Thursday 28 February 2008

A critical election

This is the address given by Val Schier of Cairns 1st at the launch of her team yesterday at the Brothers League Club. She will contest the Cairns Regional Council election in 18 days with a team of 8.

Here's her speech in full:

  • Four years ago I stood in front of you and said that I was leading a passionate, principled, grass roots team up against a slick, well-oiled machine with all the benefits of incumbency.

    I talked about how we lived in two World Heritage areas in between the reef and the rainforest and how we needed to ensure that we moved forward with balanced, sustainable growth; that we did not destroy this region in a rush of short-term greed that benefited vested interests more than the community.

    And we didn’t win and we didn’t give up!

    For the past four years we have been determined to grow and strengthen our policies and a team to contest the Cairns Regional Council election on 15th March, only 17 days away.

    And this is a critical election . . . . make no mistake about that.

    At this election we will be deciding if we want four more years of the same.
  • Four more years of the Kevin Byrne, develop-at-any-cost approach.

    Four more years of an out of touch team that does not respect ordinary people.

    Do we want four more years? Or on March 15th do we want to vote for a new team – the Cairns 1st team that will:

    Plan for the future:
    Climate change is a reality. Cairns has been identified as one of the 5 most vulnerable places in the nation at risk of tidal surges and turbulent cyclonic events and we can’t trust this current council to mitigate and plan for the expected impacts.
    And we will plan with the state government around the infrastructure issues, the huge growth in the southern corridor, the traffic problems, the need to look at other means of transport.

    On March 15th you can choose a Cairns 1st team that will foster a strong economy: we will support industries to diversify and to take advantage of the opportunities to sell our tropical expertise, our tropical foods, use our valuable agricultural lands for other commodities as the south dries up.

    On March 15th you can choose a Cairns 1st team that will lead with honesty and integrity: we are driven by a set of values and will make open and transparent decisions that are not developer lead - like the Smithfield town centre proposal - or driven by the big end of town.

    You can choose a team that will listen to the locals; listen to your needs and aspirations when you tell us that you want to protect our character and heritage.
    We will hear the Douglas Shire people when the tell us that they mourn the loss of their more than a hundred year old shire, that they fear that they will be taken over and not heard and wonder how on earth their one councillor is going to be able to represent them.

    Listen to you when you tell us that your footpaths and kerbing and guttering are not being repaired whilst big projects in the city get all the attention.

    We will listen to and work with the whole community; everyone from Bloomfield to Bramston Beach including our Indigenous communities and the vulnerable people in our communities.

    You can choose a Cairns 1st team that will value and restore and protect our environment. The wrong sorts of development kill character and the attributes that brought us here in the first place and keep the tourists coming. We will get more economic gain out of protecting our environment than we will from trashing it; from looking after our waterways, our creeks, our hillslopes, the wildlife habitats and corridors.
    And you can choose a team that will promote the region as being a clever, active, creative place.
    A council that will support our many talented and innovative people who want live music and performing arts to be a part of our city, our towns and suburbs.
    A council that will make open decisions about which sporting clubs get support and funding; we will make sure that the needs of the BMX club and the junior soccer don’t get overlooked by the big players.
    A council that will promote good tropical design so that we don’t end up with the eyesores that assault our senses every day as we come into town.

    I would now like to introduce you to the candidates who are giving you a real choice on March 15th.

    Starting from the south:

    Jeff Martinuzzi: division 2
    Kirsten Lesina: division 4
    Richie Bates: division 5
    Mark Buttrose: division 6
    Diane Forsyth: division 7
    Paul Matthews: division 8
    Janine Aitken: division 9

    [Cairns 1st are not running a candidate in Division 1, 3, o
    r 10. They endorse Robert Pyne in 3, and Julia Leu in 10.)

    I am proud to stand here with this talented team.

    A team that has a vision that will take us into the future: a vision that our grandchildren can live in a region which has retained its character and unique tropical lifestyle, has a sense of spirit, is proud of its people, its achievements and its identity, is liveable, is clean and green.It is a team of candidates who share the principles I have stood for in public life: support for social equity, the environment, community participation, openness, transparency, accountability and sustainability.These team members will represent their divisions and vote independently in the new amalgamated council and at times this means voting differently. However, because we stand for similar values and principles and policy, our voting patterns generally align. You will know where we stand.

    I ask you to support these candidates. Leave your details, take a bumper sticker for your car. Do a stint in the campaign office. Hand out how to votes on polling day. Be a scrutineer. Talk to everyone you know about why this election is so critical.

    Help us to bring fresh faces and new leadership that will take the new Cairns Regional Council into the future. Thank you.

Val Schier, candidate for Mayor
27 February 2008


Anonymous said...

Wonderful speech Val! I predict, if you are not elected, then we may see a repeat of New Orleans if a tidal surge does hit Cairns in the next few years. It is obvious the Mayor and his supporters just don't give a rats about the people of Cairns surviving.
They can bellow until blue in the face about "evacuation centres" and not understand that the most basic of all is missing. That is the awful tragedy of this council.

Anonymous said...

For heavens sake - there have been houses along the esplanade and beaches to the north and south of Cairns for 100 years or so. Al this about tidal surges, bla, bla. You have more chance of being injured or killed in a car accident. Bet you still drive one though! We cannot completely eliminate risks in life we can only minimise them. And don't just blame the current council for the waterfont highrise. Look to previous councils. Is Val going to stop all development?