Professor Doolittle or better can do?

Reverse blunders and move forward with positivity

UPDATE 11 September:

  

The Newcastle Herald reported on 11 September that DP World had again labelled the Baird port levy as the determining factor on investment. The Ports Minister, Melinda Pavey, was reported as saying that

  • it was geography, and not the Newcastle restriction, that led DP World to walk away from negotiations with Newcastle …  the Port of Newcastle was aware of the government’s commitment to containers at Botany and Port Kembla when it signed its lease in 2014
  • We have the market deciding where those containers are going,” Ms Pavey said.
  • “You only need to talk to companies like DP World, which says that the system within New South Wales is market driven and market led. Ships only like to stop on rare occasions and they want to be able to transact their business at one major port.

The hapless CEO of PON's rejoinder calls for full disclosure, for reasons stated below ~

  • “We have been open about the fact that Port of Newcastle has private investors lined up and willing to bet on the Hunter with a major investment in a world-class container terminal in Newcastle,” Mr Carmody said.

The naiveté of the Minister’s statement and Carmony’s rejoinder lies in their refusal to think logical logistics – DP World was in the same boat.


The reality in 2003 was that the conferences had decided to avoid Adelaide and Newcastle; but the strategic position of Ports Botany and Kembla has changed so much and the Minister is avoiding telling the truth.


Professor Green is the Minister’s secret weapon as he studiously avoids reality. We await the Herald’s epiphany as well.


UPDATE:  on 27 August Carmody repeated previous errors (reduced traffic in Sydney being one) when he announced

  1.  "I can confirm that the Port of Newcastle has been approached by a number of globally significant container port operators who are eager to take advantage of our proximity to exporters and importers, the availability of large tracts of low cost land around the port and our access to dedicated freight transport infrastructure."
     
  2. Mr Carmody said, "Whilst we cannot go into details yet, these bids clearly demonstrate that there is no doubt in the minds of private investors that a container terminal in the Port of Newcastle is economically viable. It's really a matter of when, not if, we will see preparatory work commencing on the container port in Newcastle.
     
  3. "It should be noted that, these bids are contingent on the removal   of the current artificial constraint imposed on NSW port competition and other regulatory issues. 

He said they were unsolicited, can that be true? - no outreach by PON?  Mistruths repeated months after PON's canards, including unreliability of Deloittes, were revealed.  We should see the prospectus to ascertain if PON has told the truth about policy questions described herein and IP challenges and complaints going to Governments and the PON Boards.

__________

The Port crisis in NSW reflects  inexperience and low expertise as well as populist political interventions. The targets have to be Mike Baird and Gladys Berejiklian as well as TfNSW, iNSW and iA, the Greater Sydney Commission, and the Botany/Moorebank cartel.


Whereas Newcastle was betrayed by Premiers Carr and Baird in 2003 and 2013, now it is being dudded by its own Port Corporation which had no infrastructure plan and now is trying to wriggle-out of its embarrassment, having been birched through this website and correspondence. (The embarrassment spreads to the Chamber, ARTC and TfNSW).


It appears that the company lacks the evidentiary, analytical and policy skills it needs to achieve its own objectives of successful diversification and integration with the regional economy.


Also, it might be repeating Kembla’s over-investment direction in its rapid augmentation approach – without meeting the NSW Ports Authority’s stringent conditions; while the community lacks leadership and won’t find it in PON any more than in the City Council, RDA or Business Chamber. 


PON cannot bring forward the approval of a terminal to next year; I think I can. It had no infrastructure plan and is stealing mine. I am justified in protecting my Intellectual Property and deserve to be paid properly – so lifting performance, quality and urgency.


Towards the end of his first year, Green’s is a record of failure as recounted below; and he has shown neither remorse nor adaptation. As the Board’s and region’s hopes are receding and I have no prospect of fair and professional treatment from him, all choices are exhausted except for the Board to protect its shareholders’ interests and replace Green.

At the beginning of May, I circulated a position statement to Ministers and others, from which this quote was drawn, the “critical issues” being missed by PON:

  

While Port Botany grows even without commensurate road and railing capacity, the regional cities will get their terminals when Hell freezes over if they keep going with tired ideas under the same tutelage as Port Botany. 

Neither satellite realises they are being cannibalised by their Sydney and Western Sydney siblings which are aligned with Federal and State Coalition Governments. Neither have been willing to consider the independent expert. They will not combine approaches. 


  

The immediate situation is seriously awry from being a steady path from confusion and deceit towards robust regional improvement. The problems are known but are being exacerbated, not fixed. The challenges include:


  1. In terms of a formal submission to TfNSW and in publicity, Green’s then Carmody’s reliance on a Deloittes report is no basis for proper negotiation, it having serious defects and lack of awareness of critical issues; and is facing increasing exposure of its defects )
  2. Departure of CEO at the time of Deloittes’ exposure, with Green only saying “don’t read too much into it
  3. Green alienating me after I early expressed the opinions in (1) and added that the manic focus on secret levies is peripheral (to which he said “I don’t quite know how to respond”). Green knew I had worked on relevant issues for a decade and more, as the State’s expert in these matters and as being committed to Newcastle’s success, and he refused to sign a suitable “deed of confidentiality” – so he still has no real idea of what my work comprises. Prof Phil O’Neill has joined in my biggest points which included PON’s failures in analysing Deloittes 
  4. My advising ARTC of my scheme under strict copyright terms in April ‘18, and attempts to engage regional stakeholders similarly (with brief summaries)
  5. Green then releasing an unamended Deloittes in Sydney, reported in the media without journalistic nous
  6. Business Chamber, chaired by the same ARTC executive, pushed long bypass of Sydney (only) in its submission to TfNSW
  7. My advising Green I no longer supported him but did Newcastle 
  8. My requesting Board consideration of my case for a better approach that is professional in socio-political and economic dimensions, and receiving no reply
  9. My establishment of a pro-improvement website including forensic rejection of Green’s approach
  10. Departure of DP World as the prospective container client and investor
  11. Appointment of a political operative with web and media repetitions of all of the errors in Green’s approach, including focus on the idiotic long by-pass of Sydney 
  12. Strengthening of my website in terms of the defects of Deloittes and Green’s approach including “PON cannot win if it continues current directions
  13. My appearance in the Newcastle Herald and then on ABC Newcastle Radio (on 21 August), including all-round rejection of Green and expression of the case for access via the Inland Bridge and smarter approach including Calfas which PON has had no awareness of or response to
  14. Green’s despicable email to me on that evening (21 August) after he had received the audio file of my radio appearance (message at 4:35 pm: “I warned you but no, you’re too superior to listen to the top Transport and Ports nous in NSW. The PM needs to get real, fast”) (reply points numbered in square brackets):

  

Robert 

This may surprise you but [1] I don’t disagree at all about the importance of inland rail. Nor does PON which is working closely with [2] ARTC and [3] others on the connections that would make sense in the context of a container terminal. 

The problem you have is that no one is engaging with you because [4] you insist on being paid for your opinion on how this might be done. And maybe you have some other ideas as well. Can I respectfully suggest you would have far more impact if you were prepared to share your ideas [5] openly like most other people contributing to our cause. No one has a monopoly of wisdom in this area. I for one would be only too delighted to publicly acknowledge your authorship of any ideas that are taken up if that’s your concern. 

It just seems a shame to me that you sit there down south [6] taking potshots at everyone when you have [7] so much expertise and experience to offer. I’ve got a thick skin so don’t mind the potshots but I’d much rather have you [8] wielding the sword or pen on our behalf

We’ll be making a [9] very positive announcement shortly on the container terminal strategy and it would be wonderful if you could [10] join the discussion in similar vein at that point and beyond. 

What do you think? Are you ready for a [11] more collaborative role

Best regards 

Roy  

  

15. PON posted artist’s impressions of container ships entering and in a Newcastle Terminal where PON has no infrastructure plan, no planning approval, no economic case capable of meeting Ports NSW’s formal requirements, and no idea of scale economics in the supply chain context. This is the assertion of “spin” in a context dominated by deceit – as I said on Radio, this time “Newcastle is dudding itself”. I also pointed to Kembla’s situation and the ban on trucking, in response to media concern in the previous week.

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REBUTTAL

  

This circus has been going since 2012, with the industry agreeing with my reports but asking that I publish free, for their usage. Green knew that and my attitude, which is – bastards ….  The consequences include continuing disarray and mistakes in industry work; and the increasing domination of populist politics in undermining solid logistics and “pipeline” economics. The next morning I replied:

No:  I get paid for the value of my change quality work, finis.  It is far superior to PON’s.

You pay your staff, Deloittes, sponsees et al.

$100 m for a wee business case seems to now be the yardstick, I resent anyone saying I should be treated unfairly.

My insights are not to be used by PON in any way at all.

Either come back with a real offer or do something useful with your life.  I’ve been treated by you as a mushroom too long.

Robert

  

Detailed responses to Green’s email [to the points numbered within square brackets]:


1. Rail Bypass etc:  No one was talking Inland Rail until I added that insight as part of my strategic report; and Green started after I told him I’d copyrighted Prof Lee’s and my route concept. His change to Inland Rail from his long-term disagreement/rejection of me (being the first person to raise the idea and copyrighted it), is unacceptable. He is bound to his stupid by-pass as was ARTC (Chamber submission dated 12 April ’18). Green’s submission actually said the bypass could be part of Inland Rail! ABC Radio host Paul Bevan said that both Green and Carmody had pushed the bypass on-air at the time of Carmody’s appointment (which was at the end of May ’18). (The same copyright applies to Calfas, socio-economic arguments at Botany, high-voltage A/C, work with Kembla,  and scale economics etc – all points missed by PON, the Chamber, RDA, NCC et al.) 

Green wrote on 11 April ’18: “would be useful if you can integrate Newcastle container planning including Newcastle-PK dedicated freight rail corridor via Eastern Creek **. Otherwise PB role may depend heavily on trucks on WestConnex with $60-80 tolls”:

· He didn’t understand my Eastern Seabord Rail Freight Development Plan as he hasn’t signed the Confidentiality Deed

· The comment on PB is ignorant of facts, same comment, including how would Botany be supported – by closure?!?

· I would NEVER integrate that joke of a corridor, this is appalling illogicality

** In my Freight Plan from 2012 – again, no one has attributed or paid for that so I’m roaring


2. ARTC: Secret discussions, to what end – more mistakes? Green gives the impression of trying to be cute after being smacked for incompetence, unacceptable and they have been so informed


3. Others: presumably Greg Cameron and/or additional consultants which I will resent and vigorously critique. Enough obvious blunders have been perpetrated through amateur daydreaming. If Carmody’s ex-employer, Maersk, they will be informed of the problems as DP World had been – DPW had the chance of advancing their own commercial prospects but refused to. 

PON is hunting for cruise liners but the Australian’s recent special feature on regional liner destinations did not even mention Newcastle. PON is proposing a variety of new facilities but I question whether they understand market economics, having got the container catchment so wrong (see website). This happened at Kembla where the development plan for higher throughput meant higher charges, meaning even the port’s owners sent their coal to Newcastle via an incredibly inefficient route, meaning less throughput!

4. Does Green live in a bubble? Plumbers, consultants, politicians and others get paid, even he gets paid regardless of judgements of little or no added value. I gave the industry the option of paying for my work as Globestar did in 2003 on behalf of Shipping Australia, or experiencing the “opportunity costs” which Green is now. His attitude is primordial and out of touch with the real world. It shows he made a mistake at the beginning, has been smacked and is now cheating his way out (as if).  As for other ideas – this is idiotic, inconsistent with [7]

5. “No one has a monopoly” – how would he know? Again, PON has been found out and is leeching the community as though that will evade my copyrights


6. Potshots: he also enjoys them? Political and moral suasion is the only mode of persuasion Green has left me, so this is a consequence of his own behaviour and attitudes


7. So much expertise and experience: refused to find out via Deed of Confidentiality so is fishing? Obviously greater than PON’s, the industry sectors’, TfNSW, iA, PON, the Chamber, ARTC’s etc, therefore more valuable. Green didn’t even know about the econometric study of the Botany line


8. On our behalf: rubbish, he refuses to pay for his company’s interests, he is illogical


9. A very positive announcement: of successful theft of IP? His own resignation? Maersk? NSW Government faux-promises? Better artist’s impressions?


10. Join the discussion: more of the above, rubbish, the normal sequence is to table quality work before consultation which also would show competence and leadership


11. More collaborative: he’s begging after pissing me about for 4 months -  see especially my email of 24 May – “I’m a lot annoyed I’m doing a much better job than anyone else and no one will pay me. This is the third and last time – I’m going to start to bite”.

In conclusion, PON is tied to the bypass and unsuccessful political approach as based on the decrepit Deloittes report. It shows the same deficient attitudes as do Ports Australia, Shipping Australia, the Australian Logistics Council and the NSW Business Chamber. [NB schedule of disparities in submissions to TfNSW & Calfas being held back but ready to go on website.]


His emails illustrate Green’s mistakes and now his evasions of fair and sensible practice. The new CEO of PON is a PR manager, not an operative or analyst, judging by what is known of his history. (He has not replied to polite questions.) Newcastle has had too much cant and deceit, and now needs a positive, professional can-do logistical and political person to lead its further development.


That is a judgement which Mr Carmody can address but his repetition of deceit on 27 August must lead to questions of his economic nous and willingness to move out of the spin world into solid achievement and community engagement. 


ARTC has been conflicted all along and must now admit transparency and reversal of exclusion.  


Green and others should focus on successful outcomes instead of narcissistic game-playing.

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