Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner, August 23, 2018

DANGEROUS: Fire crews at Salt Ash on Sunday before an emergency warning was sent to residents in the area. Picture: AAP Image/Darren Pateman
DANGEROUS: Fire crews at Salt Ash on Sunday before an emergency warning was sent to residents in the area. Picture: AAP Image/Darren Pateman

Thanks to the firies

With the fires appearing to have calmed down full credit to the Rural Fire Service (RFS), National Parks and Wildlife, NSW Fire & Rescue and other emergency services who worked tirelessly for the past few days to make sure that no properties were lost during this firestorm that went through, and most importantly no lives lost.

To the community who in time of need came together as one and offered shelter, food, water, showers and just some one to talk to, you people along with the emergency services are the heroes of this event. 

As my son and his girlfriend’s house is on the Tilli track and was right in the line of fire, a personal thanks goes out from our family.

They got out and back with all intact.

Dave Northam, Raymond Terrace

Education facilities available 

The suggestion by Peter Clough on behalf of the Tomaree Business Chamber (Port Stephens Examiner, August 9) to create a combined university-TAFE in the heart of Nelson Bay is ambitious but unfortunately most impractical. 

The two local high schools Tomaree and St Philips have a combined approximately 150 students each year completing the HSC. 

Of these many will wish to undertake university training in faculties such as engineering, IT, medicine, education and other high level studies which would not be offered at a local university.

Unfortunately, the chamber in its desire to bring life to the Nelson Bay town centre, has overlooked the educational training facilities already available locally. 

Tomaree Community College provides accredited courses in aged care, child care, vocational pathways, hospitality and technical courses. 

Courses offered depend on demand and government funding.

A TAFE facility, though limited in its range of courses, operates at Tomaree Education Centre.

Tomaree Community College has an ideal site in Church Street and the management board is in the process of finalising payment to the Department of Education for outright ownership of the site.

Plans are in place for the expansion of facilities and courses, and the college has a good working relationship with local aged care and child care operators.

Peter refers to the “brain drain”.

Unfortunately this is unavoidable both here and in all other smaller communities as young people must travel or move to larger centres able to offer higher level university training.

Once trained these people will return if suitable employment is available for them.

Don Whatham,

Vice president of the Tomaree Community College Board of Management

Karuah wants answers

The issue of Mustons Road at Karuah is still raging in the community.

As reported (Port Stephens Examiner, July 26), shortly after the rally on July 18 the community was told that the council would convene another traffic committee meeting and include community representation to try to resolve the issue, or arrive at a better outcome.

Thus far nothing has happened.

It has been said by council senior staff that the road and path meets Australian standards. 

If this was to be an interim measure while work was carried out to provide a two-way road with a separate footpath for pedestrians, residents of Karuah would accept it. 

However, we are being told by council that this current situation is there until 2024-25.

Complaints from motorists are daily, two cars meeting on the one way section and one having to back up, delivery drivers and school bus drivers are among those who are complaining.

Whether this leads to an accident or not, time will only tell.

Fred McInerney, Karuah

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