Gums are no monsters
I don't find gum trees annoying nor a monster [Gum tree troubles, Examiner, October 3].
I am so disappointed that so many of our streets are now devoid of street trees and yet it's a well known fact that they actually increase the real estate value of an area.
In those areas, they are valued and instead of blaming the trees, ways are found to retain and work around keeping them.
A world without trees to provide us with shade and habitat for birds and animals will be a sad one indeed. There is nothing quite like a walk along a shady path in summer.
Port Stephens Council needs to start valuing our environment more and not be quite as reactive to demands of individuals for tree removal. In addition, can we please have a program of street tree plantings fully funded? Species selected will need to be native and endemic to our area for their long term survival.
Margaret Wilkinson, Corlette
Plan, don't chop
To describe gum trees as 'annoying' and 'monsters' [Examiner, October 3] is ridiculous. Whilst agreeing that planting of these trees in built up areas requires a great deal of forethought and planning, to not have gum trees around would be totally unacceptable.
The problem with Port Stephens Council is that they appear to grant permission to cut down mature native gum trees with the flimsiest of reasons. These trees are vital parts of the habitats of native animals. Only if there is a clear and present danger to human life should they be allowed to be cleared.
You only have to travel down Bagnall Beach Road at Corlette to appreciate how these trees improve the environment and beautify an area. To complain about the effect on footpaths is just frivolous. I don't believe we want to live in an area that resembles the Salamander Bay Square carpark.
Paul Attard, Nelson Bay
Refrain from 'pet' names
With the tourist season gearing up in the region, I would like to remind retailers and hospitality staff to show a little more respect for customers. I am talking about refraining from using sexist language.
I am offended by being called 'darl', 'hun', 'sweetie' and a multitude of other disrespectful names when in a retail store. I walked out of one cafe the other day, so they lost my business. If workers called each other those so-called 'friendly' names, it would surely be a breach of their code of conduct.
Do they really believe they can get away using derogatory terms on customers? This is the quickest way to lose customers and lose goodwill. Let's put our manners to the test with 'Sir' and 'Madam' and show that we want to see them back again.
David Gardiner, Tanilba Bay
Dialysis service support
I write in response to Hunter New England Health's comments on a petition to establish a dialysis unit at Nelson Bay [Examiner, September 12]. While it says two local patients travel to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle for dialysis, it fails to mention another eight at least who also travel to Newcastle three days a week for dialysis at the Fresenius Centre in Hunter Street.
With the growing number of retirees settling in the area, this need will only increase. The spokesperson also mentions the dialysis service as being available in Raymond Terrace without pointing out this clinic is fully booked with a waiting list of 12 months or more.
Also travel time to Raymond Terrace from the Bay is nearly as long as to Newcastle, 40 minutes instead of 50. Community Transport, a great service which charges $10, not a gold coin, is only available on three mornings a week and not at all on public holidays, which dialysis patients cannot avoid, and not at all for afternoon or alternate day sessions, meaning patients rely heavily on family members for the 100-plus km drive.