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The Magpie

Sunday, July 24th, 2022   |   106 comments

Connivance In Confidence: Are We About To See An End To The Political Abuse Of Commercial In Confidence Rules?

The problem with the dishonest use of the CinC provisions for purely political purposes is self-evident … and so is the solution. And that’s a solution that could be with us soon, if Anna Palaszczuk keeps her promise. And Albo pitches in.

And why watching Netflix could result in a charge of corruption.

A successful idea from Cairns sorely needed in Townsville … and easy to do. But will anyone bother?

What’s with The Bulletin’s obsession with recreational grief, wanting readers to continually blub for people they don’t know and never heard of?

… and just to lighten the mood, taking a walk on the dork side and talking nerdy  … who said engineers can’t be intentionally funny?  Comedian Don McMillan is new to The ‘Pie and had the old bird wheezing with his hilarious take on statistics. Plus some humour in advertising.

If you are entertained/informed/enraged/bored stiff by this weekly conglomeration, you might consider slinging a few bob to support the on-going financial demands of The Magpie’s Nest It would be greatly appreciated. The donate button is at the end of the blog.

Now onwards, and since the world can be a gloomy place nowadays, let’s start with a lighter moment of life.

Mutant Ninja Turtles May Not Be A Cartoon Joke After All.

Dolly The Sheep, pig-to-human organ transplants and animal tissue for skin grafts of burn victims … the science of cross-species medicine always venturing into new territory, and further unthought of breakthroughs are in the offing. Bentley has already spotted one, but sees there may be both benefits and drawbacks in the latest biological tinkering.

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This gent would hardly need enhanced hearing; his other gene-enhanced change would keep the gals speechless.

Commercial Incompetence: Is The End Of A Favourite Political Rort In Sight?

During the week, we were treated to this yarn in The Daily Astonisher.

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It seems the funding issue has been sorted, BUT reading on down, we get to this line:

(RFDS CEO Meredith Staib) said the State Government was also helping them purchase the land for the new base, the cost of which she says remains commercial in confidence.’

This immediately raises the question, why is this cost a secret? Anyway you look at it, whether it be Commonwealth …

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…. State ($20m), the not-for-profit RFDS itself ($??) or Indigenous Land Council ($00.00), THIS IS ALL PUBLIC MONEY THAT IS INVOLVED. So what’s being hidden? Now, The ‘Pie doesn’t necessarily point a finger at Ms Staib, maybe she’s just been told what she has to say by the politicians, but whoever decided on withholding the cost of this land deal from the tax paying public, here’s a reminder of the C in C rationale.

Commercial in confidence

A classification that identifies information that, if disclosed, may result in damage to a party’s commercial interests, intellectual property or trade secrets. You must not disclose any information marked ‘Commercial in Confidence’ without permission from the party who supplied it. This type of information is protected through Confidentiality Agreements.

There are clearly no commercial interests, trade secrets  or …  gimme a bloody break … intellectual property involved in this deal. If the negotiations are still underway on the price, then say so, but surely the figure when reached should be in the public domain. (The location isn’t the focus here, but the on face of it, since it will be a greenfield site for a brand new facility,  it’s maybe part of the Happy Valley precinct.)

This was just the latest and perhaps mildest example of the misuse of C in C by political trough snufflers.  but no less infuriating and insulting.

The need for this legislated invitation to corruption needs to be overhauled pronto … and it will be, if Anna Palaszczuk keeps her word (always a question) and implements the Coaldrake Report’s reforms on the issue. And Professor Coaldrake did not mince his words in addressing the rort.

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A key quote in that report:

“As was noted in a 2018 report of the Queensland Audit Office, ‘the public has a right to know how much public money government is spending, on what, and with which vendors”, Coaldrake says.

Now, while Professor Coaldrake’s reforms are aimed mainly at the public service handling of government deals, in a ‘what’s-good-for-the-goose’ extension, the rule changes will flow on to all levels of government bureaucracies and elected officials.

And in the unlikely circumstance that Coaldrake’s new regs are made retrospective, Jenny Hill will be soiling her small clothes big time. The changes can’t force any revelations about the Adandi Airstrip rort (you may rest assured it WAS a rort) because that is a QCAT ruling putting it under lock and key. But perhaps there will be a small bout of involuntary incontinence when mayor Mullet realises that her secret deals beyond what she had been forced to declare regarding the SuperPests, and that boardwalk to nowhere along Ross Creek in Flinders Street will have to be released. Ditto Anna Palaszczuk about the details Wellcamp heist of public money, where the costs of maintaining ‘medical’ staff for the faux quarantine facility is a dark secret. For some reason.

Trivia Break

The mention of Happy Valley put The ‘Pie in mind of the clever quip from someone that the residents of the indigenous settlement, situated between the cemetery and the RAAF base, are living between the quick and the dead.

When Watching Netflix Can Become Corruption

The new federal Labor Government has promised an independent federal Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission. It is expected to be based broadly on the Federal Integrity Commission Bill, unsuccessfully introduced by MP Helen Haines in 2020.

Labor is expected to amend it with even tougher measures which will have more than public servants hyperventilating at both ends. Journalists, too,as well as private companies contracted by the Feds. This from a recent article on the matter:

The Haines anti-corruption microscope is trained not only on public servants but on anyone, private or public, who does anything that could “adversely affect, directly or indirectly, the honest or impartial exercise” of government functions. Even more importantly, it also specifically extends oversight to private firms and their employees performing functions “for or on behalf of, or in the place of” the federal government.

For one, the concept of “corruption” is currently being rei- imagined, and applied retrospectively. On the expanded understanding of “corruption”, the focus is no longer just on con- duct that impacts on government “probity” – the focus is now also on activity that undermines government “efficacy”.

Some might think governments don’t need much help in

being ineffectual. And that’s precisely the point: in practice, an extremely broad array of conduct suddenly becomes potentially “corrupt”.

Journalists fishing for information from government will need to watch the persuasive techniques they deploy. And however careful they may be, under the Haines model the commission could compel them to reveal their sources – whether they work at the public broadcasters or elsewhere.

For example, the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission’s guidance material notes that under its legislation, which is similar to that of Haines, a public official who watches Netflix instead of carrying out his or her official duties is engaging in corrupt conduct that should be reported to the commission.

Of course, compelling journalists to reveal sources may clash with proposed whistle-blower protection laws.

And facing a corruption charge for watching Netflix on the taxpayer’s dollar? Well, it might stop lazy bludgers joining the bloated PS ranks.

Good Grief: Or At Least The Bulletin Thinks So

As reported last week, something is going on down at the Bulletin. The is a noticeable shift in style and layout – more dull but worthy business news in the front of the paper, for instance – and the new attitude to sport as reported last week, continued this week with the miniscule coverage of an event so raucously promoted in the paper, the big floperoo between Aston Villa and Brisbane Roar at Total Tools Stadium. Certainly, the game deserved little coverage, as it made hardly a ripple around here, with just 7468 folks, having their insomnia cured as Aston Villa sleepwalked to a 1-nil victory. But for a game so loudly ballyhooed by the paper in the run-up to this snooze-a-thon, you’d think you’d find a result and a match report. If there was one, The ‘Pie couldn’t find it. Or any questions to the mayor about how much if anything ratepayers contributed towards the event.

The Townsville Bulletin seems to be living on borrowed time, waiting for Harvey Norman to pull the plug, which will then make the paper a website only … if not just a twice weekly insert in the Courier.

But one of the more disturbing trends has been that the Bulletin, rather than rising above the social media babble, it has made every effort to identify with internet standards and interests rather than those of a paper of record.

And this is no more evident than with the editorial policy of ‘recreational grief’, which used to mean the public’s widespread reaction to the death of a public figure … this phenomenon has always been standard fair when sometime in the public eye dies and is a natural style of reporting. But somewhere along the line, the Bulletin has decided that we will all be reaching for the Kleenex when they give the full treatment of embarrassing bathos to everyday road, workplace or illness people who are killed or die.

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And so on. Now let’s be clear here, The Magpie is not denigrating or doubting that the grief of those friends and family surviving these unfortunate people is genuine and understandable: this is a view about public journalism using private grief for venal reasons, aftermath reporting that is of absolutely no interest to anyone but those close to the deceased. And using that private grief in an attempt to attract readers and thus raise revenue rates. But it doesn’t work, and it has become a source of constant embarrassment. Journalism by its very nature often has to be intrusive, but there is no reason or sense to think this policy that everyone deserves a front page, is acceptable. And while the bereaved mostly agree to talk about their loss, it is only of interest to those who knew the person. The policy is also a sad reflection of the opinion this newspaper holds for its dwindling number of readers.

But The Bulletin Can Insult In More Ways Than That

News Ltd simply refuses to invest in adequate staff to oversee input into the news pages. A prime example of dangerous territory came with this story on Friday.

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The use of ‘alleged’ here is correct, but when we get into the story, Cameron ‘Master’ Bates tells us:

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So maybe he wasn’t stabbed to death after all, eh? As we know, ‘allege’ means unproven, so while that’s bad enough, Master Bates does the unforgiveable, and puts the word into the mouth of a lawyer who you can bet did not say it – that’s why it is unforgivable as well as totally incorrect.

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So now the son was only maybe killed?  Saying he was ‘allegedly killed’ is nothing more than a sick ignorance.  And you putting those words in a lawyers mouth, Master Bates, is inviting personal involvement in the law that you would not welcome. Possible a call to the iditor will be made … like he’d give a fuck.

Then there is just simple laziness.

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Whoever wrote this headline should look up the News Ltd Style Book, Fourth Edition, page 168, “Less and fewer ‘Less than’ when referring to quantity ‘fewer than’ when referring to numbers.”  Year 8 stuff, FFS.

We also had a business report telling us a CEO wasn’t ‘phased’ by a potential business challenge. Which sounds like Dr Spock Starship territory. But The’ Pie is used to that sort of thing, so he wasn’t fazed.

Holy Cow, Batman, Could It Be ….?

The Magpie was pulled up short while browsing through Twitter during the week and saw this.

Screen Shot 2022-07-21 at 10.11.03 amWell, it could be, it doesn’t mention booze, and our beloved ex-TB iditor and Sky News squeaker, workplace bully of young women is a tee totaller.

And another tell tale that says it’s just a coincidence – like the disaster prone major whose men would follow him anywhere – out of curiosity – our Pete would have more followers than that, for the same reason.

Why Doesn’t Townsville Have A Publication Like This?

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This monthly publication is an ideal one-stop shop for all the salient up-to-date data for the Cairns region. This month it contains 12 pages of easy to read graphs, and a three page overall summary of the state of business play in the region. Page samples:

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There is some good data floating around Townsville … the quarterly PVW Business Confidence Review came out during the week, detailed and thorough, but it’s not user friendly for those less schooled in such matters – which would include busy businessmen, teachers and academics.  The Cairns Report is detailed but simple and low on jargon, it makes itself accessible to everybody, and is visually attractive – and no advertising. Don’t know how it’s funded, but it’s got a good journo in Gavin King looking after it, so little wonder it’s a handsome little on-line publication.

Perhaps the Townsville Chamber of Commerce could stir themselves to put together something similar …  Neither the Bulletin or TEL would be suitable publishers, both being totally compromised by veiled agendas in the area of hard factual information … which is why the TCC and Kim Il Jen wouldn’t be credible authors, either.

The Magpie would be happy to revert to professional standards and help out if anyone wants to give it a go. Or why not commission Mr King to do a Townsville version, that way it would remain untainted by the local viper’s nest.

Will Joe Biden Be A One Term Wonder?

Or not so wonderful. As if the poor bastards don’t have enough to worry about, Americans are now disheartened with the bumbling 79 year old, who doesn’t appear to up to the crucial task of cleaning up much of the mess left by his predecessor. The Democrats are becoming somewhat disenchanted with him, but they have a problem … VP Kamala Harris is neither popular or seen as being up to the job, so they would have to go through a messy nomination convention with no stand-out successor. Perhaps if the mid-term elections coming up shortly eventuate as the widespread disaster they are predicted to be for the Dems, they might start talking openly about their alternative.

As for Trump, as the January 6 committee draws to a close and the Justice Department will start to consider the evidence it has gathered, many are wondering if the Mobster President will ever brought to justice, despite overwhelming evidence of treasonous and criminal actions. In this fractured country, nothing is certain anymore, Kool Aid is the drink of the day.

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Finally … Funny Pics, Funny Vid

The Magpie has always been a big fan of humour in advertising, and it produces some of the wackiest best line you’ll ever see. Here’s a little gallery from around the web … not sure that the first one is appropriate in the current climate, but it’s still clever …

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…as always, The ‘Pie likes to leave you with a chuckle … and if you don’t chuckle at this bloke, get help, you’ve had a humour by-pass. Don McMillan is new to The ‘Pie … he’s mildly reminiscent of Roy of Roy and HG fame, and is instantly as engaging.

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All done for another week, but you can have your say in comments, they’re free and run 24/7. And if you want to kick the can to help the blog with a donation, the big button is below. We could do with the help.

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.

106 Comments

  1. Mike Douglas says:

    Pie , the Cairns report is bought to you by Grant Thorton , Holding Redlich , Belle Property and i did some google searches on Cairns vs Townsville vs Mackay . Cairns + Mackay you can simply google economic update for those Cities and a pdf is available to download and share . Townsville you have to have to go thru the Council website steering committees to Planning and Development chaired by Mark Molachino . It then shows you economic partners Tel , Chamber , nqroc , Port of Townsville , MITEZ and go on to their sites and economic updates are available . T.C.C. didnt renew their economist contract and the Council team leader City Growth $190k role is vacant and the last candidate lasted 4 mths . The Councils economic partners mentioned edms provide economic updates to followers and members but as you have raised , shouldnt Council be making it easy to access economic information on Townsville for Businesses and Investors . As Council monitor the Magpie maybe you will fix yet another issue ( put it on your bill ) for the City .

    • The Magpie says:

      A main authoritative source is Conus, Peter and Ruth Faulkner’s financial analysis company. To The ‘Pie’s limited knowledge in this area, they are pretty smart cookies. By memory, they are based in Mission Beach. And there is no reason why they could not be included in any similar publication like the Cairns Report here. The infuriating paper chase you have detailed, Mike, is precisely why Townsville would benefit greatly from someone taking a machete to the underbrush of difficulty, and confusion of obscure fragmented information. Frankly, if they weren’t such a pack of unimaginative forerlock tuggers, TEL would be the ideal mob to do this, but as The ‘Pie has said, they and the council are way too compromised with hidden agendas to be trusted. The C of C could be trusted, but they are cautious to the point of uselessness, in part cowed by a vindictive mayor. But there is absolutely nothing to stop an independent group of businessmen creating a Townsville Report … it really boils down to a matter of collating information that is freely available in various scattered sites. Wouldn’t be all that expensive either.

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        The pet poodle economist Dwyer would be jumping in circles leaking urine at the thought of adding this type of thing to his portfolio.

        Sadly it would be a collection of homespun wisdom, shallow analysis, and trying to please everyone who might pay him in the future.

      • Critical says:

        Advance Cairns is Far North Queensland’s more advanced and progressive version of North Queensland’s Townsville Enterprise Limited. Have a look at their website under Building and Strengths and the economic and other data that they provide to the whole community

        https://www.advancecairns.com/

        Also had a look at the Advance Cairns Facebook and they certainly seem to be more active than the useless TEL.

        Once again the question gets raised, what Return on Investment are the main funders of the useless TEL organisation getting for their ratepayers and Queensland taxpayers.

      • Ducks Nuts says:

        TEL use REMPLAN to provide statistical and economic information for the Townsville region and they used to send out a poorly written analysis to members on a regular basis. Unsure if they still do.

        https://app.remplan.com.au/townsvillenorthqueensland/economy/summary?state=6Jb7F7189FPnvJwuOaLLvKF8fyfvpy

        TCC use ID. But the information provided publicly is out of date and useless. Typical TCC.
        https://economy.id.com.au/townsville

  2. Dan says:

    Thanks for reminding me of the difference between less and fewer than – not the author.

  3. Sticky Fingers says:

    I don’t know what you two are on about Mr. MP?
    We get all the facts and figures we require regarding Townsville from that eminent JCU adjunct professor Col Dwyer.
    You’ll find him in Aisle 19, Woolworths, Hermit Park, checking on the price difference between Colgate and McLean’s toothpaste!
    We are so blessed!

  4. Regular reader says:

    Interesting that apart from a 68 second “highlights” video on the news.com.au website, no other Australian newspaper bothered to report even the result of the Aston Villa v Brisbane Roar bore fest at Total Tools Stadium.
    After all, Townsville was treated as a joke when it came to the visiting English soccer teams. We got a nothing game, just like we will when some of the early round Olympics events are handed out to regional Queensland in a bid to justify the eyewatering taxpayer cost come 2032.
    I wonder how much Jenny thinks a hockey game between Alaska and Siberia would be worth.
    Local tv at least reported the result of the soccer sleepwalk in a news clip on Seven which claimed a crowd of 10,000 attended – quite an exaggeration on the official crowd figure of 7468, and a world away from the number of people who actually bought tickets, as opposed to turning up because they got freebies.
    Thanks to Jenny Hill and her passion for second rate events, Townsville has become a southern promoters dream.
    Now the stadium is up and running “Build it and they will come” has become “Pay us and we will come”.

    • Palm Sunday says:

      So, Regular, how many of the 14,910 people who attended yesterday’s “extraordinary” NRL game between the Cowboys and the Tigers would have got free tickets issued by TCC to bump up the numbers? You made yourself the authority on this issue so show us some evidence. If 7,000+ attending a soccer international amounts to a “bore fest”, is 14,000+ at a Cowboys game twice or half as boring?

      • The Magpie says:

        A couple of small points … not sure that the TCC has access to bulk freebie tickets to give away to any event at Total Tools, that would be the province of Stadiums Queensland. And it’s not the size of the crowd that determines whether a game is boring, it is the performance on field. As. founding member number 15 of the Sydney Swans all those years ago, The ‘Pie was among the crowds of just 5000 in the SCG in the early years, but the performance on field was always entertaining.

  5. Vince Nielsen says:

    Pie, I have tried to send you a donation.
    That useless Paypal has just shattered my confidence making it impossible to send it.
    Can you give me another source pto send it.
    Eft or something.
    Ihave tried 6 or 7 times this morning, I will not try again through Paypal.

    • The Magpie says:

      Hi Vince, Thanks for your efforts and it’s always the thought that counts, but unfortunately, short of dropping by with a brown paper bag, there are no other avenues to donate to the blog. But as said, it’s the thought that counts, thanks.

      • The Third Reader says:

        Malcolm I left a small deposit in the Nest earlier today via PayPal and had no issue. If it bounces I will let you know. Always my pleasure

        • The Magpie says:

          Yup, saw that, many thanks, TTR. Still readin’ after all these years … you’re a glutton for punishment, mate.

  6. Achilles says:

    “Less women giving birth” surely this is tautology? or simply stating the bleeding obvious.

    It sounds more like a comparative analysis, its not as if there were an alternative.

    Why not simply “the birthrate has lowered” or something akin to that?

    • Bentley says:

      Re less women giving birth: Perhaps the prospect of being a ‘birthing parent ‘ ( or whatever the ridiculous term is), doesn’t have the same appeal as ‘mother, mum, or even mummy’. I hope ‘father ‘ doesn’t become ‘bonking person ‘

      • Bernaise says:

        There are less women giving birth because we are now living in a ‘woke’ environment in which women are either turning into lesbo’s or they are refusing to have children because they think that men are pushing them into it, that somehow they are being ‘forced’ in to it. Dumbarse ‘woke’, ‘me too’ world that we now live in.

        • The Magpie says:

          One assumes that your saucy female nom de plume is a bloke getting in touch with his feminine side … your reference to ‘lesbo’ put The ‘Pie in mind of early feminist Betty Friedan’s squelch of a heckler at a Miami rally decades ago. When a bloke yelled out ‘Are you a ferkin’ lesbian?’ Friedan. replied, “If you’re the alternative, I am now.’

        • Palm Sunday says:

          Bernaise, there is also the possibility that women today don’t feel the need to have AS MANY children as was once the norm. Many women want careers and need to limit the years away from the workforce. It’s not that women are ‘woke’ or even that their men are ‘weak and woke’. The world has changed. With economic development, education and female participation in the workforce, all of us in the wealthy western world are freed from the need for large families. That’s a good thing isn’t it?

  7. Critical says:

    Sitting on the Strand during last week and saw one of those scooters nearly hit a pedestrian and just seen this news article. I wonder if TCC considered these issues prior to approving these pests to overtake the cities footpaths etc.

    https://amp.nine.com.au/article/096f2371-9701-46db-ac65-eb5de2a0090f

    • Damn Tailings says:

      Saw a police car wait in the driveway of the city station while two blokes on one scooter (no helmets) rode by on the footpath.
      I thought they were supposed to be cracking down on scooter riders?

    • NQ Gal says:

      Crits, much as I loathe the orange and purple scooters, at least they have speed limiters on them. Some of the privately owned motorised scooters/skateboards/ bikes reach speeds of 50k an hour or more. I even saw one idiot heading up the highway on a motorised scooter a couple of weeks back.

  8. DAWE says:

    Foot and mouth disease risk – our friends in Government are focusing on passengers coming into the country, link here –

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-24/sa-foot-and-mouth-disease/101264994

    However, and as usual, hardly any focus is being paid to mariners arriving on cargo ships. Townsville has a lot of vessel movements yet they don’t have enough staff to do all the inspections at the best of times, let alone during this worrying time period. The local manager has been too busy racking up frequent flyer points travelling around Queensland enjoying a jolly time while Rome burns. Idiots.

  9. Cringing critic says:

    There was outrage after the Tigers were “robbed” of an upset win over the Cowboys yesterday:
    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-premiership/nrl-2022-north-queensland-cowboys-vs-wests-tigers-kyle-feldt-escort-penalty-captains-challenge-video-asu-kepaoa-bunker/news-story/99832cb9c4477fe055c59ca90429e156
    I was at the game and most of the Cowboys fans in the area I was sitting did not cheer when Holmes kicked the controversial winning penalty goal. One even described it as “embarrassing”. But despite the fact the Tigers hierarchy is considering taking legal action against the NRL to overturn the result, it’s somehow turned into a good news story today’s Townsville Bulletin.
    The front page headline is Cowboys Back From The Brink. To complete the coverup, readers have been robbed of the opportunity to make a comment.
    Now I’m no Tigers fan. In fact I’ve backed the Cowboys to win the grand final, and at juicy odds, but they way the players behaved on Sunday and the resultant actions from the referee and the NRL bunker brought the game into disrepute. Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt deserves an Academy Award for his role in the fiasco. After this morning’s whitewash surely the local rag needs another name change from Mulletin to Cowboytin.

    • The Magpie says:

      It’s a rarity when The Magpie sticks up for the Bulletin, but today’s one such day. The back page and the match report (written by a News Ltd FIFO reporter, natch) were accurate and fairly measured in tone and information. Somehow, both avoided the expected hysteria, because it is pragmatic in this instance to simply report the outcome of the match as the main news point.

      The controversial incident was reported and not ignored, but the win was the focus, as it should be at this crucial time in the season. If moves are made to overturn the result, as threatened today by the Tigers, then that’s a story when it occurs …until then, as the saying has it, talk is cheap until you get lawyers involved.

      BUT … BUT …. BUT it wouldn’t be News Ltd if they couldn’t find a way to fuck up a headline … anyone reading this morning’s on-line reports about the Tiger’s threat to lawyer up would be totally confused by this headline, which anyone with the reading comprehension of a 10-year-old would understand as the penalty being AGAINST the Cowboys.

      Even News Ltd’s well known supply chain problems with their storeroom stocks of commas could not have helped in this case.

      • Ralph says:

        This incident is one of many where a very suspect decision has cost a team a win, my feelings are for the people who have had a bet on the game, some would even be thinking the games are rigged, I for one reckon they are and have been ever since betting was allowed on sport, a Cowboy player years ago always gave away penaltys in front of the posts to reach the fore and against odds, this still goes on today.

        • The Magpie says:

          Suggesting that a player ‘always’ behaved as you describe is to insult every other member of the team, the coaches and management … because if it did happen and you knew it, so would everybody else, and they’d quickly shut it down … or he just wouldn’t be selected. A thoughtless and silly assertion. Years ago, the was a famous and way to obvious incident at Dairy Farmers when a visiting player was blatant in his intention right in front of the posts, and there was a scandal and repercussions. But that is the only incidence that The ‘Pie recalls involving the Cowboys.

          Anyway, The ‘Pie’s old dad had the right idea …. never bet on anything that talks.

    • Jatzcrackers says:

      Bloody hell CC, get over it and move on !
      The Cowboys are one of sixteen clubs in the NRL and every team every year is subjected to some form of injustice. That’s footy !
      The Cows have had their fair share of being shafted over the years and like every one else, have to suck it up.
      Take the two points on offer, count yourself as lucky and move on to next week.
      There’s no doubt that the Bunker is destroying the game as they find ways not to award a try and highlight very minor offences on the paddock. I personally loath it and decisions should be left to the bloke with the whistle !
      Grasshopper would be rolling in his grave !

      • The Magpie says:

        But while we’ve got you, Salty Biscuit, a genuine question from The ‘Pie: the ref had not made a ruling on the incident, so how can it be challenged? Don’t challenges – by their very name – imply a challenge to a ruling? If players can start plucking gripes out of general play to be reviewed, the game really is fucked. And BTW, was it the captain who asked for the challenge … there was the memorable moment a couple of week’s ago (I think it was the Cowboys) where the ref called for a challenge, but it was dropped when the side’s captain furiously pointed out the player who requested it didn’t have the authority to call for the review, and as captain, he didn’t want to.)

        But The ‘Pie agrees with your other sentiments, and a tightening of the particular rule is certainly needed. But The ‘Pie does NOT agree that the bunker is destroying the game, although it does need smartening up … the reason it came into existence in the first place was because the entire TV audience at home and on the big screens at the ground could see glaring injustices every week as the speed and athleticism of the modern game often left the ref unsighted and having to resort to guessing of the likely outcome.

        • Alahazbin says:

          Pie, I know two wrongs make a right, but let’s go back over the years when the Cowboys were always getting the wrong call. The following incidents happened in final series over the years.
          The Kieran Foran ‘Hand of fate”
          The Sharks 7 tackle try.
          The Roosters win after the ref disallowed a cowboys try, ruling a forward pass when video evidence proved otherwise.
          The Ref blew the whistle early to end the game when the Cowboys were in a scoring play.
          Suck it up everyone.

        • Jatzcrackers says:

          Pie, re the challenge, the way I saw it was the Cows kicked off at 79.59 mark, in the one second between the ball being kicked off by Cows and being caught by a Tiger player (which automatically ended the game) another Tiger player took out Feldt.
          No doubt about it that Feldt should be nominated for an Academy Award, but rules is rules according to the Bunker and it was eventually deemed a penalty to Cows. Game over Cows the winners !

          My point is this bunker interference is ruining the game that’s played by humans and should be reffed by humans. Bring two refs if you want but we’re getting just like American gridiron with every play questioned, reviewed over and over and final they come up with a decision based on what the bloke doing the reviewing on tape up in the ‘Bunker’ says!

          A good experienced ref knows when players are acting or taking liberties and chooses to let play go on but again, the Bunker steps in !

          What’s next ? Satellite imagery to confirm that player A @ 26 kph will run into an opposition player B if he runs for 42 mts with a -3 degree allowance for wind gusts ? Penalty, 10 in the bin ?

          And another thing…this 6 again crap is also destroying the game. Nobody knows what it’s for, nobody knows which player offended and at times the bloody ref doesn’t know until the Bunker gives the 6 again !

          Anyway, I’m seeing Penrith V Cowboys Grand Final for 2022. Who can forget 2015 in September?

  10. Sticky Fingers says:

    Try taking your earplugs out CC.
    The stadium fucking erupted when Val slotted a magnificent goal…no pressure of course…and my ears were still ringing 10 mins later.
    An extraordinary game!

  11. Amanda Reen says:

    Pie

    I am sure you have seen this before but it goes to the very heart of the CinC rubbish that the State and TCC hide behind.

    https://www.oic.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/40897/decision-314149-external-review-03-10-19.pdf

    Hopefully that link works. If not, just Google “Palmer v Townsville City Council OIC”. The decision is a review by the OIC over the misuse by TCC of the CinC exemption. This related to the Imperium MOU. I may have my timing out of whack, but I think that the whole Palmer and TCC shit fight went away around the time the Mullet and Fatty got into the defamation stoush?

    Maybe running dead on this was part of the settlement between the pair? Who knows but the OIC shot down the use of CinC as a
    means of hiding info from Taxpayers.

    I don’t know why the Courier Mail or the LNP don’t rely on this? Actually, I know why the LNP don’t. They couldn’t find their arse with an Atlas and a Sherpa guide.

  12. Regular reader says:

    Sunday flipper, you could be enlightened to how this all works by simply asking for a private audience with your mate Jenny, but I’ll give you a heads-up anyway.
    When Jenny donates our rates to promoters to bribe them to come to Townsville, an agreed number of free tickets are handed over for her and her puppets to hand out to council staff and rusted-on Labor supporters. Then when ticket sales are embarrassingly poor, more freebies are handed out so the event doesn’t look like a flop. In the case of the Cowboys, they don’t need to be bribed like the southern promoters because they are already locked into playing home games in Townsville and in any case they don’t need to hand out freebies at the moment as they are getting their average crowds of around 15,000 to every home game.
    By the way, did you score any free tickets to the V8s or the soccer? If not, you should be asking Jenny why not.

    • The Magpie says:

      Not much point asking Jenny anything about the SuperPests. Inquiries seeking to know who enjoyed the ratepayer-funded free booze and cheesy Saos at the event are not for public knowledge apparently … polite inquiries have resulted is The ‘Pie understanding that they might tell us the number who were guests – when they can find it – but the identities of the guests remains under wraps. The reason: privacy issues.

      Now that is unquestionably a reply that any anti-corruption body would be interested to hear … especially those nice folks who penned the Belcarra Report.

    • Palm Sunday says:

      Regular, you really are an authority on this free ticket thing eh? Having had your private audience with the mayor and now knowing that an agreed number of free tickets are handed over for her and her puppets to hand out to council staff and rusted-on Labor supporters, you should be able to estimate how many freebies she holds. Is it 100? Is it 500? Or could it be 2000? Because unless there’s a pretty big number it wouldn’t make an impact on the apparent size of the crowd in the stadium. And no freebies for Cowboys games? These are the ones that would really be in demand. I’m calling bullshit. I don’t think you have a clue.

      • Bernaise says:

        I don’t think you have a clue Palm Sunday/NMD/Elusive Butterfly. How about you ask the Mayor instead? After all, you are chained to the leg of her desk (willingly) and you enjoy licking her jackboots.

      • Regular reader says:

        Coming from one of Jenny Hill’s spin doctors, I’ll take that as a compliment.

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        Weekend Wanker. As someone who is obviously employed by the Mullet or ALP, you have immediate access to these facts. Put us all out of your misery and hand them over. If not, ask Dolan assuming it isn’t you really already. It gets tedious having to wade through all the juvenile propaganda pulp from you clowns.

        • Palm Sunday says:

          Bernaise, Regular Reader and Engineer, why so sensitive about free tickets being handed out to bolster crowd numbers at the stadium? It’s your claim, why not back it up with a fact or two – facts which you, Regular, claim to have gleaned from inside the TCC.

          • The Magpie says:

            Given your proximity and posture to our mayor, thought you’d be in an ideal position to ask her yourself. But remember your manners … never talk with your mouth full.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Ah, Mr Magpie, another expert on who is who in the mayor’s office on any given day. Are you guys in some sort of Walker Street conga line?

          • The Magpie says:

            You’d know.

  13. Diver Dan says:

    Interesting insight re the Cowboys controversial win over the Tigers:
    https://www.msn.com/en-au/sport/other/petrified-refs-the-root-of-cowboys-tigers-firestorm/vi-AAZWtty?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=ed2a1afdbfc84499958a46db243ccec3
    The vision of Holmes being over the halfway line when he kicked off is interesting.
    Why didn’t the bunker review the whole play, as they usually do.
    Adding fuel to the conspiracy fire, a radio report on Monday also suggested that a punter had $200,000 on the cowboys. Why isn’t the NRL checking betting transactions on the game.
    The influence of the betting companies on rugby league through massive club sponsorships, and the possibility of match fixing, as happens in tennis, needs to be scrutinised.

  14. The Magpie says:

    A MOST interesting tweet. Can anyone find anything?

  15. The Magpie says:

    Just love these Twitter challenges.

  16. NQ Gal says:

    In a first, I am agreeing with Paul Gallen and his bucketing of Manly for doing Pride jerseys during the Women in League round. Manly might find it hard to field a team with the bulk of pacific island players boycotting for religious reasons.

    • Critical says:

      I hear that Manly have another dilemma to resolve. Rumour has it that Centrum vitamins has approached the club with a large sponsorship proposal and the club doesn’t know what to do because the Centrum logo will upset certain players. Hahaha

      On a serious note though, is this a case of certain minority religions and/or ethnic groups trying to control NRL and the NRL community.

      • The Magpie says:

        What logo? Googled Centrum and nothing appears to fit your attempt at zany humour.

        And you last line doesn’t stand up to the slightest examination … the dissents are not trying to control the game, exactly the opposite – the Manly club has as much as admitted its error in trying to dictate and denigrate the personal moral beliefs of some players. Disagreeing with those beliefs is one thing, but it does not entitle any enforcing punishment in a secondary manner is not. It certainly does NOT And the protesting players no demands beyond allowing their presence to promote a lifestyle with which they don’t agree. The ‘Pie believes this has played out mostly as it should, although we could have done without sports thickos suddenly becoming theologians … players for their reasons chose not be billboards for a certain message, and said they won’t play. Although they shouldn’t, they lose their match fee, and although their absence may affect the club’s fairly tenuous run to the finals, that’s the club’s fault and the club’s problem for trying to virtue signal on an issue that fuck all to do with league.

        The NRL and what you call the NRL community include people who support the protesting players, and the boot is firmly on the other foot … Manly is trying to overrule the personal moral beliefs which are protected under the general acceptance of freedom of religion.

        • Prickster says:

          I’m all for clubs support vulnerable minority groups in Australia.

          Can’t wait for middle aged white Australian male jerseys #stoptheoppression:-)

          • The Magpie says:

            There is one sponsor out there trying to get on board, but the NRL rightly fears it could change the nature of the game entirely, with certain opposing players will mutter ‘infidel’ while stepping aside when a player makes a run for the tryline wearing a jersey sponsored by a Tasmanian company …

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      Sticky stuff, what a miserable old fuck you are. At least these folks are having a go. They deserve a little bit of credit. More than I can say for you, your idea of a business proposal is slipping a bag of cash to a Councillor for a favour.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        Mopsy, I second your ‘miserable old fuck’ remark. Nothing wrong with having a go. Why are your fingers sticky, where have you been putting them???

        • The Magpie says:

          Actually, while The ‘Pie sees your dislike of the unnecessary negativity in The Onanist’s comment, The ‘Pie – drawing on bitter personal experience – shudders when he sees stories like this. So many newbies jump into the coffee and cake space, probably aiming at an upgrade to a full oin restaurant later, with little idea of what’s involved, and how to do the vital research needed now days to stand a chance in a competitive environment. The magic word nowadays for the epitome of cool is ‘barista’, a person who just needs a winning smile, patience and an IQ larger than his metrosexual waistline, since he has a machine that does all the crucial work. All this vital research may well have been done by the folks mentioned here, and good luck to them … but Sticky Fingers does have a bit of a point … recent history is littered with those in the sector who have fallen byb the wayside, and most if any have anything to do with COVID.

          But it’s their problem, so better to say nought, it’s also their money. Old rule in the cafe/restaurant game: to the sums to estimate the financials to open, including three months staff wages even if no one come through the door … then either have double that amount or forget it. 90% of such ventures in Sydney went to the wall fo one reason – undercapitalisation.

          That said, $2million for a Castle Hill cafe would be more than enough except no doubt for the costly requirements of a rapacious, financially illiterate council.

      • Ducks Nuts says:

        All brown paper bags must be hand delivered to the Mullet. Just giving it to any old Councillor won’t do, as they don’t actually have a say on anything.

  17. Diver Dan says:

    Very strange goings on in the local paper regarding the Cowboys controversy.
    Yesterday they had a story from the Cowboys CEO claiming his team won “fair and square”, the complete opposite view to the admission by the NRL they “got it wrong”.
    Again yesterday on their website they had a story headlined “Petrified refs the root of Cowboys-Tigers firestorm” (see link in my previous comment), but the story was actually about a southern media expert saying the refs got it right. All mention of Valentine Homes being in front of the halfway line when he kicked off (which results in an immediate penalty) was missing, as well as discussion on whether Kyle Feldt took a dive to get a penalty.
    Adding to the intrigue is that in the three papers since the game – Mon, Tue, Wed – there was not one comment on the controversy in the text the editor section.
    Perhaps the editor can tell us the reason for these strange happenings. After all, he’s supposed to print both sides of the story, isn’t he?

  18. Achilles says:

    What planet are these people from? FFS! the usual excessive use of a dishonest word; where there is none.

    https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/new-york-urges-who-to-rename-stigmatising-monkeypox-report-3197025

    Name of monkeypox ‘is racist’

    New York city health authorities fear the moniker of virus could stigmatise sufferers who might hold off seeking care.

    Soon they’ll demand that foot and mouth disease is racist or offensive or discriminating to a minority of creatures such as cattle and politicians who are primarily just carriers .

  19. The Magpie says:

    The latest stunning attraction to attract hordes to our city …. and it only cost $90,000. It’s an absolute steal … whichever way you look at it.

    Clr Ann-Maree Greaney (centre) was there for the unveiling, with well known prankster and practical joker Christopher Trotter (he called himself an artist for this clever spoof on the council) and his practical joke which won last year’s Ephemera $90,000 prize will now be permanently on display to further Townsville’s reputation as the Laughing Stock of Australia.

    Partington Car Wreckers denied they had been behind the prank. ‘Nothing to do with us,’ they said, but suggesting as spare components, it was probably worth about $50.

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      You have got to be kidding right? That piece of shit is worth $90k?? Wait until the local hoons steal it and try to use the parts for their shitbox AU Falcons!! Either that, or it will get graffitied. What is it with Councils that they pay be bucks to some local yokel for a handful of rusty parts that are meant to be ‘art work’?

      • The Magpie says:

        Tsk, tsk, tsk, you are so unsophisticated, so uncultured and clueless as to how modern art works, my Pickled One. If it were graffitied, who would notice expect experts who would revalue it at $180,000. And if hoons stole, they would demand $100,000 ranson … or they’d give it back.

      • On Two Wheels says:

        Not even a “local “yokel”. The paper said that the alleged artist is from Brisbane! The ultimate outsourcing absurdity.

        • The Magpie says:

          he’s no mug, he knows a patsy when he sees one. Probably put on to it by the third rate chisler who does underwater sculptures. This insanity is proof what happens when bogan rev heads hold sway in a community.

    • The Magpie says:

      No plinth either, to give it some semblance of seriousness. Just plonked down in the dirt.

  20. Regular reader says:

    Yet another boost to Townsville’s growing reputation as Boganville.
    The crazy thing about this latest display of junk imitating art is that Greaney thinks she’s got a bargain, just like the millions of our money she spent on the world first two way/one way/two way Palmer Street. My family often plays host to visitors from the south and they can’t believe the Palmer Street dog’s breakfast. Wait till they see that ugly, ridiculous, useless piece of junk down on The Strand.
    Maybe we should start a petition to have it removed to a more suitable location, like the city dump.

    • The Magpie says:

      That should read ‘… and remove THEM to the dump’.

    • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Perhaps it could be relocated to the $2m hilltop park where the mournful moans of the long suffering ratepayers can waft through its tacky bugles.

  21. NQ Gal says:

    Nanna Anna’s government has finally coughed up on how much the Wellcamp debacle has cost us:
    $48.8M to Wagners for construction costs (no tender)
    $149.7m to Wagners for 12 month lease
    $9m to Compass Group for catering, cleaning & meals
    $16m to Aspen Medical for health services (no tender) (total contract was $108m, but must have been on a “services actually rendered” terms).
    The Wagners did really “well” out of this rort – they pocket $198m and then keep the camp!

  22. Regular reader says:

    Ah the Wagners. Aren’t they the same mob who are getting $6.2 million for Jenny Hill’s 280 metre – yes 280 metre!!!!! – walkway from nowhere to nowhere.
    Anyone know where I can buy shares in Wagners?

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, fair go, they had to get some recompense when her brainwave of the Adani Airstrip they were to build was torpedoed by outraged ratepayers. Although you’d think if Mayor Mullet had just hung on for a bit longer, and realised that the Wagners are getting an early Christmas present from completely corrupt and/or totally incompetent premier in the form of either a free or knock-down priced Wellcamp set-up at their private airport, they might have had the decency to knock down the price a bit. Haha, just kidding, decency, as if.

      • Achilles says:

        Wagners by name …….BUT a more suitable onomatopoeia would fit the bill. Long lives the shades of Jo and Russ!

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        Perhaps this is just the cost for the Mullet Muppet to buy her way into a cushy ALP board position once she is run out of town. Who is on the Wagners Board?

  23. Achilles says:

    All this furore about not wearing a rainbow icon, as I recall it in the first Book of Dogmas the Rainbow is the Almighty’s own personal badge.

    Maybe he and/or his flock have an identity problem?

  24. Down by the sea says:

    A little fishy tells me that the boardwalk construction will start in the next month

    • The Magpie says:

      And here’s a whisper that you heard here first … hints flying around that Denham Street bridge is shortly to be closed to foot. traffic. Maybe this explains Mayor Mullet’s brain fart idea of a footbridge connecting Central Park with Frlinders Street.?!?

  25. Mike Douglas says:

    Mayor Hill who has shutdown Townsville Business development centre , not listened to Cbd businesses on free parking , blocked off long strips of Charters Towers rd , increased rates 9 % above inflation which is passed on by landlords on Channel 7 explaining how tough it is for Small Business . Would any non Labor Mayor accept the Crime issues facing small business and the ratepayers of Townsville .

    • Palm Sunday says:

      Mike, what exactly is the position of CBD businesses on free parking?

      • The Magpie says:

        Do you mean what is the position of the Chamber of Commerce on free parking?

        • Palm Sunday says:

          I’m not sure who Mike was referring to. Maybe he meant the mayor doesn’t listen to anyone. Whatever, who publicly speaks for CBD businesses, and what is it they want about parking? I’m sure the Council would be happy to do away with parking meters and staffing etc but I imagine there would never be a spare car park anywhere and ‘business’ would be whingeing. So, who is calling the shots, Mike?

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            Yes the council would just prefer you tithed your wages rather than bother themselves with those pesky money earners the parking meters and those even more pesky money earners, the parking fines.

      • Mike Douglas says:

        Palm Sunday , a quick Google you can find plenty of various cbd businesses and customers who support free cbd parking .

  26. Regular reader says:

    Fair go. Jenny is busy with her trip to Singapore to….well, do nothing really.

    • The Magpie says:

      God knows whar wacky promises she’ll make while there, with which we’ll be lumbered with at a later date.

      • Achilles says:

        Tell your soldiers when they come to Queensland they wont be billeted in the outback, they can bivouac on The Strand or the empty Mall

        Make sure they bring plenty of cigarettes and small change currency.

      • Critical says:

        I heard that one of the reasons that she’s going is because there’s 5 return flights a week from Singapore to Cairns and she wants into the action with direct Singaporeto Townsvilleflights. Apparently some European tourists are flying to Singapore and then into Cairns rather than flying on Australian domestic flights.

        Wonder if she’ll use the Singapore/ Australian military alliance as her reason for fleecing Townsville ratepayers for the Singapore jaunt costs and who knows who the hanger-ons will be, probably TEL idiots.

        • Charlie Wulguru. says:

          Critical…. She is making sure she is out of town while the Australian Festival of Chamber Music is on. That is the one she cancelled last year, in favor of the fucking V8’s, after they had already booked the Civic Theater as they do every year. I picked up a sixty-five page glossy programme, for the event, from the library on Friday and the fucked-out Townsville City Council isn’t mentioned ONCE in it. Singapore would the safest place for her at the moment.

    • Grumpy says:

      A question – Who went with her? Gluttony loves company.

      • Ducks Nuts says:

        Well… an advisor, she’ll need one of those. Probably 2. Probably a councillor, I’d say the chair of Planning and Development but thats Frothy and we wouldn’t want to leave the city without a Mayor AND Deputy Mayor. So maybe AMG? She likes a good junket. Someone from TEL because they know airports. And someone important from TCC development.

  27. Sticky Fingers says:

    Good to see the Commonwealth Ads are on Mr. MP…oops…meant Games!

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