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The Magpie

Sunday, June 26th, 2022   |   144 comments

Budgets, Brittany,  And Big Bazza’s Mystery Buyers Revealed – It’s Been A Heady Mix In The Past Week

Lansdown field of dreams tactic turning into a nightmare, as another punter pauses …

More smoke and mirrors from the Walker Street fun house, as Mayor Mullet frantically tries to hide the real slug faced by ratepayer per her budget … and the one councillor to vote against the budget, Fightin’ Fran O’Callaghan tells why she opposes many measures

The Magpie EXCLUSIVELY reveals the surprise buyer of Barry Taylor’s bargain basement sale of his Castle Hill pile … since the new owner is a big advertiser, maybe the Bulletin has been told to keep it quiet, but if the paper won’t tell you, as always, The ‘Pie will …

Logie lunacy: Lisa Wilkinson knew she shouldn’t … but she did anyway … now two questions, will she face contempt charge, and who will pay for the costs of delaying a the trial of the man accused of raping Brittany Higgins?

The Townsville Bulletin reveals their Wonder Woman reporter …

…and jackboot justice Yankee-style yesterday’s dismaying ruling by a corrupt Supreme Court …

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Now onward …

The Elephant In The Room Just Farted … And Woke Up The Bulletin

Riffling through the council budget, The Magpie was reminded of the old joke about the surgeon telling a patient there is good news and bad news: ‘The bad news is we amputated of the wrong leg, but the good news is that the bloke two beds down has made a good offer on your slippers.’ That’s how it sort of felt when the Bulletin’s front page ‘offer on the slippers’ was so deliberately misleading.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 7.37.33 pmTrying to alarm the public with a 2% rate rise when they’d been expecting at least triple that was a classic two-bob-way effort and misleading in the extreme.  But that was Wednesday, and it wasn’t until yesterday – Saturday – after various sites, including this one, were questioning the real costs ratepayers were facing – that the paper txhat’s all for us suddenly had second thoughts.

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even the Astonisher wasn’t silly enough to include the word ‘really’ in the headline.

Look, it is not unreasonable that Jenny Hill would put the best face on the unpleasant realities of the council’s 2022/23 budget, and do her usual fantasy act involving beads and blankets for the natives, but when ratepayers are mislead by the Bulletin’s lazy, incurious and incompetent parroting of the council line, it highlights just how poorly this city is served. Many aspects of the financial governance of Townsville will be mulled over and argued about in the days and weeks ahead, but the most insidious one is the council’s ability to slug investment owners – that is those with rental properties – the same percentage rate that land valuations have suddenly skyrocketed. In some cases, that is more than 40%. The best summary came from our old mate Professor Adjunct Colin Dwyer …. belatedly in the Weekend Bulletin.

Colin Dwyer

Colin Dwyer

A TOWNSVILLE homeowner who owns an ‘average’ property will pay about 9 per cent more when the rates bill comes in the mail.

An average Townsville property worth $155,000 will pay about $227 more each year.
This figure includes increases to both water and waste charges which will go up $4 and $36 respectively on the standard service. There was a freeze on sewerage charges.
This increase comes following a 2 per cent in the dollar rate rise and an increase in land valuations in 2022.
Townsville City Council announced the rate rise when it voted on its 2022-23 budget.
It also installed a 10 per cent cap on an increase for what people could pay, but only for people’s principal place of residence. In the last budget, the cap was 30 per cent.
There is no cap for investment properties, units or commercial spaces.
About 40 per cent of Townsville’s residential properties are investment properties.
For example, in Shaw, the average land valuation went down 7.5 per cent.
When this figure is calculated against the new rates and charges increases, property owners will be paying almost $86 less than they were in the 2021-22 financial year.
In North Ward, land valuations went up 40 per cent.
While owner occupier rates are capped at 10 per cent, if an owner holds a North Ward property as an investment, there is no cap on the increase in rates.
An average North Ward owner occupier would now be paying $4211.60, up from $2942 in the 2021-22 financial year. This would be a 43 per cent increase without the 10 per cent cap.
For an investment property in North Ward, the property owner would now be paying $4948, which is up from 2021-22 at $3457, which is a 43 per cent increase.
In Idalia, the average property value was $199,500, which equated to a $2059.40 rates bill. This has climbed to $240,000 in 2022-23, with the average rates bill expected to be about $2527.
Regional economist Colin Dwyer said this move could force rent up, and discourage investors from building more housing stock in the city.

What is not clear if the council is obligated to hike rates all the way up with the land valuations where no cap is applied, over which they have no control – seems a great way to kill the economy stone dead. State and Federal money promises are also carry question marks about timely delivery, like they always have.


Mackay budget

$302m …. CWP $104m

Cairns budget

$393 m …. $144.6m CWP

Townsville budget

$957.5m. CWP ???

Clr Fran O’Callaghan Was The Only Councillor To Vote Against The Budget 

She tells why.

But Timing Can Be A Real Bitch, Can’t It?

And just as we learn that Jenny has earmarked $80million of the $240m state and federal funding for her pet enthusiasm Lansdown, we read –with one eyebrow raised – that the previously solid looking Pacific Metals project which bis now anchoring the Hub in the Scrub is pausing its enthusiasm. The wording of the delay is far from reassuring, even using a new bullshit term ‘derisking’.

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The entire statement from QPM CEO Steven Grocott is couched in terms that  would make some people nervous – a short version seems to be that QPM want to do ‘test work’ on some new technology and equipment to make some hitherto unspecified risk less likely, depending on the level of ‘derisking’. (FFS). Then when they are satisfied with all that and if a commercial agreement with the equipment maker can be agreed, then and only then can QPM can then start on a feasibility study. What!?! ‘Feasibility means establishing IF something can be done.

We won’t know nuntil later in the year, but don’t tell us we’ve got Magnis Mark 2.

 Speaking Of Which …

Magnis CEO Frank Poullas is still hawking his wares around the ASX, but somehow, he never again mentions Townsville or Lansdown. An article in the Oz this week is put in the usual vague terms aimed at wooing investors, but asks only to have faith in the stuttering and jerking New York operation.

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anybody want to ask the council what their current relationship is with Magnis? Or was it all a wet dream?

The Bulletin’s Caitlin Charles: Journalism’s Wonder Woman

caitlin Charles Screen Shot 2022-06-24 at 6.13.25 pm

Only someone with special powers mere mortals don’t possess could put in the Herculean effort that Ms Charles amazed us with during the week.

For ages to come, greybeards will contemplate, ordinary folks will puzzle over how she did it, and mothers will tuck in their children, telling them ‘If you’re good, You too to can grow up to be like Caitlin. ‘But mummy’, they cry, ‘ How did Wonder Caitlin manage to be in two place … Townsville AND Brisbane at the same time.’’ Now, dearest, that a super person’s secret, but remember, to be like Caitlin, you must never ask questions.’

Super Cate brought us all the highlights of the TCC budget. We’ve highlighted her by lines so you appreciate her incredible work.


But wait, the wonder comes in here when we flip back a page and find another Wonder Cate double page spread on the state budget!! In the same paper, on the same day!!


And then, with a touch of showing off, she dashed another little piece a couple of pages on, with time to spare.


But the cynical doubters may carp that maybe she had trusty offsiders to help her pull of this seemingly impossible task? Even Batman has his Robin (figuratively, one trusts, ) The Phantom has his dog Devil, The Lone Ranger his Tonto, and Bilbo Baggins his hobbits. On thinking about it, The ‘Pie had a look around and reckons Wonder Cate’s helper were closer to Snow White’s seven dwarves … her own platoon of little public servants. The ‘Pie wandered down this rocky trail of thought and took a squizz at the Townsville City Council budget media releases, posted on the TCC website on Tuesday.


Council passes record budget amid confident growth and investment in city

Townsville City Council’s 2022/23 Budget and Operational Plan is delivering a strong economic and social vision to cement the city’s reputation as the capital of Northern Australia.


Council invests in green economy and sustainability

Council is investing more than $10 million through its 2022/23 budget into innovative sustainability methods to boost Townsville’s green economy.


Council sharpens water security focus

Townsville City Council has maintained its focus on water security in its 2022/23 Budget to support residential, commercial and industrial growth for a sustainable future.


Council keeps rate rise minimal despite rising costs

Townsville City Council’s 2022/23 Budget has delivered a minimal general rate rise despite a sharp increase in operating costs.


Council invests in safe city

Townsville City Council is prioritising the safety and security of the community through investing $33.8 million in its 2022/23 Budget for key security initiatives.


Council invests in making Townsville Shine

Council will invest millions in managing the city as an attractive and active place to live and visit as part of its 2022/23 Budget.


Council commits to lifestyle and culture

Council’s 2022/23 Budget is furthering Townsville’s reputation as the events, sports, and cultural capital of Northern Australia with a $39.5 million investment in arts, culture, and events over the next 12 months.


Council invests in connected city

Council will invest $201 million in roads, drains and active transport infrastructure across Townsville over the next 12 months, realising its plan to create a safe, connected city and demonstrating its commitment to enhancing liveability.


Council invests $33 million in affordability

Townsville City Council’s 2022/23 Budget includes an investment of $33 million to help provide financial support across important community areas.


Council invests in transformational projects

Townsville City Council has today released a record budget with a confident $957.5 million investment in delivering essential services, infrastructure upgrades and major projects to continue growing the city and its economy.


Council hand down record budget to get balance right

“Council’s prudent and responsible financial management over the past nine years has delivered six budgets in surplus and one balanced budget during that time,” Cr Molachino said.

A few minutes checking showed that Wonder Caitlin’s effort was a masterful mix and match, delete and cut and paste effort without one original sentence discernible,  not a single question asked, and all the sentences appeared throughout that media release list. And you can bet that as sure God made little Green nuisances, her Brisbane platoon worked their shiny bums off for the state budget propaganda., too Makes you wonder why you’d buy the paper with its frequent unjustified price rises, when so much of its content is out there for free.

Now on the face of it, re-writing media releases is a standard chore, but never ever were the names of the news writer used as a by-line. Apart from anything else, if someone else has made an error that you have claimed is your work, you’re just as liable. Besides, fair dinkum journos would be too proud to claim the words of biased paid PR hacks. Or would’ve been.

So, for those who don’t believe in super powers, Caitlin, you’re looking a bit like a right old Charlie.

Interesting New Owner For Bazza Taylor’s Former Bolt Hole On Castle Hill

Barry's house 0-3

The ‘Pie often wondered if anyone would ever fall for the legal foghorn’s chunky charmless property up the end of Victoria Street, but it seems it attracted the attention of a couple who make a habit of property dealings with people who are a tad too much up themselves.

But The ‘Pie is told the new owners, Steven and Julie Shoobridge, are certainly not dills or up themselves, and they know a bargain in what might be termed financially distressed property. That’s no doubt why they snapped up the Taylor white elephant at the fire sale price of a tad over $4m. As they say in the US cop shows, Bazza, sorry for your loss.

Shoobridge, a Tully born lad and former JCU student, is owner of Star Hotel Group, Qld’s largest owner/operator Pub/liquor retail chain.

Star Hotel Group forked out $9.5M last year for Central Hotel in Palmer St, Sth Tville.

The Shoobridges appear to have a liking for houses owned by ratbags…In 2018 he purchased ‘Bromely’ ,Chris Skases’ house in Hamilton Brisbane for $10M.

Construction of ‘Bromely’ reported to have cost Skase back then (or his victims) $35 – $40M ! The pub czars also sold their penthouse to Kevin 07 Rudd in Brisbane few years back for circa $8M.

Interestingly, records show ‘No Information Available’ for new ownership of Taylors sale back in April, but that surely wouldn’t be a barrier for the tough, investigative journalists we are told people the newsroom. but somehow, the Bulletin hasn’t mentioned the Shppbridges,  although all their other property reporting their names as new buyers. Hmmmm, wonder if Mr Shoobridge advised Bully not to report his private purchase, and since he’s probably a big advertiser in Bully with his liquor chain he ‘bought’ the paper’s confidentiality. More likely it was Bazza who wanted to keep his short end of the stick dealings quiet. He’s very touchy about people mentioning him, especially whenever he loses money or court cases.

Although Taylor is known to be happy to charge eye-watering fees for average effort – the standing joke is that it was so cold the other day, Bazza was seen with his hands in his own pocket – he can take solace that his waterfront mansion in Noosa has probably quadrupled in value since he bought  it… probably about well above $20m+ about now.  – which means Bazza might put on the market now for $75m.

Lisa Wilkinson’s Monumental Stupidity Shouldn’t End With Her Contrition

Coming clean by falling on the Wilkinson sword really isn’t enough.

Screen Shot 2022-06-21 at 6.42.25 pm

If not a full-blown charge of perverting the course of justice, there is a strong case for the courts to bill Lisa Wilkinson for the costs of the delayed trial in the man accused of allegedly raping Brittany Higgins. Wilkinson’s wilful flouting of top legal advice deserves a strong censure, and is celebrity hubris at its worst. There are other reasons for strong judicial action against this lantern jawed self-regarder … apart from she herself being a prominent witness in the trial, husband Peter Fitzsimons engineered Higgins book deal. There is also historical proof from her own mouth that she knew what she did at the Logies was wrong. Here’s the proof. 

So, Here Come De Judge?

Right now, and despite what Justice Lucy McCallum may think, it is difficult to believe that the trial of the man accused of raping Brittany Higgins will ever come before a jury, and will have to be a judge only trial when the matter returns to court on October 4. Many will find this unsatisfactory, but in the interests of fairness, only a trained legal expert of years experience could bring to bear unbiased concentration and evaluation of the facts of this matter. That’s a very real consideration despite the unrealistic assumption by McCallum that, in her words, ‘”Three months is a significant period during which attention on the prejudicial issues will fade in the minds of potential jurors.’ Wannna bet, lady? Just like the fiction of believing in the effectiveness of telling a jury to disregard something that can’t be unsaid, that’s just twaddle from someone who doesn’t spend much time in the public places where potential jurors congregate, and as the new date approaches, the chat will intensify around the water coolers, in the bars and restaurants, workplaces and even boardrooms.

As an example of The ‘Pie’s point here is the deeply stupid reaction of Channel Ten to Wilkinson’s hubristic idiocy.

Screen Shot 2022-06-24 at 10.13.24 am Screen Shot 2022-06-24 at 10.16.30 am

TEN’s attitude basically boils down to this: Stop calling our idiot an idiot or else … that in a nutshell is TEN’s reaction to people who reasonably think Lisa Wilkinson was an idiot with her Logie’s speech. Interesting that the muck-raking network (sorry for the ambiguous redundancy, they all are) have adopted the old ‘attack is the best form of defence’ …  and that too is a bit idiotic. Because if they did instigate any action, the publicity surrounding that action – limited as it may be – would prolong the exposure of the issue to the public – which is exactly where all the trouble started. But how up yourself can you be to ‘offer’ to obey the laws regarding contempt of court … there’s no offer about it, it is not a negotiation, just shut the fuck up.

A gender balanced panel of judges instead of a jury would be the best course to satisfy both sides, so that the outcome can be readily accepted by the parties. And the public. The judges gender doesn’t matter in substance, but it sure will in perception.

Flagging Enthusiasm

Like many others – oh, let’s say every single person in the country – The Magpie uttered a few quizzically curious adjectives with the odd noun when he learnt that the NSW Government was being stiffing itself $25million to put the Indigenous flag permanently on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But the old bird has now realised how remiss he was in doubting the cost/benefit ratio of vital projects like this. All cleared up and very reasonable when you read the detail of the quote supplied by The Shovel Flag and Pole Solutions. But still a bit of an over-quote on the flagpole.

Anyway, the public outcry sees the matter back at the drawing board , which the NSW Government probably bought from Officeworks for $350,000 (+ GST).

In Passing

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 9.21.39 am

Bit rich coming from someone who had no qualms about breaking up the Joyce household unity, and said hubby Beetroot Barnaby proved to be a great unifier himself by calling his coalition partner various colourful names one would more expect from political opponents.


And this …

Screen Shot 2022-06-23 at 6.17.02 pm

Sounds painful, and 14 months … seems a bit inefficient.

The Day The Other Jackboot Dropped In America

 Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 9.51.15 am

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion, a momentous break from a half-century of rulings on one of the nation’s most contentious issues. About half the states have already indicated they would move to ban the procedure.

The ruling by the US Supreme Court which in effect will result in widespread laws against abortion is hardly a surprise, more the dropping of the other jack boot … when the draft decision was leaked some months ago, it was certain that this ruling was coming. And a majority of American men and women waited helplessly for it to happen.  It is in the most cowardly way, really a non-ruling of sorts, an abdication of responsibility: SCOTUS did not say abortion was or is illegal (but certainly made it clear it was distasteful to them) but rather than have the power to decide that issue, these six Trumpian medievalists said individual states could make their own decision own laws on the issue. But it is an issue that attacks a fundamental right a previous SCOTUS ruling had held as law for five decades, and to suddenly wash their hands of the burden of political payback and massive unrest was a snivelling and politically motivated connivance. A statement by the three dissenting judges sheeted this travesty home to one man without naming him, when they said: The court reverses course today for one reason and one reason only: because the composition of this Court has changed.”

Another triumph for Trump’s divisive tactic to rip apart the fragile American social fabric, the fabric to be replaced with the rough thread of blanket authoritarianism – a move already signalled by the deeply compromised and totally corrupt Justice Clarence Thomas, who openly called on the court to revisit other decisions, including on contraception and same-and  that he would do away with the doctrine of “substantive due process” and explicitly called on the court to “overrule the rulings in Griswold v. Connecticut, on the right to contraception; Lawrence v. Texas, on the right to same-sex intimacy; and Obergefell v. Hodges, on the right to same-sex marriage”.

As The Magpie has always maintained, he favours only one abortion law …. One that makes it retrospective, and allows the termination of grotesquely malformed, congenitally damaged fully grown foetuses of 60, 70 and 80 years of age. Top of the list should be the names  Thomas, Coney-Barret, Kavanaugh, Alito, Roberts and Gorsuch.

But this late ruling came after our gallery selection had a variety of other things on their minds during the week.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 11.25.08 am Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 11.25.25 am Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 11.21.48 am Screen Shot 2022-06-24 at 9.28.33 am Screen Shot 2022-06-24 at 9.26.50 am FVBPF0vUsAAlDY3 Screen Shot 2022-06-22 at 11.39.59 am Screen Shot 2022-06-22 at 11.41.00 am Screen Shot 2022-06-22 at 11.40.42 am Screen Shot 2022-06-22 at 11.38.46 am Screen Shot 2022-06-22 at 11.40.22 am

Finally, Rupert’s On The Prowl Again

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Our favourite pickled walnut is on the loose again, when missus #4, former model Jerry Hall decided she was tired of old age creeping up on her.

But you can keep a good man down if he can still keep it up … expect the Tinder ads soon ….




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


  1. Mike Douglas says:

    Great Blog Pie . Easy to see why Phil Thompson has increased his margin as based on concerned constituents he has already written to Mayor Hill concerned about the rates rises ( highest in Qld ) to homeowners , investors , medium sized businesses . Large amounts of ratepayers $ being dumped into Lansdown and other projects instead of roads , parks , gardens . Councils debt half a billion $ . Appears the only people not concerned is the Mayor , Deputy , Team Hill who voted 43 % rates increase on rental properties and 9 % ( some 10% ) and our 3 State MP,s . Phil and the Bullys facebook pages have had over 300 comments in less than 24 hrs far more than our 3 State MP,s above their budget wins on schools and the hospital . Did Council even consult any Real Estate agents , Property experts on the impact on 43 % rates increase in North Ward rentals and possible impact on the cost of living increases passed on to renters with rates increase above inflation ? .

  2. Tropical says:

    The SCOTUS decision did not ban abortion, but sent it back to the states.
    Abortion was never in the constitution, so they ruled according to that.
    It was always going to happen. It was placed in the constitution illegally by the SCOTUS 50 odd years ago. Even Ruth Bader Ginsberg said it was a step to far.
    Also the majority decision clearly stated throughout the decision document that there is no intention to “overrule the rulings in Griswold v. Connecticut, on the right to contraception; Lawrence v. Texas, on the right to same-sex intimacy; and Obergefell v. Hodges, on the right to same-sex marriage”.

    • The Magpie says:

      In your incoherent rage and foaming hatred, you fail to actually read what is written in the blog. Your first point simply echoes what The ‘Pie said … very clearly … in the Nest. And of course abortion was never in the constitution, the issue was and is more than ever, the individual rights of women over their own bodies. What next will you call for, you disappointed thwarted little man, no more brazilians? And just so a little of the fog might clear for you, whatever SCOTUS determines by majority decision cannot be called illegal because IT IS THEN THE LAW. Ignorant statements about SCOTUS rulings to be illegal betrays a deep ignorance of both language and law, it is your opinion … which carries about as much weight with SCOTUS as it does with this blog. And the suggestion of overruling those other state laws came from your corrupt and mentally failing hero Clarence Thomas, who should be indicted along with his wife Ginnie for sedition. No such suggestion came as an opinion from The Magpie. Just because something doesn’t fit your desired narrative doesn’t make it anything more than opinion …. in your case, demented opinion.

      Now go and shave, change into a less sweaty singlet an wash your bed sheets … you are, in every way, on the whiffer.

      • Polythene Pam says:

        ‘Pie – it will perhaps not surprise you to know that I am halfway through the SCOTUS “opinion” (not “decision” – strange people those septics) and you are quite right to describe Roe as not “illegal” but at worst wrong. Having said that, the terms in which the opinion majority describe the earlier opinion in Roe is quite damning – “Roe was egregiously wrong and on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided”. I really would like to be seated with the bench at the next bar and bench dinner in Washington.

        • The Magpie says:

          It seems the interpretation of law in America (politician’s make them, courts interpret them, right?) has reached the disintegrating point where free flowing prejudiced religo-philosophising of a few determines the individual freedoms nof the many, be it abortion, homosexuality, guns or treasonous Presidents. The great flaw is that so much of SCOTUS is ‘this is what I think they meant’. And that’s opinion all right, not interpretation based on fact, language and logic.

      • Direct Report says:

        What a load of bullshit this is a problem of poverty. lets all look at the middle age twits who are on the bench instead of the truth. No real jobs, poor wages, no health cover and a lack of decent living and employment conditions. free birth control to all women will solve 50% of the nacessity abortions. just keep looking in the wrong direction so no one has to do the right thing. 2022 WTF went wrong Ragan and thatcher and the level not so level playing field.

        • The Magpie says:

          Agree. In the US, rich kids knocked up by the chauffeur will still have the ways and means of getting an abortion, but others will have to have children born into a doomed future of a deprived childhood, to eventually become someone who criminally preys on the still respectable chauffeurs girlfriend. Who will complain about the beastly criminal class, why do they do it?

          Altogether now, a rousing chorus ‘Where have all the flowers gone’…. indeed, when will they ever learn?

          • The Magpie says:

            And while we’re in this unpleasant neck of the woods, there can be absolutely no argument for the heinous law in Texas that abortion is not an option for the victim of rape, and even worse if there’s a hierarchy in rape, incest. In the latter case, medicine will tell you that the result of incest in a child born either a congenital medically designated idiot or a Republican politician. Or both.

  3. Ducks Nuts says:

    Lots of advances in battery technology in the last 12 months. Drexel University are looking at sodium-sulphur batteries. Eliminating the need for lithium altogether.

    • Nick L. says:

      Btw the QPM refinery DFS is due to be complete in a few months, not to begin.

      • The Magpie says:

        Quite right, poorly worded by The Magpie. However, the core point remains that the mayor and Mr Grocott are making a lot of assumptions about what would certainly be an economy boosting bproject v(and we’ve been down this path several times before with madam mayor). So thre disturbing line to the ASK is that they want the DFS completed ‘so they attract funding’. That’s why The ‘Pie suggests it sounds like a Magnis re-run, with an over-eager mayor possibly spruiking stables for unicorns.

        • Nick L. says:

          The mayor is not the main driver of this project and with the greatest respect that assumption is clouding your thinking. It is a great location for a plant. It will need funds and there are a few things that need to be achieved for it to get built. I don’t see why you are so down on it.

          • The Magpie says:

            The Magpie is NOT ‘down on’ Lansdown per se, but is certainly skeptical of the politics surrounding it … the Eco-Hub project that sprang from nowhere with no discernible need when we we have an under utilised SRA right next to the port. Jenny Hill’s history – like the almost criminal Adani airstrip near-fiasco, and calling for a Qantas boycott etc – naturally bred a reasonable skepticism about any of her unexamined claims (20,000 jobs at one early stage). Not that his opinion matters one jot, but The Magpie is not going to carney bark for a project so mired in premature overstatement prompted solely by political posturing (ramped up to now-proven dishonest lengths just before council elections).

            If Lansdown goes ahead even with just QPM, it will a wonderful boost for the town welcomed by just about all here in the Nest, certainly The Magpie. But surely you are not suggesting that reasonable analysis and inquiry based on the facts emerging through a totally incurious paper and other media is totally negative and we should accept everything that is said at face value?

            And while you appear to be well informed and have a clear agenda (which due to your anonymity is more than just a bit ambiguous), perhaps you can help with a serious question that has never been adequately answered by either Walker Street or any of the proposed Lansdown companies: what is the preference for a site 40kms away when the SRA right next to the port has ample space to accommodate such industries? And the commensurate cost savings on transport, as well as a much safer location for workers to travel to? The nature of QPM’s operation in terms of suitably safe operations cannot be very different from Sun Metals, surely? Any additional infrastructure would be no more costly or unavailable at present than it would at Lansdown. Happy for facts to change my general view.

          • Nick L. says:

            Hmm, I dont know the answer to your question. Gas supply via the North Queensland Gas Pipeline, and water supply would be factors, as would be some sensitivity of building a refinery near the coast a la Clive Palmer. But I do think the mayor in this case is a very small cog in the wheel.

          • The Magpie says:

            We are more accustomed to her being a spanner in the works.

          • Amanda Reen says:

            Nick L, I would never be stupid enough to try to speak for the Pie, but my strongly held issue with Lansdown is that the Council has zero place speculating with rate payer and tax payer dollars on this project. There are a lot of other ways that the Council could assist a private developer, who would be gambling their own funds, to get the project up and running. The last five TCC budgets paint a picture of an organisation putting all of its spare capacity into vanity projects like Lansdown and not discharging core duties. Jenny seems singularly focused on showing up Tony Mooney and Les Tyrell as opposed to what is best for the city.

          • The Magpie says:

            You may take it that you have spoken eloquently for The Magpie.

          • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

            Nick, how is Landsdown any better than the Boyle Industrial Estate or the Sturart Industrial Area both of them have existing power, water, roads, and at Sturart also gas and a big solar farm as well as early access to the port.

            Woodstock seems to have none of these.

          • Nick L. says:

            I don’t know. It seems to me there is a plan to do something and for some reason some people have a problem with it.

          • The Magpie says:

            That is the most disappointingly stupid comment one could make … and doubly disappointing coming from someone who was making. previous reasonable points. Let yourself down, mate, with the waving of that white flag.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            One reason Lansdown might be more attractive is that industrial development there is not subject to Commonwealth environmental oversight (unlike the SDA).

          • The Magpie says:

            So such oversight with its inherent safeguards based on public safety, environmental management and probity is a bad thing? You’d rather have Palaszczuk and Hill calling those shots?

            Polite question: why Palm Sunday? Palm Everyday seems to be the operative word in your life, judging by your posts here.

          • Westie says:

            There is no shortage of industrial land in Townsville.

            What sets Lansdowne apart is that the Council owns the land, having purchased Lansdowne station for $1M in the late 1990s. It was purchased as a speculative landbanking opportunity to make money, when Tony Mooney was mayor and Jenny his deputy.

            Other industrial land, including the State Development area, the industrial land in the Bohle, Shaws Road, the Bohle plains, etc belong to private owners who would make the developer profit.

            Questions that have never been asked include conflicts of interest between Council’s simultaneous role as developer and as regulator, unfair competitive advantage over other developers, and spending ratepayer and taxpayer money on the cost of the development.

          • The Magpie says:

            It is a generally accepted axiom that councils should NEVER be developers, certainly not in the sense of Lansdown. Conflict of interest is all over such a position, going into direct competition with rate-paying private developers like Brad Webb, for instance. Then there’s the exposure to risk … if there wasn’t public money being poured into this project from what Jenny hopes is the bottomless public bucket, with prospective tenants being offered concessions not available to private enterprise, Lansdown would be years …decades … away from being a useful, swell-sited necessity. More than one Labor insider has said Jenny, recognising her long list of appalling fuck ups, was and is desperately looking for her ‘legacy’ as mayor, something to rival Mooney';s. Strand. Well, she’s slowly getting it, but not the way she intended. Lansdown, even if tenanted, will surely develop peripheral logistical problems, and will stand as a monument to Jenny Hill’s ego.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Mr Magpie, I am not an intending developer at Lansdown or the SDA. But if I was and my proposal had some dubious environmental aspects like say, a Yabulu-style nickel refinery with tailings dam, a Stuart-style cement plant or a Port of Townsville-style lead concentrate handling facility, I’d be avoiding entanglement with the complex Commonwealth EPBC legislation.

          • The Magpie says:

            Mate, you really aren’t too bright are you? An open admission in this blog that your ethics would allow you to use whatever means to avoid legal safeguards that protect the environment and the community says in one single sentence why your credibility has just gone from zero to sub-zero (except among developers. perhaps, of which the TCC is now one). Your comment carries the clear inference that the Commonwealth EPBC legislation is a pesky nuisance to be disregarded where possible.

            The community applauds your concern.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            The Lansdown site is inland away from the coastal wetlands which have automatic EPBC assessment status. That’s all. I am suggesting that there is one attribute at Lansdown that may make it attractive to an industrial developer. I’m not suggesting that there is no environmental assessment there. In fact I am sure there will be state and local government assessment and maybe, as the Engineer suggests, something Black – throated Finch, and who-knows-what about the Ross River dam catchment – Townsville’s water supply.
            A second attraction at Lansdown which may not be available at the SDA is a bunch of custom-made bulk water supply options subsidised if not fully paid for by government. There’s something in the recent QBudget about a reservoir and 12 kms pipeline at Woodstock. In and out of the CityDeal there are millions available from the federal government for infrastructure at Lansdown.

          • The Magpie says:

            Lot of wishful thinking in there, especially with phrases like ‘may not be available at the SDA’ Is it or isn’t it? Present your argument fact checked and don’t be so arrogant to expect readers (especially the busy ‘Pie) to do that for you. And then there’s a classic bit of flummery ‘There’s something in the recent QBudget about a reservoir and 12 kms pipeline at Woodstock’. ‘Something’? Care to share what the something is?

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Something like:

            “Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct (enabling infrastructure)
            $26 million to construct a 13km raw water pipeline and pumping station connecting the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct to the Haughton Pipeline, and a water reservoir, subject to an assessment and a contribution from the Australian Government.”

          • The Magpie says:

            OK, good info, as far as it goes. So help The ‘Pie here (genuine question): is the $26m allocated already available from council funds, or is that the amount or part thereof the monies the council HOPES to get from the Feds? If its the council’s money, it will presumably be sidelined while that assessment – whatever that may entail – is carried out. All very rubbery, isn’t it?

            And The ‘Pie isn’t going to pretend to be an expert (he generally has the knowledge and asks the questions everyday folks would), $26m would go a long way to hooking up water to any SDA site, if its even needed … which in fact should not be council money but state …as in State Development Area.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            The $26m is in the Queensland Budget not the TCC budget. Also, bits of pipeline and a reservoir in the Woodstock area are presumably going to be connected to the end of Stage1 of the Haughton Pipeline. The other end of that completed pipeline is not connected to anything. It is waiting for the Haughton Stage 2 pipeline to be built extending the whole back to the Burdekin River at Clare. Can’t find a further allocation for Haughton Stage 2 in the QBudget but maybe the 90% full Ross River dam has allowed a further postponement of spending.

  4. Alahazbin says:

    Pie, Seems the ‘Star Group’ are expanding big time in Palmer St. As well as Central, they now own the Shamrock and have purchased Ridges next door.
    The Shamrock is to undergo a makeover, but there are a few ‘heritage’ issues to overcome.

    • Mike Douglas says:

      Alahasbin , Star Group also purchased Sunland Plaza shopping Thuringowa which includes nearly 3 hectares of prime commercial land for $5 mil . Liquor licence applied for a Tavern .

  5. Astonished says:

    Proof of the Townsville Bulletin’s cosy protection arrangement with Jenny Hill number 2376.
    Last Monday I sent a text to the editor regarding the staggering $6.2 million being paid to the Wagners (of Wellcamp fame,) for the boardwalk that will go from nowhere to nowhere along Ross Creek.
    I pointed out that the $6.2 million for 280 metres of boardwalk seemed a tad expensive compared to the more realistic $2.39 million paid to BMD for the 440 metre boardwalk in Central Park that links the Cowboys stadium to Victoria Bridge and the CBD, and asked why the difference. Pretty reasonable question, I thought, to which there may be a plausible answer (or not).
    I also requested an explanation as to just who will use the new boardwalk, and why. Again, surely ratepayers are entitled to know the reason this new extravagance is so urgently needed at a time of record council debt.
    Needless to say my text hasn’t seen the light of day.
    Obviously Jenny didn’t approve it.

    • Hondaman says:

      Astonished, please don’t be put off by the lack of attention to your replies to the local rag, I’ve not had the last three published either and most were to do with serial pest Steve of Belgian Gardens. One was what I believed to be a right of reply to a distortion of fact that he was allowed, but sadly mine wasn’t. The Editor is playing some sort of game where extremists with no guarantees of proof of their crackpot policies are forced to justify their comments! It’s almost the same as reading on Saturday about the range of the electric cars we are having shoved down our necks with nary a fast charging station in coo-ee! At least Shari has moderated her column, and gone back to meaningful agendas!

  6. Prince Rollmop says:

    Excellent blog Maggie. You raise a really good point about lazy reporters and lazy news outlets – they don’t do investigative journalism any more. In regards to political reporting, they simply copy and paste from Party news briefs or from what’s on the Governments website. No questions asked. No research. No probing. No investigating. Just copy and paste. Add in some sensationalism or biased thoughts and you have the modern media. That’s why the local Newspapers, filled with cut and paste stories and Harvey Norman adverts are only worthy of placing on the floor of a bird cage (no Magpie pun intended). Why pay for copy and paste articles when you can just go to the sources website and read the information for free.

  7. Dazza says:

    Magpie I seem to recall discussion in the media that the Brittany Higgins trial can only be a jury trial and not a judge only trial in the ACT due to there ACT constitutional self governing rules, Do any of your legal contacts know of this, If so that really mucks up bias in jury selection etc,

    • The Magpie says:

      If that is correct (and I’m not arguing) you make a very good point. Perhaps one of our legal eagle Nesters may be able to enlighten us.

      But it also makes a fair trial, particularly in the bubble of the ACT, whose population from which the jury will be drawn is more likely to alert and aware of the underground rumour mill on any given subject.

  8. Sticky Fingers says:

    “Charters Towers named finalist in Top Tourism Town Awards
    10th May 2022

    Outback township of Charters Towers has been named a finalist as one of Queensland’s best holiday destinations now competing for top honours in the 2022 Queensland Top Tourism Town Awards. Pres…

    The latest Townsville Enterprise media release.
    As you can see, Mr. Mag, those 14 women and two “lucky” guys that make up the TE Team, have been flat out spending ratepayers’ money and promoting the city!
    Seven weeks and not a “dicky bird” from our bunch of “experts.”

    • The Magpie says:

      Anda funny thing …. TEL hasn’t been asked its opinion of the state or the council budget … it would be irrelevant but that’s never stopped the Bulletin before. And one would’ve thought the daftly vague ‘taxing tourists’ proposal would be a subjeect in which our peak tourism and marketing body (stop laughing!!Just stoppit!!) would have an equally vaguely daft opinion.

      • The Magpie says:

        And perhaps an even funnier thing, or not …. The ‘Pie tries to keep his mentions of the spurious Townsville Residents and Ratepayers Association to a minimum, too much and it would look like mocking the afflicted, but once again, The ‘Pie, in the name of decency towards this city, calls for the name to to be dropped. If for no other reason, despite its name, THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE POST ABOUT THE BUDGET AND THE AFFECT ON RATES. Just more reds under the bed stuff. Peter Newey seems to have given up any a pretence of honouring the name he drags down with his weird conspiracy theories.

        • Palm Sunday says:

          If you didn’t promote the reading of Newey’s words and Facebook in general, half the ‘Nest readership wouldn’t wander off there out of curiosity.

          • The Magpie says:

            Strange logic …. ‘promoting’ is not the right word, but maybe ‘highlighting’, and yes, The ‘Pie would encourage anyone with pride in their city to read the falsely named Townsville Ratepayers and Residents Association demented drivel and protest loudly that by default, all residents and ratepayers agree with Newey’s slow descent into full blown lunacy. The vast majority o commenters to the TRRA site are highly critical of the fake news/conspiracy theories posted there, theories that are given some credence because they are interspersed with the occasional logical real world items of debate. And The Magpie knows and trusts his readership enough to know they would make their own informed and intelligent decision about both the material and the deceitful misuse of the name.

  9. Mike Douglas says:

    Nick L. i am guessing 1) you have never been involved in doing a commercial property 2) you havnt read the Council budget . Your basis is you like the location and the Pie and other commenters have explained the SDA is better located and doesnt require the $26 mil pipeline to get water to Lansdown or the $12 mil water treatment plant then a possible overpass suggested by DMR . A Commercial project of this size may require 75% signed leases to secure funding and at present i dont believe there is one signed lease and the Mayor is relying on the ” bank of ratepayers ” . Commercial r.o.i an investor would choose the SDA as its also closer to the Port . The $74.7 mil Haughton stage 2 in Councils budget i assume is the amount Team Hill agreed to pay due to the political games between the State and Phil Thompson which no doubt the Mayor knew about and the ratepayers pick up $74.7 mil which has resulted in Townsville rates increases the highest in Qld . T.C.C.,s debt to GDP is one of the highest in Qld that and the pipline delays , $ 2mil cafe Castle Hill , Rain forest lights stadium walk are example of Councils inability to do simple projects .

    • Palm Sunday says:

      Mike, you need to acknowledge that the SDA site is close to the coast (an environmental hotspot, World Heritage Area and GBR Marine Park) and subject to Commonwealth EPBC legislation – a layer of unavoidable administrative complexity absent from Lansdown. Another attribute of Lansdown is its apparent attraction to both federal and state governments of both political stripes. Each is pouring money into infrastructure at Lansdown and surrounding area and Jenny Hill is, not surprisingly, saying thank you very much.

      • The Magpie says:

        Your SDA concern must alarm Sun Metals. And ‘pouring money into’ is a touch of overkill, isn’t it? Just look south and see what both those governments are doing in Gladstone.

        • Palm Sunday says:

          Sun Metals? They got their approvals past the umpires decades ago. We’re talking about new proposals on greenfield sites, one of them a metals refinery (although not with a tailings dam exactly). And what’s wrong about “pouring money”? Would you prefer ‘throwing money at”? That’s what they are doing and you seem to be in favour of it when you write that ” . . it [QPM at Lansdown] will be a wonderful boost for the town welcomed by just about all here in the Nest, certainly The Magpie.”

          • The Magpie says:

            1. Since Sun Metals got their approvals ‘past the umpire’ (presumably your suggesting weaker legislation back then), please list the environmental damage the plant has done to the area since then?

            2. QPM would be a wonderful asset to our city’s economy wherever it was built, but that doesn’t in any way imply that The Magpie favours Lansdown, with all it’s extra road, rail and water costs (branch pipelines don’t come from Coles bargain of the week shelf) … and he certainly doesn’t support the intersection of council and private enterprise development in this way.

          • Nick L. says:

            Let’s say you got your wish and the plant is relocated somewhere else. That would mean environmental permitting would have to start over. Say a year or two longer. That’d risk commercial partners walking. The project needs all ducks lined up, so to speak. Is the Lansdowne site really as bad as all that? Who loses out in the long run?

          • The Magpie says:

            Is the Lansdown site really necessary? Is there an overarching need for this project and council expenditure?

          • Nick L. says:

            Yes it is now because a number of companies have invested much precious time and money into the planning process. Sticking with the plan is necessary. Change it and all this investment may evaporate.

          • Nick L. says:

            The project is needed, they hope to revolutionise the industry, to make it less polluting across the globe, this would be the first time anyone has done it. Zero waste nickel/cobalt production.

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        Dear religious observance, you might be surprised to know that the Woodstock area and especially the Ross River Dam Reserve are known Black Throat Finch habitat which automatically triggers EPBC inrterest. The developments in the Stuart area are tightly controlled and to be honest I think I’d rather risk the fishies and snails rather than the city’s water supply, but hey what do I know.

        • Ducks Nuts says:

          I second the Engineer. I’d rather my water supply was clean and uncontaminated by who knows what so I will loudly advocate for black throated finches if that’s what it takes. Not keen on Townsville becoming another Flint, Fresno, Pesnacola, Charlston, or Houston. And yes. It’s quite possible Jenny you delusional woman.

          • The Magpie says:

            Well, no, it’s not even remotely possible, but your point is taken. The only chance of a one-off rather than a systematic disaster as in the those American cities, is if there is a failure of the Yabulu tailings area.

        • Palm Sunday says:

          Engineer, what you claim to know is that “Black Throat Finch habitat automatically triggers EPBC inrterest (sic).” OK, but does that automatically trigger intervention by the Commonwealth and assessment under the EPBC legislation?

          • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:


          • Palm Sunday says:

            Have you heard of the ‘referral’ process? Isn’t it the case that the Commonwealth won’t trigger an EPBC assessment unless there is a referral?

          • The Magpie says:

            Do we hear indigenous involvement?

          • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

            This is getting tedious Palm Sunday. I checked with a more knowledgeable co worker who agrees what the EPBC ACT has a list of things that trigger referrals. If the area is know to host Finches or other things, an automatic referral is triggered which makes the project accessible under EPBC. Council can’t just go “nothing to see here” and push on even though that is usual practice around here.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            On that basis, the Edify Energy green hydrogen plant which was given development approval last September would have triggered a referral? Or is the TCC itself the ‘developer’ of the Lansdown site? Ask a friend if you must.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Engineer, we are both way behind the 8-ball. The QPM project has already gone through the EPBC referral process and decisions have been made about assessment based on documentation from September last year (EPBC 2021/9033). Interesting that the black-throated finch was sort of glossed over in the process:
            Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEHWA) (2009) Significant impact guidelines for the endangered black-throated finch (southern) (Poephila cincta cincta). Commonwealth of Australia.

            The matter is not done and dusted but it’s well on the way.

          • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

            Please make up your mind Parmy.

            There is no need for EPBC, there is no referral, now you say it’s done. Just pick one thing rather than spraying crap around the room in the hope something sticks. This is beneath even the usual garbage you party drones put out.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Earlier you asked, ” . . . but hey what do I know”? Since it’s next to nothing, I thought I’d try to help. Thanks, you’re welcome.

  10. NQ Gal says:

    The Magnis announcement that full production would soon be starting in New York saw the share price soaring last week by 10 percent – or 3 cents.
    Another story in The Oz this morning about a former executive being sacked after raising concerns about “unethical and possibly illegal conduct”.
    Shocked I tell you, shocked.

    • The Magpie says:

      You mean, this one.

      Poullas really is an out-and-out crook. Ethically if not legally.

    • Palm Sunday says:

      For the geographically uninterested, Endicott is in New York state, at least 200 kms away from New York City.

      • The Magpie says:

        Ummm … OK, thanks. Did someone say New York City? Hardly anyone does, anyway.

        • Syd says:

          Only those who live in Sydney Town

        • Grumpy says:

          So tired of getting nowhere, but I guess the Lord must be in New York City.

          • Dorfus says:

            I have the same feeling.

            This never-ending Landsdown discussion has been a really good read. I am hoping the eventual outcome may suggest a solution to a similar problem I am having with my computer.

            I have grown the boot partition from 100MB to 300MB by drawing on unallocated space using GParted, but that extra space is just sitting there in boot, quite unusable.

            It is so frustrating!

          • The Magpie says:

            As the census data out today confirms, English is still the dominant language in Australia … and it is in this blog. It says everything when The ‘Pie tells you, Dorfus, that he doesn’t know if that’s a merry jape at geek speak, or if it’s understandable computer-ese. I would be it through the translate function, but am always forgetting to plug in the frapple hose to the glammis port to enable the blurter function.

          • Dorfus says:

            Well, in simple English, the moral of the Landsdown tale is to develop working relationships with those able to offer genuine help, which I have done. I’m told that nothing needs to be done to get the unallocated space usable – over time, if it becomes needed, the computer’s resources will be applied to make use of it.

  11. Clive Wall QC says:

    Malcolm, a judge only trial for rape is not available in the ACT. I agree with you that there is now no hope for a fair trial in this case. It is nonsense to think that present memories of potential jurors will cease to exist in 3 mths time or that directions by the trial judge could be sufficient.The trial was adjourned because the CJ concluded that a fair trial could not be had this week or last week. That situation won’t change in 3 mths. Amongst others Scott Morrison when PM apologised in Parliament ‘for what happened to her’.

  12. Palm Sunday says:

    It was you that wrote “Happy for facts to change my general view.” One fact is, for some white shoe brigadiers, environmental protection legislation is a minefield and a headache. As it should be. Next you’ll be echoing NQ Gal saying you are shocked. Shocked!

    • The Magpie says:

      Shocked? By your dismally selective attempt at some sort of argument? At what you apparently think is a ‘gotcha’? No, not really. Why on earth would The Magpie change his mind on this issue because the laws of the land hinder the self-interest of ‘the white shoe brigade’?

      You really are a confused puppy, aren’t you?

  13. The Albatross says:

    Is ‘Palm Sunday’ actually Stephanie from Belgian Gardens or NMD? An unusual creature slipping the boot into the Magpie.

  14. Ducks Nuts says:

    While the issue of Roe vs Wade is in the media we should also reflect that abortion was not decriminalised in Queensland until 2018.

    Until then a woman who unlawfully had an abortion in Queensland could jailed for up to seven years. And anyone unlawfully performing and abortion jailed for up to 14 years. Rape, incest and foetal abnormality are not lawful grounds for an abortion.

    This bill to decriminalise abortion was passed 50 to 41, with a conscience vote.

    It should be noted that the Leader of the Qld Opposition voted against this bill. So did the Deputy Leader, and the majority of the party. These are woeful women’s rights records for a party who in their budget reply speech claims they want more workforce participation from women and to close the gender pay gap.

    • The Magpie says:

      For balance, care to tell us if any Labor folk voted against it?

      • Ducks Nuts says:

        This article sums it up fairly well.

        “One government MP, Jo-Ann Miller, voted against her own party’s proposal and Linus Power abstained from voting altogether.
        But the Government was supported by three LNP members — Steve Minnikin, Jann Stuckey and the former opposition leader, Tim Nicholls.

        Independent Sandy Bolton and Greens MP Michael Berkman also backed the legislative reform.”

        Now that I am aware of their archaic mindset, the LNP will NEVER get my vote again. I’ll vote for some crazy fucking lefty before I vote for these miserable fuckers.


  15. Mike Douglas says:

    Nick L . you believe the Mayor is a very small cog in the wheel re Lansdown . Have you read the History ? . Lansdown was acquired by Council in 2001 and planning commences in 2017 , 2019 first public tenders inviting prospective proponents , 2020 Council plan amended so who would be signing off the budgets / direction ?/ selling the project . The State and Federal $ came in 2022 . Look up the term ” contingent liability ” because Council is backing this project and NQ spark not a corporation or State + Federal Government . Government can incentivise companies to do projects which takes the liability / exposure off themselves .

    • Prickster says:

      Speaking of history Mike, lets not forget how SunMetals (or Korea Zinc) came about in the Goss era. There where plenty of road closures, compulsory land acquisitions, government funding not to mention Ken Davies.

      Lansdown is the only option for a new refinery in Townsville. All of the good land in the SDA is either too small for the project or locked up by SMC, CRL or JBS.

      Isn’t funny how black throated finch habitat only exist where we don’t like the project. No finches ever lived at Stockland’s North Shore development and there were never any Alaskan or Siberian migratory birds at the mouth of the Ross before the Marine Precinct or Port Access rd.

      (Cue Pat Coleman for a list of bird facts and legislation breaches)

    • Nick L. says:

      Mike, take a look at the capital costs the company will be laying out. It will dwarf anything Townsville council can contribute.

      • The Magpie says:

        What a classic ‘look over there, not here’. A comparison of relative investment is irrelevant to the argument of method and motive which is driving this thread. And you’re insidious comment carries the deliberately erroneous suggestion that council will get a return commensurate with the company will be laying out.

        And the way you so piously phrase your argument makes it sound like ‘the company’ for which work one suspects, is magnanimously bestowing grace and favour on our community, over and above the reasonable and acceptable motive of massive profit. In other words, your company’s outlay will be standard business practice anywhere, reached through a feasibility study..

        Look, why don’t you come clean, and tell us who you really are?

  16. The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

    New contributor Palm Sunday got me thinking why another Dolan inspired / driven / cloned ALP hack would choose that name, then I realised that it is from the bible and talks about when Jesus rode in from the desert in triumph to claim the kingdom. Very droll as Magpie would say, having this pop up just after Albo brought the faithful into Canberra.

    The name is Clever stuff, and the most witty and useful thing the luvvies have done on this forum for a long time.

    Well done guys, you are worth all you are paid.

  17. On two wheels says:

    Jesus rode a Triumph?

  18. Lady Byron says:

    Well that certainly explains the expletive I often use; Christ on a bike!

  19. Dave of Kelso says:

    Will someone with clout please invite Peter Coaldrake to conduct an integrity inquiry into the TCC.

    I have every confidence that the Mullet would implement the 2,854,197 recommendations (yes, a very conservative Scientific Wild Arse Guess ‘SWAG’) that Mr Coaldrake would find, all of which are glaringly obvious to locals who care about this town, and what it could be.


    • Prince Rollmop says:

      On a serious note, the Coaldrake report touches on what we already knew – Nanna Anna and her band of merry thieves have gotten comfortable rorting the system over the past 7 years. I’m not a fan of the MSM, but I did like The Kid’s comments about this issue earlier this evening;


      • Prickster says:

        On surface you’d think Dolan Hayes who has a mortgage on the mid-tiers of Townsville’s Most Influential List in the Astonisher would be upset with Coaldrake’s recommendation of;

        “an explicit prohibition on the “dual hatting” of professional lobbyists during election campaigns.
        They can either lobby or provide professional political advice but cannot do both”

        But I’m sure in true Dolan style he’d admit his political advice is far from professional, its very effective, just not professional.

        • Prince Rollmop says:

          What the Coaldrake report doesn’t address is a section that should have been included called ‘mates rates’. It is a subset of ‘lobbyists’. Mates rates includes the amount of former politicians or party supporters that get appointed as Directors to various Boards across State and Local Governments. Nanna Anna has stacked every Government owned State Corporation with Labor supporters. She has further influenced Local Government which also has Labor supporters sitting on Corporation Boards. Then you have various ‘committees’, paid positions, also stacked with Labor affiliates. It is so bad that it stands out more than a bulldogs testicles. It’s gotten worse…It’s gotten brazen…It’s gotten out of hand. These elected parasites spend their working days seeing how they can look after their mates, who in turn look after the Politicians when they leave office. I mean FFS, just put together a list of QLD State and Local Government owned corporations or business entities, look at the Directors and examine their political affiliations. You would be shocked. Maybe not surprised, but shocked. And we haven’t even started on businesses who do work for the Governments and are paid handsomely – consultants, financiers, a whole host of services in which contracts are awarded to friends and families businesses, of whom current and former serving politicians are beneficiaries. It’s a disgrace.

          I hope The Kid pushes for a royal commission, it’s desperately needed. The level of corruption in all levels of Government is palpable.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            If only The Kid could ‘push’ the matter into the Commonwealth-controlled Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) which is fully stacked with LNP mates courtesy of the Morrison government. But he can’t. And if you listened to the ABC this morning you’d have heard the Qld Attorney-General say there’s no chance of a Royal Commission because Coaldrake didn’t recommend one. The Kid might as well be collecting petition signatures at a suburban shopping centre. A waste of time when you simply don’t have the numbers and everybody knows it.

          • The Magpie says:

            A case of being right and wrong at the3 same time, Weekly Onanist. Everything you say is factual correct, but the conclusions, both implied and actual, are out of whack. There is not a hope in hell of the Palaszczuk putting the rope around their own neck and approving a Royal Commission, and you taking The Kid’s call as some sort of realistic request is well off the mark … this is standard politicking tactics, taking the advantage of pushing for a move that he KNOWS the government won’t and can’t do, so he pounds and pounds away it for the eventual payoff at the polls … that’s stored up political gold, and is anything but a waste of time, quite the opposite. Palaszczuk’s newly acquired granny pant thong is getting twisted tighter everyday.

  20. The Magpie says:

    What? Quasimodo violated by members of the tourism industry? Gives a new meaning to humping. …. oh, hang on … maybe they meant’wringer’?

  21. Sticky Fingers says:

    “The Kid” Crisafulli…very aptly named.
    Anti abortion, anti euthanasia and hasn’t got the balls to make daylight saving an issue.
    And hasn’t got a proactive bone in his body.
    Just the Premier we don’t need!

    • The Magpie says:

      But we’ve got the one we do need, right now, eh, Unsanitary One?

    • The Watcher says:

      Oh dear Sticky Fingers, also aka NMD, Elusive Butterfly and several other names – all the same person. You always make yourself obvious every time the name David Crisafulli is mentioned. You ignorant Labor loving footstool.

      • Sticky Fingers says:

        Ignorant footstool huh?
        Can you deny anything I said in my post?
        And what makes you a clown is the fact that I am more anti-QLD Labor than Scott
        How anyone voted for our three local buffoons is beyond me?
        Crisafulli is the footstool the LNP need to get rid of as leader if they want to have any chance of winning government!

  22. David Thoumine says:

    Upgrade for train station (TB) 29.06.22 Townsville key regional hub sees 20,000 cutomer journes each year. 20,000 when ever I see the tilt train going north one can usualy count the number of passenges on it on one hand. 20,000 equates to 384 passenger per week which all must be going south and west.

  23. DAWE says:

    I’ve raised this before but there are ongoing issues with maritime imports around Australia, and Townsville, due to upheaval in the department of agriculture, water and environment. It is currently taking up to 5 days to get an inspector to check your imports! Booking delays, inspection delays, staff shortages and a failed I.t system that is using a tool that doesn’t work. Why isn’t the Mayor and Phil meeting with department heads to sort this shit out? Why are taxpayers forking out for silly department secretaries, first assistant secretaries, assistant secretaries blah blah blah. Dickheads.

    • The Magpie says:

      What has the mayor got to do with what is clearly a Commonwealth province? She wouldn’t even get into the outer waiting room, and doubtful even Thommo as local member would get very far very fast. Surely, if the mayor’s opinion of her standing in the party is anywhere near reality, she would be back channelling through that avenue. BTW what is (or nwas) the normal time frame for this sort of thing? Five days doesn’t actually sound outrageous, in The ‘Pie’s experience of shiny bum matters.


      • DAWE says:

        Magpie, 5 days is terrible, especially if you have food needing to be inspected mate. It should be 2 days. And pressure from Phil and Hill could make the department fix their problems locally. I know the magpie doesn’t understand this issue in full, but as an importer and exporter it is a fucked situation having to deal with this. And the departments local manager, a cigarette puffing bald gnome is an arrogant career public servant who is more slipper than our mayor on a Magnis rort.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, The Magpie understands the issue better now, and thanks you for what he accepts as solid info. But still unable to see that this is in the mayor’s remit and authority, but what she could do is have her pals in Brisbane give the poohbahs in Canberra a nudge, maybe. It certainly is Thommo territory, and there’s no reason why he wouldn’t do something, because appropriate action would be brownie points for him, and the more likely total inaction would further bolster his local reputation if he made the matter public.

          But then again, if your manager bloke was confronted with Purple Doona Woman in a bad mood, we might get some action.

  24. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    From public notices in the Astonisher.

    It seems that Bowen may be rocketing ahead of Townsville in the high technology industry stakes.

    FFS don’t tell Jenny Hill….her next Lansdown brain fart will be to turn it from a unicorn battery factory into a rocket launch pad.

    • The Magpie says:

      Hasn’t Townsville been there and done that (unsuccessfully) at Bluewater?

      • Old Tradesman says:

        I see that on page 38 of today’s Hervey Norman Times that the council is asking for tenders to supply bulk Carbon Dioxide, have they stopped breathing at the council, I thought it was destroying the planet.

        • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

          Silly person, vegetables like most of the managers and execs at council breathe out oxygen and breathe in CO2.

  25. Position Vacant says:

    It is interesting that Townsville City Council have a job advertised titled ‘Business Manager Operational Performance and Reliability’. The advert states the role plays a key role in advising the Senior Leadership team. I thought this was a core function of the highly paid Senior Leadership team at Townsville City Council. There are also two supporting Project Manager Business Improvement roles advertised as well. I say, let’s get these people on board and exit the Prince and his directors. They cannot do worse than the current bunch. Rumours are rife at Walker Street that the Prince is on his way out, but Jenny is a bit reluctant to give him the boot as it would be her sixth CEO. Link to job advert included.


    • Ducks Nuts says:

      Perhaps you should have read the PD. It’s about time this Department Performed and was Reliable. Scott Morecock well and truly fucked it and it hasn’t properly recovered.

      “This position is accountable to the General Manager Water and Resource Recovery and will be focused on the needs and aspirations of the Townsville community; growing and managing customer relationships, developing a culture of customer-centricity and personal accountability; and reshaping how we deliver services to maximise value.

      The Business Manager – Operational Performance and Reliability provides leadership within the Water and Resource Recovery section.”

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        I’d like to say it cant get any worse but prior experience shows that the Mullet Pool keeps finding new ways to import useless party hanger ons and toadies rather than give us skilled professionals.

        Let’s see how this gets stuffed up.

        • Ducks Nuts says:

          This is true. Sadly.

        • NQ Gal says:

          Well, she was recently in Darwin. Let’s see if she trawled the bottom of the ALP NT pond for another executive.

          • Grumpy says:

            NQ – Darwin? No doubt an all-expense-paid junket to the V8s for a “study tour”.

          • Little Miss Muffet says:

            Perhaps a recent ousted Labor Chief Minister? Rhymes with Snikal Stunner…

          • Little Miss Muffet says:

            Or another recently disgraced Labor staffer caught up in the 5th floor Hookers and coke scandal? Maybe the same one who’s currently up on child sex charges. Let’s hope not

  26. Mike Douglas says:

    Let the Sunshine in , Coldrakes report on the Qld State Government but when will there be a review of Qlds Councils ? . How much of the $221.9 mil capital works program from T.C.C.,s current years budget has actually been completed ? . Based on the fact they couldnt do $ 10 mil in rainforest lights and a demountable $2 mil cafe and continual delays in projects with issues with staff covid would 70% be ball park . Mayors being on the board of LGAQ then the same Council awarded $ mils to LGAQ “local buy ” suppliers . Then there are lobbyists / consultants / pr companies , Jobs given to political appointments are there any $ paid in recruitment costs and to who .

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      You got it Mike. It is an interesting set up between the LGAQ and Councils. As I’ve always said, there is always a method to subverting governance and processes. Here is an example of how that could ‘hypothetically’ work; the LGAQ procure someone like Technology One. A particular local Council don’t have currently have it as it costs lots money and is basically a pile of shit. The incentive for a Council to purchase it (through the LGAQ) is that if they do, that Council and it’s Mayor will be certain to win some type of award at one of the LGQA awards events. These awards serve no greater purpose than to spotlight a Mayor, potentially further their career in to State or Federal government, or simply puff up their ego. The reality is that often the Council and region are stuck with a costly tool or system that doesn’t function, but that doesn’t matter because the Mayor got what he or she personally wanted – recognition and self promotion.

      If you doubt that the above happens, stop doubting. I’ve personally witnessed it. If you don’t buy the service from the LGAQ you are unlikely to win any coveted awards. I’ve seen it happen. Shit systems like Technology One (remember Queensland hospitals payroll debacle?) still gets flogged to State and Local Government even though it is crap. Navman is another lemon of which local Councils purchase it because the LGAQ ‘recommend’ it. It’s also easier to get an expensive system procured by a Council through the LGAQ if the particular Council Mayor dusts on the LGAQ Board.

      I’ve said for years (and the Magpie is all over this) that the LGAQ is like a mini-mafia exerting power and influence. On the books everything looks innocent, but in reality they are shonks, shysters and snake oil salesmen. These organisations (and Councils) know how to game the system and make everything look above board and kosher when it is anything but transparent.

      • The Magpie says:

        And it’s not so much whatever ego-pumping award councils get, it is really about what the LGAQ gets …. representing the 77 Queensland LG councils is powerful leverage to get all sorts of kick-back deals and commissions from private enterprise from their LOCAL BUY ethical swindle that benefit no one but the LGAQ. The organisation started down this path when Greg Hallam took the reins, and is now so entrenched (and also legal in this wonderful grifters free market economy) that even if the year-to-year details of its arrangements were closely audited, probably nothing would happen in this ethics-free zone known as Queensland.

        And you do remember don’t you, that the LGAQ is a lobby group and not part of the government, although that mistake is often made but never much mentioned. BUT it enjoys one important dispensation from the Queensland Government – it NEVER has to be publicly audited in any detail, despite its core income being public money in the form of council membership fees. It can cloak its financial dealings behind that screen of limited exposure to examination and critique.

        So two questions for you folks out there, Nesters: should one of the first focuses of any new inquiry and regulation into the LGAQ as A LOBBY GROUP enjoying special one-off privileges of financial confidentiality about deals with suppliers and councils?

        And a question The ‘Pie hasn’t time to look up: is he correct in believing that membership of the LGAQ, given all the foregoing, is not COMPULSORY, therefore let’s have some speculation on what would happen if a council chose not to join.

        Of course, one side effect arguing against non-membership would be that the mayor of that council would never be in the running for a great little side earner as a board member of the LGAQ, positions happily shared around the mayors of member councils.

        • Critical says:

          Another LGAQ stuff up and this one has cost the Winton Shire Council ratepayers dearly. Hit the full story link and you’ll see that other Councils nearly sufferd the same fate as the Winton Shire Council.


          • The Magpie says:

            Personally, The ‘Pie would not trust single thing that this mob of chisellers offer … be interesting to know what the LGAQ can point to as a solid achievement for anyone but themselves. LGAQ board member Jenny Hill should be ashamed of herself.

        • Palm Sunday says:

          So I wonder how the Haughton Stage 2 pipeline might fit into this LGAQ thing. In late October 2021 the Premier and Mayor got together and announced more funding for the pipeline and some sort of timetable which stated:

          “Detailed design work for the pipeline and pump station will now be finalised with delivery partners.

          “The tender for long lead items, such as pipes and pumps, will be released by the end of 2021, while the tender for the construction of the pipeline will be released in early 2022.

          “Construction of the pipeline and pump station is expected to be complete by the end of 2024 with testing and commissioning to be finalised by March 2025.”

          Does anyone know if any of this has actually happened? Will there be steel pipes or are the Stage 1 fibreglass reinforced plastic ones the duck’s guts?

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            Considering this is the super-duper-up-to-date web page maintained by TCC, with no media releases since 2021. We can assume nothing has happened.


          • The Magpie says:

            Good point.

            But it is this ‘goal’ that is the bit on that release that drives normal folks to distraction.

            What is so galling about word salads like that is twofold: the writer believes ‘he/she/otherwise’ is being almost literary in the use of word which are in fact banal self-puffery, while also at the same time make the council seem like demi-gods for doing what they are, and always have been, created and paid to do … provide basic services funded by ratepayers and taxpayers. ‘Goal’ could just as easily and more accurately been ‘Ensure continual water supply in times of drought.’

            And what, pray tell, is ‘raw’ water. If that means untreated water, what other sort of water would be piped into the dam? Evian? Perrier? (Oh, shit, I’ve just given the mayor another brain wave.)

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            One can assume, that when the geniuses at TCC were in the sybaritic throes of strategic planning they forgot completely that the council is responsible for fundamental services such as water and waste. And when it came to developing an actual Operational Plan, they just shoved things anywhere in sheer panic.

  27. Prince Rollmop says:

    Another damning report into yet another Queensland Government department, this time the QBCC;


    Not all the ‘recommendations’ have been agree upon by Team Palasczuk. I bet one sticking point is the recommendation to downsize the Board of Directors from 10 to 7. And as usual, there are ex Labor politicians and Labor affiliates on the Board. And the Government wants 3 years to implement the recommended changes. Hmmmm. Enough to allow for their ‘mates’ to get paid as Directors for another 3 years?

    • Palm Sunday says:

      Quick look at the history reveals this letter in the Courier Mail in May 2013 in response to the latest from the-then Campbell Newman government:

      “”They also previously changed the useless CJC (Criminal Justice Commission) to the even more useless & incompetent CMC (Crime and Misconduct Commission). New name, new paint job, same incompetent government bureaucratic windbag failures doing absolutely nothing positive and useful. If they change the BSA (Building Services Authority) to the new QBCC (Queensland Building and Construction Commission) then what do you think will happen, thats right, absolutely nothing. Again, it will be just a new name, new paint job, same incompetent government bureaucratic failures but they will all take the opportunity to award themselves massive position upgrades on double their previous government salaries. Fat cat government bureaucrats just love restructuring for this very reason, more money for continuing to be a complete failure.”

      • Grumpy says:

        PS I don’t think letters to the editor lend anything to proper historical research into anything other than letters to the editor. Besides, the author of the letter to which you refer may add some context.

      • DAWE says:

        Speaking of idiots and windbags, my source at the commonwealth governments department of agriculture, water and environment, the department I mentioned earlier who inspect arriving cargo ships and inspect imports and exports, are deeper in the shit. Numerous importers have written to Minister Plibersek’s office in the past week complaining about massive delays to vital cargo inspections. The fuckwit secretary’s, assistant secretary’s and first assistant secretary’s (you can’t make this shit up) are too busy jockeying for positions and protecting their rice bowls rather than helping industry. They have mass staff shortages due to not planning for borders to open up, they have a bookings system that has been an abject failure, and a bunch of experienced staff have bailed in the past 12 months. Lord have mercy, what a clusterfuck. Apparently the Townsville office is ground zero for operational incompetence.

  28. The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

    “Raw” water is just that. Water which has come from a source like a river or bore and has not been subjected to any treatment.

    • The Magpie says:

      So that would make it ….ummm …water? Surely in its virgin state it is ‘water’ and when treated it is ‘treated water’.

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