Friday 5 October 2007

An open letter to Sno

I received this yesterday.. and thought readers might be interested in some Division 11 antics (that's Clifton, Kewarra, Palm Cove area).

The letter writer, only referred to as SnoJob says the Divisional councillor Sno Bonneau doesn't seem to like it when the local 'rag' presents information not favourable, so he then prints his own newsletter.

  • Hi there Mike,
    Following is the letter I sent to Sno. As much as I would like to, I cannot put my name to this for family reasons so I guess I lose some 'punch' in doing so. Sharing this seems the best reason to keep the State level of government is the lack of accountability at the local level.
    Cheers, SnoJob


    I fought the urge for a while, but a response to your glossy print newsletter "northern beaches update" is warranted. I debated whether a response would give the words some sort of credibility but your sheer contempt for the intelligence and integrity of the reader negates any chance of that.

    The most galling part of the glossy self-promotional is the line about sensible and rational input being welcome as long as it is based in fact and displays respect and civility. The notion of ‘fact’ is reiterated further down the page where the newsletter purports to offer some facts on what is really happening on the ground.

    For those of us who have genuine concerns about the decisions of government, local, State and Federal that may have a profound effect on our lives, it is possible and a fairly straightforward task to investigate for ourselves the statutory processes that culminate in these decisions. Those of us who have undertaken this self-enlightenment have discovered that the fact that covering of the Clifton Beach rock wall with so much sand was not only a sensible thing to do in terms of practicality for beach users and visual appeal but is fundamental to the engineering design and functioning of the wall. In fact the sand resupply was supposed to be, by law, completed 60 days after the rock work was completed. (Another fact; development applications are public documents which even local or State governments must make available on request for public viewing. What you can’t review in this way is available through the Freedom of Information Act for the cost of photocopying if you ask the right questions.)

    Using the same logic, one can discover that the EPA approval for the sand dredging at Bluewater had in fact been issued when your newsletter arrived in my letterbox. Council need not have been waiting on the EPA but then again Council’s own documents reveal that the fact that Council stated it had no intent to undertake the sand replacement until after the commencement of the 2007/08 fiscal year. As the EPA must have known this, it is hard to see why they insisted on the sand cover being done in the 60 days but didn’t follow it up, Council should perhaps thank the EPA for not prosecuting for the failure to meet the lawful requirement of the approval.

    Further inquiries reveal that arrangements between Council and the dredging operator were for this part of the routine dredging of Half Moon Bay to commence around August-September 2007 anyway. Your outline of the application process that supposedly took place does not even closely resemble the truth begging several questions:

    If Council was so aggrieved by this perceived delay, did you, as our elected representative, make representations to the local State member or the EPA?
    If so, why were these representations not successful in an early resolution?
    Did you investigate these matters for your self or did you spin up the backside covering excuses offered some council staffer?

    If you are prepared to stand by your claims about the reasons for the delays then you should get the CMC to verify them. If you are not prepared to do this then an apology for ‘misleading’ the readers of your "newsletter" might be appropriate. Really, about the only fact in the whole newsletter to this point was that the erosion is a natural process.

    The rest of the newsletter provided a strong sense of déjà vu, I’m sure I’d read or heard it all time and again over the last few years, perhaps the newsletter was printed on recycled paper that wasn’t very well recycled. Enjoy the last six months of your career as a Councillor.

  • PS: Why is this being sent anonymously? Your previously factually deficient claims and baseless personal attacks on anyone who may challenge you has been noted several times before and while I’m up for it, I won’t subject my family to it.

I have to say, while I applaud any public questioning of public servants like Councillors, anyone who feels strongly about their convictions, should declare who they are, and be prepared to stand by their opinions.

There was a lively discussion in the Comments section here last month about commenter's putting up their name or simply "Anon", which a lot seem to think is more than adequate.
If I was publish this blog under a fake name, I would lose a lot of cred.

Therefore, I have to say that I publish this reluctantly. However it airs some important issues and I welcome debate on this subject.

There's Sno business like Sno business (I couldn't resist!).


Anonymous said...

In laymen’s terms "Sno is a wanker!"

Fiscal Fred.

Anonymous said...

I read Sno's news letter and the 30% of land that is set aside for conservation areas in Argentea was nothing to do with Cairns City Council. It is a result of the State Government's Vegetation Management Act protecting the vegetation. Yet Sno and CCC falsely claim the credit for it.

The Cairns City Council that I know is the one that is trying to put in 4-6 storey unit developments in Smithfield (said by Kevin Byrne) and which doesn't want any more parks because they cost money (said by Jeff Pezutti). They especially don't want parks which have rainforest remnants as these just become infested and overrun with weeds and pests. It seems strange that the stated position of Cairns City Council at key forums is total different to the environmentally sensitive spin from Sno.

Smithfield resident

Anonymous said...

The Truth!

Dear Michael, thank you for allowing this resident to post their comment in relation to Cr Bonneau’s newsletter on your site while still remaining anonymous. Many many residents have been on the receiving end of this and other councillors’ unpleasant emails should they dare to cross them and can understand their desire to remain anon.
As the editor of the CBCA Inc newsletter I’m only one of many who compile each edition that Cr Bonneau has apparently taken such offence to, so we feel it should be released to the general public all matters pertaining to same.

Here is the truth about the delays in the sand replenishment program for Clifton Beach and the rock wall we had to have.

By way of State Member Jason O’Brien the Clifton Beach Community Association Inc received a reply from the Office of Director-General, Environmental Protection Agency.

The reply as follows;
The requirement to replenish the beach sand to a specified level within 60 days of completion of the rock wall was set by the EPA in response to the rock wall design criteria specified by CCC’s consultant engineer.

The due date for placement of the sand was 1/4/07.

CCC are in breach of that requirement of the approval for the rock wall.

During the assessment process, the EPA had numerous meeting with CCC staff to identify approval requirements for the project.

In October 2006, CCC was advised of the approval process and information requirements in relation to the sourcing of sand to cover the wall. The EPA’s correspondence stressed very clearly that it was important to lodge the applications for the sand source early, and to follow the application process in a particular way, according to legislation.

Despite the advice provided by the EPA staff in October 2006, CCC did not submit a valid application (one for the approvals) until April 2007.

CCC has chosen not to supply all the information EPA needs to ensure that the CCC’s dredging of replenishment sand from Half Moon Bay will not create other adverse impacts along Cairns Northern Beaches.

EPA have repeatedly advised CCC of deficiencies in the material submitted by CCC, however CCC has not supplied the information.

EPA have provided extensive advise to CCC on this matter, to the extent where staff have drafted template application documents on behalf of Council, to assist in fast-tracking the approvals.

The reply then goes on to say that Council have finally agreed to supply the requested information and the EPA will expedite the issue of permits.

We hope this will assist in clarifying the situation for all Cairns residents and show this Council and Councillor for who they really are? Should anyone have any further enquiries we can be contacted via email at

As one truck driver delivering sand for this project put it, “this is an exercise in stupidity.”

W Herkess
Clifton Beach Community Association Inc

Anonymous said...

Sno Bonneau is a known liar, and unlike skilled politicans isn't even very good at it. He routinely tells constituents "what they want to hear", and then votes the opposite way at council meetings. It is this district that has had the most developer damage done to it - John Richardson building ghettos of 300-400 sq meter house blocks in Kewarra, Glenwood building giant four story apartment blocks that council claims count only as "three stories", an overly large supermarket building that included giant walls just meters from residential properties, and now Tom Hedley gutting the formerly world class Paradise Palms and turning it into a substandard housing estate. And lets not forget the golf course homes at Palm Cove that suddenly became regular houses when a developer Indigo was allowed to use it for residential apartment blocks (screwing all the poor slobs that thought that a golf course would acturally be protected as such). Surely the ultimate goal of Tom Hedley, a classless monkey to be sure.

All without a peep from SnoJob Bonneau.

This is a guy that went belly up trying to run a news agency for chrissakes!

Anonymous said...


Despite his Snowhite appearance, the Snoman is to 4879, what the iceberg was to the Titanic. 4879 postcode had been Snoed under by inappropriate developments courtesy Councillor Sno who has snowballed through Council planning meetings (and non transparent Delegate authorities) many snojobs.

Just as every Snodog has his day, Sno eventually melts and spring arrives in form of Local Council elections, so we will soon get the chance to be Snoless. Bring it on………

Anonymous said...

According to the 20/20 Group’s website, NDIA June 2007 Development Report the value of listed developments in Cairns is $9.75 billion, of which $6.23 billion is residential or resort developments.

The 37 projects on the Northern Beaches is worth $1.86 billion or 23% of the total value of projects.

A breakdown of development description shows that there are approximately 1,629 units/townhouses either currently being built or due to commence construction soon on the Northern Beaches.

Of these units, 424 (30%) of all units being built are in Clifton Beach (Clifton Views, Clifton Cottages, Clifton Waters, Sea Shells) – all accessed via Clifton Road. This figure does not include the 109 units approved for the North development off Yule Ave, which is yet to start. So far, most of these are the “cheap and nasty” variety which will no doubt cause more problems than anyone can handle. Perhaps collectively, they should be called Clifton Ghettos?

Anonymous said...

'Loose', 'lose'
Loose cred implies you may be a dodgy character. When you lose cred it has an entirely different meaning. When dealing with political issues spelling is 'roolly' important!

Anonymous said...

In my dictionary, there is no such word as cred. The word we use in the Enlgish language is credible or credibility, credence or credential and in the main it means 'believable or worthy of belief'

It would seem that you may not be so credible yourself!