Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: April 19

Develop within the rules

I came to work, and then retire, in Nelson Bay 27 years ago.

During this time the area has seen much change and development. However this development has generally taken place due to necessity and in accordance with current regulations and building guidelines.

Examples of such development are the Salamander Bay shopping centre to service the needs of the increased population, the development of Tomaree Education Centre to upgrade primary, secondary and TAFE facilities, St Philip’s College, the development of Tomaree Community Hospital and expansion of retirement living such as Harbourside Haven Villages. The population has increased significantly as land was released for building and people moved in according to their needs and desires.

All of this development was well planned and orderly. It occurred naturally and not due to changes in rules and building regulations.

In a similar fashion the town centre of Nelson Bay has seen development and progress in its own way. The marina development, hotel upgrades and development of a major supermarket have taken place. Other shops and businesses have come and gone according to market needs.

GROWTH: Don Whatham believes development in Nelson Bay has evolved with necessity and in accordance with regulations and building guidelines.

GROWTH: Don Whatham believes development in Nelson Bay has evolved with necessity and in accordance with regulations and building guidelines.

While all this was happening Nelson Bay Town Centre has remained the pleasant and charming centre to visit. Lack of parking is the most significant matter to address. A solution to this would be largely achieved by rebuilding of the currently disused multi-level facility.

There is no need to change building heights to accommodate developers. If developers wish to build on vacant land or replace current buildings let them do so in accordance with current rules which have maintained the pleasant town environment until now.

Don Whatham, Nelson Bay

Don’t add to the suffering

My mother has been an active member of the Port Stephens community for 37 years and now she has cancer.

Just because Mum has lost her hair doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to stop and chat in the supermarket. Mum is missing her old life. She misses having the energy to swing her hips at line dancing, play Mahjong, swing a sword at Tai-Chi or strum a few strings at ukulele class. She feels isolated because her illness is robbing her of these social outings. Please understand, going to the local shops is a big deal for Mum. Mum is anxious about her appearance, about being in public because people she used to know and people she doesn’t know, look the other way. Why?

Mum is not contagious.

When you see someone you know whose appearance has changed because of lifesaving treatment, acknowledge them as you would with others with a smile or a nod or even say hello. Mum wants to feel normal again. She doesn’t want to talk about cancer. She wants to chat with you about every day stuff like she used to or make a joke about the price of avocados when standing next to you as you both seek out a ripe one. Please don’t avoid eye contact, or turn the other way or change directions. Mum has cancer. Please don't add to the suffering, the isolation and the anxiety of cancer. Your smile is all she needs.

Leanne Cummings, Lemon Tree Passage

Use your vote wisely

In Port Stephens we have above the national average of retirees and a large number of them live in Shoal Bay and Fingal Bay.

Port Stephens Veterans and Citizens accommodate over 600 residents in self care and aged care and have over 300 people on its employment register.

We receive limited funding from state or federal governments and less interest from politicians on either side except when election material is delivered.

Retirees should vote for those who deliver not promise.

Gerry Mohan, Shoal Bay