Thursday 26 February 2009

Councillor Forsyth case closed

Cairns Regional Councillor Diane Forsyth appeared before the Cairns Magistrate Court this morning, a day early than originally scheduled.

The Councillor was there to answer charges of trespass, when, back in October, she climbed upon the now demolished Cairns Yacht Club building, subsequently removed and stripped to pieces by the Labor Government.

Forsyth's lawyer, Steven O’Reilly, had serious issues about the politics of direct action. He brought the matter on early to dispose of it away from groups of political supporters.

"I'm glad this is behind me, and I can move on," Forsyth said.

Forsyth's protest action by climbing of the roof of the historic Cairns' iconic building, was to highlight the State Government's lack of compassion and not listening to the local community's desire to retain the 100 year old building on it's Wharf Street waterfront site. Even an 11,000-strong petition, the third in five years of campaigning, fell on the deaf eyes of local Cairns MP Desley Boyle, who is also State Tourism Minister. She failed to see how it could have been retained and developed into a significant tourism and heritage attraction.

"We will relocate the building to a new heritage precinct at James Cook University," Boyle jointly announced with fellow MP for Barron River Steve Wetenhall, and the Cairns Port Authority who manages the waterfront land.

However, six months on, in the wave of the upcoming State election, the remains of the building lies water-damaged and exposed in a paddock in Smithfield. The rest was salvaged at is being sold off as scrap to the highest bidder by Anton Demolitions at his Machans Beach yard. It is probably the most vivid depiction of MPs ignoring a community in recent years, and will be a feature of the current election campaign I'm sure.

The late entry into the Save the Yacht Club debate, Barron River MP Steve Wettenall earned the nic name of 'Wet and no balls', at first attributed to the campaign's co-ordinator, Wendy Richardson. However, Richardson, who had ran against Boyle for the Cairns seat three years earlier, and now is challenging Wettenhall for his electorate, said the nic names were out there in the community.

"We were all hearing these names in conversations," she said at the time. "These MPs failed the Cairns community. They simply were unwilling to listen," Richardson says.

'Demolition Desley' and 'Pittaful Pitt', were also bandied around, due to their lack of support. I dunno what they had for Jason O'Brien?! (A chocolate fish awaits the best suggestion.)

However Forsyth, a Labor Councillor, is not unhappy about her court appearance. She was aware that her actions were illegal. "I wanted our community to be heard loud and clear," she said at the time of her trespass.

Today the sentencing judge gave her a Good Behaviour bond (hard for any Councillor if you ask me), with no conviction recorded.

This will now clear the path for Council's Code of Conduct investigation against Councillor Forsyth, that CEO Noel Briggs initiated last year. Briggs commissioned a report, that is was concocted with a pre-determined conclusion, written by his friend and colleague in the former Mareeba Shire Council.

There needs a code of conduct enquiry into this action itself.


Anonymous said...

Goodbye to the 'code of conduct' charge from the unelected Adolf Briggs!!

It's Aunty Val's turn next i spose.

Anonymous said...

And I understand that rumour has it, that the demolitioner still has the historic signs(remember the wrapped signs!). Seems that they were never part of the face saving deal engineered by Wettenhall and Boyle. Seems that the signs are available for purchase (at a $$$$$ price of course.)

Lets take up a collection, purchase the signs, get them duplicated; give the copy, autographed by as many as possible (room for 11,000?) to the intrepid duo as their farewell gift from the people of Cairns.

I'll gladly kick in to kick out.

Hey the LNP peoples should use that as their fundraising theme!

Anonymous said...

I just don't know ... there was Di pictured in today's paper at the "Residents against Crime" meeting chaired by Macca recently.
She was either carrying a sign regarding the court system being soft on criminal acts or standing under this sign.
And today this same person was the beneficiary of this "soft justice".
The criminal act of trespass was fobbed away as though it never happened.
I feel really sorry for the Taipan that chose to sleep in his car rather than drive and then got done, (fined and criminal record), because he left the keys in the ignition.
What utter hypocrisy displayed by our courts.

Anonymous said...

Quickie, "Residents Against Crime" - to you mean that group of proto-vigilantes led by Barry Neal?

I went to that meeting and saw Di Forsyth there. She had nothing to do with the sign, which was an individual effort just a little bit divorced from reality.

The problem with ignorant people is that don't know anything and are vulnerable to the well rehearsed lie.

I encourage you to learn more about civil disobedience, democracy, the rule of law, and what goes to make a healthy organic community.

But I don't expect you will, or that you'd be worth wasting time on in your ignorance.

Keep up the funny rants.

Anonymous said...

Oh Brian Law ... what an ironical name.

No I won't join you in law breaking activities (or acts of civil disobedience as you quaintly express them).

You see, my gene pool has evolved over the last 200 years and no longer do I yearn for the life style that bred convicts.

I'd like to continue with this meaningless conversation but, alas, the wheels of industry need turning.

Have a meaningful day.

Anonymous said...

Bryan Law I read your comment (Quickie, "Residents Against Crime" - to you mean that group of proto-vigilantes led by Barry Neal?).
Residents Against Crime is a not a vigilante group and never will be as I have stated at the last 3 meeting and in the media that I will never support vigilante groups in any way.
My purpose is to try and get more police for Cairns and have the Judicial System looked at and changed where required.
Residents Against Crime and always will be a law abiding group.
This group has support from the residents and police of this city who do an outstanding job considereing the lack of staff.
Finally, please learn how to spell my name.