Tuesday 7 September 2010

Cairns Council CEO says no to Alan Blake

Cairns Regional Council CEO has said she will not provide any financial or legal support for Councillor Alan Blake, in his defamation action against CairnsBlog and its author, Michael Moore.

Lyn Russell has decided, after taking "legal consideration", Council will not provide any assistance for Councillor Blake's legal action. It appears that Russell's view is that the matter is a personal one for Mr Blake to deal with, and Council has no interest or liability.

In March, the Council decided to delegate the CEO power to decide "to expend Council resources to indemnify Councillors and staff for costs of pursuing legal advice or proceedings." Only Councillor Lesina and Forsyth voted against, and supported an earlier motion that allowed the Mayor to be party to such a decision as well.

The March ruling also said that Council needed to be satisfied that the legal services to be supplied were of "such a specialised or confidential nature that it would be impractical or disadvantageous to Council to invite tenders of quotations."

Council's legal advice presumably concluded it does not extend to supporting a councillor initiating defamation action against a citizen. There would also have been a concern for the precedent that this could have caused, should Council have supported this case.

It is believed that Councillor Blake sought financial support for his defamation action, based on the March ruling. Russell's decision to refuse any Council support, follows a Saturday SoapBlog article which Mayor Val Schier said she agreed with the author, Bryan Law.

"Thanks for copying me in to this Bryan. I have to say that I share your views," Mayor Val Schier said.

Councillor Rob Pyne also asked the CEO to refuse any financial request by Alan Blake.

"I asked the CEO and she advised that, to date, no expenditure has been committed or agreed to in relation to Blake's action," Robert Pyne said. "I shall continue to monitor this issue with great interest."

The CEO acknowledged Law's open letter, and said his "input and comments were acknowledged." It's also believed that a number of CairnsBlog readers wrote to the CEO, expressing displeasure that Council was considering funding Blake's legal action.


The Headless Horseman said...

That's a blow to Alan Blake who has lived off the public purse for too long.

muggles said...

Excellent news, MM! Well done Bryan and all!

greenbottle said...

Well done all. But perhaps, perchance the matter of legal proceedings might see a mite more caution, a gentler slight of the pen, in future?

MB said...

Great news MM & thanks for keeping this issue in the public eye. Where would we be without the Interweb?

Dan Daman said...

And nor should they! It worries me that it was even considered. But my question is the if Blakey has been unable to attend council functions and has been suffering so much trauma from the alleged defamation, is he not saying he is unfit to fulfil his role as a councilor? Should he not have stood down? I guess he likes to eat the cake as well.

greenbottle said...

Good point Dan Daman. Considering the amount of shit that a woman, Val Schier has had to face since she, shock of all shocks, defeated Kev Byrne, Blake has had it lightly.