Diane Forsyth, Division 7 councillor, has been a fixture in health management in Cairns for over 20 years prior to her election to council in 2008. She brought this wealth of experience and knowledge to her work at council, and has not only served Division 7 well but many of the city's residents. This despite an unprecedented and unfounded personal attack organised by Federal MP Warren Entsch, Gavin King, and Cueball John MacKenzie.
Forsyth, understandably angered by the nonsense ginned up by Entsch quickly sought adjudication of the charges by the CMC, who just as quickly ruled conclusively she had no case to answer - the charges were Entsch nonsense, for which he's sadly becoming known. Instead of really doing his job, at which he's failed during this term.
The attack has well and truly backfired, with many Division 7 residents angered at the right-wing attacks and unlikely to support either of the right-proffered candidates.
Faced with this formidable opposition, the Unity Manning-Byrne team put up Max O'Halloran. Let O'Halloran try and string two sentences together and while a "nice bloke", he's ill equipped or motivated to represent anyone. It's a toss-up between him and Manning as to who will be needing a nap first. O'Halloran has been little seen by the residents in this division. Yikes.
Then there's the Community Alliance's Steve Grasso. Grasso was one of the quick starters in his campaign, and taking a page from his political "daddy" Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King, he's on twitter, he's on Facebook, he's using all the 21st century tools. And it's these tools that have exposed him as immature, thin-skinned, loudmouth, and intellectually empty. He's breathlessly jumped on the radio to spruik their "big plans" for Lake Street (plans already in progress by the council), and issue press releases that undercut Marge Cochrane as well as expose his meagre grasp of the english language. Compared to even most of the team candidates, Grasso's out of his depth, and is referred to derisively by other candidates as "the kid". Reports of him door knocking voters in the wrong division haven't helped, either. Grasso showed up at the Community Forum and, scared to be swimming with the big fish, disappeared as his time to take the podium arrived-with only a wet spot where he had been seen! A car rental clerk with minimal military experience, he's shown zero community involvement until he decided to have a go at politics. A fundamental error in local politics.
Diane Forsyth has earned her place at the council table, and should be returned handily by Division 7.