MP JOHN MACKENZIE AND HIS BOOTLICKER GAVIN KING SHARE THE SAME ETHICAL SYSTEM - NONE!

MP JOHN MACKENZIE AND HIS BOOTLICKER GAVIN KING SHARE THE SAME ETHICAL SYSTEM - NONE!
MP JOHN MACKENZIE AND HIS BOOTLICKER GAVIN KING SHARE THE SAME ETHICAL SYSTEM - NONE!

13 August 2014

MICHAEL TROUT & GREG FENNELL ANNOUNCE NEW CAIRNS LNP POLICY - TEARING OUT INFRASTRUCTURE NOW FIRST LINE IN CRIME CONTROL

A recent series of stories in the Cairns Post have featured a Trinity Beach groundskeeper at the Marlin Coach Soccer Club complaining about the continual vandalism and burglary at their building, along with other sport clubs in the vicinity.

Cairns Council and MP Michael Trout (who's brother Steven is again being indicted today in Cairns Supreme Court for more criminal offenses) gave no response to this plea by groundskeeper Heinz Kach.

This first blast of stories did however get a community response - the
vandals struck again.  Neighbourhood Watch, the responsibility of Michael Trout, has been completely ineffectual in Trinity Beach.  The small group of local teen toughs have apparently used the nearby Cairns Council-constructed youth skate park as their meeting place during nighttime hours.  

So yesterday MP Trout and the never-seen-before Councillor Greg Fennell made the strangest of all announcements - they said they're going to tear down the skate park and replace it with a parking lot!

What about all the legitimate users of the skate park?  Granted they've been run off by the little gangsters, but are the police now impotent in law enforcement?  Why do law-abiding youth have to pay the price for failed law enforcement? 

This is apparently a new policy of the Queensland LNP government.  If shown to be successful here, they plan to rip up the Cook Highway between Holloways Beach and Yorkey's Knob, where speeding drivers refuse to slow down and slow drivers refuse to use the left lane.



The Queensland Police Service should be ashamed of themselves - their failure to address crime in the Northern Beaches (apparently too busy in the CBD) is legendary.  And now for QPS officers to be seen standing behind the pollies nodding at this so-called "solution" is frankly disgusting.

We would however suggest that we extend this policy to the jailing of the parents and siblings of criminals.  This would see both Michael Trout and his father Peter, neither accused of anything, jailed in a bid to stop the criminal actions of their brother and son Steven Trout.  

Makes as much sense as tearing down a skate park. . .

UPDATE:  Indictment of Steven James Trout this morning in Cairns Supreme Court:

3 counts - Possessing a Dangerous Drug in excess of 2gm
8 counts - Possessing a Dangerous Drug
1 count  -  Possessing a thing used in connection with possessing a dangerous drug



10 August 2014

AS PERFORMANCE DATA COMES IN, QUEENSLAND LNP & LOCAL MP'S GAVIN KING AND MICHAEL TROUT STARTING TO SMELL LIKE COMPLETE FAILURES TO THE ELECTORATE

The Queensland LNP, led by the soon-to-be ousted Joh Bjelke Newman, has been flooding the public and media with "performance data", hoping the public and journalists will be too lazy to parse it for the real facts.  The journalists are asleep in a fog - the Weekend Courier Mail featuring polar bears instead of real news on their front page.

The reports for the Cairns Base Hospital are abysmal, and getting worse.  

Cairns is awash with reports of specialist doctors leaving, critical heart patients unable to receive basic care, and a new (grossly over budget) almost $1B hospital addition that can't be opened due to massive electrical problems that haven't yet been found.  


And now we have factual evidence that key operational measures - ambulance response time, and emergency room waiting times, have blown out under the LNP government. 

Hospital chair unSir Bob Norman is being pushed daily to use the MacKenzie microphone to shout about how great the LNP hospital has become.  Norman, the same "business leader" ousted by the Chamber of Commerce membership, and unable to even run an ice cream shop, is now privately telling everyone within earshot of the poison chalice he's been given.  Norman's deceptively "cleared the waiting lists" by getting rid of them, and is now attacking local GP's for making surgical referrals!  

MP Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King, who famously boasted that one of his 100-day priorities would be to remove the smokers from the front of the hospital, has failed at even this simple task.



King and his local cohorts Trout and Kempton are now working together - to make sure at least one of them is in the media every day spinning the horrible facts.  With the Queensland unemployment rate pushing 7% and public anger with all varieties of LNP increasing, the inability of this mob to do any better than the last mob is creating strange political bedfellows.

Queensland Health employees are now starting to call attention to the problems - BADHEALTHQLD.COM

05 August 2014

NEW QUEENSLAND COMPETITION SEES BOB "SLEEPY" MANNING THE FIRST WINNER OF THE "JOH-HOLE OF THE WEEK" AWARD

In a special Cairns nonRegional Council meeting called for this morning, Council went into closed session for a "Prejudicial Matter" - Review and Submission of the CRC EIS submission on the Aquis resort and CASINO.  

It's absurd to believe that this submission, made on behalf of the ratepayers in Cairns, is prejudicial to anyone.  Presumably all the issues raised by Council on our behalf are known to Tony Fung and his representatives.  A local barrister has asserted that this Council has abused their power under the Local Government Regulation-2012 by even holding this meeting in secret.  There is no "prejudicial" consequence in sharing this information with the public. 


On completion of the meeting, Bob "Sleepy" Manning released a "Community Statement" that only outlines the Aquis EIS and the areas of interest to Council.  It confirms that Council's "Detailed Analysis of the EIS" include reports on Economics, Social Impacts, Town Planning, Water and Waste Infrastructure, Ecology, Flooding, Transport, and Visual Impact.  

But the public can't read the document, because Bob Manning has decided it's SECRET.  WE CAN'T BE TOLD WHAT *WE* HAVE TOLD THE QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT!  Representations have been made in OUR name (the Ratepayers of Cairns) but we're not allowed to know what we've said!

And while there's no precedent for the secrecy order surrounding this public report (a copy of which Gavin King has been waving at locals for a week), Manning then went the extra mile and issued a gag order on the Council Meeting!

Under penalty of discipline (including possible ejection from Council), Bob Manning has ordered that NO COUNCILLOR may discuss any portion of the EIS response and closed meeting with ANYONE.  All statements about the EIS can only come from Bob Manning!

For police-state style secrecy, arrogance, and disrespect for the public above and beyond, we nearby award Cairns Mayor Bob "Sleepy" Manning the "Joh-Hole of the Week" award.  

04 August 2014

SELF-APPONTED BICYCLE REPS SETTLE FOR HALF A LOAF, GUARANTEE MORE BICYCLIST DEATHS AND INJURIES ON THE COOK HIGHWAY

In July we saw the start of more so-called upgrades on the dangerous Cook Highway roundabouts to "protect the bicyclists" who use the road.  These so-called "upgrades" began construction in usual Newman fashion - with no consultation with the people who use them.  As the idiocy of the redesign became apparent, both bicyclists and car drivers voiced disgust with the changes.

WE SHOULD BE PLANNING NOW TO
ACCOMMODATE THE INFLUX OF
AQUIS RESORT AND CASINO WORKERS
The redesign has required a slight widening of the road's edge, and then the installation of a >200mm high square kerb to act as a physical barrier between the bicyclists and the cars.

One needs only to look at the kerb on the northbound Machans Beach roundabout to see that, in the course of just two weeks, the kerb has been struck at least a half-dozen times.  A strike that likely leaves the tyre and wheel severely damaged.  With the poor maintenance of the street lighting now rampant across the city (a side-effect from the Newman cost-cutting, not doubt), it's only a matter of time before a car is rolled by this new roadway obstacle.  

This kind of kerbing has been called "a dangerous obstacle for all two wheelers" in the UK, where the standard for roundabout design includes the warning "Cycle lanes on a the circulatory carriageway are not recommended".  

Like the hurried upgrades to the Trinity Beach roundabout after the death of Dr. Hossam El-Shazly in 2009, these upgrades are being done as a public relations exercise with little hope of improving the situation.  So a meeting was hastily organised to paper over the problems, with the bicyclists represented by Colin Gilbert.  The presence of MP Michael "hide the backhoe" Trout and Aquis developer apologist Pat Flanagan as another "concerned cyclist" confirms that FNQ has gotten rolled again by the slick-o's from Brisbane.  And who was representing the motorists?    No one - with the TMR policy on these matters being "divide and conquer".  Why isn't the RACQ in there representing the motorist-member??  

Queensland Department of Main Roads Road Planning and Design manual on roundabouts says: ". . . a separated cycle path, located outside of the circulating carriageway, is the safest design when there are high vehicle flows".  It goes on to say:  "Separate bicycle paths have been found to be safer than a bicycle lane within the road carriageway, particularly at highly trafficked roundabouts".   

The fact is that the geometry, design, and construction of the Cook Highway roundabouts is substandard.  The only roundabout that fully complies with the Austroad and Queensland design rules is the Reed Road (Trinity Park) roundabout - which was the last built, in 2000.  The Smithfield roundabout is functionally broken. With heavy traffic on all four legs it should have been replaced years ago with a proper overpass and ramps.  But this is the nature of Far North Queensland infrastructure - even the safety rules aren't followed and we end up with a dangerous patchwork of roads. 

Witness the Western Arterial at Parkridge/Ramsey Drive.  No way would this shit be built in Brisbane.  TMR has been band-aiding it for years instead of tearing it out and building it the right way.  

And these roundabouts were installed almost thirty five years ago.  The volume of traffic now on the Cook Highway would preclude new roundabouts today.  

And now we have "improvised" designs with car-flipper
THIS IS A BICYCLE-FRIENDLY ROUNDABOUT -
THE STANDARD IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
(EVEN IN REGIONAL AREAS!)
kerbing - designs found in NO road design manual.  Dreamt up by TMR lunatic.  Why is Cairns the testbed of unproven designs?  Why aren't we using proven designs that protect the motorist as well as the cyclist???

Even Michael Trout, not the sharpest (stolen) tool in the shed, claims "the roundabouts are only designed for 60km/hr".  So why have the Queensland Police Service signposted them at 40km/hr?

Bicycle spokesman Colin Gilbert calls this a "massive win for us" instead of what it really is, a guarantee of more bicyclist deaths on the Cook Highway.  

These roundabouts need to be replaced with proper road infrastructure, overpasses and dedicated bikeways, if nothing else to support the massive influx of Aquis-generated bus and truck traffic on the highway (and through these substandard roundabouts).


31 July 2014

ON THE DAY THE "QUEENSLAND PLAN" IS RELEASED, CAIRNS FINDS OUT THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HOW OUR HARD-WON LIFESTYLE IS GOING TO BE DEGRADED

Since last weekend, the bogan media has been whipped into a frenzy about the "great new project" that is now up for development approval before the Cairns Council.


THE FIRST HIGHRISE GHETTO
STREET FOR CAIRNS
The project has been named "Central Park Cairns" - it has neither a park, nor is it central to anything - jammed behind the police station and courthouse, hard up to the railroad tracks.  

Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King crowed "I've met Mr. Koh (Wee Seng, Aspial CEO) several times and I'm extremely impressed with Aspial's diligence, professionalism, and design principals.  This is truly an exciting time to live in Cairns".

Bob "Sleepy" Manning was roused and spewed "Cairns, and indeed this region, is on the cusp of the most exciting time in its history".  This after calling the Aquis resort and CASINO "a whole new paradigm".

So why is Cairns the recipient of such Singaporean largess from Koh Wee Seng and his company?

Because we're about to see Cairns transformed into a completely Asian city, with standards much lower than those demanded even in Singapore - standards that are only acceptable in Mainland China.

The Cairns nonRegional Council has posted on their development applications website the package of fancy drawings and lovely colour renderings of the beautiful towers Aspial is planning. (Can't hotlink, sorry).  Clearly much more impressive than the prison towers built by Tom Hedley in his runup to bankruptcy.

But Koh is building a project that WOULD NOT GET
FAMILY MEAL TIME BRINGS US CLOSER
APPROVAL FOR A UNIT PROJECT IN SINGAPORE.  And the biggest breach of Singaporean development requirements?  The project would not meet Singaporean law on minimum floor area in each apartment. 


The law, called the "Shoebox Apartment" law, was implemented as greedy developers built smaller and smaller apartments while jacking up the prices there.  This not only pushed low and middle income residents into deplorable living conditions, it overloads the area infrastructure.  Since November of 2012, the Urban Redevelopment Authority in Singapore has required the AVERAGE apartment size in a project be 70 sq meters.


HOW LONG CAN TWO ADULTS
LIVE IN A SPACE THIS SMALL
WITHOUT HOMICIDE?
70 square meters isn't even very much.  Most of the Hedley apartments around the CBD are  85+ square meters, and most have higher than average height ceilings.  

But wait to you see the shit that Koh wants to build.

Tower one, the first up for DA, has an average unit size of:


55.25 SQUARE METERS

Even the two bedroom units, about half the total, are only 66.9 square meters!

And along with this rabbit hutch that wouldn't even be allowed in Singapore, Koh has asked for fewer on-site carparks than even the deficient Cairns code requires - HUNDREDS FEWER, under the delusion that "CBD Living" without a car will ever be the norm in Cairns.

I didn't see any proposal for a subway, however.



"A whole new paradigm?"  "An exciting time to live in Cairns?"

Yes, we're about to sign it over to non-Australians, with non-Australian living standards.  The elderly and poor are now sitting in the dark at night, with electricity too expensive to use.  A growing number of citizens can't afford homeowner's insurance, so they're sitting in the dark hoping that they don't have a fire or a burglary.  And now we're being told the future for Australia is as a third-world, has-been country as we're stuffed into apartmentoriums.  Welcome to the Queensland Plan!  


THIRTY YEARS?  IT'S ALREADY HERE!


28 July 2014

LNP MOUTHPIECE JOHN MACKENZIE STIRS UP THE FLUORIDE ARGUMENT, DOG-WHISTLING THE ELECTORATE IN THE CLASSIC BOGAN DIVERSION TECHNIQUE

Right on cue, one of the two bogan issues for Cairns has been thrown on the table - signaling that a State election is on the horizon.

And the Voice of the Bogan, John MacKenzie, under orders from his dark masters, is giving the uneducated hillbilly view equal voice to that of learned medical professionals.



Bogan Mackenzie allowed some brain-dead moron to claim "fluoride was used by the nazis to keep prison populations docile".  The same "forced medication" argument that is used by parents who've decided that childhood vaccines are "voodoo science", too.  Ignoring not only the vast majority of the world that values fluoridated water, but the large swathes of population that have been for eons drinking NATURALLY fluoridated water.

Nor has the Israeli supreme court banned fluoridation.

The American Dental Association along with every other national dental society on the planet recommend fluoride in the water.

                       


69 PAGES OF SCIENCE, or idiotic blathering by the MacKenzie hillbillies?  We're anticipating the return of Annette Sheppard after she locates her hemlock and pointy witch cap. 

We're now on the cusp of the "daylight savings time" argument, and discovering again that celestial mechanics can be trumped by an FNQ bogan turning the hands on his clock.


24 July 2014

LAKE STREET OPENED UP THROUGH CITY PLACE - BUT WHY HAS THE AIRPORT CONNECTION STALLED?

Bob "Sleepy" Manning has sent out today's Cairns nonRegional Council's "inFocus" email, touting the City Place destruction project's early finish.  No mention about the dodgy consultation period and bankrupt businesses.



We  started asking questions of Council earlier this week about the stalled Lake Street connector to Airport Road.  This intersection has been finished for weeks, and yet hasn't been opened.

Turns out Council forgot to order the traffic lights.

That's right.  THEY FORGOT.

Several Council managers have been pointing the finger at
each other, so it's likely this will be another Council SNAFU from these high-paid managers that will see no one copping the blame.

So we're likely to see cones and poles san lights for quite some time.  Do you get to use "the dog ate my homework" as an excuse in your workplace?
  

UPDATE:  Embarrassed by the HBW report, Cr. Terry James ordered the southbound slip lane opened today so they could pretend to hide the screw-up.

And we've learned the screw-up is bigger than reported.  Not only are the traffic lights missing, but so is all the signage.  The left turn slip lane is now open, but with no signs to indicate where the road goes, most of the southbound traffic is still going to Sheridan Street.  The lawyers among us voice concerns about liability issues in opening a half-finished and unmarked intersection.  


23 July 2014

LAUGH OF THE DAY

Former Mayor Kevin "STILL hiding from the Pakis" Byrne, on the radio this morning, offering his years of leadership experience to Premier Campbell Newman:

"He's got to show more humility and compassion".

Can you imagine?  Kevin Byrne giving "humility advice"?  About as funny as Ian Thorpe doing commercials for E-Harmony.

Byrne still failed to grasp that it was his arrogance and disdain for the electorate that saw him scurry off to PNG after losing to Mayor Val Schier.  You only have to recall the vision of him running out of a Clifton Beach community meeting as residents, angry at the lack of consultation on what's turned into another Udo Jattke apartment ghetto, turned on Fat Kev just weeks before Val Schier cleaned his clock.

Close the cellar door, we don't need to see the troll again!




22 July 2014

WORLD-LARGEST HOTELIERS ATTACK AUSTRALIAN TOURIST AGENCIES FOR ONEROUS AND ABUSIVE VISA PROCESS FOR CHINESE TRAVELERS

In a scathing attack, Accor Pacific Chairman Michael Isenberg and InterContinental Hotels Asia CEO Jan Smit confirmed that onerous and costly visa applications were inhibiting tourism traffic to Australia.

Surveys of potential international travelers in China consistently place Australia as the #1 aspirational destination.

However those aspirations aren't achieved with actual bookings by the Chinese - with a 20 page immigration form, (that can't be completed online), $120 filing fee, and several week delay just two of the impediments.

Hoteliers at the conference also attacked the federal
government for not appointing a Tourism Minister, noting that Tourism Australia was operating in a disjointed and uncoordinated way.

The comments made at this tourism conference were oddly not published by any of the News Limited-owned media outlets in Australia.  Funny that.

Australia has long been known for a difficult, slow, and costly tourist visa process, that to many potential tourists signals "go somewhere else".  This difficult process is a major impediment to sustainable Chinese tourism - indeed these visa issues were one of the issues cited to Cairns Airport officials when the Chinese Eastern flights were suspended. 

Meanwhile, USA carrier United Airlines will soon begin the first direct service from Shanghai to Guam  - with many hopeful that this signals a forthcoming approval for Chinese tourists to enter Guam under the USA Visa Waiver program.  The US consulates in China are already operating a "fast track" tourist visa for Guam, with the wait generally less than 2 days.  An earlier addition of Russia to the Guam Visa Waiver program has seen large numbers of Asian-based Russians flying from Vladivostok to Guam - as the Russian-language signs in Guam businesses now attest.    

Guam, which strongly markets itself in Asian countries as a budget Hawaii (with most of Asia within about 4 hours of Guam), could see Cairns stripped of much of the growing tropical destination market - by sheer ineptitude and government bullshit.




21 July 2014

GAMBLING WREAKS HAVOC ON SOCIETY IN MACAU WHILE OUR LOCAL OFFICIALS REFUSE TO EVEN TAKE A LOOK

MUCH OF THE MACAU POPULATION HAS
MISSED OUT ON THE CASINO BONANZA
One year, after the first announcements about the Aquis resort and CASINO project, Mayor Bob "Sleepy" Manning was at a charity luncheon chatting with councillor John Schilling and other residents.  One highly-placed CBD businessman asked Manning if he had ever been to Macau.  Manning and Schilling both responded in the negative.

A year later, with this the most important project for Cairns speeding ever closer to approval, NOT ONE of our elected civic leaders have bothered to take the time and energy to GO to Macau, or Singapore, and see for themselves the impacts that be expected in Cairns from this project.  All they're left with is the rosy pictures painted by the developer, and some insane notion that Macau = Las Vegas.


Hu Xingdou, an economics professor in Beijing, told the LA Times, "Gambling is a big part of Chinese human nature.  Tied to it are beliefs in superstition, numerology, and a desire to get rich quick.  Chinese are the biggest gamblers in the world", Hu said.  "Thousands of years under an imperial system that tries to keep people down leads to a mentality of trying to become super-rich overnight, preferably without hard work".  This pent-up desire to gamble has been released along with the economic reforms since 1990.

It's no wonder the current Chinese Communist Imperial System won't allow gambling in their country.  



MONEY LAUNDERING


A recent report from the federal agency AUSTRAC has outlined the growing use of Australia as a location to launder hot money.  Casinos have always been locations where corrupt operators + organised crime = money laundering.  However the problems at "Chinese" casinos are not just organised crime syndicates, but individual criminals, government officials, and others pushing Mainland Chinese government assets thru the machinery.  And while AUSTRAC freely admits they are only seeing the tip of the iceberg, the Abbott government is CUTTING the AUSTRAC budget.  



Crown Casino in Melbourne has been used by these gangs to launder millions.  In one major case, the culprits were caught and prosecuted in a Las Vegas case, where their confiscated records showed $23M went thru Crown with not a raised eyebrow, or any Australian prosecutions.

And when the Mainland government conducts one of their periodic (but useless) anti-corruption campaigns, gaming revenue at the Macau casinos dip in response.  Only to resume the usual level of corrupt money as the Mainland government turns to killing mosquitos or some other worthless task.

Corruption in China is a pandemic.  Routine "crackdowns" by the central government are part of a regular show for the public that do little to stop it.  In June of 2011, it was documented that between 16,000 and 18,000 officials and management of Chinese government-owned firms have fled with stolen funds - estimated at up to $120 BILLION.  The stories are too numerous to repeat here, but a good source of this reporting CAN BE FOUND HERE.

Macau's phenomenal success is based on a formula that facilitates, and indeed ENCOURAGES money laundering.  Our political leaders have little understanding of how Macau works - and yet they're running headlong into dropping one of these corruption machines in Yorkey's Knob.

Australian regulators can't stop us from being gouged by fees at ATM's.  Anyone think our regulators have the ability to identify Mainland Chinese money laundering?  Good luck with that.


THE "PAWN SHOP"


Several years ago, the Mainland Chinese government introduced tourism currency controls.  Outbound tourists are only allowed to take ¥20,000 (AU$3600) per person overseas.  To counteract this limitation, Macau casino interests set up "The Pawn Shop".  Not real pawn shops as
we know them, these shops were set up to assist Mainland Chinese into skirting the currency controls.  You go in, purchase a fake Rolex for $15,000 and put it on your Union Pay charge card.  Receipt and dodgy Rolex in hand, you go to the next window where they'll buy your fake Rolex back, no questions asked, for $12,000, in any kind of cash you want.

Bob Manning has been heard comparing the Aquis project with the Daikyo investment in Cairns in the late 1980's.  Then state treasurer and Cairns MP Keith De Lacy in fact fought against Daikyo investment in Queensland until ordered to stand down by Premier Wayne Goss.  Daikyo investment in Cairns never exceeded $800M, 10% of the Tony Fung proposals.  And there was never any thought that Daikyo's golf courses would be hotbeds of criminal activity or money laundering.

And though few in Cairns would be aware, Daikyo emerged from its financial reorganization as a solid company that again is investing in Australia - with Brisbane and the Gold Coast on their radar - apparently ignoring the Cairns market this time around.


AQUIS WILL KILL THE LOCAL ECONOMY


In a comprehensive, well-respected study by Dr. E.L. Grinols and Professor Dr. David Mustard entitled "Casinos, Crime, and Community Costs" (2000), it was shown that crime increased in almost every locality where a casino was built.  In their 2006 update to this work, they discuss the five negative effects of casinos that increase crime.


  • Casinos drain the local economy of resources
  • Increased crime payoff
  • Increased number of pathological gamblers
  • Casinos attract criminal activity
  • Casinos induce a change in the local population towards one apt to commit more crimes

Grinols and Mustard conclude that the social costs of casinos are far greater than the benefits.  Indeed, crime statistics show that crimes of all kinds have almost tripled in Macau in the two decades.

We urge you to source a copy of this work - much of it freely available from the authors and Baylor University. 

Think we can get Bob Manning, Gavin "Chinese are Freaks and Weirdos" King, or Michael "who stole the backhoe?" Trout to read anything that would allow them to intellectually analyse what they're about to do to Cairns?

It's criminal that these dickheads won't even get on a plane to take a look at what Macau has wrought.

19 July 2014

GAVIN KING, ASS. TOURISM MINISTER, LAUNCHES NEW QUEENSLAND TOURISM AD CAMPAIGN

LATEST TTNQ ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN - BRAINCHILD OF MP FOR MACKENZIE, GAVIN KING - - 
ASS. TOURISM MINISTER

15 July 2014

AQUIS resort & CASINO BUSINESS PLANNING - CAN THIS REALLY BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE HOTEL IN THE WORLD???






This "7 Star" hotel is the pinnacle of luxury.  This 202 suite hotel, sitting in the Arabian Gulf adjacent to downtown Dubai, cost $230,000,000 to construct.  Each room, the smallest being larger than most Cairns apartments at 170 sq meters, therefore required an investment of $1.13m "per key".  That's how hotels are bought and sold - "per-room", or "per-key" - because it is the most reliable way to value an income property like a hotel.

This smallest of rooms at the Burj Al Arab will cost you about $2000 PER NIGHT.  It's not known if breakfast is included.

Of course, hotel values go up and down depending on their age, their location, and additional amenities.  Convention hotels in hot convention locations have the most value.  And despite what you might think is logical, casino hotels are not valued much more than non-casino hotels.  In the United States, the highest-valued hotel rooms are in New York, at $597,188 per key.  Las Vegas, coming off an extended downturn, sees their rooms valued at $154,343 - and they've never been much over $250K per key.

It therefore makes little sense to invest much more than the actual appraised value of the hotel on a "per-room" basis.  Invest more than what you can get in income from the room, and you lose money.  Business 101.  (Pay attention Andrew G!)  NO major hotel operator is going to sign on to a project that cannot be profitable.

One of the first things that troubled us about the EIS and project description was the amount of floor space dedicated to the hotel rooms.  The EIS calls out 625,000m2 as the gross area of the rooms, not including back-of-house and hallway areas.  This suggests a room size of 87m2 - not the Burj Al Arab, but twice the size of any other hotel room in Cairns - and indeed all of Australia.

However the "per-key" valuation method applied to this development has us completely confounded. The so-called $8.2billion Tony Fung & Associates investment in this property pencils out to:  


wait for it:  

$1,093,333 per room!

Just a shade under the Burj Al Arab, but with no hope in attracting anywhere near $2000 per night, you've got to wonder what investor in their right mind would put money into this financial white elephant.


Even this Abbott Street hotel, currently listed for sale, follows the "per-key" rule, with the adjusted price asked at about $184k per key.

Clearly, the amount of money budgeted for Aquis includes huge sums to make this seaside flood-guaranteed site ready to carry the massive size of this project.  How much?  Those in the construction field say $2B minimum on site works before any above-ground construction can begin.

Indeed, we're now a year since all the "Chinese hoopla" began - the purchase and rehab of the Sheraton Mirage in Port Douglas by Chinese Fullshare.  The purchase of Double Island and the Acacia Court hotels by Benny Wu, both which have resulted in - well, nothing.  Not a hammer has been lifted to fix any of these tired properties over a year after they were snapped up.  Mackay Council also reports that the Fullshare purchase of Laguna Quays there has resulted in no development action, either. 

Additionally, Wu purchased the fully-approved Kewarra Beach Retirement Village, and in a city with strong demand for this kind of elderly accommodation, Wu has done nothing.

None of this makes sense unless regular economics isn't important.  This can happen for a variety of reasons, including the laundering of money with less than honorable origins.  There is no indication that anything like this has happened in any of these cases.  

But the numbers just don't stack up.  If the government is concerned about getting a VIABLE project, there's got to be some questioning of these numbers. 

==================================

UPDATE:  During a private, closed meeting last night at
FUNG REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL KING, HIMSELF
SUBECT OF FRAUD INVESTIGATION BY ASIC
Brothers, packed with salivating real estate leeches, the Cairns Post reported that Tony Fung's representative, Michael King, assured everyone that Fung was fully capable of funding the $8.2B project.  


It apparently involves a float on (ASX?  Shanghai?  Elsewhere?) a stock market.   First we've heard of that - nothing mentioned about public ownership in the EIS.

And Fung representative Michael King, formerly head of the now defunct MFS/Octaviar Gold Coast property fiasco, is still under criminal investigation by the ASIC himself for forged and backdated documents.  Seems like an odd choice for Fung who's already suffering from massive credibility problems.

Thanks to Tony Hiller for the additional information.

12 July 2014

JCU AQUIS SYMPOSIUM - HUNDREDS GATHER IN XANADU UNDER MASS DELUSION THAT GOVERNMENT CONSULTATIONS ACTUALLY MEAN SOMETHING

Some 400 interested residents filled a lecture hall at JCU Smithfield on Thursday night, for an event entitled "The Aquis Casino Resort EIS Community Information Symposium".  It sadly was the intersection of two parallel universes.  The first featured three hours of theoretical and scientific explanations (but no conclusions) about the Aquis EIS from JCU professors who, despite their protestations, perhaps were more concerned about keeping their jobs (and the dream of most academics, future consulting gigs) then protecting their community.  In the second universe were the residents angry that any of this was being discussed in a rational manner - a group wanting to "rage against the machine" but not having a clue how that works.   Their undercurrent of hostility towards this project was what the organizers desperately attempted to keep "in the bottle" all night.  

The symposium was frankly a profound waste of everyone's
time.

The JCU professors, comfortable living in some academic fairy land, believe that shortcomings in the EIS can be pointed out to the Coordinator General, will get some kind of intelligent response from the government and Aquis developers, and then we can all go arm and arm into some kind of Chinese-fueled nirvana while singing "Kumbaya" and eating yumcha falling from the sky.

But it's hard to understand how a large group of intelligent, mostly tertiary-educated city migrants to Cairns have deluded themselves into thinking that somehow a few submissions about shortcomings in the EIS will have any impact on this project.  Are you people daft?

As we pointed out when the project was first announced - the fix is in.  The public has zero chance of stopping it.

Despite the wide range of community members in attendance, not one current politician was in attendance.  NOT ONE.  Think of the significance of this snub.

Why would Michael Trout, Gavin King, the Mayor (past his bedtime), or any local councillors (sorry, we don't know who they are, either) attend?  They don't operate in this parallel Kumbaya universe.  They know what most in Cairns know - the fix is in.  If they are in favour of the project, why should they say anything and alienate a voter?  If they're against, they have enough political sense to know the obvious - the fix is in.  Let Campbell Newman take the flak - he'll be gone at the next election, anyway.

Also absent were any representatives from the developer, Tony Fung (except for a couple of unidentified East Berliners on the developer's Stasi payroll).  A "normal" project would see the developer in the room, explaining his intentions to the neighbours and addressing their concerns.   

The EIS that has been proffered has met the government's requirements for an $8B project and a political (not technical) approval process.  It has lots of words, on lots of pages; charts, graphs, and footnotes.  It has pretty drawings.  It talks about jobs and more airplanes coming to Cairns.  That's all the Coordinator General, head of a political department, needs to approve this politically-driven EIS.  An approval that is ultimately under the control of political commissar Jeff Seeney, and his boss Campbell "Joh Bjelke" Newman.

We believe strongly that everyone should have their say, and if you're so motivated, please put your objections in writing to the Coordinator General about Aquis.  Just don't become delusional and believe it will make one whit of difference.  THE FIX IS IN!  

During the bitch question period at the end, the audience frustration with the direction of the symposium was clearly expressed by most of the audience.  One migrant from Melbourne told an exceptionally poignant story about his experience with the introduction of gambling to Victoria in the early 1990's.  As an emergency dispatcher, he was directly impacted by the results of the introduction of casinos and poker machines to his community - suddenly answering emergency calls about the resultant suicides occurring at a bridge over the Yarra River.  Our government "stakeholders and partners" quickly reacted to this unfortunate consequence of their casino booty (that you can bet WASN'T in the EIS) - and this bridge was soon fenced off from the distraught jumpers.  No extra charge.  

Suicides, broken families, damaged children, destroyed futures.  .  . just some of the consequences of state-supported gambling.  And despite the huge profits gleaned from this gambling by the state, on behalf of the majority of non-gamblers, you've got to ask yourself one simple question:

Why does the Mainland China government steadfastly refuse to allow gambling facilities among their citizens in China despite the huge tax revenue they're forgoing?  

We're about to find out the answer.

10 July 2014

"SOCIAL MEDIA IS INHABITED BY AMATEURS AND IDIOTS" -- JOHN MACKENZIE, 3 JULY 2014 9:16AM --- THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

The best part is how much bigger Mackenzie's bag of bullshit excuses is than his mate Gavin.


Several radio jocks in Australia have been caught out over the years with gifts from advertisers that mysteriously are unreported as income to the ATO by the recipient.   

Who really owns this Toyota - MacKenzie or program sponsor Pacific Toyota?

07 July 2014

CAIRNS MAYOR BOB "SLEEPY" MANNING ACTIONS SHOWN TO BE ONLY REPRESENTING BIG END OF TOWN - AQUIS THE NEXT RECIPIENT OF RATEPAYER GIFTS?

When Bob "Sleepy" Manning was selected to lead the disUnity team by former Mayor Kevin "Hiding from the Pakis" Byrne, it was clear that a Manning administration would be pro-developer in the Byrne style.  

The Byrne style?  The huge, tasteless "prison tower" unit
THIS HEDLEY DESIGN PLANNED FOR
THE ESPLANADE JUST PRIOR TO
HEDLEY BANKRUPTCY
blocks built by (bankrupt) developer Tom Hedley.  The "ghetto style" unit blocks that were plopped into suburbs like Trinity Beach and Clifton Beach by (bankrupt) developer Udo Jattke.  The narrow streets serving huge houses on 400 sq meter allotments - leaving residents to park their too-many cars, tinnies, RV's, and other detritus on their front gardens.


With residential development ground to a halt during the Manning term, the damage to the community by his decisions look to be unprecedented for any regional centre in Australia.

Pushed by architect never-was Terry James, one of the Cairns nonRegional Council's first actions was to proffer a "fee waiver" for commercial developers in order to try and spark new construction.  On September 26 2012, these Councillors (who were not provided any detail as to the developers or projects under consideration) approved 22 projects for fee waivers totally $10.5M.  A clever trick allowing the Councillors to give money to developer friends without declaring their conflicts!  To date the projects given this Council largess have never been identified.

And the $10.5M in missing infrastructure income is shown nowhere in Council budgets - despite the fact that these expenditures will of course need to be paid for by us, the taxpayers, at some point.  Claiming to have "balanced the Council budget" without accounting for this Council gift to the developers is fraudulent budgeting.

A $10.5M project with NO oversight, community review, or accounting for fiscal impact.  


THIS IS WHAT TROPICAL DESIGN LOOKS LIKE
IN SINGAPORE.  YOU SEE ANYTHING LIKE
THIS IN CAIRNS?
Manning (like Byrne before him) talks lovingly about emulating Singapore.  Apparently they've never took a good look around Singapore and seen the heavy emphasis on transport planning.  While you see cars on the streets, they get parked at home and work in projects that have planned enough car parks.  You don't see buildings dropped on the lot lines, but buildings that allow greenspace and light on the streets.  

In the last few months, the Manning largess has continued unabated.  The proposal for an Aquarium in the CBD (on a site 1/3 the size of the Perth Aquarium of Western Australia) was encouraged by Council development staff when meeting with the proponents.  Clearly the site is much too small.  

When the Aquarium received a conditional Development
THIS PERTH AQUARIUM NEEDED ALMOST
500 CAR PARKS FOR THE PUBLIC
Approval, proponents were told by Council they needed to meet their (modified) parking requirement of 114 as well as the upgrades to adjacent streets and lighting.  The developers began voicing their anger at Manning and James.  How dare they require us to pay for these things (i.e., like every other developer in Cairns)!  Streets?  Fix your own bloody streets, they bellowed!  Parking?  Lots of parking on the streets, they shouted!  (A similar sized aquarium in Perth has over 500 carparks).  They don't even want to design awnings over the walkways for pedestrians in the rainy season (also a feature of "tropical city" design like in Singapore.)



So another gift was bestowed by Manning, and Manning alone (as written in the resolution, pg. 20).  With the entire Council approving, the infrastructure charges were waived IN FULL, and subject to negotiation, the parking charges as well.  Likely a $5M gift to the developers of the Aquarium (who have a business plan that excludes "locals discounts", say insiders).  

A likely $5M give-away by Council with NO accounting in the budget for the lost revenue and capital works that are now being paid by the taxpayers!  An investment this big in a private project should have at least got ratepayers some ownership shares in the aquarium!

On April 28th, in a speech to the Northern Australia White Paper committee, Manning complained about the growth opportunities in FNQ being squandered by lack of infrastructure - mentioning water, road, and electrical generation as areas in need of immediate help.

And with this backdrop of an already substandard infrastructure, Bob Manning said to the Cairns Post this week about Aquis:  ". . . the sheer magnitude of the project and how headworks charges would be applied was on a level never encountered before in Cairns".  "It's way beyond what the council has encountered before and we are going to have to be flexible, we have to be adaptable, and we have to be innovative on how we apply our policies".  

One needs to wonder why Bob Manning uses the "past tense" in describing what Council should be doing.  Shouldn't it be  ". . how headworks charges WILL be applied IS on a level never encountered before in Cairns".

From the day this project was first announced, the HBW position is that "the fix is in" to approve this project and nothing the public can do or say will derail it.  Our view to this day. 

Taxpayers take note:  Aquis, with an EIS that says nothing about the costs that Council and others will incur in support of this Yorkey's Monstrosity, and a Council that believes "flexible and adaptable" means giving away the store - we're about to be thrown under the bus with a project sign-off by Council now only a mere formality.

Negotiations over contractually-required payments by the Chinese owners of the $3.5B Baha Mar resort and CASINO in the Bahamas have seen the government there already fighting with the developers - and the place won't be open until this December!    

Bob Manning negotiating with Tony Fung?  We're well and truly fucked, mate.

The group Aquis Aware is holding an Information Symposium at JCU this Thursday at 7:00 PM.  

03 July 2014

MACKENZIE MISOGYNY - TAKE TWO

With the 5th Annual Cairns Ukulele Festival occupying the
weekend of families right around Cairns, it's important we recall the rocky start of this festival.

When first announced by Mayor Val Schier, the MacKenzie hillbillies exploded into orchestrated derision.  MacKenzie, along with his personal nodder, Gavin "don't rape me" King, spent show after show attacking this 'stupid idea from the do-nothing Mayor Schier".  MacKenzie and King made the first two years of festivals MUCH MORE DIFFICULT than if everyone had been as supportive as Mike O'Laughlin, the 4CA morning host.  

Contrast this with Cueball's fawning today over Gabby Thomasz, who sat thru a Macca interview on the festival this morning and never once asked him why he hated it, and attacked it relentlessly at the beginning?

Misogynists and other sexual abusers continue their bad behaviour unless called out by their victims. That's the lesson of the Rolf Harris verdict this week.  Too bad Gaby now is content to take credit for the whole thing - without acknowledging Mayor Schier.

MacKenzie also continued his defence of the Gavin King illegal parking fiasco this week.  Now it's social media that's under attack, with MacKenzie saying "Social media is inhabited by amateurs and idiots"!

Both Gavin King and Warren Entsch have hired "social media" managers - paid for by our tax dollars.  The social media manager for King is the failed council candidate Steve Grasso - the source of most of the grammatically bereft posts on King's Facebook page.

So, with this in mind, we want to hear your opinion.

STEVE GRASSO.  AMATEUR OR IDIOT??