The issue currently facing the Wollongong City Council over the North Wollongong Surf Club will be an interesting test.
Like any council issue, it is easy to become bogged down by the debate around the issue and drown in a sea of "planning regulations", "heritage considerations" and etc etc etc. Let's try and cut through all that and put it simply.
The North Wollongong Surf Club want to renovate their building to include a commercial bistro and bar and a bigger balcony.
In response they've been threatened that this building is subject to heritage restrictions and therefore is subjected to the usual raft of prohibitive conditions.
Now if you teleported someone into that site with no prior history or knowledge and asked them to decide "heritage?" or "tired?" what do you think the answer might be? We'd suggest tired.
To be frank and brutally honest, the North Wollongong Surf Club is a building in a key location of this city screaming out for this sort of development.
The Wollongong City Council has talked about wanting to better activate the foreshore of the city, but when the opportunity arises to do exactly that someone, somehow threatens to pull the shutters up. Wollongong as a city needs to get serious about this issue.
The Wollongong foreshore has so much potential but it is the devoid of much of the activity and opportunity that you would find in so many other Australian seaside cities.
What the North Wollongong Surf Club is hoping to do is make the most of an opportunity that its location presents. In other Australian cities you can go to a surf club and have a nice meal overlooking the ocean, just as is being proposed.
"The bistro and bar, run by a commercial operator, will be open to members, visitors, residents every day and will hopefully attract new members so the club can continue to patrol the beach," Club president David Meredith said.
"We have a magnificent view that we want to share with the community."
Let's draw a line in the sand and make this happen.