Cathay's Oz talks dwarfed by airports sale

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 September, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 September, 1995, 12:00am

TALKS between the Government's Cathay Services Branch and Australia's Transport Department over the right to land at each others airports have not been going smoothly and, in our usual public spirited way, Lai See would like to help.

The news that Australia is putting its finest airports up for sale has given us exactly the opportunity we need (see tear-out).

The Government should immediately put in a tender for Brisbane airport.

At a stroke, the whole air rights row will be defused. If Australia wants to be awkward about flights to other cities, then let it. Hong Kong will have a perfectly serviceable route into Oz through our very own airport.

There are a host of other good reasons for buying. First off, it will also solve the passports problem.

Ownership of an international airport might not bring with it the right to issue Aussie passports, but we reckon that with a little imagination the transit lounge of Brisbane could be converted into a Hong Kong in Queensland - a highly acceptable alternative.

Duty-free shopping and 24-hour-a-day noise would keep us all feeling right at home.

The only drawback to re-domiciling all of Hong Kong to the Brisbane transit lounge is that our locals might find it slightly dull. Nothing much happens apart from an annual influx of Japanese tourists, some serious drinking and a little dwarf-throwing, according to experts.

Feeling flush VISITORS to Jardine Fleming's asset management eyrie in Central who find themselves called by nature have brought us up-to-the minute on JF's current signage.

'The door to the toilet doesn't say 'toilet', as it might in ordinary fund managers,' said our man in the building of 1000 portholes, 'it says 'executive'.' Our agent spent some fruitless minutes searching around for the door marked 'non-executive'.

The question is also raised: what do JF call their executives? Rutting season A CURSORY glance at today's Business Post will reveal that Hong Kong Inc had one of its busiest days of the year.

There were more than 30 company results announced and upwards of 20 annual general meetings held yesterday and not many less are reporting today.

A look back into the past reveals that it is the same every year. The end of September marks a sort of directors rutting season when they all come out of the woodwork to perform mating rituals for shareholders.

Although most companies report on December 31, March 31 or June 30, there seems no reason why they all have to report together.

The biggest hongs have a sort of secret cabal where they agree who will report on what day, but it seems unlikely that so many companies could possibly get together to fix Big Thursday and Friday.

Any suggestions? BobSlayed TRAGIC news in from Avon, Colorado is that the annual BobFest has been cancelled.

The BobFest - whose events included 'soft Bob', 'Bob-e-ques', and the playing of 'Bob pipes' - received national and international attention after it was conceived on a cocktail napkin in the autumn of 1991.

Taking their inspiration from a bridge the town had recently named Bob, Tom Britz and friends created cards listing the top 10 reasons why Bob is the ultimate OK guy. Among them: 'Bobs enjoy a solid sense of sameness.' Thousands of Bobs turned up to previous BobFests - but no famous ones as it wouldn't have fitted with the image, according to Mr Britz.

Traffic stopper JOINT Liaison Group members recently went off to visit the former barracks at Gun Club Hill, now an empty shell but soon to be a nice gleaming new hospital for the People's Liberation Army as part of the defence lands deal.

Aside from the JLG, no one much goes up the hill these days and the road leading up to it is silent.

Y M Khan, former police superintendent and Hong Kong's most dogged pursuer of justice, pointed out the traffic light on the main road is still operating although it stops the traffic flowing past the turning for no reason.

There is something rather poignant about the traffic lights switching from red to green for troop lorries that never come. Sort of a symbol for the Hong Kong Government.

Smoke signals ON October 20, the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance will come into force.

It imposes a statutory duty on manufacturers and importers to make sure what they are selling is safe. That will probably be greeted by local business people as the thin end of the nanny-state's thickest, longest wedge.

But not every importer will have to worry about the new regulations because there are a number of exceptions to the rules.

Toys aren't covered, because an earlier Ordinance covers them, and liquefied petroleum gas isn't covered because if it is completely safe, it isn't any use.

But it is rather harder to guess why tobacco and tobacco products are exempt.

Unless, of course, the Government decided that as cigarettes are lethal poison when used according to manufacturers instructions, there was no point.