Sunday 26 October 2008

Premier Bligh in Mossman

A welcoming road sign, north of Ellis Beach

They flagged going to Sunday church services in Port Douglas and Mossman today, so they could pray to Anna.
The embattled Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, trekked north to the spiritual heart of the former Douglas Shire, torn apart by the Labor State Government after 152 Councils were amalgamated in March. Around 600 gathering at the local Mossman community hall, to say their piece to the State's top politician. And speak they did.
The Premier encountered an angry group of people, but she stood and endured two and a half hours listening to every one who wanted to raise issues. The State Member for Cook Jason O'Brien was at Anna's side, holding her hand below the lectern.
Even new Cairns Regional Councillor Julia Leu fronted up sporting a 'De-Amalgamate Douglas Now!' Tshirt.

Their hope is that their collective voice was heard and something actually gets done.

Councillor Julia Leu, with Robert Hanan of Friends of Douglas Shire, about to present Premier Anna Bligh with the 2500 signature petition.

Locals were instructed by Police to leave placards outside, so goes the democracy under Labor in Queensland. Maybe Sir Joh was hiding under the floorboards somewhere. They read...

  • 'Anna Jason, listen to the people'
  • 'Kiss our votes bye bye Anna Bligh'
  • 'A Bligh T on our community'
  • 'O'Brien out, Democracy in!'
  • 'We can't wait to De-Amalgamate'


Anonymous said...

I attended the meeting at Mossman yesterday and estimated about 400 people in attendance. There was a very strong theme for the Douglas shire to de-amalgamate as it was not an amalgamation of two shires, but a take over, simple as that really.

As someone said yesterday at the meeting, "it was a mistake" and "mistakes can be recitified" if you admit to them.

Of course if amalgamation were to proceed, this leaves the question of the northern beaches of Cairns, who at present sit in Division 10.

To be re-absorbed back into Division 9, with Sno Bonneau in Div 9, will set us all back in the same mess we started with before amalgamation. At least with Julia, we have decent representation and a Councillor who will stand up for our issues on the Beaches such as the recent defeat of the Telstra Monopole communications tower in the residential area of Clifton Beach. I don't we would have had the same result with Bonneau at the helm.

I mangaged to get a word in with the premier about our concerns on the Beaches, namely livability and enviromental concerns, because of the unprecedented and inappropriate development that has been going on here.

She wants to know more, and we have plenty to tell her.

Anonymous said...

Mossman is not alone in wanting out of this amalgamation debacle! Stanthorpe Shire - a small but vibrant and viable district in southern Queensland was forcibly merged with adjoining Warwick Shire against the wishes of 86% of the people. We are now witnessing a complete takeover by the Warwick council at great financial and cultural cost to Stanthorpe. We want out too! But it seems that the only way we are going to achieve this is by getting rid of the Queensland Labor government. Lawrence Springborg and the LNP has promised to review unwanted amalgamations if he wins government and Anna seems to be doing she can to make that happen - i hope she keeps it up!

Before amalgamation we begged Bligh and Pitt to consider alternatives in our case, such as the highly successful strategic alliance model of NESAC in NSW, but they were completely oblivious to anything but unconditional and total mergers for everyone. Sadly our mayor at the time, whilst making a show of rejecting amalgamation, actively worked to effect the merger through participation in the transition committee process - a common story throughout Queensland

Obviously amalgamation was far more about total control of regions than about reforming local government to provide genuine benefits to the people. The issue is not dead however and we congratulate Julia Leu and the people of Mossman for continuing the fight.

Trevor Cooper

Anonymous said...

Michael: Remember this is the same mob that legalised lying in parliament! I just can't get my head around how you get the nerve to pass this type of law and then look the people in face and explain why?

Anonymous said...

When the amalgamations were rushed through parliament at 5 mins to midnight many were comparing this government to Joh's. I disagree, this government's actions are far more insidious and unlike Joh's government, this one can't even build 'stuff'!

Anonymous said...

Lance you are absolutely correct, and well done for reminding people of this. The LNP really needs to use that in their campaigns, and the media needs to ask Bligh, or any labor members...'Do you think it is correct that politicians should be able to lie in parliament?' Jason O'Brien, would love to hear your response to this.