No protection in land sale
Mayor Ryan Palmer talked up a wonderful sports complex to be built at Tomaree Sports Ground that would not only provide state-of-the-art facilities for locals be of such a standard that state sporting bodies would be able to hold carnivals there.
This of course provides local business with much needed year-round income as they feed and house the thousands of people who would attend these events. A great plan, however we have still not seen the business case, except for the sale of a block of council-owned land on Foreshore Drive, Salamander Bay, that the Mayor says may help fund the project. That’s not much of a plan.
This block of land next to a council reserve is at the very end of Port Stephens Drive and provides every visitor to the area their first view of the beautiful Bay. Koalas move across this block from Mambo Wetlands to do their usual patrolling of the beach and then move back through Joe Redmond Reserve.
At the announcement last week of $3 million in state government funding for a koala hospital at One Mile, the Mayor said, “Port Stephens is proud to be home to koalas and, with one of the last remaining koala populations on the east coast, it’s our responsibility to protect them. This koala sanctuary is one way that we can do that.”
Carmel Northwood, President of Port Stephens Koalas sadly acknowledged that despite many years of caring for Koalas the population continues to plummet, and is now classified as endangered in this area, one step away from extinction. Habitat is key to koala survival.
Please Cr Palmer and fellow councillors, do not sell this block of land. We need you to put the economic case for construction of the Tomaree Sports Complex. If it needs to include the sale of a piece of koala habitat near Mambo Wetlands, then there’s something wrong.
Kathy brown, Secretary, Mambo-Wanda Wetlands Conservation Group
Time to get serious
When are our politicians going to stop using our koalas as props for their photo opportunities and get serious about securing their survival?
The only way we are going to ensure their future is to preserve their natural habitat.
Port Stephens Council (PSC) should be stopping any further encroachment by development into the native habitats of wildlife and preserving these areas to ensure their survival. PSC should be setting an example to other councils in stopping any further destruction of remaining natural areas and allowing greater densities in already-developed areas. What’s needed is a long-term, comprehensive plan for the future which prohibits further destruction of our wonderful wildlife. Future generations are not going to appreciate councillors who put another road through native forest, but will be forever grateful for those with the foresight to save our native flora and fauna.
Paul Attard, Nelson Bay
Budget bypasses Port
There are big spendings in the Federal Budget 2018-19, for rails, roads, infrastructure but all bypass Port Stephens, we might say.
There must be lots of food for thought for our local politicians, federal, state and local governments. We, residents and ratepayers, must ask why we at the Port have performed so poorly?
Looking back on the last few months since the council elections, we have spent a lot of energy on building heights, koala, the red zone, small wetlands, and so on. Not that these were not important, and they are, but we seemed to have lost the ball on the bigger picture for funding in rails, roads, infrastructure and other major regional development that would benefit Port Stephens as a whole. The Council have yet to form a public transport vision for the Port. Where there is no vision, funding sadly vanishes.