• The Tawny Frogmouth

Letters to the Tawny Frogmouth: Issue 3, Feb 21

Updated: Feb 13

December Issue I brought your new magazine with me to Qld and have just read it cover to cover hanging on every word. I think it’s wonderful - the interviews, the humour. Having been a Manly Daily fan - paper version (certainly not online) it’s wonderful to see paper re-emerging. I hope you continue.

Lyn, Curly

Bus Debacle

Attention local northern beaches bus commuters, your local bus drivers stood out on the street holding placards and yelling until the heavens could hear. Bus privatisation will mean route changes, loss of services and customers having to catch 2 to 3 buses to get to work. With the introduction of the 172x through Balgowlah, it seems the local community have now woken up. It’s great to see the signs out, especially the “We Love Our Bus Drivers”. But it was a little heated in the beginning, with water bombs thrown, verbal abuse and dangerously parked cars.

Remember that 90% of northern beaches bus drivers live on the northern beaches. We carry your kids to and from school, always making sure they get home safely, even when lost. This is not a fight against us. We fought the fight against this debacle and not many came to help. Not to be political but this is a NSW LNP incentive to privatise the buses, fill the privates pockets via the taxpayer’s purse. I live in Dee Why. I used to walk to Dee Why main and get any bus to the mall. Now it’s a 10 to 15 min wait for B line or the 199…off peak. So, don't blame the drivers, blame the elected government. Remember the unions have been pushing to stop this locally as well.

Artic Fellows, Dee Why bus driver

The Manly Ferries are not saved!

The announcement that two Manly Ferries will stay in service for weekends and holidays is just smoke and mirrors. How long will they stay? Until the next major service is due? It has been announced that The Collaroy will remain in service until 2023 - then what? What happens when one of the ferries is out of service? How are they going to manage the big crowds when they come back after COVID? Why isn't the government even looking at ways these ferries can continue to operate when they still have 40 years of service left in them? Major operational costs can be saved by operating the four ferries on just one shift, say from 10am to 10pm. Biofuels will work in these ferries - why hasn’t that been considered?

Two ferries only on weekends will not work. 4.4million people used the Freshwater class Manly Ferries before COVID. The ferries are a major tourist attraction and an important part of Sydney's tourism offering. We need to stop the decision to get rid of these ferries, by stealth. The community campaign continues. We will not be lured into a false sense of security that “The ferries have been saved.” They have not. To see the ferries saved and their pros and cons properly discussed in State Parliament, we need 20,000 signatures on Good for Manly’s ‘Save the Ferries’ petition. Sign here: goodformanly.com.au/ferries

Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor NB Council

Naming & Shaming

So, if the extremely inept Manly Daily feels naming every single person that goes through Manly court, on every day of the week, and for whatever reason, is such a community service, then why not name and most certainly shame this stupid couple from Avalon that have ruined Christmas for thousands? The same principal for those two Melbourne chicks a few months ago; they got roasted by the media and the public (and for good reason), yet absolutely nothing about these Avalon halfwits?

Clarkey, Balgowlah


Hi Tawny Frogmouth, Really impressed with your first issue and wish you good luck going forward. Most of the material was genuinely interesting, the content was varied, and the style was bouncy and quirky but enjoyable because of that. With the passing of The Manly Daily, there is definitely a gap to be filled and you’re heading very much in the right direction. Coincidentally, we have a Tawny Frogmouth in the loquat tree in our garden currently, and I read part of your magazine to him too. He was suitably impressed (I think). All the very best.

Stuart, Seaforth


Wake up Australia! New ferries to be built overseas when we are quite capable of building them in Australia. Who is making this decision? Is it the person who ordered trains that wouldn't fit through the Blue Mountains tunnels until the tunnels were made wider and the safety regulations were altered to accept them? Was it the person who ordered the light rail in Sydney where the two rails are of different gauges, the carriages cannot be interchanged? Was it the person who ordered the ferries to Parramatta where people on the top deck would be decapitated if they sat there when it's high tide? Stop selling out Australia. Create jobs here and the wages will be spent here. I travelled to work for years on the old ferries and will be sad if they go, but the smaller ones will not cope with the swell at the heads in bad weather, back to the buses!

Barbara Bevan, concerned Australian resident

Boat Ramp Galahs

I have lived and used Little Manly Boat Ramp since the Farrell family owned the Boat Shed where the park now is. The storm water traffic island, central to the turning circle, used to have a clear code of conduct stating:

1. Do not block access to ramp.

2. Do not rig or unrig vessels while on the ramp.

3. Cars with boat trailers have priority.

Then the Galahs blew in, off the back of a Southerly Buster laden with selfishness, living by their own entitled code:

1. I will park in the turning circle while I have a swim.

2. I will occupy the turning circle while I wash my kayak for up to half an hour. The Wednesday morning Kayak club is a specialist group, similar to the SAS who then refuse to move once asked. They are elite athletes after all. They however are amateurs compared to the Local Dive Shop who have blocked access for years, impervious to hundreds of complaints. Perhaps related to Jacques Cousteaus?

3. I will park on the ramp and keep all boats waiting while I cool off having a dip after having unloaded my umbrella, esky and sun chair, all of which do not require a boat ramp. Heaven forbid if I have to walk an extra 20m. Polite approaches to such celebrities pointing out the turning circle etiquette is usually ignored, mocked or aggressively challenged. Whatever you do don’t ask for an autograph. Some boat owners then try to avoid the conflict of having to ask celebrities to move only to find themselves jack knifed on the traffic island bollards damaging their cars or boats. Meanwhile the offending Galahs laugh, criticizing the driver’s ability, while parked illegally in the turning circle. Ignorance truly is bliss, but I am certain the sign that states ‘’ No Parking’’ must be incorrect.

Two locals had their cars damaged last month, both hit and runs with no details left. Northern Beaches Council has obviously put the Galahs on an endangered species list as David Attenborough circumvented the emails of complaint in an attempt to protect these unique pests during their migration to the beaches to shower locals with their unique guano.

Boat ramp galahs

So, I come to the venerable Tawny Frogmouth. Please, feathered comrade, help this poor Pelican known as Percy petition the council for better signage so even a myopic Galah may find enlightenment to avoid a further pandemic of selfishness. Yours in feathers,

Percy Protest Pelican

Political Ignorance Isn't Bliss

Let's hope that "The Tawny Frogmouth" will grow both in size and political impartiality across the northern beaches. Not only do I support your observation that the "Vote Tony Abbott Out" was negative, but on the evidence, utterly irrational in the progressive minds of so called "Liberals" who initiated and supported it. Even given - as proponent Mark Kelly claims - that his campaign to get Abbott out was "a truly... grass roots honest" campaign, in reality it merely managed to unleash the torrent of pent-up left wing media and Get-Up inspired hatred and retaliation, to rid them at all and any cost of both, a former LNP Opposition Leader who took 11 seats from Labor in the 2010 election before two MP's elected as conservatives defied their electorates and rather than take Government, returned Labor back into office; and a Prime Minister who having won the 2013 election with another 17 seats from Labor to give the LNP a massive 45 seat majority, only to be removed in a coup-d'etat by another likeminded progressive who in 2016 managed to lose 14 - and govern with 1 - his own.

Now Mr. Kelly, if your inability to grasp that a "Vote Tony Out" campaign is indeed the epitome of a negative campaign, I can see why you and those of like mind were unable to grasp the Rhodes Scholar intellect and political acumen of Mr. Abbott, so as to contribute in denying this electorate in 2019 of a potential senior LNP Cabinet Minister with an independent tyro voice now merely crying in the political wilderness.

Finally, as Mr. Kelly proffered his name, I have no intention in my grass roots honest rebuttal, of using a nom-de-plume.

Kevin Begaud, Dee Why

Re- Dunny Business

1. Regarding men and public peeing.

2. Seems to be a natural instinct that they want to use a pole or a tree to display this canine behaviour.

I am aware of the state of the Manly Wharf toilets but they’re not as bad as the Old Whistler Street Carpark toilets back in the early eighties. Their floors were constantly flooded, and to squeeze through the door one needed to manipulate oneself slowly. And there were no locks! They revamped them in1988. Years ago, I had tenants (males) who not only used the backdoor, but the kitchen sink as well, to urinate. After several complaints, I got rid of them. They’re probably still doing it to this day. I feel for the police who find these morons with their feeble excuses (no toilets attitude) when they would be happy enough to pee outside a shop window. One cannot blame the Council for everything. There will always be idiots who can’t conform to the rules of common decency.

Catherine Jackson, Manly

Out with the old, in with the new

The new ferries will be heaps better than the old ones, which everyone will soon forget about. They will be like a public version of the fast ferry. Who would choose a 40min commute over a 15min commute? Tourists might not enjoy the cheapest cruise in town anymore with the new ferries, but the core function of public transport is transporting the people around town. Tourist activities are a fortunate side effect at times. Keeping a ferry as a tourist attraction would work, but to not want new ferries due to some sentimental attachment to the current ferries is not going to make your trips to and from the city any easier. As for tourism uses, perhaps we could sink an old ferry somewhere as a scuba diving attraction.

Cranky Commuter

PS: The more I think about an old ferry as a scuba diving site, the keener I get on that idea.

James Griffin, Manly Ferries

In response to MP James Griffin diatribe about his less than ordinary effort to save the Ferries one has to ask any number of questions.

Firstly, where did you get those grossly inaccurate ferry patronage figures? Every weekend during summer I watch the Manly Ferries from my mother's balcony in East Esplanade and they are full to the gunwales. I have caught numerous ferries in both peak and off peak periods and you are telling us that only 280 people use the service at its peak. Pull the other one Mr. Griffin. You also stated that we are going to get more services with smaller faster vessels. How is this more economical when you clearly state you hope to attract more patronage? So, what fictitious figures did Andrew Constance use to convince you the new ferries would be more economical? You couldn't possibly have any accurate figures because you don't know if the new vessels will attract more patronage, so it's all fingers crossed guess work.

I will predict that if the Liberal Party, or more to the point Andrew Constance, goes ahead with this ridiculous plan that within 18 months the new service will be scaled back to less frequent trips.

I have consulted two marine engineers who have said on separate occasions that the ferries could be completely overhauled with new engines and complete overhaul of every other component including interior in six months per vessel. So wouldn't a refit for all four vessels over a two year period and lease a smaller vessel in the interim be a far more satisfactory outcome for all concerned?

In conclusion Mr Griffin MP for Manly, you and your party are going to sacrifice "OUR" Manly Ferries, you just pushed the Northern Beaches Tunnel back into the never, never and right now you have changed a whole lot of bus services around so people in Nth Balgowlah, Seaforth, Balgowlah Heights and other suburbs in your electorate will have to catch numerous buses instead of one to get to their destinations. Your batting average reads 0 from 3 in satisfactory outcomes for the "VOTERS" in your electorate.

Mark Roberts, Freshwater


You have nailed it!!! Every page worth turning over for. Something for everyone. Fills the gap for what we were missing on the Northern Beaches. What a compact little publication. Tucks into the handbag - no prob. A smorgasbord of fabulous subjects - just love everything about it. Congratulations!!!

Ursula, Fairlight

Big things, small packages

I picked up a copy of 'The Tawny Frogmouth’ January Edition. It was a very well put together publication with a great variety of articles. I particularly liked the Feature - Save The Ferries. I agree with everything in the article as I believe many people who live on the Northern Beaches would do so too. I like the “handbag” size format. You can pop it in your bag to read on transport or while waiting. We all missed the Manly Daily when it stopped but hey you have stepped up and given us this excellent magazine. I sincerely hope it is a big success.

Annette, Collaroy Plateau

The Tawny invites the people of the Beaches to send in letters to mail@thetawnyfrogmouth.com.au