East Esplanade Park - AKA The Office

By Manly Community Forum
Published in Parks and Reserves
October 17, 2021
2 min read


Our Council has spent millions upgrading the park and installing new facilities. Well-meaning Manly Ward Councillors (not all of them) have pushed hard to continue to allow alcohol in the park and provide Ranger and Police patrols to encourage maintenance of the allowable drinking hours and acceptance of the necessary Covid pandemic precautions.

You have support to continue to enjoy a drink in the park and it is clear that Government want us to have some freedoms, as we ease out of the severe lockdown requirements.

So what do we do when we have rights that are not allowed in most areas. We don’t accept those rights and then the responsibility that comes with them…We abuse them and flout the sensible requirements for social distancing/mask wearing/gathering in groups greater than five persons.

Over previous weekends there were crowds as big as New Year’s Eve. Much more than the suggested maximum capacity of 800, along with gross anti-social behaviour and the real risk of a Covid outbreak.

Council has again voted to continue to allow the responsible use of alcohol in this park…But will this continue when major media outlets continue to demonstrate the ignorance of sensible distancing and management of alcohol in the Northern Beaches and will this behaviour push the authorities into a rethink, crackdown and possibly the loss of your current privileges. The future of this popular location is really in your hands.

It is not just nearby residents who have had enough. It is extremely hard for our licensed premises to accept the severe controls they work under when there is such a free-for-all at East Esplanade Park. Many other Manly Ward residents also have real concerns over the lack of Covid control measures; the abuse of the park; the spread of garbage; the gross anti-social behaviour and the disgusting images taken by nearby residents of public urination and even more gross public defecation. (hard to believe but the photos tell a different story.)

Many emails and photos have been sent to the Forum. The following is a small extract from one email. The issues have been confirmed and are distressing to comprehend. Police and Council Rangers will consider all and discuss with State and Council management.

“I was very distressed to see whilst walking down Victoria Pde tonight, many extremely angry residents standing guard outside their respective unit blocks ready to confront anyone urinating and defecating in their unit blocks. They told me that many people had been caught urinating and defecating in their unit blocks, and on the public footpath in broad daylight today. As I was walking, one of the “guard” residents confronted a member of the public and almost punched him in the face. We intervened and tried to calm him down, but these residents have had enough and are furious. This is obviously not a good situation when residents begin to take the law into their own hands. The situation was chaotic, people were all over the road, and cars were trying to avoid hitting drunk people spilling out onto the road. Clearly this little strip cannot hold this number of people.”

The future of this much loved site is in the hands of the people who use it, including those that abuse it. Work with your friends and acquaintances and meet the sensible Covid standards and get rid of the anti-social behaviour. The future is yours.

16/10/21: UPDATE: Most of East Esplanade Reserve was fenced off last week by the Council, with ‘grass maintenance’ given as the reason. It’s hoped the restrictions will also provide a circuit breaker and the weekend party crowds will find somewhere else to go.

Picture: Rowan Kos/Facebook


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