On November 16th, Advance Cairns, which celebrates its 10th birthday, placed a full-page advertisement in the Cairns Post. Today the CEO, Stewart Christie, admitted the error and appologised.
"Due to the urgency of placing the advert, logos of organisations endorsing the Tropical North Queensland Regional Economic Plan were erroneously included," Stewart Christie said. "Advance Cairns would like to applogise."
The organisations that were used without permission or knowledge were Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils, Tablelands Regional Council, Cassowary Coast Regional Council, and Cook Shire Council, and Regional Development Australia.
Independent Council candidate for Division 2, Paul Drabble, has called the incident and "attempted deception by Advance Cairns."
Drabble has written to the Cairns mayor asking her to resign her position on the Advance Cairns board.
"It seems professionalism in this organistaion is now at an all-time low in favor of blind sensationalism of the truth," Paul Drabble told CairnsBlog. "All Council funding should be withheld and a full explanation of the attempt to deceive the people of Cairns explained."
He says that a full page apology to the people of Cairns should be a priority.
"I found it very disturbing to find that Advance Cairns of which you are a member of the board, has had to issue an apology for the erroneous use without consultation and without approval of logos in its advertising of support for the Cairns Entertainment Precinct," Paul Drabble wrote to Mayor Schier.
"Also upon your resignation you should inform Advance Cairns that all Council funding will be withheld and until a full explanation of the attempt to deceive the people of Cairns is explained to both Council and the people of Cairns."
In June Cairns Regional Council agreed to $250,000 a year funding for Advance Cairns until 2014. Under "Spirit and Intention", Council states...
- 1.1 This Agreement establishes and articulates an integrated way of working together to deliver the vision and priorities of the Tropical North Queensland Regional Economic Plan (TNQREP) and to support the sustainable economic development of the Cairns region.
1.2 The Parties will work to the following principles:
i. Open, transparent and honest communications and discussions;
ii. Respecting each others roles and accountabilities and acting in good faith; and
iii. Commitment to the common goal of developing and delivering the vision as agreed in the TNQREP and of sustainable economic development of the Cairns region.
1.3 This is an outcome-based agreement, with clear performance indicators providing the basis from which to regularly monitor progress.
1.4 Cairns Regional Council encourages Advance Cairns to source additional funding to support economic development outcomes for the Cairns regional economy. This may include grants from the Queensland State Government, the Federal Government, industry partnerships and other sources, as the Advance Cairns Board determines, in alignment with the TNQREP.