Saturday, February 2, 2013

Julia Gillard sparks a baby boom, but firing the election starting gun, has she blown off her own foot? And are Mayor Mullet and the Townsville City Council about to do a Campbell Newman and sack 300 staff? It’s a possibility but it seems we’ll never know – until it happens.

It’s been a week to trot out some well known song lines and sayings, to summarise the doings of the past few days.

For the PM, her early poll announcement seems to have been prompted by the age-old saying ’If you’re being run out of town, get in front of the crowd and make it look like a parade’. 

And for that old swindle-shanks Wayne The Goose Swan, those ‘Lying Eyes’ are blinking myopically at the cameras, challenging the voters’ 'Suspicious Minds’.

Here is the ’Ville, an old political face follows the dictum ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em’ and snares a plum council job that has raised a few eyebrows.

And secret council business: our Walker Street warriors are in retreat to the Cowards Castle of an inappropriately closed meeting, so no one will know what our elected representatives think about that report recommending up to 300 council workers be sacked.

All that, plus Bentley, Pickering and more in this week’s nest at

Despite some distant event being signaled from Canberra, local matters take precedence this week.

A little history will be necessary for those of you new to the Magpie's nest - and figures suggest there's quite a few of you.

On Friday, January 25, just gone the Townsville City Council met in closed session to ‘workshop’ – that’s now code for secret meeting – that controversial report that Jenny 'Mayor Mullet' Hill accused her CEO Ray Burton of hiding it from her.

Why does this woman keep smiling?

Mayor Mullet claimed Burton was taking sides as she tried to bully her irresponsible election promises of a rates freeze and water rebate through a non-compliant council. Mrs Hill, a long-standing member of the battlers’ Labor Party, said that the report, prepared by Brisbane consultants, recommended strategies that would allow her to find the money to fund her outlandish campaign promises.

It sure did.

The report suggested significant savings could be made by sacking 270 council staff, including 38 middle-management position as well as general troops. The saved money would then let her make good – and look good – on her campaign promises.

She fulminated against the CEO, unwisely deciding to publicly make the claim that he had deliberately hidden the report from her.  Justifiably offended, Burton promptly referred the claim to the Crime and Misconduct Commission, as he was required to do under local government regulations.

It would seem that in a trademark bit of over-reach, Mayor Mullet was dim enough to leak a copy of the report - or at least its salient points - to her journo pal, Anthony Simpleton at the Daily Astonisher, thinking all those ratepayers out there would fall at feet and kiss her ankles (urk, ptooy!). Simpleton duly published the nitty-gritty as quoted above, and it would seem only then that that a light bulb went on and our gal realised she was really in the political poo.

Mr Burton immediately said he would table the report at the next open council meeting, to put it into the public arena. 

But that didn’t happen.

In a scrambling, muddled effort to take back the initiative, on August 29, Jenny Hill told the Bulletin that she‘ (had) urged Mr Burton to withdraw the report because she wanted it to be discussed in an open meeting  (but) only after the CMC's investigation was complete.’ So the CEO agreed it shouldn’t be discussed openly while under investigation.

Award winning TCC CEO Ray Burton.

The CMC cleared Mr Burton completely of any real or implied wrongdoing, making an unapologetic Mayor Mullet publicly appear what she was and is – a Labor politician wasting public time and money on a dumb and failed power play. But at least she got The Magpie’s Steggles Award for Egg On Face.

But what now? 

Well, it seems Mrs Hill now does NOT want any public discussion in open council about the report, shuffling it off into a closed doors ‘workshop’ a not unexpected back-flip from an already embarrassed mayor

What wasn’t expected was the rest of the council  has, at least for the moment, gone along with the secrecy.

The ‘in camera’ meeting seems to have decided to keep the whole thing a secret from those who they are elected to represent, and a goodly chunk of those they employ. As far as The ‘Pie can ascertain, there was no vote to have the matter – now suitably ‘workshopped’ whatever the hell that means – brought before open council.

So what the blue blazes are our councillors up to? 

Are they actually thinking of another round of council sackings along the lines of the one a year or so ago, only more draconian? If they are, why can’t they be upfront about the matter, and let us know where individual division councillors – particularly Townsville First ones - stand on the matter?  And why? Isn't the community entitled to know?

Of course, such a situation would be super tricky for the mayor’s sock puppet councillors Les Messagebank Walker, (who among other things is a AWU organiser),  and Colleen Boo-Hoo Doyle – they represent workers and unionists, and have had a lot to say about that nasty Campbell Newman. But The ‘Pie will bet both his baubles that neither would have the gumption to cross Mayor Mullet should she opt to take her wrecking ball to the council staff.

This is not to mention what all this uncertainty will now do to council staff morale. They most of all should not be kept in the dark.

And just imagine how we deluded ourselves into thinking we could get some of the more undemocratic parts of politics out of council affairs. Dream on, folks.

Speaking of council staff, guess who has bobbed up as the new Events Manager for Walker Street?

This man.
Jeff Jimmieson

Yes,  Jeff The Jester Jimmieson, the failed mayoral candidate last time around, when he gained a meager 18.11% of the vote. He also tanked badly as an ersatz 'independent' councillor on Mayor Mooney's Team Titantic the election before last. Mr Jimmieson’s appointment was nothing to do with the council, it was strictly a staffing matter below director level (that’s the level when the council gets to have a say).

The appointment, however, gave pause to some with good memories, especially if they were members of Rotary. That organization was left holding the bag on two occasions when Mr Jimmieson’s event organizing company talked the service club into backing two events which were spectacular flops. The details were recorded by The Magpie in this issue of the blog during the council election campaign

Now let’s be clear here, The ‘Pie sees nothing wrong with Mr Jimmieson’s appointment as Events Manager, he undoubtedly has experience and one supposes some skill in this area, and at the council, he will have the apparently much-needed benefit of departmental and committee oversight on his activities with ratepayers dosh.

So why mention it all? Well, just this.

It seems Mayor Mullet, who traded some pretty blunt niceties with Mr Jimmieson during the campaign, has not said boo to a goose about this appointment. To do so would be highly inappropriate, but that’s never stopped our gal before – remember a couple week’s ago, she aggressively demanded to know if Premier Campbell Newman had ordered Emergency Management Queensland to hire disaster recovery specialist Dale Last, her rival for the mayoralty.  Was it political payback? Using that as a benchmark, she could easily make a wrong-headed comment on Mr Jimmieson’s new job. Maybe her silence is  - no, surely not - because immediately after the election, Mr Jimmieson promptly re-joined the Labor Party from which he had twice resigned to run for office as an ‘independent’.

Ya gotta luv the lot of ‘em, aint jer?

On the national scene, the start of the year has been a period in which some of the most self-regarding  public characters have been whining and whingeing across a panoply of issues and outcomes.

Apart from the obvious candidates in federal politics, the sports arena has thrown up all sorts of hanky wringers. 
'Gad, sir, you are a bounder of the press,eh, what?'

Cricket pooh-bah John Inverarity (above), who possesses a pretty good Julie Bishop blue-eyed death stare (but without La Bishop’s warmth and devil-may-care humour), bristled at the plain English description of resting players as a rotation policy, icily telling the errant journo ‘You mean our Player Management Policy’. Takes one back to pre-Packer days, especially when Herr Inverarity managed to look like a surprised proctology patient.

Then there was Bernard (Cata) Tomic, who, despite improved efforts on the tennis court, yet again demonstrated that he belongs to that sub-class which Nanny Staters refer to as ‘developmentally delayed’. 

But that was nothing next to one of Australia’s greatest addled-brained racists, the boxer and professional thumb-sucker Anthony Mundine.  

Developmentally delayed boxer Anthony Mundine
Soundly trounced by Daniel Geale, this emotional hunchback then claimed he lost Wednesday night’s title fight on points in part because he was black, happily ignoring that the dignified Geale also has an indigenous background. Making that an even worse look was that he lost by a country mile. But the defeat was greatly cheered by a country fed up with this man's tiresome, spiteful victimhood. In the lead up to the fight, Mundine shamefully made racial attacks on his opponent, including the fact that he had had the temerity to marry a white woman. Despicable. No spirit of Lionel Rose in you mate.

Anthony, old son, you were clearly hammered on the night by a better man all round, but if there had been any bias in the judges verdict, it would not have been  because you’re black, it would be because you’re a egotistical cry-baby arsehole. Enjoy your self-imposed victimhood, pal.

All in all, Bentley reckons if we add a couple of prominent pollies there’s a barbershop quartet in there somewhere.

The Magpie prognosticates that hospitals around the country are now bracing for a glut of maternity cases on or just after the election – with the end now in sight for this shambolic Labor Government, many a celebratory bottle of wine was cracked open around the country, which could well have further led to more intimate celebratory activity. Watch the numbers in nine months.

And it is a hard sell for our leading twister sister to convince us she didn’t know about the Craig Thompson criminal charges coming up – everybody else in Canberra did – or that she didn’t time her odd announcement to get in ahead of this particular scandal. That in turn lends credence to the claims that this unprecedented early announcement of a poll was to provide her with leadership protection from one KRudd. Possibly a good idea; the very next day,  the Courier Mail front page had comrade KRudd striding purposefully (towards Canberra?) with a chainsaw in his hand.

And those glasses!!

Pretty good as goggles go, but as the Sydney Daily Terrorgraph deconstructed it as all part of the ‘tough, intellectual but compassionate leadership image' makeover. And good luck with that.

Even that short-arse annoyance Tom Cruise couldn’t help with this Mission Impossible. The ‘Pie opines that Joolya is going to need a welder’s mask – if not an old-fashioned diver’s helmet – before this is all done and dusted.

The best guffaw came from Treasurer Goose, who just hours after Joolya’s announcement, went on ABC’s 7.30 Report, and was asked why labor had opted for a nine month campaign. He huffily denied this, insisting that the campaign would only begin on August 12 – and then proceeded with a torrent of Coalition-bashing which sounded – as host Chris Ulhman noted – a campaign speech.

Then there was the sobering thought that came from one politician who tweeted 'what's another eight months, we've been in an election campaign for the past two years, anyway.'

The inimitable Larry Pickering saw a different path for the PM, inspired by the dignified exit of the much-loved cricketer Mike Hussey.

For The Magpie’s view of the coming year in politics, he must turn to history and pommy writer Horace Walpole, who made the timeless observation ....
‘This world is a tragedy to those who feel,
but a comedy to those who think.’
I’ll think to that.

Finally, we come back home for The ’Sherlock Holmes Mind Like A Steel Trap’  quote of the week, which goes to the Townsville walloper, interviewed to prop up a shock/horror Astonisher beat-up about stolen guns. The detective, a modern-day Baldrick and obviously impossible to hoodwink, opined that ‘many’ of the 263 weapons stolen over the past five years ('...five years? yes, it was that sort of story) would end up in criminal hands.


Err, mate, the moment they  are ‘stolen’ ALL are immediately in criminal hands, unless the definition of thief /theft has been changed.  The rozzer gets the nod for top prize just ahead of Dawson MP George Christiansen, who, commenting on the costs of a long campaign, said ‘ what we spend on the campaign will be what we spend on the campaign’.

Quite so.

Enough; it is now away to Poseurs’ Bar, to spent a few be-bubbled hours with a suitable lass, in a quest for consolation for life’s tragedy – the moment will come when the old bird demonstrates that he is certainly one who feels. 


  1. I feel sorry for the poor soul (20 yrs of age) found guilty of arson and handed a three year sentence with a parole release date of June 3 3013 (T/BULLY P17 Sat Feb 2)

    1. Try a thousand years......

    2. For anonymous Thats what the Bully printed

  2. So we have enough money for events and high paid managers and not staff to keep the city running...pass me that cake and bring on the circus clowns.

  3. Just to be accurate; Mr Jimmeson will be "Manager Performing Arts, Events & Protocol" after the direly boring Council sponsored programs at the Civic Theatre over the last couple of years, let's see how Jeff's credentails shape up in this area.

    1. Mr Jimmieson's credentials will be severely tested in the areas of 'arts' and 'protocol' - not the usual province of a drummer in a rock band - but he'd better measure up ... the impressive title comes with a $137,000 a year salary. Talk about falling on your financial feet after being on the bare bones of your arse. Love to know who the other applicants were who were knocked back, if any. The Pie knows of one eminently qualified candidate who didn't even get an interview. Hmmm... sniff, sniff.

  4. Regarding your enjoinder "Why does this woman keep smiling"?
    As Willie expressed it. "Me thinks the Lady (doth) protests (eth) too much"

  5. what about the so called policy/strategist that the mayor Jenny Hill has been looking for(similar role Tyrell/Mooney but they had the numbers) with a salary of $80,000!.Cant find funds to fix the CCTV cameras and make the Community safer.Its clear what Jennys priorities are.

  6. Pie, A very entertaining blog this week, and you managed to offend all the usual suspects, plus a few unusual ones, like the cricket pooh-bah with the death stare! Well done! Cheers, Gonzo

  7. Disappointed there are no comments this week about the Astonisher. Do you know something we don't & have they decided to turn back to the rag they used to be 4 or 5 years ago. (fat chance)

  8. Sounds like a job for the boys. Jeff sounds like a revolving door with his Labor Party membership.

  9. Hopefully Jimmeson will do a better job than the years of tripe that he served up at Cowboys games. I know he was hampered by the useless Cowboys management but with a crowd filled with more than 50% boofheads they really didn't and still don't want to watch charity parades, little kids playing footy and crap like that. Save the money and use it to lower the ripoff beer and food prices at the ground!

  10. Always Good and always entertaining.

  11. Ah Pie...running short of reliable council sources are we? Your contacts at The Bully obviously haven't shared the info they obtained under freedom of info or whatever it's called these days. If you had even you would be backing the Mayor over the report caper. Your reference to staff morale at the council sounds as though there is some left? Well take it from an insider there ain't. And if anything that remotely looks like some morale could be building the Thuringowa posse swoop in and stamp it out. Rumour has it customer service call centre is to be outsourced along with library service staff to be replaced by self scanning machines. The biggest problem Is that the staff who need to go are the ones making the decisions. Mr Burton is merely the posse puppet who signs off on whatever the golden few put in front of him. He is the robot who talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. Every day the good people leave. If people knew what goes on Mayor Mullet would have a bigger margin than Newman, and that's from a liberal supporter ( well Howard and Costello fan anyway).

    1. Anonymous - they usually seek story talent via Facebook - not a bad idea as such. However it is symptomatic of an under resourced and revolving regional media door with journos still in short pants and limited contacts for stories in their communities - not an excuse - just reality.

    2. Dear 'Insider', that self-description is ironic as you sound like an outsider of the most distant sort, and one who has been disappointed in the job. All a bit 'office politics' bitchy, it would seem. While The Pie agrees there's good reason for low if any morale in Walker Street, he fails to see under any scenario why any group in TCC - in your fretting term, the Thuringowa posse - would stamp out any nascent signs of morale. To what purpose? Or do you mean you failed to get promoted - yet again? However, since you decline to give yourself a name - even a pen name, hey, how about you call yourself Jenny H?- - you will remain unknown, so perhaps you'd care to grace this blog with the names of the 'golden few', and say why they should go.

      The 'Pie will be happy to print whatever is left of your missive once the lawyers have gone over it.

      By the way, 'reliable council sources'? 'Contacts at the Bully'? You're kidding, right. Heh heh heh.

    3. Errr...self scanning machines have been used by our local libraries for some years now. Gee, Jenny, have you not visited one yet? No, wait - no need to answer that one.

    4. I agree with Grumpy I do regularly attend and use the self service facitilkites at the Thruingowa Library - does I suppose that makes me part of the T'gowa posse too

  12. Using the Astonisher's designer and video guy and games designer for a story on cats in today's astonisher.

    This is him here

    Cant they find anyone from the public with a cat?????????

    1. Tempo couldn't even find a public source for this article.

    2. This is why there is two witnesses. A photographer should be say no I won't photograph my staff member for this story.

      It's lazy, bad boy Anthony T!

  13. That runs true to form for Simpo - his embarrassing attempts to give himself some sort of 'grown-up, big city' credence with phrases like 'In council documents procured by the Bulletin under Right to Information laws' are now repetitive and tiresome.

    And not all they seem, anyway. RTI requests are pretty standard fare, but in Simpo's case, The Pie will bet there is no in-depth research leading to any such request - just a quite word from the mayor of what to look for and how to ask for it, and presto, another pro-Jenny, council-bashing beat-up. The naivety makes it all the more pathetic.


  14. Here's my prediction for the next couple of years.
    Jenny Hill will not win the next local election, this position will be won by a relatively unknown to most people in Townsville. Jenny Hill will be by that time considered damaged goods, by her beloved Labor Party. Killing any of her ambitions to follow the likes of Cptn Snooze and The Kid Crisafulli.
    Nor will many of the current sitting Councillors, for that matter.
    Julia Gillard will stay in power not due to policies but favoured PM over Abbott, but only with the backing of the Katter Party who will hold the balance, I think that's what its called.
    Tony Abbott will also go into a tail spin and retire from politics.
    The greens will be decimated and go the way of the Democrats, as will the independents.
    Queensland LNP will have more defections placing leadership squabbles within the Party, Campbell Newman will fall and Tim Nicholls will be the next leader. The LNP will again win the next State election election but only by the skin of their teeth.

    1. Yeah, and I'm the Queen of Romania,

    2. Hang on, 'Pie - or should I say, "Your Royal Highnesss" - he was right on one - "Jenny Hill will not win the next local election..."

      How the Bogan Princess got there in the first place is truly bewildering and a classic example of the Steven Bradbury Law relating to Losers and Accidental Winners.

    3. I understand that the Economist and former Candiate for the LNP in State Elections Colin Dwyer is building up a profile for a tilt for the Mayor's position at the next election Whenever that occurs..

    4. hey, woodluck, are you going to do a Molachino and keep us all guessing as to when you will tell us what your position in the katter party is?

  15. Jimmerson was asked to run by the Mullett in exchange for "events" to his own personal business. Ironically the council have employed someone who did such a good job of it he went bankrupt! But he was promised the role if he ran to take Lasts points. Some of us are definately not suprised to see him there, nor her be quiet about it. Now she just has to get Mooney in as the CEO and she will have done 2 out of three promises. She can't fulfill the third promise, and hence her relationship with Barry Taylor is now a tad bit strained, as she did not win the head seat of the planning committee, and is wiped out in those she attends. Although pay her her dues she has tried a lot of backyard deals that we know she is so famous for.
    Bt lets face it she could ride naked through the town on top of her blue hoon car and Templeton would stand there and take the photos for it, but not one would be published in the bully!

  16. Heard a cracker of a description of Simpo by a senior and well-respected Bully journo the other day. Simpo "can't write, can't count and can't drink". Funny and extremely accurate.

    1. Hahahahahaha...maybe that explains his sad and befuddled face at a local establishment shortly before Xmas. He looked like he had lost a sixpence and found a penny. Mind you, an older gent was giving him him a right royal dressing down - perhaps the "senior and well-respected Bully journo" ??

  17. IF the pup photographer uses another 'flashed in image''s So annoying.

  18. Ppeter I have nothing to do with the katter party, it just a thought that Ihad. Why do fools automatically think you are a supporter of a party with one comment? I vote for the party that has what I think has the best policies at the time of election. No point being a one eyed voter who sticks with one party,maybe they struggle to think for themselves.

  19. Hey Woodduck I wouldn't discount the Greens, people even of the older and befuddled generations are waking up to the fact that we've almost gone to far in destroying our sustainable environment for short term economic gain.

    I'd like to see Katter and the Greens work together towards nationalising all foreign assets and reintroducing death duties but perhaps that would be a bit too progressive for all the fools squandering it for future generations.

    1. What a load of bullshit.

      This type of naive, alarmist dribble is precisely why the Greens will disappear around history's u-bend.

      Your "progressive" idea of economic reform was tried by Robert Mugabe. It made a millionaire out of every citizen.

      Ryan - did the rich kids pick on you at school?

      I see what you really mean - rather than "squander" upon foolish me and my family the modest savings that I earned from my personal effort (and upon which I paid the tax from which you, no doubt, regularly draw), I should gift it to the class of parasitic bludgers who choose not to make any positive contribution to society.

      You goose. How about you put your sense of entitlement aside and go peel another lotus.