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

09 August 2012

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS SURROUND SHANGRI-LA THEATER PROPOSAL

Clearly lots of questions and little info on today's announcement that Shangri-La Hotel would like a theater next to their existing hotel and Pier Marketplace.

With the timeline they've quoted, clearly they're counting on one thing:  NO PUBLIC CONSULTATION.

Will this be the roaring success that they've made THE PIER?  Christ, we hope not. . . 

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't think of one regional centre that has allowed commercial ownership of its cultural centre.

Crystal ball gazer said...

Fast forward to 2014....

"Mary Poppins" is being performed at the Shangri-La Theatre. Pearl is behind herself with joy and eagerly books a ticket, costing her $375.00. The phone operator tells her that she will have to take a seat only in the back rows as the front rows are reserved for the hotel guests who arrive on a prepaid "show package" deal. So Pearl arrives on the night, all do-dahed up in her best togs for a night of enjoyment. She can't park her car at the Shangri-La carpark because it is full to capacity with hotel guests' cars, so she has to park in the city, and hurries as fast as she can towards the Theatre. She is ushered to a seat right up the back rows, and when she is seated, finds, much to her dismay and chagrin, that she just won't be able to see much because of the hundreds of heads in front of her.
Come interval, she heads out to the bar for a wee drinky-poos. She heads straight to this sophisticated looking bar, but is accosted on the way in, "Are you a guest at the hotel Madam?" asks an officious looking man. Pearl shakes her head, "No, Im not staying at the hotel, I'm.....". The officious looking hotel personnel points her in another direction. "THAT," he says in a meaningful voice, "is the PUBLIC bar, madam!" Pearl looks and grimaces in disgust when she sees the public bar overcrowded and full of loud, half inebriated young people. She walks in and waits and waits for service. Finally she can wait no more, and decides to head for the ladies' private closet. She wanders a few corridors and finds this luxurious powder room for ladies, complete with couches, large mirrors, swanky handbasins and she perks up. However a female hotel employee accosts her, "Are you a guest of the hotel, madam?" Pearl shakes her head. "The PUBLIC facility is around the corner," the female employee tells her. Pearl leaves and walks around the corner where a long congaline of anxious looking women await her. She waits and she waits. Finally she makes it into the toilets and finds only two of them in a tiny, dirty room. No toilet paper and the floors and seats are filthy. Pearly goes right around to the reception desk and complains about the "public" toilets. She is directed to a hotel manager who listens to her complaint before advising, "Madam, this is a private hotel and theatre. We do try to accommodate the non-paying hotel guests at the theatre, but we can only provide so much. It is up to the Cairns Regional Council to provide the toilet facilities and so forth for the public, but they haven't provided the necessary funding, so you really have to put up with it."
Pearl stumbles back to her back row seat to watch the rest of "Mary Poppins". All up it has been a dismal night, and she walks back to where she has parked her car in falling rain. The next day, she phones John Mackenzie's program and complains about the dreadful night she had. Mackenzie raises his voice in a stern lecture, "Pearl, Pearl," he admonishes, not bothering to hide the contempt in his voice, "This is a private enterprise theatre. I mean, its all privately owned, so of course, of course they have an obligation to their own private guests first. I mean, I dont know how you can complain about it really? Without these private investors I mean we wouldn't have had a theatre at all, and you wouldnt have been able to see "Mary Poppins" now would you? I mean really Pearl, all you are doing is whinging, just whinging."
Mackenzie hangs up on Pearl who sits there confused and bewildered. Finally she makes herself a nice cuppa tea and thinks that the nice Mr Mackenzie couldnt be wrong.

Anonymous said...

A fairly accurate portrayal of how it will all pan out I think Crystal Ball Gazer above. Reminded me of the very first theatres where the "riff raff" all sat down the front and the "toffs" all sat in the upper private stalls. There can be no doubt that first preference and preferential treatment will be given to the hotel guests of such a private theatre.

T. Asquith said...

There is a solution: If only Manning could just eat some 'umble pie and admit that he is wrong; that upon review, Val's original plan is the best, most economically viable, socially responsible outcome for the people of Cairns.
No one gets all things right all of the time, and such an admission would be a profound example of good leadership.
C'mon Bob, just do it. Even I would applaud such a brave stand.

Bus. Op. said...

Think of the profits going to such a theatre-hotel as well. I mean, bugger the rest of the hotels in Cairns. Up yours mates! If we had Val Schier's Entertainment Precinct and we had a top show appearing here for a few weeks like "Mary Poppins", all the hotels could have EQUALLY benefitted from it. By giving the theatre to one hotel, it essentially ensures they get the lions share of the "show packages". It isn't fair and equitable to all the hotel and accommodation operators.

Anonymous said...

Two points,I think pearl is really that crockford MAN in disguise and secondly pearl wouldn't ring mackenzie unless she was allowed to "sing"(read howel) one of her wailings first.Having run out of things to complain about I heard a rumour she is lobbying to have Wangetti moved into the Cassoway Coast council area as there a few things to complain and sing about there.

Robart said...

The devil will be in the detail.
The northern car park land that is required to built the theater on is only two cars spaces wide, Where is the room to build without reclaiming land from the sea and without shutting off access to the marina?

The Pier has always struggled to attract people and has been many things over the years,(food court, mud markets) this is just another quick idea with a good way to get someone else to pay for it.

Sounds like We will end paying for the pier to refurbish their hotel.

CBD Warrior said...

Well a theater at the Pier does nothing to assist the Cairns Convention Centre with their space requirements. Fail.

I've heard that even the LNP hacks now installed at Cairns Ports have rejected the idea of a precinct where their offices now stand - knowing full well Newman won't let them spend on new offices elsewhere.

And even Byrne knew a proper theater would cost a minimum of $80M, and that was five years ago. A $60M theater will be inadequate in important community theater features. It can't be done for $60M, say the pros.

Asquith has it right - Manning needs to bite the bullet, make a few cosmetic cost-cutting moves, and get on with the Schier council proposal.

Anonymous said...

Bring Back Val!

Tony Hillier said...

Shangri-La??? More like Paradise Lost.

Mary Poppins??? More like: A Funny Thing Happened on Our Way to the Forum

Wang Dong said...

...and the winner is... Shangri-La!

I've heard on good authority that Terry "Oompa-Loompa" James refused to believe that it would cost $100 million plus to build a arty farty centre. The current council had it costed and low and behold it cost in excess of $100 million.

So the free money's gone due to recalcitrant dickheads and now they'll happily piss our rates away on a Public-Private partnership. ie. corporate welfare.

Wang Dong.

ps: I apologise to CBD Warrior for thinking s/he is a fuckwit, and stating so, on another failed blog. Everything I have read on this fine upstanding blog scribed by CBD Warrior has been quite sensible and insightful at times. Sorry mate.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we can ask the Freakbodies to set up a "Pearl is crap" Facebook site. She would have been the single, most annoying and obnoxious player in this sorry saga, although I could mention many other illiterate simpletons who joined in the irrational hate campaign against Val Schier and the CEP. In the meantime the puppet masters sit back laughing at having successfully manipulated this project to their advantage.

Some of the arguments against Val's CEP was concern about the cost to rate payers and the fact that the average person would not be able to afford the admission price (as opposed to being able to afford putting money into a poker machine). Well, let's see how this pans out. I think everybody will be worse off, except for the owners, the developers and the brown paper bag men...

Al said...

Beware, The Cairns Post editorial is spruiking the Shangri-La proposal; it must be dodgy!

Anonymous said...

Sunshine Tower is being tarted up, maybe a more cost effective counter-proposal will be forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

Crystal ball gazer,that is very good,almost classic.Maybe we should start a pearl appreciation society,the theme song could be a howling dog in pain,followed by the simulated sound of people jumping of tall buildings,knashing of teeth etc.We could have little badges made up with a picture of pearl standing n rubbish at the local tip which would depict what she stands for.the end.

Mick said...

Nice to see a private theatre being constructed in Cairns. I'm sure it will enhance the cultural scene in Far North Queensland. Now, back to the serious task of convincing the current political neanderthals to complete building a public community replacement for the ageing and near obsolete Civic Theatre.

Anonymous said...

Pearl's ( bottom of the) Harbour ! This has scam written all over it. Channel 7 " local news" breathlessly announced it as a done deal, ready to go, so it looks like all local media have already been greased up. Will the Hilbillies and perpetual whingers jump up and down, demanding consultation, referendums, new elections ? Of course they won't, even though they will be paying for it. Maybe the whole CEP ssue was just about having a female Mayor and nothing else. One of the arguments against the CEP was that it would do nothing for tourism. Apparently that has all changed now as the Chinese owners of the proposed facility gear up for an influx of Chinese visitors. What type of shows will they allow to be performed in their theatre. Who will run it ? Who will build it and who will pay for it? Then there is the issue of the current Pier building slowly thinking into the swamp it is built on....

Ivor said...

Cairns youth school orchestra has been privatised,(compromised), now the CEP,it will never happen without strings attached

ruby said...

Undoubtedly the first big issue with construction is that history has demonstrated that costs always tend to blow out in public/private partnerships. It won't cost the $60 million. I think we are going to see a dog fight somewhere in the midst of the construction, with more demands from the Government for monies. They will be able to use the G20 to put pressure on the State and Federal Governments to wring as much money as they can out of the taxpayer.

Seth at Port said...

That was pretty neat Crystal Ball Gazer. However the likes of the Pearls in this city don't have the intellect to understand they are being shafted.

Gawain Bling, Member for Mackenzie said...

I say isn't this just super news for Cairns? In fact it is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. See, I know my "Mary Poppins" too. I don't understand you naysayers. Think of all the tourists who will come to stay at Shangri-La to see shows! I mean, cultural tourism is really big. We all should be just so grateful that Shangri-La has offerred to take this up on our behalf. Grateful! Well toodle-pips for now!

Dean said...

They seem to be talking about $60 million construction costs. Assuming they get the land for free and it probably doesn't contain any contingency. I can't wait to see the G20 finance minsters greeted by a bankrupted abandoned shopping centre/hotel with a half finished theatre.

Anonymous said...

Ok Who the hell is Pearl?????? I demand a photo. Crystal BG you had me laughing all morning -very clever writing -and don't we all need a laugh these days.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:44 Do a search on this blog and you will find out all about Pearl..

McKenzie was conveniently absent yesterday after the big announcement about the proposed theatre in the Pier car park and it wasn't mentioned today either.

Old cranky Crockpot was first cab off the rank to have a whinge to the deputy mayor today. It was all about the large sign for the suspended CEP and when it would be removed. The deputy mayor seemed to indicate that while the project was suspended, there were still contracts in place and the sign could not be removed until those contractual issues were resolved. So it is not too late to come to your senses, Bob !

Hey Crockpot, why don't you have a whinge about the Global Towers sign which is still in place years after the developers were murdered and a previous mayor-consultant abandoned that particular sinking ship.

It is right next to the old post office, on a site that the cash strapped council has bought for another car park apparently. Another project no one wants to talk about...

Anonymous said...

The only cranes visible in the Cairns CBD at the moment are at the Cairns Base Hospital thanks to the Bligh Government. Where is all the development promised by the LNP? Just promises that can't be fulfilled i.e. dredging the inlet etc.
Pearl is one of Mackenzie's devout, brainwashed listeners. One of the rednecks of Cairns.

PollyWaffle said...

How much money is it costing us with the breaking of contracts for the old CEP?

Anonymous said...

Slimeball Grasso leaked this on 4CA a few months ago....

Anonymous said...

This is all about the Shangri-La getting a major upgrade at the northern end payed for by the rate payers of Cairns,The state government but forget the feds,I can't see them giving money to a private company,let alone one of the worlds biggest hotel chains.

Anonymous said...

Is that why he got the arse ? His job is now done by a former McKenzie side-kick. This is becoming quite an incestuous affair.

I really can't see this Shangri-La thing come of the ground. The whole set-up is so blatantly obvious that even the thickest of hillbillies would be uneasy about it, surely...??? I think it is a WEE bit over the top even for a party as prone to corruption as the LNP.

Dean said...

Where are the idiots who complained about the CEP site being 'prone to tsunami' 'impossible to insure' 'prone to storm surge'.

Geez there are some idiots in this town. It's just lucky that every other week I find a new gem and it restores my faith in the people of Cairns, which is tested a lot by those in charge.

The Hon, Gawain Bling, Member for Mackenzie said...

Oooooh, you are awful, all of you. Communists, that's what you are. Communists, I say! You don't support private enterprise at all. Im not going to take any notice of you all any more.I dont care because Im getting Usain Bolt to come to Cairns. Im mighty fond of the Bolts, Usain and Andrew and if I can get the two of them to come to Cairns I will be in seventh heaven. So stick that up your red woolly cossack thingys.
Toodle-pip everyone.

shanghai said...

cmon cns dont get negative it wont happen its too expensive dont get all uptight about it my self i cant wait for the aquariam

PollyWaffle said...

IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE AND IT'S IN THE WRONG PLACE! :)

Mz. Elly-May said...

There has been a lot of scheming and deceit by a few individuals to get us to this point where we may see Manning threaten "Take the Shangri-La offer or get nothing." The fact is Cairns and district desperately need a new theatre, so we can be blackmailed into accepting what we believe will be a dodgy proposition. It is highly likely that the theatre will cost much more than the touted $60 million, so if the developers rush to try and complete it in time for the G20 Forum in Cairns, my guess is they will "put the bite" on the Federal and State Governments to cough up the extra monies in order to spare Cairns the embarrassment of having a half finished theatre when the world focusses on the city. Shangri-La can't lose, if the proposal is given the green light. I don't know too much about commercial law, but I suspect this whole concept of a public/private hotel theatre is going to open up a vipers nest of legalities over who is responsible for what. Whatever, I see the Cairns Regional Council and the ratepayer as ultimately coming out of the deal as the bigger loser.

Mz. Elly-May said...

There has been a lot of scheming and deceit by a few individuals to get us to this point where we may see Manning threaten "Take the Shangri-La offer or get nothing." The fact is Cairns and district desperately need a new theatre, so we can be blackmailed into accepting what we believe will be a dodgy proposition. It is highly likely that the theatre will cost much more than the touted $60 million, so if the developers rush to try and complete it in time for the G20 Forum in Cairns, my guess is they will "put the bite" on the Federal and State Governments to cough up the extra monies in order to spare Cairns the embarrassment of having a half finished theatre when the world focusses on the city. Shangri-La can't lose, if the proposal is given the green light. I don't know too much about commercial law, but I suspect this whole concept of a public/private hotel theatre is going to open up a vipers nest of legalities over who is responsible for what. Whatever, I see the Cairns Regional Council and the ratepayer as ultimately coming out of the deal as the bigger loser.

Mz. Elly-May said...

There has been a lot of scheming and deceit by a few individuals to get us to this point where we may see Manning threaten "Take the Shangri-La offer or get nothing." The fact is Cairns and district desperately need a new theatre, so we can be blackmailed into accepting what we believe will be a dodgy proposition. It is highly likely that the theatre will cost much more than the touted $60 million, so if the developers rush to try and complete it in time for the G20 Forum in Cairns, my guess is they will "put the bite" on the Federal and State Governments to cough up the extra monies in order to spare Cairns the embarrassment of having a half finished theatre when the world focusses on the city. Shangri-La can't lose, if the proposal is given the green light. I don't know too much about commercial law, but I suspect this whole concept of a public/private hotel theatre is going to open up a vipers nest of legalities over who is responsible for what. Whatever, I see the Cairns Regional Council and the ratepayer as ultimately coming out of the deal as the bigger loser.

Seth at Port said...

Well said Mz Elly-May. You summed up the long debacle neatly, ending up with the current status of the community now put in the situation for blackmail. Because it will be blackmail if Manning dictates: "Take the Shangri-La offer or get no theatre."
I can only guess - as you said, that the partnership between Council and the Shangri-La could open up a quagmire of legalities.
Manning hasn't done the city any favours in scuttling the original Entertainment Precinct concept of Val Schiers and time will prove it one of the worst decisions ever made by a Council.

jim-bob snr. said...

Wonder if the new theatre at Shangri-La will have those private stalls, or corporate boxes? Since it cant be a community theatre there wont be any egalitarianism in the seating arrangements like we have in the current Civic Theatre. I reckon what Crystal Ball Gazer wrote is correct.

Anonymous said...

Alright everyone, I don't have any problem with a Chinese owned corporation offering up investment in the city. As someone here said, the Shangri-La saw an opportunity opening up and just did what any business would do, and that is to put their hand up. However, I concede that there are problems situating a community theatre within a privately owned building. Will it meet all the community needs? Will it provide a high level of safety for the little children, concerns of which have already been raised? Will it provide adequate facilities for the elderly and the handicapped? Who pays for the cost of maintenance, improvements and extensions? Lastly, is it safe for the broader community to have a public theatre within the confines of a busy international hotel where tourists in significant numbers from countries with less rigorous health standards than our own country, are staying?

Democritus said...

Anonymous above, we could say that the casino attracts a swathe of people from countries with less vigorous health standards than our own, however I take your point and that is, that a community theatre is for ALL the community, from the very young to the very elderly. Young children and the very elderly, those whose immune systems are weakest, do not frequent the casino. However your argument is doomed here in Cairns. The rednecks, the bogans and the hillbillies are incapable of thinking about all the community. Has Mackenzie ever ever mentioned the needs of children? I rest my case.