4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News

4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News
4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News Led by John "Cueball" Mackenzie

19 May 2012

CRC ELECTION WASHUP - WHAT DID THE VOTERS REALLY SAY?

Lots of discussion around the town about the election results, especially those from the Cairns Regional Council last month.  The results are decidedly mixed, but some conclusions can clearly be drawn from the voters reactions to the last four years of the CRC.


1.  Unless you personally know a candidate for council, there is almost zero chance of the average punter having any idea who they're voting for or against.  This is why most elections boil down to "things are OK", or "throw the bums out".  Despite all the yammering about the importance of social media to the process, we have widespread voter ignorance.  What we really need is televised debates.  However given the lack of commitment "local" TV shows to Cairns (with our news broadcasts coming from Rockhampton with newsreaders who are "local" to many towns in Queensland), the chances of this are less than zero.  So we shouldn't be surprised the local electorate is ignorant.  The centralisation of regional media in low-cost towns has left places like Cairns with a few news gatherers and hysterical psychopaths like Cueball MacKenzie.  Neither is news.


2.  Despite all the pundit claims that the electorate "prefers independents", the facts are just the opposite.  The public perception is that independents don't get things done - even when the facts are otherwise.  Some in the media often claimed that the CRC was "dysfunctional", but the results for this council were stunning during a difficult period.  The city has been run competently and well during a period of heavy external economic strife.  But the "average voter", seeing things aren't going well for them or their neighbours, can easily be persuaded that "independents" are the cause.  And they ran for the cover of a team, in this case the Unity Team.  The fact that Richie Bates, who has personal views not just contrary to the LNP-centric Unity Team but antagonistic towards them and was elected anyway proves how ignorant most of the voters are.  Bates proved to be smarter than them all.  Probably the only Labor member to be elected anywhere this year.  


3.  Val Schier proved to be a fine mayor with vision and more than adequate management skills.  The local media however were so shocked by her defeat of Kevin Byrne, with the Cairns Post and other "polls" predicting an easy Byrne win in 2008, they began a programmed, systematic campaign to undermine her, the council, and in fact the entire community.  The media has been for four years the unelected and irresponsible "casting vote" on city government!  Un-Australian all, there was never a "fair go" for Schier or the Schier council from day one.  This attack was led by Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King and Greg Punshon at the Cairns Post, along with 4CA's you-know-who.  They used journalism as a club to attack these people on a daily basis, partially motivated by the old-boy, misogynist attitudes that plague regional Australia.  Even known lefty agitator Bryan Law found himself supporting hard right wing candidates - such is the power of media manipulation on the weaker intellects in our community.  The continued referral to the Entertainment Precinct as the "Val-cano" despite this concept being only one in a huge number of concept designs that are always done by architects was the media's way of undercutting our community leaders.  In this anti-woman environment (including Bligh and Gillard), Marge Cochrane never had a chance.  The day she allowed a MacKenzie hillbilly caller to refer to her as "Nanna Marge", she should have packed it in and gone away quietly.  


4.  The voters clearly did NOT vote against the Entertainment Precinct as approved by the Schier council.  The evidence of this sits proudly at the council table.  Rob Pyne.  Julia Leu.  Linda Cooper.  The first two fully backed the size and scope of the proposal ultimately approved by the last council.  And Linda Cooper became the "deciding vote" for the project, which should have made her an easy target for the anti-EP candidates that lined up against her.  And yet Linda Cooper received the biggest percentage vote of all the councillors! 


(In the interest of full disclosure, this blog made its only election donation to our council choice, Linda Cooper).   


So what's Bob "Screwdriver" Manning going to do?  Since part of the attacks on the EP proposal was "lack of consultation" (what nonsense!), there will have to be an even larger outreach to the community about any new proposal.  And the same people will show up to the consultation - the arts leaders, the theatre leaders, the schools, the dance companies, the musical organisations. The Schier "artsy-fartsy" crowd.  And they're going to demand the same thing they demanded the first TWO times (during the Byrne council, and then the Schier council).  A proper, fully-equipped theatre for the community.  Not some stripped-down inadequate, noisy, and non-functional replication of the current theatre.  Unity is entitled to their own opinions, but they're not entitled to their own facts.  Clearly the anti-waterfront crowd, ignorant of the facts, are going to stump up this waterfront land to some developer for a hotel or other private amenity such is the developer pressure on Manning.  But the new EP MUST be located adjacent to the convention centre, and MUST be equipped for the next fifty or more years for a community that can be expected to double in size during that time.  The only question is Manning's ability to keep the $97M in state and federal grants on the table for the project while the community spins its wheels again on this project.  


5.  Read the CMC report on Sno "Max T Brown" Bonneau, and two things are clear.  Bonneau was taking money from developers clever enough to pay him from different corporate pockets than the one being used for development. (Page 11-12).  And for the CMC to acknowledge that Bonneau took money from clearly interrelated entities and then claim no ethical violation occurred shows the law to be an arse.  Bonneau had a growing list of community complaints against him - his usual tactic was to provide the name and contact details of project objectors to the developer (a violation of the development process and council privacy rules), and let the developer harass the public directly.  Bonneau rarely attended community events and had become reclusive from his electorate.  Seeing that much of the community wanted to "throw the bums out", the growing calls for him to explain his odd name change and other behaviours, he did what Alan Blake should have done and withdrew from the election.   


6.  Bonneau also did not live in his electorate.  This is an issue that should be addressed by the new council, along with some more sensible boundary changes.  Councillors should be required to live in their electorates, and the boundaries should be redrawn in the CBD area to include portions of the CBD in more than one electorate.  The CBD needs more attention than one councillor can reasonably be expected to provide, and having two or three councillors with different areas of the CBD under their wing would improve services for all.


7.  De-amalgamation?  Never going to happen.  The natural tendency in government is to get bigger, not get smaller.  And a guy like Manning will never embrace it - he's a "big government" kind of guy.  Douglas should get over it - they're part of Cairns for good.  No way this new council is going to give up the rates from there now.  There is no backbone in the new council for de-amalgamation.  It's a dead letter.


8.  Council meetings should be video recorded and broadcast on the internet.  Some places in the UK, Germany, France, and the US have been doing this for 15-20 years.  Cost is minimal, students can be engaged as part of a teaching programme to do the work, and the public deserves to get not just the results of meetings but the content of the meetings.  More consultation and openness should be a goal for all.


9.  Any proposals for a "rectangular" stadium need to be financed privately, without council involvement.  Sport is a business and the public shouldn't be subsidising sport.


10.  The average voter spends about as much time thinking about their vote as they do deciding if they should stop at Maccas, Eagle Boys, or Hungry Jacks for dinner.  With the chance of a councillor candidate actually coming to your door (Steve Grasso's clearly bullshit claims of 6000 plus home visits not withstanding), the media manipulation and distortion of reality on behalf of the "black hands", and the low level of education on the importance of representative democracy, it's ultimately best that city manager professionals like Lyn Russell are the real operators of our city government.  Can you imagine the chaos if this group, or any group of "elected" councillors actually had to do the day-to-day management work?



41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks HBW for these facts. If only this information had been told to the electorate, there may have been more calculated voting happening. I would like to see this article distributed to every householder and business in Cairns.

Anonymous said...

Meantime down in Brisbane can-do has wated no time creating jobs for the boys. An early benificiary is Sir Bob Norman who will be on the newly created local hospital board. I am all for decentralisation. Let's see if Sir Bob has got what it takes after all the criticism he has heaped on the previous council and state government. Expect the same scrutiny Sir Bob and fix our hospital now !

Anonymous said...

HBW tell us all when the world is going to end as well, shit some people have to much time to waste.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to Ian Thomas, you may have been right hillbilly with the airline ticket.

T. Asquith said...

My thank too HBW, an excellent analysis. Anonymous (13:32) suggests this information be disseminated to everyone in Cairns. Therein lies the problem: the vested media interests represent a small greedy constituency at the expense of the whole. It's the whole Murdoch thing in microcosm, and the reason why HBW needs to become more mainstream. HBW needs to become the Crikey of the Far North.

Anonymous said...

De-amalgamation never going to happen? We'll see about that - it's a State matter to begin with so Manning's role is neither here nor there at the moment. What is happening however is the emergence of a devious and concerted scare campaign by News Ltd to fool people into believing the costs involved will be astronomical . The (mis) reporting of other de-amalgamations has entered the realm of fantasy but if you're not up to speed on the facts you're prone to fall into that age-old trap of believing ..."it must be true - I read it in the paper didn't you?" It is the Douglas Shire by the way HBW...NOT Port Douglas ...and the mood for de-amalgamation is stronger than ever and we need the support of non-News Ltd media like yourself to get the real story out there.

Spangled Lady said...

There is something quite magic about this form of media -we, the public are so totally uninformed by the local press/TV/radio -it is a real thrill to hear the true story as contributed by all those who have been around forever and know how this place really works.
Thanks Hillbilly.

Anonymous said...

I have two comments on the above postings, HBW-
1. This Bob Norman should be correctly named as you have previously pointed out "Unsir Bob". It was his late father who was knighted.
2. The previous Douglas Shire Council Councillors were totally dysfunctional and were for ever in the Media for in fighting and carrying on like dickheads. I cannot understand why they were never sacked like the Johnstone Councillors were!!
Charlie.

ruby red dress said...

Well said Hillbilly. There was never a "fair go" for Val Schier nor the Schier Council from day one. Mackenzie started the hate campaign on the Monday following the surprise election, and Gavin King picked it up and ran with it week after week, ad nauseum in his column, "bash Val", "hate Val". King unashamadly campaigned using hate, scorn and derision, then had the sheer gall and affrontery to warn that Labor would be "running a dirty campaign." His electioneering tactics were in fact, the slimiest I have ever seen in well over 40 years of watching elections. The "dysfunctional council" was part of Mackenzie's propaganda to undermine the entire Council and condition people into accepting a "Unity" team. Hillbilly is correct. The Schier Council was a functioning, innovative Council, yet Mackenzie's propaganda was successful. Now Manning talks glibly about a "unified Council" free from the "clashes of the past". The public is being conditioned yet further again, into believing that any dissent within the Council Chambers is "bad". This is paving the way for any amount of unethical and corrupt administration from this Council, where any Councillor who wants closer scrutiny of say a development proposal or who finds outright corruption, will be soundly condemned. I understand that one of the Independent Councillors has aleady been shown a taste of how nasty this Council will be to anyone who "steps out of line". There are concerted moves afoot to now try and stifle any debate, scrutiny or criticism of the Council. Everything keeps on pointing to some pretty unethical stuff is about to go down.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your point there, ruby red dress, viz: - "the public is being conditioned into believing that any dissent within the Council Chamber is bad". Can you imagine what Mackenzie and The Cairns Post will do if a Councillor, say, opposes the sale of the waterfront land originally designated for the Entertainment Precinct, to a certain developer to build some duplicates of "Harbor Lights"? What if the Councillor objected on the grounds that "Mayor Manning said this land is critical for ports expansion."? We would see a full scale media attack on that particular Councillor.

Mz. Elly-May Klambutt said...

Politics today is only about getting arses into seats and into office, no matter how it is done or what methods are used. Anything goes. The political war against the Entertainment Precinct has left Cairns and regional people with an old, past its use by date performing arts theatre, unable to host more and more shows because of its inadequacy. FNQ people won't be able to see any of the high technology stage shows which are taking place around the world. Sooner or later they will wake up to what they are missing out on and the usual screaming will start all over again. "Everything goes to Brisbane."

Anonymous said...

"Any proposals for a "rectangular" stadium need to be financed privately, without council involvement. Sport is a business and the public shouldn't be subsidising sport".

Interesting term of phrase, so hillbilly I take it is ok for ratepayers to subsidise ballet, opera, visiting comedians etc?
Are they not businesses???
Oh, they are exempt because they belong to the lefts "latte" set?

jim-bob bogan said...

If Manning up and says the waterfront land is going to be sold to a developer and wouldnt you all know it but its someone we all know and any Councillor dares to question the sale, I reckon Mackenzie will start hysterically ranting that a terrorist or something is in the Council. gobsnot King will probably get Newman to sack the Councillor. Well thats what i reckon hey. and what about the theatre? I reckon that will be built on a mates block of land and then he can build his hotel beside it so he gets all the theatre patrons to boost his business. Yeah I can see it coming and I reckon thats the start.

Dean said...

The thing about democracy is that you get the kind of democracy the people deserve. Places in Africa and Asia which have had democracy thrust upon them with an uneducated electorate suffer corruption, rigged results etc.

Not only are many of the public in Cairns incapable of forming sophisticated political thoughts, the impact of Council is usually very minimal, so many don't bother to spend the time to understand what's happening. In this case, the media was running a strict agenda and many were too ignorant and many too apathetic to care and simply went the path of seemingly less resistance, hence the Council we ended up with.

None of this crap would fly in a capital city of Australia.

You can see the impact of education on democracy when minority governments emerge. In established and informed democracies, such as Western Europe, where minority governments are the norm, it's seen as acceptable. But minority governments here in Australia are bashed by the conservative media and their ignorant (mostly elderly) listeners. The younger generations are shown to support minority parties in much larger numbers and the decline in the number of ALP and LNP members is reflective of this.

I would raise one objection to a point you made. A rectangular stadium supports sport much as the CEP would support arts. If it were feasible, many of the benefits would be to the Cairns Region and Council should assist where possible. Sport is a business more than art only because it is generally more successful. Both foster important parts of the community. Sport, to me, is almost as important as art and team sport teaches a lot to children in particular.

Pyne, Cooper, Bates and Leu only need one more Councillor to form an opposition group if Manning gets too out of control. Though with developer funds sparse, it won't be as bad as the Byrne days when they had money to churn (launder).

Tony Hillier said...

Welcome to Boganville and Mayor Manning's brave [sic] new world of farts & kulture! We might not be getting an Entertainment Precinct, but we will have a big screen on the 'nard on which to watch the thugby league's annual gladiatorial boofhead fest. It's not as though the State of Origin clash won't be on every screen, in every bar in Cairns anyway. The waterfront will no doubt be awash with tinnies come Thursday morning, and the CBD chockablock with drunks and testosterone-charged young dickheads. Well done, Mr Mayor. The silly old fart can be seen disporting himself in a Queensland guernsey in today's Compost.

Is this the shape of things to come .... $5 million rectangular playing field et al? Under Manning's watch, Cairns is in real danger of evaporating into a cultural backwater, when it could have become a hub of cultural tourism, a jewel of the South Pacific region.

Dean said...

$5 million might get you a design and planned Rectangular Stadium, but to actually build one will cost you upwards of $50m. That's before you take into account purchasing land, parking, traffic etc.

It's totally unnecessary when the only rugby games in town at Barlow get a couple of hundred people max. Melbourne had two soccer teams and two rugby teams before they could justify building a rectangular stadium. For 10 years prior, they were happy to use Olympic Park, for one soccer and one rugby team, which was worse than Barlow Park.

A stadium like that, without a national sport will be 10 times the burden on rate payers as the CEP. It's a nonsense.

Matt Heirink said...

I noticed early this morning that the first comment in the Cairns Post story about Manning and the big screen said that the Council's big screen was actually Val's initiative, and Manning shouldn't be taking the credit for it. Then, shortly afterwards, that comment was removed and a comment praising Manning appeared.

Tony Hillier said...

Dean, thanks for pointing out the deficiency in capital needed to build a rectangular sports stadium from my previous post. I inadvertently omitted a zero!

Your comparison with Melbourne is valid. Barlow Park caters perfectly well to Cairns' current needs. And, yes, I too am a sports lover (a former sports desk sub-editor no less) who fully appreciates the value of sport in society, if appalled at the feud mentality and bloodlust that State of Origin engenders. I just fervently hope that, locally, it's not at the expense of arts & culture.

Jim M in Edge Hill said...

I was the one that left the comment about the purchase of the video screens by Val & the previous council. A purchase even endorsed by former vice mayor Cochrane. And I was as surprised as anyone that the comment was removed in exchange for comments somehow giving Bob Manning credit for this big screen broadcast.

The Cairns Post is sleazier and sleazier. I object.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of WANKERS you all are, thank fuck i don't know you lot, my fists would be sore. hhaaha

Anonymous said...

Jim M in Edge Hill, every bit as sleazy as when the Editor (Gavin King) refused to publish my letters stating that Anna NEVER said the sale of the airport was to "build a brand new hospital", but to upgrade the existing hospital plus buy land for a new one.

jim-bob snr. said...

Your fists are probably sore already from too much flogging the monkey, Anonymous 12.38.

ruby red dress said...

I wonder just who "Anonymous 12.38" is? The comments seem repetitive and sparse on language, indicating it is the same person. I'm wondering if it isn't a certain someone who lost out at the last Council Election, and who is projecting an extreme case of sour grapes? They would do better to sit back, prick up their ears and focus steadfastly on the new Manning led Council. It won't be "one for all and all for one" for too much longer. 'I' will soon make an appearance in the t-e-a-m.

Jethro Bogan said...

Dean, you said, above, "Pyne, Cooper, Bates and Leu only need one more Councillor to form an Opposition Group". - ummm well. I doubt very much that either Bates or Cooper will oppose much, both will look after Number One in Council. However dissent might well come from the ranks of the Unity Team itself. I have been hearing a bit about one of the team who seems to have quite a bit up between the ears and may not be a pushover for Byrne and Manning. Nuff said. Let's wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Jethro Bogan, I seem to have heard something along similar lines. One of the Unity Team apparently has been asking HARD questions around the town. Something might be just ticking away up there between the ears. Time will tell. As ruby red dress pointed out, there could well be an "I" in the t-e-a-m. Now that wouldn't that rot old Byrnesey's socks hey? LOL

Dean said...

Cr Cooper voted for the CEP when it would've been probably a more populous/safer decision to reject it. It seems she's after more than just political survival.

Bates is setting himself for a run at State (probably for the ALP against King) so he'll be looking to not only make a name for himself, but to differentiate from the LNP/Unity team and any chance to dig the boots into King, he'll be taking it. He might wait a year to gain some credibility before he splits though. It will probably take a year or two for the cojones to drop, but a so called "Unity" team that falls apart is more on the nose than a collection of independants executing democracy.

If what you're saying about another member of the team is true, that's already 5 votes.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments above Dean. We can only hope.

jim-bob bogan snr. said...

Hehehehe, Dean, I know this is only speculation at this time, but I am laughing at the spectacle of old Manning having to be in the Chamber to cast the deciding votes if the Council ends up evenly split. Christ allmighty, won't I laugh if it gets to that. Manning will be tossing and turning feverishly in his bed at night, wondering if another Councillor "goes rogue" on him. Hehehehee.

Dean said...

Leu, Pyne and Cooper have a history of putting their constituents first and they're the only cadidates who were re-elected, so you would think they'll continue to do the same.

Bates was beaten by Lesina for preselection for the ALP(presumably because she had a higher profile). Well, he has a bigger profile now. Not sure how he'll go representing his constituents, but I don't think that's his main game. I think he'll toe the party line until there's a sniff of another dissenter and the group will be on a knife edge. Terry James will be the Cr screaming bloody traitor when it happens and he'll be relentless. Should be interesting, it's just such a long and boring process.

BTW, this will all have basically zero impact on the economy or anything material in Cairns, though they'll make it sound like it does. The only possibility of it coming to a head soon, is if two of the Unity Team decide they're for the CEP when they realise there is no realistic alternative and they're going to lose the funding. That's about a 0.5-1% chance of happening.

Anonymous said...

Just a point Dean, if there is any split or dissention within the Unity Team, the dissenting Councillors are likely to be demonised by both rugnut and the compost.

Abner T. Dogpatch said...

Why would any of the Unity Councillors stick their necks out? They have all had an easy, cushy ride into office buoyed along by the media machine and their "hate Val" four year long campaign. It was a dead easy win for them. Effortless. They are mostly all close to or past retirement age, and now getting the big money to sock away for their dotage. All they have to do is to Vote "AYE" to whatever Manning and Byrne want, do whatever Manning and Byrne say, agree amicably with and fawn all over rugnut, and they will have an easy,soft, cushy term in office. After that they will piss off to the Gold Coast for a lucrative retirement. Most of them are obviously only in it for one term and the money. Frankly, we have a team of flubbery "Yes" flunkies. I doubt any will ever step out of line let alone dare to voice a contrary opinion. Byrne has got exactly what he wants.

Anonymous said...

I agree Abner T. Dogpatch. Most of the Unity Team are obviously only in it for one term, Manning included. They don't have any intention of fronting up to the voter in four years and being "accountable" for their actions. They had an easy win alright, none of them obviously troubled by the media persecution of Val Schier, the blatant misogynism unleashed by King and Mackenzie, and the hysteria generated by Mackenzie over the Entertainment Precinct. They all rode effortlessly into Council on the wave of the media hatefest and hysteria. So much for their lack of personal ethics. I don't have any expectations of integrity from any of these blatant self-serving opportunists.

Anonymous said...

Im in agreement with Dogpatch. Unity are basically a bunch of self-serving opportunists who had no compunction or moral principles in riding into office on the hysterical tsunami deliberately created by the media. They had no qualms about the deliberate demonisation of Val Schier nor the disgusting misogynism preached by King and Mackenzie. They will all do as little as possible to bring attention on themselves, some will do a Bonneau and Blake act and ignore the people in their Divisions, and at the end of four years will fuck off into the sunset laughing like Christ at the easy money.

Teresa said...

I agree with anonymous (20/5/12 - 09.42) re: de-amalgamation. HBW, please don't write off de-amalgamation, just because it is too big an issue or because you may not understand all the factors involved...is that not the "Cueball" modus operandi? You wrote "The CBD needs more attention than one councillor can reasonably be expected to provide"...the former Douglas Shire (not including Palm Cove and Clifton Beach) is larger than the rest of the CRC area put together. Our ONE representative often has more agenda items relating to Division 10 in one meeting than some councillors would for an entire month of meetings. Our ONE representative, on average, drives about 1000 kms a week meeting with her electorate and attending council and a myriad of other meetings. The issues are diverse and often complex. I could go on...and on!
Please read the financial model for de-amalgamation that was presented at a public meeting last December. It can be found at www.friendsofdouglasshire.org.au
Maybe you could devote an entire blog entry (or more) to this subject, once more factors are known to you. If you wish to contact representatives of Friends of Douglas Shire for more information the email address is info@friendsofdouglasshire.org.au
As with the rest of Cairns, we (the residents of the former Douglas Shire) are in dire need of independent and informed reporting on such issues and HBW is one of the few forums that seems to be trying to provide such information. Please don't let us down on this major issue.

Dean said...

It's true the Councillors didn't do it tough to get elected, but the hate campaign was 4 years, long before any of them ran. You can't blame them for the antics of the media. Manning's supposed to be the nice guy (even though he aint) so it pretty much only leaves Mr James to whip people into line publicly. Given the team is so politically inexperienced, people like Bates with a long political history would relish the fight rather than revile from it like many of the Unity team will.

Taylor Point may be an early tipping point. Council has to decide whether to fight a new appeal in the courts. If the 'Unity' member for Division 9 doesn't oppose the development, they're going to have an enormous amount of scrutiny and opposition from their constituents.

I'm sure at least some of the 'Unity' team want to do good for their constituents and perhaps run again for Council.

As for deamalgamation, I'm not sure if the people of Douglas will get better outcomes from having their own Council. It's not like Leu is being outvoted on issues in her area, so more representation isn't required. Maintenance etc are still undertaken out of the Mossman depot, I'm not sure exactly what it is the locals will get out of it, except identity?

Abner T. Dogpatch of Bogansville said...

Dean, you have some high falutin' expectations of the Unity Team. It won't be long before they all come crashing down to earth, I reckon. The Unity Councillor for Division 9will wait his instructions from Manning/Byrne as to Taylor Point, wait and see. I can't see Bates going into opposition mode either nor any time soon. I'm all for de-amalgamation of Douglas Shire. It is too large and too complex for just one person.

Dean said...

Just because they were roped in with an easy ride doesn't mean they don't care. They gave Bates a gig, knowing he ran for ALP preselection. One can only wonder what the other Councillors stand for. They could be full blown socialists, anarchists or fascists. I doubt Manning and Byrne vetted them too much, just picked semi-popular local identities.

95% of Council votes are no-brainers, so they'll be a team most of the time. It's only about one vote every couple of months that will be contentious.

Teresa said...

Dean, whether you meant to or not is irrelevant...but you absolutely nailed it with your comment in regard to the de-amalgamation of Douglas from Cairns..."I'm not sure exactly what the locals will get out of it, except identity?"
Almost poetic...hopefully prophetic!

Dean said...

You want your Douglas Identity, but at what cost? It will no doubt cost the Douglas rate payers more under deamalgamation than under CRC, or existing services will need to be reduced.

Prices have gone way up for everything since Douglas was its own shire. Garbage, roads, reticulation, all the basics will cost a lot more than pre-amalgamation.

I doubt the 100 year old Douglas identity is worth the increased rates. Make no mistake, the expansive Douglas shire is subsidised by Cairns, not the other way around. Do you really think sticking more Councillors and Managers on a Douglas only payroll will improve life in Douglas?

Anonymous said...

Dean, I'm afraid you just don't get it. The repercussions of "identity theft" can be devastating for individuals but just as horrendous for communities as the residents of Douglas have discovered over the past four years since amalgamation. Self determination is a basic right and one of those things people take for granted until it's undemocratically taken away from them. Then they discover how much the things they've always valued really mean to them. I could start listing them here but time and space prevent it - I would however say that most of the suppositions you are making are incorrect. Or, giving you the benefit of the doubt, ill-informed. If you want to get up to speed on this issue - particularly in relation to costs - I suggest you read the letter from Douglas former mayor Mike Berwick in today's Mossman & Port Douglas Gazette or check out the detailed analysis on the Friends of Douglas Shire website www.friendsofdouglasshire.org

Teresa said...

In response to Dean @ 24/5/12 09:4…no it won’t increase our rates any more than CPI and services could very well improve to the levels we were accustomed too! Yes prices etc. have gone up (as they have everywhere and usually always will) and we are already paying for that under CRC. The major increase in rates in Douglas occurred shortly after amalgamation…up to 50% in many cases! The Douglas area is NOT subsidised by Cairns and I ask that you to prove that ridiculous assumption. Ironically, if that were true, you and anyone else living in Cairns would surely be saying “bring on the de-amalgamation!” The answer to your last question…yes!