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The Magpie

Saturday, March 25th, 2017   |   142 comments

Ratepayers Rorted: Mayor Jenny Hill’s New Theme Song: Come Fly With Me … At The Ratepayers’ Expense.

If it isn’t illegal, it sure is unethical.

In a blatant and highly questionable gambit, Mayor Jenny Hill has apparently used ratepayer funds to pay for a Bulletin reporter to accompany her on her recent trip to India. Townsville ratepayers footing the bill for an employee of a billionaire company simply for some self-puffery – or any reason at all – is questionable enough, but one wonders if it is actually legal. Questions abound, and The Magpie asks.

Should the Townsville Bulletin follow the British example and appoint a serving politician as it’s editor when Bogan gets the heavily rumoured bum’s rush? The ‘Pie spies a problem.

And testing the Greenies and hanky wringers resolve … they WILL save the planet, but only if it’s a nice day.

But first, our weekly stiff belt of Bentley …

They say that insanity is hereditary … your kids drive you mad. Some do it just by being obnoxious little self-entitled snots, while others … well, others do it simply by being brick-wall, fence post, Bulletin iditor STUPEFYINGLY DUMB. Like the kid up in Innisfail who was nearly a croc’s take away meal when he jumped into what he knew to be crocodile-infested waters to impress a would-be doxy that he fancied. Not a clever plan.

Can’t you just hear a whispering, wonder-struck David Attenborough explaining’, ‘But the young specimen, inexperienced in the way of the female gender, didn’t realize she wanted a mate with whom she could breed smart, intelligent off-spring, and as nature always does, he was found out by his actions and she moved on in her search Although not always successful, no human female wants to become mother to what biologists term ‘congenital fuckwits.’

Thing is, the kid still admit or even realize he’d done something dumb, and refused to accept he was any lesser than Einstein and Steve Irwin rolled into one.

Calls for a cull of crocs was, not surprisingly, not the cuddly option preferred b y the state government.

Bentley had a chat to the crocs involved, who also thought a cull was a bit cruel.

croc fin

The Green Army Are VERY Sensitive To Climate Change

Here’s a hoot … funnies are always better when unintended. Especially from the Townsville City Council. This landed in media in-boxes on Thursday

townsville logo
23 MARCH 2017


Council’s Earth Hour / World Water Day event planned for this Saturday, March 25 at the Rowes Bay Sustainability Centre has been cancelled due to anticipated wet weather over the weekend.
Council’s Sustainable House Day event in May will be another opportunity for residents to speak to council and community representatives about environmental issues such as water conservation, energy efficiency and reducing our carbon footprint.
Sustainable House Day will be held at the Rowes Bay Sustainability Centre on Sunday, May 21.

Wet weather on World Water Day? What rotten luck!


Politics and self-aggrandisement don’t get much lower than this.

Jenny Hill

Without any consensus whatsoever, the ratepayers of Townsville have paid several thousand d dollars for Townsville Bulletin reporter Kieran Rooney to tag along as PR shill for Mayor Mullet on her recent Indian jaunt. Rooney fled two or three unremarkable – (read:boring) stories about Palaszczuk’s chattering pack of mayors glad-handing it with Adani and getting shown over their operations (but not, presumably their books … they are in the hands of Indian authorities investigating some questionable corporate shenanigans). Rooney also wrote about the Mullet being stunned by Mumbai Airport, which she somehow segued into the fatuous call for an urgent upgrade for Townsville Airport.

When he wasa safely home, he was immediately back to writing complete PR puff for Adani and the mayor.


But at the end of this load of old codswallop, we got, for the first time, this note at the end of his story on Wednesday.

Bulletin invite

Let us put aside that News Corpse own rules recently revised rules demand that freebies be declared as part of a story, and that none were forthcoming from the Indian stories. Here was The Magpie’s in initial reaction during the week.

The Magpie March 23, 2017 at 8:39 pm  (Edit)And just when you thought your sense of outrage could not be further aroused, we get the following … and Townsville ratepayers, if you meekly accept this, you deserve everything you get – which won’t be pretty.
This piece of pure pointless political puff was run in The Bulletin … and at the end, hoping no one would notice, we are read this ‘disclaimer’. 
What have the ratepayers gained out of their hard earned paying a – for what can be nothing else but – propaganda for the mayor, and her and the paper’s one-sided public masturbation about the very doubtful benefits of the Adani mine (especially doubtful to Townsville)? This is almost verging on ACCC territory, because it amounts to Jenny Hill using public money for what is de facto campaigning for herself. Who made this decision? Was there a council vote? This is … plain and simple … crooked.
Like The ‘Pie said, if you cop this sweet ratepayers, you will deserve all the bad governance and dishonesty that Jenny an d t the Gilded Few are and will continue to visit on you.

Others were likewise unimpressed. For example.

 Power Point March 23, 2017 at 8:42 pm  (Edit)https://www.townsvillemagpie.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/rooney.jpg
There are a few questions arising from the just completed junket (and it really could not have been any other than that) by the mayor and her own one-man entourage. And the ratepayers of Townsville are entitled to answers to these questions,

Did council initiate the invitation?

Did News Limited ask for the trip to be paid for by ratepayers?

Could News Limited (Townsville) not afford it?

How much did it cost the ratepayer for this propaganda?

Why was this the only story filed by Kieran to have this disclaimer?

Conflict of interest?

Good questions indeed, and one wonders if Townsville has maintained enough indignant rage to demand those questions be answered. Everyone should be asking their local councilor to get to the murky bottom of all this.

But Maybe Its Even Murkier Than It Already Seems.

Gautam Adani

Gautam Adani

The ‘Pie theorises thus: the mayor herself was paid for by the government (i.e Queensland taxpayer), but it’s a sure thing the government didn’t subsidise Rooney’s junket. But what if, in an under-the-table manoeuvre, a third party paid not only for Rooney, but the Premier and her entire entourage of mayors?

Could old shifty himself, Gautam Adani, engineered it. Did he figure out would be a good look to have this mob of mayors out with the begging bowl, good enough to impress those in Canberra who are yet to decide if the Carmichael Mine will get the Green light?

And why wouldn’t Adani take this dodgy route … the Adani family stands a good chance of waltzing off overseas with $2 billion of Australian taxpayers money if the deal goes ahead?

In all, plenty of questions, and unless the citizens of Townsville no longer have enough personal pride and indignation to demand for information, we will never know the answers. Frankly, the odour of rodent is all over this.

Nothing Like Local Knowledge – And The Bulletin is Nothing Like Local Knowledge 

As if we needed any more proof about the disconnect between the southern-controlled Townsville Bulletin and the local community, it would have to be the paper’s astounding effort this week to whip up welcoming enthusiasm for an impending cyclone. Now, whether the cyclone affects Townsville or not, the stories accompanying this daft bullshit more than hint that no on e involved in writing this two-bob-each-way tripe has ever endured a cyclone. Down at the Astonisher they no doubt hope it’s a really destructive one, so they sell a few papers and then can dine out on the experience when they move on to more climatically civilized postings. The paper has used the oddball equation that cyclones dump a lot of rain + we need a lot of rain + we don’t want to again be called Brownsville. The cringe-worthy mealy mouthed ‘of course we don’t want damage, but the rain would be good wouldn’t it?’ Would be laughable if it wasn’t so callous.

More , to use the ironical term, ‘blue sky’ reporting.

And some further proof that Ben Bogan English and his crew (two or three honorable exceptions do remain on the staff) have not experienced the highly capricious nature of a cyclone is glaringly obvious with this.


Anyone out there EVER seen a cyclone track with such certainty five or six days out, a track which even by this (Sat) afternoon looks unlikely as Debbie heads southward.. Experience shows us that the damn things traipse and stagger around like a drunk trying to find his car keys. Even Yasi made a last hour or two diversion to move its destructive centre north of the ‘Ville.

This is irresponsible panic mongering with a dash of absurdity that we don’t mind that some of our homes will be involuntarily relocated to Charters Towers if we can just fill up Ross River Dam. Mature leadership from our one main paper is sorely needed, and sorely missing.

And just to top things of, if they really supposed this was a serious front-pager, isn’t the threat enough for a straight headline rather than this incomprehensible twaddle?

Screen shot 2017-03-25 at 9.27.26 PM

Really, how many people are going to get yet another bloody pun, which FGS is based on a line from the movie Jerry Macguire, when the hero tells the woman ‘You had me at hello’.  Geddit now, geddit hur hur hur. Yet again, no thought that the generation that would instantly get that obscure inference is EXACTLY the generation which DOES NOT READ NEWSPAPERS. And to others, it just looks like a mistake. Another one.

At least the Bulletin has one thing in common with this community …. Both think the other are out-and-out fuckwits. One is correct. Any bets?

The Week’s Funniest Reply To A Comment

In the last blog, The ‘Pie mentioned the cosmetic matter known as a ‘brazilian’. The old bird was taken to task by one Lady Byron for being so … well, yesterday.

Lady Byron March 19, 2017 at 11:17 am  (Edit)

Ha! Brazillian (waxings) are so 20th Century!

The thing to have now I am assured is a “Cuban Airstrip”; the schematics of which, dear Pie, I will leave to the fertile imaginations of your readers.

Personally, anyone coming near my wrinkly bits with a pot of hot wax will get a black eye.

(Unless their name is Brad… and their last name rhymes with a type of small English bird.)

Quick as a flash, regular contributor Grumpy game up with this zinger.

Grumpy March 19, 2017 at 2:36 pm  (Edit)Christ. Surely not Brad Robins?

It was even funnier for those (like The ‘Pie) who know that the well-known Townsville solicitor is a very experienced pilot. So he could no doubt handle any airstrip, in Cuba or anywhere else.

 Media Dirty Tricks … News Ltd Is Appalled

It has emerged there is irrefutable evidence (probably fake evidence?) that Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump are business bum buddies To the extent that top news executives are adopting the Trumpian approach to reality … roughly ‘say anything long enough and people will believe it.’

Robert Thomson 2

With that in mind, we read this right little thigh slapper from one of the country’s biggest corporate goof-offs, News Corpse CEO Robert Thomson who has out-Trumped The Donald in shunning reality. Thomson said this week, online advertising fraud is widespread, I urge advertisers to adopt a “back to basics” approach to avoid damaging their brand. (I also) note that some advertising agencies are complicit in online ad fraud, and are generating revenue from inaccurate audience viewership data.”

The Magpie assumes ‘return to basics’ is a call for advertisers to resume throwing wasted dollars at News Corpse for over-priced and ineffective advertising.

The rotters!!! Oh, Bobby, you old funster … you don’t mean that somebody would lie about readership and circulation figures, dumping bundles of papers down storm water drains or local tips when they can’t give them away, inflate digital sign-ups, run hidden agenda pieces in a publication whose numbers are boosted by an audience measurement tool invented by themselves because they didn’t like the numbers from the traditional respected and independent organisation?

Nah, would never ever happen, mate, The ‘Pie is tellin’ ya, yer dreamin’ .

Paperless Future?

But somehow, paper will never be redundant … and here’s proof. 

And Since Russians And The US Presidency Seem So Interwined …

… here’s a reminder of what it was like to have a somewhat sane person in the White House. And Ronald Reagan knew how to tell joke. Enjoy.

Editor O’Rort?

There’s been hell to pay in the pommy media about former British Chancellor (their treasurer) and current MP George Osborne being appointed editor of London’s Evening Standard – while still remaining in parliament. And having a consultancy job in the private financial sector to boot. Much huffing and puffing, and Osborne will probably have to drop one of his roles one way or the other.

But that whole kerfuffle got The Magpie thinking (well, something had to …)

When Rupert hears about it, he might decide it is the way to go, and appoint one of our current crop of political snowflakes as the editor of The Townsville Bulletin – although not Aaron Harper, it would still be a prerequisite that the editor be able to read and write to Year 5 standard – the current yardstick – and be able to dress in the morning without assistance.

But peering into the future, The ‘Pie has decided a politician as editor wouldn’t be such a good idea. I mean, can you imagine it … biased stories telling only one side, dog whistling articles to the faithful, stories favouring a small elite group of people, porkies about the progression various projects, ignoring vital issues confronting the community by running distracting ‘feel good stories’ and telling outright porkies on touchy subjects, no it just wouldn’t work out, it would be a disgraceful shambles …. oh, wait a minute. Hmmm.

So that’s another week, but as usual (or unusual) the comments run 24/7, stick your beak in for a bit of fun or a serious bleat … lots of stuff under last week’s blog about what’s happening inside Townsville City Council.

And a few donations would be welcome, to ease the strain on the old bird and his endeavours here. The Donate button is below.

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

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