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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. John Ryan

    And of course Suzanne we know that 2gb and the commentators never lie problem is picking the truth out of the distortions and lies they disseminate.
    Which are are not very good at either have you ever got anything right

  2. Suzanne Blake

    @ michael r james

    Ray Hadley lives at Dural, so NW Sydney

    Ray Hadley has Flannery on toast and Flannery need to learn that when you are in a hole, stop digging.

  3. 2dogs


    I am no lawyer but I fail to understand under what law Crikey could be taken to court over in`s very well balanced coverage of this story over the last 3 days. They have stuck to reporting facts and quoting sources from both sides of the argument as well as providing web links.
    Could you perhaps point out to us which laws you believe have been broken in the reporting of this story in its entirety?

  4. Enkl

    The problem here is not that Hadley relied on David as a source, but that Flannery did.

    Flannery should not have relied on David’s (alleged) claim that 2GB had solicited his call without attempting to check it, and without giving Hadley a chance to respond before publication. IMO, Flannery has defamed Hadley.

  5. david

    Hadley will get his dues, time and truth are not on his side.

  6. Suzanne Blake

    @ 2dogs

    Flannery risks being sued and Crickey a retraction. There may have been legal letters exchanges, giving x hours to remove from internet.

    The biggest issue at stake is Flannery’s credibility, loss of future income etc

  7. Enkl

    @Michael R James

    “How does a car detailer like David get to own property on Coba Point?”

    David is not a car detailer.
    He is self-employed, and has been since leaving school.
    He has never cleaned a car other than his own and his parents’.

  8. Quarisa Donny

    Wait for it ….. thats right the sound of silence from Hadley,s supporters hoping that David has a replie that can discredit the community of Coba point and make them in league with climate change ..2gb hadley and his minions need to apologise to the Flannery,s and check out their facts..

  9. Quarisa Donny

    @S Blake
    Sounds like the hole was dug by David, Hadley couldn,t help but peer in to it and fell dragging his supporters behind him and now is trying to save himself by using you all as a life line…


    Sydney :- the daily telegraph, whittaker, hadley, jones, akermann, and others

    no doubt – sounds like the 1%’s right wing zoo to me.

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