Tuesday 2 September 2008

Good riddance to Yacht Club building says Jason O'Brien

A comment on the Blog last week said that the silence from local MPs Boyle, Pitt, Wettenhall, O’Brien and Turnour on the Cairns Yacht Club campaign is deafening. "When you are defending the indefensible, no words will ever suffice," the anonymous stated.

This whole issue has nothing to do with politics but everything to do with respect, commitment, principle, ethics and integrity. It is bad enough when the State Government by its actions, demonstrates that its commitment to the protection and conservation of coastal resources and cultural heritage is nothing but a farce.
  • When a government agency takes action which can only be construed as deliberate, to effectively negate any attempts by the community, the people it supposedly represents, to protect and save a treasured cultural heritage resource, it has lost all credibility. It is beyond the pale.
The writer goes on to say that the Certificate of Immunity was obtained by the Port Authority under Section 57 of the Queensland Heritage Act 1992. This provides that a place may not be entered in the Queensland Heritage Register as a state heritage place within 5 years of the date of the certificate. This effectively prevented any person applying to have the Cairns Yacht Club listed under the Queensland Heritage Register until August 2009, by which time of course the building will have long been demolished.

Our former Council and then Mayor Kevin Byrne, aided and abetted this behaviour, and compounds the utter betrayal of the Cairns community. In relation to the Wet Tropical Coast Regional Coastal Management Plan, Mayor Byrne and Councillor Sno Bonneau were both members of the Regional Consultative Group, as was Paul Lucas, the now Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning.
  • All part of the process (together with the community and other groups) that resulted in the Cairns Yacht Club being designated an “area of state significance” (cultural heritage) but then also part of the unethical process of ensuring that the CYC would never receive heritage listing that would protect it for present and future generations.

    The community and cultural heritage obviously means nothing when it comes to dollars and private enterprise. As demonstrated, adherence to and respect for the spirit and the intent of regional coastal plans and statutory law also means nothing. Our former Council and the State Government have both condemned themselves. Actions speak louder than words and this is one issue that won’t be conveniently going away.
However Jason O'Brien, the Member for Cook, is feed up hearing about the campaign to save the historic Cairns Yacht Club building.

"Please stop emailing me," he said in an email to People Against Demolishing the Yacht Club.
  • "Your pathetic attempts to ingratiate yourself with the community on this issue are, quite frankly, sad," O'Brien says to PADYC's co-ordinator, Wendy Richardson.

    "I was on the Council when your fellow Liberal Kevin Byrne could have saved the Yacht Club and know the Port Authority well enough to know the role of the former Liberal candidate for Cairns, Bob Manning, in its demise".

    "The reality is that if those who are protesting about the fate of the club now had ever patronised the place it would not have got behind in its rent and fallen into the state it is now. The new building will be better and more importantly, viable as it will be patronised by tourists and locals alike."


Anonymous said...

Jason O’Brien is a man of his word. He doesn’t make pathetic attempts to ingratiate himself with the community. He doesn’t make ANY attempt at all – preferring to treat his constituents with contempt while building his reputation as the member for sitting on his bum, whenever he isn’t rolling the government vehicle in a single vehicle accident. (When you think about it, he was sitting on his bum then too).

I remember when Jason was on the Cairns City Council, and I even tried to work with him on one issue – speakers corner had been demolished. Jason’s inability to understand Council procedures was matched only by his disinterest in serving the community and his fawning over Kevin Byrne about Rugby Union and other rich white-boy games.

It was only when a seat became available in state Parliament that I got to see where Jason’s real skills lay – organising the numbers to ensure he never had to do another honest day’s work in his life. He ditched Val like a dirty rag at the time, and in 2007 had to be sacked as campaign manager because of his toxic affect on team members.

Anyone who wants to see how little an MLA can achieve in two terms should just check out Jason’s achievements re housing in Cape York communities. Nothing for the citizens, but quite a range of nice shirts for the Member.

Jason O’Brien won’t help us! What a big surprise!

Anonymous said...

It really is all about politics is it not.
If Wendy was a labour dog ...
But she's not.
And it's so pathetic that the quartet labour dog defence is more about "who" is attacking them, than about the substance ...

Don't you lefties ever learn ???

Anonymous said...


Not often, but every once in a while.

How about you?

Anonymous said...

Alright Quickie, keep your childish comments to yourself or we will bite your dick off.
As a Laborite, I know Wendy did not endear herself to certain Liberal luminaries by going into bat for the Yachtie. And yes, there has been skulduggery by Liberal as well as Labor community "leaders". This issue, however surpasses "party politics" as it represents probably the last attempt Cairns people will ever have at re-claiming their city.

Anonymous said...

It is typical political rhetoric to see failing current politicians berate and blame previous politicians.
The current Labor Govt, Jason O'Brien, and their treatment of their constituents, reminds me of Basil Fawlty of "Fawlty Towers" fame whom I believe said he could run a wonderful hotel if it wasn't for people wanting to use it (or words to that effect).
The simple fact is, that irrespective of the collusion and skullduggery by whoever and whatever group in the past, which by their actions and inactions currently allows the Yacht Club Building to be marked for imminent demolition, ONLY THE CURRENT LABOR GOVERNMENTS -FEDERAL OR STATE - ARE IN A POSITION TO PREVENT IT. The State Govt, through its ownership, controls what happens to this property.
I believe they want to bulldoze our history to build a boardwalk.
All Labor pollies have obviously been told to pull their heads in on this and keep their day job(something they have a great talent for, and, it appears, little else. They did the same not long ago when a child multiple rape case on the Cape was brought to the public's attention due the manifestly poor and shameful way it was handled in the courts. The initial Govt reaction was to say nothing and hope it would go away. Next reaction was to act to divert attention to save their skins. Lastly, say nothing for long enough and something else will come along to divert public attention. It appears they have known of these happenings in the Cape communities for years. The good news - the matter was sent back to the courts and justice was finally done; and everyone involved is still working for the Govt!!??)
Back to the thread, the most unfortunate thing if the demolition goes ahead, is that mistakes are only seen in hindsight - the politicians will be gone at the next election, but so too will the Yacht Club. They may then be saying that maybe they shouldn't have knocked it down, but it will be too late for the Club Building and our right to retain our history.
It shames me to feel I may have helped bring this about by voting for this mob.
Bring on the next "Harbour Lights"- gag, cough, splutter.

Anonymous said...

I'm another strong Labor supporter who will never vote for Queensland Labor again if the Yacht Club building goes down. Any government that ignores its electorates deserves (and gets) to sit in the political wilderness for a long, long time. If the pollies are hoping the fuss will die down once the building is demolished, they will be sadly disappointed. Voters are capable of waiting patiently till the next election for their revenge (who thought the Rudd victory would be that sweeping?) But as Iceman says, by then it's too late for the Yacht Club.

Anonymous said...

Good old Jason. The ultimate political tragic who has never done anything with his life outside politics.

When I first arrived in Cairns I recall his ugly mug being on notice boards around JCU as a student politician and political science student. He then moved on to local and state politics .... politics, politics and just more politics .... now theres a man with a background which reflects his constituency?

The alleged ingratiation seems to ignore that this has been a long held campaign for Wendy since before the last state election.

KB could have saved it? So can you Jason and thats the point NOW when KB is just another legend in his own lunchtime down at Villa Romana.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Quickie, i'm sure the previous association of the Yachtie with KB's conception is nothing that cant be solved with a good scrubbing and some air freshener?

Anonymous said...


In another display of bigotry and bias from Rupert Murdoch, The Australian has today published nationally a report on the Cairns Yacht Club, including a website home page photo link, critical of Peter Garret's hypocrisy and generally supportive of the Yacht Club building.

Something completely beyond Jason O'Brien in his rant posted here was that it's about the building and not just whether it was run profitably by he old Yacht Club at the time the decision was made. What an ignorant red-necked rationale that is, lets destroy something because the current management don't know how to run the bar!

On that logic we would be destroying or closing down many more things including Jason himself?

Anonymous said...

See page 3 of todays Australian "Garretts refusal to save club rocks Cairns"

Anonymous said...

I would never directly vote for the Pineapple Party (Landclearing - No Policies)but they'll get my preferences now after the Greens. I'm sure as hell not supporting Desley Boyle next time round after being sold out by the State and now the Federal Labor Party.

Anonymous said...

I always thought Jason O'Brien was about as strong as three pieces of wet toilet paper on a barb wire fence. I mean the bloke can't even drive a 4WD without wrecking it.
But that aside. I think we all should maintain our letters of WILL to tell him what we want, and that we want it NOW.
And another thing, let's see the money next year for the Cooktown Celebrations.

Anonymous said...

I know Jason O'Brien personally and know him as a man of great integrity.

He served our nation in the armed services before he began serving our community in politics.

I understand he is a tradesperson: a sparkie. He is not a professional politician - a rarity in FNQ.

He has dedicated his career in State politics to saving the Daintree rainforest, improving infrastructure across Cape York (measure this in the Billions of extra funding)and is one of the most passionate defenders of indigenious rights in any Parliament in Australia.

Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

I love the yacht club. But am I willing to sentence my children to a potential decade of conservative rule in QLD over it? NOOO!!!

Let's be reasonable: Would Sir Joh have saved it?

Anonymous said...

Cameron, please enlighten us with information about Jason's service record. KB had one too. Didn't help really, did it?

Anonymous said...

Cameron: Uurk mate. Jason O'Brien "is one of the most passionate defenders of indigenious rights in any Parliament in Australia". Uurk. Mate, are you on the payroll or something?

Jason may talk an OK talk about "rights", but he hasn't done anything about practical matters like housing and services in the five years or so he's been in Parliament.

Look at Jason's record in defending Q-Build (better known as Q-Giveitarest) which runs out of maintenance money every October and has to have a break from fixing things until July.

You talk about "billions" that Jason has found for infrastructure for the Cape - got any detail on that, or just Jason Blowhard talking up his commitment to principles.

If you want to know how well jason represents blackfellas, talk to a few.

If the people of Cook don't get rid of Jason he'll be feeding off them for another 30 years.

Labor needs to learn how to govern effectively for the people, not frighten little children with stories about the boogie man. Goodbye Desley. Goodbye Jason. Goodbye Steve.

Anonymous said...

Now, now Bryan - you can bag me, my policies and achievements and even my driving skills but please don't bag the rugby. Come down and watch a game next season (grand finals are today). You won't see many rich white boys. They're mostly working class white boys (and girls), indigenous people, South Sea Islanders and that ubiquitous phenomenon in Cairns; ex-kiwis.

Better still bring your boots. You look like you could be handy in the front row and could definetely do with the run.

Anonymous said...

Nice comparison Cameron. Our expectations of the current Qld Labor Govt should be similar to those of the Bjelke-Petersen Govt. Having lived through that period, this current mob offer some eerie similarities. (it's what happens when you feel untouchable, next should come the crime probes of politicians on the take if it is running to course - hang on they've already been caught on the take)
Their record for destroying heritage, riding roughshod over community wishes and expectations, and refusal to consider that the opinions of the population could have far greater substance than their own, is like the past repeating itself. There is also the makings of a Labor gerrymander. The current Labor politicians should remember the punchline to the BJ era.
One thing looked back upon with fond memories of that period is a hospital system that was well-funded and the envy of the rest of Australia. No more!!
Jason, the people of Cairns do not expect flippant comments from elected members when they pronounce their genuine concerns.
Is there a Labor politician left in QLD with any backbone to stand up for their constituents.
Jason, your silence was deafening during the Cape child rape scandal. What has changed since?

Anonymous said...

Iam sorry to say I voted for Val for Mayor in the last Council election.It is obvious to most residents she has not the experience or leadership qualities to hold down this position.I will say I was pleased and excited when she allowed voters to say goodbye to K.Byrne.
Now however we have a problem,as I feel Messrs
Blake,Bonneau,Gregory,together with Margaret
Cochrane,are waiting in the wings for the opportunity to oust Val and put possibly the
short fuse man Blake in her place.Heaven forbid that this will happen,time alone will tell.It is really essential for Val to show some real leadership now.