Why this blog exists...

The Magpie

Sunday, May 31st, 2020   |   234 comments

Why No News (Ltd) Could Be Good News For Townsville

The News Ltd debacle … and make no mistake, it is nothing less … could be a paradigm shift in how we see the role of a community news outlet. The mass sackings and print closures could actually be one of the reset buttons that the pandemic has forced us to think about. The Magpie looks at the very real possibilities of a positive outcome.

What a con by the Cowboys management, repaying their loyalist of  fans – the season ticket holders – with a mealy mouthed kick in the financial cods. Despite the desperate times, the club signals that even if season ticket holders don’t see a single game in 2020, won’t be getting any money back this year … if ever. And you won’t believe the reason they’re trying to put over on you.

The Palaszczuk government wilfully exposes Queensland kids to a group the government deems to be rampant paedophiles – blatantly giving these well known kiddy fiddlers open season.

And Townsville tradesmen and businesses have scored a bonanza from a multi-million dollar project – and there’s a vital reason why.

But first …

Are you too getting that ‘as Rome burns’ feeling about America right now? The ‘Pie won’t bore you with his opinion about the social implosion detonating across the entire country at this time (maybe later if you ask nicely). But one welcome by product of that mayhem is that no matter what niggles we have about recent and current restrictions here, we have indeed been the lucky country throughout the pandemic. Whether this has been through good management or good fortune will be tediously debated right up to the round of next elections, but by then, many of the restrictions will be but a distant memory. But Bentley will remember one particular edict about restaurant quotas – while he genuinely feels for the unhappy lot of hospitality staff and the effort they needed to make to open to limited numbers, the memory – and the dyspepsia – will linger on.

Covid culture rough small

Dunno, just seems like a normal meal in the Nest.

The Cowboys Con

The ‘Boys (never the Cows in this blog) were impressive in their first outing post-lockdown on Thursday night, and it was clear from the off that Jason Taumalolo repeatedly ignored social distancing rules and his close proximity gave many Titans a sick feeling that had nothing to do with corona virus.

But while the ‘Boys were doing us proud on the field, their management has tried to pull one of the most tawdry cons you imagine in the current financial climate.

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 12.19.02 am

Jeff Reibel

The club is seeking that those who have bought season tickets, now termed an ‘investment’, which in any language it never was – they’re somewhere around $1000 a pop, and family ticket substantially more – to ‘pledge their investment’ and allow the club to keep the cash. In return, they will get some piddling discounts from next year … but not the full membership package they have paid for. And one person was informed by phone that despite all the blather on the website about refunds, there is no guarantee, and in any case, no club policy on that will be decided before the end of the year.

Angry members who have contacted The ‘Pie feel their long standing and demonstrated loyalty to the club is being exploited in one of the city’s most difficult times. One livid ticket holder, a member for more than a 15 yeas, told The ‘Pie ‘Everyone is going to get a haircut with COVID 19 but the Cowboys believe that they do need to visit the barber’.

And he has a point. Townsville was struggling on a number of fronts before Covid, but thousands of ordinary everyday folk as well as businesses and bigger corporates, dug deep to personally support their team, year in and year out. One of the most distasteful thing about this bathos-bathed ‘poor me’ letter is the suggestion that without the requested pledge, the club would go under.

Really? What utter codswallop … this club has been gifted a $293million stadium (taxpayer funded and a hefty chunk of ratepayers dough in support areas), ditto an approved lavish multi-million dollar training centre, the players are up or near multi-year million dollar contracts, and with all the layoffs of club staff, one hopes that the board of directors have taken the appropriate short back and side.

So the State Government has a vested interest in using whatever means it may need to use to ensure the club is viable, the NRL is not about to see one of its most successful start-ups go belly up, and let’s not forget our pals at News Ltd, who also have a vested interest in a club that generates readers and revenue.

Yet Reibel and his board want to stiff those footy fans who are the very life blood of the club, their loyalist of loyal fans, at a time of great uncertainty and hardship. Callous hardly covers it. There really is something truly distasteful about a well-connected and in fact protected club trying to clobber the little man for what to them is a few measly bucks.

Certainly, in this town, the Cowboys are more than just a game of footy, throughout our years of setbacks … the end of the mining boom, Palmer bastardry and civic mismanagement and sackings, the Cowboys have been a cohesive element for the whole community.

The Cowboys management has does itself no credit with this begging bowl effort … it’s not just the fans but the athletes and their football staff deserve much better.

It Was Inevitable, So Why Aren’t We Ready …

News Ltd sackings020-05-27 at 7.43.25 pm

If you view all problems as opportunities, and then you think about ways to re-engineer a process, then I think you find opportunity is absolutely everywhere.

William Sahlman

What led to all this? This is how the savvy observer Guy Rundle put things in perspective in Crikey:

The inherent danger of having so much of the nation’s news media controlled by one family, whose company is based in another country, is on full display.

The closure of more than 100 News Corp newspapers in Queensland and NSW — some completely, others moved to digital-only — is a cruel blow to the communities affected and the hundreds of people who are about to lose their jobs. In regional areas the media is a force of social cohesion, a place where important conversations start. The even bigger tragedy here is, of course, the question of accountability: who will hold local councils to account, or attend the courts?


Believe it or not, Townsville has caught a lucky break with the upheavals in News Ltd. If it were not for the dumbest of business decisions imaginable ten years ago – to install $60million worth of printing presses for the Bulletin and satellite papers as the mining boom was well into decline – more jobs would be lost than will be the case in this city.

But the decision to make the centuries old papers in Charters Towers, Ingham and Ayr into sectional inserts in the Bulletin is could also prove to be just as dumb decision. Not to mention the loss of history. One story was heart wrenching for anyone who cares not just for newspapers but fo their community links to the past, like this excerpt from InQueensland,

The Northern Age was founded in Townsville in the 1890s – there are conflicting reports of the precise date – in what was still the Colony of Queensland. 

It was moved to Ingham, just north of Townsville, then the smaller neighboring town of Halifax, changing its name to the Planter, and perhaps the Northern Planter, before returning to Ingham for good.  

From 1904 until last Wednesday, through world wars, depressions, and four Foley Shield championships for the Herbert River Tigers, it was published as the Herbert River Express. Now its current owners, News Corp, have shuttered it for good, along with 111 other community and regional newspapers. The masthead will disappear and its coverage will be folded into the Townsville Bulletin’s website. 

These closures could be the catalyst to spawn regional on-line replacements, run on modest budgets and honest news, owned and run wholly by a core local people … that is folk who don’t see their towns as a stepping stones to brighter lights.

And that is exactly a formula that may well come about in Townsville. The extraneous filler stories from the strangest places in the News empire around Australia has been a growing annoyance to local readers (a bike track n Darwin FFS) and what News once saw as a strength – a pool of national columnists, opinion writers and news stories that would not be available to a solely local publication – is now turning into a liability. That policy, so poorly done with little judgement or care, turned many away from the Bulletin.

And there are several models that could challenge the Bulletin in Townsville and the immediate region. A professional and properly funded on-line information platform, accepting advertisements at rates that don’t need to support massive infrastructure, could be designed and running very quickly. It would operate on a policy of offering carefully curated local news (proper inquiring interviews across business, council, courts, police etc), proper balance, and a lack of idiotic ‘best of’ type nonsense, but still with light ouch here and there).

Another model could be a return to once popular (until Rupert bought them and shut them down) throw-over papers, supported by the aforementioned digital site. They were extremely effective for advertisers, which is the sole reason News bought them and closed them.

There are plenty of experienced old and relatively new hands about who could be recruited on affordable contracts, people who wouldn’t necessarily be looking southwards for greater glory, but get deep satisfaction from reporting fairly and accurately on their own community. The unwieldy Bulletin apparatus, with its careless oversight and total loss of both credibility and advertising performance would face a real challenge, and be forced to reform to survive in any shape or form.

Thanks to modern technology, the cost of organising, designing and setting up a day to day operation would be a fraction of the cost of staffing and starting rival newspaper … but those protected days of that prohibitive form of competition are long gone for a dilatory News Ltd who have always depended on arrogant bullying to ensure their revenue stream : they are now left with limited strategic defences.

There is a real possibility for investors who seek modest but steady profits and a business to be proud of.

In a remarkable boot on the other foot scenario, the past few years, The Bulletin has reversed the traditional balance of power, and has completely capitulated to the whim of the advertisers, most of them national deals done in Sydney. Even regularly pushing news off the front page and the first three inside pages.

Screen Shot 2020-05-28 at 11.23.36 am

Under Murdoch’s regime, the paper has chosen to be a compromised player disconnected from the general population, it has become a cancer in our community. The latest upheaval has made the necessary surgery possible.

It’s Good News For A Reason

The ‘Pie was please to see this during the week.

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.03.35 pm Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 5.04.50 pm

You’ll note that the Feds are the funders. But if this was a project that involved the Townsville Council, our mayor and LGAQ board member Mayor Mullet would make sure that her Local Buy policy – which means precisely the opposite of Buy Local – brought in companies from elsewhere to do the bulk of the work. See, she’s gotta keep LGAQ CEO Greg Hallam a happy little porker, getting his Local Buy rake-off for the Association.

A Hotbed Issue – Palaszczuk Gives Pedos Free Rein

Without a single blush of embarrassment, Premier Alphabet has blithely announced that she is happy to take no action against a members of a group known to be rampant paedophiles. According to her previous statements on the organization, she apparently believes that the ranks of Rural Fire Brigades are shot through with grubby fingered child molesters. She seems to suggest that any firie running into a burning building to rescue a trapped child only does so in order to get a quick feel as he dashes out to the ambulance. Or pauses as deadly flames rush towards him and a car with kids in it to try to have a quick fumble.

Screen Shot 2020-05-30 at 10.47.04 pm

Now the Premier says checking on firies as suitable people to work with kids and get a blue card can’t be done because of virus-overloaded bureaucracy, so the kiddy fiddlers can carry on uninterrupted for another year or so, or at least until the next fire season is finished. By then, no doubt, some of these low grubs will have been injured or burned to death fighting flames to save the lives and property of people they don’t know.

This requirement that the selfless men and women of the Rural Fire Service have been told they must apply for is one of the most insulting moves ever made by a government in the grip of PC mania. This is by 58% of brigade members point blank refusing to be treated in this manner. They do a dangerous job that only a depraved and demented mind could possibly believe would offer opportunity for child molestation

And even a casual observer may have noted that children aren’t exactly thick on the ground around bushfires. And in practical terms, it is not as though fire fighting gear is like, say, a priest’s cassock that can be lifted up and easily thrown over the head of an unsuspecting altar boy. (Question: are priest required to have a blue card? If not, why not? And if not, why firies?)

This is very wobbly ground for the government to be on, as many fire fighters have just said to hell with it and quit. So what happens if there aren’t enough fire fighters to face the growing – so we’re told, anyway – bushfire threat. It would make an interesting civil case should someone be aggrieved enough at the lack of protection to sue the government.

Of course blue cards are necessary and a desirable safeguard … for those whose work requires it. That is NOT firies. All these bureaucratic and political drongos should just sod off … umm, no, bugger of … err … just desist.

The ‘Pie Wants One !!!

Not all the drones the ‘Pie passionately dislikes are politicians.

Screen Shot 2020-05-30 at 11.38.07 pm

When JB Hi-Fi start selling a domestic private version of this , The ‘Pie will be waiting for the doors to open on the day of its release.

The Twit-In-Chief Takes On Twitter


(Sigh) what’s the point of trying to make fun … or even worse, be serious about … the Tangerine Terrorist. His apparently ineffectual sanctions against Twitter for calling him out on a couple of his lying, rabble-rousing tweets had our attention momentarily during the week. Andy Borowitz in the New Yorker was quick off the mark, and led the pack.

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 8.56.35 am

DeceivingScreen Shot 2019-10-11 at 9.12.21 pm

3_pett_2 239568_rgb_768 jd052220dapr 239339_rgb_768 239528_rgb_768 239489_rgb_768 239636_rgb_768 cjones05312020_0 jd052820dapr_0

And Finally (Do Not Look At If Offended By Rude Words)

Some anti-Trumpers are getting creative ….


… and some aren’t. Can’t beat the Scots for cutting straight through to basics.



That’s it for now, but make your voice heard in comments, they run 24/7 … often funnier and smarter than the blog … also, news tip always welcome, as would be a helping hand with blog bills through a donation of your choosing, 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.


  1. Traveller says:

    ASIC might – or should – have something to say about the Cowboys pivot and use of the word “investment”. This implies strongly that the $1k was used to purchase a financial product of some sort, with some promise of return. Neither was made clear at the time the tickets were sold. The Cowboys don’t have a financial services license either. This shonky move comes right out of the Mayfair 101 playbook.

  2. Steve, Belgian Gardens says:

    Not sure why it’s so difficult for firies to spend two minutes filling out a blue card application every few years. The mere act of donning a uniform doesn’t make you pure, we’ve learned that the hard way over decades with priests, teachers, scout masters, police, the military, and firefighters.

    • The Magpie says:

      Please tell us when you last saw a report about a bush fire fighter being charged with sexual abuse of a child while working as a firie. The government statistics showing that a number -20 was it? – of firies refused a blue card … and therefore ineligible to do something to redeem themselves in the community … is not relevant, unless they were doing the actual offending while deployed to fight fires. Their offending had nothing to do with that part of their lives, and no doubt took place well say from brigade activities, otherwise we would’ve heard about it, loud and long.

      And you miss the vital point, as you so often do, Steve, that this a state intrusion on privacy that is not warranted and is most certainly insulting in its stupidity to this particular group. But don’t start blubber, your police state will be arriving soon enough.

      • Cantankerous but happy says:

        Indeed, and that’s a great point Pie, if the Govt was serious they would spend more time trying to eradicate the pyromaniacs from the fire brigade ranks, of which there is a bona fide problem, rather than this blue card requirement.

    • Old Tradesman says:

      Steve, it’s funny how the need for a Blue Card application, making it illegal for adults to work with children, has been has been delayed for a year by this useless border closing State Labor government, supported by the 3 local nodding sycophants, yet like in Victoria the firies are asked to have one, so that the union has full control.

      • The Magpie says:

        ‘asked’ being the key word. Not sure, but do not think it is mandatory.

        • Old Tradesman says:

          From April all firies in Victoria will have to have the Blue Card or will be asked to leave. The point I’m making is that this social engineering Qld government will stall anything that is slightly distasteful to their reelection chances.

          • The Magpie says:

            The ‘Pie stands by his arguments in opposition to this move, delayed or otherwise, it should never have been introduced. What Victoria does is its business, and welcome to it. And an interesting aspect … if Queensland firies are eventually exempted from this demeaning requirement, will they not be allowed to lend a hand to fires in Victoria? Big Brother is a fuckwit.

    • Sue says:

      Totally agree. I don’t believe the blue card can prevent wrong doings but hey why not get the thing? If a fiery can’t be bothered doing such a simple thing I wonder why.. Why should volunteers anywhere be exempt?

    • Hondaman says:

      Steve, I hold a blue card, and have done for several years. My point is – Who checked my credentials, what searches were made, was my criminal history explored, and probably lots more. It does take more than a couple of minutes, and for what! I have never been exposed to one on one contact un- accompanied with a minor where any misdemeanor could take place, I think this whole Blue Card fiasco has been blown right out of reality, and needs a complete re-think! That’s my opinion anyway, and BTW Steve, I ask if you work in a Blue Card required occupation, or are you just a local sage?

      • The Magpie says:

        It would be interesting to know what the checks involve … bit pointless if it’s just criminal history, especially of the non-child variety, unless that is counted against you as an untrustworthy person. And could they go so far as to check your bank acct details to see if you’ve signed up to red flag sites like Albania’s Top 20 Little Yummies.

        Anyone who believes someone when they say ‘trust me, I’m a pollie’ gets everything they deserve.

        • Ferret says:

          Hi there pie
          The blue card check is more than a police check, it looks at:

          1) a charge or conviction for any offence in Australia, even if no conviction was recorded (this includes spent convictions, pending and non-conviction charges)
          child protection prohibition orders (both respondents and subjects to the application)
          2) disqualification orders
          3) reporting obligations under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting and Offender Prohibition Order) Act 2004 or Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003
          4) disciplinary information from certain organisations (this includes information about teachers, child care licensees and foster carers)
          5) police investigative information relating to allegations of serious child-related sexual offences, even if no charges were laid.

          As far as i can work out
          A person may not work with children all the time, but may go to a school fete and put on a demonstration about fire fighting ( they would need a blue card )
          A cleaner at a school who works from 4.30 am to 8.30 am needs a blue card
          There are man more examples and it can take 6 weeks to get an answer back on if you are approved or not

  3. Strand Ghost says:

    Steve of Belgian Gardens i used to have acreage at Nome for many yrs and on countless times i and my neighbors had fires at our doorstep, the Rural fire fighters would always be there to protect our property and families! and I never seen or heard anybody ask the lads fighting the fires did they have a Blue Card, i glad they were there to help and not you with your stupid idealistic comments

    • Insider says:

      Rural firies are not some protected species. If everyone else who has to come into contact with children as part of their work has to get a blue card, then so should they. What makes them so special? You don’t “ask them to produce their card”…..you have the confidence in knowing they’ve been pre-screened. This is just protecting the community. Get over it.

      • The Magpie says:

        The right to a reasonable privacy is the issue that needs protecting here. And respect should get a look in too. Blue cards are a good and necessary system, but it is the thin edge of a dangerous wedge when it is demanded of anyone whose work does not require one. This demonstrably – to any sane person – includes fire fighters. If there are paeodphiles in their ranks, the offending certainly did not take place while they were fulfilling that role. Under your simple-minded ‘if you’re not guilty you have nothing to worry about’ mantra (clearly you aspire to being a cop), should truckies, MacDonald fry floggers, and Bunnings floor staff be ‘screened’? How about judges, barristers and solicitors, do they require a blue card?

        And a note on grammar … what the hell is ‘pre-screened’? Does that mean you get screened before you are … screened? A small but good example of your usual jumbled thinking. Insider, you should get out more.

        • Insider says:

          Clutching at straws here, Pie, in order to be (unnecessarily) unpleasant?; check your dictionary for the (sensible and logical ) definition of the term I used…as a former English teacher, not a cop.

          • The Magpie says:

            Not much difference in attitude in The ‘Pie’s experience … but then, he was a little smart-arse shit from the get go. And in typical Trumpist fashion, you have refused to engage with the points raised – those being the bits that you didn’t find ‘unnecessarily unpleasant’. English teacher, eh? A question mark before a semi-colon? Inadvisable use of parenthesis? No spaces at either end of the ellipses? And no use firing back, teech, The ‘Pie always had subs to absolve his grammatical sins while he got on with job of reporting facts.

          • Grumpy says:

            Insider, I suggest you get a much longer fuse for that petard.

          • Not the ECQ says:

            I think I read here a few months ago that enquiries by the Blue Card system exclude people who have been convicted of murder and a number of other serious offences which don’t automatically relate to children (you can check online exactly what is covered). So if a current member of your local rural fire brigade has such a conviction (and has served their time and returned to the community) they will not be entitled to safety gear, participation in training and skills development and will be excluded from the brigade – as if they are unwanted and unneeded. Is it any surprise that many brigade members in remote and isolated communities object to the state’s blanket draconian intrusion and, in solidarity with their locally known and appreciated fellow members, refuse to participate in such grossly discriminatory procedures? Sure, if a person is a convicted child molester chuck them out but what about others whose past criminality has nothing whatsoever to do with child abuse? Are we saying they must serve their time again? That’s bullshit!

        • Ray Fucking Purchase says:

          Couldn’t agree more, Pie. I have to get a blue card renewed annually for my job, (a role which requires zero contact with minors). I supervise people who do, however, and a blue card is required of them, which makes sense. Perhaps if priests were required to have a blue card, we would not all be tarred with the same brush.

      • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

        So, by this argument shopkeepers who may be alone in their premises with a minor, should have a blue card? If someone ends up in the public dunnies at Bunnings and a kid walks in – should that person have a blue card?

        This is nonsense.

        There needs to be the same risk-based approach as given to COVID (as a minimum) – is the person likely to be alone, within 1.5m of a minor, for a period of time? If yes, run them through a check.

        The other problem with the blue card process is that it only picks up people with previous misdemeanours (and then only sometimes). I was involved in a local sporting club some years ago and one of the incoming staff (transferred from elsewhere) was fully accredited by Qld Govt but turned out to have a conviction for kiddy fiddling in NSW because we don’t/didn’t check interstate ffs.

        • The Magpie says:

          One would hope that if any decent person suddenly found himself alone with a minor in a dunny, a blue card would be the ONLY thing he showed him.

  4. upagumtreeperson says:

    Great idea Magpie about a free weekly on-line news sheet/paper. All done via computer and distributed with advertisers. In all my time in Townsville there was always a place for free weeklies. All have gone now for various reasons. The Newscorp Twin Cities Advertiser, lately The Sun all seemed to generate good incomes. There could well be a place for a free digital weekly with real local and accurate stories.
    If you were the editor I would work for you probably for free. I spent seven years as an editorial contributor with the Townsville Bulletin’s senior monthly insert which was an amazing experience for some one in their senior years and who had studied journalism at James Cook part-time. There must be many former Bully journos in this town who would love, like me, have a real go, for whatever reason against the mighty Newscorp. The whole news scene needs a mighty shake-up. Go get ‘em magpie! Could your post be a basis for a news paper? Carpe Diem.

    • The Magpie says:

      Well, your comment requires a couple of observations, Tree Rooter.

      In order. The Twin Cities Advertiser and later the Sun weekly throw-overs were bought by Murdoch for the sole purpose of eventually closing them down and concentrate an advertising monopoly on the Bulletin. Those papers were proven advertising tools, and with a single journo working for them, they often scooped the Bulletin with good and important stories despite the widely differing deadlines. The Bully editors used to be livid when this happened, and The ‘Pie can recall the newsroom ringing with angry bellows on more than one occasion. And The ‘Pie agrees with you that -say- a twice a week throw-over supporting a professional 24/7 digital platform would be viable, and at least deserves a serious study. Possibly this could include a ‘long read’ weekend edition without the almost unreadable, mostly shipped in tripe of the Townsville Eye. AND THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON THAT MODEL COULDN’T ALSO SUCCEED IN CHARTERS TOWERS, AYR AND INGHAM.
      Regarding journos, there is at least one former editor from the days when the Bulletin was truly a local paper still living here but doubt he’d be too interested nowadays, but yes, there would be sufficient hands on deck from the ranks of the experienced.

      BUT LET’S BE CLEAR ABOUT ONE THING … in its present successful (sort of) form, The Magpie’s Nest could never be the basis for such a venture. The ‘Pie been around the game long enough to know when he’s running close to the legal wind, judging when to take a punt in the public interest and entertainment, and admit to taking the occasional humorous liberty with public figures, and stopping the clock on the odd drongos enjoying their 15 minutes of fame (i.e. the latest in a long line of blow-in iditor of the Astonisher – have you noticed not a single one of them has declared they are here for the long haul?) Radically different and traditional rules of both journalism and legalities would need to guide any new venture. That is not to say it couldn’t entertaining as well as accurately informative.

      And for that very reason, The Magpie’s involvement perhaps beyond being a consulting editor and helping set up the web design, would possibly make potential investors baulk. Because, as Media Watch says of itself, they love The Magpie blog … it until their in it.

      • upagumtreeperson says:

        Magpie, I used to enjoy the ‘Magpie’ column in the TB. I always got a laugh and you carefully erred on the side of going just going far enough.
        As for the Blue Card, speakers on behalf of Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute require blue cards and a police check. However, I did not feel annoyed about this because both organisations covered the costs and I had nothing to fear anyway. Like firies, speakers are unlikely to be left alone with children so why a card? The cards were a requirement of volunteering and no big deal. This is the age in which we live as PC has gone over the top.

        • The Magpie says:

          And remains the age in which The Magpie will always push back in his own small way against the excesses of PC that are becoming a major irritant in Australian society. Agree such volunteering workers require suitable checks, but will never see how it applies to rural bush fire brigades … The Magpie will forever rail against the smug complacency of those self-satisfied bum polishers who formulate these rules so far away from the reality of the danger, exertion and, on many occasions, courage.

        • The Magpie says:

          And as far as just going far enough in the paper, section sub editors Mary and Janine saved The ‘Pie’s bacon on a number of occasions, and once when I made merry with the term ‘camel’s toe’, the somewhat staid the editor John Affleck got involved when the term was explained to him. Surprisingly, he let it through when he canvassed female staff who said they didn’t have a problem with it.

          Apart from an instance of disgraceful interference from Typo Gleeson to appease his sleazy mate Barry Taylor, the only time a whole column was ditched was in the early 90s, when acting editor Mary Vernon decided (correctly in hindsight) that The ‘Pie had stepped over the line when writing some silly japery about Melbourne’s new gay radio station Joy FM . It didn’t help that it was World Aids Week at the time, so the bit that saw the whole thing binned was the final little ditty The ‘Pie suggested as a suitable jingle for Joy Fm:
          ‘Oh Joy. Oh Joy,
          The Fun Never Ends,
          Joy is widening,
          The circle of your friends.’

          Dunno, still reckon it’d work pretty well.

          • Jenny Wren says:

            Re Joy FM
            Delightful Magpie, I love your ditty
            They scrubbed it, what a pity.

      • Mike Shearer says:

        Weekly “throw overs”? Please, oh pretty please, No! no! no!! At least half of them will never be collected, they’ll just lie around on footpaths and in gutters. I have walked about a third of Townsville streets letterboxing over the years and so many of the throw-overs were along with bundled weekly advertising leaflets just never collected, never read litter.

  5. Not the ECQ says:

    Mr Magpie, I look forward to your involvement in a locally curated newspaper for Townsville, especially with a “light touch here and there”.

    • The Magpie says:

      It would be fun, but if some of our ‘developmentally delayed’ commenters have their way, The ‘Pie would need a blue card for the ‘light touches’.

    • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

      Magpie – “light touch here and there” – he’ll never get a blue card.

  6. Love The Team But ... says:

    To be perfectly honest the Cowboys administration can get on the horse that rode in on and fuck right off back to where they came from. Having now read the CEO statement, the thing with the Cowboys letter that really annoys me is the wording around the local juniors. The Cowboys are about the elite kids and the elite kids only, what do they do for the non elite kids??? SFA is the answer. When was the last time your saw a junior RLFC selling tickets for their clubs at a Cowboys game.

  7. Werewolf says:

    Well Mr Magpie you often talk about and lament the state of the old US of A, but what about the UK? Things are very drastic over here in London, as the Govt has been oh so slow to move on controlling this beast.

    Boris has not set the world on fire, although he was way-laid in intensive care himself, to be fair.

  8. I’ll be plucked says:

    Qld Premier (Nanna Anna) has announced from 12 noon Monday travel by residents anywhere in Qld is permitted. Watch the 3 stooges (Harpic, O’Rort and Cupcake) come out of hiding now and start the verbal diarrhoea again about doing it for the North!

  9. Alahazbin says:

    Are there any ‘legal eagles’ out there willing to start a class action against the Cowboys?
    Another question I would like answered by the CEO.
    What did they ask of their Corporate sponsors?
    I will be ringing them this week anyhow.

    • The Magpie says:

      While maybe a possibility down the track, more needs to unfold and the pandemic alerts to be put behind us before that sort of complicated matter is contemplated. The Cowboys also need to a chance to publicly reply too their angry ticket holders, but not with the virtue signally tripe dished out by the CEO, which is simply a list of very good works that are nothing more than should be expected of a monopolistic organisation in a small community.

  10. One legged tap dancer says:

    Totally agree Pie, places like Ingham, Charters Towers, the Burdekin and Bowen are almost certain to fill the void left by News Ltd and start their own news services, in print or online, maybe both.
    There are more than enough community minded citizens/businesses in those towns to put up the required cash to make it happen.
    Even the local councils might see fit to make sure it happens, although that may create a conflict of interest similar to the one the Townsville City Council regularly uses with the Townsville Bulletin.
    But I’m prepared to bet there will be news services in all the towns robbed of their newspapers within a few weeks.

    • The Magpie says:

      Agree generally with all that with a major exception … councils, NO councils, should be involved with any such venture, for the simple reason that one of the main tasks of any news and information platforms is to have a primary function of independence from any form of government. And be clearly seen to be so. It is fundamental to what journalism and reporting is all about, and when it fails, like it has on so many occasions between Jenny Hill and the Bulletin (although worm has made a few minor turnings of late), the result is community decay.

      Mayor Hill in the past has threatened the community radio 4TTT with punitive action over some proposed programming, the main weapon being not just a small annual grant (well it was in those days) but also the peppercorn rent on the premises at the rear of the Dance North building in Walker Street.

      But if community radio is to live up to its name, it must go beyond mere entertainment and satisfaction for superannuated old wannabee disc jockeys, and raise money to invest in proper coverage of local news.

      When The Magpie started out in journalism as a cadet at radio 2TM and NEN 9 TV in Tamworth, our editor Trevor Williams used to lug a hefty old Byer tape recorder to every single council meeting, then come back and edit the lengthy ramblings into an hour long program. This happened at every council meeting – naturally no streaming back in the 60s – and the fact that very few people listened to it except the gas-bagging councillors, the station did it because management believed it was their responsibility and a duty in a small community to do so.

      It is not impossible that a suitable community band width could be available for a news orientated community vstation that mixed in music and other entertainment with solid and trusted local news cobverage. This could be linked in with any other start-up on line and/or print outlet.

      Not an easy call, but if we are to regain control over our own affairs instead of being regularly raped by the avarice of uncaring network corporations of any medium, we have to be willing to put in the effort. The ‘Pie will certainly be in the thick of any such push.

      • Scientician79 says:

        An interesting article surfaced during the week discussing the impact of losing papers, admittedly an American focus, but basically Local Governments finances suffer when there is a lack of oversight.

        Bit of long read, link for anyone interested below, and admittedly the borrowing rate is not likely an issue in Australia with Local Govt borrowing from State Government QTC. But I think the fundamental point around a lack of oversight is entirely relevant.


        Now I would argue this is already happening to a certain extent here with the Astonisher beholden to Mullet because of the lucrative advertising revenue, but it could be worse I guess.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, that works in both directions but yes, the weight would be with Mayor Mullet … many council advertisements especially tenders are mandatory in the ‘local community paper’, and even stuff that isn’t is covered by fawning stories so the paper gets thrown the occasional paid bone of community matters. But there has been a recent willingness to diss the mayor (gently of course, obviously the new iditor has had to keep an iron grip to hold back his unrelenting tough interviewing investigative reporters straining at the leash.

  11. NQ Gal says:

    Newsflash! Nanna Anna has opened up Queensland to Queenslanders as well as a further easing of restrictions in pubs and restaurants.

  12. CEO of Crap says:

    The Bulletin is just a babblanche of crap (see what I did there Magpie? Used it already !). Closing down smaller regional papers has been a major error on Newscorp behalf because it has opened up the opportunity for real news telling the truth.

  13. Critical says:

    During these somewhat trying times I found that this article and YouTube clip showed how our health workers are creatively thinking about all of us.


  14. Sue Ridge says:

    Pie can you stop calling the good folk at TEL the Dudley Do nothings now that their CEO singlehandly convinced the Premier to open up the State. We would be lost without them.


  15. Werewolf says:

    Afternoon Mr Magpie, one measure of success of any public broadcast (sic, blog, paper, TV, radio, pamphlets, etc) is the number of complaints received, as cages are rattled. Out of interest and with the greatest respect, do you receive complaints and/or threats of retribution around your comments and those of some of your commentators?

  16. Jatzcrackers says:

    Pie, whatever happened to Miss Lou ?

  17. Desperado, out riding fences says:

    Hello All! Slow arvy out here on the fence line, thank christ! Last three days mending gaping holes, caused by a bull jumping paddocks, obviously searching for his next score or ten!

    So, travel anywhere in the state permitted again – shit, here come the dickheads with their guns and dogs wreaking havoc out this way! Oh well, keeps me busy.

    G’day Werewolf, you’re new on here, unless I’m mistaken? Keep it coming everyone!

  18. Mike Douglas says:

    Premier Palaszczuk has gone 11 days early with stage 2 restrictions commencing tomorrow June 2st . 20 per cafe / resturant and 20 per room for clubs and pubs . Tattoo shops , gyms . Would like to have been a fly on the wall to hear what our Chief Medical Officer / Premier discussed for this outcome ?.

  19. Dave of Kelso says:

    Dear Pie,
    A question totally off topic, if I may. I have asked many to no avail, so I wish to put it to the Nesters.

    What is the purpose of the round metal discs all along the top strand of the Laverack Barracks front security fence?

  20. Blather says:

    Pie, I would like to ask you your opinion on the local paper. Which is the best and worst era of the bulletin in terms of editors? I’ve only lived here since 2006 but to me it seems a very steady and continuous decline.

  21. Insider says:

    You will no doubt be pleased to know (or more likely couldn’t give a shit) that I have decided not to contribute further to your formerly well-regarded blog following your carping and peevish responses to me this week.
    As a former senior Council employee and strong proponent of this City, for a long time I have greatly enjoyed and taken solace in the Magpie’s irreverent wit and satire, but you are playing the man and not the issue now, and I guess I can do without that in these bleak times.
    I would prefer you didn’t publish this, thanks. Over and out.

    • The Magpie says:

      Thought you said you were an English teacher.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        Pie, a former English teacher, former senior council employee and now a former blogger. That’s a lot of formers! Won’t contribute but betcha Insider keeps reading the blog. Hello Insider, have a nice day!

        • The Magpie says:

          A PS to Insider re your final (maybe) post. You give The’Pie a spray and then say you’d rather it wasn’t published.

          Journalists occasionally come across this ploy, where someone completely spills the beans and rips into somebody or something and AFTERWARDS says this is not for publication. If that understanding isn’t agreed at the outset, then it certainly isn’t binding, legally or ethically. The ‘Pie has received a number of comments headed NFP, and The ‘Pie has honoured that, although putting at the head of a bean spill in the same comment is a bit daft.

          Anyway, your comment was published on the basis that a clearly and honestly expressed opinion which, if The ‘Pie knows to not be a deliberate lie or misinformation, is acceptable and desirable. This particular Magpie is not a protected species and disagreement with his views will always be published. Ask Guy, he’ll tell you.

          • Guy says:

            The only time my posts have been edited or censored completely were they became a tsunami of tyrannical vective railing against the injustice that shouts into the face of all that is good and decent.

          • The Magpie says:

            See previous reply.

    • L Berry says:

      You poor, delicate little soul, you.

      Most everyone here – even the sycophants, one in particular who stands out – cop a spray from that bad-tempered old coot on occasions.

      I would have thought that a “Senior Council employee” Would have had a thicker skin.

      Harden up, Princess.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        Chuck B, maybe Insider meant long term employee, as opposed to senior in the hierarchy sense? Either way, seems a tad soft and needs to harden up as you suggest. Hey Insider, get back in the game – The Pie enjoys giving it out, but he can take it too!

    • Not the ECQ says:

      Insider, assuming you are still with us (of course you are), back up there you wrote about the blue card issue saying that Rural firies are not some protected species. “If everyone else who has to come into contact with children as part of their work has to get a blue card, then so should they. What makes them so special? . . . . . This is just protecting the community. Get over it.”

      You seem to be in favour of blanket government intervention regardless of unintended consequences and yet you know that employees of (say) Bunnings, the show circuit and any number of toyshops have regular and possibly repeat contact with children and do not have to obtain blue cards. On top of that, you should also know that it is an offence for a person convicted of (say) murder, to even APPLY for a blue card. So they have to exclude themselves from a rural fire brigade because they know they can never get a blue card even though they have never committed an offence against children. Why should we regular citizens just “get over it”? If it is intended to “protect” us why can’t we reject the current formula and demand something better rather than taking the bat and ball and walking off the field?

      • The Magpie says:

        In the Australian army of many years ago, it was often said the ex-crims who’d done time made the best soldiers… they quickly adapted to the regime of barracks living, were fiercely loyal to their mates as inmate groups are, and had already adjusted to discipline often a lot harsher than the military.

        In a way, the same applies to bush fire brigades. With the exception of paedos, why should someone with a record of, say, larceny be blocked from returning some benefit to the community and at the same time, contribute to their own rehabilitation. It is almost certain that any law-abiding person who joins the rural fire fighting ranks is of the disposition to ‘give a bloke a go, he pays his debt to society’ attitude.

        • Dave of Kelso says:

          Australian Army and ex-crims? That might be the finding of some armies but………

          In my time, and I served 40 years total in the ARA and the Reserve, a criminal conviction would prevent enlistment, including drug convictions. I do not know what the enlistment standards are now, but I understand some drug convictions are tolerated.

          Now happily retired.

          • The Magpie says:

            The saying, as old as the hills, probably originated in one of the world wars, when such a prohibition didn’t exist. Certainly you are correct in the modern army … defence forces generally.

        • The Stasi says:

          That was probably The Foreign Legion, Pie. Full of crims and misfits but loyal to the core. You fucked up, you were shot!

          • The Magpie says:

            Thinking back, a criminal record was not a bar to doing national service in the 60s. As a donor of life and limb to the war criminal Menzies, The ‘Pie had studied every way to avoid such an unfair imposition, and did indeed canvass doing a touch of shoplifting in say a jewellery store, only to be told the quoted saying.
            And forget the Foreign Legion …. Nashos didn’t have to fuck up to get shot, they just had to be sent to a war we had no business being in, lost a couple of childhood mates that way. Those who were sent generally performed with distinction, as did regular soldiers.
            (BTW, The ‘Pie wasn’t sent there, he only lasted six months of the regulated 2 years, smacking a bullying 2nd Lieutenant in the gob. Because the newly minted Duntroon dunderhead had ‘laid hands upon’ me first (a slap in the face for ‘not running fast enough’), I was given a (honourable) discharge as ‘a non-disciplinary’ rather than see the officer in hot water.

    • CEO of Crap says:

      Insider : I look forward to the next comment you make under a rebranded name. If you truly were signing off forever you would just do it, not post about it.

      • The Magpie says:

        The ‘Pie felt like making that point himself, PooMan, but didn’t want Insider know we were on to him.

    • Alahazbin says:

      Insider! Did you get a nudge from HR.?

  22. Mike Douglas says:

    T.C.C. sells the ex Thuringowa Council Office to Eastbrooke in 2017 for $7.5 mil then Eastbrooke offload it for $30 mil three years later to southern investors . Thank God T.C.C.s proposed investment company registered by Adele the Impailer and no doubt serial Chairperson Mayor Hill didn’t get off the ground . Joke , how do you get a small business ? Put the Mullet in charge of a large one and wait a few years !.

    • The Magpie says:

      A few years?

    • Cantankerous but happy says:

      Missed out on that one Mike? Two points of interest, one yes the Mullet and crew are hopeless amateurs at everything they do, but secondly, someone actually made a profit on real estate in Townsville, the spruikers will be yelling about this one, boom time in the Ville, get in quick!

  23. Last Drinks says:

    WTF Insider. I disagree with about 90% of what the Pie says. I consider it my civic duty to read his crap and comment . Now, disclaimer. This weeks column is actually quite good. I only disagreed with 60% of his blog. Of course, Magpie disagrees with 100% of what I say and I say that is completely ok.
    Be thankful, he is not like Trumpy or we would all be fucked.

  24. Queensland Arseholes Limited says:

    Kevin fishGill must be getting excited with QLD travel restrictions being lifted? Wonder what Townsville Airport and QAL’s strategy is to bring in more people to the region apart from increasing carpark fees and leasing agreements?

  25. I’ll be plucked says:

    7 local news tonight about the further virus relaxing measures – cut to Private Cupcake (the politically insipid and failed member for Townsville) – they gave him 3 seconds of airspace, which is 2 seconds more than deserved. Said SFA.

    This dud has to go come October and the other two with him!

  26. Miss Lou’s Cousin says:

    Anyone on here know how I can connect with The Magpie, in person? My cuz said he was quite good for a long while!

    • The Magpie says:

      The ‘Pie can be contacted for those seeking his love and adoration by going to blog and using the donate button.This causes The ‘Pie to feel close to and loved, and the resultant ecstatic moans vary in size according to the numbers attached to the love letter.

      But as to ‘in person’ … first, Cuz … are you an Arthur or a Martha?

  27. Guy says:

    As for blue cards or whatever colour designation they have now, is it really THAT hard to just fill out another stupid piece of paper that the gov asks for ???

    My own limited experience with blue cards was that a club I frequented weekly, one night mentioned that those members who volunteered their time and where they represented the club and DID have limited exposure to children would now have to apply for a blue card. The club would even pay for it so they didn’t lose money. Presumably this might have been around the time blue cards became more prominent ????

    It was interesting to note that one character I had circled and scratched a question mark over, decided to stop volunteering in these positions – for whatever reason. Actually , funnily enough I rarely saw him after that.

    Personally I couldn’t be arsed to get a blue card because then I’d be expected to volunteer spare time i really don’t have. If in the course of my work I was asked to fill out another bit of paper ( that few people ever bother reading) to get a blue card I would just have to get with the programme.

    The whole point is that even though it’s volunteering , you are still acting on behalf on the government/ rural fire brigade AND you are representing the them. As a matter of low hanging fruit risk management it’s a hard argument to justify why exactly it’s so hard to fill out another government form.

    • The Magpie says:

      That is just so basely idiotic, it would be good if no one bothered commenting on it. We should not mock the afflicted.

    • Bi-Guy says:

      And I bet that club that you frequented, Guy, has many patrons wearing leather chaps and cheesecloth singlets with their ‘low hanging fruit’ ready to be risk assessed. Yes?

      • Guy says:

        If someone refuses to fill out a low hanging fruit security assessment taking all of a few minutes at no cost for what is a government run organisation then I’d have further questions.

        When you are pulling on a uniform and riding around in fire trucks you are now a representative of the rural fire brigade. Apart from when you vote I couldn’t think of any other transaction with a governmemt body or organisation where you didn’t need ID and some further details.

        It’s another bit of paperwork to be filled in – what’s the big deal ?

    • Old Tradesman says:

      Guy I think you have a problem if you are going to be arsed to get a blue card.

      • The Magpie says:

        Oh. Is that how you get a blue card,’be arsed’? But it is a thorough background probe, then, with the question asked is ‘do you ever do this to kiddies?’ Of course, this is not a face-to-face interview.

  28. NQ Gal says:

    I see the Astonisher had the Show Day holiday as 6 June in big black print and again mentioned June in the accompanying story. How hard was it to check they had the right month?

  29. Critical says:

    You need a card (read police check) to work with children and young people State government requirement), another police check to work with older people (Federal government requirement) and another police check to work with people with disability (Federal government requirement).
    Why can’t both the Federal and State governments get together and agree to combine all police checks etc into one card which allows an individual to work across Australia with any vulnerable group of people.

  30. J Jones says:

    Is a bad paper better than none at all like Rocky, Mackay, Sunshine Coast and the like now face?

    • The Magpie says:

      Of course it isn’t, a bad paper can be a malign influence on a community, whereas none will create opportunities to create good news platforms. And if there is a need, that is exactly what will be created, not only nature abhors a vacuum, but so do people wishing to be accurately informed.

  31. Achilles says:

    Rod Stewart at 75, just goes to show your only as old as the woman you “feel”.

  32. Charlie Wulguru. says:

    Pie, What Army were you in ? The Salvation Army. Punching an Officer in the mouth and being ‘honorably’ discharged. Must have been a different Army to the one I was in in the sixties. If we Nashos had have known it was that easy to get turfed out, we would have been out in six days not six months. Like killing two birds with the one stone, punching a deserved prick in the mouth and getting out of the Army at the same time. Must be a lot more to that story.

    • The Magpie says:

      It was all a bit political at the time (1966) and in fact, I’d resigned myself to two years in the ‘glasshouse’ at Holsworthy, and was just as surprised as you. When called in by the CO (the spitting image of Captain Mannering) after six weeks confined to barracks and the wet canteen in Singleton while they worked out the right size thumb screws, the officer gravely said, ‘Well I have some bad news for you, private … we’re going to have to discharge you.” I must’ve looked confused because he quickly added ‘Don’t worry, it’ll be an honourable discharge, and will take effect in two weeks, which you will spend at South Head in Sydney.’

      I was proud of my ability to keep a straight face until I was well away from the office. And since all the blokes there were getting out for various reasons anyway, South Head had very lax rules about coming and going – which was a great boon for the Watson Bay pub just down from the barracks gates.

      I perhaps have fonder memories of the Army than a lot of other nashos.

  33. Footy fan says:

    I worked at the Bully under 8 different editors and for me Mick Carroll was the best.
    There were a few complete duds , especially in recent years when blow-in general managers allowed (even encouraged) advertisers to take control of editorial, with little or no resistance from the spineless editors.
    We now have a situation in which anyone can control the news providing they spend enough money on advertising. Same applies to Channel 7, whose “local” news should be renamed “The Jenny Hill Show”.
    Good examples are the local real estate community (real estate is about to boom – again), Jenny Hill (using ratepayers money and not hers of course), and the Cowboys (who used the paper to get a new stadium and a ridiculously expensive training field).
    Poor old Clive Palmer is the exception. He spent a shitload of his own money on trying to get “Grumpy” Greg Dowling elected mayor, but was outbid by Jenny.

    • The Magpie says:

      By The ‘Pie’s count, there have been nine editors since 2000 … 9 in 20 years – that is if Warwick Wockner preceded Affleck or was that Rory Gibson – The ‘Pie didn’t return to Townsville until 2002. All blow-ins, nearly all on trainer wheels, which shows exactly how News views Townsville.
      Counting from Affleck, we had Carroll (now in hot water at the Sunday Tele – shame, good bloke), Gleeson, Pinocchio Heywood, Ben ‘Bogan’ English (in hot water too at the Telegraph), Jenna Carney and the current short straw holder Craig Warhurst. Any missing?

      Why long serving and highly experienced locals Tony Raggatt or Mary Vernon weren’t given a crack is a question no oine seems able to answer. And sports editor Ray (Smith was it?) would’ve made a good fist of it, too, seemed just the right temperament. But there is always the chance they were made the offer and declined it, which, if true, was probably the right decision.

      • wild colonial boy says:

        greetings Pie, regarding former Bully editors, Rory Gibson preceded John Affleck and was the first editor I worked with in my time there. Rory had a bit of dash about him but never recovered after running a front-page story quoting Pauline Hanson saying that News Ltd was out to get her (as I recall the chief head kicker caught the first plane out of Sydney, a la Cold Chisel, the day the yarn appeared to give Rory his marching orders). For his sins Rory was sent to the Courier-Mail. I worked with Affleck and Mick Carroll as well and Mick was the better editor by the length of the Flemington straight

        • The Magpie says:

          Yup all that sounds about right, wasn’t sure because Affleck was the one who hired me back when I working for SBS in Sydney in 2002 (mainly because he liked The Magpie) which I created and freelanced for the paper under Wockner in the early 90s.

          Apparently Gibbo’s main sin was not so much running the story as not giving News hierarchy an opportunity to reply, and presumably weight the spin in their favour. Story I heard was he actually tried to fax (remember faxes?) Murdoch himself in New York, by-passing Holt street, which pleased neither party. Wasn’t Gibbo first choofed off to the Fiji Times for a stint before coming back?

  34. The Closet says:

    Good evening Mr Magpie, do you welcome all genders and sexual preferences, or is this just for your regulars?

    Came across your blog and thought I’d ask before attempting to contribute.

    • The Magpie says:

      You’re welcome and since the blog is peopled by many legal folk, wealthy businessmen, restaurateurs, past and present politicians and Magnetic Island residents, you’ll be in good company, plenty of gender-perplexed closet queens in those demographics.

      However, to keep some semblance of order in the rolling comments, we try to stick with news issues of the day, preferably local and/or state, but if it’s current, goodo … but The ‘Pie doesn’t welcome folks trying to introduce broad agenda topics to hijack the blog to push personal agendas … like sexual preferences – or the real number of genders.
      To save time, there are two, take your choice. End of section.

      • I’ll be plucked says:

        Come off it Pie! You welcome everyone and have great fun with those who aren’t’ ‘you’ ( read, might not share your values)!

        Have a go Closet dweller – come out and play!

  35. The Magpie says:

    Here’s a teensy-weensy clue to just how the Bulletin is so dumb when trying to be devious. The ‘Pie checked out this yarn ….

    …which – believe this or not – led with a tits-and-bum story about some local tarted-up slatterns posting soft-porn selfies on the internet …

    … in which they looked not so much comely as constipated.

    But here’s the thing: after scrolling through the list of ‘big stories’ … drug busts, road accidents, run-of-the-mill crime … something seemed to be missing.

    Polite question: was not May the month that News Ltd closed hundreds of mast heads across the country and are in the process of sacking up to 1000 media staff around the country? Will this not have a major effect on the Bulletin and its ability to keep even the current mediocre coverage of the city? Did this unprecedented carnage see the closure of the Northern Miner in Charters Towers, the Herbert River Express in Ingham and the Burdekin Advocate in Ayr? Will not these communities news values be drastically downgraded and what they do get in Bulletin ‘special sections’ they will have to pay for in a paper 99% of the rest is of no interest to them?

    And no mention of the death by a thousand cuts for Townsville businesses by Palaszczuk who point-blank refused to allow our virus free region from opening now the danger had passed? Of no interest or import, eh?

    Not any of our biggest stories of May, according to iditor Wanker Warhurst.

    No wonder News Ltd and the Bulletin are totally and utterly fucked in this town. And it now seems confirrmed, Mr Warhurst is a worthy successor in the long line of insulting buffoons in the editor’s high chair.

  36. The Magpie says:

    Ummm, June 6? A Saturday? A public holiday?

    Three times in the story.

    You buggers really don’t care, do you, Bulletin?

  37. The Magpie says:

    When it comes to nailing Trump, Andy Borowitz in the New Yorker is one of the best, and funniest.

  38. The Magpie says:

    94, eh? Bloody good on her and all that BUT … If only someone in the royal retinue would break ranks.

    It’s the 10 minute video clip of her GETTING ON the horse that would go viral in an instant.

  39. Not Fred Nile says:

    Very encouraging to see the Orange Man holding up a Bible outside of a church. Truly, a man of God. I’m sure our very own Pentecostal PM, Scomo, would be as hard as a piece of Bluescope Steel watching Trumpsters latest stunt. Will Mayor Hill perhaps don the purple doona and walk with a Bible in hand and stand outside Santa Fe Gold, Castle Hill or the collapsing Aquarium?

    • The Magpie says:

      FFS, save The ‘Pie the trouble of editing … NO NAMES OF REAL PEOPLE.

    • NQ Gal says:

      NFN – Orangeman is a very appropriate name – although he is self described as a presbyterian rather than a protestant. Still, he is just as divisive.

      • The Magpie says:

        Came across another appropriate name for the Tangerine Terrorist … one US tweeter referred to him as the ‘coifed orangeutan’.

        • Achilles says:

          Oz got there first yonks ago with the Oz manipulation of orangutan as “rangger”, a description of a redhead, used by several pollies when referring to MZ Hansen

  40. Mike Douglas says:

    T.C.C. Staff whistleblowers are saying shovel ready projects have stalled because local businesses have had enough of tendering to find the job awarded to LGAQ local buy out of town contractor . The cost of tendering and the turnstile amount of Procurement staff hasn’t helped . So all the posturing from Mayor Mullet about the extra $13.54 from her Labor Qld Government mates is just that , posturing .

    • Last Drinks says:

      Absolute crap. Our business has tendered for a few projects from the TCC and have won a couple. We are as local as they come. Before you start, the owner is a dyed in the wool Liberal. No favouritism, just good tendering.

      • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

        Name the business my friend.

        • The Magpie says:

          Going by the pseudonym, maybe it’s the catering business that looked after the Mayor’s Christmas party and the Adani office opening.

          • First drinks says:

            Oh dear, seems like ‘Last Drinks’ has outed himself/herself by that defensive comment in favour of the TCC tendering process. Strange comment, especially when everybody else that I know has been fucked over by the TCC/LGAQ/Local Buy blah blah process (if you can call it a process). Perhaps ‘Last drinks’ is related to a Council Executive or elected member???

          • The Magpie says:

            Well, not necessarily, and he/she may be telling the truth, but it simply means nothing unless we know what the business is … painting a park dunny block is a world away from building a factory. As is manufacturing plastic pipes locally for a multi-million council managed pipeline project.

          • Last Drinks says:

            No relationship at all with any Council staff, Mrs Hill included. Just hard work after many years being rewarded. No need to name business at all Magpie. And it ain’t catering. We don’t get all tenders we put in, just a couple. We always feel we are treated with respect though.
            It is alright for others to complain. That is their story. I have told mine.

    • No construction says:

      All levels of government are making it harder for local business. On the new building side, all the juicy state government jobs are going to companies with HQ in Brisbane, with a local outpost here. The smaller jobs that used to come from Building & Asset Services are now pretty much all kept in house.

      No word yet on who was awarded the building contract for the cafe on Castle Hill, despite closing in January.

    • Not the ECQ says:

      MD, why would projects have stalled? If tenders are being awarded then work is going ahead. Or are you suggesting that tenders are NOT being awarded because no one, not even locals, are bidding for them? In any case, what sort of percentage of contracts do your TCC Staff whistleblowers think should go to locals? Could there be a bit of huffing and puffing going on here?

      • The Magpie says:

        Those are all very good and thoughtful (if a bit cranky) questions there, EKKA, but The ‘Pie has a personal, long-held and definite view on one of them viz: In any case, what sort of percentage of contracts do your TCC Staff whistleblowers think should go to locals?
        If we are to use the current economic situation to re-set some basic thinking aimed at rapid recovery, local businesses with a demonstrated ability (including say 90% of available local staff) to fulfil a tender to the required professional standard should be given a vastly more favourable weighting than those outside what is deemed to be a ‘local’ area. Which means we will not be using the grasping LGAQ yardstick in that regard.
        There is a vague relatively small weighting at the moment, but one that seems ineffectual.
        The ‘Pie proposes a new weighting could include a favourable percentage cost allowance. For instance, let’s say 20%, against tenders submitted from outside what is agreed as a local area/region, because in truth it is really 10% against the current model of Local Buy, where tenders automatically add the 10% rake-off taken by the LGAQ. This should be a mandatory requirement in selecting tenders, on the basis that there is would be a measurable pan-community benefit – of employment for residents and not FIFO workers, and spending across the whole of the community as well as a business being able to further invest in the area. Certainly this would cost the council more, but nowhere near enough to outweigh the social and business advantages to the immediate region, including controlled and reasonable growth.

        Of course, we can’t have it both ways, so that would mean that Townsville businesses would face the same ‘weighting’ disadvantage for competitive tenders for work in, say, Cairns, Mackay or Rocky, whose councils’ would be tendering under the same guidelines … no, make that strict regulations. But so what, Townsville businesses do not contribute all that much to local well being by getting outside contracts. For instance, Lancini Constructions does generally excellent work across Queensland, good solid projects with Lancini usually investing the money for many of them. But while those projects are of laudable value to the immediate locations, they do not in any way represent any great tangible benefit for the local Townsville economy.

        This would only work for council tenders, it would probably be too unwieldy and certainly illegal anyway for state and federal tenders to work in this way. But this sort of ‘internal tariffs’ system could be a pathway to thriving cities and towns not being sucked dry by the weight of the south-east of this huge state.

        If this was ever considered (The ‘Pie ain’t holding his breath) expect the outraged howls of indignation Hallam’s LGAQ and its feathered-bedded board comprised of local mayors, whose generous directors’ fees come in part from the anti-social Local Buy rip-off (LGAQ gets about 10% of tender contracts, which in itself forces higher costs to the ratepayer when tenderers factor that into their bids.)

        This is the first time The ‘Pie has attempted to put this decades-long idea into words, and as always with The Nest, welcomes any conversation and debate on the issue.

        • Cantankerous but happy says:

          The weighting system disappeared years ago with good reason, as it promoted inefficient and lazy businesses to gain contracts through no other reason as to where they had an office. Also the term local means many things to many people, and is hard to specify with any degree of certainty anyway, so it then becomes a variable that s hard to quantity. Why should a local long established business who’s owners now live in Noosa be given any special consideration over a national business with a local workforce, who contribute the same or possibly more to the local economy.
          Secondly on the actual contract side of the equation many manufacturers will only work with certain accredited installers etc who are aware of the product requirements, their obligations and responsibility. On many standard purchase agreements on machinery, vehicles, equipment, etc there is absolutely no reason why a local can’t compete other than they don’t want to for various reasons, not enough margin, don’t have the capacity or simply don’t want to, but I really struggle to see why the public should have to pay more by way of a weightng system to businesses who simply can’t compete in the marketplace.

          • The Magpie says:

            That entire comment is based on some very questionable assumptions. ‘Lazy and inefficient’ doesn’t cut it nowadays, and cosy deals are too closely scrutinised, monitored and loaded with KPIs to be so. And no cares where the owners live, that is irrelevant, it is the company that is the focus here. You want Lancini to sell up his new multi-million love nest down south – Maleny is it? – so he can get his local company some tenders?

            This arrangement could also include certain provisions for large companies who win tenders … like say plastic piping for a water supply project – to include setting up a real manufacturing business in Townsville, rather than the token bullshit Jenny Hill settled for rather than fight for the city. With projects of this magnitude, such an ask is neither unreasonable or a major impost on profits.

            All too easy to put in the too hard basket, Cankers.

          • Cantankerous but happy says:

            That’s actually my point Pie, I don’t care where the owner lives or where a corporate HQ may be based, unlike many in this town who harp on about it constantly, all that matters is their ability to produce the product or service in accordance with the tender schedule. The inefficiency that I refer to is mainly reflected in Townsville business reluctance to embrace change and the latest products and technologies, and the construction industry which is always at the centre of the “local” debate is a prime example.
            In regards to a straight out supply of a commodity product the council or govt use on a continuous basis then some provision for local manufacturing could be incorporated, but they still have to provide some value to the transaction, such as product knowledge, servicing and warranty provisions etc, rather than scooping out a margin for themselves by merely stocking or handling an existing market product, which has been my experience in the past dealing with most in this town, over many years.
            In regards to providing a service there is no reason I can think of why any local business in Townsville can’t compete and secure a contract, if they know what they are doing, but a small weighting of 5-10% for a local company to allow for a lack of volume or scale would be the absolute maximum, and I don’t know if that would really be enough to make a difference to the outcome anyway.

        • Not the ECQ says:

          I can see numerous complications here, Mr Magpie. How to deal with national and multinational companies which have a long established base in Townsville – ready-mix concrete, transport, road making, tree management and any number of tradie-type firms that have local, quasi-regional and national operations. If you look at the companies that have their names on high-rise office and unit construction sites in the CBD they may well have a long standing Townsville operation but have particular workers for periods who come from all over the place, including FIFO and 457 etc visa stuff. So the policing of the tender operation would be a nightmare. Actually, who would do that? Can you imagine the shenanigans down at the tender box at closing time as all sorts of shonks and legal cowboys hid behind fake shopfronts and dodgy companies pretending to be locals. It might be entertaining but I can’t see how the town would benefit.

          • The Magpie says:

            If they have plant/factory here, don’t see any problem. And let’s not quibble about what local means, it doesn’t mean you have to have been here since Leichhardt copped a bit of native surgery in the district … national and even international companies who have established a genuine presence here should be considered local, especially if they have an on-going local workforce. But if they just have an office which is little more than a tender application operation, then no. As for workers coming in, that is always going to be the a reality, this city has proved on more than one occasion it does not have resident skilled staff to handle the larger contracts. Perhaps the idea should be for projects up to a certain amount. No idea what that would be, The ‘Pie does not have the background knowledge to even hazard a guess.

        • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

          I actually went looking for an example I know is in my (probably bugged) computer from another LGA (Rocky or Gladstone from memory) but can’t lay my hands on it.

          It clearly lays out a rating process which was similar in intent to:
          – locally based firm headquartered in (say) Rocky – 10%
          – Firm headquartered in CQ for with an office in Rocky for more than two years – 7%
          – Firm headquartered in QC but no Rocky office – 5%
          – Firm headquartered outside CQ for with an office in Rocky for more than two years – 2%
          – Firm headquartered outside CQ for with no presence in Rocky for more than two years – 0%

          Even Defence with their Singapore contracts specify 125-150km (or something) of site as “local” business for the purpose of tendering.

          Others do it quite successfully and show support to local business – why can’t we?

  41. The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

    I note in today’s paper the Premier’s announcement that the Haughton Pipeline Duplication (most of it any way) Stage 1 is complete.

    Surprisingly for the completion of a water pipeline there is no image of water gushing out the end of it, just a dusty section of pipe.

    No water, no Jenny, just lots of smoke, mirrors and broken promises.

    • Not the ECQ says:

      Engineer, besides the actual pipeline, Stage 1 requires the upgrading of the Haughton Channel and installation of a new pump station – some $55m worth of works which only became necessary a few weeks ago when the Commonwealth changed its mind and decided not to fund the co-construction Stage 2. That channel upgrade will take quite some time I imagine and the timing fail is not down to anyone but Canberra as far as I can see.

      • The Magpie says:

        AND STILL AN ELEPHANT IN MAYOR MULLET’S LANSDOWNE CLOSET … when is someone going to tell we ratepayers who will pay how much to connect the pipeline to this proposed industrial estate. There has not been a single mention of this pivotal aspect anywhere The ‘Pie can find, be happy if someone could point us in the right direction. And a mayor who tried to give away 400H of ratepayer land untikl the Belcarra laws stopped her, would be so desperate for her blurred ambition of this industrial park is unlikely to start telling prospective tenants that they need a few mill up front to turn a tap or 500.

      • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

        QCE (you seem to have your argument backwards so I thought reversing your name was appropriate) – and that’s the trick, the on-again, off-again elements of the project.

        The pumpstation, channel upgrade and proposed solarsupply were required at the start, paused when Stage 2 was being considered, and then were required again when Stage 2 went back on the cool shelf.

        What has never changed, and is still not commenced, is the crossing of the Haughton River – – no matter what you do, the pipe has got to cross the river. Not to bother doing so was a glaring omission and one with no engineering basis whatsoever.

        Scurry back to under the mayor’s desk and await further instructions.

        • Grumpy says:

          Dunno what you are all jawing about..:

          After all, there is no water crisis and Jenny has fixed it anyhows

        • Not the ECQ says:

          reenigne, from what I remember (I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong), under the Stage2 program the pump station for the whole pipeline was to located at Clare next to the Burdekin River and Weir. Now that we are only getting Stage1 the entire Haughton Channel has to be enlarged and a new pump station (+ river crossing) built vicinity the Haughton River. Did you understand that little $55m detail? Because none of this has been started – because Canberra said they’d concurrently fund Stage2 – there is no way any water could be made to come out of a 30+km pipeline that is not yet attached to anything.

          PS. You are a whole lot closer to the Mayor’s table legs than I ever will be.

          • Russell says:

            “Pie, please excuse me for not knowing all the details – I did do some internet research but have to admit it didn’t get me too far. Hence . .
            Not the ECQ, are you saying there is no need to cross the Haughton River if only Stage 1 goes ahead? It would be really great if you could provide a link to (say) the GA Drawings that show the scopes of both stages so those of us not directly involved can follow this discussion in a more informed manner. Thanks in anticipation.

          • Not the ECQ says:

            No Russell, I’m saying that the program for Stage1 was to duplicate, exactly, the old pipeline – with a (I think) $225m state government grant. However, for this to happen the Haughton Channel – an earthen agricultural channel across the back of the Burdekin irrigation scheme – would have to be enlarged to increase its capacity to supply the larger pump and pipeline for the Townsville water supply. The proposed, and actually agreed to Stage2 – to be funded by the Federal government and tacked onto an abbreviated Stage1 but to be built concurrently, would circumvent the Haughton Channel completely and extend the pipeline all the way to the Burdekin River at the Clare Weir where a new pump station would be built. Now the Federal government has decided not to fund Stage2 so it’s back to square one and Stage1.

  42. Alahazbin says:

    The State Government are dishing out $21M to Councils for corona virus recovery. The first on TCC’s list for “community infrastructure” is libraries.
    Looks like a new library at Riverway instead of the Arts Centre. Before the libraries closed you could take up to 80 books. That’s a cheap way of getting the new library stocked when it opens.

  43. Hypocrite says:

    Interesting that TCC has a Reconciliation Action Plan that’s three years out of date on its website. Listening to all the spin and BS, you would think the council may actually do something meaningful for our local indigenous mob.

    • Fanny by Gas Light says:

      Just give them the 21 million from above.

      In theory we could just give them the 60 billion left over from what we didn’t borrow.

      When China takes this place over they will be seen as liberators.

  44. Migaloo says:

    Looks like Fatboys Nickel and Dime company got a win in court, but ASIC still looking into things.

    • Russell says:

      What, pray tell, is “Fatboys Nickel and Dime Company” and what did they win in Court? Serious question as I don’t follow this stuff in detail, don’t buy the paper and don’t subscribe either, but remain interested. I’m guessing Clive Palomer’s Queensland Nickel, but what did they win? Or is the comment just for the In Crowd?

      • The Magpie says:

        The ‘in crowd’ in this and all other instances in this blog are people who follow ‘stuff’ although not necessarily in detail, who gather news and information in different and various ways they have come to trust and, like you, are ‘interested’. We dion’t always agree here, but we do each other the respect of being informed about current attitudes around matters of the day.It would be a courtesy to The Magpie and his commenters if you would do the minimum research yourself and not expect them to take you back to kindergarten, Russ, m’lad.

  45. Migaloo says:

    Anybody else notice Nanna Anna in Townsville the other day spruiking Queensland being ‘open’? What a muppet. Straight away she is off galavanting around the state and hitting Townsville and The Whitsundays. Ironic that she wore a purple jacket too! Perhaps in support of her Labor mate, Jenny Hill who is the queen of purple doona’s. Why didn’t she pose with Mayor Hill in front of, you know, that dusty pipeline that they were happy to put their names too some time ago! Hmmmm

    • Old Tradesman says:

      I see that Anna was organising $99 airfares from Brissy to the Whitsundays, what she forgot to mention is that only 20 people are allowed at a venue. the lady is totally confused.

      • The Magpie says:

        cartoonist Johannes leak, son of the late Bill Leak agrees with you, OT.

        • Not the ECQ says:

          Bill Leak crossed the border onto the other side a couple of years ago. This is the work of his son, Johannes.

          • The Magpie says:

            Whoops, correct. Thanks, will amend.

          • NQ Gal says:

            Leak the Younger inherited a lot of talent from his old man. The editorial is the first page I turn to in The Oz, just to see who he has decided is worthy of lampooning.

  46. J.B says:

    Really? Nobody in Townsville can build a wastewater treatment plant??
    I wonder if anyone knows if this is a ‘buy local’ scam

  47. J.B says:

    Regional news destroyed as News Corp stop the presses

  48. TCC Chief Morale Manager says:

    TCC has launched legal action against those pesky Unions who supported TCC’s staff in going on strike earlier in the year. Fuhrer Hill will not tolerate such insubordination and if staff go on strike again she will bring back the Impaler to sort things out. Let this be a warning to any staff who are thinking about dobbing executive management into the CCC – we are watching you on CCTV, in your work vehicles with Navman, on your computers with I.T tracking software and with your building proximity card readers. Don’t make us bring in iris scanners, fingerprint recognition and stool sampling.

    • The Stasi says:

      Hey there Chief, are you sure the TCC are doing these things? Sounds more like what we have been doing forever and a day!

    • The (Barely) Civil Engineer says:

      you can bug my work computer and car, but you will NEVER take my personal phone and bicycle :)

  49. Achilles says:

    Looks like Boris Johnson has solved Xi’s little Hong Kong problem!!!! He’s offered permanent residence and full citizenship to any HK residents to any of the millions who want it.

    A decision worthy of his counterpart in the White House.

    Now when all of the “trouble makers “ are out of the way, Beijing can then populate the vacuum.

  50. Arthur Itis says:

    Regarding the discussion of “local buy/services” the following site maybe of interest. I am not up to speed on this issue, but it seems to me there is a lot of lip service paid to the term ‘local’, and thus possible breaches of Qld law? Seems there could be by the government’s own interpretation of the word, which obviously doesn’t work for Greg ‘Pizza The Hutt’ Hallam of the LGAQ.


  51. The Magpie says:

    The Courier decides to publish in Klingon … it certainly ain’t English.

    • Thesaurus says:

      Wow Pie, what a disgrace that one is. They obviously don’t have a QA process, literate journalists or even a fucking spellcheck program???

      • The Magpie says:

        Look, in fairness to some of the subs who make these all too regular blunders, the fault may not all be theirs. Reading this dog’s dinner of a sentence, it is easy to see what probably happened. We all re-write as we go along, then do a final check, and then post … but under News Ltd’s draconian staff/cost cutting program (it started 12 years ago) an over-worked sub may have been in the process of ‘polishing’ when taken off the story for something more urgent, breaking news perhaps, or a caption for Brisbane’s Best Burger or some such, then he/she came back, they were behind time, deadline closer and everything rushed. Not an excuse but certainly a possible reason.

        This under-staffing and unreasonable pressure is the hidden contempt that News has for its readers … and its staff.

        • Ride em cowboys says:

          Were the Broncos practicing social distancing last night?

          • I’ll be plucked says:

            Well Ride, the score line of 59 nil would say yes. The bigger question is, how did they beat the Cowboys in round 1 at Total Tools Stadium???

    • The Magpie says:

      Ah, so this is what they were trying to say:
      “The Rural Fire Brigade is simple, humble and unobtrusive yet vital to our lives and the men and women who serve it, quite simply, represent the very best in all of us. That’s what makes Peter Lollo the inaugural The Courier-Mail Queenslander of the Year.”

      But even then, to describe any such organisation as ‘simple, humble and unobtrusive’ is just plain silly. And could be seen as insulting. But good see Peter Lollo comes from up here, he volunteers for the Black River Brigade. (And you can bet he isn’t as sloppy as this sub-editor.)

    • Achilles says:

      Looks fine,’ humit is the measure of humiture, which is measured thus:
      a combined measurement of temperature and humidity computed in integers by adding the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit to the relative humidity and dividing by two and choosing the next integer if a fraction of ¹/₂ is left over when the temperature is 75° F and the relative humidity is 60 percent the humiture is 68.
      Source: Humiture | Definition of Humiture by Merriam-Webster

      Beam me up Scotty, we have to remove some Klingon’s from around Uranus.

  52. The Magpie says:

    Just released:

    MEDIA STATEMENT – Youth Detention Centre worker suspended

    A Department of Youth Justice spokesperson said:

    A Cleveland Youth Detention Centre worker has been stood down pending an investigation by the Professional Standards Unit for alleged inappropriate comments on social media. The matter has also been referred to the CCC. We take all matters of alleged inappropriate comments by staff on their social media seriously.

    • I’ll be plucked says:

      AND Pie…???…

      • Thesaurus says:

        I’m assuming the Pie can say pretty
        much whatever he wants because he doesn’t work for a Government department, and therefore hasn’t signed all of those bits of paper upon commencement of employment that say he won’t disclose any dirty little secrets, negative comments or take the piss out of his employer.

        • The Magpie says:

          Well, up to a point, because The ‘Pie does not have an employer (let alone a government one), doesn’t know any dirty little secrets, never makes negative comments and would never dream of taking the piss out of anyone. Right?

  53. Mangrove Jack says:

    Appeared in my Facebook pages today,

    TODAY starts the countdown to the launch of a new community news site – the Ingham Daily Press.
    We are this town’s only locally owned and independent online media body.
    Where can you read about local news, local sport and local events? The Ingham Daily Press.
    We have one goal – keeping people connected.
    The Press will be at the heart of all things local – and give back a voice to the Shire.

    • The Magpie says:

      Sounds like a positive move, but the Nest readers are encouraged to monitor the site to ensure it isn’t a stalking horse for personal agendas and that it is professionally curated.

    • The Magpie says:

      In addition, The ‘Pie has removed your website address, other contact details and request for stories, and will reinstate it – indeed encourage people to participate – only when those bankrolling and creating this site publicly make themselves known. News sites that may appear reasonable can well have hidden agendas, so the owners must be known: editors are always named, as are the publishers. Failure to do so will oblige The Magpie to assume you have something to hide.

  54. The Magpie says:

    Black Lives Matter versus All Lives Matter.

    Black deaths in custody are a disgraceful cancer in our society and urgently need to be addressed with measures that are more than political hot air. All that is a given, all well aired, and is starting, albeit tardily, to be acted upon. Public awareness has been greatly heightened, and concern widespread. But all that being acknowledged, as any intelligent person would, there is something deeply irresponsible, deeply ignorant and deeply arrogant about this.

    The court ruling was chiefly made on the issue of corona virus rules – the unspoken truth is that corona virus isn’t one bit racist, it will kill anybody it can – and that a large, rowdy rally where social distancing would be impossible represents clear and present danger of a ‘second wave’ ripple effect to the general population. And the attendant economic damage already battering our whole society.

    Indigenous spokesmen have already loudly featured the fact that ATSI people are more at risk severe consequences to COVID-19, but despite this ,the skewed virtue-signalling determination to go ahead with the protest demonstration by a show-pony aboriginal leadership in Sydney is, as said, irresponsible, ignorant and arrogant. Encouraging people to break laws in a such dangerous manner in order to draw attention to people who suffered disproportionately because they broke the law is Trumpian in its stupidity.

    And when the cops uphold the rules imposed on ALL of us, the howls of outrage at being made to obey one law above another temporarily suspended freedom (that of gathering and protesting), as we all have had to do, will ring the most stridently throughout the indigenous community and their wrong-headed apologists.

    This is just plain stupid, and it should be stopped in the interests of all Australians.

    • Dave of Kelso says:

      Good luck with that.
      In these PC times any criticism of the Indigenous or those who claim to be Indigenous will be summarily dismissed by them playing the race card. In my view this was recognized by those States that did not bother to withdraw permission for the protests. Charge the organisers under the Health Emergency provisions and prepare for more Cv19 outbreaks.

    • Cockie says:

      I agree with you comment Pie. While any death in custody is an issue, why don’t these protesters look at domestic violence and murders as well as the children being molested in indigenous communities. Not far back it was news that Palm Island was one of the most dangerous places in the world, at New Year there was a murder and riots in Kowanyama. I suspect it’s either not in their agenda or thrown in the Politically Correct too hard basket. I don’t see why people are importing the issue in the USA and not looking to the real problems in Australia.

      • The Magpie says:

        Sorry to have to say so, mate, but that is just simply looking at a very complex problem through incipient racist eyes, even though you may not realise it. The sub-text of what you say about domestic violence, murders and child molestation in indigenous communities make indigenous society no different to white society, so why single them out for approbation? That is simply not the issue here, which is. the justifiable simmering resentment of ATSI deaths in custody, which is clearly disproportionate (which DV, murder and child abuse in indigenous communities is probably not). And anyway, it is not up to aboriginal leadership to solve the DV, murder and molestation issue, it is EVERYBODY’s.

        But it now seems we have wandered far away from the Magpie’s original post that led us here in the first. The ‘Pie reiterates: the Sydney march should not be allowed at this time because of the very real danger it poses to the general population through the spread of a dangerous, sometimes fatal, and economy-destroying virus. If it goes ahead, it is a disgraceful and wilfully ignorant failure of indigenous leadership, who will be the first to howl with indignation when they are arrested and incarcerated.

        • Not the ECQ says:

          You’ve probably heard by now that an action in the NSW Court of Appeal today has overturned yesterday’s Supreme Court ban on the protest. Attention to proper legal process and detail has turned the NSW Police heads and now they will be ‘facilitating’ the protest rather than preventing it. Calm heads all round I’d say.

  55. Old Tradesman says:

    I hope our premier has a blue card, after not releasing the findings of the death of toddler Mason Jet Lee.

    • The Magpie says:

      If you are hinting at a cover-up, Trader, you obviously haven’t heard that there is no such thing any longer – it is now known ‘responsible discretion’.

  56. Dave of Kelso says:

    ABC Radio National, Saturday Extra, on now re regional newspapers. very detailed and in depth. Supports the Pie’s position and more. Worth a listen if the ABC put it on their web site.

  57. I’ve got your six says:

    Mr Townsville Magpie, I think you’re right – ALL lives matter. Yes the Indigenous incarnation rate is statistically very high, yes there are too many unexplained deaths in custody (as opposed to self-inflicted deaths) and yes, there are statistically many Indigenous peoples being brought before the courts.

    More energy/resource reallocation needs to be poured into slowing down the law breaking behaviour of Indigenous individuals and groups in the first place. If the law is not breached/broken then there will be less interaction with the Police, quite obviously! Like it or not, we are ALL AUSTRALIANS and as is our way, we need to have each other’s six!

    • The Magpie says:

      You phrasing may not be the way The ‘Pie would’ve chosen to put it, Sixer, but you have laid out a self-evident truth.
      Here some stats to work from:
      Despite Indigenous adults making up only around two per cent of our national population, they constitute nearly 30 per cent of all prisoners.
      Though only 5 per cent of people aged 10-17 are Aboriginal, they make up almost half of those under youth justice supervision.
      Australia locks up children as young as 10 — far younger than the rest of the world — and Indigenous children are the worst affected.

      The first one begs a bleedin’ obvious question: the trumpeting of these stats without any qualification or overview is the dog whistling suggestion that 30% of the population are the victims of racist police, arrested and jailed just because they are black. It is clearly a sweeping incorrect generalisation, but if 2% of the population make up 30% of those jailed, there must surely be more at work here than alleged racially corrupt police. Police do not have a remit to legally turn a blind eye – call it discretion if you will – to lawbreaking, and rightly so, that would lead to massive corruption. Inquiries like Fitzgerald made sure that temptation was largely removed.

      Those who are arrested, go to court and are jailed have broken the law, not by being black but by committing crimes. However, there is an irrefutable argument that many – not all, some black people are simply bad, like whites, asians or any other racially defined group – broke the law because of oppressive social attitudes of incipient racism. This is often fuelled by the notion that ‘abos’ don’t help themselves and refuse to become dark skinned whites like the supposed rest of us.

      And that is where your very valid point about resources come in. Such resources would not be lavishing money and goods on a ‘noisily lawless minority to keep them quiet’ – it would be aimed at the intangibles of education, health and historical recognition. For the benefit of all of us. And would definitely include new stricter guidelines of custodial treatment for anyone recognised as a disadvantaged group.
      A successful generation-long program of this nature would also solve stats two and three in time, because the general despair of many indigenous people, often relocated by circumstance and disconnected from their real homes, leads to the alcoholism, disconnect from mainstream society and the subsequent parenting failures that perpetuate the vicious circle now clearly displayed.

      • I’ve got your six says:

        Agree, 100% with what I said and what you have said. Thank you for the air time.

      • Achilles says:

        When I see the looting, arson and assaults by those chanting we want “justice” they mean vengeance.

        Sadly its all too reminiscent of the Rodney King episode 25 years ago and nearer to home with Cameron Doomadgee.

        The Justice system is in place its up to the judiciary to enact it and the citizenry to respect it and allow it to due process.

        • The Magpie says:

          Just like to point out there was no looting during the Palm riots that I can recall. And again, a false relevance.

          • Grumpy says:

            Not quite – the police quarters were ransacked and all their personal belongings stolen. The coppers received compensation for the items that they could prove they lost.

          • The Magpie says:

            OK, accept that, but that is not looting uninvolved third parties a la US. This is more targeted theft than looting.

      • Achilles says:

        A little balance is also needed, remember when Justine Damond a white Australian teacher was shot dead at point blank range by a Black Muslim police officer.

        Where were all the bleeding hearts looking for an excuse to steel a TV, burn down an occupied police station or police car,

        • The Magpie says:

          Two very different events, and anyway, each incident should be judged on it’s own merits. Your suggestion is not in the least relevant. And as remembered, there was plenty of outcry around the US from both sides, and a strong defensive campaign mounted by the notorious police union. And let’s no be too precious about it; if Ms Damond had not been Australian, we probably would not have heard about it, let alone cared.

  58. I’ll be plucked says:

    ‘I am, you are we are Australian’!

Post a Comment

The Magpie encourages all to take part in the discussion and let their voice be heard.
In order to post a comment, you must provide a name. While you don't have to use your real name, it should be something unique so users can identify you in the discussion. Generic names like “Anonymous” will likely result in your comment being ignored.
Let the discussion begin!

Current ye@r *

Countdown until the next council election:

-182Days -16 -1 -52