Sunday 16 March 2008

Division round up

There were some big shake ups in the inaugural Cairns Regional Council Election.

The new Cairns Regional Council will boast a number of new faces, and a new direction, under the leadership of Val Schier. The Mayor's Unity brand was almost completed decimated, and without Byrne's presence, it's likely it will fade into history.

The eco-sensitive Douglas Shire constituency, didn't support the development-friendly Kevin Byrne or his local Unity candidate.

Division 1
Incumbent councillor, Paul Gregory was returned unopposed.

Division 2
This is the narrowest of victories and is still too close to call. Cairns 1st Jeff Martinuzzi is only 8 votes behind independent Nancy Lansky. Both are well-known and liked identities in the southern communities.

Division 3
Former Mayor Tom Pyne, will continue the legacy in his son, Robert Pyne in Division 3. Pyne won every polling booth, leaving former deputy mayor, Terry James out in the cold. James had only recently relocated to Mt Sheridan.
Another first, Pyne will be the first disabled Councillor to grace the Council Chambers, offering the ability to raise the profile about disability issues in the community. After knocking James off his perch, Pyne deserves the title as the Maxine McKew of the north.

Division 4
It appears that sitting Councillor and Unity candidate Paul Freebody, sustained damage after his defamation case landed him in court in the days prior to the election. He also attracted bad publicity around his amateur election leaflet that was distributed early in the campaign.
Freebody enjoyed a 13 point lead in the 2004 election.
The youngest candidate to run in the Cairns Regional Council election, Kirsten Lesina of Cairns 1st, could still out-poll Freebody, following preferences from Norman Miller. There's only 105 votes between them on election night.

Division 5
The race was always going to be one between sitting councillor and Unity defector, Alan Blake and newcomer Richie Bates of Cairns 1st. Blake had an election night lead of 459. Sitting Councillor Kath Plath, polled the lowest, who also associated with Paul Freebody in production of her election leaflet. Plath will not be returned to the Council bench.

Division 6
A decisive win for newcomer, former City Life editor and radio personality Linda Cooper with 2,496 votes. Cairns 1st Mark Buttrose polled just under long-serving sitting Councillor Annette Sheppard, who has lost her seat at the Council table.

Division 7
Diane Forsyth's third attempt at running for Council paid off. She clearly polled highest on election night, striking out sitting Councillor, Unity's Deidrie Ford, and former policeman, Jeff Lyon, who polled the lowest of the three candidates. Ford suffered a blow when she was caught removed opposition election signs, just three weeks out from the campaign.

Division 8
Sitting Councillor Cochrane gained nearly 44% and was rewarded with loyalty after parting ways with the Mayor's Unity party a year ago. A negative Unity letter campaign to Northern Beach residents against Cochrane, appeared not to have gained support among voters. Cairns 1st Vet Paul Matthews, gained 39% of the vote.

Division 9
Cairns 1st Janine Aitken polled strongly, yet only bet incumbent Councillor Sno Bonneau in the Smithfield booth. Bonneau had a 30% swing against his 2004 vote, however will be returned as the Councillor for new Division 9.

Division 10
Former Douglas Shire CEO, Julie Leu led the election night vote by a decisive 2,052 ahead of her nearest rival, Unity's Bill Phipps-Turner. Pitt, Johnston and Davis were the next highest polling candidates, in a race that consisted of 8 candidates, encompassing the largest geographical area.


Anonymous said...

Feel proud Janine. As a new comer you performed magnificently against someone who avoided accountability by deserting his electorate for another. I suspect the good folk of Division 9 will learn soon enough.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear. I endorse those comments. It was pleasing to see both Janine and Kirsten perform so well. (And if I am correct, Kirsten may well be elected!)

Anonymous said...

So which one of these Councillors are going to be the new Deputy Mayor?
Perhaps Julia Leu.

Clear winner in her division. Represents the former Douglas Shire area. Sounds like an ideal candidate to me.

Anonymous said...

Julia won in every far in front of any other candidate. Div 10 was the big one and for someone to get such an overwhelming majority needs to be recognised. Yes! Julia for deputy!!!

Anonymous said...

Dish Pig, I hope you're correct, please don't let us have peabrain again.

Anonymous said...

Julia did do well in Division 10, although in Clifton Beach there was only 3 votes in it between her and Pete.
I would prefer Julia not to be deputy, for no other reason than Division 10 is a huge area to cover and the issues are many. What we now need is consolidation for Division 10. Community representation is important and many promises have been made which will need to be honoured.
Division 10 desparately need to have proper representation and we, as a community, must get behind our democratically elected representative.
The Northern Beaches have voted in Val's favour - I am not convinced it wasn't a vote against Kevin rather than a vote for Val.
Val and Julia, best wishes, good luck and please work to make sure that no area between Clifton Beach and Cow Bay EVER feel marginalized again.