South Cairns Neglected
I was Born and raised in the South Cairns townships of Gordonvale and Edmonton in Far North Queensland. As an adult I have lived in Bentley Park and Mount Sheridan, which are also part of South Cairns. I have also represented part of the area on the local council. With all this disclosed my parochialism is now evident. However, it should not devalue my argument that this part of the Cairns region is missing out. Indeed missing out badly on our fair share of government spending and support.
South Cairns Councillor Speaks Out
South Cairns has been neglected by all levels of government. However, it is at the council level where I have had the most recent experience. In no department does Cairns Regional Council spend as much in South Cairns as in the City or Northern Beaches. Not spending on parks, recreational facilities, community facilities or libraries.
One of the biggest examples of inequity is the park of South Cairns SugarWorld. While council offices do a good job maintaining it, there is nowhere near the spend on this facility that one sees on Collins Avenue or the Esplanade. The SugarWorld masterplan looks fine. However, council is not prepared to spend money required to see the plan advanced.
Council fails 70s standards
It Is particularly sad for me, as I still remember the joy our then small township experienced in the 1970’s, with the opening of our new Edmonton swimming pool and library. Now more than forty years later with the population of Edmonton tripled, we have no swimming pool and a forty year old library in need of a modern upgrade. The below picture shows my father Tom Pyne and fellow councillor Merv Langtree at the opening of the library.
South Cairns has been similarly neglected by State and Commonwealth Government. The State Government reneged on a long-standing promise to build the city’s second major hospital in the heart of Edmonton. The Palaszczuk Government has also failed to keep up with the demand for social housing. This has become particularly evident recently, with the region experiencing it’s biggest housing crisis in living memory.
South Cairns Battlers Ignored by Morrison Government
Neglect of South Cairns by the Morrison Commonwealth is symptomatic of their their lack of investment in poor and working class suburbs across the nation. Centrelink recipients have been punished and demonised by Federal Government happy to hand out millions for the wealthy to renovate homes, but unwilling to provide much needed funding for Health and Housing.
The area has a high level of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people as well as Newstart recipients and people from a disadvantaged background.
It is bad enough that the LNP Morrison Government is not paying proper income support and oversaw the robodebt scandal which saw some people commit suicide, but they won’t even fund proper services. If they won’t give people enough money to get back on their feet they should at least start providing the health, education and housing services people need.
And they wonder why we feel like we have been forgotten. I certainly sense a seething anger in an electorate looking for change.
Disabled Former MP, Councillor & Political Campaigner: A Socialist who shares ways to survive & fight capitalism.