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The Magpie

Saturday, September 9th, 2017   |   147 comments

Has The Impaler has gone? If So, Who Will Replace Her? The Magpie Has The Ideal Candidate.

A perfect CEO, a well respected old Townsville hand, is believed to be ready and willing to step in to right the Walker Street ship, but it’s an unlikely appointment while Mayor Mullet remains determined to steer us on to the rocks. The ‘Pie lets you be the judge.

But, wait …  do we have a new mayor, who has quietly slipped into office without our noticing? Seems so – if you believe the Townsville Bulletin.

Also, a tale of batteries and beefcake … a Sydney court case during the week reveals a curious Townsville connection that will have conspiracy theorists moping their fevered brows. Rate and taxpayers might not be too happy.

And Bentley’s back from his break, with his usual …ummm … ticklish take on things.

But first …

Stop Press! Breaking News!! Exclusively Revealed!!

Just in case you’ve missed it, we in Townsville have a new mayor. It must be true, it’s on this front page of the Weekend Bulletin.

Screen shot 2017-09-09 at 8.06.16 PM

Looking closely, we learn that …

Screen shot 2017-09-09 at 8.08.03 PM

We do not know when Ms Hall took over from Ms Hill, or why the Bulletin made so little of the changeover.

(Sigh) Honestly, how can they expect to be taken seriously when they can’t even get the name of our elected community leader right?

How Glad News Suddenly Turned To Sad News

It was the click bait story of the week, with most readers disbelieving of the claim that Townsville is one of the sexiest cities in Australia. We may be pretty well fucked at the moment, but that’s not what they meant.

It ran everywhere, as a straight rewrite from a publicity stunt media release by online soft porn pushers Femplay. The opening line gave it to us straight and hard: TOWNSVILLE is one of the sexiest towns in Australia, new data reveals.’

But then, attempting to pound home the message, the second line only made us feel limp and used:’ Online adult store Femplay has listed Townsville at number four for the number of adult toys sold in Australia per capita.’ So we’re a city where one is the loneliest number, eh?

Seems we are number four in the nation in the use of dildos and other fun gadgets – Cairns is top of the list –  and Femplay’s prurient social analysis didn’t help our wounded pride: “They have the miners who are FIFO and the Australian Defence Force personnel who are often away leaving their poor partners at home, and they still are in need for some pleasurable time so they take measures into their hands, so to speak.’ But such schoolyard drollery only made us go from glad to sad in one sentence. Far from having a right old Roman romp of it, it is the sad fact that the city is full of DIY lonely nights filled with the buzz of Triple AAAs under the blankets. From glad to sad for our proud upright and erect citizens.

But all is not lost. Bentley reckons Mayor Mullet could get great mileage for the city out of it, as a special welcome for visitors at our southern entrance.

dildoAnd yes, of course the council would vote to put a condom on the Giant Dildo – this council specialises in covering things up.

HAHAHAHAHAHAH – Larf of the Decade … But Seriously Now.

The opening paragraph of this story …

Headline nonesense

…will go down in history as the unbeatable quote of The Mullet Years. It reads:

MAYOR Jenny Hill has slammed the LNP’s plan to freeze electricity bosses’ bonuses until power prices drop as “headline-grabbing nonsense”.

Wouldn’t want the Astonisher falling for headline grabbing nonesense, would we, Jen? Just real stories of substance, like this one which featured you two days earlier.


Then we had this story, safely tucked away behind the paper’s paywall (they thought)..

Greaney break

And speaking of nonsense headlines, this from today’s carefully subbed on-line ‘trusted voice of the north’.

fued‘Fued’ for thort maybe.

Even when they try to whip up hysteria, they only manage to be hysterical.

Although Friday’s front page was far from funny, displaying the paper’s callous order of priorities, giving an in-house wheedling promotion equal billing with a serious criminal, social and judicial issue.

equal billing fronter

Photos Can Be Confusing

Queensland Airport Ltd’s Townsville office boy, Kevin Gill, who the company indulgently calls Townsville Airport Manager, says he has retrenched 5 workers from his staff. Airport insiders insist that 20 positions have gone. Whatever the truth of the matter – and why wouldn’t we believe him and the Bulletin – The ‘Pie was a bit confused by the story’s accompanying photograph. So the old bird has clarified what you’re looking at with an appropriate caption.

Townsville Airport boss Kevin Gill (on the left), we think)

Leading Townsville businessman Kevin Gill (on the left). We think.

Speaking Of Priorities ….

The dreary same sex marriage saga continues to drag on, and it isn’t only The ‘Pie that thinks our media priorities are a bit skew-whiff. Award winning Fairfax cartoonist Cathy Wilcox concisely sums up the situation.

wilcox on ssm

It’s Join-The-Dots Time Again – And This One Is A Doozy For Conspiracy Theorists


Jamie Durie

It would appear that beefcake garden gnome Jamie Durie and Mayor Mullet have at least one thing in common … neither of them are crash hot in matters financial. While we all know our mayor’s ALARMING flaws in this area, The ‘Pie only became aware of Durie’s fiscal failings when he read a NSW court yarn during the week.

Durie went down in a $750,000 screaming heap (and that’s just costs – damages to come) after he was sued by a former business partner, and lost. But that’s of secondary interest to us, it was some revelations in evidence that we in Townsville should deeply contemplate.

Bill Moss

Finacier Bill Moss

Turns out back in 2010, Durie needed a loan to shore up his ailing business and meet other obligations. So he approached former Macquarie Bank boss, Bill Moss, who promptly made the $500,000 loan, (10% interest ta moochly), repayable in 18 months from that time. When the due date rolled around, as those pesky due dates inevitably do, Durie owed Moss between $600,000 and $700,000.

The judge in the matter , paraphrasing court documents, said Moss’s financial vehicle Boston Financial Services put Durie under ‘considerable pressure’ to pay up. Durie then got professional advice and sent Moss a cringe-worthy begging letter, openly admitting what a financial dill he’d been and asking for more time to pay. Bill obliged.

But that was back in 2012, although all this only became public in last week’s court case. Whether Durie has settled the earlier matter by now isn’t reported, but you can bet Moss is sweating as much as Durie that the debt is done with, because a big damages payout is soon to be dumped on top of the $750,000 costs, plus those of his own legal team.

But what any of his of particular interest to Townsville?

Just this.

Screen shot 2017-09-09 at 8.49.17 PM

Bill Moss is the driving figure behind the proposed lithium battery plant for Townsville, which, if certain claims are to be read at face value, has already progressed to the point where the Townsville City Council has gifted Woodstock land for the project in return for a small equity in the business. But let’s for the moment put aside the dangers lurking in that small statement

Anna Palaszczuk, a great Mullet mate, hopped on the bandwagon with supportive mutterings.

And it was about at the same time that the premier unexpectedly stumped up a ludicrous $10million or a public campaign to tell us how to use water. And that none other than Jamie Durie would front the campaign.

Sooo … The ‘Pie is wondering if there are any dots to join up here. First of all, we had Jamie Durie appear out of the woodwork as the proposed front man for this silly and wasteful campaign. He, and this campaign really did come out the blue, and has been widely derided by a majority of the community as wasteful, unnecessaryy and insulting. This was about the time that Mayor Mullet and Premier Alphabet were swooning to the blandishments of ‘Battery Bill’ Moss, and the flunkies he sent north to talk about the proposed battery plant.

Now let’s put this surmise. Moss finds himself with the desperate and gullible political ears of Mullet and Alphabet, and in discussions, learns of the serious water supply situation in the ‘Ville. So is it possible our Mr Moss spotted an fortuitous opportunity? That he could swing a nice little earner for his buddy and star borrower Jamie Durie, who in turn would suddenly have the wherewithal to be able to pay any outstanding matters, like debts to Bill Moss. Perhaps Mr Moss went all musical as a flim flam man, to sell the idea, cajoling the premier, Mayor Mullet and her council thus:

Friends, you’ve got trouble, right here in Townsville City,

You got trouble, with a capital ‘T’

And that rhymes with ‘C’’

And that stands for Campaign.

Yes trouble my friends,

With a capital T

Which rhymes with D

And that stands for Durie’.

If Mr Durie still owes Mr Moss a motza, then helping promote his debtor into a nice little earner will help all round. But even if they’re all square, Mr Moss maybe just gave a generous and benevolent hand to someone not too bright about money matters.

And all courtesy of the tax payers of Queensland and the ratepayer o Townsville.

But will the battery plant go ahead? Well, that will be dependent on the politics of Tanzania – yes, fuckin’ Tanzania, for chrissake – where the vital mineral for the venture is mined. The Chinese are in there now, playing funny buggers with Tanzanian politics, in order to protect their own lithium battery industry.

Did She Or Didn’t She? Did The Impaler Implode?

Hill and Young

The local rumour mill went into overdrive during the week with the oh-hallelujah suggestion had had a massive bitch slap session with Mayor Mullet and has or is ending up with the TCC pronto. There are those that swear to The ‘Pie that it is true, but the old bird is wary, because, to quote the Bard, ‘’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished’. Just about everybody WANTS it to be true – except several late night boozariums on Via Vomitorium who apparently have a nice little earner in our lonesome middle-aged bottle blonde.

Others suggest Adele Young declared at the outset of her grim reaping that she always took a month off at this time of year, for job placement as part of her law degree studies (there’s a hanging judge of the future for you). Some say she has applied for a job in Melbourne which may have come up trumps, and if that’s the case, The ‘Pie would make a small wager that it would be with Nous Consulting, or at least be facilitated by it with a glowing reference as to the Impaler’s workplace efficiency.

And adding to all this confusion is the Astonisher, which today (Sat) says in a gossip column that the ‘beloved’ Impaler won’t be going anywhere, it’s all just rumours – the fact that the paper has mentioned it makes one wonder where they heard the rumours in the first place heh heh heh. describing her as ‘beloved’ tells you what the writer john Andersen thinks of the matter.

But whatever the truth of the matter, The ‘Pie is certain the appointment of such an inept and inexperienced headkicker was all a Labor set-up in the first place, and once the staff had been scythed through to Mayor Mullet’s satisfaction, Adele Young will be on her way with a golden handshake and a nod and a wink from Jenny Hill.

Whatever … But …

Be all that as it may, Adele Young’s days of desolation and destruction here are numbered, whether by pre-design or circumstance, and we’ll sorely need a new competent CEO to restore order. And the ideal candidate is back on our doorstep, and is reported to more than keen for the gig. But Mayor Mullet almost certainly would be less than keen.

Ken and Tania Diehm

Ken and Tania Diehm

After years holding senior local government positions here, Ken Diehm departed Townsville for points west some time ago, and took up the position as CEO of Geraldton Council. It was a difficult job, not unlike the one which faced the incoming CEO at Townsville City Council, but Mr Diehm’s approach, methods and basic humanity could not have been more different to the unqualified, panicked bullying of Adele Young. He recently returned east, to take up the job as head of the Fraser Coast Council.

The Magpie asked his friend and former Townsville consultant to the rich and powerful Ron Bairstow, who is now back in his native WA, what he knew of Ken Diehm’s time at at Geraldton.

Ron wrote: ‘As it happens, I went on a road trip last week and spent a couple of days in Geraldton and talked with a number of people about Ken’s tenure. They were unanimous in their praise about his balanced approach and empathy for those who had to be made redundant.

He was apparently hired to bring some order to the city’s financial chaos, which he did in short order without throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It was a measure of his success that he was given a triumphal send-off by the council and its employees when his contract ended and he moved on to his new job.’

The damage that Jenny Hill has done to Townsville, spectacularly managing to make a bad situation much worse, will be a lasting legacy no matter what, but it will be all the worse for loss of the intellectual property ands cultural skills possessed by staff who have been booted out, and the discouragement and/or outright discrimination against able managers who would be willing to come in to right the ship. And there are those who believe Ken Diehm would be just the captain to get SS Townsville back on course.

But it is clear that Dear Helmsman Jenny Hill sees some demented glory in continuing to steer us towards the rocks.

Speaking Of Hanging Judges

Judge Clive Wall, late of these climes is sorely missed by many who liked his no-nonsense approach to sentencing (he once famously fined the parents of a Charters Towers adolescent who set a vagrant on fire for fun). He spent his final few years on the bench on the Gold Coast where he his tough sentencing earned him the nickname ‘Judge Dredd’.

Clive has been following the debate about  the politically correct push to sanitise history by removing statues of those early pioneers who transgressed against fashionable modern ‘morality’. And Judge Wall has no truck with what he sees as a politically motivated minority trying to dictate our history. He demonstrated his stand on the issue with a photograph taken during a recent visit back here.Clive Wall and Towns  …………………

That’s it for this week, but as usual, lots going on in comments throughout the week, join in the fun. And if you enjoy the blog, a donation to help with its upkeep is always appreciated. The How To Donate button is below.

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

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