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The Magpie

Sunday, October 31st, 2021   |   189 comments

Under The Influence: Should The Townsville Bulletin Be Charged With ‘Publishing While Pissed’.

You’d perhaps think so when you riffled through the latest manufactured nonsense about Townsville alleged top 20 power couples who, the paper infers, influence our daily lives. … whatever that actually means. In a tarted up social pages photo gallery wank, cringe intermingles with misinformation and unintended hilarity. The Magpie therefore offers his own  ‘Influence Rating’ for some of the hapless victims of this load of horsefeathers.

Or perhaps the charge should be ‘Publishing While Asleep’, if the paper’s reporting of the $79 million blow-out in pipeline costs is going to be met by ratepayers. Confusion reigned in the newsroom, with headlines, story and editorial all at odds with each other. The Magpie has a suitable warble.

We lose the last link with our founding television industry … Bert Newton dies overnight.  A personal memory by The Magpie.

Newsflash: the price of liberty was once eternal vigilance, but not if the Mt Isa Council had its way. They wanted the price of liberty to be $200, suggesting just making a complaint should set you back a couple of hundred smackeroonies. The LGAQ Annual Conference debated the issue during the week.

A genuine home town hero … a courageous Townsville man named as Emerging Philanthropist of the Year.

Plus our regular illustrated US gallery, a few funny, toe-tapping vids for a break from grim reality, and something you’ve seen dozens of times but you didn’t look closely enough. The ‘Pie didn’t, to his surprise.

Sincere thanks to those who have over time helped out with a donation to assist with the never ending blog costs, your generosity is greatly appreciated. If you haven’t got around to it yet, you too can get that warm fuzzy feeling of philanthropy. Instant gratification guaranteed if you use the donate button at the bottom of the blog.  

Now onward

Like A Nervous Parent At A School Concert, The Nation Clenches It Buttocks

….waiting to see what embarrassment may be in store from our Prime Minister in Glasgow. Painted into a corner by polls and the political extortion of his National coalition partners, Smirko was dragged kicking and screaming to the climate hootenanny is Scotland. But bringing what, is the burning question (pun intended).

at the conference, Morrison won’t get away with the meaningless double talk he has foisted on us here at home regarding climate targets, as he tries to line up an advantageous election date. Whatever he says, Bentley for one, is sceptical.

Plan Glascow small

Barnaby Beetroot is unlikely to be much help with his untruthful agenda of rural interests (he represents coal, not farmers). One suggestion he is totally opposed to is feeding cattle specially supplements to stop them farting methane into the atmosphere. While The ‘Pie has always thought this claim of environmental damage from bovines backsides is a bit of a stretch, if it is true, there are others who see a simple solution on this particular matter. Like the folks at The Shovel

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“Barnaby Joyce’s suggestion this week that the best way to reduce methane gasses would be to “grab a rifle and start shooting cattle,” has had unintended consequences, after it gave others within the government an idea about a different way to achieve the same goal.
Statistics from the CSIRO show that two-thirds of agricultural methane comes from cattle and sheep, with the other third presumably coming from Barnaby Joyce. “This hasn’t been formally measured with instrumentation. However the mathematics makes sense – it’s not possible to produce that much bullshit without contributing a significant amount of greenhouse gases,” a CSIRO scientist said.”

The Magpie’s contribution would be to put the anti-fart seaweed supplement in al food and beverage in the parliamentary dining room.

To Use Tabloid Code For A Passably Interesting Story, The Townsville Council Dropped A Bombshell This Week.

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Probably to no one’s real surprise, the cost of stage two of the Haughton Pipeline has blown out by $79 million, for a grand total of $274m. But the explosive part of this bomb was the likelihood that the Townsville ratepayers will have to cough up the excess.

Or will they? You certainly wouldn’t know from the mayor and the contradictory coverage of the story by the Bulletin, with headline, reporter and editor seemingly all at odds with the crucial fact. We expect our duplicitous mayor to duck and weave around a straight answer but one would hope that our fearless investigative reporters would get to the bottom of it.

Alas, hope in vain.

First we had this headline in the weekend paper.

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This is the undeniable definition of idiocy. If the council is to cover costs, with no help from the state government, it will come have to come out of ratepayers funds. Perhaps what they meant was that there would be no rate rise to cover this avoidable oversight, but how would they know … not from the story itself.

Is this the case? Let’s ask the mayor. But the mayoral hocus pocus got into full swing immediately …

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So she hadn’t ruled out a rate rise at all, but added in the mysterious bit about what we shouldn’t expect. Water charge are rates in normal English, so is she saying we will face some rise but not 20% … maybe 10%, but it could be 30%. This woman should be relocated to Dingbat Dell.

Iditor Warhurst correctly interprets ‘no comment’ as the mayor ‘couldn’t rule out rate rises’, which for a politician is as good as saying there would be rate rises and makes the possibility almost a certainty. But then he throws up his hands in helpless despair, admits he hasn’t got a clue,  as though its all too hard.

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Psst, Craig, mate, a tip … the ‘someone’ who could give the community some clarity on who is right and who is wrong would be a journalist. That’s the bloody job, mate, not saying you don’t know and make that sound like the end of it. Hit the phones, mate, talk to experts, that’s what has always been done in the trade. Do it for us, mate, you know, the ones you’re all for.

Geez, fair dinkum.

But Just Making Up Bullshit Is Easier Than investigating Facts, Isn’t It, Craig?

One of the paper’s more harmless bits of fuckwittery during the week was a mesmerisingly vacuous ‘Townsville’s Influential Power Couples’  a meaningless title given to a glorified social snaps collection of folks who emotions appeared to range from bewildered to hopeful. This little exercise in humdrummery  had the secondary aim of rustling up advertising business. One wonders what those few outsiders who look at the Astonisher elsewhere make of this city, God knows, those of us live here have enough trouble knowing what to make of the Bulletin.

So just to add a little balance, The Magpie thought he might add a touch of realism about a few of the entries, of which only two meet the criteria of ‘influential’.

Valentine and Natalia Holmes

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He’s a footballer (sometimes), she runs a gym.

Influence rating: about as much as the Cowboys had on the finals this year.

Michael and Brianna Morgan

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He’s a RETIRED footballer, she’s a physio.

Influence rating: Zero

John and Kirsteen Masson

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John is a a tummy doctor at the Mater Private Hospital.

Kirsteen works as his nurse. But the Bulletin doesn’t  alet us sell her short, and tells us she is also a familiar face on the local cycling scene, and has done numerous cycling fundraisers.

It was the (typical) untold story behind the photograph that intrigued The ‘Pie … crutches and busted wing, hardly the greatest advertisement for unalloyed joy of cycling.

Influence Rating: SFA

Jane Pirani and Andre Reynaud

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Jane teaches kids how to dance, and part of the Townsville arts scene. Andre specialises in theatre design and construction, along with costumes.

Nice folks, The ‘Pie knew them well enough in the 90s to house sit for them when they trotted of to Paris for a break. But very diplomatic that the paper chose not to remind us Andre was the chap who was our first unlucky COVID carrier when returning from France, but he had the good grace to hastily continue on to New Zealand to recover. Had he stuck around, he most certainly would’ve had an influence on Townsville.

Influence Rating: In the arts scene, a bit,  in general none.

Adele Scott and Wayne Gilray

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The Bulletin tells us incorrectly that Wayne and Adele are Townsville’s longest serving restaurateurs after opening up South Townsville venue Garden of Eating in 1993.

Certainly they won the Restaurant and Catering Industry Association’s best BYO in Queensland. But claim to longest serving restaurant is simply not correct, if they are second, it is by a long shot.

It is the second time within a month that the Bulletin shows it is run by a rotating roster of blow-ins by insulting a long established institution around which many legends swirl.  Ming and Bridget Wong of Ming’s Dynasty has been successfully trading for more than 40 years, along with running their several other establishments. Dynasty and this deeply embedded Townsvilleans couple were ignored in the paper’s advertising bait of the top Townsville restaurants two of three weeks ago.

Wayne and Adele have certainly stuck it out in a very tough game, but The ‘Pie isn’t sure how they survived. On both the old bird’s two visits some time ago, the food was OK to average but nowhere near any standard which could justify such an inordinate wait – ages hardly covered and that is always a bad policy in a BYO. This problem was caused by the couple’s insistence – at that stage, admittedly things may have changed – to do it all themselves without any staff to help out, an exercise in silly and totally failed ‘showoffmanship’. Didn’t bother going back, but others, even those who still mention long waits – are more tolerate and say they like the place.

Influence Rating: Won’t be long now, have another drink, I’ll get back to you.

Wayde Chiesa and Sam Pascoe

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Wayde is the CEO of Regional Development Australia Townsville and is the former Director of Policy and Investment with Townsville Enterprise.

Sam Pascoe is the General Manager of the Townsville Fire.

Wayde has two bullshit titles with two bullshit outfits to his name, but if he has any influence, we’ll never know because both RDAT and TEL have no reliable and discernible public KPIs that we know of.  Sam runs a basketball team called The Fire, so has a bit of a national profile.

Influence Rating: Her, a bit, him none whatsoever.

Lyndsey and Brent Goriss

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They own a gym.

Influence Rating: Fuck all.

Dinesh Singham and Lindsay Smith

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They run a dentistry.

Influence Rating: You’re joking, right?

Greg and Debbie Rains

Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 9.21.23 pmReally, how dense is this fucking paper, seriously? It would seem this whole exercise was but together by the juniors in the advertising departments to try and generate some dollars down the track, but instead come off as right old geese. Debbie Rains is one of the toughest survivors around, a savvy and bubbly business woman who deserves every bit of the success she enjoys.  Hubby Greg one of NQs industrial suppliers, and is one of the quite achievers who gets on with things with the minimum of fuss and hoopla.

BUT LOOK AT THE PHOTOGRAPH! Jayne Arlett for mayor!?! 2016, wasn’t it?  Nothing like an up-to-the-minute news publication showing it is right in the moment. Just lazy and stupid.

Influence Rating: Solid employers and civic minded, but that’s about it … so, rated ‘not much’, and that’s probably the way they’d want it.

Dolan and Nicole Hayes

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Dolan is the owner of Empower Pty Ltd, a strategic communications company, and is also an adviser for Queensland Government Labor Ministers.

He was the former head of the Townsville City Council media department and has worked closely with Townsville Airport and Townsville Enterprise.

Nicole is on the board of the Townsville Hospital and Health Service and previously ran Ronald McDonald House Charities’ education program in North Queensland.

She is also the CEO of Townsville Legacy.

The ultimate Labor back room boy, Dolan is one of the few to live up to  the ‘influential’ tag.

Part time TCC CEO Prins Ralston is a long time friend, and it was Dolan’s considerable campaigning smarts that gave us mayor Jenny Hill … twice.

Thanks a bunch, Dolan.

Influence Rating: Sadly, too much.

Aaron and Amanda Harper

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Aaron is the Member for Thuringowa and has been in the seat since he was elected in 2015.

The 54-year-old is a former paramedic and was vocal in getting the voluntary assisted dying laws passed in parliament.

Influence Rating: Enormous … remembering that not all influences are positive.

But Then There Is This Upside

Clive Berghofer AM with QCF Award recipient Damien Thompson Screen Shot 2021-10-30 at 6.29.57 pm

Townsville man Damien Thompson has been quietly making this city proud with his selfless work for those less fortunate. All the while helping others, he has been meeting and overcoming his own considerable challenges – it’s an inspiring story, and his work has now been recognised – he has been named Queensland Community Foundation’s Emerging Philanthropist of the Year.

Finally, a man of courage and conviction brings some honour to the city

Old Moonface Has Left The Building – Bert Newton Has Died Overnight.

One of Australia’s most famous and enduring television creations, Bert ‘Moonface’ Newton, has finally succumbed to a long illness. a He was 83.


I had the pleasure of knowing Bert slightly when working in the GTV 9 newsroom in the late 60s and early 70s. What you saw was what you got with Bert, a friendly bloke, who, while thoroughly professional, was never ‘up himself’ and had time and a word for all who crossed his path (same can’t be said his long time comedy partner, the reclusive Graham Kennedy).

One personal memory stands out. After In Melbourne Tonight shows, Bert would retire to his private make-up caravan and there were often poker games with other high roller celebs of the day, made all the more interesting for the eye-watering sums that hit the baize. I wasn’t ever in the game – ha, I wish – but Bert being Bert, invited me and a few other somewhat lowly news staff along for a drink and provide an audience. One regular player was Carlton footy player and almost God-like figure in Melbourne back then, Wes Lofts.  Bert was an avid Fitzroy fan, but his side was not travelling well at all, unlike Wes’s high flying Blues. At one poker game, between hands, Bert and Wes just looked at each, smiling, and we were wondering what was going on, then Wes said something a little stronger than ‘oh dash it!’ and handed Bert a paper bag. Turns out the previous week, Bert had bet Wes that his lowly team would win against Carlton, because they were playing at home (the Junction Oval at St Kilda in those days). I have no idea of the odds or any start given, but the story went that in the final quarter, a fog descended over the oval and Fitzroy, knowing the ground better, took full advantage and won. Wes was no welsher, and handed over the winnings … all $5000 of it.

Maybe Bert remembered that happy moment, one of many, before departing our presence. We have lost our last link with the original television industry.

Vale, Bert.

Sanity Prevails

The pop-up hydrogen factory called the annual Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) Conference was held in Mackay this week, and there was one startling motion debated ….

QLD Politics

Complaints lodged with the state’s council watchdog should cost $200 each to deter frivolous whinging under a proposal to be debated by Queensland’s local government leaders this week.

This undemocratic motion came, not surprisingly, from Katter country capital Mt Isa, whose council put the matter up for gas-bagging because they ‘had spent $200,000 in the past year handling $200,000 over the last 12 months on dealing with “politically motivated, vexatious and frivolous complaints”.

The irony here is that the council complaining of time wasting complaints demanded that the annual conference waste its time putting up such a zany proposal that would require government legislation to become a LG by-law. And a proposal whose success would have all the prospects of longevity of a fart in a fan factory. Even The Office of the Independent Assessor – the mob who investigate such complaints – flagged concerns an upfront fee would “discriminate against people who can’t afford to complain, which presents a real risk that serious matters will go unreported”.


Mackay deputy mayor Kahn Goodluck

But the most succinct opposition came from from Mackay Deputy Mayor Kahn Goodluck. He virtually sank the scatty idea when he told the conference:  “I think this has the potential to send the wrong message to the community whereby local government as a sector might promote that integrity should be tied to affordability. We all understand that integrity is of the utmost importance and we shouldn’t send a message that says you can only report integrity or misconduct issues if you can afford to do so.”

Little wonder that Gladstone is going ahead in leaps and bounds when they have councillors who can speak with such brief clarity.

After Clr Goodluck’s speech, the idea was comprehensively canned, voted down 120 votes to 93 … but isn’t it worrying that 93 council delegates still thought it was a good idea?

Questions From Amerika.

Read this and weep. What is up with these people?

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The poor little snots!! Surely one of the basic ideas when educating formative minds is to make them feel questioning, which might sometimes be uncomfortable.

There was an old couplet favoured for US toilet doors that went:

Here I sit,

My cheeks aflexin’,

Oops, just gave birth,

To another Texan.

More and more apt every day.

And it’s not often you get a genuine laugh from anything to do with the former mobster president, but this takes the cake. The woman speaks silently for the whole world.

Then there’s the Facebook renaming to Meta, a meaningless exercise by Zuckerberg in deliberately missing the point and essentially doing nothing about the platform’s multiple problems. . But it generated a lot of fun, like this from Andy Borowitz in the New Yorker.

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And even The Magpie couldn’t resist the frivolity.

The Magpie
8,282 approved
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Mark Zuckerberg buys two-thirds of the ABC.

‘He’ll get the rest of the logo and our name when he comes up with the $364.27 for the other third,’ an ABC spokesman told The Magpie. ‘If he wants to round it out to $400, we’ll throw in Leigh Sales, Laura Tingle and Annabel Crabb, but so far, he hasn’t shown any interest in this offer. We got the impression he was intimidated.’

And of course, an old FB favourite.

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The issue that dominated this week’s gallery in the US was Halloween.

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Now A Couple Of Links To Light Up Your Day

Someone once said of Gustav Mahler that his music wasn’t as bad as it sounds, and frankly, that is The ‘Pie’s view of Abba. And so he welcomes the return of the Swedish super group, who have creaked into the studio to put down a new album. And it’s like they never stopped making their particular brand of foot tapping, arm waving music. The ‘Pie particularly liked this one, I Still Have Faith In You, a title the group hopes will reflect their fans feeling towards their reunion.

And about now, with our PM infesting the streets of Glasgow, that we have a peep at Scots funnyman Kevin Bridges, with his insight into his home city. Given the heated climate discussions taking place there, Kevin maybe was prohetic when he noted “The city of Glasgow was recently announced as Europe’s murder capital, but also voted the UK’s friendliest city.

Finally, It’s Enough To Give You Butterflies

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Chances you’ve seen this movie poster more than once.

But did you look closely enough to a creepy bit of art within art. That skull on the moth is actually a famous bit of Salvador Dali art of several naked women. Snopes has the full fascinating story.


That’s it for this week … had to leave several matters until another time, getting bloody busy around here. Have your own say in comments, you can post 24/7. And that donate button, if you can help with blog costs, is below.

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


  1. Mike Douglas says:

    Labor State Government including our 3 local MP,s , Mayor and deputy Mayor played politics to try and win Albo a seat and the lodge and Townsville ratepayers got screwed again . Channel 7 the Mayor said she couldnt rule out rates increases , print the Mayor rules out increases as high as 20% . In true deflection style the Mayor “look over there ” plans to set up a committee on how many Townsville businesses are getting work on Singapore defence . Mayor Hill has credibility issues on supporting local businesses as many have been locked out of Townsville Council work due to LGAQ “quasi local buy ” which often isnt local companies and who ever is on the LGAQ preferred supplier list and paying a % back to an organization that Mayor Hill is a board member . Good response from Phil Thompson that if the Mayor is so supportive of Townsville businesses why did stage 1 Haughton pipes come from Adelaide , why is Council using Brisbane based lawyers and Councils fifo Ceo . If the Mayor is serious about the community May 27 th Townsville City Council took an official stand on how to fix crime issues in the City reported full page by Caitlan Charles . Our Mayor proposed a slew of initiatives that was to reverse 50 years of issues . Any update ? .

    • The Magpie says:

      Jenny hill’s absolute refusal to show any vision, spine or initiative (or political smarts) in getting the pipes manufactured here in Townsville, thus setting up an industry to cover almost the whole of NQ, is one of her single biggest failings. But don’t ask her any touchy questions, or you’ll get the rude arrogant sneering treatment she dished out the Fran O’Callaghan at last week’s council meeting. View her tantrums here at 49 min and 1 hour 45 minutes … the latter when she threatens Fran with expulsion from the chamber.

      • Council worker says:

        If the mayor rules out rates increases the only way forward is to make cuts internally to department budgets. It has been happening ever since prins got the job. Watch out parks overgrown, look at the vehicle fleet as you pass by them and see how old things are and not being replaced. The staff numbers will not increase either. Your service will soon degenerate if she can’t get funding from state government. Everyone knows they fucked up politically when they lost 195 million from the feds.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          That will mean they won’t have enough people patrolling the streets to look for
          Illegal water usage, sounds about right.

  2. Loose Change says:

    Start putting away money to pay for the rate rises now. You can cut back and save by simply making less small every day purchases you don’t need. Sure, putting up rates will hurt small businesses but that’s the townsville way. If you are in public housing/ army housing you’ll be fine.

  3. Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

    “ The poor little snots!! Surely one of the basic ideas when educating formative minds is to make them feel questioning, which might sometimes be uncomfortable.”

    Good to see that you’ve come around from your previous position that no child should be made to feel uncomfortable in any way in school and that any discussion of such traumatic concepts should be left for parents.

    • The Magpie says:

      We’re talking here about established literature, not your leftie, race-baiting mates telling kids they should be ashamed to be white, ashamed of their white parents, and ashamed of their so called privilege, as if they got such a situation by taking it from others and need to feel guilty. You clearly don’t understand the difference between education and indoctrination … but why should we be surprised?

  4. Non Aligned Worker says:

    The pipeline shortfall is even more baffling as there must have beem money left over from Stage1. The pumps for Stage 1 were never purchased and they claimed to have saved $30 million by using GRP Pipe rather that Cement lined steel. The other item of note is that the original pipeline had a design life of 100 years and this has now been revised to 75 years.

    • The Magpie says:

      Another question for the Bulletin to ask.

      • Hondaman says:

        Went past the impressive rising whatever it is on the back road to Mt Elliott today, and noted the juvenile trees planted everywhere that weren’t in the recent Bulletin shot, must have been a very OLD photo that one!!

    • Hondaman says:

      Should last forever, given the current rate of usage!!

    • Guy says:

      Ive never really liked the pipeline idea.

      Raised canals and aquaducts are my bag, you don’t have the problem with overpressurisation, yes there’s evaporation losses but it’s simpler to repair and leaks are spotted immediately.

      A raised canal / aquaducts keep animals out of the water , they fall in and end up drowning. Ive had to jump into an irrigation canal to save an emu in the past. Kangaroos end up blocking gates, bloated and stinking. You could create small drinking places for animals/ birds to utilise the canal water. The cross section should be stepped so anyone/ anything that does fall in can get out. You’d need to build a special machine to remove accumulated mud / algae.

      • The Magpie says:

        That all seems a bit pointless unless you are saying emus and roos an d birds are going to clog up the buried pipeline.

        • Guy says:

          No you fail to see what I’m saying, it’s a bit of contextual content to my mention of canals. There are pros and cons of pipelines and canals. I favour canals for simplicity with spotting leaks and doing repairs.

  5. Cantankerous but happy says:

    That list is just pathetic and embarrassing, should be renamed Townsville pissant couples, surely most of the people on it would be embarrassed as well, were they asked if they want to be on it.

    • The Magpie says:

      Maybe, but let’s not take them to task and call them pissants, mate, just ordinary folk tempted by this gormless paper. Pretty sure most of them have no illusions about being ‘influencers’.

  6. Addled says:

    Whilst we wait for so-called journalists to get on the job looking for ‘who is right and who is wrong’ on the funding fuckup with the Haughton2 pipeline it might be instructive to dig out who was responsible for the $195m figure in the first place. Townsville Enterprise’s July 2019 trumpet is helpful:

    “Today Townsville Enterprise was pleased to attend a meeting convened by Member for Herbert Phil Thompson, Member for Dawson George Christensen, and Senator Susan McDonald to discuss the findings from the Jacobs led business case for the Haughton Water Pipeline Stage 2.
    As well as the three local Federal Government representatives, the meeting was attended by the Department of Infrastructure, Townsville City Council, Townsville Chamber of Commerce, Independent Chair of the Water Taskforce Brad Webb and the Water for Townsville Action Group. We welcomed the opportunity to raise our concerns about the report recommendations.”

    Just in case there’s any misunderstanding about who the experts were in guiding the decision makers:

    “The Townsville Water Security Taskforce established under the Townsville City Deal with the Townsville Council, has driven investment into Townsville’s water security. The stage two business case, funded by the Federal Government will provide the project steering committee with economic and engineering expertise to help Townsville City Council to construct the pipeline.
    Infrastructure Australia will also provide independent advice on the business case of the proposed project.”

    So, the Commonwealth set up and funded the business case under the CityDeal specifically to provide “economic” and engineering expertise, Infrastructure Australia provided independent advice and three elected federal politicians put their names against the expertly estimated $195m project – which seems to have turned out to be up to 40% short. Why are Townsville ratepayers being asked to remedy a conspicuously Commonwealth overseen financial fuckup? Surely this isn’t some vindictive bitchslap over something completely out of ratepayers’ control?

    • The Magpie says:

      How is this a commonwealth matter? Didn’t Queensland have a hissy fit over mysterious GST hocus-pocus and say bugger it, they’ll take over the $195m project? That was the vindictive and dishonest bitchslap, because if there was a concern about GST, why wasn’t it raises by Dick The Dick much earlier … like say, July 2019?

      • Addled says:

        It’s got something to do with the Commonwealth because the Commonwealth put the $195m price tag on the job. That dollar number did not come from the Council or from the State, it came from the ‘economic experts’ in the federal department and from Infrastructure Australia. Later, when the terms of the funding arrangement became clear, when the possible impact on Queensland’s GST allocation question was asked and not answered, the offer was knocked back by Dick. But the original number remained the same – $195m. Seems like it was a dud appraisal by the Commonwealth experts who now don’t seem to care.

        • The Magpie says:

          But if the state has a hissy fit over its version of the GST and decides to go commando on the finance, surely they would’ve done their own sums rather than accept those of a federal government it doesn’t trust? You can’t blame the feds if the state decides to go its own way and take over finances … but if the feds had stayed as the financiers and then there was a blow-out, then and only then would Canberra have to wear it. The ‘Pie reckons Mayor Mullet knew about this all along, but went along with it because of ALP orders from on high.

          • Addled says:

            I’m sure you aren’t looking forward to TCC having to find $79m, even if it is our fault for having elected such a hopeless mayor. Why should Townsville ratepayers be footing the bill for the Haughton pipeline duplication? Both the state and federal governments came willingly to support the project which was way beyond the resources of Townsville. The Commonwealth paid for the Business Case. Both accepted the necessity and both promised to put up the dough (Qld: $200+m for Stage 1, Commonwealth: $195+m for Stage 2). They made a promise to the electorate so the fact that they’ve decided to bitch with each other about the GST allocation (aka ‘clawback’) doesn’t relieve them of their government obligation to “fully fund” the Haughton pipeline – and get a wriggle on with it. Unlike the Hells Gate dam, our pipeline can’t be ‘postponed’ indefinitely.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie is finding it harder and harder to disagree with you.

          • Addled says:

            There’s an in-depth report from 2020 at:

            Stage 2 Haughton Pipeline Project – Infrastructure Australia

          • Guy says:

            Its why the first consideration should have been water recycling, if we had spent a fraction on recycling as we did on stage 1 we would already be reaping the benefits.

            Recycle water and return it to the tap. This can be done by essentially distilled water from bill gates funded omniprocessor project. If we returned water straight back to the tap you wouldn’t need separate projected plumbing for irrigation. They could be pumping that water to industry as well.

            Whilst recycling plugs the gap you build 4 new dams that will come on line a few years down the track.

          • The Magpie says:

            They’ll be built when Crisfulli is premier and the latte sipping green extremists are brought to heel.

        • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

          Addled, I’m told by unreliable sources that the commonwealth “experts” were our own local office of GHD. They were very confident in their original calculation but seem to be having second thoughts now.

          That is what cut-price engineering looks like.

    • Old Tradesman says:

      Addled, I was wondering where you were hiding, don’t you also remember that The Mullet gave the task force the big A including Brad Webb, and said we are going to get our plastic pipes from Adelaide, I thought Adelaide was in South Australia. Brad won’t rock the boat as he is making squillions, and good on him, from renting his sheds out to the council. The other interesting point is that the pipe as mentioned last week by (Barely the Civil Engineer) is not able to be pressurised. Also remember that the pipe that is already laid and lying in a waterless dormant state until 2025, the supposed commissioning date, will get full of vermin like the pipes laid in the Whivenhoe debacle. There won’t be any rate increase as the job will never be done given the time frames allocated.

  7. Strand Ghost says:

    Hi Pie
    You think that the Journalist are bad at the Bulletin, you want to deal with their office in Adelaide, we cancelled our Bulletin subscription 3 mths ago I was sick of getting a paper full of Ads, that wasn’t too bad took them 3 weeks and 2 ph calls to eventually get it stopped ,but then the Sunday Mail is a different story as it still gets delivered ( again today) 3 mths and 5 ph calls and I was guaranteed this week it would definitely be fixed immediately and guess what? There it was again in letterbox, so it’s not only the Editor and Journalists that are useless so is the office department.

    • The Magpie says:

      Hope you’ve stopped payments?

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Yes, for a lifetime we had the Astonished delivered. Excellent service from Mr Bennett of Mundingburra.

      Then it all changed.

      Adelaide now in charge.

      Put a temporary stop on delivery while on the road. Returned to find front yard festooned with copies of the Astonisher. Classic indicator to the Snots the house is vacant and ripe for robbing.

      Put in complaint.

      12 months later same thing happened. Then cancelled delivery and had to suffer 6 months or so of calls from this chicken shit mob wanting ‘customer feedback’.

      I used to purchase the Astonished to line the bird cage floor and to light the BBQ.

      Alas after 14 years the Cockatiel died, but the BBQ still needs the paper.

      “‘Pie, what is your bird cage lined with?”

  8. The realist says:

    I am back. I have been quite due to other commitments
    This is actually one of your best weeks effort due to your assessment of the bully’s attempt to idolise a few “also rans”
    I love your assessment of the influencers ( is that a title or an insult)
    Especially. The “ Sfa” rating
    Would of though you would complain the kid wasn’t included do you have to. Be a Townsville resident to influence the joint

  9. Prince Rollmop says:

    Why has the pipeline blown out by a whopping $79m?? Where is the cost analysis, robust data and dollar by dollar breakdown of the additional cost? The Mullet is a shonk and idiots like Craig Warthog are too ‘captured’ to ask the needy questions. I would like to see Fran’s take on the matter? She is the only smart Counsellor that we have, so I hope she can do the right thing by the community and basically give us an explanation, a break down, as it will likely be our rates that pay of it. That’s not too much to ask is it? Anyway, I’m sure as a last resort Phil will be able to help us out and provide the money. Scomo is in the middle of a a money printing frenzy so all he has to do is add a bit more ink to the press and hand Phil a bundle of cash. And Phil is the only politician able to secure infrastructure funds for our town. Thanks Phil, it’s appreciated mate.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie cannot fathom why a 27% blow-out isn’t the subject of more outrage and investigation … and the mayor’s mimsy mention of COVID making things harder and dearer is utter tripe … well, certainly 25%? This woman would send a Bunnings sausage sizzle broke.

      • Russell says:

        ‘Pie, as I read it, the actual detail design of Stage 2 hasn’t yet been completed. Wait for another huge increase in estimate once it has. Also then wait for a “final” blowout due to unforeseen Construction difficulties. Not unusual, typical of Government projects in general.

        • The Magpie says:

          Just an idle thought – wonder where the unions fit into all this? When their members are laid off or put off the unions are as they should be pissed off. Haven’t a single word from that quarter. Something going on, ya reckin? They cant all be independent tradies/contractors.

  10. Snowpeas says:

    Smile of the week on the Anti-fart Solution discussion goes to Albo, when he described Barnaby as “the whoopee- cushion of Australian politics”.

    While in the U.S.A, an NBC reporter trying to interview race-car driver Brandon Brown after winning his first race series, while the trackside crowd chants loudly in the background “F*** Joe Biden” quips, they’re chanting, “Let’s go, Brandon”.

    The euphemism has taken legs in a song on the Hot 100 Chart, printed on caps and facemasks and used by Congressmen.

  11. I’ll be plucked says:

    Hey Pie, I was disappointed that you and the piece you hide in the cupboard from didn’t make the influential couples list – her name escapes me, but seems she has you by the you know what’s! :)

  12. The Influencer says:

    That influential list is complete shit. Let’s be honest, are there any people in Townsville whom we would consider to be a positive influence in any way, shape or form? Hmmmm. Not likely. These sorts of newspaper articles/polls or whatever you want to call it are a waste of newspaper space. An article about nothing to fill space in between profit making advertisements. That’s why I don’t purchase these shit newspapers as they filled with complete crap.

    • The Magpie says:

      There can be no denying Lancini was influential, and Brad Web still is, his industrial park is awe-inspiring when first toured. There are probably others but none spring to mind at the moment.

  13. Reptilian says:

    So the alien lookalike Mark Fuckaturd is rebranding his Facetake company to Meta. Whoopy doo. It’s the same glitter coated turd but just with a new name. It’s still a load of dressed up shit. I suspect there is more to this move than meets the eye. Is he trying to avoid some sort of legal action, does he fear that Faecesbook is being curbed of some of its corporate powers, or perhaps there is some other reason? Who knows. Either way, this little shit has too much power, so does Google, Apple and that autistic fuckwit He’isnt’long Musk. Too much power for one player. Maybe Xi Slingping has the right idea over in communist China, cutting power hungry individuals off at the knees? Long live the revolution.

  14. St Peter's Secretary says:

    The Facebook algorithm seems to be telling. Not much coming through on Moonface except for media sites where people are paid to write the stuff.

    Has recreational grief found its limits?

  15. Elusive Butterfly says:

    Mr. Pie, the Bulletin’s standard of journalism continues to leap from abysmal to fucking outrageously bad!
    Take this opening par from one, Sam Flanagan!
    And, Mr. Pie, don’t you dare mention the three changes of tense in the one par!

    “Stranded Townsville grandparents had been left “heartbroken” at the thought of spending the festive season away from home as Queensland’s hard border has been extended, but their vaccination status has saved them.”

    My children wrote better when they were eight!

  16. Interested observer says:

    Our local media is responsible for downplaying the $79 million pipeline blowout.
    One page 3 of Saturday’s Harvey Norman liftout they published a “Timeline” which clearly and correctly shows that the State Government, with the support of Jenny Hill, was responsible for refusing $195 million in Federal Government funding for the project.
    The State Government then promised to fund the pipeline but only stumped up part of the required funding, giving us the partly finished pipeline to nowhere.
    Then, last week, Mayor Hill leaks the bad news that ratepayers will now have to pay for the $79 million blowout. It should be noted that we ratepayers will pay even if our rates don’t go up to cover the costing bungle. The alternative is for our spendthrift Mayor to borrow the money, sending the city debt into the deep never-never, to be paid off by generations who aren’t even born yet.
    So why is the media going along with the Mayor’s spin that Phillip Thompson is somehow blame for this State Government/Jenny hill debacle?
    On Seven News last week they treated the story like a $500 sponsorship handover. A story about ratepayers being slugged $79 million should surely have led the news, but no. That priority went to a cringeworthy boxing challenge by Scott Stewart and his Cairns counterpart over covid vaccines.
    As for the Bully, the editor broke the story on Friday with a headline and just one paragraph on the front page, but then printed the full story (or Jenny Hill’s version of it) way back on page 10.
    Worse was to come because in Saturday’s edition, the editor gave the State Government and Jenny Hill the running with paragraph after paragraph of their spin. You had to wade through all two media releases of bullshit before finally getting to read Phillip Thompson’s rebuttal.
    Here’s a tip Phil – find out how much the State Government and Jenny Hill spend on advertising with the Bully and Seven and match it.
    That will at least give you a chance of getting a fair go.
    I saw a joke last week about a bloke complaining his paper was only half the size it used to be. His missus summed up the current situation by quipping: “They used to print both sides of the story back then”.

    • Addled says:

      Interested Observer, it’s all very well for you to prognosticate on how the Haughton2 pipeline funding got fucked up in some version of ‘he said, she said’ – in the end Townsville ratepayers are being dudded by our state and federal governments. At no time in this saga was it intended that ratepayers would pay for this major ‘nation building’ infrastructure project. The Queensland government has already forked out $200+m towards Stage1 and sometime last year the Prime Minister “allocated” $195m for Stage2. Government was going to “fully fund” the entire effort; ratepayers and Townsville industry would be the beneficiaries of a 50+ year water security investment. Somewhere in this mishmash, with an incomplete Stage1 (the Haughton Irrigation Channel has not been enlarged to provide the extra water for an enlarged pipeline) and an underfunded Stage2 (the Commonwealth decided the business case was not good enough – as if, they’d already allocated the money FFS!), our governments have walked away from an electoral promise. Something stinks about this CityDeal funding thing and the fact that Phil Thompson is able to pork barrel the Herbert electorate with the $195m originally allocated to Haughton2 speaks volumes. Apart from some seed funding for a business case, the Commonwealth has done nothing for Townsville’s water security despite its loudly trumpeted promises. It’s about time the PM and his GST mandarins were called out for the federal government’s disingenuous manoeuvring. Let’s not campaign to have the price of their dumbfuck posturing dumped on our rates bill.

      • The Magpie says:

        OUR MENDACIOUS MAYOR JENNY HILL: (in plain language SHE’S A LIAR.)

        Don’t know where you get your info from, Addled, but it seems you couldn’t be more addled – you appear 100% wrong when you say ‘At no time in this saga was it intended that ratepayers would pay for this major ‘nation building’ infrastructure project.’

        In fact it would seem exactly the opposite, that is exactly what was in part always intended. and The Pie calls as his first witness this:

        This report started with this summary:

        … which then included this bit of number crunching and the stark startling final statement:

        Just in case you missed the throwaway note at the bottom:

        Witness 2 a report in the Townsville Bulletin by Madura ‘Teabag’ McCormack. July 20 2019.

        Mr Thompson said he had been given assurances by Mayor Jenny Hill that ratepayers would not be slugged with higher water rates as a result of the project.
        “Then, this weekend, when the news had I have been given an assurance by Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill that the cost of the project can be fully covered by the federal government’s investment,” he said.

        But even when the news descended on us like opened dam floodgates, the artful dodger was squirming, but obstinate.

        So to summarise, Palaszczuk and Dick The Dick use a fucked up GST hissy fit to knock back the Commonwealth’s $195m, and say they’ll do it themselves. But in so doing, they implicitly accepted both the costings and rationale of the existing stage 2 plan. Or more likely they knew full well there would be a blow-out, but were covered by that line that such a blow out ‘would be covered by an increase in water rates’.

        The mayor must have known this ages ago, but no doubt with the help of part-time CEO Prins Ralston, fiddled the budgetary forward estimates to pretend they didn’t know that proviso would have to be implemented by an easily predictable costs blow out, and despite that knowledge held back the information from the public for as long as possible. A doomed to failure ‘book cooking’ exercise bound to be exposed.

        So tell us, Addled, how can Mayor Jenny Hill be anything but exposed as a rolled gold, nickel plated, incompetent liar?

        • Zed says:

          I am sure if you ask Clive Palmer he will supply the nickel for free to guarantee Mayor Jenny Hill is a Nickel Plated Liar.

        • Addled says:

          I’ve got no argument with your proposition (remember, I provided you with the link to the Infrastructure Australia report). I’m interested in how the project went from one proposed to be fully funded by government – backed up by an “allocation” of $195m from the Commonwealth – to one half built by Queensland and now stalled in the lap of Townsville ratepayers. If we insist on looking at this debacle as a footy game where ‘our’ team got rolled by superior operatives, some cleverdick GST manoeuvre and possibly a dodgy ref well, get out you bank book and prepare to pay – either for more rates, less services or a bigger Council debt (it’s all the same in the long run). And watch as the federal member spends the $195m on something else quite a bit less essential.

          • The Magpie says:

            Fair comment, but also in fairness, The ‘Pie must say that the infrastructure Australia report came to him via a personal email contact who pointed out several highlights. That is not to say that you posting was not appreciated, but The ‘Pie’s mate needs to know his valuable contributions here are also appreciated.

          • Addled says:

            Magpie, as a matter of interest, do you or any readers know how to establish what date that Infrastructure Australia Haughton2 Business Case Evaluation Summary was actually placed online. I may be mistaken but having searched around that topic on a number of occasions recently I can’t remember seeing it there before. If that document, seemingly dated February 2020, has only recently (even very recently) surfaced online it pushes a couple of my ‘intrigue’ buttons. There may be a reason nobody seemed to know about it – maybe it’s only just become ‘public’.

          • The Magpie says:

            Don’t know, but the salient points were known in 2019, as per Tony Raggatt’s archived article in a previous comment. Apart from that, the relevant players with and in progressing the plan – especially our mayor 0 knew about whether we did or not, and THAT is the crucial point about her leadership and transparency.

      • Interested observer says:

        Addled, you certainly live up to your name.
        My dictionary describes “addled” as meaning “unable to think clearly; confused”.
        I read this blog and comments a couple of times a week but in future will pass on your “addled” views.
        Take a tip and take up a hobby. Making endless comments on somebody else’s blog cannot be good for your mental health.

        • Addled says:

          Io, (if you can make an exception and read this) it’s a hobby writing to the Magpie’s Nest and I admit that I am not as confident as others here about what is happening with the Haughton pipeline duplication project – “addled” covers it nicely. What I am fairly sure about is that when the duplication was first mooted, before anyone put up any money or made any promises, as a ratepayer I was pretty confident that ‘government’ was going to cover the cost, not ratepayers. I would be interested to know what you thought about this up until the time when it was revealed that TCC was already hitched to the costing?

  17. GST SHAM says:

    Story broke in the Townsville Bulletin to put pressure on Federal Government to sign off on the 195M:

    June 21, 2019 Townsville Bulletin, Madura McCormack-

    Mayor Jenny Hill has warned Townsville City Council has just three working days until a decision must be made to purchase $55 million worth of pumps and infrastructure to complete Stage 1 of the project.

    Should the Federal Government decide, after this purchase has been made, that Stage 2 of the pipeline will be built, those pumps will be unnecessary.

    “Basically the clock is running down, “ Cr Hill said.

    July 15, 2019 Townsville Bulletin, Madura McCormack-

    Mayor Jenny Hill has been vocal about the need for the Federal Government to hand the $195 million contract to build the water security infrastructure project to the council instead of employing a tier 1 contractor.

    4 weeks later a bit of back and forth after Independent Business Case JACOBS released publicly Federal Government signs off:

    Haughton Pipeline Project to be built Federal Government confirms council handles construction

    July 20, 2019 Townsville Bulletin, Madura McCormack-

    Mr Thompson said he had been given assurances by Mayor Jenny Hill that ratepayers would not be slugged with higher water rates as a result of the project.

    “I have been given an assurance by Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill that the cost of the project can be fully covered by the federal government’s investment.” He said.

    3 August, 2020 after negotiations with the Labor State Government ( for over a year, obviously gone south)

    Now did those 55 million worth of pumps and infrastructure get purchased by council after 3 days? Is this the reason for the cost blow out?

    Gee Whizz Madura needs to come back and ask the questions this current mob who pose as journos refuse to ask!

    • Non Aligned Worker says:

      GST If the pumps were purchased they would appear in the Tenders over $200K list on the TCC website. I don’t see them listed.

  18. Cantankerous but happy says:

    The big question in regards to the pipeline budget blowout is when did the council become aware that the original budget for the project no longer be sustained. These are not the sort of projects where suddenly the provider adjust costings with no initial consultation, these negotiations are conducted over many months. So the council must have been aware that original budgets were now obsolete, yet they fail to annotate any consideration for this in their annul report and forward estimates, which are now completely redundant. If the Mayor and CEO had any knowledge at all of the blowout in the costs of this project then they have produced an annual report with forward projections, knowing the report is flawed, yet still chose to release the report anyway, that is a big no no, and any director of any business is very much aware of this. If there was any knowledge at all, that costs for this project are to increase beyond the scope of the forward estimates it should have been identified and annotated, and it hasn’t been, someone needs to ask why.

    • The Magpie says:

      And surely just the person to ask why is either the OIA or the CCC. Such book cooking must surely attract their attention.

      • Mendacious Turds (MT’s) says:

        Sham, Tanker and Pie,

        Mullet, the TCC CEO and a fair few of the political class are MT’s who live in their own worlds and spin anything as they please. The results of their ‘actions’ continually effect the average Joe/Josephine Blow, who have to pick up the pieces (code for money) when they get caught out!

    • Amanda Reen says:

      Just to add to the loose threads, how did this get through the Auditor General review of the TCC financial reports?

  19. The Magpie says:

    While many of you will bray about ‘count your blessings’, THERE IS NO IDITORIAL IN TODAY’S ASTONISHER.

    Now that raises an eyebrow but certainly no angst, but what does mystify and infuriate is that the paper is also missing its most consistently popular page – the crosswords and suduko puzzles page.

    Now this might sound like a trite joke, but in the publishing world, print or online, building trust and habits of readers in paramount, and the value of things like crosswords and suduko is far more important than its face value.

    And even if this is due to a technical hitch and no fault of the Astonisher, surely an explanatory one line pology would be appropriate. or has The ‘Pie missed it?

    • The Magpie says:

      A very civil response from Craig Warhurst has confirmed a technical problem plus the overload work of the Melbourne Cup lift-out was the cause. Since The Magpie lives his life in techno fright and general incompetence in that area, he can’t huff and puff about that much.

      Now he will retire for a rest to recover from a frank and friendly response from a Bulletin editor … is the old bird’s world is falling apart?

      • Tropical says:

        … is the old bird’s world is falling apart?

        Given your propensity to censor my free speech, I sincerely hope so.

        • The Magpie says:

          Listen, you delayed-developing intellectual hunchback, there is no free speech on this blog … it is a private blog with comments curated by The ‘Pie to encourage measured and sane debate (so you’re out immediately) and around here you do not have any ‘rights’ to have published your drivel you self-label as ‘free speech’. This naturally upsets emotionally crippled trolls like you, who aren’t used to people who don’t quiver when faced with false and stupid accusations of ‘censoring free speech’. Choosing not entertain and publish biased and childish fuckwittery is not censorship … look on as a mercy killing, you poor muddled mutt. (Apologies to dogs).

          • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

            … tell us what you really mean. Absolute gold!

          • Tropical says:

            It is not a private blog at all you moron.
            You have placed it in the public domain, therefore it is accessible to all.
            Saying it is a private blog is just more of your ignorant BS.
            You want to make your pathetic two trick pony blog private then make it password accessible only. You can get money for an upgrade from your dumb gullible followers.

          • The Magpie says:

            Not a private blog? Then how come you can’t edit, change or write parts of it, have the ability to edit and delete (oh, the power!!) and have access to stats (you would be impressed!). And if it’s not a private blog in the accepted sane sense of the term, how come someone keeps deleting foaming, wild-eyed spittle flecked rants? Just because it appears in public, doesn’t make it public property with ‘rights’, you poor wimpering mutt. However, yes, anyone can comment, but because it is a private blog, not all of them get published. Commenting doesn’t confer any rights on you or any other time-wasting boneheads to be published and bore us all shitless.

      • Dave of Kelso says:

        It would seem that you are not getting under his skin, yet.

        Furthermore it would seem that he is not learning from his betters, who weekly provide guidance and wise counsel should he care to read.

        • Elusive Butterfly says:

          Mr. Pie…there should be a hyphen between “time” and “wasting”.
          The rest is fine!

          • The Magpie says:

            You are in error about that, Flutterby, there IS a hyphen in there. And has been since about 20 seconds after your comment arrived. Ah, the power, the POWER of a private blog!!! Heh heh heh.

  20. Council worker says:

    I can’t help but point out how many people in Townsville really are fucked in the head. It was only 2 elections ago we seen Jane Arlett run a campaign to put a pipeline from the Burdekin dam into Townsville. She was going to borrow money to fund it. She was ridiculed by the mayor and the paper for this and the lies to ratepayers was on. Fast forward to present day and low and behold the funding will be borrowed by council to complete works. Only difference is Jenny hill is mayor not Jane. Thanks Townsville

    • Mustafa says:

      The forest was shrinking but the trees kept voting for the axe.

      For the axe was clever, and convinced the trees that because her handle was made of wood, she was one of them.

      – Turkish proverb.

  21. Dave of Kelso says:

    Jenny Hill, Mayor of Townsville is a liar!

    I have told this story on the Magpie’s blog 5 years or so ago but it needs to be told again.

    Les Tyrell was mayor. Hill was a counselor and on the outer making as much mischief as she could.

    I attended a public meeting in South Townsville. I lament that these years later I cannot remember the main subject. Councillor Hill arrived halfway through the meeting and made grand and revealing statements. I was incensed with
    what I heard.

    On arriving home I sent off a filthy email to my local councillor Jenny Lane.

    Jenny gave me a phone call straight away, “Dave, what are you going on about? ”

    Jenny Lane, who I have good reason to respect, gave me the full details and the back ground.

    It was a long time ago and I regret that I cannot see remember the finer detail.

    What is clear to me, all these years later is that Jenny Hill waltzed into that public meeting, blatantly and deliberately lied to cause public disquiet to her advantage and left early.

    I will say it again, “Jenny Hill, Mayor of Townsville is is liar.”

  22. Mike Douglas says:

    Great work Pie disclosing the Infrastructure Australia case evaluation summary which clearly states that Council have been aware of the extra costs since February 2020 . The report states the extra costs above the Feds $195 mil will be recovered through water customer bills . If it’s as obvious as Mayor Hill states then the Councillors would have been aware of it so why didn’t they lobby the State Government to accept the Feds $195 mil and then get the State to pick up the $79 mil and save the ratepayers ? . The link you provided the other day of the last Council meeting was enlightening with Fran trying to get some answers to queries when Mayor Hill and Councillor Ryder are both on the audit committee . Councillor Ryder is also Chair of business services and finance committee so it would be interesting what comments are in the minutes of $79 mil in potential overheads for stage 2 of the pipeline .

    • The Magpie says:

      The mayor’s behaviour as chair in the video shows she is rattled and losing the plot … there would have been two or three other avenues of approach, but the Mullet really does not know how to handle opposition (unless Dolan is elbow hanging).

      But in a totally unrelated aside, The ‘Pie noted in the video that the Mullet as chair directed that certain councillors had to leave the chamber for an item about to be discussed, which two or three of them did. The matter was then dealt with in literally a few seconds, a unanimous vote, revealing nothing and reaching no decision; the councillors then returned.

      But here’s The ‘Pie’s question: the reasoning is apparently that councillors who have a conflict of interest have to leave the chamber , presumably their absence preventing them from knowing how the matter was argued, who said what and who voted in what manner.

      But there is no reason they waste time getting up, leaving and then coming back n(the mayor seems always anxious that time is of the essence except she is talking). The affected councillors could simply remain in place, but not vote … easy checked, there’s only 10 of the buggers, and about as many shiny bums watching from the sidelines.

      This is local government pantomime at its greatest absurdity – the meeting was being live streamed and recorded on video, and available to playback on the council website to everybody … including excluded councillors. Great way to keep a bloody secret.

      What a farce.

  23. GST SHAM says:

    Pipeline project will see water bills rise by 8%

    This is a story by Tony Raggat about the Jacobs Report and Water Increase at the time of its release. Note Jenny Hills comments, she was very aware of rate increases but pushed for the project.

      • The Magpie says:

        When you note the date on the Tony Raggatt’s balanced and comprehensive story – July 4, 2019 – there can NO WAY the mayor cannot have known about a water rate rise was not just inevitable but planned and factored in to the scheme she campaigned for. And her ‘dark forces’ quote is directly out of the Donald Trump playbook … accuse opponents of doing exactly what you yourself are doing.

        PLEASE NOTE: The link provided by commenter GST SHAM is paywalled and likely may only open for subscribers, so here is an edited summary of its highlights.

        Coalition MPs question cost of Townsville water supply pipeline
        North Queensland Coalition MPs have questioned proceeding with Townsville’s Stage 2 Haughton water supply pipeline project after a report suggests it has no compelling case and will increase residential bills up to an average of 8 per cent. DETAILS >>
        2 min read
        July 4, 2019 – 12:00AM

        An executive summary of the business case … says bills will rise by an average of 8 per cent under a scenario where the Government provides $195 million and remaining capital and operating costs are recovered from customers through pricing.
        “Economic and financial analysis alone does not suggest a compelling case to build this pipeline,” the business case says.
        “However, there are benefits of a pipeline that are not included in the economic assessment under an Infrastructure Australia approach.”
        Phillip Thompson:
        Federal member for Herbert Phil Thompson says the report is “damning” (and said) “I am deeply concerned about any project which will increase the cost of living pressures on Townsville families.”
        Mr Thompson said Cr Hill needed to explain why she had advocated so strongly for a project which would hit every ratepayer in the hip pocket without offering any real solutions.
        JENNY HILL:
        “It sounds like there are dark forces at work trying to roll the community on this,” Cr Hill said.
        “We don’t want political games. I want to work with people to try and get this and other projects over the line for the community.”
        She said projects like this never stacked up on pure economic grounds but that there were far-reaching benefits in job creation, water supply and social improvements to the city.

        Story ends.
        The Magpie:
        So even at that stage, Jenny Hill was already trying to blame-proof herself, admitting in so many words that it was an uneconomic project despite Townsville already being on very shaky financial ground, but tried to balance this by scattering a few nebulous moon beams around.
        In the end, seems likely ratepayers will agree with mayor Hill that ‘dark forces’ are indeed at work to ‘roll the community’ …. but likely see that as an admission of her own incompetency and arrogance.

        • Say yes to that dress says:

          So would Fran be the one me to refer hill to CCC? Her actions in the chamber could amount to cover ups in major funding of projects? Just wondering frans options are

        • The Magpie says:

          Mayor Jenny Hill Accuses The Electorate: You whingers knew! And it wasn’t my job to tell you.

          Yes it was, Clr Hill … and you bloody know it.

          In today’s Daily Astonisher, the mayor does a recovery scramble, dodging, ducking, squirming, weaving. And all we get is ingenuous blame shifting.

          MAYOR Jenny Hill has denied suggestions people were unaware of added costs of up to $79m ratepayers would have to wear to develop stage two of the Haughton water pipeline.
          But she has committed to minimising “any impact on ratepayers” and says Townsville City councillors are keen to maintain some of the “cheapest water in the state” that people currently enjoy.

          That’s is one of the clumsiest attempts ever to put lipstick on a pig.

          The initial report (published here in previous comments) which stated any overrun would be met by increased water rates, was a primarily a Federal document. It therefore did not address the reasonable expectation that the state government would step in to avoid any burden on the ratepayer from the inevitable blow-out. As Palaszczuk and Dick the Dick would’ve done, had it not been for the political game playing in George Street, culminating in the GST hissy fit (“fuck the feds money, we’ll do it ourselves”).

          So Townsville ratepayers now find themselves holding this bastard baby, because the state can’t be expected to double up and cover the extra (they should, they helped cause it) and the Commonwealth isn’t in the business of directly propping up council budgets in this way.
          That was put more succinctly in the story by someone who should know.

          Water for Townsville Advocacy Group founder Linda Ashton said there had been a lack of transparency and consultation and they were unaware of the additional costs.
          Ms Ashton said the group expected there would be a cost blowout because of the extra time being taken to start work and because of Covid-19.
          “We thought the state would fully fund stage two,” she said.

          What this mayor stubbornly refuses to recognise is that in her role as putative civic leader, she is charged with – and paid to – keeping the electorate informed of matters that directly affect them, particularly rates. To say that the average ratepayer knew they would be slugged is sophistry of the first order, mayors and councillors are elected to interpret, warn, predict and protect ratepayers from this sort of unfair imposition. They are thedre to read the small print. If not, what? And paid very handsomely to do so.

          But this mendacious mayor – forever snivelling about others ‘playing politics’ – was soiling her dainties as it became inevitable that her dereliction to be open and honest with the people she is supposed to champion -us- would soon have to find out the truth; that Townsville ratepayers will cop a financial pasting because her state Labor government pals had indulged in a grandstanding deliberate fight with the Lib/Nats federal coalition.

          But even to the end, she was playing for time when Tony Raggatt tells us:
          “The council is said to have agreed to the costs in a closed meeting on September 22.” So, at a secret meeting SIX WEEKS AGO, not just the mayor, but all the councillors knew this was coming. Why was it secret? Was Jenny manipulating the rules, trying to give herself more time to pull an improbably rabbit out of her magic hat? This is not the sort of issue that should be decided behind closed doors, this is a desirable test of transparency. There cannot be any weasel words about commercial in confidence here.

          This issue is edging towards CCC territory.

          • Beeker says:

            Wait til you see how much it’s going to cost ratepayers to purchase and then pump water through the pipeline to Townsville, assuming the pipeline is ever built and ever required (both extremely doubtful). Bulletin might like to ask TCC for the projected costings on that front.

  24. Nickster says:

    The problem with liars is when they tell fibs continually it is almost impossible to remember every lie.

    Unfortunately for Jenny Hill to win her argument that Stage 2 construction costs where always more than $195m, she must concede that rates need to increase by +9%.

    The detailed business case makes the numbers very transparent and we know transparency is something that makes Jenny Hill shudder – https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/sites/default/files/migrated/cities/city-deals/townsville/files/final-stage-2-haughton-pipeline-dbc.pdf

    Construction of the Stage 2 pipeline will not improve water security, relative to the base case. The Stage 2 pipeline is technically feasible.
    – The Sunwater channel would be upgraded and the new pump station would be constructed. This would mean that the $55 million savings would not be realised. The cost would be $280 million, in 2019 dollars—although the deferral would create a benefit of $129 million compared to Option 1, due to the time value of money.
    – An upgraded channel would have agricultural benefits for irrigators, once the Townsville City Council moved their water out of the channel and into the pipeline, in 15 years’ time.
    – Additional time is allowed to resolve any environmental or cultural heritage issues that may arise.
    – The benefit–cost ratio is 0.5.
    – Water bills would need to increase by 9 per cent, assuming government funding of $195 million, in present value terms.

  25. Guy says:

    I was briefly involved with the townsville water group.

    They seemed to be hell bent on getting the pipeline going despite any other cheaper option.

    The pipeline in its entirety will cost about a billion, you can add another 1000 to your rates if we want to pay for it , sorry , make that 2000 extra a year. My goodness, we have a billion dollars in debt , where will we get the money everybody ? I saw through this pantomime ten years ago when I wondered why on earth a LNP aligned council would dig us into 419 million debt.

    The LNP aligned opposition in council would/ were going to do the same thing PLUS sell the water infrastructure I townsville.

    I am the ghost of Christmas past.

    Dump the pipeline and start recycling water.

  26. The Magpie says:

    Oh dear. Even the apology is a puzzle!

    It appears The Magpie wasn’t the only one to contact the Astonisher editor Craig Warhurst about the missing puzzles page. As he admits, lots of others were on his hammer about it, too. As The ‘Pie said, such pages are valuable reader embedding tools, papers neglect them at their peril.

    And Craig, since you were gracious and good natured enough to give a frank mea culpa in reply to The ‘Pie’s complaint, the old bird doesn’t want to carp, but you make-good advice has The’Pie confused.

    Ummm, no Tuesday puzzle the? … or did you mean Tuesday, and not Wednesday? You did, we checked the answers. OK, OK, it’s not like The Magpie never makes an error. But tell you what … Monday’s cryptic crossword will be the most universally correctly completed puzzle in the history of the page.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Ha! Maybe Mr Warhurst had a few too many pre-Melbourne Cup drinkies Monday whilst writing this Pie? Unless he knows who the winner of the Cup is already and lost a day………Rupey has long tentacles, right! :) :) :)

      • Jenny Wren says:

        Seems Craig Warhurst has been promoted. He has taken the social photos on page 18 of the Bulletin today of the Melbourne Cup Day at the Ville .

        • The Magpie says:

          Do anything for a free sausage roll.

          But that should tell you the importance News Ltd’s ‘jack of all trades to save money’ policy puts on this community … while it is unlikely mainstream editors anywhere have taken social snaps in the past, if they did, they had the good sense not to allow a credit be printed.

  27. The Water Boy says:

    The pipeline clusterfuck has hit overdrive this week. What a debacle. Our deceitful Councillors have known about the cost blowout for almost two months now. They have agreed to dump the extra $79 million on us, the ratepayers. These lowlifes knew we were going to have to foot the bill, and they’ve acted deceitfully and I’m not in good faith. This really is getting close to the wire as to whether the CCC need to get involved. Personally, I would like to see all of those asses collectively turfed out of Council. Fuck em. We don’t need them. We’ve got Phil Thompson. Phil can fix all of our financial issues and he can do it without a bunch of overpaid incompetent Councillors on the payroll. There’s a good saving right away. Piss them all off. And take Ralston the rorter with them. Absolute dross, the lot of them.

    • The Magpie says:

      Novel idea … but it is a novel of fiction and fantasy.

    • Old Tradesman says:

      Revenge is alive and well in the Labor Party, I see Paul Jacob, the scorned councillor has dropped the Mullet straight into the raw sewerage end of the Mt St. John Treatment Plant over the $79m blowout. Webby should get a good view of the process.

    • Occam's Razor says:

      Congratulations Water Boy for joining the gaggle of ignorant fuckwits subscribing to Magpie whose biases cloud any possibility of a sensible, rationale debate and whose only motivation is to pour buckets of shit on council while holding that little germ Phillip Thompson up as some saviour. So, the pipeline will cost $79 million more. Disappiointing? You betcha. Should; we have known sooner? Probably. Why didn’t we? No idea. But I will offer is this….while Phillip Thompson and the State government were playing silly buggers on funding (yes both of them equally to blame), the TCC was the filling in this shit sandwich, standing there with their appendages in their hand while trying to manage irate contractors who in the end said fuck you, we’ve got other work we can do. And so, by the time the state and Feds sort their shit out, the previous contractors have moved on, new contractors have to be found and costs have skyrocketed. If you want to charge the TCC and councillors of acting deceitfully and not in good faith, and exonerate your mate Phillip Thompson, you’re not worth a pinch of shit to listen to. And to suggest the councillors are not needed cos you’ve “got Phil Thompson” only further demonstrates you’re a lightweight with nothing useful to bring to the table. For starters, Phil Thompson is nothing but a banker. Easiest fucking job in the world. Here’s some cash for your project and aren’t I a good bloke. Good bloke for what? Redistributing the tax dollars that go to his branch of government. Please, spare me. He’s all care and no responsibility….he hands over cash and walks away while the hard task of executing the job and working with community and stakeholders is left to the likes of TCC, who undoubtedly make a mess of it at times but blowouts on government projects is almost a given. And as for his claims of being a great member, if you take two big ticket items out of his claim of $2billion in spending that occur on the periphery of his electorate (one of which was signed, sealed and delivered before he even got into power) then he’s spent $0.5 billion in Townsville since be fell into his job. Contrast this with the fact that Townsvilleans would probably give his government $2.5-3 billion just income taxes each year and his is a 3-year term. That’s a shit return on investment in my eyes. As far as I’m concerned Wet One, until proven otherwise you’re just another whinging blowhard nobody, who’s never gotten off your own fat arse to do anything meaningful and has just stood on the sidelines lobbing grenades. Talk about fucking useless.

      • The Magpie says:

        Thank you for your contribution to sensible rationale debate. Now run along, you’ll be late fr the branch meeting.

        • Occam's Razor says:

          Fucking pathetic response you tosser. This is exactly the response one expects from you and your sad fuckwit followers…anyone who disagrees must by a card carrying member walking around all day whistling The Internationale. I voted for Ewen Jones…twice. I would have preferred Glenn Doyle and Natalie Marr over Walker and that goose Harper. I would give Nick Dametto my vote every day of the week if I lived in his electorate. Frankly i would have expected more from you but its clear you are indeed the tired old washed up ex-journo with nothing to show. As i said, these sorts of response say more about you then me

  28. The Magpie says:

    A positive message from Glasgow, which is a bloody sight more than bushfire victims got from Hawaii. One wonders if Smirko engineered Cleo’s abduction to deflect media attention away from his Glasgow fiasco … nah, that’d be too clever.

    • Kirwan Joe says:

      Not one of your finest comments Malcolm.
      Actually, pretty shitty really.

      • The Magpie says:


        • Pugsly says:

          You’ve been reading too much of the Astonisher Pie, and the lack of attention to detail is biting you.

          It’s Cleo not Chloe.

          And on Glasgow the Aussie who is turning out to be a childish fuckwit is Malcolm Turnbull, talk about sore loser. Malcolm Turnbull needs to accept he got rolled, politics is a shit game and he lost.

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          The first sentence is a good comment. The second sentence was unnecessary and a little below your normal standards which generally, are pretty good.

        • Dutch Reverend says:

          For one, the child abducted was Cleo, not Cloe. Cloe is a well known painting in Young & Jackson in Melbourne. To say that the PM May have engineered the child’s abduction, even jokingly is bitter at best. If you can’t see that your bias clouds your balanced posts then maybe you need to step back for a moment and consider whether you’re up to continuing with your blog. Being the smart area that you are, I am sure you will have a long winded rebuttal.

          • The Magpie says:

            No, not long. Get knotted. What did you expect from a – as you term it – a ‘smart area’. Easy to make spelling errors, isn’t it?

          • The Magpie says:

            You’re correct, and the matter has been corrected. Unlike most commenters, The ‘Pie is unworthy of making a simply one letter error – technically called a transposition. Your own clogs are a bit clogged up there, Rev, the painting is ‘Chloe’, and if she went missing, they’d be flying from around the world to help find her. And you’d be there, too.

          • The Magpie says:

            We are not alone.

          • The Magpie says:

            This is clearly just an argument about humorous taste.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        I agree with Joe, Pie. Making ‘light’ of the grief, upset and pain this family and the little girl endured is not on. BIG mistake old mate – own it! :(

    • Beeker says:

      I think you’ve misread the room on this one, Magpie. Poor taste.

      • The Magpie says:

        What?!? This blog thrives on poor taste. If any of you naysayers were honest, you’d admit that is exactly why you read it. It’s just that you’ve all suddenly become selective. Fromage rigide, as Macron would say.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Ouch, that’s a bit bitter, sounds like you have spent the day watching CNN whilst Biden and the Dems got fucked up the arse in Virginia Pie.

      • The Magpie says:

        Come away, Jake, it was just Virginia.

        Interesting, a Dem won the New York mayoral race. And why anyone thinks The ‘Pie is a Biden fan is very short on analytical skills … many of the cartoons posted weekly in the US gallery are highly critical of the President, and many things, particularly the Afghan withdrawal are to be deplored – and Te Magpie has said so in this blog. That said, there is always the underlying suggestion among many who accuse the ‘Pie of being a Biden-lover is that Trump would’ve been better, and should be returned.

        There, friends, we part company. Big time.

  29. Kirwan Joe says:

    I think any suggestion that anyone would engineer the abduction of a four year old is pretty shitty.
    I felt for that little girl every day she was missing. I was immensely cheered this morning when it was announced that she had been found. (Which is not to infer that you didn’t feel the same.)

    • The Magpie says:

      If you took the suggestion seriously, you are clearly reading the wrong blog. And yes, it was solely about an unfeeling Morrison and his poll-motivated shining insincerity and inconsistency of caring, , really nothing to with the girl, whose return to her parents is one of the brighter stories of recent years.

      But as always, when you have to explain something, the moment is gone.

  30. Achilles says:

    Before the French continue the petulant sulking about our less than ideal handling of the Sub deal. Maybe look into their own arrogant hypocrisy a few years back when their Government endorsed the terrorist act of sinking the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbor.

    The subsequent UN brokered slimy release of the terrorists who were allowed to be detained in French Polynesia after being sentenced by the Kiwi’s to 10+ years jail. They all buggered off within 2 years; again with the connivance of the French government.


    As Jay Leno put it “One thing about the French is that they will always be there when they need us”

    • Addled says:

      Achilles, sounds like you’ve found some watery moral high ground to trumpet your opinion. But wouldn’t that be the same ground that our government occupied when they signed the $50 billion sub deal? Our government would have looked at France’s historical “arrogant hypocrisy” and compared it favourably with their own perverted mendacity in dealing with East Timor in that cowardly, bullying unconscionable spying act carried out in Australia’s name in recent years. Yet now, in the light of day, the lying pricks want to keep things secret, even in our legal system, so that they don’t undermine their own shonky foundations. Morrison and his shonky A-Gs have brought it on themselves and we’ve got splattered with their shit.

      • The Magpie says:

        And there was The Magpie thinking he was the only one who wrote sentences where you literally had to pause and take a breath half way through. Phew!

      • Old Tradesman says:

        Was that the deal Gareth Evans was instrumental in destroying East Timor as he signed off to their detriment as he flew over the top of the island?

        • Addled says:

          No Tradie, it was your favourite fuckwit Alexander Downer doing a number for Australia’s oil industry. Look up Witness K and Bernard Collaery.

    • Alahazbin says:

      Yep! Achilles, Two world wars and the bastards are still with us. No better than the Swiss.

    • NQ Gal says:

      As my personal protest against the French, I will be drinking prosecco instead of champagne.

      • The Magpie says:

        Should we should l get bolshie about brioche and cross with croissants … and at least we don’t have to resort to Freedom fries like the Yanks did …. they’ve have been and forever will be chips around here.

    • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

      Even though he was only eight at the time, Macron can never be forgiven for the Rainbow Warrior bombing.

      • The Magpie says:

        Is this Steve being funny? Our Steve? The one from Belligerent Gardens? Crikey, the treatment must be working.

      • White fella says:

        In the same way that the white fellas should never be forgiven for the persecution of Aborigines in the 1800’s Steve?

        • The Magpie says:

          Now, now, one rule for one mob, other rules for a different mob.

        • Lord Howard Hertz says:

          Now that is the best ‘gotcha’ since Malcolm took News Ltd for 100K. Steve is probably still kicking the cat.

          • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

            To be a gotcha it would have to have to relate in some way to the point that Scomo’s skullduggerous dealings with Macron are not justified by the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior.

          • The Magpie says:

            No, it would depend on the general principle you cite regarding culpability and responsibility for actions of others in the past. What’s good for the goose etc …

            Squirm, Stevie babee, squirm.

          • Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

            Wrong as usual Pie, the point was two wrongs don’t make a right, not that there shouldn’t be acknowledgement of historic wrongs.

          • The Magpie says:

            Keep wriggling, mate. You’re losing grip, Steve.

  31. Let’s Go Brandon says:

    What shenanigans! Firstly, fuck the French. They have wrecked the waters around French Polynesia courtesy of decades of irresponsible nuclear testing. Macron (probably Latin for ‘tiny man’) is a just a pint sized weiner boy. What is it with these short Frog politicians? As for Pastor Morrison (aka Brian Houston’s lapdog), he is one of the most disingenuous slippery liars we’ve ever seen. A parasite of epic proportions. Add into this cauldron of human shit is Malcolm Turdball, coming out with a sly dig at our most hated PM Morriscum. Turdball is a sociopath and needs to pop himself back under big pharma’s desks. The submarine deal was never robust. It was made in haste with one purpose in mind – to save Christopher “I’m not gay” Pynes seat. A disgusting display of monetary waste which sets the bar when it comes to ‘porkbarelling’. These political vermin won’t stop at anything when it comes to feeding their ego’s and back pockets.

  32. Achilles says:

    Pie: From these exuberant responses I may have to change my moniquer to Danté

  33. The Magpie says:

    Understandably, the whole world wants answers and details about the Cleo Smith abduction case, and equally understandably, we will just have to wait while the police and other experts do their jobs.

    But one particular thing has struck The Magpie as significant. Despite tabloid screeching about ‘Cleo’s 18 days of hell’ and similar conjectures encouraging fevered imaginings, really all that t is known that she was abducted for 18 days, but we haven’t a clue what went on in those days. And that, at this point in time, includes the police. And that is the thing that is the strangest of all. Having covered these sorts of cases over the years, The Magpie feels certain that this child was not sexually molested, because she would not be so bright, cheery, unafraid of and accepting of strangers (the police arriving and picking her up), or even happily and forever smiling for the cameras. In none of the extensive coverage has Cleo been seen crying, looking frightened and, above all, withdrawn. Quite the opposite.

    It all adds the general and genuine joy of the outcome that Cleo does not present as a victim of violence or serious if any sexual abuse. And that makes the whole scenario even more intriguing, and it is tale the public is entitled to know at the appropriate time.

    The identity of the kidnapper will perhaps hold a clue. This is because, although the legal difference between kidnapping and abduction is blurred, kidnapping generally has a financial motive, whereas abduction has a family connection, or a darker criminal purpose.

    And a silly but expensive sidelight … Seven West News is facing up to a $400k damages payout for posting a photograph from a person’s FB page and naming him as the person police suspected of taking Cleo. Although we are talking about modern TV journalists here, logic would tell us that since Cleo’s home-dad is her step-father, the pants-wetting Seven West journalists put two and two together and instead getting 4, they got 400,000.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Yes, this whole matter got to me a somewhat. I have one granddaughter who is almost four and another who is five and a bit. Well done WA police.

      Interesting that an early ABC news report on what the Carnarvon locals knew about the bloke who has been arrested, they described him as fat, indigenous, always seemed to be in a hurry. Later the indigenous bit in the report had been deleted. Why? Same here in Townsville. To read the media, without the photos you would think the cherubs breaking, entering and car stealing were Anglo Saxon. Why cannot the media report the facts, all of the facts.

      • The Magpie says:

        Funny you should mention that …. the one worthwhile editor The ‘Pie worked for at the Bulletin, Mick Carroll, got so fed up with the unspoken rule that race wasn’t mentioned, he caused a stir when he announced in the paper that the Bulletin would be including whether an arrested people was indigenous or Caucasian. The huffing and puffing lasted for a while, but the policy remained until it became almost redundant.

        You’ll notice in your ABC report there was a reference to ‘his curly hair was out’ – whatever ‘out’ meant. But it was clearly a coy attempt at ‘nudge nudge wink wink, the bloke’s indigenous’. And the rule has reached absurd lengths … there have been several media outlets that have given descriptions of those the cops want to interview without ever mentioning if they are white or indigenous. Doesn’t tend to help the public aid apprehension of the said person.

  34. Dave of Kelso says:

    This will be bloody interesting to watch.


    How long will it take for the Society For the Protection of the Permanently Bewildered to leap to the defense of this prick?

    • Jatzcrackers says:

      Well, based on that news report at least we know he’ll be charged with driving a car without number plates. But seriously, what’s with all of the secret squirrel stuff ? The fact he’s indigenous can’t be changed and I’m pretty sure that no editor is going to allow any derogatory adjectives in describing the perpetrator, so as long as it’s not going to affect the future court case, what’s the problem with facing the obvious reality that this bloke is an aboriginal ?

      • Addled says:

        The only ‘secret squirrel’ stuff I can see is about the police techniques and technology that led to the breakthrough. And I can fully understand why they haven’t opened the book on that.

        • The Magpie says:

          Think you misunderstood the reference, Dizzy … the Mad Biscuit was simply making an observation on the fact that the bloke wasn’t mentioned as being indigenous. Which, anyway, is old news now.

      • The Magpie says:

        It could be reasonably argued that his race is irrelevant to the matters which will now go before the courts. But once he’s there … which he now has been … there is no reason not to do what journalists do in other cases and describe the accused. Pen pictures have always been part and parcel of court reporting. Or perhaps some editors will issue guidelines that blondes and red heads can’t be called as such because of may heighten a perceived bias against rangas if it goes before a jury.

  35. Just Say'n says:

    I don’t mind admitting that I really like France. I just hope that the current bad blood between Australia and France over the submarine deal can be quickly dealt with.

    I’m really concerned that the wind turbines proposed to be erected next to the Australia’s national war memorial in Villers-Bretonneux will get approval as a “get square”.


    • Achilles says:

      France is fine, problem is the natives, In the final episode of Yes Minister during a TV interview between Jim Hacker and Ludovic Kennedy, Hacker pompously asserts “there is some good in everyone”: Kennedy quipped “Except the French”, Hacker automatically agreed before correcting himself, Saying “Even the French”

  36. Stretchmark says:

    So, some members of the fake media have mentioned how poor old Scotty from Marketing looked exhausted as he landed in Dubai on his non-carbon friendly government jet. I guess all of that lying that he does has worn himself out? His nose must be longer than Mark Wahlberg’s cock! Seriously, this guy is quite simply the worst PM we have ever had. A slippery disingenuous arrogant liar. And what disgraceful person he is. Even the way that he knifed Macron over the Submarine deal was a new low. Yes, perhaps it is ok for a PM to screw 25 million Aussies. But to screw another countries PM, a country that is part of our strategic security alliance. That sets the benchmark for incompetence and arrogance. Does this god botherer have so much as one gram of integrity in his body? Nah, I didn’t think so.

  37. Occam's Razor says:

    Walker found not guilty. No surprise at all. Stephen Lane is a goose and it was clear from the outset how this all came about and how it was going to end…in embarrasment for Lane and with Walker sticking up for his wife https://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/mp-les-walker-in-townsville-court-for-assault-charge/news-story/caccad3860aaf02a9c349a86a1fe300d.
    Regardless of what you might think of them, once again the Police have pushed on with a no-win case, wasted taxpayer money and caused unnecessary grief to the accused. Taking them task over being shit politicians is one thing….using that to make personal attacks on their characters is another entirely. While you did a decent job of moderating comment on the Hill case Magpie, the eagerness with which your acolytes made it personal says more about the tragic pack of wolves that comment on this page then it does about anything else. What good a toolbox if its filled with nothing but hammers?

    • The Magpie says:

      It is not surprising that you are an expert on tools.

    • Lord Howard Hertz says:

      Welcome to the wolf pack, then, mate.

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Forget the court case, what about the pissweek snivelling sook tearing up once again, what a pathetic useless human being.

      • The Magpie says:

        He does have a propensity to turn on the water works, but, you know, if it was good enough for Bob Hawke, well …
        But on the bright side, by his own account, his memory is fully recovered because ‘he always knew he was innocent’.

  38. Strand Ghost says:

    Maybe they should do a remake of the the Movie the Untouchables after the results of Jenny’s and Walkers court cases!

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, seems Memory Blank really did have no case to answer, and The Magpie has been told Lane has always had his personal emotional and restraint challenges, and this one has rebounded on him. But there can be no doubt that the police brought the charges because Walker has well known form, otherwise the case was a non-starter from the outset. Perhaps Lane saw this as a chance to build a mountain out of a molehill, which the magistrate quickly bulldozed.

      Moving on.

  39. Nickster says:

    Absolutely embarrassing for the Police.

    Hopefully Les is enjoying a beer whilst rewriting the lyrics to the Clash song and singing;

    “ I fought the law and I won”

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Wasn’t it Walker v Lane?

      • The Magpie says:

        In the legal sense, no, it was the police who decided that Walker had a case to answer, Lane’s complaint reached certain criteria, so the police opted for the matter to be decided in court. Lane v Walker would have to be a civil action. And while Lane lost, he certainly took a gamble, because The ‘Pie is told his background wouldn’t stand up to close scrutiny itself, which would have happened had the matter been taken to a higher court on appeal. Which it certainly would’ve if Walker had been at fault. And the fact that the incident, whatever the fuck it actually was, took place when Lane – according to the paper – was attending an LNP knees up, will certainly dash any overly-optimistic hopes he had of getting a gig with the party.

        It was a cynical misuse of the law to try and score political points, but with a bit of luck, that’ll be the end of Lane’s political ambitions, even as the nuisance value it has always been.

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          Thanks ‘Pie. I stand corrected.

          • LawyMcLawface says:

            Lanes is at best a political troglodyte who should accept success in any chosen field takes talent and hard work, rather than a few pity social media posts.

            The best advice would be to reflect on the decisions and words of those who have extensive experience in the field and one’s future desires.

          • The Magpie says:

            Whatever that’s all about.

  40. Snowpeas says:

    Money-grabbing SE Qld bitches while women in regions such as Charleville – 8 hours drive, west of Brisbane make do with the Breastscreen Qld Bus visiting them, once every two years.

    Well done “Charleville’s Sunday Sisters”, the outback craft group, for making “knitted knockers” for women across the state who have undergone a double mastectomy. (ABC.net.au 6/11/21)

    Keep up the stitching lovely ladies, with a bit of “giggle” thrown in.

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