Monday 13 October 2008

Cairns Councillor climbs Yacht Club building

Cairns Regional Councillor Dianne Forsyth, this morning climbed on the roof of the historic Cairns Yacht Club building, in an act of defiance, of the in defiance of State Government action.

Councillor Forsyth wanted to display her Council's anger at being ignored over the decision to retain the historic building on the Cairns Waterfront.

"I am prepared to be arrested and charged for my strong passionate commitment to retain this building here," Forsyth said.

It is believed that this is the first time in over 20 years, that a publicly-elected official has protested and been arrested for their beliefs. In 1986 then Cairns Mayor Keith Goodwin stood as an act of rebellion against a large scale Trinity development.

"My Council passed a motion to engage in discussions with the Port Authority to keep the building in situ. We subsequently passed another motion, following the will of the people, 11,000 of them in fact, to engage the Premier of Queensland," Councillor Forsyth said.

"Anna Bligh has refused to even accept this motion from our Council, and refuses to even debate this with our elected mayor," Dianne Forsyth said this morning.

"This is a totally unacceptable situation. This building and it's removal, is now symbolic of what we as a community want to keep for future generations," Councillor Forsyth said.

Three months ago Dianne Forsyth moved a motion that was passed by the Cairns Regional Council to request a formal meeting with the Premier. This meeting have never been honoured.
She famously said back then, that this wasn't over until the fat lady sings.

"The State Government need to hear loud and clear that 11,000 Cairns and Queensland residents signed a petition, and expect to at least be heard. It is an utmost insult to be ignored," Cr Forsyth said.

Dianne undertook several radio and television interview from the roof of the Yacht Club building, as a large group of supporters cheered her on. Around eight police were dispatched to the site.

Bryan Law and John Radden were bot arrested for trespass, as they were found inside the building during this morning's protest.

"Walking around inside the building, we saw this old building in ruin, they're not protecting it at all. The Cairns Ports and the State politicians are simply lying to the public about what is happening here," he said in a telephone call from the site.

Bryan found photos from dances that were held at the Clubhouse in the water and in the mud around the building.

"This is a disgrace, how dare they treat the community of Cairns with such arrogant contempt," he said.

Bryan Law also tore off the black plastic covering the two historic street from sign, adorning the old weatherboards, uncovered for the first time in probably 60 or 70 years. Cairns Ports ordered them be hidden away from public view.

As soon as Bryan Law entered the perimeter and alerted the two security officers, a 'strike force' assembled on the opposite side next to the Hilton Hotel at 7am this morning , with ladder and supplies in hand.

Councillor Diane Forsyth scaled the ladder and made herself at home, perched on the roof, which has now been stripped bare of it's corrugated iron. She held a sign for the waiting media, saying 'I'm representing 11,000 people'.

And indeed she was. What a brave Councillor to stand up and be counted. Forsyth has reminded us all to embrace the democracy that is available to us all.

Dianne acted on her convictions this morning. She still didn't sing.


Anonymous said...

Well done Di! Its so refreshing to have a Councillor who will go to such lengths to support something not only they believe in, but over 11,000 Cairns-ites as well.

Now, all we need, is to get rid of those other spineless and pro-development-at-all costs Councillor colleagues such as Cochrane, Bonneau and Blake and replace them with Di clones, and this city would be alot better off.

You have our full support Di! Go Di Go!

Anonymous said...

Good on you Di!
It's great to see another Councillor who is passionate about their constituents and the issues. You can stand proud next to Julia Leu and Rob Pyne. Shame on the rest of them. And MORE shame to the State Government!