Why this blog exists...

The Magpie

Sunday, July 5th, 2020   |   188 comments

Skittling Skippy? The Weird Push To Ditch A Beloved Australian Symbol

Culling kangaroos has always been a touchy subject, but this latest push to drop the kangaroo as our international symbol is one that practically no one agrees with. But not to worry, the report and its loopy suggestion will go the same way as the man who commissioned it, Malcolm Turnbull. And the gabbling guff that accompanies the report recommending that the ‘roo be ditched as our international symbol earns the Magpie’s Wanker of the Week Award.

On the local scene, rattling the tin can for more government pennies, Mayor Mullet embarrasses us yet again … and wastes valuable time.

… and her rating plan in her latest budget turns the Robin Hood principle on its head … the ‘poor’ are the ones likely to feel the brunt of this ill-timed revision of the rating system.

Several local councils, led by the sweeping reforms at Ipswich, are embracing REAL transparency, publishing historic and real time financial data for all to see … will the TCC come to the party of this growing movement? Will Jenny at last realise that being ‘seen through’ is not the transparency?

And how the Black Lives Matter movement is steadily morphing into a dangerously divisive bandwagon that all sorts of ratbags are hopping onto. Bill Maher is at his shining best when he reports on the Guardian of Gotcha..

But first …

No!! Not THAT Head !!!

It is generally obvious that many security guards are not subject to IQ tests, so it is not really surprising that the Stamford Hotel debacle in Melbourne where returning travellers were quarantined, went spectacularly tits up.

It has now been alleged that the spectacular transmission of corona virus among the quarantined travellers was in part caused by some gals finding irresistible the attraction of a man in a uniform … or, it seems, out of a uniform. The rumpy pumpy was widespread according to some reports.

The finger pointing continues apace, but it has been established that this particular group of no-necks had virtually no training, supply, or understanding of required PPE’s (Personal Protection Equipment). But they were certainly instructed that any interaction without protection could result in unwanted outcomes, so some of these ‘very stable geniuses’ popped down the local 7-11 and purchased their own protection. Bentley reckons that when the trouble started.

Quarantine fin small…………………

Rumor Du Jour – NRL Expansion Plans

Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 11.56.02 pm

NEWSFLASH: Filipino consortium bids to buy the Broncos and relocate them to Filipino capital, where they will play under their new name, the Manila Folders.

And Their Number One Ticket Holder Will Be ….?

…Here’s the best one in the ribs during question time in parliament was this one.

Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 11.58.59 pm

We Is Bein’ Robbed

On Monday, as the ‘Pie yawned,  cracked in fingers and sat down at the keyboard, he was fully expecting to read some predictions about the Townsville Council budget, to be handed down the following day.

But not a single word! What The ‘Pie wasn’t expecting was this.

Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 10.29.12 pm Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 10.30.21 am Screen Shot 2020-06-29 at 10.30.47 am

Yes, and even an iditorial parroting Mayor Mullet’s claims that the bigger centres down south were getting too many of the government’s dollars and we were being short changed.

Well, The ‘Pie is with you,  Mullet. Tell you what you should do, you ought to ask for up to half a billion for a pipeline, you know, the one you had to be convinced was necessary because, really, there was no water crisis. Oh, what’s that, sorry, you’ve already got that from Brisbane and the Feds? Well, OK, how $300million give or take for new but unnecessary stadium in the CBD? Oh, must have missed that, you’ve already got that, too, have you? Well, reckon the Cowboys need somewhere to train now they’ve moved in from the sticks, how about … what, you’ve already got $50million for a Centre of Excellence (ironic name associated with the current Cowgirls) next to the stadium.

Well, you must be talking to George Street about the Townsville Port, in dire need of extra space and upgrading. Oh really, got that covered too?  Brisbane have supplied the money to deepen the channel so ships of 300m can dock, and the port has reclaimed 62 Hectares of land with a new breakwater.

Right OK, The ‘Pie is a bit behind with all this , so look, why not renew your calls for a ticket tax so the airport can get an $80million upgrade. Pardon? Oh have they? The Feds have chipped in $40 million so the tax that would make coming and going from Townsville more expensive won’t be necessary? Whew, good news, eh? Alright then, how about hitting up Anna Alphabet for a few bucks so your pals at the almost-broke Magnis battery crowd can do a feasibility study into the feasibility of doing a feasibility study about whether a battery factory is feasible to be build a battery plant  on free council land at Woodstock. Christ, The ‘Pie still off the pace, is he? Anna’s already anted up $3 million for just that, although no other ASX listed company has ever got that sort of public money grant. But you’re right, we deserve more.

Right, well here’s what you can do, Mullet, m’dear. Approach the NRL to stage an annual one-match only World Club club championship as a permanent annual fixture at the new stadium. They’ll go for it now risk, and look, Jen, forget about the Super Bowl and The Rose Bowl in America, this will be a new benchmark – let’s run it under the name The Townsville Begging Bowl.

But She Was Only Joking, Wasn’t She? Well, I Mean, She Was, Wasn’t She?

Since the story was on the Monday, 24 hour before her 20/21 budget, it was a great beads and blankets distraction for the natives, meaning absolutely fuck all, to demonstrate that she really is the Battlers’ Boadicea.

But the underlying purpose was to distract and soften the blow of her voodoo economics in the council budget. With residential rates and charges rising only marginally – 98 cents a week if you don’t look too closely. But the real kick in the cods came with the ill-advised scheme to – in her words – level the rating playing field – by changing the rating formula for shopping malls and other large retail centres. In short, it means that the council will hit up the big boys like Stockland and Willows up to 22% more, and smaller centres even more, as high as 37%. Which is great for the council, but many of the businesses on leases in these centres – you know, the people who actually are employers of workers – will simply be hit with a proportional increase in their leases by their landlords. Certainly, some will have protective clauses in their leases against this in the short term, but others will not. And many are already on their last legs.

Can’t see blokes like Lancini or Westfield meekly copping increases in the order of 10-20 times CPI, and can’t see many of the smaller fish surviving.

So Jenny Hill will have a few hundred more to add to her battler’s constituency … but of course, their unemployment will be nothing to do with this economic wizardry.

Harry Potter stands in awe.

But The ‘Pie Is Being A Tad Harsh


Big Time Fibber Baron Munchausen

Getting stuck into someone like that who suffers a severe psychological affliction is a bit low. Because our mayor clearly suffers from Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy … someone who purposely makes someone sick, in order to seek praise for the care and efforts to heal that the person. In this case, it is not someone but something … the CBD.

Mayor Mullet announces that the CBD premium rating, where CBD businesses paid more as a promotional levy, is to be dropped, and then she holds this move aloft like Trump and his bible. Yet it was she who imposed it in the first place, and she who has been responsible for years of ineptitude and bad advice that has sent dozens of CBD business people fleeing to the suburbs.

Oh, well, in the broader scheme of things, it seems the kerb-side pick-up bullshit has bitten the dust.

A Lament For Townsville

“The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.

If ever L.P Hartley’s famous opening words to his 1953 novel The Go-Between had a special lesson for Townsville, it is now.

Some moan that The Magpie is always being wise after the event, and has a negative outlook. But he isn’t negative, more often annoyed and deeply disappointed, and simply seeks to put on the record matters which others won’t. Because it’s always easy to indulge in the point-scoring exercise of being wise after the event, but there are lessons to be learned from past follies.

In recent years, The ‘Pie annoyance has been that we have been paying literally millions to people TO BE WISE BEFORE THE EVENT … and what a fruitless endeavour that has turned out to be . We continue to be disappointed by people tagged as consultants but have been a rag-tag collection of main-chancers, white shoe spivs, political favour collectors, opportunistic gougers, celebrity gardeners and a small time populist politician. All that happens is that many undeserving people throw the word ‘vision’ around a lot, and get rich on the public funds of ratepayers for no tangible return.

But those reading the history of Townsville in the future will be shaking their heads in sad wonder. And they will know of the multiple missed opportunities through this blog and its many contributors. They will have the same dispirited feeling The Magpie experiences when he thinks of the incredible missed opportunity of spending the necessary money on preserving the magnificent old buildings unique to North Queensland that were dotted throughout this city … now that would’ve been a REAL tourist attraction is itself, a sort of New Orleans or Charleston of the north, scores of buildings like the wonderful more spectacular and beautiful than say the now shuttered  Great Northern Hotel.

cGreat Northern 84e5a8ae4e3bb42030a52274a3109b3 Historic Townsville b9464fdd7f79c0ae2bd5444179de468d Townsville_1937_parade_of_31st_battalion_kennedy_regiment Historic townsville

But instead, there were a rash of what is known in Yiddish circles as ‘Jewish stock takes’ that razed many of these buildings, others were deemed too expensive to renovate and maintain, and so from 1970 on, they gradually disappeared, until too late their worth was belatedly recognized and many of the remaining ones placed under the newly minted, post-Joh Heritage Act, first formulated in 1990. And the classic insult to injury by the Walker Street goths was when they – led by Tony Mooney – succumbed to God knows what inducements from eco-vandal Jarrod McCracken, who successfully applied to build the Consortium nightclub smack bang in the middle of one of the best surviving strips of heritage architecture in the state. When The Magpie made a fuss in the paper, assurances were given that the design would be harmonious and in keeping with the heritage values of the strip. This is the cynical vandalism that we got.

consorttiumScreen Shot 2020-07-05 at 12.26.15 am

And here’s an example of what The ‘Pie has learnt from such history.

Take this just announced bauble for the city.

Screen Shot 2020-07-05 at 12.30.17 am

Certainly it will be a pleasant addition to the cityscape as it has evolved in the stadium precinct, but The Magpie feels it is strange to think that this installation is budgeted for $8million – undoubtedly $10m plus in the end – is an amount that would’ve gone a long towards a far more pragmatically economic and people magnet – a stadium with a roof. An all-weather facility that would allow sports and event fans to travel here with certainty that the ‘show will go on ‘ despite the sometimes capricious weather in these parts. For the very same reason, it would encourage sports organisers and entertainment promoters to have Townsville at the top of their venue list.

The ‘Pie can hear the cries now of ‘Oh, your so bloody negative, Pie, give it a rest, stupid idea, $10million would be nowhere near enough to roof the stadium, closer to an extra $60million.’

The answer to that one is so obvious, it will embarrass you that you asked.

But maybe it’s not too late: ditch the expensive, indulgent Cowboys training center next door, which won’t make anyone catch a ball any  better than on any other training ground and gym, and will do bugger all for the inner city traders. Reallocate the $50million towards something that the entire city … not just the CBD … will reap benefit – an all-weather 25,000 seat stadium all, year round.

What’s more, with forward planning, there would be minimum disruptions to the footy crowd, because the work could be scheduled over the spring and summer months. It was a lesson that political expediency refused to recognise, although even the gormless Bulletin accidentally presented it to them when they tried to compare the (then) coming stadium with the ‘wild success’ of the Forsyth Barr stadium Otago in New Zealand.

Of course, it won’t happen, but at least in the future, people will know that someone pointed out the bleedin’ obvious .

Will This Ever Come To Townsville? And If Not, Why Not

There seems to be winds of change blowing through the council corridors of Queensland. Recent upheavals in the local government arena may result in positive changes … no matter what the LGAQ and its venal agenda may be.

Regular reader NQ Gal reports that the lead is coming from the newly installed Ipswich council, which has taken transparency and citizen information to a new level.Screen Shot 2020-07-04 at 10.32.40 pm

And another commenter found another council with another idea that The ‘Pie believes should be mandatory, given the cost slashing changes to news coverage in the regions by remote corporations.

Critical  July 1, 2020 at 6:15 pm  (Edit)

Browsing through council websites today and found the best example of transparency around council meetings yet.
The Douglas Shire Council provides a copy of the full Council Officer report to Council with the actual Council Meeting Minutes so that the community can actually see the information that was provided to councillors to assist them in making a decision on each individual meeting agenda item. Website link is here. This report also unmasks the identity of the individual Council Officers making the recommendations to Council.

How about implementing this practice in Townsville Jenny as one small step towards increasing the accountability and transparency of your Council.

Jenny’s Hill’s keepers and some Council staff have just read this post and are now gasping for air in horror of such a practice being implemented by TCC.

Wank Of The Week

First we were told we should be tired of the Union Jack, now we’re being told we should be jack of Skippy.

Have a wild stab at what this is?

Screen Shot 2020-07-05 at 12.46.12 am

No it’s not the Yarrawonga version of corona virus, it is touted to be the new symbol for Australia overseas, replacing this …


Now, The ‘Pie won’t waste too much time on this complete idiocy which will never see the light of day. But so no one gets out of this life alive, here are the knobs who spent two years ‘work-shopping’ this unsustainable dimbulbery. Please note their number contains leading China apologist Twiggy Forrest, a South Australian brewer, the Irish CEO of our major airline and – gawd help us – the editor of Vogue Australia, from whence we get all our cutting edge ideas.

Screen Shot 2020-07-05 at 12.51.13 am

But for unmitigated twaddle, this is a hands-down winner of Wanker of the Week. Sounds better if you read it out loud with a fashionable breathy lisp.

“Our proposed nation brand mark balances a literal and abstract interpretation of a wattle flower. It’s an optimistic burst of gold positivity. Co-created with our Indigenous design partners Balarinji, the mark is embedded with a cultural richness and graphic voice that speaks distinctively of Australia.

“The hearty resilience of the wattle has come to represent the enduring spirit of the Australian people. This small, beautiful flower is an organic burst of positivity – in bright joyous gold.

“It speaks of warmth, expanding ideas and horizons, with the pollen-laden stamens radiating a sense of energy and dynamism. It is an authentic national symbol that is elegantly and undoubtedly Australian.”

No it doesn’t, it does no such thing.

The ‘Pie is of the opinion that that cluster of buzz word bullshit got its ‘energy and dynamism’ not by the use of pollen laden stamens but a hooter fill of Peruvian marching powder.

But to prove that ‘most stable genius’ reasoning has reached our shores, guess why they say the ‘roo is rooted as our ‘brand’ around the globe. Wait for it … ‘it is just internationally too well known’.

What a crock.

And the imitations have just started. like this.Eb4YI9NU8AETzdY.png-mosaic

But The Right Words Can Be Mighty Powerful

Which is something that should be considered by those who are hijacking the BLM movement and encouraging all sorts of bandwagon jumpers to join in.


Bill Maher

The ‘Pie is increasingly a fan of American commentator Bill Maher. While others play it for laughs … all hilarious and sharp … Maher interweaves thoughtful and sensible messages with his own brand of sly humour. But it is the unchallengeable common sense of the man that is so appealing, often enshrined in unforgettable quotes, like his call for dialogue between ideologies and races ‘ If I fuck up, tell me why, not goodbye’. And he eloquently gives a voice to those lost and bewildered in all the chatter when he says “Silence is violence? Sometimes silence just means someone who works two jobs and has three kids at home. They have baby food on their shirt, not hate in their heart.’ In other words, stop the bloody judgemental stuff.

Many will here in Australia, tired of being beaten down by noisy zealots, will identify with Maher’s take on the breakdown of communication currently afflicting America.

In The Land Of The Tangerine Terrorist


The slow motion train wreck that is America continues to unfold like one of those David Attenborough time delay film clips of a slowly unfurling exotic flower that then withers and dies before our eyes.

But the grim laughter continues … The ‘Pie particularly liked this tweet.

'tweet of the week

And The New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz continues to gleefully nail the Trumpinzee.

Screen Shot 2020-06-30 at 3.08.37 am Screen Shot 2020-06-23 at 5.25.54 pm afgcpjndmhjhofjn lk063020dapr tt200629 240958_rgb_768 240937_rgb_768 cbr062920dapr mrz070220dapr 240869_rgb_768Screen Shot 2020-07-03 at 8.59.43 am ……

Jump into comments on any of these topics, or choose your own bee and let this blog be your bonnet. And things are a little tense in the Nest just now, Telstra, NBN bills and other costs connected to the blog are of unpleasant proportions and have just landed, any assistance with a donation will be greatly appreciated and is sorely needed. Thanks. 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. Linda Ashton says:

    Bentley’s best in this issue

  2. Molly9 says:

    Totally agree regards the ‘new’ and ‘unique’ symbol that”s being touted. These tosses obviously don’t know that the plant species Acacia abounds overseas, so the flowers are not unique to Australia. As opposed to the ‘roo’. Plus smacking a bid Au in the middle? Well, it’s a gold colour and Au is the International symbol for the element gold. So all they’ve done is put up a gold stamp.
    I want the money please. I’m sure I could do more good with it than this lot.

    • The Magpie says:

      The AU could stand for Austria …. and would be totally pointless in markets like the US, where time after time, we are treated to vox pop videos highlighting the average Yank’s ignorance of geography. And in non-English speaking countries, the connection would be even worse.

      BUT here’s the real idiocy … the current official catchphrase is being ditched for ‘Only In Australia’. The current catchphrase? Australia Unlimited … as in AU.

    • The Magpie says:

      Your comment brought back a memory of a holiday in the Canary Islands off the North African coast … there was wattle everywhere.

      • Bentley says:

        What a load of Codswallop. I’m disgusted. The standard of graphic design reflects the quality of government.

  3. Villeified says:

    Great piece again Pie
    Re all weather stadium Dunedin’s weather and Townsville’s specifically footy season don’t quite compare

    • The Magpie says:

      Of course not, thank heavens, and no such argument was made. But the point surely is that if you seek an audience from thousands of kms away, as would be the case for special events like the Elton John concert, they are more likely to come if they know the show will go on in comfortable conditions, modern conditions. And such events are going to necessary for the stadium to be even remotely viable Weatherproofing would also make Townsville much more likely to be considered for pool matches of things like the Womens World Soccer Cup (yes, yes, football, not soccer, blah blah). And perhaps most importantly of all, the arena could act as a de facto exhibition centre through the long down months of almost no activity, certainly no activity that would boost the CBD.

  4. Pello says:

    Eden Monaro……not finalised yet and a bit close to call BUT ….once again it appears that we are likely to see a ” first past the post” candidate ushered off by the preferential voting system.
    Try as I may I CANNOT come to terms with the system.
    Ah well……!

    • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Ref Eden Monaro (a sad name remembering two things that Australia has lost). I find myself this morning incredibly sad that either of the major parties has gotten any votes.

      We have a zombie political system with mindless brain eaters walking in circles randomly muttering inanity.

      God help us all.

      • Guy says:

        its why i say

        1 you MUST have electoral security

        2 DUMP preferential voting

        Electoral security stops fraudulent voting

        Preferential voting allows lunatic fringe groups from imposing their will on society , it stops the major parties from pandering to extremist ideology

        But electoral security is just crazy talk.

        • The Magpie says:

          (Sigh) … and just when you were doing so well, Guy. What the fuck is your idea of electoral security.

          And first past the post without preferential voting leaves the door wide open to your feared lunatic fringe groups, who would put up dummy candidate stalking horses all over the place. Malcolm Roberts for PM, anyone? Jenny Hill for treasurer?

          • Guy says:

            I suddenly realised the need for electoral security when I ran for council the first time; witnessing the “grey man” vote in three different locations. When i returned to Rasmussen school I ventured this to my two helpers I had seen this , they both stopped, turned around, roared with laughter and exclaimed in unison ” we’ve been seeing the same people walk in all day!!”.

            In my naivety this worried me so I fired off a volley of emails to most if not all politicians. I received two emails , labor told me it was no problem, the liberals told me it was a massive problem. Even a child could tell you that the system was wide open to fraud.

            As the years passed I learnt that most people don’t care the system is boned and if things get worse. electoral fraud is part and parcel of our democratic system and to believe otherwise is rather like ( spoiler alert) believing in Santa Claus. You have to get practical and move on. It’s beyond my scope to try and fix things that can’t be fixed. The yanks seem to be slowly questioning their electoral practices at the moment so I’m keeping my eye on that.

            In the end I realised if by sheer luck some competent person can get into control to just be thankful.

          • The Magpie says:

            Peter Newey is waiting by the phone for your call.

          • Kimmy says:

            And Kanye West for President!

          • Peter Sandery says:

            As someone who has lived through such electoral changes, and, I think, commented upon them on this blog, your analysis is spot on “Pie. Clearly Guy’s refusal to see the bigger picture is illustrated by his lack of use of capital letters.

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          Let me explain preferential voting (PV) to you, vs first past the post (FPTP):

          FPTP. lets say there are 10 candidates. Eight of them get 10% of the vote, one gets 9% and one gets 11%. Mr 11% wins regardless that 89% did not want that candidate. Not acceptable you would agree.

          Now we have PV. Same first choice voting result, but 8 out of 10 voters think candidate number 8 (with 10% of the primary vote) is a reasonably decent person and gets the second choice of 80% of the electorate and wins. A more just and democratic outcome you must reasonably agree. Thus endith the lesson.

          And voting must be secure. Pencil and paper, not by computer. (The CCP would have a field day if we voted by any hackable device.)

          • Old Tradesman says:

            Someone needs to tell Guy that there are bigger problems as Labor through the Unions can contribute $1.6M per candidate per electorate, but all other parties are only allowed $150,000, it’s called a Labor Party Gerrymander, the other major party the LNP, can only scrape up a Tim Mander. The state needs a new referee.

  5. Mike Douglas says:

    Another great blog Pie and as we see transparency across many Councils its business as usual in Walker st with the voters of Townsville giving our Mayor and her team carte blanche for 4 years . Is it correct the ratepayer funded report to justify the 10-20 times cpi increase to key stakeholders by local Marketing consultants is another “ Commercial in Confidence “ ? . If so , more ratepayers $ will be spent on legal fees trying to stop transparency on Councils decisions . While the labor faithful and ratepayers move to struggle street the likes of K Rudd forking out $14 mil on a Noosa beach weekender , Bill Shortens modest $4 mil home and on the local front , boards /leases /property deals that keep them building their wealth whilst the punters drop .

    • Guy says:

      If you have a political class that’s earning more than the average Joe you will always have problems.

      Socrates’ answer to the problem was to try creating men of character , in our terms he created the first university to do this. Another good idea was to have a political class devoid of personal wealth – decisions would be made for the whole of society without fear nor favour.

      Socrates saw the danger of lunatics taking the reins of power, Pericles lack of moral fibre and insatiable need for power and position destroyed Athens. By the time Socrates realised what was wrong the damage was done and Athens disappeared into history.

      • The Magpie says:

        Like so many fine academic theories, Socrates came up with the first invitation to official corruption, in his desire to have a politrical class ‘devoid of wealth’. Yeah, right. Didn’t work then, doesn’t now.

        And right now, America has its own Pericles.

  6. Cantankerous but happy says:

    I am still amazed the number of people in this town who actually think we get ripped off in State Govt funding compared to other places, Cairns get shit compared to Townsville and the Gold Coast is even worse off. Those cranes in Brisbane and the Gold Coast are mostly private developments, no Govt funding at all, a concept the begging losers in this town don’t seem to grasp, we couldn’t even build a small hotel over a Govt funded ferry terminal, talk about pathetic. This is just a simple case of lets blame someone else for our failings, something Townsville has become very good at.

    • The Magpie says:

      But you have to hand it to her, Cankers, she got the smarts of the proverbial shithouse rat … the punters in this town just lap it up everything ‘Our Jen’ does, and then whinge when things start to get gloomy. These are the people who deride The ‘Pie for making a big deal out of how outsiders (i.e anyone south of Home Hill) perceive our greedy sense of entitlement … and then moan that the very same people aren’t investing or handing out even bigger dollops of public money.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Very true Pie, in fact many from down south still wonder how with all the public money thrown at Townsville over the years it has never really managed to succeed, and in fact it has gone backwards. The we are being robbed mindset has created a town of perennial losers who just don’t know how think any other way, to the point where feeling like a loser actually becomes engrained socially, and with the Mullet and the Astonisher continuing the spin to suit their agendas nothing is going to change.

        • The Magpie says:

          That’s right, and the situation is calcified into place with the uninspired, unimaginative drone-like thinking of TEL. To the best of The ‘Pie’s knowledge, this organisation has not come up with one solid, clever marketing idea in a decade. In fact, qwuite the obverse … what demented mindset came up with a pay now, holiday later idea at the height of one of the greatest economic crisis in living memory.They might as well be public servants bound by rigid protocols … just what you don’t want in a tourism, marketing and investment body.

          • Not the ECQ says:

            TEL did manage to pull $2.5m out of Canberra for the Hells Gate dam study. There’s no way the money was ever coming from private enterprise. Mind you, there’s no way private enterprise would ever put up the money to build the dam or the ‘farms’ that would be expected to grow from it. Isn’t this sort of stuff the kind of ‘enterprise’ that the north was built on in the last 50 years?

          • The Magpie says:

            “There’s no way the money was ever coming from private enterprise.” Tell us the last time ‘private enterprise’ funded and therefore owned a major dam? If it comes to that, logic would suggest that if private enterprise, including major overseas companies including China, can now buy our water and have control over it, why shouldn’t ‘private enterprise'; – read foreign state actors – build dams. And ultimately hold the entire country to ransom. Over to you, Peter Newey.

            And $2.5million for a study that TEL itself would cobble together with the previous three or four such studies proves the point of the utter unfocused, self-maintaining uselessness of the Dudley Do Nothings.

          • The Magpie says:

            These guys are on the right track- a  good economic development team at TCC might think to get on the case and try to grab some of the leftovers from this oversubscription. Better chance of landing one than a battery plant factory.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            That’s what happens when winners become involved, with $$ billions, rather than Townsvilles case where the pathetic losers Jenny Hill signed up with had to go to the market to raise, $1 million, less than the cost of an average house in Sydney.

  7. Ducks Nuts says:

    Pie as an old style journo I would expect you to do your research more thoroughly. The gold wattle is not replacing the green and yellow Skippy.


    • The Magpie says:

      Thin end of the wedge stuff here, Donald’s Danglers, and a reasonable assumption when we are told the current symbol ‘is too well known internationally’, the Goths would have their way if any government had the foolhardy courage to widely implement the wattle. Austrade is but one small albeit important area. But this all begs the question, why? This woke, new-age twaddle is the warp and weave of the fabric used to create emperor’s new clothes.

      And it is perhaps telling that the new symbol eerily echoes another botched scheme by Canberra, it is just a more complete version of this.

    • Old Tradesman says:

      I see the other Australian Maid is making a comeback, a place where the customer always comes first, I bet that kangaroo will be doing some hopping down Hugh Ryan Dr.

  8. One legged tap dancer says:

    Our not so new editor must be best mates with someone at the Cowboys.
    The morning after the Cowboys 42-4 capitulation against the Parramatta Eels these were the headlines in newspapers around the country:
    Parra Eels thrash NQ Cowboys
    Eels belt Cowboys 42-4
    Eels run riot against Cowboys
    Eels outclass Cowboys
    And more importantly in the Courier Mail and the Cairns Post:
    Eels double act put more pressure on Cowboys
    So what did the Townsville Bulletin serve up to readers on Saturday morning:
    Eels just a little too slippery
    A “little” too slippery after a 42-4 thrashing?
    Fair dinkum. That’s like someone paying $42,000 for a car worth $4000 and complaining that they paid a “little” too much.
    Of all the headlines, the “Eels outclass Cowboys” one was closest to the truth.
    Most fans blame the players for not trying but in reality, with one or two exceptions, they are simply not in the same class as the Eels, Panthers, Roosters, Raiders and Storm.

    • Jatzcrackers says:

      But at least the Cows are up there with the Broncos and the Titans.
      BTW, how come there’s no mouse flavoured cat food ?

    • Peter Sandery says:

      Almost tops the Good and the Great of the LNP who told us after we received the biggest electoral shellacking in the State’s history, after winning by the greatest margin in the previous one, that there were some good points to come out of that election for it.

  9. Alahazbin says:

    Pie, That McCracken building in ‘via vomitorium’ was just an extension of the Macca’s stuck between the old Post Office (now brewery) and the Perc Tucker Gallery. We were told also it would blend into the adjacent architecture. I’m glad they got rid of it.

    • The Magpie says:

      That was Mooney’s ultimate sell-out … he actually admitted to The ‘Pie, back in the days when we were talking, that he only did for the money the council would get.

  10. Ratepayer in roslea. says:

    The source of this info is private and i recived it via a Facebook friend about half an hour ago. I dont want her to get in trouble for this bit she said she didn’t mind it going public.

    End of last week and still currently a large part of fleet vehicles in TCC had been driving around not registered. Hadnt paid the registration fees. It got filtered down to her through her Facebook (privately) to not say to much because only a certain amount of people knew and they would get in trouble for leaking. No mention of what department. I will be talking to this lady tomorrow, show holiday, so unless other readers have heard anything i cant say more until then.

  11. Jenny Wren says:

    Hi Magpie,
    As a fellow bird I thought you might like to run your magnifying glass over another council project, the redesign of the 3 major Townsville gardens.
    Public consultation will close on Monday 27 July.

    From the council website – To view the draft masterplan and have your say, visit:


    and go to the botanic gardens masterplan tile.

    I seems they want to make Anderson Gardens “the main Townsville Botanic Gardens”, no argument with that however the inclusion of an “all abilities playground for all ages” and a fairy garden do not seem compatible with the aim of a botanic garden. As well they are planning extra car parking and lighting so that it can be a major event venue without stating what type of events apart from weddings and whether they will be in the evening. Currently the gardens close at sunset.

    There are a couple of good features, namely 2 new amenities blocks and a pedestrian bridge over the waterway that springs to life every wet season.

    I would be interested in your thoughts. Past incursions into the Gardens included removing the toilets and giving/selling a parcel of land to the adjoining school and halving the length of the Kokoda Pool during the redevelopment. These do not give me confidence in this new plan.

    • Critical says:

      Told that Council wants to shift some events such as India Fest, Stable by the Strand from Riverway and the Strand to Anderson Gardens so local residents need to make certain that their voices are heard around noise, parking in neighboring streets and recreational uses such as walking, jogging etc as many of these events may mean that whole parts of the park will be closed leading up to, during and for a couple of days after the event.

      • Jenny Wren says:

        Thanks Critical and I so hope you aren’t right but I fear that you are. I’m sure the Mater will be thrilled too, it is hard enough to park around there as it is.
        I can’t see how any of this is compatible with a botanical garden.

        • The Magpie says:

          The ‘Pie’s park geography is a bit shaky, but isn’t Anderson Park the one annually turns into a (very pretty) lake every wet season down the Mysterton end? Indeed, have often thought that creating a permanent shallow lake there suitable for canoeing would be nice flood mitigation idea. And if that is the lower part of Anderson Park, doing so would not impact on the botanicals angle.

          • Critical says:

            A few meters of Anderson Park at the end near Balls Lane gets a bit wet and this continues into Minden Park. Here’s an idea for Mullet, apply for another grant to make Minden Park from Balls Lane to Townsend Street, Mysterton a place for canoeing and kayaking as it seems to become a lake after a bit of rain.

          • The Magpie says:

            As The ‘Pie – ahem – said this morning.

    • NQ Gal says:

      I used to live close to Anderson Park and would take the dogs for a walk through there everyday. Anytime there was decent downpour, vast areas of the park would go under and the longer the wet season, the more the water hung around.
      Apart from the open stormwater drain along the Fulham Road side, there is an area behind the bowls club that can sometime be under water so long, the dormant water lillies pop up. There is another really low point of lawns at the front and roads around it would also be under water.
      The drainage through Anderson Park is part of a bigger complex of drains that starts behind Uncle Dan’s in Aitkenvale and eventually winds its way to Woolcock St.
      The Council would be crazy to try and put anything into this park.

  12. Mike Shearer says:

    Oversight, poor management or lack of funds?

  13. What the! says:

    Can anyone explain why Premier Alphabet is allowing direct flights from Melbourne to land in Townsville when Queensland’s borders are supposed to be closed to Victorians.
    And why we are not allowed to know how many people were on the flight that arrived yesterday afternoon, or what hotel they are staying in during their 14 day mandatory quarantine.
    And why at least one passenger from that flight is being allowed to self quarantine in his apartment in a block of units, where all other residents are now at risk.
    O’Rort, Harpic, Captain Cupcake?

    • Critical says:

      O’Rort, Harpic and Captain Cupcake won’t say anything on this, they’re probably under no comment lockdown under the orders imposed by Auntie Anna Alphabet.
      I notice that Mullet is being very quiet on this matter when she should be asking questions like Mayors in other cities have the during Cronid-19 crisis so that she can reassure the community that all protocols are being followed to ensure the safety of her community and indeed all of North Queensland.
      Be interesting to find out the name/s of the person who is being allowed to quarantine in their own unit/s but doubt this will happen as they’re probably ALP cronies.

    • Achilles says:

      Biggest surprise is it’s front page on the online TB. Even asking the relevant questions.

      I wonder if they’ll pursue it and publish truthful answers? Where is the hue and cry from the quilted heroin?

      • Live Wire says:

        How can these fucking flights from Melb be allowed? Apart from any COVID considerations, cops are being tied up and the little snots will have a field day (actually night). Well, a bigger one than their usual after dark social outings.

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          Are there flights from Melbourne to Brisbane? I’m in Brisbane at the moment.

          • I’ll be plucked says:

            Play it safe Kelso and hire a car to drive back! I understand that some flights with a Melbourne origin land in Brisbane and then on fly to Townsville and other northern ports (eg Townsville, Cairns or Darwin). Some folks from Melbourne transit all the way through to a northern port.

          • The Magpie says:

            Where’s Jenny?

            So many questions residents want answered? Not only who are the passengers, but why have they been allowed to come here … even if they are residents?

      • Achilles says:

        Contacted Jenny about this flight and its passengers and she told me it’s “non of your business” (not quite in those words) because its commercial in confidence.

        • The Magpie says:

          This is fucking ridiculous, and unnecessarily bloody dangerous.

          In this sense, ‘Victorians’ actually means anyone in Victoria in the past week or so, since corona virus doesn’t deal in borders or sovereignties. So they have isolated … EXCEPT FROM TOWNSVILLE. WTF.


          • Jenny Wren says:

            Re the flight from Melbourne, how can it be ‘commercial in confidence’? As long as it wasn’t a request for a passenger list, how can numbers of passengers and some information about quarantine be commercial? This is a health issue, not a commercial one and effects all of us.

          • The Magpie says:

            Ummm, Jenny, luvvie, a quiet word. It was Achilles attempt at satire … especially as The ‘Pie anecdotally understands he is domiciled in SE Asia.

            Thought to mention it before you sent in a comment suggesting that Achilles is a fake name, the real one, if he did really exist, died a few thousand years ago.

        • Achilles says:

          Re Jenny “Knickers in a Knot’s” comments, she seems to have assumed that the Jenny I was referring to, is her good self, and not the tworteling, spinning Jenny, AKA The Mullet.

          Whilst I fully appreciate the Pies gallant defense of my “attempt” at satire, I wish to point out an error, I am NOT dead, bloody Homer was blind and didn’t know that Paris’ arrow got the wrong heel.

          So I have pretended all these centuries; and SE Asia is a big place and a corner of it could be Oz.

          • Jenny Wren says:

            Sorry Achilles but I did assume you meant our Mayor, not me and my knickers are fine, thanks.
            According to the Bulletin this morning, there were 3 (three) passengers on the flight all of whom are exempt from quarantine. “Please explain” still required.

            “Sources told the Townsville Bulletin there were only three passengers on Jetstar flight JQ916 with a 186-seat capacity.

            It is understood the passengers are exempted and therefore not required to quarantine after disembarking.”

          • The Magpie says:

            Very ambiguous early stories … were there only three passengers on the plane? It is now clear that was the case, but we only get that confirmation two days later. Wouldn’t it be great if bureaucracy didn’t find it necessary for arse-covering language to state a few simple facts to ease our minds.

  14. Happy ending says:

    Finally, a new business for Townsville! A knock shop is to open up in Garbutt. Many a frustrated male lives in that part of town so I’m sure this will be ‘handy’ for the locals. I might even five knuckle shuffle on over there to take a peek myself. You never know what might pop up.

    • The Magpie says:

      Not sure if this business will succeed in a city where the populace is getting right royally rogered every day by Wanda of Walker Street. Or is that street walker.

    • Mike Douglas says:

      Happy Ending , will they be adding a drive thru and home delivery service ? . Online sales are also popular .

  15. Pauline Pants Down says:

    Channel 9 have just banned me from appearing on the Today Show, because I said that residents of the Melbourne towers in lockdown should learn to speak English and for calling some of them drug addicts and alcoholics.


  16. Critical says:

    Is this another bloody do-gooder acadamic study into Townsville crime but an interesting article.


    • The Magpie says:

      Yep, interesting article, but a word of caution about that publication. The LGAQ has a significant stake in it, which automatically raises questions of hidden agendas … it is pretty good in general journalism, but sometimes one is slipped into the ribs of various parties that makes one wonder about its degree of independence. Greg ‘Pizza The Hutt’ Hallam will certainly be seeking to use InQueensland as a lever to bully the government should they be contemplating any changes that may affect the money machine he has created in the LGAQ. So don’t hold your breath waiting for any critical examination of the LGAQ on the website … not that that matters, plenty of other potential sources, three southern publications are watching Hallam and his antics very closely.

  17. Not the ECQ says:

    Mr Magpie, I must have had too much time on my hands over the long weekend and out of curiosity looked at the website of the Chinese Communist Party newspaper China Daily. Pretty flash presentation actually and some interesting data on government investment in transport which Cantankerous would likely find staggering like I did. For example:

    “In the first six months of the year, 1,178 kilometers of new railway lines had been put into operation, including 605 km of high-speed lines, the company said.

    More lines will become operational in the second half of the year, including a high-speed line between Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, and Xi’an, Shaanxi province, and a line linking Beijing and Xiongan New Area in Hebei province, it said.

    The company said China plans to build at least 4,400 km of new railway lines this year, including 2,300 km of high-speed lines. Those targets exceed the 4,000 km of new lines and 2,000 km of high-speed lines it announced at its annual work conference in early January.”

    I suppose (wistfully naively perhaps) that these figures are truthful. I haven’t looked further for stories about other countries although I noticed headlines about coronavirus in America and suspect that the Chinese view is similar to ours – ie. that America is not dealing with the health crisis very well and it is patently obvious to all observers.

    • The Magpie says:

      Certainly interesting and not too surprising given both the population and work practices of Chinese society, but that aside, what is your point?

      • Round-eyed in wonder says:

        NECQ. Of course it’s true! As Young Einstein said, “If you can’t trust the Communist Party of China, then who can you trust?”. Just ask Charlie Chandrews.

      • Not the ECQ says:

        Dunno. Wanted to share a little known fact I suppose. Like pondering a roof on the stadium.

    • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

      Debra Gibson had a letter in the paper recently attributing China’s infrastructure achievements to that country’s lack of socialists.

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, although The ‘Pie doesn’t often agree with the prolific letters of Ms Gibson, that is not an unreasonable assumption, at least up to a point. Otherwise, why would the Chinese dictators have made the swerve towards limited capitalism a couple decades ago. Chinese millionaires, and several billionaires are counted in their country’s financial complex, and most made their dough out of infrastructure. What these wealthy folks don’t have that other filthy rich people have elsewhere is political influence because of their wealth … they have their wealth because they carefully negotiate the requirements and rules of the political elite. And no one is a socialist when flying by helicopter to their yacht to quaff Cristal on weekends .

        But don’t despair, Steve, one day, one day, comrade …

        • Hondaman says:

          A few weeks ago, I actually asked Steve if he would enlighten us rabid readers the details of his employment. To date this has not happened, but I repeat the question? I am deadly curious how one so incredibly well informed on almost any subject could not be at least an Academic of the highest order. Please Steve, allay my fears that you are one of the above, and not just a person surviving on the Government teat!

          • The Magpie says:

            Your curiosity is understandable but irrelevant, unless you want to play the man and not the ball. Tell you what, how about you tell us who you bare first? And why you want to know Steve’s situation.

  18. One legged tap dancer says:

    Over a beer or three yesterday a mate came up with a great solution to the pathetic performances of the three Queensland based NRL teams.
    He reckons the NRL should create a separate second tier competition for the Cowboys, Broncos and Titans, thus ensuring that they are competitive and actually win some games.
    He also suggested that to even up the numbers a Queensland women’s team could be included in the new comp.
    The way the boys are going the girls would probably win the premiership.

    • The Magpie says:

      Let us know if you will run that by them down in the Cowboys main bar … The ‘Pie will be there as a neutral observer, with the ambos on speed dial.

  19. The Magpie says:

    THE AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER CALLS JENNY HILL A LIAR … SHE SHOULD SUE (go on, Jen it’s fun, The ‘Pie should know.) We all know you’re an independent, and now only do branch stacking as a sideline hobby.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Haha. All that spin from the Dudley’s and others trying to paint Townsville as a good place to move to and live and the Oz fucks all that work by putting a picture of the Mullet in the National paper to scare the shit out of people all over the country.

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, think we need to consider this from several angles. First, anyone noticed that Mayor Mullet has heeded the none-too-gentle hints from the doona fancier among Magpie readers and has somewhat spruced herself and her wardrobe up since the election. The Magpie suspects with four more years locked in – unless the CCC or the forensic coppers make a surprise intervention – her current infestation of Walker Street is widely tipped to be her lap of honour. That analysis (from a Labor Magpie mate no less) is borne out by this sudden swerve towards not scaring the horses and little children. And this pic has a tell-tale to the future … the specs make her look -she thinks anyway- more politically businesslike and nonsense thruster for higher political office. Outside the council chambers, cannot resall her EVER doing a photo op wearing them. So maybe the Malta mansion will be on hold as she seeks the long-predicted Senate ticket, which Labor power brokers have previously denied her for being ‘unelectable outside local government and even lucky in that’ … their words, not The ‘Pie’s.

        So we will need to be alert to wider implications of her decisions affecting us over the next couple years if she is indeed positioning herself to kiss bum cheeks in the back rooms of Labor.

        • The Stasi says:

          With great respect Townsville Magpie, so you’re linking Mullet wearing glasses and tidying up her wardrobe presentation, to her scoring a Labor backed senate seat? Seriously? C’mon Sir, you can’t be serious, right?

          • The Magpie says:

            Watch and learn, Wolfgang, watch and learn.

          • Grumpy says:

            Stasi- it’s an old trick, trying to add gravitas by donning spectacles. Even Gillard tried it on. Her advisers later admitted it was a deliberate ploy.

          • The Magpie says:

            Never worked for The ‘Pie.

          • The Stasi says:

            Ok Grumpy, I thought Gillard wore specs to take the edge off that ginormous nose. There you go it wasn’t for that at all.

          • The Magpie says:

            You really do add class and intelligence to a conversation, don’t you, Wolfgang?

        • The Wulguru Wonder says:

          I agree with you Magpie, I think she still cherishes a dream of being able to prefix her name with an honorific ‘Senator’ after the next Federal election.

          I was more amused by the statement in the article that she wrote the essay for a Labor journal… yeah right, more likely the silver penned Dolan or a lackey in TCC media.

          At least the name of the journal was appropriate for the Mullet: The Tocsin Magazine.

  20. Heading south says:

    Rather than hang around town for the weekend, I went south. Brisbane airport was virtually deserted for both arrival and departure and I reckon there were as many Police/SES/QFES/Army personnel there than actual travellers. The arrivals board had a lot of Melbourne flight cancellations.
    Judging by the number of cranes dotting the CBD skyline, there hasn’t been much of a slowdown in the economy there.

    • The Magpie says:

      What, you think the owners would dismantle the cranes for fear they’d catch the virus?
      Were they wporking?

      • Heading south says:

        On Monday the crane were in action. Heaven forbid the CMEFU allowing the comrades to work on a weekend.

  21. Hondaman says:

    Magpie, you should recall I tried to invoke comment on the fatal accident in which our Mayor was a major participant, but at that time you blocked me, saying that it would not achieve anything stirring up an event that had tragic results for the rider. I have made a bad mistake of reading the blog as soon as it hits the stratosphere- and admit to missing ( but now read) a few comments made by yourself and others on the fatality. I’ve now resorted to waiting a while before reading the posts, and wonder if my comments would now be acceptable? I never mentioned the driver by name, so personalities do not count, my post was purely about the indifference shown by the Coppers in what was clearly a chargeable offence, or do we have to wait years for a Coroners report? I recently saw a frail old gentleman adding fresh flowers to the shrine on McDonalds corner, and my heart went out to him. If I could have stopped to console him I would have, but being in heavy traffic, that was not an option- but believe me, I feel for him and his family very much!

    • Not the ECQ says:

      Hondaman do you have some inside information? You write that your post was purely about the indifference shown by the Coppers in what was clearly a chargeable offence – clear to who, were you a witness? Are you suggesting that the mayor should have been charged with some traffic offence? Wouldn’t that require some sort of evidence about whether the traffic lights at the intersection were green or red etc? Without legally solid proof, including from eyewitnesses and possible CCTV or dash cam footage, why would the police be anything other than dispassionate?

      • The Magpie says:

        This isn precisely the sort of thing that initially prompted The Magpie to restrict comment on the matter. What is legitimate to comment on is the bureaucratic indifference of even inconclusive updates addressing the concerns – not curiosity, concerns – about the role of the putative leader of this city in a fatal car accident. As it would be of concern in any community. But the outcome is of course up to the forensic experts, and not the wild and partisan speculation that wasted The ‘Pie’s time in deleting over 50 comments of breathless and often despicable drivel.

        The whole brief of evidence has apparently been sent to Brisbane for evaluation – which seems a bit strange in itself – and one does wonder why.

      • Hondaman says:

        ECQ, my original post which was not printed was purely to ask why if a vehicle turns ACROSS multiple lanes against the normal flow of traffic ( sometimes at that location allowable with caution) but does it when it is not safe to do so, surely must be in breach of the Traffic Rules, i.e. driving without due care and attention at least, and maybe even a further charge regarding the tragic outcome of the driver’s actions. Statements have been made about the rider’s state of sobriety, running red lights etc ad nauseum, and the character assassination next day by the Bulletin- but the facts are simple, the road was not clear, and it was unsafe to make the turn! I really don’t care who was driving the car, as a motorcyclist I just want to see the law upheld!

        • The Magpie says:

          Hondaman, your comment in response to having your previous comment deleted, is now deleted for the very same reason … you are deciding who was at fault, without access to all the possible facts available to the police. And you further lose any claim to lofty impartiality in admitting in the deleted post you want justice ‘as a motorcyclist’.

          • Hondaman says:

            I stand admonished, and withdraw to await the Coroner’s findings. There will be no further from me on this subject. You are correct, only the Police know all the info, I should have been more circumspect, and also I’ll leave Steve alone too, I’m sure he has his believers, but I rarely agree with anything he says, but respect his right to say what he thinks.

          • The Magpie says:

            And The Magpie certainly respects your right to make reasonable reply to whatever Steve or anyone else says in comments, that’s what the whole thing is about. But there are special circumstances which you have covered that make the comment on the core issue of fault with the mayor’s accident off limits.

            And that said, The ‘Pie would point out that no matter what the outcome, he has a great deal of sympathy for Jenny Hill on this issue. No matter what the findings, this is something that will stay with her forever, memories you would not wish on anyone, and The ‘Pie does not wish her any ill personally, his arguments and judgements are always political.

  22. Alahazbin says:

    No wonder airlines are going broke, if they are Melbourne to Townsville with 3 passengers in a 183 seat plane. Jetstar would cancel a flight if the plane wasn’t at least half full. I wonder if the pilot got paid.

    • The Magpie says:

      Now come on, that a bit off centre. That sort of complement of passenger is a one-off and related to the Victorian shut-down, and has nothing to do with the financial health of Jetstar. And pilot pay comment is just plain silly. Expect better from you, sport.

      • Achilles says:

        If the powers that be were simply honest and transparent none of the foregoing questions, deliberations, speculations etc. would have seen light of day.

        A simple open and honest, who were the 3 execs on the plane, they can’t have been The Maggie surely too early, and not a trace of camel shit?

        Seems Oz has taken a leaf out of Korea’s/China’s interpretation of openness, like TSV’s illustrious, but distanced Dear Leader, Anna Palofcheques.

      • Jatzcrackers says:

        C’mon Pie, don’t be too harsh. Sometimes we all express a silly thought ! Some resonate, some don’t !
        BTW, I wear my glasses to see where my ball went…and to kick my playing partners ball into the scrub !

      • Alahazbin says:

        And a another thing. What lame brain senior police officer thought it was a good idea to transport passengers to their quarantine accommodation in a dirty filthy paddy wagon. The police commissioner can use all the glowing words in defence of her staff, but it is all bullshit. Someone needs there arse kicked.

    • Achilles says:

      Of course Cap’n and the crew got paid, they got the plane to a location where it can still produce income, no chance of that in mothballed Victoria.
      Smart commercial acumen.

    • Airline says:

      The Aircaft ( A320) also Had 6800 Kgs Of Freight In the Fwd & Aft Lockers . Very Profitable Extra staff were called in to Unload the Cargo ..

  23. Not the ECQ says:

    Mr Magpie there’s a headline in the e-Townsville Bulletin which raises questions about GST payments to Queensland which came up last week in relation to the Haughton pipeline:

    “POLITICAL WARFARE: Jobs at risk in dam plan GST stoush
    POLITICS More than 1000 jobs and the city’s water security hang in the balance as local, State and federal politicians bicker over the way Queensland is treated for its GST allocations.”

    This story is about a dam down south but are we missing something here? Is TCC being dudded by Canberra?

    • The Magpie says:

      Nice try, sport. All you have to do is read the story, headlines in the Astonisher rarely tell you the required facts. So, yes, on the face of it, we are being dudded… by the Palaszczuk government. Because they are heading into an election trailing a distinct stench of bungling incompetence, and desperately need to defend the disgraceful invisibility of their three Townsville-based members, the Queensland government suddenly wants to change the ground rules of an agreement that has been in place for a considerable amount of time, for the sole purpose of false virtue signalling (‘we is bein’ robbed!’) in the run up to the election. It is the equivalent of Jeff Horn refusing to come out for round two unless the prize purse split changed in his favour.

      Of course you are missing something ECQ – but it’s hard to comprehend the whole picture when you only labor over the left hand side of the page.

      • Not the labor stooge says:

        A contact told me Nanna Anna landed in Gladstone yesterday, complete with jeans and country belt buckle! (Better than a pink doon I suppose). I tried to read an article online but was blocked by a Rupert Paywall. Same story as with here in Townsville – a quick tour, sprouting off about jobs, projects and lots of $$$$ while looking drearily into the eyes of the promoted Glenn Butcher (oops, hope Mayor Burnett doesn’t get jealous).
        Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Gladstone full of mining/gas/industrial professionals? Why the fucking cowboy belt? Isn’t that betted suited for Winton or Alpha? I thought a hi-vis orange shirt would be more appropriate. Meanwhile, the Freckle is as quiet as a church mouse while The Kid is restrained by LNP foolishness preventing him from being let off the leash.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      I hope so ECQ, Governments should invest where it can get the best returns, and Townsville and its long list of pathetic failures is not on that list. In fact the whole of Qld under Labor is a no invest zone, it already receives an excess on GST funding and wastes the lot, no more funding should be provided until Qld can manage it better.

  24. Last Drinks says:

    Senator Hill really does have a nice ring to it. Got to be better than Hanson or Roberts.

  25. Pat Coleman says:

    Anyone remember how the Annandale Hautie Toutie crowd complained till they were LNP blue that putting a pedestrian bridge over Aplins Weir would allow the Mundingburra riff raff to cross the river into their exclusive domain??

    Well now the Mundingburra riff raff are turning LNP blue complaining about social housing proposed over the road from the state school. Which is a voting booth at election time.

    You can ignore the LNP pollies claims that land values will drop.

    Its about injecting a mass of voters into the middle of the electorate without a redistribution which usually happens around the outskirts.

    Social housing Tennant’s are not usually the LNP base are they??

    Its just a short walk to the ballot box too ….ain’t ????

    • The Magpie says:

      Christ, Pat, you starting to make sense? And with good grammar … mostly. The very essence of an epiphany.

    • Formerly of Mundingburra says:

      The citizens of Annandale soon got over themselves when they realised that their crotch goblins had much easier access to The Cathedral School.

      Mundingburra residents should be complaining about this development – it is a low density residential zone. Unless there are long and loud complaints, the government just bulldozes through whatever they want, no matter what the zoning requirements are. There are numerous examples around town of blocks of social housing units being put in where a private developer would never be able to.

      • The Magpie says:

        Best chance now, it’s an election year.

      • Alahazbin says:

        This is one better than branch stacking. It’s electorate stacking.

        • Grumpy says:

          Two problems. Firstly, how many are likely to update their details on the roll? Secondly, how many would really be bothered to vote, regardless of the fact they live across the road? I used to work adjacent to one of those cookie-cutter unit blocks and The most activity I saw was them emu bobbing the footpaths for dumpers. Although there were more than a few X-rated performances on the balconies.

  26. The Magpie says:


    This is way off the blog’s usual beaten track, but here is a masterclass is the use of satire – as versus the oft mistaken sarcasm. This a great read for the those who value wonderful satirical language which cleverly avoids outright abuse of a dickhead. Doesn’t matter if you don’t care about golf – it’s not actually about that per se – just care about the demolition job … it’s devastating and so well deserved. The subject is a multi-millionaire sportsman.


  27. Alahazbin says:

    Pie, Have you ever watched Ex footy player Andrew Etinghausen (ET) fishing show. The product endorsement is never ending. The first part of the read reminded me of him.

    • The Magpie says:

      Haven’t seen it, but annoying as it is, the practice of ‘placement’ may be tedious to us, but business pay big dollars to be there at the expense of their rivals …. very big bucks in Hollywood. That can of Coke Tom Cruise is sipping got into his hand because Pepsi didn’t match the bid (in the tens of thousands of $$$).
      Now, anyone out there want their product mentioned in the blog? Or maybe The ‘Pie might take a leaf out of John Laws ‘Cash For Comment’ playbook, and seek money for NOT putting a product in the blog.

  28. Budget paper says:

    Good morning magpie. As you will see in the paper today tne issue of GST exemptions is what i rasied with the blog last week. As I had stated it was TCC that was GST deferred . Clearly i was wrong however this story was my point. I waited until it was printed before commenting, esspcially because of your labor drones you have in the nest evrry week and there attempts to hide any wrongdoings or bad management from this labor council/state government. I do apologise for getting parts wrong but at least we know now where that GST money has disappeared with.

    • The Magpie says:

      It may be clear to you, but The ‘Pie sees it as a ‘he said, she said’ argument, but The ‘Pie’s previous point remains valid … he knows of no legal provision for any direct deals between a local council and federal treasury …or at least, never heard of such an arrangement.

      Now let The ‘Pie put his plain language interpretation of what the story is, and (genuinely) happy to be corrected or amended.

      The Commonwealth stumped up money to the state government for stage 2, which is the accepted channel for such an arrangement to go through, but suddenly, Brisbane wants a GST advantage (i.e GST-free money), before it then passes the dough on to TCC to oversee construction. The Feds are saying they never agreed to that GST arrangement, and Brisbane is using the issue to virtue signal about fiscal probity ob behalf of Queensland taxpayers, in the run up to an election which is on the knife-edge. And it is the GST argument that has stalled the money, not any refusal to honor their election promise of the Feds to have the cash available, despite receiving a report some time ago saying stage 2 wasn’t an urgent requirement.

      And allow The Magpie to add that he is deeply apologetic to you for trying to run a comment page that is open to all,
      left and right, labor and LNP and all shades on the fringe.

      • Tenacious D says:

        I do not see how GST is involved in this transaction at all, but Im no accountant.

        A grant from the Feds to the State channelled to a council.

        Where is the GST? no goods or services have been involved?

        I expect to be educated.

      • The Magpie says:

        Seems The ‘Pie was on the right track. It IS the state government trying to alter an established contract that is holding up the Haughton stage 2 federal money. Wonder if the mayor would care to comment.

        From today’s Astonisher:
        The state has just spent as much as $200 million funding development of Haughton stage one and now is baulking at having the Federal Government’s funding released to complete stage two.
        According to the office of Treasurer Cameron Dick, the Federal Government “must exempt this Project Agreement from GST calculations” because it “could cost Queenslanders $156 million in GST shortfall”.
        It is understood the shortfall arises because the federal money could be counted as state revenue, reducing its GST allocation.

        • Not the ECQ says:

          Mr Magpie, could it be that when the next round of GST payments is made from the Commonwealth to each of the states (there’s a complicated formula for that), the Commonwealth intends to reduce the GST payment to Queensland by the $195m it intends to spend on the Haughton Stage2? In other words, the Queensland government ends up paying for Stage2 even though the money appears to have come directly from Canberra to Townsville.

          • The Magpie says:

            Dunno, could it? No doubt that is a possibility in your Laborcentric mind, but would seem a bit of a clunky ploy by the Feds which would be easily called out. But since the (presumably GST-free) Northern Infrastructure Fund has concluded stage 2 is not a matter of urgency, it is not included in current considerations. But the Queensland Government and Mayor Mullet insisted it go ahead to shore up the rock bottom stocks of our three local members in an election year, taxpayers will take the hit anyway which way it goes.

            And murky waters will become even more murky.

          • Old Tradesman says:

            So Mr Not the ECQ, why is the state not financing the pipeline itself, after all it will end up being a State Government owned asset, the same as the widening of the shipping channel and the stadium, Dick is being just that a total half smart Dick. Why are they building an unnecessary tunnel in Brisbane which will cost the Queensland taxpayer 15Billion , just to make the insider trader Trad look good? You also have to remember that Anna didn’t even know the GST rate, she said it varies, and they want another 4 years.

          • The Magpie says:

            Well, OK, but hang on a moment, Sawdust. It is incumbent on the Federal Government to finance such things as this stage 2 pipeline for a couple reasons. They made an election promise to do, and besides, it is not unreasonable for the Feds to stump up the money since it all comes from taxpayers anyway. The bottom line is that the Canberra has not reneged on its commitment, and it appears an electioneering Palaszczuk wants to change the rules mid-game.

          • Not the ECQ says:

            I’m not sure it has anything to do with a “Laborcentric mind” but whatever. The thing is, I don’t think this is about someone (TCC, QG?) paying 10% GST on the transaction. I think it’s about the distribution to the states of the monies obtained from GST payments to the Commonwealth, hence the reference in the Astonisher article about “federal money could be counted as state revenue, reducing its GST allocation”. About a year ago when the Commonwealth was making the promises about funding Stage2 the matter of the possible reduction in the distribution of GST payments to Queensland (for the amount the Feds were putting up for Stage2) just didn’t arise. Politically, now, it looks like Queensland gets dudded by Canberra which would be a gift to Labor – I can’t see that Deb20 can make any hay with it. But also it looks like Canberra pulling money out of the region just when it would be the most useful – Covid19 and all that. It also looks like the pipeline duplication project gets stalled indefinitely over indecision about whether to start the unnecessary $55m Haughton Channel expansion or not. Perhaps there’ll be a change of mind after the election. After all, it was only a promise.

          • The Magpie says:

            Think your missing the point here. If there was no caveat regarding GST when the deal was done, and the state government at that time didn’t seek one (knowing that that would give Canberra a valid reason to drag their feet for years on what was hoped to be a vote winner for Palaszczuk), then she can’t suddenly demand such an advantage. And as you say, the issue didn’t rise, so if this state government is so incompetent not to realise what conditions and caveats they want before signing, that would surely make them either dumb or devious.

          • Not the ECQ says:

            When the Commonwealth put up $100m for the stadium did it then turn around and reduce Queensland’s GST share by $100m? I don’t think so.

          • The Magpie says:

            What’s the relevance of that? The deal from different silos of money isn’t uniform, but the conditions are always negotiated and known in advance before signing.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Probably just a case of the feds will not deduct it from GST payment calculations if Deb wins but will deduct it from GST calculations if Labor does, Sounds fair to me in an election year.

          • Not the ECQ says:

            “the conditions are always negotiated and known in advance before signing.”

            Is that a fact or an assumption? Do you mean that Queensland knew all along, from at least a year ago, that the Commonwealth contribution for Stage2 would be counted as state revenue and therefore deducted from GST payments to the state? It certainly didn’t sound like that in the Commonwealth press release from twelve months ago. For me, Cantankerous’s explanation looks more likely and I love it!

          • The Magpie says:

            Of course you do, sweetie.

            And if they didn’t know, why didn’t they know? Or were they the ones who made an assumption, doubly dangerous in politics and particularly in government.

          • Alahazbin says:

            EC Poo, While the rest of the state pays for bloody Cross River Rail. Something that is not required for another 25 bloody years.

  29. The Magpie says:

    “What the hell is going on with the Townsville Bulletin? No point asking them, they obviously won’t tell or don’t know. But here’s a major question for the paper that is ‘All For You.’ Why did this story, by Townsville Bulletin reporter Tess Ikonomou, appear in the GOLD COAST BULLETIN yesterday, but not in the TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN?

    This is a very serious question, which paints the editorial management of the paper in a very suspicious light. Eight people being put in quarantine in this city deserves timely and prominent reporting, but in Wednesday’s paper, there was nary a single mention of a second flight, in fact no follow up at all, the story just died. Instead, today we get a handwringing yarn about the (justified) distress of a woman who was subjected to off-hand treatment usually reserved for criminals, and the numbers in quarantine – and indeed the fact of the quarantine itself – is buried in the report.

    Surely the quarantine of eight citizens under COVID rules far outweighs a side-bar issue of the treatment of one person.

    No reflection on the reporter, both stories competent if containing the usual overload of emotive adjectives, but perhaps editor Craig Warhurst would care to explain how people on the Gold Coast are informed of a vital matter concerning Townsville and people in Townsville are not.

    You really should, Craig, after all, you’re all for us.

    • Heading north says:

      I have heard from friends on the NSW of the border that the caravan brigade are massing and as soon as the road blocks are lifted, they will be streaming north. This includes Victorians who until this week were still able to drive into NSW.

      Hopefully everyone with VIC rego plates will have to prove that they have been in NSW for at least 2 weeks before being let through.

      • Silvertail says:

        Don’t worry too much about them. The selfish old farts don’t interact very much unless they are buying petrol. Tight arses that park in non-declared parks and alongside a backstreet at night to avoid paying camping fees. Then they avoid buying meals in your town and stick to using a kettle and making cheese sandwiches in the back of the van. And to top it off we get stuck behind the silly fuckers as they do 40km/h on the highway because they don’t have a care in the world and don’t give a shit about the rest of us having to still work for a living!

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          You are a tragic jealous indiindividual, still having to work, envious of those who worked smart, retired early, and can enjoy life unlimited.

          You are ignorant of the economic advantage brought to communities which welcome the travelling public.

          You call yourself Silvertail.

          Your small minded ignorance would suggest your name is Leadtail.

    • Craig Warhurst -Editor TB says:

      The story you have shared from the Gold Coast Bulletin website is one we promoted on our website and Facebook page early yesterday morning.
      It did not appear in the Gold Coast newspaper, they took the story from our website.
      Today’s paper coverage is an update of the same story with more information about what happened to passengers involved.
      It was posted online late last night.
      We try to keep our paper coverage as up to date as possible. A story posted 24 hours earlier online normally gets changed to keep our paper readers informed of the most current news.

      • The Magpie says:

        Thanks for the timely reply, and we can put it down to juggling stories on different platforms. But one still wonders that if the story went up ‘early yesterday morning’ on your website and FB, why it wasn’t included in the print edition, which is still by far your most read platform. Surely the story was written the night before, and its importance would surely merit special treatment.

        However, The ‘Pie realises you don’t have the time to argue the minutiae of newspaper production with him, so he thanks you for you your prompt and courteous reply (more than The ‘Pie gets from a lot of others.)

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          Well, well, well Pie. Confirmation that the TB Editor, or co-workers ‘keep an eye on the Pie’ blog! As you knew all along of course!!

          • The Magpie says:

            Well, no actually, although they do, that is not proof. The ‘Pie emailed the reporter who passed it along to the editor, who replied directly by email. Very promptly, too.

          • The Stasi says:

            They’re definitely monitoring/watching your blog Mr Magpie.

            I’ll bet my right crown-jewel on it! And so they should, as the information that floats into the nest is often very, very juicy.

      • Ruprecht Murdoch says:

        Well Craig, the online electronic articles are mostly pinched from mainline newspapers and then flicked on to all the local newspapers to post online. Most news we see online is a cut and paste from elsewhere. It’s a disgrace. I don’t even know why you need a ‘Townsville editor’ when news is delivered that way. What do you do all day – play Seduco while cruising EBay? Lamestream media is just that – lame. Outdated rubbish with stories about a wombat in Tasmania with three testicles or a stolen witches hat from a job site in Barcaldine. Absolute shit! Virtually no local news anymore. And when/if there is any you disable comments to protect your local political heroes from receiving any negative commentary. Put your head back down below the radar mate before we really blow it off.

        • The Magpie says:

          Most of all that is simply not true, there is strong local presence in the Bulletin, but sadly it’s mostly trivial (vote for Townsville’s best bub, FFS, that not news), and often biased (ref last week’s ‘funding pie’ totally false whinge from the mayor). But your point about trivial dross from afar is so true, only the occasional such story is worthy of even a quick smile before moving on. Unfortunately with the Astonisher, this policy of lazy filler items is like that wombat, simply too much of a good thing.

          But there is some evidence of some old fashioned journalistic digging, the recent story about the ‘on country’ scheme being a rort run by outsiders (a very important point in aboriginal culture) was a good start.

      • Mundingbird says:

        Craig , do you proof read your stories at all?
        I have noticed a few lately , like the smoke from Mt Isa fires affecting Wulguru !
        Pretty sloppy reporting mate , like you either do not care for your work and it’s quality , or you just do not care , period.
        I know Newscorpse’s model does not fit with local papers with community involvement , asking the hard questions etc,
        Pity , used to be a good paper years ago , and I , like many , many people , no longer buy it.
        PS , you need to update your readership figures when you Google the TB , as they are a farce.

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          Well email the bulletin then about their figures Mun, worked for the Pie earlier today. No good ‘saying it’ on here old mate!

          • The Magpie says:

            And certainly no good holding The ‘Pie up as an example … the old bird has non subs or second guessers before publishing either the blog or a comments (plenty afterwards sometimes), so some clangers get through.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      This is not a first for the Astonisher. Quiet a while ago I was kicking up a stink about a certain matter. I was interviewed and photographed by a reporter from the Astonisher. Then nothing. Day later friend on the Gold Coast phones wanting to know what the hell I had been up to. Story with photo was in the Gold Coast Bulletin. The Astonisher did run the story about three days latter, when, by then, the whole issue was ancient history.

  30. Dutch Reverend says:

    Glad they spent so much on the new stadium. Maybe they should pull some money out of the centre of excellence gift and lay some decent turf. Talk about a chopped up piece of crap.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Dutchy, ‘chopped up piece of crap’ you say? That’s describes the Cowboys current on field performance. Smashed again tonight!!

      • L Berry says:

        Agree, Plucker. Pathetic effort. I was on the verge of walking out. They played like school thirds team.

        But what I can’t understand are the calls for Geoff Toovey to replace Green as coach. Have they forgot how much we hated him as a player in the 90s?

  31. Mike Douglas says:

    One Pollie earning his wage in the Ville is Phillip Thompson calling out the lack of engagement and transparency from Council and our 3 State MP, s . Lobbying for the re-opening of the Castle Hill pool , meeting residents of Mundingburra kept in the dark over the housing commission units . When there were 21,000 Townsville people on jobkeeper our Labor Mayors focus is Labor’s Federal pre-selection strategy and running interference for her 3 State comrades . Let’s not forget hapless Aaron Harper . Kirwan is highlighted daily in the Police crime reports as one of the worst areas , property prices are having the biggest drop in value in his electorate Aaron is out putting up his election signs and asking anyone who would like to have one of their fence to contact . Keep the pressure on Phil , as you are cutting thru Labor’s local media spin and getting things done .

    • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

      No Mike, read the paper – the pool was reopened thanks to the tireless efforts of our gallant councillors


    • Gunnery Sgt. Carter says:

      Yes Mike, good to see Gomer Pyle out and about and flexing up. He told a couple of Labor Fed pollies to piss off last week too! All that assertiveness training we gave him is shining through! :)

      • Old Tradesman says:

        Hey Gunnery Sarg, their are going to be a few shells landing at a certain location in Townsville very shortly, and the coordinates are right on Walker St, that should really piss them off, go and buy your helmet.

  32. One legged tap dancer says:

    Interesting that the Townsville Bulletin updates its stories as regularly as the editor would have us believe.
    Some of the stories on the paper’s website have been there for weeks, but the one about the passengers from the Jetstar flight disappears in a few hours.
    My guess is that Jenny Hill didn’t like the Jetstar story and used her editor-in-chief powers to have it removed.
    But at least the Bully provided some coverage of these outrageous direct flights from Melbourne (and the failure of State Government to ensure every passenger is placed into mandatory lockdown in a hotel) that are inviting covid-19 into North Queensland. Channel 7 has ignored the story altogether, instead concentrating on more important news, such as a puppy being rescued from a drain.
    Any news service worth its salt should have been asking our media tart mayor why she isn’t calling out her state government mates for exposing us to another covid-19 lockdown, or calling for a boycott of Jetstar.

    • The Magpie says:


    • Doxie says:

      Why are these flights even coming here? Why Townsville? Are the passengers off-loading being processed as required everywhere else. I’ve asked this question of those in all levels of Government and I cannot get an answer. Either no response at all, or one that tippy-toes all around Jack’s mother. What is so secretive about the whole affair?

  33. J jones says:

    Love the Cowboys but it’s lucky they have crowd restrictions this year because the numbers would be very interesting if they didn’t.
    Club needs an overhaul

  34. Critical says:

    Saw Captain Cupcake yesterday at 5pm standing forlonly by himself at his mobile office set up in the small park on the cnr of Hugh St and Bayswater Rd. Must have been hoping that cyclists and passing walkers might have some questions for him because I’m stuffed where anyone in a car was going to park and then walk to see him. Is this a sign of a desperate man hoping to get himself recognised by October.

    • The Magpie says:

      Unfair. At least he was out there, making himself available. Just for the, he should get a red badge of courage. Noy like our mayor, who went missing big time when quarantinees start landing in Townsville from Melbourne,

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Hey Crits, he has been rank busted quite a few times for not representing us – current rank is Private.

  35. Villeified says:

    Re Halifax street diversion Townsville Airport
    I don’t know how many of your readers have seen the new Halifax diversion off Melton Black Drive to from the airport.
    What’s been done fails to deal with the reality of the actual number of cars using the current exit .
    The new diversion allows just three cars in the turning area and no lane for cars continuing towards the city .
    Thereby locking up traffic in both directions .
    It’s clearly a monumental and should not be commissioned without at the very least an extra side lane so city bound traffic can pass .
    Whoever designed and signed off on it sees a future with no planes at all.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie has been advised about the potential inexplicable cock-up and has been waiting for work to get closer to completion. There is deliberately no provision for drivers heading out from the city to use MB Drive to sneak off Bundock Street and use Halifax Street as a ‘rat run’, as it is called in Sydney … smaller roads used main arterial route congestion. These unfairly become hell for residents. So this aspect is perhaps understandable, because it would create a dangerous traffic flow and result in unreasonable noise pollution through a residential area, with Halifax Street also having a school (Garbutt State School, is it?) But the airport exit situation is a different matter, which bears a closer look. Which The ‘Pie shall undertake, and report in this weekend’s blog. (Damn, now the Astonisher is as we post racing out there now we’ve tipped them off!! Coises, as Bluto says!!

  36. Villeified says:

    Shit your right
    delete that post they’ll be at Friday night drinks
    Just add to your blog

  37. Alahazbin says:

    Today I learnt from the Astonisher that there are schools in Townsville that I didn’t know existed.
    “National funds crisis forcing school cuts”
    Did you know there are schools at: Cape Cleveland, Castle Hill, Palleranda, Rowes Bay, Shelly Beach and Town Common.
    Well there might be a nudist school for adult males at Shelly Beach and another on Town Common in the form of a Detention Centre, but the rest, I don’t know.

  38. The Magpie says:


    Drongos 10 Galoots 4

    … zzzzz.

Post a Comment

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:

-186Days -13 -21 -20