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The Magpie

Sunday, May 17th, 2020   |   227 comments

It’s No Rumour, The Bulletin Is On Rupert’s Auction Block

A new owner for the Townsville Bulletin now seems inevitable, as the Holt Street counting house goes all postal over massive losses? But The Magpie cautions t be careful what you pray for, your prayers may be answered. He warns that a change of ownership might be filed under, Frying Pan, Fire Into, Dept of:.

Getting the message across not: a couple of wonderful misadventures in print caused by corona virus.

The Humphrey Appleby Courageous Award goes to the new restaurant opening next week in Townsville. An all too familiar story is about to unfold.

And how long before an ineffectual Deb Frecklington faces a leadership challenge … many of her colleagues are soiling their dainties at her lackluster performance in such a target rich environment, a performance that is feared to be giving Anna Alphabet a fighting chance in October.

Plus the Tangerine Terrorist really is starting to disintegrate….

But first …

The Great Wail Of China

Holy chopsticks, Batman! What a bunch of snowfrakes.

It would seem that when it comes to humility, there is a …err … chink or two in China’s diplomatic armoury. The past week has put to rest the myth of the Inscrutable Oriental, who now appears to have morphed in the Irascible Oriental, first threatening to withdraw the current permissions for tens of thousands of their tourists to visit us and a similar number to come here to study at our universities. Rest assured, although the politburo suggested tourists and students ‘might decide’ not to go to Australia, it is totalitarian Beijing doing the deciding, which is a dangerous ploy given the exploding growth of a cashed-up very capitalistic Chinese middle class.

What next, a refusal to make the military uniforms for our defence forces, currently made in China? They wouldn’t dare!!!

No, ‘next’ turned out to be first a totally unwarranted 80% import duty on Australian barley, closely followed by a big bite out of beef imports from Australia, banning products from three major meat works. While the meat producers say that it is ‘concerning’, experts say it’s a technical matter which will be quickly corrected.  But it isn’t just farmers and economists that are anxious, as Bentley has discovered.

Bats flat small 

It’s Been A Bizarre Week For The Bulletin

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It’s said nothing concentrates the mind like being hanged in the morning. Or in the case of the Astonisher, being sold in a ‘frying pan into the fire deal’. It is now secret that if the right deal can struck, the Townsville Bulletin is on thebarrelhead to the right buyer …. i.e. any buyer.

Antont CatalanoUnknown

Antony Catalano

The first cab of the rank was one Antony Catalano, but that quickly ran out of steam, at least for the moment. And that’s a good thing for Townsville, because if you think Rupert is an unconscionable community gouger, Antony Catalano, mega property spiv, never a real journo (even Rupert was good one in his early days) is an aggressive single-minded player in the real estate advertising. But then, maybe that’s a bit unfair, it is quite possible that Rupert insisted the deal include the Astonisher, and Catalano walked away from a horse that has already been flogged to death.

However, perhaps this threat of wholesale changes that saw the Astonisher gave up all pretence of being a NEWSpaper on Thursday, when the iditor meekly surrendered to the advertising manager, with this unique front page.

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Just in case your confused, that issue of the Astonisher front page is 80% devoted to an ad.

Oh, well, you say philosophically, that’s just the Bully, we’ll turn over to page 2 page and get some ‘news’. But no, pages 2 and 3 – traditionally regarded as the most valuable real estate in the entire publication, where the most important stories are placed, – have also been purloined by the advertising department.

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Bugger, you think, oh, well, another turn should get us to some news. But, whoops, you old silly, wrong again …

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 Now we all are familiar with the paper’s regular wrestles with ‘rithmetic, but how page 5 becomes page 3 is just another of the small math mysteries we are treated to so regularly.

But a slight alteration to the front page would at least be honest …. delete the words ‘pregnant woman’ and insert ‘readers’.

News Ltd cynicism at its shining best.

And It’s Not Called News Corpse For Nothing

But the Bulletin Bizzar-o-meter went up a notch when they came out with this click-bait subscription come-on, something The ‘Pie has never seen here or overseas in five decades in the game.

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Certainly there may be a measure of grim satisfaction among the older folks (‘ Ah ha, another bastard I outlasted’) the wonderfully whacky and panicked aspect of this unique come-on was the use of the word ‘browse’, as in ‘for your reading pleasure’

But The Best Cock Up Of The Week Wasn’t In The Bulletin

And it was a literal one. Or was it actually accidental, or a bit of hanky panky by the famous humorists of London’s Telegraph? At first it appeared that the much loved singer enjoyed …ummm … much loving during the lockdown. But alas, no …

Paige cockScreen Shot 2020-05-12 at 1.04.15 pm

…rather than cock parties in her room?

Then there was this … pubic

Other headlines elsewhere raised an eyebrow, possibly deliberately, like this unfortunate effort in the New Daily.

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Ve ‘Ave Vays of Making You Vash Your Handees

But it was no error from the no nonsense Germans. At least in Germany, COVID instructions had a typically Teutonic frankness that made the message unforgettable – unfortunately.

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And give people time on their hands, and cyber space was full of this sort of stuff.


Steven Miles Still Doing The Political Hokey Pokey

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Led by the newly minted Deputy Premier, George Street has continued to dance the political hokey pokey.

‘You put one idea in,

Then you pull it out,

You put a new rule in,

Then you pull it out,

You do the hokey pokey

Then you turn it all around,

That’s what it’s all about …we think.’

With a trembling bottom lip and appearing to be just one blink away from a lil’ bitty tear letting him down, Miles hesitant, stuttering delivery of new ‘easing’ rules hardly inspired confidence, being so cruelly and needlessly ruinous to large chunks of the state – Townsville included. Decisive it was not, and only added to the sometimes addled handling of an admittedly unique crisis which came with no playbook from any previous event.

done carefully and with solid reasoning and clever targeting, this whole thing could be political gold for the LNP, especially with the added bonus of the Fall of the (investment) House of Trad

But no …

Come The Moment, Comes The Mimsy

Deb frecklingtonUnknown

If ever that wonderful word ‘mimsy’, invented by Lewis Carroll in the epic Jabberwocky, applied to a politician, it would have to be to Deborah Kay Frecklington.

‘mimsy’ – prim, underwhelming, and ineffectual” Carroll manufactured this portmanteau word from from the words ‘miserable’ and ‘flimsy’.

Through all these past few months, watching The Freckle ignoring the political mileage (pun intended) on offer was like watching someone offered a free collection tour of a gold mine but failing to pick up the smallest bauble. Her occasional forays into the wrestlemania of Queensland politics have been pathetic Especially when considered next to the far more biting and effective attacks by the hatchet-faced Jarrod Bleijie, silky-smooth stiletto specialist David Crisafulli and even the protofascist (well, he was an NRL referee) Tim Mander.

Since her election to parliament in 2012, The Freckle has occasionally displayed an underlying cattiness (the Premiers New Clothes, remember?) of the sort often on display at Ladies Who Lunch occasions, when they invariably degenerate into Ladies Who Lurch. But cattiness wins no political votes, and now, an LNP insider claims that the party Poobahs and Frecklington’s parliamentary colleagues are starting to rapidly discount her leadership stock.

They know that if Anna Alphabet can spin some gold thread from a possible economic bounce back by October, the famous voting amnesiacs of Queensland might just let her back in. The ’Pie’s Brisbane contact (and no, smartarses, it isn’t The Kid, he’s not that dumb) is certainly well placed but not beyond hyperbole. So make what you will of this breathless rasping down the MagpieFone during the week. “Frecklington is tanking. Sitting MPs and candidates have started calling each other, all saying while they think she is ‘nice’ she is terminal, and slowly bleeding out.

LNP regional candidates in the north are crying out for a leader to shape up or ship out. One candidate in a regional electorate is considering withdrawing as a candidate because they don’t have the confidence that Frecklington has the leadership ability to get them across the line. That candidate had to be talked out of resigning their endorsement. The wheels are falling off the Freckle’s leadership very quickly now, and she is the only person who doesn’t know it.

When The ‘Pie asked just who was the wobbly candidate, our Deep(ish) Throat went all coy, even hilariously suggesting that his principles would not allow him to reveal the name, but did offer that it’s not anyone in the Townsville area.

If all this is growing quickly enough for spill, they’d better get their skates on … the closer the election, the more voters eye with suspicion any leadership change.

A Quick Thought On A VERY Big Question.

At what point did flu jabs suddenly become a sticking point for playing footy? The ‘Pie may have missed it, but he can’t seem to make sense of the highly questionable ruling the ‘no prick, no play’ ruling, which on the face of it, could be legally challengeable.

This issue exemplifies the danger The Magpie has fretted over in this blog recently – using COVID-19 as a cover to introduce other measures that eat away at basic freedoms. And there is a the spurious introduction of some anti-vaxxer bashing (usually well deserved but irrelevant here except to reinforce a false argument).

Remembering that we have been constantly and tediously lectured that COVID-19 has absolutely nothing to do with not the ‘flu as we know it, the first thing to be asked is when did the NRL become so alarmed about influenza footy lunkheads are now being forced to have vaccine injections as a mandatory requirement to play oopsy-bumpy? Where is the justifying history of the horror mass depletion players ranks during the peak flu season, which just happens to coincide with the footy season? What was the sudden precedent, and what gave them ‘independent advice’ to go down the mandatory path?

Now, The Magpie has zero interests in whether footy players are in bed with the flu or with the coach’s missus – and not a great deal of interest what they do on the field either, for that matter, but the ruling has much wider implications for everyone. While there are so reasonable arguments about various immunisations for kindergarten kids with vulnerable new immune systems, adults are a very different matter.

Because here is that BIG question: if the NRL is allowed to force their employees – the staff as well as players presumably – to have a flu injection, what is to stop ALL businesses demanding the same requirement for employment? On the face of it, the legal argument that the NRL is allowed to make such a decree means other businesses can to. And just where might that precedent lead?

And thus another small ‘freedom of choice’ argument is out the door. And probably won’t be the last, with health regulations for instance used as an excuse to break up and disperse protesters. As desirable as that may be to some, it would be heading us in a direction that we do not want in this country.


They’d Have Better Prospects If They Called It The Wuhan Wet Market

Today, The ‘Pie introduces the Sir Humphrey Appleby Golden Goblet For Courage. Yes Minister’s arch schemer always describes as courageous any move guaranteed to be a disaster.

Our first winner is clear-cut.

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One sometimes has to wonder, really. And what The Magpie wonders about with this news is just what did the feasibility study say that suggested opening a restaurant is this financial climate, in an unfashionable part of town (under the Madison Plaza Hotel, cnr Flinders and Stanley) was within a galaxy of being a good idea?

And what possible reading of the local market would come up with the following:

A feature of the establishment is its bright purple door and Mr Stalker said the lack of shop signage was designed to intrigue.

“People need to use their imaginations before they come inside,” he said.

Well Mr Stalker, you sure have us intrigued, but perhaps not the manner in which you intended. What codswallop.

Add to that the death wish policies of a weird name that no one can relate to, no signage, deeply stupid assumptions about what sort of crap Townsville diners will accept (i.e. none) and we have the usual story … faux sophisticated Muppets from the other side of the hipster fence (in this case, Melbourne, Sydney and Germany) about to do their arses big time. Their only shield against complete disaster may be a deal with the Plaza Madison Hotel to provide room service and the get their breakfast trade.

But ever the market mis-reader, Mr Stalker also tells us:

“We are looking at Australian winemakers and we have a young and fun team and we want to celebrate the young winemakers of Australia,” he said.

Mate, it won’t be long before you’re gunna need a drink, with what is likely to quickly become a rapidly ageing and morose team.

Reader Comment Of The Week


Not surprisingly, the thought fart of the Queensland government buying Virgin Airlines or part thereof, attracted a typical ribald response from Nest readers, much of it unprintable. These included the reminder if the NT News headline ‘Darwin Route A First For Virgin.’

But easily the cleverest came in from regular contributor Old Tradesman, who said: If the Queensland Labor Government buys in, you can be sure it won’t be a virgin for very long.’

‘nuff said.

The Tangerine Terrorist Is Circling The Plug Hole

Time Magazine has pointed out before, making the Person of the Year cover indicates not approval but that the person has had the most effect, good or bad (or in this case, simply evil) affect on the world. So Trump was a shoo in, not that he’ll be too pleased with such ‘fake news’.


Much of the week was taken up with the childish trick of trying to distract attention with a vague barrage of innuendo and lies about the sins of predecessor Barrack Obama, predictably dubbed Obamagate. But the Weirdness-In-Chief constantly refused to say exactly what he was accusing Obama of, which made the onset of his dementia seem to be accelerating alarmingly.

Not that he didn’t get a lot of support from his predecessors, who afforded him the all the gravity he deserved.


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And finally ….

Last day on the job, one guesses.


That’s yer lot for this week, folks, but why not come up with your own comment of the week from the rich tapestry of daily news, fame awaits you – with about the same expectation of success as The Magpie has of your appreciative generosity of a donation to help keep the Magpie aloft. If you’ve been caught in a weak moment, the donate button is below.

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


  1. Mike Douglas says:

    Pie , must be state or national Newscorp deal with Harvey Norman As Sunday Mail front page masthead is the same as the Astonisher . Dick of the week goes to the third Qld treasurer in a week , Cameron Dick who looked like a dear caught in head lights when host Karl Stefanovic asked him on the Today show “ how much debt is Virgin in ? “ Blank look by Dick , “ how much is Virgins yearly operating costs “ blank look fumbling through notes . Stefanovic asked the question on viewers , Qlders minds “ if you are spending $200 mil on an airline shouldn’t you know these details ?” . In fairness to Dick , Qld unions want it , it’s not his money, Qld election in 5 mths so Labor needs the votes . On the local front Mayor Mullet mentioned relief for locals and business on rates , licences but no detail or commitments . We know the Mullet has set up a taskforce (another committee) but shouldn’t the Astonisher be pushing for details ? .

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Here’s a novel idea, why dont the people on the committee tell us the details. Do you think it would make any difference anyway, do you think the committee will be full of people who actually have a clue WTF is required and have the $$$ to make a difference, not likely. What is more likely is someone from the chamber, the Dudley’s, probably the poodle , some useless busted arse from the council like Molachino and a few of the other regular oxygen thieves from around town all taking happy snaps.

      • The Magpie says:

        Good God, man!!! Have you never heard of Commercial In Confidence, where secrets may be revealed if it was an open discussion?? Christ, mate, you want this mob to reveal that they are completely clueless?

      • She Ridge says:

        I’m thinking the new restaurant idea was the brainchild of The TCC COVID Recovery Task Farce. “The group, which included representatives from Townsville Enterprise, Townsville Hospital and Health Service, James Cook University and North Queensland Cowboys, were a “united voice” for business when dealing with higher levels of governments and investors.” From the Townsville Bulletin on 9 May.

        Everyone can rest easy knowing JCU and the Dudleys are on the job.

        • The Magpie says:

          But hang about a sec, isn’t the ‘united voice’ of Townsville for dealing with the higher level of governments and investors’ Townsville Enterprise? But now we have yet another gab-infested committee for this role. So it is logical – not that helps around here much – that one or other is redundant and financially wasteful.

  2. Strandboy says:

    Flu shot precedent … so what of the mandatory requirements in place for access to aged care homes, staff and contractors… no jab no job … precedent set by gov ?

    • The Magpie says:

      Shame you weren’t born Chinese, Featherless, you’d be a stand-out diplomat for them.

    • Traveller says:

      Yeah, fuck’em. Oh shit, the $700b injection from the Chinese 2009-2013 propped the region up. Don’t mention the stimulus, whatever you do, don’t mention the stimulus from China. Oh yeah, regional Australia has survived droughts and what-have-you this past decade because of ….. one guess …… a growing middle class in ….. China! Pity they use chopsticks and not knives and forks. Barbarians. If you want to live in a world of reclusive poverty, go for your life. Don’t fuck it for the rest of the country that just wants to get on with selling stuff to people around the world. And don’t give me the crap about becoming too dependant blah blah …. it’s the market, fuckwit, customers want and will pay, we sell. Works well usually until dickheads like you poke your head up.

      • Just Say'n says:

        I’ve read your very concise explanation of how the market works and your opinion of Cuz’s views.
        I’d agree with you entirely if the market was left to be just the market. My readings convince me that this isn’t the case at the moment. China is using the market to achieve a political goal in Australia. I reckon if we role over once we have no alternative but to keep rolling over whenever we are told.
        So in summary, I agree with Cuz – Fluck em!

      • Guy says:

        No doubt cooler heads prevailed in Australia when they decided to continue selling iron ore to pre war Japan despite ALL of the ominous warning signs.

  3. I remember says:

    The only decent Murdoch was Sir Keith who was instrumental in getting our men off the Gallipoli peninsular (although I haven’t forgiven him for trying to white-ant John Monash).

    Sir Keith also had the good sense to marry Elisabeth Greene (later Dame Elisabeth Joy Murdoch) who was also a great Australian.

    Sad to say that Rupert and the six kids weren’t cast in the same mould

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      No Remember, but he did get Jerry Hall! Not real sure how, but nonetheless he did.

      • The Magpie says:

        Ah, yes, old Jerry and the Pacemaker. Then there was the misadventure with the gold digging, scabrous Wendy Deng, which led to frosty relations with his mother, Dame Elisabeth, who called bullshit on Deng’s foray into the family (‘s’ not ‘z’, News ltd lore has it that one journo was once fired for making the error). Four marriages in all.

        Since we talk about Rupert so much on this blog, here is a very readable and instructional quick overview of Rupert’s career and personal life, which puts in perspective why he has never given a fuck about a backwater like Townsville. It may also give you a clue why Murdoch was The Magpie’s hero in the beginning and how that misplaced fandom soured as the greed grew.

        And in the broader picture, it is interesting to note the global effect Murdoch is having on the political lurch to the right, with son Lachlan as head of Fox News.


      • The Magpie says:

        Not sure how??? The ‘Pie can think of a few billion reasons how.

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          BUT, BUT, BUT, Pie. They married for love, they said so. Plus, old Rupie would have had to turn it on in the bedroom olympics to finally snare her, right………?

      • AIRLINE says:


  4. Paper cuts says:

    If you own the media you control the world. It’s no secret. Murdoch and his empire have swayed election outcomes in australia for 30 years, as well as the UK and the USA. Fuck him. The old corpse will drop off the perch one day soon, another nail in the coffin of manipulative, power wielding elitists. Rupert – the king of fake media.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Did he stand you up Paper? Them’s viscous fighting words!!

      • The Magpie says:

        viscous | ˈviskəs |
        having a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid; having a high viscosity: viscous lava.

        Hmmm, OK, maybe.

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          Ok Pie, Paper was VICIOUS – deliberately cruel or violent about poor old Rupee! :)

          • The Magpie says:

            Still reckon you might have been right the first time … only for all his sins, Rupert ain’t thick.

    • CEO of Crap says:

      The USA’s (secret un-named government covert top secret undetectable super spy ghost protocol agencies) interest in Facebook would suggest the new King has already been crowned. Julian Assange knows what I’m talking about. By the way I’m putting in a bid for the Townsville Bulletin. If they pay me $11m I’ll arrange demolition in 48 hours.

    • Bentley says:

      Imagine printing the money AND the newspapers! There would be no stopping you.

  5. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Not even a pandemic lockdown can prevent this bloke from rising to the occasion.

    Perhaps the Astonisher might run with this for their next “Best of Townsville” fluffery: “Townsville’s Best Inseminator”…..


  6. Arthur Itis says:

    The Townsville Bully up for sale….what a heaven sent opportunity for Clive poltically and business wise………and a nightmare for ovalord Jen.

  7. Cantankerous but happy says:

    I am a fan of the V8’s and enjoy going every year but without the guarantee of a crowd being allowed to attend, the event is a waste of time and a big interruption with no gain, they should ditch it until next year.

  8. The Magpie says:

    When it comes to statistics, everything is relevant and interpretation often raises unanswered questions.

    This overview from the trustworthy Roy Morgan group says News Ltd has decided against selling its regional titles, but although it is quoting Holt Street, that doesn’t quite ring true … it simply means Rupert didn’t get his price, but that’s far from the end of it …. if someone comes up with the dollars, the regionals – including the Townsville Astonisher – will be gone from the News stable faster than a fart in a fan factory.

    And the statistics back up that analysis.

    Note the four-week readership for the Bulletin. Simple maths (do not try this, Bulletin folks) show that 129,000 over 4 weeks boils down to 6450 readers per weekday, which is nothing short of a disaster for a circulation area of 250,000 potential readers. But even more alarmingly for anybody eyeing off the business are the metrics of the now-secret circulation figures. If every reader bought one single paper, that makes for a print run of 6450 papers on presses designed to print more than 60,000 an hour. And if you insert the ridiculous metric that the Bulletin trotted out to con advertisers with as recently as two years ago – that EIGHT people read EVERY single paper – the readership would be 806 readers per day.

    On-line subscriptions aren’t performing anywhere near enough to make up that sort of shortfall, otherwise we’d be hearing about endlessly.

    Here’s the full Roy Morgan report.

  9. Paper cuts says:

    But the regional newspapers are crap. If you read any of them throughout Queensland you will see that they are updated electronically with the same crap at the same time from the same source. You may as well just have the Courier Mail because most of the articles in it are then flicked on to regional papers electronically and reloaded to appear as if the article has been sought and published locally. It hasn’t been! It’s been passed on by a big name newspaper. It’s a fucking joke. There is basically no more regional news and what news there is normally contains crap and certainly in Townsville it doesn’t print the truth, especially about Mullet and Co.

    • Insider says:

      Yes, and if you read a regional paper online and click on the “comments” section under an article, you’ll see all the comments come from items cut and pasted from the Courier Mail and not from locals.

  10. Hee Haw says:

    V8’s in Townsville in August…..the many many many thousands of dollars of funding both in cash and in kind provided by TCC is to realise an economic benefit to the region from visitors coming to attend.
    Can someone please explain how disrupting a city’s streets to put this show on behind closed doors can be anything but a complete waste of ratepayers money.
    Zero benefit and major cost, Astonisher should be asking along with other media

    • CEO of Crap says:

      Hee Haw, I’m not up to date on the V8’s other than I too heard it is going ahead in August. Are you saying it is proposed there will be no crowds?

    • Not the ECQ says:

      HeeHaw the other media ie TV, will be broadcasting the V8s and making money out of it. They don’t need a local audience – in fact, not having a local audience probably means most of the serious overheads – grandstands, car parking, crowd control, security – are avoided altogether.

      • Hee Haw says:

        NTE the media and Supercars themselves will do very nicely thank you, I am only saying that TCC will pay out substantial $ without a corresponding economic benefit to the community. WHY$
        If crowds are allowed then another matter but now it is a 2 day event only and if crowds allowed they will be limited I expect.

        • The Magpie says:

          Correct. In other words, no visitors, or local punters out on the town. Ergo, no refreshing new dollars.

  11. L Berry says:

    WIN News had at least five separate news stories tonight that featured Jenny Hill – in a most favourable light, of course. And then came a fleeting glimpse of Jayne Arlette!

  12. Grumpy says:

    Our premier just made an absolute fool out of herself on The Project. Even Waleed Ali had to point out her idiocy.

  13. CEO of Crap says:

    No virgin for Dick. I see that Qld did not make the final four contenders.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      All part of the political game Crapper; they can now say they were prepared to try, to their Union worshippers and anyone else that will listen. It was never on and they know it!

  14. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    So Palm Islanders have been splurging their compensation payout on flash cars and luxury boats. I’m sure local Townsville businesses are appreciative of the trade during the Coronavirus economic meltdown…….


    • The Magpie says:

      Just like anybody else would. What a snivelling, racist, dog-whistling report this is from Nine, the sub-text is that ‘look at what these abos do when they get taxpayers hard earned money.’ The bottom line: it is, whether anyone likes it or not, legally THEIR money, and in Australia they can do whatever they fucking like with it. Or should they, because they’re just ‘abos’, been paid in food vouchers for the local company store?

      Of course, if it was similar compensation payout for some banjo-playing bib’n’brace white yokels at say Vincent or Gulliver, no story there, they’d be calling their stock brokers seeking wise investment counsel and maybe thinking of buying a Prius or a Volvo.

      A truly disgusting, hate mongering report from an organisation that is no position to lecture anyone on ethics or morals.

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        I am in 100% agreement with you Mr Pie. The tone of the report is not so much a dog whistle as a foghorn.

  15. The Magpie says:

    We’re trying to train him to retrieve water balls. No luck so far.

    • Not the ECQ says:

      Mr Magpie, is there a consensus at the golf club as to whether this croc is a freshie or a salty? The apparently thin snout makes it look like a freshie.

      • The Magpie says:

        The ‘Pie would leave that to the experts, although tend agree with you that he seems to be a freshie by sight and demeanour. Seems well fed, but all slow players among the veterans and the womens comp have been head counted at the end of each round, so it must be magpie geese on the menu.

        • Dundee says:

          Yep, it’s a freshy. If it was a saltie you’d know about it – very territorial and attack happy. Some of the slow players may not have survived!

  16. Tits up Townsville says:

    Some interesting information coming out of Tasmania regarding the level of Council debt within several Councils, the expected drop in revenue and the fact that they may not even be able to pay long service entitlements. Plus some have borrowed money to pay for normal operational costs. It’s all out there in the world of Google. Now, Sargent Hill has managed to keep Councils books under lock and key for 4 years now. Plus we had ‘one particular Councillor’ not long ago make reference to Council not being able to pay wages. Question is; will the purple Doona wearer open the books? What is Team Hill’s recovery plan over the coming months or years when people can’t pay their rates (primary source of income for Council), when there is no money to cover operational needs, no money for projects, basically NO MONEY. Please tell us Jenny, show us your plan on paper.

    • Not the ECQ says:

      Tits, it did not happen. No councillor made a reference to Council not being able to pay wages. It’s bad enough not being able to see the TCC books, commentators making shit up is worse.

  17. J jones says:

    Why would anyone buy a newspaper? They are failing across the world. They are yesterday’s news.

    • Kingswood says:

      Not defending the astonisher’s content, but that of print generally. Because after the child has gone to bed there’s nothing more relaxing than reading without staring at a bloody screen that disturbs your sleep.

  18. I’ll be plucked says:

    Trumpet on ABC News24 this morning, saying he takes the malaria drug and has been for about a fortnight to ward off the Virus. No news yet on how he’s getting on with injecting disinfectant.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie will believe him when he publicly takes what is a proven disinfectant … the man is liar and will say anything. But he’s right about one thing … if he’s taking disinfectant it will prove to be an effective cure … for America (and the rest of us).

    • Tropical says:

      God that is stupid comment. Trump never said to take or inject disinfectant.
      The only thing he has talked about is chloroquine.
      The media morons CNN, MSNBC, NYT and WaPo ran the fake news for the consumption of the dumb in this world.
      By the way those two idiots that took the fish tank cleaner were bolted on Democrats and not very smart. The incident has now turned into a murder investigation against the wife.

  19. Just Say'n says:

    If the Townsville Show has been cancelled (as reported by the Bulletin) then there should be NO show holiday.

    In the same manner, if/when Jesus makes his second coming we shouldn’t get Easter off.

    • Critical says:

      I haven’t heard of any other show public holidays being cancelled where the local show has been cancelled. A number of shows have been cancelled including Rockhampton, Mackay, Cairns and many smaller rural shows.

    • CEO of Crap says:

      I expect to still have my Easter holiday regardless.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      What next Just? Cancel Xmas, ANZAC Day, the celebration of birthday’s? Just Say’n………

      • Just Say'n says:

        Hello Dead Cock, since you ask this is my suggested option;

        New Year’s Day – Keep, too many hangovers to safely work
        Australia Day – Scrap, too controversial
        Good Friday – Scrap, not many Christians in Australia today
        Holy Saturday – Scrap, as above
        Easter Sunday- Scrap, as above
        Easter Monday- Scrap, as above
        Anzac Day – Keep, Lest we Forget
        Labour Day – Scrap, an anachronism in today’s industrial relations environment
        Show day – Scrap, go to the show on Saturday or Sunday
        Queen’s Birthday – Scrap, do I really need to explain why?
        Christmas Eve (24 December) 6pm – midnight – Scrap, same reason as Labour Day
        Christmas Day – Keep, Kiddies love the presents
        Boxing Day – Keep, I like the cricket

    • Nothing to see here says:

      Frankly, I can’t believe it took Condon so long to pull the pin on it. With the Ekka and most other regional shows already cancelled, none of the sideshow alley operators were going to turn up anyway.

  20. Mike Douglas says:

    Premier ( if I did that my Chief medical officer wouldn’t be happy ) Palaszczuk should realise she has a problem when Waleed from the project has to explain her testing strategy for nursing homes doesn’t make sense . Now we have NSW opening up travel across their State June 1st NSW Premier ( based on Palaszczuks messaging that the border won’t open to September ) saying you might see Sydney – New Zealand flights before the NSW / Qld border is re-opened .

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      I have obviously missed something regarding the re start of the Rugby League season.
      How can the Cronulla Sharks play in Townsville on June 6th if the Queensland border is closed until September?
      Is there an exemption?

    • Just Say'n says:

      I reckon a High Court challenge around the provisions of S.92 of the Constitution (restriction of trade between the States) might see the borders around the country open pretty quickly.

    • NQ Gal says:

      Nanna Anna is just making sure that she loses the election, by angering everyone involved in the tourism industry.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Even worse than that Mike is she has legislated distances so people in Brisbane can go to the Gold or Sunshine Coasts but people in Townsville can’t go to AIrlie Beach or Cairns, just fucking disgraceful, and disgraceful from our three gutless cowards who won’t stand up and be counted, if Townsville return these people to office the people of this town are seriously disturbed and beyond help.

  21. Elaine 'Mouse' Fountaine says:

    (MAGPIE NOTE: Another little bit of familiar Townsville is no longer. Warm regards to our beloved ‘Mouse’).

    Hi after 18yrs in the barbershop – (A Barber On Flinders – it’s time to hang up the scissors and retire to enjoy quality time at home.

    It has been a great journey a lot of laughs jokes and great conversations each day, never knowing who would walk thru your door or what the day would bring.
    To my regular customers including clients from interstate and overseas, military and civilian, I would like to say thank you all for your support. Stay safe, enjoy life

  22. Old Tradesman says:

    Story doing the rounds at the moment is that the Gestapo council parking meter attendants when not collecting revenue for Jenny in the defunct city heart, have been given a new role: head counters in the restaurants, apparently one venue on The Strand has been given a $5000 fine for having 14 people there at the one time.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      That’s fair enough that they were fined Tradie – 10 is the number and according to you there were 14. Pretty simple really!

      • The Magpie says:

        It is not the justification of the fine, it is who is issuing it that is of concern. We are rapidly being encouraged to become a nation of snitches, so often unnecessarily so. While local councils have the power to fine for a variety of council-related infringements, The ‘Pie will never support these generally ill-educated authoritarian minions being given powers which only trained police should hold. The passing of this power to these petty little galoots is another eroding away of the once respectful way we viewed authority.

      • Old Tradesman says:

        IBP, you are correct in what you say, but are the rate payers coughing up the wages for these SS officers, or is the State giving Jenny another leg up?

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, no, seems some bright spark in Brisbane had a dim lightbulb idea that there aren’t many cars about, so let’s give the no-neck brown bombers something to do.

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          See your point Tradie and Pie. I would have thought that the only ones able to hand out fines, legally, in our current circumstances would be the Qld Police? I must be incorrect if the TCC Parking Officers are doing it, or maybe………

          • The Magpie says:

            Special laws for special times BUT no guarantee that such powers form little Hitlers will ever be rescinded.

          • The Stasi says:

            Do Council Health Inspectors have such powers in these uncertain times, or anytime for that matter in relation to over-crowding/not following direction (in this case from the Chief Medical Officer)? Will look into this further.

          • The Magpie says:

            According to the government and the blustering head of the LGAQ the creepy Greg Hallam, yes they do. The distancing laws come under the purview of council health laws when it comes to restaurants.

            BUT HEY fair’s fair, the TCC have done the right thing in one instance … almost immediately posting about this matter a few minutes ago, The ‘Pie received solid information (and no, surprisingly not from the council) that the council has given three months rental relief to businesses that rent from it. Whether this applies just to businesses on The Strand, or across the city (which it definitely should) is not known at the moment.

            Businesses along The Strand are uniformly down more than 70% on normal trade, according Magpie contacts.

  23. The Magpie says:

    Delaying the inevitable?

    The Adani appeal against a Right To Information order to release details of the now infamous Adani airstrip deal with the Townsville and Rockhampton councils has been ‘allowed’ … but the ruling will have Jenny Hill in danger of doing a mischief in her granny pants.

    Because Justice Daubney, sitting in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT), has sent the ruling back for the Office of the Information Commissioner for further evaluation, taking into account some inconsistencies ‘in law’ the court found in the order that the details of the deal be released by the Townsville City Council (read Mayor Jenny Hill).

    Justice Daubney DID NOT throw out the initial order, and in basic lay terms, sent it back for another crack. Which means, if the Information Commissioner so chooses, to do the necessary technical housekeeping and tidy up the legal niceties to reinstate the order.

    This was a highly technical judgement, with no comment made on specific contents of the secret deal, and the court’s order coukld be interpreted as a direction to just cross some legal ‘t’s and dot the ‘legal ‘i’s … the ‘i’ in this case standing for incriminating, either criminally or ethically.

    Our council continues to spent ratepayers money to cover the mayor’s arse – otherwise why would the council be a ‘respondent’ to Adani’s appeal while actually supporting the quashing of the release order. The desperate measures by Adani and our mayor just increase the stench.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      You could always ask TCC when and on what basis they decided to join Adani as a respondent, and why doing so is considered a benefit to ratepayers, as well as now much it has cost ratepayers in legal fees so far to do so……but they probably wouldn’t tell you as it would be considered “commercial in confidence”…..

      • The Magpie says:

        Sorry, mate, you’ve got that a bit whoops-a-daisy … Adani was the appellant, which technically opposed TCC because it was to the council that the order was made. The council (read the mayor) greatly fears the release, and therefore when they became a respondent, they then made a submission supporting the Adani appeal. The law is a …what?

        More on this in the weekend blog – unless of course The ‘Pie is yet again scooped by the Townsville Bulletin.

    • Frankenfurter says:

      There’s that bloody scary photo of Frau Hill again! It scares children and should not be used ever again. Shame on the ‘Pie’.

    • Airline says:

      Bentley should copy this and enter it for the Archibald Prize .It would be a Sure Winner

  24. Sad ratepayer says:

    Well im over going back to hearveys range dump anymore, the place is a complete fuckup. I get there and there’s no power. Ergons fault changing lines, but wheres the backup system? Isnt it an essential service we all pay for? You first drive through the new sorting area, which isnt a sorting area because the 5 staff who are doing very little send you up to the compacting system and ypu sort out there. How much have we spent on this site and continue to to get this level of service? Because there’s no power the conveyors arnt working so there’s a pile of rubbish sitting there falling off to the ground. Our dump system in Townsville is a disgrace. One wonders if TCC have deliberately wanting this area to fail so they can sell it off. Top it off last week another problem happened with compactor and i got sent to Stuart tip, all up with fuel and dump fees nearly $80. Be easier to cop illegal dump fine because i can challenge it and get away with it like my neighbors (grubs). If one place is this bad now whats it going to be like after COVID-19. Lots of councils across Australia are on trouble in the news, this one has to be up there? Didnt that Paul Jacob say before the election we were getting like Ipswich council? Anyway dont take the rubbish to hearveys range your wasting your time.

  25. Mike Douglas says:

    Pie , re the Townsville rate payers forking out $ to stop details of the Mayors activities ASIC have taken spending to another level . So far Asic have spent $56 mil on Storm Financial enquiry that has delivered ? class action payouts unrelated to the enquiry and the Directors ruled they can’t operate a company for a few years . $56 mil for that ?.

    • Achilles says:

      Yep! the paradox of the legal system, the lawyers win whether they win or lose the case.
      Maybe Billy Shakespeare had it right “a pox on all lawyers” though technically its not their fault, its the system that allows it. “Oh! gilt indeed”

    • Jatzcrackers says:

      Mike, I know you’re not, but folks shouldn’t be too concerned about about our failed Storm Financial directors. Word has it that they’re living a very top shelf lifestyle in Brisbane, residing in property purchased in the kids names !

  26. Spin Doctor says:

    Nanna Anna today dressed in her red ‘power’ outfit and using wank words such as ‘robust tourism’, getting all frustrated at media questions! Is she ok? Bit hormonal perhaps? Maybe needs a cuddle from Matt Burnett? And what is it with the necklace of freckles across her throat? And Jeanette Young – her messy hair makes her look like a dishevelled sheep dog. Please, keep them away from the camera!

    • The Magpie says:

      One guesses you’re too modest to call yourself Adonis.

    • Insider says:

      Pathetic sexist comments are all too common from some contributors. Never see similar comments about the appearance of male pollies, do we.

      • Tas says:

        I don’t know, I could give you 200 words – none of them polite – to describe George Christensen. But it would all be wasted as I don’t speak Tagalog.

      • Spin Doctor says:

        Insider – you are living in a one-sided view of the world. Do you mean male politicians such as The Tangerine Anus (Trump) or Fatboy Palmer (sometimes referred to as the Bloated whale)?? Or Peter Dutton who has earned the nicknames of ‘the spud’ and ‘Mr Potato Head’ in reference to his appearance.

        Insider – here is a tissue, now go cry someone else. This is Townsville, not some soft city in the Netherlands you goose.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        We would if they wore a red power outfit, necklace, and sheep dog hair, ha ha.

  27. Airline says:

    Has the demise of the Townsville Bulletin Started already ?. I just Googled the Herald-Sun (Victorian Murdoch Rag ) Headline on Header page May 21st 0635 “Browse the full list of Death Notices Published in the Townsville Bulletin and New Corp Publications today . Only one is mentioned

  28. Strand Ghost says:

    Well that would have to be the Headline of the year on front page of The Astonisher today!
    A first for Townsville a Blow Bar coming to town,
    Wow the line will be a klm long.

    • The Magpie says:

      Are they allowed to supply hard liquor for a stiff drink?

      What a missed headline though.


      • Lord Howard Hertz says:

        And we’re not sure what the bottom headline refers to … seems like a multiple choice.

      • The Magpie says:

        An interesting exchange on Facebook on this story:

        David Ball Once again your misogynist ways and crass schoolboy humour let you down Magpie. This is a young lady having a go in a harsh business climate and a Council trying to help the ailing local Dining scene. They deserve better than the likes of this.
        Like · Reply · Message · 14m
        Townsville Magpie

        Townsville Magpie A very singular comment Mr Ball … seems you need a stiff one of hard liquor. But it seems your brain went away with your other one … you miss the entire point that this small headline, juxtaposed over the main one ‘frothing’, is no accident or overlooked mishap, it was certainly deliberate, so where is your your prim, thin-lipped outrage against the grubbiness of Townsville Bulletin. And besides, you analytical eunuch, this will give the young lady ten times to exposure to folks with a sense of humour (99% of readers) and on-going mentions than she would otherwise have received. That great Robin Williams line in Good Morning Vietnam, aimed at his humourless dipstick boss, seems to apply to you, you humorless snowflake: ‘Y’know, you’re in more dire need of a blow job than any white man in history.’

  29. Airline says:

    Re my previous comments Re the Herald Sun If You Scroll Thru the T/Bully Today Under Tributes You find the SAME article “Browse the full list of death notices published in the Townsville Bulletin AND NEWS CORP Publications Today ” There is only Notice pertaining to Townsville .

    • The Magpie says:

      RIP … the city’s economy. ‘Passed away after wrongly diagnosed and treated for economic withering.’

      NB Several of those posing as qualified doctors who were treating Townsville’s illness are being investigated for malpractice.

  30. I’ll be plucked says:

    So, a Natalie Marr, local real estate agent has been preselected by the LNP to take on Harpic in Thuringowa.

    • The Magpie says:

      Yup, former TF TCC councillor. Wasn’t she the Townsville First councillor stabbed in the back by Ewen Jones during her re-election campaign?
      And Thuringowa voters look like facing a three-cornered contest (at least), with One Notion almost certain to field a candidate. Harpic sure hopes so, a split vote is his only hope of surviving.

      • Airline says:

        She was the Councillor who Proposed that the Kirwan High School Pay rent to the Council for the Swimming Pool & aquatic centre in the School Grounds. I attended a meeting in the School Hall where the late Principle of the School Can’t recall his name but he was very highly Regarded ) and about 500 Parents and Children and Oldies were livid that a fee would apply for use there of ,even the Principle was highly critical of the Proposal . She left the meeting in tears before it finished and The Lord Mayor Tyrell reversed the proposal within 24 hours. I thought she had faded into the never never. If she’s the best Candidate the Libs can come up with Harper would be rubbing his (G) hands together (she was not voted in at the next Council Election) The Current mayor was also at the meeting and was firmly against the proposal…

        • The Magpie says:

          The ‘Pie was never aware that Les Tyrell, as most worthy as he was and is, was elevated to the peerage. An honour indeed.

        • Westie says:

          It is interesting how the fogs of time can impact recounted history. No biggie, but in the interests of accuracy here is what I recall.

          In fact it was the other way round, with the Council paying rent for the pool to Kirwan High.

          Prior to around 2005, Thuringowa City had no public Swimming Pools, and entered an arrangement with Kirwan High to allow pubic access to their pool in return for a payment by the Council.

          Once Riverway was completed, the Council no longer saw the need to provide public access to the Kirwan High pool, and proposed to cease the arrangement. However the Kirwan High school community had grown addicted to the rental payment (it paid for all the pool maintenance etc ), and organised a campaign to maintain what had become a subsidy.

          • The Magpie says:

            Perhaps Ms Marr herself would care to tidy the competing views.

            And ‘pubic access’? Sounds downright illegal and dangerously hairy.

            Oh, no! Mr Ball has had a foaming apoplectic fit. (For ref. see other comments re Bulletin front page.)

        • Spelling matters says:

          The PrincipAL was John Livingston, a highly principLEd individual who’s loss was a huge blow to the KSHS community.

      • Not the ECQ says:

        Mr Magpie there is a reduced chance of a split vote in Thuringowa because, unlike the recent Council election, at the state election there is full preferential voting – you have to fill in every square. Of course there is still the question of whether a Clive Palmer campaign, in any or all seats, would have any effect. Labor is probably more sympathetic to Palmer’s coal mining interests these days so he might decide to stay out of it.

      • Guy says:

        You’d better hope no ratepayer remembers the soaring rates of the Tyrell council.

        • The Magpie says:

          Caused by the forced council amalgamation by Peter Beattie’s government, his parting finger to the Queensland electorate.

        • Like a dog with a bone says:

          Hi Guy,

          I worked in Thuringowa Council and then Townsville Council pre and post amalgamation.

          I think you need to be reminded that the amalgamation was not just the two Councils it also included NQ Water.

          Prior to amalgamation, NQ Water held debt that became the amalgamated entities debt after amalgamation.

          Any discussion about “Tyrell’s” debt needs to include some understanding of NQ Water and it’s contribution to the equation.

          That said, I don’t think I would ever be able to change your opinion of Les Tyrell!

          • The Magpie says:

            You make valid points but The’Pie’s problem with Guy – well, one of them – is that he blithely saddles someone he dislikes with a complex outcome of a multifaceted problem. Good thing he wasn’t elected.

  31. Just Say'n says:

    I’m not sure whether I should be worried or not but it appears that Pauline and I are on the same page.

    “Pauline Hanson engages lawyer to challenge ‘unconstitutional’ border closure in High Court” – Courier Mail 21/5

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Well Just, aren’t you a clever dick then! Perhaps you could help out with the case. Give Pauline a buzz.

      • The Magpie says:

        Look, Plucker, it’s getting a bit tedious where you insist on playing the man and not the ball. Argue the point, not the person, and you seem to be forever spoiling for a pointless slanging match. Many of your otherwise appreciated comments are a local version of Obamagate … a vague spray against another commenter without actually defining what you disagree with. Doesn’t add anything, mate (or mate-ette, whatever) so The ‘Pie’s finger is hovering over the delete button.

        Actually that goes for lot of others, too, but some of you might have got the message because you didn’t get published anyway.

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          Apology Pie, I don’t like folks who blow smoke up their own arse. That’s what I was referring to. Take your point.

          • The Magpie says:

            That The ‘Pie would like to see … oh, wait a sec, no, perhaps not. Hmmm, definitely not.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      ABC news commentator mentioned that given the time any matter to be heard by the High Court and a finding delivered the State borders would have been opened IAW each State’s own timeline. Pauline is familiar with the courts. Methinks she’s grandstanding due relevance deprivation.

      • The Magpie says:

        If even soi, the question should be asked and settled, as per the ‘Pie’s previous comment on the matter.

    • TheOtherGuy says:

      From the Australian Law reform Commission:

      In Cunliffe v The Commonwealth (1994), Mason CJ said that the freedom of intercourse which s 92 guarantees is not absolute:

      Hence, a law which in terms applies to movement across a border and imposes a burden or restriction is invalid. But, a law which imposes an incidental burden or restriction on interstate intercourse in the course of regulating a subject-matter other than interstate intercourse would not fail if the burden or restriction was reasonably necessary for the purpose of preserving an ordered society under a system of representative government and democracy and the burden or restriction was not disproportionate to that end. Once again, it would be a matter of weighing the competing public interests

      • The Magpie says:

        It will be interesting to see if an outright ban on Australian citizens going about their lawful business requiring them yo cross state borders is deemed a ‘valid incidental restriction.’ The Magpie certainly doesn’t think so, and the Queensland closure is simply a misplaced political showcase which achieves no useful end. Surely the national government of any stripe should be the only body that can allow the complete closing off of a large part of the Commonwealth land mass. And they should legislate for that.

        • TheOtherGuy says:

          I think that originally the closing of the borders could be seen as necessarily incidental to the control of the pandemic, however now it is under control As in we have lots of spare health capacity), the continuing power crazed decisions by WA and QLD to continue to keep their borders closed is ripe for a High Court challenge. The virus will not be eliminated and their is no logical reason to keep the restrictions as they are except for the popularity power trip. Some of the restrictions have been simply nonsensical and had no bearing on controlling the pandemic, but enforced because they could. Like being able to walk around a park in pairs but not allowed to sit on a bench in pairs. Or being allowed to swim at the beach by yourself but not sunbath, regardless of how far away the next person is. I am sure there are a myriad of examples others could give. If this is seen as good leadership, just how bad does it have to be to be poor leadership (although Trump springs to mind)?

          • The Magpie says:

            According to the ABC last night, at the time of broadcast, only NSW had open borders … ironically, with nowhere to go, according to the shown map. But otherwise, The’Pie agrees with the rust of your observations.

      • Stick says:

        My, my Guy how times change; freedom of intercourse you say? Nothing free about intercourse and everything that goes with it. The passage of time has struck again. Do you remember when a joint was something a family shared together on a Sunday for lunch, or when crack was something that happened when a ball hit the window, Or a trip was a weekend drive with the fam?

  32. One legged tap dancer says:

    Yet another brain fart from Jenny Hill, under her pen name “TCC spokesperson” in today’s Townsville rag: restaurants on The Strand are now allowed to serve sit-down diners outside their restaurants to make it more viable for them to reopen.
    Guess she forgot about the maximum 10 person rule.
    I can see it now, waiters from the Watermark running up and down the beach serving wine and food to groups of 10.
    This fart even tops her classic ferry from the casino to the Cowboys stadium, across mudflats and under low bridges.

    • The Magpie says:

      From the Astonisher story:
      A Townsville City Council spokesman said plans were being considered to help businesses in the hospitality sector get through the global pandemic.

      “To assist the recovery process council is actively exploring the option of allowing restaurants and cafes, where possible, to extend their business into nearby parks and public spaces in order to allow them to seat additional customers when it is safe to do so,” he said.

      Perhaps the active considerations will take in the quite expensive – if allowed at all – insurance implications.

      • Not the ECQ says:

        Close the road sections between the roundabouts and make the entire Strand area pedestrian only. Insurance and social distancing problems solved.

        • The Magpie says:

          How? That most certainly doesn’t nullify liability. And carrying food an open air distance raises separate questions.

          Look, not knocking sincere efforts to help businesses get going again, but so often when opportunity presents itself, we are confronted with debilitating red tape and a litigious society. Hope it works, but all angles have to be considered.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Exactly, can you imagine some kid on a skateboard cleaning up some waiter carrying hot food or a tray of drinks. You know it’s a brain fart when Gleeson puts the story up on Sky News as the type of thinking and ideas that are needed at the moment.

          • The Magpie says:

            Well, that’s one of the most predictable QED’s imaginable.

          • Old Tradesman says:

            I bet the Watermark won’t be helping out after they had a visit from the Gestapo this week.

          • The Magpie says:

            While we’re on that subject, yet another classic overkill from a ‘mummy knows best’ government and health officer – Young really is getting to be a pain ion the arse with her constant overstepping the mark of her remit – which is health, not social engineering (safely flying a plane will encourage people to drive cars? The woman’s a moron (i.e. clinically, the intelligence of an 8 year old). But has it occurred to the mealy mouthed Anna Alphabet and the ‘bunny caught in the headlights Steven Miles – and a simpering Jenny Hill – that fining a struggling business trying to bring back jobs such such an amount of money under the current circumstances is counter-productive, and in some cases, say a smallish cafe or some such – could sent it under permanently. Here’s an equation as proof – all restaurants try to lift their SPH – Spend Per Head – with up-selling extras. Even with the best and skilful staff, Townsville establishments general SPH wouldn’t reach $75 on average. That means (don’t even try this, Townsville Bulletin, it’s simple maths) with 10 customers allowable, a re-opened restaurant would have to operate 6.6 days, paying wages, cost of produce, electricity and all the other incidentals which in many cases include fees to the council for various dispensations like footpath dining – FOR NOTHING, to simply pay the $5000. This is a typical Labor Party clusterfuck when it comes to business, big stick, tiny brain.And the justification given for these manifestly excessive fines … ‘to show that we are serious.’

            Seriously stupid, yes.

  33. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    More proof that we are indeed becoming a nation of snitchers.


    • The Magpie says:

      Yep, this virus and the resulting overkill by regulation is a perfect get-square environment.

      • Guy says:

        Re-open the border between states but impose a 2 week quarantine period at the border with tests that the traveller must pay for.

        You can then re-open the whole of Queensland and keep infectious people out.

        The infection is travelling from Sydney and Melbourne.

        You might find there will be a influx of tourists willing to travel and stay in Australia for long periods – as long as quarantine for ALL arrivals is observed.

        • The Magpie says:

          But … but … oh, never mind. FFS. Couldn’t be bothered.

          • Guy says:

            Oh yes magpie , quarantine is very effective in keeping disease at bay.

            With a proper quarantine at the border the whole of Queensland could go back to normal.

          • The Magpie says:

            As all of us here in the Nest hope you do. Soon.

      • Hee Haw says:

        Snitching may be unwelcome but when Pauline Hanson is getting pro bono lawyers to challenge the rules yet on the 5th of May she according to her own words on Paul Murray live travelled 7 hours by car to visit a friend in Yeppoon. At that time the maximum distance allowed was 50k. Not one body/organisation has questioned this. Maybe a fine would be like the one everyone think Costco should get?

  34. Achilles says:

    Another piece of sloppy work by the TB, the online page has a dramatic pic of a sedan surrounded by smoke, but the report says its a Ute?

  35. Mr Ed says:

    My lookalike from across the ditch has raised the possibility of a 4-day working week to help get the economy moving again. Given the lack of economic ideas floated by her and her govt to date, this one has some merit. Hours could be adjusted to fit 5 days into 4 and folks could leisure/travel/spend on the 3 days off. Not bad Jacinda, not too shabby at all.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, no actually, would people be happy to wear a corresponding pay cut, which may not cover their pre-existing commitments? And where will they get the necessary cash to fund their extra leisure time? Giving people more leisure time (beyond the adequate amount we until now had enjoyed … some think too much in terms of public holidays) is NOT going to get the economy moving again. Surely there is an argument for the obverse … install a temporary six day week, with perhaps truncated hours on the Saturday, like we used to. Still time for the footy, beers with the mate before home bed and into mum.

      • Not the ECQ says:

        Christ, Mr Magpie imagine how The Astonisher would turn out if reporters had to make it look like they’ve worked an extra day.

      • Mr Ed says:

        One of the options floated is extending the working day, so that people work the 5-day hours in 4-days Pie (paid for the 5 days) losing nothing, but gaining the 3 day weekend. Make sense now? Neigh!

        Anyway, it’s different in these uncertain times.

        • The Magpie says:

          It would appear the unions are not being very helpful all of a sudden, although the current stoush about casual entitlements has little to do with the current restrictions. The unions argue that casuals, and not just those on fixed shifts, should be entitled to holiday pay and sick leave. Sounds fair but conveniently overlooks one pivotal point … previously negotiated casual rates include substantially higher hourly rates, which some years ago was successfully campaign for TO SPECIFICALLY COMPENSATE FOR THE ABSENCE OF HOLIDAY PAY AND SICK LEAVE. And in the current negotiations, there is no mention of dropping back to the original rate as a fair trade-off.

          So if the court so rules, will they also back employers put permanent casuals on the books … at the lower permanent rate. Otherwise, if casuals are deemed to permanent employee entitlements, current permanent employees may well find they are on a vastly different hourly rate to their newly minted colleagues.

          The Magpie has been in one union or another almost all his working life (except when he was an employer in the restaurant industry, and operated by the letter of the law), and was even an elected union official on two occasions. But he abhors this sort of two-faced double-dipping that is justified by the old Labor ‘Daddy Warbucks is a capitalist pig anyway’ type of thinking. If successful, the fall-out will be very nasty – for thousands of workers put out of a job.

        • Alahazbin says:

          Horsey, That just looks like a modification of the nine day fortnight.

  36. Mr Ball_bag says:

    ‘Mr Ball’ commenting on an article about a blowbar and frothing! Priceless. The Magpie’s reply on Farcebook was the best yet, very clever. There certainly are some humourless, miserable sooks in this world.
    Don’t ya just wish these 1950’s church goers who don’t like a bit of risqué humour would just fuck off back into heir little miserable corner of the world knitting cardigans, starching bowling green trousers or planting marigolds.

    • The Magpie says:

      No not really, The ‘Pie just wishes they were honest and admit they actually have a private laugh before virtue signally their approbation and purity.

  37. Serbian souffle says:

    I find it interesting that no journalist has reported on the ongoing investigation into Townsville City Council over funding received for Works For Queensland projects. Criteria stated they had to be done by private companies to create jobs but many were done by TCC staff. Funding was used to prop up the depreciation costs in the budget. Far from best practice or transparent.

    • The Magpie says:

      Don’t worry about journos, YOU report it to the relevant authority. If not, why not.

      • Serbian souffle says:

        It is already being investigated by the Department and the Auditor General so it has been reported to the relevant authorities repeatedly. Do you not think these investigations worthy of the media? Curious

  38. Alahazbin says:

    I see they have changed the ECCA public holiday from Wednesday to a Friday. Reason given is to encourage people to get away for the long weekend, not encourage people to go to the show.

  39. Critical says:

    Ref to blog about Kirwan High School. Under a legally enforceable agreement entered into between former Thuringowa City Council and the Qld Dept of Education, council pays a substantial subsidy to the Kirwan High School to enable the general public to use the pool. There were no public pools in Kirwan at this time. This access has always been heavily restricted by the school but council has been unable to do anything because of wording in agreement in favour of school as the whole agreement was political. If I remember correctly the life of the agreement was for about 25 years and that time is nearly expired and school is now shitting themselves over meeting ongoing maintenance costs etc.

  40. Dirty Sanchez says:

    Senator McDonald said yesterday that it is “outrageous” how Townsville is being compared to crime hotspots Tripoli in Libya and Tijuana in Mexico as being “more dangerous based on crime and cost of living”. Bravo Jenny Hill bravo. You are doing a fine job in Townsville. You deserve a high-end salary and 4 more years!! I know, why doesn’t Mayor Hill make her beloved Townsville a sister city with Libya and Tijuana? She can go for an ollie jollie over there and perhaps never come back.

  41. One hung low says:

    Don’t you love how the Chinese Ambassador in Canberra not only hijacks Australian politicians media interviews, but the Chinese porto-burrito keep crisizing every fucking thing our Government says and does at the moment? What’s wrong with these fucking idiots. Stop your crying you narcissistic twats. Your feral markets or dodgy lab has infected the god-damn world……again. And you have the audacity to shit on us? And what about our
    weak as piss politicians grabbing their ankles for the communist regime. How much is enough? When will Morrison and friends grow a set and tell Jing-ding-aling to piss off.

  42. Chook Poker says:

    Don’t worry Townsville!
    The BAG is going to organise the Covid recovery!
    Piece in today’s Bulletin says the heavy hitters (usual suspects)of Townsville are going to lead us out of Covid mess.
    Great acronym!

  43. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Another Trumpet classic as he “tests positively towards the negative”…..


  44. Strand Ghost says:

    Can someone please enlighten me on the rules of how many people can be in a restaurant at one time?. The reason I’m asking is i just walked past the Watermark on the Strand and there was 38 people sitting down having their lunch, is this allowed under Covid 19 rules? I might be wrong but is this allowed.

  45. I’ll be plucked says:

    Nanna’s Dr Young and Anna lotsa Letters are running riot and the Grandkids, Private Cupcake Stewart, Harpoon Harpic and O’Rort are bowing in agreement. ‘Fuck Townsville’ they say, our Nanna’s know best!

  46. Dave of Kelso says:

    A dummy spit by a jerk with no moral compass and enough money to play with the democratic process as if it were his own personal toy. A pox on you Clive Palmer and all who support you. You are a fucking discrace as an Australian!


    PS Dear Pie, will Clive come after both of us if this is posted?

    • The Magpie says:

      Clive only goes after influentially important people, not influentially impotent people.

    • Dave Sth says:

      Can’t stand the jerk but seeing Kerry Stokes getting free passes in & out of country/WA at the same time I reckon go for it. Make them justify it now that the number of cases has flattened and justify exemptions to those who go on skiing holidays to known hotspots.

      Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing Section 92 of the Constitution clarified on this one, whatever leeway the High Court has recently given in this area I think a month ago would have stood but now less so.

      That said how many cases has this dude got on the go, FMD Lawyers must love him…

  47. Strand Ghost says:

    J Jones. The reason I asked the question is I’m a small business owner and I’m not allowed to have anymore than 10 in my cafe if they are not allowed within a 4m sq at one time, so how come the Watermark can, and if I wanted to dob them in I would have rang Policelink, not write to this site for the rules, obviously one rule for some and a different rule for others, depending on which side of fence your on.

    • The Magpie says:

      Not necessarily true, the matter may have further to run, because it has been reported to very dilatory authorities (see blog tonight).

      And while The ‘Pie is of the previously expressed opinion that regulations of this bumbling (make that ‘these’) government open up the field for nit-pickers (‘you has 11 people when the postman walked in’) and the ‘get square’ mob with a grievance, openly flouting the law for all to see is not just criminal, it is dumb. And grossly unfair to those who abide by the rules, whether or not those rules they be dopey overkill. If the Watermark had, as reported by two separate sources to The ‘Pie, 38 people in their restaurant at Friday lunch, they either had some sort of dispensation (unlikely) or basically decided to give the finger to the authorities.

      If we all follow the current restrictions in the belief that they protect us from illness or worse, then the behaviour of the Watermark management – as an alleged re-offender – is truly criminal and they deserve any sanction imposed (38 could get them into the realm of gaol).

      Unless of course it was a wake for a dead aborigine.

  48. One hung low says:

    If the Dirty Water Mark are flouting the rules, it would be good to delve a little deeper into why they are so brazen? Who owns the venue – bikers, refugees from the sandpit, friends of Politicans? Often these types couldn’t give a shit about rules and regulations because they either a) just don’t give a shit, or b) operate with impunity because they know they won’t be touched.

  49. Albertross says:

    Grahame Richardson is or was part owner of the watermark.

  50. The Magpie says:

    Can anyone explain why ‘thu medja’ has almost uniformly implied or said straight out that the $60million dollar reassessment of the Jobkeeper budget is a “government mistake”?

    Those same headlines are over stories that explain that the error was businesses claiming the $1500 subsidy for their staff making an apparently universal error in answering one question … misunderstanding (or we hope that is the case) where asked how many employees would require the benefit, more than a thousand businesses put down 1500, believing they were being asked the amount required for each staff member.

    Even if the error could be sheeted home to an unclear question (although apparently not), both government and businesses are in completely uncharted territory in a rushed situation. A bit of slack all round would be a considered response. So, did any of our ‘wise after the event’ media initially look at the application form to see what was of offer? You bet they did, but none of these smartarses noted or red flagged possible ambiguity in the questions until boffins from the ATP spotted the problem.

    This error would not have been immediately detectable by Treasury or the ATO, until enough claims had come in to be collated, but they got on to it pretty damn quick for government bureaucracy, we are told no incorrect payments were made, no claw backs are necessary, and no one, recipients or more importantly, taxpayers, have been disadvantaged. And $60billion – that is $60 BILLION! – has effectively been saved from the original generously estimated $130billion for the scheme.

    So the government showed it wasn’t going in for penny-pinching half measures and niggardly red tape roadblocks in meeting this unique challenge (The ‘Pie will admit that he was dumbfounded but nevertheless delighted that a conservative government would go down this commendable path), and then had the good fortune to be able to recalibrate with a massive saving of half the Jobkeeper budget.


    But no, now the world and his wife are writing opinion pieces somehow making the treasurer and the PM villains for not NOW using the extra dosh to extend the time frame of their current job support. And frankly, Anthony Albanese (or “AnAl’ if Scott Morrison is ScoMo) is looking like a dog aggressively searching for any old bone, to blunt all the head pats and ‘whose a good boy, then’ being directed by the government. Scattergun criticism is bad look by a small minded, and traditionally financially incompetent Opposition (looking at you, aptly named Tony Burke).

    This all seems to be a desperate media search for new villains in the now tedious COVID coverage which all surveys suggest we are all well and truly over … that is the myriad side stories of heartbreak over not getting nails buffed, bums brazilianed, the plight of gum chewing hair crimpers, how the shower tiling industry has been devastated, dog walkers are in financial ruin, or, if you’re an ABC viewer or listener, sufferers from rare diseases enjoyed by less than 100 people nationwide are being bastardised by bureaucracy, and how three out of ten women will go into premature menopause because of the lock down affecting their daily work/shopping rhythms.

    ‘Oh, well, we’ll be back to climate change panic soon enough, one supposes.

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