Saturday 9 January 2010

Cairns Council must get the basics right: Rob Pyne

Cairns Regional Councilors have been urged not to neglect routine maintenance, by focusing solely on ‘big picture’ items in 2010.

Division 3 Councillor Rob Pyne made the call following moves to have Councillors to focus on issues such as urban design and economic development policy.

“I really do find it hard to cop when criticized for my focus on issues related to routine maintenance, such as potholes, footpaths, drainage and park maintenance,” Rob Pyne said.

“I don’t really care if the Local Government Act talks about the role of Councilors in terms of focusing on broad strategy and policy. The calls I get from residents are 95% focused on local street issues, like maintenance, graffiti, rubbish or footpaths," Pyne says.

"If elected representatives are primarily concerned with broad policy issues, I would really encourage them to stand for state or federal parliament and leave Council for those just interested with fixing up the neighborhood and attending to proper maintenance of Council facilities.”

“One of the good things about local government is people get to know what their Councillors are focused on," he says. "It is not a matter of how hard people are working, it is all a matter of priority. When I hear people in power talk about ‘mowing the grass a bit less often’ to trim the budget, well to be honest, I am outraged."

"People may give someone one chance to represent them on Council, but I do not think Councilors who spend their time navel-gazing or ‘away with the fairies’ will get a second chance. I am not saying we should not plan for the future or actively be involved in other areas of community development, however, this must be in addition to the traditional areas of Council’s responsibility, not at their expense.”

Pyne says his comments follow numerous calls from residents who were upset with overgrown parks and Council reserves, but he refuses to name which Councilors were not focusing on core maintenance services.

“If we cant even properly fund routine maintenance, how can the community have confidence we are addressing more complex issues.”


William said...

you know that the councillors voted to take a lot of money from the maintenance budgets this year and knew the service levels would reduce
And they want to take more from the maintenance budget again????

AB's log said...

I really wish Rob would stop pandering to the riff raff in this town. I couldn't be bothered with all that footpath and drainage crap. Let's face it, I am a board member with a strategic analytical focus.
Voters love me as "their man on the street" with the big picture. That is what they want dammit, not some wet blanket pothole filler. Don't get me wrong, i can do practical compassion as good as the next person. Hell, my "Getting the job done" TV campaign i ran during last election absolutely reeks of sincerity...

Anonymous said...

I am quite concerned that Rob Pyne says “I don’t really care if the Local Government Act talks about the role of Councilors in terms of focusing on broad strategy and policy." So is he saying he wants Councillors to focus the day to day Council stuff - like mowing lawns and filling potholes, and not care about the strategic direction of Council? Isn't he able to acknowledge and understand the need for Council sometimes to reduce expenditure in one or two areas when times are tight (did he forget about the GFC??). With Rob it's all about the votes it seems - they'll all vote for me because I listened when some people said - "Gee the grass needs cutting". And as for his comments that the rest of Council apparently "spend their time navel-gazing or ‘away with the fairies’", shows such a lack of respect for his fellow Councillors and that he is just a basic bloke without a strategic bone in his body. Perhaps he should think about getting another job if he isn't able to meet his obligations in terms of his role as a Councillor under the Local Government Act. Outrageous!!!

Bob Beamon said...

Rob Pyne really worries me. On the one hand he is on the record as saying that state governmentt is a redundant tier and on the other he wants to deflect strategic or longer term planning matters to that level of government. He can't have it both ways. The reality is that we are stuck with three tiers of government into the foreseeable future and with amalgamation the responsibilities of local government are ever greater.

Many of the most crucial decisions affecting the future of this region are determined at local goverment level by adhering to and applying better planning standards than hitherto. It is the role of councillors to be better informed in planning matters to be able to stand up to council officers when poor decision are made and to be knowledgeable about what the officers present before them.

Roads, rates and rubbish are the traditional role of local goverment and the ones that Rob refers to but one could argue that this is monkey stuff that is purely operational and can easily be delegated to paid staff.

If councillors are not prepared to better inform themselves and put themselves up above the parapet on strategic matters affecting the future direction of this city then why in god's name are they there and why are we paying them such large salaries.

Everything Rob seems to say and do reflects an approach based on shallow populism.

notinrobselectorate said...

Rob is a strange councillor, he is honest ,caring,available ,intelligent he sure is strange , why is he so different from snake,cockroach,kransky and sno dunnou, and co , oh yeah he is serious about what worries everyone not just his own dungheap.