Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: August 16

Stick to the basics

I totally agree with all the letters about the [proposed] rate rise.

Council’s role is to look after roads, services and support community needs.

I would like to know how a new sports complex fits in with a growing ageing community in this area?

How is increasing rates (beyond CPI) benefiting young families and pensioners?

The council is not a chamber of commerce to act like a business. It would make more sense if businesses took on improving the sports complex. To promote tourism in the area, wouldn’t it be better to improve cycleways and pathways for everyone to enjoy and get healthier, and not just in one place but in all the beautiful spots (country and coast) that make this place so unique?

Adolfo Pozzi, Anna Bay

Terrace in neglect

Eighty-six years ago, my mother pushed me in my little pram out of King Street, onto William Street where we headed uphill to Boomerang Park.

We travelled at a very slow pace as William Street was a dirt road full of potholes and gravel. After a pretty bumpy ride we arrived at the white gates, the entrance to Boomerang Park, which was overgrown with grass and weeds. Therefore, unacceptable to my little pram. The return trip was much faster for my mum, downhill towards the river.

Today, 86 years later, William Street is a disgrace. It is the CBD of Raymond Terrace with the entrance to the headquarters of Port Stephens Council via the rough and ready, rock and roll roundabout.

We all love the beauty and facilities of Port Stephens for holidays and day trips, but maybe the councillors out there could arrange for a few dollars to be spent on our CBD’s main street and adjacent footpaths.

We do not expect the large expenditure spent on Nelson Bay and Magnus street, just a little bit of tar to cover the bumps.

ACCESS FOR ALL: Anna Bay resident Adolfo Pozzi believes the council should use existing rates to improve cycleways.

ACCESS FOR ALL: Anna Bay resident Adolfo Pozzi believes the council should use existing rates to improve cycleways.

And for a little bit of praise for our council, the attractions in Boomerang Park after 85 years are a huge credit and they should be congratulated on a job well done.

Jim Ingham, Raymond Terrace

Generosity winter warmer

I would like to thank the Port Stephens community for the generous contributions to The Smith Family’s Winter Appeal.

We are very pleased to have raised over $4.5 million nationally to help thousands of disadvantaged children across Australia with vital support for their education.

For the one in seven young Australians living below the poverty line, keeping up at school can be extremely challenging. Family struggles at home can have a flow-on effect to a child’s learning. In our daily work, we hear heartbreaking stories of children missing school because they’re embarrassed about not being able to read or pretending to lose their homework because they hadn’t understood what was happening in class.

The donations received will help us reach almost 11,000 children in need through The Smith Family’s out-of-school learning programs and our after-school Learning Clubs and the iTrack online mentoring program.

We are seeing great outcomes for the young people participating in our programs. For example, in 2017, 96 per cent of primary school students improved their reading ability through the student2student program, while 86 per cent of students agreed that going to a Learning Club helped them do better in class.

Another 85 per cent of high school students said their iTrack mentor helped them feel more confident about their future job, career or study options.

All of these key programs rely not only on generous donations from the public but also volunteering support from the communities in which we operate. To everyone who has given their valuable time and dollars to support our work, we extend a huge thank you.

Anyone wishing to find out more about The Smith Family can phone 1800 024 069 or visit thesmithfamily.com.au

Steve Macready, General Manager NSW & ACT