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The Magpie

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020   |   369 comments

“I Will Be A Facilitator, Not A Dictator. My First 100 Days As Mayor,” By Sam Cox

Dear Readers, The Magpie’s best information at this time (Sunday AM) is that next Saturday’s poll WILL go ahead as scheduled – that’s a solid prediction from Brisbane contacts, but in these politically jittery times, ‘solid’ may easily crumble in the next few days. However if the election goes ahead as scheduled, this is the last Magpie’s Nest beforehand, and is written accordingly.

Mayoral hopeful Sam Cox outlines his action agenda if he wins the Walker Street plush next weekend.

The Magpie borrows the most incisive summation of the choice ahead of us next weekend, and comes from a most unlikely source.

Christ, what plague of frogs are they going to unleash in us now? The Bulletin’s call for applicant’s for a new position is more than a little alarming.

Beyond COVID-19 – an informed reader looks at ways the current virus upheaval may force changes that will liberate our biggest road blocks to progress when it’s all over.

And adversity brings out the global humour … the lighter irreverent side of our current emergency.

But first …

Let’s start with irony corner. Unprecedented numbers of voters … thousands … have been urged to pre-poll, and they’ve been flocking to early voting booths … in order to avoid crowds on polling day!!!

But crowds have been orderly and sensible, although getting our heads around ‘4 square metres’ might be a bit hard, there have been at least three reports that one certain pre-polling booth has had  ‘she who must be obeyed’ to keep crowds in line …

jenny boothScreen Shot 2020-03-21 at 2.42.59 pm

In fact, at least three people have reported to The Magpie that they received the none-too-gentle advice from our caretaker mayor when they strayed from the rules. But nice to see the purple doona has had another outing. Expect a call from Antiques Roadshow anytime now, darl.

But Mayor Mullet’s combative mood has been brought on by an opponent who has finally got over his stuttering start and is now gaining ground every day. A Labor ‘consultant’ was brought in from Brisbane to help her campaign, and is in her corner for the fight, and Bentley reckons they’ve come up with a secret COVID-19 weapon to fight out the final week.

Leftie fin small 2

Whatever, someone’s going to be out for the count.

And A Matter Of Small Curiosity

As we know from her brother Fred’s  recent testimony, Jenny Hill can be known to … shall we say …  embroider the truth. So The ‘Pie had a little thinkette when he read in the Astonisher her answer to one of the questions the paper put to all the candidates.

Screen Shot 2020-03-21 at 12.26.12 pm

21 years eh?

Jenny Hill nee Solazzo graduated with a science degree (microbiology according to Wiki) from Latrobe University in 1982, the same year she came to Townsville with her soldier hubby. Now (stay with me here, Bulletin journos) 82 and 21 would make the year 2003 that she chucked away her microscope. But, just a sec,  she became a councillor in 1997, and contested a federal seat in 2002 – when she got beaten worse than a rented mule by Peter Lindsay. So this means one of three things: 1. she’s bad at maths – not a good look for a ‘scientist’, 2. From 1997 to 2003, she was really on the public tit, getting paid politically AND as a lab assistant, or 3. she’s fibbing.

The ‘Pie also notes that along the way, madam managed a Masters in Public Health. Which is good to know, because we are informed that a Masters Degree demonstrates high order skills in analysiscritical evaluation, or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently.

Well, ain’t that just our gal to a T.

The Sam Cox Agenda

sam cox 2images

Of course, the stark reality is that if Sam Cox does win, every single one of his pledges will be subject to the real state of the council finances. The rundown state of the city at basic levels of service clearly indicates that there are underlying fiscal problems Jenny Hill has not been transparent about and are hidden behind the current culture of secrecy. A Cox victory will mean a day of accounting, literally. Especially for Mayor Mullet.

As a wise person has said: “When the truth offends, we lie and lie until we can no longer remember it is even there. But it is still there. Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid.”

Paying that debt bequeathed to him may prove to be Cox’s biggest task.

The ‘Pie asked Sam for his agenda for the first 100 days in office. Here it is.

The New Council’s First 100 Days

“As your Mayor, the health and safety of residents of Townsville and the staff at Council will be my biggest concern and priority. 

Due to coronavirus there is now a very real threat to people’s health and a looming economic recession. My immediate priority is to have all Councillor’s fully briefed on the latest State and Federal Coronavirus guidelines. I am anticipating that Council will need to introduce a number of new measures to assist health authorities stop the virus spread and plan for financial measures that may need to be taken to assist residents and business.

I will do everything in my power to keep our city functioning and safe. Together we will get through this. Once it passes, Townsville will be stronger together. With Council, I will create our own city’s Coronavirus War Room. It will include the Local Disaster Management Group (LDMG) plus Port Authority, Airport, public transport, JCU, Qld Education, Catholic Education and Independent Schools, and representatives of businesses large and small.

Dealing with the coronavirus threat will influence, in some way, all aspects of what I plan to implement in my first 100 days. Consideration will need to be given on the financial status of the Council. I will also need to gain the support of the elected councillors, whoever they may be. I anticipate the following priorities will be in place in the new Council’s first 100 days:


  • Prepare 2020-21 Budget with a strong focus on the Coronavirus impacts.
  • Commission an independent audit of the Council’s financial situation. This will help set the guidelines for future budgets.
  • Meet with the three local State MPs to discuss and get regular updates on the crime wave and what is being done to address the safety of residents and the root cause of the problem. 
  • Prepare the case for Water options from SunWater from Burdekin River in consultation with State and Federal Government as part a Water Master Plan.
  • Implement Public Works and Accounts Committees. These checks and balance committees will hold the Council to account on service delivery.
  • Stamp my leadership by Implementing a Back to Basics culture within whole of council from the CEO down. 
  • Address Transparency in council proceedings to be open and accountable.
  • Start proceedings to reopen Jensen Transfer Station.
  • Plan for return of dump vouchers.
  • Commence 2 hour free parking trial in CBD.
  • As part of my back to basics directive, prepare a report for Councillor’s and residents knowledge, of the status of essential infrastructure such as water mains, sewage systems, water treatment and roads networks.”

The Bottom Line

It would be redundant and presumptuous for The ‘Pie to make any sort of endorsement and urge anyone else to vote in a certain way, which anyway would result in an avalanche of anatomically impossible suggestions for the old bird.

But this election is a golden opportunity to shrug off past political shackles, which have had their day of serving us well. Traditional political ties at local government level are more hindrance than help in the turmoil of our present political system, and truly local representation on councils is the only productive way forward. Party power structures have proved to be destructive to the wishes of a majority of this community, and Townsville is, with the resultant evidence all around us, the last hold-out of this antiquated situation. The true bottom line of this election for Townsville was published a couple of weeks in the Townsville Bulletin by Shari Tagliabue.

Shari columnScreen Shot 2020-03-07 at 2.18.12 pm

It was an eloquent and well argued piece of opinion journalism. Here are the most salient bits.

“So , it’s started. Despite the ‘No Junk Mail’ signs on our letterboxes , this week my neighbours and I received a selection of glossy brochures promoting yet another hopeful vying for a place on our current Mayor’s ‘team.’  Having just endured a four year term of ‘team’ tactics, also known as ‘no dissent or debate’ ; the thought of doing the same thing all over again is, well you know the saying, it’s ‘the definition of insanity,’ by Einstein, no less. 

But here we are, once again presented with a fait accompli, an entire council all ready to go, personally selected by our Mayor, so that we can repeat the exact same model of what didn’t work the last time around. 

Council elections aren’t supposed to be political, yet once again we are presented with the ‘Hill’ party, gathered together for a ‘team’ photograph in matching ‘team’ shirts.

We might hear from them now, but afterwards?

Not so much.

Councils should be made up of independent voices to ensure transparency – an issue this council has unsuccessfully grappled with for the past term. Independent voices ensure dubious concepts costing obscene amounts of money aren’t rubber stamped, but are debated in a public forum instead of behind closed council doors. 

And a great closing clincher.

There’s a magnetised list of Mayor-endorsed emergency numbers, which asks if we are ‘disaster ready.’ Yeah, nah, not if it’s just the same old shite, done two ways.  A team needs an opposition to play – so that’s two teams, or none. 

And so says The Magpie.

A Virus-led Recovery?

Don’t laugh, it’s possible. If our leadership has the will to make it possible. The Corona virus has made us re-think basic norms, and while many of these are temporary (and the repeal of new draconian powers and undemocratic measures are withdrawn from the law books when the virus passes, and do not linger on for future misuse), surely the new mind-set need not stop when an antidote is found.

There are those of us who always take the long view, in this case that COVID-19 will pass soon enough, there will be endless post mortems (no pun or joke intended), and sure, humans occasionally learn from their past mistakes – ask the PM about bushfires and holidays – but at this very moment – since we seem to have a lot of time on our hands- we should surely be preparing for basic changes, some long overdue, that will be needed for the nation, and our own region, to bounce back with a new reality.

A regular Magpie reader and commenter, Memory Man, has expanded on this theme the ‘Pie has broached before. His summation of the current situation and our way forward beyond COVID-19 is well worth serious consideration. (The emphasises are The Magpie’s.)

North Queensland is not immune to national and international dynamics. It never was and never will be. It is a trade exposed economy, usually for the good. Which tells us that when the flow of goods and people and therefore funds dries up, the place gets hammered.

Short term – businesses have no income and workers have no income. The flow of money through the system has been smashed at both key points. Lines of credit themselves are shrivelled, so all three intertwining threads that bind the economy together are blocked. In short, (1) expect (and demand) money be injected directly into businesses and households, (2) demand public authorities drop demands for payments, for the foreseeable future, (3) get prepared to arguments about debt jubilees, (4) expect public ownership of corporations to come, as they need new injections of working capital. System survival is about keeping the flow going in civil society. Governments can survive on bonds.


Medium term – if there are folk out there with interest and capacity to contribute to rebuilding (the “willing and able”) they’re going to need a fair bit of enticement. Government will need to get the bureaucrats out of the road. The layers and layers of upfront red tape will need to be scrapped. If society and the corporate sector need to adapt in the face of the virus,  then so too do all levels of government. Everyone needs to become more nimble and a lot leaner in how we do projects.

Government needs to clear the decks and let those with the capital get going, within a light touch framework of basic standards and processes. Big projects just need to know the right guide rails, without being lumbered with all the costs of figuring out every bit of detail for something that may only be done in 10-15 or more years’ time. It’s a time for government to re-set.

The place is a trade city, and a trading region. The port was founded a year before the city was. Says it all. Closing the place off, economically, socially and culturally would be the wrong response. The local market is just too small and too shallow to sustain the existing population base and levels of economic activity. Socially and culturally, the region centred on Townsville needs to come to terms with Asia, now more than ever. There are no conspiracies to take the joint over, notwithstanding the fancies or the tin-foil hat brigade. What these folk would be better of doing is realising that there’s a hell of a lot of capability in the region to develop a proud and independent posture towards its trading partners. Those who peddle the conspiracies basically presume the region is too incompetent, too incapable and way too supine.

They’re just wrong.”

Invitations For Beat-Up Artists

Geez-zuz, if the Arabs and Chinese say  ’May you live in interesting times’, as a curse, this is really going to be interesting.


Much of this twaddle is meaningless drivel. ‘High-value, intriguing quality content’?!? What about just reporting the facts? It also confirms that the Townsville Bulletin is regarded as a training ground for those on trainer wheels to move up the News assembly line, so don’t expect a mature, seasoned political writer or anyone over the age of maybe 23. And when the appointee does inevitably say farewell to us and leave, he/she will take with them all the contacts and trust that he/she has possibly built up. And, listen, you twisters, the news will start conversations around the country if it is of news sufficient import – or is the idea ‘make up sensational shit’? Beat-up artists, please apply.

Wonder if we will see Simpo Templton back?

And thanks very much you arrogant blow-in arseholes, but if you don’t mind, we’d prefer you didn’t set our local ‘political agenda’. You have no community memory or history – 10 years ago, you sacked all the people who did. Your paper’s dying in the arse anyway, so whatever, we should be able to sleep easy tonight.

This from the explanation of ‘social engineering’.

Journalism, when the intent is not to report objectively, but to report with an intent to sway popular attitudes and social behaviors or to “shape public opinion”, comes under the scope of social engineering.

Hmmm, maybe The Magpie should apply. Oh, wait sec … at the risk of being thought up himself big-time, maybe The Magpie is the reason for the new position has been created. Oh, blush, blush.

For When The Shelves Are Re-Stocked

Remember the recent TV ad ‘This beer is made from … beer.’? That was a subtle industry dig at a growing marketing phenomenon, the rise of what could be called, with a nod to one of the great Aussie ads,  Clayton merchandise, the product you’re having when you’re not having a product. Like the mangled language of the absurd meatless meat, chookless chicken and vegie pork sausages. A few suggestions from Mariah-Rose Marie in The New Yorker of what’s coming to an eventually replenished supermarket aisle near you.

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 9.52.42 am Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 9.52.16 am Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 9.52.29 am Mariah-Rose Marie TNY creen Shot 2020-03-19 at 9.52.03 am

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The Virus Variety Show

No matter what happens, there are those among us who refuse to be glum. Corona virus has instantly spawned a whole humorous genre.

Some of it not intentional.

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Some of The ‘Pie’s other favourites.

Screen Shot 2020-03-20 at 9.35.45 am IMG_0307 2_228 4_201 anderson 236267_rgb 16_49 Coronavirus 6

And Speaking of Trump …

12_84 5_179 2_229 Social distancing tt200319 pett19 8_124 6_152

And To End On A Tasteful Note …

…one of the many traps of modern technology, when an American mayor excused himself (at least one hopes it was a him)  from a meeting for a toilet break, but forgot to turn off his lapel microphone.


That’s it for the last blog before the election next Saturday – fingers crossed – but the comments section will no doubt be red hot, join in or just enjoy. And as usual, any donation to help the blog along will be greatly appreciated, the how to button is below.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.


  1. Tangerine dreams says:

    So thee you go, Drill Sargent Gunny Purple and the bad Orange Man have been the two main political stories in our town, with a dash of Scotty from marketing thrown in for good measure. Between the three of these incompetent, arrogant imbeciles it gives you a new perspective about the lack of capability at local, country and world levels, does it not? Forget COVID-19, the economy, world peace and the environment – we are truly fucked when you combine this entire package into the one bundle it realistically is. Please tell me, what the fuck has the human race turned in to, what creature have we become? Clive Palmers fat white pimply ass has become a safer place to hide at the moment.

    • The Magpie says:

      Very commodious if noisome, too, Palmer’s nether parts. BUT … but … but have you deliberately ignored Premier Alphabet and her local three stooges, the ones who have the most effect on us? Are you in love?

  2. Sam Cox says:

    Pie here is something for your readers to take in on the last week of pre poll.
    Mayor Hill has nothing more to offer.
    Members of Mayor Hill’s muzzled team are now worried they will be dragged down with her, as Mayor Hill’s increasingly desperate campaign continues to miss the mark with voters.
    Cr Hill’s policy initiatives are as tired and irrelevant as her leadership now. She has nothing new to offer except more of the same. More debt, more potholes, more water restrictions, more overgrown parks and more reliant on State and Federal government bail-outs.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie thought he had already posted this but it seems to have disappeared.
      A plea to Sam Cox to take out ads, paper, tv, radio with nothing more than that great slogan of his which goes right to the very heart of Jenny Hill’s most vulnerable area – ‘I Will Be A Facilitator, Not A Dictator.’

      Nothing more needs to be said, all detailed messaging has been done, and at this stage, people are sick of wading through great screeds of stuff. So in just a few simple words, this addresses one of the most significant concerns niggling at the back of everyone’s mind, even among the faithful.

      The ‘Pie urges like-minded readers to spread this message across social media.

      Of course, these things cost money, but so does progress. So if businesses and ratepayers really want this change, The ‘Pie also urges readers to chip in real money to help get Sam across the line in this vital final week. The final days of mayoral campaigns have in the past proved to be the time when Jenny Hill gets down-in-the-gutter dirty (just ask Dale Last and Jayne Arlett), and this message needs to get out to negate whatever lies she is planning in a last panicked attempt to fool us all yet again.

      Earlier in the campaign, many a public voice raised doubts that Cox could win, and held back, just hoping but not helping. Now his late surge hasn’t yet peaked and this is when financial backing can pay dividends.

      Want to help? Then get in touch with Sam at email hidden; JavaScript is required – he assures The ‘Pie he will call all those offers of assistance. Bad things happen when good people do nothing.

  3. Sam Cox says:

    I should add on my final post before election day.
    A Council works best when the Mayor is a facilitator, not a dictator.

    I am happy and willing to work with who ever is elected Councillors. Whether they were part of Hills team or not is irrelevant, they are the representatives elected by their division and the best able to do that. What will change if I’m elected is that they will finally have a voice and and opportunity to use it in Council. They will finally have a chance to stand up for their constituents with out fear of retribution for speaking out.

    Finally, thanks to the Pie for allowing me to share some of my thoughts and ideas on this blog. I have been criticized and given advice, in the end I gave as good as I got.
    Should I become your Mayor no doubt you will all hold me to account, so I ask that you first consider the task ahead.
    Just remember, none that I know of, rated my chances or ability much let think I could win. I have campaigned on a shoe string budget because all were too scared of Cr Hill to contribute and feared retribution. They perhaps thought it was not ‘time for change.’
    My campaign team of three, while small, has had huge support from good grassroots people throughout the community and I thank them one and all.
    Here is to the power of the people, now its time to see if they get it right.
    Stronger Together.

  4. Mike Douglas says:

    Pie, you raise many concerning points . Based on the fact Centrelink can take up to 4 mths for someone turning 65 to get the pension what paradigm shift in resources and red tape has happened so when they receive thousands of applications from people who have lost their jobs they have the ability to quickly approve and pay ? . As the U.S. have done , taking equity in companies why didnt the Australian Government take equity in Virgin / Qantas with the $700 mil support package in shares especially with their shares rock bottom and pick up some profit when they lift . On the State front , the Queensland Government aligned to Unions and locally Aaron Harper says he wouldnt even shake the hands of many industry group representatives (at least with COVID-19 he has an excuse ) the Queensland Government business support package is lacking and small business in this City deserve better and hopefully we will in October .

  5. CC says:

    Does anyone know what came of The General’s report on crime? How much did this report cost us? Was his advice implement? And what made him an expert on this? We’ve not heard from him in awhile. Where is he now our crime is through the roof?

    • Mike Douglas says:

      CC , I believe the Major General crime report cost $285,000 and crime increased !. I would suggest that report and other wasted Queensland State Government reports , committee costs ,consultants , flying ex U.S. politician Al Gore to Australia are sitting in the Premiers “ I hope the voters forget “ tray .

  6. Mark the Jazz says:

    My god the woman is a bogan! Any health professional will tell you that walking around bare foot outside is an invitation to infection from small abrasions and cuts.

  7. Molly9 says:

    G’morn Magpie, first and foremost, please stay safe in the current COVID-19 crisis. Thought I’d add to the J.Hill election history, Ms.Hill ran for the seat of Burdekin in years 1992 and 1995, failing both times to Mark Stoneman, Member for Seat 1983-1998. Maybe the Labor Party didn’t think much of her abilities then, to try her off against the highly respected Mark.

  8. Non Aligned Worker says:

    We have been trained over the last few years to cough into our elbow and now our greeting is to touch elbows. Anyone see anything wrong with that?

  9. Dave of Kelso says:

    Cv19 Thoughts

    Dear Pie,
    I have been following the Cv19 pandemic via the ABC’s Dr Norman Swan and the daily Coronacast.

    The Government’s response has three factors; medical, economic, and political. Cv19 cares not for economics or politics.

    As of 21 March Australia had 1,023 Cv19 cases and 7 deaths. Infections are doubling every 3 to 4 days. Current measures are inadequate. At this rate by mid April Australia will have approximately 523,776 cases and 3,584 deaths. Australia is blundering along about 14 days behind Italy.

    How will this end? The link discusses three possible endgames and the ramifacations. 1. Flatten the Curve, 2. Track and Trace, and 3. Stop and Restart.

    I commend the attached article. It will not cheer you up! Australia needs to do A LOT MORE than is being done at the moment and very hard times are ahead for many. Remember, Cv19 cares not for economics or politics.


    • The Magpie says:

      Like what? 3,584 deaths in Australia by mid-April? What utter tosh, and The ‘Pie will tell you why – the infection rate may well be correct although current measures will flatten that out more quickly, but you have simply done some maths without taking into consideration other factors, especially age. For the vast majority, this will be no more than a bad dose of ‘flu, but the precautions are still absolutely necessary to stop the relatively healthy who can withstand the little bastards from passing it on to that sector which cannot.

    • Jatzcrackers says:

      D of K, Turn it up mate ! Australian Bureau os Stats report that 158,493 persons died in Aust 2018.
      Number 1 killer was heart disease, 17,533 for that year. (That’s 48 a day !)
      Good old common Influenza/pneumonia nailed 3,103. (8.5 a day)
      The stuff you’re reporting is total rubbish and is seriously contributing to all of the media driven panic that’s rampant around the world.
      Is this current virus serious ? No question but it has been completely overdone. Some good old commonsense goes a long way with this sort of latest issue and as usual it’s not the virus that’s the real problem, it’s the media and Henny Penny’s out there !

    • Mike Shearer says:

      Instead of the ABC link, if you go to the original on The Conversation you will also get the comments that readers have submitted: https://theconversation.com/the-case-for-endgame-c-stop-almost-everything-restart-when-coronavirus-is-gone-134232

      For anyone unfamiliar with The Conversation, it’s a free no paywall source of reliable news and commentary. Only university staff (in Aust and o/s universities) can contribute articles, but anyone can then add their comments.

    • Dr Doom says:

      Dave of Kelso,

      this article in The Medium is worth the half hour it will take to digest:


      It’s a summary of the ‘Hammer and Dance’ strategy to contain and live with CV19 until we can get new tools (principally a vaccine) and is based on the ICL paper that caused BoJo and Trump to change strategies recently. I’m not an epidemiologist but I am a Data Scientist/Mathematician and have worked in vector borne disease modelling in the past. I am also over 60 and am following the scientific literature on the CV-19 pandemic forensically. My feelings:

      1. we all need to be shit scared – especially as most of us on this blog are 55+
      2. this virus is very contagious
      3. because of demographic bulges many young people will end up in ICU and a lot will die
      4. the economy will be fucked whatever we do, but going hard and early will be our best option
      5. the world will never be the same again
      6. this really is the big one.

      I wish you all luck for the next year and hope we all make it though and are here this time next year. Laugh as me, but my wife and I have been in lockdown for a week; so will you all by mid-week on the current pandemic trajectory in Australia.

      Final observation: Australian are not as smart or as generous as I had believed.

      Dr Doom

      • The Magpie says:

        Christ, anything else?
        Answers in order:
        1. That is precisely what we DO NOT need to be, because fear encourages rash behaviour and mistakes. Try calm and resolute instead of headless chooks.
        2. Really, no kidding.
        3. Gotta love you academic mathematicians … we’ll revisit this one in a couple of months.
        4. Agreed, but now is the time to start looking at the ‘clean out’ opportunities for business and personal life this hiatus offers, as argued in the blog, not sitting around with our thumbs up our bums being shit scared. Although that keeps our hands away from our faces.
        5. Hope not.
        6. Yep … until the next one.

  10. China says:

    Excellent comments Memory Man
    When the going gets tough the tough need to get things going!!
    Also thank Christ that farting mayor wasn’t our own illustrious leader as things could of got very nasty!

    • The Magpie says:

      Right on the first point, wrong on the second. A windy day in the Walker Street wankery would’ve had no current councillors re-nominating.

  11. One legged tap dancer says:

    Ando’s Saturday column in the Astonisher included a back flip with pike on his earlier suggestion that anyone who thought Sam Cox had any hope of beating Jenny Hill had lost their marbles.
    Ando is now saying that Cox is the favourite to wear the mayoral fur.
    That prediction turned an otherwise boring weekend into a pleasant experience.
    Strewth, I backed four horses that all got beaten in close photo finishes and I’m still smiling this morning.

    • The Magpie says:

      Asa great man once said ‘When circumstances change, my position changes.’
      Full points to Ando for self-correcting, which he did in a humorous way. Which is a lot more than can be said for some other columnists, mostly in the same stable. Now we await Peter Lindsay contrite and humble apology for his similar spray about Cox beating Box … there ya go, The ‘Pie has done what other people thought impossible, put the words ‘humble’, ‘contrite’ and ‘Peter Lindsay’ all in the one sentence.

  12. Mike Shearer says:

    Surely a typo… end of 1st para under “A virus led recovery” should read “…need not stop…”

  13. Cantankerous but happy says:

    The ultimate arsehole award in this coronavirus pandemic would have to go to News Corp newspapers, what a pack of disgusting pricks. Virtually every single story is behind the paywall, they couldn’t even relax it for a month or two, but rather take advantage of the situation for their own gain, just disgraceful. So many other media outlets have relaxed access, Nine have allowed access to Coronavirus stories and asked for a donation if people can afford one, what a great response, and I like many will be happy to give. So many companies across so many industries have taken the opportunity to be good corporates, to look beyond the bottom line and reciprocate some good will, not good old News Corp, arseholes to the end.

    • Skelletor says:

      Well hopefully the walking corpse Murdoch, head of Newscorpse, will lose precious billions as this corrupt and putrid economic system collapses. I believe that the elitists, those who have previously been able to escape the general malaise that us pissants face each day, are also going to become victim to the same circumstances. There is no escape.

      • The Magpie says:

        You will note a small edit, Skelletor. The Magpie does not entertain death wishes on anybody and has not published many that advocate various COVID targets … it’s not funny and is a low, childish act, like an angry kid telling his parents he hopes they die. You get away with just an edit because of the rest of your sentiments.

  14. Peter Sandery says:

    In 1972 I was the Returning Officer for the Tari Open electorate for Papua New Guinea’s National elections for that year. The votes in the Komo Area of the electorate were all stored in that Patrol Post’s office awaiting the count – Komo had finished earlier than elsewhere in the electorate and there was a 21 or 28 day polling period anyway. Prior to the count, the Komo office was burnt down – no hint of foul play then – so I rapidly called the Electoral Commissioner, the most senior PNG Public servant at that time and suggested that we re-do the Komo area as we knew exactly where the burnt votes came from. We did and all went well but in the wrap-up afterwards it was suggested that if a disgruntled candidate so wished, he could challenge the result in that I had actually conducted a by-election under a writ that stipulated a general election. There was no challenge.
    I suggest that by the same reasoning , using the fact that a substantial part of the electorate would have already pre-polled, it would be somewhat dangerous to postpone next Saturday’s vote to a date to be fixed irrespective of the act of God in relation to COV19, if it was conducted under the original writ that was issued.

  15. The Stasi says:

    Mr Cox, what is this you say? A transparent council, an independent and full financial audit, an open and honest council??? WTF will we have to do then?

    What is a Dump Voucher? Is this a club, a nightclub mosh pit, or team game?

  16. Adam Weishaupt says:

    If the Guv’mint wants to get the economy restarted after all this shit settles down, how about they grant each of us access to 50% of our superannuation? Do they honestly believe that a slight tax deferral, a gift of $750 and a lot of promises will do SFA when tens of thousands of businesses, corporations and organisations have gone tits up? Some of us have hundreds of thousands sitting in Super while struggling to buy a weeks worth of groceries.. Down the track we would still have something in our super accounts and we can worry about the economic environment then. But for the meantime we need money now, not in 10, 20 or 30 fucking years time.

    • Citizen Journalist wannabe says:

      Today’s announcement is you can access $10k in FY20 and then $10K in FY21.
      I expect that the FY21 might jump a little before we actually get there and in a better position to know how much of an impact COVID-19 has and is still having.

    • MickNQ says:

      Yeah, but that would make the Eastern Sydney Spivs squeal, and you’d have Keating blathering on about it for months

  17. You Stink says:

    Well, well Mr Magpie, I’m switching, swinging, whatever you want to call it! Go Mr Cox, go you good thing, how good is that?!!

    Also, for the record, you don’t stink!

  18. J jones says:

    The purple doonah is ……..

    • The Magpie says:

      Mayor Hill’s severely worked fav little wardrobe number, but good to see our main mayoral candidates supporting local clothing companies, one outfitted by Donohues and the other by Clark Rubber.

  19. Citizen Journalist wannabe says:

    Pie, couple of titbits for you this week.

    Tuesday afternoon the Chamber called for EOI’s for dynamic leaders to join their team. At first I thought this was the LNP aligned team of business leaders finally putting their hand up for the local elections as per Fishframes’ claim months ago, but alas, no, it is the call for a new CEO. It seems that the fair French made, Marie-Claude has finally done her dash and spat the dummy.

    No qualms from my end, MS Brown has done a fair job over the last decade but the Chamber needs an injection of new blood and energy.

    Most notably the EOI closed on Friday 20th March, just a couple of days later. Given the very short time frame the Board either has someone in mind they want to appoint and are just going through a transparent process or they are truly shitting themselves given that their only other staff member, young Jemimah, has walked also and they will be left with no staff at a time that the Chamber should be taking the lead.

    Interestingly, we have seen Ewen Jones become increasingly vocal this week on the role of the Chamber………. I wonder if he is looking for a new job.

    Speaking of people associated with the Chamber, there are redundancies floating around left right and centre at one locally owned company. Its tough times and the travel industry has taken a massive hit, which will only get worse.
    Decisive actions needs to be taken if businesses are to survive.

    Let’s hope that the staff at this particular establishment who were offered roles at far lower wages during the first round of changes, then subsequently have been made redundant from the lower paying roles aren’t simply part of a cunning & devious plan by the owner to reduce their liabilities but leaving their staff 1000’s out of pocket. I smell a queue of Fair Work claims coming.

    The political reporter advert, Pie, do you know if this is for the skintight jeans, flannel shirt, doc martin wearing Teabag McCormacks role?

    Finally, just a comment for Sam, please please, make one of the first things you do, not renew the current TCC CEO’s contract, which comes up for renewal soon. Whilst you are at it, perhaps remove the TCC Chief Strategist, baby blue eyes Mr Brett Bogan too. Both are just leeches on the ratepayers tit, infact, get rid of the whole of the Future Cities team and the City Economist too…..

    • The Magpie says:

      Let us hope it is open season on leeches … that Pure Bullshit crowd of ‘consultants’ should be the first to go.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      I too wondered why the Town Cryer has awoke from his enjoyable slumber, enjoyable for us anyway. But his posts on LinkedIn etc are full of the stereotype bullshit we see to often in this town, people down south are all arseholes and locals should be given special treatment for no other reason than they are local, what a joke. It would be a spectacular step backwards to have someone like Ewen Jones running the COC, they need proper business people with real experience.

  20. Bentley says:

    Pie, any worthwhile estimates of the current number of infections recorded in Townsville? Or will we be kept in the dark on that score as well?

  21. Hercule Poirot says:

    Much has been said on this blog in the past re residents letter boxes that have a no junk mail sign on them recieving Election Material. Many years ago i was a Returning Officer for the both the Kooyong and Higgins divisions in Victoria for Federal,State & Council Elections. Often i was asked by various voters why if they had a “NO JUNK MAIL” sign on their Letter boxes did they recieve same… After a wrap up of one Election i asked the State Electoral Officer This question. He Stated “AS IT IS COMPULSORY TO VOTE ELECTION MATERIAL IS NOT CONSIDERED JUNK MAIL ” (Although most of it is)… I have never seen anything to Alter his Comment…

  22. Alone in the QANTAS Club says:

    Like most people I have been surprised by the reactions of some people when it comes to buying groceries in the current emergency. This has now translated into a demonisation of “hoarders”

    My view is that the so-called hoarders got it right. I recall various officials telling the public to buy what they need plus a “little extra”. Way back when, I definitely recall that one expert told people to stock up on extra toilet but don’t “panic buy” That would be excellent advice if it also came with the advice on how long to stock up for. It didn’t. There were mutterings about 14 days’ worth and that we had plenty etc so don’t panic buy etc but no advice about when you should not continue to stock up. Do we stock up as we go for the next month or for the next year?

    The great failure has been the capacity of the “experts” to get their messaging right (why tell people to stock up at all if there was plenty and supermarkets were going to stay open).

    The other great failure is the supermarkets themselves. They don’t have the capacity to resupply this country in times of emergency. Centralised southern warehousing, long supply links and no local purchase arrangements just mean that they can’t get the stuff around. A good example is toilet paper. Where is it? Its been weeks since it was available so no-one’s panic buying it. Is there a great big load somewhere just waiting for a shelf?

    My takeaway; buy what you need plus a bit more indefinitely.

    • Qantas Flight QF1786 says:

      Just in case Magpie readers didn’t see this.

      Qld Health are tracking passengers down from Qantas Flight QF1786 – Brisbane to Townsville on 12 March 2020, as this flight had a confirmed case of COVID-19

      If you develop symptoms, you must call your GP or 13HEALTH on 13 43 25 84.

    • Guy says:

      The ” just in time” philosophy regarding warehouses , stock redundancy comes from the 1970s I believe. I found an old book written by the “tofflers” (?) Who had written a previous book called “future shock”, any way in the book it talks how in the future supermarkets and other businesses would no longer store product in large warehouses but make and ship it to arrive ” just in time”. As a business cost bottom it works splendidly as long as everything else is working and there’s no problems anywhere else.

      Petrol supply would work in the same way, Australia no longer stores adequate supplies and refinining capacity has been declining.

      I’m afraid it’s all our pigeons home to roost.

      • The Magpie says:

        You seem to be talking about the American futurist Alvin Tofler , who did indeed write Future Shock (about 1965), in which among other things he warned of too much change too quickly. Damn shame Campbell Newman didn’t read it.

  23. The Magpie says:

    An apology from The ‘Pie, on tidying up his emails, he discovered a few unpublished comm ents that came in yesterday when he was writing the latest blog. Published now.

    Christ, I never worked this hard when I had a real job, will be off the computer for a while having breakfast/lunch … no worries about bog rolls, been so busy haven’t got time to WMA.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Dear Pie,

      Relief will soon be here (I bloody-well hope) when Sam is Mayor. (How about Mayor Samwise?)

      There will be transparency, responsibility, and honesty, all things lacking for years now. With Samwise in Walker St your scrutiny will be less taxing on you, but still required.

      Who knows, Mayor Samwise may have a regular contribution to this blog:

      This Week In Walker Street.

      What do ya reccon?

  24. Lady Byron says:

    On a quick note regarding what our Mayor Mullet is wearing in that photo.

    Yes, once again the dreaded purple skin-tight number has been let loose from the bowels of her cavernous wardrobe; (is she a Prince fan?) but what are those shoes I see?

    I can’t decide if she’s got pink ballet slippers on, or she is indeed, barefoot? If the latter we need to have a whip-round now to get Ms. Hill a pair of thongs from Woolies in town.
    (On Friday when I was there, a shiny new rubber pair were going for $4.00 Strangely, there was no panic buying on these ‘double pluggers’. )

    But I did nearly wet my Victoria Secret lace undies from laughing in Aisle 6 when I saw a notice banning customers from buying more than 2 containers of Pot Noodles.

    Seriously – are these things actually real food? I think not!

  25. George Gently says:

    Farewell AFL SEASON – game has been shut down for two months at this stage.

    Fuckin Corona! :(

  26. Elusive Butterfly says:

    Learn to pronounce
    a person or thing that makes an action or process easy or easier.
    “a true educator acts as a facilitator of learning”

    Think about it Pie? You sure Sam should be leaning in this direction??

    • The Magpie says:

      Can’t see your point. Perhaps you could facilitate it for The ‘Pie?

      • Elusive Butterfly says:

        Simply Pie…a facilitator is an educator or an enabler…someone who does not lead. The gap between a facilitator and a dictator is enormous…namely, it is not the opposite or an antonym and therefore should not be used in the same context. We need someone who will lead the TCC and put some pride back into this city…PRIDE being the operating word!

        • The Magpie says:

          So educator and enablers don’t lead, eh? Cox is saying he will facilitate a consensus of ideas from a disparate group of councillors, enabling consensus to at least be attempted, if not reached. And you’re indulging in distracting ‘I’m a smarty pants nitpicker’ in semantics … Cox didn’t say it was an opposite or an antonym, he simply implied The Mullet was a dictator (no argument here) allowing the reader to make their own inference, since she wasn’t mentioned. It also suggested he would be a leader facilitating cohesiveness. And won’t muzzle individual councillors, even if he could.

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          Hey Fly, buzz off you plucker! Did you eat a dictionary for dinner?

        • Guy says:

          Aye, lead ,

          but where ?

  27. Ring Of Confidence says:

    Evening Mr Townsville Magpie, thought I would check in with your readers who may be deprived of toilet paper, or near running out of same.

    I have not been able to get any for a couple of weeks now and have been using a combination of a hose threaded through the bathroom window or a quick shower in the backside area after doing the business. I’ll spare you the details of how, but what I have noticed is an incredible feeling of cleanliness and a settled backside – no itching, discomfort etc.

    Letting you and your readers know that the water does work and seems to be a healthy option if paper is not able to be sourced.

    • The Magpie says:

      All that muckin’ around. This is much easier . Open air, to.

      • George Gently says:

        You’re into something here Pie – have you lodged a patent?

      • Fishframe says:

        I like your outdoor bidet invention. I recommend keeping a can or two of fly spray about. You could also set up an irrigation channel to funnel the fertiliser back to the lettuce patch.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Ummm, ok Ring. I am pleased that things are working out for you (I think) and that there is light at end of your tunnel.

      Happy squirting going forward!

  28. Elusive Butterfly says:

    Pie…you miss the point. Sam has got it wrong. This city needs pride…not ancient and proverbially bashed quotations that noone understands. Your never-ending photos of our illustrious Mayor bear evidence to this… she is a disgrace!! PRIDE IS REQUIRED!!

    • The Magpie says:

      Pride will simply be a by-product of putting the city to rights again. THAT is the point.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Community pride will come with Counsel and community achievement. There is little pride at the moment. Look at all the unmowen yards as an example.
      Pride with out achievement is not pride but arrogance.
      If elected Mayor, Sam will need a little time and support to turn Townsville around and achievement to be see.

      Please feel free to correct my word usage.

  29. Fishframe says:

    I seem to recollect somewhere that Jenny Hill’s time in the ADF was with the Reserves. Would that account for her ‘overlapping’ timeframes? I know a lot of people in the Reserves who have other jobs.

  30. What the? says:

    At least one Townsville restaurants seems oblivious to the need to not allow groups of people to gather in a confined space for fear of spreading the dreaded virus. On both Friday and Saturday nights said restaurant hosted parties of 50 or more people who were less than 10cm apart, as opposed to the required 4 square metres.
    I called the police, explaining that if the party animals wanted to infect each other that was their choice, but what about the people they might infect the next day.
    The lady I spoke to (in Brisbane) said she didn’t know about any rules regarding social distancing, and was too busy to keep up with the news.
    She then put me thru to a Queensland Health Department representative who said she didn’t actually work for the Health Department, but would send an email to alert them to the problem – on Monday.
    Fills one with confidence that our State Govt has got this all covered, doesn’t it.
    This sort of selfish behaviour by rogue restaurants (and tourists who had to be kicked off Bondi Beach today) has led to the PM, backed by the States and Territories, closing all restaurants, pubs, clubs etc from midday Monday for six months or more.
    So the ones that did the right thing now have to suffer and probably go broke because of the reckless behaviour of a few.
    And in case people start complaining that they contracted coronavirus at the rogue restaurant, I’ve got some photos that might be of interest.

    • George Gently says:

      Well name and shame them please WHAT THE! Standing by.

    • The Stasi says:

      In response to commenter What the: we observed this happening on a Palmer St corner establishment Saturday morning and alerted this blog, naming the place from the sign that was hanging on the wall outside the place.

      Of course we informed Qld Health, as you have attempted to do. What is the name of the establishment?

  31. Mike Douglas says:

    Hopefully part of Mayor Hills downfall will be her “feeding the chooks ” as Joh used to say and the myriad on program announcements / strategies / projects that has cost the ratepayers of Townsville hundreds and thousands of $ and lost opportunities . Townsville ” Mentally Healthy City ” and from T.C.C.,s website “help Townsville People Flourish and thrive as a Community ” . The Tropical Brain and Mind Foundation ? ensure Townsville is Australias first mentally healthy City . I wonder how the forgotten 800 families who still arnt in their flood effected houses or the people effected by crime , the Charities who dare to feed the itinerants and many others mental health is . Council caretaker mode , is that when Mayors and Councillors get paid to attend polling booths / do media to get re-elected instead of focusing on their Cities ? .

  32. Strand Ghost says:

    Hi Lady Byron
    In regard to The Mayor at pre-polling without shoes, there was definitely no Ballet Slippers only bare feet, as i took the original photo and sent it through to a mate of mine, and by the way she got out of her car and walked in with none on.
    I actually thought to myself what a BOGAN.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, perhaps, but in no defence of Mayor Mullet (as if), the independently very wealthy Jenny promotes herself as the Battler’s Boaedica and thus does her best (quite successfully) to present herself as a bogan, even making jokes about it herself.

      This may have been one of those barefoot moments, fresh off the porch from banjo practice..

  33. Fishframe says:

    Even with the financial stimulus measures, a lot of businesses are going to close and never reopen due to this shutdown. My grandparents (parents were still kids) used to tell me stories about life during WW2. This is no where near as bad, but gives us a taste of just what hardships they endured. We are lucky because we don’t have a food shortage, but I hope it all gets under control in the next couple of months rather than the 6 – 12 months they say it could take.

  34. Fishframe says:

    Looking on the internet this morning I see a new article on a drive through COVID-19 testing clinic in Townsville. I clicked on it and it’s protected behind Townsville Bulletin paywall. Good on Townsville Bulletin for being a scummy, greedy corporate citizen and only providing life saving news to those who can afford to pay them.

    • The Magpie says:

      They really are slow learners, aren’t they? After the social media storm the Bulletin created by trying to use COVID-19 news as a coercion to market subscription, a disgusting move they were quickly forced to take down and make mealy mouthed statements about ‘all important corona virus coverage is free’, we get this today.

      Note the subscribers only advice. Damn funny way to be show ‘We’re All For You’ and not ‘We’re All For Us.’

      • Lord Howard Hertz says:

        Seems we are no longer the ‘great unwashed’, more the ‘great unsubscribed’. FYI,what the scumbags haven’t told those of you not contributing to News Ltd coffers is that the drive-through is at the Kirwan Community Health Campus, and that ‘Residents are being reminded they must be showing symptoms of the virus and have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, or have recently been overseas to be accepted at the drive-through fever clinic.’

      • Old Tradesman says:

        Where in Townsville is Howick St? Certainly not in the local street directory.

        • The Magpie says:

          As another commenters has pointed out, you’d think they’d use a local photograph. Nope, just thoughtlessly dive into the News library.

        • Tas says:

          We’ll, the back entrance to the LGH -Launceston General Hospital – is in Howick st.
          Tasmania/Townsville, both start with a T. Close enough for the Bullsheet.

  35. Three Dicks says:

    Despite all the supermarket restrictions in place, we are finding it very difficult to shop and source necessary supplies.

    Anyone else finding this is the case?

  36. The Magpie says:

    HEY!! Someone’s not heeding the distance rules.

  37. What the? says:

    To those asking me to name and shame the restaurant that hosted parties on the weekend, I would prefer not to do so for two reasons – said restaurant is now closed, and given it has been struggling for months is unlikely to reopen even after this crisis is over.
    So I don’t see any point in exposing the Magpie to court action.
    But I can say that I’m sure its the same Palmer St restaurant that Stasi mentioned.

  38. One legged tap dancer says:

    Jenny Hill is currently running ads on tv claiming she and her team gave us the new stadium, and have kept rates to the “lowest in a generation”.
    The stadium was built by the State and Federal governments, and our rates are the highest in Queensland.
    This graph is from 2017 (couldn’t find any more recent comparisons):
    Isn’t there a law against telling lies during an election campaign?

  39. Moment says:

    Thought the photo of the Townsville (Our?) Mayor was photo shopped. No shoes and the Doona, off to feed the chooks maybe. At least not in the Chenille Lace number.
    Spare a thought for (Her) Team of paid media advises, BA’s and PA’s. Do they all fit in the same category ‘Bogan’ and obviously no one game enough to offer any advice?
    Woolworths just around the corner and double pluggers around $5, no excuse. ‘Forgot the shoes, in a hurry U- know, running late’ as usual. Not to mention the spraying of roads and footpaths overseas to protect the everyone from the C- Virus? What was She Thinking?

    “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” – Coco Chanel, Designer.
    Please, oh Please, we only have days to go.

  40. Dave of Kelso says:

    Sam needs to be careful of a “Thursday before the election media ambush” by the Mullet.

    Perhaps he will lay an ambush for her.

    There are 18,500,000 valid reasons not to vote for Hill or any of her minions.

    • Hee Haw says:

      I was hoping to give you something prior to the election on the ADANI case against TCC and others regarding the release of the Term Sheet regarding the Adani Airport deal which was set down for a “on the papers hearing” on the 2nd March 2020.

      It seems that hearing did not take place and there is no date set down for any further hearings on the matter.

      Make of that what you will

      • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

        He Haw, thank goodness for an impartial and unafraid judiciary at arms length to the government of the day.

      • Hee Haw says:

        Further to the above, I have now been advised the Adani term paper matter – its release being opposed by Adani – will now go ahead on April 14. A small win for Mayor Mullet, it being well after the election.

  41. Fishframe says:

    NRL officially shut down. Cowboys HPC no longer on the urgent construction list ……

  42. I’ll be plucked says:

    7 local news this evening covered the Covid19 drive through clinic. Hospital CEO interviewed, then a cut to Harpic.

    Harpic says ‘This is a serious matter. People need to take it seriously’. The end, said nothing more.

    When you have nothing to say, say nothing Harpic you ridiculous, embarrassing fool!

  43. Tenacious D says:

    Are the pre-poll votes counted daily and a tally made? or do they just store them up and have one big count after the close on election day?

    • The Magpie says:


      • OWL says:

        All votes are counted after poll close. God help the counters who have to thumb through all the slips in the tally room. Some of those papers may have been mishandled, given the toilet paper crisis. We don’t have to mention any Corona bugs lurking in the ballot boxes.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        No votes of any kind are counted until after the polls close on the designated Election Day.

    • Fishframe says:

      I’m pretty sure they’re locked up until offical poll day and then the count starts.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      All done on Election Day, with any sort of preferential voting you can’t sort the flow unless you have a total to begin with. The only exception would be if there were only 2 in the race, but even then they would wait to ensure a returning officer was there during the count, and ensure scrutineers had the option to attend should they want to.

  44. Strand Ghost says:

    Hi Magpie
    Boy old Colin Smith (alias Colin Hegarty)might have a few problems cropping up after bagging the Legendary publican and Old Souths football front rower and Qld Country and NQ captain Marshall Colwell on Liam Mooney’s Facebook page tonight, thats how stupid they are in him bagging Colwell one of the most respected publicans and people in the City, boy he has bigger Ba.lls than me!!

  45. The Prude says:

    So Magpie, I have been a visitor to your blog for a few weeks and now feel the need to post.
    I have read comments from a Cockhead, a Three Dicks, a Muff Diver, seen pictures posted of people having sex on a balcony etc. etc.
    I am wondering if you have any issue with the sex theme that seems to be the common denominator in their non de plumes, their comments and well, today’s picture speaks for itself.
    Thank you for the time you might take to respond.

    • The Magpie says:


    • Battered Sav says:

      I think you are overreacting Prude. The names you mention are only rude if you have a dirty mind. The picture of two people rooting is actually two store mannequins that have accidentally been thrown outside and unfortunately ended up in an unfortunate position on the floor.
      Anyway, I’ve got to race out of here, got home delivery just turned up and they’ve dropped a sausage in the hallway and I need to go clean it up. Cheers

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Someone was very careful with the mannequins. Before tossing them on the balcony a mattress was tossed on the balcony.

    • Mother Teresa says:

      Prude my child, have some compassion. The Magpie welcomes all and sundry to his church – sinners, purists, the deranged, the stable, the unstable etc.

      Welcome to the blog Prude and go in peace (or peace-off if you don’t like what you read and it becomes unbearable)!


  46. Grumpy Old Man says:

    Re the rates – had a look at the data but there were too many variables, It depends on your definition of “rates”. For me, it is the total amount payable which includes levies, water etc. Not just the cents in the dollar (where mine went up by less than 2%). For politicians and spin doctors, they’ll just pick the most favourable component.

    “Lowest in a generation” – not “low” or “lowest in Queensland”, clever words avoid the lie. The highest in Queensland may still be the lowest for a generation of Townsville residents. As for me the “total payable” on my rate’s notices keeps going up, so it looks like cents in the dollar could be the figure being quoted. Townsville’s growth over the past 20 years has allowed the cents per dollar to be kept fairly low, while the take has increased.

    And don’t forget that rates are based on land value. If the city is going backwards, and land values are falling, then we should pay less in rates. So maybe that’s been Team Hill’s plan all along – lower rates via lower land values?

    Her opponents should keep it simple – we pay a lot in total rates and get little bang for our bucks.

  47. NERO says:

    So , how about that stadium hey ?

  48. One legged tap dancer says:

    Did my pre-poll voting yesterday and from that experience there is no way anyone could tell how the voting for mayor or councillors is going.
    There was nobody doing an exit poll and the voting is totally secret, thanks to strictly enforced social distancing.
    So where did Ando get the information that Cox was outpolling Hill?

  49. The Magpie says:

    Should we not be doubly alarmed by this?

    No more end games for COVID-19 patients in Australia overnight … indeed none for almost a week now. Experts in statistical mathematics and ‘panic the pants of ‘em’ media must be in fear for their credibility.
    For almost a week now, we have had just 7 deaths from corona virus – 7 (may they rest in peace)! – while pipsqueak nations like China, Italy and even pommyland are way ahead of us in the mortality charts, numbering in the thousands. The US is surging. And back here, the experts in mathematical predictions and outright public panic are talking up a possible minimum of 50,000 Aussies to drop of the COVID-19 twig! Or if the infection rate reaches 60% of the population, we will be up there in the premier league with 150,000 memorial services.

    So c’mon, a bit of national pride, fellow citizens. Are we suddenly such an unpatriotic nation, has the modern generation become so soft that the stirring sight of the boxing kangaroo taking on much bigger opponents causes nothing but a stifled yawn?
    On the world’s sporting fields, in the arts and in the sciences, Australia has always matched the bigger nations … BUT WE ARE DRAGGING THE CHAIN IN THIS CHALLENGING AREA .
    This is just not good enough.
    Oh, the shame of this dismal performance. Where the example by our leaders? Look at Potatohead Dutton, he catches the virus … and then recovers!! ScoMo hasn’t even tried to rally us with a subtle intermittent cough during one of his many announcements. And it even appears at this time that COVID-19 is much too clever to attack other toxic, nation-threatening viruses like the Greens or Pauline.
    For chrissake, for our reputation as rugged individualists, let’s have a bit of c’mon Aussie, c’mon!!

    If ever there was a time to die for your country, it is now.

    • NQ Gal says:

      Hear hear Pie! Surely there are 49,993 people out there who are willing to take one for Team Australia’s pride of punching above our weight.

      Even all those filthy Broncos fans that traveled up for the game don’t seem to have managed to infect a single local – the hide of them!!

    • Water Water Everywhere says:

      I hope you are correct Pie.

      The hope being that we did actually catch this early and started testing early – reports suggest that infection rates in Italy could be much higher with most asymptomatic or with very mild symptoms, hence they don’t get tested. They do however transmit.

      Reports today suggest that we have tested about 147,000 (0.5 of the population) with a positive rate of 1.2%. How accurate these numbers are – who knows – stats are a wonderful thing. Let us do this for fun: 1.2% would be 1,764 positives, 1% of that is fatal – 17 and of course this is no quick death, one would expect to be sick, really sick, for 7-14 days before kicking the bucket – especially with expert care. So having (now) 8 deaths would be right on track.

      Lets say only 20% of the population get it – 5Mill, 1% go to push up the daisies, that 50,000. That is more than the top 4 leading causes of death in Australia (in 2018 according to the ABS). And for giggles, Influenza killed 3,100 in the same year….

      Surely it would be the correct thing to plan for the worst and then be grateful if that does not transpire.

  50. The Magpie says:

    One of The Magpie’s predicted downsides to the very necessary and generally acceptable restrictions has come to pass.

    Yesterday, some nostril-haired, boozed bloomed bloody bureaucrat turned up in his Reich staff car at the Rowes Bay Golf Club, and curtly told the manager that at the end of the day, the club must close down completely … possibly for six months.

    The reason: the whole course, mall 27 open air holes, is licensed premises under the act, and all licensed premises are to be closed, mein herren.

    The Club manager suggested in that case, that the license be suspended for the time being, and all liquor removed from he premises until the all clear is given. Or just close the clubhouse and lock the pro shop fridge.

    Licking a chubby finger (against his own advice) and shaking his head, the official leafed through his ‘Book of Answers To Reasonable Questions’ issued by the Reichstag in Brisbane, and said, ‘Sorry, mate, no can do, I’m …(and here he referred to the open book) … just following orders.’

    He added ‘There is no appeal.’ And with that, hopped into the staff car and headed off to just follow his next order. This action is to be repeated across all courses in Queensland and will probably shut ALL Townsville courses.

    Here we encounter the problem of the hasty measures brought in by bureaucracy … common sense, and reasonable case-by-case considerations are the first casualties of the state apparatus. Exemptions have been made, rescinded and then reinstated, but none was considered in this instance.

    Now be assured this is no rant by a disgruntled old golfing grouch, this will have a devastating effect on our local economy – and on the morale of many, including a great number of COVID-19 main targets – older players. The local golf clubs don’t just employ several hundred people, but are also an attraction to people coming to Townsville from the western region, let alone tourists and business visitors. It is part if the few attractions we have in the TEL-benighted city, and one of the few that can offer a brief respite from the current reality. If they are closed in this cavalier and totally unnecessary manner, a major community and economic amenity will be lost.

    The real kick in the guts is that if the course itself wasn’t licensed, it would remain open. But so many of us need to hire golf carts – a major source of income for the club – and with the pro shop closed down, they won’t be available.

    Unless this lunacy and overkill isn’t corrected, one senior committee member told The Magpie that the club had been in recovery mode after being heavily rain and flood affected, and this closure could mean the end of the place altogether.

    Economic recovery is going to be hard enough for this already devastated city, so reasonable moves to not exacerbate the climb back should also be a priority. That means less bureaucratic bullshit like this.

  51. Last Drinks says:

    Good on you Anna. Why should Golfers be exempt. Especially old farts who have been throwing shit at Anna and her 3 wonderful local members for years. Perhaps if you had been a tiny bit nicer ‘Pie. Wait and see what Jenny has in store for you when he wins on Saturday.

    • The Magpie says:

      When ‘he’ wins on Saturday? Are you holding back on the story of the century?

      • Head Job says:

        Pie, I believe Mullet May now identify’s as ‘nothing’ re her gender. This may apply to her position after Saturday too!

    • You Stink says:

      Hoy Last D, you stink. Anyone that’s thinks the state labor govt has done a good job over the last 3 years needs to take a long cold shower, followed by a steam room session, followed by having their head read.

    • Alahazbin says:

      With a name like ‘Last Drinks’. It’s gotta be you Arron!

  52. The Magpie says:

    Hahahaha … the worms are certainly turning, and ain’t being too subtle about it. You may remember two or three weeks ago, The ‘Pie posted this North ward photo.

    Well, as is known, a week or two is a long time in politics, and some Team Hill candidates seem to be getting the jitters. See if you can spot the difference on this up-dated pic.

    • Achilles says:

      And photographed at exactly the same time of day too.

      • The Magpie says:

        Are you suggesting something? Not photoshopped, by a close look nat details like the shadow from the house awning, etc.

        • Head Job says:

          Pie, Mullets head has been removed (from the poster at least)!

          • NQ Gal says:

            I haven’t seen any of Mr Snores posters coupled with The Mullet. Maybe he is hoping that distancing himself will get him another 4 years (that and the non existent campaigning of the other candidates in the division).

        • Achilles says:

          No mate, just stirring.

      • City dweller says:

        If its photo shopped then i want the program. It can even delete cars, that was pretty obvious. So if ot was staged how did photographer move the vehicals? I gues conspiracy theories are everywhere. So last drinks did you ask jenny if she actually took it down? Or even maree? One way to know for sure if jenny took it. There will be foot prints instead of shoe prints.

        Im sure every LNP member in Townsville really wants a dart board. Plenty at joyce Mayne. Whats poor Aaron Harper going to do now golf has been closed? Actually do his job?

      • Jatzcrackers says:

        Heel, what ever you’re taking, stop it now !

    • Last Drinks says:

      As usual, woeful journalism by you. The sign could have been stolen, could have been removed by a supporter of another candidate. Did you fact check?

      • The Magpie says:

        What’s the difference how it disappeared? An alert and genuinely loyal team member would ensure that it was replaced pronto. Perception is everything in politics, smart people know that … and now you do, too.

        Have you been labouring under the misapprehension that this blog is journalism? Proves you’re deluded in yet another way, you humourless shrivelled old prune.

    • Fishframe says:

      That picture makes me dizzy. Is the house and fence really leaning to one side, or is it just an optical illusion?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Seems the ‘vote for me’ signs have not helped the sale of the house.

    • Al says:

      Our shadows change all year long. The Earth tilts on it’s axis so our sun is above Tropics North and South, and in between yearly. Didn’t you lot learn that at Primary School? Do you need a burnt out old bricklayer to teach ya?

  53. Critical says:

    Chatting to a mate this morning and he reckons that with bottle shops and drive through being open that on Friday and Saturday they’ll do a roaring trade as people stock up for the night parties and say f**k this social distancing crap. Imagine the calls the police will get to close down noisy parties from neighbors. Government should have closed all of the bottleshops shops too.
    Let’s see what new restrictions happen in the few days and if bottle shops and drive through are closed as they certainly can’t be deemed as being an essential service.

    • The Magpie says:

      Ya reckon? You’re in Planet Oz, sport.

      • Critical says:

        On Sunday night, Prime Minister Morrison said that bottle shops will remain open for now.
        Today Health Minister Greg Hunt has said the the government is considering ways of stopping social gatherings and parties at home. Apparently this issue may be discussed at tonight’s National Cabinet meeting.
        Some European countries have closed closed bottle shops and similar as they are not considered an essential service. Huge queues have been seen in bottle shops since Sunday night and no social distancing happening.
        Strong possibility of bottle shops or similar closing.

        • Fishframe says:

          Time start my grand-pappies bootlegging business again. Been in storage since the prohibition. The 60 proof has a bit of punch.

  54. Critical says:

    Reading the Australian Library and Information Association list of closed libraries and in Qld they include the following council libraries: Gold Coast, Logan, Redlands, Brisbane, Logan, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay and Cairns. No mention of Townsville in the list or on TCC website or of any additional procedures that have been put in place in response to Crovid-19. WTF is the Mullet now playing with people’s health and safety before the election or is she issued an edict that all library services are to remain unchanged until after the election or should that be, when she’s gone.

    • river cottage says:

      Thats because the mayor is building a new library at pinnacles gallery at riverway in secret but has closed down the works until after election time. So thuringowa library dosnt exist in theory to her because she already sold it. Staff arnt allowed to speak about it so good luck after the website.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Before they closed the library, you could go over there and up to 80 books. I bet when it’s time to return them, you will be directed to Riverway. Crafty Bitch!

    • Fishframe says:

      Email this afternoon – Library’s, Perc Tucker Gallery ect… all closed. Mullet is reading our posts.

  55. NQ Gal says:

    Thinking of things further afield – what are the actual logistics of closing the Qld/NSW border. There are thousands of residents in northern NSW that work in Queensland. Are they now barred from going to working?

    • The Magpie says:

      Don’t know but won’t make much difference if there’s no work to go to.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      No they are not Gal; there is recognition that those who live on one side of the border and travel to the other side/state daily for work are ok. Unless they become ill.

  56. Achilles says:

    According to the on-line (behind a paywall) is a typical Arsetonisher scare scenario graphically illustrated with a pic of the “future’ they couldn’t find a pic of a Digger so stuck in a US soldiers pic instead. Lazy bastards.

    • Achilles says:

      The original pic has now been replaced, with a pic of things as they are now, but still with the same caption, so as usual nonsense prevails.
      I have emailed the original pic, either you have a mole in the Nest or someone’s had their arse deservedly kidded pronto at the Bullsheet.

      • Achilles says:

        The original pic

        It has been replaced with a nurse with a face-mask so defeats the purpose of the original caption.

  57. Kenny Kennett says:

    Just spoke to a mate in Melbourne who said all of their Golf Courses are open but the Club Houses have been closed. Courses and Pro shops still allowed to open.

    • The Magpie says:

      And we’re meant to be the Smart State.

    • Kenny Kennett says:

      They are told to follow the following conditions:
      no rakes in bunkers, no touching the pin.
      If the putt is close to the hole, they concede a stroke.
      If the putt goes in, they have to take the ball out of the hole with their gloved hand.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Its a technicality, the whole course is a licensed venue, as such it needs to close, as stupid as it is, it’s 100% correct. Many clubs across Qld are lobbying hard through Golf Australia for the course only to be open for play, that way clubs can still charge members their fees, because under ASIC rules just like gyms etc, no product, no membership fees, that’s the big killer. I think Qld health would be happy to have a known congregation point of geezers closed and would be advising the govt to keep them shut, but in an election year I don’t think Puddleduck will want to piss off tens of thousands of golfers, will be interesting to see what happens.

  58. Mike Douglas says:

    Mayor Hill on Channel 7 local news tonight pleading with the community to support local businesses . The same Mayor who bought one her Mayoral cars from a Brisbane dealer , board member of LGAQ who are behind “ local buy “ allowing Councils across Queensland to accept tenders from out of town contractors costing local businesses revenue and locals jobs .

  59. Elusive Butterfly says:

    Division NIne Voters…we’re saved!! A future Mayor beckons. Tee Hee!!

    Do yourself a favor and check out this young man’s past history…from a video shop assistant, to a failed degree at JCU, to having his head deep in the Townsville City Council bureaucratic trough for years.
    The classic quote: “To my surprise, I was successful”… in reference to him obtaining full-time employment with the TCC.
    So, all you Div 9 voters, if you want a bassoon playing, non-educated Protocol & Events officer (whatever that means), with no life skills and still wet behind the ears, vote for this young man.


    • The Magpie says:

      Yeah, sure, right, he was surprised? Bet his dad wasn’t. And just so you know – and this comes from an unimpeachable source – in that tete-a-tete between His Radiance and the new Astonisher iditor, it wasn’t for coffee, Mooney had the new boy drinking his Kool Aid to further his son’s cause, and no one else’s. Because he has always completely loathed Jenny Hill. And the feeling is definitely mutual.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        I said that last week!

        The meeting was not for coffee + gossip.

        Fading Radiance was instructing the Iditor on how he is to do his job, etc, so on, and so forth! The instructing will not stop should Samwise be elected Mayor.

  60. Fishframe says:

    Ok, controversial I know. But, I think this Covid-19 thing will be the making of Sco Mo as Prime Minister. Love him or hate him, LNP, Labour or Other, he is stepping up in my opinion.

    • The Magpie says:

      Not controversial, it will either be fact or not, but yes, the opportunity is clearly there for a renewed perception of Morrison’s leadership messaging skills – The ‘Pie cannot imagine Abbott being a convincing leader in this situation (or any for that matter), and patrician Turnbull would lack the ‘everyman’ persona, real or imagined, that is necessary. But Morrison has missed one opportunity here to stamp his authority and leadership in the minds of all Australians … Anthony Albanese should have been invited to join the decision-making group, and to have at least appeared by the PM’s side to emphasise the the absolute necessity for Australians to be united in this matter – as a by-product of such a move, it would’ve paid enormous dividends for Scott Morrison’s credibility as a national leader.

      • Dave of Kelso says:


        Phill Thompson OAM, are you listening ?

      • Insider says:

        Well, Scotty from Marketing completely fudged it tonight. He had the opportunity to show real leadership by closing the schools, but instead we got a list of half-assed measures that fiddle at the margins. And when he was asked a tough question, he did a Trump and sledged the reporter.
        Where are the true leaders in this critical time? Not Scomo, Trump, Johnson….perhaps Ardern?

      • Fishframe says:

        I think Albo’s a good man,

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          Hey Fish, he might be a good man, but he’s a hopeless politician trying to push Labor party spin and losing, badly! If you think he’s a good politician, then you need to seek help!

    • P Terry Dactyl says:

      The Hillsong hillbilly lost me when he sent not one but 2 planes to Hunan to bring back chinese people on student visas to appease the Deans and CFO’s of various universities … these people were brought to Australia from Ground Zero and now the Piper must be paid…

  61. The Magpie says:

    Well, at least the suckers get a break.

  62. Memory Man says:

    Whatever happens at the weekend’s election, the population should be calling for the dead hand of State and Council bureaucracy to be lifted from projects big and small.

    When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

    Since I last wrote, conditions have deteriorated. If it is the case that Australia’s COVID-19 infection rate is doubling every 3 days, then in 3 weeks’ time, in 18 days’ time we will hit around 60,000 nationwide. By that time, assuming all the isolation measures are well effected, the country will be past the 14 day symptom-less incubation period. The rate of infection will then decline but it will be a long time before any resembling normality reemerges.

    Meanwhile, as places and economies close up shop, the lasting legacy is that people will be planning on packing up and moving if they can.

    This is the next biggest risk to the region. Projects big and small are right now reevaluating whether they are still viable. Viability will now depend on adjusting to short term constraints – namely a much slower national and international economic outlook – and reducing upfront costs as much as possible. Anything that will chew up precious capital without seeing rubber hit the road will be viewed as deadweight. Government-related costs associated with heavy burdens of regulatory compliance will be an area under the spotlight of corporate accountants.

    Capital, as it starts to think about where in the world to go in search of profit and returns after the Coronavirus dust settles, will be looking for places that have the least upfront burdens. Welcome to the new reality, Australia. The comfortable world of burgeoning bureaucracy, red tape, regulation and mounting pages of statutes that has characterised Australia for 25 years is over.

    Bureaucrats on publicly funded salaries won’t quite get this. Their lives are still too comfortable, relatively speaking. But their political masters will need to take heed. North Queenslanders have a once in a generation opportunity to push aside the dampening hand of Brisbane-based bureaucracies to make the region one of the most attractive destinations for post Coronavirus capital. Don’t let the opportunity go to waste.

    • Ron B. says:

      Australia has 2,136 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia with 8 deaths a mortality rate of 0.37%.

      The Prime Minister said in a press conference on 22 March 2020 “we’ve got the lowest test positivity in the world I’m advised at 0.7%”. More than 160,000 tests have been conducted across Australia. The most per capita in the world by a long way (data from 20/03/2012) https://ourworldindata.org/covid-testing.

      Australia has a modern health care system that already successfully manages about 18,000 hospitalisations and 300,000 GP consultations each year linked to influenza every year. Improved hygiene should see this number drop significantly this year, but nobody is factoring this in.

      The government is managing “potential” outcomes of modelled scenarios. Once the COVID-19 crisis passes and it will, all Australians will have to pick up the pieces of government decisions, maybe for many generations. This is where it gets real.

      Lock down decisions have a horrific impact on small business. Almost two-thirds of Australia’s 2.1 million small businesses are one-person operations, while around a quarter employ between one and four people. All those small businesses add up. The 4.7 million people they employ represent 44% of all those working in the private non-financial sector. Prolonged lockdowns more than one month will cause the majority to fail.

      Financial stress is a leading cause of suicide. Failure to consider the consequences of lockdowns on business large and small and vulnerable low paid employees will result in deaths that will make losses in all wars pail into insignificance.

      Loss of human life is inevitable. Australian Governments have sent Defence Force personnel into conflicts regularly accepting this point. It is impossible to avoid the realities we all must die.

      I doubt we will hold remembrance days for those who died as a result of financial stress whether by suicide or domestic violence if careful decisions are not made by governments (Federal and State).

      Considerations to miss an entire school year is beyond consideration. We currently have 3.9 million students in primary and secondary education across Australia. Having seniors repeat a year would mean student numbers in 2021 would conservatively increase between 6.2% to 8.3%. We do not have the capacity in our education system to manage this increase.

      Australia is uniquely placed to opportunity to manage the COVID-19 crisis differently than every other country. We have a young population, natural borders, a modern health care systems, and low-density populations we should not follow every other country.

      Australia can be strategically and competitively positioned to capitalise on opportunities once the crisis passes. We cannot do this by losing large portions of work force, having an economy impaired by generational debt, and destroying our countries belief in the future.

      • The Magpie says:

        The ‘Pie could be wrong, but you seem to be saying, to use the language of the Left, let us deliberately sacrifice thousands of lives (tens of thousands if we followed your strategy) on the altar of capitalism … protect the money, you are saying, under the guise of keeping people employed. They can’t work if they’re dead, mate. But hey, seems according to you, a thinning of the ranks could be a positive thing, certainly for the employment figures. And you’re swerve into the suicide question is just simply asinine, eristic, and sophistry of the most base kind.

        Well, if it’s a choice, and if you do believe in democracy, Ron, there is no general uprising by a justifiably alarmed populace, so you’re out-voted.

        NB On a personal note Ron B is NOT our late and much missed friend and Nester Ron Bairstow, in case anyone was fooled. That Ron left the keyboard several years ago, and knowing him as well as I did, he would never advocate the above comment.

      • MickNQ says:

        24,600,000 * 60% (Optimistic ratio of people who catch it with no control) = 14,760,000
        14,760,000*0.7% = 103,320 deaths
        Number of people killed WW1 = ~60,000
        Number of people killed WW2 = ~40,000
        Let alone all the deaths from other causes due to the health system being tied up by Corona Virus.
        Tell me again how preventing the odd suicide is better than this?

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      All irrelevant if the Mullet is re-elected, Townsville will be fucked anyway, subsequent actions post that will be negligible. Also the projects that many refer too were just brain farts of TEL spin merchants, the 3 blind mice and Jenny Hill to create an illusion that better times were coming. Now these projects will just be mixed in to be part of the Coronavirus collateral damage, but the truth is they were never going to start anyway and Covid19 excuse will become the best friend of many in this town, the bullshit continues.

      • The Magpie says:

        Don’t agree that the Mullet’s now unlikely re-election will per se ‘fuck’ the city, Cankers … the crucial thing to watch for outside the mayoral race is the hoped for rise of the independents. Jenny Hill doesn’t know how to gain confidence and loyalty without the power of coercion – in the case of the outgoing council, support to get elected into a job that pays more than most councillors could easily imagine in the real world, the price being continued silence to their individual divisions. But when she loses, so much of that loyalty will instantly dissipate … there could even be a scenario when team Jenny get a majority but she loses. Sam Cox will command a turn-coat team, and should be able to get proper dialogue going.

    • Moment says:

      ‘Reality and Opportunity’ is knocking on our door in North Queensland

  63. Critical says:

    Real Estate agents must be crapping themselves, read an article that Crovid-19 could result in a drop of 20% of the current value of property. New restrictions imposed tonight stop auctions and open house inspections.
    It’ll be a buyers market in 6 months if you still got a job and money.

  64. NQ Gal says:

    Palmers donations to Dishface Dowling are on pages 2 and 3 of the Astonisher – wall to wall yellow.

  65. Stopit says:

    So, nobody can die anymore…….?

    Suddenly we are drawing a line in the sand and setting a very dangerous standard.

    There were 92 road deaths in February 2020 in Australia, farq me are we going to have to start walking everywhere because cars are banned. It is the next step if you listen to these numb nuts.

    How about someone call out the real reason that corona virus is a problem. Gotta flatten the curve……

    Governments have stopped building and supporting the right levels of health care in this country. Instead we build new footy stadiums in every state, tunnels nobody uses, build submarines that can’t go in the water and hand out more cash on welfare than ever before.

    • The Magpie says:

      Stop it, Stopit! While the latter part of your statement may be correct, comparing this virus with the road toll is just dumb in so many ways that we have neither time or patience for … just one, then; people have a choice not only if they drive, but where and how they drive, done by and large by obeying agreed road rules. Corona virus doesn’t offer any options other than the ones now devised. Go and have a lie down. Alone. And by the sounds of it, you’ll have no trouble leaving your face alone, your hands seem to be otherwise occupied.

  66. One legged tap dancer says:

    Jenny Hill appeared in no less than 4 stories on Ch 7 News last night, mostly about routine council matters. It was the Jenny (not to be confused with Benny) Hill Show
    Clearly she is using the crisis to try to boost her chances of election.
    Surely with the council in caretaker mode the CEO should be speaking on council matters, not a mayoral candidate just days out from the election.
    The Hill also appeared in several tv ads claiming to have saved us from the floods.
    Bet the good folk of Idalia were surprised to hear that.

    • NQ Gal says:

      I knew there was a reason I didn’t watch Channel 7 – news or otherwise. I will stick to the politics free zone of the SBS Food channel until Sunday.

  67. Lies says:

    We are being lied to.

    Queensland Health said we have 78 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) raising the state total to 397.

    14 of these new cases are overseas WTF when did overseas become part of Queensland https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/doh-media-releases/releases/queensland-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-update9

    Nobody is reporting details of those who died. How old are they, where did they catch COVID-19, how long did they have it for, what was their underlying medical condition?

    All levels of government have stopped reporting details of those who have recovered except Victoria and Tasmania.

    All governments say trust us, but you should not when they manipulate information that you should have. So much for our strong media, they are as dopey as the rest of us sleep walking to who knows where.

    • Russell says:

      Yes indeed, Lies. And where is the information on the location(s) of the new ones? Or are we supposed to do our own plotting of regional numbers? Surely these active centres should by now be identifiable.

      • The Magpie says:

        Although it doesn’t directly address your questions, Russ, this excellent and regularly updated global site from John Hopkins Uni in the US puts things in perspective, well worth bookmarking. It will no doubt raise the question for many: has Australia over-played precautions with it’s low infection and death rate, or is that because of the restrictions? Sad to say, lot of people with a lot time on their hands to debate this one … from home.


        • Russell says:

          Thanks Malcolm, but, pretty as it is, that map cum chart shows even less info than the Queensland Health table Lies had a link to.
          And I for one certainly didn’t read into Ron B’s comment what you did. All he is saying is that there are better ways to handle this crisis than by shutting down the country. He’s probably right.

          • The Magpie says:

            That is precisely what The ‘Pie was commenting on. Taking a gamble with other people’s lives is not a responsible government option. The objection stands and speaks for itself.

      • The Magpie says:

        Just answer the door naked with a beer in your hand and tell them you’re Jewish. No problem.

  68. OWL says:

    If any Covid infections/deaths can be linked to attendance at the Council elections, will the State government be guilty of criminal negligence? (I daresay any links would be quickly covered up.) I’ll be interested to see how many are fined for not voting due to conscientious objection or health reasons.

  69. The Magpie says:

    10am this morning – 4 days out from mayoral election.

    Politics at work: State Government in Brisbane orders this semi-trailer, parked at the Kings Road gate to the show grounds, to be removed pronto. Seems Jenny still has a few mates in Brisbane, and the order was made on the very selective basis that political advertising isn’t allowed on such property. You can bet if it was a Jenny Hill truck, it would be there until Saturday.

  70. The Magpie says:

    Just answer the door naked with a beer in your hand, and tell them you’re jewish. No problem.

  71. Sadie says:

    Jenny Hill playing her Team Hill ads every couple of minutes, STOP WITH THE TORTURE! Maybe getting the virus would be better

  72. Astonished says:

    No surprise that the State Government has ordered Sam Cox’s sign be removed – they’ve been protecting Jenny Hill for years.
    The Crime and Corruption Commission refuse to investigate her, the Premier made sure she got away with her mishandling of the dam during the flood, and the State police don’t seem to be interested in investigating how that motorcyclist came to be killed.
    If she wins the mayoralty on Saturday it will be interesting to see whether the LNP are as protective as her Labor mates come October..

    • The Magpie says:

      Clear evidence that the Hill/Mooney camp is shitting itself. Not only had the Cox truck been there for almost a week, but independent Corey Davis, who looks like rolling opponent Liam Mooney, has had his truck on showground land, moved today … although it had been there a month!

      Suddenly, Hill – and Mooney, who dearly wants his boy on the council – realised they have to drop the born-to-rule-Townsville arrogance and have a real fight on their hands.

      • Critical says:

        Mullet probably pulled a few strings in the background and got her Brisbane friends to do the dirty work and order the advertising removed so the removal notice wasn’t linked to her. The Show grounds is actually state government reserve land under the control of TCC and my understanding is the the lease is between the Townsville Show Committe (or whatever the legal entity is called) and TCC.

      • The Magpie says:

        Karma’s a bitch … with a sense of humour. Both the Sam Cox and Corey Davis advertising semi’s, which were belately forced to move from the state-owned showground land, are now both on a privately owned(I think) block at the intersection of Ingham Road and Percy/Bundock/Hugh Streets . … where they will get an estimated 5 to 10 times the passing traffic they would’ve got in the previous positions.

        • City dweller says:

          Last year’s Fed election condon had a trailer parked where Corey’s was for 6 weeks with a not so pleasant ad about labor. Never moved never questioned.

    • The Magpie says:

      NB Last Drinks -p good point, now corrected. Thanks for the heads up.

  73. Achilles says:

    There was a stunned silence right across heaven when God sneezed and nobody knew what to say.

  74. The Magpie says:

    a Magpie mate advises:
    Palm Island closes at midnight tonight but was told Sealink closed ferry service yesterday. Attempts to contact ferry people unsuccessful.

    The situation is that many PIs came to Tsv for bonus payment and are staying at the Diversionary Centre and in the parks unaware that they wont get home for some time. This has put pressure on accommodation – and police operations – and seems to be no action being taken by any Govt. department. If this is the situation there needs to be an urgent evacuation but running out of time to contact these people.

  75. Elusive Butterfly says:

    Pure case of price gouging. Woolies Hermit Park just dispensed a pallet of eight roll toilet packs…just under eight bucks a pack or a dollar a roll. You normally should pay between 40-50 a roll. Absolute disgrace Mr. Hermit Park manager….

    • Mundingbird says:

      One of my boys worked there a while back,and the manager,name withheld,is an absolute cockhead.

      • The Magpie says:

        Why withhold a name if in fact that manager decided on the price? He deserves to be named and shamed, but only if he set the bog roll prices.

  76. newstime2010 says:

    you must vote

    Yeah ?

  77. Critical says:

    At 5.45pm today the dogs at the enclosed dog park on Murray Lyons Cres, Annandale near the Townsville Stadium have demonstrated that they far superior intelligence and respect for each other to that of their human keepers. Dogs clearly demonstrating how to keep social distancewith many meters between each dog, humans a definite fail and clearly demonstrating their ignorance and lack of concern for other people as they congregated in two groups of 8-10 people in areas of less than 3 square meters and others in groups of 4-5 people.
    Bet these idiots will be quick to complain and try to send people on guilt trips when they catch Crovid-19.

  78. I’ll be plucked says:

    There really is nothing more enticing than the smell of fresh dump vouchers in the mail. Hmm, the scent is getting stronger by the hour!

  79. The Robbers Dog says:

    Things seem to have gone quiet in kiddy crim world. Instead of giving the community the shits with their theft, abuse and antics, have they shit themselves at the thought of picking up the dreaded virus?

    OR, is it still happening and we’re just not hearing about it much anymore? A new approach from the powers that be? I wonder.

    • The Magpie says:

      It’s probably more the thought of being forced to stay home with loving parents. The COVID upside rules is that they are defacto curfew.

    • Alahazbin says:

      No RD, they did a couple of houses around Cranbrook. CCTV at one of the houses helped the coppers nab them. 2 males 8 & 11 and a teenage girl. The older male was wearing one of those headlamp (WANKER light) on his head and awoke the resident.

  80. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Qld is now paying the price for many many years of Labor Govt sending us broke. The QLD Govt piss poor business package is frankly embarrassing, nothing for small to medium size enterprises except a pissy $500 Ergon credit. Meanwhile Trad announced she is looking at a special package for Casinos, why the fuck would Casinos be entitled to any sort of special consideration above what every other pub and club in Qld is getting.

  81. The Magpie says:

    Looks like someone made a stock market killing in Magnis shares. The stock has been in a swan dive for almost three years now …

    … but in mid-January, there was an unexplained but significant spike in the steady three year slide of the stock. Magnis Energy is the main proponent of the proposed battery factory at the controversial and disputed Lansdown industrial site at Woodstock.

    Around the time that Mayor Jenny Hill insisted that despite protests and widespread opposition to the industrial estate where Magnis was to build, the proposal on council land would nevertheless go ahead. A few days later in January, Mayor Hill rammed the unpopular proposal through her puppet council.

    Almost immediately after the spike, someone cashed in a sizeable chunk of shares for a handsome profit.
    But to no avail, Magnis shares continued to tank, and are now practically worthless.

    The battery factory looks dead in the water, as do other tentative proposals for the Lansdown estate.

    Oh well, someone’s smiling a thin-lipped smile all the way to the bank.

  82. Bentley says:

    Re the recent installation of security cameras along Ross River walking/kamikaze cycle tracks. Witness the dogs off leashes, the motorbikes, the crapping dogs whose owners pretend not to notice the heaps of feces, and the cyclists who do not ring a bell and hurtle past at top speed, it makes me wonder if in fact the cameras actually work. Or have they cost the TCC so much that they can not afford to monitor them. I would suggest that there is a potential income stream available if fines for inappropriate behavior were applied.

  83. Liberty Valance says:

    The girls have had a huge win with the backflip on hairdresser restrictions! Women are leading the fight back against the tyrants. Good girls, go! More, more!

    • The Magpie says:

      Girls? Watch it, sonny!!

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      WTF? At a time like this, hairdressing is at the bottom of the list! I don’t believe it, pluck me, all spruced up and nowhere to go?

      There is NOWHERE to go – if this is regarded as an essential service I’ll walk naked down Flinders St (no one will see me cos it’s deserted even on a good day)!!

      • The Magpie says:

        Small mercies.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Good try Plucker, Steve Price did that trick years ago. Made some on air bet and if he lost said he would walk naked across Nathan Street. He lost the bet. At the appointed place and time time on Nathan St a good crowd assembled. Out steps Steve Price with a dog on a lead. The dog was wearing a sandwige board of sorts with the words “My name is Naked”. Steve Price then proceeds to walk the dog across Nathan St.

        • The Magpie says:

          The all time champion in that league was Dick Smith, who, for reasons lost in memory, boasted he would pilot a jumbo under the Sydney H B. Sizeable crowds gathered and sure enough, a barge, a borrowed elephant and Dick at the helm was the result.

  84. The Robbers Dog says:

    Spoke too soon!!! Online TB reporting that 15 homes and cars rolled in the last 24 hrs. Crims obviously don’t give a shit!

  85. Mike Douglas says:

    If you ever had any doubts about Aaron Harpers ability as a member of Parliament look no further than him suggesting on Facebook that people should watch the movie Contagion about people dieing of viruses . In a week where people have been forced to line up at Centrelink for jobseeker allowance after being stood down . Small business owners have closed their businesses with doubts about their investments and future , Australians have died is this the best the member for Thuringowa can do . Wasn’t he a Paramedic ? , doesn’t he know about mental health ? .

  86. The Stockman says:

    The COVID-19 infested cruise ship ARTANIA, now languishing off the coast of Perth, was in Townsville less than two weeks ago. But don’t worry, the 1700 passengers that got off the 40-year-old filthy incubator were given hand sanitiser before they brought it to North Queensland…

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Ironically the fact that Townsville has sweet FA for them to do when in town may have saved us, they would have got off the ship, wondered around looking lost for a bit then got back on the ship.

    • Fishframe says:

      Is that really the same cruise ship????? I couldn’t believe when it docked here and passengers were walking through the CBD. Totally crazy.

  87. Alahazbin says:

    Well! That did me this morning, reading the morning egg timer aka the Astonisher. A list of questions posed to each of the mayoral candidates on sports topics. Fair enough, but the last question. What has it to do with this LG Election had me fucked.
    “Can the Cowboys win the 2020 NRL Premiership and how will they do it?”
    FFS.. If that is the intelligence of the voting public, then we are well and truly fucked.

  88. Peak hysteria says:

    I have an office mate saying that she doesn’t want to vote, in case she rests her arm on the cardboard voting booth and catches something. Well (a) wear long sleeves or (b) don’t lick your forearm until you wash it. Meanwhile she is sitting at her desk biting her fingernails and constantly touching her face.

  89. Pencil Dick says:

    Don’t forget your own pencil if voting at a booth on Saturday. Minimise the possibility of virus spread!

  90. Wearing my alfoil hat says:

    A chat room conspiracy theory is conservative governments around the world are happy to see Corona crisis last for a long time.

    In Australia key funders of the union movement and Labor Party are industry super funds, biggest recipients are CFMMEU, United Voice & ACTU.

    Industry super fund mainly invest in illiquid assets that are hard to sell quickly. Announcements to access $10k in super will cause a run on Industry Super fund reserves and impair performance then ability to contribute.

    Job loss will reduce union fees and membership, once lost members never return.

    Elections are won on well-funded marketing campaigns. Hedge funds are making billions short selling.

    • The Magpie says:

      Double strength Alfoil, jumbo pack?

    • Fishframe says:

      I worked for an Industy Super Fund once. I can tell you they have massive cash inflows thanks to 10% SGC and their biggest problem is finding places to invest it outside of cash reserves. They will have no problems with the $10,000 withdrawals.

  91. I’ll be plucked says:

    Morning Pie, I have been meaning to ask how you are getting on with all that is rolling out/going on around us?

    Your fingers and mind must be working overtime at the moment given the increase in blog traffic!

    R u ok old mate? Plucker

    • The Magpie says:

      Life has gone from a leisurely 30 keyboard hours a week to a rather taxing 45/55 hours, mainly on comments, but the volume and content of stuff has been fascinating. Like The ‘Pie’s nana used to say ‘Only stop work to carry bricks’.

      • George Gently says:

        Pie, I would like to send you some blog doe, but won’t use the PayPal system which costs money to use. Is there any way we can donate not using PayPal?

        EG: Are you able to put the bank account number on here so we can use it? GG

        • The Magpie says:

          Why George, so kind of you, of course The ‘Pie will put up his private bank number on the blog, and just to make sure there is no mistake, he’ll also the passwords to his various devices and files. Medical files? No problem. OK?

          But how are you going to get a baby deer squeezed into the bank account?

          PS Paypal doesn’t charge a fee, well not this end anyway.

          • Ungrateful says:

            Mr Townsville Magpie, why have you turned this offer of support from one of your bloggers into a smarty pants, rambling, smart-arsed response?
            I don’t understand why you would do that; someone has reached out and you berate them? I’m confused.

          • The Magpie says:

            You certainly are, George.

  92. Kenny Kennett says:

    In amongst the doom and gloom, there’s one road gang still working. Hey Jenny, why the fuck are the parking inspectors still on the streets making people even more miserable. Heard that some staff in the CBD were simply returning their work keys as the business had to shut down. They took 10 mins and to their further disgust when they returned, their cars were wearing $80 parking tickets.

    • The Magpie says:

      Ummm, how do you get a fine for parking for 10m minutes?

      • City dweller says:

        Loading zones. Im not defending parking inspectors but normally something that high is because you parked in designated loading zone. There’s free parking signs up everywhere so it cant be that unless you were there longer then tje permitted time. 2P 4P.

      • Fishframe says:

        Sounds a likely story ……

      • Russell says:

        You don’t go to the machine, press the button for 15 minutes free parking then display the ticket. Often quicker to do what you need to do than trudge to a distant machine so you look around and make a dash. Problems occur if it’s not as quick as you first thought.

        • George Gently says:

          If this is true Russ, I think you’re correct – they forgot to go to the machine and print the free 15 min ticket and display it.

      • Scientician79 says:

        In actual fact all parking in the CBD is now free just the timing of zones applies (so 2 hours, 4 hours etc).

        I think this took effect Monday, and signage has been installed all over the CBD, in fact one side of the display advises the latest social distancing rules for COVID-19.

  93. Dave of Kelso says:

    11 Cv19 cases in Townsville as well as new cases of dengue and rr fever. Just what we need. Watch now for a run on mozie coils.


  94. The Magpie says:

    They just can’t help themselves, can they? The very media which has been inundating us with doomsday predictions for months now seems surprised at a few more cases of COVID-19 in Queensland … why use emotive and panic-inducing in the feeble-minded like ‘alarming’. Which, quite frankly, this news is NOT … by their own words, it was to be expected, and seems pretty light on at that. So much for calm, considered reporting.

    • Withheld says:

      In addition to your observation of how the Bulletin has been using the pandemic to get subscriptions, I’ve been comparing it to how other News papers have been doing it.

      Compare two stories today (Friday) in the Bulletin and the Geelong Advertiser:
      Locked: “Number of Townsville cases of Covid-19 double in 24hrs”
      Unlocked: “Geelong confirmed covid-19 cases rise”

      All public information coronavirus stories in the Geelong Advertiser say “This coronavirus story is free to read in the interests of the community. To support the Geelong Advertiser so we can continue to bring you the latest essential coronavirus information, click here to subscribe.”

      In fairness to the Bulletin, the afternoon update “Townsville covid-19 case jump yet again” is unlocked.

      It’s not only disappointing from the Bulletin, but it’s also inconsistent with itself and with its sister papers – including a paper that serves a similar sized community (or as close as we can find with the regionals)

      (Name and email withheld because I don’t want to risk repercussions from this. Please paraphrase my words if you use this.)

    • The Magpie says:

      Seriously??? I mean, really, seriously? This is totally irresponsible … and utter crap.

  95. Newstart (now known as Jobseeker) says:

    I’m in 7th heaven! I don’t have to report to Centrelink about my job searches, until further notice (there’s no jobs anyway), I’m getting two payments of 750 bucks and a doubling of my fortnightly benefit for doing nothing!!!

    The luck country rules! Sco Mo, you rule!

  96. The Magpie says:

    Jenny’s best mate is in the shit … again.

  97. I’ll be plucked says:

    Evening bloggers! Anyone out there got pre-election jitters? Can’t believe we are down to less than 1 day to go! I guess Mullet will be out of bounds come sometime Saturday night – she will be a citizen of Townsville, just like the rest of us!

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      No! When I retired I was well advised that the Commonwealth could come after me for years to come for any serious administrative fuck-ups or criminal activity on my part. Why would it be any different for this detestable woman?

  98. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    While Prince Charles is isolated with Covid-19, Prince Andrew has decided to self isolate with Jennifer-14.

  99. OO-D-Day says:

    Well that’s it trendsetters, Saturday is Day 00. Lets all hope, pray, even sell our souls to Lucifee that the purple doona wearing Mayor Hill is voted out for good!!!! Can’t wait for the post-election edition of the Magpie.

    Happy voting and please avoid catching COVID-19 while being packed in tight at the voting booths. Fucking ludicrous.

    • The Magpie says:

      And the timing is going to be tricky … usually finish writing the blog 11-ish, and an hour or two doing the technical bits and pieces, so not sure if the indications will be there in time for personal comment. But The ‘Pie expects the result either way is going to play out bin comments.

    • Bentley says:

      Personally, I was pleasantly surprised at the order and the ease of voting this morning. Having been to the pre-polling venue at The Lakes no less than 4 times during the week, taken note of the crowds, and decided that ‘discretion trumps valour’. I subsequently toddled along to my regular mecca of democracy today, parked close nearby, and was in and out in about 5mins. The closest I had to get to another member of my species, was two arms length, in order to receive my voting slips.

  100. Dave of Kelso says:

    Charlie, now Boris Johnson has Cv19. I hope and pray Trump is next.

  101. Pencil Dick says:

    Final reminder viewers! If you’re voting today take your own pencil, to avoid virus spread. Happy deliberations at the ballot box!!

  102. OWL says:

    I wonder why QLD’s Chief Medical Officer is pushing the election despite every other medical professional in the country recommending against it. ????? Coercion perhaps?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      On way home from my socially distance morning walk I drove past the local polling booth and the Rasmussen shops. Shopping centre very busy. Definitely safer at the polling booth in my view and safer than the pre polling centre last Tuesday when I voted .

  103. Dave of Kelso says:

    Just for a sticky-beak I went for a drive past my local polling booth. It all seemed like a most civilised affair. No running the gauntlet of frantic harassment of electors by over eager candidate workers. Just people quietly prambulating to and from the polling booth.

    Now, there are going to be millions of unused how to vote flyers. I am happy to take a couple of boxes as BBQ fire lighters. It will allow me to save on purchasing the Astonosher for the the same purpose.

    Now for a glum thought. When we have run out of rubbing alcohol to clean our hands we will have to use drinking alcohol.

  104. Charlie Wulguru says:

    Does anyone know if Televised Election Adds are allowed to be run today?

  105. I’ll be plucked says:

    ABC News are reporting that there will be a ‘preliminary’ count will tonight, with the ‘official’ count not starting until tomorrow, due to the unprecedented number of postal votes.

    Electoral Commission are saying this count is going to take much longer than others, as a result.

  106. The Magpie says:

    Hey, folks, if you get fined for not voting … and yes, you are likely to at least get a demand … you know where to send the bill … to this irresponsible fuckwit.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      These pricks are trying to comprise the outcome of the election. Is Harpic in contravention of the Qld electoral act or similar?

    • Fishframe says:

      Well, actually, the fellow who is in charge of administering the fines was on the ABC Radio this morning. He said he has discretion to fine or give a warning. He ‘iterated’ that warnings more likely as they have a register of serial offenders who were more likely to get fined than first offenders.

    • Kenny Kennett says:

      Interesting. Wearing the red tie around Queensland, perhaps this dick expects that his leftie Comrades will vote no matter what, and the ‘other side of politics’ will welcome the chance not having to vote coz the MP told them they didn’t have to. OR he’s giving himself an excuse to avoid the flack when Queensland’s Covid19 numbers triple in the next few days…… “I tried to warn them”

  107. Shark bait says:

    I see that Greg Norman is doing his bit for fucktardary by re-tweeting his old 1980’s TV ads and resharing photos of himself half naked. Seriously, are these mornings so stupid? They’ve got so much money yet all they do is send out utter shit for the world to see. Unbelievable…..

  108. Scientician79 says:

    I went around 9 this morning to my polling place and not very busy went straight in, was very nice not having to deal with all the campaign boosters trying to shove how to vote cards in my face – maybe we could make this a permanent change on election days?

    As to the result fingers crossed, I didn’t give Mullet and her team so much as a last preference on my ballot papers.

  109. David Thoumine says:

    page 13 (TB) 28.03.20 para 4, However many results etc, now I know you like the (TB) however is this a complete fuck up by either the Bully of the Electoral
    Commission or both? If the results are not expected to be revealed until possibility tomorrow, that being the case why bother with postal votes where mine only arrived Friday 27th whats point in voting if you know the result before the vote is counted its bull-shit. The postal vote must be received no more than 10 days after the election
    This in my opinion needs a good coat of looking at.

  110. Alacan says:

    Tried to do absentee vote in gold coast .. no such luck.. they took name on a note pad that was it

    Maybe i stuffed up in not going on line .. had a 12:00 cut off which was strange

    Ah well lets see what happens

  111. Jenny Wren says:

    My polling place in Div 9 was very well run this morning, electoral officials maintained distance between everyone and the queue wasn’t long. I was thinking of paying the fine and not going but I couldn’t stand it if J Hill got back by a few votes and I had been too cowardly to go.

  112. The Magpie says:

    Just discovered a goodwill message for Mayor Mullet.

    • Sputun Adani says:

      Nice photo Maggie, Adani is even wearing a purple tie to complement Hill’s purple doona. I did notice though that his moustache is not as noticeable as hers.

  113. Pencil Dick says:

    We’re done, polls closed! Thank you linesmen, ball boys and candidate players and of course our pencils!

    The wait begins………

  114. Creamed corn says:

    I understand that the TCC CEO has already handed in his resignation as of this afternoon, effective within the next 2 weeks. Good riddance!

  115. ECQ says:

    Preliminary numbers after 3%+ of the count are on ECQ web site.

  116. I’ll be plucked says:

    As predicted by many bloggers, Cox and Dowling have split the vote and the Mullet will get over the line. PLUCK, PLUCK, PLUCK!!!

    • The Magpie says:

      Yep, with 3.5% of the vote counted, you’re a seer … or is that a seersucker?

      • The Magpie says:

        The ‘Pie won’t be getting too excited about any of this tonight … the massive … and it is massive … pre-poll and postal votes will hold the key no matter where the percentages stand from votes cast today. And predictions are even more pointless when the conventional assumptions on pre-poll votes is out the window because of the virus. But Mullet would be happy that she’s off to a flying start.

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          A seer-plucker actually Pie! :). As much as it hurts me to say it again, she is over the line. We are all doomed.

  117. Droopy draws says:

    I think you could be right, plucker.
    All week I’ve been thinking what people do in a time of uncertainty or crisis. They play it safe; my thoughts are she’ll rule again.

    And this is like no other crisis.

    God help us.

    • The Magpie says:

      Regarding Jenny Hill as ‘playing it safe’ will say a great deal about the famously volatile Townsville electorate.

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