Wednesday 9 January 2008

Free advert for the Mayor

Kevin has been up all night baking scones.

On the Captain Cook Highway, near Smithfield, the first election campaign signs have gone up today.

Costing thousands of dollars, they are promoting Kevin Byrne and the Unity team and sited opposite the Stanton Road intersection.

“Creating Australia's most LIVEABLE city" the billboard proclaims.

As one CairnsBlog watcher said, "I nearly threw up in my car! I bet those people down at Gordonvale today with flood inundation are enjoying their lifestyle at the moment?"

I think she is still cleaning off the diced carrots from her dashboard.

One observer commented that the advertising space may be thanks to development buddies, who have got guaranteed approvals thanks to Byrne over his last two terms.

Council approvals have greatly contributed to the widespread flooding south of the city. Too many houses, too close together, dumping stormwater into inadequately designed drainage channels. This guarantees that home flooding incidents will be a permanent feature of Cairns suburbs, new and old. Standard storm water channels that have been constructed, don't take into account up to four months of substantial wet season waterfall the region gets, and like the 150mm recorded in some suburbs overnight.

The back to back billboards can be seen driving north or south on the highway. Up to yesterday the billboards were occupied by advertisements for the neighbouring North Point development, owned by the LHL (local home loans) group.

Our Mayor's smiling face, a photo especially taken for the upcoming campaign, graces and terrifies motorists like a Bandicoot without habitat on heat.

As former Liberal MP Warren Entsch did, Councillor Sno Bonneau who will no doubt run away from his troubles at Clifton Beach and stand for the new Division 9, could soon be leering over the Mayor's back in upcoming billboards.

The Cairns City Council local ByLaw 28 on advertising states that political signs come under "temporary advertising" and therefore subject to approval as it is on Residential 2 land / and most probably is on State Government Main Roads highway. The placement of these is very questionable, and probably breaches the law.

It is also in clear breach of the size allowed under the Cairns City Council By Law 28, section 5.6, which states "The [political] advertisement area must not exceed 0.6 msq"

I didn't have a tape measure with me, but they are substantially larger.

It is interesting to note that Byrne is still pushing ahead with the name "Unity" for his party grouping. After the last two elections a great number have had a falling out with the Mayor and some left his so-called Unity team, giving it the joke around town as the 'Dis-Unity Party'.

Councillors Cochrane and Blake have departed his team since the last election, both over the Mayor's well-known bully-style of management and relationships with councillors and staff. These have been documented in the Cairns Post and many Councillors openly discuss their aggressive confrontations with the Mayor.

Some Councillors refuse to use the internal Council email service as they don't trust how they have been monitored.

Councillors Gill and Shephard have also had public spats with the Mayor. Shephard refuses to discuss her grievance, however CairnsBlog is aware it took more than a year for the Mayor to apologise to her after personal insults were yelled at her during a meeting.

Councillors Freebody, Gregory and Bonneau label themselves independent, however are clearly in the Byrne camp reflecting their voting pattern.

One of the most satifing things with this billboard is it's positioning. It is sited right alongside a new large subdivision that is subject to substantial annual wet season flooding, built over old sugar cane fields.

This building site, and many more like it across the region, is the real election advert.

PS: What's a bet this will run in the Cairns Post any day now!


Anonymous said...

It is increasingly obvious that the majority of Cairns have lost respect for the mayor and his team however I also fear that they are not to intent on the Cairns 1st team either. That leaves us with independents. It would not surprise if we saw between 5 and 7 get in. One may think this as presumptive but it would make for an interesting council. Ponder the thought 'Keep the bastards Honest.'

Anonymous said...

Today, the giant CEC billboards advertising North Point in Smithfield were changed into giant billboards advertising Kevin Byrne and the Unity team.

Clearly thanks to developer, Roy Lavis one of the biggest developers in town. The widespread flooding south of the city - too many houses, too close together, dumping stormwater into inadequately designed drainage channels guarantees that home flooding incidents will be a permanent feature of Cairns suburbs, new and old.

And my reading of the Local Law on signs seems to clearly indicate that these billboards are patently illegal.

But there are two laws in Cairns, the law of the dollar and Byrne, and the law for the rest of us peons.

Anonymous said...

LHL are just the "shills" used to steer the Hong Kong investor money into the project.

CEC is still the lead on this project (and during the recent rain event many of the streets in this low lying ex-cane land were flooded, even before the bulk of the houses have been built)!

Anonymous said...

I thought the North Point development was owned by the LHL local home loans group ?

Anonymous said...

You can't miss the giant billboard with our Mayor's smiling face, erected on North Point land at Smithfield. I guess he will soon be joined by Councillor Bonneau. Reading Local Law 28 on Advertising it would appear that Political signs come under Temporary Advertising and therefore subject to approval as it is on Res 2 Res land. Who in Council would say no.

Anonymous said...

Oh Dear, Folks, I am a staunchly loyal ex-Douglas Shire now division 10 citizen and as I was on my way to Stockland Earlville today I saw the young man with the 24V Metabo cordless erecting the said sign...(nice Driver/Drill by the way

As I tooted the horn and gave him the 'V' fingers (not meaning Victory) my partner reminded me that the sign erector was only doing his job and should not be the brunt of my frustration, shame on me. She was right, sorry dude, I am sure you remember me...

Kevin, you really have over-done the community recipe for success, it is not your pro-development stance that pisses me off so much as it is your lack of local empathy for the real people.

You may think we need your guidence but to be honest with you, you need ours, YASSIR-EE!

I hope you and Amanda are happy in retirement together. maybe Roy and "where's Warren" have a nice comfortable reception job for you?

Anonymous said...

Flooded suburbs will only get worse in the years to come as our rainfall is expected to increase with global warming.

Anonymous said...

Here are 3 good reasons NOT to vote for Kevvy and the U_turn team.

1) The illegal ripping up of Upolu Esplanade by a developer and the claiming of this land as "absolute beachfront for their gated, exclusisve community". Council aided and abetted this process through a Delegate Authority decision making process and not following proper Land Road Closure process.

Principal beneficiaries = Thackral developers, Argentea.
Principal losers = Clifton residents and all beach goers.

2) Villa Romana, Aplin Street, City. Italian restaruant builds an illegal, permanent structure over Shield Steet, and Council have refused to do anything about it.

Principal beneficiaries = Villa Romana restaurant and place where Kevvy spends his lunch hours.
Principal losers = Cairns residents

3) Cairns Base Hospital were asking if they could have the land known as a road reserve next to the hospital to further extend. KB says over his dead body! (Dead or alive its not a good look)

Principal beneficiaries = potential development site should the hospital be moved

Principal losers = any sick, injured Cairns resident or visitor needing treatement.

See any patterns of favouritism here readers. I certainly do......

Do we want another 4 years of this?

Anonymous said...

After the locusts have left, there will be nothing livable about this city!

We will be the same as the Gold Coast and every other city in Australia. Only difference will be the poor quality and design of the new buildings here will not stand the test of time.

Anonymous said...

Most liveable city! What a joke. Maybe 20 years ago but not now. Cairns has lost all it's character - let's hope the people of Cairns do the sensible thing and vote this bloke out before he can allow the destruction of what little of the original city is left.

Anonymous said...

Kev would have taken his lead from the Labor State government sanctioned advertising signs that deliberately flout Bylaw 28.

Examples ...

1. Advertising signs on Queensland Rail reserve all the way to Gordonvale
2. The 3 newly erected monstrosities on CPA land at Aeroglen.

Do these departments even talk to Council about these signs ... no.

Isn't the smiling face of our esteemed leader more attractive than Dorothy Dix weight loss programs, or Virgin's next airfare deal ??

I would think so ...

Anonymous said...

all very good, but, however much I dislike the Mayor, what are the other options ?

Anonymous said...

The other option is Val Schier. Her policies and values are almost exactly what the people of Cairns have not had from the dictatorship Byrne council. She wants sustainable development, tropical architecture that suits our region, and an open and accountable council, where issues are actually 'debated' rather than just ticked off for developers. I am not linked in any way to Val team, but have met her on a number of occasions. She is friendly and approachable, yet seems to me to still have a ahrd edge about her that tells me she would be very well suited to look after this region. If she were to get in, with her ideals and policies the way they are, Cairns residents would be much more comfortable with the way their city will progress. Not living in fear, as we are now of the bland Gold Coast to which we are definately headed under this council. To those who are yet to be convinced of Val as an alternative, I say wait to hear more from her. The main task here is to get rid of Byrne. Sure, if anyone else comes on the scene, I'll consider them also, but at this stage, I have every confidence Cairns would do well under Val. Good luck to her

Anonymous said...

I thought this Blog was moderated for intelligent comment? Maybe some of the contributors might like to vent their spleen in the Daily Telegraph or other Murdoch blog pages. They happily publish offensive juvenile crap. It is sad to see people displaying their personal inadequcies with such child like retorts. The whole exercise only serves to detract from the more important issues being discussed.

Anonymous said...

I spent 4 days in Port Douglas today, went up to Mossman and and on the drive up and back noticed things like hillsides beach locations and lovely areas for development, what ever happened about protecting our hillsides and the nature of our area, thats the reason that we live here not that monstrositiy that is on the corner into Cliffton Beach(Ithink it was), it was one of the reason I came back to cairns for the lifestyle, which to my dismay has now gone, no night life unless you are under twenty five etc, etc, don't know who else to blame it on but Kevvy is a good candidate for that anyway, JJ

Anonymous said...

Well its all very good to hear people Byrne bashing, but where are the alternatives at the moment?
I cant stand the man either but we need to hear from Val about her plans for our city. I guess she is never going to get the air time on 846am or the space in the cairns post Kev does, but she needs to get a wriggle on one way or the other.
We need to hear about viable mass transport options, open communication regarding large developments, the tearing down of the monstrosity in City place with a view to bringing it back as the "HEART' of Cairns it once was and just listening to the rate payers on what we want.
Be they big business, small, or long term locals or new... you and I, it'd be nice to have our opinions considered.

As for Kevs big signs, leave em there. I need a decent target...never been a great shot.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Byrne as a candidate for Mayor, would have had to have this advertising sign approved through Council the same as anyone else. Can Factman tell us which council meeting it was approved at? We will also assume that the cost of the sign and the land rental will be listed in his declaration of gifts. Mayor Byrne should have directed his Council to not approve the sign for Kevin Byrne the Candidate because it did not comply with Local Law 28. Or more importantly he should have left the meeting because there was a conflict of interest. If any of the other Mayoral Candidate/s choose to have an equally large sign put up along the highway, no doubt they will have no trouble getting the required approval. Factman I have never bought into the argument that two wrongs make a right, or should that be, 3 big signs allowed by the State does not mean another can be put up by Kevin Byrne the Candidate.

Anonymous said...

Judy triple JJJ ...
Why pick on Kev and his quality and meaninful sign.
Let's pick on that Labor lot in Brisbane that pick up advertising dollars by flouting Council by-laws and using yours and my, (taxpayers), land .
They set a shocking example ...
Let me ask, does the money earned thru advertsing come back to Cairns ???
I think not.
Where's the critical blog site regarding them ?

Keep smilin' Kev, you're a winner.

Anonymous said...

Val may be a nice person,however she has not the experience to take on Byrne.Also there are so many new people in Cairns who have never heard of her.Val would have to come out with her policies very quickly to be in a position to make any impact.If only Berwick would be prepared to reconsider his decision not to stand,I think we would be on a winner

Anonymous said...

Oh Dear Mr/Ms(?)Factman/(Person),

Seems you are not quite up on the Constitutional make up of this fair country..

The FACT is that Council's authority is derived by delegation from the State, by virtue of the Local Government Act. That makes Local Government the "child" of the State.

Now I know that it is a commonly held belief, in this day and age, that children may try and impose their will on the "parent", and that the "parent' should kowtow to the wishes of the child.

However, in this case, the State, as "parent", is exempt from the Bylaws of the Council (aka Local Laws), just as Council is exempt from it's own Local Laws.

However, neither Mr Kevin Byrne, candidate for Mayor, nor his Unity Party, is exempt from these Laws, and if it is acceptable for him to flout them, on the basis that the State doesn't kowtow to the CCC, then a PRECEDENT is set for any other citizen to use in defence of a breach of any other Local Law.

According to you, if the "higher authority" (ie the "State")can ignore the Local Laws, to which they are NOT bound, then a Private Citizen, who just happens to be the Mayor, may do the same.

Does that mean that another private citizen, who just doesn't happen to be the Mayor, may also do the same?

One might consider the effect of the use of this PRECEDENT as a defence in Court against any number of transgressions against Local Laws, advertising, parking etc....

Just as the State confers upon Local Government the rights to administer the affairs of the Local Government area, they also confer the powers, under Statute Law, to ensure that Local Government decisions can be enforced, so please don't continue to feed us the Council 'spin' that it's all "the State Government in Brisbane" fault.

Council has the statutory power to enforce any number of transgressions, whether they be perpetrated by parking offenders, owners of noisy dogs, Private Certifiers....or ILLEGAL ADVERTISERS

Anonymous said...

Val Schier? You mean Schier Annoyance?

A viable alternative?

Don't make me laugh. She's a trumped up leftist Green/Labor mix that will only take Cairns backwards.

Vote 1 Cairns Unity!

Anonymous said...

Your comments are completely factually correct, JJTM_Spouse ...
My point was not to condone perceived wrong doing by the State or the Local Authority.
It is simply to note the sheer hypocrisy of this web site.
Main Roads Dept were concerned re. the Aeroglen signs, (on CPA land) and asked if Council had been consulted. They felt that they were a distracting hazard re driving, as are the signs on rail reserve land.
Of course Council were never consulted. I guess it's just CPA/QT displaying their arrogance.
Or to put it your way, not setting a good example for your children to follow ... get my point?
In this case, a private citizen, places a sign on private land, which may or may not meet the requirements of Local Law 28.
When Council receive a formal complaint it will be investigated.
Presently, only a few Val Schier supporters on this blog are complaining ???

Anonymous said...

For Factman, who you support in this election is irrelevant.

That political sign is visually offensive and unnecessary! Why couldn't he have normal signs like every other politican, like even the feds!
No because, he thinks he is above the law, and above everyone else - the arrogant twat!

Anonymous said...

The siting of the Mayor's billboard should not come as any surprise. Think Cairns Beaches Town Centre at Smithfield which I might add, was not an initiative of Council. Council were approached by Flanagan Consulting Group on behalf of, you guessed it, LHL Investments and Trinity Park Investments, landowners of the last two parcels of undeveloped land. Flanagan Consulting not only do planning work for Council but also development submissions for many of the big developers. You can draw your own conclusions but it is something that concerns me.

Anonymous said...

Oh ... for heavens sake, Anonymous and all you other wingers.
It is NOT a political sign.
It does note say, "Vote for Kev"
It is a statement of fact.
"Kevin Byrne and Unity - creating Australia's most LIVEABLE city"
In fact it is a sign with existing approval, (Northpoint Subdivision Development), with changed wording.
Nothing wrong with that.
Note like the Rudd/Turnour oversized political sign that was atop the showgrounds.
Get your own sign and stop winging ... geeez !!!

Anonymous said...

Obviously CCC has no answer to this one now .. LOL .. it is so funny.
So ... if I own a shop selling fish and chips ..and I get a sign advertising my business selling fish and chips approved .. then change the sign after approval to "I sleep with sheep on Wednesdays for those who wish to watch" .. I should not have to pull this sign down.

Anonymous said...

Mr Factman, you have so much spin on that you are starting to get dizzy.
How on earth does an approval granted to a Developer to advertise land for sale, become an advertisement for Kevin Byrne and the Unity Team (approved by Terry James).
Just what solar system has your spin taken you to, that you could believe that anybody will buy this "smoke and mirrors" nonsense.
Perhaps the matter should be referred to the Electoral Commission of Queensland to determine whether this is in breach of the rule governing election advertising.
Oops that's right it isn't a political advertisement!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bob Katter did a big sign like this so that's where the idea has come from. Still, I reckon that it will lose votes rather than win them as it is so over the top.

Anonymous said...

Whinge Whinge Whinge.

I bet the majority of you are Labor voters as well.

Jesus. The sign is there, deal with it.

Michael, stop trying to create controversy for your pitiful little blog, and if you ask why I'm here, well, don't we all need our dose of humorous BS?

KB will be in again, get used to it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jude ...
By-Law 28 couldn't care less what the sign is advertising ... a service/product/goods/real-estate etc.
as long as it meets the obvious community standards and that it's location is not a traffic or pedestrian hazard.
So this one it advertises a statement of FACT, instead of real estate for a couple of months?
Big deal ...
And lets face it, KB's sign is a lot more pleasant on the eye than ... "yet another subdivision".

and I'm still here on Planet Earth Hey Jude.

Anonymous said...

ok Factman, once and for all.. explain why the size is allowed:-

The Cairns City Council By Law 28, section 5.6, states "A political advertisement area must not exceed 0.6 msq"

Anonymous said...

Because, dear Bill ...
It is not a "political" sign.
It does not encourage you to do anything ... like vote.
It is a statement and, it states the bleedin obvious ...
It's a bit like the Beattie Govt ads costing taxpayers millions saying how great they are managing the hospital system ...
aaarrrggghhh!!! pass the bucket, quickly!!

Anonymous said...

aaarrrggghhh!!! pass the bucket, denis quickly!!

Anonymous said...

Byrne and Quick: You think the voting public is that thick don't you? That that billboard is NOT political??

On that basis alone you desearve to have your fat greedy villa cec/glencorp/hedley arses kicked all the way out of town in 2 months time.

Let alone the 100's of other reasons.

Let alone the 1000's of people you've also betrayed and ignored and hold in contempt you piterful dreamers.

Anonymous said...

Hey Factman, 2 questions.
1. Can you tell me where in the Control of Local Law 28 that it says you can change the wording/content on a sign without going back through the Council approval process? You say you can advertise what you like, however the content must be included in the application.
I could understand being able to change the information on a sign if being a supplier of signage was your business. Northpoint signage was for a Developer to advertise his Subdivision.
2. Can the Ratepayers be reassured that this sign was not paid for by Council?

Anonymous said...

Troublemaker ...

1. Show me in Local Law 28 where it says you can't change the wording, provided it meets the obvious community standards.
2. The new billboard on the "existing sign" was NOT paid for by Council, or it's ratepayers, no way.

Isn't it time Val and her team got themselves "out there"?

Anonymous said...

but Factman, obviously the sign doesnt meet the obvious community standards. Everyone here, and everyone I have spoken to dont like it. So if the community thinks it is crap, Mr Byrne should be forced to pull it down.

Anonymous said...

Factman, A change in content would mean a new application wouldn't it? Alway it seems that Council forget about "Intent". The "Intent" of a developer's signage is to advertise his Subdivision. To make such a change from advertising a subdivision to waving the flag for a mayoral candidate and the Unity Team, goes against that "Intent".

Anonymous said...

Paul-Edmonton ... "So if the community thinks it is crap, Mr Byrne should be forced to pull it down."
That's your opinion Paul, me I think it's a lovely sign. Anyway, the community will judge in 2 months time.

Troublemaker ... Have a read of this ...

"(2) The Council may only grant an approval for an advertiser to exhibit an
advertisement if:
(a) the advertisement is structurally sound; and
(b) the advertisement causes no significant obstruction of, or distraction to,
vehicular or pedestrian traffic2; and
(c) the exhibition of the advertisement is consistent with applicable
environmental protection policies; and
(d) the dimensions of the advertisement bear a reasonable relationship to the
dimensions of surrounding buildings and lots so that:
i) its presence is not unduly dominating or oppressive; and
ii) it does not unreasonably obstruct existing views; and
(e) the advertisement is consistent, in colour and appearance, with buildings
and natural features of the environment in which it is to be situated; and
(f) the advertisement is in other respects consistent with the character and
values of the environment in which it is to be situated; and
(g) the approval is consistent with the local law policies."

"Intent" is your expression ...

Factman says, Val and her team should spend less time and energy whinging about these signs, and "get out there with meaningful and workable policies".

Anonymous said...

If its not a political sign why does it carry the 'authorised by' small print required by law of political advertising?
Factman.....your slippin...try another i mean fact ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hey Justin ... " ... why does it carry the 'authorised by ..."

well the answer is ...

Terry James had to get his name on it somewhere.

Anonymous said...

funny ... word around town is that Jame swas really angry that his name was used on billboards he diddn't know about....

Anonymous said...

here's an example of what can only be described as total lack of sophistication and practical judgment as well as inexperience by Val's team ...

"Public frustrated by Mayor's sign"

"A number of people have contacted us with their thoughts on the new signs advertising Mayor Kevin Byrne and his Unity team.
Council needs to come clean and tell the truth with this. It's not a public awareness sign
it's blatantly a "political" advertising sign placed in these positions possibly by influence and
in a very timely fashion at ratepayers expense.

Tear it down, do it through a proper approval process and legally and at your own expense not ours!"

And Factman's question is ... who in Council is going to "tear it down"?
I mean, c'mon, get real.

Anonymous said...

Factman I agree, who in Council "will tear it down". Far from showing that Val's team are not sophisticated, it show's the arrogance that abounds within the current council.
From you saying it is a Public Information sign, to the Mayor saying it is a political sign highlights the inconsistancies of a simple local law, never mind the important aspects of The Cairns Plan.
Perhaps Val's team believe local and Electoral laws should be respected.
I am quite happy to have the sign remain where it is, as a constant reminder of "Unity" Team's disdain for the Community.

Anonymous said...

Troublemaker ...

Do you seriously think that Council workers will "tear it down" when the sign's legality is only disputed by Kev's political opponents.
Until Council investigate, prepare a report, is considered and voted on in Council, the sign remains.

That's the process for any sign in dispute and that's how democracy works.

Personally, I see nothing different about this sign than all the Qld Govt adverts in the newspapers regarding what a great job they are doing in Health ...
yeah, right.
And those adverts were paid for by you and me, that is, if you're a taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

Factman, all anyone wants, is the democratic process to be followed.
I am still unable to reconcile how the democratic process was followed where a sign for a Developer to advertise his subdivision, can morph into a Political sign for the current mayor without having to go through the reapplication process.
I recall a couple of years ago, a Community Group in the Northern Beaches advertised a Community Barbecue at the beach, using harmless A4 sheets of paper. The democratic process was for a letter to be hand delivered to the letterbox of one person on the same day the signs went up advising a fine of over $3000 if the signs weren't removed. Then two phone calls to a place of employment on the same day to demand the signs be removed forthwith.
Well, I do see a difference between an advertisement in a newspaper and a bloody great billboard myself.
Yep Factman I am a taxpayer and a resident and a ratepayer.

Anonymous said...

Troublemaker ...
if anyone goes slapping A4 posters on private property (lighting/electricity poles,walls and the like) then they deserve a $3000.00 fine.
There is nothing "harmless" about graffiti (and that's what it is).

However, KB's case, an approved sign on private property undergoes a change of wording and all hell breaks loose.
Ask yourself ... would you prefer an advertisement for yet another subdivision, or Kev's smiling face telling you what a great city we live in?

Anonymous said...

Factman, once again you stiol haven't answered Jude's question. "How was the democratic process followed where a sign for a Developer to advertise his subdivision, can morph into a Political sign for the current mayor without having to go through the reapplication process".