Which leads us to Councillor John Schilling's appearance on the Cueball hour this past Friday.
The first called was Raj Patel, who argued that the CBD upgrades should be paid for by the CBD traders in higher rates! His idiotic argument? That the upgrade will force property values up "thru the roof". As many of the CBD properties are in fact charging rents higher than areas of Sydney or Melbourne, even if this DID occur, the properties would be paying higher rates as a result of higher valuations. And then either way, the property owners (many of whom are non-Cairns-based investors happy to use negative gearing to keep their buildings empty) will pass everything on to the businesses and then on to the shoppers and tourists. Who leave Cairns and tell everyone horror stories of overpriced restaurants and shops now.
|CR. JOHN SCHILLING THIS WEEK USES HIS PATHETIC LITTLE WEAPON|
AGAINST MAYOR BOB MANNING. READY! FIRE! AIM!!!
But ol' John Schilling, he's got his hat a little too tight apparently. His response to this idiot? "It's something we certainly can investigate, we're going to that sort of phase of the budget at the moment, we're looking at the rates across council, and we're certainly trying to keep rates down to the minimum we can, but it's something I'll put to our rates people and see what they can come up with . . .we may need to look at a special levy or something in that area."
I think that's called killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, Schilling.
Residents right around the city are noticing that council services are in steep decline. A caller from Gordonvale confronted Schilling with Manning Council policy that's decreased mowing of parkland to six weeks or more from the previous standard. Schilling played dumb. The Bruce and Cook Highways have seen contract terms changed with decreased mowing on those highways as well, to the shock of tourists. Neighbourhoods right around the city have illegal squatters, cars for sale crowd the roundabouts and roadside verges. Parking chaos in the CBD ensues, new areas of town don't get bus shelters built or park amenities installed. We're told that the ALP governments have spent too much money and now we've got to cut back, with Bob "Sleepy" Manning boasting that "big cuts" are being made in the budget.
Curiously, John Schilling then "spilled the beans" on the Manning Council fiscal policy. For those who thought they were voting for lower rates and fiscal discipline, John Schilling sets us all straight:
"We're already looking to be about $2.5, $2.7 million (in savings) ahead of where they thought - rather than the $5M that we saved we've got another $2.6, $2.7M, I think that we look like we've saved. NOW OBVIOUSLY THAT'S MONEY THAT WE CAN SPEND IN OTHER AREAS IN THE NEXT FINANCIAL YEAR"
So like Campbell Newman, this has nothing to do with saving
money for the taxpayer. It's just a different group of charlatans who kill off one set of programs, only to start up a different set, greasing a different set of palms with taxpayer money. Someone asked "what happened to the $38M promised to the Cairns CBD Upgrade"? Newman's spent it on a $1 Billion dollar new state office building in the Brisbane CBD.
And as John Schilling is all too happy to confirm, we've killed off a replacement theater, cut back on a whole basket of council-provided services - not to lower rates, but to allow the (dis)Unity team to splash the money in a different direction despite attacks on previous council of a budget deficit (that Bob Manning has expanded, not diminished). Frankly, there aren't any politicians that are going to stop digging ever deeper into our wallets.
So you tell me - what's the fucking difference between the political parties? We all still cop it sweet, despite whatever party is running the show! The political ideology is now all the same - spend, spend, spend!
(Schilling still claims to be owner/director of Mac Constructions (NQ), but the QBSA shows the actual company name to be different altogether. According to the records he's continued to act as a contractor while getting a big pay packet from the ratepayers as a full-time councillor.)