Tuesday 2 June 2009

Council needs to be transparent

Following my revelation last Thursday about the collusion of a Councillor and a very senior staff member at Cairns Regional Council, at the height of the Cash for Comments saga, more pictures have emerged from the weekend that collaborate the original story.

The separation of power is such a vital part of our democracy. Where there's grounds for perceived suspicions where wrong-doing could be occurring, or conflicts of interest could be seen, then these need to be declared openly and honestly. That is part of being in public office and serving the people. It is also clearly stated in the Councillor's Code of Conduct.

Furthermore, ratepayers of this region deserve transparency in their elected representatives and the way in which they make decisions. Like it or not, they are not just ordinary citizens, and they should expect the scrutiny that goes with the territory of Public Office. Taking an Oath before the people, an event I witnessed last March, is something taken very seriously. It is a calling they, and they alone, choose to take. It comes with great responsibility.
On Saturday morning, two neighbours reported that the chief of Council's Finance Committee, Councillor Alan Blake, was indeed back in the neighbourhood, visiting Kerie Hull, Council's Corporate Communications Manager.

My investigation on this matter is not in isolation. What people do in their lives is of little concern to me, nor should it be to anyone. But these at not just everyday people. They are paid substantial salaries by the public purse. Both were also interviewed by QC Henry as part of the extensive Cash for Comments investigation into the arrangement between Council and Radio 4CA. I'm written extensively about this previously, and showed that both Blake and Hull had involvement, at the very early stage, most probably in an attempt to undermine the Mayor.

As most CairnsBlog readers will know, Councillor Blake threatened me with legal action two weeks ago. It was the old infamous Byrne tatic in a vain attempt to use the Council's lawyer at the Ratepayer's expense, and silence me. His actions as a senior and one would hope, experienced Councillor after already serving two terms, is one for public scrutiny. There's nothing improper about that, when there's a perceived inappropriateness.

Following my release of photos last Thursday, Alan Blake emailed a message to Councillors Cooper, Bonneau, and the Deputy Mayor Cochrane, saying they were made up, and there was no truth in them. Other commentors on this Blog called them fabricated and that they were bodged up in Photoshop, that the 'focal length' was wrong. All many of ideas came forward, in an attempt to protect and defend the Councillor. Well, they were real. I have an Affidavit from the photographer, and I researched and checked their authenticity prior to publication. I even asked for the Councillor's comments for two weeks before publishing, but he didn't want to discuss the matter. What a shame, I could have thrown them in the bin if he did.

Why does it matter if Blake is in private discussions with Council's Corporate Communications Manager, Kerie Hull anyway? It matters a great deal. In fact, it matters more now than a week ago, because we now have learnt the that QC's investigation into the Cash for Comments matters, reputedly costing anything between $20,000 to $45,000, goes well beyond who said what.

My information tells me that the Report identifies a Council that permits and allows a culture of poor processes, such as the under-mining of the Mayor and others, to exist and permeate. A culture that, under the leadership of Noel Briggs, has caused many of Council's 1000 staff, to feel very concerned about the health of their workplace. The conduct of some Councillors and senior staff, is a clear example of this covert and manipulating culture in action. It is also Briggs' plan to entomb the QC's Report, so that no one will ever see it.

That's why this matters.

There's also another interesting connection in all this. On the official Council webpage of Councillor Alan Blake, there's the declaration of "gifts over $500' as well as memberships of various organisations. There's a declaration of in the form of a cheque from an R. Payne/M. Huelin for $2,000. These are no less than the names that appear on the Williams Graham Carman website as Partners, that same folk that Alan Blake has used to take legal proceedings against myself and CairnsBlog two weeks ago.

Here is Alan Blake's bank statement, showing the deposit of donations:

...and here's the declaration of Payne's contribution to Councillor Alan Blake's re-election campaign:

Collusion and separation in power is so very important. The public and all ratepayers deserve honesty and transparency in their government, at all levels.

It's tough being in government these days, however, when things are hidden, as is the Cairns Regional Council CEO's desire to lock up the Investigator report so that no one will ever see, it will be the biggest miscarriage of justice in Cairns for a very long time. We must not allow this culture at our Council to continue to erode and damage the institution of democracy any longer.

Just to end up, here's a few weekend snaps of Alan Blake's car, minutes after he arrived at Kerie Hull's place on Saturday morning.


Council Worker Emiritus said...

Like the media you attack, you've managed to run a continual attack with "facts" that amount to nothing.

This blog is clearly not much longer to be in existence. Briggs and Council are already engaged in steps to end it.

Kiss your arse goodbye, CairnsBlogger!

brad m said...

Council Worker - instead of using brute force legal attacks, how about some openness and accountability so that there is never a doubt nor avenue for festering public suspicion.

All a legal case will achieve is exacerbating the doubt and suspicion the public (the people you should be considering foremost) harbours surrounding these types of situations.

Open and accountable management certainly sounds a lot more cost effective than a series of legal proceedings?

nocturnal congress said...

Woooh....defensive and aggressive hey Council Worker!! Wooohooooooo.
Some raw nerves have been exposed hey?

Syd Walker said...

How do we know "brute force legal attacks" are what Mr Emiritus the Council Worker has in mind?

Perhaps Mike's place will be bulldozed and he'll be interned without trial and tortured at a secret location - as a warning to others?

This happens regularly in the land of our fabulously popular best friend and super-close ally, but I won't name names. :-)

Chow Chow said...

You have rattled the cage Mike - Blake the Snake is now saying that you are responsible for having nearly brought down the NZ government with lies and fabrications --- Wow I didn't think you were that powerful. But on a serious note, perhaps you might like to seek some legal advice about defamation yourself. Then again - who listens to Blakey anyway -- we know he only ever talks about himself.

Lil at the Knob said...

Geez - I think Council Worker Emeritus is perhaps the cousin/brother of CBD Warrior? I would suggest, CWE, you read brad m's entry above, as to why there doesn't have to be all this fussin & a'fighting. If people in organisations, be they public service or private corporations are honest, tell the truth, & are transparent about their acts and intentions, then, hey, life is simpe, for so many people.

Bring back the Stocks. said...

There are too many questions and not enough honest people involved in this issue.
We the people of Cairns pay the wages and live with the decisions of the council staff be they elected or appointed.
It is not too much to ask for ethical, professional,representation. It is our democratic write by mandate.
I'd like to know what all the bright young journalists are doing in this town ? Sitting on their hands or listening to scanners or watching utube,getting on the piss with mates,reading magazines about movie stars? What?
I just don't get how this is the only site getting into the nuts and bolts of such an important issue and an "unaccredited" one at that.
I want the report tabled in full no omissions.
We paid for it we want it warts and all.

KitchenSlut said...

Whats an Emiritus?

And how could an Emeritus be in any position to know what Briggs is doing?

Quickie said...

Mike ... you talk about openness and transparency.
Would you like to explain to the readers of this fascinating story why the bottom two photographs had their dates changed from 25/5/2009 1.30am and 25/5/2009 5.45am both to the 26/5/2009?
They were originally published with the date of 25/5 but changed to the 26/5 when it was obvious that you stuffed up your fabrication.
And you couldn't even get the correct font to fix the stuff up your “photographer” made.
Over to you Mr Openness and Transparency ...

nocturnal congress said...

Emiritus?? A baby emir????!!! Ohhhh the spelling...
If you want a fancy nick, then try to get the spelling right.

KitchenSlut said...

Are you on the right blog post here Quickie?

Regardless I have two questions:

1)How do you know the dates have been changed as specifically stated unless with direct info from Kerie and Blakey on who was where when?

2)How does this help their position given that it not only confirms their connection even more extensively, but also given (1)confirms it beyond any photographic evidence?

P.S. You have still avoided my query from the previous post re Ms Hull where you indicated that as long as Ms Hull was following orders she had no ethical responsibilities other than to deliver an outcome? Please explain?

brad m said...

Nocturnal - I don't think he meant a baby emir... it seems it is like everything about the council past, it is just not quite right...

Quickie said...

Email on its way to you KSlut ...

Joe,Gordonvale said...

When is Boyle going to earn her pay
and start taking some form of action against Blake.He is deliberately trying to make this Council unworkable with the assistance of his cronies,Cochrane,
Bonneau,Gregory and Briggs.
Desley start to earn your keep.

KitchenSlut said...

Yes it is silver tongued Quickie and will post it here:

"Hi KSlut ...

Lifted from CairnsBlog at 7.30am 28 May 2009.

Have a nice night


But you didn't even attempt to answer any of the questions? It was a jpg posting which showed the dates as you have alleged? Who knows and so what in this case? Was blakey there for 12 hours or 24? Whats the point?

The only possible interpretation regardless is not good for your position?

Fred Nerk said...

I'm sure Quickie is right the ovement of the car was about getting a better angle.

Quickie said...

Hi KSlut ...

Now that I've proved to you the photos were faked how much of the rest of the story do you believe?

I mean, it's all about openness and transparency, isn't it?

KitchenSlut said...

Yes & No Quickie, it's about more than that and yet again you refuse to address your own lamentable attitude to responsibility and corporate ethics!

You still wanna pass off any actions by an employee as ok if they are following orders? I thought this principle was buried in the Nuremburg war crime trials?

Is this how you run any organisation of your own?

KitchenSlut said...

P.S. Something may be proven Quickie but nothing is proved?

You provened nothing and may have actually weakened your own case mate!

Your cause and correlation deficiency in the way you sent it to me may indeed be evidence of tampering but also weakens your underlying argument and in fact it enhances the argument of collusion?