True, Whole True and Nothing But True History of the Kelly Gang

… and now he carried the proof, the trophy, the rank untidy nest of paper beneath his arm. These stained “manuscripts” were disgusting to his touch and his very skin shrank from their conceit and ignorance ….

(From Peter Carey’s “True History of the Kelly Gang”, p. 390)

While ever Tony Kelly – presently assisting ICAC in its inquiry –  was regarded as a decent, dutiful, if somewhat dull Minister, the idea of associating himself with the legend of Ned Kelly might have been thought a quirky flight of fancy.  Continue reading “True, Whole True and Nothing But True History of the Kelly Gang”

Currawong: “Holiday Village of the Damned”?

This morning, Tony Kelly, former Labor Minister, becomes the first office holder in six years to have his conduct as a Minister publicly examined by ICAC. It follows an eight year Ministerial career across a range of primary industries, lands, planning and justice responsibilities, where he was generally regarded.

It is not easy to divorce this inquiry from Kelly’s sudden resignation on June 6 as a Member of the Upper House, where after the election he was the Leader of the Opposition in that Chamber, and the leader of the (numerically diminished) Right faction. His resignation and subsequent events and disclosures have suggested an attempt to cauterise any political damage.

However, any such attempt at a pre-emptive strike against the fallout from this investigation is hardly likely to provide much protection. The matters that are the subject of the inquiry go too deep into the long standing controversy around a property, Currawong, long owned, until recently, by the NSW labour movement. They involve matters that flow from the 2007 sale by Unions NSW, then headed by the now Leader of the Opposition, John Robertson.

Continue reading “Currawong: “Holiday Village of the Damned”?”

Ebbs and Flows: The Battle for Currawong

[A contest] between those who wanted the complex replaced by a luxury new age resort, and those who mounted a self-consciously nostalgic argument in favour of the cabins’ retro-chic heritage values, recognising the extent to which the notion of a cheap holiday was under siege.

Richard White, historian

Continue reading “Ebbs and Flows: The Battle for Currawong”

Selling Currawong: An Unhappy Union?

A short history of the financial dealings of the Eco Villages and Unions NSW

In 2006, John Robertson, Secretary of Unions NSW, made a call for expressions of interest in the sale of Currawaong.

On 13 February 2007 an agreement was reached between Unions NSW and Eco Villages P/L for the sale of Currawong Beach Cottages. The agreed price was $15 million. A deposit of $1 million was made by Eco Villages. The Contract took the form of “Put and Call” options.
Continue reading “Selling Currawong: An Unhappy Union?”