Friday, 13 June 2008

Kev 1. Val: -1

Bet you never thought I'd say it. But I will. Kevn Byrne is right.

Well, at least when yesterday he slammed Val about her lack of ability to comment on Villa Romana, prior to yesterday's Planning and Environment meeting.

I agree that the mayor, in a long line up of verbal faux pas, opened her mouth before considering what she was saying. More importantly, Val said something before taking council with her media adviser.

She was caught telling the Cairns Post that her Councillors had an agreement to not discuss anything before a Council meeting. What the?

This statement that was not only categorically incorrect, it was going to make her look rather silly. I dunno if Val knows this, but the Cairns Post reporters probably have the telephone numbers of the other 10 Councillors.

Clever loud mouth and media slut Robert Pyne was the first off the rank for a photo opp, to say he would speak out about anything.

I recall Robert was one of only two Councillors to object to the 530 GlenCorp apartments that Council approved last month to go ahead on Woree's old drive in movie site.

Along with Cr Linda Cooper (who would have thought), he defended his decision against the development saying that local infrastructure wasn't there to support such a congested development.

Around 1000 car parks will need to be provided to service this complex. This is on top of 600 vehicle allocations on the neighbouring City Waters, or Shitty Waters as I christened it. Also built by GlenCorp.

If this was 1939 Germany, some of our Cairns developers would be fully employed.

What was amazing about this most recent approval, was that new Councillors Schier, Lesina, and Forsyth all campaigned on a ticket of sustainable development. That's why they were elected.

And this is called sustainable development? Gimme a break girls!

They will no doubt defend their ill-informed vote by saying that under the Cairns Plan, the application was allowed.

Bullshit. If we elect representatives to challenge and question the type of community we want, it is these type of decisions that affect us most.

I know Pyne regularly engages his constituents. He represents their decisions, to the best of his ability. He says it is them that he's there for, so it's an obligation.

At the same Council meeting, approval was granted for truck load of apartments, stacked four stories high, on top one house block. The site hugs wetland and native vegetation that will be affected buy this structure. This is in Cr Margaret Cochrane's patch. Or should I say, the Deputy Mayor's Division.

And did she consult with the neighbouring residents in Wattle Street? Did she ask the Yorkeys Knob Resident's' Association to have input? Did he ask Pam Bigelow and her team that campaigned four years earlier against the illegal and notorious Alistair Toma and his South Beach disaster that Council endorsed and approved, only to be thrown out in the Environment Court.

Well, no. Margaret didn't consult the community on this one. Amazing. We've only just had an election on the wave of wanting more openness and accountability.

How hard is it, after being a Councillor for such a long time, to have some systems in place to seek feedback about issues that are coming before a meeting? A large majority of the population has email access. There's local shop and community centre noticeboards.

Someone needs to give these Councillors a 101 lesson in representation.

I know Division 9 Councillor Sno Bonneau infamously said to many that he's there to make decisions, not to keep consulting with the people. Maybe Margaret and Sno have had one too many Lattes at an Edge Hill cafe lately?

When will these $100,000 elected representatives represent us and our views? Maybe they simply don't give a toss.

5 comments:

Mrs Bear said...

Here Here!!!! I sat at a meeting where Margaret told us all that it the Wattle St development wasnt something she wanted to see and that the residents of Yorkeys would be consulted with.... Good on Rob Pyne though for sticking up for whats right, and further Good on Linda Cooper! And finial good on the blog for telling it like it REALLY is, we missed you.

NorthernBeachesWarrior said...

Unfortunately, the problem with Cllr Bonneau is that he continues to make the wrong decisions because he does not consult with his residents, nor does he attend any community meetings. His absence was clearly noted at the recent public meeting at Kewarra Beach to discuss the re-development of Paradise Palms issue. He continues to not represent his constituency on these important issues and continues his track record on poor community engagement for which he should and will be held accountable for.

Anonymous said...

530 little concrete boxes on the old Drive-in site. Sheeeeeesh!

Jude Johnston said...

A couple of notable improvements since Val's takeover is that we now have the Officers Reports for the Agenda items at the same time as the Councillors get them - ie a week before the Council Meeting. In the bad old days we weren't allowed to see these, censorship by the ex Mayor. The Councillors would never have commented on the Agenda items until after the Meeting - there was an "embargo" until after the meeting. The fact that we now know what is going to be discussed at the Meetings, allows the public to put forward their case and email the Councillors - previously only Developers were able to do this because they were the only ones that knew what was likely to happen.
The other notable change is that Combined Beaches Assoc Inc at Clifton Beach held two Public Meetings, the first to discuss Clifton Road debacle and 200 people attended this meeting. The Mayor, Div 10 Councillor Julia Leu and Jason O'Brien also were in attendance. The Mayor, Councillor Leu, Steve Wettenhall, Jason OBrien, and even Peter Tabulo fronted to take his share of the angst over the Preliminary Approval application for MCU of Paradise Palms. Notable by his absence was Councillor Bonneau, Margaret Cochrane sent her apologies.
The "culture" needs to be changed in the Elephant House. I say lets give Val a bit more time to get her bum firmly in the chair before we start too much criticism. I sent an email to all the Councillors about an Agenda Item and the Mayor, Councillor's Leu and Pyne were the only ones to respond and acknowledge.

lillianatyorkeys said...

To Jude Johnston & above - yes, let's let them all settle in, but I appreciate Michael Moore for picking up some flaws already.... keep em on their toes.
Sno Bonneau - well, well-known he speaks with forked tongue, or not at all, if possible! He knows if he'd run in the Council elections in his previous Division, he would have been history. Interesting. Wonder what his agenda is. Sno? You out there?
Yes - I agree there is already more transparency - something that the Byrne Council never embraced (tummy too fat?). Although the Cairns Post cronies continue to do Val-bashing at every turn, Val & Co can hold their heads up because thinking people can suss this. OK, they are going to make mistakes (let us inform them), yes, they will make the odd bad decision (drive in application - OK - well, be it on your head - maybe not to scare the developers off eh?) but at LEAST we do have a more interesting & culsultative council.
NB - If your local member isn't useful, pick another. They're there for you all.