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$2.7 million grant for koala research facility reallocated for Steel Taipan construction


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5 minutes ago, aussienetman said:

Anyone have access to the Courier Mail article about Dreamworld using funds from the QLD government for Steel Taipan, when those finds were initially intended for a koala research facility?

Govt have DW $2.7m to go towards the koala research centre they were planning. Covid happened and the plan got scuttled. DW asked Qld Govt if they could instead use the funds for ST. Govt said no problem. 

 

Media found out today. Cue “think of the koalas” 

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12 hours ago, aussienetman said:

Thank you. Had a feeling it was clickbait. 😘

Hardly clickbait. 
It shows appalling  miss use of public money by both Government and Dreamworld. 
After gifting them and loaning them ride money the gov should never have let them take money intended for wildlife research and use it for a ride. 
 

And the fact that the park 1, asked and 2, didn’t build the promised the facility is just another indication of how morally bankrupt current park management are towards the animals. It’s no wonder their dedicated and talented key animal people have all left. Management have no interest in ‘difficult’ expensive animals which are just a product to them they want more simple and profitable. 
 

The whole thing stinks and is pretty damn poor form by all involved. 

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1 hour ago, DaptoFunlandGuy said:

Sorry i'm a little confused here - which gold coast based theme park company are you referring to here?

Come on, I give you a lot more credit for being this silly and obtuse. 
We all know (you included) the insane amount of money Village spend on animal care and rescue. 
 

This is issue is black and white. 
They said they’d build a Koala centre, they didn’t and they spent the money on a ride they couldn’t afford. 

Doesn’t matter how much of a nice and relatable guy enthusiasts think the park manager is, or how much they pander to those enthusiasts, it doesn’t change any of the above. This whole thing stinks.

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Not saying that you're wrong but I haven't heard any of these allegations. Do you have any sources to back them up? 

The situation seems pretty standard to me. COVID delayed the project and Dreamworld asked to use it for Steel Taipan which they approved. 

“The Queensland government approved that the funding previously approved for the research facility be repurposed to support the construction of the new ride, taking into consideration the immediate impacts of the pandemic and the appeal of new tourism offers likely to attract returning domestic visitors and international tourists when borders reopened,” Hinchliffe said. Link to article

Also the project isn't cancelled it's just on hold. This could change in the future, but I think their reasoning for wanting to divert funds was pretty sound and the government seems to agree. The coaster didn't come at the expense of their animals or their well-being, and it's not like they built the thrill ride right next to a rehabilitation area.

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18 minutes ago, rappa said:

They said they’d build a Koala centre, they didn’t

  I think you answered it best.

On 14/10/21 at 12:08 PM, rappa said:

I'm not really sure what you're getting at?

The project was halted during the middle of Covid as we well know, like everything else.

They were given funding for something. A worldwide pandemic happened, and the thing the funding was for got halted - like MANY OTHER THINGS.

Governments across Australia have thrown covid recovery money at encouraging tourism and hospitality visitation - holiday vouchers, dining vouchers etc. Dreamworld, like many other tourism operators were also impacted.

It is NOT an unreasonable request for the park to ask QGOV if they could use the money for something to help with their covid recovery, and at the end of the day it was QGOV's decision to approve that. 

 

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14 minutes ago, rappa said:

This is issue is black and white. 

They said they’d build a Kola centre, the didn’t and they spent the money on a ride they couldn’t afford. 

Doesn’t matter how much of a nice and relatable guy enthusiasts think the park manager is, or how much they pander to those enthusiasts, it doesn’t change any of the above. This whole thing stinks.

the project ended up being cancelled / on hold for the time being so instead of wasting the money, they asked if the money could be used towards the coaster, it’s a pretty straight forward situation. 

if it was village you’d agree and back the decision up. I mean they have Arctic animals out in 30-40°c weather when they’re use to living in -40-0°c, i don’t know how this doesn’t stink but using money from a project cancelled by a pandemic elsewhere in the park does stink.  

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Just now, New display name said:

@rappaI think you mean the government gives SW a lot of money to preform these rescues.

 

"Austrade grants help Sea World sustain animal rescue"

Yeah and they don't turn around and build a roller coaster with them!

 

Honest the Dreamworld sap bias is so ridiculous in this matter. How on EARTH does Dreamworld spending wildlife money on a bloody roller coaster (*cough* apparently it's just delayed and they'll do it later. BS! And if you can build a coaster in covid, you can build a small building for Koala research) somehow turn into Sea World are evil and their management is horrible and they hate everyone? What? Because the CEO drives a nice car? 
Give me a friken break!

And yes the government is just as culpable in this as Dreamworld. It's disgraceful the government said yes to this, and it's equally so that Dreamworld even asked.

1 minute ago, Rivals said:

the project ended up being cancelled / on hold for the time being so instead of wasting the money, they asked if the money could be used towards the coaster, it’s a pretty straight forward situation. 

if it was village you’d agree and back the decision up. I mean they have Arctic animals out in 30-40°c weather when they’re use to living in -40-0°c, i don’t know how this doesn’t stink but using money from a project cancelled by a pandemic elsewhere in the park does stink.  

Yes it is straight forward, straight forward that they care more about getting a shiny coaster open to drive gate (how's that empty carpark working out for them by the way?) than their animal commitments.

 

No I wouldn't agree at all if it was Village, I would be equally as horrified. 
And don't keep bringing up Polar Bears, that's just being ridiculous for being ridiculous. Guess what, Tigers don't live at Coomera in the wild either!

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13 minutes ago, rappa said:

(how's that empty carpark working out for them by the way?)

the past couple times i’ve been to the night markets and the park during the day they’ve actually been pretty busy compared to previous years :) 

 

13 minutes ago, rappa said:

No I wouldn't agree at all if it was Village, I would be equally as horrified. 
And don't keep bringing up Polar Bears, that's just being ridiculous for being ridiculous. Guess what, Tigers don't live at Coomera in the wild either!

if it was village you’d be saying how great they are and to stop attacking them as they used the money elsewhere from a cancelled project, we all know you would. Tigers don’t live in coomera, however they live in very similar weather conditions (20-30°c) that are found on the Gold Coast. So having polar bears in this weather compared to tigers is a lot more dangerous and not even comparable.

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On 27/03/2019 at 6:57 PM, rappa said:

Oh yay another thing added to Dreamworld that 

1) will no doubt be built as cheap and charmless as possible

2) isn’t a ride. 

 

Hey on the the plus side it will be hard to kill 4 guests with this attraction and they might actually be allowed to open it. 

Looks like you got what you wanted to me.

 

  

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7 minutes ago, rappa said:

Honest the Dreamworld sap bias is so ridiculous in this matter.

Dreamworld can't win either way with your argument. They built the coaster and diverted funds with permission which apparently makes them incompetent in their animal treatment, but if they opened after the pandemic and their only new addition was a Koala research center then they'd be raked over the coals for being incompetent theme park operators.

Both Dreamworld and the government recognized that the research investment at that time would not be wise and they made the right choice to drive gate with Steel Taipan. The government needs to make investments that they can guarantee they'll get returns from and there is no point in building a Koala research center on public funds if Dreamworld is struggling to keep the lights on post-COVID. You can't have research within a theme park if the theme park isn't bringing in guests.

The coaster has shown to be a wise investment to get a minor percentage of people up to Dreamworld. If people are choosing to stay on the Gold Coast a little longer to experience Dreamworld and the other parks then the government ultimately benefits from the additional revenue generated by tourism. 

This is the least controversial controversy to come out in a while.

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So let me get this straight, SW gets a one off bit of funding when they were shut down so they could continue doing work in the community they normally fund themselves = bad.

 

DW gets funding for animal research. Uses it for a ride instead = good. 

 

The double standards here are amazing, and as is typical with the same group on here, people HAVE to drag someone else through the mud to say why the thing they like is good. It's rather appalling really. 

 

Also anyone who spreads misinformation about polar bear welfare as a cheap shot from now on will be suspended, and I'm not kidding around.

 

Also anyone who thinks the research center is still being built are living on another planet. It's not happening, nor is the lazy river with animals on the thunderbolt site, or the amphitheatre where Steel Taipan now is or anything else they were thinking of. The thing about that which changed wasn't covid, it was that the driving force behind it left the company.

 

That rubbish out of the way, here is the heart of it: There's nothing wrong with not building a Koala Research center. If it's not a core of what you want to do as a business that's fine. There's also nothing illegal about any of it, but it doesn't pass the pub test at all. Asking the question was pretty ordinary, the fact the government went along with it is worse.

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14 minutes ago, rappa said:

Honest the Dreamworld sap bias is so ridiculous in this matter. How on EARTH does Dreamworld spending wildlife money on a bloody roller coaster (*cough* apparently it's just delayed and they'll do it later. BS! And if you can build a coaster in covid, you can build a small building for Koala research) somehow turn into Sea World are evil and their management is horrible and they hate everyone? What? Because the CEO drives a nice car? 
Give me a friken break!

How do you know when DW was asking for money the same as Village was doing at the time the QLD government didn't tell DW to use the $2.7m? 

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Pretty open-and-shut, really.  Provided the park asked for a variation of the conditions on the money (and were granted it) their hands are clean.

After all - if a Koala research center was of such primary importance would a theme park be your first port of call on who to give money to for it?

If the Government had said no to the repurposing of money and then DW did it anyway, then fair enough - controversy.
If DW hadn't asked in the first place and repurposed the money, then fair enough - controversy.

This here ain't much of anything.

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47 minutes ago, Dom said:

Also the project isn't cancelled it's just on hold.

As you'll note in the announcement thread the project was shelved well before COVID. I'd imagine the departure of the head of life sciences largely contributed to the project not progressing. To wit, I have no idea how a project isn't anything but cancelled if key stakeholders are no longer involved and the revenue has been spent.

19 minutes ago, Dom said:

a minor percentage

Unfortunately very accurate.

12 minutes ago, joz said:

There's also nothing illegal about any of it, but it doesn't pass the pub test at all. Asking the question was pretty ordinary, the fact the government went along with it is worse.

This summarises my stance pretty well, just because it's not illegal doesn't mean it doesn't pass the sniff test, especially when the business is in a financial position where they're now debt-free and are about to make a second killing from the sale of Dreamworld.

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10 minutes ago, joz said:

Asking the question was pretty ordinary, the fact the government went along with it is worse.

Asking the question was smart business practice. If the project the funds were given for was off the table, then the only options available is to:

a) just spend the money on something else

b) consult the govt who provided the money on what they wanted to have done with it 

DW chose the responsible option, and the Qld govt gave them the ok to divert the funds elsewhere. From that moment on, DW was absolved of any issue as they provided full transparency. 
 

we’re talking $2.7m. It’s a sneeze to the govt who just blew $250m on a quarantine camp that they don’t even own as an asset any longer and was visited less than DW on a wet day…

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14 minutes ago, joz said:

So let me get this straight, SW gets a one off bit of funding when they were shut down so they could continue doing work in the community they normally fund themselves = bad.

I don't think anyone said this was bad. They said Sea World gets funding as well for animal projects. VRTP also got funding in terms of a tourism grant as did Dreamworld. The fact is the government approved the relocation of funds. So issues should be taken up by the government. 

Quote

Also anyone who spreads misinformation about polar bear welfare as a cheap shot from now on will be suspended, and I'm not kidding around.

I wonder what @Richard's view is on this. I am not suggesting any issues with polar bear welfare, and I know Sea World does amazing work for animals. But if someone has a different opinion to simply suspend them seems like an abuse of power. This form legit is proof people have different opinions, lets still respect peoples opinions.

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  • Richard changed the title to $2.7 million grant for koala research facility reallocated for Steel Taipan construction
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