Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: April 26

Is it a pointless effort

I applaud the NSW government for deciding to implement a drink container recycling scheme, but the new high-tech system is not working anywhere near as well as the old system did in the 1960s and 70s.

For some strange reason. Raymond Terrace was not chosen as a site for a recycling location, despite our population, so I am forced to drive to Medowie to use the machines there.

More often than not though, the machines are full within a very short period of time after they are emptied, sometimes within an hour or two, so I end up wasting my time trying to do the right thing and I’m currently averaging three failed attempts out of four.

The 10 cents per container refund doesn’t compensate for the additional 10 cents charged per container, the additional petrol costs, and the “administration charge” and results in extra pollution from vehicle fumes.

I’m sick of having to carry around an increasing number of drink containers in the car on the off chance that I might be able to recycle. It all seems like such a pointless effort.

Frankly I’d be better off just dumping my cans and bottles in the wheelie bin each week and letting Port Stephens Council deal with it.

Paul Fuller, Raymond Terrace

Where were the ratepayers

How lucky we were to be graced with the presence of our council managers of various departments [at recent community meetings]. 

These were high-end representatives willing to meet us and take on board your/OUR thoughts on where the plans for the future would take us. Our councillors were there too (those who were not overseas). Thank you Cr Sarah [Smith] for being there.

What a shame that only about 19 people attended the Lemon Tree Passage meeting at the Bowling Club on the April 11, and that only three people attended the meeting at Medowie on Wednesday, April 18. I know that, because I was one of them.

EFFORT: Many recycling collection points in Port Stephens are filling up within an hour or two of being emptied according to Paul Fuller of Raymond Terrace

EFFORT: Many recycling collection points in Port Stephens are filling up within an hour or two of being emptied according to Paul Fuller of Raymond Terrace

Was that the fault of the ratepayers not reading the notices (were there any?), or a fault of the council not advertising in the correct places? Or the timing from 4:30pm to 6:30pm just as working mums and dads were getting home from their day jobs?

We should be asking questions, and I am disappointed that these opportunities are being squandered.

Is it apathy? Is it that we are so frustrated by past performances of previous councils?

Whatever it is, we the employers of this current council, need to step up and have our say, whatever the problem, large or small, barking dogs or buses for kids, roads, roundabouts, you name it. We pay for it.

Jan Freeman, Lemon Tree Passage

Finding a happy medium

On page eight of the Port Stephens Council's draft Community Strategic Plan, 2018-2028, "Our Vision" is defined as "A great lifestyle in a treasured environment". 

Most people should know what "a treasured environment" is, i.e. green forests, clean waterways, abundant wild lives, fresh air and sunshine.

Just wonder if people have the same idea of what "a great lifestyle" is?

As shown on the same page of the draft document, a collection of thought bubbles from comments by the public, "a great lifestyle" is hard to pin down.

In the current debate on building heights in Nelson Bay, there are those who believe that low rise buildings and a leisurely shopping village, would be a great lifestyle.

Yet others believe that high rise buildings with busy shopping centres, would be a great lifestyle with commercial gains. Is there any common ground for Nelson Bay?

Readers should be reminded that the draft document is a strategic plan for the whole of Port Stephens, not just for Nelson Bay.

Perhaps we should adopt an happiness index for each town in Port Stephens and set our vision on achieving each and everyone.

Ernest To, Medowie