Saturday, January 4, 2014

That was the year that was – test your news knowledge with this special Magpie Mindbender Quiz about the biggies of 2013.

The ‘Pie also reports on a looming legal kick in the nuts for slovenly editorial management at – where else? – the Townsville Bulletin, which could cost them a pretty penny …

As we emerge from the silly season, we look at a couple of the silliest yarns you may have (mercifully) missed in the past few weeks …

… and not all the trash talking in cricket is out on the pitch; language is a minefield of exploding metaphors and limping language in the commentary box, too.

All here, along with the party trick of the season, in the first nest for 2014 at

Don’t be surprised if the Townsville Bulletin is the subject of censure early in this new year by the Press Council, which now requires offending newspapers to publish its findings on complaints. And although we’ll probably never know for sure, it looks like the paper will have to raid the defamation cookie jar for a tidy little payout settlement.

In an astounding piece of irresponsibility and/or sheer bloody ignorance, the Bulletin has not only allowed an anonymous letter writer to make unproven and damaging allegations against a high profile Townsville real estate agency, it printed a follow-up letter taking the allegations further. That the allegations were in on-line letters (the second was also printed in the paper itself) is no shield for the Bulletin, they are liable as the publisher if any ‘injurious falsehood’ has been committed – which there can be little doubt has happened.

Here’s what unfolded.

Being the season when real stories of any substance are as rare as rocking horse poop, new chum reporter Harry Brumpton did a yarn about Bowen Road motel owners having a bitch about unit owners renting out their properties on short term leases, but not being subject to the substantial rates and water charges motel have to cough up. Nothing wrong with the story (apart from as usual being pretty boring).

The trouble came when this letter was published online in response to it. The ‘Pie has redacted (that’s the smartarse word for ‘blacked out') the name, figuring enough damage has been done and the old bird would be committing the same sin as the paper if he didn’t). And the spelling and grammatical mistakes are the writer's, not The 'Pie's, who did a cut and paste - this is exactly how it was published.

Unit owner of Townsville
There are a lot of facets to this story. One in particular that concerns me is the way some Townsville Property Management Agents, such as XXXXX conduct their business, supposedly on behave of their apartment owning clients. These agents have tied up the furnished apartment corprate & holiday letting market in this city and are a magor culprit of the problems out lined in this story by under cutting short to mid-term letting rates , whilst over charging and short changing their clients, and providing a lack lustre service at the same time. The rates they charge for a 2 & 3 bedroom apartment aren't much more then what these struggling motel operators have to charge for a outdated pokey studio room. The inhygenic job done by their "cleaners" is apalling, as is that of their appointed property management staff. As far as I'm concerned, there is no lower form of professional lifeform then a Townsville Corporate & Short Term Property Manager.

Phew, The ‘Pie reckons the injurious falsehood couldn’t be much clearer, although grammatically somewhat obscure, hinting at the foam-flecked, wild-eyed mien of the anonymous writer.

But lo and behold, this second letter reinforcing the unproven and damaging spray against the company and its staff was printed less than three hours later, and subsequently appeared in the print edition the next day.

POSTED AT 12:47 PM DECEMBER 30, 2013
I'd go so far as to say there's no lower form of life than these so called 'Property Management Professionals' in Townsville full stop! Arrogance, intimidation, bullying and dishonesty towards clients and even neighboring properties seems to be the hallmark of their so called 'profession'! What is it exactly is it in their job that goes to their head and gives them such an overinflated ego? Car salesman, furniture salesman etc don't call themselves professionals simply because the flog stuff, neither should house sellers/property managers!

If you bump into Zeb, make sure he isn’t standing near the knife drawer.

The principal of the business concerned is shattered and furious at these wild claims, especially on two grounds – the letter's attack on the company’s staff (who are mostly female), and the fact that the company has spent several million dollars in recent years with the Bulletin as one of the more prominent advertisers in the property guide. The principal is also often the go-to industry person for reporters seeking comment on property stories. If there was any wrongdoing, fair enough, doesn't matter about the commercial relationship, but this was no such report, just an anonymous spray.

The ‘Pie rang the principal, who offered a polite but firm ‘no comment’ but when asked how the staff felt about the attack, there was a one-word reply – ‘distraught’.

But being the beaked stickybeak that he is, The ‘Pie rang a friend in the know, and it seems the principal has already consulted both a lawyer and a barrister.

Stayed tuned.

Now to the Astonisher’s less harmful brand of idiocy. 

Just as the silly season is winding down, and the perennial beat-ups are becoming a receding memory, we suddenly find we are in the Season of the Long Bow, otherwise known as the Daily Astonisher’s annual Survey of the North.

As you will remember from past years, this piece of annual hokum is the paper’s lame attempt to manufacture news stories from ersatz findings from the few people who bother to fill out and return the survey forms. It is an open invitation to anyone with a particular hobbyhorse to buy up a few dozen papers, and return the completed ‘survey’ multiple times, knowing the paper will make false claims on behalf of the silent majority.

So brace yourself for more of this self-important fuckwittery like Friday’s 2+2=222 conclusion about the whole community’s attitude towards the possibility of a five storey limit for buildings on The Strand (the ‘high rise’ issue).

As one Magpie reader, Klee of Kelso put it:
The Astonisher’s long anticipated day by day “revealing” of big stories emanating from the “survey” completed by 1123 people has arrived.

The opening sentence sets the scene for long days of increasingly sub-standard journalism.

TOWNSVILLE residents want building heights on The Strand to stay at three storeys instead of rising to five as proposed by new draft planning laws.

Errrrrrrrrrrr, 495 out of 1123 out of 180,000??????

What sort of dills or idiots do they keep on thinking we are???’

Well, Klee, the sort of dills who will be astounded to know that based on highly questionable maths, a majority of locals will shop ‘locally’ in the coming year. Crikey, really, presumably because the Lear jet is in for a service and the landing fees in Paris are getting a bit steep; coupled with that, we learn today that the Bulletin’s mirth-inducing idea of a thumping majority wants better service from counter johnnies, waitresses and other assorted step’n’fetchits. Out of 1130 people 487 rated Townsville service as ‘average’ … only 183 said it was ‘poor’. In all likelihood, the paper saw ‘average’ in its current informal derogatory usage, rather than ‘having qualities that are seen as typical of a particular person or thing’. 

There are more than 250,000 people in the Astonisher’s circulation area.

Well, in the famous Aussie foreplay phrase, ‘Brace yerself, Beryl’, you can expect a lot more laughs where those came from.

The matter most pressing to Bentley this week is the controversial culling of sharks. What they do to people isn’t pretty, but the water is their domain, they don’t wander down Via Vomitorium chomping on people (too much competition from violent drunks). But maybe sharks see the animal rights support for them in a different light.

Now we’ve got all that out of the way, let The ‘Pie present you with a holiday quiz, to see if you were paying attention over the past year. See how many you can get right.

During the year, Clive Palmer said he had  seen evidence of them on at least one occasion, and he was positive they existed. Was he referring to:
1.         Dishonest electoral officers
2.         CIA agents behind the counter at his local Maccas
3.         Extraterrestrials
4.         His feet.

New House of Reps speaker, the veteran MP Bronwyn Bishop stumbled and fell while being ceremoniously ‘dragged’ to the Speaker’s Chair. After the fall, it was found she had broken:
1.         Her ankle
2.         Her hair
3.         Wind
4.         The scrotum of the ALP MP who tripped her.

On becoming Labor leader, Bill Shorten vowed that he would not:
1.         Try to jump Tanya Plibersek
2.         Or his secretary (again)
3.         Or the Parliamentary tea lady
4.         Or (maybe) his mother-in-law.

When Kevin Rudd resigned from parliament, he said he would now:
1.         get a fair suck of the saveloy
2.         that he … oh, who cares.

Three people said they would miss Kevin Rudd in public life. They were:
(The answer to this question is still being researched.)

On the local scene, David Kippin, when asked what Townsville Enterprise actually does, replied:
1.         Can’t tell you, it’s commercial in confidence
2.         Get knotted.
3.         Dunno but the pay is extra grouse.
4.         Do!?! … you mean, we’re meant to do something?

Townsville Deputy Doo Dah Vern Uncle Fester Veitch was asked which Elvis song best described Mayor Mullet. He chose:
1.         Devil in Disguise?
2.         Suspicious Minds?
3.         Wooden Heart?
4.         All Shook Up?
5.  All of the above?

Ace ‘revealer’ at The Astonisher, council reporter and Mayor Mullet’s PR boy wonder, Anthony Simpo Templeton was asked the same question. Did he choose:
1.         Just Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear?
2.         Love Me Tender?
3.         Always On My Mind?
4.         Burning Love?
5.   All of the above?

During the year, party animal David Moyle joined:
1.         The Victorian Shooters Party
2.         The Motorists Party
3.         The Persistent Pests Party
4.         Lots of paperclips together.

Use this format to send in your own questions.

Finally, it wouldn’t be this balmy time of year if we didn’t talk about the thwack of leather on willow – now, now, Colin ‘Sweethearts’ Edwards, don’t get excited, we’re not talking about a night out catering to those with niche naughtiness interests – no, The ‘Pie speaks of our glorious cricket season and has a listen to our less-than-glorious cricket commentators. 

By its very stop-start nature, cricket commentating has always been a challenge of calling the action between lengthy spells of re-calling past actions.

Over the years, The Magpie has collected some of the more memorable moments, both here and abroad. 

The legendary 'Johnners': Brian  Johnston

Atop the pile of deliberate verbal pile-ups is the late Brian ‘Johnners’ Johnston, with his long awaited moment when England’s Peter Willey was at the crease facing West Indian Michael Holding. ‘The bowler’s Holding the batsman’s Willey’. Johnners is also the author of The ‘Pie’s favorite word picture, but we’ll save that to last.

Danger loomed this season with Joe Root arriving with the Poms for the Ashes, and one must admit it has been admirable restraint from the tabloids not to go down the ‘ROOTED’ headline path.

Bill Lawry
The Aussie champion ‘gaffer’ is undoubtedly Bill Lawry, who once had Gower 'elevated down the batting order’ and over in the West Indies, raised a mental health scare for the locals by announcing that ‘Clive Lloyd is talking to his slippers’, no doubt much to the chagrin of Clive’s jealous jimjams. Bill, well known as a pigeon fancier, had a rather neat flight of fancy himself in a later match when he exclaimed ‘..he’s hit that a mile in the air, and that’s no exaggeration’. 

Bill’s deliberate yukyukkery was evident even in this series. When an England fielder missed an easy catch, Bill opined ‘ fair dinkum, he couldn’t catch a cold in the middle of winter’. Tres droll, what.

Even the great Richie Benaud had his mystifying moments. In 1981, Richie had one player ‘brought in to stand in the corner of the circle’. 

Max ‘Tangles’ Walker didn’t get his nickname just for his unusual delivery style on the field. Behind the mike, he had one bloke ‘holding his hands cupped upwardly down’. The late Norman May also had a physically challenging moment when he described how a fielder had taken a spectacular catch. “He was running away from the ball and just caught up with it.’ Perfectly clear to Stephen Hawkins, one supposes.

Ian Chappell once delivered the sage advice to the young and the developmentally delayed viewers 'to make sure you get the ball first before you throw it’.

When Alan 'Capt Grumpy' Border got a thunderbolt delivery in the nether region, he bravely returned to the crease as the commentator intoned ‘facing up again with only one ball to go’.

In fact, much of the boofy commentary concerns that part of the anatomy that Americans might describe as Jimmy and the twins.

When Keith Stackpole was out LBW to a magnificent delivery, an unnamed commentator enthused ‘By gee, that was plumb, I bet most of you fellows at home have your fingers up right now’.

But the two best in this vein go to Johnners, who had Neil Harvey fielding expectantly ‘standing with his legs apart, waiting for a tickle’.

But Johnners will never be topped in the deliberate naughtiness department when he opined that ‘this field reminds of my favorite little dog, three short legs and balls that swing both ways’.

Got any of these? Send ‘em in. Will do a general round-up sporting goof-ups later.

And rounding out, know anyone who can do this bar trick? 

   She wouldn't make much of an impression at Poseurs' ... Deidre McFondle does it with an empty beer keg.  




  1. Ahh, a fine way to start the year...

    Kevin Rudd.
    1. Quentin Bryce
    2. Typo Gleeson
    3. ABC

  2. I'd like to watch Shane Warne juggle his cup like that. Eve

  3. What a way to start the year. Truly astonishing about the Astonishrr.

    Jam packed episode!

  4. I believe motels are outdated. It's much nicer to stay in serviced apt. Hotel rooms are out dated.

  5. Your booty image is far superior to the astonisher's Hooters pic today.

  6. just saw a tv ad for the rockhampton industry field day. among the sponsors is Townsville Enterprise. Townsville ratepayers who keep this dead weight afloat would be interested to hear about any benefit to Townsville.

  7. Simpo....all of the above.

  8. Do they have a Rocky art gallery in the Tville Enterprises foyer?

  9. Iditor Lach must be thrilled at the potential payout.

    1. Not half as thrilled as the financial buttock clenchers in Holt Street.

      But The Pie's bet is they will try and do a contra make-good deal with so much free advertising and maybe a couple of positive advertorial stories - but the pain should be in the hip pocket and a Press Council-directed apology.

      The Pie will be watching.

  10. What are you going to call Brumpton? Do not disturb Brumpton...

  11. Happy New Year, ‘Pie.

    Have been on holidays down south for a few weeks. Have been following your blog, but have never been able to post a comment using my iPhone or iPad – anyone else have that problem?

    Was keen to respond to the good ol’ Anon who posted about “Hungary Jacks”. I went there once with Budapest Bob and had a Big Gulyas with medium nokedli.

    Was very interested in the “poll” results. Apart from being conducted in the most unscientific manner - hell, does anyone know anyone who bothered to send in a response? Just how reliable can a poll be when there are no controls or sample maintenance – for example the Townsville Ratepayer Weenies no doubt filled in as many forms as time allowed. As they say – vote early and vote often. Only those who felt strongly about a particular issue would have bothered with this nonsensical and meaningless exercise.

    The Trogs who oppose the lifting of the height restrictions on The Strand must be simply glowing – or should that be glowering? 495 of the 1123 respondents is 44%. Even given the potential for bias in the respondents, this result is one hell of a smack in the chops for the Trogs. We have gone from “99%” to “the vast majority” to “the majority” and now down to 44% - which is ..ta da... “the minority”. Are you morons getting the picture yet?

    As a very regular (leave it alone “Pie) traveller, I agree with Anon upstairs here. Serviced Apartments really are the way to go. Motels have little value for money these days. Especially in Mackay, $150 a night gets you little more than a grubby Best Western ‘60’s style room, complete with noisy box air-conditioner above the door and a raging cashed-up-bogan party in the adjoining room until 2 am. The motel owners down there have developed price gouging to a fine art – “supply and demand”, of course. Not so smug now that the boom is deflating rapidly.

  12. I agree grumpy. Motels are like Sardine boxes and the rooms are b grade. I can't sleep there and would opt for a tent rather than a motel.

    1. Always good and always entertaining.

      Thrilling first edition.

      Miss Lou.

  13. Thank you Grumpy for sharing your superior wisdom.
    Where have you been lately - on holiday relaxing with your mate Parsnip in a luxury resort?
    All funded by a group of Sydney developers, no doubt.

    1. Strand Fan I think you'll find Grumpy really does speak for the majority. The issue of course is loss of ocean view for the people back a bit from the strand - and by gee I'd be bitter as well if it was me.
      All this talk about shade on the beach and loss of laid-back lifestyle is a bit of a red herring and should be seen as such.
      Have a nice day

    2. Rather than the beach, why not allow five stories from the furthest away?

  14. ha pp y New Y e a R..

  15. Strand Happy CamperJanuary 6, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Strand fan you've come out of the woodwork again. Where have you been? I'm still waiting for answers to my questions about Strand heights.

    Several times you have complained bitterly and fired shots at everyone but our Labor Mayor Hill and Labor councillors Walker and Doyle about the new city plan allowing the height limit on the Strand to be lifted from three stories to five but won't tell us how you feel about the failure of the mullet to adhere to that three story limit when she was chair of planning under Tony Mooney.

    Let me try for the third time. Did our current Labor Mayor, supported by messagebank Walker make a serious mistake when she approved several buildings along the Strand to be built up to four and five stories during the rein of the Mooney sock puppet team?

    Is Mayor Mullet still speaking with forked tongue when again in the past week in the Astonisher she said she supports three stories on the Strand? How can she when she clearly ignored that limit many times before. Again don't take my word for it. Drive the Strand and take a look for yourself. The buildings are there. Buildings such as the Watermark, Odessy Café and several more.

    So instead of wasting our time with lame shots at Grumpy, gives us a concrete answer on the question asked. Can our Labor mayor Mullet be trusted? Three stories meant five when she was chair of planning. Did she make a huge mistake approving buildings above the three story limit prior to amalgamation?

    We are waiting for your answer Strand Fan. We been waiting now for several months.

  16. 'A little perspective, like a little humour, can go a long way', says award winning keynote speaker Allen Klein, who shows audiences how humour can help deal with everyday trials and tribulations as well as triumphing over tragedy.

    Well, let's put this in perspective and see if you think it's funny or tragic.

    New York City is described as a global power city, exerting a significant impact on commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research , technology, education and entertainment. The city's metropolitan area is the largest in the United States, and is one of the most densely populated communities on earth, home to 8.3 million people

    The mayor of New York City is paid a salary of $225,000(US) or at current exchange rates, about $250,000 (A).

    Back here, the population of the area up and down the coast and inland covered by Townsville Enterrpise would be no more than 350,000 souls tops, with several councils ... notably Townsville, at $700,000 p.a - donating to the running costs for some pretty blurry studies, projects and, above all, achievements. Those claimed 'achievements' have attracted criticisms from other orgcanisations cheesed off at TEL chairman David Kippin taking undue credit for many of them.

    David Kippin has helped himself to a rate-payer funded annual stipend of $240,000 when he shoe-horned himself into the job a couple of years ago, The mayor of New York City would be jealous ... if he had the time.

    Perspective, humour and tragedy, all on our doorstep.

  17. Did it ever occur to you, Strand Happy Camper, that ordinary residents with no connection whatsoever to the Labor Party, nor Jenny Hill and her motley crew, actually have genuine reasons for not wanting building heights raised on The Strand?
    The only argument I've heard in favour of raising the heights is that developers can (financially) justify building apartment blocks with restaurants and bars underneath.
    That is fine for the developers and those who want to get on the turps whilst gazing out over Cleveland Bay, but what about the families who flock down to The Strand in the afternoons and on weekends just to relax and escape suburbia?
    Obviously they don't count with those who have political leanings and want to push their own barrow.
    What will count are the votes of these ordinary citizens come the next election.
    Here's a prediction: any councillor who votes in favour of increasing building heights on The Strand will be shown the door at the next election.
    If I am proven to be wrong on this I'll be happy to put my hand up and cop it on the chin, but I'd like to be as sure of winning the lotto as I am of the backlash that will come on election day.
    I the meantime I will continue to do anything I can to prevent Parsnip and his mates trying to fix what isn't broken.
    PS: It seems that anyone who writes to this blog with a view that is opposed to the Liberals and/or Townsville First gets branded as a Labor Lackey. Strange that!

    1. Branded as a 'Labor Lackey'? By whom? Certainly not by The 'Pie, who makes his contempt for all sides of politics evident for those who don't read this stuff with the pre-conditioned 'old politics' prejudices fogging up the specs.

      And if someone is labelled as such ... or a Tory, Greenie or idiot, that's called comment.

      For the record, The Pie publishes only about two thirds of the comments received ... in this town, we've got just one Text-The-Iditor, and that's plenty thanks.

      And how, how about all of you = pro, con or otherwise, giving yourself a name ... be inventive, but 'anonymous' remains bloody boring.

    2. and the "genuine reasons" are.....???

      As Happy Camper noted, you are long on the rhetoric, but pretty adverse to responding to direct questions - such as my invitation to set out precisely the towning planning principles upon which you base your objections. Never know - you might be able to convince me. (chuck in a holiday to NZ with adequate spending money and you're a dead cert)

    3. As you know Townsville wants a gold Coast high rises. I guess by 2020 .. Help the big population increase. Not that anyone will afford them except, bankers.

    4. [Sigh] Here we go again...since when does 5 stories make a Gold Coast? Get a grip...if you have not already.

      The wife and I are looking forward to retiring to a fifth floor unit on the Strand. We could have Tony P and Lawrence L over for BBQ's on the front patio. We could look out over the Bay and watch the dredges getting ready for the oil platforms.

      But, for you and Strand Fanatic, I'll leave the windows open when I dress in the morning . Just to make up for your blocked views....

    5. Strand fan, all that we ever read from you is complaints about the council and how they will all get kicked out at the next election.. Funny that was said abou the last election and it didn't happen. If you think you can do such a FANTASTIC job and know everything about everything we expect to see your name on the ballot paper... Somehow we all know on here that it won't be there because your too pathetic and lazy to get off your own behind and walk the walk.

  18. Your Clown! Now that's funny!

  19. What about the pay Professor Sandra Harding gets at JCU, now that's a story. What do you reckon you old bird? Haven't got the ticker to post that story old mate.

    1. Sandra Harding isn't paid by the ratepayers of Townsville, and has to meet agreed performance indicators to get her $750,000+ payslip (for running and expanding money-making education businesses in Townsville, Cairns and Singapore).

      There is talk around the place that Kippin will be required to meet certain performance indicators in public soon, rather than those Masonic-like mystery briefings to council. Now that will be interesting - if real transparency ever happens and the ratepayers are afforded the accountability to which they are entitled.

  20. Paul Anderson of PimlicoJanuary 6, 2014 at 7:58 PM

    Came one of those unintended clangers in an iditorial last week, which I was waiting for someone else to spot, but can't let go unflagged: 'the importance of securing a new convention centre...cannot be underestimated'. Mmm. Indeed. Although I believe they meant to go with OVERestimated in that context (unless they were trying for the - still muddy - SHOULD not be underestimated). Happens all the time. Anyway, happy New Year to all us sensible types...

    1. Indeed, Paul, well spotted, and for unbelievers who think we make things up, find it here

      However, the importance to this community of this sloppy and degenerating joke of a newspaper cannot be underestimated ... err, hang on, depending on your point of view, overestimated.

    2. While we're around that neck of the woods ....

      Curious take on reality by the Iditor Lachlan Heywood in today's iditorial, when he says inter alia ' ... revellers and police deserve to feel safe on Flinders Street East'.

      ' ... and police'?

      Police are trained and have it drummed into them to be alert, observant and never to take anything for granted ... THAT IS THEIR JOB AND THE CALLING THEY HAVE CHOSEN (which we all should gratefully acknowledge).

      Feeling safe is another way of saying complacent. And given the rampant booze floggers feeding the over-consumption of booze hounds with no sense of restraint, complacency by the wallopers on Via Vomitorium is exactly NOT why they're there. Otherwise, they put invite greater dangers than the ones they already face.

      Fortunately, they know this and night after night are patrolling the beat while others are tucked up in bed with 'The Year Book of Really Big Words' penning iditorials.

    3. Paul Anderson of PimlicoJanuary 7, 2014 at 7:08 PM

      Heh! That's NOTHing... The Astonisher ran a story back around 22 November about how a certain Australian of the Year advised that women would do better out there in the working world by 'talking like men'... The AOY's name was given at the time as 'Its Buttorse', which is hardly respectful, what? Mind, they DID (evidently) pick up the story from other News Ltd organs, so they can hardly be blamed in isolation (much as we might like to). Screenshot available on request (but it's also Google-able)...

    4. Police know the drill on 'Sinders' street.

      Personally, id like to introduce laboromy for king hits.. That would stop it.

    5. Oh, you mean labotomy.

    6. The Pie's guess was lobotomy, unless it was some convoluted suggestion that offenders could be sentenced to join the labor Party.

    7. I'd take the needle....

  21. Another Bulletin beat-up albeit minor. Banner on top of page 1 NORTH SWEATS AS CYCLONE LOOMS. A check on the BOM site under cyclone advice is as follows:

    Potential Cyclones: There are no significant tropical lows in the region and none are expected to develop during the next three days.Likelihood of a tropical cyclone in the Northern Region on:Monday Very Low Tuesday Very Low Wednesday Very Low

    Such a banner may cause unease in some folks in the North and is irresponsible in my view.

  22. Strand Happy CamperJanuary 7, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    So I have finally flushed out Strand Fan but he still didn't answer the question I have now asked him three times. Did the Mullet when she as chair of planning under Mooney get it wrong when she approved several buildings over three stories on the Strand. It's likely Strand Fan will never answer as this question as it will shoot down his argument.

    Once again he has trotted out this fear that if the buildings height limit is raised by a wopping two stories from the three to five that all the families in Townsville will stop visiting the Strand.

    That's already been done. The Mullet, Mooney and the sock puppets including mesagebank Walker have already done it and the families are still turning up in vast numbers.

    I hope the council has the balls to stand by it's commitment. The city needs to move forward.

    By the way Strand Fan you suggested that the parsnip is in bed with the Sydney developers. Every comment I've seen in the paper from Parsons he has stood his ground against a project that will cost all us of money. Can't say the same for the Mullet she's been all over the place.

    1. Hey Strand Happy Camper, as you are so well connected with Parsnip and Townsville First, maybe you can provide readers with the answer to a question ratepayers have been asking for years. You suggest that Parsnip is hard on developers, but it obviously depends on who the developers are. If you are involved with the Pinnacles development you've got no chance, but if you blow in from Sydney and want to build high rise on The Strand, well that's a different story. Surely you would be aware that the council has "preferred" developers. So how do developers actually become "preferred". Do they sit for an exam, are they drawn out of a hat, or is there some other criteria that the ratepayers aren't allowed to know about?

      Administrator's note: The Magpie is seeking comment from Clr Tony Parsons on these allegations
      The 'Pie. The old bird also notes that, in fine political fashion, Strand Happy Camper's oft repeated question hasn't been answered. Bad look, Fan.

    2. OK, OK, Strandies, nice little ding-dong, with one side at least ignoring questions and just posing others in reply.

      So here are some FACTS about The Strand and the height issue.

      There is no such thing as a 'preferred developer'. The council has lists of preferred professions and trades, from real estate agents to plumbers, and those are chosen from a list of applicants to do contract work for the council.

      The council does not 'do' devlopment, and just a quick little think would reveal that a developer is someone who owns a site and wants - you guessed it - to develop it! The fevered mind that can come up with the term 'preferred developers' is muddled and has a fogscreen agenda, to say the least. Simply, and plain English explains it, there is no such thing as a 'preferred developer'.

      By the way, this town will never mature if the term 'High Rise' continues to be used in this matter.

      Since the height limit was imposed, there have been three exceptions - Odyssey at the Rockpool end of The Strand and the Watrermark were both approved to marginally break the height restrictions by Mooney's previous Labor administration, and one apartment block behind the Police Beat near Strand Park, approved by the current council. They are quite unremarkable and do not mar the landscape. Sopm,ehow, we haven't all bin rooned by the sky falling in, Chicken little.

      There are no applications before council for ANY new development of any height on The Strand, including the block next to the Seaview, which recently changed hands. (The 12 tpo 15 storey tower block at the entrance to the Marina is not The Strand, as some characterise it, and is governed by a separate Act of State Parliament. Anyway, it's a done deal, with no objections or appeals pending).

      And spare us the 'thin edge if the wedge' baloney.

      The draft city plan is there to exactly ensure there is no ambiguity or thin edge of the wedge, whether it stays or goes higher.

      Besides, until May or so, it's all just speculative venting ... all submissions on this issue and others, sought by the 'bought and corrupt' council - purleese, wake up, folks - are being processed as required by Local Government regulations, and all will be voted on by the council towards the middle of the year.

      The Mullet's vote will be most instructive.

    3. Strand fan ever heard of the saying if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck it must be a duck. Same goes for you - walks like a labor member, talks like a labor member it's a labor member. Narrow minded and wanting to block progress for the sake of it even if it is in the best interests of the city.

  23. How is that rubbish front page story in the Astonisher today. People are loading up there utes with ice to take home to throw in their swimming pools.

    What a load of nonsense. If you've got adequate shade over your pool it will still be cool. I just want to know how you're going to get a load of ice home before it melts in the back of a blazing hot ute. This paper has lost the plot.

    1. reduce the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree C, 4.18 Joules must be removed

      There are approximately 10,000 litres in a (less than average size) backyard pool, which is 10 million grams. Therefore 41.18 million Joules must be shed to reduce the temperature of the pool by 1 degree C.

      Looking at it another way, it takes .01 gram of ice to cool 1 gram of water at 20C to 19.01C.

      A litre of water weighs 1.08 kilograms. Ignoring the .08 for ease of calculation, the total weight of water in our little pool is 10,000 kilograms - 10 million grams. Accordingly, to reduce water temperature from 20C to 19.1C, you would need 100,000 (.01 x 10,000,000) grams - which is 100 kilograms - of ice.

      Trouble is, the temperature will return to the original temperature very quickly depending on usage, depth, ambient temperature and whether the little kid from next door had a pee at the deep end.

      Work it out for your own pool - simple method is total litres x .01 = ice required for a (temporary) drop in water temperature of <1C .

      Strand Fanatic - you're more than welcome, you Labor lackey you...

    2. I'm surprised the chief of staff didn't request, bikini ice on their hooters...

      sex, triangle fabric sells to 20 something demographic


    3. Icey knockers will sell papers.

  24. We have a winner forthis week's the Fabulous Unintended Consequences Kup, which is causing smirks in academe and red faces around education bureaucracy wowsers.

    East Gippsland is now the doubtfully proud home to a new vale of higher learning with the grand and inspiring name Federation University.

    Except that makes it FU ... and staff have already been told they are not to refer to the place where they spend their time ... ummm ... on the job by that acronym.

    The slogan for FU is 'Your Future Has A New Name'. But your future could hold some unintended unpleasantness down the track.

    'Where did you go to uni?'
    'Geez, only asking'.

  25. Old Bird, ratepayers do pay, by default, for some of Professor Sandra Hardings earnings by giving the university discounted rates and charges. It is now obvious those discounts are not passed onto our young Australians. The university is so out of control with its commercial enterprises they charge full commercial rents to Woolworths, Juliette's and others. Whilst being given discounted rates as an education facility. That must now come to an end and the federal government can start paying the cost of running this institution which now attracts more international students more than ever.

    1. Interesting analysis, but raises a couple of questions.

      Full commercial rents to that paragon of social responsibility and probity Woolworths? Juliettes, who opt to be in a moneyed location? The question therefore is , why not commercial rates? One imagines those and the other enterprises out there aren't going to drop their prices even if the uni passed on any benefit.

      More international students than ever, all paying full fee? Could be a reason for Prof Harding's (albeit disproportiate) pay packet.

      The Pie doesn't follow the rest of the argument about the feds etc.

  26. Yes i can google the Magpie's nest from Los Angeles

  27. Strnad Happy CamperJanuary 8, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    It's taken me a little while to respond to Strand Fans latest piece of dribble because my head is still spinning trying to figure out what he actually means.

    Apparently if you're a developer from Sydney and you blow into town you will be able to build high rise on the Strand the council won't stand in your way because you're from Sydney.

    But hang on a moment if you're the developers for the Pinnacles then you're no chance. The council is blocking your every move. Guess where the developers of the Pinnacles come from SYDNEY. Well I'll be dammed that can't be true Strand Fan said Sydney developers will get what ever they want.

    Says to me that the council is standing by the city plan. Isn't that what we want them to do? It seems according to Strand Fan that developers only come from Sydney. What about Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth or any other growth centre in the country. It seems as soon as Strand Fan mentions Sydney we should all be afraid of some form of invasion.

    The Labor party decided some time ago that they would try to make an issue of the Strand building heights so they could attack what is predominantly a non Labor council.

    Strand fan says he doesn't support Mayor Mullet and her motley crew. By that I presume he means Message Bank Walker and Boo Hoo Doyle. Yet he's sprouting the very line that has been pushed by Labor stalwart Captain Snooze Reynolds and his side kick Cathy O'Toole. Don't worry about the mayor she is still sitting firmly up on the fence. Bum must be getting sore by now.

    All I can say Starnd Fan is liar liar pants on fire. The Labor party owns you.

  28. Oh dear, Strand Happy Camper, you just don't get it.
    Just because I happen to have the same view as a few Labor Party members, I must be a Labor Lackey?
    What about the thousands of residents who lodged submissions against the Draft City Plan? Are they all "owned" by the Labor Party too?
    (Incidentally there has been no news from the council Planning Department on how the submissions on the Draft City Plan stacked up, so you can bet that the majority were against it).
    This all seems to be a bit too complicated for you, so I'll give you another example.
    The Labor Party believes in taking action against Climate Change, whilst the Liberals think it is a myth.
    So are all the millions of Aussies who support taking action against Climate Change "owned" by the Labor Party too?
    I rest my case and look forward to the next government election.

    1. Nice jinking, ducking and weaving, Fanatic. Ladies and gents, we have a new Cowboys winger in the making...

      When are you going to realise that the din from a few loudmouthed zealots does not necessarily represent a majority view? No doubt all of the submissions objected to one part of the Draft Plan or another. You don't lodge a submission that simply says, "I agree'.

      Nothing complicated about your views - illogical and foolish, maybe, but anything other than complex.

      Apart from confirming your Labor Lackey status, changing the topic gets you nowhere.

      Most people, including die-hard neo-cons like myself, concede that the climate is changing - albeit in bewildering, inconsistent and unpredictable manner. Bit hard to reconcile global warming with the current Artic vortex or the unseasonable sea freeze in the Antartic as we speak. At the same time we have experienced record high temperatures in Australia over the last few weeks.

      Where the main dissent lies is whether the change is anthropogenic. Now that the ICC is reviewing its recklessly dire predictions, there is less support for the view that CO2 is totally to blame after all and more for the view that it all might be a natural phase of the planet. The main issue is whether we can do anything about it.

      One thing for sure - idiots like that consumate goose Tim Flannery and his ilk on the ICC look like absolute fools at the present time. According to Flannery, Surfers Paradise should 4 metres the sea under by now. Oh - and those Pacific islands that were being swamped by the sea? Turns out the sea level was not rising; the islands were sinking. Ooops.

      Come on now, Fanatic, can you find one official LNP/Liberal document that denies climate change? Did not the ALP itself disavow the carbon tax before the last election in a desperate and cynical vote buying exercise? Or is this just another hysterical rant by a boring Bolshie knobhead?

    2. Hahaha 'thousands of submissions on the draft city plan'. Only if we round up to the next 1000.. (FYI it's .62% of the population based on 180,000 estimate in the ville but I'll let you round up to 1% to make you feel better)

  29. I like this blog. Very funny blog and jam packed.

  30. Where are all these Sydney developers building on The Strand. Walked it this morning & didn't see one. Am I missing something?

  31. Watching sunrise, who should appear? me rough and tough cath wobble.

    Gold eye shadow and a rough accent.

    She must love the position.

  32. Sydney developers have purchased a development site on The Strand and are waiting for the height restrictions to be lifted.

    1. Insider, the previous Tyrell Administraion gave both sites that were purchased recently bigger heights. Mariner site 15 stories and Seaview site 12 stories. No need to wait. Just remember current councillors from the Tyrell Administraion voted for the new heights. It is on public record. So, no such thing of a height limit with Vern and Co.

    2. (Sigh) Just to repeat ... there are NO applications before, or approvals by The Townsville City Council regarding the Seaview site. Way back when, the Hedely group put in an application for eight stories (doubtful they asked for 12, but The 'Pie is checking) but the application was withdrawn when COUNCIL VETOED IT.

      Vern Veitch DOES NOT support open height limits - that's just cheap-shot, self-serving politicking.

      And - Christ don't you read the comments - as The 'Pie has pointed out, the Mariners site is not part of the Strand, it's not even on the Strand, and anyway, it is governed by a separate Act of Parliament. The initial 15 storeys was scaled back to 12, and that permit is still current, with no objections or appeals outstanding.

      Also, you can ALL take heed that The 'Pie will, when time permits, be giving all anons a name ... and you mightn't like it. But it makes the old bird very testy indeed.

  33. After looking at the photo of Simpo is it to much of a stretch to wonder if he is the result of a midnight rendezvous between , Vern Vetch and David Kippen. Or maybe my eyes are to close together.

  34. Sydney developers should live here before applying to ruin the area.

  35. 1788

    First boat people arrive.


  36. The Townsville Bulletin - slow as's story re a Townville building firm caught up in the spying claims of the East Timorese PM - well hell that story appeared in the Australian on Tuesday and mentioned JJ McDonlad of Townsville and it takes three days for a local story???. FMD!

    1. The spies were labor.

      Coincidentally, the Indonesians who killed the Aussie journos in 1975 east Timor are still the same idiots

  37. Just read the opinion piece in yesterday's Bulletin on line from Daniel Bateman.  I especially like the title that Police need to get their priorities straight. 

    Perhaps Bateman might like to get his facts straight before bagging the police.  

    A couple of points- he compares the recent behaviour of the Qld Police Service to North Korea.  I can’t recall the last time we fed a rogue uncle to pack of dogs. 
    Secondly he carries on about inane laws-  Police don’t make them, the Government does and these ridiculous trivial offences were made many many years ago (and should be repealed- my opinion)  We enforce them, of course it’s our fault again people do the wrong thing.
    Thirdly- he wants us to focus our enthusiasm on our kiddie crime epidemic- but then quotes the figures of all of the young offenders the QPS caught!!!!  Wouldn’t that be a good thing we did? 
    Fourth- Isn’t it the courts that are treating these kids lightly not the police?  I won’t mention who is currently behind the bench in the magistrates court who would rather let these poor misunderstood kids go after the hours of long work and effort we go to, to catch them, than keep them in.  I mean getting bail for breaching bail after previously breaching bail several times isn’t enough now days to keep people incarcerated.  No need to convince you, you have seen it first-hand, 'Pie. 
    I agree that there are some officers that give us a bad name or make silly decisions.  But if changing our name from 'service' to 'force' helps restore some respect towards police is that a bad thing?
    Anyway keep up the good work and Happy New Year.

  38. For my 20c worth, it is not the boys (and girls these days) in blue but the do-gooders and the weakness of the court system. We have all become so tolerant that we are now paying for these criminals to see how much they can get away with. There will be a backlash and probably some poor victim will be locked up for protecting his or her own property. Funny place we live in where criminals have rights but victims don't.