Why this blog exists...

The Magpie

Sunday, August 7th, 2022   |   142 comments

The Authorities Decide Clr Fran O’Callaghan Is Worth More Money … But There’s A Catch.

Isn’t there always?  The Magpie reports.

In the bitchy world of fragile egos we call academia, rarely heard is the word sorry … so Professor Peter Ridd better not get his hopes up about being proved partially right about the Great Barrier Reef not being dead, or even near it.

More info wars: actually, that should be lack of info wars, the council confirms we must trust them to know what they’re doing … or wade through a tangled web to get a few simple answers.

It’s been said more than once that The Townsville Bulletin wouldn’t know what day it is … this week, they gave us proof that it’s literally true.  The ‘Pie looks at the paper’s interesting week.

And, just like Jughead in the comics,  a light bulb goes on above Police Minister Mark Ryan’s head. He shares his revelation.

Plus a new feature Tweets (and other chortles) Of The Week, featuring inter alia, the sausage from outer space.

The build is on … it’s a bit of a distracting race against time, but The ‘Pie is working on a mandatory transitioning and re-build of the Magpie’s Nest web platform – seems it’s going to have to happen before then end of the month –  and he’s unsure and a bit unsettled about the financial situation. If you can help with a donation, it will be greatly appreciated. The Donate button is at the end of the blog.

A Generation Laments: We Will Never Find Another You: Judith Durham Passed Away On Friday Night


Judith Durham died in a Melbourne hospital on Friday night after a long illness.

A singer whose voice was the soundtrack of a generation’s youth, Judith Durham, died in hospital on Friday night after a long battle with chronic lung disease.

She was 79.

One of Australia’s most loved and admired, singer/songwriters,  Judith Durham was the bell-like ringing voice of The Seekers from 1963 to 1968, before she started a successful solo career. Tributes are pouring in from around the world for the Seeker’s lead singer and later individual artist, who shot to international fame with legendary songs like this.

The carnival was great while it lasted. And now it’s over.

Vale Judith, and thank you.

Peter Ridd Enjoys The Cold Comfort Of Being Right

Peter Ridd Screen Shot 2021-10-13 at 6.39.30 pm

Professor Peter Ridd

Professor Peter Ridd’s unwise choice of words when disagreeing with claims that the Great Barrier Reef was near extinction cost him his job. He was booted out of JCU for posting online what the university said was confidential information, which he used in defence of his arguments that some reports about the GBR were alarmist to say the least. He lost the subsequent legal battle for damages against the university.

So one wonders how he felt when one of the very organisations with which he was at loggerheads initially,  the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) three days ago published its annual condition-of-the-reef survey that said in essence, he was, up to a point, right. Ironic that the report came from the very organisation where his troubles began. Bentley sees it as a vindication for the sacked professor.

Peter Ridd office-1

In a nutshell, sections of the reef have bounced back significantly after episodes of coral bleaching, cyclones, chemical run-off from farms and increased water temperatures. While serious issues remain, this was a rare positive development in recent times, illustrated with before and after pics like this.

Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 6.14.13 pm

Sure, there are problems still to be addressed, they are spelt out here is a sober summary of the situation for balance. But The ‘Pie is now wondering how much the doomsayers who loudly trumpeted their doomsday agenda with Flannery-like over-stated flapdoodle while attacking Ridd,  have cost the tourism industry up and down the Queensland coast. The exaggerated claims and time scales now appear totally unjustified, and were tailored simply to fit into a wider narrative. How it affected businesses and jobs in the vital tourism industry will probably never be calculated.

You can bet there won’t be any ‘sorry’ for them, either, because ivory towers of the self-appointed virtuous are always built on the moral high ground.

Fighting Fran O’Callaghan, Our Division 10 Councillor, Gets A Financial Boost

That’s the good news, she deserves whatever she gets…. The bad news is that every other TCC councillor got a similar boost … not that they were about to mention it, not a dicky bird from any of them, just Fran. This from her Fb page.

Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 7.48.00 pm

(Sigh) Two of the most damaging social decisions ever foisted on a long-suffering public are 1; allowing poker machines into pubs, and 2: the totally unjustifiable remuneration for councillors in Queensland (or anywhere for that matter).

Speaking Of Which…

We pay this bloke closer to $300k per.

barbaby asleep Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 10.07.11 am

Well, at least for once, he’s in Parliament House sleeping alone.

It Is Now Clear Only One Man Will Decide The Fate Of The Townsville Bulletin – And It Isn’t Rupert Murdoch.


No, it’s Gerry Harvey. If he pulls the advertising plug, the daily Astonisher is down the gurgler. At the moment, it is just listlessly just marking time. And one can’t help feeling the long-held prediction that the Bulletin will eventually become an insert two or three times a week in the Courier Mail will come about with indecent haste when and if Gerry Harvey pulls his multi-million dollar advertising blitz.

This slipshod mess of a paper is run by a management that just doesn’t care and a staff generally too inexperienced to know what to care about – yes, there two or three exceptions. But a professionally staffed newspaper and its associated websites care about detail, accuracy, and a sense of their readers’ expectations. None of which was evident in the past week – if the devil is in the detail, let’s start with last Wednesday.\

The Magpie
10,302 approved
email hidden; JavaScript is required
Submitted on 2022/08/03 at 1:48 pmIt has been said that the Townsville Bulletin often doesn’t even know what day it is … and it would seem today is one of those days. Here’s the front page …Screen Shot 2022-08-03 at 10.23.00 am

… and certainly, a clever headline for locals in the know – since naming rights for the former stadium belonged to entrepreneurial dentist squillionaire Daryl Holmes. But then we run into a bit of trouble for our $2.50 cover price.

Screen Shot 2022-08-03 at 10.22.43 am

Interesting yarn, for sure, but stenographer Daniel Shirkie forgot to check the bits of the government media release he was cutting and pasting into his story. So today – which, Daniel, is Wednesday – we got “Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is set to announce on Wednesday that FK Gardner & Sons have won the contract to demolish the once proud stadium.’
It’s a trap as old as the hills, which subs, when they existed, were always alert to, because there was a time when it was a bad look for the paper to be sloppy and out of date. But that was then, and now is now, and just to prove the point, the Bulletin layout guys got into the act. We are told to go to page 7 for the full details … which are actually on page 9.

The ‘Pie hears the Betoota Advocate is getting nervous about the competition from our Daily Astonisher.

And if we’re going to talk about detail, the Bulletin’s racing pages have never been trusted in recent years, with the Courier always the preferred guide to losing your money. on the neddies. Perhaps punters get a bit leery when they see things like this.

Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 10.25.07 pm

If they can’t even get the name of the race right, why would you believe anything else they say?

Then from Saturday’s paper, the story about the latest achievement of our one true global figure, novelist Barbara Hannay, who talked about the latest of her 50 (yes, 50!) books. The story had this photo.

barbara Hannay Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 11.24.57 am

Hubby Elliott Hannay a former Bulletin editor when it was a real paper way back when,  was no doubt unimpressed with an inexplicable reverse image.  Small things, but the go towards credibility. But the thing that the ‘Pie actually found offensive because of its puerility was this play on Bogie, the place name of the triple murder near Mackay.

Bogie headline  Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 11.23.24 am

Never too soon to make a weak and silly pun about a bloody and disturbing violent tragedy.

A sub visited Townsville during the week, TV did a story, always seen as something different, but not a word in the Astonisher. Then, also mid week, seven apartments in the one block in North ward were broken into and three cars were stolen …. not a word in the paper. And the week before, a traditional annual story, the Magnetic Island swimm, didn’t make a single ripple in the paper, it was not mentioned at all.

And then, just have a look at the Bulletin’s Wikipedia entry, from today which is just risible nonsense.

bulletin Stats Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 9.23.11 am

Those circulation figures are now no more than a wet dream, closer to 8000 and 10,000 if they’re lucky. And Craig Warhurst should protest and get them to correct this … he was a way better editor than the current shower and doesn’t deserve to be associated with the current crapulent effort. They-just-don’t-bloody-care, they’re just going through the motions.

But The Magpie may do himself an injury in his quest for some decency and care in our local rag … he knows just how this bloke feels.

Screen Shot 2022-06-17 at 12.06.24 pmHere’s Someone Else Who Wrestles With Credibility

From comments on Saturday.

  The Magpie
10,302 approved
email hidden; JavaScript is required
Submitted on 2022/08/06 at 10:00 am

Mark Bailey  Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 9.32.10 am

Mark ryan

Our Police Minister has a ‘road to Damascus’ flash of intuition.

“I don’t think anyone thinks that it’s acceptable that cars are stolen.

Ya reckin?? A genius of insight, nailing one of his ‘thinks’. With a mind like a steel trap, Minister Ryan pounced on obscure statistics, hidden from view on at least 40 state and national new sites, TV new/CA bulletins and newspapers, that rated Townsville third on the NATIONAL hit parade for the most stolen cars per thousand registered (3.1%). Only Brisbane and the Gold Coast beat us to top honours – and HA! Look at Sydney, down in 9th – can’t win anything you mob.

Car theft chart Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 9.32.46 am

Sadly for Mr Ryan, it was only a partial Damascus insight, because traditionally, such moments of revelation lead to radical changes in the person’s beliefs. That is a bit beyond this goof, who went on the parrot:
“Obviously, the community wants action, the government wants action, and that’s why the government is acting around additional police resources, additional intervention programs for those involved in criminal offending, to break the cycle of offending but also stronger bail laws.”

We’ve heard it all before, and we are still wanting – and waiting – for ‘action’.

Tweets And Quotes Of The Week

The ‘Pie hopes to make this a regular segment, there are so many good little gems tucked away around the place.

First, the best of the week

Etienne Klein, a director at France’s Atomic Energy Commission, posted a picture that he claimed showed Proxima Centuri, the closest star to our sun, to social media on Monday.

Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 1.49.41 pm

“This level of detail … a new world is revealed every day”, he enthused in the tweet, seen by more than 90,000 people.

But later this week, he apologised for what he called “a scientist’s joke”, saying he had intended only to remind people to “be wary of arguments from people in positions of authority”.

“I come to present my apologies to those who may have been shocked by my prank, which had nothing original about it,” he tweeted.

So what was the prank? The photo is of a slice of chorizo sausage. Dunno, clever and funny, why apologise, just say ‘it’s sausage, hoped you laughed’. The ‘Pie did.

Then there was some argument when someone tried a local version of Trump’s infamous ‘clean up the swamp’. Some took exception to a suggestion that in Australia, ‘swamp’ should be replaced by ‘billabong’. All the indignant and trivial huffing and puffing dissolved into laughter when this imaginatively named tweeter offered:

Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 10.41.01 am

Boot Scooters? No, Just Pull Them Into Line.

Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 10.42.17 am

Much needed, and more than a bit late in the day, frankly, should have been done in the first place. But you can bet there’s going to be a big quid in this for the our nanny State government. Palaszczuk must be envious of the reported fee councils, including Townsville, charge companies to operate in their area. Here’s what’s proposed. BTW in the illustration, what’s with the Palaszczuk Government branding? Personality politics as a free campaign boost? The ‘Pie will be corrected if he’s wrong (heaven forfend!!) but don’t recall this sort of branding in the Beattie, Bligh or even Newman governments. I mean, can you imagine the outcry if this said Crisafulli Government. Actually when it says that, won’t be too long now.

Celebrity father and son look alikes


Isn’t It High Time We Had A One-Stop Shop For A Monthly Snapshot Of Townsville’s Economy?

Yes, went here a couple of weeks ago, but it’s now more necessary than ever.

Townsville finds itself in an unenviable situation … as does anyone wishing to come here for any number reasons … that finding accurate and authentic information about the place is a time consuming and scattered chore – that is, when such information is available.. Much of the solid unquestionable information is there, but it’s strewn about in various hidey holes not linked in any way and in some cases, like the TCC, deliberately made hard to find – and sometimes hard to believe (like the Bulletin’s Wiki entry).

Fran O’Callaghan had a go during the week at seeking a little clarity for the ratepayers about council spending on projects, progress reports and any cost overruns. You can imagine how that went, but if your imagination doesn’t stretch that far, read the details here - lead balloons would have more buoyancy.

But Fran concerned herself only with council spending and projects … that’s her mandate after all … but what is really needed is a business and statistical monthly snapshot like the one reported recently in The Nest. Here is the latest issue … scroll through it and imagine Townsville making such an instant compendium available to prospective businessmen, investors, tourists and holidaymakers in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and all points in-between.

But as Willy the Bard said, there’s the rub … who would compile such a report? Well, it’s really more to the point is who wouldn’t or shouldn’t. It truly has to be independent and honest, so that rules out the TCC’s mythomaniacs, the self-justifying TEL, which is beholden to the council anyway, and the Bulletin, compromised by too many policies involving advertisers and agendas imposed from outside.

Maybe if  the Chamber of Commerce isn’t too cowed by the mayor, it might put together an credible team. Putting the information together in a slick site like Cairns has done would be no great stretch, nowhere near as hard as finding the material in the first place. perhaps approaching the savvy Peter Faulkner and his Conas outfit, who has a big role in the Cairns publications, would be a sensible idea.

Townsville really needs to start thinking about how the business and travelling world sees us, and not as certain interests delude themselves as to how they think the world sees us.

The US Proves There’s Still Some Justice In The World

Signs the America is getting back on track again, with record low unemployment, record breaking job creation and petrol prices plummeting. Republicans and right wing trolls are becoming frantic with all the good news coming out of the White House. The confident mood was on show when a Fox news reporter (his name is Doocey, which sorta fits) thought he had a gotcha when he asked the White House press secretary ‘Why is President Biden boasting this week about gas (petrol) prices?’ The quietly spoken Karine Jean-Pierre looked at him although he was idiot and simply replied in a ‘well duh‘ tone “because they’re coming down?”

But the moment that had everyone cheering was when one of the most despicable people in America, broadcaster and poison keyboard troglodyte Alex Jones copped a court order to pay the parents of a children killed in the Sandy Hook school massacre – which he said was a staged hoax and the children weren’t dead … $49m in damages. The trial of Jones, a rabid Trump supporter, was televised nationally, the high point of which was the revelation that his legal defence team had inadvertently send the prosecutor all of Jones confidential phone text messages related to the matter. They were damning, but the verdict brought relieved hilarity, none more so than from the devastating New Yorker satirist Andy Borowitz.

Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 5.44.42 pm Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 5.41.19 pm Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 8.50.39 am Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 5.42.23 pm Screen Shot 2022-08-06 at 5.42.51 pm Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 10.13.39 am Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 10.13.58 am Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 8.48.52 am Screen Shot 2022-08-02 at 11.09.40 am Screen Shot 2022-08-02 at 11.08.02 am Screen Shot 2022-08-02 at 11.07.31 am Screen Shot 2022-08-03 at 10.48.42 am Screen Shot 2022-08-03 at 10.49.35 am Screen Shot 2022-08-03 at 10.46.30 am Screen Shot 2022-07-29 at 8.55.17 am Screen Shot 2022-07-29 at 8.52.14 am

And Finally …

Supply change difficulties are making life hard across the board, BUT ….

Violin FVm9PdnagAAlDWv

…somewhere the world’s tiniest violinis playing in the background as we read this heart-wrenching Fin Review story.



That’s the week that’s gone, but so many subjects are coming on stream around now, feel free to vent and/or jeer in comments, they run 24/7. If you can lend a hand with the Nest’s looming costs for a platform change, 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. Mike Douglas says:

    Our 3 local MP,s battered by the media , text to the editor , emails to their offices on their inaction on crime only the Premiers spin doctors could come up with a group photo of the Premier and our 3 MP,s opening the Haughton River flood plan upgrades . Just a small item they failed to mention is that the Federal Government funded 80 % of it and the Federal Member for Dawson didnt receive an invite . Our Mayor seeking legal approval to get control of vacant cbd buildings was raised by her over 12 mths ago and like her July 2021 announcement on how to fix crime , 30,000 people living in the cbd by 2030 its like most of her announcements that go nowhere . Council has part ownership of a basicly vacant Lane in the cbd so are they starting there ? . Councillor O’Callaghan is like a dog with a bone and ratepayer funded Council Corporate Box at the V8,s is under her microscope hosted by the Mayor / Deputy Mayor . Early attempts Councillor O’Callaghan has been advised the guest list cant be divulged as its , way for it ” to protect the privacy of the relevant persons under the privacy laws ” . So attendees of a Council Corporate box get privacy but a landlord of a vacant cbd building who has paid their rates dont ? .

    • Alahazbin says:

      MD, Not only the Federal member, but also the Member for Burdekin was also left off the invite list.
      Talk about petty politics.

  2. Alahazbin says:

    Another Astonisher Clanger FB post.
    57m •©
    Queensland centres including Townsville have some of the most shocking car thefts in Australia.
    Read on to find out the worst 12 cat theft hotspots across the country,

  3. Dave of Kelso says:

    This morning at the Willows markets police officer running through the shopping complex. Bit later at the edge of the market area in the carpark two police cars, about eight police officers around about four aboriginal teenage girls sitting on the ground, being questioned by one of the officers.

    • The Magpie says:

      Just another maniac Sunday.

    • Dave Nth says:

      On way home at around 1pm. Cops keeping an eye on Saunders ck at Deeragun from Wagner st, further up 2 cars parked in the island near crossing and 2-3 more cop cars.

      Wrecked car by the quarry hasn’t moved in a week.

  4. Tinfoil Terry says:

    Apparently Pete Newey is Alex Jones biggest fan.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie doesn’t keep an eye on Al Foil’s TRRA site – except when in need of some light relief – so what’s our Pete being saying to make you reach that conclusion.

  5. Prince Rollmop says:

    It’s important that the ratepayers get to know Fran better over the next couple of years. She is open, honest and transparent. No other Councillor would have the balls to publicly post their salary along with the information about the pay rise. Although that information isn’t hidden behind COI clauses, it’s not common for a politician to publicly release their salaries and pay increases. What Fran has shown is that she isn’t afraid to be transparent, even when the information may piss a lot of people off. She really is a one of a kind Councillor and the rest of the imbeciles that we have could learn a thing or two from her. Well done Fran.

    • Ducks Nuts says:

      What is unfortunate is how pathetic and malicious Jenny Hill and her collection of stupid councillors are. The number of times they have reported Fran’s Facebook posts to the OIA is getting ridiculous. I believe what they are doing is called bullying and harassment.

  6. Info Tools says:

    I noticed that Alex Jones, who has made hundreds of millions of dollars from selling not only ‘prepper stuff’ but also health vitamins, health supplements, nutrients and other cheesy named shit, doesn’t look so good himself. Fat, bloated, and looks like he is ready to drop of a heart attack! If this bloke doesn’t have diabetes and high blood pressure then Peter Newey isn’t insane. So much for all of the Jones health related shit that he flogs on Info Wars. It’s not expanding his life expectancy. Either way, he is a snake oil salesman just like Congress and the religious charlatans that peddle their morning bullshit on TV. Freaks and fucktards, and Jones is the king of them.

  7. Achilles says:

    Alleged ad infinitum “allegedly shot in the stomach” maybe just indigestion?

    A fundraiser has been organised for a man who survived an alleged farm massacre in North Queensland, raising more than $6000 in just a day.

    Ross Tighe was allegedly shot in the stomach at a property in Bogie, near Bowen, with his brother Graham, mother Maree Schwarz and stepfather Mervyn Schwarz on Thursday.


  8. Terry Who says:

    On good thing to come out of our 3 MPs being at the opening the Haughton River flood plan upgrades; Mr Walker didn’t have a fight with anyone.

  9. Palm Sunday says:

    Peter Ridd was right, as you say, up to the point where he was wrong. Really, really wrong. He was sacked for breaches of JCU’s code of conduct. If Ridd had stayed on the case, with his scientific peers, searching for better research methods he might have been vindicated, or not. Instead he willingly walked out of his depth into an administrative minefield which turned his name if not his body of respectable scientific work, into mud.

    • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Weekend Wanker, I take it you do not like whistle blowers?

      • Palm Sunday says:

        What whistle blower?

        • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

          Ridd who believed that there was a problem with the academic process at JCU but was instructed not to speak, but he blew the whistle and was penalised. Do you not read the media at all between your self pleasures?

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            I don’t care of he was right or wrong. His behaviour has been disgusting. He convinces people too stupid to know better to give him money for his court case because they think it’s about free speech, when it’s about following organisation behaviour rules.

          • The Magpie says:

            Yes, there are two parallel issues running here. As The Magpie said at the time, it was not what Ridd said, but the manner and the content he used to make his point. One does not cancel out the other, and both have to be evaluated on their own values.

    • Achilles says:

      Re: Peter Ridd Enjoys The Cold Comfort Of Being Right

      P’raps we’re all wrong! maybe the reef has taken a leaf out of a very old book and went ahead with a “Physician heal thyself approach” and just got the wind to blow from the Antarctic and the reef could just chill out?

  10. Mike Douglas says:

    11.30 pm phone call from a friend stuck at the airport arriving on the 11 pm flight . Taxi queue was double as long as usual and people had already starting walking home and some to cbd with their luggage . My friend lives at Idalia . Councils Culture , Lifestyle and Wellbeing budget is $39.7 mil ( $759,000 a week ) . The fact Council havnt sat down with our 3 State MP,s to fix Townsville airport transport issues that have been going on for 2 years is yet another indication how disconnected they are .

    • The Magpie says:

      The Magpie is sans car at the moment, and for the first time in years, has had to use cabs … what a fucking shambles. Ordered a couple over the week at a regular supermarket pick-up, and on the first occasion, gave up after an hour. And notably, while in the wait queue at Castletown, in the 45 minutes before I jagged a free cab (not the booking) 5 Ubers called to collect passengers.

    • Cartman says:

      Totally agree. The taxi service has been a fucking disgrace for decades. Nothing has changed. We are a redneck town.

    • Critical says:

      People were still waiting at airport at 12.30am on Saturday morning after this late flight. I’m told that the wait time is always forever so good impression for visitors including business people so why aren’t those useless bastards at TEL, you know, our regions peak business and tourist development organisation addressing this taxi issues with government and our three brain dead local State members.
      Numerous older people and people with disabilities are missing medical and other appointments even if they book a taxi hours before because of the taxi fuck-ups. Many are being forced to wait in the sun for taxis to arrive and if something happens the joke is which will arrive first, taxi or ambulance.

      • The Magpie says:

        Question: does the airport have any policy on Uber pick-ups? Do any rules hinder their use? Real question, not an accusation, because the airport charges cabs using the rank, do they not?

      • NQ Gal says:

        Taxis are an issue all over Aus at the moment. We went to Darwin earlier in the year and were told that only 30% of the registered taxis were on the road that night. (luckily our luggage was almost first on the carousel).
        For a recent long weekend away, we just pre-paid for long term parking. It was a whole lot less stressful than waiting for cabs.
        As for Uber, yes you can get them from the airport, but the chances of any drivers wanting to do pick up at 11pm is pretty slim.

    • Achilles says:

      Mike; when your friend called you regarding his dilemma, did you drive to the airport and assist him?
      Or just turn over and treat him with the same indifference that you claim is someone else’s fault?

  11. Over the Hill says:

    Two years out from the local government elections and the time has come to start planning to get rid of Jenny Hill and her Labor puppet show.
    Fran has already indicated that she wants to get things moving in this direction so it is time for people who are sick to death of the bullying and secrecy to stand up and be counted.
    I for one will be contacting Fran to offer my support for putting together a team of genuine independents to start planning now, not just a few weeks from election day.
    I urge others to do the same.

    • The Magpie says:

      Fran has already said and remains adamant that she won’t be forming a team, that she will either run again as a councillor or have a tilt at mayor. The ‘Pie’s can understand and endorse that stand: she doesn’t want the distraction or the inevitable arbitration that would go with a formal team But The Magpie believes that if possible candidates for the council election were to informally contact her for a chat about broad objectives, behaviour and changes and agree on the basic reforms, then those candidates and Fran could certainly talk kindly of each other during a campaign, a sort of Clayton’s ‘team when your not having a team’. And then we just might end up with a council whose members actually reflect and stay in touch with the needs and concerns of the people who elected them. Of course, incumbents have the advantage in any political contest because they can make decisions and pass regulations as they see the electorate’s mood shifts, and thus use their incumbency to facilitate de facto campaigning.

    • Palm Sunday says:

      Over the Hill, great idea to get cracking now but no ‘team’ of ‘genuine independents’ (I think there’s a category error there) and no amount of Clive Palmer-style funding will turn Cr Fran into mayoral material. She might have the thrust but not the cut-through, and that’s everything if you are trying to dislodge an electorally successful incumbent. Although negative-Hill gets coverage in the ‘Nest most punters see her half positively on TV in high vis and hard hat or opening some cultural event (yes, even the V8s) and won’t have a clue or a care probably about shenanigans inside the Council chambers which hardly ever get coverage in the regular local media. If you want a new mayor you need to find a mayoral candidate with a chance. That’s not Fran.

      • The Magpie says:

        Allow The ‘Pie to paraphrase the main error in your otherwise good albeit partisan analysis: “(Most (voters) won’t have a clue or a care probably about shenanigans inside the Council chambers which hardly ever get coverage in the regular local media. If you want a new mayor you need to find a some new media.” There, that’s better.

        Vague Dolanisms like ‘cut through’ and timid admission like ‘half positively’ (which also means ‘half negatively, just depends whose bum your kissing) tend to disguise your partisanship, but not much – folks around here have been on to you from the outset, Tugger. Tell you what is finally cutting through, apart from the Adani airstrip, Qantas boycott call, palmer defamation payout, Magnis debacle, lost opportunity of a cafe on Castle Hill, inattentive driving and the latest demented idea about council taking over empty CBD buildings to house people …
        … no, what is really cutting through is the rates bill folks have been receiving. The rises may have been necessary in some part, but therein lies the danger to the incumbent.

      • Parrabellum says:

        Palming-one-off, you fucking idiot. Seriously, your love of Mayor Hill is repulsive and nauseating. Did she let you loose from being chained under her desk this morning so you could pop a comment on here? Go back to cleansing her shoes with your well rehearsed tongue.

        • Palm Sunday says:

          Magpie and Parramatta (or whatever name you’re trying to spell), what I love is a political contest. The last two contests for mayor were failures because the alternative candidates were not up to scratch and were simply out performed. Palmer’s funding for one hopeless candidate last time just stuffed it up for the rest – who weren’t much chop either, despite Hill’s list of crimes from Adani airstrip to Magnis and whatever else. That mud just doesn’t seem to stick.

          Even with a change in the media in the next two years (yeah, right, dream on!) I suspect that Cr Fran will have her work cut out just retaining her division, but if she leaves the councillor race and goes chasing the mayoralty in that separate contest she’ll likely get mown down before the first bend. And there’ll be plenty of tight corners after that. Look for new blood I reckon. Fran’s not the one.

          • Parson Blossomnose says:

            Thanks for the advice, Jenny. She’s really got you rattled, hasn’t she, dear?

          • Palm Sunday says:

            ParsonB’nose, if you are one of Cr Fran’s teamsters and you are still taking advice from the interverse thingy then stop right now. You haven’t got a clue or a hope.

          • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

            Wanker, they must not have taught the classics at your Tech College. See “ Si vis pacem, parabellum”.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Engineer, as I understand it, the “classics” use two separate words ‘para’ and ‘bellum’ in that famous quote. But you claim to be an engineer so I guess running words together is some sort of efficiency thing? It’s most likely that the commenter here was trying to use that other form of the word (Wikipedia – Parabellum commonly refers to the 9×19mm Parabellum firearms cartridge designed by Georg Luger and introduced in 1902 for the Luger pistol) and doubled up on the ‘r’ for some sort of effect. Wanker x 2 = para lytic.

          • The Magpie says:

            John Wick’s favourite ammo?

          • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

            Lol, Barely Civil, John Wick 3 is not “the classics”

          • The Magpie says:

            Christ, where have been, Belligerent?

      • Over the Hill says:

        Oh Weekend Wanker, you really should put your brain in gear before making comments. At no time did Fran, or I, suggest she was planning to run for mayor. In fact, I’m pretty sure she has stated publicly that she isn’t interested in the top job.
        Maybe a mayoral candidate will come out of her call for others to put their hand up to serve on council. In any case, if independents ended up with a majority in council, Hill would head for the hills, or more likely Malta, rather than have past deeds and deals exposed.

        • Palm Sunday says:

          Over the Hill, in the Magpie’s immediate comment after your original piece he wrote: “Fran has already said and remains adamant that she won’t be forming a team, that she will either run again as a councillor or have a tilt at mayor.”

  12. Fran O'Callaghan Clr Div. 10 TCC says:

    I was advised by an unannounced verbal response to my written question in a recent councillor workshop, of the numbers of persons invited (to the council VIP box at the V8s) over the three days and the numbers of those who actually attended, but not any information was provided to me as to who these privileged few people were who were deemed worthy of a noisy knees-up at the ratepayers’ expense. This information, I was told, could not be divulged, to protect the privacy of the relevant persons under the relevant privacy laws. As a councillor in this local government, I am not comfortable with the current situation that a person accepting the hospitality of a Local Government by attending a Corporate Box paid for by the ratepayer and hosted by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, is not able to be identified publicly. I will be moving that this status quo be changed at the August Ordinary Meeting and that any attendees are required to give their permission that their identity can be made public.

    • The Magpie says:

      Privacy my arse.
      Even more important, Fran, is that guests on the Council dollar surely do not have the right to refuse to be identified. This is undeniably a form of political corruption, and must surely not be legal on several fronts … for instance, did any attendees gain council tenders in the past, are any applying for council work in the future, or were any of them holding influential positions in any local organisations who may be able to make recommendations to memberships. But most of all, this is using ratepayer funds for a form of long-term campaigning … reinforcing and locking in votes through generous hospitality. This really is worth a complaint to the CCC.

    • Palm Sunday says:

      Cr Fran, one step at a time, what were the numbers of invited guests (to the council VIP box at the V8s) and how many took up the invitation? And whilst I am mighty curious as to who those lucky people were I’m even more interested in how much it costs TCC to have that corporate box to feed and drink those people.

      • The Magpie says:

        Aren’t we all.

        • Alahazbin says:

          Pie, Don’t know if it applies to Local Gov corporate box, but in the private enterprise world, any company that has a corporate box at an event must pay Fringe Benefit Tax for an employee who attends the box.
          Customers who are invited or won a competition to attend are exempt.

          • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

            I got some free cake once at work for smoko. But that’s the limit of freebie from council for me. Perhaps I need a red tshirt or something.

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            I can guarantee any lowly staff member working for council did not win anything. And won’t get anything for free from council itself. Although sometimes a vendor will try and buy a contract by giving out free tickets to the V8s to staff members, buying meals and giving away other such freebies. Mostly these are hoarded by management though

          • Alahazbin says:

            When Anne Burnell was deputy mayor she regularly handed out tickets to the basketball whenever any workshop staff helped her out with many of her vehicular mishaps.

          • The Magpie says:


    • Prickster says:

      Some classic double standards at work here.

      I’m sure council staff that attended for “work” followed the TCC Drug & Alcohol policy as it is strictly enforced on all other Council staff.


      • The Magpie says:

        Although Jenny is unlikely to have invited lowly ‘staff’ – unless to act as wait persons on Her Majesty and Her majesty’s chosen few, but if she did, the circumstances of the invitation would raise interesting questions. For instance, are elected officials included under the guidelines you’ve posted? On the face of it, no, the mayor and councillors would be covered under a different set of regs, which would also set limits somewhat less strict – but nevertheless, not expected to let them get shit faced, as the mayor did a few years back , nearly falling flat on her face during the trophy presentation. (Wonder if she drove home?)

        But The ‘Pie spied one little gem that would make for a happy shooting gallery between warring staff … this one:
        Supervisors and Managers are responsible for:
         monitoring their staff, and investigating situations which may be in breach this Policy; and
         taking appropriate steps to deal with the Employee/Worker if the Supervisor/Manager:
        a) Observes a Worker using drugs or alcohol or finds evidence of usage; or
        b) Detects the odour of alcohol on a Worker; or
        c) Suspects a Worker is working with drugs and/or alcohol in their system in excess of
        the tolerance levels set out in this policy (for example through abnormal or erratic
        behaviour); or
        d) Learns from a reliable or credible source that the Worker has consumed drugs or
        alcohol in breach of this policy.

        ‘C’ and ‘D’ are open invitations to bastardy, ‘suspects’ and ‘reliable and credible source’ provisions are open slather for supervisors with an axe to grind – they decide what is suspicious, apparently without proof, and who decide who is reliable and credible. this is the sort of thing that makes Walker Street a jumpy palace.

  13. Regular reader says:

    On the subject of Jenny Hill, one can only suppose that the award winning professional photographer that Deputy Premier Miles has put on his permanent staff (in a futile attempt to improve his public image) has been in Townsville taking happy snaps of the mayor (with the help of a very good airbrush). A glossy brochure landed under my door today, singing the praises of Hill and her Labor council, together with a photo of some young woman posing as our mayor.
    Needless to say there is no mention of the hundreds of potholes around town, the $4 million tin shacks on Castle Hill, or the 280 metre boardwalk being built by Wagners for $6 million, but plenty of TEL style bullshit about “Growing Townsville”, “Gateway to a greater tomorrow”, “Townsville Shines” and “Budget Highlights”.
    Maybe Hill is also using her Labor mate Anna’s 30 spin doctors to convince us that all is rosy in the wasteland that Townsville has become.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, she was lookin’ pretty foxy for a 61-year-old when she gave the purple doona another outing on TV a few days ago. Well, to a fox, maybe. Hair by Flotsam’n’Jetsam.

  14. Law Researcher says:

    Is it true that Elon Musk is abandoning his quest to populate Mars. I heard he is now focusing his intentions on space flight to the planet of Chorizo.

    • Law Researcher says:

      BTW, in a World of death by War, Famine and Pandemics, the Chorizo story is a welcome bit of humour.

      • The Magpie says:

        Agree with your sentiments, but a dangerous bit of japery in this conspiracy-ridden world of social media … especially considering who made the joke. An instant declaration a couple of lines down from the tweet would make it safe, and still funny, but now brace yourself for updated version of the the moon-landing-was-faked.

    • The Magpie says:

      First flight already booked out. Prepaid, of course.

    • Elong Crust says:

      Maybe Mr Musk will employ the services of Pete Newey and using Twitter they can contact some little green men (and women and binary) aliens and direct them to Area 51 as a staging location for meeting up?

  15. The Magpie says:

    What is up with this fucking paper? Really?

    NOT ONE SINGLE WORD ABOUT THE DEATH OF MUCH LOVED SINGER JUDITH DURHAM! Absolutely nothing for the lead singer of the Seekers, whose music is still played to new fans today, 50 years on, a woman who was beloved of two generations around the world, and is to be afforded a state funeral.
    Not one fucking word.

    Not one. Not even a passing mention on the national and international pages deep in the paper … but somehow they did have time and space for this …

    … for reasons known only to themselves, even this, which doesn’t even concern Queensland …

    Inexplicable, you say? No, it’s obvious … they either don’t know or don’t care, or more likely both.
    Iditor Craig Herbert, you’re clearly not up to the job, slink away.

    • Palm Sunday says:

      Magpie, could it be that there’s no one at home at the Townsville Bulletin? You know, they get a couple of backpackers in a couple of days a week to download shit from Brisbane or Sydney and just add names like Tony or Craig or Jacinta randomly and nobody spots the difference, ’cause there is none.

  16. Regular reader says:

    If you’re not a punter you wouldn’t notice, but the TAB results and dividends in The Astonisher are an example of how News Ltd is taking subscribers for mugs.
    There are no results for races which jump after 4.30pm, so they are now closing off the paper around that time. The Pope could die at 5pm and you wouldn’t read about it in the Townsville Bulletin until it was old news. They made an exception for State Of Origin, so why provide a sub standard news service for the rest of the year. Is it a ploy to get punters to also buy the Courier Mail? Can someone who works at the Flinders Street printing press let us know what’s going on.

    • The Magpie says:

      Yeah, like the regular m-f run of the presses. Down to 5000 yet? (Shhh, don’t tell the advertisers.)

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      R r,
      When I did my Public Relations course in the early 1990s we were told that news worthy events generally were not covered after 3PM as the news broadcasts or the printing presses are being prepared from that time on. Best to organize any PR event or media release early in the day. With the changes to technology in this day and age I reckon the cutoff time could be pushed back an hour or two.

      • The Magpie says:

        That was then, now is now. The current whizz bang technology was hardly even in its infancy back then,(bet you didn’t even have a clunky mobile phone back then, Dave) when all pollies and corporate bloats knew the the best time for unpopular news was 4.30/5.00pm presser – this time on Fridays was prime platinum for this ploy …. morning TV had way less impact than evening bulletins and print missed out completely and nobody really gives a fuck about radio, then or now. Not so nowadays, whole game has changed, when you can have initial announcement/rebuttal reply/ reply to rebuttal/ and a dozen comments out there almost within the hour.

    • Elong Crust says:

      It’s quite simple. The ‘budget’ local newspaper is now staffed by some kiddies. The iditor is a fool, and the whole lot of them work Mon – Fri 9:00 to 3:00 pm. They are 24 hours behind the living world. Instead of calling themselves the provider of ‘News’ they should be called the provider of ‘Olds’. They either miss the actual news events altogether, or they report it very late.
      Fucking fools.

  17. Critical says:

    I can’t vouch for this guys credentials but an interesting read on the chaos of the dying days of the LNP government including grants made Townsville which appear to go against the Caretaker Convention. Any comments Phillip Thompson?


    • The Magpie says:

      Michael West is regarded in some areas as the ‘curate’s egg of journalism’ … good in parts. This instance looks like a well researched and soberly argued matter. But curiously, it doesn’t say (that I could see) what the Townsville grants were for. Seems unusual to be granting Townsville anything, since 1. Thompson was clearly secure in the seat, and 2. given the $195m or whatever that Thompson was said to be able to allocate to local projects, extra grants would be pointless overkill.

      • Palm Sunday says:

        Probably goes a long way towards explaining Alahazbin’s whinge at the top of this week’s comments section:

        “Not only the Federal member, but also the Member for Burdekin was also left off the invite list [group photo of the Premier and our 3 MPs opening the Haughton River flood plan upgrades]. Talk about petty politics.”

        We will just have to get used to the fact that the federal seat of Herbert and state seat of Burdekin are low-rank opposition country. They’ve had their day of government largesse (well, Herbert anyway) – although it seems impossible to find out what the largesse actually was – and from here on it will be “petty politics” all the way – following the Morrison playbook. BTW did the $12m for Lansdown infrastructure announced in October last year ever come through or was that more Phillip Thompson bullshit monopoly money?

      • Critical says:

        Mention of two grants is made in paragraph 2 under the heading “The 2022 election Caretaker…..” heading. Unfortunately the grant details are not provided and I can’t recall what the grants were but readers may have a better memory than me.

        • Palm Sunday says:

          Obviously, Phillip Thompson doesn’t get to put “grant” money in his own pocket and it’s unlikely to have been handed over to someone else to spend in the last few weeks so the dough is probably still in Canberra – along with whatever change is left over from the $195m not-the-Haughton2-pipeline “grant”. Lots of lies were told to taxpayers by the previous LNP government but don’t you worry about that.

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            Agree. Lots of lies were told by the previous federal government. But I doubt the money is sitting in Canberra. I stongly suspect they overspent and the new federal government is trying to plug holes in the budget. An unusual scenario for a Labor Government

          • Mike Douglas says:

            Palm Sunday either you are trying to muddy the waters or you simply arnt up to speed . $55 mil of the $195 mil Phil Thompson committed will proceed leaving $140 mil for Council / State Governmemt to work with the Feds on what projects . Mayor Hill confirmed that . Deputy Premier Steven Miles cancelled a meeting last minute with Phil + Council on projects . This is all in the public domain. Not even half the States commitment for Haughton stage 2 was in last years budget which delayed the project and Team Hill Councillors voted for ratepayers to pick up $74 mil blow out all in the public domain .

  18. Sticky Fingers says:

    Mr. Pie, it was good to see the alternative Premier Mr. Crisafulli in town yesterday inspecting rocks?
    I believe he’s looking for a “hard place” today!

  19. Dave of Kelso says:

    Shit hot I say. I look forward to seeing the Donald in orange overalls.


  20. The Magpie says:

    One of The Magpie’s favourite Pozzies (pommy australians ) has left us – Olivia Newton-John has finally succumbed to breast cancer after an inspiring 20 year battle and and a campaign of encouragement to other victims. She died overnight among family and friends in California. She was 73.

    Perhaps best remembered as Sandy in Grease with John Travolta, Olivia had scores of hits songs, including the one recflects up the feelings of millions of fans around the world.


    This nice if cheesy tribute was posted online this morning.

    • I’ll Be Plucked says:

      Yeah whatever. We’ve all lost loved ones. Why should she receive special accolades? Same as Lisa Curry, she is in every second magazine moaning about her daughter dying. We get it! It sucks, but we’ve all lost loved ones. Go and bloody grieve in private and stop stirring up our bad memories.

  21. Sticky Fingers says:

    It appears, Mr. Pie, that the reported Bogie shooter has been a “bad” boy for quite a long time.
    He even cracked a mention in Hansard on May 25, 1995.
    The former Member for Burdekin Mark Stoneman refers to Young in an address to Parliament attacking the Beattie Government for “wrongdoings” at the DIP’s Swans Lagoon Research Station in the Lower Burdekin.
    This is an exerpt from Mr. Stoneman’s address:

    “I do not have the date, but it was earlier
    this year that an article titled “DPI horse theft”
    appeared in the North Queensland Register
    stating as follows—
    “Bowen man, Darryl Valroy Young,
    32, pleaded guilty in the Bowen
    Magistrates Court last Thursday to the
    theft of a horse from the Department of
    Primary Industries’ Swans Lagoon
    Research Station.
    The horse, which was believed to
    have died in 1991, was spotted in a
    Bowen-district paddock by a DPI
    employee in October, 1994.
    Mr Young, a former Swans Lagoon
    employee, was charged on November 22
    last year with the theft of the horse. He
    was also charged on a second count of
    false pretences for selling a horse known
    to be stolen.
    Mr Young, from West Eurie Creek
    Road, Bowen, pleaded guilty to the
    charges last Thursday and was fined
    $800. He was also ordered to pay $600

    This is the link – scroll down to page 11,999.


    • NQ Gal says:

      More interest was that he was banned from having a gun license at one stage, and had to appeal for the ban to be overturned. The coppers must have had a good reason to not want him having weapons.

  22. Old Timer says:

    Re the time newspapers close off.
    I worked at the Astonisher many moons ago and at that time the editorial closed off around 10pm.
    I recall staggering back from a break at the pub around 10 to check if there was any last minute news worth including. If there was we simply replaced a nothing story with the better one.
    Closing editorial at 5pm would be all about saving money, and giving preference to printing the more important Courier Mail, or even the Cairns Post.
    You’d think after all these years things would have become more user friendly but the poor old reader doesn’t count any more.

  23. NQ Gal says:

    Get ready for rate notices to start appearing in letter boxes any day now. They are already hitting inboxes …

  24. Mike Douglas says:

    NQ GAL , speaking on Council rates . Council is spending $ mils on barriers i.e. $200,000 basalt barrier Heatley Park locally instead of Team Hill challenging the State Government and our 3 local State MP,s on the Youth justice failures in Townsville . Fran could ask Councillors to disclose how many emails and calls they are receiving from each Councillors divisions on crime , vandalism , residents issues .

    • The Magpie says:

      Just as an aside, The ‘Pie is damned if he can even imagine in the most generous scenario how moving some large boulders – which one hopes were free – equals $200,000. Who was contracted to do this, or did the council keep it in-house? If it was a TCC job, then a costs break-down has turn up somewhere. But then again, why is The ‘Pie surprised when this is a council that spends four million on a couple of shelter sheds and a few metres of lawn on Castle Hill.

      • The Magpie says:

        In fact, just as an idle doodle in the manner of our old Adjunct pal Colin Dwyer, 25 men @ $30 an hour (averaged out) would be $750 an hour in labour costs, over two (40 hour) weeks is $60,000, three weeks $90,000. If in house, the trucks equipped with tray cranes would cost nothing, but if an external contractor, let’s say three trucks at $2000 a day over 15 working days (two weeks) $20,000 (three weeks) $30,000. That gives the two week total of $80,000 – three week total of $120,000. But of course, maybe the rocks weren’t council sourced and the ratepayers have been stiffed $80,000 for some boulders.

        Or are these guesstimates why off target? Because something is way off target, and The ‘Pie won’t mind if it turns out to be him (rare as that may be heh heh heh).

        • Ducks Nuts says:

          You forgot supervisor’s, safety plans, concrete, overtime, fuel, outsourcing vehicles because councils broke down, engineering, diversion costs for irrigation when boulders are plonked on top, traffic management plans. Comms plans, Media releases, photography costs, I’m sure there’s more I’ve missed

          • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

            project management as well.

            Somewhere there is a huge dark hole into which the Mullet and Little Pric are shovelling $$$$ for a rainy day.

        • Palm Sunday says:

          Magpie, Cr Fran probably has some recent numbers for this kind of work because she has told us herself about the $10m roadworks to be done at Dingo Park Rd. ($2m from TCC, $8m from Canberra). Hard to know how the budget for these works gets created but once it is done the winning contractor can spend as they like.

          • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

            It’s not as simple as “the winning contractor can spend as they like” Weekend Wanker. Council generally withholds a great chunk from each major job as Project Management and sometimes creative things like Approvals or such things. This allows sometimes 25% of a published budget to be swept back into the organisation for use elsewhere. It is even better when the money is coming from a third party and that cash is just effectively a brown paper bag slung in the back seat.

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Thanks Engineer, since you’re close to the source (apparently), perhaps you could tell us what the deal is at Dingo Park Rd. Does TCC ‘hold’ the $8m Canberra money (and cream off a portion), is that how it works?

        • Regular reader says:

          Mate at the pub told me those rocks are gold plated and supplied by a bloke called Wagner.
          The council is using the same gold plating it used on the railings for the $4 million Castle Hill humpies and the $6 million 280 metre Flinders East boardwalk.
          TEL says they will become tourist attractions and attract 2 million visitors a year to Boganville.

        • Damn tailings says:

          Basalt boulders are pretty expensive. If anyone is giving them out for free, give me their number.
          Depending on size, maybe $1-2k each.
          Again size/density matters, so 2 or 3 per trip on a semi out of Basalt area adds up pretty quick.
          Cranes, depending on size range from $200-400/hr. Dogman @ $90/hr.
          If the crane has to go out to Basalt, there’s plenty of travel time on top of loading.
          Heatley park is a large area. If boulders are placed to stop a car, they may be 2m apart??? There would have to be heap of them.

  25. Investor says:

    The rates notices are in. It’s trying to compare apples with oranges but using the actual billed figures, including ‘discount’ I have the following:

    Principal place of residence, house in North Ward. Up 7.5%

    Rented 3 BR, 2 car garage at The Lakes. Up 0.2%

    Brisbane house up 7.5%

    Going back to a random year, 2018, North Ward rates are actually a smidge less this year, Lakes unit up 25%.

    The key looks to be rateable value where values have gone up and down almost randomly. Although I know that the market value of the Lakes property is unchanged from 10 years ago!

    I guess the main thing is there is no massive 25% annual increase in my lot.

    • WTF says:

      My rates bill is up 14.1 % up nearly $200 a half .

      Water @ recycle +1.7%
      Local waste management levy +36 % – that’s the Levy Minister Leanne Enoch said wouldn’t be passed on to Qlders
      Sewerage residential nil increase
      Water residential standard plan +4%
      General rates +10 %

      My land value went up 20% .

      I am hearing $500 increase in Cranbrook .

      • Regular reader says:

        This surely can’t be right. Haven’t you read Jenny Hill’s glossy brochure saying she has kept the rates increase to just 2%? Everything is just honky dory – apparently – and ratepayers should be thankful that Townsville is “more liveable and welcoming”.
        Jenny’s Alice In Wonderland view of her performance also includes “A steady stream of surpluses and balanced budgets in the past decade”. No mention of the level of city debt though. That is Commercial In Confidence – apparently.
        The spin is dizzying.

        • The Magpie says:

          Perhaps you were joking, but just to be clear … the city’s deficit is not and cannot be a secret.

          Or can it?

        • Rates Victim says:

          21/6/2022 Townsville Council press release “ Council keeps rise minimal despite rising costs “ comments by Mayor Hill.

          Madam, rises of 9-14 % principal place of residence are not minimal so were you misleading? 14 % rates increase are 3 times cpi . 6 mthly increase most ratepayers is $200 – $500 meaning their years increases $500 -$1,000. Total yearly rates in Townsville are now over $5,000 a year vs Brisbane $3,000 . Townsville rates the highest in Qld?

      • NQ Gal says:

        WTF indeed – I got hit with the full 10% increase on general rates and it is now over $4300 annually. With the rest of the levies and charges, the bill is over $6,000 a year.

  26. The Magpie says:

    Grammar gaffes go right to the top in some News publications. This from the Courier’s editor Chris Jones in his regular morning round-up.

    ‘If you’re one of the 50,000-odd people who will follow in Hollywood superstar Matt Damon’s footsteps (pictured below with Kayla Boyd) and head down to People’s Day at the Ekka ….”

    Well, maybe he’s right but a bit judgemental, suggesting people who visit the EKKA are somewhat eccentric – or maybe he meant ‘fifty odd thousand’. But then , maybe not ….

  27. Dave of Kelso says:

    Late Night Live, excellent article including the issue of ‘grey corruption’ which 100% applies to the Mullet and cronies. Keeping things legal, just, but as unethical as hell. Hope the link works.


    • Prince Rollmop says:

      Politicians get away with rorting the system because they are free from accountability. There is never any police charges or sackings. In the normal world if you get caught cooking the books, doing a corrupt favour for a mate, fiddle your expense claims, gifting millions of dollars to mates, or go and do your own personal work when you are being paid a wage from your employer, you would be fired or jailed. That’s accountability. Political scum can claim privilege or just say ‘I don’t recall’ and they get off Scott free. Until the sheeple stand up and force change, this will keep on occurring.

  28. Strand Ghost says:

    Hi Magpie
    Got this from a good source tonight that Catholic Education have acquired the carpark area from Ryan Junior campus down to past Northern Grandstand of the old Dairy Farmers Stadium for future Ryan School expansion .

  29. Grumpy says:

    Happy Birthday, Old Bird.

  30. Al says:


    • The Magpie says:

      Lotsa corks popping, excessive eating, and bad behaviour. And that’s the problems with birthday’s for The Magpie… it’s a day just like any other.

  31. Old Tradesman says:

    Very sad to read about Greenie.

    • The Magpie says:


      Yes, indeed, condolences to his shocked family and friends … shocked hardly covers it – was revealed late this afternoon that Paul had taken his own life. The man who took the Cowboys to a premiership was a popular and respected figure not just in Townsville, but in Queensland, with his history as a player, with State of Origin and guiding the Cowboys to their historic premiership win.

      It is indeed a fragile world we live in, deeply saddening.

      • Polythene Pam says:

        ‘Pie, I met the man socially only once (end of a long lunch), and he really was a decent, friendly bloke, happy to engage with a couple of AFL blokes at our table who knew nothing of NRL – condolences to his family.

        • The Wulguru Wonder says:

          What? Polythene Pam at a long lunch? So out of character! Next thing you’ll be seen wearing a Richmond guernsey…..

  32. The Magpie says:

    The world is full of little pleasant surprises, and today’s top of the list: Courier editor Chris Jones says something intentionally funny … and Peter Dutton sportingly makes fun of himself.

    You don’t need much imagination as to why this photo of Dutton at the EKKA is attracting plenty of ribald comment on social media.

    And it was his tongue that Jones had in his cheek when he send this clever little advisory out today.

    Goes down smiling? Clever and classic.

    • Achilles says:

      Or as Kevin 07 said “fair suck of the sav”!

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, as The ‘Pie recalls it, that is exactly what he DIDN’T say. he met with some derision as trying to be talking fake Aussie when he said ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle’, which few had ever heard of. Just sayin’.

  33. Hot Sox says:

    I noticed a comment on the Nest re Catholic Church buying part of old 1300 Smile footy stadium.

    So no surprises here as Ryan College was always considered eventual contenders for part of the stadium carpark. But the interesting part will be any publication of price paid to Stadiums Qld, owners of the site.

    Having personally dealt with Catholic Church in R/E matters in Townsville, I doubt anything will show up on the usual R/E sites.

    I absolutely 100% don’t trust them and have found them to be utterly ruthless when buying. They rarely sell !

    Interesting question : Have the Qld Govt gone to the market with an ‘Expressions of Interest’ agenda to potentially find some buyer competition ? My guess is No, in order to maintain C in C !!

    The 1300 site is a total of almost 17 H, so to lop off the Northern end car park (approx. 7 H) appears to be sensible.

    However, just because Ryan College backs onto the carpark doesn’t make them the only buyer for a potential 7 to 8 Ha site, just an obvious one. Access off Golf Links Drive is already in place thus making the potential subdivision very accessible and multi purposed.

    • The Magpie says:

      The interesting thing out of your comment Toasty Ankles, is the suggestion that the financial side of the matter may be C in C .Can’t see how that works, when the deal is between the government (us) and the Catholic Church, which pays no tax. So what commercially sensitive issues arise, especially intellectual property or trade ‘secrets’. This CinC rort really does have to stop, it can be a shield for corruption.

      • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

        Perhaps it is an “Act of dog”?

      • Hot Sox says:

        Real Estate transaction records details, including price paid and settlement dates are usually shown for all properties.

        The exception to this is where Governments at all levels and ‘protected’ organisations ie Catholic Church, apply for non disclosure of the details as they are deemed to be of a sensitive nature.

        Absolutely leaves the door open for corruption but fortunately Governments and religious groups are not susceptible to such underhanded dealings !

        It’s all those other unscrupulous heathens out there !

        • The Antichrist says:

          The Catholic church is a business, and their business is ripping off idiots who put their faith in a network of crooked religious hierarchy and pedophile priests. Deluded fools. These religions should be shut down, dismantled, and all their wealth and assets divided amongst the poor. Surely their God would approve of such a noble, selfless act of good will?

  34. Teabagger says:

    The divorce of Jerry Hall and that old prick that looks like a crinkled ballsac, Ruprecht Murdoch has been finalised. The 91 year old viagra lover is single again and looking for love ladies.

  35. NQ Gal says:

    Well, well, well, it would appear that the Orange Ejit was keeping nuclear secrets at his Florida residence. Maybe the Saudi’s $2billion gift to the son in law was payoff for access, rather than turning a blind eye to Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

  36. The Antichrist says:

    Oh dear, some dirt being unearthed about dodgy fiancés within Pastor Morrison’s beloved Hillshlong Church. When are these religious crooks going to get shut down once and for all?


  37. On two wheels says:

    The Freedummies and Anti-vaxxer cult hardly wrapped themselves in glory yesterday. In Every story on Facebook, on the passing of Coach Green, there were comments about him dying from vaccinations. One genius even diagnosed heart attack, stroke or stomach aneurism!
    Right up until the cause was announced. I swear these people announce that anyone under the age of 120 is dying from the jab. They are starting to sound like a cult.
    They need to go to the naughty corner and say 20 “ hail George’s “

  38. Ducks Nuts says:

    I’m curious as to where TCC sits on this

    And FFS the REIQ are a bunch of greedy $%$#. Flood mapping is pretty obvious.

    Moreton Bay Regional Council push flood-risk disclosure for Queensland property buyers

Post a Comment

The Magpie encourages all to take part in the discussion and let their voice be heard.
In order to post a comment, you must provide a name. While you don't have to use your real name, it should be something unique so users can identify you in the discussion. Generic names like “Anonymous” will likely result in your comment being ignored.
Let the discussion begin!

Current ye@r *

Countdown until the next council election:

-1428Days -4 -50 -43