Monday, 2 April 2012

R. Parisi's speech to Cairns City Forum

This is the speech I gave to Cairns City Forum that was held in 'City Place'

"Direction Forward” For Division 9

Would like to acknowledge past, present and future traditional owners.

Thanks to Cairns City Forum for facilitating this event and a special thank you to the moderator and to all candidates that have put themselves on display in this ‘fish bowl’.

A Westminster styled democracy has at its core events called elections. Forums like this are the electorate's festivals.  And like all festivals there are stalls with items on display.

The stall holders of course would like you to be impressed by their product. And so it is that today, I am the product and I want you to be impressed by my package ‘Brand Parisi’.
Forums likes this are the perfect opportunity for the voters to unwrap the product and see if it is to their liking.

On the 28th of April you will be voting to elect a Mayor for Cairns Regional Council ( CRC ) and a Councillor for Division 9.  Every election is an important event because it is the time that the elector takes stock of their City.  You have the opportunity to have more of the same or to change direction.

Since the amalgamation in 1995 of the Mulgrave Shire Council and Cairns City Council, Division 9 has been represented by Councillor Sno Bonneau.  I wish to acknowledge his service to our community.

There are a number of reasons why I have nominated for Council, not the least of which is my passion to represent the area where I was born and raised.  In a colloquial way I am a true local.

Following numerous requests from community leaders, indigenous elders and residents, I am offering myself as your representative for Division 9. It is an area that I know so well.

In these troubled financial times and political disillusionment we have to be mindful that it’s not only the imposts of  Governments both Federal and State but also the workings of Council like rates and charges that affect our cost of living.

With an effective and efficient Council administration, these charges can be kept to a minimum if not in check.  With my civic experience, if elected, I will bring to Council, trustworthiness, experience, efficiency and no nonsense representation. I will hit the ground running and I will have no need to be on training wheels.

We need to operate a very lean Council without waste or inefficiency, but with improved quality and delivery of front services.

There are a number of Departments within Council’s bureaucratic structure where I believe savings can be made.  

If elected, I will move that Council appoint a leading Accountancy agency specialising in Local Government to do a full audit to identify areas where savings can be made and delivery of services improved.

The Cairns Entertainment Precinct (CEP) concerns me.  I am mindful that it may be too late to reverse. I am also mindful of the construction and operational costs, and the social disharmony which has divided our community. A Council should be an entity that breeds harmony and needs to take the community with it.

If elected, I will call for a financial and legal audit on the CEP to establish if it is not too late to revisit the location of the proposal (my preference being west of the Convention Centre) This location would obviate the need and save millions on the decontamination of the site and the inclusion and restoration of Whites Shed.

Other big ticket issues, both short and long-term, that I will be directing my focus and energies towards during my 4 year tenure are as follows:-

1.       The upgrading of the Cpt. Cook Highway from the current 1: 5 flood immunity, to 1: 25 year immunity. Both the Barron River bridge and Thomatis Creek bridge have such immunity;

2.      The dual laning of the Western Arterial road from Freshwater Creek Bridge to the Caravonica roundabout;

3.      The augmentation of the Kamerunga water treatment plant to process water from the Barron River thereby obviating the need to pump 10million litres daily from the Mulgrave River Aquifer with potential environmental concerns;

4.      Caravonica State school off street parking;

5.      Financial accountability and transparency through the introduction of inter Divisional financial equity.

If elected, I will pledge to work with the community in an inclusive manner.  My Plan proposes to set up various channels of communication where ratepayers and residents will not feel excluded from the decision making process.

Mindful of my responsibility, I would be happy to work with your choice of Mayor. While much good has been achieved by Val Scheir’ Council, there is a perception of dysfunction. I believe that teams create a “them and us” mentality.  In my opinion, teams = party politics.  All through my previous Council tenure I strived successfully to keep party politics out of the Mulgrave Shire.

During the course of the next 4 weeks, I will be releasing and fleshing out further policies that will drive Cairns and Division 9 forward.

Please feel free to contact me.  I look forward to your participation and support.
I ask for your trust. Together we can make this happen.

Ross Parisi

Office : 40381005
Mbl:    0419645818
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