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

05 June 2015

MANNING COUNCIL THEATRE PROJECT - DESPITE FULL-COURT MEDIA CAMPAIGN THE SHORTCOMINGS ARE PAINFULLY OBVIOUS

The key element used by Mayor Bob "Sleepy" Manning and his team of syncophants to attack Mayor Schier and her Council was the issue of their proposed Entertainment Precinct.  The Mayor said at the time "We will deliver a new performing arts centre, appropriately costed and sited, in the first term".

Clearly Manning NEVER intended to build this, or ANTHING.  The cynics among us note that this failure is now only being addressed as the next council election looms ever closer.

The most concerning part of this whole sordid incident is how arrogant and dictatorial Bob Manning has become.  The main promotional document (oddly provided secretly to Gavin King and his new attack blog prior to the official announcement), says "I'm writing today to tell you about The Precinct project which will go before Council for consideration and endorsement at a meeting to be held tomorrow".  Our so-called representatives, a council WE elected to represent US, are no more than a Soviet Politburo taking orders from a dictator.  Thousands of OUR dollars were spent on this glossy sales brochure with these words GUARANTEEING his sheep-like councillors will "aye" on cue, with nary a bleat from any of these gutless wonders.  It's shocking that democracy has so thoroughly been gutted in Cairns.  The electorate saw this kind of no-consultation, my way or the highway dictator at the state level.  The reason Campbell Newman and his ratbags were so quickly removed, most would agree.  With Stalin Manning holding only a dead carcass of a once-thriving company and a big government pension packet at the end of this term, "What, Me Worry?" is now the operative management philosophy at our once open and transparent Council.

So let's look what's being shoved down our throats.  And let's start by looking through they eyes of Cairns' own Joseph Goebbels, Gavin King.

King's propaganda starts with a passive-aggressive attack on the man who defeated him as Member for Cairns.  King, who disappeared after the election in a pout and notably NEVER called his challenger, and winner of his seat, to congratulate him on his win.  By starting his explanation of the project with this manic-depressive attack, King confirms his comments are political.  He then calls "The Precinct" "sensible, affordable, innovative, to meet the needs of Cairns for the next 50 years".  So let's look at these adjectives and see if it really fits the bill.

SENSIBLE

The dictionary defines "sensible" as:  "done or chosen in accordance with wisdom or prudence; likely to be of benefit". Clearly there is little division over the need for the Civic Theatre to be replaced (except for a few real blockheads).  Is it sensible to replace a 670-seat theatre (built when the Cairns population was 30,000) with a 940-seat theatre now?  During the last two theatre consultations (Schier and Byrne), the same conclusion was reached that the new theatre should be in the 1200-seat range.  This took into account comments from the likely users (both local as well as traveling road shows) that 900 was too economically inefficient.  A theatre that’s too small for the road productions is worthless.  Terry James claims that “users tell them they want a smaller theatre as it is more intimate”.  That’s why the Schier Council project had two separate theatres, dickhead.  Explanation - FAIL!


Advance Cairns says that our population will be 340,000 by 2036 - just 20 years!  How "sensible" is it to build a theatre that most agree isn't even large enough for our current population? 

SENSIBLE?  FAIL!

AFFORDABLE

Well sure, what’s been proposed looks to be “affordable”.  But where are the costings?  And how reasonable are they?  

The Kevin Byrne Council did extensive planning work on a site on Sheridan Street in 2000-2001.  They put the cost at $95 Million for a proper facility.  Byrne decided that this was too expensive, and didn’t even bother try to get a state or federal contribution. 

So here we are some 15 years later, and some are willing to believe that a Bob Manning proposal at half the cost (after inflation) of the Byrne proposal is going to be a quality facility?  Even the architects, Cox Rayner, freely said to the previous theatre consultation that “A 1000 seat theatre is going to cost $100m anywhere in Australia”.  Clearly corners are being cut.  BIG corners.  

The current site sits just below the arrival path for the Cairns Airport.  Actors on stage in the current theatre routinely learn to pause as the planes thunder overhead.  It’s of course possible to design a facility in this location that minimises this noise - at a cost.

This sadly is the classic "small-thinker" mentality that is now driving Cairns.  These small-thinker apparatchiks inhabit much of the machinery driving our city.  Manning is the consummate professional in avoiding the moniker "tall poppy".

Our so-called tourism leaders claimed to have worked their
ONE MAN AND ONE MEETING DID
WHAT DOZENS OF MEETINGS WITH
LOCAL BLOCKHEADS COULDN'T
arses off trying to get an airline to service Cairns from Singapore.  Kevin Brown and the tourism groups failed miserably, time after time.  But everyone now agrees that it took a "big thinker" to move the airlines into action.  That "big thinker"?  

Affordable?  Doesn't look like it - if we're stuck with a turkey for another 30 years! 

INNOVATIVE

NOTHING in the promotional documents from council shows anything “innovative” about this proposal.  But of course there is bugger-all detail in any of these documents.  We’re told that the project is underway, but only a handful of select, easily-manipulated few have been privy to any of the planning.  Even senior officials at the choral society claim to know nothing of the details, and yet their leadership has been coached to offer their support for the (still unknown) facility.  

What’s innovative about a new theatre that has no parking?  This area of the city is a parking backwater.  Why has no provision been made for parking?  How does Council even get a building permit when the Cairns Plan calls for a minimum of 400 car park spaces??

The only thing “innovative” about this proposal is the depths that Manning is trying to go to get ground broken without talking to ANY of the public.  He obviously didn’t learn his lesson from the Lake Street upgrade, but listening to him talk, it’s clear.  He just doesn’t give a shit.  

MUNRO MARTIN PARK AMPHITHEATRE

Bob Manning, spruiking the plan on the Cueball show, said a 2000 seat, open-air amphitheatre was included in the plan for the Munro Martin Park.  He then went on to say “it won’t be covered” (so it’s useless much of the year) and “it won’t have a sound system”.  He then boasted that we could have “orchestra concerts in the park”.  Sadly, few will be able to hear.  

We propose that it be named the “MANNING MEMORIAL SKIN CANCER ARENA"

As part of the “sales job” for this yet-to-be seen plan, landscape architect Andrew Prouse, who's apparently been contracted to design the botanic upgrade of the Munro Martin Park, was interviewed this morning.  Prowse kept referring on the radio to "the brief he received from Council".  A brief that has had NO public consultation.  He's planning to start work in September.  When were these contracts let?  Who's calling the shots??  Why are we letting huge contracts with NO public bidding?

But, as Bob Manning has told so many - he doesn't give a shit, him and Claire go to Brisbane or Sydney to see a show.  

Translation:  "Let them eat cake".  More like "Let them eat shit".  


22 comments:

CBD Warrior said...

Completely spot on, HBW.

And this morning the actions of MacKenzie and Terry James were even more deplorable. An elderly woman named "Nan" (who James ignorantly kept calling "Fran") called in to plainly and simply voice her concerns - many of the same you've listed here. Apparently a lifelong member of the Choral Society, she's clearly got insight into what's needed.

And MacKenzie immediately rounded up another caller to go "attack dog" on poor Nan. He immediately started denigrating this woman for merely voicing her opinion, calling her a "ratbag" and lefty "naysayer".

Shows the level these people will stoop to get their way. They don't care who they run over.

TAS said...

I think the boy King is being groomed to take over McKenzie's AM radio job, similar sort of following and influence to the blog that he whistles to wind with.

Ed in Edge Hill said...

This proposal highlights why Cairns is in the shitter.

If you know the story about the first Civic Theatre, you'll know that Mayor De Jarlais was tossed out by the hillbilly crowd for spending too much money and making it too big. But he was a Mayor with vision, and built for the future. Here we have Mayor Manning and his ignorant mentality - build the bare minimum we need now, and bugger the future.

Shame Mayor Manning!

jim cavill said...

Now lest was lot unity not same along there tosser LNP government mate knocking the millions in support of previous shovel ready project and asking same ALP government funr is this bloke just dumb ares or no wont party hire business ran went broke hey

Anonymous said...



Stupidity keeps winning in this town. Then people complain, business close down and the economy dives yet then the same idiots parade their stupidity so we repeat. King is illiterate in all things economically and financial so his input is worthless. If the town does want to thrive it needs to change this culture.

This project will not put Cairns ahead of other towns in QLD, never mind be able to attract the professionals we need so badly. You go for dinner in Tamarinds you do not want to then walk to the civic centre, specially at night with dark parkland around it. No parking. Reason we never go to the Civic Centre now. The town is a dump and this means we pay a lot of money to keep it that way though the homeless will have a nicer spot now.:)

Meanwhile is anyone telling the towers across from the old CEP site that Manning want a container terminal there I mean they have a right to know that the dictator himself demands that area be industrial. The vision is a total absolute mess.

The reason this will go ahead it that people are apathetic about them all now They give up.

Anonymous said...

Can someone explain what will be used for theatre productions during the construction phase if the old theatre is to be pulled down?

Shanghai said...

Please will this new facility have a Yum Cha kitchen please again?

Shanghai

Ivor. said...

Mayor Manning is well known to hate red tape and regulations,if CRC is building this with CRC approved builders and Architects,hope they don't start cutting corners and selecting cheap building materials to cut costs

Ian Hodge said...

The only way to fix this problem is to oust the current sitting unity councillers, sadly they have to conform to the powers to be,bordering on spineless, their personal opinions are severely restricted, they forget the fact people elected them firstly to represent their division and secondly the city, i should no , i campaigned with them and was then shafted when the opportunity was their to replace our nEw State minister Rob Pyne,it will be great to join a new team with decency, respect and transparency at the next council election, bye bye Bob.

Tony Hillier said...

Good question Anon 18:35. The Tanks Arts Centre is not physically equipped to cater for theatrical productions of the type staged in our embarrassing old mausoleum of a civic theatre, and presenting shows of the type that the Civic Theatre puts on (e.g. "tribute" bands ad nauseam) would sully its burgeoning reputation as a world-class venue. Because of the Council's tightfistedness/shortsightedness — despite urgent lobbying by arts bureaucrats — Tank 5 (the concert venue) is still awaiting air conditioning, which means that it's forced into a 3-month recess every year. In all but two months of mid-winter, it's necessary to have industrial fans going to stop punters from melting in the heat and humidity.

Anonymous said...

WTF Shanghai did you say? FMD, Jim and you talk so much shit its hard to make out WTF you pair are trying to say. HAHAHAHA

Paul Matthews said...

this is an abysmal conning of the Cairns community... it is a desperate attempt by Manning to give him cred in an election
year(10 mths to go!)... but what it will do
is lumber us with a visionless third rate option of a performing arts centre, with a towering debt that ratepayers will have to cop, because his $65M price tag is fictional(where's the costings Bob?)... it'll rack up $80-100M easy... and to think this shadow of a human being kissed googbye to $100M of State & Fed money...!..it is a travesty...he should be pilloried for this and the dishonest campaign he waged with this town's cohort of wet blankets to abandon the visionary CEP... as a city we took a venal blow when he scuttled it... from which we still haven't recoverred...we need to stand up to this bully... it just isn't good enough that we be relegated to hicksville by this troglodyte
when we deserve so much better... Cairns deserves better...

Anonymous said...

Another question being overlooked is 65 million from the capital works budget is a huge hit. Does this mean a further scaling down of an already dilapidated council workforce? Will our failing footpaths, drainage & k&c infrastructure be left to rot ?
Speaking of which I would love to see the figures for newly appointed managers compared to the scaling down of the "front house " workforce since Manning has been in charge.
From insiders in Spence St I hear this has been a very hastily prepared project.

Anonymous said...



This is political with most vocal support being for pathetic grandstanding and childish reasons. It is those they pretend to represent who will lose out the most at the end however. Those that go running with cup in handing begging for Asian investment are the same ones that do everything to repel it. So they shoot themselves in the foot,each downturn will become harder to recover from with the gap between amenity in Cairns and more progressive cities ever widening.

the ponz said...

How about a survey of the number of punters who would want to enjoy "theatre" in the Cairns area? I think it might be called a "cost/benefit" report. Then you might want to look at the feasibility of building a parking station to accommodate all 4wd and trucks that the locals drive. And a few hitching rails...Paul Mathews said we'll be relegated to Hicksville....just keep up your intake of Bircher and fruit and dreaming of Paris, you'll be alright....this is Hicksville mate...run by hicks and populated by hicks. And we love it that way. In case you'se hadn't noticed...150K people in Cairns...about as many as a regular suburb in a city yeah?...so who's agitating for this?? so called "arts professionals" which is hipster code for deadbeats hasbeens and neverwas's who couldn't make it in the real city. Fucking egomaniacs and wannabe born to rule numpties! Fix the fucking roads! Then if you've got nothing to do sack yourselves! Stop bludging off us! Or maybe organise the Supercars......now that would be visionary thinking.

Smithfield Sam said...

As HBW notes (and now confirmed in the Cairns Post today), Manning's incompetence with the state and federal governments on this project borders on malpractice.

Bob, you're an idiot.

sircus said...

To use this last piece of city parkland for a mickey mouse structure to complement an inadequate entertainment precinct is more about this desperate council heading to an election.

shanghai said...

hang on I did not write anything on this site in the last 3 months and take offence of people wanting to be me I have feelings u know but anyway I have nothing to say cans is good hands capt mannering and his crew have done a fantastic job over the last 3 months lets see.... cut all the old mango trees to get rid of the bats at 6am so not to disturb the colony and good enough to provide police to direct the bats away... sensational stuff... now we have a waste land on Florence st yeah bring on the aquarium my pet project..no dredging .. no we don't need tourists and the council will make a profit ...are they supposed to ? as I ve said I sleep well with capt mannering in charge

Anonymous said...

Hey ponz, don't be lonely, western Sydney is thataway and Logan is even closer. You'll feel much better at the Leagues club among your own kind down there. You never know, you might get lucky and get a win on a pokey free spin and afford to see the live strippers revue. Bogan Culcha mate!

Anonymous said...

WTF Shanghai did you say?

Anonymous said...

Council did not follow their own procurement policy for this project. Lack of community engagement is abysmal. Does anybody realise they plan to cut down many mature tree in Munro Martin Park? Then fence it off?

The Islomaniac ™ said...

The Council is cutting down all the historic Mango trees in Munro Martin Park today (Tue 1/9/15) A guy has climbed up a tree, police everywhere, and when I asked the Council guy why they are cutting down the trees he replied "We are trying to make it beautiful." My rejoinder was "What's more beautiful than 100 year old Mango trees?". I'm so angry at the council, Cairns is supposed to be tropical, why cut down beautiful mature trees?