Tuesday 18 September 2012

Cairns Regional Council under the spot light

Chamber of Commerce savages city council

Daniel Strudwick
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
© The Cairns Post

The Cairns Chamber of Commerce has launched an extraordinary attack on Mayor Bob Manning and his council, saying the region is no better off since the April election because of "paralysis" at city hall.

In a statement issued by chamber president Anthony Mirotsos late yesterday, the Manning-led council is criticised for stalling shovel-ready projects and not having the energy to drive them.

Cr Manning had not seen Mr Mirotsos’ comments when contacted by The Cairns Post yesterday, and said he would not respond until he’d had time to consider them today.

In his statement, Mr Mirotsos said the new council had not met the expectations of the local business community. "The politics of paralysis is already stalking the corridors of the Cairns Regional Council, and it’s leading directly to the mayor’s office," he said. "The inability of the council to deliver on simple promises has been a huge shock to the business people of Cairns, who genuinely thought that a new CRC administration would hit the ground running."

After sending mixed messages about the state Budget last week – calling it encouraging and then disappointing – Mr Mirotsos yesterday said the State Government was "finally planning for (Cairns’) future".
But he said the chamber held "grave fears" for the city’s future because of Cairns Regional Council. "Our council has so far shown a complete lack of willingness to make decisions, even on issues that have been thoroughly analysed and clearly planned," Mr Mirotsos said.

Last week, the council committed $1.3 million for a feasibility study into a new performing arts complex in the CBD, with the inquiry to be finished by February next year. And the council will also start a consultation process soon to get work started on the proposed Lake St upgrade, but no date has been set. But those commitments are inadequate to the chamber of commerce, with Mr Mirotsos naming CBD revitalisation as an example of the council dragging its feet. "We need our local council to commit dates, dollars and a clear vision for our future," he said.

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