Bondi Pavilion on Bondi Beach in Sydney just after the refurbishment

The council spokesman said tenants have been running outdoor pop-up facilities to offer food and drink to locals and visitors over the summer while decking out their venues.

Two venues – Glory Days and Bondi Promenade – are expected to receive full occupancy certificates [OC] very soon, she said. “Those tenants who are not yet receiving OC are not due to specific power-related issues.”

The Bondi Story Room, which features an interactive digital exhibition about the area’s history, has also been closed for refurbishment.

A sign outside the showroom invites visitors to “come back in a few weeks” to a “new and improved Story Room”, but Waverley Councilors were told earlier this month it would be closed for two months.


Sabato told city councilors that the Story Room had been closed after repeated problems with the infrared frame that powers an interactive mural.

Bondi Beach Precinct co-convenor Lenore Kulakauskas said the generator was extremely noisy and causing a terrible smell.

“I noticed that people who normally sit and work in the meadow were missing. Also missing are the kids running around the yard or riding their tricycles,” she said.

Liberal councilwoman and former mayor Sally Betts said she was disappointed to find out there wasn’t enough electricity to run the pavilion “if it’s not even fully operational”.

“It’s really sloppy,” she said. “As a result, they had to be really inconvenient for a lot of people.”

Betts’ concerns about the pavilion, which reopened in September after a $48 million restoration and years of controversy, were compounded by problems with the Story Room’s technology.

“Considering the cost and the time this took, it’s really disappointing to have these fatal errors as soon as you open it,” she said.

Betts said the pavilion is empty every time “I walk around it,” while the seats in his theater are too small.

An earlier plan to restore the pavilion, when Betts was Mayor of Waverley, sparked protests involving actors Jack Thompson and Michael Caton.

The problems plaguing the pavilion come when Labor Councilor Michelle Gray is asking for support to use the pavilion to broadcast sporting events such as the Australian Open, the AFL Grand Final and this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Gray’s motion, which will be voted on at this week’s council meeting, aims to attract more residents to the venue.

“These are residents who probably wouldn’t take a pottery class or buy a ticket to a theater performance, but who would gather in a vacant public place to watch a sports game at twilight with friends and family,” she said.

The Morning Edition Newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Login here. Bondi Pavilion on Bondi Beach in Sydney just after the refurbishment

Callan Tansill

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