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Letters March 2017

By Dan Hutton on March 16, 2017 in Other

Illustration: Dalton Wills

Illustration: Dalton Wills

URBAN TASKFORCE A BIT TOO 1984

Who are the Urban Taskforce and what exactly do they stand for?

They sound like some Cold War covert organisation and they seem to get more exposure than is warranted for their opinions, when clearly they are nothing more than a dictatorial lobby group for big developers with one thing in mind: big profits for their affiliates. And yet they call themselves a non-profit organisation?

Why are they so critical of Randwick Council’s Kingsford/Kensington Planning Strategy for high-rise down Anzac Parade? Not enough height and density they claim. Presumably they consider the Anzac Parade light rail as nothing but a precursor for over the top development and densification; a transport plan hatched with the autocratic Baird State Government that pushed it through with minimal disclosure, and dubiously sold to the people as a great way to improve their lives and community.

People are increasingly bombarded by threats of all sorts these days, with a feeling of helplessness in most cases, so we can do without the ominous preaching of shadowy groups like the Urban Task Force.

Tim Gunn, Coogee

MAKE COOGEE CLEAN AGAIN

Hi James and Dan – There is now a Randwick Council sign at the drain at the north end of Coogee Beach warning that the “area may be affected by wastewater overflow”. I only hope this means that Council is going to make Coogee clean again. We were at the beach in January 2017 just after Council opened the drain, allowing the wastewater to stream unfiltered into the sea. The beach water was vile – full of plastic wrappers and sanitary waste. An oily scum covered the surface of the water, and the slick and detritus spread the entire length of the beach. I rang the EPA and asked for water testing, and also rang Council. Cleaning up this drain has been a Council election promise for 24-plus years. We need to pressure Council into action.

Alix Magney, Coogee

HOT BOD DOESN’T EQUAL SMALL BRAIN

Just reading all the outrage about you guys publishing a photo of a woman in a bikini. When did it become degrading for women to wear bikinis or take photos in them? Have we taken this too far? And isn’t it demeaning to suggest that girls who walk around in bikinis and take photos in them can’t achieve amazing things? I want to believe that I, as a woman, can change the world and contribute to this society by doing amazing things without having to dress like an old librarian (sorry all librarians, I actually studied to be one). Can we be feminine and sexy and smart and successful at the same time? I’m sure we can. Can we have equal rights to men, but still be seen and treated as women? I’m sure we can do that too.

P.S. I love reading science articles while sunbaking at Bondi in my offensively small bikinis (I’m past mid-thirties).

Veronika (no address provided)

TRAVEL SAFELY WITH KIDS

When, oh when, is carrying children on push bikes by means of seats, trailers, wagons or, as seen at Kingsford recently, holding on to a father’s waist with no visible protection, going to be made illegal?

Do we need a tragedy to see that it is just dangerous? It’s not cool to carry three kids to school on an electric bike with custom made-trailer and seat and risk a small life in Eastern Suburbs traffic. Some schools are even encouraging kids and parents to ride to and from school on the footpath in the name of eco-friendly transport. Rubbish! Save it for the bike parks and avoid a tragedy.

D Richards, Clovelly

REALITY TV’S REAL LIFE TRASH

Dear Beasties – As always, we were so excited to see that a neighbour was moving out over the weekend, as they dumped a veritable treasure trove of goodies in our garden. Unfortunately we aren’t in the market for a white pleather double bed, but we’re grateful that the genius responsible left a copy of their rental agreement and, interestingly, their reality TV show contract.

The poor minor celeb, or “busty former playboy model” as an online tabloid describes her, appears to have been paying well over the odds for the unit, especially considering the measly $90 per diem offered by the TV show.

This particular inspirational quote on her Instagram account – “It’s a very cool thing to be a smart girl” – has inspired me to contact you. So please, if you’re leaving ‘The Bubble’, take your trash, furniture, contracts, contact details, etc. with you. Bondi can’t use make-up to cover the blemishes. Report Illegal Dumping on 131 555.

Annalie, Bondi

STOP PADDO BUS STOP REMOVAL

I see the RMS has again decided to change the placement of the bus route 389 bus stops at the Paddington end. They want to remove two stops in Hargrave Street, near Taylor Street. The reason they give is that it will provide more street parking. I’ve lived in Paddo for 35 years and the parking has always been a bit tight, but manageable – and that is with a continuous influx of tradies doing renovations. It seems unfair that the RMS should show concern for those from other suburbs who save bucks by coming to Paddo to catch a bus, rather than the local bus travellers who often have heavy loads of groceries. These stops have high patronage, as they did when the trams ran to the city.

Noel Mayes, Paddington

CAR PARK BLUES – THE BATTLE CONTINUES

Dear Editor,
There is a glaring contradiction in Greg Maidment’s letter (No To The Underground Car Park, Letters, The Beast, February 2017) against a Bondi Beach underground car park. He firstly claims a future Queen Elizabeth Drive (QED) will not be pedestrianised and will still be open to general traffic if the car park is relocated – “QED will remain a road with traffic”. Next he complains he won’t be able to drive along QED to check out the surf – “I wish to be free to drive along QED to check out the surf”. Unfortunately, both statements can’t be correct! So which one is it? (Hint: the Council fact sheet is called ‘Pedestrianising QED’.)

Claiming a future QED will not be pedestrianised is part of Mr. Maidment’s attempt to minimise the increase in recreation space. One correspondent has done the maths (Bill Davies, Wentworth Courier, November 30, 2017) and worked out we’ll get an extra 17,595 square metres if the aboveground car park is turned to green space (width 15.3m x length 1150m).

Think of what we could do with all that extra room! Bondi Park would be expanded with extra tree-shaded parkland. We could have another playground, another outdoor gym to ease overcrowding. An upper pedestrian boulevard would ease congestion on the current promenade. More seating, tables, barbecues. More shade. Families would be able to picnic under the trees. Everyone will benefit!

And for what reason should we be denied the benefits of an extra 1.75 hectares of green space? According to Mr. Maidment, so he can continue to drive his car along QED to performing a reconnaissance of surfing conditions! Seriously? (At this point I should remind Mr. Maidment that whilst driving down QED drivers are not meant to be checking out the surf, but are supposed to look ahead and watch for the many pedestrians and children crossing to the beach. Yet another reason why QED should be shut to traffic – Council, please take note!)

Presumably if surfing conditions are not right, Mr. Maidment then decides to drive back home. It may interest Mr. Maidment to know there are ways of assessing surfing conditions without leaving home, e.g. a website called www.coastalwatch.com, which has a surfcam where the surfing conditions can be observed live. The site also includes constantly updated surf reports and all the relevant statistics – no need to constantly drive down QED my friend!
Where I live I see plenty of surfers jogging down to the beach in the early morning. However, some mornings I see no surfers. Why? Because they can assess the conditions at home on the Internet.

Mr. Maidment also says, “I do not wish to walk in a wetsuit barefooted a considerable distance”. And I thought surfers were such hardy folk! We are talking about an extra 50 metres to his car. Most early morning surfers jog a couple of blocks to get home.

It would be a shame if Mr. Maidment’s narrow concerns stopped the creation of 1.75 hectares of recreation space. Motorists such as he will still be catered for by an adjacent car park. Sydney’s population is forecast to grow from 5 to 7 million in the next 20 years. Bondi Beach is one of Sydney’s most visited spots. The majority of visitors are arriving by public transport and that proportion will continue to rise as the population rises. In my opinion, maximising green space in such a popular location will benefit all and must take precedence over Mr. Maidment’s self-proclaimed right to drive down QED to check out the surf conditions.

Yours sincerely,
Mark Hersey, Bondi

YET ANOTHER NO TO THE BONDI UNDERGROUND CAR PARK

I agree totally with Greg Maidment’s comments (No To The Underground Car Park, Letters, The Beast, February 2017) regarding the proposed Bondi Beach car park. You have my full sympathy. The question to ask the mayor is: “Does she actually use the beach herself for swimming or surfing?”

We had a similar ridiculous decision taken from us with the original refurbishment of Coogee Beach. The change rooms and showers were removed from the lower broad walk and new outdoor showers (no change rooms) were placed on the upper broad walk, up all the stairs and in full view of the entire public! The beach toilets were simply removed so beachgoers had no choice but to use the ones all the way up at the bus interchange!

At a full council meeting I asked the then mayor if she actually did swim at the beach. No prizes for guessing the answer. When our representatives actually listen to their constituents will be the day when pigs fly. They do their damage then move on (or out, as is the case of our recently departed premier).

Pancho, Coogee Beach

BRING BACK THE BRONTE SWING

Bronte locals, some time ago
Received a special gift,
A timber deck, hung in a tree
Which gave us all a lift.
The deck was built with loving care
In perfect harmony,
With leafy surrounds, there we perched
The birds, my daughter and me.
The feeling was quite magical
No better spot to be,
On a summer’s day, what a view
Gazing out to sea.
“Far too risky” the Council said
To everyone’s dismay,
“We can assess the risk ourselves”
Is what the locals say.
Put up a sign if necessary
For people to take care,
So all can once again enjoy
Swaying gently in the air.

Following on from my little poem, the guy who put the deck and swing up in the big tree has a petition going for its reinstatement [after Waverley Council demanded its removal]. It is outside his house, next to the tree at 67 Gardyne Street, Bronte. A lot of signatures already. I met him briefly when walking past the house before Christmas. He is a beaut character and put the swing and deck up at his own expense for everyone to enjoy. It really was special!

Vicky Edema, Bronte

I VOTE LIBERAL BECAUSE OF $7,000

A recent article in the Southern Courier (January 10, 2017, page 15) starts with: “the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation has raised $93,000 for its laser machine appeal, but needs a further $7,000 to purchase equipment to help patients with head and neck cancers”. Reading this, I found six reasons why I vote Liberal: 1. I vote Liberal because the availability of much-needed healthcare equipment should depend on the uncertainty of donations, not on the certainty of taxes; 2. I vote Liberal because $7,000 is about the fee certain prime ministers may pay to lawyers to hide their wealth in tax-havens so that they do not pay tax at all; 3. I vote liberal because $7,000 represents the amount some Liberal MPs spend on trips to see the New Year’s Eve fireworks from Kirribilli House; 4. I vote Liberal because a substantial amount of the tax we (yes, you too!) pay goes to, for example, the 12 submarines ($50 billion) which is about $2,000 per Australian (www.news.com.au); 5. I vote Liberal because submarines do not depend on the uncertainty of donations, but on the certainty of taxes; and finally, 6. I vote Liberal because submarines can attack an enemy that does not exist.

Voting Liberal ensures that for our tax-money we get the best governments money can buy. Or do we?

Thomas Klikauer, Coogee

RESPONSE TO ICEBERGS PENSIONER

Just a thought to your problem encountered at Bondi Icebergs (Icebergs Prices Too High For Pensioners, Letters, The Beast, February 2017) – why not apply for a Seniors Card? There are many businesses that give much better concessions to Seniors Card holders than to pensioners. I think this is largely because Seniors Card holders have paid their dues and have met the eligibility criteria, whereas not having a Seniors Card could mean that you are working more than 20 hours, even though you’re still eligible for a part disability pension. Just a thought…

Pancho, Coogee Beach

STOP BEING SO TRASHY

As a frequent visitor to Macpherson Street, Bronte from Coolangatta, I am always appalled at the amount of rubbish in the gutter between Pembroke Street and St Thomas Street – a distance of about 60 metres. Today I removed an empty Coca-Cola carton, two Slurpee takeaway containers and a filthy rubber glove. Yesterday it was two takeaway coffee cups. I have only been here three days on this occasion, but experience tells me it will be the same every day.

Jack Hickey

FED UP WITH JUICE

I was so disappointed when I was informed the other day that another juice shop was going to open in Macpherson Street, directly across the road from the other one. Do we really need another juice shop in such a small area?
What about a cake shop that sells sandwiches as well – yes, you heard me right, a simple sandwich. This would benefit the locals a lot more and I think would be a more profitable business.

Everyone was so happy when the chicken shop came to town and look at how well it’s doing – we all love the Char!

P.S. Love The Beast!
Anonymous, Bronte

WATCH YOUR BEARD

Seriously Beardy, you have excelled in the February Beast (Beardy From Hell, The Beast, February 2017). It cracked me up! But I would hesitate a little with some comments as I think a younger generation might be reading The Beast as well… hopefully with an open mind, and a keen sense of humour. Now all that’s left to say is, what star sign are you? Are you brave enough to tell us all?

Fast Eddie, Bondi

LOVE LETTER

Seriously, you guys are the best and the funniest! The title of the letter to the editor in February’s issue, “From The Judean People’s Front”, just kept me giggling on and off for a while at its cleverness and local touch. How do you do it each month? There are always a few killer lines amidst all the other great stuff. I love Pearl every month too. She needs to run life coaching classes. I’ve been in upheaval mode the past few months and I’ve missed reading you cover to cover, but I’m back now and The Beast feels healthier and more balancing than a downward dog. My praise to the editors! Legends!

Carolyn Frischling, Bondi Beach

COOGEE BOOZE BAN A GOOD IDEA

Guys, come on! I love The Beast Magazine, but on page 25 of the February Beast you quoted Dave Martin from Courtyard Coogee, one of your larger advertisers, and he was not happy, business down – so perhaps less ad revenue for you guys?
Coogee on a Saturday and Sunday was out of control with alcohol-fuelled backpackers and was becoming a ‘no go area’ for locals.

If your business is totally dependent on drunks who trash Coogee, perhaps it’s time to rethink your business model. I have been down to Coogee every day since the alcohol ban and haven’t noticed a significant drop in visitors. However, I’m sure if you spoke to the police there would’ve been a significant drop in the amount of drunken violence.
As a 25-year resident/ratepayer, I’m thrilled to see families back and kids kicking a footy round Goldstein Reserve. Bondi, Bronte and all of the other beaches have managed quite successfully to function with a no alcohol policy, so I’m sure Coogee can.

I still love The Beast, but needed to get that off my chest.

Best,
Johnny, Coogee

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

I have quietly observed the growing voice regarding the date of Australia Day and the call from some in the community to change this date.

Although I recognise that the date of January 26 may mark the beginning of some adverse events and hardships, and that it’s not been all good for all Australians since that date, on the whole I believe that more good than bad has followed from those events of a few hundred years ago. Furthermore, I strongly believe that in Australia, and as Australians, we have a lot to be thankful for; my travels around the world support this.

Accordingly, I am not one of those advocating a change to the date.

However, I would 100 per cent support an official day each year where the Australian community celebrates the Indigenous community in Australia – perhaps we could call it Indigenous Day (or another appropriate name).
I am not certain which date would be most appropriate, but with some community consultation an appropriate date could be determined.

It would be great to see the Indigenous community in Australia celebrated in this way.
Food for thought.

Kind regards,
Jason (no address provided)

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