A billionaire’s life can be really tough, right?


Rich man versus rich park

Do billionaire Seven Group and Seven West chairman Kerry Stokes and his fed-up Darling Point neighbours in Sydney’s leafy east have a leg to stand on in their stoush with Woollahra Council over their local green, McKell Park?

According to a meeting of the council’s community and environment committee in November last year, bureaucrats admitted that while McKell Park is one of the smallest parks in the local government area, it “contributes approximately 40 per cent of the total income generated from special events in Woollahra”.

In a locale that also includes the expansive Lyne, Cooper and Trumper parks, that’s one helluva disproportionate fund-raising contribution to local coffers by the TV baron’s closest public lawn. And when you’re paying eight figures for a harbourside pile, why wouldn’t you be irate if you have a parade of bogan bridal parties turning your serene neighbourhood into a sea of cantilevered bosoms and stretch Hummers every other Saturday?

Rear Window also hears that, in addition to Sydney car dealership king Laurie Sutton, Stokes is joined in the legal bunfight by another neighbour: Stan Howard, brother of former Prime Minister John Howard.


I am a retired left wing and labour movement activist. Before that I worked for a long time in the Australian union movement in union education, Australian and international solidarity and organising. I am also active in Cuban solidarity, the SEARCH FOUNDATION, and promoting discussion, debate and action about green socialism based on workers control and social ownership.

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