Why are proponents of the CCS ramping up their ‘white noise’?

Although they should be celebrating the DA approval for Knight’s Palace, and looking forward with excitement to its finished construction, a small number of vocal proponents of the project still feel an urgent need to argue in favour of a building the construction of which, technically, our on-going complaints can seemingly do little to prevent.

By Julian May

It is even more interesting, and perhaps quite significant, that repeated “protests” in favour of Mayor Knight’s plan, appear surreptitiously in news and social media.

The most recent of these, an incursion into the debate made by Kate Pembroke on the Coffs Coast Independent News Facebook site, typifies these protestor’s strategy of employing secrecy, in order to conceal what appear to be vested interests. Team Leader, Communications (council’s propaganda department?), at Coffs Harbour City Council, Kate presented herself as nothing more than a person in favour of Knight’s project.

When asked if she paid rates in Coffs Harbour , she became very defensive and adopted a combative tone in her communications. Her credibility destroyed in my opinion, Kate then apparently chose to leave the discussion and the Facebook site.

  • Prior to this, another person, believed to be involved in council projects, had written in glowing terms of the plans to build Knight’s Palace. Suspicion was soon raised that the person behind the pseudonym was, in fact, someone with a very strong connection to the Council Focus Group providing comment on Mayor Knight’s Knight’s plan. I am told that, her impartiality having been questioned, this person also chose to withdraw from the discussion.*

At a time when they should be gloating, Brigit and Karen, perhaps in the company of the alleged 180 anonymous  members of “Advocates for Advancement”, seem to be ramping up their ‘opposition to our opposition’ to their proposition.

Why is this seemingly unnecessary defence of the indefensible continuing?

neologism – Page 12 – Peticanoe
Have we recently been seeing a form of ‘Driviledge’ from some supporters of the CCS?

In the case of the deceptive council employees, it is possible, but unlikely, that their supportive comments were made in good faith. It is also possible, and more likely, since they chose to conceal their council connections, that they were “encouraged” by more senior council staff, and/or possibly the Mayor, to conceal their true motivation, whilst commenting in favour of ‘The Palace’.

With the AfA (why do I have a mental picture of militia when I write that acronym?) there are multiple possibilities.

One – the 178 anonymous members (we know about Brigit and Margaret England) are all so overcome with admiration for Denise and her plan, that they feel the need to sing her praises and laud the plan, whenever a negative comment is made about them.

Two – being artistic, creative intellectuals, the 180 will be shattered when Knight’s plan finally falls apart, because it is ill-conceived, and they are desperate to shore up support.

Three – as is the case with Denise Knight, in my opinion, for Brigit, Karen and all, the act of fighting for the proposal has become more important than the actual CCS proposal itself.

Denise is no idiot.

Qualified nurses are intelligent people. It’s probably ego which is preventing Denise from admitting that she got it wrong. No reasonable person could be subjected to the barrage of intense criticism that she has experienced, and still believe that she has broad public support.

Therefore, I suspect that either her passion has overridden her judgement, or she is just being bloody-minded. Determined in my opinion to ‘have her way’ at any cost.

The other four or five people who still speak in favour of Knight’s project, are simply misguided, or stirrers, as evidenced by the inane “one-liners” which they  insert into the ongoing online social media discussions.

There is one other possibility which we should explore. With her insightful thinking, Carmel Daly originally touched upon this point, and it’s certainly worth exploring.

Namely, what if something is seriously wrong with “The Plan”?

Denise has ‘painted herself into a corner’. With common usage, the $76.5 million figure, accurate or not, has become the de facto cost for the completed project. Denise has to bring the project on or under that figure, or risk being accused of lying to the community. Without alterations to the current plans, the building cannot be completed for that amount, since the costings appear to have been based on estimates made several years ago.

In the unlikely event that the construction will ever take place, a huge cost blow-out appears inevitable and this will mean humiliation for Denise.

With promised funding from now doubtful sources, Council is faced with the strong likelihood of having to “rob Peter to pay Paul”, possibly taking funds from the airport lease for example, or increasing future rates, thereby breaking at least two more ‘promises’.

Finally, it is conceivable that, faced with the possibility of troublesome community resistance to the construction, it may be difficult to find a construction company willing to take on the task. Direct community action to hamper building should not be ruled out.

CRIPS - Community Resistance In ProgresS
Perhaps the ‘penny has dropped’ that genuine ‘CRIPS’ to the CCS is not a ‘passing phase’?

So, it’s not all ‘roses in the garden’.

Maybe the increased action by proponents, in recent weeks, and the increased use of lies and abuse by those proponents, signals some panic in the camp?

It appears to me to be a case of; “When my argument is weak, I shout loudly and often, and attempt to discredit the opposition speaker, not their argument.”

Whatever the reason, 15,000 will always be a bigger number than 180.

I love maths.


In the interests of transparency, I state that I am a ratepayer in Coffs Harbour LGA. Until the proposal to construct new council administrative offices, and the Mayor’s decision to ignore the stated wishes of at least 15,000 people, I had no conflicts or disagreements with council, or with any Councillor, over any issue.

Currently, I am now chiefly concerned with what i see to be the Mayor’s unethical and undemocratic behaviour, in using her casting vote to circumvent the democratic process, with her display of ego-driven determination to have her way, at all costs, and the absolute lack of transparency in council dealings around this and other issues.

I voted for Independent Sally Townley at the last election, despite her links to The Greens political party.

Julian May

Author’s note – Sunday 17 January, 4.15 p.m.; “This new amended post supersedes my original comments on this matter. Editing has been done in the interests of providing increased fairness to individuals involved in the debate regarding the Cultural and Civic Space, to which I commonly refer as “new council offices, with attached cultural spaces.

It is never my intention to deliberately denigrate people who are genuinely involved in debate. For ratbags and pseudo-intellectuals, I have no sympathy.

The amended paragraph is above in italics and has a bullet point in front of it and an asterisk at the end.”

Originally published at the Coffs Coast Independent News Facebook site, 12 January, 2021. Reproduced here at the request of the author for wider dissemination. and amended again on Sunday 16 January 2021

53 thoughts on “Why are proponents of the CCS ramping up their ‘white noise’?

  1. If only the Mayor’s cheer squad who’ve been busy of late filling the local newspaper letters section and social media with their glowing support for the Emerald Palace could be as honest and upfront as Julian has been in stating their involvement or relationship(s) with councillors, council staff, art gallery ‘friends’ and the CCS project?

  2. Oh Julian just got to love your drivel. The way you can make something out of nothing is an Art worthy of display in the New larger gallery. As my mother used to say” empty vessels make the most noise” . Vacuous and highly entertaining.

    1. To Julian’s credit he has published under his own name and has also made a clear statement as to his reasons for writing this and also his bona fides as a ratepayer.

      Whether I agree or disagree with your statement is neither here nor there, but your response would have carried far more gravitas if you had done the same too.

      It’s a pity you thought it important to use a non-de-plume in the circumstances.

      Having said that I suspect that your photo icon identifies you as one Karen Legalla does it not? It’s a bit pointless using a non-de-plume if the photographic evidence is so obvious isn’t it?

      1. So what would the point be. I am well known so really if you can’t comment on the comment it is just vitriol.

        Editor: For some reason this was posted three times by Karen. One of those comments is reproduced here so as to avoid repetition and redundancy. It applies to all the comments above that responded to Karen’s original post as ‘Avid follower’.

        1. I think the fake here is Julian May. Absolutely mo one knows him at all. Is he Andrew Fraser or a close friend of Andrews. Very similar writing style. Maybe we could meet for a coffee to clear the waters?

          1. So glad you brought up the issue of fake personas Karen. Superb timing.

            I think you’ll discover Julian is alive and well and goes under the name of…… Julian May.

            While you are at it perhaps you could also explain to us who these personas appearing locally on Facebook pages are?

            (1) Dolores Rivera, and

            (2) Karen Guthrie.

            1. Karen Guthrie is my Maiden name I have not used it in 41 years. I would be interested to see how you came by my maiden name from prior to 1980?

              1. Thanks Julian. I feel this was too personal a comment and really should be removed. My maiden name as proud of it as I am has no bearing on my life here.

          2. Careful Julian! It might be a trap!

            Is there anything worse than being trapped in a low IQ rendezvous?

            Normally, I wouldn’t assist Karen, but she might try clicking on Julian’s name in CCO’s recent comments list which is a hyperlink to all of the information she seek about him.

          3. For someone who claims to be culturally sophisticated, Karen does tend to stuff up her idioms.

            Clearing the waters might be something a lifeguard would do…..or a urologist.

      1. How magnanimous. Free speech is alive and well on Coffs coast outlook. Then if so, why am I not allowed to be a Facebook member? Is it because I am an opinionated woman or do you prefer to operate in a vacuum?

        Editor: You are not banned from the CCO Facebook site. Some people may have blocked you, but banned/disallowed membership? No. I have checked the banned list and have also asked the other Administrators of the Facebook/Twitter sites and they concur.

    2. Gee Karen, by doing what you have done, under an ‘anonymous’ name you have pretty much just proven Julian’s point.

      The picture is a bit of a give away after all. 🙂 Doh!

      Might be an idea to think before posting. Although on your past form I’m not holding my breath.

  3. Nothing new to read in this. We have heard it all before Julian May. You might need to ask Roger Price who makes the decision to raise the rates and why they do. He would be able to give a honest explanation. Personal name calling is immature and in my opinion reflects the sad desperate intelligence of the person making the comments.

    1. IPART makes decisions on rates Maree. I’m pretty sure Julian knows this.

      But Council’s can ask for rate variations/changes and often do. And often they are approved by IPART as a result, depending on the arguments provided.

      Our Council has previous form in this regards. I think that is what Julian is getting at.

    2. Marie, my concern regarding rates, stems from by belief that the proposed funding measures will comprehensively fail to provide for even the lowest claimed budget figure of $76.5 million, much less the true final cost. With a fixed income, my wife and I may well find that our future spending power is adversely affected by the inevitable rates increases, which will be needed to service the council’s debt for Knight’s Palace.

      I have re-read the article a couple of times, but I can’t find any instances of personal name calling. I’m not saying that I’m not guilty of name calling in other places – Knight’s despicable behaviour angers me, and I sometimes lose my cool – I just can’t see where I have resorted to personal attacks in this piece. Can you please enlighten me?

  4. Why are proponents of the CCS ramping up their ‘white noise’?

    Could it be they are busy seeking to win hearts and minds because they’ve just realised it will only take one resolution by newly elected councillors to scuttle the CCS fiasco, even if construction has already commenced?

    Or perhaps they could be reacting to the teary rantings of an emotionally charged mayor during cocktails, pleading that if something drastic isn’t done to change the prevailing community view, she won’t get to preside over her subjects from her new ivory tower following the September council elections?

  5. Why do you only choose females to criticise Julian? There are plenty of males you could direct your vitriol at. Me thinks you are a misogynist ie strongly prejudiced against women with any view other than yours.

    1. Many thanks, once again, Brigit, You’ve really had that dictionary working overtime lately, as is indicated by the improved spelling in your NOTA posts. I’ve covered the misogyny issue with Colin, so I’m not going to go over it again with you, a mere woman !!!!!! (You should have seen my smile as I wrote that last bit.)

      If I have a problem with any person, regardless of gender, or the absence of it, it’s my intolerance for rampant stupidity, criminal negligence and the failure to respect only those who deserve respect. I guess I just don’t suffer fools.

      On a different, but associated topic, did you really state, in print, where everyone can see it, that significantly more than 7,500 people from out of town, signed the petition against The Palace, and that some of them were coerced? How did those evil coercers manage to coerce such a huge number of absolute strangers? Did you also suggest that the whole petition was”trickery”? That absolutely Trumps any argument.

      And I loved “bloviating”, but when I looked it up I was a bit disappointed. It wasn’t really all that insulting.

      Editor: Yes we saw those NOTA posts you refer to too Julian. No doubt, as always, Brigit will be following them up with supporting emperical evidence. We look forward to seeing it.

      1. While she’s at it, Brigit might also like to explain why the full page NOTA ad titled “You are being LIED TO” published in her name on 11 December, 2020, claims to have “been conceived, booked and paid for by your [the reader’s] friends, neighbours and fellow residents of Coffs Harbour.”

        Obviously, the purpose of this ad was to try and trick the punters into believing that the vast majority of the Coffs’ community were behind the ad and the CCS project, and it was only a few disgruntled ‘liars’ responsible for discrediting the project.

        But this deception by the ad’s author(s) was brought to light when Brigit herself admitted in a post to NOTA on 30 December, 2020, that in fact “the ad “LIES” was not [her] ad, it was ….. conceived and donated by a couple of professionals in our city.”

        So, just who is it that is telling porky pies?

        What’s that old adage….something about successful liars needing good memories?

        1. Professionals did the ad & donated to us AFA. They did not want their names attached cos of vilification. I volunteered my name being a member of AFA. Friends, neighbours & fellow citizens donated the money to place the ad.

      2. I just don’t get the perception of “secrecy”. There is nothing secret about Advocates for Advancement and we all put our names to letters published in the local newspaper. Numbers mean nothing. You can get a bunch of ACF residents out for the day and feed them half truths in order to get them to sign a petition. 180 real humans who are active in working for a wonderful city beats 15,000 non thinkers or misled residents.

        1. Well, Sine Noname, you make your understanding of secrecy pretty clear by your anonymous, condescending post.

          So, 180 self-anointed, yet unelected “real humans” belonging to some exclusive little club know what’s best for everyone else in this city do they?

          Get real!

        2. I think that the idea that AfA is a secret group, came from comments made by their Facebook moderator, Brigit. The fact that this page was apparently only accessible to members of the group, enhances the notion of secrecy, as does an “invitation only” membership policy, which, I think, was also advertised by Brigit.
          Your use of a nom-de-plume, below a comment denying secrecy, seems incongruous, and the aggressive, confrontational nature of your wording, seems to speak of anger and resentment. Are you actually Karen or Brigit?
          Can you please explain what “ACF residents” are? Whilst I support the view that Coffs is a wonderful town, I can’t agree that it houses 15 000 non-thinkers or misled residents.

          Editor; I can confirm that the poster using this nom de-plume is neither Karen or Brigit.

      3. Dear oh dear Julian 100% for speculation. You are a champion at it. Unfounded in this instance you would be sadly out of pocket if it had been on the stock exchange. Come on Julian take up our offer of a coffee and a chat. Love to meet you in person. Bring your wife we’d make a great foursome. We live at Pac Bay. We could meet at the Resort cafe. 😊

        Editor – Hi Brigit, while on matters pertaining to ‘speculation’ etc we are also looking forward to the provision of evidence that backs up your claim on NOTA’s Facebook page that approximately 7,500 (approximately 50%) of the 15,0000 (approx) signatures of the petition to pause the CCS were “coerced”/”from outside the LGA”.

        These are very serious claims after all. You can email your evidence to [email protected] if you like and we will publish it unedited so long as it meets legal requirements.

        1. What no coffee? Tell you what you meet me & my hubby and you with your wife and I’ll reveal all. BTW AFA is a private group same as Rob’s group Independent News is a private group. Private is different from secret.

      4. You are full of self importance. Stop the chest puffing and realise people can differ in opinion. The paragraph I find particularly intriguing is “If I have a problem with any person, regardless of gender, or the absence of it, it’s my intolerance for rampant stupidity, criminal negligence and the failure to respect only those who deserve respect. I guess I just don’t suffer fools”. You must have a great deal of trouble when looking in the mirror. Your points lose validity, if that is what you want when you resort to pettiness and put downs. I dont see you changing your tactics but my advice to you would be to play the ball and not the man. I was interested to read why you were so opposed to this project but you lost me altogether when I realised I’d never figure out why because your modus operandi is insults and put downs. Stop it, it is my opinion you don’t need to.

  6. So Julian we’d love to have a coffee with you and debate in person. Are you willing? You can bring backup for support but with your towering intellect probably not necessary. You can choose place & time if you are willing?

    1. If I thought it would achieve anything, other than to provide you and yours with the attention you crave, but don’t deserve, I’d take you up on the offer. Talking to someone like Terrie Beckhouse, would probably be a rewarding and pleasurable experience, since she clearly has the capacity to speak intelligently. As it is, I’d rather spend hours sticking red hot pins in my eyes, than spend a second in your company.

      1. The ad was paid for exactly as stated. It was conceived by the members and did not contain any lies . As we are just community members we were lucky enough to have professionals compile it for us as it may have looked like a 3rd grade reader.Twist it as you will. The paper required a name, Brigit volunteered. There is no secrecy only exclusivity, that being support for the CCS, in the Gordon St location. The group as the name might hint at is for any project they deem progresses Coffs, that could be a new toilet block. I do not understand how these simple issues can be so misconstrued. I think you are just mischievous and are trying to catch the ill-informed in your Web of bitterness. We are trying no harder than previously . We just haven’t wavered in our support.

        1. Does this mean that we now know the identities of three members of AfA? 177 to go. Since there is no secrecy, perhaps you’d publish a full membership list – real names, please.

          1. I had no idea when I started AFA that it would rattle so many cages. It was reaction to people just like you. A safe space for us to have an opinion and support progress with out all the shit that pours from your mouth. It is not secret, it is exclusive. Exclusive in the sense that to join you must support the CCS in Gordon st and other projects that Advance Coffs. There is no need for you to know the identity of any the members. Get on with your life and be happy. We love our group.

            1. AfA is ‘exclusive” you say Karen? Well I never!

              I think your AFA members need to keep the following words of Groucho Marx in mind here in his letter of resignation to the Friars’ Club in L.A.;

              “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”

              I suspect it applies in spades to AfA too.

  7. Clearly, this post has become the vehicle for the delivery of unhinged rants and ravings. In the interest of health and wellbeing, may I suggest readers resist reacting to the inflamatory content contained in posts above. If ignored, attention-seekers generally lose interest.

    1. That is true but on the other hand, the standard you walk past is the standard you accept. Sto pro veritate (I stand on account of truth)

      1. I am so glad you responded ‘Culture Warrior’. By owning it, this clearly shows you are not in denial or beyond help.

  8. Karen I admire your passion and persistent drive for Coffs Harbour against the odds.
    I would like to join your group.
    Is there an information sheet or web site that you provide for prospective members ?
    Is there a joining fee ?
    Do you hold meetings ?
    Are you the President or do you hold office in the group ?
    Not being one to “rattle cages”, rather I take a softly, softly approach using sound, factual knowledge to debate others if needed.
    Do I sound like someone who would be welcome in your group ?
    How does one get an invitation to join the Advance Coffs group of yours, since as you say, it is exclusive.
    Thank you, I am looking forward to meeting you and your friends.

    You can get in touch with me through Coffs Coast Outlook

  9. AFA is not any more exclusive than a sporting group. If you come to play cricket you join a cricket club. Exclusive is the term bandied about here because it stirs people up. The comments you make are thinly veiled scarcasim. As stated a boring amount of times, you must show demonstrated support for the CCS in Gordon st and other projects that ADVANCE Coffs. I doubt you will win a guernsey . For a start you’re rude and obnoxious we don’t tolerate that in our group. I will check out your Google and Facebook profile and if there is demonstrated support I will send you a link . If you wish to meet I will be at the Archibald opening on Friday night, please come up and introduce yourself. Cheers

  10. I see my name has been used by Julian May re my admiration of the mayor. I am outraged that a person who has served the population of Coffs Harbour for so long can be written off by a bunch of football loving bogans. My reaction and “admiration” stem from outrage that a person who has steered the city in such a positive direction for years can have his/her every move questioned and the worst possible motive attributed to any decision made.
    It’s a matter of justice, Julian. It’s that simple. Your attacks on women are well known and have been perpetrated by old men since Queen Elizabeth 1 made her famous remark about being cleft rather than crested (probably before that too).

    1. Sincere thanks, Margaret. You have helped me to see the light. Can you please list a couple of dozen instances of my attacks upon women – just a date and location for each will be sufficient, I’ll do the rest from there, apologising to them, in my quest to make myself a better person. You might also consider revealing the names of the football loving bogans who have criticised Denise. I’ll make it my business to contact them, and to point out the error of their ways.

      As an expert on misogyny, from the Elizabethan Period until today, perhaps you can explain to me why it is “old” men who are subject to this insidious disease. As a young man, I remember being a lover, not a hater. Do we grow into misogyny, becoming more bitter and twisted, as we age? Is it a genetic defect, possibly, or is it a product of nurture, rather than nature? Was my father likely to be a misogynist, and his father before him?

      I look forward to your views. Thanks again.

    2. Actually Margaret, Queen Elizabeth I is said to have uttered: “Had I been born crested, not cloven, you would not speak to me thus!”

      If she’d been born “cleft” she may not have been able to utter anything.

      1. Thanks Charlie, couldn’t remember the exact quote and I dashed off my comment in the heat of the moment. Had she been born cleft she would indeed have been and interesting medical phenomenon.

  11. Leading by example as usual Margaret. An old, pale, stale and a very bitter collection of men IMO.

    Editor – edited slightly.

    1. Old? Pale? Stale & bitter? Judging by the photo and past commentary, these descriptors fit their author to a ‘T’ – although, I’d also add ‘twisted’ IMHO.

      Editor: Karen and Charlie both – any more like your last posts each toda and they wont be published as per the new CCo comment guidelines. First and last warning.

  12. Oh, my Mythical Omnipotent Being! They go back to January of this year, and use an ancient article to perpetuate their misandrist raving.

    OK, I confess – I’m a raging misogynist. I hate all women, despite having been the partner of one for 50 years, the father of one for 40 years, a father-in-law to another, and the grandfather of three. My close female friends will all attest to my revolting behaviour towards them. I was set upon this path of hatred by my mother, who accidentally stuck me with a nappy pin when I was a month old.

    There, it feels so much better to have that off my chest! My sincere thanks should go to those female luminaries, Margaret and Karen, whose cheerful and balanced criticism has made me see the error of my ways, but I can’t bring myself to thank them because they are women.

    As I undergo this process of self-revelation, I will need to find a way to open up about my hatred of gross ignorance and rampant stupidity. Maybe the ladies can help me there, as well.

  13. As a woman and as a vocal critic of this Council, it makes me sick to see the movement for female equality undermined as it has been repeatedly by Margaret.

    I loudly criticise the Mayor and other female councillors. Does that make me a misogynist too? How does that work when I’m also active in fighting for women’s equality, urgent action on domestic violence support and many other issues affecting females?

    Margaret, get it through your head – to criticise this Mayor is NOT misogyny and to claim it is undermines the hard work of the many women fighting for basic rights globally. Power to women doesn’t include absolution from criticism for poor performance.

    Please STOP using this ridiculously inappropriate tactic to silence perfectly legitimate criticism.

  14. Just trying to correct the balance. The present mayor has been in office for thirteen years but the vitriol directed her way since the subject of the CCS has been excessive and way over the top. You obviously haven’t experienced the number of mayors that have held office since the time I arrived in 1964. The incumbent at that time invariably went to sleep when engaged in his public duties in a manner that became a joke in the community. We have had some wackos, male and female in the last fifty seven years but things have been pretty good lately. People are entitled to disagree with the CCS, I just happen to believe it will put us on the map for tourists who want more than lovely beaches and cafes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Coffs Coast Outlook - Your alternative Coffs Coast voice
+ +