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The Magpie

Sunday, November 24th, 2019   |   256 comments

Stroke Of Genius … Or Just A Stroke?  Harpic Harper Puts The Cleaners Through The Townsville Bulletin

It’s the prettiest little political suicide note in local history. Aaron Harper, dabbing at tears of rage with a sodden hanky, signals that he intends to end it all at the next election. But it’s the political equivalent of ‘suicide by cop’ … rather than ending his – and our – agony by doing the noble thing and resigning, he has taken the coward’s way out and decided to ensure he gets topped by the voters next election. The ‘Pie examines Harpic’s self-admission of abject failure.

Also, a golden opportunity going begging? The plight of the long established sailing club on the Strand is a vote-winning gift for the local politician with any vision and balance of priorities – it could be a great victory for this poor old struggling town. In more ways than one.

And why pulling out of the mayoral race is no longer an option for Jenny Hill, although she may see the prospect as an attractive one and there have been behind the scene hints in that direction. The Magpie explains why she must run again for the mayoralty.

The Bulletin’s annual bullfest list ’Townsville’s Most Influential People’ has rolled around again, with the Astonisher calling for nominations for  this year, although most local folk of note would rather not be involved in such a hokey sales stunt. But for The Magpie, it is a no-contest for the number one spot, his chosen nominee would, in an honest world, win hands down.

Also, Typo gets a titanic touch up from a Queensland judge – former Astonisher iditor turned right-wing columnist and Sky TV squeaker Peter ‘Typo’ Gleeson ignored facts to make unfounded criticism, and that it ‘should be corrected’, says the state’s top legal body.  The Magpie sadly feels it his melancholy duty to report the matter … in detail.

And the astounding parade of courage and cowardice gathers pace in Washington, as our weekly gallery from Trumpsylvania shows.

But first …

It is another international matter directly affecting Australia that has raised Bentley’s hackles this week.

It seems the Chinese leadership is as thin-skinned as the orange-tinted idiot in Washington when it comes to other countries having an opinion about Peking’s internal affairs – especially when it comes to human rights. The Chinese are past masters of faux outrage when caught in flagrante delicto on human rights, judicial abuse, hacking Australian intellectual property and charges of currency manipulation. Taking the role of authoritarian bully, China threatened our vital bi-lateral trade agreement, to the point where interested business groups (like banks) urged Canberra to turn a blind eye to various Sino abuses, or as they put it, ’the government should prioritise economic policy over social advocacy.’  Well, they would, wouldn’g they?

But if Peking thought Australia was going to touch toes, take a 阴茎 up the kyber and tug an apologetic forelock, they couldn’t have been more wrong.  Clearly seen as a test of Australia’s moral worth, even at  the risk to trade,   Foreign Affairs minister Marise Payne spelt it out in a speech during the week, when she said ‘Speaking our minds does not constitute interfering in another country’. Her unambiguous policy statement followed criticism of China across a range of issues from the Prime Minister, Home Affairs and Security  Minister Peter Dutton,  and various backbenchers.

But this presents the average Australian with a tough choice if the split widens with Peking. Bentley sums it up so neatly.

Hooman Rights fin

Harpic Harper: He Really Is Clean Round The Bend

Suicide notes are often the last words to a rejected world from a disturbed person,  but that wasn’t quite the case with Aaron Harpic Harper’s announcement that he intended to end it all politically … in a year’s time. So much for last words, trust a politician to come up with that twist, we’ve got another 11 months of it from him.

Harpic published his terminal career words on Facebook, for friend and foe to witness the mental turmoil that has driven him to this extreme. It all started with this rare piece of good reporting by the Daily Astonisher. 

Harper Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 10.03.24 am  

And that’s when the member for Thuringowa effectively decided to chuck in the towel.

Harper Facebook rantScreen Shot 2019-11-20 at 9.49.58 am

Mr Harper has long proved that he lives in the Brisbane bubble as Brisbane’s member living in Thuringowa, but this departure from political pragmatism – sticking it to the city’s one and only newspaper, which, like it or not, is the main source of skewed news in this town, almost suggests the unexpected on-set of yet another but more serious,  mental condition.

Murdoch policy is to not be slow in retaliation, and so, Aaron, you copped this on straight after your ill-advised Facebook rant.

HarperScreen Shot 2019-11-20 at 1.11.57 pm

…and also this editorial, which began in a very Magpie-esque style.


MP fails on crime yet again

Just when you start to feel slightly optimistic that our voices are finally being heard, Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper opens his mouth and lets his belly rumble again.

Aaron, old son, you are a person not just bereft of brains, political or otherwise, but also without shame, and will continue to pick up your 30 pieces of silver for another year (including the perk of extra thousands by chairing a committee looking into aged care – Christ help Queensland oldies) until the election rolls around.  When, like they say in Montana, you will be beaten like a rented mule.

Which is a pretty good analogy for you, you politically grovelling fraud.

The Council Election: Maybe A Good One To Lose?

Jenny Hill

There have been various signs over the past year that Mayor Mullet and her Labor (oops, sorry – independent)  backroom advisers had been planning a succession arrangement, and she might drop out of the race to enjoy her fortunate new personal wealth from a family inheritance. There has been a lot of speculation in recent months, with one matter much remarked on being the series of photos in the Astonisher featuring Messagebank Walker and Clr Ann-Maree Greaney. Nothing of consequence (figures) just in front of murals, city signage and – unfortunately – the new bus stop they call a ‘hub’. But because no one on the council does a photo op without Mayor Mullet’s say so, that started some agitated buttock clenching by Mark ‘Frothy’ Molachino, who sees higher council honours as a stepping stone to a much coveted – and lucrative – state seat. His current aim is suitably modest … deputy mayor sooner rather than later. So much so, the word is that Frothy is looking to give Division 4 the flick, where his non-performance has put his electoral chances in serious doubt,  and swap  across to run in the retiring Colleen Doyle’s Division 9.

There have been other scrabbling behind the political skirting boards, but that is now all on hold, because it would seem the mayor CANNOT afford to not run and she definitely cannot afford to LOSE.  There are multiple questions swirling around regarding council finances, and even if there isn’t anything legally wrong – a big if – clearly there are things that Jenny Hill does not want us to know about the city’s finances under her disastrous stewardship.

The latest tell tale sign has been noted by a regular reader, who emailed on Friday:

I just looked at the agenda for the TCC meeting next week.

There is no listing to sign off on the annual report ????

Last year was an October sign off , I was told by the AG department that it would be November if it was not done in October (the meeting was cancelled), and may well breach the AG requirements for sign off and publication. Next week’s meeting is the last chance for this to be done in November.

Something is starting to smell about this.

And that is but one of many instances that the Hermit Kingdom secrecy of Kim Il Jen’s regime continues in Walker Street, despite official directions to end such information obstruction.

So Jenny must give re-election a red hot go, because if she jumps ship, she cannot guarantee that Walker will get up and be able to continue the secrecy – or even worse for her, someone like Molachino might decide to have a go, making a three way split from which Cox would certainly benefit.

So it is reasonable to assume that if Jenny wins, she will, at a suitable time, hand over the reins to Goofy, and demurely fade away, leaving him holding the bastard child of council finances. If she does walk mid-term to distance herself from any financial unpleasantness, she will no doubt borrow Frank Underwood’s line in House of Cards : ‘I didn’t break my word. I just re-evaluated the parameters of my promise.’

Perhaps Sam Cox might ask Madam Mayor if she will give an assurance that if elected, she will run the full term. How about it, Sam?

And An Exclusive From Inside The Jenny Hill Team Camp

The ‘Pie understands that when he read this story during the week, Mayor Mullet’s team campaign manager order two tanker loads.

Poo stickingScreen Shot 2019-11-21 at 5.35.32 pm

She’s going to need a whole barrel of the stuff if Adani lose their court challenge opposing the release of the deal done with the Townsville and Rockhampton councils over the Carmichael Mine airstrip.

Let’s Get Our Bloody Priorities Right

Screen Shot 2019-11-23 at 10.04.55 pm

The news that the long established Townsville Sailing Club on the Strand (not to be confused with the Yacht Club on Ross Creek) may be forced out of it’s site near the Tobruk Pool highlights not only a problem but also presents a great opportunity.

It is indisputably true that politics in this town has to change, and this saga offers a wonderful way forward. Note that the carpark land for sale has been on the market for at least 18 months, and the lease of adjoining club house, also owned by the same investor, runs out in 2021. The club house site has already been council approved for a restaurant. As the paper tells us: Plans for the two sites include an approved development application for a restaurant. However, the developers have been sitting on the approval since 2014 and have been trying to find a buyer.

For chrissake, another fucking restaurant with $50 steaks and $100 bottles of wine, with an outrageous rent which will see the business and the jobs go as reality of private greed and misjudgment takes its inevitable toll. The well heeled elite and visiting businessmen will lose an exclusive watering hole on a prime site that by design excludes more than 90% of the community.

But that’s a real indicator of an attitude that must change with the authorities, both local and state.

This sort of situation will always happen when Townsville is seen as a business casino – with the odds in this case  favouring the punter – because it is clear we are led by rural rubes in the sense of business savvy. And this is the nub of The Magpie’s point. This situation is nothing new in Townsville … white shoers tramping up the Bruce by the battalion, buying up suitable sites, and then seeking approvals for some pretty plans which they have absolutely no intention of fulfilling.  There is absolutely no approvals requirement of timelines to commence development, while what are effectively cashed up middle men sit on chunks of property awaiting some other developer to take an interest.  But – and its happened already more than once – the property just changes hands, goes straight back on the market,  and someone else is sitting on what is hoped are golden eggs. Once the approvals … and the attendant eye-watering fees are safely in the council coffers … the out of town owners (in this Strand case in Seattle, USA) whack the whole thing on the market as an ‘off the shelf, ready to go’ proposition, and wait for a development bunny. We just don’t learn.

So the first thing that perhaps Sam Cox could consider is seeking a change that all such development. proposals – like that rubble strewn disgrace on Ross Creek behind Northtown – requiring those receiving approvals to have strict timelines to start building. Otherwise, the approvals lapse, and ‘eyesore’ penalties could apply. This would require interlopers of this sort to be fair dinkum and ready to put their money where their mouths are.

But That’s Just One Side Of The Coin 

When sailing is mentioned, often the image is of a rich dude in white ducks and blue blazer, puffing away on a pipe  as his crew guides his million dollar floating gin palace yacht through balmy waters after leaving a million dollar marina berth with several hot and cold running bikini bunnies lolling around.

Townsville Sailing Club is nothing like that – in fact, neither is real sailing – it is used ordinary people from across the city accessing one of the great amenities uniquely offered by Townsville. Club spokesman John Byrne laid it out for the paper: Ambassador John Byrne, who has been part of the club for 45 years, said there were major plans to transform the site in the future.“What we want to build is a combined marine hub for all water sports and water activities on The Strand so we are not talking just about the sailing club, we are a community club,” he said.

“It is not just our small club but the membership from all those clubs add to a large percentage of the Townsville population that would benefit from a combined sports centre.”

Mr Byrne said the marine hub could include a space for sailing, stand up paddle boarding, triathlons, outrigging, ocean swimmers and dragon boating.

So in all in all, for this to become. a reality, $2.5million is needed to achieve tenure to start with.

Now, considering all that, consider this. Our current mayor thought, and still does apparently, that chucking $18.5million of ratepayer money at a foreign billionaire to build an airstrip 400kms away which just a handful of ratepayers would ever see and use, was a good investment. Nobody else did and now that hasn’t come to pass,  could not the council consider buying this parcel of prime waterfront land for the community in perpetuity. For the public, locals and visitors alike, the club could be a microcosm  of an egalitarian ideal we are rapidly losing to rapacious outsiders with no real interest in our city.

Impractical?  Well not really, the council could actually get this for no new extra outlay at all, and own the block outright in a few years … all it has to do in trim say $300,000 each year from the totally wasted $750,000 annual stipend it gives to the walking dead of Townsville Enterprise.

These are the sorts of changes we need, Sam Cox. You up for it?

Hey, Blog Commenters, Don’t Get Shitty, Get Witty.

The Magpie invites you all to submit campaign slogans for the coming council and state elections … with the proviso they are funny – pointless tedious abuse will not be published, The ‘Pie reserves that privilege for himself heh heh heh. It can be pro or anti any side, clever is clever and that’s what we’re looking for.

As an example, here’s one for Sam Cox:

‘What the ‘ell! Jenny Hill has removed  an ‘l’ from Townsville. Let Sam Cox put it back.’

And The ‘Pie will never come up with a better one than the one he had all set for Phillip Batty when he was considering running. Imagine the T-shirt: ‘I’m Over The Hill, and Going Batty.’

Work on it, Mystified of Mysterton, work on it.

C’mon Dolan, let rip, mate.

Peter ‘Typo’ Gleeson Gets A Bollocking From The Bench

Peter Gleeson

Peter Gleeson

The Magpie is not in the habit of publishing verbatim media releases, but this time an exception, because while it gives that irresponsible squeaky goof Peter Gleeson his long overdue comeuppance, it also addresses a widespread community ignorance that must be corrected.

The release speaks for itself. (The emphasises in bold are The Magpie’s.)

JCA Media Release

Media release by the President of the Judicial Conference of Australia, 15 November 2019

Unfounded criticism of judges’ decisions ignores essential facts

The President of the Judicial Conference of Australia, Justice Judith Kelly, has expressed deep concern at the tone and content of three recent articles published in The Courier-Mail – an article and editorial on 9 November and an article by Peter Gleeson on 15 November 2019.

The Judicial Conference of Australia is the professional association of judges and magistrates in Australia.

Justice Kelly has said “Constructive criticism of any court’s decision should be welcomed. But criticism which is unfounded or which ignores essential facts must be corrected”.  Last week, The Courier-Mail published an article about the reduction of fines imposed on “anti-Adani activists”. Two decisions of the District Court were the subject of discussion, one, given two months ago, by Judge Dearden, and another given by Judge Lynham nine months ago.   

The editorial was followed by a vituperative article on the same topic on 15 November 2019 by Peter Gleeson which contained no rational discussion and no analysis of the reasons.

It is most unfortunate when journalists fire off intemperate criticism of judicial decisions which extends to personal abuse (for example: “the principles of socialism are alive and well among some of our judicial leaders”), apparently without troubling themselves to read the decisions in question – both of which are available on the Court’s website.  Reasons are written to inform the public of the basis upon which judgments are made; and the public relies heavily on the press to keep it informed.  

The Peter Gleeson article fails even to attempt to inform.

Had the authors of the editorial and the article read the decisions in question they would have found that Judge Lynham agreed with many aspects of the original magistrate’s approach including his characterisation of the offences as objectively serious and inherently dangerous.  After a careful and detailed analysis of the relevant law, Judge Lynham then found that the magistrate had erred in imposing the same fine on each of the offenders regardless of relevant differences in their ages, antecedents and personal and financial circumstances.  

This offends an important principle in sentencing.  As Judge Lynham explained in his reasons, “Imposing the same fine on people with different capacities to pay, may result in some offenders being punished more severely than others for the same offence.”.

Judge Lynham re-sentenced each of the offenders having regard to evidence of their financial means and capacity to pay which was not available to the sentencing magistrate.  This was sneeringly characterised in the editorial on 9 November 2019 as, “They are getting lighter fines because they are on welfare.”  However, a court imposing a fine is required to take these matters into account by s 48(1) of the Penalties and Sentences Act.  

If the author of the editorial disagrees with this, he should take it up with Parliament, not the judicial officer who is obliged to apply the law as it exists. 

The judge in the other appeal, Judge Dearden, allowed the appeal after the prosecutor conceded that there had been two errors of law by the magistrate imposing the original sentences.   He too allowed the appeal and re-sentenced the appellants after a detailed and careful consideration and application of the relevant legal principles.  

The Courier-Mail editorial on 9 November mentioned that Judge Dearden had been President of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties before he was appointed as a judge.  It did not see fit to mention that the prosecutor had conceded the appeal on the basis of admitted errors in the original sentences.  This fact would have been apparent to anyone reading the reasons.

It should be noted that there has been no appeal by the prosecuting authorities against either of the decisions on the appeals or the sentences imposed by either judge.

Articles like this betray the vital role the media has in encouraging informed and constructive debate about the way such matters are dealt with in our courts.

And Typo’s titanic touch-up from Justice Judith Kelly demonstrates yet again Gleeson’s genius for bad timing, because it comes in the midst of News Ltd’s (justified) attack on the federal government for its secrecy laws. Seeking greater government transparency tends to fail in its argument when bozos like Gleeson make it clear they will just cherry pick juicy gossipy populist aspects while offering, as Judge Kelly said, ‘no rational discussion and no analysis of the reasons’.

News Ltd, along with all Australian media and journalists, are howling long and hard about the lack of media freedom and the alarming growth in what can be loosely termed ‘secrecy laws’.

While The Magpie wholeheartedly agrees with this campaign, and laments that his government has sunk so low as to make it necessary, it might perhaps make News Ltd take a moment of introspection.

Secrecy lawsScreen Shot 2019-11-23 at 11.02.18 am

There is more than a touch of trademark News hypocrisy in that campaign slogan behind the campaign – it would be fair in so many instances – especially here in Townsville – if the word ‘government’ was replaced with ‘News Corporation papers’.

Townsville”s Most Influential Person For The Past Year? Easy, No Contest.

The Astonisher is calling for nominations for the title. Here’s The Magpie’s choice.

Jayne Arlett poses for Bully 'exclusive'.

Jayne Arlett

Remember her? If it were not for Jayne Arlett, mayoral candidate in 2016, his city would not be getting the Burdekin pipelines now being constructed, there would not have been any water task force and selfless community efforts from the likes of Linda Ashton and Brad Webb and literally scores of others – none of it would’ve happened, timid council plans would still be buried under bureaucracy. That includes the jobs that go with the project. Unofficially , The ‘Pie has been told that David Kid Crisafulli advised Ms Arlett behind the scenes on the issue.

Jenny Hill will publicly scoff and privately seethe, but its indisputable where the credit lies for water-proofing Townsville.

Screen Shot 2019-11-23 at 11.23.33 pm

Best quote:

Cr Hill warned that prematurely borrowing for the project would bankrupt the city.

“I’m dying to see (the ­report),” Cr Hill said. “The ­figures don’t stack up. Everything about it seems dodgy. I think the council report will be more accurate.”

A Sticky End Is Looming For The Joker

Trump as JokerEGMtkCcW4AAxpgx

For political tragics (onlookers that is, not presidents), this week’s impeachment hearing in Washington have been riveting stuff. Some straight talking has that nation and those following around the club slack-jawed in disbelief. as usual, a field day for ‘toonists.

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…and one last one for us boomers.


And Finally,

A reminder what a wild, wonderful cruel, spectacular country we live in. These photos were all taken on the same day.

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With apologies to the various photographers, none of whom worked for papers, sorry couldn’t fin your names for a much deserved credit.


That’s it for now, get those campaign slogan’s in so we can all have a good old laugh before we start weeping. And sincere thanks to those who rallied round to help The Magpie’s financial burden with the blog, still a ways to go but there are some very good people out there. If you are seeking similar sainthood, 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. Litewait says:

    Yes I voted for Jane.

    • upagumtreeperson says:

      I voted for Jayne too. I wish she was running for Mayor.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        I think she sold up and ran away………? I voted for her too and would do so again, Mayor or councillor, or even state politics.

        • Mike Douglas says:

          ill be plucked, i suggest you check your sources as Jayne hasnt left the Ville in fact she has given hours of her time free assisting businesses effected by the floods . Based on her business and board experience she has a consulting business and very much in demand . i also voted for her . Speaking of the floods i fear the 1500 + families still not back in their homes seem to be forgotten . is T.C.C. or or State reps monitoring their plight ? .

          • I’ll be plucked says:

            Thanks Mike, my mistake entirely; as I said I would definitely vote for her if she stood in any election again. Very highly regarded.

  2. Mike Douglas says:

    Another great blog Pie and surely Mayor Mullet and Team Hill wouldn’t be holding back T.C.C. annual accounts for Political reasons ? . With only 12 weeks until local elections a Mayoral Candidate and new running Councillors surely would need details of T.C.C,s financial position to frame election platforms . Along with Aaron Harpers Facebook meltdowns Townsvilles gossip page TRRA didn’t disappoint with the editors supposed corrupt list of names extending to Vice Chancellors , Mayors, Councillors, industry groups, millionaire business identities , lawyers, State Pollies , real estate agents and I was surprised Prince Andrew wasn’t included . TRRA,s editor should take note of a recent court ruling of a $300k against a disability pensioner who runs a Facebook group as thinking a defence of “ why would they come after me I don’t have any assets “ doesn’t hold up on defamation .

  3. Terry Smith says:

    “Team Hill; the cocks we’ve had, not the Cox we need!”

  4. Mick says:

    Cox: the helmsman and skipper of a lifeboat. The lifeboat TCC needs.

  5. 4commonsense says:

    In regards to the Sailing Club, why not ask the Commonwealth to relocate the Navy Cadets from the RAAF Base and put them back to where they can actually launch sail boats.
    They could reconfigure the building, making it multi purpose and put the cadets at the water’s edge. This would be a great investment in publicity for the Navy and promoting the well being of our youth.

    • The Magpie says:

      In itself, a worthy suggestion, but no, that sort of extended idea just complicates things, and when things get complicated involving all levels of government, things simply don’t get done.

  6. I’ll be plucked says:

    ‘We’ve been rolled by the Hill, time for the steady stroke of the Cox’.

  7. Trevor Elson Political Thoughts says:

    I read with interest your post reference Mark Molachino not running again in Division 4 but possibly running in Division 9. I have been led to believe that Bede Harding maybe put into Cr Doyle’s vacating position but it is possible that they may try and run a higher profile name in Division 9. I have now been campaigning fortnightly for over 2 years and notified my intention to run in Division 9 on May 12th 2019. It is my thoughts that due to the numerous failures of this council especially reference Transparency and Accountability they will do anything to try and stay in my opinion the Mayoral dictatorship/puppetry/control that will not allow the truth to be viewed after the election. Come on 28th March 2020

    • The Magpie says:

      Your final point, Trevor, was the crux of the piece in the blog. The loss of Colleen Doyle is a blow to the Mullet, and it’s interesting to wonder at the behind the scenes situation that played out to lead her to this decision.

      For all The ‘Pie’s naughty teasing of Ms Doyle (the ‘Boo Hoo’ nickname, which she understandably loathes, originated because she reportedly burst into tears during a tough committee meeting some time ago), Clr Doyle appears to have demonstrated the most probity of all councillors, a solid work ethic and avoidance of public involvement with Jenny Hill’s more outlandish stunts. Her dislike of Clr Jacob is well known, but since he has signalled he won’t be running again, it is even more intriguing why she’s calling it quits. She owns a small business, and in these straited times, she can hardly argue her personal situation is better served by returning to it in a struggling economy, as versus a steady $120/$130k job for the next four years. Clr Doyle’s lack of public comment, here (of course), in the paper, and on TV, tends to suggest her constituents have been happy with her performance and she won last time by a handy 2604 votes ((65%) against the relatively unknown Muriel Bin Dol.

      The Magpie apologises to Clr Doyle if there are private health or family reasons for your departure, but if that is not being the case, you can hardly blame folks for wondering what is behind your move. As always, Colleen, The ‘Pie is happy to listen heh heh heh.

      • Kingswood says:

        Will miss Colleen, she was a good egg. Human and approachable and in the same style as Gartrell on the other side of the fence. Worked for their pay, actually represented their community and didn’t grandstand.

        • Critical says:

          Kingswood I agree, totally decent and approachable person both as a Councillor and as Manager, Community Services and Community Developmnt when she worked for TCC. Colleen was always well liked and respected by staff both as a Manager and Councillor and by numerous community organisations and groups and all found her willing to listen and discuss issues and put forward positive alternatives ideas to try to get the best possible outcomes for everyone.
          We must also remember that Colleen is a local person who was born and grew up in Townsville and raised her family here and knows this community better than many others and that both she and her husband own small business’s here so she can appreciate the struggles that the city is going through at the moment.
          Like many, I too am wondering why Colleen isn’t standing for a third term as a Councillor.
          I think that anyone who knows Colleen will wish her all of the best in her future endeavours in life.

  8. Bing4814 says:

    Undergoing major heart surgery this week. Don’t expect to come through. Here’s hoping you blog remains for many more years to come. Been part of my daily enlightening experience for quite some time. Good luck magpie and keep the bastards honest for my children and theirs. Cherish every day people. You just never know when it’s your time. Stay well. Alll.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      All the very best with it Bing; while you draw breath there is always hope – look forward to hearing from you again. Plucker.

    • Grumpy says:

      Fuck that, Bing.

      Shout at the devil and tell him, “Not yet, mate”

    • Kingswood says:

      Pull through Bing! We’ve never sparred but always enjoyed your comments. Best wishes

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Ain’t gunna happen Bing, we have 2 horrible people to get rid of next year, the Mullet and Anna Alphabet and we need every vote we can get, so do the right thing and keep going.

    • One legged tap dancer says:

      Chin up Bing. You’d be surprised how many of us have had heart surgery. The heart surgeons in this town are as good as any in the country, so you will be in good hands.

  9. Scotty says:

    Hang in there Bing, you don’t get out that easy!

    Hope all goes well

  10. Lactating loser says:

    Is Harpic going through a mid-life crisis or manopause? He seems very emotional with the emotional speech, tears and all that.

  11. Bing4817 says:

    Ironically in the final days who are the ones to make it so very difficult ? The tens of thousands public servants who basically have no idea what they are supposed to be doing. Even something as simple as a spoon of sugar in my tea is not allowed because it may kill me 10 minutes earlier. Admin at the hospital public trustee none want to do a job we expect of them. As I had private insurance they are treating me as a private patient in the TTH but means little. Something as simple as an ointment I prefer which can be billed to my fund is not allowed because it doesn’t get given to others. My hat off to the nurses. To put up with me at the end they don’t get paid enough. I’m sorry they are seeing me at my lowest and my worst. Once upon a time I managed many solved their problems. Now can barely manage to stand up.

    • The Magpie says:

      Your lowest and your worst, maybe Bing, but not your end – unless you decide so. Having been in a precarious position myself not so long ago, I know that in the modern medical world, expensive operations aren’t undertaken unless success is an option … and mate, I believe 90% of that success is you wanting to come out the other side ready to enjoy a final peaceful float down the river after surviving the bumps and scrapes of life’s rapids. We all expect to be hearing from you again, soon and often.

  12. Outsider says:

    I wonder if those same staff who respected her all kept there jobs or thought so highly of her after they and others around lost there jobs with the help of her vote?

  13. Critical says:

    So the Stephen Beckett, aka Screaming Midget, now works for Act for Kids

    Does anyone know where Adele Young, aka the Impaler, ended up working after wrecking TCC.

  14. No More Dredging says:

    ‘Pie, I can’t believe the desperation you must have come to to be making a nomination to the Townsville Bulletin’s Most Influential Person of the Past Year Award. Don’t you despise even the notion of the Astonisher’s ‘awards’? And then to drag into it a person virtually unheard of in the town for three years – it just seems weird. Anyway, you did.

    • The Magpie says:

      Not heard of for three years? What’s the relevance of that? The question of the bullshit awards is nominally who has been most influential on the fortunes of Townsville in the past year, and the person responsible for the Burdekin pipelines is certainly in the mix. And the choice also served the purpose of how the awards are the paper’s annual exercise in bum kissing. Deleted your twaddle of linking an incomprehensible Helen Garner quote (christ, you read Helen Garner?!?) on the grounds of kindness to your reputation. The ‘Pie reserves the sole right to bore people shitless around here.

    • George Gently says:

      Hey Dredge, you on The Island, or in the south of France? On The Island, shut up with your crap, in the south of France, as above, plus BUTT OUT and go bother the Frogs!

  15. The Magpie says:

    They wish!!!
    News Ltd is well known for lying about the readership of its various mastheads, using their own specially created readership measurement mob EMMA to serve up obvious bilge aimed at justifying advertising rates. But the latest outlandish bullshit was too much even for the independent Roy Morgan survey group, which usually stays out of head-to-head argy-bargy with EMMA. This media release just landed outlines the staggering disparity.

    Fake news?

    The Australian newspaper today claimed 1,803,000 print readers of their Monday to Friday newspaper – fake news?

    Roy Morgan average issue readership of The Australian (Monday to Friday) is 291,000 (down 12,000 in a year) and The Weekend Australian 547,000 (down 38,000 in a year).1

    The Australian also reported a year-on-year increase of 800,000 online readers to 1,892,000 an 80% increase.2

    Unfortunately News Corporation does NOT subscribe to any Roy Morgan data which is Australia’s only independent source of all media measurement – Roy Morgan media audience estimates have been the measurement ‘currency’ for nearly 50 years history.

    Many have been critical of audience claims by Facebook, Google, etc. It is important that all audience information used by media in Australia to sell marketers advertising space is accurate. News Corp should only use and support accurate media measurement data! A correction in tomorrow’s The Australian is not enough.

    See the full Roy Morgan figures on these two links.


    Roy Morgan reports net readership in an average 7 days for print and net website visitation and app usage in an average 7 days for digital. The Roy Morgan Cross-Platform audience is 7 days net. The Emma figures use a broad and misleading 4 week net figure which inflates audience numbers by lengthening the period of measurement substantially.

    Following this logic one could lengthen the period of measurement to 12 months to achieve a higher net figure that would have even less meaning for the day-to-day business of publishers.

    The Roy Morgan digital audience of The Australian (website visitation and app usage in an average 7 days) is slightly down year-on-year to 1,812,000 (down 91,000 in a year)

  16. Outsider says:

    So the residents at Woodstock are unhappy about the council and it’s plans to develope a industrial precinct. One good thing about this is the message bank walker will loose votes. The big surprise to me was when I saw this in the paper online I seen the mayor talking, with so many angry people and very vote loosing topic I wondered ” were the council spokesperson”.

    • NQGal says:

      It’s Woodstock part 2 – the original plans for a industrial area where shelved around 2001 after the locals raised hell against Mooney.

      As far as I can see there will be exactly the same issues this time – heavy industry next to the dam catchment area. The good citizens of Woodstock rely on bore water and the potential for contamination of underground water suppliers is enormous.

      • The Magpie says:

        Which brings us back to the original point in a couple of earlier comments … the SDA is virtually there for the taking, near existing rail, road and water infrastructure. Why Woodstock anyway?

    • Alahazbin says:

      Any news of the trunk line to the proposed Landsdown site that will tee of the Haughton pipeline? And how much these proposed industries will be paying for this water?
      Clive was paying $3.00/Ml. While the ratepayer gets slugged over $700.00 for 776 Kl.

  17. Old Tradesman says:

    Has any one heard how the pipeline is progressing, and if all the access permits for Stage 2 have been approved? All we hear of late is pie in the sky battery factories.

  18. Biame says:

    Firstly, thank you Magpie for your column. Very important source of local information. I would like to ask if we have a modern-day Fagin in this city! where are all the proceeds of these break-ins ending up? Is there a very valuable stash somewhere or is it being channelled out? keep up the good reporting.

    • The Magpie says:

      Safe bet it all goes on drugs, so we are looking for a super-fence.

      • The Magpie says:

        Sorry, you caught The ‘Pie early … guess Fagin was exactly that, a fence, but was obviously a bit more, running the kiddy street gang. Doubt anybody would be doing that here … these little snots don’t respect anyone enough or have the brains to be that organised.

  19. City dweller says:

    I had a re read of your blog this week as I sometimes do, and it amazes me that back 4yrs ago Jane Arlett didn’t win. Especially the article that was lied about by the mayor regarding second pipeline. And the fact that she openly disclosed her sexuality to the public. I believe that may have hurt her chance as a personal view, but go forward 2yrs and gay marriage debate and vote from Townsville, by the bulletin, was overwhelmingly for yes. But they didn’t want a gay mayor!! Just goes to show how stupid people in Townsville are at times. Hopefully sanity prevalies in 124 days.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, there are a few unmentioned aspects to what you say. While Jayne had some solid political advice on issues – mainly water – she didn’t have a savvy campaign manager, who would’ve alerted to the best way to handle the sexuality issue. And in fact it came out to the wider public inadvertently in what was a generally sympathetic and reasonable article by Shari Tagliabue. The ‘Pie is told that Jayne immediately realised what had happened and even at that stage, predicted that was the end of the campaign. A smart handler would’ve made it a plus, but the media management was totally lacking. Add on to that that the Bulletin leant heavily towards Mayor Mullet and unquestioningly published the mayor’s lying tripe. (The author of the report highlighted in the blog the mayor bagged so unmercifully was almost immediately post election hired by the council for other ‘reports’ which were met glowingly and gushingly by this devious charlatan.)

    • upagumtreeperson says:

      Jayne Arlett is a fine woman and would make a wonderful mayor. I admit that I voted against same-sex marriage but that was my choice. I now see that couples should be happy together regardless of gender. If any of my children went down this path (they have not) I would still love them anyway. I wish Jayne Arlett would run as mayor. She became my podiatrist years ago and I think of her professional approach to business and life. Go, Jayne! Lovely lady.

      • The Magpie says:

        The fact that you make this devolve back to her private life puts you and Townsville way behind the times. It simply is no longer an issue, or if it is, dissenters have the privacy of the ballot box. The ‘Pie gets a little bit huffy when some gays, whatever shade their technicolor dream coat, keep carrying on. There was a battle, and it was won for the good of all society, and there is nothing more annoying that whining winners…or sulking losers who find it necessary to keep injecting privacy into the public arena. Let’s move on, for chrissake. But yes, Jayne is just the ticket we need right now, business brains and a wealth of worldly experience.

  20. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Sam Cox needs to go hard on this Landsdown deal the Mullet is trying to hoist on the people who live out that way, it is without a doubt her greatest effort yet to well and truly fuck the people of this town and in particular the people who live out that way.

    This project is being proposed for one reason only, her cosy arrangement with these two bit amateurs proposing a battery factory, there is no other reason at all to propose a material change of use for that land when the state govt has almost 5000 hectares of land at the Townsville State Development Area, designed specifically for this sort of development, much closer to the port and closer to other services in town. This is the sort of business the ratepayers of Townsville should not be getting involved in when a viable alternative sits nearby and Sam Cox needs to go hard on this, the ratepayers of Townsville should not be involved in this project.

    • The Magpie says:

      Precisely on all points, but the Mullet cannot offer state land as a bribe. We also have no idea what exposure the council and therefore ratepayers will have for the ‘equity share in exchange for the land’. This will presumably be tied up in the re-jigged development corporation (and still with no explanation why the other one was wound up … did Adele refuse to resign from the board?) This woman is presiding over a council so degraded in its duties from the top that we can’t even get median strip hedges trimmed in a timely manner … and especially on the roads used by those passing through the city … as fast as they can, you bet.

    • Wily Wombat says:

      Wasn’t Mr Cox part of a Government that wanted to sell our Port and other assets for Two Billion Dollars and give us a couple of Hundred Million back. He really should not be going hard on anybody. An abject failure as a politician from the LNP ,come One Notion, come Independent who is a dyed in the wool Thuringowa, No Burdekin, no Townsville boy. He loves the place.
      When he loses the mayoral race I look forward to him being the One Notion candidate for Woodstock at the next State election.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        A drop in the bucket compared to your old Labor mate Anna Bligh who actually did sell $15billion worth of assets including the Port of Brisbane, Abbott Point, Qld rail coal and many others. How is that hypocrisy sandwich tasting Wombat, you are taking some fairly big bites lately.

    • Cappuccino in hand says:

      Mullet is clearing the decks before she bare knuckles down to try to fight off Challenger Cox. This issue has been passed off to the State to resolve. Equity deals are now off the table (Adani v2 anyone?). Dale lucky Last is now the Woodstock resident’s champion. And good luck with that!

      So what happens to the ownership of the 400Ha of ratepayer owned land? Hmmm. We’ll never know if we get Hill for 9-12 years.

  21. Where’s Simpleton says:

    Last seen outside Flinders St Station in Melbourne, selling copies of something called The Big Issue.

  22. The Magpie says:

    Stepped down? Resigned? He should have shot out of a cannon straight into the nearest court. This man is a traitor, nothing less, enabling terrorists (and their favourite pastime, little children).

    • Wily Wombat says:

      You have to be in charge of a place that fucks up 25 million times to actually get into trouble when you are in Finance. But if you hop on one little boat and seek asylum, you get your own private gulag. ( unless you are an au pair )

    • Count de Money says:

      And that spineless Pentecostal PM Morrison has expressed shock and horror at the Westpac CEO’s actions! Ha, I call bullshit on Scomo – the same Government that has covertly brought in ‘bank bail-in laws’ to protect the banks during the next financial crisis. That’s right, the taxpayers money will be used to bail out these banker pigs. Don’t forget people, GFC 2008- how many of the Wall Street white shoe brigade actually went to jail? Still not sure? Try ZERO! Banksters are mobsters.

  23. TheOtherGuy says:

    I see Typo Gleeson’s little diversion into judicial commentary merited a mention on Media Watch.

  24. The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:


    “Townsville City Council has been lauded for its “serious commitment” to improving transparency as part of a follow-up to a scathing review last year.”

    It is the end of days and we are in upside down land:


    • The Magpie says:

      Taking sides, Jenna?

      It has not been ‘lauded’ by anyone except the Townsville Bulletin. What the follow-up report released today – following the scathing ‘culture of secrecy’ report last year – notes in very ambiguous bureaucratic language, are the considerable changes made by the council TO BRING TO A SITUATION WHERE IT SHOULD’VE BEEN IN THE FIRST PLACE.

      This also became another – yet again – unquestioning pro-Mullet campaign piece, with a big pic of a glammed up mayor WITHOUT A SINGLE MENTION OF HER IN THE STORY.

      So, since we’re on the subject, do any of you intrepid reporters know if council signed off the annual report today at the meeting? If not, is almost certain that this newly transparent, sparkle-arkle council is going to lapse into a breach of the guidelines/regulations from the Auditor General for local government.
      Today was the council’s last opportunity to stay within the legal budget requirements, but it was not on the agenda and was not added as an addendum item on the agenda according to the website.

      • Critical says:

        No mention of the Annual Report on today’s agenda and I’m certain if it went through they’d be a media release praising Mullets perceived good work.
        She’ll probably ramm it through the 10 December Council meeting hoping that it won’t be discussed and quietly put aside in the lead up to Christmas where she can get self congratulatory news stories.

      • Cappuccino in hand says:

        Seems the opaque veil still exists on the outer edges in places like Woodstock. Battery factory? What battery factory? Breaking News is filtering through of a more sinister land grab. Residents are revolting. And so is the mayor and her deputy dog but in a different way. Should be more in the press tomorrow.

  25. Critical says:

    WTF, had to go for a drive this afternoon down Charters Towers and Bowen Roads after he told me that the grass in the median strips was about 45 cms high and many sprinklers weren’t working. Thought he was joking, but he wasn’t. This is a bloody disgrace as these roads are main entrances to the city. Then went down Railway Avenue and Queens Rd and saw the same long grass and sprinklers not working on the Queens Rd roundabouts.

  26. Low voltage says:

    If TCC, through the Bully, are to be believed they never did a land for equity swap with the battery plant. Wouldn’t that require an ASX announcement from the companies involved? I’ve never seen that reported. Something dodgy is happening here.

    • The Magpie says:

      Not yet.

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        Darn those pesky anti-corruption reforms…..stopping Council doing something that could be open to potential corruption.

        And talk about accentuating the positive: the TCC statement quoted in the Astonisher only talks about swapping land for equity which would “provide the city with an ongoing financial return”. But what about the potential to also result in substantial ongoing financial losses and write-offs should the venture go belly up? Did the Astonisher even bother asking this question? Does Mullet even understand what taking an equity interest means?

        • The Magpie says:

          The paper, which closely reads this blog every week and the comments in between (yes, you do, don’t bother denying it), have no defense of not knowing there are legitimate concerns but has consistently refused to ask that and other questions posed here. The aggressive investigative journalist not frightened to ask the questions we want answered appear to be on permanent leave.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Keen to see how the Mullet spins this story, or will the anonymous TCC spokesman be wheeled out again?

      • Cappuccino in hand says:

        Clearing the decks! Next!

  27. Arthur Itis says:

    Come Hill or highwater, it’s still gunna cost ya’.

  28. No More Dredging says:

    ‘Pie, in Crikey today:

    “NSW Police have launched an investigation into Energy Minister Angus Taylor over the origins of potentially doctored documents he used to attack Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

    But comments from deputy Labor leader Richard Marles have left many wondering whether there is more to the name chosen for the operation, Strike Force Garrad.

    Marles told Parliament yesterday that “the Urban Dictionary has a very interesting definition of ‘Garrad’. You ought to go and have a look at it”.

    So we did:

    Garrad – the dumbest motherfucker in the whole land.”

  29. One legged tap dancer says:

    As predicted in this blog months ago the Battery Plant is a fizzer and now there are serious doubts about Ageing Elton fronting up at the new stadium early next year. People who have bought tickets can’t get them. Smacks of a likely cancellation to me.
    Here’s another prediction: Elton will pull out (due more to slow ticket sales than health issues, although health will probably be used as the excuse) and a replacement act will be announced, with fans who bought seats to the original concert given the option of keeping them for the new show.
    Oh dear, and then there’s that problem with the Woodstock residents, and the lingering stench of corruption regarding the Adani airstrip deal and the Jamie Durie fiasco.
    Its all starting to unravel for Mayor Mullet.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, no, not really ‘starting’, it’s just that now, more than just The Magpie and his merry band of well informed readers are starting to realise it … it started unravelling when Jenny Hill was elected to her second term.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Jerry and The Pacemaker are on stand-by – never fear Leg, there will be a show, err, of sorts………

    • No More Dredging says:

      tap dancer, why do you think the battery plant is a fizzer? Isn’t it likely, given the state government’s $2m+ support package for the project so far, that the withdrawal of the local government’s ‘land-for-equity’ deal will just mean some new arrangement will be made? I imagine that, just like Adani, the battery mob won’t want to spend money up front so Council (of whatever stripe) will want to do some deal that facilitates those 1,100 jobs (they say will be) coming to town. Whoever is mayor after March next year, I’ll bet that if the battery factory is still on the go the mayor will be waiting at the gate to the 400 hectares with the paperwork for an ‘arrangement’.

      • The Magpie says:

        That’s a fairly conditional and one dimensional view, but should we be surprised. The Magnis mob of private entities is the only one private outfit that The ‘Pie can ever recall getting public money … from the state government … for a feasibility study to see if a blue-sky thought fart worth doing. Support tax dollarsv usually come later. Then there’s the Magnis shares at , last look, 11 cents, plummeting down all this year, and ally that to the fact that the main product required here in Townsville will come from a Magnis linked mine in oh-soo-stable Tanzania, where the Chinese have virtually taken over … and the Chinese are trying to corner the market on lithium ion batteries for themselves. Then there’s this week’s news that the Woodstock natives are more than restless, and will delay this as much as possible – and given the laws of this state, that could be years. Just the scenario to make this unicorn project go … well, go fizz.

      • George Gently says:

        Hey there NMD, latest offering from you, PFFTT. More crap!

        • The Magpie says:

          George, you’re relatively new to comments (under that name anyway) and would like to point out that that sort of comment is OK but silly abuse can’t stand alone, so at least give a brief reason for such opinions. Please.

          • George Gently says:

            Two points Pie and NMD – Council elections in March, State election in October- in my humble opinion there is no way that either of these useless outfits will throw any more money at this farce, or give support for it; they will find a way to go quiet/slither out out the fiasco and not speak about it again. Anything else will add to the fire around their substandard performance and remove any slim hope of possible re-election. Thank you for the chance to clarify. George G

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        “ The battery mob won’t want to spend any money up front”. FFS NMD, the battery mob had to go to market for $8 million via a share arrangement, $8 million, try and fathom that, what sort of two bit dud of a business has to go to market for $8 million, talk about gullible.

    • Alahazbin says:

      Elton cancelled a US concert because of the death of his partners mother and rescheduled for March 2020 close to the Townsville concert, so you never know what might happen.

    • Hondaman says:

      Speaking of unravelling- the news today that the 3 bodies controlling water releases, which added to the Brisbane area floods have been found guilty of causing the extreme damage, even though the event was of ” rain in Biblical proportions” should strike terror in Sun Water and the TCC heirarchy, aka Jenny Hill, who assumed total control and released the more damaging torrents!! The talk is Billions of $ in the south, how much is the February disaster worth if the same judgments apply???

  30. Astonished says:

    That story on the battery plant debacle is buried on page 14 of today’s paper. It was the lead story in the online edition this morning but this afternoon it has been replaced by “Our top wedding snapper”. Any doubts about the newspaper’s bias towards Mayor Hill have been quashed. Seems they are part of her re-election campaign team.

  31. City dweller says:

    Magpie have you been following the issue out at Woodstock at all this week? If you have all good, the residents page out there has blown up in the mayor and message bank walker face big time. Talk of TCC not interested in talking to residents in relation to reclaiming land to build an overpass. But they have a state government letter saying it won’t happen. Alot more info on there instead of me trying to cut and paste. I was under the impression that councillor vote would be needed to be able to take land back and there would be a vote somewhere in any decision that’s making Woodstock residents so angry. Seems very much another case of being secret. I’m not sure how to post screenshots on the blog.

  32. Woodstock resident says:

    Good afternoon Malcolm. I won’t say who I am because as some of us believe after our bullshit meeting with the mayor, she has it in for us out here. Our story was printed online in the bulletin and the first lot of comments basically shot us all down ad being hicks from the sticks and anti development. This is far from the truth.

    1. The mayor has deliberately mislead us all and given 2 weeks notice for us to raise objections to this project which we believe has been voted on by all councillors.

    2. She’s wanting to redone our land to industrial to allow the battery plant and other polluting industries in.

    3. It will be built pretty much on town water supply course. So the hicks out here are saving the sickness in town from possible contamination of Ross Dam.

    4. We haven’t seen not heard of our councillor in a very long time. At one point we thought Walker had changed divisions because we hadn’t seen him. In 8yrs I’ve seen him twice. Trevor Roberts was our previous councillor and I didn’t agree with him on occasions but I could get a call back within a week if I called him direct. And I know other residents had him frequently visiting. How I wish my vote could be changed.

    5. We still are none the wiser on DRIVE IT out here. More hidden secrets from TCC. I believe it’s in this precinct with the battery plant.

    6. TCC has done a deal that proposes that council will be part owner in this development and if I’m correct, would put our council in direct line of fire if a major incident occurred in the future to be sued. All ratepayers in Townsville will be affected. This smells like Ipswich council.

    This proposal is for a HIGH IMPACT industrial area. Which means once approved not only a battery plant can be built but things like, nickel refinery, zinc refinery and chemical industry can be built here. We chose to live here because of the classification of land development. This is not state owned land. All this could be placed near the current sun metal refinery which is state government land. The mayor has lied and should be held accountable for this. Along with every councillor that voted for this change. Their names should be up in lights for everyone to see at election time next year. I thank you for listening and hope that this does not go ahead. We have a massive fight on our hands. This won’t just effect us out here. There are still issues with landholders regarding second pipeline route also. That’s for another day.

    • The Magpie says:

      A few observations about your plight, WR, by the number.
      1. You’re surprised?
      3. On the plans seen so far, the proposed industrial park will be watered by an off-shoot of the Burdekin pipeline, water coming directly from there. This raises two very important questions ignored by our open and transparent mayor. The first is the cost of the off-shoot into the industrial park from the main pipe … projects like this are measured in the millions, quite likely the tens of millions, and this raises the spectre of who pays for it. The mayor will say the tenants, but that is definitely a lie … this disgraceful woman is doing everything but hawk her fork to get the industries to sign up for the park (free land, initially knocked on the head by council yesterday) and it seems unlikely she would be telling them they’d have to stump up for a special pipe offshoot … and then pay for the water on top of that at a special rate. And the second matter is simply this: these pipeline aren’t running 24/7, just when required, so this off-shoot pipe supply arrangement means water would need to be pumped at least as far as Woodstock around the clock. Has this been factored in with the bureaucratic hall of funny mirrors.
      4. hahahaha … you old silly … ever tried ringing him? Ever wondered why he’s called Messagebank. Wonderful divisional rep, just ask Cluden residents when they wanted someone to stand upo for them against ruinous expansion of the Goodsell’s Earth Moving business. MIA big time, and it took the courts to do what Les should’ve been championing. He’s is the laziest and most self-entitled councillor of this whole mob … and that includes our conniving dullard of a mayor.
      5. Just an opinion but The ‘Pie has always thought the DriveIt project is a good fit for some land out at Woodstock. (An aside: shame the name when glanced out always looks like drivel.)
      6. A valid point if an equity share is taken up by the council, but its worse than that … what sort of arrangement could be agreed to that would allow an equity shareholder to walk away from financial responsibilities and losses if the whole thing folded. The ratepayers would surely be at risk.

      The Magpie remains firmly of the opinion that is project is a unicorn – fabulously imaginary – thought up by an easily manipulated mayor and the insidious cohort of out-of-town Labor business cronies attracted to easy pickin’s by Adele ‘The Impaler’ Young when she arrived as CEO for her ill-starred stay in Walker Street. Even so, you have a fight on your hands by this manipulated and manipulative mayor, more power to your arm and voices.

      Thanks for making contact … feel free to on-pass this comment from The ‘Pie to your social media networks. The weekly mutterings from the Nest are sure to include this matter from time to tome, and will always freely available at http://www.townsvillemagpie.com.au

    • The Law says:

      Look at the Planning Regulation Act 2017 – originally implemented to stop the encroachment of major hazard facilities, which a battery factory would be, on residential zoned land – I believe that the act will override any council decision.

      Start circulating stories of the Port of Tianjin disaster where industry expanded into residential areas – google it, it is quite scary.

    • Westie says:

      Townsville has always relied on high impact industry to provide us with jobs and prosperity.

      Do you think that we should no longer encourage industry in Townsville because wherever it goes will impact whoever lives nearby? Or do you support industry in Townsville- just near someone else?

      • The Magpie says:

        Your point is well taken, Westie in the general NIMBY sense, but the current secrecy and the underlying and often ambiguous town planning established ages ago appears to be a dog’s breakfast. And there is a real argument that any attempts at attracting spectacular growth should be dialled down a bit while the city is put back on track again, and we find out the real financial situation. The mendicant mentality of pleading and wheedling has to stop, clean the place up metaphorically and physically, and then approach the business world realistically and with dignity of a well ordered city. Jenny Hill and people like O’Callaghan, Gill and Labor’s three blind mice MPs have made this place a three ring circus, to be laughed at from the cheap seats of the rest of the country, and they sure don’t want to jump into the ring to fool around with these clowns … unless they can fool the clowns themselves and make a dishonest quid. Empty promises and false hope, so regularly peddled by the paper and Mayor Mullet, is getting tedious, depressing and everyone is catching on.

    • Hondaman says:

      Dear Woodstock Resident, while I can understand your group’s reluctance to have heavy industry in your backyards, may I plead the case for Drive IT’s case? It is abhorrent that for all of my life( which is running out rapidly) motor sport has not had a real home in this City which has been free from shitty Council re-zonings etc. A lot of people have lost a lot of money building complexes to be told after a re zone to quietly piss off and go ‘somewhere?’ else! you would not enjoy being caught up in this sort of game either, so, as a supporter of Motor sport, I’m asking you to extend the olive branch to Drive IT, and accept there is really no where else to go, and really, it will not impact your lives very much at all! I live under a flight path, but I have to put up with that, sadly I bought the house at night 44 years ago when we had a curfew!! Loosen up a bit, PLEASE!

      • Woodstock resident says:

        Honda I didn’t say anything about DRIVE IT in my comments apart from it might be put there. Our concerns are for the heavy industrial plan not a motor sport precinct. Yes some out here hate it just like alot hate the v8s. I don’t care if they put it here but I would say to you that had the last lot of councillors from tsv first were elected you would have either had DRIVE IT or be nearly finished. There plan was on paper and like this swindling mayor with pur properties she stopped DRIVE IT being started. You don’t need to convince me and I can see your point. This development can not go through. It’s one accident away from Fucking up the entire city water supply. The illinform Facebook people from the city just think we don’t want development. It’s the type of development we don’t like. I would ask of anyone around the new stadium would like a new nickel refinery built there?? Keep your fight up.

  33. Dave of Kelso says:

    Sam Cox, are you listening?

    • Cappuccino in hand says:

      See Sam’s FB page. He’s in front of the curve on this issue.

    • No More Dredging says:

      So Dave, are you suggesting that Sam Cox should have a policy for the mayoral election of “No way, Jose,” to Townsville Council having anything whatsoever to do with a/the battery factory at Woodstock? Even if a development application eventually ticks all the boxes and there is no ‘equity’ issue clouding Council’s involvement. Even if they pay tens of millions for “external infrastructure” to be brought to the site – as their website proposes for Stage One (although without any specific details). Even if they can show that a thousand jobs are on offer – unlike the pipeline which was manufactured in Adelaide. I’ll be amazed if Cox is that bold – but maybe. After all, the LNP is now all gung ho on Bradfield/Hells Gate Dam and TEL has just won a motza of federal money for more feasibility.

      • Cappuccino in hand says:

        The issue here is not about whether there is a chance of getting a battery factory at Woodstock. It about the shroud of Team Hill secrecy that residents are trying to see through.
        Sam Cox and many others are sick of not getting the facts from the Hill mob. Throw in the latest plan to resume land right next to the proposed factory for an overpass which did not come out at the public meeting on Saturday attended by Hill and Walker and you have more evidence of a council working for Brisbane NOT Townsville.
        Sam Cox has already made a difference as Hill is feeling the first real heat in the 8 years she has been Mayor.

      • Dave of Kelso says:


        I want Sam Cox not to be a liar, not to be deceitful, conniving, secretive, not be fiscally irresponsible, and not to engage in political nepotism when appointing key TCC staff. I want Sam as Mayor to govern for the betterment of Townsville and its citizens, and not use the office of Mayor simply to gain, maintain and exercise power for self gratification. I want Sam to be all that the Mullet is not, and I am confident that Sam Cox is all that the Mullet is not.

        Sam, are you listening?

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          Why don’t you call him and invite him around to your place Kelso and tell him yourself? You said you’ve done this before.

        • Alahazbin says:

          Should Sam become Mayor, he will be dealing with the same managers and heads of departments that are there now. So transparency will be the same.
          Good luck Sam.

          • The Magpie says:

            Hmmm, then it would more than a little interesting if he decided to go public with any dissatisfaction, and it would be good to name names for change, do not see why public servants, acting lawfully, have any right to anonymity when they are dealing with our money, well-being and future. especially if they are flying the face the express wishes of the elected council. (Cue outraged PSU official.)

    • Arthur Itis says:

      Dave I agree, Cox needs to go Hard for this! (it’s all about the fundamentals).

  34. George Gently says:

    Pie, in an earlier post you wondered if George Gently was my real name – of course it is, just like Wombat, Cappuccino, Gumtree, One leg tapper, Kingswood and a large cast of others!

    • The Magpie says:

      And of course The Magpie. But your mistaken if you think The ‘Pie was ever under the impression that was your real monicker, the suggestion was that you may well have been one of the others … in fact, are we into a double joke here, where you are one of the ones you just named?

      No don’t bother going into it.

  35. Arthur Itis says:

    Townsville….One Hill too many!
    Jenny wise?…Pound foolish!!
    Missed headline of the month…..
    “No Party for Sam in downHill run”
    Tomorrow’s headline…
    “Hill starts with Flat Battery” or
    “Battery Plants need water too”

  36. City dweller says:

    Election campaign slogan.

    “Don’t let the NIGHTMAYOR before Christmas hurt you in March 2020″ vote 1

  37. Critical says:

    Townsville in top 50 places for crime in the world.

    Bet this somewhat interesting survey doesn’t hit the Astonisher as Mullet will be on the phone to stop any references to it being published. Wonder who perception of corruption and bribery refers to.


    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie is checking out the Numbeo site to see if we should take this seriously. But it sure looks right, and the detail is very convincing.

    • Alahazbin says:

      So! Who gets surveyed? Who supplies the data?
      Police? State Gov?

      • ando says:

        Data is supplied by visitors to their site. So about a credible as a TB survey.
        Data such as…

        Worries things from car stolen
        Worries attacked
        Worries being insulted

        Usual click bait BS

    • Just Say'n says:

      So based on this list, Townsville is number 48 in the world in terms of crime index but number 1 in Australia. The next Australian contender is Darwin at 65 on the list.

      This means we are punching above our weight (literally). I’d have thought Alice Springs or Logan would have got a mention.

      Do you think this will help with real estate prices?

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Who would have thought 10 years ago that a person in Townsville would move to the Gold Coast to be somewhere safer, not many. Also interesting the only other two in the top 100 are Darwin and Cairns, all from Northern Australia with a similar population mix, all Labor towns with piss weak leaders, seems you get what you vote for.

      • The Magpie says:

        And we’re not allowed to say, but all have an out-of-control, un-parented black sub-social strata. It is a shame especially for those thousands of indigenous families that take their responsibilities seriously, live everyday lives while respecting and honouring their heritage, and are helping bring along a new generation of leadership and professionals. That heritage is being trashed by the lower end of the indigenous population.

  38. Arthur Itis says:

    Let’s all sit on the Hill and crow….

  39. Arthur Itis says:

    Another slagon:
    “Go for broke”….Vote Team Hill

    • The Magpie says:

      If we’re going negative, that is a WINNER, excellent. T-shirt material. And not sure you meant it, but ‘slagon’? As in ‘slagging off.’ Accidental genius?

      • Achilles says:

        Amnesiacs will, vote for a yarn spinning Jenny Hill.

        • Arthur Itis says:

          “Give Amnesia a voice!”
          1. Labor,
          2. Greens
          3. Liberal
          4. Nats
          5. Anyone else who fancies themselves as a politician.
          (N.B. Exclude all women, the buggers never forget!)

      • Arthur Itis says:

        No accident, but Clive James might have dropped by on his way out of town (just sayin’), Vale the old fellow, ever meet him?

        • The Magpie says:

          Once. The Magpie shared a urinal half chat with him in a now defunct Sydney restaurant called Chez Oz back in the 80s. Asked him how he liked being back in Australia, he gave a very startled look at being addressed by a stranger in the pisser, and fled zipping up out the door.

          Wonderful writer, wonderful insights, a truly great Australian. Vale.

  40. I’ll be plucked says:

    ‘Not another penny for spinning Jenny – vote one Cox!’

  41. City dweller says:

    This more of a sequel to the movie rather then slogan.

    “Beneath hill 60, the hidden destruction from below”

  42. Just Say'n says:

    I think Jenny Hill is going to romp it in.

    Townsville, in the main, couldn’t give a stuff about transparency, corporate governance, waste of state or ratepayers money, alleged deals or all the rest of it.

    Hill and her labor team will mount a typical election strategy full of giveaways and circuses. The great unwashed will lap it up.

    Anyone who mounts an election strategy based on fiscal responsibility, belt tightening, living within our means etc etc can kiss their arse goodbye right now.

    This should be good news for you Malcolm. Without Hill who would we rail against? Puddleduck might fill the column until October but WTF do we do after that?

    So to the 20 or so constant belligerents who contribute to the column – get used to life as it is. The scary truth is that it won’t actually get any better.

    I do have a solution though, ………..get the fuck out of Dodge!

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie doesn’t ‘rail’ against anybody, just tells the sweet wholesome truth about our little bubble world as it is. And giving up -as in get out of Dodge – is never an option for this old bird.

    • Old Tradesman says:

      This town needs Dirty Harry and the coxless eight.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Yes it would be strange to not have the perpetual loser fest that is Townsville these days to keep everyone amused and entertained, you sort of become desensitised to watching bewildered bogans on the news complaining about the govt or council then voting them back in, they seem to find comfort in their own misery. Still it would be nice to see the place improve for a while, even just for a few years, maybe even get to a point where people could actually break even on their houses, then sell up get out of Dodge before the gullible masses vote some useless loser back in again, probably someone like Molachino by that time, you wouldn’t want to be around for that.

    • City dweller says:

      Spoken like a true hill supporter sent in to make out the blog has had no effect on the Townsville bubble. The mention of the very small beligerants on here proves that the blog is only here to amuse 20 people, including Aaron Harper. The amount of people over time who have come forward to supply a story, (resident’s at Bluewater), obviously knew that there plight would be heard by the masses of 20 people to help them sleep at night. I would suggest that the author of the comment, who will read everything, is a very scared individual and can see that the community has changed veiw on this useless mayor. Especially since Cox came forward. The only truth of his comment is that labor will eventually bring out the lies and promises that the idiots if Townsville will believe and vote back in. But only looking at the mayor as a point of view does not consider the fact that she won’t have a majority council and the ones who will be able to speak out next term will not allow her to hide anymore. Like you said pie may be an election to lose. Just sayn.

      • Just Say'n says:

        CD, I can assure you that I am not a Hill supporter, nor am I a Cox supporter.
        My prediction is based on my observations in this City over a number of years.

        Hill will win, not because she deserves to win. She’ll win as a result of the apathy of the Townsville community who really couldn’t give a stuff who the Mayor is (unless there was a footballer standing).

        As Obama said in 2017, “People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don’t work, but as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve.”

        He’s right, and I’m struggling to identify a notable politician at any level in Townsville during my time here, Crisafulli is probably the closest that I’ve seen.

        So CD, good luck with your hilarious one liners and t shirt slogans but I don’t think it will be enough.

        • Cappuccino in hand says:

          Short memories you lot. O’Toole got easily rolled in May this year by a low key candidate. He tapped into the quiet Australians. And this is a serious blue collar electorate. Cox hasn’t got an easy task ahead but he’s got Labor’s attention for a great reason. Grass roots electioneering will win this one.

          • The Magpie says:

            The Tool’s tenure was always tenuous (see what I’ve done there). She scrapped in by just 37 votes to oust Jumbo Jones, and even then, there was a question mark over some of those postal votes, but the LNP seemed happy to let Jones out to pasture for whatever reason. If the dissatisfaction with Labor can be translated into local politics, Jenny’s for the high jump.

        • City dweller says:

          It won’t be enough for jenny either( one liners). Your misguided first comment shows the lack of observation from you. It is a very big and growing wave of displeasure in Townsville against the mayor. You could put a dead crab against her and it would win because she’s had her time and for you to think that people in Townsville don’t care who’s mayor is ridiculous. People see the shit left on footpaths for hard rubbish collection, people see grass not being mowed, people see a stadium that she wanted but nobody else did. People who have been sacked tell others she needs to go along with current employees. All political parties run out of time. Bob Hawke was probably one of the most well liked PM’S but public grew tired as they are with mullet. You may need to actually ask a lot of questions to people in Townsville before making your points in this type of blog. And please don’t give me the line I’m not for jenny, your another plant. Just sayn!!

          • The Magpie says:

            Know what you mean, but The ‘Pie, no regular party follower of anybody, still finds it offensive to mention Hawke in the same breath as this devious, dumb and disastrous mayor, devoid of any intelligent vision who has allowed herself to either hire or be hoodwinked time and again by white-shoers, Labor manipulators and foreign billionaires who sure know a bunny when they see one. She’s gutless, too, not standing up to the hired help (The Impaler) and fighting for the pipe manufacturing job to entirely done here in Townsville. She’s a massive fraud.

  43. Mike Douglas says:

    The queue just keeps getting longer with people lining up to have a shot at T.C.C. and Mayor Mullet . Latest is Karissa Clarke who has run Cotters Markets for the past 2.5 yrs terminating her contract with Council early due “ lack of collaboration by Council “ . Karissa talks about missed opportunities for the cbd and is frustrated “ the Council didn’t work harder to promote the cbd on Sunday “. T.C.C. gets millions $ in more funding for City Futures programs, more staff but can’t collaborate with cbd organiser ? . I think most cbd landlords would agree with Karissa on T.C.C,s mismanagement of the cbd and how was the astonisher so gullible in believing the Mullet in fining landlords . Wouldn’t legislation like that need to pass Queensland Parliament ?.

  44. Hee-Haw says:

    Can you imagine the tightness of certain sphincters in Townsville Walker Street today as the finding for the 2011 Brisbane floods are about to be handed down. 7000 class action participants could be in for millions of dollars in compensation.
    The basis of their claim…….that authorities waited too long to release water from the dam therefore causing unnecessary flooding when finally decision was made, and too much water released too quickly.
    I hope Townsville residents who have been ruined are watching closely.

  45. I’ll be plucked says:

    A few ‘pollies’ soiling their reg-grundies as a couple of issues ramp up over the next few days. Mullet and Messagebank with the Woodstock matter and Harpic, Cupcake and O’Rort over the second take back Townsville March on the weekend.

    Common denominator appears to be they have totally brought it upon themselves – Council half-arsed secret wheeling and dealing and the three state members not representing their electorates, choosing to defer to failed policies of the ALP.

  46. Grumpy says:

    CBD .. the graveyard of business.


  47. Hee-Haw says:

    Ohhh Dear ohh dear

    Justice Beech-Jones has accepted that engineers tasked with managing the Wivenhoe and Somerset dams in the lead-up to and during a “biblical” deluge in January 2011 failed spectacularly in their duty of care.

    • The Magpie says:

      This is going to be big either way … TCC and Hill exonerated will cause just as big of a shit storm as if found failing in their responsibility.

      • Hee-Haw says:

        Maurice Blackburn may need a bigger office in Townsville real soon

        • Arthur Itis says:

          Hay, you bloody donkey, Maurice Blackburn is a Labor Law Firm, they should be the last on the “go to” list for a case against a ‘Claytons Labor’ Council..

          • Hee-Haw says:

            Only using Maurice Blackburn as they were the lawyers for the Brisbane class action.
            I didn’t pick em or recommend them

          • Sam1 says:

            The majority of ambulance chasers are Labor lawyers but in the end it is the taxpayers who pay not the leftie governments.

        • Hee-Haw says:

          Sorry but I am on a roll now,

          I am wondering if Maurice Blackburn resource up in Townsville for a class action then will the Mayor be kind enough to do them a rect deal or provide free land etc as this will create jobs for Townsville that the Bully can then stick on the front page.

          Another win for the mayor.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      I think the Mullet and TCC will be found to have failed in their duty of care in regards to Ross River dam whenever a class action finally occurs. I think the dam designers will absorb some of the blame and a review into the whole design process and upgrade will also involve the state govt who approved the flawed design as the operators at that time. What is interesting is that Jenny Hill and TCC have as yet failed to implement a strategy should a rain event occur in the future, TCC is now the owner/operator of the dam and the fact that TCC have failed to implement any procedural changes would leave TCC wide open to legal action in the future should another rain event occur, it could very well bankrupt the city, which would mean the state Govt would have to pick up the tab. So who is asking the questions, if people want to know why their insurance policies keep going up it’s because the risk has never been mitigated, people like Jenny Hill and TCC have failed to take action to reduce the risk, it’s as simple as that.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        My understanding from this blog is that the RRD Operations Manual was followed correctly.

        Regardless prudence would have the dam gates opened earlier, to accommodate the forecast inflow, by getting the river flowing but not flooding.

        According to ABC News, the Wivenhoe Dam engineers did not follow their own Ops Manual.

        This difference is, no doubt, something the Mullet will try to hide behind.

        • The Magpie says:

          Or maybe she’ll blame prudence, who has since left the country.

        • Ross River says:

          My intel, from someone who was in the room is that the Mullet requested the gates opened before the trigger point, and they were, just not soon enough.

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            Did they not have a forecast from the BOM three days prior? An ordinary decision made in good time is better than a fucking brilliant decision made too late, which seems to be what we have here.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Residents of Mundingburra who were flooded because of the levy bank being removed (at the request of the developer) at the end of Thompson St have been told by their local councillor, that council have no intention to reinstate the levy bank.

    • Cappuccino in hand says:

      I really hope there is a class action. I’d love to see the SunWater person in charge a couple days before the big release be put on the stand and asked a few questions under oath. Then the truth might come out in a public forum of who was actually in charge of pushing the go button at a time when she was told not to. The public can be so gullible.

      • WALLY says:

        CinH, what make you think that being under oath will allow the truth to be heard? That is why there are lawyers in courts.

  48. Arthur Itis says:

    Productivity Advice #365-24/7 for :-
    No Labor required till further Notice.

  49. The Third Reader says:

    Mullet will be skidding in her own shit about now after the judgement in Brisbane re the 2011 floods, either trying to somehow distance herself from the RR dam disaster, or trying to find some poor bastard to throw under the bus and take the fall, probably with some sort of future promise(s). Bet the sleep pattern will be disrupted for a while. Let the fun continue.

  50. Guy says:

    It’s a sunwater problem

    They were responsible for running Ross river dam

    • The Magpie says:

      Yes, as memory serves, the change of ownership took place after the event, with all the appearance of passing a hot potato. But could be wrong about that. However, the mayor’s possible culpability will still be up for examination, but if she says in all honesty that she took the advice of ‘experts’ on timing etc, that would be a reasonable position to take. That she is generally a dunce doesn’t come into it under those circumstances, she did what anyone else would’ve done. She would be really in major – possibly criminal – trouble if she had wilfully ignored engineers advice and things went tits up. But, as far as we know, she didn’t.

      • Just Say'n says:

        Hill will come out of any dam enquiry smelling like roses. She will take the high moral ground and simply say that TCC followed the manual and Sunwater advice to the letter (which I think they did).

        Guarantee there isn’t anything in the manual about emptying the dam before an event or before the wet season.

        The debacle in Brisbane will allow her to say, “See how good we are compared to that lot down south. Not only that we have lifted water restrictions so that residents can use up water before the wet season arrives”.

        The great unwashed will be in thankful awe.

        • The Magpie says:

          ‘The great unwashed will be in thankful awe’ … as they sit in their rental bedroom with their baked beans and beer, wondering when the fuck they’ll be able to get back into their houses.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          Doubt that, Jenny Hill and Sunwater clearly ignored the advice from BOM about the amount of rain expected and did not release water until 100% capacity was reached, a point clearly identified in the so called independent report, which articulated releases didn’t commence before the 100% capacity was reached, as would be normal practice, normal practice goes out the fucking window when the BOM advise it’s going to piss down for a week to come, one of the gates should have been open as a minimum at the spillway level. What many fail to realise is that the average house in Townsville had 400mm of water through it, not a huge amount but enough to wreck the entire interior of the dwelling. What any action will be trying to ascertain is that an earlier release of water would have prevented 80% of the flooded dwellings from flooding, something that I entirely support, many of the dwellings that were flooded by Saturday 2nd Feb would have flooded anyway, and by not releasing the water earlier most of the subsequent house flooding would have been avoided.

      • Fishframe says:

        Yes, hopefully for her she did heed the advice of the professionals and follow it. If so, the culpability may just fall back on the engineers because they had just as much prior warning of the ‘biblical event’ as the ones in SE Qld had and they have been crucified. This Flood hurt me financially so I am keen to see what really happened. Only a Court case will deliver that because TCC is tighter than MI5 on releasing data.

      • Rowdy says:

        A few other items to be taken into consideration during the Townsville floods.

        It seems like the BOM forecast was not taken into consideration at all.

        Did they follow the manual?

        Was the manual correct in the first place. Maybe the authors of the manual should be investigated.

        What effect did the sheet piling by Qld Dept of Transport at Bowen Road Bridge have on the flooding. These were cut off above high water mark.

        • The Magpie says:

          Question 1: Does the manual say ‘see latest weather report’?
          Question 2: Does manual say ‘stick your head out the window’?

    • City dweller says:

      Wrong again guy your labor mayor was told by the premier after the flood that TCC own the dam. All on national tv channel 7.

    • Ross River says:

      Once the LDMG is stood up they have greater powers and can direct Sunwater, or any other government entity to do what they consider is necessary to manage the disaster.

  51. The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

    You’d have to wonder if Sam Cox’s fax is running hot with inside information from Council to further sink the boot in to Jenny.

    By the way, anyone got a fax number for Sam cox? ;) – just asking for a friend.

    • The Magpie says:

      You darling old fashioned codger, Civil. A fax? Even half the readership here would be saying ‘a what’?

      Anyway, Sam, David, sent it in and will publish. Same goes for the mayor, if she cares.

    • Cappuccino in hand says:

      Sam Cox has a FB site with email address email hidden; JavaScript is required

      The fact that they use Facebook means they don’t know what a fax is I reckon.

  52. Critical says:

    I can’t readily find a clear reference regarding who had what responsibility in relationship to the decision making about the opening of the dam gates leading up to the flood. Maybe I need to visit Specsavers as that information must be in one of these documents.

    I also wonder how many of the recommendations from the report have been implimentated ahead of the 2019/20 monsoon season.


    • The Magpie says:

      Yes, it seems The ‘Pie’s rapidly advancing into Old Timers territory, and was incorrect about the handover time. Of course, this makes it worse if there are any adverse findings.

  53. Frequent flyer says:

    I’ve mentioned this here before but the good residents of Idalia and other flooded suburbs should ask the police representative on the Disaster Committee that controlled the dam whether Mayor Mullet went AGAINST the advice of the experts, or at least get him and the mayor on the witness stand under oath when the class action goes to court. Can’t wait.

    • Westie says:

      I can answer.

      To the Mayor’s credit (or perhaps to her inability to understand what was going on) she did not go against the advice of the experts.

      The Emergency Action Plan (written and approved by the experts) was implemented exactly as written.

      I know because I live on the riverbank just down stream from the dam and observed the abrupt rises in river levels as the gates opened. I also had access to the EAP, which is a public document) and the Ross Lake water levels in real time via the BOM site.

      The gates opened within minutes of the lake level reaching the lake levels nominated in the EAP.

  54. upagumtreeperson says:

    Magpie. Fabulous bunch of comments again this week. Should I report the following to the police. I am often out towards the Hospital and the JCU precinct. I notice that when I drive west down Angus Smith Drive to gain access to the Ring Road in the direction of Condon I drive past the old entrance to JCU, i.e the Old closed derelict end of Joseph Banks Drive. as I drive past I often encounter at least two vehicles parked in an area that was formerly the entrance to JCU which was changed some years ago. Why would cars be parked in this area and for what purpose? It is common to see cars there. Drug deals going down? Should I contact Queensland Police? I had a problem once with unregistered motor bikes in the Liberty Rise area of Mt Louisa. I considered the situation as dangerous I contacted Kirwan police who set up a sting. Caught the offenders. I do not want to do the police work but should I alert police about funny stuff near JCU?

  55. Arthur Itis says:

    Townsville has found its Hill to die on!
    (Son’s contribution)

    • The Magpie says:

      The Fright On The Hill?

      • The Wulguru Wonder says:

        Tee shirt slogan: “Let’s get Cox Up and Go Hard on Jenny”

      • Achilles says:

        With apologies to Molly Malone!

        In the `villes once fair city,
        That once was so pretty,
        I first got to know of Mayor Jennifer Hill,
        While grinding her axes,
        She squandered our rates, and our taxes,
        On gardeners, airstrips and junkets, with non fiscal skill,


        • Arthur Itis says:

          The Hills are alive with the sound of music,
          Whilst in the valley below, a town lies sick,
          With corruption and Blow,
          Hards at the centre of their despairing,
          Hopeing a Cox in the Jen House will come repairing,
          The damage of the Great Overflow.

      • Arthur Itis says:

        Now you’re scareing the lad! I’ll never get him to sleep.

  56. Trevor C says:

    Lord. Malaysian proponent not chinese, public access to facilities, transparent process with consultation, good for the economy, seems like the chick involved might have a brain on how economies work…. cracking a beer to count down to TRRA brain implosion….


    • Mike Douglas says:

      The information TRRA were sprouting was so out of date on the equestrian development it reflects their xenophobic scare campaigning and lack of real understanding on what’s happening in the Community . TRRA are so deficient in followers and comments these days they comment on their own posts .

      • Arthur Itis says:

        Hope Sam Cox has enough sense not to get mixed up with Newey. (and that goes double for the Woodstock mob).

        • The Magpie says:

          Another ambiguous post. You don’t Sam Cox to get mixed up with the Woodstock mob, or you don’t want the Woodstock mob to get mixed up with Newey?

          • Arthur Itis says:

            Sorry the later. However at the end of the day what anyone does is their business, any port in a storm, my enemy’s enemy is my friend etc., but from my experience this bloke is a loose cannon, manipulating facts to suit his adgenda.

        • Trevor C says:

          Sadly those of the more “radical” conspiracy bent seem attracted like bees to honey to people who show genuine concern for something, taking advantage of peoples emotive states to suck them dry of information that is then used for their own agenda.

  57. Mark Harvey says:

    In their rush to get the Wivenhoe can of worms story out, the Bulletin has omitted to mention an important fact. Wivenhoe is legislated as a flood mitigation dam and therefore operates from a flood mitigation manual. The manual contains a number of strategies to deal with different flood events. The core premise of the class action was that given the information available, the operators chose the wrong strategy.

    Ross Dam is not legislated as a flood mitigation dam and therefore must, by legislation, operate under an Emergency Action Plan (EAP). An EAP has a single strategy to deal with all flood events. The IGEM report noted the expectation is that the EAP will be followed other than where minor changes can be identified which are certain to result in a better outcome. They concluded that Ross Dam was operated in accordance with the EAP other than the 4 occasions where TCC directed variations from the EAP, and that those variations did result in minor improvements to the outcome. The EAP does not call for, or allow for, the use of BOM forecasts to determine the release strategy.

    I would think that this would be an important distinction to report on when comparing the Wivenhoe and Ross flood events.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Lawyers would negate that by enquiring as to why with the knowledge of impending large rainfall the operators did not release water until the 100% mark, just plain ignorance and stupidity. It would therefore be possible for legal action against those who wrote the EAP and that would include the dam designers who have allowed no provision to drop the dam levels preceding an expected large weather event, either way it has legal action written all over it, bring it on.

    • The Magpie says:

      Really Mr Harvey, who the hell do you think you are? Just because you have decades of experience in water management, you have the audacity to challenge not only The Townsville Bulletin, but the man they quoted as saying the Brisbane judgement would ‘open a can of worms for Townsville.’

      Admittedly, it took quite a bit of a scroll down to get to the ‘can of worms’ bit, after the council basically said ‘nothing much to see here’ (they would) and legal experts casting doubt on a possible class action, but it’s there, chum, you can’t say you missed it. The insight came from a bloke who sells socks and undies on Charters Towers Road. From the story, quote:
      Ron McGinty, of New Park Suit Hire and Menswear on Charters Towers Rd, said he thought the Brisbane decision would open a “can of worms”.
      While the IGEM review found the operation of the dam in February was good, Mr McGinty said there was a lot of conjecture among his customers that the dam gates should have been opened sooner.
      “This (class-action result) is going to open a can of worms, particularly here in the North,” he said. “This will certainly make this council here sit up and take notice.”
      In fact, Mr Harvey, you double down on your ignorant audacity because not only do you doubt Mr McGinty’s insights, but those of his suit-renting, sox and undies buying customers, who collectively have told Mr McGinty that something went wrong.

      By making your comment, Mr Harvey (for shame!!) you have cast unwarranted doubt that the Daily Astonisher does not live up to its boast of fearless journalism seeking out answers to the questions we want answered. It is clear they also know WHO to ask, and it’s not upstarts like you. Harumph!!!

    • Just Say'n says:

      I think I am in am in thankful awe that the EAP was followed to the letter.

      Normally Hill is of the opinion that she is the smartest person in the room. She must have had enough nous (see what I did there) to not second guess the experts.

      I still think the great unwashed will re- elect her.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        But the EAP wasn’t followed, once you have quoted a source document and then apply subjective variations, those variations can then be contested, time will tell I guess.

    • Fishframe says:

      I am definitely no expert. But is it not legislated as flood control? It was certainly built as flood mitigation firstly and then water storage, I know that much. https://www.ancold.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Dams-Australia-2010-v1-for-website.xls

  58. I’ll be plucked says:

    Anyone know how Bing got on/is getting on???

  59. You thought you had it bad?? says:

    Morning Malcolm and everyone else. As of yesterday the contractor Brown and Hurley, trucking company that supplied a bunch of new garbage trucks have two vehicals ready to be repaired and have the parts in stock but will not fix them because TCC have not paid the account. I’m unsure when this will be sorted but these are supposed to be essential service vehicles. They arnt something that can be replaced to service the city by going down to a truck shop and hiring one. Im writing this in tbe hope that our mayor in waiting will make this an issue. Our current councillors won’t. This would be a missed opportunity for his message of back to basics. Comon sam

    • The Magpie says:

      Give Sam the details. email hidden; JavaScript is required

      One question though. It’s not clear from your info whether the TCC is expected to pay for repairs in advance, or it is previous work that has been unpaid. Which is it? In the case of the latter, how long unpaid? Either way, worth looking into, if its the former, a council required to pay up front would be most interesting. Surely the Bulletin has hit the phones already.

      • You thought you had it bad?? says:

        The repairs are vehicles out of warranty. It is an account which works like a services rendered and I think a 30 or 60 day payment cycle. TCC can’t pay in advance as the repairs are for breakdown which cant be predicted. The account has not been settled for work previously undertaken. It just so happens that the 2 trucks involved broke down at this time. It could have been any truck that had been purchased from Brown and Hurley. They will not fix anymore until accounts are paid up. Hope this answered your question. Thanks for email address. By the way I am in a department which has nothing to do with the trucks involved.

        • The Magpie says:

          Just as well. Thanks, interesting.

        • Alahazbin says:

          If payment hasn’t been approved by Fleet Services, then maybe there is a dispute regarding the breakdowns. Just can’t keep on wasting ratepayers money over & over for the same problem. That would be ‘DAF’

          • You thought you had it bad?? says:

            No dispute just havnt paid the account. But your point has come up in the past. Not sure what brand of trucks sorry.

  60. The Magpie says:

    No it doesn’t, it soothes the ‘ savage BREAST’, as playwright Congreve originally wrote.

    Highly unusual for the Astonisher, so addicted to tit and bum photographs disguised as ‘tourists frolicking’, to miss a chance to mention mammaries.

    • Achilles says:

      The whole (hole for the Astonisher) phrase.
      The phrase ‘music has charms to sooth a savage breast’ from The Mourning Bride, a poem by William Congreve, 1697: Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast, To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak.
      So there

      • The Magpie says:

        Indeed … and that Congreve chappy was on a roll with that play, in which he also gave us (in the modern version) ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’.

        Of course, this will end up as ‘scorched in an Astonisher headline is some mum burns herself while ironing

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