Why this blog exists...

The Magpie

Saturday, March 17th, 2018   |   114 comments

Jenny Hill Shows Why Our Next Mayor Should NOT Be A Politician.

Is there nothing this woman doesn’t fuck up? Her Ineptness now adds water pipeline funding to illustrious list of inglorious cock-ups … all of her own egotistical political considerations.

And here’s a newsflash for all your regular Nesters … the mayor doesn’t like The Magpie one bit. (Audible gasp). And shoots her foot clean off when she says why …

The Astonisher’s schoolboy howler of the decade, …

…and the big question in comments during the week … if airport boss Kevin Gill’s $3 ticket tax were to be introduced, how much would airfares go up? One scenario will make you wince in disbelief, but could it be right …

But first …

The ‘Moron’ Is At It Again …

The busiest job in Washington is the bloke with the oil can at the White House turnstile for sacked staff. It continues to run white hot.

This time around it was Rex Tillerson, The Trumpet’s erstwhile Secretary of State – yup, the very same man who described Trump as a ‘fucking moron’ – which is a bit hard on 8 to 11 year olds, which is the clinical mental age ascribed to morons.

Tillerson, holding down what is traditionally the second most powerful position in world politics, got the heave-ho via Twitter, which says all that needs to be said about the parallel universe of Trumptania. But according to Bentley, there are some Townsville locals who don’t think the orange-frosted fruitcake’s staff changes are anything to write home about.

T-Rex out flat small

Interesting to note in a recent US survey asking people for one word to describe Trump, one, two and three in order were ‘idiot’, ‘incompetent’ and ‘liar’. The ‘Pie is convinced the survey was rigged, because asshole came in 11th.

But he’s no dill, The New Yorker magazine knows how The Prez has it all worked out why all those kids abandoned classes across America during the week to march against gun laws.

They probably got the idea from one of these protesty video games. (Courtesy New Yorker Magazine)

“They probably got the idea from one of those protesty video games.”

Police Put Out All Points Bulletin For Missing Comma

And haven’t stopped laughing all week at this trap for young players. Even the legendary tough-guy cross-examining barrister Harvey Walters hasn’t caused an agonizing death in the witness box.

Screen shot 2018-03-15 at 8.44.34 AM

Here’s Something To Think About

The ‘Pie makes no claim to mathematical competence  – Christ, words are enough trouble – but here’s something for you to think about.

Airport liesThis projection of the Kevin Gill’s demand for a $3 passenger tax to fund his company’s proposed upgrade of facilities may end up with you paying a lot more than an extra three bucks. Here’s how regular and generally sensible commenter Cantankerous But Happy painted one possible scenario. This was challenged by others (all this is in comments under last week’s blog) but original commenter Cranky is sticking to his guns.

Cantankerous but happy

March 13, 2018 at 9:34 am  (Edit)

Pie I think it’s important for people to understand how this $3 airport charge works and the blatant lies being told by Gill, the Astonisher and others to make people think $3 will be tacked onto every ticket, it doesn’t work like that. The facts are it is not a $3 charge levied on the passenger, it is a $3 increase in airport charges per passenger that has to be paid by the airline, it is a direct increase in costs. The naive public and even those in small business in this town that I talk to don’t understand how these changes are viewed by large companies and the effects it has on ticket pricing.
Qantas currently returns an average 10% on every airline ticket it sells across its network, and that is the benchmark it would use on how cost changes effect that return. A $200 airfare TSV- BNE would nett Qantas $20 profit, add $3 to the $20 would be $23. In order for Qantas to maintain its average 10% return on every ticket sold means they would lift the price of that ticket to $230, you don’t separate input costs because some tosser wants to call it a levy. The fact that so many in this town don’t understand this goes a long way to explaining why our economy is in the shit and why many businesses are struggling to keep their doors open.

Be interesting if Qantas could give us an opinion, but as said, this comment was challenged by two others, and these were replied to by Cranky, who maintains he is right.  Have your say in comments this week.

The Fright Bat Fumbles Again

Jenny Hill

In case you were mistaken, it would seem our mayor is no Abe Lincoln … it’s getting to the stage where she can’t fool any of the people any of the time. For reasons known only to herself, Jenny Hill continues to take knives to gun fights.

Screen shot 2018-03-15 at 6.52.35 PM

In short order, she’s declared there is no water crisis (resulting in a massive climb down ), flick passed the bus hub debacle to deputy Goofy, ludicrously called for a boycott on Qantas for refusing to support a ticket tax at Townsville Airport, told Adani to get their act together or else – although she failed to say what the ‘or else’ could even start involve – and refused to front the media when an independent review found she presided over a council and with CEO operating in a culture of secrecy.

pipeline sod tuning 2

Now she’s decided to sink a dainty Blundstone into Labor mate Anna Alphabet, over funding for the water pipeline from the Burdekin Dam…

Screen shot 2018-02-01 at 2.16.15 PM

Blundering around in her dishonest pose as the battler’s champion, the mayor is demanding – yes, demanding – that the government pony up the entire agreed 4-year tranche of $225million in just two years.

There never was any such agreement and the government has basically told her to get stuffed. Indeed, they’ve done their best to ignore this embarrassing Labor grandstander … as The ‘Pie reported when all this started, the government is already stretched to the limit what the stadium and all and we’ll be lucky to see the money within the stipulated four years. Mayor Mullet has fudged, dodged and straight-out lied about the progress of the project. Now our gal has got herself in a pincer movement … it looks like she will have to choose between two unpalatable political choices … if she wants the pipeline finished by next year to gain bragging rights for the council election early in 2020, she will have to borrow money. If she accepts the  original four year timeframe without expensive interim borrowing, she doesn’t have the pipeline completion as a campaign plus. Plus she’s borrowed money, which in the end, the ratepayers’ pony up. Her dilemma is succinctly summed up in a letter from the Water For Townsville people to the mayor, which demands (as is our right) to answers to crucial questions.

Executive Officer to the Mayor

Dear Inga,

As per our phone conversation this morning, I am requesting an urgent phone discussion with Jenny Hill.
WFTAG admin, as the acknowledged community partnership in the City Deal process and Water Security Taskforce deliberations, require clarification on the following.

Please forward this email to the CE0, and all Council members who attended the last mtg with WFTAG admin, Feb 26th and to Matt Thomson.

1. Did Council formally apply to the State in 2017 to have 4 year funding for stage 1 of the new pipeline altered to a 2 year timeframe?

2. Did Council receive written confirmation from the State that the request had been received and approved?

3. Please  confirm in writing that Council was unaware of the State’s position, as per Dr. Anthony Lynham’s statement published in the Townsville Bulletin yesterday, that the $225 million grant was still over a four year budget timeframe.

4. Please guarantee in writing that the pipeline will be operational by December 2019 as promised.

5. Please guarantee in writing that no ratepayer money will be used for any subsequent loan that Council might need in future to be able to deliver the project, in the promised timeframe.


Jenny Skinner
Email Officer

Good luck with getting straight answers, water people.

And will it come to this, as it did in America recently.

funds lack ad

But At Least She’s Good For A Laugh

Magpie laughing Screen shot 2014-12-13 at 5.25.57 PM

It seems the mayor flew into a rage with The Magpie in the past few days (she normally just contents herself with a Magpie dart board). She was upset with a commenter who posted a claim that one David Donahue had been sacked by the council – the commenter was obviously sympathetic to Mr Donahue and –ahem – critical of the council.

Now as a matter of housekeeping, after some exhaustive investigations, it turns out that Mr Donahue was a sub-contractor to a council contractor, and his departure was an internal matter with the contracting firm, and did not involve the council admin or mayor. They say.

But for some reason, it was this issue that sent our Jenny up the wall, telling all and sundry that everything in this blog is ‘lies, lies, lies’ but the real kicker came when she ranted that ‘The Magpie is being sued, you know, lots of people are suing him, so he can’t be trusted.

Ahem … (update Sunday morning)  First and foremost, an unsolicited email from a senior legal person simply said ‘ …simply can ‘t be trusted’? Sounds like defamation to me.’

An interesting grasp you have there of the laws of defamation, dearie, you are saying if someone is BEING sued but the matter hasn’t yet reached the courts, they can’t be trusted. (Chortle, wheeze snurffle) what a merry prankster you are, madam mayor. BECAUSE were you not sued by Clive Palmer recently (you went to jelly in an instant on that one and are paying Fatso $50K). So surely by your reasoning … wait for it … that means … wait wait … that you can’t be trusted? Heavens, no, say it ain’t so, how can we have a mayor who can’t be trusted? And by her own admission?

It would seem that the mayor is about to disappear up that …errr … twilight zone where those ever diminishing circles end.

Oh And While We’re Here, Mullet, Care To Lend Some Transparency To Another Council Secret

Gosh, another of those pesky commenters on the blog … and The ‘Pie knows this former employee’s background at a senior level, so you’d better believe him … and reply if you dare next time you’re waffling on about using water responsibly.


March 12, 2018

I was wondering if you were about the problems that council was having in the past at Riverway. Thousands and thousands of litres of water had been running into the river due to cracks underground within the pool recirculation and pumping system.

I know that council spent a lot of money fixing the problem. Maintenance in these areas is why the pool complex was closed over the school holiday period about 18 months ago.

I can recall that there were times when the entire river bank below the lower lagoon was just gushing with water. Yes this may have been pool water, but it was our town water that kept the pool complex topped up, which I understand took a massive amount of water.

I don’t believe that the previous management of Property Management ever told the Mayors office how bad this situation was. Yes they knew about the problem, but were either unaware or just kept quiet about the actual magnitude of the problem.

IF we ever need to know factual numbers from Riverway, I’m sure we can dig up an ex-pool contractor or maintenance person.

Anothe water issue: Council water tankers used for road cleaning and construction work would constantly fill the tankers from the city water mains situated within the Garbutt Depot. It was not uncommon to have a water tanker with a Large sign on the side saying BORE WATER come into the depot and fill up from the mains.

I raised these issues with senior management and all that changed was that they asked the tanker drivers to fill up at different hydrants so as we couldn’t see them.

This use of town water was still occurring when I departed council in November and had been occurring during the periods of time council was under water restrictions.

All of this got up my nose as they had council crews going out to local residence booking them for washing a car or watering the garden.

All when council has been the biggest abuser of them all.

Don’t worry, The Impaler will knock ‘em into shape, by gum – if there’s anyone left to knock into shape.

A Brief Observation

It is becoming clear that the last thing Townsville needs ever again is a politician as mayor.

It is clear from this current and previous administrations that the requirements, wishes and majority agreement of the population is necessary for good governance. And that can only come from a person with respected business credentials, a sense of responsibility and fairness and who is not distracted by competing loyalties. A person who can represent the city with dignity, intelligence and a willingness to strongly present the community’s stance on issues.

Those who argue we will be overlooked if we don’t play the political game are wrong … the mayoralty and council should be to one side of state and federal politics, and it follows as night follows day that THEY need US more than the obverse, and ignore us at their peril. For the simple and bleedin’ obvious reason that all those council voters are also state and federal voters. And these certainly are perilous knife-edge political days.

It is impossible to ban political parties from local government, but it is not mandatory to have them… indeed, truly independent, locally focused councils everywhere are the first real step towards keeping the bastards honest.

partisan politics

Climate And Water: The Long Game

Interesting little snippet has wafted into the nest from regular commenter Memory Man, who writes:

Here’s some sobering news for those who want to think climate change risk is bunkum. Fact is, insurers have copped a hammering by under-provisioning, and places like NQ will continue to face increasingly hostile climatic events into the future. As things stand, with existing insurance models, there is only one direction for premiums – up. Politicians can bleat all they want, but the first line of defence on premium rises is investment in avoidance actions. One wonders what Council is doing to keep a lid on the costs of insurance for public facilities

Temp 3

Temp 2

Temp 1

Neatest Headline Of The Week

Nutt Jobs

Sent in and not sure where its from … AFR maybe? Deserves an award anyway.,


That’s for another week, but the comments are open 24/7, wade in and have your say, give us a laugh or something we can all ridicule (it happens). And if you are of a mind to lend a hand to a lying, dishonest and untrustworthy Magpie, spare a bob or two … 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.

Post a Comment

The Magpie encourages all to take part in the discussion and let their voice be heard.
In order to post a comment, you must provide a name. While you don't have to use your real name, it should be something unique so users can identify you in the discussion. Generic names like “Anonymous” will likely result in your comment being ignored.
Let the discussion begin!

Current ye@r *

Countdown until the next council election:

-1428Days -4 -38 -25