Statement from James Griffin MP on East Esplanade

Like most Manly residents, I was disgusted at the scenes highlighted in the local media and on Social media of the crowds and rubbish at East Esplanade over recent days.

The activities that took place and subsequent mess left behind are disgraceful and must not happen again.

What clearly looked like a contempt for social distancing and COVID safe practices, the blatant disregard for nearby residents, and lack of personal responsibility shown by some attendees is beyond disappointing and their actions put the ongoing use of the space as it is currently used at risk for all.

There is an expectation, given the history of this area that by now these problems would have been dealt with.  In July 2018 the Northern Beaches Council prepared and adopted an East Esplanade Community Safety Management Plan.

In February 2021, the Council unanimously supported the creation of a ‘working group’ to establish strategies and action plans to help prevent alcohol related anti-social behaviour.

Agreed strategies and actions plans were to be presented to Council within three months of this group convening.

I would not be surprised that if a similar scene where to occur again then the Council will prohibit the consumption of alcohol in East Esplanade, as they are within their rights to do. I strongly encourage everyone to behave responsibly and dispose of all rubbish and enjoy our beautiful public spaces with respect.

I will be speaking with Police and Northern Beaches Council about the incident and stand ready to support their actions.