Friday 10 September 2010

Councillor Lesina smeared by Cairns Post. It's her second cousin's ex-husband!

Squeaky-clean Cairns regional Councillor Kirsten Lesina, has been smeared by the Cairns Post.

At a November 2009 Council meeting Lesina moved a motion to approve the sale of Council-owned land in Sydney Street, Bayview Heights...

    Moved LESINA / Seconded BLAKE

  • That Council advise Mr W (Bill) Anderson (proposed Purchaser) of 144 Sydney Street, Bayview Heights that in this instance it has no objection to the sale of part of Council’s freehold Lot 999 on SP189724 subject, but not limited to:

    · The final area of land to be determined in consultation with Council prior to survey works;
    · The sale price to be determined by way of market value as provided by a Registered Valuer, or as negotiated by the Mayor or Chief Executive Officer;
    · The proposed Purchaser being responsible for all costs associated with the matter including, but not limited to survey, legal costs, valuation, associated professional services, duty, transfer registration fees and amalgamation;
    · An indemnity clause in the contract of sale in regard potential liability for the excavation works carried out on the embankment area;
    · The subject area being amalgamated with the proposed Purchaser adjoining Lot 299 on RP731278 and the appropriate planning area notation being made to CairnsPlan;
    · Ministerial approval being obtained in accordance with Section 492 (1)(e) of the Local Government Act 1993, on the basis that the size of the land restricts any other use, and its locality only provides an opportunity for sale to the adjoining proposed Purchaser. Council delegate authority to the Mayor and the Chief Executive Officer pursuant to section 472 of the Local Government Act 1993, to negotiate and finalise all matters relevant to the formation, conditions and administration of any contract arising from the proposal to sell including settlement; and to negotiate and agree any variations to conditions, including time and resolve disputes (whether by legal proceedings or otherwise) about the Contract.

Councillor Lesina's relationship with Bill Anderson reported by Gavin King in yesterday's Cairns Post [see below], attempts to smear Lesina's reputation. Why?

"I have no idea, because I told him [King] it was my 'second cousin's separated husband' and he just printed something different," Kirsten Lesina said.

The person at the centre of the land purchase was Bill Anderson, Kirsten Lesina's second cousin's, separated-husband.

"It's a common thing. There's a property in the same street, that is going through a process as well. So it's not an uncommon thing for Council to do. It just so happens that this land belongs to my second cousin's separated husband, whom I had only ever met twice in relation to Council matters. So there's no personal relationship there at all."

During the Council meeting, a motion was put before Council and officers recommended that the land be sold. Councillor Lesina says she followed the recommendation and all councillors voted unanimously to support the recommendation, and sell that small parcel of land.

Lesina is unsure where the complaint originated from, however said that Council followed process, and they are currently doing with another parcel of land in the same street. There is an ongoing neighbourhood dispute in Sydney Street, over a shared driveway, that has been going on for years.

Under the Local Government Act, Councillors have to declare that there is a possible conflict of interests, and that the councillor could resolve any such conflict of interest, to act in the best interests of a Councillor's Division. Councillor Lesina most certainly did declare a possible conflict. Lesina, a graduate of James Cook University's School of Law, asked the advice of the then CEO, Noel Briggs.

"He told me it was fine," Kirsten Lesina said. "I've asked Gavin King [at the Cairns Post] for a correction, but I doubt I will get one. I recognised a potential conflict of interest under s229 but in accordance with the requirements of the Act I was able to reconcile the conflict and undertake my duties as a divisional Councillor," Kirsten Lesina told CairnsBlog.

Here is the relevant section under the old Local Government Act, which was the relevant Act at the time.

"It's really not an issue I would have thought," Lesina says. "We were just following up a professional recommendation put forward by a Council officer. During the [November] Council meeting I declared that there was an interest, there was a 'relationship. I was told it would not be an issue. I was told that they had received advice, and it was signed off that there would be no problem with it.

Fellow Councillor Pyne threw cold water on King's sensational Cairns Post headline yesterday.

"I hate to let the facts ruin a good story, but the fact is I was a bigger advocate for Bill Anderson than Kirsten was," Robert Pyne said. "Indeed, had she declared her interest one more time I would have demanded she shut up!"


Oliver Redlynch said...

If you repeat the pathetic lies often enough the public will start to believe it. (The no smoke without fire principle). Don't for one second believe this isn't anything other than an orchestrated campaign to smear the council and certain councillors - they are easy targets and you get to sell papers! I was convinced of this as soon as I saw Paul Nobodys letter published in the paper attempting to drag out the last mis-information "expose" of Mr Kings - this made it obvious to all and sundry as to where this campaign is being organised and who is involved.

Fully expect them to now change tactics and go after other councillors.

Since Kirsten is not "under scrutiny" by anyone other than Mr King, and this mis-information came up over a council matter, I think the CEO is entitled to also insist that Mr King prints a public apology. Now there's a fight I'd like to see.......

A Mexican from Vic said...

This couldn't be a problem. After all, in the far north, virtually all of you hillbillies are related, aren't you?

Clifton Ratbags Rule said...

As pointed out by the Hillbilly Watch blog, John Mackenzie is an ignorant cretin but Gavin King is evil incarnate.

The two of them on the radio is about the most divisive element in the community, except fortunately as pointed out earlier this year, Mackenzie has only about 300 hillbilly listeners.

Thaddeus said...

More people seem to be wondering just what is behind Mackenzie's obsession with Val Schier. This sort of prolonged vendetta just isn't normal.

:Kevin-John: Morgan. said...

Maybe John is using some reverse psychology, and in reality, he wants a date with the Mayor?
I mean, let's face it, John is past it, unless he's discovered Viagra or Magna RX.

Leigh Dall'Osto said...

If we grow up in Cairns and have family here, it would not suprise anyone that we sometimes come across distantly 'related' people in areas of our lives that are not in any way connected to family. I was raised here and with public personalities for parents, I think about 1 in every 3 people have heard of them, followed them and know who I am through them. I also have extended and distant relatives living in the region. Surely I would be given leave to to make decisions for them, or against them, without my relationship to them being questioned. If it was a direct relative, friend or business associate then I would excuse myself for proceedings. Kirsten Lesina made every effort to ensure that she was not in any way blurring the lines of her position and should not be vilified for any wrongdoing.

Alison Alloway said...

Ditto Leigh...I too, have second cousins here, and some in prominent positions. My family has been in Far North Queensland for five generations, so of course I have quite a few relatives in the area!!

Tony Hillier said...

The Compost's agenda is crystal clear. The re-hiring of Rugnut cohort Gavin King and the prominence accorded to his non-stories, such as the one discussed above, is twofold: a) an attempt to discredit the Mayor and her allies, and b) an attempt to sell more copies of the daily organ, News Ltd's raison d'etre. I'm all for fair dinkum surveillance of Council matters, but beats up like the story on Cr Lesina are politically motivated. Under the tenure of the previous editor, Andrew Webster, the attack dogs were leashed, but circulation dwindled. The bovver boys are now back on the beat!