The Gerry and Jan show takes to the air waves
By MEGAN KINNINMENT
THE 'emotional girl' and the 'naughty boy' are at it again ? Jan and Gerry, that is.
The tiff between retail magnate Gerry Harvey and Byron mayor Jan Barham is being played out again in the national media, as Mr Harvey promotes his controversial Byron at Byron resort.
In a 30-second radio commercial, which Mr Harvey says he "wrote in about two seconds", he calls Byron Shire Council "the most difficult council in Australia".
He also says the council finally "saw the light and caved in" to him following the bitter dispute over approval to open the resort at Christmas.
Mr Harvey has offered listeners a 15 per cent discount at the resort if they mention his name, but "no discount if you mention the mayor's name".
Byron mayor Jan Barham yesterday described the ad as childish and derogatory, and said she wanted the council to seek legal advice.
"I object to the fact that he calls us the worst council in Australia," Cr Barham said.
"Saying we've caved in gives the impression that we've done something wrong.
"It's false and misleading advertising. He's the one who broke the rules."
Cr Barham said she would be sending a letter of complaint about the advertisement to the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal as well as the NSW Minister for Local Government.
"If we're the worst council in Australia, what is he doing here?" Cr Barham said.
"He doesn't mind cashing in on us when we have development constraints that protect the environment."
Meanwhile, Mr Harvey yesterday scoffed at the threat of legal action, adding the ad was intended to be a harmless joke.
"I didn't win (with the resort), they did," Mr Harvey said. "That's the point. It was just a send-up. I'm not trying to be nasty. Jan won't get the joke. People like Jan ... they're too serious about what they're doing.
"Life is not that serious. But this is just one little business I have in my empire.
"These poor bastards don't know how to lighten-up."