The Turnbulls Have Saved Us.

Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull have devised a masterful plan to remodel Sydney’s West in the image of the Eastern Suburbs in order to keep Westies out of the East forever.

“Once this plan is implemented, the Western Suburbs will be as liveable as the Eastern Suburbs and Westies will have no reason to venture this side of Anzac Parade,” announced the Point Piper locals, much to the relief of Eastern Suburbs residents.

“Protecting our neighbours and former constituents from Westies is the primary focus of this plan. Unlike the Bondi Passport, and the proposed Westie Wall (now known as the CBD and South East Light Rail) our plan will succeed in ridding the East of this age-old scourge.”

The former member for Wentworth and former chief of the Greater Sydney Commission then outlined the details of their vision:

Beautiful beaches will be created in the West, replete with sand, seagulls, variable surf, seaweed and bluebottles, and of course westerly winds.

Beautiful beaches will keep Westies out of the Eastern Suburbs.

Decommissioned coal mining excavators will dig an enormous hole in Western Sydney, which will then be filled with water so that Westies can enjoy their own uninterrupted harbour views.

Harbour views will keep Westies out of the Eastern Suburbs.

Cranbrook School, The Scots College and Waverley College will move permanently to the West so that their First XV can fulfil their contractual obligations without leaving home. In turn, Cranebrook School, The Schofields College and Wallacia College will occupy the vacated facilities, where non-rugby-playing students will learn from the ‘dud teachers’ currently staffing public schools out west.

Private schools will keep Westies out of the Eastern Suburbs.

Semi’s with handkerchief gardens will replace the great Australian dream, and Westies will learn the joy of sharing a property with neighbours who think an open fire is warranted in a Sydney winter, and that big dogs love tiny homes.

High-density suburbs will keep Westies out of the Eastern Suburbs.

Attractive, valuable terraces with on-road parking will be in a constant state of renovation, and the attendant skip bins will clog the narrow streets and discourage Westies from cycling or walking anywhere.

Cyclable, pedestrian-friendly suburbs will keep Westies out of the Eastern Suburbs.

The Liberal party stalwarts also advised Westies to increase their wealth and thus their climate-change resilience. One aspect of the brilliant plan, however, was exposed as deeply flawed:

“We offered lucrative financial incentives to encourage Bondi hipsters to relocate,” explained the ex-PM,

“But it was rightly explained that once you take the hipster out of Bondi, you take Bondi out of the hipster…”

Malcolm and Lucy will then ensure our salvation when they move to the Western Suburbs.

First published in The Beast magazine, August 2022.

Image: The Adelaide Advertiser

Amendments to laws governing public spaces in the Eastern Suburbs.

The failure of Waverley Council to enforce the laws which prohibit dogs from entering Mackenzies Bay has led to the relaxation of a raft of other laws pertaining to communal spaces in the Eastern Suburbs.

Dogs are prohibited from entering Mackenzies Bay, yet scores of dogs are seen running freely across the rock pools on a daily basis while their owners swim, sunbake and relax at the tiny beach. A petition was recently lodged with Waverley Council demanding legal access for dogs, but was rejected. The beach remains off limits to dogs, but council is neglecting to enforce its own laws.

One major justification for the petition was that dog owners had been breaking the rules and taking their dogs to the off-limit area for years anyway, so it might as well be legalised. Based on this rationale, a host of other local laws have now been amended:

Fibreglass surf craft are now permitted between the flags at Bondi, Tamarama and Bronte beaches.

Construction debris from renovations can now be dumped in the ocean, and power tools can be used 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Residue from meth production can be dumped in local bays and beaches.

Dog owners are no longer required to pick up after their dogs – anywhere.

4wd vehicles and trail bikes are now granted access to all local beaches.

Campervans, backpackers and grey nomads can camp overnight in public carparks and beside beaches.

Parking of private cars is allowed in bus stops and ambulance bays, and in front of hospitals, police stations, post offices, surf clubs, schools…

Mountain biking is encouraged anywhere in Centennial Park.

All beaches and bays are open to line fishing and fishing with explosives.

Alcohol can be consumed in parks, beaches, playgrounds and other public spaces at any time of the day or night, any day of the year.

Fireworks are legal again, every day of the year.

Compliance with any COVID-19 pandemic law is optional.

Burning off will become the acceptable method of disposing of all household waste.

Nude sun bathing is now legal at all local beaches, as long as bathers have tattoos and use sun block. Bathers of any age, gender and body shape are encouraged to swap their bathing suit for their birthday suit.

Spear fishing is permitted at all municipal bays and beaches. Consequently, Randwick Council will allow spear fishers to hunt blue groupers at Clovelly Beach.

Private school students are now allowed to spit on homeless people, defecate on trains and have sex in public places.

Development Applications are now a historical relic.

The relaxation of the aforementioned laws comes into effect immediately.

Image: http://www.frugalfrolicker.com

First published in The Beast magazine, March 2022.

Dob in a dog with the new Dog Dobber App.

Waverley, Randwick and Woolahra Councils have combined to develop the DogDobber App and rid the Eastern Suburbs of the scourge of irresponsible dog owners. The world-first initiative will allow residents to dob in a dog if its owner is breaking the rules, and to report their actions directly to council.

“Enough is enough,” read the joint statement from the three councils.

“Dogs and their owners have taken over every public space in the region and this App will return these spaces to the people.”

Compatible with any smart phone, the app enables users to upload photos of dogs. This information is electronically collated and reviewed for veracity, then used to issue a fine or relevant punishment to the registered owner of that animal. Users should attempt to photograph the collar of the dog, which should carry its details, in order for the dog’s owner to be notified.

Residents can photograph off-leash dogs in on-leash areas, dogs in areas that are off limits and owners who refuse to pick up after their dog.

“Residents can also provide photographic proof of dogs harassing kids while they’re kicking a footy at the park, playing on the swings, or building sand castles.”

Critics attacked the DogDobber App as an invasion of privacy which stigmatises dogs and their owners. Other claim it is completely unnecessary as council rangers are already employed to keep dogs where they should be, and that most dog owners are responsible.

In response, councils pointed out that if most dog owners were responsible, their pets would not be given free reign at Mackenzies Bay, the Clovelly rock pools and countless other public spaces. Councils also reminded owners that the best way to avoid being reported is to follow the rules.

Another area of the concern was the potential for children to be photographed. Council was quick to allay any fears that the technology could be used in this way.

“Any photograph of a minor, even if they are breaking the rules with a dog, will be reported immediately to police. If children are breaking the rules with their pet, this is less an example of irresponsible dog ownership and more an example of poor parenting.”

Councils called upon residents of the Eastern Suburbs to imagine public spaces free of marauding dogs and their droppings, where anyone can walk, play, enjoy a picnic, sunbake and enjoy living in paradise.

Randwick Council explained DogDobber operates separately from their Snap, Send, Solve App, and councils praised it as a triumph of inter-governmental collaboration and a successful fusion of state-of-the-art technology and community spirit. It will be live and fully operational at the beginning of next month.

First published in The Beast magazine, December 2021.

Dog ownership linked to childhood obesity.

A breakthrough study has discovered a link between growing rates of childhood obesity and the increasing numbers of pet dogs in Australia.

Experts behind the study revealed their findings in a comprehensive report which proves unequivocally that hordes of dogs in public spaces are preventing children from exercising outdoors.

“Dogs have taken over this country,” the research group explained.

“They have pushed children out of public recreation areas. This has led to an increase in childhood obesity.”

Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2017-18 indicated that 25% of Australian children aged 2-17 were overweight, and 8.2% were obese. In addition, young people aged 5–14 and 15–24 in 2017–18 were more likely to be overweight or obese than people of the same age in 1995.

Meanwhile, about 40% of Australian households own a pet dog, and there are about 5.1 million pet dogs in the country. The quantity and behaviour of dogs was the primary cause of childhood obesity in Australia according to the experts.

“Dog owners and local councils have let dogs dominate every inch of public space in this country, areas which would previously have been full of children engaging in healthy physical activity on a daily basis.”

“Parks, playgrounds, sports fields and beaches are full of dogs, even though the majority of these spaces are technically off limits. So prevalent are dogs that locals in Perth and Sydney recently requested separate dog parks for large and small dogs.

The study also discovered that most councils refuse to remove dogs from off limit areas, and as a result, children simply do not want to play outside.”

Interviews with young people uncovered specific deterrents to outdoor exercise.

“Kids won’t kick a footy around anymore, because a dog is bound to chase after the ball and likely puncture it with their teeth. Similarly, a dog will pick up a tennis ball and cover it in slobber. No one wants to bowl a ball covered in dog slobber, especially in the era of COVID-19. Then there’s the dog droppings owners refuse to pick up.

Also, younger children and their parents reported being harassed or even attacked by big dogs at the park, making them fearful of venturing out to play. Instead, children stay inside and play computer games or destroy their self-esteem on social media.”

Countless studies on children’s health and wellbeing in recent years have demonstrated a preference for indoor play among modern Australian children, and experts fear the COVID pandemic will only compound the problem.

“More children have become accustomed to entertaining themselves inside, and this is a very hard habit to break. Concurrently, more Australians have acquired a pet dog during the pandemic.”

The findings of the survey are likely to surprise many Australians, as they did the survey authors.

“We thought overweight and obesity were caused primarily by addiction to electronic devices and an obsession with social media and online gaming, and while those factors are significant, the overabundance of pet dogs in parks and sports grounds was found to be the leading cause.”

The findings refuted the notion that dog ownership promotes general health and wellbeing.

“Perhaps for the owners, but not for the rest of society,” say experts, who then issued a stark warning.

“This is a public health crisis. Overweight and obese youth will suffer physically, mentally and emotionally throughout life and place a great burden on the public health system.”

What’s the solution?

“Simple. Remove dogs from parks, beaches, playground and sports fields, and let the children play.”

Image: http://www.pledgeforpaws.wordpress.com

Australia’s gone to the dogs. Part 4.

Australia has gone to the dogs. The nation is one of the world’s major drivers of climate change and is decimating its native wildlife and ecology, and is thus becoming an international pariah. The current government controls its gullible population with marketing spin, and education levels continue to decline. A tiny fraction of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and natural disasters arrive one after the other. But all Australians seem to care about are their dogs. Dogs are everywhere – in parks, beaches and cafes, and even public transport and libraries. This country has gone to the dogs.

Literacy dogs

Children can now read to dogs. Reluctant or weak readers can now attend sessions at local libraries and read to therapy dogs. Organisers claim it encourages reluctant readers to develop the vital habit of reading and thus improve their literacy skills.

Surely that’s a good thing. Yes, but is it necessary?

First of all, dogs can’t read. Secondly, reading to dogs won’t solve Australia’s literacy problems. Australia has some of the lowest literacy (and numeracy) levels in the developed world, and solving this problem requires a joint effort from society, governments and parents, not from dogs.

Parents must:

Read to their children.

More actively support reading and study in every year of schooling.

Spend less of their own free time glued to their devices while at home.

Buy and read books themselves.

Stop attacking teachers.

Stop buying their children smart phones, and stop paying for their data.

Society must value school teachers and academia, and governments must adequately fund all levels of education as well as increasing teachers’ salaries. Otherwise, the following scenario is likely to develop:

One reluctant reader enjoys reading to a therapy dog. The child insists on reading to a dog, even at school where most reading occurs. The student is allowed to bring a dog into every class. That student is not the only reluctant reader. Soon, school classrooms are overrun with therapy dogs. Teachers are then forced to integrate dogs into their curriculum after attending at-cost ‘literacy dog’ training sessions in their free time. Multiple dogs cause chaos in classrooms and in the playground, and at the end of the day, who will be forced to clean up the mess?

Even some university students, at one of the more prominent universities in Sydney, are able to pat a dog upon entering an exam hall – to help calm their nerves. The country’s best and brightest can’t handle the stress of doing an exam. More proof that this country has gone soft. More proof that this country has gone to the dogs.

Image: 2PhotoPots

Australia’s gone to the dogs. Part 3.

Australia has gone to the dogs. The nation is one of the world’s major drivers of climate change and is decimating its native wildlife and ecology, and is thus becoming an international pariah. The current government controls its gullible population with marketing spin, and education levels continue to decline. A tiny fraction of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and natural disasters arrive one after the other. But all Australians seem to care about are their dogs. Dogs are everywhere – in parks, beaches and cafes, and even public transport and libraries. This country has gone to the dogs.

Vaccine dogs

Dog lovers now have another Instagram account to follow. The account features pets accompanying their owners to COVID-19 vaccination centres in Australia. Sure, it’s a nice distraction from Australia’s shambolic vaccine rollout, which places the nation 101st in the world, but it distracts from the shameful reality. Only 2% of Australia’s population had been fully vaccinated at the time of writing this article, and the city of Melbourne has been plunged into yet another lockdown.

So incompetent is the current federal government in its handling of the pandemic, and the preceding bushfire crisis, that the prime minister’s popularity fell. In response, Scott Morrison was photographed with a cute little dog. 98% of Australia’s population are not vaccinated against a deadly virus, but the prime minister was photographed with a dog and his popularity has since increased. A sure sign of a gullible population. A sure sign of a country that has gone to the dogs.

But wait, there’s more…

Another prominent person was photographed with a dog. Tongan rugby league star Jason Taumalolo played his 200th NRL game for the North Queensland Cowboys recently, and the NRL/ Cowboys PR team arranged for his family to form a guard of honour as he ran onto the field. His dog was included in the guard of honour. An emotional Taumalolo rushed to pat and cuddle his dog (before acknowledging his wife and kids) and social media erupted with compliments for Taumalolo. They’re forgetting the time in 2016 that he was fined for throwing eggs at cars.

A dog’s breakfast

Cafes, beer gardens, picnic areas, barbecue areas, children’s playgrounds, sports grounds and beaches are overrun with dogs these days. Many of these places are officially off limits to dogs. In addition, most accommodation providers are pet-friendly, despite what PetCulture might think.

Strangely, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, when patrons are required to check in, socially distance and use sanitiser, muddy, sweaty, dirty dogs are still allowed to sit next to, or on, the furniture at eateries throughout the country.

Mobile dogs

Dogs have even found their way onto public transport. Guide dogs have always been permitted on public transport, as they should be. Now therapy dogs, or companion dogs, are allowed on buses trains and ferries across the country. Sufferers of mental health issues can now bring their dogs with them, and dogs of any breed, size or temperament can be therapy dogs. Subsequently, inefficient, overcrowded, slow and outdated public transport has been further compromised to satisfy the owners of dogs.

A trip to the Sydney CBD recently highlights the problem. Two young adults boarded an overcrowded bus heading towards the city centre. The tattoos, attire, cigarette breath, vocabulary and general demeanour of the pair suggested a troubled past and a fondness for illicit substances. The dog was some kind of Pit Bull, Mastiff, Bulldog breed – short, muscular and aggressive. It appeared agitated and nervous and its presence clearly concerned the people sitting close to it. As I pondered how this breed classifies as a ‘therapy dog’, I heard the owners say that it had recently become a therapy dog, and that they were taking it to the local shopping mall,

“…to get used to people…”

The couple soon alighted, leaving the bus with the overpowering stench of a sweaty dog.

Image: Gabriel Crismariu

Australia’s gone to the dogs. Part 2.

Australia has gone to the dogs. The nation is one of the world’s major drivers of climate change and is decimating its native wildlife and ecology, and is thus becoming an international pariah. The current government controls its gullible population with marketing spin, and education levels continue to decline. A tiny fraction of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and natural disasters arrive one after the other. But all Australians seem to care about are their dogs. Dogs are everywhere – in parks, beaches and cafes, and even public transport and libraries. This country has gone to the dogs.

A dog is a child…

Owners of dogs (and other pets) were recently invited to sign a petition by online pet company PetCulture asking employees to grant their workers the same rights as parents.

Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper, as well as website Kidspot, ran articles about the petition, which calls for employees:

  1. To be granted sick leave to care for their pets.
  2. To be granted leave to welcome their new pet family members.
  3. To be able to have their pets stay with them whether they are glamping in a five-star resort.

The article is not an April Fool’s Day joke (although one pet owner featured in the article is a comedian). It is not merely another example of lazy, shallow, gutter journalism from a NewsCorp publication. It is an advertorial (a paid advertisement dressed up as an editorial) placed by the ‘new online pet store’ PetCulture. Regardless, it indicates an obsession with pets in a country that has gone to the dogs.

The petition lists three primary demands.

  1. Owners expect time off work, on full pay, to look after a sick pet, just as they would look after a sick child. Colleagues would have to cover for the pet owner and/or the business would suffer a loss of productivity and profit. In addition, employers are expected to support the notion that pets are equal to children.

Some parents love their pets as much as their children, and some children love their pets with equal devotion. But does a dog or cat need the same attention as a sick child? If so, why can a healthy dog or cat be left unsupervised for hours or a whole day, but a young child (or even a teenager) cannot be left for hours on end? Owners seem to be forgetting that even though a sick animal requires appropriate medical attention, their innate survival instincts will stop them from falling down steps, or from touching or eating something that could harm them. Children lack the same survival instincts.

  • Owners are demanding time off, on full pay, to welcome a new pet into the home. How long does this take? An ‘expert’ recommended two days be spent familiarising the animal to its new surroundings. Easy, bring the pet home on a Friday afternoon, use the weekend to welcome it and return to work on Monday. Even within a less structured work schedule, time can be made to welcome a pet without taking time off work.
  • Clearly the word ‘or’ is missing from between ‘glamping’ and ‘in’, because five-star resorts don’t offer glamping, no matter how fancy the tents. Nevertheless, pet owners are complaining that they are prohibited from taking their pets to the most luxurious and expensive accommodation options, at a time when many Australians can’t afford to take a holiday at all, let alone to a five-star resort, especially after the financial stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Poor timing

PetCulture appears to have mistimed its advertising campaign. They are calling for greater access to luxury resorts just as JobKeeper and JobSeeker have been removed or reduced, and many Australians still don’t know when they’ll return to full-time, stable employment. PetCulture may be positioning itself as a high-end pet supply company, but the press release is still rather poorly-timed, especially since pet access to five-star resorts is one of the top three listed demands. This is a great example of clever marketing. It’s also a great example of a first-world problem, and a great example of a country gone soft.

PetCulture’s advertorial also claims that:

“…introducing a new animal member to a home is stressful, so it’s important to be supported…”

Really?

Fighting a bushfire is stressful. Fleeing domestic violence is stressful. Losing a job is stressful. Is introducing a pet to a house really that stressful?

Pet peeves

In recent years, pet owners have petitioned various levels of government to pressure landlords to allows tenants to bring their pets into rental properties, which has always been at the discretion of landlords.

Renters complained that owning a pet increased the difficulty of finding rental accommodation in an overcrowded and expensive rental market. A solution to this problem exists: don’t own a pet. Sit down, and do the calculations. Examine current and future earnings and expenses, and estimate the length of time that will be required to buy a property. Buy a property, then buy a pet.

Petitioning the government to change rental laws is symptomatic of a problem plaguing the nation: citizens expecting the government to bail them out of a problem of their own creation.

Housing crisis

Housing in Australia is becoming increasingly problematic. Rental properties remain scarce and overpriced, and home ownership is out of reach for many Aussies. Australia is estimated to have the world’s biggest gap between median salaries and median house prices, and many young Australians will never be able to buy a property.

Furthermore, social housing developments are insufficient and more Australians will be forced into homelessness or substandard accommodation – many of them older women. Meanwhile, the politicians who could introduce policies to alleviate many of these problems are too busy being photographed with cute dogs. The people who could vote out the current government are too easily persuaded by photos of politicians with dogs.

Australia’s gone to the dogs. Part 1.

Australia has gone to the dogs. The nation is one of the world’s major drivers of climate change and is decimating its native wildlife and ecology, and is thus becoming an international pariah. The current government controls its gullible population with marketing spin, and education levels continue to decline. A tiny fraction of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and natural disasters arrive one after the other. But all Australians seem to care about are their dogs. Dogs are everywhere – in parks, beaches and cafes, and even public transport and libraries. This country has gone to the dogs.

Dogs v native animals

Australia is home to an estimated 29 million pets and about 25.7 million people. That’s right, more pets than people. We might have to stop teasing New Zealand about having so many sheep. Most of those pets are dogs and cats, and roughly one in three households has a pet dog.

Australia also has the world’s highest rate of native mammal extinction – outright. Pets are one cause of the extinctions. Cats are the single most destructive introduced species in the country, and wild dogs cause large-scale destruction. Wild dogs were once pet dogs. Native mammal extinction points to a disregard for native animals among Australian people who demonstrate an obsession with pet animals. Australians clearly prioritise dogs and cats over wildlife.

Natural disasters

Even during the Black Summer bush fires of 2019/2020, concern for pets over native animals was evident. Unfortunately, many pets were lost, but millions of native animals also perished in the unprecedented fires. However, at one emergency centre, evacuees complained that their pets were not allowed inside the building, because health and safety regulations prohibit the entry of pets into the premises. Evacuees and fellow Australians erupted on social media and blasted the evacuation centre co-ordinators. The dogs were safe, they had food, water and medical attention, and they were supervised outside the premises. Even some of the evacuees themselves chose to sit outside the building while they waited for the fires to be put out. Australians decried the treatment of pets, while millions of native animals were dying.

National parks

Pet dogs are banned from national parks in Australia. Domestic pets have an adverse effect on native wildlife. Some dog owners ignore signage and they take their dogs into national parks. According to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, rangers cannot effectively monitor all of the parks to prevent domestic pets from entering, because they lack the resources. National parks services are not sufficiently funded by government.

Where is the national outcry?

Why aren’t Australians demanding the protection of our national parks? Perhaps for the same reason that Aussies are not doing more to protect another national icon, the koala.

Experts warn that koalas could become extinct by 2050, and wild dogs are a major cause of koala deaths, along with land clearing and climate change. Environmental groups and concerned citizens are campaigning for habitat protection to ensure koala survival, but where are the owners of the 29 million pets?

Koalas are also a major contributor to the nation’s (pre-COVID-19) tourist sector and the economy. Tourists flock from all across the globe to see a koala up close. They will not fly halfway around the world to look at someone’s pet dog.

Wildlife shelter vs pet shelter

Controversy surrounds changes to the RSPCA NSW Blue Mountains Shelter in Katoomba, near Sydney. Essentially, the debate centres around the expansion and modification of the shelter to cater for native wildlife harmed by the 2019/2020 bush fires. The fires were so widespread in the Blue Mountains that the national parks and the animals therein are still being rehabilitated.

RSPCA members and community members have voiced objections to the inclusion of native wildlife in the shelter. The RSPCA conceded that:

“…wildlife could be stressed by the sight, sound or even smell of the dogs…” and thus dogs would have to be housed in a completely separate building. One member then stated:

“I am concerned for the dogs which will need to be locked away in the new, totally enclosed kennels…” and a local politician, Kerry Brown, expressed similar sentiments.

Many of the animals housed at the shelter are strays. They are animals left without a home due to the neglect of owners. Therefore, rehabilitation of native animals is being obstructed due to concern for dogs.

The RSPCA website states that:

“Along with cats and dogs, RSPCA helps a wide range of other animals from horses to rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, goats and sheep. All of these animals are non-native, (birds may be native or introduced). Rabbits cover Australia in plague proportions and destroy native flora and fauna, as well as crops. In contrast, an organisation called WIRES (Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service) cares for native animals. If the majority of Australians heard the names of these two organisations, which one would they be more familiar with?

Image: Gabriel Crismariu

Why not adopt a council?

Randwick City residents are being encouraged to adopt the entire council following the enormous success of the council’s Adopt a Drain initiative, which asked ratepayers to care for a public facility that would normally be the responsibility of the local government.

Ratepayers are thus being asked to adopt other public services.

Library – Street Libraries and Book Clubs will replace conventional libraries. Avid readers can take and leave books at their leisure. No library cards, no overdue fees. Book Clubs will provide a physical space to read and discuss literature without the distractions of screaming toddlers and free-range parents, remote workers using free WiFi, and teenagers ‘studying’ collaboratively.

Lawn mowing – Time for a good old-fashioned Working Bee. BYO mower, Whipper Snipper and edger to local parks and sports fields, as well as lunch, snacks and water. Make the playing surface playable, and put all those grass clippings into green bins. Nearby residents will supply a case of beer.

Redundant Rangers – Control your own dog. Keep it on a leash. Keep it out of prohibited spaces, and pick up after it.

Lifeguards – Randwick residents will be required to supervise their own children at swimming pools and beaches, freeing up lifeguards to work on their tan. Cleaning of public pools will also be handed over to locals. Anyone got a Creepy Crawly?

Street lighting – Locals will line the streets with candles and solar camping lights every night. Rosters will be circulated soon. Authorities will clamp down on groups of men carrying burning torches.

Rubbish collection – No more rubbish trucks. No more 5am wake-ups. Green thumbs will adopt green bins, conservationists will adopt yellow bins and the apathetic Aussie mainstream will adopt red bins. Locals can also take their own rubbish home from public spaces, and stop dropping cigarette butts.

DA- Home owners can approve their own Development Applications, just as property developers have been doing for years.

Tree planting – Locals will give up their free time to plant native trees in conjunction with council staff, only to see them all bulldozed by Gladys and the gang once they grow tall enough to house a koala.

Flag raising – One lucky citizen will be assigned to raise the national and state flags each morning. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags will fly on designated days so that locals, like politicians, can pretend to care about Indigenous Australians.

Adopt a Council will begin immediately, and will allow council to concentrate on more urgent busines such as erecting colourful banners in public spaces and congratulating themselves in SCENE.

Locals have already started rolling up their sleeves to protect this patch of paradise, and have begun to ask:

Do we need politicians?

First published in The Beast magazine, June 2021.

Dogs Under Attack at Mackenzies Bay.

Dogs at Mackenzies Bay are under attack after Waverley Council approved plans to construct a park for SUVs at the tiny beach. The news has angered pet owners who resent the intrusion of off-road drivers into a space they are not allowed to use.

The showdown is set to rival the most brutal and bloody sporting contests in history after months of bickering between the two parties on social media.

An SUV driver sparked the conflict with a simple remark.

“An SUV would crush a little pooch,”

To which a pet owner replied,

“A medium-sized pet dog has the same carbon footprint as an SUV.”

From that point it was on.

The beachside fight will take place with no regard for social distancing or health concerns, and will begin as soon as council completes the construction of the SUV facilities.

An access road will plough through Gaerloch Reserve, across the coastal path and onto the rocks, and a boat ramp will be a launching site for jet skis. Hoses will allow drivers to wash the sand, oil, motor fluids and other debris straight into the ocean. Council has also opened a tender for a car wash café to be built on the site, but pet owners reminded drivers they have taken over every café in the Eastern Suburbs.

Vitriolic pre-fight tension included the following attacks:

“SUVs will scare away the sunbathers, we’ll have it all to ourselves,”

“But dogs scare coastal birds away, and many of them never come back to this resting spot.”

“We’ll rip a hole in this beach with our circle work,”

“Just watch our pets damage native and planted vegetation with their digging”

“Slip, slop, slap with motor oil,”

“Yeah, well SUVs don’t poo, but dog faeces alters the coastal soil’s nutrient profile.”

“That’s right,” supported a fur friend, “and our dogs will destroy the original soil and the ability of remnant native vegetation to regenerate”

Pooch parents reminded the drivers that most owners pick up after their dogs, before one of their members admitted to never scooping up a soggy dropping from a rock pool, and claimed that the natural tides of the bay wash away everything anyway.

The dirty drivers then boasted,

“Stormwater run off closes beaches for days,” which drew a counter attack,

“Faecal contamination impacts the health of swimmers and surfers at Mackenzie’s Bay and Tamarama Beach, and this pollution will disrupt sensitive marine biodiversity.”

Meanwhile, Waverley Council promised that Rangers will ensure the fight does not detract from the experience of other beachgoers, but will instead be great live entertainment for people on the coastal walk.

“Like an animated Sculpture by the Sea”

First published in The Beast magazine, March 2021.

Image: http://www.frugalfrolicker.com