Saturday, 14 January 2012

Cochrane's ego causes her to shoot herself in the foot.

Cochrane to lead Community Alliance team at council elections

Daniel Strudwick
Saturday, January 14, 2012
© The Cairns Post
  The team: Community Alliance will be led by Margaret Cochrane. Her team (from left) is Roslyn Smith, Alan Blake, Sam Marino, Steve Grasso and Rhonda Coghlan. Picture: ANNA ROGERS

Deputy Mayor Margaret Cochrane is banking on passion rather than experience, revealing the first group of candidates she hopes to take to the council chamber in her bid to become the mayor of Cairns.

Cr Cochrane and fellow councillor Alan Blake are the only incumbent CRC representatives on the Deputy Mayor’s new team, which was officially launched yesterday.The team, called Community Alliance, so far includes council candidates in five divisions, with plans to recruit another four members in time for the March 31 poll.

"I was originally going to run as an independent mayoral candidate but as candidates came to me, I found that (we) all have one thing in common – it’s all about the community and listening to the community," Cr Cochrane said. Candidates Sam Marino, Steve Grasso, Rhonda Coghlan and Roslyn Smith have spent no time in local government, but Cr Cochrane has touted the group’s experience in business and community service.

"We think that you really need to have a business background to be on council – it’s the biggest business in Cairns," she said. Community Alliance will not reveal its policies until closer to election day, but a statement from Cr Cochrane suggests the group will focus on helping local businesses and improving the region’s sporting facilities.

She has ordered her troops to pound the pavement in their divisions ahead of election day, saying doorknocking would be "priority No. 1" for the group."I think that by listening, you can get a very good feel of what the community wants," Cr Cochrane said.

Community Alliance is still looking for candidates in the outlying divisions on the south side of Cairns and the former Douglas shire. But the group won’t put up a candidate in division one, where independent candidate Steve Brain is expected to snare an easy victory.

More candidates will be named next week when the Unity team announces its line-up, expected to include Terry James, Bob Manning and Annette Sheppard.

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  1. "We think that you really need to have a business background to be on council" - is this the LNP team?

  2. To be on council, which is the grass roots of our three tier government system in Australia, "service" experience is just as important if not more so than "business" experience. When we brought in the concept that governments were to be run as a business and not so much as services to the community, we took a backward step. This has led to privatisation, higher taxes, government waste, excessive consultants and so on. Government agencies are costing more every day to administer services not actually give the service. Even if the service needs to be subsidised by the tax funds, that is better than paying inflated prices through the private sector. Governments do what they can to reduce their own costs but not the cost to the people. Where else does the money come from but from the people. If a government is in suplus and the people are paying through the nose for interest on debt, then they have lost the plot. It is a balance of government and the people, both achieving a surplus and not having to pay excessive interest on debt. Then we will all be winners. Governments are there to serve the people not the elected representatives and the huge beaurocracy.


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