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The Magpie

Saturday, April 26th, 2014   |   52 comments

Sale of the Century!! How bankrupt-about-town Gavin Thompson picked up a swisho Yarrawonga house for an incredible $300,000 just a couple years ago.

… and somehow he still managed to go broke, owing heaps.

In other matters, Mayor Mullet is at it again, talking up the success of a council measure she had actually voted against.

Rupert Murdoch out of this world? There’s evidence.

The importance of the name of the place where we live – Townsville may sound redundant to some, but it could be worse … much, much worse.

And mercifully, at long last, they’ve GONE!!! Katie and Bill have buggered off, so the nation may get some news that actually matters.

Starting off on that issue, The ‘Pie was interested to learn that according to polls, many young people have become avowed monarchists as the royal menagerie trundled around the country.

But one wonders would that be the case this royal couple weren’t so damn attractive and smooth, ( although her attempted heel click even won over this crusty old bird).


And all the time giving off an aura of young love as well as young parenthood, but if that weren’t the image, would youngsters feel the same? Is it just the illusion of relevance that has hooked everyone?  After all, body image is of overwhelming importance to the young of today, and Kate is without a doubt the yummiest of mummies to come our way in a long time. And Bill – outside his affectation of calling himself Will – has that muted and dignified air of a recently defeated English cricketer, a mien guaranteed to attract Aussies of all ages.

But what if, say, the happy couple were not so physically attractive, a sort of amalgam of Susan Boyle and Clive Palmer … in his case, even worse, what if – unlike Crazy Clive – he had no chins at all?

And what if she looked like the north end of a south-bound elephant? There’s a precedent here – Princess Anne indisputably has a face that had definite equine echoes her beloved horses, and that combined with an up-herself arrogance, hasn’t endeared her to anyone much over the years.

We Aussies are like that, though, groomed by a media attuned to the physical imperatives of news (how many Bali 9 drug stories would we be swamped with if even one of them looked like Chapelle Corby?)

But Bentley reckons young baby George hasn’t been pining for his palace playpen during this trip, he’s felt right at home.

ears copy

On matters local, we all occasionally think wistfully of that false land of the past, The Good Old Days. But Gavin Thompson must be missing them a little more keenly than most, for him the good old days being 2011.

8 toorak place

For it was in those good times that he bought this Yarrawonga pile for the princely sum of – ready, Yarrawongians, your values are about to plummet – $300,000!

Actually, the buyer was technically a company called ZacJac Investments, of which Thompson is – or at least was – the sole shareholder and director. The company name is apparently an amalgam of his two sons names, neither of whom to The ‘Pie’s knowledge have anything to do with their father’s shenanigans.

But you’d reckon the vendor would be a bit off the market movements at $300,000 – until you discover that 8 Toorak Place was the home of Max and Lorraine Tomlinson, the parents of Thompson’s de facto missus Amy.

Ex-Astonisher GM, Max Tomlinson has always been a generous and jovial character, but, come on, that generous? He probably isn’t all that jovial at the moment either, and myriad creditors are starting to ask questions. Not that The ‘Pie has anything to say about a father trying to give a helping hand to his kid and his grandchildren, and The ‘Pie is not in any way suggesting there is any indication that Max is involved in Thompson’s other murky matters.

McGrath Real Estate have the place listed for a tidy $895,000, but The Pie reliably understands that although the place is ‘under contract’, the sale is shaky, as it will have to get past the Public Trustees before anything happens, because of the bankruptcy involved.

But $300,000!! Currently on the McGrath website, you can pick up a house in Condon for $350,000, or get a breathe of fresh mountain air in a cottage at Paluma -for $300,000.

In the meantime, creditors have been breathing all sorts of dire speculations down the MagpieFone, asking how come the Thompsons are still living in the Cassimatis house on Melton Hill and manage to service what is believed  to be an $8000 per month mortgage. Both have a couple of splendid autos in which to tool around town, and all the while, neither is apparently working. Not that that matters much, not even a pay packet the swingeing size of TEL CEO David Kippin’s ratepayer funded annual quarter of mill would make a dent in the Thompson troubles.

Watching with interest. Moving on.

Who would’ve credited it, a mirthful Mayor Mullet having a little jest on herself … and us. Or at least we think so.

This is her Twitter thumbnail bio.

Screen shot 2014-04-26 at 12.33.07 PM

Chortle, wheeze, splutter what an old kidder you are, Mullet m’dear.  The pic is funny enough, considering that it is painfully obvious in real life you’ve been out in the lushest of good paddocks lately. But why shouldn’t a gal glam herself up a bit for Twitter.

But ‘political powerhouse’? Geez, good one, Jen, got any more?

What about ‘visionary leader’ with a ‘policy of consensus’?

‘Straight-shooter’? Wheeze, gasp, how about ‘much loved’. har har harrrr.

Oh, stop it, The ‘Pie will do himself a mischief if he keeps this up. But hey, Jen, Remember how you had us all rocking back on our heels in helpless short breath when you claimed YOU were responsible for bringing in the first council surplus in years, when in fact you had consistently voted against every single measure that eventually delivered that surplus?

Well you’re at it again, ain’t you, gal, anything for a laugh, eh?

In this story, about the wildly successful CBD Business Incentive Scheme coming to the end of its agreed timeframe, you agreed it had been a success, and then had this to say.“The incentives program has provided a much-needed stimulus for new projects and economic activity at a time when we need it most,” she said. “Placing a cap on the amount of incentives and having a time limit on the program has clearly achieved the impetus needed to bring forward projects that may have otherwise been kept on hold in the current tough economic climate.”

Honeyed words of implied self praise of someone who had the vision to stimulate business and take bold initiatives.

But hang on a sec.

If that’s the case, why, Madam Mayor did you vote AGAINST the scheme, when its proponents, the then Mayor Les Tyrell and his Deputy David Kid Crisafulli, put it to council for a vote on April 27th, 2011?  It passed anyway, but in no way due to your politics of pique, which you spuriously try to pass off as ‘principle’.

Perhaps its time to change the Twitter bio, luv … how about Purveyor of Political Porkies Par Excellence?

Notes from the week.

By far the funniest punchline for a comment send in to the blog this week is from regular poster Martin K, harrumphing about the architectural sketch of a proposed Port precinct development


When Oh! when is Townsville going to dispense with the moron who seems to get approval from TCC for galvanised girders clad in timber all leaning out at oblique angles supporting an equally uninspiring “flat” roof? 

If this clown had his way, last weekend (Easter) we would have had Jesus hanging out at 30 degrees.

Top call, MK. Not that Jesus wouldn’t face other problems in the modern world.

Jesus feeding

And just prove that The Astonisher isn’t the only whoopsie-prone paper around the place, this popped up in WA, when the paper was printed  before Joe Hockey had completed a budget preview speech.


Moving on to a broader look at the world we live in, or more specifically, the places we live in as communities. These musing were prompted by this story in the SMH about a Spanish town which next month will vote on whether to change its 500 year-old name from Matajudios  – which means ‘Kill Jews’ – to the slightly more friendly Mota de Judios – Mound of the Jews.

Place names have always fascinated The Magpie, who has previously noted inter alia that Australia has Broke and Plenty, along with Long Pocket. Austria has this ….


…. which also boasts the angriest small town mayor on the planet, who can’t understand why the town’s name signs keep disappearing.

The ‘Pie’s English favorite is the graphic but presumably honest Spital-in-the Street, in Lincolnshire. As with many of these historic names, they are not what they seem … the spelling of spital is because it refers to an ancient hospital in the town. Likkewise, the good folk of Shitterton had a massive … well …  shit fight to retain their historic name, which actually means ‘farmstead on the stream used as an open sewer’. They also had a problem with stolen entry signs to the town, but they’ve fixed that problem in the most practical way.


So help may be at hand for others.

Austrian mayor: ‘Allo, is that the mayor of Shitterton?

Mayor of S: ‘Shit, yeah’.

Austrian mayor: ‘Does the stone signage stop thefts?’

Mayor of S: ‘Shit, yeah. Are you going to try it?’

Austrian mayor: ‘Fucking oath, yeah.’

Another English village apparently has no such problems of purloined signs.


Some place names – perhaps more so in the USA than anywhere else – beg for historical explanation, which is sometimes not fully forthcoming. Like this one.

Clara Bird's Nipple

This rocky formation in Wyoming rejoices in the moniker Clara Bird’s Nipple, a name obviously bestowed on it by some misty eyed, horny old pioneer who had been on his lonesome too long. Ms Bird’s reaction to this singular honour is not recorded, nor to be found anywhere is the, (one would have thought vital) , information about leftie or rightie.

Early America inspired place names that plaintively bespoke of tough or whimsical times, although just where Peeled Chesnut comes into it isn’t clear.

This penchant isn’t just strange, it is also …


… while others defied the local tourist board and went down the path of brutal honesty.

Opinion or two names?  Not sure Oregon City would be happy about this.

Opinion or two names?
Not sure Oregon City would be happy about this.

Others just couldn’t be bothered at all.

No Name

Over in Germany, an unfortunate mix of town name and a police advisory sign raises certain questions.


For instance, just what ‘expel’ speed recorded on the radar attracts a fine, is there a noise penalty component, and is there a odour loading?  Be a bit tricky if they tried that control advisory at Shitterton.

Hurrying right along.

Remember the movie Alien, when the creature of the title attached itself to John Hurt’s face before laying its young ‘un in his stomach, resulting in history’s most spectacular tummy rumble?


Well, it might not be fiction. Could it be that a different looking alien with a similar mission of domination has actually made to Planet Earth, and has attached itself to, of all people, Rupert Murdoch.

rupert-headIt sure looks like it. The sinister takeover may soon have us seeing outrageous headlines in News Corps papers, biased news stories, blatant political favoritism and lots of a celebrity cr…. oh, wait a minute. Hmmmm.

So maybe this has all happened some time back and we’re just finding out. Perhaps the alien spawn was planted in Rupert’s tum some time ago, and has made a secret spectacular escape just as it did in the film.

At least that would explain where Peter Typo Gleeson came from.

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs Bar, where the old bird will attempt to find a companion who will allow him to attach his face to hers, with the guarantee that there will be no devil’s seed planted in her stomach. Well, fingers crossed, anyway


The (Cyber)Space Junk page of trivia and general nonsense that floats around the internet is now operating, for a laugh or two. It is topped up regularly (newest stuff at the top, so nothing buried down below), and contributions welcome. The site is accessed by the usual www.townsvillemagpie.com.au , (but do not open the Magpie page) then scroll down to the CyberSpace page, and open as per prompts, then … laugh.

The Pie apologises for some early glitches with this page that obviously frustrated some folk … but thanks for the free character readings anyway … most of which are anatomically impossible.

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

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