Wednesday 30 July 2008

Nothing like a good Rally

Last week Bryan Law, as a representative of PADYC (People Against Demolishing the Yacht Club) met with Neil Quinn, the CEO of Cairns Ports, explicitly to arrange a time to meet with the Board, and co-oincide a public rally so they could address the public.
This would be an opportunity for his officials to hear the concerns of the public, and to address them directly.

As Bryan recounted, it wasn't easy to get a straight answer when the Cairns Ports Board were meeting next. He was was fobbed off, and then told that the Board didn’t have a schedule of regular meetings. "In any event, you aren't entitled to the information," Neil Quinn's secretary told him. "You conduct amounts to harassment, and you aren't welcome in the building, and you should leave forthwith or we will call the Police."

He followed it up with this letter...

  • 24 July 2008

    Neil Quinn
    Cairns Port Authority,

    Dear Neil,

    Protest Rally at CPA Building, Grafton St, Wednesday 13 August 2008, 1.00 pm

    During our conversation of 16 July 2008 you undertook to make yourself and CPA Board Chairman Clive Skarott available to respond to a community rally which PADYC will conduct opposing the demolition of the historic Cairns yacht Club building on Wharf St.

    PADYC has decided this rally will be conducted during lunch on Wednesday 13 August 2008. We will assemble at 12.30 pm at ANZAC Park (an example of where inappropriate development has disfigured Cairns’ heritage despite the promises of politicians), walk past the Yacht Club building, and arrive at your building, cnr Grafton and Hartley streets, at approx 1pm.

    I expect 80 or so people will attend the Rally at your building, and all will be briefed in advance to maintain calm good order and a peaceful demeanour while expecting you and Clive to respond to our concerns with some substance.

    At this stage I would like Rally attendees to enter the foyer of your building and have a chance to inspect the Cityport model you have on display there. One of our number will give a short (5 minute) exposition of why the bland medium-rise concrete and glass buildings shown in the model DO NOT constitute a “a vibrant nucleus for social and economic activity within Cairns” as claimed on the CPA website.

    Our group will maintain that a large number of Cairns residents (probably a majority) would prefer to see the human scale and heritage rich Yacht Club building refurbished on its existing site as a facility for locals and visitors.

    We will then provide you and Clive with an opportunity to explain the CPA’s intentions, and its reasons for proceeding with them against the wishes of the local community.

    The exercise will conclude with a show of hands indicating which outcome those present prefer, after which everyone will leave peacefully.

    PADYC undertakes to conduct this Rally in a calm, deliberate and peaceful manner – during which all CPA staff, and visitors to the CPA building, will be able to go about their business without hindrance or harassment of any kind, and where our attitude will be one of complete respect for all people and property.

    I will inform Queensland Police of our intentions next week, and look forward to a peaceful and cooperative event. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me on (07) 4052 1563.

    Yours sincerely
    Bryan Law
    PADYC People Against Demolishing the Yacht Club

Neil Quinn wrote back on Monday, however he wasn't that excited to entertain nor talk to a public rally at his, I mean, our offices. He also seemed to be confused an thought that Byran Law wasn't asking about a public rally at all. He'd rather do his business behind closed door with a "small group".

Here's what he had to say...
It's reasonably to assume now, that the majority of the Cairns community is increasingly determined to save the historic Cairns Yacht Club for future generations. In the last three weeks, nearly 5,000 signatures have been collected, the second petition in five years to save this significant Cairns waterfront icon.

A community meeting will be held 2pm this Saturday at the Cairns Yacht Club building, 4 Wharf Street.

“Time is rapidly coming to an end in this five year long campaign to protect and preserve our history,” says Wendy Richardson, of PADYC says.

James Cook University’s Dr Jan Wegner says that heritage significance is worked out by heritage professionals using a set of criteria. “One of these is ‘social value’. The Yacht Club building has a strong and special association with the Cairns community for social, cultural and spiritual reasons," says Dr Wegner.

“The complete story of the Yacht Club building has never really been understood or explained”, says Wendy Richardson. “This Saturday we will share this full story with the public.”

PADYC has invited the CEO and the Board of Cairns Ports to the Community Meeting this Saturday, along with Council, State Government, Opposition Members and other stake holders.

The meeting will have speakers explaining the history of the building and its significance to the people of Queensland. PADYC will also unveil the adaptive re-use of the building and the formation of a Community Board to oversee its management for the future.

People Against Demolishing the Yacht Club
Mobile 0418 196 011
Tel 4034 2248 ~
Sign the Petition here.

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