Monthly Mailbag – July 2019
Cafe’s Just for Humans
There was a time when I could sit outdoors and have my coffee and breakfast, peacefully enjoying the sun with a book, at one of the many cafés along the Eastern Beaches. That’s a dream from the past, as now I have to sit mostly indoors to avoid the plague of dogs that has overtaken the popular seating outdoors.
It’s out of control now! If I arrive early and sit outdoors it’s not very long before the ‘doggy people’ arrive and surround me with their little mates. Doggy people (identified usually by plastic bags full of warm faeces dangling somewhere off their person) have no regard for other people that may not want dogs laying against their legs or under their tables, nor the constant noisy yapping or barking their excited little friends make.
Some tie their doggies around posts or poles, allowing them to urinate close to tables where people are eating or, worse still, have them sit on their laps, allowing them to dribble and even walk over tables. Yuk!
It’s even extended – unchallenged by business owners – to the point where doggy people will now take their pals into cafés, alongside indoor diners, when they order and collect takeaway.
There are many, many doggy parks established by local government in prime locations along the eastern coastline and there is plenty of room for doggy people and their furry friends to play and eat together. I can’t understand why they just don’t buy their takeaway coffees, go and enjoy a picnic in one of these parks and leave the cafés in peace for us humans.
The Devil in the Detail
Twice in 30 years the community fought hard to stop Bondi Pavilion from privatisation. Twice we succeeded. The latest Development Application (DA) includes alarming additional changes to the works never mentioned during the consultations. Below is a brief response to this Council DA:
1. No staging. The Pavilion would be closed for business for years (and years) and any future council could step into an empty building and carry out their proclivities (read: restaurants and function centres).
The Fix: Stage the development.
2. The waste figures appear to still be based on a previous DA incarnation of two functioning restaurants – 9 tonnes per day. I kid you not!
The Fix: Do another accurate audit. Enforce a stricter waste regime on the commercial tenancies (minus The Bucket List remember) and re-employ the compactor initiated under the Betts regime.
3. An enormous new road carved into our precious parkland to cope with the (wildly inaccurate) supposed waste.
The Fix: Don’t. We are all over roads being carved into parkland. Redo the waste calculations (please see the second point).
4. The stupid ‘grand entrance’ (that is universally disliked and derided), which requires the removal of our beloved amphitheatre, thereby creating an empty wasteland and a massive wind tunnel on to the actual entrance out the front. The community loses its space for performances (and dog shows) and are relegated outside to the southern courtyard to incur numerous noise complaints.
The Fix: Easy, don’t do it. ‘Maintain and care for what is there’.
South Bronte Amenities Upgrade
I refer to Siriol Dafydd’s article (South Bronte Amenities Upgrade: Have Your Say, The Beast, June 2019) on Waverley Council’s plans for upgrading the South Bronte Amenities block. Apparently, no longer will bathers have “sand lodged in less than ideal places”, and there’s to be a “roof terrace for socialising and such”.
Sounds great, but aren’t these facilities already there? There are also plans for additional outdoor showers (three already exist), plus another shower in the female section and more wash basins.
All this work may be worthwhile but what’s the cost? I suspect that the good folk at Council have found an odd million or so in the kitty and can’t wait to spend it on some feel-good project. It certainly would be nice to have updated facilities but surely there are more pressing needs? The removal of dumped rubbish in Bronte Gully is one that comes to mind.
Pearls of Wisdom
I am so glad Pearl brought up the subject of those vile micro bikinis being increasingly flaunted at every Eastern Suburbs beach. I swear they are getting smaller each season, particularly the bottom pieces. I jokingly refer to them as ‘dental floss’, but Pearl’s description of “antiquated belted sanitary pad” is spot on, though I think they had thicker straps!
Seriously, the women wearing these micro bikinis look like they have left, or are going to, a porn shoot. They cannot possibly be comfortable. Many of them walk nonchalantly about the local streets to and from the beach. Unfortunately, I regularly see some of them plonking their big, basically bare bums on the seat of a cafe, beachside nail bar or hairdresser.
Ladies, you are giving males the wrong signals; if you want respect, be respectful. Let’s bring back to the beaches the brightly patterned sarongs and pareos that give every woman of any size a look of femininity. Micro bikini wearers: if you must wear one of those truly ugly micro bikinis, at least cover up once you step off the sand. Oh, and by the way, you are exposing your body to larger areas of sensitive skin on which to develop skin cancer in your later years.
Dear Editor – Oh dear, I have just read the letter on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the supposed safety thereof. Anthony Bosch (Letters, The Beast, June 2019) has, I am afraid, taken the words of the biotech industry as gospel. Or he works with them.
GMOs have not gone through years of safety testing. They did not have to as the regulators, at the behest of the industry, declared them to be substantially equivalent to the original organism. So, no, no safety testing, and no long-term studies on the potential for harm.
Further manipulating the genes of one organism by inserting the genes of another is also not the equivalent of hybridisation as claimed by the industry. Hybridisation done by farmers and plants themselves has been going on for generations. It is not the artificial insertion of a gene, say from a fish into say a strawberry or vice versa.
GMOs are not safe and there is ample research on the dangers to other animals, plants, insects and no doubt humans going way back to Professor Pusztai’s original research on GMO potatoes. Just as we are now learning that Roundup containing Glyphosate, which we were told was safe but is implicated in non-Hodgkin lymphoma and a type of leukaemia, we will discover too late that GMOs should never have been released into the environment.
Ingrid Strewe, M. Env. Ed.
Pedestrian Crossing Needed on Clovelly Road
Dear Editor – Any chance of having a crossing put in on Clovelly Road across Arden Street? There already is one there running north to south but there is no safe option to cross from east to west. It’s getting rather hairy and scary in peak times on this very busy roundabout.
Searching For Answers
Dear Editors – It has long been said that, “The greatest mark of democracy is the question mark.”
Political polling is done by questioning strangers; a letter writer to The Beast last month asked, “Who lets their dogs start barking from 6.30am?” Well, thank Goodness they said “barking” and not “parking”.
If I could only get a spot in the huge queue of climbers on Mount Everest I should like to ask the all-seeing, all-hearing, omniscient, wise person at the top, “How many is the right number of pillows that one should put on a guest’s bed in the spare room?”
The trouble with democracy – and questions – is that we rarely get the answers. Personally, I believe there is much wisdom to be found in fortune cookies and knock-knock jokes in Christmas crackers. But then again, what do I know?
ScoMo or ScoMoses?
Dear Editor – I just can’t wait for the new government’s proposed religious freedom laws, where people will have immunity from prosecution or job losses for acts or statements motivated by their religious beliefs.
I look forward to unfair dismissal court actions being replaced by ‘Unrighteous Dismissal Court’ actions, with theologically qualified barristers arguing the case as to whether the plaintiff’s statements or actions were in fact in line with the ‘canon’ of their professed religion or not, and whether their other actions and decisions were sufficiently in line with these religious principles to qualify them for a ‘righteous exemption’ from dismissal or harassment, etc.
The sooner the limits of all religious beliefs are fully defined by an Australian Government authority, the sooner the registered followers of all religions in Australia will be truly free to practise their religious beliefs free from the fear of unjustified persecution. What could possibly go wrong?
The only difficulty I see in this project, given the government’s intentions and parliamentary majority, is in the appointment of sufficiently impartial judges, given the multi-faith doctrines to be explored will require a bench of agnostic judges to be appointed.
Beyond the courts, in pursuit and recognition of these new religious freedoms, all places of religious worship or religious education must be required to display boards listing the types of people or practices that this religion requires to be shunned by those seeking entry to the premises, if necessary, replacing the former ten commandments, perhaps. This would help new converts identify the family, friends and work colleagues they must shun in order to be full members of that congregation.
If the Prime Minister of Australia can achieve this, he should no longer be known as ‘ScoMo’; he should be hailed as the new ‘ScoMoses’ for bringing his chosen people’s religion in under Pharaoh’s authority.
Garry P Dalrymple
Clovelly Dog Park
Dear Sir – I write to protest about the changes you recently outlined for Clovelly Dog Park (Dog Owners Kicked Off Clovelly Dog Park, The Beast, June 2019).
That the area be made off-limits to dogs is entirely unsatisfactory, particularly to parents who can at present bring wee Jasper along to rugby training and take Napoleon down to the off-leash area for a bit of exercise, instead of leaving the poor beast locked in the Porsche 4WD (Napoleon, that is).
The suggestions for a BMX/pump track, cyclist skills park, food vans and mini-festivals are completely inappropriate to the demographic.
It would be far preferable to create an opera amphitheatre on the incline towards the rock pools, to turn the off-leash area into a permanent polo practice field (with reserved 4WD parking) and to renovate the football change sheds to create a wine bar and locavore restaurant.
Nothing less befits our status as the southernmost bulwark of the recently reclaimed fiefdom of Wentworth.
Editor’s Note Randwick City Council has no plans to ban dogs from Burrows Oval. The article mentioned above was satirical in nature and clearly labelled as such. The Beast sincerely apologises for any trauma caused.