War of words over Bayside foreshore social distancing

Going the distance: Walkers observing social distancing along the Botany Bay foreshore earlier last year. Picture: John Veage
Going the distance: Walkers observing social distancing along the Botany Bay foreshore earlier last year. Picture: John Veage

A war of words has broken out on social media about the lack of social distancing along the Botany Bay foreshore.

Bayside Council posted a message this week on its Facebook page asking residents to be mindful of the social distancing requirements when out and about:

"Great to see so many people out and about getting exercise and fresh air," the council's post said. "But come on everyone, you know the rules. If we are ever going to get out of lockdown we need to get serious. If you are out enjoying our fabulous foreshore or one of our many parks, you should be moving and exercising, not gathering at the picnic tables and park seats. If you are heading out for a takeaway coffee or lunch, please take it and go! Drink, walk and talk (if you're with someone). Or take it home and enjoy while chilling in your backyard or watching Netflix. We all enjoy sitting on a park bench in the winter sun sipping on a hot coffee, but if we want this lockdown to end, we have to make sacrifices. Call it short term pain for long term gain! The NSW Police Force and St George Police Area Command are concerned. Let's do the right thing.

"While we work closely with the NSW Police Force and other agencies, we do not have jurisdiction to enforce Public Health Orders and if breaches are identified, they are best reported to the Police directly or via Crime Stoppers NSW ( 1800 333 000)." the council post said.

To support the message, Bayside posted a number of photos of groups socialising along the foreshore and sitting in groups.

This prompted a number of posts both condemning and defending people's behaviour while visiting the foreshore area.

"Even worse is the people at night time getting takeaway and sitting in the parks at the benches and tables. We've all got to do the right thing!" Zoe Sentance said.

"Come on. People are sitting in groups of 2. Maybe they needed a mental health break? I think it's appalling you are posting photos of people on your social media page without requesting permission. People are suffering, give them a break.,"- Pippa Vaughan

"Your council workers this morning working on the footpath behind the sailing club consisted of 3-4 men with no masks, setting a great example." - Samantha Elini Perras.

"The best way to keep them away, call the bee keeper and let them place a few 100 hives around the bay." - Nour Hijazi.

"People are going through enough already, I really wish people would use their energy in more productively."- Liza Kazzi

"No one is paying any attention so just lift the lockdown. The whole coast is packed!" - Tracey Ayton

"How about your council focus on actually delivering services for the exorbitant rates you charge!! Bayside is a disaster of a council. Vote to de-amalgamate!" - Joe Prawn

"Some people's health/fitness requires them to stop sit and rest before continuing. Is sea air and sunshine only for the fit and healthy??" - Anne Ristevski

"Bayside Council these examples don't show much more than people taking a temporary break, in small, socially distanced groups. Not everyone is fit and well and it's ableist to think so. I'm a wheelchair user with chronic pain and fatigue." - Christie Peolwane

"I guess you could bring the same camera and take photos of hoons at midnight in Bay St and then post it on FB!" - Sandra Howes

"Some people do live together and want to sit outdoors together. Are we prisoners of the State??!!" - Elizabeth Lancaster

"Just because people know the rules doesn't mean they care. Obviously making rules and passing laws are a total waste of everyone's time and money." - Chris Costa

"Rockdale today was packed with people chatting in the street." - Dora Miraglia-Meola

Just dial a police- works like wonders." - Katie Koo.

"Plenty of people don't have backyards, and are well within their rights to safely enjoy outdoor recreation." - Eliza Spencer

"Sad that you say people can't sit down with all the units you have allowed. Many people would love to sit down out side to get space and refresh but can't. Open space is a big thing for mental health." - Andrew Mort.

"It so common people completely ignoring regulations on that strip. Hundreds at a time." - Darren J Wheat

"Chance of outdoor transmissions is extremely low. These people are probably from the same household, getting some important vitamine D. Surely Bayside Council has better things to do?" - Linda Meijne

"Bayside Council maybe put tape up like last lockdown." - Josette Sookie

"Vitamin D and nature not allowed? The best treatment for your body." - Anthony Grech

"Close them off then."- Katie Morgan