Saturday 19 January 2008

Which bank funds witch hunt

Outspoken Douglas Shire Councillor, candidate for Division 10 in the upcoming Regional Council election, and radio shock jock, Rod Davis tells about an email involving a toilet, spending $50,000 and what is going to be... Douglas’s last Daze.

Everyone knows Douglas was divided, but few know how much it has cost us, the paying public.

Another 50,000 bucks bit the dust just last month in the petty, preschool politics of the soon to be vaporized Douglas Shire KGB. Well, here below, we will have a shot at figuring WHICH BANK is funding Douglas’s WITCH HUNTS. $50K is just the tip of an ugly iceberg.

As I’ve long been delegated Chief Witch Number One, with my expected witch basket drowning next week, I have some interesting stories to tell before I blow my last bubbles.

Little did I know how many worms would crawl out of the worm can, when 4 years back, I ran an election slogan, “You can elect me to the Douglas Shire Council, BUT HEY, THEY WON”T LIKE IT”.

I obviously need more caution on self fulfilling prophesies, so this election, maybe I should just stick with, the old party starter, “IN ROD WE TRUST”.

Some of the more notable witch hunts made the Post’s front page, including the one where the former CEO Melchert hired private investigator to dig up a ‘dirt file’ on me, or so the Cairns Post portrayed it. At over $1200/day, the ex CEO hired a pro Private Investigator ( using your money), but things went a bit pear shaped for Terry, and within weeks, the CEO’s astute selection of PI was turned on investigating the CEO. God knows why you need $1200/day to get a dirt file on me, as any one of my close mates will gladly evidence my failure to win the Mr Perfect award, and a with a slab to trade, you should get you all the dirt you need.

Then there was the time about my comment about the lawyers and judges on the BeachClub, who would be likely giving it to us ‘in the neck’ (which they dutifully did do). How that comment got twisted into me purportedly attacking the neck of the CEO itself, and remains one of the most absurd witch hunts of that year, with Crime and Misconduct Commission resources, and all sorts of wasted efforts in trying to hang me, finally coming unstuck on one simple fact.

The were 3 of us in on the famous, “get it in the neck exchange”, and third man witness Jim Neely, certainly did not notice Cr Davis eyeing the CEO’s neck with the intent of a thirsty vampire. It made a good Cairns Post front page story on the day Kylie admitted breast cancer, so it was a picture of me alongside guess whose bosom.

Maybe next weeks Monty Python madness will finally sink me under the Code of Conduct. God save the realm, as nothing could save the Douglas Shire from the Gazette’s piss take Gazette front page heading, “LOO WITH A CUE’, where the brand new, electro experiential Macrossan Street, Excelloo failed to open, as though Dr Smith was still trying to get back on his ship, in LOST IN SPACE. Not being a bit averse to Kenny humor, and in an attempt to relieve the annoyed Douglas staff over a stupid 50c, controller battery failure at the Excelloo, I preposterously suggested ‘shit happened’ at the faulty loo. This I did by email.

Well, you may will be surprised to hear that a good part of the recent $50,000 investigation by professional arbiter Bernhardt, went into some detail in determining whether ‘shit happens’ was infact an offensive, pugnacious comment. Some were not aware, it seems, that the Australian Children’s Book of the Year was resplendent with the shit word some 10 year back. Needless to say, the $50K investigation into the storm in an Excelloo, concluded that whilst ‘shit happening’ in a toilet may not be politically correct terminology, it nonetheless was not worthy of a hanging offence, or a burning at the stake, in my case.


But hey, this is the Douglas Shire. So unsatisfied with blowing just $50K, on a senior arbiter with loads of judicial experience who said drop it, the DSC hired Col, the ex Mareeba CEO to make his own ruling about a loo where ‘shit happens’.

To suggest that Rod had Col’s complete confidence was not a given. Rod Davis once had the audacity, within the Council meeting, to suggest that one of my colleague’s propositions would infact, ‘loose votes”. Little did I know that such a suggestion was banned in an open democracy like the Douglas KGB. So the offended councilors took a vote, and bingo, out I got thrown. Many weeks of investigation later, by Col, and he concluded, without a scrap of supporting argument, to deem the eviction totally fair.

Any questioning, by me, the guilty, as for the reason for Col’s odd justice, just insured that the next time Col and I met; Col was not on my side. Still to this day, Col refuses to justify the judgment, but hey, he got paid, I got evicted, game set and match.

Which brings us back to the loo where ‘shit happens’. Despite the fact that a way more superior arbiter had just been paid to draw conclusions about ‘shit happens’ Col told me he was going to conduct his own investigation. I told him, forget it. Staff was told to forget it, don’t waste more public funds on this stupidity. But Col went ahead anyway, and despite my refusal to be subject to him wasting our public money, and despite the fact that he was refused an interview to extract some facts form me, he went ahead and deemed my ‘shit happens’ a breach of the code of conduct anyway.

Apparently, Col, a retired council officer knows something that one of the Australia’s most senior arbiters does not, and apparently Col knows more that the educational boards selecting books for our school kids. So no decent trial by Col, and the matter is put to bed by the most obviously just way know to man, namely, by putting the issue to the vote where my political opponents have the numbers. No there’s justice for you. Where’s that witch drowning basket?

But there’s more. Weeks went by, last year, when Council’s rudderless investigations paid our $1200 per day private investigator to provide internal intelligence on its own staff and councilors whilst not a word of the cost was reported to the public.

Most matters were handled with all the judicial expertise of the Taliban. When reams of reports on this stupidity came before the Douglas Council last month, the KGB faction agreed with all the parts exonerating their crimes, but refused to show any tolerance towards an employee who they alleged had maliciously tampered with minutes. Too bad that the CMC itself had investigated the minutes matter, laying no blame at staff feet. But hey, bugger the CMC, says the Douglas KGB, voting (illegally) to sack the innocent staffer, David Carey. Being that David Carey is the only manager left standing after all the resignations and Acting CEO Julia Leu’s imminent stand down, it’s now a tad difficult for the Douglas KGB to make a decision. No one understandably wants the insane CEO kamikaze job till March, and the only good manager left standing , the KGB want to sack. Well, at least they can vent their spleen on me.

And here’s how the Douglas KGB can finally drown a witch. It’s simple. Others should try it. Its called DYI lynch mob. Firstly, as a councilor, get into a heated argument with me, outside the council chamber, and where I was not happy about the KGB’s dumping of any legal or planning input into the compulsory Icon legislation. I argued, that putting your head in the sand was not wise, when it came to this icon stuff.

I was arguably right. Given the confines of a private conversation, and given that the conversation was between blokes who were builders or excavator operators in real life, the argument was laced with bloke speak which included the odd ‘f….ing’ this or that. But sorry government, no one is allowed to swear in private conversations, especially me.

So despite the fact that the private conversation was colored coming from all parties, its me, and only me who was swearing. And its easy to prove? Despite there being no audio witnesses, Col the juror could sort it out. Col concluded, using his great powers of evidence, that he could believe the word of the KGB accusers, and not me: I swore, they the KGB didn’t, and that’s that. Case closed. Rod is back in the witch’s basket again.

Sentencing should be a relatively mundane issue, as the judge and jurors are the same guys who of course, never ever swore at me. One of the accusers, whose name I will leave out, has sworn at me before hanging up, at least 20 times. But bugger such the details. And bugger the fact that having been deemed the biggest whinger for making 3 complaints against others, I either withdrew all my complaints against others, or forgave the majority that were put into the stupid kangaroo court system. But tolerance is not a Taliban trait, and, as Tony Abbott would say, shit happens.

But shit does not just happen to me. The mayor copped a barrage of false and vexatious accusations that buried he and his family in months of lawyers, probes and ex policeman headed investigations. All for nothing. I had the same, to a lesser degrees, with every account I had probed, and weeks of mindless accusations, all falling away to the bin where they belonged. To anyone thinking of getting into government, think twice. For example, when the Asian Tsunami hit, I like many local leaders got busy, and after an $80K fund raising drive (where the KGB all said they would donate a weeks wage but never did), I went to Sri Lanka to help steer a combined Douglas/Byron Bay aid project, where we brought the devastated beachside village of Talalla back to life, and left a compassionate residue of several large new community halls/tech colleges.

It took about 16 weeks of my time over 4 trips and $14,000 in travel expenses, where I was reimbursed only $4,000 by a kind donor (not Council), all fully declared and personally thanked on air, yet somehow how, I was accused of profiteering from this situation, and yet more weeks of CMC work proved the accusations insulting and vexatious. But the accuser (and you know who you are) just walked away happy at having harassed me, on what was to me, my most fulfilling work in years.

There has been libel suit threats against me from the former CEO, Andrew Fraser’s David Spearitt, from ARF and from a developers, all driven by me taking a stand on enviro or governance issues. At a wage of $35K PA, fighting $250,000 libel suits is not much fun, and the Douglas KGB successfully deprived both myself an the mayor of the simple reassuring knowledge, that we were infact insured against these costs, but not advising us for months, before both of us had paid out defense lawyers at our own cost.

You gotta either be mad, or brave, to get elected if you are willing to stand your ground, or so it has been my experience. I even had my material personal interest register ‘disappeared’ by someone in the DSC, KGB, to entrap me.

So what the full cost of all this madness was, will soon be revealed, as I have asked for an audit of the full cost of al the PI’s arbiters and others who have buried the DSC to date in pointless investigations. Don’t mention the two parliamentary enquiries in the CEO issues. And the pointless 22 point plans.

After the divisions, enhanced by state vs federal over the Daintree, or Boyle vs Fraser over the CEO, or the Ferry stuff up, I hope you would allow me to aspire to be a part of a totally new council, where this chaotic, uncontrolled madness won’t get air. People reading this from Cairns might be aghast at the prospect of this insanity pervading the new Cairns Regional Council, but gratefully the amalgamation also marks the death of the warring KGB, and despite the ‘Hitler’s last days in the bunker mentality’, and despite the KGB attempts at revenge across staff and councilors before their political funeral, we will soon be rid of this menagerie. The people up here know which councilors and staff of the 5 candidates standing is behind this mess, and if there is any doubt about it , watch the hands in the air when the KGB get to vote to penalize me for saying shit happens at a toilets. The vote should say as much about the judicial farce as about the Witch.

I have called for an audit of all the investigation’s costs. I have asked Col to explain the meeting eviction for saying, “you will loose votes”. I have asked the CEO why the staff paid two expensive investigations about ‘shit happens’ where one result says guilty, the other says drop it. This question is not exactly simple to resolve, when the CEO I ask is actually, god bless Julia, my competitor.

I’ve asked where is the evidence that one person was swearing while the other was angelic, beyond one man’s word against another. I ask, how does one get any sort of reasonable justice, when the accuser, is also the judge, jury, lone witness and sentencing judge.

I suppose the answer is simple, in order for you to get any sort of justice under the Council Code of conduct, you have got to have the numbers on the floor. Send the witch’s drowning basket to the Douglas Shire Council, C/- of the KGB, Peyton Place, Mossman.


Anonymous said...

Rod - Have read your comments, understand that your council is dysfunctional, however, I live in Clifton Beach and in the new Div 10
What can you bring to the Council if you are elected?. We don't need any "unhealthy baggage" from Port Douglas to add to our woes here. We don't need any more "Radio Stars", we don't need any "Prima Donna's". We need Councillors who have the skills to successfully balance the Community needs along with sustainable growth and appropriate development. You know, the buildings that fit in with the area and climate, not the Detention Centres.
How can you make our city "Liveable"?

Anonymous said...

I have long since given up trying to read and comprehend Rod's rants. Perhaps if he was the least bit literate, one might glean some information from them. But his "stream of unconsciousness" blathering is incomprehensible to all but the psychotic.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jude, Rod Davis here,and yep, the last thing you need in Clifton/Palm Cove is more of Douglas menagerie. Hence my blog expose. It needs an end. It gets one at Mar 15. You ask what I can do of a more serious nature for Clifton/Palm Cove. I could direct you to 120 pages of policy and perspectives at, but in brief, on liveability, I can redesign all you accom and commercail buildings using a liveability and climate change planning code I introduced at Douglas, which just won a top-up planning award, after about 150 on my 2006 general planning changes I drafted, added to Douglas's 2007 Planning Institute Award. I could help rebuild your tourism promo as I have in my 2005 drive to double fund and reform our tourism body. I could rejig rates to take the heat off locals and add it to investeors with theirs southern owned tourist accom units as I did in Douglas. You could get someone green like me who stood for a halt to development in the Daintree Forests under tough attack. You could add sparkle and funds to your events as I did with Carnivale, driving up its contributions 200%. You could get a guy who backs art and culture. If you have a dog, I'm you coucilor as the unofficial Minister for Dogs in Douglas. You could get guy with $1B PA public company board room experience, sometimes helpful on matters of corporate governance. You could get a councillor with formal qualifications from a Faculty of Architecture. But as 'Macrossan Street Boys' says in the, "stream of unconsciouness' shot above, I'm not big on being John Mackensie professional on air, and I am the first to confess, we oftem loose it having fun on air, and when I get into the weider aspects of Quantum physics meets the Dreamtime, yep, let's just say, its not exactly ever day HOT FM stuff.
Many thought when I was elected 4 years ago, that I would be thin on subsatnce and big on fun. Well, ask the Tourism PDDT, the Greens , the Developers, the China Camp Yalanji, the Arts sector and others if they were surprised by the results. But it was not a walk in the park, given the make up of the last Douglas Shire Council, and the councillors at Cairns, for all their alledged faults, are a darn site more professional and intelligent than what we have had up here, (bar a couple few stars), and many in Douglas, whilst not liking amalgamation, sure are keen to see the end of the wasted machinations of school yard politics. Jude, you raise a good point. I hope you get a moment to look at some of the many subjects I cover at , to test me out at a deeper level.
Have a good one, Rgds
Rod Davis 0418235561

Anonymous said...

Rod. thanks for your reply. I will read your "Profile" in depth. Let us all know when you are coming down to give a the constituents a chance to meet you.
I am sure that others, like myself, want to make a very informed decision on who we want to support. We don't have a Community Hall here, but there is a nice spot on the beach at the Argentea end of Clifton Beach. We can bring our own seats.

Anonymous said...

rod 4 mayor, rod is kewl.