The last two months in Cairns may have been the worst since the 2007 crash. Perhaps the worst since the pilot's strike.
It's a tale of two Queenslands.
The reorganized Cairns Airport is being prepared for sale by the New York investment bankers that control it. Cairns Airport continues to tout INCREASED TRAFFIC. But as any shop owner in town can tell you, this hasn't translated into more tourists. TTNQ surveys being withheld from the public note that the average time a tourist stays in Cairns has declined almost one full day from three years ago.
And exit surveys being done of tourists have seen a sharp decline in satisfaction with reef day trips. Almost a third have seen evidence of coral bleaching and other reef damage.
Longer-stay domestic tourists are now avoiding the beach areas. With irukandji closing the beaches more frequently and crocodiles now in control of much of the waterfront, who would stay in Palm Cove? Only the ignorant.
Almost every resident in Cairns now is starting to realize that governments, state and federal, are disinterested in any investments in Cairns. Roads. Power. Tourism. Infrastructure. All are being ignored as internal government reports indicate Cairns tourism has peaked, and further investments will be wasted.
Of course we've got "hot" Syrian and middle eastern money pouring into hotel projects. This is a money laundering scheme at best. It hasn't gone unnoticed that none of the new hotels are going to be branded with any major hotelier. The finance and ownership won't pass the due diligence of any major hotel company. These hotels will be flipped and the money removed faster than you can say "shock jock child molester".
Many experienced tradies are concerned about payment, but like most "hot construction", some stupid tradies will eventually be dudded. The Cairns Post runs these stories at the end of every boom period.
Queensland, now with the highest power prices in the developed world, is tipping higher prices as ALP and LNP governments agree - government can make big money from essential services like electricity.
Petrol 30cents/litre more than the rest of Australia? Warren Entsch tells constituents to "shop around". Entsch - who spends more time obsessing over the newest ladyboy to hit the Cairns Post classifieds, is the biggest turd to ever occupy a political position. Half a $Mil for his new office and the voters continue to be suckers.
Meanwhile the Cairns Post runs almost daily stories about residents without jobs, neighbours losing their homes, people losing their benefits and ratepayers behind in their payments. All of this drives more anti-social behaviour - a guy lying about a croc attack, cops getting promotions with stolen CV's, more fish-o's getting booked for green zone poaching, petrol station drive-offs, and rising crimes of opportunity.
Premier Palaszczuk has adopted the simpleton message of US Idiot Savant, Donald Trump, and said that the ALP is all about "jobs, jobs, jobs". For Cairns that means MORE casual jobs, more cash-in-hand jobs, more off-the-books jobs. It hasn't been just the restaurants all up and down the Esplanade that are getting away with murder - the Chinese-owned Night Markets places are all dodging taxes at every turn (hence the "No Credit Cards" signs everywhere). Even businesses owned by the lauded but now dead Charlie Woodward have been stiffing employees at Rainforest Station for YEARS.
It all comes back to what we've done to the Reef.
Someone wake up Mayor Bob. . . . . . Richie Bates has removed 400 trash bins, paying for the $7Million computer debacle one trash bin at a time. Why hasn't this been investigated as a crime, anyway? Along with the Manning family's Trading while Insolvent. . . .
The next elections are shaping up to be a bloodbath. . .