Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kid Crisafulli hits the big time, and The Green's Bob Brown does it just for larfs.

Yup, Bob The Undertaker’ Brown has a stab at stand-up comedy (pretty successfully – hilarious stuff), and The Brisbane Bantam quickly demonstrates what you can do with a massive majority.

On the local scene, the mayoral race turns into a pinball game, with candidates zinging and pinging off the issue of a new convention center.

It’s all here in an overloaded nest at

All Queensland eyes were in Brissy this week, where Campbell ‘The Brisbane Bantam’ Newman wasted no time in showing he was cock ‘o the walk.  Or, as a demure ABC TV newsreader put it ‘Campbell Newman has flexed his massive mandate today, which momentarily gave one a vision that one did not want around teatime. 

As for the question everyone Queenslander is asking, Bentley has it neatly covered.

For the last two days, George Street in Brisbane looked for all the world like it was hosting new arrivals at Hogwarts, with a not so magical tour including the advice that ‘Parliament House has the slowest lifts in Brisbane’. It was Hogwarts Lite, but with a Dumbledore a foot shorter and no hair - beard or otherwise. However, some of the rural reps looked like they had made unsuccessful attempts to board the Hogwart's Express by going headfirst through the railway station brick wall.

Yesterday, The Bantam showed he had enough smarts to agree with ‘Pie that David The Kid Crisafulli should be the Minister for Local Government.

This old bird would have given anything to see the look on The Mullet’s face when she heard this news.  If Jenny flukes the mayoralty, there will be some gritted-teeth chats between the political streetwalker of Walker Street and Queensland’s new Local Government say-so. Delicious!!

The Kid is one of five journalists on the government plush, along with five lawyers – just what that will do for timekeeping, let alone truth, at question doesn’t bear contemplating.

There were the expected shrill ‘pot calling the kettle black’ accusations from Labor supporters over the appointment of some of the Bantam’s previous council and LNP chums – well qualified chums at that - to a variety of nice little earners as department heads. And Peter Costello agreeing to give Labor’s books the once over  - with a helping hand from our own respected economic boffin, JCU VC Sandra Harding -  had some Labor officials and ex-ministers howling in pain. However, Th e Magpie was unable to determine whether this was from hypocritical indignation or from shitting square bricks. 

Their complaints ring hollow - who would they like to do the job of finding out what Labor’s really been up to with our piggy bank? Peter Beattie? Gordon Nuttall? Christina Kenneally? Joan Kirner? Carmen Lawrence?

And besides, this is not hiding anything, quite the opposite, it is an exposure of the books, which would be a bit hard to fiddle one way or the other.

Of course, The ‘Pie signalled a couple of weeks back that the outcome of this exercise may well end up in the usual fashion, that ’things are worse than we knew, and so there are a few promises which will have to go on the backburner‘.

With more than 70 hungry MPs slavering for a nibble at the pork barrel, The Bantam is going to be busier than a Bagdad bricky. Maybe he could call in Henry Kissinger, except  under the new regime, consultants are, like Grace Grace, a no-no.

But it was hard not to get enthused with all the gunna rhetoric. Now we’ll see.

The cadaverous Bob Brown, whose visage usually puts one in mind of an undertaker trying to start a stalled hearse , has decided on a side career of comedy.

That is clearly apparent with his recent address to the Third Annual Green Oration.

An unlikely occasion, but as a tentative venture into this new role, it was a hit far wider than the immediate audience, who probably thought he was serious.

But let’s be honesty, it is a bit hard to keep a straight face when the man who has a big say in our lives, starts his address with the greeting  ‘Fellow Earthians’.

And once that had been digested by the small number in the audience to which this appellation applied, Bob had them slapping their thighs with a couple of beautifully crafted piss-take lines of the first order viz:
‘Never has the Universe unfolded such a flower of collective human intelligence, so far as we know’

‘Nor has such a one-and-only brilliance in the Universe stood on the brink of extinction, as far as we know.’

‘We, the people of Earth exist because our potential was there in the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago.

So far, it seems like we are the lone thinkers in this vast expanding Universe.’

At this early stage, The ‘Pie was thinking Bob should get in touch with Campbell Newman to borrow some ‘umbleness and hoomility’ of which the new Queensland Premier seems have a such an abundant supply.

He then put forward a fanciful theory about why other intelligent life forms have not contacted us – as if they’d want to. No, it’s because they ain’t there anymore, they’ve done themselves in, in much the same that Bob thinks we are in the process of doing right now – but hopefully not before the end of the footy season.

But then, with a nice touch of bathos so essential to the skilled comedian, Bob gives us a glimpse into his personal world - and The ‘Pie does quote, this is true.

‘Recently, when I got back to bed at Liffy, after ruminating under the stars for hours on this question, Paul enquired ‘did you see a comet?’ ‘Yes,’ I replied,’ and it is called Global Democracy’.

Liffey is presumably Bob and Paul’s toasty warm little Tassy home in the gum forest. And Paul, presumably, is (1, not Keating and (2  is Bob’s wife/husband, whichever role depends on the outcome of their version of the old limerick
There was young gay from Kartoum,
Who took an old gal to his room,
But they argued all night,
Who had the right
To do what, and with which, and to whom.

But Bob in a frilly nightdress with a gamboling lamb’s pattern, shyly recounting his vision of their future to his life partner as they snuggled under the patchwork eiderdown, has – well, perhaps for some people - a certain heartwarming appeal.

Anyway, if you reckon The ‘Pie is just having a lend of you, read it for yourself here, there’s lots of it (the connection between Abraham Lincoln, his Gettysburg Address and Hobart is a bit of a showstopper).

Here in Townsville, it appears the quite important question of a new convention center cum stadium has become lost in a game of  –sigh – political follow-the-leader. All mayoral candidates seem happy to promote the idea that this vital bit of social infrastructure is an either/or proposal, which it is not. The scare-the-pants-off-them candidates are more than willing to forego support for a lynchpin development on the basis that rates will have to go up if it is approved.

This argument goes largely unquestioned, and ignores any discussion about its importance to this city’s future, as a signature project creating jobs  and attracting tourists, conventioneers, sports patrons and entertainment audiences, all invaluable people traffic that will revitalize the prosperity of the city heart.  And consolidate hundreds of jobs.

Given the go-ahead, this visionary project would be up and running as a paying venture – that is, self-funding - long before any loan had to be repaid.

Regarding Dairy Farmers Stadium, that lesson has been learned elsewhere in many places. One of the best examples is what happened when, in 1970, the then VFL built the Waverly Park Stadium in suburban Mulgrave  ($3million and 78,000 seats – times have changed in more ways than one). In those days, locals around Melbourne had local grounds, and they resented the fact that you need a packed lunch and compass to get to Waverly, designated as the home grounds of Hawthorn and St Kilda.

The real lesson for modern cities like Townsville is that in the 90’s, Waverly, which saw the start of declining attendances not long after opening, was abandoned for Docklands Stadium – bang in the heart of inner urban Melbourne. A certain lesson for Townsville, surely, given our urban growth rate.

The Magpie would like to see the real costings and debt timelines surrounding entertainment/convention center /stadium project, instead of big scary figures ($47 million for a council third share) being thrown around as untenable. All this in an attempt by running-scared candidates to look fiscally responsible while in truth, they are abandoning a vital piece of planning for the Townsville of the future which should be central to an inclusive platform.

Harumph. (Magpie-speak for short-sighted dills.)

It is now away to Poseurs’ Bar, where The ‘Pie will endeavor to recognize a fellow Earthian seeking a heavenly experience.  Just hope she doesn’t wipe herself out before contact is made. (Ha, ha, you thought The ‘Pie was going to say something racy about a Big Bang, didn’t you?)

Hmmm, now come to think of it …


  1. What is forgotten in the Stadium debate is the land costs.the land was included in the sale of Qld Rail and bought by Qld Rail National ALONG WITH MOST OF QR RAIL ASSETS.(Really) It was then leased back to a separate company for 20 yrs With a 20 yrs extension . The parent company QR Rail National makes more out of the lease costs than to sell an asset that may provide an income for 40 years QR Rail National has politely told all interested parties to bugger off we are not at all interested in selling part or all.of the land which whatever happens will require extensive and costly cleaning up.

  2. Hmmm, McGuffin 'What is forgotten etc' not quite right, The 'Pie didn't forget it. Have a gander at the March 10 post.But you're right, it would seem reasonable that we can forget a stadium, which would require the Railway Yards land, unless the developer across the road and next to the creek would be willing to sell at a reasonable price instead of building another load of ticky-tacky apartments. We'll see.

  3. The really unfortunate thing emerging from the inclusion of our land assets sold from Qld Rail to Qld Rail National is that a lot of people still do not realise that this valuable real estate is no longer a parcel he people of Townsville can consider as land that can be untilised in the best interest of the city for either infrastructure development or urban planning without buying back at some enormouse price something which we once owned. Can you tell me how much the block across the road was purchased for?

  4. Have to take issue with you on this on, 'Pie. The proposed location of the Stadium would result in inevitable traffic chaos and parking nightmares. Dairy Farmers is not exactly a cut lunch away from the city and is situated convenient to the old Thuringowa dormitory suburbs as well as the burgeoning Nothern Beaches. Dairy Farmers is, what, a 20 minute drive from the city? However, if you have to drive from,say, Kelso to the city on game night, it would take absolutely ages. As a location, Dairy Farmers is ideal. Why not develop the existing site? Surely that would be cheaper? I sense a little bit of inner-city snobbery and self interest here.

    Speaking of self interest, it is notable that the most strident proponents of the development are those who stand most to gain from it.

  5. ALERT TO GRUMPY - URGENT: This is to inform you that your brother dwarf Dopey has written in with a comment USING YOUR NAME. - The 'Pie is certain a fine intelligence like yours would not have come up with this shallow understanding of what goes towards making a vbrant city - read inner city. And buses and car parking would be, for once, well planned with adequate facilities catered for - which is not the case at Dairy Farmers. Folks would have the pre-game, pre-show, pre-convention convenience of all the restaurants, cafes and bars to make a convenient night of it.By the way, Dopey has some perception about inner city snobs. If anyone is being snobbish about living in the Townsville CBD, they should have a little lie down in a darkened room with a damp cloth on their forehead. As for Dopey. The 'Pie hopes you don't chastise him too much - explain the error of his ways to him and guess what? Then he'll be Happy.