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

03 July 2016

THE ONE WORD THAT GUARANTEES THE COLLAPSE OF THE CAIRNS TOURISM INDUSTRY

WHY DO TOURISTS COME TO CAIRNS?

Many organisations are paid big money by federal, state, and local governments to answer this question.  Local resident Bill Cummings has been the recipient of this largess over the years, and has produced a vast quantity of reports that look at this question along with other tourism information.  And sadly these Compass Research reports are misleading and ineffectual. 


Many of the reports produced for the region ask the question "Why have you come to Cairns".  And then the surveys incorrectly and deceptively dump the answers together without ever finding out the REAL REASON.  They group "rainforest and reef" together because that's how we market Cairns to the world.  And yet less that 6% of visitors to Cairns go north of the Daintree (the REAL rainforest).  The survey publishers claim it's the "nature experience" that entices people to come to Cairns.  A fatal error in all of these surveys.  And if we don't know why our tourists REALLY come to Cairns, we're making a tragic planning mistake for our future.

One word drives tourism in Cairns.  It isn't "REEF".  It isn't "RAINFOREST".  It isn't "BEACH" OR "TROPICS".  In our world of social-media driven marketing superlatives, only one word drives tourists to Cairns.


GREAT


TROPICAL REEFS AROUND THE WORLD
Reefs aren't unique.  Nor are rainforests.  And the vast majority of the world's population live much much closer to both of these phenomena.  One of the greatest reef diving areas in the world are the reefs surrounding the Caribbean islands.  Bonaire, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos - all are well known reef diving locations, and the vast majority of the world's population doesn't have to sit on an airplane for 24 hours to get there.  

We've been living off our superlative for decades.  We hitched our wagon, and our economic growth, to this one word.  And blind Freddy can see it's about to come crashing to an end.


There is little doubt that climate change is damaging our reef.  It's damaging ALL the coral reefs around the world.  And this unchecked climate change is compounded by water pollution, sediment runoff, and other human activities.  The reef can't survive them all.  Huge areas of the reef north of Cairns were heavily bleached this year, with many of the opinion that much of it will never return. Increased water temperature will kill all but the most hardy of reef corals. Thermal adaptation isn't in the cards.

Protection policies touted by ALL the Australian political parties in the run-up to the election are money down the dunny.  As ocean waters get cooler further south of Cairns, coral is less likely to be killed off - at least in the foreseeable future.  But sadly the die is cast and no amount of carbon reduction schemes is going to stop the inevitable.    

NONE OF THIS HELPS CAIRNS.

Cairns tourism is built on the GREAT Barrier Reef.  Not the MEDIOCRE Barrier Reef.  Not the USED TO BE GREAT Barrier Reef.  And when the public's perception of the GREAT Barrier Reef changes from "GREAT" to any other adjective,the  Science is coalescing around the understanding that a 2◦C rise in ocean temperature will kill all but the most hardy of reef corals. Thermal adaptation isn't in the cards.

Protection policies touted by ALL the Australian political parties in the run-up to the election are money down the dunny.  As ocean waters get cooler further south of Cairns, coral is less likely to be killed off - at least in the foreseeable future.  

NONE OF THIS HELPS CAIRNS.

Cairns tourism is built on the GREAT Barrier Reef.  Not the MEDIOCRE Barrier Reef.  Not the USED TO BE GREAT Barrier Reef.  And when the public's perception of the GREAT Barrier Reef changes from "GREAT" to any other adjective, the raison d'être for Cairns tourism ceases to exist.



When it's no longer perceived as "GREAT", but "DEAD", Cairns tourism-centric economy goes into a death spiral along with it.  FACT.  

This is REAL and should be treated as the crisis that it is.  However our leaders are just sweeping it under the rug - content to deny the bleeding obvious.  John MacKenzie and his hillbilly listeners think that the media "should just stop talking about it".  Cueball regaled a group of blockheads at a restaurant recently about how TTNQ needs a team of "internet wizards" to go into social media sites and remove any discussion of the reef dying!

This has always been why diversification of the Cairns economy is so vital.  

However the concept of "diversification" eludes our leaders.  To them, "diversification" means more cruise ships, so dredge the harbour.  "Diversification" means a larger tourist airport.  Or a big fucking Chinese casino.  We'll still have the sugar cane, but the commercial fishing will be gone.  With upwards of 70% of the population living directly or indirectly on tourism, we won't need a population of 200,000 - 35,000 will do just fine.   

Without the perception by the public that we have a "GREAT REEF" to see, there is NO REASON to travel to Cairns.  Who thinks cruise ships will stop in Cairns to see a dead reef?  Why would anyone spend $300/person to take a high-speed catamaran to see a dead reef?  

$120M for dredging the inlet?  Thinking leaders would have insisted that the naval shipbuilding projects be given to Cairns, as we establish a REAL diverse economy.  Intelligent leaders would have demanded that a Tropical Medicine Research Centre and university study programme be opened in Cairns and not Brisbane - two hours flight time from the tropics.  

We haven't even invested in other tourism products that might ameliorate the dead-reef downturn.  Our beach resort suburbs have NO self-contained resorts and in fact no full-service hotels at all.  Our tourism neighbour to the north, Guam, is also seeing the death of reefs along their coast but as they have primarily marketing Guam as a Hawaii resort substitute, they continue to grow strongly.  They even market the "death of the Great Barrier Reef" as a reason to go to Guam, instead.

Unlike the death of coral reefs around the world, the end to Cairns will be swift when it comes.  There is no way to predict when the public will suddenly realise that 24 hours in a flying tube to see something that is no longer "GREAT" isn't going to happen.  With other drawcards Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, and other Australian locations will thrive.  

Cairns?  Without a crisis plan to expand the Cairns economy in the face of this impending disaster?  Doomed.

(Staff have been working on this story for some time, and have been split over whether it should be published.  We're not doom and gloom people.  However sometimes you have to face ugly truths. . .ed)





12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kevin Browns airport has been doing it's bit towards contributing to the reefs future demise - LEAKING AVIATION FUEL INTO THE UNDERGROUND WATER TABLE!! Not to forget some paint into the Little Barron, and all the PFOS that has contaminated airport soil courtesy of decades of firefighting foam. And it hasn't helped that Cairns airport has in recent years only had an inexperienced Uni student managing the environment after the arrogant Kevin Brown either made the others redundant or pushed out experienced environmental people.

Anonymous said...



It is true that the reef has iconic status that draws tourists. Many say they have actually seen better coral in red sea. WA or elsewhere. But GBR is a bucket list item. The Cape Tribulation trip is lame as rainforest adventures go as well so again they have made it about the name rather than how good the experience is. Tasmania and Northern NSW has magnificent rainforest, even other areas south of Cairns, some not accessible like Grey Peaks Mountain. So will be easiy lost without any effort to save it.


No doubt all the old white men running the show will have some quaint 17th century ideas on how to ignore the problem with the olden days remedy.

Anonymous said...

The Greens' policy to protect the reef and diversify the local economy seem pretty sound to me.

Anonymous said...

I believe most visitors/tourists come to Cairns hoping to meet John MacKenzie and to shake his hand.

Anonymous said...

They come to Cairns to see the nations biggest collection of inbreds, Hillbillys and fucktards. And that's just the local government people and business leaders!!

Anonymous said...

Most come to Cairns to visit Manunda and buy car parts and buy home brew.

Most come to Cairns because it is obvious that from observing the locals incest must be legal.

Most come to Cairns because you can drive a shitbox unroadworthy van while high on Ice and the coppers don't do anything.

Most come to Cairns to have a root in the lagoon at night and then bathe in the same water.

Most come to Cairns to hide their past criminal records, and then indulge in the fruits of being paid to be unemployed while earning cash selling Daintree and Kuranda gunja.

shanghai said...

yes everyone I'm an idiot 6 from 6 election loses worse run in my life I might have to pass on hbw and blueys tips ! love the above I might have to try #3 and if I see elvis on tv again I'm going to actors equity to get him to pay up ! gold logie stuff kool man

Anonymous said...

I get the distinct impression that nobody in authority wants to acknowledge that the reef may be dead in our part of the woods. To do so would kill the tourist industry, our goose which lays the one and only golden egg - tourism - the one egg in the basket. If tourism dies, then Cairns becomes another Detroit, a dying city, a victim of poor future planning by various Chambers of Commerce, Advance Cairns, various business and government bodies. It's been all too easy for these organisations to sit back and do fuck all for the city by pointing the finger at "the politicians" to do all the thinking for them.

Anonymous said...

Did someone say Detroit? There are some definite similarities between Detroit and Cairns!! But Cairns never had a hit song written about them, KISS wrote Detroit rock City! And what what about Detroits founder Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac!! Legend! What does Cairns have, a Cadillac creator? No. Just shitty cane trams! And what about the Detroit locker diff? A genius piece of kit from the 1940's, still popular as ever! And Cairns? Well yeah I guess Sleepy and Wazza have kept us back in the 1940's!

Anonymous said...


Qld voters have been savaged, our reputation in tatters, That does cost investment money. Can anyone explain why Entsch won Redlynch and Mununda, I was not aware they were silvertails and they certainly are not farmers.

Self harm is a thing in QLD.

Anonymous said...

Cairns voters once again uphold the proud tradition of voting against their best interests.

Ken svay said...

Only coral in deeper water will survive I have been told. Cairns is certainly on borrowed time as far as the reef and tourism is concerned. Yet people continue to vote for arrogant pricks like Entsch and Manning, we truly are hillbillies.