The proposal to fence off a slab of Bondi Beach to create something called the Amalfi Beach Club might just get vetoed from the very top, thanks to a bit of legal know-how and the fact that pretty much everyone hates the idea.
Speaking to The Sun-Herald, NSW Planning & Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said he’ll “step in” to stop it, calling the Amalfi Beach Club proposal “elitist and un-Australian”.
“Flogging off a bit of Bondi for the so-called beautiful people is one of the ugliest things that could be proposed,” he told the newspaper.
“Our public spaces and beautiful beaches are to be enjoyed by all – not cordoned off like in the south of France or the United States for only those who can afford it.”
Flogging off a bit of Bondi for the so-called beautiful people is one of the ugliest things that could be proposed. Our public spaces and beautiful beaches are to be enjoyed by all. @smh https://t.co/QqSQbFJI1B
— Rob Stokes MP (@RobStokesMP) November 28, 2020
Although the application to establish the Amalfi Beach Club was submitted to Waverly Council in May, permission is still needed from the actual land owner. That’s the state government in this case, because Bondi Beach is actually Crown land.
Crown land is a specific category of land which is managed by the state, and can be anything from a park to a town square to a heritage site. Hyde Park is another famous Crown reserve in Sydney.
Because Bondi Beach is Crown Land, the Planning Minister is the person who’s responsible for giving permission on how it’s used.
Luckily for us – but not for the guy behind the idea, one Janek Gazecki – Stokes has made clear that he’s able (and willing) to quash this controversial proposal once and for all.
Gazecki has been trying to defend his idea for months, saying that a private strip of beach that costs $80 to enter is somehow not elitist.
“I don’t know if anyone has recently been to the Amalfi Coast… but the clubs there are not elitist,” he said back in early October.
“You just walk in off the street and you get pampered with some yummy food and alcohol and enjoy it with your kids – that’s all this is.”
That didn’t stop locals from starting a petition against the proposed beach club which has since amassed over 32,000 signatures. Locals have also been roasting Gazecki on Facebook after he tried (and apparently failed) to defend his idea.
So, regardless of what Waverly Council decides on doing with the proposal, just know that for once, the NSW Government is on our side. It almost feels dirty to say.