FRUIT BAT CRUSHED BY JONSSON FAMILY MARKET

FRUIT BAT CRUSHED BY JONSSON FAMILY MARKET
FRUIT BAT CRUSHED BY JONSSON FAMILY MARKET

25 November 2016

IMPLEMENTATION OF FAILED PAYWALL SEES CAIRNS POST IN DEATHSPIRAL TO EXTINCTION

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

CAIRNS NEW MONUMENT TO COLLAPSED ECONOMY

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

"SLEEPY" MANNING LEGACY ASSURED - CAIRNS CBD DEVELOPMENTS NOW OVER 1,000 CARPARKS SHORT OF CODE

 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.

COUNCIL CONTINUES TO ALLOW THE DESTRUCTION OF PARKLAND
ADJACENT TO CAIRNS (un)BASE HOSPITAL - DESPITE A NEW PARKING
STRUCTURE THAT SITS ONLY PARTIALLY FILLED EVERYDAY 
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

QUEENSLAND STATE GOVERNMENT MAKES 'BIG SHOW" ON AMUSEMENT PARK INSPECTIONS - BUT POSSIBLE DANGER IN CAIRNS IGNORED - AS USUAL

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.  

CAIRNS SKYRAIL- MANAGED RESULT IN
HONG KONG -
CAN THIS HAPPEN HERE TOO?
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

INCOMPETENTS AND NINCOMPOOPS DRIVE AWAY THE TALENTED YOUNG FROM CAIRNS

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
SO MUCH FOR "REAL" SECURITY
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

THE "ALTERNATIVE REALITY" THAT GRIPS THE CAIRNS HOSPITAL SUPPORTED BY ADVANCE CAIRNS




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

CAIRNS POST RUNS SAME STORIES WEEK AFTER WEEK BECAUSE SAME ISSUES STAND UNADDRESSED YEAR AFTER YEAR

NO NEWS IN HERE 
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. . .


Yawn.

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!

14 October 2016

CAIRNS PLAGUED WITH CHARLATANS AND CROOKS, UNCHECKED BY CORRUPT POLITICIANS, IMPOTENT "LEADERS", AND FLACCID NEWS MEDIA


A case in point.


Now being heavily promoted is the "Hillross Cairns Money Expo", a self-help event being promoted for next weekend at the Shangri-La Hotel.  

This "free" event has snagged Noel Whittaker as a headliner for the event, which is sponsored by Sydney-based financial advisor Hillross/Coral Coast Financial Planning, along with Channel 7 television.  Hillross is "fully owned by AMP" according the website replete with grammatical errors, and represented in Cairns by principals Craig Armstrong and Mark De Gregorio.

AMP has a history of flawed financial advice.

These kinds of financial planning workshops often end up
being replete with misinformation and strong-arm tactics.  We don't recommend anyone attend.

In typical Cairns style however, this event goes one step further into the gutter - being promoted and organised by General Manager James Gerard Callahan, of Kewarra Beach.


James Gerard Callahan and his wife Lynn were owners of the now wound-up financial advisor company Callahan Finserv Pty Ltd.  Callahan is shown on ASIC's "Banned and Disqualified" list as a "Banned Securities Representative".

And, Callahan is an undischarged BANKRUPT.

Really, you can't make this shit up.

So Hillross/AMP, Channel 7, and others have willingly tied themselves to an event led by a bankrupt and banned financial advisor.

Typical Cairns.  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  A reader has pointed out that James Gerard Callahan became a "Banned Securities Representative" on the back of the infamous "Wattle Scandal", a Ponzi scheme wound up by ASIC in 2000 after defrauding over 3000 Australians.

And as another reader has pointed out, a similar scheme is run by another grossly unqualified local, Andrew Griffiths Enterprises Pty. Ltd., a self-help charlatan who assisted CEC Group and Chairman Warren Entsch by issuing misleading statements to the market as CEC crashed and burned.

22 September 2016

REAL CAUSES OF CAIRNS HOSPITAL PROBLEMS LIKELY TO BE IGNORED BY BOTH SIDES OF POLITICS AS THEY SEARCH FOR EASY ANSWERS AND SCAPEGOAT THE STAFF

The real causes of the Cairns Hospital "budget blowout" is crystal clear to the sacked resigned board members, despite the fact that they were clearly over their head running this $800M/year business.  So much for political local management. . . 

It isn't lazy staff (as asserted by one letter in the Cairns Post today).  It isn't management perks (although the precedent for these ex-gratia payments was initiated by the previous sacked resigned chair Unsir Bob Norman). 

There are two decisions that have guaranteed the Cairns Hospital will cost the government MUCH MORE to operate than other facilities around Australia. 

TOO MANY BUILDINGS.  NO WONDER IT
CAN'T BE RUN EFFICIENTLY!
The first is the stupid decisions made by both ALP and LNP governments to keep investing in more and more add-on buildings on a site that should have been abandoned 25 years ago.  The oceanfront site that will without question eventually be inundated in a cyclone-driven tidal surge.

Our email exploded with commentary from current hospital staff who've all noted how much of their workdays is spent traversing up and down very slow elevators to get from one patient area to another as part of their normal course of duties.  

Instead of a new, efficiently-designed hospital on a greenfield site away from the ocean, braindead so-called leaders like Gavin King and John MacKenzie insisted that the Cairns Base Hospital be expanded instead of "inconveniencing" one end of town or the other.  To ensure the inefficiencies continue into the future, the LNP and Bob Norman then moved to sell-off the 20ha greenfield site in the southern suburbs!

Delivery of patient care at this aging Cairns Hospital facility is estimated to be 25-30% more expensive than modern facilities solely due to the increased staffing necessary to run this hodgepodge of buildings.

You can't make this shit up.

This is why the board resigned - they are well aware that this infrastructure issue is a poison chalice for any cost cutting.

In order to "hide" the increased staffing, UnSir Bob Norman's board began the widespread use of overtime and temporary contracts for staff, further blowing out the operational costs.  

As Cairns Hospital reached (and has now exceeded design capacity), the result of more expensive temp staff was inevitably going to exceed the budget.  

With the government of the day now appointing an administrator to go over the operation, we can expect a whitewash of the problem and continuing endemic financial shortfalls at this major regional hospital.  All while the hospital director bugs out back to the UK with an additional $159k of taxpayer money on top of the millions she took in salary.  

Meanwhile, Cairns Mayor Bob Manning was quoted first as expressing "full confidence in the hospital board", and then when learning of their sacking resignation, said: "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz".  Now there's leadership!


20 September 2016

CAIRNS CBD PARKING - BAD AND GETTING WORSE - WITH CR. BATES OBLIVIOUS (AS USUAL)

Cairns (un)Regional Division 5 Councillor Richie "Master" Bates is arguably the most inept member of the already inept council.  A longtime union leader and ALP party leader, Bates checked his ethics at the door of the CRC chamber upon his election.  Division 5 is the location of almost all the development activities in the region but Bates continues to snooze as longterm parking problems are being cemented in-place by Mayor Bob "Sleepy" Manning.


RICHIE BATES RAKES IN THE DOSH
FROM THE BIG END OF TOWN
Like the continual merry-go-round of faux public issues that occupy "Cueball" MacKenzie and his 300 radio listeners, once again apparently this week we're getting a faux analysis of the issue.

When Lake Street was reopened to traffic, merchants heralded the newfound traffic as their "business saviour".  This has proven to be NOT the case - as traffic volumes choke Lake Street with slow-moving cars attracted to the "free parking" in the centre island along with public buses, "impulse" merchants like the news agency and fast food restaurants are reporting DECLINES in their business.

Lake Street is now seen as a "no-go zone" for most.  And all caused by council ineptitude.

And because of the ineptitude of Richie Bates, it's about to get worse.  MUCH MUCH WORSE.

We're already seeing a shortage of carparks adjacent to the new Cairns Aquarium.  While primarily caused by tradies scooping up all the carparks at 6AM, this is only a harbinger of the area's future.  With a shortfall of perhaps 400 carparks during peak periods, the Cairns Aquarium was given project approval with no objection from Bates.  And just a block away from the new Cairns Civic Theatre, which was already 200+ carparks short.  And now a second term for the Manning Council which has built NO new parking facilities despite at least one being "shovel-ready" when they took office!

You can't make this shit up.

And with Central Queensland University now approaching full capacity at their Shields Street site, this area adjacent to the Esplanade is now fully choked with a parking shortfall.  And with Council turning a blind eye to the now endemic parking in loading and taxi-pickup zones, merchants on the Esplanade and copping it from both directions.

Bates meanwhile is a reliable "ZZZZZZZZZ" on any vote called by Bob Manning.  And Bates cleared a healthy $8250 in electoral donations OVER AND ABOVE the $5000 he was required to hand over to Manning and the Unity Team. A nice little earner for him, that's for sure.

Merchants in many of these areas of the CBD are in for a rude awakening as this huge parking shortfall fully hits in the upcoming year.

Meanwhile Cueball MacKenzie will dance around the reality of this issue for a day or two, and then return to another dog-whistle for his diminishing audience.  Fluoride, perhaps?


  


13 September 2016

CAIRNS ECONOMY CRIPPLED BY BUSINESS, GOVERNMENT, MARKETING, AND LEADERSHIP FAILURES

With more that 25% of the Cairns economy directly related to the tourism performance of the region, the continued failures by all levels of government along with amateurish and uncoordinated business and marketing leadership are the major causes of continued high unemployment in the region.

CURRENT DESIGN PROPOSAL FOR THE
EAGERLY-AWAITED AQUIS PROJECT
The few employers who HAVE attempted to expand their employment (including two of the major reef trip operators) have found a dearth of 18-26yo residents available for training and employment.  This excepting the local ATSI population - which one manager at the weekend's Amateurs Ball loudly told his tablemates"are unemployable and aren't even considered" at his company.  More shocking than this statement were the nods of approval from the rest of the table - one of which was a local banking manager!

The "published dress code" for the Ball - which required "Black Tie, with a lounge suit as a minimum for men", brought a laugh of derision from a table full of Melbournites who flew up for a holiday - who were appalled at the number of locals who adhered to the dress code but still were traipsing around without footwear!  

PROMOTE LOCAL TOURISM?
NO, EASIER TO PULL IRRELEVANT
NEWS ABOUT AMERICAN
RAPPERS
The drain of Cairns by young people is a serious issue that leaders fail to address.  This includes those getting a tertiary education from our local universities - with a documented 84% of locals graduating from these schools leaving Cairns to seek employment.

Andrigyne MP and Minister for Blogging Warren Entsch has zero plans for growing employment in his electorate, instead focusing on personal issues like gay marriage.  Entsch was a director and chairman of the Roy Lavis company CEC Group in the lead-up to its collapse in a mountain of bad debt.  In April, prior to the federal election, Entsch was prepared to cross the floor to vote in favour of the Labor-sponsored Royal Commission on Banking.  However Roy Lavis confirmed this week that he has apparently managed to "strong-arm" the flaccid Entsch into another (sigh) flip-flop, with Entsch clearly still taking orders from the big end of town at the expense of Cairns residents.

The Cairns Post, which faithfully reported as "fact" the flood of misleading and dishonest press releases coming from CEC (written by self-appointed "business guru" Andrew Griffiths) continues to spout the long-since-proven nonsense that a bank caused the collapse of the Lavis companies.  At one point close to the collapse, Griffiths wrote in a CEC Press Release that "the banks are fully supportive". . .   Anyone taking advice from Griffiths needs to have their head examined.

Then we get the report that Sleepy Bob Manning is (sigh)
WELCOME TO CAIRNS
again meeting with the Fung family on the once-again downscaled Aquis resort.  Manning continues to act as a delusional cheerleader for this ill-fated project.  With China continuing to clampdown on outflows of hard currency from the communist country, continued promotion of this fantasy saps energy from the rest of the community.


Cairns Central along with the CBD is seeing continued business failures and empty shopfronts.  While Cairns Central still remains the ONLY Lend Lease-owned facility without free (or ANY) wifi service for their guests, they've upgraded to a large screen display board over their centre meeting area.  But instead of supporting the local tourism industry, they've decided instead that news about American rap music artists is more vital then our local community.  

The lack of coordinated marketing to our visiting tourists has been a major failure by Advance Cairns and TTNQ for decades.  

Meanwhile, do-nothing Barron River MP Craig Crawford (along with the carpetbagging Brett Moller, who's already looking for a step up the political ladder) rushed to the Cairns Port this week to take "credit" for the new home-porting of the P&O Ship Pacific Eden.  The Pacific Eden was called "Worse than a one-star motel" by the Sydney Morning Herald just a few months ago.  However it represents the future of the Cairns Boutique Port experience - a midsize ship that fits into our port just fine WITHOUT $300m in reef-wrecking dredging.  Crawford's electorate does NOT include the Cairns CBD nor the port, but he rushed to take credit for this service just to ensure the Cairns MP, Rob Pyne, didn't. 

Meanwhile, who's doing anything to solve our chronic problems of low employment, the exodus of the young and educated, the lack of public and private infrastructure investment, and the shortfall in public services from places like the Cairns Hospital?

We await some news. . . . . 




28 August 2016

CAIRNS AIRPORT INSIDERS REPORT FORMER FAILED CEO KEVIN BROWN TOLD NO CHANCE HIS CONTRACT WOULD BE RENEWED

Public and institution investor pressure on the North Queensland Airport (NQA) Board over a year ago provided the impetus to jettison failed CEO Kevin Brown, we can now report.

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.

25 August 2016

ONE INEFFECTIVE INSIDER GONE ONLY TO BE REPLACED BY EVEN MORE INSIDE-INSIDER

We'd like to sing the Wizard of Oz tune "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead".  Peter Tabulo, who should have been sacked by Mayor Schier for his piss-poor performance as Kevin Byrne's "developer's poodle" has finally exhausted his welcome with the Cairns Council.

His legacy?  A raft of prison towers in our CBD masquerading as unit developments.  A raft of Development Approvals with missing components greeted by a Tabulo "wink" to the developers and no enforcement of important conditions.  A raft of major projects that have gone horribly over budget as the council has been rudderless for the last four years with Bob Manning in perpetual nap and Tabulo over his head in his first (and last) CEO position.

Tabulo is been allowed to slink into the night like the snake he has been.

However we're supposed to applaud the elevation of John Andrejic?  We don't think so!

Andrejic is in the finance position only for his skills at "creative accounting" - skills he honed as a Manning puppet at the Port Authority.  Andrejic has been signing the cheques on the projects that are now under scrutiny.  With little in the way of checks-and-balances, the Council books are hazy and un-transparent.  Who knows the real position of this Council?

$200M AIRPORT UPGRADE AND WE COULDN'T
MOVE THE POSTS.  WHO PAID FOR THIS MESS?
Andrejic is also directly responsible for the $12 Million computing cock-up.  So a guy loses $12M and we give him a promotion?  Why would anyone do that??

Cover-up.  That's why.  That's how these things work when corruption and malfeasance is rampant.

Andrejic is also responsible for the last remodel at the Cairns Airport domestic terminal when he was employed by the North Queensland Airport Group.  This remodel is widely viewed as mishandled and inadequate, flushing $200M down the dunny.  Sure, let's promote the guy!

The Cairns Council is doing the ratepayers a disservice by not bringing in a new set of eyes and new set of skills.  We're told that all of these discussions are occurring "behind closed doors".  How can the Minister for Local Government ignore this clear violation of the Open Government Act?  How can these councillors participate in such closed-door negotiations?  Like the elevation of Tabulo as "CEO in Training", John Andrejic as CEO is the latest dangerous management decision by this lazy Council.


Errata:
Lots of emails piled up from our loyal readers.  Can't we take a holiday after the elections?


30 July 2016

WEEKS LATER CAIRNS COUNCIL CANDIDATES AND COUNCILLORS HAVE NOT FILED REQUIRED FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES - YET ECQ WANTS TO FINE NON-VOTERS

RAJ PATEL, MACKENZIE
CANDIDATE FOR DIVISION 5.
AWARD FOR "FEWEST VOTES PER MINUTE
OF IGNORANT DIATRIBE"
The Electoral Commission Queensland Commission has begun sending infringement notices to registered voters who failed to vote in the Local Government Elections earlier this year.

However despite the lodging deadline having passed weeks ago, a number of candidates for Cairns Regional Council have FAILED to lodge their financial disclosure notices as required.

These failures include:


Raj Patel (Division 5)
Gavin Vincent (Division 6)
Flora Pondrilei  (Division 7)
Ellen Weber (Division 8)
Greg Fennell (Division 9)
Howie and Bronwyn Thomas (Division 9)

Of the Cairns (dis)Unity Team, only one councillor has lodged their disclosure - Richie Bates.  However his notice is defective (as are many of them).

An inquiry made with the Unity Team got the response:  "We filed a disclosure for the team - we don't need to file anything else".

This is incorrect.

The law clearly says "Candidates who benefit from funds controlled by other candidates are to disclose the benefit received".  Team members had corflutes paid by the team - hence BOTH the team disclosure and the recipient MUST disclose on their return.

So the following additional disclosures are missing:


Brett Moller (Division 1)
John Schilling (Division 2)
Terry James (Division 4)
Max O'Halloran (Division 7)
Jessie Richardson (Division 8)

Raj Patel has made two separate defences on his failure to file.  First he said he was "self-funded".  Not an excuse, Raj.  Then he said he had NO funding.  Wrong again, Raj.
PATEL HAS ATTACKED OTHER CANDIDATES
FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE IRREGULARITIES.
BUELLER?  BUELLER?  BUELLER???

The law clearly says that EVERYONE has to file a funding disclosure, even if it is a "Nil Return".  So who paid for the corflutes, Raj?  Mercifully, Raj has apparently gotten the message from the public's disinterest in his campaign and he's abandoned his blog and stopped posting on Facebook.  Cairns residents breathe a sigh of relief. 

Richie Bates and the other candidates who were sitting councillors are required to file returns that clearly encompass the period from THEIR FIRST ELECTION as a councillor to 30 days after this election.  This is extremely important - have sitting councillors been getting money from the outside during their term?  The public needs to know.  EVEN FOR THE COUNCILLORS WHO FAILED, like Slippery Greg Fennell.

Time for the ECQ to send out infringement notices to these people, too.  Not just the public.