Monday 13 October 2008

Richardson for Barron River

As the newly merged Liberal National Party (LNP) line up their players for the 2009 State election, I can confirm who's who.

Yacht Club PADYC campaigner, and former Tablelands Council candidate, Wendy Richardson has been endorsed for the seat of Barron River.

"I'm a person of and for the people," Richardson told me this evening. "I'll be out within the next few days listening and meeting people in the electorate."

The Barron River catchment includes Aeroglen, Redlynch Valley, Whitfield, Kuranda, to Wangetti Beach.

What many commentators will probably analyse as an odd choice, Richardson has landed the seat most winnable in the upcoming State election. Currently held by Steve Wettenhall witha small margin, Richardson will present a stark alternative choice for voters.

She will ride on the back of a strong and determined community engagement campaign she has lead over the last six months, however proof of this will be in maintaining an effective post-mortem, when the remnants of the old Yacht Club are moved in large rubbish bags to within her new Barron River seat.

I thought Blind Freddy would have directed the LNP to put Richardson into the Cairns seat, against Demolition Desley. Sure this famous safe Labor seat needs a much bigger swing as it's been held continuously for over 100 years by Labor. However this election isn't normal, and the issues are obvious for Cairns voters as this town has had development, equating to open heart surgery, to much disgust. Many traditional Labor folk will betray their party of choice, as they see a State leader that has ignored them on local environmental management and heritage protection, in favour of commercial big end of town business.

It's also pretty obvious that the Member for Cairns is getting tired. Very tired. The Yacht Club saga has worn Desley out. Even on TV, championing a community crime programme, she looked tired and stilted. The once gracious character, is replaced with forced smiles and an all to common forced delivery. I'm no longer convinced she has her heart in the job, and I bet she will drop her interest in re-standing for the Cairns seat.

His Loser the Former Mayor Kevin Byrne will not be running for the LNP, to the delight of many insiders who spoke to me today. "Yeah, we're quietly glad that he won't be running anywhere. He's not even on the radar."

A former Australian Army officer and banker, Joel Harrop, will be the Cairns candidate for the LNP. In his early 30's, he will appeal to a new demographic, that feel betrayed by the current regime.

The Mulgrave candidate is Vic Black, a former British police officer, now involved in tourism and hospitality.

LNP have not yet selected a candidate for Cook.

Next year's State election will upset a great majority of what have been solid Labor seats. Get your tickets early I say.


Anonymous said...

KB is too busy running and getting bitten from harmless tree snakes in his own back yard to do any running for political parties at the moment.

You said it all yourself KB "you are a bloody idiot" and a has-been!

Anonymous said...

One pledge I'd regard as a basic test of the progressive bona fides of any candidate standing for the electorate of Barron River, is whether she/he campaigns hard - before and after the election - for comprehensive, regular pesticide testing of the Barron itself and its biota. Results, of course, must be publicly available.

I have written about this topic before in CairnsBlog, more than once. Unless I'm much mistaken, pesticide testing has not been carried out in the Barron River for a decade - and has never been done in a comprehensive way.

Meanwhile, the 'head in the sand' approach of the Goss-Borbidge-Beattie Governments continues. It can be characterized as "Do No Testing, See No Problem". (If I'm wrong about this and there has been any recent change in water quality testing practice, would those responsible please let us all know?)

Even the purportedly independent group 'Terrain' (formely NRM FNQ) is complicit in this ongoing evasion. It took funding for a Water Quality Improvement Plan for the Barron that does NOT entail testing for pesticides.

It's time we take poison-using agriculture off welfare and level the playing field, so organic practice can be more price-competitive. It will never happen while the former externalizes their environmental costs with impunity, under cover of governments who turn a blind eye.

Is effective, comprehensive pollution testing of our river too much to ask of State government?

I wouldn't have thought so.

There's still time for Steve Wettenhall, our current MP, to act on this. Or will he leave it to Wendy Richardson campaign on this issue?

Or... will a longstanding bipartisan tacit agreement to look the other way continue?

Over to the candidates...

Anonymous said...

I really don't think the 'nominal Liberals, mainly National Party' would have given a toss about the Yacht Club building either were they in government today. They have a track record even worse than Labor's.

When will the Greens and Independents be announcing their nominations?