Mayor Val Schier, along with Deputy Mayor Margaret Cochrane, Ian Thomas and Bob Manning, have all agreed to participating in the public debate.
Organisers are hoping for a good turnout from the community.
“It’s great that people are becoming more interested in local issues and putting more thought into who they vote for," event organiser Angus Gasson said. "It’s also great that candidates are making themselves more available so people can ask them questions directly."
The Toastmasters Cairns City Forum begins with a live music performance by Johannes Selhofer at 12.30pm, in City Place.
All mayoral candidates offer distinctly different styles, each telling us why we should vote for them.
There is also a wide variety of council candidates in Sue Bertuch and Zac Murphy, Locco and Richie Bates; Annette Sheppard and Jenny Glaze; Ross Parisi and Tim O'Hallahan; Max O'Halloran, Di Forsyth and Steve Grasso, Rob Pyne and Nick Thompson, and many more.
- Cairns City Forum - Program
12.45pm Performance by classical guitarist Johannes Selhofer.
1.20pm Welcome to Country by Seith Fourmile
- Mayoral Candidates1.30pm-2.30pm (Toastmasters Chair - Gillian Shaw)
- Councillor Candidates
2.30pm-3.45pm Divisions 1, 2, 3, 4 (Toastmasters Chair – Hanspeter Brenn)
3.45pm-4.15pm Performance by contemporary folk artist Jeremiah Johnson
4.15pm-5.30pm Divisions 5, 6, 7 (Toastmasters Chair – Troy Haines)
5.30pm-6.45pm Divisions 8, 9, 10 (Toastmasters Chair – Stewart Jensen)
The Cairns City Forum is being held in City Place, our "town square", is significant, says Geoff Holland, an organiser of the public political forums and Greens candidate in the State election.
"The town square is historically linked to democracy, from the Agora in Athens, designed to foster democracy," says Geoff Holland. "The Cairns City Council paid lip service to this historical tradition when it provided a Speaker's Corner and tiled Podium and plaque - detailing guidelines for using this instrument of free speech - during the failed renovations in 2000."
"Our public spaces are being privatised with every new shopping mall. Another is now being planned for Spence Street without any community engagement and our Council to challenge the Development Application for fear of being sued. Privatisation of public meeting places means restriction of democratic free speech."
Holland says that that the opening of City Place to traffic is a move with a 15-year history led by the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, a former Mayor, and certain politicians who advocate for the Corporate Sector.
"It has been suggested that there has always been a 3-stage strategy beginning with degrading City Place - makeover in 2000 when shade trees, fountain, grassy knoll and convivial seating were removed under the pretext of 'improving' City Place but actually creating a hostile environment," Geoff Holland said.
"The second stage is to open City Place to buses - moving slowly through. When it is demonstrated - manufacturing consent via the Corporate-owned media - how successful this has been, the third phase of opening to cars will be introduced."