Monday 3 March 2008

Pyne a "watch dog"

Rob Pyne, Cairns Regional Council candidate for Division 3, has offered to be a full-time "watch dog", which he said will be needed - whoever is elected Mayor on March 15th.

He criticised his sole Division 3 opponent, Deputy Mayor Terry James who said the role was not full-time, but congratulated James for his loyalty to the Mayor over a number of years. He warned residents about getting a ‘lap dog’ instead of a ‘watch dog’.

Here's Robert's speech in full:
  • Welcome Friends,

    Some of you know me well, in terms of the things I believe, but some of you are still getting to know me. Well I would like to help you along. I think you can tell a bit about a person from the people they admire. I have watched a lot of people in public life in this city over many years.

    What I have tried to do is to emulate the things I like about those I respect most. I want to mention some of these people and what I have admired about their approach:

    Firstly, the current councillor for Division 3, Cr. Jeff Pezzutti: Jeff is a fine example of a grass roots councillor with an attention to detail.

    Recently I contacted Jeff, as there was a rotten plank in a bridge in Forest Gardens, I mentioned it to Jeff and he replied ‘ Oh is that what that red tape is there for (referring to the hazard tape the council workers had put up) I will have a look into it for you. So he knew exactly where I was talking about, he knows every drain, every park and every road in his division, and when people have a problem, he fixes it if at all possible. Jeff, you leave big shoes to fill.

    Ray Jones was another person who typified this approach of honest grass roots representation, no airs and graces, but honesty and integrity were paramount. Always accessible, always approachable!

    From the former member for Leichhardt, John Gayler and indeed from my own father, I
    have learned the importance of approaching people in a spirit of good will. When you do
    this and are happy to work with all of the community in a spirit of cooperation, it is amazing the amount of goodwill that returns to you – it is returned in spades!
    From the current member for Mulgrave Warren Pitt, I have learnt the value of hard work.

    Public life is a great opportunity to contribute to the community, but it comes at a cost, and that is long hours and dedication. Those who are not prepared to pay that cost do not tend to last. One of the reasons I believe that with your support I can win on March 15th is because I am prepared to pay that cost.

    With this in mind, why put yourself forward for long hours, frequent criticism or indeed
    should on stuff up, public ridicule from the fourth estate, our friends in the media, some of whom are here tonight. It is without doubt the opportunity to have a positive impact on the community in which you live and because you believe change is possible. I do believe change is possible. I want change because, like many of my fellow candidates I have a strong dissatisfaction with the current Byrne led dis‐unity Council!

    Let’s call a spade a spade, the current mayor operates on the basis of fear and intimidation.

    There are people here tonight who have had defamation actions launched against them and there are people here tonight who have had their employer contacted by the mayor and told to pull them into line. To me this is the antithesis of democracy and represents
    everything we should not be about.

    What we should be about is promoting a culture where people feel confident to question, to criticise… and yes Mr. Moore, even to parody [reference to CairnsBlog] .

    Of course I am not standing for Mayor, I am standing for Division 3, so what do I have to offer. Well I give people in my division a choice … a choice between a watch dog or a lap‐dog. Now don’t get me wrong, loyalty is an admirable quality, and no one could deny my opponent has been loyal to the Mayor.

    However, I can promise one thing to people, and no one here can doubt it, when the mayor, whoever it may be, says jump, I won’t be jumping! However, if a constituent wants something done, while I still won’t be jumping, I will always ask; how high?
    It needs to be said that, to a great extent Kevin and the unity team represent government by proxy. We don’t know where every dollar of the Unity campaign is coming from, but we can guess. And you can’t blame the folks that put up some of these ghastly unit blocks for backing Kevin, after all he has certainly delivered for them, something to which the changing face of our city provides sad testimony.

    Actually on the advice of my wife I sent a letter off to some of the ‘powerful development companies’ to see if, in the spirit of fair play and democracy they would consider rowing a bit of money towards my campaign, after all I have heard some of these characters like to have ‘two bob each way’. Well, I hope that is no indicator of my chances, because I am still waiting for the cheques to arrive. Perhaps that says something about my integrity and that of my opponents; I will let you draw your own conclusions!

    The real impact of the extent to which our Mayor and the Unity team are subsidised from the big end of town will continue to be felt between now and the election. We will be bombarded by advertisements on television and the radio and large print advertisements on a regular basis. So bearing in mind candidates like myself cannot afford ads on the television and radio, or full page ads in the Cairns Post, how can we hope to compete?

    Well in my case I have a secret weapon! It is something of more influence and of more worth than any amount of money our Mayor could ever raise, and that is, the support of those people here tonight. I am, certainly counting on you to spread the word in your communities, that candidates like myself can make a difference, and to tell people of what we believe.

    We believe:

  • Cairns can move forward in a way that protects all that’s worth preserving, and provides an environment that is welcoming to tourists and visitors, but also provides adequate infrastructure for people in our suburbs. People who struggle every day to make a life here for themselves and their families.

  • Global warming is a reality and this must be reflected in planning schemes and approvals. Does anyone really believe the Mayor when he says he now acknowledges the reality of global warming?

  • Tackling global warming must include not only sensible planning, but reduce greenhouse emissions by promoting sustainable transport.
    - Including an improved support for our bus service and an integrated system of bikeways and footpaths, so that young children can safely travel to school and use our footpaths. This will also help to fight childhood obesity.

  • A system of residential rates capping, so long term locals are not adversely affected by market fluctuations in the value of their homes that sends their rates burden soaring!

    In Conclusion, tonight is not just to tell you that with your support I can win, but to tell you that without your active support I do not have a chance! So if you care about Cairns and you think I am up to playing a leadership role in our community, please give me your active support.

    Over the next 12 days, please talk to your people, to your workmates, your networks and your community. Tell people to support me and other Independents as well as quality candidates in the Cairns First team!

    If we work together we can have a city that is not only prosperous, but also healthy,
    inclusive and sustainable. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Robert in formally launching your council election campaign for Division 3.

Thank you for inviting me to your launch. It was a privilege to be a witness to the beginning of your political career.

You have achieved so much in your academic pursuits and you are a testament to your tenacity and determination against all odds.

You have made your family and parents so proud including those that admire your will.

You have a pleasant personality and a wonderful disposition.

These attributes will endear you well in your quest to become the new Councillor for Division 3.

I am certain that the electors will warm to you and embrace you with enthusiasm and goodwill.

Together you will achieve much for the area that has so far been so well represented by Cr Jeff Pezzutti over the last 30 years.

Finally all aspiring political candidates would do well to read your speech and take note of your common touch which in so many cases is overlooked as no longer essential.

Best of luck in your endeavors.

Anonymous said...

I'm still waithing for an endorsement for young Pyne from Jeff Pezzutti ...

Maybe he feels there's not much to choose from between that little dynamo Terry James, and young Pyne.

Knowing Jeff, he'll let the voters decide.

Factman recommends ... Terry James