Picture: Storm clouds roll over Marrickville yesterday 28 Feb 08, as radio talk back callers notice torrential rain thrashing their local areas, causing truck drivers to pull over and let these brief storm bursts pass over.
Recently the non profit Bondi Beach Community Night Market (as distinct from the much bigger School Market nearby) asked me to check their submission for renewal of their DA, having been a ward councillor 95 to 99, and now doing some part time secretarial work for their monthly meetings to help pay our bills (Feb 08). We were too late with feedback to influence their written submission, what with NSW politics in general in meltdown and just trying to keep up with the flurry of stories from the Big Media 'reptiles' (or is that angels?). They got their DA approved as per many previous years last Tuesday 26 Feb 08.
But we did notice this rather significant financial feedback via the market stall coalface down on the coastal strip: Somewhat anecdotal to be sure but it's another thread in a changing eco-system;
The BBCNM’s previous & current hours of operation were agreed upon with the Council equitably to give as much time as possible to the market to enable reasonable trading hours each year, & also to provide fair & equitable access to the site for other Council promotions etc.
Since these original terms were agreed upon a number of factors have impacted on the area. One of the main issues facing the profitability of the market is the increasingly unpredictable weather for this area. In the last two trading years (October to April) the market has only been able to trade until near midnight three times. For the last 3 or 4 years, in the summer time the market is extremely lucky to be able to trade until 9pm/ 10 pm at the very latest due to adverse weather conditions (including wind).
For the past few years traders have faced very difficult times economically which began with the knock-on effect from the Cronulla riots, to extremely bad weather of the last two Summers. The new trading hours proposed by the Council will affect many people’s livelihood, severely restricting the BBCNM authority & possibly bring back a return to the anarchy of the illegal trading of old.
The trade in the area is naturally both seasonally & weather dependant. During the increasingly brief periods of warm sunny weather people head to the beach in droves, but on the more usual overcast, cold or rainy days more often than not the vast majority of those that venture to Bondi flock to the sanctuary of Bondi Junctions Westfield.
Because of these adverse conditions and the fact that Roscoe St is a wind tunnel & unprotected from the elements many trading days are affected. Factors such as rain, strong winds, the cooling effects of the early shadows/ winds that sweep/ hit the area restrict, or eliminate the possibility of trading altogether on many days. Many Bondi Beach businesses say that these days there are only 40 good trading days per year at Bondi Beach - the rest of the time you struggle to pay the rent. ....
Meanwhile front page of the SDT captures the general vibe here today:
Which follows that newspaper coverage of high impact localised storming:
The experts are noting that this is all about La Nina cycles rather than climate change as such but tell that to the folks copping it and noticing the weirdness.