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The Magpie

Sunday, June 24th, 2018   |   162 comments

Clive Palmer Sues Mayor Jenny Hill For $3million For Defamation, Revealing There Was No $50k Settlement And Apology For Calling Him A Crook.

Yup, good old ABC has scooped the Townsville Bulletin with its ‘exclusively revealed’ story on the statement of claim lodged by Palmer with the Supreme Court in Brisbane. This is going to cost us, one way or another.

All in all, it’s been a week of Jenny the Gymnast, back flipping on the Adani airstrip money and now brazenly spinning on the need for what amounts to a $130million public contribution to her re-election campaign fund.

To top that off, Mayor Mullet can be credited in part with ensuring that Qantas gave Townsville the finger to its limp-wristed bid for the airline’s pilot academy.

The Magpie scratches his top feathers over an interesting staff choice down at the Dudley Do Nothings of Townsville Enterprise …

… and a reminder during the week of a more relaxed time in North Queensland’s past … laid back hardly covers it.

So, let’s get to it, and we’ll take Jenny’s agendas in order.

Bentley’s back with to his brilliant best, summing up the Mullet’s Adani gymnastics in rib-tickling style.

backflip fin small

One for the ages.

There are two questions that no one has asked about Mayor Mullet’s ditching of the Adani deal (which is gone forever despite her pledge to revisit the matter if Adani goes ahead: even she wouldn’t dare after the shit-storm the issue has deservedly heaped on her head.)

Adani flip

The first and most intriguing is, why did she bother announcing that she had reneged on the airstrip deal at all? We didn’t know where the money was, we didn’t know what the arrangement was, and most tellingly, we didn’t know with whom she was dealing with contractually. In fact, we still don’t, so don’t be surprised if Wagners hit her – or us the ratepayers – with a breach of contract suit. She could have quietly used it to prop up what is shaping up as a disastrous budget next Tuesday, no one, least of all the un-inquiring Bulletin, would know the difference. Why this sudden financial coitus interruptus with her mates at Adani? One answer may be that she was trying for to patch over her initial disastrous error of judgment about the airstrip, and was depending on what she airily referred to on ABC Local radio as ‘Townsville ratepayers’ short attention span’ – (Ah ha, that could explain her second term as mayor). She’s good at the insults like that – like referring to Rockhampton as a ‘one pub town’ hinting that it didn’t measure up to the opulence and power of Townsville.

Jenny Hill

But she can’t even get spin right, because the other question arose when she simpered that the $18.5million would now go to ‘shovel ready’ projects around the city.

Eh, what?

Does that mean that if by a miracle Adani had somehow managed to go ahead, there would be $18.5million worth of shovel ready projects around Townsville languishing on indefinite hold while we built an airstrip 400kms away which we would never own and for the use of which we would have to pay fees?

This woman has serious cognitive dissonance problems, as well as a serious media relations deficit in the form of the poisoned dwarf Stephen Beckett.

Jenny clearly sees herself as our warrior queen but her bumbling attempt at heroics may end up in her being minced by her own hubcaps.

Boadicea, leader of the rebellion against the Romans Date 1868

The Townsville Council’s $130million Campaign Donation To Mayor Mullet’s Re-Election Fund.

Then comes today’s news that the council will borrow around $130million from Treasury to ’fast-track’ the Burdekin pipeline project.

Screen shot 2018-06-23 at 11.44.02 PM

Our heroine is painting this as a ‘can-do’ (unfortunate but similarly justified tag) move to secure jobs, instead of waiting for the money under the plan she agreed to with her mate Anna Alphabet. The Premier has her own budgetary problems and declined to alter the agreed timelines.

But what this actually is is a $130million campaign contribution to herself, so the pipeline she initially dismissed will be finished just in time for the next council elections.

It will cost the ratepayers $2million in interest EACH year until repaid, which will probably be … ummm … try never. And Madam Mullet won’t be around when the inevitable rate rise comes along to fund her largesse to herself.

Townsville won’t be running out of water in the next couple of years, so this unseemly rush is totally unnecessary, the government money will be delivered within a sensible framework. Of course, Mayor Mullet’s framework has March 2020 at its core.

If this mob of councillors actually cared about this city and its future, they should grow a spine and vote down this absolute rort.

Jesus, Do These Two Ever Deserve Each Other – But We Bloody Don’t.

And now today … Screen shot 2018-06-23 at 9.03.46 PM

In this story you will note the line: ‘In Mr Palmer’s affidavit, his lawyers said there has been no payment or settlement in the proceedings’.

Now unless this is a fresh claim, it means  our mayor has been less than truthful if reports in the Astonisher are to be taken at face value – she didn’t argue when the paper reported she offered a $50,000 settlement, and Palmer himself thanked her on his Facebook page for her apology. But if The ‘Pie is in error, as they say in court, then that’s even worse. It means that having paid out, she’s repeated the defamatory comments or similar ones. And having admitted through an initial payment, it will be kinda hard to defend.  But sorting that out will be the court’s job, presiding over a lip-smacking lawyers picnic.

Mayor Mullet really has no choice but to defend the claims, which means a legal bill for someone upwards of a million dollars. So no matter whose hand is raised in victory, it will be a pyrrhic one – the big pay day will be for the lawyers. It will be in the hundreds of thousands, and one way or the other, Townsville ratepayers will be paying for the privilege of witnessing this unedifying spectacle. Either through skyrocketing insurance premiums for the council no matter what the outcome, or a straight out payment to Palmer if he wins. Which, no matter how it disguised, will be tagged on future rates bills.

So thanks, Mayor Mullet, let’s see if this all escapes that fabled ‘short attention span’ of Townsville ratepayers.

 Here’s An Idea

There is a message for the voters of Townsville best summed up in this clever ad by American senate candidate Richard Painter … just change the name and circumstances to suit local conditions. It would be poetic justice with all that water.

Surprise Of The Week –Not.

Qantas somehow managed to overlook the two – yes, two – separate Townsville bids to be the home of the airline’s for the lucrative pilot training academy.

Airport manager Kevin Gill must have focused grouped his bid for the academy in the local head trauma unit. To this very day, even when seeking the grace and favour of Qantas, he was still doing this sort of juvenile stuff outside the Qantas lounge at the airport …


… because the airline refuses to agree to a ticket tax to fund a multi-million redevelopment that would skyrocket the value of Queensland Airports Limited.

Add to that the disgraceful, almost actionable call from our dopey mayor to boycott Qantas over that issue (which is none of the her or the council’s business), it is little wonder Gill’s submission hit the round file under the desk the moment it was received.

The other more professional submission was from the owners of the Bluewater airstrip, which suffered a similar fate, and probably suffered by association with the mayor. The ‘Pie was greatly interested to see that TEL told Bluewater airport owners that they weren’t interested in helping mount any bid … too busy, they said, although one can’t imagine on what. But you can bet with Kevin Gill as TEL board chairman and the mayor as his deputy chair, it was a different song they were singing down at Wishing Well House with QAL:’s abortive bid.  And if TEL had anything to do with it, there’s another reason we were left out in the cold. Mackay and Toowoomba weren’t, they were the only two Queensland submission to make the cut …  Wagner’s Wellcamp Airport at Toowoomba would have to be in with a chance in the final 9.

Speaking of The Dudley Do Nothings….

Seems good help is hard to find down at TEL’s Wishing Well House. But ‘jobs for the boys’ not so hard.

This bloke …


… is Labor man Michael McMillan, who made an unsuccessful bid for mayor in Rockhampton two years ago. He was beaten by Adani fan, Mullet political soul mate, and aviation enthusiast Margaret Strelow.

McMillan was a small business owner in Rocky, running a Coffee Club franchise, but in February last year, it all went pear shaped.

Screen shot 2018-06-24 at 12.06.07 AM

Mr McMillan was forced into involuntary administration by the Australian Tax Office. Seems Mr McMillan somehow overlooked to pay his GST money and PAYG taxes. A bank involved ended up getting an undisclosed amount on the dollar, the business was sold and Mr McMillan moved on.

But guess where to? And what position?

Turns out a bloke with strong Labor connections who was forced into involuntary administration with a dodgy tax record is now Townsville Enterprise Director of Policy and Investment.

But hey, don’t fear for your position Mr McMillan, your safe with TEL, because we, the great unwashed public and Townsville ratepayers who prop up this bogus organization never know what anybody does of any value down there … in fact, if they do anything at all.

So your secret is safe … from us.

And There’s Yet Another Brick About To Be Slotted Into The Local Labor Fortress

Mr McMillan could be seen as getting one of the jobs for the boys, since Labor Mayor Mullet is also deputy chair of TEL, and Mr McMillan wouldn’t be there if she didn’t want him to be. But when it comes to giving fellow travellers featherbedded jobs, looks like another one is coming up shortly.

And if you thought Shayne Sutton’s $50k a year hospital board appointment was a rorting Labor patronage reward, this next one is a doozy.

It’s hidden in the almost impenetrable buzz word bullshit about that the phantom battery factory that is set to save the town (and get mayor Mullet re-elected).

Magis asx It runs to a few pages, but lurking deep in the bowels of this document is this little gem of job creation for some chosen chum

To further highlight the level of importance of the project, Townsville City Council have hired a highly experienced dedicated resource to wholly focus on facilitating the fast tracking of key milestones and the Qld State Government is in the process of making a similar pledge on top of its commitment for $3.1 million in funding.

A resource, eh? Indeed an experienced and dedicated one, to boot? Here’s a plain language translation; another make-work position for a favoured someone, who will occasionally stroll out of his/her office and tell us how things are going … and you can bet it will always sound like positive news.  However you read this prize piece of sophistry, this is a job for the boys or gals, a task that will be made as complicated as its needs to be to be impressive and justified, but in truth could be done by the kid in the mailroom in his smoko break. But only if he’s a paid up member of the Labor Party, one assumes.

Dunno about the battery factory, but the Mullet/Impaler empire building is going just fine, thank you.

And while we’re here, Madam Mayor, don’t suppose you like to enlarge on this statement you made in that media release.

‘We are throwing all resources required to help fast track the project.”

The use of the word word ‘throwing’ has a nice laissez-faire tone about it, but what, pray tell, does ‘all resources’ amount to? Or is this another ‘Adani airfield’ exercise where the ratepayers aren’t privy to what you’re doing with our money? This mob have already conned the Palaszczuk government into coughing up more than three million for a study simply to see if the whole idea is viable … and while that is going on, it looks good for Magis on the stock exchange, hopefully propping up their share price. What are the chances that it might not prove to be viable? Unless the council coughs up more concessions?

Nah, that couldn’t happen, Mayor Mullet wouldn’t allow it.  Would she?

From comments during the week.

The Magpie
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Submitted on 2018/06/20 at 11:00 am

Ah, nothing like the relaxed NQ lifestyle of Cardwell, is there?

Glad to know that some places are still operating on the fabled ‘Queensland clock’, a great old ‘she’ll be right, mate’ ethos. Especially the Hinchinbrook mayor when this story broke.

Screen shot 2018-06-20 at 10.55.26 AM

Not to worry, folks, she’ll be apples, the mayor calmed everyone done, all under control. The Astonisher reported:
“Hinchinbrook Shire Council issued a statement, warning the public to avoid anchoring nearby the jetty.”

But fear not, Mayor Jayo strolled into action.

“Reports received this afternoon indicate that the jetty appears to have broken its mooring chains and shifted. Contractors will mobilise a rapid response vessel tomorrow to inspect the jetty and determine options for repair,” Hinchinbrook Mayor Ramon Jayo said in a statement.

Now where else would you hear the words ‘rapid response’ and ‘tomorrow’ in the one sentence? Why Ingham, of course, Hinchinbrook council hub abd  Laid Back Capital of NQ.

A Look At …

This cover from Time magazine was an eloquent statement on an issue likely to be the most damaging to the deranged man in the White House.

Screen shot 2018-06-22 at 7.59.36 AM

Some people who make a point of missing the point were quick to point out that 1. the picture was a ‘fake’ – of course it was photo-shopped, what did you think the Prez and The Kid were in a studio for a photo shoot, and 2. that the girl had not been separated from her parents. To which the obvious reply is so what, the image sums up what is turning out to be a definitive moment in American history. And yes, the little girl from Guatamala wasn’t separated from her mother, in the original photograph, she was crying because her mother was being searched by border police.

crying child

In the end, even this carrot-topped fuckwit had to bow to the global outrage at his policy of taking children from illegal immigrant parents, and back flip on his hard line. Which ended the week like this,

Trump pie

A Finally, One For Irony Corner

Clive Palmer has threatened to run against Cathy O’Toole in the next Federal election – something for which The Tool is now praying that he does. But the funny thing is that The Tool squeaked in by just 37 votes, because … well this sums it up.

Palmers preferences


That’s it for this week, but the comments keep revving along on all sorts of subjects, get in for your chop … or have a beef, don’t be chicken, mince your words if you like, even tell porkies, everyone else does. And don’t forget The ‘Pie … a donation to help out with blog expenses will be most appreciated, the how to donate button is below.

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

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