THE Shoalhaven has salt water as its eastern boundary, and it is part of the settled order of nature that where there is salt water there are surfers.
Down at Dolphin Point just t’other day a non-profit organisation of surfers, the Ulladulla Board Riders, were holding an event. No admission charge or anything, just a few of the lads competing with each other. They have been doing it for about 30 years now.
By the way, they don’t go there just for events, they are part of those impossible-to-adequately-praise nation-wide Aussies who stand alert for dangers to swimmers and boaters. In fact, on one occasion when a boat capsized and the unfortunate man drowned, it was one of this group that paddled out to the floating corpse and brought him back. The surfer even tried mouth to mouth unsuccessfully on his board. The normal beach rescue authorities could not get out as the conditions make it impossibly dangerous on the reef.
Anyway, there they were holding this event when a recent arrival to the area told them that they should not be doing it. Snort, snort.
They carried on anyway but then…
Council received a complaint from somebody that people were surfing on the beach.
The sky is a different colour on the planet where the Council works so, “Good grief,” they cried in unison, waving their hands in the air in despair,”Can this be so? Can people be so ignorant of the fact that everything in the Shoalhaven that isn’t specifically approved is automatically prohibited. That the default position is that thou shalt not….”
So they sent a ranger to have a word.
Polite enough. Possibly thought his superiors were a pack of Mother Grundys anyway. Passed on the possibility that the Ulladulla Board Riders might consider lodging a development application when they want to go in the water.
A D.A.? It would have to say we want a DA for some unspecified beach in the city, at an unspecified time and hour for an unspecified number of times because the date they were going to have an event is unpredictable and in God’s hands. Likewise the precise beach. Likewise the tides. Likewise the weather. . Oh, here’s your fee.
Council must be licking its lips, mother’s clubs out for a walk pushing strollers, church groups going for a hike out to Abrahams Bosom Beach, football players running on the beach (as they do in Sydney) Olympic athletes (like the greats that trained on the sandhills of Malabar)
Why, there would be an unending stream of money coming in, and it could all go to building fences to hang love locks on, and suggestive fences, and educational programs for the idiots Council thinks iratepayers are. Oh yes, and general prevention of global warming and all that – at least in the Shoalhaven.
Already national surf magazines have been notified that Council has been tripping again on bad acid and the magazines are standing by for Council’s next step. It will be a cover issue, with photos and cartoons, as they know of Council’s reputation to put their foot in it.
The power of the Council has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.