Thursday 29 November 2007

Byrne suddenly talking tough

Mayoral candidate Val Schier, says that the Mayor has had years to come up with a collaborative solution for the indigenous problem in Cairns...

  • Cairns Mayor Kevin Byrne’s tough talk on town camps is a lot of hot air unless he is prepared to propose meaningful solutions to homelessness and housing affordability.

    This is according to Cairns First mayoral candidate, Val Schier, who is suspicious at Councillor Byrne’s sudden interest in this issue less than four months out from the next council election.

    “The Queensland Police Service has not reported an increase in the number of homeless people’s camps recently,” Ms Schier said.

    “Yet Cr Byrne is suddenly talking about ‘sites of shame’ and flexing his muscles with threats to shut down camps.

    “What has he been doing for the past four years? Where is Cairns City Council’s homeless policy?

    “Where is its Indigenous Reference Group to provide advice and help put strategies into place?

    “It’s no good blaming the State Government.”

    Ms Schier said Cr Byrne’s confrontational style is not going to solve this complex problem.

    “It is unlikely he will have much credibility if he thinks he’s going to belatedly show some leadership in this area,” she said.

    “Now is not a time for grandstanding. As last weekend’s election result shows, people today prefer to see a collaborative approach.

    “We need to work hand in hand with State Government agencies and relevant community organisations.”

    Ms Schier said there are many reasons why people are homeless and are forced to choose the option of sleeping rough.

    “They may have mental health issues, have alcohol-related problems or simply not have the money to pay increased rents,” she said.

    “It’s unproductive to attack homeless people and make threats unless you have constructive proposals and solutions.

    The State Government has allocated more funds to address homelessness in the Cairns area, so the Cairns City Council needs to make a contribution as well if it wants to be part of the solution.


Anonymous said...

6. Diverse groups and communities flourish together:

We will value difference and create vibrant, inclusive communities that are distinctive whilst sharing a common vision.We will respect our indigenous peoples and their cultures and acknowledge our history and heritage.All residents will feel safe and supported.

That;s all I could find on the Cairns First website about indigenous/Aboriginal issues. All detailed polices, the site explains, are under review.

Does Cairns First intend to publish policies? If so, when?

Regarding indigenous policy specifically, what Aboriginal participation has there been in policy development for this part of the Greater Cairns community?

Similar question arise about Cairns First's Environment / Climate Change / Infrastructure / Transport policies.

Does it have policies in these areas? If so, who's been consulted in preparing them. When will they be available?

Anonymous said...

sid, i've noticed the complete lack of any substance behind the cairns first web site as well.

IMHO there are two issues with Cairns First

1. we need a valid, serious and viable alternative with some substance, planning and direction. not just sneers and swipes at incidents - get your own ducks in a row before you roast someone for not doing the same.

2. I would rather crawl over hot coals than vote in a labor affiliated local council, ditch the party alliances (which have NOTHING to do with water, garbage, streets and town planning) and you'll likely attract many many more voters. This is one of the current mob's positive points.

Anonymous said...

The previous anonymous. Are you for real? You think Byrnes council arent party affiliated? Byrne himself is the local Liberal party president, and al his lackeys in the Unity team are nothing more than yes men (and women). At least Cairns First have the right ideas for our area, not just slash and burn, build whatever you want, who gives a stuff about locals attitiude, which Byrnes council has consistently had. This town is sick of him.

Anonymous said...

I, too, am suspicious as to why the Mayor has brought this up so close to a Council Election.
The people of Shady Lane have been there for years. Why wasn't anything said then?

Anonymous said...

"are you for real" anon..

I am for real, I am sick of the current mayor too and his clueless, illiterate car washers, I don't want more of the same or an alternative driven by political alliances, I want a REAL choice, someone worthy, a viable alternative. I don't see one yet, that is my gripe.

I don't want to choose Cairns First merely because they're not as _bad_ as the unity mob, I want to be able to choose a real alternative. I would rather stick with what I know than a mob that's apparently wandering aimlessly without coherent, stable policies.

Anonymous said...

It came to me in a dream. Charlie McKillop would make a great Mayor of Cairns.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Brian, go back to slep and try again...!

Anonymous said...

> Jesus Brian.


I know the big guy has a personal following, but didn't realize the full extent of it.

As for Mayor, I'm a hill-dweller with no personal interest (except that I occasionally visit Cairns).

Maybe that's why I'm about the only guy on this blog apart from Bryan who comments using his/her own name?

Anyhow, FWIW, I'd support a mayoral candidate who personally guarantees construction of a first class light rail system during their first term of office - on a salary structure based on results - with rewards for success and penalties for failure.

After years of transport neglect, Cairns needs to be brought into the 21st century fast. We need someone tough and capable to do the job.

Don't tell me, please, that "transport is a State Government responsibility" blah, blah, blah. Getting those particular ducks in a line should be the new Mayor's battle number one.

Ultimately, even rather complacent, pro-car, anti-rail local MPs couldn't resist a coherent grass roots campaign for public transport excellence, fully supported by Cairns' incoming Council.

Why should they become history when they could help to make history?

Anonymous said...

All this is about is being a diversionary tactic by byrne to focus away from the real issues of this council.

Typical liberal minded strategy.

For me ,I am still waiting for an explanation as to how all the trips to china place dollars back into ratepayers revenue, after all it is ratepayers investment and also why there has not been proper maintenance of this city.

Anonymous said...

Just imagine how seething Byrne would be if Charlie stood for the top job and beat Byrne to the Mayoral Post. Both are liberal party members, and would be liberal rung climbers. The difference is that Charlie was handpicked over Byrne (and rightly so) for liberal candidacy by Warren Entsch and she nearly made it on her first attempt at federal politics.

Bring it on...Go on Charlie, give it a go....

Anonymous said...

Charlie for Mayor? Why not?