Thursday, November 30, 2017


Some fleet footed   Magnetic Island  residents  think  all  their Christmases have come at once. In doing so , they are  greedily  tucking  into  an  abundant early  supply of  tasty  festive season   viands . They  are  lizards  chasing  an   outbreak of  March flies in the Horseshoe Bay  end of the island . This writer  was   enthusiastically  discussing with a resident , while both  slapping at  the same time ,   a volume  in the wonderful   Australian  Bookcollectors  series,  edited by   Charles  Stitz  , a lawyer , of New South Wales .
 There  was no need to  grab a  can of insecticide  as   four   lizards  had  charged  in  from the  leafy estate  to chase and  feast on the  winged  invaders. The  athletic  lizards, of varying size ,  ran  about   with   great gusto , at times  hurling   themselves  at   legs,  in   hot pursuit. Chomp!
 This small  lizard was snapped  when it sprinted  up  a   limb   after  a large, sucking  March  fly. If it had  been as big  as  a  medium sized saltwater  crocodile and  gone  higher, there  could have been   dire consequences  for  the  owner of  the  five volume  set. It would be wonderful if  Santa could deliver the same   fabulous set  for  this  scribbler  as  a  Christmas present .   

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Another S(h)ipping Reporter Scoop
During  WWll , Z Force commandoes on  Magnetic Island paddled  into  the  nearby Townsville  port  during  the  night  of  June 22  ,1943  and  placed mock  mines on the hulls of   shipping  to  prove the   place was wide open to  attack.   All hell broke out in the  morning when the mines were   spotted  and  authorities wanted to  charge   the  commandoes with a variety of offences. 
Commemorating  the  raid , which caused  near  panic,   is   the above   plaque in the Townsville   Maritime  Museum.  Now, in  what seems like a reverse  raid on Magnetic Island , the  so called  safe harbour entry  point for  car  and  passenger ferries ,   has  been  hit with a large  piece of wall graffiti  which was apparently carried out  without  maritime  authorities  and  the  media   noticing .  
Was it  a night-time raid  as  in  1943  ?
 It  has been  applied , above ,  on  part of the retaining  wall , below  a section  of  the  Welcome to Magnetic Island  banners ,   which  has  not  yet  been   blown   down or   taken  away , that  shielded  the adjoining  hole  eyesore  from  view .
The  hole  and its rusty, teetering   barricade   now  mainly resemble the  bomb crater  of  old .
 Our nautical roundsman  was shocked  when   a  backpacker  at  Molly Malone's Irish Pub  told him  the graffiti  on the island  seemed to spell out Russell Hobbs, a  brand of  kitchen   appliances.    It would  be sad  to think that Magnetic Island , Townsville's  Jewel in  the Crown  , is now reduced to  promoting  pop  up  toasters . Prince Harry  might  like  one   from  the city  as  a  wedding  present   along  with  a  bag  of  coal   , a  bag of  mangoes,  a  stuffed  and mounted  fruit  bat  ? 
In an update to  another waterfront  story  posted recently ,   the graffiti on the neglected American  aircraft carrier    Coral Sea  anchor , just across the way from Enterprise House ,  still  has  not been removed , rust  patches continue  to   show  through .The  tagger , Reckless , has been active in other parts of the  waterfront , on  a  wall  near the Pier Restaurant , just across  from the ferry terminal  .   

Monday, November 27, 2017


One egg still  to  hatch .  Vallis photographs . 

Now there are two .
Family snapshot as  the chicks  tumble  about  after  parents.


There is  an outline of a  stickman  figure named  The Saint  near the  top of   Townsville's prominent feature, Castle Hill , caught short  by a  metre or two of being classified as a  mountain ,  with its  sweeping  scenic  views of sea , city  and countryside  .  The Saint ,  above,   was painted by  university students in 1962 . It  represents  the  Leslie Charteris created character ,  The Saint ,  made  into  a  popular crime  TV  series . In a proposed  ungodly act, the Townsville City Council  seriously  discussed  a  move  to  erase  The  Saint . 

 A Little Darwin Raiders of  the Lost Ark  Expedition   on  Magnetic Island  has found  another   faded   saint,  below ,  in  an isolated   rock art  gallery . The name  Jackson  is  visible in the same  colour - white- above the outline .  Other earlier names  and  possibly  a  date  are  obscured.


Rare  S(h)ipping  Reporter  Continues  Scooping   Townsville's  Landlubber   Media 

In just one day in the  Port of Townsville,   vessels of the  ghost  fleet  which   continually pass through    unnoticed  by  local scribes provided  the potential   for  a   range of  interesting  yarns .  For example , Bison Express , one of  two   livestock carriers in port , bellowed out for  attention . Do  they call the skipper Buffalo Bill ? Cargo details, destination?
The other livestock  carrier  was  Doreen , who could have been the sister of    Buffalo Bill's girlfriend , trigger happy  Annie Oakley who ,  according to the song , could not get a  guy with a gun , but she sure could  plug  a  target . None of these  two  ships  rated a  mention  in  the  local  media .
Our S(h)ipping Reporter, the only one  north of Nowra , has a black book which lists  seagoing vessels  named  after  members of the opposite sex. Due to  poor  eyesight , he mistakenly  took the cattle boat  Doreen for a  similar  sounding notorious  cargo vessel , flying under the Togolese Republic  flag, which   is believed to have been used  in   dodgy trading between China   and  North  Korea  , placed  on   an   international   watch   list .   
However , in port  was  the   South Korean  flagged   bulk carrier CH Clare , above , of the Chang Myung Shipping Company ,  built in China  in 2010 , moored   just across  from  the  Bison  Express.  It's home port is in   the  Korean  province  of  Jeju , known as  the Island of the Gods , renowned  for  roaring winds, magnificent rocks  and  women , a popular   holiday spot  for  Koreans  and Japanese . If there were any  Koreans in the crew  it could have made  an interesting story asking  them  what  they think about  the North Korean  situation and the possibility of  a  nuclear  war .


On November 20 , Townsville sock it to 'em journalist , Malcolm Weatherup , broke a story in The Magpie  which  was  strangely not followed up by local and national media . A  former Townsville Bulletin  reporter ,  Weatherup   wrote :

A week ago, a concerned citizen wrote a very polite and informed letter to the editor of the Townsville Bulletin. The paper, without explanation, has declined to run it. Not unique, certainly, but the writer was one John Baulch. Perhaps the name wasn’t familiar to whichever office boy is in charge of letters these days (maybe they run them through Mumbai) , despite the fact that his name has appeared dozens of  times in  the paper’s pages.

 Clue: Try District Court Judge John Baulch QC, (recently retired), one of the pre-eminent jurists in this community. His views surely deserve an airing in the on-going Adani  airstrip debate.

But his well reasoned opinion and questions were deemed by the Townsville Bulletin to not be worthy of inclusion, presumably because it would put their honorary associate editor, Mayor Mullet, Weatherup's nickname  for  Mayor Jenny Hill , in a difficult position. Here is the letter.
To The Editor,

I begin by saying that I support coal mining. It is in the interest of our whole nation that our resources are used to the benefit of all. Having said that, I enquire whether anyone shares my view that local government goes beyond its power when it becomes involved in airport construction outside it’s own area which can only, at best, benefit a few in our community.(This was a reference to the proposal  by the TCC  to give  Adani $18.5million).   

The Local Government Act specifies what a council may do. A quick reading would cause thinking people to question whether it lawful for a council to spend ratepayers funds on the construction and/or funding of an airport in another council’s local government area. Did our council take legal advice on this topic?
Even if one takes the view that it is somehow lawful to do this, would not a prudent council take legal and/or financial advice as to how the proposed investment of ratepayers funds will be protected, secured and/or recovered?Did the TCC take such advice?
Aren’t ratepayers entitled to have answers to these and similar questions?I think ratepayers should know whether advice was taken and be aware of the content of that advice, particularly in view of the amount of money involved...John Baulch.

NB: Judge Baulch did not take it upon himself to give his title and honorifics. Why should he, it was a self-explanatory letter?

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Rust  neglected ,  now hit with  graffiti
The continued  neglect  of  major war  memorials  in Townsville , North Queensland, continues  in a city which  is  a large military  base . The prominent  memorial  near the  waterfront, daily passed  by  many people on foot  and  in vehicles,  has had RECKLE... painted in red on it without  anybody , especially  in  authority , taking any  notice  and  acting to rectify the situation . 

The  anchor is adjacent  to the  Townsville  Enterprise  office , nobody from there  apparently noticing. The  Townsville media, as  usual , especially the Townsville Bulletin , is often oblivious  of  what is happening  right under their noses in the  town  and  on  the lively  waterfront , as frequently revealed by our S(h)ipping Reporter, who took these  photographs of  the anchor .
 In the past , this blog pointed out  that  the  huge anchor off the  US  aircraft carrier  Coral Sea , a gift to Townsville   from America ,   is displaying   patches of rust   and  the   two plaques  , provided by the Townsville City Council  and the Townsville Port  Authority   are  illegible .  In the case of the Port Authority   plaque it  details   port  statistics   during   WWll.    It behoves these two august  bodies  to  get  together and  remedy  the  situation .
Welcome to  Townsville , gateway to Wally World . 

Saturday, November 25, 2017


Pauline  Hanson whipped; Labor  repeatedly punched in  the solar-plexus ; Nicholls  defaced , dethroned ?

Somehow  missed  by the  Queensland media  were the  numerous   violent acts   against candidates  and  their  campaign posters .
Nicholls and  Pauline  disappearing down the gurgler .
The most  vicious event  was  akin to the blood curdling  Texas  chainsaw massacre . It involved   Pauline   Hanson  of   One  Nation  (PHON) ... some  graffiti artists  turn this  into  PHONY .   She was  slashed   by a   culprit  wielding  a  whipper  snipper , which  shredded  her   corflute , a  very  private  and   painful  position. 

Why Ms. Hanson was selected for shredding  is  not clear .  The attack took place in an  area where  a female   federal  ALP candidate last year  had  some of her  teeth blacked out,  her   corflute   then   thrown into  the bush . The two attacks could indicate there is  a crazed Jack the  Whipper  with a fang fetish  lurking out  there  in  the  Queensland swamp country .

Canberra's   top  political reporter, Argust Tuft ,  who rambled  about   Queensland  during the latest election ,  has  many exclusive  anecdotes like those  outlined  about the  poster  warfare   that  went  on .

For example ,  he  told  how  a  fiend  on  Magnetic Island , armed with a black felt pen ,  attacked  posters   which  highlighted  the ALP's    renewable energy policy .

Solar power ,  the ratfink repeatedly  scribbled , would treble  power bills . Fed up  ALP  supporters threatened to  insert  a wooden  stake where the sun  does not shine   if  they  caught him  in the  act.

Some of  the  attacked renewable  posters  were  worked  on  , the  offensive message  removed by  hard yakka and  detergent,  and  put  back out in  the   streets.

One   tampered with renewable  poster   had special  artwork performed on it    and  emerged with a  bright   yellow  sun  that  almost required sunglasses    to look  at as  it shone so brightly.   It was then  cheekily  placed in   a  prime position  at  the ferry terminal next to a corflute  for  the ALP  sitting member  , Scott   Stewart . 
Tuft   said he saw  a  considerable  number of corflutes   for   the  LNP leader  Tim Nicholls which had  been touched up  to make him look like  a cat , an opera singer  and  Chubby Checker.  Argus   snaffled  some of  the bright  renewables   posters, produced by the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN)  ,   to  take  home  to  Canberra  to   decorate  his   dingy  penthouse .
He  took a particular  fancy   to  the above  poster  of  very  young   Premier  Annastacia  Palaszczuk, which he described  as  looking  like the  promo  shots    put out  by  female  presenters  of   current  affairs  programs or  TV morning   show  gigglers . Annastacia  was the subject of a weird advertisement in the Murdoch  Townsville  Bulletin   which   depicted her as  a horned  devil with  a pitchfork , somewhat  like  the  tampered  corflutes   of   candidate   Dugdale in the   ABC  TV  series  The Ex-PM  who suddenly sported  antlers.

Friday, November 24, 2017


Examples  of the almost  lost Australian   art of   billycart  making  surfaced  on  Magnetic Island  at  a  garage  sale  held  to  cash in on  all the people  driving  about  to  vote   on   election   day .
Both were built  from old  lawnmowers, the one above from a Rover ,  odd bits of timber and metal.  The   hotrod below  utilised  an  old  Victa  mower  component as the base .
They were built about 15 years ago by  Don Lowe  for his grandchildren . The first billycart  he  built, for his son ,  was   in  Tasmania , where he was a  dairy farmer ; that son  is now  in his 50s .  As the grandchildren  grew , he  made  adjustments to the   footrests  to accommodate  longer  legs  ; the pushing and steering arms  also  had to be adjusted   along the way .
Don grew   cut flowers on the  Atherton Tablelands before  he retired to the island about 15 years ago , a move  which enabled  him to  make use of  his billycart  building skills .  The billycarts  were  bought  by  a local  woman  with   four boys .


Battling Abominable Murdoch Media and  Repulsive Tattooed Yetis

NEPAL :  The world is anxiously waiting for news  about the fate of  Annastacia Palaszczuk's second attempt to climb Mount  Everest  . Fortified  by  diced   mango  injections, the  plucky Premier is  battling blizzards  and  a battalion of  ugly, howling   Yetis in  the northern reaches of  the  mount. 
Yeti on a bad hair day who  nevertheless  received an  odd  $30million grant  from Turnbull government  for  wardrobe  of   toupees, the   paperwork  a  secret.
As expected ,the Murdoch press ,  which   backed   the Coalition in the last federal election and  owns a  massive part of the Queensland media  ,  very bad  for democracy in this country ,  wants her  to fall down a  bottomless crevasse . Indeed ,  the  stumbling  Brisbane Courier  Mail, with its unhappy greatly reduced staff,   has  come out in  full  editorial  support of  an LNP victory , headed by Frosty the  Melting  Snowman ,Tim Nicholls . 

In the foothills  , hoping to pick  the eyes out of  Annastacia , are  the  moulting  odd  couple vultures , Pauline  and   Dicko , with the help of  assorted other  doddering , old birds in the  party .   Almost making more noise than  the  repulsive vultures are the  braying  dumpling  duo on the North Col ,  Tweedledee and Tweededum. Other  backbench sherpas in the holy city ,  struggling  for oxygen and  support in their electorates , are threatening  to  join the accident prone  Ice Maiden  and  her ragtag  gnomes .   

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Early morning cloud almost down on the deck at Cairns Airport  and  a   view  near Lockhart River . Photographs  by roaming  correspondent, Abra .

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


CANBERRA : A clear indication that  the Liberal National Party (LNP) in Queensland  is  doing poorly and the Turnbull  government  is  impotent ,   is the desperate  decision to pull   ousted   former  Deputy  Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce out of  his own  byelection campaign  to  spruik   in  central and northern  Queensland  seats .
This move  comes after  the fiasco of Joyce  accepting    an  inaugural   $40,000   Hancock Prospecting    award    from    mining and  farming  magnate  Gina  Rinehart   for  being a champion of  agriculture .  That   Joyce and  Rinehart  did not  twig that there would be an almighty uproar  in the rural and wider  community as a result of the  award  speaks  volumes, an indication of people out of  touch  with   the  common  herd and sod busters . 
Reporters in central and northern Queensland have a record of not asking  obvious questions. Frustration at  this sorry state of affairs  regularly come through in  lively  comments in  The Magpie , Townsville's  rip snorting website , run by Malcolm Weatherup .

Why, asked one  writer,  did  not a posse of   television  journalists   ask Premier  Annastacia Palaszczuk  and the Mayor of Townsville, Jenny Hill, hard  hitting questions about  Adani   at  a   photo opportunity ?...  " How on earth do we as a community get honest, properly investigated news. TV journos  grow some balls  and  do  your job .The newspaper just won't..."

 Surely the fact that Joyce  accepted the 40 grand , said he would spend it on his farm, and  then , a  day later ,  decided not  to  accept the  dough , will force  them to  really  ask  hard questions  of  him when he lobs up north . They should also grill him about the  survey that  further confirmed that  lots of backpackers  and others  are being  grossly underpaid  in fruit and vegetable  picking , some in Queensland . He would truly become a  champion of agriculture if he stopped crooks -which includes some  labour hire outfits , some backpacker accommodation  ,  farmers  - robbing  workers . 
In addition , Joyce and  LNP leader Tim Nicholls  should  also  be strongly grilled about Queensland now   listed as  a global rainforest deforestation  hotspot . Right now  a  farm  near  Cairns  is  the subject of  an allegation that  a large area   of land  has  been illegally cleared . The   LNP  is   backing an  easing of  land clearing  laws.

 Barnaby was  choppered  into  Ayr ,   walked through a near empty pub,  and addressed a small   gathering  saying what a mighty job he and the Turnbull government  are  doing for farmers . Despite that message, he  and PM Malcolm   Turnbull are on the nose  in the   region over  their  slack  response  to   the  cane farmers'  long running   dispute  with  the overseas  owned  sugar company  Wilmar .  Farmers wanted a  marketing choice   between  the  long  standing  Queensland  Sugar Limited  and  Wilmar , instead  of  being  at  the  mercy  of   the  company .
Great cartoon by David Rowe of the Australian Financial Review , rightly named Cartoonist of the Year , sums up the unbelievable  award   to the man who was the  Minister for Agriculture , his nomination endorsed  by the Department of Agriculture !!! The Murdoch  Townsville  Bulletin , which  has  been bellicose in its  coverage of  the  ALP campaign  in Queensland ,  gave  the  Barnaby Joyce  cheque affair  five paragraphs.  Tucked away was  a  short report about  Adani   which  said  the company, no  spokesman named, would continue to push for a billion dollars  from NAIF in an outcome which  could only be  achieved if the LNP wins the election  or Labor overturns  its  promise of  a  veto .    


Each year the  Magnetic Island History and Craft  Centre produces  a  calendar  illustrated  with  photographs from the past  . In the case of the  one for  2018,  the  cover  photograph  is   the   honeymoon cottage , with an insect wired  verandah, from   the Arcadia  Hotel ,  used by  Service personnel on leave during  WWll.  It was relocated to the Magnetic Museum  in  2014. 
The month of  July in the calendar   surprises  with  a  c1947  view of  a  group of  topless  men on  the  verandah  of  a  building , with the large outline of a  white thumb up hand  next  to  a  name , WANGANUI , a  place in NZ . It was one  of  several pre-war huts used by Arcadian lifesavers  and friends .  The man standing in the group  appears  to be  wearing a  towel like  bathing   togs  or ,  as  a  joke,  a  baby  diaper .   The limited edition calendar  sells for  $30 , contact through Any information about  how  the building  came  to  be  called  Wanganui  and  the names of  those in the photo would  be well  received.   

Tuesday, November 21, 2017



Diverse shapes  and  views  on  Magnetic  Island , North  Queensland  . Photos by Vallis.

Monday, November 20, 2017


Thirsty, distressed green tree frog at empty birdbath  and over-sunned   young  Sunbird  rolls  about and  soaks  up water on  banana  leaves  in  short , passing shower . Vallis photographs.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Tattered  Jewel  in  the Crown welcome  disappears down  Harpic Harry's  U-bend .

The  extensive Welcome to Magnetic Island display   now  seems  more  porous   than the border between the  USA  and Mexico  and  still  the  Townsville  media  has not  twigged .  A  large  chunk of  the  banners  covering up  the  unsightly  hole  at the  terminal , blown about, torn , collapsed ,   has   been   removed , no  doubt  due to this  blog  reporting  the  situation.  

 A Melbourne journalist, Kim Lockwood,  who earlier  this year  had visited  the island , on reading in  this  blog  about  the  banner  fiasco,  contacted  the Townsville City Council  and asked what they were  doing to remedy the situation at the ferry terminal.
The TCC  promptly  informed him   it   could  do nothing   as the terminal  and  surrounds are not a TCC  owned  asset. He was directed to the Department of  Main  Roads  and Transport  site  for "further  actioning." A strange response seeing the council  recently took part in a  PR stunt   in which  Magnetic Island was  renamed  Cowboys Island and  the councillor   for the island , Ann-Maree  Greaney,  featured in a  TV  report  for  the welcome  display in the first instance .( Then, on November  10 , long  after this blog raised the issue, Councillor Greaney  announced  she was aware of the  signage situation at the ferry terminal,  and  hoped  it  would  be  fixed  that  very  day .Not so .) 
Nevertheless, the tenacious  reporter  Lockwood  went to the Department of Main Roads and   Transport and  found  it  a weird  site  which gave him the impression that  it could not  help  because  Magnetic Island  is  not on  a  road . He  referred the matter back to us suggesting it might be  a  case of  getting our  famous  salty  S(h)ipping  Reporter  , the only one  north  of  Woolloomooloo ,  to follow  up .

 Our nautical roundsman was  located, as uusual ,  in Molly Malone's Irish  Pub  and reluctantly   paddled out to the  island  and inspected  the  now huge  gaping hole in the welcome mat . There he spotted  broken  plastic  ties   and  eyelets  scattered about the  place. The poor mutated Koala, which had  been  flapping   about wildly for weeks   , was  secured  by some ties  at a torn and  frayed edge and  would   no  doubt  burst  free  in  a  puff .

Thankfully,  a  much  blown  about and creased  panel of  a  rock  wallaby, which gave the impression it had been decapitated ,  is  one of those  sections  removed  from  public  gaze.  What  next ? Any Townsville journalist   reading this  post is welcome to  follow it  up  with the TCC as the remnants  will undoubtedly be blown away in the cyclone season . The media  should also  pay close  attention to further scoops   about to break  in  Little Darwin  involving the Townsville City Council ,  crime ,  industrial  rounds ,   health  ,  shipping  and  intriguing speculation  about  a major  media shake up  likely  to  hit  North Queensland .  

Flapdoodle Island  update :

Out of a clear blue sky , of  which not many are seen in Melbourne ,  reporter Kim  Lockwood was surprised to receive an  unexpected  email  from  the Townsville  City Council admitting  that  it is indeed involved  in  the  Magnetic Island  welcome  fiasco .  It informed him  a  report had been "raised"  , reference CSPOS/17/01458 ,  for the council staff on the island to investigate and see what could  be  done  to rectify the situation.  It went on  to say that " hopefully"  the  island staff were already aware  of  the situation and they  had already  done  " something ."   It would seem that  communication between Townsville council chambers and   Magnetic Island  staff   consists  of  writing a message in longhand, inserting it  in  an  empty  champagne   bottle  and  then chucking it  into  the sea on  the  outgoing  tide.  Why not pick up  the  blower ?

Saturday, November 18, 2017


The Frank Hardy classic  up the workers! novel   floats to the surface  on  Townsville's  troubled  civic  waters . 
The strong feeling against the Townsville City Council  and  its CEO , Adele Young, who came  from  Darwin ,  over the massive   slashing of  jobs  and  diminished  services  is  reflected in  this  two-man  demonstration  on Magnetic Island .  On  the right  is  the former Magnetic Island dump employee  Roland de Chazal ,77, who  never had a day off in seven years ,  who   got  the chop under the restructure  , a new part time position going  to  a  younger man . Roland  is wearing a T-shirt bearing the  letters  M.A.C.E.  which stand for  Magnetic (island ) Against  Council   Exploitation . 

In America , Mace is used to spray people in demonstrations  , causing involuntary  bowel   movements . There is certainly no intention on Roland's behalf to use Mace  on the TCC , although a  lot of irate  ratepayers and others would not mind  spraying  the unpopular  council  over its  intention to give $18.5million  to  the  highly controversial  proposed  Adani  coalmine.

The  longtime island  resident  dog  catcher  who also   performed assorted  vital   cleaning  duties   was  also  made  redundant .  Now  the  council sends  a  person over  on  the  ferry  once a  week  to  carry out  the  role of  a  dog  catcher , the new  arrangement  some  kind  of  secret , clothed  in  bureaucratic  , meaningless  weasel  words.  
The  other person  in  the demo  is  from  Townsville ,  former   council employee  Trevor  Elson ,  who  took a  voluntary redundancy  after  seven years' service in the Townsville Water and Waste  section, preceded by five years in council  after  hours  and  emergencies.

Needless to say ,Water and Waste is a  vital service in the Queen City of the North : looking after 100s of kilometres of sewerage infrastructure , about 200 sewage pumping stations  , dealing   with  overflows, gurgles, splish  splosh  ,  etc .
When redundancies and restructuring had been raised , the initial restructure draft showed Trade Waste Inspectors  departing from Townsville Water and Waste (TWW)  and becoming TW1s in  Regulatory  Services. The Source Control (Trade Waste)  Team Leader  and  administration  position  had  been cut . It was pointed out to  council you could not give the same service  with  half  the  staff .It painted  a picture of  Townsville  ending  up  that well known  undesirable creek without a  paddle .
Elson is politically active, once stood as a  One Nation candidate in Mundingburra  and  as  an independent for a council election .  He intends to  play a part in  the  next council  elections.    On  Facebook , he runs  Trevor Elson  Political  Thoughts, which provides an outline  of what went on in Townsville  Water  and  Waste , in which in September 2016 he had been the inaugural winner of the Townsville Water and Waste employee  of  the quarter  award.

It is a straight forward  account   which  would  undoubtedly inspire the late   Communist  author Frank Hardy   to  write a  follow up to the  1971  Outcasts of  Foolgarah  , based on the confrontation in 1951 between garbage collectors   and the  Warringah  Council , Sydney .

Hardy  converted  the situation   into  a  battle between  the workers  and  council  mugwumps  with  dire consequences  for Sydney's beaches  and politicians  .  Characters included  two very colourful and  street wise  garbos ,  an easily identified  PM  with big ears and a  media baron . It was a  rollicking   novel variously described  as   thoroughly scurrilous , possibly libellous, defamatory , blasphemous . The  unique  style , again quoting,  was  said to  somersault    from  the  bawdy  Australian idiom  ( a lot of the brown stuff  hitting the fan  and surf )  into  Rabelaisian  irony  and, at times, sheer  poetry . 

There is nothing unseemly or  rude  in remarks about the  council by the  former  council employees. Trevor Elson  is critical of the  Townsville Bulletin. He intends  coming back to  the island  again  to demonstrate with  Roland at  the  roundabout  near  the  ferry  terminal . 
Frank  Hardy took up the struggle by the Gurindji in the Northern Territory to obtain landrights and wrote a book  about  the  episode . 

COUNCIL  STINK : It is interesting to recall that  the garbage men of Darwin once went on strike  and  forced  the  mayor and  councillors  to collect the  rubbish  themselves . A  British cartoon  depicted civic fathers wearing top hats  tipping smelling  garbage  and dead cats  into  luxury  Rolls Royce vehicles .

 The editor of the  Northern  Territory News , Jim Bowditch , a close friend of Frank Hardy's  ,  supported the  garbos , which infuriated the ginger haired  mayor , John " Tiger" Lyons , a  lawyer .   After  referring to Bowditch as a  little cunt , within the hearing of journalist  Doug Lockwood, Kim's father,   the mayor  said he should  biff  the  editor . Bowditch , who had  been a commando  and had  killed many Japanese  ,  scoffed , and  intimated  Tiger was old and might have a heart attack as a result of   physical exertion . Them was fighting words .     Tiger  ordered  the editor  outside  and  the two combatants  wrestled  in  the   rose  garden   at   the  mayor's  residence,  much to the  annoyance of  Mrs Lyons ... The  bout  made  interesting  reading  in  the  newspaper and  had  the whole  town   laughing.     

Friday, November 17, 2017


Not only does Cairns , North Queensland,  have a colony of  photogenic Pelicans from  Central Casting but a number of  construction  cranes in the city, one visible above in these photographs by  Abra . Townsville is  envious  of  Cairns having  so many cranes , an indication  of  economic activity , and  an economist  from  the  Queen City of the North  lamented that   it  does not  have  at least one  crane . Perhaps a  blow up crane  from Cupid's Cabin  would stimulate  Townsville no  end ?  

Thursday, November 16, 2017


S(h)ipping  Reporter once more  steals  pole  position  over local   media  clunkers.
 Without   any  media coverage , the  large  vehicle carrier  Green Bay, 199metres long , flying  the American flag (itself an unusual event)  ,  arrived in Townsville    and disgorged a large number of  cars  which would have made a  dramatic  overall   photograph  from on high.
 Another  ship of interest in port at the same time was  the strangely  named Panamanian registered   bulk carrier  Sunlight Lily ,180metres long. And, just across the waters at  Magnetic Island, the extensive , large   Welcome to  Magnetic Island    wall  adjacent to the busy   ferry terminal   was  still  flapping , ripping  and rolling  about , without  the  media noticing  and nobody   in  the island and mainland   tourist  industry  responding .  Ah Townsville , striving to become  a  great  hub ... like  Wally  World. 
Then Santa ditched his  sleigh , let his reindeers go loose ,  and   bounced across the waves  to Magnetic Island in a military landing craft  for a Christmas party  at  Alma  Bay  without the  local  media  border  watch   team  picking it up on their  steam  driven  radar  .