Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The public comments that Freebody doesn't want you to see

A string of critical comments on the Cairns Post website in reaction to the news of Paul Freebody's selection to run for State Parliament, were removed after a phone call from the man at the centre of the discussion.

Following Sunday's candidate selection when the LNP blindly selected former Cairns Councillor Paul Freebody as their preferred candidate to run for the State seat of Cairns, a Cairns Post article drew a raft of candid comments rallying against the controversial local businessman.

However within 24 hours all the comments were removed with no notice posted as to why.

In my review of Freebody's LNP selection, I also highlighted some of the outpouring including one comment with the auspicious initials that belonged to Paul himself...
  • "I see the Freebody bashers are at it again. Tall poppy is in their viens [sic].I know the carwash was closed by the the previous owners themselves and didn,t pay the staff after sucking all the cash out of it and going on a cruise. All Freebody did was fix up the place and got the 5 star service back on track. You should try it out its NOW fantastic!! Freebody will bring life back to the city after 13 years of labor neglect. You got at least 1 vote Paul Mine! keep up the goog [sic] work," PVF of Cairns, 2:38pm

Paul claims this comment was not penned by him.

He also believes it reflects badly on the previous managers of his Car Wash business. Interestingly, there are references in that comment that only Paul Freebody himself would be privileged to - in particular, a cruise and how the managers allegedly funded it.

In November 2007 Matthew and Lena Ogilvie took out a 20-year management lease of Freebody's Car Wash Cafe in Reservoir Road, Manunda, however their stint came to an abrupt end on the 3rd December last year when they decided to remove themselves from the business for professional reasons. At this stage, I cannot go into much more detail surrounding this, needless to say the inside story is something that will be told. Maybe I'll save it up as the election nears.

The offending comment on the Cairns Post website irked Paul Freebody so much, that he telephoned the paper and sought it's removal. After I published my story Tuesday morning, I received a message from Paul on my phone at 6:47am...

  • "Michael, Paul Freebody, umm, I read your article. I expected that you would write that. The only thing you need to take down is the part about Paul Freebody's comment [from the Cairns Post website].

    I've had discussions with the people at the car wash, we are seeking legal advice to trace those comments back. They were not from me, or anyone that I know, and they are hurtful to previous owners of the car wash and I would ask you to remove them.

    They have nothing to do with this election campaign. They are people that should not be involved. They spoke to me last night and we had a long discussion because someones playing silly buggers. I can assure you that I'm not stupid enough to put those and I've certainly not posted anything on Cairns.com.

    So
    it's subject to a legal umm, umm investigation, to find out who posted those comments. They are offensive and hurtful. But the rest of it mate, I've got no issue, do what you like, go your hardest..."


The former car wash managers had a different view, and were not offended by the comment at all.

"We advised Simon [at the Cairns Post] that the comment made by a 'PVF' was a reference about us," Matthew Ogilvie says. "We also said that we wanted any information the Post could give us relating to it to prove that we didn’t write it."

The Ogilvie's were informed by the Cairns Post that there have been ongoing allegations that Paul Freebody had written multiple comments under other people’s names for a while now.

"He [Simon at the Cairns Post] asked us what we wanted done with the comment, and we said we were happy for it to stay there so that people would see he [Freebody] wrote a comment himself praising himself," Matthew Ogilvie told CairnsBlog. "He said he would get back to us to let us know if they found out the origin of the comment."

The online editor Simon Crerar (not the same Simon referred to above) confirmed that the comments were removed.

"They were removed from this article after suggestions someone commenting may not have been who they claimed to be," Simon Crerar told CairnsBlog. "We take allegations of misrepresentation very seriously."

It's not the first time that comments referring to Paul Freebody have been removed from the Post's comments section online. These ones also mysteriously vanished some months ago...

So why didn't the Post only remove the so-called offending comment, instead of the lot?

In the interests of public records, here's all the comments that were removed...

I love the way Val Shier supporters claim the Freebody's created the "Val Shier is a crap Mayor" group and simply refuse to consider that this is the general consensus of the people of Cairns. As the person who first brought his attention to that group, I have no idea who first started it, but good on them!!
Posted by: Steve of Mooroobool 1:49pm Tuesday Comment 44 of 44

From the comments I have read here and the talk on the streets of Cairns, the feedback is that the LNP erred in the selection of Freebody to contest Cairns. I believe to be a good candidate for any seat you must have commitment and political creditability. The question that is often put to me is whether Freebody is a 24/7 politician or will he be a 24/7 businessman . There is no room for both. My view is that the LNP needs to get a public commitment that if elected he will be a 24/7 politician. If he can't give that pledge, then the LNP should reopen nominations for the seat of Cairns.
Posted by: Ross Parisi of Smithfield 12:12pm Tuesday Comment 43 of 44

Oh no! I'm one of those people who voted Labor into power in 1998, and quickly became disheartened with them. Their inaptitude is beyond belief and I haven't voted for them since. I've been voting Nats/LNP now since 2001 in blind hope that Labor will be kicked out. I was getting excited for the next election as it seemed there was a genuine chance of a change in Government. But oh no!. There is no way I would vote for Freebody. C'mon local LNP branch. Is there any chance of a snap meeting? You really need to consider that you have chosen the wrong candidate. Put someone else up or you will lose the unloseable election.
Posted by: Jim Cooper of Whitfield 10:32am Tuesday Comment 42 of 44

mmm, I think the preselectors have shot their party in the foot. With his record I won't be voting for him.
Posted by: BMac of Cairns 9:20am Tuesday Comment 41 of 44

Mr Freebody Won't get elected Karma is a Bitch you know.. If there one thing that works in life is Karma.. Paul Freebody has alot coming his way.
Posted by: Lana Ventsov of Cairns 10:01pm Monday Comment 40 of 44

And with whom shall the third registered party of the Queensland Parliment sleep with when it comes time for preference deals? The comments in support of Mr Freebody seem to be telling their own story.
Posted by: Brenton 10:00pm Monday Comment 39 of 44

If Mr Freebody cannot maintain composure on a radio show by making inappropriate comments, then how will he cope with the cut and thrust of politics? It's all very well to think we could be politicians, but politics is an arduous and thankless arena demanding self-discipline and a coping personality.
Posted by: S. Northy of Cairns 9:55pm Monday Comment 38 of 44

Hahhaha KB why dont you have another few bottles of red wine and try dodge some more RBT'S!
Posted by: Gerald Malouf of cairns 9:44pm Monday Comment 37 of 44

Are you all nuts, this is about Paul Freebody not anyone else. He is the one choosing to be in the spotlight so he will need to take what gets thrown at him!!!
Posted by: Brian Bradly 9:27pm Monday Comment 36 of 44

Bill Smith. Perhaps Curtis Pitt hasn't responded because you are a stalker. Seriously buddy I've seen you post your whoa is me story on nearly every topic. Get over it. Now go out, and take up a hobby. Do something meaningful with your life rather than sit on your arse pissing and moaning about every little thing. Of course Quick will answer your email. She has nothing better to do in her day.
Posted by: Margaret of Cairns 9:24pm Monday Comment 35 of 44

Ams this isn't about the Carwash this is about Paul Freebody choosing to run for mp. Good and bad stuff will be brought up about him and he has to deal with it as this is what he has chosen. Some people will like him and some won't! A bet those " witches and bitches " at the council don't like him. Only time will tell and at the polls the people will have their say... My vote though isn't for that man that's for sure
Posted by: James of Cairns 9:23pm Monday Comment 34 of 44

What in the hell has this got to do with the EX carwash owners. Leave them alone. isnt this about Mr Paul Freebody isnt he the one that is going to be the Candidate,just for the record his wife was the bookkeeper.
Posted by: ILBloomfield of Australia 8:54pm Monday Comment 33 of 44

Stop the bashing on freebody I worked for matt and lena and know people who have worked for BOTH Paul and them and can honestly say they wrecked that place. One thing I can say is Paul has done things MOST of you naysayers would not that would show how worth your vote he is. Actually someone worth the vote this time
Posted by: Ams 7:32pm Monday Comment 32 of 44

As a small business owner, I welcome the LNP candidates and think it is fantastic to see the likes of Paul Freebody. Someone who has lived in Cairns for years and understands the plight of small businesses here in the area. Thank you Paul for giving Cairns the opportunity to vote for a true local who understands our needs. Bring on the election, the sooner we rid ourselves of Desley and these other useless ALP puppets the better. This region deserves representation, we have been ignored for too long.
Posted by: KB :-) of Cairns 7:13pm Monday Comment 31 of 44

Robyn Quick ( Quick by name and quick by nature ? )Thank you for such a quick response, it may also interest other commentators that I emailed Blight on Friday to get her to kick Pitt into gear. Email speed must be a lot slower to the SE corner because she hasn't acknowledged my email yet. Tea and bikkies with the govenor tales priority over the serfs in the electorate I suppose. The last time I saw arrogance at this level was during the Jackboot Joh days.
Posted by: Bill Smith of Cairns 5:49pm Monday Comment 30 of 44

Whats all about this noise and critics on Paul Freebody, when we all remember about the past experiences with the present government here in North Queensland? If it's Paul or not, everything would be better! What's going on in your brain? Are you paid or brainwashed by this useless mob, ore do you have rocks in your head? To me, it's a waste of time to answer some of your comments. Karl Kobler
Posted by: Karl Kobler of Mooroobool 5:30pm Monday Comment 29 of 44

People need to get the real truth on Paul Freebody and his intolerant personality. Much is reported on the www.hillbillywatch.com blog.
Posted by: Hillbilly Blogger of Behind the Carwash Mate 5:11pm Monday Comment 28 of 44

To all the disenchanted there is a third registered party in Qld parliament if you don't like the other two
Posted by: D.J.HUNT of Qld party 5:03pm Monday Comment 27 of 44

Yes, Bill Smith, I will respond to your emails if you are in the electorate of Mulgrave, unlike the present member. My earlier response today hasn't been posted. The present member's record is there for all to see: initial support of southern corridor demolition of 400 homes and businesses, no second access into Cairns from the south, no new hospital, asset sales etc etc. It's your choice.
Posted by: Robyn Quick of LNP Mulgrave 3:37pm Monday Comment 26 of 44

Perhaps now would be an opportune time for the peolple who have had buisness dealings with Mr Freebody, or have felt the tender love of his employ to tell their story? Frankly; I couldn't care less if someone came from Mars; I'm only interested in their Ethics, Intelligence & Morals; not their place of origin. The LNP could run a turd on a stick & do well in the next election. To force people to choose between more of the same or Mr Freebody is nothing short of a slap in the face to Cairns. A good story can be produced by any fecund imagination & is only of any value to a politician when it comes time to explain a poor decision derived from faulty reasoning or outright deception. Mr Lucas would also have a good story;that dose not however make his incompetence any the more palatable. I reiterate party-centric politics & blind faith is chocking this country.
Posted by: Brenton 3:13pm Monday Comment 25 of 44

Anon E. Moose, Freebody didn't own the franchise at that point in time that got 20 staff sacked so at least you know what you're talking about... and then if you want to make remarks that you know absolutely nothing about why don't you use your name? that is right so go crawl back into your cave tough guy.
Posted by: jim of mooroobool 3:10pm Monday Comment 24 of 44

I see the Freebody bashers are at it again. Tall poppy is in their viens.I know the carwash was closed by the the previous owners themselves and didn,t pay the staff after sucking all the cash out of it and going on a cruise. All Freebody did was fix up the place and got the 5 star service back on track. You should try it out its NOW fantastic!! Freebody will bring life back to the city after 13 years of labor neglect. You got at least 1 vote Paul Mine! keep up the goog work
Posted by: PVF of Cairns 2:38pm Monday Comment 23 of 44

The Freebody's have employed hundreds if not thousands of people over the years, they do not deserve any of this loony drivel directed at them. How many of the posters here are prepared to work as hard as they have?
Posted by: Steve of Mooroobool 2:32pm Monday Comment 22 of 44

I really hope that a few truly independents stand. These people just change the favoritism to their people, the world is looking for free open and transparent politicians, I certainly hope that the Cairns region does not fall for the trap being set here.
Posted by: Shaun Newman of Townsville N.Q. 2:31pm Monday Comment 21 of 44

Dear Bill Yes, I will be responding to your emails if you are in the electorate of Mulgrave, unlike the current member who avoids contact with his constituents.Remember that Curtis Pitt supported the Main Roads proposals that would have led to the destruction of 400 homes and businesses in the southern corridor.He doesn't support a second access into Cairns from the south and there will be no new hospital under his government. He supported the sale of Qld assets and is a part of a government that has clocked up $82 billion in debt. You and I are paying for this through all the increased charges and lack of infrastructure development in the Far North. We will need to restore the integrity of the budget and clean up after Labor. Why would you vote for Curtis Pitt again when you examine the record?
Posted by: Robyn Quick of LNP Mulgrave 2:13pm Monday Comment 20 of 44

The sale of the airport in 2008 netted ONLY $530 million. A new hospital will cost upwards of $1.5 billion. Cairns hasn't been cheated, the hospital redevelopment has already cost $446 million. Apparently not so hot on spelling, and obviously not very good at maths either Mr Freebody.
Posted by: Oliver of Redlynch 2:02pm Monday Comment 19 of 44

Love him or loathe him, Freebody is a man with a vision for the region. He and his family have been long-term employers of Cairns locals, and his Water Park shows he is capable of big ideas (even though he has been up against a hostile Council and State Government). Frankly, he has a good story to tell and I think he will do well. At least he isnt an ALP blow in like Tim Grau!
Posted by: JKR 1:46pm Monday Comment 18 of 44

Well what hope have we got of getting an alternative with this mob? I don't know much about Bachelor but I have major concerns for the other three. Including Quick - she could turn milk sour. I suppose given their poor quality LNP counterparts around the country it's no surprise that we would be served the offal.
Posted by: Margaret of Cairns 1:16pm Monday Comment 17 of 44

Dear Oh Dear, i was going to vote for any one but labor next election, but by the looks of the LNP candidates, self serving business men with alterior motives, academics with out of touch ideals, smooth criminals without the cool dance moves...it's all smoke and mirrors folks, little substance to add...be warned people of FNQ, these people will only serve their own interests not the peoples!
Posted by: frank Castle of Cairns 11:54am Monday Comment 16 of 44

A very nasty man! He should be ok with LNP. Out of touch -out of compassion, a match made in heaven.
Posted by: Gavin Burns of Cairns 11:10am Monday Comment 15 of 44

Liberal party pollies are always saying they sick of this or sick and tired of something else. They must be sick in their minds.
Posted by: Bob of Cairns 10:58am Monday Comment 14 of 44

This decission must surely shorten the odds of cairns electing a minority or independent. Given that the next election is the LNP's to lose; they have just taken a significant step in that direction, it would appear the zeitgist of underperforming, & failing to read the mood of the people is still well & truly prevelent in their party, leaving little wonder at the longevity of the current government. Is it so hard for these people to see that the voters want something/someone new?; do they have so little regard for the seat of cairns that the endorsment of a failed councilor with a history of inarticulate diatribes against any who hold a view contry to his, is good enough for this region? Little wonder that JPL wants to keep his ideas for the region to himself; if this endorsment is an example of their quality & content then he may want to keep them thus. I would be very interested in what the oppinion of the LNP faithful is on this decission. For me it just highlights
the inadequacy of party-centric democracy, as even if the LAB candidate was articulate with impeccable abilities of critical thinking, his association with the LAB party & some of it's underperforming & incompetent dros, precludes any thought of voting for him. Given the choice between two undesirable outcomes, I feel for me the only prudent thing to do would be to abstain from the whole process.
Posted by: Brenton 10:51am Monday Comment 13 of 44

What are they all staring at? Could it be the political career that never was? The ALP are bad enough, why would you elect this mob.
Posted by: Shaun Newman of Townsville N.Q. 10:38am Monday Comment 12 of 44

Robyn Quick is the candidate for Mulgrave. If she's at all interested in the feedback she'll be reading these comments. Therefore I expect a response to this question by tonight, WILL YOU BE RESPONDING TO EMAILS IF ELECTED ??? IF NOT WE MAY AS WELL STAY WITH PITT THE YOUNGER.
Posted by: Bill Smith of Cairns 10:23am Monday Comment 11 of 44

I think there needs to be alot of investigations into the Freebodys regarding Carwash Cafe, Waterpark and other business activities as i can assure you there is alot of dirt in there closets. Happy hunting Labour.. as this is a easy kill for you
Posted by: kevin soop of Cairns 10:10am Monday Comment 10 of 44

Michael Trout can't even look after his starving & malnourised horses at Blazing Saddles... How on earth will he handle a seat representing Barron River. Liberals wont be getting my vote if he represents slaving 5+ japanese staff 7 days a week for food and accommodation in a donger is constitutional.
Posted by: Cindy of Cairns 9:54am Monday Comment 9 of 44

getting back in politics to prop up your business ventures?
Posted by: mr l 9:35am Monday Comment 8 of 44

Isn't Freebody the guy who called the female Councillors the Council witches and bitches and sacked 20 employees at his failed car wash a week before christmas? I am normally an LNP voter but I wouldn't vote for this bloke if you paid me. Looks like a donkey vote for me.
Posted by: Anon E. Moose 8:47am Monday Comment 7 of 44

Is this the best the LNP can do up here? Well I suppose Freebody at least has form as a politician, what with all the broken promises.
Posted by: Oliver of Redlynch 8:47am Monday Comment 6 of 44

Mr Freebody - you can't even deliver on a waterpark, how on earth will you deliver as our representative? For the first time ever, the Liberals will not be getting my vote.
Posted by: Ali 8:20am Monday Comment 5 of 44

The way FNQ votes will have a major impact on the next State election. I think something like 3 of the 15 most marginal seats are up here. Should make things interesting come election time.
Posted by: JKR 8:18am Monday Comment 4 of 44

Great to see Mr Freebody also agrees with the need for an alternate hospital site. I hope he and his supporters have signed the e-petition to help force the government to take this issue seriously.
Posted by: D.J.HUNT of Qld Party 7:34am Monday Comment 3 of 44

Paul Freeborn was voted out of the last election for the CRC because he couldn't be trusted, now he's running for a state seat. He should try for the ALP selection , he'll be in good company.
Posted by: graham martin of forest gardens 7:26am Monday Comment 2 of 44

Paul Freebody has proven time and time again he does not have the temperament or intllect for public service. He famously called female councillors in Cairns "bitches and witches", and has run a Mayor Schier bashing site on Faceboom with his wife Kim. And can the community assume the Freebody watermark is now dead? He clearly can't do both.
Posted by: Jim McMahon of Edge Hill 6:39am Monday Comment 1 of 44

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