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The Magpie

Sunday, December 9th, 2018   |   131 comments

The Allure Of Nepotism:  Authorities Nip A Scam In The Bud, But Was The Townsville Council Involved? Walker Street Faces Some Tricky Questions.

Why did the Townsville Council go against its own advice and divert more than $200 000 away from local workers on a failed development … and give it to a company associated with the collapse of that development?

It’s a murky tale indeed in the matter of the Allure Apartments and its illegally stacked Body Corporate, the connections of its controlling company and the council’s inexplicable actions in denying relief to local contractors being sent to the wall.

Also … the member for Kennedy gets all countrified in a the week saw the birth of NQ latest music offering, BobKat and the Kattertonics …

And the Astonisher takes a punt, with iditor Jenna Cairney sinking a dainty slipper into Mayor Mullet’s ribs … and thus having two bob each way for the next campaigning year.

And The Magpie says sorry to Bulletin reporter Clare Armstrong, but pokes the Rupert bear for demanding immunity from criticism for her.

But first …

Members And Music … Never The Twain Should Meet

There is a saying that there are those things you’ll always remember, and there are those your will never forget … and there’s a difference.

The whole nation is trying to expunge the memory of loopy Craig Emerson and his off-key, flat mutilation of the Skyhooks  Horror Movie, very unsuccessfully reworked as ‘No Whyalla Wipeout’.

Now, Bob Katter has proven again that a feisty speech in the house or senate is very different to having musical delusions in public. He has released a video of his cover of Bad Moon Rising, which clearly demonstrates that small catchy line does not an opus make and should be left at that. Bentley couldn’t resist.

Bob Fogerty small

If curling your toes up in embarrassment is you idea of fun, here, help yourself. But if you want to see how nit can be done with real wit and style, check out David Templeton’s Christmas farewell to WA parliament. Some can, some can’t,  but those who can’t can’t understand that.

The Allure Of Nepotism


Solarus, with the Allure under construction behind it.

Back in March, The ‘Pie reported the following regarding Peter Bega, his family and their interesting dealings regarding the Allure development at the rear of the Solarus units on Palmer Street.

Peter Bega had a controlling interest in buying the Allure construction site (the one behind Solarus) for a bargain price – from his original company, which he put in liquidation.

Council apparently granted the new Allure development company a rebate of around $190,000 of fees paid on the original Solarus/Allure development which went into receivership. Some locals believe this money should have been paid to the liquidators and not to a company in which the Bega family was involved

Bega’s son, Matthew, has been involved in two other companies associated with the Allure development, both of which were put in liquidation but he is now involved in Allure Events, which operates from a function centre. These premises were originally meetings rooms in the Allure building and controlled by the Allure body corporate, but council gave approval for it to become a function centre WITHOUT the need to lodge a material change of use application.

The question of how a common area was transferred into the ownership of a private company connected to the Bega family remains a question that perhaps Transparent Jenny can answer for us.

The stench is wafting all the way down the creek, and it ain’t rotten fish.

Well, subsequently, another heavy-hitting judicial body has use industrial strength Airwick to clear the air of the Bega pestilence.

The judgement, from the impressively titled Adjudicator of the Office of the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management, has comprehensively spiked a nasty little scheme involving a network of members of the Bega family and some friends. 

Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 11.51.56 pm

In simple terms, when Peter Bega went bankrupt and was  forced to put the Solarius Apartment project into liquidation (it was finished by another group), he did some fancy financial footwork and managed to transfer the adjacent Allure Apartments to another company controlled by his son Mathew, but in which he clearly had an interest, despite being bankrupt. Consequently, through illegal stacking of Allure’s body corporate, Mathew Bega, acting as the letting agent for Allure, effectively  appropriated the common area of complex – an area which in any such development is there for the use, benefit and enjoyment of all unit owners and tenants.  Bega – converted it into a function centre which they operated for their own personal gain.

Now, old mate The Adjudicator for the Commissioner (etc) has comprehensively knocked that on head, ruling that all the Bega family members and associates, who were not transparently linked to each other in their dealings in this matter, were  not eligible to sit on the Body Corporate committee and has made null and void the whole scheme.

But The Townsville Council Has Some Questions To Answer In All This

BUT some serious questions arise regarding Townsville Council and its dealings with the Begas, particularly the Allure Apartments.     

The basic history of the development is:

23/10/2007 – Development Application approved for Solarus and Allure buildings

22/10/2007 – Infrastructure charges of $1,053,574.35 paid for the Solarus/Allure development

- Peter Bega (Glen Alpine) goes bankrupt leaving the Solarus building half finished and the Allure building only at the foundations stage

- Another builder is brought in to complete the Solarus building

- Matthew Bega and associates buy the Allure foundations

- TCC gives the new developer a string of concessions including a rebate of $194,000 paid for the original Allure building (see other details in CCC complaint attached) 

- TCC gives approval for Allure Events (Matthew Bega) to transform the common area meeting rooms in the Allure complex to a commercial function room, run by a private business, without the need for a Material Change of Use application and approval

- Matthew Bega, relatives and associates act as letting agents for the Allure apartments without legitimate authorisation (see adjudicator’s order)

- Adjudicator’s order reveals that Peter Bega, while bankrupt, was directly involved in the Allure management

  • Adjudicator’s order reveals that Matthew Bega, his wife, relatives and associates were not eligible to sit on the body corporate committee which approved a transfer the letting authorisation and services contract to Allure Hotel and Apartments P/L and later a transfer to Allure Townsville Accommodation P/L.
  • The questions now being asked by observers is both the amount of the subsequent rebate paid to the Allure developers, and the fact that it was paid to the new company  and not the liquidators for the Glen Alpine company which paid the money into the council in the first place.

Many local sub-contractors suffered greatly from the Glen Alpine collapse, and it is understood that several went out of business because of it. The council rebate payment to the Allure company instead of the liquidators  was in fact made against the recommendation of its own bureaucrats. This excerpt from an internal email from the TCC Planning assessment unit  dated  May 16 2014.

Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 11.38.15 pm

But despite this clear assessment, here, without explanation,  is what was decided four months later in a clear request to double the refund to the Bega company.

Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 11.37.15 pm

Now, the way The ‘Pie reads it, the original 50% rebate was correct, because the development did not fall within the ‘core CBD area’, as outlined in red on this map.

Screen Shot 2018-11-03 at 2.28.31 pm

But shortly afterwards, the goal posts were shifted so all developments in an ill-defined area surrounding the CBD were to get the ‘core’ 100% rebate. However, for some reason, although the deal was done according to the rules existing at the time, the council officer decided that not only would the Allure developer get any refund rather than the Glen Alpine liquidators and thus the affected sub-contractors, but it would be DOUBLE what had been originally agreed.

The words ’thankfully, it was not much later’ that is simply astounding … it smacks of a lazy, close-enough-is-good-enough attitude covering up an error. But who said it was an error, surely someone must have given a directive to go against the earlier recommendation that the refund go to the liquidators? Not only who, but why?

Don’t bother asking the council’s Legal Dept, which airily replied to one complaint about the refund along the lines of ‘insolvency, bankrupts and transfers between companies is nothing to do with us, those are commercial matters that don’t concern us’.  This from the legal arm of an entity that is supposed to be looking after ratepayer interests (not to mention local sub-contracting employers and businessmen).

So there you are folks, the council is apparently happy to do business with questionable and economically dangerous white shoe brigadiers.

A Touch Of Serendipity During The Week

Last Wednesday, The ‘Pie posted this in comments.

HEY, The ‘Pie well knows that some blinkered folk don’t like this blog’s occasional look at Donald Trump, but here’s an article where the underlying principles have a strong resonance for our local scene. Here, in one single opening sentence is the overriding reason why Donald Trump has got away with it so far. And the truism about fragmentary journalism applies everywhere … particularly in this town, and to our mayor.

Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 12.37.22 pm

That is one of the best explanatory openers nailing one of the problems with many running stories everywhere … we get lost in the connecting of dots and forget where we  actually are … and the effect has wide ranging truth far beyond the White House’s Agent Orange. It even reaches lil ol’ Townsville.So it was with genuine astonishment that The Magpie read today’s editorial in the Bulletin.

Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 9.49.07 pm Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 9.48.52 pm

A well argued, well thought out joining of disparate dots. Of course there was some covering of Editor Cairney’s cloaca … like that bit of total self-incrimination when the editor wrote about Mayor Mullet ‘escaping lightly from her policy U-turns’… m’dear, the reason she escaped lightly was because the paper of which you are the boss was either asleep on the job, totally comprised and in bed with mayor and councillors, or at that stage, didn’t realise Jenny Hill was going to be such a bad bet heading into 2019. No pressure applied at the time, no inquiring journalism, just massive indifference … and laziness. And we’ll also leave aside the unfortunate description of The Impaler as ‘high achieving’ – well, yes, but not the way you mean it – but ‘well respected’?  That’s a credibility killer if ever there was.

And of course, the bit about key members of the community (oh, gosh, wait … did you mean The Magpie?) are concerned about the future direction of the council is a day late and a dollar short … businesses have been wetting their pants for years now over the Walker Street incompetence and above all inconsistency (see the Allure story). And their concerns have been regularly reported here.

But small mercies and all that, there are definite signs that the worst excesses of the paper are being toned down. But have you ever considered what damage to do to  credibility when we see on pages 2 and 3 of the paper …

Screen Shot 2018-12-09 at 12.08.49 am Screen Shot 2018-12-09 at 12.09.18 am

… no news, just ads, a total sellout of journalistic and editorial integrity.

And you want us to take you seriously. Some way to go yet.

Same Goes For 7 News

Most interesting claim of the week goes to Seven reporter Ben Downie and his report on the what Seven describes as ‘the new state of the art disaster centre’ – which was appropriately opened by Mayor Mullet who used the occasion to take her new hairdo out for a spin.

Mr Downie excitedly tells us, along with stats on the amount off steel and concrete that went into the building, that the new centre has back-up supplies in case of power failure in the form of 34 million litres of water and  60 million litres of diesel. 

60 million litres, eh, Ben? That’s the equivalent of around 25 Olympic swimming pools, mate. And would cost around $85 million.

Just how there’s room for the back-up water – about another dozen Olympic pools – is a puzzle of which you don’t enlighten us.

An Apology To Bulletin Reporter Clare Armstrong

In last week’s Magpie’s Nest, acting on information from normally reliable sources I wrote a piece that suggested that Townsville Bulletin reporter Clare Armstrong was having an affair with the council’s media man Anthony Templeton. This was incorrect, and I now accept that no such relationship exists, or as far as I know, ever did exist – and I accept Ms Armstrong’s assurances – via a News Corp lawyer – that she has never had any liaison with Mr Templeton – she has known him only as a work colleague at the Courier Mail and in his present position with the Townsville City Council, on whose matters she regularly reports. Ms Armstrong understandably is upset with the suggestion, and I apologise unreservedly for any distress I have caused her, her partner and her family.  The relevant offending sections of the blog and the few resulting comments have now been deleted.

Malcolm Weatherup

That is sincerely said, The Magpie seriously castigates himself  for falling  into error by breaking his long-standing rule that private lives of those that appear in this blog remain just that – private – unless they impact on the community in some way.

But that said, let us now turn our attention to one Gina McWilliams, who rejoices in the title of Senior Legal Counsel for News Corpse. It was from this lady that the finger-wagging ‘Concerns Notice’ was sent, with a loose assessment of the facts and long bow conclusions hinting that punishment awaits that made one imagine involved a car battery, wet towels and a set of nipple clips.

Ms McWilliams’ four page missive was couched in that over-written florid style of legalese, beloved of lawyers  the world over and sounding like it was written by someone with a plum in their mouth and a carrot up their rectum. (Figurative only, Ms Williamson, only figurative.)

And geez, she made some very hurtful and inaccurate assertions about The Magpie, too. For instance, she insists that I wrote that the mistakenly supposed  coupling was in order for Ms Armstrong to get stories for the paper.  At no time did I ascribe any motive to Ms Armstrong’s supposed actions in the now-proven false matter, and I most certainly did not suggest that any fling (a fling that didn’t happen) was in order to ‘get stories’.

My dear Ms McWilliams, anyone who knows this town – and you obviously don’t -  would immediately see the nonsense in that. There would be absolutely no need to put oneself out to get the council PR flak to feed the subservient paper the usual half-truth tripe that Mr Templeton incessantly peddles. Not even a chaste stolen kiss on the cheek let alone a full blown tumble in the hay would be necessary for a gusher of highly selective, mayoral-boosting flapdoodle to come tumbling into the Astonisher’s in-box, the usual farrago  which is usually printed without question.

But just to reiterate, it didn’t happen, and I again apologise for saying it did.

The Magpie can’t help but note the sloppy subbing the has become typical of News publications appears to even infect lawyers letters from News, in this instance, what is known as a double-up.

Screen Shot 2018-12-09 at 12.19.00 am

And my only comment on that is, you can take me to court on that one any day you like, Gina, old gal. It has for so long also applied to almost all journos, particularly the Holt Street appointed editors at the paper who bend to a local  ‘power club agenda’ in these matters.

There’s a lot of other flannel in there too, but a couple of final matters. In item 7, you demand that ‘You delete any comment made to the Website after publication of the apology which is derogatory to Ms Armstrong in any way for a period of six months from the date off the acceptance of this offer’.

I clearly and unequivocally refuse this typical News Corpse attempt to stifle public debate or criticism of the performance of the Townsville Bulletin and its staff … the idea is that Ms Armstong’s professional performance is off limits is totally unacceptable. She has a public voice and if her editor is to be believed, what is said in the paper ‘leads debate in the community and sets the news agenda’. You may rest assured that any attempt by anybody swaying public opinion in an unfair manner will always be challenged in this blog.   

Before you piss off for the day to tell your metrosexual mates over soy chia lattes with a twist about this silly old geezer your gunna nail in Townsville (‘where,  Ginny dear? Oh, how quaint’), let’s be crystal clear:

I will never agree to forfeit the right of reply to anything in the Townsville Bulletin so as to inform and defend this community from the trepidations of this rapacious, biased paper that I believe has greatly damaged the social fabric and general well being of our community. And that right to criticise includes Ms Armstong in her professional capacity, should her professional behaviour merit a derogatory comment. 

I am feeling deeply offended by some of your suggestions, and am greatly hurt and distressed, as are those close to me  - my cat even gone of its milk, and Rover is getting about with lowered gaze  - and unless you apologise for your egregious suggestions and threats, I just might sue you and Nation-wide News for harassment, hurt and defamation … oh, just a sec, been there done that – don’t think I’ll bother again.

This Week In Trumpistan

And we begin with one of the cleverest graphic depictions of just where this destructive man-child is at the moment.

Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c181207.tif horsey_62020181204edloc-a lk120518dapr Hidden agenda 20181204edhan-a beeler2_350 Bruce Plante Cartoon: Saudi Crown Prince lk113018dapr Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump's "Best People" lk120218cd 89_218809 jones_440_0 kamensky_300


Well, that’s all been very interesting, be sure to join in the comments section for your say, but be very careful what you say. AND NO COMMENTS REGARDING MS ARMSTRONG AND LAST WEEK’S INCORRECT STORY WILL BE PUBLISHED.

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. Mike Douglas says:

    Could it be any clearer that Mayor Mullet has lost the support of local business in Townsville when key investors like Mark Adams, Peter Tapiolas (Parkside) , Lawrence Lancini are prepared to state their concerns about Walker Street all except to the Mullet herself . In the same week the Townsville Business Development Centre 23 yrs in operation churning out hundreds of businesses who provided jobs, (that now own or lease property) can’t get a response from T.C.C . Expect more fallout on issues within Council that were hidden when the Impailer was in charge or is she just the “ fall guy “.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Surely the Townsville Business Development Centre fiasco could be sorted out quickly? Council are either for it or against it?
      I would have thought this NFP business with a proven track record would be an asset to the community.
      You would think the only reason to sell it is if the council is desperate for cash?
      Strange days indeed.

      • The Magpie says:

        Be patient, mate, the Astonisher will ask the question … sometime.

        • Grumpy says:

          NAW, why so defensive?

          The mere fact that Crits has a differing interpretation of the financial reports does not mean he has an axe to grind or some sinister motivation for responding to your “off the cuff” comment. This seems to be your standard response.

          It may well be that he has more inside knowledge than you. A bland audit report does not reflect the turmoils that may (rpt-may) exist within the organisation. His point regarding the demise of NFP’s in favour of commercial providers for the sake of efficiency and bang-for-buck is a valid one.

          • Non Aligned Worker says:

            Grumps, well at least I know more about the Townsville Business Development Centre and its workings than I did a few days ago.

      • Critical says:

        NAW suggest that you have a look at the Annual Financial Reports and activity / outcome reports over the last 5 years for the Townsville Business Development Centre and also ask a few questions to people who aren’t featured in these reports and you may have some questions regarding how this centre has not been defunded by government on all levels. As for supporting an NFP it appears these days that for profit organizations can deliver more responsive services than many NFP organizations who are used to get expecting government grants to continue their business as usual without giving taxpayers and the community real measureable outcomes for their dollars.

        • Non Aligned Worker says:

          Critter, sounds like you have access to documentation not available to the general public. Care to share?

          • Critical says:

            NAW the 2017/2018 Financial Statements are on their website and questions are raised about the organizations continuing viability. Copies of previous Financial Statements have been available at the TBDC AGM. Other AGM reports on their activities are so vague that limited information on validated measureable outcomes can be found in them.

          • Stillnotalocal says:

            Critical – where are you reading that?? I found this reference from the auditor –

            “The association remains viable as a business incubator for small and medium sized Townsville based businesses and is operating at capacity as at the date of signing this report.”

            Please xplain?

          • Non Aligned Worker says:

            You have replied to my off the cuff comments in a very passionate manner Critter, sounds like you have an axe to grind with the centre?
            Thanks for pointing out the location of current financials. They aren’t pretty, but the audit confirms that the centre is operating viably.
            It seems as if the centre merely wants the TCC support it has enjoyed for the past 23 years?
            Reports indicate that the centre operating at over 100 per cent capacity so there seems to be no reason to close it and sell the assets unless it is a cash grab.
            Your motivation on this subject is interesting.

  2. Cajun says:

    The ‘meeting rooms’ at the Allure Apartments resulted from there being insufficient carparks on site; they couldn’t be developed and sold as apartments. I can see why the developers liked to consider the rooms as ‘theirs’, instead of as common property; in the ordinary course of events they would have been sold off by the developers, not given away to the body corporate. But, it seems that the Begas made them common property to facilitate final approvals and I am loving this decision! Karma exists! So the question remains: if there weren’t enough carparks for unit dwellers, how in the hell were there enough for event attendees? Or didn’t the TCC consider this a relevant question to be answered before allowing the change of use?

  3. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Townsville has a long history of shonky two bob developers fucking over many a contractor, supplier and the ratepayers of this city. There is only 2 multi storey res developments that didn’t go completely broke during construction, T1 by Hedley and the Oaks building in Palmer St, all the rest had the head builder or developer go bust putting the bloody things up.
    The actions of TCC in the Allure case does not surprise me, the things I have seen this council do to appease developers is disgraceful, and was at its peak in the late Mooney years, it was a circus, that is why I always advocate that any recovery in the building sector in this place must be lead by the National players and not the two bit locals, you would have rocks in your head to put your cash upfront for anything the locals are involved in.

    • Jatzcrackers says:

      Cranky, I don’t disagree with your points re the TCC bend over attitude with some developers over the years but don’t agree re only 2 multilevel projects being completed without developer/builder going bust. Mariners North (Breakwater) Mariners Peninsula (Mirvac) Honeycomb projects around town, are some that have been successfully completed. Hedley did eventually go bust but not because of his building/construction/developer ability.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Yeah Jatz, we don’t have an issue building squats, heaps of them around town, that is just a representation of our small developers, they create small developments, whereas the medium plus market of 10- 12 storeys and above are littered with failure, it’s one of the reason our CBD and surrounding areas are a basket case, we don’t have anyone in this town to build decent size projects, and until we attract developers that can the city will continue to struggle.

  4. SPQR says:

    Hey Pie what does the liquidator of Glen Alpine reckon about the payment to the Beggars?

  5. Dave of Kelso says:

    Dear ‘Pie,

    It seems that you have a new reader, in one Gina McWilliams.

  6. The Magpie says:

    When it comes to MP’s musical talent, some can’t (Bob Katter, Craig Emerson) and some can – or at least one can, WA MP David Templeton. Stylish and clever.

  7. Concerned says:

    Just hope a new Local Government after the next election will bring other developers to town, some with a real sense of development and interested in driving the real potential of our city

  8. Astonished says:

    One also wonders how the council gave the Begas approval to turn meeting rooms into a function and events centre without the area being equipped for catering. On one recent occasion they were using a barbecue in the adjacent car park to cook food. Wonder what the health inspector thinks about that.
    But wait, there’s more. They are now putting in a coffee shop in another common area. All with the approval of council of course.
    Is the Mullet related to the Begas?
    Come on Tony Raggatt, earn your pay for a change and do a bit of investigative reporting (if you remember what it is) on the Begas. Like how many times they have put businesses into liquidation only to open up again immediately with another company.

  9. Dearie Me says:

    Ah well…. Carols cancelled because of rain.
    No backup plan.
    Well done Stephen Beckett for failing to plan. Well done Adele Young for proving once again you aren’t fit to run a lemonade stand. For once this isn’t a Mullet problem. She’s been handed this fuckup by these two useless wannabes.

    • J jones says:

      Should be booked in for the entertainment centre every year.

    • Cajun says:

      Every year for the past while, following several years of wash-outs, TCC have put up the expensive, ginormous white tent and there hasn’t been a drop of rain to warrant it. This year they haven’t bothered and down it comes … an excellent rain-making strategy. Pity Hughie thinks it has to be at the expense of the carols!

    • Inside TCC says:

      Screaming Midget has turned into the Christmas Grinch, he didn’t steal Christmas but he sure did kill the party. Big top, what big top?!?! Should have asked some of those other influential folks if anyone had a really big vacant warehouse, pretty sure Townsvilles shitty economy means theres lots out there.

    • screwdriver says:

      The decision to not have a Plan B in the event of rain for the Carols was taken by the power hungry little millennials running the Council PR department. The Midget’s mistake was employing all these ego driven PR graduates with no real world experience in the first place. With the departure of the CEO, who used to keep them in line with a cattle prod, they are now running wild with no oversight so the mess-ups will only grow in number. The irony is – the midget won’t be back – appears the millennials ganged up on him and filed official complaints about how he hurt their feelings – the poor precious little petals are upset.

      • Inside TCC says:

        Screwdriver, I am not a millennial and I can assure you EVERY interaction I’ve ever had with the screaming midget was worse than hurt feelings, in some cases straight out threats (all ignored by HR) if his horrid behaviour continued towards the “PR Millennials” then good job to them for sticking together and sticking it to the little creep.

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          Hey Mullet, what took you so long to get rid of this toxic turd they call Screaming Midget? Why exactly did you keep him on, when there were and are mutiple allegations of bullying and intimidatory behaviour from at him??? Where was your leadership when it was needed, or did you condone this disgraceful carry on?

          • Inside TCC says:

            Midgets behaviour is 100% the fault of our now former CEO, no complaints acted upon because she was making them go away. He very proudly announced he had been friends with Ms Young for more than 20 years while continuing his reign of terror and poor behaviour. He made sure the staff all knew who had his back and there was nowhere to run. Hopefully Mike will do some digging in some HR files and see whats actually been going on, thats if the files still exist

    • Cynical Cricket says:

      Dearie Me; What do you mean “For once this isn’t a Mullet problem.”
      Of course it bloody is. The mad mullet hired the midget and the addled one, so she is ultimately to blame for all the problems.

      • Dearie Me says:

        Cricket you are correct… It is the Mullets problem. She is so stupid shes been squarely landed with the steaming pile of shit and those responsible for the decisions have slunk out of sight.

        Screwdriver… I think you’ll find the Screaming Midget also lived up to his nickname and abused Chiodo. Ooops…

        Thankfully the Impaler has taken her cattle prod and gone. She will undoubtedly use it to torture some poor undeserving soul in the future and relish every moment of it.

  10. The Owl says:

    Went to the CBD markets on Sunday to get some fresh fruit & veg and noted a very poor effort by council with their Christmas tree. About the same effort put in as the pathetic Christmas in the City promo which came with Elvis music and a Santa without small gifts for the kids. Now Jenny wants to spruce up Castle Hill. Can’t wait to see how that turns out.

  11. No More Dredging says:

    Just imagine how the newly minted TBulletin “survey”, published today perfect for a rainy day stuck at home, will be used.

    “Have your say in Townsville Bulletin survey. We are fiercely proud to call ourselves North Queenslanders and are increasingly unafraid to fight for our fair share and a fair go.”

    With mandatory name, address, age and voting intentions, a beautiful database – similar to Palmer’s and Adani’s (derived from employment applications) – will be created for direct mailing.

    • The Magpie says:

      And what’s this ‘we’ business?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      The “survey” is a bit of a joke. I am out of town again and have not seen this one. In years past a full 700-800 people would participate and from that unrepresentatine miniscule percentage of the population the Astonisher would draw all sorts of conclusions. What a lot of rot!

      • The Magpie says:

        It’d be OK as a bit of fun with maybe the occasional interesting comment, but the Astonisher takes itself so seriously, it kills all usefulness of this sort of silly season fun. And as said elsewhere, it is simply a marketing tool to gather data for mailing lists.

  12. J jones says:

    Typo is getting a new two-hour show on sky news in prime time over the holidays. Bloody hell.

  13. fununtilsomeonelosesaneye says:

    Anyone happen to notice another Labor party appointment to a key position? Mandy Thompson the new CEO of the Townsville Hospital Foundation. Really WTF.

    • No More Dredging says:

      As I wrote last week, too late to be included:

      I’m not carrying a flag for the ALP, especially since the end was burned off the flagpole by the Newman government during its disastrous reign, but who do you expect will be appointed by the elected government to these semi-government positions? I understand how frustrating it must be for ‘conservative’ Queensland voters who haven’t had a party worth voting for, or with half a chance at winning, since Joh bit the dust back in the late 1980s. And looking at the shenanigans in Canberra over the past few days (or months maybe) I can’t see how that situation is going to change. Apparently the Morrison Liberal/National government, now in its writhing death throes, is again stacking the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and the fair Work Commission with LNP ‘mates’ – as is its prerogative. It’s what governments, including LNP state governments do, if only they can get elected.

      So if Deb Whatshername of the Liberal/National/OneNation/Katter collective can bang a few of the dills’ heads together for long enough to shake out someone with a bit of leadership bling they might one day get to appoint someone to the next vacancy in a semi-government position.

      • Concerned says:

        Anyone that votes for the current local batch of local, state, or federal government representatives needs to look at themselves.
        The Mullet and her team have brought Townsville to its knees, look at the for Sale / Lease signs around town or compare us to Cairns at present.
        The State government has largely ignored regional QLD and given us the worst economy out of all Australian States / territories, and the three local reps have done lots for Townsville, high juvenile crime rate, high unemployment rate.
        Tell me one thing OFoole has achieved for Townsville.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        NMD, “ I am not carrying a flag for the ALP” ?? , it’s hard to carry something you have tucked under your pillow you socialist dickhead.

        • No More Dredging says:

          Cantankerous, if memory serves, at the last federal election I gave the ALP candidate my second last preference. Ewen was not on my radar that day. At the last state election I put the ALP candidate last. I don’t carry a flag for the ALP, I’m an in-the-moment kind of voter. You, on the other hand, think you know what’s in everyones’ dreams. So who’s flag is tucked under your pillow? Or is that a brick your head is resting on on your bed of nails?

          • The Magpie says:

            This thread really is adding to the sum of human knowledge, isn’t it? The community thanks you.

  14. Pat Coleman says:

    Another case lost by Clive $18 mil US, plus costs of 3 courts.

    Clive Palmer lost another court case on the 5th of December. This time in the High Court dismissing his special leave application Mineralogy Pty Ltd v BGP Geoexplorer Pte Ltd [2018] HCASL 385 (5 December 2018)

    This attempted to appeal the judgement of the Qld Court of Appeal in Mineralogy Pty Ltd v BGP Geoexplorer Pte Ltd [2018] QCA 174 [2018] 32 QLR (17/11186) Fraser and Gotterson and McMurdo JJA 31 July 2018 https://www.sclqld.org.au/caselaw/QCA/2018/174 at pars [7], [18] , [26], [69], [94],[114]

    Palmers company then called Chinampa Exploration Pty Ltd , a Subsidiary of his parent company Mineralogy , contracted Geoexplorer Pte Ltd to conduct exploration in the Gulf of Papua (PNG) .

    From the Court of appeal judgement:
    [18] “As it carried out work under the contract, BGP invoiced Palmer Petroleum.
    The first invoice was dated 4 March 2011. The total amount invoiced was slightly under the capped amount of US$35 million. Palmer Petroleum paid US$18,222,148.21 against the invoices. A substantial invoiced amount remained unpaid, as did a deferred finance fee. BGP served a statutory demand on Palmer Petroleum in December 2015. It was wound up in insolvency on BGP’s application in 2016.”

    He renamed that company “Aspenglow Pty Ltd” and it also is in liquidation. So Palmer lost $18mil US , plus the costs of the Supreme Court Civil Division, The Court of Appeal and The High Court.

  15. TCC Christmas Cracker says:

    Seems that the upcoming TCC Christmas party has had union interference saying that its not a Christmas party unless the council provide alcoholic beverages. Isn’t that responsible considering the carry on with the stadium at present.

  16. Gonzo says:

    Pie, An excellent blog. I particularly like using the article on Trump and the intro on journalism leading to the Bulletin editorial. And the Trumpistan cartoons are wonderful — the best I’ve seen — especially the opener on Trump painting himself into a corner … Mueller’s office. Let’s hope that happens! Cheers.

  17. The Owl says:

    Another Palmer Street restaurant has gone belly-up.
    The Paradise Cafe and Bar has been struggling for months and has been open only for breakfast for the past few weeks. Now all that’s left is a For Sale sign.
    From what I’ve seen two more are struggling to stay afloat.
    But our hopeless mayor wants to build more restaurants in nearby Central Park.
    If that goes ahead what’s the betting one Carey Ramm, of C Bar fame, will get first option?

    • Grumpy says:

      I recall some gossip, quite uncomplimentary of Mr Ramm, at the time of both the original lease of the headlands and of the acquisition and subsequent disposal of the flopped Riverway C Bar. I have some vague recollection of the details, but shall not expand, given current readership.

      By the way, an “in-house lawyer” is akin to a ship’s doctor. Got the ticket, but not the ticker.

      • Alahazbin says:

        Allegedly he got preferential treatment when it came the lease agreements on the Gregory St headlands. Gauguin’s Restaurant was paying a lot more than C Bar.

        • Alahazbin says:

          And they got the old post office for a song.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            All that favour amd yet the tightarse still won’t accept AMEX, which I found out after hosting 20 people at Malt last year for a business dinner, talk about stuck in the dark ages. The funny thing is they hand you the bill in an Amex folder, I slid in my Amex card and handed it back, a few minutes later they return to advise they don’t take Amex, we all pissed ourselves laughing, even the waitress was having a laugh, only in Townsville, I wont be back.

          • Leslie Jogger says:

            Which are the other two that are struggling Owl?

          • Grumpy says:

            Too obvious Jogs, way too obvious.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Owl, you say: “From what I’ve seen two more [restaurants] are struggling to stay afloat [in Palmer Street]. But our hopeless mayor wants to build more restaurants in nearby Central Park.”

      Are you suggesting that there is no demand for ‘restaurants’ or for space on which new restaurants might be built in the CBD? I get the impression that at the other end of the bar there are developers who are wanting to get into the space around the new stadium precinct, as everyone expected – and now there’s a clamour to be in on the ground floor. Isn’t this what the council is supposed to foster? Can there not be one positive development around the stadium or do you want it to crash and burn just so you can say “I told you so”?

      • The Magpie says:

        For his sins, The ‘Pie in his time has owned four restaurants, all in the tough Sydney market … two very successful, two average outcomes, so perhaps you will believe it when The ‘Pie says you’d have rocks in your head to open another CBD-ish restaurant solely on the basis of a venue that will host 12 or so football games a year, and – let’s be generous here – say up to a dozen more ‘events’ – other sports, musical concerts etc. And virtually nothing for 5 to 6 months in the hot months. On top of that, there is this over-hyped hotel to be built (so they say) which will also contain dining and bar facilities right on the stadium doorstep.

        Lack of foresight killed the CBD when the push for Palmer Street to become an ‘eat street’ gained official (i.e council) support and robbed the city area of a cornerstone industry … trendy idea of the times, but the theory of unintended consequences was ignored and not explored and that started the rot setting in. Would love to see the feasibility study recommending to an investor that a new restaurant in the CBD is the answer (nowadays, minimum investment outlay north of $200,000 and that would just be for a cafe), or in Central Park, which will capture customers on their way through Palmer Street. It is clear that Mayor Mullet has never run a business in her life, certainly not one that she has put her own money into. Mayor Mullet and a rapaciously greedy council put The ‘Pie in mind of the famous Thatcher saying about socialism, which she said was fine until they ran out of other peoples’ money.

        • No More Dredging says:

          ‘Pie, back in the day, I would have said you had rocks in your head if you wanted to spend money opening a restaurant in Palmer Street with its rundown, failing pubs, decrepit buildings and a road to nowhere – although there was a music venue (the Sound Shell) where Midnight Oil played once and MX bikes flew through the air. But now I think there are more ‘successful’ joints on Palmer than in Flinders Street. Clearly people come from the suburbs into the CBD at night so maybe in another twenty years the restaurant strip will have migrated west along Flinders and encompass a wholly new high rise residential, arts and entertainment precinct next to a venue that still hosts 12 or so football games a year but sits amongst a diversity of new hotels, a transport hub and who knows, maybe a trackless tram station.

          • The Magpie says:

            Are you just holidaying on the planet? Or do you just work for Mayor Mullet’s unicorn factory? And like the mayor, all your theories are fine until you run out of other peoples’ money. Bet you won’t be putting a cent into any business of this nature, if any at all. Seriously mate, you tempt the F word all the time … that is, Frustration … many of your comments are reasonable, informed and well thought out, if debatable … this one is, quite simply, crap. Social engineering at its wishful thinking best.

          • No More Dredging says:

            So are you saying Council should never have facilitated the re-development of Palmer Street? It looks like they took a punt about 15-20 years ago and ran with it – around about the time when the pedestrianising of Flinders Street (mall) stopped looking like the good idea it had won prizes for. Sometimes at the urging of non-Council people, others at the sight of State or Commonwealth money, suddenly a bright idea turns up. Remember the re-presentation of Flinders Street East with all that steel? Wasn’t a great success, pulled it down again – but kept the better bits, the extended footpath seating for one. I think the stadium and its precinct are going to be a similar ‘bright idea’. No idea if it will work, can’t believe how it came about in the first place. But it did.

      • The Owl says:

        No rent for 2 Years (Cowboys are paying $10 million rent in advance towards cost of construction). Think it will crash and burn anyway. But dream on.

        • No More Dredging says:

          Owl, don’t have to dream. Townsvillains will be paying for it, no matter what. Doesn’t (automatically) mean it’s a disaster though. There will be more investment around the stadium and some of it will go bust. Them’s the breaks.

          • The Owl says:

            I repeat, dream on.

          • Mike Douglas says:

            Reap what you Sow NMD . Tried communicating the other week about one of the biggest hurdles in Townsville was getting people off benefits to fill the gap in jobs that require little or no skills like retail, warehouse, stop n go, forklift, admin, kitchen but your response “ I simply don’t believe you “. Talk to local businesses as it’s now worse . As the projects like Sun Metals, Haughton roadworks ramp up like mining boom 1+2 people will drift to higher paying jobs so their will be even more opportunities for the unemployed to accept a job .

          • No More Dredging says:

            Haven’t sown anything, Mike. What I observed was the ploughing of the field and the making ready for someone to sow something – around the $250 million stadium development. A few days ago I was visiting professional offices in the CBD – the boss told me he had been advertising for a front-of-house receptionist/administrator and had to stop the ads when they received over 400 applications. Haven’t met any shopkeepers that can’t get workers and I’m continually phoned by men looking to work in my business. Apparently Clive Palmer has them lining up to go out to Yabulu too – though that might be a hollow promise.

        • Hee-Haw says:

          No rent for 10 years yes 10 years. The $10 million was advance rent which goes to Stadiums Queensland anyway as the government own the stadium not TCC.

        • Alahazbin says:

          Owl, pretty sure it was the NRL that $10 mill towards the stadium.

  18. The Magpie says:

    And who would doubt it?
    New York’s Post Journal commits the Howler of the Year.

  19. The Magpie says:

    And still they wonder …

    We were recently regaled with this story from an award winning (according to today’s idioitorial) reporter whom we won’t name for fear of being derogatory.

    In it, we are told “During the construction phase more than 800 direct and indirect jobs could be created and the refinery will likely hire an additional 100 employees once fully operational.  It could make Sun Metals Townsville’s biggest employer.”

    Ummm, no it couldn’t.

    This reporter obviously didn’t win her award for fact checking … or simple common sense.

    Townsville Hospital employs over 5,000 …

    Lavarack employs about 4,750 …

    and JCU employs around 3,500.

    Sun Metals currently employs approx 350 staff and contractors – even if you wanted to count the construction jobs (which one wouldn’t) and the extra 100 jobs on offer, Sun Metals is a long way off being or becoming Townsville biggest employer.

    And haven’t had time to check the state and federal government offices, like the friendly tax folks, and even Ergon.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Dear ‘Pie,

      Who is this reporter with an eye watering ignorance of the community that they alegely serve?

      On arrival were they not given a windscreen tour of the town and a tourist brochure? Seems not.

      What was the award for? Colouring-in within the lines perhaps?

      • Plannit Townsville says:

        Math and logic are not prerequisites for journalism degrees. Fact checking is not a requirement for journalistic integrity. Hence the ‘quality’.

      • Hee-Haw says:

        I think Magpie is being very unfair here on the reporter.
        Perhaps she is much wiser than you give her credit for, if we keep losing businesses and business confidence the way we are doing then maybe Sun Metals could be Townsville largest employer.

  20. The Magpie says:

    Ah ha, so that’s how they’re going to finance the Carmichael Mine. So much for the wailing of the hand wringing Adani apologists bleating that this philanthropic mob of cash squirrelers only want to bring power to millions of poor people who currently haven’t got electricity … seems the poor people will soon be the ones already hooked up on Adani.

    Full story:

  21. I’ll be plucked says:

    It continues, Corporal Cupcake, the incredibly inept ALP ‘member’ for Townsville and the equally inept ALP ‘member’ for Thuringowa, Harpic both at it again nodding behind a Minister and a former Police Commissioner on local news this evening, this time about a Youth Justice Policy/Strategy.
    This bunch of I don’t know what’s were crowing about a ‘plan’ to reduce offending by 5% by 2022 and keeping the offenders out of youth detention centres!!! Well Cupcake, Harpic, ‘Minister’ and former policeman we are all plucked! You’ve got NOTHING- zero, zilch, zip – you have all been a disaster and have no idea whatsoever. You will be kicked to the kerb at the next election as a result – what an embarrassment you are as our elected political reps. How about doing yourselves and our community a favour and consider stepping down. Hang your heads in shame!

  22. seagull says:

    from the bullsheet…….

    “Council tackles nude bather complaints
    TOWNSVILLE council officers have recommended disabling showers at free camp sites north of the city after complaints about people showering nude in public.The unwanted public displays is one of several complaints by residents living near the sites ”

    those naughty backpackers….

    yep .. & that’s just what the dumb ass council probably will do … so then there is no amenity for anyone.. … no maintenance costs either … brilliant !

    or maybe … install some knee to shoulder screening which should be there anyhow to preserve everyone’s sense of modesty…… nah too hard

    • The Magpie says:

      The Magpie will bet that the nudity complaint was a minor issue … maybe one or two pursed lipped dried up old prunes clutching at their pearls … and the real story is the speeding, hygiene and general maintenance of these sites.

      This is one that has forced the council to get off querulous lazy arse and make a decision … leave as it is, and not only have pissed off ratepayers but a word-of-bad-mouthing in the very effective touring network about the run-down state of affairs in Townsville, or start fining people and get the same result. Charging for these sites should only happen if it happens elsewhere, otherwise travellers will well remember Townsville, for yet another wrong reason. Nude showering would be easily handled with, as you say, shoulder to knee screens costing just a few bob (relatively).

      But crikey, nude showering makes a great headline even if the story is tissue thin. Click bait at its worst. And yes, the musings of a few councillors is also probably taken way out of context.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        The TCC seems to have no problem with the public fornication and defecation that occurs from time to time in some South Townsville parks, despite the protesters from nearby residents.

        By comparison a bit of youthful nudity would be positively refreshing.

    • Alahazbin says:

      Seagull, Hear’s an opportunity for Council to put the money where their mouth is. Always spruiking job, jobs. How about employing some cleaners in a the Health Dept or whatever they call the department.
      Maybe they can get around the TCC region and clean the rest of them.

    • guy says:

      the local caravan sites get the council to shut down these places

      its a matter of time before all these places are shut

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Wife and I are grey nomads (GN), done about 24,000klm this year. Most GN are self contained and do not need caravan park facilities or the expense. Diesel and plonk more important. GN will avoid towns that are uninviting, (Read free overnight spot and parking within cooee of the shops.) and spend our money elsewhere.

        Caravan park owners are lobbying to close free sites. The thing is that the GN will not use the van park in any case, but drive on, taking there money with them. Bad outcome for the small traders in that town.

        Many out back and WA communities have twigged to this and are putting in facilities that attract the GN. How long before East coast communities realise the same?

        • Mick says:

          On off street facility is planned for Proserpine in the old St Catherines School grounds. Currently in process of being handed over to local gov. Then another up at Peter Faust Dam.

        • Guy says:

          Yes this is exactly what i have been told directly by residents in kelso and plenty of other residents that actually holiday in townsville ( believe it or not) ! The caravan park owners are encouraging townsville council to shut places where grey nomads can park up ( and where residents can park up for free). Then you have the other closures that ensure that anywhere of interest outside of the CBD area gets shut. Townsville council managers have been slowly shutting these places by stealth for YEARS, long before the team hill.

          As i see it you have a battle between two forces in council, one force ( a blight on humanity) measures its efficiency and productivity by closing things, harassing residents and making people miserable; the other force wants positivity but lives under the delusion that the other malevolent , vindictive, negative force doesnt exist.

          From a tourism point of view and to improve peoples lives generally we must expunge the malevolent force quickly and reopen all of the places they have shut and encourage an ecosystem of tourism inside and outside of the CBD. We must encourage people to explore their own backyard. Getting rid of this problem is time consuming and painful and akin to passing a kidney stone for the greater good and long term benefit.

          One day in the future townsville will be a well known spot to visit and stay but not yet. For example to reopen townsville common and ross river dam wall you only need to turn a key in a padlock and swing a gate. For as long as the malevolent and spiteful force holds sway in townsville no good can come. God knows what else has been closed in townsville in the name of productivity , efficiency and “safety”.

        • Rusty Nail says:

          Dave, you and your ilk are becoming a bit tiresome with your “let us park for free or we won’t spend our money in your town” crap. About the only thing the people who park in places like Rollingstone, Balgal Beach, etc. etc. bring is expenses involved in providing and maintaining watering and sewage dumping points, as well as a dearth of sugar satchels in coffee shops and toilet paper in public toilets. I have met several travelers from southern parts over the years, especially but not only on the golf course, and can assure you that the ones who spend real money in the city do stay in caravan parks. Methinks you have established a formidable lobby group to further your own interests and have successfully fooled many in local government. Congratulations on that front.

          • Al says:

            Rusty, I don’t think your tits are quite straight. Do people who free camp not spend money on food, fuel, medicals, repairs, etc ? I camp in RV friendly towns , I am self contained. My own loo, shower, kitchen, solar power, no need for your “only caravan park people spend real money’. I would like your honest reaction

  23. I’ll be plucked says:

    Corporal Cupcake, the ALP ‘member’ for Townsville continues to cover himself in shit! Tonight’s effort local TV news……….reports that 200 more youths/young people have faced the court compared to last year. Cupcakes response – ‘the numbers are up but overall they are trending down’, that is it, all he offered – WTF is this bloke on???
    What an outright plucking embarrassment as a ‘politician’ – no substance, doughy and so very obviously full of you know what!
    Get out of the way, please! Must be kicked to the kerb first chance we get!

    • Inside TCC says:

      Sad thing Plucker is his last job was a principal of a local school. If the increasing numbers are trending downwards i surely hope he wasn’t teaching maths, or any subject that requires common sense for that matter.

      • Mike Shearer says:

        A trend doesn’t have to have every value in a sequence changing in the same direction, that is, up or down. These values are trending down despite the couple that are rising: 20,18,16,17, 15,14,12,11,10,10,11,9,6,5,3,1.

        There is no doubt that the amount of water in Ross Dam has been trending downwards since February, and a slight increase from any rain the cyclone might dump in the catchment won’t change the truth of that trend.

        • Grumpy says:

          You are correct, of course, Mike. However, I seriously doubt whether the true figures (emphasis on “true”) would indicate anything but a constant rise in crime rates in this city. Which is the point I think Plucker and Insider were making.

          There are plenty of methods whereby figures can be enhanced – read “bodgied” – to give whatever impression you care to make. I used to love the one where the Plods would charge the villain who boosted a car with stealing the petrol he used when driving around as well as for Unlawful Use. One crime, at least two charges 100% clean up rate.

      • Achilles says:

        TCC exemplifies the Peter Principle. Years ago management guru Laurence Peter said something profound: In organisations, employees rise to their level of incompetence and then stay there. This process now is known as the Peter Principle.

  24. Doxie says:

    Has the Screaming Midget really, truly gone? And if so, what of his trough-snurffling wife?

  25. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Qantas announced 6 extra Brisbane – Townsville flights per week from 31 March 2019.
    The big increase however was for Cairns airport with 11 extra flights per week to Brisbane, an upgrade to A330 aircraft from the current 737 service for some Cairns to Sydney and Melbourne services, and the reintroduction of a Cairns to Port Moresby daily service on Qanatslink, so a small lift for Townsville but most expansion going to Cairns.

    • Grumpy says:

      Yeah, I thought we were due for some extra flights. The 717s were getting a little squeezy in the mornings. The cheap seats disappear fairly quickly as well.

  26. Luddite says:

    Is it just me or has the comments counter disappeared from the top of the of the column?

  27. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    Messagebank Walker is at it again.

    This from the TCC media release on Wednesday about the Queensland government bringing forward funding for the Works for Queensland program.

    “Townsville City Council is very excited to have this funding brought forward because we have a huge number of shovel-ready projects to deliver for our community.”

    “Council released the Castle Hill Concept Plan this week, and I’m sure a number of projects in it could be built with funding from Works for Queensland,” Cr Walker said.”

    What a complete load of bullocks! The Castle Hill Concept Plan was only released this week. It consists of nothing more than nice artistic impressions of a handful of aspirational ‘wouldn’t it be nice’ thought bubbles, nowhere near what could be considered “shovel-ready projects.” Honesty this bloke has no idea and talks absolute drivel.

    • Cappuccino_in_hand says:

      They only need to spend about $1,000 on the Hill to improve it 1,000% … someone handy with abseiling gear and paint stripper to get rid of the bogun graffiti!

  28. The Magpie says:

    Un-bloody-believable … and this from the Townsville Bulletin which has a female editor. This will be reported to the Press Council. Domestic violence only good for a giggle to this headline writer.

  29. The Magpie says:


    If you’re going to rabbit on about how well trained and professional your court reporters are (and they are, yes) sad same doesn’t apply to you, apparently.

    When Marshall Irwin became Queensland’s Chief Magistrate more than a decade ago, he directed that magistrates henceforth should be addressed as Your Honour, not Your Worship.

  30. Mike Douglas says:

    Issues and investigations into Queensland Councils seems to be a weekly issue with Ken Diehm Fraser Coast Ceo investigated by Police for making false claims that Councillors were receiving death threats the latest . Cairns Council voted that Councillors don’t have to reply to residents correspondence. How many Queensland Councils are paying the LGAQ for services including T.C.C . Is it $300-400 k a year . As a director of LGAQ is the non donation disclosure, unacceptable communication and openness , issues at Senior Management our own Mayor Mullet .

  31. The Owl says:

    See Qantas is increasing flights to Townsville, obviously due to high demand.
    Gee, Jenny Hill’s Qantas boycott must have had an impact.

  32. Grumpy says:

    Ah, well.

    Here I was thinking that the news of the “prominent Australian” being convicted meant that Kathy was getting justice at last.

    Rather; it’s some boardroom bogan getting pinged for cooking the books and hiding corrupt payments.

  33. Cantankerous but happy says:

    The new Qantas schedule is ordinary to say the least, whilst there are a few extra flights there are also more smaller 717 services, less 737 services but there is an overall small increase in the number of seats. The timings though are poor, 5 days a week the earliest QF flight from Brisbane to Townsville is 09.30, WTF is the point of having business people getting into Townsville at lunchtime, just fucking dopey, and on the flip side a few days a week if you don’t want to catch the redeye to Brisbane, (soon to be a 717 also) the next flight in now 12.10, on those days I would imagine the 08.30 Virgin service will be very popular.

    • Cappuccino_in_hand says:

      I’ve been pushed back from the 10.30am flight to BRS 3 times since daylight saving in Sydney to a flight 2 hours later. Talk about in-flight timetable management!

  34. The Magpie says:

    We all know that the Astonisher has problems matching facts to stories, but at the Courier, it would seem the problem is matching images to stories. Is this woman a devil worshipper who craves mayhem and destruction? You can bet whoever chose this illustration for this story has never been north of Gympie, let alone been through a cyclone.

  35. The Magpie says:


  36. seagull says:

    from the bullsheet …… WTF

    “Hope for public spaces, shops and residential areas at rail yard

    PUBLIC spaces, shops and residential areas are what Cr Colleen Doyle is hoping will be part of a the redevelopment of the North Rail Yards”

    on ya Cr Doyle …… keep up the good work !

  37. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Yep, what a first class airhead she must be, the whole CBD is an empty public space with empty retail space and residential property that drops in value everyday, why the hell would anyone with half a brain want more of it.

  38. Rusty Nail says:

    ‘Pie, this is a reply to Al’s comment of December 14 at 9:28 pm.
    Al, you are totally correct of course, the free-camping brigade do spend money on all of the things you mention, however those are all necessities that do not rely on your staying over – you would spend that money even if just passing through.
    Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not suggesting for one minute that you should not free-camp if you are set up to do so. The issue I have is with those who expect (demand even) councils to arrange facilities for them to use at no cost on the basis that “we won’t stay in your city/town/region unless you spend money on facilities for us to use”. The other point is that caravan park people actually spend time in places (often weeks not one or two days) and thus support local businesses to a far greater extent. Enjoy your travels.

    • Alahazbin says:

      Probably getting a little bit off topic here, but ever since the advent of these fully self contained vans and RV’s, I have noticed a lot more just dump there effluent on the side of the road. This evident when the road verge is mowed later on.
      Should change their name from Grey Nomads to Grey Grubs.

      • Al says:

        Alawas, did you see any grey dude dropping his tanks anywhere except at the plentiful dump points Australia wide, mostly manufactured by a Townsville Company, and assisted by the CMCA, (look it up for yourself) and Councils, for the benefit of everybody. I would apologise if you could

      • two bobs worth says:

        Alahazbin – the self contained vans would use nominated dump points – you are totally off the mark generalising like that.

  39. Dave Nth says:

    Regret to say I am leaving Townsville, family will follow mid next year. Taking up a position in the Hunter Valley area next year, less FIFO. Still got the house here and will keep an eye on the day it may be attractive to relocate back but can’t see that happening till people wake up to the the idiots they keep electing in Walker st.

    As for QF putting on more 717 flights at the time ditching QF978/969 737 services, LOL well that says it all doesn’t it. Glad I am leaving have already been trying to avoid these unreliable 717’s that seem to be delayed or cancelled at a whim, just be harder now…

    • The Magpie says:

      Sincere thanks for your input, mate, and trust all good for the future. But you can stick with the blog, even from the wilds behind Newcastle. Good luck.

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