MARLIN COAST BOWLS CLUB

MARLIN COAST BOWLS CLUB
MCBC'S MONUMENT TO SELF-SACRIFICE AND LIVING WITHIN YOUR MEANS

27 February 2015

CAIRNS unREGIONAL COUNCIL PLAN TO FILL DIVISION 3 VACANCY REVEALS CONTINUED FLAWS IN THE QUEENSLAND ELECTORAL SYSTEM

As reported in the lame stream media today, over 40 "hopefuls" have tossed their wallets into the Cairns unRegional Council blender, wondering what combination of words and hand jobs will secure them a cushy councillor position.


BOB MANNING CONSULATION BUCKS - PROVEN
TO BE AS WORTHLESS AS THEY LOOK
Bob "Sleepy" Manning, who insensitively attacked those who choose to walk to the airport (they were tourists when they arrived) and who may not have the financial resources of a business bankrupt like himself, has insisted the entire process for the new councillor is akin to a personnel matter.  He refuses to even disclose who among us is eager for this $100K/year gravy train, nor who might be involved in the selection process.

Turning what's supposed to be the most open of public processes - selection of the people's representatives - into a chapter of the Bizarro World.  No taxation without representation is alive and well in Cairns.

Many of the hopefuls have already taken to social media to spruik their qualifications.  Among these hopefuls are many who don't even live in Division 3!  Thus exposing another key un-democratic provision of Australian politics - the parachute job.

When Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt was gifted his position by his daddy, he was a resident of Brisbane.  But at least he had some bona fides in Mulgrave.  We've seen a previous Labor member for Cook who not only had no connections to this electorate, but kept living outside of the electorate even after elected!  To his credit the recently deposed LNP member for Cook, David Kempton, had long ties into the Cape.  A fact we pointed out three years ago when we supported him for this seat.

Bob Manning is proving to be the consummate "non-consultative" Mayor.  He rammed thru the upgrade to City Place in such a hurry that the job took double the time, screwing over the businesses in this area.  He then sent underling Terry James out to quell the mobs - a few weeks of free parking on Lake Street should be enough.  Let them eat cake.  Recent changes to the "General Policy" on Council-owned parks has seen neighbours in Aeroglen angry that unwanted and expensive changes to their park began to be implemented while a "consultation survey" was still making the rounds - with the area leaders clearly upset at this Manning sham.

Whoever the new Division 3 Councillor will be, they will have a big task to prove their worth to the residents. Divison 3 was previously serviced by the hardest working man in Council, and now Member for Cairns, Rob Pyne.  And by participating in this "secret committee process" the new councillor will be saddled with a kavorka of epic proportions - the only sitting councillor without any kind of mandate from the people.  Made even worse if they don't even live in the division.

People ask how could poor old Bob Manning have taken such a hugely successful business like Events NQ (the website still is up and taking orders) and run it into the ground, and finally bankruptcy.  Clearly it's because when presented with a decision point, Manning embraces the wrong action.  That's clearly how he ran the Cairns Port Authority, and clearly what's going on in this Division 3 replacement scenario.  

26 February 2015

WARREN ENTSCH LAUNCHES FLACCID ATTACK ON CRITICS WHILE GAVIN KING DISCOVERS HIS WRITING CAREER IS OVER

The two sorriest LNP politicians in Queensland took to the airwaves today trying to gin up sympathy with the hillbilly public in FNQ.  As Gavin King discovered all too late, even the hardcore hillbilly illiterates are wise to our do-nothing politicians, with our dugong Minister for Blogs next to be butchered by an angry electorate.
  
PRIME MINISTER-IN-WAITING TURNBULL
TELLS WARREN ENTSCH THAT HIS TIE AND
CORSAGE DON'T MATCH

The federal windbag that is Warren Entsch is now two years into the economy-draining problems of insurance company abuse, massive electric price increases, and the petrol rorts. The normally reliable callers to the Cueball show have started calling for Entsch's removal, so he does what ineffective politicians around the world do - attack the media.

Entsch has then attacked newly elected Member for Barron River Craig Crawford who's spoken out strongly on the issue, telling him the feds are "planning to unveil a solution soon".  The same tired mantra Entsch has been spewing for years, while nothing has been done.

Instead of proffering any solutions to the "insurance crisis", Entsch claimed that he's preparing legislation to use the government in media censorship.  He included his favourite target, 'the ratbags at that Hillbilly Watch thing'.  We're shaking in our flip-flops.  

Three years ago Entsch made false attacks on this blog and his flawed theory on the authors - under the cover of Parliamentary Privilege.  Lucky for him, as his accusations were proven false.  And with no friends left in the Parliament (the next Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull thinks even less of Entsch than Abbott), Entsch is trotting out the misdirection and slight of hand that are his stock-in-trade.  The public wants action on real issues and the tide is turning on this self-serving windbag. 

Meanwhile, the "Sore Loser of the Decade" Gavin King, who's juvenile response to being beaten like a drum is his silly refusal to congratulate the winner, made a grandiose announcement yesterday that he'd been selected to write the "memoirs" of his sore loser boss, Joh Bjelke Newman.

MacKenzie, always Gavin's bitch, gave King a free 15 minutes to spruik a book that hasn't even been written.  
MacKenzie predictably stayed away from any hard questions, instead lobbing King softballs that all got the response "well, you'll have to buy the book".  Did 4CA give King a bill for advertising? 

The big question - does anyone WANT a book about Newman, written by the guy who called Chinese "freaks and weirdos", attacked women for "encouraging" their own rapes, and has a track record of shallow writing and sensationalist journalism?

The first answer from the University of Queensland Press?  "Get Lost".  

King, when told of the UQP decision, continued his juvenile rantings and "pointed to the role of printed media in stimulating political debate and the free expression of ideas".  The fact of the matter is that even if a publisher believes a book on Campbell Newman is a worthwhile venture, they'll all run screaming at the thought of Gavin King's library of untruth.  Better to let Steve Grasso write it, I'm sure he has comic book experience.

Apparently Gavin King is unaware that attacks on political debate and free expression have a home in the peabrain of one Warren Entsch.  His former federal counterpart.

One down and one to go.

22 February 2015

THE FOLLY OF DREDGING THE TRINITY INLET FOR CRUISE LINERS - A PRIMER IN PUBLIC ECONOMICS

With the Newman government starting to seem more like a bad dream than an actual event, Cairns is still faced with a strident campaign to spend upwards of $150,000,000.00 on one piece of infrastructure - widening, and deepening the Trinity Inlet shipping channel by (only) 1.1 meters and disposing of millions of tons of dredge spoil - somewhere.


This idea was initially driven by what on the surface seemed a laudable goal - getting more of the cruise ships sailing the east coast to park at our boutique port-in-the-city to unload their cashed-up guests.  But as the issue became cause célébre with the hillbilly set, John "Cueball" MacKenzie used the issue to spin the now disgraced Gavin King into the Member for Cairns job by his typical exaggeration and ignorance.

MacKenzie has continually repeated bullshit he says came from the CEO of Carnival Cruises - "Cairns is poised to get at least 150 cruise ships a year, three per week".  This is despite MacKenzie being cited by ACMA for making up other facts - and supposedly being "counseled" about his penchant for spewing bullshit on the public airwaves.  Carnival Cruise has disavowed this comment. 

Ports North own documents predict that larger cruise ship visits will grow to only 63 per year - IN 2026.  And we believe even this is grossly optimistic.  We've asked Ports North for documents that support this assertion, they've declined to provide them.  

Talk now is that the increase in cost is due to the need for onshore dumping of the dredge material.  A perfect landfill for low-lying areas (although we like the idea of keeping East Trinity as it is).  So where are the landowners with low-lying land who want to make a deal for some cheap fill?  How come there are no takers for the land dumping?  

And even more importantly, where are the commitments from the big cruise ship companies guaranteeing use of this facility?  Airports don't build new terminals without signed lease agreements with the airlines in-place.  Queensland Rail doesn't build a new line for a mine without a contract for use in-place.  Why are we building $150M in infrastructure with no guarantee of use?


Given the fickle-ness of the cruise companies, this isn't an empty question.  The cruise industry is notoriously competitive, and with a majority of cruise passengers "repeat" cruisers, the cruise lines work to use a variety of ports, not the same ones over and over again.  Indeed just this weekend P&O Australia announced several new ports, requiring the tender of passengers, at places that surprise most unfamiliar with the cruise business.  Eden, NSW; Mornington and Portland, VIC; and Esperance and Busselton, WA.  How long before Cairns is no longer the "flavour of the month" - and stuck with an underperforming piece of expensive infrastructure (that will still require millions of taxpayer $$$ "maintenance dredging" every year)!

RECENT TV AD FOR THE
"BEST RESTAURANT IN CAIRNS"
And the Ports North business case for cruise ship stopovers in Cairns is flawed in other ways.  We believe the estimates on per-passenger spend grossly overstated.  Merchants in the CBD quietly voice the same concern.  Passengers don't stay in Cairns for dinner - little in the CBD can compete with
a cruise ship dining experience, and a big part of cruising.  Some short day trips get good numbers (Kuranda, Daintree Village, Port Douglas) but the longer day trips are usually in conflict with the sailing times.  And why would a cruiser buy anything in Cairns but trinkets - surely the duty-free shopping elsewhere will be a better value.


CRUISE SHIP DINING - WITH NARY A
BASEBALL CAP IN SIGHT
Cruise passengers ex-Australia ports also regularly complain 
about the lack of regulation by the government - with pricing and service anomalies along with misleading advertising the subject of regular complaints.



WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE WHAT
THEY CALL THE "VIRTUAL BALCONY"
This in part explains why Deb Hancock at the Cairns Chamber of Commerce can't get their members to even welcome these passengers ashore like so many other towns do.  It's a continual embarrassment that Port Douglas manages a better arrival ceremony than Cairns although passengers are tendered there.  The Chamber under Hancock has been an ineffective rubber-stamp on every idea that costs the taxpayer money, with little thought to what the impacts might be.  

Just because it's "money from Brisbane", "government money" doesn't mean we should be pushing for it without a reasonable business case?  We don't think so.  

Solution?  We'd do much better to invest in a couple 500 passenger high-speed reef boats that could carry tender passengers from the offshore parking spot at Yorkey's Knob to the CBD.  Before the GFC, Quicksilver ran one of their boats from Port Douglas to Cairns at the end of the day, taking a dozen or more coaches off the Cook Highway.  A couple new Wavepiercers, purchased by Ports North (creating jobs in our struggling shipbuilding industry) and operated by any competent company, would cost a hell of a lot less than digging a bigger hole in the ocean, and could still bring the passengers into the Cairns Wharf for on-visits to the region.

A quick 15 minute trip to the Wharf, with thoughtful commentary on the many things on offer for the visitor.  And a fun, high-speed boat ride they can remember later.  That's how tourist destinations are made.  

We're looking for some thoughtful analysis of this situation by our new MP's.  Dredging of the inlet isn't a cost-effective use of taxpayer money.

17 February 2015

GOVERNMENT INCREASINGLY ONLY DOING WHAT THEY CAN TO KEEP THEIR JOBS, AND SHIRKING THE ESSENTIAL SERVICES WE THOUGHT THEY WERE DOING COMPETENTLY

The story last week was of self-reliance.  A Trinity Beach sport club who, without fuss, put a roof on their bowls club without a shilling of taxpayer money.  Despite that fact that this largess is regularly shoveled out on other sport clubs across the country as a routine "payoff" to the public.  

But other stories in the last week are demonstrating how off-kilter government - of either party - has become.   

A car runs off the Kennedy Highway between Smithfield and Cairns.  The driver is spared serious injury because their car was restrained - not by a guardrail, but by ANOTHER WRECKED CAR.  This spot is notorious for car crashes, with the cars usually ending up down the hillside.  Why has government ignored this notorious blackspot?


FROM BUTTOCK TO PLATE -
YOU THINK WE'RE KIDDING?
Then this week we find out that frozen fruit, "packaged in Australia", is contaminated with Hepatitis-A and perhaps dozens or hundreds have been infected.  

The fruit in question, now known to have been imported from China, has NEVER been inspected.  Anywhere.  The Chinese don't care.  The Australian packager surely has shown they don't care - the facts show that instead of being suspicious about the product being supplied by the Chinese, they instead gave the Chinese supplier LESS supervision.  Because supervision costs money, and the million dollar CEO's are all about saving money.  

And then we find the government, who we've made responsible for the health and safety of imported food, says "there is no regular government testing of imported (food) product".

This despite small fruits like berries being known to easily carry and transmit Hep-A.  In fact the market for fresh berries in China is virtually non-existent.  The Chinese people KNOW how these things are grown.  Do you?

Much of Chinese produce is grown on farms that get regular doses of Chinese fertilizer - euphemistically called "night soil" (粪便) in China.  We call unprocessed sewage.  Straight from your buttock to plate.

And our government's Department of Agriculture's  "Centre for Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis" spends billions of taxpayer dollars every year NOT testing one piece of imported food.   A "risk analysis" that should have shown that small fruits and ground-hugging vegetables are likely to be high risk from a country like China, and develop a testing regime for industry and government.   

The politicians would prefer to divide the electorate into "those that want big government" and "those that want small government".  This trick is starting to wear a little thin, because that's not what the public wants at all.  Campbell Newman claimed he was one of those that wanted smaller government, but his profligate spending on junk we don't really need, and then plans to sell off assets to pay for MORE junk we didn't need is what caused the voters to turn on him.  Some well-placed guardrails on the Kuranda range wouldn't be too much to ask.  But road upgrades aren't a matter of "public safety", they're a political reward doled out at elections.  

That's how Michael Trout ultimately lost.  The picture of him standing on the Kuranda range with Newman, promising to fix this long-broken highway as an election bribe was the key that turned the tide against him.    

There's an old phrase - "stick to your knitting", that we believe describes very well what the voters on either side of the political fence want from our government.  Spend our money smartly on things that make us safer - a competent military, an honest police force, and government services that ensure our water is safe, our food is safe, our homes are safe, and our families are safe.

A "Biosecurity Centre" that has no plan in place to intercept and reject food so likely to be contaminated that the Chinese people won't eat it isn't doing their job.  Regardless of whatever party is in power.



13 February 2015

COMMON SENSE FROM TRINITY BEACH ROLE MODELS BRINGS QUIET ACCOLADES AND BRUTAL LESSON

Clearly, the Queensland debt situation was a factor in the recent state election, with voters unimpressed with Campbell Newman's plans to sell government assets and go on a drunken bender with the money raised.  He couldn't promise shit fast enough - tunnels, bridges, billion-dollar road projects in Brisbane and other largess right up the coast.  Some of it needed infrastructure.  A lot of it not.  

Townsville, where huge government sums have been spent over the last ten years, found itself the recipient of a $100M commitment by Newman to build a THIRD stadium.  

In the end, enough voters saw through the profligate spending plans and ousted these ratbags, and replaced them with - a different group of ratbags with the same core values.

Because at the end of the day, sadly this has what government has become - a giant piggybank that is broken open for any old crap.  This is true at the local level as well.  Bob "Sleepy" Manning ran on a platform of STOPPING the planned Entertainment Precinct and then did the unthinkable by giving back the promised money to be spent in Brisbane.  He's then cheerfully forgotten about his promise to do SOMETHING to meet the arts needs in the community, instead getting his subservient council majority to rubberstamp a swimming pool that's in the wrong place, for a cool $25Million.

And twice yearly like clockwork, mums and dads line up at the council trough to get public money for their club, or sport field, or kid's team, or netball group, or. . . .  It's the public's money, and the pollies dish it out like bowls of ice cream despite the level of need.  A wink from your councillor, you're in!  Why wait until tomorrow for something you want TODAY?

The Australian psyche is filled with this notion that the government should be making all the investments.  This has even extended the long arm of government into our homes - we now EXPECT, indeed EXPECT that the government pay for our children's books and pencil boxes and uniforms for school.  They're OUR kids - where is OUR investment in these simple things?  



So we today honor the men and women members of the Marlin Coast Bowls Club in Trinity Beach.  As anyone who's driven up the highway to the Northern Beaches will have noticed, the MCBC has erected a truly magnificent roof over their bowls area.

We understand an expenditure of almost $800K.  With not one penny from the ratepayers or taxpayers anywhere.  

Just hard-working (well they were, most retired now) Australians (and a sprinkling of Brits and others) who budgeted, saved their dollars, and put this roof over their club.

Keep in mind the MCBC has NO pokies.  NO restaurant.  Just a nice modest clubhouse and of course a bar where one can get a refreshment.

One senior member asked about their achievement modestly
MCBC BEFORE THE NEW GROUNDS
COVER WAS BUILT
boasted "We did it ourselves.  Why should Cairns ratepayers pay anything towards our club?"  


On the day it opened, not one politician stopped by to congratulate the members for their achievement.  I guess if they can't take the credit, they just don't give a shit.  Because at the end of the day, that's what the money's for.  Self-aggrandizing politicians.  

Until the public stops playing this game and understands the consequences, we're going to continue to be hamsters in a wheel going from one group of over-promising ratbags to another.


07 February 2015

AQUIS OFFICIALLY DEAD. PERIOD.

Aquis is officially and totally dead.

It's not clear how long it will take the politicians to accept this as fact, but it's now clear to us.

Chinese President Xi Jinxing today issued a second tranche of regulations to govern Chinese citizens gambling activities in overseas casinos.  President Xi set out early in 2013 on a campaign to fight "tigers and flies" - government cadres of both high rank as well as lower-level bureaucrats.  

By some estimates, almost 40% of the money wagered in Macau "VIP Gaming Rooms" was stolen from the Chinese government.  

The 2013 regulations began a rapid decline in revenues at
the Macau-based casinos, on which Aquis was based.  The Chinese government was beginning to squeeze the hot money out of the casinos, which they noted were "foreign owned".

All the Macau casinos have closed off huge areas of gaming - in some cases whole floors of VIP tables are now gone.

Then this past December, Xi visited Macau for the first time as leader and saw for himself the opulent extravagance at the foreign casinos along with the sewer that the rest of Macau has become.  He reiterated his stance that there would be no let up in his "fierce and enduring" battle against corruption.  


The first result of this visit was the shuttering of large, older Macau hotels that were essentially giant whorehouses, along with the arrest of senior officials including Alan Ho, younger brother of the previously politically protected Stanley Ho and SJM Holdings.  Political protection of the rackets has ended.  

The links in this story are important for readers to understand.  

President Xi, known to be from the conservative faction of an already conservative government, is now doubling down on these policies in an announcement from Beijing late yesterday.  An announcement that makes the finance of Aquis all but impossible for Tony Fung, or anyone else. 

Xi has now made it clear that the Chinese government is not going to tolerate widespread gambling by its citizens ANYWHERE, with regulations now issued that will turn off the tap of Mainland Chinese money to Singapore, the Philippines, and Australia.

China has declared war on global gambling by Chinese citizens, now not just in Macau but around the world!

On translation of today's announcements, Bloomberg Financial called the impact on casino shares "A 2015 bloodbath".

This has served again to highlight the stupidity of Cairns (and indeed Australia) putting all their economic eggs into one basket.  The current Australian economic collapse is unrelated to the so-called GFC, but instead the result of spending mining revenues like drunken sailors - with the money tap under control of outsiders. This overspending started under John Howard, who handed out tax cuts, social and family support, and corporate welfare instead of spending on infrastructure for the future.  Kevin Rudd pissed away billions along the same line.  And then as China has pulled the plug on the mining revenue, Australians are looking for another "sugar fix" of economic activity.  

Can you imagine the profound damage to the Cairns community if Aquis was actually running and then China changed the rules?  A community with an instant 10,000 unemployed isn't a pretty sight.

Time to go back to the drawing board and work to generate sustainable, long-term economic projects.  Economic development is like the tortoise and the hare.  Our so-called leaders have been riding a hare to nowhere.  Time for pragmatists to take control.  The people of Cairns need to be in control of our own destiny, not some bunch of dictators thousands of kilometers away.

Surely the Fungs are well aware of the continual flow of negative information coming out of China, and the incongruity of their proposed project.  The press in Hong Kong has been reporting the collapse of the billionaires in HK that have big exposure to the casinos.  How ridiculous that anyone thinks this $8B project can be financed in Hong Kong, or anywhere else.  

The Fung's Canberra casino is even at risk now - it sure wasn't making any money in Canberra before.  The announcement of Pat Flanagan as Aquis "Project Manager" was just more absurdity to come out of the Fung operation.  A small town company doesn't get promoted from providing engineering services on small commercial projects and building toilet blocks to running an $8B project.  

Aquis is dead.  

Time to move on, kids.  Nothing to see here.

05 February 2015

MACKENZIE LAPDOG RAJ PATEL SPEWS HATRED AND LIES, THEN ANNOUNCES HIS CANDIDACY FOR THE DIVISION 3 SEAT VACATED BY ROB PYNE

One of the most regular and predictable venom-spitters in the MacKenzie Rolodex is Raj Patel.  I know, there are 28 million fucking Raj Patels, and that just counting the ones running motels.  The Cairns Raj Patel is a printer - a trade he picked up after his buggy whip business went under.  It gives him lots of free time to spend calling his radio hero and writing his blog.  So now like other failed businessmen (Sno Bonneau springs to mind) he's decided that he should put his "talents" to work in politics.

Patel also fancies himself a skilled political analyst. How's that working out for you there, mate?  



Raj Patel is the preselected candidate for the Lapdog Party.

Patel says the big issue he wants to tackle is public transport in the southern suburbs.  Apparently he hasn't figured out that this isn't a Council issue, but let's not tell him.  Kinda like letting a cat play with a catnip ball.

His campaign pitch?  "Most people are aware of my community involvement".  Staring blankly from the sidelines at netball games isn't the kind of "community involvement" we had in mind, Raj.

Asked about the traits possessed by the ideal Bob "Sleepy" Manning Council member - "They want someone they can get on with, they don't want a councillor that will cause chaos".


Asked if would cause chaos, Raj confidently declared:  "I abide by the majority".

Fucking lapdog.  Gavin King without the thesaurus.

Speaking of Gavin King, we understand he STILL hasn't called to congratulate Rob Pyne on his win last Saturday.  Let's hope he's getting the proper care and treatment for someone in his condition.

04 February 2015

FNQ POLLIES ON BOTH SIDES PROVE BIG CITY ARGUMENTS ABOUT THE HILLBILLY NORTH - IT'S TIME WE FIGHT BACK


Local MP and Minister for Social Media Warren Entsch is clearly no friend of PM Tony Abbott and the current federal leadership.  

After the last election, despite actively campaigning for a leadership seat, Entsch was rejected by the leadership and relegated to one of the worst seats in Parliament, far from the eye of the camera.  

So poison is the relationship that Entsch and the Leichhardt electorate has been clearly shortchanged by the federal LNP, and the government has done nothing to rein in the insurance companies.  Essentially, the residents of FNQ are continuing to pay insurance rates much higher than the rest of Australia purely as a "get square" by Abbott to Entsch.  We're the pawns in this silly pollie game.

We've told you the reasons for this hostility on several occasions -
with the only response from Warren Entsch being attacking this blog, people who have nothing to do with it, and slandering several people under the cover of Parliamentary privilege.  Did he think he'd shut us down?  Maybe - Warren Entsch is among the most delusional of the Cairns LNP.  We're still waiting for his tunnel to Yarrabah, promised years ago.

So it comes as no surprise that Entsch is leading the anti-Tony Abbott attacks - and Sky News, aware of the long history of Entsch incompetence, called him a "buffoon".

No surprise here.  Entsch is a fuck-up supremo.  We knew it all along.  "Buffoon" is much too kind.



But even the ALP are now acting like jerks, failing to understand the public mood toward "old-style" politics.   The Brisbane ALP "faceless men" and labor union goons are now trying to dictate factional political appointments of ministers, instead of rewarding the best and brightest.  The era of factions is over, mates.  Didn't you get the memo?

It's despicable. The ALP hierarchy isn't playing by the rules.  If the local "awesome foursome" put in by the Cairns electorate are really serious about their representation of Far North Queensland, they'll withhold their votes to form government until they're given assurances about the future of Curtis Pitt, and the Cairns region.  Every Labor member in Cairns would support drastic action against the brainless, faceless men and union thugs.  The only "faction" voters now care about is Cairns & Far North Queensland.

Some of told us today "this is naive, no one will buck party politics".  This isn't representative government.  If there isn't some accountability by the local MP's to the citizens they represent, what are we left with?  An endless cycle of politicians from both parties, feathering their own nests and doing nothing for the public.  IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE.

Voters have the right to expect that Pitt, shadow treasurer over the last three years, has qualified to be Treasurer now in majority government.  THE FACTIONS BE DAMNED.

To the glee of John Mackenzie, former Treasurer and sometimes
KEITH DELACY WITH ROCK HE
PLANS TO HURL AT ALP MATES
WHO CONTINUE TO FUND HIS
GENEROUS POLLIE RETIREMENT
Cairns resident Keith Delacy was willing to trash the current generation of Labor leaders, suggesting they "aren't ready to govern".  DeLacy, now reaping millions as company director in various agriculture and resource companies, isn't without his own agenda now.  One wonders if Delacy's views are more in concern of whatever deals the LNP signed off on for him that are now likely to be exposed by an ALP government.

In any case, the white-anting of an ALP government even before it has been sworn in is unprecedented in Queensland history.

All in all, a basket of tawdry politicians.



01 February 2015

CAIRNS RETAILING HEADING DOWNMARKET WHILE BUSINESS LEADERS ATTEMPTED TO MANIPULATE THE ELECTION - WHERE ARE THE PRIORITIES?

The last week of Campbell Newman's ill-timed election call saw the local Cairns LNP candidates stooping to all manner of sleazy tricks that, in the end, backfired on them.  One of the worst was the so-called "debate" run by the biased Cairns Chamber of Commerce and the taxpayer funded, supposed to be non-partisan Advance Cairns.  The "big end of town"organised a $79/person lunch, set the ground-rules for the "debate", and picked the most biased moderator they could find.  Our own John "Cueball" MacKenzie.  They then invited only the LNP and ALP candidates knowing full well that a failure to participate would be used to attack any missing candidates.  It was a right wing ambush.

MacKenzie, who recognised that the ALP candidates had bitch-slapped the local LNP mob even with rigged game, was so worried he switched on Friday to his "Hail Mary" argument:  "If Cairns should vote in the ALP, we'll have no voice in an LNP Government".

Not to worry Macca, the voters ignored your manipulation and ditched the whole sick mob.  The voters of Cairns outsmarted all of you smarties.  In a couple weeks the new ALP government will start to clean house here in Cairns.  Hopefully the first to go will be the cretin on the hospital board - legendary for his flouting the King  "buy local" policy when he bought the little woman a Rolex down in Sydney.

Debates (and indeed their partner, town hall meetings), are a terrific idea and an advance for voter education.  Rigged debates do nothing but anger the electorate.

Now maybe the Chamber and Advance Cairns can get back to actually working to help improve and grow business in this city.  



The proliferation of unlicensed so-called "massage" businesses is giving the Cairns CBD a very poor reputation, internationally.  The Night Markets is rapidly becoming a "no-go" zone for tourists.  With many of the stalls, formerly selling North Queensland handicrafts and other
souvenirs, now either shuttered or offering "Chinese massages", it's time Council stepped in to regulate these businesses.  Many of the so-called masseuses are said to be students working without
employment visas and other scamming the system.  And a steady stream of reports on TripAdvisor and other tourist information sites point to scams that turn a $15 massage into a $200 forced purchase of unwanted "chinese medicine".  


Even more important to the health of Cairns retailing is Cairns Central.  What's the Chamber doing about the deterioration of the retail environment there?

The number of shop vacancies at Cairns Central are clearly escalating.  Some shops have been without tenants for a year or more, and Cairns Central doesn't even bother boarding them up anymore.  And as these vacancies mount, Cairns Central is more and more being inhabited by - you guessed it - massage parlours.  At least one Cairns Central manager has told the HBW that these massage places are only one step removed from prostitution, with large numbers of mostly Mainland Chinese staff (of dubious visa status) giving the steady stream of middle-aged men a bogus massage followed by a blow job.  The so-called "happy ending".  And one of these massage shops, when pressed by the men for additional services, walks them over to apartments on Water Street known to be used by the organised prostitution rackets trafficking women around Australia.  

The back of the Cairns Post is full of these advertisements
that are not placed by the prostitutes themselves (as required by law) but by the syndicates that are doing the trafficking.  Previous Queensland Labor governments made some attempts to enforce these laws, the LNP have been diligent in looking the other way as they pursued other organised crimes. 

Cairns business leaders are standing idly by, thinking about gaming the electoral system and complaining of poor business conditions while our main shopping centre turns into a discount whorehouse.  All of these issues are a black mark on the Cairns family-friendly tourism economy.  It's time for our business leaders to get back to business, and implement regulations to stop further deterioration of our tourism product.



31 January 2015

30 January 2015

MAYOR BOB "SLEEPY" MANNING QUICKLY "SOLVES" AIRPORT ROAD PROBLEM WITH LITTLE COST TO RATEPAYERS


We are all saddened by the tragic death of new Cairns resident Dinah Boughton, who was merely trying to walk to the airport down a road called yesterday a "goat track" by a tourism supplier.   The Cairns Airport, TTNQ, and other tourism organisations tout how "close to town" Cairns Airport is in their advertising.  This ignoring the real facts that there is NO public bus transport to the airport, no "shared ride" services, no train, no tram, no canoes.  For the independent traveler you have a choice of a shuttle (none by any major hotel, but some provided by backpacker accommodation), taxi, or walk.  And the taxi fare to Sheridan Street is almost $15.  

And even when taking a taxi, sometimes you have to walk.  An accident along the road on Wednesday meant many passengers, uncertain of how long coppers were going to keep the road closed, ditched their cabs and hoofed it to the airport.

Discussions among many ratepayers around the city and in the coffee shops are in agreement - this road is substandard in so many ways and the Cairns Airport has not met their Duty of Care in the operation of this private road.  Hopefully a lawsuit and huge payout are in their future. 

Cairns Mayor "Sleepy Bob" Manning rushed to the rescue yesterday.  

In a stroke of genius (or maybe he's had a stroke, hard to tell with him) he announced that Council's preferred "fix" to this problem is:


SIGNS CLOSING THE ROAD TO PEDESTRIANS





Just when we believe we've heard the stupidest thing imaginable from a local politician, Bob Manning lets a little more water out of the gene pool.

What about bicycles, Bob?  What about the bad lighting, Bob?  What about this being a one-road-access airport, Bob?  

The job of local government is to solve problems using public money.  You have yet to display any skill at this at all, instead boasting that Cairns Council had a "profit" last year.  

And problems with the airport road were the same WHEN YOU WERE RUNNING THE AIRPORT as Chair of the Port Authority.  Why didn't YOU fix the thing, Bob?  

To the family of Dinah Boughton - our deepest apologies for our ignorant Mayor who with this insensitive comment has attempted to shift blame for this accident to Dinah - "she shouldn't have been walking there", according to our Mayor.

This is unfortunately what passes for intellect in FNQ.  

UPDATE:  Cr. John Schilling today continued the Mayor's attempt to "blame the victim" by saying "a footpath wouldn't help, she was crossing the road".  

29 January 2015

THE FRAUD OF GOVERNMENT PRIVATISATION AS PROPOSED BY THE LNP AND DEFENDED BY GAVIN KING AND MICHAEL TROUT

With so much juicy news on the election to report (gag!), we're still off on a tangent about the Cairns Airport.

We consider the renewed focus on this once publicly owned asset a useful look at the problems of privatisation as proposed by the LNP.

Sadly, most of the privatisations done in Australia have been on the British model with no continuing oversight by the government.  And these have gone badly in the UK, as you can read here.  


THE CAIRNS AIRPORT - PEOPLE'S EXHIBIT #1

The airport was sold by the Bligh ALP government to a consortium of investment funds, aka the vulture capitalists.  While some of these funds are comprised of our pooled superannuation investments, it's unclear if this is the case with our airport.  Despite this being THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF INFRASTRUCTURE IN CAIRNS, there is no public oversight or feedback into the operation.  Sure, you can write a letter when something goes wrong, but anyone that has done so gets the same response.  Nothing.  It isn't just that they don't give a shit about the public, it's that when Anna Bligh sold the airport, public oversight wasn't even a condition of the sale.

Don't like how the airport is being run?  Free market economics can fix it - GO USE THE OTHER AIRPORT!

Oh, wait - there isn't one!  

Lack of real competition is the fatal flaw when governments sell off public utilities without any watchdogs.  Victoria copped this lesson years ago.  Why would we let Campbell Newman, or ANY government, do it to us?  

The only privatisation that's gone well was Telstra.  While no oversight was provided by the Howard government for this sale, there is robust competition (think Skype) that did the job for us.

Kevin Brown and his Cairns Airport board of directors can wake up tomorrow and shut the airport down if they want.  THEY OWN IT.


CAIRNS AIRPORT UPGRADES

Since privatisation, there have been only two major infrastructure projects done by the private owners of the Cairns Airport.

The most significant was a $15M upgrade to the International Terminal.  Did they add seating to accommodate the known shortfall of seats at busy times?  Nope.  What about the steep, dangerous stairs all passengers must negotiate after a long international flight from the arrival tunnel to the customs and baggage hall?   Despite reports that these stairs see at least one fall per day, they did (and continue to do) nothing.  Did they fix the unintelligible public address system?  Nope.  

Instead, the $15M was used to redesign the arrival and departure access - to force all the passengers to walk thru the (poor value) duty free shop.  A requirement of their contract with the duty free shop vendor.  Even the duty free vendor was smart enough to put conditions in their contract to benefit their business.

Why doesn't the public get protective and oversight conditions in our sales of public assets?  

The upgrade to the domestic terminal was no better.  After the last major upgrade (underway when the airport was sold to the vulture capitalists), the Cairns Airport boasted that "terminal floor space was doubled".  This was not to increase the size of the passenger waiting room,  but for more shops and restaurants.  At busy hours the terminal still doesn't have enough seating.  

Did they install aerobridges for all the gates so that passengers don't need to walk thru the rain to the slippery stairs of their airplane?  No.  

Instead they installed expensive, covered parking for the "elite" local traveler - likely the same crowd that pays $80 for a lunch at the Casino.

It's still impossible for locals, arriving or departing the airport in a private car, to get to or from the terminal without walking in the rain.  Airport employees are also forced to use a carpark that requires a walk in the rain (without any marked crosswalk) to get to their jobs - flight attendants with their luggage.

Sure, Kevin Brown spreads some airport dosh around to his tourism buddies to sponsor some events. Their only "locals" initiative however is just a cruel trick.  



They advertise "10 Minutes Free Parking".  NO ONE can get mum from the carpark to the terminal, say goodbye, and get back to their cars in 10 minutes.  And the penalty for this little piece of airport chicanery?  It'll cost you a $Fiver to get your car out.  

And bring your credit card.  The owners of the Cairns Airport sacked the car park cashiers years ago.


GAVIN KING SLEAZY DIRTY TRICKS BEGIN - SIGNALING HIS FEAR HE'S LOST HIS GOVERNMENT JOB

You know we're close to the end when the obvious losers start their desperate and despicable smears.


GAVIN KING ATTACK ADS SUPPOSEDLY
COMING FROM THIS BLOCK
IN BRISBANE

Yesterday, a website appeared filled with inaccuracies and lies about Cr. Rob Pyne.  Example - it says Pyne voted "NO" on a 500 unit development in Clifton Beach in order to kill jobs and development. Nonsense.  This "NO" vote was the catalyst to get the (now bankrupt) developer to reduce the number of units on the site, which most Clifton Beach residents would agree has been a disaster even with the unit reduction.

"NO" votes are by councillors are expected and in fact a badge of honor, indicating independence and a strong set of principles.  This is what's been wrong with Gavin King - he has no ethics or morals, and will vote "yes" for any old crap that his political masters put in front of him.

Like all political ads, this one is said to belong to "B Measures, 5/3 Heath Street, East Brisbane, Qld".  There seems to be no such person, and the location is a run down apartment building.

The website is in fact registered to Nick Lyngcoln and a family trust that also operates a dodgy marketing business with his two brothers, Daniel and Peter.  Daniel, who bills himself the "idea man", I guess is responsible for the idea of making up a phony endorsement and location for this website.  Nick's career achievement after his North Shore Sydney private school education?  Selling sugar water for Schweppes!


THE THREE LYNGCOLN BROTHERS.  THEIR THIRD-RATE MARKETING
COMPANY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ONE OF THE MOST DESPICABLE
SMEAR ADS IN CAIRNS ELECTORAL HISTORY

The Lyngcolns have known business connections with Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King.  This is irrefutable fact.

So the only real question - did Gavin King authorise and pay for this pack of lies?

Come'on Gavin, give us an answer.  Any time, any place.  Is this your political shit?

28 January 2015

CAIRNS CHAMBER HOLDS $80 LUNCH TO ANOINT PRO-BUSINESS CANDIDATES - WHILE CAIRNS AIRPORT ROAD SEES ANOTHER TRAGEDY DUE TO "BUSINESS SCREWS THE PUBLIC" CHAMBER MENTALITY

CEO OF CAIRNS AIRPORTS KEVIN BROWN
SPEAKING FROM HIS OFFICE AT THE
MACKAY AIRPORT??
At lunch today, the Cairns Chamber of Commerce held a private luncheon to push their business agenda at a so-called "debate" among the local parliamentary candidates.  

It's unclear how this kind of "debate" with the big end of town is representative of the average Cairns voter.  Few of whom can afford $80 for a hotel lunch.  In fact a large number of voters in Cairns would consider themselves lucky if their entire food budget were $80 A WEEK.  Including many of the minimum-wage workers serving this mob.


Moderating this audience was the profoundly anti-Labor, anti-women, anti-everything -  John MacKenzie.  


AFTERMATH OF TAXI CRASH OFF THE
VERY DANGEROUS CAIRNS AIRPORT
ACCESS ROAD
Among those in the audience was Kevin Brown, CEO of Cairns Airport.  He's been in the media a lot recently - including a recent TV appearance where he's heard appealing for more public money to market the airport.  Given that Cairns Airport is a privately held company, isn't marketing the airport THEIR business cost?  What return on investment does the taxpayer get from giving cash to the Cairns Airport company?  

Shouldn't the owners of the Cairns Airport be marketing their property???

But the airport road is also their business asset, one which has seen one pedestrian run down and killed this week and while Kevin Brown was dining has seen a taxi crash off the road and into the mangroves.  

Note from the TV interview with Kevin Brown - behind him isn't the logo of the Cairns Airport, but the MacKay Airport.  Both airports are owned by the same vulture capital companies who clearly don't care how many tourists they maim coming in and out of their airports.  

Profit the #1 goal.

John MacKenzie continually squawks that a tourist killed by a crocodile "would ring the death knell on the Cairns tourist industry".  How many tourists do you have to kill on the airport access road before they stop coming?