Saturday, August 31, 2013

He said it, then he didn't say it - serial stirrer Larry Pickering makes a claim that that when he was Premier, government wasn’t the only thing Peter Beattie was in – Larry posted that Beattie was doing a bit of a Bob Hawke - but the post has now disappeared.

 But the salacious post had suddenly disappeared. The Magpie peers into this particular campaign can of worms.

… and here in the ‘Ville, is it Mayor Mullet for the Senate? Has our gal  started the long game to get on the Labor ticket in three years, using ratepayers money along the way? …

…. and CCTV security cameras, are they worth the time and effort? Well, they are machines and need human attention, otherwise no.The Pie EXCLUSIVELY REVEALS (cop that, Astonisher) an intriguing exchange of emails between an aggrieved ratepayer and ‘an amused’ Mayor Mullet. It is a great read, hilarious if it wasn’t true … and you thought Catch-22 was just a theory.

All that and quotes of the week in this edition of the nest at

Beattie a bedroom bandicoot? With two mistresses?
Cor, nothing like a bit of dirt and vitriol to liven up a dreary election campaign – the latest claim from the Larry Pickering mix’n’match rumour factory would have us believe that Premier Dentures was a bit of a bedroom bandicoot. Pickering claims that during his years of steering MV Queensland onto the rocks, his was getting his own off with the occasional extracurricular activity.

Larry's poisoned pen now used for text as well as cartoons.

AND Larry tells us in one instance, to quote James Thurber ‘ the union was blessed with issue’. Crumbs, that thought will keep you awake at night! At least in the unlikely event that such a 'love child' exists, the mother could not have been Anna Bligh – any off-spring of that coupling would be easily identified by its 115 teeth, perpetually bared in a insincere grin.

Given Larry Pickering's vitriolic and unrelenting hatred of all things Labor, the timing of these very detailed allegations makes one raise an eyebrow, but if it is a campaign hoax, someone had a lot of time on their hands. It is easily the most detailed one, naming names and provided links to a series of excerpts from purported diaries kept by one of the women.  Both women were said to be journalists, which raises questions of taste and preference on both sides, heh, heh, heh.  

The Pie’s view, borrowed from John Cleese/Basil Fawlty, is that he ‘wouldn’t trust Beattie or Rudd as far as he could throw a wet mattress up a spiral staircase’ but that is only from the political point of view. He is not privy to their private predilections, which after all, is nobody's business but their own. It would all seem a down'n'dirty - and for that matter, wholly unnecessary - ploy in one of the weirdest federal campaigns we've ever seen. 

But there's no denying Pickerings penmanship when he sums up current political matters.

He has Beattie ... ummm ... going down in a different way in one of his latest offerings.

Given the PM's love of the limelight, suppose this is a sort of Kevin Karcrashidan?

Essendon's James Hird reckons he's got of lightly compared to some others.

Best clarification of the week comes from a letter in the London Telegraph, explaining in simple terms the situation in Syria.

That's what they mean when they say the enemy of my enemy is my friend -
if you can figure out who's who in this vicious zoo.

Bentley has a simple take on this dreary election campaign and unenlightening debates.

Quote of the Week;

‘He isn’t to be trusted, he just plucks an idea from here, pulls another policy out of the sky, and then suddenly another one pops up out of nowhere, all untested, all unworkable.’
'Pot' Kevin Rudd’s thighslapper about 'Kettle' Tony Abbott, on the very day PM KRudd  unexpectedly announced a policy to move the Navy out of Sydney Harbour to Queensland, a couple of weeks after revealing his ill-fated ‘special tax zone’ for northern Australia and a month or more after doing a shonky deal with PNG over boat people.

The issue of northern Australian development also featured here in the ‘Ville in the past week, but in a vastly different context. The Magpie’s over-active nose suddenly picked up a distinct odour of rodent, in more ways than one.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning has a cunning plan.
The Mayor of Cairns, Bob Manning, has come up with a cunning plan to set up a ‘Northern Australia Mayors Alliance', to lobby Canberra with a stream of wish lists for the region. The mayors of Mackay, Townsville, Cairns, Darwin and … for God’s sake … Roebourne in WA would have whine-fest every so often then take the results down to the Canberra shiny bums to contemplate while they sip their morning-break slow-fermented, hand-reared pear cider with chia sprinkles.

Not surprisingly this loopy idea was immediately and enthusiastically embraced by our own Mayor Mullet, who suggested it would further advance our claims for a super stadium. And the mayors’ claims to many a free junket.

Loopy maybe, but not everything loopy is rejected – otherwise Bob Katter would’ve been booted out  years ago. But when loopy means ratepayers footing the bill, loopy takes on a more sinister aspect.

Here’s how Simpo Templton reported it in Wednesday;s Astonisher.

TOWNSVILLE City Council will partner with four local governments across northern Australia to push major projects for the region, including the superstadium and convention centre in the CBD.
The council will partner with Cairns, Mackay, Darwin and Roebourne - in Western Australia - to produce a strategic plan detailing the most important projects for each city and then deliver the document to Canberra bureaucrats in charge of managing the policy to develop northern Australia.
The group will be known as the Northern Australia Mayors Alliance and will hire independent consultants to produce detailed economic analysis on the projects before they are sent to the Federal Government for funding approval.

Roebourne? Population 857 (last census 2006). Powerhouse stuff, this. But then again, maybe a trip to Roebourne would be instructive – the town’s tourist centre could prompt a few architectural ideas for our super stadium ambitions on the east coast.

This is the Roebourne Tourist Centre - yes, truly, it is.
But The Magpie would like to be perched in the rafters at the first meeting, to observe the love-in between the mayors of Mackay, Townsville and Cairns, communities which have seldom had any cooperative interests in common and aren’t about to, whose aspirations have always meant bitterly opposing each other for slices of the public funding pie. The Magpie understands there will be seed money of around $40000 from each council to get this square ball rolling.

Not much, but that’s the thin edge of the wedge – ‘independent consultants to produce a detailed strategic plan’ means megabucks. A lazy quarter of a mill wouldn’t even get you the morning tea list for gouging consultants from the south.

But other idle speculations have put The Pie into deep contemplation.

At last count we have the Dudley Do Nothings at Townsville Enterprise sucking an undeserved $700K annually out of the ratepayers, isn’t this sort of malarkey exactly what they’re meant to be doing anyway? Their last call was an impudent request for $25000 from the council for a preliminary study of a possible report on a suggested plan on the feasibility of an economic report on the super stadium. (That was in Mayor Mullet's budget - she's deputy chair of TEL -  an item that the council correctly knocked back tout suite.)

Notwithstanding TEL, we also have the council, an active Chamber of Commerce, a federal MP and a senior, highly respected senator, and that’s just Townsville. But now, the ratepayers will have to dig into the piggy bank again, being told to overlay all these other public bodies and representatives with this 'mayoral alliance' white elephant. 

As the tedious young used to say ‘get real’.

But one suspects Mayor Mullet sees a long game in this. She probably believes this will give her ‘cred’ down south, a walk-on part on the national stage (fat chance, darlin'),  ingratiate her with her Labor betters, and provide her with the launching pad for a shot at the Senate in a few years time. Nice to be subsidized by the ratepayers to further personal political ambitions – if you can get away with it.

Seeking the senate? Who knows?

Perhaps madam would be better paying closer attention to things closer to home. Like these things.

The following exchange is lengthy, but makes for compelling reading – Mr Jones has a nice humorous touch, but he soon realizes the outcome of his request for council assistance in a vandalism matter is  hardly funny – or ‘amusing’ to quote Mayor Mullet. This Pilgrim’s Progress through the jungle and quicksand of various bureaucracies is a tribute to Mr Jones dogged persistence in his fruitless quest for justice.

From: Paul Jones
Sent: Wednesday, 24 April 2013 2:20 PM
To: Mayor of Townsville
Subject: Townsville Vandalism

Hello, My name is Paul Jones, I am a Townsville resident and a happy one at that.  However, I feel that I have a duty of care and obligation to bring to light an recent issue which I am sure would test the best person.

Following 7 cars being broken into and vandalised at the national park boat ramp near railway estate I was stopped by a policeman, hiding in a bush around the corner of the entrance to breathalyse me.  Not an issue, as I never drink and drive, but maybe his time would be better served chasing the people who only hours earlier had ruined the weekend of 7 families.

Now to this weekend just gone.  I thought I would go fishing with my brother in law on Friday night and to be safe, park the car and boat at the Coastguard ramp.  On arrival at approx 5pm, most of the parks were occupied by single cars, not one with a ticket.  We did however find a spot in the bottom car park, to the left hand side facing Jupiter’s Casino.  We had a great trip and were rewarded with a few Cod and Grunter.

When we arrived back at the ramp I approached the car only to find that my brand new light bar and roof rack had been ripped off and stolen.  I travelled to a police station on Charters Towers road but it was closed.  I then phoned police Link who recorded the offence for me and a forensic police man turned up who was excellent, courteous and informative.  He found two full palm prints and took them away for examination. 

On Monday, I travelled to the Coastguard ramp to see if there were any surveillance cameras and this is where it gets very exciting!!! 

I entered the coastguard and spoke to the officials who informed me that quite a few people had been there because they had vehicles and trailers vandalised, lights and other equipment stolen.  The officials pointed out the four big white surveillance cameras but apologised as they have no access to them.  They also stated that the police had been in to enquire about the cameras but they too, could not get access, perhaps there was a six inch deep creek in front of them?.

I then travelled to the Fisheries and Marine services department across the river, where I investigated and was told that they were not their responsibility and had no idea, but pointed me to the Port, as they own the car parks and the Coastguard offices, goodness me, it would be easier to smash a camera and wait for the owner to turn up!.

I then travelled to the Port and could not get access.  I followed up with a phone call and the office new nothing of the cameras and said I should talk to the duty officer.  I did, he of course knew nada and he pointed me in the direction of “the tower”, guess what, they didn’t know either.

Suffering from a bit of a headache I then phoned the council and spoke to “Sue”.  Sue informs me that she thinks the council own these cameras but I would need to lodge a “request for information form” to the council at a cost of $40.50 which would probably take a week or so for an officer to look at.  I told Sue that I was not overly happy with that option and could I speak to a supervisor, Phew!

I was then put through to Linda Horton, the Council Insurance Claims Officer, a lovely lady who genuinely tried to help.  She agreed with the info from ‘Sue’ about the cost of the form but then thought that she should speak to Paul Blackman in the Council Security department to double check who’s responsibility the cameras fell under.  After a bit of a wait on hold, Linda came back to tell me that the security department had informed her that the cameras are not the councils responsibility and I should speak to Jupiter’s Casino – Arghhhh..............

By this time I was in a kind of quiet place with a calm fuzzy feeling.  I got to speak to Haden, who promptly put me onto the Security manager Rick Bradley.  Rick informed me that, yep, blah blah blah blah and speak to the Police. I couldn’t draw a full circle any better with a compass!

You know that deflated feeling you get when your favourite team is annihilated at home on your birthday by Manly, yeah I’m a beaten man.  I went home sat in my garage looking at me bare naked car and toasted it with a belly full of happy ale.

Give up, its all too hard, lucky I love Townsville eah?

Paul JonesService Supervisor

From: Mayor of Townsville
Sent: Friday, 10 May 2013 8:27 AM
To: Paul Jones
Subject: RE: Townsville Vandalism

Hello Paul
Thank you for your email, which, while very amusing to read,  it concerns me a great deal.
I have spoken to Paul Blackman and have requested that he visit the Coast Guard to investigate
this issue.

Paul is familiar with the installation and operation of these cameras and has advised that there should
be a digital video recorder on the premises, which would be connected to the cameras.

I will contact you again once Paul has been to the Coast Guard.


Cr Jenny Hill Mayor of Townsville

From: Paul Jones
Sent: Friday, 10 May 2013 4:31 PM
ubject: Fw: Townsville Vandalism

Hi Jenny,
    Not the best news unfortunately.  I had a call from Paul Blackman of Townsville council who has been to the Coast guard building.  He informed me that he had got access to the security system but it only has a small 16 gig memory running all four cameras.  He thinks it would only have a recording loop time of approximately 2 weeks.  Considering this happened on the 19th April it’s a long shot that it still has the record of that night.

Mr Blackman explained that the camera's were privately operated and maintained as the Coast Guard building was not Council owned or on council land and therefore does not fall under the councils responsibility. He also stated that the security camera company who maintain the cameras were given a contract back in 2008 and the contract is still active.

I must say that I am very confused and frustrated at this response.  The Coast Guard building is rented from Townsville Port and sits on Townsville Ports land (going by all the Townsville Port signs around). 

Please can you answer the following:

1. Is the Coast Guard privately owned by the Coast Guard and if not, by whom?
2. Does the Coast Guard building sit on Townsville Port land and if not, who's land is it?
3. If the cameras on the Coast Guard building are owned and maintained by a private company, what obligations do they have to the land/building owner and are there records of compliance?
4. How much does it cost to pay a private company for four cameras on the Coast Guard building?
5. If the Council issued a contract to a private company 5 years ago, is there an annual contract renewal date and is this put out to tender?
6. If the council has indeed issued a contract to a private company for four cameras on the coast guard building 5 years ago, how come no one that can be reached has any knowledge of it?
7. Is Townsville Council responsible for the Port of Townsville actions or is it a private entity who do not need to answer to the council?

I took the call from Mr Blackman whilst driving and he also asked me to give him a call back to give him the date of the incident.  It took me approx. 8 minutes to find the date and I returned the call at 3.45pm.  The receptionist for Mr Blackman informed me that Mr Blackman had left for the day.  She could not give me his mobile number, as I am not a council contracted company or staff member.

I've decided that I am not just going to sit back and let the damage to my car and theft of my roof rack and brand new light bar (which I had for my birthday and have worked and saved very hard for) go unchecked.  If Townsville cant help their tax paying, working and contributing community, then I guess people will take matters into their own hands, especially when there is little to no chance these people will get caught through following the proper channels.

Its no wonder why crime is so high in Townsville if this is the response even after the long road I have been down.

Paul Jones 

From: Paul Jones
Sent: Monday, 3 June 2013 1:43 PM
Subject: FW: Townsville Vandalism

Hi Jenny,
            Please could you let me know if you are intending to respond to my enquiries, as it has been a fair while since you last contacted me.  At that stage, you where waiting for Mr Blackman to inform you of the issue.

I’m afraid I went on a bit in the last email (dated 10th May 2013), but its because I felt that Mr Blackman was very reluctant to give out any details of the security contractor or how it works between the council and contractor, perked my curiosity and hence the questioned asked. I only want to know if I could get to see the footage of who damaged my car and stole the roof rack and light bar.

If you would respond to this email and also let me know if the footage of the event has been retrieved for inspection by the police I would be very grateful.

Paul Jones
And that, kiddies is where the matter rests. So turn the light out, and go to sleep, in the full knowledge that our council, police, casino and port authority are looking over you, and will catch the bogey men who bother you.

Or, as they say in the Army, what a clusterfu$k.

Finally, an astounding moment of self awareness seemed to have arrived at the Townsville Bulletin, when The 'Pie spied this headline ...

... but what seemed a moment of great insight alas, just turned out to be a story about a crocodile named Bully.

(Although with that baleful attitude and ability to slash and chop people, Bully could be a candidate for a post at News Ltd ... maybe Managing Editor at the Astonisher).    

That’s reason enough to head for Poseurs Bar, where the old bird will seek his own alliance, but remembering to be very PC about ... he's not seeking to bebubble a comely companion who is 'been around' and is said to be 'easy'. No, he will be seeking a 'previously enjoyed companion' who is 'horizontally accessible'. But knowing his luck, he will end up with a 'light haired detour off the information superhighway'. Yup, you got it - a dumb blonde.  


  1. Best part of the week was KRudd stopping billionaires Clive Palmers plane from re-fuelling so the VIP (very important PMs plane) could re-fuel! so Kevin could ZIP!

    1. Even more telling was the way the spineless coward hid in his plane and wouldn't face big Clive. Bit different to young female flight attendants and make up girls

    2. Kevy looks an idiot. I'm amazed how the Astonisher backed them last election, knowing how incompetent they were then.

  2. We have had very few comments on the state of the Labour Party chances in the Federal Election from Paul Jacob. As Branch Secretary of the Thuringowa Labor Party he remains very mute on the subject . He whines about everthing else but never mentions his political affiations financial or otherwise .

  3. The economics of it all means we're not hearing much from the minor players, but at least The Sex Party has our attention, although not sure if this ad has appeared up thisaway. And The Pie wants one of those coffee mugs on the desk in the opening shot.

    Have squizz at

  4. (Note from The Magpie:This is from an old friend who has had a years long battle with Queensland Health over the treatment of his wife.)

    Reading the plight of Mr Jones gives me the jitters from the memories
    it brings to mind.

    He suggests in his letters that people might have to take matters into
    their own hands to get some satisfaction from his inquiries.
    Townsville Council might not be quite as malicious as perhaps
    Queensland Health though it might be prudent to warn Mr Jones that all
    that is necessary to charge Mr Jones with using a carriage service to
    threaten someone is the mere perception that someone might feel
    threatened. In this case there are quite a number who might say they
    are threatened by Mr Jones's suggestion.

    Seems we need a Senior Council on tap to keep us out of trouble
    whenever we contact a bureaucrat these days.

  5. It's Senior Counsel!

    1. Yeah, it's counsel.

      A Senior Council wouldn't be much use ... we already have one them ... it's called the Townsville Ratepayers Association.

  6. Speaking of The Rate Payers Ass Following the blog last week re The updated City Plan I attended the presentation at C2 at the Civic Theatre. (being a rate payer on the Strand ) and i was surprised that that neither (Cliff) Jacob nor Moyle attended .They would have been totally out of their depth as the who who's of Townsville attended and they would probably got a smack in the mouth if they looked sideways.. I was advised that Jacob had attended the special council meeting in the Council Chambers re the plan he was last seen crawling all over a Rex Agacy. (definately a dads army Candiate) i believe he is a ex Professor from JCU who left in rather strange circumstances (he calls himself Inspector Rex and has a web site i'm tod ?) strange bed fellows indeed Jacob had Agacy thrown of a previous group due his i am always right attitude.. Chrisafuli spoke first at the meeting 10-15 minutes no notes completely off the cuff he will go a long way this member Parsons tried an attempt at humour which fell rather flat. About 120-130 attendees at the meeting.

  7. Dear Maggie, it is all very well slaging off at the pathetic Bulletin every week. You have a cause afterall. But to believe the Pickering vile sleeze is in some weird way any better, is a bit mad. You can't have it both ways and you know that.

  8. Gotta wonder at the motive of the ABC showing Australian story on Tony Windsor (4 times ( that I have seen) They must love the way he bags Tony Abbott, and think this will help Krudds campaign . Yet they have the hide to moan about the daily telegraph showing bias. Please!!!

  9. I bet you pounds to peanuts that the redheaded moaner,julier,will be out after the election telling everyone she could have won the election.

    1. And I'll bet you London to a brick that Krudd will blame her when he loses it...

  10. Astonisher gal and columnist Kate Higgins is determined to hang on to her Tuggers and Touchers Trophy (awarded for the most first person pronouns in a single column).

    And what a bold bid today to better her record of 27. One can only marvel at the audacious full-on courage of an opening seven word sentence containing two 'I's in the first THREE words. And five PPs in the opening four paragraphs!!! The challenge was on for sure.

    The 'Pie was sensing a new record as he breathlessly counted 10 before the halfway mark. Could our gal keep it up, c'mon, hang in there, Katie!

    She was whacking in the PPs with the poised aplomb of seasoned champion, but then ... disaster ... she faltered towards the end by going off the topic of herself and putting in some boring stuff about other people. A little flurry at the end just wasn't enough, and at 24, she fell three short of her own record.

    But full points to Katie; with her biggest rival Amanda Gray off the scene, Ms Higgins is not resting on her laurels, and is determined to keep the Tuggers and Touchers Cup on her mantlepiece, a mantlepiece we will no doubt learn more about in a future exciting column.

    1. Always good, always entertaining Pie.

      Sagely Yours,

      Miss Lou.

  11. Would you like to see the building limit for North Ward increased to eight-storeys?

    1. To quote Bobby De Niro in Taxi Driver 'You talkin' to me?'

      If you are asking The Pie, the answer is yes, but at least a block back from the Strand, and five storeys would be fine along the front. Why not, if we're serious about tourism and wish to create that buzzy feeling for visitors? The visual obscenity of the Aquarius (no reflection on the current owners) is a fact that stands contrary to any argument for more of the same of that type, but high density in the flatlands of North Ward is a logical progression - sadly, the idyllic laid-back lifestyle of yesteryear must be tempered with contemporary considerations.

      And The Pie will not publish any dopey comments about shadows across NORtH FACING beaches - anyway the excellent variety of trees right at the back of the beaches cast longer shadows year round. The Pie endorses a previous comment that the late afternoon shade would be greatly welcomed for five months of the year, but the shadow argument is basically irrelevant. And the first person to make a comparision suggesting we'll end up like the Gold Coast will win a free bus ride out to the secure mental facility at Douglas ... which, to paraphrase Dorothy, is a long way from the Kansas, Toto.

  12. Prince Peter has abdicated!! The following from Peter Lindsay early this morning.

    'This is to let you know that I have resigned as Chairman of Guildford Coal. With the increasing internationalisation of the company, I felt that a new set of skills was required to take Guildford forward to the next level. I will be transitioning to a new role leading the Guildford Coal Queensland Development Committee which will oversee the development and commercialisation of mining and infrastructure proposals in North Queensland.'

    It should be remembered that Prince Peter is a member of Townsville Enterprise Economic Committee, so this probably means will be head honcho of the federally-funded quarter million dollar investigation into inter alia base load power and possibly ethanol production, which is being overseen by TEL.

    1. No conflict of interest there, of course.

  13. I cant help but notice that the Astonisher is pushing for a super stadium.
    Who are these clowns that think they can tell the ratepayer what they want, but the funny part is when they first started the push for this stadium.
    You were able to place a comment on the subject but a lot of negative comments by ratepayer were posted and hey presto no more comments.
    A jelly fish would have more spine than Ace reporter Simpleton and the Astonisher.

    1. Interesting pickle the Bully has got itself into. Being partisan as a newspaper comes with own special pitfalls. Paper's like to back winners for the boasting rights, and so, mimicking its grown-up but delinquent big brothers, the Sydney Telegraph and the Australian, the Townsville Bulletin deludes itself into thinking it is trusted enough to reflect local opinion.

      As a hangover of Typo Gleeson's naked Labor agenda, the Astonisher still bangs the ALP drum, but now are in an interesting position. Labor says $15milion for a super stadium design study, Abbott instead says $20million for the vital (in the wet season) bridge over the Bohle River, a long needed project that could well save lives. At least it gave the paper a legitimate reason to endorse Labor on its front page, but that may have had a detrimental effect on its shrinking readership.

      The headline proclaiming the first step in the tiresomely over-hyped stadium campaign had been achieved neglected to mention that is the case ONLY if Labor win government. So all the strutting, self-important huffing and puffing in the Astonisher-initiated campaign will all be for nothing this time next week ... and that's even if Katter Party preferences from Bronwyn Walker get Cathy O'Toole over the line.

      Maybe Iditor Lachlan Heywood should catch up with Bazza The Bagman Taylor for a few tips on how to change sides. Gracefully or otherwise - or hey, just report facts objectively.

      (For the record, The Magpie is all for a super stadium - if the finances stack up and do not push back other sorely needed infrastructure projects.)

  14. Guilford coal's version of Musical Chairs gets more intriguing by the day. I hear that having done his bit to get Guilford in the good books with his Liberal Party mates, Prince Peter's role now will be to concentrate on getting the government to fund a rail line from Guilford's mine site to the planned coal fired power station near Townsville. The big question now is whether Looney Mooney will slip back into his former role as CEO to oversee the delivery of this tax payer funded gift to an overseas company. One really does wonder about the Liberals though. Are they so dumb that they can't see what is going on here, or does it have something to do with election funding?

  15. The public meeting on the new town plan confirmed three things:
    1. David Crisafulli is in bed with the developers
    2. Tony Parsons is in bed with the developers
    3. Any councillor who supports the raising of building levels on The Strand to 5 storeys will suffer the same fate as the councillors who tried in on last time
    Parsons should remember that he is in his position of power because enough rank and file people voted for him - not because of a handful of developers.
    If it ain't broke Tony, don't try and fix it.

    1. Look, Ron, your comment was published because everyone is entitled to their opinion about issues.

      But The Pie has to take issue with broadbrush, vaguely sinister phrases like 'in bed with'. You seem to have a conspiracy theory around every corner, and a dark insinuation of corruption. The Kid and The Parsnip should quite correctly take note of developers opinions, but they, and the council, are there to ensure the fair rights and views of the ratepayers are represented. To suggest they don't is generally the province of self-promoters like Paul 'Cliff' Jacob and David Moyle's mob.

      And there is a whole 60 working days for the public to have their say, and as with last time, it is unlikely that the height measures will get through as they stand. But 'developers' are ratepayers, too, and contribute take risks that greatly contrbute to the growth of the community. Their point of view is not better but certainly equal to any other ratepayer, certainly in terms of ultimate Townsville.

      The picture you paint of top-hatted, coattails and spats 'developers' slipping evil councillors sacks with dollar signs on them in order to line their own pockets is so biased that it would make a good story for the Astonisher.

    2. But 'Pie, you are assuming that all developers who want 5 storeys on The Strand are local ratepayers. History shows that is not the case.

    3. I was at that meeting too and by the look on his face Parsons has got the message that he has bitten off more than he can chew this time. I wonder how many other councillors are prepared to risk their jobs by falling in line with the Parsnip.

    4. There's one way to clear this up. Get Crisafulli and Parsons to confirm in writing that neither they nor the Liberal Party have received any incentive or election funding from developers who want 5 storeys on The Strand.

    5. Now look fellas, this is getting silly, there's a lot of fuzzy flapdoodle in here.

      Let's look at a couple of things.

      JD, just how does it work for you? Political parties don't knock back donations from anyone (well, only in exceptional circumstances, which these ain't) and developers and the like usually donate to both sides. And so what? If you're going to go down the corruption path, let's have a bit evidence please, it's a big ask to tar anyone with that brush. It's popular sport in these parts to assume conspiracy and that everyone's on the take.

      Well, here's an example - The Pie will assure you with a great deal of certainty that Mooney was NEVER on the take in that sense, although it was and still is fashionable to suggest so - without any evidence. His fall came simply because he got a bit fed up with certain aspects of the job and allowed himself to get up himself a bit too much. Sure there was a 'boys club' - name the town where there isn't, like meeting and talking with like and with politicians - that doesn't automatically confirm any sort of collusion. IF THERE WAS, why the hell is there a 60 day public submission period, where a heady mix of genuine desire, spite, bloodymindedness or rusted on class conspiracy theories bounce around in the top paddock, will no doubt knock back aspects of the height proposals. Bloody ineffective bribers, then, if that's the case.

    6. Now that's a good comment Ron, but don't be a tease, share a bit more with us, you obviously know more than you're letting on.

      So just who are the developers who want five storeys on the Strand? Home town boys (who are ratepayers) or southerners, to make such a suggestion, you surely have evidence of just who wants what, owns what and intends what .... c'mon mate, don't be a scaredy cat, share!

      And before you reply, just remember this is not Text The Iditor - The Pie talks back.

    7. For JD Bohle All you need to do is google the ECQ OLD website and this reveals all Donors Over $1200. to Both Townsville First and Team (sic) Hill) and the 3 local State members It is not an easy site to use Following changes to the Local Government Act their are 2 items that must be considered Material and Financial. If i can quote an example during the Council election a large sign 5m X 3 M was erected in the Bedrock Land Scaping premises in Harveys Range Road by Paradise signs extolling the virtues of Parsons (His Division) and Last.. Paradise Advertising donated $5500. to the Team Last Campaign. The land that Bedrock Landscaping occupy is owned by Kingsun Properties who donated $500. to Team Last and then Bedrock Landscaping got the Council contract to the sandmining at Cape Cleveland.. Paradise signs got a contract following a tender to Council to erect a sign on the Airport Rd "welcome to Townsville " $15000. what does this indicate Material or Financial beneifits even the Deputy mayor voted against the sand mining contract in Council along with the Mayor ,Doyle & Walker You can drawer your own conclusions if this is material or financial ... While the ECQ website will reveal all donations over $200. you will note a Panel Beater/Auto repairs in Garbutt donated $5000. to Team Last ,well what can i say

    8. This is the Deputy Mayors Division He has yet to comment on the matter Parsons Divison is out in the surburbs

    9. Hang on a sec. as far as The Pie knows, elected councillors don't go around like they've got a bag of lollies for their schoolyard gang.

      Professional council officers follow a strict legal process in selecting tenderers for council work, and unless The Pie is wrong (be sure to let him know) elected councillors generally have limited input. Councillors on a committee may be able to choose between those judged equally meritorious. And SOMEBODY has to be awarded the contract.

      Is The Pie in error here? If so, please explain - fact only pls, fantasyland belongs solely to The Magpie.

      Where it was revealed that hanky panky came into it was during the Mooney years was when in the selection of those to go on to the list of approved tenderers across a range of activities. The real estate list was restricted to about 5, although a number of other properly credentialed agents put up their names but didn't make it.

      By contrast, plumbing firms approved to do council contract work numbered about 35.

    10. JD – the ALP receives tens of millions of dollars funding from the union movement. The unions have a very persuasive influence on Labor policies, particularly in the IR area, which are unashamedly anti-business (big or small). Former union members form the majority of the Cabinet and backbenchers. Even our own Kathy has a union background. However, less than 21% of employees in Australia are members of a union. You and Ron don’t need to feel the sheets to work out who is in bed with whom, stroking each other’s minority self-interest whilst screwing everyone else.

      What’s the big deal about another two stories – about 10 metres, max? To listen to your lot’s shrill protestations, you would think that “high rise” monstrosities will sprout up the whole length of The Strand. . As ‘Pie pointed out, there are not that many suitable sites to develop for a start. Any multi-story unit development is an expensive, risky venture. The local unit market is as depressed as it ever has been. Demand will dictate supply. And the eventual buyers will be rate-payers. No doubt they will be not angry in the slightest, either.

      What is, precisely, your real objection? That a couple of 5 story developments will ruin the amenity of the area? Sorry, fellas – most of The Strand on the southern side of the street is a little frumpy and boring with the rest being just plain ugly. God knows where you find the “charm”, unless you think that fibro cement is particularly fetching. I know that change is not necessarily progress – but progress necessarily involves change…

      Or are you a member of the Yarrawonga self-stimulators? Don’t like the idea of your little piece of paradise losing pride of place in the prestige stakes? Maybe you think your view will be obstructed? Your own property values dropping? Or are you just a bunch of obstructive old whingers with a Labor agenda? Whatever – you don’t speak for me or most of the people I associate with. Bring it on…

      Oh, a word about the shade. I note that Very Irrational Ratepayer, did not respond to my observation last week that The Strand faces north – perhaps not realising that the sun usually sets in a westerly direction and, at these latitudes, we have a relatively low solar altitude-and-azimuth variation. But there is a part of The Strand that does get a fair coverage of shade in the afternoon – the Rock Pool. And what causes that? That big ugly brute we call Kissing Point. Built without planning approval and all. Let’s tear it down. Although that may upset the dozens of families that flock to sit in its shade every summer afternoon.

    11. Pie, the bit about tendering being beyond reproach is laughable. I recall many years ago when QNI seemed to award the lions share of tenders to particular bidders, regardless of price etc. One of the QNI employees even resigned in disgust over this. His whole story was told to me (by the former employee) only recently, about 15 years after the fact. So no, I'm not just spread a rumor.

    12. Dear Idiot,
      To keep it short, WTF? As in WTF does a private company like QNI, which you 'am just spread rumour' have to do with a local council which operates under different and tougher regulations?

      Good nickname, though.

  16. Interesting to see that former Cairns hobnob Nick Tromph has been appointed general manager of both the Cairns Post and the Townsville Bulletin. Wouldn't be so that Jason Scott, who has been running the two northern papers from Brisbane, can blame someone else for the falling circulation and readership figures - no of course not!

    1. Scott should be accountable for failing to create a safe working place for Staff working in the Astonisher. Asbestos everywhere if you didn't know.

  17. If you thought the big city electorates had all the high ranking
    populations, think again. There are 150 lower house seats.

    North Queensland’s federal seats all rank in the top third of the
    nation’s population rankings.

    Electorate Population Rank
    Leichardt 15
    Kennedy 28
    Dawson 33
    Herbert 41

    median = 75

    Meanwhile Tasmania’s and Northern Territories seats mostly rank at the bottom.

    Not only are North Queensland’s electorate populations growing faster
    than the national average, Tasmania’s is stagnant; adding weight to a
    new seat in the lower house in North Queensland and changes to the
    constitution so we are better and fairer represented in the senate.

  18. For JD For the Council Election campaign Team Hill recieved $10000. From the Australian Workers Union and $1000. From the Transport Workers Union ... Also there is a donor Ropeja Trust 5 St James St Belgian Gardens ' try as i may i cannot find anything about this donation or who the trust is ,any clues Magpie or Readers ?

    1. John N, it appears Ropeja is a wannabee land developer, using property near Oak Valley.

      This story from 5 years ago gives you an idea, and maybe they had their hopes up that The Mullet might take a different view than Les Tyrell.

      And here's a map for the general area (which The Pie had never heard of).

      Haven't had a chance to check just how Brookhill faired in the just released city plan - one would think no change.

      During the nosing around the web, this is not directly relevant, but have a look at this ....

      if you scroll down, all the donors to team Hill in last year's election including Ropeja are all listed. For what it's worth.

      Haven't had time to do a ditto on Townsville First yet, but all this really is all old news.

  19. Thinking of standing again Colin

  20. Magpie Thanks for info

  21. typo Gleeson's double breasted suit looked silly on today's breakfast show. I think it's 3 sizes too small.

  22. The left over journalists are so slack at the Astonisher.

  23. Question for you Pie. News Ltd's propensity to share stories in these cost conscious times between the Com Post, Astonisher and even the Courier Snail - why no sharing of the story in The Oz today re Clive Palmer emailing QNI staff to volunteer to support his candidates on election day? Great story but strange the Astonisher didn't have it first or at least share it or can we expect it to appear on Thursday?

    1. Remember, the astonisher is the cash cow for Murdoch. Don't offend Clive. Or, they're dumb lot. I say the latter.

  24. Had to laugh at Raggatt's story in the Astonisher today re Ergon jobs course. Wonder where the unions were when the Bully made its staff redundant? What? No jobs course for them? The height of hypocrisy!

  25. Cause for celebration 'Pie!!!!!
    News Corp has sod a fair slab of its smaller newspapers in the US -
    Could there yet be hope that The Astonisher will be put on the market and taken over by real people.
    Where there's life, there's hope!

    1. Cause for celebration? If only, Watcher, old son - sadly the short answer is no. Very unlikely any time soon.

      As a monopoly, the paper is, and will remain, profitable, and although they may be regretting it in some ways, News Ltd (now News Corp) invested $54million in a state-of-the-art press about four years ago. That gamble has paid off for the company by allowing it to corner the print market of north and far north Queensland, including the Cairns Post being printed here, the Sun, along with some satellite papers plus lucrative inserts and one-off colour-quality products.

      When you say taken over by real people, look, lets face it, the product is diverse and for sectional interests, entertaining and informative and really only has one fatal flaw ... the editorial direction is completely out of touch with this community. And that affects all other aspects of the publication, which is very unfair to the professional people in other areas of the paper. The one-size-fits-all negative, shock/horror 'if it bleeds it leads' ediotial mentality of other News Corp publications in larger markets is the company's culture but just doesn't wash up here - especially the biased and often just plain ignorant opinion in the news columns.

      Juvenile columnists don't help either, most of whom get a gig just to fill space..

      And when some twit has the hopeful sales-boosting idea of a campaign - the latest one being a 'super stadium' - it is so tediously and self-promotingly overdone that it becomes yet another embarrassing turn-off for the average punter.

      The arrogance of monopoly also seeps through to other functions, especially when dealing with the public and business regarding advertising. The bitching around town is deafening. The classifieds, which remain the biggest rip-off for the average Townsvillean would be a more telling sore point if people realised how they were being suckered. Just check relative classified costs anywhere else for proof.

      The cash-cow property floggers get flogged, too, but they don't have to worry - they just pass it on to home and business buyers.

      Yet another great service to Townsville from this wonderful corporate citizen.

    2. Do you notice there's no content either on the website?? It's all gone...

  26. While 10% of Townsville people rage over the proposed stadium (situated on the southernmost part of our city, rather than the centre - Kirwan), the Bully maintain this rage.

    One of the most important promises from the LNP was an assurance that the Dalrymple Rd. Bohle crossing seasonal flooding would be rectified with the building of a bridge.

    This great news has been ignored by the Bully and their unpopular crusade continues.

    The Bulletin, once again, fails to inform the general public and instead, promotes it's own populist nonsense. Hence the drop in sales.

  27. Regarding the Super Stadium, I agree with Tom. This idea is being pushed by a relatively small group of people and mostly, apart from The Astonisher, sports clubs that seem to think they will somehow get to play in the new stadium for free.
    Take a cold shower boys and girls. The Fire are currently paying next to zilch for renting the stadium at Murray, and the Crocs can't afford to pay a cent more than the heavily discounted rent they are about to enjoy at the Entertainment Centre.
    The Cowboys too will be hard pressed to pay additional rental for the Super Stadium unless they significantly increase crowds. The trend in that department over the past few years has been downward, so where are they going to find the extra 20,000 fans to fill the new stadium.
    I also wonder whether the Cowboys have considered how many families currently attend games from the Northern Beaches, Bohle and Willows areas, and whether those fans will be prepared to drive over to the south-eastern extremity of the city.
    Now this small group, with the help of The Astonisher, is trying to blackmail Ewen Jones into committing taxpayers money to this white elephant.
    Ewen would be well advised to ignore them. I think there are more votes in things that will benefit the average citizen than supporting a sports stadium so a few thousand people can sit in better seats.

    1. My thoughts exactly. The latte set in South Townsville and the inner city yuppies would not be seen dead at a Rugby League match. They might play posh and go to the mosh pit at the Chamber Music Festival - but that it is well enough catered for by the current facilities. The Cashed Up Bogans (yeah, Barry, - talking about you)and their Prado's hanging around Yarrawonga might attend a game - but only if they got a free invite to a private box - lookit me!!

      Access to the city for people beyond Mundingburra will be a nightmare. But who give a rat's bum about the yokels in the outer suburbs?

      If a "super stadium" and convention centre is to be built, why not build it closer to the people who will actually use the damn thing? Why not put it in a place that it easily accessible?

      There is a definite inner-city bias. Most of the movers and shakers and other supporters of this potential white elephant live in or within a couple of suburbs of the CBD. They see the drive out to Kirwan to be a tremendous inconvenience.

      I grow heartily sick of this over-done and hysterical coverage by the Bulletin. A little perspective, please. We are being urged to elect a Federal Member only on the basis of a footy paddock? There are no other issues to be considered? Young Kathy has jumped on the populist bandwagon, if only to divert attention from the past six years of the most incompetent and destructive government we have ever had. Ewan, God bless 'im has valiantly tried to steer clear of this debate over nothing.

      By the way, when the Brisbane Entertainment Centre was first built at Boondall, there were huge community concerns about it being so far away from the CBD and people of the Southside. It has been a great success. Amazing what a bit of foresight (and decent planning and infrastructure) can do.

  28. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you Pie. I've been busy working.
    I can tell you who is not wanting the build 5 storeys on The Strand - 99.9% of the local population. And that's the point. Why is Parsons pandering to such a minority when he is supposed to be acting on behalf of the majority, and a huge one at that.
    Even if every property owner on The Strand was in favour of 5 storeys, and I know for a fact many of them are not, the percentage of the population is akin to a grain of sand in a sand pit.
    So we'll wait and see if this 5 storey fiasco gets approved by the full council and, if it does, we'll watch with interest to see who applies and is approved for 5 storey developments.
    Then all we have to do is wait until the next local government election to deal with Parsons and any other councillor who supports this unpopular and outrageous proposal.

    1. 99.9% ?? Even allowing for poetic licence, that is complete and utter crap.

      What is your personal objection to this?

    2. Ron, Ron, calm yourself, let's just have a little thinkette about all this, and entertain the actual facts.
      Maybe you're right about the 99.9% (maybe) and that simply means the height increase will not go ahead.
      And you surely have some personal vendetta against Parsnip, because your comments fly in the face of the facts regarding both the process, reasoning and the public submissions aspects of the plan. For whatever reason, Parsnip has pressed your buttons, which is clouding your reasoning in this matter. Remember this was made necessary by the forced amalgamation Beattie prematurely foisted on us.

      Just for the record, here is the media release spelling out just where the process is at the moment, and what you and those of your like opinion can do about it. This believe it or not Ron, is democracy at work - the outcome will belong to the ratepayers and general citizenary, and not just on the height issue.

      4 SEPTEMBER 2013

      Public consultation kicks off at Idalia on Draft City Plan

      Residents in the Idalia area will be among the first to talk to planners and have their say on the Draft Planning Scheme at the citywide community information sessions which kick off on Thursday.

      Council is holding 16 information sessions and nine meet the planner meetings over the next 60 business days, starting with an information booth at the Fairfield Central Shopping Centre at Idalia over three days from Thursday to Saturday.

      Residents will be able to speak one on one with staff to understand more about the draft plan and how it may affect their area.

      Cr Hill said the information kiosks would give residents access to information on local areas, zoning and building heights as well as online displays and assistance from council staff to help answer questions and advice on how to lodge a submission.

      “Council wants to hear the community’s views on the Draft City Plan, and the consultation activities will run for twice as long as the statutory requirement to give people the opportunity to comment on matters that are important to them,” Cr Hill said.

      “The draft plan will provide the vision for the city’s growth and progress over the next 25 years and it’s essential that it reflects the views and aspirations of the community.”

      The Draft City Plan proposes a Smart Growth Strategy to better manage the impact of population growth, boost housing affordability and choice, stimulate and sustain economic growth, and preserve the city’s lifestyle and character.

      The Draft City Plan community information kiosk at Idalia will be staffed at the following times:

      Thursday 5 September: 9am to 6pm
      Friday 6 September: 9am to 4pm
      Saturday 7 September: 10am to 2pm
      The community can also view the Draft City Plan and lodge formal, properly made submissions online on councils’ website Submissions close on Monday 25 November 2013.

  29. I call recall when Brothers Leagues Club announced their move to the the Willows Holy Moly said the movers and grovers .. My Membership card 06/14 has a number 17869 on it i presume thats members (i'm N) and was'nt $12. million just spent doing the Club up.. So much for the Inner City.. The land Smiles Stadium occupies is owned by the Qld Govt Stadiums Qld own the Buildings And owe Qld Treasury $600. million I would guess if the Stadium was built in the City Brothers and Ryan School would want the land (Very vauable) for expansion .

  30. Oh Magpie, surely you jest.
    I couldn't care less if it was Parsons or any other councillor trying to shove it through pushing this. It's a dog, and Parsons is pushing it so his face is on the dartboard.
    So enough of your defence of those responsible for this suggestion which nobody wants, with the exception of a handful of developers.
    Just sit back Magpie and have a glass of wine, then wait until the next local government election.
    It will come around sooner than you, or Parsons, think.
    Of course if Parsons decides it is not a good idea to go against the wishes of the people who pay his wages, then I'll be the first to congratulate him.
    No bias there, just common sense.

    1. Lots of bias and no common sense at all, there Ron. C'mon mate, come clean, your among (concerned) friends

      Is English your second language mate, or are you just visiting from another planet? You will be easy spot when you're out and about, face purple with an unfoccused rage, wild-eyed scowl, spittle-flecked mouth and clenched fists. Time for a little lie down, mate.

      First of all, Parsnip is 'presenting' not 'pushing' the plan, and you completely ignore The 'Pie's previous point and the media release explaining, in straight language, what you can do about it - as thousands no doubt will. And objectors will be assisted at those venues detailed in the media release on how to make their submissions - in some instances, they will be able to do it then and there on computors tablets.

      And FYI, The 'Pie is not 'defending those responsible for this suggestion which nobody wants', he is defending the basic process of democracy in this matter - unless you feel you've been cheated out of your birthright by not being installed as our boss empowered to make decisions without any input from we proles. Ron Il Jong - nice ring to it, eh?

      One trusts you'll be running for council next time around - by the sounds of it, won't be the first time, you sound like the sorest of sore losers.

      You're complete and pernicious disregard for facts makes your imaginary world a scary place to contemplate - please stay away from the knife drawer.

  31. Re this Stadium cum Entertainment cum Conference Centre Hotel proposal, why not do something a little more creative and combine a number of issues that Townsville needs.

    Build a proper airport opposite the existing one (where the control tower currently stands) plenty of easy access and parking, behind that build this stadium cum whatever and a quality, highrise if necessary Hotel. Include the fix of Blakey's and do some "tropical" landscaping all within one budget with no disruptions to anyone during construction. Easy access for all no matter which suburb they're from and no inner city congestion.

    Leasing this Crown Land should be a whole lot cheaper than any CBD land and there will always be room for expansion, maybe include a racetrack cum Driver Training school and sell that grossly under utilised land where the current "track is used for 14 days per anum to contribute funds for the project?

  32. Coming from you Magpie, I'll take your tirade as a compliment.
    Go easy on the grog mate. You might do yourself some more damage.

    1. Well argued, Ron Il Jung. As usual.

  33. For Martin K ; The manager of Qld Airports Ltd (who Own the Airport) is a Kevin Gill He is also the CEO of Townsville Enterprise. There are stringent conditions applied by the Government who Privatelised Australian airports . They must be to an acceptable standard for use and costing can be controlled Townsville and Darwin Airport are the cheapest in terms of landing fees in Australia as The RAAf maintain the Navigational aids main runways Lighting ,fire fighters and the Control tower. It's when the Aircraft get Off the main taxi ways that the airport owners Charge like a wounded bull I understand rent inside the Terminal is the same per Sq mtrs as Castletown For both the Airlines and Concessionaires..