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The Magpie

Saturday, October 28th, 2023   |   137 comments

So What Have Ratepayers Got For Half A Million Bucks Worth Of ‘Advice’?

Well, more of Jenny Hill if her three gold-plated ‘advisors’ doing their jobs right. Whether that’s value for money from a ratepayers point of view is a matter for them. They can have their say next March. The Magpie looks at the faces of the backroom crew that help shape whatever world they want for us.

We’re used to the Daily Astonisher playing catch-up, but really …7 months? But when they do regurgitate a story The Magpie featured back then,  adding further incompetence by failing to ask the one question even a first year cadet would know to ask. So yet again, The ‘Pie helps out … he doesn’t answer the glaring question …  he answers it.

On the national scene, well, that hidden agenda didn’t stay hidden too long after last week’s resounding No vote in the referendum. The unanswered questions, the questions that branded those of us wanting more information as racists, dinosaurs and dickheads (thanks Ray Martin) came tumbling into the open by sadly misled and angry indigenous groups.

Not a Party girl … Palaszczuk shows that her loyalty to herself comes before the decent political decision she should make. Crisafulli must be tap-dancing.

And the good news from the USA – the House has a new speaker – the bads news: the House has a new speaker. Plus the American gallery’s other coverage of the week.

Lots of goodies this week and if you enjoy them enough to consider supporting The Nest with a much needed donation, the Donate button is at the bottom of the blog.

Three’s (An Expensive) Crowd.

We could spend a lot of time on the Townsville Council annual report, which more or less advises us we are living in some sort of Utopia, not a cloud in sight. Well, there sure isn’t for some, including the FIFO CEO Prins The Prince Ralston gets circa $550k/$600K, as much if not more than the Australian Prime Minister ($564K) which makes Albo the fifth highest paid leader in the world. Somehow we can afford a part time council CEO on more. Even the mayor, on $218k and with her top-up from her LGAQ board gig,(about $90K) doesn’t get anywhere near that.

But the really interesting snippet was was not so much what her three advisors were paid (collectively,  over half a million dollars) but the fact that she even HAS three advisors. For what? To Bentley, it seems it is a case of three unwise men paying homage to mayory.

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This clearly has to be a political rort, a job for the boys exercise for at least two of these featherbedders.

Given the dismal and opaque performance of this council and mayor,  it might be enlightening to know who her three wise men are.

Well, there’s this bloke, …

Jonte Verwey Screen Shot 2021-07-28 at 8.52.33 am

Mayoral advisor Jonte Verwey

Jonte Verwey – we chatted here about him before, enjoying two jaunts away with the mayor in the past year – a Labor cast-off nuisance from Brisbane, shuffled up here a couple years ago, The Magpie is told to get him out of the hair of the big players down there. Several contacts The ‘Pie Jenny also thinks he’s a nuisance,  and there’s little doubt he’s waiting for the main chance down south if it ever eventuates.

Bede Harding Screen Shot 2023-10-28 at 6.59.05 pm

Mayoral advisor Bede Harding

Then we have former AWU heavy Bede Harding, former secretary of AWU matters in the north. He did a good but fruitless job calling out Fatty Palmer over his disgraceful behaviour with the Yabulu Refinery closure, but that’s what union blokes do. Just how – in normal circumstances – he would be tapped as a mayoral advisor is laughable.

Richard Hannay Screen Shot 2023-10-28 at 8.12.32 pm

Then there’s old stager Richard Hannay, who appears to be the actual legitimate advisor to the mayor. Richard’s been around for a while, has strong knowledge of the city’s council and political history, and one would think not in need of the interjections of the other two goofs.

So there you have it  … and what they actually do with their fine titles and finer remuneration, well, your guess is as good as mine. Three Labor stalwarts, two of which have very doubtful provenance as advisors on civic matters around here. Their activities as the mayoral campaign ramps up will bear watching … a lot of people will take a lot of convincing that they are nothing more than ratepayer-funded campaign workers for the mayor, although they’ll use some fancy verbiage to deny it.  They have to deny it, because any c ampaigning activities while working is a very big LG no-no, but they will argue they’re donating their private time to the cause and woman they love.

Shit, fellas, even The ‘Pie might be able to love Jenny if she ponied up $160K+ plus a couple of jaunts, annually. Nah, maybe not.

Plain and simple, it’s a rort.

Speaking Of The Council’s Annual Report

It will be looked at closely by many – although probably no one down at the Bulletin, sounds to much like responsible independent work – but The Magpie loved some of the lying implications in the publication. Like this.

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That’s the way it is printed in the digital edition.

That photo is of the biggest financial disaster our mayor has blundered into (pending pipeline and Lansdown outcomes tba). The image is of the OPENING NIGHT of the Flinders Street arcade, between Flinders street and the new Ogden Street bus stops. Everyone was an invited guest (one way or the other) and food was free and it was an open bar.  Not a single one of those shops were tenanted. And, bar one lone effort, haven’t been since in the two or so years this disaster has been the ratepayers pleasure to have a major interest in. Just why anyone would think to put this is an upbeat annual report can only be down to …ummm … bad advice?

An example worthy of textbook inclusion on why councils … and financially illiterate glory seeking mayors … should never become developers. Making ratepayers rateplayers was not in the election remit, Madam Mullet.

If you want to leaf through the report for yourself, go here and scroll down to click on Annual Report.

Yesterday’s News Tomorrow? Nah, The Bulletin Can Do Better Than That … by Seven Months.

Apparently, the Astonisher works on the principle that nothing happens unless the mayor says it’s happened.

From comments during the week.

The Magpie

October 25, 2023 at 4:58 pm  (Edit)

We all know that – if you’re lucky – ther Townsville Bulletin will bring you yesterday’s news tomorrow, probably making old stuff sound new as they play catch-up, and with an exclusive tag attached to make them feel important.

But the paper has broken some sort of record today … seven months behind what they call ‘breaking news’.

Ahem. I said AHEM!!

This from the Magpie’s Nest 7 (that’s SEVEN) months ago, March 12 to be precise.

In case you’re an unbeliever, here’s the link …
https://www.townsvillemagpie.com.au/the-game-is-on-and-the-game-is-hide-and-seek-mayor-mullet-doing-the-hiding-fightin-fran-ocallaghan-doing-the-seeking/

… and here’s what The Magpie had to say at that time.

The ‘Pie has it on good authority Clr Maurie Soars will not seek to return as councillor for Division 8 at the council elections next March. He hasn’t said why, but The ‘Pie guesses because Maurie is no spring chicken, he would like to retire with enough time to retain a little dignity after his shameless knee bending for handsome dollars of the past few years.
Given this, it is quite possible The Mullet has tapped him on the shoulder, and maybe we can expect to see Maurie get some lucrative do-nothing bum polishing reward down the track. In fairness, apart from being among the spineless crew, Maurie has been one of the least offensive of Jenny’s jackals, so good luck, old timer.

Knowing that the Astonisher staff are the most avid but miserly Nest readers (not even a spotter’s fee after scores of tip-offs, let alone a generous donation!!), here’s what undoubtedly happened. Light-On Smith took his feet off his desk, parked his bubble gum on the side of his screen and languidly dialled Jenny’s minder of the day.
‘G’day. See The Magpie says Maurie Soars is pulling the plug. Wanna confirm?’
‘Shit, NO, NO WAY, you leave it alone mate, we’re sorting out a big announcement down the track, and we’ll follow that up a couple days later with Jenny’s pick to replace him. All part of our campaign strategy.’
‘So, nothing?’
“Absolutely nothing, don’t you dare go near it … or you know what’ll happen.’
‘(Gulp) Yeah, sure no worries.’

Reinserted, that bubble gum had a lot more mileage in it … seven months worth, in fact. But he still missed out in the end and gave the hospital pass to Caitlan Charles.

But Suddenly, The Cat Got Caitlan’s Tongue
Sad to say, a massive oversight by Ms Charles on the above story, sad because she is generally one of the better reporters at the Astonisher at the moment (faint praise and a low bar, I know, but all the same ….) One would have thought that even a first year cadet would have a big question regarding the retirement of a councillor.
Like maybe asking the mayor who she will run as Maurie’s replacement on her aerobics team.
Seriously, didn’t it occur to anyone to be just the tiniest bit curious about one of the most obvious matters arising here  … or was it all too political for the paper?  It is not a journalists’ job to not ask a question because they already know the answer … even if Mayor Mullet shooed away the question with a bland non-answer, it has to be asked and the response reported – even if there wasn’t a response. That’s called news FFS!!!
But here we go again. Leighton, Caitlin, let The Magpie again give you something else to ignore because you didn’t hear it from the mayor.
The mayor has been actually pestering a candidate for Soars spot for some time now, so if this woman says yes, – The ‘Pie is told she’s still thinking about it – she’ll be running for Team Hill in Division 8 next March. And it’s someone you know Leighton.
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Rachel Armstrong, potential Team Hill member

Ms Armstrong was a long-term (5 years) employee in Walker Street, until she left at the start of this year to take up a state government position.

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But you know her Leighton, you remember, don’t you? You presented her just as Rachel Citizen in this story.

Screen Shot 2023-10-28 at 6.41.59 pm You failed to say that rather than just a random, she’d just finished work with the TCC and had a government job vaguely allied to your story.  She certainly seemed to well informed on water matters, but you had her just as a mum of two who had lobbed in Townsville a few years ago.

And gosh, you didn’t know Ms Armstrong was going to think about running for council?  Well, The Magpie also mentioned the possibility in passing shortly after your story.

Again, your not paying attention, mate.

But Hey, What’s in a Name? Maybe Your Got Confused Web Trolling.

It’s Halloween so here’s a truly spooky thing.

Beaking around this week’s items of interest, the old bird noted that while he warbled on about Rachel  Armstrong, and in a different context, about Richard Hannay, it turned out that Townsville boasts at least two of each.

And strange as it may seem, both the nominative doppelgangers have more in common than just their names. The similarities are the spooky bit. So, meet the other Rachel Armstrong.

Screen Shot 2023-10-28 at 7.03.03 pm

And it seems this Armstrong would be just as an ideal candidate for a spot on Jenny’s TCC team. She seems to have the experience of considering what the job would entail when she tells us: My characters may be suffering emotionally, but they’re strong, healthy people with quirky passions and a soft spot for dogs. Helping them find their happily-ever-after is my life’s joy. And to top it all off, you’ll note that as an exercise physiologist, she’ll be perfect for Jenny’s monthly Walker Street aerobics class.

And the other Hannay is, or was … haven’t been able to check out the latest … a local Red Rooster franchisee, fowling things up down on Gregory St North Ward.

Screen Shot 2023-10-28 at 6.55.34 pm

But oh the similarities … The TCC Richard feeds the chooks (at the Bulletin) while the other Richard feeds us chooks – Red Rooster brand. Which are way more satisfying and, unlike the Bulletin variety, worth the money.

Just For The Record

‘Our country, not yours’. ‘Illegitimate occupation’. ‘Continuing colonisation’.  ‘We want complete sovereignty’. 

The Magpie 

October 24, 2023 at 1:26 pm  (Edit)

So now it all comes it, in a welter of emotional mayhem..

THIS IS WHAT WE WERE NOT TOLD ABOUT THE ‘FIRST STEP’ VOICE REFERENDUM

And we can thank the thwarted ambitions of Anthony Albanese and a cohort of too smart by half half-baked academics and wannabes who sold false hope as a means to theirnown ends.

A letter writer toi the Australian perfectly encapsulated the attempted subterfuge that Australians were to smart to swallow.

It would seem the post-voice
dummy-spit by some Aboriginal
spokespeople has begun. As was
feared by some, the voice was a
poorly camouflaged attempt at
gaining sovereignty by a cabal of
disaffected ultra-leftist activists.
In the wake of a resounding

countrywide refusal of the pro-
posal, we are to be immersed in

pseudo-intellectual cant and
hypocrisy and yet more screams
of rampant racism. Sovereignty
was never ceded will be the claim;
sovereignty never existed will be
the reply.
What a pity that such energy
wasn’t and won’t be directed at

solving the problems of some re-
mote Aboriginal settlements. One

wonders just how much of the
problems are caused by the very
people emoting about them, but of
course I am not allowed to ask
such a question.
L.J. O’Donoghue, Richmond, Vic

The Most Unfortunate Piece Of Timing For A Dog Act

A deranged ex-military nutjob goes berserk In Maine and mows down 18 people and wounds 13 others in the 566th mass shooting in America THIS YEAR.  One the very same day this happened, there was a particular amendment voted on in the Senate.

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The Maine massacre diverted attention away from the major running news story and overshadowed the end of an eight week Republican brawl over selecting a House speaker.  This is the new man second in line for Presidency should Joe cark it.

Mike Johnson House speaker download-2

New House of Reps Speaker Mike Johnson

Everybody was jubilant – briefly. Then they started to get to know the new man with the gavel … and the suddenly the future didn’t look bright at all. Johnson is hard far right conservative, a Trump supporter who pushes the myth of a stolen election, and his beliefs are said not to have changed since he wrote this newspaper article in 2003.

Screen Shot 2023-10-27 at 11.32.18 am

America’s current insanity shows no sign of easing, and is such that not even unexpected economic figures under Joe Biden’s guidance can offer hope to a nation being torn apart by far right wing Republican fascists.

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Male Chauvinist Idiot Oinker Of The Week Goes To ….

The exchanged looks say it all …

Screen Shot 2023-10-23 at 8.10.00 am

And Happy Halloween, Sweet Little Modern Snowflakes.

Screen Shot 2023-10-25 at 9.17.45 amAnd At The Chance Of Shattering A Few Gals’ (Wet) Dreams …

… or starting a few for the blokes. The saying the camera never lies is consigned in to the dustbin of superseded history in this deep fake age, but was sent in as fair dinkum, shot earlier this month in London or somewhere over that way, taken by a regular Nester.

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Cruise is 5’5″ in the old money  (165.1cms), and Cameron Diaz  is… oh, who fuckin’ cares, she just is.  BUT WAIT, GIRLS, you can resume your dreams … our commenter was being a naughty boy, this is the actual pic, with Diaz’s 174 cms still dwarfing Tom Short Arse if she didn’t adopt a well disguised crouch.

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…………………..

Another week done and dusted, be with you next Sunday if not before (cos you can join in the organised mayhem of comments if you wish). If you’d care to support Nest costs with a donation,- we could do with it –  the appropriate 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.

137 Comments

  1. Hee Haw says:

    A nice freudian slip there for Jonte “a Labor cast-off nuisance from Brisbane, shuffled up her a couple years ago”

  2. Mike Douglas says:

    Spot on Pie , Townsville ratepayers will be burdened with Council debt 20-30 years after Team Hill are gone . Lansdown and Haughton stage 2 blow outs make up 15 % of the budget . Highest rates in Queensland to cover 108 new staff at Council + 7 % when the Cities population grew 1.4% . $617 mil in liabilities which includes $418 mil in loans to Queensland Treasuary when they missed all three of their own financial benchmarks . Country Cabinet here today and with 3 marginal seats . Annastascia and her Ministers 100 meetings / media opportunities to show how much they care about Townsville then the circus leaves town in a few days and all forgotten .

    • Jeff, Condon says:

      Ah, MD, but think of all the lovely photo ops. Harpic will get a month’s supply for his FB. Makes it all worthwhile really.

  3. ABS says:

    Your bizarre and unsubstantiated claims about Flinders Lane continue to amuse. First you claimed without evidence that there was a council funded role there, now that it’s a financial disaster for the council. Again – with literally zero evidence.

    • The Magpie says:

      Give the mayor’s office a call. Or maybe just trot upstairs and have a word with one of her three advisors about it. Are you one of the small army of media folks Mayor Mullet has quietly installed in Walker Street?

    • The Magpie says:

      And what part of ‘collaboration’ do you not understand?

      • ABS says:

        Sounds like you’re the one who might not understand what a collaboration is.

        This does not substantiate either of the claims that I mentioned!

        • The Magpie says:

          Seems Clr Ann-Maree Greaney doesn’t either.

          • ABS says:

            Incorrect – she knows exactly what it means, you think it means that the council is employing staff there and that it’s a financial disaster for the council, two points which you’ve yet to prove.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie has has never mentioned people being directly employed by council for this debacle, although I’d like you to prove that they haven’t, it’s a more than reasonable supposition. Any council officer spending any time at all on this train wreck – even only as part of other duties – doesn’t count, eh? Nor has The ‘Pie named any figure that has raided ratepayer funds to prop up Jenny’s end of this skew whiff gallimaufry. Collaboration means each party contributes one way or another to a project.
            Dictionary
            Definitions from Oxford Languages · Learn more
            collaboration
            /kəˌlabəˈreɪʃn/
            noun
            1.
            the action of working with someone to produce something.

            And ‘not a financial disaster’ !?! A multi-million dollar venture that involved knocking down two CBD buildings, installing an arcade which is then not tenanted in two years after opening, then having to make the pivot to the certain failure of an ‘entertainment and reception’ space is what then? A rip roaring success with your visionary Jenny deserving of more years with the key to the ratepayer piggy bank.

            Mate, you are giving the Black Knight and ’tis but merely a scratch;’ a run for his money. But keep it up, it’s getting as entertaining as ‘MP and the Holy Grail.’

          • ABS says:

            “The ‘Pie has has never mentioned people being directly employed by council for this debacle???”

            See here: https://www.townsvillemagpie.com.au/gullibles-travels-the-more-he-treks-around-the-country-the-more-the-pm-finds-the-little-people-are-angry/

            “Mayor Mullet has come up with a cunning Baldrick-like plan to send more ratepayers’ hard earned spiralling down the Walker Street plughole. Her latest council appointment is a jaw dropper.”

            “the ratepayers are told they are now going to have to cough up a handsome salary ”

            “The sort of person required for this council job”

            You made the assertion! You have to provide evidence!

            As for “collaboration”: working together to produce something does not mean that the result is a financial disaster for the council. There are many ways to collaborate. You have to prove that the council has a financial interest in the in tenanted or untenanted state of the development.

          • The Magpie says:

            You seem to be labouring under some sort of misapprehension about how this comments section of the Nest works.

            It’s pretty simple, but take it slowly … if YOU disagree with something said here, either by The ‘Pie or another commenter, it is YOU who have to prove otherwise.

            So perhaps you would show a) on whose payroll is said events coordinator, and b) that there is no TCC financial involvement with the arcade, whether it be bearing the costs of knocking down a perfectly good building to make the space, or a more concrete financial commitment. And good luck with your search, so much stuff is buried in the byzantine commercial in confidence council cupboard, it’ll be a hard slog.

          • The Magpie says:

            ABS, since you want to make the rules for others, The Magpie has decided to ignore your latest tedious spun gold drivel.

            But The ‘Pie is greatly flattered that the mayor has, by design or accident, brought in a gun spinner to handle the negative comments in the Nest. Show that this site is doing its journalistic job … shining a light in dark places.

    • Grumpy says:

      Need some aloe cream for that burn, ABS. Which is a novel way to spell fuckwit.

  4. Long Suffering Ratepayer says:

    Ah, the Flinders Lane fiasco. I feel sorry for poor Marty Locke – a good, hard working bloke who appears to have been sold a pup by wannabe Townsville developer Jenny Hill. I recall Marty being quoted in the Astonisher a year or so ago (when asked when his joint venture with Townsville ratepayers had failed to attract a single tenant) that he was “playing the long game”. He said he had received a lot of interest from prospective tenants but was happy to wait for a certain type of business that would be “the right fit” for whatever image he and Jenny had had dreamed up for the soon to be renamed White Elephant Lane (strewth, it makes the sheds on Castle Hill and the boardwalk from nowhere to nowhere look line roaring successes). I wonder what sort of “game” Marty thinks it is these days. As for the photo of the opening night freeloader crowd, there are more druggos and metho drinkers down there on an average Saturday night – and they buy their own grog and Maccas.

  5. Charlie Wulguru says:

    The Red Rooster shop went down the gurgler years ago along with his father in law’s cash. Lasted about three months if I remember right.

    • The Magpie says:

      Sorry to hear that, shit happens. Hope the other Richard fares better … maybe he’s inherited his writing skills, being the son of Elliot Hannay, former Bully editor and Mooney’s indispensable media man, and mum Barbara, Australia’s best and biggest selling author.

  6. Not Prince Rollmop says:

    I love reading all the local scoops and intel here in the Magpie’s Nest. I mean, Light-on Smith and Caitlin Snarles have only one job to do – report on matters relevant to our sleepy city. And they fail every time!! What an embarrassment these so-called journalists are. The only scoop they can put claim to is scooping the bird shit off their newspapers that line their bird aviary’s. Amateurs.

    • The Magpie says:

      Couple of things.
      Go easy on the bird shit, it’s hard to create enough every week.
      Agree with your comment.
      BUT according to the system here in the Nest, you are NOT Prince Rollmop.

  7. Weary Dave says:

    “Sovereignty never existed” … no truer words have ever been spoken.

  8. Alahazbin says:

    Mackay’s Great Barrier Reef Arena is making a play for international cricket matches while the Gabba is out of commission.

    Cairns has Gazallies which could get some matches also. What have we here? A ground with no lighting to attract such matches, even cricket officials have been crying out for years.
    Jenny, you are a bloody disgrace.

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      Funny that you mention Mackay. It is another progressive mini-city, just like Gladstone. And Cairns is also progressive. It would seem that Townsville, under the stewardship of Mayor Hill over the past 10 years, is being well and truly left on the shelf. High rates, low house prices, ageing infrastructure, high crime rate, and a vindictive bullying Mayor have all combined to make us not only a joke but it makes us the least desirable regional option for people and businesses to relocate to.

      “SHOW HILL THE DOOR IN 24”

    • Dave Nth says:

      What is it about Qld Labor & stadiums? Been that way since Beattie.

      Mackay already has a white elephant that was developed a few years back that is hardly used. I used to see it on approach to Mackay Airport all the time. I remember the controversy when a heap of money was dumped for it. Mackay residents thought the money could have been better spent elsewhere on roads & Hospitals, they weren’t impressed at the vested interests pushing it.

      • The Magpie says:

        To answer your first question, Dave, bread and circuses.

      • Bullshit says:

        Every government in Australia builds stadiums to juice their construction sector and enrich developers, remember the plans to demolish and rebuild Homebush, or Tasmania’s new white elephant?

  9. Prince Rollmop says:

    The Townsville rally against crime made it to the ABC news online. I love it how Harpic did not receive a warm welcome.
    Link below

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-29/townsville-crime-rally-demands-further-action/103036566

    • Echochamber says:

      Well I took a few jabs at him on his Facebook page earlier and now appear to have joined the illustrious “banned from his page” list.

  10. Not in Kansas says:

    Whilst the money spent on the three musketeers is clearly unnecessary and wasteful, the $2M plus every year on the famous five is an absolute absurdity and so are the golden handshakes listed as termination payments in the annual report – most of which will have been paid to senior exec playmates of the part-time CEO after people have had enough of their bullying antics and failure to deliver

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      Ralston is an incompetent little weed. He didn’t restructure council, he gutted it, and by doing so he gutted the level of service council offers to its people. Restructures should be about creating efficiency. Maybe a couple of jobs disappear and the deadwood is turfed out. But here’s the thing, you can reshuffle resources rather than sack people or make them redundant. Ralston doesn’t understand that process and he falls short in that area. His methodology is flawed, and as a result we have some serious internal issues within council because there is now a huge lack of experience and the necessary skill sets to manage the Townsville region.

      If by some miracle Hill is turfed out in March, along with some of her lap poodle Councillors, the new Mayor and Councillors will have a chance to also boot out the part-time lazy CEO. A clean sweep, fresh start, and a reset for the region. As far as a new CEO goes, it’s time to remove the toe cutter and install a progressive bridge builder who can build up Council’s depleted workforce and install an executive management team with people skills.

      “SHOW HILL THE DOOR IN 24”

      • Not in Kansas says:

        Yep – after the NOUS review gutted the council back in 2016 and 2017, the structure was fattened up under his watch as CEO no 4 under Hill so jobs could be filled by lackeys after removing decades of real local government experience, but not before many more consulting $$ were scored from local ratepayers for the Covid-19 taskforce

  11. Elusive Butterfly says:

    Really, Mr. Pie…you’ve got to give poor, “Hapless Harper” some slack.
    The New Zealand reject was simply having a bad day!
    On Saturday, the Kiwis lost the rugby union World Cup, lost their Pacific Rugby League Championship match to Australia and then lost to the Australians in the cricket World Cup.
    Little wonder he took out his frustrations at the Australian “rent-a-crowd” in Townsville.
    I think we should all chip in and buy him a one-way ticket back to NZ.

  12. Prickster says:

    Aaron Harpic has gone septic.

    Our wonderful MP for Thuringowa is now labeling a bloke in a wheelchair because he got hit by a stolen car on Riverway Drive, Condon part of a rent-a-crowd, and not a victim of crime.

    The honourable thing to do would be to resign after the vile comment he has made.

  13. The Magpie says:

    Seriously, this bloke has to go. And go now.

    It is inconceivable that Aaron Harper can possibly consider remaining the member for Thuringowa after spitting the face of the victims of crime, and making the absurd implied claim that only LNP voters were upset with the juvenile crime wave.

    The man (?) is so detached from reality that he actually expected to be applauded just for showing up at the weekend rally, and seemed genuinely surprised that he was booed and howled down by angry victims and residents. He never seemed to realise that his weak, vacillating performance as our representative in government was partly the cause that the rally had to be held at all.

    Then, astoundingly, Harper was so full of himself, he took to his personal coward’s castle of FB and made the public’s spontaneous reaction against his arrogant ineptitude all about him as a victim – FFS, HIM!!! – of party politics.

    Well, Aaron Harper certainly knows about achieving little.

    Someone with all the awareness and judgement of a sulky school kid has no business representing our best interests in Brisbane … he’s not fit for any public office … not even Townsville Council if he was stupid enough to try.

    • Hee Haw says:

      I hope all of “thise” who “attneded” were “quite” and respectful.

      Bloody embarrassing to read that crap from a guy on $200k plus and represents the people.

      Cupid stunt

      • The Magpie says:

        Comment of the day.

        • The Magpie says:

          And not sure he knows his Aussie vernacular when he called the crowd ‘wowsers’. Apart from being those who abstain from and look down on those who drink liquor (not exactly thick on the ground in Townsville), it was off the mark

          “Wowser” is an Australian and New Zealand term that refers to a person who seeks to deprive others of behaviour deemed to be immoral or sinful.

          Wowser – Wikipedia

          Oh … hang on, maybe he’s right, perhaps what the crowd was conveying when he turned up.

          • Hee Haw says:

            I see Harper has done two things now, amended his original post, still has spelling errors by the way, and using CAPS to push his point of view.

            Then he posted an apology of sorts in a formal letter, well someone did as there are no spelling mistakes in this one.

    • Spielcheque says:

      From the ABC News site:

      “The crowd of 150 gave Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper a sour reception.”

      At least Harper showed his face. Did anyone from the ‘Nest attend the rally? There was a whole stadium set aside for the event, a great big forum with plenty of megaphone opportunity to air grievances with a supportive audience in front of an elected member of parliament – and virtually no one turned up – least of all alternative candidates for upcoming local and state elections. Might as well have held it in Flinders Lane and waited for Cr Fran’s report on Facebook.

      • Prickster says:

        Pour Aron, narsty werds hert hes felings.

        He should try being a victim of crime, having valuable memories stolen, privacy violated, with next year’s insurance premiums increasing.

        • The Third Reader says:

          How about when you get a call from your wife at home saying the mongrel fugitive the police had been chasing earlier was actually hiding in our ceiling. End of December, hot and humid, not pleasant for about four hours.
          By the time I got there the law was just helping him out. Closest I have ever come to being arrested that day and all because I asked for a few minutes for a chat with the boy and then moved towards him.

      • Russell says:

        Nice to see Fran’s getting to you spellchecka!

      • 165drop says:

        You ask, “did any one from the nest attend?”
        You did not ask, ” did any one else from the nest attend? ”

        A pox on you for your latent idol irresponsible interest in this matter, and not bothering to attend. And the same for every victim of crime and those who have had to invest thounds on home security.

        I was there, and for the previous 3 events.

    • Jeff, Condon says:

      Magpie, I wouldn’t be surprised if Harpic is turfed. Anna needs to find places for more women to fill the ratio of women/men for pre selection. She threw him to wolves on Sun, not even letting Rocky out to act as a second. Thuringowa isn’t looking good for Labor, so why not put in woman sacrifice to go to to toe with Natalie Marr to makeup the numbers?

  14. Big Denny says:

    I was at the forum. Harpic wasn’t booed by LNP zealots, he was booed because he is one of three ineffective lame-arse fuckwits who apparently represent state government in Townsville. Hate to tell ya Aaron but you’re a fuckhead mate, that’s why you got booed.

  15. Nit Picker says:

    The three stooges excited about jobs with Copperstring.
    Except that all the jobs are in Brisbane…

    https://jobs.powerlink.com.au/search/?createNewAlert=false&q=copperstring&optionsFacetsDD_department=&optionsFacetsDD_shifttype=

    • Bullshit says:

      This role will initially be based in our Copperstring project office based in Bowen Hills, Brisbane or in our Regional Townsville Hub. Once the construction phase starts these positions will be based on the regional, North Queensland, construction sites and will likely be working on a construction roster for the duration of the construction phase.

      We encourage applications from North Queensland regional areas to support a better work-life balance

    • Jeff, Condon says:

      Nit Picker, only five out of the six jobs are located in Brisbane. See? They are looking after the regions.

  16. The Magpie says:

    What Aaron Harper wants you to believe.

    Aaron Harper gets it absolutely wrong and the Townsville Bulletin gets it absolutely right.

    There can be no doubt the already embattled Premier kicked Harpic’s arse ‘til his nose bled over his total lack of empathy for crime-afflicted residents and trying to play for cheap political points at the weekend’s rally. Not that she or her government cared about that, just the damage Goofy’s spray did to her prospects next year, and she told the member for Thuringowa to back-track big time.

    BUT HE COULDN’T EVEN DO THAT WITH ANY INTEGRITY, LET ALONE CREDIBILITY.

    This was his ‘apology’.

    So, parsing what this callous buffoon words, here’s what Aaron Harper wants you to believe. He wants you to believe that the very real woes of this city are the fault of a party that is not in power, it is in opposition, and the government in power is blameless.

    At credit where it’s due, the Bulletin didn’t fall for it either … and said so prominently.

    If this slimy, self-centred sorry excuse for a responsible community MP doesn’t resign immediately, while he remains hanging around like a Palaszczuk fart, perhaps he can answer a question or two – questions which inevitably, the Bulletin didn’t ask.

    On what evidence can you so confidently bluster that hecklers were LNP members? Are you so arrogantly out of touch that you cannot understand that people would want to hear what an alternative party might do that you cannot? Using the crowd’s attentiveness as proof of some sort of weird party loyalty brings into question your seized up thought processes.

    Do you have the faintest inkling how callous, cruel and enraging blaming victims of your ineptitude for their own very real suffering? If you don’t, you are out of touch with the entire Australian community who witnessed your churlish behaviour on national TV.

    And finally, why would any LNP organiser , if such there exists around here, even bother to organise a ‘rent-a-crowd’ when your performance by itself ensures you were going to be targeted you for derision and anger?

    It was all a timely reminder of the short time left for you on the gravy train.

    • The Magpie says:

      Of course, all this hoo ha didn’t distract the Daily Astonisher from its appointed round of non-news clickbait blockbusters. Like this inevitable – inevitable, ah say … effort this morning.

      But on that subject, Otto’s, the excellent inter alia fruit and veg outfit, should have trundled a pop-up truck down to the stadium on the weekend. They would’ve done a roaring trade unloading their discarded over-ripe rotten tomatoes to the crowd.

      AND PLEASE Bulletin, give idiotic low rent American spelling a miss … they are DOUGHNUTS, as in dough, not donuts, as in do-do, like much of your paper’s content.

  17. Spielcheque says:

    Magpie, yesterday TCC posted a new YouTube video showing pipe being laid in Haughton Stage 2. This should be reassuring for those ‘Nesters who have reported that:
    1. The GRP pipes are no good after being stored in the sun for months
    2. The GRP pipes are no good anyway because . . . not steel, Adelaide, came by boat etc.
    3. The contractors don’t know what they are doing

    Also, Jenny Hill does not appear in the video.

    • The Magpie says:

      You forgot to mention the huge failure and massive rectification costs Iplex has copped for the failure of its domestic products made of the same material. Particularly in WA.

    • The Magpie says:

      You forgot to mention the strife Iplex is in in WA over faulty domestic pipes bursting all over the place. Not sure if the BFD pipes are made of the same material. One would hope the question been asked before they go in … unlike doctors, this could turn out to be one mistake they can’t bury.

      https://www.iplex.com.au/pro-fit-support/

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-12/bgc-fletchers-war-of-words-over-burst-pipes/102969932

    • crabclaw says:

      After reading the preliminary planning re the Landsdown off take water pipe at Haberecht Rd, will council be pumping at times other than when Ross dam is below the 14% or so mark? The proposed dam at Bidwilli Rd is 64 acres and that surely wont sustain the proposed industries for the every 7 or so yrs that it is anticipated we need to pump from the Burdekin for the city. If someone can find a blurb to explain this please post the link as I cant find using my rudimentary search skills.

  18. Trailer park Trent says:

    Harpic won’t resign because he is a dishonourable man and he wouldn’t be able to find another job. Just like Messagewank Walker, they are both useless arrogant fucks. 12 months until election time and we can vote these oxygen thieves out of office. Tick tock

  19. Spielcheque says:

    I have been following the Magnis spacewalk since they got pulled off the screen by the ASX a little while back. In a flurry of activity yesterday, everything has been made good and the company is back on track:

    “The suspension of trading in the securities of Magnis Energy Technologies Ltd (‘MNS’) will be lifted from the commencement of trading on Tuesday, 31 October 2023 following the release of its response to ASX’s query letter and its revised Full Year Statutory Accounts”.

    Mind you, the shares immediately dropped from $0.074 to $0.057, a big slide from 12 months ago.

    • White Mouse says:

      Magnis were suspended for almost a month. I wonder how many misrepresentations were in the original annual report and had to be fixed before ASIC would accept it and allow trade to recommence.

    • Spielcheque says:

      Magnis seems capable of some incredible corporate gymnastics in order to stay in front of the various authorities and overseers of its multi-million dollar international operation. One of the misgivings the ASX had about the Magnis paperwork (enough to pull them off the Stock Exchange for a while) was the creative accounting around extra payments to directors including a thrilling curiosity called “Special Exertion” Fees:

      “The Company paid a total of $472,138 in “special exertion” fees to (or to entities related to/associated with) its Non-Executive Directors in FY23.”

      The ASX made them promise to get permission from shareholders for these transactions:

      “Furthermore, the Company has taken steps to ensure that such an oversight doesn’t re-occur again including by seeking Shareholder approval of the excess/offending payments at the upcoming annual general meeting and to modify the Constitution to the extent necessary to permit the Company to pay genuine special exertion fees in the future. If Shareholders do not approve the relevant resolution in relation to the excess payments, the relevant Non-Executive Directors will be required to repay the excess amount within 3 months of the date of the AGM.”

      The company’s annual report, also released yesterday, showed that they won’t be making any special exertion at Lansdown and it’s not their fault:

      “As the Townsville gigafactory is not proceeding at this time due to the decision of Council through it changing its focus for the Lansdown Precinct there will be no capital requirement in the foreseeable future.”

      Having invested and lost some undisclosed millions of ratepayer money ‘facilitating’ Magnis’ original promises for Lansdown (“iM3TSV”), hopefully TCC won’t let such wildly speculative developer subsidies “re-occur again” – as if saying it twice will double the impact, not.

      • Spielcheque says:

        Have to hand it to Magnis boss Frank Poullas for total chutzpah. The company’s share price has been spiralling down all year, it’s been pulled up for an ASX Trading Halt at least twice and lately been suspended from quotation for a number of weeks due to irregularities in its reporting and that dodgy tale of directors ‘special exertion’ fees. And yet, after one day back on the trading board and the share price dropping even lower, Magnis has announced today that Frank has purchased another 2,175,000 Ordinary Shares for around $136,914. That is a special exertion. The share price has inched up a fraction in response.

  20. Prince Rollmop says:

    (Magpie note: Doesn’t read like PR, so probably not from him.)
    Maybe Light-on Smith will interview his mate Harpic and put some tough questions to the triple chinned Ambo. Questions around why Harpic can’t handle criticism and always reacts like an emotional little girl? We need strong leaders in our community, not this mosh mash of spineless softcocks who claim to represent their region when in fact all they do is represent their own interests.

  21. Elusive Butterfly says:

    Mr. Pie, Bill Hayden died last week.
    It rated five minutes in the Australian Press.
    Drug and alcohol ridden, second-rate actor, Matthew Perry dies, and it’s fucking everywhere, days after he “drowned” in a jacuzzi?
    A true reflection on just how pathetic the Australian Press industry has become!

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      Elusive, I don’t normally agree with you but I sure as hell do this time. The token reporting on Hayden was pathetic. Hayden was an old school respected politician who deserves more than a cursory mention on page 50 of the lamestream newspapers. As for Perry, I agree, who gives a flying fuck. Play hard die young. Fool. He made his bed and now he permanently lays in it.

      • The Magpie says:

        The comparison is a bit silly all round.
        Hayden’s story was an obituary of a much respected and influential man, pre-written and continually updated for years, as these things are. And a passing not unexpected.
        Perry was a shooting star that suddenly disintegrated at an early age, the unexpectedness of which made it a news story. The mildly lurid aspect of his actual death gave it extra legs for some elements in the media you accurately describe. And their readers are the media’s enablers, which you let off scot free … a lot of stuff you deplore and blame media for wouldn’t happen if here was no eager audience.

        Not to worry, it’ll be gone in a day or two.

    • Inspector Clouseau says:

      Ok Butterfly. More information on why, please.

    • Night watchman says:

      Just another Hollywood fuckstick checking out early due to a lifestyle of alcohol and drug abuse. Who cares. You roll the dice and get the hand you are dealt. I have no pity for these fools who live in the L.A utopia and a world of make believe. Halfwit actors. I guess he now knows how the real world operates.

      • The Magpie says:

        Don’t think you’re meant to have pity for them, but there’s always a fascination with those who ‘have it all’ and piss it up against the wall.Or more often nowadays, shoot it up their arm.

        In that vein (see what I’ve done there), one of The ‘Pie’s favourite anecdotes was when the 30s,40s,50s movie star George Raft had a fall from social grace through a dissolute lifestyle, ending up broke. In a TV interview he was asked that although once a very wealthy man but was now broke, what happened to his fortune?

        ‘Well, I reckon I spent half of it on booze, dames and gambling. I just wasted the rest.’

        The Magpie’s kind of guy.

  22. Doing the numbers says:

    Unfortunately at this point in time Jenny hill will win next year, but Chrisafulli will also win. The conservative vote has disappeared to other parties not labor or greens since 2013 after abbot romped in. It lost its way and it’s very clear to the keen eye that if you have a leader no matter how bad, the message wins every time.

    Rudd, abbot, andrews, palachook, Newman, Gladys , McGowan, hill and albo. Just to name a few but all and many more of present history shows that if you have the message and the way you deliver it it matters not if your a fuckwit or not and you don’t need to look very hard at those names to know it’s true at it’s base. Preference votes also kill conservatives every time at election but you look at the leaders of lost parties and if you win you know you only have to be a little better than your nearest rival. I have tried to right this in being a member of the conservative movement but it falls on deaf ears. But there’s hope because David will win and very comfortably because he’s got the right mix of voice and message people are listening to. The only hope Townsville has of beating hill is to get a strong conservative candidate and with Phil Thompson in the background with David that is a win too. Unfortunately Fran has not got what she needs to win. Fellow nesters it’s dosnt matter how many plants labor put here or what the paper prints it’s all up to the message that’s being delivered and people will listen or just go to whoever is there already.

    • Spielcheque says:

      Numbers Man you say preference votes kill conservatives every time at election. Yet every conservative government elected in recent times has been totally dependent on preferences viz. Newman, Abbott, Turnbull and particularly Morrison. David Crisafulli will be no different. His candidates will rely on preferences flowing from One Nation, Shooters, Family First, even Greens, to get over the line.

      • The Magpie says:

        The Kid is unlikely to get KAP preferences … Anna’s just bought them lock, stock and barrel by gifting CopperString support that will make the extended Katter family very wealthy indeed.

        • Spielcheque says:

          You know as well as I do that not even Bob Katter can direct voters preferences. So The Kid can expect a few preferences from KatterWorld voters between Cardwell, Mt Isa and the Burdekin – quite a few I suspect.

          • The Magpie says:

            A reasonable assumption.

          • old tradesman says:

            All Katter is good for is carrying on like a stuntman he never achieves anything with his big mouth, and federally has never produced anything for his electorate, he really has no power, in a real sense as he will never have the numbers to govern, he pretends to be independent, so he has a split ticket when allocating his preferences, he puts Labor on the left side of the page and LNP on the right, people always read from left to right, he also is given lots of funds from the CFMMEU and the ETU, as for Copper String, O’Brien designed it while he was on the public teat while working for NORQEB, as one electrical engineer told me, “It is only a power line”.

      • Doing the numbers says:

        Incorrect. Newman and Abbott won with out the need for preferential voting. Go and do your research properly please. Turnbull who isn’t conservative won by the skin of his teeth he’s the only one who needs preferential voting. Morrison gained the primary vote he needed also. Preference votes were only there as a back up count he already won early in the night from short on. Next please.

        • Bullshit says:

          So why did you say preference votes kill conservatives every time?

        • Jeff, Condon says:

          Doing the Numbers- Don’t forget that Morrison would never have gotten over the line if it hadn’t been for Bob Brown and his addled-headed band of tree huggers.

          • Spielcheque says:

            Waste of time, Jeff. The numbers man is only talking about conservative leaders winning their own seats, not about the other 75 seats needed to win government.

  23. PR filter says:

    It is easy to see when a scam works because others join in. Following Magnis to Lansdowne is Quinbrook promising much the same things.

    Thankfully the local media didn’t bother to look too deeply at the company. A cursory look at its website shows almost no market capitalisation and no projects of its own.

    The founders and staff have “led investment teams and portfolio companies that have invested over USD 2.5 billion of equity in over 200 low carbon, renewable, storage and grid support projects covering a wide spectrum of technologies” but the site carefully does not say that the people have ever invested themselves.

    Despite impressively having three offices scattered around the world they are all in subleased multi-tenancy buildings. The Australian headquarters sandwiched between a gym and a pasta restaurant on the Isle of Capri on the Gold Coast.

    Five minutes on the internet showed up these items.

    • The Magpie says:

      Good poke around. Let’s know if you find more.

      • White Mouse says:

        Speaking of white elephants, what ever happened with Fatty Palmer’s much hyped sale of the Yabulu Refinery to a little known Swiss consortium. Qld Treasury aren’t aware of any change of owner.

        • The Magpie says:

          Ah, glad you mentioned that. Fatty will be finding phantom buyers when as needs be, make a song and dance (which the Bulletin will buy without question) until they quietly fade away. The needs being able to argue he is actively doing something to find a seller when he has no intention of doing so. To avoid the hundreds of millions in rehabilitation costs, so The ‘Pie hears.

        • Dave Nth says:

          Rumour and just rumours.

          Said Swiss Company that bought refinery may have a significant shareholder/financier named Clive.

          A heap of new vehicles were just bought for whatever workforce is left out there at Yabulu. Apparently at the same time they have had a look at the ability to recommission the refinery.

          This one is closer to first hand though, people came down to the port and assessed QNI’s pier in view of putting it back into service. Full refurbishment apparently required to the cranes & loaders.

          Could just be idle gossip but the way Clive has shelf companies and assets I wouldn’t be surprised he’s still somewhere in the background.

      • Spielcheque says:

        There’s heaps of stuff online now that the company name Quinbrook is up in lights. For example “Quinbrook was established in July 2015 by David Scaysbrook and Rory Quinlan (the “Founders”) who have invested in renewables for over two decades and in power infrastructure more broadly since the early 1990s. As fund managers, they have led investment teams and portfolio companies that have invested over USD 2.5 billion of equity in over 200 low carbon, renewable, storage and grid support projects covering a wide spectrum of technologies.”

        This public relations guff is pretty much par for the course for every large company sniffing around Lansdown or just about any other industrial estate in the country. There’s a curious side trip on the investor blog HotCopper which goes down a different rabbit hole:

        ‘Maybe the Quinbrook announcement makes a little more sense of TCC’s October meeting item 24, which was held confidentially, regarding a land acquisition to widen Lansdown’s No Name Road . . . ”

        What followed on the blog was an out of focus screen shot of what might have been a TCC meeting agenda sheet with a follow up comment:

        “IMO all reasons showing support for Lansdown soon becoming a reality…”

        It might have nothing to do with Quinbrook but something to do with the raw water storage dam – in any case has anyone from the ‘Nest been to Lansdown recently to see what’s actually happening there?

        • Crabclaw says:

          A week ago, the “no name” access rd from Jones Rd to Ghost Gum rd is finished complete with 60km/hr signs and locked gates, all site dongas gone. Nothing else is happening, bar grazing cattle. There is a rough track beside the railwayline highway side that may have been used by the survey mob doin the preliminary work for the 900mm pipe. And a bit of a shitfight on the highway intersection that seems very slow in finishing.

        • Mr Brightside says:

          Spellche…..Elusive Butterflog, have you bought shares in Magnis? You will obviously support anything that is put forward by your beloved Labor pals, regardless of whether it is worthy of the ratepayer money being spent on it, or not. Dickhead

          • Spielcheque says:

            Brightside, think you will find that most of the money being spent at Lansdown comes from state and federal governments for essential infrastructure – pipeline, intersection works, road widening etc. All the federal monies came from the Morrison government which worked tirelessly with local media to squeeze every drop of publicity possible out of their contribution.

          • The Magpie says:

            Wouldn’t have been too hard with The Bulletin.

            But isn’t that unusual, must be a first … a government trying to get as much publicity as possible for a funding arrangement. Thank heavens we have a modest Queensland Government which would never stoop to such tacky chest beating, and a council and mayor who just efficiently get on with their jobs and are too busy to be posing for pointless and misleading photographs like they were campaigning.

        • The Magpie says:

          Good information, which supports The Magpie’s first suspicions.

          But The ‘Pie does wonder if it is helpful quoting HotCopper, which itself is in more strife than Speed Gordon, with its on-going board turmoil and comings and goings which was described by the AFR as a slow motion train wreck.

          That paper also ran this story which is undated.

          Hotcopper Holdings

          Australian Financial Review
          https://www.afr.com › company › asx › hot
          The HotCopper platform has long been a haven for deluded day traders, flat earthers and · HotCopper takes a bath on stock portfolio. The Market …

          Oh, wait. If HotCopper, with that reputation, is spruiking Lansdown ……?

          • Spielcheque says:

            The quote was not an editorial or news item it was from a single anonymous commenter writing on the HotCopper blog – the reputation or veracity of the website was hardly of interest. What piqued my curiosity was the reference to a possibly/supposedly real thing: ” . . . TCC’s October meeting item 24, which was held confidentially, regarding a land acquisition to widen Lansdown’s No Name Road . . . ”
            There are ‘Nesters claiming to be working inside Walker Street. What can they tell us about confidential Item 24? Was it on the Agenda? Is it real or fake news?

          • The Magpie says:

            Well, OK, but the reputation or veracity of a blog is a reflection on the values of those attracted to make comments thereon.

            …heh heh heh

      • Hee Haw says:

        They were “allocated” the land under a competitive tender eh?

        I cannot find a tender (cursory look) or a contract awarded over $200k but that could be a timing thing.

        ALLOCATED is the word which makes me nervous

    • Jeff, Condon says:

      Yes, and it doesn’t even give the correct business address and also, the office is leased to Private Energy Partners with the same phone number.

      Quinbrook’s business partners include a US energy company that has a large plot of vacant land and a project that seems to have fallen over. Another in the UK has a photo of a shed. These were random checks.

      I didn’t dig too hard into Brian Restall. His CV says he oversaw development and construction of a major power plant for Drax plc 2007 – 2009. Didn’t happen. The other stuff was the usual vague guff of someone who really hasn’t done much when you look closely.

      The only concrete thing I could find is that he established a boutique distillery in Byron Bay with his wife in 2017. I wonder if he brought up a few samples.

  24. DAFF says:

    The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry are up to their old tricks. Useless federal government. Culling overtime while there is a shortage of Queensland inspectors to assess inbound ships and cargo. The bald headed chain smoking Townsville regional manager is too busy tonguing his bosses ass and he doesn’t see the financial impact upon industry, nor does he care. And of course they send First Nations staff on olly jolly’s to participate in indigenous crap. Absolute idiots.

  25. Jeff, Condon says:

    Hee Haw – They were ”conditionally” allocated the land. No mention of the ”conditions’ because they are, ahem, commercial in confidence.

  26. The Magpie says:

    The ugly face of vicious Big Biz capitalism.

    These fat cats run highly successful loyalty programs (Flybuys etc) which reward big spending customers, but they themselves show not a shred of loyalty to those customers by taking an easily absorbed hit in tough times.

    What arsesoles. Trouble and truth is that like the human body, we can’t live without arsesoles of one sort or another.

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      Well said, Magpie. These vermin have made record profits in recent years, along with the banksters, Qantas, and other corporate scum. All of them taking advantage of an escalating cost of living crisis. To hell with them and their obscene profits.

    • Achilles says:

      Remember the old grammar teaser, Is soles sold at Coles? or are soles sold at Coles? To which the respondent would enthusiastically reply Arseholes!!!!!

      Seems it was prophetic!

    • winni says:

      So what is the profit as a percentage of annual turnover for Woolies and Coles?

      Is it 2% or 5% or 10%?

      Do they operate on a razor thin margin?

      If so then that is not an obscene profit but good management?

      they are not fat cats but good managers!

      • The Magpie says:

        Oh, pooh pooh, Winni … have you read their annual reports. FFS what do you the fuss is about, some sort of spontaneous social uprising. Twit.

        • winni says:

          Magpie

          I asked a question about percentage returns. for Coles and Woolworths.

          if you know the percentages, just put them up.

          • The Magpie says:

            The manner in which you asked the question, then offered the alternative points of view was clearly rhetorical. You were pushing the case that W and C are judge good managers, not gougers.

            What does the gross/net figures matter in percentage terms, the profits are massive … and no, you brought it up in a snide way, YOU fucking google it, The ‘Pie is no one’s bum boy.

            Here’s a free tip … you’re in the wrong place to try your hand at semantics and dissembling. Get a grip.

  27. Mr Brightside says:

    And there you be have it! Old big ears Chalmers conceding that clean energy 2030 targets won’t be met by 2030. No shit Sherlock. We could’ve told you that if you were willing to listen. There simply is no current permanent replacement for coal fired plants. It’s going to take much longer than the 2030 target.

    The fuckwits in the Can’tberra bubble can’t get anything right, ever. They really have no idea.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-11-02/treasurer-concedes-australia-falling-short-climate-targets/103056018

  28. Doug K says:

    The big supermarkets are actually making a significant contribution to rising inflation by increasing their prices for no apparent reason (and don’t give that bullshit about the wars in Ukraine and Gaza).
    Items that I buy regularly have risen in price up to 50 percent since we discovered covid was nothing more than a bad strain of the flu and got back to normal.
    Then they expose their price gouging by offering the same items, on sale, for half price. Why not offer them at the real price to start with, rather than trying to con customers into thinking they’re getting a bargain.
    Another ploy is size shrinkage, although the manufacturers surely play a part in that. A telltale sign to look out for is “GREAT NEW SHAPE” which in customer-speak means reduced size or contents (at the old price or higher).
    Grocery prices have a huge impact on inflation and It’s time the government pulled Woolworths and Coles into line.

    • The Magpie says:

      There must be a million stories like the ones you mention, Doug.

      The ‘Pie will add a couple.
      My tracheotomy, and the fact I now wear different glasses reading and for driving, means I am always in need of good supply of tissue. I used the Coles house brand, but two things have happened … the little plastic strip that feeds the tissues out in orderly fashion has been eliminated – with the manufacturer proudly proclaiming ‘look, no plastic’ – with the result that you now cannot help but pull multiple tissues out. But instead of making the product cheaper to produce, the price has inexplicably – and I reckon inexcusably – gone from $1.20 to $1.70.

      And the regular 4-pack of Farmers Union 160mg Greek style yogurt has skyrocketed from $4.50 to $6. There are plenty more of noticed. Disgusting exploitation.

      They’re cynical thieves.

      • Jeff, Condon says:

        W and C, with pious hands on hearts, claimed they were going to do their best to not increase the price of items. Of course, we all know that was bullshit, but what enrages me is that both of them removed the less expensive brands while keeping the expensive stuff on display. On top of this, the shelves are only half stocked these days with great empty spaces.

        It was ever thus, the mongrels will always put up the expensive products for sale in the lower socio-economic areas because the punters can’t afford to travel. Likewise in the regions because it’s uneconomic to travel long distances.

        Be interesting to see the reaction to the imminent arrival of Aldi. Will the duo force them out or, has a triumvirate already been sworn?

      • Mr Brightside says:

        And what about the sealed plastic caps on drink bottles. Anybody notice how they are about half the size they used to be? They can be real pricks to undo if you have arthritic hands. They save around $0.07 per reduced cap. An industry salesman told me this. Arsewipes

      • Achilles says:

        Frangers still the same ever since, er since the 3 pack?

  29. Mike Douglas says:

    Woolworths nett profit increased 4.6 % . nett profit to revenue .25 % . Coles nett profit increase + 4.8 % .3 % nett profit to revenue . Massive ? . Cant blame Ukraine War / Middle East try + 30 % electricity / wage increases / low aud / diesel fuel prices suppliers and supermarkets . Will local prices drop with Aldi Willows scheduled opening 22 Nov ? . Telstra internet problems northern beaches / big pond Townsville continues .

    • The Magpie says:

      Interesting question, Mike. Heard a snippet on ABC radio yesterday, with some boffin saying that since Covid, shopping habits have changed which have moved away from ‘Big Box’ buying i.e. Aldi, and some extent Coles and Woolworths. One of the reasons was said to be that Covid forced people back to using their smaller local shops and it was a shopping trend that was maintained if not increased with Covid behind us.

      • Heinze Werner Tochrandt says:

        COVID has also created a society of hermits who no longer wish to react with other humans.
        – People working from home, not the office.
        – People not going out for dinner, ordering Uber instead.
        – People ordering on Amazon rather than going to the shopping centres.
        – People relocating to rural areas, away from cities.
        People have lost businesses, incomes, and the carefree life that they used to have. I don’t blame COVID for this, I blame the governments overreaction to the virus. According to some reports the worlds economy has also been set back by 5 years.

        The world has changed and it is a really sad situation.

        • Inspector Clouseau says:

          And, Heinz, the illness is very real and has killed millions worldwide, including many in Australia.

          What would you have done differently to manage this health scourge? I’m listening………

          • The Magpie says:

            But did it? The Magpie in no way denies that Covid was very real and very nasty, and yes, it killed people …. but just like the ‘flu, it seems in so many instances, it acted as that proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for people with either pre-existing or other sudden onsets of illness. The Magpie has always wondered about the manner of counting Covid deaths, which in Queensland included the direction that in effect said if Covid was present in any death, it was listed as the cause.

            No point in going on about the draconian and ridiculous aspects of border closures and ANZAC fly-pasts from a highly compromised CMO (her husband is said to have made big bucks out of one of the vaccines, but The ‘Pie has no proof of that although he was in a strategic position to do so), but one can’t escape the feeling that the whole world was panicked into extreme measures.

            Adding to this is the fact that The Magpie, who in the last couple of years has lost no less that a dozen friends and acquaintances to cancer, has no knowledge of any of his friends, contacts or even enemies actually dying from Covid. And he has noted that while cancer is sometimes cited, the ‘Pie has hasn’t heard a single conversation in the pub, dinner table or at social functions – anywhere – about someone dying because of Covid.Seems to me to the average healthy person, Covid had the effect of a serious strain of ‘flu – wise or wrong in hindsight, perhaps, but since the Albanese Government has point blank refused to include (then mostly Labor) states in the post pandemic inquiry into how things were handled, not only will we never know, but we could be in for more of the same by skittish if not downright deliberate extreme machinations.

        • Mr Rightside says:

          Covid didn’t do that, technology did, and everyone’s life is better for it, except if you’re an investor in commercial real estate, shopping centres or restaurants.

  30. Spielcheque says:

    In an earlier thread, crabclaw raised the question will council be pumping [via the Haughton pipeline] at times other than when Ross dam is below the 14% or so mark? It is worthwhile going back to the post-2016 water “crisis” to see how the new pipeline plan got started:

    Date published: 4 April 2017

    Members of Townsville’s intergovernmental Water Taskforce met for the first time today, officially kick starting investigations into solutions for the city’s water security.

    Independent chairman, Townsville businessman Brad Webb, said the Taskforce was off to a positive start.

    “My message to the members of the Taskforce is straight to the point – our community demands an outcome to the city’s water security issues,” Mr Webb said.

    “The Taskforce has brought all three levels of government to the table – Federal, State and the Townsville City Council – to investigate the options and we are getting down to business.

    “Our task is to have a draft report outlining the preferred options ready to present to both the Prime Minister and the Premier at the end of June.

    “While the Taskforce is working to an extremely tight timeframe, the work must be thorough and must include engagement with community groups and residents.

    “An important part of the process will be a series of community meetings later this month to enable people to ask questions and put forward their views.”

    The upshot was the Haughton1&2 pipeline upgrade. At that time I can’t remember any discussion about Lansdown and the possibility of an industrial demand for raw water there. But I think I can recall mention of the possibility of (someone) building a solar farm in the vicinity connected to the grid but available for providing power for pumping – in the event that the new, enlarged pipeline would ever be needed to re-supply the Ross River dam. Would need to re-read that Taskforce report for the exact details.

    As I understand it, the current crop of industrial-possibles at Lansdown include a plan for a Majors Creek solar farm which would, among other things, provide power to top up the onsite raw water storage whenever necessary. But these are developments that post-date the original Taskforce report.

    • crabclaw says:

      SC , This report was completed in June 2017 so the land acquisition and planning for the Majors ck solar farm commenced well before Nov 2016 when Water For Townsville Action Group (WFTAG) commenced investigating options to provide water security for Townsville. ( Remembering at this time, the Mayor was repeatedly saying Townsville didnt have a water problem) The original proposal (now called stage 1) ended at the Haughton Balancing Storage and included plans for a solar pump station at that point to get the water up to around Majors Ck and then gravity to Lake Ross. When stage 2 was deemed necessary, primarily for environmental reasons, and proposed to be built concurrently to save costs, the solar driven pump would be located on the Burdekin above the Clare Weir https://www.facebook.com/groups/1848054865416507 http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/_entity/annotation/abfb6633-9c51-e711-81bc-005056ba00a7/a71d58ad-4cba-48b6-8dab-f3091fc31cd5?t=1527033600335

      • The Magpie says:

        As a matter of interest – or not – current RRD storage this morning was 68.13%.

        • Prickster says:

          If we were in SEQ we’d already have a desal plant.

          • The Magpie says:

            Which one doubts we’ll ever here in CQ, NQ or FNQ … having worked with people from GBRMPA and AIMS, The ‘Pie is pretty sure there’s zero chance that such an idea would ever be entertained.

    • Jeff, Condon says:

      If I remember correctly, shortly, after the taskforce began its deliberations, Brad Webb’s company was given a lucrative contract by TCC. I’m not saying there was anything underhanded about the transaction.

      However, I wasn’t surprised that the findings completely agreed with what Jenny wanted.

  31. Afterthought says:

    Hey, we do a lot of truth and healing around here, time to apply for a grant, ‘Pie.

  32. Non Aligned Worker says:

    I see that the Astonisher today published Maurie Soars replacement, Rachel Armstrong. Sundays News published the next Fiday. They are at least in the same week!

  33. BS Detector says:

    I wonder if Mayor Mullet is aware her replacement for Soars is good buddies with a widely known female former TSV political candidate who she very much despises

    • The Magpie says:

      Why so coy? You’re anonymous, why not name names … although friendships across political divides are fairly common … and not illegal or defamatory.

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