Sunday, 6 March 2016

The "Bob Jelly Gazette" has its say on an Iluka development application

Below is a copy of an excerpt from the March 2016 newsletter put out by Iluka resident, Graeme Lynn and his small group of predominately enthusiastic pro-development fellow travellers calling themselves the Ratepayers Association of Iluka Inc.

Mr. Lynn, who besides being president of this particular ratepayers association and president of the Iluka Golf Club, is also a real estate agent.  

Readers may him remember from this premature online advertising of the proposed 162 lot subdivision at Lot 99 Hickey Street:

Local readers might enjoy comparing this North Coast Voices post with the ‘facts’ set out in the “Bob Jelly Gazette*:

The Ratepayers Association of Iluka Inc is the second lobby group formed in Iluka (the first being the Association of Iluka Residents A.I.R. incorporated in 1998) and, appears to be listed on the Australian Securities and Investment Commission website under a different name to that on the newsletter - i.e. the Ratepayers & Residents Association Of Iluka Incorporated (2007).

This is not the first time that the ratepayers group has talked of this particular subdivision. It was discussed at some length at an afternoon meeting on or about 1 February 2016 and, I believe that meeting was attended by Clarence Valley councillors, Jim Simmons and Andrew Baker.

It is my understanding that Graeme Lynn chaired this meeting, spoke at some length about the development application and answered questions from the floor on the subject. Although I cannot be certain that everyone at the meeting was aware that he apparently has an expectation of handling at least some of the lot sales if this Hickey Street subdivision goes ahead.

Mr. Lynn also shamelessly played ducks and drakes with dates and numbers in a letter to the editor on the subject in The Daily Examiner on 14 January 2016:

Facts next time**

I read Annie Dorrian's letter to the editor (January 12) and I believe the letter should have started with 'once upon a time'.

Annie is having a go at council saying there is not enough time to research and prepare a submission or even comment on the DA even after the submission deadline has been extended to February 12, making a grand total of 50 days.

With 11 days taken out when access to all the documents were not available in Iluka it still adds up to 39 days.

Statutory regulation gives a minimum of 14 days so I think council and the developer have been rather generous.

Now for the signs that were placed on the land on Christmas Eve 2013 they were simply stating a DA application was forthcoming and expressions of interest were invited. Nothing sinister or illegal about that Annie.

The only reasons the signs were removed is because almost nightly mindless morons vandalised the signs until they were unrepairable.

The statement saying the land is a corridor between two national parks, well I found one but the 2nd one must be well hidden because it doesn't exist.

The land abounding this development to the south is zoned residential, the land to the west residential, the land to the north residential and 6A open space, which is the golf course, with the national park being to the east of the road into town.

Why would you want a corridor anyway between the two as I am sure you have heard of road kill.

Annie also states that it could increase the population by up to 500 people, which may be true but she failed to say this could take anywhere from 30 to 50 years to happen.
Just look at Sovereign Street and see how many vacant blocks there are after nearly two decades.

I don't know what Annie's motives are in writing her letter but next time it should be factual instead of the once upon a time story she wrote.

Graeme Lynn, Iluka

His letter drew this response a few days later in the same newspaper:

Negative impacts

My husband and I have been holidaying at Iluka this week. What a special place.

The house we were staying in had a copy of your paper from January 14th. In it there was a letter from Graeme Lynn. Graeme was addressing a letter from Annie Dorrian.

Through the eyes of an objective onlooker it is easy to see that every paragraph about Graeme's letter was defensive to the point where I ask myself, "Does Graeme have a vested interest in the proposed development going ahead?".

Adding 25% to the Iluka population whether now or into the future will have definite negative impacts on this beautiful part of a wondrous coastline.

Meg Leathart, Coonabarabran


Robert James 'Bob' Jelly is a fictional pro-development real estate agent and comic character played by actor John Howard in the long running ABC series Sea Change which ended in December 2000.

** Annie Dorian's letter to the editor, 16 January 2016:

162-lot subdivision

There are many questions about this subdivision.

Is it really honest for the Council's Environment, Planning and Community director to say they have already doubled the statutory exhibition period of 14 days (Daily Examiner 5.1.16) when the council rooms at both Maclean and Grafton were closed until the January 3, effectively reducing the length of time to read over 400 pages in 11 days?

Why was the DA not available on the council website or even in Iluka?

Thanks to community pressure the DA is now available at the Iluka Library which is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Thanks to even more community pressure and media attention the submission date to comment has been extended to 4pm on February 12. Still not enough time to read, research and prepare a submission or even comment on the DA. We must have informed community scrutiny and enough time to do it.

Many people in Iluka are questioning the timing of the DA release on Christmas Eve and the fact that large signs on the Iluka Road advertised this development on Christmas Eve 2013.The signs were subsequently removed.

How is this possible or even legal before a DA has even been approved ?

Journalist Tim Howard's story states The Stevens Group acknowledges some environmental issues within this site.

Quite an understatement by the developer considering it is not just 'opposite a golf course' but adjacent to one of the last remnants of littoral rain forest in NSW and also a corridor between two national parks.

Large numbers of bird watchers, scientists and photographers frequent Iluka in the off season for the very reason that Iluka is unique and still home to more than 200 species of birds alone.
Do we really want to spoil this quiet, beautiful, unique place by increasing the population by up to 500, along with god knows how many more cars, cats and dogs.

If the community do want an increase in population this is the perfect opportunity for a developer to have a state of the art, sustainable, environmentally friendly development with stringent safeguards for native flora and fauna and larger house sites.

Any resident wishing to comment directly to the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel can do so online as well as a submission to Clarence Valley Council.

Annie Dorrian, Iluka