Message from Rob Pyne MP, Independent Member for Cairns 20th August 2016
My apologies that we could not arrange to attend your AGM and forum. I want to thank you for your support in our pursuit of transparency and accountability.
I am not telling you anything new, however it needs to be said again that this is a long hard battle. A battle I chose to take on despite the personal and political costs and risks. It is a path I will continue to choose because enough is enough.
Recently I have had to spend some more time on local issues in the Cairns electorate and I want to assure you that me absence or silence does not mean I have stopped or given up. It simply means we are getting on with the work behind the scenes. I rely on Jason & Lyn to keep things moving and on track. They are relentless in pursuit of the cause and their discipline is a critical success factor.
I sincerely wish you all well personally as you navigate the many hurdles, barriers and disappointments of local and personal Local Government issues. Your pain and loss is real and I know from my personal experience of the complaints process exactly how gutted you can feel. The need for an organisation like QLGRA inc is real. We need local ratepayers groups and an umbrella organisation like QLGRA that can provide a communication and representative role.
This week the Deputy Premier releases a Discussion Paper around councillor complaints and I encourage QLGRA member groups and individuals to make submissions. A word of caution though:- when this Discussion Paper talks of an “independent complaints assessor” one should not interpret that to mean an ‘independent complaints assessor’. The LGAQ are keen to see themselves provide this “independent” role and organisations like that are simply not ‘independent’. Look at it carefully, assume the best and the worst, we are justifiably sceptical about the direction this may head.
Finally, I wish QLGRA every success with you AGM, Forum and deliberations and I look forward to remaining aligned in our efforts for change, transparency and accountability.