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Letters to the Editor – February 2018

By The People of the Eastern Beaches on January 27, 2018 in Other

A Jolly Good Read
Dear Sir or Madam – That Beast’s a good read isn’t it? No, really. The arc of British history drawn from the life and times of Mr Noel Gallagher – you gotta larff. Who needs that Churchill geezer?
As far as ‘multitasking’ goes (Multitasking – Fact, Fiction or Foe?, The Beast, December 2017), when the energy expended swapping tasks exceeds the energy expended doing those tasks, it’s called ‘thrashing’ (in computer operating systems), or at least it was; it’s probably now called ‘mental health issues’. A piece in The Economist recently suggested this phenomenon may be an outcome of the digital infestation of the workplace and the resulting collapse in coherence. Keep up the good work.
Gareth Davies
Bellevue Hill

Feed them all mushrooms
Dear Editors – You have to love the blind idealism of the underground car park advocates. There’s never a mention of all those ‘difficult’ questions: How much it is going to cost? How would Council ever find that sort of money? How do you build a car park into the water table? No, just wild speculation about green space gained and missed opportunities.
What I want to know is, where did this idea about a “tree-shaded pedestrian boulevard” come from? Nowhere will you find a reference to it in any of Waverley Council’s literature on the subject. Not in the artist renderings, nothing. Bondi letter writers Bill Davies, Marco Christiano and Mark Hersey all like to re-use this exact phrase (I think ‘canard’ might be a more accurate word) – is it because they are all the same person? In any case, Bondi Beach already has a “tree-shaded pedestrian boulevard,” right behind the Pavilion – oh whoops, these would-be greenie car park advocates want to see every one of those shady, mature trees woodchipped for an underground car park!
If the futurists are to be believed, underground car parks are going to become stranded assets as autonomous vehicles become the norm and personal car ownership falls. The search will then be on to try to find something to do with them – maybe they’d be suitable for growing mushrooms in? I think Waverley Council dodged a bullet on this one and did us all a favour.
Andrew Worssam

Parking is Not a Right, but a Privilege
The Eastern Suburbs – a place where so many people would love to live, but some who already live here don’t know how lucky they are. We have everything: sand, surf, cafés, schools, green space, coastal walkways, etc. But what we also have are cars.
We now live in apartments, some with parking and some without. We now have houses where kids are living at home and require cars. So, with the amount of population, cars, and those who drive them, we have an issue with parking. Councils have a Parking Permit Scheme for many areas. Some people, I assume, baulk at the idea of getting a permit to park their car on the street, but no one owns a road. In cities across the world they have parking permits. The people of the Eastern Suburbs have to get used to all this traffic and the resultant parking issues if they want to keep driving their cars.
Many also baulk at the idea that the traffic is bad (which it is, since many new apartments have been built), but councils are not doing anything about it. I don’t know how they can do anything about it if more people are using their cars. There seems to be no solution to the parking woes of the area, as many more people are deciding to live here.
So I say to the people of The Eastern Suburbs: stop your whining. There are no solutions, unless they demolish some houses for parking bays. Anyway, I have done my bit to reduce the overcrowding of the east; I have recently moved to Canberra. So thanks for many decades Eastern Suburbs, but soon Sydney will be a car park and no one will be able to go anywhere. Now is your time to get out!
Anna Cook

Christmas cheerio
I was so moved by Malcolm Turnbull’s warm Christmas greetings in The Beast that I decided to send copies to the good folks transiting in Manus and Nauru, who will no doubt enjoy another Christmas knowing the Australian Government, in true Christian tradition, cares deeply about them and their families at this joyous time of year.
David Beins

A Simple Explanation
Shalom to reader Greg, who was hassled by an over-zealous security volunteer at his residence near Central Synagogue, Bondi Junction (Ridiculous Insecurity, Letters, The Beast, December 2017). Certainly by your account, the security volunteer’s behaviour was OTT and common sense and common courtesy should have prevailed.
Just to provide some context to your letter, there have been a string of anti-Semitic incidents in recent times, including bomb threats to the Jewish Museum in Darlinghurst and the bashing of an Orthodox man walking home through Bondi on a Friday evening. Security is ramped up on the few days of the year when there may be hundreds of people moving through the synagogue for prayer services throughout the day. Hopefully this can be managed with a minimum of disruption to the rest of the community.
Ron Fleischer

How to Park for as long as you like in a 2-hour zone ▼
Dear Beast – I thought others might want to know how to avoid parking fines and park for as long as they like in the Waverley Local Government Area.
Parking is a mess in Bondi Junction; gym goers, shoppers, commuters… with my method there is only a very slim risk of getting a ticket when you stay beyond two hours, or even all day.
Bondi Junction

Parking Pressure
To live in the Eastern Suburbs is to live under parking pressure. It is not unusual to park 200 meters or more from your dwelling – this goes with the territory.
There has been a backhanded acknowledgement by Waverley Council that parking is difficult, otherwise why were all the ‘No Standing’ signs next to street corners in our immediate area removed years ago?
In our street there was a spot that fitted a small car but it did, however, encroach marginally on the 12 meter-wide driveway apron of a nearby unit block. We had used this spot sometimes for our small car, for at least a decade. But something suddenly changed and my wife and I were booked twice in two days. The second one we spotted but the first one we did not – the ticket must have blown off the car – but either way we lost several hundred dollars in fines.
Why does local government always go for the low blow? Maybe it was time to mark this spot for a different use? Maybe they wanted to make it for two scooters or whatever, but rather than think like this or, heaven forbid, consult locals, it is so much easier for them to just send in the parking police and cause hundreds of dollars in expense to residents.
It is the same old bureaucratic ugliness: ‘We need to get a message across, let’s do it with a sledgehammer’. Nothing has changed, small cars still try and use the spot, so I suppose another round of fines are imminent. It’s just all so unnecessary.
Concerned Lugar Street Resident

The Editors – According to Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated resident population figures, Bronte had a resident population of 7,345 in 2016. When I enter 2024 (Bronte’s postcode) into the Return and Earn website, a mere three return locations are specified. These are Giant Chilli Thai at Charing Cross, which does not appear to have off street parking and is in a ‘No Stopping’ area with limited trading hours, Waverley Supermarket in Bronte Road, which does not seem to have a website and no obviously ascertainable phone number, and a café in Randwick. Each of these return locations requires over-the-counter return.
A miserable 10c per container is offered, which is hardly an inducement to cart smelly, sticky empties to an inconvenient location. I guess one could spend the time required to individually wash the containers prior to putting them in the car, but 100 containers to get $10 isn’t much reward for lifting 100 stubbies (let alone longnecks) from the boot and carting them to the counter.
But even then, not much will change, apart from the price increase of 15-20c per container, of which nearly all will go in the yellow bin as per usual. The government will, of course, pocket the value of the containers not processed under the scheme.
This is the Liberal National lot that gave us the Packer casino, the greyhound fiasco, the council merger mess, the Emergency Services Levy farce and the Powerhouse Museum bungle, among others. It is pandering to those who wish to profit from our population over-expanding and is throwing money at stadia and rich league clubs while schools and hospitals are languishing.
The Liberal Party seems impervious to the wishes and expectations of the electorate and is becoming less acceptable at federal, state and local government levels. Waverley Council elections reflected local dismay over the unacceptable plans for the Bondi Pavilion and the closing of Queen Elizabeth Drive to beachgoers.
Now Murriverie Road bus users have had their bus stops altered to their disadvantage, and those accustomed to a bus service from Bronte to Central have had it discontinued for no perceptible reason. I might add that my local member, Bruce Notley-Smith, did not even acknowledge my email complaint about the Bronte bus.
Public transport should be made more convenient, not more difficult, especially for an aging population. But what does this government care? It has no concern for, and is making life more expensive and less convenient for, its constituents. I certainly wouldn’t wish to buy shares in it, assuming that there are any that developers haven’t already purchased.
Greg Maidment

A new syndrome has infected the self-conscious consumers of modern day, first world societies, and Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs are at the hipster coalface. Lycra, spandex, activewear, whatever you want to call it – a glimpse at the sci-fi-predicted future of dynamic interactive clothing is currently underway.
The growth in the trend of it being uniformly acceptable to openly wear lycra when indulging in ‘exercise’, or general daily activities, has hit an all-time high, supported by the growth in acceptance of interaction via the politically overcorrect, faceless medium of social media. This modern day soapbox encourages ‘criticism of critical opinion’ to the point that it has enveloped and condemned the free speaking of non-conformist thoughts and/or ‘taking the piss’, in favour of protecting the offended few riding on their squeaky wheels of righteousness.
Going out in public dressed in skin tight Lycra is the closest that many wearers ever get to being naked in public. It seems that a major side effect of dressing in these outfits is a heightened degree of arrogance, often materialising in situations that jeopardise the safety of the wearer and those around them. I admit to wearing Skins under my football shorts, and motorbike leathers, as supportive undergarments, but find going out dressed only in Skins too distracting and confronting for all to ever be consciously contemplated.
From ‘busy’ mums in SUVs, to road riding ‘exercyclists’ and gym junky, self-loathing, adrenalin seekers, it seems that arrogance and being inconsiderate comes with this socially expected/accepted uniform. This then manifests into the ‘It’s everyone else’s responsibility to make allowances for me to live in my self-righteous world of importance’ trance, which so many people fall under while they’re clad in Lycra. The problem is that karma doesn’t discriminate. Please be aware of what you wear and the signs that you’re becoming a Lycra-induced dickhead.
When attempting to resist Lycra arrogance, some of the things to acknowledge and remember include: Impeding traffic by double parking with your hazard lights on is illegal. Impeding traffic by knowingly travelling more than 20% below the posted speed limit, without a permit, is illegal. Impeding traffic by jaywalking when rushing to and from exercise (you paid to do), distracted by thoughts of where you know you should be, is illegal. Indicating before you brake, when looking to park, is common courtesy. The use of rear view mirrors should be mandatory on road riding bicycles, as it is for all other road vehicles. Being alert and looking up from your phone when in transit is a common consideration of modern day life.
So when you next choose to dress in skin tight cladding and venture into the urban landscape, please remember that allowing yourself to believe that wearing Lycra gives you superiority and the right to make demands of the gracious good manners of others is intolerable arrogance.
Pedro Norton