One of the most difficult issues facing the Cairns Regional Council after the gunpoint amalgamation with Douglas Shire was the difficulty for anyone to represent an area that encompasses areas as diverse as Port Douglas, Mossman, and the Daintree areas - along with a rump of voters tacked on from Clifton Beach and Palm Cove.
Because of the diverse nature, we've ended up with a diverse pool of candidates. Throwing his hat in the ring on behalf of Palm Cove is tourism leader and independent Bob Shaw. Bob was in the past a strong leader in the Palm Cove environment, however as tourism numbers crashed, it would seem leadership in Palm Cove has crashed as well. One of the main tourism references, SHOWN HERE, hasn't been updated for nine years. Not exactly detail-oriented.
We've not located anyone in Palm Cove or Clifton Beach who've seen Bob Shaw, or any of the other candidates for that matter. While understandable due to the nonsense dished out by the amalgamation, it would seem that at least Clifton Beach should be returned to Division 9 - without the tourism link, it has NOTHING in common with the rest of division 10.
Terry Melchert, a sacked former CEO of the Douglas Shire council, is a toxic and bitter personality. He's apparently running this campaign as some kind of "get square" - with whom we're unable to determine. He's run attacks on the CRC for turning off his expensive water filtration boondoggle - which took good quality water, ran it thru filters for safety, and then pushed it into the homes and tourist accommodations thru old and inadequate piping. As the CRC took control, the risks were identified and the programme mercifully shut down. Melchert would bring toxicity to the CRC. No thanks.
Pete Smith is the late addition to the Unity Team. He hasn't been seen, hasn't shown at any candidate forums. A interior decorator for Coral Sea Designs, a Port firm that does hotel and restaurant designs as well as homes and refurbs, has no traceable track record of any community service. We consider a record of community service vital for election to council - and not just "lip service" done during the campaign. Engagement with the community on a day-to-day basis is the best way for voters to get to know the temperament and suitability as a councillor. Pete Smith cannot be supported.
In the turmoil of this post-amalgamation period, Julia Leu has served admirably and deserves to be returned to office. She has a good dialog with her community, and while she's taken some hits by some in the community who think she should have been across the Fourmile Beach palms issue, given the size and diversity of her division we're cutting her some slack. She has our strong support, and should de-amalgamation prove to be a likely scenario in the future, she has the respect and connections at the Cairns Regional Council to act as a strong foundation for this activity.