Never get between an Australian Liberal (conservative) and a piece of public property.
Behind every Liberal-run government lurk deep pockets and acquisitive eyes with a ready case to make this or that infrastructure “profitable” and for public monies to to grease the way.
When Waverley Council said they would throw $38 million at the Bondi Beach pavilion, ratepayers took fright.
Sure enough, in amongst the “heritage”, “restoration” and “tourism” brochure-speak was the expected ploy to privatise as much of the top level as dared.
We’re used to standard “puff pieces” in papers and on TV, but Jhyimy noticed the Financial Revue run what might be termed a “pout piece” in which former Mayor Betts had a good ole gripe.
The paint is peeling off the walls and door frames. The toilets stink. Homeless people camp under the archways. A greasy takeaway sells overpriced ham-and-cheese rolls.”
So the local “snobs” who positively detest outsiders and visitors voted the mayoress out and scrapped her steadfast plan to turn the dirty old building – obviously wasted on hoi polloi, local beachgoers, and the homeless – into a “little Westfield” at the beach, apparently to impress the tourists.
Artists came out and said ‘we want to keep it as it is,’ which is ludicrous because they don’t even use it,” said Ms Betts.
The Fin Revue ran three pout pieces, by the way. One for Ms Betts, another for peeved architects, and a snarly OpEd titled “Who’s buggering Bondi…” pining for “magnificence” ruined by “hoons” driving up and down the main drag.
No mention, while nitpicking about dirty toilets, peeling paint, rubbish, (and homeless chattels), of council neglect (or lack of assistance for the homeless) that brought the Bondi Beach pavilion to this sorry state. But that’s standard operating procedure: run infrastructure down and then say “privatisation will fix it.”
The headline grouse that there weren’t enough restaurants or coffee houses near the beach to edify visitors and tourists carried a subtext that the upper level was wastefully squandered on community activities.
Local snobs consider all of that a bonus.