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Now if only Craig Thomson and his credit card had visited Brisbane more often this business may just have survived ….
- Yes, I do believe him………..but have doubts about her! (cafewhispers.wordpress.com)
- And the condemned man drank lots of water. (iainhall.wordpress.com)
- No Mae Culpa From Craig Thompson (phillthedill.com)
The election up here is now getting very close indeed and if you watch any commercial TV you will see the ads from all and sundry, Labor are going the personal smear on Campbell Newman but the LNP have a much more potent tool in the media battle for the hearts, minds and most importantly the votes of Queenslanders. They have the record of the Bligh governemnt which is pretty shoddy by any standards, from promising not to sell the state’s assets and then doing so to not being able to pay its nurses properly the Labor administration has stuffed up on every level imaginable now we face the possibility that the Commonwealth games to be held on the Gold Coast will prove to be a huge financial burden upon the people of Queensland as well.
While Treasurer Andrew Fraser yesterday insisted the village would be delivered within its original budget set by the bid team of $48.9 million, the discrepancy exposes the risk carried by the Government as it builds the 1338-unit athlete village.
It is banking on a massive return when it on-sells the units as student accommodation and affordable apartments to recoup millions outlaid in building.
But the Coordinator-General is worried that would not be achievable, according to the leaked documents, which are marked “hot issue” and “protected”.
According to the document, the Coordinator-General thinks the final cost to taxpayers is more likely to reach between $120 million and $208 million.
Mr Fraser admitted returns would be at the whim of the property market but he said the Government would protect itself by constructing and releasing the units in stages, rather than flooding the market. Some units would already be sold and lived in before the Games, he said, with owners signing agreements to vacate the buildings during the event.
Ray may be right that I “don’t get sport” but I do get that the real contest at events like the Commonwealth Games is for prestige and the race is won with public opinion rather than any particular finishing line and frankly I’m actaully rather unimpressed by the whole thing and the fact that its become something of a pissing contest to see who can build the most useless sporting facilities that will forever Blight our landscape. Architects and builders love it because they get to build some horrendous monuments to their egos, and they hope to make a quid or to from the process but the ordinary people who live in the shadows of this orgy of sporting onanaism have their lives disrupted and blighted, sometimes for years, just so some polies can have their photo ops with various over trained and over indulged athletes…
Hmm Sorry for the cynical tone but I have not yet had my breakfast of champions today…
I expect that Ray will follow the party line that the failure to order seats for a new passenger train was all part of the game plan for the Bligh government but the evidence does not support such spin at all:
The announcement included plans to include new “lay flat seats, similar to airline sky beds” and “smart, flatscreen TVs in all seats featuring in-seat entertainment with movies, news, sport weather and music on demand”.
“This $189 million investment means passengers on this world-class route will be able to travel in world-class luxury,” Ms Bligh said at the time.
However, it seems it will cost taxpayers much more to provide the luxury promised by Ms Bligh after Queensland Rail confirmed the seats and entertainment consoles were not included in the original $189 million price tag.
“Queensland Rail has a contract with Downer EDI to supply and fit-out the new Sunlander, and new carriages for the existing Cairns Tilt Trains, at a cost of $189 million,” QR said in a statement.
“This excludes the supply and fitting of seating and infotainment units, which are still subject to commercial discussions.”
QR compared this to how airline companies ordered planes.
Maryborough-based firm Downer EDI, which has the contract to build the new train, constructed the existing tilt trains, including fitting seats.
The existing Sunlander, which travels between Brisbane and Cairns, is being replaced after 45 years in service. It includes sleeper carriages and a dining car but is at least five hours slower than the tilt trains.
The bungle comes five years after QR’s CityTrain fleet expansion was derailed by new trains too big for key tunnels between Central Station and Brunswick St.
Pardon me but this has to be one of the most outrageous oversights from a shoddy government who are prone to such stuff ups, frankly its a wonder that the new train order included the wheels on the trains with this mob in charge! Of course there is more than a hint of irony that a so called progressive party who are committed to good environmental practice should stuff something like this up!
Further it strikes me as being rather strange that as the airline industry goes to a more utilitarian business model that the governemnt want to try to sell intercity train travel as a “luxury” experience…
A certain dictator was once reputed to have achieved trains running on time well it looks like Anna Bligh has been working on a reputation for trains that can’t fit through the tunnels or carry any passengers…
maybe what we need to envisage is Anna Bligh ending up like Benito …
Then again, maybe not, because the ballot box is always much better than a strong rope an angry mob and a lamp post
I could ramble on about the flooding and the mess that is now emerging as the water levels recede but instead I am reposting the images posted on the front page of the OZ this morning , Each in its own way speaks volumes about the scale of the devastation,the bravery of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and the magnitude of the job ahead.
It all makes me just so very proud of my fellow Queenslanders.
I have tried to avoid going into the CBD of Brisbane as much as I can over the last few years but when I do I have been overwhelmed by the fact that so much of it always seems to be under some sort of construction, rebuilding or renovation. Of course the reality is that developments are not always a net gain for the city.
THE State Government has scrapped the controversial $1.7 billion North Bank development on the Brisbane River and all other plans for the site.
Instead of high-rise buildings and platforms extending out into the river, the area will only be given a minor upgrade to make it safer for walkers, runners and cyclists.
Premier Anna Bligh said she had “listened to the people” rather than experts who had said North Bank could generate $2 billion in benefits for the Queensland economy and thousands of jobs.
The Government had already spent $5.2 million on planning the riverside development after previous assurances taxpayers would not pay a cent.
Government sources denied the shock cancellation had anything to do with the current credit crisis and hints last week by Treasurer Andrew Fraser that the Government could cut back on its huge infrastructure building program if the global financial woes continued to deepen.
But the axing of the development came as Ms Bligh and Labor nose-dived in statewide polls and followed her scrapping last month of the widely criticised $14 billion shale oil mining project in the Whitsundays.
The Premier told The Sunday Mail yesterday the Government had received 2275 submissions from the public and stakeholders on North Bank, with 93 per cent against the development.
The facts are that any new precinct that has a whopping big free way going through it is hardly going to be an attraction for people to spend time in, what with the noise and fumes. Add to that the engineering difficulties of building over a river, the possibility that this monstrosity would have exasperated the flood risk, the whole development was bonkers from the very beginning.
I say good show to Anna Bligh for seeing sense at last, the only downside is that it has taken so long to make this sensible decision and that the government has spent 5.2 million bucks, of long suffering Queenslander’s money, to do so .
Mohamed Haneef arrives at Brisbane Airport to board a Thai Airways flight to India. Pic: Reuters
Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews yesterday gave the go-ahead for Dr Haneef to return to India but refused to reinstate his visa.Dr Haneef has vowed to continue to fight to have his visa reinstated in the hope he may one day even return to live and work in Australia, his lawyer says.
Peter Russo said Dr Haneef was “fairly happy” with the outcome and would push ahead with a Federal Court appeal against the cancellation of his work visa, with a hearing due in Brisbane on August 8.
Smiling and giving a thumbs up sign, Dr Haneef was ushered into Brisbane international airport by immigration officials but did not speak to the media.
Accompanied by his relative Imran Siddiqui, Dr Haneef was booked on a Thai Airways flight to Bangalore via Bangkok.
Mr Russo said Dr Haneef was not being deported and was leaving Australia voluntarily as he was homesick and pining for his family in Bangalore.
“He’s fairly happy, he had a choice of either staying until the (visa appeal) hearing has concluded or go back to his wife and child on a voluntary basis – he chose to go back voluntarily,” Mr Russo told reporters at Brisbane airport as he waited to fly out with Dr Haneef.
Although the likes of that serial whiner Bob Brown will see the Haneef case as an example of the evil of our anti-Terror legislation, I personally see that the events that we have witnessed over the last few weeks show that opposing Jihadist terror is never going to be easy. So much of such cases can turn upon the proper handling of what may be very small pieces of evidence, which must be perfectly documented and perfectly annotated in any court process. When mistakes are made a case will inevitable be weakened. Certainly in the Haneef case this was the reason that the Prosecution collapsed.
The Law is however a beast that learns from such mistakes and we can only hope that in future if it is decided to prosecute some one for terrorism associations that the case is more substantial and more accurately presented. As for the Good doctor himself, assuming he is not involved in any sort of Jihadist plot, I hope that he realises that the powers that be in this country have to take very seriously indeed his clear relationships with not one but two of the terrorists caught after the latest attempts to cause death an destruction in the UK.