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The Magpie

Sunday, June 30th, 2019   |   137 comments

The Bulletin Says Jenny Hill Could Be Re-Elected Unopposed. That Would Be Like Voters Saying ‘These Prawns Taste Funny’ – But You Keep Eating Them Anyway.

The Astonisher finally admits that Mayor Mullet is in re-election mode, despite that it has been the case for the past year or so. Now the Bulletin has hit the panic button, beating the bushes to try and scare up a challenger.

And The Magpie looks at the danger lurking beneath the mayor’s benign election year budget … a campaign issue the mayor will try to keep hidden.

There’s more than one dreaded ‘C’ word that affronts some people. Take for instance ‘Chamber of Commerce’. Or the bitterly unfunny acronym CBD. Then there’s the C word ‘Clue’ … of which it appears the Chamber hasn’t got a single one.

And is one of the Bulletin’s long serving columnists about to ride off into the sunset? That’s the whisper in the feathered ear.

Plus the cheeky front page of a British magazine that sums up the dismal choice facing the poor old Poms. And our weekly visit to Trumpsylvania takes a different emphasis, with the Democrats having a Melbourne Cup field of candidate challengers.

But first …

PLEASE NOTE: If there are errors that need correction, a full edit will be done Sunday AM … too buggered tonight. Thanks.)

The Budgie Budget … Colourful, Harmless And Certain To Need Cleaning Up

Mayor Mullet all but donned the saffron robes and finger cymbals, leaping and happy clapping down the street as she congratulated herself on a carefully anodyne budget. But Bentley is on to her, seeing passed the fluttering eyelashes and honeyed words.

budgetrigar FLAT  SMALL

But for all the promises and self-praise, this budget rang alarm bells for more than one of the blog’s readers. there was a flurry hereabouts when it came out.


Here’s some of the chatter.

Comment 1Screen Shot 2019-06-29 at 4.30.55 pm comment 2 ccomment 4Screen Shot 2019-06-29 at 4.33.17 pm Comment 4

There is one issue that could spell further devastation to the city’s finances, and that is the rubbery … certainly at least elastic … policy of asset management; in plain terms, the system of regularly replacing ageing equipment like computers and in particular the motor fleet. This has been an on-going concern for readers. One regular reader, Dave of Kelso, spotted the Long Term Asset Management Plan (an Adele Young innovation of ‘benign neglect’ to save money), and suggested the paper wouldn’t question it because ‘Aging Asset Fail doesn’t have the same ring as (the Palaszczuk government’s )Rail Fail. The Magpie replied:

Comment 5

This is a sleeper issue that any eventual challenger should directly address.

Speaking Of Challengers ….

She’d like to think so, but it ain’t gunna happen ….

Hill election

Tony Raggers appears to have been reading this blog over the past year when he analyses the situation, including The Magpie’s repeatedly mentioned FACT that business people who might otherwise think about running are petrified even to just nominate because of this mayor’s well known personal vindictiveness (good old Labor hate at its shining best). However, while admitting this fear to be the case, Raggers does his famous gentlemanly ‘having two bob each way will sitting on the fence’ when he writes: The talk in business circles is whether anyone will challenge Cr Hill. There is also a sense, whether real or not, that anyone who supports opposition to the Mayor will not be favoured.

‘Will not be favoured’ is Raggatt speak for ‘have the business shit kicked out of them by a spiteful mayor’.‘

And one person who is yet to make up his mind if he will have a tilt is the electorally battle-scarred Sam Cox, failed One Notion candidate in the Burdekin, who is hovering, but is clearly gun shy.

sam cox

Mysteriously, Raggatt declined to ‘fearlessly ask the question to which the readers want answers’ by skimming passed this bit of Cox codswallop when Sam told him: ‘There is no indication at this stage that I’m going to run. I know there’s been a lot of talk’. No bloody indication??? Err, yes, Sam, there is, most notably your own half page letter in the Saturday Bulletin a week ago demanding an independent council, free of big party politics. That letter stopped just a centimetre short of actually declaring you’re in the race. Please, please, Sam, don’t you start treating our intelligence with the contempt the mayor and the paper have down to a fine art. Much smarter to have said simply ‘I’m thinking about it’ or ‘No’ but preferably ‘Yes’ .… the last thing we need is someone who so quickly opts for two-bob each way.

Of course, The Bulletin is desperate for someone, anyone, to put their hand up. It is in the paper’s interest to have someone as a go-to for rebuttal on any campaign claims made by Mayor Mullet – it sells newspaper (they think), although that’s highly doubtful, considering they’ve had the utter gall to up the price 20 cents to $1.90 Monday to Friday as of next month.

As of this Saturday gone, just 273 days to go before some hope it will be post election celebrations will be.

Screen Shot 2019-06-02 at 11.46.10 am

Torture Chamber

The Townsville Chamber of Commerce came under fire this week for what is perceived as its weak-kneed subservience to the Mayor and her Magoo-like ‘vision’ for the CBD. But The Magpie doesn’t buy that, the problem is not one of cowardice, it’s one of cluelessness.

Debbie Rains

Debbie Rains C of C President

The Chamber of Commerce, and therefore its president Debbie Rains and its CEO Marie-Claude Brown, simply don’t know what to do, and don’t really have an inkling of a way forward, pre-occupied and paralysed as they primarily are with the CBD’s  woes. The Chamber is even unsure of what influence it commands, and even how they can use whatever leverage they may think they have. Of course, with this mayor, that leverage is exactly nil UNLESS the Chamber starts to use the most obvious leverage at its disposal, and that is to start lobbying members to support a call to action by threatening Mayor Mullet where she is most vulnerable … at the ballot box. Especially by putting on the table support for whatever strong candidate with a viable agenda to take the reins in Walker Street.

If only the Chamber would stop wringing its hanky and wanting to be loved and pitied by everybody, in the hope of another temporary hand-out of relief. Instead, it should grow a pair and start demanding, as the representative businesses that advertise, that the Bulletin and even our kiddywinks TV people and the timid fence-sitters at ABC local radio – prominently publish and broadcast their concerns expressed in their media releases. All that being dependent on the Chamber having a firm idea of what action needs to be taken by the council and even the state government to alleviate the dire straits in which the city finds itself.

Deluding themselves by standing around chanting the mayor’s mantra of ‘stadium, stadium, stadium’ and boardwalks and the like (and ferries that can apparently duck under low bridges and sail on mudflats) will surely result in bitter tears of dashed hopes. This council is socially and financially bankrupt of workable ideas. Even ideas from lazy blow-in white shoe consultants like Pure Projects are only short-sighted shallow bandaids.

 All Right Smartie, Your Turn

So some will cry, you’re so bloody smart, ‘Pie, what do you think we should do? Well, although he wasn’t elected as a civic mechanic, The ‘Pie unequivocally believes  the answer is fairly obvious, an answer that was there in the beginning but dropped in mysterious circumstances for the interests of one particular business, and one particular social strata.

The Chamber, TEL and the council should bring all their combined influence and professional acumen (ha!) to lobby governments and private organisations to have a state of the art convention/entertainment centre (ECC) created adjacent or near the stadium precinct.

The single most criminal act of political connivance by our mayor and council was to drop the requirement for such an entertainment/convention centre from plans for the stadium complex. Ironically the original much ballyhooed integrated concept was prompted in the very first place by the decay of the current inadequate entertainment centre. The whole town was behind the idea. But suddenly the entertainment/convention component disappeared overnight, without, then or subsequently, any cogent explanation. Laurence Lancini is no business mug, and he saw an opportunity of serving his own interests with public money, and bugger the wider general community.

And even now, the mayor supports Lancini’s fraudulent call for what amounts to a $50million practice field with offices and a gymnasium for his Cowboys. Which will do precisely NOTHING to alleviate the CBD blues.

There is still no sincere push for a real CBD heart starter of an entertainment/convention centre.

Some Relevant Facts

Like stadiums, ECC’s of themselves do not make money, and at best can break even. Stadiums never do, they are sink holes for public funds, the acceptable cost of amusing the sporting public. But there are two major differences that make the hi-jacking of the ECC concept even more painful and regrettable, not just for CBD businesses but also for the whole city in desperate need of jobs and a social spark.

The first difference between the two concepts is this: The football stadium will generate limited customer traffic mainly for restaurants and bars, and will do so on – a generous estimate – perhaps 25 nights of the years, and probably no days at all. On the other hand, an ECC could be in use in various modes and sizes for ten times that number of occasions … and days as well as nights. And for all types of shopping. Conventions run programmes that are measured in days, not hours.

And here’s the other perhaps more important difference. 90% of NRL games will be local people, driving in from the ‘burbs and perhaps adjacent towns, with a large chunk heading straight out again. Certainly nothing of note for the hotel trade. But almost 100% of the money generated by convention events and certain entertainment events, will be from out of town, much of that money bound for a revitalized CBD, from breakfast time to late night. It would be a job creator like no other service industry, and that means the whole city would support it, even those who at the moment feeling neglected and ignored when they see the CBD sucking up public funds for some projects they need in areas further out.

There is virtually no service industry that would not benefit in this scenario. (Well, OK Morley’s might not make a motza out of it.)

And this would be the launching pad for tourism initiatives, many of which no one has yet had the wit or speculative daring to try.

The Chamber could at least start from there, better late than never. It will be deeply disappointing all round if Debbie Rains and Marie-Claude Brown think it is suitable to continue to chase their tails in bewildered inconsequential chats with the likes of self-interested and sub-par self-promoting urgers like Kevin Gill and Patrician O’Callaghan; then they will be letting down not just their paying membership, but all of Townsville. No matter how many ‘emperor’s new clothes’ if-and-maybe front pages the Bulletin prints, if something doesn’t change, the Chamber … and we as a city … will remain locked in T.S Elliot’s ‘old miasmal mist’.

Is He Or Isn’t He?

The Magpie mate told him during the week that much loved long serving Bulletin columnist John Ando Anderson is calling it quits. Story is there was a ‘redundancy dinner’ a short while ago, and he will head off in the near future.

For the past 20 years or more, Ando’s life has been one of constant travel across all nooks and crannies of North Queensland, where he greatly respected and liked. Even before that, he rural rounds for another paper.

The ‘Pie understands that Ando now has increasing hearing problems, and perhaps he feels it isn time for him to stop the continuous loop of his own personal version of Sunday Too Far Away.

Whether true or not (just yet), The ‘Pie wishes Ando all the very best, this old bird has always regarded him not just a very decent bloke, but also one of the best NQ journalists around.


Talk about leading with your chin.

Suppose you have to admire the Astonisher’s chutzpah, when the paper, widely seen as a joke of constant fabrication, published this in its chase for advertisers …

Believe it

…. but a wicked Magpie reader thought this was closer to the mark.

believe ballloonScreen Shot 2019-06-27 at 9.41.31 am

Sometimes it’s hard to believe some of the questions they DO ask. Such a question surrounds the confirmed visit recently of ‘Gotem’ Adani, who graced Townsville with his oily presence for a couple of days during the week.   One wonders why he didn’t catch up with his number one house guest, Mayor Mullet. It almost seems like a snub not to touch base. Old story, never rings, never sends flowers.

And although The ‘Pie didn’t make direct inquiries, it is certain he didn’t come within cooee of our mayor … if he did, it would’ve probably been front page, with a couple of hundred cooing words from madam herself. Wonder if she’s miffed?

The Astonisher’s Sudden Rush Of Good Taste

Hahahahahahah -whoever was responsible for letting this through on the Townsville Bulletin Facebook page no doubt had their arse kicked til their nose bled.

magpie on astonisher fb

Gunning For Gulls

A Magpie mate spotted a neat trick he had not encountered before.

At the Horseshoe Bay pub for lunch recently, he watched three blokes eating lunch. Two got up and went to the bar for refills and the other got as phone call and left the table to talk. The seagulls were on their unfinished meals faster than Gina Rinehart on a chocolate doughnut.

Our mate was astounded how the bloke on the phone failed to notice or do anything about the uninvited lunch guests.  But soon, staff arrived, armed with anti-gull guns. Water pistols in fact, which after instantly dispatching the birds hither and yon, they left with the diners, should a feathered rat venture back.

Our mate says the water pistols worked a treat, and even a Greenie would approve of a clever solution to a pesky problem.

Speaking of Greenies, What A Good Idea

Lateral thinking at its Queensland best.

Climate activists

A Real Dopey Front Page

If you thought we had a troubles with our choice of federal leadership, spare a thought for the poor old Poms, as their train crash politics  continue in agonizing slow motion. The choice of their next PM puts our troubles in the shade, since the four of the final contenders all admitted to having used recreational drugs at one stage or another of their lives.

The acid-penned and ever hilarious magazine Private Eye, just couldn’t resist.


Travels In Trumpsylvania

As Bentley occasionally demonstrates, cartoons aren’t always funny, they can be very powerful comments even with gags. This one this week stopped The ‘Pie in his tracks. You have to pity right minded Americans, they must be so ashamed.


And this was a brutally cutting one, too.


But elsewhere, the concentration was on the huge field of candidates vying to be the Democrat to take on Trump next year. (For the record, more than a year ago, The ‘Pie put his money on Elizabeth Warren, the woman Trump sneers at as Pochahontas, because she once mentioned she had an American Indian ancestor way back.) Lots of other issues keep bubbling away. This week’s collection.

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And Finally, The Cricket Reminded Us One Of The Best Nicknames Ever

Discussing the Peter Ridd affair last week, Judge Sal Vasta was mentioned.

Judge DSal Vasta

Judge Sal Vasta

The Magpie met Judge Vasta, long before he was elevated. And a surprise that was too, he struck one as garrulous, chatty bloke of little evidence of the gravitas of a judge, who seemed to wanted to be liked by everyone. Sal has a brother Ross in federal parliament, but its his dad Angelo, who is best known in Queenland. Vasta senior was a judge 30 years ago before being thrown off the bench in what many believe was a political set-up. He too was a personable friendly bloke when he was visiting here as a barrister.

The young Sal travelled a great deal with his father, of whom he was obviously very proud. Indeed, he was forever talking about ‘me and dad this’ and ‘me and dad that’. So much so, that the late Sludge Donnelly, who had a wicked way with words, gave him the nickname Javed.

As in popular Pakistani cricketer of that era, Javed Miandad.

And Something Else … Just Because The ‘Pie Is A Softy With Dogs

…especially ones with self-portraits on their ear.



That’s it for another seven days, things are really livening up, keep an eye on comments and whack in any info you think is of note, comments run 24/7. And –ahem, embarrassed cough – so do donations, a few bills associated with the blog have piled up and any helping hand with them will be greatly appreciated, the how to 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:

    The Pies blog and comments has red flagged the possible poison chalice successful Mayoral candidates inherit at T.C.C. with 89.7% net financial liability, ageing fleet and what ever else is uncovered . Based on the Townsville Communities previous voting choices ,the Mullet, Cathy Otoole, Aaron,Scott, Coralee (two terms), business people who i engage with simply believe putting their lives on hold for 3 years, they and their families being under the social media microscope vs remuneration and lack of the appreciation simply isnt worth it . Speaking of Aaron Harper, he had a dummy spit on facebook attacking Tel for hosting a get together with State opposition leader Deb Frecklington suggested it was a waste of rate payers $ and was unfair as it wasnt offered to Labor . Clearly Aaron is “tired and emotional ” with the CMFEU sending out postcards to his and Coralee Orourkes electorate highlighting their lack of performance . Aaron has already stated he previously didnt rate any organization that signed the Adani support pledge but has backflipped since the Federal election results .

  2. Dave of Kelso says:

    The proposed Townsville Performing Arts Centre, thus far shunned by the Mullet, is a major ingredient in the rebuild of the CBD, the city, and the whole region. It will also complement the convention centre. That the CofC and TEL are not publiclly supporting the TPAC beggers belief.

    Please study the plans and features pages on the web site.

    • Mike Douglas says:

      Dave, is Townsville Performing arts centre different to an “ entertainment and exhibition centre $150 mil “ in TELs 2018/2019 election asks on their website . Can they be dual purpose ?.

      • The Magpie says:

        ‘Scuse me if The ‘Pie beaks in on this one … yes, there is a world of difference. Elements of a combined entertainment/convention/exhibition centre can be cross used, but a performing arts cluster involves, for one thing, fixed seating and generally elevated tiers. Both would be invaluable additions to the social life and prosperity of this city, but The ‘Pie sees greater immediate value in the entertainment/convention/exhibition project than the performing arts hub. One would hope that although there has been a long and worthy fight for the PAC that the proponents won’t get all huffy and obstructionist (known as ‘doing a Lancini’) if that option is favoured to go first in the interests of an economic kick-starter.

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          No huffiness here. Just asking that the TPAC is recoginised as having meret and allocated a priority.

          • The Magpie says:

            Who suggested huffiness, Dave? Just a general comment on priorities. Believe the old bird, sport, when he tells you if he thinks you’re being huffy, he’ll let you know the error of your ways, heh heh heh.

  3. Dave of Kelso says:

    Dear Pie,
    On a lighter note; you mentioned seagulls. A great deal of merriment can be had by feeding seagulls chips dipped in hot English mustered.

    • The Magpie says:

      You are perhaps in error there, as the judges say. The ‘Pie was always amused when he noted a sour weed of man at the Mosman Rowers Club used to put a chilli in some burger mince for the gulls and magpies. Little did he know … and perhaps you don’t either … that birds love hot stuff, it has no effect on them as they have different taste mechanism to humans. BUT what a pommy friend recently told me was that as a lad in the north of England, he and his mates had great sport by putting bicarb of soda on chips. He reckons, because gulls have no mechanism to regurgitate, they swelled up and literally on occasions, sort of blew up.

      He’s an otherwise nice bloke.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Not too sure about the bicarb but the effect of hot English mustered on the seagulls is immediate and profound. Do give it a go, it’s a hoot!

        P.S. I’ll give the bicarb a try.

  4. Dutch Reverend says:

    I would be curious to know how many of our councillors have set up ‘fake’ Facebook accounts as there are is someone who regularly comments on the council Facebook page who seems to have access to a lot of council information that is not normally available to the general public. Is this legal ? Does the contributor have the permission to use the image from the individual who’s image is used ? If it is legal, is it transparent behaviour we should expect from our community leaders ? Does it pass the pub test ? Has the contributor fully understood the spirit of the guidelines set out by OIA & LGAQ in relation to social media dated April 2019.

    • The Magpie says:

      Ummm, care to try that again, and give us a better clue as to what you’re talking about. You can send in what you know and The ‘Pie will decide if it gets published (after all, it’s his cloaca on the line, not yours). Sounds interesting.

    • The Magpie says:

      OK, got that Dutchy. Will have a beak around at it, thanks.

  5. Plannit Townsville says:

    Pie if you have a look around the city at the moment you’ll see lots of maintenance being done. If you look closely you’ll see signage about Works for Queensland. Which means it’s all State funded maintenance.

    “$200 million was allocated to 65 Councils for 2016–17, $200 million for 2017–19, and $200 million has been approved to extend the W4Q program until 2020–21.”

    In the 19-21 allocation Townsville was approved the biggest piece of the pie, with $24.5M

  6. Astonished says:

    Can’t believe the Astonisher is charging an extra 20 cents for its weekday papers.
    The missus reckons they should have cut the existing price in half because “they only print one side of the story”, especially those involving their Most Influential Advertiser, Mayor Mullet.
    But my beef is with their racing coverage, or lack of it.
    Last Thursday just one page was devoted to race fields and with a local meeting on at Cluden (think empty grandstands and about 40 trainers and diehard punters holding up the bar), race meetings in NSW and Victoria that day didn’t get a run.
    Then on Saturday, the race results from the previous day were truly astonishing.
    The winners at Ipswich (in race order) were Valachi, Valley Of Light, Velvet Areoplane, Whisky ‘n’ Diamonds, Old Man’s Angel, Lady Demi, Leami Astray, and Smart Remark.
    Meanwhile the winners at Moruya were Valachi, Valley Of Light, Velvet Aeroplane, Whisky ‘n’ Diamonds, Old Man’s Angel, Lady Demi, (the appropriately named) Leami Astray and Smart Remark.
    What are the odds of the same horses winning races at two different tracks, thousands of kilometres apart, on the same day.
    Definitely one for the record books.

    • The Magpie says:

      Fine Cotton revisited.

      Your beef about the racing pages has been the case for more than a decade now, which, when he was part of the punting vfraternity AND still working at the Astonisher, The ‘Pie bought the Courier like many of his betting mates, if he couldn’t find a Sportsman. Back then the paper regular received complaints like yours (but couched in far more colourful language than you’re polite missive).

      you’re missus is correct in a different way too … the Astonisher prints stories on one side of the page, which is the back of the ads on the other side.

  7. Col Foley says:

    ‘Pie, your hate for Trump has overtaken your integrity.

    You wrote:
    ‘Elizabeth Warren, the woman Trump sneers at as Pochahontas, because she once mentioned she had an American Indian ancestor way back.)’

    Warren actually claimed she identified as an indigenous American and gained concessional benefits from that claim.

    There’s a big difference.

    She also stupidly made sure the sore continued to fester by getting DNA testing and publicizing the results. These, by the way, showed she has about as much indigenous heritage as I have Alaskan.

    • The Magpie says:

      Col, your apparent hatred for The Magpie has overtaken your wits, old chum. It is clear from various reports that Warren derived NO concessional benefits from her claim nor did she try to, her DNA test was described as ‘falling short of foolproof evidence’ of Native American heritage (somewhere it was written that the reading was somewhere about 1/60th Cherokee, which by the way, would be enough for an Australian to get all benefits available to indigenous Australians). And her subsequent apology to the Cherokee Nation was for using DNA testing – to which they objected – not for her claim.

      And, unlike you adulation of the likes of Fidel Castro, The ‘Pie mentioned it only as a bet he had made, it was far from an endorsement – unlike you’re moist and feverish endorsement of Jenny Hill. But as usual, mate, you miss the point, it was a brief summary of a public comment BY Trump … for a man who has personally trashed the dignity and credibility of what was once the most respected and powerful office on the planet, to use schoolyard sneering tactics at some who had dared criticise one of his loopy actions, you think he should be respected? That The ‘Pie should love Trump the way you idolise Castro?

      And what, for fuck’s sake, has integrity got to don with all this. You speak of an area on which you have little or no authority or knowledge? Careful, mate, folks might start to think you’re a chucklehead, Col. But nice to hear from you again.

  8. Lady Byron says:

    A wonderful blog as normal, Pie. Love your work.

    I had a chuckle at the online article and the pic of Mayor Mullet standing in her pink jacket in front of Castle Hill. Next to this we find an ad for a book called ‘The Lost Girls’ with an ad for cut-price airfares under it.

    Spooky coincidence or not?
    Is this a plot to get Jenny to leave town? Just saying!

  9. The Magpie says:

    Wanker of the Week.

    Hands-down winner is Guardian Sports writer Geoff Lemon, who one might think was drafted into the job of cricket writer from his regular beat of arts and existential philosophy. We all saw Mitchell Starc deliver a gem of a ball to york Ben Stokes. Mr Lemon saw something quite different. He wrote:

    “The Australian’s yorker against England at the World Cup was a rare blend of beauty, mechanics and context – a work of art
    Some moments in cricket you can watch forever. A delivery, a catch, a shot. Sport is mostly about context and story and character, the things that put an action in its place. But some rare actions transcend context. When Mitchell Starc bowled Ben Stokes in a World Cup match at Lord’s, the physical fact of it was all that mattered. You can treat that moment as a poem, with a hundred readings each yielding some new discovery. You can have the comfort of sounding out familiar syllables. You can start that clip over and over and over again.’

    Well Mr Lemon, some utter codswallop doesn’t demand even a second reading, let alone a hundred. And your report is in that category, you stroker.

  10. MM says:

    Does anyone know anything about the situation with Wilmar. The sugarcane farmers up in The Burdekin are hurting – badly – and have been for sometime. Talk with local politicians has done nothing. We owe our farmers our support. Please can the community and the media get into this situation. We are having sugarcane farmers leaving their land in disgust.

  11. J jones says:

    Pie for Mayor – 2020 vision

  12. Fstop says:

    Excellent week Pie

    • The Magpie says:

      Yup, thanks, all sorts of things going off, and indeed, there was so much that several matters have been held over next week.

  13. Dave Sth says:

    You are right stadiums don’t help public funds. However the are a boon for property developers with monopolies… I will leave it at that.

    Tomorrow we leave for now with some sadness. My children were farewelled by friends at school & we saw the truck off Friday with all that is us…

    However today I wasted over an hour for a previously 20min trip. Why because Jensen tip closed, Paul Jacob despite your new found independance I am squarely looking at you. The leadership (and myself being a man who has previously taught this in uniform) in this town is woeful in the politest terms. The amount of largesse given to the dying CDB where we have stayed after prepack is criminal. Rant off.

    To pie & other regulars. Thanks for the banter & chastising where I have strayed into posting unwisely about first world problems after a long lunch. I hope to be back, however I will be be lurking here in the mean time & throwing a mince meat ball this way from time to time. Cheers & adieu.

    PS We need to get Cox to commit, he was a good local member & I had to laugh at Harpic bragging that his school reports on 4TO said he would never amount to nothing. Mate you haven’t done nothing except be another apartchik accepting his 30 pieces…

    • The Magpie says:

      Been a pleasure Dave, drop a line from time to time from wherever.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Sadly Dave something we still here way to often, good people packing up, leaving Townsville and heading south, and everytime I go to someone’s farewell drinks I hear a different reason as to why they are leaving. Perhaps we should ask people to send an invite to the Dudley’s when they are leaving, a little dose of reality for them in amongst the self proclaiming bullshit they send out all the time about how good everything is around town.

  14. Bathurst 1000000 says:

    Good morning pie, wondering if you have heard any of this in the wind about the possibility of the v8s contract being out of date this year and both Townsville and Darwin taken off the calendar next year. I’ve been told that the season will start early January and have an extended break during June/July and finish late November. That’s the v8s decision to make but also been told a reason may be because so much money spent on the pipeline and stadium there’s not much money left over. My source is from a relative of one 9f the drivers. Told him they might not be here next year. Not trying to put a conspiracy theory out there he’s very adiment that this may happen.

    • The Magpie says:

      Christ, mate, if that’s not trying, hate to see you TRY to put a conspiracy theory out there.

      Anyway, that’s not a conspiracy, that’s a rumour, the likes of which has been floating around occasionally. Only this time, given the parlous state of the town and its public finances, it could be true. Worth beaking around for. A thought: unless mistaken, doesn’t the council pony up a barrowload of dough for the annual rev fest? If so, what does the recently released budget tell us, anything of this matter?

      • Mike Shearer says:

        Waste of time trying to find it. Last time I tried it seemed that the $1m or so is divvied under budget different heads, effectively hidden. I’ve never been able to get any Councillor to provide the info. But whatever is the amount, you can be certain that it’ll be claimed to be worth it because of all of the $$s that the event brings into town. Oh yeah? That’s a matter of faith not fact.

      • Scientician79 says:

        So it looks like there is not going to be a July 2020 event as the calendar is being changed as per Bathurst’s post above.

        Apparently all will be revealed later this week, it also mentions in the article teams were briefed in Darwin a few weeks back.


        Key quote:
        Despite rumblings that the Townsville street race event is in doubt, Seamer was confident the event would continue.

        “The feedback I’m getting – and it’s not for me to speak on behalf of the Queensland government – but I think you’ll find Townsville is a critical region to them,” he declared. “And when I’ve had conversations with our team owners, who are the people that matter in pit lane, they all want to keep going to Townsville.”

        Pressed on whether there was any question mark over the FNQ event, he responded: “Not in my mind at the moment, no”.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, despite that last non-committal comment, the linkages we get out of all that points to us keeping the event, pro tem. The ‘Pie figures that because of these two tell-tales. Unlikely even the lead-footed PR of the V8 circus would choose Townsville as the venue to tell Townsville they’ve been dropped. And the comment about the state government points to the fact that George Street wants to try and stay sweet with we locals, and are willing to keep paying the money until at least after the next election. Anna Alphabet and her minders seem to think that keeping a car race here will will save the three hapless drongos we are unfortunate enough to have as our putative representatives. Even the unions think they’re dead shits, all three. And that would be the first time The ‘Pie has agreed with a union sentiment since he left the gerrymandered Australian Journalists Association more than 30 years ago.

          • Mike Douglas says:

            The Mullet hand balled Townsville resigning the V8, s to our 3 local State Members on radio this morning saying “ it is in their court as the State is a bigger contributor “ . Love those Labor stalwarts who are happy to throw Colleagues under a bus to save their income stream . The other upside T.C.C has at its disposal is the $200 mil flood recovery $ from the State and Federal Government to spend over the next 12 months which provides the perception the Council is doing lots .

  15. Moment says:

    Fast Tracking the concept design of the $50M NRL Cowboys Centre of Excellence next to the stadium is progressing on a North Queensland ‘Banjo’ style footprint. The design inclusive of eco-friendly sustainable timber required a quick change as it is starting to look like headquarters of the wooden spooners and shaped like one too. Bean counters have been asking, will the idea and a big handout, still float?
    With the spend heading towards $300 million on the new stadium, with over runs expected in the 10’s of millions before it is finished, someone remembered, oh geez, where is the office, dressing shed and training ground.? Questions being asked, why not upgrade the sports fields in Victoria Park with modern facilities less than 1 K away and a short warm up jog down Morey St or maybe catch a Bus.
    Unlike the current location, hidden behind the stadium for ‘high performance NRL footy elite’ a new multi- use ‘Sports Hub’ could include a few more sporting codes and our local kids could have all the facilities and even watch the Cowboys train and learn necessary football skills.

  16. One legged tap dancer says:

    One bloke who would make a good mayor, and a formidable opponent for the Mullet, is former police officer and Townsville First councilor Gary Ettinghausen.
    Well respected, honest and no baggage..
    Trouble is I hear he is interested in running for council, but baulking at taking on the mayoralty.
    Come on Gary, man up. Townsville needs you.
    I can assure you that there will be plenty of support for your campaign should you change your mind.

    • The Magpie says:

      You heard right there, Bojangles … because you read it here … as The Astonisher loves to say ‘exclusively revealed’. The ‘Pie agrees with your sentiments, a decent man to put the city back on the right track, but he’d need a strong team with a strong ethic of public service. But don’t diss a person for not wanting the mayoral plush … it comes at a personal and family cost, in time away and sometimes unwanted spotlights. Gary has shown his committmentb to Townsville in his admired police work and his stint as a solid councillor.

    • Ducks Nuts says:

      I do like Gazza. Sensible individual. Got himself tied up with the wrong team in Townsville First, the likes of Tiny Parsons.
      Needs to team up with a few old and new councillors. Russ Cook might actually make a go of it, if he worked with Gaz.

  17. The Magpie says:

    On Saturday, The ‘Pie pointed out that cartoons don’t always have to be funny to pack a powerful punch. That point is reinforced with the news that when Canadian cartoonist Michael DeAdder’s cartoon of Trump went viral, his contract with Brunswick Publishing was terminated two days later – the company says it had nothing to do with the cartoon (below) but because they were re-employing a previous cartoonist and negotiations had been going on for weeks prior to DeAdders cartoon.

  18. Guy says:

    Scrap the V8s and have a free for all go kart race on the same track. Slash the price of admission. Send an invite across the land for anyone wanting to have a crack. Have races throughout 2 days consisting of say 100 drivers. Final race is the 100 best drivers of the previous races.

    • The Magpie says:

      What a guy!

    • No More Dredging says:

      Guy, the (kart) race series could be co-sponsored by the Emergency Ward at Townsville Hospital (government) and Morleys Funerals (private). Punters, especially children, could be encouraged sit on the grass trackside and there could be a full range of bookies in the pits and elsewhere (wherever they wanted) with an absolute free for all in bribery and no responsibility for local government so long as the entire Council were actual drivers. Beer would be free for drivers and spectators with no age limit. I think you might be on to something.

      • The Magpie says:

        DREDGER TO RUN TEL!!!!

      • Dave of Kelso says:


        I like your thinking.

        On a similar vein I reckon there should be a parallel pro-drugs Olympic games. All competitors doped to the eyeballs. Bizarre physiques and competitors melting on the sports field. Drugs companies would be keen to sponsor. What a spectacle.

        • The Magpie says:

          Hey, how about pro-drug Council meetings (banned: the current drug of choice, Valium). Anything goes, Fentanyl, coke, week (known to coppers giving evidence as ‘green leafy material’), exxies, angel dust, roofies … oops, just a sec, roofies aka Rohypnol? Oh dear, have we stumbled on the secret of this council’s outstanding performance so far, when we read ‘Rohy[nol – a drug that makes users drowsy and compliant against their will and easily manipulated’? Has The Mullet already bribed the tea lady?

          • Mick says:

            May have been in water supply prior to last Local election. Didn’t get through my filter though.

    • Kenny Kennett says:

      Oh Guy, you’ve either not taken or taken too much of your medication. At least you left Les Tyrell alone in this post…and you didn’t mention ‘water’ at all.
      Now toddle off to the Pharmacy and fill that script.

  19. Gonzo says:

    Great blog, Pie. You covered the territory from go to whoa, and made us stop and think with those two poignant cartoons in Trumpsylvania. I watched the two Democrats’ debates and was impressed with Kamala Harris. I think she could whip Trump’s butt as one of the CNN commentators said. We live in hope. Cheers.

  20. guy says:

    i never said the go-karting would be “safe” if you aren’t up to scratch you are going to know all about it. 100 go-karts charging around that track would be better to watch than the V8s – there’s more in play.

    the roadway being used would allow viable manoeuvering because go-karts are narrower and it would all about the acceleration.

    my guesses is that a field of 100 go-karts would be a thing, hell i would stump up some cash to watch that spectacle.

  21. Sunshine&Lollipops says:

    I was in a coffee shop last week and an overly loud Cowboys Rep at the table next to me was negotiating terms of the new stadiums corporate boxes with one of their sponsors. The corporate box price looks to be going up 4% for the new stadium. Last years annual increase was 2%. The sponsors weren’t overly impressed with the increase and wanted to down grade their box.

  22. No More Dredging says:

    ‘Pie, you are on to Israel and I know it’s a bit disrespectful but have you seen this:


  23. Frequent flyer says:

    I think you will find that the so-called plan to axe the Townsville V8 Super Pests race next year is just a ploy to get the State Govt and our useless mayor to stump up more of our money to keep them here – at least until after the elections. In any case if they scrap the V8s, rest assured that the Mullet will call for yet another boycott, which will no doubt have the Super Pests management shaking in their boots. So the rev heads can rest easy. It’s all under control, except the crowd numbers which have dropped significantly over the past 3 years.

  24. Tas says:

    And on the V8’s. Up until a couple of years ago The start of Charters Towers Road would be blocked off for the race from about the Monday before the race. Now it is from the Friday night, 10 days before the event. Does anyone know why they need longer for the set up? Public convenience doesn’t seem to be an issue.

    Watch the PR fur fly if the race people can’t get for money from our Beloved Leaders. When they crash landed their way in to our midst all those years ago, some PR flunky crowed that “They would fill all the hotel rooms in Townsville.” It’s true, they do. It’s also peak tourist season and those rooms would be full at this time of year anyway. I would suggest that if a PR minion again makes the same pointless boast, he be kindly asked to race his little penis extensions in February, when those hotel rooms would appreciate the custom.

  25. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Got to love the Mullets form on the TV news, calling on the federal Govt to do something about the increase in insurance premiums around town, bit late I reckon. Maybe you should have a look at your own totally worthless response old Mullet, to this date not one word about you and the councils failure to handle the situation properly to start with, and even more concerning not one single thing to alleviate it ever happening again, except to stick your head up your arse and hope it doesn’t rain like that again.
    Insurers have every right to calculate risk and part of that is the failure of this council and state govt to take any sort of action to prevent this happening again, not one fucking thing. I drove across Rooney’s Bridge at low tide recently and it is so silted up now you can walk from one side to the other, there was someone walking their dog in the middle of the river across the sand. Not one single thing has been done to address the collapsed riverbank and stormwater drainage system in Hermit Park that resulted in houses there being flooded on the Friday, 2 days before the rest of the town, you are an absolute disgrace Jenny Hill, I struggle to think this town could be so stupid to give you another 4 years to wreck the joint even further.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Cantankerous, for at least fifteen and maybe twenty years (that I can remember) before this year’s flood event, I can recall mayors, local members and other ‘civic leaders’ howling about home insurance costs – particularly after cyclones. And not just in Townsville. And I can recall insurance companies telling us time and again that the increasing frequency and intensity of severe weather events combined with higher tides is pretty much down to global warming and that they will continue raising premiums in direct response to that measured reality. Governments, particularly our current federal government, are in denial of this reality. If you were the mayor, how would you answer the complaints about rising insurance costs in cyclone-prone regions of Queensland?

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Cyclones became less of an issue every time one happens, as building standards and products improve to make constructed dwellings more resilient. Floods by neglect however is a different story and one the state govt and TCC must address now they are the owners of the dam.
        After the BRisbane floods the entire handbook on operations at Wivenhoe dam were overhauled, and now early releases occur in the event of advice of a significant rain event, Townsville dam must do the same but from my limited knowledge I think the option of dumping water is limited once the water drops below the bottom of the radial gates, which is 84% from memory, this needs to change and allow the operators a process where water can be released in large volumes before the 84%, and well before the 100% the Mullet let it get to in February. Second course of action is Backflow devices need to be fitted to all stormwater pipes running into the Ross River to prevent water coming back up the drains and flooding places like Hermit PK, Rosslea, etc, these are installed all along the Brisbane river to prevent flooding through the suburbs.
        The Ross River needs to be dredged deeper and drainage works cleaned out, capacity improved where it needs to be and the collapsed banks of Ross River along Hermit Park need to be repaired and reinforced like they did where the old dump was situated further downstream. Lots if things could be done, but this lazy useless bunch will probably do nothing, and if the fuckwits south of the River vote back in Messagebank Walker after he has done nothing to address one single issue from this flood then we deserve everything we get.

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          Dear Cbh,
          None of what you are suggesting need ever take place.

          The Feb rains and the Mullet Managed Flood was a 1 in 200 year event. Or was it 300, 175, 423, or 500 years. Regardless, we will never see the likes of this again ( put smile on face at this point) cause it will never happen in our life time, experts advise (take smile off face).

          No need to spend money on anything that will not happen for, er, what was it, 300, 175, 423 or 500 years.

          And when the flood does happen, oh, what a surprise it will be for those in 2319, or 2175, or 2519, or
          next bloody year!

          But do not worrie, we well have a stadium to be used 12 or, in the 1 in a 500 year chance the Cowboys (what a good Yankee name for an Australian team!) win, 13 times a year.

          I hear from afar, Puddleduck and The Mullet scoffing; “Let them eat cake.”

          • Dave of Kelso says:

            On a serious note, the BOM short term forecasts are very accurate these days. The lessons from the last Brisbane floods and the management report of the Wivenhoe Dam are on record. That the Townsville City Council Disastrous Committee, chaired by the Mullet, I believe, did not preemtively release water to get the Ross River flowing, but not flooding, is a case of politically based criminal neglect.

          • The Magpie says:

            Yer on fire, Davy.

        • Cockie says:

          I haven’t heard any mention of the effect of leaving the coffer dam in place at least 3/4 the way across the river, under the Bowen Road Bridge it was at least four meters high. That must have prevented flood waters from flowing freely within the confines of the river banks down stream and would have banked up flood water above the coffer dam. I’m no expert, but why leave a blockage like that across the river in wet season.

          • The Magpie says:

            There’s a very good reason for not hearing anything about it. The coffer dam cannot be ignored, and a senior official of the Townsville Golf Club, an engineering professional, predicted its destructive role in the floods as the record rains signalled a looming catastrophe. The reason it will be downplayed as much as possible is that the dam was/is the responsibility of the DMR, to facilitate work on the Bowen Road Bridge. … i.e. the state government.

        • Mangrove Jack says:

          CBH, if I am not mistaken, wasn’t the TCC always the owner of the Ross River Dam, and Sunwater was contracted to oversee the operations of the Dam, and then shortly after the flood disaster, the TCC cancelled the arrangement with Sunwater and decided that the council would now be responsible for the operation.


  26. Insider says:

    Townsville is not the only place where economic development just isn’t happening….the female CEOs of both the Cairns Chamber of Commerce and TTNQ have both announced they’re leaving in the past week. Wonder if we’ll get the usual ageing white good ole Cairns boys as their replacements?

  27. NQ Gal says:

    The economic situation in Townsville is displayed in the number of new homes built over the last 12 months – 250, down from 700 odd the previous year. The unfortunate reality at the moment is a lot of builders are just surviving by doing flood restorations. After that work dries up (no pun intended), there will be some very lean time for builders and all the associated sub-contractors.

    • Mike Shearer says:

      So the population isn’t growing. What a surprise! But is that a disaster? Why should adding more and more infrastructure and dwellings to a city that is already unsustainably big be the only useful activity? What about maintaining and improving what we already have? It’s madness like it would be if home owners kept adding extra rooms while the existing houses need painting and upgrading. There’s plenty of them around the suburbs. Ditto shops and commercial premises.

      The Queenslanders on 800m blocks in the older suburbs would long term be economically a better bet if upgraded – less demand for electricity for cooling, less need for long distance commuting, better use of existing infrastructure. Make the asphalted black wastelands of the old overwide roads narrower, and widen footpaths/cycleways to be tree-hospitable.

      It’s imagination and courage to change that is in short supply, not $$s and people.

      • Rumpy Pumpy says:

        That’s the problem, too much expansion in a town with no work. At some point residents and investors realise that the house building scheme has become a cargo cult. No further “development” should occur until things improve. All the dodgy infrastructure laid down by the developers and the builders has to be ripped out and replaced by the ratepayers. The problems laid down by the developers eventually becomes everyone else’s problem. We need to head inwards not outwards for the next 20 years.

      • No More Dredging says:

        Mike, not sure how you arrived at the opinion that Townsville’s population “isn’t growing”. According to the Electoral Commission, the number of voters in the seat of Herbert, which covers most of Townsville (and whose boundaries were not changed in the redistribution which affected some electorates), increased from 104,815 in 2016 to 108,434 at the 2019 election.

        • The Magpie says:

          Talk about, statistics, damned statistics and lies!!!

          Seems, Dredger, that all depends on two things: are talking the city or the electoral district, and, even if we’re talking city, who do you believe? In 2016, when the AEC said Herbert had 104,815 on the roll, the census had a vastly different story.


          Yup, 178,860 in 2016.
          But then, yet another stat pops up on the current TCC web site, which says, quote:Outside the southeast corner, Townsville is the largest city in regional Queensland.Our current official population count is 193,601 persons (Australian Bureau of Statistics Estimated Resident Population, 2017).”Unquote

          NOTE THE WORD ‘ESTIMATED’. As any statistician or idiot knows, there’s many a slip twixt an estimation and reality. Like cyclones, floods and Clive Palmer.

          So unless Mayor Mullet pulled off yet another miracle, between 2016 and 2017, when the city was well on the way down the unemployment chute and accelerating, she managed to get 15,000 new residents to lob here. At that sort of annual rate, Townsville must actually be around 125,000 population. It would appear the council may have pulled a swifty through selective choice of modifying words. It isn’t only the journalists as the Bulletin who adhere to the old adage’Never fuck up a story with facts’. This also from the council website:
          “Known as the Second Capital of Queensland and with a population of approximately 193,601 people, Townsville offers a dynamic lifestyle coupled with strong economic prosperity. Townsville is a thriving precinct with access to a variety of world class education facilities, leading edge health care, affordable housing, unique retailing, spectacular events and entertainment, dining precincts and a wide range of outdoor recreation options. With over 300 days of sunshine each year, Townsville’s lifestyle is second to none.”
          Now don’t you feel lucky and privileged? HEY, COME BACK HERE, DON’T LEAVE … DAMN … oh, well, The Magpie and all we other mugs remain.

          • No More Dredging says:

            ‘Pie, the electoral roll only counts people aged 18 years and over enrolled to vote. Since something like half the population counted in the Census is under 18 (just roughly guessing) we can expect the electoral roll to be somewhere vaguely around half the total population – keeping in mind that Herbert does not cover the entire city. The only reason I quoted the electoral roll population for Herbert is that it is completely independent of the Census, is updated just before each election and, provided the boundaries haven’t changed, provides a pretty good snapshot.

          • The Magpie says:

            Hang on, by that ‘rule of thumb’, you’re suggesting that the actual population of Herbert is 216,868 (for those readers at the Astonisher – pencils out? – 108,434 x 2 = 216,868.) Suggest you take another rough guess, Dredger.

            BTW, while we’ve got you, Dredger: because of a recent enigmatic comment from another regular here, The ‘Pie is impertinent enough to ask if you you are, male, female or still thinking about it. Clearly, you’re a Greenie, so the latter is the most likely.

          • The Wulguru Wonder says:

            The population figure of 193,601 persons is a very precise number for an ‘estimate’…..

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            NMD you brainless tosser, why would you continue to harp on about this ridiculous electoral role crap, my son is on the Herbert electoral role and hasn’t lived here for years, he just votes absent wherever he is, if he bothers to vote at all, there would be many many more like him. Why don’t you just except the fact the place is going nowhere, if there were thousands of extra people in town we would be building thousands of dwellings to house them, and we are clearly not, our house approvals are a pathetic joke. So unless you want to tell us that all the extra people are living in caravan parks, give it up and move on, you clearly don’t have the mental capacity to fathom reality.

          • No More Dredging says:

            ‘Pie, clearly I shouldn’t have ‘just roughly guessed’ that over 18s are about half the population. It’s led to all this statistical nonsense. So, just to straighten out the record I looked a few things up. In the middle of this year the Australian population is estimated to be 25.415 million. As at the May election there were 16.949 million enrolled voters. Which means that pretty much exactly 66% of the population is aged 18 and over. Applying those national ratios to the seat of Herbert (which does not cover the entire city of Townsville), if there were 108,434 voters enrolled in 2019 it would mean that something like 162,651 total people live in the electorate, up from something like 157,223 in 2016 (all other things being equal, which they probably are not, but hey).

          • The Magpie says:

            Christ, is there ever a job waiting for you in Canberra!!!

          • No More Dredging says:

            Cantankerous, why don’t you argue with some facts rather than fence post ignorance? If you can’t even try to explain why the population has increased and is therefore completely at odds with what you BELIEVE the numbers SHOULD be, why start yelling? You ask where the thousands of newcomers have gone and suggest caravan parks. But if you look up the official statistics they might help you to another explanation. In 2017, Townsville had way above national average unoccupied houses, more than 12%. Which means many thousands of empty houses all over town. So many that even when the 2019 floods washed several thousand people out of their houses most of them remained in Townsville.

  28. Achilles says:

    At Wimbledon Bernard Tomic gives tennis the elbow, should be the other way round if he had some fuzzy balls,

  29. winnie says:

    Nanny state bull shxt on passive smoking proven in today’s bulletin
    Todays Bulletin 3/07/2019
    15,000 Aussie died from tobacco smoke each year
    140 “estimated” died from passive smoking
    that’s a percentage of 0.1% NOT SIGNIFICANT LINKED RELATIONSHIP
    so we have all these rules on passive smoking restrictions in public places
    Talk about “Scared to Death” by the medical “I know what is best” elite
    Now there is a third hand exposure from residual smoke on carpets
    what 0.14 “estimated” deaths is a call for waste of good research monies
    So the Cancer Council Researchers can milk more tax payers monies

    • Mike Douglas says:

      Winnie, you are missing your calling as a Government spin doctor sugar coating bad news or working for the Australia Banking Association after the Royal Commission . So it’s ok to impact people’s lives with passive smoking because it may only kill 140 people ? .That the Cancer Council warning on 3 rd smoke on clothes and in smokers houses that may effect their children too young to make a decision is revenue raising . Any conflict of interest Winnie you would like to declare ?.

    • No More Dredging says:

      winnie, are you saying that the number “15,000” is bull shxt? That’s a lot of unnecessary deaths. More power to the Cancer Council I reckon.

    • Grumpy says:

      Winnie – you are a fucknuckle.

      • winnie says:

        you should get out to the library and do some reading before name calling

        this is the book you need to read to expand your mind

        “Scared To Death” by Christopher Booker and Richard North

        • Grumpy says:

          Really? Why should I read a book by climate change denier nutjobs? One of whom died of cancer BTW…

          Oh, the irony…

          • winnie says:

            as I said typical small closed mind that never reads but indulges in name calling

            the authors agreed with climate change

          • No More Dredging says:

            winnie, I can’t lay my hands on that book right now (it’s more than ten years old) but there’s a 2007 review online that casts some doubt on your assertion that “the authors agreed with climate change” – on some planet or other:

            “Self-appointed judges of their profession, according to the rest of Scared to Death, they have constructed, utterly without shame, a quite preposterous theory by throwing together a few clippings, making no discernible fact checks and reporting a non-existent interview. They accuse other journalists of ‘unthinking credulity’ but commit egregious errors that would shame a junior reporter.”

          • Grumpy says:

            Winnie – no issue with calling a spade a spade – or a gullible foil-hat idiot a gullible foil hat idiot.

            “Do your research” – you sound like one of those anti-vax morons.

            Hurt your feelings, did I?

            Tough titties.

    • Droopy draws says:

      Which one are you, Winnie red or Winnie blue?

      Seriously, highlighting a stat like this say more about the 15,000 that die than the 0.1% that die from breathing in the shit.

      Smoker can smoke all they like; just not in my face. Like religion and the benefits of going vegan….

      • Grumpy says:

        Winnie Gold – the lightweight, kiss-your-sister, suck- to-be-you variety.

        Whatever – the fucking things came within a heartbeat – literally – of killing me, but I am just a victim of “nanny state bullshit”, according to that moron.

        • winnie says:

          the book is worth chasing up as it discusses quite a few issues and comes up with interesting conclusions that have caused quite a bit of discussion with our coffee group.

          this should be compulsory reading for all our media journalist

          some of the chapters include:

          The great Salmonella Scare
          Mad cows and madder Politicians
          speed kills
          Smoke and Mirrors
          one fibre can kill the great asbestos Scam
          Saving the planet

          I put up the original post to wake up some of you blokes on the bullshit being posted to sites like this

          • The Magpie says:

            Thanks for the plug, Winnie. One might think your final sentence is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          • No More Dredging says:

            winnie, I read yesterday that Mad Magazine will cease producing original material after 67 years. Perhaps you’d like to run that past your “coffee group”. After all, they just make stuff up to entertain and divert.

          • Grumpy says:

            What? Me worry?

  30. The Magpie says:

    Here’s a quiz for you:
    Fantasize that you a re a Bulletin reader – are you more interested in being tricked into buying today’s paper with a deliberately misleading headline, or more interested in the fact that Mayor Mullet’s second pipeline re-election ballyhoo will suddenly cost you the ratepayer an extra 8% on your water bill – well, to start with anyway. Today’s Bulletin shows you how closely iditor Jenna Cairney is in touch with community interests her paper is ‘all for’.

    • The Magpie says:

      Anyone involved in the Townsville community knows that anything to do with Palm Island politics is of marginal interest at best, and no matter what the issue, putting the words Palm Island prominently on the front page of the paper will guarantee indifferent sales of what are already be – indifferent sales. Only blow-in iditor Jenna Cairney could be ignorant of the fact that Palm is a world unto itself of practically no general interest anywhere else unless they riot, and has a council headed by a confessed illegal bootlegger. And no, that’s not racist, the same rule would apply to equivalent stories out of say, Hughenden or Winton … it’s a long standing issue of relevance.

      But putting a prominent screaming headline telling punters the Townsville mayor has been backing a scheme which she has neglected to tell us will cost ratepayers significant extra water charges, and the edition is likely to sell out. But no … not only does comprehensive Tony Raggatt story get plopped onto page 3 after a small front page pointer, the headline completely misses the crucial news point (to which headlines have been traditionally written) … that there is no financial or economic case to be made for the second pipeline. And water charges will rise by 8%.

      • Afterthought says:

        The proof of that particular pudding, Magpie, is that if the sentiment was reversed and the mayor opposed the second pipeline because of the water rate rise, there would be a screaming headline, a two-page spread, an editorial and a Harry Bruce cartoon.

        The Jenna loves Jenny affair continues apace.

  31. Dutch Reverend says:

    I noticed on the 7 news tonight that Mullet had a sign behind her with the LNP logo in the background. Looks like she is trying to deflect her Labor allegiance and pretend that she has some form of connection with LNP. What a sly bitch. Trying to associate her fuck ups with the Coalition.

  32. I’ll be plucked says:

    The head of medical services at Royal Darwin Hospital is Dr C Pain – he’s in alot of it at the moment, as all elective surgeries are currently suspended due to overcrowding and mismanagement. Another Labor govt ‘triumph’ for the poor old Northern Territory! You guessed it, they have spent the Commonwealth health funding allocated on other worthless trinkets. Sound familiar………?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Every cent from the 99 year lease of the Port of Darwin (to the bloody Chinese of all people) has bee spent, You would have thought it would have been an opportunity to pay down debt, or invest, but instead, nothing to show for it.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        As I mentioned above Dave, the NT Labor govt. have no idea and spend, spend, spend, borrow, borrow, borrow, then blame/beg, blame/beg, blame/beg. It is definitely a ‘pattern’ of behaviour for Labor and Labor aligned governments of all types……….none of them can get the essentials right and have spending targeted where it really matters!

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          My observations exactly, going back to Whitlem and every Labor government since.

          • No More Dredging says:

            Dave, the recent succession of Liberal governments has borrowed and spent more than any other previous Australian government resulting in a bigger national debt than ever. Not that I’m criticising them. But don’t pretend that Labor is any better or worse than the others.

  33. Mike Douglas says:

    NMD , the average annualised population growth for Townsville since 2011 is 1.74 % ( averages out peaks and troughs) and much of the growth has been births so babies don’t spend ( or smoke for Winnie) . I have rental properties and at worst maybe tipping 8% so certainly not 12% . Post floods people have dispersed including Maggie Island and vacancy rate is about 1% . Great line from the Mullet last night accusing Phillip Thompson of “ playing politics “ as the Federal Government isn’t keen on stage 2 of the pipeline which appears may not add value and increase water to ratepayers by 8% . Linda Ashton, your thoughts on stage 2? .

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Hey Mullet (via Mike D), how the pluck is the member for Herbert ‘playing politics’ when the business case and the opinions within for stage 2 of the pipeline don’t stack up and would result in an increase of water charges for consumers??? Us mug taxpayers would be paying twice – once to build it and then get hit with higher usage costs? How does that work Mayor Mullet – stop smoking the pipe, settle, think about it, then comment, please………

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Mike at the start of this decade we were the envy of Australia, had a population growth somewhere near 2.6% and an economy to match. That 1.74% 10 year average represents just how bad things have been post Jenny Hill and will continue to drop as the last two years are 0.9% and 0.6% respectively, it’s that bad that in technical terms even our newborn babies don’t want to stay in Townsville as the gap between births and deaths is actually greater than our population growth. These are the structural facts that the Mullet and the Dudley’s and that irrelevant bunch at the chamber of commerce fail to acknowledge, because it’s only by acknowledging the facts can you start to do something to fix it.

  34. Mike Douglas says:

    Congratulations Mackay with Qantas Announcing Mackay the preferred location for its second Qantas Group Pilot Academy site .

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      That would be due to Mackey having more cloudy days for instrument flight training and less military aircraft traffic to gum-up the airspace.
      It would have nothing to do with Townsville’s current economic success and social buoyancy as delivered by the Mulett/Puddleduck Axis. No, no, noo, not at all.

  35. Dave of Kelso says:

    The Chinese are interested in Australia in all sorts of ways. From the Port of Darwin to baby milk formula to this:

  36. Plagiarist says:

    Hey Pie, cut the following out of the OZ today, what’s it mean for you old bird?

    “Anyone who has a social media account with a comments section — be it a blog, Facebook or YouTube channel — should regard themselves as fair game for a defamation action in Australia, a media law expert has warned.

    Peter Barnett, a partner with the country’s largest law firm, Minter Ellison, said he believed the public did not understand the implications of the ruling last month. “It applies well beyond the media, whether it’s individuals or small businesses or one of Australia’s largest companies,” said Mr Barnett, who acts for Nine newspapers.”

  37. The Magpie says:

    Still your beating hearts, you fans of the flying billboards penis extensions … The Magpie can tell you definitively the V8s will definitely be here next year. The decision has been taken earlier in the week – and if The Magpie knows the outcome through a trusted contact, surely the Astonisher does too. The length of the contract was the point of the debate, and a five year extension appears the most likely. So at least we have our hapless and bumbling three stooges (aka state MPs) to thank … because if Premier Alphabet thought the Townsville seats weren’t in such dire danger, the V8s would be gone.

  38. The Magpie says:

    YAY!!!! At last the corruption busters move on one of the dodgiest councils in Queensland.

    And about bloody time for a clean ou … wait a sec, what’s that you say?
    Palm Island?
    What, not Townsville?


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