Monday 31 March 2008

Nothing can be done: Pitt

At a meeting on Friday with Save False Cape activist Terry Spackman, Local Government Minister Warren Pitt said that, although he doesn't like it, "the owner has a legal right to develop it, so nothing can be done about it."

John Ewens of Starline Australia Holdings, has been developing the kilometer long site under Reef Cove Resorts for the last 2 years, amid huge scrutiny and difficulties. There have been a number of serious worker injuries and one death from large falling boarders.

Terry Spackman also asked the Minister who would pay for the clean-up of the site, now in obvious ruin from substantial sediment run-off on the abandoned site. This would be if the the developer John Ewens, and financial backer MFS went broke.

"If it is a threat to Trinity Inlet, then the State Government would intervene," Minister Warren Pitt said.

CEC, who was contracted to undertake excavation and construction on the site, is still hopeful for work to recommence. However, they are awaiting payment in excess of $1 million in outstanding dues for work carried out since December.

Meanwhile, former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock has quit as company chairman of MFS, in light of the financial turmoil of the group backing the project. He will step down in May. On Friday, shareholders were angry as they have seen a high of $6.85 last May to 99 cents when trade was suspended in January.

They have consistency blamed their state in a "downturn in global financial markets and the short-selling of MFS shares."

Legal funder IMF will fund a shareholder class action against MFS over the company's disclosures to the stock market in the lead up to its suspension from the ASX.

At least $750 million of investment money is tied up in MFS' Premium Income Fund. It is frozen due to the company's financial situation. Most is from everyday small family investors. New board director Chris Scott, said the MFS debacle had "buggered his life".

The meeting however did achieve something positive. They changed their name. Octaviar, as it will be now known, was the sister of Roman emperor Augustus and wife of Marc Anthony, who died in 11 b.c.


Anonymous said...

MFS aso bought into the American "sub-prime" packages off Wall Street. Like many others, they would not have known what they were buying..."caveat emptor" is the guiding rule of free market economics. I am not sure to what extent this caused MFS's problems but it was a factor.
Please take note, you John-Howard-free-market enthusiasts in the Liberal Party. And incidentally, the "sub-prime banking crisis" in the USA was initially fuelled when the American Government printed more money as a response to the huge expenditures on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It simply isn't absurd anymore to claim that we are all starting to pay for America's disastrous foreign policy. Liberal voters should learn from what Kevin Rudd is doing. We can maintain a close relationship with the USA, but not agree with them on everything. Australia is a mid ranking country and we should act as such, not as America's parrot and lackey.

Anonymous said...

MFS did NOT "buy" American subprime mortgages. It borrowed money from the subprime market in the USA to allow these developments to be built.

The same with the major banks; they've borrowed cheap US money which has now dried up, driving their cost of money up beyond the rate set by the Reserve Bank.

ONe should really question why the bulk of our superannuation money is being invested abroad instead of domestically. Macquarie in particular has been pumping our super money into infrastructure ---OFFSHORE! Airports in Europe, toll roads in the USA, etc. This gets them marginally better returns, while starving the Australian business and development community of the use of OUR money to improve OUR country.

It's a bloody mess. Rudd and his cronies don't have the intelligence or the stomach to deal with the problem, and so our stock market has now plummeted, by percentage, much greater than the US or Asian markets. So we're paying for this greed.

And the 2020 committees are packed with bankers and economists that also won't deal with the problem.

Superannuation use in the next ten years? You won't be retiring with much. . . .

Anonymous said...

Thank you, "retired professor" above. Yes, they "borrowed" money from the sub-prime market.
I agree also with the comments about our superannuation funds. The matter is a serious and urgent one as it affects Aussies retirement monies. I would hope that Rudd could call a national conference or something similar for fund managers??? What are your thoughts then "professor"?

Anonymous said...

Lets look in the mirror ... Greed means some win at the expense of others ... is that the kind of community we want ?

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that all of the unity team has gone, Byrne, who will employ him only his old mates that gave him money maybe he will have to work off the donations.
Freebody, what can I say he should go back to school, the beautiful wife and 3 lovely sons.(Cairns has been so good to them) pack up and go somplace else, and to the other good ridence.Now Val show us what your all about.