MacKenzie, who recognised that the ALP candidates had bitch-slapped the local LNP mob even with rigged game, was so worried he switched on Friday to his "Hail Mary" argument: "If Cairns should vote in the ALP, we'll have no voice in an LNP Government".
Not to worry Macca, the voters ignored your manipulation and ditched the whole sick mob. The voters of Cairns outsmarted all of you smarties. In a couple weeks the new ALP government will start to clean house here in Cairns. Hopefully the first to go will be the cretin on the hospital board - legendary for his flouting the King "buy local" policy when he bought the little woman a Rolex down in Sydney.
Debates (and indeed their partner, town hall meetings), are a terrific idea and an advance for voter education. Rigged debates do nothing but anger the electorate.
Now maybe the Chamber and Advance Cairns can get back to actually working to help improve and grow business in this city.
The proliferation of unlicensed so-called "massage" businesses is giving the Cairns CBD a very poor reputation, internationally. The Night Markets is rapidly becoming a "no-go" zone for tourists. With many of the stalls, formerly selling North Queensland handicrafts and other
souvenirs, now either shuttered or offering "Chinese massages", it's time Council stepped in to regulate these businesses. Many of the so-called masseuses are said to be students working without
Even more important to the health of Cairns retailing is Cairns Central. What's the Chamber doing about the deterioration of the retail environment there?
The number of shop vacancies at Cairns Central are clearly escalating. Some shops have been without tenants for a year or more, and Cairns Central doesn't even bother boarding them up anymore. And as these vacancies mount, Cairns Central is more and more being inhabited by - you guessed it - massage parlours. At least one Cairns Central manager has told the HBW that these massage places are only one step removed from prostitution, with large numbers of mostly Mainland Chinese staff (of dubious visa status) giving the steady stream of middle-aged men a bogus massage followed by a blow job. The so-called "happy ending". And one of these massage shops, when pressed by the men for additional services, walks them over to apartments on Water Street known to be used by the organised prostitution rackets trafficking women around Australia.
The back of the Cairns Post is full of these advertisements
that are not placed by the prostitutes themselves (as required by law) but by the syndicates that are doing the trafficking. Previous Queensland Labor governments made some attempts to enforce these laws, the LNP have been diligent in looking the other way as they pursued other organised crimes.
Cairns business leaders are standing idly by, thinking about gaming the electoral system and complaining of poor business conditions while our main shopping centre turns into a discount whorehouse. All of these issues are a black mark on the Cairns family-friendly tourism economy. It's time for our business leaders to get back to business, and implement regulations to stop further deterioration of our tourism product.