Thursday, 11 June 2009

Power to the people!

In the wash-up following Briggs' resignation as CEO of the Cairns Regional Council, it's worth recording a few observations

Although CairnsBlog has certainly been a player in the issues surrounding the Cash For Comments affair, Mike Moore has just been reflecting the general community outrage at the goings on at the Cairns Regional Council; providing the means and opportunity for ratepayers to make comment.

Not detracting from the efforts here on CairnsBlog, I admit I've not been crusading alone, not by a long shot.

CBD Warrior commented the other day that this blog is "read by a couple hundred malcontents [and] had ZERO to do with Briggs' departure”. However, he/she is missing the point. For every reader of CairnsBlog, there are probably 10 others who felt just as passionately about the issue of openness and accountability. For the record, the number of unique daily hits to this Blog is way over a couple of hundred. Google Analytics shows 4,347 unique regular readers, and such web monitoring programs, rarely capture every reader.

When the Cash for Comments story erupted five weeks ago, quite a few people in the community had had enough. Information started arriving at CairnsBlog by email, by post and by phone, some even my unmarked envelope – mostly anonymously, from ordinary residents and ratepayers. On one occasion, I received a phone call, with the number withheld, advising about Councillor Blake’s car had just been seen. Later another call, from someone else, and then another. Information not sought, but willingly given.

Another commenter on CairnsBlog mentioned Watergate. Well there have been a few 'Deep Throats' out there – long may they continue.

All the supporters who have made comment on my various stories, should also share the credit; even Quickie seemed to shift his ground at the end. That was good.

When the Cairns Post seemed to lose its patience and joined the fray in calling for the release of the Henry report last Thursday, I think that Mr Briggs finally got the message that his actions would not be tolerated by the ratepayers of Cairns and the former Douglas Shire.

There are some people out there who have, and will want to continue, to demonise CairnsBlog. I'm not a lone wolf in the wilderness. Thousands, of residents have had a gutful of the shenanigans of this Council. In these times we need good civic government. If it was there in the first place, none of the last few weeks would ever have happened.

So the challenge is for the Councillors to now take heed of what one wit has termed 'Cairns people’s power' and either fall on their swords, or pick up their game and actually work to represent the interest of the Cairns community and just not their own narrow special interest agenda.

To represent, to govern and to protect ratepayers. Is that too much to ask for?


Bring back the Stocks. said...

If the resignation of Noel Briggs is not a tangible example of the power of the "New Media" I don't know what is.
There is a way to go yet until we can crack a bottle of Moet over this saga but rest assured in the knowledge. In public office people are watching and if you don't perform your going to be held to account. All credit to the medium and the freedom of the Blog.

the cat's vomit said...

I raise my glass of red to the freedom of the blog and to the "new media". Long may it flourish! Cheers.

Nick said...

No, this is not too much to ask. This is DEMOCRACY (government by the people) IN ACTION.

If only we could have a similar result with the CYC saga !

Slowie said...

IF these council shenanigans keep up, Byrne and co are sure to be voted back in at the next election.

At least under Byrne the trains ran on time.

Rob Williams said...

Don’t hold your breath for a return of Byrne. He is a main actor in the recently Val Schier approved multi-story, multi faceted monolith on the Esplanade. The fact that it is many metres over the approved maximum height and directly in the flight path of in and out going Air Buses is a catastrophe waiting to happen. As for the Blogg, keep up the good work Mike because the Cairns Post is totally compromised, (another word for blackmailed) by the thousands of dollars in advertising monies paid to them by Cairns Ports and the Cairns Regional Council.