Monday 31 May 2010

Byrne is barking up the wrong tree

To speak or no to speak, that is the question.

It's probably no secret that former Cairns Mayor Kevin Byrne is planning to run for Council again in 2012.

That speculation and disturbing thought aside, Byrne has been a vocal critic over recent months about the planned performing arts centre and cultural precinct for Trinity waterfront.

He has been shouting off about this, at the same time being a public servant of the State Government.

Byrne has described the waterfront cultural precinct proposal as a "'fantasy land" and has evidently released a paper labelling the idea as a "dumb decision that lacks a vision for our economic future."

"We have allowed ourselves as a community to be hoodwinked by some slick spin and a conga line of community leaders," Byrne said.

The massive transformation of our Esplanade, including the lagoon pool, something that Byrne oversaw under his tenure, following originally could also have been labelling accordingly.
However most saw a broader view and how the longer-term benefits far outweighed the investment. Of course the initial seed was laid for the Esplanade lagoon development by former Mayor Tom Pyne, who retired in 2000. He first floated the idea in 1997, and held meetings with then-premier Beattie to secure the lion's share of the funding.
As a funny aside, this reminds me when the 5th anniversary of the Esplanade redevelopment was due, Kevin Byne, in a pre-election frenzy, called the birthday celebrations three weeks earlier than the actual date of 29th March 2008, in an effort to capture the vulnerable voting public and claim glory. I called it a premature jubilation.
Byrne has recently been on business missions, paid for by the same state government he has been attacking, who have supported the development of our waterfront. They sent him up to PNG to improve links and trade opportunities - something that he has a background in.

There's an odd dichotomy that the very same person the who has been feeding him, he has attacked, albeit indirectly.

Given that one of the key outcomes of the waterfront redevelopment project will be to provide a world-class cultural, entertainment and commercial facility that will help attract visitors from surrounding populations, including no doubt, PNG, it makes Kevin's attacks all the more incongruous.

There's many fly-in fly-out miners who base their families in Cairns, instead of Brisbane or Singapore. I would suggest that such visitors or residents, would have a major input into our region's economy.

Kevin appears to have one eye closed and should carefully think what he says about a project that his 'employer' is a strong supporter of.

Whilst I admit there's mixed opinion by some, recent envoys to Brisbane and Canberra to obtain funding for the cultural precinct by local political and business leaders, shows there is strong amount of support. The development of a mighty visionary project like this, would undoubtedly be a substantial asset to Cairns.

Least of all, it would stop a series of massive private residential or commercial high-rises lining Trinity Wharf, and therefore I wholeheartedly support it.


Miss Chief said...

Ye gods we would be totally desperate to elect KB in 2012! Surely we've learned from past mistakes...yet again, WE is being given another crack of the whip - so maybe not!
Take a long hard look at the bottom of the barrel Cairns voters, it's becoming more in evidence everyday.

Council Watcher said...

Shame it's not his other old job he wants Siberia.

NotTheChaser said...

Reality check - it was on the news today that the Sydney Opera House may have to close due to maintenance issues and a bill to fix them of up to $800million. If it can't make it, how can Cairns?
Has a business plan to show the viability of the Cairns centre been done, with a factual costing of construction and ongoing maintenance. If so, where is it? Before offering wholehearted support for this apparent "pie-in-the-sky" project, this is the least one should expect. I can not see any Government at any time committing itself to this imminent "cash-guzzler".
As for a Govt public servant or elected representative actually speaking out against something they see is wrong in our community or State, there should be more of it, as there is precious little of it at the moment.

Lil at Yorkeys said...

I can see your concerns, Not the Chaser, but a performing/arts/museum/cultural precint on the waterfront would be fab. It would complement & expand the convention trade that is a goodly part of our economy, & enable bigger cultural touring companies/ballets/plays to tour with Far North, bringing much-needed BIG juice to our cultural scene.

A modern, cutting-edge museum, possibly incorporating the Maritime Museum, would be excellent. Well, yes, the Sydney Opera House needs a makeover, but how often has that heppened?

I too share your concerns about blasted bureaucrats not being able to schedule the maintence, but I don't think that's the reason the Performing Arts Centre in Cairns shouldn't be built.

Fat Kev (as he was so lovingly known by many voters here in Cairns) should NOT be recycled by any means. He's had his day, done his dash. Geez - even the Liberal (LNP) crew has given him the flick as a potential candidate in the Far North - several times - he's two much of an autocratic wildcard, from what I've heard, & personally experienced. And getting more unattractive by the the year - the man has three chins now - even if we voted him in, how long away is it from a heart attack?

His term as Mayor was faught with fear and silence from many who feared his wrath. He's a Big Bully Boy.

Although the current Councillors may seem like a fey episode of a Far North "Vicar of Dibley", at least there are a few good heads there, & Mayor Val, faults withstanding does not see herself as Leader of the Far North Free World.

Please, no more Fat Kev.
We HAVE to move on.