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The Magpie

Saturday, April 16th, 2016   |   75 comments

The Crocs Cark It … And Maybe That’s The Game Changer We Need.

The basketball side’s demise was predictable and inevitable, but now that it’s happened, we have a real game changer on our hands. The Crocs were propping up a crumbling Entertainment Centre with a dribble of income, but now, the focus … and emphasis … must shift to the wider horizon. The ‘Pie pontificates.

Dreaming the impossible dream … Townsville Enterprise’s latest nutty attempt to appear to be doing something positive looks like it’s just an expensive featherbedding exercise … but isn’t the whole thing?

And panties at half mast … The ‘Pie hears of low jinx that were the highlight of the party to celebrate the new ownership of Jupiters (now The Ville).

But first …

… it was Disneyland in Townsville when the Micky and Dumbo Show rolled on to centre stage.

Michaelia Cash

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash brought financial hope to the 800 plus sacked Yabulu workers bilked of their entitlements, when she announced that the federal Government would free up some fund money to cover the missing money. Cheering as that was, at least one in the throng was moved to tears, having been worried sick about job security.

Dumbo and Mickey_d860e374496a2584faf130a110a71d1f

Employment Minister lived up to her name, freeing up federal cash for the distraught workers and announcing a major first for the Feds … action to go after Palmer to recover the money they are making available to cover his responsibilities … responsibilities he has covered about as well as his shirts cover his beer belly.

Preposterous Palmer

Clive Palmer so embarrassingly unmasked on Four Corners on Monday night, one honestly has to question the man’s sanity. It is clear from the almost orchestrated slow-motion train wreck of the Palmer ‘empire’ that it is all own Fatso’s doing, through the personality quirk of over-weaning ego and dependence on bullying. Add to that his total lack of empathy … even a stated ‘What rotten luck, folks, I’m sorry it turned out this way’ … and you have an argument to have the man ‘sectioned’ as they say in Pommyland.

But our resident ‘toonist Bentley sat up when he heard Palmer’s expletive laden phone exchange with his Chinese venture partners in WA, from whom he still gets considerable roylaties. Bentley thinks after the phone call, the Chinese have worked out where their missing cash has been stashed. Bugger bank transfers, but ‘bugger’ will still features in the new withdrawal arrangement.

up arse fin

A sort of ‘The enema of your enema is your Chinese fiend, eh, Clive?’

And apropos nothing, what is it with Palmer and his shirts? If he’s as rich as he says he is, surely he could buy some tailor made shirts that stay put instead of flapping around at his slightest wobbly movement. The problem seems to stem from the term ‘tuck in’ … Clive thinks it only applies to food.

 End Of The Crocs, But Opportunity Knocks

With our basketball team declared a financial basket case, one would first think that this is another body blow to a community that is taking all the hard hits at once this year. But maybe the failure of the Crocs might be the jolt needed in the tediously circular debate about the CBD stadium and entertainment/convention center.

toilet stadium

Given the Queensland and national state of play, it would be dopey to expect the cash spigot to be turned on for a money-sink like a stadium (projected operating losses of $2.4M annually), which employs less than three dozen people.

But common sense would dictate that the lobbying pitch must be now turned around to emphasise the dire and very real need for a new multi-purpose entertainment centre and a money-making convention centre … with a stadium a desirable but not essential addition to complete an attractive CBD ‘cluster’. This approach is bound to get a more receptive ear than a transparently short-sighted idea based on sectional interest.

The other upside is that with the Crocs gone, casino owner Chris Morris, who is reported to see the current Entertainment Centre as a lost cause on which he will spend only what his contract demands, would probably make a mutually attractive offer to the council to buy its two thirds of the land and building. It’s a fair bet that Mr Morris already has his favourite demolition company on speed dial. And he’s just as likely to create jobs with some new project on the site.

That would be an attractive proposition for Mayor Mullet, putting cash in the TCC coffers that just might allow her to run her otherwise ruinous hard rubbish collection and rates freeze agendas without dipping too deeply into deficit, which is inevitable.

It would be a focus for the long game, because surely reality would suggest the big bucks and job creation that this sort of marginal infrastructure would attract just isn’t available in the current uncertain climate. At least this way, we wouldn’t be increasingly seen as selfish yokels and dupes to narrow self-interest.

Skip To My Loo, My Darling

Here’s a bit of pure, old style juicy gossip. Third hand, but hey what the hell …

The Ville

When Chris Morris threw a lavish(ish) shindig celebrating that he was the new owner of the casino/hotel on the duckpond, the party was held outdoors at the waterside area. There were apparently port-a-loos provided to save people having to traipse through the hotel indelicately clutching at themselves.

It is said that one of Mr Morris’s senior female finance employees from Melbourne was a lady who liked a drink now and again … and again and again. The ‘Pie is told that after some pretty heavy duty chug-a-lugging, our gal made her unsteady way to one of the port-a-loos – where she somehow managed to lock herself in. Realising she was unable to rejoin the bar, she raised such a ruckus that several guests finally managed to smash the lock, and the lady, somewhat in what the French call ‘dishabille’, (what Aussies would call ‘panties at half mast’ ) was carried away for a lie down. Wonder if it was she who filled out this questionnaire?


But perhaps she wrote this the day after …


A Rare Insight Into What Townsville Enterprise Isn’t Doing


The ‘Pie chanced across the above article of interest in the latest issue of the increasingly newsy Duo Magazine. It was informative if somewhat repetitive with buzz word quotes and trendy say-nothings. (Hey Scotty, where was your famous blue pencil? A couple more pix and half the verbiage would have been the go, mate. What’s that, start my own bloody magazine if I don’t like it? Ummm, orright, sorry.)

But The ‘Pie’s  interest was piqued for the sub–text. In a nutshell, the article was ballyhooing the creation of something called the Townsville North Queensland Events Hub (Christ, TNQEH is even worse than GBRMPA!) which basically is a glorified Visitors’ Bureau for people wanting to stage events in Townsville. It offers a space for meetings (innovative or what?) access to a video/image library and the provision of mechanical sounding Events Tool Kit which we are told contains ‘everything an event organiser needs to run a successful event and attract media coverage’. There is also access to a handy database of suppliers, media contacts and other event professionals.

The article tells us that this Hub is the brainchild of Townsville Enterprise, and government funding was forthcoming and the council provided the space.

Screen shot 2016-04-16 at 3.57.45 PM

BUT THEN WE READ ‘… but it needed a team to get it off the ground.’ And here they are.

Question: WTFing hell have you bloody people down at Wishing Well House been doing all these years? This hub is nothing more than tourism 101, it should’ve been in place years ago. What have you been spending OUR money on? More to the point, what have these people …Screen shot 2016-04-16 at 2.34.11 PM Screen shot 2016-04-16 at 2.34.54 PM… been doing to earn their share of the $750,000 of ratepayers money propping up this empty façade? There seems to be enough Guggis on the ground among this lot to do an honest days toil in the tourism garden and still have time for a dainty drinkette after knock off. And let’s not forget the current sock-puppet poppet CEO …

Screen shot 2016-04-16 at 2.35.18 PM

… was for some time the Tourism Manager, so perhaps she might like to enlighten us in these matters.

But it doesn’t end there. One of the first things this ‘team’ has done is to seek to hire, at unspecified rates, two consultants, as we discussed here last week. With impossible timelines to make any decent application (about six days) and asking for incredible innovation on tap and a massive increases in tourism volume and new events – all before the end of the year. They will be regularly reporting to the ‘team’.  And it is preferred if these superhuman media/marketing/digital geniuses are ‘members of Townsville Enterprise’. This is just plain idiotic. And unrealistic.

Tourism, events and conventions are long games, with strategies to match. What alarms The ‘Pie is that this is the mob who ponied up $10,000 for a consultant to unsuccessfully ‘sell’ the unpopular idea of a CBD stadium to the punters who weren’t fooled by the self-interests behind the project. Is this going to be similar but financially greater waste?

And does The ‘Pie detect the dead hand of one Mayor Mullet, TEL’s Deputy Chair in there? This is all done in such a rush after the election that one is entitled to believe the mayor is trying to get to us believe she’s being immediate and dynamic.  All for the popular look?

To quote: Shakespeare: methinks it giveth us the shits no end.

And we will be keenly watching to see who gets the gig .

On the TEL website, somewhere in the tsunami of buzz words and impenetrable inspirational quotes, there is some guff that mentions that visitors should experience ‘an enriching and immersive experience’. Whoever is responsible for this latest bit of overblown tomfoolery need their own immersive experience, one involving a tinny, a breeze block and a hessian bag. The enriching part of the experience would be enjoyed by the ratepayers who have to date propped up this amateur ratbaggery.

And Finally, the Townsville Bulletin Reaches New Heights

Well, it helped Angela Cheung reach new heights when setting up a display at Umbrella Studios. Who said it was useless?

umbrella display

And … ha ha ha … one would make an educated guess that all those bundles were there as audited circulation, to be given away at the photographic exhibition featuring war photography by Bulletin photographers over the years. You know, like they do at the V8s, the annual triathalon, and every Saturday at the Rugby HQ ground et al.

The latest circs should be out within a fortnight.

Until next week.

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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.

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