Developer?s ?ratbags? jibe sparks angry retort

By SAMANTHA TURNBULL

GERRY HARVEY has insulted the Byron Bay community and should be made to apologise, according to real estate agent Paul McCarthy.

Mr McCarthy said he was one of many locals outraged by Mr Harvey's attack on Byron Shire councillors last week, when he called them 'idiots, nitwits and ratbags' in an interview with the Australian Financial Review.

"It was out of place and uncalled for," Mr McCarthy said. "Harvey's halo has gone out ? it's down around his ankles."

Mr McCarthy said he was particularly disturbed by Mr Harvey's comments about Cr John Lazarus needing clean undies and a wash.

"Jesus created man in likeness to himself," he said. "Has Gerry Harvey become God-like and wants to mould the people of Byron Bay into himself?"

"What would he tell the John Butler Trio if they wanted to stay at his resort for the Blues Festival?

"Would he tell them to have a shave and cut their hair first?"

Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham said Mr McCarthy's reaction had been the same as most people she had spoken to.

"It's an insult to all of us," she said. "He obviously doesn't understand the area and its people."

Cr Barham said the entire Byron at Byron development had left a 'bad taste' in most residents' mouths.

"I haven't heard of anyone who has been impressed with the visual aspect of the building," she said.

"I was getting a lot of complaints about the roadworks outside the development which went over time. People thought they were council roadworks, but they were part of the develop- ment."



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