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

21 February 2016

BOB MANNING AND UNITY TEAM - MASSIVE POLICY FAILURES PUT CAIRNS INTO A TAILSPIN WHILE OTHER REGIONAL CITIES EXPERIENCE STRONG, VERIFIABLE GROWTH

"THE GREATEST CHALLENGE FOR THE CAIRNS REGIONAL COUNCIL IN ITS NEXT TERM IS TO DO WHATEVER WE CAN TO RESTORE CONFIDENCE IN ORDER TO ATTRACT INVESTMENT AND BUSINESS ACTIVITY INTO THE AREA"

This is the key policy statement made by Bob "Sleepy" Manning and his Unity Team prior to the 2012 CRC election.

In this they have been abject failures.  This factor ALONE is enough for voters to turn out this rubber-stamping mob at the next election.


WE GIVE YOU EXHIBIT NO. 1:

This photo of the Cairns CBD this week.  At the election of Bob Manning in 2012 there were TWO construction cranes on the Cairns skyline.  Since those were taken down in 2013, not ONE has replaced it.  NOT ONE.

We've been given a lot of smoke and mirrors.  Tony Fung.  Sure.  And Benny Wu - who blows into town, buys a run-down hotel and small island resort, and then does nothing to improve them (unless you call land-clearing on Double Island an "improvement".  Wu now has Double Island for sale, AGAIN, we're advised.  Cairns is being used as a money laundry.  

You really can't make this shit up.  Look around you.

Then the Aspial project.  It would seem the Singaporean-
based Aspial is a reputable company.  With great fanfare we were told that Aspial construction "was underway".  OVER A YEAR AGO.  In a media show orchestrated by Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King for a visit by his now deposed boss, Campbell Newman.  Aspial has built a model and sales office - and stopped dead.  Clearly because of Bob Manning and his Unity Team.  Manning allowed approval of this complex of Asian-style dog boxes and even gifted several million in ratepayer concessions.  So where is it, Bob? 

The only two major Unity Team construction projects completed by the Cairns Council (Tobruk Pool and Murray Street Dam) were both contracts given to southern contractors, despite Cairns having qualified contractors available.  And the third big contract (signed, but as yet unimplemented) for the refurbishment of the too-small Cairns Civic Theatre was also given to a non-Cairns contractor.

While of course all of these companies claim a desire to "employ local workers if possible", the Cairns Unity Team council refuses to require contract language enforcing such a provision.  Language that is standard in large contracts by councils in Townsville, Ipswich, the Gold Coast, and other regional cities.

With developers and contractors the biggest campaign contributors to the 2012 Unity Team, one would guess they got their money's worth.

But what about the community, Bob?  Where are the jobs?

Bob Manning and his group of sycophants have failed to restore confidence, and failed to attract investment and business activity to Cairns.  Instead they've attracted clown shows and circuses - all show and no action.



23 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Cairns Post deliberately hyped up peoples expectations over the AQUIS project all but declaring it a fait accomplait. This was irresponsible and appalling journalism and has done nothing but leave people wondering what the hell happened.

Ken svay said...

The Cairns Post run the same story every six months about the billions in investment that is coming, always naming the same apartment developments and of course Aquis. I have never lived in a town without a crane on the skyline before.
But when one looks at the cost of power and insurance why would developers come here? I still can't believe that tourists come and spend as much as they do. I see that some Chinese association is trying to raise money for a museum featuring local Chinese history, good. But where is the leadership to promote something like a museum featuring all our history?
And why do the council give contracts to interstate builders? The Tobruk Pool looks a long way from finished, what was the completion date in the contract and how many variation claims have been lodged?

Ernie said...

Re the Theatre, how can there be a binding contract to construction while there is a 20 day submission time which may well halt this waste of ratepayers dollars at this site, also is the council in caretaker mode from now till election and if so no contracts can be entered into. When Jim Brooks becomes Mayor hope fully he will listen to the right people and build a theatre in the correct site and at a lesser cost to ratepayers.

Geoff Holland said...

Good point about not contracting local construction companies and workers. But the measurement of economic progress by the number of cranes on the skyline is ridiculous.

And what is HBW view on Aquis? Lots of jobs? Aquis is totally inappropriate in my view.

Measuring progress by the number of aircraft landing at Cairns Airport is also not lateral thinking. Just more of the same ol' same ol' bums on seats. Increasing our dependence on tourism just makes our local economy more vulnerable to inevitable downturns. It reduces our economic resilience.

We need to be smarter about economic development. The big ticket items usually mean an ephemeral flash in the pan - like Daikyo and Billy Wu. It means profits draining out of the economy. The developers and multinationals are not going to save us.

We need to build small to medium-size businesses that relate to emerging markets, and preferably ones that require skilled workers. Hotels and apartments just employ a few underpaid cleaners and security personnel.

Chamber of Commerce, Advance Cairns, CRC and State Development all seem to focus on the big-ticket vision, or rather, illusion. They seem to have no strategic plan to encourage new (non-tourism) industries, and to build business and entrepreneurial skills at the small business level. No strategy for youth unemployed and long-term unemployed. We need a grassroots bottom up long-term strategy, not a lazy opportunistic approach.

Forget the junkets to China. Focus on meeting people with initiative in the community, and giving support to developing new products and services.

Anonymous said...

Val drove the developers out of town.
Only KB can get them back.

TAS said...

Agreed Ernie (08:44), the edge-of-town old cinema-looking building is just wrong. Manning canned the original (and lost its $100 million funding) but promised even better within his term. Despite many harebrained utterances about public/private ; NOTHING!

I too hope that sweeping out tired old Manning and his tired old Unity cohorts can be the impetus for a signature building which will highlight Cairns and which the community can be proud of. In 1965, the Sydney Opera House was underway. It was underfunded/over-budget, and people did not generally support it (funding was finally achieved with an opera house lottery). Now, it's iconic, the most recognisable building in Australia, equal to the harbour bridge. We need, in our own scaled down way, something as iconic and unique to Cairns. And on the waterfront site, with Trinity Inlet as a backdrop, it can be just that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:44, most developers in Cairns went broke after the GFC. It had nothing to do with Val, so don't spread silly lies. It is unfortunate that the one great project Val did have in the bag was sabotaged at the last moment by the State LNP and Bob Manning. This project would have provided a lot of work and economic stimulus, when it was badly needed and could also have had a positive flow on effect, encouraging other developments in the CBD. Note that there has been very little development under Bob Manning's LNP council. They wasted a lot of time and money chasing after Aquis and nothing else.As for KB, he left us with a lot of unsuitable developments that should have never been approved. That is one of the reasons he lost so many votes on the Northern Beaches and got booted out. You'd really have to wonder about the business model of all those developers though. After one of the biggest construction booms Cairns has ever seen and after building hundreds and hundreds of overpriced, poor quality units and houses, they still went broke one after the other. You have to wonder why....

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.44: Love your comedy !!

Anonymous said...



Cairns more than any other regional city had potential but it is squandered due to econobabble and boys clubs, self serving politicians and the cold hard reality that no major party can work for a diversity of regions. We have one speed solutions for multi speed regional economies, doom to fail.

Geoff is correct, if we are not attracting skilled staff then there is technically no economic growth. More under worked part time casual is not a stronger economy, it is a weaker one.

Advance Cairns need to justify its existence. Well if it wants our funding. I would like to know why Matthews left, was he part of the problem or did he find the protected club hard to dismantle?

Manning does not come across as very intelligent, certainly has no town panning skills but Brookes is an unknown. If we are to have these parties at local level I wish they would be more of a permanent thing developing polices and idea and being at more than one local government election. That way new regional political parties could be formed at grass roots level.

Anonymous said...



Ken Savey, that list recycled by Cairns Chamber of Commerce and the Cairns Post just made us look like a unprofessional back ward town. Must be able to provide good information, or provide none at all.

Anonymous said...

Ken svay, we have noticed that The Cairns Post recycles the same old stories about big time investors and some new venture for Cairns and the Far North.

Anonymous said...

Why would you invest in Cairns? There are no jobs, no decent infrastructure, home and contents insurance is as expensive as Sydney, rates are exorbitantly high, petrol is high, grocery costs are high and the quality is crap, you have to order in furniture etc which takes weeks for it to come from Brisbane or Sydney, the weather is hot hot and hot, mould is out of control, electricity cost are absolutely high (and it cost you a fortune as you need fans, aircon and a pool constantly running), and successive Councils have made sure the city has remained stagnant and locked in a Bjelke-Peterson time warp, d the list goes on.....invest in this Hillbilly city in its current state? Keep dreaming.

Anonymous said...

When Manning got in, Cairns really needed projects and the economic stimulation they would provide. Manning canned the CEP and he also canned the Tanks refurbishment and school of arts/museum projects. These THREE arts and culture projects were designed, documented and ready to construct when that visionless boof and his cronies canned them. Now they claim to be running council finances better than ever (hello, they stopped spending money when Cairns needed money spent), they now have the hide to claim credit for commencing the Tanks refurb and school of arts projects. Both those projects were a result of the previous council's vision and work.

Further, the current council are arrogant and are bullies. When a recently retired director of a local architecture firm spoke out against the current half-arsed theatre project, a councillor used duress against his business partners to get him to stop speaking out. That is NOT the sort of council I want running this town.

Anonymous said...

Had a laugh on my way to work. Swerved a Cassowary this morning only go back and have a look. Turned out to be a picture of Cathy Zeiger on one of those (illegally) placed 'vote for me' placards..fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me

Anonymous said...

The recycling of articles by the Compost is an embarrassment to Cairns. Akin, to a child at the back of a classroom waving his hand to keep the teacher aware of his presence.

And note, every article by the Compost about business, or money being spent is penned by the profound fuckwit,- Nick Dalton. I'm not sure why he considers this avenue of journalism his forte.

Then every week or two, the Cairns Chamber of Commerce will pop up in the Compost or on one of the local TV news channels. The interviewee always being CEO Deb Hancock, (the 'boiler' with 3mm of makeup & lippy on).

Do both these entities collude to do this in the faint hope that some cashed up, out-of-towner sees it and decides to spend some of their dough ??

In reality,- the cashed up out-of-towner would be cashed up because they are not stupid !

Anonymous said...

Hancock is another ancient part of he Cairns Hillbilly legacy that needs to be retired permanently. She swans around like a peacock and she is lost somewhere in time, a bit like 'Back to the future'. Another Hillbilly who thinks her shit don't stink and that she is a valuable part of Cairns business structure. Someone needs to wake up the old boiler, give her a shovel to remove all that makeup and tell her to piss off once and for all.

Anonymous said...

Dalton is a tosser. Another Neville nobody hiding in Hillbilly land, penning his one-sided little articles that always favor the regions biggest dickheads, hence him not being able to get a job with a real newspaper, one that isn't located in the boondocks like Cairns. If ever Cairns grows up one day and becomes a reputable, dare I say enviable and professional city, people like Dalton will be forced to move on to another hillbilly town where he can scribe his folly until his heart is content.

TAS said...

Have to ask Hillbilly; should the measure of progress in this (or any) city be measured by cranes? Cranes are typically counted as an indicator of economic activity - 'building' providing jobs. That building activity draws in more people to fill the jobs and also to live and work in the buildings. The economic activity grows commensurately. But where is the long-term benefit? How do I and all the other residents of Cairns benefit when cranes build towers which are then used to house e.g. another 50,000 people? Is Cairns today a better place for its residents with a population of 150,000 people than it was with half that number? Isn't it just a big ponzi scheme predicated on endless growth? Common-sense should tell us all that there cannot be endless growth, so when is a good time to say 'this big and no more'?

JOHN MACKENZIE'S HILLBILLY WATCH said...

To those like TAS who have suggested that the number of cranes are a poor measure of progress - we agree.

However it was a factor cited by "Bankrupt" Bob Manning at the last election along with several of his councillors. And commented on by Cueball MacKenzie.

Economic progress of course can't be measured by such a crude tool. However to those who believe it matters, we note their absence for the record.

Anonymous said...


Whether we like it or not it can be a sign of human progress. Progress has been due to people migrating from farms to villages to towns to cities for work. But we have no work so even if we did get cranes it would not be progress, it would be real estate speculation.

TAS said...

The below link to The Cairns Post tells the Cairns story as it is today: real estate agents trolling for public assets for developer mates. Forget about your quality of life, with its community gathering places and its sense of history, our city is now just ripe pickings for the spivs to make a quick buck. And we have leaders at every level supporting them. Everything is up for sale, nothing matters more than turning an easy quid.

http://www.cairnspost.com.au/realestate/girl-guides-upset-their-cairns-hut-and-land-to-be-sold-to-developer/news-story/701057c64fb541792af176a8948e15bb#load-story-comments

Ken svay said...

Hurrah for the Cairns Post. They are running a story on upcoming building developments again. The C 3 and Nova 8 projects are about to go up, well if not this year then next year. Or maybe the year after....

Anonymous said...

A bit of a head scratcher, the paper we received from ECG listed us as being in Division 8 and the electoral division map shows us a being Division 9, I wonder how many others this happened to.