|GAVIN KING SHOWN DIGGING HIS|
OWN GRAVE WITH THE CAIRNS COMMUNITY
On 21 March 2012, just prior to the ALP blowout election in Queensland, the Bligh government approved an estimated $2.2m in upgrades for Cannon Park as part of their Racing Industry Infrastructure Plan. When Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King and his cohorts swept into power, Cannon Park management were stunned by the immediate actions taken by King to "give back" funds promised to Cairns - among them the CBD upgrade and Cairns Entertainment Precinct - over $100m in losses due to Gavin King.
While CJC management tried to get a meeting with King, backchannel word to them was that the money was pulled due to "austerity". But an intervention by (then Shadow Treasurer) Curtis Pitt on behalf of the CJC saw the project then re-confirmed. Treasurer Tim Nichols however arbitrarily limited the upgrade to $2m - despite costings that already showed the needed work slightly over the $2.2m original budget.
Then the amount got "chipped away" by the Newman government as they reneged on other commitments. Only $1.6m was left for the work to be done. King, in full LNP poodle mode, told Cannon Park to "take it or leave it". . . .and by 5 November, the Member for MacKenzie along with the Minister Steve Dickson were posing for pictures at the groundbreaking of work. Work that the Cairns Jockey Club board KNEW would be inadequate.
So the upgrade was actually an ALP initiative, defiled by the LNP, whom then took credit for it! This by King on his Facebook page.
Well, the work proved to be more than inadequate, as the big "grand opening" for 13 May 2013 needed to be cancelled - as the "newly rebuilt world-class track" was unable to drain 25mm of rain due to the cock-ups.
Ever the apologist, Gavin King told the media "it would have been foolhardy to have raced on the brand new surface". Abject stupidity writ large. Like saying you can't drive your new car in the rain. The kind of ignorance that got him tossed by the voters.
Doesn't this kind of construction work have any "warranty of fitness"? Why didn't the Cairns Jockey Club order the lead contractor, McMahons, to fix it? McMahons continues to boast on their website that the project saw the "existing turf track completely rebuilt". CEO Graham Thornton praises McMahons on their website, saying "Race meetings at Cannon Park were constantly at risk of being cancelled, due to the rapid deterioration of the track when it rains".
After a lazy $2m, Cannon Park now closes even in 15mm of rain! Why hasn't McMahons and others involved been sued?
A racetrack that doesn't drain seems of dubious value in a tropical location.
So there would seem to be plenty of "blame" to go around. Why would the Jockey Club board allow what everyone seems to agree was an inadequate plan to be executed?
As the track struggled with the dud "upgrade", someone on
|CHAIN GANG OF UNEMPLOYED PUT TO|
WORK (FOR FREE) BY THE JOCKEY CLUB
All of this on top of the Racing Queensland audit of the club, and questions surrounding CEO Graham Thornton's apparently no-bid operation of the food concessions at the track.
Enter Tom Hedley.
He's Baaaaaakkk! Did someone forget the stake?
With mate John Piccone, Hedley is now looking to resume
|JUST ONE OF THE PREHISTORIC DOGS|
LISTED AS OWNED BY HEDLEY AND
But the insider dealings continue unabated - with records showing some of these giant, prehistoric dogs being co-owned by Hedley and Piccone together.
Funnily, Gavin King has been uncharacteristically unwilling to step forward to take responsibility for this mismanaged LNP project.