Where there’s smoke…

Hello blog reader.

It has been a while since my last post and much has happened. I recently celebrated the one year anniversary of my new financial year resolution to not eat fast food. My definition of “fast food” included anything from McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, KFC and Red Rooster. I’m happy to announce that I made the whole year – plus some nine days as I’m yet to return. This year’s NFYR sees me forswear the joys of carbonated “soft” drink including the products of Coca Cola and Pepsi – but not extending to Bundaberg Ginger Beer or Lemon, Lime and Bitters at the pub.

I got all cultured and stuff in the last week with the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. I went to their gala “Chefs in the North” dinner as I did last year. The food was above average and the wine was superb. Robyn and I went to the Guv’nr’s Gala Concert on Saturday night featuring a string quartet from NZ, an opera performance, some improv didge and a pretentious “art” piece from the festival’s resident composer.

I spent Friday on a luxury charter boat circumnavigating Magnetic Island – I’ll post photos later. Wedding plans are continuing – we’re putting together a map so that people can find the farm. It’s exciting times people. That’s a little update from me…

And now, without further ado – the subject of my topic… Daniel Johns and Peter Garrett. The Australian media was briefly up in arms today, keen to see Garrett’s credibility go up in flames over allegations made that he’d been burning the Midnight Oil (and some THC) with the Silverchair singer and U2’s Bono.Johns was quick to hose down the speculation – claiming he’d made a spur of the moment, off the cuff, joke to lighten the mood on JJJ’s sullen breakfast program… from Crikey –

”In an interview I did this morning on Triple J I made a stupid joke. It’s just been brought to my attention that some people in the media have taken my dumb joke seriously so I want to set the record straight. At no time have I ever “smoked a joint” with Bono or Peter Garrett. They are both well known to be very anti-drugs so that’s why I assumed everybody would know I was joking when I made that comment. Clearly that wasn’t the case and I feel sick that I might have caused embarrassment to two people who I admire so much.”

“I was fortunate enough to once get to play them some of my demo’s but I swear that no joints were involved. I guess I felt a bit like a namedropper mentioning them on the radio so that’s why I added a silly throwaway joke. I accept that drug use is no laughing matter and I apologize sincerely for any confusion or harm I’ve caused. Just by the way, this is one of the reasons why I hate doing interviews. I really should just shut up and stick to singing.”

Convincing? I’m not so sure.


Joel says:

Nice work on the New Years resolution, you are the first person I know to have kept one.

As for Peter Garrett, I think I would feel safer if I had of known that he smoked the whoopie weed in his younger days. It might explain why he is the way he is. As it stands he is just a tool all thanks to his genetics, which, of course, carries the danger that his children might too inherit such characteristics.

michelle says:

As for a map for finding the farm, why don’t you just use Google maps?

Leah Maria says:

I went on a SunLovers Cruise boat today up in sunny Cairns… unfortunately the boat sat at the marina for the duration of our talk :(

Which reminds me, Cairns’ marina totally outstrips our own.

Man, we think Nathan has a good job? Almost every Cairns tourism sales type person I’ve talked to this week travels to places like the US, UK, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, France, India, China selling *their* products. The Cairns tourism product has their act together so much more than the Townsville one. People are out to sell Cairns as a destination rather than their own establishment, and once they have people hooked on Cairns they’re like “and we have a hotel you can stay at…”

Whereas Townsville is like “Tourism product? What? International tourists? Who?” I mean, we’re going to build a cruise ship terminal, but for what cruise ships? We don’t have a hope of getting international cruise ships unless we establish an international-level tourism product for them to see and international-level accommodation. Which we’re not going to get without the tourism numbers. And we’re unlikely going to get national cruise ships because they’re isn’t really much of a cruise industry at all in Australia… there’s like P&O and they’re dodgy.

Hate to say it, but I’m totally sold on Cairns now. Naturally, it doesn’t have an awful lot more than Townsville has (it has a closer reef and a rainforest), but as far as the tourism market goes it’s amazing.

Townsville is still a better place to live though :P

I need to get out more. Look what a one-week intensive subject does to you.

Nathan says:

Hmmm. Interesting. Here’s some cold hard facts…

Economic contribution
Cairns: Tourism 40%
Townsville: 5%

International Flights into Cairns:
3,068 per year.
International Flights into Townsville:
0 (excluding defence flights)

Total International Visitors to Cairns:

Total International Visitors to Townsville:

You’re comparing apples and watermelons.

The 40% of Cairns’ economy directly related to Tourism is also propping up the retail sector (and just about every other part of the economy excluding agriculture).

If Tourism dies Cairns dies. Townsville lives.

We have a number of international cruise ships already visiting Townsville – they will extend their stay with a dedicated Cruise Terminal.

Companies have started adding Townsville to itineraries for 08, 09 and onwards.

A huge percentage of tourists on Magnetic Island are international visitors.

Travelling to Europe is overrated – you’re virtually locked into a sales mission itinerary except for a day or two at the end – and by then you’re so tired of travelling you don’t enjoy it. At least that’s what our tourism team says.

Leah Maria says:

I realise Cairns lives off Tourism. That doesn’t change the point that they milk their tourism prospects an awful lot better than we do.