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Letter Of The Month…Trojan Horse

By Andrew Worssam of Bondi on October 2, 2013 in Other

Photo: Waverley Library Local Studies

Photo: Waverley Library Local Studies

Over recent months, regular readers of The Beast and the Wentworth Courier have been steadily drip fed a carefully massaged diet of good news about Waverley Council’s draft management plan for Bondi Beach. In the Courier recently, the mayor intoned happily about the “new look and feel, greener Bondi” with “lots of trees”. Nothing about the underground car park they’re trying to foist on us of course; they know not to dwell on that one and there’s nothing green about an underground car park.

There’s so much to like about the draft plan of management; there’s something for everybody. Among other things, the Pavilion gets a much needed makeover, there’s a water feature for the kiddies (in addition to the adjacent Pacific Ocean), an expanded outdoor gym area and now surfers are going to get a drop-off and pick-up zone (whatever the hell that is?). Oh yes, and a multi-storey underground car park too.

It looks like we’re getting an underground car park at Bondi Beach whether we like it or not. This is all supposed to be in response to “direct community feedback”, according to Council’s Director of Corporate and Technical Services, Bronwyn Kelly, in September’s Beast. I assume people made verbatim comments such as: ”Gee, I’d like the experience of a multi-storey underground car park at Bondi Beach” or “The thing I like about Westfield is the dark, stinky car park – why can’t we spend a fortune and have one at the beach too?” No, I don’t think anybody actually asked for an underground car park at Bondi Beach.

This project has all the hallmarks of a Trojan horse. All the locals are being allowed to see are the much needed improvements to Bondi Beach and then, before we know it, our iconic outdoor car park will be gone, replaced by an expensive, anti-social, dangerous and subterranean alternative.

In the interests of “community consultation”, ask yourself these questions:

– Is this ratepayer’s money well spent?

– How will one assess beach conditions from 50 metres beneath the beach?

– Do you want to visit Bondi Beach via a lift?

– How environmentally sustainable is a car park that will need exhaust extraction systems, 24/7 lighting, security cameras and lifts?

– Who will really gain from this car park?