Monday 12 July 2010

Sugarworld waterslides feasibility study spent interstate and overseas

Lisa Robbie, who has campaigned for the repair and reopening of the Sugarworld waterslides, on the South side of Cairns, says a substantial amount of the funds are not only leaving the region, but is going offshore.

I can advise that SGL of Adelaide were appointed as the consultants for the Sugarworld Feasibility Study.

Not only is the money leaving the region, but SGL then appointed White Water West in Canada to do the costings and concept designs. A fair chunk of that $100,000 or so, will leave the country.

This is extremely bad form for Cairns Regional Council. With businesses shutting down all over this town, the highest unemployment rate in the country and families struggling, how does the Council justify giving work to businesses that are not even local?

It's time Council started to boost our local economy by supporting local businesses and local families.

Tourism is our biggest industry and Cairns Regional Council needs to pull out all stops to rapidly draw visitors back to our region now. When tourism flourishes, more locals are employed in tourism and hospitality. More money circulates through our local retail sector, as a flow on, other businesses flourish and are able to employ more staff again, the community is in a better financial position with job security and better looking bank accounts, and families start buying new houses again, which gets are tradies back in shape.

We need to look after our locals by looking after our tourists.

Further to that, Cairns Regional Council needs to look into developing another sustainable, less fickle industry in Cairns. They can shove their cultural precinct where the sun don't shine. That $200 million should be injected into creating a long-term sustainable industry other than tourism to employ our locals. Building infrastructure only employs in the short term. Once the building is complete, what's left? An empty amphitheatre because the tourists have stopped coming and the locals have either left town or are too broke to see a show.

All levels of government need to work together to build a new industry here in the Far North with large employment opportunities.

Come on Cairns Regional Council, pull your finger out.


Leigh Dall'Osto said...

I actually think that the Cultural Precinct is a fabulous idea Michael. We are always so embarassed when we go to the Civic Theatre to see something and this year alone we have been several times. Sometimes we spent a lot, sometimes we spent a little but we SPENT!! I would like to see a venue where we could see larger acts, great art, good coffee and a wonderful North Qld vibe all in the one place. What a great LOCAL facility. I think the current design is rubbish but acknowledge that this is a 'concept' not the end result.

As for Sugarworld, there apparently are no local businesses that know about waterparks, the building of waterparks and the design of these. Unfortunately we are just not good at everything. I agree that the money should have stayed local, and strongly disagree with any building that we ARE capable of going elsewhere (the precinct had better be locally built) but have some faith that the labour on site will be local and their will be employment opportunities from the re-build.

I do agree that we need to focus our attention on more than just the tourist industry, it is getting stale anyway, but I think that the Sugarworld re-build, Smithfield water park adn the Cultural Precinct will re-ignite the flame of our locals and bring new tourists to the region, showcasing all of our assets. Perhaps I am naive, perhaps I am slightly too optimistic but pessimism never got us anywhere.
Leigh Dall'Osto.

Unknown said...

Spot on Leigh!

CBD Warrior said...

Lisa Robbie:

Are you an idiot? Do you not see the enormous fallacy in your argument about "spending money locally"?

If applied uniformly, it would mean Cairns would have no tourism. Japanese would stay in Japan, Melbourneites would stay in Melbourne. Local restaurants would serve only locally-produced ingredients, and no one would buy our mangoes.

Yours is among the most ignorant, pedantic arguments against a diverse economy than one can imagine.

I suggest council officers appointed the most skilled, and cost effective Sugarworld consultants. Giving it to a local, inexperienced company would be an irresponsible use of our rate monies.

The Cultural Precinct signals to the tourist that we have a vibrant, well-rounded economy. This is how the community becomes sustainable. Not by flippant comments about "pulling out all the stops to bring tourists here".

h. bosch said...

CBD Warrior said... Melbourneites would stay in Melbourne

wish that had been the official policy for the last 15 years

Out of the mouth of babes said...

Yesterday whilst having lunch at a street cafe, a mother with three kids at the next door table( with at least one not her own), asked this child,
"What do you like to do best during school holidays?"

Answer: Go to Sugarworld

As long as someome studies and fixes this problem, the sooner the better for locals!! It is a much loved local past time which needs to be operational!

Raj Cairns said...


In Canada they have laws to stop companies from outside Canada getting work INVESTMENT CANADA ACT , but our COUNCIL allows a CANADIAN company to walk straight in to Australia with no questions asked ?

In determining whether an investment is of “net benefit”, the Minister will consider the following factors:

a.the effect on the level of economic activity in Canada, on employment; on resource processing; on the utilization of parts and services produced in Canada and on exports from Canada;
b.the degree and significance of participation by Canadians in the Canadian business or new Canadian business and in any industry or industries in Canada;
c.the effect of the investment on productivity, industrial efficiency, technological development, product innovation and product variety in Canada;
d.the effect of the investment on competition within any industry in Canada;
e.the compatibility of the investment with national industrial, economic and cultural policies; and
f.the contribution of the investment to Canada’s ability to compete in world markets.
The investor should address each of these factors and provide supporting documentation and financial data when submitting an application for review. Depending upon the nature of and the circumstances surrounding the investment, some of the above factors will be given more weight than others. The more specific the investor’s plans and/or undertakings which address the above factors, the greater the likelihood a speedy approval will be obtained.

Syd Walker said...

"All levels of government need to work together to build a new industry here in the Far North with large employment opportunities."

Very true.

I think development of appropriate new industries should be a priority for FNQ. IMO, we could do worse than put some real focus on 'innovative tropical design'. It's good for us in any case - and exportable if we're good at it.

And it has political support at the highest levels of local government :-)