Why this blog exists...

The Magpie

Sunday, June 19th, 2022   |   146 comments

RED ALERT RED ALERT Townsville In Danger Of Being Mistaken For Paris, Singapore or Chicago …

… but thanks heavens we have MP Scott Stewart to alert us to the imminent embarrassment. And you’ll never believe why visitors may make the geographical mistake, but The ‘Pie will give you the grim details of Jenny’s Bullshit Boardwalk.

Fishy business: Graham ‘Whatever It Takes’ Richardson reckons he’s been dudded by former Watermark partner Danny Meares and has lawyered up against his former BFF.

The TEAL vibe: just a federal fad or is the mood for political change likely to spread to states, and better still, to local government? Well, there’s a litmus ‘teal’ test going on down Whitsunday way at the moment, where under-achieving Labor party hack Mike Brunker is running for the vacant mayoralty of the Whitsunday Regional Council. Townsville should keep an eye on this one.

That special Townsville Council meeting next Tuesday has prompted all sorts of rumours rather than just plain old pre-budget voting instruction behind closed doors. The Magpie reckons he’s got a scoop on the real reason.

Among the big losers in the Federal election was News Corpse, but reckon they’ll get back some cred with their latest campaign – ‘Get Anna’ goes national.

And a great guffaw of a video on the differences in language between England and the USA … an antidote the latest goings on in Washington.

The Magpie’s Nest doesn’t take advertising to remain wholly independent, but you can support this alternative view of matters of the day with a donation to help meet costs. It would be a great help. The Donate button nis at the bottom of the blog.

Now onward … Presentation is a bit all over the place, but will sort out problems by next week – hopefully.

Buttock Clenching Over The TCC Budget

Townsville ratepayers are holding their breath – and their wallets – awaiting what fanciful fiction awaits them next Wednesday when The Mullet and The Prince reveal the 2022/23 city budget. Adding to the incontinence-inducing mood are these sort of stories from the week just gone.

Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 2.01.39 pm Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 9.32.43 am

Screen Shot 2022-06-18 at 4.57.30 pm

And even when you find a place, you’re woes don’t end there, when ‘market forces’ – the business euphemism for, in many cases,  sheer, naked greed – kick in. Although, as Bentley points out, given other economic realities of the day, bartering isn’t out of the question.
Screen Shot 2022-06-18 at 11.34.29 pm

The ‘Pie’s punt is that Madam Mayor, being a chardonnay socialist, is unlikely to upset some of her well-heeled donors with Brisbane’s proposed short-term stay tax. No, the real budget chicanery to watch for is in the rates v water bills.

And On That Vacancy Matter

Just on that subject, maybe the Bulletin might like to check the available and occupied stock of the local indigenous organisations. The ‘Pie well remembers the total black-out  (no pun) about 15 years ago when he tried to find out why two recently built houses at Oonoonba, specifically funded to house indigenous families, remained empty for more than 18 months. One source said that apparently, no one from the right ‘mob’ had applied, and others were knocked back in the arcane world of aboriginal politics.

A Long Walk On A Short Pier – Or Boardwalk In This Case.

The mind-numbing exercise of trying to work out what the fuck goes on in Jenny Hill’s mind presented another challenge on Thursday, as our collective intelligence copped another pasting from Her Flusterness. She is a mayor that decided $2m wasn’t enough for a visitor-attractive café on Castle Hill, but now she has megaphoned an inane spend of $6.2million (in partnership with the state government) on 280m of boardwalk ($22,000 per metre ta muchly). And the fact that the builders will be thwarted airstrip specialists the Wagner brothers deserves to be investigated … the pong is overpowering.

The mayor was also spruiking a new footbridge from Central Park to … wait for it …. Flinders Street East. That’s gunna be one helluva bridge.

Here’s how all this was reported in Nest comments.

The (barely) Civil Engineer
586 approved
email hidden; JavaScript is required
Submitted on 2022/06/17 at 9:12 amCouncil are pleased to announce yet again that a boardwalk will be built along Ross Creek but not quite as magnificent as once we intended. some interesting features of this version are that it runs from Enema Legal’s back door to the Pandora Museum which I presume is so Barry can visit the other dinosaurs. It will cost about $22,000 PER METER to construct which is roughly the cost of a motorway of the same length. And the real kicker is that it will be built by our good friends from Toowoomba the Wagner brothers.In summary it is a pathway from nowhere to nowhere paved in gold and a gift to southern ALP supporters, so business as usual
The Magpie
10,009 approved
email hidden; JavaScript is required
Submitted on 2022/06/17 at 10:50 am | In reply to The (barely) Civil Engineer.Lot more to this than your perceptive comments, Barely, but it’s The Townsville City Plan in a nutshell … a camel is a horse designed by a committee … or in this case consultants and a dithering, flustered mayor.Boardwalk Screen Shot 2022-06-17 at 9.47.12 amThis announcement raises more questions than it supplies answers to any discernible need. And the timing of this nonsensical blather surrounding the project looks suspiciously like a distraction ahead of next week’s ‘special’ council (presumably) budget meeting where the closed doors may be opened just a crack to let us know what rate rise we’re in for.The Magpie will be looking more closely at this boardwalk malarkey, but immediately three questions spring to mind from the unquestioning Bulletin story:
1. We are told the ultimate plan includes a pedestrian bridge to connect Central Park with Flinders Street East? Huh?

Screen Shot 2022-06-17 at 10.36.27 am

By sheer physical geography, that only makes sense if it has suddenly been decided against popular perception that Flinders Street East begins at Stanley street, not Denham street. And if so, that in turn asks a very reasonable – why? Central Park is bookended by two bridges already, Victoria and Lowths Bridges, Victoria already being exclusive to pedestrians. Where is the study and data that could even remotely suggest that a third bridge within a 400m stretch of Ross Creek would justify another pedestrian bridge?

  1. This is a great example of the LGAQ and the TCC conniving with their mantra of Local Buy, which is only correct if Toowoomba suddenly because a suburb of Townsville. The Wellcamp grifters, the Wagner brothers, have won the tender for this nice little earner. Surely the Chamber of Commerce could grow a pair and demand that the council to show that there was no local business that could handle the seemingly straightforward engineering job.
  2. And alarm bells are jangling when Jenny’s Party Parrot, Ann-Maree Greaney says things like “Council and the local traders are working together to inject a new lease of life into the area, both to boost patronage for businesses, and create a destination for visitors and residents alike.” Which is meaningless pap, but could be read as a softening up justification for a massive rate rise on Wednesday. Remember, this statement came from the business genius Greaney who once famously said of the TCC part financed disaster of the Flinders Lane arcade linking a little used Ogden Street bus stop with a deserted Flinders Street was ‘the perfect example of the Council and private enterprise working together’. At last report, there was one single paying tenant in Flinders Lane. But thinking on it, Greaney is probably right, it is a pretty good example of Jenny’s business acumen – at the ratepayers expense.. The ‘Pie will bet the council is looking across the road at Lancini’s sale of City Lane and City Arcade across the road, with a view to unloading this white elephant … and good luck with that outside a massive loss. BTW Flinders Lane …Melbourne should sue.

Perhaps it would be more interesting if the boardwalk ran all the way back to the Denham Street bridge where a viewing platform could be included. That way, folks could gather to bet on how many passengers would be decapitated by the bridge when Jenny’s other brilliant idea of a ferry from the terminal to the footy stadium starts operating.

But For All Her Gushing, It Was Left To Scott Stewart To Put This Project In Perspective.

Honestly you couldn’t make up this stuff. There should be a political equivalent of the NRL’s HIA, head injuries are clearly apparent.


Speaking Of Bridges …

…The ‘Pie is hearing rumblings that the DMR has plans to close the Denham Street bridge to foot traffic … said to be something to do with safety. haven’t heard of any problems in the last 20 years or more, but of course, being a Qld state department, who is The Magpie to question the wisdom.

Queensland’s Looming Corruption Scandal Goes National

The Courier Mail has been documenting the growing scandals engulfing the Palaszczuk Government. The reporting has been dogged and solid and had some effect, with union influence a recurring topic … the Courier’s Lethb ridge nails that one …

… but now, the big brother is involved … The Australian has burst onto the scene with this damning investigation and accompanying pieces making it very personal about Palaszczuk. This reinforces ramifications that could affect this state’s economy.

Screen Shot 2022-06-18 at 10.12.46 am Screen Shot 2022-06-18 at 10.20.09 am Screen Shot 2022-06-18 at 10.10.39 am

Trivia: one of the main reporters, Jamie Walker, is a former Bulletin journalist – back in the 90s when it was a real newspaper.

TCC To Go Off-Shore?

Many have been curious … and nervous … about the ‘special’ Townsville City Council meeting called for next Tuesday. Rumours abound about the purpose, from budget matters to someone’s resignation (CEO? Mayor? Oh please, if there’s a God ….)

Well The Magpie can clear it up for you. This exclusive preview of a scoop which his spies tell him you will see in next Wednesday’s Daily Astonisher.





Mayor’s calls singlehanded coup ‘a no brainer, a real steal’.


By cadet reporter Jimmy Olsen

View of Valletta, the capital of Malta

After a top secret, closed door meeting in Walker Street yesterday, a beaming mayor emerged to announce that she had single handedly pulled off what she calls The Sale Of The Century.

“On my recent visit to my ancestral homeland, I had a letter of introduction from my well-connected friend Frank Poullas of Magnis Energy to a senior Maltese public servant, Lenny Qarrieqa. Frank said Mr Qarrieqah had a special offer he wanted to make to me, one he was sure from my experience I would be interested in.’

The mayor said that at a confidential meeting in the private room of a Valetta coffee shop, Mr Qarrieqa revealed that it was soon to be announced by the island nation’s Prime Minister Robert Abela that Malta would be put up for sale on the international market to solve some ruinous budgetary problems. Mr Qarrieqa said the president had entrusted him with a contract to find a buyer ‘on the quiet’, to avoid any damaging international speculation.

‘I of course was immediately sympathetic to such problems as budgets, but then my empathy turned to delight when the Prime Minister’s secret envoy said because they had studied my management record and leadership style, it had been decided Townsville was his favoured purchaser, and was offering a unique one-off opportunity.’ But Mr Qarrieqa emphasised that I had to act swiftly to cut out any potential competition, and he had brought with him the necessary paperwork, a single page deed of contract with the government’s seal under the Maltese Parliamentary letterhead.

‘As a. special mark of esteem for my reputation in handling complex negotiations, the Prime Minister had waived the usual background checks, and I could secure the deal with a signature and an immediate holding deposit of $5000 against the eventual price of $20million,’ the mayor told the media conference.

‘Knowing this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I immediately signed the contract, and used my council credit card to transfer the $5000 deposit to a Cayman Islands bank account, which I was assured was secretly used by the Valetta Government to keep matters under the radar until the sale was completed.’

The mayor said just as they were about to have a celebratory champagne, an aide came and told Mr Qarrieqa he was needed urgently at the airport. ‘Always business, so sorry,’ he said, but as he was hurrying out, he paused to emphasis that I should not mention this coup to anyone, and not to even sent the Prime Minister a thank you note until I had returned to Australia. He said the necessary follow-up paper work would be sent directly to the council CEO.

‘I asked Mr Qarrieqa to thank Frank Poullas for me personally, to which he said ‘Oh, I will, Madam Mayor, I will.’

“So it’s a done deal when that paperwork arrives, which seems to be running a bit late,’ she told yesterday’s media conference. She explained that she had been given to understand that Malta did not use the internet for such transaction to preserve confidentiality.’

“This is an absolute steal, a no brainer,” she told a fascinated media throng. ‘Of course, many of the details of the purchase will remain commercial in confidence,’ the mayor said, before calling for questions. The media pack was speechless in admiration, and there were no questions forthcoming.

Why The Townsville Electorate Should Closely Watch The Whitsunday Mayoral Election.

When the LNP’s Andrew Wilcox was elected to Federal parliament, his office of mayor for the Whitsunday Regional Council was suddenly up for grabs. That election has now been declared, with a grab bag of current councillor, failed Federal candidates and independent business men have started rolling out the political platitudes. It’s a heady mix of fruit loops and genuine campaigners. It will be interesting to see if the national mood favouring independents will be translated down to the local government level, and whether the Whitsunday voters will embrace the now widespread rejection of ‘politics as usual’. And for that litmus test, the candidate to watch is veteran of the public tit, Clr Mike Brunker.

Mike Brunker24843ab4dd052915a711a304b0880431

Mike Brunker

This bloke, a former coal miner and Labor operative has a lot in common with our own Mayor Mullet, seeking to use local government as a springboard to higher office. He was mayor of Bowen Shire for 11 years until its amalgamation with the Whitsunday Shire in 2008. He became the amalgamated council’s first mayor, but in 2010, he stood aside briefly as the endorsed Labor candidate for the federal seat of Dawson. He lost, so – as is allowed in the generous way of Queensland regulations –  stayed on as mayor until 2012, when he lost the job in the elections that year. He was sidelined until 2016, when he got back in as a Whitsunday councillor, but he’d only been there less than 12 months when the siren call of greater glory saw him stand for Labor in the state seat of Bowen … and lost. (Are you starting to see the parallels with Jenny Hill?). Stayed on as a councillor (I  mean, c’mon, a bloke’s gotta put bread on the table somehow) but answered the call of Labor HQ to have another crack at Burdekin … and went down in a screaming heap to current member Dale Last.

Still a councillor, but now … he wants to be mayor again.

Mike Brunker is exactly the cynical sort of gopher for Labor power brokers that gave rise to the federal independents movement. Just what he has achieved in the past 22 years would be interesting to know – certainly no one thing he could hang his campaign hat on, he is just a time server by all accounts. But voters will no doubt get his generous self-assessment in his version in the coming weeks, but both his motivation and his longevity in any mayoral role are matters that voters will have to evaluate for themselves. It’s interesting to note that Labor wasn’t beating down his door to stand for the retiring George Christiansen seat of Dawson. Again the same situation as our Mayor Mullet, judged by the backroom boys as a loser in anything higher than local government.

Funny cattle, voters, but sometimes willing to head to new pastures for a better feed. Worth watching closely.

BTW, a regular commenter on this blog, Phil Batty, has put his hand up as an independent. A retired catering industry executive, apparently with strong management skills, he’s running a modest campaign calling for transparency, accountability and a strong policy on suitable development in the council area.

We’ll look in on the race as matters move along.

Low Water Mark For Richo And Danny

Many around town will remember Danny Meares when he was operating the Watermark nosebaggery on The Strand. He was convinced to buy the joint at the urging of former pollie and Labor hard hitter Graham Richardson, who ponied up 10% of the dough for a share.

There followed a lot of back slapping and mugging for the cameras with a lot of C grade celebs and the local Nescafe society until the business was sold off last May to Melbourne’s Kickon Group. But alas, Danny and Richo are not skipping happily hand-in-hand down the path to a happy business sunset, they are instead headed for the Federal Court.

Screen Shot 2022-06-18 at 10.19.20 pm

Clement in The Australian

Seems Richo reckons he’s been dudded, and is demanding his share of the financial fillet of fish. And he is certainly accusing Danny of some pretty fishy business.

Seems Richo is still willing to do whatever it takes.

Richo’s Motto Sure Doesn’t Apply To The Townsville Bulletin

Or more correctly in this case, News Ltd generally, but no matter where it came from, the following story would’ve been blue pencilled by local subs, if there were any.

The organisation, on the advice of lawyers we’re told, simply refuses to recognise the meaning of certain words, to the point where they really are a laughing stock. Of course, we again are speaking of their stubborn resistance to understand the implications and absurdity of their use of the ‘alleged’. The ‘Pie knows you think he bangs a bit much about this, but this hilarious example of the idiocy popped up during the week … 20 alleges in a brief story surely must be a record of some sort. One wonders if any of these events actually took place at all.

  • Breaking News
    Trio allegedly stole from men they met online
    Three men who allegedly organised to meet up with and steal from men they met on social media were caught by police while with one of their alleged m>victims.
    Madeleine Achenza

Three men will face court after being charged with the alleged robbery of three men who they arranged to meet in southwest Sydney overnight after connecting with them on social media.
Police will allege
 the three men – aged 19, 20 and 21 – used social media to organise to meet with their alleged >victims, aged 53, 30 and 29.
It is not known what the alleged
 victims thought they were meeting for.
A 53-year-old man organised to meet a man at a Punchbowl residence around 5.40pm.
A short time later, two men arrived and allegedly threatened him with a knife, demanding his debit card.
The two men allegedly stole his card and escaped the scene in a Honda Accord driven by a third man.
It is alleged the men used the card to withdraw cash at a nearby service station.

Three hours after the first alleged> incident, a 30-year-old man was allegedly forced into a Honda Accord at a Lakemba car park. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw
Three hours later, at around 8.30am, a 30-year-old man arrived at a Lakemba car park on the corner of the Boulevard and Quigg St to meet a man he had met online.
The Honda Accord allegedly arrived at the carpark and the 30-year-old was asked to get inside the vehicle.
The three men allegedly threatened him with a knife and drove out of the carpark.
Police will allege he was forced to transfer money into a bank account before he was returned to the carpark.
One of the alleged offenders then searched the 30-year-old man’s car before the trio drove off.
The incidents were reported to police and the 30-year-old man’s car was seized for forensic examination.

Police arrested three men after pulling over a Honda Accord with a third man inside who alleged he had been forced into the car and withdraw cash at multiple ATMs. Picture: NCA Newswire / Gaye Gerard
Around 10.50pm the same night, police pulled over the Honda on York St in Belmore and spoke with four men inside the vehicle.
A 29-year-old man alleged he had arranged online to meet a man at a Belmore carpark about 9.20pm.
Three men got into his car, threatened him with a knife and demanded his mobile phone, he alleged.
The man was then directed to leave his vehicle and get inside the nearby Honda before he was driven to ATMs at Belmore and Canterbury and allegedly forced to withdraw cash.
Police searched the Honda and seized cash, knives and mobile phones.
The three men were arrested and taken to Campsie Police Station, where they were each charged with three counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of taking or detaining a person with intent to obtain advantage and participating in a criminal group contributing to criminal activity.
All three were refused bail and will appear at Blacktown Local Court on Wednesday.
The alleged> victims were not injured in the three separate incidents.

The thing is, using this word even in a correct sense offers very little legal protection against a libel action … it may only ameliorate matters slightly. The obvious path is to simply write: ‘the police say’.

The January 6 Congressional Hearing Have A Nation Slack-jawed In Disbelief

Damning testimony keeps flowing from the hearings into the storming of the Capitol on January 6 last year … and the findings are being watched on TV by an appalled nation. There can be little doubt about Trump’s criminality now, but still doubts linger about whether this broken system will actually do something about it. The findings are delivered in separate specially produced episodes which gives coherence to the findings, and it is carried on all networks to an audience equal to the population of Australia. All networks that is, except one …

Screen Shot 2022-06-14 at 10.24.06 am Screen Shot 2022-06-18 at 11.36.03 am Screen Shot 2022-06-17 at 10.48.17 pm Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 9.28.12 am Screen Shot 2022-06-16 at 9.20.51 am Screen Shot 2022-06-14 at 10.26.03 am Screen Shot 2022-06-14 at 10.21.48 am Screen Shot 2022-06-14 at 10.20.36 am Screen Shot 2022-06-17 at 10.50.09 pm Screen Shot 2022-06-16 at 9.24.37 am Screen Shot 2022-06-15 at 9.29.15 am Screen Shot 2022-06-18 at 11.36.15 am Screen Shot 2022-06-14 at 10.23.22 am Screen Shot 2022-06-10 at 9.42.05 am Screen Shot 2022-06-10 at 9.41.21 am Screen Shot 2022-06-10 at 9.40.36 am Screen Shot 2022-06-18 at 11.36.30 am


A reader sent in the following pix of a couple of (supposedly) genuine record sleeves from way back when,  which The Magpie cannot authenticate, but being American, you’d think it possible. The second one is the stuff of nightmares.

unnamed unnamed-1

Let’s End With A Larf At Language

George Bernard Shaw famously said that England and America are two countries separated by a common language. This clip  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wSw3IWRJa0 is a perfect example of what the great GBS was saying … but can one can only wonder what the great man would’ve made of the unexpected ending. If you’ve already seen this wonderfully funny Michael McIntyre piece … well, here’s your chance to enjoy it again.


Enough for this week, come and visit us in comments which run 24/7 throughout the week. If your care to support the blog, 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.


  1. Mike Douglas says:

    Great Blog Pie and your understanding of international financing with T.C.C buying Malta is up there with Wayne Swan ” Worlds Greatest Treasurer ” and Steve from Belgian Gardens . Councillor Greaneys PR ” Malta and Townsville is a perfect example of Council and a Foreign Country working together ” . Once we have secured the V8,s and Zip Line from Dingil Cliffs (Malta ) Council believes we can turn around Maltas $12.4 mil 2021 deficit . On a serious note Sunday Mail page 4 Councillor Kurt Rehbein seeks powers to unlock unused housing stock or introduce a vacant tax . Is the vacant tax a precursor to T.C.C.s budget ? . Copy emailed to the Pie .

    • The Magpie says:

      Now this raises several very interesting questions.

      First up, if you read the story closely, nowhere does say exactly where the push for this scheme is coming from. it is no one person’s or entities baby. There doesn’t seem to be any front-bar groundswell to report on this issue, albeit a very valid issue. Could it be the Courier Mail’s iditor (where the story originated, strangely enough, despite featuring a TCC councillor) wants to bolster the attention grabbing yarn about vacant properties? Or can we detect the dead hand of the rapacious LGAQ here, angling for some crumbs off the table – maybe through their insurance activities?

      On a more immediate local view, why Kurt Rehbein? He’s a bit of an also ran in the scheme of things, so why would Jenny push out into the spotlight like this? (Don’t delude yourself that this was Kurt’s unilateral idea, Jenny would kick his arse still his nose bled if he went it alone like this … there is only one councillor who thinks for herself on this council, and that’s of course Fran O’Callaghan). So could it be that Jenny and he-who-would-be-mayor Frothy Molachino wanted to stand back from floating this idea to test the local reaction … if it’s bad, no harm done, just a secondary councillor howled down, if it’s good, Jenny will be front and centre faster than you can say lights,camera, action. Perhaps The Mullet and The Prince are testing the waters on this tricky proposition, and might make a late inclusion in any budget speech. Oh, well, we’ll soon know.

      • Ducks Nuts says:

        Also, important to note that Kurt isn’t smart enough to think up something like this himself. AND he is a Labor party wanna be. ( he was picked up by Jenny because he was enthusiastically volunteering on election booths) so he will pretty much do whatever he is told to do.

  2. Prince Rollmop says:

    In line with some recent mentions in the The Magpies Nest regarding corruption and the Palletchook Government, blind Freddy knows that our politicians are nothing short of criminals. Using private email accounts rather than their work accounts, stacking Government owned Boards with ex Labor politicians and lobbyists, the bringing in of the outrageous ‘Olympics legislation’ where the law has been written so that politicians and ex politicians can act with impropriety if they wish to do so. without any investigation taking place. The Tradd affair and attempted cover up of the investigation results. And so the fucking list goes on and on and on and on. Even Nanna Anna taking her weiner man to a function that he did not belong too. This Government truly is nothing short of amoral and a green light for corruption. Hell, half of Labor’s pollies in Queensland have done jail time!! Go back to Joh ‘don’t you worry about that’ Bjelke Petersen days when turds like Joh and Russ Hinze were the biggest joke. Everyone knew these muppets were grifters and shysters and about as crooked as some painted FNQ road lines.

    Here is a link to a recent issue with a Council in NSW. This is actually the perfect example of what goes on in Australia in many many councils. The crooks (politicians) are in charge of the bank vaults;


    • The Magpie says:

      And you could always look up the totally ignored but brilliant speech by Senator Malcolm Roberts on LG corruption (published here a while back) … strange to be praising him but bit was one of his few lucid moments … let’s face it, a blind pig occasionally finds a truffle.

  3. Dave of Kelso says:

    You mention the two houses for the indigenous remaining vacant.
    On Riverway Drive there is a new building about the size of two large houses joined by a covered walkway, or so it seems from the road. Fully landscaped. From the flags on the flags poles and the motifs on the temporary construction fencing at the front of the very large grounds it would seem to be some sort of indigenous project, seeming complete for at least 12 months or thereabouts, with no sign of any activity at all.

    • The Magpie says:

      Hey, Astonisher folks, there’s your heads up for the week. Off you go now, chop chop. (Yes, you Jimmy.)

  4. Achilles says:

    Re The Dick Handler Quartet, seems to be only a Trio, or maybe the fourth member was handling elsewhere.

  5. Alahazbin says:

    Jenny Hill a ‘Chardonnay Capitalist’. Pie is that anything like a Cockroach Capitalist’?
    I have a friend who has a share portfolio, owns real estate in Brisbane & Townsville, but is a lefty all the way.

    • The Magpie says:

      It seems those labels are redundant nowadays, but what is apparent is that the conservative side of politics hasn’t been willing to move closer to a consensus model of running our country, and purely to be distinguished to be different, have moved further and further to the right, edging closer to the extremes of fascism and rampant ‘state capture’ capitalism. While The ‘Pie believes in free markets and their reasonably regulated forces be allowed free play – even if it does mean areas like the Townsville CBD falls to the sword of suburban shopping centres, and waits for some natural market adjustment to replace the sluggish area – he also believes that governments should – indeed are obligated to – retain control of vital infrastructure like power generation, water ownership, railways, airports and prisons et al. The increased deregulation governing privatisation is inexorably and undeniably leading down the path to a country governed by unelected, self-interested big business, most of which is foreign owned. A great example of what can happen is the situation with natural gas … it is simply baffling how our federal government agreed to allow the wholesale export without a caveat that the home market must always be catered for at prices not affected by the manipulated and swindling global market. WA saw it, and now they are in a far more stable position, while the new Labor Government is left to haul back this inequity. And selling our water as a commodity to be priced and allocated by private enterprise directing corrupt politicians is just unforgivable.

      This all doesn’t make The ‘Pie a leftie or a rightie … it makes him an Australian with long forgotten values.

      And while we’re in this territory, The ‘Pie is vehemently opposed – in case you haven’t noticed – to local councils ‘outsourcing’ operations that should remain firmly under their control of a council workforce to avoid the caprices of private capital and corner cutting. EB and bans on secondary boycotts have hobbled the previous rampant misuse of union power, and arguments about financial streamlining are being exposed everywhere – certainly here in Townsville – as an excuse to cover up financial incompetence.

  6. Smelly fish says:

    While the CCC is investigating the cosy relationship between our State Labor Government and Labor lobbyists it should also take a close look at the cost of Jenny Hill’s latest waste of ratepayer’s money, the Boardwalk from Nowhere to Nowhere.
    This useless piece of flim flan runs second only to Jenny’s $4 million tin sheds on Castle Hill in ranking for the most overpriced piece of infrastructure she has foisted on the Townsville public.
    The fact that the Wellcamp Wagners have been given the contract to build this new boardwalk with gold plated handrails adds an extra layer of intrigue to this fiasco.
    Instead of merely printing the media release, why didn’t someone at the Townsville Bulletin ask the obvious questions like did the council call tenders for the project, why is it costing so much money, and what actual purpose will it serve.
    If the editor had any balls he would get estimates from local companies to find out whether the cost is reasonable. But no, Jenny spends too much advertising money with the paper to even think about embarrassing her by asking questions.
    Clearly the paper’s motto, We’re For You, refers only to the Mayor and her Labor council puppets.

    • Critical says:

      I’m also trying to work out the purpose of this boardwalk and how was the need for this structure determined and validated. Seems to me that boardwalk is a want (a nice to have structure versus a structure that is needed to address validated problems) but then maybe Jenny just wants something for us to remember her by and to use in March 2024 to let us know that this is something that she gave the city during her reign). Shouldn’t this money be used on other infrastructure in the city e.g. resurfacing streets, curb and channelling, road line marking, footpaths and so on that are falling apart.
      The other issues that ratepayers have been not told are in relation to the on-going maintenance costs of this walkway; how is TCC going to ensure the safety of people using the walkway as I’m certain that it won’t take long for undesirables to start hanging out on the boardwalk and how much of the mangrove growth is going to be destroyed to construct this structure.

  7. Sticky Fingers says:

    Mr. Mag, Ita Buttrose sure has some gall!
    Her audacity in referring to Australian Aborigines as Aborigines is beyond belief!
    What next?
    Wash your mouth out Ita!

  8. NQ Gal says:

    Frank Poullas might find himself out of a job shortly If the share price of Magnis keeps crashing. Last trading price on Friday was 29c, well down from the inflated high of 75c earlier this year.

  9. The Magpie says:

    Beautiful Townsville Sunday, ideal for grabbing a few of the wonderful winter rays.

    • Jatzcrackers says:

      Judging by that snout, might be a freshie ! Maybe !

      • The Magpie says:

        Think you only find freshies up in that area.

        • Bentley says:

          He is a freshie, about 3m (maybe), been hanging around the area for years.

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            There is a long time freshie up this way that the river bank residents, or at least some of them, have named Geraldine. Not sure by what means they could determine the sex. Lifting it’s tail would probably not the way?

  10. Prince Rollmop says:

    Speaking of mates ‘rates’. Another example of jobs for the boys. What a fucking joke. They advertised globally for this plum $400k job and the best candidate they could find was a burnt out incompetent by the name of John Barilaro. This, a guy who happily nicknamed himself John Pork’Barilaro. Yes that’s right, a shonk who joked and admitted to being a pork barreller. Disgraceful.


    • The Magpie says:

      Well, seems to be a regular pathway for these grifters …. remember premier Dentures Beattie lazed by an LA pool for a couple years as Qld’s envoy there after he dropped Bligh it, beating a hasty retreat after forcing through council amalgamation.

    • Jatzcrackers says:

      Prince, I’m just wondering if the part about Barilaro considering self harm in light of the Google skits, included giving himself an uppercut ! There’s always truth in humour !

      • Prince Rollmop says:

        Katz, there is some good stuff on YouTube posted by friendlyjordies. Mr Shanks is a young lad and a bit of a shit stirrer, however his independent reporting and investigations are often quite well done. In fact done much better than anything Uncle Rupert does with his biased mainstream media journalism.

        Sorry for going a little off track Magpie. I will try to stick to more localised content.

        • The Magpie says:

          Don’t apologise, sometimes valid points about local matters can be highlighted by actions elsewhere. Perhaps not so much in the Barilo/friendlyjordies matter, but certainly your other comment regarding council legal costs of complaints in Victoria. Which is worth a look at from a local perspective … like how much has our mayor cost ratepayers in her various vindictive, politically motivated use of official small print breaches against inter alia a former CEO Ray Burton and currently against Clr Fran O’Callaghan. Her schoolyard bully behaviour against a single one of ten councillors says volumes about her leadership qualities, but the waste to taxpayers is unforgivable. And just who did pay Clive Palmer his $50k damages claim … council insurance? Did insurance rates go up as a result? Make no mistake, this is all just another instance of Jenny Hill proving to be a disaster for the city’s history books.

  11. Prince Rollmop says:

    It’s certainly interesting how The Kid and CCC have comment to make about potential Queensland corruption. Without drawing any connection, it was interesting how a certain mining company paid for a certain Mayor to travel overseas. Nothing transparent about that. What exactly took place internationally? And now you have the Wagner mafia popping locally to do some construction in Townsville, and they just happened to be involved in the Adani airstrip fiasco of which Madam Hill committed Townsville ratepayer money to assist in the build, until that idea was kiboshed. And we all know how much Nanna Anna loves the Wagner’s.

    • The Magpie says:

      The the courts have suppressed forever the paperwork detailing the agreement between the Townsville and Rockhampton councils and Adanin (an d by extension, Wagners). In a shifty legal move that has fooled no one, the TCC (read the mayor and legal shill Tony Bligh) said they wanted the ‘terms paper’ released to the public, making them look like innocent bystanders to the possible suppression order, but knowing full well – and pre-warned – that Adani was going to fight the matter, which they ultimately won. It ain’t just Anna up to her neck in this shit.

    • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

      As someone just said at smoko, council has become a branch of Cash Converters for the State Government to channel money to their mates. So much truth in jest.

      • Paris Match says:

        To the Engineer if you know so much from the tea room how come you aren’t familiar with the age-old plan to connect Flinders Street East to the Strand past Reef HQ which was hyped up years ago – thanks Beaker for the links. This is ancient news that has finally found a budget to fund it. The boardwalk will only be going to “nowhere” if you are a slackarse who wants to drive or be driven all the time.

        • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

          Hi Dolan. I am very aware of the many plans announced over the many years including and not limited to an area from Loam Island to Pallarenda depending on the Mullets ambition on the day and how gullible she thinks the community is.

    • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Interesting figures from 2016: 5.9km for $28m. Today we get: 0.28km for $6.2m.
      That looks like great value!

      Sadly the Mullet and the Little Pric don’t seem very good with numbers, or people, or the truth.

  12. Critical says:

    Hey Jenny Hill, I see that you’ve started the city’s annual tarting up for the V8’s by spreading square meters of woodchip over the garden beds around Reid Park and some median strips on main roads. Any bloody idiot realises that the large areas of wood chip once had plantings in them and that your bloody council is too bloody lazy to replace these plantings.
    How about taking some plants from your new nursery and planting then in these bare areas and while you’re about it, pulling the weeds out before you put the woodchip down. Oh I did notice that the weeds weren’t poisoned either so it looks like your lack of true leadership means that your staff have no pride in the city either.

    • Roundup says:

      Jenny Hill herself is very much like a weed; She is impossible to get rid of.
      She ruins the surroundings.
      She is unwanted and turns up uninvited. She chokes out what is good.

      • Critical says:

        Be careful Roundup, Maybe council parks and gardens staff can whipper snip her down to size and then hit her with a decent dose of round up for good measure. After all that seems to be only way Mayor Mullet let’s them weed and slowly get rid of council gardens.

  13. Mike Douglas says:

    Have Labor Federally and State advised our Mayor that there are no $ for her pet projects as a tired , bereft of ideas Mayor appeared on Channel 7 local news with her State Government budget wishlist . More $ for Townsville hospital and $ for roadworks for Woolcock st and the Bohle was our Mayors priorities . Where are the shovel ready projects that Taskforce NQ set up by the Mayor 2 years ago to get projects happening . Then theres NQROC a collaborative group of local Councils where members can interact with ideas both paid by ratepayers . Perhaps our Mayor was distracted by how she would sell todays Council budget to Townsville ratepayers already weighed down by the cost of living increases .

  14. Prickster says:

    The Dutch & the Germans restart their coal fired power stations, while the Greens leader who can’t stand beside the hurtful Australian flag says we need accelerate the closure of our powerplants….



  15. Ducks Nuts says:

    While TCC is busy fluffing around creating distractions by declaring new capital projects that will turn Townsville into Paris, has anyone looked into how much of the $300M+ capital budget they managed to deliver last year? I’m hearing it’s not a lot.

  16. Prince Rollmop says:

    Below is a link to an excellent interview recently done by Dr Ken Henry. It highlights the inadequacies in the tax system as well as the resource sector, where basically we miss out on tens of billions of dollars. Some may recall Dr Henry commissioning the Henry review which, of course, was shelved. Our busted arse tax system and the giving away of potential resource industry revenue is another legacy of the impotent LNP years.


    We effectively give control of our financial system to inbreds and imbeciles that are voted in. Most of these parasites aren’t voted in based upon acumen or previous successes, most are voted in because they are slippery con artists. In turn, they then manage to break the bank and totally mismanage our taxpayer and ratepayer monies. Townsville is a great example of a Team Hill mob of misfits who have damaged our local economy for more than a decade. A repugnant bully for a Mayor who has either made bad decisions or chased away potential investors due to her being a bully and a sycophant and a narcissist.

    I hope Fran takes to the 202/23 budget papers with a magnifying glass so that we have at least one voice or reason asking the tough questions. The part time lazy CEO and full time bully Mayor should not be allowed the keys to the biscuit tin without a watchful eye being cast in their direction. The slippery Prince and Madam Doona will be shuffling papers, performing magic tricks and massaging the numbers big time.

    • The Magpie says:

      My dear Pickled Herring, you overlook the benefits of efficient government and time management displayed by our diligent mayor. Allow The ‘Pie to add to the Bulletin story.

      Townsville City Council Closed Budget Meeting Agenda
      Date: 21 June, 2022.
      Time: 1pm
      1pm: Doors closed
      1.01pm Mayor Jenny Hill Addresses councillors
      1.01.30s: Mayor threatens Clr Fran O’Callaghan with expulsion
      1.02 pm: Councillors vote to approve 9 to 1.
      1.03pm: Meeting closed.

      • Sticky Fingers says:

        Mr. Mag, you devil you!
        You even got the date wrong so it blends in as a true Bulletin article.

      • The Magpie says:

        No Wagners boardwalk contract … what convenient loophole is she wriggling through now?

        • The Magpie says:

          Another year of missed council Financial Sustainability benchmarks.

          • Hee Haw says:

            You have to seriously question anyone who puts out a document like that one which the column headings state they are in $”000 yet the actual figures are %.

            How long have these people been preparing this document and still cannot get it right let alone perform within the recommended ratios?

            Also would have to question how since last years budget spelling out 22/23 expectations the recent numbers are 80% inaccurate item one, 8% inaccurate item 2 and 30% inaccurate item 3, when comparing what the 21/22 budget said we could expect in 22/23

        • The Magpie says:

          And don’t expect too much close examination of matters as they trickle in here to the blog. Fighting Fran is in bthere already about the inability to delve into budget matters even less under the current dictator. To us, she Fighting Fran, to a clearly spooked mayor, she’s Frightening Fran … and she ain’t going away, Mullet, m’dear.

        • Ducks Nuts says:

          Pie, as council learned under Adele Young, you don’t HAVE to declare the contract if you chop it all up into little pieces and get the supplier to invoice each one under $200k

        • The Magpie says:

          And a full 5% of the budget ($58m) is going to Lansdown. Sounds like TCC is going it alone, but there are big, big planning questions hanging over this hub in the scrub. And Clr Fighting Fran has asked Kim mIl Jen pertinent questions to which we deserve answers, but the Hermit Kingdom has closed ranks.

          • GST SHAM says:

            I saw $80 million listed for Landsdown in the TCC Budget. Is the rest being contributed by the feds & state? Does anyone know the true cost of this project ?

          • The Magpie says:

            At a guess, no, not even Mayor Mullet. Especially not Mayor Mullet.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            There is this note in the Budget papers: “We’ve committed $26 million to the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct for enabling infrastructure, including a reservoir and 13km pipeline, connecting the precinct and pump station to the Haughton Pipeline – another project funded by the Palaszczuk Government,” he said.”
            No mention of any Haughton second stage funding though.

  17. Grumpy says:

    There’s idiots, there’s fucking idiots, then there’s Lisa Wilkinson. What the hell was she thinking? Scratch that, a virtue signalling bimbo does not have original thought.

    • The Magpie says:

      When ego and idiocy collide, you get … Lisa Wilkinson at the Logies. Wilkinson was never rated greatly in journalistic terms, her career started more as a novelty than any other particular merit, and her toothy witterings on TV tend to suggest she a done a damn lot with very little. (Anyone daft enough to start their day of with her and the shallow preener Stefanovic was well on the way to misinformed lunacy.) But to make prejudicial statements on a nationally televised platform when receiving an award for work closely linked with a sub judice matter in which Wilkinson is a key witness is in fact an abject failure of her management and the shows producers. She should been instructed to thank you and leave it at that.

      • Bandana Man says:

        Wilkinson is a dipshit. She and her husband go around commenting and sticking their snouts into places they don’t belong. Because this opinionated moron has mentioned Brittany Higgins publicly in front of a million viewers, she has jeopardised the rape trial. Absolute fucking moron.

  18. Dazza says:

    Pie, I am wondering if the non use of the word allege by Lisa Wilkinson, will cause the media to continue to overuse this word. Alas your article in this week’s column re the overuse will be ignored. Please don’t stop trying but tilting at windmills comes to mind.

  19. Elusive Butterfly says:

    Mr. Pie, I will be your Dirty Sanchez.

  20. Dazza says:

    Don Quixote promises Sancho the Governance of an Island. Please Don Magpie don’t make it Malta. Me and the donkey don’t need a mayoral ass as well.

  21. The Magpie says:

    Logie Lunacy: Proof That Lisa Wilkinson Knew She Shouldn’t … But She Did Anyway

    If not a full-blown charge of perverting the course of justice, there is a strong case for the courts to recover the costs of the delayed trial in the Brittany Higgins alleged rape case. Wilkinson’s wilful flouting of top legal advice deserves a strong censure, it is celebrity hubris at it’s worst. There are other reasons for strong judicial action against this self interested self-regarder … apart from she herself being a key witness in the trial, husband Peter Fitzsimons engineered Higgins book deal and there is also historical proof from her own mouth that she knew what she did at the Logies was wrong. To the extent she could be regarded as giving the finger to Australian law.

    As we have previously pointed out here in The Nest, we treat anything from Shane Dowling’s Kangaroo Court blog with caution, (he goes right off the deep end when he goes on about judges and lawyers playing hide the sausage) but this well documented post, in which he provides irrefutable back-up for his claims, is an eye-opened into the depth of Wilkinson’s hubris when facing a national TV audience.


  22. MJ City says:

    A closer look at the TCC 22/23 budget (closer than the Bulletin cared to take anyway) then lining it up with the recent Property Valuation data for the Townsville LGA clearly shows that the approximately half of Townsville ratepayers (29,000) are looking at a full 10% general rate rise. A further 19,000 will wear between 6 and 8% and about 6000 will only get the 2% headline number that the bulletin ran with. A small number of fortunate souls (less than 3000) in Shaw and Bushland Beach will see 0% or even negative movement in rates. The bottom line on General Rates is that the data in the 2022/23 budget shows that the TCC expects that rate collections will increase by more than 11% next year compared to 2021/22 and then another 5% in each of the two outyears in the data. The fact that many suburbs increased by more than 20% means that some could wear another 10% next year (given rate rises were capped at 10% this year). The strategy is likely to have another low or even zero rate rise (that is rate per $ of land value) and just let the increased valuations deliver a windfall again, even if they have to cap it at 10% once more.

    • The Magpie says:

      And here’s another very well worthwhile take on the budget, from someone you can bet has been more meticulous and informed about its ramifications (and Townsville’s overall malaise) than any of the Walker Street aerobics class. Clr Fran O’Callaghan voted against the budget, but not one of her reasons was political. They were practical whether right or wrong. Unlike Jenny Hill when a councillor when Townsville First were in charge … on purely political grounds she DID NOT NONCE VOTE ON ANY MOTION PUT FORWARD BY THE TYRELL COUNCIL. She was the classic spiteful sulking councillor there for the pay check.

      Folks, The Magpie is suggesting you get onto Fran’s FB site,
      … to get a better and intelligently reasoned insight into what is going in the Walker Street Hermit Kingdom. The ‘Pie bumped into Fran a week or so ago, and was surprised how open sh was about the depression she often felt from the disgraceful treatment she has received at the hands of most councillors (she named two or three who were fair and as friendly as much as they were allowed to be) and the open hostility of the mayor – and not just in meetings. The good news for us is that this courageous woman has no intention of backing down in her crusade to hold the council, and particularly this disgraceful person who is our tinpot mayor, to account. Jump on her page here and offer support … or argue with her, she told me she is all for dialogue and reasonable exchanges of views and ideas. In the meantime, this is a crackerjack read – and certainly stuff the gutless Bulletin would be trembling to go near. Fighting Fran needs every bit of support and encouragement we can give her … the shape of this city’s future depends on people with skills and attitudes like her.

      • Palm Sunday says:

        If Cr Fran can’t find Dingo Park Rd (Woodstock) or doesn’t believe it exists (Item6 in her FB statement) she should do what everyone else does: look it up on Google. I followed this clearly signposted gravel road along with hundreds of others to the Palm Creek Festival the other day.

        • NQ Gal says:

          I think a lot of people attending the festival would be very happy if Dingo Park Road was upgraded.

          • The Magpie says:

            Ummm, sure, but not sure ratepayers would be too chuffed having to pony up the dough for the once-a-year festival … it is an excellent event, no doubt about that, but priorities and scales of economy will not see your festival goers happy any time soon … unless Fighting Fran gets to the bottom of what the TCC is all about.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            No one has said anything about Dingo Park Rd being upgraded for the benefit of the Palm Creek Festival. But Cr Fran, in her latest contribution today, has said that besides the $2m from TCC there’s $8m from the Commonwealth. So if TCC won’t talk (or won’t talk to her), why doesn’t Cr Fran ask the local federal member, Philip Thompson, to explain what the $8m is for? Talk about teaching your granny how to suck eggs. These people are politicians. Haven’t they passed Local Politics 101 yet?

      • Prickster says:

        Fran is edging nearer the looney fringe. The Mullet uses a tried and true strategy of frustrating opponents so they start to lash out, rant and rave turning good people into nut jobs. Fran could become the TRRA in a hat.

        • The Magpie says:

          Or you could. TRRA rants up scenarios without bothering with a scintilla of proof, just like you have here. Care to tell us how O’Callaghan has ‘edged nearer the looney fringe’. Quietly and calmly laying out legitimate questions and alternative solutions to matters that are largely not even ‘debated’ on is hardly ‘looney’. Your Trumpian inspired tactic here is rubbish … and you know it, because you have demonstrated in notger comments that you are not an ill-educated idiot — which this comment would suggest.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Not sure about “looney” but I wonder how it is that the local councillor has not noticed a signpost on the Flinders Highway that points to “Dingo Park Rd”. Cr Fran specifically writes that this road “does not currently exist” and yet there it is, kilometres of it, in her own electoral division. She could have taken credit for ‘winning’ a $2m Council investment in upgrading the road but instead she’s bitching on Facebook (Item7) that there are “inadequate capital works in Div 10″. Duh?

          • Clr Fran O'Callaghan says:

            Re Dingo Park Road: The money is for a completely new alignment of the road through private land and gazetted road currently unused, for what appears to mainly benefit a business at the very end of the road.The road is 10klm or so long – it could be more. Planning conditions on this business development back in 2006 and 2010 required road works to Dingo Park Road, then they were removed by Council and some conditions have just disappeared ie. a required realignment of the junction to the Highway. I have asked for information on these planning conditions but have not yet received responses. Why has council made an application for ROSI (Roads of Strategic Importance) funding in March 2021, which I only found out about in March 2022, the detail in the application of which relates to issues the business at the end of the road is having with cross loading cattle etc at Calcium roadhouse, and further why would council commit $2m to a road that does not currently exist just to benefit one business at the end of the road that council does not appear to have required to comply with its planning conditions regarding the road. This money (total $10m) $2m council $8 million federal gov will only pay for the new highway intersection and realignment ie so it is likely none of the money will be spent on the existing Dingo Park Road at all , hence my comments, in fact the new section to which this money relates may not able to be called Dingo park road at all unless they close off the other section that joins the highway in its current position. Otherwise there will be two Dingo Park Roads coming off the Flinders Highway.

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            Well well. Palm Sunday, it looks distinctly like Fran did do her research and isn’t some half baked looney after all. Unlike you, who clearly dont know roads from well.. not roads. Duh!

          • Palm Sunday says:

            With respect, Cr Fran, what you seem to be saying is that the business at the end of the road has found a way to get the (ex-) federal government to fund roadworks adjacent to the Flinders Highway that would otherwise have to be paid for by the business itself (as a now-discarded condition of a DA from 12 or 16 years ago)? And there wouldn’t be any other beneficiaries of these roadworks even though there must be numerous properties which have frontage onto that Council road? Is there a smell of National Party (ie. Barnaby) pork barreling here with TCC hitching a ride for ratepayers along Dingo Park Rd or is it just sour grapes?

          • Prickster says:

            Trumpian hardly, unless you’d like to share your definition and I’ll see if I fit.

            Cr Fran runs the risk being baited in to quick comments where the Mullet will push her to the margin. My advice would be to study the Mullet’s tactics carefully and work appropriately from there. Full frontal assault rarely work with the Mullet so find a different way.

          • The Magpie says:

            The plain truth, spoken plainly, is a legitimate response that does not rule out careful strategic aforethought and analysis.

            The Trumpian technique of creating a lie and repeating it (repeatedly as you no doubt will) as the truth (‘crooked Hilary’, ‘the election was stolen’ ‘ and a call to try to blackmail the leader of another country to dishonestly bolster election prospects being described as ‘ a perfect call’, etc etc etc ad infinitum) … the principle you have applied here is that Fran is going looney and is getting close to Newey tinfoil territory could not be further from reality … she is a courageous councillor, in full command of her faculties who deals in facts and uses them for refutations of the attacks and slurs against her.

            Clear now?

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Cr Fran asks why TCC made an application for ROSI (Roads of Strategic Importance) funding in March 2021 (which she says she only found out about in March 2022), the detail in the application of which relates to issues the business at the end of the road is having with “cross loading cattle etc at Calcium roadhouse”. According to Infrastructure Australia to ROSI funding for the Tennant Creek to Townsville Corridor Upgrade is delivering targeted upgrades to the Flinders and Barkly highways and surround roads. These National Network links form part of the critical Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Zone, a supply chain linking the mineral and agricultural production area in north west Queensland with the Port of Townsville.

            “This [2022/23] Project will deliver two new overtaking lanes approximately 30 kilometres south west of Townsville, and one new overtaking lane approximately 70 kilometres south west of Townsville.”

            Is there a chance one of these places is remarkably close to Dingo Park Rd and the Commonwealth / TCC funding will kill two birds with one stone?

          • The Magpie says:

            Don’t know … how about you ask and get back to us? Interesting point.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            I’ll leave that one to Cr Fran. She’s got a vested interest in finding out for herself. Happy to read about it in the ‘Nest though.

      • Prince Rollmop says:

        Budget item 12 – Three ‘advisors’ to the Mayor! What..the..actual..fuck?? Does the bloated Doona wearer think she is President of a county (perhaps Malta) and she needs all these people to help her? This is a disgraceful attempt at bleeding ratepayers even further by making them cough up money so Hill can give some additional jobs to some ‘mates’.

        • Ducks Nuts says:

          Takes a minimum of 3 people to restrain the mullet when she’s having a tantrum. These people aren’t advisors. They are specialist minders.

    • I’ll Be Plucked says:

      And so they should pay extra in their rates bill. If your house has gone up 10% in value then you pay an extra 10% in rates. Simple. Ya whinging bastards.

      • MJ City says:

        Nice analysis of the situation, so if everyone’s house value has gone up 8% on average then the TCC getting an 8% increase in revenue (+2% increase in the rate of rates per $ value of land) is fair enough you say? I am not sure if that is the politics of envy, because the large rate rises are for most people in the Town or the politics of stupidity? The notional increase in value of one’s land, an increase that is only crystallised when and if you sell your house, will be some comfort to those facing a 10% rates hike.

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        Plucker – your maths only works assuming you are selling your property and realising the increased value. If it is your home then you just wear the extra fees for no increase in service.

      • Westie says:

        You are wrong, Plucka. That is not how it works.

        The way the rates are set has the following steps.

        (a) The expense (operational and capital) budget is prepared- the total amount that the Council wants to spend next year
        (b) The total unimproved land valuations of all the properties in the city is added up
        (c) The rate in the dollar is (a) divided by (b). You will notice that the higher the total valuations the lower the rate.
        (d) You are sent a bill for the rate in the dollar multiplied by your individual property value.

        Using this method you will find that IF the Council expenditure is the same as last year, and all the unimproved land values rise uniformly by say 10%, then your rates bill will stay exactly the same. The increase caused by the increase in valuation will be offset by the rate in the dollar going down.

        Given that land values tend to rise fairly uniformly, the main reason for increases in rates is caused by a decision by the Council to increase spending next year, and rises in property values are irrelevant.

        • Ducks Nuts says:

          So… based on your logic Westie, here’s something to consider, last year’s capital budget was never fully spent. This year’s capital budget was approved in full with no cuts, and is even bigger than last years and less likely to be delivered considering the supply chain issues.
          What has council done with the money they obtained through rating increases that were to cover capital expenditure, but has not been spent ?
          Where did this go?
          And where will this money go for 22/23? And perhaps if the budget was managed more frugally we wouldn’t be being slugged with rate rises like this.

    • Just A Thought says:

      I have checked Councils 2021/22 General Rates $183,328 mil vs 2022/ 23 estimate $197,988 and that equals + 8% .

      • MJ City says:

        Ok fair enough, I used the projected rates figure in the 2021/22 budget of $177m, maybe the $183m is an actual figure or revised estimate. So revenue exceeded plan by $6m and an 8% increase was still in order I suppose.

  23. Mike Douglas says:

    With all the smoke and mirrors at Walker st not much has been said about the State budget . Whilst the Palaszczuk Government is out there with there social media campaign talking up the big $ for Townsville hospital and trinkets for some of the State schools which look run down but have air conditioning . How much pressure with electricity increases play in the schools budgets ? . Our 3 local MP,s are getting little support because there were two big components missing out of the budget , housing and cost of living support but there was 8,000 new public servants . 2020 broken election promise of no new taxes Treasurer Dick ducks and weaves the .25 % increase on payroll tax may have only effected 1,000 + businesses but they actually employ a large % of the States workers . Increase coal mining royalties because $ 6 bil from Coal isnt enough and tax for online betting . Rarely do i quote a Union secretary but Qld CFMEU had a scathing attack on the State Government and their relationship with Labor Lobbyists ” the time for empty platitudes and vague promises were over ” .

  24. Paper, rock, scissors says:

    Apparently the human walking corpse, Ruprecht Murdoch, is getting a divorce from Jerry Hall. Not the I could really give a flying fuck, but I find it interesting and ironic how this multi billionaire will most likely die as an old single man. Money can’t buy you true happiness. Looks old Ruprecht now needs a DIY gift – you’re going solo mate!!!!

    • The Magpie says:

      Maybe Jerry Hall got tired of old age creeping up on her.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Australian Billionaire? I thought he had taken US citizenship? That would make him an Aussie born Yank, unless the Yanks do not want to claim him.

        • The Magpie says:

          It’s a bit like the Queen being a citizen of Australia … oh, wait … make that Queen of Australia.

        • Palm Sunday says:

          Kelso Dave, you are correct about Murdoch’s citizenship. According to Wikipedia:

          ” In 1974, Murdoch moved to New York City, to expand into the US market; however, he retained interests in Australia and Britain. In 1981, Murdoch bought The Times, his first British broadsheet, and, in 1985, became a naturalized US citizen, giving up his Australian citizenship, to satisfy the legal requirement for US television network ownership.[5]”

  25. The Magpie says:

    Generally, The Magpie keeps a close eye on abusive body-shaming comments about some public figures (the grossly horrid blob, Fatty Palmer a notable exception) … he is especially careful not to let commenters here get out of hand about the never ending and unfunny commentary about Jenny Hill in that regard. But The ‘Pie is curious about the specially posed council-sourced budget photo this week. It raises two questions: did the mayor have this pic photoshopped for vanity reasons, or – and it is a serious query – has she alarmingly lost weight through some illness. A frank explanation will stop the worried concern spreading throughout the community.

    For comparison to support The ‘Pie’s mild alarm.

    • Jatzcrackers says:

      Two likely possibilities with Madam Mayors change in appearance Pie.
      She could have had some ‘panel beating’ done while in Malta. No sticky beaks there (see what I did there re Magpies ) and enough time away for any signs of works.
      Second and most likely is the use of filters with digital photography now which is photoshopping on a finer scale.
      You’ll see this used a lot by female real estate agents on their business cards where the photo usually looks like a 25 year earlier version of the one who’s handing you the card !

  26. What the! says:

    My missus who has had a bit of work done to her appearance over the past few years reckons the mayor looks different since returning from her recent absence on leave. Maybe is is all down to the sea air in Malta.

    • The Magpie says:

      Actually, Malta is a (or was) a top spot for a break … especially the smaller island of Gozo. Great diving opportunities. Big Aussie connection, too. In the main town of Gozo, called Victoria, there was a cafe with a familiar bridge symbol named Sydney. Surprising local attraction was a church within a church, the big cathedral built naround the original modest place – not a tourist attraction, still an operating place of worship. … And once driving back from a day swimming, got a bit lost. Pulled up next to a horse drawn cart … old bloke legs dangling in the back with a load of straw and onions … young man, cloth cap and baggy trousers driving. I thought what a charming rustic scene, started some sort of sign language until the young bloke looking amused, said ‘G’day mate what’s yer problem?” in the broadest Australian accent. Turns out he had made good in Australia on the Snowy scheme (this encounter was 1974) and had returned to Gozo to set his family up in fine style, loved the old ways. Very smart move, one would think, well worth copying, eh, eh?.

  27. The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

    Young Steve of Belligerent Gardens. Looks like your karma got hit by your dogma, with your beloved ALP budgeting twice as much investment in coal and gas power generation than in supposedly sustainable alternatives. Perhaps they know something they are not telling you drones?

    • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

      Are you sure?

      • Get a life says:

        Hey Steve. Time you tried going fishing, playing golf, gardening – anything really except boring us with your biased one-eyed views in this blog and the TB texts. There is a way out of your corner, just give it a try. It’s called getting a life. worth a try mate before you start arguing with yourself (if you haven’t already).

        • The Magpie says:

          How about you play the ball and not the man? Not a single point or argument about any issue. C’mon folks, grow up, some of you FFS.

  28. Prince Rollmop says:

    Look at these rorting, crooked, dishonest grubs. Look at the lengths they go to so they can look after their ‘mates’. It’s a joke. It’s also nothing new. I wonder if Madam Mayor had similar thoughts when it came to adding money into the TCC budget for some ‘mayoral advisors’?


    • The Magpie says:

      Here’s a question: are we allowed to know the name of these advisors? Aren’t we entitled to know, not just because they are paid out of the public purse, but also because they have great influence over policies that affect us?

      If we aren’t allowed to know, then Jenny can use this public money for a pay back for previous political favours, or even, say, a tradie who did some free shower tiling for the mayor at her privatec residence. Not suggesting that but tell us why it wouldn’t be possible if we are not allowed to be informed who is advising the dictitorial s
      Walker Street shot caller. Pongs of a political rort.

      • Prince Rollmop says:

        Technically, an ‘advisor’ should be someone whose name is listed in the TCC HR database as part of the TCC staff structure. A position name and a description should be on file. If the ‘advisors’ are paid consultants, the details should be again available but probably through the finance database. If above all else fails, a Councillor like Fran should be able to quite easily ask for detailed information about who these people are.

        • The Magpie says:

          Interesting points … and there stillr emains the question as to why such people should be able to claim anonymity (these three do not necessarily do that, because it would seem no one except The Magpie has asked, and then only here, not as a formal request for information). One would think that given the justifible strife Jenny’s BFF is in over union coercion in decision making, she would actually want to be up front about who is giving her advice, that’s what any smart honest person would do. Oh, just a sec … oh, right, I see the problem.

          • Prince Rollmop says:

            I hear ya Magpie I hear ya. Another way to view it is this way – every cent of money that TCC spend is ratepayer/taxpayer money, and it must be documented somewhere. Now Hill might try to hide it from being raised at public Council forums and try to keep it as COI, but it has to be kept on file. She might try to dress it up as consultative services, but either way it has to be accounted for. Only a Councillor like Fran can sift through the cocoon of secrecy that someone like Jenny puts up.

          • The Magpie says:

            Given we’re talking about a mistress of the dark arts, doubt it.

  29. The Magpie says:

    Can’t keep an old dog down, if he can still get it up. Our favourite pickled walnut rejoins the dating game.

    This exclusive from The Shovel.

    • Hugh Jarse says:

      Yes Pie, AND ‘………you will have to sign a pretty tight pre-nup before you let me shag you’! :)

      • The Magpie says:

        My dear chap, it is The ‘Pie who would need to be ‘pretty tight’ to join in any activity of that nature with you, doubt there’s enough booze in Dan Murphy’s to get that plastered. … and by the sound of your name, ‘pretty tight’ would not apply to you in that department.

  30. Mike Douglas says:

    Townsville Bulletin online update on the 2% rates + land valuations . Average Townsville home owner will be hit with a 9 % increase (includes water &waste ) because there is a 10 % cap, but there is no cap on rental properties …. does this mean rents in some suburbs will go up as much as 43% in line with increased valuations? . Scott Stewart is the Natural resources Minister who fobbed off residents concerns on the valuation increases telling people to contact the valuer general . Aaron / Les didn’t fight for their electorates and the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and the CEO would have been aware of this impost to Townsville property owners. Rents will have to increase, but high rates make investing in Townsville residential less competitive than other areas .

  31. The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

    I feel dirty even saying it, but there is a pretty good breakdown of the actual rates rises in the Bullsheet website this afternoon, and even has sensible comment from Colin Dwyer.

    The link won’t work, but for most people here it should not be that hard to go and look.

    • The Magpie says:

      Yes indeed, quite good as far as it goes, which isn’t far … lazy stuff, the authorship if which is obviously Professor Adjunct Colin Dwyer. Caitlin Charles is at it again, willing to claim the words of others as her own. (More on that in this week’s blog.)

      Now, don’t normally do this, but the issue is of such importance, here’s the text of the Bulletin story.

      How much rate rise will mean homeowners will pay
      A Townsville homeowner that owns an ‘average’ property will pay about 9 per cent more when the rates bill comes in the mail.

      Caitlan Charles

      A TOWNSVILLE homeowner who owns an ‘average’ property will pay about 9 per cent more when the rates bill comes in the mail.
      An average Townsville property worth $155,000 will pay about $227 more each year.
      This figure includes increases to both water and waste charges which will go up $4 and $36 respectively on the standard service. There was a freeze on sewerage charges.
      This increase comes following a 2 per cent in the dollar rate rise and an increase in land valuations in 2022.
      Townsville City Council announced the rate rise when it voted on its 2022-23 budget.
      It also installed a 10 per cent cap on an increase for what people could pay, but only for people’s principal place of residence. In the last budget, the cap was 30 per cent.
      There is no cap for investment properties, units or commercial spaces.
      About 40 per cent of Townsville’s residential properties are investment properties.
      For example, in Shaw, the average land valuation went down 7.5 per cent.
      When this figure is calculated against the new rates and charges increases, property owners will be paying almost $86 less than they were in the 2021-22 financial year.
      In North Ward, land valuations went up 40 per cent.
      While owner occupier rates are capped at 10 per cent, if an owner holds a North Ward property as an investment, there is no cap on the increase in rates.
      An average North Ward owner occupier would now be paying $4211.60, up from $2942 in the 2021-22 financial year. This would be a 43 per cent increase without the 10 per cent cap.
      For an investment property in North Ward, the property owner would now be paying $4948, which is up from 2021-22 at $3457, which is a 43 per cent increase.
      In Idalia, the average property value was $199,500, which equated to a $2059.40 rates bill. This has climbed to $240,000 in 2022-23, with the average rates bill expected to be about $2527.
      Regional economist Colin Dwyer said this move could force rent up, and discourage investors from building more housing stock in the city.

      • Sticky Fingers says:

        Mr. Mag, you can always tell a Ms. Charles article without looking at the by-line, because, it never makes any sense.
        Sometimes you have to read her “work” three or four times and it still makes little sense.
        The first four pars of the above article is a prime example that Ms. Charles is completely out of her depth as a journalist of any consequence!
        But then, that makes her well suited to the Townsville Bulletin!

        • The Magpie says:

          See what you’re saying, Digital Onanist, but can’t agree with either proposition: don’t see them as ‘making little sense (pretty clear one would think), and The ‘Pie will demonstrate in tomorrow’s Nest why they are NOT Ms Charles words anyway. She would make a first grade stenographer, like so many of her colleagues.

  32. Dave of Kelso says:

    Thank-you to all in the TCC rates increase discussion. I will now increase my fortnightly rates contribution by 8% to keep up.

  33. Disgruntled commuter says:

    Some of that rates ripoff is going to prop up the V8 Superpests.
    It’s ironic – no its outrageous – that we are actually paying to have one of the city’s main thoroughfares (Boundary Street) and a direct link to Townsville Port by trucks and semi-trailers, closed for 3 weeks. Traffic flow is going to be very interesting when the Cowboys play the Broncos at the nearby stadium next weekend.

  34. Jatzcrackers says:

    Would be interesting to find out how many Townsville properties are owned by Qld State Government. They don’t pay rates and I understand that they’re also not bound by local council bylaws and planning when it comes to building approvals etc.

    • The Magpie says:

      The latter point is exactly why the council cannot intervene as regulator in issues like Casuarina Drive in Annandale … the state simply overrides any power the council might have to defend its ratepayers. To give credit as due, Jenny Hill made a telling point when she told a meeting considering the Annandale residents’ petition, saying the imbalance of discretion in this matter was wrong and should be addressed. her last line in telling in this excerpt from the Astonisher story:
      The Mayor said in many cases, the council doesn’t know where the organisations were setting up.
      “It is one of the questions I am going to raise with our chief planning officer because the state act itself … talks about residential care with one employee,” Cr Hill said.
      “With these services, having more than one employee on site for an 8 hour shift, then we can, by rights, in my opinion, I think it should be coming back to council for an MCU.
      “That doesn’t seem to be happening, these groups are working in a secretive manner because they don’t want to be confronted by council.”

      • Ducks Nuts says:

        The only reason Jenny is pissed about this is because she was made to look like she doesn’t have full control of her city. She doesn’t give two hoots about the residents. Or what the state government do with that land. As long as Jenny gets to approve it.

        But the reality is I can get in home residential care with one employee per shift looking after my elderly parents or child with extra needs if I so choose an Jenny and her chief planning officer can do fuck all about it. And this happens all around the city in residential houses every day. There’s a fine line here in drafting policy for what is and what isn’t acceptable.

        • The Magpie says:

          Those scenarios you mention are not potentially disruptive, and from you seem to be saying involves properties that are owner/occupied already. as you say, a fine line, but it is there.

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            I’m also aware of a number that are not owner occupied and just have residents who are cared for. I assume that sometimes these residents could be disruptive. Are we going to outlaw those as well?

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            Magpie children with extra needs can be VERY disruptive. If we outlawed all homes with extra needs children, where an extra carer was brought in, because the child might be disruptive, we might find ourselves in a hot bed of discrimination cases.

          • The Magpie says:

            You are getting very discombobulated there, Tasty Tidbits. The properties you allude to are owned by the occupier, and are not operated as some care home for a rolling roster of tenants who have no connection to that particular community, and are also ‘managed’ by staff who have no care or commitment to the neighbourhood, either. Completely different scenario. In this and your other comment, you are deliberately trying to create a backdoor into this argument with silly ‘what if’ comparisons, showing that you clearly couldn’t care less about any rights the residents of Casuarina Drive and those in similar situations might have.

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            Actually I’m not discombobulated. Perhaps you are unaware how the system works.
            A number of NDIS operated residential care homes exist with the community and offer respite care to parents with kids under the NDIS. Kids don’t have to be wheelchair bound to receive NDIS. ADHD and Autism qualify.

          • The Magpie says:

            OK, accept that, but the level of disruption and nature of any disruption would be markedly different to plonking down kids with criminal and sometimes violent backgrounds in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, who need 24 hour ‘management’..

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        Council made this situation themselves when we “simplified” the planning process to help the Mullets developer mates. Most activities were made Code Assessable instead of needing to go through an assessment process. That’s why we don’t see signs up on properties and don’t need any consultation for most projects.

    • Critical says:

      A good example of State government being exempt from council planning regulations is the new Dept of Housing future slum building adjacent to IGA Mundingburra, building is within a couple of meters of footpath.

Post a Comment to Hugh Jarse

The Magpie encourages all to take part in the discussion and let their voice be heard.
In order to post a comment, you must provide a name. While you don't have to use your real name, it should be something unique so users can identify you in the discussion. Generic names like “Anonymous” will likely result in your comment being ignored.
Let the discussion begin!

Current ye@r *

Countdown until the next council election:

-865Days -21 -51 -20