Saturday 28 June 2008

Pyning from left field

It seems some Councillors have little ability to practise what they preach.
Prior to the election, all campaigned of various platforms of openness, 'sustainable' development, more facilities for the people.
However Councillor Robert Pyne, was rather angry on Thursday afternoon, following a meeting of Councillors, he walked out. Well, as much as one can in a wheelchair.
"For the first time since the election I have had time to scratch myself, so I got vocal on an issue I care about," he said.
While Robert apologised, he said he would keep the commitment about Council's fiscal position as far as revenue goes.
"However, I will be honest in my regret at not being able to deliver for people in my area on any of their issues," he said in a email to Councillors later that evening.
Robert was passionate in his election campaign to offer and enact real change for his community. He said that he will listen to his local residents, and has already held community meetings that never existed before.
Pyne won every booth in the Division, toppling incumbent Deputy Mayor Terry James taking 63% of the vote to his opponent's 27% in the March Regional Council election.
With the Council's first budget to be handed down in the next couple of weeks, with a predicted rate rise, will undoubtedly be another promise lost for Mayor Val Schier. During the campaign she said under her leadership, there would be no rate rise, beyond CPI.
Just over three months in the city's top job, Mayor Schier is now leaving a trail of promises not fulfilled in her wake. It is now becoming clearer that she is not showing decisive leadership and caring forward those aspirations why people voted for her and the values that Cairns 1st was all about.
Pyne says he understands the need for discipline regarding expenditure but is angry with little priority being given to the local community.
"[I understand] being unable to deliver on costly things like a Forest Gardens Community Room or toilets in the rec oval, or bitumen on Forster Road, let alone the badly needed upgrades of Progress and Sheehy Road. After all there is only so much money," he said.
"However, not to be able to deliver on any minor Division 3 projects either," Robert said makes him very disappointed and disillusioned.
"The residents of Currawong Street are wanting a safer street; folks in White Rock wanting shade cloth to prevent their kids getting sun cancer; bus shelters in White Rock and Woree; traffic calming in Mt Sheridan or helping the young lady with the ‘walking bus’ wanting a safe pathway to walk on," says Robert Pyne.
"The list goes on and on, but there is no point in continuing it. Very disappointing. Maybe I have expectations that are too high," Robert says.
It is refreshing to see such openness and honestly in a Councillor.
I think a few could learn more about the real ethics behind holding public office. What it means and what you're entrusted to do for the people that put you there.


Anonymous said...

Pyne is turning into a dud, a shallow thinker like his old man.

Wants cars back driving thru city place on Shields and Lake Street? How absurd. We don't need any more cars dumped onto the Esplanade, which is what opening Shields would mean.

Now he's whining that all his "promises" couldn't be met. Somehow he thinks there is a bottomless bag of money.

Michael Moore calls it openness. I call it stupid naivete.

Janine Aitken said...

Yes Mount Peters Realist, It is important to protect that concrete slab we call city place, and when the transit centre goes through it will be important to block any real access so those retailers dont survive.

Pull your head in! footpaths around cairns need sorting out, shade cloths are essential to provide safe user friendly playing spaces other wise years from now council's will find themselves busy in court, defending claims of accidents caused by dodgie footpaths and skin cancer cases that council contributed to.

If not to fix up these things, where are our rates going?

I think Councillor Pyne is doing a great job, maybe the rest of the council should start to follow his lead.

Anonymous said...

It would appear that our new Council is developing into various groups or parties.They do not appear to be working together as a
team.Both Blake and Bonneau may be fueling the discord that is now becoming a part of this new Council
If Val does not take a firm stand it will be difficult for this Council to act as a team and accomplish the wishes of the people.

Anonymous said...

Go, Rob Pyne - it is extremely refeshing to see someone in politics so passionate. Keep going mate. And while I'm at it - how's about Cairns not being only Australia's most liveable city, but to have the honour of being Australia's most wheelchair-friendly city, eh?
However, on a larger scale,I am indeed very concerned about the developments approved, the development retrospective approval in Clifton Beach, and of course the potential rates rises (mine went up by 150% under Byrne, so I could do with nilcho rises, thanks).
However, I really do think it is time for Val Schier to stop with the 'gently, gently' consensus approach and start kicking some arse around the Council chambers, otherwise all may be lost so many of us have worked so hard for. Bryne has already said in the "Post" the other week he wouldn't rule out another run at Mayor, and it could very well be that the Bonneau/Blake/Cochrane bloc at Council is in part creating a potential for him to return. Linda Coops might be in on it too, as she did run under Byrne's flag. In fact, I wouldn't put it past the evil developer/capitalist types to be funding a staged coup. It would seem that the "Cairns Post" is still in Byrne's pocket, considering the amount of Val-Bashing and negative reportage on the Council's actions. I ran into Val the other week, & she said the "Post" won't run a lot of the refutations they have tried to publish. Interesting. Where's Gary Schofield? He used to do some wonderful spinning for Byrne, but maybe he's still on Fat Kev's payroll, too.
I know Cairns First hasn't the majority vote in Council, but I think Ms. Val should be pushing very hard for the kind of reforms she promised, & chucking a few major wobblies along the way.
It is absolutely ridiculous that so many of the Council's votes during meetings are the determinations of the various Committees, and almost a rubber-stamping of their decisions. Not good enough (eg. Clifton Beach decision). It's not good enough to say "well, this is OK under the Cairns Plan or the State Govt Integrated Planning Act, we can't oppose it". Bullshit, Council This is OUR town - let's take erronenous developers to court. Get tough. Spend some of our well-earnt rates on blasted solicitors. Let us have real debate.
The first couple of months of the new Council I was prepared to sit back for a little, & let everyone get oriented. Time enough now, folks. It's obvious Byrne has not just slunk away, he is waiting in the wings & refuelling for another bout.

Anonymous said...

Go Rob Pyne - you haven't set your sights too high. It's all those small things that make up a community, & the amenity of those living there. You are in purest essence listening to the needs of the community & trying to meet them.
Yes, that's what our rates are for. To make things better. At Yorkeys Knob we've been trying to get extra public toilets for about 2 years - one lot at the southern end of the beach, where there's a lot of kitsurfers & dog walkers, & one lot at the community centre parklands - where there's a cricket pitch, BMX track, half-basketball court, tennis courts, kids playground, but no dunnies. Margaret Cochrane. has said it's out of the question. How much DOES it take to build a couple of dunnies, especially with water & sewage nearby? At our last monthly Residents Association meeting last week), there were at least 3 residents sitting there who each pay about $5,000 a year in rates (thanks to the Byrne 150% rate rise a couple of years back) & yet, nup, no dunnies.
Mr. Rob - you go, mate. Keep it up. You have many people behind you. And if you have the energy, please start agitating for Cairns being the most 'wheelchair-friendly regional city' - that would mean a lot, to so many people.