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The Magpie

Sunday, January 13th, 2019   |   125 comments

The Massive Difference Between ‘Buy Local’ And ‘Local Buy’ … How Mayor Mullet Has Played The Townsville Business Community For Mugs.

Jenny Hill has traded on a trick of language to fool Townsville into thinking she is a champion for local workers and business, when the exact opposite is the case. It all revolves around the Local Government Association of Queensland’s business arm called Local Buy … and it is a deliberate play on words to line the coffers of the LGAQ. As The ‘Pie reports, this one looks murky indeed.

Also, the Townsville Bulletin goes beyond beyond parody, with one of their biggest side-splitting bungles yet … and overall, it was a week you couldn’t make up … unless of course, you’re the Bulletin.

And is rebel councillor Paul ‘The Angry Ant’ Jacob shaping up to take on The Mullet … well, he may well have delusions of popularity – and adequacy – for a tilt in 2020 but there will be one powerful group that will try to block him.

Also, the funniest comment on a news story this week comes from the most unlikely place … and by popular demand, our regular pictorial gallery from Trumpistan.

But first …

The shared thought-fart of the week belongs to One Notion’s P Hanson and the Katteronic’s R Katter. No sooner had Hanson quavered tremulously over the radio that people on the dole should be put to work catching cane toads at ten cents a pop, than Katter jumped on this creaky bandwagon and and upped the ante.

Bob Katter

Bob Katter (right).

Columnist James Jeffrey once wrote the Bob uses words like a cliff in Norway uses lemmings, and during the week, the member for Kennedy obliged with proof when he gurgled, giggled, sneered and croaked out his proposal that kids should catch the toads for 40 cents a time … and be armed with air rifles to get the job done. It all makes one think that both Hanson and Katter are still smarting from their latest rejection letters from The Mensa Society, but the ever-practical Bentley thinks no matter how the creatures are caught, there might be a bit of a flaw in the idea.

toad copy small

Gosh, kids could be recruited under the banner of The Toady Army … oh, hang on, maybe not, Townsville City councillors might sue for copyright.

Is The LGAQ’s Nice Little Earner LOCAL BUY Costing Townsville A Motza?

Some well credentialed business folks around town at increasingly frustrated with the little-understood Queensland Local Government Association’s business arm Buy Local. And on the face of what two well-placed identities have told The ‘Pie, the whole set-up looks ripe for rorts of all sorts, even progressing to very serious corruption unless proper transparency is in place.

First this landed in the Nest’s inbox from a respected and successful Townsville businessman.

Just wanted to highlighta program that shows that Mayor Mullet cannot only stuff Townsville as Mayor, she is also doing it as a Director of LGAQ against local businesses who pay rent/rates and employ people. Townsville City Council is among those Queensland Local Councils using LGAQ Local Buy to avoid going to tender locally, allowing them to appoint out of town contractors with the LGAQ taking a cut (understood to be 10% of any contract, which of course is just added on to what the cost would otherwise be).

Townsville businesses who were previously and successfully supplying services to Council have lost out under this scheme with many being forced to the business and had to put off staff. Any complaints about the dire situation made to Richard The Screaming Midget Beckett (no longer with the council met with threats that they would be locked out of any Council tenders in the future all under the culture from the Impailer and Mayor Mullet .

To be an approved Local buy supplier you have to apply and I think pay an amount to be approved and there is a period of 5 years in which other similar other local businesses cant even apply. Momentum for change must be building as this excerpt from a letter from Local Government
Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe indicates, after he received a petition complaining about the situation.

hinchcliffe letter

Also, has anyone questioned the $400k yearly service agreement between T.C.C . and
the LGAQ and does the Mullet disclose her Directors fees from LGAQ ?


As a LGAQ director, Jenny Hill, pops into her purse $31,000 p.a ta very muchly. Under the circumstances, that could be seen as blood money, since she must know the hardship this state-wide legalised rort is costing Townsville’s well-being. The Nest has received a number of complaints about Local Buy, but until this week, The ‘Pie didn’t have a coherent idea of what was happening so to get an independent assessment, The Magpie asked a business professional well versed in both business and LG matters to give this over-view. Given the current climate of spite and uncertainty, the person asked to remain anonymous.

Local Buy is flawed in many aspects, even if one were to concede that its creation was well intentioned.  Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt to start with – procurement can be complex and costly. Good procurement practice (eg. due diligence, evaluation requiring technical expertise etc) could be provided as a shared service, so that smaller organisations can in effect benefit from the capabilities of a larger organisation able to hire the appropriately skilled personnel. There’s also the prospect of negotiating better “aggregate” rates on the basis of aggregated volume.

That’s the theory.

The reality is that it is nowhere near this. I’m not sure about the 5-year protection racket claim, but I do know that getting on the list involves not much more than paying some fees and ticking some boxes. This means a local council is more or less free to then pick and choose from the list, subject to the requirements of the LG Act.

Magpie note: This means that the TCC can choose from a list based solely on price, which often means true locals cannot compete. This raises a moral question of whether it is more desirable to pay perhaps a bit more ‘locally’ and materially contribute to a more vibrant ‘local’ economy than to simply save some money because outside organisations that make no real contributions to our city. And it is this part of the system that is clearly open to corrupt influences. The ‘Pie knows of none, but it’s an open invitation to it.

Local Buy of course takes a Commission, from memory 10%, from registered suppliers when they “win” work, so in the end the potential benefits of savings aren’t materialised. Suppliers actually add the commission in.

There’s also real doubt as to whether the Local Buy organisation actually has any real procurement capability. As a result, the tendency is for increasingly standardised or vanilla offerings, because that’s the nature of generalised procedures run by people with limited specialisation and knowledge of local requirements or specialist areas eg, technology.

Local Buy is a misnomer, of course. It neither compels nor guarantees procurement by a local authority from suppliers located within this authority’s area. Having said that, what goes to constituting “local” is never actually an easy question to answer, which makes a mockery of the entire “buy local” trope. 

One other thing on the Local Buy (and council procurement in general): there’s a category called “standing offer arrangement”. This is basically a set of approved rates for services / products that a council can basically go back to time after time, without going out to tender. In theory, not a bad thing for pencils, paper clips and such like but – as is always the case in procurement – easily abused or at the very least, mis-used.

 The Magpie thanks the author for that succinct summary.

It would certainly appear that we are being dudded one way or the other, but two things raise the Magpie’s curiosity: what do we get for our $400k annual contribution to the LGAQ? And noted in hindsight, just as this Local Buy system was being introduced, Mayor Mullet started dropping in the odd ‘buy local’ slogan – the timing appears to havde been there to fool people when they started hearing about ‘local buy’. Low level chicanery at its worst, spread about at the very time it now appears the council Jenny Hill heads was doing exactly the opposite.

For Jenny Hill to trumpet the buy local cry is the height of hypocrisy, anyway. One of the very first acts she did when first elected mayor was to buy her new mayoral car (a top of the line Holden at around $70-$80,000) IN BRISBANE – AND STIFFED THE RATEPAYERS TO HAVE IT SHIPPED HERE. And why was this? Because she had had a previous fight with Tony Ireland of TI Holden about repairs her previous vehicle, which she had mildly pranged into a gutter _ Ireland point blank refused her request to illegally mark it down as an accident insurance claim, which it clearly wasn’t. Even although the Ireland company agreed to match the Brisbane price, Jenny Hill went ahead with the Brisbane deal anyway. She’s a sweet piece of work sometimes.

Jenny HillSo if you’re ever thinking if it’s true that local business people are fearful of spiteful retribution if they disagree with this civic leader, just keep that in mind.

And Here’s An Interesting Thought

Wonder if Local Buy had anything to do with the controversial choice of pipe for the new Burdekin line, and did Local Buytb have anything to do with the pipeline jobs that went to Adelaide in stead of the promised boon to Townsville? Just askin’. ya know.

Yes The Astonisher Has Gone Beyond Parody

The satirist’s lot is not a happy one lately. I mean, how do you make fun of something like the Bulletin that is so unintentionally crazy-funny to start with? Is this a secret plot to spike The Magpie’s guns?

Last Tuesday, this appeared on page 16 as the editorial page of the Townsville Bulletin.

Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 12.13.19 am

This is a stupendous blunder in a Townsville publication, that through their typical technical ineptness, the hard copy paper had published THE CAIRNS POST EDITORIAL PAGE – the community voice (supposedly) of any newspaper. The editorial was of bugger all interest here, as well as being pretty stupid, anyway. It even had the Cairns deputy iditor signing it under the Townsville Bulletin masthead.

Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 9.54.25 am

There was a time when this bit of prize fuckwittery would’ve caused an uproar, given the sensitive feelings between the two cities, but it appears we’ve been bludgeoned into not caring … about the Bulletin anyway.

Honestly, if it were not for the circle-jerk leadership of this city, the mayor and the head of Townsville Enterprise would be so incensed by this particular A community without a responsible newspaper is like a beautiful woman with only one eye (apologies to Brillat-Savarin).

But still the harmless laughs kept coming. There was this story …

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 5.11.42 pm

… which included this quote from one of the ladies of the night about southern blow-in blow-job competition on the streets: “There’s false advertising, they send out a photo of a really hot looking chick and when they get there it’s some frumpy number. The girls have had a gutful of it”
This has been brewing for ages.”

Y’know, Thd Magpie thinks the lady might have a point. What sort of deceptive, conniving, immoral low-life would stoop to such trickery. Bet it would never happen in the Townsville Bulletin, would it? Huh, what? … oh, oops.

Image 2018-12-13 at 8.28.14 am

But even when credibility-destroying cock-ups are right before their eyes, they still get into the paper. One should feel sorry for a decent old-time journo like Tony Raggatt, having his pic plastered between these clearly conflicting claims (the list clearly being nothing to with him).

Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 12.21.18 am

But The Astonisher makes it easy to …err … take the piss.

Urine wreak

This reeks of wreaking havoc on the language.

Is The Angry Ant About To Up The Ante?

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob knows a cushy number when he sees one … he is after all a Townsville City councillor. But it would seem our man is a tad more ambitious.   The Ant broke ranks against Mayor Mullet’s Adani airstrip rort, conveniently just before he made an abortive run for state as a Labor-aligned but not endorsed candidate. Ever since, he has been regarded as a rebel ever since among the council sheeple and certainly by head shepherd Jennifer. So when he was front-paged in today’s Astonisher…


… calling for an easing of water restrictions, many a pundit including The ‘Pie,  immediately assumed this was the signal for a Jacob joust for the top office in Walker Street.

And that will be tricky.

Unless Mayor Mullet abdicates and retires to malta, or runs on a Labor senate ticket – her dearest wish but said not be shared by those who could make it so – Clr Jacob will come under some intense pressure and even be flattered with promises of future glory by … the Labor Party. Because despite her simpering shy denials of being a Labor mayor, Jenny Hill is, and is seen as, just that, and mainly by Labor itself. The party back room boys reckon ‘mayor’ is as far as she’s going, so they wouldn’t rock what they see as a returnable vote boat in local government in March 2020. They know –poor old Dolan Hayes will need Ashley and Martin soon with all the hair-tearing – last thing the already beleaguered mayor needs is a Labor split ticket.

But trust the Bulletin to come galumphing on to this particular scene with a few editorial bromides, but the best being this hilarious piece of total unselfawareness in an iditorial, which clearly is not Astonisher editorial policy.

Screen Shot 2019-01-12 at 12.56.47 pm

Take your own advice, dearie.

But Does The ‘Pie Detect A Sly Dissension In The Senior Ranks At The Paper?

Although The ‘Pie doubts the feeling is mutual, he has great respect for the old-style work and values of John Ando Anderson – he offers a very readable weekly service to the valuable rural readership of the paper, which clearly involves actual field work, and not just a few phone calls or, heaven forbid, lazy Facebook trolling.

Now, Ando is nothing if not a steadfastly loyal News Ltd man; he has reason to be, the company spared no expense successfully defending him against spurious charge brought by the DPP over a jail interview almost 20 years ago. But The ‘Pie couldn’t help wonder if he wasn’t trying to get a subtle message into the editor’s ear when writing today about Townsville’s landscape of words, waffle and impossible dreams.

Screen Shot 2019-01-12 at 12.37.36 pm

Gotta love that line ‘Pep talks are good for morale, but in the end, they start to sound like the boy crying ‘wolf’. And that, Ando, described PRECISELY the Bulletin editorial policy. very funny. Clever too, if The ‘Pie is right.

Pop in and have a chat to , will you? For all of us.

Ghosts Of Iditor’s Past: There’s A Reason He’s Called Typo Gleeson

Peter Gleeson

Typo Gleeson leaving an unsuccessful job interview as editor of Tailor & Cutter magazine.

If you believe Sky News’s squeak fest hosted by Peter Typo Gleeson (sorry, only kidding) you might think David Crisafulli is returning to town for a special job and the head of TEL has changed her name.During the week, ww were treated too a hindenberg of hot air when Lil Patty O’Callaghan and state opposition pollie Kid Crisafulli fielded a number of Dorothy Dixers from Typo. But one would think it was Typo in charge of the on-screen titling.

Screen Shot 2019-01-10 at 11.20.58 pmAnd when they got around to realising their mistake, in typical Typo fashion, they got that wrong too.

Screen Shot 2019-01-10 at 11.21.54 pm

And Another Thing ..

Best comment of the week goes to the bloke who replied to a totally embarrassing piece of nonesense in the paper about whether we are a friendly city. He suggested that of course we are ‘we even wave to you from the roof of the Cleveland Detention Centre as you drive in from the airport.’

Luv it! Just what such a space-waste story deserved.

Finally – It’s Been Another week of Wall-To-Wall … umm .. Wall

And we start with Mexico announcing the obvious …

IMG_2596 17_13 47_220127 6_87 bg010919dapr lk010819dapr 23_219966 0-3 20190110edstc-a 42_220095 271_220202_1 4_124 271_220107 89_220225 14_23 205_220110


A Final Dad Joke (Well, Worked As A Granddad Joke) 


Oh dear … sorry.


That’s it for another week, we’re off and running for 2019, it’s promising to be a cracker. There are a wider variety of folks taking to comments of late, keep it up, some are thoughtful, some hilarious, so entertain and be entertained. And if you have anything left over from the festive season, a donation to support The Magpie’s Nest will be of great assistance, 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:

    Great article Pie and a reflection of the arrogance of a party in a city with all 3 levels of Government aligned to one political regime . Jobs for Adele the Impailer and the Screaming midget with family trimmings a seat of the Townsville Hospital Board and long term Council employees pushed out when they questioned changes not in the interests of ratepayers or Council guidelines . I get that smaller Councils don’t have the capacity or businesses locally to supply work but Townsville Australia’s 13 th biggest city with unemployment that was over 10% and a Mayor who states her focus is on jobs . The same Mayor that is on the board of the LGAQ the owner of local buy whose local representative claimed in the astonisher this week that 50% of local buy work stays in the region and the very program that blocks local businesses and employment . Even the State Government raised the bar on awarding local contracts to over 80 % on the stadium so Mayor Mullet has some explaining to do whilst $ leave the town and ends up in the pocket of Labor’s Queensland Advertising agency Campaign edge and Local Buy approved suppliers with local business locked out from periods of 18 mths – 3 years . Would the local businesses faired any better if they had donated to Team Hills campaign fund because there are numerous cases of the treatment to any business person who speaks out about the Mullet or T.C.C. . Townsville deserves better and are the Councillors like Paul Tully Councillor for over 20 yrs at Ipswich City Council who said “ I know nothing, nothing “.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Mike, sorry I’ve been out of touch for a few days and hadn’t noticed your reference to, ” . . a city with all 3 levels of Government aligned to one political regime”. I get it that the Jenny Hill council is a Labor council in everything but name and I have noticed that we have a state Labor government but how is the third level of government, the federal government, “aligned” to the same Labor regime? Surely you don’t mean that having a Labor backbencher, Cathy O’Toole, sitting in the federal seat of Herbert, makes Labor responsible for the federal funding of, for example, the NQ Stadium? Surely you don’t mean that federal Labor made the decision to divert funding from the GBRMPA towards that private enterprise club instead of investing in government initiatives? Surely you don’t mean that because there is a Labor member of parliament in Townsville she should be held responsible for the federal Liberal/National coalition proposing, for example, the funding of a railway for Adani or the building of a new coal-fired power station in NQ? If you really do see the world through such one-eyed glasses it might explain why conservative (or less progressive) political forces in Townsville have so much difficulty getting their act together – at all three levels of government.

      • Concerned says:

        Then why dont you tell us one thing that our so called Federal Rep has done for Townsville.
        While you are at it why dont you tell us what the levels of government directly responsible for our basic needs ( Local and State) have done for Townsville except for giving us one of the highest unemployment rates, one of the highest crime rates, and infrastructure that is going backwards, and a city that looks like crap.

        • No More Dredging says:

          Concerned, insofar as I have any interest in Australian politics at this mid-January moment, it is about the run-up to a federal election – either just before or just after a NSW state election. The federal Coalition government appears to be on the skids with all three Liberal PMs coming from the beachside suburbs of Sydney. Sydney, like Townsville, is having its property bubble punctured in ways that can only reflect on the Coalition government’s economic management – it is, after all, more than five years since Labor held the reins in Canberra. Federal Labor has long ago announced, among other things, a revision of the negative gearing scheme which is likely to have visible flow-on effects on the property market. But that can’t happen until after the election and only if Labor wins. In the meantime, the Coalition government has to take responsibility for what has occurred under its watch and people who want to take advantage of low prices and the existing negative gearing and other financial/self-funding superannuation schemes in their current forms should do so while current policies apply. Having all that information on the table now, in full public view and with ample opportunity to analyse and interrogate it means that in the event that Cathy O’Toole wins the seat of Herbert again, that will be her signature achievement. If she loses, well she’ll sink without a trace. But what else can an opposition backbencher in the most marginal seat in Australia with a perennially hostile-to-Labor local media, do? And what of the other candidates? There’s a Liberal without a reputation, no Green yet, Clive Palmer maybe and none of the also-rans showing. Also no news about whether Bob Katter will run again in the next door seat of Kennedy. And what have the other levels of government done for Townsville? Well, from what I can see they have borrowed and spent every last dime they can reasonably raise and there’s not much to show for it although there is a half-built stadium and the makings of a pipeline for which someone will take credit at some stage. But not the hapless federal Coalition government I’m afraid. It’s days appear to be done.

          • Concerned says:

            Just answer the questions ask NMD.
            And if you think Shorten is the answer guess again, it has been a short since your ALP failures were in power and racked up record levels of debt which the current government is trying to rein in.
            Remember the boats and how much that cost US TAXPAYERS and still is, and this is just one of the last ALP screw ups that we are still paying for.
            Shorten will be worse than the last clowns of Rudd and Gillard and will completetly screw over AUS with the help of his union thug mates and the Greens.

          • No More Dredging says:

            Concerned, your question was: ” . . why dont you tell us one thing that our so called Federal Rep has done for Townsville.”

            My answer was that: ” . . in the event that Cathy O’Toole wins the seat of Herbert again, that will be her signature achievement.”

            That is the only achievement that Cathy O’Toole needs to have “done for Townsville”. She gets herself re-elected. Don’t you get that? If voters want to back a likely winner they will vote for Labor’s O’Toole because, who else is there? Do you really think that half the electorate will just wander off-piste into the ga-ga land of One Nation, Clive Palmer or Someone Katter, even though they’ve never heard of the actual candidate and don’t know what planet they might come from? I mean really, in Herbert? I don’t think so.

          • Concerned says:

            Anyone that votes for OToole is a Tool.
            How about you answer the other question I ask regarding our Local and State government or are you avoiding this.

          • Concerned says:

            NMD, what about the LNP candidate for Herbert, Phillip Thompson, what you got to say about him

          • The Magpie says:

            Oh, dear God, no, why did you have to say that?

          • No More Dredging says:

            I’m with the Magpie on that.

  2. Tailor says:

    Hi Pie,
    Another great one.
    It sounds like Local Buy is a new thing to everyone given the way it is describe in your blog. It has been in place for a long time and used by all council throughout the state. I believe the Local in Local But is referring more to QLD purchasing policy for local involvement.
    Having worked for TCC and other council’s Local Buy is useful especially for very specialist service that aren’t on offer in your local area. Generally the way I judged it because it was up to the individual officer undertaking procurement not Council directive (TCC may have changed that since I worked for them) if the services are available locally use them. The individual officer could select the option they felt most appropriate but had to justify to senior staff.

    • The Magpie says:

      You’re probably right that its been around for a while, but there was never any coherent name or explanation of the policy given any wide circulation. But now, it seems if there has been any rorting, backhanders and/or preferential treatment, it has been going on foir a while.

      The magpie is super interested if the late swerves in the pipe type and location of manufacturer was done through Local Buy. Possibly not because the firm was in Adselaide, but the selection of pipe type might be tied in. And that could be a really squirmy can of worms.

  3. I’ll be plucked says:

    ‘Bob Katter, right’ in the picture- classic caption Pie. Pee’d myself with laughter you funny man!!! :) Onya old mate!!!

  4. I’ll be plucked says:

    PS Pie – I hear ladder sales have exploded in Mexico and a number of US suppliers are cashing in on the action/opportunity!

  5. Gonzo says:

    Pie, A great blog and Trumpistan, as usual, but the Astonisher has been truly astonishing. How can the Townsville Bulletin publish a Cairns Post Editorial Page on its editorial page? And the myriad mistakes and typos as well as the sex workers complaining about false advertising, while “Ricki” (Not the customer’s real name/image, says the Bulletin) scores $100 off her wine order. Hmm, I wonder how that happened! But you can’t complain too much: The Bulletin provides plenty of content for you! Keep up the good work!

  6. Inside TCC says:

    Know of a local business who jumped through all the hoops and expense of becoming a local buy supplier, they had multiple meetings cancelled by a council department, mentioned to their local councilor (Cr Greaney) that they were having trouble getting to meet with council department, councilor mentioned it to (then) GM of that department (screaming midget Beckett) next thing business is being threatened and abused and told they would never get another cent of council business because nobody questions him or his people and you don’t go to a councilor about him. Knowing that the Mayor and Councilors read this blog, they can easily check this info, this is how your imported midget has treated residents and business people in this town – all while telling them how he’s a protected species! Not a great look for any of you

    • The Magpie says:

      If indeed what you say is totally accurate – no reason to believe otherwise – then Beckett could find himself in legal trouble, especially telling a voting ratepayer that they can’t approach their local councillor about an issue with the council. That is one of a councillor’s prime duties.

      • Big Ears says:

        Inside TCC maybe u can update us on the Midget and his leave and the reasons for it. Rumour suggests several bullying complaints being investigated???

        • Inside TCC says:

          Big Ears nothing to update, we mushrooms have been told he’s on leave. And without the advantage of Beckett sitting in his office screaming at people on the phone to get more details we just have the official line to go by

  7. Watchthisspace says:

    Good to see the dots being joined on this grubbiness. Local Buy itself is perfectly legitimate. How it’s been applied in Townsville is not.
    Experienced and more economical suppliers have been passed over by the Impaler and her people for Local Buy provider GWI to develop council dashboards. Neil Glentworth of GWI is a personal friend of the Impaler. GWI is using Council as a test case to move into the local government analytics and dashboard space. It has been an ongoing cluster fuck, despite legitimate complaints from staff. When it was finally proven GWI was unable to deliver, and hundreds of thousands were down the drain, Neil Glentworth managed to convince management at Council to buy into a US based open data site. GWI was still involved of course.. Watch this space…this disaster is coming to a council website near you…

  8. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Unfortunately Local Buy has been hijacked, with its intended purpose being slowly eroded by self interest, it normally happens eventually. The same thing happened with Australian Made and the green and gold triangle, it got it the point where you could put it on the box, because the box was manufactured here, but the actual product wasn’t, always a way around these things if you are prepared to cough up the $$$.

    • The Magpie says:

      Which brings us to another question … if the council is so hell bent on saving money on procurement, where is Juliana Tiong in all this?

      Hired as the procurement boss, she lasted a few weeks commuting to Townsville from her Melbourne home, and then ‘procured’ a deal to work from home. At least that saved more than a thousand bucks a week in air fares, but what is her role now if Local Buy is muscling up for more of the action. That would make all or part of her job redundant wouldn’t it?

      • Hee-Haw says:

        Just to add some clarity to Local Buy.
        There is a graduated scale of benefits to being a local business when tendering through local buy for business.
        Zero for overseas business
        1% for interstate business
        2% for Queensland business
        9% for business with Townsville branch office employing less the 10 FTE,s
        12% for business with Townsville branch office employing more than 10 FTE,s
        15% for businesses with a Townsville head office.

        This means the price could be 15% higher then an international business and you still win the contract. ( not than anyone will know what the competition has bid)

        BUT the big kicker here is that any tender over $1 million the preferential weighting is removed. THERE IS NO ADVANTAGE FOR A TOWNSVILLE BASED COMPANY OVER AN OVERSEAS COMPANY AT ALL.

        In value terms 70 % of the TCC contracts fall into the $1m plus bracket then 70% of these are skewed back to NON LOCAL businesses.

        Smoke and mirrors

      • Kenny Kennett says:

        Is she still employed with the TCC? There is a Julia Tiong, Director, Procurement & Business Operations at Victoria University. Mind you I’m sure Julia Tiong is a popular name in Victoria but I do ask; if she is a TCC employee, who is monitoring her output and hours whilst working out of Melbourne?

  9. Linda Ashton says:

    The changes in terminology you’ve flagged will surely impact positively. I draw your attention to the current TCC Corporate Plan pages 5-6 … Vision and Guiding Principles. The “community engagement” thingy hasn’t quite hit the ground running, as per public perception and a less than complementary report by the relevant Commisioner. So why not have a name change there as well and it’s started to appear in the vernacular of some civic elites. We now have Community Advocacy. Not sure how that differs from the usurped engagement term.

    Not that WFTAG was inspired by the makeover but we’ve had a similar evolution in agenda. Ours is the result of 4 driving aims achieved. The specific activism phase has transitioned to an “advocacy” role – watch, wait and continue discussions about the mysterious process for the stage 2 pipeline’s business case. That’s the stage we didn’t need cos council told us repeatedly that stage 1 provided long term water security. When the Feds came to the party in October with the extra $200 million, everyone was ecstatic (despite leadership spills bringing the kind gesture for core infrastructure forward a few months). Almost everyone was ecstatic. The grant is pending a business case – as you do. A TB editorial confirmed that the Mayor was not happy. It kind of slammed the claim that stage 1 was all we needed. If also detracted from ALP heroism that funded stage 1 with $225 million. Mayor jumps up and down insisting the business case be done before Christmas. Wonder who might do this with council’s internal strife escalating. Anyway …. it didn’t happen and no one is saying anything about when, who, how etc. The transparency is consistently underwhelming.

    So The Water for Townsville “Advocacy” Group hasn’t gone away – expletives from Walker Street. We have submitted a proposal to all three levels of government that outlines our preference for the business case process. We anticipate, it will be given serious consideration under Council’s new Community Advocacy umbrella. Meantime the announcement of the stage 2 $200 million Federal funding has conveniently been added to council’s record $400+ million infrastructure spend.

    As for losing the “buy local” advantage, the stage 1 pipe manufacturing went to Adelaide and the local horse has bolted. WFTAG highlighted this possibility in our April 2017 Interim Report we recommended local manufacturing with a consortium arrangement for the 70km pipeline from Clare as a continuous build. This larger project would be a better business proposition for the successful tenderer to bring manufacturing plant here for the 1800mm product, to train people and establish a new industry beyond the 26month project. The powers that be decided on the staged installation for 36.5km with an indefinite timeframe for stage 2. Now that the Taskforce has recommended concurrent manufacturing and installation, it’s too late for the new local industry opportunity. No biggie.

  10. Alright says:

    Free campaign advice for Cr Jacobs or anyone wishing to have a go, all you need to do is run an online campaign like #metoo, with this banner:

    Youve lost my vote Jenny Hill

    – youve lost my vote jenny hill because of water restrictions
    – youve lost my vote jenny hill beacuse you didnt buy local
    – youve lost my vote jenny hill because the city looks dead
    – youve lost my vote jenny hill because you just didnt care

    And on it goes…

    Watch everyone come out of the woodwork.

    • The Magpie says:

      The only problem with that advice is that the next mayoral campaign cannot be won purely on the what Jenny Hill has done – the incompetence and vindictiveness of the current incumbent is now so obvious, so wll known, it doesn’t need to be overly harped upon. As a city, we are in trouble, and we need policies that are transparent, achievable and perhaps reining back on the grandiose, empty promises of the past few years. Coming back to an emphasis on the old local government trope ‘rates, roads and rubbish’ – overly simple yes, but a back to basics focus on services and inter-action with the public is essential after the scything damage done to morale, tempers and personal emotions, both in and out of council, is the foundation for any new regime. A bit of dignity in the office of mayor would also help the city’s overall morale.

      • Alrighty says:

        The lines you use can be translated into policies/actions for the campaign and fleshed out later. Hundreds of governments start that way. Voting almost always has nothing to do with the detailed study of policy. It’s a reactive activity in an age of one liners, hypersensitivity and immediate gratification. Don’t disagree with you, but a team with great policies needs to win first to get them on the table.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, gosh, really …

        • "Waste" OFTAM says:

          Yeah Jacob would be a great mayor, he promised to link up nth shore bulavard around the hill at bushy beach, yet to even get funding or approval, he voted for every sacking that has occurred in council. Unfortunately for him he cant get away from recorded votes he made. Cant rely on no vote for adnani. Not to mention the complete mess he’s left waste services in while he was chair of the committee. And the closure of Jensen dump to over 20k voters in nth beaches. He thinks going for mayor is better because nobody up there likes him so a whole city vote might get him over not just a division. He was Jenny’s lap dog throughout the last council and should never be trusted. As far as purchasing vehicles, nothing has been purchased and money is being syphoned to help the stadium. Watch the council’ look at privatization in the next 12mths to tell voters there saving them money.

          • Nemesis says:

            Most likely if Paul Jacob runs for Mayor, there might also be a “team” behind him – this alternative “team” and Mayor will most likely just be an electoral preference feeder for Team Hill during the elections. Elections are mainly won via preferences, Jacob’s preferences will flow to Hill or mop up the discontented vote. Once the dust settles Team Hill will still be victorious – hope you like another 4 years.

      • Beyondthethunderdome says:

        Couldn’t agree more ‘Pie, mature and inclusive leadership is needed.

        The current mob have been driven in equal parts by by a sense of entitlement and paranoia. They’ve circled the wagons to protect their interests and have greatly diminished this City. It’s more than just about competing again, we have a long way to catch up.

        Tragically, the last 3 years provide an example that business, leadership, and media classes will be studying for years.

        The executive resembles an ALP branch office. Decisions are made in the interests of self, not in the interests of the City.

        Doling out the 2020 (tunnel) vision treats all with contempt – ‘let them eat cake’: a park here, a zip-line there, another laneway, a festival, a new shiny thing – distract, distort, disarm.

        What gives heart is that we are better than that and we, the poor punters, have seen it for what it is – disingenuous. The City demands better.

        This City has great capacity and leaders who can make a difference. Some have seats at the table now – time to stand up.

        There is much to do.

  11. Alahazbin says:

    Once upon a time TCC purchased the plant vehicles and light vehicle & passenger cars by tender and hence gave all business a go at winning that tender.
    Now, if a piece of equipment or vehicle comes in around less than $150k then it is local buy.
    ‘Old mate’ from Fleet has just retired, so I wonder if the local business are happy about that.

    • The Magpie says:

      All the perceived (mostly illusory) savings through Local Buy has to be stacked up against the well-being to the city of some smaller extra cost of supplies, caused often by the burden we all carry … the tyranny of distance. Now The ‘Pie eagerly awaits the avalanche of howls and yelps about his use of the words ‘smaller extra cost’ … so in advance, his reply to those minded people is simple – if you don’t think it worth it in terms of community well being, then you know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

      • Hee-Haw says:

        Direct quote from TCC is that the benefit of buying local ( and I mean Tvl local) has a multiplier of 13 times in benefit to the community.

        That negates any small saving from buying from outside the region

  12. The Magpie says:

    Well isn’t that nice … it appears some shy unnamed person down at the Townsville Bulletin loves The Magpie (now c’mon, is that you, Clare?). One assumes that was where this came from, for obvious stylistic language reasons.

    Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “No Christmas spirit – or beer and wine – for Chart…”:

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    the way in which through which you say it. You make it entertaining and
    you still take care of to keep it sensible.
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    And who is The Magpie to argue.

  13. Cantankerous but happy says:

    The cities budget will be one of the first orders of business for any new Mayor and Council and due within a couple of months post election, March 2020. I would suggest anyone wanting to stand for Mayor put out a list of things they will do in the first 100 days, the top of that list would be completely scrapping council funding for Townsville Enterprise and relinquish its seat on the TEL board, reserved for the Mayor.
    I don’t mind the angry ant wanting to run on an endorsed Labor ticket, they are all Labor anyway, it would also provide an opportunity if organised enough for the other side to run and fund accordingly, and let’s face it we all want some transparency, shouldn’t that start with being honest and telling people what you stand for, if people say they don’t want politics in local govt they are just naive, it’s all politics.

  14. The Stockman says:

    Off topic, but has Council sold all its mowers?
    Imagine if Townsville was actually a city that got decent rain, we’d have to be issued machetes to cut through the grass on the way to work.

  15. DB2 says:

    Historically, “buy local” was used to justify a contract for the provision of letterhead to Council from a southern company despite there being a number of good printing companies in town. This is the type of brain dead decision that can be justified through “buy local” and it is just one of many.

    I’m not sure where Council letterhead is currently sourced, (gasp- they might even print it themselves), but over the years I have been actively “encouraged” by various Councilors and Council staff to spend my money in Townsville. Perhaps someone in Council should actually get of their backside and audit their purchasing policies to see whether or not those policies actually comply with Council’s rhetoric.

  16. gekko says:

    Looking at the Local Buy website there are over 1400 suppliers on their list and i only looked through a few pages and still found several NQ companies. I assume these NQ companies are getting access to then market their services and sell products outside NQ to southern councils also?

    • The Magpie says:

      Perhaps (and good luck with them getting any southern business), but The ‘Pie’s main concern here is the mechanism once tendering is bypassed, and apparently goes on quote alone. How does this work in practice? Just the lowest quote, since it would seem without a tender, it would be hard to distinguish any different values between companies? And how do we know it would be the lowest quote, because (and The ‘Pie isn’t making a joke here) that information would certainly be Commercial In Confidence. So if that’s the case, perhaps – as an instance – a higher quote from say a Labor donor could get the nod above a lower and equally valid quote from a non-Labor supporter. Don’t scoff, with all the party stacking of this council, (e.g the bullshit an d totally extraneous position of city economist to David Lynch, the business partner of Labor backroom boy Dolan Hayes and the outrageous and contemptible appointment of Shane Sutton – aka Mrs Stephen Beckett – to the featherbedded appointment to the Townsville Hospital Board ($44K per year), by former Labor mayor and board chairman Tony Mooney.

      Local Buy has all the hallmarks of being ripe for exploitation to the point of political corruption, not by but certainly because of the framing of the rules by the self-interested LGAQ.

  17. Bing 4814 says:

    So will Crime and Corruption Commission look into the dealings of the TCC ? And if found wanting will they sack them like other southern councils ? I bet not.

  18. The Magpie says:

    Things have taken a nasty and menacing turn on the streets of Townsville. The manner in which the Bulletin reports kiddy crime, especially car theft, has always had an undertone of ‘naughty larrikins (kids will be kids – chuckle) thumbing their nooses at the cops’. This sort of reporting does of course make the perpetrators fist-pumping cult heroes in the demimonde of juvenile crime in this city.

    But now, perhaps emboldened by the hapless floundering of our political leadership, both local and state, things have taken an alarming turn.

    This episode has reminded regular commenter Mugwump of the Walsh Street police murders in Melbourne in 1988 … police lured to investigate a stolen car abandoned in the middle of Walsh St, but once they got out and walked towards the vehicle, the two young constables were mowed down by local criminals, who had been lying in wait.

    While in Melbourne, hardened criminals used guns, here the weapon was another stolen car – it was the same ruse that almost saw to local officers run down by a second stolen car that appeared to have been waiting for authorities to turn up.

    As Mugwump reasonably surmises:

    “This was not your run of the mill Townsville car theft and joyride, I feel it was setup, clearly premeditated, and could have ended up with same result as Walsh St if the coppers here didn’t react so quickly.  It’s the Townsville crims taking it to an all new level while the ALP is like a bunny caught in the headlights on crime, trying to appease the greens for their Brisbane votes.

    Indeed, Mugwump, and it will disgraceful to hear the rationalisation when one of our police officers get killed or maimed because of this political cowardice.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      It has reached the point where the first question I would ask someone who has been a victim of crime in Townsville is who did you vote for, if you voted Labor you are getting exactly what they said they would do, absolutely nothing, at least they were upfront and said they won’t change a thing, and they haven’t.
      Your point is regards to the police has secondary implications Pie, police officers don’t want to come to Townsville, we are last on the list, with family in QPS they advise numbers are short across the Townsville region and one of the main reasons is officers do not want to be sent to Townsville anymore, a far cry from just a few years ago when the Mundingburra HQ was the hub of Northern police, that has now shifted to Cairns under Labor.

  19. Moment says:

    Nudibranch Underwater Playground
    While Townsville Police are still chasing stolen vehicles in the drainage channel at Hyde Park, in the Maldives, local police destroyed the Unique Coralarium Tidal Art Gallery by Jason de Cares Taylor completed 3 months earlier. This is the same Artist named for our Museum of Underwater Art being a Key Project in Townsville Enterprise’s State Election Priority List. ie The last time around and for the next, so no hurry as the story reads the same on their website. (Query: 2 or 3 years now and it is still ticking)
    Meanwhile completed in August 2018, underwater artwork by a local artist Adrian Vanderlught became Whitsundays newest attraction. The artworks include fish, a nudibranch and a crab and vary in size with the nudibranch 1.8 metres long and weighing about 300 kilograms. Updated 14.1.19. Such a success, additional Underwater Art planned and funding available for the Whitsunday with 73 submissions for consideration with the largest sculpture being 6m.
    Back here on the farm, we can only guess at the necessary visits to far away locations to ‘ensure the feasibility of our Underwater Museum’. Other ‘nonlocal’ art installations to have look at, include Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico and London. A missed opportunity may have been relocating ‘a few used pieces of artwork’ from the Maldives and a trip there as well.

  20. What has happened to Townsville? says:

    How low can Council go? Instead of spending ratepayer dollars on removing toxic weeds they would rather use our funds fighting an individual ratepayer in court. It is disgraceful that hard working Woodstock property owners Fran O’Callaghan and husband Peter Bucknell have to hire a barrister to fight Council in court for removal of toxic weeds. Instead of Council removing these toxic weeds 10 years ago and seeing this as a way to save the environment Council would rather pay lawyers. In another case a friend of mine asked council to enforce council laws, Council sent them a letter from Council’s legal department. How intimimidating is that?

  21. fwyp says:

    Hi Pie,

    Not important in the scheme of things, but I dislike most of the “clever” puns used by TB mainly in headlines. However, here’s one from TCC which probably takes the gold medal. I’ve left out the few normal sentences, but just in case someone wants to check:


    And I believe even though I only stumbled across it today 15/01/19, it’s apparently already a few weeks out-of-date.

    All the best for 2019 to you and the flock.


    Adopt a meow-nificent new friend

    Date published: 26 November 2018

    Townsville City Council is calling all cat lovers with an oppawtunity to find a fur-ever friend with a discount on cat adoptions this Meow-vember.

    There are over 30 cats and kittens available for adoption with the discount available from today through to 1 December.

    Community Health and Environment Committee Chair Cr Ann-Maree Greaney said Meow-vember is a way for residents to meet a fur-ever friend while saving money.

    “…… I encourage residents to not pro-cat-stinate because this deal won’t last long,” Cr Greaney said.

    “There are some loveable cats waiting for the purr-fect family to take them home.”

    • Achilles says:

      Tell that to the 1 million native animals torn apart by these vile animals. I have had cats all my life BUT they have always been de-sexed and NEVER allowed outdoors especially at night.
      Just euthanise the excess its the kindest thing you can do and the best for our native animals.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Save Australia’s wildlife. Go home and shoot your cat!

      • The Magpie says:

        Oh, Christ, here we go …

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          I wanted to get that put on a tee shirt but my wife reckons it would start fights.

          Article on ABC RN where the CSIRO estimated that domestic, wandering, stray, and feral cats kill about a billion (yes, a billion) vertibrates and invertebrates each year.

          They also piss on and around the house.

          I’d still like to get that tee shirt done.

  22. Strandboy says:

    Local buy is not the root cause … local procurement approvals by corrupt management using hourly rates and open ended scopes of work is where the transparency at council is lost.
    The new future cities 2020 election office is open now – perhaps some real information and access to quotes and tender samples from each department could be open for review so the common punter can judge the local content and procurement methods?

    • Plannit Townsville says:

      Surely you aren’t suggesting that the Please Elect Us Again 2020 Office will be a place of transparency and accountability?

      • Mike Douglas says:

        Based on contributions to the Magpies nest this week (including Council insiders) it would seem clear that T.C.C.,s tendering processes have been breached as high up as possibly the ex Ceo which has cost local businesses income and possibly jobs . So much for fixing the auditor of informations two failed audits on T.C.C, s openness and communication to Ratepayers . Then we have no 15 of the astonishers top 50 influencers in Townsville, the screaming midget who in his own words “ my role is to keep the Council out of the media for the wrong reasons” whose last role was managing the Mayors office so is the Mullet suggesting she didn’t know about the tendering issues and threats and intimidation to business? . I’m guessing the Impailer and screaming midgets payouts would be a minimum $400k . I am pretty sure the City Futures budget is $5 mil a year .

        • The Magpie says:

          And keep a close eye out for a mob called Propel, which offers Australian councils centralised services for many of their departments functions, which lead to further local job losses and a Big Brother element in dealings with council (along the same lines as dealing with News Corpse for advertising or subscriptions, an d to a lesser extent, emergency calls to Queensland police). In all these instances, the change was made to save a few measly dollars – sacking locals in the very communities the changes seek to exploit, or in the case of the coppers, the communities the government wants them to serve.

          • No More Dredging says:

            ‘Pie, I had a look at “Propel Townsville” (as you do) and in a kind of ironic twist I got to Senator Ian Macdonald:

            Aug 8, 2016 – TOWNSVILLE based LNP senator Ian Macdonald is the only Queensland member of the Upper House north of Rockhampton.

            Apparently the good senator was going to “propel Townsville’ into a golden future.

    • "Waste" OFTAM says:

      Yes and the future cities office has some people who really think they are more important than anyone else in this city. One of the appointees from.the mayor dosnt like that at 6am the garbage trucks are empiting bins in the city. She requires them to come back later after 7am when it’s more busy, more traffic and creates more headaches for drivers. Cant wait to see what happens when bus hub right below her window starts. She needs her sleep. This woman has made complaints, more then once about the noise because she’s paying a premium to live in the city and shouldn’t be woken up to early. In her complaint she mentioned shes part of future cities and has connections to the mayor. And when she didn’t get her way she again complained to waste services about the noise but pretending to be the caretaker of the adjacent appartment complex. Unfortunately for her it was a man who was caretaker but she made the complaint and there’s an arrangement that bins get emptied early. If this is what we have as upstart people working in council then bring on 2020. She wont have a position when next council rolls in because it’s a bullshit department. Maybe if she went to a proper city like Brisbane she’d see that services like rubbish collection go 24/7. People are so precious when they think they have power.

  23. The Stockman says:

    Quote from Mullet in today’s paper. Basically it reads, shut up you idiot peasants, we installed a sign and painted some walls. WTF more do you want?
    Jesus Christ, we are all doomed.

    “Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said the council did a lot of work to enliven the CBD through investing in infrastructure, encouraging investment and working with local businesses to find ways to boost trade.
    “The Street Art program has transformed our city into a colourful canvas of creativity, with international and local artists having their work on buildings throughout the CBD,” she said. “We’ve also put in several new light installations along Flinders St, the Townsville sign, George Roberts Bridge and Victoria Bridge to brighten up our inner city.

    “Another important project to green the CBD is about to start, with street trees throughout the city about to be planted as part of a Works for Queensland project.”

  24. Scientician79 says:

    And here comes Basic’s Blitz 2.0


    Here’s a thought maybe keep on top of the basics all year round and you wouldn’t need to keep having “blitz’s”.

    I suppose this is to make us feel better when the rates notices start showing up in the next few weeks.

  25. Alahazbin says:

    Is it just me, or do other nesters notice that when Asonisher journalist report on this latest bout of car stealing by the little sprogs, that they are referred to as “offenders” but the poor police who are out there being put in danger are called “cops”. I feel that is highly disrespectful.
    Even the ‘iditor’ did it in her editorial the other day.

    • The Magpie says:

      While The ‘Pie himself often uses the term cops, coppers, bluebags and wallopers, he generally does so when the issue is neither a formal matter like a specific crime, and also to keep alive a heritage of Aussie language. The casual slang term, however, has no place in responsible reporting … it would seem to be a failed attempt to be folksy. Which it would be if instead of offenders, the term ‘f…ing
      homicidal, brain-dead, spaced out drug raddled little c…s was used instead.

      • The Third Reader says:

        Soon somebody gonna get a hurt real bad. I hope it is one (or more) of the aptly titled snots as you mention ‘Pie. “Powder keg” is a term i am hearing more from connections, and the “V” word is getting louder every day.

  26. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Succinct but sad reporting:
    from Conus Consulting

    “Regional Building Approvals data confirms the collapse in Townsville
    January 16, 2019/0 Comments/in Building Approvals, Cairns, QLD, Townsville, /by Pete Faulkner”
    Today saw the release of the regional residential building approvals data from the ABS which allows us to update our own Conus Trend series; and what it shows is, as expected, the slowdown in the Far North continues with Townsville especially weak.”

    The headline says it all really, no one better at the numbers than Pete from Conus up at Mission Beach. Wonder what sort of spin the Astonisher will put on these: this one, graph 3 should set off some alarm bells in Walker St …

    … and the Astonisher should be demanding a response.


    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed, the Townsville Bulletin should be in there with some solid and honest investigative reporting, but alas, one fears they will continue to conduct the Titanic deck choir in more rousing choruses of ‘Happy Days Are Sort Of, Almost, Maybe Here Again’ as SS Townsville sinks further down into the waves.

      Trying to lift spirits with lies is a short term game, Jenna, for the sake of this town, start getting a bit professional about reality.

  27. Miss Lou says:

    Always good,
    Always entertaining.


    Miss Lou

    Typo should sell second hand cars.

  28. Wily Wombat says:

    I am just wondering how bad the place has to be before some of the whiners on here go and live in Cairns. I hope it is soon. Your antiquated thought patterns are half the problem in Townsville.
    Never mind, Comrade Bill will sort you out. Your LNP candidate may take Herbert but he will be in opposition and as useless as a canoe on the Darling.
    The worlds changed. Keep up please.

    • The Magpie says:

      Spot on there, Wily Wanker, its all moan, gripe and grizzle by commenters here, when if they would only open their eyes, Townsville is close to Paradise Enow, with full employment, a buzzing economy, abundant water, tourists are flooding in daily, the town looks as neat as a pin, the mayor is an incorruptible modest visionary who champions local businesses over all else (especially South Australia) and the council is compromised – oops, that is ‘comprised’ – of fearless warriors for their various divisions, fearing nothing and no one in their outspoken championing of a fair go for those who voted for them … they all toil long hours for modest pay. And you know what really sticks in The Magpie’s craw? All these doom sayers have the truth before them, plain as day, in the Townsville Bulletin, which faithfully reports the terrific news of Townsville Enterprise’s daily triumphs and successes in the power corridors of the grasping southern elite. All truly bigly good, terrific.

      Yeah, let ‘em go to Cairns, that’ll show ‘em what a run-down city really is. Hope they fly there, and see for themselves what a dump the Cairns Airport is.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Dear ‘Pie,

        You forgot the active collaboration of Council with the arts community that delivered a multi-venue synergistic state of the art Performing Arts Centre drawing international acts to Townsville.

        • The Magpie says:

          Don’t be too harsh on the old bird, Dave, the cornucopia of goodies being delivered to our town through our visionary enlightened leadership are too many to count, but you are right.

      • Wily Wombat says:

        I speak from experience Herr Pie. I lived and owned a business up that way for close on 2 decades only just coming back in the last few years. A horrible place. Holds its facade due to the tourist industry. When tourism takes a dip, the frayed stockings start to show. The grass always is greener on the other side. In Cairns case it is synthetic grass.

        • The Magpie says:

          Took you 20 years to find out it was horrible? There, there, pet, everything’s all right now, the medication will kick in soon.

          Seriously, comparisons are odious, as the saying has it, but more to the point, they are pointless, each place has its own unique challenges, and this blog is proudly Townsville-centric. And will remain a sounding board for those who want to see it run decently.

          BTW your other silly comment of a spoof quote was dropped, didn’t contribute a damned thing to the discourse … and besides, was run in the blog two years ago.

    • Alahazbin says:

      WW, I hope you got a good nest egg, if you are about retiring age, because ‘comrade bill’ is gonna get some of it.

    • Grumpy says:

      “Antiquated thought patterns”?

      Like those family values you so despise?


  29. Cantankerous but happy says:

    In the latest airlines news,

    Cairns has announced a lift in flights to Singapore with a now daily return Silkair service, up from 4 a week.

    Darwin has announced a lift in flights to Singapore with a now daily return Silkair service, up from 3 a week.

    Townsville airport has announced a mental health blackboard in the terminal.

    See Wily Wombat, more than happy to point out positive things for Townsville when they occur.

    • The Stockman says:

      The mental health board is fairly popular with the passengers who are stressed about having such a a shit hole of an airport.
      Well done Cantankerous.

    • whykickamoocow says:

      Yep all these dumb gimmicks.
      You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig Townsville Airport.

      • Grumpy says:

        Hang on there, Cowboy and Friend…

        Has not the general consensus on this blog been that the Townsville airport is perfectly adequate to handle existing and projected medium-future passenger numbers? Conceded it is that it is somewhat drab and a little down at the heel (I am convinced that this is deliberate on behalf of that pallid corpse Gill), however, who cares? We don’t need to have a “shopping experience” before we board. Just a decent, reasonably priced coffee/beer. On arrival, it’s get your bags and bugger off as quickly as possible. Unless, of course, you’re keen to pay an extra $40-50 bucks for your flight (I’ll leave it to you to explain that one, Cankypants)

  30. Dutch Reverend says:

    The Astonisher is so good at raising the hopes of all “Townsvillians” on their Facebook page, they enlighten all that we have a better chance of being murdered than winning $100mill tonight. And if you do it will probably make your life worse anyway. But if we don’t win …. most are stuck in Townsville. So, now there are 3 bad things about tonight’s powerball. Thanks Bullsheet. You are the guardians of hopes and dreams.

  31. The Magpie says:

    Oh the shame, the horrible accusations so often bruited about here that the Townsville Bulletin is a day late and a dollar short with the news … the paper’s motto: ‘yesterday’s news tomorrow’ … have now smashed egg into The Magpie’s face … the Astonisher has today proved it is waaaayyyy ahead of the news cycle – if this is news.

    Commenter Mugwump reports:

    Another Astonisher online puzzle.

    Does ‘opening soon’ really mean ‘after Christmas’? That’s another 11 months away!

    Still, I suppose it fits in with their ‘good times are coming….soon….I promise….just wait’ daily flap doodle.

  32. Brendon Marty says:

    Hi Townsville Magpie,

    My name is Brendon Marty and I am the Project Manager of the Mentally Healthy City Project which you discussed in your feature a couple of weeks ago. Firstly I just wanted to say that we at the Tropical Brain and Mind Foundation were surprised to see it being discussed on your platform. I did want to clarify a few things however in regards to the accuracy of your description.

    The project is an initiative sponsored by the Foundation and not Council, State or Federal Government. Whilst the Townsville City Council is a prominent supporter, this project has come about from a group of people within the Townsville community aiming to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the people who live in this wonderful city. In addition to TCC, we are also backed by Beyond Blue, Townsville Hospital and Health Service, North Queensland Primary Health Network, and also Bendigo Bank. The former PM Julia Gillard was a guest speaker at our launch last year in her position as Chair of Beyond Blue and not a Labor Party representative. Sir Angus Houston is the official Patron and the person responsible for formally launching the project.

    I do acknowledge that your comments were based on the article published in the Townsville Bulletin and not directly from the information available from myself or the TBMF team. I would be more than happy to meet with you in person or via email correspondence to give you more information on what the project is truly about. A crucial factor in the success of this project is support from the community, as we are well aware it will fall flat if it isn’t embraced by the people who will benefit. Of course we need to manage the information that is being spread throughout the community about the project, and ensure that negative stigma around mental health is decreased.

    • The Magpie says:

      Since I accept that you are a sincere person, rather than use a pseudonym, I will introduce myself – Malcolm Weatherup, retired journalist.

      Thanks for your email, and, like you were about the article, I am surprised that it came to your attention, since it was not per se about your organisation or its work as such. It was about the council’s involvement in such a scheme, with which I heartily disagree, on the basis that this shambles of an administration ignores, deflects and dissembles on so many other crucial issues (which – no joke – greatly contributes too the anxiety and stress of our citizens). Spending ratepayer money on such a vague, albeit it perhaps worthy, aim is questionable at best in the current circumstances, and as always with our council, outcomes will either not be able to be measured, or will be skewed for political boosterism.

      I stand by my comments about such unattributable nonsense as ‘Australia’s first mentally healthy city’ being nothing more than unprovable, unattainable spin – as I asked, how is this to be measured? Can it seriously be envisaged that all other towns and cities in Australia will admit that they are less ‘mentally healthy’ than a crime-ridden, economically challenged, political moribund community such as ours? It is the sort of statement we have come to expect from this council and be printed unquestioningly in the Bulletin. Everything nowadays seems to be made in to a race, a desperate desire to be ‘higher faster stronger’ than others, so this piece of PR bull dust is about us supposedly being able to boast we are the mentally healthiest city in Australia. To what end? And what does that goal say about our collective mental health anyway?

      I certainly don’t begrudge your foundation the actual support in itself, but I do object to this stumblebum mob in Walker Street posturing as a caring and benevolent leadership … they are anything but, and are purely self-interested, especially since they are in campaign re-election mode..

      So may I suggest a great to start to achieving your unattainable goal would be a change of leadership among this city’s self-interested ruling power elite.

      I fully understand, and do not denigrate, your sincere work among those in the community who require assistance to cope in an increasingly complex world where even in our leadership at all levels, there are reasons for anxiety, stress and dismay.

      But I repeat, one crucial step towards your ultimate goal is to have leadership that is genuinely interested in the overall well-being of the community, and not gorging greedily at the public trough and promoting unprovable and risible comparisions.

      Cripes, Bren, I might need a pill myself to settle down.

      I wish you well in your work, and am sorry if you were taken aback at my article, but which I stand by for the above reasons.

      • Grumpy says:

        Well, that didn’t go as planned, did it, Young Brendon?

        By the way, what do you actually do?

        • The Magpie says:

          Mr Marty’s previous gigs were:
          -delivery manager Oakton
          -senior analyst risk advisory Deloittes
          -project manager department of agriculture
          -project manager information technology

          • Grumpy says:

            ….and a degree in Super Mario

          • The Magpie says:

            That is a touch snide, Grumpy and The ‘Pie doesn’t endorse such slings and arrows for Mr Marty, who should be given the benefit of the doubt that his intentions are good. Without prompting, took the step of engaging in a public debate without rancour or cheap shots, and although his email was little more than a stock standard, self-serving media release, at least he sought a public discussion. And he’s got it, for better or worse, and even naysayers on this particularly touchy issue could at least keep the discourse civil.

    • Little Miss Muffet says:

      So Brendan, what are the measurable and attainable goals for you program? How do we know we’ve ‘won’ the mentally healthy race?

      I understand that community acceptance plays a huge part in your program succeeding, so how are you going to measure this? By continuing to get on board big name partners who are there in name and $$$ only? Will you be partnering with local supports such as the Townsville Suicide Prevention Network? These are the people on the ground, in our community, doing their best already. Vastly underfunded, by the way.

      Do you live here in Townsville? What Townsville specific plans have you got? And how does the local council/hospital/et al fit into these plans?

      • The Magpie says:

        The Board members of the foundation are:

        -Lisa Banks PVW partners
        -Cathy Day JCU
        -Sue Mckinty JCU
        -Maxwell Ben nuero surgeon
        -Ellen Millios Hullick
        -Dr Lynore Geia Indigenous health
        -Jacquie Gillespie Pool Safety Company
        -Alan Norman retired Ergon
        -Matthew Keating Keirs Steel lawyers

        It is interesting to note that one is a person who was of continual interest to the drug squad a few years ago, a person they believed was a main supplier of recreational drugs, particularly to a prominent sporting team.

        • Plannit Townsville says:

          Interesting board selection. Not a lot of mental health experience there. One makes coffee. One checks pool fences an accountant, a lawyer, a retired electrician, and a few specialise in education. And the project manager has an IT background.
          Why haven’t the experts in mental health in the region stepped up on this? Did they smell a publicity stunt and go “Stuff this shit, let’s just continue doing the real work”

          We have serious mental health problems in the region, and they need to be addressed but some under funded project and a board with no idea about mental health (Dr Geia excepted) isn’t the answer.

          • The Magpie says:

            The selection of the board seems a bit random, to say the least. It would be ingenuous to say that poor mental health (whatever that is, it probably applies one way or another to every living person) affects everybody and therefore people from different walks of life have something to offer. As a universal point of view, that is simply wrong. All those people can do is testify to the symptom, not any ‘cure’ if there is such a thing. The reason this foundation’s stated aims about a mentally healthy city falls into the do-gooder useless category is because it is quite plain even to a layman that the causes of mental health affliction in society come from the wider imbalances in equality and disadvantage that are the stuff of greater government programs and require a political will to make this a fairer society. An imbalance that the well meaning folks of this foundation have no means of usefully addressing, because all they could do at best is treat symptoms, and not the root causes of anxiety and depression. And it is no joke when The ‘Pie repeats that the performance of leadership at ALL levels of government is one of those root causes, the political discord and aggressive, pointless opposition to each other ‘on principle’ – the lack of bipartisan action on related social matters – is a well spring of many of the deteriorating resolve and attitudes across the community.
            In light of that assumption, The’Pie believes would also be worthy of debate as to whether it is wise to have such polarising former political figures like Jeff Kennett and Julia Gillard as the public face of otherwise worthy efforts … it is EXACTLY people like this that have – perhaps inadvertently – created the mental hot house that is modern Australia. (Let’s leave aside external influences that have flow-on effects, like terrorism, and the inept, juvenile leadership of major powers.)

            If the Townsville City Council wants to contribute to a mentally healthier city, then better, fairer and more transparent governance without spite or threats of retribution is the starting point, not just doling out money for a good look in a campaign year. And if the Bulletin ever wants to be taken seriously, they need to stop being riddled with obvious and poorly hidden agendas, and offer a mature focus point where the whole range of related matters can be debated and believed.

          • Digger says:

            Its interesting that Brendon says the foundation don’t get any funds from 3 levels of Government but supported by Townsville Hospital (state+federal funding), Beyond Blue (Federal Funding), Primary Health Network(Federal Funding), Townsville City Council (Rate payer funding).

            You raised many valid points on key performance indicators, ‘Pie, and how are the results measured?

            Domestic Violence is a major issue in Townsville with 120 cases reported a week and the foundation does say their focus is on children suffering from abuse and neglect to veterans returning from war zones but their board doesn’t have any defence or Qld Child Safety representation.

            Google their website and there is a big Townsville City Council logo.

            If the foundation is to work and get support, they need to communicate more clearly – and how is this not duplication?

  33. Alahazbin says:

    Well! The Astonisher finally admitted “But what would we know?” Check it out. Page 13 todays rag.

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