Saturday, December 14, 2013

This week, The Magpie introduces a new occasional award, the Pisstake of the Week , with two outstanding contenders vying for the inaugural gong. Both inventive, biting and hilarious.

Also, there’s a bit of a witch-hunt is on down in Walker Street, and could it end up with the CMC?

The Ghosts of Mooneys Past comes back to haunt Townsville ratepayers ….

Resident doodler Bentley goes batty,  but some helpful Magpie advice comes too late…

And as promised, some light-hearted silliness which dropped into the nest during the week, all here at

At long last well-being of the residents of Charters Towers has been put above that of a non-endangered, smelly disease-carrying  pests – no, no not the blow-in Greenies infesting the town right now (‘Oh, Jacinta, have you heard that the Icelandic Black-Tailed Godwit is facing extinction because it’s been eating rubbish at the back of Macdonald’s outlets? Tarquin can't eats his quinoa and lentil tufu porridge, he's so upset about it. By the way, we're going to Charters Towers to protest what they’re doing to those poor ickle bats.  Ummm, where IS Charters Towers, Jacinta?’)    no, we speak of that bloody colony of bats. 

And there are already signs that all the noisy smokey hoopla could be working, or else these far from cute creatures have retreated to Mordor to get reinforcements. Bentley seems to think that’s a possibility.
A bat out of hell?
It did occur to The Magpie that the council could’ve taken an easier path. Given his toe-curlingly embarrassing performance at the AFL grand final a couple of years ago, that meathead named  Meatloaf could have been called on to do an encore in Lissner Park, that would’ve fixed the little buggers. Mass flight would be the order of the night,  many crashing to the ground because bats find it kinda difficult to fly AND cover their ears at the same time. Mr Loaf wouldn’t cost much given his market valuation of late, and the council would only have to stump up for ear plugs for residents who chose not to flee their homes for the night.

Or why not encourage some Greek weddings in the park. The noise, smoke and general hullabaloo would be about the same, but at no expense to the ratepayers. 

All that twaddle aside, The Magpie does wonder if any thought was given to netting the trees temporarily, as many orchardists do. Commercially, that's an expensive operation but a cheaper method could be employed given the temporary nature of the structure. Wouldn’t be that difficult, and the critters would soon get the message and do what everybody in the town has always wanted …that they just … ummm… flap off. 

But you can bet those old bats of the human variety would find something wrong with that idea … be good if those nosey, self-appointed out-of-town moralists would just flap off, too. What a pack of dried up old prunes!

Now those Pisstakes of the Week

Humour is a powerful weapon when lampooning public figures (so sayeth Snooze,  The Mullet, Messagebank and Cuddlepie et al) and is even more biting when the target is ludicrous and up themselves to start with (like Simpo).

And there’s nothing quite so ludicrous at the moment than  that acned ass of a Queensland  attorney-general and his ill-thought out bikie laws. 

Campbell's Can'O'Worms

Remember this bloke from a couple of weeks ago?

This cherub wasn’t going to fazed with the threat of pink prison wear and his written message was succinct. (Question: why would anyone care what they are forced to wear if they are in solitary for 23 and half hours a day?)

But a group of young mothers in Brisbane have gone one better, and earn The ‘Pie’s Pisstake of the Week Award for their Facebook site ‘Knit Your Revolt Tricycle Gang’. They have their own  (possibly illegal ) fear-inspiring patch ….

…. and these are real tough mothers, scattering onlookers when they hit the town on their choppers …

They go by the name AMUCK - Anarchist Mummas’ Underground Craft Kollective - ,  have special patches available for those joining up, and they hold clandestine meetings in a pub called The Alibi Room.

Gang colours.

They are uncompromising, and dare the cops top rough 'em up a bit.

Mother Trikers - peddling but not drugs.
Have a look here around their site, and be sure to go to the 'about’ page. Ladies, you get The Magpie's Pisstake of the Week Trophy.

And here’s a another thought (lot of them about this week): these laws are aimed at groups of three or more on motorcycles associating together and possibly involved in criminal enterprises. Hmmm, sounds like some of the boys in blue should be arresting themselves. 

After all, some of the traffic fines in this state are verging on the criminal.

The other contender for the Pisstake Award goes to the unknown person who had enough time on his/her hands to put together the funniest spoof  since the Hitler bunker send-ups were invented. 

Higella Lawson?

This is a short ‘expose’ of the ‘truth’ about the high’s – if you get the drift – of kitchen goddess Nigella Lawson’s private life, as described in a London court last week. The title – ‘HIGELLA’  sets the cheeky tone for the best laugh of the year.

And making the short list for this new Magpie award was this new magazine, which should be required reading in The Astonisher newsroom.

They'd have a field day with The Astonisher.

Unfortunately, it is also a pisstake, but one would think there’d be a market for it.

Another international bod caught the eye this week. Sometime funnyman  Ricky Gervais  was startled when out buying a paper recently. He tweeted his alarm.

Bit of a cock-up?

Moving on to local matters.

Bit of a stink - (mandatory pun)
There’s a bit of finger pointing and harrumphing around the Townsville Council environs right now, as councillors try to discover who leaked information to Anthony 'Simpo' Templeton for this story about the massive repair/upgrade bill for the Cleveland Bay sewerage works. 

The meeting was a closed and confidential workshop as an initial briefing, but – if Simpo is to be believed – two councillors spilled the beans to him. Now questions are being asked about a serious breach of confidentiality which could ultimately involve the CMC. Such premature release of cost estimates could have a negative result for ratepayers when it comes to tenders for the repair/upgrade work (although the council was told in 2011 that the possible cost was to be $100 million).

This latest situation exercised a few blog commenters during the week, including this one from regular chatterbox Woodduck.

Going by the Astonishers front page today,it would seem the ratepayers of Townsville are being bent over and attacked from behind once again. Residents should be given details of what is happening with their money, seems like this council is dodgy and less that honest when they have their secret briefings and comments from councillors who are to scared to have their names mentioned. On the other hand this has been written by the Simpleton himself, so it could all be crap as this boy has about as much credibility as the council he writes about. Can the Magpie enlighten us on this issue with the real facts.
And The Magpie’s reply …

The Magpie December 13, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Ah, the ghosts of Mooney Past are coming back yet again to haunt the ratepayers of Townsville.

But The Pie must take mild issue with you, Woodduck. As a fellow avian, you, like The Magpie, are given to the occasional flight of fancy.

There a couple of things re this story.

First up, and working on the principle that even a stopped clock is right twice a day, Master Templeton has got this more or less right. See what happens when Mayor Mullet is out of town ... left to his own devices, poor bloke has to revert to winging it alone and suddenly flukes a reasonable yarn.

The 'Pie has known this was coming down the track for some months, (hinted at in a blog about three months ago with a reference about ratepayers about to be dumped deep in the financial poo - please note the razor-sharp wit)) but not possessing Simpo's 'ace revealer' talents, the old bird was unable to winkle out reliable details that he felt justified in publishing.

Of course what Simpo didn't highight was that back when His Radiance was pulling dodgy stunts like this cost-cutting debacle (around the same time trying on the absolute no-no of attempting to borrow Treasury money to cover the embarrassing council deficit) guess who was a compliant and willing accomplice to the budget-slashing that have now landed us in this situation. Drum roll, purleese and Ta Da .... none other than Mayor Mullet, who was not just a mere councillor at the time, but in fact Deputy Mayor. (Not that Mooney confided in her on anything of import - reliable reports are that the two loathe each other, which is the only circumstance either has shown good taste or judgement.) 

You can bet that the councillors who were only willing to speak anonymously were NOT the goofy Messagebank Walker or Boo Hoo Doyle (who now really does have something to cry about, this making her beloved Labor look shabby and shifty). 

So, Woodduck, your pillioring of the council on this score seems a tad misplaced. But The 'Pie agrees wholeheartedly that there should be more transparency, and the public should've been informed of this matter openly and immediately. Like those sub rosa TEL talks with the council should be - commercial in confidence my cloaca. 

Now the guessing game is on – the garrulous media-loving Ray Haystack Gartrell denies it was him, and it sure wasn’t Jenny Lane … The ‘Pie has heard (not from her) that she refuses point blank to talk to The Astonisher, and Templeton in particular. The Pie also hears the deputy Doo Dah - who at the time was - ahem - the acting mayor - has steam coming out of his ears on this one, which is an alarming thought in itself, like an old fashioned brass espresso machine about to blow.

Stay posted.

But here’s a fascinating postscript..

Word from alarmed environmentist bods in Brisbane is that Clive Palmer, the Funster for Fairfax, is about to be given government permission to discharge some of Yabulu’s toxic waste directly into the reef waters from the tailings dams. Now it is accepted that those of a greenish tinge tend to live their lives in a state of permanent alarm. We’ll soon know if this is on the money.

But it did raise an interesting point when The Pie rang Deputy Doo Dah and – ahem again – acting Mayor Vern Veitch about the possibility.Vern makes no secret that he’s somewhat green around the gills, and was appalled at the prospect. But he made the point that if the Newman Government is going to allow this dispensation for Yubulu, it would then be incumbent on them to provide ratepayer relief for the treatment works repairs/upgrade. 

Pointing out that much of the $52 million expense is because of overly stringent  environmental rules governing the council’s discharge of treated water into Cleveland Bay, Clr Veitch said it then should follow that ‘If Palmer is allowed to dump his untreated waste into the ocean, why should the ratepayers have to pay for treated effluent which is barely a problem when it to ends up the same place’.

One can only hope that the Greenies are, as usual, wrong about the government’s intentions.

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs’ Bar, in the hope of a quieter  night than last week. Poseurs’ was quite crowded when the hubby of good time gal  Deidre McFondle’s barged in waving a pistol and yelling, ‘All right, which of youse bastards been  rootin’ my wife,’ to which Mongrel the Barrister suavely replied ‘Mate, you haven’t got enough ammunition’.  Mongrel gets out of hospital next week.   


  1. Palmer opened his dead dinosaur park today with Bindi. Ironic, he exhibits extinct animals. soon to be extinct reef animals......maaaaatttteeee.

  2. Pie, I note with interest that the ecstatic news from the Astonisher about the wonderful "trade mission" to China recently said the main success was a Memorandum of Understanding between the 2 cities. I suppose the main bait we offered is our fishing industry given we sent a mullet and kipper to head the team. But how many businessmen from our area went too?

    1. None. From anywhere.

    2. How many prawns were invited?

    3. A good week,pie. Enjoyed the cartoons.

  3. Even before the last election Cleveland Bay was known about. Even a former Councillor was vocal about not wanting to be around when the shit hit the fan.

  4. Lurv the mag cover. Looks like the astonisher's JCU grads subbed this. Jr.

  5. Nice work. This week.

  6. Still laughing - one of your best pieces for some time Pie

  7. Mayor Mullet would have laid back with a content grin on her face Saturday night. Boy Simpletons piece should have started off with The Mayors back! The Mayors back! he sounded that excited.And good old Message bank Walker made sure his nose was first to be firmly planted between the Mullets bum cheeks with his groveling.

  8. Merry Christmas Pie. Thank you for your witty blog.

    Sagely merry,

    Miss Lou

  9. We should be concerned about pond releases - When Yabula's overflowed years ago there were a lot of fishing trawlers making a living off Townsville - there numbers were drastically reduced due to damage caused to fish breeding, etc. Sun Metals tailings dams leak and overflow in severe flooding too. Nothing compared to the impending Abbott Point debacle I suppose. Glad we don't have kids!

    1. Sounds like Clive's stomach. he's got the clean waters of the sunny coast to play.

  10. Who is Is he new?

    Boring bits of no news at the Astonisher on Friday. No photographs (tacky) and where's Scott Radford?

    1. super star Zak is on while buggerlugs is on holidays, as usual.

  11. Your blog is like a show bag, jam packed with goodies.

  12. Got to laugh at this photo caption.

    Burdell resident Madeleinne Carmelo was spat on during a road rage incident. (correct spelling). Photo: Zak Simmonds Source: News Limited

    Why (correct spelling)? I guess we have to double believe the paper.

    1. Just sloppy subbing ... the photographer just included the note to let the subs know he had checked the spelling. Obviously was not supposed to be published.

    2. Ahhh..

      Merry Christmas

  13. Here's an example of what happens when a community paper loses it memory by sacking local staff and being edited by a succession of temporary southern blow-ins who neither know or really care about being a paper of accurate publication of record.
    This from today's iditorial, which for the most part is, as usual, a lazy and redundant regurgitation of a news story.
    'Townsville City Council, both the current and previous administrations, deserve much praise for securing the land from Defence and helping to deliver the vision of the Jezzine redevelopment.'
    As is regretably the case, it's a selective statement, (previous administrations?!?) and in fact wrong. The Mooney council of the day had absolutely nothing to do with the acquistion.
    Like it or not, there was just one person who was the driving force behind that acquisition, and that is Peter Lindsay, former member for Herbert and a minor office holder in the Defence portfolio at the time. He alone talked John Howard into gifting the site to Townsville, although the government could have made a motza selling it developers. The 'Pie understands that Howard had sniffed the political wind and used the gift to successfully talk a reluctant Lindsay to run again, which he won in a canter.
    The Jezzine deal was that the feds would not only supply the land but chip in $20 million if the council and the state government each coughed up $10 million.
    Mayor Mooney was less than enthusiastic - mainly fearing the Libs oppoprtunity for political point-scoring - but eventually read the tea leaves and came around - sort of.
    But in one of his most hare-brained and wrong-headed decisions he made was his point blank refusal to attend the handing-over ceremony when the leader of our country came to town to give us all the federal gift. Mooney, who as mayor represented ALL in the community, snubbed the PM telling people it was 'just going to be a Liberal love-in'. Adding insult to injury, he sent his deputy, Jenny Hill, in his place.
    Dopey politics at its most parochial.

    1. Yes correct on all counts Pie - so with access to previous stories on this issue and the history behind it - how does the paper get it so wrong? Frankly I don't think they care which is a sad state of affairs for the paper and our community.

  14. "i before e, except after c"?


  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  16. Now here is some news. This comment just posted on The Magpie blog.

    Here's some news you won't see in the Townsville Bulletin - yet.

    The controversial plan to move the V8 Saturday night concert to Strand Park AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN. And the Astonisher's ace revealer, Anthony Simpleton, forgot his revelation beanie with the helicopter blades on top when he wrote this story ...

    ... from a press release from those independent founts of objective information, ta da ... the V8 organisation itself.

    It turns out that there were strong requests from council staff and councillors ... after confidential discussions about, inter alia, the moving of the now traditional Saturday night 'free' concert away from Reid Park ... not to mention or consider Strand Park as a possible alternative.

    The overweening arrogance of the V8 people led them to UNILATERALLY indicate Strand Park would be the new venue in a V8 press release. (The murky reasons for this inexplicable idea are being beaked into by The 'Pie and he hopes to have some answers by Saturday's blog.)

    The V8 people have the towering arrogance to treat the council and Townsville generally as their puppydog playthings, a bunch of tickle-their-tummies yokels who dole out ratepayer dough for their three-day annual circus, which brings dubious and challengeable benefits to the overall community.

    And , although we're yet to hear why - and you won't be getting it off Simpleton or the vested interests of the Townsville Bulletin - the council WILL NOT saction the idiotioc, chaos-inviting idea of of Strand Park as a venue.

    When The Magpie put both Uncle Fester and Parsnip on the spot on the phone, both said they would not allow any such plan to happen. And let's face it, like it or not, they command the numbers. But even Jenny Hill's Labor rump would be enhancing their looming electoral train crash prospects if they voted for such a dim-witted idea. Council staff - including Jeff Jimmieson - think the idea is crazy. (The 'Pie apologises to JJ for the old bird's snide suggestion last week he would be all for it, and it might even be his idea. It isn't, The 'Pie was - well, it happens - very occasionally- wrong.)

    The Pie understands that Parsnip is now in negotiations with the V8 crowd for a different venue, or arrangements (what bloody 'different' arrangements could there be?) for the popular concert to remain in Reid Park.

    And both Parsnip and Uncle Fester are adamant they will not only nix The Strand Park idea if the vote comes to council, they will not support any extra council money for a different venue.

    Uh oh, could that be what the extra $250,000 smackeroos of ratepayers hard earned (quietly and unreportedly voted through a public council meeting last July) was anticipating? The V8s now get $750,000 in council kind for their gracious presence here.

    Anyway, Parsnip now suggests - he JUST loves getting squawks from The Pie, and you can hear him gritting his teeth as he chats merrily with the old bird) inadvertently let drop that things may all remain at Reid Park with a few minor changes.

    Where ever the concert is held, the V8 people are apparently guaranteeing ticket-holders to the races will have free access to the musical soiree.

    But why does The 'Pie go on so ... you'll no doubt be able to get all this in The Daily Astonisher ... in a couple of days or so. Probably in a timely letter from goofy David Moyle.

  17. So Florence of Arabia has carked it, another little nibble at our mortality by the possums of posterity.

    The 'Pie's most memorablePeter O'Toole line wa from a lesser known film called 'My Favourite Year', where O'Toole, playing an aged matinee idol with a reputation for - ahem - looking after the ladies - was caught short in a TV studio an dashed in to the the nearest relief station - the ladies toilets. Just as he completed the requisite final shake, an offcious but startled woman came upon him.

    'But, but ... ' she exclaimed ' this is only for women'.

    'Willy in hand, O'Toole replied, 'And so is this, madam, but I run a little water through it occasionally'.

    One can't help but think this Irish hellraiser had something to do with that line.

  18. Sorry Malcolm, Mooney and Fay Barker lead the charge on saving Jezzine Barracks. A petition was run at Castletown Shopping centre for a couple of weeks and councillors collected the signatures. It was for sale like Pallarenda land and Customs House. If you do you research you will find public comment from Back Flip Lindsay saying it would be a great unit development site. Lindsay was done over by people power and it was lead by Mooney and Barker. They even flew to Canberra and had meetings with the Howard Government because Linsay couldn't read the political tea leaves.

    1. Re sorry Malcolm.

      A little further research shows the following - and yes, the old bird was a bit harsh and hasty towards His Radiance.

      The real driver behind saving Jezzine Barracks for the community, the man who kicked it all off was George Roberts, along with, as you say, Fay Barker (who wasn't even a councillor at the time).

      The story is that George heard that Richard Ferry was champing at the bit to get hold of Kissing Point when it was planned to come onto the market, in the manner that the Customs House and Pallarenda had, and flog it off to developers - well, why not have that ambition, that's the business he's in - but George got wind of it and was having none of it. The tale goes that he literally marched into Mooney's office and whatever he said, won Mooney over to the view that Jezzine should come to the community.

      So yes, Mooney, Barker and quite a few others gathered signatures which clearly demonstrated the public wanted a community development at Jezzine.

      George, Mayor Mooney and Fay Barker went to Canberra and, along with Peter Lindsay, lobbied for the land to go to the community. Howard not only agreed, but eventually came to Townsville to hand it over.

      But two things The Magpie stands by. Mooney DID snub the PM on political grounds , and yes, he did say 'it'll just be a Liberal love-in' - and Howard used the Commonwealth gift to coerce Lindsay, who had signalled that he was retiring at the next poll, to stay on. In that respect, Lindsay can take credit for Howard's decision.

  19. parsnips make me pukeDecember 19, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Gee, knowing that Parsnip is looking after local interests in respect of the V8 concert is REALLY comforting.
    Going on his disastrous draft city plan, there is a fir chance the concert will be relocated to the Townsville Hospital car park.

  20. The real workers at the council are calling it the Daft City Plan.

    1. Oh, yeah? And to which "real workers" do you refer? The bogan nose-picking shovel-proppers who treat with derision and suspicion anything proposed by someone with an education past Yr 11 on the basis that they don't have any "life experience'? The ones who believe that their 6 straight years of standing around doing as little as possible and stealing as much as possible (their definition of "Hard Work", by the way) somehow makes them an authority on all things local government?

      The council employees that I have spoken to - the ones with an IQ somewhat higher than a cricket bat and who have a least a basic understanding of town planning principles - are pretty much in agreement that the draft plan ticks most of the boxes and any perceived failings falls into the "can't please everyone" category.

      You and Parsnips Etc in the previous post are a couple of knobs. What has the V8 concert to do with the draft town plan - unless by the longest bow ever drawn? If you don't like the town plan, then raise your objection with those who can do something about it. Vote against the current council. Write hate mail to your local councillor. Better still,l give us some intelligent and authorative basis for your objections. I'll gladly engage you then - but until then - STFU.

      'Pie - someone recently accused us of being one and the same person. I suspect that these constant and inane anti-council, anti-town plan, anti-development, anti-developer postings come from the same rabid zealot.


  21. Staff in all sorts of organisations look forward to the annual Christmas party thrown by the boss, right? And if you don't actually feel like attending the knees up for a variety of reasons, you don't have to, do you, right?

    Well, wrong actually, if you work for the Charters Towers Regional Council.

    In what appears to be an extraordinary bit of grim payback about as far from goodwill as that shown the local bat population, CTRC staff have received an email 'ordering' them to attend the council Christmas party, whether they want to or not. (Doesn't sound quite legal, actually, but it appears the council reckons the staff are still being paid when they stage the party at the local showground tomorrow (Friday 19th) ) from ... would you believe it - 12.30 to 3pm.

    But OK, what the heck, sounds like a bit of enforced fun, ... then you find out there will be NO ALCOHOL allowed, not even BYO, and its not clear if there'll be enough shade cover if the expected couple of hundred turn up. Top temp tomorrow in The Towers is predicted to be somewhere in the high 30s. Amazingly grinch-ish, which has plenty of staff offside. Bigtime.

    The 'Pie is told that the background is that the more traditional hootenanny last year, at night with staff on their own time, was anything but dry. In fact, it is understood that several well oiled staff decided as the night progressed to give the Mayor Frank Beveridge a free character reading and informal performance assessment, delivered in blunt if slightly slurred basic Anglo-Saxon.

    That didn't go down too well, and looks like the mayor has decided on a bit of a get-square - or at least avoid a repeat of his previous 'asssessment' - and despite some opposition, put the idea to council who apparently voted in favour of tea and bikies instead of beer and bravado.

    It is now clear why staff were 'ordered' to attend, otherwise there might be a lot of soggy corn beef and pickle sambos left over.

    The 'Pie is just wondering if some may be pissed off enough at this very stingy arrangement which smacks of personal paybackand to throw caution to the wind and let Mayor Beveridge (note the irony of the name) know what they think of his catering and event arrangement skills.

    Got the makings of a bloody good film, you'd reckon.

    1. The mayor could throw a party on her wages.

  22. Where Have All The Subs Gone, Long Time Passing: Episode 829 How Time Flies.

    In a grammatically challenging on-line story in today's Astonisher, we learn that ...

    'Terence Gordon Watt, 40, pleaded guilty to stealing, receiving tainted property and eight fraud charges relating to eight separate hotels and motels over a 10 day period in the Townsville Magistrates Court on Tuesday. (17Dec13)this week.
    Mmm that's a long time to spend in a Magistrates Court, especially if you are facing the tender mercies of Magistrate Ross Mack. Full marks for creative use of full stops, commas, calendar abbreviations and ... oh, the list goes on.

    There are so many errors in the copy - was it The Astonisher's Christmas party yesterday? - you'd be forgiven for thinking you were reading a Magpie blog.

  23. Hey Grumpy, you're the only one I've heard singing the praises of the Daft City Plan. But they, we must all bow to such a superior intellect, as we are obviously all bogans and lean on shovels.
    What do you do for a living apart from being Townsville First's spin doctor?