Friday 17 October 2008

The Culture of Labor

This morning I wake up to the news that Leichhardt Federal Labor MP, Jim Turnour believes a cultural strategy would enhance our region.

He says this on the day his Environment Minister and his local State colleagues tore one of the last remaining significant heritage assets out of the heart of Cairns.

What do these people take us for? Stupid?

Last month Boyle ranted on about cleaning up the CBD, and the other day she gave $20,000 to put a 'Cultural Tourism Strategy' together. A bunch of pre-schoolers from Parramatta State School could do this while waiting for the bus this afternoon.

Boyle's been in office for how long now, and as Tourism Minister for how long now? Yet she wants a 'strategy'. Well, here's an idea. How about stop stuffing up and taking the heart out of our city.

The new walled perimeter being constructed along the Trinity waterfront that Labor has endorsed and got it's dirty paws in, is not something that will attract visitors to this part of Australia. When you hear these announcements, in the election year, you know a political party is desperate and out of ideas.

With the best will in the would, local arts lobby group Arts Nexus, will help develop this strategy, however night clubs and live entertainment venues have been stripped from our fair city over the last four years at an alarming rate.

I agree with the Mayor that the so-called Festival Cairns is a farce. Nothing more than a collection of things already happening, stuck on one piece of paper parading under a $300,000 logo. What a joke. I've done my share of festivals from Edinburgh to Wellington, from London to Tokyo, and this one here is embarrassing at the least and a corporate con job at worst.

Boyle says that the strategy will take a new approach to marketing our local tourism. "It'll broaden our already world-famous eco-tourism products to include the best of what we have to offer culturally.'' Of course, hot of the heals, wearing her demolition boots, this statement is laughable. We could have had a stunning tourism icon, a legacy to this city, but Wettenhall and Boyle et all, lack any vision to manifest such a venture. The money-hungry, debt-riden State government is making decisions on how to get money in, and if that means selling off waterways access and waterfront views to the highest bidder, then they will.

Desley wants to make sure that visitors not only enjoy our beautiful Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, but also when they wander into the city to see our wonderful Indigenous art galleries, vibrant cultural festivals and talented local musicians. Now there's a quote that will come to haunt her come the next election.

Even Turnour is on the bandwagon. Jim believes that cultural tourism has the potential to create jobs and stimulate the local economy. Well where was he on the waterfront demolition gang this month? Another polly that didn't say SFA and therefore was complicit by neglect.

From environmental mis-management to heritage raping, Labor is a party that cannot connect with the people. They've lost the ability to represent and defend for the people, in riding rough shot over those that matter most in a democracy.

As Roof top protester Terry Spackman says that Labor's handling of the Yacht Club issue is abhorrent . "I fear, that as a result, the 100+ year history of Labor representing Cairns, will suffer the same fate as the Yacht Club Building."

No comments: