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The Magpie

Saturday, July 1st, 2017   |   151 comments

Why Jenny Hill Won’t Run For Mayor In 2020

In a cynical act of sheer self-interested political chicanery, Jenny hill is selling Townsville down the river for the next decade, knowing she won’t be here to be accountable. High flown hyperbole? Look closely at the numbers related to the Townsville City Council budget.

Rates relief from Mayor Mullet? Not at all, but Ben Bogan grabs the candy striped jacket, boater and cane to become yet again the Mullet’s buffoonish song and dance man …

More beads and blankets for we trinket loving natives as council money is wasted on an irrelevant wish-list report of little or no value … and The Astonisher shows its contempt for Townsville on its front page.

And REVEALED (as they say at The Astonisher) – the latest favourite song that has legal foghorn Big Bazza Taylor merrily whistling all the way to the bank …

And the best advice Donald Trump has yet received …

But first …

On Tuesday, in a classic ‘Look! Over there!’ exercise in distraction, Mayor Mullet brought down one of the most astounding, asinine and mendacious budgets in living memory. It is her and CEO Adele The Impaler Young’s, no one else’s, her aerobic class of councillors meekly went through the motions as led.

And an insulting document it is.

Adding to that insult, the mayor’s PR machine, the Townsville Bulletin, did a better job than usual in making complete idiots of themselves when the paper went into shrieking ecstasy, doing zero analysis and going for cheap misleading front page …

Screen shot 2017-07-01 at 9.04.08 PM

That is, quite frankly, disgracefully deceptive and deliberate bullshit. That can be seen just on the basis that the mayor and the Astonisher are saying rates would’ve risen by 5%, but we’re not raising rates so there is a reduction of 5%. The Bulletin has always been more than shaky in the maths department, but this is simply inane rubbish. If it’s not, why not decline a proposed 100% rate rise, and claim a 100% reduction.

There was so much jiggery pokerie in the way the numbers were kneaded, plumped up and moved around, the average poor put-upon dolt had no hope of making sense of it.

Fortunately, The Magpie has 1) Bentley and 2) intelligent readers. First Bentley who as usual nails it …

Rates Puzzle

… and boy, did the commenters let fly.

Kenny Kennett 

June 27, 2017 at 8:55 am  (Edit)

So Jenny Hill has turned the rates circus into a Benny Hill scenario. At a quick read of the Astonisher (please don’t laugh), my ‘Gross General rates’ which don’t include water, sewerage and waste will freeze saving me 5% (of gross general rates ONLY). I presume that’s what the increase was going to be?????? BUT, where I normally get 15% discount by paying early, I now only get 10%. So if my rates were $2000 last year and I paid early, this time they were going to be +5% ($100) less 15% ($315) equals 2100-315=1785. But with the changes they will now be $2000 (no increase) less 10% (discount reduced to 10%) $200 equals $2000-$200=$1800 plus increase in water, sewerage and waste of 2.1%. I call bullshit Mullet, what a crock of shit!!

… and …

Waz CEOC number 1 

June 27, 2017 at 1:21 pm  (Edit)

This is bullshit of the highest order devised by the Mullet. Anyone without a calculator can work out they are wrong. As Kenny said, general rates are just a portion of your bill. Separate the utilities and that’s where your rise is. People inTtownsville must be dick heads because they believe the last 2 councils were gouging us in rises. General rates are cheaper here in Townsville compared to others but they contract out utilities. Rubbish, water, sewage and even tip fees. But because ethey see 1500-2000 on your rates bill, they think it worse then anywhere else. Other councils you would get 4 separate bills aside from rates and probably pay nearly 3000 for same services, but ours are in house.

As far as discount well there never is a discount really and decrease your early bird rate is an increase. I agree with Kenny on his assumption that he will pay more this year if he pays earlier. This is a vote grabbing stunt helped by the paper and if this was done by previous council it would be a full 6 pages from the paper to discredit then. Instead we get a front page story that we have sacked 300 people so we saved money aren’t we great. There is a bigger increase this year then any year under Tsv First. 2.1% plus 5% less early bird rate.

Ezra Pound Axe King 

June 27, 2017 at 9:54 am  (Edit)

Even if the ‘rate cut’ was genuine, I would prefer a functioning council that knows what it is doing that the 5%. It appears that we’ll get neither.

The Wulguru Wonder 

June 27, 2017 at 10:44 am  (Edit)

I know this is a rhetorical question….but why isn’t the Astonisher all over this TCC budget rubbish and calling it for the bullshit it is?


  • The Magpie

June 27, 2017 at 10:48 am  (Edit)

hahahha … but seriously, now?

So there you have it, a mayor and council CEO who are either financially illiterate or charlatans worthy of investigation, aided by a paper that is generally just illiterate … and certainly a charlatan.

But How Is This For A Little Devil We Have Found In The Detail?

The Astonisher won’t do it, so The ‘Pie will: analyse some of the council projections produced during the week.

First up, have a look at this from the budget papers …

Screen shot 2017-07-01 at 2.48.46 PM

You se the borrowings tootle along at modest numbers, never more than $30M, through to EOFY 2021. This  offers boasting rights to Mayor Mullet for her idea of fiscal probity as she faces the electorate in March 2020. Then little more than a year after she hopes her honeyed words have plonked her back into office. BAM, thank you ma’am, borrowings in 2021/22 suddenly skyrocket to $74,5 million, more than the previous three years combined. And 2022/23 is even higher, which would have every chance of wiping out at a single cynical stroke any supposed savings made over the current council. And apparently borrowing nothing in 2024/25 is a strange contortion.

Now consider this chart, showing the projected growth of rates and utilities charges – especially 2020/21.

Screen shot 2017-07-01 at 2.49.42 PM

While The Mullet will campaign on a moderate increase in rates over the previous term, note where the real slug will be. Utility charges go through the roof LESS THAN SIX M0NTHS AFTER THE COUNCIL ELECTION, up from 3% to just short of 5%. And climbing from then on.

The boffins who put together these projections certainly know their ‘rithmetic, but it seems to The ‘Pie that they must urely base their calculations on information of forward plans provided by Jenny Hill.

Jenny Hill

Like The ‘Pie says, as she fumbles along and public disillusionment snowballs, it is increasingly likely that this financial vandal will realize the jig is up and decide this would be a good election to lose. But rather than have yet another defeat on her political score sheet, she will stand down, to either run for the Senate (vaguely possible but the party might baulk at her dismal track record), or much more likely, on the state Labor ticket in one of the local seats which by that time will have been lost to Labor.

She will obviously stand down from Walker Street for heroic party reasons and not be cause she is frightened of facing the music when the electorate finally wakes up to her treachery against Townsville.

A Case Of Murdoch Mediocrity: We Get A Slap In The Face From The Townsville Bulletin

The paper has made much of the latest dreary waste of money, a ‘vision’ by a mob of southerners for Townsville from an outfit called Pure Projects. Pure something else springs to mind. This money sink-hole report aimed at acting as a distraction to the week’s real news of the budget and the census details (we’ve lost almost 10,000 according to last year’s figures, so even more by now).

Now, those who even bother to glance at the Bulletin in newsagents have come to expect overkill, but this …


… is not only overkill, it shows the lazy Bulletin unwilling to accept the new reality of social media and the web. That illustration is for a project that WILL be built … in Cairns. As in …

Screen shot 2017-07-01 at 1.15.01 PM

So easily found out. And anyway, single glance shows that the idea of this happening on the Strand is impossible … it’s a bloody canal estate, for Christ’s sake, a fantasy that bit the dust when swindler Craig Gore tried it on more than a decade ago.

But thanks for shopping local, Bulletin.

Then, There Are Some Papers That Treat Their Readers With Respect.

Like The Valley News, which inadvertently slipped in an extra ‘s’ on its masthead.

 Righting mistake

And get community affection in return. .

Classy friendly handling of a boo-boo.

Why Legal Waffler Barry Taylor Is Singing A ˜NewTune

Big Bazza Taylor

Big Bazza Taylor

All those who know Big Bazza will attest he always has a smile on his face, a kind word for all and a quick witty remark for all occasions. Added to his famous bonhomie now is an old tune he now whistles as he merrily goes about his business. The song is Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi, and Baz particularly loves the lines:

They paved paradise

And put up a parking lot

With a pink hotel, a boutique

And a swinging hot spot

Because Bazza looks to be on his way to bluffing the council to shower him with ratepayer money when and if they shell out for his property on Castle Hill Road at the back of Yarrawonga.

Castle Hill block

It’s that flat piece of barren ugliness that has been sitting there for two decades because Baz miscalculated the market and missed out on the killing he was hoping for – on-selling a piece of visual intrusion on the public consciousness that he had bulldozed his way through the courts to achieve, back in the days when his mate Tony Mooney was mayor. The ‘Pie is told that things got a bit tense back then, and there was talk of suing the Bulletin over stories that suggested this was not something the community approved of, but that was before Bazza had the editor of the day in his pocket.

Now, this patch of desirable dirt is going to auction next month, But Baz has said he will consider a competitive offer from the council, presumably because he is so community minded, which is great for someone who can hardly wait to permanently move down to his $10million pile in Noosa.

Of course, Baz’s idea of a ‘competitive’ offer is unlikely to align with either the council or the market, so it will be interesting to see the outcome. But here’s an interesting conjecture. The ‘Pie has heard that the council is considering the suggestion in the Pure Projects report of bringing the ferries back into the middle of town (they should never have left) and the council is interested in regaining the old ferry terminal site … which just happens to be the site of Bazza’s legal office. The creek-side location, presumably leased from the Port Authority,  is just one of numerous properties he holds around town, and is said to be his favourite. But Baz knows business is business, and it could be a good bargaining chip to do an all-in on both sites in question.

Besides, Mayor Mullet owes him for all his work ‘convincing’ local businesses to reluctantly back her initial mayoral bid.

But Baz has always been lucky in business around town. The story aroiund town is that back when his mate Mayor Mooney masterminded the Strand makeover, tenders were called for the supply of sand for the beaches. A tender was let, but then, for reasons that no one has been able to explain to The Magpie, the tender were declared null and void, and was put out again. This time, the  new winner was a company connected to Baz. Gosh, talk about luck.

As he divests himself of local encumbrances, one thing is for sure: Bazza will have to reconsider his asking price on his motel-like home on Castle Hill. When it briefly went on the market about a decade ago, he was asking in excess of $8million. Might need a bit of a re-think there, Bazza.

One to watch

The Best Advice Trashy Trump Has Ever Received


The US’s child-President should have his tweeting rights revoked after this week’s deeply troubling tweet about a female TV woman. Even Republicans are up in arms about his trashing the ‘dignity of the office’. No? Really?

But amid the furore of the latest episode of presidential juvenilia, a church sign at Woodstock said it all in a brief sign.

Tweet unto Others Amen to that, but the Devil in the White House ain’t listeni.

Bankers And Those Others

It seems impossible to know who the crooks are nowadays. But Larry Pickering reckons he knows.

ATO steal

And Finally

It all has the opportunity for a gloomy outlook, and The ‘Pie loves to leave you smiling. He doesn’t enthuse about magicians very much, but this is great fun.

That’s it for this week, plenty to talk about if you want to comment on anything, whether it be mentioned here or not, so join the feisty comment arena throughout the week. And if you’re in the mood, a donation to help with blog expenses would be much appreciated, 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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