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

02 October 2012


Carnival Corporation & PLC.  The world's largest cruise ship company, with a dozen brands from Cunard, Holland America, Princess, and P&O.  Over 100 ships, and over 50% of the cruise market in the world.  Carnival Corporation has had extensive discussions over the years with Ports North, and many Carnival executives are known around the city.  Including to us.

The focus is now on the "Cairns Cruise Shipping Development Strategy", a mysteriously hidden document that is currently open for an unusually short three-week consultation period.  Gavin King's website touts it, but doesn't have a link to it and staff refuse to respond to requests for it.  Likewise the Ports North website.  And previously mooted Queensland government departments said to have it available do not.  It has however been found here:  TRINITY INLET DREDGING

Most will recall the fanfare given when this study was first undertaken by the previous Labor government, who employed BMT Group to begin work on analysis for this project.  A report that mysteriously was never released by the Bligh government, nor the Joh Bjelke Newman government.  And yet this document is referenced in the now available Strategy report.  Ports North has confirmed that NONE of the references cited in their report will be released to the public.  So what are they all hiding?

We have confirmed the BMT Group report was finished and was "washed" thru the Bligh cabinet room, blocking it from release.  Suggestions from Bligh government insiders are that the BMT report shows clearly the financial absurdity of spending over $100m to dredge this port, or in fact spending anything at all (except should the military decide to expand dramatically HMAS Cairns.  Then they've got to worry about Bryan Law and his garden implements. . .).   Shockingly,  insiders from Carnival have read the Strategy report, and the assumptions contained in it to justify this huge expenditure of public funds.  And from their comments, it's clear we're wading into a government shitstorm of cyclonic proportions.

According to these insiders, the core predictions of 61 "mega-ships" per year and $436m in additional benefits to the city are wildly exaggerated fairy tales that even Disney Cruises wouldn't make.  And with the BMT Group and other reference reports hidden to the public, the report just has no evidence to support these obvious furphys.  As just one point of reference, assuming 61 megaliners in one year, offloading 5000 passengers into Cairns for daytrips, these 305,000 passengers would have to spend over $1400 on their day in Cairns.  So where are the real numbers??

And where is the infrastructure to clear 5000 passengers into Cairns?  We are told that if every federal immigration inspector employed in Cairns was on duty at the port, it would take over three hours to process these 5000 people when they came in.  And they'd be required to clear them on the way out, too.  No mention of this little tidbit in the Ports North report.  Funny that.

And how many of these 5000 could be accommodated on our two most popular day trips - the reef and Kuranda train?  And what about the other 3500?  

And the next prediction that this dredging would allow Cairns to be a "home port" for one or more of these megaliners is not only absurd, but has been categorically rejected by Carnival ON THE RECORD.  Carnival has told Ports North that Cairns couldn't even be considered for home porting a smaller, 2000 passenger ship. 

The reasons for this are myriad, clear, and insurmountable by dredging.  A 5000 passenger ship requires 5000 inbound air passengers - 14 747's full.  Every week.  And out again.  To the most expensive airport in Australia.  Likewise the services a home port ship would require.  Food.  With Cairns having all of its food trucked-in, a huge cost impost compared to Brisbane or Sydney.  Same with fuel.  And maintenance.  Availability of crewing (most of which are foreign nationals).  As our Carnival insider said "with Australia having the highest cost ports in the world, we're taking steps to reduce Australian-ported ships".  And while the Carnival P&O Australia brand is growing, it's being used by Carnival to dump older, smaller ships into our market - they see little demand for megaliners based in Australia.  No mention of any of this in the Ports North report, either.  Funny that. 

Information from this Carnival insider has been verified with Carnival's own documents including an extensive strategy report that refutes much of the Ports North Strategy report.  And further evidence of the poor growth in the Aussie market came just a few weeks ago, when Carnival decided on Singapore as the location of their new Asia Pacific office, in a snub to Sydney who had been vying for this business.

The Strategy report also has several other disturbing revelations that will be exploited or ignored, depending on the political winds.  While Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King, Member for Mackenzie, was heard to comment that the spoil dumping area was only "slightly larger" than the existing dumping area, it is in fact over 300% larger - with the risk of further silting of the Barron River outfall, and beach damage further north including at Palm Cove.  Are we enticing day visits at the loss of weekly holiday visitors?  And of course these big megaships are going to be mowing down dugongs and turtles by the thousands - but according to Bob Irwin's man servant Colin Riddell, all will be mowed down in a human way by non-indigenous ship captains.  And then served with salad and chips on whole wheat at the Cairns Cruise Liner terminal.

We'll be putting our objections into the LNP Minister of Ignorance, but we all know where these objections are going to be filed.  


T. Asquith said...

None of this is a surprise. Any idiot can do the math on this proposal and come to exactly the same conclusion. It's a Cargo Cult mentality pure and simple - and wishing it weren't so isn't going to change a thing. Not only will a hundred million dollars plus of taxpayer money be wasted churning up mud for no good purpose, it will have the negative affect of despoiling what we already have.
For goodness sake, did logic and commonsense also get voted out with Labour?!

ruby said...

Someone is behind this. Someone with an interest in a shipping line perhaps? I read the Interim Advice Statement, referred to by HBW, and noted it was dated July 2012. One of the findings was, and I quote, "...the proposed works have the potential to impact on several matters of national environmental significance...". Didn't we all say that, long before this report was even commissioned?

Anonymous said...

It wont be just the $100m for capital dredging, it will be that and more plus around $20m every 2-3 years on maintenance dredging.

Currently ships of approx 150m LOA can be turned around, just. The inlet is 440m across at the navy base and 530m at the Hilton with the easternmost 250m being around 4m depth at mean water.

Yet they want to bring in ships of 300-400m LOA which would need a swing basin of 600-800m at a min depth of 12m.

Have a look at the topography and geology of western slopes of the Malbon-Thompson Range down to the high water mark and you'd be forgiven for concluding they're going to make a very expensive sediment trap out the acid pit that is East Trinity.

And our prime source of information in town continues to spruik this feeble propaganda which the gullible masses swallow without question.

Others have already shown the flawed accounting and bizarre assumptions behind this disaster-in-waiting.

Anonymous said...

HBW, I have searched high and low in everything I have read to see where the money is going to come from to pay for the ongoing maintenance of the new deepened and widened Channel. If it costs $1m dollars a year to maintain the existing Channel what will the cost of maintaining the new Channel? Where is the money going to come from to pay the additional cost? A levy on all incoming passengers disembarking is fast becomming a reality. Charlie.

Anonymous said...

Very expensive to set up, expensive to maintain, the benefits to Cairns questionable, and it will be only for a short period of time. Yet someone is hell bent on it all. Who gains from this?

Anonymous said...

Someone with an interest in shipping Ruby ? How about Seaswift, regularly promoted by McKenzie and a fierce opponent of the CEP, because that land was needed for port expansion,according to their spokes person. I hope it is not the case, as this is one company I always thought highly of.

CairnsForum said...

I have done a fair bit of research on this myself so will add a few tid bits to save others time.

Port fees are higher than staying off Yorkeys. Parking per metre, departure per passenger and charge for wharf facilities. The income goes to ports, Brisbane? Cruise companies already complaining about the costs!. Here is the feeS -http://www.portsnorth.com.au/files/pdf/Cairns%20Seaport%20Charges%20Jul%2012.pdf

They will need to build a pipeline from the fuel farm down by Kenny to the wharf so that the mega liner can be re- fuelled. Currently they are not re-fuelled in Cairns.

The staffing is a big benefit but this maybe a benefit to a foreign port or Brisbane, there is no guarantee it will be local based staff and supply as Hillybilly advised.

They do say it needs to be reviewed that sediment dumped MAY move north. This may make more sense to others as I also read Trinity Inlet has sediment from the Barron Delta so I am lost on the directional flow.

Brisbane has noted limitations so unsure if the 61 ships relies on an expansion of their capacity. Would need itinerary of these 61 mega liners to see if other ports can accommodate them.

Non cruise industry will have a wider time frame to load / unload as impact from tides will be less but that is about it for industrial port. They may even lose more wharf space than if they had chosen the CEP project instead. So those hysterical petition people knew nothing. Seriously.

Industrial port still conceded as Mourilyan. Many porkies over the CEP so that election was corrupt.

The idea seems flawed on every level. Loose change blog points out they have only budgeted 40 million over 3 years but the reports stated 127 million costs. So LC blog mentioned the D word. Yes debt lol. Afer complaint that was more than LNP quoted in letters to the editor of CP the cost was removed and replaced with "not available".

Ports North do not want to put their name against the 110 million price tag perhaps.

It is a massive spend for one industry, and not even an Australian one? Do they even pay income taxes here? Also taxpayers have been screaming for diversification.

This state government in major fail territory already. Nobody seesm to support this project, not even the cruise industry.

Jethro, Sleepless in Cairns said...

Since the BMT Report was called for on 2/7/2011 and the State Election was on 24/3/2012, Im wondering if the report wasn't finalised until about February and the Bligh Government intended to let it sit until after the Election, as if often the case with an election looming. Gavin King, in his interview with The Cairns Post on his 100 days in office said that there were "Federal issues to work through" which would tally with what ruby above observed in the report, ie "the proposed works have the potential to impact on several matters of national enviromental significance." It would seem obvious that these would include the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, as one of these "matters of national environmental significance." All the signs are there in place that this will be manufactured into a Federal Election issue with all the hype and unrestrained wankfest that "dredging" will save the city from extinction, people from starvation, bring untold riches to everyone, yadda yadda yadda wank wank wank - BUT, the big bad norty Gillard Government won't let us.

Anonymous said...

Yes Jethro. They have allocated 40 million, will cost 3 or more times that but without a whimper. Instead of admitting that, their ego and personal ambition come before the city so they carry on so that they cannot be accused of breaking election promise. It has been referred to the Federal Government because it may impact the reef. Not to annoy King. What a goose. They do not care that costs taxpayers because not state budget. So they kick the tin down the alley AT OUR EXPENSE.

Total waste of taxpayer money to satisfy their shallow ego. they ahve not provided the funding.

Better off if we went back to CEP. That was the best project imagineable. One company did not want it though. so lies spread so tools down. Or next best CEP upgrade.

This town is crippled by ego maniacs making it all about them and not about the best interest of the region. We need people of character representing us, not these clowns.

Bob R. said...

Anonymous 08:08, I agree. The city is being dragged into a dead and sticky end by King, Manning and company on this dredging issue. The future of the city doesn't matter, only their egos and their elections into well paid seats of "power". The horrendous campaign to scuttle the Entertainment Precinct, with no well thought out and costed alternative plan to replace the ancient and inadequate Civc Theatre, was proof of that. You bet, the issue of dredging Trinity Inlet, (which is not a deep water port it must be pointed out), will be turned into an emotional hysterical Federal election issue where all blame for not proceeding will be levied at "Julia" and the "greenies". We are seeing the script being written. Let it not be under-estimated that a good proportion of hillbillies and simpletons out there will suck it up without question. We can easily assess the outcomes if an LNP Federal Member is elected along with an LNP Federal Government. There will be no monies available for "dredging" because of "Labor's debt". The entire issue is one shabby deceitful electioneering tactic designed as a carrot for the simple minded.

Dean said...

Definitely a political move to talk this project up so that when Federal Labor have to block it for obvious environmental reasons, King, Manning and Newman will put all of Cairns' problems at their feet for blocking port expansion.

The trick being that they're the ones spruiking the expansion and there's no drive from cruise liners or port operators for the expansion.

If it wasn't going to lead to such long-lasting problems, I'd want Labor to call their bluff and approve the dredging, then see if the LNP actually go through with ruining the city by killing the reef and racking up more debt.

Seth said...

Huh Capt Mann(er)ing has probably forgotten all those breathless panicked rants of his on Mackenzies show about how CRITICAL the particular block of land Val Schier wanted for the Entertainment Precinct was for the future of Cairns. How many times did he use the words 'ABOLSUTELY CRITICAL for ports expansion" to describe that one piece of land?? Yet what is he doing about it?? There has been no moves to urgently hand it back to Ports North, nothing. What will happen to it? We can already predict it will be sold for another high rise hotel probably to a good mate of Bob's.

Anonymous said...

Stench has a ready made sure fire winner of an election issue to campaign on next Federal Election.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, we have a problem Houston, what do we do with 5 million cubic metres of dredging spoil? Perhaps we could dump it on the coral. It's dying anyway. We could top the dead atolls with the silt and sub-divide the new islands like in the Emirates. Big profits all round! Imagine the rates the council would receive. I'll go and wake up Bob and Gavin and tell them my idea.

Jethro said...

I think you will find that Daniel Strudwick's article in The Cairns Post today said - five million cum of dredge spoil. Just about gave me a heart attack laughing.

Anonymous said...

Yeah we could build an island with it hey, call it Acid Sulphate Paradise and flog it off as top drawer, exclusive residential land.

Dean said...

They call it spoil like it's just ordinary mud, but the stuff in the Trinity inlet is toxic, you can't just dump it in the ocean and not expect any impacts.

Anonymous said...

While Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King and Bjelke-Newman try to spin their changing position and failure to dredge its worth remembering how definitive they were prior to the election. There was no blaming the Federal Labor Government or concern about environmental issues. CANDO was just going to DO IT.

1) Their election commitment pamphlet circulated under the heading LNP CANDO ACTION:

A CanDo LNP Government will provide up to $40 million to improve shipping access to Trinity Inlet, delivering better tourism opportunities and jobs to Cairns residents.
Without improving shipping access to Trinity Inlet,
not only are cruise ships deterred but it is unlikely
the HMAS Cairns Naval Base would be considered
for expansion, as larger naval vessels are unable to
access the base due to the narrow channel.
An LNP Government will commit up to $40 million
to improve shipping access through Trinity Inlet
into Cairns Port, with particular emphasis on the
approaches to the Cruise Ship Dock and the HMAS
Cairns Naval Base, including the swing basin.
This investment is part of the LNP’s strong plan for
Cairns’ future. It will deliver real opportunities and
jobs to Cairns residents.

2) In the Cairns Post 3 June 2011:

Mr Newman also told reporters
yesterday he would boost tourism locally
by providing a deepwater access
channel for large cruise ships.
"That's probably one of the most
important pieces of infrastructure
that this city needs to have to get
the economy going over the next few
years," Mr Newman said.

3) In The Australian on 22 February 2012:

The Liberal National Party
leader insisted he would not wait
for a Labor-commissioned feasibility
study before kicking the
plan into action.
"The environment, of course,
will be a consideration, but where
there is a will there's a way," Mr
Newman said in Cairns.
It’ll have to be done in the right
way, which is of course something
we're committed to doing."

Anonymous said...

In this article Newman says all the tour operators want the dredging. www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/state-election-2012/pledge-to-dredge-for-tourists-20120221-1tkyt.html

Well let the tourism operators and the cruise ship pay for it. Not what the people want. Most staff in tourism backpackers so not going to help with the issues we face.

Anonymous said...

Come in suckers. That's what the majority of the Cairns electorate are; suckers! Little Newman has achieved political office for three years based on a lie. Manning has done the same; no CEP, and no alternative and no vision. His Mayoral epitaph will likely be some sort of Harbour Lights Mk2 standing where OUR CEP should be.
KB will probably be offered the penthouse at mates-rates. Sickening.

Rob Pyne said...

Another LNP Backflip! They have always said they wanted to 'turnback the boats'!!!!

Seth said...

Well one good thing this week anyway, is that its great to see that woman-hating bitter old queen, Alan Jones, get his rich desserts from the public.

T. Asquith said...

You may say it is an LNP back flip Rob Pyne, but hindsight will show it to be a fortuitous one. The claims made about the financial return on the massive cost of dredging are at best naive and dubious, and at worst; fraudulent lies. It also has parallels: Not many years ago, The Cairns Post ran a hysterical campaign to have millions of taxpayer dollars expended on construction of a dual runway at Cairns airport, even though the existing one was (and still is) under-utilised. No evidence was ever produced to support their campaign (because there wasn't any), just a knee-jerk build-it-and-they-will-come cargo cult mentality typical of the Post, geed on by many in the business end of this town. Now, the hysterical squawking to dredge the inlet to allow super ships is the latest panacea to our perceived ailing tourist industry. It has as little business sense as dualling the runway, but even this will be resurrected soon: The Chinese are coming. No wonder Newman takes us for fools.

Gawain Bling, Dishonourable Member for Mackenzie said...

Oh you're all so negative. Getting the cruise ships to dock in port is going to be one of the biggest things to have ever happened to Cairns. I mean, really it's going to be huge. You Labor dogs and greenies always go on about the dredge spoil like you are all simpletons. I mean we dredge the inlet now, and where is the damage from the spoil hey? You all made me so sick this week galvanising all the Labor dogs around the country to get stuck into Alan Jones like a vicius pack of mongrels. Well I just cant stand by and not say anything. Alan Jones was so good to me when I was a young and aspiring journo. He took me under his wings so to speak and showed me the ropes. Oh I spent many enjoyable hours in his penthouse drinking good reds while he shared his considerable expertise with me. Awesome. He really is a very nice guy and I hold him in the highest personal esteem. It was Alan who introduced me to John Mackenzie at one of his awesome little soirees at his penthouse one evening. I knew straight away that John was going to be significant in my life. Oh yes, Alan and John have so much in common, its awesome really, both awesome great guys. I always remember when they said, "Gawain," looking straight at me, "Gawain, you know you're one of us," they said. "Someone very special and far more superior than the common herd." Awesome, really awesome.
Toodle pips for now, except for ruby the dog. Someone ought to take that thing and throw it to the sharks for bait. LOL, I'm so witty at times I really crack myself up. Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Blah Blah Blah Blah, hell or mighty don't you lot ever listnen or read the crap you write, no one is listening or reading your shit so go and slash your wristes as you'll all do us Joh lovers a favor.

Anonymous said...

Gawain, So glad they elected you honey. Cairns really needed a new joke. :)

Anonymous said...

Tens of thousands of Australians plus dozens of companies have made a principled stand for common basic decency in condemning Alan Jones for his cruel and insensitive comments. I dare say this is something you cannot understand, "Gawain Bling".

Anonymous said...

To anonymous Blah Blah, obviously wrong on at least one count; YOU are listening and reading HBW. You are currently reading this very comment, and you can't help yourself but to do so. And the same with Manning, King, Cueball, et al - they too are all reading HBW. It's by far the most widely read blog in the Far North, and that's what concerns you all; none of you can influence, control or censor it. Now that The Cairns Post has morphed into something with as much relevance as New Idea, the serious exposes of the dodgy dealings going on in Cairns are now revealed in HBW. New media. Better get used to it.

Tony Hillier said...

Anonymous 07:05, methinks you seriously overrate the Post by comparing it to New Idea. After perusing the local rag daily for more than decades — mainly as a professional obligation — I no longer even feel the need to scan discarded copies of our daily organ, let alone throw away money on it.

Anonymous said...

Point taken Tony Hillier, on refection I have maligned New Idea, a publication which has a purpose of sorts - entertainment. However, the Post does have one thing over HBW: death notices. At my age, these are of morbid interest to know who I have survived. Anon07:05

Anonymous said...

Tony I use the Cairns Post for compost,the Courier Mail to wrap up my kitten litter and read New Idea for the cutting edge news reporting.I watch A current Affair for the brilliant journalism and ambush reporting,record Home & Away for future historians because it is timeless drama.Study in depth John Howard speeches as I can't figure out what the hell he is talking about. I listen to mackenzie and jones to try and figure out what it costs the LNP and the federal opposition to keep this garbage on the air and I scour the nature channels on pay tv every night to try and confirm that the opposition leader is of our species and not some forgotten sub branch of "homo erectus".THE END

Tony Hillier said...

Actually the entertainment section is the best thing in the Post, Anon7:05. It's the press releases masquerading as news reporting, the ludicrous beat-ups, misreporting and general lack of accountability that irks me. The paper simply doesn't reflect what's actually happening in the community. Cairns deserves much better. At the moment, we're being sold down the dunny! Thank god for this blog. But watch your back Mr HBW 'cos you're a thorn in "their" side.

Anonymous said...

Off the subject,it amazes me that if Val had brought a company that the council likes to use(historically)for events the pearls,martins and other hillbillies out there would be hanging around early opening chemists shops for medication to calm their shattered nerves such would be the fury.Mackenzie would be on a drip in a back ward of the hospital,king would have gritty little eyes and weeping with vengence.

Terry said...

Best thing Cairns Post did was to get rid of that stupid bar-fly.
A constant troublemaker that still pervades blog sites such as this with inane silly unsubstantiated misleading crap!

Anonymous said...

We need to understand the game plan, and who is doing our planning for us behind closed doors. Join the dots:

1. 61 mega cruise ships to build up the cruise ship business, so we can achieve home porting. Home porting will greatly benefit Cairns Airport Pty Ltd (CAPL) which is primarily owned by JP Morgan Chase. But even without home porting, CAPL will benefit. CAPL is a key player at the table, as is cruise ship company Carnival Corp.

2. CAPL needs to destroy half the airport mangrove wetlands to build another runway and other airport expansion to accommodate increase in tourists, and improve value of airport, until it is ripe for resale.

3. Entertainment Precinct on Trinity Inlet is vigorously opposed by the boys at the table as it would jeopardise the home porting plan.

4. Plans to recreate Chinatown to make it China-friendly. Plans to open City place to traffic to get rid of Aboriginal people in City Place and make it more China-friendly. Remove critical documentary on Cairns history (at Tjapukai Cultural Centre) which discusses genocide by the colonizers - as part of sanitisation process to make Cairns more China-friendly (perceived sensitivity of Chinese tourists).

5. Expand Trinity inlet so large warships can be accommodated as part of expansion of Cairns as a military base. This will benefit CAPL with more military landings. It will bring Federal money into Cairns economy. It also dovetails with US foreign policy, and US/Aust joint posture of stationing more Australian armed forces in the north, basing US soldiers in the north, expanding Cairns as an R&R destination for large US warships.

6. US (JP Morgan Chase) strategic control of Cairns Airport (as with Mackay Airport and Auckland International Airport), especially in a time of military crisis.

Players at the table include:
Carnival Corp.
CAPL including JP Morgan Chase (indirectly US Govt.)
ALP/LNP Coalition (can't put a cigarette paper between them)
Ports North
Cairns Chamber of Commerce
Advance Cairns
Major property developers
Major hotels in Cairns
Major reef tour operators

Who is not invited to the table?
Cairns community

Anonymous said...

Now 2 swing basins are included, one at HMAS and one at cruise ship terminal but somehow they want to build a bridge to open up East Trinity. Where? It would have to go over Admiralty Island so two bridges would be required with a road in between. Plus the report seems to suggest onshore dumping pretty much out of the question. It says the material takes years to consolidate and would require tailing dams due to high salinity.

This is not for the people at all Anon above, that is very clear and that in itself makes one ask many questions. Very little benefit to Cairns. Huge benefit to Cruise ship companies. 43 ships come now, 61 will come later but without the dredging we still may get 61 just they will be at Yorkeys. So a bit less rveneue for CBD. We could get more buy making the CBD beautiful and would nto have to wait 12-25 years for it to happen.

Anon No. 4 said...

Why does the study area not encompass the northern beaches, where the impacts of any sediment movement will be felt (50 percent of the spoils to be dumped in the disposal site will move north and north-east - i.e. onto the northern beaches.)?