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The Magpie

Saturday, February 25th, 2023   |   161 comments

Mayor Mullet’s Lost Loot: $700,000 Goes Missing From The TCC Budget, The Mayor And The CEO Haven’t A Clue Where It’s Gone (They Say).

That appears to be the case in her own words, if she’s to be believed (always a question.) In January, she was given a month to find out what happened, but she told last week’s council meeting she still hasn’t a clue what’s happened to it.

Maybe she was a bit too busy perfecting a nasty little plan to use her control over council to deliver a costly and underhand blow to mayoral rival Clr Fran O’Callaghan. Could The Mullet be about to compulsorily resume Clr O’Callaghan’s rural property and those of her neighbours under the guise of environmental issues?  The ‘Pie joins some dots to come up with his conspiracy du jour.

The Wagner brothers are back in town, making a very interesting multi-million dollar pub purchase. But questions are now asked if the big buy-up of the Metropole hotel and Oaks apartments was prompted by some sort of insider info? The ‘Pie takes a stab at it.

Looks like Townsville Enterprise has said Nah! To its risible and expensive lunacy of the Nah, It’s Townsville campaign. It appears the Dudley Do Nothings have quietly dropped the dopey idea, hoping no one will notice.

And a dire warning about the danger of gobblefunking. And it comes from someone who knows about its perils.

Hey, Bentley’s back from his break with a stern word about marital coercion (whatever that is, The ‘Pie’s memory is a sometimes thing these days.) But as we soldier on into the year with its emerging multiple issues, it would be a bit less stressful if you could lend a helping hand to meeting the never ending bills (and future planning costs) associated  the blog. Easy to do, appropriate button to press is at the bottom of the blog. Thanks.

Now, wading onward …

Bullies Beware: ‘Coercive Control’ Could Get You A Seven Year Dose Of Your Own Medicine ….

…. only it’ll be you doing what the jailer … and cell mate Big Daddy McGurk … tell you to do.

By the end of this year, domestic bullies and manipulators will have to change their ways, or else. As this link explains about the new laws,:

Under the new coercive control laws, people who repeatedly subject their spouse or partner to physical, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse may face jail time of up to 7 years.

Idle thought: wonder if this banned behaviour applies to mayors?

But our resident ‘toonist, a man so agreeable and gentlemanly that he’s known around The Nest as Gently Bently, feels he has to point out that this coercive control amid the domestic bliss is often a two-way street, with hubby sometimes on the receiving end.

Coersive control pie

Bentley assures me that this is purely a hypothetical and is not drawn from personal experience.  Although at our age, mate, when asked ‘Do you want to come up stairs and have sex?’ alas the answer nowadays is always ‘One or the other, I can’t manage both’.

How Do You Misplace Three Quarters Of A Million Dollars And Have No Clue Where It Went?

Jenny Hill

Ask Mayor Jenny Hill, seems She’s managed to do exactly that. Long story short, here’s what we know.

In the 2022/23 budget adopted by the council, $700,000 was budgeted as the TCC contribution to add to the Commonwealth’s $2m feasibility study for a proposed concert hall (you know, the one we were promised would be stage two immediately after the stadium … ten years ago).

Just so it would sound like the lucky consultants AECOM looked like they were worth this eye-watering bit of pen pushing, the project goes by the swisho title of North Australian Concert Hall And Arts Precinct Business Case. But, as The ‘Pie understands it, the council’s $700,000 allocation has disappeared from the mid-year Budget review, it has simply vanished without explanation, nor had any documentation to advise councillors if the money had been re-allocated elsewhere. And if it has been, why hadn’t there been a council discussion and vote on the matter?

Fran O'Callaghan Screen Shot 2021-10-21 at 11.52.24 am

Clr Fran O’Callaghan

Well, Jenny knew this was an issue, and indeed, there may be an unlikely but plausible explanation, she didn’t seem to think such a piddling amount of ratepayers money was worth keeping track of. When asked by – surprise, surprise – Clr Fightin’ Fran O’Callaghan at last week’s council meeting about the missing dough, all the mayor could say vaguely was that she’d write to Clr O’Callaghan. about it.

Now, among many of her undesirable traits in a community leader, Jenny is a slow learner – you’d think she’d know by now that that sort of evasive answer gets Fran fired up … Clr O’Callaghan’s instant reply was both barrels of buckshot.

“I don’t find that acceptable”.

“Somebody should know whether it’s in or it’s out, and surely someone knows,” she said.

“But that answers my question, that you’re not prepared to respond to that.”


And apart from some mumbled waffle between the Mullet and The Prince, that is where the matter was left.

Naturally, our councillors, guardians of our interests, pressed their knees together or adjusted their ties with a slight cough, steepled their fingers and looked the other way.

If ever there was some hard probing questions to be asked, now is the time. Actually, there’s only one question … ‘Where’s the money, Jenny, SHOW US THE MONEY!!’

Grab your stenographer’s pad, Leighton, the mayor wants you to sit on her lap, she has something for you.

But The Mayor Has More Unanswered Questions …

… which she accidentally revealed as she gabbled away during last Wednesday’s PR offensive when she drove around with stenographer Leighton Smith visiting current projects.. The Magpie reported at the time.

The Magpie

February 22, 2023 at 5:58 pm  (Edit)

Screen Shot 2023-02-25 at 8.32.50 pm

This is the usual probing effort by excellent photographer and tough, investigative stenographer Leighton ‘Jimmy Olsen‘ Smith at the peak of his powers. First of all, he somehow managed to convince a no doubt reluctant Mayor Mullet into a drive-around tour of three or so of the projects currently on the go. (“There’ll be photographs, Jenny.’ ‘Well, why didn’t you say so. Where will I meet you?) And the resulting piece made it clear that mayor Mullet, ever wanting to be in charge, had a firm grip on Leighton’s gear stick as he drove her around.

Question abound, but The ‘Pie won’t be too tedious about this time. Just two questions, both arising from part of Mayor Mullet’s merry wittering’s.

Cr Hill said there was a “sweet spot” in the dam level where pumping would be done to minimise evaporation.
With ratepayers having to foot the bill for pumping up to 364 megalitres per day, she said they were “looking for a more affordable solution at the moment”, with “discussions underway with a third party”.
“When you look at the timelines for floods and droughts, hopefully we won’t have to pump more than once every seven years,” she said

First, the unasked question that suggests reporter Smith’s early warning alert system couldn’t detect a 3-story Chinese balloon in his back yard. Doesn’t the mention of a ‘third party’ prompt any question, mate? C in C, ya reckon, but surely tenders must have gone out? We’re talking about ratepayer funds here, y’know. C in C or not, junior, the question should’ve still been asked, you don’t ‘not’ ask questions because you ‘think’ you know the answer.

But all that’s fun and games, Leighton, and here is a serious question to get back to your new BFF and really you must ask.

Here’s the map you published.

Screen Shot 2023-02-22 at 5.34.30 pm

And here’s what Jenny Hill said: ‘“When you look at the timelines for floods and droughts, hopefully we won’t have to pump more than once every seven years.’

Apart from the wild weather gamble, here is the question: if we’re only pumping every seven years, where are the new water-hungry tenants of Lansdown going to get their water for the other six+ years of not pumping.

Now there may be a feasible answer to this plausible question, even if it includes a further slug to tenants and/or ratepayers but we’re never going to hear the mayor volunteer an answer, and we’re never going to know while it is left to knocking-kneed people like you to ask her.

Wonder What’s Going On Here

Screen Shot 2023-02-20 at 9.49.13 pm

water burst main IMG_1306burst water main IMG_1307

This geyser, which sure looks like a burst water main, suddenly appeared near the Pallarenda end of the airport, and it’s been gushing away for well over a week. It’s on DoD land, so maybe not a council problem. but that’s a hell of a lot of good water being sloshed around. Anyone know anything?

TEL’s Nah To Townsville … Have They Quietly Ditched This Inane Campaign?

That question arises from this in the Weekend Astonisher.

TEL ad Screen Shot 2023-02-25 at 12.48.05 pm

Why we needed an costly, ratepayer funded advertisement to inform us about this is a head scratcher – surely it would rate a story even in this stumblebum newspaper – This $5000 donation to Rupert tells us this at the outset.

Screen Shot 2023-02-25 at 8.42.10 pm

Not a single mention of  the previously ballyhooed ‘Nah, It’s Townsville’ …

Jenny Hilll Nah campaign Screen Shot 2022-09-27 at 5.28.11 pm

… so one fervently hopes that stupidity has been quietly ditched. Maybe not, but given all the people they surveyed, focus-grouped and generally hectored around the country, surely they were given ‘free and frank’ opinions about the absurdity of the  proposed campaign.

We now await the next word from TEL’s Woolfe in clown’s clothing.

Even Our Tricky Mayor Wouldn’t. Or Would She?

Jenny Hill looking drac

Here’s something worth thinking about.

The ‘Pie has more than one council insider suggest that mayor Mullet has even bigger plans for her Lansdown dream. The word is she wants to acquire more acreage in the immediate area (if true, she really is insane … irresponsible is too tame a word). But how could she wangle such a scheme, even she realises that the electorate would Semtex her ivory tower next election (they will anyway, but let it go, let it go)?

Well, The Magpie;s beady eye noticed this line in the Bulletin recently talking about algal bloom and measures to control it.

“We are conscious of the potential impacts of the current hot, dry conditions and the potential for the algae to bloom again given the favourable conditions of warmer water temperature, long sunny days and the potential for nutrient run-off into the dam,” the spokesman said.

Shortly after this was published a month or so ago, a deep throat in Walker Street suggested that the possibility of land resumption in the RRD catchment area might be compulsorily acquired, so’s to stop any agricultural practices that could contribute to algal bloom. But if not acquire the land, immediately make it more expensive to operate so owners would sell up.  Either way, it would be a hell of an expensive operation for very little return for the rate payer. But maybe just the threat and stringent conservation regulations could be enough to devalue properties in the area, ripe for Jenny’s public purse.

Now this is all if and maybe, but The ‘Pie’s insider informants (oh, yes, there’s way more than one) say there has suddenly been renewed discussion of the matter around the Walker Street water coolers.

Now,,  Magpie The Dot Connector at your service … and only one connection: guess whose rural property is smack dab in the target zone?

Yep, Clr Fran O’Callaghan’s property she has owned for years with her husband. It without a doubt would be a prime target in any campaign for further acquisitions.

A silly Magpie conspiracy y theory? Maybe but as regular readers know, one of the Magpie’s slogans is: if what is written here comes to pass, remember you read it here first. And if it doesn’t come to pass, that’s because you read it here first.’

Heh heh heh.

If A Movie About Townsville Today Was Made, The Ideal Title Isn’t Available … Meet The Fockers Is Taken

Don’t worry about land resumption, more to the point, what the fuck is she up to now, closer to the CBD?

From comments during the week.

The Magpie

February 22, 2023 at 2:50 pm  (Edit)

The dead and neglected end of Palmer Street is said to be revitalised shortly … perhaps in more ways than one.

Screen Shot 2023-02-22 at 2.26.51 pm

Word about town is that the beloved old Metropole Hotel, truly famous across the city when Gav and Jenny Hogg ran it,  will open its doors again shortly. The pub and the swisho Oaks apartments behind it have just been sold … and you’ll never guess the buyer … the Wagner group. Yup, the one and same who were going to build Jenny an airstrip for a staggering price, and have just been gifted a taxpayer-funded $250m in the form of the Wellcamp white elephant at their private airport in Toowoomba.

Now they’ll be able to offer unimpeded views of their $6million scam on the local ratepayers, the boardwalk to nowhere on the other side of the creek that they conned Jenny into paying for.

But there’s further good news for Palmer Street. And the excellent restaurant/pub space under the adjacent Solarus apartment tower, formerly the Waterview, which run into the ground by shady smartarse Sydney investors with an arrogant attitude, is due to re-open soon under new ownership and re-badged Bayview.

Wonder if Jenny will order a drawbridge across the creek to make easier access from Via Vomitorium … along the Hill/Wagner $6M boardwalk.  Hey hang on, hdere’s an idea. Since the Wagners have got the cranes and barges in the water for the board walk, wonder if they could whip a quick pedestrian bridge for the council?

Don’t laugh.

They Just Don’t Know How To Sell This Scam

One supposes it would be churlish to say that the aboriginal industry’s NQ godfather Noel Pearson has given us yet another reason to vote NO to the Voice proposal, but for many, he has. When Sara Ferguson on 7.30 asked him what he would do if the referendum failed, Pearson replied ‘I would fall silent’.

Ya promise, Noel?

But that would be only partly a blessing, because Mr Pearson is the curate’s egg of the indigenous elite, good in parts, not so good in others. He has long advocated much needed tough love and indigenous self-reliance policies, although that hasn’t always worked out as wholly altruistic, there always seem to be some public money for Noel and his family in there somewhere. But he has always been willing to make calls that are sensible but sure to meet vociferous opposition from other indigenous groups. Take this from The  Australian during the week:

Screen Shot 2023-02-23 at 10.01.11 am

In a nutshell, Pearson is suggesting if parents don’t ensure their kids go to school, their welfare payments will be affected to certain extents. It’s a surprising call from an significant indigenous voice, but unfortunately, not very well thought through – like so many items of the garbled wish list of the aboriginal industry.

For start, making people already dependent on welfare even poorer will not do anything to lift them or their children out of the dangers of domestic violence, substance abuse and eventually, the possibility of turning to crime to survive.

But here’s where Pearson’s thinking should have gone one step further, although the luvvies would’ve been wringing their hankies: to counter the appalling truancy rates, particularly in regional and remote areas, don’t target the parents – long proved to be pointless and fruitless – target the kid’s own futures in a coercive but constructive way that they will understand. Lectures about ending up as no hopers if they don’t study just doesn’t wash with teenagers.

So bring in a regulation that if when they reach leaving age, they do not present documentary proof of satisfactory school attendance levels over their high school years, and have attained at least a useable level of literacy, they will not be eligible for welfare – the dole – while they supposedly look for jobs.

We’d know how that is working after a year or two.

Is this racist? No, of course not, the regulation will be for all pupils across the board … and state borders don’t matter, because welfare funding is a federal matter. There are plenty of dead beat parents out there who aren’t indigenous.

Cowards and Cretans: Cancel Culture Is At It Again

In another prime example of what Bill Maher calls ‘presentism’ – that people of previous eras should be judged and censured by the social standards of today – these sad and disappointed little pricks have now targeted kids writer Roald Dahl.

Screen Shot 2023-02-25 at 10.02.30 pm

The Roald Dahl Story Company which controls the publishing of some of the beloved children’s books of the modern era, fell prey to an seriously misnamed collective called Inclusive Minds, which immediately went about proving the deception of its name. have taken the cringing and ill advised marketing view that certain of Dahl’s words are no longer acceptable. ‘Fat’ and ‘ugly were banned, and certain jobs and events were changed to suit feminist sensibilities (an oxymoron if ever there was one). ‘Idiot’ was banned so as not to upset idiots (yes, really).

The blow back from every strata of society was immediate. from the like of Salman Rushdie to the cartoonists …

Screen Shot 2023-02-24 at 10.37.23 am

Screen Shot 2023-02-21 at 4.05.37 pm

… with even the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak who knows all about weaponizing words, was pissed off.

“When it comes to our rich literary heritage, we shouldn’t gobblefunk around with words’, he said, adding he had loved ready Dahl books to kids.. Gobblefunk from one of Dahl’s best known books, BFG (Big Friendly Giant) and means to play around with words or invent new ones. Ironic that this reasonable view came from a. man in a profession that practices damaging gobblefunk daily.

The ridicule forced a back down of sorts, with Puffin Books and the Dahl Estate deciding to publish the expurgated version, but also continue to re-publish the originals intact.


This Week’s Us Gallery …

… as seen through the pens of the visual commentators.

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Finally …

Although you wouldn’t know it looking at the British House of Commons, there is apparently a vegetable shortage in Britain.  A problem for some is opportunity for others.

Screen Shot 2023-02-24 at 10.32.19 am

As Sam K says in the lamb ads, ‘go on, you know  it makes sense’.


That’s it until next week, unless you want to follow the lively and often very funny banter in comments.  Hey, join in, it’s free and anonymous.

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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. Tinkerbell says:

    So, Mardi Gras came and went with much fanfare. But why is the homosexual community so desperate for recognition and acceptance? Why? You see, I’m not gay but I have family and friends who are. I’m fine with their lifestyle choices and they are fine with mine. Most of us have one birthday per year, one Xmas day, one anniversary. Yet the LGBQTI fraternity have 23 days per year slotted for some type of celebration to do with their sexuality choice. Why so many days? You see, what’s pissing off some people like myself is not that these people are gay, it’s the constant barrage and the drowning us in rainbow shit, that’s what is pissing me off. Guess what, I’m a married heterosexual and I’m not given 23 days per year to celebrate that, in fact I keep that choice private where it belongs. I don’t ram MY choice down the throats of others, so how about some respect from the LGBQTI community and keep YOUR choices to yourselves. For most of us we really could t give a tuppence worth of shit about what you do. That in itself is ‘acceptance’. But it’s this never ending incessant need to advertise who you are and what you stand for that is annoying us. It’s been done to death. We get it, you are gay. Big deal. Whatever. Just get on with your own lives, in private, while I do the same. Then the world will be a happier place. The same applies for the ‘voice’ movement. For fuck sake, KRudd apologised, it’s been done, it’s over, please get on with it. Yes, white man did a bad thing but that’s the past and it can’t be changed, but future can and is being changed. No more ducking apologies or silly ideas like the ‘voice’. We are sick of hearing about it. Australia today is what it is – multicultural and diverse. The sooner our First Nations friends start looking at the future rather than the past, we will have a more unified country. I’m sick of this apologetic shit, apologising for something that most of Australia’s current 27 million citizens had nothing to do with!!!!! Please, somebody, anybody, let this endless divisive crap just end.I

    • The Magpie says:

      Feeling better now?

      But you have a point in there … the gay movement – or whatever title or acronym it goes by this week … is in danger of overkill, or in your unfortunate phrase, ramming your choice down people’s throats. There is a lot of moaning about non-acceptance, but buggered (pun intended) if The ‘Pie can see it in his daily life, unless we wish to cancel companies and businesses that balk at hiring women with beards or cocks in frocks, as one Mardi Gras float had it. The childish tediousness of the camp element doesn’t really do gay folks much favour if the aim is acceptance. In deed, The ‘Pie has known several gay mates who don’t support – in fact, abhor – the spangled speedo and luminous green eye-shadow crowd.

      Had an interesting conversation recently in the local bottle shop. When The ‘Pie noticed the friendly guy behind the counter admiring the retreating bum of a woman customer, I joked ‘Now, now …’, to which the bloke, who I’d known for a year or more, replied ‘makes no difference to me, I’m gay.’ To which I replied, ‘Fair enough’. End of conversation … no long tedious attempt to discuss our respective sexual preferences, or to justify any prejudices, or make disparaging jokes one way or the other. It was just an irrelevant fact thrown out in the circumstance.

      Is it getting to the stage where the gay community is having trouble letting go their previous – and very real – victimhood, clinging to it like a much loved teddy bear one puts aside as we grow into the wider, more tolerant world of minding our own business?

      • NQ Gal says:

        You will find a lot of “traditional” gays and lesbians can’t stand the alphabet soup of sexualities.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Yes, the gay madi gras rainbow flag mob are just a palatable as evangelizing vegans.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        In your contribution you make the statement that a “gay” sexual orientation is a choice. Not so in the majority of cases I believe. I have a dear relative who is lesbian. On a number of occasions, when in conversation over drinks, she has deeply lamented her circumstance in that, “It picked me, I did not pick it.” It has complicated her life no end.

    • Weary Dave says:

      Tinkerbell for PM :-) … where are you Ducks? … C’mon, get it over with.

    • Achilles says:

      I can recall a time when I would say I’m happy or gay, without having to explain what I meant.

      • The Magpie says:

        As the great Richard Tauber sang – before the Nazi’s cut out his tongue:
        One day when we were young,
        That wonderful morning in May,
        You told me, you loved me,
        When we were young and gay.

        There are many instances of the word gay now having a different accepted meaning, which is fair enough, the old meaning was a bit English elitist and twee.
        And gay is a conveniently brief term to cover a significant part of society nowadays, so no real loss to the language.

    • Wasp says:

      I agree 100%
      The other thing that shits me big time is the appropriation of the rainbow as a symbol for the homosexual community. They did the same with the word gay.
      I have young granddaughters who love rainbows and unicorns.

      • The Magpie says:

        Maybe, but have a think about that … how’re you going to outlaw and police universally owned symbols like rainbows? And the gay useage shouldn’t affect or have any impact on your young granddaughters … that’s a realisation for some time to come yet. No point in chewing yourself up over what can’t be changed.

        • Achilles says:

          I’m surprised that the Bible bashers haven’t raised Cain over the use of the rainbow, coz the Almighty claims it as his sign, Genesis 9:13-16

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        I realise I am nitpicking but the queer flag has six colours, the rainbow seven.

        • Achilles says:

          You’re not nitpicking Dok, I have a friend who is color blind so she is unable to see your point.

          When Newton finally published his paper regarding the rainbow “spectrum” he debated about the existence of indigo, which had been inserted by dogma from Southern Europe.

          A number of European researchers heard of his experiments and some could only see 5 and sometimes 6 colors, mainly due to the poor quality of their prisms.

          The the church got to hear of this heresy and were mightily pissed off and insisted that the rainbow/spectrum must have 7 colours because 7 is God’s perfect number, so they used a mixture of dogma and myopia to push their case for the presence of indigo and of course the devout zombies joined the chorus line.

          • Isaac Newton says:

            As with everything you post, this is poppycock, I demand credit for including my beloved indigo as a colour!

    • Bullshittingly correct says:

      Change a few words in your speech there tinker bell and you could go word for word in describing how a lot of us feel about the “voice”! Both are made to feel like we have all done something wrong to someone else somewhere in time and to feel guilty.

    • Critical says:

      You must have done much research to find out that the LGBTIQA+ community has 23 days of celebrations. So can you list the 23 days of some sort of gay celebrations because I thought that the gay Mardi Gras and the Pride Festival were the only celebrations but it looks as though I’m wrong.
      I’m certain that some ethnic cultures and religions have as many days of celebrations.

    • The Magpie says:

      Seems you’re not alone. This is a startling, factual report about how the world is slowly getting fed up with the other world of woke … and the epicentre of this social quake: none other than the home of #MeToo – which started out as a legitimate and valuable challenge to corrupt power before it was hijacked by a lot of wannabees – Hollywood.


    • BiancaBlades says:

      Listen up, honey! For over two decades, WorldPride has been serving face and giving the queer community a fierce platform to showcase our diversity on the world stage. And this year, we’re snatching wigs and slaying the game as WorldPride 2023 comes to the southern hemisphere for the first time – in Sydney to be more precise – which coincides with Mardi Gras! It’s the biggest event since the 2000 Olymics and it’s gonna inject up to $600 million into the local economy as half a million international travellers sashay down under.

      But let’s get real, sis. We’re in the middle of the most competitive tourism market the world has ever seen. Every country is fighting tooth and nail to get those footloose, high-spending travellers after the world hit snooze for a couple of years. And who’s leading the pack? That’s right, it’s the queer community, taking more trips and making it rain pink like nobody’s business!

      The experts at LGBT-Capital are gagging, estimating the ‘Pink Dollar’ worldwide at a whopping 3.7 trillion US dollars per year! That’s why every brand and corporation worth its salt is jumping on the bandwagon, honey. But make no mistake, that doesn’t mean we are all fans of the rainbow washing for profit or mr big business ramming whatever he is selling down our throats either. Man, woman, and every beautiful gender identity in between knows where the real money’s at. So let’s keep the party going, because when it comes to slaying the tourism game, nobody does it better than the queer community, hunty!

      And there is no such thing as a “traditional gay”. This is literally just a thing you have made up in your own mind to make yourself feel better and because you are somewhat delusional but mainly afraid of difference. “I’m not homophobic, I can tolerate the traditional gays, it’s the …um…modern… gays I simply cannot stand”. Newsflash: We ain’t here to blend in, tone it down or conform to whatever you define as “normal”. We’re here to slay, so you better get used to it!

  2. Cantankerous but happy says:

    That water is from a pump at the end of the runway to remove excess ground water from Townsville airport, been there for many years and runs regularly during the wet season, unfortunately that water then flows into Rowes Bay Golf Course and adds to their flooding as well.

  3. Mike Douglas says:

    Labor used to be the workers party but Federally they want to stop you accessing your super to buy a house but use your super to help someone else . State Labor pill testing at concerts and avoiding any discussion on cost of living issues promoting energy and jobs conference in Townsville where there is nowhere to live . Council wise with the highest rates increase in Qld the Mayor + Ceo can’t put their hands on a missing $700,000 but plenty of spending in the media . Paul Jacobs post in the astonisher yesterday . If the Mayor gets her way on the Concert Hall at Dean park then Civic Centre would lose $3 mil a year + Dean Park Concert Hall $3 mil due to different staff costs split venues .

  4. Socrates says:

    Hey Pie, I was travelling through Brisbane airport yesterday and I bumped into Matt Canavan. Seriously, that bloke is scary up close. He is mega tall and has some really weird and spooky shit happening with his eyes. It explains his weirdness and arrogance in parliament.

    • IL PAPA DUCE says:

      Interesting Sock, either you were on something or he was, or both of you………?

    • Bagwhan says:

      Really Socrates, your physical stature may be height challenged, emphasising the height difference between you and SEN Canavan, whom might I add is a similar height to myself, but that in now ways allows me to suggest a link between your stature (or looks) and your partisan position and fucked up theories. Contemplate that Socrates…..

    • Ducks Nuts says:

      One imagines “mega tall” to be over six foot five. Canavan is five foot eight. Average at best in height. Socrates you must be a midget.

      • The Magpie says:

        Look not doubting you, Donald’s Dangley Bits – wouldn’t be game – but tell how you came by this arcane piece of precise knowledge.

        • Ducks Nuts says:

          The magic of Google Magpie.

          The rest of this checks out, so I’d say it’s right. And having met him at an event before he was elected and spoken to him for some time, I do know he’s not taller than me.


          • The Magpie says:

            Hahahaha, good one, Peking Tasty Bits. Amazing that there’s a site that offers this weirdly irrelevant info – seriously, apart from proving a point on a piss ant little blog in NQ, what earthly use is the height of a politician? And how did you know this before Canavan’s height was mentioned?


  5. Prince Rollmop says:

    It’s impossible for $700k to disappear. When it comes to departmental budgets there are many many individual line items for budgeted monies, right down to the last dollar. They would know if $700 disappeared. This one has hairs all over it. The public should be demanding to know exactly where that money went. The part-time CEO, CFO and Mayor Mullet can’t obsfucate their way out of this one. And if they can’t find the money then Fran should make a phonecall to KPMG to see whether they would be happy to take a shovel to TCC’s backyard and dig up the loot.

    • Ducks Nuts says:

      I imagine the $700k, slipped between some lines, and appeared elsewhere as smaller values. It didn’t vanish per se, just got redistributed elsewhere. Jenny wouldn’t have a clue because she’s not actually involved in the day to day financials despitethe impression she likes to give. And Prins wouldn’t know because he’s never there. And Stacey doesn’t actually understand math so she’d be no help. So now, the finance department will be getting grilled over the redistribution of funds.

      • The Magpie says:

        It’s not really where it went, it’s the fact that, unannounced and apparently secretly, the $700,000 was re-purposed without the public being informed about what was being done with its money. That must surely contravene some LG regulation.

        And no, no one is suggesting any outright swindling, the money’s around somewhere, the bottom line is we have the right to know the bottom line.

        • Alahazbin says:

          Pie, Similar to the devaluation of the the Entertainment Centre to zero when the TCC had 20% ownership.

          • The Magpie says:

            Yes, there’s never been an explanation nor attempt to justify that. Don’t know how it escaped the eagle investigative eye of our now more expensive newspaper (as of today).

    • Squid says:

      Maybe a parting gift from extraordinaire Director Stacey Coburn, who was forced to resign before being walked?

      • Ducks Nuts says:

        Couldn’t happen to a nicer person

        • The Magpie says:

          The ‘Pie is told a farewell for Stacey will be the best attended ever … just to make sure she’s leaving.

          B=ut don’t think you’ve cleansed the Walker Street corridors of her …. already there is a case of a TCC executive who resigned to head off to the Sunshine Coast, but is now back on the TCC part-timers payroll as a consultant. Operating out of the Sunshine Coast, so it is said. The ‘Pie is looking into that one.

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            If you mean Danny Lynch, then yes. Jenny asked him to come back to manage the board walk. Because he fucked up all the other projects he ran, he might as well fuck this one up too.

          • The Magpie says:

            Well then, I guess I meant Danny Lynch. But is the TCC so bereft of even half competent people that they can’t find someone locally …. supervising this project from the council side would surely be a doddle.

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            TCC is having trouble attracting suitable applicants for a variety of roles. Partly because their name is shit. Partly because it’s Townsville. And partly because they don’t pay competitive salaries.

            The current selection of engineers and project managers are a far cry from what the council used to have. I believe a roads engineer has been employed as a water engineer. Vastly different disciplines.

            Because they are hiring inexperienced people, they are making silly decisions and mistakes in contract management and council is getting screwed over by the suppliers.

            Council recently lost an arborist. They had 2, they needed about 4, now they have 1. The money these people are paid is shit, and yet they are highly qualified specialists.

            So it doesn’t surprise me that people like Danny Lynch are being brought back as they just can’t get anyone else to work for them.

          • Not in Kansas Anymore says:

            Ding Dong looks like she’s gone … But the prince is still in the Qantas Lounge counting his money, whilst the rest of the team is in the parlour, eating bread and honey … the lawyer is in the garden, hiding the dirty clothes …When the Magpie next opens … will more birds begin to sing …

  6. Regular reader says:

    Jenny Hill is either dumb, or so vindictive she’s prepared to blow thousands of votes by harassing and bullying an opponent.
    Some might suggest both scenarios apply.
    By not answering questions and then issuing a warning Fran to O’Callaghan over a heated debate in a council meeting (strewth, if Anna alphabet used such threats the whole LNP team would be thrown out of State Parliament) Hill is displaying similar secretive and dictating traits to Putin, and we know how popular he is.
    The irony of all this is that Fran was elected to the council vacancy (caused by Les “Memory Blank” Walker getting a gig on Anna’s team) when she should have been automatically been appointed. Fran finished second to Walker at the last election so should have been appointed to council. But Jenny wasn’t having a bar of that. She insisted on calling a by-election in the hope of having another Labor puppet join her “team”.
    The voter backlash saw Fran romp home and take her rightful place as Division 10 representative.
    Well done, Jenny.
    But wait, there’s more.
    Jenny then proceeds to attack and harass Fran in council, thus lifting Fran’s profile big time.
    Fast forward to 2023 and Jenny knows she’s no certainty at next year’s election, so what does she do – continue to harass Fran thus lifting her profile even higher.
    Like the Pie, I love a good conspiracy theory so here goes:
    Jenny issues Fran a swag of warnings for merely doing her job and asking questions at council meetings, then tries to have her sacked before the next election.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if that happened Fran would not be eligible to stand for mayor or even the Division 10 role.
    The next few months are going to be very interesting.
    The voters will be watching Jenny, so tread carefully.
    You know what happened last time you tried to pull a swifty.

    • The Magpie says:

      Yeah, last time, it didn’t take off hur hur hur.

      And comparing The Mullet to Putin is insulting … The ‘Pie apologises to you on behalf of the Nest, Vlad … but we now hearing that Jenny has plans to invade Cairns, which she claims is being run by a Zionist Nazi running dog lackey of the imperialists who is trying to steal the Cowboys. And Fran is their secret agent down here.

  7. Russell says:

    A couple of quick comments on the Ross River Dam and the supply of water to it.
    From the comments being made by our Mayor and others you have to wonder whether there is an overall plan in place or things are just being made up on the run. For instance, what is the significance of the dam “sweet spot” in the overall scheme of things? Is the plan to maintain the level somewhere near the “sweet spot”? It will have to be quite low if evaporation (now there’s an overdone term) is the criterion, and that will be great since it will allow the dam to be primarily used for flood mitigation, which I think was its original purpose. That of course will require constant pumping at a reasonably low rate for the couple of hundred days a year when it’s not raining in the catchment area. Big problem, since someone has to pay someone for the power to run the pumps. But how about if the same GOC own and operate the pumps AND the solar panels? Voila, free energy from the sun to pump the water without having to pay someone else for it. I must be missing something.

  8. The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

    Agricultural activities in the Ross River Dam catchment are almost exclusively focussed on cattle production according to something I read once upon a time so the Mullet must be trying to ban bullshit in the water which will never work in Wanker Street. Look no further than the highway and railway line running through the area for the greatest uncontrolled risks to water quality.

  9. Long Suffering Ratepayer says:

    Re the missing $700,000. The fact that the Mayor and CEO couldn’t or wouldn’t answer Fran O’Callaghan’s question about where a huge amount of ratepayer money went is alarming. You could imagine them not remembering where an amount of $20k had gone, but $700,000????
    So there are 3 options: 1. The Mayor and CEO are reckless with our money, 2. They have shocking memories or 3. They are hiding something.
    If the later is the case, what do they have to hide and why?
    Could I suggest the reason Leighton Smith hasn’t pressed Hill for an explanation is because she needs time to make up an answer that the public will swallow.
    The time has come for the Crime and Corruption commission to step in and take a good look at the council books.

  10. Jatzcrackers says:

    Nice to see some commercial activity at the northern end of Palmer Street.
    I’m told that when the Solarus was built back in 2007/2008 that there was a major stuff up with actual height level of the proposed full on street level pub where the eateries now sit.
    Apparently to comply with rules/regs for the installation of poker machines in the establishment, there is a compulsory ceiling/roof height which wasn’t adhered to during construction. Ok for restaurants/bars but no compliance for pokies which was the initial plan for ongoing revenue.
    May not be such a bad thing having zero pokies but if the restaurant food/service is questionable or no regular live bands etc, such a large area is always going to be a difficult order to fill.

    • The Magpie says:

      Bands would be a problem, sitting as it does beneath pricey apartments. The ‘pie knows of one resident who wouldn’t be a happy camper with bands underneath him.

      • Russell says:

        Pie, there are function rooms at both ends of Solarus from which the noise during wedding and/or graduation seasons can be very loud and irritating. A band on the ground floor of the actual building would probably be less intrusive, since the sound would go straight out over the creek. You’re right though, a live band would not be popular with residents, and without a live band the place probably doesn’t have a chance.

        • Cranky says:

          Rubbish. That’s the price you pay for buying an apartment in a hospitality precinct. If you want quiet go live in the bush. Let the music play and let them have a fair go.

          • The Magpie says:

            The unfairly targeted Herbert Hotel – and it’s in the CBD – would agree with you. Despite all the council witterings about revitalising the city area, the Herbert faced onerous requirements because of noise complaints from the huge ivory tower down Sturt Street on the other side. The ‘Pie understands it greatly affected their live music program for some time. The much-beloed Herbert has been there for maybe a hundred years – decades anyway – and the tower block developers knew this when they sold off the plans a few years ago. If you had that sort of dough, double glazing a bit of a stretch?

  11. Landgrabber says:

    If the vindictive nasty Mayor did have a secret plan to damage Fran by fictitiously and covertly grabbing her property by way of a dodgy acquisition, it’s now been exposed here, and first, in the Nest. One can only hope that the Magpie’s intel is incorrect. If it isn’t, then at least Fran now has a heads-up. The Mullet would certainly want to have a good excuse for going after Frans property, an excuse so watertight that it would pass both Council and state government protocols, scrutiny and also the Court of the land. The Mullet really is a shit of a human being isn’t she? One day the Ferryman will pull up to the Mullet’s doorstep and whisk her away to Charon.

    • The Magpie says:

      One imagines should the sad day come when Jenny goes to join dead motorcyclist Darryl Lynch and the like, Charon will be in for a pleasant surprise. Instead of the traditional coim place in the deceased mouth as the ferry fare, imagine old Charry’s delight to find $700,000 stuffed in her gob!! Happy days, time for a pint or two of ambrosia.

      • Bullshittingly correct says:

        I think Charon would gladly do it for free before The Mullet tries to compulsory acquires his boat.

      • Debbie Wood says:

        The comment of the Motorcyclist Killed in the accident involving Jenny Hill,
        The young man’s name is Darryl Lynch (Normie) .
        It would be appreciated if you would refer to him by his name.
        His family and friends have and still do suffer from losing Normie .
        His family will never stop fighting for justice.
        When Jenny Hill’s time on earth is through and she meets her maker,
        She certainly will have a lot to answer for.

        • The Magpie says:


          In a passing remark on an entirely different issue, The Magpie included a reference to ‘dead motorcyclists’, clearly meant to be a reference to the mayor’s good fortune in court, where in the one breath, Magistrate Ross Mack declared that she hadn’t been driving with the required attention at the time of the accident, but absolved her of any culpability. There are some still scratching their heads over that. The Magpie holds a strong opinion about the matter, and will forever be reminding readers, and Jenny Hill, of what he believes to be her clear responsibility in the death of Darryl Lynch.

          It is understandable that you, Ms Wood, and Darryl’s family, read the comment through a different lens to that of the average reader. So in the broader view, I do not apologize, but am sorry that you read disrespect for Daryl into what was written. There was no such intent. Quite the opposite actually.

          Ms Wood, for very clear legal reasons, your comment has been edited for publication … as a reporter, The ‘Pie has seen enough of courts in his time, and has no wish to appear in a different role – defendant or respondent – in the future. Although it remains my judgement better not to have mentioned him by name, at the express wish of several family members and you, it is now included.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Magpie, you do yourself and concerned readers a terrible disservice quoting a magistrate, presumably from memory, and simply getting it wrong. You claim that the magistrate said she [Jenny Hill] “. . . hadn’t been driving with the required attention at the time of the accident”. You could have availed yourself of the report of someone who was there in the court but you chose not to. Here’s what the ABC reporter wrote:

            “A hearing with several witnesses took place at the Townsville Magistrates Court today, with public interest so large a second court room had to be opened.
            The court heard that Mr Lynch was affected by methylamphetamine at the time of the crash, had run a red light and was driving over the speed limit — at between 85 and 102 kilometres per hour.
            CCTV vision of the fatal crash was shown in court and later released to the media.
            “I accept that Ms Hill has entered the intersection while facing an amber light, it does not, to my mind, exhibit undue care and attention,” Magistrate Mack said.
            “What Ms Hill could not have made an assessment was the speed of which Mr Lynch approached the intersection.
            “I am unable to conclude beyond reasonable doubt that Ms Hill drove without due care and attention.”
            Magistrate Mack said the driving of Mr Lynch was “inherently dangerous”.
            “His own motorcycle was the cause of his death,” he said.
            “The defendant is found not guilty of the charges and is discharged.”

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie has no intention to revisit this matter at any length, it is not in anyone’s interests to do so. But your reasonably stated comment, Palm, merits a reply, which in fact comes down to a matter of interpretation. The Magpie relied on the report in the Bulletin, which he was and is willing to accept as an accurate transcript of what Mr Mack said. These are the salient bits:

            Magistrate Ross Mack handed down his decision on Wednesday afternoon saying while her actions exhibited some impatience, they did not demonstrate a lack of care or attention on Hill’s behalf.
            Cr Hill’s car entered the intersection despite an amber light and began turning right into Alfred Street. She spoke on the phone using hands free and as her car crossed the line the light turned red.

            It appears that it comes down to this: The Magpie disagrees with Ross Mack’s interpretation of events for these reasons: the matter involves a fatality; Mrs Hill drove through an amber moments before it turned to red (hence the impatience mention) – the law clearly states that you may go through an amber light only if you cannot stop safely and that it is safe to do so; Mrs Hill was talking on her hands free phone at the time, which by any measure would detract from her ‘due care and attention’, especially when coupled with the magistrates conclusion of ‘impatience’.; and drivers are required to keep a proper lookout at all times. It is fair to assume that a motorbike, even travelling at high speed, would be seen by any driver keeping a proper lookout.

            Mr Lynch was without a doubt the architect of his own fate through his illegal driving behaviour, but that does excuse the mayor from putting herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is a view (and let’s face it, it is only a view, not a matter of law) Mr Mack chose not to accept. On the other hand, another magistrate could well have accepted this alternative version with equal justification that going through an amber light for a right hand turn across on-coming traffic lanes while talking on the phone amounts to driving with due care and inattntion, aggravated by ‘impatience’. And therefore carries some culpability.

            And that is what The Magpie based his comment on, and isn’t surprised at your partisan churlish suggestion I hadn’t viewed the proper documentation to reach my view. The Magpie accepts that the matter is now closed (precluding an unlikely civil matter bought by Mr Lynch’s family) but he sticks by what he said at the time … Jenny Hill should buy herself a lottery ticket, it was her lucky day.

            Let’s end the matter as a subject for Nest comment here; please, as said, nothing will be achievement by publishing opinions that will not make any difference to the reality.

      • Denice says:

        Thank you for putting Normie’s name out there.You are right when you say we read it through different lens.ours are full of tears.And I appreciate you reminding your reader’s as well as your strong opinions. As you would know I can’t say too much yet.Pie does anyone know how much a QC cost.

        • The Magpie says:

          Sadly, the old truism about QCs – now KCs – still holds: if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. And barristers are generally not approached directly but by your solicitor, and they also cost not inconsiderable money.

          And anyway, paying out tens of thousands to obtain the law often doesn’t result in justice. But on the evidence in the Jenny Hill matter, a civil case for damages would be interesting but bank busting. But civil proceedings sometime succeed when criminal judgements fail.

  12. Regular reader says:

    Went on the bully website to see if Leighton had written an update on the missing $700,000 from the council budget for the performing arts complex.
    Predictably, nothing.
    Even the original story from last week’s council meeting and the scathing reader comments, have strangely disappeared.
    Did Jenny Hill phone the “acting” editor, or has Leighton been dr.

    • The Magpie says:

      Think we need to cut Leighton a bit of slack here. The ‘Pie assumes the significance of the $700k story escaped him in the of a seriously ripping yarn of someone standing up to our bully of a mayor. Let’s face it – and I’m being serious here – that is so unusual to distract from any other elements of the story. And who knows, he may well have shot in a WTF to Jenny once it became clear through this blog that there might be a story there. Now, with the reaction of the Nesters, there is undeniably a story there, even if it’s just a plausible, possibly true explanation from The Mullet and The Prince to their servants, the ratepayers. (Oh, ‘Pie, you are a card sometimes.).

      So let’s see what happens in a day or two.

      • Mike Douglas says:

        Mayor Hill and Aaron Harpers inability to ” read the room ” is costing Townsville ratepayers . Both gloated how much better having a Labor Federal Government would be for Townsville then Albo shit on Townsville with only crumbs in the Federal budget . Now Mayor Hill claims Council can’t get a commitment on Federal funding Concert Hall thus the $700,000 Council $ . Then theres the delay in State Government funding for Haughton stage 2 with $74.7 mil passed onto ratepayers + $2.5 mil on Thuringowa library as Council didn’t get funding . Didnt Council get disaster relief $ on Riverway but shifted it somewhere else . Aaron claims he has the ear of the Premier but neither he or our Mayor made the cut for Annastascias private function when other Mayor + MP,s did .

  13. The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

    More evidence of who’s pocket the Bullsheet is in when a story about Phillip OAM standing up to the Iranian government is defaced with a picture of the Mullet who is not even mentioned or quoted in the story.


    • Ducks Nuts says:

      This is pay walled and it’s pointless putting a link up to it.

      • The Magpie says:

        Dry your eyes, my sweetie … just for you, Donald’s Dangley Bits.

        • Prince Rollmop says:

          As much as I like the work Phil Thompson does, this issue is out of his league. Iran is not a democratic country and it never will be. The West is best to stick to itself and sort out its own specific issues. Phil would be better off sticking to local Townsville issues like he has done in recent years. I’m not disagreeing with the fact that Iran is a fucked up nation but it’s up to their own people to stand united and overthrow their political scumbag system.

          • The Magpie says:

            Could not agree more. Phil can endorse party – or in this case, federal government – sentiment but he was elected to look after the interests of the seat of Herbert; the plight of Iranian women – dire as it may be – is not even on the list of priorities of his electorate, and his opinion of the issue is neither here nor there. Grandstanding and empty virtue signalling is fine once we know you are attending the needs of those who elected you. Frankly, no one gives a fuck what local politicians around here think about Iran.


  14. Doug K says:

    Regarding the restaurant under the Solarus apartments reopening, from what I’ve heard you can stop worrying about bands annoying the residents. My mail is that it will be a family restaurant. If that’s right the only noise will be from families singing happy birthday to their kids. Even a cranky old codger like me can handle that.
    By the way, a mate tells me Liam “Scooter” Mooney has tried to explain the missing $700,000 on his Facebook page. I don’t use Facebook so can’t provide a link, but he’s basically saying the money was provided by the Federal Govt towards building the new complex. Didn’t Fran O’Callaghan say it was for the feasibility study? In any case, if the explanation was that simple why didn’t the mayor and the CEO just answer Fran’s question at the council meeting? Something fishy going on here. Over to you cub reporter Leighton.

  15. Mike Douglas says:

    F.O.I . has discovered Premier Palaszczuk billing Queenslanders $64,000 flying back to attend a private Christmas function with her cabinet Ministers ( which I gather included Scott Stewart ) . Speaking of Scott , rarely seen around the Ville these days but seen in the Gallery Federal Parliament , presenting winners Queensland open , photos Cowboys launch .

  16. Regular reader says:

    Noticed Jenny Hill was not on the long list of invitees to Anna’s taxpayer funded Christmas knees-up.
    Wonder if she got a Christmas Card instead, or is she also off that list.

  17. Questions Questions says:

    Could the missing $700000 be the money Jenny paid Jamie Durie to do diddly squat…..

  18. The elephant says:

    The comments about Darryl Lynch, the motorcyclist killed in the collision with Jenny Hill’s vehicle brought back old memories for me.
    I too was amazed at the contradictory statements by the magistrate in the Jenny Hill case. I was also amazed at tv news footage at the time following the accident and a statement from one of the police officers in attendance.
    Darryl’s family and friends obviously still have doubts about the outcome of the court case, as do I about another collision involving a local mayor many moons ago.
    It appears that in both cases it will be left to the keeper of the key to the entrance to the Pearly Gates to decide whether they qualify for entry.

  19. Long Suffering Ratepayer says:

    As the superannuation TV ad goes “Compare the pair”.
    The Premier spends $67,000 of taxpayer funds on a Christmas party and the Courier Mail is all over it like a cheap suit, but Jenny Hill can’t explain where $700,000 has gone from the council budget and the Townsville Bulletin turns a blind eye.
    I wish anyone thinking about running for mayor the best of luck. You’ll not only be fighting against Jenny Hill and the local Labor Party, on recent form you won’t get a fair go in the local paper.

      • The Magpie says:

        Happy? Are you seriously suggesting that this answers the question? The ‘Pie challenges you to show this to say, 20 punters out there, then ask then one simple question: so now do you know where the money is or where it went?

        Leighton, it does pains me to be offering free advice borne of long experience, but, mate, one of the basic tenets of journalism to cut through obfuscating twaddle like this and and interpret for the readers in simple, readable, understandable terms, the basis of the story.

        Headline should be ‘Mayor Baffles Journalist With Bullshit And Buzz Words, Still Doesn’t Know Where Missing $700K Is.’

        NOW, if you say you have done so, please tell us in one or two simple, plain English sentences, where the money went, why it was not mentioned in the mid-year budget review, and where it actually is now. Pretend I’m 12, write it so I can understand it.

        Seriously. We’re waiting.

        • Hee Haw says:

          Well let’s just have a look at the article and make a few comments to easily turn into questions.

          AECOM were apparently awarded a contract to prepare a business case for the concert hall in April of 2022, “expected to have it complete by June” JUNE? Which June 22 or 23?
          There is no reference to this matter being put to council in April 2022 and no tender recorded (assuming it was more the $200k)
          There is NO tender (over $200k) in either 21/22 or 22/23 for this business case and certainly no tender issued or awarded for a $700k business case.

          Frans comments are correct, the money should be sitting there allocated to the project but uncommitted therefore could be reallocated or returned to the general budget not simply dissapear

      • Jatzcrackers says:

        Jimmy, you must be a special type of stupid. Your referral link is unreadable because its behind a paywall !

        • The Magpie says:

          Well,in fairness, not much he could do about that and besides, his comment is aimed directly to The Magpie, whom he knows has access.
          But you have a point, Jatz, so being a very important issue worthy of wider readership, here is Leighton’s story.

          “Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill has put her cards on the table, five days after councillor Fran O’Callaghan challenged her to answer a $700,000 question.

          At last Wednesday’s full council meeting Cr Callaghan demanded to know where the $700,000 had gone that was referenced in a June 2022 media release.

          The release said council’s 2022/23 Budget had “allocated $700,000 for a business case for the much-needed North Australia Arts Precinct, which will build on the ($2m) Concert Hall business case currently being delivered by the Australian Government” – as part of the $195m Townsville City Deal.

          Unable to answer the councillor’s question at the time, Townsville mayor Jenny Hill promised to respond in writing.

          “During the 2022/23 budget deliberations, a budget item of $700,000 to deliver a business case for an Arts Precinct for Townsville was approved,” Cr Hill said.

          “The intention of the council is that the concert hall will be incorporated into the arts precinct, however, this is subject to the city deal’s concert hall business case.

          “Council has been in discussion with the federal government to consider that given scalable economies, they progress together.”

          The mayor said she was yet to receive formal written advice that the federal government had agreed to this.

          “The 2022/23 expenditure against the $700,000 council budget currently stands at $20,000,” she said.

          After being awarded the tender to develop a detailed business case for a concert hall in April 2022, AECOM were expected to have it complete by June.

          A Townsville City Council spokesman said it involved expanded consultation with the Townsville community and would include details such as site and financial considerations.”

          Cr Callaghan said she was “seriously concerned” about the situation, especially after not receiving a clear answer during January’s full meeting of council.

          “Based on the mayor’s (response), she’s advising that the money is still there in this year’s budget,” Cr Callaghan said.

          “In my view, if … it’s dependent on this and that … it should have been made clear, and I don’t think it was.”

          If the money wasn’t spent on the $700,000 business case, she would call for the money to be returned to the ratepayers.

          • The Magpie says:

            Now having read that, can anyone tell The Magpie what the fuck all that means?

            As The ‘Pie has suggested to Leighton, a journalist’s basic task is to cut through obfuscating twaddle like this and – while printing the mayor’s words – offer a plain language, understandable translation for that famous citizen, the average reader.

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            It means Jenny has been playing Euchre, and she just put the Joker on the table.

          • The Magpie says:

            You gotta know when to hold ‘em,
            Know when to fold ‘em,
            Know when to walk,
            And know when to run.

            Take note, Mrs Hill, be far more dignified if you walked before you run again, or are run out of office.

          • Prince Rollmop says:

            Have I read this correct – $700k for a consultative report on a proposed $2m project?? $700k!!! That’s outrageous. You could do a consultative report for $50k on a pissy little $2m project. The numbers don’t add up.

          • The Magpie says:

            You’ve got the wrong handle non that, Prince. The City Deal money allocated for the concert hall is $195M, the $2m is … well, read on and weep. It’s actually even worse than that, if you can believe this… the pissy little $2million project you talk about is yet another ‘business case’ study with Fed money for a concert hall, with AECOM the lucky punter to get (yet again, amazing) the over-priced and lucrative gig. AND GET THIS – the $700,000 of TCC ratepayers money is for a separate business case for a North Australia Arts Precinct (NANP), which it is hoped can accommodate the concert hall!! (FFS!!) It’s all part of the $195m Townsville City Deal on the project. It is not clear who get the $700,000 contract for NANP.

            The mayor is saying that only $20,000 of the $700,000 has been drawn down, because they are waiting on Canberra to see if the two business cases can be done together – ‘progressed’ as the mayor tweely says.

            And AECOM have got their riding orders from Jenny, who wants Dean Park for the concert hall. Be interesting to see how the two business cases gel. And I cannot find who is doing the NANP business case. If it’s AECOM, someone should call the CCC immediately.

            But what happened to AECOM’s initial report – 4 YEARS AND TWO AND A HALF EDITORS AGO.

            ALL WELL AND GOOD (MAYBE) BUT THE CORE QUESTION OF THE MOMENT REMAINS: WHERE THE FUCK DID THE $700,000 GO, BECAUSE IT DID NOT APPEAR IN THE MID YEAR BUDGET REVIEW. AND THE COUNCILLORS WEREN’T TOLD ABOUT IT BEING REMOVED. If it’s sitting there dormant as you seem suggest, Mayor Mullet, why didn’t it show in the mid year review? That is a question that needs to be answered in plain straightforward language of no more than two sentences. Why all the trickery?

            If AECOM are going to cop a lazy $2M for a concert hall business case from the Feds, who is doing the the $700k scoping study about the arts precinct? The ‘Pie cannot find a single mention nof who’ll be spending our loot on this study – it surely can’t be AECOM too, can it?

            Leighton, do you know? Tell us, mate, you’re across all this. (Just jesting mate, feet back up on the desk.)

  20. Dave of Kelso says:

    And this highlights the problem of criminal behavior and crap parenting and the denial of responsibility.


    The 97% have long called for an overhaul of the ineffective youth justice (?) act (yja) to keep the community safe.
    Puddleduck has tinkered around the edges of the yja and predictably the QATSICPP ( you have to read the attached article) is screaming racism and victimization. Well, a pox on them.
    As the WA Premier said, “Parents should parent.”

    • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Youth justice has absolutely nothing to do with race. Race has absolutely nothing to do with crime or incarceration rates. All unless these bleeding hearts accept that there is a link between being ASTI and committing crime. When it suits them these organisations cry foul but then demand we forget about colour when that suits them.

  21. Regular reader says:

    So Leighton, it took Jenny Hill 5 days to come up with a bullshit explanation for where $700,000 of ratepayers money had gone from a budget.
    If it’s not bullshit, then the Mayor is reckless with our money. Neither she nor the part time CEO knew where a huge amount of money had gone at last week’s council meeting.
    The fact that you and your editor won’t give readers a chance to comment on the story is further proof that the both of you are in Jenny Hill’s pocket.
    I know the Magpie has a newspaper background so please tell us if there is anything we can do to stop this protection racket before next year’s election.

  22. Astonished says:

    I’m totally confused.
    Last week the Townsville Bulletin put a story on its website about the missing $700k Jenny Hill is having trouble explaining. It attracted heaps of comments from readers, almost all of which were negative for Mayor Jenny Hill.
    Strangely, that story did not appear in the printed newspaper the next day.
    Then this morning, reporter Leighton Smith had another story on the website with Hill’s puzzling explanation as to where the money went. Smith even claimed it as an “exclusive”.
    Strangely, again, the story is not in today’s Townsville Bulletin.
    So Mr Smith, if you’re claiming the story is “exclusive” one would have thought it would have been on the front page this morning. If not there at least somewhere in the paper.
    Why wasn’t it?
    Your failure to give a reasonable answer to this question will be taken as an admission that you are the mayor’s minder.

    • Ducks Nuts says:

      I’ll answer it for you because LeiLei will be off sharpening his pencil.

      Because, the TB is “very tricky” and it’s exclusive only to those who have an online subscription.
      They think it will entice people to buy a subscription. They forget that in the current economic climate people don’t have the spare money to pay for their poorly written, badly researched stories. And all it really does is just create an environment where people with subscriptions copy paste the articles or screen shot them and send them to their mates who don’t have access.

  23. The Magpie says:

    Occasionally, The ‘Pie amuses himself idly on Facebook. Like this.

    Anyone else got any such yardsticks?

  24. The Magpie says:

    Hey, stop the presses.
    Just in. Gripping story about a woman at a swimming pool grabbing another woman by the throat in a minor face-off over fuck all. IN GYMPIE. But never mind, worth a tedious story and a pointless photograph (we know what a swimming pool like, you insulting grizzle and grunts) in the Bulletin y’d reckon, eh?

    Seriously two things: first a question to anyone at the Astonisher – in what demented stretch of your venal imagination do you think a single reader among your diminishing audience would be even mildly interested in the crapola. And the second thing? What you drongos – mostly blow-ins one and all – do not realise is that readers of this insulting crap feel they are being made mugs of, just so you can fill in the gaps between Harvey Norman ads.

    And you’ve just had the hide to up the weekday price to $2.80.

    And still you wonder why your’re disappearing up your own editorial arse.

  25. Astonished says:

    Hear what you say about the case of the missing $700,00 and the missing story, Ducks Nuts, but you can’t read the story on the Astonisher’s website either unless you have a subscription. So keeping the 2 stories out of the printed paper achieves nothing, except protecting Jenny Hill and the part time CEO. However Leighton must have got the message from this blog yesterday because the story is in today’s paper. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the utter vagueness of the mayor’s explanation. I asked my wife if she could work out from the story just what had happened to the $700,000 and she said “not a hope”. So the mystery remains. Perhaps one of Jenny Hill’s opponents will raise the matter again closer to the election. That would give Hill about 12 months to work out a plausible explanation. Better start working on it now Jenny.

    • The Magpie says:

      Informative comment, but a point of fairness … Leighton Smith gets a lot of stick and derision around here in The Nest, but in fairness he does not choose the placement, layout or date when his stories are run. That’s basically up to two other people – the editor or his delegate in the food chain, who decides on the importance of the story from their deep knowledge of the community gained over long weeks of living here, and the other person is the one who decides how the story will fit in the small spaces left by the Harvey Norman ads.

  26. Cantankerous but happy says:

    It is becoming very obvious, very quickly that Jim Chalmers is one of the most dangerous individuals Australia has seen in a long time, a rank socialist parasite, who despises wealth and prosperity and anyone who has accumulated any. We in Qld now have 2 Labor treasurers, one at the state level and one federally, both raised to despise successful people and blame them for there own circumstances, and now take every opportunity to penalise successful people and apply their own twisted idea of equality, which seems a little strange considering both come from Logan and prove that opportunity is there for everyone, but the stain of envy seems to never fade from them.

    • The Magpie says:

      While that is patently a load of old cobblers – Chalmers is but a babe in the wicked woods next to Scummo – we will be looking forward to your comment when Chalmers passes the iniquitous stage three tax cuts on the the wealthiest in our society. Suddenly, he will be your hero.

      And wealth by thievery … becoming what you call ‘successful’ by creating a class of working poor, shit wages while profits soar and directors fees skyrocket, refusing to willingly support those who, while not lazy or job shy, through no fault of their own, need a helping hand to battle situations caused by successive plutocratic governments … is the real danger here to 90% of the population.

      Cankers, you are inviting back the bad old days of unelected union power and disruption by not seeing that the scales have tipped way too far against a fair society. If you can’t see that, then hope you enjoy your days in your counting house, because they are numbered. And the inevitable upheaval and end has been encouraged by you and those who share your unbalanced, elitist sentiments.

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      What pisses me off is that Bills Short’one also wanted to go after our superannuation when he was opposition leader. These greedy parasites salivate over the $3 trillion sitting unmolested in the super funds. And it gets worse – under legislation federal politicians superannuation is ‘protected’. An interesting law kept very quiet. So when the next GFC comes along and we, the peasants, lose 25 to 50% of our investment, the Pollies don’t get touched! Meanwhile, the Guv’mint wants our superannuation money to be spent on ‘going green’, building more fucking tunnels and building shitty 350sq housing for the masses. And they are happy to give away tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars to the Ukrainians to fight a war which has nothing to do with Australia. Ya cockheads. My message is clear – KEEP YOUR FUCKING GREASY HANDS OFF OUR RETIREMENT FUNDS!

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Exactly, that’s the point, what a disgusting fucking arsehole, if someone in the public wants to retire at 60 on an annuity of $300k a year like he gets they will need to have $4.5 million in super, so these putrid human beings set the limit below that and ensure anyone but them are taxed extra along the way, this place is fucked.

        • The Magpie says:

          Is and maybe on all sides of this argument, folks, but two factors remain: the tinkering changes will not affect 99.5% of the working population, and will not cause any hardship to those who are cop the higher tax rate and that only on the super contributions that they make themselves …. The’Pie understands what is earned on the investment of compulsory super remains untaxed. So why all the bleating? This is a con trick right before your eyes, this is a nice little political polka being watched by a population and media who don’t know how to dance.

          So …

          Albo makes an empty gesture about making things ‘fairer’, although slugging those with lotsa loot doesn’t affect or materially benefit the average punter one bit.

          What’s that I hear you say, it will save the government millions annually? Well, not really, definitely not if Albo has softened up the electorate with his nasal posing as the battlers’ champion, and goes ahead with those iniquitous stage three tax cuts for the super rich …. in fact, the government will be missing out on some billions of dollars if this far right, Morrison/Fryberg fascist tax break is introduced.

          And by a Labor Government FMD. Things sure have changed – just the way George Orwell predicted in the closing lines of Animal Farm.

      • Palm Sunday says:

        Rollmop, according to Wikipedia and other sources there are about 38,000 Ukrainians in Australia of whom about 8,000 have arrived since the Russian invasion started. A few are in Townsville. Like all other Australians these people are fully entitled to an audience with their local member of parliament and to lobby for our representatives at, for example, the United Nations, to advocate for peace, for just treatment of prisoners and for justice. We expect our government to listen to them and where appropriate to take action on their and our behalf. Which apparently is what is happening and which you apparently object to?

        Some day Australia might be drawn into some military fracas or other national crisis not particularly of our making and when we call on our friends and allies, in all countries including Ukraine, we can know that they will do what they can for us, especially if they know what we have tried to do for them.

        • Prince Rollmop says:

          I hear what you are all saying and there are some seasoned arguments and logical discussion. I’m just pissed that if they start ‘tinkering’ with superannuation, will it open the floodgates to further changes, changes that May one day affect us plantation workers. And I detest the money our country spends on wars and on the military industrial complex. We aren’t America. Then again, they too should stay the fuck out of other countries business.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Rollmop, the trouble you and Cantankerous create by these outbursts of spluttering outrage is that you completely overlook context and inconvenient recent history. As was pointed out on ABC radio this morning:

            ABC interviewer:
            “You were a cabinet minister in 2016 when Malcolm Turnbull proposed a 15% tax on super accounts above $1.6m, which affected, actually, eight times the number of people. So it was actually a much bigger policy that had more impact than the latest one announced by this government. Did you support that?

            Sussan Ley:
            Yes, that was a different policy. It’s applied to a balance transfer cap, by the way, it was indexed, and we took it to the election and then we legislated it – and that is the key difference here.”

          • NQ Gal says:

            Prince – the “shitty 350m2 housing for the masses”? Is that a 350m2 block of land or 350m2 house. Most new home builds are around the 200m2 mark at the moment, so a 350m2 house is a mansion!

      • The Magpie says:

        Just for the record and the rock solid truth.

        The war in the Ukraine has EVERYTHING to do with Australia, and with the rest of the free world.

        • Ducks Nuts says:

          It’s not a war. It’s an invasion. And you’re right. It has everything to do with the free world. Fuck Putin. Fuck Kirill. We need to support Ukraine or the free world is screwed.

    • Karl Marx says:

      “penalise successful people”

      Translation: give them generous tax concessions on earnings from their $3 million+ investment portfolios.

    • old tradesman says:

      CBH, I totally agree with you, for those of us who can remember it takes me back to the days of Whitlam and Jim Cairns, they both have the same initials, JC, the next most despicable one is one Senator Pocock and I sincerely hope that they all end up with voter induced cauliflower ears.

    • Dave Nth says:

      Chalmers was one of the advisors to possibly the most incompetent/useless Treasurer this nation has had in my lifetime (I am not old enough to remember Cairns though in existence as an entity).

      IMO he is now giving Swan a run for his money.

      Keep digging jug ears, sooner or later someone is going to have to hose the electorates fears on Cap Gains (aka legalised theft) or even negative gearing down or any other number of legitimate concerns. Good luck.

  27. Pat Coleman says:

    ASIC is taking terracom, Tony Mooney’s, Craig Wallace’s, and Jim Soirleys old company that used to be Guildford Coal to court for misleading the ASX over the quality of its coal. The current board is listed on it’s website https://terracomresources.com/company/board/

    The ABC story https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-03-01/asic-sues-terracom-alleged-fake-coal-reports/102040206

    One of those named as having mistreated a whistleblower was Craig Rasnley. Google Craig Ransley political donations . For Guildford Coals 2012 donation to Crisafulli, go to https://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/disclosurereturnarchives , clock in election returns , 2012 state rlection , candidate returns and Crisafulli and Hathaway. You will see how the ECQ has been hiding its own inaction by dismantling individual links. . It’s far safer now for ASIC cos the LNP is out . For the 2012 donations, go to

  28. Dave of Kelso says:

    Good grief! At the moment the Australian Broadcasting Commission might be more accurately called the GayBC.

    • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

      This is not usually something that gets up my nose but the sad little thing making a homosexual joke about Jesus having anal sex and seeing the ABC presenters rolling on the floor laughing speaks loudly. If some straight person had told an offencive gay joke the show would have been stopped and the person frog-marched from the building. I want my 8 cents back, let the LGTBIQWASTEOFSKINIEXCVLTYSDB+ community pay for it themselves.

      • The Magpie says:

        Point of order, mate … have you got the ABC confused with Ch 10’s The Project …. which in fact was forced (well, that felt it was necessary for some reason) to apologise. That was the one where the gay guy told the panel that he supported Jesus, because he admired a guy who was nailed for three days and still came back for more? The ‘Pie assumes that ‘nailed’ is gay talk for sex. Grubby stuff, and why the panel laughed is a question as well. But they did apologise We’re getting a bit hemmed in by the gays and the god-bothers.

        Was there something similar on the ABC?

        • Tenacious D says:

          While not the same, during the ABC coverage of the Mardi Gras, Nate the weatherman tried to break down the LGBTQIA+ , only made it to the Q. It was then explained that Queer will replace the alphabet people as an overarching name, think Queer culture, or Queerstraila , on ABC

          When I was younger, Queer was the most insulting term for a gay person (My dad was a Qantas Flight attendant)

          Is this a reclaiming of a name in the same way that wog was in the 90’s?

          • The Magpie says:

            And nigger by American blacks.

            PS Given your dad’s job, was your mother’s name Derek?

          • Tenacious D says:

            I would answer that if a reply button was available on the Pie’s comment

        • Ducks Nuts says:

          Since when was nailed “gay talk for sex”

          I remember this knock knock joke from when I was a kid

          Knock knock
          Who’s there
          Willie who?
          Willie Nailer.

        • Jess says:

          You are really showing your age here Pie.

          Nailed is not a gay term.

          NAILED: To have sex with, especially spontanously and/or with great passion/force. I nailed her out of the blue last night.

          In any case, I don’t see what the fuss is about. It’s ok for everyone to bash on the gays but not ok when the gays dare clapback?

          CLAPBACK: To respond to an insult, most likely pumped with attitude, sass and or shade.

          He was taking about how he responds to the abuse he receives, especially from some Christians, for being gay.

          Some christians were offended by the joke. But then again some queer people are offended by hate speech directed towards them by christians.

          • The Magpie says:

            Proud and mystified that The Pie has made it to his current age.
            So, couple of things …. you mean ‘nailed’ is not exclusively a gay term. And by your description, ‘nailed’ is a synonym for rape.

            And The ‘Pie understood clapback to be nature’s revenge for careless and unhygienic casual heterosexual sex. Not sure your definition is right – didn’t clapback start as a trend when Nancy Pelosi sarcastically clapped a Trump address? As an act, wasn’t aware that clapback involved anything else. Perhaps you mean blowback.

            And disrespecting and mocking the beliefs of those who disrespect and mock your beliefs is the Escher stairway of social discourse.

        • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

          Oops, I have got to stop drinking at lunchtime. There are just too many smiling faggots on TV for me to tell them apart sometimes. Faggot of course in the sense of a lightweight bundle of sticks useful for nothing more than starting a fire.

    • NQ Gal says:

      We have Triple J (ABC youth station) on at work, and every program has a gender slant to it, from “your coming out song” to featuring artists who are part of the alphabet soup. Two weeks solid now and I’m over it. If I never hear the word Pride again, it will be too soon.

      • Ducks Nuts says:

        Why don’t you put ear plugs in. Then you won’t have to be offended by anything anymore.

      • BoganPride says:

        Can’t wait for the footy this weekend. Gonna gobble on a deep fried sausage at Townsville Eats. I feel an overwhelming sense of pride about how great Townsville is when I get to experience the super cool and fun and show stopping and world-class events we put on like Townsville Eats.

    • Palm Sunday says:

      Dave, it’s almost 40 years since the ABC became a corporation. Why not drag (see what I did there?) your sorry arse into the 21st century.

    • Ducks Nuts says:

      We need something to balance out all the hate the world, everybody is out to get us, change is bad, let’s all be homogeneous crap, on some of the other channels (Sky) so leave My ABC alone. Besides, a few poofs and lezzos, and a couple of trannies never hurt anyone. Not like those bloody catholic priests.

    • Dorfus says:

      Surely, not another renaming.

      The ABC been the Aboriginal Broadcasting COMMISSION for a while!

  29. High Roller says:

    Just a reminder to the Townsville Bulletin editor and whoever runs the local/regional/anywhere news on Channel 7 Not-So-Local News that the case against the Ville Casino is due back in court this month. I know some interested parties would be hoping we forgot about the goings on in the Ville’s plush new High Roller room, but I haven’t.
    I look forward to your news reports.

  30. Mike Douglas says:

    250 Attendees of the Townsville Bulletin Townsville Future Lunch Wednesday were amused with pate on the face of Aaron Harper ( again ) after Health Minister Dath commended the Bulletin on their balanced and professional reporting and thanked the Health professionals in the room for their commitment and service . In Aarons World , Aaron called health professionals ” neo liberals ” and can’t be trusted when they called for different covid restrictions in the Ville with no Covid cases vs Brisbane . But then again Aaron hates Newscorp enployees , Catholics , businesses or anyone who disagrees with him of his Government .

  31. The Magpie says:

    Where have all the subbies gone, long time passing … every day, we get further reassurance that the Bulletin is worth the extra money they are charging from the start of this month. Today, we learnt of a little known attraction which will, shall we say, become topical.

    Or maybe not so topical, if the picture caption nis right.

    Bet they’re as jealous as hell down at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, missing out on such a wonderful exhibition.

    • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Where are all these different place because we have MTQ, MOTQ, Museum of Tropical, and Museum of Topical Queensland all in the same newspaper story. It must be crowded down that end of Flinders Street.

    • Prickster says:

      C’mon Pie, lay off the Astonisher – Townsville is very topical, we’ve got;
      – out of control crime,
      – dysfunctional local government,
      – the worst politicians,
      – failing critical infrastructure,
      – high energy prices despite living almost on top world’s best coal and gas reserves,
      – rampant rorting by banks and insurance companies,
      – businesses going bust every week,
      and very few prospects on the horizon.

    • MOTQ says:

      At least they didn’t call them the Museum of Tropical North Queensland, which is what they have done for the past 20 odd years!

      Oh and Claire was suitably impressed.

  32. Achilles says:

    And so it begins, the champagne is still chilled and here we go with the Olympic sized blowout starting with the Gabba, which somehow is suddenly too small!

    Apparently the whole location is not fit for purpose


  33. Elusive Butterfly says:


    Mr. Pie, News Ltd. has been running articles about this fitness fiasco all week.
    As far as I can ascertain, there are four F45 franchises in Townsville – City, Central, North and Thuringowa – and yet, not one word in the Bulletin about how these four, local businesses may be affected.
    Hundreds, if not thousands of locals may be out of pocket, and, obviously dozens of jobs would be in jeopardy.
    Just further proof of the absolute incompetence of the editor, journalists and, dare I say it, business editor Tony Raggatt.

    • The Magpie says:

      Raggatt is one of the few … probably now, the only … Bulletin journalist The ‘Pie would not term ‘incompetent’, although a lot of the court reporting is generally OK … he doesn’t get to say what stories run, but is inevitably influenced by the advertising department. He doesn’t have to prove his credentials as a journo (his work triggered the collapse of Storm Financial) and was never one to grandstand in the newsroom about any specific yarn. (The ‘Pie’s assessment does not include veteran scribbler John Anderson, who does a workmanlike job week in and week out, and the sharp news analyst and regular source of the well turned phrase Shari Tagliabue …. both are now contributors.)

      Compliments around here are a double edged quill … the Nest doesn’t carry much weight with the general public but it is deeply loathed within the bowels of News Ltd and the Bulletin, so the above has done no one any good inside Rupert’s Berlin bunker. Sorry.

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