When Tony Fung first blew into Cairns on his magic carpet, he filled the air with pixie dust and tales of riches beyond our wildest dreams.
Mayor Sleepy "Bob" Manning is still inhaling deeply.
News comes today that the US$4B Baha-Mar project in the Bahamas has collapsed, with the resort 90% completed. (Or 10% uncompleted, for you glass-half-empty types).
Cause of the collapse has been laid directly at the feet of the Chinese - the Chinese financiers and contractors. The building contractor, China State Construction Engineering Corporation had never before built a resort of this scale. Continuing delays have come in part due to failed inspections and faulty construction leading to Baha-Mar seeking bankruptcy protection. Labor strife between the imported Chinese construction workers and the Bahamian workers also was rampant. Unemployment hovers at about 15% in the Bahamas, and the Chinese workers were known as "the prisoners" in the Bahamas with them forbidden to go to the Bahamian beaches or towns - and also forbidden to spend their wages in the local economy.
China's model of shipping in workers for overseas construction projects (which is a possibility under the Tony Abbott "Free Trade" agreement with Mainland China) mean that it likely is not going to work everywhere.
It's thought that the collapse has been at the hands of the Chinese government, who are also financiers of this project along with others around the world.
In fact the Chinese frenzy of development on these kinds of projects looks to be coming to an end, with the Chinese government looking to impose strict currency restrictions on travelers.
Keep breathing the pixie dust, Sleepy. Your continued cheerleading for Fung (an the other Chinese developer failures in Kewarra Beach and Double Island) is stalling any REAL development in Cairns.