As we move thru the candidates across the city, Division 1 has been a difficult evaluation process.
The early entry of former military officer Steve Brain was said by some to be a "fait accompli", with Brain having the support of popular retiring councillor Paul Gregory. On paper, a military officer would seem to have some analytical and leadership skills that would make for a good councillor. However as the campaign has progressed, residents have been stunned at how little Brain has to say to the public - with Gregory leading him around to the community functions like his show pony. His few public statements have been along the lines of "I'm here to listen to what you want". A long-time resident familiar with the division would have a sense already of what public opinion is on these issues! And as one Gordonvale resident noted recently, "soldiers are trained to follow - maybe that isn't such a good trait for a councillor".
Harry Tenni? With uncle Martin's strong support, people should run for their lives. Tenni brags he's trained North Queenslanders to drive "for 28 years". Anyone driving on the Bruce Highway, watching Gen X & Gen Y drivers, would vote against Tenni just for this travesty! Tenni's apparently well-bankrolled with heavy radio advertising claims of "lowered rates". Anyone who believes a candidate is going to lower rates might as well believe in the tooth fairy.
Sue Burtuch is the Unity Candidate, a retired schoolteacher who is said to have joined the Unity Team after several other community leaders rejected the idea. This was early in the campaign when many thought Gregory's support of Steve Brain would make him a shoe-in, which is now proving to be unlikely. However Bertuch would seem to have no views of her own, with her giving the "appropriately costed and sighted" (sic) response to any asking her views. That's the position of a parrot, not a councillor.
Zac Murphy is the other independent running in Division 1, and the candidate we're supporting. Many of Murphy's positions are centered around the differences, and remoteness of Division 1 and the rest of Cairns City. This is appropriate and useful for the residents there. They need someone with a long history in the Division (unlike Steve Brain, a blow-in), and don't need a "team" rubber stamp. Local representation is vital here, just as it is in Port Douglas.
Division 1 is fortunate to have a local candidate with the desire to represent them at the Cairns Regional Council.