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The Magpie

Saturday, August 15th, 2020   |   139 comments

Leadership Disasterclass: Is There Any Coherent Plan For Townsville? Has There Ever Been?

It’s not just the chopping, changing and reallocation of sites and projects, but there is no clear indication to the public who has been leading this city in the last decade. The past week has highlighted the dog’s dinner ‘vision thing.’

Conflict of interest anyone? Townsville Airport’s Kevin Gill pleads – again – for public money to line his own pockets – and that of his employers.

When are a rates not rates? When the TCC talks about ‘no rise to speak of’, and hides the sting in utility charges. The Magpie has the numbers.

The idiocy of Anna … what was she thinking with her (quickly ditched) laws restricting election reporting?

And in the US, gloves are off and the main bout begins … the public prosecutor V the President … it’ll be a doozy, folks.

But first …

Up To His Gills In It.

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

Townsville Airport’s office boy (that’s how he’s known at QAL HQ) Kevin ‘Rhymes With’ Gill is nothing if not doggedly loyal to his southern masters, Queensland Airports Ltd (QAL). But his latest obsequious foray into sharp practice is sailing very close to the winds of corruption.

You see, Gill is also the chairman of Townsville Enterprise Ltd, and is therefore head of the group putatively responsible for tourism and economic investment in this city/region (and how’s that going by the way?) So that makes him head of a team which is now seeking public money for a ‘project wish list’ – shovel ready, as they amusingly and inaccurately put it – to get us back to work again in these parts.

But using the cover of generous government COVID recovery measures, Gill is trying to use one role (TEL) to pull a massive swifty to benefit his other role (QAL). In short, he wants the top or near the top of the shovel ready list, tens of millions of dollars to upgrade Townsville Airport, the plans for which blatantly enhance Queensland Airports Limited’s bottom line of assets, without them spending a penny of their own profits. And absolutely no gain for the city TEL is supposed to promote (ever heard of anyone NOT going somewhere because of the airport, which, btw, is a monopoly?)

During the week, an angry Magpie reader, well informed on this matter, fired off a letter to federal member for Herbert Phillip Thompson and our three blind mice state MPs. It is crystal clear on the ethics of this.

I note in the media and from the Townsville Enterprise website that Townsville Enterprise has compiled a list of local “shovel-ready” projects, for which it intends to seek funding from the State and/or Federal governments.

High on that list is a redevelopment of Townsville Airport.

This is of serious concern considering the following:

- Townsville Airport’s chief operating officer, Kevin Gill, is also Townsville Enterprise chairman, thus appearing to create a serious conflict of interest

- The proposed Townsville Airport redevelopment was originally stated to cost $40 million, which Queensland Airports/Townsville Airport attempted to fund through a $3 passenger levy (which was rejected by Qantas)

- The proposed redevelopment includes substantial retail space and a new airport lounge, for which Queensland Airports/Townsville Airport will receive rent

- The proposed redevelopments will all become assets of Queensland Airports, which is a private company

- After Qantas rejected the proposed $3 passenger levy, Queensland Airports/Townsville Airport appears to have doubled the cost of the proposed redevelopment to $80 million, and applied for a low interest loan under the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund

- A NAIF loan was approved

- Due to covid-19 restrictions it appears that Queensland Airports/Townsville Airport can no longer justify the proposed redevelopment nor afford to make the necessary NAIF loan repayments, due to a significant downturn in revenue caused by a huge reduction in the number flights and passengers passing through the airport

- The Townsville Enterprise website now lists the cost of the Townsville Airport redevelopment as $50 million (originally $40 million – then $80 million – now $50 million?)

According to the Townsville Enterprise website Queensland Airports/Townsville Airport is now attempting to get a grant from the Federal and/or State governments to fund its proposed redevelopment.

If approved, such a grant would in essence a donation to a private company.

Given the history outlined above I urge the Queensland Government to reject any application for grant funding for the proposed Townsville Airport redevelopment which. If QAL/Townsville Airport still deem this self-benefitting work to still be required and warranted, it should be funded by them, not Australian taxpayers.

But Bentley doesn’t reckon Gill and his cohorts will walk away, he thinks they have a new scaled-back promotion up their sleeves.

Tiger moth poster fin 3 small

This TEL Delegation Raises Another Festering Matter

Who is leading the fight for Townsville to get back into the economic game? Which person or organization? For that matter, who has been doing so for the past decade?

Is it the Townsville City Council? The mayor? Is it TEL? The Chamber of Commerce (ha!)? Numerous out-of-town consultancies, (the most damaging and expensive of which was the Labor inspired Nous group, that sent us Adele The Impaler Young with a scythe to crate mayhem among TCC staff?)?

The absence of strong and focused Mooney-like presence is nowhere to be found. It appears the self-defeating power elite of this city has created a handy conglomeration of blame-shuffling rabbit holes, down which multiple projects disappear, to resurface half heartedly (North Rail Yards) and then moulder away  in the sun, and regular brain farts aimed at ‘look! over there!’ distraction rather than substance, most of which mercifully disappear never to be seen again (Strand lagoon). Lucrative consultancies pop up, make ludicrous suggestions for ludicrous fees (Hi Mr Durie) and are seen no more.

And when a strong private businessman bullies and cajoles to have his way, vital elements of benefit to the community are sacrificed. So when Laurence Lancini bullied and cajoled his way to getting a stadium in the CBD, the original and long-standing promise of a co-existing entertainment/convention and exhibition center was dumped. And somehow, we are now to have a sports training facility of very doubtful community value where the scuttled project could have been.

But this isn’t an idle stroll down memory lane – when William Faulkner wrote The past is never dead. It’s not even past.’, he could’ve been writing an accurate assessment of this city.

Because in today’s paper, we get this …

Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 9.38.38 pm

It did not occur to the paper to ask who are the authors of the ‘position paper’ that claims ‘a concert hall is a better alternative to a new Townsville Entertainment and Exhibition Centre.’ And not even a line or two from the report to justify this sudden baffling swerve, beyond the mayor simpering ” the council’s concert hall plan is more suited to Townsville’s population and tourism prospects’. Whatever that means. This woman’s idea of the ‘prospects’ of Townsville’s population and tourism are seen wholly through a prism of political self-interest. So no idea who wrote a position paper to make this momentous decision with consequences for this city for years to come.

It probably means that Mayor Mullet has managed to patch up some acrimonious differences with the Hive people (Griffin, is it?), do a deal of some sort, and it’s all tickety boo. Again.

So Willy Faulkner was on the money … around here, the past is never dead, and it’s not even the past.

Other Matters In Passing

The Magpie was not in the least concerned about the corona virus, until he saw this.

Jenny no worries creen Shot 2020-08-15 at 8.08.26 pm

And surely this must be the death of D’ath (politically) …

corruption lawIMG_6116

This never possible idea was embarrassingly dumped less than 24 hours after we were told it was to become law, with D’Ath mumbling to parliament ‘Given the limited time for the parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee to consider the law changes the CCC seeks… the bill introduced yesterday in state parliament is withdrawn’.  That is of course utter bullshit … simple fact is trying to run a government, let alkone an election campaign, depending on people you have threatened to jail, is, shall we say, a tad ambitious.  At least Anna Palaszczuk did the smart thing, accepted responsibility for what was clearly an error, and moved on, as we all will. With such a hasty retreat, surely those ‘problem elements’ could’ve been spotted before it saw the light of day. You can bet the scheming LGAQ boss Greg Pizza The Hutt Hallam was in the frame on this one … he’d be right up to the third roll of his neck in it.

Hard To Freeze Things In Townsville – Including Rates.

It’s all about words.

Any sensible person realizes that charges must be levied in any community, and that some rises are necessary and fair. So the recent Jenny Hill TCC budget (her work alone, she doesn’t brook any interference) was ballyhooed as a temporary rate freeze … which was akin to putting lipstick on a pig and dressing in it calico.

So here’s a more realistic break down, supplied by a number cruncher Magpie mate.

No increase in residential rates but increase across utilities when you compare them to last rates notice so overall +1.1% total rates bill

-waste &recycling 240 L bin +5.3%

-local waste management +.75%

-water residential plan +5%

-State Govt emergency mngt &rescue levy 2 +.2%

There has also been unusual State Government land value increases (letters received in March 2020) resulting in increases of 8-30% on Magnetic island as well as areas around Townsville which can be appealed but the costs of appeal prohibitive in some circumstances .

In The Land Of The Tangerine Terrorist, Joe Biden Could Become The First President Elected On The Coattails Of His VEEP.

Joe Biden’s fairly unsurprising choice of Kamala Harris as running mate in the presidential race is going to let a very interesting genie bout of the election bottle. Clever choice on so many levels. It’s not even that she’s a woman and black – well, she’s more of a pleasing beige, being of Indian/Jamacian heritage – she is articulate and has political and legal smarts to spare. No, the aspect of Harris’s selection that has so spiced up this campaign is that many know it to be a shadow race for the White House for her. The plausible theory is that the ageing Joe Biden, decent though he may be, is old, and the deliberate plan may be for him to call it quits during his first term, or decline to run as the incumbent in 2024. And Kamala Harris is certain to be the Democratic nominee. One of this week’s cartoon’s nails the situation.

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And others know that Trump is likely in meltdown at the prospect of the coming campaign proper (like he wasn’t already) … he’s already started, using that tired old trope he used against Obama about the circumstances of her birth … already quashed … and childishly calling her ‘nasty’. Because he knows he can expect a lot more of this sort of comparative stuff.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 9.23.19 amBut his callous assessment of the pandemic death toll … ‘it is what it is ‘ – totally ignoring his pivotal role in making it ‘what it is’ – is coming back to haunt him like sonor pings.

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………………

That’s the end of a busy week for The ‘Pie, and sorry if this week isn’t as entertaining as is usually hoped, done in a bit of an exhausted rush. Many thanks for all the birthday wishes, greatly appreciated.

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.

139 Comments

  1. Airport Bored Member says:

    Kevin Gill is an embarrassment. Although he kneels down to his QAL masters on the Gold Coast his actions in trying to squeeze out tax payer money to spend on his hedge fund asset is an utterly contemptible sham. He should be made to do the walk of shame immediately. The airport is dead and will be for a number of years to come. While there is COVID there will be empty airports. Turn it into an indoor cricket center or a museum.

    The other reason this is a sham is because of this; Townsville airport is one of only a few combined commercial/defence force airports in Australia. Who do you think pays for all of the perfect runways and high level airport security fences? Not Gill and his team. It’s the ADF. So not only is QAL a hedge fund owned cash cow, the bastards don’t even have to pay for a lot of the infrastructure upkeep or development – the taxpayer does! You couldn’t make this shit up!

    Lastly, why even keep Gill on the payroll? He is not needed. In recent weeks and months the following high level positions, among many other hundreds within airport structures, have been made redundant;
    – COO Cairns airport
    – GM Brisbane airport
    – CEO Hobart airport
    – GM Launceston airport
    Plus senior management turnovers at; – Whitsunday Coast airport
    – Rockhampton airport
    – Melbourne airport
    – Sydney airport
    So why do we need COO Gill in this region anyway? His role on TEL is a laughable joke. Just give him a job waiving in FIFO flights out at Adani.

    • Filthy Fokker says:

      We might find Dill is kept on because of his TEL role. He shows time and time again that TEL is a vehicle to shovel money into the airport.

      Noting the method by which TEL Board positions are allocated. In that sponsors effectively buy a seat. There will always be little people like Dill running around filling their own buckets at the trough.

      • The Magpie says:

        Don’t kid yourself it is selfless devotion to Townsville that led him to the chairmanship of TEL … a planned gambit all along, you can bet. But hey, The ‘Pie is a bit tired of some people out there winghing about him and the Dudley Do Nothings …. after all, TEL’s chief enabler, the TCC, is only there because they were voted there by the whip-smart general population.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          That is exactly where I am these days Pie, the fuckwits of this town have had plenty of opportunities to change the course of this town and subsequently the lives of the people who live in it but have failed to do so, getting exactly what we deserve. I have given up on the place frankly and If people want to live in a town run by high quality successful people then don’t live in Townsville, move elsewhere like many others have done, and like I will as soon as personal circumstances allow.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie is torn between moving closer to family down the coast, or sticking around … out of morbid curiosity.

          • Critical says:

            I’m the same, waiting for personal circumstances to change and I’m out of here too to join many others who have fled this city and are now having great lives with much to do.
            Pie, you need to flee while you can and you have to admit the health, aged care and numerous other community services for we older people are far better in places like the Goldy. Just do a quick search on the Gold Coast Council website.

          • Alacan says:

            Whilst I still have family in Townsville Pie I made the move to Gold Coast earlier in the year and haven’t looked back despite a couple of lean months due to Covid

            Of course I still check in every Sunday On your blog but am becoming ever more distant from what is happening or not happening in the old joint .. after a life time in the place it’s just great to have moved on and not be confronted with the state of the City

            Made the decision over 12 months ago to start rapping up Townsville after the clear path that the place has been taken .. I’d hate to think the amount of ratepayers money that has been wasted by Jenny and her team

            The biggest thing I’ve had to get used to in the green grass and the hinterland mate .. is just great .. so if you do move down that’s something you will probably have to get used to

            For what’s its worth I’d say fuck it and move down to your family mate .. Townsville is just not worth it and there is life a plenty in SEQ

            I pen this as I sit in my favourite Italian restaurant in Mudgeeraba on a cool Sunday evening .. just tremendous ..

  2. Ananas comosus says:

    Many years ago I did some work at the airport, as a contractor, and in the office there was a 3 headed pineapple that was awarded each week to the person that fucked up the most.

    I’m guessing that it is permanently on Kevin’s desk now

  3. Frequent Flyer says:

    How does the cost of an airport redevelopment go from $40 mill to $80 mill (to suit NAÏF criteria????) to $50 mill (to look less expensive to Fed and State Govt s????)?
    Please enlighten us Kevin.

    • Airport Bored Member says:

      It goes to show their level of incompetence or dishonesty. How can a fully planned ‘shovel ready’ project (shovel ready meaning the project work has been scoped, coated, designed and is ready to go) jump up and down by tens of millions?? Morons.

  4. Kenny Kennett says:

    I see Trump is distressed about his ill brother and fears the worst. If he dies, I guess Trump will have no problem dealing with the grief. It is what it is Donny.

    • Polythene Pam says:

      Trump’s brother has in fact now died. Whatever you think of Trump the loss of his brother is sad and Trump should have our sympathy.

      • The Magpie says:

        Indeed, we should be respectful, it is a personal loss that should remain a private matter. But sympathy? Sorry The ‘Pie will reserve his for the kids in cages separated from their parents, and the countless bereaved families mourning those unnecessarily lost to corona virus because of Donald Trump’s callous ‘it is what it is’ attitude.

        Now we wait to see if irony steps in and we find that his brother had the virus.

        • Kenny Kennett says:

          Yes, finally Trump knows what it’s like to grieve a loved one instead of someone treated as a number. My comment is simply directed to Trump’s disdain and disrespect for those families who have lost love ones to Covid19. It is what it is.

          • The Magpie says:

            Normally, this blog would not be party to putting the boot in under these circumstances, but your comment is completely valid.

            However, enough on the subject, The ‘Pie won’t allow the dogs loose on this one.

    • Pushing up daisies says:

      Oh well, the Tangerene Anus’s brother has dropped off the perch. Seems that all those billions that Donny boy has couldn’t extend a family members life by even a day. I’m sure this will overlaid his brain cells and he will have a major malfunction within the coming days. Time to grab the beer and popcorn.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        NOT fair Daisy/Sour Sob! Robert Trump was very quiet and kept way out of the spotlight, unlike his bro, The Donald. He is entitled, as you would be, to mourn a sibling and close family member.

  5. Mario says:

    Start planning for rates to be at least 800 dollars more a year by 2024. Expect all fines, levies, schemes, licences and approvals to continue their steep rise ( they know people have withdrawn their super recently, all that money will be swallowed by tax); it will be a death ( for some) by a thousand increases.

    In reality the extra costs will only be borne those actually owning property and non gov workers.
    Those on the government dime will be fine as their wages are linked to inflation. Those in any kind of government funded housing / centrelink will be fine.

    By 2030 those earning non gov wages should expect around 10 percent of their post tax income to be swallowed by rates.

    In tandem to this crime will continue rising , it helps win elections.

  6. Pat Coleman says:

    FYI : The Airport runway extension was paid for by the CTH because the new JSF Lighting is so good , it flies like a brick and cant take off in the space of the f18.

    Thankfully the topography of the local area makes it unsafe for B52’s to land (Although after a few attempts one got in at the first skyshow and none since ).

    The company they got to do the environmental impact assessment is Coffey, which was a donor. It’s a subsidiary of the American Tetra Tech, which was in trouble for falsifying and hiding results, coverups relating to American military establishments.

  7. The Magpie says:

    Solidarity for our friends in Melbourne … a great creative effort from the Canucks.
    https://enchantmentathamilton.org/20200601ForTheLongestTime.mp4

  8. Alahazbin says:

    Re the “journo gag bill”
    As reported in the Astonisher 15/8.
    “Anna personally pushed for laws gagging the media —-“
    “The CCC asked last month for a new offence prohibiting the publication of allegations of corrupt conduct.
    And last but not least “Crime & Corruption Commission head Alan Macsporran silent on the issue “
    Try and tell me the Jackie Trad has nothing to do with this, the I will stand naked outside the GPO.
    (If I can find it these days)

  9. Mike Douglas says:

    Pie, T.C.C. has no plan for Townsville ? . All the Mullet has to do is open her draw and there are plenty of plans over the past few years paid for by Ratepayers most of which havnt delivered and it would be interesting to add the cost and lost opportunities . Understanding that Council staff , i believe , were not eligible for Jobkeeper , would be interesting with 1500 staff T.C.C. has any plan on COVID risk management because whilst the local businesses talk about “resetting and pivoting ” adjusting to the impact of COVID i.e. a large % of ratepayers unable to pay rates etc what has the Mullet and her Councillors put in place . Did the Mayor or Councillors offer a 20% pay reduction like many in the private industries because “we are all in this together “? . The 10 Councillors (one independent ) have to take responsibility . Many 2nd term / 3rd term for simply allowing the Mullet free rein but as they are getting their stipend but on the grace of our Mayor , how likely are they to ask for accountability vs acting in the best interests of the people in their divisions .

  10. Big Barra says:

    Love this one. You don’t need to look too far to see committee and board leaders leveraging their voluntary roles to drive outcomes their way under the guise of community love and support.

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed.

      A word of caution … be careful with your pseudonym, you may be mistaken for one of the favourite subjects of this blog, and share his reputation as a scumdog.

  11. Doona in the coal mine says:

    Has Nanna Anna hit the panic button on mining (lack of) safety? Current inquiry underway and while that is occurring some jobs have been advertised for mine inspectors in Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton? Keep in mind that Palaszczuk and Lyneham “didn’t have enough females on their advisory panel” so they went 9 months without a safety meeting because they didn’t have a quorum. Fucking idiots!!!! Now they are increasing Inspector numbers because they are shitting themselves over all the mining deaths. As usual too little too late. No doubt it will take months to fill those roles due to them needing to hire females, LGBQT people and maybe a male or two.

    • Not the ECQ says:

      Doona, why is the state government responsible for “safety in mines”? They aren’t responsible for safety in dress shops, service stations or food courts so why is it that mining companies, unions and contractors somehow pass the buck to government? I don’t get it.

      • The Magpie says:

        Oh, Christ, Macdonald’s let you out again, Ronald? Where to start? How about at the point where you are wrong in every sense … the state government creates the regulations through a legislative process, and empowers other branches of government with punitive powers if, inter alia, safety regs are not met … in dress shops, servos, food courts (outside any council health regs) and even that inexplicable darling of the covid media, hairdressers. In fact, just about all public places that aren’t under Commonwealth law.Therefore, they ARE responsible for many aspects of safety in those areas. Then there’s the fact that even local council regs are overseen by the Department of Local Government.

        If you are suggesting self-regulation by the mining industry, your comrades and green mates will have your nuts. As would any other thinking person, if their tastes run to the exotic.

        • Grumpy says:

          Jesus NECQ, do you have any sense of history? Mine owners and miners are traditional enemies down to the molecular level. Of fucking course there needs to be regulations. Overall, one of the dumbest comments you have ever made.

      • Doona in the coal mine says:

        Not the ECQ, oh dear. You really are living in cloud cuckoo land aren’t you? Mr Magpie has actually answered your dumbarse comment quite succinctly. But you might want to educate yourself about crown and industrial land and environmental legislation also. Beneath the ground and the minerals contained within aren’t necessarily owned by the mining companies, hence the state and even federal governments have quite a large involvement in what takes place on mine sites. Google is your best friend, or should I say your Labor pals are your best friends….lick lick slurp.

        • Not the ECQ says:

          Doona (and others), I apologise for the unintended ambiguity of my statement about “government responsibility.” I did not mean that there should be no government oversight over safety in any industry let alone mining. What I did mean was why is government ‘held responsible’ when some incident happens on a mine site? I quote from a recent article in Australian Mine Safety Journal:

          “The range of incidents that reportedly occurred in a period just prior to April [2020] included a runaway Getman vehicle, loss of braking on an underground water truck, a wing failure on a crushing plant, a significant coal Spall from longwall face resulting in workers hospitalised, a number of vehicle collisions, loss of control of a haul truck on a ramp at a surface coal mine, an underground mineworker being struck by an LHD QDS Pod, the rollover of a contractor’s heavy rigid truck, a chain hook ejecting and striking a worker’s nose.

          Queensland’s Resources Safety & Health Regulator has openly insisted that the issues are industry problems. In a recent presentation the Regulator said “Controls being implemented by sites in response to incidents continue to be primarily administrative.”

          My intention was to question why the government somehow had to account for a rollover or whatever on a mine site when, by and large, they are not asked about a collision in a supermarket carpark or a fuckup on a boat ramp. What is it specifically about mines and mining that calls for an apparently exceptional response from government?

          • The Magpie says:

            (Sigh … how long is this going to go on?)

            LISTEN, CLOTH-HEAD, supermarket car parks and boat ramps are NOT workplaces, and involve people generally going about private business. Workplace Health And Safety regs are devised by GOVERNMENTS, where employees – ergo taxpayers – work under legislated conditions, and carry oversight of the compliance of companies and industries to which they apply (not just mining).

            ALSO, the answer to your last question involves the massive royalties quite correctly imposed by governments in the interests of the general populace (well, that’s the theory). Government negligence of WPH&S in light of that would, in this litigious day and age, end in a both a legal nightmare and a political bonanza for your mates in the CFMEU and the like. There is nothing ‘apparently exceptional’ about any response from any government, as there isn’t ‘exceptional’ about regulation of the agricultural industry.

            We now eagerly await your next clarification of what you really meant.

          • Not the ECQ says:

            Mr Magpie the Queensland WH&S legislation you seem to be mentioning does not apply to the mining/quarrying industry. Coal mines and non-coal mines each have separate safety legislation which operates completely differently from regular WH&S. That was my point. The mines safety inspectorate (or whatever it’s called) is regularly accused, especially in moments of incidents such as the re-emergence of ‘black lung disease’, of ‘capture’ by the mining industry. That re-emergence was referred to at the time as a failure of government regulation ie. nothing to do with the mine operators that employed the workers. Hence the tab will be/or was picked up by taxpayers – which, as you probably rightly point out, is “what we’re here for.”

          • The Magpie says:

            Glad you now understand your error and are finally seeing it for what it is.

  12. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Moving along….
    Has any one but me noticed the extra arrivals of C17 aircraft to our airport over the last few days?
    Have I missed a planned exercise or are the Illuminati making a move?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      NAW,
      Nope, I have not noticed any extra C17 movements.

    • The Magpie says:

      Pics?

      • NQ Gal says:

        There is a C17 sitting on the tarmac this morning. I saw it come in late-ish yesterday afternoon and I think a good portion of Townsville would have heard reverse thrust being engaged when it landed shortly thereafter. Those big birds are amazing!

    • CEO of Crap says:

      I live on Strand and look across to airport direction. Yes I have noticed military aircraft movement. Assumed it was delivery of toilet paper for TCC.

      • The Magpie says:

        This is the brute.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Moving troops around most of the time for Covid duties to take pressure off commercial flights.

          • Non Aligned Worker says:

            Happy Cant.
            I hope they are only sending non infected troops out and not importing cases back to town.
            I’m sure that they would have a process for isolating on base for returnees?

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            Cbh,

            An expensive way of doing it, unless combined with aircrew training. Not sure how many troops they carry but it is a LOT. Three C17’s worth is a real LOT. That is a LOT of diggers on CV19 duty into or out of Townsville. Maybe or maybe not? What is your source?

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            My son who was on it.

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            Thanks. Can’t argue with that.

        • Jatzcrackers says:

          Clearly it’s nesting/breeding season for the C17’s.
          Just wear a helmet when you ride a bike in the park !

  13. Gunnery Sgt. Carter says:

    Good to see Gomer Pyle (member for Herbert) standing firm against Mayor Mullet in relation to the unicorn battery ‘proposal’, as per front page of TB today. Go Gomer, nice to see you have grown some and can swing the bat when needed!

    • The Magpie says:

      Thompson is proving to be a match for our little bully girl mayor, she of the hypocritical mantra ‘he’s playing politics’. As Thompson points out, the highly speculative and deeply sus (The ‘Pie’s words, not his) battery plant is a private company which should seek a loan under NAIF, and it is significant that Magnis has not done so, despite being encouraged to do so on several occasions by Minister Canavan. But these ‘colourful’ directors of a two-bit company have gobbled up an unprecedented Qld government grant of $3million for a ‘pre-feasibility study’ (FFS!), unprecedented because it is the first time in The ‘Pie’s experience that such a grant has been made to a private company. You don’t have to be a cynic to conclude that grant came from a desperate Labor premier for an old Labor chum in Walker Street in a bid to shore up the three shonks in local state seats. Certainly, plenty of politics are being played, but not by Thompson in this instance.

      • Last Drinks says:

        I will back Jenny. Little Phil has a bemused look on his face in every photo he is in.
        Jenny will wear him down in no time at all.

        • Gunnery Sgt. Carter says:

          Bullshit ‘Last D’, he’s been in and around bigger fights than one with a doona wearing, sycophant, opportunist like Mayor Mullet!

          • Grumpy says:

            Yes, but he was encouraged to shoot ‘em

          • Dave says:

            I am sure with Phil’s army training he has learnt how to read a map, where he knows Lansdown is not in the electorate of Herbert, so why should he give a fuck.

            Can’t wait for the Purple Donna to take on the Crazy Bob Kat, in the Kennedy battle of Woodstock. Could be a good under card event for the Horn Tszyu fight. My money is on the old pensioner from Cloncurry.

  14. Mangrove Jack says:

    I thought that the NQ Cowboys getting a NAIF loan for $20M in addition to a Federal Gov Grant may have drawn comment from someone when it was reported last Thursday in the local rag.

    Additionally, the Training and High Performance centre, to be finished in early 2021, will support 58 jobs when operational.

    As the Stadiums generally don’t make a profit, you could probably add a couple of $ Million to the operating loss to cover those extra 58 jobs.

    • The Magpie says:

      Think perhaps most of the jobs will be covered by JCU, Cowboys and possibly Qld Health. There is no way, though, that this expenditure can be justified on any sort of priority list.

      • Grumpy says:

        But…are they new positions, or simply existing jobs being relocated. If new jobs, where’s the money coming from?

    • CEO of Crap says:

      The ‘Cow-flops’ need to start winning if they’re going to draw the crowds long term and justify that sort of expenditure.

  15. Mike Shearer says:

    Just received via email:
    Townsville City Council is gearing up to start work on stage 2 of the Haughton Pipeline. Consultants and contractors are invited to attend an industry briefing about the second stage of the Haughton pipeline project. Date: Friday 21 August 2020 Venue: Townsville Stadium, Annandale
    The Queensland Government has committed $195M in funding towards the Stage 2 works

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, when all said and done, that’s good news for employment and morale, no matter where the money bis coming (well, it’s always going to be the same place one way or the other i.e. the taxpayer, but that’s what we’re here for).

  16. Achilles says:

    No mention in the TB or ABC news that I can find, that today is 54th Long Tan anniversary.

  17. Last Drinks says:

    I am astonished to see a cartoon of Groucho Marx, one of the greatest comedians of all time with Donald Trump at Mt Rushmore.

    Surely an injustice to compare the two. And from the great man himself.

    “He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.”
    ― Groucho Marx

  18. WTF! says:

    2 days in a row now ive seen a cleanaway street sweeper in CBD and around palmer st cleaning. The same company ive seen over last couple of weeks here and there carrying Townsville waste services big red bins around town. Presumably to the dumps, they look like skip bins. They are a contractor yes? Is this the reason why waste/recycling charges have gone up 5%. Has TCC sent jobs out to contractors? I admit i havnt seen my house bin picked up for a while because they arnt a regular time like they were before the election. From before Christmas I could set a watch to the time my bin got collected. How come nobody put up a stink or go on strike from workers if they went to contract?

    • The Magpie says:

      Recommending strike action at this juncture isn’t the smartest suggestion.

    • Critical says:

      This happens every year, Mullets tarting up of the area around Reid Park and inner city by cleaning gutters, half hearted cleaning of garden beds ( forget about replacing dead plants) laying of square meters of wood chip in gardens beds and mowing grass. However this year she’s forgotten to turn on the watering systems on Charters Towers Rd near the causeway or outside the Stadium so the broadcast audience will see wilting plants in at home in the wood chip, such a nice image of Townsville. Watch once the V8’s are over, everything will return to status quo.

      • WTF! says:

        I understand that but it dosnt explain why a contractor is doing a job TCC should be. Dont we have streetsweepers or skip trucks?

  19. I ‘DA FAGGOT says:

    Does this blog welcome contributions from gay folks? Just checking please.

    • The Magpie says:

      The’Pie doesn’t inquire into commenters ‘personal lifestyle choices’ or whatever the woke term is this week, so The ‘Pie must ask what is the hallmark of a gay contribution? How could one tell, it’s a fair bet that some established commenters here are gay, a circumstance totally irrelevant to what they have to say. However, any form of specific discussion about sex – any sex – is outside the purpose of the Nest, there are sites that cater to that area.

      NB duelling commenters occasional telling each other to get fucked is not regarded as a sexual discussion.

      • flaccid says:

        with some, their dander is the only thing that they can get up anymore :)

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        Yes I DA, like the Pie said. The only thing you’ll pick up here is information (some of it true, some doubtful, some just BS); an argument; varied and expansive points of view and depending upon what you have written and the Pie’s demeanour, a direct assessment of his opinion of what you have ‘said’!

        Welcome aboard!!

      • Doona in the coal mine says:

        I’m suspicious of the purpose of the post from I’DA FAGGOT. Probably one of Hill’s acolytes trying to bait the Pie and/or readers into posting homplophobic slurs so they can try and get the the Pie’s blog shut down on the basis of discrimination or some other nefarious reason.

        It’s 2020, who really gives a fuck if someone is straight, gay, coloured or of a different nationality. As a society we have bigger problems to deal with such as a collapsing world economy and some of the most ludicrous and incompetent fuckwit politicians to ever grace the four corners of this planet.

      • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

        bugger me! will it never end?

    • CEO of Crap says:

      To quote the famous poet, Homer (Simpson), “I’d be a vegetarian, if bacon grew on trees”.

  20. Mike Douglas says:

    An indicator on how poorly Townsville is being managed by Council and State Government is Core Logics survey of 25 of Australias largest non capital cities and the fact Townsville residential sellers have to offer the highest discount of 5.9 % to get a sale . Can’t see this improving with the take up of the $45k State / Federal first home owner builders to suburbs mostly on the outskirts . Are the banks still holding mortgage default homes hoping for the market to improve ? .

    • Jatzcrackers says:

      Mike, I’m told the banks aren’t holding onto properties waiting for better days. My understanding from a close mate in the industry, is that the banks don’t want to be property owners or landlords where the mortgagors have gone bust. After encouraging a sale by the non performing owner, they have the property valued and sold of ASAP at current market value in line with their ‘consumer protection laws’ ! From there the bank makes a commercial decision re chasing up the shortfall, if there is one, and will pursue or write the shortfall off as business loss.

  21. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    So once again it is one rule for the politicians and another rule for everyone else!

    Our Queensland pollies can head down to a declared COVID hot spot and when they return they are allowed to self isolate at home. (As they are considered “essential workers”). For Average Joe Queenslander it is compulsory to go into hotel isolation and pay $2800 out of your own pocket.

    My question is: for the returning pollies, will the whole household be isolating for the whole two weeks? Or will close contact partners/kids be free to come and go and mix with the community?

    • NQ Gal says:

      WW – Canberra was declared a hot spot because Sydney residents were circumventing their own lock out by travelling to Canberra and flying out of there. There are no active COVID cases in the ACT.

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        I’m aware of that NQ Gal. Whether the ACT has any cases or not, the fact remains that Dr Young and the Qld Govt have declared it a hotspot, then promptly made exceptions to their own border closure rules for any politicians that travel there, that don’t apply for ordinary Queensland residents who may need to travel there.

    • Achilles says:

      Problem with your reasonable argument is; if they are compelled to follow the same rules as we plebs they’ll simply recover/claim the “impost” against Parliamentary expenses, ergo we lose either way.
      All hail to the snouts in the trough.

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        I agree that ultimately the taxpayer ends up footing the bill in some shape or form. However, I’m more annoyed about the exemption being allowed to self isolate at home, especially if the whole household isn’t also made to isolate. I’ve asked Qld Health if the whole household is required to self isolate but I’m yet to get an answer.

  22. The Magpie says:

    With friends like these … Here’s why The Magpie used to run a segment in his newspaper column titled ‘The Sayings of Magistrate Ross Mack.’

    Court cock-up makes for much merriment (unless you’re the accused)

    Magistrate Mack was back to his best when a woman appeared before him on fraud and theft charges. He summed her up in typical Mackean fashion:

    ‘She is a bit of a dead loss; she doesn’t contribute to anything, she just flaps around and doesn’t take her medication when she has been diagnosed.’

    A somewhat weird turn of events had led to this colourful summation. The prosecutor had called for a 6 month jail term, but the woman’s own defence lawyer Maria Christian inexplicably suggested a head sentence of two years, which prompted a clearly surprised Magistrate Mack to say ‘Crikey!’ in disbelief. He told the seemingly unchristian Ms Christian to ‘get real’, and sentenced the woman to 100 hours community service.

    Gawd, The ‘Pie misses court.

  23. The Magpie says:

    Wonder how long it will take the Bulletin to catch up to this wonderful endorsement of Townsville? And how they will spin it for our disgraceful Labor government?

    • Not the ECQ says:

      I know a bloke who has the same (uncommon) first name as a local convicted sex offender. Within days of the TBulletin publishing the name of the now-absent offender this bloke’s workplace, where he was a low level employee, was graffitied and had paint splashed around as if there was a nazi working there. Wrong person. Some ignorant fuckwit was given too much information. Not always a good idea.

      • The Magpie says:

        So you are against the idea of a register?

        • Not the ECQ says:

          Understand and happy to debate “the idea”, very sceptical about our legislative capacity to safely implement such, let alone restrain our completely predictable vigilantist tendencies.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie doesn’t have anything further to add, and isn’t interested in creating a long, gum-flapping thread on this subject.

    • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

      As most abuse happens within the family, couldn’t such a register lead to identification of victims?

      • The Magpie says:

        No, there is no suggestion that the register contain information that identify victims – which would be illegal under current laws – so it would be possible that such cases … if wholly restricted to within a family … not be included. Indeed, there are cases of that nature that should not be included for a variety of reasons. Plenty of others to fill the register.

        But agree there would need to be some fine tuning of such a move, because it can amount to a disproportionate ‘life sentence’ with multiple on-going punishments (social, employment, personal safety).

        And Mr Thompson has unfairly conflated two matters here … the offending itself, and the ‘after the fact’ lack of adequate monitoring. While there will be arguments that it is not an ‘either/or’ situation, the latter is probably more important than a register, because let’s face it, those whose urges are sick enough will re-offend anyway. A public register could lead to vigilante action against the wrong person.

        • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

          I’m sceptical of the value of such a register even before a significant chunk of former offenders are excluded from it because of their family connection to their victims … as well as the risk you raised of negative outcomes like stigma or vigilantism preventing rehabilitation of offenders (which seems like something that could backfire). The policy should be driven by the question of whether it will make the community safer.

          The issue of whether monitoring is adequately resourced probably needs more data and analysis on the types of offenders and relative risk of reoffending.

        • Old Tradesman says:

          Unfortunately in our society you will always get these rockspider creeps, how about we elect a government that will give the law enforcers the correct resources to contain these sicko’s, instead of one that has a look over there attitude.

      • Party Pooper says:

        You create a “village of the damned” that Victoria created for such people.

  24. The Magpie says:

    Tut Tut Tut … err, sorry, that should be Tat Tat Tat ….
    early Christmas gift idea for some prominent Aussies … Clive Palmer, Greg Hallam, the entire Broncos team?

  25. The Magpie says:

    YeSSSSSSS!
    Oh, wait … wrong country. Damn.

  26. I’ll be plucked says:

    All this talk about Canberra bring a hotspot is true! Just ask Barnaby Joyce, who has two newish sprogs and an as new Missus to prove it is, all fawned out of the ‘Canberra Bubble’.

    • Heated mess says:

      Can’tberra is a ‘hotspot’ bubble for lazy government employees who work 3 hours per day, earn an average salary of $250k per year and eat Kale sandwiches and sip celery latae’s.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        AND Heated, some of them bonk each other (at least they used to, until Malcolm stepped in)! :)

      • CEO of Crap says:

        Heated mess – what a load of crap, you need to fact check what you’re saying because there’s no way government employees work anywhere near three hours a day !

        • Not the ECQ says:

          Ceo of Crap, what a blowhard you are. Go stand in the foyer at the hospital and tell the “government employees” there that they are a bunch of overpaid, shiny-arsed bludgers. Take your toothbrush and slippers . . .

          • Last Drinks says:

            Try being a Teacher or a Nurse CEO. You wouldn’t last 20 minutes having to care about others.

  27. Strand Ghost says:

    Hey HM, not as bad as all the bloodsucking
    Labor crew in the Qld Government.

  28. NQ Gal says:

    In this morning’s emails was a tender issued by Townsville City Council for “Augmented Reality Software Platform”.

    Some unkind people might suggest that TCC has not been facing reality for years.

  29. The Magpie says:

    MAGIE’S NOTE:

    APOLOGIES FOR ANY DELAYS IN POSTING COMMENTS AND ESPECIALLY REPLIES TO PERSONAL EMAILS. THE ‘PIE HAS BEEN IN THE 9TH CIRCLE OF HELL WITH HIS SELF-INFLICTED EMAIL COLLAPSE, BUT AFTER THREE DAYS … YES, NO JOKING, THREE BLOODY DAYS … IT’S BEEN SORTED. NOW, WHERE WAS I?

  30. I ‘DA FAGGOT says:

    Had another read of this weeks comments and decided this is not for me; I am wondering if it’s disrespectful for me to note, that you’re all wierd,. There you go I wrote it, rather than left it in my thoughts.

    Happy days to all of you, whomever you really are.

    • The Magpie says:

      We are sorry for our loss. But we’re not as weird as your spelling … on that score, you’d fit in well around here.

  31. The Magpie says:

    Just a general question, especially for the aviation informed.

    What were the three large (presumably civilian) choppers doing when they flew in formation around the Strand a couple of times late yesterday morning. Tried to get a pic but camera not good enough. They were all uniformly wearing the same red, white and a bit of blue livery, all looked very new (and noisy) about the same size as a Blackhawk. Looked a bit like rescue choppers but came in and headed off in formation without landing (as far as I could tell from the the brief time two were out of view.) Thought it might be something to do with the covid ship but they didn’t go near it before heading south east again.

    ???

    • Biggles says:

      The red choppers flying around and making lots of noise before heading to the South East were probably the ALP scouts checking out Townsville before the Premier comes up town to watch the Horn fight (Thanks tax payers, oh and the Mayor – I mean rate payers).

      They will often scout out the territory looking for spots to drop empty promises to secure an election win.

      • The Magpie says:

        Tres droll.

        • Old Tradesman says:

          Anna has gone into lockdown panic mode in the south east with the new cases, however we are about to stage 2 rounds of the superpests, 16000 at the Anna Kate Jones promotion boxing tournament and a Cowboys game. We might need more than the 3 choppers.But then again the 3 blind mice need all the promotion for October 31. Why are there 36 spare beds at the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre in Townsville where the snots are out stealing more cars.

          • The Magpie says:

            On that last point, bit strange to hear ABC reporter telling ‘a youth detention centre is lockdown’. Well, yes … an oxymoron?

    • Airport Bored Member says:

      Perhaps Kevin Gill can assist with that question Pie. I’m sure the choppers would be getting chatged some fees if they are using his airport!

  32. Chris Cooper says:

    Rates, Landtax & Toilets
    Yes, they have risen despite political rhetoric. Objecticing to such increased land values at this time is for nought too. DNRM valued land increases last year around October, so covid 19 is left out as a reason to object. Never mind there have few sales to base this increase upon in 2 years prior. Its just a money grab.

    ALSO does everyone realise that All accommodation providers in Townsville pay $945 per toilet per year flushed or not. With occupancy at all time lows most are finding this fixed charge taking a huge chunk of cashflow out of the economy in to council coffers. What the mayor do? Nothing of course wont even answers to questions without kicking the can down the road.

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