Consultants equal whatever you want – it’s what they do best

This will be a short post – I don’t really want to bore you but can someone tell me is the current definition of a consultant that I have match the one they have?  Mine is simply that a consultant is someone who is paid well above their worth and does stuff-all to tell the person signing the cheques that they are incredibly good.  Are we on the same page?  Yes that’s what a consultant would say – the same page.  Well in fact that’s what it seems the majority of consultants do. That is to ensure that the people who employ them are on the page.  That is that any so-called, independent report written by the top consultant tools around town reflect favourably on the client.  Hoot mon – it’s the old ‘who pays the piper’ riff isn’t it Jamie?

I read yesterday in that glorious piece of Sabbath freckle wipe (The Sun Herald) that Echo, the consortium who wants to polish the fading Star casino is taking on ‘Son of GoannaJamie Packer‘s Buggaryou zillion dollar casino for high rollers.  From all reports the Echo proposal is a thoughtful piece of work – pledging bridges and bouncers with backgrounds in bonsai, Liszt and the ballet.

The Freckle trumpets, courtesy of the new breed of investigative reporter, Tim Barlass, “Secret billion-dollar plans revealing key elements of one of the two bids vying to dominate the city’s casino business in the future can be revealed for the first time.”  Gosh, secret, really?  Perhaps Tim is a distant nephew of Bluey Bargearse – now that would make sense.  How else would Timmy get a “secret” report?

But wait there is more.  Super sleuth, Sean Nicholls from the Freckle has uncovered yet another “confidential” report done by PwC (Price Waterhouse Cooper).  Yes that’s how they want it portrayed in print – the little “w” is obviously due to the devalued nature of the Waterhouse brand name after cousin Tommy let the side down.

Strangely the ‘little w’ confidential report trashes Jamie Packer’s claim that his Buggaryou Project would bring in millions of visitors to Sydney.  They (or Echo say as they are paying them) it’s a mere 10,000 visitors.  And ‘little w’ should know they have a “Private Business Barometer” on their site.  It is obviously a very good tool for developing slogans such as “What you can do today to realise and discover the potential of tomorrow”.  Well bugger me – that’s a deep crock.


Packer’s Crown mob employed Allen Consulting so obviously the ‘Big As’ are going to be glass half-full on Crown stuff.  No, it’s overflowing like a waterfall – growth of $440M per annum and an extra 1400 jobs.  But hold onto your Keno cards, Echo’s pencillers, the “little w”, obviously use a different slide rule as they say only 810 jobs and a paltry $90M!


But wait there is even more. Sunday night news was full of John ‘Lucky Starr‘ O’Neill* spruiking the benefits of the Echo/Star proposal.  Now Lucky has had more jobs than Warnies had roots but if he’s behind the proposal then it’s got to be good.  John’s no mug.



Come this morning the Freckle’s print partner, the Sydney Morning Herald put on a new face.  A wrap-around cover featuring – wait for it – The Star.  Now is it a coincidence that Freckle’s leak, Lucky and the wrap-around all came within 24 hours?  No that’s what integrated marketing is all about – you simple fool.  It’s about dangling the advertising dollar out there in exchange for pretty press puff pieces.






So what’s going on here?  Leaked, confidential documents going to the press.  Two large consultancy firms coming up with totally different figures that appear to match their master’s expectations. Can we no longer trust consultants? Can we no longer expect balance from the press?

It’s chaos, our complex world is spinning.  Do we really need a bigger casino let alone two? I need to have my compass reset.  I wonder if ‘little w’ could lend me their ‘ethical business barometer’ – I hear it was last used in the sixties.



* You will all remember Lucky Starr’s 1962 hit, “I’ve been Everywhere”. If not do yourself a favour.



4 thoughts on “Consultants equal whatever you want – it’s what they do best

  1. greetings Cb&C –
    (you will note, consistent with the small w approach, I have used the small “b” – as bums should never have a big B).
    I’m wondering if there could be some additional capacity for some additional consultant roles in all of this. I’m thinking urban design/ architectural merit consultants, & perhaps I could be of assistance for a huge fee. Well actually, I’d offer my opinion for next to nothing – which is probably more than what Mr Packer and Mr O’Neill would think it is worth. If I may provide a small sampler without exceeding the word limit here, I’d like to do so. Here goes.

    The Buggeryou proposal, though it apparently seduced that noted architectural critic and former PM Mr Keating, appears somewhat out of place in the location. More than somewhat – in spite of its slick aerodynamic “sculptural” form – which has a coefficient of drag less than a Citroen DS – it is just too damn big for its boots. It would be better if it conformed with the planning controls for the site (now there’s a novel idea!) – and was consequently some 20 stories lower. Want an idea of appropriate development for the Buggeryou site? Well the winning design in the competition for the site – by Philip Thalis & colleagues – produced a damn good starting point – but that was before the developers saw the opportunity for greater densities and bigger financial returns – and who can blame them for taking a shot if they can get away with it?

    And over on the other side of Darling Harbour at Beermont is the Star. Such irony in a name. Originally designed by Philip Cox, the Star was never as strong a design as his outstanding maritime museum and exhibition centre. By “not as strong” I mean not in the same ball park. The expansion and refurbishment that occurred a few years ago made a relative sow’s ear less attractive – but with the big SMH wrap-around reveal of what Mr O’Neill has up his sleeve, suddenly the existing Star looks like the palace at Versailles in comparison. I couldn’t find an architect willing to put his / her name to this extravaganza – perhaps he/ she was just being modest. Or more likely there’s no architect at all, but just a graphic designer found some tired and clapped out shots of Las Vegas and the Gold Coast and photoshopped the assembled blue swimming pools and Cocos palms on top of a highly blown up & misshapen version of the existing building.

    So we (well Barry & mates really) have a “Sophie’s Choice” option – which one is less appalling? Even putting aside the huge social issues & the sleazy money-laundering element that hangs around the gambling industry, and its capacity to bring misery into the lives of people who run into trouble with gambling, even on the basis of the built form alone, this is a clear “lose/lose” for the public. ‘Can’t wait till tomorrow. I’m glad a banker (whose home has been used for Liberal fundraisers) is making the ‘independent’ recommendation – he’ll know about urban design!

    • Yes indeed Lip – pure poetry. I must admit I was rather disappointed that The Gamers and Insurers friend Michael Photios didn’t get the judging gig for these bulging architectural boils – what man better to blur the line between self and public interest.

      • I think the two are a continuum are they not? – self and public interest for NSW pollies – MacDonald and Obeid created an art form of it – but they are far from alone.
        And what about Mr Packer getting the leg up? I suspect the Star’s graphic designer was possibly a mole who deliberately sabotaged the bid with the ugliest design ever created in an artist’s impression – there’s a conspiracy theory for you! ‘made the Citroen DS look like an inspiration from on high.

      • I understand that the Star’s first design concept that was only touched out by the Lost Vegas design was a twin tower design based on two giant white shoes interconnected by an overhead walkway based on a white belt.

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