Saturday 1 March 2008

Unity candidate storms out of meeting

Kevin Byrne's Unity candidate for Division 10, Bill Phillips-Turner walked out of a community forum at Clifton Beach this morning.

"This is a set up," Byrne said to his candidate, Phillips-Turner. "It's a kangaroo court, let's get out of here."

More than 100 beaches' residents packed into the Clifton Beach Tennis club hall. All candidates from the new Division 10 attended the event, along with Mayoral candidates Selwyn Johnston and Val Schier. Kevin Byrne arrived half way through the meeting, and stayed for about 15 minutes, until his Unity candidate had finished addressing a volatile audience.

Unity didn't do their homework nor did they gauge the amount of resentment about the current Council on the northern beaches.

Phillips-Turner, chairman of the Mossman Sugar Mill, running on the Mayor's Unity ticket, appears to have not understood the local community's anger about development concerns and the strong feelings against their current Councillor Sno Bonneau, who is also endorsed by Mayor Byrne.

"There's a great resentment in our community," said Ilse Close, Clifton Beach resident Michael Hyams. "I saw Kevin Byrne tell his Unity candidate that they should leave. Had they stayed they would have been part of a well-run community meeting which achieved it's aim of informing us."

Michael Hyams was disturbed that the Unity candidate marched off. "There was no attempt to defend his position - just shoot through when the going gets tough."

"They're like rats leaving a sinking ship," said another resident.

The anger started when Phillips-Turner acknowledged he would continue the work of Sno Bonneau. The crowd yelled and booed. However he continued to say that he would work with the community and follow on the work on the current councillor.

The meeting was asked where Sno Bonneau was. "He's probably swimming in the Bluewater Lagoon!" a resident yelled out.

The meeting expressed horror and anger at the row of 4 story apartments being built on both sides of Clifton Road, at the corner of Captain Cook Highway.

"This Council has a great deal to answer for," screamed out one resident. "They just don't consult us."

Bill Phillps-Turner should have stood up to his master's voice and said no. 'No Kevin, I need to stay here and listen to these people. They obviously have some concerns and I need to listen to them.' But no, he didn't say that. He ran off with Kevin Byrne who cannot debate nor engage in a rationale way with his residents.

People are angry. People want to tell Kevin Byrne and the Council they've had enough.

Kevin Byrne's bible, The Art of War, talks about planning your retreat before your advance. Today at Clifton Beach, he enacted that philosophy.

"I've attended many Council meetings whilst in South Australia, but Ive never witnessed such discourtesy demonstrated by the mayor and his candidate," said Clifton resident Michael Hyams.

Today, Byrne and Bill Phillips-Turner lost 2,000 votes on the beaches. We hope they enjoyed their Latte at Palm Cove, whilst the residents voiced their concerns to the rest of the candidates. Bill even missed the official photo for the newspaper photographers.

Almost all Division 10 candidates Cairns Regional Council election:
L-R: Rod Davis, Dixie Phillpot, George Pitt, Julia Leu, Danny Hanly,
Front: Melinda Cox, Pete Johnston. Absent-minded: Bill Phillips-Turner.


Anonymous said...

I don't blame Phillips-Turner and Byrne for walking out of the meeting today. I felt like walking out as well! I was appalled by the behaviour of the people attending this meeting. Booing, shouting etc - this is not the way to get your point across. Where have the manners and common courtesy of people gone? I understood that Mayoral candidates were not supposed to speak - how come then that Schier spoke? Leu was yelling on top note - hardly inspires me to vote for her. Yes she may have been a school teacher in the past but these residents weren't school children.
Come on guys/gals, please treat people with respect even if you don't agree with what they have to say. Yelling and booing won't get you anywhere.

Janine Aitken said...

How can Phillips-Turner or Byrne even clam to want to represent the residents of division 10 if they wont even spend an hour ½ listening to those people & their concerns , given they are asking for your vote in 14 days time, they aren’t listening now, they wont listen then. Another example of how arrogant and out of touch Byrnes and his cronies are.

Anonymous said...

To Anon,

Perhaps the response was an indication of how fed up the people of Clifton Beach are with Byrne and his unity team. It's interesting that you defend them and also single out Julia Leu for criticism...which other division 10 candidate are you? I was at the meeting today and Julia's address was a beacon of hope.

Anonymous said...

A number of points to make on KB and Bill 's hasty retreat from the Clifton Beach community meeting today are that:
1. KB did Bill (Unity Team candidate) no favours. Every one of those 100 people in that room today has a neighbour, family members and friends and will no doubt relay events of the meeting to them. When Northern Beaches voters have to choose a Division 10 candidate, they will choose one of the remaining 7 who stayed till the end of the meeting. Multiply that 100 out by at least 10 fold and Bill has just lost 100s and 100s of votes on the Northern Beaches that can be picked up by another candidate or candidates for the Division.
2. As someone correctly said, Bill should have stayed till the end of the meeting as a matter of curtesy to the organisers, members of the audience may have wanted to talk to him afterwards and try to communicate with him about how they want their community to progress in the future as they did with other candidates and for the photoshoot of Division 10candidates. His blind acceptance of KB's command to leave the meeting so rudely just shows you who runs the show. Kevin says jump and the Unity team members, ask how high and proceed to do as they are bid.

Byrne is nothing but an arrogant bully and this was proven today beyond doubt.

3. Because KB left so early, he missed his opportunity to address the meeting, which was a spontantaneous change to the agenda, seeing as 3/4 Mayoral candidates had turned up unexpectedly, an opportunity was afforded to them to address the audience.

Anonymous said...

As a voter of Division 9 I attended the meeting to gauge the community support or otherwise of Cr Sno Bonneau. I was amazed as to the depth of residual resentment directed towards him.
I also noted that instead of standing in Division 10 and be accountable via the election box, he chose to cut and run and stand in Division 9 as the Mayor's endorsed candidate, undermining his tag of "Independent", where he has not yet woven first hand, his web of duplicity and double speak.
Consistent with this form Cr Sno Bonneau has erected his corflute side by side...."two faces have I..
which one will speak today."
You wont snow me Sno.

Anonymous said...

There are about 100 Clifton Beach people that think they are "special" and that they deserve to live in a "special" suburb.

They want (and expect) all the trappings of a big city but none of it in "their" suburb.

Factman says that's crap !!!

You are a part of a growing vibrant city so get used to it.

You are not "special".

You are no better than your neighbours at Trinity, Kewarra and Palm Cove.

Take a deep breath you Clifton Beach dreamers, and accept that you are just a small suburb in the city of Cairns.

Don't worry though, KB, Unity and the rest of the city of Cairns still loves ya.

Anonymous said...

Nothing "vibrant" about Clifton Waters and Clifton Views, Factman.
The residents have a right to be angry.

Anonymous said...

So, once again we have further proof of how out of touch Byrne and Unity are with the community. Refusing to even give them the time to air their concerns.

Kb has also declined invitations to 4 truly public debates, where anyone, actual Cairns residents, can lob questions at him without belonging to some sort of club.

Further proof he holds we residents with such disrespect, he hasn't the balls to front at a truly public debate.

But we all know why, because he would simply be shot down in flames in front of a big crowd and all media, and we can't have that leading into an election. What a pathetic example of a 'community leader' we have had running our city.

Amazing really, for someone who used to be in the army, he is truly gutless.

Anonymous said...

To Anon (posted 6:44pm 1/3/08)
FYI I am not a candidate. I am simply a voter in Division 10 who went along to try and hear the speakers. Shame the booing, yelling and downright rudeness prevented me from doing this. If the organisers and attendees had shown respect for ALL canidates and not just a certain few, P-T and KB would've stayed and answered their questions. What would you have done if you were in their shoes? Bet you would've hightailed it out of there too. Those attending this meeting had no intention of listening to anything P-T and KB said. I'm not for either P-T or KB and had in fact almost made up my mind to vote for Julia. Was very disappointed in her and will have to rethink my choice.
The last meeting of the Douglas Shire Council is on Tuesday and how Julia's suporters conduct themselves in the Chambers will probably have a big influence on my, and many others, votes. We have previously seen them show outrude rudeness for other Councillors especially when the media have been present. Know Julia would be embarrassed by their antics so Julia, if you read this please don't let the last meeting be a petty and embarrassing display by your supporters.

Anonymous said...

I thought the meeting was very good and it’s a pity we can only vote for one person because all the candidates spoke well including Bill Phillips-Turner. He obviously had no idea of the depth of angst within the local community and accordingly when he stated that he would continue the excellent work of Councillor Bonneau the audience reacted. It was not directed at Bill personally but at what he said which came as a shock to everyone. Given the long standing issues within Clifton Beach in particular, one could say it was insensitive and it says much about the Unity party and its failure to communicate the true situation to its own candidates. If he had chosen to stay and talk with members of the community after the meeting he would have understood and found to his surprise that contrary to what he has been told the local community is not full of ratbags and troublemakers but ordinary decent people who really care about their community and environment and what’s occurring, not just in their own area but everywhere. For anyone to claim that there was bias against a particular candidate is absolute rubbish.

Anonymous said...

"Given the long standing issues within Clifton Beach".

What long standing issues ???
What's so different about Clifton Beach ???

What issues are different to Clifton Beach and any other suburb of Cairns and Port Douglas ???

The only difference that Factman can see is that Clifton Beach has by far the greatest concentration of whingers in the whole of the Cairns region.

Perhaps a dose of Queensland Housing Commision homes in the area is needed to bring some reality to the 100 air heads that live there.

Anonymous said...

We know for sure that you dont live at the northern beaches factman because even you would know how much of a dismal performance Sno has put on in the recent years
lt wont be hard for Janine to put on a better effort than he has
As a division 9 voter l have speaking to friends , neighbors etc from Kewarra and the majority want Sno to GO

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon who said that the booing was not directed at Bill directly. It only occurred when he mentioned Mr Bonneau's name. It is a great pity that the Unity Team and KB DID NOT or CHOOSE NOT to accept the fact that our current Councillor has raised the ire of many in our community over his lies, secret meetings, divisionary tactics, pro-development stance that has seen him not only encourage but vote for the monstrosities on Clifton Road and many other unfavourable developments. Lets not forget his recent advertisement in the Multiplex brochure which if anything, shows his close connection to this particular developer.

Factman is wrong when he says there is nothing special about Clifton Beach. He is wrong because many residents care about what happens in our suburb, they want some say as to what goes on in our suburb, they want our suburb to be livable, sustainable and to retain some of the characteristics of why we all chose to live there in the first. They want the developers out of the creek systems, they want a monitored policy on tree removal (not the current clear-every-tree in-sight policy, which graces all our recent developments and then because of oversize, these hideous tall buildings cannot be appropriately screened. They want many things all of which are basic to other Councils, but it seems not to this one. There is something very special about Clifton and Palm Cove and it will only stay that way if residents, stand up and be counted on these issues and it matters now, more than ever. Factman is also wrong on another level when he says that
"The only difference that Factman can see is that Clifton Beach has by far the greatest concentration of whingers in the whole of the Cairns region." It is just that other suburbs may not have had the development issues that we have had to contend with such as rock walls, and in today's hectic world, apathy is a disease with a "if it doesn't affect me, then, I am not interested" approach. Many northern beach residents have been affected in more than one way and so the level of outspokenness is higher in our community than most.

So Bill Turner-Phillips if you are reading this, then be assured of one thing, you made a simple mistake yesterday by mentioning Sno's name, and people reacted with frustration and anger. We do not want to dwell in the past now, we have to move on, the community of Clifton definately know what they don't want, and that is another Councillor like Sno, so if you can offer someone who is approachable, honest, open, happy to communicate with the residents and whingers alike, willing to attend some community meetings and carry on what you were saying yesterday in the meeting, then you can turn this situation around easily. Perhaps if you do a little homework of your own to find out about our community, you may find, a very different story to the one you have been told by KB and no doubt Sno! After all, we do not call him Sno Job for nothing. Good Luck Bill - over to you.

Anonymous said...

factman, aka kbcumbreath - you such a f**king dikwad! F*k off with your worthless posts, your oh so obvious bias makes any argument in them meaningless. KB is off enjoying his weekend because his has youm his dikwad, scanning CairnsBlog and posting for him. Why are you now with your family like KB? Do u put KB ahead of your family, oh well he pays your bills so i suppose its a case of KB says jump and factman says how high masser! Your are a pathetic dikwad factman, aka kncumbreath!

Anonymous said...

If Clifton Beach has the highest proportion of whingers Factman then why did your strong leader KB roll over to them and other beachfront millionaires and allow them to be the biggest beneficiaries of unfair rates policy changes?

Anonymous said...

What a cavalier attitude you display factman!

It is this sort of dismissive approach that has the Mayor and his Disunity team in political turmoil.

If you were worth your salt you would have done your homework and advised your late arriving ill prepared Mayor and his candidate for Division 10, of the unfriendly terrain that layed ahead.

Furthermore, if you were a diligent and conscience servant you would have advised your master that the northern beaches of Cairns like Port Douglas have unique natural attributes and should be treated with added environmental sensitivity.

But in typical arogant style your masters voice adopted that "crash or crash through" mentality and we well know what happened. And the best is yet to come my friend.

Your Masters Voice and his adherents fate is nigh.

The political tsunami that you have helped to create and nurture is about to engulf you, your master and his cronies.

When faced with such imminent adversity political rats usually leave the sinking ship in haste!!

I eagerly await your retreat.

Anonymous said...

To Anon (Sat Mar 01, 11:13:00 PM),

I am also a voter in Division 10 and I haven't made my mind up as to who I'll be voting for either. I can tell you, however, that it won't be Bill Philips-Turner. Nor will it be any of the current standing councillors from Douglas Shire. With the exception of Mike and Melinda, the others are the very reason we are being amalgamated. Unfortunately for Melinda, she has been tarred with the same brush! So who's left...Dixie? Danny? Pete? and Julia? Shouldn't be too hard to figure it out!
By the way thanks for the reminder on the last Council meeting...I'll be there to say farewell!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful picture of byrne trying to see past his "Verandah over the Toolshed " to make sure he wore his running shoes, not a nice development sight.

Anonymous said...

Warren Herkess

Vice President; Combined Beaches Community Association Inc,

As hosts for this meeting we CBCA Inc are honoured that all the candidates took time out of their busy schedules to attend. All candidates spoke well, presenting their views and expressing their dedications to both the residents and environs of the division. We wish all candidates the best for the up-coming election and look forward to a good working relationship with the new Councillor.
As MC, following the agenda was important thus allowing all candidates to address the audience. It is however impossible to control the emotions of residents who have been disillusioned for long time. It is to this end that one candidate took offence to the resident’s reaction. We, as an Association can not and will not apologise for any for the emotions expressed by members of the community.
Division 10 was aptly referred to as the Jewel; it contains great diversities of people, business interests and environmental sensitivities and will require the residents to stand behind their councillor giving them a greater voice.
It also makes the choosing of our new councillor all the more important and with such quality candidates, all we can say is “Good Luck” choose well.

Should anyone wish to contact the Association directly our email is

Anonymous said...

It's absolutely incredible just how selfish you Clifton Beach residents are ...

"It is just that other suburbs may not have had the development issues that we have had to contend with such as rock walls"

Let me tell you that if the rest of the residents of Cairns hadn't dug deep in their pockets and found the $$$millions required to build some protection for you, your precious suburb would have been inundated by the sea.

Oh ... I guess Kevin's to blame for nature's natural process called erosion.

God you are all so selfish !!!

Anonymous said...

Lets not forget that Jason O'Brien faced a similar situation at the public outcry rally at Port Douglas when the amalgamation was first announced.

The crowd there was much bigger and more hostile than this episode, yet at least O'Brien, whether you like him or not, had the balls to stay and cop the flak, not high-tail it like a gutless Unity team member.

Anonymous said...

Just like the good lapdog Councillors, factman is continuing Kev’s gospel. You see their charter is to divide and conquer. So if he can get a percentage of the readers to believe that Clifton Beach residents are whingers, rich or obnoxious he’s achieved his objective. Unfortunately for you factman, the residents Cairns and readers of this Blog are more intelligent than to allow themselves to fall prey of this tactic.
Perhaps Kev should re-up his verbal judo skills before he ventures back out into those wild suburbs will all those real people with real opinions?
At least there is work for the factman and kev once they’re out of office, Udo can always extra invertebrates in his tableland zoo, ugly though they might be!

Anonymous said...

Really Factman sometimes you are loose on facts. I seem to recall that residents at Clifton were against the building of a rockwall. Rock walls are known to accelerate erosion and are notoriously expensive to maintain. I also seem to recall that residents in Clifton are ratepayers too and therefore have not only contributed but will also continue to contribute.

Of course Kevin is not to blame for nature's natural processes but I don't think that includes the questionable Council decision this week to cut another entrance to the sea for Deep Creek. Instead of water flowing in at a moderate pace and meandering into Deep Creek it surges straight in from the ocean and is ripping away more of the bank and exposing mud. It hasn't stopped the erosion effects in the vicinity of the Kewarra Beach Resort and in fact this evening more trees further along are falling into the sea. The sand groyne built to separate the Kewarra entrance from the newly constructed entrance has already been breached and the island of sand created by bulldozing another channel is disappearing. Well done, I suspect that the entrance to Deep Creek may soon very well stretch from Kewarra Beach to Clifton Beach. Nature's way I think not.

Anonymous said...

It was clear from the meeting, that Bill honestly did know what he said, that created such an outcry. It is not his fault that his boss is not honest and open with him. These are some of the same reasons why KV and his unity chums must go. They are not honest and open fullstop. They do not understand these concepts, exspecially KB and Sno.

I do not believe Bill to be gutless, nor did he high-tail it from the meeting of his own volition. He was dragged from the meeting by KB. KB had a hissy fit, threw his toys out of the cot, chucked a spack attack, lost his temper and showed everyone just what a bully boy he is.

Anonymous said...

Dear Factman,

I hope you won’t be offended but as a community minded, caring individual I feel I have to do this. As you know our Mayor emphasises that community engagement is a two way process so you see I wouldn’t be fulfilling my civic duty if I remained silent. Um, well I’ve noticed, well, it’s kind of glaringly obvious actually, that you have an irrational fixation with the people of Clifton Beach. It’s not at all healthy and I really do think you need help but it’s okay, don’t panic because I have the answer. I’m reliably informed that Dr Phil is just the man for the job and can work wonders. I’m sure you feel better now knowing there’s hope. I know I do. You see my self-therapy book suggests that to overcome my feelings of discrimination and self-worthlessness from being labelled an airhead, a dreamer, a whinger and selfish, I should carry out a good deed so I thought of you. There, I’ve done it. Oh, I feel better already and you know I even feel a little bit special!!

from a Clifton Dreamer

Anonymous said...

Thankyou Dear Clifton Dreamer.

I am glad you are feeling better.

I am told there are a considerable majority at Clifton Beach that also felt better when Council reallocated capital works money from other suburbs to provde protection from the ravages of the sea.

I guess it's just a few at Clifton that expect the world owes them a favour.

Now I'll give you something to worry about ... perhaps Udo's done a deal with the Queensland Housing Commission for 80% of those delightful units on Clifton Beach Road.
That'll go down well ... hehehe

Anonymous said...

Oh Dear,

Here we go again Factman...It is clear that your grasp of mathematics is on a par with your understanding (or lack thereof) of Reliablity Centred Maintenance.

The 22 beachfront property owners, who were the ONLY residents who knew anything about the rock wall hardly constitute a "majority". Neither could they be called representative of the Clifton Beach Community. For that to be a "majority", it would require Clifton Beach to only have 43 residents.

Everyone in Clifton Beach sympathised with the flooded householders and wanted some action taken, BUT they also wanted to be consulted, as was required under the Council's Community Engagement Policy. This NEVER happened.

Council is quite happy to accept the views of this minority group when it fits their agenda.

Perhaps Council should listen to the People instead of labelling concerned citizens as whingers and ratbgag troublemakers.

The 120 people at the Tennis Club on Saturday are also not a "majority", neither were the more than 300 people who signed the petition about the ripping up of Upolo Esplanade, but they are a far more representative sample of our Community.

Pete Johnston
Independent Candidate
Division 10

Anonymous said...

For Factman,
You and KB won't be around to worry about that,you will still be in therapy and KB will in China (hopefully)!

Anonymous said...

Factman has a bad case of OCD - Obsessive Clifton Disorder.

Seek help before it is too late Factman! It could do your head in.