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

13 December 2015


It's tough to get anyone to invest in Cairns anymore.  So tough, government at both the state and federal levels won't even consider it.

And they're taking their cue from the current Cairns (un)Regional Council.  The Bob "Sleepy" Manning-led ticket was elected on the back of a smear campaign against the last Mayor Schier and Council, who committed the grave error of proposing a world-class investment in our community.

Now we're on the verge of being trundled with a $65M white elephant - a "new" theatre that is little more than a updated version of the inadequate facility we now have.  And Manning had to be dragged to the table even on this shitpile - he clearly has no interest in spending this kind of money on our community.  Not when he and the old boiler can grab a first class ducet to Brisbane or Sydney.  Let them eat cake - the Manning family motto.  Oh, and what's with all the funny-business at his family-owned Events NQ Pty. Ltd., which still shows Claire Manning as managing director despite contrary statements in the press.

And the Cairns press?  Forget it.  It might as well be coming out of Trinity Bay High School.  And our radio, 4CA.  The only station in Australia that ISN'T streamed on the internet despite a vital need in the Cape and other remote areas.

The lack of progressive thinking is choking the life out of Cairns.  

And sadly, cashed-up outsiders are starting to catch on and realise that Cairns is just the place you shove the tube for an Australia-wide enema.

This week we've been treated to more bad news.  Paul Freebody and his lovely spouse Kim are "Exhibit A" in this Cairns meltdown.  The Freebodys, who've been spruking their waterpark "idea" for almost ten years, succeeded in attracting an investor from down south.  He's now however discovered that Cairns as a regional city doesn't even have the business acumen of a Townsville, or even Mt. Mulligan.  Discovering (too late) that the Paul is incompetent, he's moved to push the Freebody family out of the picture in a businesslike way.  So who do you think "leaked" emails to the Compost about the situation? 

This is what passes for "development" and "progress" in Cairns.  It's pathetic, and sad.   

All of this on the heels of an announcement that the $8B Aquis Fantasyland might only proceed in $1B stages. Or not at all.  As the Fung's continue to pump tens of millions into the Gold Coast and Canberra, of all places.

Was Tony Fung serious at the beginning?  Probably so.  But once you scratch at Cairns the gold plating is easily removed revealing a decade or more of neglect and incompetence.

REAL local leaders would have shepherded these projects through, or shot them in the head as unviable, instead of wasting the public's time.  And even more importantly sullying the community and our prospects for the future.

Our federal member Warren Entsch has time for the most ignorant proposals involving tunnels that will never be built and yet can't secure any money from his own government for the laundry-list of vital projects.  The road system alone (Cook Highway, Bruce Highway, Kuranda Range Road) need billions invested in them.  Instead Entsch looks for cheap limelight in the gay marriage issue.  He's not making our case at the federal level, that's clear.

Years later, the insurance gouge continues unabated and even petrol is 50c/litre higher than most of the rest of Australia.  Another unrealised "benefit" from having our own local port.  

Cairns is a community in dire need of a leadership overhaul.

Even in the business community we've got mouth-breathers pied pipering us off the unused Wharf 5, wasting valuable resources pushing for a dredging project that was dead from day one.  We've got a general manager at the Cairns Airport more concerned about his big pay packet and the latest model Merc than their inability to attract and RETAIN growth in services.  Not only did we lose United Airlines but Cairns continues to suffer from the low service levels by Jetstar, which won't even interline baggage to international carriers at the congested Sydney Airport.

Although hundreds of thousands of dollars was "gifted" to Chinese airlines who stuck around long enough to cash the cheque, United was rebuffed in the repeated requests for assistance from the Cairns Airport - with Kevin Brown overheard telling a table of Chamber members "no way will a US airline pull out of Cairns".  

And despite a so-called $1B airport development plan being approved by government over two years ago, the Cairns Airport hasn't spent a shilling on the tired facility - except the addition of more "no parking" signs.  This development plan REQUIRES the Cairns Airport to put in pedestrian access to the airport, which they refuse to do.  And when a passenger is mowed down on the poorly-lit access road, we can count on Bob Manning to blame the victim and install "do not walk" signs on the road.

Cairns is a community in dire need of a leadership overhaul.

Now with teams assembled, we're looking closely at the Jim Brooks-led Cairns Connect team.  While it's still a little early to take a position, one thing is clear.  Cairns cannot "afford" the current council who somehow believe that "showing a profit" on rates is better than investing in our future.


Anonymous said...

Nice photo of Brown next to Manning. Which one is Yoda?

Anonymous said...

HBW. The voters outed former mayor Val Schier, its easy to highlight the lack of intelligence, drive, ambition and accountability of the current bunch of councillors, however the real criticism should be labelled at the people who voted for them.

Rats will play in sewers especially if you put them there.

Anonymous said...

"Cairns cannot "afford" the current council who somehow believe that "showing a profit" on rates is better than investing in our future."

No HBW ...

Cairns cannot "afford" a Council that invests in our future (and our children's future), using the credit card.

Anonymous said...

It is beyond comprehension that Cairns airport couldn't hang on to United. A long term airline to the region allowed to just walk away. And they call that aeronautical management? Pfft. It's obvious that ever since the airport was privatised the wrong people have been running it. But then again, as Hillbilly points out, the entire Cairns leadership group are useless.

Anonymous said...

As a general aviation pilot I can assure you that Cairns airport is one of the worst airports I have dealt with. They closed one of the runways, have put up fees by up to 500% for some of us in recent years, they have made no secret that they want us all to go to the tablelands, they have caused us financial damage, they have a general aviation aircraft parking area that is falling to bits and is often dangerous, and they won't spend the million odd bucks to fix it. This region had a proud reputation for servicing the barrier reef and other tourist areas for decades, now our businesses are just an irrelevant number. Manning, Brown, the whole lot of them are doing nothing for our city, except extract huge salaries and bonuses.

Anonymous said...

Disturbingly I have heard that Brown and NQA are sniffing around Whitsunday Coast airport as the airport wants to flog half the asset. And Sunshine Coast airport might be on the market in 2016, and again Brown and NQA are on the prowl. Brown did hold talks with them some time ago, along with other airports around the place, but thankfully nobody has been willing to hand over there airport. One thing is certain and that is if NQA buy your airport the carparking fees will go up, capital investment will go down, and he who is Brown by name and brown my nature will trim the entire airport to the bone so as to bump up his bonuses as well as the bonuses of his puppet masters. Best of luck boys and girls, you will need it. But hey, maybe he would move himself and his team down the coast? Wouldn't that be a wonderful gift to Cairns. Maybe those pesky fruit bats and incompetent politicians will leave as well, and Freebody too.

CBD Warrior said...

Hard to understand how a smart businessman could have decided to ally himself with Paul Freebody. There are two explanations. 1 - he doesn't read the HBW and didn't know what a wackjob the Freebodys are. 2 - he planned from the beginning to push Paul and his wife out, and Paul got snookered like he did when he sold off his Toyworld store to Toys 'R Us.

Either way, having a real businessman at the helm of Adventure Waters is good for everyone.

Perhaps the Freebodys will now take the hint and go south - where there sons have all retreated to.

Anonymous said...

Anon 19;48 - its not only the councillors the people voted for but also Entsch, and people who are members of stakeholders like advance cairsn and ttnq and chamber of commerce also voted for their executive boards.

until the city's populace develops a greater level of intellect the rats will be there

Anonymous said...

Cairns is a truly stupid town. Amazed it survives at all really.

Ed in Edge Hill said...

Paul Freebody was heard boasting over the weekend that "he's prepared to take his case to the people of Cairns".

Doesn't this brain-dead cretin understand that his name is mud?

This man is the most delusional man in Cairns.

Wait, no, that's Bob Manning.

Tony Hillier said...

Well done, HBW, for telling it like it is … unlike our daily rag, which always puts its own commercial interests ahead of the community's. Stop Press: The Compost has just excised one of the few remaining competent and experienced journos from its staff.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it Desley Boyle who sold Cairns Airport?
Well done not !!!

Ken svay said...

I know people who believe that Aquis is still a goer, they are deluded. And the Council are racious bastards. Still waiting for Entsch to sort out the insurance rort, hasn't it been six months since the promised enquiry would produce results?

TAS said...

It's a bit rich to complain about the airport gouging the Cairns region. As unpalatable as it is, remember we used to own it, and our elected (Labor) government chose to sell it (presumably to the highest tenderer) ostensibly to fund the Cairns Hospital. So why the surprise and anger that the private owners now want their pound of flesh? The anger should be directed at a dumb government policy that allowed the sale of an essential, viable monopoly asset.
One of the most pressing issues for Cairns presently, is the inadequacy of the Cook Highway from the beaches to town. Perhaps we should now sell the hospital to Bupa to fund it.

Anonymous said...

The Compost is a typical hick rag that is motivated by nepotism. It always praises Manning, Wazza and Brown, when in reality these three gentlemen are NOT the pick of the bunch for our region. Cairns is a great place for Hillbillys to hide and not perform. It seems to be the acceptable standard. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

A better question should be more like how secure is the airport? There has been two breaches where people got over the airport fencing. Another idiot took a fuel tin into the terminal and threatened to torch himself. Then there was an increase of non compliance findings when the government department for security audited the airport this year. And supposedly they have had no permanent security manager for 2 months. If all of this is correct I would say there is a problem. Let's not forget Cairns airport is an international airport in the far north so surely security should be a priority. Has the airport dropped the ball? It seems that way. Who is accountable for these problems? These concerns are not a secret because they tell everyone at their security meetings.

Anonymous said...

I vote Freebody for Cairns citizen of the year! Why? Because his style of mismanagement perfectly fits the Cairns business model. Until the dickhead mentality of the north is changed we will keep getting people like the Freebody's, Mannings and Browns running the place.

Anonymous said...

AQUIS can still happen as the dollar goes down and the project is downsized. But we may have missed a lot of investment in the meantime as that project was promising so much no other investment was needed. Same with the 10 towers on Spence. New projects can trigger more investment except when those projects will supply more than the market needs. Money is made from scarcity,not over supply.

Hamish Krint said...

If the Compost is so bad, how come it sells papers and still makes a profit? What does it say for the intelligence of its many hundreds of readers? And its advertisers? And if Cueball is so bad, how come he has lasted more than 20 years in the job? Why are people still advertising on this station? If Stench is so bad, how come he keeps getting re-elected? Let me make a prediction - Sleepy and his mob will probably get back in, because dumb electors tend to go with the familiar. They keep listening to a familiar station, they keep buying a familiar paper. Unfortunately there are not enough Hillbilly readers to effect change. Boys & girls - to put it bluntly, I think we are all stuffed! I think I might have to go drown in my beer now....

Anonymous said...

WTF Shanghai did you say? the wee lepricorn has taken our airport money and spent it on potatoes.

Alison Alloway said...

RE: The sale of Cairns Airport.

This has a long history going back to 1979 and Malcolm Fraser's decision to hand over airports to local authorities to manage. The then Mayor, Ron David held a referendum on the issue as to whether the voters wanted the then Council to own and run the airport. Cairns people were for the most part against local ownership and voted accordingly in the referendum. In then stepped Mick Borzi then Chairman of the Port Authority and that organisation took over the airport.
Next, in 1995 or 1996, the then Treasurer, Keith de Lacey, wanted to build a new hospital for Cairns on a new site. The area first chosen was nearby where the Cairns Youth Police Club. He explained his reasons that the existing hospital was getting too old and inadequate to face the needs of the growing population.
John Mackenzie started the protest against the new hospital, citing the "wonderful ocean views from the hospital". He used his usual tactics of stoking up the rednecks and half wits within Cairns who were all fired up about losing "the beautiful views". The Cairns Post also joined the campaign against the new hospital, by printing on its front cover, a photo of the old hospital with chains all over it and the headlines "LEAVE OUR HOSPITAL ALONE!"

(If you can remember what Mackenzie's campaign against the Entertainment Precinct and the Ukulele Festival was like, you have SOME IDEA!!)

Facing a revolt amongst the Cairns population, De Lacey retreated and gave the money (around $1 billion) to Townsville which then went ahead and built their new hospital.

By 2000, just a short four years later, it was patently obvious that the old Cairns Hospital was struggling to cope with the increased population, with inadequate bed spaces and the urgent need for more wards. Mackenzie then joined the clamour and cry for the hew Member for Cairns, Desley Boyle to "do something about the hospital."

Monies were allocated and the hospital was gradually extended, however as the years rolled on, it was never enough. Huge amounts of money was spent on buying out existing properties close to the hospital. Any fool could see that expanding the hospital would be extremely expensive.

Finally, with more and more expenditure required, the then Bligh Government decided to sell the Cairns airport, and press releases from Stephen Robertson, then Health Minister, Anna Bligh herself as Premier and Desley Boyle as the Member for Cairns, all said that the
"money from the sale of the airport would go into upgrading the existing hospital PLUS buying land at Edmonton for a new hospital."

I have kept copies of those press releases, because Mackenzie then slyly started telling lies about it.

In the following election when Mackenzie was again gushing and drooling over his support for the LNP Candidate, Mackenzie said the Bligh Government PROMISED to build a brand new hospital with the sale of the airport.

This was a brazen lie from Mackenzie.

All up, this sad and miserable history of Cairns, reveals that

1. Had the people of Cairns voted for local government ownership of our airport, we would have been a very wealthy local government authority.

2. Had the people of Cairns supported Keith de Lacey on his offer of a brand new hospital for Cairns, the airport would never have had to be sold.

In other words, we would have had a new hospital and kept our own airport.

Anonymous said...

Paul freebody and family are vile people
Chris morris should give back some of his own medicine paul freebody has ruined maybe peoples lifes with his lies and bullying im going to send an email to chris morris

Anonymous said...

The Freebodys should try Crowdfunding. Within a week or two, they could open a self-assemble kiddie wading pool, on special from Toys R Us

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tony Hillier said...

The Compost's weekday circulation is dwindling at an ever increasing rate, along with its influence — especially over young people. Cueball MacKenzie's toxic program, along with his right-wing propaganda, is only listened to by a coterie of embittered old bigots and sycophants. When the preposterous Aquis development is finally knocked on the head and (hopefully) we get a progressive and much needed change in federal government member and mayor and councillors who actually represent their division(s)/electorate rather than themselves, Cairns might start going forwards rather than backwards.

Anonymous said...

You are spot on Alison Alloway. It is absolutely shameless how history is being distorted by McKenzie. He just finished another suck-up job with Manning , praising him for his "new entertainment centre" which apparently is widely supported blablabla...I heard John Schilling say the other day that CRC never lost the money allocated for the CEP, but that it was stolen by Wayne Swann !!! Unbelievable and of course it went unchallenged. No mention that the federal funding was tied to the state funding and that the state funding was linked to that specific site, which was handed back by Manning and his mates. You know, the piece of waterfront land that was absolutely essential for future port expansion and then we are back of course on the dredging bullshit and if only we dredged the inlet all the empty shops in the CBD would magically get new tenants selling fish and chips and ice cream to cashed up cruise ship passengers.. On and on it goes.

Anonymous said...

I thought airport security was a federal government matter?

Anonymous said...

HBW....your old mate Howie Thomas is at it again.Apparently he was rejected to even go on the pre selection list to replace Warren.What to do?Aqis and trout have given him the flick.Living in a rented house with failing businesses is tough.What to do?Wife Bronwyn is going to be the independent candidate for division 9.Independent my arse...both of them are members of the Liberal Party.Bronwyn has convienately forgotten to mention any post secondary education or employment history...just that she wants Cairns to' grow well'.Would be more honest to say...vote for me as I desperately need this job and the 130k salary...and I have to stand as an independent because Manning wouldn't dump Steve Fennel.Should ask her also if she's an independent...how come Trouts campaign manager Connolly is giving her Trouts corflutes and doing free printing for her.

shanghai said...

fuck he's dumb I told him buy sorghum futures not spuds futures china has bought all the sorghum that America can produce but maybe his onto something? but congrats to us one trillion dollars in foreign debt my old man would be turning in his grave he was going crazy when we were 50 million in debt but that was a different era I guess...

Anonymous said...

Annon 10:30, no it's not. It is a government department requirement to have security, but the airport is responsible for administering it. And as with anything in life in Cairns, that function is outsourced. Just don't park out front for more than 10 seconds because Kevin Browns Gestapo will move you along quick smart - no freebies from our resident tight ass Scotsman (unless the freebies are for him).

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 15/12/15 10:15

You have hit on a troubling problem with the elected council.

The funding for the CEP was part of a stimulus program in response to the GFC. It had a clearly defined expiry date. Even if this sort of funding remained available Townsville would attract it currently as they see a downturn in their economy while ours is on the up. The timing is critical on that type of spending. To think that money would stay on the table was ignorant and incompetence.

We see the same lack of basic understand on AQUIS, unbelievably naive. The lack of understanding on Chinese demographics. Then not having a clue what was happening with the ports bill despite it being Mannings baby. They are truly bad. Really. Now we read the theatre is already running into cost blowouts. Not confirmed but would not surprised in the least.

If you want good economic management you would not vote for Manning,

Alison Alloway said...

Schilling cannot get away with saying "Swan stole the money". I have kept all the "Cairns Post" clippings where Gavin King and Bob Manning announced they were handing the funding for the Entertainment Precinct back to Campbell Newman. I believe "Hillbilly Watch" also has something in his archives as well. Frankly, I believe it was done because King was ingratiating himself a la sucky, sucky, sucky with Newman. To the best of my knowledge, I believe it is the first time ever in Australia that a local government has ever given back to the government some hard won funding for a regional facility. (Note: The amount of funding allocated to the Entertainment Precinct was given as it would serve a REGION, not just the city of Cairns. King and Manning therefore not only chucked the citizens of Cairns a "brown-eye" but also the residents of the region.)

Tony Hillier said...

At last Mayor Manning has fessed up. It appears there is a mere $30 million shortfall on his revamped Entertainment Precinct. The Munro Martin Park "upgrade" looks to me like a classic smokescreen. Now it would appear that Manning and his minions are planning to raze the old theatre to the ground before the March local government election in an attempt to coerce State and Federal Government into coughing up funding, which his council of sycophants voted to knock back! The State ALP Govt would assuredly be more favourably disposed to a new funding offer if an approach came from Jim Brooks' Connect Cairns team.


Anonymous said...

I met Sharon Howles the other day, the ALP candidate for Leichhardt. She wasn't that inspiring I will admit, but I suspect she might be better than Entsch. I tend to be joining the why vote- it only encourages them camp.

Anonymous said...

$30 mil shortfall you say? No probs, Sleepy will just put rates up if he gets back in, he will probably charge us a 'Barrier reef tax' or something equally dumb, he might postpone any infrastructure maintenance for a set period of 99 years, and he might introduce a 'regional one off fruit bat tax' that each rate payer must pay along with the inflated fuel prices and excessively ridiculous insurance costs which are used to prop up the SE corner.

Anonymous said...

Re anonymous 13:03 did Bronwyn Thomas declare her husband is best friends with Kim Vuga of Townsville. The anti Muslim racist bogan from the sbs show. Bet she doesn't put that on her agenda.