Hid­ing re­port raises dis­trust

The Cairns Post - - VIEWS -

THE se­crecy sur­round­ing a re­port on the cladding and fire safety as­pects of the new Cairns Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre raises alarm bells.

By keep­ing it se­cret, even from key coun­cil­lors, sug­gests there is some­thing dras­ti­cally wrong with the cladding and, by not telling peo­ple what re­ally is go­ing on, threat­ens to ruin the De­cem­ber 15 open­ing.

The coun­cil has a duty to ratepay­ers to tell the com­mu­nity the truth about the cladding.

By hid­ing a re­port just raises sus­pi­cions.

Mayor Bob Man­ning says he hasn’t seen the re­port but has not an­swered a ques­tion whether he knows the con­tents.

It’s quite ex­tra­or­di­nary that the coun­cil­lor, whose di­vi­sion in­cludes the build­ing, has been stonewalled and is be­ing forced to file a right to in­for­ma­tion re­quest to Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices.

We all know there is no love lost be­tween Cr Richie Bates, the mayor and many other coun­cil­lors.

But surely as a ratepayer rep­re­sen­ta­tive he has a right to know what is go­ing on.

It’s clear that fire safety is a ma­jor is­sue and won’t be reme­died in time for the open­ing.

The coun­cil is ap­par­ently work­ing on a com­pro­mise with Queens­land Fire and Emer­gency Ser­vices for the open­ing and then will fix the de­fects af­ter­wards.

No doubt it will cost a lot of money to re­pair the faults and add to the ever-in­creas­ing cost of the build­ing which cur­rently stands at $71.1 mil­lion.

It’s a shame a much-needed build­ing, which the com­mu­nity has de­sired for many years, is mired in con­tro­versy be­fore it even opens. Nick Dal­ton Deputy edi­tor

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