Yesterdayâ€™s revelations about Greens Manly councillor and beach protection crusader Cathy Griffinâ€™s illegal property development on her beachfront home are compounded by local tip-offs that the eco-vandal is stinking rich.
Manly locals appalled by the Greens party councillorâ€™s outrageous disregard for the planning and environment laws she is sworn to uphold and protect have spoken up, expressing concern about Griffins’ high-handed and arrogant ways:
â€œShe lords it over the local community and thinks sheâ€™s one step up from any of the â€˜rentersâ€™ on the street. Itâ€™s about time Ms High & Mighty had her comeuppance,â€ one local preferring to remain anonymous emailed VEXNEWS yesterday.
SIX MILLION REASONS FOR GREED
Griffinâ€™s three-storey overbuilt property is conservatively valued at $6 million by locals in the know and familiar with the local buoyant real estate market. Smaller properties on the same street have sold for more in recent times.
The enormous property has breath-taking Harbour views and looks majestically and directly onto a Manly beach. It is a short walk to a splendid water-side national park and is probably one of the most magnificent residential properties we have examined.
For privacy reasons we are unable to disclose the exact address but local newspapers have revealed she lives on Stuart Street, Manly just near the Little Manly beach. Itâ€™s truly a beautiful spot, proud locals say, but it has already had more humble homes replaced by three storey over-developed McMansions and Griffinâ€™s illegal development has been the final straw for some.
A LIKELY STORY
They find Griffinâ€™s excuse that she didnâ€™t know a development application was required for the building works to be absolutely preposterous.
â€œShe just couldnâ€™t be arsed, is more like it. She knew there would be objections and thought sheâ€™d get away with it because of who she is, thatâ€™s what happened,â€ the angry local explained.
Griffinâ€™s husband is a high-priced lawyer. Griffin has lived in Manly for over a decade and is intimately familiar with all aspects of the planning process, as a local councillor and self-described community activist, beach-protection crusader and campaigner against â€œinappropriate development.â€
In that capacity she has served on the Little Manly Precinct Community Forum and as a member of the Manly Council Environment and Climate Change Committees.
Her biographical material on the Manly council website asserts she â€œhas a history of active community consultationâ€ which she reckons â€œcontributes to Cathyâ€™s knowledge and understanding of the community and the environment in which she lives.â€
And yet according to the Manly Daily, it was only anonymous tip-offs from disgruntled near-neighbours that prompted the issuing of a council emergency stop-work order on Griffinâ€™s illegal development works. They were obviously not consulted and nor were the local council. When council compliance officers raided the illegal development, despite pressure from the councillor and her lawyer husband, they threw the book at her, issuing the stop-work order and requiring that she file a development application for the unauthorised works.
If anyone else had acted in this scandalous way, Griffin would be the first to be quoted condemning the shonky developer, the first to pose for local press photographers with little placards, roping in little kids who knew no better, the first to act all “high and mighty” in the self-righteous style that critics say is evident in all Greens politicians from the preachy neo-Marxism of Adam Bandt to the sanctimonious union-bashing of Tassie Prisons Minister slick Nick McKim to the squabbling feud-sisters baby boomer Christine Milne and Gen-Yâ€™s ambitous ex-Goth Sarah Hanson-Young. We will leave descriptions of the outrageous NSW Senator-Elect Lee Rhiannon to another time, for reasons of space.
Griffin, for her part, the multi-millionaire owner of this very large property with the illegal building works self-describes as being:
interested in and committed to social justice, ecological sustainability, grassroots democracy and peace; the four pillars that inform the Greens polices.
How locals square that rhetoric with the proven facts that she really is just a rich, shonky developer with contempt for her community and the laws she is sworn to uphold will soon be revealed.
Many think sheâ€™s not likely to survive pressure on her to resign ahead of a corruption probe.