Sylvia Hale to Minister Tony Kelly

On Tuesday, April 20, 2010 Sylvia Hale , Greens MLC asked the Minister for Lands and Planning the following:

Ms SYLVIA HALE: I address my question to the Minister for Lands. Because of the application of the Minister for Lands to the Minister for Planning for approval to subdivide sections 3 to 5 of the Goolawah Estate, which contains core koala habitat, is the Minister aware that in Crescent Head the initials KKK stand for Kristina Koala Killer, Kelly Koala Killer or Kelly Koala Chlamydia? Is the Minister also aware that in 2008 the Taree office of the Department of Lands assured residents in writing that sections 3 to 5 of the Goolawah Estate could not be developed because of the endangered ecological community? Will the Department of Lands withdraw its application to subdivide sections 3 to 5 of the Goolawah Estate?

The Hon. TONY KELLY: What a ridiculous and insulting way in which to frame a question. If the member comes back and asks me a reasonable question, I will answer it.

Ms Sylvia Hale: Point of order: The Minister debated the question rather than answering it. He should be directed to answer the question.

The Hon. Greg Donnelly: Point of order: The member received the answer that she deserved.

The ACTING-PRESIDENT: Order! There is no point of order.




The Hon. TONY KELLY: Earlier in question time Ms Sylvia Hale asked me a question that contained insulting terms. For that reason I chose not to answer it during question time, but members and the public should know the answer to the question, even when the insulting terms are removed from the question. Kempsey Shire Council gave development consent for the Goolawah Estate at Crescent Head in 1991. The first two stages were constructed and all blocks were sold by mid 2001, despite the suspension of sales while a native title claim by the Dunghutti people was resolved. As part of that resolution, the Dunghutti people received a payment of $6.1 million as compensation for the acquisition of native title land at Crescent Head. At that time no further vacant Crown land was available for sale to meet the demand for residential development.

During planning for the development of the remaining three stages local members lobbied to fast-track the development to provide further residential land. At the same time environmental lobbyists, headed by John Jeayes, Secretary of the North Coast Environmental Council, pushed to have the development terminated. I think I recall that at some stage in the past John Jeayes was the head of a group called Rustic Roads, which wanted to keep our country roads unsealed.

The Hon. Duncan Gay: That’s my question. Don’t mention Orange.

The Hon. TONY KELLY: I told the Hon. Duncan Gay that I did not—

The Hon. Duncan Gay: It’s Whan who has given you the wrong information.

The Hon. TONY KELLY: I am sorry for interrupting my answer to Ms Sylvia Hale’s question. During my previous answer I pointed out to the Hon. Duncan Gay that I did not say he said it during question time today.

The Hon. Duncan Gay: You inferred!

The Hon. TONY KELLY: I did not. In the designing phase for the remainder of the estate the consultant found that topographical restraints, combined with design criteria set by council, made much of the existing development application design unworkable. As a consequence, a modification of the development application was considered. Threatened species assessments undertaken by the Land and Property Management Authority [LPMA] as a result of lobbying from John Jeayes found that a significant amount of the estate was covered with swamp sclerophyll forest, which was added to the threatened species list in December 2004. A combination of the unworkable nature of the development application design, the need to seek an amendment and the existence of threatened species appeared to make development of the remaining estate unachievable.

During valuation exercises for final payment of the native title agreement, it was found that development could proceed despite the existence of threatened species, provided it was in accordance with the original development application that was granted prior to the species being listed as threatened. As a consequence of the $6.1 million payment, the Land and Property Management Authority is now considering development options. The project has been tentatively placed on the Land Development Program, with a projected timetable of investigation and construction in 2010-11 and sales in 2011-12. The effects of undertaking the project will need to be considered before any works are commenced. Currently there is no other vacant land available in Crescent Head for development, with the Land and Property Management Authority holding the only land in the village capable of being developed.

4 Responses to “Sylvia Hale to Minister Tony Kelly”

  1. mark baxter Says:

    the last sentence is blatently ‘untrue’. directly across the road is ‘available’ cleared land for over 100 houses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Damon Baker Says:

    That’s gutsy stuff from Sylvia, and a shameful response from Tony Kelly.
    It’s disgraceful that the Department of Planning thinks they can ignore the fact that there are threatened species present on the land, just because the original DA was granted prior to the swamp sclerophyll forest being listed as threatened.
    Something similar happened at Saltwater where despite threatened Wallum Froglets being present, any amount of habitat destruction was OK because they weren’t found when the original SEPP consent to clear was issued.
    So it probably wouldn’t matter if there were 100 koalas, a colony of gastric brooding frogs and a family of tasmanian tigers living there, unless they are on some crappy environment assessment done years ago or a DA, they don’t officially exist.

  3. Warren Sergent Says:

    Good on Mr. Kelly for refusing to answer the question in the first place. If anything serious is to come from any protests or complaints, then the first thing that should be done is for a little civility to take place. Insulting Mr. Kelly or Ms. Keneally will not change anything.
    And where in the world did anyone get that KKK is an acronym for Kelly Koala Chlamydia? That is just plain ridiculous, and either the residents using this term, or Ms. Hale herself, need to learn to spell.
    Don’t get me wrong, as a resident, I’m all for the conservation, but I think a more mature attitude would certainly go a long way.

  4. goolawah Says:

    Thanks Warren for your comment. This blog will accept any reasonable contrary comment on opinion, fact or campaign strategy.
    You have a point of course but must wonder whether you were similarly moved to write when Paul Keating called the Opposition “scumbags” or when Tony Abbott upset just about every group within reach? Or conversely when they themselves were tagged “The Undertaker” and the “Mad Monk”?
    The acronym for Kristina Kerscher Keneally obviously came about when people first realised this woman was not the sweet American apple pie we first thought but closer to something else.
    The change therefore to Kristina Koala Killer just flowed as did Kelly Koala Killer.

    You might not know that the threats to Koala include habitat clearing, fire, car strike, dog attack and the koala diseases chlamydia and retrovirus. Hence State Labor is considered by many people to be the political equivalent of chlamydia.
    And so Sylvia has used it seems the phonetic alliteration of KKK.

    You also may not realise even though my name was not mentioned Tony Kelly dragged me into his reply three times. That did not bother me until he defamed me by saying: “I think I recall that at some stage in the past John Jeayes was the head of a group called Rustic Roads, which wanted to keep our country roads unsealed.” Kelly knew that was untrue because I had lobbied him personally in Kempsey re a new category of road “Rustic roads –never to be sealed” and nominated special roads like Plomer Road where tarseal would lead to inappropriate development. I have asked for a simple retraction in that house. His throw away line could only have been intended to denigrate my intelligence and value as a commentator.

    I agree it would be more civil if our parliamentarians acted with respect but if they dissemble and refuse to answer with the full truth than you have to take a different tack to get their close attention and of course that of the media. I wish it was different but it is not.

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