Mary Drost

Mary Drost responds to Planning Minister Mary Delahunty's jibes against residents' groups

September 13, 2010. Last night, when hearing about Mary Delahunty (ex-SBS and ABC journalist) launching her book in Hawthorn, I joined Margot Carroll (Orrong Group Convenor) and Julianne Bell (Protectors of Public Lands Victoria) at the event. Delahunty talked on about herself and family, and nothing about her time in parliament and what she said in her book about we residents.

So, at question time eventually, Julianne very humourously asked her to explain some of the mysteries in her book, for example, who were the groups who wanted to 'preserve their suburb in aspic', and who were the groups who were 'vain and venal' and who was the 'visiting thespian'?

She did not give a proper answer, just that she lumped all the groups together, and the visiting thespian was Geoffrey Rush. That seemed to stop her taking any more questions.

So, later I asked her if she knew what venal meant, and she said, of course she did.

So I read to her from a dictionary the awful things it does mean.

I said, 'I don't know any resident group people like that.' Then I pointed out that Geoffrey was not visiting, he had lived in Melbourne for 22 years.

After that she refused to speak to Margot. Oh yes the only thing she did say about parliament, was that she had brought in Melbourne 2030, and was still very proud of having done that.

I don't think any of us would agree with her about M2030. Or about us being venal.