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

15 November 2011


The release of the Financial Sustainability Review has provided the hillbilly naysayer crowd with what they believe is ammunition to sink the Entertainment Precinct project, despite continual votes of approval from Cairns Regional Council.  The hillbillies have focused on one line in the report, thinking that this will scare the public:

"Council is forecasting an average of $8.5 million per annum in operating losses from FY2017, translating to an average $95 per ratepayer per annum".  

The review goes on to confirm that the proposed financial model as proposed by the Mayor and Council is completely viable.  A full read of the analysis along with the other professional analyses of the project make this the best $95 per ratepayer this council has ever spent!  And as the economy begins to tick over again and Cairns population continues to grow, this project is proving one of the most insightful advances by any Cairns Council, instead of some half-arsed project like built in MacKay, or proposed by Division 8 candidate Barry "Residents against Aboriginals" Neale.

However, led by John MacKenzie's triumphant proclamations that the "project is dead", fighting broke out on his radio program between Mayoral Candidate and Hillbilly Mother, Margaret Cochrane and her mentor and former Mayor Kevin Byrne, speaking from his hidey-hole in PNG.  Cochrane asserted that her proposal is "to do nothing for two years", while Byrne lambasted Cochrane for this gutless approach, claiming instead that his proposal, which he was too gutless to push forward during his two terms as Mayor, should be "dusted off and implemented".  The Byrne proposal, costed at $93 million over four years ago, would now clock in at least $120 million, with no provision for parking so desperately needed in the CBD.  And the Byrne proposal, on a small site with no provision for expansion, does not even meet the requirements of his planning group but instead was sited adjacent to the now-dead Capital Globe apartment monstrosity.  Capital Globe being a company Byrne was senior director with, until his partner Shaquil Hacque and associate Charles Young were murdered for apparent business reasons in Pakistan.  Any coincidence Byrne pushed this site that belonged to his future employer?  What is Byrne's financial incentive to push this dud site again?  All great questions you won't hear answered.

Community leaders today have begun to push back, along with the silent majority of Cairns ratepayers who support the project.  The guest letter in today's Cairns Post from Danny Betros (guaranteed to be ignored by Cueball), outlines again the reasonable case for the current proposal.  A $95 per ratepayer cost for this project, which isn't predicted to be needed until 2017, still makes Cairns one of the most affordable council areas in Queensland.  And there are still untapped areas of revenue available to Council.  

As pointed out, others including the Gold Coast are lining up to eat Cairns' lunch.  Warren Entsch is issuing press releases DEMANDING money from the state and federal governments for his pet sporting projects (he claims are "shovel ready", in fact a typical Entsch furphy).  What is the ratepayer cost for the Entsch-proposed "rectangular stadium", a project that has no team available to occupy?  Entsch had years in federal Parliament where his influence was so insignificant, he could barely scrape up $2 million for the Esplanade Lagoon, and he's done bugger all since beating "What Me Worry?" Jim Turnour, who also failed to deliver for Far North Queensland.  This after Entsch gave begrudging approval to the Entertainment Precinct proposal - knowing full well that failure to do so will be cause for his losing his seat at the next election, which will likely occur anyway as voters realise the only thing "shovel ready" is the crap spewing from Entschies's mouth.

Cairns ratepayers want this project, but most of all they want their local politicians to start delivering the goods.  Cairns pumps hundreds of millions of $$$$$ into Brisbane and Canberra.  Our gutless local politicians are tools of the party, instead of working for the citizens.  Cairns Council, led by Mayor Schier, have struggled mightily to pull a needed project together, including commitments for almost $100 million of OUR money from the state and federal governments.  Even hillbilly spokesman Gavin King long ago supported this project, along with Warren Entsch, in the scaled-back version finally agreed among the councillors. 

The council and local parliamentary representatives should not be duped by the dozen loudmouths on the radio, led by the most negative voice in the community.  John MacKenzie was responsible for scuttling of the 1995 "new hospital" proposal, instead dooming us to its eventual destruction in a cyclone.  MacKenzie fought hard against the Esplanade Lagoon, calling it a "ratepayer boondoggle".  MacKenzie fought even harder against Mayor Tom Pyne's construction of the Council Chambers on Spence Street, calling it "Tom's Taj Mahal".  MacKenzie is on the wrong side of every move forward in this town, and is always wrong!  

Cairns voters want action, and will replace the weak and gutless among you.  We're tired of not getting our fair share of infrastructure spending with OUR money.  Marg Cochrane has just sealed her fate with the most gutless of positions - "let's do nothing for two more years".  The "no" representatives are the ones who should fear the public's retribution at the next election, and the progressive "let's move Cairns forward" representatives will garner the rewards.  


KitchenSlut said...

I think Hillbilly is correct to raise the issue of any alternatives to the current proposal, as there is no serious opposition to the need for a new Civic Theatre, and in the context that conmparative alternatives ahve not been considered in the review.

The much quoted $8.5 million p.a. operating losses includes $3.9 million in depreciation expense, or 45% of total expenses. That's fine and correct but any alternative proposal will also involve depreciation.

The net numbers in the QTC review do seem to adjust for current operating expense at Civic. However, my understanding is that the current Civic has been fully written off? So any alternative proposal will involve increased depreciation expense.

An alternative proposal such as Major (third degree) Burns at $100 million would still translate to an annual depreciation expense of $2.5 million. Assessment of any other expense related to an alternative proposal would also need to be made.

Consequently, the additional cost of the current proposal in the report is seriously overstated relative to any alternative except the status quo!

As posted elsewhere the standout in the QTC review is employee costs at CRC. The current EBA is due for renegotiation with forecasts based on rollover of 4% annual increases. At a rough estimate annual increases reduced to average CPI at 2.5% would enable the annual operating costs of the Entertainment Precinct to be fully funded with savings by the time it opens.

Buzz said...

Margie Cochrane wouldn't know which side to lie in bed unless someone told her. Christ or mighty she's had over three years in which to know all there is about this bloody entertainment precinct and still she wants another two years. Another two years to sit there on her big fat bum like a female buddha collecting a big fat salary while she still "decides".

bogan at Bentley said...

So Kev Byrne is still trying to call the shots here in Cairns hey even though he's up in a compound somewhere in New Guinea? Still fucken reckons he's the bloody Mayor hey? I'll bet Mackenzie got a fat listening to Byrne bore it up Margie.

Second Anonymous said...

KitchenSlut, you are correct and have said it all - which is unfortunate because I (and I suspect everyone else) enjoy all the comments which are posted until the ultimate comment which cannot be topped ... usually savoured with a cappuccino and Tim Tam - or something alcoholic depending on the time of day.

Interesting that when the ComPost plays the parochial card the masses rally in favour...until the next headline turns the tide.

Hillbilly - please, please more frequent blogs. MacKenzie, Gobsnot and the merry followers provide so much simplistic fodder. We keep checking the website hourly for more blogs and comments but to no avail.

Keep up the good work and keep the bastards slightly/more honest.

Bob R. said...

tsk tsk tsk Margie reckons she's not gunna follow Kev's dictates to the letter on this one. She reckons. Could have been a bit of play acting for the hillbillies though. Yeah we all guessed the Precinct naysayers on the Council had another BLOCK OF LAND in mind which just happened to be in a convenient spot for Byrnes Capital Globe project.

Anonymous said...

So today sometime Margie and her supporters are going to give the Gold Coast the new theatre and Townsville the international sized convention centre. So much for putting the interests of Cairns first.

Bus. Op. said...

I have always believed that the land was the issue, not the precinct itself. So has it been Kev Byrne behind the opposition to the wharf siting of the precinct all the time, hoping to salvage Capital Globe's investments? It makes sense doesn't it? Byrne NEVER EXPECTED to lose office to Schier so did he already make plans for the wharf land, plans that we don't know about? Did he make some commitment with Capital Globe that we don't know about? Something is not right with this, it has reeked, stunk to high heaven right from the word "go". Something desperate is being played out in the background which is why all these red herrings (ie land for ports "expansion") and smokescreens are continuously being thrown up. How deep in the cesspool are certain Councillors? It would seem Margie doesn't want to play ball with Byrne, and her decision to "defer it for two years" seems to me to be a desperate, last ditch copout. There is more to this than meets the eye.

Anonymous said...

bogan you;ve been told before, and I'll say it again you are a health hazard. I just lost my false teeth again after your little comment

Anonymous said...

It's increasingly clear that you can't sell the big picture to small-minded people. These are the ones who feed off the crap spoon-fed to them by people like MacKenzie because they do not have the ability to analyse anything for themselves and who are consumed by a particular form of envy and mistrust of what they don't understand. Thank God they weren't around when the wheel was invented. And,
for all the stumbles Val Schier has made you have to admire the energy she has invested in trying to get this project through. And the calm and respectful way she has conducted herself.And boo sucks to that gross pretender to the Mayoralty --her wardrobe in its perpetual colours of "autumnal vomit" are a clue to her lack of the most basic elements of style.

Liz said...

There is something murky behind this. However we have said this all along. Even Marg Cochrane's recent actions of wanting to delay the decision for two years, (which would mean we would lose the Government funding as there is a time frame in place), reeks of a desperation. Furthermore, the continual stalling tactics are also deliberate with the State Election due within a few months. There isn't any doubt whatsoever in my mind that a Newman led State Government will scuttle the project and demand the money be refunded to the State.