Thursday 5 January 2012

Cr Nancy Lanksey 'falls on her paint brush.'

Cairns Regional councillor Lanskey won't seek re-election

Tony Stickley
Thursday, January 5, 2012
© The Cairns Post

Different life: Nancy Lanskey will not stand for re-election in March's local government election and instead plans to focus on her art. Picture: TOM LEE

Edmonton councillor Nancy Lanskey is giving away the "lousy" life of local politics to pursue her interest in art.

Cr Lanskey, 57, who has represented the area since 2008, said painting had been her passion when she was younger. Now she intended to rebalance her life and immerse herself in something she had always loved."I decided not to stand again for personal reasons," Cr Lanskey said. She said her time at the council was very busy, challenging and rewarding. "But it is a lousy, lousy lifestyle," she said. She said it was a very intensive job, working irregular hours, out almost every night and on weekends"I am 57 and I am healthy and I intend to stay that way," she said.

Cr Lanskey, who holds a PhD in politics from JCU, said she had been a good artist as a youngster and even won a scholarship in fine art and graphic design. But with no living allowance, it was not possible to take up the award so she became a registered nurse, something she does not regret.

Highlights of her four years as a councillor included the purchase of land at Isabella State School for sports purposes as well as revamping Sugarworld Water Park.

Gordonvale councillor Paul Gregory also will not stand for re-election.

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My Opinion

The hardest job is to represent your area, if you do not love your job and you lack the passion and vision. What compounds this is to go against the wishes of your electorate.

To do this makes it doubly hard and disillusionment sets in. It seems Cr Lanskey, notwithstanding her PhD in politics, needed to experience this personally before she understood the practical implications.

Meanwhile the 'grass grew under her feet.' Her lack of hands on vigilance of Sugarworld facility and its state of disrepair cost the CRC $5 million.

The costs of the subsequent rebuilding instead could have been put towards the lack of services in the Edmonton area.

Articulate, Nancy may have been. I had the privilege to listen to her speak during the CRC debate on the CEP project and I was impressed with her delivery, but as good as this was, it means nothing if you lack the vision that is required in a rapidly growing area.

I wish her well in her artistic career.

Ross Parisi


  1. What an ignorant lowlife you are Parisi!

    To blame Council's "Asset mis-Management" over many many years on Cr Lanskey's lack of vigilance regarding Sugarworld is really low politics.

    Geez ... she was only a newbie!!!

    You and your ex-Mulgrave Council colleagues should have ensured proper and adequate maintenance procedures were put in place when your Council bought and relocated the slides.

    She always did her best to represent the wishes of her electorate. There are many examples of safety improvements in transport, paths and parks, general amenities in her division.
    I know this, I have worked with her.

    Her tenacity ensured Sugarworld slides were rebuilt quickly and to the highest standards.

    You seem to have a fixation with waterparks ???

  2. Anonymous for your information the Mulgrave Shire Council(MSC)went out of exixtence in 1994. It is a bit rich to blame MSC some 12 after its merging with Cairns City

    For your information the slides were brought there from the CBD Grafton Street by the sugar Mill owners Colonial Sugar Refinery (CSR)

    The Acting Mayor Margaret Cochrane and Division 2 Councillor Nancy Lanskey announced the shock closure at 9 am on Friday 23rd April without it been debated at a full Council meeting as it should have been.

    It was reported in the local media that the lessee has said that a structural report done four years ago, identified problems that needed attention, and nothing was done by Council at the time. The March 2010 engineering report highlighted the same problems.

    The current CRC sat on the report without action for 2 years. Somebody went missing in explanation was given for the incompetence.

    It is interesting to note that during Sugarworld's closure the Freebody's Waterpark had just been approved with support given by Cr Cochrane and Cr Lanskey.

    All ensuing motions and CRC's actions were forced on CRC due to residents pressure.

    The point that still remains unanswered is that for 2 years this current Council sat on a report that recommended action. The responsibility for proper governance rests with Councillors. The buck stops at their desk.

  3. Nancy Lanksey's term in public office was an overall disappointment and she will fast disappear from community memory down the track of nonentity as have many other so called "community leaders".
    She had a degree, yet chose not to use it to inform, educate and lead the Cairns community.
    Right from the very beginning she chose to make herself as small a target as possible and to hide away from public accountability. She voted for the enormous rise in rates which set Cairns residents rightfully seething, yet she chose not to explain her reasons to the ratepayers. Instead she hid behind the Mayor, and in fact stayed behind the Mayor's skirts during her entire term, avoiding the public she was supposed to represent. Why didn't Lanskey bother to explain the initial rise in rates were due to the $60 million the Council had to cough up for the Clean Seas Act? Didn't her "degree" provide her with research and communication skills?
    The role of Mayor was consistently undermined during Lanskey's term in office with an unparalleled ferocity by media representatives who had their own agenda. Gavin King used his media position to promote himself as a potential political candidate. Some of this involved outright sexist terminology and saw the emergence of misogynism in the community. Yet Lanskey as a woman of an age who should have been influenced by feminisim with its demands for equality and respect for women, kept silent. She couldn't even do the decent thing by contacting the media and saying, "Hey, you guys, that's enough!" Finally, the Entertainment Precinct. Lanskey was still arguing about costs right up to the last, despite the approval given by the Chairman of Council's own Finance Committee, Councillor Linda Cooper. Too frightened to go against what she perceived as "populist" Lanskey couldn't even communicate with Linda Cooper on the financial situation of the CEP to get her facts right.
    All up, a very disappointing performance, marked by
    cowardice and timidity.

  4. For Ross Parisi.

    Hey Ross - mate, steady-on. Nancy Lanksy did NOT "cost the CRC $5 million due to a lack of vigilance re. Sugar World" - the deterioration of the slides was a lengthy process that probably commenced before they were moved from the city to the Sugar World site.

    The task, clearly neglected by a succession of
    councils, of monitoring the condition of the slides was surely one for responsible council officers - and the lessees of the facility.

    To her credit, Nancy Lansky (along with Cnr. Rob Pyne) 'delivered' a re-opened Sugar World as-per-promise in time for the current school holidays. One of precious FEW 'political promises' Council actually delivered-on.

    Mrs. Lansky is to be complimented on her conduct as a Councillor - and for her decision to bow-out. She is sacrificing a substantial, ratepayer-funded salary in 'standing-down' - and
    clearly has decided that a career in local govt, politics is not her scene....

    I suggest that this is a case of Nancy Lansky simply being too nice a person to want to subject herself to the ever-enduring back-stabbing and blood-letting that is nowadays just part & parcel of life as a Cairns Regional Councillor.

    chris forsberg bayview heights

  5. What is posted below was also posted on my Facebook site.

    "Lisa,finally let me say this; 'two wrongs do not make it right'. The previous Council was culpable as well but that does not discharge Nancy and this current incompetent Council's responsibility.

    I am sure you have heard of 'briefing to incoming elected represented.' Well, when I was elected as a 23 year old ‘newbie’ and without a PhD in Politics, I asked for a briefing on all contracts, the state of assets, and existing policies in train, in other words due diligence. If this had taken place then maintenance to Sugarworld could have been budgeted in 2008/09. The closing down and the rebuilding was an act that could have been avoided, including the $5 million to rebuild.

    My question to all Councillors and that includes Nancy is why did this not happen. You know Lisa, sometime you cannot defend the indefensible. Cheers Lisa, have a good day."

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