|IS IAN THOMAS RUNNING FOR |
MAYOR OF CAIRNS, OR MAYOR
OF NORTH CAROLINA?
We intend to look at statements by the council candidates about what they WILL do. Not their critiques and other negative attacks.
Ian Thomas starts the discussion, in his diatribe on health care (not a council issue), by saying on his website: "Indigenous people living north and west (of Cairns) . . .are not part of our official population". I'm sure they'll be happy to hear that!
Thomas has already shown to be a prickly sort, and he's apparently has the misguided opinion that Facebook is a "voter manipulation tool". Using a well-known backdoor, he's "purchased" supporters for his Facebook page, apparently not realising he's bought more Filipinos and Nigerians than live in all of Australia! So he apparently thinks this corrupt practise is going to fool people.
Widespread reports indicate that posts asking probing questions or critiquing his proposals are promptly removed by him from this page, with the posters blocked from further comment. He also removed himself from a local election discussion page when he became the butt of ridicule. Prickly old fart, already showing him temperamentally unsuitable to lead a group of independent sorts on council. (Herding cats).
Many of the statements made by Thomas in person, and on his website, show him to be clearly delusional. He somehow believes that the position of Mayor is akin to that of Fidel Castro - Thomas apparently hasn't read the job description. No Mayor can make unilateral decisions on the budget, on the EP, on council contracting. "Mayor" doesn't mean "dictator". The danger always with electing a so-called businessman.
In a "tradies's meeting" he organised Tuesday night at Cazaly's, Thomas began to unveil his campaign strategy, which looks to be based on exaggerations, unachievable promises, lowbrow ideas, and flat-out lies. Fortunately for him, the turnout of his "tradie mates" was pathetically small.
First of all, he guarantees for two years either no rate rise or 2.5% - his campaign literature says both, so we're not sure which promise he's going with. On the radio Tuesday he told John MacKenzie he was going to get $30 MILLION in spending out of the council budget. Of course with no indication what he's cutting, just the usually "I'm cutting waste" bullshit.
When commenting on the planning work done on the new Grafton Street carpark, his plan is "simple slab construction without all the extravagance" decorated with "hanging gardens". No comment on how much maintenance would be required for his "hanging gardens".
He's the only Mayoral candidate who "guarantees" to stop the construction of the Council-approved Entertainment Precinct - despite the costs that would inure for doing this. Some believe the costs of canceling contracts would be upwards of $20 million. Let's see him sell the idea of wasting $20 million on nothing! He has also said he'll take the current design work and re-use it on an appropriate site. As anyone experienced at construction would know (isn't he?) this is an impossible suggestion. This isn't a shitty little block house like Thomas was well known for building around town! You just can't plop it down anywhere!
Thomas makes no bones about destroying the arts support by council - he's often quoted as saying that arts facilities run "at a loss", under the delusional idea that council services should make a profit!
In his talk to the tradies, he says he's going to "get their jobs back" by forcing council to hire only local workers. Funny, but this would be a violation of the Trade Practices Act, as well as several Queensland state laws on contracting by Local Government. This is a piece of populist nonsense that pollies with no ideas trot out from time to time. Why are big national firms used to build things like the Council Chambers or Entertainment Precinct? Because there are no local firms with the size, skill, financial support, and acumen to build these projects. Look at how mismanaged our "big" local firms have been. Hedley. Glencorp. CEC. CMC. All gone due to mismanagement and in some cases fraud - while the national firms had no problem surviving the downturn. Ratepayers want their contributions managed professionally by council, not flogged off to some locals just because they're locals.
Council currently provides some "weighting" to local bids to encourage local contractors, their policy is here. There is no way to guarantee all bids go to local contractors, however.
So Ian Thomas - tell 'em what sounds good, promise things you can't deliver, make up shit if you have to - - - that seems to be the mantra of this candidate.