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 August 2013


(Who is Tony Fung?)

As local leaders fall over each other endorsing the first plans put forward for the Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort, little has been said about the developer, Tony Fung (冯永祥)(Féng Yong Xiang).

We've been researching this subject for some time, and
believe frankly we couldn't do much better.  

Tony and his more high-profile and elder brother Thomas are sons of post-war HK financier Fung King Hey, who founded Sun Kung Hai Securities in 1963 - one of the core group that pushed the Hong Kong Stock Market into the big leagues in the 1970's.  

Like most wealthy families in Hong Kong, children were sent to the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom to secure educations AND residency in anticipation of the 1997 handover to Communist China. Thomas and Tony Fung were sent to Vancouver, Canada in 1967 after the Cultural Revolution riots jumped the border and threatened to undermine Hong Kong.

With financial backing and a flood of HK migrants entering Vancouver, the Fung brothers did financial, development, and media deals that have been hugely successful there.  And there isn't a hint of scandal or dodgy business dealings around any of them. 

Interviews with associates indicate that this is not a family that is prone to hyperbole.  Tony Fung isn't a Chinese Paul Freebody.  The long successful track record of this family speaks for itself.  There would have been no announcement if they weren't ready to go.  We understand that design and engineering contracts were signed months ago, subject to Queensland Government "fast tracking", and payments from the Fung companies are rolling in as scheduled to the engineering firms.

While John MacKenzie and former Mayor Kevin Byrne (still in hiding from the Pakis) both suggested that the project would take five years to open, this just shows how ignorant many are as to how these projects get up.

Tying up billions during a lengthy construction process is ludicrous - no big project gets run this way.  Resort Casino projects in Macao valued at upwards of US$2.8 billion routinely are built and open in less than 24 months!  It's this "gone tropo" attitude of construction companies and tradies that will see much of this construction done by foreigners.  You can take that to the bank.

The mistake everyone is going to make is calling this a "Chinese" project.  This is a quasi-American project. The biggest negotiation now ongoing is for the gaming partner, and you can bet it will be a Nevada-based company.  Steve Wynn (Wynn) and Sheldon Adelson (Sands) have already been evaluating the plans in Hong Kong.  Harrah's (who stupidly allowed themselves to be shut out of the Macau operations) are also said to be across the plan - as are Bill Sherlock (Foxwoods) and independent Randall Fine.

Forget today's announcement, the one to look for is the one announcing the gaming partner.  That's the key.

While the gaming investments in Macau were seen as "sure things", it's been the opening of a casino in Singapore (Sheldon Adelson's Marina Bay Sands) that has confirmed that a casino resort strategy can work anywhere in the region. With no way of establishing a casino in Guam, Cairns is the next closest stop.  If Bamaga had an international airport, that could have been the location for this project, not Yorkey's Knob.

Speaking of which - we're likely to see "Yorkey's Knob" changed to something pronounceable by the Chinese.  We understand that Michael "Hide the Backhoe" Trout has already agreed to this request.

If the government commits to this project, it will mean a huge change for Cairns.  We can't stress enough how big this change will be, make no mistake.  As the pressure from 7000-10,000 hotel guests from this one location become apparent, the way things work on every level changes in this town.  Reef trip embarkations relocate to Yorkey's.  Airport access changes.  Big money waved around means tourism products like Skyrail become Chinese-owned (and perhaps even extended directly to Aquis). The suggested 10,000 new jobs means an influx of 40,000 more people into Cairns, living far away from their tourism-pay level jobs.  Requiring new solutions for mass transit.  And preparing for the economic ups-and-downs inherent in an even more tourism-dependent town.  And this project likely makes unviable more casinos in Sydney and Melbourne - sorry, Mr. Packer.  You've been gazumped. 

The project outlined is ambitious by any measure - surely by any Australian measure.  It's well within the capability of the Fung family, and we would be hard-pressed to think of any proposed developer that would be more well-suited to this project.  This isn't a "Chinese" project.  It's a world-class project that is being developed by ethnic chinese.  Quite a different kettle of fish.  

More soon. . .   


Tony Hillier said...

This is the kind of in-depth reporting that Nic Dalton and the Compost simply don't/can't do. But even if we accept the bona fides of Fung and his family and the expected economic spin-offs etc, does Cairns really need a Las Vegas/Dubai type development of this magnitude. The environmental damage would be colossal, with consequences impacting on the Barron Delta and the Reef itself.

Anonymous said...

If this isn’t a late (or early) April Fools joke then I think it’s a good thing. And I agree with anyone who says it will never get built. Sure they’ll scale it back and make it less garish and say “we listened to the community”. Is this Mr Fung trying to launder some ill gotten gains? I can’t think of why else an otherwise intelligent being might think this is a good idea?

It’s good because:
1. It guarantees Gave-in King’s departure from State politics (and hopefully the region) next election (same goes for Manikin Manning, Trouty will score a cushy job on the board of a tourism company)
2. In fact it will rid the region of all that ilk until we again become complacent
3. It will galvanise the Cairns community into coordinated action, the resistance will be astounding
4. Working together will give us a sense community, pride and self-respect not seen for nearly 30 years or more
5. We will begin to define our own direction with consensus
6. We may even come out of it with a litany of agreeable and sustainable alternatives (I’m certainly not against development, I just like the sustainable kind that benefits the majority)
7. It proves to the rest of the State what a Russ Hinze wannabe Jeff Seeney is and how Bjelke-Newman is an appropriate tag for can’t-do

The entire proposal, along with all the other fantasy add-ons (extension of Skyrail to YK, expansion of marine infrastructure (YK and Double Is) may be feasible from an engineering viewpoint, but is difficult to see them being feasible in any other context, particularly socially and economically.

The Thomatis Creek delta is highly unstable, a couple more big floods may see the Barron break through there instead. If engineering works are built to protect the casino site, what effect will this have on the Barron, Thomatis, Holloways and Yorkeys during floods? Who will pay to protect these communities? Or will Mr Fung also stop all future floods?

The old Pappalado farm is well known from the Rainbow Harbour investigations to be perched on a vast expanse of acid sulphate soils. What effect will this have on the water table of the delta and the remaining cane farms? Can they neutralise that much acid sulphate? It’s a sure bet it will impact on water quality and the reef (it has everywhere else they’ve tried this) but I’m sure they’ll tell us they can do all this without any significant impact.

The longshore movement of sand northward from the Barron and Thomatis is critical for beaches to the north. The “concept” image doesn’t show anything at the mouth of Thomatis Creek but its another sure bet that before construction we’ll be told its not viable without a big residential marina and then we’ll have two bloody great training walls running half a mile out to sea. End of sand movement north, hello big time erosion for beaches north of YK.

Geez, this is fun venting like this but I’ll have rest and let somebody else have a go, more later after a cuppa.

Johnno Nixon. said...

Talk about pissing in one another's pockets. One would think the project has already started and a few thousand were employed. Mackenzie carried on like a real dickhead as usual. Another " Iwasaki " if you ask me. And what has been done at Ella Bay with all the hype they started with there. A good excuse has been created for the council to hold all sorts of promised projects and Manning breathing a sigh of relief.



To believe this project can't happen, or will be scaled back or heavily modified based on some kind of greenie backlash misunderstands what's happening in the world.

As successive governments have told us, we're Asia now. If you can't see that Australia will be largely ethnic Asians ( mostly Chinese) in 20 years, you're blind. Whole areas of Los Angeles went from all Caucasian to all Chinese in 20 years. They've got our address now, and we NEED the investment, unlike America.

Lebensraum. Learn from history.

But it's too late to stop.

Jethro said...

It already has the go ahead from Nnewman and the State Government. How different from the Japanese company,Daikyo, which fronted public meetings in Cairns when they wanted to invest and build in Cairns. There has been no public consultation whatsoever. We know the LNP are running the State. Goodbye peoples in Yorkeys. It won't be a laidback village style beach suburb any more.
As for Cairns, yes we will become more Asian as the Chinese flood in, while the locals are being worked up to hysterical pitch by the local shock jock moron John Mackenzie over the possibility that some boat refugees from the Middle East will find their way down from PNG to Cairns.

ruby said...

Well done HBW. I agree with you. The project will go ahead without any input from the community. The LNP have booted the people of Yorkeys Knob up the arse and given the "finger" to community consultation. Mackenzie of course who ranted and raved and ranted and raved over "community consultation" when Val Schier was Mayor , won't say a word about it now, despite that this will change peoples way of life and the entire atmosphere of Cairns.

jim-bob jnr said...

Geeez, the sheer scale of it just leaves me breathless. There are going to be thousands of Chinese and Asians living out at Yorkeys and in the city. The Capt Cook Highway is going to need upgrading, ditto the roads into Yorkeys. Yorkeys school will have to employ Chinese speaking teachers. Chinese speaking doctors, dentists and so on will have to come here. Holey moley, its gunna be fucken huge.

Anonymous said...

HBW - do we need investment or want investment?

Do we want this sort of investment?

Anonymous said...

Tenni was given free reign on 4 CA claiming credit for setting up this project and having been involved in the sale of the land to Fung. Both Schilling and Trout said that there now was no need to replace the Civic Theatre. Maybe that's why they were so hell bent on getting rid of the Schier council, using the CEP as a trigger to bamboozle the Hillbillies.This project has obviously been a while in the making...now they have a compliant council which will do whatever the state government tells it to do. If this goes ahead, Freebody can definitely forget about his little pipe dream.

Bob R. said...

It seems like the boyos of Cairns have been busy, secretly making plans behind the scenes for some years. So Tenni made himself some dough selling off the old Pappalardo property hey? Wonder who else has made himself a nice tidy sum from it. Yeah no wonder the old boys club wanted Val Schier out. They all must have shit themselves when she was voted in. So now James Cook University are to do a "study" into the social, environmental and economic impact of the Fung development. Well, James Cook University, I don't hold you in much regard not after the former Chancellor of JCU, Colonel John Grey used to appear with monotonous regularity on Mackenzie's shit propaganda show telling us over and over like a pet parrot that "Saddam had weapons of mass destruction" back in 2003. Chancellors are hand picked these days to parrot the political line. We can expect the report from JCU to be watered down and slanted heavily in favour of the development.

Anonymous said...

jim-bob jnr you're not wrong there mate. This is going to be cataclysmic for Cairns and district. We think the region changed when the International Airport went ahead in the 1980s, well you ain't seen nothing yet. This will create the biggest changes to the city and the beaches we will have ever seen since 1876. This is going to involve tens of thousands of people, huge amounts of money, a massive increase in airport traffic, road traffic, a massive, increase in telecommunications, water, sea traffic and so on.

John S. said...

Christ or mighty Bob R, you're a right royal cynic aren't ya? Give the old JCU a bit of slack will ya and just hold your horses. Yeah one thing is certain this huge development will change the Far North as we know it. The Chinese will now pour in and buy up land all over the city for starters. I reckon if they have bought this huge parcel of land out at Yorkeys and have done so quietly for some time, then they most likely have bought other parcels on the quiet as well. Something to chew over.

Anonymous said...

Explains why old Manning didn't bother going out to Festival of the Knob.

Anonymous said...

HBW .. You have lost your own marbles.. this is totally an alien development to Cairns. No relationship to the place at all... you may as well dig a big hole anywhere in the world and stuff it full of this type of high luxury rubbish.. but please do not do it not here in Cairns... your reporting on this, is showing you to be the same type of hillbilly we all watch...

Miss Chief said...

Buhahahaha. You better hope it is not a 'Chinese Project' because if it is, we're screwed. Many tour operators won't deal with Chinese - why? They don't pay their bills. You seriously think this is good for Cairns? Well just wait for the arse to fall out of it like we saw happen with Japanese tourism in Cairns. I will resist the urge to tell you 'I told you so'.
Buhahahaha. What a funny "story".

Anonymous said...

If Tenni is involved it is bound to be crook. The resurection of the white shoe brigade is in full swing.

ruby said...

It sounds logical to me that several members of the "boys club" in Cairns knew about and were involved in this huge deal, and crapped themselves when the Schier Council was unexpectedly elected. It is unlikely that Schier and her supporters on the Council would have approved the application for a start, forcing it into legal action for years, like the Taylor Point proposal. Secondly, had the Entertainment Precinct gone ahead, perhaps Tony Fung may have even withdrawn his proposal. Looking back, the hate campaign against Val Schier makes sense now. Members of the "boys club" would have made or will make a pretty tidy sum from this Fung proposal hence their interest in electing a compliant Council. Manning has made it even more attractive to billionaire Tony Fung by abolishing all "head works" fees and charging them to the ratepayers.
So, to sum up, Schier, who probably would have opposed the Fung proposal and built the region its own iconic community asset, was brutally deposed, the local shock jock and LNP leading the attack. A compliant Council led by Manning was elected who immediately killed the Entertainment Precinct and waived all headworks charges. Manning and his Unity Team won't cause any problems with the development. The last hurdle will be the report by James Cook University which can e easily watered down or slanted to favour the developer or simply have large tracts of the report withheld from the public. I foresee the proposal will go ahead. Should the Yorkeys Knob community and other sections of the public kick up too much of a fuss I can see where the Newman Government wouldn't have any hesitation in bringing down legislation prohibiting public demonstrations, much like old Joh did in the 1970s with his "Right to March". In fact I am expecting it.
This one is game, set and match to the "boys club" of Cairns who will make their fortunes, piss off to a weathy retirement and laugh their heads off at Cairns and the problems this huge development will unquestionably cause.

Anonymous said...

Heheh ruby, a bit like the ColorRun organisers hey? Made their money from the gullible hayseeds and bogans of Cairns, then pissed off laughing.



Lots of good comments, but one incorrect statement that should be corrected.

There was no "blanket waiver" of developer fees and headworks charges by this council. Both the Schier council and the Manning council have made one-time offers to waive these charges for projects that were "shovel-ready", to a set limit.

This Aquis project does not fall into this.


We would suggest that the headworks charges for this proposal will amount to tens of millions of dollars. The infrastructure upgrades to support 10,000 people on this site will require huge investments that council couldn't possibly waive.

Alison Alloway said...

Whew! Thanks for the above comment Hillbilly Watch concerning the "headworks" charges.
There isn't any doubt this proposal will provide jobs in construction for hundreds of workers which Cairns and region desperately need as the big Cairns Hospital upgrade comes to an end. So the short term prospects are good, providing us with a much needed shot in the arm.
However, what will be the long term benefits to the region once the complex is up and operating?
I see tens of thousands of Chinese tourists each year booking their holidays at one of Mr Fung's travel centres in Hong Kong or mainland China, booking accommodation at his tourist complex, airline fares, transfers, individual tours etc run by his company. I see tens of thousands of Chinese tourists spending money at his casinos, attending his performing arts shows, paying money to visit his museum. We have experienced this before with the Japanese whereby they paid in advance for Japanese run tours, certain hotel accommodations, restaurants etc. The tourist monies were not spread out over the entire tourist industry but remained with selective Japanese operators.
Fung's complex looks set to completely monopolise the Chinese tourist trade in its entirety. Our own operators look set to become only crumb pickers off the lucrative Chinese table. I don't believe that ultimately this proposal will be an economic boon for the Far North. It will be for the Fung family.

sunfish said...

re Allison Alloway, so IF the only realistic major benefit to the local community is jobs in the construction industry while its built. (and actually its possible a significant portion of this income won't end up in local hands) when are we the local state and federal electors going to consider what a monster we have created with this development industry. It feeds off the development cycle and doesn't really care what is built as long as it makes money building it. And when it its doesn't have any projects to "feed" off agitates irresponsibly to achieve such. I say Real wealth is created by innovation not exploitation. This whole project reeks of exploitation. Exploitation of a local economy in need of a boost because it is a low in the development cycle. Exploitation of gamblers who are addicted to the habit, many of whom indulge at significant cost to their own and their families happiness. Exploitation of a one off boost through despoliation of a location and degradation to the local and global environment through loss and destruction of habitat and environmental pollution and destruction created through the construction and ongoing use of the Casino. Exploitation of locals as low quality drone workers to staff the facilities while major profits are skimmed elsewhere.
Lets face it this place is built to make profits for an Organization that is based in Hong Kong not even in Australia. I don't see any real possibility for innovation to be created through it, except in the way it is marketed. Maybe they can invent some new gambling game where "everyone wins" and everyone actually does. Pigs Arse!!
Personally I would rather get rid of the development monster instead of going through this continual boom bust development cycle and each time seeing significant degradation of the environment and social fabric become normalised while we draw our breath waiting for the next round of the cycle.
Did we create a local university to rubber stamp these guys environmental approvals?

Neil said...

Good point there Alison, and one which needs a hell of a lot of attention. You said, "Fung's complex looks set to completely monopolise the Chinese tourist trade in its entirety......leaving our own operators as crumb pickers off the lucrative Chinese table."
Local tour operators need to address this to ensure the benefits of a boom in Chinese tourism is spread around the region and not confined to the Fung family pockets.

Anonymous said...

Alison, I note your concerns and would hope this would be addressed by the studies being undertaken by James Cook University. They would be analysing the economic impact of this ambitious project on the tourist industry as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Look at who's involved; Borbidge, Tenni, King, Trout, Manning, Entsch....there will be millions in consultancy fees and other kickbacks for well connected LNP members. It does explain the vitriolic campaign against Val Scher's CEP. No need for the council to do anything now, except put up rates to pay for their pay increases..

74 said...

Blazing Saddles haven't been at Yorkeys for long... wonder if their move there was intended to capitalise on this project, which has clearly been known about in SOME circles for a while...

Alison Alloway said...

sunfish, there are many concerns with a project of this magnitude, not the least of which is that it is further along in the planning stages, according to HBW, than what the community thinks. Once again, without any "community consultation". In typical LNP style, it was all done beneath the radar. How it will affect the social fabric of our community is a good point. I well recall the culture shock Cairns people experienced with the building of the Cairns International Airport in the 1980s when our population exploded. How would locals react to a name change for Yorkeys Knob, making it easier on the Chinese tongue, as HBW mentions? Lastly, of course it would impact on our environment. There is much to consider.

Anonymous said...

Nobody wants to deal with the chinese because they don't pay their bills and they wont pay the award rate and refuse to pay super so no locals will be employed only chinese nationals on special visas and they will be working for chump change which is whats happening in Cairns chinese tourism right now. Believe I was in the industry and I know

Anonymous said...

74, both Martin Tenni and Gavin King (have a squiz at his facebook site) have confirmed the negotiations have been undergoing for quite a while and that Trout was certainly involved. It looks pretty obvious that there is a conflict of interest at stake.