The Beast’s Monthly Mailbag
Fishing at Clovelly Beach
Hi there – I am wondering if you can shed some light on, or draw attention to, the issue of fishing at Clovelly Beach.
I am a long-time local. I took a walk down there on a blustery day and was shocked to find a man fishing with a line from the concrete in the middle of the northern side. There were swimmers in the water and we were super worried about the health of Bluey.
After calling the council, fisheries, and the surf club we were disappointed to hear that it is legal to line fish. But it is not legal to hurt Bluey? How can these two things both exist when you just don’t know what you’re going to catch? Furthermore, how can you fish with a hook while there are swimmers in the water? You can’t paddleboard at the beach but you can fish?
I’m looking to understand this bizarre logic and hoping we can all preserve Bluey for as long as possible. Can anyone shed some light, please? Everyone we spoke to agreed there was no logic.
Queens Park Dog Attack
I took my two-year-old old to the kid’s playground at Queens Park, and for a picnic in the adjoining green space. While sitting on our picnic rug, we were rushed at and terrorised by a group of eight out of control dogs, including (I believe) a rottweiler.
The aggressive dog owner then verbally abused me, threatened me, filmed me and my daughter, and accused me of “provoking” a dog attack by simply picking up my child.
Police are apparently powerless to do a thing, and this guy still frequents the park with his dangerous, out of control dogs.
Hi – I read your article (What’s That Bloody Noise? The Beast, September 2020) and it was reassuring to see I am not alone. I also hear the low-frequency hum, I have just moved from two different streets in Bondi and can now hear it even louder on Lamrock Avenue. Is there any support network or anything I can do? My sleep is now badly affected and it’s sending me crazy at night. I’ve been hearing it only this year. Thanks, and well done for writing an article about it.
Noise in Bronte
I found your article ‘What’s that bloody noise?’ (The Beast, September 2020) interesting. But for me, the source of the noise in our neighborhood is far more pedestrian than UFOs, mating fish, or spirits.
Like Luce (The music never stops, Letters, The Beast, September 2020), I live in Bronte and in recent years have been disturbed by continuous ambient noise which is particularly disturbing at night.
I live close to a three-storey aged-care facility where industrial-sized air-conditioning units have been placed on the roof close to the development’s perimeter. The air-conditioning units are currently operating 24/7. Closing windows and doors does not block out the intrusive noise. It also spoils anytime spent in the garden or outside the house.
Dozens of households in the neighborhood are now subjected to the noise pollution of these air conditioning units. I suspect that other Eastern Suburbs residents are similarly affected, particularly if the air-conditioning units are on multi-level rooftops and if they are not adequately maintained.
I was saddened to see Robert Parkinson leaving Bronte with such a bitter taste in his mouth (Letters, The Beast, September 2020). I often do a lap of Bronte Gully and have been watching with silent appreciation as the lantana, flame trees and other choking species are replaced with the very much at-home looking coastal banksia and other plants indigenous to the area.
I had often thought of writing a quick note to The Beast expressing my gratitude to both the professionals and the volunteers who donate precious time doing the tedious and thankless tasks required to make our public spaces look so magnificent. I totally understand Robert’s frustration at his hard work being treated with such blatant disregard, so better late than never: to Robert and all his fellow workers, a heartfelt thank you.
KAREN 2 KAREN
Dear Thomas (the ‘Mercedes-Driving Anarchist’) – I was going to excuse you the privilege of airing your political grievances once in the July edition of The
Beast, but now that you have decided to be a repeat offender in the August edition, I won’t let you get away with it. So, let’s have a nice little chat, shall we? Just between us Karens.
First of all, comparing the 2008-2009 GFC to the current crisis is a bit like comparing your nice, shiny Mercedes to my arsehole. Apologies to the sensitive readers out there, but let me explain…
The 2008-09 GFC was simply an economic slowdown. There was no lockdown, forced closure of entire industries such as tourism, aviation, hospitality, entertainment – the list goes on. At that time, Australia and indeed Mr Swan were benefitting from: a) The strong economy inherited only recently from his predecessor, Peter Costello; and, b) The strength of the Chinese economy at the time, our largest trading partner.
So, what was Wayne Swan’s masterful achievement for avoiding a recession in a single quarter? Issuing a $900 cheque to all Australians to boost spending. Well, isn’t that amazing! So amazing, in fact, that the magazine Euromoney named him the “world’s best treasurer”. I could have taken that accolade seriously until I found out that the only other Australian to receive the same award was Paul Keating, the author of “the recession we had to have”. Leftist bias by Euromoney? Perhaps. The point is, the economic damage caused by COVID-19 is so deep and sustained that a $900 cheque to all in this instance simply would not make a dent, especially when there are so many closed businesses and borders, combined with repeated lockdowns, as we now see in Victoria.
I hate to rain further on your socialist parade regarding the above point, but Mr Swan had also run up a combined $154 billion in deficits and had never achieved a surplus, whereas his predecessor had recorded surpluses in 10 of his 11 budgets.
Now, on to your claim that Murdoch’s press has convinced Australians that the Liberal Party is good for the economy. We don’t need Murdoch for that conviction. Australians are intelligent enough to choose leaders who take action and produce results, rather than words or emotions. Did you forget the vast wealth accumulated during the Howard years, following the disastrous Keating years? Did you forget that under Labor the NSW economy was ranked the worst performing economy in the country and that under Liberal it was ranked the best performing from 2014-2018?
As someone whose parents escaped communism to reach this outstanding country, personally I am thankful for Rupert Murdoch. Did you know that approximately 90 per cent of US media is left-leaning and that if it had not been for Murdoch, the US (followed by other Western democracies) would have already capitulated to communism, since it is extremely exposed to communist insurgencies and propaganda, in particular during election years? As an example, just this week the New York Times quietly deleted hundreds of advertorials that the Chinese Communist Party paid to publish on its website. I encourage you to take a look at the many other examples you won’t readily find in mainstream media (since they tend to hide their profit trails), because if communism does ever take over, Thomas, I can guarantee you won’t be driving a Mercedes – probably a Trabant, or a Yugo, or maybe a Lada. Then you can say ‘Dasvidaniya’ to your electric windows, and your nice place in Coogee.
Fab, the optimistic capitalist on JobKeeper
Hi James – Waverley Council is considering dedicating Mackenzies Bay as an “off leash dogs” zone. It is presently a “no dogs” area (although someone has recently destroyed the sign bearing that message), which rangers rarely visit.
I lived in Kenneth Street overlooking the bay in the early 1960s and have snorkelled, surfed, and/or fished there regularly since. It was known as ‘7 years beach’, on the basis that for a short time every several years a strip of sand would partially cover rocks on the Gaerloch Avenue side. Otherwise, those rocks are inhospitable to man and beast.
There are two small areas on the Tamarama Reef side which provide reasonably level surfaces. The lower one has a shallow tidal pool, which is a favourite for non-swimmers and children, however, dog owners seem to think they own it. A shallower toddlers’ wading pool, closer to Tamarama Reef, is also a doggie favourite. Leaving aside the occasional sand strip, it is the Tamarama Reef side which dog owners favour.
The council website states that “Conflict with other users would likely be minimal as dogs and their owners are currently one of the main users of Mackenzies Bay along with surfers.” I suspect that whoever wrote that has not experienced the crowds of predominantly dogless visitors on warm summer weekends, nor observed the looks of horror from mothers when dogs are introduced to the pools their children are enjoying.
The site also states, “Dedicated off-leash dog areas allow some separation of dogs and other open space users, which can improve enjoyment and safety for all,” and are places where dog owners can “enjoy improved social well-being and mental health”.
The area earmarked by the council is too small to allow separation from the other users who also are entitled to “enjoy improved social well-being and mental health”. How that can be achieved when confronted by faeces left on the rocks which wash into the shallow pools, and by constant barking diminishing their serenity, escapes me.
Council states that it would need to advertise the introduction of an off-leash area. Add to that social media and we would see an inevitable increase in the dog-owner occupation of the area and a diminishment of the enjoyment Mackenzies otherwise offers.
I might add that I have witnessed plenty of unpleasant interactions involving dog owners at Mackenzies and that Bronte Park, a mere three minutes’ walk away, already provides an extensive off-leash area. There, unlike Mackenzies Bay, parking is readily available.
Today, August 20 at about 8 am, I was on the rocks at Mackenzies about to fish from a ledge when I stopped to watch a breaching whale. Unexpectedly, a large boxer type dog playfully leapt from behind with its front paws thumping on my back, nearly knocking me over. It was not on a leash and was in the no dogs area. Had I been on the edge of the ledge the result may have been catastrophic.
Waverley Out of Control
Nicolette (Development at what cost? Letters, The Beast, August 2020) – The reason this stuff has been and continues to go on is that Section 4.15 of the Environmental Protection Act, which requires council to consider the social impact on the community, is not in any genuine way considered by council staff. There is no social policy in place to establish criteria for how this section is to be considered.
The Inner West has a requirement for a full social impact report that developers have to supply, and this includes input from residents. Waverley has nothing. Nothing. Staff simply tick off on this and if it’s permitted it proceeds regardless of whether or not it is appropriate. Just doing their job (following orders).
This plays into the hands of developers and decimates our community. Council has lost control of the agenda and residents are regarded as pests by council staff. No wonder developers are making a fortune in Waverley. We have to take control of the agenda.
The Dog Poo Jogger
Hello – Is this driving anyone else crazy? My son and I have dubbed this culprit the “dog poo jogger” and we want answers! Every week or so this person dumps a new bag of dog poo on the corner of Dudley and St Pauls Streets in Coogee. We have fantasies of setting up a camera to catch them but we thought maybe someone might have the inside scoop.
Amy & Hugo
Shining a Light
To the person who stole the garden lights from our yard facing Ramsgate Avenue: because you couldn’t be arsed to nip up to Bunnings Rose Bay to get some lights for your party on Friday night, you have stolen our joy.
I have spent over a hundred hours during lockdown transforming our sad garden patch into a shared oasis. A modest amount of money and a huge effort has gone into planting, establishing a communal herb garden, and hand-weeding and reseeding the entire lawn. The simple pleasure and Herculean effort have provided great comfort and satisfaction, with the final flourish of solar lighting being added to provide night time drama as well as safe passage through the garden for our building occupants at night. Our garden transformation has given pleasure to our building and neighbours, a beacon of light during these difficult times.
Your selfishness has dealt us a hard kick in the guts. We would like our lights back please, now that your party is over. Otherwise, when you look into your garden and see those lights; know that each time you do, they are shining a spotlight on a despicable human who does not deserve to count themselves as a member of the Bondi community.
Waverley Bowling Club Development Application
Dear Sir – Easts have issued a new Development Application (DA) relating to the Waverley Bowling Club. The DA proposes that the height of the building be increased. The height is already non-compliant with the legislated standards (as was noted in the discussions about the original DA) and any increase is therefore significant.
Reductions should be made in other areas rather than have the height increased again. I suggest the removal of an absolute minimum of one floor. Also, the height is already causing shading and making the building an eyesore in the opinion of the local community.
The bulk and height of the approved building is inconsistent with the local streetscape and any further increase in height and scale will worsen the negative impacts on the local residents which is inconsistent with the objectives of the Waverley Local Environmental Plan.
The onset of the Coronavirus pandemic has now shown the danger posed to the community by large air-conditioned buildings with high-density housing. The experience with Melbourne high-rise is an example of just how deadly. Consequently, the size should now be reduced by several floors as a matter of urgency and the air-conditioning reviewed to reduce the risk to the residents and the surrounding population of Waverley.
This information about the extreme danger inherent in such buildings was not before the public and the courts at the time of the Land and Environment Court judgment. It is time for a wholesale review of the entire project before the next (inevitable) pandemic demonstrates what a fatal mistake the project is!
Super and The Pandemic
I saw an article today by Ian Silk (CEO of Aussie Super), and all I could see in my mind was a cigar-smoking, Mr Burns-type character with a long moustache, sitting on a huge pile of money, saying. “Won’t somebody think of the children.”
Covid-19 and Aged Care
In the ABC’s most interesting program, Fight for Planet A, coal-into-parliament-carrying Scomo made a quick getaway from a ‘clown with balloons on his back’. In the case of aged care and COVID-19, Scomo might not be so lucky.
For a long time, we have known that private aged care offers, in parts, rather horrific conditions for its inmates. During the Corona pandemic, some of these places have become death traps. On page 17 of Scomo’s “Coronavirus Emergency Response Plan” it says, “the Australian Government will be responsible for residential aged care facilities”.
By mid-August, more than 260 elderly Australians in residential aged care have sadly lost their lives to COVID-19. Yet these deaths are not evenly distributed. In August, the ABC asked, “Why are there more Covid-19 cases in private aged care than in the public sector?” Given these numbers and Scomo’s self-announced responsibility, people might re-think voting for Scomo – particularly if they are getting older. And there is another thing you can do – be nice to your children. After all, it’s them who will decide in which aged care facility you will end up.
Thomas the Elder
From age-old Coogee
In mid-June, my mum suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. It’s been a huge shock but she would have wanted everyone to know about #DonateLifeWeek, a week where more Australians are encouraged to register to be an organ and tissue donor, and to have the conversation with their family and friends.
Last year Mum actively made the decision to be an organ donor. Unbelievably, she got in contact with Medicare and made that positive decision. Around Australia, six people have had their lives completely changed and are benefitting because mum made that decision.
It is easy and important to register either at my.gov.au or at donatelife.gov.au/register-donor-today. It will only take you one minute!
There is always someone who will need a transplant in Australia. One day it might be you, a friend, or a family member. This is why we need to do more and register for #DonateLife.
But, more importantly, tell your loved ones what you want, be very clear about your wishes so, should the time come, they can feel confident and comfortable making the decision and know they are fulfilling your wishes. When the family knows and sees you are on the organ donor register, 9 out of 10 times they will say yes to donation. It is ultimately their decision, so make it easier for them.
We learnt how rare it is for people to be organ donors – it’s a much smaller number than you think – and the list of people waiting for them is very long. Mum directly impacted six people, including donating her kidneys, liver, and lungs. These people have gotten a new chance to have adventures, be with their kids and experience the love and joys of life. Please consider becoming an organ donor now and multiply her impact.
Fossil fuel-led recovery
Dear Beast – The Eastern Suburbs is currently facing growing unemployment, like many parts of the country, and many of us are wondering how the government will create new jobs. To my great surprise, the federal government is now proposing a ‘gas-led’ economic recovery. This is despite gas being a highly potent greenhouse gas that will produce few jobs relative to other industries.
It defies all reason for Dave Sharma and our elected representatives to be pouring money into our fossil fuel industry when we have some of the highest per capita emissions in the world, and the potential to become a renewable energy superpower. We listened to the experts on COVID-19; why can’t we listen to the economists and scientists on our economic recovery?
Stop Fining Bikes
Dear James – I have lived in Waverley Municipality for 30 years, the last 15 with a scooter as the parking and traffic is abysmal. Twice in the last month, I have been hit with parking fines at Bondi Junction for not paying for metered parking sitting in between cars. This has never occurred to me before.
After the first fine, and complaining, the council cancelled the fine. I can only assume common sense prevailed and it was a mistake by a rookie inspector, however today they sent me a note saying the second notice still stands.
This makes no sense to me. A motorbike or scooter takes up one tenth of the space of a car. Bikes should be encouraged, not discouraged, as a way to lessen one’s urban footprint and relieve traffic congestion.
Temporary Toilet Block
Strolling past Bondi Pavillon this fine Sunday afternoon, August 30, I was appalled to see the provisions made regarding the temporary toilet block at the south end of the Pavilion. There was a constant queue of at least 20 women, while the men’s side was typically empty.
How on earth could anybody have considered providing an equal number of toilet stalls for men and women? Surely it’s well documented, both statistically and anecdotally, that women universally have longer queues and more demand for toilets – just go to any pub or festival, theatre or cinema.
Not only does a woman’s anatomy dictate that more time is required removing clothing, etc. but they also have extra demands within the stall, like monthly sanitary concerns and having to assist children. This situation is just ridiculous. To provide equal toilets is not providing equally.
Dear Sir/Madam – While I have no objection to growing education facilities, such as the Emanuel School featured in your August edition article titled Growing Local Schools Drive Residents Up the Wall, the local council must consider the objections of the local residents. Randwick Council can not “support both the residents and the school” simply through the “expansion of the resident parking scheme”.
I am a local resident in the council’s RA6 parking scheme, which has been expanded. These parking scheme permits cost residents with motor vehicles an extra $45 per year for the privilege of parking their cars near their homes. These permits cost over $160 for two cars. Council and the schools only benefit, not the residents.
The council should impose a sustainable design as part of the DA, in line with planning rules and common sense, for the school to accommodate extra vehicle movements, staff and student parking on the school’s site, and not push the problem to the local congested streets. Extending parking schemes at the cost of local residents is not why we, as residents, pay the council to represent our concerns.