Hiding report raises distrust
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