Thursday 21 February 2008

Oh no, Sno says NO!

I really should have posted this wee story yesterday, but it's a busy time for the staff at CairnsBlog.

With several meetings and media ops every day and night at present, by the time midnight strikes, it's time to catch a few ZZZ's. We really need some staff. Maybe I'll ask the King if he's wants to moonlight, after all, he is The King.

So, on Tuesday I made my way down to the Cairns Showgrounds pavilion, named after David De Jarlais, the Mayor of Cairns from 1969 to 1978. I believe he had a three year break from 1973 for Kevin Crathern.

I arrived a little early, ahead of the expected media scrum. I think some of them may see me as the media scum, or was that just a typo Paul?

There was Bronwyn Cummings from the Post, along with their fab photographer and all round spunky chick, Nellie Pratt.

Liam Fox from ABC turned up. As always, Liam looked like he'd spent the morning exfoliating, scrubbing, moisturising, toning and cleansing. He's so clean cut, that he makes metro-sexuals look straight.

Andrew ‘footyhead’ Arthur of Channel 7 was also there. I tapped him lightly on the shoulder to say hello, as Andrew did a lot of good PR stories with me last year for the Blood Service. However he was guarding his camera crew around one of Jason O'Brien's infamous $150 cheques. This one was Rod Davis', who gave me a great blokey handshake, breaking Andrew's directorship of the unveiling epic.

It was hardly a story. We'd already run it on Monday on CairnsBlog. Nice to know we beat others to the news from time to time.

Jason's donation pails into insignificance when you look at the $260 million, I mean thousand, dollars that Kevin got from his fat cats at the last election. So what if a polly gives a few dollars here and there? Not like it comes with big strings like that of commercial donations.

When are the so-called "media" going to do a story on that one? I mean, out of the 124 donors to Byne's Unity in at the last election, it would be rather simple to see who's been looked after the last four years? Now that's a story Andrew.

If they won't tell that story, CairnsBlog most certainly will. It's a kind of easy story when a few political candidates get a measly 150 bucks and a media slut and all-round fun guy like Rod Davis says he's going to have a ceremonial burning. At first I thought he was going to have a ceremonial burning of Jason on Kevin's soon-to-be-re-designed Port Douglas waterfront. Now that's a photo op.

However, the story of the day at the drawing of the voting order was a lot more intriguing that all this side play.

Ken Gorton, the well-healed returning officer, commenced proceedings bang on 2:30pm. It was like the blue rinse had arrived, got their housie cards out, and legs eleven had been called.
Ken first announced the mayoral candidates.

We all expected Val and Big Kev, and maybe one other to spice up the race. Liberal Leichardt LEC chair Lance Royce threatened to a few weeks ago, as he had a lot of dirt on Kev. He would have fulfilled Gavin King's wish to muck-rake.

One time Leichardt candidate and local house painter Peter Sandercock was there to run for the city's top job. He was joined with long-time independent campaigner, JP and the man with the whitest teeth, Selwyn Johnston, who gave the gathering a shock last minute announcement that he would be running for mayor. Talk about a dog's breakfast with a little bit of protein thrown in.

The first division was called. No contest. Paul Gregory was announced as the only candidate for Division 1. Nice work if you can get it. This is thanks to the folk who are asleep south of Edmonton. You won’t have to bother getting out of bed on Saturday 15th March.

Next Ken drew the results of the voting order paper for Division 2.

What happened next was rather shocking.

However, it will not seem all that surprising if you're a resident of Trinity or Clifton Beach.

Sporting my media neck tag and 17-40mm Canon digital camera, I crouched down to grab a wide angle capturing the action: Ken Gorton pulled the first number out of the box and announced Unity's Kaye Kingham first.

Right at this moment, Councillor Sno Bonneau, who I snapped at Yorkeys on Australia Day just a few weeks ago, jumped to his feet from the other side of the room, raised his hand towards me and shouted across the floor, NO!

He repeated his demand. "NO!" he shouted.

Ken Gorton became flustered and questioned if he had got the wrong name or something. However, it appears that the loud and rude interjection by the Councillor was directly squarely at CairnsBlog and it's independent efforts.

A third time Sno screamed out a defiant "NO!" He was still on his feet throwing his clenched fist towards me from the other side of the room.

The 40 candidates, media and witnesses were aghast as to what he was up to. There were many other photographers around, almost everyone carries a pocket sized snapper these days.

What was it he didn't want everyone to see? Maybe because he was sitting next to Councillor Blake that he wasn't at all amused with? Personally, it's Alan's son Danny you wouldn't want to be seen next too. He's the power behind the throne. In fact, if you check his website, thrones come in all shapes and sizes.

Sno has a problem. I've been told many times about similar outbursts from residents on the beaches in his Division. Just last evening I was sitting on a lovely old balcony overlooking remnant forest in Trinity beach, listening to a frustrated and angry group of residents about Sno and his lack of consultation with them.

Last Sunday, Jude and Pete Johnston at Clifton invited me up for a late Waitangi Day roast with a large group of their friends. There was a great deal of descent about their local councillor at that function too. Wherever you go, and start to dig, people will express how they feel they, been represented. Sure there's some who will tell there great stories of how they've been helped, but I'm talking about those that feel hurt and betrayed.

I too had now received the infamous wrath of Sno. If there was a club, I'd join as a bronze member, if they'd have me.

And what about that photo? Well here's the pic that Sno didn't want you too see. Now, I should warn you, it's no piece of art. I'm a stirrer first and an artist second.

Sno looked across at me twice as I positioned the camera. He was obviously and visually flustered.
After the proceedings had concluded, I questioned the returning Officer Ken Gorton.
"I saw Councillor Bonneau got rather upset about his photo being taken while you were drawing the names Ken," I said. "Surely this is a public event and anyone is welcome here to watch and record the proceedings?" I asked.

He laughed discreetly at first about the outburst of the Councillor. "Yes, you're right. Of course anyone can," said Ken.

Why did Sno get so perturbed then? One can only guess, however I think it's about what residents have vented in some comments through this Blog over the last few months. Sno needs to deal with any history and be accountable for the way he conducts himself as a Councillor. I'm not privileged with all those incidents, but there is obviously a chorus of people that feel substantially disenfranchised.

He will be well aware of how these people feel. He would contest that he's said on occasions that he was elected to do the job and that community consultation with residents is not a priority. He would like us to believe he's independent, and that's how he's presenting himself this election.
"We're not running anyone in Sno's division," says Kevin Byrne. The fact is that Sno is on the Mayor's side on most issues. The Mayor can and has relied on him for support.

I've seen a large photograph that adorns a local office of all the current Council. Every Councillor has a nick name stuck across their photo. Sno's is "Picket Fence".

There was a time when he was a first time Councillor, and many residents convey this, Sno was truly independent. He did question inappropriate development. He did stand up for residents. What happened?

And more importantly, why did he get so aggressive about being photographed on Tuesday at the drawing of the ballots? You couldn't find a more public event that requires open scrutiny: the drawing of names for those running for local election. It's something that is the basis of our democracy. Sno Bonneau needs to wake up to the fact that he, and the other 32 people running in this election, will be questioned, prodded and photographed over the next three weeks, as they should.

I now know that's there's no business like Sno business.


Anonymous said...

Could it be Sno chucked a spac attack so he could get some free publicity in "cairnsblog"?
I'm still waiting to read who got what positions.

Anonymous said...

Some questions re “SNOW JOB”
Does Sno have any public speaking engagements??
If so could you please list them in the comments section as there are those within the community who would love to attend and ask him some questions he has never been able to honestly answer!
I think it best we leave our cameras at home, we don’t want to be going through photos after these elections and come across a horrifying photo of this man.

Snow job, rhymes with blow job.
Why do KB and Sno have such a Special relationship???

Anonymous said...

"cairnsblog" gets around 5,000 hits a week now. With those numbers, no wonder the likes of Sno are rattled when "cairnsblog" turns up to do a bit of reportage.

Anonymous said...

It was mentioned K.Byrne did not run anyone against it is known Sno. is a de-facto member of the Unity party.the same applies to
Division One,Paul apparently is also a de-facto member of the Unity Party,This of course puts Byrne in a comfortable position.He is running 8 candidates,he only needs to see 3 of them elected,add
Paul already elected,plus Byrne himself together with a casting vote,then hey'presto,he has 6 votes
which will give him control of the
Council.It would appear the election is a foregone conclusion,
unfortunately it appears another four years of Byrne and his gang,
what a disaster for our city.

Anonymous said...

"... plus Byrne himself together with a casting vote,then hey'presto,he has 6 votes
which will give him control of the
Council ..."

Most sensible thing you've ever posted "anonymous-whoever".

Arise Sir Kevin ... your time has come again.

Anonymous said...

Well anonymous, you know the answer, don't let them back.

Vote them OUT..!

Pete Johnston
Independent Candidate Div 10

Anonymous said...

Bully-boys (and women) need the support of a certain type of individual to rule. The cowardly, weak, self-serving "snitch" who will befriend others and betray their confidences to the bully.
Often appearing outwardly friendly and "bloody good blokes/chicks", these people are very good at deceiving others and gaining their confidences.
These people have absolutely no personal integrity and can be accomplished liars. The bully almost always regards these individuals with contempt and will ruthlessly discard them once their usefulness runs out.

Anonymous said...

Janine will be getting my vote for sure ! l have been a ratepayer of Kewarra for 10 years and havent seen Sno anywhere or doing anything constructive for us
Bye Bye Sno l hope

Anonymous said...

The sights you see when you don't have a camera.
Seen at the Clifton Beach Shopping Centre "In Rod we Trust" having coffee with Sno Bonneau.

Anonymous said...

I say....

Vote No for Sno!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Sno was worried that they would call out Max Brown by mistake when they read out his name!

Anonymous said...

Coffee with Sno? No way! Tea, please!.
And yep, Sno shops where Rod eats, in fact, Sno even lives in a division where he has to vote for
one of the 8 Division 10 candidates. There was a whole swag of engineering issues discussed over a couple of tea pots. The scary one, is the half million dollars a year needed to make sure 10,000m of replacement sand is kept up, below the Clifton sea wall, which will require the Div 10 candidate to
work some political magic to keep all the other 10 councillors still voting to support the hefty budget call of $0.5M per annum, which I indeed will do, but which
warrants making sure I understand how big, and how constant the annual engineering cost will be. If the prediction that the constant annual sand loss at Clifton at least goes to a good home at the neighbouring northern beach, is some consolation for the broader beach using community: and a cup of tea, with Sno, after his shopping, was indeed worth the few bucks to insure continuity between outgoing and incoming reps for Clifton Breach. After walking the hot streets too knock on every door in Clifton and Palm cove over every weekend for weeks, a nice cuppa in the air con is great enjoyment. Sno wasn't the only person with whom a cuppa and chat was fun in the foyer, Clifton and Palm Cove is full of interesting, community connected's a great 'burb, I could easily live there one day. It's full of life. And after hundreds of conversations with locals, its pretty clear what the issues are.
...gotta get back out the footpaths again.....have a fun Sunday...rgds Rod

Anonymous said...

dr phil drives home a bloody good point. When working with so called "strong" (so called) leaders, beware of your colleagues, especially those who appear the most friendly. And where there is an entrenched despot in control, NEVER confide or be indiscreet to ANYONE.

Anonymous said...

Rod ... regarding the replacement of sand.

All that's needed is a few groynes, strategically placed to "trap" the sand preventing it's loss and a saving to the ratepayers of millions of dollars.

That's what the rest of the world does, but our State Government controlled Environmental Protection Agency say, "NO GROYNES".

They say, replenish the sand.

So lets save time and effort and just dump truckloads of dollar bills into the water.

Without groynes that's what we might as well do.

And to think how many footpaths we could build with all that money.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, well, has Sno been caught out on yet another lie??? Council and Sno estimates put the cost of sand replenishment at 300k per anum. Yet here we have him telling Rod the cost will be 500k???
If you divide the new figure of 500k between the 27 residents and Sno who actually decided the rock wall is the best option that will give you an annual contribution of $17,857.14 each. The cost therefore could/should be deducted from the sale price of the many arseholes who are now fleeing the foreshore in fear of this very outcome!!
The most notable of these residents is another of Kev’s mates, this would be the same dog that cleared all the trees in front of their residence on the esplanade. Sno screamed we’ll do this and we’ll do that yet KB took him into the back room and set him straight.
“Sno this bloke is a good friend of mine, so you can blow your horn all you like but naught will be done while I’m the king of this little town, oh talking about blowing horns, while you’re here do me a favour!

Sno doesn’t have the balls to enter any public debate, he sneaks around back streets, attempting to intimidate individuals and blowing the horns of any developer who need their pipes cleaned. Don’t forget to gargle!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the ideas input about using groynes in lieu of trucks to keep Clifton Beach a beach, not just a Clifton Sea Wall.

Whether it be $300K or $500K spent each year to keep the sand up, it's a huge annual cost, and I suspect the eventual multimillion dollar cost will force ongoing debate as to how to hang onto the sand.

There is debate around the wall's landscaping, there is debate around the sand retention, and then there is the EPA.

The way forward needs to be consultative, intelligent, and transparent if we are to keep the beach with sand. It seems like some fresh ideas on the issue from a new local council rep will be useful.

If my slugo's or should I say,"budgie smugglers" are any indication, a few rough wave dumpings, and my personal groyne can indeed catch a lot of sand.

Councillor Rod Davis

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a 'Sno Job' to me.

Anyhow, at least Division 9 in Cairns has a choice. Janine Aitken is a very impressive candidate - smart, friendly, forward-looking, hard-working and good-hearted.

This is just a footnote to your very witty article, Mike, but someone should point out that even the lowland southerners of Division 1 have a rather important reason for getting out of bed on March 15th.

They'll still be voting for the next Mayor of the new Cairns Regional Council.

More of the same - or change - for the Cairns region?

A big decision.

Anonymous said...

When Sno, aka Max Brown was shouting out "No" in the Meeting, he did not want his photo taken and put on the blog with unlimited exposure, because he is on the wanted list in Tasmania for some nefarious deed or deeds and hence the name change?

Anonymous said...

to sailorgal and druggy davis, bugger off with your rock groynes you idiots, not on our beach.

If you had even the most vague of ideas about how sand moves along clifton beach and the long term effects of groynes you'd realise how effing stupid your idea is. Even the dumbest of council or EPA engineers knows how unworkable it is or they would have done it by now. Your not stuffing it up for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Another stupid post from that imbecile poster, Anonymous whoever.

Of course groynes work!!!

They've been working for decades in the UK, USA etc.

Just about every beach along the English coastline has them.

They work quite simply by capturing the sand as it migrates in a lateral drift direction parallel with the shore.

But I guess you get turned on by watching the truckloads of dollar bills being dumped into the sea to appease some dick-brained EPA edict.

Well I don't.

Some reading for your education ...

"Groynes are one of the most common and effective methods of coastal defense against transportation of sediment. Groynes are structures which run perpendicular to the shoreline. Groynes extend from the upper foreshore or beach down towards the sea, usually at right angles to the sea. Groynes are usually made of wood, concrete, or piles of large rocks. Groynes are generally constructed in groups called groyne fields.

The length, elevation, and spacing between groynes should be determined according to local wave energy and beach slope. Groynes that are too long or too high tend to accelerate downdrift erosion because they trap too much sand. Groynes that are too short, too low, or too permeable are ineffective because they trap too little sand. Flanking may occur if a groyne does not extend far enough landward.

Groynes are extremely cost-effective, requiring little maintenance, and are one of the most common coastal defence structures. However, groynes are increasingly viewed as making the coastline look unnatural and ugly, and are opposed by many people. Groynes are very often used in tandem with seawalls to provide a very effective means of coastal defence."

Anonymous said...

Sailorgirl, The coastlines of England are hardly any recommendation considering that the beaches are mostly rocks.
Coastal erosion is happening right along the Australian Coast.
Rockwalls create beach erosion, not stop coastal erosion. This is a natural process. However, we could be innovative and stop beachfront development. It won't stop the erosion but will stop ratepayers having to fork out large amounts of money to build rock walls to protect the homes such as at Clifton Beach.
I wuold recommend that if you have a spare hour go along and listen to Prof Jon Nott at James Cook University the next time he holds a lecture on his specialist subjects.

Anonymous said...

Re: Beach front development. Legal and/or illegal clearing of beach vegetation does not help the erosion problem either.

Anonymous said...

Rubbish Troublemaker, rubbish !!!

"Sailorgirl, The coastlines of England are hardly any recommendation considering that the beaches are mostly rocks."

Great Yarmouth has lovely sand that rivals the Gold Coast. If it wasn't for the groynes strategically placed there years ago it would be eroded coastline.