News Satire People Food Other

Parking Spots Scuttled By Boaties

By Duncan Horscroft on December 2, 2011 in News

Photo: Grant Brooks

“There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats,” Rat said to Mole in Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows.

And he was right. A pleasurable day out on the water in a boat does take some beating.

But what happens to these watercraft when they’re not floating on the briny?

Quite a few of them end up parked around the streets of the eastern beaches.

The boating population seems to have noticeably increased in the past few years and the owners of some of these ‘gin palaces’ feel it is fitting to park their floating egos on a trailer and dump them anywhere they please.

Either that or they have received some strong mail informing them of a tsunami and they are preparing for the worst.

Parking spaces are a valuable commodity these days. Just ask Waverley Council how much revenue parking is worth to them every year.

It is a slap in the face to motorists who can’t find a parking space in their own area due to some inconsiderate boatie taking up a couple of spots while he goes home to add a few entries to his ancient mariner’s diary.

Clovelly used to be a hotspot for boats and trailers – both registered and dumped alongside the cemetery in Boundary Street – but a blitz by Randwick Council resulted in stickers being placed on the offending boats and trailers warning that they would be impounded if not moved.

It worked. The area is now seemingly clear of any inanimate objects other than cars, although Randwick Council could send the boys around to clean up the nature strip, which has become more of a rubbish dump.

Some of those who weighed anchor from Boundary Street appear to have made their way further north, with the top end of Trafalgar Street in Bronte the latest dry dock facility.

Waverley Council has turned a blind eye to the nature strip that runs beside the cemetery and it has always appeared to be a dumping ground of some sort because of its unkempt condition.

In turn it has become a resting place for surfboats, trailers and other water craft, including one particularly large boat that was previously parked on the corner of Chesterfield Parade and St Thomas Street, making it extremely difficult for motorists to see cars coming up the hill.

Bronte Surf Club has had one of its Nippers trailers stolen from Trafalgar Street and that’s a cost that has to be worn by the members of the surf club who now have to raise funds to buy a new one.

There is no excuse for surf club craft and trailers to be parked there in the first place, as the surf club had a long battle with Waverley Council to be allowed to dig out part of the surrounding land in Bronte Park to provide surfboat and trailer parking facilities underneath the club when it was redeveloped a few years ago.

Also, the Bronte RSL Club has given the surf club permission to park their boats in a lock-up facility in its car park. But that was put in the ‘too hard basket’ because of the lack of ‘all hands on deck’ when it came to returning the boat from training or competition.

Maybe it’s time for Waverley Council to make the same sort of stand like that made by Randwick Council and threaten the offenders with impoundment and a stiff fine to recover their craft.

It doesn’t matter if the offending craft belongs to a voluntary organisation such as a surf club either, as they too should be more aware of the rules.

What if both Randwick and Waverley Councils concreted the offending nature strips on both sides of the cemetery and charged boat and trailer owners accordingly?

Car owners are charged a regular fee of $100 in Waverley to be allowed to park at Bondi and Bronte beaches, so why not charge boat owners a fee as well?

By doing this, the money could go towards tidying up the offending nature strips and maybe even help put a new fence along the northern end of the cemetery.

Whatever way they do it, the time has definitely come for both councils to start messing about with boats.