LIE: I Will Cancel Contractors Working for Council and Move their Work Inhouse

LIE: I Will Cancel Contractors Working for Council and Move their Work Inhouse

The continuation of local employment of local contractors is an integral part of a council I will lead.

Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that contractors are being told the outright lie that if I am elected mayor I will bring all work in house and stop using local contractors.

While politics is pretty rough and tumble, and I can wear that, this is a new low from political opponents who have also been spreading other lies and rumours about me and what I stand for and how a council I run will operate.

The fact is, my campaign has constantly stressed how important I feel it is to connect council more effectively into the local community and its needs and wants.

So, let me be clear – I have no intention of changing the council’s relationship with contractors and have NEVER stated anything of the sort.

I urge anyone who hears this kind of rumour to squash it flat.

Douglas Chamber of Commerce Questions

Douglas Chamber of Commerce Questions

In the lead up to the election, many groups that are heavily involved with the community wish to get a firsthand view of what a candidate’s intentions are on a range of issues, but particularly in the areas they are interested in advocating for.

The Douglas Chamber of Commerce, have sent through their questions, and to remain true to my desire to be transparent and accountable, I would like to make my answers public for all to see here.

Daintree Marketing Cooperative Questions

Daintree Marketing Cooperative Questions

In the lead up to the election, many groups that are heavily involved with the community wish to get a firsthand view of what a candidate’s intentions are on a range of issues, but particularly in the areas they are interested in advocating for.

The  Daintree Marketing Cooperative, have sent through their questions, and to remain true to my desire to be transparent and accountable, I would like to make my answers public for all to see here.

Douglas Shire Rate Payers Association Questionnaire

Douglas Shire Rate Payers Association Questionnaire

In the lead up to the election, many groups that are heavily involved with the community wish to get a firsthand view of what a candidate’s intentions are on a range of issues, but particularly in the areas they are interested in advocating for.

The newly formed Douglas Shire Rate Payer Association have issued a series of questions that councillors will have the opportunity of answering at a meeting in March.

To remain true to my desire to be transparent and accountable, I would like to make my answers public for all to see here.

Tourism Port Douglas Daintree Candidate Questionnaire

Tourism Port Douglas Daintree Candidate Questionnaire

In the lead up to the election, many groups that are heavily involved with the community wish to get a firsthand view of what a candidate’s intentions are on a range of issues, but particularly in the areas they are interested in advocating for.

The tourism body, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, have sent through their questions, and to remain true to my desire to be transparent and accountable, I would like to make my answers public for all to see here.

 

Douglas Shire Sustainability Group Questionnaire

Douglas Shire Sustainability Group Questionnaire

When I entered this campaign, I stated I would be open, honest, transparent and inclusive.

The D.S.S.G. is a body that places environmental care and conservation at the forefront of its business. They are passionate and have been a strong voice in the community for many years.

At the last election and again for the ucpoming March 2020 election they have sent each candidate a set of questions to answer that are based around the organisation’s core values.  As such, in the name of transparency and openness, I have posted my responses here.

“So, You’d Rather Have a Gay Guy Run the Place…”

“So, You’d Rather Have a Gay Guy Run the Place…”

Sadly, even though we’re living in 2020, one of the opposition appears to have an issue around me being gay and as it has been quoted to me on numerous occasions trying to run “the gay card” as a defence to keep the incumbent mayor in place.

While I am in no way saying the current mayor agrees with this or has sanctioned anyone saying it, I do consider it to be extremely offensive and unbecoming, and I guess more than anything it shows this persons true character.

Yes, I am a gay man and proud of it. I have no issues in being honest about who I am, and while I don’t rub it in peoples faces, I have no intention of hiding it or being anything more or less than what I am. And anyway, what’s so wrong with a gay man or woman being mayor?

To the person spreading this kind of deplorable nonsense, here’s some food for thought…

Tim Cook – CEO of Apple, Alan Joyce – CEO of Qantas, Peter Thiel – Co-Founder and Former CEO of PayPal, Jon Hall – Board Chair for the Linux Professional Institute, Chris Hughes – Co-Founder of Facebook, David Geffen – Founder of Dreamworks, Arjin Dijk – Vice President of Marketing at Google, David Bohnett – Founder of GeoCities, Harvey Levin – Founder of TMZ, Stephen Clarke – CEO of W.H. Smith, Antonio Simoes – CEO of HSBC Bank, Juergen Maier – CEO of Siemens UK, Leigh Johns OAM – Commissioner Fair Work Commission, Graeme Mason – CEO Screen Australia, Louis Vega – CEO DOW Chemicals Australa, Andrew Barr MLA – Chief Minister and Treasurer ACT Government and Michael Kirby – Former High Court Judge.

Just a few of the many successful gay men holding positions of authority, and there are a stack of gay women I could reel off like Ana Arriola – partner and product designer at Microsoft or Inga Beale – CEO of Lloyds of London to name a couple.

So, I guess I’m in good company.

And another thing – I’m not in this so I can “run the place”. I’m in it to be a mayor that works with councillors and listens to the will of residents.

Remember some of my key pledges – transparency, accountability, engagement.

So, the argument is wrong on every level.

Next I Agreed to Everything I Now Say I Want to Change or Fix

I Agreed to Everything I Now Say I Want to Change or Fix

I Agreed to Everything I Now Say I Want to Change or Fix

I can understand why some people might say, “Well, you’ve been on council for four years, so you’re part of some of the problems you reckon you’re trying to fix.”

Fair point on some level, even if in reality I didn’t actually agree to everything. I’m not going to run away from the criticism but I’d say this: As a first-term councillor, I was on a pretty steep learning curve. Working alongside a much more experienced mayor and councillors, I felt I should defer to them both to show I could collaborate but also because I was still learning the ropes and didn’t want to seem like I was trying to be counterproductive by disagreeing with everything.

Well, after four years, I’ve learned a lot and come to understand that speaking out, even knowing this will rock the boat, is really important so that ideas that come out of council, which then become policy and affect everyone in the shire, have been really thought through.

This is why I am running on a platform of transparency and consultation.

NEXT: He never contributes to Meetings

He Never Contributes to Meetings

He Never Contributes to Meetings

This one really made me laugh. I was told that I don’t contribute at meetings and just sit there playing with my phone.

It’s important to understand that council runs on the principle of “majority rules”, which was pointed out to me at a workshop once when I was told, “majority rules, get over it!” And yet if I rejected everything I disagreed with, I would be known as the councillor who complains about everything.

The reality is, I often said my piece at workshops but whenever I knew what the outcome was going to be, I sometimes made the decision to not create more animosity by objecting.

We’ve all seen how that works out…

NEXT: The retirement village

The Retirement Village Developers Never Applied for Development Approval

The Retirement Village Developers Never Applied for Development Approval

The developer involved in the retirement village proposed for Ferrero Rd previously applied for a development approval when we were with the Cairns Regional Council but it was refused. This refusal was moved by the current mayor of Douglas and a Cairns councillor at the time based on the 2006 Douglas Shire Planning Scheme.

The massive costs involved in a project like this deterred the developer from making a second attempt at gaining approval without a change in the planning scheme. And so the truth is, even with overwhelming support for the project during the public consultation period for the new planning scheme, no adjustments were forthcoming in the new scheme, leading the investor to withdraw the project, sell the property and exit the region completely.

The new owner is keen to progress with this development and as mayor, and with councillors who would hopefully see the benefit in a project like this, I would support the required changes to allow this development to proceed.

 

NEXT: Shutting down the mill