Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner

Small bird, big problem

Considering the internationally acknowledged damage that Indian mynas cause to the natural environment, it is disappointing to see how little our council is doing to address the growing problem throughout Port Stephens.

The council contends it has no legal obligation to do anything, because the NSW government has not formally declared mynas as a pest animal. What a cop out.

The absence of such a declaration has not stopped numerous other councils and shires across eastern Australia from proactively addressing the problem, by providing financial support for trapping of mynas and encouraging removal of their nests. One only has to visit the website of the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group (CIMAG) to see what can be achieved by sustained community involvement in trapping. Over the decade commencing 2006, CIMAG members reported trapping of over 58,000 mynas. Strangely, there is now no reference at all on our council's website to trapping as a possible control measure.

Any serious program to address the myna problem must include financial support for trapping and removal of myna nests.  

Annamaree Reisch, Tanilba Bay

Pressure must continue

I am writing to ask you to [continue] to put pressure on the state decision makers so that Mambo-Wanda Wetlands is bought back. Protecting the environmental integrity of the reserve is invaluable. 

Its ecosystem is unique and means a lot to the local community. In time, many koalas have been released back in the reserve and now they call this place home. 

You well know that the koalas are listed as a threatened species across the state but the local Port Stephens population is basically already endangered. Many heroic rescuers, carers and vets are doing what they can to save as many as possible but if we remove their habitat, the koalas and other wildlife will not stand a chance once released in the wild. 

PEST: Annamaree Reisch says any serious program to address the myna problem must include financial support for trapping and removal of Myna nests.

PEST: Annamaree Reisch says any serious program to address the myna problem must include financial support for trapping and removal of Myna nests.

Therefore, I beg you to do what you can to preserve this reserve and the fascinating wildlife living there. Most residents want it back in safe hands with no further risks of development proposals. 

Even from far away Italy, we will be grateful for any action you are going to take for this purpose. Thank you for your time and attention,

Franco Artuso, Italy

Answer the call

Every March for 70 years, thousands of volunteers have made a wonderful contribution to our community during Red Cross Calling. They’ve knocked on their neighbour’s doors, said hello and their combined efforts have raised millions.

I’d like to send a massive thanks to the thousands of schools, businesses, community organisations and our dedicated Red Cross members who’ve answered the call over the years. 

All of that effort has gone a long way, allowing Red Cross to help where we’re needed most; from providing support during and after disasters, to making phone calls to check on the isolated and elderly to helping communities make a better future for themselves. 

So many extraordinary volunteers here in NSW have also gone the extra mile – not just raising money but also reaching out to their neighbours, asking how they’re going and checking on their well-being.

Red Cross Calling is more than a fundraiser – it gives us a reason to connect and volunteer for the sake of our community. Research shows that volunteering and helping in our neighbourhoods helps us live happier, longer lives.

These volunteers make Australia a special place to live. This year we aim to double the number of volunteers in NSW. Will you be one of them?

Join the fun today. Visit: redcrosscalling.org.au or call 1800 RED CROSS (733 276).  

Jody Broun, Australian Red Cross