Wednesday, June 28, 2017

RED BARON MISSING IN WATERFRONT MYSTERY

Another S(h)ipping  Reporter  Scoop  
For many months  now , the   biplane seaplane known as  the Red Baron   has been missing  from its mooring in Townsville without  any comment  from the local media .  You  can  bet  your bottom  dollar that  in the event that the city gets  its proposed online  challenge to the Townsville   Bulletin  situations like  the missing  plane  will  not  go  unnoticed .
 Meanwhile , the plane is believed to be in Perth, Western Australia, where it is undergoing  unscheduled maintenance , no indication when it will be seen again in Townsville where its scenic flights  attract  much attention and  inspires local artists ,  evidenced  by  the   display  below  on nearby  Magnetic  Island .
 
The Red Baron has been flying out of  Townsville for  10 years ; last year it was taken over by Catalina Adventures , Western  Australia . The Red Baron Seaplanes  website carries the intriguing information that in the absence of  the plane in Townsville, it is  rumoured  that the  British  fighter ace "Snoopy" intends  to  barn storm  the  city and Magnetic Island . 
  
The website includes  the above   hangar workshop  view . Could  it  be Snoopy  in the  making ?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

BACKGROUND TO DESERT ART

Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri , a Pintupi man,  and one of the founders of the famed Papunya painting movement  of Central Australia   in the early 1970s, is the subject of this history talk by  Alec O’Halloran on Thursday .  The event coincides with the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory art exhibition Tjungunutja : from having come  together opening July 2.  

CURLEW'S NOISY INTRUDERS

If you are a Curlew and  have  had  a  hard night ,  the last thing you want early in the morning in the Little Darwin backyard  is an invasion of noisy Lorikeets  after  the nectar   in  your  bottlebrush  tree . So  you creep  ever  so  slowly up  to  the  bush  and  peck  one, sending them  all  flying  away, screeching  in  fright.
Vallis photos . 

Monday, June 26, 2017

MEXICANS TAKING OVER ISLAND

Fleeing  the  winter cold , shivering Melburnians  have long  been  coming to Magnetic Island , North  Queensland , to thaw out , swim , enjoy the  relaxed lifestyle , even  the  wildlife.   A considerable number  bought  holiday homes on  the  island .

Now  Tigerair  has introduced cheap  direct flights  from Melbourne to Townsville , from whence the  vehicle and passenger  ferries  to  the  island run,  that "Mexican " influence from across the border  on  the   north  can  be  expected  to  grow.

An indication of  the  already  recent increase in  interest in  the  island  by  Victorians  in particular is the fact that  a popular eatery at  Horseshoe  Bay -Café Nourish - run by  the same owners  for  about a decade,  has  just been taken over  by  a  Melbourne  family .
 And  on Thursday  this  week a real shot in the arm for the island -Scallywags Café-a bit  like a  floating three ring  Wirth's Circus with  a crew of extras   from  the  Pirates of the Caribbean will  lower   its gangplanks  for  the  public to come aboard .

One of the key players  in the café,  a  showman  who works  shows and festivals all over  Australia, rolled into the island in an unusual van  from Melbourne last  year  and  instantly declared  it  paradise. He  has  had  a long association with Darwin  through the  Fire  Circus  at  the  Mindil  Beach  Markets .
 
An empty house, long on the market   at Nelly Bay , not far from the marina ,  was  rapidly renovated , fenced ;  soon   performers  from there were  staging   fire  displays and other entertainment at the Arcadia  Hotel.  Classes were also  held  for  local children  to teach  them a  variety of  performing  acts .  

Absent from the island on the  show circuit, the  expanded troupe lobbed back  with two decorated  vans   and began turning the premises into  the café, the  front  fence  in  the   shape  of  what  has been  taken  to  represent a  pirate  ship  .You can have  you photo taken as a  pirate  in  a   painted  silhouette .

When a  Little  Darwin  team, including the S(h)ipping Reporter, visited the  café , it was a  scene of   great  activity  in  preparation  for  the Thursday  opening .  
One of the multi-skilled workers , looking like  a sweaty pirate , a bandanna on his skull , jumped ship , abandoned  his  wheelbarrow and  posed  for visiting Territory photographer, Sara , by   balancing  a  shovel  on  his nose-how many waiters  in  North Australia  can   match  this  impressive  act  ?  It is a  stunt  not recommended for Townsville council workers  and  children  on school holidays .   The  café opening promises  to  be  bigger than  Ben Hur.

IN A TIMELESS LAND - A TIMELESS NORTH QUEENSLAND CITY WHERE WATER RUNS UPHILL

When  will  Townsville  eventually   tick?
Not only   does  the  Queen City of the North  have an impressive   former  post office  tower   clock   which does  not  work  , displaying a variety of times at once,  but  another  prominent   timepiece  at  the above  Townsville Travel  Centre   has   also  long  been  out of operation , permanently showing it is almost  a  quarter to  eight .  Recently  extensive  renovation work was  carried out on  the fine old  nearby railway building, but nobody  in authority  thought it  a good  idea to  wind up  the clock .    
In the case of the old  post office  ,  the   building now  the Brewery , British  television personality Tony Robinson , in Townsville  as  part  of  his popular   Down Under  time  walk television  series  , asked  why the   clock  was  not  working . He  was  told that  it was intended to get the  clock going   in  the near future . As  they  say, tempus fugit  and  the clock  still  is  not  working , the local media unable to  find  time  to  ask  follow up  time  and  motion  questions.     Originally the  post office  clock  chimed  and  was  dismantled and stored  after the bombing of Darwin in l942.     Overseas  visitors    could  be  baffled, bemused  by  this strange  state  of  affairs in respect of the city's non- working clocks .
 
It  is surely time that  the powers that  be in  this over-wound  and increasingly PR bombarded city  synchronised watches and  got on with the job of making the  place  tick , instead of  presenting  a  run down , dithering  image , a  bit like Alice  in  wonder-when-it-will- be-fixed-land . 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

CURLEWS IN TROUBLE

The night after  our  resident  Curlews hatched two more  chicks  there was a noisy commotion  and  an accursed  black cat was seen running off   with one , the parents   shrieking and wailing.  The  surviving bird  is  seen  here  peeping  out from its  highly protective mother . A  Curlew of another   kind-the Curlew Café-also disappeared  , the owners  doing  what could be  termed a  moonlight  flit , which is  a shame because they tried  to make  it  fly as a  business , but it was not to be . In further  bad  news for Curlews  and  other  fauna it seems  Magnetic Island  no longer has  a   dog /cat catcher .

PRINCE HARRY DESTINED FOR FABULOUS HOUSE OF HORRORS ?

It is more than likely that  the cardboard  cut out  of  Prince Harry , below, used in a corny stunt   by the Townsville Bulletin and   Townsville Enterprise in an unsuccessful  bid to lure him to the city ,will end up  in company with  the   above   abandoned, slumbering  zombie inmate   in  Virgil's weird  and  wonderful world . 
 
Virgil's   antiques and second hand  emporium  is  a fascinating ,   rambling  collection of   sheds  filled  with  oddities  where   Prince Harry  would  feel at  home , especially in  the   dark  dungeon  like part of  the  establishment  , a bit like the  wine cellar in Buck Palace ,  where  the  above  gruesome  undead  lodger  was   found  resting  in  a  plastic  tub .
 
Not  far  from the  one eyed  zombie with a few  spare hands  , our inquisitive , adventurous  S(h)ipping Reporter , the only one in North Australia , hoping to find  the log of  the  Mary Celeste to solve the nautical mystery ,  found  the  above  tin  travel  trunk   which   once belonged to  a  Jill Dolphin .  In all   his   time sailing the seven seas  , our  S(h)ipping  Reporter  mixed with a  mermaid or  three, but  never  a comely  dolphin  with a  watertight  locker  like  Davy  Jones .  
In the cluttered  shed  , not far  from the zombie  and Ms  Dolphin's trunk ,  he  was reminded  of  his  childhood  when  he   stumbled  across a  homemade Mickey Mouse rocker , similar  to   one  he had , from  which he frequently fell out  of  onto  his  head .
 
Inside the  main  building, loaded up like a  Spanish galleon with a wide  range of bullion , the offering  was  overwhelming . Books, books and more books ; a rack of limp  magazines  dealing with royalty ; another  stand of  ephemera ; prints  and  paintings , old  furniture , a wide  range of coloured  glass, souvenirs  galore, a  vast number of  medals  and tin buttons . Postcards  from  China , Malaysia and Thailand .    
 
Virgil's display window :A fitting resting  place  for Prince Harry. The stuffed and mounted bird in the  glass case is  in a condition the Townsville Bulletin would like  to  render  the squawking Magpie  which relentlessly   pecks the daylights  out of the Murdoch  paper .      


POLICE HEADQUARTERS FAST BECOMING MOCKING BIRD AVIARY

The   Townsville  Water Police  floating headquarters vessel Brett Irwin ,pictured, is fast becoming  an  aviary of  fake birds  to  frighten  off   the  real McCoy  from  messing  things  up on deck . So far , North  Australia's only  S(h)ipping ) Reporter  has   counted   three   mock  birds ... two owls  and a   bird of  prey  aboard . In  this   pictorial  shot  across the  stern , an  owl  can be seen swinging on a perch  and a  more solid bird of prey is sitting on top of what appears to  be  the  airconditioner  housing .Another frightener is shown below on the bow.  It  is presumed  that  the growing   flock of  bogus   birds  are  put  in  a locker  when  the vessel  puts  out  to   sea .

Monday, June 19, 2017

TURNBULL GOVERNMENT FACES EXTENDED WINTER OF DEEP DISCONTENT

End of  term  report  finds  conservatives , federally  /  states , like  the  dysfunctional  Glum  Family  in  Take It From Here .
A photograph , it is said ,  is worth a thousand  words,  even  more when capturing the  varied   expressions on  the faces  of   government  members  .   In  the case of  the above snap   of  Prime  Minister  Malcolm Turnbull , about to poke  himself  in the eye with a pointy Gonski ,  spaced out  Deputy PM  Barnaby Joyce , near his armpit ,  it  sure speaks  volumes.

As parliament  goes through the   last sitting  before  the  extended  winter break , the  Coalition  clearly  crumbling  like  various  glaciers  worldwide,  respected  Canberra  political reporter   Argus Tuft   has  prepared  an  exclusive,  fair and balanced   report  ,  like Fox News ,  on  the  performance of   some of  the  main  players. This  is  the first  in  the  informative series .     
MALCOLM  TURNBULL :   The X-Files are  gospel - the real Malcolm was  spirited  away  by aliens  soon  after he  became  PM . This  humanoid  posing  as   Turnbull  waves  its  arms  about , does not look happy , is not convincing   and through its  hand  motions  could  end up  sold to  a Chinese pottery factory making   cheap,  pretend  genuine Australian   souvenirs  for the  Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Queensland.  Exclusive   photograph  above  shows  MT , related to ET, looking tired  because  its  lithium  battery is running  down . The Greens  smartly twigged this creature  is  not  Malcolm  Turnbull, said it was being  led  about  by  the nose  by  various odd  groups in  the party  and should  be taken to the knackery . A Japanese  scrapmetal yard  would  seem more appropriate . 
 
BARNABY  JOYCE: Inoculated with a rusty gramophone needle at a tender age , he looks as if he is on an other  planet  during  Question Time , pulling  faces, rolling  his eyes , laughing , winking  , gazing into space , etc .  And  while  his  strange verbal utterances   are  good for  TV grabs  , you never know  what  will  next  spew  from  his  lips  as  he  is regarded as  being able to speak "bush "   ... terrorists and  testicles ,  Bingo! ,  splendthrift  Myrtle , dams , dams , dams , dams and more dams,  One  Nation  like  attacks on the  ABC.   Cracking  a  whip  at  the annual Winter  media  knees up  and  grope  in  Canberra like a Marlboro  Man  added  to  the  entertainment  in which  the robotic  PM  blew a  fuse and  mocked  the wind  up  idiot  in  the White House , causing  mock  indignation and outrage  in the  Catholic boys  daily , this  beaut expression pinched  from  the  Saturday Paper .  The  same  bright  weekly , in  its   Gadfly column ,  by  Richard  Ackland , produced the memorable  nickname   for  President  Trump, Pussy-Grabber-in-Chief .
 
Parliament  was  nearly  evacuated  when   what  was  thought  to be a  dangerous Redback Spider  off  a  country  dunny seat   was  spotted , above ,   on  Barnaby's scalp . Thankfully , it  was   found not to be the inspiration for a song which topped the  Australian  Hit Parade , not even a  Daddy Longlegs, just  a  very  thin  kiss curl, or  him participating  in a  secret pesticide  control   trial organised  by   public  servants  reluctantly  shipped  in irons  to  his  electorate .

While answering a  question ,  Barnaby  delivered a  familiar  spray on  the  Opposition  and  was  so wound  up  that the  Manager  of Opposition Business   Tony Burke interrupted ;  the  Speaker asked if  it was on a point of order.   No ...just to let   Barnaby   have a  break, come up for   air , as   he  was extremely  red faced . Some North  Queensland canefarmers   unkindly  described   Barnaby, Minister for Agriculture ,  as   being  as  useless  as  tits on  a  bull  in  the  long  struggle  with   Wilmar . After parliament rises , blathering  Barnaby  is  going to be  sent to Queensland  to try and bolster  the unhappy, barking   Liberal National Party headed  by unpopular  dodgem car rider Tim Nicholls, key  player in  the Campbell  Newman Government  which was  swept from  office . With an  election  possible in  Queensland later this year , new look Nicholls  recently vowed  and  declared he would  not  sell off state assets and  sack  large numbers  of  public servants .  Tell  that  to the Marines in Darwin's Chinese compound .
 
NEXT:  Hirsute Argus  Tuft  reveals  the fascinating   link  between  Colonel Custer  and  the  Turnbull  Government.

SWISS ARMY IN UNUSUAL AUSTRALIAN ISLAND OPERATION

Cutting  edge  device  figures  in   dramatic  Koala  Bear  rescue

After receiving  a  call from two  English    packpackers, Bianca and Nicole ,   that there  was  a Koala   in  trouble  on  the Forts  Walk  , Magnetic Island     ,  wildlife  carer  Linda  Wootten  sprang    into  action .  After  driving  to the  Forts  Walk  parking  area ,  she  grabbed  a   capture  cage  and  the  cover  from a  double  bed mattress  , then   trekked  a  long   way   along  the bush  track    to the  spot   where  the    koala   was  located . It had  a   sore  looking eye and a   wonky  finger  bent  at  a  90 degree angle . Spectators  quickly  grew in  number.

What transpired  eventually attracted  a  crowd of about 20 extremely interested walkers, mostly young English  backpackers and  some street and  road wise  Aussie   grey   nomads  who  stood back  a  safe  distance , knowing it is not wise to mix  it with a  killer  Koala  .  The   Koala   could  not be  coaxed   down   by waving a  piece of tree  branch  above  its  head . A  tall  packpacker   moved in  to  help , but the Koala  went  even  higher on  what was  not  a   thick  tree.

One of the    concerned  onlookers  , another Britisher  , asked  Linda  if she had a  saw . When she replied  that  a  saw  was  not  part of  her usual  Koala rescue  kit , he replied that he  had  one -took out  a  Swiss Army knife  from his backpack , with about a  four inch  blade .  With  this unexpected gadget ,  he began to  cut the  thin  branch  on  which  the now   screaming  Koala   was   attached , indicating  it could  be a  female , as  males   bellow  and   roar , and it began  to  bend .

 At Linda's direction , some  of  the concerned  onlookers   held   the  mattress  cover  , one  of  several donated by the Arcadia Hotel , like  a  blanket  onto  which  the  bear  fell , right in front of  Linda, who  expertly grabbed it  from behind  at  the elbows  so that  it  could  not scratch or bite .

Quick as a  flash , it was  placed in  the cage-to cheers and clapping . Many photos were taken , which probably went  viral . Impressed by the  way Linda handled the rescue, a woman told her she was an amazing person , which she is .  Some  men   carried the  cage   to  Linda's  ute   and   she drove it  to  the   Koala  Bear Hospital   where the   vet   found  it was undernourished  and that  it had a  growth on the  eyelid.  It  would  be  looked   after  until  in   better condition to undergo  operations .

Happy Koala at Queen of Jungle's plantation .
Linda  is a  very  active  member of  the Magnetic Island Fauna Carers Association (MIFCA). She recalled  another  Koala rescue operation in which three  Frenchman  were involved, one badly scratched  by  the marsupial ,  and had to be taken to the clinic . When he emerged   with  many  bandages on his  wounds, his laughing  friends   nevertheless  thought  the  mauling had  been  an  unusual adventure in Australia and  took  numerous  photographs  of  the  victim   to  show  back  home . Unfortunately, there was no island  equivalent  of  the Croix de  Guerre    for bravery against  a large , very grumpy marsupial  to  award  to  the  shredded  like  a   gumleaf  Frenchman .
 
 In another Koala   episode , workmen with  a  cherry picker   helped capture  one   which  ran  from  tree  to  tree  near  the   car   ferry  ramp .   
   Secretary of the  Magnetic Island branch of the Australian Labor   Party , Linda , at times, brings   to  meetings  a   critter in distress, like this bird, which she   fed    with  raspberries  during  proceedings .  

Sunday, June 18, 2017

WATERFRONT HISTORIC BUILDINGS BOMBED , AUTHORITIES TAKE FLIGHT


The   serious  low level bird attack on Townsville, Queen City of the North ,  continued  last week . There  was a  noticeable  build up of  bird  droppings at the front door, below , of  the closed  waterfront  Criterion Hotel , recently refused  permission to  be  knocked down and  with two  other  properties- the grand old Queens Hotel  and the 1934  Lilac Court  flats -become part of a planned whopper development on  The Strand.

While the guano was  building up ,  at long last the overgrown grass  and  weeds   in  the Criterion  beer  garden  had  been   cut, stacked  in  a  pile at the back .  There does not appear to be a  caretaker on the premises otherwise  you would think  the   grass would  have  been cut  earlier  and  the   birdshit  scraped   from the   entrance . Left unattended , the  building is  vulnerable , Speak to  the  fire  department  for   advice, chaps . 
Peering through   this  gate   at the    Criterion  on  The  Strand side  , with a  large  security  sign visible  , dead  vines,  fag ends  and   assorted  litter  were  visible , an old  sun shade hanging  limply . All up , not  a good look for a tourist  town .    
Just a short distance away , and  this  grumpy peg-legged S(h)ipping ) Reporter   found a  similar , sorry state  at the Queens Hotel, apparently no caretaker on  the premises because of the   large build up  of  birdshit , cigarette  butts   at  one of the  main doors , numerous  old  security check in   tickets  nearby on the veranda.; a dead marine , butts  on  a   back  entrance . That this   building with the large  parking area  at the rear    has  not  been  turned  into  a  bustling  market ,  art   centre  and   eatery , much  better and   bigger  than  the Mindil Beach Market,  in  Darwin , with a touch   of  Christchurch , New Zealand,  flair,  is  hard   to   fathom .    
One of the  security  notices  warns that the premises  are under  video surveillance  which apparently does not pick up the birds  making a  mess , cigarettes  being   stubbed  out  or  flicked  in .
 
The ABC has  an office just across the  road  from  the buildings  mentioned here  and if a reporter  ventured  out , had a look and asked  questions , there is a  good  story to be  had .  It could include  the fact   that  the  large plaque , below ,  across  from the Queens Hotel , with  drawings  and   information about the   colourful past , like other  plaques in the city , is   virtually  illegible . Dame Nelly Melba,  Ms McLurcan-she perhaps the first  Australian international cook  of fame , famous artists, etc.
 
 Townsville's   old  buildings   and  plaques  deserve  better care and  attention , especially   ones  in  a   major  part of  the  city's  waterfront . The  Townsville  City  Council , Townsville Enterprise , property owners  and   others   responsible for this  situation   should   get  their  act  together . Queen  Victoria  is  not  amused .   
 
And Prince Harry's  cardboard   cut out  would  undoubtedly be unimpressed  if it were taken for a  grand  tour of the historic buildings and   saw   Townsville  crap, evident  in  so  many  places  about  the city . 
 
 UPCOMING : More S(h)ipping  Reporter  specials   which  the local media   fail to  pick up. You have to wonder if reporters  venture out much in Townsville as so many  stories  jump out at you if you walk about the CBD , the waterfront , venture  into   pubs ,  ask questions .  For example ,  for  some   weeks , there has been   noisy , major work  going  on  at  the Museum  of  Tropical Queensland , only a short  distance  from the ABC.  What was  it all about ? Has the atmosphere  in  the  jungle  been   changed ? What does this mean ?  How much did   it  cost ? Any solar  energy  involved ?

RED HOT TIP STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH

The doyen of  Australian turf  writing and   commentary , Max Presnell , has a book  called   Good Losers  Die  Broke  ready   to  sprint  out  of  the  starting box  next  month .
 
By Peter Simon
 
Max and  this scribe  were   cadet  reporters  on  the  newspaper , The Sun , Sydney,  back in the  l950s. The paper, sadly, ended up in the media knackery . His father ran the  popular  , very   busy  Doncaster Hotel , "a short stroll to "  the Randwick  Racecourse ,  where  some of the leading showmen  who  fielded at the Royal Easter Show  were "stabled " .  Young  Max   was  given free   tickets  to  attend  sideshows, including  boxing .

 In a recent  exchange of emails   between  us  we reminisced  ; he  well remembered the   colourful  Chinese  boxing  identity Rud  Key ,  " a  top fighter ",  from the  North Queensland  mining  town of  Ravenswood ,    who  sold tickets at the entrance   to the  Sharman Boxing Troupe  tent ,   mentioned  in  this  blog . Max  said  he  had seen  a photograph  of  Rud  in  a  book  a  long time ago  ... the hunt is on .

In his inimitable  style , Max  recalled  a  tense  episode in London involving gentlemen of the press , including  Kiwi reporter  Les (Slasher, also Thrasher )  Wilson ,  now residing  in  Queensland , known for  going  the  knuckle in various locations, including  Darwin, where he occasionally saved the Northern Territory News  edior  , Jim Bowditch , from  a   pub  scrap, one  memorable  thumping  partly  over  poor baby  turtles being  bombed  by  the  heartless  RAAF on  Quail Island  which resulted in  an  Irishman hitting the deck at the rear of  the Victoria Hotel .

PRESNELL'S  DENTAL  TROUBLE

We were having a drink at the Kangaroo Paddock in London around 1962 with Russell McPhedran (photographer) and Peter Curtain (formerly Melbourne Herald) when a huge Aussie dentist who could have packed down for South Sydney took exception to Slasher because a girl in his party was paying too much attention to him. Frothing at the mouth, the dentist, who had  five mates of the same size and temperament, had to be subdued by  the staff.

The manager, Kenneth J. Warren, an Aussie actor in London at the time, said he would give us five minutes start before  he let  them out of the cage. McPhedran being small and Curtain having limited footwork, I suggested  a   dignified retreat as  we were outgunned on every front.

Slasher would have none of it ,and was prepared to stand alone."Well," I decreed. "We will all get a good hiding." On being unleashed the dentist went to water. Slasher gave him a deserved verbal bake and when one of  his seconds attempted to break  it down Curtain interrupted:"Keep a mug's place or  I'll knock you right out". It was the only aggression I'd ever heard from him in over 40 years.

Max  continued...In my dotage I've been reflecting on what happened to some of my  mates. You went off  the radar and I note that you are now on Magnetic Island. You always had  an appetite for water and wilderness, partly referring to  me working  at Halvorsen's Boatshed , Bobbin Head .  I  can still recall your  tales of   crocodiles  in  dry creeks  from  the  Northern Territory days.

Max  now  writes a  weekly column for the  Sydney Morning Herald and  does a  podcast  for  ABC Radio National. 

UPCOMING : A racing anecdote  which  almost certainly will not be  mentioned in  the  Presnell  book . 

Friday, June 16, 2017

TRUMP RUSSIAN BOMBSHELL: JUICY WORLD EXCLUSIVE

Leaked explosive  KGB  photographs  will  make  Donald Trump  im-peach-able or   just  plain  fruity ,  nutty , vitamin C freak .
In a  secret , heavily guarded  KGB  leafy  dacha, on  the side of the  fast flowing Volga  River , Donald Trump, codenamed  Mad Mandarin  of  Manhattan ,  is  shown here , the central  dyed-hair  figure,   with   key members of   his  election committee  plotting   with  the Russians  to   steal the  American  presidential  election from   Hillary Clinton .  The  burley , scare-faced   person  in the background is simply identified  as  a  Russian spook , known  as   Ivan  the Terrible. 


 Later on, the Chinese  eavesdropped on  proceedings from a nearby  water jar  in the background , right , and  a cutting edge  FBI microphone, looking like a midget , female  Emperor  Penguin,  was  found  snuggled up  to the  power mad Mandarin , purring like a pussycat,  catching  every  incriminating  word  of  the  treacherous  plot on  tape , soon to be played across the nation .  
   

Thursday, June 15, 2017

FRESH AMMUNITION FOR LATTE BASHING ARRIVES IN PORT

Another  S(h)ipping Reporter  Scoop
Cunningly disguised  as  a   car carrier , this large bumboat smuggled the world's biggest  single  cargo of  childish  car  bumper stickers into Townsville this week  in support of the  proposed  Adani  Carmichael  coalmine  . Despite its  massive size, the  local media  did not  report the arrival , because there are no shipping reporters in  town , in fact north of the Alamo .
 
 
The Murdoch Townsville Bulletin    should have known in advance  about  the Demeter  Leader  arrival  because   it is the   major  northern distribution point  for   stickers  taking the piss out of  soy latte  drinkers , grouping   anybody against the  mine  as  latte sippers. Another shining example of  balanced  journalism  on  an  important  national  and  global  issue  .
 

Shown above  are  just two of the promos  , described as  "cheeky"  , for the stickers  , which have appeared in the Townsville Bulletin .The two smiling gents are none other than  Senators Ian Macdonald  and Matt Canavan , said to have been   the first  to  get  their hands  on  the tongue in cheek  stickers   at  the Bulletin office.   
 
Senator Macdonald 's  strange  habit  of  wearing  high-viz  clobber  like that  of an actual worker   or   a    school crossing  Lollipop   man  is on  record   as  saying the independent activists   GetUp ! are a  Hitler youth organisation . However, just  recently he was  said to have behaved like Hitler  when  as the chair   of  a  Senate   committee  he  refused permission for a member to ask  questions .   This caused  adjournment of the hearing when  his  order  was  challenged  . On resumption , florid faced  Macdonald was   forced to  acknowledge  he  had no  power to stop  the democratic  right of  a person to  ask  questions.
 
Strangely , the   local media  did not pick  up  the fact that a local politician who had  accused   a group of  being  Hitler  youth  had  himself  been accused of acting  like  Hitler .
 
Senator  Macdonald  is also  one of the many savage Tories and the right commentariat  who obsessively  monstered   Human Rights Commissioner  Gillian Triggs  over  the Forgotten Children report on refugee children in custody . In a face  to face , the red faced  Senator  delivered a  "lambasting ."
 
One account  of  his  onslaught   said ... "But just as the Queensland senator  really got  his ancient motor fired up , he hit a roadblock-despite his apparent fury at  its  (report) content, Macdonald admitted  that he had not actually read the report . "   
 
Laughter  ensued ,  a  titter   ran  through  the  house , followed  by  groans . The senator is on record  as  saying he  wants to stay on  in parliament  until he is 80 .And a member of his  staff  is  a candidate for  the next Queensland election .
 
And the illustrious Senator Canavan , minister for Federal Resources and Northern Australia  no less , a former chief of staff for now Deputy Prime Minister   Barnaby  Joyce, is one of those ever ready on  the  government  side  and  One Nation  to  attack the  ABC  for doing its job properly, expecially  reporting  facts  about  Adani.
 
A radio interview in which  Senator Canavan   called  an ABC report  lies   got a  great  run in the Townsville  Bulletin, naturally   highlighting  "LIES ".  Listen  to the actual  radio  interview  and  you  understand  why non Murdoch media and others  rightly criticised  Canavan's  comments .
 
His CV  states  that he is a former  executive of KPMG , the global network which provides audit, tax and  advisory services, some of it to governments. As such  the organisation is often called in  to  fully  investigate   and    report  on   various  important   matters for  governments  and   companies  : will this fly ? are the  principals  kosher?  what are  the  ramifications , etc  ?   So why hammer the national  broadcaster  for   doing  a  legitimate   check  on  Adani  ?
 
 It is interesting to note that Demeter  was the goddess of  the fruitful earth , protector  of  the social  order and  marriage .  This fact alone  , you would think ,  sufficient enough  to inspire  an  imaginative local scribe...if  anybody  keeps an eye on  the  docks ,  even  ventures  down  to  the waterfront  once  every  Leap  Year . 
And the same  day as the latte  bashing   stickers were being unloaded , another  ghost  fleet vessel , Gas Defiance , owned by a  shipping line with the dodgy moniker  , Stealthgas,  was  in port . Hopefully not plundering  our bigger than Saudi Arabia   gas  deposits   while  the expensive   lights  go  out  all  across  the  nation .      

TROPICAL ODDITIES : Special study by odd / rare S(h)ipping Reporter

Roots in the bitumen on Townsville's  waterfront  form this  tangled  , artistic display of  pavement art  . From  the  public  waterfront walkway  near the  ferry terminal is  seen  an  old  chain  encrusted with  oysters , below . 
Watch your  step as  you perambulate along  the  inviting walkway, gawking about at the views,   as  there  are  several pavers missing  and you might tumble  into  the water and  end  up oyster  mayonnaise . The nearby  clump of  overgrown  hibiscus  needs  pruning, the attendant  weeds  pulled  out .

It would  be  nice  if  the Port Authority and Townsville Enterprise  could    combine to rectify this situation as there is a Townsville Bulletin  confidential report  that Prince Harry's  corny cardboard  cut  out  could once  more   visit  Townsville and it is  highly  desirable the city  look shipshape  and  tickety-boo  for  such  an  orgasmic occasion . 
 Sparrows on  Magnetic Island  use  the handlebars of the many bikes parked at the ferry terminal to soak up the  morning sun .  
 Leader of the bikie pack , in leather jacket, posing for all things  nautical reporter .   

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

STRIKING IT RICH ON GREAT BARRIER REEF VOYAGE

By  no means a  tycoon's mega million luxury yacht , the aptly named  Small  Change , caught  on camera   by  the only S(h)ipping Reporter in North Australia, perhaps even north of  the Mason-Dixon Line , sailing out  of  Townsville , North Queensland ,  without  a  care in  the world .  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

DRIVING INTO A STUNNING TROPICAL SUNRISE



Ravenswood mining  area, North Queensland .  Rachel  photograph .

VALE VERN O'BRIEN

The  sad  word has  gone out to members of  the  Geneological Society  of  the Northern Territory (GSNT) that  Darwin identity Vern O'Brien , mentioned recently in this  blog , has  died , aged  91 . Vern joined the GSNT in 1983 and was  awarded  its  first honorary membership in 2000  for outstanding contributions  not only to NT research but also his work in  the foundation of what has become known  as the Northern Territory  Pioneer and  Death databases.
 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

CURLEW CONUNDRUM : WHY UNSEASONAL EGG LAYING ?

At  a  time when Bush stone-Curlews  do not usually  lay eggs, our resident  pair produced  two  googs   which , we  are  told, will make it  difficult for any hatchlings to survive  because  of  the  cold  weather . 
Curlew  with  eggs 
 
Front  and back  view of  protective partner .
After   getting over the strain of  watching over the  last chick  which , thankfully, survived and  flew  away, we  are now faced with  this  looming  situation ... could Alice Springs beanies be the answer  ?