Division 6 is an important growth area of Cairns. Encompassing the Redlynch Valley and Brinsmead, these are important growth areas of the city as well as a centre for primary school education. Candidates for this division include the current councillor and Finance Committee chair Linda Cooper, former councillor Annette Sheppard, Susan Rees from the Unity Team, and unsuccessful artist and tour guide Jenny Glaze.
Division 6 roundly rejected the long-serving Annette Sheppard at the 2008 election mostly due to her inattention to the myriad of details that a better councillor would have managed. Some of these failures of Sheppard include the traffic issues around the schools, especially along the Redlynch Connector road. Properties along the Redlynch Connector did not have land resumed by council for future road needs. So these schools have long queues for entry twice a day, and the connector out to Redlynch Valley cannot be widened to four lanes - EVER. Sheppard instead used her council position to lobby for personal interests, including the provision of fluoride in the water (a state matter). She claims to be an independent - despite rumours she tried to get on both the Unity and Community Alliance teams, and was rejected by both - even though it has left the Cochrane Community Alliance with NO Division 6 candidate. Even Margie decided NO ONE is better than Annette! It's unlikely the young voters of Redlynch are going to consider this woman appropriate for this young people centric division, especially with her long history of failures to the community. And no one wants to revisit fluoride and other obscure hippie issues while having the big issues ignored. Nope.
Susan Rees is the Unity (Manning/Byrne) Team preselection for Division 6. Despite the community being told that the Unity Team would be "business savvy", she has little business or community experience - nothing on the level of the current councillor. She also failed to front the community in organised forums, and hasn't been seen door knocking anywhere. Has anyone spoken with Susan Rees? We're thinking of sending out a search party - she has refused to answer emails from the blog as well as others. No thanks.
Jenny Glaze is a last-minute entry into the division 6 race, apparently buoyed by the results of her deliberately dishonest petition "Stop the Beating of Young Children" that she organised - which was in fact a no-Entertainment Precinct petition. A failed artist, her website says she's "honest" which she's adequately demonstrated to be false - she claims to represent "democracy" but refuses to acknowledge the open, democratic process that engaged large numbers of the community in the now-approved CEP project.
Glaze is also said to be culturally insensitive and demeaning to our local indigenous population. During an exhibition in the CBD many years ago, she refused to remove aboriginal-themed paintings which many in the ATSIC community regard as cartoonish and immoral. Some of this filth can be seen here. You be the judge.
So this leaves us with the last candidate and incumbent, Linda Cooper. Cooper has a long history of community engagement, from her time as a journalist and broadcaster in the city, and her extensive business experience running the City Life magazine, as well as financial management skills that have served her well as Finance Chair at council (a position she assumed when it became clear the previous chair Alan Blake had demonstrated difficulties working with fellow councillors).
She hasn't been a rubber stamp for the mayor or others, and while the only member of the Unity Team to have been elected in 2008, she quickly resigned Unity and has represented her constituents as an honest independent. Her vote in support of the final plans for the Entertainment Precinct was taken "with all the facts on the table", including the vital need for this project among the primary and secondary school children of her electorate.
As a mother with school age children in local schools, the majority of the community in Redlynch have had an experienced and effective councillor, always available to listen, and a personality able to work well with others on the council. Linda Cooper is proof positive that a council of independents can work - a treat!
The Hillbilly Watch is pleased to support the reelection of LInda Cooper in Division Six.