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The Magpie

Sunday, January 5th, 2020   |   172 comments

Mayor Mullet in Mourning? Has Her Beloved Favourite Pet Died?

Nothing official of course, Mayor Mullet doesn’t want to go public on the sad situation, so out of respect for her grief, The Magpie will report the bare facts as he has been able to discover.

… and has departing Astonisher iditor Jenna Cairney given Townsville a departing finger in the form of a truly idiotic front page story? You betcha.

… and Townsville’s tipping point … it’s already here, and only we in the community can reverse it. #TackyTownsville is about to become your place to express your frustration at the basic civic neglect across this city.

Plus, The Magpie blog stats tell him that over the holiday break, barely 20% of regular readers stayed abreast of blog comments, so with apologies to that devoted readership,  The ‘Pie will bring you some of the fun and games in comments over the past fortnight.

Starting With This One

This caught the eye just before New Year.

The Magpie

 December 27, 2019 at 8:57 pm  (Edit)

Not so subliminal advertising at its best. Super Chef Matt Merren seems to suggest that there will be a thrilling climax AFTER you have enjoyed his excellent fare, and toddled off home .

But the line should read:

WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU, JAM.

Jam adScreen Shot 2019-12-27 at 8.45.33 pm

And This Seems A Suitable Time To Present Wanker Of The Week

Crumbs, it’s a shiela!! Or perhaps more appropriately, flippin’ ‘ell!!

Screen Shot 2019-12-21 at 10.25.29 am

Ms O’Brien, usually a entertaining read, displayed a typical News Ltd problem with plain English when in this column she wrote:

Screen Shot 2019-12-21 at 10.27.24 am

Now let’s ignore this latest outbreak of virtue signalling on this issue, and just take plain English as it is understood by anyone who managed a couple of years of high school.

The suggestion here is that Tennis Australia cannot be a supporter of diversity unless it REJECTS  the diverse opinions of Margaret Court because she is ‘divisive’. No Ms O’Brien, TA cannot claim to support diversity if it DOESN’T accept (but not promote) Ms Court’s views.  To act against her because of her fruit loop views is why TA IS a supporter of diversity. And it is not offering her a pedestal, it has the narrow focus of celebrating the achievements of one of this country’s greatest athletes. TA has taken the rare and sensible step of saying it will be entirely up to those at the centre court ceremony on how they react.  Which is exactly how it should be. TA is not endorsing her views, but her achievements way back before she became a demented old prune.

Now Susie, back to your soy latte and smashed avo on brioche, and let us have no more of this nonsense, young ladyThe Magpie

 The Magpie Continues His Grammar Instruction Class

Someone wrote in a quiet serious comment regarding current events, but the grammar was inventive to say the least, and included the word ‘arsen’.  The ‘Pie was compelled to go all illustrative to gently point out the problem.

Small note on grammar.
This is ‘arsen’

And this is ‘arson’.

Or maybe it’s an eye-popping enema for those into arsen?

And Just In Case You Missed It 

The Magpie

 December 23, 2019 at 8:41 am  (Edit)

Well, The Magpie has been hunting the last four iditors, why shouldn’t they join in the fun.

Cairney’s departure does pose a question an age old proposition that ‘everyone brings some joy into other peoples’ lives … some by arriving, others by leaving.’ Your choice.

Then There Was This
Who said they don’t read The Magpie down at the Astonisher? From comments during the week.
The Magpie 

Christ, this bloody paper. really.
JT, or at the very least his manager should have a word with the Bulletin … the paper has literally thousands of file photograph of Jonathan Thurston, and they choose THIS ONE for this story? Jarring to say the least, and very embarrassing for him. Muppets!!

hahahaha … and adding to their misery and forcing another change, were other comments posted here and on the Magpie FB page that Thurston was an observer but took no part in any sort of rescue effort. A failed attempt to never fuck up a story with facts.

TOWNSVILLE 2020: Our Tipping Point?

Not so much a retreat from progress, but a necessary time of taking stock, of the entire community – and potential investors –   knowing the reality of where we really stand in terms of city governance. And that will only come with real openness, transparency, honesty and a genuine interest in seeking the best and most responsible path forward for Townsville. That isn’t happening under the systemic culture of secrecy in Walker Street, and there’s no sign it will change if current electoral prediction hold up. As the old saying has it, when somethings is on the nose, the fish starts to rot from the head. And that has to change.

Malcolm Gladwell’s seminal book The Tipping Point showed that while some instances, small but pivotal matters could quickly magnify  into great success stories, the reverse was also possible. He noted that when small issues like a broken window in a derelict house went unattended, it acted as a licence, an invitation for further vandalism. Here in Townsville, there are those that scoff at occasional scoldings, both in this blog and on many FB sites, about relatively minor matters like unmown median strips, broken street lights, damaged street signs, potholes  and parks littered with refuse. BUT THESE THINGS ARE OUR TIPPING POINT. It is the culmination of these small circumstances that tip us over into a general despondency, they become the norm because nothing is done by authority to correct them.  And we start to see complaining about a council that is neglectful of its traditional purpose and clearly has its priorities wrong as glittery, fanciful big ticket, often wasteful items are pursued and promoted while basics are neglected. Our collective shoulders slump, we question our once strong civic pride and start to feel it is ‘just a sign of the modern times in which we live.’

THIS IS A LIE, DON’T BUY IT. STOP BEING BROWBEATEN.

And to that end, The Magpie in the next few days will create a site – the manner of which is still being decided – which will include the hashtag #TattyTownsville, where you can post photographs of these unforgivable myriad of small neglects by a team of celebrity councillors, a mayor addicted to the red carpet and a decimated council staff who by all reports are underfunded and have all but given up hope. It also apply to state assets.  This was mentioned in a comment over the break, and the response has been immediate, with many people sending in photographs to email hidden; JavaScript is required of all those ‘little matters’ that form Townsville’s Tipping Point. Those photographs and any more you forward will remain posted for the world to see until something is done about them, when they will be stamped ‘fixed’.

In this sense, it is irrelevant who wins the seats in Walker Street in March, the message will be the same for whoever gets in … that message is that it is YOUR council, and they are elected BY YOU to look after YOUR city, starting at this basic level. The next step in transparency, we have to show we are not the sheeple this crowd take us for. But more on that another time.

Will This Nonsense Never End – Now They Want The Nimbin Of The North?

The inmates really are running the asylum, if the Astonisher is to believed (always a question and will continue to be so  in 2020.). The headless chook planning debacle surrounding the Total Tools stadium – and the business blight that is affecting the Townsville CBD so drastically – is summed up in this front page (and story) in the Astonisher last week end (Dec 28).

Screen Shot 2019-12-28 at 8.44.28 am

Key quote: Mandeep Singh, a participant of the TEL program and a manager at accounting firm PVW Partners, said the idea was to get the CBD bustling in time for the stadium’s first few major events through pop-up shops and interactive experiences.”

This is a a totally upside down story, inspired by a budding deep thinker called Mr Singh. Now don’t get The ‘Pie wrong,  he doesn’t know Mr Singh, who is probably a jolly nice bloke, but it is  noted that he works as a ‘manager’ for PVW Partners Accounting, an outfit which is an Astonisher favourite go-to firm for a frequent glee club, happy-times-are-nearly-here-again quote. That’s probably why this poor bugger got roped into this warmed-over blarney.

Mandeep Singh blogskale__big_mandeep_1_2

PVW manager Mandeep Singh

It is also noted that Mr Singh, although a ‘manager’,  is also part of Townsville Enterprise sheltered workshop money spinner, theTEL Emerging Leaders Program (last report $6,000 to listen to a series of workshopped bromides on how to breed unicorns). If Mr Mandeep’s twaddle and discombobulated muddled tripe about his brainstorm CBD revival is any indication of the contribution TEL’s emerging leaders will provide, we should set up a task force to brick up wherever they are emerging from, for our own sanity and safety.  And keep them away from the real world, where – if Mr Singh is to be taken as a prime example worthy of an Astonisher front page -  they clearly have trouble coping with reality.

Harsh? Not really, just The Magpie is fed up to the back teeth with this groundhog day merry-go-round where the lazy, insidious Astonisher, and all other media in this town, will not tell the simple truth about the CBD, and instead insult us all with this sort of utter codswallop.  The ‘Pie will get to that truth in a moment, but first.

Let Us, As They Say, ‘Unpack’ Mandeep’s Boyish Gurglings.

To start with, and put so simply, his idea is back-to-front and upside down against the claimed and declared ‘benefits’ trotted out regularly to justify the stadium scandal. We have been  repeatedly lectured to the point of lying tedium that the stadium itself  was to be the saviour of landlords and business in the CBD, the magic bullet to end the inner city woes that so pre-occupy our celebrity-struck, consultant-owned mayor. But here we have Mr Singh suggesting the empty eye-sockets of shops for lease should be given out to anyone with a pulse and an operating chromosome and who harbour any ratbag idea for a quick quid (oh, sorry, ‘art’ is it?) to make the place look ‘bustling and vibrant’.  He tells the Astonisher stenographer – sorry reporter – Madura ‘Teabag’ McCormack: “We want to see a vibrant, bustling CBD which we know will be critical to the successful opening of the North Queensland Stadium and we believe using vacant properties and land is a great way to achieve that,” he said.“We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in taking up the opportunity to use vacant space in the CBD and assist us as we look to make a positive and significant change within the Townsville City area.”

Mandeep mate, apart from anything else, this juvenile blarney was trotted out not too long ago, which property owners met with all the warmth of a mother-in-law’s kiss. But, old chum, tell us,  wasn’t making the CBD ‘vibrant and bustling’ what the stadium was supposed to achieve, its raisond’etre? Instantly? In other words, Mr Singh, showing all the smarts of a clever lad impressing mummy with his first mud cake, you want to create a temporary lie, an ‘impression’ of ‘bustling and vibrant’. You want to appear to achieve what the architects of this appalling disaster have been trying to do ever since Lancini convinced the council (including Townsville First) that this was a great idea. For him, it is, because eventually it will greatly add value to his inner city portfolio. But he sold it as a panacea for to stem the wholesale scrambled rush of hard-nosed businesses from the CBD that made Moses’ departure from Egypt look like an orderly English bus queue.

‘Then there is the question of what happens after all this home made pottery, wind chimes, aroma therapy, creative massages, interactive experiences, comic book stores and purveyors of imported possum poop coffee fails to pull in the local punters or attract the visiting footy drongos? We’re back were we started, no closer to seeking a sensible and inventive scheme to promote any CBD vibrancy, landlords will be out of pocket for no real reason and will have have to cough up for new For Lease signs. (don’t jeer, lefties, this IS a free market economy.) Of course, there is also the situation our gung-ho Mr Singh may not be able to prepare a bullshit line for those landlords – why will they want to assist a city’s leadership (read mayor) who through incompetence and lack of vision, has so sorely affected their investments while still coughing up some of the highest rates in Queensland. And whose erratic vindictive embrace of power has them terrified.

If Jenna Cairney was still at the Bulletin before buggering off to infest Tasmania, we can take this front page and story as a final finger to Townsville. 

So What Is The Brutal Truth About The CBD?

This analysis was put together between The ‘Pie and a very well credentialed and successful businessman who prefers to remain anonymous for the moment.

Flinders Street

Papering over the reality.

The plight of Townsville’s CBD is not much different from downtowns across regional Australia and the world for that matter. It’s been propped up by dubious rates holidays, developer charges subsidies and various marketing schemes. Despite all this, over at least 2 decades, commercial vacancy rates continue to hover around 30%. Headline rents don’t drop, which leaves many lay observers scratching their heads. So-called market forces should see rents drop until the vacancies are filled.

One of the main reasons why rents haven’t dropped is because the value of the commercial properties is tied to rent levels, and a whole range of corporate loans are leveraged against headline asset values. A drop in rent will drive down valuations, and cause all sorts of concerns in the loan-to-Value front. This runs the risk of cascading effects on corporate balance sheets as lenders get nervous and call in loans. That’s what happened in the GFC, incidentally, but mainly (though not exclusively) in the residential market.

The hope has always been that through some miracle of one concession after another, or one public boondoggle after another, the CBD will experience a turnaround without a major impairment event. This doesn’t seem remotely likely. How much has been poured into the CBD in the last 20-odd year’s? Flinders St East $40m. Ripping up the Mall $70m. Poor old Palmer St who knows. The stadium $250-300m. The Ergon and State Government-tenanted buildings …. tens of millions of public sector-underwritten construction. The list goes on.

High quality spaces will always win out, which is why the best buildings remain occupied while the B grade space can’t find a tenant. Robbing Peter to pay Paul has been the order of the day. That’s what happened with the Ergon and State Government Officer buildings. Deckchairs were shuffled.

There are no easy fixes. Sadly one suspects that only a major and protracted impairment event can catalyse the emergence of a new set of uses. Phoenixes only ride from the ash, so to speak. For the Bully to now plea for landlords to do something is just too cute. The Bulletin’s own downsizing of office needs should tell itself what the underlying problems are.  Yet the paper itself exacerbates the problem by continuing to put its own self-intetest of ‘good standing’ with the property market by continually printing false hope and biased forecasts in this sector. This ultimately not only makes the Townsville Bulletin look biased, foolish and ill-informed but avoids the hard headed truths such as the preceding analysis. Even if that analysis can be challenged, it is the job of the community’s paper of record to promote that debate instead of the shallow approach it insists on taking. Any drongo can work out that property always changes hands when the cashed-up descend on a blighted market … cf GFC. That adds nothing of any value to the jobs market, the feeling of healthy well being, or the city.

Despite A Rumoured Great Personal Loss, A Brave Mayor Mullet  Soldiers On

The Mayor’s brave face while experiencing devastating loss says a lot for her. In typical fashion, she is keeping it to herself, not letting her personal dramas interfere with her normal sunny disposition.  But, not wishing her further distress, The ‘Pie has to report that it looks like her pet unicorn, her beloved Lithium Battery, has died. Here is what The ‘Pie has learnt, more by what the Astonisher DIDN’T say, rather than what it did say. The clue came first in this story.

Screen Shot 2020-01-01 at 8.11.36 am

Another happy clapper story of if and maybe, but it raised this question: What do Les Walker, Patricia O’Callaghan, per poodle ‘economist’ Colin Dwyer, Chamber president Michele Falconieri (who’s a bloke, in case the name confuses you) and reporter Tony Raggatt have in common? Just this: while waxing lyrical about all manner of the good, bad and iffy we can expect in projects in 2020 not a single one remotely mentioned the Imperium 3 Magnis lithium battery factory at Woodstock.  Not a dicky bird among the score of wonderful things awaiting us. Now, no matter how you cut it, this is a significant omission. But the missing battery factory stayed missing even when it came to the Astonisher cartoon.

Screen Shot 2020-01-01 at 10.13.08 am

Indeed, Astonisher pet economic poodle Col Dwyer – who now lives in Brisbane – made an unexpected assessment when he said ‘there are scores of projects either underway, set to start or which had a high confidence of proceeding.’ 

The company of which our mayor was previously so besotted that she wanted to give them industrial land for free currently has a share price of 8 cents.

magnis jan priceScreen Shot 2020-01-04 at 2.18.38 pm

If the battery factory cannot even pass muster in the assessment of ‘high confidence of proceeding’, it is has surely – to quote Front Bar Freddy – died in the arse.

The mayor is maintaining a dignified silence.

Overseas, The Tangerine Turnip Turns Deadly

Trump’s latest stunt – a unilateral decision to knock off a ranking leader of Iran ‘on suspicion’ has happened too recently to gauge the full ramifications, but this dangerous fruit loop is now a murderer of his own people.  All Americans no matter where they are can expect to be targeted because of this cheap vote catching stunt. And no one knows how many will die not to make America great again, but to make Trump president again. Welcome to 2020, world. Trump is stumbling around the world stage like a drunk, which sure suits some.

Screen Shot 2019-12-24 at 1.17.40 pm EMe-x1ZX0AAFzhT EMfa85vUEAAf7wG 233250_rgb bg010220dapr 233322_rgb 20191230edwas-a 20191219edbbc-a 20200101edbbc-a cjones01052020

…………

And that’s the start of The ‘Pie’s tenth year of this blog, it’s going to be interesting.  Join in the fun and let off steam in comments, and don’t  forget to send in any pics of council neglect around town – please include location but keep comment to a minimum with the photographs, which will speak for themselves.. Will notify everyone when the site is up and running. The initial stages of planning an overall  major upgrade of The Nest is underway at the moment,  so any donations to help with that will be greatly appreciated, as always.  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.

172 Comments

  1. Critical says:

    Reading the Astonishers cartoon wish list, it appears that listed 15 projects have or will need government grants or subsidies to be finalised. I note that some of these projects are nation building infrastructure projects and should rightly be funded by Federal and State government but please why should walking tracks and cafes be funded by other levels of government and I won’t go near subsidies, in whatever format, to Hilton, the Cowboys, Adani and others.

    • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

      The thing I found most interesting with “the list” was the number of projects – Adani mine, Kidston project, and Big Rocks Weir – which are nowhere within cooee of Townsville.

      If we take their value out of the list it is a much sadder and smaller tale, with or without the battery factory.

  2. Mike Douglas says:

    Great first blog of 2020 Pie again raising the questions the Astonisher should ask but won’t . Just an update on one of the commenters in the last weeks who stated his sources said the Tugun desal plant wasn’t running because they used the wrong pumps and they have corroded . The Courier Mail featured the desal plant in Saturday’s edition and it was turned on November 18 th and has supplied 2 bil litres of water which represents 15% of the south -east grid . Water consumption is at 212 litres per person per day . Not sure of the operating costs .

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      And look what happened to the Russian Emperor and family some time later. Hope a similar thing happens here in March to the ruling elite.

  3. The Magpie says:

    Oh, really?

    • The Magpie says:

      Pffft!!! That’s only half the size of the groper in the White House (who has often been mistaken for an Orange Roughie).

    • Fishframe says:

      I’m a fisherman. That is a protected species. Very irresponsible to not cut it free in the water and not put it under due stress.

  4. The Magpie says:

    Classy guy.

    But it puts The ‘Pie in mind of a famous media story in the same vein in Melbourne from 1967.

    Despite widespread protests, Ronald Ryan, who shot and killed a warder while escaping from prison, was hanged at 8am on February 3, 1967. As it turned out, he the last person to be legally executed in Australia.

    Premier Henry Bolte, who had refused all pleas to commute the sentence from various groups, held is regular media briefing that morning less than an hour after Ryan was despatched. Brian Joyce, then an ABC TV reporter asked the Premier, ‘What were you doing at 8am this morning, Premier?’

    Bolte, a wily and ruthless politician, was way ahead of the pack on this one, knowing what the media would make of it if he said he was having bacon and eggs for breakfast while a man was executed. He calmly looked Joyce in the eye and replied ‘I was taking a shit.’

    Because in that day and age, Bolte well knew that his answer would never reach the public because of self-imposed restraints on such language in the media, and also because of his reputation as a poerful and ruthless enemy to make .

    But Bolte was, more than most politicians, a hypocritical criminal himself, as it was convincingly argued that he had helped cover up the murder almost certainly committed by his deputy and close political ally Sir Arthur Rylah. Evidence and suspicious official reaction led to Rylah being widely believed to have killed his estranged wife in 1969.

    It reads like a political cover-up thriller, so here’s some more holiday reading for you.
    https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/andrew-rule/decades-old-mystery-why-the-death-of-lady-ann-rylah-still-raises-questions-in-victoria/news-story/e4d8ed6d582e876fe71867530468d39f

    • Lord Howard Hertz says:

      Sure Trump is a classy guy, with a classy, sophisticated resort in Mar-a-Lago, that serves …. meatloaf???

      • Umbrella man says:

        Followed up by golden showers in the executive suite afterwards. The orange Oompa Loompa certainly is all class.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Meatloaf? No style at all. Now, if your talking savoury mince on toast washed down with an agreeable red, well that’s style.

      • George Gently says:

        And guess what Lord, Trump will probably get a second term no matter what is written or said about him! Why? He’s not a politician, but is a crafty business type and this determines what he says and does and this appeals to enough of the general populace to get him over the line again.

    • Grumpy says:

      I quite like Meatloaf. ‘Though his second album was nowhere as good as his first.

  5. The Impudent Finger says:

    The whole battery plant thing was a ruse to get the woodstock area rezoned as industrial then install another metal refinery. The only place to put high pollution industry now is west of Townsville.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      TIP,
      Check your compass. To the West of Townsville is Thorntons Gap and further on, the Paluma Range.
      South of Townsville is Woodstock and Reid River, and North of Townsville is Magnetic Island.

  6. Frequent flyer says:

    I can live with the Mullet getting another term but if her whole team is elected I will be selling up and moving to southern climes, like hundreds of others have during the past couple of years. We need some truly independent councillors to ensure transperancy and shine a torch on the dodgy deals of the past four years. Without independent councillors this city is doomed to more Jamie Durie deals and less and less basic services.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Ahhh, so you think she will be re-elected ‘Flyer’, you hope she won’t be, or you’re having a bob each way………which way are you leaning???

    • Genitalia Hill says:

      Unfortunately she will get re-elected because there is no strong opposition candidate with a strong campaign team behind them to take her on. She has the regions highest business people in her back pocket and she has the majority of catatonic Townsville folk blinded by her magic tricks. She also has the media – The Bullshittin, also in her back pocket. It’s a hopeless situation. Hell, all I want is to have a competent Mayor with the bonus of a nice pair of tits and I would be in seventh heaven!! Oops, naughty me, I mentioned breasts and religion in thenone sentence – stand by for incoming complaints!

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, that bit about the business people being in her back pocket (an unpleasant location, to be sure) – more than two years ago, Laurence Lancini told several business leaders he can no longer do business in this town as long as she was mayor. Now he’s leaving.

    • Critical says:

      If Mullet gets back in we need at least six (a majority) independent Councillors who must ensure that all Council proposed budgets, projects and activities are presented to Council each with a detailed business case which can be thoroughly and transparenly scrutinised and publically questioned to ensure that projects and activities are for the benefit of the whole of Townsville and the community and if necessary block any ridiculous proposals that she wishes to ramm through Council. Hopefully this would also remove the politicalisation of Council staff and ensure that staff are providing independent and well researched advice to Council and if staff don’t like this approach, then what they do is their decision.

      • The Magpie says:

        hahahahaha . … good one, Crits, you merry jester, you.

        Remember George Santayana’s timeless words ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’? We had the council you envisage when Townsville First had the numbers and blocked a number of her proposals (Hard Rubbish Collection was one, if memory serves). But TF councillors were pilloried by the paper at the direction of the mayor as being divisive and the Astonisher promoted Walker Street as an out of control political shit fight …WHICH IT WAS NOT, IT WAS A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED COUNCIL ACTING AS WOULD BE EXPECTED. And it also led to the departure of a CEO who, while no angel, was competent and willing to stand up for both his staff and the laws governing local government. But the paper insisted on their pro-Jenny agenda, and we ended up with the aerobics class we now have … and upon whose election the Townsville Bulletin cheered and welcomed.

        The Townsville Bulletin and News Ltd have a lot to answer for in this community. A new media entity is sorely needed.

      • Genitalia Hill says:

        The issue here is that if you have a Mayor and Council CEO who have strong bullying and intimidating personalities, and just a handful of quietly spoken or new Councillors, the CEO and Mayor will call
        all the shots, do as they please, and scare the living crap out of everybody else who will fall into line. There are a lot of tentacles that Hill has spent years sewing into her network. The best way to get rid of her is to dig, dig and then dig some more until you get some CCC worthy dirt. The easiest way to get rid of the matriarch.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, no that’s the hardest way, but we’re always on the alert. New councillors will run because they are exactly not going to put up with that bullshit. Otherwise why bother (except for the dollars of course.)And that is what we so desperately need.

          • Genitalia Hill says:

            I understand your point. What I meant was when you have an ingrained piece of furniture like Hill and no robust competition, it would be easier to dig up a decent skeleleton and drop it into the laps of the CCC. That said, my astute feathered Magpie, a couple of new Councillors with axes to grind against Hill could see her wings clipped and her brought back into line and effectively shut down. That would be interesting. And a few new Councillors who have the numbers could also push for the axing of the executive management team early in the peace, which would also strip her of some of the detritus that support her. So if Shen gets back in, let’s hope there is some robust chess playing against her.

          • The Magpie says:

            First and foremost, voting in March should never be driven simply by some sort of revenge as the motive , but rather justified self interest, a desire to get the city back on an even keel again. It will be secondary if a new balance of power makes it possible to uncover possible matters for investigation. As will the outcome of the Adani attempt to prevent – ironically – the TCC complying with the Right To Information Offices direction that the Adani airstrip agreement be made public. It will be very interesting if that little surprise packet drops before the March elections.

        • Critical says:

          Now that you mention tentacles, her tentacles also reach into the various veterans organisations around town including The Oasis which on their website claim she is a veteran. I’m told that this claim isn’t strictly true as she was never posted in an active field of war but I stand to be corrected her. Also heard that she regularly has drinks with the various groups to further her cause. Who knows what links she has with our Federal member who is proving to be a bit of a dud like his predecessor with single line causes of his choosing.

          • The Magpie says:

            Like you, The ‘Pie stands to be corrected, but two things. Understand she was only ever a reservist while working as a lab assistant or some rather more grand title … it was hubby who was a full time soldier. And yes, madam has long courted the returned vets vote, and said to be known to knock back a few at the Patriots Club (Ingham Road is it?) which is the vets bikie club.

          • No More Dredging says:

            Critical, was there ever a single politician in Australia that you had a moments time for? You’ve gone off Palaszczuk and the three local Labor members (and all that preceded them – which is fair enough), you’re well and truly off the mayor and (seemingly) all the likely candidates in the divisions, you’re going off the new federal Liberal member “who is proving to be a bit of a dud like his predecessor”, and no doubt you’re already off PM Morrison, his immediate predecessor and the one before that, Abbott, who now seems to be barking at the moon (on a good day). And I guess federal Labor is way beyond the pale? If the democratic process no longer does it for you I suggest you’re losing the connection. Why not start at square one, find out the name of your divisional candidates in the Council election and actually join the campaign of one that takes your fancy. Let them know you’re rooting for them. Personal connection can quickly restore your faith. You should try it.

          • The Magpie says:

            Regarding this comment, The ‘Pie calls on the famous legally non-committal General Motors PR reply to complaints:
            ‘Dear Sir or Madam,
            You may be right.’

            But Dredger, the obverse may be asked of you … was there ever a single politician in Australia that you HAVE had a moments time for? There were a few at the Federal level, Tim Fischer, way back a bloke named St.John, and Ted Mack was pretty good. At the Queensland state level there was/is … errr … ummm … give me sec …. nah, moving along, TCC? WEll, OK, Mooney was pretty dynamic early on, until he descended into that demented egomania of his closing years in office, but everyone else of recall has either been a plodder or a disaster (Hi Mike!).

            ASpart from party pressures, there seems to be a political equivalent of sports ‘white line fever’, where the temptation to become a perk bludger is too great.

            Call The ‘Pie cynical if you will, but that will simply make you … right.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            On a state level 2 come to mind from opposite sides and for different reasons, Mike Ahern from the Nationals and Tom Burns from Labor.

          • No More Dredging says:

            ‘Pie, back in the early 1970s I had occasion to seek advice about some now-unremembered Commonwealth government matter from the local Queensland Labor senator Jim Keefe. I spoke to him in his office – he didn’t know me from Adam but I knew he was a Whitlam man and 1972 had been my first ever vote (although Labor won the election, Herbert remained a Liberal seat). Within a couple of days the matter was sorted and I stored away the memory of how useful a local MP can be. Margaret Reynolds turned out to be pretty good too. Recently I’ve had some dealings with the new boy, Liberal P. Thompson. I disagree with Critical about the “dud” but perhaps he’s had his own experience. I think politician’s offices and officers are badly underrated by punters. Suck it and see, I reckon.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Ff,
      I hope the worst does not happen. I suspect you will not get true value for your house.

      It is friends and family that keep us here. That and our house we had built and our back yard, such as it is, where we know every shrub, bush, tree, and weed.

      We recharge by hooking up the van and heading off for months at a time.

      We find the little places away from the highways where the women are strong, the men handsome, the youth polite, the streets tidy, the music acoustics, and the traveller is welcome. And yes, there are such places.

      And then we have to return to the now unattractiveness that is Kelso!

      Once it was attractive, untill the State Govt built estates of housing commission houses in the area. I am fortunate that I have good friends and family.

      As I said Ff, I hope it does not come to pass. If it does, good luck to you, and the rest of us.

      • Hondaman says:

        I am a long time resident of Heatley, in fact 44 years service, and the Ghetto style of housing rentals have dragged this once fine suburb lower than Kelso, or any of the Western suburbs could ever NOT wish to be!! As a recipient of an unwanted home invasion with ALL the most unwelcome lingering results, we too take great solace in our leaving the Ville in our Camper, to places where crime and those disadvantaged? perpetrators DON’T live, to enjoy life as it was once considered the norm – including Aboriginal communities where the people still respect everyone’s right to their own privacy! I love Townsville, you couldn’t live anywhere better, but the dream of going on the road permanently to avoid the Council mismanagement, and the ongoing lawlessness is becoming overpowering. I am not alone in this I feel!! Somebody, please HELP!!!

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Yep, she could do little damage 2012-16 as she didn’t control the council and someone was there to ask questions, but now with a complicit gutless council and an equally piss week paper in town if she is allowed to go unchecked for another 4 years this town will be well and truly fucked and many more will look to head south.

    • Fishframe says:

      If the tin foil hat people are correct and the Council is Corporatised, then the CEO holds ultimate power and the Mayor is a Director. Independent councillors wouldn’t have any say just like now when they are locked out of budget meetings. I’d love to see a Clint Eastwood style mayor get in then Audit the financials and development approvals.

  7. Stillnotalocal says:

    I am assuming that this is the same Mandeep Singh, board member of Townsville Business Development Centre out at Condon? Didn’t TBDC launch a similar concept a few years back on Flinders Street, The Hive, I think it was called. Extremely low cost rental for short term pop ups. Wasn’t this a dismal failure despite the occupants paying rental to TBDC and them failing to pass it on to the landlord?

    • The Stockman says:

      Sounds close to the mark to me. TBDC are an extension of the Liberal Party faithful, hence them having no favour with Mullet. They occupy a building owned by Council and the relationship is strained at best.

      • Bloke says:

        Stocky, you have made a bold statement re the TBDC being an extension of the Liberal Party faithful. As a tenant I haven’t seen it. Care to elaborate what advantage this centre would be to the LP and who is driving it?
        Stillnot you can answer as well as you seem to share the same views.

        • Stillnotalocal says:

          I don’t see how you draw the conclusion I have the same views as Stockman. I haven’t mentioned any party alliance, rather I haven just queried if Mr Singh was rolling out the same failed strategy as previous.

          That being said, and looking at the website which still lists 2019 board members , the chair is proudly blue and extremely vocal in his disdain for the mayor, and was the driving force behind Phil Thompson’s campaign. The deputy chair is a former blue partner member I believe, Singh works at PVW one of Townsville’s most out and proud LNP commercial supporters, and Barr has close linkages to those of strong blue political persuasion. Haven’t a clue who Evans is. I’d say it’s a fair statement of Stockies.

        • Fishframe says:

          Bloke – I wouldn’t know, or care, but having Michael Brennan as Chair of the TBDC automatically creates an air of LNP involvement. Not saying they are, but the person is.

  8. Five Finger Discount says:

    Local grubs have been busy again, this time rather than steal a car, they stole a front-end loader and ploughed through some bollards to pinch an ATM!!!
    I don’t believe either the loader or the wrecked ATM have ended up at the Strand!
    This town gets worse by the week.

  9. Strand Ghost says:

    I see Liam Mooney was on Facebook today spruiking water recycling, we are going to need it after watching the sprinklers going on Saturday morning on Dalrymple rd none were going on grass ( sorry weeds) it was all blowing on to the road ! well at least everyone was getting a free car wash

    • Critical says:

      Is Liam Mooney just regurgitating this scheme that is already under construction and hoping that the majority of electors don’t know about it, or if they do, don’t really understand it and think that it’s a new Mullet policy for March 2020 elections

      https://watersmart.townsville.qld.gov.au/recycled-water

      • No More Dredging says:

        Critical, thanks for the link. I didn’t know the details. No doubt someone else in Team Hill will be spruiking the waste recycling stream soon enough. The current council does have a couple of achievements under its belt even if we regularly remind ourselves of numerous disappointments or outright outrages.

        • City dweller says:

          Name the TCC achievements?? And don’t count the ones that are heavily subsidized by state ( broke) and federal ( half broke) what has TCC done in 4yrs??

          • No More Dredging says:

            City dweller – there’s two right there. Hard waste recycling with a purpose-built processing operation and water recycling as outlined in the link. If you want more examples read the political bumpf that will soon be filling your mailbox. Personally, I don’t need it.

          • 81 Days says:

            Townsville’s water recycling is funded by the state. If not in full at least partially .

          • The Magpie says:

            Watering down young Mooney’s argument?

          • No More Dredging says:

            81 days, what’s the problem with state or federal funding in whole or part? Local government is a state AND federal government function – there’s a specific state department and minister and at least two federal ministers just for that purpose. It’s the state government’s responsibility to fund local government. Local councils have no chance of funding everything they need to do from the rate base. No one expects the council to build and maintain main streets and connecting roads let alone bridges, water reservoirs, sewerage treatment plants, sports and cultural infrastructure etc let alone job creation or natural disaster relief. These things have always been funded, often 100%, by the state and mayors are celebrated and rewarded politically, for their ability to attract outside funding sources to prop up meagre ratepayer revenues.

  10. Critical says:

    NMD, love him or hate him but Sir Joh did one he’ll of a lot for QLD, Sir Llew Edwards served the people of QLD extremely well both as a politician and in post political life, Liz Cunningham quietly served her electorate in Central QLD, Malcolm Frazer, John Howard and Bob Hawke were great Prime Ministers, Julie Bishop did a sterling job in difficult portfolios, Warren Enstch and Robbie Katter are performing well in their electorates but sadly on the local scene, I can’t think of any outstanding members.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Critical, I get it that us punters can form views from afar about politicians based on media reports, election results, court cases and so on. Lots of views about the PM are being adjusted at the moment. Some views about Bob Hawke have been adjusted since we heard about his daughter’s creepy experience with one of her father’s associates. But I wasn’t really referring to that. What I’m interested in is how people engage personally with the actual person who is the politician. Yes, I know it is possible to look upon the mayor or PM (for instance) as aloof and secretive and arrogant and all that but what are they like when you deal with them face to face? It’s a whole different ballgame when you have a personal stake in the issue at hand. Have you ever met and dealt with a politician in person?

      • The Magpie says:

        Face-to-face? There’s a choice, they always have two.

      • City dweller says:

        Clearly you have only done face to face with yourself in the mirror. How many got broken? It’s so refreshing that the magpie puts your comments up because it proves my theory that Charles Darwin was completely wrong about human evolution. If only you could stop cutting and pasting. NMD.

        • No More Dredging says:

          City dweller, presumably you mean that you alone rose from the primeval ooze in fully human form bypassing the whole birthing thing, avoiding the damn Garden of Eden palaver and pranced onto the world stage knowing all and unable to find a reflection, mirror or not. No belly button? Hmm. Interesting.

          • The Magpie says:

            OK, one-all, a draw. Unless you’re going to further some debatable point, knock it off. This isn’t a kiddy site.

      • RobNW says:

        I have had only two face to face dealings with a politician with personal interest at stake. One was Mark Stoneman which was dealt with very well. The other was with a politician who was absolutely on the ball as to what my request was. My local member at the time hadn’t a clue but this guy knew exactly what my problem was – and dealt with it promptly. It was …. Bob Katter.

  11. Critical says:

    Devious idea but then you might have beaten me to the post on this one but can your #TattyTownsviile also be a Instagram site which comes up on any Instagram searches for Townsville and then be next to TCC Instagram site of Townsvilleshines. Just an idea to piss Mullet and probably Little Patsy off.

  12. Mike Douglas says:

    Councillor Paul Jacobs letter to the editor Astonisher regarding new Belcarra laws and delays by the independent assessor in rulings and opportunities for vexatious and frivolous complaints by other Councillors is concerning . If Councillor Jacobs was being bullied or had vexatious claims made against him by Team Hill Councillors shouldn’t this be made public .

    • 81 Days says:

      Councillor Jacobs WAS bullied. Because refusing to provide people with information they need to do their jobs is classed as bullying. As are threats against a person.
      It’s disgusting if the independent assessor is dragging this out.

  13. Hee Haw says:

    If Sam Cox thinks he can win this election by saying he will support the police, consider 2 hour free parking in the CBD, get the occasional lawn mowed and not tell people about watering then the man is seriously delusional.

    WTF is he doing, or not doing should I say?

    I think your blog is going to be kept well in business over the next 4 years of a Mullet empire.

    • The Magpie says:

      No mention of how to get around the Catch-22 of CBD workers taking up the parking spots, with the added incentive of not having to take part in the two hourly dash to either replenish the meter or move to another spot when the council was checking and fining cars that stayed put in the one spot all day. Are they still doing that?

      • Guy says:

        Who cares if CBD workers are parking there all day – no one is going into the CBD anyway.

        If I had got my all those parking meters woukd have been torn out and turned into art work.

        Parking meters are really just a scourge.

        • The Magpie says:

          Feel better now, mate?

          • Guy says:

            Parking meters are used by councils to wipe out existing business property and renters in high value locations in the pursuit to have the place redeveloped. If existing owners / lease are able to demand higher amounts to leave their properties it makes it more expensive to redevelop.

            Before the developers can redevelop everythimg must be wiped out.

            Hope this clears things up for you.

          • The Magpie says:

            Clearly you’ve been chatting to Pete Newey over a cup of (Australian grown) tea. But you left out the bit where the crooked Chinese developers with links to the communist government have been bribing councils to drop their parking policies to implement the cunning scheme you have revealed. Doesn’t seem to be working so far. What a great pair, you and Pete: one in a tin foil hat and you in your crash helmet clutching your crayons, two very special people.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Hee Haw, punters don’t get to write candidate’s policies – especially if they have no personal connection and don’t intend to make one. You have to take what you get. If you think the guy’s delusional then vote for someone else. If there’s no one else you can stomach then vote for the guy and suck it up. If he’s going to lose, let him lose with grace. At least he’s having a go.

      • The Magpie says:

        Wrong again, Dredger. Smart politicians’ policies ARE written by the punters … it’s a hit and miss guessing game of what will best balance off competing interests. And the defeatist agenda of ‘you have to take what you get’ is pure poppycock, as is ‘let him lose wit grace’ not even worth explaining the error.

        • No More Dredging says:

          “Smart” politicians. Hmm. Most who actually get elected rely almost entirely on party or team organisational nous and funding. “Delusional”, underfunded independents haven’t got a hope – or possibly a clue – I know, I’ve been there. On my observation, policies are written FOR the punters, not BY them. Jenny Hill has been gifted the stadium and the pipeline as if they were her idea and she built and paid for them herself. The town, including the TBulletin, wants each to ‘succeed’. Any other mayoral candidate will have to find something else to swing from because this circus is owned by Hill. She gambled (“there’s no water crisis”) and the stars lined up for her, free of charge. Bummer eh?

          • The Magpie says:

            With apologies to RG Menzies, the tour of your mind Dredger, would’ve been far more enlightening had it not been conducted in the gathering darkness. Your understanding of English remains a problem, as in ‘policies are written for the punters not by them’. The policies that are written for them are formulated by policy wonks who listen to what the punters want … in Mullet’s case, misjudgement that endless bread, circuses and empty blue sky projects in the face of more glaring problems (crime and such) that occupy people’s minds now the good times have rolled on by. And how do you work out that the Total Tools Stadium is somehow a ‘gift’ for Jenny Hill. If any one single issue will go a long to sinking her, it is this wasteful white elephant, and something she will not be able to escape … it will be her shameful legacy no matter what happens in March. And your last sentence defies rational analysis … she said there was no water crisis then belatedly and under pressure had do a complete back-flip in the hope punters would forget. Many haven’t.

            Her trumpeting of this pipeline ‘initiative’ is a classic case of the old American saying ‘ When you’re being run out of town, get to the head of the mob and make it look like your leading a parade.’ Trouble is in this town, it ends up actually BEING a parade.

          • No More Dredging says:

            ‘Pie, I can’t help it if Jenny Hill gets to lead the parade. Or Peter Lindsay endorses her. The stadium will get her elected. Nothing else matters with less than three months to go. As for the pipeline, as far as local punters know, ratepayers have this new infrastructure at no cost to them. And no rates increase either. That’s why it’s a gift. The ducks lined up just in time. Don’t ask me how the Adani airport deal is kept off the radar. I have no idea.

      • Hee Haw says:

        NMD
        I have admiration for Sam running for Mayor but I expected to see him run and not limp along. I want to see a serious challenge to Mullet, serious issues tackled and quite possibly a “dirty fight” which I think is needed if anyone is to roll JH. The campaign so far has had little or no impact, no bite, no cut through and nothing other than he is someone who is not Jenny Hill .
        I fear a bloodbath result coming along in 80 days unless he can find the “smoking gun” which would take her out of the candidacy I think he is already a very long shot at winning.
        Townsville does not need politicians it needs selfless focus and balls.

  14. The Magpie says:

    Bimbo on the bushfires: she’s still lying.

    A serious rift has developed between senior New South Wales Liberals and prime minister Scott Morrison, over claims the state government rejected offers of navy ships to help with evacuations from south coast towns ravaged by bushfires.

    Senior Liberals told Guardian Australia that the premier Gladys Berejiklian was “heartbroken” over a report that she had rejected earlier offers of assistance.

    The claims were made over the weekend by Daily Telegraph columnist Sharri Markson, who said the premier had rejected the offer of navy ships to assist in last week’s evacuations.

    “While Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has readily made use of the ADF to help nearly 1000 stranded locals and tourists evacuate from Mallacoota, the NSW Government has knocked back countless offers of naval support from Canberra,” she wrote.

    Markson did not attribute the claims to any named person and said the prime Minister refused to comment.

    Last time she got caught out making stuff up, it cost News Ltd a million dollars in The Magpie’s successful defamation suit. I(Don’t get excited, Barry Taylor and Rabieh Krayem, The ‘Pie didn’t get a million, nothing like it, but that’s what the action caused by the Markson lie cost news.)>

  15. The Magpie says:

    Why oh why do they keep doing it? Are we in for another year (or – shudder – four) of this sort of crap?

    This fairyfloss of self-interest (what else is a real estate person going to say in what amounts to a wheedling free ad?) is plain for all to see in this part of the story (The ‘Pie has bolded the relevant words and phrases).
    “Colliers International Townsville associate director Neville Smith said they were starting to see “green shoots” with interest being shown by retail and hospitality groups.
    “We are starting to see some green shoots with further interest coming back to the CBD,” Mr Smith said.
    “Even over the break, we are seeing some solid inquiry for retail and hospitality space in the city, with further food outlets probably sparked by the new stadium not too far from opening.”
    Mr Smith declined to reveal names but said some big operators were “hovering around”.
    “Once we see the launch of the stadium and the coverage that will happen around the stadium, I think you’ll find their might be a bit of a stampede on,” he said.”

    ‘A stampede’, Mr Smith? You are a insulting jerk quoted in an insulting jerk-off newspaper.

  16. Critical says:

    Mandeep Singh was a participant in the 2019 TEL Emerging Leader Program and I can’t stop wondering if his plan for the CBD was orchestred by head female puppeteers in TEl and the TCC and he was but the puppet to deflect any criticism away from themselves. If so, even the Emerging Leaders Program has been politicised by the Miss Patsy and Mullet in an attempt to meet their own needs.

  17. The Magpie says:

    Jenny and Anna’s host with the most ‘Gotem’ Adani continues to ‘Get’em’, this time in India, where he has trampled through the village livelihood of some of those millions he is trying to so selflessly bring power to with Australian coal.

    Quote from the story:
    Over the past three weeks, Adani Enterprises Ltd, contracted with developing and operating Talabira II and III mines by central undertaking NLC India Limited has been logging the forest.
    Over 1.3 lakh trees are targeted to be cleared for the mining project and so far, over 15,000 have already been felled. Budhia cannot believe what he sees.

    • Achilles says:

      Just to clarify, the scale of this devastation, The terms lakh (100,000) and crore (10,000,000).

    • Fishframe says:

      In defence of his Royal Highness Adani, those pesky trees just serve to get in the way of progress.

      • The Magpie says:

        Yup, and he was dismayed when learnt that he couldn’t hire some marksmen to take the black throated finch here in Oz.

        • Fishframe says:

          Once again, in defence of HRM Adani, had he known about the black throated finch prior it would have been a very different story. Have you asked yourself why there are no longer any white, pink or blue throated finches in that area? Also an absence of rare desert geckos

  18. Mike Douglas says:

    Queensland is the only State that re-classified volunteer fire fighters so they have to have blue cards at a cost of over $2 mil to the 20,000 + volunteers . 31 st dec was the deadline but because only 50% of our volunteers met the deadline and the Queensland Government needs them volunteering and putting their lives on the line they have generously extended the compliance date to March 31 st . Has there ever been a more ludicrous bureaucratic decision ? . Our local 3 State MP,s supported this ?.

    • Mike Shearer says:

      Obviously the Blue Cards are essential. Otherwise a fireman rescuing a child is putting himself at risk of being arrested for touching the kid, or sued if he trips and there’s injury. Much better to have no card and no responsibility than to save underage lives. A well-established Nanny Principle.

      • The Magpie says:

        Should be free for everybody, anyway … the grubs will be weeded out in the process, whether it’s a paid process or free.

        • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

          the sad part of the bluecard process is that it doesn’t weed out those who want to fiddle kiddies – only those who have been previously convicted of it, so its no real safeguard.

          How many firefighter arsonists have we seen? They have been vetted, trained and work alongside other dedicated volunteers. Until the systems can psych profile people they are worse than useless – anyone who has not been caught doing something can get a card and be given carte blanche to their victims.

          NMD – most volunteers DO have to pay for their certification and in many cases their training – – perhaps NQCC or Extinction Rebellion, or whatever you are into has deeper pockets than most?

    • No More Dredging says:

      Mike, volunteers don’t have to pay for their Blue Cards (I got mine at no charge a few weeks ago). But that isn’t the issue. The issue is about the legal positioning that basically says that fire fighters are, in some sort of weird definition about protecting persons, property and the environment, ‘providing a health service’. They’re nuts.

      • The Magpie says:

        Now there’s an interesting point …do coppers have to have a Blue Card, and if they do, since they aren’t volunteers, do they have to pay the $92 application fee? Trust this floundering virtue-signalling government which is forever whimpering for jobs, jobs, jobs to turn a worthy and necessary Blue Card scheme into a tax … on working. Why should any law-abiding, sincere person seeking to work with children have to PAY to prove what they are? It should be free to apply, the grubs would be weeded out anyway. And taxpayers can’t complain, the scheme is to keep them and their families safe.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      Mike, while I’m inclined to agree with you that this is a case of risk adverse nanny state overreaction, the pedant in me needs to point out that only payed employees are required to pay an application fee for a Blue Card. There is no application fee for volunteers. So the $2M cost you quote isn’t being paid directly by the volunteers.

      At the risk of doing a Dredger, might find this “legal opinion” post on the issue an interesting read:

      https://emergencylaw.wordpress.com/2019/07/20/working-with-children-check-for-qrfs-and-ses/

      • No More Dredging says:

        Wulguru Wonder, thanks for the excellent link to that legal ‘opinion’. I noticed within that site this little detail:

        “I do understand that volunteer firefighters and SES members in other states and territories have working with children checks so the Queensland position appears to be consistent with other jurisdictions.”

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Mike, according to the Qld govt website there is no charge for volunteers – do you have information to the contrary? Can you point me at it please? If they do have to pay, is it because most of them would have a main job? I don’t know, which is why I am respectfully asking.

      • The Magpie says:

        $92 for you average punters but volunteers are exempted.

        • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

          I stand corrected in this – last time I looked (early last year) everyone paid. I remember a lengthy discussion in an organisation about having to take on the cost of bluecards for their many volunteers.

          As you were – I will go back in my box.

  19. Just Say'n says:

    Mike, are you sure that the Rural Fire personnel have to pay out of their own pockets for these cards? Normally volunteers are not required to pay.

    Whether they should have them or not is another question. If they are free to the volunteer and all they have to do is fill in the form – what’s the big deal?

    I think the RFS does an outstanding job, especially at the moment. That doesn’t guarantee that everyone of them are saints (same as any other profession). I think its a long bow to draw to say “they are treating us as if we are paedophiles” (which I have seen reported).

    Plenty of other volunteers in our community are required to get the card. If it improves child safety then I am all for it.

    • Mike Douglas says:

      Happy to be corrected and thanks for updating me that volunteers blue cards are free but the 28,000 still have to be checked and processed by the public service and if only 15% decide to stand down that leaves us 4,000 volunteers short . There has been some comment on why Queensland is the only State that requires a blue card for volunteer fire fighters but does that mean if we need support from other states / countries only those with blue cards can come ?. Seems like bureaucracy to me .

      • The Magpie says:

        Another Palaszczuk clusterfuck.

      • 80 Days says:

        A blue card costs approx $90

        Volunteer Rural Fire Fighters can be under the age of 18 which is considered a minor. Blue cards are for people working with minors.
        Anyone working with minors must have one of these cards. Its not an unreasonable requirement considering the amount of minor abuse that is reported in Australia.

        • The Magpie says:

          What is not a reasonable requirement is that someone wanting to work – and it happens to be in an area involving children – is in essence and in fact having to pay a tax to work, by having to prove they are not a risk. Blue Cards protect the whole community … children, parents, the community as a whole … so the general taxpaying public should foot the bill for the costs involved. Applications will weed out any grubs, and perhaps when they fail to pass the required background check, THEY should be charged.

        • ando says:

          Makes you wonder about those who decided to chuck in their volunteer roles because of this.
          Anyone who works with children is required to hold a blue card, be it a church, scout group, school photographer etc.
          It’s not a perfect system and no doubt there is room for errors.

          If you are required to have a blue card for your job, the cost is a tax deduction.

          • The Magpie says:

            That is pure and utter bollocks, Ando … firefighters having a fiddle while the house burns? This desperate government classifies these brave and selfless rural fire fighters as health workers, because it no doubt suits some obscure political agenda. Blue Cards in themselves are a good thing, they are necessary, they are a desirable weapon for our society, but it is insulting to suggest that fire fighters are working ‘with’ children. On occasion, they are SAVING them. This is sheer bloody madness, but please quote us ONE SINGLE INSTANCE – AN ACTUAL OFFENCE INVOLVING ON AN DUTY BUSH FIRE BRIGADE MEMBER THAT POLICE PROSECUTED THROUGH THE COURTS that could possibly justify this foaming lunacy. It is totally unjustifiable.

            And oh, for our information (being deadly serious), are Catholic priests required to have Blue Cards while they talk their little talks to the young faithful? Doubt it but if they do require Blue Cards, fat lot of fucking good that did, then, eh?

          • ando says:

            Groan…if a brave selfless volunteer chucks it in over a police check, so be it.

          • The Magpie says:

            Get a move on, Ando, you’re running late for the Mensa meeting.

            As a reply, see Bentley’s brilliant response to your support of a police state in the Magpie’s Nest tonight.

  20. Count de Money says:

    So does the education Minister have a blue card, after all she does interact with schooling, and schools have children. In fact, any state politician on duty who visits a school, schooling centres, TAFE, and/or any other location a child can be found should have a blue card, paid for out of their own back pocket.
    Again, a good concept that has been totally fucked up by the incompetent trough swillers that swan around their luxurious offices inside their own private bubbles.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Count, Blue Cards might be a good concept and classifying some volunteers as “health workers” might be OK if it doesn’t discourage volunteering but I can think of instances where the two might not match up. Queensland Blue Cards are not issued to people with criminal convictions for certain specific offences which have nothing to do with children or pornography or prostitution. For example a conviction for drug trafficking. I can’t think of a good reason why a convicted drug trafficker who has served their time could not be a useful and valued contributor to a volunteer fire brigade and not be a threat to anyone. And I could understand why such a person would not want to receive the inevitable ‘negative notice’ if they applied for a Blue Card. They would just drop out.
      What seems to have happened here is that recent legislation for one purpose has inconveniently interacted with older legislation with a completely different purpose and the drafters have not sorted out the clash.

  21. Dave of Kelso says:

    ABC RN news this morning: Puddleduck spent $1,000,000.00 to bring her circus to Townsville last year , at which about 100 locals attended. They would be the Puddleduck faithful, no doubt.

    What a waste of our money! Shame on you Puddleduck!

    I’ll post a link when I find one.

    • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

      I’m told the canapes were very nice although the beer was a little warm and hard to get to (through the throng of policy advisors, pr wankers and general government hangers on most likely).

    • No More Dredging says:

      Dave, they might have been “Puddleduck faithful” (whatever that means) but most likely many would have been from the big end of town (miners, refiners, developers, local government, tourism operators, other gamblers) taking the opportunity to sup from the ample government trough. I suspect that the real action was taking place on the sidelines, not at the public parliamentary sitting.

      • The Magpie says:

        So that makes this rort of public money OK, does it?

        • No More Dredging says:

          No, ‘Pie, it means that you can only satisfy a few of the people some of the time. For some people the provision of a public gallery inside the parliament is an unprincipled indulgence. That there are actual seats to sit on and even toilets for them is a disgrace.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie must now assume you’re enjoying an extended jolly season. Have absolutely no idea what your wittering on about.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        A million dollars worth of real action on the side lines; really?

        For that sort of money our three local clowns could have done a hell of a lot of facilitating for the big end of town without the entire circus being here.

  22. No More Dredging says:

    ‘Pie, I see a story in the TBulletin today suggesting that as the cyclone season gets under way, more Queenslanders are set to face tropical storms without insurance due to skyrocketing prices. But the Federal Government has offered a glimpse of hope.
    If governments underwrite or subsidise (in some way) policies for cyclone, flood, fire, crop and drought insurance does this amount to taxpayer-funded climate change denial?

    • The Magpie says:

      How would the government actually accepting climate change have any relevance to this issue, especially in the short to medium term? The sooner disaster-affected communities get back into the mainstream, the sooner they get back into being productive and taxpaying, so nothing wrong with that.

      • City dweller says:

        It’s called weather not climate change. But don’t let the last few billion years cloud your veiw. Magpie I can’t wait until NMD and his crowd get into power and do what they need to save the planet, but then realized they can’t use all there technology anymore. I’m not a climate change denier because it dosnt exist.

        • No More Dredging says:

          City dweller, weather doesn’t make the sea level rise. Or do you have another explanation? For at least twenty years the insurance industry has been telling us that premiums for house insurance in cyclone prone areas will rise rapidly in response to increased severity of events. The inevitable has occurred. If people can’t afford premiums, what they are indicating is they can’t afford to be home owners in cyclone prone regions.

          • City dweller says:

            Climate change Dosnt exist it’s called the weather!

          • No More Dredging says:

            City dweller, call it whatever you like, changes in cyclone intensity and frequency mean the insurance industry is upping premiums – that is why householders are having difficulty paying the price. You haven’t answered the question though: what is making sea level rise? I say it is global warming caused by the greenhouse effect which is, in turn, caused by rising atmospheric CO2. Can you acknowledge that or do you have some ideological adherence to some other explanation?

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            CD,

            Climate change is real! It is getting warmer! Cause we are still coming out of the last ice age. Duh! Then it’s back to GLOBAL COOLING! Can’t wait to hear what the greenies have to say when that happens. Be able to walk to Tasmania.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      NMD,

      Interesting point. Under a comprehensive insurance policy damage from things deemed Act Of God (unforeseeable, natural, no human involvement) are covered.

      Now it is Act Of Climate Change (AOCC). (foreseeable, unnatural, with grubby human hand prints all over it) How will the insurance industry, and governments deal with the ever increasing AOCC insurance phenomenon?

  23. IKe says:

    Gday Pie, at the Bohle barn with a few mates today, best feed in town too and one said something about how Jenny got into labor party seats in the 90s. I tried doctor google but couldn’t find anything, what do you know? They were interesting comments for a staunch unionist who wont be voting for her.

    • The Magpie says:

      No idea. Anyone?

      • No More Dredging says:

        There was a great deal of hanky panky in the local Labor Party in the mid-1990s with many officials up to their elbows in branch stacking by all sorts of nefarious means – so shonky that the Shepherdson Inquiry was convened. One local alderman/councillor went to jail, a couple of others including a deputy mayor probably would have if the statute of limitations hadn’t let them off and a mayor was told by His Lordship, “you’d better get a lawyer, son, better get a real good one”, or words to that effect. Which he did. Things got a real shakeup in the Labor Party at the time and there were internal recriminations which hung around more or less to the present. Ike could look up “branch stacking” on google.

        • Ex ALP member says:

          I quit the ALP in disgust when this came to light.

          Good summary of what happened here:

          https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2000/11/qld-n27.html

          • The Magpie says:

            This is a must-read for those who only have a vague notion (often mistaken) of the cause and outcome of the
            Shepherdson Inquiry – don’t be intimidated, although written and published by World Socialism, it is not some ranting slab text that gives you a headache – takes just three or four minutes to read – it is well researched, well written, and sticks to known facts. Published in 2000, it is also a must read on the basis of the dictum that those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it.

            And it ends with this interesting overview which the old Magpie finds hard to refute, although experience says that the alternative would be the same pig in a different shade of lipstick.
            … the mass tide of working class support for Labor has run its course, leaving nothing much more than a murky swamp of self-seeking careerists and their bureaucratic thugs. The experience of the past two decades—13 years of Labor in government blazing the trail of deregulation, privatisation, job cutting, the destruction of social infrastructure, attacks on welfare and the underprivileged, and four years of Labor in opposition providing bipartisan support for the gutting of welfare, public health and public education—has served to openly demonstrate the fundamentally anti-working class character of Labor’s program and perspective. The activities being brought to light in the Shepherdson inquiry provide an inkling of the sordid and profoundly undemocratic state of affairs this program has wrought within the Labor party as a whole.

          • No More Dredging says:

            ‘Pie, that excellent summary from 2000 (thanks ex-ALP) still remains relevant to this day. And looking at the thorough perversion of the federal Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) by the current Liberal government – setting up numerous unqualified and undeserving mates in very well paid sinecures – it’s perfectly clear that both major parties can and will do whatever they feel like to feather their nests.

          • The Magpie says:

            As The ‘Pie has always maintained in the case of Labor, and increasingly on the Conservative side of politics, neither labor or Liberal mare a single entity but are rather poorly disguised loose and grudging amalgamations of factional interests. That is why One Nation and to a certain extent, KAP, are so polarising … insidious and asinine maybe, but out in the open as their own bosses.

  24. Count de Money says:

    And Alphabet Anna’s troops didn’t mind moving into Sir Can’t Do Campbell’s legacy – a $1b new building to house the Queensland trough swillers. She could have said ‘no’, we are selling the building and reinvesting that money into Queensland.

  25. George Gently says:

    Can we now quit the monarchy, as Harry and the missus have?

  26. Rowdy says:

    How is the Port of Townsville Expansion going? I have heard the Dredging Project team have all been sacked. Surely this is not the case.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Rowdy, we’re relying on you. Could you ask your source who they heard what from? There won’t be any dredging for quite some time as they need to create a large leakproof breakwater containment around the first stage 60 hectare enclosure. According to the Port, the 600,000 tonnes of rock for this is coming not from their new quarry site at 2457 Granitevale Rd, Pinnacles but from an existing quarry next to the Flinders Highway just out of Stuart at Roseneath. Holcim has a transport contract. I haven’t been there to see it myself but there may now be a large stockpile of rock out on the port reclaim area beyond the marina – ready to be formed up into that breakwater.

      • Rowdy says:

        NMD too many lawyers at the Port. The Port bought the quarry with the good rock, but it is not good PR for a taxpayer funded organisation not to be contributing to the local economy. The rock that has been delivered is not up to specification for armour rock. Sound like the Port hired someone to review they project and their recommendation was to sack the project team and put herself in charge of it.

  27. Cafe society says:

    TCC have released the tender docs for new cafe on the old Panorama site. Very tight turnaround time, with work scheduled to start just in time for the Mullet to have pre election, shovel in hand photos and good news write up in the Arse-tonisher.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Cafe society, the mayor has positioned herself perfectly by having the Liberal federal member, Phillip Thompson, announce $2 million funding support for the cafe under the Building Better Regions scheme – it’s alright if you can get it eh?

  28. Water watcher says:

    Well the bulletin is really putting out the protection for the mayor today about the floods. You can all read it and be the judge. But my question is simple. If it’s cost effective to now run the dam (TCC) instead of sun water then why wasn’t it transferred over when the so called cost cutting and sackings to improve TCC bottom line was being administered by the CEO. Surely a dam would have been a big ticket spend in any budget. Why wait until it floods? More questions after reading this in the paper today then answers. Everyone remember the national tv interview with the premier basically throwing the tcc under the bus when asked about the control of RRD. Now lets see when the class action lawsuit starts after the findings of Brisbane floods. I see our wanabe mayor Sam Cox dosnt even want to address the floods but worries alot about CBD parking, WTF?

    • The Magpie says:

      Actually, the paper is making itself look silly and partisan by not emphasising that the conclusions they appear to state as fact come the a ‘submission’ … FROM THE COUNCIL ITSELF.

      It would be a real bum burner of a story if they said otherwise, if they just took a modicum of responsibility.

    • L Berry says:

      WW – I am starting to suspect that Sam has many functions in the election. Not the least as a stalking horse.

  29. The Water Boy says:

    Council will not be able to run Townsville’s water grid as efficiently as Sunwater, it’s as simple as that. Council can’t run a raffle let alone the water needs of this part of FNQ, Water management sounds simple but it is a complex process that has a high level of risk. If the Mullet wants to bring the water back under TCC’s portfolio it is because of some potential political point scoring. There will be a ‘catch’ as always.

    • Trevor C says:

      Interesting point. I recall that the old Townsville/Thuringowa Water Board used to have a long term contract with SunWater to provide their services that got reviewed regularly, so presumably there was still a contract of some sort between them. maybe the announcement of TCC “taking it back” really just masked that SunWater had a contract get out of jail and used it?

  30. Facebook addict!! says:

    Just had a post from a friend on Facebook, Trevor Roberts has entered the race for a spot on council again. Former tsv first councillor. Ad looks professionally done. I say good luck and hope both him and sue get back in. Better then what we have now.

    • The Magpie says:

      Now that vis big news … have checked it and verified nit.

      Mayor Mullet might just be seeing the cracking in the wall of her dam of lies and secrecy … and will be shitting herself from now on.

      • City dweller says:

        Wow just had a look. Now I can stop wasting my time on here baiting NMD. Opening spiel sounds like any other starter but the promises are not to build shit or keep rates low and all that unicorns shit. Things like putting pressure on the state government to stop crime. Have never heard any on council, including the mayor ever shout down the 3 blind mice. is he associated with Sam Cox?? Typically labor will just try smear instead of actually answering questions that we all want answered. Can’t wait to see NMD dribble on this.

      • Facebook addict!! says:

        I will say I know Trevor personally but as an associate, not close friends. My dealings with him were good throughout his time in TCC. Always got back to me in decent time. At least he had an answer and if memory serves me did get back to me on an issue in Annandale about the flood warning signs on Glendale drive while he was away on holidays. Try getting that during last term. Paul Jacob ran an election campaign and made alot of noise then went silent the chamber, I suspect this will not happen with trevor. Is he running with Sam Cox?

        • The Magpie says:

          An “associate’? In what manner?

          As a reporter and columnist with the Astonisher, The ‘Pie has had a few small dealings with Trevor Roberts when he was in office, and those matters and general observations of his performance, he was always honest, direct but friendly and polite, very approachable and always got back with a reply to any query. He was deservedly popular, and ultimately lost by just 477 votes out of the 9839 cast, or about 4%. Roberts fell victim to the Townsville Bulletin-Jenny Hill inspired hatchet job on TF generally, which argued that a unified team was what Townsville needed. And we all know how that has worked out. Roberts will be a fine addition to whatever council we end up with.

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            In which Division is he running?

          • The Magpie says:

            6, vacated by the retiring Verena Coombe.

          • Facebook addict!! says:

            Sorry I couldn’t think of anything that could describe a relationship based on 2 or 3 dealings. I could say hello to him now and be able to have a conversation but I’m not in his imidiate circle of friends . I have really only had the occasional hello and small talk chat at golf over the years. But I felt it was appropriate to share my experience with him as a councilor. Maybe associate is not the word to use.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie was not disparaging you, Addict, just wondering.

          • The Wulguru Wonder says:

            If only we could get someone….anyone….to run against Message Bank in Division 10! The village donkey would have to be better than The Ghost Who Talks.

            My sincere apologies to all donkeys for the comparison.

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            Acquaintance?

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