Friday, 28 November 2008

CairnsBlog cartoon by Circusmouse

Paradise Palms steam rolling ahead

The Combined Beaches Community Association is extremely concerned over the preliminary approval for the next stage of development at Paradise Palms.

They asked the Council to reject the latest application on the following grounds:
  • 83 submissions against this publicly notified DA were received by Council. The lack of submissions was probably caused by the confusion that existed over what was advertised, then re-advertised, the misleading pamphlet information that was distributed locally and the large and complex 500 odd page DA documentation that had erroneous and misleading information contained therein.

    The Preliminary approval if granted overrides the planning scheme (2005 CairnsPlan), and removes the future right of public submissions for the Conservation Areas contained within this precinct should the developer wish to develop there. A CRC letter dated 31/10/2007, stated “that the likely development outcomes of this preliminary approval are inconsistent with the CairnsPlan and there must be strong town planning grounds to support the application because of its inconsistencies with the planning scheme, not simply ensure the financial success of a private recreation facility.”

    Council planners have failed to take the advice of the Referral Agencies (EPA and DNR) in relation to environmental conditions which is of great concern to the CBCA and condemns these natural and significant areas to an uncertain future.

    Failure to Justify Residential Need
    In a letter from Council dated 31/10/2007, it states that “significant justification needs to be given for establishing new residential areas of higher densities which are not in proximity to community services, centres and public infrastructure.” We, the CBCA believe that the developer has failed to do this, and to justify their claims they have over-exaggerated the catchment area. They have combined the Statistical Local Areas of Northern Suburbs and Barron which is an area that extends from Ellis Beach to Crystal Cascades and called the “The Northern Beaches Area. ” The resultant statistics are false and misleading. If they (the Consultants had only used the Northern Suburbs SLA which is more appropriate which extends from Ellis Beach to Smithfield, then have their case would have shown much less need.

    Existence of 18 hole Golf Course tied to Preliminary Approval

    It concerns the CBCA and the community that on page 366, the following statement is made….

    “The modified Paradise Palms Golf Course illustrated in the development application must be retained as an 18 hole course for the full duration and effect of the Preliminary Approval. If further development occurs, diminishing the ability to provide 18 holes, the Preliminary Approval ceases to have effect.

    According to the IPA, Preliminary Approvals are valid for 4 years, so in effect the RAS Vison Group are only guaranteeing the Golf Course for a further 4 years.

    Amendment to CairnsPlan which was not part of the Draft Submission for Public Comment which has been perceived as primarily benefiting a developer

    The current DA (#1886984, page 374) states “the development is reflective of the amendment occurring to the description of the Cairns Beaches Planning District which identifies that these forms of development can occur in proximity to the Paradise Palms Golf Course.”

This so-called amendment has been the subject of a complaint by the Combined Beaches Community Association back in January 2008, which the then Cairns City Council ignored completely.

The complaint was one of seven complaints relating to conflicts of interests, Councillor misconduct and lack of transparency in Council decision-making. The Council maintain that this amendment was a minor amendment, however, the modifications do make the proposed amendments significantly different to the proposed amendments as publicly notified in the draft CairnsPlan.

The two submitters for the amendment to be included into the Cairns Plan were by the RAS Vison and Hedley Group. They say that this demonstrated that Council have allowed these changes to specifically benefit a developer.

The public were never given a chance to reject this change and by law, they should have been under the IPA.

The Combined Beaches Community Association points out that the original Development Approval (some 500 pages!) submitted in September 2007, the developers talked about their “H” development. Essentially they only wanted to change the zonings for a designated area which included part of the golf course - the 9th fairway 'The Dunes', the driving range 'Savannah' and 'Kingslciff Peak.' They wanted to build about 650 units and townhouses in this area. Goodbye golf course!

Cairns Council planners sent out a series of letters in December 2007, requesting the developer to change their application which the developer signed off on. This change was talked about at the second Paradise Palms meeting at Kewarra Beach and they asked why the “H” area could not be singled out and only these zonings changed?

In a letter late last year, the developer says that the details of the change are at request of Council. The applicant then states:
  • ”specifically the Council seeks inclusion of the whole of the Paradise Palms Country Club development as land subject to application.

    Council’s rationale is that by including all the golf course and other aspects of the of the Paradise Palms Country Club development, it will ensure that there is a clear relationship between the golf course, other development areas and the approvals being granted.

    As such the application will now include all of Lot 4 on RP800876 and Lot 5 on CP891005 and an additional parcel being Lot 359 on RP105747”.

The area under consideration is similar to the original development approval: the “H area”.

Council Planners have done a real back flip here and essentially are not converting the entire area as they wanted the developer to do back in January.

Somehow, they expect the ordinary public to understand all this, imagine how our Councillor have consumed all this. They are clever clogs to move their development ahead in such a covert way.

It's not over till the thin lady sings

In an embarrassing decision for the reform-focused Mayor Val Schier, yesterday Council agreed to retain the existing event organisers of Festival Cairns.

Val has made her opinion loud and clear that the community and the Cairns Regional Council were getting short-changed over the annual festival.

Yesterday Council meeting approved $295,000 for next year's shin-dig, to be managed by O'Brien's, of O'Brien's Toyota fame, the same mob that have been running it since it started six years ago under former Mayor Kevin Byne's leadership.

There has been a great deal of criticism from arty locals, including Arty Val about the Festival. Bar a couple of activities, the Festival is largely a bunch of events already occurring at the same time, wrapped into a colourful programme booklet.

However Mayor Schier has tried to tell us that the Festival is 'in a transitional year'. “The contract is for the 2009 year only, with a plan to develop and grow the program to a festival of national or international significance in the coming years," Schier says.

Arts and culture is one of Val's favourite subjects. She loves nothing more than a front row seat at the theatre or a city that's engaging in cultural interactive fun. It is certainly the nice glue that holds a city together and gives it some soul. However, with so much live music entertainment venues stripped from our city over the last 5 years, Val has a massive task ahead of her it she wants to reform this. It will take a great deal more than kicking out the O'Briens from running Festival Cairns and putting is a few gay boys from Tasmania with events diploma's under their hot pants.

Val has made no secret that she believes the Festival can be run a whole lot better. I agree with her. However Council has recently conducted 'extensive community consultation' that confirmed people want to see the local annual Festival change. Like some Year 5's from Redlynch Primary could have told you that while waiting for the bus.

I say, scrap the lot and start over. Fresh approach. Fresh ideas. And a real festival for and by the people.

Dying for a change

You have to have a giggle, when you see a statement from the Council saying that that a cemetery will be the focus of energy efficiency.

It's media spin at it best.

"The Mossman Cemetery will receive an $80,000 facelift with a new storage and facilities block," Cairns Regional Council announced.

Evidently the 48 year old old storage shed is in need of a scrub up. This building keeps the lawn mower.

So the story was all about how cool the new building would be, with the addition of a 'wide veranda'. "This will maintain cooler interior temperatures for maximum energy efficiency," Council announced.

I don't think the current residents will be hanging out for the new renovations.

Why the web is not like TV

CairnsBlog regular opinion-maker, Syd Walker takes issue with the proposed Labor Government's censoring of the Internet, and the Clean Feed that Communications Minister Senator Conroy is planning to roll out. Be warned.

Yesterday I published an article called Clive Hamilton & I: Getting Personal about Sex, Lies, Hate & Censorship

My main purpose was to rebut what I call the ‘Clive Hamilton Fallacy’, named in honour of its most prominent exponent. This is the argument “we already censor TV, radio, movies, books, magazines and newspapers. Why should the Internet be exempt?”

My article delved into related topics. I suggested why defending children against porn may be a smokescreen for eventual, much more alarming, political censorship. The end result was a long article.

In this shorter version, I’ll focus only on the ‘Clive Hamilton Fallacy’.

Why do I call it a fallacy? After all, it sounds reasonable on the surface… “We already censor TV, radio, movies… why not the Internet?”

It’s odd that the word ‘Internet’ (as opposed to World Wide Web) is usually the concluding word in this seemingly plausible appeal. After all, the Internet and the Web are not the same thing. The actual proposal that Dr Hamilton and Senator Conroy are promoting is a proposal to censor the Web – not the Internet in entirety (not yet, at any rate…). Even if censorship proponents get muddled. we need to be clear about key distinctions like this.

The World Wide Web, while not easy to define in a few words, is a suite of user-friendly interface technologies that provide easy access to the Internet (some of them may be used without an Internet connection). Along with email, the Web has been a phenomenally successful interface/technology. The invention of the Web led to an explosion of Internet use from the early 1990s onwards. ‘The Internet’, a term that refers to the worldwide interconnected matrix of communicating computers, predates the Web.

Opponents of the proposed mandatory web ‘filter’ often point out that Web filtering is not feasible. The filter is bound to be ‘leaky’. We may also assert that the Web filtering proposal is only partial and futile for that reason also. What about proxy servers? VPNs (virtual private network? I’ve used that argument myself, but I think it’s risky - because it could embolden would-be censors to extend prohibition to other Internet technologies too.

But why not censor the Web? After all, we already censor TV, radio, films…

Here’s why.

It comes down to the difference between (public) broadcast media and (essentially private) narrowcast media. They are very, very different. The same rules should not apply to both.

Whereas TV, movies, books, magazines etc are mainstream public media, the Web is a medium that enables a different kind of communication. It’s typically not a case of a few ‘one-to-many’ communications. It’s a case of many ‘one-to-one’ communications. That’s more akin to the mail than TV.

Whereas public broadcast media deliver shared experience to vast numbers of people, day after day, the Web does not.

True, some specific websites are very popular. But in total there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of websites. Each user decides which websites to access. Given the vast choice, each individual has essentially a private experience when surfing the Web.

If I turn on my TV, I know what I see will be viewed by many others. It’s the same if I flick on the radio or visit a movie. But if I visit an obscure website, I may well be the ONLY Australian on that day to do so. Or there may be thousands. It’s impossible to predict. When we use the Web, we make use of a narrowcast medium to go where we choose to go. There’s no telling where our neighbour goes. We both use the same basic technology, but our choices may well be worlds apart.

Proponents of the ‘Clive Hamilton Fallacy’ (principally Clive Hamilton himself) skip over the notion that there may be any problems associated with the current, rather tight censorship regime that pertains to mainstream media in Australia. I beg to differ. There ARE problems with this. Powerful political elites can and do use their power to restrict public access – within the ‘public’ media space – to information and analysis that doesn’t suit them. That’s to the detriment of the truth and contrary to the general public interest.

However, since the advent of the World Wide Web, those of us who dislike having our information sources rigorously ‘managed’ have had the alternative of using the Internet. The Web makes using the Internet easy. Now the ‘mandatory filtering’ proposal aims to take this crucial freedom away.

Whereas filtering works rather poorly for most photos and other graphical objects on the web, it works exceedingly well for searchable text. Rather too well, in fact. This has led critics to point out the problem of overkill. An example: any page with the word ‘Socialist’ could get inadvertently banned because it contains ‘Cialis’. That type of overkill is certainly a problem with robotic filters. Of course, in some circumstances (eg. on a home computer accessed by small children) the downside is worth it. But under the mandatory filtering proposal, individuals won’t get to choose. We won’t be able to turn the filter on and off at will. The choice would be made for us by a central censorship system.

Even though the proposed ‘filter’ will be ridiculously infective as an anti-pornography measure, it would work very effectively if the government ever chose to ban specific texts and impede public access to them.

Such bans could be automated, so any website repeating the offensive text could also be blocked – more or less immediately. Indeed, any site LINKING to a site containing the ‘offensive material’ could be easily blocked. In this way, bloggers and other websites could be intimidated into not reporting dissent (or even hyper-linking to other reports) – lest they be added to the banned list.

I repeat, censoring’ the Web is not like censoring the mainstream media. It’s much more like censoring the mail service. The Government’s plans for ISP-level filtering, whether innocent in intent or not, are pre-adapted for eventual political censorship.

In a recent TV interview, Clive Hamilton scoffed at claims that censoring for porn may be the thin end of the wedge. He said that’s just a ‘red herring’.

It will take more than a one-liner to convince your critics on that crucial point, Clive.

Large numbers of the most aware Australians treasure the freedom we now have to explore an uncensored Internet. It helps keep us sane in a world gone crazy. It helps us correct for mass media bias.

Above all, it helps us to make up our own minds. What’s so scary about that?

Truck loses load on Lavis road

Earlier this week a truck lost part of its timber load as it negotiated the narrow access road into Roy Lavis' property, that has been put under the spotlight for his sub-division application.

It is such events like this that the local residents behind the objection are concerned about.

"The access road is a single lane, winding road with some steep gradients and cross slopes," says Mansfield Street resident, John Martin. "It close to the creek and there is a steep slope running down from the road into the creek."

"There has already been a number of spills of loads and washes of dirt and debris down into Mansfield Street," John says.

"When previous heavy trucks have had to deliver big loads they have actually had to reverse up the first 400 metres to allow for a tighter turning circle at the first hairpin bend above the creek. This bend is just 45 metres from the creek above a steep slope. Imagine what toxic contaminants could get into the creek if a truck carrying liquids or other materials has a similar spill at this bend."

The access road from Mansfield Street gets as close as 35 metres from the creek at a lower section.

If this development application is approved, trucks and earth moving equipment will have to get in to clear and level the house block. Then during building cement trucks, vehicles carrying paint, solvents and building materials and chemicals will have to traverse the road. This is when the creek will be most at risk.

Under the Cairns Plan this road is supposed to be accessible by firetrucks. It is hard to believe it could be reasonable to expect firetrucks to reverse up the road to gain access in an emergency.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Bryan Law

Veteran Cairns community campaigner, political activist, and CairnsBlog columnist, Bryan Law, underwent open heart surgery in Brisbane early on Friday morning.
He was down there to see a specialist and to schedule his operation in March next year. However it was deemed necessary to go ahead immediately.

He had three Coronary Arterial bypass grafts, in a process that took over four hours. A team of nine specialists looked after Bryan.
"I'm still here," he told CairnsBlog this evening. "They've given me a 90% chance of surviving 10 years, so that's good I suppose."
Bryan said how he still felt sore and still weak after Friday's mammoth surgery.
Since the late 1980's, Bryan Law has been at the forefront of local political debate, on numerous issues that often don't get the attention they deserve in mainstream media. He campaigned over the building of SkyRail, the Daintree and many anti-war demonstrations.
In 2004, he ran for Mayor of Cairns as an independent against Kevin Byrne and Val Schier. He took 6% of the vote, proving an important vote splitter.
In late 2005, along with three others, Bryan Law breached a perimeter fence to conduct a citizen's inspection of the US spy base Pine Gap in the Northern Territory. The four were acquitted of charges under the Special Defence Undertakings Act 1952 earlier this year.
During the last six months, Bryan led a civil disobedience direct action campaign. He master-minded several protests to draw public attention at the Labor State Government's decision to demolish the historic Cairns Yacht Club building on the Cairns waterfront. He was arrested three times during the campaign. "We achieved some significant mileage and exposed the government's inaction and inability to listen to the people," Bryan says.
Bryan is hoping to return to Cairns at the end of the week, where he has been advised to take it slowly to recover.
"For the next few weeks, all I want Margaret to say is 'yes dear, of course dear, I'll do that'," Bryan said, joking about his partner.
You can send your wishes to Bryan via email.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

This little froggy goes to market

The Kuranda Tree Frog was only recently discovered and is restricted to the Myola Valley.

On Monday you'll have a unique hoportunity to meet Dr Conrad Hoskin who identified the new species that evolved in the Kuranda area. There'll be time for a talk and questions followed by a supper of frog leg sandwiches (only joking).

Dr Hoskin will have his recently-published Fieldguide to the Rainforest Frogs of the Wet Tropics available, with new info, photos of all species and a detailed key for only $15!

The event is organised by Kuranda Envirocare and supported by FoE Kuranda.
  • WHEN Monday 24th November
  • TIME 7pm
  • WHERE Kuranda Recreation Centre, Fallon Road

All that shines isn't glitter

UK's notorious gossip source Popbitch, reports that paedophile websites are being used to pass information between terrorists.

Apparently secret coded messages are being embedded into child pornographic images so terrorists can keep abreast of the latest fiendish plots. Yes, this is true, evidently from a police report. They say that 'religious fundamentalists', who so far have managed to communicate with each other quite nicely so far, are resorting to hanging out on paedo internet forums.

As Popbitch says, "when in doubt, blame Gary Glitter."

Friday, 21 November 2008

CairnsBlog cartoon by Circusmouse

A gay ol time on Saturday

Out Loud is the Cairns gay and lesbian choir, or LGBT as they call it. Similar to a BLT but less fat and more beef.
The happy chaps and chapesses are raising funds for new musical equipment and are holding a garage sale this Saturday. This will be held at the Resource Centre, 290 Draper Street.
It's the old Pizza Hut restaurant, on the corner of Mulgrave Road. Head down from 9am to grab a bargain, or someones cute arse, if you dare. You may even catch a rare glimpse of Molly, the infamous Door Bitch.
If you have any unwanted items (excluding mother in laws or former city Councillors) that you'd like to donate for the sale, you can drop them off at the centre on Friday or Saturday morning. Telephone Cliff 0432 401 188 or call 4041 5451 if you want something picked up.

Up the hill without a paddle

If you go down to the woods today, near Mansfield Street, high above Earlville, you might get a big surprise.
This story all started a few years ago, but heated up two weeks back. It could well become a battle between David Vs Goliath.
The father of Cairns construction, CEC's Roy Lavis, is up to some clever propaganda. Roy says he wants to cut his large hillside block in two just to "have a go". This is largely because he couldn't get his five lot subdivision approved 3 years ago on the same chunk of land.
Lavis bought the land at the top of Mansfield Street in 1994, and then built a large house on the Cairns-facing side the spur line, then in 2001, he tried to sell the entire block. In 2005 when he began applications to subdivide the land into five lots, which was withdrawn the following year, apparently because of conditions put on him by various environmental agencies.
Last July, Lavis again applied to subdivide, but this time into two lots, with the stated intention to put a house on the second lot. He also applied to have the zoning code changed for the small area of land that the house would occupy.
At this time he has also applied for a road to allow access to the lots independently. Although this was never approved as confirmed by Council's town planner Peter Tabulo, aerial photos clearly show a road has been constructed (see photo below). However, Roy's the most recent application [note: 6mb] to Cairns Regional Council, shows a photo taken some years ago before the road was constructed, that is being sought for approval (see plan far below).
So Roy is now doing it one division at a time - knowing one division is hard to argue against and that once one is done, it gets easier to get the next one. Get the idea?
The land is zoned 'Impact Assessable', which means that it can be subdivided but only with Council approval and only with the opportunity for the public to object.
Lavis also admits he's a developer and that he is in it to buy, develop and sell land. Hello! Such declarations makes it blindingly obvious what his plan is.
Here's a list of the many environmental objections from various organisations and local residents against Roy Lavis' plans.
The large community opposition to this potential hillslop subdivision by stealth, have published the whole toroid tale on their new website.

Leu and Hanan on Douglas Advisory Board

Robert Hanan, who heads the anti-amalgamation lobby group, Friends of Douglas Shire, is on the new Douglas Advisory Board to feed locals' concerns to Cairns Regional Council.

Councillor Julia Leu, who confronted the Premier when she visited Mossman last month, and has been a consistent fighter to air the residents' concerns from the former Douglas Shire, says that the board has a great range of skills and expertise. "It is well placed to advise Council on issues impacting the community,” she says.

Michael Bolt will chair the group which will meet every three months. Linda Jackson, Hazel Douglas, Robert Hanan, Ken Dobbs, Gerard Puglisi, Sonja Pritchard and Anne-Marie Clarke, are also on the new group.

Hanan and Friends of Douglas Shire, has led a large number of Division 10 residents around Port Douglas and Mossman to with-hold part or all of their rates over recent months, in protest at the lack of consultation from the new Council structure and rating regime that was forced on them.

The next ordinary council meeting of the Cairns Regional Council will be held next Thursday 27th November, and the meeting agenda will be available online from today. Friends of Douglas Shire will present to this meeting about their objection to increased rates and charges. You can contact Robert Hanan on 4098 8280 or Michael Gabour on 4099 3667, for more information about this meeting.

What teeth this new advisory body has, if any, is yet to be seen.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Smart State, Dumb Government

The Smart State, Dumb Government slogan is catching on around Cairns.
In the last week I've received two photos emailed from CairnsBlog readers.
Former Premier Beattie's 'Smart State' slogan is now being used against a government that has lost touch with the people.
When the slogan was introduced as an option on vehicle registration plates seven years ago, only 14% of motorists chose to have their car sport the arrogant proclamation. However 5% of the 'Smart State' lines are on government-owned vehicles, whereas a whopping 86% opted for the 'Sunshine State' rego plates.
When Beattie decided to abolish the 'Sunshine State' wording for his 'Smart State', there was such a outcry it was overturned.
Now people are sporting the 'Smart State, Dumb Government' stickers all across the far north of Queensland.
You can now click the logo above and print out your own!

Second place aint that bad

I hardly want to promote a right wing organ like Quick's CairnsWatch, but my morbid fascination extends to following his latest online poll.

Quickie asks the question "What would Village Val like for Christmas?" Why he calls our learned leader 'Village Val' is beyond even my puerile mind, but that's another story.

So far the responses are...
- A majority of vascillating [sic] vassals on Council? 13% (6 votes)
- A night on the town with Gavin King? 2% (1 vote) - I reckon King clicked that one.
- The autographed original of a certain cartoon that seems to have gone missing? 33% (15 votes) - It's not missing Dennis, it's still online and will remain so. All you CircusMousephiles can view the archives here.
- Lunch at Villa Romana with Kevin Byrne and Dennis Quick? 35% (16 votes)
- Christmas Dinner with Bryan Law and Michael Moore? 17% (8 votes)

As for the last vote, and I can't speak for Bryan, but I doubt I'll even get a Christmas Card from Val this year, after doing more than my bit to get her over the line in March.

Politics keeps strange bedfellows they say. At least we didn't have a smoke afterwards.

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:

Is everything honky dorey at False Cape?

Even though it has not been raining much over the last few weeks, another tree has collapsed on the steep False Cape site, at East Trinity.
Although only a small tree, this is significant in that it displays movement and instability of the land.
False Cape has been subject to rigorous public scrutiny over the last two year. A strong environmental campaign was orchestrated by the Save False Cape group. They took aim at the former Cairns City Council and the Queensland State Government, both of whom failed to take action.
Following election of the new Cairns Regional Council in March this year, they presented a delegation to the Environment and Planning Committee, to seek support for a closure of the development.
It appears that Cairns construction giant CEC, who have been contracted to spend the $109,000 allocated by the Cairns Regional Council for remedial action, have already cleaned up the mile-long scarred hillslope. The False Cape development site was left abandoned eight months ago by dodgy developer John Ewens. Recently the Federal Environment Minister made a 13th hour intervention to stop anymore excavation on the land, and ordered a clean up. The Council did not access the much talked about $650,000 bond that is meant to be held for such purpose, instead voting to levy the land holder on his rate bill.
Last Thursday Hydromulch was sprayed across the property, and the remaining machinery moved off the False Cape site yesterday.

A picture says a 1000.. ouch!

Caption Contest returns

Arh, the return of the infamous CairnsBlog Caption Contest, you've all been waiting for!

This pic was stolen from Dennis-quick-to-leave-Kev's-office-Quick CairnsWatch blog. It shows Quickie and our former Mayor in waiting, KB, at their favourite haunt, Villa Romana. That's the one with the 53 sq meters courtesy of Kevin's old Council.

So, what were they saying? What plans were they scheming? Why were they wearing those silly hard hats?

Here's your chance to put words in their mouths. There's a free Chocolate fish in it for the best entries. For the record, that's KB on the right, as always.

  1. "Hurry up and take that photo, I'm due on board the Dumbskin for the 2pm charter."
  2. "Us ex-Army buddies love a good long vino lunch we can charge to some account code."
  3. "Does green go with blue? I dunno, but we're both available at the right price."
  4. "If George was here, we would be sitting on the footpath."
  5. "Don't worry, we'll break Val after another few months. She'll be one of us."
  6. "These dark sunglasses allow me to keep an eye out for those bloody Blog cameras."
  7. ................."your turn"................

Green cash from Garrett

Jasse from the Knob reminded me last week that the good Minister Garrett, who's portfolio encompasses environment and heritage (you know the guy that failed to intervene to save our historic Cairns Yacht Club building) is now dishing out cash for 'preserving our historic heritage'
Oh the irony, Peter. What do you take us for mate?
What is it with these current Labor people? They get into power and lose their balls - women included. Even Mayor Val.
As Jasse reminded me, ladies do have balls too. "It's just they're nicely tucked inside, so not as obvious!"
Well, like a dodgy builder's labourer, we need to see them.

Monday, 10 November 2008

The road that Roy built

High above the city fringe suburb of Earlville is a house higher than all the others. It's perched on a ridge, over-looking the city and the sea.

The house at 109-105 Mansfield Street, Earlville, belongs to Cairns' top businessman, CEC's boss Roy Lavis, and his wife Alma.
Roy wants the Cairns Regional Council to allow him to subdivide his land in to two lots.
The land is tropical rainforest and includes the hill slopes above Balaclava Road, Bauhina Avenue, up to Kurrajong Street, borders the Wet Tropics classified area of Lake Morris Road and encompasses the elevated catchment area of Chinaman Creek and others.
Lavis has lodged a 'material change of use' application, as this is a Category 2 hillslopes zone and conservation designation. Both designations prohibit development like sub-division.

He wants to build another house on a higher ridge, however should this application be knocked back by Council, which is likely, Roy will no doubt take this off to the Planning and Environment Court. The Larvis and CEC empire weird enormous power around the Council planning table, and the potential for this development to further erode the visual amenity of our hillslopes is very high.

A large community group has formed to oppose Roy's plans to sud-divide and build, as they say, will open up the floodgates for further building, way above the legal allowed hillslope line.

Ivan Whitehead and John Martin, both residents of Mansfield Street, are leading the charge and last week took a flight above the land to get a first had view of the Larvis land, comprising 30 ha of hillslopes above Earlville.

The main concerns being raised are:
- Destruction of wet tropic and complex rainforest
- Removal of cassowaries habitat
- Reduction of local bio-diversity
- Further threat to rare and endangered flora and fauna including rare frog habitats
- Water quality of catchment areas
- Nature of soil and substrate
- Likely run off of sewage treatment plant during monsoonal rains
- Impact of vista and view from town reducing the local and tourist appeal of Cairns
- Consistency with town planning and legislation of category 2 listed land
- Reduction of the quite enjoyment of lifestyle for surrounding neighbourhood.
This area is currently zoned 'conservation status' as it is the habitat of rare frogs, cassowaries and tree species of interest, however we know that this current Council have a habit, like the last one, to ignore such designations. material Change of Use applications have become teh norma under the previous Cairns City Council and has been the case at Hedley's Paradise Palms golf course recently.
Lavis wants to subdivide and create an road easement and also rezone this area as urban. He claims he only wants to build one house on the 23 ha of rainforest directly on the higher ridge above his current property that can be seen from Mulgrave Road.

This ridge is directly above catchment areas that feed into rare frog habitats abounding in a variety of species, this should be of concern for everybody in this time of climate change and declining frog numbers. Also, the sewage treatment plant proposed to be installed there is of major concern as when the torrential rain during the wet occur the run off will end up in Chinaman Creek not to mention the eroded soil and chemicals left over from the development.

However, the biggest concern is if the Cairns Regional Council approve this 'one dwelling' on 23 ha there will be nothing to stop further sub-divisions and development of this land, not to mention the precedence of this approval will have on other developers seeking approvals for further areas of our hills.

How can our Council even consider such zoning changes when there is legislation in place to stop the destruction of our slopes? The application should have been thrown out when he asked it to be considers. Full stop. Objectors have until the 27th of November to do their bit to save our ranges from greedy influential developers.
There is a lot more to reveal on this story, along with a series of damming photographs. If your name is Roy, I'd stay tuned and awake.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

How to speak Nuw Zulander

Here's a guide for travelers...

How to speak Nuw Zulander


Milburn ……………....Capital of Victoria
Peck……………….… fill a suitcase
Pisssed aside ….…........chemical which kills insects
Pigs ……………….…..for hanging out washing with
Pug ………………….. large pink animal with curly tail
Nin Tin dough …… game
Munner stroney ……...soup
Min ………………...….male of the species
Mess kara ………..…...eye makeup
McKennock …………..person who fixes cars
Mere …………………..Mayor
Leather ……………….foam produced from soap
Lift ……………………departed
Kiri Pecker …………...famous Australian businessman
Kittle crusps ……….....potato crisps
Ken’s ……………..….. Cairns
Jungle bells ……..…....Christmas carol
Inner me ……….…......enemy
Guess ……………........vapour
Fush ………………….marine creatures
Fitter cheney ………...type of pasta
Ever cardeau …….….avocado
Fear hear …………….blonde
Ear …………………...mix of nitrogen and oxygen
Ear roebucks ………..exercise at the gym
Duffy cult ……………not easy
Amejen ………………visualise
Chuck ………………..very young poultry
Bug hut ………………popular recording
Bun button …………...been bitten by insect
Beard ………………....a place to sleep
Sucks Peck …………...half a dozen beers
Ear New Zulland ….…an extinct airline
Beers ………………….large savage animals found in US forests
Veerjun ……………….mythical New Zealand maiden
One Doze ……………...well known computer program
Brudge ………………...structure spanning a stream
Sex …………………… less than sivven
Tin ………………...… more than nine
Iggs Ecktly …………….precisely
Cuds ………………...…children
Pits ………………...…...domestic animals
Cuttin ……………..… cat
Earplane ……………… large flying machine
Sivven Sucks Sivven …...Large Boeing aircraft
Sivven Four Sivven ……Larger Boeing aircraft
Beggage Chuckken ……place to leave your suitcase at the earport

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Bye bye Helen

Relative newcomer and millionaire investment business banker, John Key of the centre right National Party, will form a coalition government of the unwilling, following an overnight victory, defeating 9 years of Helen Clark's Labour-led government.
Helen contested her Auckland, Mt Albert seat for the tenth time, and the fifth time as leader of her party, on three successful campaigns.
She delivered a shock announcement that almost no insiders were aware of, saying that she will step down immediately as leader of Labour. "If I couldn't lead the party to victory then it was time to go," she told her supporters at 10:33pm Saturday night.
"I believe on our watch we elevated the inclusion of all Kiwis to new levels, irrespective of ethnicity, faith, gender, gender orientation, we're all in it together," Helen Clark said.
The other big change in the make up of the new Parliament was the departure of New Zealand First's Winston Peters after 30 years in political life. His party failed to reach the 5% vote threshold to get himself or his list MPs into Parliament. He also did not retain his Tauranga seat, which he had held for 24 years.

Under New Zealand's Mixed-Member Proportional voting system, National will gain 59 seats. ACT will gain five seats, along with and United Future's Peter Dunne, to form a coalition with 65 of the 122 seats in Parliament. Labour will probably hold around 43 seats.

Clark's parting shot was that she had one fear. "I hope all that we had worked to put in place doesn't go up in flames on a bomb fire created by the right wing of politics."

Janine and Joel

Janine Aitken asked LNP Cairns Candidate 31-year-old, Joel Harrop, a few probing questions.

Daylight Savings
"It is a geographical issue, personally in Cairns it would be absurd, South East Queensland may one day dictate a hybrid system but should it be suggested for Cairns I would fight tooth & nail to stop it"

Recycled Water;
"It shouldn't be pumped into drinking water, it should only be for industrial and grey water use".
Prisoners in work camps;
"There is scope to make prisoners into more productive members of society"

"There is no policy at the moment"

Privatising schools;
"Private schools do take the pressure of funding off government, however every child should be able to obtain a quality public education".

ABC Rescue package;
"It is not the place of government to bail out organisations that have not been economically well managed".

Reducing cost of land for first home buyers;
"Assistance packages can feed inflation however the cost of housing is a problem, it is out of control. This is a policy area we are working on"

Would he be prepared to have an independent Speaker (of the Parliament);
"Yes, I have absolutely no problem with that I would be very comfortable with an independent speaker".

Stance on Heritage;
"If you go to Europe and walk down one of the streets there are buildings everywhere hundreds of years old, the Yacht Club was a terrible shame where was the benefit to the public? If it was something to benefit the community I could understand but all that happened was some rich guy got richer".

Plans to deal with farm run off to the Great Barrier Reef;
"Environmental policy is still being firmed up".

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Final US election results

My mate David at KiwiBlog, has done a good summary of the US election results:

The final electoral college counts looks to be 364 for Obama and 174 for McCain. North Carolina and Missouri are not final but look to go to Obama and McCain respectively. That is around the scale of Clinton in 1996 who won by 379 to 159.

On the popular vote Obama has 63,687,862 to 56,283,891 for McCain - 53% to 46%. Obama got around 1,600,000 more votes that Bush did in 2004.

The states Obama picked up from Bush are Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

In the Senate the Democrats did quite well but well back on their target of. They started with 51 seats (including two Independents) and now have 56 - picking up North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Colorado. Sadly they did not defeat Ted Stevens in Alaska.

In the House they picked up 19 seats and the balance is now 254 to 174 with 7 undecided.

The exit poll results are quite interesting also:

  • Obama vs McCain was 49% to 48% amongst men and 56% to 43% amongst women
  • White men went McCain 57% to 41% and white women 53% to 46%
  • Blacks went 95% for Obama
  • Latinos around 67% for Obama
  • McCain won over 65s 53% to 45% while Obama won under 30s by 66% to 32%
  • Obama won amongst the 6% earning over $200K by 52% to 46%
  • 14% of white Democrats voted for McCain while 8% of white Republicans voted for Obama
  • 20% of Conservatives voted Obama
  • 11% were first time voters and they went Obama 69% to 30%

And then there were state ballots:

  • Arizona voted to bay gay marriage and hiring illegal immigrants
  • Arkansas banned gay couples adopting children
  • California also voted to ban gay marriage but against for parental notification of teenage abortions
  • Colorado voted to end against ending affirmative action and not to ban abortion by defining human life as beginning at conception
  • Florida voted to ban gay marriage
  • Maryland voted to allow a video lottery
  • Massachusetts voted not to repeal state income tax
  • Michigan voted to allow medical marijuana and stem cell research
  • Nebraska voted to end affirmative action
  • South Dakota voted not to ban abortion except for mother’s health, incest or rape
  • Washington voted to allow doctor-assisted suicide

Many of the state polls will be found to be unconstitutional and never put into effect incidentally.

Finally, Obama's speech yesterday was truly inspirational and historic for a President-elect...

  • "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

    It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

    It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

    You can read the full speech here...

An Open Letter to Paul Matthews

Hello Paul,

Till now you and I have enjoyed a casual kind of political relationship.

We’re kind of on the same side. We both like to think of ourselves as being progressive, caring kind of men who put effort into building a better and more sustainable society. We run into each other at political events, or we participate in the same campaigns. We sometimes say hello to each other and have a yarn.

Alongside 15 others, we sat around the People Against Demolishing the Yacht Club (PADYC) table at Wendy Richardson’s place over some three months trying to produce a decent result around issues of Cairns heritage and development. Towards the end of that cause you came to witness, and play a supporting role, in some of the nonviolent direct action (NVDA) that I helped organise in September and October this year.

In early October you agreed with the PADYC consensus that Cairns mayor Val Schier was less forthcoming, and less effective on the Yacht Club issue, than we would like. You told me that the Cairns 1st team had plans to help Val become more effective as Mayor.

When the successfully elected Councillor Di Forsyth climbed up onto the Yacht Club roof, you, Janine Aitken and Mark Buttrose (all unelected candidates for Cairns 1st in March 2008) were there to support her. You all rejoiced in her success, and you all celebrated the ongoing commitment of Cairns 1st to sustainable development and democracy in Cairns. We got a glimpse of what people power in Cairns could look like.

Then you wrote on this blog on Friday 31 October.. “don't you mob think Val's job is hard enough without your constant badgering. The Cairns Post, "little" John and this blog seems to derive great satisfaction from pillorying the mayor.”

I was a bit shocked, and I wondered why you were going for Michael Moore so bitterly. Along with related events that week your comments made me want to ask “What’s going on with Cairns 1st?” “Why do Cairns 1st seem to find it so hard delivering on their promises?” “Where’s the community alliance we need?”

The related events were:

  • the Wednesday (29/10) meeting I went to with Michael Moore, to talk with Val Schier, where Val dismissed our concerns out of hand, treated us like wayward children, and lied to us;
  • Thursday morning (30/10) when Di Forsyth snubbed 25 Yacht Club activists (on legal advice) and didn’t even say hello to us on her way into court, even though she’d been party to organising our attendance;
  • Thursday evening (30/10) when Cairns 1st held a meeting at which Val labelled me as aggressive and threatening because I challenged her at our Wednesday meeting.

This letter is to ask you, “please don’t circle the wagons and treat us like enemies”. We’re not your enemy. Like us or lump us, we’re your friends.


I’ve always had concerns about just how good a Mayor Val Schier could be, and my concerns run in two directions. First is the matter of executive experience, and how well equipped is Val to use the Mayor’s executive powers in service to the people of Cairns. Second is the process of responsibility and accountability to the community, via organised community groups, in whose interests the Mayor’s executive powers ought be used.

Events in 2003, when Val was putting together Team ’04 Cairns, made me think that Val wasn’t paying much attention to community accountability. Val was then, and is now, far too dependent on senior ALP politicians like Desley Boyle and Jan McLucas. My concerns led me to run as an independent candidate for Mayor in 2004 so I could put up accountability as an issue, as well as Aboriginal and environmental issues which were being neglected by Team ’04 Cairns (of which you were a member). I gave my preferences to Val, but Kevin Byrne won 51.5% of the Primary vote and was re-elected.

In 2008 I decided to swallow my reservations about Val and her Labor links - and stick to campaigning against Kevin. I reasoned that we could get rid of KB first, and then figure out how to assist Val in becoming a strong and effective Mayor for the various Cairns communities. That task is proving more difficult than I imagined, but I haven’t given up on it.

Wednesday 29 October

That’s why I organised the meeting with Val last Wednesday. So I could discuss with our Mayor a range of opportunities she has to work in effective partnership with the community. So that all together we might bring needed change to the administration of Cairns Regional Council. Administration, not just policy.

I wanted to ask Val why she had so badly failed the Yacht Club campaign.

Anyone who wants to check Val’s election promises around the Yacht Club only has to
check out the video put up by Michael Moore on this blog.

Val’s best ally, Councillor for Division 7 Di Forsyth, worked hard to keep this promise. Resolutions were passed TWICE by Cairns Regional Council (so much for not having the numbers) authorising CRC to take action in relation to the Yacht Club. Val had a perfect opportunity to shine, and to make friends and allies out of some 9,000 Cairns residents.

If we count in the time required for Val to be fully briefed and prepared, along with the phone calls she’d need to make to Anna Bligh and Desley Boyle, we were asking Val for a commitment of 40 minutes. 40 minutes.

Now it’s bad enough that Val chose NOT to make the effort. It’s bad enough that in office she characterises the issue as one carried out “in the sand-pit” (I think that’s a reference to childishness). It’s bad enough that she is clearly not listening to either her team members, or to the people who elected her.

But what’s ten times worse is that when Di Forsyth stepped up to the plate for civil disobedience, and took a significant personal and professional risk, Val chose to invest those 40 minutes undermining her friend and colleague, and the Yacht Club campaign, through media spin. On Monday 13 October Val Schier used her million dollar media management team to raise allegations that Di Forsyth was in breach of the Cairns Regional Council “Code of Conduct”.

At our Wednesday 29 October meeting Val claimed the whole thing had been a mistake, and she blamed her staff.


On Thursday 30 October, after Di had appeared for a mention in court, Val repeated the allegations on channel 7 local news. That’s quite some mistake.

It’s clear to me that Val Schier is floundering in her job as Mayor. She appears to have a “John Wayne” vision of leadership where the noble hero calls the shots, and lesser creatures toe the line. If the leader doesn’t know, or can’t do it – then nobody can. Instead of calling upon community leaders and resources to join in the task of government, Val has circled the wagons – relying exclusively on the advice of paid flunkies like Noel Briggs and Peter Tabulo (who didn’t get her elected) instead of on her colleagues like yourself, Mark Buttrose, and Di Forsyth (who did get her elected).

Who knows how these issues could have played out if Val had supported her colleagues instead of undermining them?

“Hi Anna, it’s Val Schier here. I’m ringing to tell you what a huge mistake you’re making about the Cairns Yacht Club. There’s a huge feeling here that we need to come up with a better solution. I’m feeling the pressure all the time and, as a friend, I’m telling you that something has to be done. Tell you what! Can you find a couple of hours to spend at a public meeting in Cairns where you can gauge for yourself the level of community demand. I think we can turn this into a positive, if we can just get Cairns Ports to pay some attention. My mate Mark Buttrose can brief you on the design issues”.

Di Forsyth doesn’t have to climb the roof. Desley and Steve don’t have to fight for their seats. Anna has a better chance of staying Premier. Val makes 9,000 plus friends and supporters. The people of Cairns get a waterfront precinct they like. Win, win, win.

That’s the picture I want to see. That’s the kind of Mayor I want.

That’s the kind of vision I hoped you, Mark, Janine, Di, Kirsten and colleagues would put to Val last Thursday evening. Instead I’m told you avoided all the hard issues and let Val attack and criticise a number of people she ought be forging alliances with. I’m told that Cairns 1st won’t be getting together for six months - while Val continues alone down the blind alleys of executive failure.

Cairns 1st held out the promise of vision and integrity. So far it’s produced spin and mediocrity. C,mon mate, we can do better than that. We’ve got four years.

I’m conducting this conversation in public because my vision of politics is one where community members are able to have free and frank disagreements – that coalesce into better policy and shared commitment. If I didn’t respect you, if I didn’t respect Val, I wouldn’t bother inviting public discussion. As it is I look forward to your considered response.

Yours sincerely,
Bryan Law

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Like Val, Barrack plans to redecorate

Joel's porn channel

Liberal National Party Cairns candidate Joel Harrop, joins the political debate online, with his first chat to the people.

Here's Joel's You Tube channel, or you can email him here.

Cairns Ports investigating safety incident

A very concerning and serious breach of safety occurred on during one of the last protest actions at the old Yacht Club building.

This occurred the morning when Cairns Regional Councillor, Dianne Forsyth made a sit-in protest on the roof, attracting national media attention. This was the sixth successful breach of security, following the Port Authority installation of 24 hour security guards on the property. Seems like they didn't do a very good job.

Cairns Ports Security and Emergency Manager, David Good has acknowledged he's in receipt of a formal complaint, considered to be an unsafe act that occurred just after 7am on Monday 13th October.

For the record, Mr Good called the site 'the former Cairns Yacht Club building removal and demolition site.' They knew what they were doing there, and it wasn't saving the old girl.

The dangerous action carried out by a security guard, as we used a high-rise ladder to get Dianne Forsyth onto the roof.

The action to get the Councillor on the roof, was planned three weeks in advance, with safety for those participating, utmost in our minds. Bryan was the Diversion Team Leader. Mark was the Human Shield Team leader, and I was appointed Safety Team co-ordinator.


    At 7.10 am on Monday 13 October 2008, Cairns Regional Councillor Di Forsyth made an act of nonviolent civil disobedience to stop the demolition of Cairns’ historic Yacht Club building at No 4 Wharf Street, Cairns.

    I (Michael Moore) was the designated Safety Co-ordinator for the action. This involved in ensuring that the Councillor maintained a high degree of safety and security during her climb. Councillor Forsyth climbed a ladder onto the north western roof of the Yacht Club building.

    Councillor Forsyth wore a hard hat, a safety harness, and safety rope, to enable the exercise was carried out with due care for her protection. Our Safety team consisted of three people, whose role it was to secure and raise the ladder alongside the building, and hold it securely in place. I climbed the ladder first, with a seating platform. I was to place this platform on the roof frame, to allow a safe place for Councillor Forsyth to be seated.

    As I was climbing the ladder, I felt it move away from the side on the building. I became alarmed, and immediately felt in grave danger. I was some two meters above the concrete laneway (between the Hilton Hotel and the Yacht Club building), on the ladder, when I felt the ladder move. I was surprised that the ladder was moving, when it was being stabilized by two people on the ground level.
    I looked to see what was causing the ladder to move away from the side of the building.

    I saw a Security Guard at the louvered window, close to the top of the ladder. The Security Guard had a hold of the ladder with his right hand, through the louvered windows. He was attempting to push the ladder away from the building, and to my right. The movement of the ladder was such that I felt the ladder was going to topple, and I would fall to the ground and be injured.

    At this point, the language from this security guard was foul and offensive, and he continued to move push the ladder away from the side of the building. He used words such as "Fuck off" etc. He was extremely aggressive in his manner, and at the same time, forceful to the point of violence in his actions.

    As a result of the security guard's actions, a louver glass window was broken and fell to the ground, adjacent to where a large number of supporters were standing. Immediately after the glass broke, the security guard backed away from the window.

  • I overcame my fear, and decided I could rely upon the people securing the ladder on the ground, now that it was unhindered.
    I continued to scale the ladder, holding the seating platform with one hand, to the roof line. I placed the seating platform successfully on the roof frame. I made a second trip up the ladder to secure a safety rope.

    Following this, Cr Diane Forsyth successfully climbed ladder and positioned herself safety and securely on the roof of the Cairns Yacht Club building.
Cairns Ports Security and Emergency Manager, David Good has completed his investigation into the incident.

"The report is sitting with the Operations Manager, Michael Barnett as it requires his input before being signed off by the General Manager," David Good said.

Unfortunately Barnett is currently at the Fort Lauderdale boat show representing the Super Yacht Cluster and will be back at work next week.

"It will be at least a week until it gets to the General Manager," David Good said.

We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, keep a lookout for a man in a yellow raincoat with glasses. Approach with caution.

Aint no use in crying

With thanks to Nick van Voorst and The Rolling Stones

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Posting comments

There's a error with posting comments presently.

I have reverted to the Pop UP comments window, which seems to be operating okay.

You'll need to have your Pop Up enabled, or hold down the Control key when you click the "Comment link".

Also, please leave your name, or your nic name, when leaving a comment on CairnsBlog. If you post it as 'Anonymous', it will simply be deleted.

Follow the race to the Black House

CEC start False Cape work

After over a year of political Council and State government wrangling; three years of severe damage to what was a pristine coastline view from Cairns; a Federal Minister's intervention; much Cairns City Council's mis-management and negligence, False Cape is about to get some urgent pre-wet season surgery.
Yesterday, Cairns construction company CEC rolled back onto the work site, that has been abandoned for months.
Never explained properly to the public, the Council have not invoked their $650,000 bond that they should be holding for this use, to spend towards clean up the 2 klm long False Cape site. Instead, as a act of mad local politics, they're paying for it themselves, out of Ratepayer money, and added it to developer John Ewens rate's bill.
CEC moved a large excavator onto the site, presumably to start remedial work. You have to wonder how an excavator will stabilise the now scarred hillslopes.
Over the last two wet seasons, substantial sediment run off was recorded. Save False Cape campaigners have been fighting for action for nearly three years. You can see the damage to False Cape from these amazing photos taken onboard the Buttrose Nowakowski death-defying helicopter ride, that I'm assured will not be an attraction at next year's Cairns Show.

Three pix from the Cairns Post

It must be difficult being a Cairns Post photographer (I know a couple of them actually).

I couldn't help but giggle when I saw these three Post photos, from three different stories, all sporting the same style and angle. I wonder if the Sub Ed noticed the similarity, before publication? They all appeared on or about the same day last week.