An insider with board contacts has reported that the growing list of scandals being mishandled by Brown were the catalyst that saw the investment banker-run board appoint Norris Carter to their board over a year ago in preparation for Brown's ouster from Cairns.
While the NQA Board suggested that a "worldwide search" for a new CEO was conducted, it was only perfunctory with Carter the only viable candidate.
|SOMEONE WAKE ENTSCHY|
UP AND TELL HIM IT'S 2016
Carter took on the directorship of NQA in addition to his job at Auckland Airport, and almost immediately began producing results for Cairns. The Cairns service provided by Philippine Airlines, which continues to Auckland, was the brainchild of Carter - not Cairns Airport's development head Janice Antonson. As airlines have taken delivery of over 6500 new airliners since 2006, they've got to fly them somewhere. The shuttering of Australian Airlines and reduction in flights in/out of Cairns in 2005-2006 was largely the result of delivery delays by Boeing of the huge 787 order placed by Qantas. When these new aircraft weren't available as originally forecast, Qantas had no choice but to End-Of-Life the 767 and 747 fleet, leaving short-margin tourist destinations like Cairns to shrink.
Antonson and Commercial Chief Fiona Ward were both brought to Cairns from Edinburgh, Scotland by Kevin Brown. All three have performed miserably, with Antonson jokingly called "The Stiff" by insiders. While everyone else was booking new service, Cairns saw critical service lost including the United Airlines connections to the USA, Japan, and China via Guam. Carter has in his time in Auckland regained service from United Airlines which was discontinued several years ago. Antonson despite pockets of Queensland Government incentive money has done little to nothing. The new Hong Kong Airlines service fell into their lap - they weren't chasing it at all fearing retribution by Cathay Pacific.
Antonson is already known to be scouring the planet for a new sucker employer. And Kevin Brown is reportedly already pissing off the very professional operational team at the Perth Airport. We give him two years before he gets the sack there, too.
Four years ago Antonson and Brown came up with the oh-so-clever "Bolt to Cairns" marketing idea after Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt's performance at the Olympics. Four years later, mercifully no one has tried to resurrect this patently embarrassing idea. But we hear Minister for Blogs Warren Entsch still thinks Bolt is coming. . . . .
Meanwhile the erstwhile "Digital Media Coordinator" Brent Adams is looking for a new career as the NQA advertises for his replacement. His tenure didn't even make it to the arrival of Norris Carter as CEO with his social media cockups ultimately his undoing. After the "Contest Scandal", Adams locked down all of his PERSONAL social media accounts - sadly too late thanks to the HBW investigation. Something hilarious in seeing a millenial being gutted by his own social media transgressions.
Norris Carter's action (or inaction) on the open festering wounds at the Cairns Airport will be interesting to observe. Reports suggest that the massive fuel leak (the source still unidentified) is now seeing measurable hydrocarbons adjacent to the Barron River - and perhaps INTO the Barron, and reef. We understand that lawyers between the Queensland Government and NQA are dicking around about the issue with both claiming the other is responsible. This is a huge issue that still gets only cursory attention by the Cairns media. With the Federal Government now reviewing the problem the suspension of underground fuel delivery to aircraft is growing likely, with massive additional costs passed on to NQA.
And then there's the issue of the contractually-required by still unbuilt pedestrian access to the airport from the Cook Highway. If the member for Barron River ever can find his testicles perhaps this clear requirement will finally be put on the Queensland Government's Agenda.