Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: September 26

Merit in koala idea

I applaud Jesse Anderson in last week's Letters page for wanting to give the Bay a lift just like Port Macquarie did with their koala sculptures.

I would like to think we can come up with something of our own like, wharf bollards painted with scenes for Raymond Terrace to celebrate its history as a trading port and maybe whale tails for the Bay as a whale watching port.

A couple of years ago our patchwork group took three cars to Port Macquarie for a couple of days and made it a challenge for each car to find all the koalas first.

I can see this as a tourist challenge getting them to fill in printout sheets available at the Tourist Centre, enabling them to get a look at our various points of interest, beautiful beaches, lookouts, coastal walks, history trails and different shopping centres. You could include a colouring sheet for the kids.

Sharon Mann, Shoal Bay

Not just one way to serve

Although I don't disagree with former councillor Geoff Dingle (letters, Examiner, September 19), obviously there are many ways to serve the community other than being an elected councillor.

For example, I have always found that Opinions and Letters To The Editor in independent media such as the Port Stephens Examiner, have served the community well in influencing public opinions and council decisions.

TAKE CARE: People are once again being urged to swim between the flags and exercise caution in the water this summer season.

TAKE CARE: People are once again being urged to swim between the flags and exercise caution in the water this summer season.

A good example of these might have been the SRV submissions to IPART.

There are many other way to serve the community as many volunteers do even without remuneration nor stipend.

For those who are able and willing to serve as a councillor, the following maybe helpful.

An adequate knowledge of the NSW Local Government Act which governs the establishment and running of a local council. A good understanding of council's governance and code of conduct: Accountability, Transparency, Integrity, Stewardship, Efficiency, and Leadership, detailed on council's website.

Above all a council is elected "of the people, by the people, for the people" in the community.

Ernest To, Medowie

Stop, look and plan

We write on behalf of Royal Life Saving Society - Australia and Surf Life Saving Australia to urge readers to take the greatest of care in, on and around water.

Latest data reveals 276 people drowned across Australia over the past year, which is a 10 per cent jump on the previous year. A significant number of these deaths happened in summer.

It is of great concern that 101 people drowned in inland waterways and there were 122 coastal drowning deaths - including 71 on beaches. It is also of enormous concern that in the past 12 months, 584 people have been hospitalised as a result of non-fatal drowning incidents.

We do not want to see tragedy taking place. It is vital readers supervise children at all times around water.

We urge everybody to learn swimming and essential lifesaving skills including first aid and CPR. We also urge people to swim at a patrolled beach between the red and yellow flags, and adopt a STOP, LOOK, PLAN approach to water safety.

We know that risk taking behaviour - often involving alcohol and drugs - is having a clear impact on drowning rates. Poor swimming skills are also a factor. It is vital to wear a lifejacket when boating, rock fishing and using watercraft. Too many people are drowning in Australian waters.

Taking simple steps will make all the difference. One practical step all readers can take is to visit our websites to obtain more hands on tips and information. Visit www.royallifesaving.com.au and www.sls.com.au.

Justin Scarr and Adam Weir, CEOs, Royal Life Saving Society - Australia. Surf Life Saving Australia.