Sunday 7 September 2008

A letter to Peter Garrett, Minister for Heritage

Peter Garrett MP
Minister for Heritage
Federal Parliament
ACT 2600

Dear Minister,

Education and knowledge is the key to our future:

  • Like the State Premier Anna Bligh you are uninformed about the evidence and history of the Cairns Yacht Club Building, aka The Aquatic.

  • You have been misinformed by the Labor spin doctors.

  • PADYC (People Against Demolishing the Cairns Yacht Club) have reams of evidence, photographs, testimonials from war time Navy and Air Force Servicemen and women, support from the National Heritage Council, Cairns Historical Society, reference books, Z Force letters, not to mention a comprehensive book on the history of Rock & Roll and Jazz played and fostered in the building over the past 70 years that supports the saving of this historical building.

  • We can also prove that the State Government had planned to make this site and building a Heritage Listing with indisputable copies of its own EPA Plans, Coastal Planning and Surveys.

  • We can show that the first Nomination to State Heritage was withdrawn after political pressure and threats from the Cairns Port Authority.

  • We can show that the only State Heritage Nomination that went to the Heritage Committee was subjected to political interference.

  • We can show that the Cairns Yacht Club Committee was forced to sign a Memorandum of Agreement, under duress, thus making it an illegal contract.

  • We can also show that the State Heritage Committee itself supported the heritage listing until pressure was brought to disallow it.

  • We are determined to have our day in Court if necessary.

  • It will do the Labor movement no good to have 11,000 people petition the new Governor - General to have a Minister or Ministers of the Crown sacked because they disregarded the WILL of the people.

  • We are reasonable and intelligent people - All we ask is for a chance to show you the facts.

  • Our WILL is that you place an order preventing the destruction of the building until we prove the facts.

  • For you to be relying on the hackneyed story of spin that says that the building has already twice failed to be included on the National Heritage List or the State Heritage List and there is no new evidence for that to change is wrong.

The State Government and local member, Desley Boyle has her version of the truth and that is going to rear up and hurt the State Government if they destroy our cultural heritage in the face of the WILL of over 11,000 people. Relying on her story and not the WILL of the people is fraught with danger.

Furthermore it is a maneuver for the State & Federal Governments to keep hanging their hats on the Heritage hook. Buildings don't HAVE to be made Heritage for them to be SAVED from deliberate cultural vandalism of the State.

Cairns Police officers signing the 11,000-strong petition
to save the Yacht Club building, with local historian
Dr Tim Bottoms (l) and Rob Williams (r).

Yours sincerely,

Rob Williams JP (Qual.) ALA, LMCTJC.
President Cairns Tropic Jazz Club Inc.
28 Lake Placid Road
Queensland 4878


Anonymous said...

The Labor party are destined for damnation at the next election if the people that I have spoken to over the past six or seven weeks, whilst getting the petition signed, is anything to go by. The everyday man and woman on the street are OUTRAGED with what Labour has done here locally. One bloke I spoke to at Strattie the other day was fuming about those huge big billboards that the Cairns Ports has erected on the Northern end coming into Cairns, went to his local member Steve Wettenhall for the "limp writested mamby pamby response. Locals have a nick name for him in the Barron River district Steve Wetten...NOBALLS" apparently, according to this gentleman who stated "he was hand picked by Lesley Clark and she taught him well to sit on the fence and do sweet FA. Tell the people (on either sides of the fence) just what they want to hear, and do as you bloody well like". Fair comment, does seem to be rather true from where I am sitting anyway. Labor has the power to stop all this by starting to listen to their constiuents, wether they can repair the damage they have done..........I don't think so, I think it is all too late for them. Kerry Riella.

Anonymous said...

Re the State of the Labor Party in Queensland, you only have to look at all govt. departments. Most display a level of incompetence that is unprecedented and represents idiocracy in bureaucracy to the max.

Take Health for example, in yesterday’s CP, there was an outrageous story of bullying and intimidation of a senior specialist surgeon at our very own Cairns Base Hospital. This situation reflects the total inability of Qld Health to stop the bullying that exists and as this surgeon clearly demonstrated to us all, it starts at the top.

Then in today’s Sunday Mail, there is a terrible story of a man in Townsville General Hospital, who waited on an emergency dept trolley for 8 hours and died before they could find him a bed. Another complete disgrace. This is the situation in two major hospitals in Queensland in two days. Multiply this factor across the State, and it is clear, that the health bureaucracy is out of control and patients are suffering as a result and some pay the ultimate price for being in the wrong place a the wrong time.

So much for the Smart State.

Anonymous said...

More is to come out in this saga of the Yacht Club.

KB, Sno Bonneau and the Port Authority are in this tangle up to their fat necks.

Watch this space.

An injunction to stop demolition must be taken out and all information passed to the CMC. Even Paul Lucas, the Deputy PM has been involved in the intentional demise of this iconic Cairns club.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above....the State Government Departments are in an abysmal state, yes. Don't think a change of Government will necessarily change anything though. Start doing your research on a "bullying work culture" (plenty of stuff on the internet).

Anonymous said...

A change of Government won't provide a quick fix to our ailing public services. Underfunding, multi-skilling, corporatising, down-sizing, parachuting in managers and CEOs,
entrenched bullying and abuse, toxic cultures...these are all some of the problems now affecting almost ALL the Government Departments and Agencies. They all tell the same sorry story. Yet, nothing will change with a new Government because when it comes to public services, all the major political parties have the EXACT same policies, ie cutback, corporatise, reduce funding, bring in outside "expertise" to Manage......

Anonymous said...

The labor govt in this state has certainly cut back resources at hospitals to the point where services do not meet the need.

But since the Dr Death scandal, it is certainly true that the numbers of senior bureaurcats have been exponentially increasing. Take the recent Northern Area Health Service (NAHS) for example, this pre Dr Death Area was run by one manager with about 10 staff and most of those were project officers which had temporary tenure. He was such a good manager that he was taken from this position to run another failing AHS down south.

In comes the new manager, who was an empire builder. I cannot tell you how many new permanent senior positions (most were over A07s salary range probably around the $85,000) that were created, but it would tally into the hundreds. Add to that the extra office space to house all these people, their IT requirements, super payments, travel (and they all travelled all over the state regulary, to the point where they had to create a new dept just to organise their travel. They created positions such as Project Co-ordinators - to oversee all the projects. "Something out of Yes Minister."

Under this model, did the delivery of health services improve? The answer is clearly NO, but alot of taxpayers dollars were wasted in this exercise.

The new DG has left his mark by within a few weeks of appointment, disbanding the AHSs as it stands.

The problem with this and there are two:
1. some roles that the NAHS had were important and critical to have an overarching policy direction for districts to follow in North Queensland and like with the previous manager, could be run efficiently and effectly with a small number of staff locally. We have now lost some of that ground.

2. Most of these new senior positions created under the new manager were permanent and therefore, these staff are now displaced and have to found new positions within the system. Not too many saving of tax dollars there. Only the temporary project people have lost jobs, and there were not that many of them to start with.

It remains to be seen in if this flatter structure now imposed, mostly run by senior bureacrats from Brisbane, will actually affect the delivery of service at our local hospitals.......

Irrespective of what happens politically, QH need to take "a big stick approach" on the intimidation, bullying and harrassment that goes on and on and on and on in this organisation. It is non productive, costs millions of dollars in stress leave and counselling services (some of which QH pay for), creates poor morale in the workplace and in some cases completely destroys the mental well being of good honest staff who generally are just at work to do their jobs! When a staffer complains and they often don't but when they do, there needs to be an independent investigation, the perpetrator needs to be put on Notice and made to attend the appropriate courses or even dismissed if the grounds warrant. Most victims of this type of behaviour in Qld Health currently do not speak out for fear of losing their jobs, leave and find another job, or stay and watch the perpetrators, get promoted and supported by managment. This is truely an appalling situation that needs remedy fast.

So on behalf of all those previous vicims of bullying and intimidation in the system, including myself, I wish to sincerely thank Dr Steffen for going public.

I applaud Dr Steffen's actions in putting a spotlight on this big problem that currently exists. She is very brave and needs the support of all Cairns residents now to sure up her position at the hospital to make sure that she is protected, nurtured and supported in this issue, and that the perpetrators of her situation are held accountable for their actions. We simply cannot afford to lose someone as wonderfully caring, dedicated and skilled health professional such has her from our community.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above, bullying is entrenched in our society now because there have been major
shifts in community values. We live in a "winners and losers" culture and the most cherished values now are "power, prestige, wealth and personal looks." Do you honestly think a change of Government will change this?? People's homes now are regarded solely as "assets", not a family "home", people have become far more narcissistic, achievers are regarded as God-like, those who fall by the wayside are dismissed as "losers", and the media dishes up profiles of "powerful" figures. (Keep an ear out for the number of times the media uses the term "power" and "powerful". It is all sending a message.)
No change of Government will alter this quantum leap into a "winners and losers" culture, which favours and rewards ruthless sociopaths. (Look at CEOs for example.)
Yes, bullying does kill. I have personally witnessed how people become too frightened to stand up to a sociopathic manager to even save the life of another person. The sanctity of life should be our strongest value, but it no longer is. Those people who did not support me in saving the life of a frail old man, only thought about their mortgages and their jobs. You will find, Anonymous, this is now becoming the norm in many occupations. Life is becoming cheaper, and don't think changing the Government will solve this.

Anonymous said...

Piggy has a point. The Bundaberg Hospital fiasco continued as long as it did, because the staff did not stand up as a group to the Hospital Management, preferring to let one, single, sole nurse, Toni Hoffman "blow the whistle." Where was the group morality?
Surely adults know right from wrong? You cannot blame this sorry and shameful episode entirely on a "Government."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous doesn't have a point.

The "Guvmint" is ultimately the responsible entity and accountable for what happens. If they don't want to be accountable then get out. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

How naive of you, Anonymous above. You want the "Guvmint" to be responsible for people's cowardice and lack of morality?

Anonymous said...

Hey stoopid above !!!

How can your comment be attributed to this subject header ???

"How naive of you, Anonymous above. You want the "Guvmint" to be responsible for people's cowardice and lack of morality?"

Get back to the subject being Garrett, Bligh and Boyle ... the ineptitude of Labour Goverments, be it Local, State or Federal !!

Bring back some leadership please ...

Anonymous said...

Quickie, the comments were relevant to the discussion. It is all too easy to blame Governments for people's own failings, ie lack of parenting skills, self-discipline, and even basic morality, as the Bundaberg Hospital tragedy revealed.

Don't trivialise the extent to which employees abandon the value of sanctity of life and allow the unspeakable to happen.

Our modern society has some very unsavoury and dark threads running through it, and a change of Government will not alter this.

Anonymous said...

Well A-non-uh-mouse, don't you worry about these "dark threads", too much.

You are only here once.
Yep 70-90 years, that's all.
And then it's all over, red rover.
Zip. Finihed. Done and dusted. Over...

Unless you are deeply into which whatever religion promises you otherwise ...

Back to the subject.

Fed, State and Local Labour Govt's abysmal failures everwhere.

Bring back some discipline ...

Anonymous said...

Quickie, if you think a change of Government will change human nature, ie moral cowardice, read a book by the Bundaberg Nurse, Virginia Kennedy. It is called "Dancing with Dr. Death". Virginia Kennedy describes how the staff divided themselves in the face of a dictatorial management. Many staff members sacrificed their integrity and principles by ingratiating themselves with management, then spied and told tales on the other staff members. The book provides a clear and chilling account of how weak, morally bankrupt and cowardly people behave in the face of a bullying management.

Toni Hoffman's battle was not only because of "the management" but because of the TOADYING AND SYCOPHANTIC ACTIONS of her own colleagues in refusing to support her.

Yes, it is all too easy to blame the "Government" Quickie. Harder still, to come to grips with the fact that moral cowardice is rising in our society.