Saturday, August 17, 2013

This week, the latest installment of the continuing gory story you’ll never see in the Townsville Bulletin; yup, the latest circulation and readership figures show the paper will soon be on life support …. but it just gets worse for the readers, as the now-daily run of cock-ups and unethical ‘reporting’ continues apace.

Also, a low blow - Mayor Mullet’s makes a subversive attack on The Magpie's credibility ….

... an hilarious real-life defamation case that depends entirely on fiction to prove the offence … it’s a corker for the legally minded …

…. And Tony Abbott’s verbal disappearance up his own fundament has captured Bentley’s wicked eye; all that and some other amusing odds and … errr … sods, all here in the nest at

First a question; what’s the difference between Cinderella  and an Australian batsman? Cinderella knew when to leave the ball.

And that will be the last word on THAT subject.

The last word Tony Abbott’s minders wanted to hear features in the Quote of the Week.

At least he doesn't eat his earwax.
‘No one is the suppository of wisdom.’
Well, certainly not you, chum. A self-evident comment from Mr Abbott, proving the closest he will come to it is being a dumb arse when speaking off the cuff. 

Bentley is of a similar opinion.

And a digression on the same topic: a pissed off Pom had a helpful turn of mind – and phrase – when dealing with a bureaucratic shiny bum.

But it alleviated a week of ducking and weaving (read 'lying' rom all and sundry, and prompted some much needed social media photoshopping. these are the ones the SMH found.

The front page of the week – well, it was spotted this week, anyway – goes all the way to bonny Scotland.

Give thanks that The Astonisher likes three word heads.

But then the Scots have that way about them, especially when dealing with authority. The honesty of this speaks for all who have come up againmst petty authority.

This last one wins the Last Straw Award.

And truth in advertising held no terrors for this whisky fancier. 

And never, never, never ever let certain Scots work out their notice.

Back to the local scene and some stuff which is not so funny, but you can bet prompted multiple of those F bombs down at the Astonisher.

The 'Pie speaks of the latest episode in a serial shock/horror story of a slow, agonizing death, but you won’t be seeing it anytime soon in the Daily Astonisher.

The latest circulation and readership figures are in for the Townsville Bulletin, and it’s a gory story indeed.

The bottom two entries are the salient ones.

The Saturday Bulletin is in freefall,  pissing off another 3,364 former readers, dropping an eye-watering 8.9% and plummeting  down to 34,898 papers. Three short years ago, Saturday’s were at a healthy-ish 42,000.The Monday to Friday circulation continues to suffer cardiac arrest, shedding 2,045 editions to drop 8.3% to an embarrassingly woeful daily average of 22,55. The population of the circulation region is close to 250,000.

As dramatic as these figures may be – prompting idle thoughts of just when are advertisers going to revolt and move more and more to television if the rate card isn’t suitably adjusted to the new figures – there is some cold comfort in there for this headless chook of an outfit:  believe it or not, the Townsville Bulletin is among the only six out of sixteen Australian regionals to record single digit losses.

As you will see here, Typo scuttled off from the Gold Coast Bulletin before the extent of his  bumbling and blustering stewardship was revealed, with the Coast's flagship Saturday rag’s circulation down a whopping 16.6%, while weekdays 14.7%..

Readership figures remain an arcane art - supposedly divining just  how many people are estimated to read each single paper - tend to confirm the circs. The Sat Bulletin is knocking on the door of a 20% drop in just the last year. The details are here .

But The Astonisher doesn’t appear to give a hoot, letting spin rule the news columns.

'Just say the word, Jen, luvvy, and I'll write it.'
Today, ’revealer’ Anthony Simpleton (who insists on calling himself Templeton for some reason) donned calf-high white booties, a powder blue lycra cheer leaders mini skirt and waved his verbal pom-poms to put blatant comment into a news story about Townsville’s  proposed super stadium.

Despite this being a project nowhere near the design stage, Simpo used some sophisticated visualisations like this …

If only ....
…. to trot out statistics and quotes in a story that’s mostly recycled predictable guff and appears to have no point   …. until this:

'Townsville now needs to unite and pressure both sides of politics to ensure the superstadium gets built and provides an economic stimulus for the city during what are expected to be a lacklustre few years for North Research conducted in the planning phase of the project found 76.5 per cent of Townsvillians wanted a new stadium and convention centre in the CBD.Queensland'.

WTF, as we apparently say nowadays.  That's Simpo talking. 

This in the middle of a supposedly objective news story?!?  Fine sentiment if you agree with it (The Magpie in fact thinks it’s a great idea if the finances stack up), but this is a subject that will need balanced debate for some time to come. There are plenty who see big downsides.

Objective news reporting it is not; the Astonisher and spinners like Simpo and the Iditor firmly believes that News Corp knows best and you should heed their instructions on what is good for you, dear reader. Oh, yes, you can have your say in Text The Iditor - it is a wonderful forum for sober, educated and intelligent debate. 

And then, as a kicker of confirmation for the spin, this;

'Research conducted in the planning phase of the project found 76.5 per cent of Townsvillians wanted a new stadium and convention centre in the CBD'.

This has been trotted out before, but no hint of who did the survey, who paid for it, how and where the sample was taken and how big it was. The odour of rodent is hanging heavily in the air, because it is well known that some local survey mobs are so tied up in the ageing ‘old boys business club’ that they get their riding orders – the desired outcome – before they lift a phone or pick up a clip board. The questions are worded to get the desired result. There are a couple of reputable firms around town, but the Dodgy Brothers are alive and well in this industry, so it would proper for us to know who did what for whom.

But it’s not all heady stuff from rotating reporters that makes one suspicious of everything in the paper, the average person can’t rely on even what they see as a simple service statement. They even supply photographic evidence of their incompetence.Things like this, funny if it wasn't so regular.

Sorry about the resolution, suffice to say same add for a lost dog, but the repeat ad features a 'much loved' jalopy.

Even when the paper tries to look diverse and encompassing, it manages to cock it up and no doubt lose more frustrated readers.So, more galling for some people was this. Friday’s Astonisher carried this free plug in the regular feature, 10 thing to do this weekend. (‘Read the Weekend Bulletin ...  please’, may shortly be one of them.)

‘Stand Up With Pride Marriage Equality Rally SUN, 1pm, 1.30 start, central Park Townsville.’

See, no prejudice at The Astonisher, fair go for everybody. No, just careless stuff like putting in ‘SUN’ instead of the supplied ‘SAT’. The event is now in disarray, with an expected small march on Sat and no one knows who will now turn up on Sunday. But all will know how the stuff-up happened. 

Although it is trumpeted as the future of the industry - and the local product - the electronic version of the paper is, quite simply, a mess; understaffed and generally not rated worth beefing up.  It lists Skene as a columnist (she left more than a year ago) and Amanda Gray is still in there,too, although she has been mercifully choofed off for weeks now.  Even the Iditor’s editorials get the slipshod treatment  ….

…. and serves him bloody right. But not the RAAF firefighters. 

Somebody at the paper really needs a suppository ... in the form of a good old fashioned rocket. Fat chance. 

Moving on.

The Magpie greatly misses the rounds of the court here in the ‘Ville, in great part because the humour that was always to be found there was heightened by the general air of pomposity of some of the po-faced practitioners. When the untoward happened, it generated the same sort of glee enjoyed long ago by little children knocking off top hats with snowballs.

So it was with great delight that this week The Magpie received a missive, which at first mystified him and then, when he twigged, had him stitches. But it is a very real case, although it mixes fact with fiction.

To distill down a very long document, here’s what’s going on.

There was some bad blood between a couple of solicitors down in Brissy when the waters became muddied in a family court custody matter. Insults flew as they so often do, made all the more pointed because one of legal bods was the father-in-law of the estranged woman in the matter.

But in a rare move, the aggrieved lawyer was apparently so erratic,  (The ‘Pie is informed one never uses the word incompetent in such a situation) he was ‘restrained’ from acting the case by the court. In other words, the judge kicked him out.

Now, he is suing the other lawyer for defamation – because among other things, he was referred to in an email as ‘Dennis Denuto’.

Dud defender Dennis Denuto (Tiriel Mora)
Remember him?

He was the bumbling, incompetent,  solicitor in the film ‘The Castle’, brilliantly played by Tiriel Mora . In the movie, DeNuto freewheeled through the law and the courts, referring judges to ‘the vibe’ of the matter, listing 'small stuff' among the services he was happy to render clients, and claiming  as proof of his success, he could ‘afford a European sports car’ and so on.

Our real-life plaintiff reckons by just calling him by that name that he has been defamed. Where it gets funny is when the court document ‘Statement of Defence’ detail the failings of Dennis Denuto, and quotes the fictional Mr Denuto’s claims to competence in all its comic detail. But in the nature of such genuine documents, it is all played with a straight face and a straight bat - to the uninitiated and knowledgeable alike it will be a bit bewildering at first.

This is one of the funniest legal matters The ‘Pie has ever come across (Conan, you’ll just love this). You can read the full Defence Statement  here, for those with a legal bent of mind, it is worth it.

Other matters:

Now look here, Mayor Mullet, just what do you think you’re playing at? 

The Magpie has been nothing if not a generous biographer to you, letting readers into the little known corners of your public life, detailing your exploits that you yourself have been too modest to discuss – how’s the Brisbane-bought council car going, dear?  – and ensuring your name is ever before your adoring public

And after all that thankless effort, painting an accurate picture of you for posterity, does The ‘Pie get an ounce of gratitude? No, not a skerrick.

Jenny shows off her new 'Councillor Calmer'.

Yesterday morning, you go ABC Radio talking to Paula Tapiolas about this week’s meeting of Queensland mayors at the Townsville Convention Center, and to not put too fine a point on it, had you been into the breakfast boubon, m’dear, you didn’t sound at all yourself at all? You were reasonable, argued your point very well, not a hint of whining, you sounded almost –well, statesman-like is probably overdoing it, but you actually sounded like a leader, well versed and well armed with facts – and all in all, being the sweet voice of reason.

Even when The Mauler, herself sounding a bit taken aback, swapped over to the issue of park vagrants, your firm but non-belligerent points had been thought through, making your point of state and federal responsibility on this issue all the more compelling.

Which raises The Magpie’s question – what the bloody hell are you up to? God, woman keep this up and The Magpie will be out of business  - a Magpie’s Nest with Mayor Mullet won’t be worth a cracker. So have a bloody heart, get back to moaning, you’ve been having too many of these lucid, mature type of moments lately.

It must be driving your deputy Vern Veitch mad, you heartless harpy. Just stop it. Now.

Why is this man called Cliff Richard?
Some one else we’d all like to see stop it is the self-promoting Northern Beaches serial pest and media street-stroller Paul Jacob.  You remember him, don’t you? He’s one of the founders of that Dad’s Army Comedy Troupe aka the Townsville Ratepayers Ass. (the abbreviation is more accurate than Association.)

Just before the nanna nap.
He and Dave The Desperate Moyle (look at me, Mum, look at me ….Mummmm….waaaa!!’) founded that group of lovable laughables the Shadow Council. Each Ass member shadows a councilor in each division, then they shuffle off in their socks and sandals and Best and Less floral-print frocks into small meetings where they tut-tut their way through copious amounts of Monte Carlo Cremes and innumerable cups of Bushels Extra Fine.

Mr Jacob is known around Walker Street as Cliff Richard, since he’s the front man for the Shadows.

It isn’t surprising that he cons both The Astonisher and little sister The Sun into quoting – as we know, they’re none too fussy where they get their alarmist claptrap from.

If Anthony Simpleton is a cheer leader, then Jacob is a jeer-leader.

Townsville TAFE building

So in this week’s Sun, under the headline Council Decision Doesn’t Rate, Jacob appears to exist in some sort of dark parallel universe, directly contradicting with no offered evidence the united council’s reasons for the deals on the derelict Flinders street West rail yards and the purchase and leasing of the TAFE building in the CBD.  Both are, on the known evidence, excellent risk averse deals, if the council insists into going to the development and property leasing game. Ratepayers are bound to benefit from both deals. The rail yards knock-down price of $20,000 is a steal for anyone.

But not according  to this blowhard political failure.

Jacob and his fellow loons start from the shaky basis that they would be better than the elected councillors, despite the fact that both he and Moyle have been emphatically told by voters that they’re seen as total duds. So the next council election is going have a lot of sideshow fun while the real game is played out in the main arena.

Pathetic and embarrassing, boys, but the ego pull of those suffering Relevance Deprivation Syndrome lead all sorts of people down dark deadends. Cliff/Paul, take a Summer Holiday - a long one.

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs' Bar to dispense pearls of wisdom in the hope that the night doesn't turn out to be a bummer of the Abbott variety. 


  1. $323,115 cost to ratepayers to install the waterslide to the Northern Beaches Leisure Centre. Is this in the budget? considering Mayor Mullet was having to review the budget 19 days into the financial year(is this a record) for the Tccs part of the lights upgrade at Tony Ireland Stadium.

  2. Well we all know Simpo's "story" on the stadium was simply political opportunism complete with editorialisation to try and make the Bully relevant. As news, let alone a lead story...pffffttt! Pretty appalling frankly. This and other "stories" show how disconnected the Bully and its journos are from their community that they can't source news themselves...a generation dependent upon Facebook and Google but some are even too lazy to do that properly for research. A great and funny read Pie.

  3. From Suzanne:
    "will mayor mullet wear more of the sexy red v8 jacket?"


  4. It would be a blessing for Townsville if Cliff/Paul would stop hanging around the council chambers and got a real job. His pretend outbursts on TV like the other day, "the rates will go up"re the purchase of the TAFE building might massage his ego but the reporter didn't ask anyone to see if there was an alternate view. And of course there was because his statement was a nonsense. Even the mayor said so in the "Astonisher".He truly is a loon!

    1. Vern Veitch, Deputy Mayor, Townsville.August 17, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      Whilst all the detail is confidential. I can confirm that the purchase of the TAFE property will not cost ratepayers 1 cent. Even the interest and internal administrative costs have been covered by the agreement. Cannot provide the detail as it is commercial in confidence,

    2. Fed up Idalia - regional TV news is amateurish at best - basically radio with pictures - L plate journos in short pants straight out of Uni or still studying part time, given a media release and told to write a story - in fact 4 stories a day. They have to be written and cut ready for sending to Seven Sunshine Coast or WIN Rocky/Toowoomba by about 3pm ish. So there's not much time for alternative view let alone any research. Quality journalism it ain't and never will be unfortunately. And could WIN TV please do something about it's drab 80's look news set and matching presenters?

    3. For Fed Up Jacobs is unable to get another job position since resigning from the Audio Visual Dept of the the Tsv Gen Hosp prior to the last Council Election . When his mate was appointed to a position in the Council (Jimieson) Sic he expected to become his assisted but was told to F... O... I understand his wife still works in the x-ray dept of the hospital he is a complete pest of the highest order

    4. Would the title Devil Women be applicable.

    5. For Vern Veitch Who will pay for maintainance on the building (even if Council provide Qualified Trade staff)

  5. I feel for Tony Abbott who recently had a 'wrong word' moment.

    To all his critics (who probably looked up 'Z' for xenophobia and thought Julia's hyper-bowl was a shopping centre), I suggest that Tony had a Freudian connection with 'suppository' and the orifice that would be involved.

    As he was discussing Kevin Rudd at the time, I think we all see the connection.

  6. Conan the GrammarianAugust 18, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    I have observed many wondrous things in my time upon this Earth. I have seen Man land on the Moon, the erection and then later the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of Soviet Communism. I have seen the first black elected President of the USA and the canonisation of Australia's first Saint.

    And then, today, I have read the 'Denis Denuto' Statement of Claim. My life is now complete. Thank you, 'Pie!

    1. Ah, Conan. Amazing how events can stick in your mind. I recall my Dad in tears when Churchill died, exactly where I was when news broke of JFK's assination and carbon paper salesmen loitering in the office, chatting up my receptionist.

      Having drafted the odd pleading myself, I laughed out loud at the "Denuto Defence".

      I see that it was settled by counsel. Now, there's a chap I would like to have a beer with...

  7. Conan the GrammarianAugust 18, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Notwithstanding its headlong dive into irrelevance, sometimes it's good for the allegedly 'local' rag to get it wrong. Specifically the
    ‘Stand Up With Pride Marriage Equality Rally SUN, 1pm, 1.30 start, central Park Townsville.’

    There I was, post-prandially dozing after Saturday lunch, when a crowd of badly dressed rainbow activists, possibly 150-strong and tailed by two persons of indeterminate gender on horseback (one of whom almost lost control on the slippery pedestrian exit ramp) came across the Victoria Bridge. They were spurred along by a large unattractive female with loudhailer "Whaddawe want? marriage equality...Whennawe wannit? Now!, etc." As there were very few actual witnesses present either on the Bridge, or in the Flinders Square area, this aforesaid amplified munter pointed the megaphone towards the residential units, the cafe and the Sugar Shaker to convey the message to anyone vaguely interested.
    Unaccustomed, as I am, to 'taking one for the team', I am glad that it was only my immediate neighbours and I who copped the noise, and not the greater numbers who would be in the area on a Sunday.

    1. Did they chant? You know - "A chant! A chant! A mindless silly chant!"

  8. That design for a new Entertainment and Convention Centre can’t have been drafted in Townsville. After all there are no mandatory obliquely sloping tacky galvanised iron girders pointing their rough cut ends aimlessly to the sky.
    When are ever going to get some creative and aesthetically pleasing architecture in Townsville instead of re-cycled cyclone debris?

  9. A story in Saturday's Astonisher - "Council plans to lift height restrictions" from 3 to 5 storeys on The Strand, brings to mind a warning issued a few months ago by someone on this blog.
    Back then it was suggested that with Tony "My wife is very sick so I'm missing an important council meeting to fly to Melbourne to call the basketball" Parsons as Planning Committee Chairman, rate payers should watch with interest his approvals, and non-approvals for that matter.
    In Saturday's story, Parsons tells us that: "It's difficult for me to really discuss the nitty gritty of the decision process."
    So it is okay for Tony and his committee to discuss the nitty gritty with well-heeled property developers, but not with we ratepayers who pay his wages every week.
    He then offered: What it (the plan) does do, is give some certainty to what can and can't happen on The Strand."
    What happened to the "surety" we had before Parsons decided to change the rules in favour of developers, rather than listen to the people he is supposed to serve?
    So here's a tip for those few investigative journalists still left at The Astonisher: forget the press releases for a few days and do some digging, like which developers hold interests in property on The Strand, wh is their legal representative, and whether they contribute to Liberal election funds, both locally and at State level.
    There is a strong stench about the "nitty gritty" of this decision, so it will be interesting to see who applies for new 5 storey developments on The Strand in the future.
    Of course, the ratepayers will be the last to know about such applications. They will be kept in the dark because it will be "too difficult" for Parsons to "discuss the nitty gritty" with the ratepayers.
    Message to Mr Parsons: if it is too difficult to explain such important decisions to the people who pay your wages, maybe you should look for another job.
    I hear they need a new race caller at the dogs.

  10. For Angry Rate payer.. If you Google ECQ Qld you can see Donoars over $ the Townsville First and Team Sic Campaignj It is not an easy web site to use Some listed are Lancini over $25000. Using a variety of companies 3 directors of TEL $5000. ea Joe Penisi homes Parkside Homes J Hills Include $10000. from the AWU (Union) Harney Constructions $3000. None of the details over $200. are confidential they must be listed under the Electoral commission act... There is even a donation to Townsville First from a panel beater in Garbutt $5000. !!!! the cuent State Govt want to raise the limit before reporting is required. NSW ban donations from Developers to Council elections following the recent Scandal As i said it is not an easy site to use it makes very interesting reading Donations are also listed to State Candiates i think the limit is $1000.

  11. Thanks John. I've had a look and it seems a local legal firm has made several healthy donations, obviously on behalf of their clients (who want to hide their identity for some reason) to the State LNP coffers at the last election.
    Of course Tony Parsons is an ""independent", so there is absolutely no cause for concern, is there.

  12. Angry Rate Payer Our Local Govt Minister has been working on the the Local Govt Act and to his credit it has been reduced from over 450 pages to about 240 . In Council now there is 2 kinds of support from outside donors to fund campaigns These are material and financial. So can Parsons (or any member of Tsv First vote to give $700000. to Townsville Enterprise when 3 Directors of same gave in excess of $35000. to fund their campaign.

    1. John N, your above comment is OK as far as it goes, but sorry John your other unpublished comment didn't see the light of day on two grounds: legal, with the onus on yours truly, and an allegation that someone is in the pocket of 'city developers' (whatever and whoever that may mean - you make it sound like they don't contribute to this community, which of course is bollocks - someone has to do the building around here) you would need some evidence to be published. No doubt a sincerely held opinion, but without any evidence it is just that, an opinion, and in this case a legally naughty one. The 'Pie just thought he should explain, especially since you have been a welcome supporter of the old bird's blog, for which he thanks you. ...

  13. Pie Thanks for the info

    1. Did not DAVID Carmichael in the late 80's early 90's purchase the Seaview Hotel site and the vacant land beside it with the intention of building multi storey units on both sites which was totally rejected by the Labor Council of the day....... Times have changed...

  14. For those of you who are seeking divine guidance on how to vote, this may help.

    I have often wondered why it is that Liberals are called the
"right" and Labor are called the "left."

By chance, a friend stumbled upon this verse in the Bible:

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right,
but the heart of the fool to the left."
Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV)

Also, Matthew 25:33 . . . He will put the sheep on his right 
and the goats on his left. Thus sayeth the Lord. Amen.

Can't get any simpler than that.

  15. Pie,no mention of Peter Slippery Slipper re contesting his seat,this man must be decisional if he thinks he has any chance. Sadly the position of a politician being an honourable one is as dead as the do-do.

  16. Can you believe on page 43 of today's Astonisher, lost dog Pepper (as reported in your Saturday blog, 'Pie) is still a car, according to the cocked-up pic!! Just what the advertiser needs, eh?

  17. Tee Hee (but it's not funny)August 19, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    The biggest legacy an editor could ever leave , a massive drop in circulation.
    First the Townsville Bulletin, and now our own Gold Coast Bulletin. Better keep a close eye on the Sunday Mail, which is now Typo's new plaything.

    By the way, did you know News Corp has closed it's printing plant on the Coast, sending the work to Brisbane at the cost of an estimated 60 jobs?

    1. I think it's fair to say, it needs 'holden' funding. HA!

  18. Remember this headline for Saturday's editorial, as pointed out in the Magpie blog.

    'Time to step up for RAFF firefighters'

    We'll you're not too late to enjoy it directly in all its original glory. As is often the case, today's website edition of the Astonisher features Saturday's editorial, blooper and all. There is a definite problem when something is both old and wrong.

    Dogs, cars, headlines and keeping up with the 24 hour news cycle ... all a bit of struggle, eh folks?

  19. Pie, Always good and always entertaining.

    Miss Lou

  20. Has Templeton taken some of that AFL Mexican supplement?

    Looks like it.

  21. Hi Pie,

    Just a quick note to reply to Angry Ratepayer.

    There has already been extensive consultation with the new city plan, it started over 2 years ago when Council went out to the community asking for input into the Townsville Land Use proposal.
    This has been followed by an exhaustive process to have the city plan ready for the state earlier this year, that has involved input from the state and industry as well as the information gathered from the community during the forum's for the Townsville Land Use proposal.

    The new City Plan is not yet a public document, but will be after a special meeting on August 30 and there will be period of 60 working days for public comment. Council will be conducting information sessions at all the major shopping centres and numerous locations around the city to garner feedback and provide information on the new planning scheme. It will also provide the community with the opportunity to raise any concerns they may have.

    All the information will be on the Council's website once it becomes a public document on August 30.

  22. So faced with falling or stagnant circulation of most of its dailies, News Ltd has THE solation. Simply change the method of measuring and recording circulation (in agreement with Fairfax of course) and voila instant improvement to support advertising rates and appease worried agencies and customers. Story in today's Oz - both News and Fairfax have agreed to dump Roy Morgan Research and adopt a new approach which according to The Oz puts its daily circulation 41% higher! Problem solved - except people still won't buy the Bully or read it but the figures will show otherwise you betcha!

  23. Very Angry RatepayerAugust 20, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    To Tony Parsons: but Mr Parsons, you don't address the serious issues raised in my blog. Where is the explanation that tells the ratepayers WHY we need to go from 3 to 5 storeys on The Strand. It think you refer to it as the "nitty gritty".
    And WHY do we suddenly need clarity on the rules when there is already a clear rule in place eg 3 storeys.
    In a Townsville Bulletin survey a few months ago 60% of respondents said they didn't want any increase in the building heights on The Strand.
    This area is Townsville's most valuable asset and you should be listening to the people, not making up your own mind on this (for unknown reasons!) or bowing down to developers, whose only interest is making money.
    If you go ahead with this ridiculous plan which does nothing for anybody except developers,, many of which don't even live in this city, then you will get burnt.
    This issue isn't going away and you will find that the ratepayers will make it very clear what they think about your proposal in a rally already being planned. I will personally make sure you receive an invite so you can face the people who pay your wages.
    So forget the waffle and bulldust, and tell us the real reasons for your proposal.
    Please also enlighten us as to where this request or idea for 5 storeys came from.
    It obviously didn't come as a result of the Townsville Bulletin survey results.

    1. Totally agree. What gives Parsons the right to interfere with The Strand. Part of its charm is that there is no high rise and no shadows on the beach in the afternoon.
      People like it just the way it is. So where is the benefit for the community in changing it?
      Parsons needs to come clean with an explanation why we need 5 storeys, and just who wants 5 storeys.

    2. I can recall in the early 90's when DAVID Carmichael bought the Seaview Hotel and the vacant land next to it. He had intentions of building multi story units on the site however the Council of the day refused his request How the wheel has turned...

    3. As a Thuringowah resident who visits the Strand but rarely, I can’t get all that worked up about an extra couple of floors 20-odd km away. Face it, the Gold Coast we ain’t and never shall be. Mind you, some nice shadow on a February afternoon may be a cool welcome for the perambulatory – I jog The Esplanade in Cairns on a very regular basis and find the afternoon shadows a relief when I arrive at the boardwalk. Besides, does not The Strand face north?

      I rather Tony give some insight into issues regarding cars, overseas trips and inappropriate relationships with the Press.

    4. Hey Grumpy - so you think we should cop 5 storeys on The Strand so you can have a walk in the shadows on the "rare" occasion you visit the Townsville foreshore.
      And here I was thinking that people went to the beach to swim and sunbake. Silly me!!!
      Mayne Parsons can get his developer mates to build a roof over The Strand so that people like you can walk and sunbake in the shade all day.
      I don't live on The Strand or anywhere near it, but I like it how it is now, and everyone I've spoken to feels the same way.
      Parsons is in for a shock if he thinks he's going to push this one through without a fight. Could even cost him his council position at the next election.
      Remember Tony, there are a lot more ratepayers then developers.

    5. Hmmm, while The Pie is a happy spectator when the jousting involves commentaters commenting on other comments but a few points for Strand Fan, which may also enlighten a few others.

      First and foremost, The 'Pie holds no brief for Clr Parsons, he's a big boy he can look after himself, but it must be pointed out that he has made it clear that when the report is released, there will be 60 days or more for the public to study it and make submissions. General outrage is also listened to, and tends to drown out any competing argument. A proposed height rise was knocked back before, and that when there was a massive Labor majority on the council.

      Another point is that the power of the various committee 'chairs' is vastly overstated, because there isn't the previous overwhelming mayoral control of previous years where the desires of developers carried great sway and committee chairs got their riding orders from the then top. Chairs don't sit there and make up wish lists and that's it.

      And The Pie is always amused about sunbathers and swimmers on the beach. Ever bothered to count 'em? Lunch at the Longboard the other day - a Sunday, revealed a grand total of seven people along the beach down to the marina. And that's the way it most of the winter. Summer? Lots of stingers, scorching sun and no people at all.

      Finally, a personal viewpoint - it is risible to suggest 5 storeys is 'high rise', and there are limited sites where it could happen, anyway. Some of the comments make it sound like there will be wholesale wrecking balls scything through the air the moment a rise is mandated. Mentioning Townsville and Gold Coast in the same breath is inviting derision.

  24. Have just got a letter from my TB distributor telling me that in future he is required to pay North Queensland Newspaper after 7 days, instead of 30 days. He is therefore not able to carry customers for 30 days, and requires custormers to prepay their monthly accounts.
    NQN going broke??????? 

  25. Jan H yes I got one too from the now closed Nexpress (?)Newsagency at Garbutt - 7 day account..very strange - didn't last long - they shut up shop. Then rang the Bully via News Ltd's call centre in Adelaide then be put through to Townsville Bully....such a weird system!

  26. Paul Anderson of PimlicoAugust 20, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Now, about all the ‘super-stadium’ coverage: First of all, a 30,000 seater does not, by any hilariously ambitious stretch of the imagination, a ‘super-stadium’ make. Look at places that boast stadia with almost four times the capacity, like Ann Arbor, Michigan (which as a city happens to only have about 2/3 the population of Townsville, I might add), and ‘State College’, Pennsylvania (the deliciously-moniker’d ‘Beaver Stadium’). I’m not saying Townsville should (or necessarily shouldn’t) aim to build a place that can pretty much accommodate every man, woman and child in the city (the way Ann Arbor’s can), only that calling what’s proposed in Townsville a ‘super-stadium’ really is a bit much.
    The design looks like a cross between a suburban multiplex and an airport terminal. I don’t want angular bits of metal jutting out, either, but surely the designers can come up with something more eye-catching than THAT? (Reminded me of a cartoon from the British Daily Telegraph’s exalted Matt Pritchett, shortly after the Beijing games, when thoughts turned toward the subsequent Olympiad, to be held in London, whose Mayor remains the formidable Boris Johnson. Look up ‘Matt Telegraph stadium cartoon’, and then enjoy swimming around in more of his archive).
    Another thing about the none-too-subtle plea for us all of us to get with the program has to do with its budget, and how no big project EVER seems to end up costing what’s initially announced. The way I’ve seen this expressed best was Clive James’ reference to Terry Gilliam’s “(unjustified reputation for extravagance when his ‘Adventures of Baron Munchausen’) left its budget behind and sailed off into the unknown”. How can we be sure we’re not going to be saddled with an even MORE expensive (than the already-eye-watering $300 million) white elephant before it even admits its first paying customer? How long would it take to recover the cost, if at all? If it makes money, fine, but if it’s never going to, why not take all that dosh and do something more worthwhile with it?
    I thought same as you when I saw the 76.5% figure (and they just HAD to stick that extra half-a-percent in there). Impressive at first, that still means almost one in four were either ambivalent or outright hostile about the whole idea. That alone seems more than enough reason to, as you say, have some sober reflection (and a LOT more discussion) before this gets rammed down the throats of a citizenry that may be a lot less keen on the stadium (super or otherwise) than is being made out.
    Also, my suspicion levels go way, WAY up when the sales pitch reaches the feverishness it has this week. These things never get built purely out of altruism. So what’s (maybe) wrong? Only this: ever notice that the more shrill and persistent a sales pitch gets, the more something actually needs to be sold, as opposed to something whose benefits are so obvious it sells itself?
    Finally, the shameless editorialising within the supposedly neutral ‘news’ pages. Again, not restricted to this one story; we see it all the time, of course, but I don’t think enough blame for these routine occurrences has been laid at the feet of the higher-ups (the EIC, and if necessary, higher still). If I’d turned that guff in to my high school news editor back in the day, I’d’ve expected to have it thrown straight back. Time and again, that’s NOT what appears to be happening (although the mind fair reels at the thought that what we end up reading actually has been toned down!). The brass seems to be sending a message that this is what they WANT...which to me is the real unforgivable sin. As Robert Prosky’s character in ‘Broadcast News’ muttered under his breath in reply to William Hurt’s ad-lib on-air remark at the end of a tense ‘breaking-news’ report that ‘I think we’re all going to be OK’: ‘Who the hell cares what YOU think?’
    I dunno. You have to laugh, I guess. Thanks for your latest round of timely topicality, ‘Pie. Looking forward to more.

  27. Paul Anderson of PimlicoAugust 20, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    ...and a quick da capo: would that insufferably amateurish columny were limited to The Astonisher; instead, it seems to infest News Limited outlets at every level. One of the most cringe-inducing (to my delicate sensibilities, at any rate) is The Weekend Australian Magazine’s Nikki Gemmell, whose writing seems to lurch among four main themes:
    1. Being Australian is great!
    2. Being a mummy is great!
    3. Being a woman is (and my, isn’t Julia Gillard) great!
    4. Being Nikki (did I mention I’m a best-selling author?) Gemmell sure is great!
    I don’t know whether that ought to make our own local wordsmiths down at the Astonisher feel better or worse, but I imagine there’s always some comfort in knowing one’s not alone…


    Whew, Kate Higgins, breath easy, gal, your Tuggers and Touchers Trophy is safe for the time being. (The is The 'Pie's occasional award for the Astonisher columnist who uses the most first person pronouns in each self-effacing offering. Feel free to help in the count.)

    After a red hot try by Shari Taggers on the weekend - a credible 19 - Kate was no doubt buffing her nails on her shoulder.

    But at first glance, it looked like Kate's title of 27 was under heavy attack from Julian Tomlinson today with five'I's in the first three paragraphs - a bold frontal attack. Two thirds of the way through this deeply personal article (no idea what it was about, The 'Pie just counted the pronouns), JT was setting a cracking pace, with 13. The challenge was on!!!

    Alas, a lack of concentration or a sudden attack of low self-esteem saw him fade badly in the closing stages to end on a measly 16.

    And Memo To John Andersen: hang your head in shame, what a woeful performance on Tuesday NOT A SINGLE FIRST PERSON PRONOUN IN THE ENTIRE COLUMN. You have this unfortunate habit of talking about and quoting other people. For Christ's sake, man, get a bloody grip! Please throw in the odd me, my and I, so we won't have to keep checking back at the top of column to work out whose writing it.

  29. Still Angry RatepayerAugust 23, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Oh come on 'Pie.
    You judge how many people use the beach by one lunch at the Longboard.
    And as for this committee chairman bit, we all know the TCC committees are stacked with Liberal councillors who, apart from Ray Gartrell, are a mob of sheep.
    But anyway, all we are asking is that Tony Parsons tell the ratepayers who pay his wages why we need to go from 3 to 5 storeys on The Strand, and who came up with the idea.
    Surely that isn't too much to ask.
    Parsons has suddenly gone from media tart to nowhere to be found, underlining the contention that there is a stench about this move against the wishes of the majority of Townsvilleans (refer Bully survey).
    Well Tony, you can hide for now but get ready to come out from the safety of your office to our rally where you will be grilled on ust who you are acting for in this matter.

    1. And the Townsville Whines Award has been wrested away from the multiple entries of Text The Iditor in the Astonisher, and goes to Angry Ratepayer, commenting in the Magpie's Nest.

      But dear chap, calm that throbbing temple, Angry Ratepayer, you'll do yourself a mischief, which would be a calamity for someone already so gravely afflicted.

      The 'Pie is lucky enough to have his nest overlooking the Strand which he visits practically every day (at least that's what he tells his doctor). With the exception of the beach next to the Rockpool, the beaches are hardly used, even by strollers. Sorry to have to tell you, but suggesting anyone would make a call on beach usage based on a single look is ... well, sorry mate, that that's just dopey and indicative of a ranting hidden agenda, but The 'Pie will get over it.

      However, your foam flecked spluttering is obviously a bit of unsubtle dog whistling... 'stacked with Liberal councillors'? They were actually elected. As independents. Don't believe it? But bet you believe Mayor Mullet is a real independent.Your exception of Ray Gartrell also suggests you are a good labor lad at heart, since the Gartrell family are well respected stauch and loyal Labor folk, and Ray is said to be eying up for higher office under the ALP banner, or at least as a Jenny Hill version of independent.

      And really, me muddled old mate, you win the Townsville Whines Award when you typically want instant everything - the report will be open for public comment and submissions for three months - when it is released in a couple of weeks. Hopefully, it might enlighten you as to why and how decisions were reached so they could be put before the public for judgement.

      By the by, relying on a Bulletin survey is the weakest of arguments, although in the case, they've successfully ordered up a probably accurate sentiment.

  30. Beach Going RatepayerAugust 23, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Oh Magpie. Your feathers have obviously been ruffled and your Liberal leanings exposed once again.
    Must have had a long lunch before you got back to check the blog this afternoon. Hope you weren't dining with your mate Tony Parsons.
    So you are now telling us that from your prime position on The Strand, you can't see the hundreds of people who invade the beach down near the Rockpool on weekends, especially Sundays.
    I actually go there every Sunday afternoon - stinger nets or not - and the beach is packed. So maybe you should venture further afield before turning opinion into fact.
    I'm happy to accept any award for trying to keep councillors like Tony Parsons honest. I see it as an honour.
    and if you think I am complaining about him now, wait until the next local government election.
    Perhaps you have been away for a few months on holiday because it is common knowledge that Ray Gartrell is the only Liberal - yes Liberal - councillor who acts according to what is best for the ratepayers. Maybe that is why you attack him for doing the right thing.
    It might pay to actually read the Bully occasionally old mate instead of digging dirt all the time. It's not perfect, but then neither is your column or blog, which is regularly in need of correction before you send it off into cyberspace.
    So settle down old chum and have another glass of Chateau Cardboard sav blanc.
    Dkink a toast to your latest triumph.
    Yes, the Liberal Lackey of the Week Award goes to you again Maggie old mate. In fact you've won it so often that you now get to keep it permanently.
    Now all we have to do is wait for the end of the month when, as you have promised and predicted, Tony Parsons will tell the ratepayers just what is going on.
    Good luck with that!

    1. OK, Beach Going Ratbag, slowly now, feel free to move your lips as you go back to The 'Pie's comment, in which says - ready now, don't be frightened -

      'With the exception of the beach next to the Rockpool, the beaches are hardly used, even by strollers.'

      And me old dunce, The 'Pie reads the Astonisher EVERY day ... it is a sacrifice some of us have to make, how else can he comment on what is going on with your favourite read.

      Re literals: go back and have a look at your own effort - had a few too many 'Dkink's did we? And The Magpie is not parading himself as a paper of record with supposedly professional standards and staff, paid for by gouging advertising rates. This nest is a one-bird band with no second pair of eyes. Not that you'd understand any of that - sorry, didn't want to embarrass you.

      There are those ungenerous folk who judge you to be an completely biased idiot - but do let's keep the conversation going, it's amusing for the literate readers of the Magpie.

    2. Gartrell has two bob each way. He is a small L Liberal.