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The Magpie

Saturday, June 24th, 2017   |   131 comments

Wheeling And Dealing: In Or Out Of Office, The Long-Established Network Of The Gilded Few Continues To Profit From An Ailing Townsville

Forget coal mining, gold digging is where the action is, and one little known out-of-towner continues to mine a rich vein of public money. Along with his local mates.The Magpie beaks around.

There is a word for everything and the word for The Townsville Bulletin this week is ‘chutzpah’ – shameless audacity and impudence. The paper again proves it has a tin ear for irony, with an amazing admission of self-condemnation.

The Courier and The Bulletin directly contradict each other on the front page … and both are WRONG.

Remote control: a vital role for the Townsville City Council is run by senior staff officer from her home … in Melbourne.

And how Donald has turned the world upside down … literally,

But first …

Real Queensland Originals

The Magpie doesn’t trouble his readers with the general inconsequencnes of the sporting world, but there are those moments that cannot be ignored.

And the Comeback Kids did it yet again on Wednesday night, to dumbfound NSW in the second State Of Origin match … and did it right in the heart of enemy territory. And yes, JT is a remarkable athlete and a remarkable man who deserves the accolade of ‘inspirational’.

But from Bentley’s perceptive point of view, this dogged determination is a Queensland trait not restricted to the sporting arena. He believes it is our habit to put ourselves on the line to be pummeled by the opposition, but come back to overcome the odds.

tough finNB Bentley wants The ‘Pie to point out he is not particular fan of Pauline, and is a bit indifferent to RL, but he says any guts in the face of fierce opposition can only be admired.

Quite so.

But News Ltd Does Offer Diversity

On Thursday, The Bulletin screamed …

Screen shot 2017-06-24 at 10.31.49 PM

… while on the very same day, the Courier bellowed …

Screen shot 2017-06-24 at 10.33.36 PM

… and they were both saying the same thing, and they were both wrong, although we had to wait until Friday to find out, although the Courier was a model of sober understatement – not.

 Screen shot 2017-06-24 at 10.34.58 PM

Melbourne Ain’t Mumbai, But C’mon …

In practical terms, it might as well be, depending on your view and trust in modern technology. So ratepayers, decide for yourselves if the modern trend of ‘distance doesn’t matter’ is the way you’d like you ratepayer dollar spent, as Mayor Mullet fumbles around trying to contain the chaos she and her CEO have caused the council.

The Magpie will admit that a restructure of the council was necessary, and many of those in elected office since amalgamation have been remiss in not instituting a more humane policy of down-sizing by attrition some time ago. But the callousness of the current policy, devised by a southern organisation with national Labor links and implemented by an imported Labor head-kicker in Adele Young, shows a fine disregard for people over self-interested policy. As reported here (and nowhere else, it seems) last week, we had a nationally respected senior IT executive, recruited in February, leave because he said he couldn’t work in the council’s ‘toxic atmosphere’.

Juliana Tiong and Adele Young

This week, another key staffer, the recently appointed TCC Procurement Officer Juliana Tiong, decided that for family reasons, she was unable to continue to fly from Melbourne each Monday to work in Walker Street before jetting off on Fridays back to Melbourne, an exercise that was stiffing the ratepayer travel costs in the thousands per month. Instead, she has now become a contractor and does her highly paid chores from her home – in Melbourne. No reflection on Ms Tiong , who is a recognized professional– even if there may be a background tie-up between her, the Nous Group and Adele Young.

Is it really necessary for The Magpie to state the bleedin’ obvious, that this is diametrically opposed to Mayor Mullet’s mealy-mouthed mantra of ‘buy local’, since Ms Liong will be contributing to our economy not a single cent. Apparently doesn’t apply either mayoral to vehicles, or to staff. Fair dinkum, she’d run the whole fucking shebang out of her native Malta if she thought she could get away with it.

The Magpie Goes All Dotty again

It seems of late that one of this blog’s favourite pastimes is joining the dots, which a bit like that game of seven degrees (it supposedly takes just seven connections with different people to be connected to just about anybody in the world).

This came to mind when The ‘Pie learned that this chap …


… one Prins Ralston, has secured a consultant’s contract with the Townsville Hospital to review operations … err, that would be administrative operations, not the medical type.

Mr Ralston you will most recently remember as the head of Melbourne’s Nous Group, which has so endeared itself to TCC staff with its restructuring plan. But if you mistakenly think Mr Ralston accidentally came upon an apparently sorely needed review at the hospital, it isn’t quite so.

Because this Prins among men has a long, if somewhat unheralded links with Townsville and some of our luminaries. He was part of Rabieh Krayem’s IPA Personnel way back when oit started to expand (too quickly, it turned out), but as the organization grew, Prins became Rabieh Krayem’s boss. Yes, the same Rabieh who was great lunching mates with Mayor Mooney and legal foghorn Barry Taylor

IPA eventually was absorbed into the Humanis Group, whose main shareholder was Craig Ransley, Who also controls Guildford Coal through TerraCom.

Humanis started a campaign of aggressive leveraged acquisitions to grow market share, but there was a fatal flaw, it seems. The business model was based on continued growth in resources sector employment and was therefore bound to end in tears. But before that happened, one informant tells The Magpie, at one stage, Humanis grossed $320 million in turnover … but reported profit of only $6million. As The ‘Pie’s informant put it, ‘Either fishy or a bad business model, or both.’

Anyway, when mining employment tanked, so did Humanis, down the tubes for $14million. Ransley was not a happy chook, and rightly or wrongly, laid the blame squarely on Mr Krayem. It is said Ransley did not personally like Mr Krayem at all, anyway.

Dolan Hayes

Dolan Hayes

Separte to all this, old Magpie mate Dolan Hayes,  previously Mooney’s media manager, came on the scene. In 2008, he introduced His Radiance to Ransley and lobbied vigorously for Ransley to hire Mooney for Guildford, which he did. (Coimmunity Liaison or some such utter bullshit). Around this time, both Mooney and Rabieh Krayem spent some time as directors of the Townsville Port Authority, with another of the Labor inner circle, then main Roads Minister Craig Cuddlepie Wallace, pushing then Minister Paul Lucas to make the appointments. Nothing wrong there, that’s politics, and wouldn’t have been any different on the other side of the coin. But it was interesting that Guildford Coal was trying to get access to Townsville Port to ship coal from its proposed Hughenden project, which never got off the ground. Coa; through the port was bound to create some opposition, so always good to have voices on the board, eh?

When Wallace lost his seat of Thuringowa in March 2012, he almost instantly became a Guildford director and subsequently deputy chairman and chairman (including a stint running the company’s operations in Mongolia).

And there is another connection to Prins Ralston. He was boss of Mission Australia, and the accomplished Dolan Hayes had a lucrative contract to do media matters and consulting and stuff. The ‘Pie understands that that is now all past, but the point is that Dolan is a sometime advisor to Jenny Hill, who somehow came up with the Nous Group as the ones to do the hatchet plan on TCC staff. It’s a fair bet although unconfirmed that a former colleague of Ms Young’s who was a Nous director, fingered her for the CEO hatchet job. Mayor Mullet loved the idea, all Labor gals together,

As the cops say, there is no such thing as coincidence, just evidence. But no proof, so The ‘Pie is just saying’, ya know.

The Magpie does not infer or imply any wrongdoing here … crikey, he has enough on his plate, with Big Bazza after him … but just so you know, a it certainly appears a closed circuit of insiders have become very well off, through patronage, public money and political background in the Townsville economy. (Dolan had a nice little earner of quite a few thousand to convince us that CBD stadium was a good idea – which if it wasn’t self-evident, proves the proponents knew it wasn’t. He also is thick with Townsville Enterprise).

With Prins Randall now picking up a handsome dollar from the state government for a consultancy at the Townsville Hospital, Tony Mooney must have a warm fuzzy feeling that his old mate is around. Mr Mooney is, you will remember, chairman of the Townsville Hospital Board.

Photo Of The Week

Bulletin truck

Says it all really.

They Really Do Live In A Bubble

It is not a carping whinge to ask if Bogan or his deputy Tomlinson have parted company with reality. They certainly have when they think no one is going to roll around laughing when they write daft iditorials like this.

The subject was the airport passenger tax no one wants … and even proponents of the unnecessary upgrade do not endorse the public paying to add value to Queensland Airports portfolio.

But let’s have look at that iditorial which backs up a silly story that Qantas might desert Townsville. Building up to supreme idiocy, we read:’ Qantas is simply playing games in denying this vital upgrade. It claims Queensland Airports Limited, the owner of Townsville Airport, is not contributing out of its coffers for the upgrade. Whatever the case, the bottom line is that Townsville is again being treated as a second-class citizen by a southern-based corporate behemoth. It’s time everyone grew up, got in a room and sorted it out to ensure Townsville’s future prosperity isn’t hamstrung.’

‘scuse The ‘Pie a sec, as he wipes away the tears of mirth.

‘Whatever the case’????

Last The Pie heard, a newspaper is charged with exploring and determining the ‘case’ the ‘balanced ‘truth’ , not leaving it as a dangling as a ‘dunno don’t car,’  A teenager ‘whatever’ reply. And the paper’s claim that community and business leaders are unanimous in wanting the $40million upgrade , well, yes, even The ‘Pie would be partial to it, but what The Astonisher DOES NOT SAY ANYWHERE they support the iniquitous proposed travel tax. Business people know there would be a backlash if they did.  Just about everybody except Bogan and Gill believe Queensland Airports Should pay for work that will greatly enhance their bottom line,

But we really descend into ‘special person crayon and crash helmet’ territory when this totally discredited paper can seriously suggest’ Townsville is again being treated as a second-class citizen by a southern-based corporate behemoth.’

Southern-based corporate behemoth … you mean like News Ltd, based in Sydney? Or do you mean Queensland Airports, based on The Gold Coast?

Obviously, the Townsville Bulletin believes it is a paper for mouth-breathing readers who peaked in primary school. After all, that’s the level of iditorials like this.

But At Least They Bogan Reads This Blog

 The ‘Pie is flattered.

The Magpie 


June 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm  (Edit)

Maybe The ‘Pie and his merry band of commenters are having an effect on the Astonisher. Indeed, it would appear we have forced the paper into the admission of our effect in today’s iditorial, decrying anyone who exercises their democratic right to disagree with the city’s current ‘leadership’ … stop sniggering!

What is this, the Townsville Daily Soothsayer, predicting the future in the hope that it won’t happen?

After an opening three pars of empty homilies of which the writers of Yes Minister would be proud – written probably by the iditor-in-waiting Damien Tomlinson – the idirorial gets as close to talking about The Magpie and his merry men as the will allow itself

Quoth the Astonisher:
‘There are (sic – should be ‘is’), however, a very small minority of whingers here who are happy to bag from the sidelines anybody who has the temerity to try something different. In this regard, our city is really no different to many
other regional centres. There will always be those more suited to sitting up the back of the bus and ridiculing the driver than getting behind the wheel themselves.’

OOh, dear …

As if that wasn’t enough of a giveaway – suggesting that Father knows best and no one should exercise their democratic right to disagree with others who are using public money for an unrealistic hope and prayer of a freebie. Indeed, ridiculing the driver is exactly what The ‘Pie and his far from ‘very small minority’ will continue to do, when the driver is actually a hijacker from Holt Street who has taken over the bus and taking us unwillingly to places we don’t want to go.

Note the small sob in the use of the word ‘ridiculing’. Poor pet, upsetting you is it?

But then comes the clincher, which is such a dumb giveaway that Max ought to take you over his knee, young Damien (or you Bogan if it is you, which The ‘Pie doubts).

Try this on for dopey ‘I’m shitting myself, he’s going to be nasty to me’ blub: the caps are The ‘Pie’s)

‘There WILL be those, FOR INSTANCE, who WILL decry plans to send a delegation of business and political leaders from here to Singapore next month.’It’s a tiresome old complaint. ‘Junket!’ they (WILL) exclaim.’


By simply predicting what someone will say so is admitting that there will be opposition to what even they know is just another ‘junket’. Somehow, the Astonisher figures by getting in first – predicting opposition – will nullify any future detrimental comment. Without any coherent argument why this is a good thing, except the usual Bulletin/TEL blue sky policy of floating castles in the air,

Which raises the questions about who is paying for it? If Townsville Enterprise is paying for any of it, themselves or others (fat chance) THAT is ratepayer money from the $750000 dropped into the Dudley Do Nothing’s annual begging bowl.

But all in all, folks, you should be flattered – The ‘Pie knows he is – by the attention from our fearless unbiased and intelligent opinion leader and shaper.

The Astonisher wants ‘junket’ consigned back to the baby’s high chair. If so, it should come with a side serve of Bulletin iditorial … only baby could swallow that pap.

Donald Trump Knows How To Handle The Media

This would be the headline of the Trump Administration so far … and it’s real.

no reporting

True! Think Vlad advised him on this during a recent private visit.

Brokeback 2. The bitch always rides at the back

And in one brief exchange, a Republican spells out what is wrong with party politics EVERYWHERE … but he didn’t mean to. He was asked what he thought of the health Bill planned to replace Obamacare.

“It’s much better than Obamacare,” Sen. Purdue. on new health bill. 

”Why?” we ask. 

”I have to go read it.”

So The Donald really has turned things upside down … ,duck it!

Donald upside down

Finally. Some Product Placements Are No Accident

Certainly not when it comes to bookstores.


Don’t forget to get into the comments during the week, great fun and very informative. And if you’ve a mind for a helping hand for the old bird’s efforts, the Donate button is below.

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

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