Saturday, November 30, 2013

Toula Cassimatis takes a toweling in court … and is Mayor Mullet playing ducks and drakes with Steggles over the Pinnacles proposal?

And The Astonisher really does astonish … questioning the police claim that they seized a haul of synthetic drugs from a CBD shop. well, that's what they say.

And on that subject, The Astonisher is happy to tarnish the name of all small businesses in the old mall strip by refusing to name which shop is involved. The Magpie isn’t so shy.

And the old bird will tell you – yet again - some other things that the paper wouldn’t, couldn’t or just lazily didn’t know, all here in this week’s nest at

All this spying hoo-ha between Indonesia and Australia is a bit overblown, and Bentley reckons it’s a bit of two-way trading that can fix the whole thing up.

Local matters.

Have you noticed that the normally popular Newmarket Hotel has closed its doors? Not permanently, but certainly for a while.

Newmarket Hotel - heading for a fire sale?

The background in interesting, involving a long standing member of the local business community.

The name Cassimatis seems to have been in the public eye for all the wrong reasons in recent times, but in a different twist, the latest saga involves  Townsville businesswoman Toula Cassimatis, former wife of financial wide boy Emmanuelle. They divorced in the pre-Storm early 90s, but Toula – perhaps unwisely and now possibly regretfully – kept her married name. It’s a media magnet

Toula Cassimatis

Now it is she who has been found to be trying to pull a business swifty, by telling porkies to the person who leased her Newmarket Hotel. You know you’re really in the poo big time when a judge says things such as :‘I find that each of the representations made by (Toula Cassimatis) were false and misleading or deceptive'.
There’s a shorter word for all that, but that is rarely if ever used in civil judgements.

The story in a nutshell is that Toula invited an experienced former employee, Grant Morgan and his partner Ashlee Hassett, to return to Townsville from NSW to take over the Newmarket on a 30 year lease. In their business discussions, Toula (the court found) had told  Mr Morgan he would have first right of refusal on the freehold. With this in mind, while awaiting the licence transfer, Mr Morgan and Ms Hassett did $300,000 worth of renovations to the hotel. It then became apparent that Ms Cassimatis had been negotiating secretly with other parties (including Mark Adams Davak company, which was all above board legally) to sell the freehold, using the security of Mr Morgan’s 30 year lease as an enticement.

Mr Morgan took the matter to court seeking to have the lease cancelled ab inito (that’s the $100 legal term for from the start), and be given leave to start action to get his $300,000 refunded. And he won.  

The interesting thing is that Toula's transgressions, and those of her son Yianni, were such that they drew a right royal bollocking from a very forthright Justice David North. 

Justice David North
Although delivered in the orotund  and carefully worded manner of a court decision, anyone with experience of the expression of judicial displeasure will wince as Justice North does not try to hide his low regard for the Cassimatis’s shenanigans.

Justice North concluded that Toula Cassimatis’s evidence that she was almost broke (not his words) –‘bleeding money' - with both the Newmarket and her clothing boutique trading badly, and her bank getting increasingly concerned about her financial viability led him to believe she would say anything to Mr Morgan in an attempt to save her financial skin (again, not his exact words, but that is clearly what he had in mind).

In her own evidence, she admitted she is just about broke.

The whole saga is detailed here in Justice North’s summary, reasons and findings. Enjoy, Conan – Grumpy.

Another Townsville business that soon will cease trading is the landmark Ryland Mitre 10 on Charters Towers Road. After three generations and supplying the council for the past 14 years,  the ‘closing down’ signs have gone up. Mark ‘Halfy’ Ryland has decided to scale down his business activities, citing increased competition from the big players, with more (Woolworths) soon to open.

The council spend got to proportions by last year that regulations demanded that the business be put out to tender. It seems Mark wasn’t advised of this, and he missed out to J Blackwood and Sons of Garbutt. But Mark isn’t whingeing and admits missing out on the council business is just one factor in his decision to call it a day. He says he leaves his CT Road business with no criticism of anyone . He still owns the building, other properties and another BBQs Galore businesses, so he won’t be disappearing off the scene, which is good to know.

Other matters.

The Townsville Bulletin is in the embarrassing position of either openly doubting what the police tell them, or the paper has been body slammed in its latest round of its continuing  wrestle with the English language.

See if you can spot the problem with this headline and opening paragraph .

Arrests  Over Synthetic Drugs Raid

A TOWNSVILLE manager and shopkeeper have become the first people to be charged with trafficking synthetic cannabis in Townsville after the drug squad allegedly found more than 100 bags of the contraband at a Flinders Mall shop.

Let’s take the headline first, particularly the use of the word ‘over’.

Now, The Pie is ever open to correction by you linguistic clever clogs out there, but the headline can mean only one thing surely: that the manner in which the drugs raid was carried out was illegal in some manner, and two or more of the defective detectives were arrested for their slack ways. Perhaps the paper meant ‘after’  or even ‘during’ instead of ‘over’.   

But more alarming for boss drug walloper Mick Walker – who in The Magpie’s experience is a straight shooter (maybe an unfortunate description for a Queensland rozzer, but you get the drift) - is that opening sentence.

Many a journo, including a fledgling Magpie, has fallen foul of the word ‘alleged’ and its variations. The meaning is not flexible –

allege |əˈlej|
verb [ reporting verb ]
claim or assert that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically without proof that this is the case …
alleged |əˈlejd|
adjective [ attrib. ]
(of an incident or a person) said, without proof, to have taken place or to have a specified illegal or undesirable quality

In essence, the Bulletin’s reporter (and therefore the paper) is doubting the truth of what the police have told them.  But if the reporter actually meant ‘allegedly’ in its true sense, why so lovingly detail everything else they were told by the police with no qualifier?

But one of the worst aspects of the story in The ‘Pie’s opinion is the refusal all the way through to name the shop (please note, subs in Mumbai or wherever – there is no longer a Flinders Mall. But we know what you mean, Mahatma). The problem with not doing so is because it tars a dozen or so premises with the same brush of undeserved suspicion, which seems unfair.

Maybe Mick Walker was trying to be fair to the owners, who may be uninvolved, although that would seem a stretch since the shop had been warned more than once about the news laws making synthetic drugs illegal. But The Astonisher should've independently 'revealed' the name (where IS ace 'revealer' Simpleton when you need him?)

After a simple check with a barrister mate, who could not find any legal reason not to name the business, and an inquiry with informed locals, The Pie will now tell you that the store in question is Off Ya Tree, which specialises in body piercing and - yes - hyping synthetic drugs. This is from the web. 

Well, no, NOT legal anymore.
The name is a bit of a giveaway.

So now you know, and you, like The Magpie, are free to go to the genteel confines of the fragrant  Bluebell’s across the street for your Crabtree and Evelyn shaving soap, with no fear of a drug-crazed fiend trying to ply you with all sorts of naughty goodies.

Hey, it’s a Mullet-Free Zone for yet another 12 days as of yesterday … she and David Kippin, head of the Dudley-Do-Nothing aka Townsville Enterprise, are leading a 12-person – ahem – ‘trade mission’ to China. Be interesting to see the report back to underwriters of the trip – i.e. the ratepayers -  of just how their money was spent and what they (we)  get for it.

Bet they winced when 4TO got it right when it reported the trip as a 12-day ’junket’.  Since we have the dickshunary open, ‘junket’ is defined as ‘an extravagant trip or celebration, in particular one enjoyed by a government official at public expense’.

They’ll no doubt say it’s a ‘fishing trip to see what they can hook’  but The ‘Pie maintains it is  just fishy, what else could it be when you have a mullet and a kipper leading the way.

The Pie believes the council should demand evidence of tangible results on our behalf – get your gumboots and bullshit-repellent plastic raincoats on when that happens.

Mayor Mullet does a Messsagebank.

But the start of the junket couldn’t have come soon enough for Mayor Mullet, it will get her out a phone range for the Steggles people who are pushing the Pinnacles project.

A little gossipy background.  The mayor recently commented on the petition started by that  self-important pest and unsuccessful council candidate Paul Jacob. This timewaster extraordinaire is gathering signatures to urge the state government to investigate supposed councilor links to developers who have supposedly influenced the draft city plan (fat chance, it’s an unfounded oafish idea).

Mayor Mullet, who, whenever she sees a belt cannot resist hitting below it, told The Astonisher she believed the petition linked back to longstanding concerns of major donations received from key developers by Townsville First during last year’s election campaign.

The gal’s got chutzpah, considering lawyer and ‘adviser’ to most of the big developers, Bazza Taylor was her campaign’s bully-boy bagman.

Ironic, too, because questions still linger about a perceived discrepancy between The Mullet’s big spending mayoral campaign and the mandatory donor declarations. Given her initial fence sitting on The Pinnacles issue, the question has been floated more than once as to whether she made extravagant but ultimately futile promises to the Steggles mob prior to the election.

Finally realizing she couldn’t honour any promise she may have made because she is a minority mayor, and would face massive electoral damage if she persisted, the mayor recently released a media statement that said, in part, the following: 
'The development of the new planning scheme for Townsville was an opportunity to break from the urban sprawl of the past under two competing councils, Mayor Cr Jenny Hill said today.
Cr Hill said the need to reduce social, environmental and financial impacts on the community by developing closer to existing infrastructure had resonated with residents.
“Urban sprawl can’t be allowed to continue unchecked and that has been acknowledged by many residents during the many information sessions and meet the planner activities during the consultation period.'

The Steggles mob suddenly saw that their goose was being slowly cooked, and went ballistic when they read this. 

Jeremy Spinak, here given the celebrity spinner treatment by The Bulletin.

Their in-house Foghorn Leghorn, the spinning spiv Jeremy Spinak  hit the phones immediately. But the mayor consistently refused to take his calls. We know this because he rang several other people, all of whom told him he should talk to the mayor about her statement, and he said she wasn’t taking his calls.

And that’s where it rests at the moment.   

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs’ Bar, where The ‘Pie intends to try out what he calls his Toula Tactic in chat-up lines … there are some occasions when it is no business of the courts if  representations to bebubbled comely companions are false, misleading and/or deceptive. Let’s face it, it was ever thus, and the truth rarely comes to light before first light.



  1. As part of the Settlement(sic) did not Toula Cassimatis also recieve the building oposite the Brewery in Flinders St . A Greek Restaurant was opened there but went belly up after a short time. I used to deliver Bread to the Restaurant it was dirty filthy place the Chef lived on the premises and appeared stoned most of the time...He went on to manage a restaurant on the crn of Palmer & Denham St but if i recall correctly there was a food hygeine problem there.. It did'nt last long either from what i can remember Pickering bought the Denham St Restaurant/at one stage at one stage..Now Thats showing my age

  2. Kipper Mullet Bazza Cuddlepie Radiance
    Rumored to be the best orgy in Shanghai!

    1. New berets and no boob stories this week. Alas, what's happening over there? A real ferral week for the Astonisher's jerno lists.

  3. Come on Malcolm, tell us who told you that the mayor wouldn't take Mr Spinaks, Vern or Parsons, maybe Ernst. They tell fibs all the time. I hear Parsons put it in writing that he supported a third party review of the Pinnicles. Now he is ducking for cover. The sad thing is he sent the email to a copper. As you know, wallpapers wouldn't tell a lie. This is bigger than your mates Vern and Parsons are telling you. Parsons can't sleep because of his lies.

  4. You hear, the Pie hears. How do you know she didn't? or are you suggesting - oh, how tasty - that she did take Spinak's calls? At least The Pie has a name, and anyway, everyone knows who he is is ... Malcolm someone-or-other. He has a diverse network. Assertions are easy when you're megaphoning from an entrenched-opinion bunker.
    Try harder.

    1. A little bit of friskyness never hurt anyone. Another entertaining week of kafuffle.

      Sagely Yours,

      Miss Lou.

  5. I have no doubt that this Pinnacles development will end up in Court and lead to the demise at the next Council Election (2 & half years away ) of Cr Jenny Lane Division 4 She only won the Election narrowly at the last election . The shadow Councillor (dare i say it ) is Guy Reece who stood last time did'nt understand the difference between Debt and Deficit or the important of preferences. If he can increase his profile he may have a chance.but he will have to put the hard yards in.. I was advised recently that Cr Lane was considering having her son Stephen ( Photography) stand but with his dubious past (Hooning & accusing the Mayor of having a few after the Townsville 400 he may not be acceptable to Townsville First or Second or whatever

    1. What will be interesting to see is if the former Townsville First councillors can successfully shed that name, as they frequently insist now that there is no such group. It will be even more interesting to see how they run their campaigns.

      The Pie is not sure why they want not to be seen as a loose affiliation of independents who oppose some of the policies of the alternative ... which is of course Labor, led by Mayor Mullet who has the nose rings through Messagebank Walker and Boo Hoo Doyle.

      Retaining the name Townsville First at least gives voters a clear idea of who they are - or are not - voting for.

    2. I'd be surprised if Jenny Lane runs again. She has learnt the hard way that being a principled person attracts the most vile personal abuse from self-interested grubs who only ask her to meetings to abuse her and shout her down in the most aggressive, foul mouthed and bullying terms.

      Her interest has been that of ALL the ratepayers in Townsville, not just a few moneygrubbers who would burden the whole city with a rate increase to support their chase for the development dollar, urged on, I might add, by a large southern company that makes extravagant promises in a media campaign conducted through, and supported by, the Townsville Bulletin.

  6. I'd forgotten Bazza Taylor was the Mayor's campaign manager. That would be the same Bazza Taylor that ambushed several key Townsville businessmen at his multi million dollar Noosa holiday "shack" complete with an outdoor kitchen to get their support for a return of His Radiance wouldn't it. And as for that TEL "junket" to China - hell it's bloody hard work mate..seriously - early starts and late finishes with official meetings, dinners and the necessary permanent happy grin. As for results - why not ask council and TEL after all these :junkets" over the years - even in the days on His Radiance - show us the results.

  7. Bully Boy I don't think Bazza was the Mayors Campaign Manager I believe he was in charge of the cash/donors side of things but i'm fairly sure she had a Guy about 30 from the ALP in Brisbane as her actual Campaign Manager Anyone got further info...

  8. Some talentless 40-something ex-military pansy named Dan who hadn't held down a job in 10 years. Packed up and left town after getting shafted. The usual story on a mullet campaign.

    1. Anonymous . For once i was being tactfull (highly unusual) Your comments are 100% correct

  9. Thank you folks for setting the record straight re Bazza T. My point was - he's always around the action and is so well connected to both sides of politics - even mentoring Kid Crisafulli a few years back. There's no action or party without Bazza.

  10. Today's Monday edition online looks mighty drab and almost looks like the Courier Snail's webpage.

    The New Market has always been a bit of bother. It really needs a heritage listening.

    Nice cartoon this week Pie.

  11. Re the mayoral car being pinched: Maybe Simpo just simply forgot to lock up as he was departing.

  12. The Magpie and Bob ChadDecember 2, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    The Magpie has just received this email sent this afternoon to Ewen Jones (Federal MP for Herbert) and George Christensen (Federal MP for Dawson). Mr Jones office has already advised Mr Chad that it is a matter for Mr Christensen, since Townsville's south western suburb of Wulguru is administered politically from Mackay, several hundred kilometres south, courtesy of the Electoral Boundaries Commission idiocy about numbers equality. (The Magpie's words, not those Mr Jones office). It will be interesting to see any official reply, especially if a pointed question about free markets v government interference is asked in Question Time.

    'My name is Bob Chad and I am a resident of Townsville, have been for over 30 years and am currently a self funded retiree.

    I am on two Body Corporate boards here in Townsville and have been very active in the property insurance saga in North Queensland.

    However this is not want I would like to bring to your notice.

    I am the chairperson of the Quadrant complex on Stuart Drive, Wulguru. This development consists of 56 units, approximately 4 years old.

    Several years ago the DHA (Defence Housing Association) purchased 4 units and I, for one, had no objections as I had previously owned a DHA house,  and was more that happy to have service personnel reside at Quadrant. ( I am an ex serviceman myself). Servicemen for obvious reasons of discipline, behaviour and responsibility, are always welcome as tenants in the Townsville property market.

    Recently the DHA purchased a further 5 units in Quadrant at a distressed sale and at a considerable discount to the accepted market price. As part of the sale, the rental disclosure documents supplied to the DHA stated that a sum of $360.00 per week was the current going rental rate.  These units are only a fraction of those the DHA has recently purchased in Townsville.

    As a tax payer one could say this was good business, however the results have been a disaster for the Townsville property rental and resale markets. 
    The units recently purchased are NOT being rented by service personnel, they have been given to a private Real Estate company which is currently offering them to the general public for a weekly rent of $320.00.  

    Since when has the DHA been involved in the local  rental market?

    The result is that unit owners are up in arms, unable to compete with the ever increasing costs associated  with unit ownership in North Queensland. (I understand that the DHA is a GST-free zone - but I may be mistaken).I have always understood that the DHA supplied housing for the military and did not compete unfairly in the local rental real estate market.
    I’m sure you are both aware of the almost collapse of the resale values for units in the north and the last thing we need is a Government identity seemingly intent on further eroding real estate values.  

    By all means let the DHA purchase accommodation for their own use, but at the moment they have created havoc, confusion and distrust.

    Surely this is not a level playing field? And is possibly illegal. It certainly seems unethical.

  13. Barry Taylor has been in more tents than a priest at a scout camp. How can he maintain any credibility whatsoever? Believe me; he is not that smart - just crazy-brave brazen and breathtakingly self-opinionated.

    But do you what annoys me the most? How some people can bag Barry out without even having met him. How dare you? If I had to go through that excruciatingly awful experience, then so should you.

  14. The Townsville hasr eally covered itself in glory this time.

    Through gung-oh unethical and/or ignorant reporting by Daniel Bateman and the usual sensationalised front page treatment, a young career soldier looks like to be kicked out of the army.

    The front page featured a photo of Private Noah Schefe, no doubt obtained with the old ruse of 'you look interesting, mind if we have a pic of you to go with the general story'. when he attended the weekend rally in a day of statewide protest about the new bikie laws. Nothing wrong with that.

    But all the media at the weekend's rally were clearly told by the organisers that there were to be no interviews or quotes from members of the Patriots Motorcycle Club, whose members are Viet Vets or current or former ADF personell (and whose main activitiy that starts with C isn't Crime, it is Charity). All the media accepted this edict, realising that soldiers are prohibited from giving media statements on anything, but particularly when opposing government policy, state or federal - in this instance the Newman Government's clusterfu#k of shoddy legislation which coppers are using in an indiscrimate and over-zealous way against bikers. (And making mugs of themselves in many instances).

    All the media EXCEPT the Bulletin.

    A no doubt naive Private Schefe indignantly chatted about being stripped-searched in the early hours recently simply because he was a biker. A good yarn, noted down partly by a junior Bulletin reporter - the person with the eventual byline was Daniel Bateman, although Magpie contacts all report that they did see him there.

    Had they withheld Private Schefe's name in connection with his account, they could've got away with it, but no, the full blown sensationist treatment was afforded this hapless bloke - name, pic and highly critical (albeit justified) comments. Now Master Bateman, who should've and perhaps did know the consequences of his writing, now has the choice of accepting he is either an ignorant oaf who should have known better - or a viciously unethical hack who hasn't the restraint or guile of rreporting a good story without damage to the interviewee. And even if a young soldier who is obviously far from media savvy appeared to give his permission, you have a duty of care in your reporting, sport.

    The 'Pie realises this will have the whole Astonisher newsroom rolling around clutching their sides in mirth an the old bird's dinasour's code of conduct, but Daniel, when you eventually move on, don't forget to include in your CV that you cost a dedicated Australian soldier either his job or caused him undue financial and career pain.

    Well done, Astonisher, one of your better efforts. However, it will be interesting to see how this is covered in the paper ... after all, they are usually all over issues like soldiers being disciplined or chucked out.

    Unfortunately, the same rule does apply to their own errant staff.

    1. ''DER-DUM ... der-dum ... der-dum ..''. said drongo bateman.

      What more could you expect?. As long as it's not his job in jepardy like this blokes.

  15. Innes Ayling (via magpie Facebook)December 3, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    t seems to me that a very simple device can be utilised against errant newspapers/reporters to assist them in making informed decisions about editorial and community issues.
    The Bulletin relies on its readership. If its readership is reduced temporarily or permanently this sends a clear message to the editors/owners.

    Put simply: those groups (including their families and friends) that the newspaper has offended co-ordinate a campaign to cease buying the newspaper.

  16. Unfortunately Innes, the arrogance of News Ltd that allows this unsupervised and unchecked sort of thing to happen (almost every day) is that second rate management is tolerated (and cheaper) because the paper will always make money since it is a monopoly. It is also supported by southern money through national advertisers doing flyer/mini-magazine inserts etc, which are very expensive. The saddest thing for Townsville is that two or three key, experienced and intelligent people appointed to editorial management could cure the cancer in the news pages. (Frankly, the rest of the paper is generally OK - in fact, not too bad at all for a regional), but credibly starts - ends - lives - dies in the reporting of factual matters. That is why readers are voting with their feet in droves.

  17. Innes, Pie is correct but importantly the short pant, young L plate journos don't care as long as they are paid fortnightly and get story bi lines and the juicy stories they can beat eg Wednesday's nuclear power plant call because of so called "region's chronic power shortages" and "solve the region's electricity supply problems" (note to Simpo - there are none). It's all about making a "name" for themselves and moving up the ladder at the expense of factuality, the truth, the community and you too dear reader.

    1. I agree, they want their name in lights.. Journalist Stardom! Bigger than Medjia Watch.

  18. Couldn't agree more, Bully Boy. Simpo beat the life out of the nuclear power plant story in the name of sensationalism.
    You have to go to the bottom of the story to read that this nuclear notion has been ruled out by the government. So why didn't the headline and the first paragraph tell us the real story: Government rules out nuclear plant idea.
    What the idiots at the Astonisher don't get is that any new reader they attracted with the sensational spin on a nothing story will be unlikely to pay another $1.20 for more of the same drivel.
    As for regular readers, it will be just another nail in the coffin of readership and circulation, but that won't hurt the bottom line.
    If the profit margin looks like slipping News Ltd Brissy boss Jason "Bottom Line" Scott will just weave his magic by slugging the advertisers with higher rates - and/or cutting more staff.
    Whatever happens you can bet News will keep the bottom line at around the 48% it has been on for at least the past 10 years.

    1. Not the first example of upside-down news writing, where a shock/horror premise is screamed at the outset but comprehensively knocked down in the last third of the story - which makes readers who get that far (very few) wonder why they wasted their time.

      Since you bring up the subject, Number Cruncher, The Pie has been remiss in not mentioning yet another hilarious example of Simpo's - and the paper's - mindset that 'news' must be negative - even the nuclear twaddle had the sub-text of stirring opponents over simply nothing.

      But a week or so ago, it turned out that the Blakey's Crossing flood-proofing would not cost the originally estimated $24 million - the final tender accepted by the TCC came in at $14 million. And even with an overrun of two or three million, a big saving all round.

      Good news, you'd think ... bit hard to turn that into a bad news story, eh? That is, unless you were panicked juvenile like Anthony Templeton.

      His angle (journos - the trained ones that is) are taught to write to the main news point. So Simpo decided the appropriate negative line here was that Blakey's Crossing could have been done years ago if a correct estimate of the cost had been available. So we should be angry and feeling poorly served by ... whom? And why?

      Apart from a nonsense premise in itself, the story ambled around trying to find someone to blame, but just meanandered off to an inconclusive fade-out.

      If any story of recent times sums up the Townsville Bulletin disconnect with this community, that would be near the top of the list. At the risk of further putting the mockers on him, it would've been interesting to read David Sparkes take on the story.

    2. Rob McCahill via FacebookDecember 6, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      Magpie, the real story in Blakeys Crossing is the rapid decline in the cost of civil infrastructure. All over Queensland, tenders are coming in far cheaper than budgeted. Governments should be spending more on infrastructure right now (if the coffers hadn't been run dry) because they are never going to get better value for money.

  19. Simpo's new name is Mr Burns?

  20. Simpo's new nickname is Down N Out. He managed to upset one of the senior bosses from Sydney who was up in Townsville recently and is about to get a serious demotion. Not even the iditor can save him apparently. Another young journo from Brisbane will take his place within a fortnight. Not sure if he will stay in Townsville or move on. We can only hope.

    1. Well, Bully Bender, you're half right so far, a new youngster has joined the Bully from Brisbane ... started today,The 'Pie believes. Whether he's here to replace Simpo is another question.But his arrogance in the newsroom towards his colleagues is now becoming the stuff of legend. He's also given to mega- tantys on a regular basis, laced with a goodly dose of misplaced male chauvinism. but Lachlan loves him ... now there's a menage a trois ... Lachlan, Simpo and The Mullet.

  21. Pie you must share Thursday's Rockhampton Bulletin airline story - well the headline actually - 'Virgin says no to route"!

    1. Bully Boy, you have made my day! It's on a par with "Court Blow For Gays" and "Peer's Seat Burns", with a subhead of "Ancient Pile Destroyed". My personal favourite as a young journo came at the top of a story I wrote about an Aussie bishop's Papuan houseboy who was accumulating money to go home and pay a suitable dowry for the village girl he fancied. The headline given to my yarn? .... "Bobby Saves Hard For A Bride".

  22. Know all those internet jokes going about with the punchline ' ... and that's when the trouble started'?

    Well, not a joke but the TCC has announced that the V8 Saturday night concert next year will be moved from Reid Park to The Strand ... and The Magpie will betcha 'that's when the trouble started'.

    This announcement has the fingerprints of failed mayoral candidate and failed private entrepreur Jeff Jimmieson all over it. After missing out on the top job by a country mile (but syphoning off enough votes to give us The Mullet as Mayor) Jimmieson decided to make it a family affair and joined the missus on the council payroll as events coordinator or some such fancy title ... needed to be fancy at $137,000 p.a.

    Fans and residents alike will no doubt create some sound and fury over this, with a lot of interesting questions - like where are you going to accomodate 10,000 liquored-up bogans - Strand Park surely wouldn't be big enough.

    It's going to be fun watching the fur fly ... and how a conflicted Astonisher handles it.

  23. On a point of trivia (as befits the TB) in the daily footer "today in history" I noticed that there are 3 items that also occurred yesterday. Not the first time either.

    If I were a cynic I might suppose that the source is from both East and West of the IDL. Every year on Dec 7th we're always advised that Pearl Harbour was attacked, whereas on our side of the pond it was already the 8th.

  24. And still on Simpo - I know newsrooms are "pump out those stories sausage factories" but you'd think the grammar police which also goes to the heart of the paper's reputation, could get it right. I know I love in la la land ...well the real world actually but.....This on line story today (Friday) from Simpo - "A VANDAL has become Townsville's Christmas Grinch after they destroyed a Mount Low family's outdoor decorations, which were installed to cheer up their autistic daughter." A vandal is singular and the plural they is wrong - basic grammar 101. It's a worry.

  25. Easily explained, Simpo thinks that Grammar is his mums mum.

  26. Long suffering Bully readerDecember 7, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    While talking about Simpo, did anyone else notice that nowhere in his front page story about the new look V8s did he mention who was going to pay for all these changes and revamps. Would have thought that would have been the first thing he should have asked, but it appears he saved time by just rewriting the press release.
    And they rate him as their best journo. Says it all really.

  27. What does Maggii Pie think of the Clanger from TEL who shut up shop on Hi Way Tourism on the 6th Dec while counting a small fist full of dollars from Main Roads as compensation for a building they never owned, to go look for an alternate site to Preach the ever decreasing Tourism Gospel in this town since the big spending on junkets TEL is astonishingly good at.
    So the Hiway Info Centre lays helplessly adrift with no apparent owner now apart from the Land Owner Glencore who is displaying a high level of common sense and continuing to negotiate with TMR for hiway access to the centre. Perhaps combined service clubs can now get a go at this two million dollar asset (replacement value) for their use and perhaps take over selling the good word on laid back tourism in Townsville. There does not appear to be a Champion for the Centre alive in the Council from the Mayor down and as for TEL well if anyone can convince me that a staff of 25 and income contributions from Rate Payers of $700,000 and $800,000 from membership donations, one would think that tourism would be on the rise in Townsville but sad truth is it has been diminishing on a steady rate since the inception of TEL, the very best Money Shredders money can buy.