Casino Report - Bias, Omission and Error

  • Dec 4, 2019

Minister Kate Jones seeks advice on second Gold Coast casino from fake community groups

As reported earlier this week, the department responsible for putting together the community engagement report required for the Global Tourism Hub aka second casino, has been exposed for using unscientific methods leading to biased results in favour of proceeding with a GTH proposal for the Gold Coast.

GTH Omission Keith Woods

On further examination of the report, it can now be revealed that the State Government apparently sought out and entered into discussions with two fake community groups, both of which were set up in 2016 on social media in support of the (now disgraced) ASF China Casino consortium proposal for a second casino and Cruise Ship Terminal (CST) on the Spit.

These two bogus groups are listed on page 56. Appendix 1 in the Gold Coast Global Tourism Hub – Community and Stakeholder Consultation report, published by the "Gold Coast Tourism Advisory Panel" (August 2019).

GTH Consultation Groups

The Government claims to have consulted with two groups, Future Jobs for Our Kids and Jobs for our youth gold coast (sic). These online Gold Coast based "groups", at the time of writing, appear to be neither registered with ASIC or the State Government as charities; Registered Training Organisations (RTO); Incorporated Associations (not for profits); nor as ABN registered businesses operating legally in Queensland or Australia.

Future Jobs for Our Kids appeared online and in the local media in late 2016. The creation of a former engraver, Lindsay Jackson with assistance from Mayor Tom Tate, this group’s sole aim was to support the Mayor’s plans to develop the Spit via a Cruise Ship Terminal and Casino, while at the same time demeaning and attacking legitimate and registered Volunteer Community Groups, such as SOSA, GECKO and Save Our Broadwater, who opposed those developments.

Mr Jackson's purported aim was to provide local "kids" with employment opportunities, yet on inspection of his page there are no formal links to education providers, TAFE, government job services or industry internships.

So how does Mr Jackson provide "jobs" for "kids"?

In short, he can't legally, as he is not an RTO.

Mr Jackson operates  alone. There is no formal committee or election structure for his "group"; no appointment of office bearers or appearance of executive positions; and no policies constructed. There appears to be no membership and no method of joining this "community group".

It is safe to say that Mr Jackson has not found one "kid" a "job" so far, and his page has been so "successful" he is now selling skin care products on it.

According to the Tourism Advisory Panel report, the Government apparently spoke to another online community group, Jobs for our youth gold coast (sic), which also appeared online in late 2016. This "group" is the brainchild of none other than failed politician, serial public nuisance and convicted criminal (impersonating a police officer), Mr Ron Nightingale.

Mr Nightingale has created many fake groups online

As previously reported by SOSA, Mr Nightingale has created many fake groups online, based on whatever public threat he perceives he is under at the time. These groups include classics such as "Canal Watch" (in which he attacked, photographed and threatened teenagers using boats on the Broadwater) and the "Independent Drivers Association of Australia" (in which he attacked, defamed and threatened cyclists online), amongst others.

Nightingale first appeared on the SOSA radar in 2015 when he spoke at a community event in belligerent support of the development of Wavebreak Island as a highrise foreign casino-city resort. After speaking he refused to take questions from the floor and stormed out of the meeting. Nightingale went on to viciously target SOSA members and our Executive at every opportunity online and verbally in public.

When Mr Jackson first launched Jobs for Our Kids publicly in 2016, Mr Nightingale offered to help establish Jackson's group, however as reported elsewhere, shortly after the two fell out and Jobs for our youth gold coast (sic) appeared online.

Nightingale's "group" emerged as a direct copy of Mr Jackson's group. While the title may appear to be aimed at getting "jobs" for "our youth", there is not one post on Nightingale's page that supports this idea.

In fact, if you are brave enough to look at the descent into an obvious mental disintegration that constitutes this page, you will see a litany of threats, lies and abuse against well known, respected and established community groups, community leaders, politicians and ordinary people who dare engaged with the page.

As with Mr Jackson's "group", there is no formal committee and no election structure to Nightingale's "group". No office bearers or executive appear to have been appointed or policies constructed. Again, there appears to be no membership and no method of joining Nightingale's "group". It is not registered as a business (ABN), charity, Incorporated Association or RTO.

All that exists is Mr Nightingale referring to himself on the page in the third person as "the committee".

It is reasonable to suggest that not one "youth" has gained a "job" as a result of this page.

Therefore, it is astounding that officers representing the Queensland Government actively sought out these two "groups" for "one-on-one consultations" to garner their input into Minister Jones' proposal for a second Gold Coast casino aka GTH, particularly as Mr Nightingale's page has not been active since 2017.

Basic due diligence would provide that not only do these groups not legally exist and have no memberships but are run by two individuals who are not qualified to have any official role or input into such an important consultation process as the proposed Gold Coast GTH.

As a comparison to the 'World's Best Practice' Spit Masterplan process, undertaken by the Dept of State Development (DSD) in 2017-18-19, the Dept of Tourism Industry Development's GTH consultation 'process' is proving to be a sham, much like the previous botched attempts conducted by certain state public servants who deliberately manipulated the "consultation" process in their desire to get the ASF China Casino Consortium proposal up in 2015.

During the ASF attempts to plonk a highrise foreign casino-city on The Spit, the most senior of these 'public servants' permitted a bogus community group named Better Our Spit (no ABN or Qld Incorporated Associations registration) to set up a stall and hand out glossy brochures promoting the ASF proposal at the Labor Government's DSD conducted 'community information day' at Southport High School (26/03/17).

Community members attending the day, discovered that ASF China had paid for the stall, printing and staff (one of whom one was the local Young Qld LNP President) with the assistance of the PR Company and registered development lobbyist, Simone Holzapfel and her company, SHAC Communications. ASF at the time was one of SHAC's listed clients.

After the Gold Coast Community revealed the scam group, Premier Palaszczuk intervened and a few months later the State Cabinet decided to cancel the ASF China Casino consortium proposal for The Spit.

Better Our Spit Busted

The same senior public servant who supported the presence of the bogus "grassroots" community group, Better Our Spit, at the Government sponsored 'Community Information Day" in 2017, now 'advises' Minister Jones on her second-casino for the Gold Coast proposal.

Therefore the question must be asked: what due diligence was conducted by the researchers/officers and Advisory Panel members who were responsible for the integrity of engaging only legitimate community groups during the GTH consultation process?*

And did they really talk to Jackson and Nightingale; were these "groups" deliberately chosen for their pro-casino stances; or were these groups added to the list of "consultants" to pad out what is obviously emerging as a sham report that is the result of an even dodgier consultation process?

More questions for Minister Jones to answer, just don't ask Lindsay or Ron.

ABC Gold Coast Casino Poll
ABC graphic of survey result 17% support 83% against second casino on the Gold Coast

*please note: Save Our Spit Alliance Inc. was not invited to participate in the Tourism Advisory Panel's GTH "community and stakeholder" consultation process.

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