Friday 5 June 2009

Credit where it's due

"Please shave before you come into my chamber!"
Thomas Chamberlin's coverage in the Cairns Post, following the conclusion of the Cash for Comments investigation, has been excellent.

After a week's hiatus when the Post totally ignored the CEO's letter to all Councillors last Friday where he said the report would be locked up forever, Thomas gave a comprehensive summary of the closed meeting deciding the fate of the Investigator's report.

In today's Post he writes...
  • Schier now disagrees with a $17,000 council report that found it had been “appropriate” to buy radio time to allow her to speak to the public.

    Cr Schier last night disputed the findings of a secret investigation into her appearance on John Mackenzie’s 4CA talk-back radio slot each Friday.

    “I don’t agree with the (report’s) first conclusion that it was an OK thing to do,” Cr Schier said. “I don’t ever think that ratepayers should be paying for elected representatives to talk to the community.”

    Her criticism of the summary of the secret report follows Cairns Regional Council CEO Noel Briggs on Wednesday saying there was no case to answer over the council’s cash-for-comment deal with Prime Radio.

So why on earth didn't the Mayor say this at Wednesday's press conference, following the sham decision and pressure from the CEO to bury the report because of "sensitive staff matters"?

Thomas reminded the Mayor that she campaigned on transparency, and that this was in contradiction to that. In fact, only a week ago, Val Schier used the same word.

She also likes the word "sustainable". I am doubting how sustainable this Council, the Mayor and it's CEO who's actions border on corruption, can continue to hold this charade together. Val is acting more like a secretary to the CEO, than an elected representative of the people.

This story is far from over, and the CEO should be quivering in his boots for the dirty things that he's hiding and the Councillor's that he's protecting by not releasing the report. I understand that the Mayor has now seen the report, even though publicly she has said the opposite.

By the way, you can send Thomas offers of marriage proposal, chocolates, and even bribes. He's the sweetest non-talker in the business.


Syd Walker said...

If Val's comments are accurate - and accurately reported by Thomas Chamberlin - then it appears the author of this $17K report into the circumstances of what was widely perceived as an improper relationship between Council and a private media company did not himself regard that relationship as improper.

It sets an interesting precedent for future inquiries into alleged wrong-doing.

For instance, if we ever get an official inquiry into the circumstances of the Hilton Bombings (waiting for that 31 years and counting) or the Port Arthur massacre (13 years and counting), perhaps the guy in charge will believe it's quite acceptable to set off bombs or gun down innocents?

But I digress... Who, I wonder, chose Mr Henry to undertake the inquiry into the cairns 'Cash for Comments' brouhaha?

Tony, Edge Hill said...

So you use the opportunity to sling more mud at the CEO "dirty things he's hiding". . .

What "dirty things", Michael? You got something besides innuendo, mate?

The Headless Horseman said...

The report should have been submitted in the first place in a form that could be made public. The CEO knew darn well there was intense public interest in this issue and that his active role in the scandal was under the microscope.
I don't believe for one minute that he is protecting the anonymity of his staff as he certainly hasn't protected Kerie Hull's. Noel Briggs's intention is to protect himself. But has backfired. The dark cloud of suspicion hangs over his head while he is allowed to get away with being inaccountable.
I'm with Michael Moore, The Cairns Post and the general public on this. Sno Bonneau made a big deal out of it, Councillor Alan Blake and Kerie Hull were exposed having held very long secret meetings during the period after the scandal erupted, John McKenzie and ex-Mayor Byrne have given conflicting stories about previous payments and the CEO is ducking for cover.
The $17,000 report must be made public to clear the air of this stench. If the CEO means he has to resign, so be it.

Thornton On Spence said...

Unfortunately the reality of the CEO resigning will not happen. He will need to be sacked or moved on to "pursue other interests" and we the rate payer will be up for the payout to remove him which I suspect will be at least his annual salary. He also has a number of Councillors who would have more than a personal interest in keeping him there.

S. Northy said...

Ah yes, the lurks and perks of a "CEO" as distinct from a "Town Clerk"....

hieronymus bosch said...

So, since nobody has seen it except Briggs, what evidence is there that the original report is still even in existence?

I wonder if there's a copy floating around on Chinese government servers, as part of their 'routine surveillance'.

Greybeard said...

"Please shave before you come into my chamber!"

Don't you think it is a bit rude to make fun of the Mayor's facial hair? Like her arthritis it is an unavoidable part of reaching a certain age.

Shame on you for holding a person up to riducule over something so sensitive.

nocturnal congress said...

Yep, Greybeard, age does something to people. Get your eyes tested pronto mate. I reckon you got a bad case of macular degen. Don't drive and for Christ's sake, don't try and have a nooky. Could be the last thing you ever do.

the cat's vomit said...

I concur, in part, with my learned colleague, with his diagnosis. However, I detect the beginnings of korsakoff's in Greybeard's piss soaked brain.

Unknown said...

crikey, poor young thomas had better watch out.

S. Northy said...

Hahahaha, you boys!! I laughed until I cried.