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

30 December 2013

QUESTIONS BEGIN TO MOUNT UP FOR FUNG FAMILY AND MISLEADING PROMOTION OF THE AQUIS PROJECT IN MAINLAND CHINA

The dearth of real, public information on the Aquis Casino project has many in the community starting to speculate on the financial capability of Tony "我们的救星" Fung.  As one community activist has said, "the Fung family is just acting like a much bigger version of the Freebody's".  Put on a big show, with fancy graphics and continual manipulation of the media, and use that to get the investors you don't have.

The big PR push is occurring out-of-sight, in Mainland China and Hong Kong where the Fungs will need to source the cash to build this massive project.  

With headlines like "Far North Queensland Low Investment Risk" and "Tony Fung Looks for Casino Mates", this has all the hallmarks of a project without finance in-place.  And the stories in the Chinese language (which have jumped on Google from 1176 to over 30,000) look to be deliberately misleading.  The assignment of a Queensland State Government Coordinator General to the project is instead being quoted in Chinese as "Queensland Government Cooperation" (“合作项目”).  In a communist country where "government cooperation" means both money and "greasing the wheels" (关系), this small error tells a Chinese investor the project is a "sure thing".  It means the project is guaranteed by the government.

It is also grossly misleading, with the potential to backfire on the Joh Bjelke Newman LNP government.  We understand Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King was made aware of this issue weeks ago.  

Despite the Cairns Post continually referring to "Billionaire Tony Fung", the Chinese and Hong Kong press only refer to him as "businessman" or "property developer".  A real billionaire like Li Ka-Shing is referred to as such.  And the Fung's don't appear in either Forbes "Chinese Billionaires" or "Richest Hong Kong" citizens.  While some people manage to fly "under the radar", can this be the case with such a high-profile developer?  Clearly the Fung's have money, but enough to finance a $4B Aquis?  For the thousands of tradies and local businesses who are being told this is a "gravy train" of riches, we all know who the victims are when these property developers run out of money.  

Meanwhile, the Cairns nonRegional Council has to send a delegation of councillors to Macau and Singapore to get a first-hand look into what is being proposed HERE.  Bob "Sleepy" Manning has no compunction comparing the project to the Singapore Marina Bay Sands.  And although he's been heard agreeing that a first-hand look is important for the council, apparently it smacks too much of work for this lazy bunch of posers.  Gavin King too has not visited these sites, but apparently has no compunctions parading with a companion around the Reef Casino.

As questions mount about every aspect of the proposed project, the PR spin continues unabated.  The Aquis Casino Facebook page has been stocked with thousands of "paid likes", also a Freebody trick.  Well, those opposing the project are starting to weigh in as well.  The clip below was promoted to the HBW as "hysterically funny".  We didn't find it "hysterical", but when the public starts laughing at you, it isn't good. . . . 





(Editors note:  We wanted to link the various stories in the Cairns Post about dudded tradies when Hedley, Udo Jattke, CEC Group (Roy Lavis) and CMC (Peter Watson) went bankrupt.  The Cairns Post and Townsville Bulletin have deleted all the negative stories about these construction companies and individuals (leaving a few "positive" stories).  Even previously indexed stories come up as "page missing".  This kind of media manipulation undermines Cairns as a business investment site.  It's the kind of "media manipulation" that would occur in a place like, say, Mainland China or North Korea.)







24 comments:

Anonymous said...

We live by Media Manipulation, they don't tell us lot's of things,except about the Kardashians or some other crap, and why is this TPP agreement or the Volcanoes(10) erupting world-wide not being covered by main stream Media ... all very secretive.This is exactly why I don't read the paper or watch the Filtered hand picked propaganda (news) on TV.

Tony Hillier said...

What passes for news in the not-so-brave new modern meedya world would make my old Fleet Street editors and colleagues churn in their urns. Quite often, items in the nightly bulletins relate to product placement or are not so cleverly concealed ads for upcoming channel presentations. Shameless spruiking, PR prattle, celebrity slobbering and undiluted propaganda passes for journalism.

They might be easier on the eye than the ruddy-faced old news hounds of yore, but the 20-something kewpie dolls that dominate our screens these days certainly don't exercise their brains. They wouldn't know a news story if, to borrow a line from the late great Frank Zappa, it jumped up and bit 'em on the bum!

Anonymous said...

Agreed Tony Hillier. The leakage coming from the Japanese nuclear disaster has been kept from us, for example.

J.L said...



It will not be finished for 5 or 6 years, by then there will be too many casinos. Doubt it will happen. Fung himself said the timing was crucial. Really risky, better ways or better places to invest money.

Anonymous said...


The media are worthless. I saw part of a interview with a war reporter last night. She related a story of when she asked a colleague what Afghanistan was like as she had just returned. She replied she had no idea what Afghanistan was like. All she did was stand at Kabul airport with the mountains in the background, and read a report faxed in from New York.!

TAS said...

LOL, it's Freebody writ large (dream on Paul, that you should be THIS good).
Ripping off Cairns with it's dumb leadership clique is like taking candy from a kid. And all egged on by the idiots at The Cairns Post (though shouldn't blame Mackenzie because everyone's stopped listening to him).
Not only have this lot lost us one of the best deals in decades with the CEP debacle, they are now being reeled in by a shonky 'deal-maker'.
Is this corruption or sheer bloody naive stupidity? It must be the latter, they are too stupid for the former.
If it wasn't so serious, it'd be funny. It could even be a movie.

Deedee said...

Some excellent research here HBW. Rumours keep on persisting that the Newman Government are fast tracking this huge development. It is hard to know what to believe as the LNP are not exactly transparent, are they? Lots of anxiety out in Yorkeys Knob with people saying they can't get in touch with their CRC Councillor and Michael Trout doesn't want to talk to them. Very unsettling indeed.

TAS said...

The amazing thing about all this, is that nobody see's it for what it is - and it's right there staring them in the face: just a bold-faced manipulative roll-of-the-dice by Fung to put together a deal where he risks nothing and we lose everything. The gullible of Cairns are the easiest to suck in, the cargo-cult mentality here has long been the evangelism of the stupid and greedy.
The biggest obstacle is getting HK and Chinese investors on-board. There's a lot of speculative capital washing around, but they didn't get as rich as they are by being stupid and this is as stupid and risky a proposal if ever there was one.
If it ever gets up (unlikely), it will be in stages. Stage one will be the casino (compliant LNP government will usher through the licence), and that is where it will stop. And that has always been the Fung plan full-stop.
And to those who were not here in the early nineties: the 'evangelists' of this town were falling over themselves to buy Reef casino shares at one dollar each. Within months of operation, they were worth 4 cents. Investments such as this are really just a tax on people who can't calculate probabilities and who can't smell a rat. There's a lot around in Cairns apparently.

Seth at Port said...

Some thought provoking stuff here Hillbilly. Whew. It is just hard to know what the hell to believe about Fung. What we do see however is the incompetence of Michael Trout the local member in avoiding his responsibilities in involving his constituents with the biggest development ever planned in their area. I think about Val Schier and what she did to engage the community with the Entertainment Precinct. She took the plans around the suburbs, invited people to come down to the Council Chambers and made herself available to answer peoples questions. I know, because I was one of them and found Val all too willing to answer the questions I had. As I said, what a difference in leadership between Schier and Trout.

Seth at Port said...

You could be right TAS. I suspect that the main purpose of this entire development is the casino and lucrative money laundering activity, now that the authorities are cracking down in Macau. The wealthy need to funnel their money somewhere safer and what better place than in hillbilly country?

Anonymous said...

How will money laundering affect our local economy? Can anyone say? I mean I know that the Chinese Government won't be impressed and will probably express their outrage to the Federal Government but what does it mean locally? Will these funds be used to buy up land, property, businesses etc putting them beyond the reach of the ordinary Australian?

Anonymous said...

How will money laundering affect our local economy? Can anyone say? I mean I know that the Chinese Government won't be impressed and will probably express their outrage to the Federal Government but what does it mean locally? Will these funds be used to buy up land, property, businesses etc putting them beyond the reach of the ordinary Australian?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:47,

Yes they buy up real estate and is why they launder the money. I doubt they would buy much real estate in Cairns but in Sydney and globally etc they already do. No need to send anyone to China to beg for business, when it is a good investment they find you.

In Cairns they would invest in agriculture or mining. Even Fung only leases apartment in Cairns.

Chinese government will not take it out on other nations because all nations have received Chinese investors and most buy Chinese goods. The risk is if they change policy so that money laundering is either more difficult to do, or not necessary to do. Then we are just another place with a tourism economy, the most hated of all.

Anonymous said...

Seth.Val was a human being who tried to advance Cairns with free money and ideas to grow the city but the Mackenzie rednecks didn't want it because it didn't involve football or pig shooting. Meanwhile sleepy Manning who recently shaved 4 million of council debt by sacking 45 staff is no where to be seen. Trout is a horse wrangler from Yorkies Knob who's previous adventure at Palm Cove was cancelled and told to move on by the locals because the nags kept on fouling the beach. Meanwhile Townsville turns into a proper city with all the infrastructure and Cairns goes around in circles with the bust and boom tourist cycle.

Anonymous said...

Years ago while doing my cadetship at the The Daily Horn, fellow groover Steve Harley said to me "your writing is crap, why not bugger off to the antipodes where the locals will be easily impressed with your psuedo-intellectual vernacular" He was right of couse, and so i found myself living in a tropical bogan paradise where i reigned supreme for decades as the premier raconteur and progressive contributor to the most incredible independent journal in the history of independent journals for that suburb. Alas, it all ended in tears as the evil empire scuttled this publication and all who sailed on her. The subsequent years were a bitter tormented time until the all new One Nation style HBW came along. It's so refreshing to have people discover the value my work again without questioning my choice in headwear. As George Bernard Shaw once said to his dog after it chewed his hat "i'll teach you the meaning of respect" Profound and prophetic words indeed..

Anonymous said...

Surely if the Aquis casino sees money laundering operations, then we need to have some discussion about how it will affect our regional economy? Will it force up real estate prices to say Sydney levels? This is deadly serious and there should be wide discussion and debate in the community over whether we want to see this happen here or not.

CBD WARRIOR said...

It's appalling that our "leadership" at council has not visited Macau and Singapore. I heard Bob Manning specifically promise another businessman in the CBD that council would endeavour to do this - he made this statement at the community luncheon outside the Pier in August.

I've been to both Macau and the Singapore Sands project. Their impact on their communities is massive. There is no way our leaders can even formulate the hard questions without having seen these places in action.

Anonymous said...

If a Singapore national wants to visit the casino in that city, he/she has to pay an entrance fee of SGD100 to do so. Others, upon presentation of a foreign passport, enter for free. Losing a hundred dollars before you even get in is a way of keeping locals out of harm's way. No such considerations here I bet.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9.30

Casino will have either negative or no effect on real estate values. Could be positive for commercial real estate values in the vicinity. The building period could be good short term as many workers move in.

Other cities booming from Chinese investment have secondary flow on impact on our market. So for eg someone sells their house in Sydney to Chinese may buy here funded from capital gains.

They use Macau for eg to money launder so they can buy in New York or Sydney. They normally will not buy real estate in a place like Cairns so short term see some upward movement from the increased workforce, flow on from booming major cities but if we entrench ourselves in a tourism economy then long term the divide between our real estate values and Sydney will only widen.

Diversity is what makes real estate valuable, or prestige, we have neither.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that information Anon 11.37 about the impact of money laundering. CBD Warrior, can you tell us a bit more about what you saw in Singapore and Macau?

Anonymous said...

Great stuff! This is the sort of information we, as a community need.

Hamish Krint said...

In a Seychelles (?) casino, everyone had to lodge a $100 deposit at the door, and this was returned on the way out. This is a great idea, meaning that when you leave the casino, you are never flat broke, even if you spend all your cash inside, and will always have some money for a ride, feed and a bed. Maybe we could make the Aquis casino entry deposit $500???

Alison Alloway said...

Well Hillbilly, at least you have sparked up a bit of a debate. I was interested to read the comments here on money laundering. This is the type of discussion the community should be engaging in. We all remember Tony Fung cautioning the community when his plans were first unveiled to "think carefully about the proposal". So when the community starts to do so, the LNP rush in with all sorts of hysterical allegations trying to intimidate and scuttle debate. For those of us who remember the Joh era, it is a case of deja vu.

Seth at Port said...

We all remember Joh, Alison, and his arrogant stock answer to questions asked by journalists, "Don't you worry about that." I agree with you, the LNP haven't changed. They are still a secretive closed government.