Monday 13 September 2010

Daintree School saved, no thanks to Government

The remote and beautiful Daintree school, has been saved.

This follows a 1300-signature petition to force the State Government to overturn its plans to close the Daintree State School down.

The tiny Daintree community, north of Mossman and Port Douglas, supports a population of just 125.

The Queensland State Government has targeted many small community school with closure over the last two years.

“The people have protected the integrity of their community in retaining the Daintree School,” Warren Entsch Federal Member for Leichhardt said today. "State politicians cannot take credit for saving the school as they did minimal to help the community. The Daintree community's effort was tireless to save their school."

“The announcement that the Daintree school is saved is great news and it just shows what a community can achieve when they stand up for what they believe in," Warren Entsch said.

"The Daintree community can be very proud of their achievement."

Daintree State School was earmarked for closure at the end of this year. Innisfail schools at Bellenden Ker, north of Babinda, and Palmerston East and Moresby, are also on the chopping block.


greenbottle said...

This is very confusing. The Daintree people presented a 1300 signature petition to the State Government not to close their school. The school is not closing down. However the State Government did not make any decision. Warren Entsch said it had nothing to do with State Politicians. All very odd???
Wouldn't you think that somewhere a Government representative WOULD have had to make a decision?

Liberal observer. Cairns said...

State Government made the decision to close the school at the end of the year, but the Daintree community fought to have the school saved from closure.  The state politicians did very little to assist the community in their efforts to save the school.  The decision to close the school has since been reversed as a result of the communities tireless efforts to fight for its survival, which they have done all on their own.

greenbottle said...

Oh I see perfectly now Liberal Observer. The Daintree people have kept the school going after the State Government offically closed it. Daintree parents are completely funding the school and have provided their own curriculums, paying for teachers etc. It is in effect, the first truly non-Government school receiving no government funding in Queensland. Why the hell did they run themselves ragged with a useless petition then?

Syd Walker said...

The problem here is the headline. It's ridiculous.

The State Government clearly took a decision to close the school, then reversed it after lobbying. Where's the crime in that? And why should the Bligh Government be denied 'thanks' for its reversal?

The Daintree School has a very small population base; the State Government is clearly keen to avoid unnecessaary expenditure. But in this case it has listened and changed its mind following community pressure. Is that all so bad?

I am not their apologist, BTW. I'm critical of State Government policies in other areas. But this hostile article shows blatant bias.

Jerry Garcia said...

Syd reckons "this hostile article shows blatant bias". Syd, you're only saying that because it's true!

Fact is, departmental bureaucrats act to close schools according to guidelines including current and expected future enrolments and access to alternative schools. The pollies only get involved when it becomes a matter of local debate - they are not involved in the original decision.

Warren Entsch, as usual, is making a song and dance about a State issue, because he knows very well that the public doesn't distinguish between State and Federal matters, or Council matters!

Warren is lavish in his praise of the efforts of the school community, and rightly so, more strength to their arm, but mark my words, when the next Federal election rolls around, Warren Entsch will be claiming the credit for this decision for himself.

Alison Alloway said...

The headlines and statement by Entsch are deliberately Someone would have had to have presented that petition in Parliament for a start, and this is usually the local Member. Furthermore the Parliament then takes notice of that petition and a decision is made. It is not made by extraterrestrials flying around Mars, or whatever Entsch is implying. The decision revolving around the petition is made by Parliament.

Alison Alloway said...

..are deliberately misleading, is what I meant to write!!

Jason O'Brien said...

This is a terrible lie. I worked really hard to save this school. I attended the first public meeting with over 200 people in attendance and went to another meeting of the "fighting group" up there as well.

I tabled the petition in Parliament and spoke to it as well. I had numerous meetings with the Minister and the department about this school.

If you ask the President of the P&C I am sure she will tell you I fought hard to keep this school open.

Warren Entsch, please stop the old school, pathetic divisiveness. The world has moved on from that crap. You were nowhere to be seen during this campaign.

Alison Alloway said...

Thank you Jason. I think most of us realised there was some sophistry at work here.

Dan Daman said...

O'brien, you have been sitting pretty in your safe little seat. We all know how questionable the votes from Cook are, if you want to have a say on Entsch run for the federal seat, or would you be too scared to get into an election with a seat that isn't guaranteed to stay Labor with "assisted voting".

Hon Warren Entsch, Federal Member for Leichhardt said...

I was one of the first people to be contacted by the school community and was the first person to immediately raise the issue publicly.
At the schools invitation I was asked to attend the meeting but was later asked not to attend due to a request from Jason O’Brien that I should not be present.
The fact is the Daintree School should never have been included for closure in the first instance.”

Jason O'Brien said...

Oh Warren - do you expect anyone to believe that if I ask you not to go to a public meeting that you wont go? If I ask you not to go to any other public meetings will you stay at home? I doubt it and I wouldn't even hope so.

Dan Damon - how come if indigenous people vote LNP its legitimate but if they vote Labor its not? Have you got any evidence of the corruption you allege? The AEC is a professionally run organisation by people with great integrity. If they saw what you allege, they would report it. No one ever has despite the LNP crying fowl when they have lost these booths.

Jerry Garcia said...

How typical of Entsch, that he can't give credit where it's due, and then comes up with some lame excuse for his own ineffectiveness.

Jason O'Brien doesn't grandstand, he just works effectively to get the best outcome for the community - Entsch is simply chasing publicity, as usual.

As for Dan Daman, what a crock of shite! These dumbarse Nationals, going back to poor old Martin Tenni, are so out of touch with Cook's indigenous communities that they seriously believe that the polling booth results are somehow rigged. He has no evidence of course, but Dan obviously thinks that Aboriginal people are stupid enough to be manipulated.

Wise up, Dan, blackfellas know who's on their side, and it ain't you!

Mareeba mick said...

The member for cook who did a fantastic job this year . I know I saw him do an amazing thing , well he opened the mareeba rodeo , shit I cannot think of anything else . Oh yeah he balanced really good on the truck .
ps where is Jim t ? Oh yeah he is where you and your mates are going at the next election.

Thaddeus said...

Utterly mind-boggling and rivetting stuff. One politician says that he didn't attend a meeting because another politician requested him not to!!! "Oh,so sorry old chap, yes of course, I must oblige old chap. So sorry to have over-stepped the rules of decorum and propietry!"
And pigs fly too don't they!

Jess Keogh, Cook electorate said...

Jason, your understanding of this affair is only matched by your understanding or how you "consulted" with the indigenous peoples of Cape York about the Blighled (read Wild) Rivers legislation.

The mayor and head honchos up there have NO TIME for Labor and you... that's why they threw Jim Turnour out of office.

To think that you went into bat for a tiny school - means that you allowed YOUR guvment to put this mad idea out their in the first place.

Enjoy these last 18 months (or less) in office with your snout in the trough. It will be your last.

Brown girl in the ring said...

Wazza... here two minutes and claim glory... what a cock!

Leigh Dall'Osto said...

I was told that almost all of the small schools that were earmarked for closure have had the decision 'mothballed' indefinately due to public outcry and petitioning from the State members. All of those in our area are now safe and I have seen the transcripts from parliament where Jason and Curtis lobbyed on behalf of the schools in their electorates. (Steve had none that were threatened)

I applaud Warren for becoming involved and for further publicising the plight of the school but realistically, he has the same status in this argument as the parents of the students involved. The real changes only occur through State representatives and in State Parliament.

When reporting on issues that are Federal ones in the future, how about a statement from Jason or Curtis or Steve on the issue? Or perhaps you could go for the whole story and actually get the representative concerned to give the quotes, alongside those of the other tiers of Gov if you insist.

That way, all of the information is out there, and not just half the facts.

Regardless of who should take the credit, it must also be stated that the decision is a good one and the benefits to the smaller communities outweighs all of the petty political arguments.

Leigh Dall'Osto

greenbottle said...

It's called "posturing and grandstanding" Leigh. You will observe that some wily political animals do it far better than others. Poor old Jim didn't know how to.

KitchenSlut said...

"Jason O'Brien doesn't grandstand, he just works effectively to get the best outcome for the community"

My experience of Jason O'Brien i wont forget was last years public forum at the Shangri-la (i think reported on here at Cairnsblog late last year?) where O'Brien went on Macca's show that day and slammed one of the proposals and process. There as much mutual sycophancy twixt the two on air as happens with Macca. Macca even exalted Jase if I remember correctly!

Macca 'convinced' Jase to turn up that night and ask the hard questions he was "angry" and ranting about. Macca was the compere for the event and when the issue came up and Macca called on Jase ..... he wasn't there?!

Jase turned up sometime later and when asked by the 'wigged one' for his challenge squibbed on the issue he had ranted about on radio that he insisted on and diverged to a side issue!

It was the biggest display of cowardice I have ever witnessed from an elected representative in public backflipping with triple pike in the space of just a few hours!

"Jason O'Brien doesn't grandstand"?


mister fied said...

Leigh labor Dall'Osto said...and alison always right and the rest of the labor ya yas give everyone the shits.

Oliver Redlynch said...

What an enlightenment as to the current pathetic state of local politics this little article has produced. Yup, the public get the government they deserve.

Bryan Law said...

Just a minor point, Warren Entsch said he was at first invited by the school community to attend the meeting - and was then uninvited by that community because Jason O'Brien didn't want him there. This seems to ma an assertion entirely in keeping with the way Jason O'Brien works - back-room deals and slander rather than reason.

Then you get Jason and his flunky Thaddeus ridiculing the idea that Warren would follow a request by jason. Warren didn't get a request from Jason. jason used stand-over on the committee.

Isn't it sad that the ALP treats people with such contempt. Don't worry about truth and reason boys, we've got this here asinine spin.

I won't share the details of why or how much I dislike Jason O'Brien, because I'm sure Mike doesn't need any more defamation suits.

All I'll say is that as Jim Turnour was to the recent Commonwealth election, so Jason, Steve, and Desley's replacement are to next year's state election. A recorded phone message would be more politically effective than any of them. Four or five times more effective - and much, much cheaper.

Leigh Dall'Osto said...

Why is that Mister Fied? Because we argue with facts rather than resorting to name calling?

If you knew me at all, you would be well aware that I do not blindly follow along behind my local representatives. I have enough brain matter to look further into the facts of an argument, before having one and often find fault with the parliamentary representatives in our area. In this case, however, the facts were in favour of Jason, like him or not.

Leigh Dall'Osto

Dan Daman said...

Thanks for responding Jason, i didn't say corruption, what i said was questionable. The assisted voting system is extremely questionable, and gives the opportunity for an individual to put pressure, subtle or otherwise to sway ones vote. This to me, makes the vote questionable. Now i'm sure you will assure me and all others that this doesn't happen, but the fact is the opportunity exists, and that is enough. That these are mainly the booths which have enourmous gaps between the candidates (generally much larger gaps than at booths which don't have a large amount of assisted voting) doesn't do much to convince me otherwise.
( I could be completely wrong, but i can only go on what i see in front of me.
Warren was clearly voted in for Leichardt, so until you are game to stand for a federal seat and oppose him, it seems a little hypocritical for you to sit and tell him how much better you could do his job?
Jerry, if aboriginals are being manipulated, it's not because they are stupid, but because the system that is supposed to give them a say is taking advantage of them.

Jerry Garcia said...

Don't try to dress it up, Dan Da Man, you're trotting out the same dishonest and utterly discredited garbage that I've been hearing from the National Party since the early 80s.

I've handed-out and scrutineered at booths all over the Peninsula and seen the same consistently high Labor vote with little or no assisted voting.

The Nationals have not put up a decent candidate in Cook for a long time, not since the election at which Steve Bredhauer replaced the retiring Bob Scott.

Jason O'Brien, like his predecessors, has close connections with the indigenous community, and I predict will continue to receive their support.

And Bryan, you don't know what you're talking about. The idea that Entsch would stay away from a meeting because Jason didn't want him there is patently ridiculous.

mister fied said...

leigh alphabet you are a mouthy crow that surely does not have a husband thank god I am not !

Dan Daman said...

Negative Jerry, what is dishonest? That assisted voting exists? That it gives the opportunity for influence? That the booths with high levels of assistance show extremely high % to labor when other booths show much more even numbers? Please clear that up for me. And discredited by who, labor spin doctors?
I don't give a flying fred where you have scrutineered, are you present when the assistance is being given? I didn't think so, so how can you stand here and swear to its legitimacy?

And don't even bring "shadow" member for Cook Bredhauer into it, i dont; think you are doing Jason any favours bringing those memories up.
I agree, O'Brien has close ties to certain key members of the Indigenous community, but your prediction, judging from the last election, may not pan out to be true, we can only hope that eventually Cook will recieve some decent, and EVEN representation.

Bryan Law said...

Jerry, dude, lurved the band, and can even understand you coming back from The Dead to take up FNQ politics, but try the following scenario:

State government is key to keeping school open.

Jason O’Brien snivelling coward. Tells committee that if Entsch attends, O’Brien won’t show.

Committee explains to Entsch. Entsch stays away to maximise school’s chances.

As for Aboriginal voting: If one compares the same booths (say Lockhart River) for O’Brien in the state election, and Turnour in the Commonwealth, you’ll see a 28.9% swing against Labor. I think the voters there will assist O’Brien OUT of office at the next state election.

Jerry Garcia, not quite dead said...

Bryan, Dan - you blokes are like a dog with a bone!

Bryan's comical scenario is just laughable.

Dan, I can't locate figures for assisted voting at Cook booths, perhaps you can enlighten us, but it wouldn't be a surprise that booths where voters are more likely to ask for assistance (usually elderly indigenous voters) are also booths that return a high Labor vote, as Aboriginal people won't vote for a Coalition that demonstrates again and again that it is completely out of touch with indigenous communities, and won't vote for candidates they don't know well enough to trust.

As Bryan points out, the Federal election indicates a swing away from Labor, and it remains to be seen whether this carries through to the State poll.

There is certainly a lot of dissatisfaction with Alcohol Management Plans, Welfare Reform, the predominance of Noel Pearson's authoritarian agenda, and Wild Rivers, but on all but the last of these, Coalition policy appears to be the same.

The failure of the LNP to dent Labor's popularity in Cook, and the fact that they couldn't find someone younger and brighter than the old stager Entsch, is symptomatic of the basic problem facing the LNP - the dearth of young energetic people with fresh ideas and an ability to contribute to the development of policy. The LNP in the North is dominated by three obese old sixty-something whiskey soaks!

I'm looking forward to the State election!

Bryan Law said...

Hoo Rucking Fay! Thankyou Jerry for some nuanced thinking. Even if you're wrong on some points.

I think we're seeing a big and rapid change in Aboriginal support for the ALP. In March last year I was told by half a dozen Aborigines from different families in Cairns that they just couldn't trust the ALP any more. Nothing real was being done.

Wild Rivers is a big issue on the Cape. There's not universal condemnation of it, but many, many folk see it as an assault on their land, and their sovereignty, for a preference deal that has no connection to reality.

Jason O'Brien is not the pollie to turn this disaffection around, and he may just be the one to lose Cook for Labor. For the length of his electorate folk are sharpening their baseball bats (or something like that).

Jerry Garcia said...

There's an enormous gulf between the perception of Native Title held by Aboriginal people, and that held by the State. This has a lot to do with the dispute over Wild Rivers, and property rights generally.

Many Aboriginal people see Native Title as a repudiation of Crown sovereignty and a restoration of their private property ownership rights, while the State views it as an underlying title that does not withstand Crown sovereignty, and that does not preclude the State imposing land use controls.

This is an argument that only the State can win. All categories of landholders have to submit to overarching land use controls, if we are to have workable management of the environment, and if we want to avoid one category of landholders having unreasonably superior rights in deciding land use.

That said, State land use (read DERM) policy is suppressing innovative land use initiatives and the development of enterprises and private home ownership all over the Peninsula.

Although I was pleased that Wild Rivers was used to block the environmentally destructive bauxite mining proposal for the Wenlock - there's no shortfall in the supply of bauxite.

Thaddeus said...

The intent of this piece of propaganda, which is what it is, was a deliberate attempt to convince people that they are disempowered. Whoever crafted the "news release" knows damn well what they are doing. Entsch oviously has some media people working overrtime. (Wonder how long they will stay, once they get to know the nature of the beast?) Expect more of this!