Thursday 13 March 2008

Accountable government

It's almost retrospective time.

The campaign is nearing the eleventh hour. I couldn't be more pleased. Not that it's over but more to the point that it's exhausting, and I'm not even running for office.

One of the most important things to come out of this election campaign is that people want a more accountable and open local government.

There's been many examples that the Byrne-led local Council it not. It's not accountable to the people. It does not like consulting with the people.

Tomorrow Val Schier and her Cairns 1st team will open her books and announce how much they've spent and who donated. This is a tremendous way to show the community how up front a Council under her leadership will be.

It's expected that Cairns 1st have spent around $100,000, almost twice the amount they did on the 2004 election. Just over $6,000 was contributed by each candidate towards their group's advertising and common costs. The balance has come from a series of fundraising events like a quiz night and art auction.

Val Schier confirmed on ABC Far North yesterday that she has received no donations from developers.

ABC host Pat Morrish asked Mayor Byrne if he would be doing the same, and reveal his financial supporters.

"The fact that you haven't revealed who has supported your campaign financially, raises questions," Morrish put to Byrne. "Why won't you do that?"

"I don't have to," Kevin Byrne said. "We'll do it after the election."

"There's that old saying that who pays the piper picks the tune," Pat Morrish suggested. "People do want to know."

"It has never happened in my Council. It has never happened in my life in public service. It's not about to start now."

The mayor then became very agitated at the suggestion that he had bowed to his financial supporters over the last four years. In the 2004 campaign, his Unity party received donations totalling over $261,000, many were from property and construction related organisations.

"You have no evidence of that. It has never happened," he said aggressively.

Morrish said that people feel that the mayor was too close to developers and that is the public perception. "That's why they ask the question," she said.

"You're inferring that I am in the pocket of these people," Byrne said. "I'm not in their pocket. Never have been and never will be."

Here's the full interview on ABC's Far North yesterday morning:
BYRNE ON Pat Morrish ABC Wednesday March 12th


Anonymous said...

Win a mystery prize if you can identify the personality known as Mr 10%

Anonymous said...

Byrne is guilty as sin. An innocent person would not follow up an accusation with 'You have no evidence of that'.

As someone else said, an honest has nothing to fear if they are open and honest. Byrne is definately hiding something. If he truly had nothing to hide, he would match Vals gesture.

Bye bye KB. You have been found out for the criminal you are.

Anonymous said...

King Boob throws a tantrum pointing his finger "I don't want to go to bed mummy"

Queen Vivavious firmly, you naughty little boy go go go you have disgraced yourself