Exclusive club wants to close beach to the public
A SYDNEY events organiser who applied to have exclusive Euro-style beach club events at Bondi Beach, said he would consider bringing the concept Byron Bay.
Sydney resident Janek Gazecki applied to Waverley Council to set up an exclusive, private area at Bondi Beach.
Mr Gazecki said the idea could also work in the Byron Shire or other areas of Northern NSW.
"Whether we are allowed to go ahead or not in Bondi, I think this concept could work extremely well in other areas like Byron Bay, because it supports local businesses and offers a new product that does not exist in NSW yet," he said.
"Because of COVID restrictions, a lot of local restaurants are struggling, they have a maximum capacity that they can sit give the four-metre rule in NSW.
"The idea is to allow 100 people per session to sit on the beach, in a Euro-style beach club, with a strong emphasis on the culinary experience.
"A selection of local restaurants will rotate in hosting it, and with four two-hour sessions a day, you could cater for 400 people a day, potentially."
The entrepreneur, who has 15 years of organising polo and other events in Sydney, said the events were designed to be family-friendly and showcasing what local operators already offered.
"Customers would pay a $80 booking fee, that will go towards their consumption, there is no club-style cover fee, we just want people to book and show up," he said.
The events were proposed to happen between February and May 2021 in Bondi, leasing only two per cent of the beach area.
"We will have a lot of letters of support, but there is also opposition, and that's fair enough," he said.
"We are not privatising the beach, that's rubbish.
"Councils already lease beach space to businesses in Sydney and all over NSW on behalf of Crown Land on temporary and permanent basis; this is nothing new, what we are doing with the beach is what is new," he said.
A spokeswoman from Byron Shire Council explained that all beaches were on Crown Land.
"Council must manage beaches under its control in accordance with the Crown land gazetted reservation of the land being public recreation. That means council must manage the beach to be freely open for public use," she said.
"Council issues temporary licences on beaches for weddings, filming and events whereby the licence must not offer the holder any exclusive possession to the beach.
"The licensee must conduct the activity in a way not to obstruct or interfere with any member of the public who are using the beach for recreation."