Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner

A Nelson Bay to be proud of

It is pleasing to see that after many years of inaction there is movement at the station for the future of Nelson Bay town centre and foreshore.

After years of inaction there has been a major shift in sentiment from our council particularly recognition that Nelson Bay is an “iconic centre” in Port Stephens and accordingly, the need for it to remain a major hub.

Over many many years there has been little or no investment in Nelson Bay apart for the supermarket development and the hotel.  As a result, the town has become tired and certainly has lost its gloss and its direction in knowing the role it should play in the shopping centre hierarchy of Port Stephens. Fortunately, the business community of Nelson Bay and the Peninsula, through the Tomaree Business Chamber, has created a very strong support base,  developing a passion and understanding of what needs to be done for Nelson Bay.  If Nelson Bay is a successful business precinct then this will rub off onto the surrounding business precincts and the Peninsula area of Port Stephens will become a more appealing destination and an economic driver for Port Stephens.

INVESTMENT: Funding from both the NSW government and Port Stephens Council is helping to better connect the Nelson Bay CBD to the foreshore.

INVESTMENT: Funding from both the NSW government and Port Stephens Council is helping to better connect the Nelson Bay CBD to the foreshore.

To date the council has responded and hence there is this movement at the station. For the first time in years, bulldozers and other excavation equipment are in action in Nelson Bay creating a new road and pedestrian plaza to connect the town centre with the foreshore to be accompanied by landscape features that will encourage recreational use by the public. Apex Park will receive a much needed and overdue significant financial boost which will make it more of a people’s place, as presently all it is doing is providing a thoroughfare for pedestrians to commute. This financial boost is being provided by both the State Government and Port Stephens Council. Also, the State Government and Port Stephens Council have banded together to fund a Major Public Infrastructure Plan for the look and feel of the public areas in Nelson Bay and its foreshore which in turn once completed will have the ability to attract other funding for a complete overhaul of the town centre into the future. We look forward over the next few years when our local community and visiting public can again be proud of a new look Nelson Bay.

Peter Clough, Fingal Bay

17 billboards outside Bay

About 18 months ago my wife and I moved to Soldiers Point after more than seven years in the Southern Highlands and have not been disappointed with our decision.

Last weekend we returned to Mittagong for the first time, to attend a 50th birthday party.  Both areas have much in common: easy drive from Sydney, beautiful scenery, tempting venues too numerous to mention and a lifestyle that is so much more relaxed than what Sydney now offers.

It was only when driving back into Port Stephens we were struck by a contrast too stark to be ignored.  The large and ugly billboards in the paddocks alongside the Nelson Bay Road.  From Marsh Road to the roundabout at Soldiers Point Drive, there are 17 such billboards in less than five kilometers, advertising everything from fast food to real estate.  And that doesn’t take into account the billboards on the other side of the road.  Exiting the southbound Hume Highway and driving a similar distance into Mittagong, there is not a single billboard to be seen, other than discreet signs outside a few businesses. I have no idea how much money the advertisers pay to have their product displayed in such unsightly fashion but it must be significant for the council to allow this ugly practise to continue. It is such a shame that the main road into this lovely area has become so disfigured with such visual pollution.  Surely uncluttered paddocks and fields are vastly preferable to what now resembles the approach to a town in need of charity.

Chris Bult,  Soldiers Point