Monday, 6 June 2016

Des Euen holds a jaw dropping transport infrastucture "summit" in Casino


Des Euen as he appeared for much of his presentation

Desmond John Thomas Euen, self-styled CEO of Australian Infrastructure Developments Pty Ltd1 (a private company created in 2012 and having only three directors and six shareholders) decided to hold a “summit” in Casino on 2 June 2016 to display his plan for a ‘super port’ at Yamba.

It was an eye opening performance by the small handful of advertised keynote speakers2 who actually took to the stage.

Euen told the attendees that:

*He was 66 years of age on 14 June 2016 and has kids and grandkids. [He ignored the elephant in the room which was his now unnaturally jet black hair];

* He is the owner of a successful national road transport business [to date North Coast Voices can find no online evidence of this business or the wealth Mr. Euen professes to have];

* He picked the name of his company because the initials would spell out AID – and the company wished to aid the environment and the economy. [Presumably it will do this by constructing 35 sq kms of loading docks and berths covering est. 27.2 per cent of the total Clarence River estuary area];

* The company had done no projects of any kind to date, this would be the first one;

* “I am a people person, I am compassionate”;

* Australian Infrastructure Developments is backed by companies who “have built half of Australia”;

* He was probably a victim of the “tall poppy syndrome” and his detractors are misleading people. “A person with 10 cents worth of knowledge becomes a dangerous person” not only to themselves but to everyone else;

* “You are the poor cousins” of the big cities and “you are now in the position to be a golden goose that lays the golden egg”;

* The port expansion will be financed by Chinese companies and Australian superannuation funds;

* “If the Australian Government supports it the [Chinese] money will be there”;

* The Turnbull Government had invited the Baird Government to sell-off public infrastructure and that federal government would match the sale price dollar for dollar;

* The government was looking for money to increase infrastructure not just Des Euen;

* His company will hold 35 per cent of shares in the company created to lease and manage the ‘new’ Port of Yamba and he is expecting a long lease - possibly 99 years;

* He has personally sunk $14 million into the port project;

* Cape size and Post-Panamax container and bulk shipping3 would be using the expanded port of Yamba;

* No Environmental Impact Statement covering the Clarence River estuary had even been commenced yet;

* no land has been brought;

* His company would supply environmental and tourism offsets to compensate for any loss occurring in the area covered by the port precinct. [Potential numbers and locations of these offsets were not specified];

* The will be no coal, no gas and no resources cargo going through the new port infrastructure, but he could not guarantee that once the port has been operational for a number of years [A pledge which was somewhat puzzling as only two months earlier Queensland Bauxite Limited was telling the Australia Stock Exchange that it had been in discussions with Mr. Euen with regard to Handymax ships eventually freighting its product overseas through the port4];

* The Port of Yamba would have the capacity to put 70 per cent of freight onto rail;

* He met with people from the NSW Dept. of Premier and Cabinet on the “day Barry O’Farrell resigned”. [Which would make that meeting on or about 17 April 2014];

* He has been in discussions with the Dept. of Defence with regard to the proposed port expansion but he can't talk about it;

* He expects the NSW Government will sign off on taking to this unsolicited proposal to Environmental Impact Statement level in about eight weeks’ time;

* He is pretty sure that a representative of Clarence Valley Council had been at the “Namoi council meeting” which discussed his rail and port plan5;

* Clarence fishing co-op representative wants the port expansion;

* He met with Clarence Valley Mayor, Richie Williamson, which he said the mayor now denies happened. [Or as one attendee recorded in notes of answers Euen gave in the Q&A session he also said - “If Richard Williamson was here today, I’d look at him face to face and call him a liar as that is exactly what he is”6];

* “If you people are reluctant to [stand up and create a legacy] I’m not”;

* He would only walk away from this project if the government, traditional custodians and the majority of northern New South Wales said no to the plan. [Which presumably means if Clarence Valley Council, Yaegl Local Aboriginal Land Council and/or Lower Clarence communities are in the minority in objecting to the environmental, cultural, social and economic rape of the estuary and the towns of Yamba, Iluka and Maclean he will ignore their refusal to support the proposal]; 

* He stated words to the effect that he wasn’t going to get into a discussion on “political correctness” when women in the audience individually objected to him repeatedly calling them dear and/or sweetheart. [These incidents were made remarkable by the number of times that his female assistant resorted to physically taking the microphone off him to stop his verbally aggressive responses]; and

* He told one woman attending that he wouldn’t have someone like her for a sweetheart anyway.

Euen’s fellow speakers told the room that:

* The Clarence River mouth needed to be dredged to restore the health of the river;

* People who object to the port expansion plan are probably NIMBYs;

* Des Euen will save us from the effects of climate change – he will save Australia;

* Des wants to end poverty;

* The new port and rail line would provide 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 jobs; and

* The "summit" is part of the company's a community consultation.

The “summit” primarily consisted of drawn-out, stream of consciousness ramblings by Mr. Euen and overall it failed to give any real detail of how the proposed port expansion and extensive railway system would be realised on the ground. A number of people who were at the event commented that his presentation was all about “Me, me, me”.

It was disturbing to hear Euen mock what he did not understand about the largely unregulated Clarence River and its natural processes and, it was obvious he didn’t understand that all coastal rivers are not identical and that the highly regulated river to which he was comparing it was a very different body of water.

The majority of questions asked during the Q&A session appeared to indicate levels of scepticism, concern and opposition to the Yamba super port plan within his audience.

The summit was abruptly ended by Des Euen hours before its scheduled 4pm finish. 

Including those individuals who accompanied Euen and some media representatives, attendance numbers didn’t exceed about sixty-two people.

It is worthwhile noting that when Des Euen got into a verbal exchange with one Woombah landowner during the Q&A session a designated “bouncer” began to suggest that the landowner keep quiet.

It will have come as no surprise to North Coast Voices readers to find that the next day The Daily Examiner reported:

GRAND PLAN: Des Euen (right), the man pushing a dramatic redevelopment of the Port of Yamba, is questioned by one of the people who attended the forum at Casino.
GRAND PLAN: Des Euen (right), the man pushing a dramatic redevelopment of the Port of Yamba, is questioned by one of the people who attended the forum at Casino. David Moase

APPROVAL for work on an Environmental Impact Statement for a multi-billion project to turn the Port Of Yamba into an international freight centre could be granted in “about eight weeks”, according to the man behind the plan.

But that is news to Planning and Environment NSW, the department that would have to give the go-ahead for the EIS.

A spokeswoman said yesterday the proposal was not in front of the department and they didn’t know anything about it.

Des Euen this week outlined his plans to transform the Port of Yamba into Eastgate Port to handle containers, petrochemical products, agricultural commodities, heavy machinery, vehicle imports, forestry products and possible live cattle exports.

The port facilities would be linked to inland New South Wales by a rail line Mr Euen wants to build across the Great Dividing Range to Moree…..

“I put my money behind this project because I know transport and I know freight logistics, probably one of the foremost experts in Australia on it, even though the government might not like me and some other people might not like me……

A spokesperson from the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight said an unsolicited proposal for the project was sent to the NSW Government in 2014.

“An assessment was carried out and the proposal did not proceed any further.”

Perhaps the final word should go to Jase Sheaffy over at Facebook: "hung around for a few hours after the event , saw Des leave with some of his team and later saw him back at the club , maybe more talks with the potential investors , wasn't overly impressed with the presentation as the facts were all over the place and really don't need to know his life story which seemed to be the bulk of the presentation."


FOOTNOTES

1. AUSTRALIAN INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS PTY LTD
ACN: 160 159 222
ABN: 50160159222
Registered in: New South Wales
Registration date: 31/08/2012
Status: Registered
Company type: Australian Proprietary Company
Class: Limited By Shares
Subclass: Proprietary Company

Current Registered Address:

C/- NORTON ROSE FULLBRIGHT GROSVENOR PLACE, Level 18, 225 George Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000

Current Principal Place of Business:

IJR ACCOUNTING, Suite 6 Level 1, 1741 Pittwater Road, MONA VALE NSW 2103

Current Directors:

DESMOND JOHN THOMAS EUEN,  5 Shellbach Street, IPSWICH QLD 4305, Born: 14/06/1950, CARLTON, VIC, Appointment date: 31/08/2012

THOMAS CHOR WING CHIU, Suite 20, 1 Central Avenue, THORNLEIGH NSW 2120, Born: 26/11/1950, HONG KONG, HONG KONG Appointment date: 06/05/2015

LEE CHARLES PURVES, 23 Apple Gum Court, ROBINA QLD 4226, Born: 05/05/1989, SYDNEY, NSW Appointment date: 27/09/2015

Current Company Secretary:

DESMOND JOHN THOMAS EUEN

Current Shareholders:

DESMOND JOHN THOMAS EUEN,  5 Shellbach Street, IPSWICH QLD 4305 – 30,200,000 ordinary shares (beneficially held) and 387,350,000 (not beneficially held)

DEAKIN CAPITAL PTY LTD ACN: 128 036 831,  Suite 2, 3 Short Street, SOUTHPORT QLD 4215 – 74,000,000 ordinary shares (not beneficially held)

SUE MARIE CLARKIN, 5 Shellbach Street, IPSWICH QLD 4305 – 2,000,000 ordinary share (not beneficially held)

RICHARD WELLS, 930 Major West Road, COWRA NSW 2794 – 200,000 ordinary shares (beneficially held)

JANET KAYES, 74 Erskine Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000 – 200,000 ordinary shares (beneficially held)

JULIA HOLMES, 30 O'Flynn Street, LISMORE HEIGHTS NSW 2480 – 50,000 ordinary shares (beneficially held)

NOTE:

Beneficially held usually means that the owner of the shares is entitled to the direct benefit from the shares. For example, benefits could include the entitlements to payments in relation to any dividends.

Shares held by a person as trustee, nominee or on account of another person are non-beneficially held. (i.e. the member holds the share for the benefit of someone else). When a trustee or executor is listed as the holder of shares, the shares should be shown as not being beneficially held. This requirement does not apply to a listed company. [See http://asic.gov.au/for-business/running-a-company/shares/]

2. These were the advertised keynote speakers:

Mr. Des Euen A.I.D. CEO/Founder – spoke at length
Prof Thomas Chiu – A.I.D Chairman - spoke
Mr. Andrew Morrison CEO – Ecological Australia – spoke
Mr. Richard Wells (Senior Project Manager – Environment) – spoke in answer to questions from floor only
Aurecon Australia: Mr. Andrew Keith
Strategic NSW LGA Representatives
Mr. Andrew Ross: Consultant
Mr Luke Bodley: (President of Casino Chamber of Commerce)
Indigenous and other community representatives
Mr. Nathan Axelsson: Regional Development Australia (RDANI)
Supply Nation: (Indigenous Business Development)
Mr. Peter Stone: (Principal-Real Estate of Distinction)

3.  Post Panamax container and bulk vessels are typically at least 366m long, 49m wide with a draught of 15.2m and  Cape Size vessels are typically 280m long, 47m wide with a draft of 16m.

4. See http://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20160304/pdf/435lqnp45v0yyd.pdf. Handymax vessels are typically 150-200m in length.

5. No Clarence Valley Council representative is listed as attending the Namoi Councils Joint Organisation meeting at Gwydir on 5 May 2016.

6.  The Daily Examiner, 4 June 2016:

THE man pushing a multi-billion dollar proposal to turn Yamba into a major freight port, that has been described as "pie in the sky", has launched stinging attack on Clarence Valley Council Mayor Richie Williamson.

Des Euen called the mayor "an out and out bloody liar" during a question and answer session at a forum held in Casino to outline his plans.

The claim referred to events that followed a meeting Mr Euen said occurred about two and a half years ago in which he said he showed Cr Williamson, the council's manager environment, planning and community Des Schroder and at least one other person plans for the proposal.

He said the response was, "Wow, we didn't think this project had got that far, this is really something.

"A couple of weeks later somebody gets a bit of a whiff that we've had a meeting and Richie Williamson comes out and denies he even met me. Never met me? Hello? I'm not in the habit of telling lies."

He went on to say:
"Well I tell you something. If Richie Williamson was here today I'd look him right in the eye and say, "You're an out and out bloody liar" because that's exactly what he is.

"If he's the person in charge of taking your region through to create socio-economic development and look after your well-being then you better think again."

Cr Williamson yesterday rejected Mr Euen's claim, saying he had not denied the meeting......


2 comments:

yambaman said...

What is even more interesting is the lunatic's given address, 5 Shellbach St, Ipswich - Google can't find it for me.

At least they can find his co-Director's address 23 Apple Gum Ct, Robins - pretty disappointing abode for an upwardly mobile businessman.

What a w@nker, while I wish him no personal ill-will, this equally aged but grey-haired NIMBY hopes he drops off the planet before some idiot in government actually takes him seriously!

Hamish Broome said...

This is a very informative article but you should, in the interests of the story, try to leave the personal swipes (such as the hair comment) at the door. It reduces the quality of what you are trying to do.