Blow for plan to rope off part of Bondi

The man asking to rope off part of Bondi Beach and charge visitors to enter may have his plans dashed after Planning Minister Rob Stokes vowed to kill off the proposal.

Janek Gazecki, who is a Bondi local, is seeking approval from Waverly Council to take up a small section of Bondi Beach for an Amalfi Beach Club where visitors can sit in a cabana and be served food and drink right on the iconic beach.

Visitors will have to pay $80 for a two-hour spot on the sand.

But Mr Gazecki has been dealt a fresh blow in getting approval for the club, with Mr Stokes having the ability to veto the proposal as the beach is Crown land and the club requires permission from the landowner. Mr Stokes has the ability to put himself forward as the consent authority, giving him the power to stop the plan in its tracks.

There proposal would see a small section of Bondi Beach roped off for paying customers.Source:Supplied

Speaking to the The Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Stokes labelled the plan “elitist and un-Australian”, vowing to “step in and stop it”.

“Flogging off a bit of Bondi for the so-called beautiful people is one of the ugliest things that could be proposed,” he said.

“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.”

The plan for the beach has caused division, with some people loving the idea of a beach club on Bondi while others have criticised it for favouring wealthy people.

Speaking to NCA NewsWire in October Mr Gazecki said he was “frustrated” that some believed the club was only for the wealthy.

“It’s not for the rich, it’s for everyone,” he said.

“The 80 bucks comes off your food and alcohol for the session, it’s not an additional charge.”

In response to concerns that there wouldn’t be enough space for visitors due to COVID-19 space restrictions, Mr Gazecki said the club would only take up about 0.5 per cent of the beach.

People on the sand and in the water on a hot day at Bondi Beach, Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire/James GourleySource:News Corp Australia

Though Mr Gazecki is adamant everyone that wants to use the beach club will be allowed to, the proposal for the businesses states people with a “high net worth” and a taste for luxury would be targeted.

“Our database constitutes a select demographic comprising of individuals enjoying a high disposable income, within the 25 to 45 age bracket, with an interest in travel, fashion and luxury goods,” the proposal states.

The proposal, seen by The Daily Telegraph, also included an outline of the type of professionals that would possibly frequent the facilities, with the men likely to be doctors, surgeons, bankers, investors, professional directors and business entrepreneurs.

The women who visit the beach club would “occupy a similar high-end platform”, with attendees having roles in “publishing, advertising, fashion, beauty and modelling”, according to the proposal.

The club would also have a different local restaurant host guests for each month, allowing them to attract more business while remaining compliant with the COVID restrictions.

“At the moment restaurants are struggling because of the capacity limits. This will give them access to 100 people per rotating session,” he said.

“Don’t forget they were shut for a long time, and the new restrictions are creating further (problems) for them – foot traffic at Bondi is dramatically down.

“Don’t forget, not every weekend is 30 degrees.”

The organisers had initially asked for the business to be run between November and February but that was knocked back, with Waverley Council deeming it “unsuitable based on Council policies and in the interest of our local community”.

“Our beaches and parks are public open spaces, for the enjoyment of everyone,” a Council spokesperson said.

The proposal was denied due to Council policies not supporting events on the sand during December and January, Bondi Beach being an alcohol prohibited area and the safety concerns around mixing drinking with swimming.

Amalfi Beach Club has now put forward new dates for the event to be held between February and May next year, which is being reviewed by the council.

A petition for the proposal to go ahead has gained more than 1000 signatures.

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