Thursday, 11 October 2007

Freebody gets it right, kinda


I can't agree with Dennis Quick's letter more in this morning's Cairns Post.
I mean, it says it's from Paul, but we know Dennis is the letter writer par excellence for the remaining rats that make up the sinking ship HMS [Dis]Unity.
By the way, I really wonder when they're going to update that name? I'd be calling Andrew Griffiths in for a pr and marketing 101. I mean 'Unity' and the tiny bunch that are left, look as comfortable as a Lesbian wedding at St Augustines College.
So "Paul" tells us, in response to Richie Bates' letter criticising Council's poor environmental record, to which no posting on a defamation-friendly blog can detail in five minutes.
Denis, I mean Paul, says two comments that rung true with me. they should be the mantra for everyone running for Council this coming March, and indeed the voting public: "If ever we needed an experienced and well-working [sic] council, the time is now."
Indeed. Well said.
So Dennis, I mean Paul, you can't claim credit, as much as you'd like to. Because credit for a job well done is something that is earned. The ratepayers of Cairns feel disenfranchised, despondent, ignored and angry that they are continually steamrolled when it comes to consultation and active participation in our local democracy. How many community resident association meetings have you been to? I bet more than Sno, which isn't that difficult.
Why did you vote, along with the remaining loyal 'Unity' members at the farce that is the Local Transition Committee to not have a Community Representative, even though the legislation encouraged it? Sends a rather powerful message about how you and your colleagues treat with contempt the willingness to embrace and involve the people.
The letters headline says that a proactive Council is key to success.. and although the subbie at the Post may have scribed it, I'd like you to do something for me today. Pretty please?
Get out those scissors from the top drawer of your desk. Go on. No, I'm not asking you to pop over to Alan's office down the corridor. Cut out that headline. Then sick it on the top of your screen, so that every time you read the minutes and various reports that are held away from the public view, you are reminded how alien this concept has become for you, Kevin and Terry.
We do need an accountable, open and proactive council. We do need one that provides transparency and good governance. We do need a better more intelligent balance between our man(woman)-made structures with our natural assets. We do need a Council where the people own it and control it. We do need a council where everyone feels included and not excluded.
And since you're defending your environmental track record... wait a minute, I just fell off my chair...................
Okay, back up... you need to remind yourself how often a developer's wish has overridden the thrust and spirit of community wishes. "They have rights too," says Kevin.
Oh, they do indeed. But the greater right should belong to the community that resides here. They should guide and shape our community as it grows. Developers overwhelmingly pay a million bucks to Boral to deliver 4 ton of concrete, and before it's finger dry, they're on the next plane south with a sack full of cash, after handling the apartment block over to a bunch of owners to live with the social disaster they've created.
City leaders should respect, integrate and accept local opinion like the 200-page detailed SOS rebuttal of Cairns Plan amendments that were mostly ignored.
Another frightening and all to regular occurrence, is when local residents object or provide contradictory advice about certain developments and land management issues, and state the same publicly, only to get the heavy legal hand of a developer writing to them. This has occurred on the northern beaches regarding stability issues of the Buchans Point development. I'll share such letters later.
In fact, there are many stories that need to be told prior to going to the polls next March. I'm all to well aware that a great proportion on the new Cairns population is ignorant about past grievances and damage to our wilderness and inappropriate subdivisions and multi-apartment highrise that will date faster than a rotten apple left on the dashboard of a beige coloured Landcruiser.
There are many stories to tell in our city. This has been one of them.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope you raise a lot of money from your Cairns Blog fighting fund - you will surely need it. And another thing, you ask Paul Freebody or was it Dennis Quick, how many community resident association meetings have you been to? Well how many Council meetings have you been to? Or do just rely on secondhand information for your version of the truth?

Council Watcher (Mr) said...

How do you get your hands on the secret pass that allows access to the closed door Unity meetings Mr(?) Anonymous Said? The big decisions are made there according to the Daily Murdoch (April 2005). By the time it does get to Council it really is second hand.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that in his letter (CP 11-10-2007) Councillor Nobody, uses the words ‘professional’ ‘environment’, ‘experienced’ and ‘well-working Council’. Perhaps they are working a little too well!

At the Council Planning and Environment meeting in August this year Councillor Bonneau was to propose a motion to approve Ratcliffe’s Buchan Point ‘eyesore’ (for the second time in two years) and before he could do so, Councillor Nobody jumped the gun and seconded the proposal.

He then struggled to apologise for his mistake while the gallery was having a good laugh at this ridiculous charade being played out.

Surely, as ratepayers, we can expect more than this from our elected representatives.

Anonymous said...

Many of us also remember an issue that went to council a few years back when our KB had bought his block of land over at Second Beach, and wanted to build a house above the tree line, which was completely against the Cairns Plan at the time. When it was brought up in council, Cr Jason O'Brien asked for it to be discussed reasonably, but he was rudely cut off mid sentence by Cr Freebody who said 'Lets put it to vote'. Of course the Unity team had the numbers, and it was approved immediately. No discussion whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Anon asked Michael Moore “Well how many Council meetings have you been to”? Having attended quite a few, I can honestly say, that it does not matter if you have never attended. They are all pretty much the same. Councillors vote on each development proposal in turn, there is little or simply no debate, the decision is rubber stamped and they move on to the next agenda item. Public attendees are not allowed to make comments unless by prior arrangement (usually one week beforehand and in writing)!

Now we know why KB goes over to China regularly. He is buying thousands upon thousands of cheap rubber stamps so Council never runs out. Councillor Free-for-All will have a field day with this lot of rubber stamps. But he is abit stuck in the groove with his old catch-cry, which he trots out whenever there is a slightly controversial issue at voting time, “if we don’t approve, they (the developers) will sue us.” It's a sign that the approval is to get the rubber stamp treatment, and that is exactly what happens.

Anonymous said...

It was interesting to read your comments about Dennis Quick.I personally had some dealing with this little bad mannered arrogant young fellow some time back.He was fortunate there was a young receptionist nearby,otherewise I would have sat him on his tail.
How this type of person holds a position in council is beyond me,lets hope he goes out with the Unity Team at the next election.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what he did when he lived in Townsville??