The Beast’s Monthly Mail Bag
Duncan’s Rant Response
Waverley Council has had an Outdoor Public Space Management Plan in place for many months to ensure compliance with the relevant public health orders and to help keep the community COVID-safe. This plan includes additional staffing, signage and communications as well as working closely with the police, Transport for NSW, NSW Health and neighbouring Councils to ensure our open spaces remain open for the safe enjoyment of our community.
At Bronte Park on Christmas Day, as in previous years, Council rostered additional rangers and paid for additional police on public holidays over the busy summer period to ensure compliance with the alcohol prohibited areas. The no alcohol areas are clearly signed and have been communicated extensively through traditional and social media. Despite this, a crowd of approximately 2-300 people gathered during the afternoon at Bronte Park and additional police were called in to ensure the crowd was safely dispersed.
For New Year’s Eve, following discussions with the police, additional measures were implemented including turning off the barbecues and fencing off picnic huts and Biddigal Reserve for the evening.
In regard to the Bronte Cutting Safety Upgrade, Council has a duty of care to ensure the safety of the over 1 million pedestrians who use the cutting annually. Two thorough community consultations have been conducted, most recently in November-December 2020.
Mayor of Waverley
Coogee Beach PA System still a public nuisance
6.58am, New Year’s Eve: a lifeguard, with his megawatt PA, tells one surfer that he/she is in the wrong bit of water. But at least 20,000 other people in Coogee’s amphitheatre shaped valley – many still (until then) blissfully sleeping – are forced to eavesdrop. Did the ‘emergency use only’ tag on the microphone switch fall off again?
Trump, Sex and Scomo
In Jeremy Ireland’s most recent article (Delusions of Grandeur, The Beast, January 2021), he says, “Trump is a unique individual.” Well, aren’t we all? Ireland also claims, “In all fairness… we really know Trump through the media.” In all fairness, fairness is not a concept that Trump comprehends or practises.
Yet we know Trump from his own words. Through his 25,000 tweets (reported by CNN), he communicates directly with his devotees – the poorly educated. In his congressional testimony, Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, said that Trump is a racist, a conman, and a cheat.
There is also a video in which Trump – the man himself – boasts of grabbing women by the p*ssy. Finally, in ‘the worst seconds of my life’, Stormy Daniels reports that Trump only had one position. What a dick.
Trump is the man who recently gave our esteemed Scomo a medal, a tellingly labelled Legion of Merit. Yet there is no merit, sexually or otherwise. But it fits the bill. When 70 world leaders met in December last year to celebrate five years of the Paris Climate Agreement, the merit boys – Trump and Scomo – were not even invited.
Trump and Scomo are isolated with a use-by-date of January 2021 for Trump and mid-2022 for Scomo. Until then, we Australians can enjoy a prime minister colorfully decorated with a merit medal for his performance, outstanding services and achievements, as it says on the medal’s box. And some people say that Australians do not get irony. They do!
Waverley Motorcycle Parking
If I am to now pay the same rate for my motorcycle as a car for metered street parking, then I will park it parallel to the kerb and take up as much space as I possibly can. Simple!
Hi James – I highly commend Finn in December’s issue for calling out the Aussie male culture that prides itself on denigrating women (Random Discursive, Letters, The Beast, December 2020). It’s one thing for women to disapprove of this (often perceived as lecturing or nagging), but much more powerful for males to do so amongst their mates. I encourage other young men to stand up!
In a similar vein, I also challenge non-Indigenous readers to call out racist comments they hear towards First Nations people. This sends the clear message that it is not socially acceptable and relieves some of the advocacy burden from the victims.
Responding to the letter ‘Trash’ from Jamo of Bondi in your January 2021 edition, complaining about the dumping of the The Wentworth Courier at every address in the Eastern Suburbs… This is definitely not the case, as for the past many years no Courier has been dropped in Waverley Crescent, Bondi Junction, notwithstanding my repeated requests.
I would very much like to regularly receive The Wentworth Courier, please!
Deadly Sewer for Buses
Dear The Beast – I refer to the tragic accident involving a bus driver hitting and killing a pedestrian right outside Bondi Junction Interchange a few weeks back on December 17, 2020 (www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-17/sydney-news-bus-driver-charged-over-bondi-junction-death/12991736).
According to news reports, the bus was turning from Grosvenor Street (between the interchange and Westfield) into Grafton Street when the accident occurred.
I am not surprised that this has happened. Readers know that pedestrians often ignore traffic lights and run in front of buses leaving and entering the interchange. Why? Because the traffic lights between the interchange and Westfield take too long.
However, I am disheartened that my emails to Transport for NSW and even Con Gestion’s piece (A Sewer for Buses, The Beast, June 2018) alerting readers of the dangers afflicting the interchange remain ignored. It was only a matter of time before someone got hurt and, sadly, someone has now been killed.
I experienced a similar incident first-hand (which I also emailed Transport for NSW about) way back in September 2017. The driver of the bus I was on was coming out of the interchange and nearly hit a parent and child who walked in front of our bus without looking.
How many more injuries and deaths will it take before a pedestrian underpass connecting Westfield, Oxford Street Mall and the interchange is built? Such an underpass will help numerous shoppers get to rail services without having to cross in front of buses at Grosvenor and Grafton Streets. This is an obvious safety improvement for everyone – pedestrians and bus drivers.
Latest Mark’s Park Abomination
Let’s discuss for a moment the ‘erection’ at Mark’s Park giving the ever-so-green finger to our Kiwi compatriots across the Tasman.
Just because someone has the skill (and I use that word advisedly) to construct an oversized, tumorous asparagus shoot and paint it the most hideous colour available in their limited pallet, does not make it art.
Just because someone has a foreign-sounding name and has perhaps enjoyed limited ‘artistic success’ in their past, doesn’t mean everything they produce going forward is ‘art’.
Just because a creator (and I use that word advisedly too) has the ability to wax lyrical using a spray of new-age superlatives to name and describe a piece, doesn’t make it art.
Just because a committee with dubious collective artistic taste chooses to overpay for whatever eye-watering proposal is tabled at their meeting, doesn’t make it art. Let’s not forget, a camel is a horse designed by a committee.
Just because passers-by stand and stare at it thinking, “WTF?”, doesn’t make it art.
Size plus money plus bad taste does not equal ‘art’. Take it down and put it up in the mayor’s front garden (and you can read into that what you may).
Hi James and The Beast team – This cover is really shameful (The Beast, February 2021), it objectifies women, specifically fetishing an artificial (plastic surgery) sexualised body, which perpetuates unrealistic pressure on girls and women, impacting their very most inner self esteem.
And the representation of optically Caucasian people only is thoughtless racism, arguably perpetuating a white supremacist world view. I’m shocked and saddened by this hurtful sexist and racist image. Please consider an apology in the next issue.
LIGHTING UP THE BRONTE CUTTING
Waverley Council has provided a safe walkway in the Bronte Cutting, but do we need street lights? The beauty of this pathway through the age-old heritage sandstone is the untouched and natural aura of the rock face leading down to the sea. The concept of digging up the walkway to install 5-metre lighting will lead to the disfigurement of the area and changing vistas from Tamarama across the bay to the Bronte headland. The main substance of the coastline at night will become a high-lit string of man-made lights punctuating the natural rise and fall of the cliff face.
Is there the need? After dark, when such lighting is planned, very few cars travel through Bronte Cutting. It goes nowhere, and cars at night have many other places to park on surrounding streets. As a consequence, pedestrians have little chance of encountering a car in the Cutting, and there have been no pedestrian accidents recorded. The concern is perceived rather than actual. However, there is a safety concern which could easily arise, with night time street parties and antisocial activities popping up along a newly lit, unpatrolled pathway.
The legal argument for having lights on our foreshore is not supported in the adopted Council Plan of Action for Bronte Park and Beach, July 2017. Extensive work in this accepted document to beautify the Bronte coastline show little argument for blanketing out the ocean view with added lights at night. Viewing the moon streaking across the darkened sea is a sight to behold, but there is the real risk that man-made lights will destroy this simple pleasure and compete with the moonlit path across the sea.
Driving around the Waverley precinct reveals a need for attention to the bone jarring holes in roadways and weeds growing happily along the verges. To dig down into the rock face of Bronte Cutting to lay cables for lights should be a low priority when the extra money for this expensive task could be spent on the upkeep of roads and beautification of our charming streetscape.
Not Happy Dan
How about a ‘thumbs down’ to Dan Murphy’s Coogee. While most of us are being responsible and obeying the mandatory wearing of masks, they are allowing – and serving – people who are not wearing masks. What part of mandatory don’t they understand?
Dog Owners Did it Again
This is not a new subject, and it’s not COVID related either. Do dog owners know how to read signs or follow rules? We’ve recently moved to the south end of Coogee Beach and we love walking through the coastal walk towards the playground, the beach and the shops. However, dog owners tend to ruin our lovely walk, having their dogs off the leash where they’re supposed to be on one.
Don’t get me wrong, we love dogs and we are happy that they get to run around and enjoy the nice parks in Coogee. But not everybody loves dogs. Unfortunately, our kids don’t yet. They are terrified of them. Imagine a horse running towards you with the tongue out and sniffing you… Yeah, scary. Even if your dog is nice, you never know how they will react.
Please, dog owners, be aware of the off-leash limits, as not all parks, playgrounds and footpaths are free range for dogs. Start reading signs and be mindful of everyone else in these areas. Get your dog on the leash and train them well to stick next to you – and this also applies to you if you’re on the phone and leave your dog wandering around on the extendible leash, blocking the 3-metre wide footpath. If not, Trenerry Reserve will face the same destiny as the Clovelly Dog Park.
Get The Dogs
Coogee and Maroubra are no better than Clovelly. The coastal walk near Wylies and down at Mahon Pool are packed with dogs off the leash in areas where it is illegal. My kids are visibly panicking when a loose dog approaches them and the owners typically don’t care. Today there was even one inside a playground in Oberon Street! Besides fines, we need responsible dog owners to help control those that don’t respect the designated areas.
Sharma on Heat
Dear Beast – Please thank Thomas Klikauer wholeheartedly (Sharma on Heat, Letters, The Beast, January 2021) for his brilliant response to Dave Sharma’s misleading and totally hypocritical article about his party’s environmental achievements in the previous issue. Dave Sharma’s article sounded like a bad joke.
Attention: Dave Sharma, my member of parliament. How dare you spend public money
on sending personal advertising under the guise of a faux Christmas card.
It is paid for by struggling Australians, because it sure as hell isn’t from the big corporations your political party allows to pay zero tax. In fact you give public money to many of them.
This is a waste of taxpayers’ funds and is a corrupt use of public money.
Accolades for James
Hi James – My wife and I moved to wonderful Randwick in June, from Victoria. I just wanted to say that I find The Beast interesting, informative and entertaining. I love getting into bed and reading it cover to cover. Well done, keep it up!
PS. Accolades also to Camille Fox for a terrific front cover on your January 2021 edition… masks and all!