Tuesday 18 November 2008

Behind the cheap airport sale

Just like CEC, the Queensland Government's fire sale is well under way.

On Friday one of our community's largest assets and income earners, the Cairns airport, tender sale closed. Three tenders were rumoured to be in the final running for the sell out price of a mere $650m. This will hardly pay for a few hip operations at the over-crowed and inadequate Cairns Base Hospital that Premier Bligh is going to donate any remaining airport profit to.

Under the creative, but aptly named Airport Assets (Restructuring and Disposal) Bill, the Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser, who is also flogging off MacKay's airport, and a 12.4% stake in Brisbane's airport, is hoping to prop up the bankrupt Queensland State Government's coffers. Their debt now stands at around $59 billion, that's about $10m a day in interest alone. When we finally kick this spending crazy mob out of office in a year's time, the incoming coalition will have a right mess to clean up. And who says they'll be any better?

Cairns Mayor Val Schier who avoids talking about her Labor connections publicly, is however clearly under the thumb of the Labor hierarchy. She's been acting like a lapdog on heat around Desley and Anna since coming to office on her so-called 'green' and 'environmental' ticket. By all accounts, she has lost a large number of those that supported her second run to take over the 3rd floor of 119 Spence Street. We that supported a change in Council's right wing and go hard development policy, are feeling somewhat pissed off. And rightly so.

This is a great shame, as the mood was rife for a dramatic change of direction and the people handled Val and the new Council a mandate. Not one of the old Byrne guard survived the March take over the only KB loyalists remaining being Councillors Gregory and Bonneau. Like Obama, Schier has only the first term to shine and make a grand impression. Her first 100 days have been littered with confusing signals and lost media opportunities. Most of those that strategically supported her in the Cairns 1st campaign have either deserted her or been shunned. They certainly have not been consulted, and Val is replying on internal paid Council hacks to advise and counsel her.

Val said prior to being elected to Council, she has "strongly supported diverse groups as being the foundation of a healthy society", however this rhetoric has not been realised in her first eight months in office. The mainstream four estate media are still against our new mayor, yet the were ready for a change and would have supported her if they'd been taken along and been respected. Too many times have they turned up to media ops and the mayor has not appeared yet sent her CEO along to spill the beans and hide in her office, or at least that is what it seems like. Perception breeds reality in politics.

As Labor will be roundly defeated at the next election on a State level, Val has been blinding aligning herself with Bligh's sinking ship. For a first-term politician, she's allowing herself to get so quickly consumed by a government that have shown they're out of touch with the people, and all we wanted was a change in this region! I think if the Council election were held today, Councillor Pyne, Leu or Forsyth would romp in as our new Mayor. They've all shown how they can stand up (besides Robert of course) for the community, and truly represent what their constituents are telling them. That is the minimum we ask of our elected representatives.

Minister Fraser has said he didn't release the shortlist of potential airport buyers, because he was hoping to enhance 'competitive tension'. Well, the entire rationale to sell off our airport was a flawed reason. Cairns Airport, one of the busiest in the country, is a cash cow for our region and the community was not even consulted. Everyone from the chief of our tourism group TTNQ to the despised Cairns Port Authority, were is shock at the April 15th announcement.

When Joel Harrop, the local Cairns LNP candidate kicks the proven incompetent Desley Boyle off her Cairns perch, he'll have a lot of bridge-building to undertake. It will be a huge embarrassment for Boyle, as Labor has held this seat for 104 years. She started off as a true representative of the community when she took office 10 years ago, to now not engaging the people or responding to their wishes. Why is she there if she can't represent?

Like the invisible Councillor Sno Bonneau, both Labor and Liberal insiders wonder why Boyle has so decisively lost the plot. It's strongly believed she will not run again. Labor's only chance at retaining any credibility or hope of holding Cairns will be to run someone of the likes of Yacht Club roof protester and card-carrying Labour union supporter, Councillor Dianne Forsyth. Dianne has the connection with the people and the likability factor.

Listen to Joel's sermon in his latest Vblog. He's sounding fresh and invigorated and untouched by party corruption. I hope they don't get to him:


Anonymous said...

Amen! Father Joel! Dont you just love the dimples?

Anonymous said...

Yes, all sounds good. I'd like to see Joel's CV - just how does he fit in to Cairns? Joel, please??? Also, I'd love him to run as an Independent, because after the Cairns Yacht Club debacle, compulsory fluoridation in Queensland, the forced amalgamations in Queensland, the Labor State Govt. ignoring or denying policing & others issues (ad nauseum) I have given over being any sort of a True Believer,
however, I remember the brief Liberal reign when I came up here 12 years ago, & have resolved only to vote for SANE Independents or Greens in future elections. I think the State Labor Party, although it has some good ideas, are WOEFULLY deficient on actually LISTENING to their electorates. And Steve Wettenhall & Desley Boyle can congratulate themselves on ignoring the 11,000 people who wanted the Cairns Yacht Club retained in situ.
I think a lot of us are totally sick of political wank, spin-doctoring & pollie-speak. I don't realistically think we are ever going to get completely rid of it, but to my mind, I think we are, in an evolutionary sense as a community, moving into a new era where we DO demand a full & proper consideration from our 'governers' (Council, State & Federal), & our voices to be truly heard - this is what politicians are PAID for.
It is no longer any good them (the pollies) saying "There, there dears, we heard you but we didn't really want to listen (also known as 'consultation') & we know best, so just let us get on with it (ie. whatever inappropriate abomination they're next planning).
There is the point that only a certain type of fool would put their hands up to be a pollie - fair enough - there's enough boredom to be encountered, but WE ARE PAYING THESE PEOPLE TO DO THEIR JOBS.
Anyway, enough said. Joel - CV please. And DO register as an Independent - then you will not be constrained by the LNP line.

Anonymous said...

Well joel, the only thing that I noticed was the wind gusts from behind, maybe you should have mckenzie standing behind you, he is a good plug for your misguided political beliefs or wear some undies so as the gusts don't interfere with your crap.
Lillian, joel can't give you his cv, as he stated on the plug's talkback, IT IS TOP SECRET, go away you five minute wonders.

Anonymous said...

To Lillian from Yorkeys... Although you are outside the Cairns Electorate area, I'd like to meet you in person and address your questions. My contact number is 0403 289 610. Please give me a call at your convenience.


Joel Harrop

Anonymous said...

Joel, u political whore! Lillian's probably a poor defenceless girl.. Do u think u blue eyes and boyish charm will convert her over to the Blue side?

Anonymous said...

Sam, I don't know where you are coming from on this. I believe in consultation. Someone has taken the time to write a detailed list of their concerns and I've said I'm happy to discuss them.

Joel Harrop

Anonymous said...

C'mon Joel, Let us all know what your top secret of life is, and while you are at it tell us how you will control the beauro's whenever you think you will be a minister.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the offer, Joel. And Sam E of Freshwater, thanks for the protective bit, but Lillian at Yorkeys is old enough to be Joel's mother & has developed very sharp pollie-bullshit antennae (I worked for ABC Radio News & Radio Australia for 14 years, in another lifetime). But I do agree with Mrs. Bear about the dimples. {Mind you, if Joel looked like Barack Obama, & thought like him, I'd be booking a coffee, pronto - age difference or not].
However, Joel, just at present, us Yorkeys Knob mob are engaged in yet again in a another fight with Council, where an issue has arisen because neither our local Councillor or Council boffins have listened to us, until we started screaming. So, I'll be fairly busy for the next wee while.
But I'll keep a note of your number, & perhaps we can have a chinwag. However Joel, be aware that I not only sip lattes (& soy at that) but I also drink the odd chardonnay, so I definitely won't be allowed to enter the hallowed ranks of the LNP, or possibly even vote for them (they probably do a door-test).
Go on mate, become an Independent. Do you really want to work for an idiot such as Springbored, who can barely string two sentences together? Do you think Bob Katter (as loopy as he can be at times) wakes up in the morning knowing he has compromised himself? Do you really want to spend your first years of Parliament fighting in a testosterone-laden bullpit? (ie. a political party). Think about it compadre.

John, Kuranda said...

Hi Lillian
As a card-carrying member of said LNP I assure you that I do consider my primary drug of addiction to be a latte - and soy at that, and although I prefer a good sauvingon blanc - a chardy will do me just fine!

What you see in Joel is no bull-shit; he is very genuine in his beliefs and committment to doing his bit to improve that quality of life here in the Cairns area that we all enjoy. What you see in Joel and for that matter the rest of the far north Queensland candidates, is some one who wants to get our message across in Brisbane unlike our current representatives whose only intent seems to be in getting Brisbane's message across to us.

In the ideal Queensland political world every MP would be an Independent; but the political reality is that we do have a party system. And if we get enough people like Joel up, well, change will occur. I am reminded of the quote by Alexandre Ledru-Rollin upon seeing a crowd marching through Paris - "There go my people, I must find out where they are going so I can lead them."

What we, as voters must have, is the expectation that our political leaders will in fact, represent us. Is that really the case now?

The LNP candidates that we have are not part of a "bugger the environment brigade" but a group that is just as concerned as anyone else about quality of life issues; Lillian, in the end they are just mums and dads who want the same future for their kids and their grandkids as does everyone else.

And I support them in that.

Anonymous said...

re comments that they (LNP)wont bugger the enviroment and they are concerned about livability issues.

I have been listening with great interest about what the LNP has to say on these issues, especially in relation to the Northern Beaches of Cairns, where we have some of the most inappropriate unit constructions and unbelievable stupidily by developers building withing metres of creeks, and I have to say, that not one committement or any kind of empathy, solution or other concern has been expressed by the heavies in the LNP on these matters.

Action speak louder than words and until we get action, the voters on the Northern Beaches are a discerning lot and we would NOT be about to replace one stupid and useless mobb with another stupid and useless mob!!

Anonymous said...

To Lillian and Jan,
Firstly, I’d like to let you know that as the Coordinator of PADYC (People Against Demolishing the Yacht Club) I was ably assisted by a member of the northern beaches community in the fight over retention and restoration of the old building as a heritage tourism site. This person has developed a wealth of legal knowledge, all in her own time and at great personal ‘cost’ – all necessary to combat the FNQ state government representatives who won’t REALLY listen.

I have firsthand knowledge of how this feels. Because I really believed in saving the Yacht Club building for future generations, I organized the 11,000+ petition and stood with others for many hours getting signatures – only to have it totally ignored. I also worked for many, many hours sending emails to all levels of government, reading legislation and reports, meeting with people and organising rallies – again to no avail, but all good experience when one wants to represent the people! It’s taught me a lot about listening!

As far as I’m concerned NOBODY should have to put their life on hold like this in order to see that the community’s voice is heard and their rights acknowledged. It’s no wonder people are called ‘noisy minority groups’ – who the heck has got the time or energy to do this research and dedicated community advocacy? Only a few, but they may well be representative of a much bigger number.

Anyway, through my northern beaches connection I came in contact with the Combined Beach Communities Association and spent around three hours in October being given a guided tour of the areas of environmental concern there (including the units, creeks and hillside development.)

This was because I am now LNP’s candidate for Barron River which takes in all the Cairns beaches and I knew there were some very real, long-standing concerns. I have since written a detailed report of these concerns to David Gibson, the LNP’s Shadow Minister for Sustainable Environment, Climate Change and Clean Energy Strategy.

David was in Cairns last week and I took him to several locations in the Barron River electorate that have environmental issues, including the northern beaches. We had a brief meeting on site with one of the Association’s members and later their President was able to meet with David and provide him with photographic evidence taken when moderate rain fell in the area. David has undertaken to follow up on specific aspects of this and I am putting into my electoral wishlist a ‘tightening up’ of the processes and legislation around developmental and environmental issues.

So Jan, you WILL be hearing from us on this.

I have also contacted the Yorkey’s Knob Community Centre’s Coordinator after learning of the situation re the old school building. (I assume this is the problem with Council you are referring to – if there’s another one, please let me know.) I have offered my support over the issue, making mention in particular of the bored adolescents in our communities who are at the root of many vandalism problems. As LNP’s candidate in this area, I will work with you to address these problems of recreation and law and order.

David Gibson and the LNP candidates also met with members of the Network for Sustainable and Diverse Agriculture in Cairns last Thursday and I’m really happy that several participants expressed unexpected pleasure at the useful interaction between us all.

Old stereotypes would have people believe there was little common ground, but this was definitely not the case at this meeting. May I suggest we all start putting aside outdated, pre-conceived ideas of where people are coming from and find out what they REALLY think here and now, with active listening on ALL sides.

Ladies, I was urged by many to stand as an Independent too. I made the decision to stand with a party, but it was a difficult decision because I understand the significant level of cynicism towards political parties and I didn't want to be labled that way.

However, being part of a party gives you, the constituents, two advantages I believe.

Firstly, if they actually GET elected, an independent has a far harder time getting what the electorate or state needs UNLESS they hold balance of power. That is of course is a real gamble that doesn’t often pay off.

Secondly, a member of a party shares the load with others when it comes to developing in-depth knowledge of the issues. Ministers and Shadow Ministers have extra staff dedicated to exploring particular portfolios which an independent has not got access to.

And lastly, we are encouraged by our party hierarchy to put our people before the party. I urge any of you interested enough, to go to David Gibson’s inaugural speech in State Parliament just two years ago http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/view/legislativeAssembly/documents/memberBio/InauguralSpeech/Gibson.PDF
which contains the following sentence, “In effect, if an issue is important enough locally, I am free to vote with my community instead of along party lines.” You may find the rest enlightening also.

I’m very happy to be working with the new LNP. This new party has put out the invitation to us all to be really brave and innovative – to contemplate significant change. We invite you to join with us and embrace this change. (Oh and the favourite beverages range far and wide – you’re safe whatever you drink Lillian. In fact, I’ll have a cup of tea and a chat with you and Joel while you sip your lattes if you like.)

All four LNP candidates in this area are dedicated to representing our communities in a way people haven’t seen for a long time. We understand your disbelief in that – but urge you to consider it IS possible for good people to stay committed to that pledge. Together we all want to make sure this region makes its mark on the political map. We may not have the population of the South East Corner, but we have a lot of other things, much of which they need!!


Wendy Richardson

LNP Candidate for Barron River
PO Box 660, SMITHFIELD Q 4878

Ph 4034 2248 / Mob 0418 196 011