Thursday 1 April 2010

Prominent inner city Cairns street to be renamed in Councillor's honour

At yesterday's Cairns Regional Council meeting, a change to a prominent inner city street sign was put through in the closed session, to avoid wide-stream coverage.

Lake Street will be renamed to "Blake" street, in recognition of the long-serving inner city councillor, Alan Blake [pictured left]. It is expected that the new signs will be installed over the next week.

The proposal was debated under Mayor Byrne's tenure, however because the fallout between Byrne and Councillor Blake, the idea was dropped.

The cost of the new streets signs will cost Council $11,880 for the replacement of 54 signs along Lake Street, that transverses from Wharf Street on the South to Moffat Street on the North side. A Council source said some of the funding could be sought from Blake's discretionary fund.

In a surprise move, political opponent Councillor Diane Forsyth, whose division boarders to Blake's Division 3, supported the name change to Blake Street.

"Well, Lake Street has long lost its original meaning, whereby it was the edge of the foreshore a long while ago," Diane Forsyth said. "The inner city Councillor is now in his third term serving the citizens of Cairns and he also resides in Lake Street. His energy, passion and commitment are well-known to the inner city business district. Even though we are on different political teams, I think this is a good way to recognise his contribution to the city of Cairns, and that's why I supported it."

When Forsyth was asked if Woodward Street, Edgehill, where she resides, would be up for a name change in the future, she dismissed the idea.

"No, I think I'd have to serve at least three terms and climb on top a lot more roofs before that happens," Cr Forsyth responded.

Councillors Paul Gregory, Nancy Lanskey, Linda Cooper, Diane Forsyth, Deputy Mayor Margaret Cochrane, and Sno Bonneau supported the motion. Cr Julia Leu, along with Robert Pyne, Kirsten Lesina, did not support the name change. Mayor Val Schier abstained from voting. Councillor Alan Blake did not vote, as he had a direct interest in the motion.

Cairns cycling identity, Richie Bates, who ran against Blake in the 2008 elections, was cautiously supportive of the street name change.

"It's well-known that I have had clashes with Councillor Blake over the years, but he has achieved a great deal for this city, especially in terms of parking," Richie Bates said. "Now more and more people are parking in the city, in fact more than we can fit in, and this is great for business."

Richie Bates also acknowledged Alan Blake's support of the substantial drainage works that were recently completed at the lower end of Lake Street. "This fantastic achievement alone is reason to celebrate and acknowledge Mr Blake by a street named in his honour," Richie Bates said.

Councillors Robert Pyne and Kirsten Lesina who voted against the motion at yesterday's closed session, were dismissive of the proposal.

"Why would I or my constituents want to throw money at a thing like this," Robert Pyne said, who has a street in Edgehill named after his father Tom, when he served as Mayor in the 1980s. "Blake's just in it for the glory and attention, and he really has done SFA in the city," Pyne told CairnsBlog.

Kirsten Lesina refused to talk about the change. "I think you'll have to wait and see if a press release comes out, as this was held in a closed session," Lesina said.

Alan Blake moved from Division 9 to the new inner-city Division 5 area for the March 2008 local body Council elections. The Councillor said at the time that he had to make some tough decisions about his own future, and relocate to the inner city. He now resides in a city high-rise apartment at 2 Lake Street, that he reputed to pay $650,000 for in late 2007.

According to Council's website, Blake has the "reputation for accessibility and independent thinking," ...

  • He is never afraid to personally answering his phone when residents call and he describes his real office as being on the streets of Cairns.

    A firm believer in 'a healthy mind in a healthy body', he is regularly seen around the esplanade at dawn exercising and talking with residents.

    With Alan Blake you get what you see and he is nothing if not to the point.

Alan Blake moved to Cairns from Adelaide, where he worked in television 25 years ago. He recently sold his family business Furniture Associates, where his son managed the operation, to focus on his Council obligations. "With the added responsibility of the amalgamated council, I found I was becoming time-poor so something had to give," Alan Blake said last year.

Councillor Alan Blake is a member of the Liberal Party and also enjoys his role on the board of the Cairns Regional Gallery, where he can been seen regularly attending cocktail openings.

Blake, who has a stunning 2 meter model of a Samurai warrior, in black and gold trim in his prestigious 10th floor address, refused to discuss the street name change in his honour yesterday. Instead, he sent a short email response saying that it was a personal matter.

"Whilst I'm humbled, I don't wish to make any public statement on this matter."

*NB: Artist's depiction

Councillor Alan Blake notable quotes...

  • "Sure, I'm uneasy when rates are raised or projects need to be delayed due to other, more pressing, needs but progress comes at a financial cost. There's no way of smoothing this over so I'd rather be up front and, in the end, rely on the wisdom of the ratepayers to appreciate straight answers".

  • “Being a councillor is not a popularity contest. It's about making decisions that are right for the region, no matter the risk to your short-term popularity.”

  • “You cannot serve the region if you live in a bubble, focusing on what it will take to get you re-elected rather than what it will take to create a more sustainable future for the region."

  • "Yes, you must be a big picture thinker, but making the right decision is about active listening and taking into account the needs of the individual as well. In the end, it's about balance, and hoping you get it right".

  • "If I am to properly represent my division, I need to be part of that community".

  • “Being a councillor is also about being a real person too and this self-confessed workaholic is constantly mindful of maintaining balance in his personal life as well.”

  • "It's too easy to forget the ‘you’ in all of this and you need to leave something for yourself".

  • "Clarity is fundamentally important in communication and there's no point in dodging the issues.

  • "If I take care of what I need to do today, without fear or favour, and do what I feel is right; the future will take care of itself".

Source: Cairns Regional Council website


Blue Sky Stan said...

You’re so Blake
(with deepest apologies to Carly Simon)

You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they'd be your partner
They'd be your partner, and...

You're so Blake, you probably think this song is about you
You're so Blake, I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't You?

You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive
Well you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved and one of them was me
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and...

You're so Blake, you probably think this song is about you
You're so Blake, I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't You? Don't You?

Of course you do, you silly little man!

Joanne R'son, Freshy said...

Are you effing serious!!!?>??

This is the most despised man in thiis town?? I can't believe what Forsyth is doing suppprting this and even saying he's a councillor that has done great things... com'on people!!!!

and all that money...

Wes Jaye - Edgehill said...

Why didn't they change it to Broke Street, surely a better reflection on this Council

Council watcher - cbd said...

well deserved i recond

Where The Bloody Hell Am I said...

What next. Will we be seeing Hull Close or Bimbo Avenue in honour of his achievements in other areas.

Harry O of Edmonton said...

another reason to oust Schier and her mob come the next election

Nobby on Spence Street said...

I like Alan Blake. I think he adds colour and a funny flavour to our boring politics...... I mean he even recently wanted to save trees on the Esplanade...... who would have thought!!!

Blakey for Mayor (like that will ever happen!!!)

Cairns Resident said...

LOL April Fool? Very Appropriate!

hieronymus bosch said...

what day is it today people?!!!!!!!!!


bosch, ought ten.

Mark Davis said...

nice try but ...

Carl Butcher said...

Nice April Fools prank Mike

Thornton On Spence said...

Congratulations to Alan Blake. At long last he is receiving the recognition he well deserves for all his service to the public. I think it is fitting that his name now appears on Street Signs instead of the walls and Doors of the Public Lavatories.
It is so pleasing to have Alan featuring again on this Blog. I missed it.

Abe Lincoln said...

Council will also consider renaming Mcloud St to "Paul Revere Boulevarde" and Digger St to " Ben Franklin Way" to better match the George Washington repaint on the already appropiaely named "Sheridan St"

Hull of Kintyre said...

Alan Blake... where have you been......will you help me make babies? I know that Linda Cooper and almost all the other Councillors think you're a twat, but I don't.

(Ps see you tonight. Key in the usual spot. Fishbake in the oven. Don't bring the red one, the rego plates are too obvious)

Glenn Saggers said...

oh wait... it's the 1st of April....

Glenn Saggers said...

Please tell me this isn't for real....
Why isn't it in the Council Minutes?

Espanade Ernie said...

I bet Blake will want a statue on teh Nard next. tossa

Paul Taylor, Edmonton said...

that will probably devalue his apartment by 20%

I can see the real estate folk having a field day with this Council nonsence.

and Pyne didn't support it? wonders will never cease which way he swings!~!

Thersites said...

Great photo but that tie is just so ..... blah?

Blakey wont get his snakey near anything GenY no longer with that thing tied nerdishly short and fat like he really misses the seventies sooo much?!

Maybe Kerrie tied it for him?

Vickie Farquhar (via Facebook) said...

good one Mike!

forgotten said...

Hey Blake, when did you last visit Murry Street or anywhere else in Portsmouth or Westcort?
Too distasteful to drive over there from your $650,000 digs?
Screw your fancy warrior, how about recognising the disadvantaged in the tough end of town. You are supposed to represent us too but of course, you don't remember that, do you?

Council Spy (PA to Planning) said...

Arrhh it's like he never left. I think you must owe the good Councillor royalities Mr M !

ex Mrs Blake said...

By all means rename it but call it 'Fake Street'

nocturnal congress said...

Bwaa hahahaha, good one Mike!! Blakey visit the poor end of town???? What? Sheeeesh, you got a better chance of having the Bluewater Estate people accepting elderly pensioners and the disabled into their suburb, than that of Blakey lowering himself by visiting the common folks in the Bronx.

Thornton On Spence said...

Why don't we convert the Captain Cook statue to the Blake statue rather than George Washington. What an Erection that would be hey Alan? What sort of adornments could we add to it?
Come on Mike your skills with computer modifications could be put to the test here.
We would have to relocate it to Blake Street although I do think it would be more appropriate located at the home of his greatest success and accomplishments outside Vertigos.

Constance Lloyd said...

Great to see that Mike can still weave his magic with an innocuous little tale such as this. The irony is, of course, that I am sure that Flakey-Blakey wishes so much it were true.

With apologies to A.A. Milne

Little boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
Droops on his little hands, little gold head.
Sssttt, whisper. Who dares?
Councillor Alan is saying his prayers:
"God bless Kerrie, I know that's right,
And wasn't it fun in the bath tonight,
The cold's so cold and the hot's so hot.
God bless Bonneau, I quite forgot.
If I open my eyes just a little bit more
I can see Margaret's dressing-gown on the door;
It's a beautiful blue but it hasn't got a hood,
God bless Auntie Val and make her good.
Mine has a hood and I lie in bed
And I pull the hood right over my head,
And I shut my eyes and I curl up small
And nobody knows that I'm there at all.
Thank you God, for a lovely day,
And what was the other I wanted to say?
I said, `Bless Kerrie', so what could it be?
Now I remember: God bless me".

Little boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
Droops on his little hands, little gold head.
Sssttt, whisper. Who dares?
Councillor Alan is saying his prayers.

Danny Betros said...

Loved the readers reaction

Barry Watkin and Heather Lee said...

hi mike,you took me in with article on name change. i stormed out to tell my partner of this disgrace before sending councillors abusive emails. heather pointed out thedate; good one!


Lillian at Yorkeys said...

Constance Lloyd you are an absolute star - made me splurt tea all over the keyboard. Mike - I think Constance definitely deserves a chocolate fish for that one. Perhaps Constance could be encouraged to pen a couple more stanzas including the other members of our most august Council?

CBD Warrior said...

It's a shame the community has to wade thru this self-aggrandizing nonsense after looking at old cyclone news for three weeks.

MM should crawl back into his hovel.

OHalloran said...

Great giggle for a rainy Easter weekend!! laughed out loud

Brian W, Kewarra said...

oh dear CBD warrior (or are you CBD Samurai Warrior!!)........

according to my observation - it was 2 weeks, not three.

Hope you're not the chair of Council's finance committee (like Blake was shafted from) because you can't count! lol

JJ form Freshy said...

hhaha maybe it seemed like three weeks break for Mr Warrior (or Mr Worrier) because be missed his regular fix of cairns blog

Conan Doyle said...

Holmes: Moore is posting at Cairnsblog again Watson what do you make of that?

Watson: Well Holmes. I had to consult my thesaurus on aggrandizement after that assault from CBD warrior.

Holmes: precisely Watson so what did you make of the aggrandizement allegation?

Watson: Well Holmes I perceived it as an irony as the post itself related to the self-aggrandizement of Cr Blake who has a bit of a reputation about town Holmes ho ho

Holmes: Sometimes Watson you are not as big a fool as you seem.

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

Oh poor CBD - looking at the cyclone news for 3 weeks - CBD my dear, you ARE allowed to turn your computer off if the content is boring. readers, I would take this as evidence that CBD definitely needs to get a life.
So relentlessly grumpy - perhaps CBD you may consider a bit of a rebirth yourself this Easter time, & try to Always Look On The Bright Side of life, ta da, ta da da da da da . . . . etc.?

Unknown said...

Thank god that was an April Fool's joke...I was really worried for a minute there!

Johnno said...

Can someone please tell me why Muddy's now has a building Australia -Stimulus / Federal Government Badge ?

Are they just sticking these in random places nowdays and laying claim ?