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The Magpie

Sunday, December 15th, 2019   |   247 comments

Detailing A Debacle: The Lack Of Foresight In The Planning Of Total Tools Stadium Is Slowly Being Revealed

It beggars belief. Realy, it does. The sheer incompetence exhibited by the bureaucracy behind this white elephant slowly looming over Ross Creek is astounding . But just about every failure – and there are plenty -  is now being sold as a masterful feat of management by a switched-on council and state government. The Magpie stops laughing long enough to examine the wreckage.

Also this week, it is the clanger of the year from the Townsville Bulletin, they can’t even get their own bullshit right. We all waited with bated breath and even queued outside newsagents in the pre-dawn chill to learn who was crowned Townsville’s Most Influential Person … and (gasp, wheeze, snurffle)right vat Number One,   THE PAPER COCKED IT UP.

It was like a Girls Own Annual adventure … an essay of misadventure that could’ve been titled ‘Nanny and the Babadook go to council’. The final recruits to Team Jenny Hill, political turncoat former KAP party federal candidate Nanny Radeck and basketball player Suzy Batkovic take their first fumbling steps into the political lime light. But why would a respected and successful retired athlete and mum of young kids opt for the relentless public life of city councillor? The Magpie may have discovered why.

The TCC annual budget was fast tracked for release during the week, and some believe that it should be up for the Miles Franklin Award for fiction … but the fact that even Mayor Mullet’s figures show that this city is worse debt than ever, the Astonisher is strangely silent. Well, we all know they’re no good with numbers.

And Brexit boy BoJo Johmson romps into Downing Street with a thumping majority … but some wonder how he’ll control 365 members when he’s never been able to control his own.

Plus across the Atlantic, one of the most eloquent addresses to the Trump impeachment hearings may rekindle some pride in downcast Americans.

But first …

The ‘Pie recently noted that no special royalties agreement has been reached between the Queensland Government  and the Adani corporation over exports from the Carmichael mine – talks continue . It was with bitter amusement that we learn whatever deal is reached, we, the great unwashed will never know its contents. Why something so pivotal to this state’s sense of proper government is allowed to be made ‘commercial in confidence’ is yet another example of bureaucracy dumbing down and restricting information to which we have a right to know.

In the meantime, the sound and fury continues about the mine. Anthony ‘Anal’ Albanese (well, if SCott MOrrison is ScoMo, ANthony ALbanese is AnAl) challenged GotEm Adani to produce proof of the promised jobs at the mine, forcing the shifty Indian magnate to produce some more pieces of paper rabbiting on about hundreds of jobs and reputed contracts worth $500million. Bentley sighed deeply and decided good old fashioned bribery has failed to work and the issue is far from settled.

Adani Jobs fin small

Who’s Going To Break The News To Jeff Reibel?

Hahahahahah gasp wheeze …. we wait and wait to learn who the Astonisher thinks is the number one influencer in Townsville, AND THEY GET THAT WRONG TOO. Is The Townsville Bulletin the only paper anywhere who can print utter bullshit … AND GET THAT WRONG, TOO? Who is going to break the news to Jeff Reibel, who is under the impression he was recently appointed Cowboys CEO, an office to the best of The ‘Pie’s limited knowledge, Lancini has never held.

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This paper doesn’t even believe its own reporting.

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Smoke And Mirrors And Mathematics Jenny Hill and Maury Soards

The budget released last Tuesday was as rubbery as the mayor’s  now famous purple Michelin Man dress. Rather than shedding light on the Townsville Council’s financial position, Mayor Mullet’s creative accounting has left us further in the dark about the true position of the city’s finances, and wondering if we could believe any of it. For instance, have a look at the attached and pay particular attention to the dates of the meetings and the date the minutes were presented.

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Mullet is a magician, 2 of the 4 had minutes submitted BEFORE the meeting was held by months.

And there’s been a lot of sniping and muddying of waters – there always is when it comes to accounting matters – but the fact that the city’s debt is skyrocketing is undeniable to everybody except our mayor … and the Townsville Bulletin. This from the indefatigable Phillip Batty.

Here are the FACTS and these are straight copy and pastes from the Townsville City Council Annual Reports 

2015/16
Total liabilities 459,588
2016/17
Total liabilities 481,781
2017/18
Total liabilities 469,537
2018/19
Total liabilities 537,104

Now to do the math on this 537,104 minus 459,588 equals 77,516 increase which as a % equals 16.86% NOT 65% (77,516 divided by 459,588)

Now I am not saying I trust these numbers to be correct but they are what has been signed off by the Auditor General and published so there is no dispute about the number.

As for another poke at the council, in their Mid Year Budget Review 2019/20 they state and I quote “3rd year CONSECUTIVE
BALANCED BUDGET & REDUCING DEBT through ‘smarter, faster, better’ initiatives.’

Given the data above how can this be correct. Is it a mistake or is it an attempt to bullshit to the media and the ratepayers?

So, what has the Bulletin go to say about these and other unexplained anomalies?  Short answer: absolutely fucking nothing, just reprinted a glowing summary written by the TCC media department. Which was basically lies, which became published unexamined lies in the paper.

Sam Cox was on to it on his Facebook page, but he doesn’t seem to be getting too much attention from the Astonisher. Not yet anyway.

New Girls On The (Chopping) Block

Jenny's new team members32505a881a6d8970467f30c8acc9694f

Mayor Mullet announced three additions to her Team Hill arm aerobics class this week, and there’s little doubt the newcomers will be good class members. His Radiance’s junior glimmer, Liam Mooney will give up his cushy dad-engineered job on the council to run for council (and go straight back into it if he loses). The Mooney Jnr has no experience of actual life off the public tit, his contribution to the glory of Mayor Mullet will be limited to the limp lifting of the voting appendage when required.

The other two choices were interesting. A political turn coat,  and a basketball player, both of which tend to fit the required profile.

Nanette Radeck was the KAP candidate in Herbert for the last federal election, but blood will out. Nanette comes from a well established and respected Townsville family, all staunch Labor folk. Her dad Georg was a handy footy player,  a Queensland rep in pre-origin days, and coached the JCU side, coincidentally when  one Tony Mooney was club president and Nanette’s mum Doreen Radeck was club treasurer. Nanette was around this time, crowned both the Uni and the TRL Queen, and almost certainly under the circumstances,  knew Tony Mooney. Probably quite well. And while Labor folk can be haters who never forget, they are also happy to remember kindly their own folk. So it should be no surprise that when no other opportunities presented themselves that Nanette would have a gallop for the KAP to get herself into the political arena. But even then under the KAP banner, she couldn’t help but fly the old red flag.

IMG_0628 IMG_0626

She got 9% of the Herbert vote, enough apparently to give her a taste of the public tit. She and Jenny courted each other for a few weeks, as reported in the previous blogs, but she was coy and slippery right up to it being made official (a deal with the paper apparently, having been scooped by Channel 7 the previous week.) Her protestation of the old trope made popular by Mayor Mullet – party politics has no place in local government – rings even more hollow than it does from the mouth of the mayor. Nanette says she’s just for Townsville … which is exactly what the mayor says, and we all know how that has worked out. The ‘Pie will bet there’s a spot on the Townsville Hospital for you in the near future, m’dear.

While there’s little mystery about Nancy’s choice, the third cab off this particular rank was a bit harder to fathom. Suzy Batkovic is a triple Olympian and darling of the local basketball fans. Recently retired, she has two month old twins to occupy her time, so after a hectic globe girdling career, you’d wonder why she’d opt for some equally hectic parish pump politics. But perhaps a Magpie reader has solved the mystery. Suzy’s partner is Dan Ryder, of Packer Ryder Home Loan Services who has been heavily involved in the ASA redevelopment of Illich Park in Aikenvale. One reader also says that he is related to current councillor Margie Ryder, who one would presume excused herself on grounds of conflict of interest on any Illich Park issues – hmmm, might be a whole load of other issues since Clr Ryder is has links to half a dozen companies.

The ‘Pie’s informant writes: I have it on very good sources that the ASA team were promised $150K in Council funding and a fast track through the development process. This largesse was perhaps used to entice SB into the Team Hill camp. That project was first driven by Pat Ernst but Hill wouldn’t allow it to proceed whilst Pat was associated with it.  He had to step down so it could be progressed. “ That last bit sounds about right, Pat Ernst is a former Townsville First councillor,  classic Jenny Hill vindictiveness at the expense of public good. And The Magpie is definitely NOT suggesting a mini-Ukraine situation here, with the $150k conditional on Suzy signing up. Those sorts of things do not happen in Townsville.

But whether this is true, The ‘Pie doesn’t know, and it could just be coincidence, could it not? Anyway, The Magpie doesn’t think we can expect anything in the way of new transparency in Walker Street with these two ladies.  Certainly not if their gushing, bum kissing of the mayor in their posts after Tuesday’s council meeting in anything to go by. The similarity and speed (minutes after the council meeting finished) tends to suggest they were supplied with the scripts. The posts also clearly suggested they were allowed to stay for a closed session of council, which would be highly illegal. They deny it.

Radeck FB

Batkovic

Spooky sort of sameness, no? So much for strong independent-minded woman of the future who will stand up to the bullying of Jenny Hill.

Old Jean-Baptiste  Alphonse Kerr was on the money with his aphorism ‘ – plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose’ the more things change the more they stay the same.

Poor old Townsville.

Field Of Fools

Our new stadium is assured of being a money sink-hole, as practically all stadiums are, but this one is already a morale sapping comedy of ineptitude.

Screen Shot 2019-12-15 at 12.42.11 am

Recently we learn, in Pythonesque detail, the LACK of ANY traffic/transport plan to handle game day/event crowds, it just hadn’t been factored in …, even although the clue words of ‘stadium’ and ‘football’ abounded. At this stage, chaos and/or massive disgruntlement is assured, with assurances that a ‘plan’ will soon be in place has the same ring as ‘flooding hundreds of homes for the greater good’.

And even more recently, the ‘well duh’ moment from yet another shiny bum who jumped the hipster-proof fence to advise us that marketing events into the stadium will be our responsibility and therefor how it will be OUR fault if the stadium doesn’t make it financially.   The emphasis is on entertainment, which makes the utter failure of any political will or smarts to ensure the project was an integrated stadium/entertainment/convention centre (WITH PARKING). And all this arse covering is accompanied the paer’s empty-headed cheer leading.

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And on Wednesday, we get yet another mimsy little foot-stamping iditorial from Jenna Cairney, who takes a leaf from the Greta Thunberg scolding playbook when she hectors us with a faux answer to the success or otherwise of Total Tools Stadium. (Really there should be a crowd funding movement to PAY Total Tools to take naming rights.)

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More of this tosh shortly, but then there’s this …

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And she sends shivers down readers’ spines when she wags a finger saying” A Townsville-based stadium managers should be appointed to work with the Townsville City Council, Townsville Enterprise Ltd and Stadiums Queensland’. Sure, what could possibly go wrong, even if the second most Influential person in Townsville is involved. (That’s another sad joke for another time.)

But all these problems and possibilities now being aired could and should have been anticipated and addressed before the first sod was turned, surely they are basics covered in any feasibility study.

Those who bludgeon this poor old feathered head with the mantra ’Give it a bloody chance, talking it down doesn’t help, you’re so negative’ is EXACTLY what the buffoons involved in this disaster want you to do – give it a go – so they can then blithely skate on by mumbling about unforeseen circumstances and ‘tough times’, but never once a hint of their responsibility for their appalling and indeed inexplicable  lack of basic foresight. Or worse still, massage figures to the extent of simply lying about its success, like the V8s.  Visually Impaired Fredrick could see the chaos coming. All the problems now being aired were plain and  standard matters, all looming larger than Kim Kardashian bum.

Laurence Lancini, for all the good he’s done,  has a lot to answer for in this wide-ranging catastrophe.  Like he’d care.  As a follow-up to Townsville’s Most Influential, the Astonisher could start Townsville’s 50 Most Self-Interested Bullies, and Lancini will remain number one for years to come, despite having conveniently pissed off to poor old Melany to avoid his own stink. But like a silent fart in a crowded lift, his memory will linger on long after he has left and we have to continue our journey … downwards.

So To The Reality

Exciting times for stadium, that Bulletin iditorial told us this week.

Indeed, nothing more likely to make a dyed in the wool footy fan to cough in his rompers with excitement is hearing a new name for the white elephant across from the Dean Park car park, which will be closed for VIPs on game days . And indeed, the excitement will continue right throughout the whole night. First the treasure hunt for a car park somewhere within three kms from the stadium, then an invigorating trudge to the game itself, where a pie and a beer in each half will have you excited about paying the your next Ergon bill through Country Bank , and then the buttock tingling return to your car … or where it was.

But it seems we are getting deeper and deeper in Labor-think with this debacle, with Astonisher iditor Jenna Cairney primily pointing out that the old days of drive to stadium car park, enjoy game, drive home are long gone, and now we have to be ‘educated’ about hown to go to a footy game. 

Screen Shot 2019-12-13 at 10.20.04 am

And she and Mayor Mullet and the other bureaucratic bum polishers are spinning this like mad, trying to cover up their total lack of foresight, political and just basic competence be hailed as a shining beacon of clever planning and not the incompetent and almost incomprehensible bungle that it is.

Educated in deed. Adequate parking for a reasonable size crowd and suitable, well planned signage would’ve surely been a better idea in the first place. But the ruling elite at all levels of government clearly realise that in all things we need education and assistance to make everyday decision. We’ve already unwillingly wasted hundreds of thousands our own dollars on being told how to water a garden and turn off a tap. The days of a  council Arse Wiping officer cannot be too far away … having trouble  reaching around to clean up after a night on the vindaloo and XXXX after the footy, just call the council officer to give you a hand … literally. He will be happy to educate you. Cost will be reflected in your next rates bill, which is already full of shitty charges, anyway.

Welcome To Country, Bruvver

There has been some talk that all councils in  Queensland should adopt a welcome to country message on the their town and city entry signs, and those that already do so,  should make it more prominent and bigger.

Well, The ‘Pie is proud to announce that Townsville can hold its head high in this regard. No worries, we’re ahead of the game, just waiting on the sign writer to paint  ‘Welcome To Country’. Here’s a peek preview.

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Let’s Be Grateful For Small Blessings

At least it’s not a mullet.

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At Least He DISOWNS His Brats

Britain, in the absence of any real choice, have put BoJo Johnson into Number 10 for 5 years. Now the world has look-alike posturing zanies as bookends in Washington and London.  But BoJo won’t be imitating Trump in one way … there’ll be no nepotism. Or if there is, it really will be accidental, because Johnson doesn’t even how many kids he has fathered in the johns of upmarket pubs (6 or 76 was his throwaway comment some time ago) or where they are. So if a small haystack turns up at Number 10 looking for a position, the  chances of a job would be slim to say the least.

Johnson queen corbyn232871

One Of Those Bookends Might Be Nudged Off  The End Of The Shelf Shortly

The Yanks have always excelled at great patriotic speeches  and the tradition is heard loud and clear in the impeachment proceedings against the execrable Tangerine Anus in the White House. One of the best, well written and ringing examples of why Donald Trump should be impeached is this one by Representative Pramila Jayapal. Nothing phoney about this woman. The ‘Pie cannot help but think if she had tried to come to Australia, she’d still be sitting on Manus Island.

Others continue to have their say on entrumpment, using biting humour as their means of expression.

20191206edhan-a 232653 sk120819dapr lk121019dapr 20191210edbbc-a cjones12122019 20191211edphc-a lk121219dapr cb121319dapr_0 Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 9.21.26 am King Trump shadeScreen Shot 2019-10-12 at 9.51.15 am 20191212edbbc-a wpnan191211 121119personoftheyearr

And Just To End On Some Gentle Humour

From the New Yorker.

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….

What a week for the blog, comments went off like a frog in a sock, as Barnaby says. More than 300 and general readership almost doubled. Thank you, especially the commenters who made a hard tiring week a lot of fun, too. The Magpie is greatly pleased that several regulars are becoming real citizen journalists … The ‘Pie knows he runs risks in this area, but he thinks about what people should know, first and foremost. Of course, it’d be even more fun if you’d care to make a donation to help the Nest in good working order. The 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.

247 Comments

  1. Mike Douglas says:

    We know Mayor Mullet struggles with the term “conflict of interest ” or “does it pass the pub test ” which is reflected by her proposing to report Sam Cox to the “independent council election observer ” over his claim debt has risen over 60% since the Mullet has been Mayor .The independent council election observer has been set up by the LGAQ who or Mayor is a board member of and T.C.C. provides a stipend of over $400k a year . The arrogance of Jackie Trad continues with the appointment of Labor buddy and President of the Labor party to the board of Stanwell a Qld Gov owned corporation . And finally the gift that keeps on giving Aaron Harpic dummy spit over the LNP,s Christensen, Canavan, Mcdonald, Thompson all in the top 50 and poor Aaron didnt get acknowledged . Leaving Aaron in control of his facebook page is the best leg up for the lnp in Thuringowa .

    • NQ Gal says:

      Quite telling that none of the three blind mice made it to the list.

      • The Magpie says:

        Yup very noticeable, and as The ‘Pie has said elsewhere, quite wrong if the list made any pretence at credibility, because these three clueless party-heiling political ciphers have had more influence – negative influence – on Townsville than anyone else. As it is, the list is mainly just a bum kiss to big advertisers.

        • Ezra Pound Axe King says:

          Excuse my ignorance, ‘Pie, but did I miss an installment of your running commentary of the election lead-up? I knew that Doyle and Coombe had bowed out, but who else has? I cross my fingers for two mouth breathing gents in particular, but but the odds are sadly slim…

          • The Magpie says:

            Last time around, Team Mullet included Paul Jacob, who defected to sanity and will run as an independent, so that made three spots on the team.

          • Ezra Pound Axe King says:

            Of course, I’d forgotten about that! That will be a seat to watch-I’ve heard lots of positive and negative feedback on Paul Jacobs’ stint.

          • The Magpie says:

            And Blom has maintained a presence, too. Nothing like a three way to boggle the mind.

  2. Stillnotalocal says:

    Not the only clanger in yesterday’s paper, page 65, 2 pics of Jordan Kahu, two different men….

  3. Bing4814 says:

    Politicians need to remember they can fool some of the voters some of the time. But they can’t fool all of the voters all of the time. Which is why if the people of the division 8 want to vote an old blind man in I’ll advocate and fight to open the books so Townsville will know exactly where we sit financially. We may not like what we find of course but it can’t be fixed if we don’t know what’s broken. Simple solutions to each and every problem. No need to make them complicated. I love this city and have a passion for it. It can be a community once again. Something as simple as an integrated public transportation system where residents of Yabulu could buy a single affordable ticket that will get them to magnetic island using rail motor/bus/ferry/bus and home. Not impossible and planning for this has been n place for 20 plus years. Happens in the Great Southeast Kingdom so why not in regional areas ? Negotiations is the key. Not political posturing. Asking the right questions politely and getting results. If locals and media gets behind this then Townsville will once again shine. Long journeys start with the first step.

  4. Alahazbin says:

    Pie, That partner of Suzy the basketball player Dan Ryder is the son of Margie Ryder. I certainly hope she excused herself from any discussions re Illich Park & ASA Redevolopement.

  5. Strand Ghost says:

    A small correction Magpie Suzy Batkovic twins are only 2/3 mths old not 2 Yrs, and how is she got to be a councillor with young children just Jenny trying to get big names on her team who will just agree with her, what a joke.

    • The Magpie says:

      Correct. Fixed. Thanks

      • No More Dredging says:

        ‘Pie, still looks dodgy. I think you meant ‘in thousands’ – or I hope you did.

        • The Magpie says:

          No idea what you’re on about.

          • No More Dredging says:

            My apologies. I thought I had sent a comment but it must have got lost in the ether. What I meant to ask was have you and Mr Batty had an attack of the Angus Taylors? You wrote:

            “Here are the FACTS and these are straight copy and pastes from the Townsville City Council Annual Reports

            2015/16
            Total liabilities 459,588
            2016/17
            Total liabilities 481,781
            2017/18
            Total liabilities 469,537
            2018/19
            Total liabilities 537,104″

            I really hope that Townsville only owes a few hundred thousand but I know it isn’t true.

          • The Magpie says:

            You’re an idiot. But we all know that. It is a direct copy and paste, and the clear assumption to any sensible person is that they vare millions. Have a lie down.

    • Insider says:

      Total sexist rubbish. Having very young children hasn’t stopped the Prime Minister of NZ doing a great job.

      • The Magpie says:

        You really do read this blog through bilious biased eyes don’t you? The ‘Pie did not in any way shape or form suggest Ms Batkovic should not consider office because of recent motherhood should preclude her (she didn’t consider it unprompted anyway, until she was talked into it by a desperate mayor) but her two months old twins were mentioned to highlight that Suzy has a full life at the moment anyway, and The ‘Pie was therefor questioning the background of her recruitment. When it comes to politics, The ‘Pie cannot be accused of sexism … or is that the reason behind speaking the hidden truth about the toxic destructive wom … sorry, person .. that is our mayor?

        The Magpie has plenty of political heroines in his memory store, but they are there because of what’s between their ears, not their legs.

        Just give that rubbish a fucking rest, eh.

  6. Frequent flyer says:

    Someone at the Astonisher must be either related to or besties with TEL CEO Little Pattie.
    Her description as number 2 in the 50 most influential suggests either she has embarrassing photos of the iditor or she wrote it herself.
    More bullshit than the council financial report,

  7. Why is it so? says:

    Townsville Bulletin’s Top 50 most influential Townsville is a sick joke. The hard work and research of Water For Townsville Action Group led by Linda Ashton and Allan Lane, is the main reason why Townsville has finally obtained state and federal government $500 MILLION funding for long term water security. Initially Mayor Hill insisted Townsville didn’t have a water problem, Townsvillians she said, were just using too much water, so now Jamie Durie is being paid $800,000 from the state government funding to teach us fools how to conserve water. Now Mayor Hill is claiming all the kudos for getting gov funding for the Burdekin pipeline for Townsville. How does she sleep at night in her ivory tower when people are still waiting to return to their flood ravaged houses due to being permitted to build on flood plains and the late release of the overfull Ross Dam? Ross Dam was initially built to hold back flood waters and its original spillway ( before the gates were installed) released water in a timely manner.

  8. The Magpie says:

    Meanwhile in the Total Tools Stadium transport planning office, they’re hard at work on their ‘Education Plan’ …

  9. The Magpie says:

    Mayor Mullet goes after Cox.

    If she carries through with this scare and diversionary tactic, Jenny Hill will sink to a new low of hypocrisy. Because she is the woman who in 2012, manipulating the Bulletin to assist her, claimed in the paper that if Dale Last was elected, rates in Townsville would rise by 7% a year every year for the next four. The timing … the Friday before the election, did not give Last a chance to refute such a ridiculous claim and the Bulletin didn’t even try to contact him … in normal circumstances, his counter claim would appear in the same story.

    Now she seeks to lodge a bullshit claim simply to stifle robust … and in this case, totally justifiable and arguably correct, debate.

    This is a classic tactic of someone determined to have this city cowering in fear, not daring to oppose her. And because so many of you are, you all deserve whatever you get.

    • Philip Batty says:

      The problem as I see it here is two fold, firstly when Mullet said if Last got in then rates would rise by 7% a year. No way of proving or disproving what may or may not happen in the future.
      Sam Cox’s problem is he stated that debt had risen by 65% since 2016 which everyone knows is false.
      His best reaction now is to admit the mistake, but I doubt he has the sense to do that as it will highlight the stupidity in the first place.
      Anyhow if I was elected Mayor I would eliminate debt in my first term and keep a surplus each year of my term without a single rate rise.
      Outlandish claims seem to be the way to get elected then do bugger all about anything. It’s worked so far

      • The Magpie says:

        Certainly there is no way of proving or disproving what may or may not happen in the future, but that’s not the point … the right of reply to avoid a one-sided campaign slap is what The ‘Pie is driving at.
        And you for mayor … as The ‘Pie reported before – Your Campaign Slogan: I’m over the Hill and Going Batty.

        • Philip Batty says:

          No argument from me on the media bias in Townsville but Sam shot himself in the foot to give Mullet a great story to feed the astonished which of course they lapped up. Yet they simply ignore all the shots Sam should be taking as there are many many facts he could use in reply.
          When Jane ran against her 4 years ago I remember telling one of her lieutenants that she needed to get some mongrel into her or she will get walked all over.
          There are plenty of broadsides to come for the current mayor and I think maybe a volley from which there will be no coming back, May just mark the white flag raising.

      • Bing4814 says:

        Once the full debt burden is made clear it can be paid down with a plan. But as I’ve said before. The voters won’t like the short term pain for the long term gain. We need to remember this is the legacy we will be leaving our grandchildren. Personally I don’t want Togo to my grave leaving them a debt laden city, state and country. If I can do a little bit to help at one level then I’m putting my hand up.

        • Beans says:

          The thing is, Bing, corporate debt is not the same as private debt.
          Corporate debt is the cheapest and fairest way to finance the capital infrastructure we have to have- things like roads, drainage and sewerage treatment plants that last for years.

          The alternative is to finance that stuff with today’s ratepayer funds- funds that most of us could use to pay down own house mortgages, which are at higher interest rates than the Council can get through QTC.

          Debt is also fairer. Sure the kids will have to help pay for the debt our generation ran up, but they also get to use the infrastructure we built- so that’s fair.

          If you manage it well, the sewerage plant will wear out and need replacement just as you make the last debt repayment. So you can borrow again to fund its replacement, the repayments continue and life goes on.

          The ideal situation is that your debt is equal to the written down value of your assets (although cash flow and risk management usually don’t allow that luxury). As Townsville City currently has $4.9 Billion of assets, TCC has way too little debt for good financial management.

          Elsewhere in the comments, someone said that debt is good and deficit is bad. That is true. Deficit is where operating (this does not include capital) costs exceed revenue. It is very bad to finance operating deficits from debt. It is good to finance capital costs with debt.

          • The Magpie says:

            All certainly true (and it was The ‘Pie who mentioned debt and deficit) but your very erudite explanation doesn’t help to explain why Mayor Mullet claims debt has been reduced when it clearly hasn’t.

          • Just Say'n says:

            It is really refreshing to see some educated comments in relation to debt. Makes a change from the hysteria that seems to come out of most commentators on the site.
            During times of low interest, it makes a lot of sense to borrow money for capital works. It really makes sense if you use it to borrow for capital items that produce an income stream.
            Using debt to build and replace assets is a great strategy, borrow a few mil, build something, pay the debt off over the life of the asset and then borrow to build the replacement. This spreads the burden across future users not just the poor bastards contributing to the current rates bill.
            It makes even more sense if you borrow from an internal reserve (savings account for a specific purpose eg water infrastructure reserve) and pay it back at government interest rates.
            I agree with a previous commentator “What’s an acceptable level of debt for Council?”
            What I can say is that the level of commentary on the site shows that most of the Einsteins commentating here have no idea. I reckon most would still be balancing a cheque book (and struggling to do that).

          • The Magpie says:

            Well, that an all encompassing ego-trip spray, and in its own way, your ‘listen up children’ class in 101 economics is in itself somewhat ‘up yerself’. But you too Sayin’, do not acknowledge the ‘Pie’s basic point that Mayor Mullet flies in the face of logic and clear evidence when she says that debt has not risen in recent years. As you so correctly scold, it doesn’t much matter what the debt is if it’s towards vital infrastructure (which does not include airfields for billionaires or defamation payouts to political rivals) … just so long as it can be serviced without going into deficit to do so.

          • Just Say'n says:

            Hello Pie,

            Yes you are right. I do tend to get a bit too irritated quickly at times.

            If I offended anyone, it was intentional. But at the same time it was constructive criticism.

            I hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year.

            For those that don’t, try harder next year.

          • The Magpie says:

            Fair enough.

  10. The Stockman says:

    I’ve been reading your column for a few years now and always enjoy it. But this one was a bloody gem, I actually found myself having a laugh out loud. Hats off to you sir, you made my bloody day.

  11. TheOtherGuy says:

    An error in the annual report…
    Page 18 of the 18/19 TCC annual report has a graph showing the “communities” liabilities headlined as $469.5m. This is 17/18 amount, not the 18/19 years. The legend shows the breakdown of the liabilities which correctly adds up to $537.1m.
    Given this os the summary page for the financial position, it is one of the most important pages and absolutely should be correct. The CFO should be put to the sword for this error.

  12. Mike Douglas says:

    Just checking Pie , no name change to Townsville University Magpie ? . Could be funding available ?.

  13. One legged tap dancer says:

    Can anyone tell me how to find out just how much interest we are paying on council debt per week, month or year? If Jenny goes into the election with a promise of zero or small rate rises then the debt is going to blow out even further.
    Throw in a few shonky deals like the Jamie Durie scandal and we’ll be borrowing money to pay interest.
    Read this and weep:
    https://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/249952/1819snapshot.pdf
    Yes voters, Cairns has the second lowest debt of councils in Queensland.
    And this:
    https://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/302279/2019budget_snapshot.pdf
    No mention of a Jamie Durie style handout anywhere.
    No wonder we’re in the shit!

  14. Terry Who says:

    On the topic of Tobruk Pool rebuild. “contractors found a leak in the 25-metre pool”. I heard that whilst excavating for the new 50 metre pool the contractor was digging too close to the 25 metre pool and the side wall feel over.
    That isn’t a small leak. And the repair works should not cost the rate payers a cent as it would be the contractors responsibility for repairs.
    Perhaps the Bulletin could chase up that rumour.

  15. We want our dump back says:

    At the hearveys range dump yesterday waiting for the council truck to empty the cardboard bins next to the conveyor belt system. Talking to the staff they said it’s going straight to Stuart landfill not recycling plant. I said that’s not very good as there’s 9 bins full. Here’s the kicker, they can’t empty the cardboard bins properly because they had a truck off the road for 2 weeks with issues from a transport inspection that grounded the truck. Cracks in the chassis and the other running faults. If TCC have vehicles driving around like that why arnt they all inspected? The council gets $$$$ for that cardboard that we can dump free. Even normally after wages and travel it amounts to a negative gain apparently. Why fucken do it?? While the truck was there, next to it was a commercial contractor ready with a small tip truck full of cardboard filling up 3 bins straight away. The staff member said can’t do anything about it and we loose revenue because we can’t charge them because it’s what the mayor wants. I said this is all a joke considering we lost our northern beaches dump at Jensen, more revenue lost there. So now I read all the info from Phil batty on here and no wonder TCC debt has grown. It’s not getting paid off. That was a 10 min conversation with the staff member and I’m just from the public. Imagine if the paper asked these questions or heaven forbid you Sam Cox. I want the dump back at Jensen.

  16. Imperial standard says:

    Jenny Hill will win comfortably as Sam Cox is totally uninspiring and his campaign insipid. I predict at least 7 Team Hill councillors to be re-elected also

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      I would vote for the Pox Doctor’s clerk before I would vote for Jenny (the Mullet) Hill At the moment there is Sam Cox. No one else with the fortitude to front up. Support the man or it is another 4 years of rotting fish,,,, errr Mullet.

      • George Gently says:

        The pox docs clerk Kelso – clerk??? How old are you, 107? Clerk went out with button up boots, buttons on y-fronts and your fly!

      • Alahazbin says:

        Dave, I bet you Harry Patel will be a mayoral candidate again. Throws his hat in the ring every LG elections. Purely nuisance value.

        • The Magpie says:

          No nuisance at all, democracy at work. But therein lurks a danger. Take heed from the lesson from the United States, where it’s long been said that anybody can grow up to be President. Currently over there, even the prerequisite of growing up has been abandoned.

          So be careful, we may get Mayor Patel? Oh, well, could be worse.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Yer reckon Imperial? S’pose you’d tip Collingwood to win the AFL flag in 2020 too :) !

  17. Frequent flyer says:

    I’ve heard the same story about the “leak” at Tobruk Pool, and it came from someone who is involved.
    So on the figures quoted by our mayor in the Astonisher, the contractor won’t be asked to pay the $1 million or so it’s going to fix the damage. Apparently there is enough “wriggle room” in the budget to cover it.
    Does the mayor have any relationship with the contractor?
    Just askin.

  18. Grumpy says:

    “Most of the Einsteins commentating here have no idea”

    Fuck me, if that is your idea of constructive criticism, then what’s is like when you are having a crack?

    But you’re right, you did come over as a bit of a tosser.

  19. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Going by comments I see on sites like LinkedIn I reckon ticket sales to the Elton John concert in February are shite, you have people on there making some really strange remarks urging people in Townsville to show their support for the stadium by buying tickets to the concert, how fucking weird is that. Why the hell would anyone buy a ticket to a concert they don’t want to attend to support a public piece of infrastructure, who the hell thinks like that, the heat must be getting to these wackos, they have lost a grip on reality.

    • The Magpie says:

      It’s like they say about Townsville, it’s not the heat it’s the stupidity.

    • Fishframe says:

      I saw Sir Elton in Townsville on his last farewell tour. I love his music but even years ago I thought his voice was past it. No way I’m seeing ‘grandpop’ Elton another time round. In any case, I get this funny feeling he will cancel at the last minute. Don’t ask me why, just get a feeling.

    • The Magpie says:

      And by the by, did everyone notice that while all this complete clusterfuck was going on in Townsville, the Palaszczuk government announced …

      Now this is the fourth time Anna Alphabet has promised this project, so who knows, but the concept is a damn sight more coherent than the embarrassing circus up here … the Brisbane Live Entertainment Centre was conceived AFTER the cross river rail stuff, and was designed to be WHERE the travel hub would be, guaranteeing easy access. Not the other way around. No patronising ‘educating’ people to make difficult and forced travel arrangements, they wouldn’t dare in Brisbane – in other words, common sense and visionary planning put the entertainment venue where people could best reach it. In terms of cikty geography, the old stadium was far better positioned from that point of view in this city where driving is a necessaity and public transport is a joke. Now here in Townsville, Mayor Mullet, TEL, and Jenna at the paper are all now scrambling to try put the toothpaste back in the tube. All except the selfish man who started it all … Lancini is pissing off soon, and won’t have to watch the disaster unfold in close-up – the timing is so cynical.

      And folks, that Brisbane hub ain’t no bus stop with sun shelters, this Brisbane entertainment centre will simply add salt to the Townsville wound by allowing us to see what the lack of foresight in the entertainment/convention centre integrated project here is such an irresponsible loss.

  20. Mugwump says:

    Doesn’t this show how insignificant our 3 blind mices are, especially Harpic who has taken to the media about crime and closing down these bail houses, as they don’t work and Townsville does not want them?

    https://www.facebook.com/337061293308/posts/10156830964638309/

  21. Ugly numbers says:

    The 18/19 TCC annual report included an $11m increase in the wages bill from 17/18. $121m to $110m (p71). That’s a big increase. I believe it shows the headcount is now above the number before the mass sackings. This level of increase should send scare all ratepayers.

    • The Magpie says:

      If that is true, then what the fuck was the purpose of the purge in the first place? Wasn’t it to save money?

      • Purgee says:

        The purpose of the executive purge was as follows;

        1. Get rid of any executive who previously worked for Thuringowa,
        2. Get rid of anyone appointed by Ray,
        3. Get rid of anyone who ever said no to Jenny,
        4. Get rid of anyone that Jenny didn’t like, and
        5. Make some room for some Labor mates.

        I think I ticked the box in a number of these prerequisites.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Pie, It was for a change in culture. Too many people over the age of 50, stuck in their ways.
        When amalgamation came, staff were told it would take 10 years for the culture to change. Jenny and her crew just got impatient.

        • The Magpie says:

          Ah, I see. Oh, well that’s alright, then.

        • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

          Pur-leease!

          The change of culture has been from one of relatively quiet and (sometimes) relative efficiency driven by documented policies and priorities; to one of political expediency and “jobs for the bruvvers” where we have sacrificed any semblance of trying to run the town for simple political points and thought bubbles from the muppets in Future Cities (or is is “Fucked Ya City” I can never tell) team.

          • Alahazbin says:

            Yep! Agree completely. The nepotism & cronyism got completely out of control. Gen Y & Millenials gaining positions but couldn’t do the work. And don’t forget the narcisistic people through out the place. Talk about a toxic workforce. Any wonder people left with a redundancy package just to keep their sanity..

    • Mick says:

      Perhaps the increase is to cover EB wage increases also.

  22. Ugly numbers says:

    P91 of the 18/19 report says TCC employed 1604 employees at June 30 2019. P41 of the 15/16 report says TCC employed 1669 employees at June 30 2016. All that pain and suffering for hundreds of local families. All those millions of dollars wasted in payouts. After all that the headcount is essentially the same.

    • 103 Days says:

      Must be all those trainees and apprentices TCC hired.

      • Critical says:

        Trainees are being hired because they are cheaper than an experienced person and many are subsidized by QLD government grants. Problem is that once they complete their traineeship, usually only a few months they have no job in Council. Traineeships may increase community skill levels but many council traineeships are in areas of low demand in the community like horticulture.

        Likewise apprentices are cheap to employ but at least we are building a workforce in needed skill areas

        In both cases Mullet has a political agenda of self congratulating herself on the number of trainees and apprentices council has employed but she doesn’t provide figures on how many gain a full time council once they complete their traineeship / apprenticeship.

        • 102 Days says:

          Thank you for explaining the bleeding obvious for us all. This is a common practice in business trying to cut costs and it stinks. Adele Young was boasting about how many indigenous apprentices were hired. I wonder how many got a permanent job? And how much government funding council received? No wonder the operating budget has been met and the city still looks like shit

        • Guy says:

          The whole point of government subsidised work in the form of such short term work is for young people to build a real and tangible working history. Some kind of real work experience, presumably with a certificate at the end makes them more appealing to a potential employer.

          It would be nice if people went on to be employed but in this case it’s something used to build someone’s profile for the marketplace , employers look for experience, certificates etc – things that the private job market may not be able to provide.

          Unless the existing jobs market improves in same positive with real jobs young people will continue drifting out of Townsville. I think that’s why they want to make the battery factory work – it provides real work in Townsville. The fly in the ointment is the proposed location. Townsville already has land zoned industrial , why not just use that??

          • 102 Days says:

            Hate to say it, but you’re right Guy.
            And the answer to your question is: because our politicians have their heads firmly wedged up their rear orifice.

  23. The Magpie says:

    Could not agree more. Absolutely correct. No way ENOUGH. Two is just not enough to stay sane(ish) in this world of grifters, twicers, rorters and brown paper baggers.

    This report also says that pregnant woman should not drink alcohol at all. That’ll give ‘em time to realise that if they didn’t drink beforehand, they just might not be pregnant.

  24. Hee Haw says:

    Ohh to be Mayor…….you would think for a nice little earner of $223.571 in salary PLUS $41,258 in expenses PLUS a car PLUS telephone PLUS home office and secretarial services you would think, just think the Mayor would be happy to attend the committee meetings throughout the year of which she is a member on that committee wouldn’t you?

    She obviously doesn’t.

    Our illustrious Mayor attended 11 out of 48 committee meetings throughout 2018/2019 a nice 22.9% of them in fact.

  25. Cantankerous but happy says:

    According to the article in the Astonisher, the finally funded Townsville airport terminal upgrade “ is expected to boost tourism and bring extra flights to Townsville”. This is the sort of worthless bullshit that needs to be called out, there has never ever been capacity constraints at TAPL, even Numbskull Gill has never articulated an airline wanting to fly to Townsville but can’t because of access issues, the bloody place is empty half the day, so to suggest airlines don’t currently fly to Townsville because of the current airport terminal is fabricated crap by the paper, just part of the circle of bullshit that floats round and round this town, they must think we are all stupid.

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed, this town has become just one big circle jerk. And while we’re on the airport, the government media release says the airport ‘supports’ more than 3000 jobs.This use of slippery language is annoying, because surely the airport does not employ anywhere neat 3000 people. (Anyone know?) So this 3000 would then include the likes of taxi drivers, delivery truck drivers and buses and so on … if the airport didn’t exist (which is simply impossible) does that mean all these drivers and other ancillary folks would be unemployed?

      • Fishframe says:

        I can’t see where they would have 3,000? They surely don’t have any cleaners to clean the filthy seats in the departure lounges. Maybe the 3,000 unicorn comment includes indirect and non airport staff like food contractors, mechanics ect… (and names from the cemetery next door? Old voting trick). Wait a minute, they do have 3,000 ! There are at least 2,990 parking dictators telling people to move after stopping for 3 seconds.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        TAPL only employs 23 people itself, probably a few hundred or so would be employed in the airport itself, airlines, retail, maintenance etc so the 3000 is certainly creative.

      • No More Dredging says:

        ‘Pie, they probably include the entire RAAF and the rest would be part of the “10,000” working for Adani (or a bit less since GHD pulled out). Oh, and if the airport was fully automated there’d be a few less working at the TBully and TEL wouldn’t there? Also, if Jetstar knocks off 10% over January it will be quieter still. Also again, isn’t the ‘final funder’ the Commonwealth government? I suppose you have to hand it to the airport – they got their money out of someone.

      • Old Tradesman says:

        Imagine how many it would employ if it regained it’s International status, especially with the perfect excuse of the Singapore Deal. But then again they might boycott Singapore Airlines and ask for a new departure tax to pay back the NAIF loan.

    • Fishframe says:

      I can see the Astonishers headline now – “Game Changer”! Along with the Paluma mosquito walking track, underwater shark attracting art museum, worthless horse camp at Ollera Ck, Stadium which will be (never be) compared to Madison Square in the future, port expansion for under-utilised Port, Townsville’s version of Silicon Valley on old contaminated railway yards, leaking battery plant at Woodstock …….. it’s all happening.

    • Scientician79 says:

      Well if the current “improvements” are any indication I can only imagine how much worse things are going to get.

      So far they’ve put chairs, then tables in an obvious entrance walkway to the Qantas club – out of spite as far as I can tell.

      Changed the entrance to the security screening, and made the screening more onerous. Why do I have to take all electronics including my phone out of my bag here, but in Brisbane it’s just the usual laptop and through I go?

      I’ve said it before but apparently bears repeating, I want to get in and out of the airport as quickly as possible, it is not a destination or drawcard – Jewel Changi Singapore this is not.

      I just want a clean functional airport with some clean chairs near the gate.

      You wouldn’t think this would take millions of dollars to accomplish but here we are.

      • Critical says:

        Bloody hell l hope you don’t sit in those filthy chairs, who knows what is on those seats and their a health hazzard. It doesn’t take much intelligence to ensure that you have a clean airport, toilets and furniture but it’s beyond Townsville Airport Management and I wonder if t hey know the meaning of taking frequently undertaking quality insurance audits of cleaning standards through out the terminal and surrounding infrastructure like entrances and taxi ranks.

        • NQ Gal says:

          I always think that air conditioning outlets tell the true tale of cleanliness- if they are filthy, everything else will be to.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        Scientist, how true your words are.
        An airport is a functional unit in the passenger going somewhere. It is not the destination.
        If you look at LA international.. what a hole of an airport but millions of people use it annually.
        I have walked the walk of shame to the QANTAS club with embarrassment through the poorly re manufactured layout too many times.
        Honestly maybe a Greyhound Bus or a train would provide better service but not the time frame required.
        Perhaps Virgin have a hand in persuading the Dill to take out the NAIF loan?

  26. Critical says:

    I think Far North Queensland has beaten North Queensland in obtaining funding for an eco-tourism track and associated accomodation. I really can’t see government funding two similar projects in Northern Queensland.

    https://www.newsport.com.au/2019/may/wangetti-trail-project-receives-8m-federal-funding-boost/

  27. Dave of Kelso says:

    Dear Pie, fellow Nesters, Occasional Visitors, Boys and Girls,

    Introduction:

    Now in Brisbane (Brisdrain) with family for Christmas.

    Situation:

    Refrigerator in house kaput, refrigerator mechanic inspecting refrigerator and in conversation with Self and Wife, learns we are from Townsville.

    Main Body:

    “You from Townsville. So much crime up there. We hear about it all the time. How do you get on?”

    Analysis:

    When a humble fridge mechanic in Brisbane is fully aware of the juvenile aboriginal crime epidemic in Townsville what say that for tourists, investors, and locals considering their future in Townsville?

    Conclusion:

    This Brisbane fridge mechanic is better informed and has a better understanding of the slow moving catastrophe that is Townsville than, the Puddleduck,
    her three lame Toads who represent her in Townsville, and her mate, the Mullet.

    Recomendations:

    1.Replace the Puddleduck.
    2.Make juvinale detention centres (now air-conditioned respite centeres) places to be truly feared. Let me explain; when the little snot is sentenced the fear and loathing of spending time in such a place will cause spontaneous involuntary urination and defication. and,
    3. Replace the Puddleduck.

    Postscript:

    Replace the Mullet!

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Thanks Dave, says it all.

    • Just Say'n says:

      Hey Dave,

      Are you suggesting a Youth Detention Centre something like The Don Dale Youth Detention Centre?

      How did that go?

      • The Magpie says:

        Just gotta love the circular argument here, that goes into a cul de sac and then up a blind alley. Kid goes to bail house so he doesn’t have to go into detention, kid breaks bail house rules, and so must be punished … by going into detention. Like they say about Queensland, it’s not the heat it’s the stupidity. Good state slogan.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        A place of punishment and imposed discipline, and where the staff can go home without injury or contracting a disease.

    • Fishframe says:

      Dave, best way to reply to our Brisvegas friends is that they are our biggest customer. Townsville has a huge export business selling stolen cars to southerners.

      • The Magpie says:

        OK, an attempt at humour but certainly not true … most of the little snots wouldn’t get passed Alligator Creek, let alone all the way to Brissy.

        • Grumpy says:

          But definitely true for the goods stolen in B&E’s. They get fenced locally and sent down south for sale. Mate of mine had his iPad stolen from his home – 20 days later he gets a notification that it was fired up in Ballina for just long enough for just long enough for it to be broken and re-set.

  28. Former waste employee says:

    I would like to put forward to all readers here about the waste department. The place is full of infighting and barstadry. I had never worked in a place with so many others stabbing each other in the back and then being friendly with them at lunch. The management are no better and allow it to happen to the hard working employees while the last ones get away with doing what they want. The vehicals continue to break down daily and they are not being replaced. The overtime is through the roof. It takes months to replace staff and overtime is ridiculous now that everyone has to go to stuart twice a day. Management turn a blind eye to how the job gets done until something happens. They don’t allow trucks into Ogden st and behind the units in the street behind because one person complained enough to the mayor. I was personally told I will get a writting warning if we went in before 7am. Only verbally not on paper. All management do is threaten. higher management like CEO and general manager make decisions on the run and demand things get done without even knowing the issues of why it’s done in a certain way. Safety is non existent and management make you sign papers in the morning to clear themselves if anything happens. They are two faced. As far as i could see there is no communication just dictatorship. I don’t care anymore about what gets said because I’m hopeing next election that this mayor gets kicked out so someone can clean out the useless people running this department. Theres favoritism for certain people and higher levels only worry about there bonus every year. To all you commenters that come on here trying to make out that TCC is doing well then your head is up your arse. Jenny hill is the problem end of story and she needs to go. The labor voters defending her need to wake up. As my name points out I no longer am employed but there are lots of people facing these problems everyday. I’m not crying or looking for compassion. This department goes under the radar because nobody sees what happens and your bins get emptied every day. The truth nedds to be out there. Sam cox may as well give up because this department was part of his pitch and from what ive seen hes said nothing. Get rid of hill you get rid of 99% of the problem. Merry fucking Christmas TCC.

  29. Former waste employee says:

    As a secondary point id like to make is that i was part of the hatd rubbish. Tbe trucks bave been sitting idel in the yard at Webb drive now for 5mths. This was a massive cost and a waste of time because as soon as you finish your back there next day because people say they missed the pickup. The whole city has rubbish on footpaths not being pickup. TCC is liable because they can’t prove that they picked up from that property and the owner only had to say that somone else put it there. They can trace trucks that are nearly 10yrs old but can have these 4 trucks sitting around doing nothing. The whole department would be better off u set a contract like every other council in QLD. I don’t want the people still there getting in trouble for my comments. Because I know as soon as this gets read the knives will be out.

    • The Magpie says:

      All well and good, and goes some way to confirming The Magpie’s long held fears about the state of the council fleet, its repair and replacement policy and budgetary priority. But what you have to do, FWE, is go full whistleblower and out yourself and make direct accusations, otherwise, Walker Street can simply ignore you. The Magpie will be happy to publish your claims under your name. Otherwise, you’re just blowing hot air, which, since we don’t know who you, could just be a disgruntled slack-arse employee fired for pissing in the boss’s afternoon beer. Unless people, including those in business and other areas, are willing to openly offer up information of neglect, bureaucratic irresponsibility all the way up to outright corruption – even at some risk of having to weather an insidious counter attack – nothing is going to change to the secrecy and general lack of transparency fostered by Jenny Hill.

      Bad things happen when good people do nothing about wrongdoing that they know.

      • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

        badder things happen to people in this town when they stick their heads above the parapet for Jenny to take shots at. Having to feed children and ex-wives means you need to keep employed.

        I understand exactly where FWE is coming from, even though I’m in consulting now it would cost my new employers and myself dearly to go openly on the public record.

    • No More Dredging says:

      FWE, “The whole city has rubbish on footpaths not being pickup. TCC is liable because they can’t prove that they picked up from that property and the owner only had to say that someone else put it there.”

      If people in your neighbourhood dump their shit on the street after the Council pickup has passed days and weeks ago – and then expect the Council to come back and pick it up sometime, they’re in la la land. And we all know it. If your neighbourhood tolerates shit dumped on the footpath then that’s your neighbourhood. If you want to talk trash, talk trash to your trashy neighbours.

      • Former waste employee says:

        Thanks for your I’ll informed reply. You were the first person I knew would reply.

      • 101 Days says:

        NMD… if people in the neighbourhood knew when the pickups were, and they came when they were supposed to, this wouldn’t be such a problem.
        This isn’t a neighborhood problem. This is a shitful communication and poorly planned logistics problem created by council. Again.

      • Former waste employee says:

        BTW, council is liable under local government act because they initiated the kerbside collection and they enforced the rules that we had to adhear to. Simple rules were broken early on because they underestimate how much rubbish was left out. We went back many times to houses we already done. TCC let this happen. It was your mayor in the background telling management to make sure this works no matter what at any cost. While your in the mood for cutting and pasting let me paste this to you from Jenny hill last election “there’s no water crisis” that’s my trash talk.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Missed the main point again NMD, until a couple of years ago no one left shit on their own or someone else’s footpath, it only since your mate Jenny Hill decided it was a good idea to turn the town into a rubbish strewn ghetto that it’s now just a free for all. It is now common for people when moving out of rentals to simply leave all their unwanted shit a few doors down the road outside someone else’s place, because in their defective little brains they are not littering, they know it will be picked up, whether that is another year away doesn’t concern them. This is a direct result of this stupid hard rubbish pickup, nothing to do with the quality of anyone’s neighbours, they could be from the next street or next suburb.

        • No More Dredging says:

          FFS Cranky, the hard rubbish truck man tells us, “The trucks have been sitting idle in the yard at Webb Drive now for 5mths”. Clearly TCC is not picking up shit dumped in the street.

          So if you walk, ride or drive past shit dumped in your neighbourhood, including in front of your own house, then that is a standard you are willing to accept. The Council is not going to come and pick it up. We had rubbish piled up for a week or two (months ago) and then it all went away – mostly in the TCC trucks. It hasn’t come back. There’s no more shit on the streets now. Where’s this “ghetto” and “free for all” you apparently live in?

        • NQ Gal says:

          Someone leaving a tenanted property over the road from my elderly mother tried that one. I sent a strongly worded email to the property managers and it was gone the next day. Suggest that the tenant didn’t see much of their bond returned!

    • Dutch Reverend says:

      I would imagine that most of the workers that you speak of, are unhappy and would most likely be members of a union. Contrary to what union delegates believe, the members are the union. They need to be told that they represent the member and will be going on strike and marching on Walker St. if it doesn’t fit with the union’s plans TOO FUCKING BAD !!! Unions in this town have done sweet FA for their members.

  30. Former waste employee says:

    I knew as soon as I put my name up people would think that about being disgruntled. That is a different story that is be happy to relay another time. I posted here because I know council staff are reading and reporting back and this will kids them off. I’ve got no intention of going back. As far as whistleblower I have no idea where to go with these issues. As you say nobody in Townsville is standing up for election that can make a difference. I know I will be vindicated with what I’ve posted if she was dumped and a new council could dig up the hidden issues. Thank you for your reply. I would gladly blow the lid on these people if I knew which way to go

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, this blog’s a start, anyway. But also, you would need actual proof of some sort. Break down and repair records, maintenance schedules and any witnessed conversations. Unless you have these , it would be unwise to break cover because your complaints would be brushed aside.

      • Former waste employee says:

        As far as paper trail goes it wouldn’t be hard to access that if needed. Testing the new whistleblowers legislation would be interesting in this state against the labor mayor even though it’s federal law. Many thanks for the opportunity to talk all I can say is the iceberg is much deeper than you can ever imagine.

  31. No accountability says:

    Mayor Hill has publicly announced building works on Mount Louisa and Castle Hill. What is happening with these works? Are they going ahead or just more phantom projects in the lead up to an election? I’m disgusted with this do nothing council

    • Fishframe says:

      I think a lot of problems could be alleviated by maximum 2 year terms for Councillors and Mayors. If things aren’t being done, or the wrong thing is being done, it will never be addressed until a new incumbent takes charge and the problems can be identified. In many jobs I have been in, I’ve needed to take holidays each year min 2 weeks at a time while someone sits in my role and Audits what I have done. It stops people being able to cover up issues by never leaving their ‘desk’.

      • The Magpie says:

        Welcome to your nightmare.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        Hey Fish, I’m auditing your fanciful claim of an ‘imminent announcement’ from a business- type that they would be nominating as a candidate to be our Mayor, a llooonnnngggg while back on this blog. You fail, miserably on this one! Give yourself an uppercut or two.

        • Fishframe says:

          I thought I already made a comment. Not happening. They’re backing off. I believe they see TCC as too much of a mess to get involved in. Sad.

          • I’ll be plucked says:

            Like I said Fish, miserable fail from you with this poo-poo ‘exclusive’ you foisted on us at the time!

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie is not quite getting your total obsession with this piddling issue. Is there something person al in this? If so, move on, brother, last comment on the matter. Christ, you kids.

    • 101 Days says:

      Would one be the cafe on Castle Hill? Thought this had died it’s natural and appropriate death but heard it mentioned again recently.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      What sort of works?
      Mayor Mullet the Marvellous on top of Castle Hill.
      Will out class Rio’s Christ the Redeemer.

      https://estonianworld.com/life/rios-christ-redeemer-statue-lit-estonian-national-colours/

  32. The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

    Just had a look for Sam Cox’s online presence.

    Seems to be that the only thing he is doing is chattering at his 335 Facebook followers. Hopefully someone steps in and helps him to reach an audience larger than his extended family (and Jenny’s legion of eyes and ears). At the moment it’s like he’s sitting in a dark cupboard muttering to himself.

    Even sadder, a few of the things on his page were half relevant and showed some insight.

  33. The Magpie says:


    oh dear @tsv_bulletin English really is a second language for you isn’t it? Or has there been an invasion of otters?
    ‘Holt’
    noun
    1 the den of an animal, especially that of an otter.
    2 a wood or wooded hill.
    Please halt this crap.

  34. The Magpie says:

    Read it and weep, Townsville. Such a sensible development.
    https://www.i-q.net.au/main/launch-for-cairns-manufacturing-hub

    • Mike Douglas says:

      Pie, we have manufacturing hub and support in Townsville and Feb 2020 will have Smart Precinct NQ downstairs old transit centre as an incubator and start up support as part of City futures deal with Council / State govt / JCU .

      • The Magpie says:

        Good to know Mike, but ever the cautious old bird, I’m very wary about anything presented in this town with the word ‘smart’ in the title … and that’s not a snide joke, using such a word seems to be a combination of oversell and an inverted sense of inferiority. That way The ‘Pie is always reluctant to patronise eating establishments that have the word ‘gourmet’ in the name.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        Mike, manufacturing hub?
        They will manufacture what.

    • J.B says:

      Ever since Cairns dumped their version of the Townsville enterprise, more of these projects seem to be happening in Cairns. Riddle me that!

  35. Hee Haw says:

    Just following from my previous comment on how many committee meeting Mayor Mullet attended last financial year (and I shouldn’t use the word financial in this comment but) …

    The Governance and Finance Committee of which the mayor is a member met nine times last year, how many did the mayor attend? Nine? Eight? Seven? Six? Five? Surely not less than half? Four? Three? Two? One yes lock it in Eddy one. No wonder the finances are under such scrutiny and rightly so…..or is it deliberate distancing?

  36. Insider says:

    I really wish some people on this blog would stop citing Cairns as some kind of best practice model. Advance Cairns (their version of TEL) appointed the former editor of the Cairns Post (locally known as the Compost) as their CEO a while back. Today they announced he would become both CEO and Chair; an interesting governance arrangement to say the least!

    • The Magpie says:

      If you’re referring to The Magpie, he said nothing about ‘best practice model’ but he provided the link as a contrast of practical and realistic growth projects funded by public money, as versus the over-reaching grandstanding claptrap in Townsville. But it is worth noting the Cairns Council withdrew major support for their version of TEL not so long ago, and while the circumstances of that change were unique to that city, and if that remains the situation, it certainly hasn’t suffered for the saving of ratepayer funds.

      • Critical says:

        Insider, if you’re referring to links or comments that I’ve sent in then I have never referred to Cairns as being a best practice model or to Advance Cairns. I’ve submitted information merely to point out the development that is happening in the Cairns area versus Townsville and that much of tis development is either private development or in partnership with government. In Townsville it appears that nothing happens unless either the Commonwealth or Queensland government or both fund the project in full.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Spot on Critical, The aquariums in each town is a prime sample, Townsville relying on Govt handouts to sustain its existence as it loses money every year, Cairns privately funded and relies on relevance and product to entice customers. The construction industry also illustrates the vast differences between the two, the only cranes in Townsville in recent years are Govt funded projects, Cairns are all from private investment with a new round starting next year on a couple of very large projects. The complete collapse of private investment in Townsville over recent years is evidence of a failed local leadership devoid of the talent to get the job done, just unskilled begging spin merchants in Townsville and nothing will change until that does and Townsville will just become that little town a few hours south of Cairns.

  37. No More Dredging says:

    ‘Pie, an article in the Guardian this week should be grist for the mill at Woodstock where concern is rising about plans for a nickel/cobalt refinery on land in the catchment of Townsville’s water supply at the Ross River dam.

    “Cobalt is used in alloys, semiconductors, fertiliser, as a drying agent for varnish and enamel coating for steel. In the form of cobalt sulphate, it is particularly important in lithium batteries, where it acts as a cathode stabiliser.

    These lithium-ion batteries are increasingly in demand for electric cars, laptops and mobile phones, which means cobalt – once deemed a worthless chemical – is now the object of a geo-strategic rivalry between the world’s biggest economies. It is also potentially exposing humans and other species to greater doses.

    A study this year noted that global production had increased more than sevenfold between 2008 and 2015 with an increasingly evident impact. “The appearance of cobalt levels exceeding the environmental threshold levels has led, however, to disturbances in the proper functioning of living organisms,” the paper concluded.”

    As a curious aside, one researcher into the toxicity of cobalt and nickel is a bloke named Lansdown.

  38. l Berry says:

    FFS Pomposity and intelloeactual arrogance at its finest.

    “…to disturbances in the proper functioning of living organisms,”

    You mean that plants and animals get sick and die?

    Poor fella, my language

    However, it is a point well made. Although we are not using child labor or invading another country to mine it – we leave that to Glencore and the China.

  39. The Magpie says:

    Two key quotes to remember.
    1. “Cr Hill said council hoped to release the masterplan by early 2020.
    She said the current council was keen to open the Ross River Dam for activities like cycling, bird watching and wider fishing events, but it needed to be done in a way that wouldn’t impinge on the ratepayer.”

    So now we have Jenny – Action Woman, do we? … ‘by early 2020.’ Marvellous how an election can put a rocket up the bum of bureaucrats when there’s an election in the wind. This sensible suggestion – ‘bleedin obvious’ comes to mind – has been raised both here and in the Astonisher for several years now, and is one of the reasons why all residents who don’t live ion the Strand suburbs are fed up with this incompetent’s costly but blurred focus on the CBD.
    2. The second simplistic quote is just plain insulting to the intelligence of anyone who finished primary school.“What we do on the dam, we have to be mindful that that is where we draw Townsville’s drinking water, and whatever we do on the dam cannot compromise us in terms of ensuring we can provide safe, suitable, and affordable potable water to the community,” Cr Hill said.”
    This absolute nonsense is a classic example of the word ‘eristic’ – aimed at winning an argument rather than being the truth. It suggests the council just plugs in a pipe near the dam gates , turns on the spigot and bingo, water into the system. If that’s the case, why to we have treatment plants.
    FFS, Mullet, cattle and wild animals not only piss and shit in Ross River Dam, they also die and rot in it … is this the water you’ve been supplying to households?

    No I didn’t think so. You are a shady twister, but then, you may know your market better than The ‘Pie, as they wipe their nose on their sleeve, nod that you are a smart ‘un keeping them safe, and vote accordingly.

    Arguments against this use of the dam has been solely driven by those of a greenish tinge (hi, Vern) and those on the left of your (non) party.

    • Lord Howard Hertz says:

      Ross River Dam. ‘… activities like cycling …’. Know you’re a touch fishy, Mullet, but didn’t the feminazis knock that on the head when they said that women need men like a fish needs a bicycle.

    • 100 Days says:

      Seems like the Mullet has flipped. Her little mate frothy Cappuccino was very keen to open the dam for water sports after the last election. He’s a rather keen waterskier himself. Has he been told to toe the party (err team) line again?

    • Fishframe says:

      I think the point she is making, Magpie, is that she doesn’t want any unauthorised battery plants being built on the Dam. Could happen under this scenario – people having a BBQ, do a bit of fishing followed by water skiing and the children, left unsupervised, build a nickel refinery and battery plant. Possible.

  40. Ozzie John says:

    Oi Maggers, I be back to say hallo and a big Merry Chrissmas. Cant wait to get rid of 2019. Bobby k is not the Prime Minnester, Me missus left me for some big city lawyer. Me an the piggers have no bloody luck getting some pork for crissy lunch, bloody surfing in the back paddick during the flood. Anus Horribillus, Queen Lizzy calls it.
    Anyways, might go up to the Rollinstone pub at New years and crack on to one of the local girls, a nice redhead with a full set of teeth is the dreem.
    2020 will be better Im sure. Black river will get a nice flow down the back paddock. I might havva new girl come Valentines day. Robby K will be premier. Wishun all the magpies and flock a bloody ripper time. Lay off the shandies maggers, ya old bastard. Gotta stay fokeussed old mate.

    • The Magpie says:

      Got a head start on seasonal celebrations, eh, Oz? (Please don’t reply, one comment every four months is your quota, mate.)

      • Ozzie John says:

        You are no fun Pie. Just as Christmas gift to you, I can reveal my true identity isOld Mudpicker. A.K.A, Wily Wombat, Coral C and my favourite, qaparHa’taHmeH Mud ngo’ which is Klingon for Old Mudpicker. The absolute highlight was the one post I made in Klingon where I gave it to Grumpy in Klingon language. Anyway, time for all my nom de plumes to shuffle off into the ether as no doubt I will soon. Its been fun. All the best, see you on the other side.
        Muddy.

  41. Ugly numbers says:

    The TCC annual report says 125 complaints of behaviour against staff in 18/19 and more than 50 are unresolved (p43). Clearly no one takes bullying and toxic workplace culture seriously at TCC

    • Former waste employee says:

      If love to tell you the stories about the waste department and bullying in there. You wouldn’t be surprised. But if all the issues that happen in that department were reported it would double what was printed in the comment above. The workers are targeted by management and singled out to cause riffs between them so none will rise up as a group. So much favoritism and certain people get special treatment over others. One driver ran over a train crossing light, cost 10k in fines to TCC and shut down train services plus his own then 12mths later gets handed a leading hand position without an interview or the job being advertised. There’s no union power there. I couldn’t work there anymore watching what was going on. I was there when a fellow hard waste worker lost a finger doing this shit for the mayor, loading steel into the compactor. No surport afterwards. All they care about is getting the numbers on there KPI’S so there bonuses don’t dry up. Depot manager gets 18k bonus last year. By the way magpie I tried asking for the records of fleet but everything is electronic so they know if somone even prints it out and who it was. Best I can do is send you photos of how many trucks are in workshop every day not working.

    • The Magpie says:

      But that’s a touch ambiguous … was it staff on staff … like a complaint about a boss or colleague … or by a member of the public against a council employee? Serious question. Do you know?

  42. The Magpie says:

    Magpie saw this and rang a friend at ABC News.
    ‘Pie: G’day. How’d the Trump thing go?
    Mate: Trump was impeached.
    ‘Pie: Thanks.

    5 minutes later.
    ‘Pie: G’day. How’d the Trump thing go?
    Mate: Like I said, Trump was impeached.
    ‘Pie: Thanks.

    5 minutes later.
    ‘Pie: G’day. How’d the Trump thing go?
    Mate: WTF. Look, I’ve already told you – Trump was impeached. Why the hell do you keep asking?
    ‘Pie: I just love to hear you say it.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      And it will come to nought Pie – he/they have the numbers and a few more in the senate. He will play it all the way to the election in November 2020 and probably get another 4 years. Ahhh, politics don’t ya love it!!!

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Yes, but the Republicans in the Senate will ignore the evidence, and this vile and repugnant man, who’s original inner circle are mostly in jail, or going there, will remain in office, and democracy and the rule of law will be the poorer for it.

  43. Achilles says:

    On the current view of the TB there’s an article about a million dollar home with “undisturbed”(sic) ocean and Mountain(sic) views.

  44. Dave of Kelso says:

    And here is another example of lunatics in charge of the asylum. Yankyland is truly fucked-up. There is no place for religion in the matter of fact, evidence based decision making in a credible liberal western enlighterned democracy. Listening to Late Night Live I have learned, among other things, that a dangerous number of Yanks believe with all their heart and soul that Trump is God’s embodiment on Earth. Good luck with evidence based fact with that lot.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-19/donald-trump-impeachment-compared-jesus-trial-pontius-pilate/11814344

    ps I am a bit worried with our Happy Clapping PM.

  45. Dave of Kelso says:

    Are yes, recreational use on Ross River Dam.

    Twas in the middle 1990s when a water ski club had exclusive access to the dam, and how did that happen???

    At the same time when dinghy sailing and canoe groups were trying for access. No bloody hope.

    At work on a Monday and a ski boat enthusiast boasts of charging into flocks of water birds. As they would take off but before they could assend said ski boat captain would adjust boat speed to bird flying speed so passengers could reach out to try and catch a bird. Great environmentalists those ski boat people.

    All the while sailing dinghies and canoes were deemed a threat.

    Hmm? And I read here that Cr Mocachino is a ski enthusiast. Good luck to the water birds, and bugger all chance for sail and paddle.

  46. Stillnotalocal says:

    Up to you if you publish this one, though I suspect you’re all over it for you blog this week.

    Pie, check out the new stadium transport plan in the paper today. On the map it has park n ride, event buses and private courtesy buses pulling up in various locations around the stadium but a glaringly obvious failure to mention the over-rated and over-priced “bus hub” in Ogden Street… does this mean that this will not be utilised at all for game days?? Makes a mockery of the claims in this council release

    https://www.townsville.qld.gov.au/about-council/news-and-publications/media-releases/2019/april/city-on-board-for-bus-hub-opening-in-may

    The Bully back in October claimed that only up to 900 people would use Ogden St according to a draft transport plan so it was included for use at one point??

    https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/no-plan-for-carparks-at-nq-stadium-to-leave-thousands-scrambling-on-game-day/news-story/ec6f888ed51f82300e9d25558ed43734

  47. Just Say'n says:

    In my view, the impeachment will give Trump a renewed cause for his supporters to turn away from the Democrats. The Republican Party’s field of voters of older, whiter and more conservative Americans will grow in number and deliver Trump a second term in 2020.

    Similarly Jenny’s field of voters of rusted on labor party supporters, frightened business operators, an apathetic general public and and sycophantic Jenny supporters will deliver her another four years.

    With apologies to HANRAHAN;

    “We’ll all be rooned”

  48. Cantankerous but happy says:

    The stadium transport plan released today proves that the brainless dickheads running this town have not got a clue, what a debacle. If you live just a few km from the stadium in Oonoonba or Idalia, no public transport options and the same for any of the suburbs south of the river, Annandale, Douglas, Wulguru, not a bloody thing, just take your car and add to the mess. Nothing for the Northern beaches either, just take your car and add to the mess, but the fact that none of the buses will run to the new Ogden St bus hub just typifies this place, what a shambles, this place is a joke, I will stay home and watch it on the TV.

    • The Magpie says:

      By the way, looks like Harpic has at long last been ‘sectioned’ to the secure unit … not in any photographs in the stadium handover story with the two other blind mice and Mayor Mullet (in THAT dress yet again.)

    • Scientician79 says:

      It’s now posted on the official website for those of us who refuse to pay for the Astonisher.

      https://northqueenslandstadium.com.au/NorthQueenslandStadium/media/assets/Queensland-Country-Bank-Stadium-Transport-Advice.pdf

      If I’m reading this right, Reid Park and Lou Lister Parks are both key parking areas, along with a Park and Ride form the Showgrounds.

      I’m wondering how that’s going to work on Saturday 27th of June when the Supercars are in town (26 to 28 June) and Reid Park and Lou Lister are closed.

      I also enjoy the recommendation that “Walking is the best way to access the Queensland Country Bank Stadium precinct, Walk from the CBD, South Townsville or West End”, well clearly because you haven’t planned many other options for people.

      Are they planning parking restrictions in Railway Estate and South Townsville to go with this? I can see those streets filling up with game day parking once the designated carparks are full.

      As always with the brain trust running this town, more questions than answers because they have no idea.

      • The Magpie says:

        Cue complaints of congestion, driveway over-parking, unreasonable late night noise, perhaps a touch of hooning and/or kiddy crims roaming around in search of a ride. But not worry, TCC, the complaints will only be from ratepayers – remember them, the ones who pay your over-inflated wages?

      • Rowdy says:

        27th June NRL draw has Cowboys playing in Wellington.

        • The Magpie says:

          Mayor Mullet will no doubt have a plan for getting to that game … it will involve rowboats.

        • Scientician79 says:

          Right you are, my mistake, I googled home game dates and apparently got a list of the entire draw including away games.

          I guess they were at least smart enough not to have the Stadium in use the same weekend as the Supercars.

      • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

        If you look at the stats from Transport and Main Roads (which I frankly can’t be arsed checking so I am going from memory), people are prepared to routinely walk 1500m to access or from public transport. However, in the tropics that distance is generally dropped to under 1,000m especially in the heat of summer (and drops to zero when it is raining).

        The transport plan is an absolute gob-stopping pile of shite which was obviously sketched by someone in Brisbane on the back of a napkin (or lifted from one of the stadiums down there) with no thought for local conditions and no push-back from the supposed local council planning experts.

        Better to invest in a bigger tv and fridge than bother trying to get to the “crabpot” (which, as a cobbled together trap sitting in mangroves and full of rotten fish-heads, seems pretty apt).

        • The Magpie says:

          And the other point about those stats (just gotta love stats) is that people will walk that distance for things that are sorta more important than a footy game … like work, medical appointments or necessary food shopping. This really is shaping up as the a Jeffrey Epstein-size clusterfuck … and we’ll all be right royally rogered.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        S79,
        For miles around the current stadium the roadsides are festooned with No Standing Anytime signs. Game or no game, no standing.
        I can see these being dug up and reinstalled around the new Total Tools Stadium. The locals in that part of the parish are going to be really impressed as it will apply to them and their visitors 24/7/365.

        • Scientician79 says:

          Dave, my thought was more around additional no parking areas on game days only, I know they have specific exclusion zones for the back streets of Railway Estate during the Supercars, I believe local residents get special permits so they can still park in the street.

          Some sort of system like this might be required if people are hoofing it from Lou Litster Park, then I suspect many will end up parking in the area around first and second avenue behind Town High for one example?

    • NQ Gal says:

      Parking for game on 12th July is going to be interesting – Reid Park and Lou Lister Park will potentially still be out of action post V8’s.
      Will there be attendants at the theatre car park entrances if there is a performance on? It’s difficult enough to get a spot in there at the best of times.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      Yes, I see that Qld Country Bank Stadium are advising people who enquire about public transport that: “Sunbus will still be operating their usual urban services – check translink.com.au for routes and times for public transport.”

      The trouble is that Sunbus services on a Saturday evening & night, when most Cowboy games are scheduled, are almost nonexistent. I’ve checked on TransLink and the last Sunbus “usual urban service” for Annandale/Wulguru/JCU (and it doesn’t even go anywhere near Idalia/Oonoonba/Cluden) leaves the Ogden Street bus hub at 5:40 pm….so a bit hard for me to catch a bus home after the game!

      So the powers that be are “educating” everyone to use public transport……but they won’t be providing any!

      When asked about this their response is:
      “There are no current plans for event specific services from this area. For more information regarding urban services, visit translink.com.au.”

  49. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Santa visits Townsville. Hope the sleigh is there when he comes back.

  50. The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

    Magpie,

    an idle thought crossed my mind on what is the last working day for the year (for me at least).

    It might be a bit of fun to run a “Things we are (not) thankful to Jenny Hill for at Christmas” list to fill in our spare time before beer o’clock.

    I’ll start it off with – Another vacuous idea to add extra traffic to Castle Hill Road with a “thought bubble” events centre at the top. Wasn’t it only a couple of months ago council were saying they had to develop Mount Louisa because Castle Hill was overused?

    • The Magpie says:

      Too true … and she can’t even get once a fortnight footy crowds to the new stadium which is built on the flat with multiple roads leading to it.

      • Mike Shearer says:

        But isn’t that the problem, that there aren’t “multiple roads leading to it”. There’s the two from the CBD with bridges over the creek, the one from everywhere else with a bridge over the railway line, and those via South Townsville – which to get to you have to use the same roads that feed onto the bridges.

        The pedestrian bridge being constructed over the railway from Reid Park means that it will be a primary parking area. To get to it there’s only two roads: Railway Ave and Boundary St. Anyone seen any info re that bridge, like cost and who’s footing the bill?

        • The Magpie says:

          Good point. no tenfder, no cost, or is Honeycombe being a philanthropist.

        • Scientician79 says:

          $7.4m from our friend the Premier.

          “Construction of a new pedestrian bridge in Townsville’s city centre and upgraded facilities on Magnetic Island are set to create new local jobs and deliver a post-flood shot-in-the-arm for the region.

          The $7.4 million Reid Park Active Transport Bridge and $2.35 million Magnetic Island Forts Junction Hub upgrade will be funded through the Palaszczuk Government’s $40 million Growth Area and Regional Infrastructure Investment Fund (GARIIF).”

          http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/5/8/new-infrastructure-projects-propel-townsvilles-economic-recovery

          • The Magpie says:

            This stuff NEVER started anywhere near sublime, from the starting gun, it was just fuckin’ ridiculous.

          • No More Dredging says:

            ‘Pie, I don’t see what choice the Qld government has about setting up the stadium. Once both federal parties had committed to throw in $100m and set the ball rolling there was no way it could be allowed to fail before it even starts. I see in Friday’s TBully that the stadium is set to be delivered “on time and on budget”, which you’d think was a bit of a fudge, but apparently, who cares? The ‘delayed’ completion date has been put down entirely to the floods (can’t argue with that) and the extra $40+m cost is down to some inexplicable EBA blah blah that’s a load of tosh but OK because the project employed so many hundreds of local tradies blah blah thank you Townsville Bulletin and Dead Tree Hilton.

            I’m afraid Jenny Hill doesn’t even have to go to work for this sort of publicity. She’ll get regular coverage over the holidays just by going to a pipeline, stadium or street party site because what else does the local rag do? Suddenly school will be starting again, Elton and the Cowboys will be in town and there’ll be a flag raising to attend at Toonpan, a CFMEU coal caravan heading for the port expansion project and the PM will want to know where he will be sitting at the opening of the new pedestrian bridge. We know already where the hell Sam won’t be (and won’t want to be).

          • The Magpie says:

            Sorry, as usual, you’ve lost The ‘Pie somewhere in translation. Was there some suggestion that it somehow could’ve been allowed to ‘fail’ i.e. not go ahead. That was never an option, so while your projections may well be correct, it’s really just you flappin’ the old gums. Again.

          • No More Dredging says:

            ‘Pie, I thought you were exasperated that the QG was pulling out the cheque book yet again for the stadium. And I agree with you. But I don’t see what choice they have. To overcome whatever shitfight erupts over travel plans to the stadium on events nights I guess they’ll have to write out another cheque to Sunbus, at least for a while, so that all the bases get covered. I can see that Labor at the state level has a few members’ futures riding on the success of the stadium.

          • The Magpie says:

            If you’re right in your analysis, isn’t it a shame that they don’t have any bother choice when it comes to our child crime wave … their answer is to leave the Fagin lairs aka bail houses … operating for fun and profit of the kids.

    • The Magpie says:

      better the devil you know, and she was slowly cottoning on to the reality of Townsville, so The ‘Pie will actually be sorry to have to break in a newbie. ;presumably, Raggatt would wisely not want to be considered, and there don’t appear to be any other locals of long standing and experience to even be long shots for the gig. probably a Murdoch promotion from the back bench of the Beetoota Times.

  51. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Jenna Cairney off to the Mercury, interesting development with a local Govt election in March, hopefully whoever takes over at the Astonisher doesn’t fall for the Mullets bullshit and asks a few questions.

    • The Magpie says:

      Who’s going to be the new boss of the Astonisher? Well, modesty prevents me …..

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Cbh,
      We can hope, but when Cairney arrived it was reported that, in previous postings, she delighted in keeping local government to account. So much for that. After a few weeks she had become one of the Stepford Wives. (Watch the movie if you need to.)

      There has not been a ‘blow in iditor’ with independent courage in living memory. On that basis I am expecting another Jelly Baby.

  52. 99 Days says:

    Tenders are out to build a cafe, no, an open space venue, nope, a cafe… can’t quite make up her mind, on top of Castle Hill. To replace the cafe where the Mullet was once a waitress. Must’ve been a classy place.

    • The Magpie says:

      Gosh, will we be able to drive up to it, before some lycra-clad fuckwit challenges the presence of vehicles?

    • Mike Shearer says:

      Fuzzy memories that previous proposals canned because (1) alcohol won’t be provided – nobody would drink and drive down that road; and (2) emergency services objected over problems of having to get up the hill in a hurry. As for a chairlift, problems that I understand killed it before were parking at the bottom end, too expensive for backpackers, insufficiently inviting for anyone else.

      If there must be another “tourist attraction” on the top why not combine a cafe/whatever with the rag tag of communications sheds and aerials into one attractive building with a 360 deg viewing deck? If $7.5m can be found for a pedestrian-design pedestrian bridge over the railway in Reid Park why can’t $$s be found for something that would actually improve the visual look of and from Castle Hill?

      Noticed the sculpture (“The Shag”??) standing above the sea near the jetty. Male or female – can’t see the face etc. Clever forethought – over time the sculpture’s “hair” will age to a beautiful white, doubtless shoulder length, thanks to the seabirds.

      • The Magpie says:

        There’s a nightmare in waiting … the TCC dealing with Defence and CAA among others, let alone the spooks from the AFP, to build a bloody cafe.

        And Mike, you seem happy to have Townsville continue to live up to its reputation as Mendicant City, forever holding out the begging bowl for things over and beyond what should be reasonably expected from the public purse. It will be a crimnal act of negligence if the council spends a single penny of ratepayer funds on what should be an attractively packed offer to private enterprise.

        • Mike Shearer says:

          Sooner or later the communications infrastructure on Castle Hill will need to be expanded and upgraded. The $$s will have to be spent anyway. So why not spend them on a single structure that adds to the amenities, improves the look of the Hill – what other city in NQ has such a central viewing site? – and makes it easier for visitors to get a 360deg viewing experience and relax with a cuppa. There’s no reason that the structure couldn’t be built and managed privately, and the owners of the comms gear lease their parts, likewise the cafe, from theTCC.

          As for Townsville’s mendacity, I do regret that so much of the built parts of Townsville show a lack of foresight, planning and design. Flinders St East is a good example; Albino Pachyderm Central another. It’s possible for the funder to set conditions, if it’s the “guvmint”, highly unlikely if it’s private development funds.

          It’s dreamtime…

  53. Dave Sth says:

    Some musings, Sam Cox running dead pretty well much with not assembling a team. Could he have been corrupted by the Mullett Radek style or does he actually believe the nice guy bipartisan BS he is spouting? Really all it looks like is a half ar*** bid, spoiler anyone?

    Now takes tin foil hat off…

    On another note had enough of the kiddy journo’s carrying on about the heat down this way. Yes it is hot but in the 1980’s when I went to school (with no air con) in western Sydney we still had 46deg days, the bitumen did melt at times during summer and we had wildfires that we were trained to never run from but to seek shelter even if it was a hollow in the ground. Wow now I have had that rant I feel old & cantankerous…

    Anyway Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to all if Pie doesn’t have another column this year.

  54. Despair says:

    Sam Cox is becoming the ghost who doesn’t talk. Most pathetic and gutless start to a campaign I’ve ever seen.

  55. Kenny Kennett says:

    For all those who are criticising Sam Cox I think you need to chill a bit. Let’s face it, it’s Christmas, still 3 months away from the local election; people leave town for a month (why wouldn’t they?) Give the Mullet ammunition and she’ll fire at will (whether truth or lies); without ammunition she’ll have to fire her own gun and she’s bound to shoot herself in the foot; without too much information the Mullet can’t build an attack campaign. Cox on the other hand has a load of Mullet wrongdoings to work with and plan strategically. And remember the story about the hare and the turtle? And remember the quiet but hard working door knocking campaign of once Member for Mundingburra MP, Frank Tanti? He wasn’t great but he quietly door knocked thousands of doors and won the election by talking to the people. I can see Sam Cox doing that; can’t see Mullet doing it.
    What I can see though is a labor stooge in there to offset the anti Mullet vote. Remember Jeff J? I’ll also bet my bum hairs that the Mullet pays a lot of her last minute advertising bills with cash at the front desk.

    • The Magpie says:

      Lots of matters for deep contemplation in there, Kenny, not the least of which is visualising your bum hairs. Is that fable in any way related to the Tortoise and the Hare?

      But you seem to have sussed out the Cox Campaign strategy, The ‘Pie reckons he’s thinking too much effort before the holiday period will be wasted by other distractions.

      And glad you mentioned Jeff J. Remember you read it here first that Mr Jimmieson will offer up his meagre talents to be the first manager of the new Total Tools Stadium. And get the job.

      • Critical says:

        Pie, Glenn Arboit is Manager of the new Stadium. He has been Manager of 1300 Smiles Stadium for a number of years.

        https://www.qccu.com.au/help-info/about-us/member-owned-bank/queensland-country-bank-stadium/

        • The Magpie says:

          Sorry, thanks for pointing out the oversight, Crits … bit sloppy of The ‘Pie … I was talking about the call for a manager exclusively to attract events to the stadium separate from Mr Arboit’s day-to-day operational position (and to whom The ‘Pie intended no slight). The Astonisher article reported – was it the mayor – that she wanted the new position to ‘work closely with the Townsville City Council and TEL on attcating events’. As The ‘Pie said then, what possibly could go wrong. Because it already has … why only now is this being considered, surely an appointment should’ve been made months, if not years ago to get contacts rolling.

          This is all incompetence on a staggering scale, and if it isn’t, please inform the old bird why it isn’t.

          • Critical says:

            Isn’t it part of TEL’s and Tourism QLD job to attract events to the city. How much more funding needs to be funneled into this dream and Jeff Jimmieson certainly isn’t the person for this job. If such a position was to be created, it needs a very strong, creative and motivated person who can strand up to the Townsville establishment e.g TEL and TCC to bring events to Townsville. Doubt any event will have any high profile national or international standing as there is just no 5-star hotels and associated infrastructure. Put this issue along side our increasing national profile for crime and being a poorly administered city and I think bringing events of national standing is one hell of a big dream

          • The Magpie says:

            This is none instance where a southern professional person or agency should be engaged. TEL and TQ? That’s a laugh.

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