Wednesday, January 30, 2019


Gustav Creek , Magnetic Island.
Mushrooms pop up , are blown over .
Inundation Anderson Botanic Park , Townsville .

Flooding  next to Foodworks, Nelly Bay.
Part of Magnetic Island  known as The Pope's Land is  awash, cane toads  are heard calling at night , there is water underneath the new   seafood cafĂ© and  the Queen of the Jungle , who has a leaky roof ,  reported  an  unidentified  , long-tailed  bird  she  had  never  seen before . 
High and dry.
After further torrential rain, public buses stopped running in Townsville  and  on Magnetic Island , schools  closed. Debris swept  down by  raging    Gustav Creek has  piled  up on the Sooning Street  roadway   crossing , a portion of  the sealed roadway in Compass  Crescent   has  lifted   giving the impression of floating .  At  the  Willows  shopping   centre in Townsville yesterday  there were many leaks  in  the  building  and  part  of  a  ceiling   collapsed  in  a shop .

Monday, January 28, 2019


A dash to the beach in between heavy showers  came  upon a  scene like a volcanic  eruption  because of  all  the  pumice visible  . Fallout from Krakatoa ?  For example , the surface of Alma Creek , above , on Magnetic Island , was  covered with   a  sheet  of pumice   with  coconuts bobbing about  near  the   weir ,  just before the stream  discharges  into the sea . 
 In turn the beach had a  large  amount of  pumice spread along its entire length . A combination of king tides and  heavy rain is responsible for  the  build  up .  
  Pumice  has been  washing up   on the island for years  and hearsay has it that it came from  an  eruption  in  the  Solomon Islands .
Pandanus seeds  in pumice . 


Kill  Bill Campaign releases enough energy to power entire South Pacific, including Tasmania, New Zealand  and  Atlantis . 

Hysterically campaigning  again in Queensland  , wearing a back to front jockstrap  on his   head ,    horizontal heavyweight champion   Prime Minister "I love yuz all " Scott Morrison , has  vowed  to  kiss  every  cane toad , including ones  run over by  Bill  Shorten's   bus.   Roadkill , ScoMo  declared, had  every right  to  vote  as  did   a  demented   seller  of   halal   battered  savs.
Another  Argus Tuft  Exclusive
Showing   signs of  the China  Syndrome, radioactive  Finance Minister Senator   Mathias  Cormann  , endorsed  the  roadkill   kiss-a-thon    tactic, throwing in a  glow in  the dark  bar of  Belgian  chocolate  for  every  squashed  toad   and a   quart of  flat  boutique  beer.
Meanwhile , many unfortunate members of the public  have been  injured by  the large number  of  Coalition  politicians stampeding away from  the  government   like  frightened  Snowy River  brumbies  as   the  Strontium 90 ( good for your   bones )   election looms .
  The   latest  scurrying    Liberal  tipped to  depart for  Mururoa  Atoll on a leaky  yacht  is  this prominent  backbencher , known as Ratty  to his  fellow nesters because of his features  , shown  shivering  at  the   thought of  what  will  happen  if  he is  silly  enough  to   contest  the  election . 


There was a  carefree time  in Darwin when  a  diverse  group of   people regularly   gathered on  a  waterfront  rock , drank ,  joked  , enjoyed  life . Naturally , they   became  known  as   the   rocksitters .  They even  drew up rules for   using the  rock  which   strictly  said  no  naughtiness  could  be indulged in  on  the  hard  surface .

 Today  that  rock  no longer  exists-a bolt of  lighting  blew it apart ,  the  relentless  sea  washed  away  the  remains . 
 Adjacent  to where  the  rock used  to  be  there is a plaque  with   some   details of  the rocksitters , which includes the fact that there had been rock sit in  competitions ,  one  won  by  a   group in  New Zealand. A flight of stairs  leads  down  the  cliff  providing  a  view  of  where  the  famous rock  once stood.         

Sunday, January 27, 2019


It  was  bound  to  happen  one  day : gnomes  have invaded  Magnetic  Island .There  is  a line  of  them on  the  verandah  of  a  house  a  short  distance  from  the Little Darwin den , causing  the  Curlews  to  glare  at  the interlopers .

In discussing the line dancing  gnomes with their proud  owner ,  this blogger  said   he  knew of  a police station   in  South Australia   where  the  path  leading into the  building  was   lined  with  wee  people . This provided an  opportunity for  anyone  unhappy with the  gendarmerie to put the boot into a gnome  or two on  the way out ,  as  in Caddy Shack .

This  remark led to  the   island  gnome fan  recounting   how  police used to  escort  charity  bike riders , he one ,  from Cairns  up to Karumba in the Gulf . One  officer  drove  a car  in which he  had  a  large  Miss  Piggy toy, with long blonde hair ,  on  the  seat  next  to  him .


A Townsville City Council  sign photographed during heavy rain   has  gone up on a much used   island  walkway warning   that  termites have  damaged  the  wood . It runs  from  near X-Base  up  the  hill  to the track that  continues down   into  the  Picnic Bay  area . 
While  strolling about the  Flinders Street old mall area  in Townsville , dodging  feral gnomes and a  mumbling man armed with a  peashooter taking wild potshots at   cane toads ,  an   unusual , decorated  boomerang  was  espied  in a shop . Packaged , it  declared it  was  a genuine Aboriginal  product . On turning it  over  there  was  Made  in  Indonesia ... a  long  way  from Uluru .           

Saturday, January 26, 2019


Throughout  Australia numerous  projects  are underway to try and  cool  concrete jungle  cities and  cooking   country  towns as the outback  and even islands  erupt into  flames .  The  truth of  the  matter  is  that  it  is  really   tinkering at  the edges of  the vast  global  warming/climate  change  monster  that  requires  massive  action   on   many , many fronts.

Across North  Australia  a variety of  methods  are being used to  try and  make  areas  more  appealing  to  the  eye  and  help  the  populace  cope  with  the  heat .
 In  the Northern Territory  capital of   Darwin  there is a heat mitigation plan in which  a shade structure , above ,  was  erected  at a cost said to be more than    $2million ,  near  the end of  Cavenagh Street , in  the  depressed  CBD.  Looking like  the ribs of an  aircraft hangar, it will  eventually be  covered by  a    Rangoon Creeper , Quisqualis , hybrid  which comes without  thorns  and masses of   fragrant   smelling  flowers, watered by a  built in fine spray system . An  artist's  impression  follows . 
 The  streetscape  is being softened in  parts  with  moveable concrete boxes   filled  with  advanced   plants .   There  is  talk  of  constructing  a   pool  in the CBD   to further  cool  the  city.   Involving  the  NT Government , the  Darwin  City Council and  Charles   Darwin  University ,  it is hoped other  tests with   new technology  paints  that  reflect UV and various  pavement   materials   will  make  Darwin  a  global leader  in  heat mitigation  projects  and  research  
   Alice Springs , in the  Dead Heart , is also  being greened . Some  landscaping is taking  place  along  the  Stuart Highway . 
In Townsville , at times called  Brownsville   because of the lack of rain and water restrictions  , there  was a  city  council  plan  to  hire   celebrity   gardener   Jamie   Durie   to  tart up the Queen City of the North . However, he  ran into a spot of  financial   trouble  and  did  not  come north .   
The city lamented  not  having  a  waterfront  pool  like  Cairns  and   thought a   wave pool like  the  one  in Darwin   would  be a  great city amenity .

Friday, January 25, 2019


Told  to  take  a  firm   grip  on  his  tube.

CANBERRA : The Coalition's  Funk Bunker   is still reeling from  the PM's disastrous bus  tour  of  Queensland  which ,  while  earning  him  thousands of frequent  flyer points up  in  the  sky   club ,  won  few votes on the  ground where  cane toads  and  prickly  pear  are a  daily threat .
According to party strategists , the  most damaging part  of  the  Queensland  trip was  the PM  dropping his can of beer  at  a  public gathering .  Anyone who   can't hold a tube  of  FourX  in   Queensland   is   regarded  as a  State of Origin   NSW  cockroach ,unable to pass the pub test .
A  Liberal  Party spin  doctor  unsuccessfully  tried  to explain  the embarrassing  can  dropping  fiasco as being due  to  the fact the   PM was  holding  it in a boxing   glove  that  was  going  to  be  sent through the post   to  Clive  Palmer  as a  gesture of  Christian  goodwill . 
Another    stunt  that  did not go over well in Queensland  was the  time  ScoMo  and  Finance and Public Service  Minister   Senator Mathias  Cormann   made a  big thing about  drinking   wussy  boutique  beer .  Real  Bananalander  footy-loving  men  (hawk! , spit! )  don't   touch  the stuff , leave  it  for  women  to   guzzle .  Public servants responded  by extending their lunch  to three  hours .       
 That  woman , possibly a  psychiatrist ,  at  the Queensland   event where she pointed  at  the  PM   and  rotated  her  finger  indicating   he  was   suffering   from  jetlag , or something more serious,  also went  down  as another  massive negative  in the  autopsy  on  the  non- bus  election  drive.   


In exclusive breaking news , Little Darwin can reveal  that the   PM  intends  to campaign  throughout  the nation   in  this  specially imported  open air  bus, which narrowly escaped being  destroyed in  the  recent  Paris riots .
 In an   interview with  the PM under a  Captain Cook  statue ,where he was  eating strawberries , wearing a  back to front cap promoting prime Aussie tripe ,   he  told   this respected blog  why he  has   chosen the  unusual carriage  from which  to  bestow many   French  kisses  on   lonely, dateless and desperate, unbalanced  voters  along  the  way .
 As many  Coalition  members   had  indicated they  were  going to take French leave before the election , more likely next week ,  why  not   break out the champers  and cognac   and  have an unobstructed  view  of   the  guillotine  blade  as   it   falls ?      


Details  of  an audacious   planned   international  gold robbery , involving   five  planes from  New Zealand  , is  included  in the 1994   memoirs   of  West Australian  mining  identity , Sir Laurence Brodie-Hall   , a  copy of which  Little Darwin  picked up  while prospecting  through  Darwin op shops  over  the  Christmas  period .  It   is  a  deluxe  edition , limited to  250  numbered copies, this 213, signed  by   Brodie-Hall .   
He tells how in 1980 he received a   sensational  Melbourne  telephone call  from John Howard,  secretary of  Gold Mines of  Kalgoorlie,(WA) , who had been informed  from London  of  a plot to  fly out  stolen gold  from Australia .
A pilot ,  claiming to be  a  disgruntled member of  a  gang  planning  to steal  64,000 ounces of gold ,  worth $650 an ounce at the time ,  had   offered  to  provide   details  for  a  reward .
A  detective sergeant was sent  to  London where a  meeting was arranged with the  informant , named Johanssen ,  with authorisation  for the payment  to him of   20 percent of  gold   recovered   as  a  result of  the information . After a legal deal  was  signed , Johanssen, " spilled the beans ."
It was proposed to  airlift  the  gold out of Australia  by a company registered  in  Nigeria , using  five ex-Royal New Zealand Air Force DC3s, on which an option to purchase had been entered into with the  NZ Government . Investigations  confirmed  the option on the planes . Furthermore, five RNZAF veterans had  been  engaged  to  fly them .
 There was to be a "grand flyover " from Auckland by the  DC3s  then onto Sydney, Alice Springs, Broome, Rangoon, Colombo, Bombay , Bahrain  and across  to  Africa .
The stolen gold , said to include  smelter gold ,  400 ounce bullion bars  and assorted items of  carat jewellery (robbed from shops ?)  , was to have been transferred   from  somewhere in the Kalgoorlie  district by  four wheel drive  vehicles  to  Broome . There  the  new air transport company  executives  -"the crooks"-  and  the  pilots were to be   entertained   at a  dinner  hosted  by the  Broome Shire  Council .  
 One key man would  supervise  refuelling  the planes and   the transfer  of the bullion  and stowage  within .  It is  not known  why the   caper did not go  ahead. 
Sir Laurence speculated  that an aviation fuel shortage which  extended to   New Zealand  at  the  time  threw a giant  spanner in the works.  He did , however ,  wonder  what  happened  to  the  stolen  gold ,  stealing and  illicit  dealing in  gold well known , there  being  a  Gold Stealing Detection Squad in WA .    


A romantic ,  rollicking image of  military service is presented in this  old  Swiss postcard , bought  in  Singapore, the  printed  text  and   handwritten   message on the  back  in  German  . Translated , this is the glowing  description of  military life :  
That's how we live ,
 that's how we live,
That is  how we live everyday,
at  lunch with  beer ,
at  night with girls -
in  the nightquarters !!
It was posted by  Otto   from   military field  post office  Number 65 ,   to   a dear  friend ,  Fritz Kauffman ,  a porter   in  a n  hotel in  Lungern, Switzerland . Otto  says he  enjoys  being in the military , with   cheerful company  ,  enough  beer .  He hopes that  Fritz has  posted  his   luggage ." Manoeuvres "   stretch   as   far   as   Switzerland.
Possibly  made  pre WWll,  the postcard bears the  printed name in small type  of   Jos. Schoenberger  and  what could be  an  address   in  the Canton  of  Saint  Gallen ,  Switzerland ;  there  is  also  No. 1003/3 .


Now showing  in Townsville .

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Due to  a wonky knee , Cyclops , our certified   one eyed  political  reporter ,    attended  the  Latitude  19 medical  centre on Magnetic Island   and   stumbled  , yet again , on  an  unusual  story  in  the  waiting  room . It began  when a  man came  in   with  a  bundle  of  yellowy looking magazines,  immediately identified  as  American   National  Geographics. These  he  exchanged   for  some  already  in  the   waiting  room assorted  magazines .  Turns  out   he  is  from  the  Men's Shed   and   was  swapping  some  of   its   National  Geographics , a  bequest to the shed,  for  ones  in  the  waiting  room .

After   expressing  admiration  for  the magazines , first published in 1888,  our writer  picked  up  a  1961 National Geographic  and  was   immediately  drawn   to an  illustrated cover   article   about  exploring the wilds  of   New Britain ," a land of  fire" ,   a  former  German  protectorate,  part of the  then  New  Guinea   UN  Trust   Territory  administered  by Australia.  

  Coincidentally , the day before  , Cyclops   had  a  discussion  with  his wife  about   a  New Zealand   relative of  hers ,  Aunty Lou ,  who  had married  on  the nearby  island of  New  Ireland  in 1905,  as  her  Auckland  house, in a  commanding position , with a  view across the harbour to  Rangitoto , a volcanic peak ,   recently  sold   for   more  than   $5million .
The  National Geographic article  was written by  ornithologist Thomas  Gilliard , representing  the  American  Museum of Natural History , the Explorers Club  and the   National Geographic Society , who came to the island   intent on  exploring, collecting and  making a photographic  survey  of the  flora and  fauna   of  the high mountain interior.  With  him was his  wife  , Margaret , an experienced  expeditioner , who  mounted  specimens ,  drew  birds , recorded chants .

Preparing for the arduous  trip into unexplored  country involved  extensive  preparations   before they set out   with the help of lanky  Australian Patrol Officer  David  Moorhouse    and   92 porters .

As part of their wages , the  porters received American  twist tobacco which they liked to roll into cigarettes  with  newspaper.  As a result ,  the  supplies  included    100 pounds of  neatly folded  newspapers , found to be the same issue of  the Sydney Morning Herald .  Gilliard  wrote that  he thought he could  recite the   contents of   the  paper  from  memory , down  to  the cricket scores .

Cyclops borrowed  the  magazine from the clinic and promised to return it some day soon ; he does, however, suffer from  memory loss  and  his  pad is cluttered with  reading  material, some  lifted  from  other  waiting  rooms , including that of  an  ophthalmologist  in Townsville .

Over the years  National Geographic has  taken  on  environmental issues  such as  deforestation , chemical  pollution, global warming  and  endangered species . 


Spike  Milligan's  challenge  to  Australia
A most interesting read ,  the  above  well illustrated   book was found  in   a  Darwin  op  shop   by  Number  2   daughter . It consists  of  letters    between  "half  crazy ex-Goon "  Spike  Milligan  and  the  classical scholar  and  writer  Robert  Graves .
 It contains  pertinent    comment  at a  time when   various  visions for   Australia's   future are  being  outlined   on  the  election trail ; there is  strong opposition to  the Adani  coal  mine  ; climate change is a major  issue  and  businessman  Dick Smith  is  campaigning   against the  Big Australia  population concept. 
While writing  on a trip from Woy Woy , New South Wales  , where his parents lived,  Milligan   said  that  in his spare  time  in Australia  he continued  to battle for  conservation  ,  outlined  a  radical   future for Oz :  

The Japs, and other fuel hungry nations who have out-populated   the self sufficiency of their lands , are pressing  and  eager  for  young  Australia to sell her almost intact minerals  and  fossil fuels ; we are trying- along with most University Conservation groups-to stop it .
Alas, Australian politicians are slavishly following  the old world   with  the 'More is better-we must now go  for growth' Lunacy , and here they have the God-given  chance to  avoid  past Western mistakes. 
With a country as big as the U.S.A. and a population of a mere  14,000,000 they could stabilise  birth rate  and  go for a self-supporting society-and show the way to eliminate all the evils  of  'Overpop' and  international  dependency -a nation loses  its strength  and  individuality when  somewhere in  Aberdan , an Arab can throw a switch  that stops  oil  supplies  to  country X  and  country X  is  brought  to  a  dead  halt !
 The way is now open to  International Blackmail , the Japanese become 'favoured nation' because they agree to  terminate business deals with any banks run-or part  run-by Jews! Self supporting systems   can be free of this threat , yet Australia is tying itself up in international deals  that give employment to Australia  but   enslave  her  independence .     
There are  other points  of interest , including Milligan , touring Australia in the  play The Bedsitting Room , staying with  artist  Russell Drysdale in  Sydney in a  glass walled house overlooking the Pacific .  A  wild storm blew up ,   Drysdale opened the curtains and  put on  a  Sibelius Symphony, the effect incredible . (There is a Drysdale collection  in  the Special Collections section  at the  Eddie Koiki  Mabo Library ,  James Cook University ,Townsville .)

Milligan , supported by the managing director  of the ABC,  Sir Charles Moses,was instrumental in saving the  neglected  cottage  of   Australian   poet Henry Kendall, made  from   convict   cut  sandstone , boarded up and  empty .   
On tour in New Zealand  he    intended   staying  with a wartime friend ,Harry Edgington, to drink lots of wine  and  relive  the Blitz, North Africa -Sicily  and Salerno . 
Pauline Scudamore  was closely associated with both  the correspondents and  wrote a critical  biography of  Milligan. Could  this  inscription  on the front  endpaper  be  by   her? Some of the photographs in the book were supplied by Spike's brother   who  was  living  in  Australia .  

Robert  Graves   told  Spike he  could almost  imagine him  speaking  Strineland due to  his  time in Australia, adding he  liked  Strines . He went on to recall he (Graves) had attended  an  official cocktail party in Canberra   and after a  while   sat down on the floor and   made everybody else do the same . It had ended with   songs and  "outrageous stories ". This  couldn't be done , he wrote , in Washington  and   Buckingham  Palace. Makes a  good  Australia  Day yarn whatever day  it  is  held  on .   

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


Rubbish  banked  up  in  Magnetic Island Marina .
Road to  Cockle  Bay   cut  in several places .
Constantly under attack, eroded  Nelly  Bay foreshore.
All the beaches  will require a major clean up .  The   island's  safe  harbour  still  has  debris  from  recent  weather events in  the  stonework  . Low level  areas of  Townsville  were   also   flooded by  the  king  tide . Meanwhile ,Tasmania is ablaze  and  South Australia   is  going  through a  heatwave .
Picnic Bay jetty where waves splashed up through decking .

Monday, January 21, 2019


Expanding memorial  to Australia's Damon Runyon
It is  pleasing to  see  that  the  Banyan tree  first struck in  a  tiny container  by  the talented  journalist,  Peter   Blake,  in   Darwin  about 40 years ago , is  now  an impressive  clump  at  Arnhem  Nursery , Humpty  Doo . It  is a situation similar  to  the  saying  from  little acorns , mighty oaks grow .
Bookie  Blake 
The tree was inspected early in the  new  year  when Little Darwin called at the  nursery , run by Sandra and Kerry Byrnes ,  and found   Kerry working  on the  replacement  for  the    control  box  which  runs  the  irrigation system , blown up during  a  violent electrical  storm . 
Over the years, all  of us have swapped many  yarns about  jovial joker  Peter Blake, who also fielded as a  bookie at  Darwin's Fannie Bay Racecourse.  He's the thickset, going baldy  bloke in  the above  photo  finish.
A veteran  reporter   who  worked in  several  parts of  Australia , Hong  Kong  and  on the  New York Post , he  was  a skilled  sub  editor and  layout man  , a   gambler who liked  Texas poker  , enjoyed  growing plants  in a variety of containers ,  and   loved  fishing . Kerry  Byrnes  recalled  going  on  an early morning    fishing  trip  with  Peter to  Beatrice Hill  ;  they sat  waiting for  the sun  to  come up,  eating  cornbeef  and   mayonnaise    and   cornbeef  and  pickle  sandwiches  , made by  Blake , the pickle overly vinegary , according  to Kerry .  

Keen to go ,  Peter jumped out of the car in the gloom , waded into  an area which , today , Kerry says, is  alive with  crocodiles  and   poisonous snakes . The denizens    therein   would   now   regard   you  as  a  tasty  cornbeef  sandwich .
From the  Blake family newspaper dynasty, Peter  was deeply involved in the  mad, mad  , mad    Kings Cross  Whisper  publication, started  in Sydney, which  made a  fortune .  They  diversified into    Fishing  News ,  two  shops  which sold  fishing gear , a large  mail order business  which sold   "marital  aids " and pressed  bawdy records  with the help of a Queensland government  fund! 


Renowned for  putting zany headings on stories  and  composing   equally hilarious yarns, Peter at  times  using   expressions   from   Damon Runyon's Guys and Dolls  characters   in   the   cavalcade of entertaining  stories   his magic fingers produced .  His  body  would   shake with   suppressed  mirth as  he  pounded  out  another   great  story .  
In Darwin, Peter  Blake  produced  two satirical publications , the Fannie Bay Whisper  and Troppo , in which some  old photographs of topless girls from the Kings Cross Whisper were run . 


  When Sandra and Kerry  Byrnes decided to start  an independent newspaper in Darwin to challenge the Murdoch  owned Northern Territory News , he  suggested  they should  call it the Darwin Star  , he having  worked  for  the  blood and  guts  Hong Kong Star ,  which  they   did .

Peter's all round  newspaper skills at  the Darwin Star  shook up the  Darwin  media  scene , the paper eventually bought  by South Australian  trucking  magnate  Alan Scott , who  branched out  into  newspapers  and  television . Scott took on Murdoch and lost .

Peter took his green thumb to  America, lost a bundle  of dough at the racetrack soon after  arrival , got involved   with  a  community  garden   , went on ferry  fishing safaris  out  of  New York, enjoyed  cruise ship trips   down  the  Caribbean , engaging  in  poker sessions along the way , while  his wife, Claire , a bookie's  daughter,  indulged  herself in other  shipboard  entertainment  and  shopping . 

He was  out walking the day of the terrorist  attack  on the World Trade Centre , rushed to the  New York Post office , against the tide of fleeing humanity  and  police instructions , and  spent  several  hectic  days  working  on  the  paper  covering  the  momentous  event. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019


Postcards  from a   batch  bought  recently in  Singapore  by Number 2  son. They appear to have been  produced in the  WWll period , the bottom one  a colour  litho   in    the  MWM  Army Comic Series, urges the buying of  war stamps and bonds , made  in  Aurora,  Missouri . The  top one   was   made  by Tichnor Bros.Boston , Massachusetts.


Shipping Reporter's latest  flotsam

With all the talk about  Clive Palmer intending   to hold a  lavish  Titanic ll  party , it is  surprising  that  nobody  noticed  that   the   original  Titanic   is  being  salvaged  off  Townsville . 
That is the only conclusion  to be drawn from this  odd   sight in the main shipping  channel in  Cleveland Bay which  has  gone unnoticed by  the  local  media , despite it  providing  great graphics and  raising the interest of the many people who  pass   it  daily in  a  variety of  vessels .
And  that  large blue object bobbing   about off  Magnetic Island   which  caused the  Sealink  passenger  ferry to  go about  and investigate, what was that all  about? The conning tower of  a  midget submarine , a  body in a bag  or  a fisherman overboard  ?  It was  found  to  be a  bin  with sand on  the  bottom.
On the same  day, the abandoned yacht was still  hard  against the  breakwater after  a  king  tide. There has actually been talk about removing  the wreck, sometime .

Saturday, January 19, 2019


Reeling  from an overdose  of  sugar , male members of  the  National   Party are to be  debagged , their  trews  replaced  with  velvet  knickerbockers  fitted with  combination  locks  in  a  daring  election  fashion  statement . 
In addition , the  Nats will adopt a more foppish  look , above , to  try and capture the  metrosexual  vote , seeing  that  country  people  have belatedly woken up to them  and   are  deserting  the   party  in  droves.

 The  new look  Nat  chap  seen here  is a  close friend of  Madame Pompadour  who , we revealed , is conducting the  exclusive  Toorak   school  for  Liberal  ladies  wanting  to stand for  the party   and  God Save the  Queen  at the  next election , the date of  which is tipped to be released  by Scott Morrison during  his  trip  to  Bikini  Atoll  next week . 

Meanwhile  the nouveau National  candidate  is shown   equipped   with a  peg  to be worn when   he  is  actually forced to venture into the boondocks and  talk   to  very  angry  country types  along  the  smelly  Murray-Darling cesspool  ... a  top fishing  spot  down  which Barnaby Joyce  is  said to have  made several trips, one with a lost  ewe,  in  a  Venetian gondola . 
Not all  Nationals  are happy with the  new  French looking   clobber . They  much   prefer  the  old style  sweaty armpit , Merino lined  singlet and   hessian  jockstrap  of yesteryear  which won  them   many cushy  jobs  in  the  Coalition  dominated by the  upper class  Libs .   
According to the Wagga Wagga   wrong  font , dressing up like this  guy will result in  the  Nationals  losing the seat out of their  knickerbockers at the  election , and most of them  will end  up on the road like swaggies , having  to  raid the   tucker box , 10  miles from Gundagai, which he  thinks  is  out  in  the  bush  somewhere .  It is not clear  if  Agriculture  Minister   David Littleproud  supports  the Little  Lord  Fauntleroy dressage .


Despite   assurances  that  the unsatisfactory situation has been  acknowledged and  that   things  have  changed for  the better  , the  cleaning and  maintenance of   Townsville  war  memorials   continues  to  be  neglected.

An example  is the  Victory in the Pacific Memorial  Fountain , above ,  a few days  ago, displaying  a  feeble fountain ( more like a bubble bath )  , rubbish  floating about , more  on  the  bottom , a  dog turd  up  against  the  wall . The  nearby rubbish bin was  filled  to  overflow ,  the  bus  shelter  plastered  in ever more  graffiti .  

And a  short  distance away in the  quaint    ticket office in  the old   railway building, with its  WW1  roll of  honour   for  rail  employees, leaves  were  scattered about the floor . A nearby plaque installed  by the Queensland division of the  Australian  Railway Historical Society , honouring  the men and women  who ran and operated the Great Northern Railway from 1886 to 1980,  is  hard to read and  requires  a touch up .   Both  these sites   are on  the  Townsville's   Civic Pride Trail .
On this very day Magnetic Island   ALP branch   members ,deeply concerned  about   the  neglect of   the city's  war  memorials ,  going through various channels  from the Australian War  Memorial in Canberra to the Townsville City Council , calling  for   remedial  action ,  received  an official  statement  of  sorts  on  the subject , which  smacked of  glib  PR  buck passing , not  coordinated  ,  prompt   action .   
It seemed  to  imply  the  matter  was now  in  hand . Clearly not  so  . The  WW1 ticket office   was   the  responsibility  of  Queensland   Rail ;  the RSL  supplied   the  Townsville   Council    with  funds  to  look after the Victory in the Pacific  Fountain ; other major  memorials, such as the  Coral Sea  Battle , had been  cleaned up  ;  various  hard  to  read  plaques  would   be   looked  at.   
 That this totally  unsatisfactory  situation has  existed for so long in  a garrison city where the  memorials  are part  of  the  nation's  shrines  is deplorable .  Missing in action in  this  sorry story  is the local media  who , somehow , have   failed  to  notice an  important local issue.  The Victory in the Pacific  Fountain , for example, is  a short  distance from the  Townsville  Bulletin and a  TV station .