Monday, 20 February 2012

FNQ Greens last off the blocks in State election race

Local Greens party organisers have been criticised as ''control freaks'' and a lack of openness on the eve of finally announcing candidates for the March 24th State election.

With such an eagerly-awaited State election, every other party has been activity campaigning for months, raising awareness and issues, well before the Premier's election announcement in January, with the noticeable omission of The Greens.

Local Green organisers have exposed themselves to ridicule by not announcing candidates earlier, with minor parties and independent candidates having already made substantial progress.

Local media have been contacting The Greens in the last month, but candidate selection has been kept ''top secret'', until one month out from the State election.

Long-serving Greens supporter, Steve Brech, who claimed he was the Cairns candidate right up to last week with a website online, seems to be one of those organisers who lacks a sense of political timing.

Tomorrow, State Greens Senator Larissa Waters, will arrive in Cairns to help local FNQ Greens announce their line-up, bar a candidate for Cook - an environmental hot-spot for the controversial Wild Rivers legislation before the State Parliament.

Geoff Holland, environmental and community activist, will run for the seat of Cairns. Holland has led the charge against the State Government and Cairns Regional Council who want bus access along Lake Street, destroying City Place.

He has been a prolific local community campaigner in recent years, helping facilitate the popular Cairns-coev online discussion forum on environmental, community and sustainable development issues.

Geoff Holland touts the preservation of mangroves surrounding Cairns airport, along with City Place as a pedestrian-only precinct, the top of his list. He also advocates no further military expansion in Cairns and discourages visits by war ships to the local port. Holland has been criticised within the party for not acknowledging culture and cultural sustainability in his focus.

Dr Elaine Harding, a communications and strategic planning consultant, will run for Barron River. A former university lecturer in environmental science,
Harding served as the coordinator of the public advocacy group, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre in 2008, and has a background in environmental studies and biological science.

Her focus is to increase opportunities for small businesses, as well as expanding after-school and vacation programs for young people, and is also passionate about protection riverine and coastal wetlands.

Dr Harding wants to promote a more ethical standard of behaviour for public servants based on integrity, accountability and inclusiveness.

Jim Cavill is the Greens candidate for Mulgrave. The former fitter and turner, he advocates conservation of the natural environment, along with transport, health and employment.

Cavill is a member of the Cairns Bicycle Users Group and has lobbied for new cycleways. Cavill says that development in Mulgrave will require transport infrastructure to be supported by rail lines between Babinda and Cairns city. He says the failure of successive Governments is visible to every resident of Mulgrave, citing a lack of local health services in the electorate.

Jess Jones, who ran for The Greens in the Federal election for Kennedy, will contest the seat of Dalrymple. She is a youth and community development worker.

Jones advocates training in rural areas to support businesses and schools to deliver local outcomes, to invigorate cultural life of local communities.

No candidate has been found for the large and important electorate of Cook, encompassing Cape York, that is home to the controversial Wild Rivers legislation - supported by Labor, that the LNP say will be thrown out if elected.


Syd Walker said...

Hi Mike.

In this election camapign, it would be nice if we have less of the "have been criticised" style of reporting. None at all would be best.

It's not hard to say WHO makes a criticism, so please tell your readers. If the person making it is too gutless to be named, why not report "a gutless anonymous critic said" so readers have a better idea of the weight of the criticism?

Have all the other parties really been "campaigning for months"" Maybe they have... I haven't noticed. Where is Family First? Who are their candidates?

Why not reports facts - and make commentary - but try to keep the two separate. FNQ doesn't need two Composts (CairnPosts), do we?

Jim Cavill, Greens candidate Mulgrave said...

The Greens last to publicly announce campaign launch,it is only day 2 of the campaign proper.

We have been active at Rusty's market Saturdays for last few weeks, talking to and connecting with the area electors.