Cairns Mayor Bob Manning pledges to find source of council email leak
NO one is taking the blame for leaking a private email between member for Cairns Gavin King and Mayor Bob Manning that has cast doubt on claims the Newman Government made about funding for the Lake St upgrade.
Cr Manning said Cairns Regional Council would launch an internal investigation to find the source of the embarrassing leak.
"Nothing will be swept under the carpet here – it will be investigated properly and then we’ll make a statement on it," he said.
A hard copy of the email was faxed anonymously to the office of Mulgrave MP Curtis Pitt, who passed it on to the media yesterday.
The email was originally sent from Mr King’s ministerial account in late June to the private inboxes of Cr Manning and Deputy Mayor Terry James.
Cr Manning then sent the email to his official mayoral inbox, and hard copies were distributed through the council’s internal systems.
Hand-written notes on the page suggest Cr Richie Bates and the acting council CEO Peter Tabulo received hard copies.
No one has admitted to leaking the email.
Mr King said the contents of the email were now outdated, and he questions the motives of the person who faxed it to Mr Pitt.
"It’d be interesting to know what’s the point of leaking it – do they not want the (Lake St upgrade) project to go ahead?" Mr King said.
In the email, Mr King confirms he can get up to $3 million included in the state Budget to open City Place to bus traffic, as long as the council is on board with the plans.
"My main thoughts are that I want this money in the Budget and I want to make a start on the CBD/Lake St," Mr King writes.
"The $38 million that many people were concerned about ‘losing’ is staying in FNQ."
A few weeks before the email was sent, the Newman Government claimed the Lake St makeover and other transport upgrades worth $38 million would not go ahead because the money had never been set aside by the former Bligh government.
At the time, Mr King said the former government’s promise of money had been "a figment of Anna Bligh’s imagination".
Mr Pitt says the leaked email reveals the Newman Government was lying when it said the money never existed, because in the email Mr King states it will remain in Far North Queensland.
"He said that the former Labor government was just talking about pie in the sky figures and money," Mr Pitt said. "Now he’s using that same, apparently fictitious amount of money, and says it exists and this is how it’s being spent."
But Mr King said the leaked email only proved he had been lobbying for the Lake St upgrade for months.
Cr Bates did not return calls from The Weekend Post.
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