Tuesday, October 31, 2017


My name is William Graham and I’m a fifth-generation grazier on a cattle station near Emerald in Central Queensland.This week the Queensland government has compulsorily acquired 3568 hectares of agricultural land in this region, for Adani's private rail line to their proposed Carmichael coal mine.

Graziers and farming families are coming to grips with the news that parts of their properties will no longer belong to them
. The nuisance factor is enormous. Properties will  be  split apart, and access to water and facilities more difficult.

These landholders no longer have any choice about whether or not to sell and the only thing they can do is negotiate a price with the Queensland government. The rail line will be unsuitable for uses such as general freight, cattle trains or passengers - the only beneficiaries will be Galilee Basin coal mines seeking access to Abbot Point.

Many families directly affected by these compulsory acquisitions have signed confidentiality agreements with Adani, so are not able to speak out. That’s why I’m starting this petition. Even though our property is not one of the ones being taken, I feel a responsibility for our broader region.
As a grazier , I  care deeply about our land, water and our rural communities. The Adani mine threatens all of this. It will also make damage to our climate worse. Graziers and farmers are already on the front line of extreme weather events such as drought. There are too many reasons why Carmichael Mine is a bad idea to list here. 

My vision for this region includes my family, the community and agriculture in this district for a thousand years. I don't think Adani can say the same.Add your name to call on the Premier, Opposition Leader and all candidates running in the Queensland state election to commit to supporting farmers by stopping special deals for  Adani  like  this  land  acquisition.


The Coordinator  General compulsorily acquired the land for the Carmichael Rail Network: the whole rail line from Carmichael to Abbot Point. This occurred on Friday the 6th of October and appeared as an extraordinary addition to the edition of the Qld Gazette published on Friday the 13th.  The land acquired represents the rail route and space for associated infrastructure. The coordinator general may now own it or transfer it to another government body, government owned corporation or it may be leased or sold to a private company like Adani.


Former Australian  ALP  Prime  Minister Kevin Rudd and radio  commentator and  influential   Liberal  Party supporter Alan  Jones combined   to  strongly  reject  the   proposed  Adani    coalmine   project  in  Queensland , during  Q&A on ABC television .

Jones  delivered  especially  trenchant   criticism  of  the  project , the  Adani family , said even the Bank of India   would  not  back  the venture .  He  was scornful of  any  financial involvement   by  state and federal  governments ,  the  National Australia Infrastructure   Fund  , from which  Adani  is seeking a  billion  dollars . 

During his forthright   comments, Jones, who has made numerous attacks on the ABC over the years , said the ABC had  done a wonderful  job in  providing  the  facts  about  Adani , apparently   referring to the   Four Corners  investigation.
Jones  also called   for  the  removal of  Prime Minister  Malcolm Turnbull  saying he would  not win the  next election . While  expressing  a  similar attitude to   Adani  ,  Rudd, now a   member of a  US think tank ,   also  brought  out  the  impact  of   burning    vast  amounts  of coal  on   climate change .
 Surprisingly, the  ABC online early news roundup in its coverage of  Q and  A   did not  mention , even in the additional key  points raised in the  debate,  the  overpowering  demolition of   Adani  by  Rudd and Jones.  
 Appearing on the next slot after  Q and A , on  Lateline, was  Senator Matt Canavan , below ,  reinstalled as  Minister for Northern  Australia , after stepping down   over  the  suggestion that his mother  may have  made him into  a wandering  Italian  mandolin  and piccolo  player . 
Spruiking  somewhat  like   the outed   former  Kiwi and   Deputy PM   Barnaby Joyce , for whom he was once chief of staff , Canavan , who  has  severely   criticised  the ABC  for  its  reporting  of Adani ,  launched into an election speech  for  the LNP  in the  forthcoming Queensland  state  election , saying  the LNP  supported  Adani   and  the   coal  associated  industry .   

Jones continued his  attack on  Adani  when he appeared on  Sky News with Peta Credlin    when  he claimed  the   mayors of both Townsville  and  Rockhampton  had  failed to declare  a conflict of interest after receiving  favours  from  Adani, before  each  voting  to  give  the  Indian coalminer an  $18.5million  hand out . 

In Townsville , where the Townsville City Council  fell over itself to support Adani , even paid for a  Murdoch Townsville Bulletin  reporter to fly to  India   to get  the  Adani  treatment and write some nebulous pieces ,  ratepayers  are  after the  council with baseball bats  because  of  a  proposed  $18.5million gift to  Adani for  a  FIFO  airport .

 A massive  petition  calling on  the council to rescind   the proposal  and deliver all  documents related to the  decision be made  public  for scrutiny  was  delivered to the council.   Mayor  Jenny  Hill , in a  Townsville  Channel 7  report , brushed  the petition aside , declaring that it had  been signed by  people from the four corners of the globe, not many locals , dismissing them as   keyboard warriors. 

 Nowhere in the  Channel 7 report  was the mayor asked  for a response to  the Rudd and Jones  criticism  of  Adani,  possible involvement of  the  Sea Shepherd .

The  revelation , not reported locally, that  the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade  had  been promoting Adani  in  China   is  another indication that  other major  global financial institutions  won't touch  it with a   barge pole . It also  raises the possibility that  the  controversial  Adani project could become   part of  Chinese president   Xi  Jinping's grand  One Belt One Road  plan  for   global   trade.

 Seen  below is  the view  from Townsville across to Magnetic  Island with the Stop Adani  logo . When  hundreds of residents  gathered on the  waterfront to spell out   a human message of  opposition  to  Adani , the Townsville City Council  wanted  a  $3000   surety   to  pay  for any damage  resulting from  the   act.  Local  media  did not  pick up  this   absurd  attempted   requirement .   

It will be interesting to see how the Townsville  Bulletin  handles  the comments of  Rudd and Jones , the  growing  outrage of  ratepayers ,  the report  , actually  in  the Bulletin ,   that there is  a move to send the Green Peace   Sea Shepherd   vessel  Steve  Irwin into  Queensland  waters  to campaign against  Adani .
And now , in a joint statement, the Anglican and Catholic bishops of Townsville  have  come out against proposed Galilee  Basin projects , are concerned about the threat   to the reef  ,  well being of the environment , reported in the  Sydney Morning Herald . Could it possibly make the  front page of the Townsville  Bulletin ?... NO. Not mentioned at all...as was the  case in respect of Rudd and Jones . 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Sunday, October 29, 2017


S(h)ipping  Reporter World  Scoop

Fitted out like a luxurious maharaja's  floating  harem , the  converted and aptly renamed  Indian   bumboat  , SS  Aussie  Suckers, is  secretly steaming towards Townsville  with  a  Bollywood    surprise  for  the  dehydrated , ranting    Queen City of  the North .

Its  precious cargo consists of the world's only  herd  of  singing elephants , the proud  property of  the  Nizam of Chortlepugger , who has  400  solar powered wives in  his harem , serviced  by  an Elon Musk  Tesla   storage  battery bigger  than  that  planned  for   South  Australia .

The pampered  elephants  have  a vast repertoire of songs, from God Save the Queen , Annie Laurie , Old King  Cole  to  Not Tonight Josephine (Number 57) . 

The scurrilous  newspaper, News of the World , now rightfully  defunct, once revealed  that   the visiting  prominent  British aristocrat , Lady  Addle  , was  invited to come up and see  the bow-legged  Nizam  and his   crooning elephants   and  ended   up   grabbed ,  stripped,  given a sulphur  bath , rubbed all over with  sacred  frog oil , her eyes and   ears   dyed , her hair  dipped  in scented  camel's milk , her  finger and  toe-nails painted a vulgar red .

 Luckily , her screams were heard  and she  was rescued  by  the chief eunuch , who apologised ,  said she had been mistaken for  one of the  new batch  of wives  that  had  arrived  the day  before and were  ordered  to  be  ready  by   six   the  next evening . 

No  doubt poor Lady Addle   would  have been capable of  defending  herself  from  any  attempted Kama Sutra in the mix up  as  she  confessed to  having  once  bitten  a  policeman  in  her  enthusiasm  for  women's  suffrage .

 Upon arrival in Townsville , the seasick elephants, trumpeting in agony ,  will be met  at the wharf  by  the entire  Townsville  City Council  , a brass band  and a huge  anti  Adani  coalmine  squad , none of which , unfortunately, intending to chain themselves naked to the entrance to the Tobruk Swimming Pool  entrance  gate .  

Caparisoned  in  purple and gold , the  by  now  groggy  , scared  creatures , will  be   paraded  in disarray  along  The  Strand , just like the Cowboys.  Spectators  are advised   to  wear  raincoats  and sou'westers  when they rush down  to  the waterfront   to  see  the  pachyderms because  if  the unwell  animals  chunder  or  break wind  in  musical  unison  there could  be  an event of  deafening  tsunami   proportions.
Once the elephants   gain  their  land legs , there will be a beaut photo opportunity  when  they  will  demonstrate  another of their skills - body  massaging  people   with  their   huge  feet . Irate ratepayers , rightly  furious over  the Townsville Council  giving  $18.5million to  Adani , are  eagerly  drawing  up  a list of  mugwumps  who  should be  subjected to an  unforgettable  full  body  massage  by  an  angry  rogue  elephant  or  three .  

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Researcher  Gary  Hunn  forensically  examining  death  mask  of  a  bushranger

The hunt is on in America  for  information about  the  Australian bushranger  Frank  Gardiner, mastermind of  a  major  gold robbery  in colonial  New South Wales .

After  reading   a   story   headed DRAMATIC ARREST OF NOTORIOUS BUSHRANGER , TERRIBLE DEATH OF RUNAWAY KITTY  in Little Darwin , which  quoted  Magnetic Island    bushranger  researcher , filmmaker , composer and  musician , Gary   Hunn , a  Victorian  man  rang  him   to  discuss  Gardiner. 

The  man said  he was going to America  soon to undergo a six month Luthier course in guitar making  in Washington  State  and intended following   up the  amazing life  of  Gardiner  in the USA , after he was  deported  from Australia,  following   imprisonment  in  NSW  , and  told  never  to  come  back .

Gardiner ran  the Twilight  Star saloon on the  wild Barbary Coast area of  San Francisco .  Who should front the bar   one  day  but  the very  NSW police officer  who had  arrested  Gardiner  who   with his paramour "  were running a wayside  store catering for passing prospectors   at  Apis Creek,  north of Rockhampton, Queensland , under the  names Mr and Mrs  Charles . 

Earlier this year  , Gary  led  a  film crew to Apis Creek and inspected the  store  site , even brought  back  from  a  bottle  dump  nearby  for   this  blog  part of  a bottle  which  could   have  actually  been  handled  by  the  highwayman .
The Australian Dictionary of Biography  contains  very little  information about the  amazing  life   of  Gardiner  in America  where he mixed with    famous gunslingers such  as  Wyatt  Earp and  Bat Masterson .
 Hunn's  extensive  research has  covered the  incredible   suggestion  that  two of Gardiner's  sons may have   come  to Australia and  dug up   part of the gold  stolen   and   hidden away  in the great 1862  escort robbery , which consisted of  2700  ounces of  gold and  3700  pounds in cash , equivalent  today to  $12million.
One account claimed  Gardiner had been shot dead  in a dive not long after  arriving in America .  However , it is said  he  married  the "rich "  widow of a sheriff   and  is  buried  in Colorado. 
Gary Hunn , sporting  a Mount Rushmore T-shirt , has  a close association  with America  and through  his music was made a roving  honorary ambassador  for South Dakota . A great  American  history buff ,  he is  compiling  a massive coverage of  Australia's  first  100  years and the  people and events   which shaped it, especially the  convicts  and bushrangers who bucked the oppressive  systems  overseas  and  in  the  Australian  colonies .
UPCOMING : Latest inside  information  from  Hunn  re financial  backing for  Captain   Moonlite  musical   and  other  major  bushranger  revelations.

Friday, October 27, 2017


Based on   backing  by  Senator   Canavan , recently hit in the face with a  soggy gelati  sponge cake  by  an Italian hit  man  who could have passed as his twin brother during  Q&A,  for  a   break away state in  Queensland .
Pauline Hanson says booted out Senator  Malcolm Roberts   had been her absolute  backbone , now he intends to stand in the Queensland  fish and chips  electorate of  Ipswich, after being interviewed on a million per cent  fair and balanced  television  station.  
Northern Territory  Senator  Nigel Scullion , who cavorted about  in the  Siberian snow  under  influence of  vodka  in  younger  days , likely to  become  Prime Minister when  Malcolm  Turnbull  OS  and  will  keep   pet crocodile in The Lodge heated Olympic  pool .  

SIR GARFIELD  LODGES  APPEAL AGAINST  RULING...Mausoleum Echo Monthly , similar but much smarter treatment  by  Justinian.

Pork barrel  promises  galore on  Barnaby  election  coyote  trail.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Piratical  S(h)ipping  Reporter, only one  north of Woop Woop ,  fires  more  grapeshot  at  Townsville .

Shiver me  timbers  and  pass the Captain Morgan . Where are the Townsville reporters ? Are they blind  ? Based  in Mumbai ? Allergic to sunlight and  sea air?  In drawing attention  to marine engineering type  work going on  at  the Water Police  landing site  , just across from the  ferry  terminal ,  I  jokingly   said the  Titanic   could  sink   on the waterfront and  the  local scribes   would not  notice .  Well , this is  the latest  major operation   going on  at  the same  site , so  what gives ? Reporter  like questions to  be asked  here .  Thankfully, the police launch  Brett Irwin and its cargo of  bird frighteners  had  not  sunk.
On the same  day, a bit upstream  from all  this  activity which was  attracting the attention  of  people  on ferries  and other marine craft , there was  a strange  floating apparition , below ,  another  of   the  ghost  fleet  which  go unnoticed   by  scribes .
Again , on the same day , concession and   student  passengers  on Sealink ferries were being  asked -"warned" was the expression on  one occasion  -  to  produce  proof  that  they  were  entitled  to  special rates. Could  be a  local  media story here . While at it, follow up  and fully explain  why new   Fantasea  car  ferry rates kick   in next  month .
Floating about  the Townsville  drone zone , I noticed that the Red Baron  seaplane is still missing from its moorings, there are still weeds  growing from the base of the  Coral Sea Battle  memorial   and , at long last , the fountain commemorating  Queensland  breaking  away from  New South Wales   was  working , but  had  rubbish  piled up  against  it  ,  tiles missing in various places .  
Litter: frond, plastic  fork  and food container, leaves.
The weirdest situation , however , was at the  poor old Victory in the Pacific   memorial fountain  site. Not far from  the  Murdoch  Townsville Bulletin  office  , close to the  Townsville Travel Centre  clock that has not worked in years,   where   a  road works   witches  hat-a vexatious  bloody Halloween  stunt ?- was  spotted  sitting  on   the memorial  brickwork , rubbish  visible in the water, empty  drink  containers   nearby, the  bus shelter  carrying  more   graffiti .

Needless to say , the giant anchor from the  US aircraft carrier  Coral  Sea , a  special gift  to the city by America , just across the way from Townsville Enterprise House , is still rusting away, with   unreadable  metal  plaques , the  Townsville  City Council  and   Townsville Port Authority  unable to get their  acts  together to remedy the  situation . To use a mild nautical  expression, it  gives the impression that those at the helm in so many places are  slow on  the  uptake .  The  media, also apparently unaware of what is going on  so many fronts  , can be absolved  for  lack of  interest  because nobody sent them a handout  and  there clearly  ain't   no  shipping  reporters  in  town .

The new  name of the former Chifley Plaza in the CBD which local media seemed not to  notice . Could be a story here if reporters contact the owners , some outfit  with a  name  like Smart / Sharp  Needles ?


During the current  same sex marriage  postal vote  survey , the closure   of  a  large  bridal  wear   shop  at  a busy  Townsville  intersection  has  gone unnoticed by   the  Queen City of the  North's  media . Closure of  such an important    business  must surely rate  investigation  .   Questions  to  be asked:   why has  Bella  Donna  Bridal NQ  , sounds Italian ,   packed up  its  glory boxes, trousseaux  and   closed  its   doors  ?   Are  brides becoming  a  rarity in  North Queensland ? Or  has  the  business  found a  new , lower rent  location ? There is no sign indicating   a  new   venue .  No  good  ringing  the  listed telephone number .   The state of  the  bridal market  in   Bananaland  would  make an  interesting   in   depth report .   

The  empty bridal  shop in Ingham Road conjures up  a  sad  image of a  blushing  maiden  left  standing  at  the altar in pre loved   op shop clobber.  Nearby  are   other  empty shops , one offering  free rent , another  a Thai massage .  As this post is being belted out ABC  Radio National  has  a  report  which states it  is  not unusual for  a  wedding   to cost  $60,000, even  $100,000.  Online bridal stores  are  also  muscling in on the gown  market , there being  some "horror stories "  in  respect  of   this  service . 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Hongi  hurts    
CANBERRA:The  election of a  Labor government in New Zealand has forced  Australia's  Foreign Minister  Julie Bishop  to drastically change her   daily routine . Instead of asking the  magic  mirror on  the wall  who  is  the  smartest  member of  the entire Coalition ,  and why am I  obviously so  , she   is  forced  to  practice   nose  pressing with her own image  , above,  the Maori way  of  welcome, in  readiness  for   the imminent, painful  meeting  with  the new  Kiwi Prime  Minister , Jacinda  Ardern .
Exclusive by ace political reporter Argus Tuft 
A Maori welcome, Hongi ,  involves  pressing  both the forehead  and  nose   to  those  of  the  visitor .  It is tipped that  PM Ardern  might be tempted to give blinky Bishop   an  All Blacks version of  a  Liverpool  Kiss  as  payback for the nasty  things she  said  about  the  NZ  Labor Party.
Readers will recall that Ms. Bishop said  that if a Labor  government were   elected in  New Zealand  she would  find it hard to deal with  such a despicable and  subversive bunch  because  one  of  its members simply  helped reveal that the  Australian   Deputy Prime  Minister, babbling   Barnaby Joyce,  is  actually  a sheep shagger  because  his  father was  a  Kiwi.
From the  Wellington  Beehive  today, PM Ardern said that if  the High Court  confirms  Joyce is a New Zealander , she would welcome him  back  home  and   arrange for him to  become a key  performer in a revival  of  Rotorua's  world  famous  penny haka   group at Whakarewarewa.


 An  impressive  Jam  Factory Touring  Exhibition  at  the Cairns  Regional  Art  Gallery  includes  an   ode to the Australian landscape , below,   entitled   Corro(corrugated )  Bowl, made  from  rolled , mirror-finished  stainless  steel.

 Another reflection of the   Australian landscape  is  the etched work on a piece of galvanised iron  watertank , below  , entitled   Ngalkan , 2013, by Gunybi Ganambarr, which comes  from the private collection of  Ross  Bonthorne . It incorporates  designs from  the  artist's   homeland in the Northern Territory .

Using corrugated steel , he produced  the above  piece  depicting   saltwater meeting freshwater-animals swimming and  dancing ; there is a  herringbone pattern  representing seaweed  through  which  the  goanna  swims.
 Another unusual  display consists of knives made by Barry Gardner using   the  Damascus Steel technique, the origins of which  are  thought  to be in  the Middle East , lost in the  l6th century . The  modern  way consists  of   forge welding  various layers  of  alloys and then folding or  twisting  to  create a new wave like pattern. Several of the knives  shown here include recycled  files ,sheet steel, bandsaw blades .  On  the left  is a  Persian Fighting Knife . Handles are made  from  ebony, buffalo horn , Boxwood, hessian  and  resin . Gardner is  said to be  the  largest producer of  Damascus Steel in the southern hemisphere.

Monday, October 23, 2017


With an extensive involvement with East Timor , now  Timor Leste , Darwin agronomist  and activist  Rob Wesley-Smith  has  provided  part of  his extensive photograph collection for a proposed  film on the impact of global warming on the  nation , following  the  recent drought which  received   little coverage in  Australian media . 
 Included here  are  some of his  photographs taken in 2000 showing how water running off  the mountainous country   caused   massive mud flows which  reached  out  into  the  ocean .
The great swirl in the above  view of the foreshore and ocean  is mud. Muddy water  cascades  down a  ravine below. 

Wash  away next to track , vehicle  from  Australian group  helping  locals .

Wesley-Smith  says "drought  conditions " are  part  people induced .   In Timor Leste , he explains, because of its mountainous  terrain , rain rushes off via huge wet season  rivers  into the  sea . In l999 he had seen rivers running red, and in 2000  had taken photos of  the sea turning red where rivers converged.
Issues and solutions had  been offered  since  2000, but not followed up very much
Suggested  action  included :

* Re-establish tree cover:  trees and leaves on the ground break the force of the rain, encourage it to soak in , where it can emerge later as springs. This would help avoid floods and provide food and  building materials.
* Don’t burn the ground cover off.  Plant crops into the ground cover.
* On slopes, dig many  swales, preferably of short length, with trees planted on the edge, arranged along the contour.  These would  hold water allowing it to soak in; spilled water could  be trapped by more rows of  swales down the slope.  Crops especially legumes and beans  could be  planted to use the trapped water.
Burning off  had been reduced, but  he  did not feel many  swales had been  dug. Fish farming could be further developed using the spare water.
Secure storage vessels needed  to be developed and used to hold food supplies to be used in times of stress.  Same for seed supplies, to be held until the planting season.  In traditional societies before  the Indonesian invasion,  he  understood  seeds held  for planting could not be eaten on pain of  death.
Even in towns, including in the coffee growing areas, people could  and should grow vegetables  and herbs  in pots of  soil or raised beds if  there is no spare land.
Poor rainfall or unexpected rainfall patterns should not be blamed for everything, after all with global warming severe rain and droughts would become more frequent, he added.    Hopefully the  government could  allocate more than the  small  amount  in their budget for  agriculture and  agriculture education. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Months ago, a former longtime  Townsville  Bulletin  employee  , Doug Kingston , announced  he  intended  to  start up , at his own expense, an online challenge to the paper  to  provide Townsville with   balanced  and  fair   reports  on  major  local issues .   Clearly , this was an indication of  dissatisfaction with the paper   for  which  he  had been  closely  involved . 

Ever   since Kingston announced his intention to challenge the Bulletin no other local media  organisation  appears  to  have  religiously followed  up   the  subject , which you would expect , another  insight into the obvious shortcomings in  news gathering in  the  balmy  tropics .

Tired of waiting for  the media to get its act together , this blog asked   a basic  reporter type question of  Kingston  :  what  is the  latest on your proposal? It  appears a  second  player also  keen  to  challenge   has  entered  the  scene and   they are   likely  to  join   forces .   The  Bulletin is vulnerable on many  fronts as  there is obvious growing  discontent  with  the paper , especially over its handling of the highly contentious  proposed   Adani   Carmichael   coalmine  and  its  fulsome support for the Townsville  City Council mayor , the council's    proposal  to give  Adani  $18.5 million  for  a FIFO  airport. 

It was recently announced that  the Bulletin editor, Ben English , who had only been  in Townsville for 18 months, was  leaving and going to  another Murdoch paper on the Gold Coast . As no replacement   editor  was   named , it was seen as  bad  PR , a  snub  for  Townsville .
A constant critic of the Murdoch Townsville Bulletin , of course, has  been another  ex Bulletin reporter, Malcolm  Weatherup , who successfully  brought a  defamation  case  against   the  media  empire .
Weatherup in  full flight 

Each week , Malcolm  Weatherup  produces   the  well read  onliner  The Magpie , which  in recent  weeks has  included strong criticism  from  readers  about  the Bulletin, the Townsville City Council , Adani  , the last rites  performed on  the  paper  by  one  on  October 8 at 11.14 am...  
The Undertaker says:

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of journalism in Townsville. Actually the profession died a couple of years ago when “The North’s Own Paper” rolled over and put advertising revenue ahead of quality journalism. I remember a time when advertisers got only one thing for their money – space to spread their message.
On numerous occasions big advertisers tried to use their ad spend to hush up embarrassments such as drink driving charges and court appearances. Back then they were politely shown the door and the story was published big and bold. But, following a dramatic fall in circulation, advertisers became more important than journalism. It started slowly at first, with advertising messages disguised as stories.

 After scores of quality journalists lost their jobs to protect profit margins, investigative journalism became a thing of the past, replaced by the publication of media releases. If those media releases happen to come from a big advertiser, no questions are asked for fear of losing revenue.

I suspect that scratch-my-back deals are now the norm – agree to a substantial advertising spend and you get to tell only your side of the story. The Townsville Airport passenger levy and the continuing Adani public relations exercise are obvious examples.

 Then there is the cosy relationship in which the Townsville Bulletin is a preferred supplier to Townsville City Council. How much advertising spend is involved here and what does the council and the mayor get in return, apart from ad space? Those who are hoping a change of editor will mean a return to quality journalism will be disappointed, because cash is now king.

 Any new editor who upsets an advertiser won’t be around for long. As has been suggested by others in this blog in recent weeks, the Townsville Bulletin has abandoned its role as watchdog for the community and is now a lapdog. It appears that if you spend enough money you can now get away with anything. Sad.
Weatherup's  October  21   edition of the  The  Magpie  kicked off  with the pungent heading  : The Ratepayers  Revolt  But The Voice Of The North Gets Laryngitis . The opening  paragraph  pointed out that  ratepayer's were so furious  about the Townsville City Council's   $18.5million  gift to  Adani  that  an online  protest petition ,  calling on  council to rescind the action at its  next  meeting  and make available all   documents related to the   deal  be made public for scrutiny,  had been  ticking  over   faster  than the calorie counter  of    Gina Rinehart, now more than 44,000.   Poets ,  obvious scholars   and   rude  chaps , apart from Malcolm,  contributed  items  to  the  lively ongoing  edition .
UPCOMING : What is wrong with  the Townsville  Bulletin?

Saturday, October 21, 2017


There is growing concern that a  disease  of  poultry- avian paralysis - is possibly spreading on Magnetic Island , oft  described as Townsville's  jewel in the crown.  Another outbreak of  a  similar disease  in  Lorikeets is  also  worrying .

There have been reports that  adult Bush Stone  Curlews  in growing numbers    are having difficulty standing,  falling  over   and   dying.   If  avian  paralysis  then  it is  worrying  for  the  island's birdlife  in  general.

In the case of Lorikeets , instances of  encephalomyelitis , known as clenched foot syndrome , have   been  noticed by  wildlife carers. As the name implies the afflicted  birds  have tight,  bunched up  claws.

This  disturbing  situation comes  after threats  to the   Koala  population, the  subject of   a  recent  report  by  The Guardian Australia .

Magnetic Island boasts  the  largest  number of   free roaming Koalas in the North , yet they are  succumbing to  a variety of  ailments, dog attacks , recently  the  shortage of   food  and  water  due  to  the  long  dry  spell .

The  island's  wildlife organisation  , MIFCO,   run by a small band of   residents , received a   call from a  concerned  person who  had  seen  a Koala on a road .  On investigation by MIFCO , it was  found to  be a Koala, a baby on its back , licking water  off  the road   from a  slight  shower.
Last week a  distressed  female Koala, above ,   was  found , its  eyes   full  of green ants , the fur  about its face looking as if it had been charred by fire,  possibly  even  exposed  to  acid.  The Koala  had  been  seen  high up  a  tree the day before , frequently brushed a paw across its  face .

The following day , obviously in trouble, the Koala  was  on the ground .The  frequent "waving " of its paw the  previous day obviously due to  attempting to wipe the green ants  away  from its  face .

 Wrapped in a towel , it was    brought to  the blog , its eyes mere slits, still with green ants attached . When Koalas  are run  down  green ants  attack  them .  After  the  ants were  removed   , Linda  Wootten of  MIFCO , run  off her  feet   answering calls , retrieving a wide variety of wildlife , looking after many of them in her own residence,  was  contacted . She  took it home, where it later died before  the  Koala Hospital  could  have a  look at  her .  Recently the Koala Hospital  had  seven Koalas in its care , two recovering from dog attack , one with green  ant eye  injury .

Eucalypt  leaves were being brought in from Townsville  by the  Sealink ferry service to  feed   Koalas , the  island  unable  to  do  so .   

Ms  Wootten   explained  that  during  dry periods on  the island, with   little water available,  leaves did not  contain much moisture. Old  male   Koalas , prone to kidney   problems, were  unable to  flush  their   kidneys.

 Recently, in response to a telephone call , she retrieved  an Echidna in trouble , its  feet and the tip of its snout red . Instead of being  curled up  into the usual defensive  spikey ball, it was  half open .  Placed  in a  pen   with a container of water , the anteater eventually  waddled over  and  lay in the  water for two hours , after  which  time  the  redness  had  gone  from its  feet  and snout .  It then   proceeded  to  scratch a hole in  the  portable pen- indicating it was revived and  ready to  go  bush . 

Stray dogs have been seem roaming about  houses  in Nelly Bay in recent days ; a cat was   seen sunning itself in  a nearby shopping centre  and  it is not  clear if the island now has a  pound  keeper as  the  Townsville City Council gave the  long  running   catcher  the  chop .
It  has been obvious  for a long time that that the wildlife  carer  set  up  on  Magnetic  is inadequate , in need of an overhaul, greater coordination and better  facilities . There is a  heavy load  placed  on   MIFCO  members . There needs to be  a greater  involvement  by  the  state  government   which  has  National Parks and Wildlife  Department   staff  and facilities  on   the island .  You  have MIFCO having  to  even  organise  the  burial  of  a large   dead  turtle   on  a beach .
Apart  from  the threat  of possible  avian  paralysis, a  major  problem on the island is the  paralysis  of   the  government  and  the   Townsville  City  Council   to come to grips  with  the wildlife  situation.   Telstra  is also part of the problem  as  part of  the  island  has  a   lousy , infuriating    phone and computer  service , which not  only  affects  Ms  Wootten's rescue operations  but   other   residents  transacting   their  businesses .  


Perched way up  there on the western side of Cape York Peninsula  is the remote town of Aurukun , 100kilometres south of Weipa ,  where this   friendly  , wandering   bovine  welcome  was  snapped .  Cloud formations  also make a  big impression . 
 Striking  Indigenous  art  from  this area is currently on  display  in the  Cairns  Regional  Art  Gallery .

Thursday, October 19, 2017


Award winning  political reporter Argus Tuft  asks if Bob  Katter senior  has lost  the  plot or  needs  an   autocue .
CANBERRA : Whenever the Queensland  Marlboro Man imitator  and egg tosser,  Bob Katter  , rises in the House of Representatives  at Question Time  it  becomes  something of  a  giggle , as  this  shot  clearly illustrates .

Why? Because ,  reading from  a  wad of notes, he   rambles on  and on  before  , at times , actually  asking a  question . Hansard   shows that  after one puzzling  peroration, a   Turnbull minister   said  it   was surprising that  after having been  in parliament for  so long , Katter  did not  know how to  ask  a  question . A titter  went through the  pollies .

During this week's sitting of parliament, the Speaker, Tony Smith , started to grimace when Katter  rose , topped by  what surely can't be hair -   a Davy Crockett  cap made  from  an  albino  skunk?-and  began  rambling on .

It got to a  stage  where  the Speaker  told  Katter to sit  down, that he had  more than 45  seconds to ask his question . But when Katter went on and protested , the Speaker   insisted , said  he would not  stand  him  passing aspersions  at  the  impartiality  of  the  chair . 
Katter , looking  glum, sat down . Strange that the Queensland media apparently  did not report that Katter had  been  told to sit down and  shut up.   Katter  was a  minister in the Bjelke-Petersen  Queensland   government   and  like  Joh  feeds   the   media pullets  up   north   a  lot  of cracked corn  nowadays .
It seems  Katter and  Deputy  PM ,  Kiwi Kid  Barnaby Joyce , soon to be  busier than a  frog in a  sock  chased  by  a  hungry python   at  a by-election   if  the High Court  finds against him , have   mutual  admiration for each other .  Waving his  arms about ,  Barnaby recently  said he  had  fond memories of  good old   days  with   Katter . As usual, the  good old days in question  were  hard  to  work  out .

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


There is a honky tonk  song   about  the  green door and  the   intriguing secret goings on   behind . Before  the recent annual sailing carnival on Magnetic Island ,  which attracts  yachties  from far and wide, the Townsville  City Council with  Territory Enterprise involvement ,  suddenly  placed  a whole wall  of  coloured  panels promoting  the  wonders of  the island and  Queensland  on  the  terminal  promenade . Cynics  said  it  was  to  cover up  what is known  by annoyed residents   as  "the hole, " an  eyesore  which  has existed for   at  least a   decade . The hole is just across the way  from  the apartment blocks   dubbed   " Alcatraz ", the infamous American   penitentiary ; having two dubiously  named  places  cheek by  jowl  does  not  project  a  desirable image . 

For years  residents  have  been  asking  the Queensland government , the city council to take action over  the hole , even confiscate  the crater ,  without  success ;  converting the space into  additional  car  parking  has been  suggested from   time  to  time  ,  an  increasing problem  at  the  terminal .  

The   council's  panorama  of  multi coloured  panels  conveniently covered  the said  hole and  any  visiting  out of  town   media during the yacht races   would   have had difficulty  noticing the   cavity , the  rusty barricades , Heath Robinson  pump , litter , rusting  reo  sticking  out of the  concrete , cans , odd  bits of  building  material  scattered about , right next  to  the  ferry terminal . 

 If the council  did  in fact  install  the panels  mainly to  hide  the  eyesore , then who paid for  them  ? The hole is owned by  a company  wanting  $3million  for the site  .  Some  local  reporter  is   free  to ask  these  obvious  questions  along  with  others  like  what  is the future for the  flappers , who  came up with the  idea,  the  cost ,  for  starters.   
 In the case of  the multi coloured  Magnetic  Island  screens , the  windy  weather  has blown away the cover,  revealed  the  out of view secrets behind.  Rusty  barricades,  cracked  concrete   footings.  
Unsightly pee green !!!  looking  pool on   right.
NEWS TIP FOR TOWNSVILLE  REPORTERS : Fantasea  Cruising   Magnetic , the vehicular ferry , is going to jack up the fares  from  November .  Might  pay to get the  full story - why , how much , full  schedule, including  that  for  fuel tankers, seeing Magnetic Islanders are  slugged at the bowser ;  impact on  building  materials, etc... A quaint  initial  PR  puff   piece tends to   trip  the light  fantastic  by  stating  the company's   focus  is  to  "exceed  the needs of  our  customers."