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The Magpie

Sunday, February 10th, 2019   |   176 comments

The Vigilante Of The ‘Ville: Our Mayor’s Goes Full Bogan On Potential Looters

In a thinly disguised endorsement of vigilante violence, Mayor Mullet plays to the bogan voting block and further bolsters Townsville’s backwoods image.

And the blame game has already started, with the Premier tossing Mayor Mullet a hospital pass on national TV… and the mayor instantly fumbling it on …

Also, why Astonisher editor Jenna Cairney may not be with us much longer … could it be argued she’s doing too good a job? You’ll stop laughing when you see the latest readership numbers.

And while debate about insurance premiums are sure to be front and center following our floods, worse news on that front from down south … a Queensland judge has just made an astounding ruling that could send premiums through the roof across the board …

And since the world goes on elsewhere, The ‘Pie presents a riveting, must-see video: a clever and forensic dissection, grimly hilarious in its own way –  of the underlying threat to the US and the world … and no, it is not Donald Trump.

But first …

As Townsville’s huddled and weary flood victims start the long trek back to normality, it was heartening to look back and see that urban animals were not forgotten as people fled to safety. Although, as Bentley surmises, it was no time to adopt new pets.

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Irony Corner

Seems Mayor Mullet’s vision for 2020 has come somewhat early. Oh, cruel, cruel fate.

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It’s Going To Be A Long Road Ahead On Many Fronts

We’ll talk about the inquiry into the handling of the flood shortly, but it’s one hell of a the mountain we have to climb to recover from this A perceptive reader and regular commenter with connections out west provided this appraisal of just some pitfalls awaiting us.

The implications of the monsoon disaster go far beyond the immediate damage to housing and community infrastructure in the city itself, and could have potentially massive implications for Townsville’s economy and ongoing employment in The city.


Reliable local sources in the mineral transport sector have told me that they are anticipating the rail line between Townsville and Mt Isa will have hundreds of km of track washed away, and if this is the case they expect it would be closed for at least 6-8 months.

Massive amounts of mineral product are railed to Townsville from the western mineral province for further processing and/or shipment through the Port. While it will be possible to switch some of the product to road transport this will result in tens of thousands of extra heavy vehicle movements with the resultant safety implications and wear and tear on the Flinders Highway and local roads, and will present a logistical nightmare to schedule and manage. In any case road transport can never handle the sheer volume of product currently being sent on rail.

There is even a whisper it may have an impact on the viability of Glencore’s smelter operations in Mt Isa. After all, what is the point of operating the smelter if they can’t transport the product out in viable quantities? If this is the case it would have flow on implications for their Copper Refinery in Stuart as the Mt Isa smelter is the primary source of the raw copper anode used in the refining process. It was only 3 or 4 years ago that Glencore were seriously considering closing both the Mt Isa smelter and Townsville refinery and moving to production and sale of bulk concentrated product only. Closure of the rail line for an extended period may be enough to tip the scale towards ceasing the operation of both the smelter and refinery.

Challenging times are indeed ahead for our city.

Jenny Hill’s Disgraceful Dog Whistling

If ever any one instance among so many can be definitively cited to question Jenny Hill’s fitness for leadership, it would have to be this …

Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 10.32.15 am Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 12.28.15 pm

This is simply disgraceful, cynical and above all, irresponsible. She said it two or three times in different instances, and it can only have been a cheap ploy to paint herself as in tune with the community sentiment. Or perhaps she really doesn’t understand her role, because that’s not leading, that’s being led.

What a person with real leadership qualities, dignity and care for her city’s image would have done would be the exact opposite of this thinly veiled condoning of rough justice – a call to people under stress by current circumstances and generally fed up with property crime to curb a natural tendency to violence against anyone found looting. “Work with the police, but don’t try to do their job,’ should have been the message,’ I understand how you’re feeling now, but you have to rise above the temptation to be lawless, to any sort of summary justice – whatever you do, do not act like a mob.’

But no, the message seen around Australia, delivered by this swaggering bogan Boedicia, ensured the growing perception of Townsville as a bogan backwater was reinforced in the most damaging fashion. And Jenny, you’d better hope to hell no mob action results in serious assault or even murder – or you will be held morally and even possibly legally, responsible.

Simply disgraceful.

 So Mayor Mullet’s Miracle Turns To Mud

There is little doubt that Jenny Hill was hoping for an miracle electoral recovery by doing a sterling job that would gain her much needed kudos during the floods, steering the city through the crisis and ending up with a dam fill of water.

Well, she got the water all right, but her hopes for the kudos are unlikely.

The floods have exposed several issues that started well before last week – chaotic staff deployment, lack of experience in handling the information flow, an alarming failing in the out-dated and poorly maintained (through lack of proper staff) fleet of council vehicles, and long-standing dangerous planning laws.

But the immediate the questions already being asked about the timings of releasing the backed-up water has managed to raise questioning eyebrows everywhere. Both the premier and the mayor – both recognised as cynical if inept political operators – have suddenly moved to distance themselves from that decision making, as The ‘Pie noted in comments on Friday.

Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 9.50.18 pm

The Premier has done it in the most cowardly panicked manner, dodging straight-forward questions about the issue by seeking to blame the Townsville Council ‘because they own the Ross Dam.’

That’s true BUT the water is managed by SunWater, a statutory Queensland Government-owned corporation. Wouldn’t that be the putative body having a big say in advising strategy?

And Mayor Hill is seeking what cover she can get by today repeatedly using the phrase ‘ the council decided’ instead of ‘I, as mayor and chair of the Disaster Committee decided …’.

This is just the start of some furious back-pedalling that can only be sorted out by an independent inquiry.

The Magpie Gets Something Off His Chest

There were a lot of side issues tumbling about in the muddied waters during the week.

The ‘Pie was mightily chuffed to see the ABC interview with an old copper friend from years back, Matty Lyons (constable back in The ‘Pie’s court reporting days, and now – crikey, well done, Matty – Acting Inspector Mathhew Lyons ). Driving about the stricken city with the reporter, Officer Lyons was calm, authoritative, and mercifully free from buzz word obscurity, just plain language about how it felt to be doing this job. He summed it up by simply saying ‘This is what we do.’

Perhaps it was that quiet and dignified summation that prompted The Magpie to blow a long-suppressed gasket when he responded to this comment during the week regarding the unfortunate drowning of two men fleeing police after a suspected looting incident.

  • Ollie


February 8, 2019 at 8:30 am  (Edit)

Has anyone given a thought to the two poor young coppers who watched them being swept away to their almost certain deaths? Or the police diver who found their bodies?


  • The Magpie


February 8, 2019 at 12:45 pm  (Edit)

Hey, hang on … suddenly the police are the ‘victims’ of the tragedy?

This sort of nonsense has got to stop. Police do a difficult and dangerous job, and see things most of us never want to see, but they are trained in this, volunteered to join up for this, and have guidance and counselling available if required.

While what The ‘Pie calls ‘officer anguish’ can be real and debilitating in extreme cases, it is surely vastly overstated. Police Union boss Ian Leavers is a past master at this tactic, making out that we should be concentrating on the emotions of the attending officers rather than the real victims of accidents, murders and other unpleasantness they attend. If nothing else, this invites all police officers to embrace a weird sort of victimhood of emotional injury. (Of course, this does not include actual injuries courageous police officers receive in the line of duty, but again, the dead fish-stare, Peter Dutton-lookalike Leavers trots out the totally false mantra that ‘police do not go to work expecting to be assaulted and deserve to be able to go home uninjured to their families’. False because that is EXACTLY what they are entitled to expect, especially when given their powers of arrest and hardware to accomplish this if necessary. Such irresponsible, unintelligent sophistry completely belies what a police officer’s main tasks are  all about … inter alia controlling, detaining and otherwise engaging with the criminal, the drunk and the unfortunate mental sufferers. Does he suggest that all the wrong-doers in this world have some sort of moral obligations to walk forward, arms outstretched for the cuffs, saying’ You got me bang to rights, constable, sorry about that’? ‘Morals’ and ‘criminals’ are mutually exclusive terms and for zealots like Leavers to imply otherwise is just plain insulting. And dopey.

Cor, that feels better. But not for long … here’s something that is unfathomable, a judge reaching a decision that is deeply disturbing, and could affect the already strained hip pocket of every Queenslander who owns and/or drives a vehicle.

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The nub of the story is that Justice Peter Flanagan found the late Byron Williams, who was speeding and intoxicated with amphetamines and cannabis when his car hit a tree on the Sunshine Coast in 2013, had a legal duty of care not to expose the officer to psychiatric injury through his negligence, which in fact killed him at the scene.

Former senior constable David Paul Caffrey developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after his experiences at the scene, including trying to keep Mr Williams alive with first aid and encouragement, and then leading his parents to farewell their son shortly before his death.

No one doubts the aftermath was very real and tragic, and Mr Caffrey has indeed suffered greatly, including losing his job. But how this is the insurance company’s fault can only be the result of the arcane reasoning of finer points of the law by Justice Flanagan. The judge dismissed any such argument, with the ABC reporting: Lawyers for Williams insurance company argued not his responsibility to take reasonable steps to avoid exposing officers to psychiatric harm through his death or suffering. They argued the public could reasonably expect that emergency service officers such as police were trained and equipped to avoid harm via exposure at accident scenes.

Justice Flanagan ordered the insurer pay $1,092,948 in damages.

The payout seems about right under legal guidelines for this sort of serious mental and emotional injury, but The Magpie takes issue with who has to pay it … it is surely the Police Union’s insurers – isn’t it the union that allows their members to be so exposed to this sort of thing? , or the relevant government department’s responsibility, for the same reason. That way, those loving, caring and oh-so-fair outfits called insurance companies will have no excuse to whack a premium on all driver insurances, to guard against causing similar injury – caused by you being maimed or dying in a car accident.

Other Unbelievable Scenes In Townsville – Messagebank Curiously Examining A Strange Oblong Object

Messagebank 1

So what, you say? Well, check the background bloke …

messagebank 2

Could it be that Deputy DooDah Les Messagebank  Walker really does check his messages and respond to the concerns of the Townsville ratepayers? Haha, just jokin’.   Of course he could be doing any of the following:

*  betting on the neddies

*  getting a date

*  ordering at the bottle-o

*  organising campaign donations

*  building an international hotel in his division

*  seeking positions vacant for a job when his political career is over (in March next year)

*  checking a bus timetable, or the latest date for the opening of the CBD bus hub.

More likely just playing Candy Crush.

Odds Are Jenna Cairney Will Soon Be Heading South

The Magpie makes this prediction after checking the latest eye-popping readership figures for regional newspapers.

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See if you can spot why head office in Holt Street might see a bigger future for Ms Cairney. Yup, a whopping 34.4% lift year on year, and almost as satisfying as at least tying with the Cairns Post, just one thousand off the Canberra Times!!! Which either says a lot of good things about The Bulletin or a lot of bad things about the Canberra Times – your choice.

If The ‘Pie has been happy to accept the previous uniformly ghastly Astonisher readership figures supplied by the Roy Morgan survey outfit, then he can hardly refute this spectacular jump in the Astonisher’s fortunes, hard to believe though it is. So well done, Jenna and crew … and whoever thought up all those pester power promotions for kids’ free books series over a week with each paper.

And a reminder, readership is done by survey, while circulation is the actual number of newspapers printed and distributed in one form or another. A couple of years ago, all News Corpse papers suddenly withdrew from the traditional agreement to supply circulation figures to the audit bureau, so the public and advertisers can only take their word for whatever they say about numbers. But here’s an interesting little bit of maths … the Bulletin has always made the amusing claim – to support phantasmagorical claims by News own readership measurement mob EMMA – that every single paper is read by EIGHT separate people …yes, eight. So … the last known week circulation was about 17,000 and falling, so you’d guess it was around 15 to 14000 now , BUT if no one at News was telling fibs, a simple calculation ( 8 divided into 44) we get a print run of about 5500 on weekdays. Hmmm…

Somebody’s been telling fibs, but the news can only be good for Ms Cairney – anyone who can turn a paper around like that, though it still be a pale shadow of its glory days, is obviously bound for bigger things. But won’t it be a funny thing if it turns out the increase had been because of the promotion of its wonderful unintentional comical side here in The Magpie’s Nest (humblebrag, humblebrag).

The Varnished Truth

The Magpie had a dream ….he had an exclusive interview with Jenna Cairney, in which the editor of the Daily Astonisher talked openly about a crisis she bravely battled alone, and that few knew about in the past couple of anguished weeks..

Jenna Cairney 2

‘Well, it really was a close run thing,’ a weary but still radiant Ms Cairney said, gently brushing aside a stray wisp of her golden hair, and sipping a glass of Stoneleigh chardonnay (on special at Liquorland 20% off with coupon clipped from the paper on Page 1).

‘We have been so flat out that we didn’t notice until almost too late that our stocks of adjectives and suitable verbs was about to run out. Nouns were sort of OK, they tend to speak for themselves, but, in fact, we were down to just a half dozen ‘shockings’ , four ‘incredibles’ and just one single ‘devastating’; we’d run out of ‘heart-break’s last week, used the very last ‘horror’ yesterday, and things weren’t helped when some junior accidentally mixed the ‘massives’ in with the ‘mammoths’.

She shook her head with a knowing, wistful smile, and murmured’ ‘Ah these young cubs, just wee laddies and lassies, most of them, but they’ll learn, they’ll learn . ..’

‘Of course’, she continued, ‘this mix-up caused big headaches when we have to start using nouns like ‘blunder’ and ‘misjudgement’ … it is starting to look like we’re going to need a …well, ‘massive’ supply of them in coming months,’  she smiled. But then the worried look returned to her normally untroubled brow “We had used our very last ‘wreaking havoc’ two days ago. But now the train from Brisbane finally got through with fresh stores, particularly a couple of hundred ‘courageous’s, a whole carton of ‘indominatable fighting spirit’s and they generously chucked in a few useful phrases like ‘NQ breeds them tough’ and ‘pioneer tradition’ – John Andersen was particularly relieved about that last one. For a while there it looked like we were going to have to try and use a few ‘iconics’ and at least a half a dozen ‘alleged’ … both of which we have plenty – but now its seems we can avoid drastic change in style of simply letting such  events speak for for themselves, and we can give these recovery stories the adjectival recognition they deserve. Readers will now no longer be denied the fully varnished truth of what has happened. After all, it is alleged we are an iconic newspaper.’

Quite so, m’dear, quite so … and The Magpie thanks you for Exclusively Revealing all this. The ‘Pie is now a fan, and is All For You.

Now For Some Unvarnished Truth From Washington

No no, this isn’t the Trump-bashing section – that’s next – but this is one of the best structured and cleverly presented dissections of what ails the American body politic that you will ever hear. And the scary thing – every single word is true and said in a very formal hearing session.

Some deluded people have suggested Ms Ocasio-Cortes, who has definite green leanings, is the Sarah Hansen-Young of American politicians.

Ha, they wish.

Now It’s Trumpistan Gallery Time

The Trumpet’s long awaited State of the Union address played to a packed house during the week, with all the elected women wearing white as a silent opinion of pussy grabbing. At least they were open about it … some of Trump’s greatest supporters hid their allegiance, or it would’ve looked like this.

Klan at SOU DywAWMzW0AECi4f

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About Bloody Time … No, Literally, It’s ABOUT Bloody Time

Well, it’ll add some variety to ‘Sorry I’ve got a headache’. Women are going to find the latest emoji handy, for both information and as an excuse, even if it ain’t so.


It’s called the ‘period emoji’, and sure will take the guesswork out of budding relationships. It follows a joint campaign by Plan International UK and the blood service for England. Unicode has announced that a blood drop symbol will be among the new emoji released later this year to signify menstruation. The intention of the campaign is to remove the stigma and shame around menstruation.

The ‘Pie must admit he didn’t realise there was ‘stigma and shame’ about such an established fact of human life, except that imposed by the men of medieval religions – which is all of them – who think nothing of bloody mutilations, beheadings and all manner of messy bloodthirsty bastadry. How anyone ever decided to brand menstruation as ‘unclean’ got it exactly back to front … the monthly discharge is in fact a natural cleansing of fertile females, inconvenient though it may be some women who don’t plan to have children.

This news will perhaps be a boon to avoiding misunderstanding in a relationship, and banish conversations that are at cross purposes, as typified by the 50’s schoolboy joke about the bloke whose girlfriend asked what they were going to do that night. He replied they could maybe go to a movie, or they could … ahem, wink wink … go for a walk in the park, what did she want to do? The girl looked shy, blushed, and replied’ It’s immaterial for me’.

The bloke said, ‘Ah, well, we’d better go to the pictures then.’


That’s it for this week, and comments are up and running from this moment. The ‘Pie has gathered a great deal of interesting information in the past few days, which he has filed away for future blogs, but if just want to vent a bit, feel free, the comments section is for you.

And if you feel this load of old cobblers is worth it, you can make a donation using the button 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:

    Greg Hallam Ceo Local Government Association Queensland response to the Australians story by Charlie Peel and Jared Owens “ Cities flood maps failed to reveal devastion points “ Hallam said . “ Townsville Flood Maps relied on exhaustive modelling of every possible scenario “ looking at variables such as rainfall and artificial structutures. We’re not God .We don’t have supreme knowledge . We only have the best science , the best knowledge we can have . We now have the Gates fully open , what will flood and what won’t , so there will be a new set of flood maps produced out of this event . Townsville Maps were produced using a Monte Carlo risk analysis . Hallam said home owners had no legal recourse to compensation if their neighbourhood was later revealed as a flood zone .” Did the journalist check Mr Hallam for conflict of interest as Mayor Mullet as a board member is Hallams boss and T.C.C. is LGAQ customer handing over $300 k a year . Based on Hallams record, he also said CCC enquiries into Councils is a witch-hunt before the findings in Ipswich, Fraser Coast, Redlands, Logan and other ongoing investigations .

  2. Wounded Bull says:

    What is it with the media?? 1 in 500 year rain event??? They truly have no credibility whatsoever! Is that meant to convince the great unwashed that neither level of government is responsible for damage caused as Townsville hasn’t received this amount of rain in this period of time for …..well at least 500 years. Pllllleaaase

    • The Magpie says:

      An even worse miss for a panting beat-up by the media … and an even more spectacular one by the council, even pre-Mullet. This is an excerpt from a TCC email in 2011, in reply to a query from a resident. PS The email ended with .’this will be attended to in due course’ but failed to say which century.

  3. Mark the Jazz says:

    The actions of the Mayor are cringeworthy and belong in era long since past. Her comments in regard to people not evacuating in line with her time line are a very good example of a person simply interested in getting her mug on the TV. This was an unprecedented event in the living memories of comtemporary Townsvillians (shorten to Villians perhaps) so no one knew what the effect would be. It is natural for people to stay and defend their homes. They did not deserve the degradation at the hands of their Mayor. Unfortunately there are enough disengaged people that will swallow the crap that comes out of the Mayors office.

  4. One legged tap dancer says:

    The impact from the flood will be felt for years, but it won’t all be bad news.
    There is nothing like a disaster to give an economy a kick start. For example, there will be a massive amount of repairs to be made to houses and shops damaged by the flood, or in the case of Idalia, Rosslea and other suburbs on the flood plain, destroyed by the timing of water release from Ross River Dam.
    Builders will be busy for years, thus plugging (no pun intended) the gap in recent house construction.
    Same applies to electricians and other trades.
    Then there’s the motor mechanics, with probably more cars flooded than houses.
    It follows that hardware and motor stores will do a roaring trade.
    But the speed of the recovery will be dictated by whether the insurance companies do the right thing and settle claims promptly or, in some cases I have heard of, try every trick in the book to avoid paying out on claims.
    The first politician who takes action to make the insurance companies pay up promptly will get the votes of thousands of Townsvilleans impacted by the flood/dam management, not to mention their families and friends.
    It is a once-in-a-political career opportunity for one or all of our 3 State stooges and the Toole to actually earn their pay and win back some voters.
    I checked with Sportsbet on the odds of that happening and they are happy to give 100-1.


  5. SPQR says:

    Of course there needs to be an inquiry into all aspects of the flood, the responses to it & the management thereof. This should occur irrespective of whether there is a belief that there was mismanagement or not. It’s just a sensible thing to do i.e. so that next time the responses to & management of a flood are even better than they were this time.

  6. SPQR says:

    PS. Looking forward to the new flood maps of Drownsville.

  7. Wily Wombat says:

    Your dislike of the Mayor has turned you into a bitter old fool Magpie. You really should be working for Rupert Murdoch again. You have lost objectivity mate. It may be time to retire your blog.

    • Willy wonka says:

      Thanks Dolan wombat we will copy and paste your views on the class action paper when we all present it in court. Dont forget to sign your waiver because I’m sure Jenny will have some room under the bus for you after she finishes with sun water for not taking the blame for her fuck up. I’m pretty sure that shes the face on the dart board now and not the magpie!!!

    • The Magpie says:

      In order:
      Fat chance.
      Because you’ve cornered the market.
      You wish.

    • Grumpy says:

      This only adds to my suspicions that you are Muddy re-born.

      Typical mouth-breathing Lefty. When in strife, resort to ad hominem attacks and disregard the facts.

      You have shown yourself in the past to be an absolute tosser. If you don’t like what you read on the blog, here’s a tip – don’t fucking read in the first place. Unless, as I suspect, you are part of Jenny’s social media disinformation and disruption team and it’s your job.

      • The Magpie says:

        Ah if only you were right Grumps about Wily being on the Mullet disruption team, it would be like shooting fish (mullets presumably) in a barrel… Wily’s comments are so much spittle-flecked, bunched fists, foot-stamping frustration that even the mayor probably cringes at his endorsement (and also, please note Willy Wonka, not Dolan, he’s way better and more dangerous than that).
        No let’s not mock the afflicted, he is probably just a sad lonely old coot, who when not sitting on his bed with lap top in a darkened bedroom, stops tapping from time to time to flop back to pleasure himself … and its not hard to guess who he’s thinking of during this activity. That’s the really sad part.

        • Willy wonka says:

          Yes agreed may he more dangerous and better but you didn’t mention smarter! As with most serial killers they were dangerous but if they were smarter would never be caught lol. Dolan has killed off many careers of intelligent council staff to get to this point. Hope that made sense for shits and giggles as a segway. You know maybe wombat could be Donald Trump!!!!! Now that’s a claim to fame for the blog if proven right. The Donald is renowned for hitting his critics from the Twitter phone.

          • The Magpie says:

            Re serial killers being dumb; how do you know they’ve all been caught? The smart ones haven’t, and there’s plenty of unsolved stuff around.

        • Wily Wombat says:

          One day I will let you know my identity Magpie. However, I do not have anything to do with our Mayor in any shape or form. I do know that we have mutual friends. but that is for another day. In the meantime, I feel it is my duty to let you know that amongst this sea of sickening sycophants who fawn over you , there is a Wombat who wants you to lift your game. You can and have done better with this blog.
          My report card and this may be a clue. C Plus, content needs attention.

      • Wily Wombat says:

        Dear Grumpy, it behooves me not to mock the afflicted, but in your case I shall make a small exception. First of all, what is a Muddy? I have no idea. Maybe it is your thought process.
        Also, who would care what a pompous twat like you thinks? Not I. The main problem with you I believe, is that you think you always are the cleverest person in the room. I believe you need to hang around in different rooms. You may be enlightened. Anyway, to elaborate on your point, if you don’t like what I write, don’t comment.
        Wily Wombat.

        • The Magpie says:

          Oh, Christ, here it comes … OK folks, pull up a chair, crack out the popcorn and pop the passion pop, settle back and enjoy the spectacle.

    • Cast Netter says:

      If you don’t like the truth about the Mullet Wily Wombat crawl back into your hole.

  8. WALLY says:

    How about the TCC start now and marked the flood heights on power poles in every street so that people moving into homes in those areas can see where there are potential problems. This might help people understand the problems and believe what other residents try and tell them. I am aware that in the Forestry Road Bluewater area the response from owners was to the effect “but the council certifier’s said there was no problem”.

    • Ranger says:

      I am pretty sure in the old days debris heights were marked and surveyed across the city to produce accurate flood event maps. I presume TCC will be right onto this task.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Wally, this is a great idea best carried out by the actual people who live in the streets involved. But will they really want to do it? Will they want to advertise how vulnerable their properties are?

  9. J jones says:

    Let’s see if that readership holds or if it’s just an anomaly.

    • Off The Cliff says:

      I flew to Melbourne last Tuesday week after viewing upcoming weather conditions. Little did I realise what was actually coming, but, in the end, it was a sensible decision. I could only access a few of the “lesser” stories on the Bulletin’s website and certainly none of the relevant flood leads. Maybe, this was because I was in Melbourne?? No idea. Currently, I can access bugger all, so have been glued to the ABC’s Listen app that includes everything that comes out of Townsville.

      Aside from all that, Jenny Hill’s performance is obviously contrived…no doubt Dolan is lurking…and reminds me of Maggie Thatcher’s starring role when the Falkland Islands fiasco erupted. I was living in London at the time, and her impending slaughter at the upcoming election was turned 180 degrees overnight…something I’m sure you remember.

      Will the Townsville flood disaster be Jenny’s Falkland Islands??

      • The Magpie says:

        Falklands? The ‘Pie thinks not, mate. Given that the floods have flushed her quest for glory down the toilet, this may turn out to be her Waterloo.

      • The Cure says:

        Margaret Thatcher caused the Falkland’s War. Sometime previous she had decided to slash costs and removed the ONE patrol ship that protected the Falkland Islands from Argentina – despite the Admiralty writing letters to her warning her not to do this as Naval Intelligence had indicated that the Argentine Junta had plans in the works to invade if the UK showed any kind of weakness – the removal of the ship would almost certainly provoke an invasion. Thatcher removed the ship and the war was borne.

        • The Magpie says:

          Are we drawing clever parallels here? Like the electors of Townsville were warned but they elected Mayor Mullet anyway … and our own war was born?

        • Grumpy says:

          Jesus, Penicillin, by that twisted sort of reasoning poor old Poland caused the Second World War. Just because someone turns his back on you doesn’t mean he deserves to be coward punched.

          The Falklands War was caused by the Junta, trying to whip up some diversion from the bloody shocking social problems they had at home.

          • The Cure says:

            Thatcher had been told quite clearly through spies that removing one ship would cause a war. It’s akin to removing soldiers from the battlements of a castle wall – it would invite a waiting army to scale them unopposed.

            My concern with regards to the Jenny Hill situation is this – did she really actually make the call on dam releases ? Jenny Hill would presumably make decisions based on what Sunwater was feeding her. In Brisbane Sunwater did exactly the same thing , hold the water in the dam breaking the protocol with exactly the same result – people died.

            The council, any council will have to listen to the “experts” in this situation. This isn’t a council failure, this bears all the hallmarks of a Sunwater failure ( again). The spotlight falls on Sunwater not the council. Councils come and go – Sunwater stays.

          • Plannit Townsville says:

            Since when has our Jenny listened to advice from anyone? Even experts?

            She’s a micromanager, who takes advice from no-one. Fumbles and fucks things up a regular basis. And now with Adele the insane out of the way, Jenny can micromanage to her hearts content once more.
            So I wouldn’t be quite so quick to go around defending her honour.

  10. Col Foley says:

    Enjoyed your satirical piece that skewered new-journalism’s inappropriate and too-frequent use of superlatives.

    Now that ‘unique’ has been qualified to death ‘unprecedented’ has become their new, important-sounding word.

    Now, Marlina Whop, while doing a segment on the floods for ABC TV News, has trashed that too, by coming up with “almost unprecedented” (WTF?)

    She went on to use “most busiest” but that’s commonplace now, even if it is a fingernail down a blackboard to me.

    But this shit is showered on an audience comprising those who are even more ignorant.

    A young thing called me on a routine matter, on behalf of her employer. She appended the conversation with “Have an an awesome day” I had to ask “Which word do you use when something actually inspires awe?
    She knew she was too smart for me and said “Well, I could say have a magnanimous day” (!)
    By now my teeth were bared and I asked her if she had ever looked up its meaning. “Yes, it means super-awesome”

    Unfortunately, there is no escape from the illiterati and they are an aggravation I wish away, every day.

  11. Matt Lyons says:

    Pie, I appreciate the kind words. I hope all of your local blog followers are safe and well as can be, given the circumstances. In time there will be plenty of stories to be told, some good and some not so good. One thing is for sure, there are a lot of generous people in the community right now doing unbelievable things. For that, we can only say thank you. Keep safe. Matty

    • The Magpie says:

      Not kind, just the truth, Matty, but glad to say them about someone who has been a stalwart of Townsville for more than 20 years. Well done, that man.

  12. Plannit Townsville says:

    Rather amusingly Townsville Enterprise has declared a
    With “Adani Australia, is donating an incredible $100,000 towards the North Queensland #flood recovery!”

    When less than an hour previously an announcement on the TEL page that Glencore donated $1million dollars was declared a “Fantastic announcement from one of our members”

    While I have heard they are intellectually challenged down at TEL this is just ridiculous.

  13. Dave of Kelso says:

    Dear ‘Pie
    Bride and I just returned from a bit of a drive; oh dear!
    Two main thoughts:

    1. Building low set houses in swamps and on flood plains just does not bear thinking about, and

    2. The Mullet squandered how many ratepayers dollars (anyone know the figure?) on her feel good, re-elect me footpath rubbish collection. Sure rubbish was collected, rubbish that was the responsibility of the individual, not the wider community.
    Now we have a situation where the community really does need to assist those in the flood (it really is a bloody mess) by way of a huge footpath rubbish collection. Those squandered dollars are now needed for a genuine community need.

    What did we do to deserve this self seeking woman?

  14. One legged tap dancer says:

    As if getting flooded wasn’t enough.
    Before the flood a family sold their house and had it under contract, but subject to finance.
    They didn’t get water through their house but almost everyone else in the street did.
    Now the bank providing the finance has called a halt, saying it wants to reassess the value of the house.
    Not good news for anyone wanting to sell their home in the future, if it is in one of the many flooded streets.

    • Hear deah says:

      I would think a high and dry house even in a flooded area under these extreme and one in a hundred. 500 or 2000 year event should hold its value. Hope the owners kept evidence of lack of water inundation to throw at the valuers

      • Dickiebird says:

        Dear Magpie

        Sad times in the old home town these past weeks but your latest missive cuts through the tripe and gauging from the comments left by folk, is giving people a proper voice.

        I left Townsville in late ’98 to take up a university job in SE Qld but remember Idalia, Oonoonba, Cluden etc as largely paddocks, mangroves, DPI and the odd plant nursery, with good reason – it’s flood plain.

        Looking at the flood footage and talking with family as events unfolded, I still can’t believe that TCC and the QG zoned those areas for housing. Not to forget the areas north of the airport around the Black and Bohle Rivers. Surely the authorities must now accept a large measure if not all the blame for purposefully (or negligently) putting people in harm’s way? Townsville has a highly transient population – old timers like my mother who remember the ’46 flood or a comparative young ‘un like me who floated his car down Howitt St during the ’98 rain event are thin on the ground. There is no ‘city memory’, at least not at Walker St. Throw in opening the dam at night (a brilliant way to spook people and further put them at risk) and then put the Mayor and Premier in front of the cameras and have them tear strips off frightened people for not doing as the authorities instructed.

        It’s all bonkers! But for the army and its logistics capability, the impacts presumably would have been much, much worse.

        Keep up the good work Magpie – the Astonisher was relegated to budgie cage fodder decades ago! The dear Misses Green must be turning in their graves.

        • Surely Not says:

          As a Townsville ratepayer of many years (albeit absentee for the last 11 in the Sin City of the South, Melbourne) I must confess I have never heard our Mayor speak until last week on ABC television news. What a yobbo! Seeing her and the premier hand-balling the floodgates to each other was also quite an amusing spectacle.

          I must say while I am not a hydrologist I wonder if it would have made any difference when the flood gates were opened. Unless there was a channel to take the water away from the river (no doubt prohibitively expensive) I can’t see what could have avoided severe flooding. At least my comments of a few weeks ago in your blog that most people down here don’t even know where Townsville is have now been neutralised!

          Politicians need to be careful about describing natural events as once in a hundred years events. A good mate of mine down here had a job as personnel/industrial officer at the meatworks at Bowen many years ago (He is now 90). He recalls in the fifties there was a severe cyclone which was described as a once in a hundred years event. There was a worse one the following year! Nature doesn’t work by a calendar.

  15. J jones says:

    Can’t believe there hasn’t been more debate about lowest homes

  16. Concerned says:

    Yes it was a.monsoon that delivered more than we used to get with wet seasons, but one thing that has always bewildered me was Fiarfield water and the development of it.
    When I was first posted here in 85 Annadale and Fairfield was grazing land anf the years when we did get decent rain the sothern end of Annandale, tje Charters Towers road section between Annandale and Faifeld, and all of Fairfield and Cluden would become a seasonal lake that stored all of the run off from the creeks out of Mt Stuart thru Lavarack until it had time to run off.
    Why this was ever approved for development has always bewildered me.

  17. Smithy says:

    About the police becoming victims:
    I would go even further and suggest there is no real loyalty to their colleagues with this nonsense. How much better an appropriate intervention for Mick Hurley, certainly after the death of Cameron Doomadgee if not before. Surely it would have been obvious Hurley was struggling and should have been given help.
    Going further it is probably unhelpful to constantly bang on about these guys ‘putting their lives on the line’, seemingly exclusively, every day when it is simply not true. There are many occupations far more dangerous including one analysis suggesting even architects are more at risk of life threatening injury.
    My thought is this places a paranoia in the minds of people who are carrying guns in an unarmed society. On the face of it 18 year olds of our ADF in declared war zones follow the rules of engagement much better. (Magpie note: the rules of engagement in warfare are totally different to those of an armed police service in a civil democracy.)
    We seem to have lost the idea those in charge should be doing the right thing.

  18. Mike Douglas says:

    Clive Palmer keeps reminding us his money is his ( even his companies it appears ) and he will spend it the way he likes including for a select few, the Titanic 2 ball this weekend in Townsville . $ for advertising and $ for balls has Clive coughed for the Townsville recovery appeal ?. Most networked people were hoping not to get an invite because they would have to make up an excuse why the unfortunately couldn’t attend .

    • Hear deah says:

      Would love to be fly on wall as t this freeby. Hope he has paid up front for food and drinks regardless if he ends up with a full house

  19. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Seems Anna Alpabet and Jackie Trads recycled scheme has worked a treat, a very large pile of plastic bottles have dissapeared from many yards over the last week, floated away and swept out to the ocean no doubt, all to end up at exactly the same place they were trying to save them from in the first place.

    • The Magpie says:

      Hmmm, so they should’ve had the foresight of seeing a record breaking flood and shouldn’t have introduced the excellent deposit scheme?
      Bashing your opponents with a wet lettuce leaf, are we, Cankers?

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Not at all, but the mechanics of the scheme are flawed, meaning it leaves many a large qty of bottles floating around in peoples yards at any given time before people take them to a recycle centre, sports club etc, where as before we just stuck them in the recycled bin. So if the aim of the scheme was to reduce the amount of plastic bottles in the environment it has clearly failed, as many thousands of them have ended up there, many more than before the scheme started. Imagine how many could be sucked up in a category 4 or 5 cyclone, they need to make it easier to dispose of the bottles.

        • The Magpie says:

          Or perhaps a more simple and obvious answer is the manner of storage until taken for redemption. Your picture of backyards filled with bottles and refuse is nothing new in certain part of this city, and much doubt that those who have always been responsible would have them ‘floating around their back yard.’ And besides, a cyclone or a flood would easily loose the contents of any recycling bin (yellow top).

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      A term has been coined for people who scavenge for .10c returnable containers, according to the ABC.

      Bin Chickens.

      • The Magpie says:

        And reports are they make quite a bit of dough, which has got the backs up of the recyclers.

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          My wife and her sister tell of their brothers nicking soft drink bottles from the back of a (now long gone) corner shop in Nth Ward then fronting up at the counter for the deposit. These days they are mostly respectable.

  20. Mike Douglas says:

    So Stephen Beckett GM Communications/ Manager Mayors office finally resigns after a few months on T.C.C . paid leave . How much will the screaming midget and Adele the impailer cost the ratepayers of Townsville ?. A million $ to go away and not embarrass Mayor Mullets incompetence .

  21. The Stockman says:

    I imagine a few worried people down at the port at the moment. No more live cattle to export, probably no sugar, and the rail line cut to the mines out west. It’s going to be a very skinny 12 months of trade I reckon. Big impacts of this flood yet to surface.

    • No More Dredging says:

      But isn’t Clive about to re-open the Queensland Nickel plant at Yabulu? And isn’t there someone else about to build a nickel refinery virtually next door? I wouldn’t be too concerned about the future of the Port of Townsville. Their ability to plan for growth or decline is totally compromised as evidenced by various economic outlooks presented publicly by them in recent years. For example, in 2013, Townsville Port’s trade growth forecasts in support of its then-proposed channel deepening (without widening) and reclamation expansion included, word for word straight from the horse’s mouth:

      * the introduction of the coal trade, which is expected to start in 2013 and ramp up quickly to 8 Mtpa by 2016, resulting in a total trade throughput of 33.4 Mtpa by 2024/25
      * throughput expansion to nearly 7.5 Mtpa from Queensland Nickel, which is planning to more than double in size and diversify into magnetite
      * a further 16.5% of the growth from two other magnetite projects – Ernest Henry and Mount Moss
      * Legend Paradise (fertiliser) and Ivanhoe Merlin (copper) contributing a further 20%. These projects are either underway or going through a feasibility process.”

      You will notice that not one of these laughable predictions actually occurred, port trade fell from 13m tpa to about 8m tpa over the next five years and now both Labor and the LNP want to fund a massive expansion.

      • The Stockman says:

        I think it’s actually less than that when you take into account that Lucinda port (also owned by them) contributes to the figures. The annual report says Townsville only moved 6.7 million tonnes last year – half of the 2013 numbers or thereabouts – not good for the local economy outlook

        • No More Dredging says:

          Stockman, it may well be less – the port is always understating its real intentions and manifest failings. But did you notice in particular the reference to “the introduction of the coal trade”? This is all about the coal in the north Galilee Basin out around Pentland and Hughenden. Guildford Coal aka Terracom, operated over the years by various Labor (Mooney, Soorley) and LNP (Peter Lindsay) luminaries and conspicuous backers of the Cowboys, dreams of exporting the vast landscapes of thermal coal at Pentland, Hughenden and Clyde Park through the port of Townsville. Clyde Park’s prospectus states:

          “The project is well located to utilise existing rail and port capacity in townsville. The south eastern boundary of EPC1260 is approximately 15 kilometres from a potential rail siding at Pentland.”

          The proposed port expansion at Townsville is all about delivering a coal export terminal into the middle of the city. The cost is irrelevant because taxpayers are footing the bill for the coal company, ratepayers, especially around Kelso and Thuringowa, will cop the impacts of quarrying for the breakwaters and revetments and neither the Queensland government or the wholly government owned port care one jot about the Cleveland Bay environment.

          • Grey says:

            The coal deposits that could be serviced by the Townsville Port are uneconomical, hence why Mooney’s Guildford Coal project never made anything except a heap of noise. Yet again, you shoot off your mouth without really understanding anything.

          • No More Dredging says:

            Thanks, Grey. Talk about shooting off your mouth with no evidence. Perhaps you would like to consider the article from the Financial Review about nine months ago about the appointment of Wal King to the board of Terracom – assuming you can read that is:

            “The Galilee Basin play is called Hughendon (sic) and it is said to have attracted positive interest from the Queensland government, not least because development would see coal moved to export terminals along the existing Mount Isa to Townsville rail path.
            As those who have followed Adani’s potholed attempts to build the Carmichael project at the southern extremity of the Galilee would know, elements in the state and federal governments are very keen indeed to open the next horizon of Queensland coal.”

            So keen are both Labor and LNP that they have stumped up (I think) $75 million so far in federal money plus who knows how much state money to get the dredging and reclamation project going.

            Whether or not the north Galilee coal is “uneconomical” (got a reference for that Grey or are you just talking through your party hat?), the fact is that Guildford/Terracom have a MoU with the Port of Townsville and are not shy about spruiking their intention of exporting coal out of an expanded Townsville port. The state is clearly gearing up for a $1 billion+ project and it ain’t about cruise ships, car carriers or livestock transport.

  22. Old tradesman says:

    I see that Mangocube Bailey the lying failed transport minister, supported by private Cupcake and Harpic are spruking how they are going to spend $603m in upgrading the Bruce Highway, most projects to be completed by 2020. Lucky the Feds are supplying 80% of the money.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Thanks for the update Tradie! I missed the news that the ‘state member’ for Townsville had been demoted again, this time from Corporal Cupcake, to Private Cupcake. Thanks again for the updated news.

      • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

        To add insult to injury, all of these projects have previously been announced and some are already underway – virtue signalling at the very least, compounded by the reasonable nervousness and desire for good news from locals.

  23. Kingswood says:

    It has been reported in the Astonisher that a midget who screams has permanently departed….or had on ‘extended leave’ since November….

  24. Dave of Kelso says:

    Dear ‘Pie,
    At this critical time, with 2 key staff (Impailer and S. Midget) absent, can I take it that the Mayor’s office and the Council Executive are functioning as smoothly as a billy cart with a square wheel, or has their absence actually improved things?

  25. The Magpie says:

    It’s not a photoshop, it’s a phuck up … and not by the Astonisher for once.

    Noted this story in today’s Astonisher, which had been covered in the blog comments last week.

    Since The ‘Pie had previously mentioned the plight this had caused to residents further up the mountain, he went searching in Google for some ‘before’ images, and came across this … no bloody wonder there was blasting is this fella was involved.

    • Dave Sth says:

      Looks almost like the Sarina Range repairs from Cyclone Debbie. Did a quick search & can’t find much as all the News Corpse articles are behind paywall. Hope all is going well up there, looks like the dreaded melioidosis reared it’s ugly head.

  26. seagull says:

    drowning last week … cooking this week … WTF

  27. Big Ears says:

    Big Bazza Taylor is trying to pull together a class action to sue over the floods – his staff been calling on flood victims in Fairfield and Rosslea.

    Is he going to sue his mates at the TCC or his mates the developers of both Fairfield and Rosslea Townsville Golf Course?

    • Charlie Wulguru. says:

      Big Ears….Everyone’s mate Baz, will have to sue Mooney and Mooney’s mate McOmish.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Will the buck stop at TCC councillors, past or present? I understand that local government have little decision making capacity about real estate development. They mainly administer State Govt legislation to which they must adheare.

        Do not misunderstand me, I am not making excuses for The Hopeless of Walker St.

        My question is who at the State level, past or present, may be held accountable for development in swamps and on river flood plains?

  28. WWW says:

    Compare the Barnaby Joyce affair with the Anothony Albernese affair. Barnaby was crucified by the media for his extra-marital affair – yet there’s been barely a whisper from the media about Albernese’s extra marital affair. You can’t tell me there’s no left wing bias in the media.

    • No More Dredging says:

      WWW, can’t find a newspaper anywhere, left right or centre, with a report about an Albanese “extra-marital affair”. Are you sure you’ve got the correct bloke?

      • The Magpie says:

        Indeed, that one slipped through past The Magpie, who can only find reference to Albanese splitting with his wife of 30 years, Labor PowerFem Carmel Tebbut … cannot find any mention of the reason for the split (nobody’s business anyway) and certainly no suggestion of an affair that The ‘Pie can find. Please provide relevant link confirming your comment, or it will be deleted.

  29. Sir Rabbittborough says:

    It would seem Lozza is getting a bit edgy. Could it be that there will be a discussion about how residential developments end up in well known flood zones and what influences the decisions??

    And it makes me puke when people start linking “the Anzac spirit” to domestic disaster situations like in today’s letters.

    The “Anzac spirit” was thought up by the jingoists to describe the blind obedience of soldiers rushing forward time after time to be massacred on the orders of murderous generals without engaging in a mutiny and lynching them.

    You can’t whack a kevlar and ammo pouches in a few fellas on the front page of the courier mail and equate a flood with war.

    I bet these people are the sort that would frown at others for not doing the Yankee thing every event and hanging out a flag for the waiting media

    • The Magpie says:

      Well now, Thumper, your definition of the Anzac Spirit tends to fit the average Townsville voter … but the mutiny and lynching may well come in March next year.

  30. Willy wonka says:

    Chatting with a council worker at the temporary transfer station in annandale today. Most bins there are all marked with townsville city council but saw clean away truck empty them. Big blue one. He told me quietly that the council wont empty there own because they can get money from the state government. I’m not savvy enough to know but would this cost the council money upfront or would state government receive the bill from the contractor. Surely it would cost less to have there own trucks do the job. Dont we have enough drivers? I thought the mayor was creating jobs?

    • Mike Shearer says:

      While chatting at the (impressively well managed) temporary transfer station in Lou Litster Park I commented on the dumpings being sorted, and was informed that mattresses and lounges don’t compress in landfill, so they have to be taken to Brisbane for shredding. By barge, rail, or B-doubles, I wonder.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        In TCC trucks???? If any are still roadworthy Mike………

        • Alahazbin says:

          Spoke to a guy from Fleet Workshops. They are flat out. Trucks with noisy gearbox’s etc.
          The problem is not all staff are good workers. There are a couple of oxygen thieves in there.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie has been hearing consistently from several sources that while what you say bis correct, the problem is more complex; an ageing fleet with no proper rolling replacement plan because of fiscal restraints imposed by The Impaler, some trucks out of service after being ordered into floodwaters at an early stage, and an external contractor who does not see repairing the vehicles they supplied in the first place as a ‘priority’. Lot of staff discontent among the ‘outdoors’.

      • Willy wonka says:

        I will give credit to who ever set up these temporary sites. Even if it was someone in tcc. But looking at the traffic going in and out, army and private contractors guided by police I’m sure the state/federal governments wouldn’t let the mayor near them surely?? Wonderful to see so many people helping. All services be it civil, private or government should be congratulated true Queensland spirit. I also got to chat, while cleaning up my relatives house, some of the volunteer firefighters from down south. His crew only just recently went to rocky to fight bushfires now only weeks later all up here.

  31. I’ll be plucked says:

    The Federal Member for Herbert, the one you call The Tool, was savaged by the Prime Minister in parliamentary question time today – instead of asking a question about what the Feds are doing to support us through and with the recent flood, she read out a prepared ‘dorothy-dixer’ question related to the banking royal commission recommendations.

    Once again she appears to have failed us on a very important local matter and deferred to the puppet master Shorten, doing what she is told via the ‘bone’ she appears to have been ‘fed’! Bring on the election – her end is nigh……….Pluck me!

    • The Magpie says:

      Note the PM’s reply as recorded by One Legged TapDancer … as neater shove and twist of the political stiletto we’re likely to see from ScoMo. nd as requested tap-one-tap-two, any chance of a clip … as the boys at the Sovereign used say, so delicious.

  32. One legged tap dancer says:

    On Sky News today Cathy O’Toole was shown up big time in a clip from today’s Parliament question time..
    The Toole rose to her feet and asked the Prime Minister a question about the Banking Royal Commission.
    ScoMo smiled, advised the house that he had answered that question yesterday, then expressed dismay that the Member for Herbert hadn’t asked the PM what the Government was doing to assist victims of the floods in North Queensland.
    A total embarrassment, but don’t expect it to make tomorrow’s Townsville Bulletin,
    She spends too much money on advertising to be exposed in our local paper.

  33. One legged tap dancer says:

    Mr Lancini was on Ch 7 news tonight calling on insurance companies to look after flood destroyed businesses in his Fairfield shopping centre.
    I feel for those who have suffered but no insurance company is going to pay if the business had no flood coverage.
    It’s a different story for insurance companies who are trying to dodge their obligation to pay out claims by using definitions of “flood” and “water”. They should and must be exposed if the media ever gets its act together.
    Mr Lancini is obviously supporting his tenants, but given his staterment that he doesn’t blame the opening of the dam gates, the question must be asked:
    Why did he build a shopping centre on a flood plain?
    Perhaps instead of asking the insurance companies to pay out on policies that don’t include flood cover he should dip into the millions he has made in Townsville over the years and help them out himself.
    And I don’t mean by repairing his own buildings.

    • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

      There is a real and growing smell around the whole Idalia and Rosslea area (and I do not mean mud) . It is the smell of money overtaking sensible planning and engineering.

      When developments like Fairfield, The Village and Fairways fight their way through the planning and approval schemes with dodgy engineering, fanciful hydrology and legal threats against any who query them, we are left with the situation we now have.

      Having the tanned and shiny Lancini trying to move himself from the side of greedy developer selling already flood-prone blocks to gullible home owners and now shopkeepers, over to the side of “little people’s champion” brings a lump of sick to my mouth.

      At least others up to the same game like Richard Ferry and Col Harkness have had the decency (or shit-house rat cunning) to stay silent.

    • The Magpie says:

      Right, ta … and doesn’t that make it ScoMo 1 the puppet O’Toole nil … a beautiful and serious put-down of this time-serving self interested party drone. You might be surprised Mr Morrison, but no one up here is.

      • The Magpie says:

        Eating ear wax … it’s a Labor thing.

        If it was good enough for KRudd, then it’s damn well good enough for Cathy The Tool O’Toole … on national television. The 7.30 Report last night to be precise … check it out (if you’re not eating) at 12.34 in this link:


        As if this continual image of Townsville wasn’t bad enough …

        … now we have this.

        • Mike Douglas says:

          Perhaps a earwaxgate enquiry ?. Not a great week for “ Townsville’s voice in Canberra “ Cathy Ofoole who tried to pull a Dorothy Dixer on the PM about the banking enquiry and Sco Mo shot back “ as the representative of Herbert I thought you would be asking what more the Government could do to help Townsville” . Based on Cathy’s billboard on Woolcock st on “jobs for Townsville “ can Cathy share her letters to Premier Palaszcuk about Adani approval ?. Townsville deserves better .

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          Thanks ‘Pie. What a great way to start my day :-(

          • The Magpie says:

            It’s been pointed out different finger. Transfer? She’s chewing something.
            Anyway, one would’ve thought The Tool was aware of her positioning behind the opposition responder/questioner, and her facial gymnastics have long been an embarrassing distraction for Townsville.

  34. Grey says:

    NMD, waste of space. If there was any commercial opportunities in the so called ‘Hughenden coal deposits’ they would have been mined by now. That pretty much how business works – not that you would know anything about that. Need I remind you of the chequered past of Guildford Coal and it’s CEO. Nothing more than fraudster. Maybe you could google that one?!? Stop scaremongering – it really does you no good. There are plenty of reasons for creating a wider channel. You don’t need to drag the coal industry into this to strengthen your flawed arguments.

    • No More Dredging says:

      “There are plenty of reasons for creating a wider channel.” What? To allow Clive Palmer to expand the Yabulu Nickel refinery? To allow for new, improved magnetite and other mining operations to start up – we’ve been waiting for five years for a skerrick of evidence to turn up. Or perhaps you mean to address the MoU signed by Terracom and the Port which can’t be delivered unless much bigger coal carriers can access the port of Townsville? Or maybe you mean that Townsville could welcome more and bigger US Navy ships like the Boxer which sat comfortably in the port ages ago and had no difficulty getting in or out? Or perhaps you are basing your ridiculous assertion on the promise of a well-argued business case from the port – like the laughable one from the 2013 EIS. Did you even know there was an EIS? No Grey, I think you’ll find that the Port and its Queensland government owners have realised that their shonky development approval is the last chance EVER to make the port into a decent piece of marketable real estate before the collapse of the GBR’s World Heritage-listed coral reef habitats and that they are going for broke. Creating another 152 hectares of reclamation for either a coal dump like at Abbot Point or just for the For Sale signs to stand on is about all we can trust our state government, of any stripe, to do. Magnetic Island and Cleveland Bay and those poor fuckers at Kelso and Thuringowa will just have to suck it up.

      But go on, give just one of the plenty

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Maybe it’s to accomodate the larger and larger ships in the world you tosser, in particular container ships that are now 400 metres long , even the average container ship is 300 metres long, if you don’t have a port to fit them in they will just sail past and those containers will have to return by rail or road, very expensive . A container ship of 400 metres in length will only require the same number of crew as a 300m length vessel, that’s why they keep getting bigger and bigger.

        • No More Dredging says:

          Speaking of tossers, not even the expanded port of Townsville will be able to accommodate a 400m ship. So, before you join a learned discussion at least get a grip on a couple of facts. Go on Cankers, admit that you are talking shit.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie continues to be impressed with the level of debate from you two … should The ‘Pie get in contact with the Oxford Union?
            There’s nothing like a classy insult … and this stuff is nothing like a classy insult. Which is a shame, because the info is interesting.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            NMD, The facts are container shipping in the future will be handled by Panamax type vessels, starting at 250m up to 400m in length. The reason they are getting longer and deeper but only slightly wider as these vessels still have to fit through the Panama Canal, hence the Panamax reference. Townsville will not be getting the 400m variety and I didn’t say it would, but all the vessels of the world will be getting bigger, with the average to be 300m long within a decade.. Yesterday the Townsville port had a 171 metre container vessel visit, in another 10 years this size vessel will not exist, they will all be 250m up to 300 metres, that’s between 20 and 70 meters longer than the HMAS Canberra that currently has to squeeze its way into the port. So Tosser, the bottom line is like most things in the world ships are getting bigger, unlike your intelligence level which gets smaller by the day.

          • No More Dredging says:

            Cantankerous, if there was no other impact besides cost and labour and pollution etc. I probably wouldn’t have a concern one way or the other. But the biggest issues for ports in the GBR zone (Cairns, Townsville, Abbot Point, Hay Point, Gladstone) is the impact on water quality brought about by dredging, sea dumping and reclamation. A few years ago when the UN was pondering whether to declare the GBR to be World Heritage in Danger the federal and Queensland governments couldn’t act fast enough to ban sea dumping, to restrict new dredging to only four GBR ports and of course to pump half a billion dollars into that dubious GBR charity. This meant that the Port of Townsville’s earlier application for a dredge and dump operation would have to be radically altered to be slightly compliant even if it still proposed to sea dump all of the increased maintenance dredging in Cleveland Bay – forever. So the question is, must Townsville port be able to entertain the biggest ships all the time even if the environmental cost is immense? I know it’s a matter of pride to some that the big boys can come here with their big ships and big machines and big note themselves big time. I get that. But no one seems to notice what the damage is. It’s a bit like the argument to build a big-time coal fired power station somewhere near Townsville so we can have a big one like the other big cities have. Not a thought seems to cross the dreamers minds about CO2. They just want a big one and hang the consequences. Same with the port expansion. I’ve demonstrated already the quality of the Port’s economic argument – they just make shit up. They have decided not to bother with a proper business case for their latest plan although the Commonwealth is said to require one. The Port seems to have the money coming along without one. Their environmental credentials are shit from the word go – but don’t expect to insult your obvious intelligence with such irrelevant trivia.

          • Dutch Reverend says:

            You obviously consider all but yourself as learned. Cankers is right. You are a total flog. Beware he who throws stones.

  35. One legged tap dancer says:

    Mayor Mullet is up to her old tricks again.
    She is happy, in fact enthusiastic, to front the media on positive matters, but when things turn pear shaped she’s nowhere to be found. A “Townsville City Council spokesman” is quoted in the media.
    It happened when the Impaler suddenly flew to coop, and again when the Screaming Midget departed on leave.
    When the flood was in its early days she was all over the media, wearing that ridiculous “Chairperson” vest to big note herself.
    But now that the shit has hit the fan the “TCC spokesman” is dodging the questions about why water wasn’t gradually released from the dam.
    The fact that the Townsville Bulletin is prepared to go along with this crap is further proof that advertising dollars can buy you protection in the Astonisher.
    Ms Cairney and Mr Raggatt obviously have no shame.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Will there be a formal enquirie? What form will it take? What body will issue the Terms of
      Reference? (Dud ToR can render an enquirie ineffective.) Will it compell witnesses to testify? Will it have the power to recommend charges?

      Or will Puddleduck and Mullet circle the wagons in mutual defence?

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, if they do that, they’ll have to find a patsy, but Anna Alphabet and The Mullet aren’t the best of mates anyway, never have been beyond what some sort of party solidarity demanded. Could be a right old barney between them … and you know who’s side the party hierarchy will be on … a state government in the hand is worth any number of Townsvilles in the bush.

  36. seagull says:

    ok now we have the dust if a locust plague follows this Armageddon will surely be just around the corner FFS

  37. Concerned says:

    Well it would appear that the flood has expedited the mullets main goal as mayor of our city.
    To have our once beautiful city look like boganville.

  38. Jatzcrackers says:

    One would have thought that Mayor Mullet would have had all hands on deck on Monday morning with the big clean up ! But no, here they were planting trees on the footpath along Walker St outside Council offices ! What part of priorities don’t the TCC management understand ?

  39. Moment says:

    How Embarrassment for Townsville ‘as well as’ earwax on the finger poker.
    How about cutting the Tools’ pic from the Showground billboard on Woolcock St and attach a spiral spring and place on the seat in the big house in Canberra. Same result with a nod or two, with all the huff-in and puff-in.
    Tool can then sit behind the Signboard on Woolcock St and squawk like a Cockatoo. At least we will have a new tourist attraction.

  40. The Magpie says:

    Just in … a few hearts beating a little faster in Townsville this morning?

    Follow Follow @TristanVorias7
    BREAKING: Former Ipswich Council CEO Carl Wulff has been sentenced to 5 years in prison (must serve 20 months) for Offical Corruption. His wife Sharon Oxenbridge has been sentenced to 3 years (must serve 9 months) for her part in the corruption. All the details on @7NewsBrisbane

  41. seagull says:

    good news … only waited a few minutes to speak with a Dept Human Services officer to make a claim this morning … bad news … contrary to what was reported in the media, having a mould problem does not qualify as being “adversely affected” … good news, free vinegar available … sigh !

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Wow, free vinegar.
      Is it red wine, white wine, apple cider vinegar perhaps, or kalamata balsamic, naturally brewed of course.
      You cannot just say, vinegar. Some folks are very particular. What sort?

      • The Magpie says:

        And has it got the ‘mother’? Noted a day or so ago, there was a small mountain of it available at Coles North Ward, only a few gone, and just a dollar or so for what looked to be one or two litre plastic bottles.

    • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

      From my discussions, it seems there are a number of criteria and if you meet a magic number of them you qualify for assistance.

      Don’t quote me, but if you were inundated by water (house not yard), water ingress through roof, evacuated, structural damage, cut off by flood/storm waters, lost power, and some others which currently escape me, you qualify.

      Cleaning up mould as a consequence of these items is covered. However, general spring cleaning is not.


  42. Willy wonka says:

    A statement provided today from adani in response to the report about the black throat finch that’s supposedly endangered. Between all the tit for tat I picked up on the words ” fully financed and no need of public money ” from there spokesman. I’m trying to find the podcast where ray Hadley read part of it on air. So away from the politics does that mean 18.5 million stays with us ratepayers? Has it been used to help the flooding? More questions the media wont ask the mayor. I see this as very relevant at this point in time.

    • Aeneas says:

      To be fair, that issue was reported by the Bulletin at the time. The funds were allegedly redirected to infrastructure projects in the middle of last hear

  43. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    This CCIQ report was released on 17 January. If Townsville’s economy was on the tipping point of a regional decline then, I imagine it has fallen over the edge now.


    • The Magpie says:

      Grim but necessary reading. The ‘Pie noted it supports his on-going ever concern that WE DON’T MAKE ANYTHING … well, not much …so much of our economy is either on-selling goods made elsewhere – necessary, we can’t make everything – and government hand-out projects, JCU (lots of govt money there), the health services (entirely state govt dough)plus the Defence Forces, which is of course also government.

      If there ever was a prospect of, for instance, the rumoured lithium battery factory, that would be great, but the story so far is far from convincing and stinks to high heaven of some blue sky oilsters trying to just prop up a share price (with little success so far). And worse, using our gullible, vote-hungry mayor as their biggest patsy. Also, Clive Palmer delivered a body blow from which it will be hard recover … and he wants us on elect him to parliament. Also, all the hoopla painting Adani as the saviour of the city if it ever goes ahead ignores the fact that Rockhampton and Mackay will now post-flood be seen as much more attractive FIFO bases. And even if Mayor Jenny Hill’s idea of $18m for an airstrip was instigated, and we were “guaranteed’ – an impossible guarantee – that 600 FIFO workers would be somehow forced to live in Townsville, that’s $30,000 price per job … If Townsville were an favoured entrant in the Stawell Gift, we’d be starting somewhere outside the stadium.

      Tourism is in the hands of one of the most inept feather-bedding organisations seen in this century or the last, and no one has the wit, the will or the selfless motivation to do anything about it. And the council is in utter chaos caused by the grandiose, self-serving plans of Jenny Hill and her commissioned Nous Melbourne-based theoretical report, which inter alia resulted in Adele The Impaler Young scything her way through the community experience and dedication of many long serving council staff, and bringing in replacements like Stephen Beckett (and his wikfe onto the Mooney-controlled Hospital Board, $44k per, ta very much). And let is NEVER forget that one of the most successful and respected businesses in the city, The Perc Tucker Gallery, was trashed overnight for this lunatic rationalisation. Being unable to attract new business here is one thing, but it is unforgivable to vandalise and destroy an existing small jewel in our
      tiara-sized business crown.

      Christ, don’t get me started.

      There has to be a seismic change in the focus of local politics if Townsville is ever to march forward again. That will also entail changing the wilful community denial of the truth of our current Walker Street regime. Thin chance, as that will take courage and vision. And intelligence.

      • No More Dredging says:

        ‘Pie, even the Perc Tucker Gallery is a government-funded institution. And that CCIQ report relied on some trash statement from Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan who said “the Carmichael project has the potential to create more than 7,000 new jobs in Queensland — a remarkable contribution to our regional and state economies.” I wonder what the Mission Beach econo-warriors will be saying now that Townsville has an insurance and government funded recovery project underway? Rents are up, housing is suddenly in demand and you’ll be lucky to find a tradie or half-arsed tradie this side of Christmas. Ain’t it strange how the planets can realign overnight?

        • The Magpie says:

          Yes, but the gallery attracted private sponsorships and bequests in excess of $10 million, was nationally renowned as one of the best regional galleries, was a live wire operation within the community, and was a genuine attraction for visitors. Not any more, not to that previous extent.

          Thank you, Mullet and Impaler.

      • Al says:

        Thank you Sir Pie, for such a succinct precis of the situation. Salute

      • Guy says:

        The ingredients for economic success for a city , state or nation is very simple

        you need cheap power and water

        don’t believe me? the industrial revolution came on the back of two things in Britain that were plentiful and cheap – power (from coal) and water

        cheap power and water brings companies and investment, with those things come further education, upskilling etc. cheap power and water also strengthens other industries such as agriculture believe it or not – did you know coal can also be used to make diesel – the very thing that drives agriculture from the plough, harvester and truck?

        building houses and supermarkets is a cargo cult spread by people that don’t know any better than their bank account, shipping in millions of immigrants just creates a magnificent ponzi scheme with no real basis and only a litany of taxes and fines to prop the thing up.

        what happens when you don’t have cheap power and water ? companies move out.

  44. I’ll be plucked says:

    To all blog readers/participants, can anyone please help me out with my understanding of this – several times on 7 local news tonight Private Cupcake (state member for Townsville) ‘appeared’, standing behind Jackie Trad; there were also clips/glimpses of him walking around behind her – what EXACTLY does he do to represent us?
    I just don’t know – anyone???

  45. Hee-Haw says:

    I see the Pie was right about Astonisher stepping stones, Clare Armstrong already bound for the Telegraph.

  46. Mike Shearer says:

    I think the following hasn’t been mentioned… It’s the January 2013 TCC’s “Ross River Flood Study: Base-line flooding assessment volume 1″ https://www.townsville.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/9225/RossRiver-Baseline-Vol1-Opt_Part1.pdf
    It’s extremely compehensive, and includes lots of most interesting maps. For flooding of the “once in 50 years” “once in 200 years” etc it has tables giving the numbers of houses in the flood-prone suburbs that will flood, how deep will be the water that victims will have to wade through and so on.
    If the study could include that degree of information then the addresses of the affected properties was know in 2013. Has it ever been made public? Could the owners of the submerged properties have found it?

    • Dave of Kelso says:


      Thank-you for bringing this document into the light of day. While it gives me much reassurance it should be compulsory reading for all home buyers and renters. Perhaps shopping centre developers as well.

      After one of the cyclones JCU gave a public presentation on the effects of the cyclones on the natural and built built environment, how measurements were taken and lessons learned.

      I would very much to attend a similar public presentation on the before, during and after actions, taken during the flood, and the consequences of those actions. This document would go a long way to inform such a presentation, especially in the before and during phases.

      Again, well done.

    • Ranger says:

      Mike- I pointed this out in my comment last week- The 2013 Ross River flood study would have gone a long way to giving clarity to property owners instead of directing people to a high tech GIS mapping software . Seriously wonder if there were any reasons why the maps from this study werent used for public information.
      Table 5.1 gives a pretty clear written lindication of the main effects for different event levels.

      I find this comment on page 76 may be of interest to many people:

      “The Townsville Golf Course is presently reviewing the potential for developing portions of the golf course as residential lots. There is significant inundation within the Golf Course area as a result of backwater from the river. The 50 Year ARI flood levels in the area are in the order of 4.3 m AHD. Any residential development here will need to ensure lots are above 4.3 m AHD and if filling is required to achieve these levels then compensatory floodplain storage will be needed.
      The former Department of Primary Industries (DPI) site, is also being investigated for residential development. In the 50 Year ARI flood event there is an area of backwater along an existing gully (A) and a significant overbank floodway in the eastern portion of the site (B) – refer to Figure 5-10. Filling within the floodway has potential to significantly impact on flood levels within Railway Estate and Rosslea, which are already impacted in the 50 Year ARI flood. Any residential development here will need to provide compensatory storage and provide appropriate works for conveying the flows through the eastern portion of the site, in conjunction with the appropriate cross drainage for any upgrade to Abbot Street.“

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