Letters April 2017POST OFFICE BOX ADVICE
In response to the article in the March 2017 Beast regarding letterbox break-ins (Wave Of Letterbox Break-Ins Leaves Bondi On High Alert, The Beast, March 2017), can I suggest that anyone who doesn’t have a secure, locked letterbox can rent a post office box at any of the local post offices.
It will give you 24/7 security and safety, and mail sorted before 9am and kept dry and free from snails, roaches and fireworks. In addition, parcels can be sent to PO box for collection from the post office.
But wait, there’s more. If you rent a PO box you can get six months of free mail redirection to your new PO box, so all mail to your street address will end up in your new PO box. Come down and see us at Tamarama Post Office to open a new PO box or for more details.
Phil Levy, Tamarama Post Office
BRONTE’S BLOODY GREAT, JOHN
Dear John Thistlewaite,
Mate, you are way off the mark with your comments about greedy clubbies in last month’s Beast (Greedy Clubbies, Letters, The Beast, March 2017). I have lived in Bronte all of my life of 72 years and I am a life member of Bronte Surf Club. My two sons are and have been Waverley Council lifeguards, as have I. In 10 years you have seen three rescues by Bronte cubbies, which indicates that you very rarely visit Bronte. On Christmas Day alone the patrols did over 50 rescues, and the total for the season was 263 with 3740 preventions. Preventions are when a patrol member tells somebody not to swim outside of the flags. First aid, 378. Bronze medallions, 64. 800 nippers with 718 awards. Thousands of trained up ex-members walking our streets ready to do a resuscitation if needed. The rubber duck is out there training, etc. No doubt, John, you have a problem. You’re what I would call a grumpy old bastard. One thing I agree with is that the parking could be better organised and I will mention it to the right people. John, lighten up and enjoy the best beach in the world with the best lifeguards and lifesavers. While I’m at it, thanks to Waverley Council for keeping Bronte Beach in tip-top shape.
Bluey Graham, Mayor of Bronte
HOW TO FIX CLOVELLY BEACH
There’s not much I like better than holding my daughter’s hand as we jump off the concrete into a high tide at Clovelly. But when the tide is low, or even at mid-tide, Clovelly turns into a cesspool. Most locals will only swim there on a high tide. I wonder what the water quality tests show on a very low tide?
A close examination reveals every square inch is condensed rubbish, sunscreen and micro-rotting seaweed. I know it’s caused a few earaches over summer.
As an engineer, I wonder why no one does anything when the solution seems obvious. Let’s move some of the rocks that block the entrance. It’s a man-made blockage, so there’s no environmental damage. In fact, cleaner water will help the aquatic life. Worried about sharks getting in? Let’s put a net across. We can afford it. I’ll set up a Kickstarter campaign if the council won’t do it.
And what shall we do with the rocks? Maybe if we placed them in the right spot off the point, we could create a nice point break – I’m pushing for a much needed right-hander.
I’m writing this letter to see how many others are thinking the same way. If there are enough people, then I’ll take up the cause. If you think it’s a good idea, or maybe I’ve missed some completely obvious reason why it’s not, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A LOCAL?
Hi Guys ,
Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you both on a great little publication. The quality and creativity of the content is superb. Well done. But I have a bone to pick. Can we please stop feeding this delusional, egotistical concept of being a ‘local’. I refer to your most recent publication in which you interviewed a successful young ‘local chick’, Marie Heritage.
The article begins by stating the discussion was with a local, then goes on to inform the reader that Marie has lived in Bondi for a whole six years. I’m not sure if there is a general timeline for one being considered a local, but I sure as hell know six years no here near cuts it. Marie, ironically, then goes on to state that the worst thing about the Eastern Suburbs is the amount of tourists.
I have nothing against Marie. It’s certainly not her fault she has been labelled a ‘local’. My issue is with those labels being thrown around freely without substance. It’s not accurate.
Perhaps I’m taking it too seriously, but it’s not the first time I’ve come across these five-minute locals in your interview sections.
As someone born and bred in Bronte, when I sit down to read a local’s perspective, I expect just that – a local’s perspective, not thoughts from someone who lives in the area.
Guys, can we find real locals in future or rename the feature ‘Discussions with Residents’.
Thanks, and well done again on a top mag.
George M, Bronte
FISH OUT OF WATER
Perusing the latest Beast I noticed a number of cartoons. Maybe Dan and James will give a young, up-and-coming artist a gig?
His name is Eaten Fish, 23, and he won the Cartoonist Rights Network Award for Courage. He has been mentored by cartoon legend Andrew ‘First Dog on the Moon’ Marlton. Last Saturday Mr. Fish’s work appeared in the SMH.
It is unlikely that this clever young man will ever see his work published in The Beast. You see, Mr. Fish has been a prisoner on Manus Island for three years. During his recent 19-day hunger strike, Eaten said, “I think you should give me the right to die and stop this torture and suffers and pains.”
A quick biography: Mr. Fish fled persecution in Iran only to suffer sexual assault from several detainees. His medical records chronicle deteriorating mental health. Too sick to complete the forms, Mr. Fish was refused refugee status and received a deportation notice (Iran does not repatriate its citizens). Now he waits.
If you care, you’ll Google the name Eaten Fish and speak up. Meanwhile, how about one of his works in the April Beast?
Mark Paskal, Clovelly
I wish Vicky Edema good luck with her plea to Waverley Council to allow the re-construction of the tree swing in Gardyne Street, Bronte (Bring Back The Bronte Swing, Letters, The Beast, March 2017). We too erected a small timber swing on our beautiful jacaranda tree outside our home in Read Street. Primarily it was for our two three-year-old granddaughters to enjoy, but very quickly it also became a place of fun, laughter and enjoyment for the children from Bronte Public School on their way home. The sound of children’s laughter each afternoon was fabulous. We unfortunately had a neighbour who (anonymously) didn’t share that feeling. A complaint to Waverley Council resulted in a request from them to remove the swing. We offered to have an arborist assess the safety of the limb the small swing was attached to, however their decision was irreversible and the swing came down. The magnificent tree still gives local children a place to climb, to play pretend games and to share some quiet time. At least, for now, there is no council regulation against a child climbing a tree – well, not yet.
Dawn Comninos, Bronte
ROCK FISHING LEGISLATION NEEDS AMENDMENT
Dear Sir or Madam,
I, like a number of other dedicated volunteers, have worked with government agencies to produce videos and multilanguage information packs advising on safe fishing. Our rock fishing production, ‘Don’t put your life on the line’, can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O-yKhyZJrw. I’m in this production, as are my colleagues. The video provides all you need to know about safe rock fishing.
Recently, the government legislated over our advice with a blunt, one glove fits all, ill-informed and incomplete piece of legislation, that being: ‘Wear a lifejacket when rock fishing or be fined $100’. This makes no mention of wearing correct footwear on the rocks, which is 50 per cent of the safety equipment, and makes no mention of the fact that you cannot dive under waves with a lifejacket on. We simply want this legislation modified to match the advice given in our video, which was produced with government money, and lots of it.
We want the above law amended to: ‘Rock fishers must wear either a lifejacket, a life vest, or a wetsuit and appropriate footwear, that being rock cleats or rock spikes on sandstone and slippery rocks, or lightweight stout soled boots on granite’.
Further, this is being run by the Justice Department, which has, with the aid of Randwick City Council, installed a few signs at fishing spots stating the new legislation. It beggars belief that they did not contact Fisheries and get the e-mail addresses of all the anglers in NSW and e-mail them this information. A complete lack of government department cooperation. An additional part of the message needs to be: ‘Join a fishing club’. That way those who are inexperienced can get proper advice face to face.
RUPERT IS A DICKHEAD
Thank you for your wonderful magazine. It gets read cover to cover in our house each month.
I’ve been meaning to write for a bit, so apologies that this is a bit late, but I would like to refer back to the January issue and Rupert Truscott-Hughes’s article, ‘Has Sydney Lost Its Soul’. I have no issue with the article per se, but wanted to address the piece of the article where Rupert says “self-interested c#@ts, for lack of a better adjective”.
My thought was/is: “Really? You can’t come up with a better adjective than a derogatory word about/toward women? What about dickhead, asshat, shit for brains, etc.?”
I personally find it offensive that that word is in your magazine at all. Even urban dictionary says: “Considered by many to be the most offensive word in the English language.”
Please realise that using terms that are derogatory towards women is a subtle form of pulling women down.
It’s an easy thing to not be aware of, and so now I ask: Can The Beast please be aware and perhaps vet them in the future?
LOCAL ACTIVISM TAKES UP TOO MUCH SPACE
Waiting in line at Iggy’s on Macpherson Street (it’s like Iggy’s purposely made no room in their shop so you have to line up on the street) and I see a large, well organised group harassing people on a Sunday morning. What’s the cause I wonder? Hungry children in Africa? A new political party that will shake up the system? Stop the destruction of rainforest for palm oil plantations? No, it’s the time rich, over privileged telegraph pole vandals of Save Bronte getting all flustered over an extra floor. Can’t these Bronte bubble zealots just submit their DA objections like normal people without shoving their overblown opinions in everyone’s face?
Rant over. Best I leave it at that. I’ll just go back to dreaming of what it would have been like with a Harris Farm and an RSL across the road – cold schooners, big screen sports, a variety of fresh fruit and produce to choose from, fancy sauces and deli meats, not having to get in my car and add to chaos of Bondi Road, Bondi Junction or Randwick – hmmm…
Anthony Bosch, Bronte
STILL MORE CAR PARK BLUES
They say the election of Donald Trump shows we are living in a ‘post-truth’ world. That certainly rings true when reading Mr. Worssam’s regular letters to The Beast opposing the proposed Bondi Beach underground car park.
Mr. Worssam says community opinion is against it (The Beast, Letters, February 2017). However, as always, he provides nothing to back up his claim. Well he is wrong! At the bottom of this letter I have copied and pasted verbatim the results of the last round of community consultation on this. It shows the ratio of people who support the proposal, versus those opposed, is approximately three to one. Mr. Worssam should remind us where he gets his claim of “overwhelming community opposition” from? Where is the proof? Or is this an ‘alternative fact’? At least I have provided backing for my claim (below), unlike Mr. Worssam.
In a bid to push back against public opinion, the Facebook site ‘No Underground Car Park for Bondi Beach’ was created in 2014. The Facebook site made an attempt to skew and ‘game’ the last community survey. The information pumped out of this site would make a Donald Trump spin doctor blush with its mix of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’. It contains the sort of unchallenged, unverified nonsense that sadly is becoming all too prevalent on Facebook feeds.
Mr. Worssam claims that locals are tuning out of the debate. Well for the last three years it is he who has been running around to various Sydney media outlets pushing his views and ‘facts’ on the proposal. For reasons known only to himself, Mr. Worssam believes he is the ‘voice of the community’ on this subject.
No one can stop Mr. Worssam continuing to push his cause. Of all the noble causes one can adopt, e.g. helping the poor, his adopted cause seeks to deny the community an increase in green public space, even though the trend worldwide is to create more green space. That’s a real shame. However, if ‘alternative facts’ are put forward in this cause, Mr. Worssam must be prepared for fact checking!
Below is the extract from Waverley Council’s (August 2014) fact sheet summarising the last community survey on this subject:
“In the first round of consultation on the Plan of Management in October and November 2012 people told us that the Queen Elizabeth Drive Car Park was an eyesore and needed to be safer for pedestrians. There was also a call for more green space and shade. In collaboration with independent design experts, Council established that replacing the Queen Elizabeth Drive and Park Drive car parks with an underground car park could address this feedback.
“The proposal was incorporated into draft concepts and directions. In the latest round of consultation, 60 per cent of 900 respondents (540 people) said they supported the idea, with only 22 per cent in opposition (198 people). The remaining 18 per cent of people were neutral or did not indicate an opinion. As a result, this proposal has been included in the draft Plan of Management.”
Alan Doyle, Bellevue Hill
LYRCA CLAD DISTURBANCE
I live at North Maroubra near the roundabout, a great place to wake up on the weekend, listening to the waves crash on the beach. Unfortunately the lycra-clad weekend warriors on their bikes insist on yelling warnings of oncoming traffic to the peloton behind the lead rider – “CLEAR! CLEAR!” – as they cycle down Maroubra Road heading towards Mahon Pool. This is usually around 6am or earlier, a time when most people are trying to enjoy a well-earned sleep in after a week’s toil. I’m all in favour of their need for some exercise, but surely it shouldn’t be at the expense of local residents just trying to sleep. I suggest Anzac Parade as an alternative route to live out their Tour de France fantasies, and if they must ride down to the beach then please show some respect for locals. I’d be fined if I fired up my lawn mower at 6am, so I’m just asking for some consideration and empathy to those who enjoy a sleep in on the weekend.
Johnny, sorry but you don’t know what you’re talking about (Coogee Booze Ban A Good Idea, Letters, The Beast, March 2017)! To claim that the total alcohol ban has no effect on businesses in Coogee is absurd. I have been a resident of Coogee for over 40 years, and owned businesses in Coogee for 15 years. January and February have been two of the slowest opening months to the year I can remember, and every business owner I know in Coogee agrees with me. The kneejerk overreaction to what went on on Christmas Day has caused a massive reduction in numbers visiting Coogee and using the park and the park’s amenities. Maloney’s, Woolworths and the Village Butcher aren’t selling barbecue meats, dips, cheeses, chips, etc. La Spiaggia, Beach Burrito and the other restaurants on the strip aren’t getting the hungry punters who have just left the grassed area. Old Dave’s Soul isn’t getting the after flow of the grassed area. The Coogee Bay Bottle Shop is down around $40,000 a weekend alone.
Coogee was not out of control with alcohol-fuelled backpackers! Coogee is not a retirement village. It is a beautiful, amazing destination for people from all around the world and is home to a lucky few thousand. What happened on Christmas Day wasn’t ideal. But it happened. It was one day. Deal with it better next year and prepare for it when it comes around again. Manage the alcohol ban. Put it in place from dusk to dawn. That way you don’t punish the locals and you put a limit on how long people can drink. If people are moved on at dusk then the restaurants, supermarkets and cafes get that flow-on of people.
Not being able to simply go to the park with your family or mates to have a barbecue and a few beers is absurd, and it’s just another right taken away from us. I have a five-year-old son. We go to the park at the beach at least three afternoons a week and I have never ever felt uncomfortable with groups of people sitting around enjoying a beer or wine at our amazing beach. Sorry Johnny, but if you want to live in a retirement village, maybe Port Macquarie is the place for you.
Dave Martin, Coogee
PENALTY RATE PAIN
Recently Vaucluse’s ‘gold-plated hypocrite’ and his henchmen oversaw the slashing of weekend pay rates by up to $6,000 per year for more than 700,000 ordinary working people at the lower end of Australia’s pay scale. Meanwhile, the man from ‘struggle street’ and his entourage claim to represent ordinary Australians.
For about 20 years I have been talking to shop and restaurant owners on Coogee Bay Road and what they are telling me is that wages and weekend rates are not the problem. In fact, labour issues are not a problem at all apart from the occasional uniform shirt that goes missing in a backpacker’s backpack on the way to Queensland. What shop and restaurant owners are concerned about are rents for their restaurants and shops. Restaurateurs have to fork up sky-high rents for their shops and restaurants on Coogee Bay Road. Above that, I hardly ever see restaurants and shops on Coogee Bay Road closed on weekends. This is despite the high wages they are supposed to pay as claimed by the employers.
Beyond that, the decision to cut wages at the lower end is exactly the kind of decision that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. It also creates inequality recently lamented even by the staunchly neo-liberal IMF and by the corporate bosses at Davos when made aware that “eight billionaires own as much wealth as half of the world’s population, or 3.6 billion people, combined” (www.oxfam.org, 16th Jan. 2017).
Decisions to reduce wages do not make the world a better place. Instead, they are based on the economic hallucination of neoliberal ideologues that lowering wages increases employment. The very opposite is the case. High wage economies tend to have near full employment (e.g. Norway, Switzerland, etc.). Meanwhile, low wage economies suffer not only from inequality, poverty, and crime, but also from high unemployment (e.g. Guatemala, Romania, etc.).
Slashing penalty rates is a way of moving Australia away from countries like Norway and Switzerland and more toward Guatemala and Rumania. Thanks, but no thanks.
Thomas Klikauer, Coogee