Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Media  snippets from  North Queenland

On a mission to  meet  100   Townsville Bulletin readers and hear their  stories , the latest editor  of  the  newspaper , Jenna  Cairney ,  beamed  from an article  on February 26 ,  headed  A  SNIP ABOVE THE REST , about  Bennett's Barber Shop   at the  Rising  Sun  shopping centre.  It  included  a photograph and   an   interview  with   the   pleasant   proprietor , Kay Bennett , who has worked wonders on  this old  writer's   thinly   thatched   topknot. Missing from the report was  mention of and the photo of  eye-catching " Stewart", below, on the wall above  customer seating  in  the  salon .   
One thing that immediately grabs your attention upon entering  the  snippery  is the large   deer  trophy . A white  tailed  deer ,  it has a most interesting background . It  is  named  Stewart , because  it  came  from  Stewart Island , at  the tip of the  South Island  of New Zealand, famous for  its  oysters , some huskies from early polar explorations  ended  up  there .  
An uncle of the proprietor  , a  deer culler in  New Zealand  for  many years, into taxidermy, had mounted Stewart  and   brought  it with him when he moved to  Australia, where he  was  hired to  cull  feral  deer in  various  parts of  New South Wales .  It was  a major operation  packing  Stewart  up   and transporting  him  all  the  way to  Townsville  without  being   damaged . 
On being  made aware of this  background  to  Stewart  while having my  dank locks  trimmed by Ms. Bennett,  I suggested  her  relative  may  have known  the  former  Kiwi deer hunter , larrikin  and    author , Barry Crump  who was a media celebrity  in the l960s  before  Australia's  Paul  Hogan  came  on  the scene .
Crump, I told  the tonsorial artist , had written a colourful   book about  deer  shooting in  New Zealand , A Good Keen Man . I am not sure if the book mentioned a  ranger  had ground up deer antler and used it as aphrodisiac  sprinkled   on   his   porridge ;   the  story goes  his  wife  left  soon  after . 
Crump  also  came to Australia and went crocodile shooting in North Queensland,experiencing many wild adventures in the Cooktown region ,  resulting  in  another  book ,  The Gulf .  In all , he sold  a million copies of his   many books .  On my last visit to the hairdresser,  Ms. Bennett  wrote  down  the name  of  Crump's  first named  book  to  refer  to  her   uncle  to see his response . As I am a barber  starver , it will be a long time  afore  I  learn what  he  had  to  say .
This  blog  recently exclusively  reported that  the Townsville media had  failed to pick up the fact that a large amount of counterfeit American $100 bills  had been   found on Magnetic Island .
However, it  did  report that phoney Australian currency on which there was   CHINESE writing  had been found in  Townsville . The Townsville Bulletin was  informed  by  Little Darwin  about the  American find on the island, but there was no response, which makes you wonder about  what  makes news . There is clearly  a   major story  here... fake  Australian and  American  currency , Chinese connection, a  printing  press ? What further clues  do  local reporters  need to  spring  into  action ? 
However, after the Australian Financial Review  broke the  major news that  the mayor of Townsville  is to  pay  Clive Palmer  $50,000  for an  alleged defamatory  comment  about him in respect of the  closure of the nickel refinery , the Townsville Bulletin responded with a  tiny   single column  item  on P10. Surely  a  front  page story?
It seems  every time a  cruise ship  comes into port  in Queensland the  media makes extravagant  claims about the money that will be injected into the local economy . There is this formula of claiming an average passenger  spends  X amount of money,  so multiply it by  the  number of passengers and you have  a pile  of  hoot . More  cruise ships are expected in Townsville and the  cargo cult   reporting  is  rife , as it was in connection with the recent Air Niugini  link between the city and  Port  Moresby , which  does not seem to be  showering  the Queen  City  of   the North    or   PNG  with   treasures  from  the   sky. 
Notice  no  reporter   from  Townsville  has jumped on an Air Nuigini  flight to Port Moresby to cover  the unravelling  earthquake  disaster  in   PNG and the mass evacuation of  people  in  another area  due to  a  volcanic eruption .
 Not so very long ago,  an American naval  vessel  visited Cairns and   the cargo cult  mentality came out in the  media saying the visitors  were expected  to spend a bundle.  One  exasperated  local  resident  in the Cairns Post  said why not  just welcome the  Americans  and  not  worry  about  extracting   money  from  them . 
People off  cruise ships have been known to pop into op shops in Townsville and Darwin . Recently there was a  report   from Broome that passengers off  cruise ships were  putting a  burden  on local health facilities  because they  did not want  to  pay  for  shipboard  medical  services.  More  on  cruise  ships  later.