- The reports of fraud and massive malfunction at the Cairns (un)Regional Council
- The refusal by Cairns Council CEO Peter Tabulo to fulfill a Right to Information Request on the now $12 million IT debacle
- The lying by Mayor Bob "Sleepy" Manning on the real reasons for staff rejecting the Grass is Greener music festival
- The lying by Mayor Manning on the huge cost overruns associated with the implementation and mismanagement of the Civica IT contract upgrade - claiming "in-confidence" agreements.
- The ease at which Manning and Tabulo have thrown Council professionals under the bus for these fuck-ups
- The actual investigative reporting now being done by the Cairns Post
Cairns Post reporter Jim Campbell was the author of "fluff jobs" on Bob Manning and Cairns Council BEFORE the election. This included his ignorant reporting on the Bob Manning and Family mismanagement and finally bankruptcy of the formerly well-oiled business that was EventsNQ. And the approval by the Manning Council of a sweetheart contract at the same time the business was Trading While Insolvent.
Jim Campbell and the Cairns Post ignored all of it.
But this week Jim Campbell has apparently decided that his ability to continue work as a "journalist" anywhere would be limited in the future if he continued with his fluff-piece writing ways. We understand however that the Townsville-based editor of the Cairns Post, Julian Tomlinson (who has NO journalism education) has refused to take the next legal steps to get compliance with from the Cairns Council for the Right of Information request. So Cairns Post editorial remains flaccid and refuse to back-up their reporter. No surprise there.
Manning's claim of "business in-confidence" agreements with Civica is a defence already struck down by Queensland Courts when tried by the government in the Queensland Health payroll system debacle. Council has NO RIGHT to withhold this information from the public. NONE.
Civica Pty Ltd is a well-known and experienced provider of software management systems for councils right-around Australia. As well as schools and other public entities. Bob Manning has inferred that the "business in-confidence" requirement was at the insistence of Civica, and all but accused Civica of providing a substandard system to the CRC. Without a full explanation of the issues involved it's hard to determine what's gone wrong (and if it has been fixed). However Civica is being portrayed as the "bad guy"by Cairns Council management who have obviously provided this "spin" to the Mayor. Civica should be worried.
Just recently Manning contacted some adjoining Councils including Douglas Shire, offering to provide contract services to these smaller Councils for these kind of management services. We are reliably informed that management at several adjacent Councils were well-aware of the chaos that was the Cairns Council IT department. They've demurred, of course.
We can also report that Right of Information requests on the Tobruk Pool are being rejected by Peter Tabulo as well. Council insiders have previously reported substandard work done on the facility, and continue to report a massive overrun in the cost. An overrun that cannot be ascertained by publicly available council documents as Bob Manning since Bob Manning began HIDING the council financial reporting that was routine under both previous Mayors Byrne and Schier. Council staff has been interviewed by business solicitors hired by Council making preparations for a lawsuit against the contractor Adco. This after the well-known cock-ups when the contract was first let to them and the refusal of Manning to back down despite the history of Adco and swimming pools.
And we've also got to ask - what happened to the $5M Health Club that was supposed to be part of the Tobruk Pool, and a key part of the financial planning? HAHAHA
We've received widespread reports that Bob Manning, primarily resident on the Esplanade, has promised other residents and hoteliers to move all the "noisemaking events" off the Esplanade altogether. This was the primary reason an outdoor concert venue was included in Munro Martin Park, as well as the reason this project got NO public scrutiny and was pushed into construction last year. While Division 5 Councillor Richie Bates is talking tough now, we have seen emails that suggest he was aware of the decision - MONTHS ago.
Bob Manning promised before the 2012 election that his council would be "open and transparent". That Council, along with this newly-elected Council, have been anything but Financial analysts have been denied the information to evaluate the REAL financial position of this council. While voters apparently can be bought with low rates and grandiose promises of a "Green" monorail, we're clearly on a negative trajectory.
Would things have been different without such an inept and un-Australian Cairns Post?