A classic case of misinformation, abuse and outright lies

You know that you are having an impact when your enemies stop ignoring you and start attacking you.    Former respected journalist David Penberthy (now apparently, an attack lap-poodle for the develop-park-lands lobby) must really hate us.  He's used seven different insults for us, weaving his vitriol into this concoction of deceptions, three outright lies, ignorance and journalistic ineptitude in The Advertiser on 4 March 2016:

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Publishing rubbish like this, it's no wonder that The Advertiser's circulation is rapidly falling.   Let's take it apart and unpack this shoddy, self-interested and lazy piece of vitriol. The heading "naysayers" is insult #1.  We are trying to protect priceless heritage from those who would ransack it.  You could characterise that as noble and public-spirited.  Or you could insult our efforts and just call us "naysayers" which is meaningless.  People who prefer Pepsi to Coke are "naysayers" to the people who sell Coke.  Apparently anyone who doesn't agree with David Penberthy is a "naysayer".  

There is already a war over the Park Lands, David.  Haven't you noticed?  Oh, and so clever of you to call us "mafia" (insult #2) implying that we are criminal when we are trying to stop the theft of Park Lands.   We think the "mafia" tag would fit more appropriately on the shoulders of the would-be Park robbers.

Our president was once a Democrat MP, so that somehow makes us less legitimate?  A stupid throwaway line, and so tasteful of you to use the word "refugees" in a derogatory sense as well.  (Insult #3)  Come on David, you can do better than that.  As it happens, our official Patron is the former Labor premier of SA, Lynn Arnold and we have among our membership, several current State MP's - from Liberal, Labor, Greens, and Dignity for Disability.  So you are rubbishing ALL of them.

Now we're "purists" rather than "mafia".  (insult #4) And this old rubbish about not wanting the Park Lands to be "used".  That's LIE #1 David.  See our Fiction and Facts page or maybe just read our Objectives.  It's called research which is what journalists used to do back in the old days,  before mouthing off their "opinions".   We love to see the Park Lands being used.   But we don't want them SOLD OFF.   Don't you understand the difference?  Try to keep up please....

Well, duh.  That is the point.   We want the buildings gone (most of them) because they are no longer needed as a hospital.  Or are you trying to say, in your clumsy way, that if Park Lands have ever been built on, the public can't ever have them back?  So the Park Lands must lose, lose, lose but never win?

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This is a beauty.  The law says the old RAH site is Park Lands but somehow, in David's mind, this is just a "vagary" of the land title system.   You own your house because of a vagary of the land title system David.  Can we sell your house for you?  We'll keep the proceeds.  After all, it's just a vagary - nothing important.    It's also another LIE (Lie #2) to suggest we want the land returned to its "original virginal state".   You really should check your facts, maybe on our web site?

Is this a lie?  Or an insult?  No - it's just stupid hyberbole intended to denigrate us.  David, you are trying to ridicule us but you are just making yourself look stupid.  You obviously haven't read our submission on the old RAH site.  But why would you?  Never let the facts get in the way of a good rant.

Yes, this is another throwaway piece of ridicule: "Amazonian glory"  Yeah, right.  You really hate us, don't you?   I wonder if anyone has worked out why you hate us?  We'll spell it out, later on this page, for those who are curious.

"Forces of inertia" - insult #5.   You seem to be saying here David that having a vibrant city requires the theft of public land for private profit.   Seriously??  Is this really the best you can do, David?   Are there no possible development sites other than on Park Lands?

Insult #6.  You must really be proud of that one, David.  How long did it take you to think of it?   It's so nasty, we almost overlooked that the first part of the sentence: "preserved in aspic" is another LIE (Lie #2). You suggest that APPA has been preventing the alienation of the Park Lands.  Sorry to disappoint you, but the State Government has been busy selling off and building over the Park Lands despite our best efforts.  Even your insinuation that we want no change to the Park Lands is a LIE.  Read our Objectives, David.   Change is welcomed, as long as the Park Lands are public open space, not private commercial profit centres.   It must be a hard concept for someone like you to grasp.

We can't speak for the Adelaide City Council, but to suggest that APPA somehow controls what the Council chooses to do is simply weird.  If the Council chooses to support our submission on the old RAH site that would be great.  We were very pleased when former State Opposition leader Isobel Redmond spoke out against the Government's plans to hand the site over to commercial developers.

This is irrelevant.  As Oscar Wilde would have said, David, you are a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.  Yes, the new RAH is expensive.   But the Park Lands are of greater value - they are priceless.   No other city in the world is surrounded by a garland of Parks.  It's very sad that the Government over-spent on a shiny new building, but that's not relevant to the fate of the old one.  Both the new RAH and the old RAH are constructed on land stolen from Park Lands.   Crying poor is not an excuse for robbing future generations.

David, your slip is showing.  We think you meant "defray" rather than "affray".  This logic only "makes sense" to those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.  We know this is hard for you David, so we've simplified the message for you in a 90-second YouTube clip.

So let's get this right David.  Apparently your argument is that a little bit of theft is OK?    We don't want developers to steal all of it, so just let them steal a little bit?    Is that your argument?   That's a problem, because that would actually be illegal.   Remember, this is land that is dedicated to the public of South Australia.   According to law (the pesky, vagary law according to you David) "the interests of the South Australian community in ensuring the preservation of the Adelaide Park Lands are to be recognised, and activities that may affect the Park Lands should be consistent with maintaining or enhancing the environmental, cultural, recreational and social heritage status of the Park Lands for the benefit of the State."

Radical new building ideas are welcome in Adelaide, too, subject to the Government's Development rules.  This may come as a surprise to you David, but APPA does not control Development law.  The State Government does.   Nor do we try to restrain architects.  We don't even try to get involved in Development law questions, until or unless they threaten the Park Lands.

Insult #7 - "the old guard", and lie#3 "denying ourselves that opportunity"    If the State Government doesn't want to "take the brakes off architects" that's the Government's own problem.  It's nothing to do with APPA.   As far as we are concerned we can have fabulous new buildings and public spaces right throughout the City and suburbs.  It's a despicable lie to suggest that APPA is somehow restricting architects and building owners from having their own way with their own land.   The issue we have is with land stolen from the public - not with private landowners who want to develop their land.   In that, do we speak for the minority or the majority?  We don't know, and neither does David Penberthy.   



So, why does this man loathe us?  Why has he spewed such vitriol, lies and deceptions into print, making himself look foolish in the process?   Why has he attacked a grass-roots community organisation, spreading lies and insults about hundreds of decent South Aussies of all political persuasions, who care about our heritage?   Why has he done this without checking his facts or giving us any chance to insert even one counter-argument into his error-riddled diatribe?

You can deduce the most likely explanation by following the money trail.   The Advertiser gets a large percentage of its revenue from real estate advertising.  Real estate developers are eyeing off the old RAH site as a potential pot of gold.  If they are allowed to sell off apartments there, The Advertiser will get a great revenue stream from loads of future advertisements about the sales.  

The would-be developers and their mate David Penberthy, who all stand to gain from this bonanza, must be getting worried about the growing community resentment at the prospect of selling Park Lands to private developers.   Anxious and threatened, they are lashing out at anyone who's prepared to stand in-between them and a pot of money.  

Don't let them threaten you or belittle you.  If you, like APPA, are prepared to stand up to protect our priceless heritage for future generations, then be proud of yourself.  Tell your friends about this page, and TAKE ACTION!

We've asked for an apology, but we're not holding our breath!

We've asked for an apology, but we're not holding our breath!