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Nov 25, 2011

Coba Point residents back Flannery in 2GB spat

Residents of the Sydney riverside retreat of Coba Point have backed environmentalist Tim Flannery in his bitter climate spat with 2GB presenter Ray Hadley and a dissenting neighbour David.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

Residents of the Sydney riverside retreat of Coba Point have backed environmentalist Tim Flannery in his bitter climate spat with 2GB presenter Ray Hadley and a dissenting neighbour David.

And notes of a crucial August rendezvous between David and Flannery, compiled by the former Australian of the Year’s anthropologist wife Alex, appear to lend weight to the Professor’s version of events.

Hadley and David have accused Flannery of hypocrisy because he purchased a house close to a river while simultaneously warning about sea level rises stemming from global temperature increases. They say the professor pilots a polluting boat and regularly speeds through “no wash” zones around Berowra Waters.

This week Hadley has repeatedly called Flannery a “low bastard” on his high-rating 2GB mornings show after his attention was drawn to a Crikey item quoting from the November edition of Quarterly Essay.

A letter penned by Flannery in the storied journal accused the duo of cooking up a plot to discredit him. Flannery wrote David had told him that he had once worked for Hadley and that the “slander was based on a completely manufactured story”.

Flannery said that David had admitted to him in the face-to-face meeting that the shock jock was “out to get” him because he was “on the other side of the fence” on climate change.

But this week David, 39, claimed point-blank on Hadley’s program that he had never met or worked for the presenter.

Coba Point resident Bruce Foot, who owns a substantial chunk of the inlet, told Crikey this morning that his close neighbour, whose wife’s name is Hope Martyn, told him directly that he once washed and detailed Ray Hadley’s car.

“To hear himself say on radio the other day that he didn’t work for Ray is an out and out lie and that’s what’s so shocking,” he said.

Foot said David had previously “parroted the Andrew Bolt line on climate change” over a few beers at a neighbourhood get-together.

He told Crikey that Flannery had bought his house in 1997, well before he began agitating to curb climate emissions due to prevent sea level rises and that David was no-longer working for Hadley but was now “selling papers”. Foot added that another neighbour, Stu, had also been directly told by David that he worked for Hadley.

According to Hope Martyn’s Facebook page, David and his wife moved to Coba Point in September 2009. On her public wall, Martyn includes a link to a podcast of her husband speaking on Hadley’s show.

“How imbarrasing!! [sic],” she wrote. “So typical of Dave though …”

Tim Flannery’s wife’s notes of the mid-jetty encounter in August appear to confirm that David indeed stated that he once undertook “car detailing” for Hadley. According to the notes, David says Hadley had called him and that it was all a setup. The notes make for compelling reading:

21.viii.11 Sunday afternoon

Tim pulls up at pontoon — v crowded with debris — revs motor to reverse.

Man appears on verandah, shirtless, comes down pulling on sweater.

T calls out: Are you David? I’d like a word.

Man walks down, diffidently but expecting us (?) Tells barking dog to be quiet.

Man & T meet mid-jetty.

T: Are you David?

Man: Yes.

T: You’re the caller David who called Ray Hadley?

D: That’s me.

T explains visit. D is barely coherent [does he have a speech impediment?] T asks re call to 2GB?

D, matter of factly: They called me … They had it all arranged. I just called in.

D: … You’re on the other side of the fence [re climate change], they [2GB] hate you, they’re out to get you. I didn’t call them, they called me.

Alex (surprised): Why would they call you?

D (flatly): I work for them.

A (politely): What is your work?

D (softly): Card [incoherent]

A (gently): Sorry?

D (clearly): Car detailing. I do car detailing for them at 2GB. I know them all.

T (firmly, fairly): Well, we’d like the podcast permanently removed rom the public domain. Could you ask Ray Hadley to do that.

D (hesitating, uncertain): Well, I won’t see him for another fortnight, another two weeks.

A (quietly): You’re a newcomer here. We don’t do this sort of thing to each other. We’re a small community & just respect each other’s privacy.

T (gently): It’s OK, leave this to me. (firmly, fairly): OK David, the decent thing to do is to get the podcast removed. It’s untrue & it’s dangerous. That’s all.

We leave.

On air yesterday, Hadley said his wife’s car had been detailed by Garry Smith Detailing in Haberfield and that his was occasionally “dry washed” by someone called Sharon in the 2GB car park. But enquiries over David’s presence at either company drew a blank.

Today, he dedicated his weekly Daily Telegraph column to lambasting Crikey, which he described as “Media Watch on steroids” and (perhaps cynically) as a “bastion of truth and justice”.

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65 thoughts on “Coba Point residents back Flannery in 2GB spat

  1. Son of foro

    Watch it! Hadley’s from western Sydney!

  2. Damien

    Where are all the Rayniacs who invaded Crikey a couple of days ago?

  3. Suzanne Blake

    One person here is out to save their reputation, gong, pay check and future earnings.

    Motives are clear to me.

  4. Enkl

    Let’s accept that the transcript is accurate. It is nevertheless clear from the 2GB records that David did indeed call in unsolicited.

    If Hadley were to sue Crikey for the publication here of David’s alleged statement that “They had it all arranged.”, then “truth” would not be available as a defence. Given that you were already aware of that, no other defence is possible either.

    What were your lawyers thinking of in letting you publish this?

  5. B.Tolputt

    As I’ve said earlier, I REALLY hope Hadley does take it to court. The more digging (you know, actual journalism) that occurs, the less credible his source comes out to be. We’re now down to this man’s word against those of Flannery, his wife, and the guy’s own neighbours.

    Did no-one learn how dangerous it is to rely on sources without checking them out from Hanson’s electoral challenge?

  6. heavylambs

    Flannery bought in up there when he was at The Australian Museum in Sydney,long before he picked up the public cudgels for climate …

    How stupid is Hadley not to do some basic background? If he fielded the call from David and simply ran with it,how credulous is he to take an unknown individual at his word over such an issue? How uninformed is Hadley to not know that rapid large storm surges and swells [which will be potentiated by underlying sea-level rise when acting on open coast] do not affect upper estuarine stretches like Berowra Creek at Coba? If he is so concerned about AGW and what he thinks is groundless alarmism,you’d think he’d do some research,or get a flunkey to do so…

  7. John Bennetts

    This pretty well restores my opinion of Flannery. I had suspended my judgement pending further in formation.

    And that, dear friends, is why I buy Crikey.

  8. Lord Barry Bonkton

    Guilty , would be the call. Hadley should loose his job and Tim should sue the lying twat . Lucky we have “Bastion of Truth and Justice ” in Crikey.

  9. John Ryan

    Yes Suzanne that might be Hadley

  10. michael r james

    How does a car detailer like David get to own property on Coba Point?
    Unless it is more Cajun-bogan than Upper-Northshore/Pittwater?

    Also, though I guess he would claim there is nothing hypocritical about it but somehow I doubt Hadley still lives in Western Sydney instead of somewhere with harbour views? Or even a weekender in said Pittwater/Palm Beach as many of these shock-jock one-percenters do.

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