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The Magpie

Sunday, August 5th, 2018   |   77 comments

SLAPP Down: Legal Bully Barry Taylor Gets A Long Overdue Judicial Kick In The Balls

Yep, our favorite legal foghorn suddenly got laryngitis in the Supreme Court this week, making an embarrassing back pedal from a looming trial over his eye-watering fees. He was forced to retreat to a private settlement to avoid a matter involving his fee charging practices going to open trial. The Magpie oh-so-reluctantly reports.

Also, our hero Mayor Mullet, revs up her re-election campaign, again using ratepayer money in the guise of a public information announcements and stunts. Of course we will have to wait until March 2020 to find out if she is justified in believing we really are all dumb fucking idiots.

And from cunning to karma: Clive Novichok Palmer’s week.

And another pictorial gallery of Comrade Trump’s Week.

But first …

Nippers And Chompers

Lifesavers in Queensland are doing an extra good job of late saving lives … saving their own. Lifesaver numbers are down dramatically, and it’s all being blamed on the humble but hungry crocodile. Potential junior lifesavers in North Queensland – club nippers, as they are known – are finding other things to do, as nervous parents look for safer childhood pursuits.


Croc numbers right across the Top End, including the coastal strip from Mackay north to the Cape, have shown a spectacular increase in recent years, and the admittedly relative few fatalities and attacks serve to resonate and amplify a natural human dread of the creatures, more so even than that engendered sharks or certain lawyers. (A horror story on the latter shortly).

The ‘Pie will leave it to others to debate the proper course of action in this matter, but Bentley doesn’t blame the reluctance of folks to become lifesavers, he reckons otherwise the result is inevitable.

croc cull fin small

Just like the popular lolly, human lifesavers could end up with a whole in the middle and be crunched until swallowed.

It’s Been A Big Week For Karma

As reported in the Nest last week, well loved solicitor Big Bazza Taylor was in a touch of strife in the Supreme Court in Rockhampton. Known to some as the scrub bull because of his enthusiastic charging … Bazza has always believed that there isn’t a stone on this planet he couldn’t get blood out of … he was being challenged by a Ravenswood grazing couple, Tony and June Hood,  over the amount he slugged them for his unsuccessful representation of them to a mining company seeking part of their property for a mining lease.

Big Bazza Taylor

Big Bazza Taylor

The judge in Rockhampton was initially scathing in his comments about Emanate’s behaviour, but the harsh criticism was later revised and suppressed (see below),  and gave the parties were a few days to sort out some administrative matters, and return to hear the judge’s formal take on the issue, and if the matter was to proceed to trial. This they did on Tuesday, but before anything could happen, Emanate Legal withdraw and said they would settle the matter out of court.

An update: Sunday May 23 2021.

After the settlement was reached, the matter returned to court where the judge admitted to an error in his assessment, having based his comments on material that was not in evidence. He then revised his judgement,  suppressed his earlier comments and made a new ruling that was also not for public consumption.  So we don’t know if he exonerated Mr Taylor from suggestions of legal malfeasance, but the judge’s subsequently erroneous initial comments were enough to make Taylor make a hasty settlement. To The Magpie’s limited knowledge, the behaviour of Taylor’s firm Emanate, and that of his solicitor Vanesa Gleeson, has not been the subject of any further actions.  

So, a bit of background. In the arcane world of the law, there is something known as a SLAPP action. The term originated in thre USA – where else? – and stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, where cashed up organisations use their money to stifle opposition with drawn-out and ruinously expensive nit-picking litigation . Think Gunns logging people who sued environmental protestors in Tasmania, the Hindmarsh Bridge ‘woman’s business’ in South Australia, and closer to home, development on Hinchinbrook Island. While this matter does not involve big business, government departments  or the public as such, the principal of using the weight of money and oppressive demands in the pre-trial process – which all cost a small fortune – is the same. This SLAPP principal appears to be a favourite bully boy tactic much employed by Taylor (The Magpie himself has been subject to this strategy by Taylor, which has proved fruitless through the efforts of more ethical people in the legal fraternity).

Vanesa Gleeson

Vanesa Gleeson

The matter before the Supreme court sitting in Rockhampton was based on SLAPP, with Emanate solicitor Vanesa Gleeson seeking expensive delays and hearings in the hope that the Hoods would fold and just forget about it.

The ‘Pie reckons it was then that Bazza knew he had his tits caught in the wringer, and Gleeson had over-reached herself in the wrong tribunal, so he promptly arranged for the matter to be settled out of court before the judge had revised his comments. Details of such settlement are almost always blanketed in non-disclosure agreements, but any reading of the rapid settlement means Bazza lost out big time. And Emanate Legal would have to repay a substantial amount – maybe even everything – to the Hoods.

Why would The Magpie risk reaching this conclusion without any visible information?

Because of the judge’s initial stern assessment of the situation – later revised and suppressed – it is a reasonable assumption simply that at the time Taylor believed if he didn’t settle, he ran the very real risk of having to defend himself in an embarrassing procedure for charging them well beyond what was right and reasonable – it cost them in the end six times what he estimated the whole matter would set them back. And that would be a hammer blow – possibly terminal – to his nice little over-earner in the legal profession.

So seems that Barry Taylor and Vanesa Gleeson have had their sorry arsesd well and truly SLAPPed.

And, given the glee that all this was greeted with in the Townsville legal community, high time too, Bazza.

Mayor Mullet Marches On To … ummm … Victory?

 adele and jenny

Not satisfied with an obsequious Townsville Bulletin, Mayor Mullet has started a canny re-election campaign … funded by you, the ratepayers of our fair city.

It seems that next week, we are going to be treated a display of a couple of sections of the new water pipeline planned from the Burdekin Dam to the Ross Dam. There will be a photo op featuring, The ‘Pie is told, Johnathan Thurston standing in it. Presumably as a measure of its actual size, because apparently we cannot imagine a 1800mm pipe for ourselves. If we actually wanted to. Why we would want to is a mystery, but you can bet Mayor Mullet will be in the mix somewhere.

The ‘Pie is reliably told that the council has leased an empty space where Playtime used to be in the CBD to display one of the sections. And here’s the rub of all that.

Let’s ponder some supplied info.:

*$10,000 is the approximate cost to build and high polish one stainless steel cradle to display a plastic pipe at “Smiles” stadium, where the display is planned for the match against the Broncos next weekend. (Aug 9)

*The two samples would have travelled up from SA in wooden cradles. Each subsequent move requires pickup, transport and install to new display site, min – 4 hrs x2 crew overtime plus possible crane hire and/or large forklift plus possible traffic control.

*They are 2.8m lengths and a tonne or so each without adding the cradle weight. Maybe they brought two in case one broke?

And it is you, sweet readers, who are the ones paying for all this. But the question is why. It’s all been decided, and we can’t be expected to get all warm and moist over what amounts to … well, amounts to … a length of bloody pipe. And what if people don’t like it, will the council have a rethink? Yeah, right.


The Greeny environmentalists must be tearing up their pink bib’n’brace overalls in despair.

But seriously, we need to be told warranty details and whether ratepayers can expect any bills down the track if a delivery company, installation contractor or the supplier goes belly up. Are we as a city exposed?

An even more obvious question is: it’s a done deal, even if against best advice, and done in secret, so why does it need a public relations campaign?

The Water For Townsville mob agree somewhat colourfully that it is a strange and wasteful way to spend ratepayers money.

pipeline and jt

But then, Linda Ashton isn’t up for re-election as mayor of a community sick of secret deals and staff stacking (and sacking).

So What’s It Really All About

Allow The ‘Pie to enlighten you about the necessity for this criminal waste of public funds. After having been dragged screaming into the pipeline issue, Mayor Mullet has played smart politics, and seems to have ensured that those she thinks deserving get the gig – for whatever reason only she knows, and The ‘Pie is sure she doesn’t want this looked at too closely. She has taken control of an issue she didn’t want in the first place, played a sneaky game with the Water For Townsville mob and no longer talks to them, they’ve been sidelined. So it’s all Mayor Mullet, the Jen of Arc of this community, delivering something she didn’t even have on her radar until Jayne Arlett – on David Crisafulli’s advice – ran for mayor on the issue of a water crisis.

So this is, pure and simple, a re-election campaign stunt.

Spending public money on PR in this way should surely attract the attention of the appropriate authorities … oh, what’s that? Oh, yeah, sorry, forgot, we’re in Queensland aren’t we, gosh that moonlight is bright.

But Wait, That’s Not All, There’s More … And It Ain’t Steak Knives

Remember that panicked and ill conceived ‘Basic Blitz’ bullshit. That was an asinine response when Mayor Mullet first realized just how deep she was in the shit. It amounted to boasting about doing the minimum she was elected to do anyway, the old dictum of rates, roads and rubbish. Well, looks like she figured that worked, and decided it was a ploy worth another try. This from a regular commenter during the week.

Cantankerous but happy

email hidden; JavaScript is required

Submitted on 2018/08/02 at 9:56 am

Whilst waiting for my bags to come off at the airport I noticed the new digital advertising above the baggage carousels, much to my surprise was multiple ads from the TCC about seniors week Aug 21-26, questionable value in that, but then the clanger, TCC spending “ $41million on parks and open spaces” . What a disgraceful waste of ratepayers money obviously done in a deal with co executive Numbskull Gill at TEL. There is zero value for the ratepayers of Townsville for these ads, once again the gilded few circulating money amongst themselves, Bjelke Peterson was an amateur compared to these low life’s.

Indeed, and one has ask where is the logic in a stranger – tourist or business person – arriving to information about what the local council is spending on such basic things as parks and open spaces. The message seems to say ‘we are lacking in these things, but don’t worry, the council is on the job, and your stay will be all the more enjoyable … eventually.’ And since we are so low on tourist numbers, these ads are clearly campaign ads for the current mayor and council to be re-elected.

Chickens, your roost is ready for you to come home.

Front Page of the Week


Bazza Taylor must sympathise.

But Palmer’s underlying Trump-like callous disregard for ordinary folks is becoming legendary. They are just pawns to be used before being discarded as he continues on his merry money making way.

During the past week, he made a thinly veiled argument that the Port of Townsville was responsible for blocking him employing hundreds of people and  was blocking him from starting up Yabulu again, so it’s all their fault, nothing to do with him not paying his bills. Former employees and job hire firms received this in email in the past few days.

—- Original Message ——
From: “Yabulu HR” <email hidden; JavaScript is required>
To: “DL_External_Contact” <email hidden; JavaScript is required>
Sent: Monday, 30 Jul, 2018 At 6:25 PM
Subject: IMPORTANT EMPLOYMENT MESSAGE from the Queensland Nickel Refinery Joint Venture regarding future employment

To our past Queensland Nickel employees and interested people who provided us with a hand written expression of interest form in 2016. We expect to be recruiting staff for the restart of the  refinery in the near future once we confirm that our access to berth 2 at the Port has been retained. Clive Palmer has recently stated that this access will trigger the employment of 100 workers straight away, with another 100 to be employed by Christmas 2018.  The workforce will then be increased into 2019 to meet our restart requirements. Should you still be interested in a job at the Refinery, please complete the electronic expression of interest form available on our website at the link below. This information  will automatically load into a spreadsheet that will be used to select the skills required for the restart.


As the old Aussie joke has it, Palmer is not circumcised, because there’s no end to the prick.

In Passing:

The ‘Pie hears that after all, we are going to get a fresh water lagoon on the Strand. The old bird’s Brisbane spies say we can expect an announcement soon, but probably not from the mayor, but the premier instead. And why not, she’ll be the one stumping up the dough. But Jenny will be on the coat tails quickly enough.


A random thought:

The ‘Pie sees a problem with Scott Morrison’s long overdue pledge to scrap the highly discriminatory tampon tax. You can bet thre’ll be strings attached.

It Was Inevitable

Well, this week, The Astonisher put us out of our seething excitement and gave us the story we really wanted … Townsville Ten Most Popular Manicurists. You nailed it, Astonisher.

But the essential information didn’t stop there. We had …

Screen shot 2018-08-03 at 8.57.25 AMShould one assume that the restaurant closed when customers were in the middle of a lively Scottish dance of joy? They surely can’t have meant reeling as in

  • ‘feeling very giddy, disoriented, or bewildered, typically as a result of an unexpected setback’

If that was the case, it was probably something they ate, so just as well it closed.

But all in all, a bad week for local gastronomes.

fish and chips close

WTF? This is news? Anyway, nice to see that the Astonisher has reduced it’s time frame of printing news, catching up with this jaw dropper after several weeks of it being closed.

News? Frankly, this is weird.

One For Collective Noun Enthusiasts

 Jenny's council

The ‘Pie has always been fascinated by collective nouns – his fav is a Parliament of cheetahs … it figures whichever way you spell it. But what do you call a collection of councillors, I mean a printable term? Try a quockerwodger of councillors.

The excellent and endlessly fascinating Haggard Hawks word site tells us

The term quockerwodger, although referring to a wooden toy figure which jerks its limbs about when pulled by a string, has been supplemented with a political meaning. A pseudo-politician, one whose strings of action are pulled by somebody else, is now often termed a quockerwodger.:

And Now Trump’s Week And Associated Issues In Pictures

The Yanks have always been great ones for the dark humour of euphemisms … ‘wet work’ for CIA assassination, when targets have their ‘contracts terminated with extreme prejudice’ and ‘daist cutter’ for a devastatingly cruel bomb that denoates a few feet above the ground, flattening a forest and everything in it for a 500 metre radius.

But it has taken the Donald Trump to become the all time champ of sick humour. His policy-on-the-run decision to separate children of illegal immigrants from their parents  has resulted that now the bureaucrats now can’t obey a court order to reunite them because the government officials don’t know where they put many of the children.

This created a whole new class of bureaucratic record keeping, which the Trump administration now calls Deleted Family Units.

Trump credibility

Trump fool the peopleTrump dealsTrump cockroach

Trump Giuliani

Trump secret agentTrump enemies……….

That it for another week, keep an eye on comments, you’ll hear of things there first that you probably will never see in the Astonisher or see on TV. Invaluable stuff which is yours for free, unless of course, you would like to help the blog along with a few bob to cover some upcoming registration costs, hoped-for software and subscriptions to info sites … the donate button is just below.

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

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