Tuesday, September 1, 2009

a tricky mess for Charlie's pals

It wasn't too long ago that HRH Prince Charles toured the amazing suburb created by the Rose family at Breakfast Point and declared in reply to a Shuttler's question that it was "one of the finest modern developments he had ever seen"-high praise for a man known for his great love of the preservation of old buildings.
Indeed, it was an amazing coup for the well liked and very social Bob & Margaret Rose to even get the visiting British Royal  along for the afternoon that included a long hike through the development's streets, visits to a few houses and finally a reception in the the  'town hall' on the village green.

 Margaret & Bob Rose with HRH Prince Charles (C)

Now the Rose Group is facing a major obstacle in it's long planned re-development of the sleepy seaside hamlet Catherine Hill Bay and another planned 187 houses on Lake Macquarie after  

Justice David Lloyd of the Land and Environment Court handed down a judgment nipping the whole scheme in the bud and labeling the concept a "land bribe" with reports linking it to Labor Party donations from the corporation-despite them donating to all political parties evenly. Not only is this a blow to the Rose Group it seems certain to have a carry-on affect for other developers.

                                                        Breakfast Point's village green

Certainly many will praise the decision including the Catherine Hill Bay Progress Association who are ecstatic no others will share their fairly peace-full lives but it's an odd decision in a court known to be 'developer friendly' which has allowed some truly horror developments through to blight the landscape, most especially in Sydney with it's woeful record of modern architecture (Opera House excluded of course). 

Yet the Rose family have received numerous awards and praise for some of the most sensational large scale, environmentally friendly developments around the state including the highly successful Olympic Village built for the 2000 games and hailed by then Olympic president Juan Antonio Samaranch as the "best ever !" in the history of the games.
Although Bob & Margaret are secure in their sublime Point Piper mansion and glorious Palm Beach weekender with it's commanding views over the peninsular, they must be wondering just went wrong.


##  Never were truer words said than those of the late British PM  Harold Wilson who once declared  "7 days is a long time in politics" .  Within days of speculation that NSW premier Nathan Rees may be rolled, 2 contenders for the job have hit the skids including Frank Sartor who was criticized in the Rose Group court judgement (see above)for his days as planning minister . Now state health minister John Della Bosca has resigned this morning after revelations of an affair with a 26 year old secretary. 

The Shuttle confidently predicts that within 2 months the new state premier will be 40 year old American born Kristina Keneally. Whilst Labor dominates Federally with PM Kevin Rudd's popularity soaring to such heights he remains the most popular leader ever, Keneally, neice of the Oscar winning writer Tom Keneally ('Schindler's List")  has risen quickly through the political ranks impressing all who meet her and would be a much needed shot in the arm for the ailing state party. 

Meanwhile Della Bosca's career will be far from over. As a political heavyweight he wields considerable power both statewide and federally with wife , federal MP Belinda Neal. Della Bosca and Neal easily survived the so-called "Iguanagate" scandal when both were accused of insulting waiters in a coastal nightclub after drinks last year. Despite PM Kevin Rudd taking Neal aside for a quick chat with a recommendation she seek 'anger management ' skills, her star continues to rise. Expect Della Bosca to be back within a heartbeat.