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The Magpie

Sunday, January 27th, 2019   |   193 comments

Hi-Jacking Australia Day: Photo Op Fail Shows That The Mayor Knows How Deep She Is In The Electoral Doo-Doos

Shameless in its hypocrisy, utterly stupid in its transparency … Jenny Hill and her team claim honours they WERE NOT awarded, in a bumbled bit of cheap campaigning chicanery.

For all that, The ‘Pie owes Jenny Hill an apology – or does he? Could it be that he …err … short-changed her when writing about the LGAQ last week? There seems to be some murky financial (albeit apparently legal) fancy financial footwork in the local government’s published reports. The ‘Pie has a beak around to see if he really must offer to Jenny what she was forced to offer Clive Palmer – an abject apology. (Good luck with the $50 grand part of it, though.)

An unfortunate choice by the Townsville Chamber of Commerce … and a truly shameful one by the Bulletin..

Plus, Bentley’s hilarious take that will make Katter go Katter-tonic … and in addition to our usual visual visit to the week in Trumpistan, a wonderful pictorial insight into how time reverses our values.

But first…

Bob’s A Real Pain The Arse

The Mad Katter was at again this week, describing homosexuality as a ‘fashion trend’, and making the ingenuous dopey statement that ‘In my whole life up to 50, I had never seen or heard of a homosexual person’. Well, you probably met heaps of them, Bob, but in that time period, the laws of the day made it advisable not to advertise the fact. And one wonders if he doth protest a tad much … could the Member for Kennedy be on a late-life slide into iniquity? There’s been a hint …


… when you host a barbie in a shirt that looks like it was bought at Peter Allen garage sale, casually slung over a Ripcurl T-shirt, you’re poised at the top of the slippery slope we call life-style choices. Indeed, our visionary ‘toonist Bentley can clearly see the next passing phase for our Bob.

phase copy

Of course, this is all in fun, we all know that Bob is a solid, upstanding member, a real hands-on bloke who has a strong grip on things – despite all his giggling and gasping.

Still In Bentley territory, our man reckons not everybody is unhappy with our current heat wave across the country.

heatwave And he is right about The ‘Pie’s reaction, but being a considerate chap, Bentley has omitted the brown stains in the water behind the old bird.

Low Blow

In a shameful tabloid attempt at sensationalism, the Townsville Bulletin has surpassed itself on this, our national day when we talk up that we live in The Land of the Fair Go. In one of the most denigrating efforts yet by this floundering fish of a paper, we were treated to this below-the-belt ‘guilt by association’ dog whistling front page.


And the sleazy effort just got worse and worse, especially when a reporter quizzed him with what can only be an accusatory question on any possible involvement with his aunt’s drug dealing, indicated by the use of the word ‘denied’.

QUOTE: Mr Dametto denied having any prior knowledge of his aunt’s alleged involvement with drugs before her arrest and assured his constituents, he did not condone the use of dangerous drugs. “I haven’t (been involved in drugs) nor any other member of my family to my knowledge,” Mr Dametto said. (The alleged offending) has nothing to do with me, it’s something she has to sort out herself. UNQUOTE

The fact that they asked the question no one had considered, with not a shred of even remote suggestion, is straight up political dog whistling … the chorus of ‘Ha! yeah, right’ from the LNP and Labor banjo-playing set is already plunking away.

If Jenna Cairney and her band of work experience reporters think this is a good tactic to fill space, perhaps they’d like to door knock the parents and relatives of the juvenile little shits charged with stealing cars and property, and ask them if they had any prior knowledge or involvement the exploits of their little snots. One imagines such effrontery would meet with what some cops describe as ‘summary justice’ … and no argument there from this old bird.

Truly base stuff, Ms Cairney.

And Your Bizarre Story Placements Continue Apace

Jeez-us, fair dinkum.


When It Comes To Snide Stupidity, Jenna And Jenny Make A Pigeon Pair

Jenny HillIf ever proof was needed that our mayor is wetting herself about her plunging popularity and failure to fool ANY of the people ANY of the time, it came in the online Bulletin this weekend. Here’s a little puzzle of current affairs test for you. Read the caption first, and then see a) how many Australia Day award winners you can spot, and b) see how many Team Hill councillors you can spot.

Screen Shot 2019-01-26 at 10.38.45 am

And the Astonisher certainly has its political priorities right … the caption lists Mayor Mullet and Premier Alphabet but failed to mention that dorky looking bloke in the center. Oh, him, he’s not worth mentioning, just the Governor of Queensland and former Chief Justice Paul de Jersey. But then have a look along the line – search as he could, The ‘Pie was not able to see it reported anywhere that either Clr Ann-Maree Greaney, Clr Maurie Soares, Clr Colleen ‘Boo Hoo’ Doyle, Clr Les ‘Messagebank’ Walker, Mayor Mullet Jenny Hill, or Clr Kurt Rehbein had received any Australia Day honours.

So WTF are THEY doing, holding some sort of prize, which if it is an Australia Day Award, is grossly dishonest to say the least … a pathetic please re-elect me plea? They are making themselves out to be winners of some sort … which is looking more and more unlikely next time around.

But OK, why is the old bird surprised, this is about the level of honesty we’ve come to expect from these denizens of the Walker Street trough. It’s such a thigh-slapping inept attempt at campaign virtue signalling it has just proved two things … she’s desperate and she’s dumb.

But or All that, Mayor Mullet May Get Back In

A new study of Townsville voters has discovered why we have the political representation we have.  Well, at least it explains it for us, but not much can be done, you’d reckon.

Now, Having Said That, Maybe The Magpie Owes Mrs Hill An Apology

Last week – and on a couple of previous occasions – The ‘Pie has snidely written that Mayor Mullet picks up $31K a year in fees plus expenses for attending 6 LGAQ meeting a year as one of the three ordinary directors of the Association. She will retain that position until June 2020.


Well, shame-faced as he is to say it, it appears that The Magpie may be WRONG (clutch the pearls to throat, gals, splutter in your Scotch and Fanta, gents). And this error is a direct, albeit unintended, slur on our mayor, by wantonly questioning the worth of her invaluable visionary qualities and her legendary financial acumen, particularly in Indian industrial and aviation matters.

Because it seems her spare-time gig at the LGAQ earns her nowhere near $31,000 p.a.

It looks like it’s closer to $95,000 per annum!

Which becomes even more interesting when you consider that the TCC pays about $250K a year membership, so it in essence means that her services to the LGAQ are in fact paid for by Townsville ratepayers as part of the city’s membership fee. Indeed, it seems we stump up a total – a very worth while total, mind you, who could argue  – of just under $300,000 a year for her incomparable leadership as she charts a clever path out of our current financial and employment morass.

The ‘Pie humbly apologises for underselling you so despicably, Mrs Hill, when you devote so much of your time so selflessly to the public good of Townsville. There will be sneering Doubting Thomases who question your championing of the Local Buy procurement arm of the LGAQ, which actually takes work OUT of this city. Those doubters say that the claimed efficiencies don’t actually save the council anything, but pshaw! what would they know? They simply have no head for these sorts of figures and deals … and they certainly don’t understand the pressures of your obligation to an organisation that slips you almost a hundred grand a year to raise your voting arm when told.

Oh, the irony, the irony.

But, You Cry, Is This True?

Well, it certainly seems so to better financial sleuths than The Magpie, but it all depends how you decipher the murky and ambiguous figures published by he LGAQ. ‘Rubbery’ was a word bandied about frequently. And just to pique our interest, there is a little mystery item mentioned, but that later on.

Lets go the LGAQ Annual Report, where on page 35 we find this as a starter.

Screen Shot 2019-01-26 at 9.03.44 pm

Now the remuneration seems pretty clear there – sort of – but it has the rubbery words ‘ranged between’. (And a brief digression – they sure ain’t bound by pissant thoughts of CPI or inflation down at the LGAQ … note the rise in fees from 2017 to 2018 … a tasty 35% for the president and an eye-watering 100% for directors. And the 2017 figures don’t add up anyway, which is rubbery/sloppy in itself, with no explanation offered. Makes one wonder.  The question here is would someone like Jenny Hill from a place the size of Townsville (for round figures, let say 200,000) be willing to accept the same stipend as say Alf Lacey from Palm Island, which has what, about three to five thousand people? Methinks not in a month of Sundays, and PI membership would be a tiny fraction of Townsville’s.)

Then we see this chart, which again seem clear. Or is it not?

Screen Shot 2019-01-26 at 9.18.24 pmThe disparity between the President and the directors – $137,422 v $31,000 ($94,280 split three ways – rounded out here) is not believable to one executive who deals in these areas. He thinks the real remuneration, especially for Jenny Hill, is actually about $94,000. But whether it totals that from these figures (where there would obviously have to be some accounting error), things get even more interesting if he scroll back to page 20, we find this …

Screen Shot 2019-01-26 at 9.26.18 pm

And this …

Screen Shot 2019-01-26 at 9.26.45 pm

Now these reports can be heavy going even for accountants at times, and impossible for the likes by The Magpie, but our experienced Magpie mate writes:

The cost of directors fees and meeting fees for the year are $618,294 (page 20) this would kind of add up to me like 3 directors @ $95k plus the president @ $137k total of $422k leaving another $196k to be accounted for so I think the directors get 95K still and travel and accommodation listed separately as $734,441 (page 20)

So all in all, maybe Jenny Hill is worth the money she gets as a director … worth it to the LGAQ, anyway, when it presumably is she who calls the shots on the council’s membership fees.

All this is courtesy of the Townsville ratepayers. The loveliness continues.

Oh, and that little mystery. Just this

Screen Shot 2019-01-26 at 9.28.43 pm

But to be sure, since the LGAQ runs an insurance arm, it will surely be covered for whatever alleged indiscretion did or did not take place … either way, it gunna cost.

A (un-doctored) Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

A somewhat antiquated cliché borne out by an alert reader who reckons his shot in Flinders Street just about sums up Townsville’s quandary.

city vision

And another reader pic is being repeated across the city at a growing rate.

Screen Shot 2019-01-26 at 11.24.52 pm

Sloppy unfinished work and weeds all around … contractor or council, totally unacceptable, and could be a traffic hazard, especially in the wet.

Of course, not all council’s can get things right, even the mighty Randwick Council in Sydney which has its own wrestle with signage.

dog poo IMG_2861

Be interesting if a Great Dane owned by a dwarf takes a dump.

Did The Townsville Chamber of Commerce Really Think About The Wisdom Of This?

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 1.43.57 pm

Putting an image of a hungry looking porker on the stationery of an outfit representing private business seems a bit risky. But it gets more pointed when it is advertising a Townsville ‘information session’ for the LGAQ’s Local Buy mob. Of course, in very small print, the presence of porky is explained as recognition of the Chamber’s Chinese membership, it is the Year of the Pig.


Well, come to think of it, it IS an election year

Pot Calling Kettle Award Of The Week.


This goes to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, addressing an emergency meeting of the Organisation of American States last Wednesday on the unrest in Venezuela, and rescinding recognition of the elected leader. He said: ‘The time for debate is done. The regime of former President Nicholas Maduro is illegitimate. His regime is morally bankrupt, economically incompetent and it is profoundly corrupt. It is undemocratic to the core.’

All absolutely correct except for two words, and many Americans know which two they are … but guess you wouldn’t know, Mikey, what a gerbil performance … history awaits you, fella.

We can shortly expect Trump to recognise Pauline Hanson as Australia’s legitimate leader, and for the forthcoming elections to be cancelled, since elections have little meaning in Washington. Apparently.

But before Trump can make any such declaration how Australia can be governed, he will need the permission of the man behind him.

Russia trump rootDxvPuLpW0AAXoab

And that’s just the start for this week in Trumpistan.

image002 image001 141_220628 73_220837 89_220804 269_220770 cjones01292019 53_220918 17_14 271_220887 Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump vs Pelosi II lk011319dapc

And Finally, For A Final Rueful Laugh Or Two.

Time and technology play unexpected tricks on us, taking just a few short years to reverse human behaviour.

image001 2 image002 2 image003 image004 image005 image006 image007


That’s it for this week, but as usual, comments are running hot on all sorts of topics, so have your say, comments can be posted 24/7. And if you’re in a kindly mood (or just drunk, doesn’t matter) a donation to help the old bird keep floating above it all is always appreciated and put to good use. 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.


  1. Mike Douglas says:

    I’m not sure what’s worse with Mayor Mullet, not understanding the term “ conflict of interest “ or the gall she simply continues to do it on matters that don’t even pass the pub test . In regards to T.C.C. Tendering and the QLGA is it true the Chief Procurement officer at T.C.C. has also departed ?. In support of the Magpies comments on Peter Newey and the so called T.R.R.A, on Facebook yesterday he was trying to join conspiracy dots – the site posted a list of people that put $ behind and set up INQ ( Innovation North Qld) hub – for what reason we needed this in formation and the inference of something suspect, only Mr Newey can tell us. INQ has provided support for Townsville start ups and these people put their $ where their mouth was (which is more than I can say about Mr Newey) because no Government funding was initially forthcoming. They have received support also from Peter Honeycombe and the Phillip Leong foundation and were involved in Hamish Finlayson 13 yr old who has autism getting a bursary to support people with autism and his apps have gone world wide . Fortunately the real residents and ratepayers seem to have judged T.R.R.A, with minimal support or comment. T.R.R.A have highlighted some( what appears) corrupt activity but I suggest you keep an eye at least on the site and the dots may be joined to any of us.

    • The Magpie says:

      Pete is an avid reader of The Magpie, and The ‘Pie is certain he will provide a perfectly reasonable explanation for the post.

      • The Magpie says:

        Hi Pete, sorry to say, the above is all that is left of your reply quite lengthy reply when The ‘Pie had gone through it with a legal eye … you make some wild allegations … both in the deleted reply and on your TRRA website, without offering any tangible proof of them that The ‘Pie can find. Those who do still read your site would seem to do so for two reasons: pure entertainment or legal opportunities for defamation action. (Hey, that’s The ‘Pie’s blueprint!!) For God’s sake, mate, stating wild notions … putting two and two together to make five – (all stated as fact, for God’s sake), notions fed to you by self-interested urgers hoping to use your platform for mischief with no risk to themselves. But not here – publishing your comments makes The ‘Pie just as liable, so sorry mate, not here.

        • Jim Ashby says:

          Don’t hold your breath waiting for good ol’ Pete from TRRA – a complete conspiratoralist along with other nutter supporters. It would seem hate of the council, Hill et al is the driving force for on going anti council, anti government campaigns with often defamatory claims and many wild accusations that it’s plain gob smacking! As you say he tries to join the dots but can’t – perhaps yet (which I doubt ) but does not listen to rational arguments opposing his claims. Good luck with him Pie !

          • The Magpie says:

            He’s written a rather sad TRRA post, suggesting The ‘Pie blocked his defamatory-ridden reply he made to another commenter because ‘maybe The Magpie is jealous’. Daft old bugger, blinded by the glare of his 15 minutes in the spotlight with his Adani airstrip petition, he’s now soon to declare that the Lizard people are about to emerge from deep caves to conquer the world.

            What is truly sad is that a community like this actually could do with a serious and sane TRRA given the circumstances, but it seems he’s trashed that single handedly … he keeps saying ‘we’ in his posts but one suspects that is the conceit of a lonely old bloke. Shame really.

          • Aeneas says:

            I’ve tried to read Newey’s ‘investigation’ a few times but can’t make heads nor tails of what he’s actually claiming

      • Kirwan kid says:

        I think most people with automatic sprinklers would be happy to return to the old permanent restrictions for three days a week ie two hours per day for three days a week
        Current two days is inadequate to keep lawn green during summer

  2. Cantankerous but happy says:

    I hope the photo backfires for the Mullet, I think most people who look at that would think what have those parasitic leeches like Geaney, Sours or Rehbein done to be recognised in Australia Day awards. I feel sorry for the other actual recipients who have had their moment devalued by these fucking parasites, there just doesn’t seem to be a low point for these people, they can drop the bar lower every time.

    • Mundingbird says:

      When the ship is sinking, anything goes…….

      • The Magpie says:

        Except in this case, the rats.

        • Lord Howard Hertz says:

          And some of them will be jumping ship when a plausible alternative mayoral candidate declares him or herself .. havde been hearing for some months now that the credibility meltdown is making at least three, possibly as many as five, councillors, consider doing a Paul Jacob, but not over to Labor interests.

  3. Gonzo says:

    Hi Pie, A superb blog, lampooning Bob Katter (Watch out, Bentley); a post criticising the front page of the Bulletin, which accused an MP of shame because his aunt was busted on drug charges (he denied having any prior knowledge of her alleged involvement with drugs); the Astonisher’s online photo of Australia Day Award winners, of whom there were none, the usual terrific Trumpistan and just what the doctor ordered: a funny series of cartoons showing how much human behaviour has changed — not much at all. Cheers and Happy Australia Day weekend!

    • The Magpie says:

      Thanks, Gonzo. And just to point out, there were three presumably winners in the photo, covered in other articles in the paper. The others in the photo helped ensure they will be losers when the time comes.

  4. Achilles says:

    Re heatwave cartoon, does that make the shark a heatwave benifishery?

  5. No More Dredging says:

    ‘Pie, you mentioned ” . . that dorky looking bloke in the centre”, of the picture – presumably you meant the bloke holding his ‘award’. Not sure if you are into sincere apologies but you’ve got this one wrong. The Governor of Queensland and former Chief Justice Paul de Jersey that you mistook our “dorky” friend for, is actually standing right behind him – next to the mayor. As soon as someone can identify what ‘award’ these people are holding up it might be easier to ascribe some meaning to the pic.

    • The Magpie says:

      (Sigh) Not even a nice try, mate. No one else who is marginally informed misunderstood the reference, the young fellow is clearly a adolescent and not a ‘bloke’. (He is Ethan Cavanagh year 5 student, and although he won the Young Citizen Award, nowhere that The ‘Pie can find has the paper mentioned his age, on the one occasion when a person’s age is actually relevant to a story.)
      Are you seriously suggesting, in your desperation to defend this clapped-out, arse-fallen regime of twicers, that someone would mistake the young chap as the Governor of Queensland – and a former Chief Justice? If so, serious consideration should be given to having you sectioned – if in fact you aren’t already, hard to tell from some of your less coherent contributions here. But your scrambled thought discombobulation goes even further, with the inference that maybe the councillors did receive some sort of award, and that would make it all OK. (Sigh again) Read the bloody caption, you cloth-head, that’s what the whole thing is about … and in fact, anyway, if they are holding up some councillors’ award (highly unlikely but a good joke if they are) THAT MAKES IT A WORSE and a more pathetic attempt at grabbing the spotlight from our real community contributors.

      Christ, can you dress on your own, shoelaces and all? Don’t tell The ‘Pie you’re allowed to drive?

      • Aussie day attendee says:

        Councillors in the picture were holding awards for recipients that didn’t show…..and there were heaps of them. Could have had the ceremony in a phone box. Highlight of the day…our eloquent mayor twice calling the governor “peter de jersey”

  6. Alahazbin says:

    Typical Bulletin behaviour. Attempted trashing of people’s reputations. On Australia Day is a low blow. Even the young bloke caught naked and allegedly masturbating in his car the week before got front page. Plureese! Can they get any lower.

  7. I’ll be plucked says:

    Hi there Miss Lou, you out there? Plucker

  8. Golden Years says:

    Oh Pie, while i do get a giggle from the nicknames used in your posts I have to say adding ‘Boo Hoo’ to Councillor Colleen Doyle’s name made me stop and ponder . Here you have a person with a strong social conscience, is ethical to the core and really cares about people. Empathetic is probably the right term to use. Certainly a very good quality to possess. She’s one of the good ones.

    • The Magpie says:

      The nickname came about years ago when it was reliably reported to the old bird that Clr Doyle burst into tears in a committee meeting when things didn’t go her way. The ‘Pie agrees that Clr Doyle is one of the few experienced business people on the council and seems to have a solid, sensible record – and most endearingly, a rarity in this mob – a mature modesty. Don’t see too much of her in those puerile Astonisher photo ops, and certainly there have been no reports of her using bad language, unlike the foul-mouthed Margie Ryder and the short-fused Angry Any Paul Jacob. Wonder if she’ll jump ship … if she does, The ‘Pie will happily retire the nickname, which he knows well irritates her no end (which of course is one of the main purposes of nicknames). Now then, there’s a reasonable quid pro quo you Golden Years … or should we say, Colleen?

  9. Cast Netter says:

    TCC Incompetence surprise surprise.

    A few weeks ago TCC threatened to close a long time greyhound training facility in Alligator Creek.

    75 year old Joan Newnham the Greyhound trainer in question received a Show Cause Notice for allegedly operating the facility unlawfully.

    The section of TCC which dealt with these issues was given the flick in 2017.

    My reliable source stated the first thing the now defunct section of TCC would have done would have been a quick check of the Zoning, Building Approvals and Prior Use Rights. This would have indicated there was no issue to start with , no need for the Notice and therefore no stress or heartache for the resident.

    The incompetence of those involved in this debacle could and should have been avoided if one ounce of knowledge/experience had been retained.

    The Mullet and her team are fully responsible for employing people in these roles with absolutely no idea, experience or empathy.

    The Astonisher published that Ms Newnham receives an apology from the Mullet.

    So was the Mullet apologising to Ms Newnham for getting rid of those with the knowledge, for employing those with no knowledge or just apologising with no knowledge of why she was apologising. I suspect the last one.

    What has occurred with poor Joan will not surprise to many in the know as this Council continues to drag this City into the mire.

    Please remember this in 2020.

    P.S great response to NMD

    • The Magpie says:

      Mayor Mullet apologised to someone (apart from Clive Palmer)? The ‘Pie is doing a frantic search but can pinpoint it for the old bird pls?

      • The Magpie says:

        OK, citizen journalists, give a hand if you are in a position to know the answer to this: in the story about the council threatening to close her down, (Raggatt Bulletin Jan 3) Mrs Newnham says the associated costs (presumably for a development ordef, which clearly was not needed) ‘would close her down’.

        How much would such a development order cost?

        And The ‘Pie notes in the story that a council spokesman said the council was reviewing the matter and an investigation would the review would be completed ‘in a matter of weeks’.
        A ‘matter of weeks?!?
        If they could drag the work experience kid away from self-pleasuring himself in the loo, he could look that up within an hour. Or even better, legal long-server Tony Bligh could sort it out in a matter of minutes … well maybe not, Mr Bligh is if nothing else, a very loyal council attack dog, and would be unlikely to facilitate any outcome that showed up his beloved council as the busted arse shambles it has now become.

        And yes, the council has been shown to have really got their tits caught in the wringer over this on.

    • Concerned says:

      It is what happens when you have a pre conceived report drafted by some company like Nous and then bring in out of town ALP hacks with no idea about local government, and nothing about Townsville which remove the staff with the knowledge and which would have challenged the FWIT ideas which have brought Townsville and the council to where they are now.

      • The Magpie says:

        Sounded like you were talking about the treatment of experienced sub editors at our fav newspaper there for a minute. This town really is a captive cash cow out-station of distant interests.

      • Inside TCC says:

        Concerned, my favourite line from FWIT management and their lackies….. Are you team Jenny or team Adele? Most would have thought that was actually the same team, but apparently it wasn’t.

  10. Councillors on the run. says:

    It has come to my attention through a former senior council employee that at least three councillors, barely halfway through their term, have decided not to run at the next election. This person was called back in for a short stint and this information was circulating through the administration.

    The three councillors are Verena Combe, Russel Cook and Paul Jacob. I know Jacob has suggested a tilt at Mayor with his own Labor team but that now seems to have been shelved. The Labor party would be highly unlikely to run another Labor team against the Mullet.

    Cook and Combe have been invisible for the term which has been the case really with all the councillors. Gagged by the Mullet and not allowed to speak to the public. One of them started applying for jobs outside council last year and will leave immediately if successful in securing another job.

    It’s possible Cook and Combe want nothing to do with the toxic environment created by Hill. So you either stand up to be counted or get out. They’ve decided to do a runner. God knows what’s going on in Jacob’s mind.

    The other message out of council is Molachino is refusing to run with the Mullet at the next election.

    • Grumpy says:

      Run? Milky Soy-Boy babychino has not got beyond a leisurely stroll ever since he pursed his lips around the public teat.

      • Dutch Reverend says:

        Mochachino couldn’t even tell the truth about living in the division he was elected to represent. Full of shit, up himself snooty upstart prat. If he couldn’t do something so fundamental, why on earth would anyone trust him to represent a division or for that matter a city.

  11. MickNQ says:

    TRRA lost me when he started going on about the Rothschild Bank, veering close to Tinfoil Hat Territory there…

  12. Bob Newsome says:

    Hi Pie. Just to clarify with the photo in the TB, I was at the awards ceremony but the problem was a few of the awardees were not. Not for any sinister reasons, they were apparently away , and in some cases overseas, doing whatever it was that they got the award for. What happened is that our Mayor invited a different Councillor to the stage to present each award with her. When it was announced that the awardee was not there, the Councillor collected it “on their behalf”. So what you see in that photo is the particular Councillors that were lucky enough not to have their recipient available hence they get the publicity.

    • The Magpie says:

      Thanks for that, Bob. Seems then like the mayor had things sorted pretty well before the ceremony, well armed with the advance information of who wouldn’t be there to get their gong, and saw an unexpected opportunity, and dragooned in some of her aerobics class to fill in. Now, The ‘Pie knows he gets stuck into Mayor Mullet on a regular basis, but in this instance, it seems she had her little plan up her sleeve for some sorely needed positive exposure for her team, and it would’ve all been OK, and terrific and legit publicity if it was made crystal clear to the Bulletin why the councillors were there. Either she didn’t or the Bulletin rep there didn’t get the message across (hard to tell who might be at fault with this shower, probably both … surely the paper could’ve asked the obvious) and therefore we … including The ‘Pie… were entitled, on tracks records alone, to assume some cheap exposure. So all the lack of communication did was leave a big question mark, upon which The ‘Pie could be depended to expand. And did.
      Would be be ungenerous (and typical) of The ‘Pie to suggest even when she has the perfect fore-warning set-up for blameless good news, Jenny Hill can’t even manage that.

      Christ, Dolan, where are you?

      • The Rolling Eye says:


        • The Magpie says:

          TRE, your scurrilous and TOTALLY incorrect comment is PRECISELY the sort that is instantly deleted from comments here. Low, grubby and even if it were true – and absolutely none of it is – it remains a solely private matter with no impact on the community interest and would never be aired here. The ‘Pie will be watching you carefully in future, if you are stupid enough to use the same pseudonym … but you won’t be hard to spot anyway, you low tosser.

  13. J jones says:

    Back in form Pie

  14. Miss Lou says:

    Always good and
    Always entertaining.

    Best Wishes,

    Miss Lou.

  15. seagull says:

    this from the bullsheet ….. what a disgrace !

    Us and them: Which side are you on in Adani debate?

    ADANI MINE There’s “us” who want to see the Adani mine start so that jobs and wealth are created for at least a couple of decades to come. Then there’s “them” who hate coal, hate farmers, hate business and a lot of the things that provide comfort and convenience.

    no doubt about it …. this newspaper is on the nose & part of TSV’s woes

    • The Stockman says:

      That “article” is a disgrace. So basically if you have moderate concerns about the planet cooking us to death, you’re against Townsville.
      Don’t get me wrong I think Ando is a great journo, but this is the biggest load of crap I’ve ever read.

      • The Magpie says:

        Ando is entitled to his opinion and to vent it in his column, which cannot be mistaken for anything but his opinion, unlike this hilarious bit of foaming lunacy from Des Haughton resident rabble-rousing ratbag of the Curious Snail. This article, which directly contradicts Ando’s assertion that old country hands say that the black-throated finches are every where, and simply migrate to where the food is. Haughton claims exactly the opposite in this bit of Adani cheer leading which bobbed up in the Astonisher today.

        It is clothed as news content, without the required information that the writer is a knuckle-dragging step’n’fetchit odd-job man and serial editorial brown-noser in the classic News mould (Hi Typo). At least they could’ve just put in a demurring “Opinion’ label on it.

        So feral cats and wild pigs will be barred from the protection zone. How? With suitable signs ‘No Feril Katz Or Pigs Allowed’ (the signs written by a senior Bulletin journalist)? Or is Donald Trumpet going to consulted on suitable walls? And as you can see, Des’s Disneyland fantasy comes complete with a vaguely labelled ‘ecologist’ who is apparently a closet comedian, with his/her mildly amusing nitwittery about the mining industry’s legendary contributions to flora and fauna. Des reckons he or she declined to be named because ‘of fear of Left-Green reprisals’. Unlike John Andersen, whose name and photo is writ large in his pages in the Astonisher – and who named his informants about the finch’s habits.
        Ando 2, Tugger Haughton nil.

    • Ando says:

      Yes, pretty disappointing to read this type of rubbish from John Anderson.
      I know quite a few farmers, business people and (oh my God) actual coal workers that would rather see the Adani mine not go ahead on a range of issues.

      • Scientician79 says:

        I think the “us” they refer to is the ten readers they have left.

        The Astonisher hasn’t represented the opinion of this town on any number of issues for a very, very long time.

        From Adani and Airstrips to Water and Stadiums. They are completely adrift trying to find some way to remain relevant.

        More worrying for Mullet and co, with less and less people reading the Astonisher it’s not proving a very effective way to influence the public or change all that pesky negative opinion in the community.

  16. Mike Douglas says:

    The financial costs for people making unsubstantiated claims on social media is building with not only the Magpie going thru the wringer to defend himself , there’s our hapless Mayor having to settle with Clive Palmer using T.C.C,s insurance and Clive Palmers $500,000 claim against Cathy Otoole . Further south 8 parents of Tamborine Mountain State High School who made comments on Facebook about the Principal are now paying dearly . Three have made private financial settlements, One tipping into voluntary administration as the courts have ordered the parents to pay the principals legal costs $39, 234 . Four of the parents have had registered warrants put on their homes as the principal is seeking $220,000 per parent . Defamation is becoming a new income stream for Townsville lawyers and based on some of the comments i see spewed out by thoughtless individuals on social media who think they can say anything about anyone or any business it will be a lucrative income stream .

    • The Magpie says:

      You reading this, Peter Newey. The defence of truth needs certain verification benchmarks, mate.

      • Jim Ashby says:

        Nope – Peter does not and will not listen. I’ve suggested for years his defamatory comments will send him broke but it’s fallen on deaf ears. And likewise from one of his ardent female commentators who’s stuck in a rut with her constant one word comment “Corrupt” about anything council or government related. She’ll join him in financial purgatory – both don’t care that their comments come with responsibility. But good luck to them.

    • Grumpy says:

      Mike, I read that story. Some things don’t quite add up. I think the tale is only half-told.

      But Madam School Teacher is a formidable looking lady and I would not cross her.

  17. The Magpie says:

    It seems the Bulletin’s cock-ups are reaching epidemic proportions …

    Poor dear, hope she gets better soon.

  18. Wishing for Better says:

    Dear Pie,

    A new correspondent here and a long-time admirer since your ‘Bully days. I spent my youth in Townsville but took flight in the late 1970’s. However, I visited the ‘Ville several times a year ever since then and it’s now one of my semi-retirement nests. What have we done to ourselves?

    There have been a few comments over the past few months regarding the sorry state of JCU. I have been doing my own little ‘TRRA’ type digging to try and find out the skinny on JCU; once you get a few drinks into the workers the stories just spew forth. As well, being a public institution there is a plethora of statistics available for the looking, and the picture they paint is far from pretty. In fact, they are downright distressing.

    JCU is my Alma mater and also that of many colleges and friends and I have recently met many current staff. They appear to be scared, demoralised and either angry or ground down. However, it’s the scandalous awarding of an AO to the Vice-Chancellor of JCU that has my blood boiling.

    The Vice-Chancellor of JCU is remunerated at circa one $million per year by JCU. This is among the highest of the ‘regional’ university VC’s, and 60+% higher than the VC’s of other regional Queensland Universities (USQ, USC, CQUni). In fact, it’s nearly the same salary as the VC’s of the giant QUT and Griffith, each that have almost 4 times the student enrollment! Of course, this is not nearly enough and Harding pockets, like the Mayor, significant board fees from the vast number of boards she sits on, JCU pays membership fees to belong to some of these organisations. Nice. And then there is the shadowy, JCU-Singapore entity with a complex corporate web and books out of reach from Australian reporting. Apparently, the governing senate are in the dark and kept like mushrooms. All in all, very redolent of Ms Hill and the LGAQ saga you have been discussing.

    Instead of fixing her failing university and the mess she has created, Harding uses her position to advance her own ego and narcissistic career aspirations. She is ‘leading’ her university into near (or actual) bankruptcy. The staff at JCU have the lowest pay and measured morale of any university in the country, the best young staff are rumored to now be leaving on mass. Student numbers are absolutely plunging with year on year falls of 10+% in student intake expected. According to statistics on the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre website JCU now has the lowest new student intake of any university in Queensland, it’s once fine reputation in tatters (check out the social media commentary). Pathetic.

    Now I know a lot of your flock don’t care for universities and their perceived ‘liberal bias’, but JCU is essential to the health of the north. JCU was a once a decent and respected institution that contributed mightily to the north. It kept the best of our young people here and gave us the engineers, teachers and scientists we need (health people now too). It gave many of us hope and a pathway to improve. It also employs a lot of people on decent wages and Townsville will be a lot smaller if JCU collapses or further downsizes. Already the range of courses is looking thin with large numbers of closures in the past decade. The Courier Mail and QTAC published data showing that JCU school entry scores are now generally the lowest in Queensland.

    So, what do we do? Give the lady an AO.

    • Alahazbin says:

      WfB. If you are using the term “liberal bias” about JCU as a political description. You couldn’t be further from the truth.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      So very true, if she was running any other business the bony blonde would have been punted long ago, a completely failure, the place is in deep debt, can’t retain good staff and enrolments given to anyone with a pulse basically, just to make the numbers look good. As you say what do you do with a overpaid public servant well past their use by date, give them an AO, why the hell not.

  19. Non Aligned Worker says:

    TCC website now shows our RR dam was at almost 110% capacity at the end of March last year.
    Can anyone confirm that? Is my memory that bad?
    Is there a new metric being used to measure the dams capacity?
    Website shows capacity is currently at 83%

    • The Magpie says:

      Of course it was … as our mayor says, water crisis, what water crisis?

      Gosh, youse peeple …

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Graham Richardson shot himself in the foot big time on Sky News tonight, about this very thing. They were talking about Newspoll result in Herbert and Richardson blurted out this load of Labor shit, ” Jenny Hill has been fighting for the water pipeline for 5 years now”, Really?? don’t know how that could be when only 3 years ago she was telling everyone the opposite and bagging Jayne Arlett who actually wanted to build the pipeline, this bloke has zero credibility and is now just a pathetic joke.

        • The Magpie says:

          The old Labor rule: say it loud enough and long enough and eventually it will be accepted as truth. Richo is becoming Australia’s Rudy Guiliani.

          Fortunately, these evening opinion shows on Sky are an irrelevance watched by only a few, and they are all of the converted, not likely to do any damage to the truth of the matter.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        Sorry, bird, missed the whole “moved the goal post“ thing!

    • No More Dredging says:

      NAW, not sure where you get your information about the levels of the Ross River Dam but I looked up the Council web site just now (“Ross River dam levels”) and it says the level is currently at 72%. The graphs show the levels during the entirety of 2018 and all years back to about 2010 from memory.

      • No More Dredging says:

        What a difference a day makes. Overnight the Ross River dam has jumped to 82% with quite a bit more to come from more than 100mm of rain in the catchment. And Paluma Dam has jumped from 80+% to 99%. It would be interesting to know what the daily consumption is in Townsville at the moment. Surely no one will be watering the garden this week?

        • No More Dredging says:

          The 7am reading now puts the Ross River dam at 90% and surely rising. Paluma Dam has passed 100%. Looking awfully like a wet dream for the mayor.

  20. The Magpie says:

    The Astonisher is improving on its motto: Yesterday’s News Tomorrow. Try Last November’s News In January.

    In the Astonisher’s rush to re-create our mayor -as a leader with the fighting qualities of Boaedica, the piety of Joan of Arc (Joan was on talking terms with God, Jenny with Gutem Adani), the diplomatic smarts of Julie Bishop, the fashion sense of Gina Rinehart and the dignity of Ronald MacDonald – the paper runs the risk of giving itself ’self-inflicted wounds’ as they say in the Army. The paper also allows the mayor to keep sniping away at her own foot. Take this from today for instance.

    Steaming hot news, eh? Well, maybe only luke warm, or perhaps maybe just tepid … no, let’s make that stone bloody cold. This from the TCC website … last November.

    A stale cut and paste, without a hint of trying to hide it, barely even re-written.

    But the mayor frankly admits to how lazy and pre-occupied with playing self-centred politics she has been when she says: ’We lost a lot of trees during Cyclone Yasi and IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE RESTORE THE TREES AND CREATE SHADE FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE CBD.’

    ‘Important’? Cyclone-bloody-Yasi?!?

    Cyclone Yasi was exactly eight years ago, in January 2011. Jenny Hill has been mayor for seven of those years, but not until now has our Lady Bountiful decided to play mother to our wilting Central Business District, about which she honks on endlessly. Wouldn’t be an election on the horizon, would there, Twister Sister?

    • Charlie Wulguru says:

      What’s the connection with this J Mac Constructions? They appear to get all the work around Townsville with the ‘Work 4 Qld’ handouts. Is there no one else capable of doing the same work?

  21. Dave Sth says:

    G’day Pie, just returned from a long weekend north. Beautiful to see the Monsoon again, cloud tops on the way in were just below our cruising altitude of 34,000ft and out today still in cloud at 35,000ft. Reminded me a lot of the wet seasons we used to get with thick cloud into the upper levels. Sitting in the terminal today was reading through my free Bully and they had a spread flogging the Townsville Airport… All I could think was WALOS (Yes that is an acronym). Then the editorial team allowed Gill to take up the whole letters section to blow his own trumpet…

    Also my road trip down south, the Gregory Developmental Road is a disgrace especially Belyando Crossing to Clermont, Carnarvon Developmental Road around Rolleston to Injune not much better. Carnarvon Hwy Roma south surprisingly pretty good… The Central & North of this state are being neglected to the point of negligence. We need a real alternative in this state, sorry IMO Deb & her band are not up to the job.

  22. whykickamoocow says:

    the steer that got loose from the port is wandering around near the South Townsville boat ramp. Waiting for a croc to eat it I reckon.

  23. 4814 says:

    There are a lot of disgruntled former staff who have lost their jobs at jcu due to incompetent managers and team leaders in the colleges. They have tried to make their voices heard about bullying – but once you have made a complaint against them – you are on their hit list to be gotten rid of. The seething dissent is growing. No one is listening – so they will make their voices heard elsewhere.

  24. One legged tap dancer says:

    No surprise to see Kevin Gill getting positive exposure in the Astonisher.
    Here’s how it works:
    Gill agrees to buy newspapers from the Astonisher at a heavily discounted price and gives them away to travellers at the airport.
    The Astonisher counts them as paper sales.
    In return Mr Gill receives positive publicity in the Astonisher eg story and photo on blackboard at the airport, multiple stories about his “holding pattern” car park, and stories outlining his spin on changes to airport road access.
    If you believe Gill’s recent letter to the editor, he is changing the road access to benefit the community. But a mate who works out there says the new traffic arrangements will be a “dog’s breakfast” for the public and are part of a bigger plan he isn’t telling the public about right now.
    Gill’s also not saying how much the government is contributing, thanks to a funding application from his pal and fellow TEL board member Mayor Mullet, towards the new road access.
    Stay tuned for more positive Townsville Airport spin in the Astonisher and don’t bother sending any negative letters or txts to the editor. They won’t be printed.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Ahh good old Numbskull Gill, buoyed by the fact that passenger numbers at TAPL have returned to 2011 levels, apparently success amongst the worthless dickheads running around down TEL way is to return your business back up to a level where it was 9 years ago, no wonder we are in the shit we are.

      • The Magpie says:

        Look, The ‘Pie feels he must say that he doesn’t think Gill or his gougers from down south really have that much to do with the numbers that use the airport – for chrissake, it’s a monopoly, and in that, can’t really be held accountable for many or any of the economic woes of Townsville. Don’t hear of anty stampede of people driving to Cairns or Mackay to catch internal flights.
        BUT what Gill can be held accountable for is his role as chairman of TEL and his complicity with all the wildly skewed claims of competency and achievement by this hopeless and hapless Hermit Kingdom. Add to that his attempt to impose a ticket tax purely to benefit his company, from which flowed the infamous Qantas boycott call from his fellow TEL deputy chair board member, Mayor Jenny Hill, his economically disastrous plans to turn the airport into a mini-shopping mall … disastrous for whoever is stupid enough to take out a grossly inflated lease if it ever comes to pass, and the anger at the ‘taxi tax’ imposed on cabs operating from the airport … regularly resulting in long, weary and pissed off luggage laden queues of arrivals because many taxis simply avoid the place.

        Perhaps no one agrees with The ‘Pie, but he feels strongly that somehow, the council should buy the airport, and run it for the benefit of Townsville, and not an uncaring Gold Coast company.

        • tenacious D says:

          Was the airport ever owned by council before?

          • The Magpie says:

            Dunno. Anyone?

          • Inside TCC says:

            Geez Magpie, council can’t even run council they have no chance of running an airport. After they “restructure” the workforce if the planes get off the ground you know they have next to no chance of getting back down in one piece

          • The Magpie says:

            There is a world of difference between OWNING and RUNNING, but if you insist, just to be clear, THIS council couldn’t run the airport. Surely you don’t think for a minute that we’d want Mayor Mullet and her Melbourne crew getting their hands on it… probably through that ‘development corporation’. Keep watching that entity closely.

          • Alex DeLarge says:

            Up until about ten years ago, the Mackay airport was run by their Port Authority. Generally. it was done in an irritatingly incompetent manner. The ground staff were arrogant, work-shy shovel-leaners who simply did not give a stuff. The Qantaslink contract staff were worse than useless – it was common to board the plane and find someone sitting in the seat you had been allocated. There then would be 15 minutes of confused muttering and blank stares until it was decided that one of the passengers could take the empty seat beside the double-booked one. And the old lounge…

            Please don’t wish that upon us.

            Mackay Airport has improved since it was taken over by NQA, but still can be frustratingly provincial in attitude at times.

          • The Magpie says:

            Now that’s just plain silly, and it’s eristic (to save you the trouble, eristic is a statement aimed at winning the argument but not necessarily finding or being the truth – close to ‘sophistry’). The ‘Pie’s suggestion that council buy the Townsville airport – which will never happen, (QAL know a bunch of suckers when they see them) is clearly predicated on the city having an efficient, community focussed council with a responsible executive hiring policy (not jobs for the Labor or LNP boys), to find the right person with the required intelligence and team-leading ability.

            Well, an old bird can dream, can’t he?

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Not for me thanks, couldn’t imagine the Mullet getting another avenue to right royally root this city. The real issue with TAPL is that it’s owned by QAL, one pissy small business being owned by another pissy slightly larger business, QAL sits at about $130 million a year, it’s a small time player in the market, so it’s a market taker, not a market maker, it doesn’t have the market share to to generate the volume and revenue to expand.
          A larger player in the market could easily drop the $40 million into the Townsville terminal upgrade without effecting the balance sheet in any substantial manner, but to spend $40 milllion on your second tier asset out of $130 million of total revenue won’t happen, it’s why they tried the levy bullshit and hoped it would get up, but because they are a pissy player in the market with no volume and subsequently no leverage, Qantas told them to get rooted and now they are stuffed.
          If TAPL was owned by one of the large airport owners they would have access to a level of consideration with airlines they currently don’t, so if anything I would like to see QAL sell TAPL to one of the main airport operators and leverage a better position for itself, unfortunately though I can’t see it happening.

  25. Old tradesman says:

    Just wondering, is Jenny going to lift the water restrictions? I’ve got Mullet in my back yard.

    • The Magpie says:

      Doubt it … the push will now come to tell us … and possibly quite rightly … that we have to start thinking differently about our entitlement to water. There perhaps should be permanent restrictions on watering and the like, part of living in this part of the world, pipeline or no pipeline … but it would or will be super tricky for Mayor Mullet sell this one in an election year and with her trademark jackboot style of PR edicts from on high – and the first prerequisite for any such campaign is adopt a water charge regime that does not have us paying for an entitlement we can’t use. That’s legalised thievery.

      • Déjà vu says:

        Are you suggesting perhaps a user pays water charging system? With four bills per year so users could monitor their water use. Perhaps tiered to discourage high water users from using large amounts.. thereby putting large families and those unable to afford water saving appliances in financial hardship.
        With large discounts given to developers, and rebates given to every whinging business in town, so the ratepayer has to pay a higher $ per kL.
        This really isn’t going where I thought it would… sounded like a good idea at the time

        • The Magpie says:

          Good lord, as they used to say when someone didn’t understand, get orf the table, Mabel, the money’s for the beer. Financial hardship? You jest … an over-statement of a situation in reinforce a poorly thought out scenario.

      • Scotty says:

        There is no water crisis!

      • Dutch Reverend says:

        I’m quite happy with watering twice a week for 2 hours at a time. The yard looks good and it gets a deeper soaking which is better for the yard anyway.

        • Dave of Kelso says:


          That is fine for small blocks of dirt with ornamental gardens.

          It is not enough for those with a proper back yard with a range of mature native trees and shrubs. This I know first hand.

          You are right about the value of a deep soak. Big trees need it.

          • The Magpie says:

            Well, Dave, what sort of time do you reckon you need for watering? Know it sounds funny to say on a day like today, but I reckon the days of unlimited water are gone, notwithstanding the imminent pipeline (and what it will cost you) so maybe in future, people will have to consider what they put in their gardens. But there has to be a cost balance in all this. And this won’t just apply to Townsville … other cities have or will have similar decisions to make … Coffs Harbour in n SW on our scale, and Sydney is facing its own water tipping point.

            This is not some Green-inspired didactic dribble, The ‘Pie has said in this space before that given the changes going on globally, wars – real, actual wars – will be fought in part over two things in the future – water, and the right to unlimited numbers of children. The two matters are closely linked.

  26. Billy Boy says:

    Get rid of some of the college managers at JCU. Most of them are now too long in the tooth and would never get a job elsewhere. They should be interviewed EVERY YEAR and explain what they have done for their college – if they haven’t done anything – boot them out! What contribution have they made? Have any of them come up with an idea how to improve the place? And then interview the staff who work under them – now you will see a different picture.

  27. Old tradesman says:

    Jenny said, we have the sandbags at the Dalrymple Road new disaster depot, but bring your own shovels. Don’t they have a sand bag filling machine?

  28. Willy wonka says:

    Am I being to picky about what was said in the bulletin yesterday regarding the report of the poor man found in the Ross river. It was said that “a 50yr old man was not identified” if he not identified then how did they know his age? I’m asking because even though I sound like I’m having a go at the paper is it common to write it like that in respect to the family before more information is published or are they just stupid?just seemed confusing when I read the article.

  29. Wily Wombat says:

    Well, well, well me little droogies. It looks like our Mayor has won her long game in regards to the water crisis. With the dam about to go over, along with the new pipeline being built, water security has been secured for the foreseeable future.
    Water restrictions will ceased and the gnashing of teeth from the R.W.N.J. on here will have to move on to another whinge fest.
    The majority of voters will forget about this issue and I have no doubt the Mayor Hill will be elected again.
    Mind you, a dam up on Hells Gate to gravity feed Townsville would be lovely.

    • Alahazbin says:

      Well! WW. We already have a dam built. All it needs is another 14.5M and gravity feed to Townsville. But there is no political will to grant $1.2 billion for the project.
      Cross a River Rail is more important.

  30. seagull says:

    they knew this was commin ….. over the past 6 weeks or so we have had multiple ant incursions into the house & a huge shoebox size wasp nest built under an eave …. took 2 days to get rid of the wasps … using the garden hose … they ended up relocating next door … oops !

  31. Whykickamoocow says:

    I wonder how the neglected Yabulu refinery is going in the flood conditions… and those tailings ponds that are surely overflowing by now .

    • No More Dredging says:

      On top of several hundred millimetres earlier in the week that area has had 200-300mm just since 9am today. 303mm at Upper Bluewater. Will GBRMPA or Queensland Dept of Environment gumboots be on site checking the outfalls and sampling in the mangroves? Yeah, right. As if they really want to know. No, they’ll wait for Clive (one or the distant other) to fill out an audit form later in the year or even next year. No one will be reporting on the condition or future prospects of the Yabulu nickel treatment plant because there is none. It’s a state government asset now. Way less than worthless except as a political plaything for Clive and Annastacia to threaten each other with – and ultimately do nothing.

      • The Magpie says:

        Anybody up that way got a camera?

        • Grumpy says:

          I’ll be flying over it on Friday. If I can, I’ll try and get a shot.

          • Wily Wombat says:

            Are you one of those drones I hear about? It would explain everything.

          • Grumpy says:

            Oh, FCBO, you crack us all up.

            If by “drone”, you mean a tech-savvy, useful modern addition to society – why, thank you.

            If you mean “a mindless unqualified worker with no ambition and content to rely upon society to provide all of its needs” – sorry, I resigned from the Labor party in 1989.

          • The Magpie says:

            Response Of The Week!!!!

            Drones of the first definition are also nosey, looking into things other try to hide.

  32. Dave of Kelso says:

    From the BOM RR Dam at2.34 pm water .26m above the spill way and rising.

  33. The Magpie says:

    Thanks, Dave.

    • Scotty says:

      The Emergency Action Plan for Ross River Dam is public and available at http://data.dnrm.qld.gov.au/eap/ross-river-eap.pdf

      The gates should be fully open by now

      • No More Dredging says:

        Scotty, Thanks for the link to the EAP. There’s lots of interesting detail there. I gather that there is still ‘management’ of the release from RR dam. So this morning the release has been paused in the run up to high tide (3.4m at 8.30am) so as not to burden those flooded suburbs any more than is absolutely necessary. Of course it’s a real shame that a serious dump of rainfall started in the early hours over the whole city and catchment adding to everyone’s woes. At least the RR dam has floodgates. The Burdekin Dam is now 2.1m over the open spillway and dumping 248,000ML/day – a staggering amount of water.

        • Non Aligned Worker says:

          Scott and NMD, Where can I find the Dam Storage EL’s?
          Can only find % full on the TCC Website.
          Note that on the latest ABC news they are predicting Aplins Wier to hit 2.9m

          • Scotty says:

            NAW, in the BOM site, look for Ross River at the dam wall

          • No More Dredging says:

            NAW, for Burdekin Dam go to “Sunwater” then click on “Storage levels” or similar in the bar along the top.
            I don’t know how to get the info for RR dam.

          • No More Dredging says:

            Sorry NAW, when you click on ‘Storage levels’ you get to a map of Queensland with the various Sunwater dams etc. Click on the little triangle for Burdekin Dam and you’ll be in. Unfortunately the graphical display for the RR dam is a different format from the Sunwater ones and less easy to pull info from.

          • Non Aligned Worker says:

            Thanks JP Scotty and NMD I was trying to align the levels stated in the RR eap and was stuck.
            Looks like we are in Alert Stand up 3 per section 5.2.1 of the eap.
            Gates to be opened at EL 43.0. I will watch the levels with interest.

  34. Dutch Reverend says:

    Saw on the news that residents at Alambie Ln had been cut off and have been demanding a bridge for the past 10 years. All quiet on the western front….not a peep out of Mochacino but a statement from the council is that they have a concept plan. Seems to me the translation to that is, they don’t give a shit and they have no plans at all. Harpic was very quick to release a statement that it is a council road and therefore is their responsibility. However, he was very quick to claim glory for the future opening of the IMC Stake House. How did that come under State Government responsibility.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      IMC steakhouse, been there once, what a shocker, had to get up and order your own drinks from the bar, order food at a counter, apart from cooking the fucking meat you have to do everything else yourself, sounds like too much work for Harper.

    • Grumpy says:

      Dutch, Soy Boy wouldn’t even know where Alambie Lane is.

    • Dave Sth says:

      Deeragun Dve/Geaneys Lne intersection has multiple traffic accidents a week now due to Geon’s little shop development changing the traffic flow & the council won’t build a roundabout there. Don’t think Allambie Lne has a hope unfortunately…

  35. J jones says:

    Wowsers what a downpour

  36. Miss Lou says:

    News I trust.
    Opinions I can’t ignore.


    Mid Lou

  37. Dave of Kelso says:

    It seems to ‘reporter’ Clare Armstrong that the opening of the RR Dam spill way radial gate is an ‘emergency procedure regardless of being reassured by the Mullet and Sun Water that it in normal management practice.

    Seems she just had to jazz-up the piece with that word ‘emergency’.


  38. seagull says:

    from the astonisher ….

    “BIG WET A set of units in Townsville City is at serious risk of collapse after its retaining walls and foundations sunk as monsoonal rain continues to dump flooding rain across North Queensland”

    TCC or more probably their contractors only recently removed a very large tree from that same area of collapse … while replacing the h2o main through the Stanley st cutting …. mmm …. sure as eggs someone’s gunna pay up for this

    • "Waste" OFTAM says:

      Yes not far from the sinkhole in hale street. Also not far from the repaired sinkhole that was found by accident when the city upgrades were on early last year. I mentioned if maybe some of thy he big units may be affected. How will the mayor pay for all this. We will.not receive disaster relief money for a long time and repairs need to be completed before applying. Wheres the money coming from?

      • The Magpie says:

        Now about that sink hole WOFTAM. When you sent in the comment yesterday. The ‘Pie took a drive along Hale Street – there’s only two blocks of it … and there wasn’t a sign of any sinkhole, any disruption or any power lines down. That’s why the comment was taken down byesterday. So where do you reckon this sink hole actually is … is Hale St longer than from Stanley Street to the top of hill overlooking The Strand?

        • "Waste" OFTAM says:

          39 hale st caused by burst water main. Been told to keep clear of the area until futher notice. The Facebook post that declared it has also either been taken down from tcc page and win news page. If you take a look at Google maps you will find it 3 properties downhill to this landslide. Coincidence that 2 days later after I said people should be worried about units collapsing about this.

          • The Magpie says:

            OK happy to take your word for it, but am just saying driving along Hale St yesterday, there was nothing to indicate a sink-hole, and no landslide that was apparent. And no indication of power sources disrupted.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      From the photos the retaining wall at question is a joke. It can’t have been reviewed and passed for construction by council.

  39. Pat Coleman says:

    I have heard.nothing from ch7 local on the state of the SUN METALS and YABULU Tailings dams . I told them to check last week.

    Pull you sicks up JOSH !

    Anyone can search the sat pics if the dams right on the water.

  40. Cantankerous but happy says:

    The Astonisher behind the times again, “ Townsville declared a disaster” , finally someone at the paper has woken up, because it’s actually been a disaster since April 2016 when the Mullet got control of the TCC and right royally screwed the place, other than that we are having a monsoonal rain event, it happens when you live in the tropics.

  41. Bob the welder says:

    Yesterday a lot of us council workers started getting concerns about the weather and the conditions on the roads due to very heavy rains. Around mid morning we discussed heading home to avoid getting trapped by rising water at front of Webb Drive. Brand new intersection is under about half meter on low side. Only one drain to take water. We had already had a couple of trucks arrive from weather issues. ( garbage trucks ) they to were asking why we are still out there. The management on our side as well as across the road at waste services said they were waiting to hear from our fantastic useless team at disaster management to make the call. We left because we felt unsafe. The waste mob didn’t make there call until 1230pm. My gripe is that by that time knowing full well what happened the day before nobody cared how they were going to get home, pick up kids, or even be able to get out of the street.

    Nobody was prepared to help we felt as if work was more important. We made several attempts to tell management that police and emergency services were asking people to stay home get out of our way. It wasn’t until another garbage truck was brought in on the back of a semi broken down because of water issues. Streets were completely flooded and they still had to attempt to collect bins. That was when we left. At present there is around 2 million dollars of garbage trucks broken at Webb Drive mechanic shop. Due to the weather. This is not a union issue or we are scared of getting wet. Some workers left earlier just to get kids because they didn’t want there wives driving when the schools eventually closed. A lot of us are really fucking angry it took so long to make the call. We don’t need the mayor’s approval. We didn’t when cyclone Yasi was coming. Ray Burton called the whole council in at 7.30am across the city. That was true leadership. Hate to hear someone had an accident and they could have avoided it by leaving early. Thanks for letting us tell our stories hear but sometimes it really makes us feel that they couldn’t give a fuck about the workers. It’s all about votes. Also to the public there are a lot of people going out today to try help no matter what the weather, please know we are trying to do our job.

  42. Old tradesman says:

    I see the mayor is promoting her $10m water saving package this morning.

  43. Bob the welder says:

    Like to give you an update as I get to work. Not sure how long we will be here. Just found there are 2 more trucks picking up bins now with mechanical failure. 3 drivers have text me asking if we are working. A truck was left overnight at jaberu park Kelso because the wipers stopped. We had gone home. Nobody should be out in this weather. The drivers have been told that they need to pick the bins up or they will be to far behind. Dose every ratepayer think it’s more important to get their bin empty today???? Look at the cost already.

  44. Cantankerous but happy says:

    That emergency management dashboard is working a treat, Ross River went over at 7 this morning flooding dwellings in Hermit Park, Railway Estate and Oonoonba, not a word on the dashboard, no information about the volume of water being released from the Ross Dam and how it will effect residents as the tides change and what heights the river will get too, looks like they spent a lot of money on a big new building for them all to sit in and fuck all on anything else.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Update, this is gold, 10.54, people I know with a metre of water in their house from the Ross River just received a flood warning from TCC about imminent flooding, my mate has a great sense of humour and just simply replied, Thanks.

      • The Magpie says:

        Any chance of a screen shot or some visual? There’s going to be a few questions asked about council’s disaster management performance when this nis all done and dusted.

        BTW, wha did the .54 of a person you know think of all this?

        • No More Dredging says:

          I note that the Premier is backing the Mayor (on radio) on the management of the controlled release of floodwater from the Ross River dam. Fortunately, elected councillors are not in charge of the levers. At 12 noon the dam was at “180%” which appears to be the highest level attained in the ten years of records since 2009. If the fast inflows continue and the levels increase to the maximum engineered allowance (whatever that is) I guess the floodgates will really and truly be opened and we’ll be in the lap of the gods. The tides aren’t all that friendly at the moment either – around 3.4m on the next three mornings. This will be a testing time for the dam managers and something of a nightmare for thousands of households on the floodplain.

          • The Magpie says:

            That’s scary given the track record of George Street in releasing dam waters. But even more scary is the question no one is asking at the moment is whether the dam wall is fully secure … there were some highly secretive remediation works done a decade or so ago, believed to be based on engineering reports that the Ross River Dam wall was at risk of a major failing in a severe weather event (as we now call heavy rain), the work greatly downplayed by professional media consultants at the time. One of those consultants, a close personal friend of The Magpie who was part of the media management team, refused to discuss the matter, at one time becoming so exasperated with yet again being asked about it by The ‘Pie, said he was bound to secrecy on the issue. But anecdotal bits and pieces of believable information over the years suggested the work – whatever why and what it actually was – was successfully completed, but if the situation was as reported, it was a massive gamble with human life. The reason for the relative secrecy and spin at the time was – as always in this venal city – economic and political – to avoid panic selling of real estate on the massive flood plane below the dam, political face-saving by the council of the time, and the negative publicity the engineering assessment would give to what was then a booming Townsville (ah, memories, memories).

          • Kingswood says:

            And they wonder why Qldrs were built on 6 ft stumps….wouldn’t live on a slab for quids…

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            It’s Brisbane floods Mk2 , a region coming off a long dry spell with water restrictions and massive amounts of water infrastructure being spent, suddenly it pisses down and instead of looking ahead and heeding BOM forecasts and dumping water early, for fear of criticism in case it doesn’t rain, the council do nothing, and the results will be telling, and very costly for many. Have a photo of the flooded Hermit PK at 07.30 and a screen shot of the 10.54 warning text Pie.

          • The Magpie says:

            Can you send the pic and text over via FB messenger?

          • The Magpie says:

            And look, let’s be honest here, it would be a bit of an ask for anyone let alone a mayor battling for another term, to dump precious water even on the generally reliable say so of the BOM. And come to that, does the mayor have the final call – or any call at all – on all things disaster(apart from budgets and airstrip finances)?

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Not on FB but I will see if I will try and find someone who is and get it sent, and I agree, unless some other info comes to light we can’t blame the Mullet alone for this one, I would expect a collective decision, but who is supplying the advice, years ago the dam was managed by the state Govt, they would advise on releases, now it’s owned by the council who is ultimately responsible for the sort of thing, I would presume the director of Townsville Water, he is probably spending his afternoon on Seek, that is if he survives being thrown under the bus.

          • No More Dredging says:

            According to the North Queensland Register the floodgates on the Ross River dam (or at least one of them in the photo) were opened at 1.30pm on Wednesday, 30 January. That would have been pretty shortly after the level rose above the spillway.

        • Grumpy says:

          Ask that Tosser Alan Jones. He seems to be an expert on floods and culprits. Or not.

      • Hee-Haw says:

        Gotta love this council. Saw this posted on twitter earlier today and although I dont need any sandbags I thought I would do my bit and head out to help people filling bags if they need it.

        Townsville City Council have free sandbags at the following sites:

        Cnr Bentley & Nome Rd
        Cnr Mt Low Parkway and Bruce Hwy
        Dalrymple Road Depot Car Park
        Cranbrook Depot Car Park
        Wulguru Community Centre
        SES Magnetic Island
        Bicentennial Park Car Park
        Leichardt St Carpark
        PCYC Rassmussen
        Lou Litster Park
        Pallarenda Boat Ramp
        Cnr Pilkington St & Bolam St
        Oonoonba Community Centre
        Bushland Beach Boat Ramp

        So off I went to Bushland Beach Boat ramp to help ONLY there was no sand or sandbags or any sign of them so headed to Mount Low Parkway where there was sand and bags but no shovels. Never the less helped fill and load a couple of hundred bags for anyone who happened to come along.

        On guy from Bluewater twice as there was no bags at Bluewater.

        Disaster Management or Management Disaster?

        • Dave Sth says:

          Before Christmas Mrs & I filled 45 sandbags at Mt Low in the old Ring Road Laydown area. Only reason I had sandbags is because I went in the day before & grabbed them not long after delivery. I only took what I needed with no 10% fudge factor that is normally applied to this sort of exercise due to the fact they had next to no sand bags there… Plenty of sand though…

  45. Polly Waffle says:

    Say, does anybody know who is the tough-looking blonde frau in the menacing black uniform and who stands behind Anna Alphabet during her disaster press opportunities ?

    Poor Anna. Even when discussing serious shit like a natural disaster, her scared-rabbit eyes and her timid and halting delivery makes her look and like a fourth former caught outside the boys’ dorm at midnight.

  46. Dave of Kelso says:

    Dear ‘Pie,

    Just returned from the RR Dam spill way. Lots of traffic on the road there, all heading for the dam. Traffic chaos with many cars parked well out side the park. Hundreds of people and a most festive atmosphere, especially among the many children and teenagers. Everyone drenched to the bone of course.

    Quiet a sight with probably more water being released that in Feb 2007. Don’t recall any evacuations then.

    There is a pile of sandbag sand on the edge of the road near the loop. With the traffic and parking such as it is nobody will be able to park near it to fill bags.

    I expect the procession to the dam wall will continue throughout the weekend, and why not.

    Prior to the radial gates being installed it was common to see tortoises climbing up the wall to access the dam, and when water was going over the old spill way, eels, scores of eels would be washed over it. I wonder how the eels now fair being shot through the radial gates?

  47. The Magpie says:

    There are certainly some questions going to be asked about the council’s disaster management methods after this is all over. An instance …

    Past tense? That’s no warning … surely these disaster folks have got their shit together sufficiently to give such a warning BEFORE the gates are opened wider … name a time for instance. One gets the jittery feeling that the whole thing is being winged without any prudent action on reliable projections … should one suspect that even in this situation, there are those who want to avoid any political fallout from an already touchy mayor and council. In the end, it will be down to the resigned resilience of the local residents to cope as best they can … especially when that council tweet basically says ‘we’ve taken an action that we’re going to purposely flood you, for the greater good.’

    Something really is wrong here.

    • Mike Douglas says:

      Pie, there are areas of Townsville being flooded that havnt flooded for years and had remedial work to supposedly fix them . Based on the fact that under the previous T.C.C . Ceo the Impailer , they couldn’t even get dog licence renewals out . With the major redundancies and the loss of experienced Council people how confident are we that T.C.C.,s maintenance programs were up to date on drainage and not cut back ?.

  48. The Magpie says:

    One bright note in all this … maybe all that ugly weed infestation on the river which the council doggedly refused to do anything about will be dispelled by nature.

    • Achilles says:

      IF and that’s a big IF that damn weed is flushed out to sea, where it can became organic fertilizer for the sea grass, But If it ends up over the flood plains then as the water recedes you can expect the mozzies and sand flies to move in and proliferate to plague proportions.

      In one clip I saw on the news of a family wading down a street in the `burbs they were having to push their way through masses of these bloody weeds.

      So when the swarms of nasties proliferate, maybe asleep at the wheel mayor Mullet can explain why TCC had not cleared this infestation months ago.

      • The Magpie says:

        That is a question for later, and in fairness, at least the mayor is trying to do something and is reportedly ‘on duty’ for long hours … she’s had to make some hard decisions, we can only hope they were the right and informed ones … the post mortem comes when we’re through this.

        • Alahazbin says:

          I am sick of these ‘work experience’ journalist asking the same question and trying to trick up people who are trying to advise us of the current situation. Do your job and stop sensationalising.

  49. The Magpie says:

    Cold comfort perhaps, but just to remind you that what’s happening here isn’t by any means God’s biggest joke on humanity.

    She is of course right if we accept that God invented ebola, cancer, earthquakes, tsunamis and Clive Palmer.

    • Parson Blossomnose says:

      Let’s hope God calls him in for an update soon.

    • Tropical says:

      American states legislating like crazy to kill babies up to and immediately after birth, Which is the democratic party platform.
      The result is you Pie getting your knickers in a twist because Sanders trolls the media via the Christian Broadcasting Network.
      Do you know that Trump Derangement Syndrome can be cured?

  50. Woodduck says:

    Thoughts are with all those affected by the floods at the moment, hang in there, you got this

  51. J.B says:

    footage copied from the guardian. probably the best newspaper imho.

  52. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    WHY WHY WHY does the media continue to show footage or photos of kids playing in flooded streets? Just watched 7 QLD news and they finished their lead story on the Townsville floods with footage and comments on how the kids are having fun playing in the flooded streets. The Bulletin also have photo galleries of kids playing in the water on their online page.

    For God’s sake the sewers are overflowing and you don’t know what types of debris and critters like snakes are being flushed out of drains and the river.

    QFRS and Police are constantly trying to get the message out about the dangers of playing in flood waters…..they must be tearing their hair out at the mixed message coming from the media.

  53. Tangerine says:

    I ran into a guy at a meeting who knows these things …. Council uses a 5yo flood management application called tardis. It’s old software. Does a bit of a job but like old software has big limitations. Unsupported. There is an upgraded new product available which is a truck load better. Council has not upgraded for some reason. Maybe because they thought it wouldn’t rain again?
    When lives and property are in the firing line, these decision have consequences.

  54. Kirwan kid says:

    Council has never owned the airport although TCC and the previous Thuringowa City Council did put in a bid to buy it when it was put up for private purchase some 15 or so years ago
    The successful bidder at that time on sold to TAPL some time later at a massive profit

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