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The Magpie

Sunday, August 11th, 2019   |   129 comments

Rubbish Performance: Mega-Garbos Cleanaway Whack A Client With A 53% Fee Increase … But Won’t Say Why

In one of the more arrogant bits of business we’ve come across, a local Cleanaway executive tells a shocked client ‘take it leave it’, in a piece of damaging corporate bullying and bastardry which has now got the southern bosses intervening.

Dizzy Aaron Harper visits the planet to make a mysterious FB post … one wonders if this hapless goof can dress himself …

Talk about chickens coming home to roost: the almost total disruption to a major annual Townsville event spells out the spineless leadership and skewed priorities of our self-interested power elite.

And Trump’s moral limbo dance … he surely can’t go any lower than he did this week …

So first …

A Wake Up Call?

No one issue has divided readers of this blog than The Magpie’s intractable and persistent criticism – indeed alarm – of Donald John Trump, the most unhinged and most immoral leader of the a western nation since Adolf Hitler. The old bird has copped it from a number of folks, some for straying too far from local matters, others because they are sad creatures who create their own mythology and their own morality to support this man’s demonstrably despicable actions. (Uh oh, can already hear he unsubscribe button dinging).

Well, the former group will be happy (or not) to know that Trump will soon become a very local issue for many, especially when it comes to superannuation. Because the most powerful man in the western world is about to jeopardise all Australians financial well-being. He is well on his way to trashing the value of super invested in shares with the ASX. Trump would give our own mayor a run for her money in terms of fiscal ignorance. His bull-at-a-gate trade war with China is already bashing the American farming sector, stockbrokers go to work with clenched buttocks, and with China retaliating to his face-to-face lies, we’ll be next as our stock market takes a big hit. Bentley says it best.

Tariff wars flat small 2 But the glowing perfidy of this man was disgustingly highlighted this week when he made an unwelcome visit ton El Paso in the wake of the Walmart massacre.

Here’s a simple question … what sort of person is so tied up in himself that he organises this photo.

Trump with baby el paso

Just for starters, a cheesy grin and a pointless ‘thumbs up’ is hardly what anyone would expect from a President in town (unwelcome though he was by the largely Latino population) to console and reassure his citizens after a bout of mass murder. But even that amounts to nothing when the chilling truth behind the photo is revealed.

The president did not meet any of the eight survivors of the massacre still recovering in hospital. Three were unable because they are in too poor a condition, or do not speak English, according to the hospital. Five declined the offer. So the President ordered that this baby, who was in the shopping centre during the shooting, be brought in from home for the totally pointless picture. The baby’s parents couldn’t be there … they were both murdered by the gunman, while shielding their baby with their bodies.

The whole idea of this photo call  -open only to a select chosen few – is the product of a truly sick and deranged mind in itself, but the ‘happy snap’ essence of the image is chilling. It was clearly a campaign snap aimed at next year’s election. The deep irony is that Trump’s upheld thumb is his tweeting thumb, the very digit which has repeatedly tapped out racist rants against Latinos and immigrants – tweets that helped cause the massacre in which the baby’s parents died in the first place.

All this is not going to end well for anybody. Anywhere.

Speaking Of Unhinged Politicians

So back to the local scene.

aaron harper

Aaron Harper, here on a visit from Brisbane.

Aaron Harper, who pretends to represent the good people of Thuringowa, is widely known as ‘Harpic’ … because like the famous toilet product, he is clean round the bend. There was some evidence of this during the week – one falls into deep contemplation when reading this Facebook post.

Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 4.31.21 pm

Was our Aaron on the turps when he wrote this? Well, anyway, not a clever move to get it sooo wrong about pipeline matters, it tends to bring out the scolding crone in water superwoman Linda Ashton, who promptly posted this obvious but informed rebuttal.

Linda Ashton and Phillip Thompson

There is some serious misinformation in Aaron Harper’s and some voters-residents appear totally unaware of the facts. Here they are.

The stage 1 pipeline funding was announced with $225 million from the state, June 13th 2017. That pipeline is being built now. Council is project managing and initially the completion date was March 2020. In July 2019 the Feds’ $200 million pledge was confirmed. It is in the 2019-2020 budget and the $5 million business case (which said there was no pressing economic or financial reason for a second pipeline to be built concurrently) was successfully challenged by city reps including WFTAG. (New Lib MP) Phillip Thompson called a roundtable meeting last month where we pointed our serious omissions in the study. WFTAG presented the only written challenge on the day – a 34 page report.
Stage 2 will be a concurrent build IF council doesn’t rush ahead to complete stage 1 by March 2020 for a timely ribbon-cutting ceremony, using up $55 million that a concurrent pipeline build would save. The TSV Bulletin should be sharing these WTAG non-partisan facts. Aaron please advise the editor in a future letter to reconsider her censorship of our non-partisan accurate tech information. It’s already available free to access in many posts, files and reports on our site.

So there, Goofy. 

What A Load Of Rubbish

downloadDuring the week, The ‘Pie was contacted by the operator of a well known business along The Strand – who, while confirming his identity to The ‘Pie, has asked to remain anonymous. He has been using Cleanaway commercial bins – skips presumably – for bulk rubbish removal … these are lifted by the truck, automatically weighed, emptied and weighed when emptied … and this is how cost by weight is reached. Or is it? Our man was not a little startled to receive his latest invoice from Cleanaway (with identifying bits removed).

Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 11.11.02 pm

Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 11.11.34 pm

Cleanaway told the complainant that his price was based on ‘historical weights’ to reach an average for his new fee, an eyewatering 53% hike. But when he asked for a record of the weights, he was told to bugger off in no uncertain terms. In fact, in as many words, he was told if he didn’t like it, he could go elsewhere.

Then started a long exchange of emails, as our man tried to find out why there had been such a dramatic increase, but met with a stonewall of arrogance, with the local Cleanaway manager mentioning the recent Qld government levy on waste shipments (between $75 to $155 per tonne, depending on the type of waste) for the rise. This didn’t seem right to the businessman, but when he again asked to see the weights on which his invoices were based, he received a somewhat unbelievable and somewhat suspicious ‘trust us’ reply: We don’t hand out reports on weights.  This is information we gather using our technology remains the property of Cleanaway. That is simply an astounding statement which, despite the manager’s claim, surely cannot meet the test of commercial in confidence.

Our man then received a verbal assurance that this was not, as he suggested,  a ‘cash grab’ by Cleanaway and that ‘you have received a fair price’ – but no proof was offered and the manager refused to put his verbal claims in writing. So the businessman sent off this email (one of more than a dozen).

Sorry but as it’s my rubbish….and you are basing my new rates on an estimated avg weight why would one copy of this report containing this information not be freely available to your client?Are we going to get a spread sheet organized to look at these weights provided in previous emails for the entire period Jan till start of this month? You first email had an estimated avg weight of 250kg.with no dates on the weights supplied in the spreadsheet…..this was then brought down on the next email with 12 other dates compiled showing a lower avg bin weight….so I certainly believe that with such a significant percentage increase we require each weeks lift weights.

But again, an arrogant brush off from Cleanaway. ‘The second averages I gave you were to demonstrate the fact that 2 bins were weighed independently. You have been given a fair price increase.’

The businessman then brought up many valid side issues to show that his monthly weights would vary with business volume and a recycling plan of his own. All to no avail.

Now this all seemed, as they say, a funny way to fly an aeroplane, so The Magpie contacted Cleanaway’s local person, Bob Hutchinson with a series of questions raised by all this … and lickety split, an email reply landed in the Nest … but not from Mr Hutchinson, it was from one Dan Greentree ‘Cleanaway Sales Manager Waste Services East Coast’ … from his office in Brisbane. Good afternoon Malcolm, as an introduction, my name is Dan Greentree and I am the Sales Manager looking after our Townsville region, thank you very much for your email regarding (the relevant business), Cleanaway takes these matters very seriously and please have confidence that I will deal with this issue personally

Well, good to know Mr Greentree is on the case, but one hopes that when we find out how seriously he takes ‘these matters’, that he proves to the world … and all Cleanaway’s existing clients … that there is a transparent and publicly available reason for these whopping increases, and that they are not a bullying corporate rip-off.

Which we’re sure they’re not … but how would we know

Condemned By The Words From Their Own Mouths …

During the week, we read another stark reminder of the bumbling dereliction of duty from Mayor Mullet’s council, and it’s featherbedding old mates policy by hiring out-of-touch ‘consultants’.

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 8.59.11 amThe Bulletin’s word ‘fresh’ and ‘reignited’ are off the mark – calls for the an entertainment/convention centre (ECC) have never stopped in a decade, ever since they were derailed by Lancini’s determined and selfish drive for a new stadium instead. The story is another condemnation of a council stripped bare of expertise and resolve, so judged by their own pathetic weasel words. For instance, this:

‘The proposal for a 1000-seat concert hall has been in discussion for some years now, with a feasibility report done in 2017 suggesting locations at The Hive development at King St or at Central Park. Two years later there has been no final decision made on what would be a more suitable location.’

Two years? That’s chickenfeed. When the subject switched to the Entertainment and Convention Centre (ECC), the council itself gave the lie to its stumblebum performance, and the cynical blow-in crowd advising them as ‘consultants’ Pure Porkies. But of course, the mayor was a barge pole or two away from all this.

Quote: A Townsville City Council official said a business case has begun for the ­project. “Townsville has a demand for a new facility to host local and touring events,” the official said.The Townsville City Deal Progress report (April 2019) states that a consultant report completed in October 2018, which examined the short, medium and long-term needs for an events facility, confirmed the need for a new entertainment and exhibition precinct to be developed in Townsville.”

Confirmed the bloody need for’ …?!?!

The ratepayers are actually paying this Pure Bullshit crowd good money – although we’re not allowed to know exactly how much – for two reasons … to deflect from the piss poor priorities and decision making of the current administration, and because this elected collection of spineless goofs with their trotters on the edge of the swill trough have not a jot of the wit, imagination or vision that will move this city forward.

CF Toowoomba

Two years ago, Qantas called for expressions of interest from cities to host their new pilot training school. In the following two years, the selection process has been professionally completed with Toowoomba getting the nod, all the paperwork, planning and meetings have been held and signed off, and THIS WEEK, we read that ‘the first sod has been turned at Wellcamp Airport for the construction of the pilot academy’. Just two years!!!

Salient comment in the story:

Qantas Group Pilot Academy Executive Manager Wes Nobelius said, “We’re making good progress on the development of our new pilot academy, and together with our partners and the local community we look forward to welcoming our first students next month.”

Next month!!!

So in that time, what have our own sods been doing here … apparently sitting around with their thumbs in their bums, pleased that a report has been produced stating the bleedin’ obvious need for a convention/entertainment centre. That was underlined with today’s story that almost all the annual eisteddfod has been cancelled for lack of venues.

Screen Shot 2019-08-10 at 11.28.58 am

The story prompted a rare email from The ‘Pie to Astonisher reporter Kate Banville querying a mysterious line in her yarn.

Hi Kate,

Mystified about your reference line, ” The majority of events have been relocated to the Townsville Stadium, which was provided free by the Townsville City Council …etc”.

Where are you actually talking about? Do you mean the Entertainment Centre? Or (doubtful) the Cowboys current stadium – the one under construction, with which everyone associates the word stadium, especially at your paper, would hardly be suitable, except perhaps for a performance of The Dance of the Seven Hi Viz Vests.

The flood damage to the Civic Theatre is blamed, but the problem has been sitting there for more than a decade. Christ, and this is the city that a few short years ago believed it would be hosting a spaceport at Bluewater by now.

Lord, give me strength.

Want A Jellybean?

Well, we’re right out just now. Will a Jenny Bean suffice?

Jenny Bean

This Week In Trumpsylvania’s Killing Fields

One obvious subject dominated America’s cartoonists this week, but while the massacres across the country demanded the main attention, other matters simmered away in the background.

COLOR 16_228430 139_228432 6_political_cartoon_u.s._el_paso_dayton_shootings_trump_visit_send_him_back_-_randall_enos_cagle_0 5_political_cartoon_u.s._trump_is_not_racist_fake_news_confederate_flag_-_pat_bagley_cagle 22_political_cartoon_u.s._trump_visiting_shooting_victim_criticism_-_clay_jones_0 18_political_cartoon_u.s._congress_bullets_empty_shells_nra_gun_legislation_-_steve_breen_creators 20_political_cartoon_u.s._usa_violent_video_games_mental_illness_access_to_guns_-_joe_heller 9_political_cartoon_u.s._animals_wrong_sounds_trump_condemning_racism_-_john_cole_cagle 7_political_cartoon_u.s._countries_with_mental_illness_racism_and_video_games_but_no_shootings_-_steve_sack_cagle 22_political_cartoon_u.s._mass_shooting_dems_and_gop_pointing_fingers_-_steve_kelley_creators

13_political_cartoon_u.s._trump_condemns_bigotry_racism_hatred_stands_on_shoulders_-_bill_bramhall_tribune Screen Shot 2019-08-06 at 9.46.03 am 20190803edhan-a 56_228419 mra080619dapr stg080519_color 6_political_cartoon_u.s._gun_violence_victims_gun_lobby_donations_rip_political_will_-_kevin_siers_cagle Bruce Plante Cartoon: Which way Dems?


That’s yer lot, plenty of other issues making comments pretty lively, jump in if you want. And if you want, you can always drop a donation to support the blog, 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. "Waste" OFTAM says:

    Maybe your rubbish client might want to call the council and compare his prices. Unfortunately for TCC it dosnt advertise or have a sales rep you could say to sell the services to alot of commercial business, surprise surprise there. Your reader will find it difficult to break from his cleanaway contract as well , because they normally lock you in at a cheaper then TCC rate for 12mths then hit you with the rise without notice. Like any contract your want to get out you pay a hudge amount for something you won’t revive. TCC waste runs a service not a profit and everything is based on rates charges the average ratepayers are charged, commercial is slightly different. No contracts.

    • Radiohead says:

      So when is waste services getting contracted out? I’m been told that jenny wants to “dump” , pardon the pun, the waste onto a contractor before next election along with some other services to announce that she’s made more savings to go with the 38 million already done. Good financial management we are told has brought these savings. More like redundancies. Another reason is the unions are asking alot on this pay rise that is being negotiated this week and a strike is on the cards. If jenny wants to keep the unions on board she’ll dump services to a contractor then the workers would have to join a union, if not in one,
      with that contractor. Win win, and workers get fucked over again! With budgets being slashed in TCC, there main income streams of revenue after rates, it’s a wonder that they can even complete there task everyday. I think this is a hidden problem nobdy really knows about yet and won’t unless we get a different mayor next year. We are due to vote this week on EBA for office staff but outdoor workers are as I said above still talking. Trouble might be on the way.

      • The Magpie says:

        trouble is already here with this obscured mess … it’s what gets done about it and by whom that will be interesting.

        • The Magpie says:

          And just while we’re in this neighbourhood, have a look at this, haven’t been able to ascertain if this machine actually yet exists or what it might cost, but Townsville would only need one or two, and Townsville would show the country what a forward looking ‘technology hub’ (HA!) it is really is. But probably wouldn’t meet spending priorities, our more urgent need is say an annual motor car race of dubious value, or an annual $750,000 stipend for the genius factory down at Wishing Well House or wherever, and let’s not forget mega dollars for consultants to tell us the bleeding obvious, or even an airstrip for a billionaire Indian shyster.


          • Dave of Kelso says:

            Dear ‘Pie,
            This machine would be in constant use just in the carpark of the Rasmussen shops, owned by the Manolis family, where the car park is more potholes and gravel than bitumen.

            It has been like this ever since we bought our block of dirt in ’76, and probably long before.

            So long have the carpark potholes been there they are probably heritage listed and will have to be incorporated into the much overdue revamp of the centre.

            Over the years very shoddy treatment of the Upper Ross community by the Manolis family.

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            P.S. Happy Birthday.

            I wish this for yourself and myself; May there be many more in good health.

          • The Magpie says:

            Is it your birthday, too?

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            In a few days.

      • Gen Me Me Me says:

        I hope she contracts out as much as she can.

        Waste, Water, Sewerage, Legal, HR, Electricians, Fitters, Mechanics, Carpenters, Security, Procurement, Dog Catchers, and Fleet could all go to contract.

        Its a fallacy that a council worker will do it more cheaply or efficiently.

        • Radiohead says:

          Funny that I wait until your first bill comes in and see what you say then. It’s s proven fact (thuringowa council) that contractors were more expensive. Every other council in Queensland has separate bills for water rubbish and the like and are paying through the roof. Compare us to towoomba or Ipswich and come back to us. Contractors make profit they arnt there for a service. Your a complete idiot and deserve to have jenny hill as your mayor again. Arnt you satisfied with the sackings and need more? For all TCC faults the workers have never been the problem. I wish you well when the water company charges you more then CPI and if you don’t put your bin out you get charged regardless if your in the right in saying you did. You have no idea how good you have it with services being kept in house. A better leadership across council would keep costs down, which we don’t have. If you think your paying alot now all in one rates notice you’ll see that yes that notice may halve but you will get 3 or 4 seperate bills to pay then. Contractors are like consultants which over the last 4yrs have crippled TCC. Charge a fortune leave it worse then when they started. Proof is in the TCC books.

          • Gen Me Me Me says:

            Radio Head, I’m not sure that I am an idiot or that I deserve Jenny Hill as Mayor. What I can say is that I think you are a long way behind the times.

            You tell me that “Every other council in Queensland has separate bills for water rubbish and the like and are paying through the roof.” Not sure what your evidence is for this. I have lived in other cities and I have never received a separate bill for rubbish collection.

            If (as you say) every other Council in Australia has contracted out these services, why hasn’t Townsville? Are we cleverer than the rest of Australia or just dumber?

  2. Just Sayin' says:

    My experience with Cleanaway has never been good. Overpriced and arrogant. I switched to the Council owned service (Townsville Waste) and they have always given me a fair shake. The money I pay stays in Townsville as well.

  3. why is it so? says:

    With all the money spent on the Stadium, one would think there would be an outcry about the disgraceful dangerously narrow state of Rooney’s Bridge, as well as Bowen Road Bridge. It is beyond belief that Bowen Road reinforcement work started just before the 2019 Feb flood and was washed away. When one sees the entry bridges to southern cities eg Rockhampton and Mackay, one realises how short changed Townsville, the largest regional city in Qld is.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Largest city in Nth Australia.

    • NQGal says:

      The is an easement already in place for construction of a second.bridge on Bowen Road. My guess is that the state government is waiting for the feds to cough up some money – or it will be an election promise…

  4. Grounded says:

    The pilot training has been a litany of debacle and amateurish buffoonery for the city. Bluewater airstrip owners bungled their entire approach 4 years ago when they had a chance to build stakeholder support. A lack of money to do the work, combined with shoddy advice (Pete Newey was central to this – he ran around town telling all and sundry about his centrality to the project), meant no progress on securing the planning outcomes needed to move forward with a proposed pilot training facility there. There was no conspiracy; it was just plain old incompetence. Then, the poor owners of the airstrip got dragooned into a slipshod process to snag the Qantas opportunity, led by purveyors of snake oil who had as much idea about the business model as my big toe did. No surprises the proposal and those peddling it were laughed out of any sensible circle. That airstrip has long run potential for the city. The owners would be well advised to hit the re-set button and jettison the hangers-on who’ve led them astray and jeopardised the project’s standing.

  5. Mike Douglas says:

    Pie, thanks for bringing the increase by the Waste Management company to our notice and I will be interested in their “ personal follow up “ reply . When Queensland State environment minister Leanne Enoch announced the waste levy she said it wouldn’t cost Queenslanders a cent . I understand the cost of Mini skips have doubled so new homes and renovations will increase as well as the costs to business . The Palaszczuk Government said Councils will receive 70 % of the levy back so has this become a cash cow for Council as well as Waste Removal Companies gouging extra?.

    • The Magpie says:

      In terms of transparency, here’s how one company did it on the Gold Coast. Would have thought this would be business relations 101, and this company sounds like it wants customers to be satisfied.

    • NQGal says:

      Correct on the increase on waste fees. A the cost of a 6m3 bin has increased by $80 and if there is more than a tonne of waste in the bin, you get hit for another $80.

  6. Lady Byron says:

    Good morning Pie

    A little birdy told me it was a certain chickadee’s birthday today… So Happy Birthday old bird – and my best wishes for many more!

  7. Cantankerous but happy says:

    This rubbish levy is just something else to add to the list of ill thought through stuff ups from this state govt, they are just a joke. Builders I have been talking to have told me the costs of skips have gone through the roof since the levy was introduced and they are simply adding those costs onto projects with some hefty margins built in. The dumping of rubbish in skips on building sites has gone through the roof as builders and the general public simply dump stuff at other builders site skips. One builder told me he won’t leave skips onsite over weekends anymore as they return to site on Mondays and find it full of other peoples waste. I think the biggest concern will be the amount of people who will now simply dump their rubbish in the bush somewhere or on vacant blocks of land, it has the potential to create a real unsightly mess.

  8. Critical says:

    Pie, not like you to get behind the times, Townsville Staduim has been standing on Murray Lyons Dr, Annandale for the past 10 years. Opened as the Townsville RSL Stadium but after the RSL ceased their sponsorship of the stadium about 5 years ago, council changed the name to Townsville Stadium.
    Likewise, the name of the former Tony Ireland Stadium at Riverway is now Thuringowa Stadium.

    • The Magpie says:

      Take your point but with all the media featuring the word ‘stadium’ meaning only one location, the CBD white elephant-in-waiting, it’s easy to confuse an old bird.And still reckon clarification by the Astonisher is part of their job, but no biggy. It was otherwise a good and carefully worded story by Kate. And btw, how many people know that it isn’t Tony Ireland stadium anymore, and in fact, why was it changed if he was so instrumental in its creation? Wonder if that anything to do with Jenny Hill’s famous run-in with Tony, who years ago point blank refused to make an insurance claim on a repair to her hoon car which was clearly her responsibility to pay. That was the reason she bought her first mayoral chariot in Brisbane (plus shipping costs) although Tony’s mob offered to match the Brisbane price. our Jenny’s a good Labor gal, never ever forgets.

      God help The Magpie, then.

  9. Al says:

    HAPPY DAY young fella!!!!!

  10. Feeder says:

    How about balance on the Trump ElPaso shooting photo –


    I am not a Trump fan but u cant pin this on him

    • The Magpie says:

      You have to be joking or developmentally delayed. Just read the first sentence of the story …here it is in case you missed it.
      “Tito Anchondo wishes people would stop politicising his family’s tragedy.”

      So who was politicising it? Why would Tito (a Trump supporter by the way) allow his nephew to be so cynically exploited for political purposes after none of the survivors could or would be seen with him? Can’t pin it on this smarmy, unfeeling fuckwit and his vacuous missus (herself an immigrant who presumably has not been told to go back where she came from)? Guess it’s that bad old fake media leftie Greenie Democrat mafia, eh?

      If you’re excusing this irresponsible and chillingly callous creep, then it means he is attracting those of his same ilk. Your choice.

    • The Magpie says:

      You are either joking or are seriously developmentally delayed – the emphasis on the ‘mentally’. JUST READ THE FIRST SENTENCE – HERE IT IS IN CASE YOU GLAZED OVER IN A SWOON OF ADMIRATION –

      “Tito Anchondo wishes people would stop politicising his family’s tragedy.”

      AND then look at whose in the picture, with President Smarm looking like he’s at a campaign rally and not in a sombre town in a sombre national moment. So whose doing the politicising? Ah, it must be the ‘fake news’ looney leftie Greenie Democrats, eh?

      But since we apparently have to spell this out for you, we also read “Anchondo, who lost his beloved brother and sister-in-law in the rampage outside an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on Saturday, said he chose to take his orphaned nephew to University Medical Centre of El Paso on Wednesday to meet the President and First Lady.” But what the fine, upstanding White House media minders didn’t allow him to add, was that he did so at the specific request of the President, after all eight of the massacre survivors either couldn’t or wouldn’t meet him for a suitable photo op. Anchondo is a Trump supporter, and willing to let his infant nephew be used a as cynical and pointless political prop.

      If you seek to NOT ‘pin this on him’, Feeder, that not only defies the logic before your very eyes, but also makes you a bottom Feeder.

  11. The Third Reader says:

    happy birthday Malcolm. Have a great day. Loving the retell of the Mullet and Tony Ireland episode. it is usually the first i repeat to show the uninitiated or ignorant people of this town the character of our civil leader and her ways. Horrible woman in so many ways.

  12. Critical says:

    Looks like Mullet doesn’t want your honest responses or only a few responses in this somewhat useless survey. Unless you provide your name phone no and email address at the end you cannot submit.

    Some bloody useless questions to like name the suburbs you most frequently visit. Got to name 6 different suburbs otherwise you cannot progress in survey and submit. If you live in North Ward and work in the CBD and do your shopping in North Ward, doctors are in North Ward and partake in recreational activities in the same area, what do you with the other spaces.

    What happened to TCC undertaking true community engagement and have staff sitting in shopping centres, on footpaths, at events etc. doing surveys to get the true responses from the community.

    I’ll let other readers spot the other irrelevant questions which show that this survey was probably developed by another southern based consultant.


  13. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Why not build a new convention centre on the site of the existing Cowboys ground in Kirwan?
    Car Parks are already completed and there will be plenty of busses available from the city / Bowen Road Accommodation precincts (just use the ones lying dormant that will be used to ferry all of the fans to and from the new stadium).
    Bus capacity will be designed to ferry 15,000 to 20,000 punters to and from the city to outer suburbs before and after the games in around an hour so they should be more than adequate.
    They will only have to worry about the main building cost as all other connections (water sewage electricity etc.) are already there.
    Delegates can have a break next door at Brothers, have a game of golf at Tropics or catch a movie or eat / dine at Cannon Park.
    It will be cheaper to use infrastructure that we already have already in place.

    • The Magpie says:

      Hmmm, think you might be missing a point here. Conventions are not for locals, and entertainment headliners attract out-of-towners as well as locals, the visitors will want to stay around town. Bussing cashed up visitors into the outer suburbs is not an appealing point when talking up convention organisers, so it really isn’t an option. That ground is more than 17kms from the city, the airport and the ferries.

      • Westie says:

        Dream on Magpie. You are caught up in a dead paradigm.

        Kirwan is not an outer suburb- it is far closer to the centre of town than Flinders Street and the port precinct- check your map. Would an out of towner be impressed with the sad joke that is the old CBD?

        The Cannon Park restaurant precinct shits all over Palmer Street and the Vomitorium. The Strand pales beside Riverway, despite the money spent in North Ward to try to make it pretty.

        Break away from the past, and try to take Mayor mullet with you. The decaying CBD is gone, and will never be the fondly remembered 1970s version again. The real Townsville today is the south and west, not North Ward, not Magnetic Island. Let’s show our visitors the real Townsville.

        For those who haven’t been, come and compare.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Compare it to what Westie, Detroit, Buffalo, Chernobyl ? Kirwan has all the appeal of the Gaza Strip with the same amount of crime I would imagine. Whilst the CBD and North Ward isn’t much better currently under our pathetic Mayor and council it at least has potential, it only takes a change of Mayor, a bit of initiative and planning and it will improve, whilst you could spend a billion dollars on Kirwan and it would still be Kirwan, and if you think I am biased think again, I owned business in Kirwan and was on the Thuringowa Chamber of Commerce for many years when Les Tyrell was Mayor, and despite the dreams of a few misguided people who thought like you do the reality is it will always just be a suburb with a few shops, it will never be a centre of commerce or a tourist destination or a logical site for anything like a convention centre.

        • No More Dredging says:

          Westie and NAW, you might be absolutely correct. I can’t imagine why Sydney didn’t put the Opera House at Granville or even Liverpool and the Harbour Bridge? – should have crossed Botany Bay to the airport of course. But if we’re getting our own Silicon Valley out at Woodstock shouldn’t we be thinking . . . .

        • Kingswood says:

          You want to show visitor’s kirwan?? To scare them away and scar them permanently? The inner city has its issues, but if I’m having 2 weeks off I’ll go to Maggie thanks, not the bloody kirwan tavern….

          • Frequent flyer says:

            Love your work Kingswood. Maggie Island and The Strand, despite neglect by council, are Townsville’s only genuine tourist attractions. Perhaps Kirwan could be a destination for juvenile crime tours.

          • Grumpy says:

            Townsville’s Fountain Lakes

            …or Inala

            …or Woodridge

            Whatever, it will never be anything other than a cluster of fast food joints and home invasions

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      What.golf pokies, grog and pictures within a couple of minutes of the convention centre and all of this within 20 minutes of where you are staying, you obviously don’t get out much Maggers ( by the way happy birthday)
      You need to get out of your small town mentality
      It would work

      • The Magpie says:

        So you reckon folks would come, and Townsville be chosen by organisers, to get the same stuff they can get everywhere else in Australia? No point of difference here, like The Strand, the casino, the ferries to Maggie, the footy stadium. Mate, there’s a job waiting for you at TEL.

        Thanks for the birthday wishes, appreciated.

        • Non Aligned Worker says:

          I forgot Riverway and our own MCG at Pioneer Park. It got more to offer than the dead heart of town. Oh and if they drive to the “new” convention centre they would experience a very unusual thing… free parking!

          • The Magpie says:

            It’s really interesting trying to work just who you imagine would be attracted to visit Townsville in your scenario. Do you go to Geelong to visit suburbs like Drumcomndra or Grovesdale, well away from that city’s vibrant waterfront precinct (and stadium)? Or Newcastle to visit Adamstown? Well you may say you’ve never heard of them. Just as your fascinated visitors would say about Aikenvale or Mundingburra. Many of the areas you mention are great places to live (and some not) but they really offer nothing unique that a traveller would seek out, unless specific like a footy match. They are simply suburbs with the expected amenities for residents. And the ‘dead heart’ would forever remain that way if you dominated with the inward looking focus on amenity for locals erroneously transferred to fascinating attractions for tourists and other visitors. Musings like yours NAW will never see potential for the CBD (yes, yes, a misnomer but we know where we’re talking about) and no one in the power elite has a coherent vision for the city heart beyond getting some tired, clapped-out consultancy to dash off a few lazy report pages of the bleedin’ obvious and pocket wasted public funds in doing so.

            The CBD needs a deal breaker, a massive player to attract satellite businesses and buzziness. Even an entertainment/convention centre would only go part way to realising the areas potential.Something like a huge ‘anchor tenant’ tech company creating a true technology hub, or perhaps one of the universities creating a large genuinely vibrant campus (rather than the piddling but mildly useful efforts so far), with dormitory blocks for students … in one fell swoop, all manner of businesses, and the arts, and food and entertainment ventures would thrive. (One faculty that would make a perfect fit with the current business demographic of the city would be the Law faculty. All this pissing around with ‘free rent temporary art spaces’ may be worthy flashes in the pan, however in truth they are but tits on the Townsville bull (show me the landlord happy with that as some panacea, or even as a positive move forward.) We need a city leadership that can go out after solutions like these that are thought through, and carrots of real concessions given … not things like stadiums that will be of general business value 20 or 30 days a year. Because no matter what you think, NAW, the area we call the CBD is and always will vital to the business health and the image of this community to locals and visitors alike. That image at the moment is working massively against us, and dopey ill-thought out negativity spells out a general mind-set that will make it so forever so unless we change our thinking.

            Geez, mate, don’t get me started.

      • Droopy draws says:

        “It would work…”???

        Really? A fucking Convention Centre plonked out in the boondocks???

        Westie / NAW, if you two weren’t a laughing stock you’d be dangerous.

        Pie, please separate them. We don’t need these two boneheads getting in the same room; they might form a party and run….

        Christ, I’m really perplexed about the shoot from the hip mentality our city has developed.

        • Droopy draws says:

          Oh, and many happy returns to you Magpie. Hope you had a tipple or two.

        • Westie says:

          There are two areas in this discussion that cause me a little sadness.

          The first sadness is the level of contempt obviously held by many correspondents to this blog for their fellow citizens living in the western suburbs of Townsville. Derogatory descriptions like “boondocks”, “home invasions”, “juvenile crime, references to famous prisons, stupid, abound. This is despite the fact that most Townsville residents actually live in the western suburbs, they generate most of the economic activity of the region, and pay most of the rates that are invested in the gilded suburbs around Castle Hill.

          These contributors support their opinions with fake news. For example, look at crime. According to the Queensland Police Service (https://qps-ocm.s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/index.html) the suburb of Townsville City has more crime reports (2294) than Kirwan (2057) in the last 12 months, despite Kirwan having seven times the population (21,438) of Townsville City (3,116).
          Other leading crime hotspots per population are Garbutt, West End and South Townsville, way ahead of the “infamous” Upper Ross suburbs, Aitkenvale and Douglas.

          The second source of sadness is the inability of many commenters to separate the past from the future in regard to what is required of “good” cities. Cities are organic- their structures evolve to meet to meet the needs of the people who live in them. Looking back, these needs and structures have a half life of about 50 years.

          Originally cities were market towns to barter goods. Then they built walls to protect the local population against marauders that were common at the time. Then they became a conglomeration of villages (suburbs), each with its own set of employers, retailers, and social institutions interconnected by public transport. Then they became centralized retail and commercial hubs connected by motor cars.

          I am sure at some stage some citizens said plaintively –“The walls are falling down. What good is a city without walls?” The response that we no longer have marauders running about, and if we did they now have access to explosives that blow walls down anyway would have fallen on deaf ears.

          Does Townsville really need a City heart, to avoid being an inferior City? Most Townsvilleans live in the Western Suburbs, and have their own local community hearts. Do you think that retail departed the CBD because the CBD was not good enough, and if we fixed the CBD it would come back? If so, I think you are mistaken. Retail left the CBD because the retail industry is dying and will be just about gone in a decade or so, overtaken by a new distribution technology- the Internet.

          So let’s move on. Kirwan (and Aitkenvale, North Shore, Douglas) are the new hearts of Townsville. The old CBD by the port was important once, but that was years ago. Let’s support the new hearts, and make them special.

          • The Magpie says:

            Mate, they’ll be lining up at Tullamarine and Mascot as we speak. And your really are special … and bet you can prove it, with your crayons and crash helmet. But you really deserve an award for missing the point.


    Happy birthday Magpie, enjoyed reading the latest blog, as usual.

  15. Memory Man says:

    Many happy returns “old bird”. Trust you have many more happy ones!

  16. Radiohead says:

    Just reading about the roof collapse in Europe on MSN. I certainly won’t be sitting in our new stadium under all that metal. The roof over there went down in high winds. No cyclones there! Imagine what would happen to ours if this happens. Pictures show a cantilever style like ours.

  17. Critical says:

    Looks like Cairns has beaten Townsville on this initiative. The question has to be asked again “What does TEL actually do and what measureable and validated outcomes (Vs outputs) achieve”.


    I note that the first COAG meeting ever held outside a capital city was held in Cairns last week but not a comment made by Mullet who promotes Townsville as The Largest City in Northern Australia or The Capital of Northern Australia among other titles as to why Cairns and not Townsville.

  18. Spooka says:

    Good evening Pie,
    To get off Towsvilles ongoing problems for a minute, I wish the average Australian could realize what a fake, extremely dangerous and mentally unstable ratbag Trump is. As a follower of all things scary in world Politics and Banking, it frightens the hell out of me what this bloke has done, what he is doing and in particular what he may cause on a world stage. My opinion is to be prepared for the shit to hit the fan sooner than later on a very large scale, both the military and financial moves this dumbfuck has and is making threatens us all while he is in office. Trump is possibly the straw that may break the camel’s back in an already volatile and unstable world.

  19. Mike Douglas says:

    Heard Jimmy Barnes plugging his “ shutting down your town” tour September in Townsville and was wondering whether it was bought to us by “ Pure Projects “ . The Queensland Government sent Labor Nudgee MP Leanne Linard to a three day conference in the UK on “ Gender Sensitivity Scrutiny “ GSS . I am going to get ahead of the curve and make sure I have gender balance with my two pets before fines and bans .

    • NQGal says:

      The state government has already caved in on gender scrutiny. My brother in law was only half joking when he said that he would need to identify as a differently abled lesbian to advance any further in his organisation. He’s lots a few promotions to women who know nothing about what the organisation does, but it ticks the box of women in management roles.

  20. The Magpie says:

    Well, obviously no one else is going to tell them.

    When to Use Historical
    Something that is historical is simply something that happened in the past, regardless of its significance. As William Safire once said, “Any past event is historical, but only the most memorable ones are historic.” This is a good way to think about the difference between these two words.

    And the irony here is that this is one of the rare occasions that the repeatedly mis-used word ‘iconic’ would be appropriate, given the world publicity Tobruk received as an pre-Olympic training pool when Australia ruled the world of swimming.

    • The Wulguru Wonder says:

      Ah, William Safire, a brilliant columnist and very cunning linguist. (Much like our own Magpie).

      One of my favourite quotes of his:
      “Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don’t know and I don’t care.”….very applicable to the current standards of writing and editing at the

    • Old tradesman says:

      Funny how all the stars are aligning for that historic event in March, maybe Jenny should learn a story about the Ides of March.

  21. Fishframe says:

    Not sure of Health / Food legislations, but you could purchase a new 1T covered trailer for about $2,500 and take the rubbish to the tip yourself each month. Dump fees for Commercial trash not too bad. Investment would pay for itself pretty quickly at Cleanaway’s prices.

  22. Moment says:

    While the feasibility ‘is progressing’ for a Concert Hall for Townville, great to see around $170M for a little reno for Cairns Convention Centre to host Multiple Events and more importantly benefit from an expected $40M range/per year into the economy for that region. You must ask yourself, Who, are the real ‘mover and shakers’ up here and for Townsville?

  23. Dave of Kelso says:

    So, the ‘Pie is a Leo.

    When Leo comes in he comes with a roar,
    And when he’s through he roars some more.
    He’s glad to share your point of view,
    So long as it’s his point of view too.
    But if you cross have no fear,
    The bruising will fade within a year.

    Mad Magazine 1966.

  24. Non Aligned Worker says:

    Is Silicon Valley situated near fisherman’s wharf or in a valley some distance from San Fran CBD?
    Everything does not have to happen centrally.
    CBD central is a very old fashioned concept.

    • The Magpie says:

      Not everything does happen centrally, but in your scheme of things NOTHING should happen centrally. You are trying to just play semantics, or are you saying that … let’s call it ‘downtown’ instead of CBD … should just wither and die because of outward expansion? You really don’t think these things through, do you, NAW, but then doing that is pretty hard when you’re not playing with a full set of clubs, mate.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        I know! Looking at the map it is clear. It is the Townsville OCBD.

        Off Centre Business District.

      • Non Aligned Worker says:

        Just sayin’ not everything should be directed to the centre. There are often more cost effective options available than you and Jen spruke.
        And by the way 14 clubs and plenty of balls!

        • The Magpie says:

          You need plenty of them thar balls because like marbles, you are constantly losing them from time to time.

          But a more considered reply is that The ‘Pie agrees – and has done so on more than one occasion – that this bumbling, haphazard dicking around with the CBD has become seemingly all absorbing for this council, TEL and the Chamber … one gets the feeling driving around the ‘burbs that Townsville is getting on with an if not an overly prosperous certainly an industrious business and social life. And Mayor Mullet and the likes of Frothy Molachino have realised, possibly too late, that this constant groping around for some CBD magic bullet is leaving many residents feeling neglected and a perception, rightly or otherwise, that money is being directed away from where it is needed and justly expected.

          But on the other hand, any city needs a social hub, for both visitors and locals. Possible solutions have been gone over here ad infinitum, but there is one thing missing from all the verbiage gurgling up from all and sundry … a clear vision of just what the mayor’s clear vision actually is.

  25. Bentley says:

    Many Happy Returns, Old Son!

  26. NewMoon says:

    Hi ‘Pie,

    Long time reader; first time commenter (spelling?).

    Firstly, thank you for the enlightenment. I learn something new every week, about things I thought I already knew.

    Whilst I don’t disagree that many Townsvillians would associate the word ‘stadium’ with the Cowboys / 1300 Smiles / NQ Stadium, the venue referred to here, has been labelled ‘Townsville Stadium’ for years, since the naming rights sponsor agreement lapsed. If you google ‘Townsville Stadium’, it is the first to pop up.

    Also, the new stadium has been referred to as ‘North Queensland Stadium’ (as opposed to Townsville Stadium) since its initial design concepts, but I’m sure you were aware of that.

    Don’t get me wrong, the Bulletin as a news source is less than average, sad, even, at times – just seems like you are pushing buttons just to push buttons.

    Cheers :)

  27. Cantankerous but happy says:

    If anyone needed proof this council is killing business in this town all they have to do is look at the headlines on the Bulletin website, a shopping centre in Rasmussen will be rejected by council, a new brewery in town will have to measure how much beer it sells and report it to Walker St, and the walking dead of Magnetic Island can’t even have a hole in the ground to fall into when they finally stop walking. Add the rejection of a hotel in the city and the message is a simple one, don’t bother trying to invest in Townsville, go somewhere else.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, yes and no, Cankers. On the face of it, in the case of the Rasmussen development, you seem to be suggesting there should be no rules regarding conflict of interest or developer donations to political power groups. For once, councillors were right to abstain from a decision, which will now apparently be taken by Jenny’s good mate, Mike C, the CEO. The ‘Pie noted that after Raggatt explains that Geon developers donated to Team Hill in 2016, so all councillors felt they (correctly) should stand aside because of the conflict and leave the decision to the CEO, the story ends with the line’The issue is due to come before the full council for a decision later this month’. What decision? The whole elected council is in conflict, so how does this work? Surely if council passes whatever decision Chiodo makes, that is an official endorsement and then becomes the council’s decision. And we’re back to square one? The Qld Government sure knows how to draft foolproof legislation, eh?

      Given the tarnished reputation of the TCC Planning Department, looks like we’re rooted either way. Housing development on a flood plain, anyone?

  28. Critical says:

    Townsville loses out to Cairns again. Be interested to know if TCC or TEL even placed an expression of interest to host this ferris wheel.
    Could have looked at placing the Ferris wheel at Jazzine Barracks and riders would have had a magnificent view of North Ward and the coastline.


    • Old tradesman says:

      Why have a Ferris Wheel, when the council and the state government give everything in this city the merry go round.

    • Cathryn says:

      I see from time to time suggestions on here for developments on Jezzine. Everyone needs to remember that Jezzine came back to the community under a trust. The Townsville City Council holds the land in trust for the community of Townsville. There are some very limited allowed usages under the Deed of Trust. These protect the heritage listing of various parts of the precinct and prohibit any council ever selling off any of the land. So unless it is a museum or a kiosk, which have sites pencilled into the concept plan, it can’t happen. Certainly not on top of the Kissing Point cliffs … that is a military heritage zone.

      • Critical says:

        If you carefully read the article the ferris wheel is there for a period of 3 months so this project would not sell off land or redesignate the use of a parcel of land. At times it appears that the attitude Townsville people of locking up land etc. and not being game enough to have a go at something new is exactly what is stopping development and new ideas coming to Townsville. No wonder I hear an increasing number of people in Townsville saying that Cairns has so much more happening and is much more accessible than Cairns.

        • The Magpie says:

          You have a point but so does reader Cathryn. A temporary ferris wheel installation at Kissing Point would be a great attraction BUT – mainly for locals, be of very doubtful tourist value because of the time frame (or even if it permanent). And in noi way could or should it be allowed as a permanent private money-making structure on this gifted land. And you can bet your left one that the operators would be charging the council a hefty fee for the privilege of a short rental. But while reader Cathryn is correct about Jezzine, too many sites and structures hold Townsville hostage to the past … the railway yards with stupid heritage rating, the million dollar delay to the old North Ward hospital development because of a petty dispute between heritage and DMR who are in charge of Eyre street, and the St Patricks expansion plans hindered by an unreasonable heritage order on an ugly eyesore. Much of the same element with The Hive development over the Criterion Hotel (which, if it came to it, could be left intact with the development rising over, around and above it … despite being an eye-catching national talking point like the Ettamogah pub, won’t happen because that might shave a few feet of a greedy developers super yacht.)
          Here’s an theoretical example of what could happen.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            That’s a great example Pie, I always stay at the Intercontinental when in Sydney and they too have done a similar thing with building a hotel around the old treasury building from the mid 1800’s , just a wonderful building and shows what can be done. In regards to the Ferris wheel I think it will work better in Cairns than Townsville because they don’t have a bloody big hill in the middle of the city where you can see for miles in any direction.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Here’s your chance, Westie and NAW. Put your case to TEL to bring the Ferris Wheel to Kirwan. Forget about Jezzine Barracks, the Strand and views to Maggie Island. Get the thing stood up in the carpark at the Smiles Stadium and cut loose the views of Mount Stuart, the River and the lazy acres framing magnificent Herveys Range. At up to 700 rides an hour ($10 adults, $8 kids), Kirwan would have difficulty finding tellers (TELlers?) to count the money.

  29. Cathryn says:

    Oh I am so with you Pie over the over-conservation of stuff in our city! We have some glorious buildings and streets (of Queenslanders), and all councils have encouraged their beautification and preservation, but Townsville doesn’t need to be the open air Queensland annex for the Powerhouse Museum, preserving every little Australian thing for the future populations to see. Oh and critical, I can assure you that the three main groups whose interests are represented at Jezzine have very strong views on what is respectful for that site. I don’t belong to any of the groups but I know where they are coming from. We have the rest of our parks in which to play …. and build Ferris wheels. Personally I love them! Even if it was in Kirwan :-).

  30. Mike Shearer says:

    Magpie 12th Aug: “We need a city leadership that can go out after solutions like these that are thought through, and carrots of real concessions given … not things like stadiums that will be of general business value 20 or 30 days a year.”

    That’s a helluva advance on Reid Park racetrack – 3 days a year.

    So after the stadium, continuing the series: 3 days, 30 days, 300 days… Now what is an attraction useful for 300 days a year? Got it!! An art gallery, and entertainment centre. Snorkles not req’d, of course.

    • Critical says:

      Now’s there’s a site that I didn’t think of, put the ferris wheel in Reid Park as I lies unused for most of the year and the hill wouldn’t block the views out to Kirwan and beyond and ocean views could still be had. The ferris itself probably won’t attract tourists from down south or inerstate into Townsville and I doubt that would happen for Cairns but I’m certain that people from the Burdekin, Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook would visit for a ride and spend money in local businesses. Certainly people from Townsville and the neighboring council areas are entitled to something different without having to go to SE QLD.

    • Dave of Kelso says:


      How about a performing arts centre?


  31. Arthur Itis says:

    Only one place for a Ferris Wheel… top of Castle Hill. Could be wind powered, even generate electricity, good views, win, win, win, but a bit of a bugger for those on board if it took off though.

    • The Magpie says:

      Great minds think alike etc etc … The Magpie and Bentley is ahead of you there is, as you will see in this week’s load of old cobblers due out tomorrow evening.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Pair of amateurs, you need to start thinking big, it would have to be a floating Ferris wheel in the middle of Mullets Lagoon on the Strand.

  32. Terry P says:

    Re Strand Business and Cleanaway. I’ve found that the J.J. Richards always provided a better and cheaper waste service than any other company.

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