Saturday, December 10, 2016


Decorated  Cairns  City  Council building  and  another  spectacular  sunrise . Abra  Photographs.

Friday, December 9, 2016


Northern  Territory Archives  Service  photograph .
Taken from a water tower, in the foreground is  the Vic Hotel in Smith Street , now a mall ,  The Star  Theatre  across the road , Cashman's Store, still  there , and  far right  is  part of  the Bank of New South Wales ,  bombed  by the Japanese , some  damage  seemingly apparent .  Cavenagh Street  is the parallel road in which the two storey building could  be what  became  the  Don  Hotel with its  infamous Bamboo Lounge  in the l950s.  Behind  the building , slightly to the right at the back of  the snap, could be the  Chinese  temple , looted during  the  war . 

Thursday, December 8, 2016


In  all  the hype about the  Adani   Coal  Carmichael bonanza/mirage  in the past month , the  fact  that   a  Japanese sushi  train  disappeared -like a ghost train - in  a major   Townsville  shopping  centre  went  unnoticed  by  the  mesmerised  media . At  Castle Town , the  above  honourable  dragon  graced  the  wall outside  a  sushi  eatery  right next to Westpac .  Suddenly, like  a  deadly   event  on  the Orient  Express,  the  shutters went  down , the  train was  shunted into a  dark shed or sold to a Japanese  scrapmetal  dealer  ,  and  the dragon  vanished  , leaving behind  an odd  replacement   sign  , below,  which  appears  to  be  for  a   new   business , The   Hole  in  the  Chinese  Wall   CafĂ© .
 In  another  Townsville  silly  season event , the  authorities  finally got  their act together and  have just  started  to  try  and  refloat  the  grand old  sailing  vessel  Defender   which sank  in  Ross    Creek  in   January


Much  of  the  joy of  island  life  has   flown   with  the  departure of  Larry the  swearing  Lorikeet,  seen  here  in  his  groovy  Magnetic Island  pad  with a small number of his teddy bears . Larry  has  moved back  to  his  owners  at  Mission Beach , where he was injured  during Cyclone  Larry , which prevented him from  flying . The  German Queen of the Jungle sadly  drove him to the  car  ferry  in  his  cage   along with   his  bulky  teddy  collection  and  freshly washed Purple People Eater  , then  handed him  over to his owner . With  a   whistle and  a muttered ," Bugger ! Bugger ! Bugger!", he  chugged off  for  the mainland .

An eyewitness said Larry did a lot of screeching  at the ferry ramp, as if he feared he was  being  carted off  to  the   KFC  plucking  factory . However , on arrival  at Mission Beach , he was released near  the  swimming pool and  was soon  lolling about  like  a  fruit picking  Irish  backpacker.

 The  Queen  says  she will probably  miss  vital  telephone calls because Larry  used to imitate   a  phone ringing when  he  holidayed  with   her , and  she  did not pick up the  phone . Autographed pin up  publicity  photograph  of  Larry  below . He is happy  to  endorse yoghurt , honey ,  smart  phones  ,  hang  gliders  and  pose  for   glossy  magazines  catering  for  beautiful   people  and  Ferrari  owners . In addition, he has  tickled the  fancy  of many  a  girl with a feather  in  several highly rated   television  blind  date shows.  A big  hit  in  line  dancing  competitions, Larry  is  inclined  to  be  a  show  off  and  cowboy  hats  block  his  vision  causing  him to  frequently  fall  off   the  stage and  receive  mouth to  mouth  from  a  curvy  bird .


Vallis  series  above 
ALP  Feeding  Time   by    Mal   McLean

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Cargo   Cult   Mentality  Rampant

The  names of   past  Australian  warriors  who pioneered  protection  of  the Great  Barrier Reef  in  particular,  conservation in  general - poet  Judith  Wright  and   artist  John  Horatio  Busst -  were  invoked  in  the  well organised , colourful  anti  Adani   Carmichael  Mine  rally  in  Townsville .

In the case of Wright , she    wrote  The Coral Battleground , about the long struggle to save the Great Barrier Reef   from   mining  and    drilling for  oil , Joh Bjelke-Petersen  ; in  the  case  of Busst , a  close  friend of  the late PM  Harold Holt ,  in  1967 he sprang into  action when he  spotted an application for  limestone  mining of coral   from  Ellison Reef , off Innisfail.  It was   pointed out  at the  rally that  all the mighty  efforts of  these  two   were   now  under  threat due to the Adani Carmichael  proposal .

Sung to  the   tune of  the  American western folk song , Oh My Darling, Clementine ,    was  the    Ballad  of   Annastacia ,   which  took to task the  Queensland  Premier Annastacia  Palaszczuk  and   PM  Turnbull  , indicating   the depth of  feeling  against  the  proposed  project .
With  a  chorus  - Not our darling , not our darling / not our darling Palaszczuk/ Since she sold  her  soul  to big  coal / Very sorry Palaszczuk went  thus  :

She came to power in twenty fifteen
None expected her to win
But in the face of all the money
Annastacia's  caved right in .

Carmichael mine-oh what a monster
Largest coal mine in the land
What about the global warning
This big mine it must be banned .

Abbot Point  will  be extended
As a coal port  so immense
By the time that they have  finished
The GBR will  be  past tense .

Now Adani  wants our money
for a rail line  to the point
But he's bad Karma , like Clive Palmer
And this 'loan' will be a  rort.

We'll not worship Adani's money
When it's ours that  he wants ?
Malcolm's promising one  billion
Loud and  clear  now - NOT A CHANCE !!

A representative of  Indigenous  group    opposing    Carmichael.
Lively discussion  , some unprintable ,  took place   among  members of the  rally over the    morning  edition  of the  Murdoch  Townsville  Bulletin   which  started with  the   Premier on the front page    arriving  in a gravy train  aboard the "Adani jobs express , "  followed by four  pages  of   cargo cult   PR , a  full page advert  from Townsville  Enterprise  rolling out  a red  carpet  welcome   for " Mr  Adani " and ,  to  top  it off ,  on  the leader page ,   an editorial  claiming  the  Adani  mine and  the reef   can  both  thrive ,   with  a  cartoon showing  Mr  Adani , in  real     cargo  cult style ,  flying  in at the wheel of a   giant coal   truck bearing  the sign ,  ADANI   FIFO   HUB ,   which seemed    about  to  land on  top  of   Mayor Jenny Hill/Premier ?   who was signalling   that she  had  cleared  him   (and Santa ?)   to  touch down  on  the  runway and   disperse  all  kinds  of   goodies .  
Not a happy Bulletin reader.
Points of  interest  made  at  the  rally :
*The  fuel   used by  coal  bulk carriers   is the  heavy , toxic kind  which  drops down to  the sea  when  burnt  .
 * A  former   coal  miner  said  the claims   about the number of jobs  that  would be  created by  Carmichael  were "lies ."
* It was  a  tragedy  that   Townsville , where the Great Barrier Reef Marine  Park  Authority was  set  up  to protect the reef ,  is  now  to be the   proposed  headquarters   for   the  Adani  operation . 
*A  cane farmer made  allegations   about the  performance of  Adani and  joint venture  partner   Wilmar   in   massive palm oil  ventures  in Indonesia  and   Malaysia , bringing up the  issues of the  massive clearing   and  burning  of trees  and peat , the smoke  causing   health  hazards  and deaths   in  the  region .   No doubt the local media  will follow this   up-especially  as the Indonesia   government this  morning announced   tougher   measures against   companies involved  in  palm oil  production  and   land clearing .

An ABC cameraman was  caught  left   digging   for facts  from  geologists against  Adani . On the evening  ABC TV news  from  Brisbane  it at  least  pointed out  there were  very  big questions  still to be asked about the  project  and  the  job claims  in  particular , the  Queensland Leader of the Opposition saying there  is   nothing   firm  in  writing.

Premier says she has  an  iron clad  guarantee  about   jobs  from  Adani  chief-trumpets  were  blown  , selfies galore  taken , loud raspberries were heard  from  the  sidelines .

A woman  dressed as  a  pirate  at the rally  said she had no  connection  at all  with  the  Cayman Islands  where  our  PM  and  people in the coal  trade  are known  to have  accounts. "I'm from the lovely Whitsundays ," she said , with a  hearty flourish .

  All in all, the  Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels  of  WWll   would have been  overawed  and  envious of   the  bikfela kago    promise  longa  tang (Pidgin  English hereabouts )  of   goodies  for  Queensland  during  the  past  few   days,  such  a   fabulous   heap  that  it  dwarfs  the  Owen  Stanley  Range  in  Papua  New  Guinea .  

Posters like the  one  above  in the Flinders Street   East  nightclub precinct  call   for  a  solar  future for  Townsville  rather  than  it becoming  a   remote  control  coal  mining   HQ.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Readers of  this  blog  in  the  Northern Territory   have  scoffed   at   some of the goings  on   in  the  North Queensland   city of  Townsville . When  the  Townsville Bulletin , a  Murdoch paper,  drew  up  a  list of  the  50 most powerful local  people , the number  one  spot   went  to  Johnathan  Thurston of  the  Cowboys . Some  people   sniffed  that  if  a  footballer  was   the  most  powerful  hombre  in  town , it  did not  say much  for  the  rest of  the  populace . Dems  fighting words.

Furthermore, it was  pointed out that  the  Northern Territory News, another in the Murdoch stable , had  a list of   powerful  people   running  to   120 ,  an Aussie Rules   footballer, Cyril "Junior Boy " Rioli #18. Tracy Hayes, CEO of  the   NT Cattlemen's Association  topped  the list  ahead of  the new  Chief Minister   Michael Gunner , Chinese  billionaire   Ye Cheng who was  given  the   crazy  99-year lease of  Port DarwinGina  Rinehart  , intent on  buying  the  Kidman empire.   Pretty powerful pussycats .

Another  arty ,  uppity  Territorian  asked  if  Townsville  is  becoming  a  cultural  wasteland  after   reading  about  the  Townsville  City  Council   sacking    curator  and  manager of  galleries , Perc  Tucker and   Pinnacles,  Shane   Fitzgerald , causing  angry benefactors  to  threaten  to  cut  off  hefty  donations .