Wednesday 1 October 2008

35 police stop action

"This is so very easy for the Government to do," Bryan Law told a packed media gathering yesterday afternoon.
In what could only be described as the largest police presence at a single event in recent Cairns history, yesterday afternoon around 35 police turned up to stop protesters entering the Cairns Yacht Club site, under orders from the Cairns Port Authority and the State Labor Government.
The Queensland Police Service even had officers stationed in a boat in the harbour, just in case there was a breach from the seaward entry.

Just days after we learn that the Police are underfunded and have insufficient staff to look after our streets, with horrific violence on the cover of the Cairns Post every other day, they seemed to find a massive line up of boys and girls in blue to encircle the entire Cairns Yacht Club building Tuesday afternoon.

Legendary community campaigner Bryan Law, and a number of local supporters gathered at the site in an attempt to scale the perimeter fence to stop demolition work.

"We are here to hold this Labor government to account for the utter destruction they are undertaking right before our eyes," he told a packed media circus. Even the Cairns Post turned out, surprising when there was a crocodile attack just a few hundred kilometers away at the same time.

A vote of those gathered was undertaken, as a precursor to next year's State election. "This is to show the Premier what the people of Cairns will do at the ballot box next year."

Byran Law, dressed as conservative local Judge Peter White, took his cutters to the fence and was warned to cease, otherwise he would be arrested under the Breach of Peace detention. He ignored their caution, and was subsequently placed in the back of a paddy wagon and delivered to the Sheridan Street Police Station. However, minutes later was released, without charge or conditions.
It's obvious the Government doesn't want more attention given to this biting community issue. The Cairns Port Authority have also given their weight to ensure as little action is given to the protesters as possible. However, they appear to have failed in this so far. Premier Bligh is however remaining silent on the issue and will not comment publicly anymore.
Another local campaigner, Sharon, also attempted to scale the fence as was cautioned and removed by Police.
Over 20 media outlets around the region and throughout the State took an active interest in the protest action.

"I don’t think we could have asked for a better media return on our efforts today. They really can’t resist direct action, Bryan said.

However, this is not the end of it. Further direct action will be undertaken at the site during the rest of the week, however, unlike yesterday's protest, there will not be advance notice to Police. The aim will be to stop demolition work.

One of Cairns' leading city architects, Mark Buttrose was also present and show his support for the protest action. Buttrose is a veteran of his work to stop development on False Cape. He says that the city's heritage should be saved and integrated into modern development. "Our history is being destroyed, and yet it's very easy to incorporate this into the City Port plan," he said. Buttrose is understood to be in discussions with officials in the Premier's department to demand a total rethink of the Port Authority's plans to redevelop the Trinity Inlet waterfront.
This is not the attention that local MPs want. It is not the attention that the Premier wants. However, after nearly 5 years, the Labor State Government, supported by the former Byrne-led Council, and even the regional tourism body, failed to support the retention of this historically significant building.

Cairns Regional Councillor Diane Forsyth is off to Brisbane today and will try to seek a meeting with Anna Bligh. "I will sit outside her office and ask to be heard," she said. "I'm also asking again for our CEO to demand a formal response from Bligh to Council's request for a meeting."
Dianne Forsyth also acknowledged that Mayor Val Schier should make a public statement about what is going on. Val is the primary spokesperson for our community, she supported two motions to engage in talks with the Cairns Ports and the Premier. The Mayor of our city and region, needs to speak up and be heard.

"We have not lost yet. The next week or two will tell another chapter in this long story to save this beloved part of Cairns' history," Bryan Law said.


Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Bryan Law was dressed up like Santa Claus. It's not Christmas.

Al said...

Do you think the crocodile attack was just a ploy to get this off the front page? We need a royal commission to investigate 'crocogate' as something smells fishy here.