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The Magpie

Sunday, August 18th, 2019   |   142 comments

Les ‘Messagebank’ Walker, Townsville’s Git That Keeps On Giving.

Our deputy mayor adds insult to ignorance with his wibbling idiocy about Strand developments being ‘the gift that keeps on giving’.… and the Daily Astonisher’s gurgling agreement fails to see the looming disaster.

Mega-garbos Cleanaway have all but admitted it’s been cleaning up on increases to customer charges. They have been caught red handed using the introduction of a government waste levy in what cannot be anything else but a ham fisted cash grab by arrogant local management. But publicity in The Magpie blog last week prompted an urgent internal smack-down from the company’s Brisbane HQ. But will anything change? Maybe not.

And what’s that bloody Shari Tagliabue trying to do in the weekend Astonisher … put The Magpie out of business? In her latest column, she gets in before The ‘Pie to nail some highly questionable decisions by the Townsville Council which smacks of old mates favouritism.

But first …

(Bentley was the victim of technical mayhem this week – his exact explanation is unprintable even in this free-thinking blog – a string of exotic words frequently punctuated with the word ‘Telstra’, but he managed to get around the problem with some ingenuity – a dedicated chap, is our Benters.)

 In A Spin


Some locals went into a spin this week on hearing that Cairns is to trial a 35m Ferris wheel on their Esplanade. Inevitably, there were those who saw it as another missed opportunity for Townsville (it isn’t … what’s the point when we have a bloody great, naturally beautiful hill overlooking the city and coast with better views than you’d ever get from 35m up in a glassed in gondola). But readers had a field day with the idea, the best of the bunch of comments coming from Old Tradesman who said: ‘Why have a Ferris Wheel, when the council and the state government give everything in this city the merry go round.’

Bentley had an even better take on the possibilities, given our mayor’s campaigning flights of fancy.

 Ferris wheel flat small

Goofy Is As Goofy Says

Deputy Doo Dah Les Messagebank Walker

Deputy Doo Dah Les Messagebank Walker

They say that politics is showbiz for ugly people. Now even The ‘Pie has to admit that the mildly vacuous, mildly moon-faced Less Walker couldn’t be described as ‘ugly’, but then, neither could he be described as a politician. Even in a profession that twists language like a pretzel in order to say nothing in the most words, our old mate Messagebank doesn’t measure up. Take today’s two page extravaganza in the Astonisher about proposed developments on the Strand.

Screen Shot 2019-08-18 at 2.20.09 am

All old re-hashed stuff into a nice round-up for a slow news day, this is a distillation of all the approval wish-list of projects either approved or still with the fabled Townsville Council Planning Department. The whole article doesn’t actually amount to anything substantive, if only because a campaigning Mayor Mullet has allowed Les to be the front man for any glory to be had (which is none, of course). Bus hub, anyone? But reporter Tony Raggatt gives the game away early on when he quotes Colliers MD Peter Wheeler wistfully musing ‘I really hope that most of these developments come through … I think that we are at the right stage for some of these projects to come out of the ground.’

Hope’, ‘think’, ‘some’, and ‘most’?In the logic of plain English, Mr Wheeler is admitting that some of these projects may never be realised. Not that paper intended that to get through.

In the article, Les describes the Strand as ‘the gift that keeps on giving.’ And that raises the obvious question: giving what? The council lots of revenue in approval and planning fees, even if approval is eventually knocked back? But then Les gets almost Shakespearean when he comes out with the truly delusional ‘The Strand is the jewel in the crown that has made our lifestyle one of the most envied in the country’.

You have GOT to be kidding, mate. Which country, Les? Ethiopia, Upper Volta, Outer Mongolia, maybe? That is such palpable nonsense, one wonders how the mayor let you leave your c rash helmet and crayons back in the office.

But Here’s The Rub That No One, Pollie or Paper, Want To Talk About

So many of these apartment and hotel projects along the Strand and at the new Honeycombe ferry terminal/apartment complex include integral and financially vital restaurants and coffee shops in their projections. All these ‘artists visualisations’, glittering and all well populated with cheery figures would appear to be visualisations greatly aided by recreational drugs.

Because the fact is that the Townsville supply of restaurants is rapidly diminishing, panic selling is right across the sector, and more will be joining the history books in the near future. The big shake up is on in earnest.

If you think The Magpie is being alarmist, regard this.

The ‘Pie is reliably told that in recent times, two cafes listed for sale. Bambini’s in City Point in Stokes Street initially listed at $110,000 is now reported to be changing hands for $20,000.

And in North Ward, Vitti’s in the Mitchell/Gregory St area went on the market a while ago for a ludicrous $490,000, and is now believed to be under contract for $175,000. That’s still a lot of coffee you have sell before you even cover the cost of the coffee.

But it isn’t just newcomers to the café/restaurant market who are cock-eyed optimists in this, one of the trickiest industries … developers also convince themselves of some sadly under-researched assumptions.

Te Magpie has been told that for five years, business brokers have been trying off to flog a never-used space reserved for a restaurant in the Quest Apartments on Eyre Street in North Ward. From information received, it would seem the restaurant space has virtually no parking allocated to it, is one level above the street, and is accessed down 40 metres or so of corridors. And the room itself presents some problems according to one of The ‘Pie’s informants (one’s comment on the room was ‘oh, shit!’). At least does have a fully fitted out kitchen already installed. The initial asking annual rent in headier times was $250,000,  but even when things go well, $9000 a week rent is writing yourself a business suicide note. Now, the building’s owners will apparently settle $48,000 p.a rent … and then the tenant also has to fit-out the dining area for another six figure sum. That is a disaster in waiting for the wrong person … and it’s hard to imagine a right person in this instance. Destination restaurants’ … those with no access to passing impulse trade with ready entry, are the most difficult operations to be successful and need skilled, experienced operators (like Matt Merrin at his new venue Bridgewater) to have a chance of survival.

In his first book, conman Donald Trump said of business generally ‘profit is made on the way in, not on the way out’, so you’d have to be very circumspect about getting into something when the outgoing person is basically handing it over.

Bet Les Walker, or the advertising hungry Bulletin, wouldn’t tell you any of this.

There Are Other Bad Restaurant Ideas

Like signage thoughtlessly lumped together with other …ummm … activities.

Screen Shot 2019-08-17 at 10.06.30 am

Names are very important in the food trade – this one would be a real goer, you’d reckon … certainly most Nesters would drop by.

The Cleanaway Crowd Say Sorrow … Sort Of.

downloadAfter last week’s unwanted attention in this blog to blatant over-charging and unwarranted price increases, it apparently hasn’t been a happy camp at Cleanaway locally.

The exposure of what is at the very least unethical business behaviour is really down to a tenacious and methodical local businessman who knew when he was being ripped-off, as documented last week. His persistence finally paid off when he was contacted by Cleanaway state sales boss Dan Greentree, who made this carefully worded admission:

I do apologise for the interaction with our Account Manager (in Townsville), and can assure you that we do not condone the situation … If you would like to consider continuing with Cleanaway, I would be happy to call again so that we can discuss the services and fees in detail.

It is clear that what Mr Greentree is being so forthright about apologising for is the ‘behaviour’ of his local chap … but he fails to mention what sanction the bloke might receive, and tellingly, he doesn’t actually say anything about the eye-watering 53% overnight mark-up of Cleanaway’s latest invoice, and only deems happy for a chat to justify them. (See last week’s blog).

This wasn’t lost on The ‘Pie’s whistleblower, who eventually decided to give Cleanaway a miss. His email:


After giving this a lot of thought I have decided to terminate my association with Cleanaway as of Monday the 19th Of August. Can you please arrange for my bins to removed on Monday or Tuesday the 19th or 20th next week. I thank you for your transparency in this issue once you personally became involved, transparency is all that I asked for from the beginning.

I believe in relationships between myself and my suppliers but unfortunately the deliberate lies provided to me and the subsequent cover up by your local manager do not allow me to have a positive relationship with your company at this point in time. 

My quoted bin avg weight of 250kg  to arrive at my new lift rate was overstated by 41.4% during this current calendar year and 27.67% over for the financial year. I find this very disappointing and deceptive.

I have paid the last month invoice in good faith based on the above. I would request that last months invoice and the last invoice to be raised be reviewed based on this correct information coming to light and the events that have unfolded. The positive side of this unfortunate issue for me and my business is that I have now instigated a can and stubby recycle program with the local school to raise much need funds, and I now have a farmer putting my food scraps to good use. These were some of the things that I wasn’t afforded the opportunity to install in place with the current pricing going forward with your local manager.

I wish you well and once again thank you for your personal assistance.

All this now puts Cleanaway in a ticklish legal situation which will almost certainly involve legal advice. Because if they adjust the latest invoice down as requested, it would possibly amount to an admission of overcharging, which can hardly be characterised as inadvertent. Perhaps they could make it clear that it was a one-off adjustment recognising the former good business relationship.

Or they could do nothing and leave matters there.

Whether other customers of Cleanaway choose to do so is another matter.

Cut It Out, Tagliabue

Shari 'Taggers' Tagliabue

Shari ‘Taggers’ Tagliabue

That bloody woman, really! More than once, here is The ‘Pie is relaxing, thinking he’s got the blog all sorted, then this Astonisher scribbler gets in ahead of him in the pages of the Saturday paper, slamming in fine Magpiesque style exactly the issue he had covered, and forcing him to re-write his carefully crafted load of old bollocks on the same subject.

Take this week for instance. Madam has taken a big and eloquent stick to the council for it’s inexplicable favouritism in certain approvals. The most interesting one was the incredible decision to impose production limitations on a new craft brewery operation in South Townsville, restrictions requested by the newcomer’s competition, the existing Townsville craft brewery in the old post office building. The council has agreed to the complainant’s request that newcomer stay within the restrictive production guidelines that the complainant himself has asked for … and that the council be the one to police this market restriction. This is nuts, and suspicious nuts at that, too.

Nothing too unusual there, until you learn that the complainant who objected to business competition in a supposedly free market is old council mate, Carey Ramm. Mr Ramm has done heaps of work for the council in surveys and such, made a motza out of the ratepayers over the years, and is well known around the Walker Street environs. It’s a highly questionable outcome among several others Ms Tagliabue mentions …

But The Magpie knows when he’s been bested, so he will let this irritating hussy sum up her argument herself. This is how she ended her column.

Shari 2Screen Shot 2019-08-18 at 1.15.05 am Screen Shot 2019-08-18 at 1.14.50 am

Random Notes From The Week’s News

Boris Johnson gets ready for his big Brexit announcement.

Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 7.01.57 pm…..

The ‘Pie would love the rights to sell tickets to the court if this ever comes before Judge Sal Vasta

Screen Shot 2019-08-17 at 9.53.49 am……….

And WTF, they’re kidding  ….

Screen Shot 2019-08-17 at 10.11.31 am

A week? A bloody week? That’s a picture of breakfast every morning, here in the Nest.

In Trumsylvania, Quip Of the Week

When Trump had the brain fart that America would try to buy Greenland from Denmark, the idea was quickly howled down, and that there would be no deal. Some one on Twitter then asked: What’s the difference between Donald Trump and Greenland? Answer: Greenland isn’t for sale.

Most other matters revolved around dead maggot Epstein (today he given status of miracle man, because he committed suicide in a jail cell specifically designed to prevent … you guessed it, topping yourself … yeah, right … they’d say that if he was stabbed 20 times in the back), the trade war and a matter on which The ‘Pie has pondered … the ICE men round up illegals who are doing undocumented factory workers and carting them off … but the bosses who hired them face no penalty at all. Love to see them try that here in Oz.

cjones08182019 7_political_cartoon_u.s._conspiracy_nut_epstein_suicide_jail_death_suspicion_of_foul_play_-_nate_beeler_cagle 20190813edsuc-a 205_228644 139_228629 16_political_cartoon_u.s._jeffrey_epstein_arriving_in_hell_unhappy_demons_-_thomas_m._ramsey_creators COLOR 19_political_cartoon_u.s._web_forums_shifting_blame_for_violent_and_racist_rhetoric_-_david_horsey_tribune 20190809edstc-a 8_political_cartoon_u.s._trump_tower_grain_silo_trade_war_farm_bankruptcies_-_steve_sack_cagle sbr081119dapr Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump's trade war 20190815edshe-b 20_228545 20190809edsuc-a IMG_9628 Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 9.24.17 pm truth

And finally …

Some wisdom from Nona …



There goes another week we’ll never get back, but lots of issues and laughs will be bubbling along in comments until next weekend … join the club and have your say.   If you can help out with a donation to cover various incidentals, it would be greatly appreciated, 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. Radiohead says:


    Sorry I should have waited for the Sunday blog to be posted. JJ RICHARDS isn’t much better with there pricing or conduct. I should have given you this link in my comments Saturday. Thanks for editing.

  2. The Magpie says:

    Too good not to share, such a clever idea.

    The petition to rename the stretch of 5th Ave in NY in front of Trump Tower #ObamaAve has gone viral and almost reached its goal. If the street is renamed the new address for Trump Tower will be 725 Barack H. Obama Ave.

  3. Hercule Poirot says:

    If i remember correctly Carey Ramm along with the then Townsville Mayor were subject to a Crime and Misconduct Commission (may have been called something else then) Regarding the Lease of the C-Bar on the Stand) Something along the lines of giving yourself the lease. They were cleared After all Parties had lunch at the C-Bar & applicable people returned to Brisbane the same day …

    • The Magpie says:

      That in the same era of our very own Sandgate scandal … tender accepted for supply of sand for the reconstructed Strand beaches, Taylor gets in Mooney’s ear, it is somehow decided that something was wrong with the process and a fresh round of tenders called for and … ta da … the company that gets it has ‘close links’ to Big Bazza, the Legal Foghorn. And the original winner, obviously not a member of a very exclusive club, is left out in the cold. You’ve gotta give it to these guy, no matter what you’re opinion of scumbags, these really knew how to play both sides when it suited. And Barry Taylor’s lip prints are all over the bums in Walker Street for a couple decades now.

    • Alahazbin says:

      HP. I seem to remember the C Bar was paying a peppercorn lease while other business like Gaugin’s Resturant and Splash Water Sports were paying a ‘motza’ allegedly.

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, goodness me, how could that happen?

        • Alahazbin says:

          Pie, Another observation at present, the C Bar is at its present location since the Strand rebuild, while Gauigan’s has gone to Yotz Bar & Grille and now is the Long Board. Probably more about management than cheap leases though. The latter being the longest occupant.

          • The Magpie says:

            That strange reasoning is unlike you, Ala, one could argue that exactly the opposite in the case .,.. that the C Bar hasretained the one name (hasn’t it changed owners a couple of times?) while the adjacent business has had complete makeovers in name and style suggest that the C Bar has for a good part of its existence, enjoyed a more favourable financial environment.

      • Hercule Poirot says:

        Along with “The Naked Fish” Across the road from the C-Bar (Same Owners) …

  4. Charlie Wulguru says:

    If the Strand is “the gift that keeps on giving” Would Messagebank Walker be “the inability that keeps on taking”?

  5. Just Say'n says:

    I struggle to understand how Pacific Island nations can be so critical of Australia but so welcoming of China.

    China has 981,000MW of installed coal-generation capacity compared with Australia’s 25,150MW; and if Australia closed down its entire electricity grid, China would replace those emissions within six days.

    Its obvious that China is mostly responsible for any sea level rise affecting the Pacific but the Island nations seem to welcome Chinese investment with open arms. I am sure they will also welcome the additional $500 million Australia has put on the table.

    Winston Peters got it right when he reportedly said: “Pacific nations needed to look at the big picture, including China’s “coal-fired everything”.

    The Australian editorial of 18 Aug 19 states “The Prime Minister said leaders were surprised to hear Australia had the highest investment in renewable energy per capita in the world”

    Given Australia’s $1.4 billion investment in the Pacific, I reckon this is a classic case of biting the hand that feeds you.

    I agree with Scott Morrison’s stance and comments.

    • The Magpie says:

      So does The Magpie … putting all other issues aside, it is getting tedious when Australia’s contribution to everything, from climate change to war adventures has to be out-of-scale to the reality of various given situations. And there seems to be a lot of attempts, both internally in this country and externally, at covert manipulation of policy. The biggest tell-tale sign was the howls of outrage at Andrew Hastie … like the song says ‘somethin’s goin’ round here.’

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        A serious questions folks;

        does the Port of Townsville keep long term mean sea levels for the Port and if so what are they and is there a trend or not? Can anyone help?

        I have looked on their web site and could not find any records. Also, from my observations the average water level at the Ross Ck boat ramps seem to be the same now as in 1974. Are the Pacific Is suffering from rising water or erosion and subsidence?

  6. Achilles says:

    Was that a typo in your headline regarding The “GIT’ that keeps on giving?
    The Cambridge dictionary meaning of Git as:-
    noun [ C ]
    UK informal uk ​ /ɡɪt/ us ​ /ɡɪt/
    ​a person, especially a man, who is stupid or unpleasant:
    You stupid/lying git!
    He’s a miserable old git.

    • The Magpie says:

      You’ve answered your own question, you git (The ‘Pie is smiling when he says that, Ackers ol’ son!). Get it now?

  7. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Unfortunately that Carey Ramm is a sad reflection of the two bit amateurs who currently have the ear of the Mullet and have held Townsville back for many many years. Townsville will never change whilst we have these people setting the agenda, very pathetic people who fight tooth and nail to keep their big fish small pond position in the town at all costs, meanwhile the major players who want to invest in this town are fucked around and treated like shit by this council, so they just go elsewhere, meanwhile Townsville stagnates and dies, it just happens over and over again.

    • Old tradesman says:

      What appears to be a conflict of interest in the beer making decision, should leave serious doubts in the minds of ratepayers. Most councillors have no business background, and one does not have to be reminded that council is not a small business, so these so called accidental representative of our city rely on the Town Planning Department or the CEO to make the decision as is indicated by the Rasmussen Shopping Centre debacle. Perhaps a keen eye with council insight could keep a close look at any dealings with employes of the Town Planning Department in case a A la Trad Cross River Rail real estate purchase should occur.

      • The Magpie says:

        The brewery matter is simple and straightforward … we are supposedly a free market economy that encourages competition to ensure the best outcome for the community generally … that’s the theory anyway. And we have laws against unfair monopolies. That a competitor to a new business … in this Carey Ramm of The Brewery should dictate restrictions on a business (which includes diminished job opportunities) is bad enough, but for the council to agree to be complicit in any such arrangement and act as the policeman on behalf of one business against another deserves the attention of the CCC, ASIC and perhaps even the Fraud Squad. Seriously, someone should bring this to the attention of the authorities.

        And although slightly different circumstances, financing and logistics, but the ferry monopoly should also be looked at … if someone wants to sink their money into a second service, that’s their look-out, they would have to give certain guarantees. Everything is all a bit too cosy in this putrid set-up.

        • Hophead says:

          I am a passionate home brewer and enjoy my craft beer. The microbrewery in Palmer St is owned by Lion which is 100% own by the multinational Japanese brewer Kirron. CUB is now owned by The multinational Japanese brewer Asahi. Combined these Japanese brewers now account for 96% of all beer sales in Australia and they have been steadily taking over the craft brewery market also. It’s a long stretch to call the Townsville Brewing Company a monopoly. Just watch Australian beer prices skyrocket as the Japanese are the ones with the monopoly. Further it’s hard to understand how the Government could let 96% of all our beers be owned by one country.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            The beer itself is fairly irrelevant Hophead, it’s the basic business principals that one business through a local authority can restrict the volume of a competitor, it doesn’t matter the size of the business or who owns it, local govt should not be allowed to cap the capacity of a business on behalf of another business, it’s about as grubby as it gets. What it does clearly indicate is that the Brewery just like half the two bit businesses in this town has no plan how to combat a new player in the market, has no idea how to reinvent its offering and bring new business to its doors, just wants to keep offering the same tired old crap it’s been doing for a decade and hope the council does their work for them. Frankly I have had a gutfull of the council protecting the pissant operators in this town and restricting choice for consumers, it’s one of the main reasons this town is in the economic downturn that it is.

          • The Magpie says:

            You expound the situation very concisely, and again, the question is raised: is this in fact legal?

        • Carey Ramm says:

          Pie I am all for competition – bring it on! I have been competing with Lion and CUB for 20 years now with them locking me out of tap space in hotels in NQ. I am in fact assisting a local hospitality operator who is opening another brewing project in Townsville.

          Like all development approvals when it was assessed TCC placed conditions on the use, scale etc (just like there are building heights on the strand) and Lion agreed with these conditions as they had obviously been working through the process with TCC as this project is a significant deviation from the Town Plan.

          I disagreed with the TCC planning decision and lodged an appeal as I did not believe that the points raised in my submission were addressed. Why do I feel I am entitled to an opinion – well if this brewery creates problems then it will lead to higher regulation for my brewery also. The Lion brewery actually falls under the High Impact Industry definition of the Town Plan by its size and I don’t have apartments and hotels as direct neighbours. Even if it was located in the Bohle it would be treated by TCC as a High Impact Industry.

          There was a mediation between myself and Lion where all issues of concern were settled and agreed by both parties in a pretty friendly and amicable meeting. It would seem that my points were valid and reasonable otherwise Lion would have dismissed them and it would have been up to the Judge in the Planning Court to decide.

          • The Magpie says:

            Thanks for the courtesy of a polite reply to some pretty harsh criticism, Carey. That harshness arose from the lack of a thorough and sensible explanation of the council’s decision (which either it didn’t offer or the Bulletin didn’t print that I can find) such as you have supplied. Whether you agree or not, this council and this mayor, and indeed some of her predecessors, have fostered an atmosphere of distrust through some poorly thought out let alone explained decisions (Adani airstrip, anyone?), cliquish behaviour and bewildering appointments … and your frequent work with the council over the years, some of which has involved council approvals before this one, has raised questioning eyebrows for that very reason. One might say you’re a victim of your own undoubted success.

            All that aside, the council appearing to be a corporate policeman in this matter is not a good look … particularly not with the current consultancy-riddled regime.

            But again, thank you for taking the time and trouble for a very cogent explanation … indeed, The Magpie is flattered that you even noticed.

          • Kingswood says:

            All this beer talk is making me thirsty….will happily drink at either…

  8. One legged tap dancer says:

    Has the Astonisher’s former bush editor Ando gone over to the dark side?
    News last week that he no longer worked for Rupert (apart from a weekly column) had me wondering what he was going to do with his spare time.
    But after Saturday’s one-eyed assessment of who will win the mayoralty next year, it looks like he has signed on to run the Mullet’s re-election campaign.
    Ando listed all the wonderful things the Mullet has organised to come to fruition just in time for the election, but he failed to mention the negatives surrounding the Cowboys Stadium, the water pipeline and the poor souls who were wiped out by that dam release that was “for the greater good”.
    Lets start with the stadium. My mail, and it comes from a reliable source, is that the final cost of the new Cowboys home ground will blow out to around $400 million (the original cost was $250 million which was increased to $300 million earlier this year.
    Then there’s the construction deadline. I’m told that while the stadium will be ready to host the Elton John concert in February (how are the ticket sales going Mullet?) it will NOT be ready to host home games until April or May. Perhaps Lozza Lancini can confirm or deny that the club has already requested that the NRL schedule the first five or six games to be played as “away games” at opposition grounds.
    But the real elephant in the room is the Cowboys disastrous player recruitment. It was always going to be hard to replace Thurston but the list of players who have been shown the door at the Cowboys, only to star in other clubs, grows longer each week. The Cowboys needed a successful season this year leading into the new stadium but will miss out on the wooden spoon only because the Gold Coast Titans are in even worse shape. The quality of the players recruited by the Cowboys in recent times doesn’t fill fans with optimism for a comeback in 2020.
    But lets assume that the 11,000 or so diehard fans who currently turn up for home games stick for 2020. That’s a very small proportion of the Townsville population and will in no way save the Mullet.
    That 11,000 also fades into insignificance when compared to the number of people who were wiped out during the flood. No mention of that preventable disaster in Ando’s election assessment.
    Finally, even if the water pipeline is completed on time, voters will be made well aware of just how much extra they will pay to pump water through the significantly bigger pipes.
    Strewth, all the Mullet needs now is a cyclone to cancel the Elton John concert.
    But that couldn’t happen in February, could it?

    • The Magpie says:

      All good points but you are making a bizarre mix’n’match there, Tappy … if we could seriously believe that so many of the Mayor’s actions were based the success of a football team, then that would be the most irresp …. oh, wait a minute. Hmm … let me get back to you on that.

      Regarding Ando … good bloke that he is, his rural base of readers (he bores a lot of locals shitless with his yarns about long-drop dunnies and the such) is far less read or influential than say, Tony Raggatt or Shari Tagliabue. And the Astonisher generally is losing its final shreds of credibility on a regular basis through penny-pinching ineptness, slovenly lazy subbing, and overall confusion about whoi their real readership is. Raggatt is very careful how he goes about telling the underlying truth in many of his stories (quite clever on occasions, has The Magpie roaring with mirth occasionally) and Shari T appears to operate on a take-it-or-leave-it basis with this bewildered editor, because The ‘Pie is told she now has another job (airport was suggested) and she is an independent contributor … Jenna’s problem is that both these writers will not be dictated to in the usual News style, and both command considerable respect and readership. But we doubt Ando is running anyone’s election campaign, although you may have seen that The ‘Pie did mention that he may have left full time Astoniosher work when there was a rumoured ‘redundancy dinner’ held for him recently. But you never know … which would be a good slogan for the Bulletin.

    • Fishframe says:

      I was under the impression that Elton was coming to Townsville solely to perform for the Mullet prior to the next election. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

    • No More Dredging says:

      oltd, mayoral campaigners will struggle to make a useful issue out of the new pipeline. With levels in the RR dam currently around 85%, even if there is no rain at all over summer there will still be plenty of water in the dam and no likelihood of any pumping in the near future. Plus, keep in mind that the pipeline has been paid for (at least as far as the electorate can see so far) by state and federal governments rather than ratepayers. No doubt that over the next six months as each new construction milestone is passed, the mayor will remind us how she took advice, listened to the people (WFTAG etc.) and successfully strong-armed governments of both political stripes – even the Feds went against their own advice to fund the second stage. “Transparency” and “accountability” will probably also feature and the new Liberal federal member will probably need/want to be seen at pipeline and stadium media events – especially if the PM is in the area and the incumbent mayor is tagging along. Might as well start spewing now.

      • The Magpie says:

        All highly likely except for one possibility … a viable, intelligent challenger with a few political smarts and an independent stance.

        • No More Dredging says:

          Absolutely, but they’ll need to open a couple of new coalfaces to change the subject. The stadium and pipeline will be winners for Jenny Hill because, you know, something for nothing . . . . or so we think. Even the flood event will be a mixed bag because even though the dam/floodgate management was in Council hands the outcomes, by hook or by crook, didn’t come to rest on the mayor’s shoulders. And the siting and design parameters for Fairfield Waters is definitely from a previous era.

          I know you’re bored by it but I think there’s mileage in the Australia-wide recycling crisis with fresh reminders in the media day by day. A subject with no easy answers is a place for leadership, especially when we probably need to go back to basics on the home front. Be interesting to see what “a viable, intelligent challenger with a few political smarts and an independent stance” actually looks like.

          • The Magpie says:

            In answer to your last question.

          • No More Dredging says:

            Playing dress-ups again, ‘Pie or is that Cranky checking in at the Intercontinental?

          • Guy says:

            PET plastic can be recycled by integrating it into road asphalt, its melted in with the asphalt to create a much more durable road surface. Google it. Townsville in theory could sort, chop, wash PET bottles and presumably melt it in with asphalt during road repair/ major maintenance.

            Instead of sending valuable PET plastic to foreign climes use it to build roads in Australia.

            Talking about recycling I’ve heard council is or is about to start selling treated waste water to industry / commercial ventures in Townsville; not a bad idea, we reduce the need to use more water from dams and stop pumping valuable water into the ocean.

          • The Magpie says:

            Guy, mate, your previous disjoined and unfocussed rant about some possibly dangerous has been deleted … it was a totally pointless ramble.

            Now on this one, the council has been providing/selling/gifting treated waste water to the Rowes Bay Golf Club for years. And it surely isn’t the only customer/beneficiary of this apparently established scheme.

  9. Tricky76 says:

    Whispers from Walker St are that key staff are sick of cleaning up Les’s continued gaffs & ‘knowledge’ on ALL things. Apparently even the Mayor is getting tired of his ‘look I’m over here’ dominating media behaviour. Looks like Messagebank might begin to fly solo, so standby for even greater entertainment going forward! Long live The Font!!!

  10. The Magpie says:

    Get a room!

  11. Mike Douglas says:

    Will Belcarra legislation stop developers donating $ to political parties like Team Hill which resulted in the Mayor and all Councillors having a conflict of interest and leaving the decision whether to approve the Coles centre to the T.C.C. Ceo ?. It didn’t stop the owner of the Brewery from putting conditions on the Lion Micro Brewery South Townsville even though his company has/ does work for T.C.C..

    • Peter Sandery says:

      Not sure about that Mike,but having read the transcript of Spence v Queensland, I attended this year’s annual conference of the Samuel Griffith Society in Melbourne whereby Peter Dunning, QC, Solicitor-General for Qld, was first cab off the rank on the Saturday morning on this matter which dealt with the Belcarra amendments and their constitutionality. Despite there being a table of eight Queenslanders at the conference, there was not a question asked of the presenter from the Queensland table or anywhere else. I had lost my voice so could not join in the fray as it were, but I am surprised that there has not been any public discussion about this as it was a four three decision by the court and the amendments in my humble opinion and of those of some of the dissenting judges were discriminatory in that they picked on but one group of commercial activities, that is, developers. Might I suggest that those affected by the amendments have a good look at the judgement if they have not already done so.

  12. Spanking the Monkey says:

    Does Shari have a blog at all? I’d like to read her work.

  13. Why is it so? says:

    Re Cleanaway Qld sales boss, Dan Greentree not stating the sanction of local Cleanaway account “manager” for his unacceptable behaviour,
    did you know that our useless Council does the same thing under the guise of privacy laws. If you make a complaint to Council about being bitten by a vicious dog on council parkland and give the Council all the information on the dangerous dog and the irresponsible owners and you ask months later what action Council is taking, because you fear for the safety of local children, Council’s answer is can’t tell you because of privacy laws!

    • The Magpie says:

      Perhaps Mr Greentree could reasonably argue that he isn’t at liberty to detail what action, if any, was taken, in relation the company representative BUT HE DOESN’T ACTUALLY SAY IF ANY EVEN UNSPECIFIED ACTION WAS TAKEN OR INTENDED. Even if unspecified, as a matter of good faith and his own integrity, let alone get brownie points if authorities decide to look into this, Mr Greentree should at the very least state to the businessman that action has been taken. But perhaps we’ve been hoodwinked here, and what he and Cleanaway take seriously is public revelations about their think-of-a-number invoicing method. But now, because the whistleblower has decided to end his relationship with Cleanaway, we have no way of knowing any of these answers unless others Cleanaway clients choose to come forward.

      • Why is it so? says:

        It is disturbing to think that with our system of government, our leaders can make decisions that have terrible long term consequences on residents, yet most of the time the only consequence is being voted out at the next election. If there is an investigation it usually leads to nothing or a slap on the wrist. No wonder our leaders feel free to make dodgy decisions….

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, can see your frustration, but unless corruption can be proven – and what do you suggest? You can’t make public office a trap of mistakes, incompetence or just sheer stupidity (there can be no wild conspiracy charge regarding the questionable release of flood water ‘for the greater good’) … not beyond the remedies of the ballot box. However, past planning approvals to allow low set houses to be jumbled onto flood plains will surely be re-visited sooner or later. A simple requirement for modern high-set design would’ve obviated probably 90% of the current angst in the affected suburbs. Any added initial cost would be completely off-set by a fairer insurance regime in the event of a flood or cyclone. Maybe.

        • NQGal says:

          While the approval of Fairfield Waters can be laid squarely at the feet of TCC, The Village over at Oonoonba is another matter.
          That is a state government site and they have and probably will continue to over ride TCC by laws. No other developer would get away with selling block sized at 90m2 or less.
          I remember a couple of years ago the excavation contractors were having all sorts of problems hitting rocks while digging footings. I was told then that metres of rock fill had been trucked in to build up the land height.

  14. Memory Man says:

    A tale of two tales … on the one hand we The Magpie’s warning of troubled times in the Townsville’s restaurant sector, and the weekend Astonisher blundering on with the ‘emperor’s new clothes’ policy of selective reporting.

    The Bully may want to crow about the “breakfast boom” but what’s happening has been a re-arrangement of the spending deckchairs …. lunches are dead and dinners are a struggle. The boom in breakfast is a sign of “struggle street” in the restaurant trade, not the opposite. 

  15. Election on the way says:

    Just goes to show how many people are reading your blog and how many people are talking about what you raise here. To have Carey ramm actually write in is testament to word off mouth. Probably a proven point now that alot of things said here will reach those, mullet and message bank, who think they are safe. I remember last year the Townsville basketball president writing in in the same fashion as Carey. You’d think the mayor would take that opportunity????

  16. Bentley says:

    Pleased to see , ‘Pie, that you and Carey have ‘buried the hatchet’. I might otherwise have had to take sides.

  17. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Peter Lindsay. Bitter bitter man.

  18. Dave of Kelso says:

    In the shop I took a look at the front page of the Astonisher as I walked passed.

    Something about Prince Peter of Lindsay endorsing the Mullet, done nothing wrong, no reason to replace……..

    Good grief!

  19. Achilles says:

    Bloody cheek of the PNG PM asking Oz to add i.6Billion dollars to their budget.

    Morrison should tell those bludgers sell off all of those Maserati`s they squandered on for the APEC a couple of months back.

  20. Alahazbin says:

    I see Jenna ‘the iditor’ nearly, I say nearly admitted in her editorial this morning that it wasn’t just the mullet who got the water pipeline over the line.
    And the conservatives can’t find anyone to go up against the mullet next election.
    Probably if they buried their pride and invited Sam Cox back to the fold, they may have a chance.
    Probably why Sam won’t commit. He hasn’t got the funds to run a campaign.

    • The Magpie says:

      And therein the fabled nutshell we have the problem … we don’t want and shouldn’t be looking for a ‘conservative’ candidate, it is Big Party Politics which has reached its use-by date at the local level. A pox on both their houses … because the bargaining power of a truly ‘independent’ council in helping to deliver votes at a higher level gives the lie to the old trope that it has to be one or the other to get anything done. Quite the opposite, you’d reckon.That’s the myth put about by … ta da … the Big Parties. And why Peter Lindsay’s peevish get-square comments are totally irrelevant if the right person steps up. But good luck with that.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Well, is there any so called independents out there with the dollars prepared to put up a fight.
        The ones I’ve seen over the last couple of decades all had self interest their first priority.

        • The Magpie says:

          Don’t why it hasn’t been done before but the right person could crowd-fund an election bid … and don’t bunch up those knickers, dear, The ‘Pie has checked and it is legal. And as far as researched so far, makes a mockery of the Belcarra law banning developer donations a mockery, a law with more potential holes than a bi-gender brothel.

      • Sam says:

        Magpie I am not part of a big party or any party for that matter and haven’t been since the last state election. I am conservative though and my own agent.
        Many have said they would help fund and support me btw. You know I don’t believe in party politics at local level. The people elect the mayor presidential style and then the division representatives who form a council that hopefully delivers on what are the responsibilities of that council and all your contributors on this blog know what those responsibilities are and should be.

        • Sam says:

          I add also don’t say or tell me to just run then Cox ! I have thrown enough good money and time after bad to represent people in this part of the world I do strongly believe in and standby my family. People and you throw away ‘ so easily “it’s a tough job but you have have to be committed and don’t do it just for self interest and if you are bruised and battered blah blah …” well Malcolm my family comes first and always will and IF and when I choose I will run or not it will be in my time for my reasons.
          One thing to talk about change another to act and I have done both my friend.. I say no more.

          • The Magpie says:

            For no matter what reasons it is sought, public office always demands sacrifices and compromises within a family. And your virtue-signalling statement that your family will always come first is a silly statement of the obvious … think about it, Sam, if you had said the opposite. Does the sun rise in the west? This is the sort of empty posturing and meaningless albeit true motherhood statements that tell us absolutely nothing that will earn a single vote. No one has ever suggested Jenny Hill is a bad mother and wife for all the time she has put in, for good or ill, in Walker Street – it is wholly irrelevant … and it is clear, the Hill family is a unified unit behind her, despite her lies, and some very questionable policies and pronouncements.

            Are you telling us that your possible plans for Walker Street are the subject of dissension in your household?

            Just tell us what you could do FOR THE RATEPAYERS, FOR TOWNSVILLE in solid concrete terms, Sam, to turn things around, not airy-fairy stuff about what a good bloke we all know you to be. People are hurting, people are disheartened, people are disillusioned and people are LEAVING for lack of hope, and don’t want to keep hearing about your personal wrestle concerning your chances against Jenny Hill. Until you make that decision, take some Alan Jones advice and put a sock in it … any more of this stuff, and your decision will be made for you, if it hasn’t already.

          • I’ll be plucked says:

            Don’t bother running Sam – your posts to The Pie appear to harbour regrets and frustration that you have been rejected by electorates in the past……….stick with your family old mate and whatever you are doing now.

        • The Magpie says:

          Accept what you say, Sam, which it must be pointed out is more or less what Jenny Hill has said about her independence from Labor. But in your case, the bad look is party hopping – when you missed out on LNP endorsement, you hop-scotched to One Notion, which being the honourable man you undoubtedly are means you embraced that party’s policies across the board … and now you suddenly morph into an ‘I’m my own man’ independent – inviting exactly the same skepticism as the current perfumed purveyor of porkies in Walker Street. If you had done your personal (and I fully accept genuine) agonising about the risks in the privacy of your family, then simply made the bold public decision to dive in, you wouldn’t have so damaged your already tenuous chances. Instead you’ve become a political prick-teaser, out on a blind date with the electorate, coyly covering the policy region of your privates and only hinting that you’ll ‘go all the way’ if the electorate tells you enough times that they love you. Well, at this rate Sam, you’re sure to be fucked by the end of this date. And so will we be, and Jenny will be smoking the cigarette.

          • The Stockman says:

            That’s pretty much it in a nutshell pie.
            May I add, newbies to Townsville have absolutely no idea who Sam Cox is either. I’m not sure if that would be a help or a hindrance should he decide to throw his hat into the ring.

        • Fishframe says:

          If people fund you, depending on who and what those people do for a living, it can very quickly become ‘politics’. Self funded or crowd funded certainly ok, but singular largish donations are rarely made for the good of the community no matter how you try and frame it.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Alahazbin, you were quoting (or paraphrasing) the TBully editor and then you wrote: “Probably if they buried their pride and invited Sam Cox back to the fold, they may have a chance.”

      Is that your personal view or were you still quoting Jenna? If it’s your view, who is the “they” who might bury their pride? Surely you don’t mean that the LNP should invite an out-of-towner (Burdekin) who deserted to One Nation back into their “fold” to run as a non-party political candidate for mayor? I mean, what could go wrong?

      • The Magpie says:

        Out-of-towner? He was the well regarded member for Thuringowa until undone by the Newman idiocy. Thuringowa, which, at best recall, is not in the Burdekin. And BTW, guess whose from initially from Melbourne, which is slightly more south than Ayr?

        • No More Dredging says:

          ‘Pie, I was hoping to hear from Alahazbin about who is the “they”.

          Regarding Mr Cox. I realise he was once the member for Thuringowa but that was before he took himself back to his home turf in the Burdekin as a One Nation hopeful in the last state election. On election day he told a NewsLtd reporter at the polling booth, ” it’s hard to pick but I’m in my home town,” Cox says, a former Home Hill/Inkerman boy.

          Not that it matters much. Sam sounds as if he has sniffed the mayoral election wind and felt a touch of the black lung coming on. I doubt this is the time for a big hat over an ermine gown in Walker Street. Please don’t play it again, Sam.

          • Old tradesman says:

            NMD, why don’t you put your hand up, you seem to have a vision on many of the town’s ills.

  21. Woodduck says:

    Who was the LNP stalwart that reckons the Mullet won’t be beaten? Going by comments on this page the Council is not in good shape. Ageing fleets and office equipment, gutted work force, all having to be fixed by the next lot who get in, if the information is correct. To replace all these things will cost a fortune and will be passed on to the ratepayer. This gives the next lot a chance to boo and hiss at the evil council for raising rates to pay for it all. While this is happening the Mullet will be on the news saying “see my leadership wasn’t so bad after all, just think what I could do at state level”. politics 101 i reckon.

  22. The Magpie says:


    An Invasion Of Privates

    The Queensland government’s planned laws to curb the selfish excesses of climate change protestors will ban the use of various devices the pompous little shitheads use to shut down public thoroughfares … including super glue.

    Not surprisingly, protest leaders – all members of the ‘outrage generation’ – ain’t happy. Galilee Blockade spokesman Ben Pennings slammed the proposed laws. “Most of our members are grandparents. Will police start strip-searching them looking for super-glue, just because they want to protect their grandkids?”

    The thought of young coppers pulling down granddad’s Ku Fung underdaks (a 80th birthday gift from the grandkids, on fresh a month ago) could lead to some instructive exchanges when codger and copper discuss items found in the search.
    Officer: So what’s an old geezer like you doing with a packet of these?

    Grandad: Well, when I was a youngster, protesting got the adrenalin going so much for all of us that sometimes me and the girlfriend got so hot and bothered we’d rush off into the bushes in a horny fever, if you know what I mean. So I thought it might be the same even now for us seniors.
    Officer: (After a long silence). Ummm, OK . BUT can you explain why you’ve got a tube of this, sir?

    Grandad: ‘Son, as you will one day learn, there comes a time when Viagra just isn’t enough.’

    Officer: Sorry to have bothered you sir. Try to have a good … ummm … day.’

  23. The Magpie says:

    Same fate suffered by Pell.

  24. Election on the way says:

    So we have Peter Lindsay come out of nowhere to make a claim about the mullet being unbeatable. OMFG!! the man did 3 fifths of fuckall in office and has a tax payers pension for life and tells us this shit. I guess his part of Annandale didn’t get flooded. Reading the bulletins Facebook on this story not many comments surport her. Is this just the papers way of trying to get a real player to step up because they can’t find anyone else to talk to?? I personally think the mayor is going to sink a bit more before someone actually does say there running. After reading Sam’s comments today it’s definitely not him.

  25. Triple B says:

    The residents and ratepayers association seems to be going through one of its even more incoherent and incomprehensible phases at the moment

    • The Magpie says:

      Don’t go there much if at all. Summary, please (to see if it’s worth the trouble).

    • Conspiracies Rule says:

      There’s no such thing as the TRRA. It’s a one man band with a few loony vested interests poking and prodding (manipulating) Poor Pete who’s clearly suffering relevance deprivation syndrome. He got lucky with the Adani Airstrip Petition but I’m afraid ever since he’s been on the proverbial hooch.

  26. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Sam Cox, ye who hesitates is fucked, and unfortunately you hesitated, and unless you have lined up some of the local business $$ behind you your shot at the Mullet will be a tough road and a significant cost to yourself, maybe best someone else gives it a go. You need to remember the numbers and $$ it took to get you over the line against Wallace, the $$ were actually secondary, it was a groundswell of support from former Nats who came out of the woodwork to get rid of Bligh, and then we all abandoned you once Campbell Newman managed to piss us all off and isolate as many people of his own party as one could possibly imagine. May I suggest if you really want to have another run at public office than a tilt at division 10 is a good option. Whilst the numbers may seem daunting with a 64% vote for that brainless dickhead Messagebank Walker at the last election he is on the nose big time on the Southside of the river these days and quite vulnerable. He is seen as the person who did nothing during the floods, did nothing after the floods, has done nothing since and has done fuck all to stop it from happening again. I have seen first hand your ability to door knock and do the hard work required and the southern booths would respond well to this and are more your type of people. The same booths that gave Messagebank 60% also gave George 60% only a few months ago, so it’s not as clear cut as many think, so if a shot at Mayor seems a bridge to far, it may be an option.

  27. The Magpie says:


    Donald Trump makes secret offer to buy Australia, but China says it won’t sell it.

    • Coral C says:

      He now has plans to buy Yabulu and put a Trump Tower there.

      • The Magpie says:

        If he plans to put in a golf course near there, he’d better watch out for Peter Newey.

        • TRRA La La La La says:

          Can’t wait to see Paranoid Pete’s Next dot joining fantasy … he’ll probably tell us all about the Belt and Road Connection and Townsville next.

      • No More Dredging says:

        Coral C, Trump would not have to “buy” Yabulu. If he indicated the slightest willingness to visit Townsville, or even just fly briefly over it, the state would gift him Yabulu, build a road to Radical Bay and give him the whole of Magnetic Island as well. Some things have no value for Townsvillains.

  28. The Magpie says:

    Vale, Tim Fischer.

    The age of decency and diplomacy receded further from us today with the passing of former deputy PM and diplomat Tim Fischer.

    Tim, who died overnight at 73 from leukaemia, brought dignity to all the offices he held, and never once made Australians wince as he championed our various causes and joined in our debates over a wide range of issues. A man of deep convictions to public service and by all accounts a man. of probity in both public and private life.

    Our loss with his passing is sadly underlined because it has come in week when senior government minister Matt Canavan, who has only ever been off the public payroll outside a year at an an international accounting firm, described the action of a publicly accountable company which chose to cut links with Adani ‘as weak as piss’.

    Your outburst Mr Canavan, is a perfect self descriptor.

    You are as disgraceful as a representative of our future, Mr Canavan, as Tim Fischer was a shining example of our past.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Tim Fischer was a great man and made a wonderful contribution to this country, and nothing stands out more than his steadfast support for gun law changes after Port Arthur, something he endured personal attacks and abuse for, much of it from many in his own party, he puts the lightweights in parliament today to shame.

    • WALLY says:

      Magpie, again you have shown us your expert ability of how to use simple and sincere words to highlight the deeds of an officer and gentleman over a pure fuckwit.

  29. Boho63 says:

    So the question remains….is anyone going to stand up as a mayoral candidate against Over the Hill???
    I hope to see people vote for independents with no political agenda but a keen interest to see Townsville thrive for its ratepayer base which has taken a lot of hits in the last few years.

  30. Guy says:

    To be honest with regards to council it might well be better to just have another 4 years of some sort of stability rather than the grab bag of so called “independents”. As a point of interest someone once showed me an old electoral flyer with les Tyrell as an independent.

    Politically in Townsville it’s all arse about tit, in most normal circumstances it’s the “liberals” that offer some kind of financial responsibility and labor that embarks on massive loan taking sprees ( Rudd / gizzard added something like 300 billion to gov debt in the short time they were in canberra).

    In Townsville at a council level it’s the labor aligned teams that offer some kind of responsible loan taking and spending ( the adani airstrip being an anomalous speed bump in my opinion). Last election the liberals offered some lady ( wasnt there some article with her on a motorcycle???) that told everyone she was going to take another 250 million of debt to build the pipeline – with NO mention on EXACTLY how all this money was going to be paid back and WHO was going to pay it back.

    Since the existing council has been in power my rates have thankfully (relatively) plateaued rather than kept rising. The previous liberal led council brought in the explosive “water tax”. State and federal labor are mad-hatter ideological basket cases that no one wants to vote for. Despite being nominally labor aligned the existing townsville council team will most likely survive.

    In Townsville the wolf does not change it’s fur, no one wants to go back to the loan taking sprees of post amalgamation led by the liberals. If the liberals want to get back into council it’s simple – stop doing stupid things like taking unsustainable loans dangling like the sword of Damocles over the heads of the residents.

    • The Magpie says:

      You poor bastard.

      • Guy says:

        You’d better get ready for another 4 years of complaint magpie


        • The Magpie says:

          Assuming …? Assuming what?
          a) Mayor Mullet wins – which means The ‘Pie will continue on reporting the Townsville Chainsaw Massacre …
          b) Mayor Mullet loses – and The ‘Pie holsters his keyboard, honks on about ‘my work here is done’, and moves south to the bosom of family …
          c) The ‘Pie carks it, dying either on the gallows or of some loathsome disease … which will depend on, Guy, on whether he embraces your principles or your mistress.

          (Apologies to John Wilke.)

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Assuming that everyone is as gullible as you Guy? You may well be right, given that 60% of the brainless dickheads in this town voted for the Mullet last time, most of them are still here whilst many of the successful people of this town have packed up and left or are planning to, leaving the brainless masses to enjoy 4 more years of expanding poverty, growing crime and economic failure that people like you seem to enjoy.

      • Radiohead says:

        He’s right about the part of responsible loan taking labor government in local elections magpie. The problem is that jenny hill has had to take those responsible loans from treasury department to pay wages. It happened in the final months of Ray Burton’s time in council and at least once after that I know of. Only need to have FOI to Queensland treasury to get that answer. But hey let guy have his trip down memory lane without the facts so we can all just cry. I wonder if he takes a picture of les Tyrell and jenny hill to bed every night?

        • Former Council employee says:

          Just to clarify money was borrowed to pay wages during the end of Ray Burton’s time as CEO. This action was taken because the mayor overspent the city’s cash reserves against advice from Burton.

          The money was used to buy the Commonwealth Building in Walker Street because the Mullet didn’t want to borrow the money for the purchase. There was an election coming so she didn’t want to increased the city debt level. Ultimately she still had to borrow money with short term loans at higher than normal interest rates because she couldn’t pay wages.

          Piss poor financial management driven by politics not good sense.

      • Radiohead says:

        I might also add to guys low rates bill is because of a rates freeze which has cost council in this term somwhere in the 40mil plus of revenue. Now you see the problem of fleet not being replaced and the so called 34mil in savings is just because she sacked everyone. Guy forgot to mention the huge amount of consultants that jenny hill has used to date to. Good luck guy!!!

      • No More Dredging says:

        ‘Pie, I’m impressed you could get three words out between the splutters.

    • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

      While this is largely a directionless diatribe, it does show up a few constant and glowing chinks in the Mayoral armour which could be exploited by a canny challenger who was prepared to “manage the narrative” or whatever twee phrase is now being used to describe it.

      Routine financial mismanagement which has seen rates balloon while services are cut, roads fall to pieces and the town looks derelict.

      Naive “future cities” thought bubbles which pop into nothingness when pressed – Cairnsesque lagoon anyone?

      The “congaline of suckholes” supplied by the ALP to suckle off the ratepayers then slink off into the night before the CCC calls them. Oh Adele and Buckett where are you now? And what really lies in Chiododo’s closet?

      Much promised efficiencies from massed staff sackings which have gone missing.

      Pure Bullshit consultants with no Nous which have further siphoned off local money for no benefit.

      There has been an ongoing string of “sounds good, feels good” announcements and projects which have just fizzled out but would make a lovely bonfire with some care.

      We have all fallen into the trap of looking at the things – stadium and water pipeline (both QG projects and NOT council) – Hill wants us to look at but ignoring the growing and rotting pile of debris left in her wake.

      A smart operator could and should rip the scabs off, stand on a platform of accountability, transparency and a modest balanced budget, and have a go.

      • No More Dredging says:

        Civil, you wrote:
        “Routine financial mismanagement which has seen rates balloon while services are cut, roads fall to pieces and the town looks derelict.”

        Have rates actually ballooned? I thought they had been pegged for a couple of years.

        As for the concentration of attention on the pipeline and stadium, all the media in TSV, including the Magpie’s Nest, have fallen over themselves to cover those projects, especially the pipeline and of course the flooding. We all know, over and over, who is paying. But here as elsewhere, the mayor’s neck is where the albatross is trying to land. My guess is she’ll be happy to take questions on the pipes, the stadium and the floods, as long as we want to ask her. My suggestion is that we should all change the subject because we ain’t going nowhere on the present path. Time for some completely new ideas rather than rehashing the same old motherhood statements about integrity, transparency and accountability.

        • The Magpie says:

          At last!!! You’ve declared your hand, Dredger, and in a pretty dumb way, too. At least from now on, we will know your concealed agenda.

          We now eagerly await your oh-so-predictable ‘oh, dearie me, no, Magpie, heavens to Betsy, you’ve got me all wrong’ plaintive post. Mate, you’re a Jenny man through and through, no matter what you say. And that means you ignore the current civic reality.

          • Cappuccino in hand says:

            Methinks you are all missing the point. Hill wont be beaten by a candidate “lifting the scabs”. She will be beaten by a Mayoral candidate with a clear vision for a prosperous Townsville. One that engages both the ratepayers and the business community in doing something constructive for this city.

            When that person shows their intent, we need to get behind them. We won’t have much time. Don’t expect to see a lot of movement until around November. But it will be time enough.

          • The Magpie says:

            Absolutely right, when any reasonable challenger does finally jump in, his/her campaign must centre on what THEY will do, not what Mayor Mullet has DONE – her failings and cynical manipulations have been documented enough, with even the Astonisher reluctantly chiming in with lukewarm confusion when an issue cannot be ignored. But the challenger must make it clear that everything they put on the table will be subject to discovering the real state of the TCC’s current shambles of plant, infrastructure, finances and staff experience.

  31. Frequent flyer says:

    Guy, you didn’t mention how much the city’s debt has grown under Hill.
    I’m looking forward to the Crime and Corruption being let off the leash when the LNP wins the State election.

    • Peter Sandery says:

      If the LNP keeps and continues to listen to its current advisers and experts, Ff, in my humble opinion you could be waiting a long time.

  32. The Magpie says:

    A sign of the times. Just released.

    • The Magpie says:

      Bulletin posted this at 5.37. Well, four hours after Magpie readers isn’t bad for them, actually.

    • Cappuccino in hand says:

      Gary Lewis is a good man. He will keep the local service level of this dealership which he has been running for some time. This is not a surprise decision. New car sales have been in free fall. Margins are incredibly tight.

  33. Dave of Kelso says:

    Will the Puddleduck go to jail for unmasking an ASIO officer via the internet, which cannot be undone.

    We can only hope so. An insincere, “My bad. An admin error.” must not be the end of it. This ASIO officer’s field career is now over and the officer and family now at risk of harassment at best, and death at worst. This is not an over statement.


    • Guy says:

      Hmmm if they had been forewarned about this potential maybe they would have been forewarned.

      Its the problem with all these government departments- NO BRAINS . Why the hell would you give anyone your real name if you are doing that job ??

      I’m sorry, that’s sloppy, if your job relies on people not knowing you are a spy , handy tip, at least stop telling all and sundry your real name.

    • Not an ASIO spy says:

      Yes, this is very serious and is tantamount to treason. The great unwashed have no idea what intelligence agents achieve for Australia, and no it is nothing like James Bond, as far as I know. The puddleduck has now destroyed an operatives career and placed him or her, and family, in extreme danger.

  34. TEL me another story says:

    I see the Bully publishing that another member of the ALP parachute regiment – Michael Macmillan of TEL – has been shown the door. This one for good old fashioned fraud. QPS are rightly involved.

    Old mate the Civil Engineer can add that to his list.

    • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

      I wasn’t aware of the ALP link. Care to shed some light mr storyTELler?

      • The Magpie says:

        Read the blog later tonight. As The Magpie will ask, is this the bottom-of-the-deck deal that will finally bring down this house of marked cards? Some easily joined dots show just how rotten to the core this whole charade has become. Just another Magpie whinge? Judge for yourself on the facts.

  35. Cantankerous but happy says:

    So in amongst the long list of complete worthless failures that make up Townsville Enterprise they discover the ultimate loser, not only did the hopeless ring in fail to produce anything of substance for TEL ( why should he be any different ) but he has been caught misusing the corporate credit card. Just a tip Little Patty, the next time someone applies for a position at TEL and the last position on their resume is to go broke running a coffee shop owing lots of $$ to the ATO, might be time to consider someone else, talk about a gullible mob of tossers, I still cant believe the ratepayers of Townsville subsidise this worthless orginisation.

    • The Magpie says:

      Just worth noting that Hot Lips and the board better be right … if somehow they are in error – always a possibility with this mob – it will cost them a goodly portion of the annual council stipend of $750,000.

      • Achilles says:

        Even if he`s subsequently tried and found guilty of embezzlement, he has a very strong case this side from a trial to sue for defamation.
        The dopey woman has even put it in writing which can certainly make a fair trial a tad tricky.

        • The Magpie says:

          One has to wonder why they just didn’t let him go without a fuss and by agreement, and let the coppers get on with their side of things. God knows, the Hermit Kingdom of the Dudley Do Nothings never releases any details about anything much, no one would’ve known. Now they have to answer some vital questions that The Magpie will pose in the forthcoming blog.

      • Achilles says:

        The Astonisher may be in trouble too for publishing the article prior to a conviction in a court of law.
        Its probably a good thing that their readership is so low, the court will be able to empanel a jury who have not read the article.

        • The Magpie says:

          Then that means The ‘Pie is in the same boat … there goes his 1997 Corolla (hasn’t got anything else, and anyway, when I’m out, the value’s gone).

  36. Woodduck says:

    Wonder where he spent the ratepayers hard earned?

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