Wednesday 30 September 2009

Waterpark go-ahead hangs by a thread

There now seems hardly any support for Paul Freebody's wet dream to build a waterpark in his beloved Barron River.

The talk around Council is that there's now even less support for his plan to develop the proposed flood-prone site, following his angry rant on radio where he attacked those that sort a deferral, after they were given 40 extra conditions to read two minutes before having to vote.

Paul Freebody claimed on radio last Thursday following Council's deferral decision, that a supplier of the waterslides had pulled out "because of Council." He went on then, with the grumping and groaning of radio hostess John Mackenzie in the background, "they wouldn't be involved anymore in the project."

Personally I don't believe it for a minute. It was a scare-tactic and in line with Freebody's self-promotion of this dodgy scheme over the last year. However, if a supplier has pulled out it would be because of the recommendations from Council's Development Manager's report who gave 70 pages of reasons why this site is not suitable and would have substantial problems. That would wake any investor up.

On radio, Freebody claimed that he'd paid tourist-grade rates on the property.

"We pay rates and have paid rates on that land for 30 years. It's under the rates notice, a freehold tourist attraction," and "now they say it's no good." Well we know Paul get tongue-tied, but he's only owned the 8 hectares at Dillon road for the last two or three years, including the ruins of the old Vic Hislop's Shark Show, along with a lonely a yellow digger that you can see when you drive along the highway. Maybe he was planning on driving that off to the "witches and bitches," as he called them on radio, when he threatened Councillors by saying they "will have a lot to answer if this doesn't get up in a fortnight."

What a way to conduct business. Did he think he was going to persuade them and their wavering support by publicly bullying and accusing them of everything under the sun?

If you missed the shocking outburst on radio from Freebody, you owe it to yourself to listen to this supreme nut, and the type of personality we're dealing with here.

The Councillors that moved and voted for a deferral were treated with such disgust. Anyone that didn't agree with his nutty idea, was worth the most condescending public insult. He said they all had no idea and had never run a business.

He attacked the clever Julia Leu and said she'd failed in business after running the Douglas Shire Council as CEO. He especially targeted Councillor Kirsten Lesina on Mackenzie's radio show with a number of sexist and ageist insults he's famous for, reducing any remaining creditability Freebody had in tatters. He appears to be an angry, twisted sole.

The best outcome for this would be for Council to approve the plan, but adding one more condition.: find a suitable site elsewhere. And for the record, there's no such thing as a "Smithfield Entertainment Precinct."

I heard a funny story the other day. Evidently the Shark Show on the same site, was so unpopular that Vic used to park a number of old cars in the car park, that he'd picked up from wreckers, to look like there was people there. I can just just imagine a similar scene.


Mr Good Food said...

I have a restaurant in the CBD. We had a couple Americans having dinner the night after the council decision. One was from a company called "Proslide" (he left his card in our fishbowl monthly meal giveaway). During his talk with the other guy, it was clear they weren't happy with Paul Freebody's "demeanor" towards council and council staff - they commented he seemed to not have the temperament to be running a "fun, family attraction".

These would seem to be the same company execs that pulled their support of the water park the next day.

It's clear to me that this project is doomed - it was a good idea, in a bad location, with an aggressive, unfriendly, and bad-tempered proponent.

Northern Beaches Warrior said...

Re Mr Good Food Comments...
"It's clear to me that this project is doomed - it was a good idea, in a bad location, with an aggressive, unfriendly, and bad-tempered proponent"

I think most people who have commented on this blog on this subject maybe in 100% agreement, including myself.

Unknown said...

Howard Thomas
Its a shame overall..It is a good idea but as everyone is now in agreement its in the wrong location. With his recent spectacular foot in mouth aplomb Mr Freebody is hardly likely to see his proposal 'get up' to the height of the wastepaper basket in Council Chamber.
Perhaps the biz cards you have Mr Good Food could be circulated to interested parties.. After all its a great idea and perhaps council may want to co develop with a tried and tested tourism partner like a Chapman, or a Woodward etc. Anyway it is a shame that both parties allowed it get like this we all know Freebody could have walked this across the line 3 years ago no wonder he is bitter with Miss Kirsten. Lets face it if the economics are so sound around this type of project then we could get an input of cash back into council ad infinitum if jointly developed? That way Mr Freebody can get his ultimate wish that some members of council need business experience..nothing like on the job please..

hieronymus bosch said...

It all makes me wonder if this obtuse man is solely responsible for the planners non-recommendation.

After all, they have recommended the most ridiculous proposals in the past.

"Hey, let's build on a creek bed" SURE!

"Mate, we want to put three story apartments next to red brick cottages" DON'T LET US STOP YOU!

Perhaps he failed to grease and oil the correct orifice/s. When Simon Clarke gets a bee in his bonnet (and he does wear a bonnet!), you are screwed.

Anonymous said...

I too am bemused by Freebody’s reference to a Smithfield Entertainment Precinct. What about the fate of the Woolshed at Smithfield. The previous council apparently were sold on the idea that it was near Skyrail and Tjapukai. Apparently not near enough.

nocturnal congress said...

What happened to the Woolshed Chow Chow?

Quien Sabe said...

Bunnings attracts more customers in a day than the Woolshed did in a week

Northern Beaches Warrior said...

Re hieronymus bosch comments:

You forgot one.

The Planning Dept allowed a developer of 17 townhouses at Clifton Beach NOT to have a legal exit point for stormwater which is a breach under just about every bloody bit of building legislation including the Integrated Planning Act.

So what happens when it rains. The storm water just runs off the roof tops into pits which soon fill up and then overflows off the built up site by gravity, and flows at pace and precedes to flood the neighbours yards, garages, houses, garden sheds etc.

care factor from Council = NIL!

Anonymous said...

To nocturnal congress --- it failed and was pulled down. Bunnings Smithfield is now on that site. Where have you been??