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Letters – Feb 2017

By Dan Hutton on February 9, 2017 in Other

Picture:  Dalton Wills

Picture: Dalton Wills

LEAVE YOUR BUTTS IN THE BIN

Hey smokers,

Take your cigarette butts with you. Don’t stub them out under your foot and think they’re mashed into non-existence. Don’t thumb them into cracks in the concrete or the rocks at Clovelly, or anywhere else. Don’t leave them in the sand thinking they’ll biodegrade, or not thinking at all.

Stub them out and put them back where they came from – in your cigarette packet. If you think that’s too dirty for you, or too dirty for your unsmoked cigarettes in the packet or your clean pockets, you’re probably right.

Dimitri Cachia, Clovelly

NO TO THE UNDERGROUND CARPARK

The Editor,

The GTA Consultants’ report to Council unequivocally states that “it is essential that Queen Elizabeth Drive (QED) be kept open for service and emergency vehicle access” (p.37). Additionally, the report envisages a taxi rank and a 40km/h speed limit on QED (p.38). Nonetheless, Mark Hersey misleadingly suggests to your readers that converting the aboveground car space (i.e. QED) to recreation use will result in a “massive increase in green recreation space” (Underground Car Park Not Such a Bad Idea, Letters, The Beast, January 2017). He is dreaming; QED will remain a road with traffic.

Mr. Hersey then insinuates that the car park exit would be only about 50 metres from the beach (actually more like 120 metres); he ignores the distance to the preferred areas of beach use. The north and south ends of the beach would each be about 560 metres away, a return walk of over a kilometre.

I had thought that QED existed for the benefit of those using Bondi Beach and the park. As the proposed underground parking would be convenient to Woolworths and other retailers in the developed Pacific site, I became suspicious that it is intended for their customers. Mr. Hersey, for reasons known to himself, applauds the convenience to shoppers of its proposed proximity to the shops.

I wish to be free to drive along QED to check out the surf, to park proximate to my preferred area of beach use according to the conditions, and to change into and out of a wetsuit in the sunshine whilst leaving my belongings safely in my car.

I do not wish to walk barefooted in a wetsuit a considerable distance, especially on a chilly morning, from the bowels of an underground car park to the surf, let alone to make the return trip whilst wet and cold before changing into warm clothing.

I do not wish to drive into an underground car park and walk from there to the beach only to find the conditions don’t suit me – even more so knowing that, one way or another, I am paying for the experience.

I do not wish to see the thousands who regularly use the park and the beach, particularly early in the mornings and on weekdays, have their pleasure reduced by an inconvenient and expensive parking regime that precludes them from parking proximate to their area of preferred park/beach activities. I note that there were 457,583 recorded visits by cars with beach parking permits during 2012.

Greg Maidment, Bronte

PROLONGED CAR PARK TROUBLES

It might surprise Mark Hersey (Underground Car Park Not Such a Bad Idea, Letters, The Beast, January 2017) to discover that his beloved underground car park at Bondi Beach has little public support. If he doesn’t believe me, he can read the many submissions to Waverley Council’s 2014 survey, which clearly show overwhelming community opposition (upwards of 80 per cent) to the proposal. Truth be known, most Waverley residents have long since tuned out, concluding that it is too stupid an idea to ever get up. Still, here we are at the start of 2017 and there’s a Facebook page with over 1,000 ‘likes’ on the one hand, and on the other there’s Mark and his one or two fellow travellers (or should I say ‘shills for developers’?).

One doesn’t have to be an engineer to be able to read the GTA report produced for Waverley Council, nor to peruse Waverley Council’s fact sheets. Mark ought to stick to ideas that he can actually back up, rather than fantasising about untold “acres of extra room”, “tree-lined pedestrian boulevards” and an “extra outdoor gym”. A bit more grass along Campbell Parade is just not worth the considerable expense and inconvenience. Waverley ratepayers do not want to be deprived of their beach passes, only to be lumbered with a user unfriendly underground car park that they never asked for in the first place.

Andrew Worssam, Bondi

THANKS FOR THE LOVE

I would just like to express my gratitude to the good people of Bronte for the well wishes and support following the untimely and sudden death of my best mate, Sedric the Irish Wolfhound.

Sedric sadly had a massive heart attack out the front of his favourite coffee shop and passed away suddenly on Wednesday morning, December 21 at 6.45am. I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who rushed to our aid and offered assistance in a very sad and trying time. To the blokes who helped me lift him into the car, I thank you and am sorry that I am in no way able to remember who you are.

What has absolutely blown us away as a family are the flowers, cards, wine and even vodkas that have appeared at our door with offers of condolence and support; the hand shakes and cuddles have been a massive help too. He was a big loveable lad to not just our little family, but to lots of others.

Love to all,
Sedric’s human, Shane, Bronte

COOGEE OVAL EYESORE

No, seriously, who put that totally offensive black six-foot metal fence along the north side of the once picturesque Coogee Oval, totally wrecking the ambience? And for what? Please tell me why?

John Harrison, Coogee

CELEBRATE THE ‘BERGS

I picked up your magazine at the Icebergs Chicken Swim on Sunday. Good to see you still getting the Eastern Suburbs wews and gossip out there.

It would be remiss of me, having left Bondi for cancer-related illness treatment over a year ago, if I didn’t say how great it is to have a drink at the ‘Bergs.

There are many clubs we can join in our travels, but the Icebergs Winter Swimming Club has a tradition that remains instilled in members by Lofty Petrie and the new team, with the likes of Dave Hall maintaining the rage.

We lose a few boys each year and we remember them usually with a laugh and sadness as they are family.

So if you’re reading this letter, give some thought to joining the Icebergs and swimming through winter. After all, as Lofty reminds us often, “If you’re an Iceberg you can get in any gin joint in the world!”

See you there next time I’m in town, as I am an old Lamrock Avenue boy.

Alan Hampson (no address provided)

FROM THE JUDEAN PEOPLE’S FRONT

What an odd piece in last month’s Beast (Cemetery Heritage Leaves Locals Divided, The Beast, December 2016). There is no question that RWC (Residents for Waverley Cemetery) and SWC (Save Waverley Cemetery) stand for different outcomes. SWC, under the leadership of a previous Council employee, Ms. B. Kelly, agitated for commercial development of the cemetery – pavilions, stone fences, etc.

As reported in your article, how ludicrous her proposals turned out to be after the recent storms. RWC, on the other hand, have been lobbying for over 10 years for this extraordinarily iconic site to be protected and restored. The group prepared and submitted the recently approved Heritage Listing application to Council, which was very supportive and submitted it to government. What the listing means is that dangerous proposals like Ms. Kelly’s can never be implemented.

However, the implication in the article last month that RWC want nothing done to the cemetery is ludicrous. Many have fought tirelessly for over 10 years to protect and restore the cemetery and we have actually achieved something since Ms. Kelly’s departure – a fence in keeping with the environment, resurfacing of roads, the restoration of the Heritage gates, access to the site with locks removed from gates, and a range of other not so obvious improvements. New staff appointments have certainly helped.

But the task continues. Remediation of the gully is obviously urgent, as is the restoration of many of the graves. My personal passion is the WW1 monuments (some very simple). Those of the Gallipoli heroes, some as young as 16 when they were slaughtered, are disintegrating. Their families, who are responsible for the upkeep of the monuments under the rules, are long gone. Council is aware of the problem and hopefully will act soon.

In the meantime Beast, we are in furious agreement. As your article says, “the Cemetery needs money to survive” and RWC will continue to fight for this outcome with hard work and commitment.

Marie Persson, Bronte, Residents for Waverley Cemetery

COOGEE ALCOHOL BAN A GOOD IDEA

Yay! After the disgraceful and disgusting behaviour of Christmas revellers (i.e. backpackers) a total alcohol ban is most welcome at Coogee Beach. As a long-term resident, it will be nice to be able to enjoy our sunrise swims each morning and not be welcomed by broken beer bottles and paraphernalia when walking to the water at our amazing beach.

Council and the lifesavers, lifeguards and plenty of volunteers have done an amazing job and continue to help our community, but this year got way out of hand.

Judi Kelly, Coogee

WOMEN OF THE YEAR PICTURE IN BAD TASTE

Dear Beast,

I’m a fan of your magazine and get much useful local information from it. However, in the January edition I was shocked to see the NSW Women of the Year entry in the calendar accompanied by a woman lying on a beach in at least part of a bikini.

Even as a man I find this incredibly offensive that women who have achieved a great deal more than probably you and I put together have been reduced down to what they look like semi-naked.

This kind of outdated sexism isn’t worthy of your magazine. We may live in a Trump-ist world where these kind degrading attitudes can get you elected President of the United States, but I think I speak for the vast majority of your readers in stating that we won’t accept them in this part of Australia.

I would like to see an apology published in next month’s edition and hopefully a little more respectful and progressive thinking in future.

Best,
Joe Hepworth, Randwick

WOMEN ARE NOT SEX OBJECTS

Hey James and Dan,

The ‘Women of the Year’ calendar item in the current issue isn’t cool. Callouts for the government celebration of women crushing it in all walks of life matched with a photo of a naked woman?

This is the opposite of celebrating women for all their contributions and the things they will have changed the world, been good at, revelled in their success of.

A naked beach babe one hundred per cent will not be the NSW Woman of the Year, and it’s extremely sexist to use imagery like this as the thing that you feel represents women who do amazing things.

Hoping you’ll consider your role as media to help push perception on the right side of history.

Thanks,
Kashi Somers (no address provided)

Editors Note: The picture accompanying the NSW Women of the Year calendar entry was an attempt at irony. A poor attempt, obviously. It’s a picture of celebrity Lara Bingle, someone we’d argue is obviously unlikely to take out the title (bikini-clad or otherwise). At The Beast we absolutely support perpetuating diverse gender roles and gender equality. Our intent was certainly not to degrade women in any way.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

Just some quick feedback to say thankyou! You guys make me laugh every month. The January issue’s letters and matching cartoon on long reader letters got me this time. Gold! Mark Schling – hilarious! Keep it up!

Reka O’Connell, Randwick

ICEBERGS PRICES TOO HIGH FOR PENSIONERS

I am a disabled pensioner aged 63. On Saturday afternoon, December 3, I visited the Bondi Icebergs Club pool for the first time.

I was bluntly told by the young woman at the counter that there was no concession for disability pensioners, but that seniors could get a concession.

So I showed her my driver’s licence. She said that only a Seniors Card was acceptable. I expressed surprise that neither a pensioner, nor a person of 63, was eligible for the discount.

She said, “I’ll let you have it this time, but next time you need a Seniors Card.”

This was very unpleasant. As it happened I was quite shaken when I got to the pool as I’d just witnessed a collision between a car and a cyclist, and had assisted those involved and called the police.

Is it true that Icebergs does not give discounts to pensioners? Seniors Cards vary – which do they recognise? Is proof of age not sufficient?

If this young woman was right about the policy, may I suggest that the signs and policy need revising, as the current prices are far too high for pensioners. I often swim at Newcastle where there are very large, well-appointed ocean baths with free admission for all.

Sincerely,
Mark O’Neil, Bondi

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