Wednesday 28 December 2011

Council candidates slam Cairns councillors under investigations

Tanya Brooks-Cooper who is running for division 8 in the March Cairns Regional Council elections has called for a speedy conclusion to the conduct investigation of sitting Councillors Sno Bonneau and Alan Blake.

"I hope the investigation gets wound up soon so we can all move smoothly into the elections," Tanya Brooks-Cooper said in light of a local panel being announced to determine the penalty against division 9 Councillor Sno Bonneau.

Councillor Blake is also being investigated for non-declaration of interests and not abstaining from voting.

"I would like to point out I won't be taking any donations from developers," Tanya Brooks-Cooper says. "That way you can be sure I'm making decisions, once elected, that are best for you and our community."

Both councillors Bonneau and Blake have received donations to their election campaigns from numerous property developers and have then voted to support their applications before Council without following the Local Government Act which requires declaring a conflict and removing themselves from the council chamber.

Brooks-Cooper says that well-planned, sustainable development is where we need to head.

"We have some great examples happening around the place we can use to model other new developments."

Former Mulgrave Shire councillor and local Barron River farmer Ross Parisi, who is also considering running for a Council seat, says Bonneau and Blake should stand down.

"[They] should stand down from any official position and not participate in any Cairns Regional Council duty while they are under investigation for possible breach of conduct," Ross Parisi told CairnsBlog. "Any elected position is one of trust and for that trust to be compromised is not acceptable under our Westminster system of democracy and public accountability."

Parisi says the allegations that the councillor may have accepted undeclared donations from developers and may have voted in development applications are serious matters and go to the core in public probity.

"One of the major tenet in our parliamentary government democracy is that all citizens are subject to the law and that justice needs to be done but also is seen to be done," Ross Parisi said.

"The above mentioned Councillors should be given the opportunity to stand aside with dignity and falling that the Cairns Regional Council's CEO should demand that they stand down without pay and refrain from any Council engagement while the allegations are investigated by the Regional Conduct Review Panel."


Leigh Dall'Osto said...

When campaigning for a position in Council, there is plenty of money involved in marketing yourself and the election day itself can get quite expensive. There are better ways to get there though, than through donations from developers. If you are a candidate that is well regarded, you should be receiving donations from general community members who support you, as they are the ones who you should be representing. Once elected, it is the duty of all Councillors to behave in a manner which is above reproach, particularly within the walls of the Council building. Any action which is not completely above board should be thoroughly investigated and the community of those Councillors involved, have the right to be annoyed. It is a position of trust. That must be upheld at all times.

Melissa Robertson said...

Do you think it's fair to ask Councillors to stand down while being investigated???

spangled lady said...

I will be amazed if anything comes of this "investigation" -nothing will happen because no-one cares enough to move themselves out of their comfort zones. I don't mean the Council, I mean the Cairns community. Look what happened when Mike spilled the beans on the local Community Radio 4ccr -nothing! The perpetrators got away with assaulting an elected Councillor and with an amount of community funds in the region of $100,000 unaccounted for. They walked free because the only ones who cared were threatened with legal action -and who wants to lose their health and home for a community cause?
Mr Parisi is aware of this local scandal and bravely attempted without success to rectify it, perhaps he may take up the cause again should he be elected to Council.".......justice must be seen to be done"

:Kevin-John: Morgan. said...

The answer is YES!
Dennis Williams, CEO of Woolongong City Council was forced to resign, due to corruption and the entire council is now under investigation for Fraud.
I believe the entire Cairns Regional Council should go through the same process, to unearth the worms inside.
Blake should also drop all cases in any courts till he is investigated, and I do believe we will find more than we bargained for.

Paul Drabble said...

Yes the donation issue is one I addressed right at the start of my decesion to run for council.
I will not be accepting any donations from any businesses, developers or individuals. I am running to work for the community. My Campaign is fully self funded. To me the cost and money is not the issue, the fact I can vote in the best interests for the majority of the division without compromise is more important to me than any donation or monetary input.