We are all saddened by the tragic death of new Cairns resident Dinah Boughton, who was merely trying to walk to the airport down a road called yesterday a "goat track" by a tourism supplier. The Cairns Airport, TTNQ, and other tourism organisations tout how "close to town" Cairns Airport is in their advertising. This ignoring the real facts that there is NO public bus transport to the airport, no "shared ride" services, no train, no tram, no canoes. For the independent traveler you have a choice of a shuttle (none by any major hotel, but some provided by backpacker accommodation), taxi, or walk. And the taxi fare to Sheridan Street is almost $15.
And even when taking a taxi, sometimes you have to walk. An accident along the road on Wednesday meant many passengers, uncertain of how long coppers were going to keep the road closed, ditched their cabs and hoofed it to the airport.
Discussions among many ratepayers around the city and in the coffee shops are in agreement - this road is substandard in so many ways and the Cairns Airport has not met their Duty of Care in the operation of this private road. Hopefully a lawsuit and huge payout are in their future.
Cairns Mayor "Sleepy Bob" Manning rushed to the rescue yesterday.
In a stroke of genius (or maybe he's had a stroke, hard to tell with him) he announced that Council's preferred "fix" to this problem is:
SIGNS CLOSING THE ROAD TO PEDESTRIANS
Just when we believe we've heard the stupidest thing imaginable from a local politician, Bob Manning lets a little more water out of the gene pool.
What about bicycles, Bob? What about the bad lighting, Bob? What about this being a one-road-access airport, Bob?
The job of local government is to solve problems using public money. You have yet to display any skill at this at all, instead boasting that Cairns Council had a "profit" last year.
And problems with the airport road were the same WHEN YOU WERE RUNNING THE AIRPORT as Chair of the Port Authority. Why didn't YOU fix the thing, Bob?
To the family of Dinah Boughton - our deepest apologies for our ignorant Mayor who with this insensitive comment has attempted to shift blame for this accident to Dinah - "she shouldn't have been walking there", according to our Mayor.
This is unfortunately what passes for intellect in FNQ.
UPDATE: Cr. John Schilling today continued the Mayor's attempt to "blame the victim" by saying "a footpath wouldn't help, she was crossing the road".