Thursday 16 September 2010

Entsch responds to Wettenhall's attack in State Parliament

Federal MP for Leichhardt, Hon Warren Entsch, responds to Steve Wettenhall's speech to the Queensland State Parliament.

Wettenhall said it was a disgrace that Mr Entsch launched "an ignorant attack on the tourism industry."

"He wasted no time in shooting off his mouth. He is either ignorant of what both the government and the private sector are doing or he is deliberately misleading his constituents," Steve Wettenhall told State Parliament.

It’s surprising that Steve Wettenhall has said anything at all as he has been mute for so long, one would have thought he had actually fallen asleep.

The fact is there was no criticism of the tourism operators, service providers or workers in the tourism industry. My criticism was in relation to the slow recovery of the tourism industry that was exacerbated by the direct inaction of the local and state government. The problems business industry have faced through the government’s inaction has been quite frankly unacceptable.

The refurbishments on resort and hotel establishments throughout the region is a credit to the businesses who have invested in them and I applaud them for their efforts. I bet they can all attest to the layers of bureaucracy and inefficiencies they have had to deal with from both local and state governments to be able to get these projects happening in the first place though. We need to remove this impediment on investors in our region who are trying to develop new product and beautify our wonderful city.

It seems in the past few years Steve Wettenhall has been missing in action on so many issues that fall under his responsibility to attend to.

I ask...
  • Where was Steve Wettenhall when Adventure Waters struggled for 2 years to get an approval on their water park costing the owner over $1.2 million in delays?

  • Where was Steve Wettenhall when the COUCH Wellness Centre needed to be established through Government support and approvals?

  • Where was Steve Wettenhall when the Palm Cove and Blue Water communities were impacted upon by a $12 million waste of taxpayers money to dump into public housing projects in clearly inappropriate locations?
These are all areas affecting tourism and the social and economic well-being of this region and it is about time Steve Wettenhall did the job he was employed to do and ‘represent his constituents’.

I am glad my recent comments have managed to prod him awake from his deep slumber. If taking a swipe at me is what it takes to wake him up, so be it. Now he is awake and no longer mute I wonder if Steve Wettenhall can give this community a guarantee to fast track things from a state and local level to keep this economy on track and businesses pumping in all industries, including tourism. I’ll be pushing things from a Federal level I can assure people of that.”


Political Cynic said...

"He wasted no time in shooting off his mouth." That is all Entsch has ever done. I mean really, what did he ever do for Cairns that wasn't part of of the previous HoWARd government policy (including Work Choices). How did he ever influence government policy? And that was before he himself went off the radar with his jetsetting, prompting the "Where's Warren?" slogan.
Typical fat cat pollie. Smacks of hypocrisy I reckon.

Thaddeus said...

More to the point, what is Entsch doing about:

1. Adventure Waters
3. Public housing at Blue Waters & Palm Cove

Smithfield Sam said...

Blaming Wettenhall for Paul Freebody's waterpark pipe dream is over the top, Warren. You know Freebody is a blowhard promoter that accomplishes little. He's continued to do nothing at this site while your own Federal Government ASIC investigates him for violations of the investor 12/20 rule.

I agree however that Wettenhall's a lazy SOB and Labor hack.

Unknown said...

How boring, three weeks in and the Cairns Blog is already dimished to being a simple media release publisher for Warren Entsch. We could see from the election your biased coverage but biased was more fun than boring which is what we're left with now.

KitchenSlut said...

Wow aren't the comments here and on the previous post on this illuminating? Bias you say Wiki? Give KB a call maybe you can catch up for a drink down at Villa and sulk together! It's a blog for f***s sake!

I think I have a pretty fair record of not being an acolyte of Warren Entsch? I still see his return for the LNP as a retrograde move which I openly said at the time, including forcefully to LNP friends (they would have won anyway going on the Qld result). He was a poor representative in his last term and went missing. During the election campaign I posted here that in my interest of food and tourism Jim's performance had been superior. Entsch's support under the previous Howard regional program was a sadly wasted opportunity and I have posted so before.

From experience I am not prone to in any way accepting all that Warren says. However ..... some of the criticism here is just such incomrehensible dribble apparently driven by inappropriate spleen and sour grapes?! I'm stunned that anybody who passed comprehension at primary school could have interpreted what was scantly reported as an attack on local tourism! Actually KS reclkons there should be more local criticism because this has what has often been lacking to our detriment.

Wettenhall did interpret it as such an attack! Wettenhall is allegedly a lawyer? It shows! The use of parliament for such a grandstanding misrepresentative reply is typical of the most obvious politicisation in this exchange?

Looking through Wettenhall on the previous post it struck me that the first thing I noticed was also picked up by Danny Betros in that almost if not all the projects named by Wettenhall were commenced or committed before the GFC? Many of these had been so run down they may not have survived without a refurb such as Elandra. the signature position of Mirage at PD is far more significant.

I would be surprised if on a regional basis capex is currently adequate on a regiopnal basis to maintain standards in the region and anecdotal reference to a few sprcific projects in meaningless! By the way Wettenhall has referred to the Casino as a reference to their most recent announcements to ASX may not be so supportive of his position?! This is why Wettenhalls response should actually be regarded as the greater concern in its complacency?

Shelley Arronson said...

so "Wiki" (nameless dicks really are predictable)... I did read on here just a day or so ago... a long rant from Wettenhall... does that mean it's a Labor song sheet as well?

Get ya wiki's straight, mate.

Oliver Redlynch said...

What-ever - aren't the public simply fed-up of party political slanging matches when it comes to local politics? Simply said - ALL OF YOU - GET YOUR RUDDY FINGER OUT AND LISTEN TO YOUR ELECTORATE. Cairns needs action - not rhetoric. Listen to your public and stop pissing around, sod the party line Warren, we need the NBN up here ASAP because that's what us businesses want, and whilst you're about it, swallow your ruddy pride and sit down around the table with the council and both of you compromise and get a co-ordinated plan on a cultural precinct and sports facilities for revitalising Cairns that everyone can agree on and that will move Cairns forward.

stinhambo said...

Hey Warren,

How about working on ways to help incentivise larger businesses to relocate up this way?

Seeing that the NBN is happening and coming to regional town and cities first, surely this is a GOLDEN opportunity to promote something before the major cities get it.

We are closer to PNG, Indonesia etc than the major cities so how about consulting with the business community on how the NBN can make Cairns a viable business location?

We have an opportunity here and I feel that we should embrace the business side first as tourism is dead on it's arse until the property boom is over and the exchange rate settles to something more realistic.

THE VOTER said...

GET YOUR RUDDY FINGER OUT AND LISTEN TO YOUR ELECTORATE funny words coming from vals personal writer .
Oliver of deadlynch
We do not want your waterside monument to yourself.

Oliver waffle waffle deadlynch said...

Perhaps I wasn't clear when I said "ALL OF YOU" - i.e. Wettenhall and Val et. al. and "both of you compromise?" You call me labour stooge and Val defender as an attempt to denegrate and minimise what I am saying - I am neither and that amuses me since my partner has always called me a liberal! I will though admit to being a cynic.

Perhaps I'm expecting too much, obviously my world-view does not match yours, and you once again resort to pathetic playground insults because you can't contribute to the debate on the same intellectual level.

So rather than any progress, I fear we're now in for several more years of political spin, lies and back-stabbing - from both sides I hasten to add. Sticks and stones what-ever....

KATE said...

Warren Entsch has done more in the past couple of weeks than Steve Wettenhall in his time as a pollie. Where does Wettenhall get off at these pathetic outburst speeches in Parliament??? He did one about how appropriate the public housing was at Bluewater & Palm Cove. It must be to justify his existence to his Labor cronies and make it look as if he actually doing something!!!
To answer your No. 3, Thaddeus, Warren has promised to reconfigure the Public housing buildings to half the number of Units and then sell them of and build support housing in an appropriate area with the money. This will be one of the items on his whiteboard list, that will be displayed in his office. Transparency - what a beautiful thing.....pity others don't follow this tack.

A Real Liberal said...

Oliver, Stinhambo - don't expect any effective action from Warren, he's an Opposition whip - that's a fancy term for usher - no one in government or business is listening to him.

He'll concentrate on attacking the State Labor members, and Val.

health stalker said...

Psst ..... did anyone else notice that covered by the Wet'n'Noballs diversion Health Minister Paul Lucas has reportedly accepted that there was a problem with the system which has stopped the practice of Cardiologist Dr Roger Chadoor in Cairns and has FINALLY requested further enquiry?

Now how did that suddenly happen after some months of media attention from Entsch with the local ALP reps as silent as the lambs?

Thaddeus said...

Kate, the public housing at Bluewater is owned by the STATE GOVERNMENT. Entsch is a Federal Member and cannot "reconfigure the housing units and sell them off." Only the State Minister can approve this.
Qld Housing, since it was corporatised also buys and sells in the market. Money for the public housing was given to the State Governments under the Federal Government's "stimulus" packages to provide employment in those areas where unemployment was high. Queensland Housing however did not use that money to build traditional style welfare housing, Instead, I believe the land at Bluewater was bought deliberately for a tourist type complex to be sold at a nice profit.
Ditto the property at Palm Cove.
I believe Entsch would have known this when he promised the people at Bluewater that the "units would be reconfigured and sold to a developer..". This was the intent of Queensland Housing all the time.
Poor ole Jim Turnour ended up taking 100% of the blame, when he was in fact, totally blameless. The real culprit lies with the State Housing administration. The peiople of Bluewater will in fact be worse off when it is sold to a tourist operator...parties, noise, buses, strangers...

greenbottle said...

health stalker, there have been some women (wives of Chatoor's patients) into see one of the State Members during the week.

Tommy MacDonald, Palm Cove said...

The operators of Palm Cove resorts have always complained about the difficulty of retaining good staff because of the shortage of affordable rental housing in the area - Qld Housing specifically stated that this development was aimed at low-income hospitality workers. The butt-holes opposing it are just nimbys, in fact cashed-up bogans - like Warren!

KATE said...

Thaddeus - thank you for the lesson. Please understand I am none naive in the structure of the public housing issue that I have been lobbying against for the past 7 months. Of course it was stimulus money etc etc.. I am also fully aware of all that. I am also fully aware of the corruption that has occurred to make these developments the buildings they are today and all at the expense of yours and my taxpayer money.
Warren will achieve the outcome I mentioned previously through Rosemary Menkens, the State Shadow Minister for Housing whom I have met on more than one occasion. If you call 70xm2 Units with very small windows and NO air conditioning tourist style accommodaation then I say you have got it wrong. It was never the plan to utilise them eventually for tourist accomodation. The State Govt greedily grabbed the
$12M for the 2 sites and then realised much later they had made a monumental mistake re the location.
Please do not doubt our determination in this cause. Warren also is fully aware of our determination and I am sure will deliver.
I am not saying it will happen overnight - but it will happen. Pity Steve Wettenhall didnt act when he could have, at our early meetings with him. He could have had stopped it altogether and arranged for the buildings to be placed in an appropriate suburb. But alas he was sitting on his hands again!!!!

health stalker said...

Your exposure of representations to State reps this week is extraoardinary Greenbottle in that it would appear to indicate serial political leaking and a breach of privacy laws in our State members offices?

greenbottle said...

health stalker, the wife heard some women she knows yakking about it. Reckoned they had just been in to see some Member about the matter.

health stalker said...

Greenbottle you surely can not be serious that this is how the most serious application of State policy has been run with regards to public health? My god do you have any idea of the implication?!?

There has been some yakking? Seriously?

KATE said...

Tommy Mc Donald, there are presently over 40 affordable rental properties in Palm Cove. There is never a shortage of accomodation as there are 4 building complexes at the back of Novotel, called the Cowries that house the majority of hospitality staff in Palm Cove. The resorts main problem is keeping staff, due to the transient nature of the work. The Minister came out and said the public housing building would be used to house tourist workers after she realised her public servants had opposed the development and large bundles of cash had been paid by the developer to certain people in 2 Govt Departments. She also said spinal unit patients, bus drivers and health workers would be placed there!!!!! The majority of health workers are employed by the Govt and are exempt from Public Housing accomodation.
Minister Struthers makes it up as she goes along!!!! The NIMBY argument is neither true or appropriate in this issue and quite frankly boring. Corruption is at the core of this issue.

greenbottle said...

health stalker, some women whose husbands had surgery from the good doctor were so upset over the impending deportation etc of the Doc, that they went in to see their local member to plead for a review or whatever of the Doc's case. The Cairns Post has in fact run a similar story of patients relatives banding together to support the Doc.
Obviously the women afterwards spoke to a few other women (the good wifwe being one of them) about where they had been.
I can't see why this shocks and outrages you so much. Shouldn't the public rally around and do what they can?

Bazza said...

More to the point where was entch, he was certainly immitating wombats during his time.
Where was he when byrne, cochrane, blake, james & the rest changed all those properties to Res3 without any consultation or notices for submission and people were being woken by clearing machinery without knowing what was happening, then the likes of hedley moved in and don't forget entsch was on the board of CEC until recently.
Where was entsch when tourism was taking a downward trend in this area in the last years of his term, IMO caused by the bad development by byrne & co and letting the city area go to shabby.
Mr FIXIT entsch what a joke, he should stay with federal matters and not run around shooting his mouth off about state or local issues.

Dan Collyer said...

Stop all the fighting and lets start moving. The staff & management at the Sheridan Plaza Hotel are always keen to hear any news about what our politicians are going to do to help the Cairns Tourism economy. Projects like the Cairns Airport redevelopment impact on our business directly, as we are the closest hotel to the Cairns Airport. We would rather see politicians working together to approve more large projects like this to help our tourism reliant economy.

Dan Collyer