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The Magpie

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019   |   109 comments

Rancor And Resentment: Big Ructions At The Big End Of Town, As The Struggling NQ Club Members Go The Verbal Biff With Each Other

A Special General Meeting during the week was meant to talk about the venerable old club’s dire finances, but things went much further than that, with half the committee resigning, a new president elected, and charges of chauvinism and racism hurled about. The ‘Pie had a fly on the wall.

Are Townsville City Council staff about to go on strike on Monday? Or will the union’s bluff be called over ‘unfair pay rises’?

Unhappy campers on campus: a dark web of gossip has JCU staff in a mood for rebellion … cheesed off that there’s plenty of money for lawyers and none for them.

And from The Magpie news agency’s back shelf ‘sealed in plain outer wrapping’ section: getting your tongue around the tricky ABC of sex.

Also, the regular Trumpsylvania week in pix.

But first …

Seems Things Got A Bit Out Of Hand

nq club

The North Queensland Club in Denham Street.

It was all the fun of the fair at the North Queensland Club last Tuesday, when a Special General Meeting was held to discuss a looming financial crisis that could spell the end of the venerable 134 year-old Townsville institution. It seems things unexpectedly took a lively turn, with the performance of some members suggesting they had become, shall we say, a bit tired and emotional at the bar before official proceedings got underway.

With mass committee resignations and the election of a new president – something that usually only happens at AGMs but that is still a while off – and the in-house hootenanny suddenly turned into an opportunity to vent about long-simmering issues that have apparently been bubbling away in quiet corners over brandy snifters. All sorts of side issues, including suggestions of anti-female bias (gosh, no, really? At the NQ Club? C’mon now …) and a thinly veiled accusation of racism were all aired in the two hour, often heated meeting.

This excerpt from the members’ letter in late May announcing last Tuesday’s meeting foreshadowing the forthcoming resignations guaranteed there’d be some fireworks.

nq letter extract

That second matter was a real eyebrow-raiser, and perhaps – from an outsider’s viewpoint – highlighted the committee’s inability to reasonably discuss modern issues. It concerned the club';s insistence that Welcome To Country statements vwere to precede ceremonies and functions.

Club member Colin White is a highly respected and successful barrister, and has been for a very long time. Not surprisingly, he took exception to what was an unexplained and arbitrary use of his arguable point of view as an excuse for mass committee resignations. So before the meeting, to stop speculation by the unexplained ‘critical difference’ for which he was being held responsible, he sent a letter to members which included the following clarification:

Quote: The Committee has taken to delivering on behalf of the club an official ‘Welcome To Country’ by a member of the Committee at club functions, and has done this without prior discussion with the membership. I considered ‘Welcome To Country’ to be a political statement and wrote accordingly to the Committee, reminding them that the Club has always maintained a policy of non-alliance to any political, racial or religious organisation, and that doing otherwise would lead to serious division within the club. Unquote.

Here The Magpie sticks his sticky beak in where he will be told he has no business – but that’s never stopped him before. Under the circumstances, whether one agrees with Mr White’s view of ‘Welcome To Country’ being ‘political’, or not, it is certainly a matter that should be civilly debated regarding the adherence of the Club to its charter. It most certainly SHOULD NOT be a lame excuse for a mass hissy fit by overly PC-sensitive, knee-jerk committee members. Who knows, maybe they wanted to bail out for other reasons (perhaps to keep a looming financial disaster at arm’s length) but decided this would be a great opportunity for a bit of virtue signalling to mask their hasty scramble off the sinking ship. On the evidence, a reasonable if arguable scenario.

But that wasn’t the half of it at the meeting, other matters bobbed up in forum not intended as a free for all but that seems to have ended up that way.

The ‘Pie has been told that vice-president Gary Orford ‘was not very diplomatic’, some voices were well raised (Gad, Carruthers, raised egad?’) and one member was ‘extremely passionate’ and was repeatedly cut short by the chair. And one Magpie informant given to a colourful turn of phrase said that one woman who is related to a senior committee member ‘let fly with surprising venom about what she perceived as her lack of acceptance in the club’.

Indeed, the rather austere and very blokey surrounds of the dreary and most unappealing main area of the club has always been a turn-off for women, and several have told The ‘Pie so over the years. Several have also said they have never been made to feel welcome outside dinner/dance functions, even after they were accepted as members. And if they joined, they’d sure have to be well off … when The ‘Pie was invited to join about 15 years ago, membership was quoted at $800 p.a … when The ‘Pie inquired what he got for that, the sniffy reply was ‘In the door’. The ‘Pie declined, as much for the answer as the dollars. Several members who travel interstate a great deal maintain their memberships only for the excellent reciprocal rights with very swish southern establishments like the RACV Club in Melbourne.

Lawyer, committee member and good bloke Leon Pommer now holds what many -including The Magpie – fervently hope is not the poisoned chalice of club president. He replaces Rachelle Foley, who resigned as did immediate past president David Kippin, treasurer Nik Rozis, secretary Paul Willis, and committee members Rane Reguson and Donna Sands.

Apparently there was a lot of harumphing and grumbling about all sorts of issues besides the dominant financial one – the meeting went for more than two hours. When it was floated that the club could relocate, someone said that would be the end of the club’s existence. But both conservative and progressive factions don’t deny one simple fact … if something major isn’t done pronto, the club will be soon broke, and with so many of the legal fraternity among the membership and committee, no one is going to try getting away with trading insolvent (like the Cowboys Club did in the late 90’s and early 00’s.)

And here’s an interesting footnote. Given that those favouring Welcome To Country are now off the committee, will such patronising waffle be dropped at the next regular Guest Speaker’s Lunch next Friday June 28. That will be most interesting considering who that speaker will be.

Screen Shot 2019-06-23 at 12.13.49 am

The ‘Pie Will Bet They Don’t …


This was posted yesterday (Friday) in The Nest’s comments from reader Budget Direct:

Just a heads up that the unions have sent the council a 72hr notice of strike action of staff with a meeting Monday morning. Not happy with the 2.75% pay increase offer. Trying to confirm what else is going on. No documentary evidence to back this up yet, information has just been circulating today through union members. I would point out that in the past threats like this were made but nothing. The greater workforce wouldn’t be aware of this as unions aren’t telling everyone everything, surprise, surprise. I don’t want to be seen as fake news lol.

One thing I can say is that since Hill took power (2 terms) only 2 pay increases have been given to workers in that time – one by Ray Burton before he left and then Adele Young, Christmas before last, 2% each time with $1000 bonus from Adele. That’s 4% over 8yrs. In every budget 2% was always put aside for EBA increases but agreements were never made and money never passed on. Where’s that money gone? In essence TCC workers are really owed close to 7% in real time wage increases over the time of Hill’s reign. Pretty much CPI increases nothing more, for both blue and white collars. Just like the vehicle situation at TCC, a new EBA agreement has not been looked at since amalgamation and has merely been rolled over without any pay increases in that time. The last official EBA agreement was 3.6% over 3yrs ending 2010.

There is still simmering resentment in some quarters towards the Local Government Association of Queensland I(LGAQ) for not standing up to council employees when Campbell Newman’s government stripped so them of so many conditions … conditions that have subsequently been restored. Many council workers still do not trust the LGAQ, especially CEO Greg Hallam, for ‘standing by’ in that matter matter. Mayor Mullet was a LGAQ board member at the time and still is.

So The Magpie greatly doubts that even if any union covering council workers called for a walk-out, there may be those who wouldn’t dare, given the prevailing vindictive nature of what many describe here in comments as a ‘toxic workplace’ created by Adele Young and Jenny Hill. Besides, these are straitened times for everyone, TCC employees still have some benefits not always available in the private sector, things like 5 week annual leave, and a 9-day fortnight.

Free Speech Is Far From Free

Academia has always been at the forefront of extreme political correctness. The Magpie has a professor mate who was once aggressively ‘counselled’ at JCU for not using a woman’s name when he said good morning while passing her in a hallway… true story.

But Townsville’s version of Oxford’s dreaming spires has become a more a spikey nightmare, a legal and PC quagmire in recent months. And an eye-wateringly expensive one.

The short version is as follows:

Prof Peter Ridd

Professor Peter Ridd

JCU geophysicist Professor Peter Ridd was sacked by the university last year, for public comments he made about a coral researcher ‘not having a clue’ , saying that the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) ‘could not be trusted’, and that JCU was ‘Orwellian in nature’. The university said this breached JCU’s Code of Conduct, and after several warnings, got rid of Ridd. They thought. Prof Ridd contested the sacking in court and won. Federal Circuit Court Judge Sal Vasta ruled, among other things, that the university had ‘played the man and not the ball’, and that JCU’s Enterprise Agreement, which allowed such behaviour, was more binding that the Code of Conduct. That had Vice Chancellor Sandra Harding and JCU Provost Professor Chris Cocklin spitting chips, saying, in essence, he wasn’t sacked for his climate views, but for denigrating fellow academics and breaching confidentiality.

V-C Sandra Harding a sent long email to all staff, in an attempt to justify the university’s course of action regarding Prof Ridd – which Judge Vasta had rejected – and she included this bold statement, telling the judge where he had got it all ballsed up.

We disagree with the Judge’s comments, and are also troubled by the fact that he fails to refer to any legal precedent or case law in Australia to support his interpretation of our enterprise agreement, or academic freedom in Australian employment law. The judgement reflects views, which are not supported in any way by any case law or legal precedent. The Judge has not attempted to do so in his judgement in preferring an interpretation that disregards the Code of Conduct or confidentiality obligations which exist both in the enterprise agreement and also at law.

She said the university was ‘considering its options’ – translation: whether they’ll appeal – and will have 21 days to lodge any such appeal after Judge Vasta hands down penalties, on July 18.

Ah, Penalties, There’s The Rub.

The Ridd issue has cranked up the rumour mill on campus to fever pitch, fed by the fact of the cost already to a university where staff have long complained that the lower echelons and course support have been financially neglected, while the fat cats get fatter. Often mentioned is Sandra Harding’s reputed $1.2million salary, which one academic told The ‘Pie included an annual $200k ‘performance bonus’, which he said she received with having to meet any meaningful KPIs. Which is just as well, since JCU under her leadership is rapidly losing ground to increased competition, for both students and courses. Only a very modest increase in student numbers is forecast for the coming year.

But as in politics, lots of silly stuff surfaces as well, like the widespread but officially rejected story is that Prof Harding has $70,000 per year clothing allowance,  officially debunked by the university, a spokesman’s very un-PC comment being ‘complete bollocks – she doesn’t have any clothing allowance’.

The university council, a group of local business, academic and student representatives are said to be both bemused and terrified of the looming legal bills – not that they’ll have to foot any demand. The question is will they oppose any appeal, which could drag on for a while and gain some lucky lawyers a new helipad or holiday cottage. One wonders what sage advice they will receive from one council member who certainly knows the financial risks, alumnus, Dr Ryan Haddrick, now a highly successful Brisbane barrister reputed to need a wheel barrow on pay days.

Meanwhile, The ’Pie eagerly awaits the next bit of juicy manufactured gossip, hopefully involving an ‘undressing allowance’ scandal.

Why Should We?

During the week, the Astonisher took a courageous decision to run a full page ad starting out with the question to which everyone in Townsville knows the answer.

Bulletin question

And the answer is obvious when you take a look at Saturday’s front page lie. That headline is unequivocal…

Bulletin fronter

But then read the opening paragraph.

Screen Shot 2019-06-22 at 9.47.06 am

In the headline ‘creates’ (present tense, meaning it exists) suddenly becomes ‘are expected’ (future tense – yet to happen) – and what’s more, expected by non-partisan commentators who are all … real estate agents. It’s a boom which, by an number of reliable indicators, is not about to happen. The paper obviously is still having trouble distinguishing between ‘being positive’ and ‘peddling false hope to boost their own advertising sales’.

Tongue Twister

The Bulletin has a reputation for telling just some of a story, dropping in partial information with no further explanation. Thus was the case about the female school teacher charged with seducing a 16-year-old student. The case had all the slobbering delights of a tabloid rip-snorter, and the jury underlined their decision by taking just 15 minutes to return a not guilty verdict. Turns out he was just a cocky little teenager in every sense, probably known to his mates by the nick name ‘Lucky Bastard’.

But The Bulletin had a couple of problems with the story. First, they said the woman could not be named for legal reasons, and ran this blurred-out photo …

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 1.49.21 pm

… while those with a better understanding of legal requirements (e.g ABC) ran these pics, even highlighting the woman  …

Screen Shot 2019-06-19 at 11.21.26 amScreen Shot 2019-06-22 at 10.49.47 pm

… and named the woman as Sarah Joy Guazzo. see, Astonisher folks, identifying her did not identify the student, the 16-year-old student is the one who cannot be named or photographed, because, although of the legal age of consent, he is still a juvenile in the eyes of the law. Which makes it a no-no for the kid who said yes yes.

But the other unexplained bit of evidence was this ..


He Magpie may be thought a bird of the world, but ‘alphabet sex’ had him beaten, initially thinking it might be something to do with French letters. So he had to look it up (only in the service of his readers of course). It turns out that a big turn-on now is not just your stock standard muff diving … ahem, that would be ‘oral sex’ to those primly reading on with pursed lips but pretending not to (hello, Mrs Roebuck). No, the modern Romeo is now required spelling out A-B-C with one’s tongue. And a popular twist for the die hard romantics out … or down … there is apparently spelling out your gal’s name in this manner. All this was news to The ‘Pie, who admits to being goggle-eyed while googling – but it does explain a couple of things.

Firstly, it explains the always blissfully dreamy smile on the face of The ‘Pie’s former work colleague at SBS Marianna-Aphrodite Papadopoulos, and the permanent rings under her hubby’s eyes.

And, secondly, it’s probably a clue to why Tina Fey is always looking so grumpy in 30 Rock.

Wacky Quote Of The Week

We don’t know if it was desperate or just demented, but for the weirdest quote of the week is … A DRAW!

Mayor Mullet and Councillor Ann-Maree Greany share the gong, when they simpered on about this latest mayoral brain fart to install a massive 5m gaming screen and oversize console in Flinders Street.

Screen Shot 2019-06-22 at 11.35.14 pm

Again, the Astonisher failed to go a millimeter below the surface when they reported that the games on the screen would be played from a special platform with over-sized joy sticks and pedal buttons. So, a question: will the punters have to pay per game, and even if not, how much will the ratepayers have to fork out for a council officer to handle the clamoring mob wanting a turn. If the mayor trusts the kids to form an orderly queue, it’s a sure bet the fights will be more entertaining than the console.

Mayor Mullet looked set to waltz away with Wacky Quote Award when she said:

“A lot of parents find it hard to get their kids away from their smartphones and computers — this installation will make the city more attractive for children and adults.”

So apparently the answer is put them in front of an even bigger screen?

But then Clr Greany burst forth to take equal quote honours when she came up with the deeply weird (and embarrassing) judgement: ‘The games will give tourists fond memories of Townsville.’

Christ we really are in trouble, aren’t we?

President Bone Spurs Declares War, Then Quickly Declares Peace

President Agent Orange pulled a nifty one in the week he launched his re-election campaign. He declared war on Iran, reputedly had fighters in the air, and then said ‘Aww, shucks, fellas, sorry’ and called the whole thing off, declaring peace in his time.

Bizarre doesn’t even start to cover it, but sheer megalomania does.


This your first re-election campaign, son?

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Another week done and dusted, stay up with comments for the outcome of matters mentioned here, and have your say. And if you want to help keep the blog meet its financial obligations (damn pesky things) a donation will be of great assistance, the how to donate button is below.


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


  1. Mike Douglas says:

    Based on Townsville City Council culture ( or lack of it ) under the Mullet and the Impailer as Townsville’s unemployment continues to drop ( 6% predicted by TP Human Capital within 12 mths) Council staff will move to better jobs leaving only those with long years of service. Of course some recruitment company( LGIA aligned) will be paid thousands to try and fill the jobs . When Leanne Enoch Qld environment + Cabinet minister says she cried when Adani was approved and will do everything she can when will the Queensland Labor/ Green Government get tougher on Adani demonstrators ?. This week in Brisbane Queen st traffic held up with two demonstrators glueing themselves to zebra crossing and then Friday night a protest effecting traffic . Rockhampton State Labor Member Barry Orourke wants an Adani job register when no other mine has this type of monitoring and another group “Galilee Blockade” is asking for copies of Adani contracts listing pay rates, awards, conditions . Doing business in Queensland ,you have the unions blowing out costs of projects and if greenies don’t agree being hit by Conservation groups often funded by who? Queensland Labor Government . Labor used to be the workers party .

    • The Magpie says:

      Valid musing, no doubt, Mike, but The ‘Pie is all for Barry O’Rourke wanting a job register from Adani … and our gormless Townsville members should also demand one … with continual updates automatically supplied through an appropriate party. Mike, you’re right when you say no other mine has this type of monitoring, but you must remember that no other mine conned two mayors into stumping up millions for an airstrip on the promise of jobs for residents of their towns. That that deal was shot down in indignant flames by angry ratepayers is of no consequence, because where Adani workers live remains highly political … certainly for Rocky mayor Strewlow (is it?) and our own bumbling Mullet. So we are entitled to know who lives where … but both Jenny Hill and our fearless tough-questioning newspaper would almost certainly NOT want any such list and will probably campaign against the measure. Because when it is exposed how few jobs we gained from all this, both the Mullet and the Astonisher will be scrambling for cover.

      And BTW folks, even if Townsville gained, say, 500 Adani jobs – however that is going to be accurately monitored – does it deserve the highly premature front page of the Bulletin yesterday, saying the Adani decision will trigger a boom in the housing market. As The ‘Pie said in the blog, there is a world of difference about being positive and peddling false hope in your own financial self-interest.

      • SPQR says:

        So you want a law requiring a register of the names & home addresses of all those who work for Adani!
        Will this register be publicly available?
        If not, who will be entitled to access this register,?Just journalists & politicians?
        Or rabid climate fucknuckles as well.

        If you truly endorse such crap, you should be superglued to Flinders St.

        Say there, how about some inane cartoons about that star of the Walking Dead, Nancy Pelosi,
        or that jerk off jumping Joe Biden?

        • The Magpie says:

          Not much of a deep thinker, are you, me butter-brained old mate? There’s a job for you at the Astonisher, you’re so adept at creating a fanciful scenario of your own then ascribing it to some else, in this case, The Magpie. As there is no thinking of possible middle ground with your foam flecked rush to rant on, a few things have not occurred to you, SPQR. Whether a law or just a legally enforceable agreement, Adani should be kept honest in its public pronouncement, promises and guarantees, by making such a register of its workers available to a truly independent third part – a judge or barrister perhaps , both bound by strict professional rules of confidentiality rules … who can then public report just numbers and cities … no names and addresses (The ‘Pie never suggested such idiocy, you really are a twerp, Senator, that would be instantly legally challengeable not to mention dangerous in the extreme). The ‘Pie was simply approving a basic idea.

          Stop wetting yourself, dry off and have a little thinkette about it all, you’re not helping matters.

          • It's a cryin' shame says:

            Don’t know about Adani but I’d like to see a register for Townsville City Council.
            I wonder how many jobs were/have been offered to Townsville residents since the last Council election.

            Seems to me that if you’re a resident, labouring or semi-skilled labour is the best you’ll get.

            Management positions are reserved for blow ins. Not any blow in, paid up members of the ALP and preferably a mate of someone who’s already there.
            It’s a shame that there’s no-one in Townsville capable of working at the higher level for Townsville City Council. There used to be, but they’ve all been snapped up by other Local Governments.

            The Mullet and her cronies might have a buy local policy (which is subject to massage) but they certainly haven’t got an employ local policy.

            For a town with an unemployment rate as high as Townsville, the mayor and her phony bunch of arm raisers should hang their heads in collective shame.

        • Old tradesman says:

          SPQR, just as a matter of interest, a leading electrical local firm, advertised for sparkies, got 50 applicants, guess what, only one had a local residential address, the rest had PO Boxes at Townsville GPO.

          • The Magpie says:

            Look, folks, here;’s the thing – perhaps some of you have been blinded by the brilliance of the Mullet’s bullshit ‘threats’ to insurance companies to use local tradies (or else … what?) But that was pure grandstanding in the great Mullet tradition, because, according to a reliable source associated with QBE, all the qualified Townsville tradies are either on the flood repair job, or are opting for all the other regular work now available. The source tells The ‘Pie fully 85% of flood workers are from out of town because there just isn’t the work pool … employed or unemployed … here. And all that flow-in spend to our economy will flow out again within a few months. Our employment figures will be skewed for a while, and businesses should enjoy the break while they can.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Mike, I thought you would be a little bit more wiser than to believe the current glossy picture painted by our current unemployment rate. The fact is Townsville has 2300 less people employed than it did at this time last year, our dropping unemployment rate is only a reflection of our dropping participation rate, not exactly a reflection of a growing economy, in fact it’s the opposite. What the numbers do highlight however is that a large amount of jobs being created in town currently are actually going to FIFO or short term residents, only here for a contract and gone again, that’s why the ABS won’t pick up many of the jobs being created as they don’t register as being in the Townsville SA3 statistics, because they don’t live here. People need to be very wary of “ everything is awesome” LEGO people is in this town and the bullshit they are spinning and start examining the facts, a bit hard I suppose when the local paper spins out more shit than anyone else in this town.

      • The Magpie says:

        The Bulletin’s role in obscuring us from the real facts of the overall situation is a total abrogation of their ethical responsibility. There is not a single shred of empirical evidence to back up with deceitful twaddle.

        The ‘Pie well knows that people think he goes on and on about this, but he will continue to do so, no matter what others think. Not because he hates the Bulletin (he just hates what it has become) but because he loves Townsville. Make no mistake, the Bulletin plays a pivotal role in the on-going malaise of this city and this region, it’s disgraceful, unprincipled overall performance hits right at the heart of righting wrongs and helping … through unvarnished truth …the city move forward towards a more prosperous future. The only bright light in it’s mealy-mouth, weasel worded performance is Shari Tagliabue, whose uncompromising attacks on the root of our woes is no doubt published as a throwaway once-a-week sop to people like The Pie (there are thousands of others, believe it) who claim the paper doesn’t allow dissenting voices or two sided debate. Sorry, Shari, being mentioned positively here is not appreciated by the journalistic cellar dwellers, but you sell so many papers for them, they’d be mad and unprincipled to let you go … oh, shit, wait a minute …

        It really is time that there was more balance in the public debate than can be provided just by The Magpie. Indeed, there is a business case to be made that an alternative news platform involving print, digital and streaming platforms, would be an attractive business proposition for a group of investors.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        LEGO people. I don’t understand that term. Keen to know.

        • The Magpie says:

          Take your pick.

          Rank Abbr. Meaning
          LEGO Leg Godt (Danish: Play Well; toys)
          LEGO Lesser Goldfinch (bird species Carduelis psaltria)
          LEGO London Electric Guitar Orchestra (est. 1995)
          LEGO Leadership Education Growth Opportunities (Northeastern University; Massachusetts)
          LEGO Listener Event Graph Object
          LEGO Locally Enabled, Globally Optimized (algorithm)

      • Dave Sth says:

        Or us who have left town… My last trip back Tuesday to pick the tribe up. I pray that Townsville has an epiphany & dispatches mullet, message bank & the angry ant at the next sitting then if the employment comes back then maybe I will. Till then the wineries of the Hunter will get my custom…

    • Plannit Townsville says:

      TP Human Capital conveniently overlook key and telling statistics about employment and unemployment in Townsville City. E.g…. there are less people looking for jobs, maybe they left… maybe they gave up. There are more part time and casual jobs – meaning people are working longer and harder to make ends meet.

      Unemployment statistics can easily be skewed to say what we want if we don’t look at the whole picture and understand what they mean.

      And let’s not forget… our unemployment rate is still appalling.



  2. Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

    Stories like this should give JCU some hope of winning an appeal on the Ridd decision https://www.afr.com/business/legal/could-salvatore-vasta-be-australias-worst-judge-20190225-h1bp1k

    • The Magpie says:

      Thanks Steve, interesting point. Unfortunately, all but the headline is paywalled, but we get the message. No doubt so does JCU.

    • The Magpie says:

      Ahha … read that story now, and the bizarre rulings of this muppet of a judge may indeed strengthen JCU’s resolve. Worth the read, and appears not be paywalled if you just google ‘Judge Sal Vasta’.

      • Ceteris paribus says:


        “Since then he has been overturned on appeal at least 15 times. He has heard more than 1000 cases.”

        1.5%, not that bad! But then again AFR has papers to sell….

        • Who, me? says:

          What you are actually seeing is a turf war between the luvvies of the Family Court and the brash new kids on the block from the Federal Court and the Federal Circuit Court. The Federal Court has recently taken over management of both the FcoA and the FCCA and did a brutal new-broom job on the old hierarchies . Many an ermine-trimmed slipper has been crushed by the jackbooted new boys. The FCoA is on the outer and is fighting a rear-guard action to protect their patch and privilege. Sal was rumoured to have the nod for a promotion to the Family Court to carry the banner for change – which for some reason was particularly galling to the luvvies. They pounced on this decision (and a few others) by Sal and – in record time – published a highly critical judgment which, somehow was instantly leaked to the press.. Most of the lickspittles who attacked poor old Sal were beholden to the establishment, dedicated to maintaining the status quo (with emphasis on “status”) and hopeful of a guernsey with the justices and their bloody brilliant pension. When the knives are out in that game, they are rarely sheathed again unbloodied.

          • The Magpie says:

            What a load of bollocks. Sal Vasta is now a victim, because he’s part of a new wave of judicial change merchants? That is complete twaddle. Those who ‘attacked’ Sal were more beholden to the rule of law, established over many years by many circumspect thinkers. FFS, have you read any of his judgements, especially the eminently appealable Ridd judgement, which looks certain to be overturned if JCU have the balls to appeal? Have you noted his arbitrary use of very loosely interpreted contempt of court laws – one in particular where a bloke was jailed – should be regarded as an very serious abuse of judicial privilege. Given his ‘seat of the pants’ unsupported judgements, one of the worst nightmares imaginable would to have this dunce on the Family Court.

        • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

          A 1.5% error rate is not a good result for a McDonald’s employee, let alone a highly-paid judge who puts people through a lot of unnecessary expense and heartache when he stuffs up.

          • Ceteris paribus says:

            An error rate of 1.5% still beats the Victorian sentencing successful appeal rate of 3%.

          • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

            Curious to know the legal difference between being overturned (Sal Vasta) and having a sentence increased or decreased (Victoria).

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie will have a stab at it as a layman, but happy to be corrected by those who know more about vthese things.
            ‘Overturned’ means a verdict is reversed (set aside)on appeal, usually pointing to an error in law of the directions of the original presiding judge. A retrial may be ordered, or when new evidence is uncovered, the prisoner acquitted. Note not pardoned … to be pardoned, you have to have been found to have done something, an act which, for all sorts of rare reasons, you may be pardoned.
            There are several grounds for a variation of a sentence, the two most understandable ones are the prosecution says it wasn’t enough ‘manifestly inadequate’ or an appeal can be brought by a convicted person, arguing the sentence was too much – manifestly excessive – based on comparative sentences for similar matters.

    • Linda Ashton says:

      Re JCU case. The uni isn’t just up against one irritable employee voice.

      Ridd had backing from the IPA (Institute of Public Affairs). Costs for the case were supported by the right wing think tank and John Roskam from the IPA found him the very best legal counsel in Stuart Wood QC.
      Top donor for the IPA is …. drum roll Gina. Founding member … Rupert. Devoted members Abbott, Morrison, Friedenberg, Bolt etal … the usual suspects. Guest speaker at the 75th gala dinner … Pell.

      There’s a lot more going on here than Ridd’s resistance to anthropogenic climate change or claims academic freedom had been cramped. If an academic in any field wants to gain credibility for their research, having scholarly papers presented at national and international conferences and symposia; then published in peak peer reviewed journals, is the custom. Working “collaboratively” is another way to become recognised in a specialist area. This is absolutely independent from an author-researcher’s employing institution wherever in the world that may be. Seems the odd academic and an even odd rugby player have some compliance issues with codes of conduct, set by respective employers.





      • The Magpie says:

        Oi, what’s with the literary coitus interruptus, Linda? All good facts and information, but you suddenly withdraw from a definitive conclusion. You say there’s a lot more going on, but fail to say what. And uncharacteristically for our best loved water warrior, you appear to have an obscure two bob each way in the matter. So for us less well drilled in boofademic-speak, do you agree with Ridd riddance, thus disagreeing with the judge’s ruling that an EBA trumps the JCU Code of Conduct? Or vicky verka?

        • Linda Ashton says:

          (This comment has been edited for length … no text has been changed. Magpie).

          Had the link to my timeline worked ….. my stance would be clear. Anything or anyone supported and funded by the IPA has a less than rigorous scholarly scientific approach IMO. Ridd is not an oceanographer or marine biologist. My preference in following the climate change research for many years is that others have much more credible evidence with consilience globally. The post-truth science-denier phenomenon is at epic levels and fossil fuel vested interests with mega bucks to take advantage, do so.

          It is quite remarkable in 2019 that one of the very few areas of science that is so openly challenged by the “opinion” of average Jo on the street, is climate change (and vaccinations). Would they challenge their dentist about the instruments needed for a root canal procedure, or the obstetrician performing a caesarean, the oncologist about their chemo drugs, a heart surgeon implanting a stent, a prosthetist designing the digital device for an artificial limb or a pathologist about their type 2 diabetes result?

          Climate change has been studied by the most reputable experts across global research entities. Their life’s work is largely accessible to all and understood by very few. Their expertise is in the most complex aspects of science and technology. Their data is measured by many more instruments than thermometers and satellites. They’ve studied every living and dead organism in every imaginable habitat on every continent, every non-living element, molecule and chemical, in the atmosphere, in the sea and fresh water, every kind of rock and in permafrost. The anthrax that’s been found recently in northern Russia in frozen reindeer is from unprecedented deep thaw melting of permafrost.

          No lay individual however brilliant, can possibly know the intricacies of every area of scientific research that contributes data to the broad umbrella science of climatology. eg. It goes way beyond “weather.”

          • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

            Is it any less disingenuous than signing off authoritatively as “Dr” when commenting on technical engineering issues when the PhD is in Art?


          • Grumpy says:

            Linda, you forgot to mention the anti-vaxxers.

          • The gnome from Nome says:

            Linda your big mistake “Climate change has been studied by the most reputable experts across global research entities”. That has been disproved by many including some of your ‘most reputable experts themselves’. It is your green/left ideology that attempts to return us to the stone age. Thank goodness that the Coalition Government doesn’t hold that view.

          • The Magpie says:

            Uh oh.

          • Westie says:

            To denizen under the Nome bridge.

            Evidence, please?

  3. Alahazbin says:

    Greg Hallam would have a ‘soft spot’ for TCC.
    I remember him well. Deputy CEO in His Radiance’s time. Part of the syndicate that won the ’94 Townsville Cup with Gift Man. Trained by Terry Butts. Ask him about ‘milk shakes’ when you see him again Pie.

    • Hercules Poirot says:

      Actually Gift Man was the 1991 Cup winner But was Trained By Ray Caught A Baggage Handler at The Airport (He bought a Ford Fairlane out the KIick Back. T Butts was one of Several Owners

  4. Kenny Kennett says:

    NQ Club. Ah yes, those who live in the dark and are filled with self importance. The biggest mistake was putting Dave Kippin in a position of authority. Watch the Club follow in the footsteps of the Townsville Amateurs, TGC, Tvl Crocs, and other ‘once successful’ northern ventures that lost their way as their management skills were lost by their ignorance of the other World. Great managers spend most of their time planning tomorrow and look to inspire, not dwell on yesterday on time that has expired.

  5. Insider says:

    Magpie, I know you’ve been out of the mainstream for a while now, but a Welcome to Country or acknowledgement of traditional owners is actually standard practice in most reputable organisations these days as a mark of respect to our First People. Nothing “political” about it; the club is just maintaining modern business practice and should be applauded.

    • The Magpie says:

      (Sigh) … Thanks for the ‘well, duh, no shit, Sherlock’ heads up and personal social commentary, you patronising prick, but just let’s see if you can actually get it – The ‘Pie’s sole point is that the committee should have met, discussed whether WTC was against the club’s charter, and ruled about the issue White brought up – or at least canvassed the membership, it’s their club. Either way, the person or persons who lost the argument could or should have accepted with good grace, instead of stamping their feet and holding their breath until they went blue in the face, then petulantly resigning. What does it say about people who seek office, but find an excuse like this to abandon it at the very time the club needs solid support and some wise thinking if it is to survive.

      And the North Queensland Club ‘maintaining modern business practice’? If only that was it’s actual policy, it would not be in the moribund dire straits it now finds itself.

    • Alahazbin says:

      After listening to the WTC at State of Origin last night, I gathered it was about respect for all races.
      Then why won’t Ado Car, Chambers, Gagai & co sing the National Anthem? Body Hippocrits!

      • Westie says:

        Maybe they did not want to. In Australia it is not compulsory.

        Do you know those individuals’ position of WTC statements?

        You are not a body hippocrit, are you?

  6. Droopy draws says:

    In today’s Astonisher Sam Cox writes a letter to the editor about leadership and the upcoming local election next year.
    Is this the first we hear of the first mayoral candidate to pop their head up and have a crack at the title??

    279 days and counting….

    • The Magpie says:

      As reported in the Nest two weeks ago, Sam is considering it, but is a bit gun shy of being done over again. Be most interesting if we had a One Notion member as mayor.

    • For whom the bell tolls says:

      It’s actually just 271 days until the election on the 21 March 2020.
      My baseball bat is nearly ready – little bit of sanding to do after the Federal election.

      • No More Dredging says:

        Bell toller, try not to be caught “sanding” while you are on the field.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Bell Toller,
        I recommend you keep the head imprints in your bat. Even inscribe to whom they belong. It will be a thing of great pride by the end of next year.

  7. Frequent flyer says:

    North Queensland Club – the elitist club for those who aren’t elite.

  8. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Only for those who are already flush with funds…..more likely to make a deposit than a withdrawal…..usually results in a reduced level of liquidity…..not suitable for those whose finances are already ‘on the skids’….

  9. The Magpie says:

    And she did it all without a single chair thrown, umpire abused, racket smashed, mumbled pouty media conference or implied victimhood. Not even a cheeky, premature ‘suck on that.’ You’ve done Australia proud, Ash Barty, you little ripper.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Absolutely Pie, and now let’s throw Hannah Green in there as well, what an outstanding performance, to hold off the Korean golf juggernaut to win the LPGA tournament is a performance to be truly admired, all done with a smile and good grace that we all love in our sportspeople. To see our own Karrie Webb and other Aussies following her as she came in the back nine and to be there and embrace her on the 18th green was wonderful to watch. I also watched the women’s state of origin on Friday night, what a wonderful game, so attention Mullet and Dudley’s, that is the game you should be chasing for Townsville next year during the rep round, what a great event, 15-20,000 people watching it at the new stadium, perfect fit.

    • Linda Ashton says:

      Maybe Falou could book a mentoring session or two with Ash? Tennis Australia could follow suit with Tomic and Kyrgios. Bibles and racquets to be left at the door.

  10. Gonzo says:

    Pie, This is one of your best blogs, chock-a-block with politics, unhappy members of a very expensive club Unwelcome to Country; the Townsville City Council about to have a union strike (Did it happen?); academic freedom at JCU; the Astonisher headline that was truly astonishing and a lie; thanks for the definition of “alphabet sex” — you learn something new every week in the Magpie’s Nest — and a particularly good Trumpistan. I loved Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying she was stepping down to spend more time with the family, and her family of Pinocchios standing by her. Can the next Trump press secretary get any worse? Cheers.

  11. Cappuccino in hand says:

    Best Betoota Advocate headline …..

    Link Established Between Winning Grand Slams And Not Carrying On Like A Fucking Pelican

  12. Critical says:

    Just been looking at the TCC community support section (what a laugh you’ll get reading this page) on their website and have decided that Mullet and the TCC grants team and their senior officers think that the community are total bloody idiots and this mob don’t even know the QLD Local Government Act and regulations or think that they’re above the law.
    My reading of the relevant section of the Act and regulations is that the Mullet and each of the Councillors are to publish in this section of the website how much funding each Councillor has in their discretionaty funding account each financial year and to progressively publish details of each grant given. Mullet has published that she has given grants totalling $3,350 for 2018.19 but the list that was published late last year totalled more than this figure and this part of the website stated that she had $15,000. The total grants given by all Councillors in 2018.19 is listed as being $500. You can’t tell me that Mullet and her councillors haven’t spend this funding to the max.
    Next we look at the other grants part of this website and we’re told that the total amount of grants given out in 2018.19 is $22,772. In past years, details of all grants were published and the community could see where grants were going to and for what purpose.
    Looking at the 2018.19 TCC budget fact sheet, $3.4 million was given for grants, I think the ratepayer has the right to know where the balance of this $3.4 million been spent. Looks like another example of the lack of accountability and transparency of this council. Hopefully the Dept of Local Government, Auditor General and CCC read this blog and ask a few questions.

  13. Gull says:

    Maggers, I read your column and your followers ‘ comments every week from here on the Gold Coast.
    Every town, every city needs a blog like this to keep the bastards honest.
    Townsville folk, you are blessed to have the Pie working so diligently.
    Keep it up, mate

  14. The Magpie says:

    This Israel Folau thing has become just silly … but it really has been from the start. For The ‘Pie, it is the irony of it all that fascinates.

    Put simply, it is this: The debate has become much broader than a legal question of whether RUA had the right to sack religious confabulist Folau for saying gays will go to hell. There are those who side with Israel Folau on relgious grounds and his right to say what he likes on those grounds of religious and speech freedom, there are others who say it is hate speech and he should censored and gagged for saying such things. BUT in doing so, then Folau’s detractors must surely, if logic is to get a look-in in this argument, censor and gag themselves because their judgements and comments are no less hate speech – against Folau and those who adhere to his wacky judgements with which they disagree … and by their own measure, they are committing exactly the same breach of their own self-imposed rules of which they accuse Folau. Or is hate speech selective and only applied to those whom are judged transgressors by … by … by … whom?

    Indeed if logic – such as it may be defined in this case – were to be followed Israel Folau, dingbat that he is notwithstanding, should not be defending himself, but attacking the people who want to gag and otherwise denigrate him, not on religious grounds, but FOR DIRECTING HATE SPEECH AT HIM AND HIS CHURCH.

    Following this shambles of an inconsequential slanging match, The Magpie is convinced of none thing … no one is GOING to hell … we’re already there.

    Will we see the funny side of this sometime soon? Maybe when we stop crying at the idiocy of it all.

    • Cobalos says:

      Where is the GoFundMe page for neighbours who shoot their neighbour over barking dogs?

    • The Magpie says:

      Cowardly double standards at work with the Folau dingbats? Whom The ‘Pie maintains have a right to free speech without fear of retribution other than repudiation – in his case, childish undignified drivel, in hers simply giving a link to her husband’s legal funding page with no other derogatory comment. (The retribution in her case was an disguised attempt by the ANZ Bank to get her sacked from the NZ Silver Ferns, which leads one to marvel at the audacity of a bank offering lessons in ‘morality’ and ‘ethics’ – spare me!) Wonder if those who would rule us morally in our public pronouncements vet their targets, and wet themselves at the thought of carrying their crusade to others apart from the Folaus.

      • Plagiarist says:

        Comment in the Australian today which I had to share, sums it up nicely.

        “Don’t give an inch Israel…….you have the Australian public on your side.”

  15. The Magpie says:

    Should The Magpie sue? ‘Based on his previous purchases’? He has never suffered from perfectionism.

    Recently, the old bird bought a couple of paperbacks on line, light reading to counter-balance the heavy going in the blog … a thriller called The Secretary (not bad) and one of Lee Child’s eminently readable Jack Reacher series.
    Today, the site from which the books were bought send this into the Nest.

  16. Ducks Nuts says:

    And the propaganda begins….
    Next flyers will be dropped by drones flying over residential areas telling us how the Mullet has kept the city tidy


    • Ducks Nuts says:

      And if you really want to get yourself pissed off… go read the Operating Plan and Budget.

      TCC plan to:
      Promote a single consensus vision for the economic development of Townsville

      Maintain currency in understanding ratepayer requirements

      Ensure the Capital Plan provides infrastructure to support the city’s economy and growth

      Ensure the Major Events Strategy is effective

      Ensure Council’s procurement activities are best practice

      Ensure the Corporate Plan remains current

      So fucking innovative. It’s your job you morons.

      I’m so pleased my rates go to pay the wages of the fucking geniuses running this city.


      • Mike Douglas says:

        I see lots of backslapping and T.C.C. budget updates on social media but 3 items stood out .1) net liability ratio target 60 % vs actual 89.7 % 2) slim $400,000 operating surplus 3) transparent and effective processes and decision making in the public interest . It’s going to be an interesting 19/20 year .

        • Alacan says:

          Right on the money Mike

          The other integral element that is never published apart from Capex in Budgets is the longer period Asset Management Plan and in particular how renewal is keeping up with ageing assets , predictive modelling etc. Come on Bully ask the question say of the next 10 year Plan.

          • The Magpie says:

            Hahahahaha … c’mon, Al, really … the safe bet is that no one at the Astonisher can even understand your comment, let alone act on it.

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            Long Term Asset Mngt Plan; hummmm?

            That would look like the Puddleduck’s Long Term Sustainable Suburban Train Driver Recruitment & Training Plan of 2010 -.2015.

            Aging Asset Fail doesn’t have the same ring as Rail Fail.

          • The Magpie says:

            How about Ageing Asset Armageddon? The deliberate run-down in equipment about which many council employees have contacted The Magpie about (not all published because it would reveal whistleblowers who need to keep their jobs) means there definitely is a looming crisis, with one of two outcomes: the extent won’t be uncovered until Mayor Mullet loses the next council election, or: she wins and there will be a scrambling cover-up, but even if the debacle can’t be hidden by that stage, we’ll have this walking disaster as mayor for another four years. Just hope then we don’t have another flood that requires her as the Ross Dam gatekeeper.

          • Plannit Townsville says:

            That’s because there isn’t any predictive modelling done in TCC.
            Asset management was deemed unimportant by Mullet and co and the area was stripped of staff. And the IT department is that backwards they can’t provide or support any software for technical areas to do anything that complex.
            Can’t provide what you don’t have.

        • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

          Mike – the cunning thing about a local government operating surplus is that you achieve it by charging ratepayers more than you give back.

          In this case the only way to make the financial voodoo work is to further cut spending on basics while adding an (admittedly small) increase to rates.

          Councils running a opex surplus is actually not a good thing.

          • Westie says:

            Not really.

            A surplus pays down debt, and a deficit increases debt.

            Effectively, a surplus increases the community’s equity in the incorporated Council – it is worth more. Which is good, because the community are the only shareholders.

  17. Frequent flyer says:

    What happened to that Cowboys player who left the scene of an accident on Maggie Island and went missing for 2 days?
    Any charges laid?
    Mr Lancini? Jenna Cairney? Anyone?

  18. Coral C says:

    Hello Magpie, I see that you like to read books. I very humbly suggest that this below is worth a gander. Australian Author as well.

    ” I Am Pilgrim”
    Author. Terry Hayes

    Your welcome

    • The Magpie says:

      Yup, The ‘Pie likes to silently move his lips for relaxation. Just checked out a review, and it seems interesting in its genre.

      Thanks. And relieved. Given a previous comment of yours, thought it might be about a murderous mayor killing an avian blogger with a dart to the throat, and then telling the paper that, like purposely flooding 100s of homes in January, it was for the greater good.

    • Grumpy says:



  19. The Magpie says:

    There are those who think The Magpie sometimes sinks the verbal slipper a little too enthusiastically (they are wrong, but then, only The Magpie is always right). But the old bird is but a babe in the woods when it comes to impaling a target on the end of a pen.
    Although the following subject may not be of interest to you per se, this Boris Blast is a great example of withering invective.

  20. Dave of Kelso says:

    I think I am going to be sick!

    To light the BBQ I purchased today’s Astonisher. HILL’S THRILLS. it screams. “a budget to build ‘our future’, the Mullet announced.


    “a budget to build ‘MY’ future” is what the Mullet means.

    A bunch of promises, that, in good and debt free times, might be reasonable, but not now when debt is climbing out of control, and infrastructure and services are crumbling.

    Bloody hell! Where is our free, fierce and independent press to call out this criminal irresponsibility, as most of the folks on the street will not know, or care?

    For our democracy to work we need at least two things:
    1. an educated and engaged electorate, and
    2. a free, fierce and independent press.

    We’re fucked!

  21. Cajun says:

    Can someone explain to me how pulling down an historical building on the strand and erecting more luxury units and another restaurant, which may well be approved by the TCC, helps our city out in the long term? I just can’t see how our mayor, or anyone else for that matter, sees this as creating jobs, jobs, jobs! I must be missing something. I am a believer that a city can’t construct itself out of the employment doldrums. Sure the builders and trades (if they are lucky) get paid during construction, and that flows through, but once it is finished, no more jobs. Building a new restaurant won’t necessarily provide more long term jobs, Jenny, there are plenty of empty restaurant buildings around the town! Anyone wanting to open a new restaurant already has a veritable smorgasbord of sites from which to choose. Can someone please explain?

    • The Magpie says:

      And many restaurants have gone broke … Michels and that Italian one in Flinders Street near Cactus Jacks spring to mind, along with several teetering ventures in Palmer Street.. It is axiomatic that restaurants need customers they can charge for their services, therefore customers need to have money, which it then follows means the customers have to have jobs or (highly unlikely) have stayed around town after retirement to have the money to pay for the services (that Jack built tatda tada.) A story of ever decreasing circles that The Mullet spins continually.

      And you may have noticed in its list of big builds of infrastructure, the Astonisher has the battery factory as funding committed. That’s news to The ‘Pie and reckon it’s probably news to the consortium, who have openly said Townsville is just one of eight sites around Australia under consideration.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Cajun as a big fan of bulldozing down old places and bringing in cranes and creating new buildings and what construction can generate for an economy I would normally disagree with you but there is a lot of valid points you make with this particular development. The main point being they are knocking down roughly a dozen units to erect a dozen units, then throw an eatery and bar out the front and that’s about it, no real gain for anyone. This also highlights the restrictive height restrictions we deal with along the Strand, it virtually renders most projects unviable. What should be noted is the shifty way this is being presented to council, the bar and eatery at the front are being proposed first, the unit development is stage two. So in theory they could get the DA, knock down that building, build the bar and restaurant and never actually build the units, so in that scenario the area is actually a big loser with this development.

    • winni says:

      another wanker going on about old buildings.
      knock the bloody things down
      if you want to buy the cyclone risk to the neighbours then put your money up and buy the old complex.
      just another attempted theft of private property by heritage listing a building

      • Droopy draws says:

        Geez, I wonder about some comments here, Pie….
        On one hand, we’re all crying into our porridge about no prosperity in this town, yet when someone has the balls offer a quality dining experience overlooking the water that would no doubt help to develop our ‘jewel in the crown’ strand into something that could actually compete with similar waterfront public places elsewhere, all of a sudden it becomes about someone’s ‘jobs’ agenda or building height argument???
        So just because a number of restaurants went belly up on the other side of the hill, that’s enough to say that a restaurant in that location wouldn’t???
        Or, ‘knock down a dozen or so units for another dozen or so units?? Seriously, do you really think they’ll compare?

        Do any if you actually want to see progress or are you just happy to sit back and demand a job while someone pays your super and rock to sleep at night.

        With comments like these I’m starting to think you’ll all get what you voted for last time and the time before that….

  22. Alahazbin says:

    Just reading up on WTC & Smoking ceremonies and found this:
    The ‘welcome to country’ was adopted into Australia’s parliamentary protocols in 2008, after then prime minister Kevin Rudd delivered his apology to the stolen generation.

    However, two years after that decision Aboriginal entertainer Ernie Dingo claimed that he invented the concept in 1976 when Pacific Island dancers demanded they receive a traditional welcome.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      LiigntsAt a politically correct, sustainable, fully recyclable, pasteurized, homogenized, fully organic, rainbow-unicorn, oh-so-green everything, tobacco free, hygiene free, rugby, fest the first they did is to try to set the pravilion a.light with a (carbon neutr hlpfuly

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Sorry Pie. Previous entry made way too late in the evening.

        • The Magpie says:

          We were concerned for you, Dave, thought you had perhaps had a stroke. The ‘Pie’s concern was so great on receiving the comment that he immediately went to bed. Will publish to alert others to the danger of …errr … late evenings. (I’ve read worse poetry and the grammar was remarkably good, considering.)

      • Dave's Neighbour says:

        Stay off the wacky baccy Dave, you know you can’t handle that, your joy stick and the keyboard at the same time

  23. Mike Douglas says:

    Environment Minister Leanne Enoch said that “ there will be no direct cost to impact householders “ on the new $75 tonne State Government waste levy July 1st . It says on the Government website that Councils and private businesses pay the levy but then says Queensland Councils will get annual payments to offset the costs . Some councils have increased charges by 75% per tonne for drop off at waste centres . Cost increases new homes, construction industry, mini skip to clean up around the house ?.

    • Mick NQ says:

      and where the fuck do the state government get their money from? The taxpayers who won’t be paying the levy. Leanne Enoch is as thick as two short Tasmanians…

      • The Magpie says:

        Hahahha … trenchant! Wouldn’t be booking a Jacqui Lambie Big Packgage tour of the Apple Isle anytime soon, if I were you.

  24. Old tradesman says:

    I suppose that there will be a new headline in tomorrows edition of the Astonisher regarding the story of ” Loose Screw” as the alleged site of the misdemeanour is the Crematorium. ” Fuck me Dead”.

  25. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Can any of our local business people on the nest advise why that Debbie Rains is such a grovelling puppet to the Mullet, are they old friends, does she have a contract with TCC or something, Photo after photo of the 2 of them together at various junkets and then she pipes up yesterday supporting the Mullets 2% rate rise despite everyone else in the business community condemning it.

    • The Magpie says:

      The’Pie thinks that assessment of Ms Rains isn’t justified or accurate. On a practical level, Ms Rains’ position requires here to often be in the proximity of the mayor, at functions or part of travelling delegations – being seen together does not mean they are chums. But sadly, The ‘Pie must admit that Ms Rains and her organisation carry absolutely zero clout with this Mullet-led regime.

      There can be absolutely no doubt this Chamber is cowed by the mayor, and are wary of retaliation she is so willing to deploy against those who oppose her, a fear relayed to The Magpie in personal conversations with several prominent business people. Besides, it is clear that the Townsville Chamber of Commerce, even given unlimited power to make decisions, hasn’t a clue what it could do to right the situation.

      More on this in Saturday’s Magpie’s Nest.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Even ‘little Pattie’ is singing the praises of the TCC budget.
        Nothing changes!

        • The Magpie says:

          Not one to bite the hand that feeds her … or provides the wherewithal for a fashionista lifestyle.

      • Cappuccino in hand says:

        I used to be close to the Chamber. It’s a mere shadow of what it used to be. And even then in meetings it was only concerned about the golden mile of the centre of town. Look at the shambles that it is these days. Outside of that area there are pockets of progress and optimism – commercial interests simply getting on with the business of trying to make a buck in a tough environment. With zero help from the council or chamber or tel.

  26. Hercule Poirot says:

    A small sign in my local Newsagents (Where i buy my weekly Winning Post Only) ..Advises that as of 1st July 19 the cost of the Townsville Bulletin will increase by 20 cents to $1.90 Mon – Fri Thats about a 12% Increase … Didn’t see any sign re Sat increase…

  27. Fishframe says:

    Realestate boom? Rumour has it, from one prominent Bank, that they have flagged approx. 200 homes heavily mortgaged, showing signs of mortgage stress, which were extensively damaged in the great Flood of ‘19 and which did not have Flood Insurance Cover. If these properties along with ones from other Lenders undergo foreclosure and hit the market, we will see values driven down enormously. I’ve already been privy to sales in Idalia for flood damaged homes selling under $175,000 and these already had the strip out and hygiene certificates issued at a cost of probably $40,000 or more.

  28. Geoff H says:

    A “performance bonus” of 200k to add to the $1m Sandra Harding is already getting??? But JCU is ranked 13th in Australia…

    It also unsettling to see the escalating cost of the Ridd case while they keep cutting more and more staff.

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