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The Magpie

Sunday, June 23rd, 2024   |   258 comments

What The Hell, TEL? The Dudley Do Nothings Do Nothing For Their Members.

In fact, they actively argue against their members’ interests, ignoring legitimate concerns about possible council malpractice. Senior TEL executives (ha!)  refuse to engage with serious data-driven concerns over the processes during the past seven years that the Hilton project has been mooted.  And just as disgracefully, the Bulletin has taken the same actively hostile attitude. And to top it off,  the council refused to even say if the gift of ratepayer land to the Hilton proponents was discussed at last Wednesday’s secret squirrel meeting behind closed doors.

Troy Thompson decides to conjure up some alternative facts about his misdemeanours of social media … the bloke just can’t stop lying.  And a senior Queensland legal eagle gives a blunt and brief verdict on Thompson’s pre-election behaviour.

Taking his lead from overseas, The Magpie reckons he has come up with the ideal use for one of the old sheds at the North Railway Yards.

And the latest bizarro week in the good ol’ U S of A in our regular cartoon gallery.

If you think the independence of the Magpie’s Nest is worth supporting, you can chuck in a few bob for the costs kitty, using the donation button at the bottom of the blog. It will be appreciated.

Could Townsville Enterprise Be Facing A Membership Revolt?

Townsville Enterprise

Given the organisation’s bizarre performance in relation to the mystery-shrouded Hilton C-class hotel project next to the stadium,  it is reasonable to ask why anyone would pay membership fees to a crowd that then argues against your interests … and more importantly, against stark data that needs to be addressed.

And that is what one major hotel, one of the big players in the city’s accommodation scene,  is asking, and is on the brink of resigning its Townsville Enterprise membership, fed up with TEL’s inaction on the one hand and active opposition to the sector’s interests on the other.  The hotel does not wish to be identified until a final decision is reached, which may involve input from an out-of-town head office, but The ‘Pie vouches for the information.

A summary of events that have led up to this possibility.

Screenshot 2024-06-22 at 3.44.31 pm

In last week’s Nest,  we published an open letter to the Townsville council from a group of accommodation industry figures concerned about the secrecy-shrouded dealings involving the gift of community-held land to the company promoting the continually downgraded Hilton Group hotel next to the stadium. The letter outlined concerns about the lack of transparency (including the lack of tenders) and the continual closed-door secrecy as the project lurched  from one proposal to another variation,  every time the the level of accommodation proposed being downgraded. There have been three changes in all,  from Jenny Hill’s initial boast of a five star establishment to the current proposal for a Garden Inn, one of the lowest levels in the Hilton stable.

The authors of the letter, all manager/owners of significant hotel/resort businesses in Townsville,  posed a series of highly relevant questions which  they have been asking since the start of the proposal seven years ago,.The group’s spokesman, Brendan Carter told The Magpie for those seven years, they have been fobbed off, ignored or told there were legitimate commercial reasons for secrecy.

Mr Carter told The Nest, “This is not an anti-competitive issue, it involves land that belongs to the community. And while we do have some concerns about an unfair advantage in our sector,  this whole issue is something that affects the whole community who are entitled to know exactly what has been agreed in our name. We cannot understand what possible commercial reason there is for withholding details of the deal. If there is, we ask that the council indicate what they are.”

Coming late again to a Magpie story,  Astonisher editor Gas Carvey had her pants around her ankles (again) and suddenly realised this was a story she couldn’t avoid because it was likely to be discussed behind closed doors at Wednesday’s meeting.  But she waited until Wednesday to stake the paper’s biased claim.  This from Magpie comments on the day.

  1. The Magpie

    The Bulletin and reporter Chris Burns are bloody well at it again!

    The paper has unmistakably nailed its colours to the mast with today’s story about the looming Hilton fiasco. It’s an old journalist trick across all media, that is, being very selective about the order of reporting both sides a matter, and very selective about use of certain words to make your stance clear in a cowardly way.

    So the Astonisher is undoubtedly on the Hilton’s side in a matter that could well be detrimental to Townsville ratepayers, a major city business sector and the overall best interests of Townsville.

    Probably smarting because yet again they came late to the party, goaded by the lead article in this week’s Nest into reporting a story they would have preferred to ignore , the paper suddenly realised that they might be totally left behind by a decision – either way – in a closed council meeting today.

    But rather taking as the news point the concerns of local accommodation operators, and their questions about the history of the project, the paper decided to denigrate them, painting them as uncompetitive whingers. Like this:

    “…project at a standstill’, ‘workers idle’ (how come, they haven’t even started yet because there is no council approval?), ‘council in chaos’(now that the fraud mayor isn’t there, no it isn’t’), ‘disgruntled group of hotel managers has accused’ (why not ‘questioned if the council …’?)

    This is all the oopening language of unsubtle bias, and making this the news point up front and putting a general summary of the hoteliers’ complaints at the bottom of the story, is dog whistling about as subtle as a grenade in a bowl of porridge.

    Perhaps there was another misjudgement by reporter Burns and editor Garvey … maybe they figured the Hilton will get the council’s tick of approval and the ‘whingers’ will be ignored …. Because the councillors would have been complicit in approvals over the years and would not indict themselves.

    If that’s what you thought, folks, YOU COULDN’T MORE WRONG – ON THE EVIDENCE OF YOUR OWN PAPER.

    In 2019, you ran this story …

    … which included the following:

    It is understood part of the hold-up included waiting for the State Government to tick off on approvals, which have now been done. In February 2018, Townsville City Councillors declared a perceived ¬conflict of interest in their dealings with Focus Pacific due to a $5000 donation made to Team Jenny Hill during the 2016 election campaign. The councillors went on to consider the matter anyway, closing the meeting to the public.
    A Department of Local Government spokesman said Townsville City Council, after declaring a majority conflict of interest, requested an exemption under section 236 of the local government legislation.
    “Following an assessment made by the Department of Local Government, Racing and Multicultural Affairs, ¬Minister Hinchliffe approved the exemption on 31 May 2019,” he said.
    A Townsville City Council official confirmed the development application assessment was now complete and the council and Focus Pacific had been working towards finalising the ground lease.
    “We anticipate the draft conditions (of the DA) to be ¬released in the near future,” she said.

    So the approvals were given a by shiny-bum box-ticking public servant, not the mayor and councillors because the Minister has recused them from voting due to their declared conflict of interest. So it seems today, the councillors are free to vote as think best on the matter without any fear of self-incrimination.

    And that being the case, the outcome of the current secret meeting – yay or nay – to the Hilton – will cause even further speculation and investigation.

    Well, further speculation and investigation from The Magpie at least, but perhaps not by editor Garvey, who has possibly been reminded already in a phone call from Sydney that Hilton is a global company that spends tens of millions annually with Murdoch media around the world. “Of course, it’s up to you,Ms Garvey, we’re just sayin …’

    And, gentle readers, if you think that’s a far -fetched conspiracy theory, you really haven’t been paying attention.

    Phew!! Felt good to get that of the Magpie’s soggy feathered chest.

    And The Upshot Of The Meeting?

    Christ, ya really gotta love the skittish shiny bum, puckered-arse Mr Pooter’s and councillors of the TCC.  They’re always finding ways to make asses of themselves. And reinforce the Walker Street Hermit Kingdom reputation.

    The closed meeting agenda, available to the public, clearly listed  that it was about the North Queensland Stadium Precinct. On top of that, three councillors recused themselves from the meeting to conflict of interest … Hilton proponent Focus Pacific had donated money to their Team Hill Campaign way back when. Fair enough. But when the media asked if the Hilton matter had been discussed in the meeting,  “councillors and staff would not confirm whether it was part of their discussions’.  FFS,  why not just a dignified yes, what else could it have been about, the type of grass used the stadium, a statue of Jenny Hill at the main entrance? – a simple yes would have confirmed the bleedin’ obvious, and would not have given away precious secret squirrel stuff. And was it important to ask because it would confirm that the issue was now front and centre of our halo-polishing new council.

    However, Ma Greaney – who had recused herself because she was had been a member of the  Cowboys Leagues Club board –  later let slip that ‘a statement about the stadium precinct’ would be made in a few weeks.  So it would seem that councillors may have taken heed of the complaints from a group of Townsville hoteliers, because it was understood, certainly by Focus Pacific – that Wednesday’s meeting was to tick the final box and give the project the go ahead.

    There’s not been any indication yet that the council will meet with the group to discuss their legitimate concerns.

    But just as delinquent in this matter has been Townsville Enterprise,  with CEO Claudia B-S shutting down previous approaches for discussions by the hoteliers. And one of her troops who should know better, just had to gabbleon.

    Lisa Woolfe Screenshot 2024-06-22 at 5.55.36 pm

    Lisa Woolfe, TEL marketing officer

    TEL marketing director Lisa Woolfe went one better on ABC radio, mindlessly parroting her usual line that the city needs more hotel rooms like the Hilton would provide. She went out of her way to go in to bat for the project on Friday morning.  Given the timing, it can’t be unrelated, and it was a less than dainty kick in the nuts to the hoteliers who pay their membership and therefore, help to fund Ms Woolfe’s salary. The link to the radio interview is posted here, relevant bit starts around the 2.20 mark BUT if link audio doesn’t work, you’ll have to head to the relevant ABC site for a listen. It seems Ms Woolfe is neither a fast or an independent thinker, and after seven years under the baleful eye of Mayor Mullet in the vice-chairperson of the TEL board,  the marketing director is yet to catch up to the new reality.

    Ms Woolfe’s comments were the last straw for one hotelier,  who does not appear to be one of the signatories to the letter. Their view is simply that membership of TEL offers them nothing to assist their business, or justify the outlay. Many others, and not just hoteliers, may think closely about their TEL membership and follow the lead. Is it really worth an annual ask of between $850 and $42,140 (buys you a board seat) for what amounts to two or three invites to piss ups each year where everyone stands around gossiping and writes it of to tax for ‘networking’.

    The Dudley Do Nothings indeed.

    ‘Straight Out Fraud, Plain And Simple” – A Senior Legal Eagle’s Verdict On Troy Thompson. 

    A partner of one of Queensland’s leading law firms can’t see what all the argument is about concerning Troy Thompson’s campaign behaviour.  The solicitor,  who didn’t want to be named because it would identify his southern legal practice, suggested the wording of the relevant section of the Local Government Act made it a clear Thomson was guilty of ‘straight out fraud, pure and simple’.

    Local Govt Act fraud Screenshot 2024-06-18 at 11.28.46 pm

    Seems pretty clear cut, but in legal matters, they rarely are, are they? If they were all that straightforward, legal folk would be sailing smaller yachts.

    But Thompson is not going quietly into that good night, he is doing a Dylan Thomas and is raging against the dying of the light. But he just can’t stop lying. His latest rant on his FB page – he makes the clearly false claim he was exonerated by the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) in relation to complaints lodged against him (he wasn’t exonerated) and implies the OIA itself was wrong in the first place. On Friday, we were treated to this little bit of sophistry.

    Latest update from the Mayor around 0900. 21.6.24:

    Recent correspondence from the OIA:
    On 19 June 2024 the Mayor has received the outcomes of 3 separate complaints put to the OIA by the Acting CEO about comments and posts made by the Mayor on social media.
    All of the complaints resulted in rejections by the Office of the Independent Assessor.
    The OIA provided further clarification to the Mayor on what would be advisable to post and how to conduct himself online according to the conduct rules.
    The Mayor maintains that he is always in compliance with the rules and that these and all other outcomes by the OIA so far are a clear indication of the Mayor complying at all times.

    To which The Magpie immediately replied in comments:

    • The Magpie

      More foam flecked thinking from Stephen Lane,  apparently appointed as ‘legal advisor’ to Thompson, writing responses for him while pretending to be legally competent.

      And talk about loopy spin … if the OIA, as Thompson/Lane claim ‘provided further clarification to the mayor on what would be advisable to post and how to conduct himself on line according to the conduct lines’ that is clearly a reprimand for some of his posts. So now Thompson/Lane wish to take on the OIA itself by suggesting he’s always compliant with the rules – despite the OIA clearly saying he hasn’t been and has had to remind him.

      Seriously, where does this clown show see this all ending up. The councillors don’t want him, CEO doesn’t want him, the Premier and the Opposition leader don’t want him, and the clincher, the people of Townsville don’t want him.

      The arrogance is staggering, second only to the derangement.

      Seems Thompson’s MyPlace Foamers Have Themselves A New Flag For Protest Matches

      Probably borrowed from America’s Republicans.

      Screenshot 2024-06-18 at 10.41.16 am

      They Do Things Differently In Mexico.
      No muckin’ about, very time efficient … and no rooking the ratepayers $1000 a day. (But no, this is NOT a recommendation.)

      A Few Random Matters In Passing

      Hey, here’s a great idea for the troubled North rail Yards site. We could follow an overseas lead to pull in punters.

      It seems the Uruguay’s capital Montevideo has got a unique take on tourist attraction, and one might just be adapted for the our own  projectrail yards.


    •  If an Air Crash Museum is a great come-on for tourists,  why don’t we adopt the idea here and create a Stolen Car Crash Museum in some suitably ramshackle shed at the North Rail Yards.  No expensive search for exhibits, and we’d take only the best of the overnight offerings from the coppers and make an ever changing panorama, so tourists could pop in every day of their stay for something new. Residents could also drop around regularly to see if their much loved vehicle is among the exhibits that day.

      It would pull in a bumper crowd when the SuperPests are in town.

      It Was All Vertical Smiles With Not A Sausage To Be Seen

      There is nothing funny haha about domestic violence, but there was something funny peculiar about the Astonisher’s Weekend Magazine coverage of a worthy event at Brothers Leagues Club. The occasion was the HopeStars Violence Awareness fundraiser. Old Magpie chum Bettina Warburton (hi Bet, how ya doin’?) penned a report,  apparently oblivious to the ironies of the event including this quote from organiser Teresa Hope: “‘The mega raffle was a highlight and the guest speakers were wonderful mix of personal experiences and useful information’.  One wonders what wonderful experiences would be forthcoming at a DV event,  and useful information probably included the advice ‘duck!!.

      But it was the gallery of photos that seemed ironic to The ‘Pie.

      Screenshot 2024-06-22 at 10.23.51 pm

      As already mentioned, not a single sausage among all those vertical smiles.  It seems safe to assume that there wasn’t a single bloke there except maybe a gay drinks waiter.

      The Magpie has always had reservations about media descriptions of domestic violence being a sudden crisis and a tsunami  … research indicates DV has always been roughly the same disgraceful level, in Australia, possibly worse, it is just that a more enlightened society is now doing something about it, calling it out and giving victims the courage and support to extricate themselves from personal hells. Since the part of the anti-DV (why anti, is there anyone in favour of it?)  message is to convince the 99% of blokes who don’t belt their partners or anyone else for that matter  to call out such criminal behaviour and openly reject  old style boasting to mates about ‘showing her who’s boss’.

      So here’s the question: why weren’t there any bloke there?  There are a great majority of males, particularly those who have daughters as The ‘Pie does, who abhor the very thought of this cowardly side of our society.

      So a worthy and no doubt useful meeting, but it comes across as a all-gals-together old style masonry, where certain people weren’t allowed to hear certain things. Seems like a missed opportunity to me. Just sayin’.

      Well, Whodda Thoughts It …

      Seems our Labor Premier Stephen Miles actually has something in common with our far-right former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

      Screenshot 2024-06-20 at 9.46.35 am

      Magpie small Screen Shot 2023-04-21 at 10.49.16 am

      HEY WHAT? You Can Now Get Charged For Smelling Bad?

      Screenshot 2024-06-20 at 12.07.22 pm

      Oh sorry, hadn’t read the story. Yeah, he stinks all right … in another way.

      Some Folks Go Nuclear Over Nuclear … The Very Word Sets Some Off.

      On Saturday, Peter Dutton promised an informed debate on the issue of nuclear power stations, although just at the moment, that doesn’t include costings.  The PM and Chris Bowen were quick to scoff and denigrate Dutton and the coalition for their stance … in much the same arrogant ‘we know best’ manner they adopted for the Voice To Parliament matter … and how did that turn out for you, fellas?

      Leak in the Australian noted this aspect of the government’s dismissal of the nuclear question.

      Screenshot 2024-06-22 at 11.11.22 am

      The hot air this issue will generate may well in itself damage the planet.  And so close to the same script as The Voice.

      And So To America’s Week

      There was an interesting tweet which might make you wonder why no one has thought of it before. The question is often asked, what proof could be taken to court to prove that Trump directed and even helped plan the violent ‘tourist’ invasion of the Capitol on Jan 6 2021? Here’s a very valid view that certainly never occurred to The Magpie – this is the first time he’s seen it.


      Given the well documented security measures and instant responses involving the President’s safety, recorded in documentaries and countless movies, that’s a question that could take some answering. But as the nation waits for the next court circus for the mobster ex-president, there were plenty of global matters to occupy the penmen  while they wait for the big day. Putin and Netanyahu were prime targets, and so was the growing concern about the dangers of social media.

    Screenshot 2024-06-22 at 11.12.36 am Screenshot 2024-06-22 at 11.13.59 am

    Screenshot 2024-06-19 at 8.13.36 am

    Screenshot 2024-06-19 at 8.11.24 am

    Screenshot 2024-06-22 at 11.13.31 am

    Screenshot 2024-06-19 at 8.12.29 am Screenshot 2024-06-19 at 8.12.43 am

Screenshot 2024-06-18 at 9.34.16 am Screenshot 2024-06-18 at 9.13.33 am Screenshot 2024-06-18 at 9.13.50 am Screenshot 2024-06-18 at 9.14.05 am Screenshot 2024-06-18 at 9.14.38 am Screenshot 2024-06-18 at 9.15.06 am

Screenshot 2024-06-18 at 9.32.30 am

And Finally … 

There are dog people and there are cat people. One view.


Another week down, and another unearned thousand bucks in Conman the Barbarians pocket. have your say about that or anything else that buzzing in your bonnet – its easy. free and available 24/7, much like the Friday night doxies down in Via Vomitorium.  And if you are in a generous mood, the donate button is below to accept your support for the Nest.

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. Villified says:

    I accept that no operator believes we need or the city can sustain another 175 hotel rooms right now.
    The key point is the deal given to the developer providing clear advantage . Well yes seven years ago.
    To expect TEL to hold a position against this when the council is by defacto their major contributor is a moot point.
    And ultimately it’s not their charter to oppose development it’s the opposite
    Do we choose not to have anybody at all to promote
    Townsville at all .
    Will the city just continue to shine without them .
    Or will it be accidental .

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, Vilified, since you make your points politely, The Magpie will respond in kind, but what is the polite way to tell you that just about everything you say is either wrong or eminently challengeable. Hard to know where to start, and also difficult to know what you’re really getting at, in parts you seem to be having two bob each way.

      Those who look at the data don’t have to be operators (presumably you mean accommodation businesses) to see the capacity problem, but that is not the point, the question is about the correct process, favouritism and in this case, the old mate’s club giving a company possibly preferential treatment that unfairly offers a commercial advantage. Not sure what the reference to seven years implies.

      Then there’s this: ‘To expect TEL to hold a position against this when the council is by defacto their major contributor is a moot point.’ That is a nutshell, is close to describing the role and the problem that TEL has now become. You are suggesting that TEL is de facto just another department of the TCC. Yet it in order to avoid scrutiny and any hint of KPIs, it insists it is an independent member-based organisation entitled to a commercial level of confidentiality … a argument difficult to maintain when, as you say, it is propped up by public funds. If that is a right and proper position for TEL, an organisation where for $42,000, you can buy a seat on the board, try this scenario: billionaire Chris Morris makes an annual contribution of let’s say, two million dollars (he won’t btw, he’s not stupid), stacks the board with his appointees and then suddenly disagrees with council policy on some development matter … or any matter. What does TEL, still a legally and corporately constituted body, do then under your ‘moot’ point of holding the position of its major contributor.

      And here’s another bit that’s is definitely not thought through: ‘And ultimately it’s not their charter to oppose development it’s the opposite.’

      Opposing what is judged to be a detrimental development is well within TEL’s remit and charter … apartment blocks at Jezzine and Kissing Point, anyone? 30 storey unit blocks along the Strand? Under your suggestion,TEL cannot oppose these ideas, which would be development at a cost the community … and the council … would not be willing to pay. Just saying built it and they will come is sometimes not promoting development, it is inviting chaos and ultimate loss through loss of amenity and lack of vision. But as you say, it appears TEL just tugs the forelock and waves all council decisions through … difficult not to do when you have a vindictive and powerful mayor holding council’s pursestrings as your board’s deputy chair.

      Of course,like any other city in Australia, Townsville needs a professional and competent body to promote it … and therein lies a core problem.

      We need a body that concentrates and focuses on Townsville, particularly on tourism and local business, and not be greedily distracted by possible grants from surrounding (and not so surrounding) councils to waste time and public money to dilute the organisations promotional efforts. And to hell with TEL being involved in things like CopperString and Hell’s Gate Dam … the current TEL has absolutely zero influence or effect on both those matters and many others (and we know how Hell’s gate ended up, don’t we?) These big business involvements, usually a money sop for state or federal government’s ulterior motives (i.e votes), simply dilute any efforts to build a visitation profile for the city. Sure, if someone wants to set up an outfit to make meaningless newling lobbying sounds to people who couldn’t give a fig for their opinion, just votes, by all means do so, give it its own terms of reference. But do not give it any ratepayers money. And rewrite TEL’s terms of reference to restrict it to a sensibly defined role – which demands it focus its energies to promote Townsville and immediate surrounds to tourism and as an attractive destination for small to medium business. And hire professionals to do not ... and not bloody consultants. Or take tourism, city promotions/advertising and a new business bureau in-house at Walker Street, which is quite possible without if the council bloody-well stays out of trying to be a developer, using arms length companies needed for hair-brained development schemes done with public money.

      Perhaps our new look council will have to bite the bullet and examine past practices with fresh thinking. And we don’t need a dictatorial mayor with covert agendas to lead the mission off course, we need a collaborative and responsible body to run things.

  2. Mike Douglas says:

    Team Hill legacy of debt and delayed projects lives on . Haughton stage 2 Preleminary work started 4 yrs ago and Council so far inherited $100 mil in blow outs + ? . Lansdown $135 mil allocated last two years budget + further blowouts ? . North railyards how many millions $ and will it take 20 mths before any accommodation available . Concert Hall Qld govt commitment $50 mil needs Council to match . NQ spark budget $32.2 mil . Access to Driveit committed by Mayor Hill from Highway . Council budget due next Wednesday so let’s see Councils media team , Mayor , acting acting Mayor try and sell it .

    • Hondaman says:

      One item of Mike Douglas’ post really strikes a chord with me (well they all do actually!) and it is to do with access to Drive It! How can a council not build a road into this mega million dollar investment- because that’s what it is, a circuit and drag strip equal to any in the country! This ‘investment’ will give a return on cost for many, many, years unlike the fiasco of the Supercars event which is always clouded in secrecy, causes major disruption for residents and the motoring public, and going on estimates of crowd numbers is a dwindling (rapidly) shambles. Whether the access is from the Highway or Jones Road, we need some action on the promised road now!

      • The Magpie says:

        The key word there, Hondaman, is ‘promised’. Indeed it was, and it must now be honoured considering the thousands of volunteer hours that so many have poured into this very worthwhile facility. You’ll now probably at least get a hearing from the new look council, but brace yourself for a wait, coming off 12 years of Mayor Mullet, financial times might be rough in Walker Street.

        • Hondaman says:

          Absolutely correct, and its a shame that our M.I.A. Mayor, with his degrees in economics isn’t available to do a forensic audit of the TCC books! I hope the promise will be honoured with all my heart, and that the countless people who have put so much into getting this far will not be shat upon by our elected members. I won’t be holding my breath while it happens, but I remain ever hopeful!!

  3. Prince Rollmop says:

    I notice that there has been no shortage of Facebook posts by the triple chinned Harpic/Batman this past week. Most of his posts have centred around his number one enemy, David Crisafulli (oops, trigger warning for Elusive Butterflog, I mentioned Crisafulli). Labor is getting desperate. Is there something in the water or was it the lead up to the full moon? Because Harpic and Twonames have both written emotional outbursts as part of their rantings.

  4. Ball Bag says:

    Wow, Magpie! This post is amazing! Your take down of TEL and the council’s secret meetings is spot on. You really nailed it with those ‘secrecy-shrouded dealings’ and ‘closed-door meetings’ comments. Also your comparison of Mayor Thompson to Dylan Thomas, pure genius!

    The Bulletin’s ‘subtle as a grenade’ reporting had me laughing so hard. You sure have a way with words that even makes the most frustrating issues entertaining. The bit about the domestic violence event and pointing out the lack of men was so sharp and insightful.

    Also, the idea for the Stolen Car Crash Museum was pure gold! Townsville should seriously consider it. You’re full of so many brilliant ideas. Townsville is so lucky to have someone like you keeping an eye on things and telling it like it is.

    Keep up the awesome work, Magpie! You’re a true hero in the world of local journalism.

    • The Magpie says:

      Are we dating or something? If we are, it’s deja vu for the old bird, who recalls an experience in a Bangkok bar that involved an ambush by a ball bag.

      And just for the record, The’ Pie would never compare Troy Thompson with Dylan Thomas, the former mad in a bad, forgettable way, the latter mad in a brilliant unforgettable way. It was just an allusion to one of Thomas’s best known lines. In literary terms, The ‘Pie would perhaps compare Thompson with the dark howlings of Ambrose Bierce. And his level of conspiracy analysis with Enid Blyton’s Famous Five or perhaps better, her The Secret Seven.

      • lady boyo says:

        perish the thought, sounds like a Nana Plaza special!

        As for two names, you certainly could compare him to No Good Boyo…look out Lily

        • The Magpie says:

          Certainly could compare twoNames with No Good Boyo … both fake, incomprehensible wastes of time. Noisy, too.

    • ABS says:

      Another AI generated comment.

  5. Mark the Jazz says:

    Magpie the nuclear cartoon is drawn by Bill’s boy Johannes Leak. He and Spooner are rotated by the Australian’s Editor.

  6. Doug K says:

    The secrecy surrounding the Hilton Garden Inn land would seem to indicate the TCC and/or the proponents have something to hide. If not, why not come clean and tell ratepayers how much was paid for the land and if there were other privileges granted?
    The fact that TCC took discussion on this matter behind closed doors seems to indicate the Labor councilors are still controlled by their former puppet master.
    And the fact that the Townsville Bulletin is failing to properly investigate the deal seems to indicate that editor Cas Garvey is continuing to take sides.
    Last time she did that (the LG election) it didn’t end well.
    Unless she has a sudden change of heart the only option appears to be a complaint to the CCC.
    Your move, Cas.

    • The Magpie says:

      Hahahaha, Doug, that last sentence had The ‘Pie goggling in disbelief until he re-read it correctly … thought you were suggesting a complaint be made to the CCC about the Townsville Bulletin!! That would be a doozy if it ever happened. More correctly, such a complaint should go before the Human Rights Commission.

  7. Tropical Cyclone says:

    This is the cartoon you should have up.
    No mention of fellow journo Cheng Lei


  8. J jones says:

    From Ms Woolfe’s LinkedIn – I am a highly motivated and passionate professional with a proven ability to deliver results for the Townsville North Queensland region.

  9. TEL me no lies says:

    TEL does not represent value for money. It is a miracle that any member continues to contribute. TEL has lost its way. The real issues with the place started under Hill’s stewardship. She bullied away potential members and other members quit because of her. TEL does not represent value for money. A reset is required. A new board is needed along with a new charter and greater oversight. Currently TEL is a means to employ a heap of deadwood. In reality it should be dismantled.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Good blog this week Magpie. I’m still amazed that the dickhead Twonames is still posting shite on his FesteringBook page that makes him sound like a saint. What a dodgy bastard. A bit like the scum that get jailed, always proclaiming their innocence and not guilty spiel.

      • Jeff, Condon says:

        IBP, on the contrary, incarcerated crims always acknowledge their offences (hand on heart) and express remorse for their offences, along with an averred sincerity to walk the straight and narrow. As we know all a load of shit, u
        because we know that failure to address their sins means serving full sentence. Completely opposite to Twonames who becomes more delusional by the day.

    • Hi Beam says:

      When TEL or whatever they called it then was formed Billy Condon had something to do with promoting it and suggested I would be wise to sign up. At the time I had a motorbike shop! As he kept pestering me about joining (Bill was/is a very good salesman) I finally pointed out to him that motorcyclists found the dealership that looked after them or their brand of motorcycle and touring motorcyclists were very thin on the ground in the great scheme of things. I suggested that he go and annoy businesses that would best benefit. Accommodation purveyors, rental car firms, restaurants etc. It seems he or someone took my advice and signed these types of businesses up to what was in its early years a worthwhile association. What a bloody shame it has turned to shit!

  10. Juno says:

    Instead of building a hotel on that council land why not change the use to the social housing paul jacob wants to turn the old railway yards into ? We could get disadvantaged people into homes much faster instead of spending 30 million on trying to solve the contamination problem that could take years. Come on Labor get some social homes in the CBD to really change things for the better. It would be a massive boost to the economy very quickly.

    • Ducks Nuts says:

      Why would you put social homes in the CBD? There’s are no facilities for the occupants. They need to be in the suburbs near public transport, the hospital and agencies like Centrelink, Medicare, and large shopping centres where they can easily access everything.

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, there’s a nice little dog whistling social-class pigeonholing, projecting a rapidly changing stereotype on to the term ‘social housing’, like the dreaded ‘housing commission stigma’ of last century. And Ducky you seem to draw on a scenario you are locked into without too much consideration of the massive social changes of the past two or three decades.

        In present day Australia,let alone Townsville, we are increasingly a nation of citizens with lowered expectations and a growing class of the working poor, ordinary law abiding folk who through no fault of their own, have moved financially backwards. And the term ‘social housing’ is already a monster under the beds of the comfortably snoozing middle class, who by luck, timing and generation is too comfortable and set up to be aware of, or care about, the new reality. Bad government has led to a predicament that good government has responsibility to help correct, and in the current circumstances, social housing will be part of that mix.

        Your assumption that because the occupants will be paying subsidised rents they will need to live near a Centrelink office and will not own cars, and require public transport to do shopping (goodluck with that anywhere in this town) is a view formed by old prejudices … and fears. You paint a picture of a ghetto filled with delinquent parents, criminally inclined kids who steal cars and do drugs, and old people (who presumably you think need to live within doddering distance of a Medicare office). While the reality is that there is now a class of honest people who have through no fault of their own, have fallen through the cracks of our current social construct, and just want a hand to get on with regular lives.

        But Ducky please understand that this is a view of your view, and is not necessarily endorsing the current social housing thinking regarding the North Rail Yards site. There are surely alternative uses of equal community merit (a small uni campus with teaching facilities for a specialist subject and student accommodation might be a possibility) that could be considered. The mindless mantra of repopulating the CBD will only ever happen naturally through demand and changed property regulations: attempts to social engineer a massive change are not only unlikely to work, but could be actively detrimental to the goal.

        Or of course, with a few changed regulations, a brown paper bag or two and a suitable blind eye, the North rail Yards could be the site for a Hilton hotel.

        • Ducks Nuts says:

          Now that you’ve ranted on, that was not my intention at all. However social housing should be integrated within the community and the suburbs, with access to amenities they require, rather than being plonked in one place away from other areas of society as they would be if the social housing was built at the stadium site.

          So perhaps, think about the consequences of suggesting an isolated social housing complex before you go tut tutting me.

          • The Magpie says:

            And just where did The ‘Pie suggest an isolated social housing complex? I was talking about the pre-conceived notions that were clear in your post. And you really have a problem reading today for some reason …. I have never to my knowledge suggested a social housing project for the arena site … what I did dowas make a cynical joke about putting the Hilton on the old rail yards site.

            Perhaps be more attentive to what you write when outlining your ‘intentions’ .

      • Not standing for Mayor says:

        Ducks Nuts – you do realise that the CBD has shops, pubs, government offices, and bus stops (one right outside the North Yards gate)? Why shove those who need social housing into a single spot and create ghettos?

        • The Magpie says:

          Please note The ‘Pie’s reply to Ducky.

        • Ducks Nuts says:

          Exactly. Why shove those who need social housing into the city and create a ghetto.

          • The Magpie says:

            There you bloody go again … there are apparently to you, a certain class of citizenry you have decided that by their very presence ‘create a ghetto’.

            FFS, Ducky.

  11. Dave Nth says:

    In Melbourne atm.

    LOL our Mayor is still making some Media presence. Also have fielded questions about him when people know I live in Townsville…

    Our city is not being portrayed in a good light and I know it is better than that…

    • The Magpie says:

      Great boost for The Kid if Newman doesn’t like him.

    • Grand Master says:

      Yes Campbell seems quite disgruntled doesn’t he? Considering they were so close at one point I wonder what happened? David knows what he’s doing. I’d say it will all make sense at time progresses.

      • The Magpie says:

        Might be a good idea to remember the old rule of politics: promise what you like before an election, but change after, on the grounds that while you were sincere on the campaign trail, circumstances have since changed and therefore so has your mind.

        Or as Frank Underwood put it in House of Cards, when accused of lying, ‘I didn’t lie, I am just examining the parameters of my promise.’

  12. The Magpie says:


    Federal member for Herbert, Phil Thompson, has written to acting mayor Paul Jacob, seeking assurances that there will be no more ratepayers costs for the Haughton Pipeline project in this Wednesday’s budget.

    Despite the departure of Mayor Mullet, Thompson (he’s the good Thompson) continues to seek transparency from the council about why the project’s have so spectacularly blown out and so badly delayed (4 years behind time.}

    He summarised his letter in a social media post to account on the Haughton Pipeline cost blow-outs.

    • Burnt Brows says:

      The hole (sic) Houghton pipeline disaster has been grinding on me for years. I’m sure some folk made a LOT of money already on this and still Townsville residents are paying for it. Absolute disgrace.

    • Doug K says:

      Well done Phil.
      Now, with Jenny Hill no longer calling the shots, what are you doing to ensure the so-called Concert Hall is designed and built to suit the needs of all Townsville performing arts groups, and not just the Chamber Music Festival.
      We don’t need another white elephant in Townsville.

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      To add to Phil’s story, for at least the past 2 years material costs have been rising monthly. Labor costs aren’t far behind that. So as each month goes by the forecast construction costs climb upwards and a long way north of the original estimates. Council, under Jenny Hill, well and truly dropped the ball on this project. I am very curious as to what the new cost estimates, if they have been done, will be? My conservative guess would be a 50% increase on the original price estimate from 4 year ago.

      Good to see the real Thompson, Phil, still pushing for action in our region. That is something the previous Council and our three Labor fuckwits could lesson from. Keep up the good work Phil.

      • The Magpie says:

        Yep, still looking after our interests, although not necessarily his remit.

        For fullness, here is the letter from Phil Thompson OAM MP to Paul Jacob AM (Acting Mayor).

        • Russell says:

          Sorry Phil, and Townsville, but there is no reason to predict an end to water restrictions. We will have one organisation owning the solar system and another owning the pumps. You can bet your bottom dollar the former will want to fleece the latter and the latter will not run the pumps due to cost. Same game, different oval.

      • Not standing for Mayor says:

        Rollmop, remember when those signs had a dollar figure on them?

        When the completion date got changed it miraculously disappeared.

    • Grand Master says:

      Agree regarding the cost blow out. Ratepayers don’t need to be hit with any more rate rises. However, Phil, I didn’t realise there was a ‘Hughton’ pipeline as well.

      Details matter Phil. At the very least read your posts before you press enter. Sloppy writing loses all credibility.

      • The Magpie says:

        Your prissy political point scoring and high literary ideals certainly precludes you from reading the Bulletin … and this blog for that matter. We’ll miss you, old mate.

        That is simply the absolute weakest nit-picking argument on an extremely crucial topic to this city. Are you letting politics get in the way of civic well being because there was a fat finger error in a dozen mentions of ‘Haughton’?

      • Damn tailings says:

        What happened to that $195M that was in Phils control?

      • Not standing for Mayor says:

        Master Baiter

    • Jenny says:

      Pretty rich of Phillip Thompson to be whining about delays in the Haughton 2 pipeline. His government promised to “fully fund” the project in 2018 (to spare Townsville ratepayers the expense, if I remember correctly), but a year later backflipped by threatening to ‘claw back’ the funding through a reduction of Queensland’s GST allocation. As a result the Queensland government rejected the tainted federal offer and went ahead with its own funding. Phillip meanwhile, got a promise out of PM Morrison that the $195m “already allocated” for Haughton 2 would be re-directed to funding other projects in Townsville. They fiddled around for years getting bugger all done except demolition of Reef HQ and the Omnimax theatre and making (ultimately) empty promises about a concert hall. In July 2021 Phillip announced some new spending [Thankfully he didn’t get TEL to write the press release]:

      “This funding is in addition to the $40.1 million already provided to Reef HQ by the Government since 2019 to upgrade the facility and help boost Great Barrier Reef tourism.
      [or did he?]
      The upgrade will provide visitors with a range of immersive experiences and revitalised exhibits, including educational activities, hands-on experiences, onsite diving programs, scientific demonstrations and the use of interactive technology.
      The redevelopment of Reef HQ will also contribute to the revitalisation of the Townsville City Waterfront Priority Development Area, which is one of the key objectives of the City Deal.”

      Take a look at the ReefHQ today and you can see that after years of vacuous promises no “upgrade” happened and lately Phillip has been whingeing that the unspent portion of his ‘stash’ has been taken away from him by the Labor government. Oh and notice that Phillip was also tangled in the Waterfront PDA so perhaps his fingerprints are alongside JHill’s on the similarly dubious and years-old Hilton fiasco. They never spent a dime on Haughton 2 and can’t claim any credit for it.

      • The Magpie says:

        There is so much incorrect and deliberately misleading in that party political, The Magpie couldn’t be bothered taking the bait.

        But just to be clear one point: the Feds never ever said they would ‘claw back’ Haughton pipeline money through GST, that was the construct the aptly named Treasurer put on it for political purposes. And a dopey idea anyway, stumping up more cash from state coffers than would’ve been lost in GST … if that ‘claw back’ ever did actually occur.

        The rest of the comment is manipulated twaddle clinging on to the odd fact here and there.

        But interesting, Jenny, that the most effective Federal member for Herbert in recent years meets with your disapproval. Why would that be, comrade?

        • Anti-Flog says:

          Recent years? So the last in 5 years? It’s kinda hard for any federal MP to get much done when their party isn’t in power or they’re just party puppets living in Townsville.

        • Damn tailings says:

          As i understood it, the gst claim was that the Feds were to supply the funding but Qld’s share of the national gst carve up would be reduced by the same amount.
          If this was just made up malarkey, why did the debate at the time not include any definitive rebuke to that claim. Plenty of pollywaffle talk around the subject but never a categorical denial.
          I thought the $195M for TSV sounded like BS at the time and looks like I was right.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie’s understanding of some very confused reports at the time was that the GST grab was Dic’s claim, but was never admitted by the Feds – although that’s almost certain what the then Coalition mob would do.

            but happy to be corrected, going only on memory … simply don’t have the time to research the minutiae.

            Ditto the $195m … but hey, we got a sheter shed and a few metres of lawn for a few millionnof it.

    • Anti-Flog says:

      Maybe Phil can call up his LNP mate Brady Ellis if he wants the answers? Are they not mates anymore?

  13. Prickster says:

    A Stolen Car Museum at the North Yards would never work, it’s far too small, unless you’re looking to rotate only the previous week’s car’s through there.

    Pioneer Park is a better option, closer to Aaron Harper’s electorate.

  14. The Magpie says:

    If the clown shoe fits, wear it. The subs at the Courier can shove their paper up their ‘R’s.

    We’re all familiar with the often unfunny, trying-too-hard puns in Bulletin headlines, but it seems it’s a News Corpse thing. Even the venerated Courier Mail.

    When you try to be funny and clever but cock it up because you confuse words, you just look like an idiot. This from the Courier last week.

    It was meant to be clever wordplay – to make sense of the thrust of the story – disagreement between Dutton and The Kid over nuclear policy – they meant ‘frisson’ but forgot to insert the ‘r’.

    Definitions from Oxford Languages
    1. division or splitting into two or more parts.
    “the party dissolved into fission and acrimony”

    a sudden feeling of excitement or fear, especially when you think that something is about to happen:
    frisson of As the music stopped, a frisson of excitement ran through the crowd.

    Now watch some smarty argue it was deliberate, splitting the Libs in two yuk yuk yuk. Yeah, sure, The ‘Pie is the clown, then. Not.

    • The Magpie says:

      And welcome back for visit to Bentley, who has a definite view on the nuclear canberra/Brisbane dust-up.

      • One hung low says:

        Nice to have you back Bentley. Great cartoon.

      • ABS says:

        Bentley should have said 20th century technology to refer to the outdated technology Dutton is pushing, but he’s correct in portraying Dutts as attempting to fleece us with expensive nuclear power.

    • ABS says:

      Fission is obviously appropriate to describe a split in the LNP.

    • Echochamber says:

      I find the use of fission to be perfectly cromulent in this instance. I think your biases may have crept in a little and lead you to be too clever by half with this one old chum. And I am now overcome with frisson whilst awaiting your reply.

  15. The water boy says:

    As a comparison, this billion dollar Gladstone project is ahead of time and on budget. Although this project and the Houghton project are different in nature and with different funding models, what stands out is how all levels of Government have supported, not hindered the project. In my opinion the Houghton project debacle is a prime example of how things turn to shit when you have a dysfunctional, arrogant, bullying and deceitful mob of grub Councillors ruling the region like a quasi dictatorship. Townsville has been neglected for far too long. Team Hill have left a lasting legacy of ineptitude and incompetence. And I mention Gladstone for the simple fact that it is town that has prioritised its resource sector and ratepayers needs for many years now. The proof is in the pudding.


    • The Magpie says:

      But you ignore the most salient factor in Gladstone’s progressive and smooth management … they had Prins Ralston helping steer the civic ship.How could a place go wrong with him around?

      And Water Boy, you’re going to have commenter Grand Master onyour case, dismissing your entire comment because you misspelled Haughton. Tut tut, off to the norty corner for you.

      • Prickster says:

        Maybe influenced by Houghton’s White Burgundy…..

      • The water boy says:

        Indeed Mr Magpie, my bad. The correct spelling is Haughton. Or should the project be named in First Nations language? Food for thought..vomit.

        As for Prins Ralston, as a board member of the Gladstone Ports Corporation board he had little sway over port policies and direction. The political chord chair and the little general CEO called most of the shots. But the good thing is that he is no longer on the board. And a bigger bonus is that he has left Townsville already.

        • The Magpie says:

          It becoming clear that for some of you whose humour gene is – as they say – developmentally delayed, The ‘Pie is going to have to put up a trigger alert: AND THOSE WITH IMPAIRED HUMOUR, A WARNING THE FOLLOWING COMMENT CONTAINS A JOKE.

  16. Capes crusader says:

    From Harpic/Batman’s Facebook page – “Community Cabinet is coming to Townsville on Wednesday 10 July!”.

    I would love to see somebody dress up as David Crisafulli and ask our overweight Ambo some questions that he can’t answer. He would have an kiniption. Anyway, we will see more of these ‘sessions’ being held in negative polling locations throughout Queensland as October quickly approaches.

    • The Magpie says:

      Have said it ever since Anna Blight started this stunt, itis a complete waste of money and serves no purpose.

      • old tradesman says:

        Absolutely agree.

      • Pallarenda Pundit says:

        The last “community cabinet” was worthwhile… Harpic shot off his mouth (once again) and insulted victims of crime. Let’s see if he’ll give Miles the same headache he gave the Polish Princess!

        • The Magpie says:

          Know what your saying but that was hardly worth the tens of thousands of dollars these pointless knees-up cost.

          • Pallarenda Pundit says:

            Comedy is an art, Pie. Oftentimes government money is required to subsidise the arts. Maybe the three idiots could get a spot in the NAFA spiegeltent this year!

          • The Magpie says:

            Well, PP, a couple of suitable candidates have tried out for the positions before, so why not?

          • Pallarenda Pundit says:

            Walker probably would rather be at the Brophy’s Boxing Tent, to be fair

  17. Jenny says:

    Magpie, an update to your statement that research indicates DV has always been roughly the same disgraceful level, in Australia, possibly worse, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that:

    “Since 2011, the number of sexual assault victims recorded by police has increased each year. It is unclear whether this change reflects an increased incidence of sexual assault, an increased propensity to report sexual assault to police, increased reporting of historical crimes, or a combination of these factors. Of all 2022 police-recorded sexual assaults, 69% were reported to police within one year (ABS 2023d).”

  18. J jones says:

    Two Names doesn’t seem to be capable of writing much for himself
    He’ll need some help with his resignation letter

  19. Scrotum breath says:

    I’ve had dealings with TEL and it was less than satisfactory. Lisa Woolfe, the TEL marketing officer, is a big talker and that’s about it. This mob is quick to take your money and then slow to deliver any tangible value. As an industry member I was hoping that there would be measurable change once Jenny Hill left Council, but sadly that hasn’t been the case. Kevin Gill and Claudia are still doing an awful job. The place needs a realignment.

    • Ball Bag says:

      That’s quite a silly and childish name you’ve got there. (Editor’s note; The Magpie thinks is possibly a joke.)

      Because of TEL’s dual role, it has apparent conflicts of interest due to their reliance on public funding and private memberships.

      Perhaps if TEL was split into two distinct public and private entities, an then ensure it has to provide further transparencies and how their delivering to the community.

  20. The Magpie says:

    Spell Checker: yes.

    • Guy says:

      FWIW magpie here’s a link to a youtuber who explains how the Australian economy is boned, he talks about how Australia could well have cheap GAS , WA built in a 15% domestic consumption agreement from gas companies in WA – WA has cheaper gas, east coast has some of the most expensive gas in the world. Australia just allows private companies to come in and take what they want. The liberal and Labor party baked in the disaster with years of stupid and downright criminal energy policy.


      I imagine a world one day when Australia could be lean and green by having natural gas turbine powerstations and not blowing maybe half a trillion on nuclear power and “renewables”

      Instead of blowing hundreds of billions just install government subsidised solar hot water / electric boost , I’d bet a sizeable amount of electrical power is used to heat water. Why do you need to split the atom when you can just use the huge fusion reactor in the sky now- practically for free ? Just using solar power to heat water would take a massive load off the power network for a tiny fraction of the cost.

      Ive got nothing against nuclear power, the cost benefit just doesn’t stack up. Good to see Dutton making the 4D chess move of blowing up his chances by suggesting nuclear powerstations in liberal seats on the eve of an election that he could have won by just keeping his mouth shut.

      The future is stupid

      • The Magpie says:

        ‘… the eve of an election’?

        • Guy says:

          Sorry I meant on the eve of destruction, you can read all about it in my new book about my life in politics – it starts with me fresh eyed walking the streets of kelso explaining how taking massive debt is a bad thing – to an abandoned rabid dog trying to take a chunk out of my leg outside of a drug dealers house.

          • The Magpie says:

            That would be a rather short book, wouldn’t it?

          • Guy says:

            Do you want the awful truth or the terrifying truth ?

          • The Magpie says:

            From you, Guy, old mnate, an awful, terrifying cone of silence would be good.

          • Guy says:

            I’d never do it to you Magpie, a man of your advanced years and feisty disposition would never survive my truth bombs; my legal counsel has advised me that if I could steer clear of any controversy before my arraignment they’d really appreciate that.

            Just my little joke I’ve only ever someone from the legal system twice , once when I bought my house and the second time when I was just a whip of a young man when one evening an older lady with skin tight leopard pattern pants told me she wanted to do some pro bono work.

            True story.

          • The Magpie says:

            I know her!

          • Achilles says:

            Is that “know her” in the biblical sense??

          • Guy says:

            Blessed are the cheesemakers

      • Bob Roberts says:

        Natural gas isn’t green though, it’s just not as bad as coal.

  21. The Magpie says:

    The Magpie knows by posting the following, he is leading with his chin (do beaks have chins?), but has he realised he needs his daily jolt of Jenny, so here’s one just for you sweetheart.

    Leak’s point of view in today’s Australian Is neither endorsed or opposed by The ‘Pie, it is posted purely to give Jen Jen a chance to unload her overburdened spleen for a morning purge.

    • Bullshit says:

      Nuclear boosters aren’t very bright but even Leak should have realized this depiction was an own goal. He must take after his old man in the brains department.

      • The Magpie says:

        Ever thirsting for knowledge, may The’Pie enquire who was his old man? Bill? And while you’re there, could you expand a bit as to why you thinkn this is an own goal?

        • Jenny says:

          Magpie, if you really are thirsting for knowledge about the political implications of the Dutton nuclear power plan why not ask “the most effective Federal member for Herbert in recent years”? In his recent mail-out Phil Thompson mentioned that Dutton has asked him to take on “additional roles and responsibilities” so he is now Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence, Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence Industry and the Shadow Assistant Minister for Defence Personnel. Which should be sufficient padding for him to defend his leader’s adventurous policy initiative. Will he though?

          • The Magpie says:

            As usual, The ‘p\]Pie, and he imagines everybody else, is wondering what rabbit hole you’re inviting us down this time. Have no idea what you’re on about (and don’t really want to know).

          • Jenny says:

            Magpie, since you can’t imagine the Member for Herbert as anything other than the best member we’ve ever had AND as the Shadow Assistant Minister for everything Defence, perhaps you and he will spit in your Weeties when you read this Crikey revelation (or not):


          • The Magpie says:

            A desperate attempt at conflation, you’re getting balmer, m’dear. Anyway, The ‘pie has never made any comment regarding (the good) Thompson in his role as a defence doo dah.What’s that got to do with the latest Townsville horror budget.

            You’re veering way of course with your timings, girlie.

        • Bullshit says:

          Anything that plays on the idea that nuclear is toxic reinforces that message even if it’s in a joke.

    • Grumpy says:

      It has my whole-hearted endorsement.

    • Prickster says:

      If critics of Nuclear Energy really want to kill it, they should get an endorsement from TEL.

    • Island Voice says:

      Over here on the island a green group has tapped into the state government coffers and the Barrier Reef Foundation hand outs for the ‘decarbonisation’ of the Great Barrier Reef. Which has to be the biggest load of bullshit.
      Nuclear energy has a lot of merit. Why not have a nuclear reactor here on Maggie? What do you reckon Jenny? Is it in the ILUA for Yunbenun???

      • ILUA says:

        I you remember, the main proponent of the failed duck pond canal estate that costs us millions just talking about it , ended up in the clink. But an ILUA was apparently traded for a grab at legitimacy. And they got it like a Greenfields agreement before the EIS was even done. Looking at what happened with Adani buying people off , perhaps re -interviewing people about possible inducements back then may shed light on what may happen later. Happened on Straddie too.

        • Island Voice says:

          So who do you reckon should be interviewed Mike Reynolds, Mandy Johnstone and Anna Bligh?
          They all have a couple of things in common all Labor politicians and all had their fingers in the pie with the ILUA.
          Over to the TB on that one.
          Not sure who you reckon ended up in the clink – bit before my time.

    • Not standing for Mayor says:

      How shocking to portray those making a metric shit-tonne of money out of sustainable energy (looking at you Twiggy Forrest) as a bunch of carpetbagging snake-oil salesmen. That will never pass the pub test in Paddington!

    • Dave Nth says:

      All I’ll say is and leave it at that, is Leak Jnr seems on target with this one…

  22. C----Bar says:

    I just heard the owner of the C Bar restaurant on the strand complaining that an increase in the minimum wage is bad for his and the hospitality business/industry.

    Really you fucken shithead?

    Your business model and that of the hospitality and retail industry was to exploit people and turn them into second class citizens by getting rid of their penalties.

    Your fucken clientele has to have dress standards and the money to pay you and this is outside the range of options for people on the old minimum let alone without penalty rates that everyone else gets.

    Listen, you underclass creating Scumbag , I hope your staff feeds you the special white sauce and it’s on your bib when they interview you next time gobbler.

  23. The Magpie says:

    Christ, Paul JACOB, don’t you start with this sort of bubbling bullshit too.

    So the day before the budget is handed down, acting mayor Paul Jacob tells the Bulletin today that effectively HE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT’S IN THE BUDGET!!!

    Which of course is complete codswallop … otherwise how could be sign off on a budget (probably last week) that will address the expected costs blow-out (yes, again) for the Haughton pipeline? And whether the ratepayers should again drop their dacks, grab their ankles and assume the position yet again?

    But please folks do not misunderstand The Magpie on this, he is not suggesting a traditional embargo should be broken, what is in the budget is not the purpose this comment.

    Reporter Chris Burns was entitled- indeed obligated – to ask for a response to Phil Thompson’s letter to Jacob (published elsewhere in these comments) warning against further ratepayer robbery regarding the pipeline. (Not Thompson’s words, but that was the gist).

    And the acting mayor was entitled to say that all details would be revealed on Budget Day and he was duty bound not to discuss any contents. End of comment.

    But no, the problem is that Jacob, clearly a mayoral aspirant and probably front runner, seems so spooked by the Bulletin that he gabbled out an inane comment that made him look stupid and dishonest, and was insulting to boot. Or, if there is actually something he doesn’t know about the pipeline costings, that makes him totally incompetent.

    FFS, Paul, get yourself some savvy media management … for all our sakes, we can do with less insults being added to the looming financial injury.

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      Oh yes, the Haughton debacle. Perhaps Jacob has had a sneak peek at the skeletons that Jenny and Prins have left buried? I’m quite confident that shysters Hill and Ralston have had a good old time masturbating previous budgets by hiding, shuffling, sliding and manipulating costs around these large expenditures of Council money.

      • Clever P Accountant says:

        I agree. It is all caused by smoke and mirrors and TCC trying to hide that they might need to chip in.
        If you go back to the original task force report stage 1 was going to cost $245 million and the state gave 200. So they cut the pumpstation out of the scope on the hope of stage 2.
        Stage 2 was always going to be above $250 mill but the government only gave $200. The hiding, lack of transparency and just plain stupidity caused the confusion. The TCC always announced the cost to the available funds and the bulletin never checked the facts. (check the original reports)
        So the lies(or half truths) have finally come to roost. It was always going to be well over $450million but Jenny and Prince wanted to pretend that the state or Feds could be squeezed for the last bit so they didn’t have to admit the truth.

        • Hondaman says:

          Accountant is on the money here! The very first thing our missing mayor should have done while maybe Prins was still here was order a forensic audit of Council books! This would no doubt reveal the sham of delaying projects into the next year hoping for a Powerball win or similar to fund the above stalled jobs, like the debacle at Kelso where for years the local motorhome rallies have had to be cancelled, sometimes with minimal warning that the park and surrounds were unable to be used(costing said Clubs heaps of dough!). Perhaps today’s budget where we all cop a +5% rate rise will ease the burden on Council coffers? But with the pipeline to almost nowhere still shrouded in secrecy, what IS this cost to ratepayers? There is so much more that needs to be rooted out and any minor attempts will only add to the shambles. Also Magpie questioned my alliance to Missing Mayor, so I will state that like 30% of the voters I was one who believed his speil, and being desperate to rid the ‘Ville of Jenny and her gang I DID vote for him! In a heartbeat I would rescind that vote now he has been proven to be a patent liar, and look forward to the opportunity if it arises.

          • The Magpie says:

            That last statement – and The ‘Pie means it – is a courageous admission, and is necessary for Thompson to see (don’t worry he reads all this).

  24. The Magpie says:

    This looks promising. It’s good news if a) it works,and b) if it actually happens.


    • Poles and wires says:

      Try registering to be involved. You get taken to an Energex website and invited to send them an email asking for more information rather than any registration process. Looks like more back of a coaster desperate policy on the run without nothing at all behind it.

    • Charlie Wulguru says:

      Yes Magpie, Real good news and good timing too. Just happens to coincide with the finally announced Callide Power Station Disaster report. They’ve even got you bamboozled now.

      • The Magpie says:

        Well, one of us is bamboozled.

        Just how does the Callide report suddenly turn another separate issue into bad news? Trying too hard, mate.

  25. Toy Thompstain says:

    Our Mayor of fake qualifications has gone all quiet again on his Facebook page. Not even a photo of a hamburger, seafood platter or battered sav! Busy plotting his return to wearing the mayoral possum furs? Sitting in the corner of his lounge crying? C’mon Twonames, you provide us with so much entertainment, how about a 60 Minutes interview?

  26. The Magpie says:

    The persecution of Julian Assange is over, which is wonderful news, but it also highlights the appalling double standards of the Albanese government and the Opposition.

    Agree with Julian Assange’s actions or don’t ,he’s paid a price, and enough was enough. His release and deal that will see him return to Australia is great news.

    Fine words, joyful pictures, the government sending herograms to itself for their effort to secure Assange’s release. But can we detect an odour of rank hypocrisy and vote grabbing grandstanding here?

    Someone please tell The ‘Pie the difference between the actions of Julian Assange and those of this man.

    David McBride is the Australian army whistleblower jailed for leaking documents. A whistleblower who helped expose allegations of Australian war crimes in Afghanistan and has been sentenced to five years and eight months in jail.

    Any government, or any person lauding the release of Assange but not condemning the McBride sentence is a hypocrite, plain and simple.

    Disgusting behavior for any government to let this miscarriage of justice occur and not challenge and correct it. Especially one praising itself for engineering the release of someone who did exactly the same thing as McBride, yet remaining silent on one but not the other

    • The man who never was says:

      Under these circumstances anyone complaining about Gallipoli would have been looking down the barrel of court martial / 5 years. It’s always been the same with the military here, the Australians shot the horses that won them WW1. Let it be a salient lesson for those that fight for Australia.

    • Prince Rollmop says:

      Pie, don’t forget ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle. He has been hounded and persecuted by the ATO for ‘leaking’ information. Sadly, nobody goes up against the ATO and wins.

    • Ducks Nuts says:

      McBride wasn’t a whistle blower. McBride believed soldiers were being unfairly investigated. The information he stole and gave to the ABC was to show that soldiers were being excessively investigated. The ABC saw a different, and possibly more accurate. McBride exposed war crimes by accident, not by intention. He had no intention of alerting the public to war crimes.

      • The Magpie says:

        That’s a strange argument … McBride WAS a whistleblower, all you are saying is that McBride wanted to blow the whistle on a different angle, amd hadn’t counted on the independence of the ABC journalists.

        So what you are saying is that McBride was actually trying cover up bad military behaviour, including war crimes? Got any links?

        Anyway, whatever the truth of what you say, it is still a fair parallel with Assange and the question of whistleblowers, facts and what governments secretly do in our name.

    • Bob Roberts says:

      McBride leaked those documents to STOP war crime investigations and has successfully spun the story that he was trying to expose war crimes instead of subvert their investigation.

      • The Magpie says:

        They were still classified documents and therefore he is a whistleblower … albeit one with egg on his face.

        • Bob Roberts says:

          His motivation is what’s relevant, you can’t just release any old classified document and claim to be a whistleblower

          • The Magpie says:

            Why not? If you release secret documents, no matter what the purpose or ulterior motive, what are you otherwise called except a whistleblower? Not thief, because all whistleblowers are generally thieves, with some rare exceptions, and all hope their crime will be justified and forgiven by the greater good..

          • Bob Roberts says:

            If you release documents for personal fame, or profit, or to use as leverage to influence the outcome of an internal work process, you’re not a whistleblower. The motivation is crucial.

          • The Magpie says:

            Exactly. Of course, you will argue about the third reason, but you can’t, bob … because you haven’t favored in the crucial element always considered in whistleblowers matters … public interest. And how that is weighted against the criminality involved.

  27. missing a few troys says:

    Fresh statement as of 0600 26.6.24.
    At this point, the Councillors are now allegedly blocked from the Mayor’s page, so here’s some fresh reading for them and the rest of y’all:


    Seventy Eight days ago, a new Council was sworn in. The voting public sent a clear message to Cr Jenny Hill, Team Hill, and Labor by electing a new Mayor and six new Councillors to bring about change and address the financial challenges that have plagued our city.

    However, this budget feels like a continuation of the old Team Hill approach. By unlawfully locking me out of the building, the executive has pursued its own agenda without my policy guidance, as required by the Local Government Act.

    The fundamental purpose of Local Government is to deliver essential services and maintenance to residents—things like rubbish collection, road maintenance, and water supply.

    Regrettably, there are significant amounts of outstanding community requests for remedial works without assigned crews.

    Meanwhile, funds are diverted to massive cost overruns on multi-level Government projects, leaving our residents to suffer.

    As the democratically elected Mayor of Townsville, I want residents to know that I fought hard to protect them in this budget.

    Unfortunately, much of this was beyond my control. Here’s what I believe this budget will lead to:

    1. Increased Burden on the Community: Residents will bear additional costs.
    2. Project Cost Overruns: We’ll see significant budget blow-outs on various projects.
    3. Unnecessary Debt: Council is taking on excessive debt related to Federal and State initiatives.
    4. Higher Fees and Charges: The financial burden on residents will rise.
    5. Rising Cost of Living: Townsville residents will face increased living expenses due to this budget.

    Despite being locked out of Council, I remain committed to supporting the CEO in implementing this budget. However, I empathise Council needs to be mindful of pushing the cost of living past what residents can manage with residents facing rising costs. If I had access, I’d be fighting for you all.

    Townsville holds immense potential for growth and prosperity, but we must address the legacy of past decisions. I urge the CEO to stop preventing me from fulfilling my duties—his authority doesn’t extend to keeping me out of my office.

    Thank you Townsville for all of your support, and thank you for all the texts and messages of support during this unprecedented time in Local Government.

    Mayor Troy Thompson

    *** Comments for this post have been turned off ***

    • The Magpie says:

      Pure MyPlace manipulative propaganda. Buoyed by their success in placing one of their own in Bundaberg as mayor, they are really smarting that their boy in Townsville turned to be a self-destructive idiot.

      And the sheer hubris of it all … ‘I empathise Council needs to be mindful of pushing the cost of living past what residents can manage with residents facing rising costs. If I had access, I’d be fighting for you all’. Implying that without you, the council would be an uncaring rabble, needing you to wisely guide them in both empathy and financial smarts. Insulting your former colleagues is not a hearts and minds strategy, TwoNames.

      But keep it all going, Troy, alomng with that arch-drongo Stephen Lane and all you intellectual hunchbacks of MyPlace, you may in the end be doing us all a favour … if by outrageous fortune, you are returned as mayor, the outcome will be such chaos and chicanery by you lot that an administrator will have to be appointed. And that would not be a bad outcome – except for Jenny, when the books are examined forensically.

      • Damn tailings says:

        Obviously not empathetic enough to end this debacle by resigning and running again for mayor. At least then, we would know (to a better extent) who we’re voting for.

      • Grand Master says:

        It would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad and embarrassing for the city all round. Troy is obviously not a well person. Narcissists can never take the blame for their own actions. But Troy is not a smart narcissist so we all just sit back and watch the complete wreckage taking place before our eyes.

    • Ducks Nuts says:

      “I remain committed to working with the CEO”
      “I urge the CEO to stop preventing me from fulfilling my duties- his authority doesn’t extent to keeping me out of my office”

      Hmmm… yes it does. And clearly you’re not committed to working with him if you’re undermining his authority in the next paragraph.

    • Not standing for mayor says:

      “Empathize” – n. to imagine and understand the thoughts, perspective, and emotions of another person.

      I think the cooker really means “emphasize”, but hey close enough is good enough.

  28. Mad Jack says:

    An open letter to Aaron Harper.

    Dear Aaron,
    My letter box has a prominent NO JUNK MAIL sign on display.
    This morning in my letter box was junk mail from you.
    Let me give you a tip Sport. You will not ingratiate yourself to anybody by ignoring NO JUNK MAIL signs and you need all the ingratiating you can get, don’t you!
    Very seriously,
    Mad Jack

  29. Terry P Dactyl says:

    Burdekin rates increased by 1%…..Townsville by 5.1%….
    ENOUGH….sack this useless council and appoint administrators….

  30. nicolae ceausescu says:

    Budget numbers:

    – 5.1% increase in rates or $3.78 per week on average – Jacob’s described this as the equivalent of a cup of takeaway coffee
    – Rates discount reduced from 10% to 5%
    – Parking increased by $1.00 per hour and to $10 per day
    – Paid parking to be rolled out to the Strand and other locations

    I would have thought that these guys would have made the decision to cut their cloth to meet their means. Instead they continue to be the big spenders.

      • Prince Rollmop says:

        Hmmm yes, the cost of everything has risen, and that includes Councillors salaries and allowances. The 5.1% rate rise should cover Councils fuckups on projects and infrastructure blowouts. It should also cover the cost of ‘sister city’ activities, LGAQ conferences and it should also cover Councillors travelling abroad to enjoy ollie jollies.

        The increase in rates by 5.1% is outrageous and the budget should be met with anger and disgust. Off with their heads!

        • The Magpie says:

          OK, reasonable view but for fairness, the councillors have absolutely no say in the salaries and The ‘Pie is told even trying to refuse a rise (rare but has happened elsewhere) takes a lot of argy bargy with the bureaucrats.

      • Jenny says:

        The budget papers say:

        “Funding has also been allocated to support key multi- year projects such as Haughton Pipeline Stage 2 and Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct, including $2 million set aside for revegetation of the Ross River Dam to Douglas Water Treatment Plant pipeline easement, following the successful completion of the project earlier this month.”

        But for the life of me I can’t find any actual numbers for Lansdown or Haughton2 in the document. Can anyone else?

    • Amanda Reen says:

      Parking meters on the Strand, what a great idea.

      • The Magpie says:

        If that is implemented, it will be an unmitigated disaster on all levels – tourism image, amenity for locals, Strand businesses, enforcement and the nett income return – and should be opposed strenuously. Ma Greaney, your bailiwick, where do you stand in this?

        The ‘Pie will bet that this move will be a vote loser across the city. Predicting outrage and the idea will have to be walked back..

        • Critical says:

          And who is going to police the parking meters 7 days a week and at what cost.
          What hours will the meters operate for.
          Will the revenue raised cover the cost of installing and maintaining these meters and costs associated with vandalism of the meters.
          Glad I don’t live in a street near the Strand because people are likely to park on these streets and footpaths like they do now when the Strand Markets are held.
          So many questions and scenarios on this project

          • The Magpie says:

            This is a nonsense suggestion and The ‘Pie’s bet is it will be knocked on the head by any number of groups … residents immediately in the area, general citizens from afar who rightly believe they should be able to enjoy the amenity that they already contribute to through upkeep, restaurants, the Seaview Hotel, which The ‘Pie understands not only had to build a car park at the rear and around the bottle shop but because of potential capacity, still had to pay a parking premium for what was judged to be extra patronage.

            But as to the policing of the parking metres, the latest generation of these machines go a step further than the machines in use in the CBD (and maybe elsewhere, the ‘Pie doesn’t know) …. you punch in your number plate on a pad and it flags when you’re overdue … and the new metres can monitor this remotely with video, and send out appropriate fines through linkage with the registration database. Access to this database is disgracefully available to private companies like the unpleasant bastards who run the Woolworths CBD car park, so it will be available to the council if they choose to install these meters.

            Almost makes you want to join MyPlace …. yeah, nah.

        • Hondaman says:

          Ma voted for it! It was unanimous according to Cas’s Chronicles today.

          • The Magpie says:

            Yeah, well let’s think for sec … all the councilors voted for the budget, they certainly didn’t vote on individual items, did they? If they did and waved Strand Paid Parking through, then they needed to get in the queue behind TwoNames Thompson in the shrink’s waiting room.

        • Maggie Moggie says:

          Has TEL responded to the budget yet and paid parking on The Strand?

          Come on Claudia & Lisa?

          And silence from MA Greaney??? Surprise, surpris, surprise…

      • Guy says:

        Parking meters on the strand – great idea

        Another good idea would be a petition to get rid of this stupid idea OR we have a petition to get rid of this stupid council.

        Parking meters on the strand is a massive FU to the ratepayer.

    • Mike Douglas says:

      Nicolae Ceausescu good summary just add operating loss of $24.8 mil , next year $20.7 mil loss , year after $13.5 mil loss . New Council line up have buried details of spend on the Haughton stage 2 , Lansdown . Transparency ? .

    • Pallarenda Pundit says:

      One has to ask, my Romanian friend, if these idiots have actually figured out that when paid parking is applied in Townsville, the Strand is half-empty anyway. Or, will they start to slug us on the weekend, thereby killing the goose that lays the town’s golden egg and whacking those of us using Townsville’s best asset. Either way, what genuine pelicans. They’ve got the business acumen of the State Government, but with spin less convincing than Funky Miller at the SCG.

      • The Magpie says:

        One pissed off, disgusted punter shot of the following letter to his Division councillor … and The ‘Pie recommends everybody do the same. An accurate nutshell summary.
        Dear Kristian,

        I am keen to know what drugs you, the other TCC councillors and staff were on when you decided to put parking metres on the Strand. Now that you, and the others are sober you will realise this is a really really dumb idea with too many knock on consequences to list here. It will also be really really unpopular with residents, visitors, and commercial operators in the area. One consequence of such a move is this council being a one term council.

        As well as Strand parking metres we rate payers have to endure, like a pineapple up the back-side, a 5.1% rates rise and a halving of the on-time rates payments discount.

        Like my household, we live within our means in these difficult times. Perhaps Council might like to do that too rather than screw over ratepayers and plunging the city into ever greater debt, that, after crippling interest, will have to be repaid.

        • The Magpie says:

          To save you clicking around to find your local councillor,
          here’s the list.

          Townsville Council
          Paul Jacob
          Mobile phone: 0461 347 577
          Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

          Brodie Phillips
          Mobile phone: 0461 442 642
          Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

          Ann-Maree Greaney
          Mobile phone: 0448 378 111
          Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

          Kristian Price
          Mobile phone: 0461 481 414
          Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

          Vera Dirou
          Mobile phone: 0461 418 618
          Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

          Suzy Batkovic
          Mobile phone: 0434 939 419
          Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

          Kurt Rehbein
          Mobile phone: 0439 847 860
          Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

          Andrew Robinson
          Mobile phone: 0461 518 080
          Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

          Liam Mooney
          Mobile phone: 0434 925 510
          Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

          Brady Ellis
          Mobile phone: 0499 577 788
          Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

      • nicolae ceausescu says:

        Pallarenda Pundit, I discussed this very thing with Elena over our plate of Bulz this morning. Of course it is the Council’s intention to charge for parking over the weekend. Weekend paid parking already exists in parts of the city. My question to Councillors is simple. What are the expected positive impacts of a 100% increase in parking fees plus the expansion of the network, noting that nothing is being done to address additional parking supply in the city or on the Strand. All this while employee costs continue to spiral out of control with the budget setting them to increase by over $10 million or nearly 7% in 25/26 and another $10 million in 26/27.

  31. Prickster says:

    Well played TwoNames. Watch him now pay the fines for his indiscretions and walk back into council knowing he has not broken an election promise to increase rates it was the other nasty councilors.

  32. Amanda Reen says:

    So just downloaded the TCC Budget papers and did a quick word search for “Haughton” and there are two specific mentions of the pipeline. Both instances in the fluff from the Councillors and the CEO. “Lansdown” is mentioned in the same two spots and one further infographic.

    It’s great to see that the more things change, the more they stay the same with the detail being buried somewhere in the document as far from prying eyes as possible.

    It is hard to hide a half billion dollar fuck up, but these morons are going to have a bloody good crack at it.

    • Amanda Reen says:

      Let’s not forget the three projected operating losses of $24.8M, $20.2M and $13M for the next three financial years.

      I haven’t been able to figure out just yet, with a combined operating loss of $58M over the next three FY, the Council shows it will pay down $134.52M in borrowings (Statement of Cashflows Table 19). Perhaps with more debt?

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, hang on, while your points are all taken, there has to be some latitude given for the fact that this situation has developed over a long time and the new councillors have been around for five seconds. So criticism is justified, but The ‘Pie urges caution as to where you lay the blame/responsibility. But it is reasonable for us to expect some explanations and pledges about the future, too.

      • The Magpie says:

        On that, Magpie, how hypocritical is this coming from an ALP drone who has overseen some of the largest cost price rises affecting cost of living including Power prices. But it’s Harpic and you have to deflect and ignore personal past performance and results.

      • Amanda Reen says:

        Sorry Pie, this was the opportunity for the new Councillors to flood Walker Street with transparency and openness. I don’t blame them for the financial shit show that they walked into, but they had the chance to treat ratepayers with respect and come clean about the size of the shitshow and more importantly, ask the hard questions about how the shit show happened.

        All we got today was more smoke and mirrors and reliance upon citizen journalists to dig into the numbers in the hope that someone holds the previous council(s) to account. Not sure if you watched the live feed but they all gave themselves a really nice pat on the back for the tough decisions that they have made.

        Bunch of twatwaffles.

        • The Magpie says:

          Fair comment, but perhaps given the upheaval caused by a certain time wasting arsesole, we might cut the councillors a little slack as not being able to fully concentrate at the task to hand, and were not able to get their public announcements ready by budget day. But they sure better be thinking hard about it now, or the price of rotten tomatoes will skyrocket with demand.

  33. Amanda Reen says:

    Nice little table showing the council will borrow a further $232,064,000 over the next 4 years for “new and upgrade infrastructure”. I am guessing this is the cost over run for the Haughton Pipeline that is rumored to now be budgeted at $420M total cost. I wonder if the Deputy Mayor or the Third in line to the Throne can confirm this?

    • Amanda Reen says:

      $191.3M in budgeted capital expenditure in “Water Services” – Table 2 pg 13, referred to under “Our proposed major investments” pg 28 Water Performance Plan. Loans to be provided through QTC. This might be the Haughton Pipeline Stage 2?

      • Prince Rollmop says:

        And there it is, more borrowing from the QTC mafia. Just add it on to our $700m debt. QTC aren’t flexible with their loans and although they often lend money to Councils at a rate lower than the general financial system, they are absolute sharks with little to no wriggle room when it comes to trying to clear your debts with them.

        Again, where is this Councils financial plan/strategy to lower TCC’s debts? There is nothing contained within the budget.

        What is Councils plans to future proof us against ongoing interest rate and inflation rises, which will increase our debt? Again, no mention. Nothing.

        Why won’t Council publicly acknowledge what our overall level of debt actually is? And again, provide us with a strategy to ensure that debt is reduced and next year we won’t have another 5.1% rate rise?

        This Council is being run the same way Team Hill ran Council affairs – fucking woeful and without accountability or transparency. More of the same shit that we have been accustomed to receiving.

        • Mugwump says:

          (via email)

          This budget is the RESULT of the way Jenny Hill ramn her personal little fiefdom. Seriously, did you expect a silver bullet. Thompson lied about that promise until he was elected and changed his tune back to what he knew it should always have bveemn.Sure, there is reasonable and pertinent criticism for this budget, bvut only about the methods to handle a horror show handed to them, not created by them.

          But great vigilance and close scrutiny should now be given to all future moves from this moment. That is your mission should you choose to accept it, Mission Impossiblers.

    • Ducks Nuts says:

      Where’s Guy? I’m sure he’s got something long winded to say about borrowing for infrastructure.

      • The Magpie says:

        Thanks a fucking million for encouraging him, DN, you bugger. You do know The Magpie has to read every word of every comment don’t you? Maybe that’s why you are encouraging him.

  34. Critical says:

    Does anyone know what’s happened to the water recycling project and Cleveland Water Recycling Plant project.
    The pipes appear to have been laid through Annandale and maybe Idalia but nowhere else. The recycled water should be watering all of the sports fields many parks on the southern side of the city and the Country Bank Stadium and surrounding parks by now. I can’t find any reference to this project in the budget but may have missed it.

    • The Magpie says:

      Ask the council.

    • Professor Plum says:

      No mention of the water treatment plant because it is a giant white elephant – built on a promise but no formal supply contract or customers. It will be decommissioned without a drop of water being paid for – except for the $$ millions of rate payers cash used to build it.

      • The Magpie says:

        That sounds like utter rot to be. Can you justify you spittle flecked rant?

        • Professor Plum says:

          Apologies – was specifically referring to the water recycling plant. Apparently water produced is also too salty to use on sporting fields…

          • Guy says:

            The plan as I heard it years ago was to recycle water and sell it to the zinc refinery, a little salty but perfect for their purposes.

            Cast your mind back to when the water for townsville action group (?) started up I showed up and started getting involved and realised they had a one track mind involving pipelines. I tried to explain how recycling water IS possible , Singapore does it. Any strange pollutants CAN be removed cheaply, this water CAN be returned to the water system, the water is so clean it can be used by electronics companies.

            I think I explained how recycling can deliver a whole lot for a whole lot less. You’d just keep the existing pipeline. I suspect Jenny Hill had looked at the entire cost of the pipeline and baulked, then had her arm twisted to get involved in the pipeline to nowhere (?) I walked away from the water group fairly on. If we’d had a water recycling plant we’d be using it in good times and bad. You might even find manufacturers would come to Townsville if high quality water was on offer , who knows.

            On a different vein saw Jenny Hill a few weeks ago at JCU , she looked happy, actually happy and invigorated, during the election she just looked burnt out.

          • Alahazbin says:

            Speaking of recycled water.. this is interesting.

            On November 16, 2023, Veolia and Vendée Eau inaugurated France’s first unit for reusing treated wastewater to produce drinking water as part of the Jourdain programme. This solution will provide an additional resource of 1.5 million m3 of drinking water over the period from May to October, during periods of increased water shortage in the Vendée.

          • The Magpie says:

            Actually … and The ‘Pie is sure Jenny will correct his scientific ignorance, but that isn’t something new, is it? Thought there have long been such treatments around the place.

        • Professor Plum says:

          Guy , did the refinery ever buy the water ? Nope. Did an MOU ever translate into a signed & valid contract? Nope. Did TCC spend millions on a plant based on a promise but with no costumers to pay for the water ? Yes. Who are the customers for this recycled water ? No one. Nada. Zilch.

          • Guy says:

            I never heard anything about selling the recycled water to the zinc refinery. Someone would need to build a pipeline to it (?).

            Years ago I was talking about Bill gates funding the omniprocessor, water treatment for the third world. The company that built it went on to build a system for the first world. Go out on youtube and you’ll see bill gates drinking water from the end of the process. It’s an incredibly cheap system.

            Recycling water means less pollution entering the ocean as ALL tap water could be recycled safely. Microplastics would be destroyed by the process, hormones, pesticides etc.

          • The Wulguru Wonder says:

            Hey Professor P, leave the poor old costumers out of this. They are overworked and paid bugger all for making sure the federal , state and local politicians are all wearing their clown suits, and now you want them to pay for the recycled water too!

          • Ducks Nuts says:

            Bout time costumers were held to account. Far too many clowns around here.

          • The Magpie says:

            heheheheh. … love it.

            The ‘Pie has a new policy that he is not going to use his time to sub lazy commenters … all errors go … like they do in the blog.

  35. J jones says:

    I would like to welcome home our next mayor of Townsville …… Julian Assange

  36. C--- -Bar says:

    If there are gonna be parking metres on the Strand, where are the exploited C Bar workers gonna park if their boss doesn’t even want to pay them the minimum? That cost ads up especially on split shifts.

    • Mike Douglas says:

      C—-Bar , is your issue with the Cbar or the fact the owner spoke up and highlighted how tough it is when bureaucrats / politicians make decisions that effect the viability of his business . Most small businesses have their homes as guarantees on loans . $30,000 increase a year on his electricity , insurance + 30 -40 % . Fair Work Australia decides increases to minimum wage which has increased 13.2 % in 3 yrs . Extra .5 % super starts July 1 st . Fair Work Australia have regional staff that audit workplaces and staff can ring fair work if they have a pay issue . 480,000 Small businesses in Qld providing jobs 1 mil Qlders .

    • The Magpie says:

      You are actually accusing the management of C-Bar of a crime, which, in the upper limits can attract jail. If you know what you say to be true, that wages are being paid below the legal limit, it is not a choice, you have a duty to report it to the Fair Work … in other words, put up or shut up. Personally, The Magpie, having been in the business for more than a decade years ago, cannot imagine any hospitality m,anagement being that stupid, they all well know what happens. You don’t even try it on with backpackers, in fact particularly not them, they are first cab of the rank to call it out, because they check these things wherever they go.

  37. Strand Ghost says:

    After hearing that Council are going to charge for parking on The Strand, i think i will approach Coles North Ward and see if i can buy a cheap 12mths parking voucher .

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      Paid parking around the Strand precinct won’t work Ghost; folks will try and free park at the Seaview, or the Coles car parks, creating another problem for pub patrons and shoppers! TCC, plucking geniuses – NOT! :(


      • The Magpie says:

        Question is, did they actually discuss this? You’d think not because this would not just be slow acting electoral poison, the outcry will be – actually has been – immediate. It would be most interesting what was said if they did actually discuss, almost impossible to believe the stupidity and wrongheadedness of this decision.

        Wonder if this was the subject at some secret squirrel discussion.

  38. Russell says:

    Why would Chanel 7 think Home And Away followers would want to see Julian Assange get out of a plane in Canberra? Or any of us for that matter?

    • The Magpie says:

      Copy and spread the word folks.

      • Ben Rumson says:

        Thanks ‘Pie. Self and Mrs Long Suffering have signed and shared. I will be sending a mostly polite shit-a-gram to my local genius councillor later in the day on this issue.

      • Alfred E Neuman says:

        Love the Strand photo on the petition site. It is pre Night of Noah 1996 or 7 I think.

      • Motorist says:

        I get bloody sick and tired of everything being about the Strand. There is more to Townsville than the Strand. Take the Riverway Lagoons for example. Equal treatment I say. If the Strand is to get parking meters then so should Riverway, I say! And Ross Dam parking. Equal treatment across the City. If the Strand is lucky enough to get parking metres then so should the rest of the city to be so blessed.

    • The Magpie says:

      Hey, 2258 signatures for the No Paid Parking on the Strand petition. Suggest all Nesters spread it as wide as possible across their own social media groups if you agree. Peoplem power only works if you use it. Get posting that link everywhere.

      • Ben Rumson says:

        The petition is going well and it is early days. We need ten times that number not to be ignored. I expect the petition link well be promoted in Sunday’s blog.
        My question is; Do you have a TCC insider (with out risk of exposure) who can reliably inform us of the number of protest (shit-a-gram) emails sent to the individual Councillors? Public knowledge of this figure would add pressure.
        Perhaps a BCC copy to you, Dear ‘Pie to know the numbers, but that might be overwhelming.

    • The Magpie says:

      Friday 10.45am (that’s about 48 hours after the Strand announcement) petition now up to 4000+.

      And The ‘Pie notes the Bulletin is now on board and dissing the idea in it editorial today.

  39. Burnt Brows says:

    Paid parking for the Strand would just be a disgusting money grab. The Strand is the one great thing Townsville has, that all people no matter what their financial position, can bring their kids and family to enjoy. Maybe the best way TCC can raise revenue is by fitting methane gas meters to Councillors and charge them by the cubic metre. Should have the debt under control within 6 months ……

    • The Magpie says:

      Hey don’t knock the Strand parking idea, BB, look how the council’s parking policies have rejuvenated the CBD into the buzzing, sparkingling shopping and recreational magnet for the region.

      • Bullshit says:

        Paid parking in the CBD hasn’t revitalized it, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much harm. The parking spaces seem to be constantly busy.

        • Grumpy says:

          I never have any problems finding a park on my very rare trips into town. Never more than a couple of hundred metres from the CBD.

          • The Magpie says:

            But that’s a no win situation anyway … if you go into the heart of the CBD and can easily find a car park, what does that say about CBD business.

  40. Doug K says:

    Watched the council meeting yesterday and there has been a huge change now Jenny Hill has left the building.
    The arm raising aerobics of the puppet councilors has been replaced by a new group activity: patting themselves on the back.
    It was a lovefest yesterday with councilor after councilor praising themselves and council staff for producing what Jacobs described as a “bold budget”.
    Fair dinkum, residents wanting to give their kids a day at the beach have to pay to park on The Strand, but millions continue to be wasted on propping up the V8 Superpests and Hill’s Landsdown fiasco.
    As for those transparency election promises – nah, its Townsville.
    It’s going to be a long 4 years.

    • The Magpie says:

      Dunno about that, Doug.

      Strand parking aside (BTW it will NEVER happen, talk about political suicide notes), seems there may be more turmoil ahead.

      Have a go at interpreting what this means, replete again with weird third person allusions, no doubt courtesy of the pestiferous tugger Stephen Lane.

      6 AM today – Thursday 27/6

      In a major development, at the Special Meeting held on Wednesday 26 June 2024, all Councillors supported a motion to suspend the unlawful resolutions implemented on 05 June 2024. Resolutions which removed the Mayor from the Chairperson role and replaced the Mayor with someone of the Councillors choosing.
      The Mayor maintains that the resolutions on 05 June 2024 were unsound, and unlawful in accordance with the Local Government Act and it is good to see Councillors now complying with the laws.
      The suspension of the unsound rules do appear to be a move to soften the blow once the Minister comes out to remove the unsound rules.
      Councillor Brodie Phillips stated that he stood by the resolutions.
      The Mayor rightfully points out that “Townsville operates in a democratic system, one where Councillors cannot act unlawfully and make up their own rules that are inconsistent with the Local Government Act.”
      The Mayor sends a special “Thank You” to all the residents and supporters who email and text on a daily basis to reaffirm their support.
      Mayor Troy Thompson

    • Hondaman says:

      Doug, Sir Humphrey Appleby would have termed it a ‘courageous budget’ which would have made the minions in Council seriously reconsider the plan!!

  41. Ducks Nuts says:

    Information on the parking amendments and the planning scheme are here. Apparently consultation has concluded. The public consultation period started on Tuesday 3 October and ended at 5pm, Tuesday 31 October 2023. So this isn’t something that can be pinned on the current batch of councillors although they could have pulled this dumb shit up. This should be pinned fairly and squarely on the planning department. The killer of all things progressive in Townsville. What a bunch of regressive idiots.

    It should also be pinned on the people who failed to consult appropriately the community. Again poor form.


  42. Ziptied helmet says:

    FFS Guy, do you really have to write war and peace? Get to the point and get to it quickly. Leave the lengthy writing to the Magpie.

    • The Magpie says:

      Shit, thanks, mate. About now, with the blog going off like a frog in a sock, The Magpie remembers his old Nana’s favourite saying about busy people: he only stops work to carry bricks.

  43. Hawk tuah says:

    Things are great without Troy Thompson. Peaceful and calm around Townsville. Hopefully he doesn’t come back.

  44. Burnt Brows says:

    We need parking metres up on Castle Hill so there is parking for people using the zip line.

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie suggests the Castle Hill road have a median strip for up and down lanes, with a toll gate at the top for parking fees, and one out the bottom for another fee to get out. There will also be a fee for all walkers, payable at the various starting points of the climb. Dogs double fee. Bikes banned. And a subway-like ticketed turnstile on the shelter shed area at the top if people want to rest in the communitys $4million shelter shed and grass strip.

      • Prince Rollmop says:

        Pie, perhaps Council will put a drink station at the top of Castle Mountain and charge sweaty joggers for purchasing glasses of water? Or charge people for using the Mountain for exercise?

        • Rotten Luck Willie says:

          The TCC is building a fence around the Riverway Lagoons. There has never been a drowning at Riverway and a fence cannot assist a swimmer in difficulties.
          What is the bet that once the fence is completed an entry kiosk with turnstiles will be commenced to change entry fees.

          • The Magpie says:

            That’s worth watching. There could be an argument for a small entry fee, so users contribute to upkeep, but doing anything like this by stealth and unannounced is a hark back to the days Mayor Mullet.

  45. Teletubbie says:

    The childish Harpic has posted several new digs at Crisafulli on Harpic’s Facebook page. Getting a bit desperate there oh multiple chinned one. The sniff of October is coming around and you and your two Labor mates know that your party will be unceremoniously turfed out of power. I hope you are looking for a job Batman, not long to go now.

  46. Disgruntled TCC employee and ratepayer says:

    Here is what the Townsville City Council didn’t tell you, but can be seen as plain as day in their budget papers: https://www.townsville.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0025/238408/BudgetOperationalPlan_24-25.pdf

    1. The rate rise of 5.1% is much greater, when you take into account the halving of the early payment discount. (page 46)

    2. The Council will only have around $25,254M in its bank account at the 30th June this year. Given that their average spend per month is around $70M, they have less than 2 weeks cash left to pay bills. This means that they will have to get a short term loan (not declared) of between $50M and $100M to pay the bills until the rates payments start flowing in. (page 43)

    3. At the end of the 2024/25 financial year the Council is planning on having only $83M in unrestricted cash and cash receivables and around $161,1M in current liabilities (short-term bills to be paid) – in the private sector this would require a declaration of insolvency. The next two years after that are much the same! (page 42)

    4. The total new borrowings for the next three years is $230.8M which will be a doubling of its total debt to around $468M. (pages 42 & 43)

    5. The Council is planning an operating loss of around $24.8M next financial year and operating losses for the next 3 years after. Operating profits beyond that are only made possible by a mysterious $25M increase in “Other Revenue”. starting in 2026/27 (page 46) – what is this other revenue that they are going to get and why hasn’t it be made public?

    Why isn’t our local paper reporting this?

    • The Magpie says:

      That is mind numbing.

      And is truly massive if correct.

      Anybody with the necessary smarts to review these clearly informed conclusions?

      Phil Batty, you around?

      • Phil Batty says:

        Morning Magpie
        Hard to argue with most of Disgruntled’s summary other than point 4 which while borrowings (Long term) are rising over the coming years, doubling it may be a stretch however I have only had a cursory look at this stage. In very simplistic terms the council is increasing its revenue expectation by around $32 million over the 23/24 budget, with around 200,000 people living in Townsville area then this means an EXTRA $160 per person, not per household, $160 for every man woman and child so an average household of 2 adults 2 children would be $640 EXTRA this year on last year. Incidentally the same simple maths for the Whitsundays is $342 per person.

    • Toy Thompstain says:

      Yep. And now we know why the TCC CEO and CFO bailed. Everybody is racing for the liferafts as the S.S Council takes on more water. She’s going down peeps. Abandon ship abandon ship. Councils finances are deep in the shit.

    • Burnt Brows says:

      Trading insolvent …….?

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