Thursday 14 May 2009

Speaker’s Corner returns

***Under former mayor Kevin Byrne you could have been shot or imprisoned for 30 years with hard labour, if you gathered an audience and spoke in the town centre.

However, all that has changed. At yesterday's Council meeting it was voted to allocate a shady spot in City Place for speakers.

Absent for around 8 years, the public speaker’s venue will be reinstated, and will be blessed as Ray Jones Speaker’s Corner.

Deputy Mayor, I mean Acting Mayor, Margaret Cochrane, who chairs the Cultural and Community Services Committee (known on the inside as the SACCSC), said they considered locating Speaker’s Corner in Fogarty Park.

“Fogarty Park is quiet most days and the location did not give individuals a ready audience," Cochrane said at yesterday's meeting. “Under the fig trees on the west side of City Place is shady and has a constant flow of pedestrians,” she said.

The Council was quick to record that the approved location will allow public speakers to use the venue in line with the Peaceful Assembly Act, without having to seek formal approval to speak from Cairns Regional Council. Phew, that's nice. I mean, every time I want to speak in public, I won't be seeking approval from Chairman Mao.

I think Bryan Law should officially anoint the new spot, with a speech on how run civil disobedience. Or how about Werner and Wendy on forced non-fluoridation? Maybe Noel Briggs could run a series of speeches about how to file your 2009 Tax Return? Or Kerie Hull and Sonja Anderson could hold 'How to whip up a media release in your lunchtime'? How about John Mackenzie doing an impression of a racist-free talk back show?

Any other suggestions?

***some details of this story have been fabricated to deliberately excite non-believers.


The Headless Horseman said...

I think we should have a buskers corner on The Esplanade named after Johno.

Bryan Outlaw said...

How about the "Bryan Law Unlimited Hot Air" welfare corner.

Brian Outlaws right hand said...

You still stalking him Brian Outlaw? They certainly wouldn't name it after you. What have you ever stood up for except cheap shots?

portmultimedia said...

All well and good, but there also needs to be an understanding in writing as to what is considered offensive... e.g:obseneties etc.

It can't be uncontrolled, that is not fair on the less tolerent amongst us.

Dutchie said...

Some people only like democracy when it suits them. Bryan Outlaw is one of them it seems.

Although I welcome a platform for people to vent their views, I am a little concerned about what could happen (e.g. a racist person having a go at Japanese students, or an ignorant person telling the tourists we don't need them). Seriously, Bryan Law - agree with him or not - would be the least of my worries.

So, I am very interested to see how the Council will select or screen the speakers...

Bryan Outlaw said...

"Bryan Law's Right Hand"?

Now there's something that gets quite a workout!

Bryan Outlaw's right hand thumb nail said...


Can you set up a poll to see if this Bryan Outlaw character should be banned?

Gee whiz, how much of his crap do we need to put up with!

I know that I would vote a loud YES.

Brian Outlaw's Right Hand said...

Brian OUTlaw, you have just proven to all and sundry that too much of it really does make you blind!

Wendy Richardson said...

Love the idea of Speakers Corner and yes, I do look forward to using it!!

colin riddell said...

when do people normally speak/rant at speakers corner?

Cairns Resident said...

when wendy? i want to hear your thoughts

nocturnal congress said...

Wonder if mad Barry, the preacher fellow is still around? Years back you would always find him in the City Place spruking away about how the "Lord saved me!" blah blah.
I dare say if he is, he will probably take up an enduring presence there.

Unknown said...


I think I might use it too. But for a rather difficult and possibly unsuccessful game of "Spot the local."***

Cause god knows, we all love sitting under that ugly mushroom and using our city place...

...don't we?

***Leftie disclaimer:
The term "Spot the local" is not used with any xenophobic, racist, chauvinist, capitalist, individualist, free thinking or freedom-promoting undertones.
It may however, contain traces of realism, cynicism and pine nuts.

Typical Rightard said...

'It may however, contain traces of realism, cynicism and pine nuts..'

...but not very much wit Tyson.

Lance T. Royce said...

Free speech is priceless!