Sunday 30 March 2008

Blake reassures public

Councillor-elect Alan Blake would like to reassure the public it's "business as usual".

This follows some commentators that have said people are 'terrified about the next four years' under the new Council.

Alan Blake, on John McKenzie's radio show has said things will go on, and there's no need for alarm.

He reports that some businesses have threatened to take their business elsewhere if it becomes to hard to deal with the new Council. Blake says there should be no reason for such action.

"It's true that my phone has been running hot since the election," he says.

The reported panic amongst some after Cairns 1st pursued a more open and accountable approach to development and town planning throughout their campaign.

"There won't be a lot of change. The city is strong. We have a strong growth rate," says Alan Blake. "We have five councillors that have eight or more years experience," he told John McKenzie.

"If we have a mayor who is anti-development, the mayor chairs the planning committee. However we have a full council that votes on this," he says.

"We have tightened up hill-slope development," says Alan Blake. "There is very little room to move. If there was a builder or a developer, that didn't agree with [a decision], they would take to to the planning and environment court and they get a decision.

Blake says that there's a strong management team in Council to help with the transition.

"The CEO's job, if it was to change, has to come before Council," Alan Blake said in relation to the possibility of a change.

AUDIO: Listen to Alan Blake on 846 AM


Anonymous said...

For "The reported panic amongst some" read: Hedley, Glencorp, CEC, et al.
Well sorry guys, all those campaign donations for nought
After eight years, we will have accountability. Your wings have been well and truly clipped ... and if you don't like it, the door out is just south of Babinda!

Arthur Festerbestertester said...

I think Mr Blake ought to name names. or is it just a load of scare-mongering designed to set himself up for a tilt at the mayoralty next time round. How about Cairns Blog asking him who exactly is looking for the exit door. If he can't answer, we'll know it's just a case of scheming and ambition.

Anonymous said...

Mr Blake comments that "We have 5 Councillors that have 8 or more years experience".

I do hope he is not including Snojob in that lineup.
Councillor Bonneau has yet to face accountability over many issues on the Northern Beaches and his worthwhile experience you could fit onto the back of a postage stamp.
His communication skills are zero, his community consultation skills are zero, his previous constitutents in Bucahn, Palm Cove and Clifton lost faith in this man to represent them fairly over many issues, he divided the Clifton community over the rock wall saga, he has lied to the community and to individual residents, he has fobbed off/ignored residents, refused to return emails, refused to come to community meetings, he has been abusive in emails and to people's faces when they have confronted him about issues of concern and finally, his remorse for the destruction and havoc he leaves behind at Clifton Beach is zero - all good reasons why he jumped Divisions when the opportunity arose.

So tell us again, why he would be deemed important to have on a current Council?

Anonymous said...

You couldn't see this coming? Big deal.

And I agree, nothing is going to change, it's not the Mayor that makes each and every decision regarding what can and can not be developed, without first changing the Cairns Plan, for which she'd need the help of the other councilors.

Hey I'm glad KB is out, I just wish I'd stop hearing about Val's hair.

On another AB related moment, what was with Richie Bates' comment in the Cairns post, bitter bitter comments Richie, you should know better.

Anonymous said...

I took up the opportunity to listen to Cr elect Blake's interview and noted under the veil of assuring the business sector that there would be nothing to fear, there was an adversarial tone to his comments.

I earnestly hope for the sake of good governance that he together with the returned sitting Independents respect the mandate giving to Mayor elect Val Schier. It should be noted that except for Cr Paul Gregory they all were retuned with a swing against them. That in itself has a message that change was uppermost on the elector's mind.

The development policy, which I helped to draft, of Cairns First as espoused by Mayor elect Val Schier are not anti development. To the contrary, they are structured to encourage development but on a sustainable basis with the environment in focus.

The lack of transparency and the lack of accountable governance in the outgoing Council, which Cairns First wants to redress, I hope were the reasons that Cr elect Blake resigned from Unity. If this is the case then he will have something in common with the Mayor elect.

May I suggest that the Councillors elect that feel disgruntled should take a cold shower and then come to terms with the rebuttal that they got from the electors and get on with governance for all residents.

Anonymous said...

Councillor Blake would like to reassure the public it's business as usual. It's a pity he didn't think along those lines before he published his article "Balance needed" in the Cairns Sun on Wednesday the 26th March.

Anonymous said...

Ross Parisi is correct. Those Councillors from Byrne's old team should take note of the swings against them and that the mood of the people has changed.

Anonymous said...

Tyson , no amount of filibuster will submerge the facts.

In percentage terms the Schier mandate in 2008 is similar to the Byrne mandate in 2004.
Schier 51.40
Byrne 51.47

However the mood for change is critical. There was a significant swing which reflects the mood shift.
Schier 10% increase in vote percentage on 2004 figures
Byrne 4% decrease in vote percentage on 2004 figures.

The other salient point from this election is the demise of the dysfunctional Unity Team. The body politic is no fool. It knew that Unity was held together by vested interests and not by commitment and passion.

Tyson on a personal note. Defeat always is hard to accept but to go forward one must accept the facts otherwise it is difficult to move forward. A cold shower would assist in the process of transition.

Anonymous said...

Bingo, Ross Parisi. " go forward, one must accept the facts..". As someone much wiser than me once said, "Let bygones be bygones". It is true, if you hold onto the past, you don't have much of a future.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that Blake won his seat on Council.This fellow will try to undermine Val with the view of controlling Council voting.Already
he is getting his name in the media
on many matters.It is to be hoped other Councillors wake up to him and give him a wide berth.He has already had 8 years on Council and his contribution can be written on the back of a postage stamp.

Anonymous said...

Wow isn't this interesting, 13 comments, I had to read it.

Alan has no daughter, you may have noticed one of his sons with him, but he's not someone you'd confuse with a girl.

The only unity member left is Cooper, who would probably have had even more votes if she was independent, either she upholds the word of the lord our savoury, or she Unites with her own beliefs, and becomes an independent, as I can't see a siding with Val on the cards.

And what's this BS about Di Forsyth getting voted for Deputy Mayor? Gimme a break.

Anonymous said...

Blakey's phone has been running hot with peoples concerns. I wonder if these are the same buisnesses that paid for his 50th Birthday Bash? But that was a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Blakey's 50th Birthday was something else but didn't the CMC investigate him following this? Having bought some furniture from him for one of my Restaurants I hope he can act more honestly in his role as Councillor than he did in his dealings with me.

Anonymous said...

I hear on the grape vine that the buisnesses ringing him up are the members of the Liberal party that contributed to his campaign and are wondering how they are going to get their projects through now that KB bit the dust.

I also heard that he is thinking of becoming a lobbyist for their cause. After all he does owe them a favour or two.

Blake has the propensity to be a sleaze bag. It's all part of a pattern common to his likes, politics, and lobbyist.

Watch him!

Anonymous said...

I can assure you Councillor Blake would not have received too many calls from within the Liberal Party. Most of us think he is a joke and just take his annual membership. Look what he did for our Liberal Member in the Federal Election!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, he's definitely a snake in the grass our Allan!!!!

Arthur Festerbestertester said...

Most of the businesses thinking of leaving town are doing so of their own accord - the False Cape mob, Hedley's pubs, CEC etc etc. By the by, has anyone seen the CEC property sale ads on Channel 10 tonight: 120+ prime blocks of land must go, call CEC at once. Sounds like a fire sale to me. Poor old Blakey. all his "mates" are deserting the sinking ship - just like the rats they all are.

Anonymous said...

Arthur points out the "fire sale" at CEC. Not just blocks of land must go, but reduced prices on completed houses, too! More than a fire sale, but a desperate attempt to raise cash for this grossly over-leveraged company. And Hedley is on a razor's edge, with another day of no market trading while a large share trade last Friday is investigated. The ASX isn't getting straight answers and according to the media, the trade could only have been Tom Hedley desperately trying to raise cash.

The loss of these two companies will mean a loss of well over a thousand jobs - most of which are tradies who will return to the capital cities to find work. Bingo, no more rental problems. But lots of unfinished buildings. . . .

The postman always rings twice.

Anonymous said...

That 'large share trade' referred to by the learned Professor was today reversed by ASX...ABC radio 4.30pm share report.

Not even his friends buying shares at an inflated discount can help Hedley now. The slide is on!!! The question is how many Cairns Mum's and Dad's are going to get their fingers burnt.

As for our one eyed Hedley...he lost one eyes playing cricket at St Augustines College in the late 60's and is about to loose his other one. His imminent demise could not have happened to a 'nicer' person.

Roy Lavers of CEC is a gentleman compared to the egotistic Hedley.

Anonymous said...

The "friends" getting screwed don't bother me. But I've got some tradie friends who've were "encouraged" to sign up for shares by foremen supervising their jobsites. They were told they needed to "support the company's growth to ensure their jobs" - the unspoken threat being that they should sign up for shares or else. This is going to be a scandal to rival Skase, and another black eye for North Queensland.

On the other hand, getting rid of Hedley might stop the destruction of Paradise Palms, which as conceived by the Japanese was a very well-planned area. Hedley's already trashed it with the destruction of open greenspace and the new whorehouse entrance off the Cook Highway.

Guess this all just proves the adage that you can't dress up a pig.

Anonymous said...

I dont know what this has to do with Blake, as last I heard good ol Hedley got the shits with him since he moved out of the Unity team.

Anonymous said...

Judging by the negative and undermining comments directed at Val Schier and dummy spitting by those who stand to have their wings clipped it is pretty evident that the big end of town ran this town. Now that they don't, they're all for bailing out which says much about commitment. "If you fly too high you risk getting burned" seems to have relevance too.

Anonymous said...

CEC and Hedley employ many people, and the building boom in Cairns supported many businesses. A downturn will have widespread repercussions. I have at least three relatives working for either CEC or Hedley and I fear for their jobs.

Anonymous said...

And well you should fear for their jobs, but in the end all "building booms" eventually have their "busts".

You cannot "develop" indefintely for a market dependent on low interest rates and negative gearing.

The over development in Cairns has been like a plague, and like all plagues it will shrivel when the host can no longer sustain it.

Maybe, just maybe, there is time for all concerned to take a look and work within the bounds of the CairnsPlan and the Douglas Shire Plan.... and not continually seek to maximise profit at the expense of the Community, environment and the Region.

When the Developers start submitting applications that are within the design specifications of the Planning Schemes then perhaps we will see public acceptance of "appropriate" development and a willingness to move our Region forward.

No folks, an election doesn't cause a downturn.

Over inflated land purchases, with an expectation of Development Approval (come what may), coupled with a dependence on low interest, overseas funding, and a quick turnaround on a speculative market are what leads us to today.

Anonymous said...

Heard on the grape vine yesterday that Hedly sacked 15 staff. Are there more redundancies to come?

Glenwood are giving away free roofing tiles if you build with them.

Slowly, the threads of development are unravelling......I agree with others, all booms must bust. Geting too big too quick is often a contributing factor, and Hedley's fast rise to the top of Australia's list of wealthiest people is probably no doubt a contributing factor to his now possible demise.

Anonymous said...

Hey bloggers, lets not be distracted here. The issue is Blake's hidden agenda, his probity and his shady deals. His election expenses would have amounted in excess of $35,000. Who were his donors and what commitment did they extract.

We need him to become engaged in this debate and lay bare his donors for the public to scrtinise. We need to watch him closely as he has a reputation for underhand deals.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous Blogger. Let's focus on Councillor Blake and expose his many underhanded deals. He and KB were as thick as thieves until Blake proposed King Boob abdicate and he fill his shoes. We all know what followed as King Boob squashed Blake like the cockroach he is. Blake has always had ambitions to be Mayor and will do what ever it takes to dethrone the present Mayor. Watch him over the next few months.

Anonymous said...

This is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard.

If you look back, or know anything, you'll find the blowout betweek KB and AB was around the time AB was offered a bribe and exposed it, rightfully.

Since then there has been numerous instances of dispute between the two of them.

If AB wanted to be Mayor, don't you think he'd be fighting for Deputy? I believe Cochrane has the opportunity for this role.

You should be more concerned with your new mayor, not being a councilor in the past, not knowing how the inner-workings of council operate, trying to run the city. I'm willing to give her a chance, but it's one of my concerns.

Being someone invovled with council, there are many other issues you could focus your energy on rather than simply badmouthing Alan. Isn't it funny, as soon as someone becomes a real threat, (rival as candidate, possible future mayor?) the dirt gets thrown hard and fast.

Do your best, it's meaningless
claptrap, to which you're only preaching the converted.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

There appears to be a large number of anti-Blake sentiment. I am so pleased to see the call for accountability. Come clean Councillor Blake and tell us who your campaign contributors are.

Anonymous said... thinks d.foster is Blake in disguise....reads so much like him. Dont forget he is a snake in the grass and is noted for sneaky tatics.

Perhaps since d.foster knows so much about Blake's affairs he might go one more step and tell us who his donors are.

What a joke, Blake for Mayor. Blake does not have the ticker to be Mayor!!

Waiting for some honesty Blake!!

Anonymous said...

With all due respects Vespa I don't think D. Foster reads like Blake as there is no mention as to how wonderful he is or what a dynamic and successful businessman he is and most importantly his honesty. Blake has the ticker to be Mayor as he watched and learned from the Master KB and saw what can be really achieved rather than some pathetic bribe reflecting his lowly ranking as Councillor.

Anonymous said...

What a vipers' nest the Byrne Unity Team was! I'm just stunned at the revelations here.

Anonymous said...

How about we cut out all the personal crap and vindictiveness, and discuss our local economy? We have some knowledgeable contributions being posted and I would like to know more. A downturn in the building industry together with a slump in the tourist industry will send out shock waves throughout our region.
The American economic situation seems to be worsening as well.

Anonymous said...

d.foster, I did not expect you to admit to being Blake....not for a moment but my point has been made. There are more important issues to be exposed here, issues that go to the heart of integrity and probity and to whether Blake is fit to hold office.

The writer is privy to inside knowledge and yes, it may take time but the truth will find Blake out. Declarations of election donors and pecuniary interest register are yet to be filled out. It will be interesting to note what is entered.

Much is made by the candle holders for Blake about whistle blowing on the bribery allegations. The facts are submerged beneath the spin. It was reported to the writer at the time that it was a pre emptive move by Blake. He was given the opportunity to resign with dignity from the Unity Team. KB gave him no choice really as he was about to be otherwise expelled from the Unity Team.

Of course there was animosity to follow. When friends fall out, hell knoweth no fury. Blake was marginalised and the residents were the recipent of mal administration.

Blake stood no chance of winning his old constituency of Freshwater Brinsmead /Whitfield because of his lack of effective representation and therefore chose to run in Division 5 where the residents did not have first hand knowledge.

It is only a matter of time before the residents of Division 5 wake up to his ways!

Anonymous said...

I can well understand the anxiety and concern for the local economy as expressed by 'the dish pig' and to a lesser extent other readers of this blog site.

From my experience of local government, it is the one to have the least effect on the economic cycle. The economic cycle is predicated by the perception and decisions of the Australian government and to a lesser extent by the State government.

The former Douglas Shire Council and their 'Green Anti development' Mayor did not stop the prosperity of Port Douglas.

The current uncertainty of CEC and Hedley has nothing to do with the Cairns Regional Council and the election of Val Schier.

The Cairns Plan approved under the State Government development mantra is still in operation and will be until it is formally amended. Any change has to be approved by the full Cairns Regional Council.

Even the 'local ship' needs time and space to change its direction. It certainly will not happen overnight.

Where the local administration does have an effect is on the tone of the development and how it fits into our natural and living environment.

It is noted from overseas experiences that if a region is allowed to develop insensitively thereby destroying the very essence of why the tourist come here, it will have a long term deleterious effect on the local economy. This is where local governance does have an effect.

The tone and style of the previous administration I believe was leading the Cairns City towards becoming a region less attractive to tourist hence the relative drop off in tourist visitor numbers. Tourist do not come here to admire our man made features. They come to marvel at our natural attributes and beauty.

The right balance therefore must be struck. Val Schier does understand the need for the local economy to prosper. Val is not ant development. Significantly she also understands the need for sensitively and balance.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ross. These are the types of comments I want to see more of on this blog. Michael has provided us with one of the very best forums ever for locals to contribute views, concerns and discussions on local issues, and I would hate to see it lose valuable contributors because of the mud slinging content.

Anonymous said...

Well said dish pig. I'm sure it is possible for one to make their point and for the retention of some light hearted humour without the need for mud slinging.