Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Sporting some barefooted scholars ,   the Darwin Public School , from the Northern Territory Archives Service .


PM and Louie the Fly
CANBERRA : Caught brushing a fly away in the House of Representatives , this classic  photograph epitomises how the former high  flyer  Malcolm  Turnbull now  resembles a   blowfly  stuck on the Coalition's  never ending  roll of   sticky flycatcher paper . Along  with  mince pies  at   Christmas  time   , these sticky  fly traps used   to  be all the  go in Australia . Now   Malcolm's inner  buzz feeders   seem to    get  caught up  daily in  some sticky issue    from  which  there  is no escape , just like those repulsive  hanging  cemeteries  in  kitchens  throughout the nation .

In  his bid to evade   a sticky political end ,  the  PM rushed up to consult  imported   bluebottle and Bill  basher ,  Barnaby Joyce ,  at the  New England by-election .   He and the glassy eyed  Barnaby, who looked as if he had been bitten by an  African  tsetse fly ,wore similar made in   China  shirts,  the smelly   armpits  of  which were thoroughly   checked by ASIO   for  bugs.    
  The two men on top of  the true blue  dung heap...until Bennelong  result.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Residents  in   part of  Nelly Bay have  received notices  in their letterboxes claiming  that  local  Curlews  are  being  poisoned . The person responsible for the claim  is a  longtime   island  resident . In  southern  parts of  Australia  these  birds are  regarded  as  a  rarity . Media  needs to follow this  up  as  it is a  hard news story .
Geoffrey Bay  , promoted as an almost pristine stretch   on Magnetic Island , has been the subject  of    deliberate  attacks  on  vegetation  planted to  protect the  foreshore and  minimise erosion  . In the  process , plants  worth  at  least $5000  have  either been sprayed   with   poison or  ripped out .  After  each  act  of  deliberate  vandalism , the Townsville City  Council  erected  a   sign  warning that  there has been illegal damage  and  that  penalties apply. A telephone number is  supplied on which to report suspicious activity. The TCC should be asked for   full details  and  if  it has questioned anybody / referred the matter to the  police ; anybody  reported  suspicious  activity ?  

 Despite two attacks, two signs  being erected , the  Townsville City Council did not  issue a media statement  about  this  unsatisfactory situation , the island  described by the  council  as  the  Jewel in the Crown .    Even so , you would  think that an alert , in touch,  Townsville  media   and  the island's local community sheet  would have  picked  up  these  attacks through hearsay ,  contacts , regular rounds (what?) ...even asking  questions of TCC and police  like : Anything of  interest  on  Magnetic  Island  today ?

The  signs  declaring  the  attacks  are near  a  track  used  by  a   large  number  of  visitors.  Initial  authorised  plantings were  carried out   by people with extensive  experience  in   environmental  work .  Early  in  the process , they were  approached by an  aggressive  man   who  demanded  to  know what they were  doing  ; later  on  he  was   joined  by  an  abusive  woman .  The  pair seemed  concerned  the  vegetation  would  impair  the  view  of  the beach and across  Cleveland   Bay .
View  from Geoffrey Bay at  low tide .
The plants  were subsequently  attacked, stakes  pulled out  over  a  period .  That  Geoffrey Bay   needs  foreshore protective  work  is self  evident  by  the   following  photograph .

Alma Bay , not  far  from  Geoffrey Bay , recently  got a mention because it has been  listed  in  top 10  beaches . However, a  visit  to  Alma  a few days ago  revealed many  cuttlefish   bones  washed up  on  the  beach  with  weed, a small section  below .
The white  bones  are  the  remains  of  small  cuttlefish  which have been attacked and eaten .  Wonder  why   so  many  have  washed up on  the  beach ?  Could  be a story  here . Are  the cuttlefish  deaths  linked in any way with the bleaching of the reef, finding it  hard  to  hide  from  predators ?

Monday, December 11, 2017


The powerful message against   cats , showing one about to pounce on a Bower Bird ,  is  strikingly  represented  in  this  T-shirt  , one  of  several  sold in  North Queensland   in past years , a collection of which  has  just surfaced . The  campaign   against  cats  is further   highlighted  by the  image  of   cats   in   gunsights   on  two   following  T-shirts . 
A feature of the T-shirts  is that  they were   designed and made in Australia, some in Cairns . They were sold  at markets  and  in  shops . A conservative estimate of some years ago put the number of feral cats  at 15 million in Australia , killing  about 75million birds  and other  wildlife DAILY .

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Of  the  many lessons from the Queensland state election  for the Turnbull Coalition  and the LNP  , just two are  that  the proposed  Adani  coalmine - still strongly supported by  the  hysterical   Feds - has been soundly rejected  by  Australian voters  and  the  vast  Murdoch  media  machine  is  becoming increasingly  impotent , evident  since the snap  election  in  England  where  it  rubbished   the  Labour  leader Jeremy  Corbyn  mercilessly and  the  Tories  just scraped home . 

The  mere  fact  that  the  three incumbent ALP members in the vital Townsville  region were  reelected  in  the state  election despite the massive  pro Adani  attack of the Murdoch owned  Townsville  Bulletin , the strange decision by the Townsville City Council to give  $18.5million   to  Adani   for a FIFO  airport   and   activists  and  anyone else  against  Adani , including concerned   grannies ,  were   ridiculed   speaks  volumes.The paper and  the Murdoch Brisbane  Courier Mail ,  accused  Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of  being off  the  rails, in  harness  with  the  Greens, etc, etc, etc. 

The  erroneous   belief that  Adani  is  a sure  election  winner  for the desperate  Turnbull Government  and  the  LNP   is  clear  in  this advertisement  run in the Townsville  Bulletin  before  the state election .
It is topped  by the beaming   senior  senator  Ian Macdonald , given to wearing  Hi-Vis clobber in parliament,  presumably   so  that  he will  stand out on foggy Canberra mornings . In  the  mug shots of  those  avid  supporters  of  Adani   ,  only one of  the five  bottom row was  elected in the Queensland  state  vote  ,  Dale Last ,  sitting  MP  for  Burdekin .   
The incumbent Member for Hinchinbrook, Andrew Cripps  , who  clashed with  anti  Adani  activists , including  veteran   Wendy Tubman,  lost his  seat. Matthew  Derlagen ,  coal lumper  from  Senator Macdonald's own office , failed  to be elected in the seat of Mundingburra .  In the seat of Townsville,  Casie Scott, a  former  Darwin journalist  , gave  the sitting ALP  member , Scott Stewart  , a run for his money , the slow count of votes would have made an  interesting running   story for Townsville and   Darwin  if  there was any linkage (doubtful)   between   the  Murdoch  papers in   both  cities, probably  not . 

In  the  top  row of  pix in the advertisement  is  the federal  Member  for  Dawson , George " Holy Moly "  Christensen , without his whip , who is likely to be  cast into the  fires of  Hell and  Adani   over  his   exposed  desire to bring  down  Mr  Jello-Malcolm Turnbull- and  his   inner  circle of  suet  puddings .  

A whole Italian expensive penny  opera  could be written about the  stance of   Rocky  Senator Matt  Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia , over   his  support  for  Adani   and  his  attitude  to NAIF possibly   handing  out a billion bucks   to   the project .   Umpteen banks  won't  touch Adani with a barge pole ,  the Chinese  have also  said  they would  not handle   it  with  asbestos lined  chopsticks . 
 In its lampooning of   the ALP   and anybody against  Adani, the Townsville Bulletin ran  a front page story referring to activists as  MUNGBEAN MILITIA who , shocked  readers were informed , included   southerners  who  were known to chain themselves to gates in  the nude . Gasp !     
Another  indication that  Adani  is  electoral  dynamite  for the conservatives  was  the  television coverage of a public  gathering  in  south east Queensland where  nobody put up their hand when  asked  if  any  government  money should   be  given  Adani .  In the interests of being fair and balanced ,  at a meeting of businessmen in Townsville , everyone put up their hand when asked if  they support Adani , which  you  would   expect , the way the Queen city  of  the  North  lurches  along , with its claques  who are not subjected to much in depth questioning and  probing .  
 STOP PRESS : As late as  December 8, the Townsville  Bulletin was  running a  front page story  attacking   Labor  , saying it  could   cancel  federal Adani approvals   and   "  the  world's largest coal mine  could be imperilled. "  Surprise, by  P5   the   paper  reported a sudden development under  a heading  ADANI JOB MEETINGS IN LIMBO Mystery on community sessions. It said  Adani  jobseeker   information  sessions in Townsville and  on Palm Island   had suddenly  been rescheduled , the  Adani  spokesman had not responded  to  inquiries, and even ran the info that some of China's biggest banks had announced  that they do not intend financing  Adani ...  "Sources suggest this is not make or break  for the project  and that Adani is investigating  other  avenues  for finance." The editorial  declared Townsville business   and community leaders  were concerned  "our  political  leaders' games " might  "scare  Adani  off  once and  for  all. "

RAY OF SUNSHINE : By December 11 , no mention of  the Adani  mystery ,  the Bulletin had a  front page story about work  starting  on a $160million wind   turbine and   solar  farm at Hughenden  , just one  of   several  similar  projects in the north.  Still , the  Bulletin  gave the impression  the election was still running, pointing  out   LNP leader  Tim Nicholls ( now on his way down the coal chute )  had pledged  to  commission   a  coal fired  plant   for the north within 100 days  of   taking office.

The Bulletin trumpeted  Labor's win should not be  taken  to mean North Queenslanders  suddenly don't want  coal-fired  power...The  Queensland government should consider  building a  "cutting -edge"  ( every  proposal  in  Townsville  seems  to  be  so  described  of   late ) coal   fired  plant  in  the  north .

Saturday, December 9, 2017


Abra photographs.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


December  17 being the 50th anniversary  of  the  disappearance  of Prime Minister Harold Holt  while swimming at  Cheviot  Beach , Victoria, in  l967 ,  here  is a flashback  to  a lighthearted moment in Townsville when  Holt, third from the right, laughing ,  visited  the  university , and  was  confronted  by a student  in  underwater gear .
 He  and  Mrs  Holt, Zara , pictured ,  spent   time relaxing  and spearfishing in  North Queensland . The   PM  had a friend  from  early university days in Melbourne  ,  artist and  environmentalist  John Horatio  Busst,  involved in  early moves  to  save  the Great Barrier Reef   from  mining  and  oil  drilling .
 Recently  a  special  ceremony was held  at  Ellison Reef   to mark the   50th  anniversary  of  the  successful campaign  led by  Busst to  prevent   its   mining . As a  result , it set the  legal precedent for  protecting the Great Barrier  Reef, a large part of it now in a sorry state due to coral bleaching , crown of thorns , runoff,  undeniable climate change .   According to those who inspected Ellison Reef  last October  it  was  not  in very good shape.  Part of  the anniversary  took part  at   Busst's  distinctive  residence  , Ninney Rise, at Bingil Bay, from whence he  led to the fight  to save the  reef and  rainforest  in  the  l960s  and l970s.
In the   Special Collections, Eddie  Koiki  Mabo Library , James Cook University, Townsville , are the important  personal   papers of  Busst ,  which includes three boxes of letters ,  one  to  American president  Lyndon  Baines  Johnson (LBJ), calling on him to back a move to  set up adjoining  marine and wildlife  parks throughout   Australia in  honour of   Harold  Holt. There are  also interesting  letters  from  poet  Judith  Wright , strongly involved in the  campaign  to  protect the  Great Barrier  Reef . Mrs  Alison Busst was  with  Zara  Holt  the  day the PM  disappeared . 
Made a Dame, Zara  married  a Liberal  dairy farmer  politician , Jeff  Bate, in 1969 and  lived with him in a 100 year old  stone house at  Tilba Tilba  on the NSW  south coast ; he  died in 1984. Upon her death in 1989, she  was  buried  at Sorrento Cemetery , the  closest   graveyard  to  Cheviot  Beach  where  Harold Holt  got  caught  in  a  rip  and  disappeared. 
At the  special  House of Representatives Harold Holt  commemoration this week were  members of  the  family, Holt's press secretary  Tony Eggleston , in the middle, former treasurer and friend of  the family, Peter  Costello, far left .
Former   Northern Territory  News   Walkley  Award  winning  reporter  and author  Keith Willey  covered  the  dramatic   Holt  disappearance  for  the   Sydney  Sun .  


A former Australian  Prime Minister,  the  late  Malcolm Fraser , aka the  Crazy Grazier, famously made  the statement  that  life could  be  nasty  at when  he was  elected  PM after the  sacking of  Gough Whitlam  by  the sozzled   Governor-General ,  Sir  John Kerr .

From time to time , Little Darwin , in its  fight against the forces of darkness , receives  bundles  which have fallen from the back of  trucks late at night , old  newspaper cuttings, strange   letters   and  revealing  files .

 While attending a  political  Christmas  party  in a  French restaurant  a  day or so  ago , a  seasoned  political  apparatchik  , with   Belgian  chocolate  cake and sauce   to  follow,   surreptitiously   slipped  a  document    into  the  sweaty   hand  of   a  rump  and   garlic  prawns   subversive  connected   with   this   blog .   

Later ,  on  close examination ,  in  a  cone of  silence ,  the  intriguing foreign  item was  unwrapped   and found  to contain  the  following  advertisement   for   the  sale  of  a  classic 1961  Lancia  Flaminia  Sport Zagato SI RHD , described  as   very  rare , formerly owned  by  Malcolm Fraser  .  Price : 650,000 Euros .  
PIT  STOP :  After  posting  this revelation, Little Darwin received a coded message  from  a  modest pollie , voted Politician   of  the Year  by the Canberra  press  gang ,   (admittedly  a long time ago ) , the  former  Honourable  ALP Member for  Casey , leather jacket , dark  glasses   and   occasional  fruity oaths , the  one and only  Pete  Steedman .  It  revealed that  Steedman  once   owned   a  Lancia, but it was  just  a  working man's model .  He explained the situation thus :"  I was always pissed off  because Malcolm had this rare and special Lancia. I had a 1969 Zagato, rare enough itself, but Malcolm had the one I coveted. "
Steedman has  had  some great  wheels over  the  years, including   a rare Vincent  motorbike. Right  now he  can  put you  onto a bargain  buy, a Bentley ,previously  owned  by a LOL  , who  only used  it to go back and forth to church on Sundays and  the odd  Bingo  outing ...until it came into the  possession  of   leadfoot  Pete .


The ultimate Australian  goose  to receive   this   coveted  nonsense object  is   Prime  Minister Malcolm Turnbull  due to  his amazing backflip on the call for  a  bank  royal   commission. Donald Trump, naturally , is the International  Goose of  the 21st Century .  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Senior Liberals  in Turnbull government  are furious over   ABC's  TripleJ  decision  not to  play the Hottest 100 tunes  on  Australia Day. ---  News  item,   run  with  the  usual  confected  outrage  by  ABC  bashing  Murdoch spin machine  DJs.
The true blue Liberal / Spirit of  Australia was  plain for  all to see  in  this pamphlet for the 1988 Bicentennial  Festival in Sydney , which  ran from January  to  February , including Australia Day .   On   the  front was   this  arty farty  kangaroo  surrounded by   typical Oz  symbols , possibly even  an Aborigine .

But , best of all , was  the two page  advertisement  for  the  adoration of  Benson and Hedges  25s , the packet in  an art gallery setting,  portraying  the  sensitive   spirit  of  a  proud , gasping  nation  in  those days .

On the back was a  plug  for the opening of  Sydney's Darling Harbour in January  where you  could walk on the bottom of the sea, ride through the air , shop in style , climb aboard a clipper, step back 200 years , cross paths with a Chinese dragon  ( could be considered  subversive  today )   and  take  off  for  outer  space.

Outraged  Communications Minister  Mitch Fifield , backed  to the hilt by   Murdoch  cigar and cheroot smokers ,  branded  TripleJ    subversive , unpatriotic , political   for  deciding not to run  its  Hot 100  on  Australia  Day .  It was  pointed out that when the  ABC    first   ran  the Hot 100  there were complaints that  this  was  inappropriate  for  Australia  Day celebrations . 

Nevertheless , Fifield  insists  he   hit  his forehead  with his  palm upon  hearing of  the  decision  to  move  the  play  to  another  day . Mosquitoes  or  reaction to the latest clear indication of  disintegration and  brawling  in  the  Coalition  ?
Rest assured there will be  a wholesome   cricket match  going on somewhere  on Australia  Day  , the players indulging in sledging , head butting , glaring  and  sixers  replayed  over  and  over  with  an  advert   for   grog . Australia  has  advanced   a  long  way  since  l988.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017


Across  North  Australia  staunch  old  union  activists   have been dying in the past  few years  without  the   media  noticing  or  failing to   do  an  in depth   report.  This in places like  Darwin  and  North  Queensland  with  a  long  and  colourful  history  of   union struggles.
 Little Darwin  has  become aware of  the  death of  two longtime unionists , full of  great anecdotal information and  experiences, whose colourful  lives  deserved   major  coverage . One  strong   unionist was involved in  the  hanging of  the effigy of  Australia's Governor-General , Sir John Kerr,  from  the back of a  ute in  Townsville, then   dumping  him  into   the sea .  Just one  event in a very interesting  life  committed  to  advancing  the  cause  of   toilers.  

Another unionist , who died  recently after a long illness , had been working on  his memoirs  for  years . This  blog is hopeful   those   memoirs will be  lodged  in Special Collections ,  Eddie  Koiki  Mabo Library , James  Cook University , Townsville ,  which   contains   a  wide   range  of  surprising   information  about  bygone   union  struggles and   prominent  identities   ,  from  the shearers' strike which led to the formation of the  ALP   to  the  life of  Kiwi  author , activist  Jean Devanny ,  who   took  on   many  causes   for   workers   in   North Queensland ,  highly regarded  on  the  international   stage . 
This  blog  has  also been  made aware  of  the  personal papers and scrapbook   of  a prominent   Cairns   unionist  who   was  once  jailed  for  his   activities .

 One of the reasons why the demise of  these  unionists   go unnoticed  is  due to the fact  that  there  are no  industrial  roundsmen  as such  in  the  media and  local newspapers  really  are  not in  touch  with  the  community they  profess   so  loudly  to  serve .    

Monday, December 4, 2017


It is full steam ahead  for  the  famous James Cook University "Triffids" now that  the water supply has been reconnected after  a shutdown due to work on the  nearby library building. The unique pieces of  Townsville  statuary  emit mist ,  rattle metallic leaves   and  respond  to  atmospheric   conditions . Nearby  is  a  quiet  spot where  students  can  gaze into  a  wishing  well  and  hope that they  will be able to pay off their Hecs debts  without being forced to  change their names and   flee  to New Zealand  to  seek   work  as   poi  dancers  and paua shell  pickers.   


Thespian Curlew in Little Darwin's neck of the  woods , angry at the  poll to  find  Australia's Bird of the Year  which described  Bush-stone Curlews  as  odd   critters  out  of a  Halloween  Parade , puffed herself  up  and  projected  a  mock   Halloween  weirdo , a pop-eyed person , a kind of feathered    Marty Feldman  ,  Son of Frankenstein .   Offers  from   Hollywood talent  scouts   for starring roles  in  horror movies as  a result of  this  fine act  should be  directed   through  the  Little  Darwin  cluttered  den  or  to the S(h)ipping  Reporter , who can usually be  found  in Molly Malone's  Irish Pub , Townsville .     


There are so many transient birds  flying into Cairns , some thought to be all the way from  Siberia, that it is hard to  find  standing room  ,  the local Pelicans  forced  to  bunch  up  down one  end  of  the  beach  to  pose  for  photographs .
These snaps by Abra  who also  captured   the  early morning  waterfront  shapes  below. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017


Libs bring back the biff 
CANBERRA: In a surprise move that will stun the punch drunk nation, our cauliflower-eared Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has taken the long count and  announced his departure  from  the political ring.

In doing so , he named his  replacement , Auntie  Jack, pictured , who will be given  the incredibly  tough  task of knocking the  shambolic  Coalition  into some kind of shape before the  Chinese  New Year.
In an exclusive interview with Little Darwin , Auntie Jack  first  loosened her whalebone corsets,  then   took  us for a wild  ride  on  her  Harley. The pugnacious damsel said that after  Malcolm Turnbull  did the astonishing  backflip  on the bank royal commission, he decided that politics is not for  him.

Instead, he intends to compete in a new event, the Cayman Island  high dive  with  tuck  away ,   at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast , confident that he will take out gold  and be acclaimed by the sports  drugged  nation . He has borrowed a  pair of pre-loved  budgie smugglers  from tag team wrestler  Tony Abbott and will go into  solid training in a low dive after Boxing Day .

After  first  ripping the bloody arms  off  all  those  National Party misfits and  and  goose stepping    Liberals  , Auntie Jack  said she will  call on  old  boyfriends   in  the   Painters and Dockers   who  owe her  a favour  to deal with the  deputy premier of  NSW for  saying nasty things about Malcolm on the eve of  Christmas .  

 Then she  will shape the  next election's  campaign  which will have   the sure winning slogan : Don't Talk Back To  Auntie  Jack. Finally, Auntie Jack  said there  is no truth in the rumour that she and  Employment Minister Senator  Michaelia  Cash who,   like  Sergeant  Shultz,  knew absolutely  nothing  about tipping off the media   re  the  AFP raid on  AWU offices,  are identical  twin sisters . "She throws a  lot of  verbal  punches and karate  chops in the Senate  and elsewhere    ," said  Ms Jack . "But that is the only slight  link  between us... as far as I know ."


"Bird  Brained " Criticism

Little Darwin  and  many other  fair  minded  Queensland  residents  are  outraged   at  the  poll  to  find  the  Australian   Bird of  Year for  2017, voting for which closes December 9.  A report in The Guardian  contains  a short list of  51 birds in the running for the title, with a description of each  one , provided by someone with an Irish  sounding name ,  Sean Dooley , and   Bird  Life Australia .

When it comes to the Bush-stone Curlew , it is cruelly described  thus : An eerie wail, bulging, googling eyes and  propped up on ridiculous  long legs, these nocturnal birds look like something out  of a  Halloween parade (!!!). It continues...Hammered  by foxes and cats in the south , they are still thriving in the north.

Highly intelligent, politically   active   Curlew, above ,  on Magnetic Island, strongly supports the ALP renewables  policy .   He is furious  with  Dooley's  disparaging description .  Readers of   this blog  know  we  have    a close affinity with   Bush-stone Curlews .
No  Halloween uglies here .
It is outrageous  to say  Curlews  look like something out of a bloody Halloween parade.    Halloween ,  with its idiotic   massive  commercialism  and brainwashing of  kids, teaching them to go about knocking on strangers' doors at night , is  a  blot  on  the  nation . 

 Although , a  witch riding  a broomstick shown  smashing into a  pillar in  a large shopping  centre was  an unexpected  treat  and   reminded me  of  one of  the  mad  with  the   power  locals  . In addition , my dislike of Halloween is such  that  I  sool  a  ravenous  dinosaur onto anybody who comes knocking  at  the door  demanding  trick   or  treat .

 I allow Curlews  to walk into my den , feed them ,  have long , meaningful conversations with them in  assorted  childish   voices .   They  are wonderful , intelligent , fabulous   creatures .They should  call on Sean Dooley and  River Dance  all  over  him .

 As for the suggestion that they are  thriving up  north -not on Magnetic Island , where  most of the  chicks that  hatched this year have  soon  quickly disappeared ... Barking Owls, dogs, cats,  snakes .


A proposed   class  action  court  case  against   the  Townsville City Council(TCC)  over  the  large scale  reduction  of  staff   is  being  considered .  A  recent  demonstration on Magnetic Island    by   former  council employees   called  for the TCC  CEO  to be dismissed  and  frontline services   to be restored . Townsville's  mainstream media , once again,  failed to report this.   Further  demonstrations   are   planned .

The  TCC  is   also  under attack  by ratepayers and  others   over  its  proposal to give  $18.5million  for  an   airport way outside the  council   area  to serve   the  proposed  Adani   coalmine . It was recently pointed out that  the pro Adani mine  Murdoch Townsville  Bulletin   did not  run a letter  to the editor   from former  District Court Judge John Baulch  QC, in favour of coal mining , nevertheless  raising  balanced  questions about the  TCC's  decision  to give Adani  $18.5million , and the right of  ratepayers   to know  the grounds  and  any advice on  which  this decision  was made

Friday, December 1, 2017


A large  tanker  with  an unusual  name, above,   attracted  the  attention  of our snooping  S(h)ipping Reporter , the only one north of  Bondi , as well as ferry passengers . Also emblazoned along the 184.95metre  hull of the vessel, built in 2007,  sailing under the Singapore  flag,  was  the name of the largest logistics  company of  China .
Another part of the port , on the same day , produced  a scene like  a  secret  North Korean missile launching base . Media tip : could be a story here as  a number of  white pipes were  being shifted about , what  are  they  for ?
Another interesting  vessel  spotted  by  our eagle-eyed  S(h)ipping  Reporter , seen below ,  could  be  an omen for  the outcome of  the vital  clay court  match  in  the Sydney  Bennelong byelection in which  incumbent  Liberal  John   Alexander  is  up  against   feisty  Kristina  Keneally , ALP. This   fierce campaign, which could see Liberal votes  fall   way  below  the Plimsoll Line ,  has seen more  high profile federal cabinet members repeatedly  visit  the  electorate  to  back  up  the ex-tennis  champ  Alexander  than  the  total  number  of  strawberries  consumed  at  Wimbledon .  


A dish of water provided   for  dogs by  the popular  pop up coffee shop  at  the Magnetic Island  ferry terminal  is  much appreciated  by several   strolling  plovers which  have   become  tourist attractions.    The   birds  are  often photographed by overseas backpackers who spot them  when they step off a  ferry , two  German girls  recently seen  snapping the posing  birds  .  An island   dog   who  regularly  drinks  from the dish is called Nora ; she howls  if  left home alone or is not taken on the regular  walk to the coffee shop .   It is  not uncommon   for a stray  Koala  to  turn up  in  the  parking  area .  And  just  today  a python  was seen  on  the move  in  shrubbery near  the  French restaurant, Le Paradis.

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 .