In a stunning reversal, Cairns nonRegional Council Mayor Bob "Sleepy" Manning announced that Council would be funding (with cash and even DEBT) the (now $22M) (over)development of the mostly disused Tobruk Pool. AND FAST TRACKING THE STUPID IDEA!
When the planning for the pool was originally revealed by Manning in July, it was said to rely on infusions of cash from both the State and Federal governments (both of which are now LNP "mates" with Manning). And despite blowhard Minister for Blogs Warren Entsch continually spruiking his "sports tourism" idea, his LNP colleagues listen to nothing this man says anymore - - his credibility less than zero. Sports Tourism is going on the Entsch "rubbish dump" along with this tunnels to East Trinity and Kuranda, and the 150,000 cattle he hopes to send to PNG for grazing.
The original Council plan for Tobruk included a $5M "private enterprise" contribution for a health club. This has also been greeted with a giant yawn by the big health club companies, who've all observed it is economically unfeasible.
So the so-called "fiscally responsible" Manning has now confirmed Council will "go it alone" on the $22M expenditure with the dubious excuse that it needs to be completed by "the 100th Anniversary of Gallipoli". It's unclear what Tobruk, named after a WWII North African Battle, has to do with Gallipoli, is baffling, to say the least.
The Tobruk proposal as it stands is short fully $11M.
The project has been pushed by Cr. Max O'Halloran - who's a Life Member of the Tobruk Pool Association, which would seem to disqualify him from voting on the project.
The decision to pour more money into this white elephant is baffling to many in the community. The location on Cairns' busiest entrance to the city has many real estate professionals wondering why Council doesn't sell off this site and put the replacement in a cheaper location with better access and parking. This looks to many like $22M flushed down the dunny. $22M of OUR money, 'natch.
One Council insider has reported that many of the councillors are now pushing several "pet projects" to be approved, with the argument that "Aquis is going to pay squillions in rates".
So where's the replacement theater these fuckers PROMISED would be delivered in four years?
If Manning is making the idiotic Gallipoli argument to justify throwing $22M down a rathole, anything is now possible by this group of invisible councillors.
We would note that council insiders have already told us that upgrades to sewage treatment facilities necessary to support the 10,000+ people dropped into Fung's Knob are estimated to cost a minimum of $90,000,000. This doesn't count the road and transit upgrades, investment in additional infrastructure to support a huge permanent population influx, blah, blah, blah.
The reality is that rates from Aquis (who you can bet have already struck a "deal" with the Newman Government) will not be nearly enough to give the CnRC any additional cash. O'Halloran and others know this full well and are pushing to get their own personal monuments built before the full financial impact of Aquis is exposed.