Thursday 12 June 2008

George of the concrete jungle

It's time to go... Villa Romana!

Yesterday the Cairns Regional Council agreed to instruct the footpath-hungry restaurant to knock down the illegal 53sqm extension on the Aplin Street footpath .

I've blogged ad nauseam about this one. It was a juicy pre-election subject. Nothing more clearly illustrated why the last Council was out of control and out of touch with government for and by the people.

New Mayor Val has done at least two complete verbal back flips and a nice crash landing on this one. Although she's always privately wanted the thing ripped down, as soon as she was Chief Banana, she toned down a direct call for Villa to be no more.

The connections with the previous mayor were well-documented by media other than this Blog. Everyone smelt that Kev and George were playing footies under Table 23. Maybe we'll never know.

Kev blamed the private certifer. George said he did everything by the book. Then and now Council CEO Noel Briggs said it all happened behind a screened fence, whilst they were stealing public land. Me thinks it all happened behind closed doors.

I was there the week prior to the March election, when I helped set up a nice publicity stunt. Richie bought along the hard hats. I supplied the jack hammer. I was going to plug it in for some real effect until some PC lefties said something about workplace health and safety.

Dianne, Paul, Mark, Janine came along for the photo opp. Most of the then Cairns 1st gang. Oh and Val. She was stage left. Strategically.

Val said that the election week stunt was not about telling Villa Romana that their illegal extension had to go, but about how the then Council didn't manage such approvals and, by default, allowed such cock ups to occur. Well, that's how I interpreted her words.

Actually, it was about both. In my book, it was all about this as a clear example of how certainly businesses can get preferential treatment. If you follow the audit trail of this one, you'll see that the original approval was promoted and agreed by the former mayor. The majority of the previous Council subsequently voted against that.

So what next? Well Villa has been served a Remedy Breach notice, under Local Law 22. The owner has to rip down the external wall and gift access back to the public thoroughfare no later than 13th August, in eight weeks time.

Owner George has said he will fight this order in court. I've already booked front row seats. I might even enjoy this one more than watching Paul Freebody defend his defamation case.

It will be a public bitch slapping, the likes that Cairns hasn't seem. We never had this type of legal fun under the last Council's tenure.

Bring on the pasta and lattes!


Anonymous said...

actually this issue could blow-up and bring the Council down via Qld Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation because Schier and Councillors have taken the action they have as part of an orchestrated campaign based on their personal issues, that is they have used the Council to "annoy and upset" other parties via the Villa Romana issue. This Villa Romana issue aint got nothing to do with public space but personal vendettas.

Anonymous said...

CMC? Nothing to do with public space?
Are you a practicing idiot or does it come naturally? Ian.
Defending the indefensible.
I hope George's boys do a number on Kev for costing him big $.
I heard John Macca on the talkback show speaking (in between ads for Villa) very unhappily about the council's decision, poor Macca, the deconstruction noise will be a real down for you as you are eating breakfast at Villa. My heart bleeds for you and George and Kev. NOT!!

Anonymous said...

George will argue ... "what about the Apre Grill Bar at Palm Cove? encroachment?".

DNR have proposed a 30 year lease subject to some minor footpath modifications.

George will argue, "what's good for them is good for me".

The guy I feel sorry for is the owner of the upstairs Tapas Bar.
George has blocked off his entrance from view from the esplanade where 90% of the foot traffic pass.

He is the real loser.

This ain't over yet.

Janine Aitken said...

Fact = footpaths = public space and access.
Fact = villa blocked the footpath.
Solution = Any business who does this should have to unblock the footpath to allow easy access....

Anonymous said...

A very interesting observation regarding Apres Beach Bar and Grill in Palm Cove as the whole deck forces people to walk around the structure into the street. I wonder if this complies with Council.

Anonymous said...

Villa became the Office of Coops Cooper and still is. On a Friday Lunchtime ex Mayor Kevin Byrne occupied a number of tables (check out the size of the blimp) and this dragged in various sycophants, hangers on and mutual masturbation freaks. Along with these people came the mobile hairpiece Macca who now will demonstrate his complete impartiality and ensure his diminishing band of listeners are given his version coincidentally followed by a Villa Ad break. Good old Blakey actually surprised everyone with his comments but then a quick check revealed he did not get the furniture contract plus he actually does appreciate good food so Villa would never be on his radar.

Anonymous said...

Shops and restaurants along the front of Trilogy are paying between $1250 and $1400 per square metre rental on prme real estate to their landlords. That equates to around $74,200 rent a year. George Contradeal pays about $400 "goods on footpath" licence. This is bullshit and a rippoff of public lands. Recently, Shenanigans Pub was recently knocked back on a road closure. Macca should watch his comments are not in breach of broadcasting laws ... cash for comment
Macca time you took a reality check. You are fast losing credibility.

Anonymous said...

Leave Macca alone, sob!

Anonymous said...

Discussion about McKenzie's penchant for "ads" disguised as "commentary" are appropriate - he's already under investigation by ACMA for Glencorp's comments on the election and his "persecution" by Clifton Beach residents, which was clearly paid for although disguised by him. I'm sure ACMA (who have found McKenzie guilty of other violations before) will be happy to receive additional complaints about this broadcast and cheap-wigged charlatan.

Anonymous said...

leave macca's wig alone! sob.

Anonymous said...

I am deeply offended by the references to Maccas Wig. He spent a lot of time and effort chosing this Wig from my store and it is a poor reflection on my business with this constant criticism.
Regards Cyrus
Cyrus Carpets

Anonymous said...

This absolutely stinks and as a born and bred local who's lived globally this is a great indicator of the rapid downward spiral Cairns is in, in comparison to other 'tourist' type coastal towns