Wednesday 23 December 2009

Acting is an honourable profession for temporary Mayor Cochrane

Just a couple of days after Cairns Regional Mayor Val Schier stepped on a plane for a Christmas holiday to her Tasmanian hideaway, her Deputy has revelling in her new-found title.

"Cairns region continues as a Dengue free zone with Council encouraging residents to maintain the status all year round, "acting mayor" Margaret Cochrane said, in a media release flicked out yesterday.

Insiders say she was hunting for an issue to get a media statement out with her temporary title "ASAP after Schier left the building."

"Many people would be away over Christmas it was important for neighbourhoods to maintain constant vigilance in preventing a reoccurrence of the dreaded disease," Cochrane says in the statement. "The Cairns region has not a single case of the disease active at the moment, however community efforts to keep Cairns Dengue free should be kept alive and well.”

“Everyone is encouraged to keep up with all the Dengue preventative measures Council has outlined over the last year including emptying and cleaning dog bowls, pot plant trays and other water holding containers, cleaning out gutters and using insecticide spray around the home,” she said.

As serious as it is to clean up yards preventing mosquito breeding, Council dropped the ball last wet season with Cairns recording 909 Dengue infections, one of the highest-ever recorded outbreaks.

Port Douglas had 3; Yarrabah 1; Mareeba 1; Innisfail 35; and Townsville 73.

Council's environmental department, headed by Council's senior environmental health officer Gil Farrow, who was in control of the outbreak last season, appeared out of touch and took weeks to mobilise staff. In early December 2008, as the first 15 cases were notified by Queensland Health, Farrow failed to react and was simply lazy in dealing with reported cases were action was required. A vacant property in Gatton Street that was reported to Council and handed directly to Gil Farrow by a resident, totally ignored any action for three weeks. An old outdoor concrete washing tub contained "hundreds of larvae," and was left to kick-start the breeding cycle.

I hope they have not only totally reviewed their operations, but got someone else in charge.

Laurie Phipps, with the auspicious title as manager of Environmental Assessment, says it's critical residents be vigilant.

“We have had an extended dry period which adversely affected the breeding cycle of the mosquitoes that carry dengue, but the community is required to remain watchful in order to stay Dengue free as intermittent rainfall creates conditions for mosquito breeding,” he said yesterday.

This season Laurie had better get his staff to clean out their own yards first, before preaching to residents. In March, at the height of the outbreak, Council's Martyn Street Works Depot was found harbouring buckets of breeding mosquito larvae, after a local resident spotted the disgusting situation whilst walking his dog. Six members of his family had already been infected with Dengue. The works depot, situated in North Cairns, was just a couple of blocks away from where the initial cases were found, and the first 100 Dengue infections subsequently were recorded. Unquestionably, Council exacerbated the already volatile situation.

Let's hope Lady Margaret enjoys her reign and sends out as many media statements as possible whilst Val Schier is out of town as "acting mayor." However the track record of Council on Dengue management is rather sad, verging on incompetency.

Let's hope with a new CEO at the top, and having a woman in charge, someone will be told to take out the rubbish, and do what they're told.


This statement just out from Council.

  • Holiday season protocol

    23 December 2009

    While Mayor Val Schier is away on holiday over the Christmas season, Deputy Mayor Cr Margaret Cochrane takes on the mantel of Acting Mayor.

    “The Mayor is on a well deserved break from duties and it is part of my job to lead Council in her absence,” Cr Cochrane said.

    “I will be spending the holiday season here in Cairns with family,” she said.

    Council offices will be closed for three working days between the Christmas and New Year public holidays, Tuesday 29 – Friday 31 December. Officers will return to normal working hours Monday 4 January 2010.

    The Mayor will return to the helm of Council Monday 11 January, 2010.

    Acting Mayor Cr Margaret Cochrane 0419 706 372.


nowalotwiser said...

It is obvious to blind freddy that back stabbing margaret is after vals job, she says the opposite to everything val says yes to.
If she thinks it goes unnoticed she is terribly wrong , when she is on rugnuts show he caresses her ample arse'
But if that is all she can do, she has no hope.
I dropped val after her early blunders , but I am more impressed lately with her get on with it attitude and could once again be a supporter , especially when is became apparent that many stabbing little fools such as cockroach , snake, mulls ,kranskey and bonnet were working to get rid of val

Not a Rugnut admire said...

nowalotwiser, you are so funny, you make me laugh, especially with your nicknames. Keep it up!

nocturnal congress said...

Cochrane, Blake, Bonneau, Pyne etc did what most weak people do when one of their number is being bullied and villified - they sucked up to the bully boys. Didn't they all fall over themselves to ingratiate themselves with rugnut and King. All of them tried to put as much distance between their stupid selves and the Mayor as they could instead of rallying around and demanding respect be shown to the CRC as a whole. The weak fools. By comparison, Val has demonstrated remarkable strength and dignity coping with the worst media attacks ever levied against any elected official in this city.
Incidentally, see where rugnut is in touble again with another "cash for comment".