Why this blog exists...

The Magpie

Sunday, August 4th, 2019   |   144 comments

The Worm Finally Turns: The Astonisher Gets Stuck Into The Townsville City Council – But We Wonder Why

Following The Magpie’s lead (only four years, admittedly) the normally bum-kiss Townsville Bulletin has given prominence to a major attack on the cost and the competence of the TCC town planning procedures. But (calling all conspiracy theorists), is it a set-up for the Mayor Mullet’s council election campaign?

The ultimate FIFO airlift: Labor branch membership now open to out-of-towners. And why a significant move in one particular local branch could be bad news for Deputy Do Dah Les Messagebank Walker ….

Also, our bi-polar paper – the ups and downs in the news pages of the Daily Astonisher reflected in the latest readership figures …

The high cost of canoodling – when your cock’s your compass, things can get very expensive, as a local Lothario has learnt.

But first … BENTLEY’S BACK!!!

Sportsmanship – From The Country That Gave Us Bodyline

It was a failed attempt at mass virtue signalling from a country that invented the ultimate in cricketing chicanery. Along with most Aussies, The Magpie expected the promised booing and chanting to accompany the three central figures in the sandpaper scandal to the crease. The ‘Pie figured that was OK, it was reasonable that the Poms to take their minds off the dire state of their own benighted country and enjoy the rare opportunity to feel a bit superior to The Lucky Country.

Barmy Army flat small

But their bid for the high moral and sportsmanship ground pathetically failed when they booed Steve Smith’s century and his ultimate heroic tally with all the bad grace of sulky teenagers. These tossers showed themselves up as no real sports fans when they refused to acknowledge that Smith’s performance was all the more worthy of their grudging respect when their incessant pressure from the stands didn’t faze him. Former England captain Michael Vaughan described it was ‘one of the greatest Ashes innings ever’.

Smith 1 Barmy Army 0.

Branch Stacking Anyone?

The ‘Pie was informed during the week that recent changes to ALP rules no longer stipulate that a person does not have to live in any particular area to belong to a party branch. Comrades in Townsville have been flitting about between branches since day one, but now, according to The ‘Pie’s Labor informant, the recent rules change allows people who have left town to remain as voting branch members, providing they’re at the relevant meeting. And the tattle tale understood that anyone anywhere could now be in a branch anywhere.

Unless there is some sort restriction of which The ‘Pie has not been informed, that seems a pretty clear invitation to voting shenanigans, if the issue is important enough. Let’s face it, as secretary of the Railway Estate branch Jenny Hill rounded up many newcomers to the Filipino community and had them join up. Story goes that she even had their first year’s dues paid for them, but that all came unstuck when membership fell due; the newcomers weren’t impressed that they were now expected to ante up themselves , and many left. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how this little scenario can be rorted on a state-wide basis.

And another snippet – our ‘independent’ mayor, although no longer Railway Estate branch secretary is still a branch member. And guess who is in the secretary’s chair now?

Mark Molochino

According to info received, none other than Division 4 councillor Mark ‘Frothy’ Molachino, the man who has maintained to friends that he will be Townsville mayor one day. So could something be read into this branch arrangement, starting a process that would see Frothy the anointed one to lead the team after Mayor Mullet’s expected demise next March.

It will have the current deputy mayor doing some buttock clenching, because he is well known that he and Mayor Mullet have their own ‘ Kirrilbilli House’ succession arrangement in place. But the deputy mayor knows, as many a political deputy has become painfully aware, such arrangement are somewhat fluid. And since it is generally felt among Labor folk that a goof like union hack Les is unelectable as mayor, that fluidity may be of flood-like proportions. Something that our current mayor knows all about.

BTW, Anyone Seen Mayor Mullet This Week

Well, not on Thursday or Friday, not around Townsville. She was in Melbourne at a federal Labor hanky-dabbing gab fest, dissecting ‘what went wrong in Queensland’ at the last election. The occasion was organized by the left wing think tank The McKell Institute, a sort of polar opposite to the Nazi outfit Institute of Public Affairs. The McKell Institute  can hardly contest the left wing tag when it describes the election outcome in Queensland as ‘shocking’.

Screen Shot 2019-08-03 at 1.44.07 pm

For unfathomable reasons, our ‘independent’ mayor was teamed up with Senator Anthony Chisholm to examine the entrails, to work out what voters were thinking and what had upset them so, particularly in the north of the state.

Screen Shot 2019-08-03 at 1.42.20 pm

As one observer noted dryly, ’Don’t you just love it when somebody born in Melbourne is flown back to Melbourne to tell a bunch of Melbourne people what North Queenslanders are thinking. Sort of sums up what happened, really.’

The Mayoral Race That Isn’t (Not At The Moment, Anyway)

Sam Cox is still shying away from any declaration of intent towards Walker Street, on the curious grounds of wanting Townsville to confirm that they want ‘change’. This despite in his impassioned letter to the paper, he said many people had been telling him exactly that right that across the city. So it remains a mystery what he’s weighing up.

But Sam isn’t alone in nervous decision making. A number of other possible mayoral candidates are standing mute at the moment, all for the same reason … next year’s state election. All the suitable candidates for Walker Street seem to have their eyes on the juicier prize of a state seat, and one supposes why wouldn’t they, the three Townsville incumbents were highly vulnerable even before the latest round of scandal engulfed the Palaszczuk government in the past fortnight. With The Freckle looking like our next Premier, local government is taking a back seat in the political mindset.

Our Bi-Polar Paper

The Astonisher is up one minute, down the next, with serious stories (floods, crime) often giving away prominence to stuff that hardly belongs in a responsible publication (cheekiest baby, ten top hairdressers, acres of print given over to the highly subjective FB fodder of ‘best hamburger/fish’n’chips /pizza etc – all ‘revealed’ – can we be far from The Ten Best Shower Tilers Bum Cracks?). And the bi-polar analogy goes for its latest readership number … up on weekdays and seriously down on its flagship Saturday edition.

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 5.28.49 pm

But sales may pick up if we get more of this sort of story, which landed on Friday.

Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 8.37.34 am

The boot went straight to the bollocks from the outset of the story.

A TOWN planner has labelled Townsville City Council the worst he has ever dealt with.The criticism comes as a Cairns developer considering a nine-storey hotel in the CBD withdrew his planning application, blaming high council assessment fees. Town planner Martin Clark said the council had too much administration and not enough technical staff.

“Townsville council is the most inefficient organisation I’ve ever had the misfortune to work with,” Mr Clark said.

Cor, phew!

The loudest local outcry came from Peter Tapiolas, whose Parkside Group is a big advertiser with the paper. He is also a big employer and a modest member of the Townsville power elite. Tapiolas, a strident critic of Mayor Mullet in the past, was just as blunt in the article.

“Council has talked about providing incentives for the CBD but as yet it’s just talk and nothing of any substance has materialised,” Mr Tapiolas said. Townsville council should be throwing themselves at any developer who wants to invest in Townsville, particularly in the CBD, where a decade of bad decisions have seen developers take their money and invest elsewhere.”

And of course, we had to be reminded that a village somewhere is missing an idiot, when deputy mayor Les Walker pointlessly chimed in: “Council is always willing to discuss fees and charges on proposals but ultimately developers make decisions based on whether a project stacks up financially.”

Which , Les, is EXACTLY what has happened here. And you’re OK with that, eh?

And even the paper joined in with an iditorial daintily suggesting the council could do better. And for added ooompf, a rarity, an actually funny and spot-on clever cartoon by Harry Bruce.

Harry bruce cartoon

But It Wouldn’t Be Your Weekly Magpie Without A Conspiracy Theory, Would It?

So some bells started to go off in the back of The ‘Pie’s noodle, and suddenly, he started to connect a few dots when he spied the following ‘softener’ line in from the editor. ‘In the events space, the council, led by Mayor Jenny Hill, can’t be faulted, especially given the most recent success – the North Australian Festival of Arts.’

Really, Jenna?

A-hem … that festival is a state government funded and planned affair, with the council doing little more than allocating venues and collecting hefty fees from the government coffers for doing so. And this is the mayor who without reason apart from personal reasons sacked the most successful arts curator in regional Australia, and is also the one who caved in to a powerful local developer to put a money sink-hole stadium ahead of a business-rejuvenating entertainment/convention centre. To say she ‘cannot be faulted’ reflects on the politically driven selective mythology, morality and convenient memory that drives the Townsville Bulletin. But the mimsy endorsement of the mayor in an otherwise excoriating critique of town planning suggested another possibility for the paper’s worm-like turn on the council.

Could this be an orchestrated campaign ploy by Jenny Hill herself through her chum Jenna?

First, there is the fact that the very day the electorally damaging story is published, the mayor in nowhere to be found, MIA … in Melbourne as reported above. And yet again we see the hapless Les Walker holding the bag in another negative story (like all the ones he fronted for that expensive bus stop we now have).

Imagine this: by arrangement, the paper goes all out on the electorally damaging ‘unfriendly, expensive council’ issue, published on a day when the mayor isn’t available to get involved … in Melbourne as reported above. Soon after her return from the southern climes, Jenny will then demurely fold in the face of public ‘outrage’, saying she has listened to the people, and has taken on board their concerns about this issue. She announces administrative changes (cutting red tape she will call it), chirping that ‘Townsville is now ‘open for business’, and make a totally false campaign claim of being a listening, inclusive leader. Then the inevitable disaster … she is re-elected and it is straight back to the old, floundering agenda. She hopes.

Just a thought.

Up One Moment, Down The Next

You’ve almost got to feel for the Jenna Dilemma … the latest readership figures for the Townsville Bulletin give with one hand and taken back with the her.

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 5.28.49 pm

The modest gain in weekday readership – there were several clever giveaway promotions during the year – was doubly offset by the bum-puckering 20% loss of readers of the flagship real estate Saturday edition. Reckon real estate may have had something to do with it?

Here’s the entire national list for those interested.

The Bonker Bonked

There is a certain high-profile serial bonker around town who was caught out bonking a senior member of his staff a while back. The fallout, we hear, was very messy indeed. The ‘Pie now hears (quite unreliably, you realize) that the bonkee, no longer in the bonker’s employ, has decided to collect her wages of sin. Her senior position and extracurricular ‘executive care’ package apparently entitled her to the use of a late model European SUV. The ‘Pie’s spy says she can still be seen tooling around town in all $100,000+ worth of it. The story goes that bonker asked for the return of the wheels, to which the ex-bonkee told him to go do to himself what he had been previously doing to her.

Bonker will probably figure best to leave things alone, a messy public stoush could have serious consequences for his publicly listed, national company.

Enough to drive you bonkers?

If She HasDriven Him To Drink, Here’s The Right Drop

iwine labelmage001

Idle Question

Noted during the week that Kid Crisafulli is still as mischievous as ever, getting in an early campaign dig for his team. He chucked in a totally out-of-order question at budget estimates, asking whether the government would get behind a (non-existant) move for a State of Origin match to be played for the new Townsville stadium.

David Crisafulli

David Crisafulli

Now The Kid may be many things, but a dill is not one of them. Of course he knew the obligatory negative answer before he even asked, but it was a nice little bit of bolstering for the yet-to-be decided LNP candidates for the three tottering Townsville seats in next year’s election. Because The Kid knows only too well – and to his own personal cost – how easily local voters can be baffled by bullshit.

Of course the Bulletin continues it’s basement level populous approach and still runs idiotic stories about the chances, which are equivalent to the survival of a fart in a fan factory. So nice to see Shari Tagliabue put the facts up front today. But no one has still asked the most obvious question: if the NRL had a collective fit of financial derangement and granted us a SOO, Townsville would have a sudden influx of about 20,000 people (at least), on top of the normal tourist and business crowd. So The ‘Pie has but one polite inquiry:

Where would they stay?

Over Trumpsylvnia, The Campaign To Re-Elect The President Has Been Started – By The Democrats.

Confusion reigns in the ranks of Trump’s potential rivals in next year’s election, with the Democrats arguing about everything from a fair and equitable universal medical care system to a politically destructive extreme Greens agenda. But the president managed to interrupt his free run with his ratty talk.

139_228275 15_political_cartoon_u.s._trump_wins_democratic_debate_boxing_match_kos_-_gary_varvel_creators 7_political_cartoon_u.s._democratic_debate_gaffes_zingers_no_issues_-_david_fitzsimmons_cagle 20_political_cartoon_u.s._election_pollster_undecided_voter_voluntary_emigration_-_steve_kelley_creators IMG_9215 Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon - tt_c_c190730.tif 14_political_cartoon_u.s._trump_brain_rat_infested_baltimore_racist_tweets_-_bill_bramhall_tribune COLOR 118_228114 27_political_cartoon_u.s._trump_racist_tweets_con_man_al_sharpton_elijah_cummings_-_clay_jones lk073119dapr US Greens sbr092819dapr cjones08032019 072619chargesr 17_29


That’s the goss for this week, but keep an eye on comments, you might want ton get enraged enough to make a reply or two. And as always, any assistance and support you can give the blog to meet its bills would be greatly appreciated … you can show your appreciation by using the donate button below. Thanks.

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:

    Pollies being caught out telling porkies as well as conflict of interests the past few weeks sheds light on the lack of quality and integrity we have locally and State level representing us . Aaron Harper trying to sell the great job he Scott and Coralee have been doing reducing crime when Queensland Police Service produce figures stating crime is up across most categories in the Ville . Shannon Fentiman Cabinet Minister Palaszczuks Government didnt think she needed to declare staying at a consultants (winning a Qld Gov contract) ski lodge in Canada . More locally with Messagebank Walker responding to the developers comments that T.C.C. is the worst Council to deal with for planning by saying Townsvilles approval costs were cheaper than Mackay and Cairns . The Astonisher did a follow fact check on Messagebank and yes Cairns is indeed more expensive but Mackay appears 40% cheaper on a similar development .

    • The Magpie says:

      It would seem that the fees are seen as indicative of both an attitude and an embedded bureaucratic slow-grinding machine in Townsville, and the town planner’s comment can perhaps be sheeted home directly to Mayor Mullet, The Impaler Adele Young and the distant Nous Group for stripping the council of valuable technical expertise in favour of shiny bum, time serving bureaucrats. It a mess that’s going to take clear sighted and courageous leadership to clean up. So good luck to us all.

    • Fishframe says:

      Our three local MP’s are following the Party Line – politicians should be rarely seen and never heard. I had even forgotten they were State MP’s??????

  2. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Interesting info there Pie about Molachino, it all makes sense now how the groveling crawler has gone from unemployed freeloader to Mayoral aspirant, only in Townsville.

    • Alacan says:

      Is that the equivalent of if you have a go you’ll get a go .. hang on ..hard to talk or even text with the tongue firmly embedded in cheek

  3. sir ossis o'fliver says:

    I have been patient and now see a morsel of result.
    But, I hope their is much more to come.

    • The Magpie says:

      Glad to hear it, but the hell are you talking about?

      • sir ossis o'fliver says:

        Am I missing something here?

        • The Magpie says:

          Nah, you’re cool … just decided not to push the point too much, a few people have been damaged but the bonker’s position in town and hypocrisy made it worth a mention.
          As for the bonkee’s action, it reminded The ‘Pie of the famous Oscar Wilde conversation with a snobby society dame at a banquet. The woman kept harping on the loose morals of the growing population of prostitutes in London. Wilde suggested that all women have a propensity to use sex to get the rewards they seek, and were willing to put love and genuine regard aside.’For instance, madam, be honest, if the potentate ruling over a vast empire offered you unlimited jewels, servants and a life of luxury as his queen, for one night a week in his bed, would you not accept such an offer, even though you disliked the man?’ The woman said that, well, given that circumstance, yes, truthfully, she would accept such an offer. Wilde then said’ So, will agree to five shillings for an hour of my carnal pleasure?’ The shocked woman was scandalised.’Sir, what do you take me for?’, to which Wilde replied ‘We’ve already established that, now we’re just haggling about the price.’

  4. hondaman says:

    Is there any truth to the rumour that the Touring car circus will NOT be returning next year? Also in the mill is the story that both Rocky and another city have been offered to take the place of the ‘Ville’s race date, and the controlling body is hopeful that another venue will win the deal. The local attendances are fairly bodged to make it seem like a great extravaganza, but the experts aren’t fooled by this, I’m sure! If it does transpire that we have lost the event, surely the shortfall on funding for Drive It will become a hot potato at the up-coming State election, we can only hope! It’s certain that the Parkside group have no plans for residential at Calcium, so the future does look bright for local motorsport anyway!

  5. Spooka says:

    When the hell are the people of Townsville going to wake up to the fact that for the last 30 years at least they have voted for losers, crook, and corrupt bastards, political party stooges, outright grubs, and gravy train grovelers. After 30 odd years, I think the voters are too dammed stupid to either care nor smart enough to realize they are continually being bent over and shafted.

  6. The Magpie says:

    No comment … because there isn’t one, really.

  7. Guy says:

    You might remember there was someone wanting to open a gym near willows when the Tyrell council was in power , they wanted to charge the guy something like a 150,000 council fees – the story made it into the bulletin. With publicity the council walked it back to 30,000 but by then the prospective business had fled. I remember it because it came up in the watchgroup at the time and everyone was rightly incredulous how the administration had come to this conclusion.

    My take on Townsville council is there were and still are problems with people in the admin – entrenched managerial problems still clinging to power, in common parlance we know them as the “undead”. Its going to take a few more years to get rid of them and prise their fingers off important levers. In the last election I was able to help a few people (who contacted me) who the council managers had taken a stick to in sheer spite and bloody mindedness.

    Let’s be honest – the old council admin ran amok and were just (deleted) who threw their weight around, annoying the hell out of ordinary people trying to live normal lives, its no wonder there was a culling after the election. My advice to anyone standing for council and anyone working for council is to try and not to annoy and threaten residents.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie remembers the incident well, and you recall accurately.

      But allow The ‘Pie to thank you for demonstrating your wide vocabulary, however, in that pejorative sense, your fondness for the deleted word will not be appearing on this blog anytime soon.

      • Llareggub says:

        Meanie! sticks and stones etc. Does it begin with “G”? Or maybe “L”? Can we have a clue – how many letters? Or its Greek or Latin r**t?

    • Radiohead says:

      Are you a time traveler guy? Your always in the past. Hill and labor have now had the best part of 8yrs so continuing to bring up what Tyrell did or didn’t makes no sense for what’s happening now. Should we go back as far as Gillard/rudd/Reynolds/Mooney??? Nobody is listening so go back and tell jenny that everything she’s asking you to put on the blog won’t matter.

      • Guy says:

        I am the ghost of Christmas past

        • Pat Coleman says:

          The historical donations relating to stuff that still hasn’t come to pass is relevant to the context of whom the donors believed would achieve their aims, and in relation to where the pollies or candidates are now and what their position is on such matters.

  8. No Notion says:

    In 1967, Australians voted overwhelmingly to remove racial discrimination from the constitution.

    It would be a backward step to reintroduce it.

  9. The Magpie says:

    Fair argument? And bicycles, too, if we’re going to be fair. Cyclists claims of exemption in the grounds of non-pollution are overly off-set by the danger, increased insurance premiums and legal risk to which put drivers and passengers using the roads they built and paid for. And let their registration fees be used solely to build cycle paths.

    ACCC says gas guzzlers subsidise electric cars, calls for change in how we pay for roads
    Australia’s consumer watchdog says electric car owners have an unfair advantage over poorer people driving gas-guzzlers and are calling for a huge change to way we pay for our roads. Here’s why.

    WEALTHY motorists who can afford flash electric cars are unfairly using roads for free at the expense of poorer drivers, consumer tsar Rod Sims said yesterday.

  10. The Magpie says:


    Today we read another stark reminder of the bumbling dereliction of duty from Mayor Mullet’s council, and it’s featherbedding old mates policy on out-of-touch ‘consultants’.

    The Bulletin’s word ‘fresh’ and ‘reignited’ are off the mark – calls for the an entertainment/convention centre (ECC) have never stopped in a decade, ever since they were derailed by Lancini’s determined and selfish drive for a new stand-alone stadium instead. The story is another condemnation of a council stripped bare of expertise and resolve, so judged by their own pathetic weasel words. For instance, this quote from the story:

    ‘The proposal for a 1000-seat concert hall has been in discussion for some years now, with a feasibility report done in 2017 suggesting locations at The Hive development at King St or at Central Park.Two years later there has been no final decision made on what would be a more suitable location.’ UNQUOTE

    Two years? That’s bad enough but it’s chickenfeed. When the story switched to the ECC, the council itself gave the lie to its stumblebum performance, and their cynical ‘consultants’, Pure Porkies or Pure Bullshit or whatever they’re called (none of it pure).

    Quote: A Townsville City Council official said a business case has begun for the ­project.
    “Townsville has a demand for a new facility to host local and touring events,” the official said. (Magpie: No shit!)
    “The Townsville City Deal Progress report (April 2019) states that a consultant report completed in October 2018, which examined the short, medium and long-term needs for an events facility, confirmed the need for a new entertainment and exhibition precinct to be developed in Townsville.”
    ‘Confirmed the need for’ …?!?!
    We the ratepayers are actually paying this Pure Bullshit crowd good money – although we’re not allowed to know exactly how much – for two reasons … to deflect from the piss poor priorities and decision making of the current depleted administration, and, secondly because this elected collection of spineless goofs with their trotters on the edge of the swill trough don’t have the wit, imagination or vision that will move this city forward. And neither have our expensive out-of-town ‘consultants’.

    Here endeth the lesson. And may God have mercy on our souls.


    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      There would be lots of alternative sites if Jenny Hill didn’t flog them all off to her mate Honeycombe to build rat dens or just sit in them for years and do nothing, there is a perfect bit of land straight across the road from the stadium that could have housed all this, except they sold it, there is an unused car park next door at nights and on weekends all ready to go, brainless dickheads.

      • The Magpie says:

        While that looks like the obvious idea, our Nanny State twerps in Brisbane who flinch at every PC shadow in sight, have made it impossible because of the rules and costs regarding land ‘remediation … much of which is complete revenue raising tripe … if it was good enough for rail workers to traipse around ‘contaminated’ sites like the old railway yard, putting a vast slab of concrete over it should be sufficient safeguard for the cotton wool brigade. Anyway, the weeds that greet visitors as they arrive seem to be enjoying whatever it is in the soil.

        • Alahazbin says:

          The stadium site did not go through that remediation process. Just stick about 600mm of road base over it and away you go and build a stadium.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Yes, quite so. Talk in local performing arts circles is that Melbourne is very keen to get the AFCM. A lack of venues in Townsville will help Melbourne.

      All the while this project is being ignored by the TCC corrupted (so it seems to me) by self interested developers.


      After all, what would the performing arts community know about their needs or the needs of the wider public?

    • Radiohead says:

      I noticed that it’s the “council official” to have there turn at comment not a councillor ( cr greaneys division) or the mayor. Surprise surprise.

      • The Magpie says:

        Yes, the unnamed ‘spokesman/person/undecided’ is the occasional stanbd-in for Messagebank Walker, whom Mayor Mullet lumbers with the too tough unpopular stuff. Remember when editor Mick Carroll wouldn’t print spokesman etc … he demanded names and when a journo knew who was speaking for the council, he/she was named as the source. Dolan Hayes went thermo-nuclear about this policy, but Mick stuck with it.

        • Radiohead says:

          Well if my memory serves me correctly in the Tyrell days, THIS IS FOR YOU GUY!!! Everyone that spoke to media was named. I mean this just sounds like we live in Russia not Australia. If you speak of the supreme leader out of tune in public it’s right to the gulag. This council needs to be changed.

    • Rusty Nail says:

      ‘Pie, whilst agreeing wholeheartedly with everything you say here, I wonder at the call for a Concert hall with seating for only 1,000. The Civic Theatre already seats this many and the acoustics there aren’t too bad – pretty good actually according to my non-specialist ear.
      Given this, what are the AFCM organisers complaining about, or were they mis-quoted with respect audience numbers?

      • The Magpie says:

        There are two political plays being run here simultaneously – The Hive or the Civic T could get that required addition (good question as to why that size) at the cost of a relevant pittance … and then, if we continue to point out the greater good of the economic saviour of an entertainment/convention centre, Mayor Mullet could run the line of ungrateful grasping bastards . … well, takes one to known one. On the other hand, it might be obviated by the unlikely scenario someone somewhere down south deciding to buy some votes and go for the economy-boosting ECC … then the mayor could prance and chortle around claiming that was her patient plan all along. And this is the woman the Labor Party flew to Melbourne, to tell southerners how north Queenslander think and why they kicked Labor out. Come to think of it, couldn’t have chosen a better person as an example of same.

        • Mick says:

          The Hive. The parking is where???

          • The Magpie says:

            Such venues do not have to be linked to car parking, many aren’t if you look at the situation elsewhere. Here in Townsville, suitable walkways as projected, shuttle buses to existing car parks possible – including the stadium which won’t get much use from a dozen footy crowds per year- or cabs from home, which make for a big night out of a show and dinner.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        The Civic Theatre is a theatre for stage performances, dance, etc with the musicians in the pit and wired into the sound system.

        When musicians are on stage for a concert the musicians at the back struggle to be heard as their sound disappears up into the curtain loft instead of being projected out into the audience. Concerts and the AFCM etc need a concert hall.

        And the C2 performance space is acustically bloody awful.

        But the techs at the CT do their best with what they have got.

      • The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

        Unlike a once a year race track or 12 times a year stadium, concert and theatre venues are in use continually and the ability to stage more than one event at the same time would double the capacity for the city.

        Size is probably not as important as how vigorously it is used, in this case as in other more base pursuits.

        • The Magpie says:

          Doo dah doo dah day … you’re singin’ The Magpie’s song (which he’s been belting out for almost a decade.) But to carry your analogy of base pursuits further, it matters where you vigorously use it, the best location is not always in front of you.

  11. Pat Coleman says:

    Previous donations + reduced developer charges = corruption.

    Developer donations ban + continued demand for reduction of developer charges = FUCK OFF AND LAUNDER IT THROUGH THE LOBBYISTS LIKE EVERYONE ELSE OR EVERYONE WILL KNOW WHAT WE ARE UP TO .

  12. Cappuccino in hand says:

    There will be quality alternative candidates for Mayor and the 10 divisions. It’s simply too early for them to poke their heads too far above the parapet to have them shot off in early skirmishes with the current bunch of in-charge lefties.

    Pie, once your clock hits 120 days, expect to see a clear field. And don’t hold your breath for a “team” to go up against JH+10. My bet is this will be a presidential style race and if we get a popular Mayor with 10 independently elected Councillors working on behalf of the best interests of their constituents, then this city has a chance to recover from the current malaise. There are even a few existing Councillors who will do OK if they are free to express their views and work independently.

    But whoever these people are, regardless of how good they might be for our city, they will need plenty of help from supporters to remove the incumbents. JH+10 will be a formidable electoral force as they have plenty of financial backing from the rates base. So we need to be prepared to pitch in and help later this year – not to give up the fight because we are frustrated right now.

    • The Magpie says:

      While a longer time frame certainly presents it dangers – more time to make a mistake or Mullet to plot some of her legendary dirty deeds, that risk is far outweighed by the opportunities presented by a paper and tv desperate for a go-to person to counter-balance (and sell papers and attract viewers) a lot of Mayor Mullet’s populistic empty boosterism.

  13. Critical says:

    Doubt that a new convention and entertainment centre for Townsville will happen soon. The Cairns Convention Centre is about to be expanded and existing
    facility to receive a hard refurbishment by QLD government. Also Townsville does not have any 5 star accommodation to attract international and southern attendees to leading conventions and conferences. The Crystalbrook Group has opened the first of its three 5 star hotels adding around 1,200 additional rooms to existing 5 star hotels in Cairns and the final plans for the Crystalbrook Port Douglas International Marina Luxury Hotel are still to be approved and I believe there will be helipad facilities attached to this development so guests can fly direct to Cairns airport and to attend conventions. Also note the infrequency or of direct flights from southern cities into and out of Townsville and I won’t mention international flights.

    • The Magpie says:

      Take all your points, but it is chicken and egg stuff … in fact, oine instance where ‘build it and they will come’ could work … not just convention business and entertainment customers, but also hotel developers. There are all sports of possibilities if people had a real reason or purpose to come here …, for instance, The ‘Pie understands that Chris Morris has bought a helicopter company to service (is it) his Pelorus Island development … that would be a nice tie in and the town would get some spin off for sure. And Townsville would need professionals to sell some unique features of Townsville, including a close-by ‘outback adventure’ and the reinstatement of a fast cat to the reef. We really are sound asleep around here … not that we don’t have nightmares.

  14. Pat Coleman says:

    Lefties my arse.

    • The Magpie says:

      Ummm, ok, whatever. Hey, Pat, while we have your attention … The ‘Pie has tried unsuccessfully to find a definitive answer to these questions. 1. Is it legal to crowd fund an election campaign, such as a mayoral or councillor campaign? 2 If so, how does it sit with the developer donation situation? The ‘Pie would appreciate just a brief answer without depending on having ton troll through 5000 links, as we normally do with your informative and detailed missives.

      • Pat Coleman says:

        Just saw this. The answers lie in s22 of the Qld code , Ignorance being no excuse.

        The electoral acts still apply. The law is being changed to reflect the Belcarra Report recs 5-9 that all candidates should be taken to know who their donors are.

        No different to the donor button on party pages.

        No different in enforcement than labor/lnp front companies disguising donations.

        No different in enforcement than lobbyists drip feeding prohibited donations.

        The law applies, ignorance of the law is no excuse and they will do fuck all about it.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, sort of thanks, but what does that mean, Pat? Is crowd funding legal for council election candidates or not?

          • Pat Coleman says:

            The legals on keeping a joint account are on my blog here https://cynicismcentraltownsvilleaustralia.blogspot.com/2018/08/townsvilles-jenny-hill-gang-splits-on.html?m=1

            All electoral funds must pass through it.

            I can’t see how the site would be illegal to use for elections.

            Foreign donations are were always illegal under the qld electoral act. So Sun metals and Adani can’t use gofund me to funnel bribes.

            By doing fuck all , the government, the CCC , the cops, the electoral commission and the integrity commissioner have sll said that the proper way to engage in a scheme to circumvent the prohibitions is to launder it through a lobbyist who then passes it on to parties.

            Digital donations leaves a trail. Whereas the tried and true tactics of giving cash to third parties like accountants or lawyers or “Logan futures” type schemes- to donate once amassed, or another person to do it will probably be used.

          • Pat Coleman says:

            I have to add , I presume you as a Candidate using that site can see who the donors are?

            If its anonymous it would have to be illegal cos of councilors interests.

            I have never looked at the site except for media stories.

    • Cappuccino in hand says:

      The social and economic fallout from the flood will badly impact TSV for several years. Insurance costs (when you can get it) will be an obvious one. Affected residents not being able to move back in to their homes, and when they finally get the all clear finding that their largest single purchase is worth very little on the revised real estate market, will take a large toll emotionally and financially.

      Not a peep from any level of government on what they are doing to flood proof TSV. No further action on what actually happened on the night that the dam release broke the river banks and how this won’t happen again.

      If we get a change of local and state governments next year expect to see some ugly skeletons unearthed. But it will be too late for many and it will be like passing on the ashes. We need city and state leaders who take this seriously and protect residents as their highest priority.

      • The Magpie says:

        Perhaps this is the new direction for the WFTAG group … it would be a natural progression for Linda Ashton and her already assembled team of experts to campaign for flood mitigation … which would include a ban on a building low-set dwellings on known floodplains. Floods don’t happen often or everyone, but when they do, it can be pretty well financially terminal. It would be silly not to harness the independent expertise platform already in place to do some more hard yards. So come next March, let hope the only passing on of the ashes has been in England this summer.

        • J. B says:

          Nobody seems to be saying that this happens( rain event) every 20 years or so. Could it be mitagated? How?

          • The Magpie says:

            That is EXACTLY what we should be spending on money to find out … and act on.

          • Cappuccino in hand says:

            Cyclone Larry … March 2006
            Cyclone Yasi … February 2011
            Mother Nature doesn’t seem to worry about “one in a xxxxxx years” ratings!

            A simple planning scenario should be …. another sever rain event over the Townsville catchment will occur in January 2030. With 10 years to prepare for this potentially catastrophic weather, what is the plan to mitigate damage to the city?

            Insurance company actuaries would like to know. People moving to TSV would like to know. People of Idalia with trashed houses would like to know!

          • Old tradesman says:

            Firstly, they need to have a serious look at the Tilt Train railway dam, the Port Access and Cluden Overpass Dams, tell the Greenies to shove it, and clean out Gordon Creek at Oonoonba. But then when you have a government in which the Treasurer is only interested in increasing her own real estate wealth, what chance do we have of this even being contemplated, as our 3 cardboard cutouts remain mute.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Simple JB, start every wet season with the dam at 15%, that way the dam will work as the flood mitigation is was meant to be, and not a water storage as it later became. Once the new pipeline is built it can deliver Townsville daily requirements and the dam should be nothing but a small holding that will allow water to move through the dam and eventually to the treatment plant.
            90% of the flooded properties were caused solely by the dam release and were dry until that event, that’s why so many have had claims refused, they weren’t inundated by floodwaters, they were inundated by the release of water from the dam. The dam needs to return to being the flood mitigation it was designed to be, it’s a fairly simple process, just cut the dam wall heights at the radial gates down to allow the release of water when it gets to 20%

          • The Magpie says:

            Errr, pardon, Cankers, but don’t we have to pay every time the Burdekin tap is turned on?

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Indeed we do Pie, should we do a cost benefit analysis of pumping water from the Burdekin vs the $1.4 billion cost and rising of the floods, pumping water from the Burdekin is a clear winner.

          • The Magpie says:

            Geez, you really an ungrateful bugger, Crankypants … the flood water was free.

        • Critical says:

          Talk to some of the city’s senior citizens atm and they can remember past Bohle River floods that probably inundate parts of Condon, Kiwwan, Deeragun, Burdel, Bushland Beach and maybe Kalynda Chase. They reckon that these areas weren’t called the Bohle River Floods Plains for no reason but when the developers moved in, their marketing campaigns managed to remove the word ‘flood’ from references to this area. What is TCC doing to foolproof these areas and to make residents aware of possible future flood events. I’m certain that the Bohle River Flood Plains area won’t have missed the scrutiny of insurance companies when they reassess future insurance premiums.

      • Fishframe says:

        Flood affected properties will not go down in value. Have you ever looked at prices in Venice?????

  15. Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

    Interesting new article on Sal Vasta http://insidestory.org.au/judging-vasta/

  16. Bob the builder says:

    What’s all this nonsense about red tape and high charges driving developers away. Anyone in the construction business knows you can get instant approval for anything by giving a brown paper bag to a local legal eagle. And if you happen to have friends in high places you don’t even need the paper bag. In fact, the planning department will provide advice on how to get around the rules and red tape. If you happen to be the son of a bankrupt developer then it’s even easier.

  17. Mike Douglas says:

    Regarding possible grants by T.C.C. to cbd owners to upgrade the image of the cbd , am I correct that the derelict building used online by the Astonisher for this story is owned by a multi million $ lawyer sometimes mentioned in this blog ? . It’s on record how dysfunctional Walker st is but surely a Council $370 mil in debt won’t be granting multi millionaires rate payers $ to spruce up their builders . Jenna ( Astonisher) pretty sure you monitor the Magpie so can please ask the question .

  18. Old tradesman says:

    Pie, I see today, your old pal Bazza might be getting a grant to repair his property at 693 Flinders St. That should get him off your back.

    • The Magpie says:

      If that’s the one down towards the Sovereign Hotel, why would he get a grant?It was derelict more than 18 months ago, and left in a such a dilapidated state as to be a major eyesore on one of the major entries to the CBD. It featured in a Bulletin ’10 worst CBD eyesores last year’, months after The ‘Pie had featured it in the blog as one of Bazza’s gifts to the Townsville community. But the paper didn’t mention ownership (The Magpie sure did). The building is said to be the subject of redevelopment restrictions because of some ‘heritage sewer tunnels’ below it … how fitting.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Heritage Sewer Tunnels! Wow! Daily conducted tours are sure to bring the international tourist to Townsville.

      • The Magpie says:

        Hahahaha … bet the Astonisher didn’t know who the owner is … just trolled through the library and said ‘That’ll do.’ Barry Taylor being such pals with Mayor Mullet etc, our Jenna just might be getting a call from further down Flinders Street from the Legal Foghorn.

        • Fishframe says:

          So people like me who have invested our own money in refurbishing CBD property get nothing, and if we had just let things become dilapidated we may get Council money for nothing? Why not a rule that says if you don’t use or maintain your property you pay an additional surcharge on your Rates to cover removal of vagrants, rats and clean up of broken glass on the pavement? Pretty much covers everything to do with that shit of a building.

        • Strandboy says:

          Just a copy of smaller regional councils like Whitsundays? Lagging as usual or just slow to adopt from the local government hymn book ….


      • Mundingbird says:

        In the real world,the Council should fine the owners of these shitholes,including the ones down near The Bank Nightclub, for the disgusting eyesores they are,or tidy them up and send the owners an invoice with their rates notice.
        The mere thought of granting them rate payers funds makes my blood boil.
        We definitely need a major change.

        • The Magpie says:

          A gree in principle, owning property entails certain community obligations, but the trouble is the powers stop short of what you suggest. That particularly unpleasant anti-social shit who owns a potentially beautiful heritage building next to the Bank Nightclub had a stoush over such an issue a few years ago, and basically prevailed. This bloke’s primeval arrogance is such that he smeared oil and grease over his street frontage to stop people leaning on it to have a smoke at night. He’s a right little charmer, socially a poisoned dwarf of the first order.

  19. Critical says:

    Does anyone know what the actual CBD area is defined as ie what the street boundaries are or does the CBD area change according to the project and political whim.
    Council had the CBD Infrastructure Upgrade project, uphill side of Flinders Street West got a new footpath, Ross Creek side I’d Flinders Street missed out, a previous TCC grants project to activate the CBD (forget the name of the grant program but think it may have been Activate Townsville) went as far as Cleveland Terrace in one direction, Blackwood Street in the other direction and Sturt Street uphill but then included parts of South Townsville. No consistency at all.

    • The Magpie says:

      Don’t known the definitive answer to your question, Crits, but you highlight one aspect of this inept council’s game of bluff and grandstanding. Fixing up footpaths, doing kerbing and guttering, and doing unavoidable and vital upgrades to underground infrastructure is IS WHAT COUNCIL’S DO, FFS, it’s what they’re there for and it is what is reasonably expected of them. Include in that building a big bus stop, which goofy Messagebank’s four years of progress reports conjured up visions of a vehicularv Taj Mahal. This mob, poorly advised by PR consultants, all want to be hailed as local heroes for doing what THEIR WELL PADDED ARSES ARE PAID TO DO. Much of the hoopla of what is going on in the CBD (which is very good to see happening, but should invoke nothing more than a ‘good to see the council getting on with their job’) is reminiscent of the panicked Mayor Mullet’s ultimate fizzer Basic Blitz. At one stage, the TCC website advised that there were some works in, if memory serves, Fletcher Street which included the pathetic note: ‘… and providing 15 jobs.’ What, new jobs, or just the allocation of a task to the hard working outdoor crews? If that’s not electoral panic stations, what is?

      • Guy says:

        One of my CBD fantasies is creating a narrow corridor of tall buildings of varying designs extending out from the centre between flinders and sturt street , ending abruptly at Ingham road. From an artistic perspective you need that artistic juxtaposition between shapes / colours/ height to create something unique. Psychologically, someone travelling into the centre would immediately understand where the boundaries were.

        • Guy says:

          One good addition in the last 6 months to allambie lane (between kelso and Rasmussen) has been one good continous concrete footpath stretching from riverway drive to Margaret Allan, for years people have simply had to walk in the road or walk in mud/ dirt.

        • The Magpie says:

          Timothy Leary lives!!!

        • Westie says:

          The problem with your vision for the centre, Guy, is that the centre is on the edge. And most residents of the city have no reason to go to the edge to be impressed, their business is more likely to be in the centre- Aitkenvale, Willows, Douglas etc.

          • Guy says:

            It’s not about being impressed, its about creating a psychological framework to understand instinctively what is and what isn’t. Australian cities suffer from this greatly, there are no waymarkers, points of interest or sense of purpose – in a word there’s no soul. The closest you’ll come is around the opera house and bridge but beyond that there’s precious little else. In Australia they forgot that cities were built for humans. When I returned for my step fathers funeral I walked around central London for three weeks and suddenly when walking around hydepark in the sunshine looking at the lake i realised what makes a city great if not legendary.

            The great thing about Townsville in many ways is that it’s a blank canvas with which to work. Townsville on the whole has much more going for it than other towns in QLD and even Brisbane. Townsville still hasnt built in the gargantuan mistakes of other places.

            I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, development needs to head back into the centre before we build more and more sprawling massive estates that have problems from the very start. Create buildings in the CBD that appeal to humans and can be serviced easily e.g. proper service corridors, parking and ducting that accounts for the future. Given the cracks I’ve seen in some buildings the structure need to be over engineered. A building needs to allow easy access to power , water , AC and communications to lower overall costs over its life.

            All new buildings in the CBD need to dedicate space to parking and allow spots for public parking ( a radical idea). If it were up to me i’d put a bag over all the parking meters and have free parking in the CBD anywhere and everywhere for as long as you like. remove paid parking and you’d see an uptick in the economy.

            Sure there would be a few whingers complaining that there were too many people visiting the CBD but you can’t please everyone.

            Talking about whingers, the recent festival with lights on castle hill was totally worth it.

          • The Magpie says:

            Oh, FFS, Guy, you apparently haven’t lived in Sydney, a city of many diverse and vibrant communities – Balmain, Newtown, of course Bondi as just one of the beach hubs, emerging Strathfield, and interesting migrant clusters further out … the Vietnamese community in Cabramatta is a prime example. And all these elements and influences eventually gravitate to Circular Quay, The Rocks and of course, the harbour foreshores.
            And mate, you really don’t know your history so you’re bound to repeat it … free car parking in the CBD streets results in workers taking up all the space and frustrating shoppers and visitors. That’s why the 2 free hours was scrapped, and the nice little council earner was introduced. But yes, all new buildings should have part of their (already mandatory) parking allotment available to the public … the Woolworth’s rooftop parking in Flinders Street (accessed from Sturt) is working like a charm, and if nit could be replicated along the streets elsewhere, it would be a major step in revitalising the city heart. For some reason, the TCC has decided as an old mate’s act not to include the proposed new stadium hotel in all this. Wonder why they’re allowed to have street parking for more than half their guest rooms?
            But you have this disconcerting habit of following a good point with a dopey one – can’t envisage anyone complaining about too many people in the CBD just about not enough vehicle accomodation.

            And don’t say you were joking … wild-eyed zealots like you don’t have a sense of humour.

  20. No More Dredging says:

    ‘Pie, now that Clive Palmer is set to settle all the outstanding claims of QNI’s ex-employees and creditors, what should we think about his recently stated plans to re-open the Yabulu nickel treatment plant? According to the ABC, Mr Palmer issued a press release on 6 June saying as chairman of QNI Resources he had approved plans to reopen the refinery. He said at the time a related group of companies had nearly $500 million of cash reserves in Queensland banks which could be used get the plant up and running again. Should Townsville locals, including our Council, Port, railways, Ergon and any number of businesses become defacto urgers for a re-opening or should the man be treated with the kind of contempt he has been inviting on himself for the past 3-4 years? Should the Queensland and federal governments be completely transparent about any and every future dealings with Palmer (i.e. no more commercial-in-confidence) or are we to allow ourselves to be led by the nose as we have been for the last 9-10 years? How will we ever know what is going on inside the Yabulu operation if no one in government, at any level, will ever show their hand?

    • Cockie says:

      NMD, One has to wonder if the price of nickel having risen from $8,000 per tonne in 2016 to the present $15,000, has anything to do with Clive becoming Mr Nice Guy. Good Luck with getting all the plant going, but maybe the final product areas to process enriched nickel and cobalt as was the plan by BHP Billiton bringing product from Ravensthorpe WA, before stepping away from Yabulu. The name Yabulu was often rumoured to be an indigenous word for “The meeting place for demented minds” and that dates back to the 70’s.

  21. The Magpie says:

    You sitting down for this?

    The ‘Pie has to concede that this ‘deviant’ child molester is a better man than the old bird … in one area, anyway, that of holding his drink – that is if the Townsville Bulletin is to be believed (always a question.) The ‘Pie just knew he couldn’t match this grub when reporter Madura ‘Teabag’ McCormack wrote … Quote:
    “In June 2014, Barlow, who had consumed 16 litres of wine, approached an eight-year-old girl on her way to see her grandmother.” Unquote.

    Oh really? (And before anyone gets in a tizz, the child was unharmed, and the story is that Barlow post-prison is now living in Townsville.)

    Now to save you the maths, Teabag … always a challenge for Astonisher scribblers … 16 litres of wine is just over 21 BOTTLES of the standard 750mm size.
    The lethal dose of alcohol is 5 to 8g/kg  – that is, for a 60kg person, 300g of alcohol can kill, which is equal to 30 standard drinks (about 1 litre of spirits or four bottles of wine).

    Even if this was reported in court, ain’t it your job to point out the abusrdity, BECAUSE THE BLOKE WOULD BE DEAD LONG BEFORE HE COULD MAKE ANY WOBBLY APPROACH TO THE CHILD. Unless he weighed around 300+kgs, and even then the last thing on his mind would be kiddy fiddling. And even if it were true, wouldn’t it be worth pointing out, just to save your professional reputation?

    Geez, Madura, do you just read and regurgitate stuff, you believe without questioning even obviously bullshit claims like this. Hey, tell you what Teabag, me old luvvie, The ‘Pie has a terrific Harbour Bridge to sell you. Cheap … like your paper.

    • Scott says:

      What a $1.90 gets you!

      This what a once proud and independent paper has sunk too – this cannot be excused as anything but an unpaid ad. Now we can expect the evitable Ten Best Gelato Bars which assuredly the next step in advertorial directed by the sales department. How Jenna can allow reputed ‘journalists’ to be seconded by Sales in this transparently cynical manner says everything about her jelly-spined stewardship of the NEWSpaper. She doesn’t even realise that the ridicule is universal.

  22. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    TCC have achieved a miracle – an administration-cost free council!!!

    It seems TCC under the inspired leadership of our beloved Mayor Mullet implementing the insights and deep wisdoms contained in the Nous Report, have achieved the miraculous!!!

    According to this TCC ad in today’s Astonisher, showing “where your rates go”…..not one dollar is spent on administrative costs!

    Now I realise that the dollar figure shown for each business and service activity would include an overhead administration amount, but the implication is that the whole dollar figure shown for each activity is spent directly on that activity.

    It just seems to me that TCC are being just a bit too deliberately devious not to include a seperate dollar figure for Council’s administration costs. Or perhaps they think that we ratepayers just can’t handle the truth?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Those missing admin costs would include wages for Walker St arm raising aerobics class, the CEO, etc etc.
      Love to see how that would change the financial break-up.

    • Ducks Nuts says:

      WW as a ratepayer you know that you and all our fellow ratepayers are too stupid to work out. We proved our stupidity when reelected Mullet. And I imagine it’ll be proven again in the next election. More’s the pity.

    • Budget direct says:

      Forgets to point out that these figures are after the cuts to the particular business units budgets that are not being made public. Waste management is down from 16mil, and do you notice that there is no figures in this after for fleet purchase or maintenance of fleet existing or future buying. But I guess the paper already asked about that didn’t they???

    • The Magpie says:

      And again, Townsville ‘visionaries’ have been caught thinking through their arses. A new convention entertainment centre should be built on the site of the current one … only at least twice the size. Christ, Chris Morris would hardly complain, with all those cashed-up punters right next door to his licensed thieves den.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        Well done Cairns.

        How many really really big convention centres can Nth Qld sustain? Me thinks, one.

        Time to rethink.

        Now that Townsville will not be the Convention Capital of Nth Qld, we should aim to be the Arts Capital. of Nth Qld. And on the Performing Arts side of things, the hard work of concept and design has already been done for the Townsville Performing Arts Centre (TPAC).

        Mayoral candidates please take note!

        I have put the TPAC link up previously and hope that it has already been well studied by the ‘Pie’s Nesters.

        • The Magpie says:

          Disagree, Dave, reckon a state of the art convention centre under truly professional management would be an asset … you don’t just have conventions or mass entertainers … thee is a big market (or will be again by the time we get anything) for form speciality ‘shows’. We can recall an excellent indoor/outdoor Boat Show at the current entertainment centre and duck pond … bridal sexpos, gardening expos, any number of expos (one of the biggest in recent years was the sell-out sexpo.) Then there are events like rodeos (which we already have) and other such events, even those pesky aerial motor bike events. it all depends on the vision to build the right venue which won’t become obsolete or a maintenance sink-hole … unlike our stadium which is a rectangle without a roof.

          All of which supports your other point, which is only slightly incorrect … you mean ‘restore’ Townsville as the arts capital of NQ, because that’s what we were before the vandals from the south arrived to guide Mayor Mullet in her bogan-laden blueprint.

    • The Magpie says:

      Actually, she probably won’t care … but she will if Laurence tells her to.

  23. The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

    While TCC twiddles its thumbs and other moan about the need for government grants, it is excellent to see people voting with their own pockets to do something about the place.

    I, for one, wish them every success.


  24. Cantankerous but happy says:

    So the Mullet was on AM this morning having a little hissy fit about the PM being in town today and she didn’t know, well that’s because she is an irrelevant failure. In the little conversation that followed was a few benign junk questions from Sabra Lane about who is homeless still and what the mood of the town is like blah blah blah, but not one question about what the council are doing to stop this from happening again, just shit nothing journalism, she might as well work at the Astonisher

  25. Mike Douglas says:

    Yet again another Queensland developer Juniper thought the phone call from T.C.C. Planning department was a joke when they called to say his extension to an approval for a 24 lot housing development at Radical Bay was refused . “ I’m flabbergasted that’s how you would treat someone who wants to help your economy and grow into a tourist area “ said Mr Juniper . Perhaps our independent Mayor who can spare 2 days at Labor’s enquiry into why they lost the Federal election and attends LGAQ board meetings can pop down from her Mayoral Office and find out why all these developers are looking at spending millions elsewhere . Perhaps wear your Mayoral robes so the planning department know who you are .

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      The planning dept certainly know who the Mullet is, and they are also aware of who has been given the golden tickets in this town, unfortunately Mr Juniper doesn’t look like he is one of them.

      • The Magpie says:

        Surely a person in Mr juniper’s position (and yes, with a few questions to answer) should merit the minimum courtesy of a face-to-face ‘sitdown’ with the mayor and senior planning officials? A real leader would be in there trying to move this project, or any acceptable and agreed variant of it, forward. Imagine how say Cairns or Mackay mayors and bureaucrats would behave in similar circumstances.This lack of leadership and negotiating skill is a major deficit of the current ‘bully girl’ regime.

    • Rusty Nail says:

      Can you actually drive to Radical Bay? Genuine question as I’m going over in a few weeks and will drive in if I can.

      • The Magpie says:

        Sure … if you’ve got a hovercraft. The last time The ‘Pie was over that way … a few years now … the late pot hole protester Olive Scott Young (picured during her 80s protest about Mayor Mike Reynolds neglect of local road maintenance) could’ve held a tea party soirée for her friends in any one of several holes (more complete subsidences) in the Radical Road.

        Only in a political moribund state like Queensland and a city like Townsville could a dispute over who should repair what is a public road drag on for literally decades. Cannot imagine such an impasse (Parks and Wildlife, Mayor Mullet, Mayor Tyrell, Mayor Mooney, we’re looking at you) would not be resolved by any other tourist-hungry government and council.

        The duck shoving has been disgraceful … but that’s become an art form between this council and the state government.

        • J.B says:

          You can drive there RN, just go slow and pick your lines.
          It is soo worth it, best beach in North Queensland in my opinion.
          Who remembers Magnums backpackers resort?
          Get ready for the car ferry charges- they are ridiculous.

          • Rusty Nail says:

            Thanks JB
            Yes, have already bought the barge tickets and my eyes are definitely still watering. This drive to Radical Bay will help justify taking the car at all. Cheers.

          • The Magpie says:

            Which brings us to another point about Maggie visits. One of the greatest rip-offs in NQ is the rental charges for ill-maintained, crappy and very dangerous rental vehicles. And check out how much extra insurance is, unless that’s changed. A very disgruntled friend once told The ‘Pie that he had rented a latest model Mondeo in Europe for eight days for a a third the cost of a similar length of rental on Maggie. Wonder if the barge people are financially involved with the rental company?

          • Dave Sth says:

            Frequented the former Geoff’s Place at Horseshoe a few times when young & full of hormones… Wouldn’t be an evolution of the same place would it?

          • The Magpie says:

            Bloody hope not.

      • No More Dredging says:

        Rusty, there is a track to Radical Bay. The track is a private driveway built on Unallocated State Land (Vacant Crown Land). It is not a legal gazetted road, is not the responsibility of Council (therefore Council vehicles or workers are prevented from working on it) and private users do so at their own risk. There is a deeply rutted steep slope down into Florence Bay but of course visitors in their Toorak tractors insist on driving there and on the beach if they like, because they can – and don’t we just love them down there with all their bad habits?

        Local, State and Federal governments have bent over backwards for more than 15 years to accommodate the meandering Juniper aspirations but have always insisted that before anything gets built there the owners (and possessors of the one Permit to Occupy the USL ‘track’) must construct a proper road access and place the electricity, water, phone and sewerage infrastructure in a trench in that road reserve. The developers have been whingeing and whining to a diminishing band of listeners that they want more concessions including state taxpayer support for that ‘road’ construction. They’re bludgers, worse than Adani.

        Junipers have been offered good money, years ago, to buy them out in order to close the track (say, at the house in Arthur Bay) and return the site to national park. That way, a properly designed sustainable walking track could be built and really add something to the Island’s nature tourism credentials. It’s no surprise at all that Council has finally had enough.

        • The Magpie says:

          So are we to take that the ‘benign neglect’ of any properly scaled Radical development is a Greenie-driven agenda to stop ‘toorak tractors’ (of which North Queenslander would be the biggest group of owners in the country) and anyone else from accessing Radical, and it can all be returned to the herbal tea and harmony crowd to traipse around feeling virtuous? That would certainly close it to the many young families and grey nomads The ‘Pie has seen enjoying the beach and water, because that’s one hell of walk, well over an hour each way (going home uphill), a lovely summer stroll … the 10 and unders will just love it. What damage and bad habits rocked the place when there was an old style resort there? And those with the agenda to close it known full well that a demand for private investment to build the road with all the infrastructure you mention would be in the tens of millions of dollars … and then the council would charge for it. Water is the main sticking point at Radical, and it would be only fair that any developer provide suitable storage for any hopefully eco-friendly development, but building a Rolls Royce road is a financially impossible, unviable barrier to what would be a major tourist destination. Local, state and federal governments certainly have bent over backwards on this matter .. so far in fact, their heads are still up their arses. As one suspects, Dredger, yours is too, on this issue.

          • Alahazbin says:

            Any insights or comments on this Charlie McColl?

          • The Magpie says:

            Thanks, Ala, bloody thanks.

          • No More Dredging says:

            ‘Pie, about 15 years ago, having done a deal at state government level to consolidate the site into a 7 acre freehold unit, Juniper obtained consent at all levels to build a 100+ unit Sea Temple Resort plus 12 luxury houses across the beachfront at Radical – beachfront that had been divvied off from any public access except for a little boardwalk around one edge. This virtual gated community would set itself aside from the world being at the end of a single lane road to nowhere except the resort. The price they AGREED TO PAY for this exclusivity was to construct a road to be gazetted and handed over to Council. They had a favourite local legal foghorn (sorry, facilitator) for all this shenanigans but I digress.
            When the GFC hit and Junipers were all caught up with their Soul tower development on the Gold Coast and Young Juniper’s passionate pursuit of Porsche car racing, the Sea Temple went out the door and instead they wanted Council to let them do an el cheapo residential subdivision and RATEPAYERS help pick up the tab with all sorts of concessions including this bullshit about the road (which is not a road). I thought the Magpie had a nose for this stuff but maybe it’s horses for courses.

            As a matter of interest, if it is going to cost “tens of millions” to build that road why the fuck should rate and taxpayers build it? It will only economically benefit one private owner, it will cost a fortune for Council to maintain, it will vandalise yet another part of Magnetic Island so that a mass of yokels too lazy to walk the length of a carpark can crash down there in their jst-hired rental cars just to see the end of the road – as they do now along the West Point track. Let’s see a mayoral candidate stand on that policy. They’d be frog-marched back to town.

        • Old tradesman says:

          NMD, the island is there for all to enjoy not just the Charlie McColls of this world. Bob Wake had a great place to visit when he had the place and he certainly didn’t create any environmental damage. Seriously, who would be allowed to drive their “Toorak Tractors” on the beach.

          • The Magpie says:

            And just for the record, especially to Dredger, if he checks back, he will see that The Magpie was totally against the Sea Temple development as was originally (as described) proposed. But The ‘Pie is all for a rejuvenation of the old style of resort, only this time two levels above ‘backpacker’ and three below ‘selfish rich arseholes’. The ideal, if the road issue could be resolved, would be a glamping site running down both sides of the valley, leaving the beach open to everybody. That way, locals and visitors in a wide range of incomes could have access to a great getaway on one of the best little beaches in NQ.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Magnetic Island represents the daft dickheads of Townsville to a tee, we want to create a tourist destination, but we will make it difficult for people to get here, we want development, but only small so it doesn’t affect the neighbours, we want quality roads, but we don’t want too many cars driving on them, the greatest pack of fucking whingers on the planet.. The fact is Magnetic Island is a boring snoozefest, the locals want it that way, so let them keep it that way, and the next time they complain about a lack of services tell them to get rooted.

          • No More Dredging says:

            Old Tradesman, for his sins, Bob Wake built the track. And another one you can’t see which ran up the hill towards Horseshoe Bay where he had about 12 acres of lease where he dreamed of building a mega resort. All that lease land is now gone into the NP. Now that Junipers have cleared all the remnant native vegetation and abandoned the joint car drivers do whatever they like on the property and beach, including driving on the beach, parking their camper vans on the beach and delivering at least two different pianos to the beach, at least one of which was eventually burnt as some sort of ritual. Most driving visitors to Radical stop for five minutes, do a burn out in the sand and piss off (because there’s nothing to do). Perhaps you haven’t been there for a while?

            ‘Pie, I’m not sure where you think this “glamping site running down both sides of the valley” actually is but I don’t think it is on the current freehold land owned by Juniper available for development. They have twice described what they want to build there and neither proposition meets either your desires or apparently anyone else’s. Perhaps you could convince one of the owners to run for mayor and put his case out there. Personally, the Adani airstrip looks like a better proposition, especially since it’s hundreds of kilometres away and will give Cantankerous another destination to cart his bigotry.

          • The Magpie says:

            Are you drunk?

        • Alahazbin says:

          Was working on the Island one day doing servicing on the Council fleet at the Nelly Bay Depot in late 1979. Took the Moke for a run down to Radical Bay and was met by the late Mr Wake. (Was it Norm or Don? Can’t remember.). Anyhow, by the time I got back to the depot, he was there giving his version of the meeting.

      • Mundingbird says:

        RN,only in a 4WD.

  26. Dave of Kelso says:

    The above discussion about Magnetic Is reminds me of how, in the early 1980s, some folks, incl D of K and young family, would sail into Florence Bay and camp the night. The crook road meant that there were few other visitors and we had the privacy to frolic on sand and water turning our white parts pink.

    From time to time there were complaints in the Bulletin (it was a proper paper then) about people like us. I think that was about the time Joh Beilke Peterson caused an uproar wanting to build a bloody great big tourist resort at Florence.

    • Fishframe says:

      Even mid 2000’s Florence was a favourite boating stopover of mine. Not worth visiting now.

      • Mundingbird says:

        Fishframe,how do you work that out?We have been haunting Florence Bay since 1976 and not much has changed except:
        -Toilets put in
        -Visibility,fish life and coral growth has improved since the old dredge stopped dumping silt near Cape Cleveland years ago,and Green Zones introduced.

  27. Guy says:

    Why are they trying to build more housing estates on magnetic island ??? More people on an island like that creates more problems requiring more money to be invested to prop the whole thing up. Just maintain what they have there and don’t expand the problem.

    • Fishframe says:

      I’ve started taking some pebbles each time I visit the Strand. Over the next century I’m hoping to have constructed a causeway across to Picnic Bay so we can drive our cars across. It’s going to be great.

    • Old tradesman says:

      Guy why don’t you run for mayor, you are the sort of visionary that Townsville needs at the moment.

      • The Magpie says:

        Excuse me, OT, The Magpie will do the jokes around here.

      • Guy says:

        No point. I’ve been rejected twice and I’m not interested with the whole business now.

        My main worry is what comes next, sure – throw out the existing council – but – what comes next. The existing council might be as good as it gets. What comes next under a new council might be privatization of The water system and other services such as waste collection under a new council, not to mention further unbridled debt taking.

  28. Budget direct says:

    Apparently this week sometime one of the news services is running a story about the waste services at TCC. I’ve been told that the ratepayer has not had a service of his bin in a whole month. It dosnt sound like he’s whinging because he’s paid for but not received hence the escalation. There is alot of this going round in thus department with vehicles constantly broken down, not enough drivers or replacement staff to handle sick/annual leave. Top it off the closure of 2 dump sites and added travel time to Stuart. I’m waiting to see what is said in the story if it goes to air, because the management are shiting bricks trying to work out what explanations they need to save there incompetence. I’m guessing it will be another council spokesperson because I don’t even know who the councillor is that chairs that department. Keep you up to date if I hear more. Also previous strike action by unions was called off but is now set for this Tuesday. Council won’t redact certain things from the EBA so there not happy.

Post a Comment to The Wulguru Wonder

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

Current ye@r *

Countdown until the next council election:

-133Days -17 -40 -57