4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News

4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News
4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News Led by John "Cueball" Mackenzie

20 January 2017


US Space and Scientific Agency NASA announced today that 2016 was the "hottest year on record".

For the THIRD YEAR in a row.

The map published with their report shows the entire east coast of Australia in the "Record Warmest" category.

Cueball MacKenzie will either ignore this report, or trot out his climate science naysayers to bleat and blather.

The past few days Cueball has been all askew after being the last one in town to find out what most business owners in the CBD had heard early in December - NO charter flights from China during this year's Chinese New Year.  And diminished visits to Cairns by Chinese tourists going forward.  What TTNQ and other tourism leaders WON'T tell anyone is WHY the Chinese are not coming this year.  

Since last July, there have been widespread reports in the
Chinese news media about the death of the Great Barrier Reef.  (大堡礁死)  The news has spread from tourism websites to the TV news in China.  Australia is criticised heavily in these stories for being negligent in protecting this World Heritage area.  The stories have even taken hold on the Chinese version of TripAdvisor.  

Travel agents in China report that tours booked for this charter season began to be cancelled in July and August, with the airlines (including China Eastern) discontinuing the offer of charter flights to Chinese travel agents on September 24, 2016.

Some of these stories are available:

UDN News

Why are our tourism leaders hiding the facts from the public?  Maybe afraid of scaring off the "big projects" that we keep being told are "imminent"?

17 January 2017


Leaders of the Far North tourism industry have been given a secret, bombshell report that identifies the likely cause of the huge increase in tourist deaths while snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef. 

These same tourism "leaders" are now all busy denying the existence of this report and, with the assistance of Member for Leichhardt and Minister for Blogs Warren Entsch, are apparently hiding the report from the lamestream media and the public.

Despite decades of working to broaden the tourism offerings in and around Cairns, the fact remains that the primary drawcard is the Reef.  And the standard offering is a day-trip to the Reef on Quicksilver - who you can hardly avoid given their near-monopoly on these overpriced (to many) junkets to splash around while being served a pedestrian lunch of slop.  Quicksilver owns Wavedancer, ProDive Cairns, Silver Series, Poseidon, and Great Adventures - along with Green Island.  Since beginning to consolidate all these tour businesses prices have skyrocketed making it the #1 tourism gouge in Australia.  But we digress. . . .

With the "Reef is Dying" news is known to many potential tourists around the world, a visit to Cairns is still the #1 Bucket List travel item for baby boomers now entering their silver years.  Few expect that their reef visit will result in kicking this same bucket, and quickly becoming their (exceptionally short) twilight years.  Giving "Reef Dying" a result that most wouldn't expect.

Recent deaths of two French tourists in November, 2016 - both on the same day - has resulted in a report commissioned on identifying the causation for the huge increase in so-called heart attack-related deaths.  And the report is now being hidden, while tourism sources have found that blaming it on Irukandji stings (never found by the hospital or coroner in these deaths) is better than what they now know.  And what YOU now know!

Medical professionals in the Bahamas have identified serious flaws in the standard "snorkel" breathing device that can trigger a heart attack-like event in swimmers.  Essentially - cheap, single-tube snorkels of the kind piled in crates on the deck of Quicksilver's pontoons allow divers to rebreathe air they've just exhaled, depriving the lungs of oxygen and putting massive stress on the heart.  Especially for those who are only marginally active or haven't snorkeled recently - or EVER.  Rebreathing their own poisoned air through a 10-buck snorkel would seem to be a poor, and unexpected, way to die.  

This has become well-accepted science at other shallow-
water diving areas in the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, and parts of Asia.  Modified designs of various kinds are now "standard equipment" at many of these dive locations, and at least two governments in the Caribbean now ban single-tube snorkels.  Australian authorities aware of this issue have been silenced by both the Queensland and Federal Governments.  Insiders report that senior executives at Quicksilver were appraised of these issues over two years ago, and Warren Entsch is said to be fully aware of the cover-up.

You can't make this shit up.

What do we think the fallout will be on the Cairns tourism industry as word of the unnecessary but foreseeable deaths starts to become better known?  

16 January 2017


John "Cueball" MacKenzie has begun the new year by putting up his #1 Issue - the presence of "itinerants" from the "communities".   And he's now being assisted by the voice of the right wing at Cairns Council, Richie Bates.  Bates has come up with a new, whiz-bang crime fighting tool that can be used to run these aboriginal itinerants out of town.  Or at least as Cueball said, "away from the tourists".  Bates said nothing in defence - he's now fully a tool of the CBD business community.  

Heaven knows we don't want the tourists to know how the original occupants of this land are being treated.  We're not even giving any lipservice to half-way housing, or alcohol rehab, or even support of homeless encampments.  Nope, we're only interested in pushing them out of the CBD.  And former  ALP leader is now at the front of the mob carrying his own pitchfork.  

You can't make this shit up.

Bates also mutely agreed that the "problem" as advanced by MacKenzie is 'the coppers driving around in their air conditioned cars with the windows up'.  Yea, that's the problem.

Funnily they didn't bring up the REAL problems that we have with the QPS in Cairns.  A three year constable arrested for high-range drink driving (0.18), and the QPS is actually hesitating about sacking her.  Another Cairns QPS constable arrested (AGAIN!) for wife beating.  This after the cover-up of the Cairns-based assistant commissioner who hit and killed a tourist, with the police report into the incident blocked from the media.  It's looking like Cairns is the dumping ground for low-skill police.  The good ones get skimmed-off and sent to the Gold Coast and other points south.

Then Macca calls "Jenny" from Brinsmead - a professed aboriginal elderly woman who claims that the problems are caused by the youth mimicking black American culture.  Yes, that's the problem.  Too much rap music.  MacKenzie creamed himself gushing over the support his right-wing agenda had support from other than his right-wing regulars.  Look for "Jenny" to be a frequent tool on the 2017 MacKenzie program.  

MacKenzie then filled out the crime-fighting program with a retired NSW prison guard who's got "all the answers".  Barf.  A caller from Mooroobool, "Terry",  then calls in to sing the praises of Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who put overflow prisoners in tents and introduced other cost controls.  Sadly neither the caller or MacKenzie is aware that Arpaio was turfed out of office by the voters in Phoenix, and indicted and arrested for federal crimes related to his term as Sheriff.  

4CA.  The Far North Queensland Home of "Fake News".  


4CA has begun running ads for Daikin Air Conditioning and local vendor "Hayden CARE-ENS".  Nothing better than using local vendors to do your commercials - except for the management at 4CA who've agreed to run them.  

10 January 2017


Can we all agree - Aquis Cairns is DEAD?  Well, maybe everyone agrees except Bob "Sleepy" Manning.  Someone wake him up, would'ja?

But the intrigues around "Big Daddy Tony" Fung Wing-Cheung and his erstwhile son Justin Fung continue to spin in the wake of the Queensland Government approval of the Echo Casino project in the Brisbane CBD, and the previously discussed Baha-Mar project, sitting unfinished in the Bahamas since late 2014.

Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, and principal Cheng Yu Tung, is a Hong Kong-based conglomerate with a foothold in the jewelry business.  The jewelry business has been used as a "money laundering" scheme in Macau to allow mainland Chinese to circumvent gambling restrictions.  Chow Tai Fook is a major investor in Macau-based casino operator SJM Holdings.

Chow Tai Fook was the "money" behind the Star (formerly Echo) bid for the Queen's Wharf project,  along with Far East Consortium (Australia).  With the project licence issued by the Queensland government this past October, we're now reporting that the Fung's are "off-the-books" investors in Queens's Wharf.  

Insiders report that Tony Fung had no way to get a casino
licence from the Queensland Government, although the areas of concern were not raised, ignored, or not reported to the regulators in the ACT.

Chow Tai Fook Enterprises first attempted to purchase a poorly performing project in Las Vegas, and reportedly was rejected for a casino licence there.  

They then began negotiations to takeover the stalled Baha-Mar project, on which we've previously reported.  This project, over 90% completed but bankrupt due to malfeasance by the Chinese-government-owned contractor, is now being finished by Chow Tai Fook.  While the Bahamanian authorities were appraised of the casino licence rejection of this company, the Bahamanian government could not let this project sit uncompleted - and they've turned a blind eye to the shortcomings.

As has the Queensland government.  We understand that while investigators were advised by the US government of the licence rejection in Nevada, the government conveniently responded that the "information collection phase was closed" and they would not consider the rejection in their evaluation.

You can't make this shit up.

Tony Fung's companies are said to have pledged cash for the Baha-Mar project as well.

Insiders around Cairns believe Fung never had any intention of building out Aquis - it was a muscle-flexing exercise with upper echelon mainland Chinese government officials.  Remember the Boeing 757 "corporate jet" that Fung bought? It was really only used for one group of flights - government officials from the mainland who ultimately nixed putting any money into the Fung project in Cairns.

And Brisbane-based investigators have also connected the various Hong Kong entities to a known Chinese gangster, Stanley Ho.  And the Labor Party.  Along with the Queensland LNP.  They're all happy to wallow in the mud.  

Meanwhile, Cairns revels in the announcement that one major bridge (out of three), will be upgraded.  Praise Jesus!  

09 January 2017


4CA's John "Cueball" MacKenzie has about 20 callers who are his "regulars".  Well they're not actually "callers", as Cueball and his sidekick, failed solicitor Murray, tee-up these regulars as they require for the theme of the day.

The theme of the day is the usual handful of topics:  Petrol overcharges, insurance rort, aural fellation of Mayor Bob "Sleepy" Manning, the itinerant drunks, the "communities", kill the crocodiles, and dredge the port.

A self-described engineer, Peter Senior of Redlynch, is the go-to "expert" on the port dredging.

HBW readers have written in previously to describe the putridness of Peter Senior's claims of being a "highly experienced engineer" with a degree from Cambridge.  One reader, principal at a local multi-disciplinary engineering design consultancy, lamented the bullshit and outright lies spewing from Peter Senior on these port dredging discussions.

Peter Senior is no where to be found on the Board of Professional Engineers in Queensland, and Australia.  Under the professional engineers act, it would be illegal for Senior to be operating or claiming engineering competence.

Senior claims to be proprietor of "Senior Consulting", however ASIC has no such registration for him.  He also claims to be operating as "Better-Management.Org".  Nope, no ASIC registration for THIS either.  Apparently Senior is just another kiwi who's come to rort off the hardworking Australian taxpayer and duck any income tax he might owe for his 'consulting work'.    

Such is the level of MacKenzie due diligence.  You can't make this shit up.

Well so today the Compost has a feature story about poor old Peter Senior.  In the article, Senior who  now claims to be a "management consultant", has been dudded for $500 for a puppy advertised on the internet.  A scam that is as old as the internet itself, and one that the ACCC warned about over a decade ago!    

Senior brings the story to the Compost with the argument 'if I, a MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT (ENGINEER, AUTHOR, RADIO PERSONALITY, SERIAL LIAR, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER) can get dudded, ANYONE can!'

No Peter, we're not ALL this stupid!

Perhaps Senior would like to offer his probono "management consulting" skills to Raj Patel, with the failed printing business.  Or Cairns Airport.  Or how about UNsir Bob Norman, who was an inept failure at running an ice creamery!

Such is the "advice" being given by John MacKenzie resident experts.  

More on this group again soon!  

06 January 2017


The Cairns community is starting to understand - Cairns does NOT have a local newspaper anymore.  First the printing of the Cairns Post was moved to Townsville.  Then the editorial decisions.  All that's left in Cairns is a few stringers, an on-call photographer, and several staff to take classified ads from the Chinese hooker pimps (using pictures stolen from the internet).

The "editor" is one Julian Tomlinson - who's only
"qualifications" for the job is being the poorly-educated son of a LNP operative.

So Tomlinson this week goes on the warpath against the regulation of the offshore fishing - despite the fact that these reasonable regulations have been supported by ALP, LNP, and Green parties in various forms.

In fact fishing take in North Queensland is not much different than 20 years ago.  Fewer fishing boats to be sure, but the industry was not sustainable with all the small boats that existed then.  Changes to the fishing rules have meant better, sustainable businesses for the lesser number of fishos.

One of the biggest changes that Tomlinson ignores is the decision by many Australian fishers to export the live catch to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and China.  This live fish export business didn't exist 20 years ago and the fishos can command far higher prices from these markets then they can sell to us.  

The local fish have disappeared from the markets because we won't pay that much.  If a Trumpian solution were imposed (taxing the fishos 30% on the export of Australian fish), we'd see them back in the shops quick smart.

In the Tomlinson telling of the story however, he tells
baldfaced lies to support his campaign to extinguish the green zone system.  Tomlinson claims that Thailand has a fishable area "85% the size of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park", but takes "1000% more seafood".  Having us believe that Thailand has on their shores the biblical "loaves and fishes", and we should fish like this too.

It's a fucking lie.  A real journalist would know he couldn't slip this one past the goalie.

It's true, Thailand exports vast amounts of seafood.  FARMED seafood. For the Thais, you see, have actually made INVESTMENTS in this primary industry, in order to feed their people and, yes, brain-dead Australians.  WE let our fishos get fat and greedy by exporting our wild caught fish, and we all get to buy "frozen and defrosted" farmed fish - usually by Thailand - at prices we're apparently prepared to pay.  Even the Jonsson's Farm Market is filled with farmed and imported seafood.  

Who's the stupid ones here?  Get a mirror - it's us.

In fact, the live export of OUR fish to ELSEWHERE has
become a big business, not just for the fishos who do it but the company that designs and builds the technology that allows them to make these long flights.  Fishpac, a Victorian company, supplies the cargo flights on Cathay Pacific, Jetstar, and Qantas that is killing the fresh seafood business for Australian families.  Note the Fishpac brochure is available in English, and conveniently, in Chinese.  Wonder why?

Exporting raw materials is one thing.  Exporting our high-quality FOOD so that WE are only offered much lower quality food to replace it, is just wrong.  

The fishos have long used the Minister for Blogs, Warren Entsch, to protect the lucrative live fish export business for a few unAustralian fishos.  With big money to be pocketed, Entsch has supported the cutback in fishing boats while making sure lucrative "get out of the business" compensation is paid to his friends.  What has Entsch done to protect the average Cairns battler from the insurance gouge, the petrol gouge, the deteriorating road network, the investment in infrastructure so vital to Cairns' growth?

Nothing.  You can't make this shit up!

The Tomlinson editorial smacks of local LNP protection of the Crooked Entsch.  Tax incentives and some government startup funds could see Australia establish "world-class" sustainable fish farming.  A 30% or 40% tax on live fish exports would put a stop to a few fishos getting rich on the backs of the Australian consumer.

What will Crooked Warren do?  What he always does - NOT A DAMN THING!

28 December 2016


One of Cueball MacKenzie's "pet" issues is the existence of crocodiles in Far North Queensland.

MacKenzie's screeching and bleating on this issue is inexplicable to most in FNQ.  It's become a "litmus test" for local pollies even though the last MP from Barron River, Michael "Hide the Backhoe" Trout failed to put get a coherent policy out of the LNP.  And the screeching and bleating against the crocs is embraced by leadership at TTNQ and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce as well.

And while MacKenzie has feigned friendship with current Barron River MP Craig Crawford, MacKenzie has expressed disdain for him privately - just recently overheard in a CBD restaurant calling Crawford "The Dickhead from Barron River".  

In part, most of our tourist visitors have had little direct exposure to a crocodile.  Steve Irwin wrestled them on TV but we all know TV is exaggerated reality at best.  And much of the world thinks crocodile = alligator.  However the alligator is a relatively passive animal with little aggression towards humans.  So they must be the same, right? 

So the current promotion by MacKenzie and TTNQ for a new (to Cairns) tourism venture is puzzling, to say the least.

The company, called "Duck About Tours", has relocated their
DUKW (historically an amphibious truck) from Darwin (where co-existance between humans and crocodiles is well-managed) to Cairns.

So with MacKenzie railing daily against the "evil crocodiles" that inhabit Far North Queensland, he's now promoting "Ride the Happy Croc" with Duck About Tours!  Along with Tourism Tropical North Queensland and other leading tourism entities!

You can't make this shit up!

The "Duck About Tours" DUKW features a cartoonish-happy smiling crocodile emblazoned on the side of their coaches.

So can we assume when the next child is taken by a snarling, angry crocodile, John MacKenzie is happy to accept most of the blame?  After all he's taking money to promote the "Happy Smiling Croc" image to our unsuspecting tourists!  Perhaps next will be a "Crocodile Petting Zoo". . . .

Apparently the owners of Duck About Tours, Rod Rush and Paul Appleton, weren't aware of the ginned-up hostility against crocs in Cairns, and that their promoter John MacKenzie was Ground Zero for crocodile extinction. 

Perhaps Cr. Richie Bates will latch on to this issue and get the buses repainted with smiling flying foxes.  

Oh wait, we hate them too! 

25 November 2016


The Cairns Post along with their parent newspaper Townsville Bulletin have silently entered the era of "paywall local journalism".  The vast majority of local news stories on the Cairns Post website are now marked with the "paywall" symbol.

This is a strategy that even the Murdoch-owned Sydney news.com.au has recoiled from implementing - with all the evidence pointing to massive subscriber losses when tried.

Compost insiders report that blowhard editor, Townsville-based Julian Tomlinson, has boasted that his formula "will make the papers hugely profitable".  The Tomlinson Paywall Strategy?  Strict management of what's "free" and what is "for pay".

A recent audit of the Cairns Post website shows the results of this strategy. . . 

Local Dental expert disputes Cairns Council plan?  PAY
Two Queensland women in Miss Universe pageant?  FREE
Local child safety overwhelmed and understaffed - PAY
Cairns helicopter shortage, high schools rated, Arakun residents told to go home, 
Schoolies targeted by brothel - PAY
New Bar opens in Reef Casino - FREE

The dumbing-down of the Cairns Post has gone high-tech.

You can't make this shit up.

Newscorp-owned papers in Maroochydore, Mackay, Rockhampton, and other regional communities have rejected the Tomlinson-driven strategy calling it "absurd", "ignorant", and "suicidal".  

And real estate agents are among the most vocal.  And it's not hard to see why.  Advertising in the Cairns Post for residential real estate is what "pays the bills".  While the size of the Saturday Real Estate insert is about the same as 10 years ago, the actual number of properties being advertised is down 42%.  Sellers are being strongarmed by estate agents into larger and more expensive ads that are seen by fewer and fewer people.  This online strategy by Tomlinson is only going to exacerbate the advertising collapse.  Will the Cairns Post continue to publish a "paper" newspaper on Saturdays when all the property sellers finally realise that most properties are now being sold online? 

One Edmonton-area estate agency has now formally begun advising new listings to skip the thousands demanded by the Cairns Post and instead buy "premium" listings online.  

Newspaper delivery workers have had informal discussions as the Cairns Post has dropped hints of "route consolidation".  Meaning fewer delivery jobs with longer hours and more driving.  And as actual newspaper subscribers start getting substandard service and later delivery times, the death spiral gains speed.

With adequate worldwide evidence that newspaper paywalls are a failure, this can only be a plan by Newscorp to eliminate local regional newspapers altogether.  Cairns Post insiders however believe that Julian Tomlinson is actually convinced he can do the impossible - and that it will be his ticket to higher positions within the Murdoch-owned press. 

It's only a matter of time before the Compost orders John  MacKenzie to STOP reading articles from the paper - a time-filler that uses up 45 minutes or so of Cueball's daily  program.

We have further information this week about a local federal MP caught wearing a brassiere by his shocked third wife, the antics of the mayor's lesbian daughter and bastard child, the new fraud investigations by QPS on the family of a former QLD MP who's running again in the next election, and the allegations by a Japanese backpacker renting a room in north Cairns against a local radio shock jock.  You'll need to pay for all of them, however.

16 November 2016


On our main tourism highway just across from the Cairns Airport is now the broken shell of the Cairns economic miracle.

The Fruit Bat.

Like the other fruit bats, this iconic veggie business stands cold, lifeless, and scrawled with graffiti - a testament to the failed Cairns economy and the Cairns (un)Regional Council.

Main Roads has refused to respond as to the status of the yearly lease for this site, but insiders report that the lease is now being paid secretly by the Jonsson (Farm Market) Family.  The Jonssons have long attempted to have the government cancel this lease - ever since they installed their own business selling farm products just a few hundred meters away.  When the public continued to patronise the Fruit Bat, finding their produce fresher and with many more local choices, the Jonssons attacked politically.

Oddly the Jonsson's lackluster business (built in an area without the proper Cairns Plan zoning thanks to the idiocy of Peter Tabulo) can operate only because of the piece of public land they've stolen for parking.  What used to be a nice grass-covered respite for travelers with caravans on the highway was usurped without any payment to the state and finally paved-over.  Illegally.

The Cairns Way.

04 November 2016


 The last 20 or so years it often hasn't been easy to get a carpark in the Cairns CBD.  Merchants and their employees still hog the street parking and feed the meters instead of using city-built facilities.  "Free" unsightly carpark areas have sprung up on the edge of the CBD - so unwilling are city workers to pay for a carpark.

The shamozzle has only gotten worse under the regime of Bob "Sleepy" Manning.  With the do-nothing joke of a councillor Richie Bates and the now sacked Peter Tabulo at his side, the Council has approved projects that will cripple any chance of retailing in the CBD when built out.

Cairns Aquarium - carpark shortfall +250
Civic Theatre - carpark shortfall +450
Munro Martin Park - carpark shortfall +80 (peak usage:  350)
Nova Tower One - carpark shortfall +65

But it gets worse.

Owners of the Cairns Square project, Sunshine Coast-based Juniper, have proposed two additional floors on the top of this building.

And with the precedents set, they've proposed a REDUCTION in the current shortfall of carparks for the building!  And despite the building being occupied primarily by Central Queensland University, they also consider appropriate a REDUCTION in bicycle parking!

You can't make this shit up!

Currently, street parking around the building has become unusable for guests and customers due to the hours spaces are occupied by CQU staff and students.  

In their submission for a Development Approval, Juniper argues that the building should be rated using the "educational facility" car parking regulations.  This despite the fact that CQU is only a tenant in this building and have already signaled that they will eventually move into their own, purpose-built facility.

Leaving aside the fact that the current Cairns Plan requirements for car parking is hopelessly inadequate, Juniper cannot be allowed to turn the busiest tourism retail area in the city into a no-go zone.

And the idiocy of the Juniper proposal is stunning.  They count bicycle parking on the Esplanade and at the Lagoon as part of their "stock".  They count all the street parking (including that on the Esplanade, which has an active proposal to be closed off to traffic and parking altogether) as part of their "stock".

It's clear that the Manning Council will approve any old shitty proposal now from developers.  The rest of us be damned.  As Council, Chamber of Commerce, and other so-called "leaders" take an emergency meeting to implement the "Kevin Byrne Solution" to aboriginal people using the CBD, the biggest anti-social attack on business owners and tourists in Cairns is being done by the Mayor and his Council of syncopants, behind closed doors, to the benefit of only a few wealthy developers.

30 October 2016


The Skyrail rainforest ride is an important drawcard to the Cairns region for tourists from around the world.  It's essentially an amusement park ride - not unlike the Thunder Rapids ride at Dreamworld, which this week claimed four lives.

Reports that come from current Skyrail workers express anger than the Queensland State Government has not included Skyrail in their hurried inspection and audit of amusement park rides, especially with Skyrail's checkered management history.

Skyrail has thus far refused to comment.  But Skyrail has a history of accidents, some of which were considered by the public "close calls".  

And Cairns Skyrail management (led by former TTNQ head Bill Calderwood) was sacked in 2008 by the Hong Kong Government after a cable car fell some 50 meters off the Ngong Ping 360 Skyrail near Lantau Island.  In September 2005 it was "big news" in Cairns as Ken Chapman announced that the family-run Skyrail company would be managing the Hong Kong project based on their "experience" running the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in Cairns.  

Less than two years later, the Hong Kong government report found Skyrail-ITM grossly negligent in the accident and tore up their 20 year contract to run the ropeway attraction.  The Hong Kong government assumed management of the tramway under the Hong Kong MTR, the subway and transit operator.  No further accidents have occurred.

Why is the Cairns attracting getting no attention by the Queensland State Government?  Is FNQ even still considered part of Queensland by the pollies running our state? 

The bigger problem for all of these attractions is the lack of unified, government-led inspections.  Skyrail, like Dreamworld, claim they contract for engineering inspections on a regular basis.  But how balanced and independent are inspections done by the people who then pay your inspection bill?  

Radio loudmouth John MacKenzie routinely scaremongers about the crocodiles by claiming that a "tourist death by a croc will kill the Cairns tourism industry".  Leaving aside the absurdity of this hyperbole, why has Cueball remained mum about potential deaths on Skyrail?  A little too close to your advertiser base, eh Macca!

A majority of amusement parks in Australia belong to the Australian Amusement, Leisure, and Recreation Association which has worked to set some Standards for the operation and maintenance of these kinds of attractions.  Skyrail apparently does NOT belong to the AALRA, so is missing even this level of scrutiny and guidance. 

The inspection and permitting of amusement park rides in most other advanced countries is done not by private companies, but by government agencies.  

California is a case in point.  Like most states in America, California has a dedicated inspection team that conduct routine, random, and complaint-driven inspections into amusement park rides, tramways, and waterparks.  This ON TOP OF the dozens of degreed-engineers employed by the major parks to assess their equipment on a continual basis.  Americans aren't relying on complaints from a worker's union to peak their curiosity into the safety of the public.  And this is ON TOP OF federal regulations and standards.

Queensland's Workplace Health and Safety has hundreds of pages of reports on Skyrail, Dreamworld, and other amusement parks.  Requests for these documents already made get only heavily redacted documents that give NO ONE any confidence.  (ABC has some of the documents available HERE).  What is the government hiding from the public?

The Cairns tourism industry deserves the same protection and safety standards as elsewhere in Queensland. But with the Cairns (un)Regional Council unwilling to listen to the opinions of medical professionals, it's hard to see them supporting engineering professionals, either.  

25 October 2016


One of the big, long-term issues for Cairns is the "brain drain" of our talented young people. 

Cairns is blessed with a well-run and well-equipped university, James Cook.  Over 4,000 students attend the Cairns (Smithfield) campus, the majority from regions OTHER than Cairns.  

If Cairns was so desirable for these graduates, why don't they stay?  Despite Chancellor John Grey's assertion that "many graduates remain in the region", the reality is that the vast majority LEAVE.  Even those who received primary education in Cairns, and who's families reside here.

Even car wash mogul Paul Freebody has seen all his sons LEAVE.  Of course this may be more about Paul & Kim than a real "brain drain".  LOL

 A case in point:  Cairns Central has previously had a young, local, go-getter running the technical operations for Lend Lease, the owners.  His talents became widely known in the Lend Lease company, and management of Cairns Central were under pressure to pay him a higher wage - WHAT HE'S WORTH.  Sadly, they refused even after his marriage and arrival of his first child.  

He's now gone to Brisbane.   Leaving Cairns Central in the hands of morons. . . 

Recently Cairns Central began a project to "harden" the
access to the centre.  This has been an upgrade going on around Australia, and requires the installation of Type-1 barricades at the entrances to stop errant vehicles.

Cairns Central spent tens of thousands to undertake this work.

But apparently they've decided that it's all for show, as one can easily drive in an un-barricaded area and into the mall unimpeded.  

The Cairns-educated tech-ops manager driven away spotted the error a few weeks ago when he arrived to visit his (and his wife's) family.  

Despite a first-rate education being available in Cairns, the hollowing-out of our most talented young people leave us with the undereducated and worse.  A group so unemployable that businesses prefer the training merry-go-round of backpacker employees rather than hire the rest.

A long term problem that NO ONE is addressing.

18 October 2016


This quote by Mr. Trent Twomey, a pharmacist and chair of the Cairns-based Northern Queensland Primary Healthcare Network, says it all:

"The $30 Million of savings identified for the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service" (in the Ernst and Young hospital audit) "might not be achieved unless the health service's annual budget is significantly boosted".

You can't make this shit up.

Twomey is the owner of what many regard as the grossly-overpriced "Good Price Pharmacy" and is known to be a strong supporter of pharmacy deregulation.  Regulations that have handsomely rewarded the Twomey family with overseas trips to Europe, America, Disneyland, and other destinations just this year.

16 October 2016


The Cairns Post this week could have been dated 2007 on the cover.  Or 1997.  Such are the issues in Cairns that other communities solve and file away, but never seem to get any solutions here.

"Taking on Fuel Giants":  How long have we all known that Cairns motorists pay the highest prices for petrol of any regional city in Australia?  We have a PORT where fuel is delivered by ship - closer to the refineries than any other regional city.  And yet we've been gouged for YEARS.  

"Iconic Croc's Home Has Fringe Benefits":  The continued adhoc plans (which don't rise to the word "strategy") continue to cause angst in the community.  

"Bill Fulton Bridge Works to Kick Off":  With two other inadequate two-lane bridges yet to get any attention, replacement of this one, cheap, low-set causeway-style bridge does NOTHING to relieve congestion.  But fortunately  it's just in time to allow Barron River MP Craig Crawford to pose for pictures for the cover of his next campaign brochure, in an effort to convince someone he's doing something. . . .

"Health's Check-Up Defeated":  A commonsense bill to do a process audit at the Cairns Base Hospital proposed by Cairns MP Rob Pyne failed to get legislative support.  The community continually has to deal with a hospital that is an inefficiently-designed hodgepodge of disparate buildings - a situation created 20+ years.  The last board who walked out were left with a hospital that was misplanned and misbudgeted by the previous board chair, (un)Sir Bob Norman, failed ice cream shop owner and ousted Chamber of Commerce president.

We are advised that the management system is so chaotic that over 60 mostly-new wheelchairs have gone missing in the last two years with orderlies quite often scouring the hallways looking for a spare to move a patient.

"Jab Gap Lets in Disease Danger":  While other areas of the country have come into compliance, Kuranda and other Far North communities continue to have vaccination rates on par with Bangladesh.  The Cairns Post gives voice to people like "Kim Stedman", owner of some naturopathic witch doctor business who boasts "she doesn't even vaccinate her dogs".  

This goes hand-in-hand with the lack of water fluoridation in Cairns water.  Don't write your anti-fluoride diatribes here, we won't publish them.  

"Setback for Casino Ambitions":  Fullshare Group (owners of the Sheraton Mirage) have withdrawn their plans to convert the Laguna Quays resort to a casino operation.  Does anyone anywhere still believe Tony Fung is doing anything in Cairns?  

"Pat Flanagan Appointed Project Director of Aquis":  Better to be made Captain of the Good Ship Lollypop.  How many engineers and architects would be employed in design and construction of ANYTHING at Aquis?  Anyone seen Flanagan Consulting Group grabbing up all the spare office space in Cairns?  Guess why . . .

"Emirates Flies Flag for Trips to Cairns":  Claiming they need a spot to park their Airbus 380 this is apparently the only thing stopping Emirates from adding Cairns to their route network.  

"19 Year Old Student Racially Abused by Cairns Local":  No surprise here.  Only difference is this one got reported.  

"Old Town Plan in Action":  Clifton Beach residents again cop it sweet as big developer shoves unwanted plan up their arse.  Local councillor Brett Olds casts only "NO" vote as reality of Manning Yes-man council sinks in.  

"Price is High for Lapping Up Paradise":  Research shows Port Douglas to be the most expensive holiday destination in Australia.  Any wonder we've still shown no growth in the tourism business?

Editorial by the Cairns Post's Townsville-based editor, high school graduate Julian Tomlinson, decries the fishing "green paper" claiming that "Australia imports most of its seafood".  While this is true, what he fails to mention is that Australia EXPORTS most of its locally caught seafood - including tons per day that get sent LIVE to places like Hong Kong and Mainland China.  Our own fishos prefer the big export prices to selling locally, and they're stripping our local fisheries in this quest for a dollar.  Stop the fishos from exporting Australian-caught seafood and watch our local prices plummet and quality go UP.  Sorry, too tough an argument for the Murdock press.

You can't make this shit up!

The big "celebration" coming up?  An event from 30 years ago where some creative blokes organised a world-record 100 water-skiers behind one boat, garnering Cairns world-wide attention.  Current leaders couldn't organise a piss-up in  a brewery, with most of these "marketing geniuses" dumb as a bag of hammers.  What happened to the Ukulele Festival?  The original creator got tired of all the work with no help from the Chamber, or Council, or anyone else so it's "taken a break" - an event that brought hundreds of domestic and international visitors.  Duh.

Then there are all the other local issues:  home insurances, with Cairns still paying 300-500% more than the rest of Australia and the do-nothing Warren Entsch impotent.  Electricity, North Queenslanders paying the HIGHEST per kilowatt in Australia and government happy to strip money from Ergon every year.  Local transport in shambles with now 10 years of "talk" on the obvious need for a free circulator bus in the CBD.  A "free" Council provided wifi service in the CBD that is so overloaded most can't use it anymore.  An obscene lack of car parks.  Buildings covered with graffiti, unpainted for years, with bicycles chained up to every immovable object in the CBD due to lack of bicycle parks.  Locals arrested with computers loaded with child porn given nonsensical suspended sentences and let back into the community with the Cairns Post "not naming" the offenders. 

And longtime residents were in full deja-vu mode this week when they saw a fatter, slower, grayer ex-Mayor Kevin Byrne waddling through the CBD, panting heavily in his new semi-retirement role of collecting more ratepayer cash via Advance Cairns.  Even he's got to walk more than 20 metres from his car to a meeting.  The mind reels. . .


And this is just one week in the Cairns Post.  If the leaders and community would actually SOLVE some of these problems, what in the world would they report?

Oh yeah, "Disgraced Reporter Tara Brown Splits from Hubby".  Now there's some NEWS!