Oct 26, 2012

Media cuddles up to Packer with few hard questions

James Packer is getting a dream run from the media on his plans for a Sydney casino. Why isn't anyone asking harder questions about his strategy?

Stephen Mayne — Journalist and Founder

Stephen Mayne

Journalist and Founder

For anyone who can remember the 1990s crony capitalism saga behind James Packer finishing up in control of one of the world’s biggest casinos in the Melbourne CBD, developments this week in Sydney are deeply troubling. And just as concerning is the performance of the mainstream media which has turned into a Packer cheer squad as the NSW Parliament collapses in the face of a powerful rent-seeking casino developer.

The Australian Financial Review, our independent national financial paper of record, should be all over the dubious process which has seen the widely-owned Echo Entertainment Group ambushed by a competitor which openly colludes with political parties, makes direct political donations and employs well-connected former politicians to advance its interests.

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13 thoughts on “Media cuddles up to Packer with few hard questions

  1. Oscar Jones

    Good to Stephen back in form and doing what he does best.
    “Rissian oligarch” style deals really does sum up this whole charade and the unquestioning attitude of the MSM that somehow, it’s Packer’s birthright to be handed these pots of gold is another reason for plunging readership.
    Richard Ackland is the only one I can see who has written anything remotely sensible on what looks like a secret deal.

  2. zut alors

    Keep at them, Stephen.

    As if casinos aren’t rotting society enough – now an even bigger stench is hanging over NSW. [email protected] likes to high stakes gamble without ever going near a table or pokie.

  3. Stevo the Working Twistie

    The Rum Corps never really left NSW: they just started wearing business suits instead of redcoats. Every time we get a change of government we hope that finally some honesty and integrity will find its way into Macquarie Street, and every time the new lot are shown up to be just as crooked a bunch of spivs as the last. Oh, and by the way, if you are looking for O’Neill’s spine, forget it. It went missing some time in the 90s – just ask anyone who worked for the State Bank of NSW at the time.

  4. paddy

    Took the words right off my keyboard Stevo.
    The whole deal is breathtakingly “rummy”.

  5. Edward James

    We the peoples watch on as both sides of the NSW government gets set to legislate the legal stepping stones needed for James Packer to get what he wants! Our elected reps have a history of changing the law to look after the big end of town. Edward James

  6. Lexi

    Thank God SOMEONE is asking these questions in the media. Thank GOD we have Crikey as one of our only independent media. These are questions thinking people are asking around the dinner table and water cooler.

  7. Edward James

    Lexi Some of us pay to put our questions in local papers. After getting sick and tired of waiting for the bought and paid for media to do the right thing Edward James

  8. steinro byn

    My mothers neighbour is working part time and averaging $9000 a month. I’m a single mum and just got my first paycheck for $6546! I still can’t believe it. I tried it out cause I got really desperate and now I couldn’t be happier. Heres what I do, FOx90,Com

  9. Emma Rennie

    There are a whole bunch of things I don’t understand about this, starting with Jamie Packer saying he wants this to be a his monument, who would want a casino as a monument? To what?
    As for Paul Keating saying it will be a big exclamation mark for the Barangaroo development, it seems more like a big middle finger.
    A casino is a lazy way to bring in tourists (and fleece them); really , how much more money does this man need?
    How is it in the public interest to have a bunch of rich tourists gambling at a waterfront location? They might as well be inland and let people who are interested in the view/watersports/fishing/fresh air etc enjoy it.
    Why another casino within (almost) spitting distance of the existing casino? Especially when a spokesman for the proposal said (on ABC 702 Sydney radio) that a diversity of development is needed.
    According to the pro-casino mob Sydney “needs” a six star hotel and it can only be financed by the building of another casino. Is that so that the people rich enough to lose their money at the casino have somewhere luxe enough to stay to make them feel better about losing that money. Lots of big gamblers get complimentary accommodation at attached hotels because they are expected to lose enough to cover those costs.
    Why can’t Sydney have something really visionary if we must bring in tourists? Look at Hobart and the MONA Gallery, tourists from all over the world are going there and raving about how great an experience it is. That is a monument which the whole state takes pride in. One man’s vision. Perhaps we should ask David Walsh to put up a proposal, at least we might end up with something interesting.

  10. MJPC

    Well done Stephen for telling it how it is. With our supine politicians of both persuasions (or is it really only one in the end- capitalism /greed) bowing at the altar of mammon I just can’t visualise why the high rollers of the world will be beating a path to its door when there are larger and flashier ascino’s closer to their Asian abodes?
    I predict, shortly after it opens its door, the proletariat will be told the requisite number of high rollers and money launderers attending aren’t being realised and there will be another shady deal to change the license to have pokies and allow Bill and Betty problem gambler to lose their hard earned dosh (or welfare cheques) to assuage the Packer greed.
    This whole deal is immoral, but that’s what you can expect when you give one party free reign to do what they want.

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