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Letters – February 2016

By Residents of the Eastern Suburbs on February 16, 2016 in Other


It was just after 5.30am on January 1 that we, a 62-year-old couple, arrived at Bondi Beach to thank, wonder and salute the first rays of light of the giver of life to the Earth.

To our surprise, the white sands of the beach were darkened by the hundreds of young people gathered to have a similar experience. There was a sense of peace and reverence coming from their space. Maybe tired or sick from the intoxicating duties of celebrating, maybe in wonder or maybe in love, every bit of grass, every rock was peopled with expectation. All eyes were at that moment focussed on the natural, predictable, trusted, indispensible and mighty phenomenon.

As the event took place, between dark clouds that created images of accumulated glowing sunlight, some of them joined hands, lowered heads and revered it, others prepared their selfie sticks and with sun-like smiles perpetuated the moment; others joined their voices softly in songs of peace – there were no rules. Their hearts, with their individualised languages, flowed without any struggle towards the sun.

Science keeps busy suggesting scientific explanations for that mighty ball of warmth and light. At that moment the youth brought up their feelings to their mind. The sun was not just a chemical, atomic, nuclear reaction. The sun is a kind of creator, a lover that dances with us along the richness of the cosmos. It gives us a sense for rhythm, for strength, for truthfulness, for inner clarity, for moving and dancing communally. It makes morality the loving law of this eternal and life-creating dance.

Peace on Earth and may many more festivals be celebrated in the spirit that helps our future, our youth, to quieten down, to reach into the might of their inner being, hold hands and unite with their cosmic surroundings.

Maria Hoffmann


Dear Editor,

Waverley Cemetery is a special and wonderful place and a great asset for the people of Sydney. Unfortunately there are people who are lobbying Council to develop it. They want Council to build a car park, function centre and shops there. They would also like a great big fence around it to restrict access.

Residents for Waverley Cemetery is a local action group that wants to protect the cemetery from this sort of insensitive development. As part of our strategy for protecting the cemetery we applied to have it State Heritage listed. Both Council and our local member, Bruce Notley-Smith, have come on board and have agreed to support the State Heritage Listing.

The Heritage Council is now asking for public submissions. If you value this beautiful place and would like to help protect it for future generations, please make a written submission supporting the listing. Log on to the Residents for Waverley Cemetery Facebook page for information about how to do this. Submissions close on February 9, 2016.

Penny Mora, Residents for Waverley Cemetery


Randwick’s Liberal Councillor Brendan Roberts’ claims that Botany Council puts its head in the sand when it comes to the council merger (Southern Courier, Dec 1, p30), appears a bit like the cynicism of Goldhagen’s willing executioner, who is willing to execute the desire of the Liberal State Government. This means carrying out the ‘Will to Power’ (Nietzsche) of his masters in the Liberal State Government. Part of the whole idea of annihilating councils is to cement Liberal rule.

All this might just be reminiscent of Styron’s ‘Sophie’s Choice’. This is when the powers above council level, i.e. the state, seek to bully individual councils into line. Those who resist are abused, even when Randwick Council is actually ‘Fit for the Future’. It can remain a free-standing council serving its local community. And, by the way, it is not only Botany Council but also Woollahra Council’s Liberal Toni Zeltzer who refuses to be “solicited into playing the victim’s part” in the drama of local council annihilation.

But Liberals such as Toni Zeltzer are by far not the only ones fighting against the proposed eradication of their council. Other Liberals seem to have other fights with our Liberal State Government. Take, for example, Mr Notley-Smith. In the very same issue, the Southern Courier (page 8) noted: “Mr Notley-Smith, who turned on his Liberal Government to condemn…” Here is another Liberal turning on his Liberal State Government. It appears as if Liberals fighting other Liberals has become a daily drama. And it also seems as if the local communities of Woollahra, Randwick and Botany come second in the local Liberal versus state Liberal fights. What a sorry display.

But this display will hit us hard. It will hit voters more than politicians who, according to the Southern Courier (Dec 8, p11), will cash in big time when the new mayor receives $140,000 and committee members $80,000 per year. Perhaps the sociologist Max Weber was correct when forecasting about one hundred years ago that politicians will become well “paid professionals”. We seem to get the best politicians money can buy. But Weber also saw increased bureaucratisation on the march. He called this the ‘Iron Law’ of bureaucracy. Bigger governmental units demand bigger bureaucracies. On both accounts Weber was right. With sociological precision, he predicted our future.

And quite equally, the destruction of Randwick Council will also fulfil the forecast of another sociologist, as the ‘Michelsian Dilemma’ will also come our way. This means that a ruling elite will establish itself. But the ruling elite will also distance itself from members, the local population, and from voters. The going maxim of the ruling elite is ‘self-preservation’ – not the interest of voters. All in all, the council merger fulfils a Liberal Party dream: more money for politicians and less democracy for us.

Thomas Klikauer, Coogee


I have a simple solution in regards to loud and unnecessary speed humps. I was living in London when the folks in my street protested against speed humps by initiating the ‘honk on humps’ protest. Quite simply, everyone honked their horn every time they went over one of the offending humps, 24 hours a day. It was entertaining, but short lived. They were removed quick smart.

Moose Moore, Bondi


This afternoon (December 18, 2015) Mirvac did not shutdown work until 5.25pm and was still pumping concrete after 5pm. According to the ranger, they have been fined $5,000, but he can’t stop the works.

Residents have got the development interrupting their lives for 58 hours week. This noise and disruption are extremely distressing to residents. Is a $5000 fine adequate for further disruption?

The council seems to take the philosophy that the sooner the build is finished the better, but this is simply not true for residents. We have got two more ten-storey towers coming down the line for this street. It will take years for them to be built.

I have recently written to Gabrielle Upton and the Sydney Morning Herald suggesting the reduction of construction hours to 48 hours a week. Given that for the foreseeable future Sydney is going to be rebuilt and rebuilt, this would do something to redress the imbalance between the rights of developers to maximise profits at the cost of Sydney’s quality of life, and the rights of property owners to enjoy their properties in peace and quiet.

Yours sincerely,
Jennifer Crone


Dear Editor,

Please ignore what Di Drew (Letters, The Beast, January 2016) is saying regarding the impropriety of the star signs page. Nothing will ever be funnier than the hilarious recommendations from Beardy from Hell. Detractors from the page clearly struggle to understand that the fundamental basis of satire is absurdity! Or maybe the complainant was a Pisces and thought the suggestion in August’s issue to try ice was sincere? Regardless, if they want vanilla bland star signs they are welcome to read the Good Weekend, but leave Beardy alone!

Mara Lejins, Bondi


I wonder where do Randwick Council get off considering the introduction of a congestion tax for people using Clovelly beach in the early morning (The Beast, January 2016, p42)? Yet again we have a local council diverging from its core responsibilities of collecting garbage and providing basic amenities for local ratepayers. They have no right or mandate to impose a tax of any sort on local ratepayers using a public beach, regardless of the time of day. Someone should tell the ‘friendly’ local who thinks this is a great idea, no doubt one of the few lucky multi-millionaires who can afford to live within 100 metres of Clovelly Beach, that he bought the house he lives in, not the rights to the beach. The fact that loopy Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, most famous for inflicting traffic snarling bicycle lanes and ridiculously expensive art works on those Sydney ratepayers silly enough to keep re-electing her, has stated that she’s in favour of the idea should make us very scared. Finally, if Randwick Council needs to raise money for beach improvements, they may wish to consider imposing some kind of nominal parking fee in the southern car park of Clovelly Beach for the hoards of people from the western and inner western suburbs who descend on the Eastern Beaches at this time of year, whilst issuing exemption stickers to local ratepayers, as has been the case in the past. We pay enough already in council rates to use these beaches.

Danny Hill, Maroubra

(It was a satirical piece Danny, apologies for the confusion – Ed.)


Dear Duncan Horscroft,

As you know I love you dearly, and I wondered, as we have known each other for a long time, why you didn’t call me if you wanted information about our projects?

As you will recall with the ‘dog issue’ at Bronte I am always happy to discuss anything about Waverley with you and would prefer an informed chat rather than you getting all hot and bothered when knowing the facts may save you some stress.

So, for the record:

1. In December, the State Government announced its plan for a new, amalgamated Eastern Suburbs Council, which will be created by merging Waverley, Randwick and Woollahra Councils. Most councils would prefer not to merge, but the government’s original idea of Waverley being part of a ‘Global City’ with Woollahra, Randwick, Botany and the City of Sydney would not have been good for our residents. It has always been our positon that to do the best thing for Waverley residents we needed to be the masters of our own destiny and negotiate the best arrangement for our residents. There are many great synergies with our neighbouring councils and great opportunities for saving money as well as improving services.

2. Capital works in our beach areas are always inconvenient and we thank everyone for their patience. Some events such as the City2Surf don’t allow us to do some works during winter. Regarding work at Bondi Park, all paths were completed on December 22 and opened to the public for use. Some fences have been left in place as more scheduled work is planned after the holidays in February, and other fences have been erected due to Health and Safety Environment (HSE) issues such as broken glass fragments that need to be removed from the soil. All works related to the fire upgrade have been completed. Work on making the tunnels under Queen Elizabeth Drive safe have been stopped during the busy season and will commence again when things quieten down. These works could not commence during winter because of the City2Surf.

3. There was extensive consultation with residents about the new roadworks and traffic islands being installed at the top of St Thomas Street in Bronte, which were done because of resident requests. At a site meeting held in August 2014, there was strong community objection to the installation of the roundabout. As such, the proposal was modified to include the installation of traffic islands and an angle parking area. It also included the installation of a pedestrian refuge on St Thomas Street adjacent to the Bronte Early Learning Centre at 44 St Thomas Street. A letterbox drop to 210 affected residents was conducted on Friday, March 6, 2015 with submissions closing on Friday, March 20, 2015. Only nine written submissions were forwarded to Council, and of the nine only one objected to the proposed islands.

4. Your comments about the work we have done at Waverley Cemetery are strange because the work has been requested by residents for a very long time and they are thrilled with it. We resurfaced the road inside Waverley Cemetery because the Friends of the Waverley Cemetery have been begging Council to fix up the cemetery’s paths, stairs and fences and to get rid of the red tape around the site. This is just the beginning to make our beautiful cemetery even better.

5. The new pickets on the fence in Trafalgar Street were a temporary measure to get rid of that horrible orange tape. A new fence is in the pipeline. The project is currently being scoped and drawings are being produced. This work will need to go to tender due to the value of the work, with construction anticipated to start before June 2016.

6. A new fence on the Bronte Beach promenade has been installed. This was a made-to-measure project with a long lead-time.

7. Oops! Duncan, the new clock at the south end of Bronte Beach was installed in the last week of November. Repairing the old clock was not a cost-effective solution. This is a new, custom-made clock that can endure the weather and local environment and will hopefully be in residence for a long, long time.

8. Yes, the coral trees in Bronte Gully are coming out. In the second half of 2015 about 23 were removed. We will continue with that work in 2016. I don’t know if you are familiar with coral trees, but they can look structurally sound one day and then can be on the ground the next.

9. Finally, the Bronte RSL development. To clarify, Duncan, we fought the Bronte RSL development with the residents. The access to Chesterfield Lane will remain unchanged and will be for residents and Council trucks only, as specified in the Council’s Development Control Plan for the site, other than for a very small number of staff parking bays. All other shopper and visitor parking, and truck and service vehicle access, will be on Macpherson Street, not from the lane.

If you are around over January, why don’t we do coffee and I can answer any other questions that you may have. Duncan, please call?

Sally Betts, Mayor of Waverley