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The Magpie

Saturday, January 2nd, 2021   |   143 comments

Big Questions Loom For Townsville In 2021: And The Biggliest – Will Jenny Hill’s Reign of Error Be Short Circuited By The Courts?

Should our water-damaged Urban Errorist mayor be found somewhat wanting in the area of responsible driving, she will be forced from office. That in turns means that we could be facing three by-elections in as many months.

Other questions are whether we have finally rid ourselves of that money-grubbing legal hooligan Batty Taylor? Seems he may have found a buyer for his block-house motel-style pile on Victoria Street and may exclusively infest Noosa from this year onward. Just one of two under-the-radar Townsville property sales of note during the silly season.

Could our champions of the local economy and tourism , the Dudley Do Nothings, aka Townsville Enterprise, do with a dose of practicing what they preach? A former local MP barked at this particular cloud over the Christmas break … and not without reason.

The other main question is the perennial one: seriously, what the fuck is wrong with the Townsville Bulletin? Their total lack of journalistic curiosity is inexplicable, verging on dangerous irresponsibility.

And on the global scene, while he’s still around, so is the weekly gallery featuring America’s mobster president.

(Bentley is back next week.)

But first …

Will 2021 Be The year Of The By-Election?

While some folks were harrumphing about a by-election for Division 10 instead of the runner–up taking over from The Ghost Who Talks, Mr Walker (off to the George Street trough), they will be spluttering in their Pimms No.1 Cup when they learn that we could well be marching off to the polls not once but three times this year.

We already have January 23 officially named as the Division 10 voting day, but like the man with the steak knives used to say ‘but wait, there’s more.’

Here is a highly possible scenario, with the key player being the Queensland courts. On February 26, Mayor Jenny Hill is due to front the beak and presumably make a plea one way or the other to her ‘driving without due care causing death’ charge. For the purposes of what we are talking about here, the outcome only matters if she pleads guilty or is found guilty, because the charge carries a possible prison term. And that possibility – even if not realised – automatically disqualifies her from holding any public office, and she will lose the mayoralty immediately. If, through circumstances it is difficult to imagine, she is exonerated and no penalty or conviction imposed, we continue on as before, with Jenny astride Townsville like Slim Pickens riding the A-bomb to assured destruction in Dr Strangelove.

But the other outcome will be that the Queensland Government will be hoisted on its own booby-trapped petard; if Clr Hill’s removal comes before March 28, the first year anniversary of the last LG elections, instead of Frothy Molachino moving into the role from his deputy’s bassinet, we will have to have a fresh mayoral election, which will cost the government -ergo you and me – a motza. And that has to happen within two months of the office being ‘vacated’.

Now, if Mayor Mullet’s malign influence is permanently sidelined , there is little doubt that Frothy and in all likelihood, a couple or more other  councillors will have a shot at the crimson robes trimmed with possum fur. And then, as is likely, one of the councillors gets the nod from the voters and becomes mayor, guess what happens then? You got it! – another by-election in the division where a vacancy was created by the mayoral victory.

But hey, don’t go away, maybe the best part is to come. Let’s say several councillors – oh, I dunno, maybe Ann-Maree Greaney, old schemer Margie Ryder, maybe Russ Cook and Kurt Rehbein, even young thruster Liam Mooney, if he suffers an attack of Mooney madness and thinks he’s got a chance – all line up for the mayoral race … and all lose. Are they allowed to then return to their cosy councillors’ sinecure … or have they been required to resign to contest the mayoralty and do we have to have three or more by-elections because they have to re-contest their seats at the trough? Premier Palaszczuk and her fluttery flapping colleagues may have more to answer for than just the totally unnecessary economic devastation they have already imposed on this city.

But Will Any New Mayor Be Getting A Poisoned Chalice?

Well, if that chalice is filled with water from the local town supply, maybe. Somehow, the citizens of Townsville have lost the indispensable auto-defense ability of alarm and concern for their own safety. It is truly amazing that along with all the other water issues, that the appearance of signs like these around the town aren’t ringing major alarm bells.

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Note: it is NOT ‘Don’t drink the water’ … it is ‘Don’t touch the water’ and ‘don’t eat fish from this water.

Just step back for a sec and consider if these warning appeared in any other community, there would be mild bureaucratic mayhem, people would be demanding action, pollies would be arse-covering at 10 words a second,  and the local media would be scaring the hell out of everybody.

But The Water Issues Seem Of Little Import To The Bulletin

The paper’s well know inability with simple arithmetic extends to them regularly being unable to put two-and-two together to reach any answer, let alone four. One of the most glaring and irresponsible examples came during the week, when a media release landed in the newsroom from the hospital.

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It raised no questions with the re-writer,  who just lazily re-hashed it (just a little) into a minor story, that merited a front page mention only because it provided the opportunity for a weak and tasteless joke.

Gastro FP joke Screen Shot 2020-12-29 at 12.16.52 pm

Now, this story landed right after that paper had been floundering around, trying to follow up their screaming front pages about the leaking treatment plant pipe that forced severe water restriction on the whole city briefly, so you’d think a question or two might occur. Especially when the hospital media release told us:

The hospital has recorded 32 cases of campylobacter and 26 cases of salmonellosis.

Campylobacter is linked to the consumption of contaminated poultry. Salmonellosis is spread mostly through food, but can also be spread by water and faecal-oral transition. (The Magpie’s emphasis.)

Both lead to acute gastroenteritis with fever, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, headache and diarrhoea. Entire families have been struck down with symptoms after falling sick.

The Magpie is sure he wasn’t the only reader to immediately wonder if there was a link between this increase and the failing water infrastructure. The ‘Pie isn’t saying there was or is any link, but it is a natural question that arises even in the least of inquiring minds. Even if the boffins ruled it out with a definite ‘no’, it was surely a question that demanded to be asked in the public interest. Especially from the paper that promises their hard-hitting, investigative reporters ‘will ask the questions you want answered.’

In the 60s, author Truman Capote was asked what he thought of beat poet Jack Kerouac’s book On The Road. His bitchy reply, which could also be justly applied to the Townsville Bulletin: ‘That’s not writing, that’s typing.’

So Is It Little Wonder The Astonisher’s Staff Turnstile Is Clicking Over Merrily

Unconfirmed word about the place is that the Bulletin has lost three, possibly four, ‘journos’ in the past two months. Names mentioned were Keagan Elder, Mikayla Mayoh and Kate Banville, and The ‘Pie’s Deep Throat on this one says they’re being replaced by ex-Mackay Mercury staff … which isn’t going down too well, and there’s a bit of newsroom friction over the situation.

Of course, if The Magpie is wrong in this, just a wait a short while, he is confident he will be right soon enough. Deeply embedded commitment to this community at the Bulletin generally runs to about a year, but the weird thing is that while we get a fair share of semi-literate cockwombles, they leave with their journalistic heads just as empty as when they arrived. If News Corpse insists on viewing Townsville as a training ground for youngsters to springboard to greater things in the RupertsWorld playground, you’d think they’d install at least two or three seasoned folk who could train up the kiddies.

Boo Hoo, Looks Like Bazza’s Buggering Off.

A couple of interesting private property sales have been negotiated under the radar in recent weeks and are expected to signed, sealed and delivered by the end of January.

Barry Big BazzaTaylor

After several previous attempts and subsequent price reductions – o lordy, that must’ve hurt – Barry Taylor is said to have made a private sale of his motel-style home on Victoria Street, Castle Hill.

Barry's House 0-2 Barry's house 0-3

Indications are that the price was around $6million, 25% down on an early ask of $8million. Amid constant rumours in the local legal industry that Bazza’s reputed worth might be somewhat Trump-like – i.e. vastly overstated if not illusory – our boy has been trying for some time to unload his charmless tribute to tasteless conspicuous consumption for almost a decade. But for those of you pining for Bazza’s presence on the local scene, you can take solace that another property of his remains unsold. And very unloved.

Barry's Flinders St dump0-4 Barry FSW dump 0-5 Barry's FSW dump0-6

This blight on the outer CBD on Flinders Street West which greets motoring and rail visitors, has been attracting rats – some with two legs – for years now, as Bazza does his bit to thank the town that made him – reportedly – a wealthy man. It will be interesting to see if he can hang on his $10million waterfront pile in Noosa, seems he’ll need quite a few patsies … sorry, clients … to gouge to maintain his opulent lifestyle.

The other transaction of note is the continuing game of property swapsies between the Holmes and Carmichael families. Daryl ‘No Smiles Lately’ Holmes was booted from the old David Carmichael Castle Hill spread he bought in 2008 for just under $4million. His missus now gets the lavish house after Dazza was caught administering inappropriate gum examinations and intimate injections to a staff member. But now it seems Holmes has again bought up on Yarrawonga. He has been a neighbour of Adam Carmichael since he got his matrimonial marching orders, but now has parted with a reported $6million to buy Adam’s house.

Both these sales were said to be private transactions with no agents involved, and both matters are yet to fully finalised but this is expected early in the new year.

TELling It How It Isn’t

The hunt is on for a new Four-D chess genius to fill the CEO’s chair at Townsville Enterprise, after Lil Patty ’Hot Lips’ O’Callaghan decided to end her several years of running on the spot at Wishing Well House, and jagged a job on the Gold Coast.

No one knows what is in store for us from these little gnomes in the coming year, but it’s not only who will be the new CEO what will be interesting: perhaps more importantly will be what stipend they get from we ratepayers. Given the parlous state of the council’s finances and the yet to be revealed full extent Townsville’s water woes, surely the TCC’s usual $750,000 annual stump-up of ratepayer’s hard earned will be severely trimmed.

But that then raises another question: without such free-handing generosity of TEL’s deputy chair (who just happens to also be our mayor pro tem), this grossly underperforming outfit will surely be looking for a cut-price CEO (same as they did with O’Callaghan, who agreed to a fraction of what David Kippen awarded himself in his brief and grasping tenure). But seems the Dudley’s can’t even be consistent with their exhortations to their membership, and ‘buy’ local services to find a new boss. MP Ewen Jones (remember him?) got his Ku Fu Panda undies in an indignant  bunch on Facebook last week, when he posted this.

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Clayton Cook, head of TP Human Capital and a born and bred Townsville lad-made-good must be wondering what he gets for his annual membership fee. The ‘Pie has often thought that’s a question too few other TEL members ask themselves.

Some Tidbits You May Have Missed In Comments During The WeekDating Text Screen Shot 2020-12-21 at 9.36.27 pm

FAKE NEWS!!! As if …

Even the Women’s Weekly is spreading disinformation. 0

Well, no, Bulletin, got that wrong … it was more caused by a 61-year-old drip, but you’re not allowed to talk about her, are you?

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What A Hyde: And Why She’s A Great Writer

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Regulars will know The ‘Pie’s esteem for Guardian columnist Marina Hyde, whom he regards as the finest and funniest wordsmith writing in English today. And she has kicked off the new year with one of the best opening paragraphs that says in 58 words what it would take The Magpie to say in 500.

It is one of the curiosities of this inside-out age that Donald Trump is loved by conspiracists, even though he is a leader – at last! – who embodies of all their worst fears. He really does hate them, he really is plotting against them, and he really is lying to them, in multiple and increasingly wicked and baroque ways. 

Marina Hyde in The Guardian

So very to the point, Ms Hyde. But like raw prawns stuffed into a curtain rail, the Trump stench still  lingers. And so does the increasingly scathing fun … the gloves are really off now.

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That hopefully gets the year off to a rollicking start, get stuck into the comments, and don’t forget to drop any tips (always totally confidential) into the Nest about anything you won’t read in the Bulletin.

And The ‘Pie faces the year’s financial demands of the blog with some trepidation, so if you have anything spare left over from your seasonal largesse, a donation would be greatly appreciated. The appropriate 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.

143 Comments

  1. The OtherGuy says:

    Why would a conviction disqualify Hill from remaining as the mayor? The Local Government Act at s153 lists the various reasons why a person cannot be a Councillor. A criminal offence like this is not one of them. The matter would be heard in the Magistrates Court, not the District Court if she pleads not guilty. I suspect that if she was on her phone or had ran a red arrow, she would have been charged with the more serious offence of dangerous driving. A recent decision where a lady simply turned across in front of a motorbike where no arrow was involved resulted in a 5 month sentence wholly suspended. If Hill had the right of way but didn’t realise the motorbike was not stopping, she may just get a community order and/or a fine. If a prison sentence, likely to be a lot less than 5 months and wholly suspended anyway. That is of course if Hill cannot provide a defence to the charge or there are other circumstances, such as the motorcycle was excessively speeding.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie’s understanding is that a mayor (or councillor) is automatically disqualified if convicted of a crime that carries a possible prison term. Could be wrong, happy to be corrected. And ditto that if there is a not guilty plea, the matter could go to District for a jury trial. A genuine question: do they have jury trials in Magistrates? The ‘Pie has never come across one.

      • TheOtherGuy says:

        No – Magistrates courts are not before a jury. As this is not of dangerous driving charge under the Criminal Code, it is not an indictable offence and stays in the Magistrates court, even if a not guilty plea. An appeal would go to the District court. The LG Act only seems to disqualify a person from being a councillor if they commit treason and for integrity and electoral offences and the like. It begs the question of what are the criminal histories of our elected local members? At state level, a candidate must have been sentenced to more than 12 months in prison before they are ineligible, regardless of the maximum.

      • Grumpy says:

        No they do not (jury trials). God forbid. System is clogged up enough as it is.

  2. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Happy new year to you Pie, Interesting that old Bazza had to take a $2million trim on his house on the hill, a reflection of how depressed Townsville actually is, normally property at the top of most markets don’t cop a hit like this, or maybe it’s just an ugly shithole that only Baz found appealing.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, ever eager to defend Bazza’s honour (when we find it) the original asking price is perhaps a reflection of his over-charging tendencies, and the sale price was about right.

  3. Kevin Parkes says:

    If the “seasonal conditions” on the warning signs relate to PFAS contamination there has been a serious absence of duty of care by the Department of Defence.
    The environmental study found that all of Ross River had been contaminated with PFAS and there are no warning signs to be found. We still allow recreational activities in Ross River.
    That this water was used in our town water supply without public warnings regarding drinking it, is a new standard in community neglect.

  4. Bazza victim says:

    From what I’m hearing from friends in Noosa, Bazza might be having a fire sale.
    They think he is more successful at charging clients than picking winners at the races.

  5. Achilles says:

    After an exhaustive investigation by TCC Engineers the cause of the water contamination has been traced to a carelessly discarded dead albatross.

  6. The Magpie says:

    Now, we’re all looking forward to 2021, aren’t we? I SAID ‘WE’RE ALL LOOKING FOR …’ Oh, never mind.

    • upagumtreeperson says:

      Love the pic of the meerkats Magpie. We went to Werribee zoo near Melbourne some time ago and my darling wife fell in love with meerkats. She bought a number of meerkat dolls for family members and herself. Funny how we are attracted to such cute creatures. Always busy and looking out for danger and each other. I recall a TV series called ‘Meercat Mansion” based around the antics of meercats. Cute.

  7. General Ripper says:

    The bomb that Slim was riding was dropped from a B52 bomber, affectionately known as a BUFF – a big ugly fat fucker – seems rather appropriate…

  8. George st says:

    Great opener for 2021 , very good article

    I can only see hill pleading not guilty or requesting an adjournment to obtain expert evidence . I can’t see a guilty plead
    Knowing her solicitors well ( and having been a District court client ) they will be aiming to kick the can down the road to take the heat out
    They will also be organising expert witnesses
    It is only the beginning

  9. NQ Gal says:

    Just back from a short trip to the SE Kingdom and am happy to report that (for once) fuel is a lot cheaper here. E10 is anything between $1.07 and $1.45, while I just filled up for $1/ltr (thank you Liberty on charters towers road).

  10. upagumtreeperson says:

    Mr Magpie, I welcome you and all your supporters to a bright COVID free 20121.
    Humans have survived for millennia and so will we.
    That right hand turn from Nathan Street into Alfred Street at Aitenvale has perplexed me for some time. One exceeds with much cation even when a green light or green arrow indicates. I can understand the problem at that corner of Stockland because one gets vehicles coming towards you and coming out of the Nathan Street exit of Stockland. I take extra care as a senior driver when turning. One has to carefully judge the distance and speed of approaching vehicles. Motor bikes can be tricky because the bikes have the capacity to pile on the speed quickly acknowledging the speed limit or not. Because motor bikes are often harder to see compared to a vehicle caution needs to be considered. I cannot comment on the incident involving our Mayor but to say that at that turn it would be safer if a right turn only into Alfred could only done on a green arrow when safe to do so. However, in the 32 years of living in Townsville I cannot recall any similar serious incidents at that turn. Of course, it only takes one serious incident to cause disaster for many. It must be a distressing time for all involved.

  11. Molly 9 says:

    Welcome back Magpie. Great start to the New Year and looking forward to your witty take on the local scene. Thank you.

  12. Alahazbin says:

    What’s with this clown of an editor at the ‘astonisher’?
    All weather tracking organisations and BOM have called the Tropical Cyclone “Imogen”. But this fool, in his ‘Iditorial” calls it Tropical Cyclone Bailey.
    Surely his 12 month tenure is up at The Bulletin.

    • The Magpie says:

      Yes, indeedy, seems Cockwomble Warhurst was into the festive Bailey’s Irish Cream a tad too enthusiastically over the festive season., ESPECIALLY when cartoonist Harry had it exactly right on the very page opposite.

      • Concerned Ratepayer says:

        I wonder if the council reads the weather warnings, or knows our city’s history, and will be scrambling to protect ratepayers assets, by practicing what they preach. Take the Riverside Gardens community Centre as just one example.

        Its well known the Mayor lives a few streets over and as the centre is on the main road out of the suburb she should drive by it twice a day. It’s the wet season and the Community Centre‘s roof gutters are full of leaves which means next heavy rain the water will back up and leak into the building and cost ratepayers repairs. The Council even earns income hiring the centre out or functions. You don’t need an expensive machine from the overseas like the pipeline inspection, you just need a yearly maintenance checklist on Council assets .

        • The Magpie says:

          You mean like this:
          Date published: 3 November 2020
          Keeping your front and back yard neat and tidy will not only increase the visual appeal of your street, but will also get your home ready for disaster season.
          Townsville City Council is urging residents across the city to keep properties maintained to reduce potential fire risks and keep vermin at bay.
          Townsville Local Disaster Management Group deputy chairperson Kurt Rehbein said it was essential for all residents to do their part.
          “Australia experienced a horrific disaster season this year. Many communities across the country are still recovering from the damage of the last season,” Cr Rehbein said.
          “It’s important that we remember how quickly natural disasters can arrive, and that we do everything we can to prepare for whatever the disaster season might throw at us, including fires and cyclones.”
          Cr Rehbein said one of the easiest ways to get your property ready was to maintain front and back yards.
          “It’s important that your yard is maintained with any loose items or materials stored securely to prevent them becoming projectile objects during storms or cyclones,” he said.
          “While you’re cleaning your yard, don’t forget to clean any debris out of your gutters so that water can drain away from your home quickly.
          “Dead and dry grass should be slashed to reduce potential fire risk and to help deter vermin like rats and mice from making a home in your yard and attracting snakes.”
          Cr Rehbein said this type of maintenance also helped neighbourhoods look great across Townsville.
          “We all want to enjoy where we live. Keeping your yard maintained year-round will help make your street look great as well as keep you in good stead in the case of natural disasters,” he said.
          Tips for preparing your home or business:
          • Repair corrosion, particularly inside the roof
          • Replace rotten and termite-infested timber
          • Secure and tighten fixings and tie-down bolts on your roof
          Clean gutters and downpipes
          • Trim trees and overhanging branches
          • Remove and store loose furniture or items that could become airborne missiles
          • Find out how to turn off mains power for gas, water and electricity.

          • Mike Douglas says:

            Happy New Year Pie , contributors and great first blog for 2021 . Cr Rehbein dishing out advise “ do what I say not what Council does “ on clearing gutters before the wet season . Council seems to be having a lot of problems as the Strand Pool is closed today for more repairs . I have been in the South for the past couple of weeks having a detox from the Ville but feeling a bit lost because I don’t know who the best looking criminals are and what drug streets to keep away from .

          • The Magpie says:

            Understand your dilemma, it’s very tricky for visitors who don’t know their way around Home Hill.

  13. One legged tap dancer says:

    Residents of Idalia should be buying boats, given the deluge we are tipped to cop of the next few days.
    Ross River Dam will be chockers in no time and then the danger kicks in: Jenny Hill convenes her Disastrous Committee to manage the situation.
    Past form suggests we are in for another disaster caused by the committee, or more likely the head of that committee, rather than the actual weather.
    Time to launch the lifeboats.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      The best thing the people of Idalia Oonoonba etc could do is turn on a tap, particularly those who have an allocation and plenty available, just dump the stuff down the gutter. We can’t rely on the fuckwits in this council to be proactive and release the water early like they do at Wivenhoe when a rain event is imminent, so people have to do it themselves.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Oltd, the Ross River dam is currently at 51%. At the start of the 2019 flood event the dam was at about 65%. What suggestions do you have for dam management that would allay your fears that “Past form suggests we are in for another disaster caused by the committee, or more likely the head of that committee, rather than the actual weather”? What can a committee do to stop a dam filling to 248%?

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Release the water now, that’s what they could do, like they do in other urban storage/mitigation dams when there is a likelihood that the safe mitigation levels will be breached by a weather event. It’s why they altered the operational manual of Wivenhoe and now release water early, but here in this town run by incompetent fuckwits they just stand around and watch the same thing happen again. Then again the brainless morons of division 10 voted for Hill and Walker, so if they are that stupid and ignorant they deserve to be swimming through their houses.

        • No More Dredging says:

          Canker, I don’t believe it is possible with the RR dam to “release the water” in any substantial quantity once the level is below the spillway. Not sure what the percentage is at spillway level.

          • Alahazbin says:

            NMD: I Remember being told by engineers and others in the Citiwater & NQ Water that after the multi-million dollar upgrade to RRD after the night of Noah, that spillway level was around 90% and the radial gates closed it could hold 110%.
            Another interesting bit that come out of ‘the night of Noah’ was that the army started to bring in body bags, because they thought the wall wouldn’t hold the excess water.
            Maybe somebody like Ian Hamilton could clarify.

        • Kevin Parkes says:

          There are a couple of factors relating to the flooding of Idalia.
          Firstly the surveying vertical errors of 400 – 700 mm resulting from the GPS survey correction data supplied by Geoscience Australia. Ausgeoid 98 gravity model was mandated by the Intergovernmental Committee on Mapping and Surveying and was found to be erroneous in 2010.
          The Ross River Dam will rise with high rainfall even with the flood gates fully opened. It fills many times faster than it can discharge. Ross River is required to be able to take a minimum of 2000 cm/s without breaking its banks.
          This is achievable but not with the weirs in place.

      • One legged tap dancer says:

        The Disastrous Committee could actually be proactive this time and check weather forecasts to see what rain is coming (14 day forecasts are readily available), then start releasing water from the dam to make sure it doesn’t reach 200%+.
        Simple really.
        You’re obviously a Jenny Hill fan so perhaps you could pass this advice on to her.
        Might save another $10 million in flood damage.

        • No More Dredging says:

          Oltd, you really are a smart one. We built a dam to provide flood mitigation and on the occasion when rainfall exceeded all capacity to mitigate flooding of course the town was flooded. It’s not because the disaster committee failed, it’s because the rainfall exceeded the capacity of the dam. No matter what was done by anyone in 2019 the dam would have overflowed. Are you sure your name isn’t Hanrahan?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Old,
      Please relax, at least for the time being. It was a Cat 1 cyclone. Nothing to be afraid of. I will tell you a true story of long age.
      Shortly after being married my wife and I decided to go camping. Undeterred by the overcast sky and drizzle we set off in our first car that did not have a radio. Set up camp at the back of the beach at Clump Piont. Lots of wind and rain that night. Next morning the tide was right up the beach almost at our tent and car. Broke camp and on way back to Townsville was ask by petrol attended at Ingham, “What do you think about the cyclone?” A Cat 1 cyclone had travelled South along the coast 10 km or so out to sea and it was just a wet and windy night in a little tent.
      So, a Cat 1 cyclone is of little consequence, relax.

  14. Alahazbin says:

    Just rang council regarding debris build up under a bikeway bridge at Annandale.

    The original request to have this issue addressed was 1st October. I was supplied a reference number and on the 1st December I contacted council again. Still no action.
    Just rang again and quoted reference number. Can’t get onto Construction & Maintenance to advise what is happening. Over 3 months and nothing done.
    It will be interesting to hear their ‘excuse’

    • Resident @ says:

      Why dont you call your councillor who lives in annandale? Thats there job to serve the ratepayers. Has “back a vick” held any of those monthly public meetings that were promised by her during the election yet, raise it with her there.

      • The Magpie says:

        ‘Back a vick’? Oh, sorry, a bit slow today … Batkovic. Tres droll, you merrymaker, you.
        But the council maintenance program, especially when they’re lecturing on grandmothers and sucking eggs, must have a program of shining example, surely, so fair enough to publicly address the bureaucrats as well. And not too hard or expensive either.

        • Achilles says:

          With the current epidemic you could have legitimate fun with his name: Kovic means “son of” ie Batkovic son of a bat, or maybe Batcovid?

          • The Magpie says:

            Ummm, it’s a ‘she’, mate. And she’s a big fit Brunhilde, so I’d stay anonymous if I were you.

          • Achilles says:

            Bloody typo mate, it was meant to be This not his, specifically to keep it gender neutral coz pf the potential scope.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Resident, She was made aware of this in the first email, which she denies seeing. Got a phone call when the second enquiry to discuss the matter. 60 days and no action was unsatisfactory to me and her.
        Obviously been to busy with the WNBL since then.

    • Plannit Townsville says:

      We are all very busy mate. Catching up on holidays. Polishing our medals from the 2019 disaster. And wondering if we’re going to keep our jobs. Unfortunately there no one left to do any actual work.

      • Prince Rollmop says:

        Let’s see if the 50 year old decaying pipes hold up in another drenching this summer. Time will tell. TCC is fucked – dams are rooted, pipes are rooted, Council budget to maintain infrastructure and have enough maintenance staff is rooted, PFAS in the river means some drinking water is rooted and not enough rain means we are completely rooted. The little smelly Prince will be stamping his feet when everyone returns by next Monday. Staff had better make him look good otherwise it’s no bonus for the fair Prince.

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          Well Prince Rollmop, if what you say is true then there is only one course of action left to us………we’ll all have to get rooted! :)

    • Alahazbin says:

      Only one tunnel allowing water through.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Got a call from Councillor Batkovic last night advising me the job was done before Christmas.
        I told her no, and that they have cleaned up around Marabou Dr. I have sent her same photo.
        Looks like the shit is about to hit the fan.

  15. NQ Gal says:

    If further proof is needed of how unhinged the Orange Ejit is, the Washington Post has obtained a recording of him asking the Georgia Secretary of State to “find 11780 votes” and therefore overturning his loss in that state.

  16. Achilles says:

    On the subscriber only page of the TB is a caption regarding a very successful teacher, who has been teaching “real world application of taught content” WTF is that? Is it a typo? or some new age trendy load of crap?

    • The Magpie says:

      Woke up, mate.

    • LC Jay says:

      Same issue but a different story about a Failed Businessman who appeared in court on drug charges.

      The reporter starts off by confirming “The Townsville District Court Heard Tanerau-Love (the defendant) sourced more than 12kg of drugs”. But further along in the story the said reporter gives us brief maths lesson when she states “The defendant had three separate shipments of four pounds, that’s a total of 12 pounds…”

      No shit sherlock.

      Now, I do give some leeway when they use ounces or grams in stories when talking about drugs or gold etc. but not when they appear in the same article. It’s either one or the other. But FFS, mixing your kg’s and pounds is just wrong. Was 12kg or 26 and a bit pounds???

      • The Magpie says:

        Your point in well made, LC, but The ‘Pie disagrees about giving ‘leeway’. A journo’s job is to check, ask if unsure and then clarify before publishing. That’s what they get paid for. Otherwise, amateur hour.

        • Lord Howard Hertz says:

          We’d be well into winter going down that path. If those meetings are actually held, Susie B would then have to go back to the team captain and ask what tactics to use – slam dunk, elbow in the ribs, call time out … and the captain will reply ‘Just dribble, Susie, just dribble.’

  17. Punter says:

    I smell a rat. The rain gauge info for the Townsville area in the BOM site again is not displaying regular rainfall measurements.

    And its about fucking time they started showing gauge’s from all around the BOM reporting district as the airport don’t mean dick in relation to the whole district.

    There must be some liability reason at play here.

  18. The Magpie says:

    Seriously, could this fucking paper be more patronising?

    According to Ms Charles’ above report, the council did not use the demeaning phrase ‘no need to panic’, a cliche that insulting suggests we are prone to lose at the first bit of rain. And nowhere in the story was acting mayor Molachino ‘call for calm’, as though we are all running around like headless chooks. It is clear whoever wrote that headline doesn’t know Townsville at all. Piss poor headline, you ‘All For Us’ wankers.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      With a cluster fuck like Molachino involved then panic should be the first response of every single person in Townsville, nothing but a complete failure of outcome if that bloke is part of the process.

    • Hee Haw says:

      The BOM and other media outlets are calling this a “life threatening event” so every year a normal wet season must be a life threatening event.

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        Getting out of bed is a “life threatening event” especially when contemplating again trudging the dank corridors of Castle Walker Street, dodging urchins (sorry, should read CEO’s).

    • The Magpie says:

      THEY’RE AT IT AGAIN. You nitwits are just making this up.

      ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE IN THIS STORY DOES THE MAYOR SAY OR EVEN HINT AT ‘STAY CALM’.

      Then we have the two backpackers at Rollingstone who were ‘left shocked as flash flooding gripped the Northern Beaches’. Turns out they were fascinated about how puddles quickly grew bigger while they were having breakfast.

      And quick, call an ambulance, our backpackers were so ‘left shocked’ to need treatment for trauma, as clearly seen in these two pics.

      Then the reporting team tends to knock down the drama a notch when they quote a local stating the bleedin’ obvious ‘it was just another summer event, and ‘an annual occurrence.’

      This juvenile shock-horror reporting is not only demeaning to yourselves, but also is an insult to the intelligence of the not-surprisingly dwindling number of readers of your paper.

      AND MEMO TO OLD MAGPIE MATE EVAN MORGAN: excellent snapper though you are, Evan, you have form for enticing your subjects to break the rules so regularly honked loudly in your own paper urging everyone to stay out of floodwaters. You have followed up last year’s kids standing in fast flowing water on the wall of a weir with these efforts of ‘shocked’ backpackers. One can only hope for your sake Evan, that nothing untoward happens from your eagerness for an ‘interesting’ pic.

  19. Critical says:

    The “Please avoid direct contact with the water” signs have also appeared at Three Mile Creek, Pallarenda. This creek drains part of the Town Common and in my 36 years living in Townsville, I have never seen similar signs. After reading the signs, one person asked how safe is it to walk in the sea water near the creek mouth.
    Interesting to note though that the signs have not been erected at Mundy Creek, Rowe’s Bay which also drains part of the Town Common.
    What the hell is going on here. TCC you put up the signs so please explain to the ratepayers of this city.

    • Achilles says:

      Don’t suppose it would have anything to do with the fire retardent foam from the adjacent airport????

      • Hondaman says:

        When I was a kid in the 60’s there was a large dump on the Common next to the Airport fence which was regularly used for fire fighting practice. It contained the wreckage of I think a Lincoln bomber, and all the detritus from the base which made a wonderful blaze and probably? was extinguished with the new wonder fire retardent foam. Certainly there would be run-off from there into creeks feeding into Rowes Bay, and maybe an ex- serviceman might be able to comment more?

    • Achilles says:

      Why hasn’t the intrepid TB sent a kiddie reporter to collect a bottle of the water from the creek, take it to an industrial chemist for analysis and publish the result.
      Oh! of course that would be investigative journalism, wouldn’t it?

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, Achilles, that’s not such a silly idea at all, so The Magpie will volunteer to collect several samples (more than one would be needed) if we can find an industrial chemist out there willing to do the testing (pro bono preferably as a community service, but otherwise, surely we can find the fee among our readers).

        This begs the big question: Presumably the TCC has not just put up these signs on a whim or a fingertip taste test, and have already done their own analysis – or had one given them by the Defence Department, Fire Brigade or whoever – but are declining to release it to the public. As the good professor used to say, How can this so? Ask this of your local councillor, folks .. especially Frothy Molachino, who is making the running on all the issues that could end up badly for the council leadership, while the mayor concentrates on her own personal challenges.

        • Achilles says:

          I would have expected a flood of ‘letters to the editor’ from the fishing community, BUT the “published” responce has been zero. I would have thought that Eddies boys would have some clout and a chemist amongst them,

          As I have said previously ‘its the hand that wanks the Captain that steers the ship’

        • The OtherGuy says:

          ‘Pie – while everyone would appreciate the offer to collect water samples for testing, there is a bit on art to taking proper samples including location and depth of test, use of proper single use sample containers etc. I think there is actually an Australian Standard on this. It is probably best to use someone qualified otherwise the TCC will dismiss the results as being invalidly obtained. However, in regard to testing, the TCC may be hoist by their own petard. The TCC has an arm known as Townsville Laboratory Services, part of their Water, Waste and Environment area.
          They actually can test the water and provide the test results. It is unclear if this costs. They can also collect the samples but they may get suspicious when asked to test their own contaminated areas. They would already have the test results for the areas in question – hence the signs.
          As an aside, if I have got this correct I think the quote you are after is “Why is it so?” by Professor Julius Sumner Miller. I remember seeing him live in the late 60’s or early 70’s when I was a young child. Fascinating but intimidating but he did a lot for science. What I do remember is he was in Australia doing advertisements for Cadbury chocolates. He got very ill and had to return home to England. Cadbury paid for two nurses to accompany him home to ensure his health although they didn’t have to, nor did they publicize it. He died not long after. To this day I consider that a true example of being a good corporate citizen.

        • Kevin Parkes says:

          Google PFAS RAAF Base Townsville and the DOD site has all of the testing results that are admitted to.
          About 2500 properties affected by the Garbutt investigation and 6700 properties from Lavarack Barracks investigation.
          The Lavarack Barracks investigation was totally inadequate and affected area includes all of Ross River.

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, Achilles, that’s not a silly idea at all, and The ‘Pie will volunteer to get the samples (more than one will be needed) if someone can point him in the direction of an industrial chemist willing to do the tests (preferably pro bono, but we could surely find the fee if not). And this also raises the question: in order to place these signs, surely the council has already done such testing but has so far declined to reveal the results go the public. As the good profssor used to say

  20. Old Tradesman says:

    Well it looks like the easily duped Townsville voters dreams have finally come home to roost, the $100m allocated for the raising of the Burdekin dam wall and hydro plant has been relocated to a green inspired useless Wind Farm at Warwick, Cupcake, Harpic and Messagebank where are you?

    • No More Dredging says:

      OT, while you’re on the case of the missing millions what is the status of the $193 million Commonwealth money that was supposed to fund Stage 2 of the now-suspended Haughton pipeline duplication? If I recall correctly the Queensland government knocked back the money because they didn’t want it linked to their annual GST allocation (or something, never quite got the gist of it) and in the wash-up the Morrison government said that the money was allocated and would still be coming to NQ and would somehow be spent here – perhaps on the whim of the local member. Now I’m sure Phillip Thompson doesn’t have a bag full of cash ready to throw around Sports Rorts-style but where is that money? What happened to it?

      • The Magpie says:

        As The ‘Pie understands it, it is still on call for use on projects selected by Thompson and his own ‘task force’ of locals. Mayor Mullet has been salviating to get her hands on some oif ity to get her out of the financial shit, but Thommo is having none of it. Fair enough, it’s fed money rejected by the state, and we libve in the reality of the mayor’s financial ineptitude.

      • Old Tradesman says:

        NMD, I have it on pretty good information that the money you mention will be used here, with an attached business case as responsible people who understand how business and finances work will allocate the funds., not like the Trad Cross River Rail Project in Brisbane that will return no dividends to the state coffers as it did not have a business case attached and is expected to blow out to $10-15 Billion. The Burdekin dam is the infrastructure that the state needs for gravity feeding water to Townsville, your favourite topic Renewable Hydro power and sustainable farming etc. As for Sports Rorts maybe you should familiarise yourself with the promises made by the 3 fools that are in power, unfortunately, for the next 3 and a half years. They will be kept to account.

        • No More Dredging says:

          OT, I can’t think of a government at state or federal level in the past 50 years that would hand over $193 million to a local member to do whatever they liked with subject to some faceless, unknown “responsible people who understand how business and finances work”. Who would these “responsible” people be? Are you thinking of an organisation like TEL or LGAQ, the local chamber of commerce or the Disaster Committee?

          • The Magpie says:

            Can’t readily find the list, but The ‘Pie published when the issue first arose. It has some new business faces as well as a number of the usual suspects.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      OT, Cupcake, Harpic and Messagebank are at the feeding trough, where they always are, feasting on the scraps and tid-bits that Palachook throws to them!!

    • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

      That would be a good deal, as the wind farm will doubtless provide an economic benefit to the state that the dam raising famously wouldn’t.

  21. The Magpie says:

    Well, you voted for him.

    He cries over his kids in Parliament, but won’t cry over his crime-ridden community.

    It hasn’t taken greedy goofball Messagebank Walker, the battler’s champion, to adopt Labor’s ‘let them eat cake’ mantra.

    In an astounding response to Federal member Phillip Thompson’s request for a crisis meeting over crime, Walker took exception to Thompson’s description of the holiday season mayhem of stolen car, armed robberies, carjackings and vandalism as being ‘simply unacceptable’.
    Messagebank’s dismissive reply, quoted in the Astonisher, is a wall-to-wall lie.
    “It’s easy for the federal member to cause a lot of fear,” Mundingburra MP Mr Walker said.
    “The police service is doing a great job, and you would have heard they caught another baddie in relation to carjackings.
    “We are not announcing on a State Government level what the police are doing as a strategy to catch these offenders.
    “The police are doing a very good job, they have got a plan, and they’ve got resources, and they’ve got more resources coming.”

    Astounding stuff, but the kicker came with his punchline.
    ‘I call on Mr Thompson to stop using social media to create fear.’

    Well, perhaps there is a the deal to made here, you time-serving, trough-bingeing party toady – Thompson will stop using social media to tell the truth about you if you stop using social media to tell lies about yourself.

    • The Magpie says:

      PS Yes, the cops are doing as great a job as they can with the resources they given by arsesoles like Walker, Stewart and Harper. The sterling and often courageous efforts of the cops are never in question, but the courage of our elected members certainly is.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Many in the police force are just as fed up as the rest of us but unfortunately they have no choice but to go on TV and basically lie, the higher the rank is the more political the job becomes. From my perspective I have no sympathy for the brainless dickheads of this town, why only 2 months ago they clearly voted for the Palaszczuk crime plan and now have to live with it, if it gets bad enough anyone with a few bucks can just pack up and move somewhere else, but the morons who voted for her can stay and suck it up, at least they didn’t get Covid!

      • Critical says:

        We must praise the police for doing their tough but bloody frustrating job of arresting and doing their best to keep this scum off our streets.
        It appears to me that the real problem lies in what happens to this scum after the police arrest them. Once the police arrest this scum, we enter into the world of sentencing and so called rehabilitation. A world that is controlled by the bleeding heart society and other do-gooders such as human rights movement people, the anti-discrimination people, civil rights people, psychologists, social workers, the cafe-latte sipping mob in our capital cities and the list goes on and they can list and quote every international report and Australian Royal Commission report to back-up their bullshit. Unfortunately our useless government listens to this mob and no strong meaningful action is ever taken against this scum. This results in this scum being untouchables because the courts are unable to sentence deterrent punishment etc to this scum so the circle continues and they just thumb their nose at the community and police.
        The other part of this circle goes something like police arrest the scum and get abused and monitored by camera and other scum using their smart phones during the process, scum gets taken to the watch house and in step the do-gooders such as certain bleeding hearts solicitors, psychologists social workers who all get paid by tax payer funds to write reports etc to get the scum off any punishment, scum then goes to court and is either sent to the Cleveland Youth Four Star Holiday Camp for a few days or get a slap on the wrist. Scum is then let go and the circle continues.
        Who needs to ensure that this circle continues the mob involved after scum goes into the watch house including other non’government organisations after the so-called rehabilitation program dollars who are funded by tax payer dollars. If we had a system which truly reduced crimes this would mean that their work would be substantially reduced meaning decreased or no tax payer funded payment to their organisations or them which means no job so to a point it all about self interest for some players in this system.

    • Al says:

      Les “drama queen” walker. Sorry, wanker

  22. One legged tap dancer says:

    I’m happy to contribute to a fund to pay for testing the water samples if you can find someone qualified to do it.

  23. Dave Sth says:

    Pie, Cabbage Tree Passage Rd to Newcastle-Port Stephens Airport has similar signs about the RAAF contaminants everywhere. Not official but mostly local and handmade.

    How long before these sorts appear in the ‘ville.

    Oh and before I forget. Happy New Year, didn’t expect you back so soon.

  24. The Magpie says:

    Let’s not go overboard about what’s happening in Washington right now … it is hardly a popular uprising, just a few of the usual quarterwits (technically known as Trump supporters). This pic clearly shows what happens when cousins marry.

    Anyway, the Dems now have both houses, winning both Georgia seats from the fascist/racist incumbents, so perhaps this marks the u-turn and the US is on the way back.

    If they ever make a movie of the end of Trump years, it will be called – because the biopic of his supporters, Deliverance, is already taken – it will be called The Fuckening.

    • Agent of chaos says:

      The funniest thing was the Cops removing barricades so that the ‘Deliverance family’ could enter the building. Cops were also giving fist pumps and posing for selfies with rioters. Meanwhile Vlad and Xi PingPong closely watch the shenanigans with interest as they watch the so-called great nation descend into chaos. I’m wondering if the Orange man will put the protestors in a ‘re-education camp’ or push the red button?

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      McConnell is smart, he knows this is a good one to lose, the USA will really struggle in the next 4 years as its economy shits itself, he will be eyeing off full control of the senate and house with a big shift in the mid terms in two years as the democrats fall to pieces like they always do, the Republicans will probably get another 6-8 years running the show after that.

    • Polythene Pam says:

      Cousins? More like brothers and sisters ‘Pie.

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        Currently quite a few backwoods American villages missing their local idiots.

        By the look of the horns on that blokes head there are one or two bison or (perhaps the household milking cow) in the family lineage too.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      I think I’ve seen the one with the head horns wandering around Belgian Gardens, Pie. Name is Steve from memory………

      • The Magpie says:

        Think you’ve got the wrong bull by the horns there, Plucka … Steve is a lefty’s lefty, and The ‘Pie can’t imagine he would have truck with violence supporting Trump … now, if it was Bill Shorten or Albo having a whinge about dodgy voting , he’d probably be first to the barricades with his nulla nulla.

    • NQ Gal says:

      Either it’s an unfortunate crease or even this guys man bits are swinging to the right.
      At long last Twitter and Facebook have suspended the Orange Ejits accounts. If they had done that the day after the election, the US might not have had to suffer this humiliation on the world stage.

    • upagumtreeperson says:

      Very clever comments Magpie.

  25. Dave of Kelso says:

    I wonder what Trump’s blood pressure is like now that his (anti)social media platforms have been shut down, albeit temporally, denieing him his minute by minute occupation of the world stage.

    Bloody excellent!

    He must be a really charming bloke to around at the moment. Har har hard!

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-07/twitter-facebook-lock-donald-trump-account-for-policy-violations/13038816

    • winnie says:

      very dangerous attack on free speech that some individual has control of social media

      an old quote but true

      “i disagree with your opinion but defend your right to express it”

      Facebook organizers should be taking a long hard look in the mirror

      • The Magpie says:

        Reasonable people have always known that free speech has its limits … as the old legal rule has it, you cannot falsely yell ‘fire!’ in a crowded theatre. And one would have to be a very unreasonable and unmoored person to suggest that banning a mobster president who would be a dictator from inciting violent and deadly mob actions is not free speech, it is seditious incitement.

        Get a grip, winnie, otherwise you’ll prove you are a pooh.

        • Grumpy says:

          Yes, Pie, but where do you draw the line and who draws it?

          • VN says:

            Facebook and Twitter have no integrity as millions of people yell “fire” everyday with no sanctions. They are just another media company looking to manipulate others for their own ends.

          • The Magpie says:

            And your solution is?

          • The Magpie says:

            You seem to have fallen into the error of accepting that ‘free speech’ is an absolute. It is not, as someone in your position well knows, Grumps.

            We set those lines by using the same yardsticks we use to avoid endangering the general public and for the general safety of the community, like making some things illegal to do, such as choosing as a free citizen on which side of the road you drive. Those in power can be sneaky about curtailing our right to speak out in some areas (the unnecessarily draconian ‘interests of national security’ laws come to mind), but we for the moment we remain a society … and so does America … of at least being able to challenge such ruling with which we may disagree.

            And therefore The ‘Pie would most certainly endorse outlawing incitement to riot, armed insurrection and violent overthrow of a democratically elected government.

  26. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Chief Executive Officer

    Davidson · Townsville, AU

    Actively recruiting
    Advert from a Brisbane based recruitng company for the position CEO of Townsville Enterprise.
    I bet Cookie and the other TOWNSVILLE owned and based reruitment companies are spitting chips.
    Are the Townsville companies not good enough to handle this task?

  27. upagumtreeperson says:

    Love this stuff every week. Very clever contributors and you too Magpie.

  28. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    I wonder if an international coalition will be formed to restore the rule of law to the US, remove its despot leader and neutralise its weapons of mass destruction. Leading members could include Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Libya, Somalia, Grenada, Cuba, Panama, Vietnam, etc etc…

    • Walkers Hill says:

      I don’t think so. The Americans will just convene a meeting at guantanamo bay and then vote to invade themselves I reckon.

  29. Tenacious D says:

    Why did the National Guard etc take so long to answer the call to get to the capitol? – they had to go home and change!

  30. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    If the Trumpet continues the tradition of of setting up a Presodential library after he leaves office, I wonder if it will look like this.

    Or will it consist entirely of audio books? Or perhaps flash cards and sharpie pens?Maybe one huge digital Twitter screen?

  31. Doxie says:

    Jenny Hill and that O’Callaghan woman the 2 most influential people in the Townsville and District? No wonder we’re in such a mess. And Johnathan Thurston at #12? Ye Gods and little fishes!!! Is there any hope for us at all? Mind you, the other 47 in that list aren’t that crash-hot either……………

    • The Magpie says:

      Always good for a laugh … especially loved the line about Mayor Mullet ‘springing into action’ to create a pandemic task force.
      “Cr Hill, with the help of other key members of the community, sprang into action, creating Taskforce NQ which was designed to lead the region’s economic recovery.”

      And what do this dynamic conglomerate do?
      “The taskforce developed a document that detailed key projects which could drive growth across North and North West Queensland.”

      In other words, yet another bullshit wish list.

      Always good to know we’re safe in the hands of Jenny and her visionaries.

  32. Alahazbin says:

    The Astonisher’s best bit of fiction released today.
    “Townsville’s Top 50”. What a laugh!

  33. Tinfoil Tim says:

    Pete Newey told me that there are rumours circulating that the incident in the Senate chamber on Capitol Shill was a sting operation and some Trump undercover operatives were able to obtain Nancy Pelosi’s laptop computer along with about a dozen other laptops. Trumpeter is going to ‘blow the lid’ on Political shenanigans.

  34. Zebu says:

    The ASTONISHER at it again Condoning Criminality WOTTON in the top 50

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