Sunday 9 September 2007

Richie Bates standing for Council

THE re-establishment of Cairns City Council’s recreational and arts consultative committee would go a long way to address Mayor Byrne’s failure to address the region’s sporting and cultural needs, says Richie Bates.
Val Schier has announced Bates will join her team to contest the Council election in 2008.

Cairns cycling identity, Richie Bates said the reconstituted committee would be a priority of mayoral candidate Val Schier’s Cairns First team.

Bates would give Cairns’ sporting and recreational community a stronger voice to her team and around the Cairns Regional Council table after the election next March.

“Richie is a long-time president of the Cairns Cycling Club and I am delighted he will champion sporting and recreation issues,” says Val Schier said.

Mr Bates, 41, said grass-roots involvement in local government was pivotal to the future of Cairns and the health and well-being of the community.

“The Mayor, Kevin Byrne’s recent axing of the recreational and arts committee is just one example of his administration's failure to encourage the sporting and cultural life of the Cairns region and genuinely engage its residents,” Richie Bates said.

“The lack of affordable and adequate facilities for sporting organisations is especially hampering opportunities for our youth, with athletics and junior football codes among those bearing the brunt of this problem.”

“It is disappointing to see so little vision and planning from the present line-up of councillors.
“The re-establishment of a recreational and arts consultative committee will be a priority for Val Schier’s Cairns First team.”

Mr Bates is a strong advocate for increased and improved cycle ways as well.

“The Dunne Road school route linking Yorkeys Knob to Smithfield is typical of the transport problems in the city,” he said. "With no local bike lane and a limited bus service, we are putting the heath and safety of our children at risk. Only a comprehensive review leading to a fully-integrated system of bikeways across our town can resolve the problem.”

Mr Bates has been active in cycling for many years as a competitor, coach, referee and club administrator. His committee membership of events such as Sportsfest and the Gordonvale Pyramid Carnival was acknowledged in the recent Queensland Day awards.

His community involvement goes beyond sport with active membership in the Yorkeys Knob Residents Association. A long time resident of Yorkeys Knob, Mr Bates has two children, aged 7 and 13, both involved in junior sport. He is a telecommunications technician with Queensland Rail.

You can contact Richie Bates by email or telephone 0429 496 882 / 4081 0956 (Home), or Val Schier on 0407 100 886

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Richie Bates will be a much needed breath of fresh air at council...his wealth of experience in sports will auger well for the myriad of sporting groups throughout Cairns who partly rely on council funding to get through the year. It is a shame that margaret Cochrane was hamstrung by KB, but she got into bed with the devil...of her own volition.... As part of Val Schier's alliance of independents, there will be none of the argy bargy that the Disunity team have demonstrated. It's time for a change....federally and locally... Go Richie...go Val!