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The Magpie

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019   |   226 comments

There’s An A-Bomb Heading Mayor Mullet’s Way … And The Fallout Could Be Terminal.

That would be an A-dani bomb, and could expose the biggest cover-up since Gina Rinehart went kaftan shopping.

One of the most senior legal officials in Queensland, Louisa Lynch, the Right To information Commissioner, has ordered the mayor to release the tightly guarded secret document detailing the deal with Adani for funding an airstrip we would never own. And while the Commissioner didn’t mince her scathing words about council secrecy, ruling that claims of ‘commercial in confidence’ are utter bullshit – not an exact quote o course.  Now, a desperate Adani has now gone to court to have the order reversed. What are they hiding? The Magpie has the story so far (which, strangely, the Bulletin won’t touch).

But iditor Jenna Cairney has other problems … News Ltd HQ flew in the Holt Street hatchet squad from Sydney recently and they weren’t happy campers.

And who said there was no growth in the Townsville economy? Carey Ramm’s AEC deal for management of the Jamie Durie rort has just grown by about 100%, or in round figures, an extra $400,000, in no time at all.

Plus a couple of court matters of note for the diary, some brilliant and instant Pommy humour, a couple of laughs to relieve the tension (as if?) and our regular pictorial round-up from across the Pacific.

But first …

A Magpie note: The examination of the Information Office order for the release of TCC documents is a very long piece, but The ‘Pie believe it important enough to be recorded in some detail, since The Bulletin long ago stopped being our paper of record. But if it gets too much of a chore, just skip past, plenty of other stuff and a few laughs)

We DO Have A Right To Know … And That’s Official.


Oh, what a tangled web we weave,

When first we practice to deceive.

Sir Walter Scott

Old Sir Wally didn’t know the half of it, not having encountered the Townsville City Council, it’s current mayor and it’s Crusty the Clown legal people.

The ‘Pie will lead you along the winding path of this unfolding story, but first, Bentley has little doubt how this will all turn out … he has his own big bang theory.

Air strip finThere are two major questions to be posed before we set out on our quest to uncover the truth behind one of the biggest rorts ever attempted by Jenny Hill.

The first and oft asked one is, why is the Townsville mayor so desperate to hide the terms of Adani airstrip deal she reached ostensibly on our behalf? And given that the Townsville City Council was ordered to release the details of the deal in an order handed down last March, why are we hearing about all this only now? Where was the Bulletin, the paper all for us, when this order was promulgated?

We’ll get back to all that, but here’s a brief chronology of what has gone down, followed by a thorough dissection of Commissioner of Information Louisa Lynch’s demolition of the Townsville Council reasons for secrecy, and then some of the questions that arise.

The Chronology

In March, 2017, Premier Palaszczuk led a delegation of Queensland regional mayors to enjoy the hospitality of billionaire businessman Mr Adani himself, with the express purpose of to convince him to go ahead with the Carmichael mine. (Any one-on-one talks with the great man in India have not be given a public airing, which leaves open some pretty interesting conjecture.)

In October 2017, unbeknownst to the general public and particularly the Townsville ratepayers, the Townsville City Council (TCC), the Rockhampton Regional Council (RRC) and Adani representatives all of a sudden signed a deal – officially known as a ‘term sheet’ – concerning the potential development of an airstrip servicing Adani’s proposed Carmichael Mine operations. The airstrip would be in a different local government area, 400kms from Townsville, but the hardly believable raison d’etre was that ‘hundreds’ of Adani mine staff would FIFO from Townsville and Rockhampton. No guarantees of workers locations were given, and no manner of policing where workers were from was announced. Perhaps because not being a police state and the existence of privacy laws, it would be impossible.

When this deal inadvertently became public knowledge, largely through both this blog and Peter Newey’s Facebook page he grandly terms the Townsville Residents and Ratepayers Association, public outrage was immediate. Mr Newey was the driving force behind a petition with tens of thousands of signatures opposing the deal, which he delivered to the council chambers in Walker Street.

The dismayed mayor then started prevaricating big time, back tracking and appearing to tell muddled stories about what had gone on with the deal, going back and forth on the highly unusual ownership of the airstrip, its construction and operation by the Wagner group, and insisted,  without believable evidence, that the petition was largely southern activists and only 600 or so signees were from Townsville. Then she went on ABC radio and made ambiguous statements about the ownership and the general tenor of the arrangement, at all times failing to be explicit and sometimes contradicting herself.

In was in light of these public inconsistencies that the ABC, through reporter Peter McCutcheon, applied to the Townsville Council under the Right To Information laws for the release of the ‘’Term Sheet”. The council promptly and persistently refused to do so, on the grounds it comprised exempt information (i.e commercial in confidence), and information, the disclosure of which would be ‘contrary to public interest’. This was patent bullshit, which The Magpie said loud and long at the time, asking how wanting to know how the mayor had concluded what she had done with $18.5million of OUR money was not in OUR interests to know. It was clearly not in HER interests for us to know.

The ABC then, to their great credit, applied to the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) for an external review of the TCC’s decision.

Now the timeline doesn’t finish here, but things get a bit curious. The OIC did conduct a very thorough and balanced review (as you will see), which Information Commissioner Lynch handed down … on March 12, this year.

Searching as best he can, and The ‘Pie admits he is no whizz at such things, there has not been a word about this IOC decision in the Bulletin (no surprise there, too busy researching Townsville’s ten best shower-tilers bum cracks, or hamburgers, or some such, one imagines). Also, as far as can be discerned, there was nothing from the Courier, which is somewhat more on the ball with these things, and this would under normal circumstances, be a splash story by any measure in a state where councils and councillors are being hauled into court and jail by the cartload. Even stranger, nothing from the ABC, despite having a major win against political bureaucracy. Nor was there, as far as can be searched, a media release from the IOC itself, but The ‘Pie could be wrong about this. And most importantly, there doesn’t appear to be any sort of suppression order on the matter.

So How – Let Alone Why – Are We Hearing About This Only Now?

That question can only be partly unanswered, because The ‘Pie cannot speak for other parties would have been expected to be alert to these matters. However, we have been enlightened here because of an eagle-eyed blog reader, versed in legal matters, who came across this from last Tuesday’s Brisbane court list.

Court list composite.

Adani court c:u

This was only a directions hearing, which means the matter will return to court at a later date, but The ‘Pie couldn’t understand why Adani would be taking the TCC to court, the two entities having been a series of chummy  meetings in the past, so chummy they stopped just short of wet kisses,  so The Magpie turned to his most valuable source of information, the Nest’s readers, and one promptly supplied this document, which more or less explained the conundrum.

Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 11.49.45 pm

So we now have the situation where Adani have been forced to argue against the TCC releasing information that the council doesn’t want released anyway. Seems what Jamie Durie doesn’t get lawyers in this matter will … Townsville ratepayers are the poor goofs that keep on giving. Since this decision was released, the mayor has spent public funds on FOUR desperate attempts to have the matter reversed, all to no avail.

The IOC document is 28 pages long, so The ‘Pie will summarise it for you shortly, but by all means go for the full version here,  if you enjoy reading legalese. (You will have to click on the link within the link.)

We have some pretty good citizen journalists out there in among The Magpie’s usual fancy dress fringe gabblers. The ‘Pie thanks you sincerely.

The Pivotal Quotes From The IOC Findings

A couple of explanatory matters. The first is very important and raises some questions in itself. When Commissioner Lynch approached both Rockhampton and Townsville councils about the matter, Rockhampton said it had no problem with the ‘Term Sheet’, the document held with demented Gollum-like secrecy by Jenny Hill,  if it was made public. Therefore they are not a party to this matter. That’s why they are barely mentioned, but their non-objection makes one wonder even more just what Mayor Mullet and Adani are trying to hide. Is there a hint that a separate deal was done during the Indian junket?

Even this summary is lengthy but The ‘Pie believes it is of vital importance and could have far reaching outcomes for the governance of our city. All quoted material is in italics. Please ignore the occasional stray number, which wandered into my computer from God knows where.

First and foremost, the final wash-up:

For the reasons explained below, I set aside TCC’s decision. I find that the Term Sheet is not exempt information under the RTI Act, nor would its disclosure, on balance, be contrary to the public interest. On that basis, the ABC is entitled to access the Term Sheet.


 1.In any event, there is in this case simply no basis on which a contractual obligation of confidence could exist.

 4. The difficulty for Adani, however, is the nature of the ‘co-owner’ it would seek to restrain from disclosing the Term Sheet: a local government authority, accountable to the public for its disbursement of public funds and the terms on which it proposes to make such disbursements. As I explained to both Adani and TCC during the review, I consider that this accountability should reasonably be expected to include disclosure of the details of proposals such as that recorded in the Term Sheet, that is, proposals to award public monies for the benefit of private interests, outside of TCC’s territorial jurisdiction.

5. I acknowledge the fact the Term Sheet is endorsed as confidential, contains terms as to confidentiality, and was considered by both local government signatories in closed session, reflective of shared intentions the information be kept confidential.

6. As stressed above, whether an obligation of confidence arises in a particular case depends on an assessment of all relevant circumstances. Having regard to the circumstances in this case, I am not satisfied that conscionable conduct would require TCC to keep the Term Sheet, embodying information jointly developed by it in conjunction with other participants, confidential from the community whose interests TCC represents and the local component of which, ultimately, will be required to fund any proposal, should it proceed. why should the ratepayers of TCC and RRC, and the public of Queensland, be denied knowledge of the terms on which these government agencies propose to disburse public resources, when it is the public who will bear the cost?

7. The above seems to me sufficient to dispose of any claim that requirement (c) is met in this case, irrespective of who is said to be owed any obligation of confidence, ie Adani, Wagners, or both. To the extent there may be any doubt, the community would appear to have a genuinely legitimate interest in obtaining information describing arrangements by which local government authorities propose to fund construction of infrastructure in a separate local government area, for the use and ownership of a private company – an interest sufficient to forestall the establishment of an equitable obligation of confidence binding TCC to withhold from the public information which it, a representative of that public, is ‘co-owner’. 

I cannot accept that such conduct would require it to withhold from the community it represents information of the kind contained in the Term Sheet, aspects of which I have touched on above and are again summarised below.

I also reject TCC and Adani’s complementary submission to the effect that, even if the ‘public’s legitimate interest’ in obtaining information about the affairs of government is accepted as relevant in evaluating whether requirement (c) is satisfied, the Term Sheet is simply not information of this kind, but rather ‘commercial information’ to which such an interest does not apply. A document describing the mechanics by which two local councils propose to contribute public funding toward the construction of an airstrip, such facility to be used, and ultimately owned,65 by private entities, in an area outside of each contributing council’s local government area, and in the expectation benefits will flow to the community governed by each, is in my view information squarely about the affairs of government, ie, TCC and RRC.

Breach of Confidence Exemption – ConclusioFor the reasons explained above, the Term Sheet is not exempt information under the Breach of Confidence Exemption.

TCC, Adani and Wagners submit that there are a number of considerations favouring nondisclosure in this case. In the decision under review, TCC found that disclosure of the Term Sheet could reasonably be expected to:

 cause a public interest harm through disclosure of deliberative process information

 prejudice a deliberative process

 prejudice business, commercial or financial affairs76

 give rise to the confidential communications public interest harm factor set out in schedule 4, part 4, section 8 of the RTI Act (the CCHF), and prejudice TCC’s ability to obtain confidential information;77 and

 disclose information considered in a Closed Council meeting, inconsistently with section of the Local Government Regulation 2012 (Qld) (LG Regulation).  On external review, TCC also contended that disclosure would prejudice its competitive commercial activities, and give rise to a public interest harm, because disclosure could have a substantial adverse effect on the financial or property interests of the State or an agency.

Wagners’ principal submission is the assertion that the Term Sheet contains ‘sensitive commercial information that is of value to Wagners’. As regards Wagners, the Term Sheet appears to disclose little more than what is publicly known.

I recognise the Term Sheet comprises an ‘agreement to agree’, reflecting a shared intention to proceed with negotiations to develop transport infrastructure, and does not itself impose binding obligations in this regard. It remains the case, however, that the transaction proposed in the Term Sheet entails the commitment of significant public funds for the benefit of private entities, a fact telling in favour of more, rather than less, transparency

Commissioner Lynch then shoots down the self-interest secrecy argument.

As regards TCC’s ‘ease of doing business’ arguments, it again seems salient that RRC appears to harbour no concerns that disclosure of the Term Sheet will impede its capacity to pursue commercial opportunities with private businesses in the future, given its total lack of objection to release

Additionally and in any event, the flip side of this submission is the fact that both TCC and RRC are, as local government authorities, duty bound to ensure they steward public monies prudently, transparently and accountably. Sophisticated commercial entities such as Adani and other similar proponents seeking potential public assistance would (or ought), in my view, appreciate that government entities such as TCC are accountable to the public regarding the decisions they make to allocate or disburse funds raised by imposts on the public. Such proponents would (or should) anticipate an appropriate level of scrutiny of their dealings with government as something which ‘goes with the territory’.

And here is a matter that applies equally to the attempts to get federal funding for the exclusive Adani rail line.

That fact is relevant, as the availability of such public funding is likely to mean that the entity, business or enterprise standing to benefit from same can conserve its own resources, as it does not have to draw on its own funds (or commercial funding markets), enhancing the potential for the generation of private profit.

Clearly TCC is in favour of stifling any debate on controversial thought farts of our mayor and her aerobics arm raising councillors. In simple terms, it is dead against public discussion and holding elected office bearers to account for their closed-door decisions.

I acknowledge that disclosure of parts of the Term Sheet – such as those detailing the proposed rebate mechanism intended to safeguard TCC’s investment of public funds – may give rise to public discussion as to the merits or adequacies of that mechanism and the proposal generally. Fostering public discussion of and participation in government decision-making are, however, key objects of the RTI Act, and I question as to whether furthering the very aims of this legislation, by allowing the community access to information concerning novel proposals to allocate its resources, could amount to a ‘prejudice’ within the meaning of the DP Prejudice Factor.

Certainly, insofar as these submissions purport to speak for RRC, they do not appear to reflect concerns shared by that agency, in view of its lack of objection to disclosure. Additionally, the fact that TCC’s local government partner in the proposed project – does not object to release of the Term Sheet tends to militate against any finding that negative public interest consequences of the kind posited by TCC could be reasonably expected to follow disclosure.

In reaching this conclusion, I have taken into account the fact137 that information concerning the proposal has been released into the public domain. What remains in issue, however, comprises important information concerning the proposed transaction, including information going to the very heart of the merits of that proposal, and the mechanisms by which the public’s investment will be protected. I do not think it unreasonable to anticipate that disclosure of the Term Sheet will better permit objective assessment of the merits of the proposal it records, and contribute to informed public debate as to whether it ultimately represents value for money for ratepayers in both TCC and RRC’s local government areas, and the Queensland community generally; helping, thereby, to:

 ensure effective oversight of expenditure of public funds,

 enhance levels of probity and propriety, and

 foster public trust and confidence in the proposed transaction, and each council’s participation in same.

To put it another way, any proposal by a local government body to contribute funding for the construction of transport infrastructure in the territory of another local government, for use and benefit of private entities, and in circumstances where the benefitting entity will, as noted, ultimately take ownership of the infrastructure, merits high levels of transparency and accountability. These public interests warrant disclosure beyond that of, say, the potential dollar amounts involved,139 but information as to the very structure and mechanics of the proposed deal, such as is contained in the Term Sheet.


And hoist on her own petard, giving the game away in the most basely stupid manner imagainable, viz:

As noted above, TCC itself recognises that the assistance proposed in the Term Sheet is not a matter coming within the ordinary course of council business; that it ‘does not…relate to Council’s core statutory or regulatory functions’. Given this, it should, in my view, be attended with a level of transparency beyond the ordinary. This will serve to ensure that the community can:

* scrutinise and appraise any potential deal,

* satisfy itself that TCC is negotiating on its behalf competently and judiciously,

* assess whether the potential benefits TCC expects to accrue from its expenditure represent a worthwhile investment of public monies; and

* participate to the fullest in public debate on the issue – an important point, given the proposal has been the subject of apparently vigorous community discussion.

And why is this important now, as the deal seems to be, if not abandoned, put in the deep freeze for now? Well, we again have the very definite answer to that from the Information Commissioner>

I have also taken into account the fact that the proposal particularised in the Term Sheet may have gone ‘off the boil’ somewhat, noting, for example, TCC’s re-direction of earmarked funds to other priorities, and Adani’s reported comments suggesting the project may not be critical to its intentions. As I understand matters, however, all parties remain prepared to pursue the proposal in the future, such that I do not think any current lull in negotiations diminishes the weight to be afforded each of the public interest considerations favouring disclosure discussed above. Additionally, even if the proposal had been completely abandoned, there still remains considerable public interest, in my view, in allowing the community access to the details of what appears to be a relatively unique arrangement.



I set aside the decision under review. No grounds for refusing access to the Term Sheet have been established. The applicant is therefore entitled to access the Term Sheet, in accordance with the right of access prescribed in section 23 of the RTI Act.


Oh, and another matter while we’re around this bend in the river … perhaps an even more interesting document would be KPMG’s on which Mayor Mullet to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of the Adani airstrip deal. But ludicrously, that report which guessimates the value of the airstrip up to 40 years in the future, is conveniently deemed to be commercial in confidence. Perhaps it is part of the Term Sheet?

The Bulletin Is Again MIA On This Issue

For reasons known only to herself, iditor Jenna Cairney has refused to touch this successful ABC FOI request, which has such ramifications for Townsville.

jenna Cairney

C’mon Jenna , you’ve got to be fucking kidding … one of the most explosive rulings about Freedom To Information, with council now spending a ratepayer fortune on lawyers to fight … and you think it is appropriate that you SAY NOTHING. You copped a thankless task when you got the job, we know, but there is surely some sort of buried journalistic pride and integrity under there somewhere. Your personal reputation in this town will not survive any continued silence on this, you will be totally suspect yourself, seemingly complicit on a an attempted mammoth rort.

But Ms Cairney Has A Few Other Internal Problems On Her Mind At The Moment.

It’s reported that everyone is on edge at The Astonisher, with sales figures down the toilet, and not one of the advertising staff meeting sales targets since early this year. The Magpie has learnt this dismal state of affairs brought some fire-breathing top brass from Sydney into town just recently. They were very mightily pissed off with print performance, and particularly the very low uptake of digital subscriptions. Which adds a rather pathetic air of desperation to this little bit of hokum during the week.

Bully subscriber Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 10.54.26 am

So quick, better hurry, folks, only about 6000 to go before the big prize goes off. (The usual contra deal of a couple of ‘epic’ nights at the The Ville – yippee skip.)

But Hey, Time To Stop Brickbats …

… and offer a rare bouquet to the Bully for two matters. First, a big thumbs up for a genuinely clever and apt front page headline today, about a police officer dobbed in by his fellow officers for fudging a breath test by his ex-missus.

Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 8.44.53 am

Neat … and for a change, actually tells the story.

And kudos to Madura ‘Teabag’ McCormack and her editor’s editorial  for going in boots and all on the out-and-out rort of Jamie Durie’s contract doubly when it was awarded to Carey Ramm’s AEC group.

Durie aec

The paper also didn’t pull any punches about the council’s engagement of Brisbane consultants Rowlands after the floods, and intending to pay them out of disaster relief money. The official council line that their staff couldn’t cope after the disaster because they were too tired or personally affected doesn’t wash in light of the 600 nor so staff sacked in the crippling Adele Young/Jenny Hill/Nous Group purge of council ranks.

A commenter with inside experience added an interesting dimension to the Rowland story.

From my time with Brisbane City Council, the Rowland Group always had a very strong relationship with ALP. When ALP was in power either in Brisbane City or Queensland they won every job they wanted, had cash pouring into their offices. Whenever ALP lost power they appointed ex-Ministers and their minders into senior “Advisory” roles until they found something better or moved back into government. Rowland was then hired by every ALP-aligned council and agency until they could come back in from the cold.

Apart from the jobs for the boys I’ve always wondered what other ways the money flowed back to ALP when needed.

I suspect what we have just seen in Townsville is Jenny indirectly paying back some money to her George Street masters through a trusted intermediary. Much like she has banked a bundle of cash with the “Bank of AEC” against future needs.

Certainly this isn’t confined to the left side of politics, and the LNP has their own pets and bankers. Pity it’s all done with our money.’

Watch List

The ‘Pie has been told by JCU that the university has now filed an appeal against the judgment in favour of climate denier Peter Ridd. The matter is awaiting court dates.

But in a separate matter …

Craig gore

… fraudster Craig Gore will finally face a jury to answer charges of ripping of millions from investors. During the week, a very pissed-off judge, noting Gore’s continually seeking adjournments because he’s changing lawyers yet again, or he’s not well, has had enough, and told Gore during the week, that he WILL appear for trial on January 27 next year – even if he has to represent himself. Is a striped suntan imminent?

Comments Comedy

We have great fun with comments throughout the week, and there was a nice little exchange during a discussion on airlines.

Rainbow Airways

September 15, 2019 at 11:58 am  (Edit)

Maybe they will jointly address their obsessive need to promote their airlines as being LGBQT compliant? Rainbow flags on planes, diversity speeches, emails and campaigns internally at the airlines. It never ends. The incessant push of gay rights has blown out of proportion and consumes everything that people do these days.


  • The Magpie

September 15, 2019 at 12:32 pm  (Edit)

So you would say they’re too airy-fairy?

Which made for unfortunate timing from the Astonisher, when Qantas boss Alan Joyce chose careless words about airports.

Screen Shot 2019-09-18 at 10.13.17 am

There is a lot of funny people jumping into the comments section, that’s just a tiny sample. Even if you don’t want to join in, there’s a lot of good larfs in there, try it.

Overseas, Laxative Sales Have Dropped Dramatically

… Brexit is doing the job for the whole country for nothing. First there was BoJo Johnson’s mega wimp out, without warning deciding not to show up for a media conference in Brussels, because some protesters had been ‘beastly’ to him.

Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 12.52.27 pm

… which brought out the best in the Guardian’s Ben Jennings …

BOJO Incredible SulkScreen Shot 2019-09-17 at 12.53.51 pm

And you can’t beat the Poms for instant humour from absurd and galling moments in public life. This picture of toffee nosed wanker Jacob Rees-Mogg arrogantly lounging in parliament during the Brexit debate, caused great anger in the country

Screen Shot 2019-09-21 at 11.19.18 pm

…. but it rebounded on him quick smart with the advertising boys lampooning him cleverly within a couple of days on billboards all around the country..

Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 10.07.59 am

In Canada, Trudeau Instantly Got His Over His Blackface Episode


But In Trumpsylvania, Each Week Brings New Delights

…at least from this distance. There was a timely and telling message for all those who think Trump is doing a good job.

Trump conman mark

lk092019dapr cb091919dapr 16_229845 139_229755 Bruce Plante Cartoon: Iran 73_229831_1 139_229828 20190917edbbc-a 271_229756 53_229869 139_229898 sk091619dapr


That’s just some of what’s been going on this week, let us know what’s on your mind, comments run 24/7. And you’ll be excited to know that donations are also accepted 24/7, if you’re like Rees-Mogg, and areso inclined. The donate button is below.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.


  1. Uninformed Ratepayer says:

    Hello Magpie,

    Thank you for an excellent and informative blog. Without your efforts I would remain uninformed.
    I am really disappointed with the Townsville Bulletin. I am a subscriber (at the moment) but I’m not sure why I bother to continue subscribing. It really is a nothing paper without any meaty stories.
    I am also very disappointed with Jenny Hill and my local councillor Russ Cook. Jenny for her mischievous actions like the ADANI airstrip and Russ for not standing up to her.

    • The Magpie says:

      Regarding the news content of the Bulletin. As The ‘Pie has suggested on a couple of previous occasions, there are some green shoots of journalistic conscious being shown in the Astonisher and in Cairney’s editorials, like the Durie story and Rowlands, but just at this stage, there seems to be some hidden agenda of selectivity of just who to sink the slipper into. Perhaps this is driven by issues the paper has previously supported and EOFAS (egg on face avoidance syndrome) is at work. And the clear belief that the paper is a player and not just an observer among the power elite, with the flexibility to lie by the sin of omission or emphasise a minor transgression. The policy is driven solely by what will assist advertising sales the most. The other thing that is galling is that some self-appointed editorial genius somewhere in the News octopus (not Townsville, but then, that is self-evident if a genius is involved) has decreed that the way to snare readers is to bombard =them with ‘The Ten best whatever’, or ‘The 50 Worst suburbs’ – all magical revealed, like it’s hard core journalistic work to put together a list of readers preferences in hamburgers, hairdressers, tradesmen – to a ludicrous and laughable point. This tripe is all over News mastheads across the country, a policy the local iditor is directed to follow. And they wonder why they have to lie to their alarmingly dwindling advertising base about digital take up numbers and print run.
      One list that would’ve been handy … Revealed: the ten most reliable condoms … but it would’ve only been of use if read and adhered to by the parents of certain News executives.

    • Fishframe says:

      What???? The big news here is that we have found a rare unicorn – a Townsville Bulletin subscriber. I was betting on a resurgence of Tasmanian Tigers before this happened.

  2. Election on the way says:

    Wow what a blog. And all with your Google search and a couple of us to help ( not me of course lol) shame on our news services in Townsville, just pathetic. Without trying to sound ungrateful to YOUR investigation would you yourself hand this info to the likes of Steve Wardell at the courier mail considering his take on Townsville at the moment???

    • The Magpie says:

      Everything The ‘Pie has is right there, nothing held back or secret. And Mr Wardill and anybody else is welcome to it.

  3. Mike Douglas says:

    Will Mayor Mullet need to engage another Brisbane based labor aligned PR company to try and dig T.C.C. out of the shit for spending $160k flood damage support with labor aligned Brisbane based Rowland Group ? . The costs to ratepayers must be spiralling with the $400k Jamie Durie blow out , legal costs trying to stop f.o.i. on Adani airport , legal costs to defend developers actions on planning issues etc . We know our Mayor can’t chew gum and walk at the same time but is their still 2,000 local families still displaced from the floods and shouldn’t her priority be getting families back into her homes instead of Singapore and China trips ?. On a State level , after spending a couple of hundred k on holding State Parliament in the Ville Treasurer Trad has announced $250 mil in bonuses for 200,000 public servants . Sound like locking in 2020 election union funds to you ?.

    • Achilles says:

      So our yarn spinning Jenny the Junketeer is off on another OS WOTAM. I look forward to reading her detailed account of this latest escape from the real TSV issues.

      We`re still waiting for the details of her mega (non) achievements in the USA, Singapore, India, China et al of the recent past. Maybe they got wet or washed away in her maelstrom?

  4. NQGal says:

    The demise of the Astonisher is already happening. CQU is taking over half of the editorial floor at Finsbury House.

  5. Spooka says:

    Old blue eyes may have been on to something, News Limited has a plethora of them employed all over the country.

  6. Alacan says:

    Pie, tremendous read this morning .. thanks .. true quality

    Must make your blood boil to know what should and could be coming from the Astonisher .. and is not

    The Mullett and her lot along with the state seat warmers in government appear to have taken us well and truly back to pre Fitzgerald

  7. Dave of Kelso says:

    Well done dear ‘Pie. I wonder why the ABC lost interest in this matter. Interesting to know. IMO this is the stuff that 4 Corners is made of.

    • The Magpie says:

      Doubt ABC has lost interest … think it’s just they play a different longer game, because unlike The ‘Pie, they like to be boots and braces certain before they do anything. That’s what makes ABC investigative reports far and away the most believable public service of any media.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        Great blog Pie and thanks again for all that you do to keep us abreast of these matters. What happens now and going forward is the first thing that comes to mind. Hopefully not ‘nothing’……….

  8. Kelsonian says:

    Being a ratepayer of my home & 2 other Thuringowa houses, I am sick and tired of TCC focus on the CBD & funding their labor mates and letting down locals.

    TCC failed to send my last batch of rates notices (all 3 properties) and now they state that I have to pay an extra $440 for paying late after I asked them to email the notices & paid them.

    Is this a common ploy of theirs to raise extra $$ for Jamie Durie etc?

    I wonder how many other ratepayers failed to get their notices this time?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      You are correct. The Strand and the “Off-Center Business District” (Well, it is not central, is it.) is all that matters.

      Re rates, I pay mine in fortnightly installments. It galls me that they get my loot early, but it does free me up to travel, and prevents bill-shock to my cheque account.

      • The Magpie says:

        The ‘Pie has mentioned this before, and this is not exclusive to this council, but shows the LGAQ spin adopted by ball … your early payment is not a 10% rebate, it is the actual rates worked out that you should pay … the late payment addition is a FINE for being tardy.

    • Mel-Born Man says:

      Just to share a tit bit on TCCrates…the notices are printed under Aus Post sub contract and are actually prepared out of a Melbourne distribution centre….how efficient is that!

      • The Magpie says:

        Not surprised, the Townsville Council procurement officer is or was a lady named Tiong, who commuted from Melbourne for a few weeks when appointed a couple of years ago, but that got too much for her, so Mayor Mullet allowed her to do her job from Melbourne, and she possibly still does. How efficient is that?

      • Hear Deah says:

        Way gone are the days of when a couple of juniors would be engaged in printing, folding and licking down envelopes for bulk mail outs. No wonder some people cannot get jobs in local areas. All done from the big cities now, it seems.

    • Dave Sth says:

      Hear hear… Loved being back for the weekend but seeing the CBD malaise you gotta wonder how much more is going to be peed up against the wall…

    • Guy says:

      Kelsonian, write a letter to molochino and the councillors as a group about this, don’t bother trying to reason with the bureaucracy with this one.

  9. Kamahl says:

    Why must people be so unkind. I want to know why Gina Swineheart stole my collection of Kaftans, when there is a beautiful selection of size 28 dresses at Big W Townsville?

    P. S Michael Bolton is. It happy that the Mayor has stolen his 90’s hairstyle.

  10. One legged tap dancer says:

    What’s happened to old mate Kevin Gill?
    The middle-aged media tart with the desperate-to-look-young (product enhanced) spikey hair style has been missing in action for weeks now.
    Has he had his wings clipped by head office?
    And what’s happened to that $40 million airport redevelopment that suddenly rose in cost to $80 million when a low interest loan was needed from the Federal Government?
    With Virgin continuing to make huge losses, the new Virgin Lounge part of the redevelopment is looking shaky – and that was the only part of the new space that actually had a tenant. Would Virgin still be agreeable to the proposed new passenger levy (ripoff) if they no longer needed a lounge?
    There’s also speculation that Virgin’s direct flights to Sydney will get the chop when the airline cuts underperforming routes in the near future. I flew to Sydney last week and the plane was barely half full – both down and back.
    Don’t you just love karma.

    • Guy says:

      Once oil installations in the middle East start being knocked out jet fuel costs will explode and it will be too expensive to make meaningful trios beyond Brisbane, transport costs on the road will explode too. Of course Queensland could have it’s own diesel production and have plentiful diesel made from COAL. You could heat the coal under vacuum using solar.

      • Election on the way says:

        And how do you heat the coal??? Oh that’s right you need to burn the coal in a power station, can’t get that much power needed to manufacture the diesel. Just ask all the aluminum smelters that are being asked to dropp off because the government is afraid of blackouts. Solar and wind power are useless for manufacturing

        • The Magpie says:

          Oh, for Christ’s sake, Election, don’t encourage him.

        • Guy says:

          You use solar heating. Google solar thermal. Instead of creating a basic product you value add to it by processing it to something you can put in a tank. We should use the coal fields to create the diesel we need for farming, transportation etc. Locomotives, trucks and tractors all run on diesel. You could even sell diesel to the ships returning overseas. Diesel becomes cheap in QLD, you keep enough diesel here to always keep prices low.

          And no, have no intention of running again.

    • AvGas says:

      Herr Gill would be up to his eyeballs in meetings and in panic mode along with his masters on the Gold Coast as the Airlines stick it to airports over fees and charges. The Rainbow Crusader Elaine Joyce and Virgin Australia’s new toecutter CEO Paul Scabbath have drawn first blood in the airport war, having gotten that ex ACCC douchebag Samuels in their corner and the lot of them trying to muscle the Pentecostal Morrison into introducing set fees and charges. However, I digress. Gill will also be busy putting together his submission to win an award at November’s Australian Airports Association being held on the Gold Coast, on Maid Marion’s turf. Plus there is the advice business meeting, drinking coffee, counting his bonus dollars and relaxing in his apple catchers beside the swimming pool bathed in coconut oil in preparation for his next media interview.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      I hope the TSV-SYD direct Virgin service stays, it is the only one unless you count Shitstar, of which I don’t, so I won’t. I have been advised the TSV- SYD VA service is used very regularly by Defence for any trips to Wagga or Singleton and is also used by the NRL teams so let’s hope there is enough corporate support to keep the service flying. According to BITRE stats the TSV – SYD route is 7.8% up YTD so seems like some good support overall, but then again we are talking about Numbskull Gill so I am sure if there is someone to fuck up negotiations, he can do it.

  11. Le petit fromage says:

    Rumour has it that there is much concern within the TCC management group that the disaster communication support may be ineligible under disaster relief payments. Big mistake if correct. Have we heard how much the city is getting for other infrastructure repairs such as roads? It seems like silence and secrecy is the new normal at TCC.

    • The Magpie says:

      As so thoroughly pointed out by Information Commissioner Lynch.

      How appropriate if Mayor Mullet is brought down, victim of a legal Lynch mob.

    • Alacan says:

      Eligibility, spending , record keeping , and acquittals are a crucial component of managing the fiscal impacts of response and recovery to disaster events

      Previously the frameworks, plans and knowledge and experience underpinned strong process

      Emergent works Eligibility were well understood as was ongoing recovery activities

      With the loss of key experienced managers across the Council it would not surprise me that there are now issues

      A very transparent and straight bat needs to be played with adjusters and insurances who have become very discerning relative to the veracity of claims by Local Authorities

  12. The Third Reader says:

    Brilliant blog this week ‘Pie. I think the time is very near to proving to this incompetent woman that she must answer to the ratepayers of this once great city instead of trying to keep us in the dark about OUR money and how she spends (wastes) it. It is only early, but reading your blog this morning Magpie has been the highlight of the day so far and may take some bettering. Keep up your excellent work.

  13. Lady Byron says:

    Whoa – what a blog Pie! Well done.

    It was worth letting my fancy coffee go cold, to find out what is going on, in our fair city. I trust our excuse for a newspaper, ‘The Bully-tin’ will actually report on this TCC/Adani kerfuffle/rort now?
    (Scuse me for a minute, while I shoo away the flying pigs outside my window.)

    On a lighter note, my husband and I were at the Trivia on Thursday night at the Arcadia Hotel here on Maggie, when both our phones kept going off.
    The reason? Our chums down south were letting us know that our lovely island home was on ‘Escape from the City’ on ABC TV.

    We only got to watch it on ABC Iview on our return home – and, happily, this show painted Magnetic Island and Townsville in a very good light regarding the low prices of quality homes. We laughed when the shows’ host called Nelly Bay ‘the main village of the island': quaint or what?

  14. Magnanimous says:

    Pie, you should be congratulated for your magnanimity in giving Pete Newsy a guernsey for the airstrip petition. Of course when you actually read the petition it’s pretty obvious Pete didn’t write it. So kudos goes to those who did. And yes, onya Pete for recognising a good idea on that occasion and for taking the help onboard. That was his Warhol moment in life.

  15. Sunday says:

    Terrific blog Pie, excellent work.

    On a completely different note, when did the looney left become the angry left? When did the offspring of the fairies at the bottom of the garden pick up pitch forks? Seems like the role of the far right is being usurped.

    Farms invaded, school kids used as political weapons, the rise of ANTIFA in Australia, the road caravan protesting ADANI led by Bob Brown, closing down contrary views of climate science and the rise of “white privilege’ as the ultimate insult. All signs of the left insurgency.

    It is going to get worse; I quote Rita Panahi who wrote in Aug 19;

    “Indoctrination starts at primary and secondary school where, under the guise of “inclusion” and “diversity”, a Left-wing narrative that is neither inclusive nor diverse is relentlessly pushed”, and

    “By the time students enter university, they have been well conditioned to swallow increasingly radical notions like the doctrine that Western civilisation, the greatest global force for equality, freedom, enlightenment and opportunity, is hopelessly mired in racism, sexism and bigotry.”

    I guess irrelevance breeds frustration, breeds anger, breeds reaction.

  16. Casual observer says:

    I’m surprised this story with Rowland has surfaced now considering TCC tweeted about the partnership in July. It all seems a bit odd.

  17. Cappuccino in hand says:

    Great blog Pie. Straight to the jugular that one. But I have 2 fears:

    1 you are preaching entirely to the converted
    2 without a viable alternative mayor in the frame this story will die quickly without public debate keeping it alive outside of your blog

    I offer no solution to either concern, sadly.

    • The Magpie says:

      Thanks for the thumbs up, but on 1: The ‘Pie is banking that the converted, Nest readers or not, are greater in number than the dead heads. And 2. there is still plenty of time for someone to come forward, in fact it may be a deliberate ploy, because campaigns take both personal time and money.

  18. Dave of Kelso says:

    A Chance Meeting With a Kindred Spirit

    On a different note; l found myself in conversation with a well educated, articulate, and very well presented lady of about my age. From where we were we could see, over the tops of the trees, the angular ugliness of the Jonathan Thurston Waste of Space and Money, the Total Tools Stadium.

    I mentioned that it’s design clashed with everything in sight. At this my conversation companion became incandescent with disgust at the TT Stadium, the TCC, and The MULLET……..

    I thinks to myself, “Did I hear MULLET?” I said to her in a soft voice, “The Magpie?” She replied, “The Magpie.”

    Things calmed down, subject changed, and that was that.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie has previously mentioned that a mate who was a Labor stalwart around town, once called Mike Reynolds Snooze in conversation without thinking about it, and needless to say. Snooze went incandescent with rage, ‘Never EVER call me that again!’ he roared in a campaign strategy meeting. Well, at least he was awake.

  19. Genitalia Hill says:

    What I’m curious about is the fact that both Townsville and Rockhampton’s ratepayers were mighty pissed the A-dani airport joint investment was announced, but to come to that proposal there must have been numerous meetings between the Mullet, Streetlow and the Wagner mafia. Where are those formal meeting
    Minutes? Where and when did meetings take place? Why was Townsville and Roccky’s ‘outlay’ to build the airport under $30m, when it would cost a minimum of $100m, even with Wagner’s building it?
    NOTHING stacks up, smells right, passes the pub test blah blah blah.

    • The Magpie says:

      wagner addressed the TCC in closed session at least once, possibly twice. But the mind boggles at the thought of Mayor Mullet, Strelow and Adani in a gold bathrobe and silver turban going all Bollywood in secret talks during the Indian junket.

    • hondaman says:

      Genitalia, you’ve hit the nail on the head, even Shari( love her work) has recently used the terminology of ‘The Pub Test” whereby us minor peons get to discuss most things that are bafflingly approved, usually at obscene costs to us ratepayers, if a local disaster, or as taxpayers if a State fiasco. Surely the Adani Airport plan could have been discussed quietly over a quiet bar somewhere, it would have saved all the current trouble.

      • The Magpie says:

        Or perhaps, given the sum involved, they could’ve asked the people footing the bill. Yes, a public debate! But that would’ve required transparency.

  20. Rupert Murdoch says:

    The ‘Pie’ and other blogs are the only real source of accurate information. Kudos. MSM is owned by the elite who in turn own the politicans. They only report information that suits their own agendas and boosts their profits. The world has been bought and is controlled by these chumps. The USA has some excellent radio and website sites that are part of the progressive radio network. Why do you think Google, FaecesBook, Poohtube etc are constantly abusing their powers and shutting down free speech??
    Keep going Pie, you’re one in a million..

  21. The Wulguru Wonder says:

    The big question is Mr Magpie…..Giants or Tigers? Who are you wanting to take Granny home next weekend?

    • The Magpie says:

      A complex question for a Swans bird who initially comes from NSW (Tamworth). And when Richmond bare On, they play some of the best footy available. So let’s go Tiges because Toby Greene in a up himself thug who is much overrated.

  22. Arthur Itis says:

    After reading the enthusiastic responses this post has generated I think it’s time for Sir Walter to take a bow and let Shakespeare maybe have a crack (sorry Bill if I ain’t got it quiet write)

    “For ’tis the sport to have the Hill / Hoist with her own petard”

    ( hoist with one’s own petard….. being the victim of one’s own schemes)

    • The Magpie says:

      Ever happy to expand the knowledge of obviously already smart folk:
      “Hoist with his own petard” is a phrase from a speech in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet that has become proverbial. The phrase’s meaning is literally that the bomb-maker (a “petard” is a small explosive device) is blown up (“hoisted” off the ground) by his own bomb, and indicates an ironic reversal, or poetic justice.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        “Double double, toil and trouble, fire burn, and cauldren bubble, thice to yours and thrice to mine, and three times again.. is nine,………peace,……. the charm’s wound up.”

        Oops, a prelude to a Commercial In Confidence TCC meeting.

  23. Non Aligned Worker says:

    I love how the media applaud the school kids who went on strike for the environment.
    The kiddies insight and far reaching prophetic judgement of what we “older” folks are doing wrong is to be commended.
    Unfortunately, if the same kiddies break into a house, steal the family jewels, car and bash the occupants the law deems them unable to discern between right and wrong,
    Can’t have it both ways, or can you?

    • The Magpie says:

      Mate, don’t be a grouch, a day of school is a day off school.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        And a night in my back yard, is a night in my back yard! We were away when the snots robbed the house next door of booze, jewlery, and cash, and had the party in our back yard.

  24. J Jones says:

    She destroyed the Sunshine Coast daily and she’s doing the same to the Astonisher.
    Lightweight editor / no backbone

  25. Associate says:

    Fine work Magpie. Does anyone know what happened at the Directions hearing? Should we ask our local councillors for an update? When will the matter be heard? After March 2020? Delaying tactics? Why don’t we just write the Mayor and ask her to give the document to the people of Townsville. Clearly the Mayor of Rocky is happy for her people to see the terms of arrangement, so why not ours?

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed, The ‘Pie texted long standing TCC legal dogsbody Tony Bligh last Wednesday with that very question, but true to the open transparency and sharing nature of this council, haven’t heard a dicky bird back. Tony might be a bit pissed off, because if in the unlikely event he was the source of the TCC legal advice in this matter, then he fucked up right royally in one of the (very expensive) submissions opposing the release, relying on out-of-date legal precedent in one of the council’s several very expensive submissions. Commissioner Lynch didn’t miss whoever was responsible, but again, you have to understand the understatement of legalese to realise this was a right proper old bollocking. So here’s a bit more from The ‘Pie’s favourite reading matter.
      Dealing initially with submissions disputing any reference to public interest considerations (or a ‘public interest exception’) 54 – firstly, the authority cited by TCC suggesting they may be irrelevant to an application of the Breach of Confidence Exemption – Corrs Pavey – both addressed a redundant version of section 45 of the Commonwealth FOI Act, materially different to the Breach of Confidence Exemption, 55 and was decided well in advance of the High Court’s decision in Esso, and its recognition of the pertinence of public interest considerations, when the party said to be bound by an obligation of conscience is an agent of the public.

      Having regard to the circumstances in this case, I am not satisfied that conscionable conduct would require TCC to keep the Term Sheet, embodying information jointly developed by it in conjunction with other participants, confidential from the community whose interests TCC represents and the local component of which, ultimately, will be required to fund any proposal, should it proceed. To paraphrase Mason CJ in Esso, why should the ratepayers of TCC and RRC, and the public of Queensland, be denied knowledge of the terms on which these government agencies propose to disburse public resources, when it is the public who will bear the cost?

      • The Magpie says:

        If fact, bugger it, worth repeating that last bit, and may The ‘Pie suggest you put on your own Facebook, Twitter and LinkIn accounts, crediting Queensland Information Commissioner Lynch:

        ‘Why should the ratepayers of TCC and RRC, and the public of Queensland, be denied knowledge of the terms on which these government agencies propose to disburse public resources, when it is the public who will bear the cost?’

      • Plannit Townsville says:

        Highly unlikely the dodgy legal advice came from Tony Bligh. More likely Graham Finlayson who was recruited by the Impaler from Ergon (apparently he was being sacked anyway). He then took charge of the legal department and did as he was bid by the Mullet and Impaler.
        Strange little man. No social skills.

        • I’ll be plucked says:

          No social skills Plannit, or chose not to hit the night spots and the plonk that some of the legal fraternity were/are oh so fond of………:)

          • The Magpie says:

            That is a -ahem – unique take on what social skills comprise, chilly chook. Perhaps your own lifestyle doesn’t bear too close of an examination.

          • I’ll be plucked says:

            Fair enough Pie – it was a feeble attempt at humour – nothing more, nothing less! :)

          • The Magpie says:

            Hey, The ‘Pie was just trying to be drolly funny, too,. Dry your tears, chickypoo.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Associate, would the Mayor of Rocky, or a kind ratepayer down there be willing to share the document with us plebs in Townsville?

      • The Magpie says:

        That is a question The ‘Pie has been canvassing for a few days now, but can’t get a definitive answer. Haven’t seen an injunction of any sort involving the ‘Tear Sheet’, and since the RRC is happy to release it, why not? Anybody care to ask their legal department? But then, if the matter is now before QCAT, things might be a tad restricted. Any whistleblowers down there in Rocky?

        • Associate says:

          I bèlieve Rocky cant release it, because all the others parties do not consent, hence the appeal is stalling quite a bit. But Rocky could possibly release a highly redacted version as it relates to their involvement..

  26. Ghislaine Maxwell says:

    Maybe the plans for the Adani Airport were kept so secret because they wanted to bring in Jeferrey Epstein’s Lolita Express to the new airport?

    Juan Epstein (yes, I have a note from my mother)

  27. Benny Hinn says:

    So, apparently our Pentecostal PM has dismissed a report that he wanted Hillsong pastor Brian Houston to attend events during his US state visit! WTF? Imagine Scomo speaking in tongues while Houston and friends belt out a James Brown upbeat Jesus song? What next – invitations for Billy Graham, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker? All or most of them dead I believe. I’m sure Tom Cruise from ‘An emission is impossible’ would gladly represent L.Ron Hubbard’s Scientology freak show and join Scomo for some hands-on-healing, singing and dancing and of course their signature event; speaking in tongues. Something Scomo does innparliament most weeks!

  28. F stop says:

    Next fancy dress, I’m going as black face Trudeau.

  29. Monday says:

    I loved the story in yesterday’s Sunday Mail about Magistrate Cathy McLennan in Innisfail, last June. The transcripts of one particular hearing included the following;

    “You know, my job could be described by many people as the most lied to in this region and I know most of what (your lawyer) said to me that came from you is bullshit. Bullshit,” she said.

    The magistrate later added: “I think your partner probably deserves better than having you ruin your life in his name”.

    Less than half an hour after being sentenced, Magistrate McLennan hauled the 43-year-old back before the court and told her: “

    Now, as I understand it, I saw you mouthing off as you were leaving the court”. Magistrate McLennan then tells the woman she will “vacate the plea” and send the matter to Cairns for sentencing, earlier telling her with “10 previous convictions, I could have sent you to jail today”.

    “You can take your chances up there,” she warned the defendant.

    Excellent work in my opinion. Bring her to Townsville ASAP.

    • The Magpie says:

      Cathy worked in Townsville as a solicitor some year ago before heading north (not sure whether that was before or after she went to the magistrates’ bench). She wrote a book ‘Saltwater’ about how the law confuses the people of Palm Island. During her time here, Cathy was well liked but regarded by some colleagues as a bit of a fruit loop, and constantly in search of love. Telling fellow lawyers that much of what they say on behalf of clients is ‘bullshit’ is a somewhat more direct way of stating an obvious truth but in the tut-tutting, clenched buttock world of the law, possibly not an advisable career move.

      • Grumpy says:

        I have known and liked Cathy for over 25 years. This sounds like somethng she would say. Her taste in men has always been bit suspect (looking at you Robins…) She is great fun, super smart and, as you say, delightfully daffy.

  30. NQ Gal says:

    What to make of the public service bonus of $1250. Is it a no conditions bribe to all public servants, or is it only payable once the EBA is signed? If it is to hurry EBA negotiations along, is the $1250 on top of back pay owed or instead of? If it is instead of, there will be a lot of workers at levels 5 and above who will actually be losing money.

    • Pig in a trough says:

      $1,250 is nothing when compared to the treats that the Politicans and senior bureaucrats have with their snouts in the trough.

      • Alahazbin says:

        But they have to lower the height of the proposed Rockwood Weir because of the cost of concrete while give those Public servants an extra $250. Mil on top of the 2.5% pay rise every year. FFS!

    • Insider says:

      This is an EBA negotiated condition, not unusual. The media love to beat up public servants; soft target.

      • The Magpie says:

        That is as it may be, but The ‘Pie knows from his days at (federal statutory authority) GBRMPA, annual performance bonuses where almost exclusively self-awarded with no peer review, which made a joke of many of the recipients, whose performance could be described as ‘uninspiring’ at best. OK, this is different, but it still a funny way to fly an aeroplane.

        • Fishframe says:

          GBRMPA needs to keep awarding themselves big bonuses because they will tell you that without them the GBR will be dead within 48 hours due to global warming emissions, cane farm pesticide run off, over fishing by 6 year olds in the school holidays, highly aggressive (believed to be Alien origins) crown of thorn starfish and human effluent from tourist snorkelers.

      • Old Tradesman says:

        Insider, I don’t think that the media is beating up on the over represented public servants, but the timing of this bonus, as you say it is tied in with the EBA arrangements, all good, except the fact it it looks like a distraction from the CRR house buying episode while our state esteemed Treasurer jets off to China. Then again this bonus of $1250 will surely attract a taxable income situation which will be good for the Federal coffers, and if the 200,000 Public Servants spend the rest the feds will get more through GST which ultimately comes back to the state. In other words the Public Servants have been conned by treacherous Trad.

  31. No More Dredging says:

    ‘Pie, great post this week. It looks like the Adani airport will be a gift that keeps on giving. If the airport ever gets built one wonders what its call sign will be?

  32. Critical says:

    I see that the QLD government has further delayed the finalisation of this case against Adani which if successful could result in a huge fine or ability to operate in QLD.

    Appears that the QLD government has become very pro-mining since March 2019.


  33. Dave of Kelso says:

    Alarmed to learn we have them here. Today saw sticker on car back window;

    Make America Great Again

    Is there a pesticide for these creatures?

    • Fake News says:

      bzzzt, sorry, no pesticides, you’ll kill the reef!

    • Keep Australia Mediocre says:

      Hey Dave,

      There is a control, its called “the Left”

      For all of his faults, it was Trump who got $1.9b of Australian investment in the USA.

      I hope all of those Ohians gainfully employed by Pratt Industries do their part to help “Make America Great Again”.

      That said, I wish we had the jobs here.

  34. Le petit fromage says:

    Rumour has it that a new Bulletin exclusive on spin-gate is on the way and it will be extremely damaging to the TCC management group.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Little Cheese, forgive me for not holding my breath on this one. Based on the Astonisher could be, would be stories, Townsville would now be the Aviation maintenance hub for SE Asia, and the Army’s School of Artillery would be in the high range training area.

    • Boho63 says:

      Do you mean the Astonishers morning online headline “Council more transparent after scathing review”.

      Is it too early to pop open a bottle of wine??

      • The Magpie says:

        Nope, never too early, need to drown our sorrows 24/7.

      • Ducks Nuts says:

        Christ on a Bike!

        I read that drivel in today’s paper (it was free at a cafe, I did not buy it, in case you wondered)
        IF and only IF, TCC are now complying with the requirements of the OIC report, it would be a miracle. Some previous examples I’ve been told about include the refusal to register key documents in the electronic record keeping system by Adele Young. And the deletion of data, requested by Gerard Nelson, her Exec Officer, and sanctioned by Dave Harvey the IT GM. This kind of fraudulent behaviour is rampant within TCC.
        Hard to provide the information if they don’t have it.

  35. Tuesday says:

    I am an atheist.

    That means I do not believe in any religion, including climate change.

    It also means that I do not believe in Hell or in any demons, including coal.

    • The Magpie says:

      How are you on our mayor?

      • Tuesday says:

        I didn’t say that atheists don’t believe in mental health or personality disorders.

        My personal opinion is that the Mayor is an egotistical, narcissistic, vindictive woman who places herself and the Labor Party above all else.

        I hope someone with better aspirations for the Townsville community stands and is elected next March.

        If I wasn’t an atheist, I would pray for divine intervention.

        • The Magpie says:

          That’s probably what our old mate Dolan Hayes is doing ….

        • L Berry says:

          Weekday, I don’t think that she places the Labor above her own self-interest. She was very quick to disassociate herself from the ALP when it suited her own political aspirations to do so. This has not been forgotten or forgiven by certain stalwarts.

        • Pig in a trough says:

          Excellent point;

          “My personal opinion is that the Mayor is an egotistical, narcissistic, vindictive woman who places herself and the Labor Party above all else.“

          Here layeth the problem. The majority of political swill are sociopaths (Rudd and Abbott as an example), psychopaths, psychophants, narcissistic, inept, disconnected obsfucatory liars and thieves. Politics attracts them, nurtures them, breeds them and supports them. It’s what they do – care for their own self wealth and interests above all others. Slipper and Brough were two prime examples of disloyal deceiving politicians hell-bent in extracting every taxpayer cent that they physically could. Oink oink.

        • Alahazbin says:

          “Atheist, pray.” Is that what you call an oxymoron?

    • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

      I guess there’s no rule that atheists have to be rational or scientific.

      • Tuesday says:

        Au contraire Steve. Show me the scientific proof and rationale for a God (any God will do) and I will change my view about religion.

        As for climate change, my views are a sound as any climate alarmist. What I don’t do is scare our children into believing that they will soon die in a catastrophic climate event. We should be ashamed of the harm we are causing to young minds.

        • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

          The kids wouldn’t be scared if adults were treating the problem with the seriousness it deserved. We only have until 2030 to get emissions on track for 1.5° heating.

          • Grumpy says:

            What makes them scared, Steve, The Ghost Who Wokes? Who told them the scary stuff? Did they work it out for themselves? Or did someone tell them what to think?

            Or is it all just jolly good fun and marvellous opportunities for selfies? Not to mention a day off school.

          • Alahazbin says:

            Reminds me of Chicken Little.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            So Steve if it’s that serious, you and the others who find joy in scaring the shit out of kids better get onto Xi Jinping and ask him what the fuck he is doing about it, as the Chinese are responsible for about 20% of the worlds emissions, demand action from him, I am sure you will get a favourable response.

          • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

            Grumpy – they get taught the facts in school then look around and see adults sitting on their hands.

            Cantankerous – absolute genius. There are 206 countries in the world and 205 of them responsible for the remaining 80% of emissions all get to point at China and do nothing? China’s on track to meet its Paris target but Australia isn’t without dodgy accounting.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            Sorry Steve, my mistake, fat fingers of mine, China is actually 29% not 20%, with the USA 16% and India 7%, 53% from those 3 countries alone. So why the fuck would any brainless dickhead be focusing on Australia’s pissy 1% and ignoring China’s 29% , why would any teacher, who one would expect to be at least able to grasp basic mathematics, not remind the little climate darlings they teach the basic factors of 30x and their compounding effect on any possible outcome, just disgusting people scaring kids, they should be ashamed of themselves.

          • Old Tradesman says:

            Steve, stop contaminating this site, keep it up and you will go blind, just stick to the rubbish you post on Text The Editor.

          • No More Dredging says:

            Grumpy and Cranky, if some 16 year old Townsville schoolgirl organised a rally on the Strand to protest the mayor’s abuse of ratepayer funds for the Adani airport or the stadium or some other shenanigans, and promised not only to provide some new disclosure of damning documents just leaked that day but also to take the rally to the forecourt of the Council and demand the resignation of the mayor – would you be in it? Or would you stay at home tut tutting about it being a school day and anyway what do kids know about leaked documents and financial statements?. I get the sense that you are so stuck in the conservative mud that the idea of protest is quite beyond you. It must be scary to realise that lots of school kids, who don’t have a vote yet, know more about the real world and it’s political nuances than half the voting population – or possibly more than half given the result of the last local government election.

          • The Magpie says:

            A classic … and it must be said, typical … case of false equivalence, one of the most laborious (pun intended) whattaboutisms of recent times. Just silly. And as a neutral observer, The ‘Pie must point out that there are various ways of protesting, and it certainly isn’t beyond conservatives: witness last federal election . The unlosable one, remember?

          • Grumpy says:

            Dredge. As a veteran of the Tower Mill and the original tent embassy, I would take great offence at your remarks. That is, if I was thin-skinned prissy little soy boy.

          • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

            Cantankerous – more genius! We get those three countries to cut their emissions and we can 53% stop global heating! Close but no cigar.

            No one is ignoring China. As previously stated, they’re on track to meet their Paris target early and Australia isn’t doing its share as the 14th largest emitter out of 206 countries.

            Old Tradesman – “No, you shut up!”

          • The Magpie says:


          • No More Dredging says:

            ‘Pie, not sure why you point out to me the election result – in Herbert or Australia. I voted for the LNP in Herbert and was pleased my candidate got up over the turncoat Labor candidate. Some here seem to think that the whole climate change thing is a hoax and so I can understand why they think protest is a waste of space. But I have to question their education if they think that sea level rise is actually fake news. Does their world no longer consist of any facts? Do they just make stuff up each day to suit their mood? That’s what it looks like.

          • The Magpie says:

            OK, let’s take this slowly, shall we, don’t want to tax your understanding of English, Greta Dredger?

            You said: ‘I get the sense that you are so stuck in the conservative mud that the idea of protest is quite beyond you’.
            The clear inference is that conservatives don’t understand the power of protest. The ‘Pie, without any inference to your private voting inclinations, merely pointed out that that is incorrect, pointing to the massive ‘protest’ vote at the last federal election. And after some virtue signalling, you veer back on to the well trodden path of climate change. To make a point here, it would seem best practice to make one point at a time.

            (Sigh) FFS.

          • No More Dredging says:

            ‘Pie, I presume that the point you are trying to make is that “conservatives” adopted a “protest” position by going against some presumed trend and re-electing a conservative government? On the contrary the AEC statistics show that voters actually deserted both major parties. The Coalition vote Australia-wide decreased by a small percentage, same for the Labor Party indicating that voters actually went somewhere else to register a protest, if they actually protested at all.

          • The Magpie says:

            Are you catatonic? Do you need further remedial reading help?

            By sheer logic (look it up), what you say – and yes, it’s true as far as facts go – means, in fact proves, many of those who went ‘somewhere else to register a protest’ were conservatives, the very group you say is gun shy of protest.

            here, this site might help, Dredger, don’t chuck in the towel.

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      • Election on the way says:

        When I went to school CO2 was life for plants. The more plants the more prosperous life is. The warmer the climate the better eco systems thrived. Try growing food crops when it snows. While you champion the need for adults to pay attention to this global warming hoax for the children, also look at why they can’t spell or add up correctly because the same idiots teaching them climate change are teaching them basic education. Only need to look at NAPLAN. shit even I could publish a paper online and pretend to have PHDs to back up my claims. Well still be here in 2030. And if the world’s ending then who gives a fuck because it won’t matter. I’ll be here on September 1 then waiting to see your incorrect just like every other climate comment in the last 50yrs

  36. Achilles says:

    At some stage, this idiocy really does have to stop.

    Another children’s character bites the dust! Fireman Sam has been axed as a mascot for a fire brigade over fears he could put women off joining. WTF!!!

    How could a kiddies cartoon character, known to be helpful, friendly and courageous, turning up every day to protect his fellow folk in the fictional town of Pontypandy, aka, a gentleman who places service to others above all else, put women off joining the fire services? He’s a bloody stud muffin, don’t you think?

    Chief fire officer Les Britzman said “Fireman Sam would be replaced with fire extinguisher-shaped mascots called Freddy, Filbert and Penelope”.

    Yeah that’ll attract women?

    Mr Britzman said the service already struggled to recruit women firefighters. Perhaps it’s not fireman Sam that’s the problem, but Mr Britzman and all the other blokes who made the call.

    So Fireman Sam, joins, Noddy, Fat Cat, Thomas the Tank Engine, Tinky Winky, Mr. Magoo and a long cast of others being outcasts of today’s world where Nationalism spurs hatred, difference is feared, racism and misogyny is on the rise, evil acts of intolerance occur daily, and wars keep on keeping on, while the world dies. Yeah, Fireman Sam and his kiddie characters, they’re the problem, NOT!

  37. Critical says:

    Surveys always have their problems with structure, survey methods and data interpretation but this survey on Australia’s Most Liveable Regional City should send a wake-up call to TCC. 42 cities surveyed, Cairns comes in at No. 7; Townsville No. 41. Click on the Ifpos’s Life in Australia Link for more detailed information.

    Bet Cairns Mayor Bob Manning is now working to improve Cairns ratings for future surveys but meanwhile Mullet is probably having a yawn over it.

    Wonder if Jenna is going to pickup on this story but probably not.


    • The Magpie says:

      Well, we’re well and truly fuct if we come in behind Blacktown (noticed the aboriginal industry hasn’t had any success in changing that name so far, despite multiple attempts. Or Townsville for that matter).

      • Alahazbin says:

        Didn’t Steve from Belgian Gardens suggest Cutheringa for Townsville the other day.
        Bless his little PC/Greenie/ Lefty heart.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      It’s the Jenny Hill effect, never underestimate its power, it can ruin absolutely anything.

  38. Kingswood says:

    Awesome, the author of the ‘Cannabis Grow Bible’ confiscated at a recent Mareeba home raid is ‘Greg Green’…..


    • Critical says:

      Seems to me that Heroic, Walker and Thompson didn’t fully read the survey and 16 topics surveyed. All of them probably want this survey to disappear as topics cover areas of responsibility over three tiers of government.
      Was Mullet getting bus driving lessons in vain hope to learn some transferable skills to help her drive the city to economic and liveability recovery.

      • The Magpie says:

        Nope, a gal’s gotta make a quid after she’s turfed off the gravy train. And Messagebank, gotta love goofy …. ‘too many whingers in Townsville’.

        He is an A grade, rolled gold, nickel plated fuck-wit.

        • Al says:

          You are too polite, Pie

        • Ducks Nuts says:

          It’s alright for Message Bank. He lives in la la land. Has no connection to his constituents except for the occasional ceremony where he hands out a trophy or a certificate and poses for a photo. So when the average punter doesn’t agree that everything is hunky dory of course they are whingeing. I mean… he put in a world class bus hub didn’t he? We should all be fucking delighted

  39. The Magpie says:

    But do we believe him?

  40. Jatzcrackers says:

    Palmer wants everyone to believe that he’s the victim regarding QN. The refinery was reported to be in a major state of disrepair and do we know if he’s paid all of his unsettled accounts from when he pulled the plug on QN. Not hard to see his agenda here, blame all those horrible people and companies he dudded and throw the old ‘jobs, jobs, jobs, political cry into the ring for added effect ! Leopards rarely change their spots and this dill thinks everyone has a short memory!

  41. Old Tradesman says:

    Word from a very good source is that the Mullet is not impressed with the Feds that the flood monies handed to the spin doctors at Rowland doesn’t pass the pub, tavern or any other test.

    • Casual observer says:

      It seems like the Mayor has had a rough run lately. Does this mean a more conservative-aligned candidate is about to step forward?

  42. Dave of Kelso says:

    Dear Pie,

    This is not the run of the mill for your blog and I will not die in a ditch if it is rejected. If accepted so much the better. Here goes.

    Tyre Punctures

    On a different matter, I have had 5 punctured tyres in the last 3 months or so. Bright Phillips head screws. On one occasion one in each of front and rear right hand side, indicating driving over multiple screws. After considerable examination of where and when I have been, I am at a total loss to explain this through random, innocent chance.

    Has any one else in my neck of the woods experenced similar?

    • The Magpie says:

      Possibly an anti-killjoy device employed by our free spirited fun loving vehicle-borrowing youngsters.

    • Al says:

      In Home Hill, month ago. 2 left hand. I went back later, picked up about 6 handfuls, but I think probably fell from a tradies vehicle. At least I hope so.

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      Dave, I have not experienced this in Rasmussen. I use both Becks Rd and Riverside Drive. May be closer to home?
      Or a sloppy roofer.

      • L Berry says:

        I live around Rosewood and have had the same tyre, left rear, repaired no less than three times in the last two months. Two were the type of screws you described. The other a piece of plastic, would you believe.

        There must be a news story for the Bulletin in all this….

        • The Magpie says:

          Better still, Pete Newey would love a fresh conspiracy theory. Were the screws made in China?

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          I visited my neighbour this morning, who, coincidentally, was changing a rear wheel. Long story short, same type of screw in tyre.

          • The Magpie says:

            Were you visiting for the purpose of investigating the likelihood of a screw?

            And no, everybody, don’t bother the ‘but a blow-job for kitchen cabinet’ type stuff.

    • Fishframe says:

      I’ve had four punctures in two months – all over the Idalia flood rebuild area. I think you can only do three on one tyre before they say they are not allowed to repair it anymore.

  43. F stop says:

    Pie, I didnt know Lentil Ryan is assistant Iditor of the daily snail? What a crawler..

  44. Mike Douglas says:

    Another despatch target for 2020 needs to be Aaron “ harpic “ Harper . 2-3 criteria items for Townsville’s nearly bottom ranking is safety and public transport both State Government responsibilities . Aaron is all for freedom of speech “ his “ as a close look at his Facebook posts any negative comments are despatched and individuals blocked . Aaron can afford to attack Clive Palmer because he is in a high paid job unlikely to matched outside of politics and his labor party don’t even do a “ cost benefit analysis on $250 mil bonus to public servants . Keep up the attacks on Clive Aaron as that would make 3 Labor Pollies funding Clive’s lifestyle , the Mullet via T.C.C , Cathy Otoole ( any update ) .

  45. Painter and Docker says:

    The AWU is taking the Gladstone Council to Court over more proposed Council redundancies. It seems Queensland’s Labor Government and numerous Labor dominated Councils, or local Government, are happy to screw their employees in a very un-Labor manner. For the record, the majority of redundancies are from minion levels, people who will really suffer. Never are the executives or Councillors made redundant. But hey, in Townsville we have the likes of the Mullet, Peter Pewey, the big titted Clive Palmer, Aaron the FaecesBook blogger and the list goes on. No wonder we aren’t the ‘regional city of choice’ according to recent surveys.

  46. Critical says:

    And Townsville wonders why it’s 41st in the liveability cities list and not 7th lime Cairns.

    Project approved yesterday at Cairns Regional Council Full Meeting and work to start almost immediately.


  47. The (Mostly) Civil Engineer says:

    Casting around looking for a pithy comment on the content of this week’s offering, but the truth is that all around town, it’s just so f*cking depressing and sliding ever further into the mire, seemingly with no hope of salvation.

    I’ve lived here for more than 20 years and love the place, but it gets harder to get out of bed each day and plaster on a cheery face with all the crap piling up.

    • The Magpie says:

      Huh!! Try writing this bloody blog, mate!

    • Fishframe says:

      Your comment substantiates my theory that global warming and rising sea levels are not true. It’s just that Townsville is slipping lower down a hole every week.

    • Alacan says:

      The place has now become a putrid pigsty

      Our family has been here since 1901 and each generation has like so many Townsville families contributed in their own way to the community

      My grown kids still do

      Wife and I are moving to cleaner, greener more community spirited place within 6 months given what this place has become since amalgamation

      • Critical says:

        Been here for over 20 years and like the city but overthe last 4-5 years it has become a dump but hopefully moving elsewhere within 9 months.
        Recently at another farewell BBQ for friends moving south because of lack of professional and career opportunities for them and their children and although somewhat harsh she described Townsville as having become a crime ridden, violent and unmaintained decaying city with a government handout mentality.

        • L Berry says:

          I retire in less than a year. We have cancelled our plans to build a nice little home in Toomulla and spend the days fishing and travelling. However, the downward spiral of community standards and rising crime has forced a rethink. We now intend to return to Donegal, Brexit be damned.

    • Dave of Kelso says:


      Yes, agree, but have suggestion. I’m not being a smart arse, or flippant. Learn a musical instrument. One you can easly carry, not too loud and does not require electricity. You will eventually meet kindred spirites who’s company will brighten the day.

      • The Magpie says:

        Our school kids know all about that … they’ve been the subject of a few pied pipers of late.

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          Not sure of the link your making but yesterday heard new term that we are going to get sick of bloody quickly;

          Juvenile Climate Anxiety.

          Now there’s the makings for the next general of mentally resilient adults.

    • Salvatore says:

      Perhaps Peter Ridd is right?

    • Election on the way says:

      Nothing new there to the real people in this world. Steve is probably digging himself a bunker to hide from the reds under the bed still. More chance of nuclear war then climate change happening. As SCOMO pointed out the quiet Australia has spoken now we need the loud minority to listen.

      • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

        The evidence for climate change is all around us, if you want to leave cloud cuckoo land and join us in the real world sometime.

        • Election on the way says:

          My land will still be here in 10,20,30, 1000 years time. Isn’t it funny how we knew what the dinosaurs apparently had to deal with but we can’t predict if it rains tomorrow and you want us to believe the science. Only been recording temps for 100 years but the planet is millions of years old. Get your head out of your arse, your green mob won’t let a reasonable rebuttal into the debate to prove it isn’t as bad as what you think. It’s all about money not the environment. More subsidies for renuwables then coal, why would you stop protesting. GO COAL GO ADANI and GO CLIMATE DENIERS.

          • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

            If there was a reasonable rebuttal, it would be welcomed. Sticking your head in the sand isn’t it, though!

    • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

      If they were credible they’d publish a paper in a scientific journal, not a letter asking for some debate.

  48. Dave of Kelso says:

    Not climbing Ayres Rock is just the start. Here is a list of other tourist spots the aborigines want to shut down if allowed.


  49. Mike Douglas says:

    Steve from Belgian Gardens , the same Steve who has been sharing their mantra “ text to the editor “ about Climate change in the Astonisher ?. Is the Magpie your new platform to spread the word ?. Heard a new term for people like you and Peter Newey . “Self Appointed Morale Guardians “ .

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie’s view is that he is happy to let all commenters shine a light on themselves here … he trusts his readers to be able to discern for themselves any reservations that arise from statements made here. The occasional mischievous fork tongues that finds themselves out sooner or later.

    • No More Dredging says:

      Mike, is that ‘moral’ guardian or ‘morale’ guardian?

    • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

      Good to see a subeditor commenting here, like myself taking to heart that “The Magpie encourages all to take part in the discussion and let their voice be heard.”

      • The Magpie says:

        Not directly referring to any particular matter, The ‘Pie takes the opportunity to clarify his policy on comments … that is, that every one has a right to say what they think, but that doesn’t confer any ‘right’ to be taken seriously (this includes The ‘Pie, BTW). But that said, The ‘Pie will decline to publish certain things on a number of grounds apart from the obvious legal ones. One is not rising to the level of wit required by such a deeply intelligent website. While there is a pleasing proprietorial tinge to some posts, the Magpie’s Nest is made up of many different twigs and some see it as a many headed monster, but in the end, there’s only one head that gets kicked if something goes wrong. Best to keep that in mind if you don’t make it into print.

  50. Cantankerous but happy says:

    Over 200 comments for the week Pie, looks like you are going to be earning your few bits of silver each week leading up to the council election, busy times ahead.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, The ‘Pie isn’t getting carried away, but the numbers doubled for the week’s readership … yup, four people tuned in heh heh heh. And not to get ahead of himself, a goodly number of those 200 are replies the old bird made himself. But hey, I’ll take a doubling any week.
      What few bits of silver? While there was some very supportive folks out there, this remains largely a labour of love … or dismay, take your choice.

  51. Alahazbin says:

    News Flash: TEL have discovered Magnetic Island.
    Cook was right all along and their compass did go haywire.

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