Not a Referendum on the CEP, Election was about Val and everyone knows it!
- Perception that she had been unable to “control” a council of “independents” and that the council was dysfunctional (this of course was not the truth but it’s all about perceptions created)
- Belief that Bob Manning is an experienced “businessman” and will have the skills to create more jobs, reduce unemployment, stimulate business etc
- The perception that Val Schier was a:
Too “arty farty” and “green” and doesn’t understand about the economy.
Poor image created by the first two and a half years of Cairns Post anti-Val journalism and attacks by Gavin King right up til he resigned; John Mackenzie’s campaign against her and council for 4 years; and in his “my say” commentary during his weekly channel 7 stint.
- Undermining by Councillors who leaked to the Cairns Post and other media. It wasn’t until Andrew Holman’s term as editor of the CP – and professional journos like Brad Ryan and Daniel Strudwick were employed that there was fair reporting – that he created a culture that stopped the trivial tit for tat leaks that had been a feature of the first couple of years
- Some misogyny: “we’ve got rid of Anna Bligh, we’ll get rid of Val Schier and then we’ll get rid of Gillard;” “we’ve given women a chance and they’ve blown it.”
- Some anti-Labor sentiment; “Val Schier’s a Labor lackey”
- Global (Greece, the EU, the States) and national FEAR about the economy and finances; this drives people back to conservatives and stability. They think that “back to basics” is the way to go and are afraid of “vision”
- Fear also generated by the CEP: “We don’t need it and we can’t afford it;” “ It’s going to break the council”
- Amalgamation. Bill Shannon was one of only 3 mayors of amalgamated councils across the state who survived. Brad Carter in Rockhampton and Peter Taylor – a conservative – in Toowoomba each got only 15% of the vote and there weren’t any CEPs in sight there
- Votes against incumbents: the majority of sitting mayors were defeated and they didn’t have CEPs either.
Val didn’t have a snowflakes chance in hell of winning and the Cairns Entertainment Precinct had very little to do with it!