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Letters July 2017

By The People of the Eastern Suburbs on July 10, 2017 in People

Illustration: Dalton Wills

Dear Beast,
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to voice our views. I live in a lovely part of Bronte, which is being spoilt by dogs barking day and night, especially at night. Selfish and irresponsible neighbours are leaving their dogs out where they bark for hours on end, which completely spoils our peaceful living. Complaints are made about loud music and parties, but dogs carry on barking. I hope those responsible read this and it makes them think more about their neighbours. I hope so!
Chris, Bronte

I wonder how much of the ‘no parking’ issue in the Eastern Suburbs would be alleviated if all of the abandoned cars left on the streets throughout the area were removed? Surely the authorities could do more to prevent cars being abandoned in the first place.
Jason, North Bondi

I would just like to acknowledge the greatness of your music reviewer Alasdair McClintock. Witty, insightful, knowledgeable: he is the bastard son of Lester Bangs and Legs McNeil. Always turn to his page after reading Pearl. Keep up the great work all youse guys.
Muzza, Maroubra

I feel my situation will resound with many other Eastern Suburbs residents, and I know it has probably been thrashed out in previous issues of The Beast.

The property next door to us is currently under investigation for housing illegal backpackers. A group of residents from the community have been going through the motions seeking support and advice, and intervention. Council has been involved and today I am meeting a councillor from Waverley in an attempt just to be heard and taken seriously.

I am not asking that our situation is covered specifically, but I feel we would all benefit knowing just what are the steps to stopping the negative environmental and social impact of properties being turned into short term let properties.

The apartment in question is in North Bondi. It was a block of four two-bedroom units. It was approved by Council a year or two ago to be transformed into a block of four four-bedroom units. Fully furnished, it’s accommodating 32 people. That is minimum, not including friends staying on the couch.

Residents have uncovered beds being offered for $250 a night on social media pages. Yet the landlord (who owns the whole block) states it is tenanted legally. When we approached the real estate agency, Express Realty in Bondi, we were told face to face that the landlord of the property is not associated with Express Realty. We did a title deeds search and the property is owned by Express Realty, just operating under a different name. Clearly, they lied to us.

This is a fight for Bondi to remain a place where we all can respect each other, and allow each other to enjoy the incredible privilege we have worked had to enjoy. It’s also about letting residents know the pathway to addressing this type of situation.

I have had to take the day off work today to focus on this. I have a councillor meeting me today. I was up at 4am due to an early party and flashing lights in the back garden – I was close to tears, so much is the frustration.

Thanks for a great local magazine and for providing an avenue for residents to be heard.
Lee Shaberman, North Bondi

Please can you do a story on these rude school kids who take up all the seats on public buses? They have no respect for their elders. I think it’s disgusting. They have school buses for these kids that are always empty.
Tammy Wilson, Bondi

Dear Doyle/Hersey (Letters, The Beast, June 2017),
Is there something wrong with having the courage of one’s convictions? I will debate anyone who wants to query my position on Waverley Council’s proposal for an underground car park at Bondi Beach. If I challenge Council’s survey method and results (which falsely appear to show community support for the proposal), I do so with confidence, having consulted a senior market researcher.

But what’s the point of debating the confected personality Alan Doyle/Mark Hersey?

Hersey/Doyle is a one trick contrarian who plays the man, not the ball. My advice to him is to stand up and be counted. Being registered to vote would be a good start. Yes, believe it or not, this passionate advocate of public policy doesn’t even vote!

According to the Australian Electoral Commission, neither Doyle nor Hersey is registered in Wentworth, where they purport to live. In fact, there is no evidence that Mark Hersey even exists. Everything this fraud Doyle/Hersey has written about the benefits of an underground car park at Bondi Beach needs to be seen in this light. If this person is just an anonymous troll, it’s pretty hard to take seriously anything it writes.
Andrew Worssam, Bondi

Hi Guys,

In his latest letter (What Is Worssam’s Problem, Letters, The Beast, June 2017), Alan Doyle persists with the fiction that, if an underground car park is built at Bondi Beach, Queen Elizabeth Drive (QED) will not be maintained as a service road (despite well-publicised contrary facts).

The council commissioned GTA consultants to report on vehicle access to Bondi Park, Beach and Pavilion. GTA considered six options of which only one, Option 3, included closing (QED) to traffic (Report pp22-30). In discounting that option GTA stated: “closing QED to vehicle access would have significant negative impacts to the access and movement needs of stakeholders and the community. It is critical that QED be kept open for service and emergency vehicle access”(p37).

Option 4 would deny us, the public, car access to QED. It is favoured by the council. The report states: “Option 4 entails removing parking off QED, but keeps the roadway open for emergency and service vehicle access (and potentially for vehicles servicing special events). The traffic flow would follow the existing one-way flow from south to north” (p30). And:
“As QED is an essential corridor for the efficient functioning of Bondi Park, Option 4 considers keeping it open for service and vehicular access.” It goes on to state: “However, removing parking on QED would minimise vehicular movements and provide a higher priority to pedestrians (and cyclists)” (p37).

Both a cab rank and a 40km/h speed limit on QED are envisaged (p38) and the report earlier noted as to Option 4 that: “Potential service vehicle access conflict with pedestrian pathways/safety needs to be carefully managed”(p32).

Mr Doyle, despite being familiar with the GTA Report, continues attempting to convince your readers that QED, “an essential corridor”, will be torn up and replaced with verdant lawn and shade trees. Does he truly believe that the garbage trucks, ambulances, and delivery and other vehicles necessary to efficient functioning of the park and beach are not going to require a concrete based road?
Greg Maidment, Bronte

I was reading page 23 of The Beast June 2017 edition, when I came across the ‘Where Do You Think Councils Should Be Spending Ratepayers’ Money?’ vox pop. I was laughing at the response of Ashley from Randwick, who said Council should fund the repairs of the lifts at Royal Randwick Shopping Centre. Ashley is obviously unaware that Randwick Council does not own and operate Royal Randwick Shopping Centre and its lifts, the company AMP does. So AMP is the one to fix the lifts. It’s like Waverley Council giving money to Westfield Bondi Junction to fix its lifts. I guess now we are all educated about this.
Anna Cook, Maroubra

Madeleine Gray’s article in the June edition of The Beast on Randwick Council’s healthy piggy bank (No Budget Blowouts as Randwick Remains Debt Free, The Beast, June 2017) was interesting in that, among the millions planned for parks, kerbs, drainage, and recreation, there was no mention of the single most urgent problem that needs fixing.

The polluted storm water flowing into the Coogee surf seems to have stayed in the ‘too hard basket’ yet again. I realise that Council wants/needs state government contribution, but I had hoped that the Budget & Operational Plan would have headlined it as a top priority.

Also, looking at the responses to The Beast’s question about where councils should spend money, I was disappointed to see evidence of what my Politics 101 lecturer (in the 1970s) called “political naiveté”. We were told that if an electorate is unaware (or hazy) about the functions and responsibilities of governments, and levels of government, it constitutes a direct weakening of the democratic process. Many governments like high levels of political naivety because it makes them less accountable. I wonder if some ratepayers believe that the Coogee storm water isn’t, at least partly, a council responsibility?
Peter Russell, Coogee

I was thrilled to see an excellent article on page 66 of the June issue of The Beast, giving a clear and concise guide to decluttering (Planet Friendly Tips for Dumping Your Junk, The Beast, June 2017). I was still basking in the warm glow this gave me when, while walking home from the bus stop the other day, I saw the Randwick Council clean-up truck collecting waste from the nature strip in our area.

To my horror and distress, everything went into the masher: golf sticks, recyclable plastic tubs, large sheets of polystyrene foam, a box of metal coat hangers, hinged wooden boxes. I could list more, but I think you get the idea. Things that could have been put to better use were all crushed together and probably went to landfill.

I am still upset by this and will take it further with the council, but feel some of the responsibility lies with the residents who are too busy/lazy to find a better place to take their unwanted belongings. When are people going to wake up to the fact that we are extremely wasteful and need to do better?

Thanks again for publishing such a useful piece of information, but can you make sure that Randwick Council gets a copy too?
Many thanks,
Martha Birch, Clovelly

Experienced rock fishers and surfers know that water will not hurt them, but rocks will. Should a competent fisher unintentionally go into the water from the rocks the natural response is to swim away from the white water and rocks, and then to swim to a safe and preselected exit.

Surprisingly the life vests required by the NSW government for rock fishers all appear to be designed to cause the wearer to float face up, making it extremely difficult to swim or to dive under waves that might drive one on to rocks, which are not only unfriendly in themselves, but are often covered in barnacles.

That design of vest is fine for open water where the only real option is to bob around hoping for rescue. However, in situations where one is within swimming distance of safe exits such vests are not merely hindrances, but may also render a swimmer incapable of escaping waves that are driving towards the rocks. Injury or death could result.

Granted there are people who fish the rocks who should not be anywhere near them; some would not be comfortable between the flags on a patrolled beach. That is not a valid reason for putting the capable and experienced at an enhanced risk.

If I am to be required to wear a mandated vest it should be of a design that allows me to both swim freely and dive beneath endangering waves.
Greg Maidment, Bronte