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

10 December 2013

EXPLOSION OF PARANOIA FROM STATE REPRESENTATIVES A STRONG SIGNAL THAT AQUIS PROJECT IS HIDING KEY ELEMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

It's been just over 4 months since Tony Fung of Nazareth entered the Cairns tourism market with an enormous project - the >$4.2 billion Aquis Great Barrier Resort and Casino Project.

The Cairns community is now dividing into two camps.  Not "pro-Aquis" and "anti-Aquis", as some insist they be described.  Better descriptions would be the Gavin King "we're drunk, it's OK to rape us" group, and the "tell us more" side. 

Let's look at the current state of the project, and these two groups and see if we can discern what's really going on.

The Aquis developers have obviously been getting very poor advice on public relations and their dealings with the Cairns public.  It reminds us of the lies told by CEC Group thru mouthpiece Andrew Griffiths as the company was collapsing.  Cairns is a city that has attracted highly educated residents from around the world - residents who can sniff out bullshit from 50km.  The public has the right to accurate, timely, and complete information.  The Fung's are apparently thinking that they can get away with the Andrew Griffiths "mushroom treatment" - a strategy guaranteed to backfire.

Look at the Aquis Facebook page.  They expect us to believe that they went from 300 "Likes" to over 20,000 likes in a few weeks.  20,000 Facebook members is over half the total number of Facebook users in the Cairns area.  How is this possible?

Well, one way is fraudulent.  There are literally dozens of services offering to load up your business site with "purchased" likes.  $135 gets you 20,000 likes.  Fung wouldn't be the first business promoter to buy "likes" for his project.  We've previously outed others. . . . think water park.   And if these had been legitimate "likes", the project would have received far more "yes" votes in the Cairns Post poll.  It was the Chamber of Commerce email blasts to its members that loaded up the Cairns Post poll with "yes" votes.  The Cairns Post is now a community irrelevancy.  

Aquis and the Fungs clearly are conducting a poor and increasingly damaging campaign to promote this project.  Rookie mistakes that give even supporters little confidence in the team. 

None of this is consultation.  The Cairns public is ENTITLED to consultation, that's how our democracy works.  Just because this is a "Chinese" project doesn't give them the right to bully the public as is done in China.  We're not entitled (nor in the position) to make demands on the developer.  But we ARE entitled to insist they respect those that built Cairns into this world-class position that has made their investment possible, and do no harm to the future of our home.  It is disrespectful to call the Cairns public derogatory names for expecting an honest consultation.  The 500 Cairns residents who jammed the Serbian Cultural Centre meeting hall were not "naysayers".  Many at this meeting are recognised as community leaders who want honest consultation and discourse, in order to ensure the future of our city.  This is the moral high ground.  Those who attacked these residents like Michael Trout and Gavin King have raised more questions as to the veracity of this project and their LNP government.  This kind of attack is to be condemned.  

The most recent similar project is the Singapore Marina Sands.  The Singapore Government had open, public, internet-accessible hearings on the project before it was approved.  And two years after the opening, the government re-opened public hearings in order to review the performance of the project, and solicit changes to regulations making the project even more responsive to the community.

All Cairns has received is a handful of pretty pictures and vague promises to respect Cairns business and workers.  The promises vis-a-vis workers are especially spurious, as it's clear with 1800 on-site worker apartments that huge numbers of staff will be from overseas.

The Chamber of Commerce has been especially unhelpful in the process.  Business leaders attacking the public about a project for which THEY also have no information is wrongheaded and unAustralian.  CofC CEO Deb Hancock has predicted over 26,000 jobs will be directly and indirectly produced by this project.  This would suggest Cairns will grow by 60,000 residents - an almost 50% increase.  Where is the infrastructure to support such a massive increase in population?  Hancock should be organising her membership to produce a list of infrastructure requirements that will meet the needs of existing Cairns business.  Clearly at this population level Cairns should be demanding from the State work on rail transit, additional water capture and storage, planning for the additional schools, libraries, fire and police services, and other notional support this population will need.  But instead what we're getting is attacks on those who dare to meet and discuss the project openly.

Ironically, the most cogent comments have come from lawyer
and Ports North CEO Brett Moller, who is quoted as saying "it is irresponsible to negatively prejudge the Aquis development prior to the Environmental Impact Statement assessment and approvals process being completed". . .No shit, Brett.

But Mr. Big Thinker, it is also irresponsible for our business leaders to POSITIVELY prejudge this project when the developer has provided virtually no detail to the community nor has the government provided any commitment to provide the needed infrastructure to support Cairns relative to the impact of this one project.  Moller, ostensibly a lawyer, would have the community sign a "blank contract" with the Fungs.  This is his considered legal advice?  Many would consider it malpractice.

We're all well aware that FNQ falls off governmental radar between elections, and that Cairns is already far behind the Brisbane region and even Townsville in needed infrastructure.  It's the LNP government weasels that the CofC should be concerned with. . . . .not the citizens asking the same questions.

Recently in an radio interview,  Justin Fung was asked about his personal engagement with the Cairns lifestyle.  He said he "prefers to retreat to his (million dollar) oceanfront condo and make his own dinner", shunning the 120+ restaurants at his doorstep.  Is this a harbinger of things to come?

We also await the Fung's explanation of how they're going to operate this resort under the name of "Aquis", when there already exists a five-star hotel company with the same name for over 30 years in Greece.  Of course they haven't bought themselves 20,000 "likes" on Facebook. . . .  


29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Observer 13.14.I remember that it was the Mackenzie program that organized and controlled the effort to ruin the Val inspired civic centre, the careers of anyone associated with it and eventually won that cause. LNP inspired. Today it is the Mackenzie program that is organising and controlling the so called positive aspects of the eyesore and all the fairy tales associated with it. Lnp again. Two different issues but each in there own way did or did not fit the LNP agenda for this city

Bob R. said...

How about the LNP bloody allow a full community DEBATE over Aquis? How's that for an idea hey? What the fuck are they trying to crush community discussion for? All we are getting from the LNP politicians in the town are how fucken marvellous, how fucken awesome, how fucken wonderful it all is, how Aquis is fucken gunna turn Cairns into Disneyland with pots of gold springing out of the ground and everyone will be living in fucken paradise reborn. How about they cut the hype and give us some facts about roads, health services and so on. The fucken dills are behaving like salesmen not fucken community leaders. Give us some facts and details you bunch of ignorant mongrels and leave the salesmanship to Fung. Sorry for the swearing ladies, but I am pissed off

Anonymous said...

Just for the exercise let me get this strait. The Cairns Post says those that appose everything are the naysayers. But the very people who apposed everything a few years ago, i.e naysayers apposed Vals civic centre, many for the very reasons the present naysayers appose Aquis but they now want Aquis and are suddenly in the right while the present naysayers(who made that word up)are suddenly labelled for having the audacity to not fall into line.So, just who are the naysayers now and who where they then. If the world didn't have people with conflicting opinions and able to express them without being labelled then Hitler has won hasn't he, in the year 0f 2013.Personally I hope we have one of those old fashion wet seasons when the Yorkies Knob delta plain has flood waters from the Barron River bridge to Reed Road to remind everyone that there is no such thing as an expert when it comes to modelling projected and imaginary rain fall events. Remember an expert is a drip under pressure!

Anonymous said...

Michael Trout and Gavin King have apparently organised a pro Aquis rally this morning down on the Esplanade somewhere. Along with Mackenzie they are deliberately firing up this Aquis issue into an all out "war" with battle lines solely drawn along political allegiance. So therefore if you are an LNP voter and live at Yorkeys Knob and have a lot of concerns about the project, you are really an ALP person and a "naysayer" and out to "destroy the project". If you are a KAP voter and supporter, but are worried about if our hospital system can cope with the extra thousands of people pouring in, then you, too are an "ALP supporter" and a "naysayer". Likewise, if you are an ALP supporter and in favour of the resort, but have some questions about rates and insurance, then you too, are a negative "naysayer", out to destroy the project. This is bullyboy tactics at their worst. The LNP are hiding something, that much is patently obvious. If they kept this project silent for some years

Anonymous said...

I strongly feel that the reason the pollies, business people and the like are running a campaign to counter the "naysayers" is because there is probably some kind of consensus from the developer that if there is to much negativity,(22% against it seems) to much "we don't want the eyesore on our turf" discussion then the developer will walk away and those above know it. Ex councillor Bob Burges wanted to employ someone years ago to work at the airport, pick up every tourist by the ankle and shake them to get the last coin out of their pockets before they left. That real mentality is still here, today in 2013.What did Gavin King once call the Chinese. Lop eyed weirdo's was it.

Johnno said...

If King,Trout,Manning&Co, are so behind this project what guarantee have they from Newman ALL infrastructure will be up-graded,as in health,water,roads,schools,RUBBISH up the range road etc,. So you smart arses tell us now. And who is expected to pick up the tab,struggling locals,pensioners,???There is a hidden agenda here.

Anonymous said...

For the sake of transparency one hopes that the business people who showed support are willing to list their names/businesses to the public for future reference.

Anonymous said...

HBW you got it right again. Here we have the chamber of commerce who employs danae jones (she did a runner when her business went broke) and engages mouthpiece griffiths (how many times can I change my own business name before people realise its gone broke)to liaise with their members and then comes out and says the chamber is right behind the project. I recall the chamber having the same position on the entertainment project. Why isn't hancock presenting a case from her members to the council and state member asking for an explanation on who will pay for roads, sewerage, utilities etc. Appears to me that hancock takes the easy road by saying, he is the members response to our questions and not asking the hard questions of the council and state member. Softcock might be more appropriate. There should be no guilt felt by any rate payer for asking legitimate questions about the place they live, work and play in, especially, if that could change forever and they are forced to pay.

Anonymous said...

Transparency? Does the LNP know the meaning of the word or community consultation for that matter? Were the people of Yorkeys Knob consulted as to this development being put in their suburb? Were they given the democratic right to appeal? NO. Now people are asking questions and want answers so the LNP call them "naysayers" and allege they are all "ALP members."

KitchenSlut said...

PR for Aquis is managed by the Crook Group. Andrew Crook notoriously being "responsible for the media profile for Clive Palmer". Actually this Andrew has updated his website to now remove the "Professor" moniker from poor Clive now that his status has been diminished to an MP. Is there a dinosaur park proposed for Aquis yet?

If anyone missed it the yarn on Aquis from Michael West in the Sydney Morning Herald a couple of months ago is an entertaining read: http://www.smh.com.au/business/resort-dreamers-keep-casino-chips-close-to-the-chest-20131004-2uzl1.html

Anonymous said...

Question: Isnt the Aquis project on land currently owned by Michael Trout and his family trust, has he declared his personal interest and the private financial benefit he will get from the project proceeding??

Anonymous said...



Not long ago many developers would have been in fear of their lives in Cairns. How quickly we forget. We need developers with grand silly ideas but we have government to make sure we all win and be the rational umpire. Developers crash and burned because government failed both them and the people. Cairns cannot afford another mistake so soon.

Tony Hillier said...

The mere fact that Trout and King see fit to denigrate people in their own electorates for simply asking legitimate questions about the proposed Aquis development shows that they are not fit parliamentary representatives.

Alison Alloway said...

Tony Hillier, Trout and King are not doing their DUTY as representatives of the PEOPLE in State Parliament. They are acting as public relations/salesmen for a Chinese billionaire RATHER than representing the interests of their constituents. THAT is the problem. Gavin King has had great difficulties in understanding just WHAT his role is, right from the moment he was elected.

shanghai said...

sorry hbw I will not remark on irish, pdc , tractors but sound me out here fung is offering $4.35 a share of rfc but trading now at $3.80 buy now and make 50c a share that's if the market doesn't fall further ?? its better than blueys tips on Friday night if it falls through it falls through u lose about thousand dollars but u sit back and get a lifetime of bragging rights on bluffing fung ha ha I like that !!!!

Anonymous said...

And you wouldn't believe it , the bloke is using his own money to fund it , not the banks ! Concerns over what ? Do you get told you can't build a house ? This is the 21st century , the free world ! Now how many actuall developers capable of delivering on such a master piece is the question and that all the labour and building resources . GET DONE IN CAIRNS ! Would be the key argument against aquis project .

Anonymous said...

handcock and the likes what is their claims to fame,we have seen bigger and better so called BUSINESS people collaspe and drag heaps of local subbies down with them,who are these so called experts piss off back to where you came from or maybe you can not get a gig there thats why you suck off the Cairns locals and the gov grants

Anonymous said...

Yep, worth a read: http://www.smh.com.au/business/resort-dreamers-keep-casino-chips-close-to-the-chest-20131004-2uzl1.html

Hamish Krint said...

hasn't Fung been zapped by Hong Kong govt for fraud? Anybody know more?-

Anonymous said...

This is worth a good read.

http://cairnslifestyle.com/aquis-great-barrier-reef-resort-saviour-or-destroyer/

Observer said...

You're not wrong there Alison. King seems to think he is the Mayor of Cairns, or President of the Chamber of Commerce or public relations officer for Cairns. People are asking him questions relating to government infrastructure for Aquis, things like water resources, roads and so on, which is his job to know, yet instead of doing his job and providing answers, he is just lashing out and denigrating people. A poor excuse of a member of parliament, that is about the least I can say.

Anonymous said...

It's dismaying reading both the article and many of the comments above. Interspersed with some good points is much of rudeness, ignorance and lack of intelligent thought. I attended the 'Aquis Aware' meeting which was cleverly orchestrated by the handful of people who prevented some previous potentially worthwhile projects in Cairns, and tried hard to prevent some that succeeded such as Skyrail. Reviewing the many pages of notes I wrote at the community meeting, it was apparent that most speakers and questions took the most negative view possible - several statements were just plain wrong. Most 'questions' were in fact negative statements. Most of the actual questions will be answered fully after the draft EIS and subsequent draft infrastructure plans are presented. Certainly there are some aspects that won't suit everyone, but that is always the way with any change. If full consensus was required before anything was done, Cairns would still be mostly swamp. I for one look forward to the release of the draft EIS and associated draft plans. Then we can all assess the facts and distinguish between objective analysis, genuinely-held personal views, outright knockers and those with different agendas.

Anonymous said...

anon 11/12/13 16:37

Best to be negative and ask question first than cry like a baby when the whole project crashing down leaving a trail of despair. It is not consensus of the people that should matter, it is the best interest of the people that counts. Many people do not realise the costs it can cause the majority, they seem to think money will flow down the streets. More likely most will be worse off with a few way way better off. Those that will profit are denigrating the rest and that is plain criminal.

Bob R. said...

Anonymous 16.37, just who are the "handful of people" you mean "prevented some previous potentially worthwhile projects in Cairns". What were those "potentiallty worthwhile projects" that you say these people prevented?
I am curious to know. I know John Mackenzie and the LNP campaigned against Cairns being given a brand new hospital back in 1995/1996, then led the campaign against the Entertainment Precinct because they all knew that Fung had the AQUIS PROJECT on the backburner. So who are these people you refer to and what projects did they scuttle?

Tony Hillier said...

"The potentially worthwhile projects in Cairns" that Anon Mouse 16:37 alludes to no doubt includes the Aquis forerunner, Rainbow Harbour, that proposed a Floridian style canal estate with round-the-clock dredging and training walls either side of Thomatis Creek separating Yorkeys Knob and Holloways' beaches. And also, no doubt, John Dowson's truly hideous Trinity Point development on the Cairns CBD foreshore, a concrete Gilligan's Island complete with casino, condominiums and artificial beach. Anon Mouse 16:37: I'm proud to say that I played a minor part in helping to draw attention to those absurdly inappropriate projects. Public opinion played a significant part in ensuring that those monstrosities never made it off the drawing board. FYI, I'm not anti-development, nor am I a Labor supporter. But I believe that serious questions need to be asked (and answered) about Aquis — if only as a counter to the glossy spiel and propaganda propagated by our daily organ, the toxic Mackenzie radio program and obsequious politicians masquerading as local representatives.

Anonymous said...

You all give the old washed up shock .Well thats what riddell called him on sunrise to all Australia. Too much credit you are his only listners.

Bob R. said...

I remember the Trinity Point Development when Mayor Goodwin joined thousands of people on the esplanade to demonstrate against it. Shit, that must have been around 20 years ago now. Yeah I was one of the people against it. I must have been overseas when the Rainbow Harbour thingy came up because I don't know much about it.

Seth at Port said...

"honest consultation and discourse" HBW? Really? This is the LNP who believe they have God's mandate to do whatever they want. The boot camp was quietly established in a residential area of Kuranda without any consultation with the residents and, if there hadn't been two young absconders, it would still be there today. AQUIS was the reason behind the hysterical assault on the Entertainment Precinct and Mayor Val Schier, and was dumped on the residents of Yorkeys Knob without any consultation or right of appeal. I'm wondering if Fung was ever offered any other land apart from Yorkeys Knob which even blind Freddy can see just isn't suitable for a venture of this size. Who in the LNP told Fung that this was the only site suitable? I reckon Fung has been given the raw prawn of a real estate deal.

Anonymous said...

The Fung family should wake up to the kind of freeloaders that the likes of conservative gov is about.
They should take their LEGGO KIT and put it back in the packaging and place it back in the toy room and stop listening to the likes of chamber of commerce and their rip off mates in real estate creating false economy.