Locals Revved up Over Surf Club’s Car Park Privileges
There has been a fair bit of consternation among Bronte locals surrounding parking within the Bronte Cutting, especially during this long lockdown.
Bronte Beach has been a welcome relief amid this Covid crisis, and for those of us lucky enough to live near the coast, it’s a place of refuge where we can forget about the woes and go for a swim or a walk and feel semi-normal.
With the availability of parking severely diminished due to the ongoing extension of a new footpath and a zoned reserved area within the Cutting, getting to and from the beach has been somewhat challenging for many members of the community.
So, it comes as no surprise that many residents are asking why Bronte Surf Club has seven – yes, seven – spots reserved for 12 months of the year when the surf club is dormant during the winter months, especially when there is a moratorium on parking fees.
It’s a given that the surf club plays an integral part in the local community and provides vital lifesaving training for its volunteer patrol members to help keep beachgoers safe. However, the seven spots reserved for Bronte Surf Club are very rarely used, even during the busy summer months. These scarce car parks should be made available to locals who have paid for a beach parking permit, rather than sit there empty.
“Parking in the Bronte Cutting car park for Bronte SLSC was reported to and approved by the Waverley Traffic Committee (WTC) and Waverley Council,” Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos told The Beast.
“The surf club applied to Council for designated parking. Bondi SLSC and North Bondi SLSC also have designated parking at their beaches.”
“These designated spaces are used by SLSC members who are rostered on for patrol on the relevant day. In winter and other times, the surf lifesaving clubs utilise this parking for members undertaking training which is very important.”
With the Bronte Surf Club in full lockdown there has been no activity in the club for training purposes, and it even looks like the patrol season will be in jeopardy, posing the question, who will actually be using this restricted area?
According to the Waverley Council parking policy on the Bronte Surf Club website, there is an offer in place granting active volunteer patrol members who do not qualify for a Resident Beach Parking Permit the opportunity to purchase a Beach Parking Permit for their vehicle in recognition of the valuable work they do in helping to keep the public safe.
“The purchase of this permit allows Active Patrolling Members to park free of charge in Bronte Beach car park (The Cutting) without time restrictions whilst on patrol,” according to the policy.
So, the question must be asked, why have reserved spots in the first place if those outside the area have the opportunity to park for ‘free’ and can park anywhere in the Cutting (if they can find a spot, of course)?