Tuesday 18 May 2010

Richardson says Wettenhall blames his electorate for failure to represent them

Bluewater Harbour and Palm Cove residents, infuriated with public housing projects in their neighbourhoods, are increasingly turning to opposition candidates and independent Members of Parliament for help, according to Wendy Richardson, who has announced she will run as an independent for Barron River.

"This follows assertions from their so-called State representative, Steve Wettenhall,” says Wendy Richardson.

FAR FROM CARM COVE Aidan McLindon, Palm Cove resident Kate Dewar, Wendy Richardson, and Rod Messenger.

Newly independent MPs Aidan McLindon and Rod Messenger, who left the LNP, along with Wendy Richardson, visited Palm Cove last week to see first hand the public housing projects that the State government has rushed into construction with no loacl community consultation.

“Wettenhall says that residents of these suburbs have not requested him to take petitions or other documents to either Housing Minister Karen Struthers, or the State Parliament on their behalf,"

"In other words, his failure to represent them is all their fault. This is absolutely laughable,” Wendy Richardson says. “From the outset, Wettenhall has blatantly belittled their concerns, accusing them of ‘NIMBY’ism," Wendy Richardson says. "Why on earth would they now ask him to act on their behalf when he has made it clear that he has no understanding and no sympathy for their position?”
“Just last month [on 13th April] in State Parliament, Wettenhall claimed to also be representing 663 people who want to live in the northern beaches, but cannot. It is not the residents of Bluewater Harbour or Palm Cove who say people cannot live anywhere on the northern beaches, it is the State government that has not provided appropriate housing before this or in appropriate locations, with appropriate facilities and at an appropriate cost to the taxpayer," Richardson says.

Wendy Richardson says that the State government is in complete contradiction of itself when it claims to be providing quality housing based on modern principals.

"They have reverted to out-of-date dense unit developments, without adequate parking and no air conditioning, on very expensive land," Richardson says. “For the same price they are paying for each small unit, they could have placed people in individual houses or duplexes, with air conditioning, gardens and space, integrated into normal urban environments on the northern beaches.”

“[The local Barron River MP] Wettenhall is deliberately pretending that residents’ action groups are against all public housing, but even their own department initially advised against the selected locations," she says. “The reasons for overturning that first advice is fraught with serious question marks that the Minister needs to answer. And I will be pursuing that vigorously on the residents’ behalf.”

Independent Member of Parliament Aidan McLindon is tabling a petition in State Parliament opposing the housing development site and the cost, on behalf of Palm Cove residents.

Kate Dewar of Palm Cove, who is apposing the housing development, she workers are flagerantly breaching health and safety requirements. "I've seen workers frequently not wearing any protective gear. I've made phone calls to the authorities who agree they need to be worn," Kate Dewar says. "There is a sign on the fence indicating boots and hard hats need to be worn on the site."

Steve Wettenhall, who is also Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, didn't respond to CairnsBlog yesterday, as he was in Brisbane for his Caucus meeting. I'm expecting him to reply today and will offer his right of reply to Richardson's comments.

Wendy Richardson can be contacted on telephone 4034 2248 or 0418 196 011. Make sure you were your hard hat.

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