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Local Residents Deserve More Respect

By Duncan Horscroft on January 28, 2021 in Other

Deport the lot of them. Photo: Toby Zerna

The recent gathering at Bronte Beach on Christmas Day raises concerns about local councils’ efforts to protect the local community from what could have been a major COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 200 people deciding it would a good idea to party at the beach during a potential third wave of the coronavirus.
These idiots ignored government warnings against mass gatherings during this pandemic and were filmed drinking alcohol at a venue which had signs posted around the beach clearly stating that alcohol was banned.
Incredibly, no one was fined for what was clearly a breach of the law, despite the riot squad being called in to disperse the masses.
Byron Bay was also in the news with a huge gathering celebrating Christmas and police issued fines to the culprits, so why was Bronte Beach any different?
Bronte has a strong local community who abide by the rules, so allowing a group comprising mainly of backpackers to blatantly flout the rules is a slap in the face to those who regularly enjoy the beach and its surrounds.
Another issue that Waverley Council seems to neglect is the availability of parking in the Bronte Cutting, with moves afoot to extend the coastal walk past Calga Reserve and through to Macpherson Street, eliminating around 20 parking spots.
This is on top of the nine parking spots reserved for the Bronte Surf Club, which are rarely used by the club and sit empty most of the year while locals drive around in circles in search of a parking spot that doesn’t exist.
As residents we pay an annual fee for a beach parking permit, so why can’t permit holders use these spots when they are not needed by the club?
Council also agreed to give Bronte surf patrol members from outside the municipality a deal where they can purchase Waverley parking permits, so why have reserved spots in the first place?
It has become evident that locals will now have to find a spot outside the Cutting and be forced to pay for the privilege of being able to take their family to the beach.
Randwick Council has also been offside with locals lately, especially when it comes to targeting dog owners who take their dogs for a walk and swim off the rocks around Clovelly and Gordons Bay.
One incident that occurred on a day when the temperatures hit the high 30s in early December saw a local lass approached by two rangers who politely asked her if she minded if they scanned her animal to see if it was micro-chipped. Of course the owner kindly agreed, but then once the rangers had scanned the dog they informed the dog owner that she would be receiving a fine that amounted to more than $300! If this was not entrapment, then what is?
Both Randwick and Waverley have a big population of dog owners and most are very responsible, cleaning up their mess and keeping their animals under control.
Dogs are very social and like nothing more than running around with others and enjoying a swim on a hot day in areas that have no impact on local beachgoers, so what harm are they doing, other than being an easy revenue raiser for the councils?
It’s time both councils became aware of how to appease their residents instead of prioritising private interests like surf clubs and treating locals as second class citizens.