Sunday, June 18, 2017


The   serious  low level bird attack on Townsville, Queen City of the North ,  continued  last week . There  was a  noticeable  build up of  bird  droppings at the front door, below , of  the closed  waterfront  Criterion Hotel , recently refused  permission to  be  knocked down and  with two  other  properties- the grand old Queens Hotel  and the 1934  Lilac Court  flats -become part of a planned whopper development on  The Strand.

While the guano was  building up ,  at long last the overgrown grass  and  weeds   in  the Criterion  beer  garden  had  been   cut, stacked  in  a  pile at the back .  There does not appear to be a  caretaker on the premises otherwise  you would think  the   grass would  have  been cut  earlier  and  the   birdshit  scraped   from the   entrance . Left unattended , the  building is  vulnerable , Speak to  the  fire  department  for   advice, chaps . 
Peering through   this  gate   at the    Criterion  on  The  Strand side  , with a  large  security  sign visible  , dead  vines,  fag ends  and   assorted  litter  were  visible , an old  sun shade hanging  limply . All up , not  a good look for a tourist  town .    
Just a short distance away , and  this  grumpy peg-legged S(h)ipping ) Reporter   found a  similar , sorry state  at the Queens Hotel, apparently no caretaker on  the premises because of the   large build up  of  birdshit , cigarette  butts   at  one of the  main doors , numerous  old  security check in   tickets  nearby on the veranda.; a dead marine , butts  on  a   back  entrance . That this   building with the large  parking area  at the rear    has  not  been  turned  into  a  bustling  market ,  art   centre  and   eatery , much  better and   bigger  than  the Mindil Beach Market,  in  Darwin , with a touch   of  Christchurch , New Zealand,  flair,  is  hard   to   fathom .    
One of the  security  notices  warns that the premises  are under  video surveillance  which apparently does not pick up the birds  making a  mess , cigarettes  being   stubbed  out  or  flicked  in .
The ABC has  an office just across the  road  from  the buildings  mentioned here  and if a reporter  ventured  out , had a look and asked  questions , there is a  good  story to be  had .  It could include  the fact   that  the  large plaque , below ,  across  from the Queens Hotel , with  drawings  and   information about the   colourful past , like other  plaques in the city , is   virtually  illegible . Dame Nelly Melba,  Ms McLurcan-she perhaps the first  Australian international cook  of fame , famous artists, etc.
 Townsville's   old  buildings   and  plaques  deserve  better care and  attention , especially   ones  in  a   major  part of  the  city's  waterfront . The  Townsville  City  Council , Townsville Enterprise , property owners  and   others   responsible for this  situation   should   get  their  act  together . Queen  Victoria  is  not  amused .   
And Prince Harry's  cardboard   cut out  would  undoubtedly be unimpressed  if it were taken for a  grand  tour of the historic buildings and   saw   Townsville  crap, evident  in  so  many  places  about  the city . 
 UPCOMING : More S(h)ipping  Reporter  specials   which  the local media   fail to  pick up. You have to wonder if reporters  venture out much in Townsville as so many  stories  jump out at you if you walk about the CBD , the waterfront , venture  into   pubs ,  ask questions .  For example ,  for  some   weeks , there has been   noisy , major work  going  on  at  the Museum  of  Tropical Queensland , only a short  distance  from the ABC.  What was  it all about ? Has the atmosphere  in  the  jungle  been   changed ? What does this mean ?  How much did   it  cost ? Any solar  energy  involved ?