Readers express their views on news this week

ON THE LINE: Protesters outside the six hectares of koala habitat sold at auction last year. Cherylle Stone writes it's "time to act". Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
ON THE LINE: Protesters outside the six hectares of koala habitat sold at auction last year. Cherylle Stone writes it's "time to act". Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Walk the Mambo talk

A year ago the Examiner reported that the Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scott McDonald, said the State Government should not have sold the six hectare parcel of Mambo Wetland to a private developer because of its high conservation values.

If that was the case then, what has the state government and Mr McDonald done since to fix the error and return the land to the community? 

Given that the owner, Paul Unicomb, has just lodged a DA with Council to put a duplex on the land, it's time the pollies followed up their words with action to retrieve a valuable public asset from private hands.

Cherylle Stone

Soldiers Point

The ‘no’ argument

The tragedy of the same-sex marriage plebiscite is that it is dividing the nation unnecessarily. 

On the one side is the understandable demand for dignity and respect for same sex couples.  On the other side is the deeply held belief in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman.

This is not a human rights issue.  In 2008 federal parliament passed the Same-Sex Relationships Act to provide equal treatment of same-sex couples. If there are any residual areas in law where same-sex couples feel discrimination, let us rectify those laws.  But changing the Marriage Act is not necessary to give equal human rights to same-sex couples. 

There is a solution to this dilemma that reasonable people on both sides could live with: Give same-sex couples the dignity of an official status in Commonwealth law.  Unfortunately, such a separate status is not acceptable to the LGBTI lobby, who want to extinguish any difference between same-sex and man-woman unions.

I am in favour of giving same-sex couples dignity and an official status but I am also in favour of maintaining the union between a man and a woman, who were created to complement each other biologically, emotionally and as mothers and fathers of their children, as the foundation of our society.  And this in no way disrespects the love, commitment and values that same-sex couples give their children.

Therefore, I will be voting ‘no’ to changing the definition of marriage.

Ross Ferrier

Fingal Bay

Development ‘good vs bad’

Paul Attard makes some good points is his letter Development challenge (28/9) but presents a false choice.  Many of us in the Tomaree Peninsula believe we can accommodate reasonable growth without either high rise buildings or greenfield development. Demand for apartment living can be met in well designed 3-5 storey buildings close to local centres. But most housing demand is increasingly for detached dwellings, duplexes and townhouses, with small yards and gardens, all of which can be provided by “infill” in existing built up areas. This will involve a change of character in some suburbs but is far preferable to either of the alternatives. The groups Mr Attard says are “anti-development” are only opposed to bad development. And far from being silent on the loss of businesses, all of the main groups have long been calling for a more integrated approach to planning in the peninsula, and have come together in Nelson Bay Now to work for a revitalisation of the town centre.

Nigel Waters

Nelson Bay

Campus vision

At long last, someone has a grand vision for Port Stephens (Satellite campus hopes, 5/10) in Nelson Bay.

In addition let's extend the Newcastle Light Rail to the Bay via the Airport and build a sea going port for the commercial and tourist industries, for those generations to come.

Ernest To