The Byrne style? The huge, tasteless "prison tower" unit
|THIS HEDLEY DESIGN PLANNED FOR|
THE ESPLANADE JUST PRIOR TO
With residential development ground to a halt during the Manning term, the damage to the community by his decisions look to be unprecedented for any regional centre in Australia.
Pushed by architect never-was Terry James, one of the Cairns nonRegional Council's first actions was to proffer a "fee waiver" for commercial developers in order to try and spark new construction. On September 26 2012, these Councillors (who were not provided any detail as to the developers or projects under consideration) approved 22 projects for fee waivers totally $10.5M. A clever trick allowing the Councillors to give money to developer friends without declaring their conflicts! To date the projects given this Council largess have never been identified.
And the $10.5M in missing infrastructure income is shown nowhere in Council budgets - despite the fact that these expenditures will of course need to be paid for by us, the taxpayers, at some point. Claiming to have "balanced the Council budget" without accounting for this Council gift to the developers is fraudulent budgeting.
A $10.5M project with NO oversight, community review, or accounting for fiscal impact.
|THIS IS WHAT TROPICAL DESIGN LOOKS LIKE|
IN SINGAPORE. YOU SEE ANYTHING LIKE
THIS IN CAIRNS?
In the last few months, the Manning largess has continued unabated. The proposal for an Aquarium in the CBD (on a site 1/3 the size of the Perth Aquarium of Western Australia) was encouraged by Council development staff when meeting with the proponents. Clearly the site is much too small.
When the Aquarium received a conditional Development
|THIS PERTH AQUARIUM NEEDED ALMOST|
500 CAR PARKS FOR THE PUBLIC
So another gift was bestowed by Manning, and Manning alone (as written in the resolution, pg. 20). With the entire Council approving, the infrastructure charges were waived IN FULL, and subject to negotiation, the parking charges as well. Likely a $5M gift to the developers of the Aquarium (who have a business plan that excludes "locals discounts", say insiders).
A likely $5M give-away by Council with NO accounting in the budget for the lost revenue and capital works that are now being paid by the taxpayers! An investment this big in a private project should have at least got ratepayers some ownership shares in the aquarium!
On April 28th, in a speech to the Northern Australia White Paper committee, Manning complained about the growth opportunities in FNQ being squandered by lack of infrastructure - mentioning water, road, and electrical generation as areas in need of immediate help.
And with this backdrop of an already substandard infrastructure, Bob Manning said to the Cairns Post this week about Aquis: ". . . the sheer magnitude of the project and how headworks charges would be applied was on a level never encountered before in Cairns". "It's way beyond what the council has encountered before and we are going to have to be flexible, we have to be adaptable, and we have to be innovative on how we apply our policies".
One needs to wonder why Bob Manning uses the "past tense" in describing what Council should be doing. Shouldn't it be ". . how headworks charges WILL be applied IS on a level never encountered before in Cairns".
From the day this project was first announced, the HBW position is that "the fix is in" to approve this project and nothing the public can do or say will derail it. Our view to this day.
Taxpayers take note: Aquis, with an EIS that says nothing about the costs that Council and others will incur in support of this Yorkey's Monstrosity, and a Council that believes "flexible and adaptable" means giving away the store - we're about to be thrown under the bus with a project sign-off by Council now only a mere formality.
Negotiations over contractually-required payments by the Chinese owners of the $3.5B Baha Mar resort and CASINO in the Bahamas have seen the government there already fighting with the developers - and the place won't be open until this December!
Bob Manning negotiating with Tony Fung? We're well and truly fucked, mate.
The group Aquis Aware is holding an Information Symposium at JCU this Thursday at 7:00 PM.