Monday 20 September 2010

Cultural precinct to 'cost $240 billion' says a coffee-induced Gavin King

Last week heralded the first of a weekly online chat with new Post editor at large, Gavin King (unsure what the "at large" bit refers to, but I am seeking legal advice). King appears rejuvenated and more mellow than his former shadow.

Today's offering, he bought in reinforcements - in the guise of a councillor who missed the Post's wonder women of the year awards list. Pricks.

The return of the King was as much fun as being locked in a room with Jim Turnour, Val Schier and Colin who Cares, after throwing your keys in the middle and seeing who you might go home with.
  • LI(V)E @ 11am: Are our leaders failing us? "Cairns needs leaders like hippies need a hair cut and a real job" say Gavin King. Chat with our Editor-at-Large at 10:00am.
Coffee with Gavin. And I'd only just awoken from Fiona's ABC Far North breakie, hardly dressed, and then there was the notorious Gavin King spewing all over my computer - right here in my Yorkeys lounge room. Shit.

There was the usual suspects all digitally lined-up. Phil Crockford, Bryan Law, and Alison Alloway. Sometimes I like lurking, and so I did for the first few minutes, until Gavin fired off this message to his followers at 10:12am...

The rather obvious error went unchallenged, so I thought I should chime in...
  • "Morning Gavin and everyone.. I think your estimates are from Tony Abbott about the cultural centre... it's not " $240 billion"
King blamed his "typo" on excess coffee intake... but tried to save face saying that they would probably spend way more anyway, but $239,250,000 more?
  • "I've had too much caffeine this morning. $240 MILLION - not billion! Though cost blowouts are inevitable of course.
The chat raised a numbers of issues that appear top of mind in the Far North. "Bev" asked how much is NBN (national broadband network) going to cost each and every of us to connect to our homes?"

Whilst I think NBN is a great idea, I don't have any faith in the Labor government to be involved. They have shown themselves to be negligent with home insulation and their record of throwing billions at schools is abhorrent and wasteful.

Cal Harlow chimed in and said that the NBN has the ability to destroy as many jobs as it creates. "With improved internet banking performance in regional areas there'll be no need to keep bank branches open = job cuts."

"Banks have been closing down branches everywhere - not sure the NBN will accelerate that," Gavin King responded. "And the benefits (of whatever broadband infrastructure we get) would far outweigh the loss of bank jobs."

King was well across the broadband plans, having only just dined with internet nerd Rob Rutten, just days earlier.

Contributors highlighted as priorities for the region as tropical knowledge, agriculture in the broader region, spruce up the CBD, JCU expansion (including a business park and CBD campus/offshoot, and the general tidiness/appearance of Cairns, particularly to appeal to tourists.

Cairns Regional Councillor Linda Cooper said today that we need a new cultural precinct.

"Quite frankly, I get a bit embarrassed when i go to events at the Civic Theatre," Cooper said. "It needs to be close to the Convention Centre so that we obtain the added benefit of expanding on the incentive and convention markets, but I'm still not completely sold on the wharf site."

King cornered the good councillor about her re-election plans.

"So, finally, Linda are you running again for re-election?" Gavin King said.

"Yes I will be running again in 2012," Linda Cooper replied. "but the jury's out on whether I run in a team or not."

In 2008, Cooper was the last person standing of what was former mayor Kevin Byrne's ironically named Unity Team. No one, besides Cooper, made it across the line, and she wasn't in the chair for five minutes before renouncing any further support.

Cooper has become a great representative of the people in her inaugural term, and it would be to her credit to remain unassociated with any team.


stinhambo said...

Research will show you that Labor aren't project managing the NBN project, NBNco is.

It's made up of experienced telecoms engineers, project managers and executives.

So I think that the NBN will move ahead quite nicely.

Alison Alloway said...

Sorry to disappoint you Mike, when you sauntered into the chat, and came across the same ole same ole.
I regret that there are not too many community spirited people in Cairns these days (heavy sigh!)however I guess you know that by now.

KitchenSlut said...

As long as the cultural centre has 100 terabit fibre to every seat then $240 billion is fine with me!

Stinhambo said:"Research will show you that Labor aren't project managing the NBN project, NBNco is.
It's made up of experienced telecoms engineers, project managers and executives."

Is that why NBN Co appointed ALP apparatchik and disgraced branch stacker Mike Kaiser to a $450k p.a. executive position?