Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: October 11, 2018

Result nobody wanted

In reply to Paul Attard, [Examiner, Letters October, 4 2018] ‘Mayor finds middle ground’.

If Mr Attard had attended the council meeting on August 25, he would have known that the Mayor declared a pecuniary conflict of interest in item four of the agenda: Nelson Bay Town Centre and Foreshore Strategy Implementation Program, “the nature of the interest is a close friend/associates owns property in the Nelson Bay CBD.”

‘Well done’ to the Mayor indeed, but he was not in the chamber and did not take part in the debate or vote on the motion on building heights.

What was passed by the rest of the councillors, despite the ‘harping of the ratepayers’, is not a compromise, it is a mess. They voted on a map, cobbled together at the last minute with things crossed out in pencil, which just scraped through.

I seriously wonder if they all knew what they were voting for in the end, even those that voted against it did so for opposite reasons, they wanted either 10 or five [storeys], we have ended up with something that nobody wanted, eight plus five.

The CBD blocks bounded by Church and Stockton Streets, from Dowling to Laman Street above the marina are now all eight storeys, as is another strip east of Yacaaba Street. Everything south of Dowling Street including the Bowling Club is now 12 storeys. There is no graduation here, it’s either one or the other, however most of it is completely meaningless when the council can determine anything that the developers bowl up under the Clause 4.6 ‘Exceptions to Development Standards’ that was part of this decision. High rise last week, rate rise next week, well done indeed councillors.

HOW HIGH?: The issue of height restrictions on development in Nelson Bay CBD was a hotly contested one at the recent council meeting.

HOW HIGH?: The issue of height restrictions on development in Nelson Bay CBD was a hotly contested one at the recent council meeting.

Dick Appelby, Nelson Bay

Simple solution for safety

Over the October long weekend we had the ninth or 10th serious tail-end collision in the past three years at the intersection of Nelson Bay Road and Lily Hill Road.

During that three-year period, half the residents of Pillinda Court (a small community half way up the hill to Gan Gan Lookout) have been tail-ended at this dangerous intersection. The circumstances are always the same: a southbound car on Nelson Bay Road decides to turn right into Lily Hill Road, the following car for one reason or another fails to stop and runs into the back of the first car.

This serious problem can easily be overcome by creating a right-hand-turn-only lane on Nelson Bay Road for southbound traffic turning onto Lily Hill Road, then having a through-lane next to it for all the remaining traffic continuing south along Nelson Bay Road. And for a total solution for the area, I suggest establishing a roundabout at the corner of Nelson Bay Road and Galoola Drive (the next intersection to the north). Then it would be easy for all cars turning right from Galoola onto Nelson Bay Road  (currently in high season you can wait 10 minutes for an opportunity to turn), and the south-turning traffic coming down from Lily Hill Road would simply turn north, proceed to the roundabout in order to reverse their direction and head south. 

Phil Souness, Nelson Bay

Look for the subtle signs

October is mental health month and this year we are asked to share the journey for better mental health and wellbeing. 

These days mental health issues are far too common, particularly in young people. Sadly not enough people get help with these issues which often extend from some form of abuse, and those that don’t get help addressing their health often go on to suffer from further disadvantage, a life of crime or spiral downwards into alcohol and other drug abuse. It can be easy to tell when someone is not physically healthy and it can be easy to miss signs that someone you care about is struggling, but we need to take those extra steps to help our friends, family, colleagues and anyone else in your life.

Father Chris Riley,  Youth Off The Streets