Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Cr Lanskey will not contest Cairns Council election

First-term councillor for the south-side communities of Bentley Park, Edmonton and Mount Sheridan, Nancy Lanskey, has said she will not contest the March local body election, and that she wished to spend more time with her family.

The Division recorded one of the narrowest in the 2008 Council election race with just 12 votes between the Hambledon and Edmonton polling booths. Local hardware store businessman Jeff Martinuzzi, who ran under Val Schier's Cairns 1st banner, after preferences recorded 2,500 or 49.45% against Lanskey's 2,556 or 50.55%, a 56 votes margin.

Kaye Kingham was the only other candidate to contest the last election with 26.98% of the vote.

This year's election has already attracted a strong line-up for the division 2 seat.

Jeff Martinuzzi will again throw his hat in the ring along with Piccones IGA assistant manager Paul Drabble, who is seeking more accountability from councillors, CEO and Council staff. Drabble is a former chef and has a diploma in retail management.

Mother of three who has worked in retail for 15 years, with strong Labor party links, Leigh Dall’Osto, will also contest the seat. She has also worked as Victorian State Manager of Street One and for Gold Coast Gas and the Marine Park Authority.

Recently Nancy Lanskey bequeathed all her election sign corflutes to Leigh Dall’Osto, a signal that she intended not to run again.

''Nancy would have been difficult to beat as she had done many things right in her term on Council," Leigh Dall’Osto said. “She was involved in getting many of the existing parks in this area re-furbished and she attended meetings of all sectors in the community so that she could stay abreast of any potential concerns. She also worked very hard on plans for the Edmonton town centre.''

Division 2 is one of the fastest-growing areas in North Queensland and will require a representative who will give the community the attention and time it needs. Dall’Osto says that person also has to have the ability to work with the rest of Council to get better outcomes for the entire region.

“Consultation and collaboration are extremely important facets of the job. The ability to work well with other tiers of Government is also important as there are many areas within the region where sectors of Government overlap,” Ms Dall’Osto says.

Dall’Osto said that both "Paul and Jeff are good candidates, so it's going to be difficult to win, even without Nancy."

"I just need to concentrate on doing what I do best, meeting people and listening to them, working on solutions and getting my messages across."

She said that the campaign was in danger of turning ugly, but ''that's not me.''

''I have a great deal of respect for anyone who decides to run for election. It's not an easy thing to do and the commitment required is quite extraordinary,'' Leigh Dall’Osto said. ''Nancy went into this for the right reasons initially and community minded people are our biggest assets.

Local Labor Party member Chris Rollason, says Dall’Osto is ready to be a councillor.

"Nancy knew she wouldn't get in, she didn't want to look like a sore loser," Rollason said today. ''Leigh [is] going to win this election, and I encourage all residents of Division 2 to get behind her."

Paul Drabble has been an outspoken critic of the Cairns Entertainment Precinct.

''We need a council of strong, results driven people who are willing to listen to our constituents, who thrive on feedback and are willing to take a stand for those they represent,'' Paul Drabble says. ''It is about being able to work with our CEO and Council officers to break through the red tape and constrictions. It is about putting in place the future policies and budgets that are sustainable for our growing region.''

''I want to work with all areas of Council and look at simplifying our practices and removing or replacing those that are cumbersome or inadequate for the future of this great city.''

Drabble also questioned Richie Bates, who is running again in the city-based Division 5 seat, who says that independents are to blame for the present dysfunction of Council.

Bates says that the approach most needed from our elected representatives is a collaborative and collegiate approach to governance.

'' I'm still hearing very little from the independents as to how they will work together and
build a collaborative and collegiate approach to running this city. 'The current councillors have failed dismally at this, and it is this issue above all that has laid the foundation for an under-performing and dysfunctional council," Richie Bates said. ''The recent misconduct allegations against councillors Blake and Bonneau are testimony to this. Unfortunately, we risk more of the same when we re-elect independents who have no strategy, enthusiasm or understanding of working in a diverse team.''

Paul Drabble says the truth is pseudo-ALP and LNP independents are at the core of the problem

''True independents like myself who have never had politic party affiliations and are self funding, with polices to remove party politics from local council, decrease red tape and the bureaucracy, listen to the majority and have the skills to succeed.''

Paul Drabble says he will not be taking any donations from any individual, business, developer or party toward his campaign.

''All candidates donation lists should be completed three days before an election and publicly posted,'' Drabble says. ''Then maybe people would really see who is pulling the strings. Many Council candidates say they are independent but really when you look back past the frontage you find many are now unwilling to present as candidates for parties who now have the ire of the voting public, often wonder why do those who purport to be so morally right yet are unwilling to present with the logo of their party allegiances in their media.''

''The deceptive nature of modern politics is itself a failure of the system to regulate properly. One must always remember there is a fine line between the truth and a good story in politics in North Queensland," Paul Drabble said.


Tanya Brooks-Cooper, candidate Division 8 said...

As an independent candidate I believe I can work across the board, with a range of people for the residents of the Cairns region.

I have years of community experience, a passion, a connection and a vision for the region. I've worked in multidisciplinary teams, managed challenging tasks and worked on tight time lines and budgets. I've even worked at the CRC! I'm articulate, clever, educated, strong, connected and supported. I've got huge networks and have made things happen in this region that have created change and helped strengthen our community safety net and viability.

I'm passionate about people's ability to live healthy, harmonious lives in a safe, livable environment. I am driven to sustainable practice, I have children and some day grandchildren that I want to live here!

I've lived here, worked here, raised my family here. I've moved and moved back to enjoy this place.

I believe we need a strong focus on moving forward and creating a Cairns that is prosperous and vibrant. I want to be a integral part of this change.

Good luck to the other candidates! :) I can't wait to see some good debate, clever banter and exciting policies! I'm glad to see it heating up! Let's play fair folks.

Steve Grasso said...

Interesting read - thanks Michael.

It will be interesting to see the preference deals done in this division. Drabble, Martinuzzi, Dall'osto and whoever Kevin Byrne's candiate turns out to be will all attract a decent amount of votes.

Terry Vance said...

Tanya, I wish you all the best of Aussie luck in the coming Council Elections. You are up against a formidable opponent in the Unity Team which will, using past performances as a guide, be well funded and able to market themselves as a top product.
Politics, even local government politics is a product and people today suck it up like they do brands of toothpaste. In my blog, "Cush over Cairns" I used the extreme example of a multiple child rapist and killer (Bud Yarrow) being sold and marketed by his political team and the local media, as a cross between Sir Cliff Richard and the brother of Jesus Christ. The electors sucked it right up and at the celebratory function, women expressed their admiration for him to the Federal Police Officers waiting to arrest him for extradition to Asia. The local radio shock jock, emceeing the evening, announced on stage "I love this guy, I really love him and I don't care what anyone thinks..."
Would this really happen, you wonder??
Well, who ever would have thought a Mayor would be demonised and monstered so ruthlessly and without restraint like we have seen with Mayor Schier? And haven't the public sucked it right up?
I believe you independents are going to find it very tough to counter the monied publicity campaign aided and abetted by a corrupted media machine which no longer adheres to any sense of impartiality.

:Kevin-John: Morgan. said...

Having known Nancy Lanskey for a few years, and watching her performance as a councillor, it is such a shame that more councillors were not like Nancy both in attitude and aptitude.
There will be a huge space left empty in the Council Chambers when Nancy leaves, I hope for Cairns' sake that any replacements can live up to her standards.

Jack Andrew Wilkie-Jans, Candidate Division 9 said...

Richie Bates seems unable to answer any question clearly...neither do some other, especiaqlly when queried as to their political leanings; this is sad as it shows that without transparency from day one it will clearly be a standing trait in certain local and state politicians. I've said again and again that there is a clear difference between Politicians and Public Servants and it's up to voters to decide in whom those differences "lie". The piety surrounding being an independant may also be mis-placed in some as it leaves them free to lean toward where ever the political bounty is.

Alison Alloway said...

Well apart from her election photo and her media release announcing she won't be standing for re-election, I never saw or heard of Nancy Lanskey during her entire term in office. I was actually shocked at seeing her photo in todays Cairns Post. Despite her well known local name, I have never met her. Ever. At no time during the four years did I ever see her at any community function, although I did see every other Councillors on several occasions.
I compare and contrast that with the candidates mentioned in this article - Paul, Tanya and Richie. I have seen them all out in the community. They have all let themselves be known to me. They are all accessible to any member of the public. Frankly, I want a Councillor who is visible, accessible and out there. I want a Councillor who is prepared to tackle controversial issues even if it means attracting critical publicity. I want a Councillor who has the courage and integrity to speak up when common decency demands it. I want a Councillor who is prepared to stick his or her head UP and to keep on putting it up.

Alison Alloway said...

Through the years I have met many women Councillors. Three outstanding ones who "stuck their heads up" were Mrs Joan Wright, who formed the Hillside Protection Society back in the 1970s ensuring there was no development on the Cairns hillslopes. Then there was Mrs Margaret Cossins who argued for a Regional Art Gallery and for a Historical Precinct for Cairns also in the 1970s. Then there was the amazing Rose Blank who worked tirelessly to involve Council in areas of welfare in the city. If you think their ideas were greeted with enthusiasm and support, you are dead wrong. Yet, they persued their agendas with determination and tenacity despite public mockery. Ultimately we did not get a Historical Precinct on the Barbary Coast, as proposed by Mrs Cossins because the Davis Council did not support her.

Janine Aitken said...

I agree somewhat with Paul Drabble, ideologically party politics doesn’t belong in local council, however views & values always will have some influence on the way a person votes, whether that be LNP, ALP, Greens, Katter's party etc. everyone is somewhat aligned with a "political party" whether they are members or not, the way people vote reflects there beliefs and values, to claim otherwise is naive. I commend Paul’s statement that he will not be taking any donations, however I am concerned at how he is funding his campaign, as from his own admission on Facebook, he is funding it from money he won gambling after entering a poker competition at Jupiter’s Casino that had a substantial buy in. I wish all the candidates in division 2 the best, but Paul if you are in fact funding your campaign by gambling money that makes me personally very nervous.

Richie said...

Thanks Jack,

I'm a bit surprised at your lack of knowledge of the local political scene. However for your enlightenment - I am local Secretary of the Queensland Council of Unions and a member of the ALP. My activism is well documented and extends from industrial advocacy and opposition to asset sales to environmental issues such as the closing of the Portsmith toxic landfill.

Terry Vance said...

I would have thought that political ideology would be more important now in local government than ever before. With the advent of "public/private" enterprises, outsourcing, corporatisation, selling off of community assets and "user pays" etc.

Paul Drabble said...

It seems there is some dispute over how I am funding my campaign and some interesting information out there. So what I will do is absolutely clear up what happened and how. So lets be honest and at least have the full truth displayed.
I have been playing tournament poker for about 9 years. In that time I have had some wins and losses, playing mostly online in $1 to $5 buy in tournaments. I always stay within my budgets. Every year for the last 4 years I have gone once a year and played in a live tournament this year I went in November to the Gold Coast and played in a poker tournament that has a buyin of $550. I finished 18. Which meant I did not make any money. I then went upstairs to the casino floor and every Saturday they have members draws, as I headed to the bar I swiped my members card and put the ticket in the barrel with the apporox 5000 other entry's. I went got a beer and as the draw was only 10 mins away I watched some sports on the big screens in the bar. The draw was done at 6pm and my name was drawn from the barrel. I presented myself to the lady who did the draw and she informed me I had to choose an envelope I did and I won $10,000. I did not win it playing poker of gambling.I left the casino staight after this and had a great steak at MOO MOO restaurant.
This is the truth of what happened. I was always going to self fund my campaign, this money has helped but has also enabled me to buy a new fridge, TV for our house. The money was not won gambling. Maybe it was fate that someone upstairs feels I should be on this council and has helped me in doing so. Fate is a funny thing. I stand by the fact with or without this money I was going to self fund this campaign. Those who wish to use this position to play politics's need to seriously check whether they are in this for the right reason's. I am doing this to work for my community to the best of my ability.
Paul Drabble
Let the Campaign move forward.

nomooremike said...

"The money was not won gambling."

Talk about twisting and squirming!

You were gambling, you lost, then won 10 grand .... in a casino.

I don't want a gambler representing me, thanks all the same.

Terry Vance said...

Don't listen to the wowsers Paul. Life wouldn't be worth living without taking a few risks here and there.

Paul Dabble said...

Ah Nomooremike I find it ironic that you are fine with taking a shot at me through a non de plume and are not willing to face me with reality. Reality is you have probably bet more on horses and put more into pokies than I ever had. that we will never know. I chose to stand for office and chose to face scrutiny. I don't ask or expect any vote but I did ask for that scrutiny to be truthful, I have put the truth out there and the people will judge, NOmooremike there are plenty like you who are in the minority but want to be heard and listened to. Advice to you is get real and show some ticker by being a realist who is willing to stand behind his statements with his name. Todays social media is full of the hypocrisy of comment without the person willing to admit they made that comment. The truth is NOmooremike is not on the electoral roll, whoever you are is, when you are willing to stand behind your comments I may send you some respect. Until that day you could be anyone on this planet looking for attention.

nomooremike said...

There you go Paul, the difference between you and me, and another reason not to vote for you.

I don't gamble, have never backed a horse, or put money into a pokie machine.

I addressed your FACTS, you chose to make rubbish up.

And don't worry your poor little self about my name, it'll be on the register as I tick someone, anyone, but not you.

Alison Alloway said...

I disgree with both Richie Bates and Paul Drabble that the reasons why the current Council is dysfunctional is because of party politics.

The Pyne Council had compositions of representatives from all different political parties, yet were able to function harmoniously. It can be done.

What was different and which drove a wedge into the Council, was the unprecedented personal campaign waged against the Mayor by two unelected media representatives. As a "hate" campaign, it was totally without precedent here in the North.

The Council, right from its very start, were not given the same chance to build a collaborative and collegiate team, unlike previous Councils.

The Mayor, right from her unexpected election, was singled out and attacked with obsessional ferocity.
That John Mackenzie is a personal close friend of the former Mayor, Kev Byrne, no doubt had a lot to do with his inappropriate behaviour.

Human nature being what it is, some Councillors responded by fawning up to the bully boys in the media and agreeing with their dictates. You can work out who they are.

The media strategy of "Divide and conquer" worked.

It worked because of human nature and the weak, self-serving, ambitious Councillors whio put their own ambitions ahead of working collaboratively.

It worked because most of the Councillors had inadequate, cowardly personalities who did not stand up to the undermining of the Council by the media representatives.

Don't blame the dysfunctional Council on politics.

Richie said...

Thanks Alison,

I have never said council is dysfunctional because of party politics. However, I have indicated that the current independent dominated council is responsible for much of the dysfunction. A Tom Pyne style politically diverse team? - What a great idea!

Alison Alloway said...

Richie, I have made a comment elsewhere about the Alliance Council Team. It was a political and social mix which disintegrated because of personal ambitions and the meddling and interference of politics. Politics exerted itself bigtime on the Alliance Council team when the campaign against relocating the Base Hospital became a screaming frenzy, polarising the community in exactly the same way the Entertainment Precinct has. My concerns are that you are now entering a team with probably the same characteristics as the old Alliance Team, and in a time when the community is emotionally polarised in exactly the same way.
You may well find it very difficult to work collaboratively as a team. Tom Pyne's Council was different. They faced campaigns led by Mackenzie especially over the new Council offices in Spence Street, yet there was no division within the Council team over the issue. There was some opposition to redeveloping the Esplanade, but it was a complete non-event compared to the campaign against a new hospital and the Entertainment Precinct. Basically, Tom's team worked because they did not have to confront the controversial issues which faced both the Alliance and current Council teams.