Led by Cairns Regional Council division 2 candidate Paul Drabble, a splinter group of malcontent hillbillies has taken to organising a misleading petition drive against the CRC-approved Entertainment Precinct. In addition to failed Kiwi restauranteur Drabble, the group is led by failed artist and ex-airline hostie Jenny Glaze along with Division 7 "Community Alliance" (Cochrane) candidate Steve Grasso. Drabble is also employed by the Piccone family at their IGA Grocery in Edmonton.
Glaze was overhead telling one young mother "Val Shier and her supporters want to close the port, which will force petrol prices up since it will all be trucked from Townsville". One resident from Port Douglas has written to claim that he was told "fags are running Cairns Council now".
This past Wednesday in fact another resident, Alan Selby of Redlynch, had a letter published in the Cairns Post in fact complained about these same issues at the petition set up at the IGA store in Redlynch.
IGA grocers were founded on community values. For the Piccones and other IGA stores in Cairns to be blatantly taking political sides in a local election is a violation of their code of conduct, and abhorrent to most of the public who want to do their weekly shop in peace. While the Piccones have previously been financially supportive of local community groups, they've just squandered all these works in this stupid action.
A discussion with regional managers for both Coles and Woolworths confirms that they have strict guidelines against "political" soliciting in or around their shops, including prohibitions in their store rental agreements with the landowners. They were both shocked that IGA would condone such polarising community activities.
IGA is owned by Metcash Limited (MTT) in Australia, and their executive in charge of the IGA operations is Harry Rumpler. Metcash CEO Andrew Reitzer has an "Ask the CEO" contact page on the Metcash website. Perhaps a few questions to Mr. Reitzer about the community interference by IGA stores in a local election would be appropriate. In addition, the Piccones can be contacted at email@example.com.