In one week's time, Cairns will decide who will be mayor for the next four years.
Retired property developer Ian Thomas, with the campaign mantra of "less rates, less crime and no Entertainment Precinct" is the underdog in the Mayoral campaign. He first arrived in Cairns in 1973 as a part owner of the Australian hotel in Abott Street. He then opened the Marmadukes nightclub. Thomas has a string of developments to hos name: Holloways Beach, homes and units, Cairns Colonial Club and The Palm Royale.
Last week he was forced to publish a rebuttal to various rumours and innuendo that he called 'Lies, Lies, Lies and Dammed Lies.'
Here's Ian' plea to Cairns voters to support him next Saturday...
Everyone in Cairns is concerned about the local economy except it seems the Cairns Regional Council this council has increased rates continuously whilst forecasting deficit budgets and it seems, has not for one moment looked towards itself to reduce costs and initiate cost savings and efficiencies. It is very apparent to me that our local council operates like state and federal governments, instead of lifting their game or operating the largest business in our region efficiently, they simply raise rate levies.
The recent voluntary redundancies introduced to trim the inept business practices of the council and CEO have resulted in over $4m in extra costs and seen the departure of many skilled long term employees some of whom have left the council purely because of their disgust with current management policies.
During the term of this council led by Val Shier we the community, have been lied to time and time again, particularly in regard to the Cairns Entertainment Precinct.
The lack of transparency and failure to engage with the community has been outrageous, the fiscal mismanagement appalling, the personal agendas and vanity projects incredible. At no time has there been any example of leadership from our mayor who frankly myself and a broad section of residents consider incompetent.
Our mayor’s background as a public servant and bureaucrat should be a warning to the voters in the upcoming election. The new mayor should have broad business experience, experience in their own businesses, earning their own money and income, dealing with all the day to day challenges of surviving and prospering despite all the outside influences of which they have no control. I know of no other business where because of mismanagement they can charge more for their product or services with absolutely no backlash, just reluctant acceptance.
Without good management, cost control and internal audit systems in place in a $300m business ends up where we now see the council; desperately attempting to make last minute slap dash cuts to a budget that was already planned to end in deficit. The council budget should be prepared taking all aspects of council responsibilities into account including community service obligations and of course community infrastructure.
Apart from bike lanes, I have seen no evidence of expenditure to benefit the broader community needs. The recently completed Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre was budgeted at $4.5m and blew out to $6.m. The reality here is that this project is actually an office structure for council staff (Tanks and management staff a total of around 20 people) the most expensive office accommodation in Cairn’s history! The $2m blow out would have provided four brand new desperately needed sports grounds on council land ready to go!
The residents of our region need a fair go, they need a better managed council with strong leadership that will lead our region to economic prosperity whilst maintaining our tropical paradise.
I believe that I am that leader and if elected with your support, what can I do for you?