Sunday 27 July 2008

Cairns Mayor wants to keep our Yacht building

Earlville residents Peter and Elaine Kemp, who who have lived in Cairns for 30 years, wrote to Cairns Mayor Val Schier and Cairns Regional Councillors, to express the strong feelings about to the embattled demise Yacht Club.

"A decision has been made to demolish the Yacht Club building," Peter & Elaine Kemp wrote. "According to the Oxford Dictionary, to demolish means to throw away, destroy or overthrow. This sums up exactly what is happening to the Club and it reflects the blatant disregard for its historical and cultural uniqueness."

The Kemps have been active social members of the Yacht Club for a long time. Peter Kemp says that during the birth of tourism in the Cairns area, its appeal was 'real and wonderful.'

"Our visitors did not come here for the five star hotels and highrise facilities - they did not exist. The esplanade was exactly that - a natural unspoiled esplanade," Peter Kemp says to our Councillors.

He says that marlin fishing was one of the attractions amid an environment that was truly appreciated and valued by our visitors of these [earlier] times.

"Some of the more famous visitors were Errol Flyn, Lee Marvin, Zane Gray and Bob And Dolly Dwyer," Kemp recalls. "The Game Fishing Club and the Yacht Club were their playground - they could choose any of the wonders of the World but where did they choose? Cairns. That says it all."

"Now lets not get bogged down by the apparently insurmountable difficulties in reversing government decisions. Governments overturn decisions all the time,whenever it suits them. The reasons for changing the rules are usually motivated by any means to increase government revenue at the expense of the needs and values of those that are less influential. And where have the gone? - those smiley, sympathetic candidates who appeared to actually listen to their voters concerns."

Peter Kemp says that the clock is ticking, the big revenue dollars are not far away. "Shame on you if you are a part of this," he warns our Council.

Mayor Val Schier has been a recent vocal supporter of saving the Yacht Club building. She supported a Council motion three weeks ago to commence 'urgent talks' with the State Government. Schier also supported the decision to engage the Port Authority to save and protect the building and land for the community.

Val responded by email directly to Peter & Elaine Kemp.

However, Schier's response, although being a whisker over sympathetic, is still 'very anaemic', says long-time Yacht Club building campaigner Ray Taylor.

"A far more robust approach to these destructive dudes is essential," he says. "Mayor Schier needs to realise the level of clout she has in the form of local support for this issue."

"Furthermore, she now represents a very large area of Queensland, the full power potential of which, I believe, has yet been realised."

Ray Taylor [pictured] discussed with Councillor Linda Cooper, a supporter of keeping the building, discuss the long fight to overturn the Queensland State Government's decision.
  • From: Schier Cr. Val
    Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 4:06 PM
    Subject: RE: Cairns Yacht Club

    I concur with much of what you say and was a strong advocate for the building to be listed on the heritage register from where it would have been able to attract renovation funding.

    Unfortunately, the previous Council did not support the listing and neither did Advance Cairns or the Cairns Port Authority which made the decision that the yacht club building would not be part of their long-term City Port development.

    I would like to say that this Council is in a position to save the yacht club but it's a big ask as the CPA and the state government seem determined not to overturn their previous decisions to sell and redevelop the land.

    Council has asked the CEO and Chair of the CPA (now Cairns Ports) to come and address us to give us a better opportunity to advocate on behalf of the many people who believe that the yacht club building should be preserved.


    Cr Val Schier
    Cairns Regional Council

    Phone: 07 4044 3083
    Fax: 07 4044 3049

The Cairns Regional Council voted unanimously three weeks ago to commence urgent talks with the State Government, with a view to stop the plans of the Port Authority.

However, last week's Council vote agreed to commence talks directly with the CPA received support for every Councillor, except Alan Blake, who's Division encompasses the Yacht Club building site. This is interesting and a real betrayal as a local representative of the people. He obviously wants to throw his weight behind business colleagues who stand to gain financially if the high rise is built in the place of this historic building.

This is without doubt a galvanising subject for our community. This Council have the ability to influence and reverse the decision. We've got to fight and retain what is ours. This place of ours belongs to us, not somebody who governs 1400km away.


Anonymous said...

I was told Blakey also now lives in one of the new Hedley blocks down near the wharf development area near the yacht club? This is one of his voters he has lost already and not just on this issue!

Anonymous said...

Blakey is living in an apartment in that street block
He is the councilor for the CBD l thought
since Marg Gill retired