The Beast’s Monthly Mail Bag
My Salty Saviour
Last week I went out into the surging, stormy sea with a couple of mates for a swim. Halfway across the bay a freak set hit and I found myself caught in the danger zone. I started to panic and legitimately thought I was going to drown. At that critical moment, like a seal sent from the heavens, a man in a wetsuit popped up out of the whitewash and helped me safely to shore. I have never been so relieved in my life. All I know about the brave Bondi local who saved my life is that his name is Luke. Luke, you’re a bloody legend!
‘Annual’ Fire Safety
Hello James – I have been a strata unit owner in Bronte since 2009. I want to share with owners of strata units in Waverley that I recently realised that Waverley Council authorises the Annual Fire Safety Statement (AFSS) for strata plans for one year from the date of signing of the document by the strata’s authorised person.
In practice, that means that if the strata owners signed the AFSS before the one year passed, then Council will use this new earlier date as the beginning of the one-year period for the next year!
So, if the strata is not careful, or too eager, and the AFSS gets signed early, e.g. soon after inspection by a fire safety company, then this ‘annual’ period can get shortened by weeks and even months every year.
For instance, my strata’s AFSS date has moved back around six months in eleven years. Since my strata’s average fire safety compliance costs are over $1,300 per year, it means my strata has lost around $650.
I note that Waverley Council charges a yearly AFSS registration fee, so our strata’s fees were $100 in 2018, $120 in 2019 and $123 in 2020, while at the same time threatening penalties of $1,000 per week for failure to provide the AFSS. It is unAustralian and possibly illegal for a government body to operate like that!
It is my opinion that Waverley Council must change the AFSS due date for all strata plans in its municipality to a fixed date encompassing a 365-day period, rather than a floating date from the signing of one AFSS to the next.
Also, Waverley Council must compensate all strata plans for the shortened AFSS periods by returning AFSS due dates to the original due dates.
Opposing the Amalfi Swingers Beach Club
Dear Editor – I am outraged to hear of yet another incursion of selfish pleasure seeking narcissists taking over public space for fun and profit. Our iconic Bondi Beach is a world renowned public landmark for multiple uses and everyone to enjoy.
We now hear of a proposal to make a section of this beach for the exclusive use of some people who follow a certain ‘lifestyle’.
“It will be open to all! Children and families welcome!” says the developer. Well, I for one do not want my children seeing such behaviour up close and personal when they’re trying to play in the sand. It’s immoral and quite traumatic for them.
“It’s just a bit of fun,” says the developer. Well, what’s fun for some can be a horror show for those observing. I’m sure it feels lovely to get up close and personal with others in an exclusive setting, but from where we’re standing it looks like a bunch of sweaty, greasy limbs in a blender. With an Aperol Spritz poured over the top.
It is for these reasons that I strongly oppose the recent proposal to develop ‘The Amalfi Swingers Beach Club’ on Bondi Beach. There are plenty of quiet coves and purpose-built venues around Sydney that would benefit from the influx of patrons and their hard-earned trust funds. Please, do not put the Swingers Club on Bondi Beach.
Won’t someone think of the children?
Let it be known from the start that I know only one of the characters from this recount, and that is Jenny, my friend with whom I shared a coffee break at Huxtons.
I am a Bronte local for some 30 years, and Jen a more recent local. These cafes and food establishments, such as Iggy’s on Macpherson Street, are wonderful and attract a large crowd of visitors on most days of the week. Parking can be a problem, and sometimes it is tempting to do the wrong thing, just to dash in to see Iain at the Bronte Pharmacy to grab some supplies, or to run in for a hot chook at The Char.
I myself have been booked while my husband sat in the car in the loading zone waiting for me to come out of the local chemist, even though we had a displayed disability sticker! The commissioner even brushed off my letter requesting negation of the fine.
Waverley Council can be brutal, but they aren’t there very often, so you can often witness people parking in dangerous no stopping zones near the corner, as well as the bus stop, because the need for a good coffee clearly outweighs the rules for many people.
I usually walk there (I realise that living nearby is my good fortune), and last week, as I walked to meet Jenny, a young guy was hovering strangely near a car in front of an apartment block on St Thomas Street. As I approached he stared at me, as if he was about to speak to me, but said nothing as I passed. I said “hello” and continued on to Huxtons.
Some time later, as we sat there, a young woman cradling a baby approached Jenny and asked her if she owned a Honda Civic. We thought it odd, but both agreed that the young woman seemed distressed.
As I returned home some time later the story unravelled. I had to stop at the driveway of the same apartment block as a vehicle was being reversed from in front of a garage. It was a Honda Civic being driven by a late 20-something female (I’m not good at guessing, and her behaviour suggested she couldn’t be described as a woman or a lady).
She had decided, in her entitlement, that parking in front of a closed private garage in an apartment block was the only option so she could sit and have a meal with a friend at one of our lovely establishments. The only problem was that the garage belonged to the young man and young woman with a baby, and they had been unable to leave their home for over 45 minutes! She didn’t even have the decency to leave her mobile number on the windscreen.
I was incensed for this couple’s dangerous inconvenience (what if their baby had been sick?), and because I asked whether the Honda Civic had been illegally parked on their property, they told me what had happened, just as the selfish beeeatch was reversing out of the spot. She was smirking, an arrogant ugly human being without concern for others. Her café meal was the only important thing to her. She had eaten and she was off, with no sincere apology to offer.
What kind of person would do that? Karma will hopefully come for her, and with any luck also a fine to pay.
Oh noooooooo! It’s baaaaack!! The Wentworth Courier is once again being dumped at every address in the Eastern Suburbs. It’s gotta be completely illegal. Wally Wintle, we need you!
Responsible dog owners should not be punished for the inappropriate behaviour of others. I have used Burrows Park off-leash area over the last 7 years, taking care to keep my dog within the boundaries and under control so that no people or dogs have been hurt.
Fines should be issued to owners who infringe the rules, rather than removing the facility for all. A high fence area would be appropriate for those who do not have complete control over their dogs.
Thank you Lizzie and Sarah Jane for your letter to the editor regarding my recent article (Safe Injecting Space Planned for Mackenzies Bay, The Beast, November 2020). Satire is designed to provoke robust discussion, and your letter is considered and articulate. The letter claims that comparing dog owners to drug addicts is a form of stigmatisation. That’s true – comparing dog owners to drug addicts stigmatises drug addicts.
Sharma on Heat
In The Beast’s December edition, the Liberal Member for Wentworth tells us, “We have introduced the Reef 2050 plan to improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef… we have created a $100 million Environment Restoration Fund.” Once I got over the breathtaking hypocrisy, which took three days, I was able to think about what he said. Basically, there are three problems.
Firstly, the year 2050 is thirty years from now. By that time, according to most projections, there will be no Great Barrier Reef left. The Liberal Party’s idée fixe about global warming is a bit like your doctor telling you, “You have lung cancer,” and your private health insurance saying, “We have introduced a plan for you until 2050,” by which time you will be dead.
Secondly, the sum of $100 million sounds impressive but it does not reflect the magnitude of what we are facing. Substantially more money needs to be spent on global warming but the Liberal Party does the opposite. While it offers $100 million on global warming (a term avoided like the plague by Mr Sharma), his party also spends $100 billion on 12 submarines nobody needs. To use a comparison again, it’s like spending $100 on a new car you really need and $100,000 on submarines that won’t be able to get you to your workplace. The Liberal Party’s rampant environmental vandalism reminds one of Foucault’s Madness and Civilization.
Thirdly, Dave Sharma’s beloved “Adani-Yes!” Liberal Party is not only the party of “more drilling – more spilling”, it also is the party that is doing irreparable damage to our environment. Very soon, the Sydney Basin will have no koalas left in the wild as habitat after habitat is destroyed. We are moving towards the sixth mass extinction (for more, read Klikauer, Dark Water Rising).
Luckily for the Liberal Party, Murdoch’s propaganda machine has made sure that most Australians are kept oblivious about what the rest of the world is doing on global warming, from the US Army to Boris Johnson’s plan to achieve “net-zero emissions by 2050”. Meanwhile, Australia’s Liberal Party still fights tooth and nail when it comes to green energy, a carbon tax, international agreements on global warming, etc.
So, why is Dave Sharma trying to greenwash the Liberal Party by telling us the very opposite of what his party is doing? Often it seems that either some politicians are utterly stupid or they know exactly what they are doing and do it anyway. It might be a bit of both. Many people in the Liberal Party know what they are doing. But they also believe that the electorate can be exposed to a bit of mushroom politics: keep them in the dark and feed them shit.
Dear Editor – Dave Sharma, the Member for Wentworth, needs to find some more meaningful material to write about and also have his facts checked. His article in your most recent edition (Why I’m Saying No to Offshore Drilling, The Beast, December 2020) is a load of nonsense.
As if a 16-year-old licence to drill offshore of Sydney and Newcastle for oil and gas is ever going to be activated, especially in this day and age of environmental awareness, and as you say, no useful discoveries have been made. Pigs would fly.
In terms of fact checking, in no way is it “one of the most densely populated and trafficked strips of ocean in the world”, and Newcastle and Manly are not 4,500 kilometres apart. Our coastline is an urban and shipping paradise compared to many like the English Channel, Hong Kong or Toyo/Yokohama, to name a few.
There are plenty more pressing subjects of interest to Beast readers that Dave could be writing about. For example, there is Zali Steggal’s Climate Bill, our shrinking marine reserves and the scandalous pumping of Sydney’s sewerage out to sea from ocean outfalls, which includes from Bondi and via the Hawkesbury River. This last issue is an elephant in the room of Sydney’s sustainability and water management. Have we forgotten the recent drought and water restrictions? Dave, your government has responsibilities for our ocean and for encouraging the population migration that exacerbates this antediluvian practice.
There are many important things for our local MPs to talk about other than tilting at windmills, fighting non-existent enemies.
Hi James – On first reading Finn from Waverley’s Random Discursive in the December edition of The Beast I was unsure if I had actually read this correctly. It was badly disjointed and confusing and I do hope the writer is actually not a 17-year-old product of one of our Eastern Suburbs schools, but maybe someone just wanting to elicit some lively outrage from those he thinks live in the fantasy bubble he created.
I am also giving him the benefit of the doubt that this was written with a foggy mind at the time. So, assuming for now he is who he says he is, what I want to say to Finn is to never ever be complacent about all the girls and women who live in your bubble. That is dangerous! These girls and women all know and have always known what grubby little boys’ minds get up to with their whispering and giggling, whether behind the school toilets or out on a surfboard.
At some stage you may be fortunate enough to marry, and what I want to warn you about is those girls and women who you so generously say are gradually coming to realise they have rights will be one of them. The rights that you and your fellow misogynists have always taken for granted will upon marriage gradually begin to dissipate until the rights of your chosen one overwhelmingly take precedence over every decision that is made in regard to your life from here on in, so enjoy your future life to the max and sending big congratulations to you upon your marriage!
LEAVE THE CUTTING ALONE
Lit up like the Sydney Cricket Ground during a night-time test match! Waverley Council is holding a survey of chosen people to comment on their plan to erect tall street lights along the Bronte Cutting. However, only selected areas of the coastal walk will be lit up, so the question is, how is safety improved in this way?
The unspoilt beauty and moonlit setting of our natural heritage area will be destroyed with this intrusive lighting. Please, Waverley Council, widen the coastal walk with compliant steps and fix the potholes in our roads before adding man-made intrusions to our natural coastal heritage.
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