By far the hardest councillor position is that of Division 5. While representing areas like Bungalow, Parramatta Park, and Westcourt, the biggest challenge for this division is the sprawling CBD of Cairns. With this the heart of not just the business community, but the tourism centre, clearly a councillor in this division has got their work cut out for them.
Current councillor Alan Blake is a shameless self-promoter, and is known by his colleagues as a whiteant menace. His whiteanting isn't limited to Mayor Val Schier, he was undermining Kevin Byrne in his previous term. Blake has been peripheral to many of the whiteant scandals at council, allegedly having council employee girlfriends and other personal relationships that have been aptly reported on other community blogs. Most in the CBD complain that Blake has little time to listen, dismisses legitimate complainants as whingers, and residents in Division 5 call him "the invisible man". And Blake is "on the record" in support of the waterfront site for the Entertainment Precinct, and as his reelection hopes went off the rails he's changed his stripes again. He's an embarrassment to everyone. Weasel.
And there are still unresolved ethics complaints against Blake. Why they haven't been dealt with prior to the election is a mystery, but they are but a symptom of the way this guy does business.
Many of the drainage problems in recent rains, for example, have been in Division 5 - with their primary representative "missing in action", these drains are said to be among the worst in the city. Blake however did ensure that a couple $Million in pumps were installed in front of his unit complex at Wharf and Lake Streets. Nice work, Alan.
We won't rehash the mountain of problems that come with the candidacy of ALP leader turned immoral pollie for hire, Richie Bates. No chance.
We breathed a sigh of relief when 4CA Radio morning host Michael "Locco" O'Loughlin jumped into the race in the most ethical of ways - he didn't spend endless weeks spruiking his imminent candidacy unfairly on the radio, unlike Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King did for months after his preselection by the LNP. Tick 1 - good moral compass.
As we blogged several months ago, O'Loughlin has been an unstoppable positive cheerleader for Cairns. Always found out on the streets, incessantly promoting all the good things happening in town, Locco was instrumental in the world-record breaking Zumba turnout. And in a great exchange of talent, O'Loughlin and his morning show colleagues from Guam regularly talk up the positive elements in their towns.
Since taking leave from his job to campaign, O'Loughlin has done great work learning the ins and outs of the domestic areas of Division 5. He's an avid supporter of the Cairns we all want - outdoorsy, tropical, friendly, and safe. With boundless energy, a work-with-everyone attitude, and strong history of community support and involvement, Mike O'Loughlin is our choice for Division 5.