Tuesday 4 March 2008

Goodbye Green Brick Road

Douglas Shire Councillor Rod Davis, and candidate for Division 10 in the Cairns Regional Council election, recounts the last moments of his 100+ year old Council...

In a day so typical of the genius and stupidity of the Douglas Shire Council's last 4 year term, the Council unfairly sacked General Manager David Carey (photo below).

This was before putting into law, a climate change planning code for commercial buildings that is Australia's leading example of how to lower building energy use, and up building's liveability. David Carey was seemingly speared in revenge politics residual of the gang of four's anger at the sacking of former CEO, Terry Melchert.

Melchert's sacking came after a damning parliamentary report, followed by an independent panels review of his tenure, where a series of issues lead the expert panel giving Terry his marching orders. When asked if there was any reason that could be given for David Carey's dismissal, the Douglas Shire minutes note that there was no reason, whatsoever.

On top this, it is illegal to sack an employee who is absent under a workers comp dispute. So Mr Carey (pictured right) will now be able to mount a court appeal to potentially have his contract paid out, at cost speculated to be over $400,000. Terry Melchert is pursuing $1.5M...but Mr Melchert has signed an acceptance already, after his initial payout.

But ignorant, bloody-minded governance that was the the hallmark of the majority faction of 4 in 7 councillors, ruled the day. As massive rains divided the Douglas Shire creek after creek, the debate with the mix of genius and idiocy that is the Gang of 4, vs minority Davis/Berwick/Cox continued to the last day, but after nearly two years of effort, legal and technical design, community feedback and a quick planning award along the way, Rod Davis' climate change code finally made its way into law.'

Commercial building, along with home units and townhouses will now need to minimise energy use through simple, old fashioned design, that will require the architect, at DA stage, to prove he has shaded and ventilated his building, well enough to keep the heat outside, which means for example shading windows and doors, and insulating core filled block work with a western sun orientation. It's not rocket science. Where it is original, is in the way it requires the concept design for DA, to face up to the heat issues, rather than simply saying to a mechanical engineer, months later, hey, how many fan coil units do we need to get rid of the heat we will create inside?

So the Douglas Shire Council went down at the hands of the redneck politics, as the odd rose grew out of the faeces, with issue like the Daintree development halt and today's climate change planning code mixed in with all the anger and wasted space that was the focus of our last 4 year term, where it was all about a career of guy called Melchert.

"If I'm going down, you guys are coming with me," I can here the ghost saying now, and so it was in the Douglas Shire Council's last day, after 103 years of self-governance.


Anonymous said...

In reply to Rod
I was under the impression that David Carey was off on sick leave and to date there has been no workers comp claim. Perhaps you could clear that up for me.
Great to see that Julia Leu's blatant untruth's are finally starting to see the light of day. She continually professes to have done nothing wrong in deleting clause 9.6.1 from 3 workers contacts (one of whom is David Carey) but one only has to look at the Douglas Shire Council's agenda for yesterday's meeting on their website to realise she has been misleading the public.
Page 311 of the status report, item 26 and 27 clearly state that legal advice received by the General Manager (David Carey) showed that 'the alteration to the contract employees' contracts..... is considered to be unauthorised, and therefore illegal'. It also states that this matter of unauthorised alteration of these contracts 'be investigated with a view to pursuing disciplinary action if necessary'. David Carey allegedly asked Julia Leu to alter his contract thereby putting Julia in danger of litigation and risking her integrity. Some friend huh Julia? Hope he's not on your campaign committee. If Julia is as experienced as she says she is why didn't she know her actions were illegal? Open and transparent? Integrity? Don't think so.

Anonymous said...

To another gutless wonder “anon”, enquiring about David Carey’s health at present. As I am his partner, I can tell you. David has been on stress leave since the 12th of February and has lodged a workers compensation claim. You seem to think you know an awful lot about the internal affairs of the Douglas Shire Council. Julia Leu acted in a completely open and transparent manner for ALL contract staff, in order to bring them into line with other staff, in regard to the transition to the Cairns Regional Council. Her legal advice from the LGAQ supported her decision. Council’s records clearly show that this was a transparent process.
You are also incorrect when you state that David in his capacity as GM for Community & Corporate at DSC received legal advice that the contract alterations were unauthorised and illegal. He didn’t commission the legal advice. The current acting CEO, Bruce Ede, did.
Despite your pathetic suggestion, David has not been working on Julia’s election campaign either, because, prior to Tuesday 4th March he was a senior employee of the DSC and as such that would have been an ethical no-no for him. It may be hard for someone like you to understand, but some people do have ethical standards.
Don’t try to whitewash the disgusting behaviour of the “Gang of 4”. They terminated David’s contract for NO REASON, (at least not one they had the guts to offer up), 11 days before the DSC gets the axe!
The readers of this blog should be aware that Cr. Egan (one of the “four”) suggested, repeatedly, in the media that a report (The Bernhardt Report) contained the reason why David should be sacked). A summary of that report was printed as a paid advertisement in the Port Douglas and Mossman Gazette and The Cairns Post (under instruction by resolution of the “Gang of 4”). It stated “THE REPORT FOUND NO BREACHES OF LAW OR CONDUCT AGAINST ANY EMPLOYEE”. Bernhardt himself also sent an email to the Mayor and Councillors confirming the findings of his report did not warrant disciplinary action being taken against anyone, let alone termination of David Carey’s employment. In fact he stated that suggestions to the contrary were outrageous.
Despite this report being confidential (as it dealt with outstanding claims of harassment) the “Gang of 4” voted to send a copy to the Interim CEO of the Cairns Regional Council, Mr. Noel Briggs. Over a week before David’s contract was terminated, we were made aware that David’s name had been removed from the new staff structure of the CRC. The only DSC staff member to be omitted from the structure. At the meeting on Tuesday, Mike Berwick accused the “Gang of 4” of collusion between them and the senior staff of Cairns City Council. I shall the leave it up to the readers of this blog to decide if that accusation has any foundation.
Finally, “anon”, you are nothing but a coward hiding behind your anonymity. Not very open and transparent. You obviously support the actions of the “Gang of 4”. I can only conclude then it is you that has no ethics, moral standards, or INTEGRITY.

Anonymous said...

well said girlfriend, don't worry the truth is obvious and your hubby will be getting a much-much-much desrvered payout! He is better off away from such a mad house and greener pastures await I am sure.