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

27 July 2015


The big announcement today is the funding of a new building at the JCU Smithfield campus - tentatively called the "Cairns Innovation Centre".  We'd like to go on the record TODAY, long before this building is even completed, that it's the stupidest investment to ever grace the Cairns region.

Entrepreneurship isn't about shiny buildings and classroom courses.

Something's seriously wrong.

It's about creative people and MONEY.  Venture Capital.  The Holy Grail of Job Creation.

We've got our share of creative people.  The list of Australian inventions is impressive:  Wifi.  Airline flight data recorders.  Heart pacemakers.  Disposable syringes.  Box wine. (Which just celebrated it's 50th Anniversary).

All OUR inventions that saw venture capitalists from the USA, UK, and Asia take and make squillions on.  Along with the tens of thousands of highly-paid jobs that went with them.  Australia gets bugger-all.  

A nice shiny building at Smithfield isn't going to change the facts - Australia has the worst VC investor market in the world.  Shit, Paul Freebody couldn't even find someone with the cajones to invest in his little waterslide business (although admittedly funding the dreams of a dickhead isn't the best example).  

But here's some other facts to mull over.  

  • Australia gambles more on the Melbourne Cup in ONE YEAR than FIVE YEARS OF VENTURE CAPITAL
  • Australians invest 20 times more in negatively geared rental property than VC
  • Australians spend 4 times as much on luxury SUV's that are written off as business assets than VC
  • The Australian Tax System gives tax breaks to subsidise non-productive capital via "negative gearing"
  • Australia is exporting "future" jobs with this system
  • The New Zealand VC funds invest FOUR TIMES that of Australians
  • Australia is losing start-up entrepreneurs to the USA

The Australian banking system also is notorious for not supporting entrepreneurship.  Want to purchase a "going concern"?  The bank will still require you stump up your house, along with your cash, despite financials that show a profitable business.  "We don't lend on cashflow", the banking mantra.  In other words, they'll lend money if the money is leant at no risk.  So what's the interest being charged for?

ANZ Bank makes more business loans in Guam, a US Territory (with similar size to Cairns) then Cairns and Townsville COMBINED.

Something's seriously wrong.

The predictions of an improvement are stark, as governments avoid the "hard decisions" about our tax system and instead provide only lip service - hence the new JCU building.  A monument to government ineptitude.  A recent Commonwealth programme to encourage overseas investors by offering Australian residence has seen a flood of cashed-up Mainland Chinese, who've used their required investments to support other Chinese entrepreneurs in Australia.  Hardly the result that we wanted, but one that should have been expected.  Zero to no jobs flowing to Australia out of this scheme.  

A leading San Francisco-based venture capitalist earlier this year said, without any Aussie governmental intervention, "don't expect to see an Australian-based venture capital fund operating in five years' time.  And you can thank your tall poppy syndrome for that.  You don't value success enough and you don't risk much to get it".

Of any westernised country, Australia has the highest percentage of university-educated citizens living abroad.  A brain drain of epic proportions - the most highly educated (at largely taxpayer cost) finding their futures and building the economies in their adopted countries.  

Something's seriously wrong.

We're all going to see smiling photos of politicians standing in front of this new JCU White Elephant in a couple year's time.  Just remember that without aggressive and politically-courageous decisions to overhaul our tax system and end the rort that rewards risk-averse investments, this JCU Innovation Centre will be a monument to profligate governmental waste.

For this "innovation centre" to show any benefit, the first students should be our politicians and bankers, the current group of whom show bugger-all in the courage department.

We note however that someone here is obviously making a pretty-penny out of wine-in-a-box.  


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a superb use of our taxpayer money, not!! Mind you, if you are lookin to build a useless white elephant that is surrounding by smiling buffoons on its opening day then Cairns is definitely the place! I can just picture the news story now - Sleepy Bob snoring with mouth open in the newspaper photo, Freebody there with a scowl on his face, Kevin Brown with his little bald head and ridiculous queer looking shirts, and even Campbell Newman doing a photo bomb in the background. Yep, that will put our already rooted city back on the popularity map, NOT.

Ken svay said...

Great article and oh so true, we must be the dumbest people in the Western world.

Anonymous said...

Yet we have politicians spruiking away that 3D technology and manufacturing is the way ahead for us. But who is going to risk the capital for that? I haven't heard of anyone.

shanghai said...

id rather see all the money of aquis,the aquarim,the seven pillars of spence st be invested in jcu and promoting youth talent and I t talent in cans than forcing them o/s or down south we bitch about diverisercation but if any one comes up with a good idea shoot it down go figure we are financially and morally piss weak sorry spelling check doesn't compute its over 3 syllable's there u go see what I mean