The Beast’s Monthly Mailbag
The Clovelly springboard
Hi Nicola (Diving Into Clovelly’s History, The Beast, October 2020) – I was a child (born in 1943) living in Boundary Street, Clovelly. I remember the springboard was there until the mid ‘50s when my family moved from the district. I was too scared to use it myself.
A Heartfelt Thank you
On Thursday, September 24, I was transported to the emergency department at Prince of Wales Hospital by ambulance, suffering from a mashed-up face and broken nose after crashing to the footpath in South Coogee (note to self: must inform Randwick City Council).
I was lucky to be rescued by a passer-by, Sam, who helped me staunch the blood from my bleeding nose and called for an ambulance. So, thank you Sam from Matraville.
And also to Callum, from a plumbing company, who fetched my friend from the café where she was waiting for me and kindly brought me water from the nearby servo.
Thanks also to the owners of the Lion & Buffalo, Anna and Dean, who provided some of their best napkins to help with the blood flow, and the ambo’s who arrived promptly, Martin and Stephen, who were caring and professional and transported me promptly to the hospital.
I can’t say enough about the staff in emergency, but I will mention those who looked after me during the day and were humorous, caring, and professional. In particular, the treatment I received from registered nurses Emma and Niamh, Dr Jonathon, physiotherapist Cynthia and two student nurses, Catherine and Finbar, was second to none. I would be happy if these staff members would be made aware of my gratitude to them.
If I ever doubted the kindness and helpfulness of the human race, all was restored after Thursday.
Fishing at Clovelly
Hi – I read with interest Angela David’s remarks on the above subject (Untangling the Fishing Legislation, The Beast, October 2020). She has her answer; fishing at Clovelly is, and should continue to be, allowed.
Us fishers have had enough of NIMBY/WOKES from the anti-fishing mob commenting on us. If you don’t want to share the coast and/or see people fishing at Clovelly, move to Newtown.
Beach Wars: Return of the Narc
Dear Beast – It had spent the past two decades on its knees, but mark down October 6, 2020 as the day the soul of Bondi officially exhaled its last breath. When this humble ‘columnist’ first read the recent reports of the flouted European beach club in the reputable newspaper, The Daily Mail, my mind instantly turned to the poor souls who had spent all their life in Bondi only to watch it turn into a caricature.
You only had to spend five minutes in Bondi to realise that she was crying out for our attention; to help prevent her from turning into a dystopian land of 35 year-old men with long hair, a cool accent and a skateboard.
Plans to bring ‘Euro beach chic’ to the culturally starved ‘locals’ are completely unnecessary. You don’t need to pay $80 to sit in a cabana with doctors, lawyers, reality TV stars, and wannabes; just go to the Coogee Pavilion.
Commercial ‘European beach clubs’ are a little incongruous to Australian beach culture (although Bondi may be different, but not that different). Australia is different to Europe – we watch rugby league instead of soccer, our children have names like Brad, Darren or Shane, and the beach is inclusive and free for all.
However, I could be out of touch. If the people are that desperate to spend their $80 to go to Bondi, they can park their car on Queen Elizabeth Drive for six hours and have a Bulmers on the grassy knoll with all the other legends with an interest in “fashion, travel and luxury goods”.
Scooter parking in Bondi Junction
I read with interest Tim’s letter about scooter parking at Bondi Junction (Stop Fining Bikes, Letters, The Beast, October 2020). I have ridden scooters in Bronte, Bondi and Waverley since 2005 due to finding it a quick and inexpensive way of getting around. Several years ago, after the City of Sydney changed their parking policy to allow scooters and motorbikes to park in car parking places with no ticket requirement (as long as you respected the time limits), I asked if Waverley Council would implement the same policy since, as Tim correctly points out, you can fit ten bikes in a car parking place, so it’s a very efficient use of public space. I was told that the unofficial parking policy was the same as the City of Sydney but could not officially be changed due to the mayor at the time being concerned about where she would park her large 4×4 “Woollahra tractor” if scooters were permitted to use car parking places.
It is very disappointing to hear that scooters are now being penalised. If all the scooter riders bought cars and needed to park them at Bondi Junction, there would be much less car parks available for all. Surely the sensible solution is more parking areas for scooters and motorcycles and no requirement for parking tickets for them, as a reward for their donation of more public space for car parking.
Something to Think About
Seriously Tim (Stop Fining Bikes, Letters, The Beast, October 2020), you must be aware that parking between two cars and not paying for a ticket is not the go.
The first time you were let off was a warning, and you should have received a reply advising you of such. You should have thought that one out. I know, because a similar thing happened to me in the Woollahra area. There are designated spaces for motorcycles/scooters, although I believe nowhere near enough.
Perhaps our councils should give more parking space to riders and not use previously prohibited places for parking to allow exclusive parking for car rental companies. How did that come about? Now you’ve got me started.
Are all the fines that were issued over all the years for illegal parking in these now exclusive areas refundable? Because these spaces are now legal (in a sense) for rental companies. A lot of the spaces were ‘No Stopping’, which is a big fine, so it must have been considered risky to park there. Why now can a rental car park there? It still presents a risk. Nothing has changed except the sign, right?
And another thing, if one rents a car like those available to park in these designated areas, the driver should be fined if they park anywhere but in the designated spot. How many times have you seen an area with diabolical parking problems, with one of these rental cars parked in a ‘normal’ spot while the rental spot goes unused for days at a time? That’s something to think about.
The Fine Print
Dear Tim (Stop Fining Bikes, Letters, The Beast, October 2020) – Waverley Council ceased allowing motorbikes to park for free in paid parking spaces in 2013 – likely coinciding with the issuing of New South Wales Road Rules 2014 (current to 2021) which, among other things, cover parking. This was reported in The Beast (thebeast.com.au/news/free-tickets-ride), so you have been lucky not to have been fined sooner.
Rule 207(2) states:
The driver (rider) must—
(a) pay the fee (if any) payable under the law of this jurisdiction, and
(b) obey any instructions on or with the sign, meter, ticket or ticket-vending machine.
Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.
Also, you state that you parked “sitting in between cars”; Rule 208 shows an incidental diagram requiring vehicles to leave “more than 1 metre” of clear space between vehicles. If you parked in this space you also left yourself liable for a fine.
Around October 2019, Waverley Council changed to the pay-by-plate PayStay digital meter system without really warning motorcyclists that payment is now required. You might be able to address a council meeting and put your case. There are a number of councils that have adopted pay-by-plate but have chosen to adjust the meters to either give a concession rate or no charge. Liverpool City Council and Place Management (which controls the harbour foreshores) are two that come to mind.
In 2019, North Sydney Council adopted its Motorbike Scooter Parking Strategy and Action Plan in recognition of the growth in registrations. In the Waverley Local Government Area, motorbikes and scooters comprise 10.3 per cent of total registrations (in 2018), so there could be scope for Waverley Council to develop a similar strategy.
Until around March this year, Waverley Council had twelve or so ‘Motorcycle Only’ spaces in Spring Street opposite Eastgate. These have been moved across to Denison Street and are free.
The Anarcho-Merc Strikes Again
Dear Fab (Karen 2 Karen, Letters, The Beast, October 2020) – what an effort. I thought I should reply. The educated reader might know the difference between Stalinism and Anarchism. We anarchists detest Stalinism with an even greater passion than you have shown. Unfortunately for you, this also renders about half of your letter obsolete.
Also, “wealth accumulated” is not the problem. The problem is who cashes in and who does not (YouTube: Honest Government Ad – Trickledown Economics). The key is wealth distribution, as the world’s foremost economist, Thomas Picketty, has shown conclusively. Oxfam, the World Bank, the IMF, and even WEF (Davos) all agree: inequality is rising. Still, much of Australia’s wealth is in home ownership while many Australians suffer wage stagnation. I hope that you are the lucky owner of the recently sold $18 million house in Bronte since Howard and Costello gave you so much wealth. Good on you. Can you see your Mercedes from your swimming pool as well? For $18 million that should be a given.
By the way, wealth and Howard… Because of Howard’s wasted decade on global warming, his Worse Choices Law and his support for the killing spree in Iraq that created decades of untold misery – including torture in Abu Ghraib – for absolutely no weapons of mass destruction, I never really liked Howard. But I changed my mind instantly after reading Howard’s letter in support of George Pell. “Exemplary character”, Howard gushed (ABC, February 27, 2019). Perhaps you, him and me should get together to set up a little “George Pell Defence Fund”. How does that sound?
By the way, Iraq… All of Murdoch’s newspapers supported another useless war. Your support for Murdoch’s media empire tells us three things: Firstly, when a JobKeeper recipient supports the $19.1 billion dollar man Murdoch, the rich can sleep well at night. Secondly, my old friend, fellow anarchist, and the world’s most influential intellectual (according to The New York Times), Noam Chomsky, was right again. Your Murdoch support marks the “Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda” – Murdoch’s propaganda that is. Thirdly, your “left-leaning” press gives us a “Pepsi vs Coke”-like newspaper choice in Sydney of exactly two – a mildly and a strongly conservative newspaper, of which neither has endorsed Labor in the last 25 years. Uncomfortable evidence against the “left-leaning press” mythology, isn’t it?
Finally, you seem to admire my black Mercedes with tinted windows (way beyond the legal limit). You also mentioned Trabant, a car in which I had the second most pleasurable ride of my life (the most enjoyable one was in France with a blonde in the car, but that is another story). Recently, a hyper-attractive red, getting into the Mercedes late at night, admired the lighting up of the Mercedes sign when the door opens. To me it is just a car. Lately, I began to desire the “Baby Bugatti” – its craftsmanship is exquisite. But enough of this; I am off with my Mercedes to a secret beach to have a swim with my nude-swimmer friends Sacco and Vanzetti.
Reds Under the Bed
Fab’s attack on Thomas’ article in the October issue is specious (Karen 2 Karen, Letters, The Beast, October 2020). If Australia qualifies as a communist state by racking up debt, then so must the USA qualify, because successive governments there have incurred enormous public debt in response to the GFC and later to reduce unemployment with quantitative easing.
Most economists would advise that the extent of Australia’s public debt is well within our country’s capacity to pay it off, which is why the Coalition government is so willing to incur more debt to mitigate the effects of the current recession. Fab would also know that many successful Australian small businesses operate with a continuous level of debt, so they can direct more of their revenue to their core operations.
My method to deal with “reds under the bed” is to spray liberally with pesticide and to sprinkle all news articles with a grain of salt. Fab should try it some time, it works.
There is an advertisement currently plastered on the back of some Sydney buses for Musashi sports supplement. It depicts four men and one woman in sporting attire holding the balls from the sport they each play. The four to one male to female ratio reinforces the outdated message that sport is for men and women’s sport is of little relevance.
The most widely played women’s sport in Australia is netball, by a country mile, yet the advertisers chose to depict a woman holding a rugby ball. Perhaps the logic is if you have to show a chick then pick one who plays a sport that men are interested in. Women are really tired of their achievements being ignored. Advertisements like this one do not belong in this century.
Hi Nicola – I hear the noise sometimes, usually late at night or very early morning (What’s That Bloody Noise, The Beast, September 2020). It’s annoying for sure. It is a low sound, like machinery or a horn of some type, that repeats every 20 seconds or so, off and on. To me, it sounds like it comes from the direction of the harbour, so I wondered whether the noise could be coming from the naval base at Potts Point. I haven’t heard it very recently (I’ll probably hear it again now that it’s on my mind again – grr).
Hi James – I contacted you a couple of days ago about the noise. I heard it last night and this time listened intently. I am certain the noise I hear is the call of a tawny frogmouth. I googled them (at 2am) and it’s the same call that I hear! I am so relieved. If The Beast did not have the article I would have been wondering about this random sound for ages no doubt.