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The Magpie

Sunday, August 28th, 2022   |   171 comments

Villainy At The Ville? Allegations Of Hanky-Panky At The Casino Have Put The Bulletin’s Tits In The Wringer.

Emerging revelations that the Ville Casino had entertained banned and bribed high rollers has put the Bulletin in a bind … will they report the allegations about one of their major advertisers with a straight bat, or go into spin mode … or even ignore it altogether? The latter is unlikely, and the two other possibilities offer the delicious spectacle of the paper  wrestling with a real story. The Magpie cackles his way through this one.

A visionary mayor or a mayor who has visions? Whitsunday Regional voters take a strange punt on who they’ve chosen to fill the vacant mayoral chair. And it’s mega sour grapes from loser Mike Brunker.

Visionary is not a word ever likely to be associated with our good old Mayor Mullet, as she continues to prove that she’s a walking financial Chernobyl with the latest Magoo-like ‘plan’ for the CBD money sinkhole.

And Palaszczuk’s latest road regulation carrying a whopper fine raises just one question … why?

Also, alarming vision of a lightning strike up close, and the wonderful multiple gotcha moment in the Twitterverse.

First up …

What Naughtiness Is This ….

There was a time when ‘high rolling’ was having a dirty weekend in the top floor suite of the Sheraton with Mavis from accounts. Those little adventures could end up costing a lot of money, but nothing like the amounts involved in the current meaning of ‘high roller’. The term now means ‘gullible, addicted idiot’, and is the wet dream of rapacious casino operators around the world.

And that now apparently includes Townsville,  and The Ville’s CEO Michael Jones.

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Here’s the full story, which includes these choice snippets.

The use of unlicensed agents is banned in Queensland because of fears they could lead to unlawful activity within the gaming sector. But the Townsville casino, The Ville, gave one Melbourne-based agent tens of thousands of dollars in cash and other secret benefits as he brought groups of Asian gamblers from Melbourne and Sydney to Queensland as recently as April.

The investigation has also uncovered how convicted and accused drug dealers were able to gamble at The Ville.

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Mr Jones is a board member of Townsville Enterprise, so one wonders what some of these good folks – and yes, some of them are good folks, but you decide – think about having a possible slimebag as a colleague.

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And we’re yet to hear from Chris Morris, the capo di capo here …. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he knew anything about this (c’mon, stop laughing, give the bloke a go!!)

All that be as it may, But for The ‘Pie, his interest will be on the Daily Astonisher’s coverage of all this. The Ville is a major advertiser, and a major source of legitimate news, so the poor old Astonisher finds itself in a bit of a bind. This story is really too big to ignore, in fact, News Ltd will be seeking information from their local outlet before they realise they know fuck all, and to get anything of value they will have to send up a real investigative reporter. You can bet Sixty Minutes is already in the air if they haven’t already landed.

So how the Astonisher spins this real story is going to be fun to watch.

Revenge Politics: It Has Its Uses And Justifications… But It Also Has Its Limits

There should be a new slogan for our new PM and certain sections of the media: ‘Enough Already!’

Morrison’s secret multi-ministry power grab caught everyone off balance, and after a few days of the alarming details emerging, Albanese decided the matter should be investigated. It was and still is, with the broad approval of the electorate. But like a dog fart under the dinner table, it’s hanging in the air of media conferences too long.

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The Magpie is not saying the matter shouldn’t be seriously examined  – quite the opposite – but those interrogations should now be allowed to operate in the background of a government now looking to the future, and not in the rear-view mirror. In fact, it seems that all the running on this has been made by the better elements of the media, and they should just get on with it now Albo has announced what government action will be taken.

This – and the upcoming inquiry in Robodebt – could become a threat to the general goodwill offered the new Labor Government by a majority of the population if they distract from a general consensus of ‘just get on with the job’. Gleeful revenge must be hard to resist, but Albo must stop succumbing to it now. The media’s constant return to this subject and Albo continuing to take the bait needs to be checked … what will be will be with these investigations, but until there’s something to actually report more than lame jokes about multiple personalities, Albo should stop taking that bait. Perhaps the gabfest about wages and inflation may take the steam out of what is will be a tedious matter until findings are. Let’s hope so, but Bentley has his doubts.

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Whitsunday Whimsey

From the voters who helped give us the member for Manila George Christensen, before he defected to One Notion,  we are a gifted a former One Notion candidate as the new mayor of the Whitsunday Regional Council. And she says she’s a former psychic.

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The first thing The ‘Pie wants to know is how can you be a ‘former’ psychic? It doesn’t seem to be the sort of thing that one can turn on and off, but then, maybe Ms Hall decided she was a bit dud at it when she failed to see the trouncing she copped in the last Federal election. She ran in dawson for One Notion.  And like her mentor, Saint Pauline, her political smarts seem to be somewhat wanting. Especially when asked about were work as a psychic, when she virtually admitted it was a scam.

“I am not ashamed of what I did in my past and I don’t think that is anything I should be judged on. I actually made a lot of money being a psychic,” she told interviewers. ”And no, I won’t be using my psychic skills in council’.

Well, Ms Hall, first, up  you are the one who suggested anything about shame, so that sounds a bit defensive, like someone with a guilty conscience. And admitting you took a lot of silly people for their dough is not any recommendation.

And of course you won’t be using your ‘psychic skills’ in council, because it would be so easy to be found out. Anyway, how boring to have to count hands when you know how they’re going to vote anyway.

The Magpie is very harumphy about all this, a person who makes money with rosy predictions about the future to gullible people desperate for some good news … and she wants top be a politician?  This is nothing short of disgracef…. oh, wait a sec …. hmmm. Change of heart. You’re an ideal mayor Ms Hall, you tick all the boxes … and believe when I tell, up here in Townsville, we know all about gullibility and rosy promises.

And The Sourpuss Sore Loser Of The Day is …

... that perennial limpet on the public tit, Mike Brunker.

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Mike Brunker

In turbo-hypocrite mode, Brunker whinged of illegal tactics with other opponents ganging up on him, when in fact it was he, as a sitting councillor, who misused his position in the campaign, and for which he now faces a hearing about matters.

That said, Brunker in refusing to believe Hall was a good choice made the most succinct summary of the outcome: ‘“A self-proclaimed spiritualist One Nation failed candidate talking to state Labor governments and federal Labor governments and having an LNP federal and state member, I just wonder how well we are going to be listened to.”

Point taken, Mike, but one answer is she’ll be heard just as well as if you had won, a perennially divisive bully for decades who has achieved exactly nothing, and been rejected for any higher office first by voters and then by the Labor hierarchy.

There is little doubt you’ve already got the whetstone out on your knives for the lamb to the slaughter,  and you’re no doubt hoping that Ms Hall doesn’t see you coming.

In Townsville, The Boot Is On The Other Foot

It is the ratepayer who has to see our mayor coming after more from your already hyperventilating wallet. The latest raid is – yet again – mindless money being thrown at the CBD. Under changes to the revised City Activation and Jobs Growth policy, the incentives include fee waivers of up to $500,000 per project for new and repurposed development, grants to cover 50% of rental costs up to $50,000 for the first six months of tenancy, grants of 50 per cent up to $30,000 per project or event for modernising buildings and activating spaces and waivers of up to 100 per cent of infrastructure charges for developments of “special or significant economic or social benefit”.

Much of this rubbery outline of the goodies on offer simply amounts to the ratepayer/taxpayer subsidising landlords to refurbish their properties or subsidise the rents of struggling businesses … without providing any reason why conditions could improve for them or how the money will entice people back to the CBD.

The ’Pie is serious when he says this is all very commendable and sensible – especially the last one to attract a mega developer – all but for one thing: there has never been a serious, informed and intelligent discussion about an overarching motivation and scheme to attract people back to the city.

Mayor jenny Hill has been willing to make a dumb gamble with ratepayers money with her ill-advised partnership with the arcade development opposite City Lane. In her business naivety, she figured more of the same success enjoyed by Laurence Lancini’s City Lane and City Arcade would automatically flow across Flinders street to the venture built in partnership with developer Martin Locke. The venture is a dismal and predictable disaster, with just one tenant ever taking up space, and just a day or so ago, Mr Locke announcing that the space would be used  solely as a functions/reception venue until at least early next year. Nothing like a reception centre with a bus terminal at one end and a deserted street at the other.

As with grants and incentives, the mayor can only get people into the CBD by bribery … City Eats (which should NOT ever be subsidised, that’s almost a criminal use of ratepayer funds to buy votes) and Cotters Market on Sundays. Build it and they wil; come is a Hollywood myth, and more imaginative nuts and bolts thinking is urgently needed.

My dear Mayor, if you examined City Lane and City Arcade closely, you may have spotted the reasons for its success, a success that saw Lancini sell it last week for around $45m. It was actually 2 adjoining developments, it had a carefully worked out mix of modest businesses in both the laneway and the arcade, it had an anchor tenant (Woolworths) AND IT HAS CAR PARKING.

But you, madam, somehow thought that the people who use buses would be a captive audience for your arcade, a constant flow of foot traffic from which to snare customers. Well, first of all, bugger all people use the Townsville bus service, which would not exist but for heavy government subsidy. And those few who use buses are not arriving in a bleak backstreet to enjoy a carefree coffee, a sanger, and some sort of mythical inner-urban vibe. Trying to fake that sort of ambience is a well worn recipe for failure. Good on the well meaning Mr Locke for having a go, if it doesn’t work out, his money, his risk … but that shouldn’t apply to the Townsville ratepayer.

Jenny, you has never owned a business in your life, and yet here you are at the helm of a billion dollar budget, and making decisions like this based on out-of-town consultants.  As it is, the CBD feels like it is largely just people selling each other coffee, sandwiches and cutting each others’ hair … and paying lots of income to the council for parking while doing so.

No amount of new boardwalks, subsidised food fairs or disjointed piecemeal developments are ever going to change that anytime soon.  Perhaps, Jenny .you should pop down to visit your counterpart in the Whitsundays and get a free reading of what the future holds for you and Townsville’s city centre… but don’t be expecting any good news.

And While Talking Transport …

Qantas profits are down, but number of flights are up and so are the cost of fares.  But it seems if the airlines don’t leave you stranded anymore, transport for the visitor in Townsville will.

What the hell is going on with taxis in this city? The ‘Pie is getting more and more comments about the virtual impossibility of getting a cab at the airport, the Ville and other places where visitors stay. Even Uber is nowhere near picking up the slack.

Anybody know the root cause of what is a debilitating problem for a city whose reputation is already down the gurgler in so many other areas?

Mystery Regulation

Anna Palaszczuk’s latest bit of over-governing on Queensland roads is a bit hard to fathom. As outlined, it is simply confusing, and on any reading of it, it is no more than a revenue raising change. (We know this must be the case, because Aaron Harper says it isn’t.)

From September 16, if you don’t move over and slow down when emergency vehicles come up behind you, you will now be fined $432 and earn three demerit points. Doing so is both sensible and fair – and surprisingly allows you to go through a red light if it is safe to do so.

But there a couple of strange aspects. The first is that this is being claimed as a new initiative, but Qld regs already make provision for exactly this.

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You’ll note, the only difference is the amount.

The other factor is where is the demand for yet another rule that almost everybody follows anyway. In the past six years, just 207 drivers – about 35 a year – have been pinged for this anti-social behaviour statewide. It is hard to escape the feeling that the state government doesn’t want to be seen raising a tax that is already in place (yes, fines are a tax, just not deductible.)

And isn’t funny is a grim sort of way that kids who steal cars and are the cause of many of the emergency vehicles on our roads are hardly ever fined anything, let alone $432, and sent on their way to do it all over again, courtesy of the sasme government hiking fines like this.

Pommys In The Poo

Before we pay our weekly visit to Asylum USA, there is an equally baffling crisis going in balmy Britain. And despite the heat wave, this balmy does not apply to beach-going weather

The country is  literally in the poo, especially those who want to go for a swim in the ocean.

There have been a lot of government failures in Britain in recent times, but none so cynical, demeaning and plain dangerous as the failure to act against privatised water and waste companies which continue spewing tens of thousand of litres of shit – yes, actually shit, a lot of it untreated – across beaches and into ocean waters around the sceptred isle around the clock every day of the year.  Britain will soon be their septic isle if something isn’t done soon – which is unlikely.

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Another triumph of Boris Johnson’s government by the elite.

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A national disgrace which shows that if Britain once ruled the waves, now it just waives the rules.

Twitter Shows Its Value

One of the most effective ‘gotcha’ campaigns of recent times has spread like wildfire across Twitter in the US and elsewhere. And it involves just two words.

Screen Shot 2022-08-27 at 11.15.53 amWell worth a read, not the least because it shows what an effective weapon Twitter can be against hypocrites.

Biden’s Fortunes On The Up, Trump’s Sanity On The Down (if that’s possible).

Joe Biden’s considerable achievements – including forgiving student debt which had financially crippled some- has been largely hidden behind the Republican blitz of disinformation, disparagement and blatant lies, but his responsible governance is starting to cut through. The uptick comes just in time to maybe have a major effect on the crucial mid-term election in a few weeks, which will decide who controls both the Reps and the Senate. Helping in this area is the fact that the former mobster president Trump has really started to lose it. he seems to understand the end is near and is starting to flarble garble more than ever.

That end could now possibly be jail, and won’t be soon enough for some.

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Miscellaneous

Another reason not to buy The Bulletin.

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Here’s a video that has been confirmed by the Snopes myth busting site as being genuine. It is not clear why the people were all set up to video this house in a Canadian town when lightning struck it, but Snopes investigators have found it to be true. Has changed The ‘Pie’s mind about ignoring lightning warnings on the golf course.

Good headline … When puns fit and are clever. The New Yorker gets it right..

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Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus

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Anonymous The Birth of Penis

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A Sneak Peek at Ivanka Trump’s new book about her father …

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What are you thinking? It says ‘Giant’.

And a couple of pics. The silliness of this one made The ‘Pie laugh …

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…. but laughed even harder at the caption on this one

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……………

See you next week. Comments open all time, and so in the Donation button below, if you’ve a kind mind to help out.

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.

171 Comments

  1. David Thoumine says:

    Talking about Taxi’s I have been left stranded twice almost missing my flights if it wasn’t for my neighbors and it wasn’t 1300CABS. With the call Centre in Melbourne what can one expect.

  2. The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

    We can only presume that the landlords now being given incentives to fix up their CBD properties are the same ones the Mad Mullet threatened to fine for not fixing up their properties. If one approach does not work might as well try the other its only ratepayers money.

    • The Magpie says:

      All these efforts would be laudable if this issue was so unfocussed … the bottom line surely is that in a free market economy, this sort of social engineering can go only so far. What is missing is a plan to give people a reason to come to the area … whether it be an arts hub, a high fashion hub (sorry for the levity) or, as has been partly realised, make it a unbi hub and dormitory. It has to be something more than more pubs, coffee shops and restaurants, because those businesses need people who are in the area for other reasons … a cup of coffee, even an up-market meal, does not make for a reliable destination.

      One factor does emerge, courtesy of Laurence Lancini’s development. Whether it was forced on him or was his own initiative (probably by Woolworths as a condition of becoming an anchor tenant, as well as the council), easily accessible off-street parking has proved to be the difference and is an absolute necessity. There can be little doubt, City Lane and City Arcade would not have been the success it has proved to be with it. Perhaps the area needs another big bold player who can and must include parking in whatever vision they bring to the CBD.

  3. The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

    About the emergency services vehicles fines. The ies is sound but what happens if I can’t get my car out of the way because of ignorant bastards in the cars around me. Who gets the fine, the poor driver trying but failing or the ignorant masses with their aircons and stereos blasting who are oblivious?

    • The Magpie says:

      A hypothetical that answers itself … if you are prevented from moving in that manner, there can be no way in which you could be held responsible and fined. By the way, the law allows you to drive over to the wrong side of the road providing it is safe to do so.

      BTW allied to this piece in the blog is the letter in the weekend Bulletin from Aaron Harper, which sounds like blustering justification of a problem that really doesn’t exist. The ‘Pie often wonders what he was really like as an ambulance staffer with the indifferent attitude he has displayed while pretending to be our representative in Brisbane.

  4. Tas says:

    Regarding the difficulty in catching a taxi in Townsville, for my sins I used to drive part time. Haven’t since Covid struck, so may be a touch out of date. The biggest problem is lack of drivers. People just don’t want to do it. Long hours, physically uncomfortable, boring, and really badly paid. Just commission. So a night shift might see a lot of people waiting at the airport (Me, a few times), but there is little work elsewhere in town, so once the airport is cleared you sit around for hours for no money.
    But the biggest problem is some people. 98% of fares a fine. The other 2%, the ones you would avoid on the street, are obnoxious fare evading dross. And no, it isn’t drunks that are the problem. But people on drugs are an unpredictable fire storm. The taxi industry has a few systemic problems, about which others would be better qualified to comment, but the people standing in line at the airport demanding their cab – now! – might like to consider whether they would do that job?

    • The Magpie says:

      A very informed comment, thanks … but it is of little relevance or importance what people standing in line at the airport think, it is what those who can do something about the situation can do. Exactly who they may be – regulators, the council, the government – isn’t clear, and The ‘Pie won’t pretend he has the faintest idea how to tackle the issue. But if we are going to waste money getting a dribble of visitors to come here with ad hoc campaigns, it is all for nought if such a dearth of reliable transport service isn’t available.

      Anyone got any (sensible) ideas?

      • Aitkenvale Oldtimer says:

        One of the issues with the taxi service in Townsville presently is that Black and White cabs has entered the market and about 1/3 of the fleet is with them and the other 2/3 is still with 13cabs. So the fleet is split. Also number of taxis not on the road due to lack of drivers.

        Black and White providing a more reliable service bit less taxis. 13cabs service pretty ordinary.

      • Newbie says:

        Hi Pie, Since the Townsville bus service is already heavily funded, perhaps they should start offering services from the airport to some ‘hub’ areas, like the city, stocklands, willows etc. Or perhaps a shuttle service taking people home to a particular area e.g. 5 people going to Kelso or stops on the way, 7 people going to the northern beaches etc. I have used a similar service in Brisbane when flying in after the trains shut down. If people are willing to pay for a taxi, they would surely be willing to pay for a shuttle?

        • The Magpie says:

          In Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne et all, you can catch a train or bus with relative ease and regularity. Here in the ‘ville, there are hotel shuttle buses of varying quality, but residents are at the mercy of this busted arse taxi situation.

          AND LET’S NOT FORGET THAT TOWNSVILLE AIRPORT OWNERS QAL CHARGE A FEE FOR TAXIS TO PICK UP.

  5. Mike Douglas says:

    Another great blog Pie which reinforces to get more transparency from Townsville Council more independent Councillors are required . Ex Councillor Jacobs claimed that Councillors wernt fully briefed on the full picture prior to voting which begs the question . Were Team Hill Councillors aware of the large projects that their Council didnt complete last year and the $ millions sitting in the coffers before voting on the highest rates increase in Qld and the effect on their divisions ratepayers / renters ? . Councillor O’Callaghan was also good enough to bring to the Mayors attention at full Council meeting that the previous meetings minutes did not comply Councils own policy on registering which Councillor voted on which motion .

  6. Cantankerous but happy says:

    The story about the casino is no surprise to anyone who spends any time there, it has become the regular for many of Townsvilles drug dealers and other criminals wanting to spend their cash and being rewarded very well for doing so, these people eat, drink and half live there for free. Whilst at a recent police function at the Ville comments were made regarding the passing parade of those well known to police. Casinos are supposed to vet their customers to ensure known criminals are not coming in, The Ville is certainly not doing that.

    • Boys Club says:

      As an ex-senior employee of The Ville, I am unsurprised. And you can bet (sorry about the pun) that Chris Morris knew what was happening. I would also not be surprised if the pressure to court these high rollers came from the same.

  7. Regular reader says:

    Earlier this year when it was announced that the Ville had installed a plush, swanky new high rollers room at the Ville, my missus asked why there would be a need for such an exclusive gambling room in Townsville when the only locals with the kind of cash needed to gain entry to the new high rollers room were too busy making money on their legitimate businesses to waste their time and money at the casino. The answer is now obvious. The Townsville Bulletin may choose to ignore this important story, but you can bet the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation won’t. Wait a minute, didn’t the OLGR approve a Chinese company with criminal associations as a key backer of Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf Casino,?
    Oh dear.

    • The Magpie says:

      You can bet southern media, especially 60 minutes, won’t be ignoring this. As The ‘Pie said in the blog, the Bulletin will be a bigger laughing stock nthan it is if it doesn’t do open and fair reporting on a matter of importance to the community.

  8. Elusive Butterfly says:

    Mr. Pie, Townsville-born cyclist Jay Vine won his second La Vuelta stage last night…two in three days!
    This from Australian cycling legend Robbie McEwen: “A new star has arrived in world cycling.”
    Still, not a word from the Bulletin’s bunch of amateurs.
    No “stars” there!

    • The Magpie says:

      They are particularly bereft in the sports area, a sub section that used to be lively, informed, zealous and entertaining, on and off the page.

  9. Prince Rollmop says:

    The Albanese government has the opportunity to move forward, not roll backwards and get bogged in the weeds. The Morrison government was a disaster led by a disastrous leader – COVID mismanagement, billions wasted on Submarines, billions wasted on Jobkeeper, robodebt, mismanagement of our relationship with China, and the list is endless and included toxic and inept leadership. But you can’t undo the past so I believe it’s time to bury those issues and move forward along a nice clear pathway and get this country back in shape, in the kind of shape that will give us a buffer for when the next pandemic, economical collapse, natural disaster or other severe hardship befalls us. You can’t do that while looking in the rear view mirror.

    • The Magpie says:

      Couldn’t disagree more strongly, my pickled friend. You are forgetting the axiom, as said by Churchill among others “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” We MUST learn what lessons we can from Morrison’s crude power grab, to ensure that saf eguards are strengthened against it ever happening again. The ‘Pie made it clear (well, thought he did) that these things need to be fully examined, but that should be diligent background work that is revisited when findings are made, not endless commentary from the media’s chatterati. So the short answer to you, is you can’t undo the past, but you can undo the future by learning everything from the past.

  10. NQ Gal says:

    On the subject of revenue raising, the government is now going to apply land tax to residents holdings outside of Qld.

  11. Tainted Tom says:

    The new Whitsundays Mayor would get along with the Gold Coast Mayors spiritual advisor who also charged big bucks to read peoples tea leaves. Why are these weirdos now starting to pop up in local government? I mean, yes, the world has gone loopy but now we have these psychic freaks also starting to ge the cushy positions in local government. WTF is going on man?

  12. NQ Gal says:

    First seen in The Magpie and now front page of the Astonisher “Ville Casino breaks silence over alleged high roller operation”

  13. Kenny Kennett says:

    Regarding the Casino, why wouldn’t they want to attract the high rollers? From wining, dining, accommodation, fishing trips, etc its all part of business. It goes on all levels from their rewards club upwards. The customer has the money, the Casino wants their money. How they got their money is not up to the Casino. I guess that goes for laundering too. All Casinos have the required (by law) government regulators working and surveillance systems in place. Their security systems are better than most. There was a well known drug dealer who regularly washed his money at the Casino. Everybody knew it but no one could prove it including police who regularly had surveillance on him inside and outside the Casino.
    It is not up to the Casino to do much except to pass on information to the law if they suspected anything. Who says they’re not doing it now. It’s up to the Government and Police to make and increase the laws and for the Casino to follow them.
    If the Astonisher was smart, they’d do a story on what the Casino has in place to prevent the bad guys from breaking the law. This would protect their advertising revenue but also put the Casino on notice.

    • The Magpie says:

      Your last line is almost certainly what the paper will do, but the Bulletin’s reaction in the overall picture is irrelevant, the media whales are after this cluster of crill.

      And your perception that it’s a casino’s role to be an instrument for turning illegal money into clean money says more about your morals and social responsibility, KK, than it does about reasonable law. And you are dead wrong about that the casino has no business knowing where the money comes from … once alerted that the money they are washing i.e. that it is illegal, they are then knowingly receiving the proceeds of crime. There is strong possibilities that deals are done on a percentage basis … bottom line: crooks are using other crooks to legitimise their ill gotten gains. Not saying this specifically about The Ville, just about the overall gambling set-up.

      • Palm Sunday says:

        Magpie, other readers may know more about this than me but I recall the Queensland Treasury used to have its one office in Townsville located on the actual premises of the casino. Treasury officials oversee the operation from the inside to protect their (ie. our) considerable interest in every transaction. That seems to be how the ‘social licence’ is supposed to work – transparency, but only between the government and the casino. So the identification of crooks and spivs on both sides of the gaming tables is, or should be, being carried out by government officials with access to the entire casino security apparatus plus police, tax and all sorts of other records.

        Not sure how the casino staff could be “alerted” that the money they are washing is illegal.

        If a punter walks in off the street and buys a thousand bucks worth of chips to burn, who knows (or even needs to know) where the money came from? Similarly, if a high roller spends a hundred thousand over a dirty weekend – well that happens everywhere there’s a casino. People like Kerry Packer used to brag about it but no-one ever said, let alone could prove, the money was tainted.

        • The Magpie says:

          You’re not very good at these social issues are you, Weekend Wanker? But The ‘Pie has to believe you are just stirring the possum for a reaction, because surely no one could that fucking dense.

          You answer your own question at one stage … casino staff are alerted by the very people you mention in the preceding sentence … particularly the police. And who needs to know where the money comes from, you ask? Google ‘money laundering’ and see if you can work it out on your own.

          That said, The ‘Pie does wonder about the illegality of paying cash and giving inducements for someone to get a group together as an agent and host a trip to a casino …. the individuals are still open to scrutiny, their backgrounds individually checked, by means not open to the agent to verify the person’s income in legal. Difficult to know what that Melbourne restaurateur could be charged with … although laws are very malleable in the hands of those other unquestioned high rollers called politicians.

          And Kerry Packer’s money was his own, and was never suspected of being the proceeds of crime (except by some die-hard Marxists).

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Magpie, going by the latest evidence from every east coast jurisdiction, state governments do not want to know about money laundering in THEIR casinos. They try to their utmost to maintain plausible deniability. The government officials sitting inside each casino, hand in glove with the casino operator, could, if they wanted to, know everything that their own state police know about who is who in the zoo. The police are not in the business of actually instructing casinos about who to do business with. That is the proprietary responsibility of the regulator – the government regulator. And their interest, despite what they might tell the electorate at voting time, is to quietly, confidentially and opaquely extract every last dime out of every single punter who walks through the door for their cut – the 15%, 20%, 25% or whatever. If they really wanted to stop the spivs they could park Cantankerous and a couple of his old skool mates at the front door to filter the trash. But no, they want them and their money, however scungy it is, on the inside where they can carefully and privately relieve them of it.

            Of course Mr Packer’s money was his own. So is every colourful racing identity or drug dealer or Bob Hawke’s US$1,000 cash money stolen from his hotel room, ‘his own.’ We know this as soon as we have casinos. That’s the nature of the beast.

          • The Magpie says:

            You are rapidly reaching The Magpie’s ‘whatever’ stage. But let’s be generous, you’re probably just coming down after popping one molly too many on the weekend.

  14. Low Roller says:

    Townsville’s reputation as the Crime Capital of Australia was enhanced with the front page of this morning’s Astonisher.

    Until the Magpie highlighted the explosive accusations about the Ville’s High Roller Lounge, the city’s kiddy crime epidemic was responsible for our unwanted claim to infamy. Strike 2 came late last week when a Western Australian newspaper broke the story about the high roller scandal at the Ville casino. Now we are faced with what appears to be a protection racket, with the local paper appearing to massage a story in an attempt to protect a big advertiser.
    If you watch a replay of last night’s 60 Minutes program on Channel 9, then read today’s front page, you could be excused for being confused – very confused.
    The tv version of events painted a clear picture of the local casino taking over from where Crown and Star left off in hosting high stake gamblers (with alleged links to crime and money laundering) in its relatively new High Rollers lounge. 60 Minutes produced first hand evidence that the Ville CEO negotiated with an “agent” to bring alleged criminals to Townsville. An expert witness also stated that the CEO could not have done this without the knowledge of the casino owner.
    But today’s front page story suggests that everything is above board, and that the owner had no knowledge of what was going on in his casino.
    Even more puzzling was the fact that the CEO declined to be interviewed by Ch9 or make a comment, but the casino was happy to “end its silence” with the local paper.
    This could lead one to think that he knew the casino would get a sympathetic hearing from the Astonisher editor, as opposed to some hard questions from Ch9.
    In the past there have been many allegations that the Astonisher has either turned a story upside down, or at times even completely ignored it, in favour of an advertiser.
    Which begs the question: can you believe ANYTHING you read in the local rag any more?

    • The Magpie says:

      You need to ask?

    • The Magpie says:

      Hilarious headline, too.

      The Townsville Bulletin was oblivious to the story until they read The Magpie’s Nest yesterday morning, and if The Ville had been silent, it was only because they hadn’t been asked any questions. Of course, if The Magpie is getting a tad up himself with unmerited self-importance, the paper can’t really argue that ‘yah boo sucks to you’ it knew about the alleged (yippee – used properly!!) scandal beforehand, otherwise it needs to explain why it sat on the story until their hand was forced. Not a whisper on your FB or website yesterday that The ‘Pie noticed.

      But The ‘Pie has sympathy for tough, uncompromising investigative reporter Daniel Shirkie when the sat down to rewrite the Ville’s press release and some clippings from Google. His heart must’ve been pounding in fear that his name would be on a story that could cost the paper valuable advertising and him his job. You can imagine his relief when the statement he was retyping said no further comment was able to be made ‘because the matter was in the hands of the regulators’.

      But Mr Shirkie can claim an exclusive that sets everyone’s mind at rest, when, under his tough, uncompromising stenography, he is ambushed by the Ville’s bombshell statement ‘The Ville operates lawfully and takes its obligations seriously, and will continue to work with regulators to ensure it operates within legislated guidelines’. Well, I never!!

      Fancy having to work with regulators to behave legally. Damned interfering pricks, what’s this country coming to.

      Memo Mr Shirkie: while technically correct in extremis, ‘inquest’ is not used to describe the current Queensland inquiry in the Star Casino … at least no one else in the media anywhere has used it for this matter, and has always reserved ‘inquest’ to indicate an inquiry into a death. So you get the first of this week’s Spell Chump awards.

  15. The gnome from Nome says:

    I note with interest that the list of Directors of TEL note that the VC of JCU is Professor Simon Briggs. It is actually spelt Biggs. Nobody checks anything these days!

  16. The Magpie says:

    Fran’s still in there swingin’, still trying to keep the bastards honest. Love the end line.

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      The term ‘new player’ is typical of the out-of-touch narcissist and bully, Frau Hill. That term plays down Fran’s importance and value. It segregates Fran, as instead of being referenced as ‘our new Councillor’ or ‘our newest team member’, implying that the Councillors are a collective, it ensures that Hill is making sure that Fran is segregated from the rest and is on her own. Hill is a complete asswipe.

    • Time to!! says:

      Can’t wait to see what Fran will say about Liam mooney. Like father like son. How’s he going to do his job?

  17. Regular reader says:

    Great to see another local politician acting in the best interests of the people, and not doing as their told by a dictator or a political party.
    Phil Thompson showed how it should be done by actually representing the people who elected him and was rewarded with a resounding victory at the last election, despite a huge swing against the party he represents. The fact that our “independent” Labor mayor campaigned openly against him says a lot about her clout, or lack of it. No wonder Albo is giving her the cold shoulder.
    So keep up the good work Fran. Stick to your guns and you’ll be a councillor for as long as you care to be. Jenny Hill’s actions in trying to silence you will only improve your reputation and your electoral chances.

  18. One armed bandit says:

    So here is the thing – when it comes to money, society has robbed, stolen, killed, extorted and done anything it can to enrich itself. It’s gone on for thousands of years. Casino’s are no different. Politics is full of thieves and cretins, Wall Street and the financial institutions and big businesses are filled with thieves, crooks and liars, and so the list goes on. So the Casino’s are crooked, big deal, they are just a minority group within a big playing field. The only way to stop the rot is to ban them, and I hardly see any politician pushing that suggestion forward. As for money laundering, well it’s also done through property development, legitimate businesses and a cash environment. Easily done. Let’s not forget how much drug money is washed clean through TAB accounts and horse and dog racing. Seriously, a couple of pissy Casinos facilitating a few high rolling maggots all the while turning a blind eye to the law and gobbling up some easy money? Pffft. Chicken feed.

    • The Magpie says:

      And your point is?

      • One armed bandit says:

        My Point is this; who cares. Let the Casino be. Who gives a shit whether the money is laundered. Our crooked Governments are crooks themselves, mismanaging our taxes and politicians rorting the system. The whole world is corrupt, so who cares, just let the Casino be.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, me poor old sad sack, perhaps the people. whose money was stolen, extorted, embezzled or otherwise illegally obtained might ‘give a shit’ about the ill-gotten gains being made untraceable.

          The great Dorothy Parker once wrote a little ditty for dispirited drips like you:
          Razors pain you;
          Rivers are damp;
          Acids stain you;
          And drugs cause cramp.
          Guns aren’t lawful;
          Nooses give;
          Gas smells awful;
          You might as well live.

  19. Dave of Kelso says:

    THINKING ABOUT AARON

    Recently, twice a day, I think about Aaron (Who?) Harper and Annie Puddleduck.

    Let me explain.

    In my part of the neighborhood in recent months three break-ins resulted in two cars being stolen. Now, in our house, at the end of the day we collect our house and car keys from their discrete but convenient location and all but take them to bed with us. In the morning the keys go back to their discrete and convenient location. When relocating the keys twice a day I think of Harper and Puddleduck and how they have utterly failed to protect the community from criminal youth, and failed vulnerable families whose young children are susceptible to a criminal lifestyle.

    And by the way, what were the outcomes, if any, from the Parliamentary Committee on youth crime some time ago? Anybody please.

  20. Regular reader says:

    Chip off the old block:

    Liam Mooney: Townsville councillor charged with low-range drink-driving
    A Townsville councillor has released a statement after he was charged with drink-driving and will be required to face court.

  21. Prickster says:

    Son following in Father’s footsteps… hahahaha, let’s hope he didn’t run over anyone

  22. The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

    Unsurprisingly not the story about the Casino or the story about Liam Mooney being done for DUI made it to the Bullsheet site. Obviously not important news like the other chaff on their.

    Good to see Liam taking after his dad with the drinking and the driving. At least he didn’t maim anyone yet.

  23. Strand Ghost says:

    I see on facebook today Councillor Liam Mooney has made a statement about a drink driving charge earlier this mth, gee that took a long time to come out?

    • The Magpie says:

      Actually, no, not really … and here The ‘Pie speaks from experience. When you’re charged with a reading that low, seems you are sent on your way and are advised of a time to appear in court. Unless the paper has someone well connected with the coppers who whisper things down the phone – as if with this shower – no one would know about it until the court date approached and – when all the lobbying by daddy comes to no avail – you pre-empt as best you can with a carefully crafted piece of humble bullshit.

      Unlike his father, Tony, well known for fleeing a drunken hit and run in 1989, only to be chased down by a witness and brought back to where he had injured an indigenous youth who suffered a life-long leg injury, so The ‘Pie understands. BUT when Mooney senior was back at the scene, a copper who was a Labor stalwart told the then councillor to walk escorted up to the nearby police station (accident was at the corner of Ogden and Stanley) to make a statement. Which of course he didn’t, just pissed off home, the whole thing was buried, money changed hands with the victim, and the obliging copper a few months later was the surprise Labor candidate for a state seat down south.

      All Liam could manage was a pissy little .06, didn’t manage to hurt anyone and didn’t try. to do a runner (at least haven’t heard about that, which would be an extra charge). Ya just gotta love this town.

      • Palm Sunday says:

        Gees Magpie, soon there will need to be a car park (and probably meters) at the drink-driving, high rolling, cash economy moral high ground.

  24. Hee Haw says:

    Seems the moonshine is taking the shine off Mooney. He should, but wont, resign from council immediately

  25. TCC employee says:

    Woke up today to the news about Mooney. I want to know why we as employees of council would need to justify our role if we are caught for DUI. Yes a lot of us are driving vehicles and expect to lose our jobs because it is a requirement to have a license. If this arsehole is allowed to keep his job then any employee from now on should be able to fight there termination from council based on his case. He needs a license! He needs to set an example just like I have to when out dealing with the public. I also think the one is Brisbane should have been taken out as well. I don’t care what limit his level was , if he hits and kills someone it doesn’t matter that’s why we have a limit. This little entitled prick needs to go if the mayor had balls to say it too him without daddy protection. As a person who has been affected by a DUI driver incident I have no sympathy for this dickhead. Ten times over or just over you are a danger to everyone. Local government minister should step in and sack anyone caught drink driving just like our HR department sacks any of us. Double fucken standards.

    • The Magpie says:

      The mayor you mention, would that be the one whose was in a fatal accident with a motorcyclist, but whose breath test somehow went missing? After a fatal accident? Makes one wonder what advice she would give Mooney Jnr.

      • Ducks Nuts says:

        Her advice Magpie is in the ABC article. She now keeps a breathalyser in her car.

      • Palm Sunday says:

        Magpie, I don’t remember any suspicious issue about the mayor’s prang, especially the bit that she “was in a fatal accident with a motorcyclist, but whose breath test somehow went missing”. According to our faultless organ of record, the TBulletin:

        18 Aug 2021 — Hill was breath tested at the scene and returned a result of 0.00 per cent. Hill offered to provide a drug test sample but attending police did …

    • Palm Sunday says:

      TCC employee, you seem to be implying that Mooney was driving a council vehicle when he was busted for DUI. Did you mean that?

      • Alahazbin says:

        PS. All councillors are provided with a vehicle as part of their salary package.

      • TCC employee says:

        I’ve read your Jenny loving bullshit comments here in the past. Your a typical labor operative trying to find something out of nothing in everyone’s words. If anyone is dumb enough to be under the influence while in a council vehicle then it is instant dismissal, no brainer!!! How you got that out of my comment is anyones guess. It doesn’t fucken matter if you are or not driving a council vehicle under the conditions of employment. You should know that as you are very close to Jenny’s arse and would already know what you have asked me. Do yourself, Jenny and Liam a favour and go hide because your not helping by opening your mouth. Best let everyone think your stupid rather than say something and confirm it without a doubt.

      • Palm Sunday says:

        TCC employee, it’s not like Mooney drives a garbage truck or a backhoe as part of his day job. He does not need a drivers licence to be a councillor. “Double fucken standards”? You are over-egging the sponge cake old mate.

        • The Magpie says:

          Maybe but elected representatives are rightly held to a higher standard of behaviour.

          And why doesn’t he need a licence to be a councillor? Does he get a driver at ratepayer expense to cover his division properly?

          • Palm Sunday says:

            Actually Magpie, I didn’t know councillors were provided with a council car – I thought that was a mayoral privilege only. My bad.

          • The Magpie says:

            In truth, not 100% sure what the arrangement is, but know for sure that councillors can claim travel expenses for their vehicles, and it runs into the thousands, think there’s still some figures available siomewhere down in the Hermit Kingdom … and that system has been rorted from forever … reports have bobbed up from time to time over the years but nothing seems to be done – it’s a scandal waiting in the wings when some honesty returns to Walker Street. (Holding breath now, going purple ….)

        • Old Tradesman says:

          It’s just like Dolan dropping a certain pill at the Casino.

          • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

            Dolan seems to still be “tripping” with his comments in here under his differ “knob de plumes”.

  26. Mike Douglas says:

    Council parking meters stopped working last Friday so are they included in the large projects our Mayor said wernt completed by Council last financial year or do we add parking meters to the list . I suppose disclosing how many large projects not completed and the $ value would be commercial in confidence .

    • The Magpie says:

      Indeed, and while we’re there, The ‘Pie forgot to point out the weasel words of Mark Molachino regarding the end of free CBD parking. His reason was that -again- it was the CBD workers taking up all the spots and moving every two hours … this has been cited, probably partly correctly, for at least the last decade, to be at the heart of the issue. But they threw in free parking as an attempt to be seen to be doing something. But without attempting to address a known problem. Molachino is a slow learner, he’s the goof who had to carry the embarrassment of back-flipping after making the free Eyre Street parking site a paid venture. It stayed empty for months until the penny dropped that no pennies were being dropped, and was reverted to free again.

      No the reason was buried down in the last couple of paragraphs.

      Mr Molachino said the council had lost $200,000 in revenue from the free parking.

      Really, these people could not find their own arses with a mirror and two hands, with a torch thrown in to help.

  27. Prickster says:

    Nice fuck up by the Port missing the opportunity to have the city engage appropriately with our biggest neighbour as the Indonesian Navy’s tall ship sailed into the city yesterday.

    The the civic leadership of Townsville is a disgrace, and an international embarrassment.

    You’d never know the Port CEO is on the board of TEL and has a role promoting the city………..

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      That’s an oxymoron in itself – Port CEO on the TEL Board. These ‘board positions’ are held by muppets who get a free ride and additional spending cash for their ‘supposed input and valuable experience’. In reality they meet seldom and when they do it’s all tea and biscuits with no real work done. There is a reason why Board positions are highly desirable – good money for doing minimal work. It’s a disgrace.

  28. Ozimandias says:

    …. a prissy little 0.6? At that level he’d be in the fridge at the local morgue :)

  29. Regular reader says:

    Go easy on poor Liam Mooney.
    If I had to put up with Jenny Hill as my boss I’d be hitting the turps too.

  30. Hugh Jars says:

    You have to shake your head. In the initial Bully story that you have screen shot, they refer to Jones as one time aspiring LNP candidate, when he never actually stood for pre-selection but as you point out, his role as a current Board Member of TEL is completely ignored.

    For what it is worth, I think I would be more embarrassed as being associated with TEL…

  31. The Magpie says:

    3 minutes ago:

    Chris Dawson guilty of killing his wife Lynette in 1982.

    • The Magpie says:

      In the judge-only trial, the beak found the circumstantial case proved beyond a reasonable doubt, but making it clear that the manner of her killing, whether Dawson acted alone and where her body now is have not been established.

      • The Magpie says:

        Gotta love the Bully. 10 minutes behind The Magpie and here’s why …. they waited on the Gold Coast Bulletin for the outcome.

        The judge was NSW Supreme Court Justice, the trial was in Sydney and the murder was in Sydney … although you might think it was on the Gold Coast.

        And The ‘Pie allows himself the little brag about beating the Bully (not much to brag about really) but the old court reporter in him listened intently through six hours of live stream of the Judge’s case summary and verdict. Boy, listening to it, it is easy to see why these blokes make the big bucks.

  32. The Magpie says:

    The VERY BEST one word answer EVER!!!

  33. Critical says:

    Hey Jenny, how about installing these cameras and AI on council garbage collection trucks or does the idea horrify you as it would further validate ratepayer claims that the city’s road infrastructure is slowly but surely crumbling away under your leadership

    https://www.9news.com.au/national/sydney-roads-canterbury-bankstown-council-garbage-trucks-cameras-potholes/a7a739cb-e6c9-475c-82ba-dec7ec9915a7

  34. Lab Rat says:

    I say Magpie, did you notice that there are no Harvey Norman ads in the Bulletin today.
    Has the free money that Scomo paid to Gerry dried up?

    • The Magpie says:

      Dunno about that, but the Good Guys have a copycat deal with a multi-page effort today. The ‘Pie guesses it is an insert in the print copy, because it stands alone at the end of the online version. It’s a free market economy, so if they reckon it’s worth their while and pulls in punters, then that’s the way it’s meant to work. Otherwise, market forces will have the final say and push the Bulletin closer to the inevitable insert in the Courier.

  35. Helping Hand says:

    Looks like the ungrateful Solomon Islands PM has really chosen to side with China. I hope this prick can rely on China to help him next time they get caned by a cyclone, earthquake or tsunami. And I hope Australia will then turn around at such time and tell them to get fucked.

    https://au.yahoo.com/news/solomon-islands-pm-makes-deeply-unsettling-move-after-china-deal-230937934.html

    • The Magpie says:

      One may be mistaken, but one gets the impression you are puzzled and upset with being rejected for a job with the diplomatic corp.

    • Achilles says:

      I don’t think the Solomon Islands per se are ungrateful, I suspect that their PM is very grateful for the Chinese direct assistance to increase his personal account in a tax haven in one of his neighbors islands.

      • Grumpy says:

        Heels – he is indeed a corrupt POS. However, judging by what I heard on the streets of Honiara a few years ago, his time may be limited.

    • Palm Sunday says:

      HH, the Soloman Islands is not the only place looking to China in the face of disinterest or not-so-helpfulness from Australia. Timor Leste, having copped a going over by Australia in various negotiations over oil and gas resources, is threatening to invite investment from China to spare it from poverty. It has the resources but lacks the serious money to exploit them. Our Foreign Minister is visiting Timor Leste today to try to calm things down. She may have her work cut out. One commentator, writing in Crikey today, has suggested a rather different approach:

      “The sleeper opportunity here is whether a country like Timor-Leste would be a good case study for a country being paid to not develop its oil and gas resources,” he said. “At some stage, wealthy countries that have been the main contributor to carbon emissions will have to pay other countries not to develop fossil fuel reserves. What better case study than a small country like Timor-Leste with substantial oil and gas fields?”

    • Achilles says:

      HH, are you really Marise Payne? former “alleged” Foreign Minister.

  36. The Magpie says:

    Mikhail Gorbachev, the man who ended the Cold War and caused the break-up of the Soviet Union, has died, aged 91. He died in hospital after a long illness.
    The pigeons of Moscow are in mourning.

  37. Achilles says:

    Greens rep invents a new discrimination virtue signal, probably had too much turps at a BBQ, or is a boring TT.

    Probably sees “snags” as some sort of male dominance or maybe penis envy as his is only a chipolata?

    Men hauled over the coals for sexist barbecues

    “A prominent French Green MP has opened a barbecue war after branding the outdoor grill as a ritual that reeks of virility, male meat-eating compulsion and power over women”.

  38. Critical says:

    Hey Jenny how about following the Sunshine Coast Regional Council initiative and take a step to bring Boganville into the 21st century with this initiative Bin for Blokes. You could start by installing these bins in TCC facilities like the libraries, community halls, the Stadiums, Civic Theatre, Walker Street and so on, where blokes with continence issues may visit

    https://www.sunshinecoastnews.com.au/2022/08/25/bins4blokes-incontinence-public-toilets/

    • The Magpie says:

      Considering the effect our councillors have on the general population, this is an excellent and overdue initiative for Townsville.

  39. Happy Clapper says:

    It would seem that Scotty from Marketing, our former PM who enjoys speaking in tongues and chanting bullshit, May have been part of a bigger plan by the Pentecostals (which includes the Hillshlong church);
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-09-01/vic-liberal-party-branch-stacking-claims-city-builders-church/101388642

    • The Magpie says:

      But if you take that stand, then you must by extension berate the media that gives publicity to this sort of self-defeating fuckwittery (although the New York story is legitimately reported because it will have an immediate effect on the look and feel of a community.)

  40. The Magpie says:

    At first blush, as the legal fellas simper, one groans and thinks ‘she’s at it again’, when we read Jenny Hill’s latest front page broadside against Qantas.

    Yes, that would be the airline that our mayor wanted us to boycott a few years back, a blast that resulted in some subtle service paybacks in the following months.

    Now she has all but confirmed the Magpie’s rock-solid information that Mayor Mullet is seeking a spot on Labor’s senate ticket, with her entry into the fight over the Qantas fairy’s bid to take over Alliance. Which she says would be a disaster for Townsville and regional Queensland.

    An initial reaction is what business is it of hers in her role as mayor, but on consideration, she has every right – indeed, perhaps an obligation – to have a say on this matter, albeit a political flea bite as far as the players are concerned.

    But one wonders that if Jenny Hill thinks it appropriate to barge into this basically Federal stoush, then she must surely think by the same token that she would have the right and again perhaps obligation to have her say on our behalf in other matters that ostensibly should concern a regional mayor.

    Question: where have you been, Clr Hill, on the issue of juvenile crime in our city? Why have you not been beating down the door of your BFF and Labor pal Anna Palaszczuk about taking some REAL action to rid Townsville this scourge of these little mongrels – sorry, that should read, deprived, misunderstood little darlings who just need a cuddle?

    Answer sticks out like parts of Dolly Parton on a cold day: because you prioritise your personal political ambition to remain in Labor’s good books above speaking up for your city on this burning issue (pun intended).

    Talk about an unholy alliance!Those kids aren’t the only scourge this city needs to be rid of.

    • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Read the final part of the main story and look at the date of the paper. Even a simple dirt digger like me can work out the problem there.

      • The Magpie says:

        The Magpie missed that, well spotted.
        So what’s the point of asking the masses to make submissions on the very day submissions close? Guess the question is, did the paper sit on this story until it was too late, or did Jenny suddenly realise there was publicity gold (she thinks) for the taking?

    • Mike Douglas says:

      What a laugh Mayor Hill lecturing Qantas to improve customer service , lower fares , making sure the airlines runs properly . Townsville ratepayers lumbered with $74.7 blow out on Haughton stage 2 , highest rates increase in Qld and large projects not completed in last years budget . As far as service , questions on costs of parking meters , Lansdown , and uncompleted projects are answered with C.I.C. .

    • Achilles says:

      Your last sentence, “Those kids aren’t the only scourge this city needs to be rid of” will have our deluded spinning Jenny leaping in paroxysms of joy coz she’ll read it as the Pie is leaving town.

    • Palm Sunday says:

      Magpie, the timing of the Qantas/Alliance dalliance is quite interesting for Townsville. A new airline, Bonza, is starting up in Queensland and will apparently be competing with Qantas around our region. Having access to Alliance’s small aircraft will probably allow Qantas to mess badly with Bonza’s fortunes. A recent news item about Bonza stated:

      “Bonza plans to offer fares at about half the price of those offered by full-service airlines and similar to those of Jetstar.

      Along with the Sunshine Coast, expected destinations include Albury, Bundaberg, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Gladstone, Mackay, Mildura, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Rockhampton, Toowoomba Wellcamp, Townsville and the Whitsunday Coast.”

      • The Magpie says:

        Book me in for Wellcamp, believe there’ll be room … maybe cut price, too.

        • Palm Sunday says:

          Given that it is likely one of those wellness camps not a ‘resort’, Magpie, I’d be staying right away from it.

        • Achilles says:

          Thank you Mr. M Pie, your reservation is confirmed, Ms. J. Hill has prepaid an open indefinite Corporate Credit Card eternal payment.
          Please stay for as long as She wants

      • Mike Douglas says:

        Palm Sunday , with Qantas donestic losses at $765 mil and Virgin bleeding cash do you really think Bonza will stay the distance? Alliance choice of Rockhampton for their $60 mil maintenance facility over Townsville, says volumes. The opportunity to try and impress Labor / Unions would be Mayor Hills priority over the people she is paid to represent .

  41. Mug Punter says:

    The Townsville Bulletin has surpassed itself this morning with its racing liftout.
    Full fields and form for – wait for it – Birdsville, but nothing for the Mooney Valley race meeting in Melbourne.
    Pathetic.

  42. Palm Sunday says:

    Magpie, Magnis is going public in a ‘webinar’ today (12.30pm). According to a news item on the Magnis website yesterday the relatively newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, David Taylor will provide an update on the Company’s latest progress and developments.
    This webinar can be viewed live via Zoom and will provide viewers the opportunity to hear from, and engage with, a range of ASX-listed micro/mid cap companies.

    Whether “engage with” means viewers can ask questions is not clear but it would be great to hear from the company what the future of its Townsville venture looks like.

    • The Magpie says:

      One imagines a webinar will just be a different tool to deliver exactly to same thing as emailed advisories to the ASX and press releases say. But you have a point if questions are going to be allowed, unless those allowed to ask questions are ‘plants’. Nothing like a few Dorothy Dixers to get the share price climbing. Cynical? Sure, why not, those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it.

      And a technical point: The ‘Pie knows nothing of webinars – is this one open to anyone, seminars are generally for particular audiences, with often paid attendance?

      Anyway, keep an eye on it for us, and let us all know if Townsville gets a mention. Or more importantly, if it doesn’t.

      • Palm Sunday says:

        I only caught the very last of the webinar (which was free, open to anyone and easy to get onto) but that was the session with the Magnis CEO so all good. Yes, it was a repeat of much of the latest bits of news on their website – if you really want to see it there’s a recorded version at the host ShareCafe. Copy and paste the following link into your internet browser post the event:
        https://www.sharecafe.com.au/company/magnis-energy-technologies-ltd/

        Interestingly, the share price has taken off a bit in the last couple of weeks since the new factory in America began production and their batteries, with apparent fast charging resilience, have demonstrated some sort of performance qualities. The webinar made a tiny mention of Townsville along the lines of “advancing discussions with key stakeholders” but none of the 3-4 questions went to that matter. It’s not all smoke and mirrors – there is a brand new factory and it does actually make something. No sign of Frank though.

        • The Magpie says:

          Thanks for checking in on that, and the link.

          As The ‘Pie understands, the NY factory won’t be in any sort of commercial production for a month or two yet, at the moment batteries are produced on a limited scale for ‘further testing’. Which all seems a bit late in the day, but fine. As for Townsville,wonder if Fran like to enjoy another bout of being ignored and ask the mayor how things are going with BFF Frankie P.

    • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Thanks Dolan.

      I wasn’t aware the Magpie Nest took advertisements?

      I have a slightly used, somewhat dented City Council I’d like to get rid of – sensible offers only.

  43. The Magpie says:

    Based on Frans comments there doesn’t seem to be reports for
    Councillors to understand how the Council is performing on Projects and how
    much of the budget for 2021/22 is unspent . How do they gauge with the CEO
    and Directors of Departments are performing ? .

    • The (barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Maaaaaate! Trust us!

    • Alacan says:

      This is a shocking state of affairs .. it is incredulous that obstructionism regarding reporting of capex completions, carryovers etc is playing out as the councillor reports .. wonder how the ombudsman would rule.?

  44. Elusive Butterfly says:

    What a fucking joke, Mr. Pie!
    The much heralded two-day jobs summit, has decided that two and a half million Australian pensioners can earn an extra $4000 a year without jeopardising their pension.
    You bewdy!
    That equates to someone working one eight-hour day, once a week, for the princely sum of … wait for it … $9.61 an hour.
    And all the “Canberra Clowns” are running around, patting themselves on the back and telling us how successful the summit was.
    I’m lost for words!

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie is lost for money.

      Could be wrong about the following, so feel free to jump and enlighten the old bird: the union’s demand that collective bargaining across wide sectors of the economy might be an easier way to police arrangements, but it raises the very real spectre of the ban on secondary boycotts being scrapped, resulting in unfair ‘one for all, all for one’ disruptions and a return to the unelected power of the unions.

      The ‘Pie believes that is a prosperous country like Australia, there is no room for – indeed, no excuse for – a US-style class of the working poor, and corporate fat cats should see their an equal responsibility to the workforce as they do for their shareholders. And they wonder why a lot of people don’t want their jobs. It is all connected, but these are rapacious bastards by nature, because pleasing shareholders gets them humungous bonuses of obscene amounts. That’s one reason why The ‘Pie is 100% behind the windfall tax on miners (more about that in this weekend’s blog) although 100% against the manner in which Cameron ‘by name and nature’ Dick ambushed the sector. The idiot would’ve been more of a working class everyman’s hero he fancies himself to be if he had talks with the miners, and then told them to go fuck themselves and impose the tax anyway. Which is a fair tax, in The ‘Pie’s books. Fortuitous circumstances in the global market not of the making of either the government or the miners should be shared by everybody. (And forget the utter bullshit from arch bullshitter Ian ‘The Poisoned Dwarf’ McFarlane, his deeply immoral stand will also be laid bare in the blog.)

    • Palm Sunday says:

      Elusive, I got the impression that SOME pensioners wanted to be able to earn a bit of money without jeopardising their pension. They didn’t want to start a new career, they didn’t want to buy the Harbour Bridge, they just wanted to earn a bit here and there. Last I heard the previous government wouldn’t have it. Apparently this new government is going to give them some rope. What’s wrong with that?

      • The Magpie says:

        Think what Pucci’s Madam was saying was the paucity of the allowable earn, not decrying that pensioners could get work of they wanted to. Given all the moaning about lack of workers, allowing pensioners to work in part time jobs two or three days a week say without their pension being affected would be a boon to the country nnot a detriment.

        And they’ve paid their taxes for decades, SO EVERYONE PLEASE REMEMBER, the Aged Pension in Australia is not a PRIVILEGE, it is a RIGHT. The restrictions were initially imposed to ensure that younger people were not in competition with older folk who were basically being subsidised by the pension. A good rule back then, but now the picture is completely changed to the opposite situation.

        And another thing – going in and out of various stages of eligibility of working while a pensioner is a fucking nightmare (take The ‘Pie’s word for it) – and once you declare, the deduction is quick smart, but reinstatement is snail’s pace.

  45. Achilles says:

    Meanwhile in the Solomon’s their PM is taking a further leaf out of Xi’s democracy hand book. I suppose we can thank Marise Payne for her contribution.

    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/solomon-islands-prime-minister-manasseh-sogavare-fast-tracks-bill-to-amend-constitution-and-delay-elections/ar-AA11o0Go?ocid=winp1taskbar&cvid=406554d39fca4fe1e90bf23b9a1d36a4

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