Tuesday, April 30, 2019


Flock of  votes guaranteed  for  ALP
In a secluded nook , sitting Member for  Herbert, Cathy O'Toole  (ALP)  , poses with  the  influential Queen of  the Curlews, after  arranging  a  royal command    for all  Curlews on Magnetic  Island and  the mainland to vote  for her . As Ms. O'Toole , the   first woman to win  the seat of  Herbert  , scraped home  by 37  votes  -  little more than  four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie - this is  a wonderful royal deal. There are  at  least  500 Curlews   on  the  island and an unknown number in  Townsville .  Ms. O'Toole  rejects the scurrilous claim that she   bribed  the  Queen  with  a  crate of gin  to  get  the   block  of   votes .      


Exclusive  coded  dispatch  from  unworldly  Pommie  reporter  William  Boot , who normally writes   nature notes  in  the Mother Country,  sent to  Queensland   by doddering   British  media  magnate  Lord  Copper to  cover the colonial election uprising .
Nothing much happened  in  the  far  north  of  the Sunshine  State  during the week , except  the  Cowboys got beaten .   A mysterious  drilling  rig  is anchored   in  international waters, above ,  off    Townsville . According to  Little Darwin's  well informed  Shipping Reporter ,with whom I  had  an arm wrestle in  Molly Malone's  Irish Pub during a  heavy drinking  session , put on my  expense account,  naturally ,   the rig will be used  to  mine   rich  deposits  of  boofheads  in   the  area   if  the  Heinrich   Morrison  Government  is   re-elected . 

Strangely , no  local media  people  noticed  the  rig, which stands out like a rocket  launching pad  .  The obliging Shipping  Reporter said this  is not unusual  and   also  showed  me  how  to  wear  my  pith  helmet   the  right  way  round .
It sounds  incredible, but there  is a report that  a  Malaysian  fakir wanted by Interpol  nailed   himself   to  an  overweight  spiny anteater  in  Dawson  and refused to be deported. Received  a  nice   snap of   Cairns  , below , from a  pelican  who is  an  avid  reader of  my  reports .
  The Townsville  newspaper is doing an imitation of the old  Fleet Street  Thunderer , demanding people sign  pledges  to  make sure  that cooking the Great Barrier  Reef   is  regularly featured in  MKR  . Incidentally , the Dodo colony in the Townsville  Bulletin  building  is moulting and I am feeding them  with some of the container load  of seed my mother ordered me to give to  the threatened  Black Fronted  Finches  in  barbaric  North Queensland.       

Monday, April 29, 2019


A  young  wallaby is  lucky to  be  alive  after    being   allegedly     deliberately  run down by  a motorist  on  Magnetic  Island .   In  another  incident reported to wildlife  carers   a   hire  car   swerved  off  the road  and   hit  a wallaby which  was  so  badly   injured  it  had  to  be  euthanased  .
Wallabies  are  part  of  island  attractions.
 On top of these  disturbing  episodes ,  a n extremely   brief    police report raised the  possibility that  a  dead  wallaby found  floating  in  the  harbour  had  been   knifed. The mainland media, yet again,  failed to pick up  this island  story.   

The surviving  wallaby  from the  recent car attack  is being looked  after by  the Magnetic Island  Fauna  Care Association  (MIFCA).   An island resident  saw   the   wallaby hit  and  be  thrown   high into the air   early one morning , near    the   Bungalow  Bay    Koala  Village , Horseshoe Bay .

It is claimed the driver of  the  large  black car  then    attempted to   run over  the  animal , but was  stopped  from doing  so . The  badly injured animal  was   taken into  Bungalow   Bay   and  they  rang   MIFCA.

Now, after  close attention , the wallaby , named Jess, can hop about in a fashion  , one leg extended  further  than   the   other . Every  so  often its  head shakes  as if  having  a spasm.


It is  a  surprise  to  discover  that  the  long  gone and not lamented  Queensland  premier  Joh Bjelke-Petersen  inspired  Thomas  Shapcott  to  write a  three  part   poem  in  the  above 1983 collection published by  the University of Queensland  Press .  Upon  reading , however,  there  is  a  strong    message ,  applicable  to  Queensland  ,  politics  today and  hot  election issues .

Headed  IN THE SYSTEM ,  it  quotes  Bjelke -Petersen , "These subversives , these  Friends  Of   The Dirt . "   A statement  Joh may have made feeding " his  chooks"- the local media . It is taken to mean   he  was  obviously dismissing  people  who  opposed  certain   projects  as  subversives .  It opens  by  explaining the  brigade   who   support  open   slather .

The Enemies Of  The  Dirt might dabble
 in  Real Estate with a nod  to the Local Council
but  they 'd swallow  a  rainforest before breakfast
and  are planning to skillet the Barrier Reef
that is , after the hard work of quarrying
has been dealt with in the telex room .
The next part is headed  "The Joyner Act ": A Queensland  Text.  

In this  , Shapcott  refers to   Joh's  friend   , Rona  Jayner ,  founder of the Society to  Outlaw  Pornography (STOP), who circulated a list of  more than 130 books  said to  corrupt  readers, which  should  be  burned . The list was  submitted to the Queensland Education Department  and published in the Queensland  University independent  student newspaper  Semper Floreat  headed  , RONA'S DEATH LIST: BURN A  BOOK A DAY .    

Shapcott  gives notice that  it  is hereby declared that  under the  Rona Joyner Act possession of any book, artefact  or  printing contrary  to Revealed Truth constitutes an infringement of law.  Already  libraries of  leading dissident  religious bodies -those of  Catholic and  Anglican Archbishops-have been confiscated.  Teachers found in possession of such literature will be deprived of  super, holiday entitlements and long service leave - resulting  in  a great saving to the electorate .  The Premier assures law and order will be upheld vigorously . His police  have  the  matter  under  control .
Advice to a  Politician ( in  Queensland  during Joh's reign, but  applicable today  on  the  national  front  ).
This  part  advises  that  a politician should not answer  questions (sounds like the ScoMo style) , ask them . It  is  good to  have an  Enemy  . If  unable to find an enemy of the people-ScoMo  repeatedly nominates  Bill  and calls  him a liar  - find one who is an Enemy of the Law  , change the law . There is a lot of prejudice  out  there to be harvested .  Hitler  and Mussolini  showed the voting power of prejudice . This  is a wealthy place, waiting to be exploited , slip through an amendment  to the Companies Act  and use nominees. Brazen it out , justify nothing ...  
People who live by the open sewer
forget it was once a shaded creek .
People who drive the bare road between Bulimba  and the airport
forget it was  once shade  forest.
People who live in development  brick- veneer  bungalows
have forgotten whatever was  once meant by  words like " community".      
You will go far -taking us  all  with you .
Born in Ipswich, Queensland, Shapcott, now  84 if still kicking  ,  went to Queensland University , became an accountant , had a distinguished literary  career , receiving a  Churchill Fellowship and the Canada-Australia Literary Prize   ; published  a children's novel , major anthologies  and   wrote a monograph on  artist  Charles  Blackman .The dustjacket  blurb  says he is a  librettist who collaborated with composer  Colin Brumby in  more  than  a  dozen  works.  

Sunday, April 28, 2019


The  boy   bitten  by  a death  adder  on Magnetic Island was actually out  looking for hidden Easter eggs ... not observing   wildlife  with  a  torch . While the bite  was  reported to have been "dry" -no venom injected-his leg did  swell  and he was  taken off  by helicopter   to Townsville , not picked up  by mainland media .   While on the subject  of  matters medical , what happened  to  all  those   people who fell  victim  to  melioidosis , found in soil and water,  as  a  result of  the   floods ? Media  follow up  in  the  north  often  seems to  be  in  a  coma . One well known  island identity in hospital a  long  time .  

Friday, April 26, 2019


A  Martian  keen  to  save the Planet of the Apes from global warming crash   lands  in   Canberra .  Somewhat stunned, he emerges  from the buckled  UFO  , wanting  to  be  taken to  the  leader , who  has   a  strange  name , ScoMo . He figures  this   must  be  an acronym, an abbreviation ,  some other strange  title , or an advertisement for  liver salts. 

 The   first  person he  confronts   is  a  salt  of the  earth  ALP  supporter.  In a  strange  voice  , the Martian   asks   what  the  hell  does   ScoMo   stand  for .  The  answer supplied  : Snakeoil  Coal(ition)  Organgrinder  Macro  Orifice.
Foreign  body on  liver,lips . 
Unable to understand  this  odd  explanation, the Martian next  confronts  a  jogging  Greens  voter  and   demands  an understandable   interpretation .The answer, given  over a  mug of soy milk latte : Shambles  Coal(ition )  Oblivion  Money  Obsolescent . 
Full Moon tonight ,Uncle Martin.
Still none the wiser, the  Martian  thinks  they  are  a weird mob on Planet Earth .  He takes fright when he is nearly run down by a  man  on  a  scooter who darts out of  parliament house  ahead of a  tubby lobbyist  smoking a cigar and    pushing a large  pork barrel .  It is none other than Christopher Pyne , the  government's Mr  Fixit .  
 The  puzzled  Martian  bails  him up  at  the point of his   ray gun, " What is the meaning of  this crazy  name  ScoMo ? " he demands, sticking the end of the weapon  up  Christopher's snozzle . 
Terrified   Pyne   instantly recognises this alien  ruffian as a  brutal  member of  the CFMEU , wishes he had  Michaela Cash with him to  deal with the uncouth chap,  perhaps run him over  in  V8  tradie's ute.  Shaking with  fear , Christopher  meekly replies : Supremo  Coal(ition)  Obtuse  Murdoch  Olfaction.        

Thursday, April 25, 2019


Two   events   lead   to  reopening  of   file . 
The recent attack by a  dingo  on a  14month old  boy sleeping in  a camper trailer  on  Fraser Island, resulting in  him  being dragged outside and suffering  a  fractured  skull and  cuts to  neck and head ,  was  yet  more  confirmation  that nine week  old   Azaria  Chamberlain  had  been  taken  from  the  family tent  by a  dingo  at  Uluru  in 1980,  says  Darwin agronomist   Robert Wesley-Smith .    Wesley-Smith  ,of the Northern Territory Civil Liberties Council , campaigned  to  clear Michael and Lindy  Chamberlain  . The   victim  of  the  latest Fraser Island  attack , the  third in recent times , was  older , bigger and  would have been  much  heavier  than  Azaria .  
It had been claimed in the Chamberlain case  that   Lindy Chamberlain had  cut the infant's throat  in the  front  seat of the  car  and  they  had  hidden the body. It was said  dingoes could not open their jaws  far enough  to  grab a child by the head . This , Wesley-Smith  said, was nonsense as an Alice Springs group  had  shown  the animal had the capacity to  expand  its   jaw to  grab   large  prey .  Over  the  years  that   the   Chamberlain case dragged  on  before they were exonerated  after four coronial inquiries  of  any involvement in the disappearance  of  the  child  and  it declared she had been taken by a dingo , Wesley-Smith  kept an extensive file,  passed  to Little Darwin  , part of  the  many  documents , letters  and  cuttings  run  below .
Wesley-Smith  praised  the recent  ABC  TV show  Anh's Brush With  Fame in which  Lindy  Chamberlain  was  painted while he interviewed her in his studio . Details of  the   tragic night in which her  baby daughter was taken from the tent  and  the    ordeal  the  entire  family   went  through  after the event  were  covered .
 The fact  Mrs  Chamberlain  had  her  baby daughter , Kahlia ,  taken away  from  her   soon  after she   gave  birth in  Darwin Hospital  , while she was serving a  sentence  for  murder,  shocked Wesley-Smith. 
 "I was  informed that in prison she had  acted like a mother to other  women in there ," he added. Her incredible courage and  fortitude  had come through  during  the  sitting.
Short moment of relief ; NT government renewed attack.  
During the campaign ,  Wesley-Smith wrote letters , spoke to members of the legal profession , urged  Territory politician Bob Collins  to   become involved-he visited  Lindy in  prison . The Northern Territory News   in  September  1983   criticised  Collins' call for  a judicial inquiry into the Chamberlain   case. 

 Wesley-Smith  in June  1987  fired an angry  letter  into the editor of the paper   over an editorial   .  He said  another piece in the paper had tried to revive the untrue  allegation  that  Azaria's     jacket  had  been   found  neatly folded.

The  Chamberlain defence, he believed ,  had not  handled the   case  as well as it could have. Unfortunately, the  adversarial  legal system  did not  seek the  truth , but only judged on evidence available  and   put  up  for scrutiny . 
"I don't expect mass sympathy for the Chamberlains, " he wrote in his letter   ." Our dinkum Aussies  don't like  being shown up to be dingoes , and wrong "  This part  was deleted by the newspaper. 

Also cut from the letter was  the following paragraph which  said these strong comments  applied to the Northern Territory News  , " whose  never-failing bias  against  the Chamberlains (thus for the  NT  Government ),  helped build the feeling  and judgement against them. " 
Miscellaneous  items of  interest  from the   file :
American supporters of the Chamberlains  donated  at least $80,000  for a retrial .

Six weeks before  Azaria Chamberlain disappeared   the three year old daughter of  Max and  Phyllis  Cranwell  was  attacked by a dingo  at   Uluru ; left in  a car while the family was setting up  camp, she was heard  cry , found  on the ground with a  dingo standing over  her .  Mr Cranwell  and   a  daughter  died in a  plane crash in  Papua New Guinea , August  2009.

Sensational  claims  were made  in Northern Territory   News"advertisements", by  independent  political  candidate ,   Phil Ward.     In  one he said  the Azaria  murder investigation  probably started as  a  police payback  for a radio  campaign  Michael Chamberlain  had  run against marijuana  when he was  a Seventh -Day Adventist minister in  Mount Isa . Ward alleged  Mount  Isa police were involved  in the sale of the drug , two of them  had flown to  Territory  and "convinced  Territory police  to change  to a   murder  investigation ".  He further  alleged  Darwin police  were also involved in  supplying   illegal  drugs. 
In another piece,  Ward  said he had spoken to  Michael Chamberlain in NSW  who  confirmed  Azaria  had  been given a big feed of  S26 milk formula to  make sure she had a long sleep  the night of  her death . Every mother knew, he wrote, that  babies were   likely  to  vomit after  drinking  S26. An  Aboriginal Democrat  candidate, Wiyendji Roberts, had told  Ward  a  dingo would sense a  sick baby .

Ward complained that  the  NT News  had put "advertisement " over  all his  pieces , but had left  it off  seven  CLP  pieces so  far.  Also a  Seventh-Day Adventist  , Ward , who claimed he spent  18 months investigating    the  case   at a cost of  $125,000 ,   wrote  What the Jury Were Not Told , self published . More later.     

Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Details  are  brief  but, according  to info supplied  to this blog ,  a boy who was out with  a  group  ,  armed with  torches   to  see  the  creatures of  the night  on Magnetic Island , was  bitten on  the  toe  by  a death adder. The  bite  was   said to be  have been "dry "- no venom injected- nevertheless  he was  evacuated to Townsville   by  helicopter  in  the early hours. The  event apparently not picked up  by  mainland  media .  


John Tomlinson , radical social worker, poet , environmentalist ,  campaigner  for  the  oppressed  , a foundation member of the  Northern Territory  Civil Liberties  Council ,  died  recently , without  the  world  noticing , certainly so in  Darwin where he  had  been a prominent, controversial figure. 

A  keen fisherman , he named  his   boat  Yellow Peril so that he  could , with a chuckle  , report  over the radio  that  the Yellow  Peril  was again   nearing   Darwin  and  wanted  permission  to  enter Australia's front door.   He  was  in the  group  arrested   in Darwin Harbour  for  trying to  run medicine and  supplies  to  East Timor   during  the  Indonesian  invasion.
John is shown above with  another  fishing outfit in later years , the  boat  bearing various  posters and  slogans . Employed  as  a senior social worker in the Welfare Department , Darwin , in l973 , he soon became  renowned for his   fearless   activities  and   comments . He was  involved  with another  well known activist , agronomist  Robert Wesley-Smith , who was also arrested at  gun point in  the attempt  to  run  aid  to  East Timor .
Yellow Peril, Wesley-Smith told this blog , was a  14ft  Clarke  outboard . On a  fishing  trip  aboard  the  said  notorious   vessel   they  had  once  gone aground  at  Shoal Bay  and  were  stranded  for  hours .   
A controversial two in one book Tomlinson  wrote  about shortcomings in government services  in  the Northern Territory included  photographs of him  in a melee with  arresting police, the  caption saying it  was the author  assisting police  in  their  investigations . 
 His publications included  People's Poems and Songs and Reflections of a Fool and Other Poems
 See  johntomlinsoncollectedworks.com.
Tomlinson, right , in a taped session  with  journalist Peter  Simon in Wesley-Smith's rural abode in Darwin . Somewhere  in  the  cluttered shelves in  the background was  believed  to  be  a Princess Grace of Monaco Medal    Wes had  been  awarded   for   his  long running  involvement  in the East Timor struggle .  
An avid  supporter of  a  universal  scheme  to  reduce  global poverty   , Tomlinson  attended  overseas  conferences  and spoke on the subject . He taught at university  in Queensland , sold  a  boat  there, moved to Sydney with his partner , Penny Harrington  , where, ill since  February  with a chest infection ,  breathless,  he   died  from  apparent  lung  cancer  on  April  6.    

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


The  scheduled  3pm departure  Airnorth  flight  from Townsville to Darwin last Sunday did not  leave  until 1 am  the next day with weary  passengers   due to some  unexplained  problem   with   the  plane  down  the  Gold Coast.  Now  it  has  been  announced  in  Darwin  that  the  US  parent company, Bristow  Group , is facing collapse   and   may  file for  bankruptcy .  A  few  weeks ago , midst much fanfare, it was announced  in  Townsville that  the   airline would extend  the  Darwin-Townsville route  to  the   Gold  Coast.  Bristow bought into Airnorth  in 2015, providing services  to  northern parts of   WA , NT , Queensland  and  Timor  Leste .

Monday, April 22, 2019


Real estate agents  go on  about  position , position  .  In  the  case of the Liberal National Party candidate for the seat of  Herbert Phil Thompson  having  your   corflute  attached to a  real estate  SALE    sign , above , in  an  open paddock prone to flooding  on  Magnetic Island  ,  was   surely  the   wrong  position . "Is  this   bloke  up  for  sale ? " asked  a  passer-by. 

It will undoubtedly  be included  in  the tropical oddity section  of the  National Film and  Sound Archives  collection  to which  former  Liberal National Party Member for HerbertEwen Jones , was   surprisingly  appointed  the  day  before the  Morrison caretaker  government began  and received  scant  attention  in  Townsville   media .

 You would  think  it deserved a  follow up  in which   he would be asked why he got the position , did he apply for   it ,  how  much  is it worth , does he have any interesting  selfies  suitable  for the archives (what about the one  showing him juggling  a  hand grenade which made  military  onlookers shake their heads  ?)  , is  it a  job  for  the boys , and  so  forth.
 The learned columnist in the Melbourne  Saturday Paper Richard Ackland , in the  Gadfly Diary , always great reading , written  in an inimitable style , covered    the Jones  boyo's   appointment,which  is  for  three years .

A member of the Morrison Government   Gadfy   said the Human Toilet Brush - Communications and Arts  Minister , Mitch Fifield  ?- had  been  in a frantic state  in  the lead up to the election  just before  the shutters came down  , dishing out jobs  on  various  government  arts  boards under his auspices,  the  National  Film  and  Sound Archives one .

Gadfly commented that " the joke " in archives was  that Jones, an auctioneer and  real estate agent , would be able  to flog  off duplicate copies of the collection .  He  replaces  the  late ex-National  MP for Hinkler  Paul Nevile , a former  manager of the Bundaberg cinema .  Ewen will  be seated alongside  Fiona Scott  , former  Liberal  MP for Lindsay , who lost her seat at the last election.


One of  the many vessels in the  ghost fleet  which  passed through  Townsville  in recent weeks   was   the  stand  out  vehicle carrier  Talia , 199.95metres long x 32.5  metres , flying  under the  Bahamas  flag . A considerable number of  vehicle carriers    pass   through   Townsville ,  some  of  them proven to have belonged to   a  criminal   shipping    cartel ,  which   meant  Australia was    being  slugged   by   price  fixing   of   roll-on roll  off   transport   costs  .
 As a matter of fact, the  Norwegian  line  Wallenius  Willhelmsen  Logistics   was  fined   $US 98.9 million  , $130 million Australian ,when it pleaded  guilty to   cartel  price  fixing . The US Department of Justice  reported  four companies , including  NYK ( Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha ) , the   world's  fourth biggest shipping group , seen in Townsville ,   had  pleaded guilty  to participating in a  roll-n roll-off    cartel   and    fined  a  total  of  $230 million .
 An NYK  executive was jailed for  15 months  and the  Japan Fair Trade Commission  ordered the company  pay  a  fine of   13 billion yen ( $160 million )   for  fixing prices on routes which included between  Japan and Australia .  In 2017 the Australian Federal Court  fined  NYK $25 million  for  its involvement in   fixing  the   price of  car  transport  to Australia .
With information supplied by America , the Australian  Competition and Consumer  Commission (ACCC)  a second Japanese  company in the cartel , the K-Line, has pleaded guilty  and   will be  sentenced  in  the  near  future .  
Other   cartels  are  under   investigation  in  Australia with much  information flooding  into  the  ACCC, its  operations  to  be  extended.   

Sunday, April 21, 2019


Boisterous  Palm  Sunday procession  by  Curlews   at  Nelly Bay.
Fishing action on Picnic Bay Jetty , Magnetic Island  . 
Part  submerged   yacht  still  visible  in  Duck  Pond. 

Saturday, April 20, 2019


CANBERRA : Soon to appear  in  the deep end  of  a  swimming  pool near you  is the  synchronised swimming    duet  team  of  Michaela   Cash  and   Scott  Morrison . This  is  a  desperate attempt to  show that  men and women  get along  swimmingly  like a  tin of  packed  Norwegian  sild  sardines   in  the  Coalition   Canberra   bubble    bloodbath  pool .
Argust  Tuft  Scoop
 As  not many women get  the chance to swim  against  the  Liberal  Party male  toxic algal bloom , it  was  hard to  find  a  person in  a  skirt  to   take part in another  obvious   Scomo  photo opportunity   stunt . It is well known that Morrison  can   do  an Olympic  swimming champion   imitation , or any other  faux  imitation  for that  matter , even  that  of  a  PM ,  at  the  drop  of  a  hat, or  a body  falling  to  the  party room  floor,oozing blood from  many stab wounds.    
 However,  Michaelia  Cash  , seen  here wearing a special striped   Jantzen aquatic  cossie,  who has the  capacity to speak under water at a depth of  40 fathoms , scaring off  WA  white pointer sharks  in the  process,   was  eager   to  become  part  of   the  synchronised  swimming   duo. 

 Their  first performance  will be in  the new  $70million  Aquatic  Centre  in Perth, for which  treasurer   Josh  Freydenberg , wearing   budgie smugglers blessed by a  rabbi,   donated  $20million .  Ms  Cash  is also  famous  in showbiz  circles   for  her  dance  of   the  seven  thinly veiled  whiteboards  on   ballbearings , which rated  higher than  Pauline  Hanson's  dance  with  the Stars and   Stripes  and   the   NRA .   

Friday, April 19, 2019


Our  Shipping Reporter  captures dramatic event 


An early morning  Palm Cat  Sealink  passenger  ferry  run  from  Magnetic  Island  to Townsville   turned  into a rescue mission when a passenger spotted what looked like a body in the  choppy water .  It was  found to be an elderly  man clinging to his  upturned   boat which   had been swamped  by  what he said had been a  freak  wave , on  a  trip  from  the  mainland  to  the  island .
Crewmembers  threw a  line   with  an  attached buoy  to  the man , John Clug, who had a similar experience when crayfishing  in Victorian waters about 14 years ago . He was  hauled aboard ,  shivering . The  boat  was  left  bobbing  to  be retrieved .
After  this exciting event, the Shipping Reporter, the only one north of  Flinders Island, went to the casino for  a bit of gourmandising , then prowled the waterfront  looking  for  stories , picking up  at  least  four , maybe  more.  
  Riding  the  packed   ferry  back  to  Magnetic Island , he immediately  espied  a large  vessel  high and dry in the  so called  safe harbour . Another story . Armed with his  camera , he sailed  down  to  the  leaning  vessel , Trinity Castle , and  approached  a man  inspecting the  hull.  
"Are you doing a Captain Cook ?  " our  maritime reporter  asked , in a lighthearted  way  , referring to  the   daring  British  captain  who had  compass trouble  off  Magnetic Island  in 1770, then crashed into the Great Barrier Reef .  The response was unexpectedly jovial under the circumstances, as  the  man  said  he   was  doing  a  bit  of careening .  
But then  there was  an  astonishing revelation : the vessel had  run aground  while delivering Mr Clug   to his   swamped  boat on the island ,  apparently causing  two  glasses  of  wine  to  spill   when   it  came  to rest . 
Dry  Mr  Clug  and  cobber .
The skipper, Ken , an old buddy of Mr Clug's , who went  glug, glug earlier in  the day ,  said he  thought the beach area  was soft  sand ;  instead it was conglomerate. It was  hoped to  escape  at high tide, about 10pm .   Trinity Castle , he said , is  a  sturdy  vessel  of  North Sea trawler design  built  for a rich Seattle  family for  their own use . He had  sailed  it  out  from Seattle himself . 
The above  photo shows the small outboard swamped earlier in the day high up on the beach. The  skipper agreed the  chain of events  that day made  an unusual story, but  said  the book would  be  even  better, delayed from publication  because  of   content   and    possible  legal action . 

Thursday, April 18, 2019


Visitors  from   far  and  wide  have   descended  on  Magnetic Island  for   Easter . Our Shipping Reporter  photographed  a   Darwin  identity  pulling  a  face  at him  from a window  on  this  packed   ferry  backing   into  the  terminal  pontoon.   The island presented  a  picture of  clouds, trimmed  lawns , pirates , hot cross buns ,  bouncing wallabies,  mixed  birdlife ,  patched  potholes , piles of  pumice, sand, surf, somebody carrying  a   pet  duck  about  the  waterfront . Some smart residents said  they would  close  their  front gates , pull  down the  blinds  and  remain  inside until  the  holidaymakers  departed .

Alma Bay and  Easter  Island  figures.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Acting  on instructions from   Melbourne's  mild mannered political commentator  Pete Steedman  we  went  looking  for   a  copy  of  the   April  edition of  The Monthly magazine , which  he  said   contains  extensive coverage  of  Adani   and  the way  coal   has  captured  politics .  
 On  going to a  newsagency in the Townsville   area ,  the magazine could  not  be  seen on the racks . This  in  a place  where the Townsville City Council had offered  to  give   more  than  $18million   to  Adani    in  the belief  it  would bring   riches to the Queen City of the North .   The newsagent said , yes , it was there  , on  a particular stand  , which he pointed out .  No magazine could be found .  Down  this   end  , we were directed   by  the owner , who could not see   it  from  the counter  .  No .   
However , hidden under  other investment magazines , there  it  was, at the top ,  displaying  a nude man  hugging  coal , the  caption : Holding on to madness. How infatuation is keeping Adani's mine alive .The story of coal as it captured our  politics . 
There  were  two possibilities :  offended  by  the  nudity , someone had covered it up  with  other  publications ; to  keep  locals  in  the  dark  about   Adani , the issue  poorly  covered  by  the  local media ,  especially in the Townsville  Bulletin , it  had   been   buried .
Gasp !!! Maiden aunts be warned.   On opening   the magazine , there was  another   partly clad , tubby gent , also  embracing  coal, below  ,  who at first glance  looked   like  a  certain  frequent  flying  Queensland   politician.    
This second serving of flesh may have been the reason why the magazine was hastily  covered  up  in  the  paper  shop by  a  prudish  browser.
On the other hand  , if the intention was  to keep   the locals in the dark over  coal  you can understand  when you read the   extensive , balanced  coverage  in The  Monthly .  The  cover  story is by  critic and author  James Bradley  with  an   associated    contribution ,   A Tale of Ruthless Ambition , dealing with Adani ,  by Hartosh Bal , political editor of the Indian monthly magazine, The Caravan .