Wednesday 19 December 2007

Must be an election coming up

I blogged a few weeks ago about how the Mayor's answer to solving the city's CBD crime epidemic is to put up closed circuit TV's everywhere.

I think someone at Council read my story and took notice. About bloody time.

We now learn, 86 days out from an election, that Council is getting involved in a crime taskforce.

The Cairns Post reports that there were 47 attacks alone in November last year, dropping to 32 in the same period this year. A similar pattern was recorded in April. However, this needs to be correlated against fluctuations in visitor numbers, as many of these incidents occur with young visitors. This is not to say we have a growing youth problem in our city that has been largley ignored over the lat 10 years.

The group formed with Black & White Taxi, Police and Council, which even includes such odd bedfellows as MacDonnells Law, aims to make things all clean, pretty and white around our city streets.

This Council have an appalling record, along with the Police, of helping and nurturing our local night time economy. In fact the opposite has occurred.

Regular contributors to CairnsBlog noted this trend months ago, and also here.

It's rather obvious, that under the guise of protecting our city, Council and other authorities are creating a more homogenous, plain and boring night-time scene in Cairns.

As the apartment boom has enveloped the CBD streets, this Council now backs moves to have less and less entertainment in the wee small hours around our fair city. They'd rather you stay at home and watch ABC's The Bill on a Saturday night.

Cairns was known for many years around the world as a destination that welcomed international travellers. Young backpackers arrived in droves to drop off their Wicked campervans, pick fruit and get laid, but usually not in that order.

Now more nightclubs have closed than opened under the current City Council's leadership and the environment that they have subsequently created. Tropos, Johnos, MetBar, even the old Cairns working men's club in Abbott Street vanished. Sure there are many reasons why some clubs don't last the distance, however there is now a culture of fear and attack against many clubs. Ask the owners of Tropos what bought them down, or Johno's.

The Council have also been active in their reasons not to support the retention of the 80 year old Cairns Yacht Club, a venue that has nurtured many bands and musos for most of the last 100 years.

Many complaints now arise from neighbouring "residents" that have recently arrived in the neighbourhood and taking up residence in their new luxury apartment in the CBD, long after the clubs and nightlife was in full swing.

Even if going out on the town is not your thing, you'll learn a surprising thing or two that there appears to be a concerted and co-ordinated effort to eradicate a lot of night time entertainment and enjoyment, which is so much part of the colour that makes up a tourist centre.

In the last few weeks we've seen the Mayor come out with his plan to clean our streets and parks of Aboriginals, and now the Council thinks they'd better come up with something more that throwing up spy cameras on every street corner in an effort to protect us from the bogey man.

Like a worn out Federal government under Howard, we have a worn out Council that is desperate to put together group after group to help them with ideas in the dying days of their tenure.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps we *DO* have a worn-out council in need of replacement.

The difference with the last election however is that we have NO credible alternative. Val Schier is an intellectual lightweight - you can't win an election by counting only on the "angry" vote. A leader would, by now, have been able to recruit serious, credible candidates for all the districts who whould be now well into defining the election issues. The inclusion of a teenager who's CV ends with "high school graduate" is absurd, and shows the futility of this team. Even Buttrose and Pyne have begun distancing themselves from the "team", which is looking suspiciously like a boat anchor every day.

Anonymous said...

Lets not forget, northernbeacheswarrior, that the local election is still a good 3 months away, and the electorate would be sick of elections still the way the federal one dragged on. I believe we'll hear a lot more from Val Schier in the coming months and hopefully you will change your mind. The main thing here is that we get rid of Byrne regardless. I as a fair-dinkum local have watched this town be utterly destroyed by his over-development thrust. It just has to be stopped. Imagine what we'll look like in another 4 years under Byrne. More crime, which comes with unplanned-for population growth, over-development, and less and less of that friendly community feel that I and all my mates and relatives grew up with. More commercialism, more fly-by-night money makers who couldn't give a stuff about our town. Just watch, it will be odds-on that Byrne high tails it to somewhere else as soon as he loses. He's done it before, and has said himself, he'd do it again. Is that someone who you think truly, deeply cares for this town? Someone that has the right to be the leader?! Absolutely not. Who cares that Kirsten Lesina is young? She's a born and bred local who wants the best for the town she grew up in, like myself. Anyone who stands for the opposite of the 'rape and pillage' attitude that the mayor and Unity team stand for has my vote. Good luck to her.

Anonymous said...

I assume North Beaches Warrior is referring to me when he mentions the 'teenager who's CV ends with high school graduate'. Just so 'the Warrior' can have the facts straight, I am not a teenager and my CV includes the completion of a law degree, among other things. I see nothing wrong with having a young person such as myself running for Council. I personally think the Council could do with an injection of youthful enthusiasm. Like Captain Cairns said, I am a born and bred local and want the best for Cairns. It is up to the people of Division 4 to decide if they want a Councillor full of youthful energy who will stand up for them and their city.

Anonymous said...

Security cameras do nothing except record interesting footage to play on the News. They don't prevent the crime they just record it, too late for the victims.
I just loved the idea you had on this blog about the uniformed security/tourist info rangers ,who walk about smiling and providing advice and information to the people on the street as well as watching what is happening. Much more friendlier option than cameras everywhere. Thanks for bringing it to the Councils attention Michael, hopefully the taskforce will include some people friendly ideas like that one.

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for Kirsten. I can vouch for her being a local, as I have worked alongside both her Mum and Dad. Yes, Cairns does need some fresh ideas and youthful enthusiasm.

Anonymous said...

I think young people can do a lot for a town like Cairns .. Cairns's only real form in income is tourism. A good percentage of the tourist that comes to Cairns is young. If young people cant organise something for other young people to do to keep the money comeing in, then no one can. More power to you Kirsten. You have my support.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that North Beaches Warrior has never met Kirsten Lesina... having met her I can only say don't judge a book by its cover (or CV).
I reckon Kirsten has what it takes to run the country if she so decided... but for now we are lucky to have her looking out for the Cairns community.

Anonymous said...

What a biased editor you are Mr Kiwi.
First, you bag K Byrne and his Council for Johnno's closure, then when I point out that it was the Labour State Governments anti-smoking laws that put an end to Johnnos, you refuse to publish my comment.
There's nothing wrong with publishing the truth Mr Kiwi.
Unless you prefer a few facts to get in the way of a fairytale.

Anonymous said...

And while I'm on the subject, the Council has nothing to do with the continued life of the Cairns Yacht Club.
It's in the hands of that Labour State Government again.
The Cairns Port Authority, read directions from Brisbane, has called all the shots here.
Maybe the $15 million+ value of the site has something to do with their eviction notice.
Council have absolutely no control over the sale of this land.
Neither did Council have any control over,
1. the sale of the land where the Casino was built
2. the sale of the land where the Oasis was built
3. the sale of the land where Aplin Street once connected
4. the sale of the land where the Shang-ri-la now sits
5. the ongoing expansion of Cairns Base Hospital and the incredible parking pressures this expansion puts on the surrounding streets

The difficulties faced by this uncontrolled expansion of Cairns is generated by Labour State Govt decisions made in Brisbane.

And when Kevin Byrne speaks up, he is slapped down by the Bris-vegas politicians and bureaucrats.

I hope this brings a little balance bact to the constant anti-KB Council sentiment prevalent on this blog.


Anonymous said...

Factman is missing the point (again)!
The Council is responsible for the ultimate design features of the buildings that will ultimately be put on land. They are also responsible for the huge divergence from the Planning Scheme when it comes to giving their developer friends dispensations on height, parking spaces, buffer zones, public roads and the like. We have had enough of this crap dished out by this very pro-development and unbalanced Council! The effects of these dispensations are now starting to bite.....At least as a chronic whinger, I can say, "I told you so, you morons and vote for an alternative in March!

Anonymous said...

To factman, here's another 'fact' for you. You say the council has nothing to do with the outcome of the Yacht Club, yet KB's exact words were in 2003 'The Cairns Yacht Club has no cultural or historical significance whatsoever'. It has n chance while he's in power. Good riddence to him come March.