Not worth the cost
I strongly agree with the points raised by Paul Attard in his recent letter to the Examiner, (Other projects more worthy than Bypass, November 1). Well said.
It appears that Port Stephens Council presumes that it is a given that all local residents support the prioritisation of the bypass but this is definitely not the case.
The main issues are the exorbitant estimated cost, blowing out even further as time passes, as well as the widespread environmental destruction that would result from its construction.
Vast swathes of native bushland and old growth trees providing vital habitat for our critically endangered koalas and numerous other wildlife species will be destroyed. There are numerous other more urgent projects requiring major funding. These include upgrading the existing local roads – many in an appalling state, providing more car-parking around town and the much needed upgrade of our hospital.
Mr Attard’s point about the bushfire threat being more likely throughout the National Park along the proposed route of the bypass is also particularly valid.
Bypass not a direct link
I refer to Paul Attard's letter, published in the Examiner, (November 22) relating to the proposed Fingal Bay Bypass road.
Unfortunately that letter contains two significant errors.
Firstly, the proposed "Fingal Bay Bypass" would not provide a direct link from Nelson Bay Road to Fingal Bay. As designed, the "bypass" road runs only from Nelson Bay Road to the southern end of Government Road, Shoal Bay. It will go nowhere near Fingal Bay..
As a consequence of this first point, the new "bypass" road would do nothing to end the isolation of Fingal Bay. Even with the new "bypass" in service, there will still only be one way in and one way out of Fingal Bay and that will be Marine Drive, as now.
Light rail better option
Not being a local of the Tomaree Peninsula, I have no vested interest in the Fingal Bypass either way, but I do agree with Paul Attard (Examiner, Letters, November 2) that there are other more worthy projects.
The light rail project to connect Newcastle Airport to the Bay will certainly benefit the whole of Port Stephens. In event of the light rail connecting to the Newcastle Interchange, and the Airport becoming international, an Airport interchange will have major benefits to the Hunter Region.
The Hunter Business Chamber's Draft Future Transport Strategy 2056 shows a possible extension of M1 from Black Hill to Raymond Terrace (Examiner, News, November 2). That will make Port Stephens an important regional centre. Of course all these will need long term planning e.g. 40-50 years, and will require federal and state involvements and funding, as well as cooperation of neighbouring councils.
In sincerely hope that our newly elected council will meet the challenge to form a long term vision for the Port and the Hunter.
Chance to spread joy
Thank you for the article on sending Christmas gifts to our soldiers overseas.
I have sent two boxes to the Middle East and my daughter has also sent two boxes - hers to the Solomon Islands. She works at the Tax Office in Newcastle and has arranged for an item regarding this to be included in the office bulletin there. I am sure many there will also send boxes to soldiers overseas. Thank you again for giving us the opportunity to spread Christmas joy to them - something which I am sure they will appreciate.