|EVEN THE CAIRNS POST RECOGNISED SOMETHING|
WAS SCREWY WITH KEVIN BYRNE
Given the radio opportunity, Byrne spruiked the relationship with Zhanjiang and spoke about the multiple trips to China made by him and Advance Cairns during his tenure as mayor. Zhanjiang has a big prawn farming export business. But with Warren "Run for the Door" Entsch calling imported seafood "poison", that's off the table. But we did get to help with their gardening.
|PREMIER PETER BEATTIE, TRANSLATING|
NORTH QUEENSLAND "HILLBILLY" DIALECT
INTO ENGLISH FOR THE VISITING CHINESE
And these trips also generated financial and credit card irregularities on the books at Advance Cairns so serious that the audit for that year was noted as "qualified". No wonder there are no written reports.
Byrne as usual yesterday claimed the Schier council did nothing, and the relationship with the Chinese is "at risk". A review of council records paints a quite different picture.
When the Schier council took office, the relationship with Zhanjiang was already damaged. Reports of drunken behaviour during at least one of the previous junkets was thought to be at least some of the cause. The council in 2008 refocused the relationship on the cultural exchanges, and the Chinese co-attended events by Zhanjiang officials in every year of the previous council. And as the world economic situation stablisied in 2010, a Shier-led delegation attended the trade fair for Small & Medium Enterprises in 2010.
Even more importantly, these links with China opened the door to meetings between council and Cairns Airport officials with both China Eastern and China Southern airlines. This led directly to the first China Eastern charter tours to Cairns in 2011, more in 2012, and obviously the catalyst to the newly announced China Eastern scheduled service to Cairns beginning next month. The cash-splash by the LNP was an unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars - their plans to service Cairns were already finalised.
Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King has attempted to claim credit for these services, when in fact his only contribution was calling the Chinese names. THEY'VE COME IN SPITE OF KING!
|ZHANJIANG BOTANICAL GARDEN - THIS IS WHAT |
THE CHINESE DID ALONE.
WHY DID THEY NEED CAIRNS' HELP?
Anyone that has an ounce of understanding about the Chinese know that they don't take these kinds of "guanxi" (go look it up) relationships lightly. And once formed, the Chinese take the long view, and expect ups and downs. Perhaps they feel they've been sold a pig-in-a-poke by the Australians. Here they thought they were teaming up with a world-class, forward thinking, hard-charging leaders and instead found a backward-thinking, beer-swilling, group of hillbilly louts who turn their backs on $100M in government funding for a world-lcass theater to instead fight to keep their dying port in the centre of town. The Chinese are thinking - who are these ignorant, backward people?
In this Sister City relationship, Cairns is the ugly, developmentally-challenged sister that the Chinese humour, but try to keep locked up in a closet. It's clear the relationship has had issues - but the misogynist beat-up by Byrne and MacKenzie has again foundered on something called the truth.