – is apparently Mayor Mullet’s way of announcing water restrictions are here to stay.

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 10.42.46 am

Screen Shot 2019-03-03 at 8.03.32 amThis may indeed be a sensible and prudent forward looking move,  but questions remain dangling … in the face of the inundation that has just sucker-punched our city, isn’t the almost comical announcement worthy of an explanation? But more importantly, will we keep paying for water we can’t use? Will water rates be reduced?  Wouldn’t like to be in a dark room with George Pell waiting for an answer to that one.

Speaking Of His Un-Eminence, In Defence Of George Pell, By The Pope

karikatur für tribüne-vertuschung

The simplest undeniable defence that the kiddy-fiddling cardinal could have used came too late for him.   No less than the Pope had the excuse for Pell’s abominable actions a few days ago in Rome … Pell is, according to the Pontiff, a victim in all this. This from comments during the week.

The Magpie 

February 27, 2019 at 12:32 am  (Edit)

Can you believe it? The best the Pope can do is say child abuse was Satan’s doing … in other words, THE DEVIL MADE HIM DO IT!!! There was a time when that would’ve been a few hail marys and off to another parish to prey on. Perhaps that has changed now, but not a skerrick of real responsibility, just the old fairytales that have always worked before.

They have either learnt nothing, or will continue to trust their evil style of infrastructure that invites – nay, virtually guarantees – abuses, and not just sexual ones, but emotional ones as well. The devil is indeed involved, but he’s not at the gates, he’s got the keys to the city. Vatican City, it would seem. (And all other religions, bar none).

But for all that, The ‘Pie totally agrees with one conclusion of the Vatican meeting of the boys in their pretty dresses and helicopter caps … they said something concrete must be done about the child abuse by the predatory priests.

Too right it must, and allow The ‘Pie to suggest that this would be a the most effective CONCRETE idea …

Screen Shot 2019-02-27 at 12.32.38 am

… these should applied with great force to the offending anatomy to ALL paedophiles … but make sure you keep your thumbs clear.

It’s A Week Of Questions, So Here’s Another from Comments

Well it is a hot air event, Canberra’s annual festival of Balloons. But there was a disgraceful excess of it before any flight lifted off.

So here’s the question: How is this OK for public consumption, kiddies and adults alike …

ky Whale

… but this is not?

Golliwog balloon

Answer: Because some disturbed PC drop kick judged that it looked like a golliwog, and thus had it banned from entering the event.

But what if it does look like a ‘golliwog’ to some (it nowhere near does, anyway)… maybe to black people, it might make them feel included? Did anyone ask?

And the swerve in eligibility is a bit late in the day, as this completely unremarked appearance in 2011 attests.

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 10.45.42 pm

Think we need another pair of bricks.

When The Book Is Written, It Will Be Called ‘Trump And Consequences’

This week’s gallery from the world according to Trump, who it would appear, has met his match.

20190226edbbc-a 20190226edhoc-a 7_78 hanoi_color 20190226edhan-a 205_222249 cb022819dapr 9_63 5_105 Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump goes to Vietnam 20190216edstc-a D0IxCcJWwAEG0N_

And Finally, Is Theresa May’s Brexit Rocket Finally About To Blast Off?



The world has survived another week, so look back and start working up your outrage and have a thunder in the comments, which run 24/7. As you know, this load of old cobblers is a labour of love (for Townsville) by The ‘Pie, and it will always be free, but if you can help defray blog costs and the estimated five days it takes to put this weekly missive together, a donation is always appreciated and most helpful. The how-to-donate button is below.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.


  1. Spooka says:

    Catholic Church? A global conglomerate of Social Engineers?, Crowd controllers? Big, Big Business? Evil, Evil history? Paedophile sanctuary? we could go on and on but really just an evil organization as is most religion is. A God? pigs arse there is.

  2. Miss Lou says:

    Will you apply for the position as GM?

    Always good,
    Always entertaing.

    Miss Lou.

  3. Willy wonka says:

    Is there a hold up in the state government with the Inquiry into the water realease from the dam? It’s all gone very quiet. Just asking if there’s been any more talk.

  4. Mike Douglas says:

    Nearly one month after the floods and where’s the transparency from T.C.C. and the Mullet on estimated costs in repairing the city ?. T.C.C. must have a $ estimate as the Mullet did her tour of Canberra with her begging bowl.
    From past experience the Mullet cannot multiskill abd has pissed off so many of the major investors in Townsville Parkside Group ,Lancini , Qantas the list goes on so we need a plan . Alternatively we need to know, based on T.C.C.,s precarious financial position how the rebuild will be funded .

  5. Old tradesman says:

    Why is it that two properties still haven’t given permission to let the pipe line go through? I would have thought this would have been sorted out prior to starting the project.

    • The Magpie says:

      Headlong rush for votes.

    • Grumpy says:

      OT, that was my first reaction when I read the story. Fucking idiots. Don’t they realise that you sign the pre~nup before you buy the wedding dress?

    • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

      You might want to ask the two legal “eagles” (using the term very loosely) managing it for TCC – the evil Connie Navarro from Enema-Mate and the inept in-house counsel Graeme Finlayson – what went wrong.

      I am told they are attempting to steamroll two cattle property owners by claiming that the bush is just the bush and therefore worthless. But at least two owners are pushing back and have engaged their own legal team.

      • The Magpie says:

        That brings up an interesting. Navarro, who had a lot to do with the Bluewater shennigans including the intimidation of the neighbour bof the Navarro family property, grazier Sandra Richards, has learnt a thing or two from her boss, Bazza The Legal Foghorn Taylor. Story that in the late eighties early nineties, Bazza was on the bare bones of his arse, and then suddenly weasled his way into a gig acting for multiple landholders out west where land was being resumed for a rail line. Bazza made a motza, gouging his clients (he wanted a million of one grazier, who gave an earthy two word answer involving sex and travel … Baz had to settle for the lot less.) The Magpie was put in mind of that little tale because clearly acting for clients in this scenario is something in which The Foghorn has some experience.

        Sooooo … it will be interesting to see if Enema Legal tries for representation of the hold-out landholders … massive conflict of interest if Navarro is advising the council. Might not be, might be council legal attack dog Tony Bligh. Hmmm, one wonders … worth watching.

        • Droopy draws says:

          Scary thing is Pie, they’re trying to dip their grubby fingers into those handling the the $180M irrigation scheme out west too…

        • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

          Word is the landowners have engaged a reputable firm of Burdekin lawyers to represent them.

          Without knowing which landowners are involved, the sorts of people in that area are the Cox’s (of David and Sam fame – old-school Burdekin cane mafia), Meehan’s (iconic local cattle family and known to be good blokes), McCahills (civil contractors and landscaping) and Turners’ (of Turner’s Transport and Bushland Beach development) along with some names which weren’t so recognisable to anyone with history in this town.

          None of these families are people to take on lightly or thoughtlessly. Might be worth getting some popcorn and a choc-top as this will be fun to watch.

          • Plannit Townsville says:

            Think you are getting a little excited there…

            January council minutes…
            “Consultation, negotiations and land access and easement agreements have been executed with three private land owners, Cox (Ch. 840m to 2600m), Ievers (Ch. 6400m to 10,700m) and Lyons (Ch. 12,750m to 17,400m) and negotiations remain unresolved with two private land owners, Owens /Turner (Ch. 2900m to 6400m) and Meehan (Ch. 10,700m to 12,750m)”

          • The Magpie says:

            Maybe but if MCE didn’t know, spot on speculation.

      • Kingswood says:

        Hope there’s no bloody finches that live in that bush……

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Might explain why they have only awarded two of the four installation packages. Of the 36 km of stage 1 only 18 km has been awarded.
      Guessing it will be pretty hard to have it all done by the end of this year.

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        The story in the Astonisher says the completion date has been pushed back to March 2020….”due to the unprecedented flooding”…..

        Also interesting that the supposedly confidential TCC report that this comes from is quoted and acknowledged as being seen by the Astonisher. I wonder just how ‘confidential’ the report really is. More likely some selective leaking by our new ‘Council spokesman’.

      • Ferret says:

        Which is why a spokesman for the council said the time was extended until march 2020

  6. Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

    That balloon does look just like a golliwog, right down to the little bow tie. The fact that the owners call it “Golly” is a bit of a giveaway, too.

    • The Magpie says:

      Prejudice is in the eye of the beholder, Steve.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        Yes Pie, it is. Does that mean that little girls who have black dolls are racist too? I think not, but………

        • The Magpie says:

          Indeed … but tell you what, the greatest unacknowledged racism is the word ‘black’, followed closely the more catch-all favourite of the ‘offended outrage’ industry ‘person of colour’. Has it not occurred to anyone that say an Australian aborigine has no more in common – perhaps less – with say, a Sudanese, a Nigerian or a Kenyan than the colour of their skin. All have suffered under colonial rule to varying degrees (many have also benefited, too) but trying to calm undercurrents of racism with bromides about widely shared but differing types of historical oppression serves only the promoters of victimhood. Want to see racism in its rawest, base form? Check out how aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders feel about each other. And if you feel it’s worth your time, study the bedrock of racism of the aboriginal community among themselves … not to be caught out, many refer to often violent disagreements, bullying and overbearing behaviour as differences between ‘families’ … it is, in fact, what we are no longer supposed to describe as ‘tribalism’ … and tribes, which initially formed for self-protection and survival, are the very birthplace of racism, which has existed ever since Og came over the hill and stole Urka away from Grok and dragged her back home by the hair. (Only included that last bit so that other pillar of the outrage industry, proto-feminists didn’t feel locked out of such an opportunity for a spittle-flecked rant. You go, girl.)

  7. Water Water Everywhere says:

    Just a quick note in regards to watering (the way I seem to understand this announcement anyway)

    5pm to 8am – three times a week – 45 hours of watering

    Taking the minimum service level as promised by TCC Customer Service Standards document as gospel (good laugh I know), we can use 30 Litres per minute.

    That would get us 81 kL per week, so if your heart desires, feel free to now use more than 5 times the allocation without breaching restrictions – just be prepared to pay near on $10k in excess.

    Regardless that your 300m2 lawn won’t need more than 9 kL per week to be a nice soft bowling green.

    And I am not following your logic why water rates should be reduced, does a full dam somehow mean lower treatment and pumping costs?

    • The Magpie says:

      Two things: the lack of a reasoned explanation was the main grouch, as it so often is with this council and 2; The ‘Pie is always happy to be corrected but he was under the impression that those who pay water rates do so for a prescribed amount, which previous restrictions did not allow householders to access, with no reduction in cost. By what you’re saying – and no reason not to accept your analysis – water users can now acess their full quota without penalty.

      But the fact remains that this is not a public discussion between the council and the community, and while ever some sort of restrictions remain, the door is open to bring in stricter controls as a general policy without discussion nor consultation, rather than force of circumstance.

      • Ferret says:

        The CEO sets the restriction levels on advice from the manager of Townsville Water and Waste.
        That is taken to a full meeting of council and the recommendation is voted on.
        This was how they introduced the harsher restrictions back on 25th August 2015. They did not notify the public until the November issue of city news that used to be delivered in the junk mail
        When there was good news in February last year it was announced publicly straight away that restrictions would be lifted from level 3 to a modified level 2
        this took effect on 17th March 2018

        • Linda Ashton says:

          Aha. Squirrel strikes again. Bird please bear with me.

        • Mark Harvey says:

          Ferret, I was the author of the August 2015 restriction policy. It was in a public notice in the paper(as required by law), on Tv news and on the Council website within days of it being adopted. There was then significantly more PR before any fines were handed out.
          I will post a full comment about the new “restrictions” in the next few days- but to sum up my current opinion, they are not actually a restriction, they are what should have happened in April last year, and the wording used by Council to describe them to date is either very poor or deliberately deceptive.
          I want to check the wording in the Council meeting minutes before commenting further.

          • The Magpie says:

            Thanks, Mark, that will be very instructive. The ‘Pie takes this opportunity to emphasise that his comments in the blog were not about the restriction per se, but the continued ‘culture of secrecy’ in which this council perversely insists on operating, despite an official rap over the knuckles last year.

  8. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    I wish TCC and the Astonisher were more consistent in their use of language and definition of terms.

    In the Astonisher today we have Mayor Hill quoted as saying the monsoonal event last month inundated more than 3300 homes.

    Yet on 21 February the Astonisher quoted Deputy Mayor Walker as saying the final figures from damage assessments carried out by QFES identified almost 3300 properties with damage.

    Which is it? More than 3300 or almost 3300? And is it or homes or properties? (For example, as pointed out in the blog comments last week, is a 4 unit complex counted as one property or 4 homes?)

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      And with the greatest respect to you, Wonder, why do you need to know this?

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        Personally, simply to get a consistent and more informed understanding of the extent of the impact on my community, Plucker.

        But I am also interested as a matter of principle. Precision and consistancy in language usage and definition is important for accoutability and transparancy. The funding and policy decisions made by our elected representatives and public and private bodies are based on and justified by reference to facts, figures and conclusions made in reports and statements like this.

        I can be somewhat of a pedant on these things, but I do think it is important.

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          Thank you for taking the time to explain Wonder; I doubt you will get the information you want, however there’s no harm in asking!

    • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

      The other distinction is “damage” as against “inundation”. Inundation in this context means “flooding” as in water rising. “Damage” might be from all sorts of things – roof damage, flood damage, electrical damage, mould damage, the list goes on. Probably it would be expected that there would be many more homes damaged than were actually flooded.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Or the other sort of inundation, when you realise you don’t have flood insurance and your house is going to go under so you get up on the roof with a hammer and crack a few tiles.

  9. Critical says:

    You can bet that TCC will submit an overestimated claim to the Commonwealth and State governments for damages to the city as it will almost certainly include the cost for works that should have been already been undertaken or be scheduled to be undertaken by TCC e.g. the repairs and resealing of streets such as Watson St, Kelly St, WelshSt to mention a few that are now fallen apart and I’m certain that other infrastructure will be included. But then if Mullet gets the money, you can be certain that in her desperate propaganda to get herself back into power next March she will quote the amount that her council has spent on capital works, kms of streets resealed etc. but conveniently forget to say that the works were part of disaster recovery funding.

  10. I’ll be plucked says:

    Private Cupcake (‘state member’ for Townsville) 7 local news this evening re meat works job losses due to flooding cattle losses- ‘we will do all that we can………’ – WHAT EXACTLY??? Further, youth unemployment update in Townsville is nearly 18%, Private Cupcake ‘we are doing all we can………’ – it’s not enough and appears to be not working!

    Probably time to hand in the badge Private………it would seem you’ve got nothing!

    • Plannit Townsville says:

      Plucker he’s going to stand behind another more important politician, wring his hands and nod his head. Because frankly, that’s all he has done to date, and all he is capable of doing.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        Well Plannit, I hope he is going back to whatever he did before taking the seat of Townsville – he’s had a chance over two terms and done zip for us. Don’t know the bloke but surely he can see/acknowledge this and withdraw gracefully?

        Bring on some strong and independent of political party strings types to line up for the next state election (or if party aligned they can actually DO SOMETHING for our beleaguered community and tell us what and how before we vote)! Am I still dreaming Pie? There has to be someone………

  11. Peewee Herman says:

    There’s the old Bully classic word COULD in today’s lede.
    “A CONCEPT plan that would see Townsville icon Castle Hill have permanent ziplines, cafes, and an annual light show could be closer to reality after a funding splash by the Federal Government.”

    No mention of improving the road/walking path so that the fine line taken between cars, cyclists and walkers is safer. Can you imagine what it would be like if they actually did (hahaha) put a zipline and cafe in at the top of the hill but left the road as it is. I’d be betting on a pedestrian v car fatality within the first few months.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      The way it reads to me is that the concept plan itself could be closer to becoming a reality, that is, the concept plan could be closer to being a finalised finished document.

      I’m sure that’s not what they mean….but you never know with the Astonisher.

    • The Magpie says:

      We live and learn, as The ‘Pie has done through his love of words and language since he left school at age 13 … he tut-tutted at what he thought was a misspelling of lead in the above comment. But as his ingrained habit of self-instruction dictated, he checked … and ‘lede’ is correct, if you are willing to accept the American spelling – which at least means ‘lede’ is not a spelling error, although cultural pedants may roll a monocled eye (wish ain’t easy when you think about it.) The Magpie is always happy when serendipity strikes.

      lede | lēd | (also lead)
      noun US
      the opening sentence or paragraph of a news article, summarizing the most important aspects of the story: the lede has been rewritten and the headline changed.

    • Mike Shearer says:

      Doesn’t anyone consider earlier ideas for despoiling Castle Hill? Consider for example the octagon, the proposal for a cable car, a block of multi-storey units. What’s wrong with such? 1. any man-made structure makes the natural environment look smaller – think of Mt Stuart without the towers; 2. the fire brigade wasn’t happy about habitations on the hill; there isn’t the population to support a cable car or ziplines; alcohol proved a no-no at the top of the hill, because of the drive back down again. OK, so make the road wider and straighter, keep the emergency people happy, and inebriated drivers safer. But then objection 1 above applies.

  12. Peewee Herman says:

    “Iconic” crocodile?

    Page 7 of today’s papers has a story with the headline “Iconic saltie feared killed” that starts “THERE are fears an iconic North Queensland saltwater crocodile has been shot and killed.”
    It then goes on to quote a police officer “Sgt Gillinder said police were yet to determine if the 4.5m crocodile had been shot, died of natural causes or been killed by a rival.”
    Okay, so it’s 4.5m long, we’ve established that quite easily thanks to the police who have also got no idea how it died.

    THEN we have this ripper par – “It is an offence under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 to take an estuarine crocodile without authority and there are greater penalties in place for the unlawful take of an ‘iconic’ crocodile, defined as 5m or greater in length. The maximum penalty for the unlawful take of an iconic crocodile is $28,383.75.”

    So hang on, we’ve got a 4.5m dead croc which clearly isn’t iconic (because it’s not 5m or longer), we don’t know how it died but we are subjected to more moronic garbage from the Astonisher who don’t seem to have a single clue even when it’s spelled out in THEIR OWN STORY!

    • The Magpie says:

      You sound surprised, Little Dick. Why?

      • The Magpie says:

        And don’t the old bird started on the ‘iconic’ stupidity of this vapid publication – in terms of English, it is fair to say that the incorrect parroting use of ‘iconic’ in the Bulletin is iconic of the paper.

        icon | ˈīˌkän |

        a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something:

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          Oh, but the Astonisher is a representative symbol of something; all that is vacuous and shallow.

        • Non Aligned Worker says:

          Pleease do not start me again on the word “iconic”. It unsettles me for weeks.
          I still think an icon is a small religious painting, nothing more, nothing less.
          Stuff the modern usage.

  13. The Magpie says:

    Hey an APB for all readers:

    The ‘Pie has been told that Mayor Mullet was on radio this morning, bagging ‘that small percentage of people who will never be satisfied’ and ikndirectly aiming yet another dart at the Magpie. Anyone hear it? Where? Copy?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      No but, you and we are clearly getting under her skin. Time to revive the Magpie bumper sticker idea. (Prefer window suction cap sign myself.) The Magpie with magnifying glass and Mullet in red dress and axe. I am sure many Nesters would participate. Seeing these around town would further annoy the Mullet, especially with the election coming up. A spin-off would be Nesters meeting other Nesters with the greeting, “Who are you?”

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        Dave (Davo?),
        You are really a nasty piece of work.
        Put me down for 3 stickers.

      • The Magpie says:

        All that’s been bubbling away in the murk of the Magpie mind, but let’s see who grows a pair and declares ‘step outside’ to the Mullet before we get carried away. Sure to be a lot of stalking horse candidates infesting the place, and possibly a few ratbags, so we need to sort all that out before start having a bit of fun.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        Who am I Kelso? I’m Plucker, you’re not!! :)

    • Dearie Me says:

      I do wonder how the Mullet knows it’s only a small percentage of people who are unsatisfied…
      She does a lot of talking at people and not a lot of talking to people. That minor detail makes difference. And if you only listen to your “Yes Men” you’ll only hear what you want to hear.
      I’m guessing the big community survey in March 2020 will tell her what percentage are unsatisfied.

  14. Linda Ashton says:

    Members of the volunteer Water For Townsville Advocacy Group sincerely hope everyone is coping as well as can be expected, given the extent of the flood damage and individual trauma. It’s wonderful to hear the stories of community spirit, volunteer kindness and resilience in the face of this event.

    The technical team in WFTAG are collecting information for their research into the event. They already have substantial quantitative data from BOM and other rainfall recording sources. They would like residents directly impacted to have the opportunity to provide more specific information.

    If you wish to participate click on this link. https://www.facebook.com/599463704/posts/10156539048418705?sfns=mo

    Add your responses to the questions 1-7 in comments. No names will be used in the report. The tech report and recommendations will be submitted to the relevant authorities looking into existing policy and process, and to the public. We are a large non-partisan online community group and many of our members were also directly impacted. Please share to friends who may be interested.


  15. Cantankerous but happy says:

    So Numbskull Gill has decided to borrow $50million from the NAÏF to fund the airport upgrade, exactly what most of us thought they should have done in the first place. This is a great result for the people of Townsville who won’t have to pay a levy, and a great result for people power who stayed solid that we shouldn’t line their pockets to fund their own asset, let’s hope everyone stays that solid when it comes to getting rid of the Mullet next year.

    • The Magpie says:

      You are sadly misguided, Cankers, if you think ‘ the people of Townsville won’t have to pay a levy'; the avaricious QAL will continue to pursue a ticket tax over the remaining $30m, or just simply charge airlines extra to use upgraded facilities, for which they paid not a penny. And when they force the airlines to do that, what do you think will happen to ticket prices?
      And leave Gill outvof this one … you don’t don’t send the office boy to negotiate with the federal government.

      • The Real Philip Batty says:

        Not that I mind as it is a loan but the loan can only be provided if there is a public benefit. I fail to see how the airport upgrade fits the criteria.

  16. seagull says:

    it’s the taxpayer to the rescue ….

    god bless you all for supporting Gill & his dream

    “Airport redevelopment to takeoff with $50M loan

    Townsville’s timeworn airport is about to get a major facelift after securing a loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. ”

    this not being the “facility’s” proper purpose, one suspects it as a bit of sideways pork barrelling, if not desperation to get some funds out there … add another 2m for the castle hill “master plan” … if you have a medical condition then watch out for the next Herbert sugar hit !

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Wrong, this is exactly the NAÏF purpose, to help produce projects that don’t stack up financially, do not stand up the the normal lending requirements for a commercial bank, and would not proceed without the govt guaranteed loan. The project itself represents about 2-3 years of trading income and about 10-15 years of gross profit for TAPL, it’s parent company QAL is already financially stretched with its own $350 million project on the Gold Coast, so a low interest or deferred payment facility allows the project to proceed. Cairns airport was looking to fund its expansion under the NAÏF also when it was owned by Auckland airports, exactly the same principle applies. We may well think the project isn’t required, but that is irrelevant, and now the project will proceed. What I am waiting to see is who gets the keys to a new upstairs lounge first, my money is on Virgin.

      • The Magpie says:

        The ‘Pie is happy to see a few more bells and whistles as such for our incoming and outgoing flyers, but consider this: a ticket tax is eventually agreed, or airline usage airport usage charges go up, in order for QAL to recoup the money and pay back the loan, which, if you consider interest etc, means that the public is paying one way or another in the end – twice in fact – to enrich a private company, for virtually no gain at all for the local or broader community. Attract tourists to ‘experience’ Castle Hill? What planet are these people from, Planet Ritalin?

      • seagull says:

        here is NAIF’s own take on the public benefit of airport projects :

        Public benefit:

        •Enhanced freight facilities (chillers improving ability to air freight agricultural products)
        •Improving storage capacity for produce in transit
        •Better utilization of runways to service increased passenger numbers
        •Supports agriculture, tourism and service sector

        a new “lounge” & more shops fall short of this IMHO

        • The Magpie says:

          Even the stated aims are mostly codswallop anyway.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          I agree its a complete toss, but it is a loan, and it does need to be repaid. I have said in the past the problem with Townsville airport is that it’s a pissy business owned by another pissy business, it just doesn’t ave the scale to leverage an outcome. I would imagine Qantas will still resist any increases over and above the $1 it agreed to a few years ago, be interesting to see if Virgin are still happy to stump up the $3, or if they are reconsidering their position.

  17. Achilles says:

    This should take the sting out of the loony left tree huggers “Australian scientists turn CO2 gas back into solid carbon i.e. coal


    • Westie says:

      What a wonderful example of Aussie ingenuity?

      Who needs coal mines- we will make our own coal. Burn coal into carbon dioxide, turn it back into coal with the new process, burn it again, etc etc.

      Free electricity forever.

      Now we can tell Adani and the other greedy coal miners to sod off, and we can stop building ugly wind turbines- the tree huggers and the climate change deniers alike will be ecstatic……

      I’m not missing anything, am I?

  18. Frequent flyer says:

    Interesting to see that part of the Townsville Airport redevelopment will be “an expansion and upgrade of the airport’s apron to provide more aircraft parking”.
    Townsville Airport got a $10 million grant from the State Government a couple of years ago to do this? At that time they put in an additional 18,000 square metres of aircraft parking so was the job done so badly it needs to be done again just two years later?.
    Perhaps Mr Gill can explain.

    • The Magpie says:

      No The ‘Pie thinks it is probably the Astonisher which needs to explain what would appear to be a further example of sloppy close-enough-is-good-enough reporting. But if Minister Canavan said this, then two things are possible, he was badly briefed or the $10m ALREADY SPENT is included in the $50m, making $40m left for what would now be a $70m outstanding project. So QAL still come up $30m short, and have no reason to gouge the public for that, since they are on record saying they would be happy (big of them!) to contribute $40m to the upgrade but wanted a ticket tax to cover the remainder.

      Whatever, the apron work is long finished, which the Astonisher could’ve checked as easily did The ‘Pie.

      • Leslie Jogger says:

        $10 m already spent (state money). Naif is for the terminal.

        • The Magpie says:

          That was The ‘Pie’s point – the paper sated that the NAIF money included money for the apron upgrade. maybe the NAIF deal returns the money QAL have already spent.

  19. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Been waiting for the Astonisher to fix the typo on p3.
    “Bulkcoal to face count”.
    Hope the count doesn’t have them flogged.

  20. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    As one TCC unicorn brain-fart pie in the sky idea bursts onto the scene, another one slowly fades away.

    Heard anything about the Strand crystal lagoon recently? According to the Astonisher (Dec 2017) this “idyllic lagoon that’s set to transform The Strand and draw thousands of tourists to Townsville is expected to be built by 2020.”

    To quote Mayor Hill in the same article “But I want it a long way into its development before that”

    Tick tick, tick tock, 2020 ain’t that far away…..

    • The Magpie says:

      HEY SPORT, watch that ‘pie in the sky’ stuff … might cry.

    • Dearie Me says:

      Wasn’t that just another concept plan? Or was it a vision? Or a road map? Or maybe it was an initiative? Perhaps it was a Future City. To be honest I’m getting confused.
      But you have to give the brains trust at Council full marks for finding ever more inventive ways to piss away ratepayer money and deliver nothing concrete (or watery in this case)

    • Tick Tock says:

      Any more news on the battery plant that was going to be built ?

      • The Magpie says:

        About as much news on that as there is on the mirage of the Strand lagoon, which The ‘Pie has now been informed is a ‘dead duck’. More in Sat blog.

        • Linda Ashton says:

          Is the bus hub operational?

          • The Magpie says:

            Give Les Walker a ring … oh, hang on … oh, well, you can always leave a question on his messagebank.

          • seagull says:

            no its not … they are resurfacing that part of Ogden St @ the mo … there is a large “awning ” out the back of the old sports store (I suppose) that needs cladding as well … must be getting close to being up & running … looks like finishing the sports store / connection to Flinders St will be “stage 2″

      • Chicken Little says:

        You’d think that battery plant would be full steam ahead since the RSPCA stomped out of town.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        Is that the battery chicken farm? Or something else.

  21. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    According to today’s Astonisher, Chris Mills QAL ‘s Chief Executive has confirmed that “$20 million had already been spent upgrading the airport’s apron parking”

    So the figure has jumped from $10M to $20M overnight?

  22. Frequent flyer says:

    That’s nothing for Queensland (Townsville) Airports.
    When they announced this redevelopment it was going to cost $40 million. Then suddenly about 18 months ago that became $80 million.
    Wouldn’t have anything to do with the percentage of the total cost they were allowed to borrow from NAIF would it?
    Just asking.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      QAL are probably using the additional $10M to pay back the interest free $9M loan that got from the Qld Govt in 2017 for the apon works….and still have a spare million or two left over.

  23. Non Aligned Worker says:

    FF you have to understand its about the “vibe” not the facts.

  24. The Stockman says:

    Roll up, roll up. Get your tickets to the underwater art museum, coming to a Townsville flood plain near you in the next few years as global warming really starts to mess up our atmosphere. Those semi tidal pieces will be everywhere by 2030… perhaps a giant statue of Guutam Adani would look good on the strand?

  25. Harpoon Hillbilly says:

    Simpo Templeton the latest Council employee to go on leave. Looking for a new job? Rumour has it he was booted from the townsville disaster management centre during the floods when tensions ran high. Any insight pie?

  26. NQGal says:

    Astonishing that all the “Women of Inspiration” in today’s Astonisher, were from companies who also had ads in the liftout.

  27. Peewee Herman says:

    The Astonisher has a feature today titled “International Women’s Day” where they “salute the women of Townsville who inspire the people of this city with their achievements, hard work and dedication to others”.
    They have chosen twelve women. Of those twelve women eight of them work for the Townsville City Council and mysteriously in the middle of the feature is a full page ad for the Townsville City Council promoting their diversity.

    The other four women are from Queensland Country Credit Union (an ad for QCCU directly under her profile), two women from Pickerings Volkswagen (ads for Pickerings Volkswagen directly under both their profiles)…

    … and finally the Stuart Hotel (1/2 page ad promoting the weekly specials under her profile).
    Now, the last thing I am doing is trying to take anything away from these 12 women, I just think it’s a plain old advertorial dressed up as the Bully’s attempt to pull the wool over our eyes.

    • The Magpie says:

      News Corpse cynicism and opportunism at its far from altruistic best!!

      And did you notice anything else? … like you, not to denigrate these women in any way, good on them for having their jobs, but not a single one of them is an employer or business person in their own right. Where is Carolyn McManus, or Debbie Rains, or regional grazier (plenty of women handle that role) and The ‘Pie seems to remember that a couple of local heavy industry firms have women at the helm or in ownership.

      Well, at least no one from Adani was featured with an accompanying ad.

      Perhaps many firms and organisations were approached who saw through the advertising flim-flammery and told the paper to FO.

    • Willy wonka says:

      So the tcc part is advertising, as it reads we are hiring. Is there a 50% quota? Maybe we have lost more experienced people in the council again. I fail to see how Jane arlett didn’t get a mention over the last couple of years on this women’s day after being business person of the year twice. That’s right she was bullshitting us with the second pipeline. When is it international men’s day? Or violence against men day?

    • Plannit Townsville says:

      Of the TCC women the one worth the most respect is the lady in the advert .. Anna Whelan.

      • Willy wonka says:

        And what does Anna do in the council? She looks like she is a one word job description worker unlike the other’s if anyone else saw that. There job titles are very broad if that’s what is on there business cards for tcc. Anna looks like she isn’t afraid of work as she had an outdoor uniform on. Am I allowed to say she’s a pretty good looking sort or is that going to get me in trouble with the #metoo movement? She should be the council spokesperson instead of the talking fish when things are good. I’d listen to her.

        • The Magpie says:

          Sounds like you need a dash of bromide in your tea … always worked in the army.

        • Plannit Townsville says:

          Wonka… she’s an Engineer mate
          and does the important job of looking after all our Wastewater Treatment Plants.
          Let’s give that a bit of respect.

          • The Magpie says:

            Ummm … let’s give ‘em all a bit of respect. The Magpie is mainly interested in nailing errant ELECTED officials and those they shoehorn into featherbedded jobs for the boys and girls, along with those who weasle their way into influential positions to further their private interests. (Airport, anyone?) And that class of folk get respect only when they earn it, one reason you don’t see too much respect in this neck of the woods.

  28. Cappuccino_in_hand says:

    My therapist told me my Chloephobia will be cured if I don’t read the local rag. She was correct. Am back reading the sport section in Saturday’s Australian. Looking to add the Business section after a couple more visits. Just glimpsing posts like this bring my phobia back on big time!

  29. I’ll be plucked says:

    Private Cupcake (State ALP ‘member’ for Townsville) on 7 local news tonight saying the state LNP have no plan and they are out of touch………pluck me, this bloke has gone way past ‘bad to worse’ and has hit rock bottom and is now digging a big hole for himself!

    His govt and his ‘leadership’ over nearly two terms has resulted in out of control crime and violence, record adult and youth unemployment, property values plunging, population drift, business closures and the list goes on and on……..!

    Hey Private, you are an embarrassment as a local politician/member, you peddle crap and talk rubbish continually. Stand aside you lemon!

  30. Cantankerous but happy says:

    I have always been a supporter of the new stadium, properly run by people who can attract other events, concerts, soccer , rugby etc, it can be something many can use and be an asset to the city, but this Cowboys centre of excellence should be totally funded by the club, it’s sponsors, supporters, whoever they can find to stump up the cash, but taxpayers funds should not be spent on this at all, there is zero benefit to the community of this facility, 99% of the people in this town will never step foot in the joint, I hope both sides of politics tell the Cowboys to piss off and fund it themselves.

  31. Peewee Herman says:

    With all the impressive artists impressions of the new North Queensland Stadium I’m yet to see a single image from the Cowboys, the developer, the architect or any form of government showing what car parking will be available. Will it just be the handful of existing parks out the front of the stadium for players/officials etc along with the Dean St council car park?
    (There are currently approximately 2500 car parks at 1300 Smiles Stadium with a lot of additional parking at nearby clubs and shopping centres.)
    Thankfully we’ll have our awesome public transport system to whisk us from ‘somewhere’ to the stadium.

    • The Stockman says:

      That’s because there are no plans. It will be a complete shambles. Bring some sturdy walking shoes and a dose of patience if you bother attending. Or, like the rest of us, stay home and watch on tv.

  32. Mark Harvey says:

    The Water Supply (S&R) Act is the head of power for TCC to apply a water restriction. S41 details that the only time a restriction can be applied is: Urgent need (ie something broke); if the available water supply has fallen to such a level that unrestricted use is not in the best public interest (40% in RRD in the current policy); or if the restriction is an essential part of a comprehensive demand management strategy. This is why the 2015 restriction policy did away with the old permanent Level 1 restriction – it was illegal. The intention at the time was that when restrictions were lifted we would go to Permanent Water Saving Measures – simple non-mandatory ways of saving water: do not water during the heat of the day and you do not need to water more than 3 times per week. Following odds and evens is sensible – if everyone waters on the same day you get a drop in water pressure, and it gives the system operators a low demand Monday during which major works are conducted.

    So now the dam is full and we have Water Conservation Measures – which according to the Council resolution are interim until the 3 point plan is implemented. Apparently good practice has an end date! The resolution makes no reference to restrictions at all. The summary does however state that the measures “allow” watering over 3 days on odds and evens. It is reasonable to assume that they do not allow watering at other times, and therefore constitute a restriction. This is also supported by the language in the promotional material, which would lead the average resident to believe that these are in fact a restriction.

    By the wording of the resolution, I do not believe that this was intended to be a legitimate restriction under the Act. I am sure it could be legally argued however that the language makes it a restriction even if it is not badged as one, and it could therefore be alleged that it is an illegal restriction.

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