Letter to the Port Stephens Examiner: June 7

Who will do something

I wish to bring to the attention of Examiner readers, the increasing number of trail bikes and other motorised bikes which have been using the reserve footpath behind Joseph Sheehan Drive in Raymond Terrace, and then onwards to the football ovals.

After numerous complaints made to Port Stephens Council, an employee from the council informed me that it is the responsibility of the police as these bikes are unregistered.

BACK BURNER: The sale of the parcel of land on Foreshore Drive has been 'parked' by Mayor Ryan Palmer. Its future is still uncertain though. Picture: Port Stephens Council

BACK BURNER: The sale of the parcel of land on Foreshore Drive has been 'parked' by Mayor Ryan Palmer. Its future is still uncertain though. Picture: Port Stephens Council

The police have investigated but the bikes are long gone by the time they arrive. There is a council sign, stating that it is a reserve and motorbike riders are prohibited.

The police empathise and recognise that the riding of motorbikes along this path is a problem. But they have more pressing crimes in Raymond Terrace than illegal motorbike riders using this public footpath. So, whose responsibility is it I ask?

Ethically, I feel it is the council’s. The prohibited sign has been put up by council. Does this mean they’re claiming ownership and therefore responsibility for enforcing what is prohibited in the reserve?

On occasion I’ve confronted the riders and asked them not to use the path. They have either given me ‘the finger’ or uttered an expletive and ridden off. One even had the audacity to wave me off the footpath when I was going for a walk. The riding is not limited to daytime or weekends. I have heard them zooming by at 10pm on a weeknight and weekend.

My husband encountered another rider at approximately 4pm on May 14, whom he told to get off the path.  He was given ‘the finger’. The rider then rode off, looking over his shoulder as if taunting my husband into chasing him. 

Besides the noise, fumes and barking of dogs in response to the riders zooming along the footpath; my concerns are this – one day someone will be hurt. Either it be the bike rider, an elderly person with impaired mobility or hearing, or someone walking their dog.

Or perhaps a child out on their scooter.

Does an accident need to happen before something is done?

Christine Finney, Raymond Terrace

Alternatives needed

The recent disruption on Nelson Bay Road at Bobs Farm on last week shows that we are in desperate need of alternate transport arrangements when emergencies occur.

In Fingal Bay and Shoal Bay residents are continually raising the lack of an alternate transport route in the case of an emergency. Our elected representatives should be taking this issue up with the Premier of NSW as residents and emergency services have had enough.

Gerry Mohan, Shoal Bay

Issues chalk and cheese

In recent months the Port Stephens Council (PSC) seems to have made decisions on matters of importance concerning the community, and then canvasses for support when encounters oppositions to those decisions.

The most recent example is the proposed sale of land adjacent to a koala habitat in Salamander Bay. The proposed sale is now uncertain.

The reason given for the sale of the land is to fund the redevelopment of the Tomaree Sporting Complex . Yet there is really no general consensus in the community that the redevelopment should go ahead as proposed. Mrs Sally Dover has rightly pointed out the long forgotten skate park by the PSC. Why such an oversight by the PSC has occurred at all? Truly the two matters above mentioned should be separated as chalk and cheese.

The sale of the land, even if it goes ahead, should not be taken as an approval for the sporting complex proposal.  The sporting complex proposal should be reworked to take into account all matters of concern including traffic congestion and safety for cyclists and pedestrians at the proposed location. To do otherwise would be 'putting the cart before the horse'.

Ernest To, Medowie