Magnetic Island North Queensland
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April 22nd 2008
Tel defends its role

Following a letter from the Greens Jenny Stirling questioning the role of Townsville Enterprise (Tel), Deputy CEO of Tel, Mr Duncan Paton responds (Ed).

Townsville Enterprise is the region's peak development and marketing body - funded not only by the council, but also local businesses and industry that value growth in our regional economy and acknowledge the contribution made by Townsville Enterprise.

Townsville Enterprise has been servicing the needs of the region for over 15 years, a period which has seen unprecedented growth both economically and socially, in terms of population and facilities. Today Townsville is a growing and vibrant community. The Townsville Enterprise team is passionate about north Queensland's progression and in enhancing the lifestyle we all enjoy.

The work of Townsville Enterprise provides benefit for all the community. For example, we have been a staunch supporter of the three existing local refineries, the Port, and the region's tourism businesses. These organisations provide employment in our region for working families, both directly and indirectly.

Our role in promoting the region's assets and strengths entices people to invest in Townsville, holiday and attend business events in the region.

Major investment decisions need detailed investigations requiring consideration of economic, social and environmental aspects. For Townsville to grow and for the benefits of a strong economy to filter through to working families, opportunities are pursued and considered to ensure they meet the requirements for economic, environmental and social sustainability.

The $190 million Port Access Corridor has been a popular project with strong community support. Not only will it increase economic efficiencies for the region, it will also alleviate industrial traffic on residential roads.

As a leading proponent for the Ocean Terminal development, Townsville Enterprise believes this terminal is important piece of tourism infrastructure in capturing visiting cruise and naval ships. These will provide additional opportunities for our tourism businesses. The development and operation of this terminal should be complementary to the 24/7 operations of the Port. The Ocean Terminal is supported by the Port Authority to effectively free up berths to commercial operations.

Townsville Enterprise's focus is not solely dedicated to attracting major industrial projects and development - we strongly promote the region as a tourism destination, to both Australian and overseas markets. Townsville is Queensland's fastest growing tourist destination over the past 3 years. The tourism industry accounts for 5% of our Gross Regional Product and 7% of local employment. Marketing of the region in other markets is a vital part of attracting visitors and business events. Tourists spend money in local shops, eat at local restaurants and stay in local accommodation, benefiting the regional community.

Duncan Paton
Deputy CEO
Townsville Enterprise Limited

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Tel defends its role
 
21 comments
 
Jenny Stirling
April 22nd 2008
I appreciate the prompt reply but Mr Paton did not answer my questions. All he did was to regurgitate TEL's publicity blurb.

However, TEL must be blind if it thinks that people will fall for the voodoo economics of trickle down theory. I can see it now, placards at TEL asking: Buddy can you spare a dime...
 
Mick
April 23rd 2008
Townsville is changing, I am changing, I dont want heavy industry, my family dont want heavy industry, my childern dont want heavy industry. Three refineries in the area are two too many - we should have stopped after the copper refinery. Send the next refinery to Cairns and lets increase our own tourist dollar. As I get older I see red more but am turning green.
 
Peter Francis Hughes
April 23rd 2008
TEL is the 'white shoe brigade', (in one form or another) that has been present in Queensland since the days of good old Joh.
Three cheers for 3 refineries.
The unborn children of the North can thankyou for your legacy.
By the way, there are 'founding fathers' of TEL on Magnetic Island.
Well done.
Peter F. Hughes
Waurn Ponds
 
Dave Kimble
April 23rd 2008
Mr Paton glorifies growth - he mentions it three times in his opening paragraphs. But he hasn't explained why Townsville is a better place for having a constantly expanding population and economy. The infrastructure to support all these new people - schools, hospitals, roads, car parks, water, electricity, telephone, sewerage - is always lagging behind need. Thus we never get a chance to enjoy the benefits of the last change, before we are already scrambling to catch up with TEL and its latest round of incessant growth.
TEL would seriously tell you that having a toxic red mud pond like they do in Gladstone, (theirs is 3.5 Km by 2 Km) is good, and a bigger one would be even better.

Paton will tell you that car crashes are good because they generate work for crash repairers and spare parts manufacturers, not to mention insurance companies, hospitals, and so on. It all adds to the economy, and that's good isn't it ?

 
John
April 23rd 2008
Jenny,

Given that you are the master of motherhood statements bordering on puffery it's not surprising that your questions went unanswered.

As a Townsville resident who is a little sick of reading the same players taking part in so called "public discourse" I feel compelled to point out that we operate in a democracy and people have every opportunity to put forward their points of view - and even run for elected office.

Lets face it, Les Tyrell was quite vocal in his support of TEL in the lead up to the local government elections, and you Jenny were obviously opposed to their "key projects" - Les won with a clear mandate, and you once again attracted the votes of the squeaky wheels who protest about any change.

It's not voodoo economics - the reality is that large projects create jobs that allow working families to be just that. WORKING families. If you're going to use the buzz word it's counter intuitive to be pushing for causes that will hurt those you're arguing for.
 
Francoise Schaefer
April 24th 2008
Working families (!) and all normal people also need clean air to breathe, clean water to drink. Work alone doesn't keep you alive. Growth only ever profits to a selected few.
Thanks Jenny for asking some very important questions regarding Townsville's development.
 
Jenny Stirling
April 24th 2008
John,
I accept the verdict of democracy. It means that I am not in a position in Council. That doesn't mean that I and others should stop talking about what we think is right or wrong for the community.I don't see the Opposition closing down just because it received a thrashing at the polls.

Trickle down theory is voodoo economics in this case when the rises in people's wages don't match the rising costs of living.

It is also no longer acceptable to trade off people's health and well being for economic growth that causes harm- that kind of thinking belongs to a time when people were thought we had to have one jobs and development at the expense of health/environment/worker's rights/good wages.

It just doesn't cut it anymore and that's why Howard was defeated.

 
John
April 24th 2008
Jenny, do you actually understand what "voodoo economics" is - or did you get it from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Or should we assume you googled "trickle down economics" and made the association there.

I believe I acknowledged your right to speak out in opposition in my previous statement - my point was more that the platform on which Les Tyrell campaigned included strengthening TEL, and even continuing to pursue Chalco on the basis of it meeting stringent environmental criteria. And people voted for him. My only regret in the local election was that you managed to pull more of the vote than Tav - had he won it would have showed your constant objections to new projects as the joke it truly is.

I don't see how creating new opportunities for people to earn higher salaries in Townsville is a problem - inflation is a national issue. Unless we put up a wall and isolate ourselves from the rising costs of living the only way for us to tackle a national problem locally is to give the region a competitive advantage. TEL seems to be doing this. Would you prefer people to sit at home with no opportunities as costs spiral or be in a position to take some initiative? The sad fact is that one of the key elements of workchoices - isolating wage growth to specific areas - would have kept inflation low.

I can't even begin to address your third paragraph because it makes no sense.

At the end of the day it's all well and good to promote "sustainability" and use all the buzzwords - but the reality is sustainability needs to include economic sustainability, and economic sustainability for our region means keeping pace with the rest of the country.

Are you for any of the projects TEL tackles?
 
Jenny Stirling
April 24th 2008
John,
The projects that TEL consistently champion were called into question by none other than Mayor Les Tyrell, during the recent Council election. It was Les who said that he had grave doubts about the economical benefits of Chalco and the Canal Estate.

Now if he has suffered from a bout of revisionism since attaining office, then he would not be alone. Jenny Hill, self confessed rev head and supporter of V8's, is now questioning the process about ratifying the V8's and the cost over runs.

Under the old administration of Tony Mooney, it seems the QLD treasurer wanted TCC to fund the cost overruns for the V8 event to the tune of 50% and even Tony baulked at that.

So you see John, I have little faith in those who would spruik about the benefits of certain kinds of business activity. Me.. well I am all for small business, as are the Greens, and that's because small business people live in this community, have their families here and invest their hard won earnings here. As for future development, I would like to see Tech Precincts like they have in Brisbane, to make the most of business opportunities afforded to us by our research and educational institutions, unique bio-diversity, regional resources and tourism. The possibilities of cross fertilization of ideas and the pooling of resource needs such as IT infrastructure make it an exciting, profitable and feasible idea.

Enjoy ANZAC Day tomorrow and spare a thought for the millions of beautiful young men who were killed off in the mother of wars(WWI) which was primarily a war about trade- where important and powerful men forgot about the social and environmental implications of what they were doing...or didn't care as long as it was business as usual. Motherhood statements? You got me there :)
 
John
April 25th 2008
Jenny,

Can you find me one statement from TEL where they are for the Canal Estate? A quick read through their website shows support for the ocean terminal but nothing I can see advocates for the housing development.
 
chasmac
April 25th 2008
Now that I can get a word in edgeways I would like to go back to Mr Paton's original thesis about the ocean terminal. He wrote that TEL is, "a leading proponent for the Ocean Terminal development," but did not acknowledge that in order to have the terminal it is necessary first to complete the entire canal development. One does not come without the other.
The 'other' in this case, is a very risky gamble. Even the (last official) developer acknowledged that the process was controversial - and then lost their liquidity and sold the project on. That's confidence.
If TEL (and John) have such confidence that the canal estate and its minor spin-off, the ocean terminal, will successfully and sustainably support working families, why aren't they embracing the canal estate? It's a good idea isn't it?
 
John
April 26th 2008
Chasmac,

Why is the canal estate essential for the Ocean Terminal - in my understanding there is government funding for the project to the tune of $15 million which I would expect to be enough to build an adequate wharf and terminal in the allocated area.
 
gloria
April 28th 2008
Cripes John, grow up! You say one thing, get challenged on it and then pretend you didnt say it. Face the facts by crikey!
 
chasmac
April 29th 2008
John, just because you expect something, based on what might be logical or even government funded, doesn't mean it's meant to happen that way. At a seminar in Townsville some weeks ago the (then) developer City Pacific outlined the proposed construction process. Even you can see that an enormous reclamation project is required to create a few acres of land above sea level upon which to build the rather insignificant ship terminal. You must know that there is about a hundred acres of shallow sea in the duckpond underlain by a couple of metres of ooze (that's the actual technical term being used). Not even the Queensland government would allow a developer to simply dump a few loads of fill in the sea, call it a terminal and hand over $15 million (although they've come close before - just look at Nelly Bay Harbour). In fact there's a million tonnes of rock required for breakwaters at the ocean terminal and a gigantic excavation process needed to organise the canal area before any terminal can be built. Face up to it. That's what they intend to do. And Anna Bligh has already changed the legislation to remove the project from all planning procedures and any third party legal redress. It's as shonky as all hell and TEL knows it. You sound as if you don't believe any of this, so catch up. Ask your local member or someone who has a clue because so far you seem to be ill-informed.
 
John
April 29th 2008
Gloria, which comments are you referring to?

chasmac, I prefer to wait for facts before making such arguments - the facts are that despite years of waiting and some pretty pictures from City Pacific we still haven't actually seen concrete (and I choose that word fully aware of the irony) plans regarding the development. I believe the Ocean Terminal simply requires a berth to be built on the existing breakwater wall fairly close to the Entertainment centre - the canal is deep enough to handle most ships already - any that it can't will dock off Magnetic Island and be serviced by tender as last week's was.

I'd rather see the facts and make educated comments than dabble in conspiracy like those of you from the left who like to think that Johnny Developer is out to get you and ruin your lives. Really you should be thankful for such development and for an organisation like TEL that gives you something to whinge about and by extension gives meaning to your lives. (Abridged Ed)
 
chasmac
April 29th 2008
Really John, if you want to see facts then open your eyes. Go to the search function on the front page, top left, type in 'ocean terminal' and read the article for yourself. Look at the concept plan which shows exactly where the terminal building is located within the larger scheme. Note the ship berth indented in the breakwater about 400m out from the Entertainment Centre. The land underlying the terminal (and carpark and road access and 100m military security exclusion zone) is to be created by excavating the duckpond. The duckpond can't be excavated without first closing it off (new and extended breakwaters) and completely rearranging the sediments and 'ooze' to stabilise the area - coincidentally creating the canal estate and marina. There is no conspiracy. No one is out to get me (or you) and I have plenty of meaning in my life - but thanks for the thought.
If you still "believe" that the ocean terminal (as proposed by the Queensland Government to be built on property [well, seabed] controlled by their casino legislation - Breakwater Island Casino Amendment Act 2006) "simply requires a berth to be built on the existing breakwater wall", then I am sorry but you are, simply, mistaken.

 
Peter Francis Hughes
April 30th 2008
John (last name not supplied but we must presume is possible a TEL founding father) writes 'but the reality is sustainability needs to include economic sustainability, and economic sustainability for our region means keeping pace with the rest of the country.'
The rest of the country is rapidly coming to the belief that environmental factors are tied up with economic growth.
The Murray basin is running dry, why John? Despite trying to market and sell that resource under a myriad of economic names, it is running out.
So is coal and oil John, you can market them right up until that particular scarce resource is gone.
Sustainablity in environmental and economic terms involves opportunity cost. That opportunity cost in terms of canal estates and marinas is not only measured in dollars John, it is measured in terms of the loss to the environment.
The economics of the environment is changing John. Your white shoe brigade mates are leaving a legacy that may never be repaired.
Peter F. Hughes
Waurn Ponds
 
John
April 30th 2008
Peter, I have no connection with TEL - I just like the idea of continued prosperity and feel that the discussions on forums like this need some balance. This perhaps pushes me to an extremely pro-development position.

I'd hate to point out that your generalisation regarding the "rest of the country" is pretty flawed - sure coal unions have come out in support of the development of clean coal, and we're now proud signatories to the Kyoto protocol - but there was certainly no mandate for shutting down Australia's industries. That would certainly be a slap in the face to the "working families" Kevin Rudd was annointed to protect. Face it, if the majority of the population were on board with the anti-development, pro everything else goes, green movement the outcome of November's election would have been different.

Your point regarding economic sustainability and environmental sustainability going hand in hand is well made. I agree - however, I think when it comes to using resources it's a case of making hay while the sunshines and ensuring we use this resource boom to create adequate community and social infrastructure for all to enjoy after the boom.

I would think a cruise terminal - which the state government currently plans to develop through a public private partnership because of the minimal direct benefit to any one operator (ie cruise passengers disperse in port so many enjoy the benefits) is an example of such infrastructure and should be considered. It has the added benefit of taking pressure of the port to host cruise and naval vessels.
 
chasmac
May 1st 2008
John, you persist in supporting the concept of a cruise ship terminal for Townsville without any demur whatsoever. A number of possible objections have been raised, with supporting evidence, so that they can be "considered", as you point out, but you simply will not consider them. You reject them as unsupported or even as leftist conspiracy theories which, having been summarily dismissed, leaves the field open for whatever hare-brained scheme might be proposed. You still have not acknowledged that the cruise ship terminal will only be built after the canal estate has been completed. So one can only conclude that you support the cruise ship terminal come-what-may. You don't care about the detail.
At the last state election the Beattie government dropped its planned Gold Coast cruise ship terminal plans after a public campaign completely undermined the pathetic economic model that shonky tourism proponents had put forward. They don't even have an economic model for the Townsville proposal. The canal developer is quite happy to tack a terminal on the edge of their canal for a few pieces of silver (if that's a respectful description of $15 million) because it is obvious they will make a squillion out of a state underwritten canal estate that defies all the climate change sustainability equations. They are laughing at the mugs of Townsville just like Terry Lewis's pre-Fitzgerald cops and politicians laughed at Queenslanders who couldn't understand The Joke. They operated The Joke (prostitution, gaming, cattle duffing, standover stuff, you name it) and we didn't get it. Funny eh? Instead our premier waffled on about "don't you worry about that". And our institutions went to hell in a handbasket.
Queensland does not need a 700 dwelling canal estate parked in the storm surge zone beside the Port of Townsville. It is completely unnecessary and a disgrace to good planning. If a canal estate arrives there on the back of a shonky cruise ship terminal deal then we should all hang our heads in shame every time a cyclone looms and the exposed residents on the shore there have to pack up and head for the hills. It can't possibly be made safe. Not now. Not ever. Why would the state want it built?
 
John
May 1st 2008
I don't like the canal estate, never have. I think it's a stupid idea particularly with the threat of rising sea levels.

I can't see why the $15 million can't be spent to develop a rudimentary wharf for ships to dock at when visiting Townsville, away from the port. To me that's common sense.

I kind of get the impression that the project was highjacked by CityPacific and turned into goliath rather than David. And we all know what happened to Goliath.

You Chasmac are the joke.
 
chasmac
May 1st 2008
I rest my case.


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