Sunday 24 February 2008

Open and closed case

CairnsBlog is confused about a mysterious retraction issued last week on Win TV.

Over the last month or so, Win TV Cairns News has covered controversy about the Myola Plan and Mareeba Shire Council with several well-researched reports - one of the only news outlets, besides ABC Far North and CairnsBlog, to follow this story.

It was Mayor Borzi's admission on ABC's Pat Morrish morning show that he owned land in the area, that sparked locals to ask further questions.

This may get confusing, so we'll list out the events, along with TV coverage, witness reports, referenced material, along with the minutes of the Mareeba Shire Council.

You be the judge.

TUESDAY 29th January
Here's an extract of the Mareeba Shire Council meeting. Full Minutes here.

WEDNESDAY 30th January
Win TV covered the locals' recation to the "secret decision" of the Mareeba Shire Council.



MONDAY 11th February
CairnsBlog called a press conference on Monday 11th February announcing details about the closed meeting. We also revealed that Mayor Bozri, who voted on the Myola decision and did not excuse himself from the meeting, owned several blocks of land in neighbouring Kuranda, as well as land within the area of the Myola Plan - highlighting a conflict of interest.

By 5pm that evening, Mayor Borzi released a formal statement through his lawyer, admitting he owned land, but didn't know excactly where it was at the time he took part in the vote on the Myola Plan.

WEDNESDAY 20th February
Local Govt Minister Pitt Warren Pitt calls for a investigation into the decision and the Mayor's conflict of interests.

WIN TV ran this report:

THURSDAY 21st February
Win TV apologised to Mayor Borzi and the Mareeba Shire Council for describing the Special Meeting of January 29th as closed and apparently accepts the meeting was open.

WIN TV ran this report:

That’s news to us.

CairnsBlog contributor Syd Walker was sitting in the Council reception area with a friend and not allowed to enter the Council chambers until the meeting had run for two hours, as stated in the minutes.

During that period was when the discussion and agreement had taken place about the decision to ratify the Myola Plan.

We guess there’s an explanation for the confusion, but not sure what it is. Perhaps the word “open” now means “closed”?

You can read Syd Walker's account of Mareeba Shire Council’s ‘Special Meeting’ on CairnsBlog in the ‘Death Throes’ series:

This blog can be flippant, as blogs often are, but we don’t want anyone to imagine that I approach these matters flippantly. It helps to retain a sense of humour, but the public interest issues at stake are what motivated me to dig into these murky topics.

Anyone who doesn’t know what we're talking about just needs to look around Kuranda and the surrounding landscape. It's a very special part of the world. It deserves enlightened environmental management. It hasn’t been getting it.

Thomas Jefferson said "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free …it expects what never was and never will be."


Anonymous said...

Watching Win TV is great for the Cricket, but when it comes to the News it is so misleading one is better off reading the Cairns Post. Most of those Journo couldn’t find their bum in two grabs, so that’s not much help either. They only have a life span of three months. I must have missed something, but doesn't the State Government fine farmers for clearing timber off their properties? I know developers corrupt politicians and public servants, eg Wollongong Council and several Queensland Labor Party State polies waiting for the Judge, is that how they get away with it up in Kuranda?

Anonymous said...

If Super Syd reckons the Mareeba Council closed its meeting to the public when it should not have done, he should lodge a complaint with the local government minister.
When Cairns Council got caught out holding closed meetings when they should not have been, then minister Desley Boyle mounted an investigation and issued a warning letter that it was not to happen again and alerted all councils in Queensland to take heed.

If Syd is not bothered to take this simple step, then its a case of put up or shut up.

The Local Government Act is here and it outlines meeting rules. Try Ref 159ZZO,or page 221 as a starting point. -

Anonymous said...

If the blurter had looked at my campaign website - or read CairnsBlog carefully - he/she would know that I did indeed put in a complaint to the Local Government Minister regarding the notorious Special Meeting of Mareeba Shire Council on January 29th. His reply - and my subsequent media release - may be found here.

As my media release explains, I was not satisfied with the letter I received from Minister Pitt's office. I sought legal advice - now received - which will be the basis for further action on my part.

Watch this space - and so keep reading CairnsBlog.