Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: December 26

IS IT NECESSARY: Shirley Bailey from Nelson Bay questions whether it is wise to proceed with fireworks displays during high fire danger periods.

IS IT NECESSARY: Shirley Bailey from Nelson Bay questions whether it is wise to proceed with fireworks displays during high fire danger periods.

Ban the fireworks

Seeking clarification on the use of fireworks during total fire bans - residents and visitors will be familiar with the marked increase in late night and early morning fireworks which most commonly occur during our holiday period.

Given we are one of the few regions not on fire currently, would it be prudent to enforce a total ban on fireworks until the high fire danger period passes?

A number of councils have suspended the New Year's Eve fireworks displays for fiscal and safety reasons - perhaps Port Stephens Council might consider the same.

Shirley Bailey, Nelson Bay

Paid parking no solution

It's time the Mayor and the council started acting for the residents of Port Stephens.

We don't need paid parking. It is obviously only a revenue raising scheme and will impact the cost to locals coming into the Bay from many outlying areas to do their shopping. After all, the parking issues only apply for about 10 to 15 weeks a year.

Most people come in early to do their shopping during those periods to avoid the crowds and can be assured of finding and park at the supermarket. If the council implements this paid parking we will have visitors first utilising the under ground car park at Woolworths and the people that do intend to shop at Woollies won't be able to find parking, which according to the area demographic many are of mature age.

Robert Harding, Boat Harbour

What is good governance

Referring to 'Fireworks at council meeting' (News, Examiner, December 19), and 'Lack of Leadership' (Letters, Examiner, December 19), Ibelieve there appears to be a limited understanding of what good governance is.

Without being academic, good governance is there to protect the public from bad government. If a councillor is ejected from a meeting because of his/her opposing opinions, he/she is prevented from representing the constituency and the council making a proper decision. Some governments in the world often resort to the police force to settle opposing opinions, as a result freedom of speech and information are suppressed, and in more serious cases democracy itself disappears.

There maybe a case for intervention by the Minister for Local Government, by examining the meeting records including the unedited podcast, especially the interchanges between the mayor and councillor Arnott.

Ernest To, Medowie

Make the right call

This summer we are urging men to 'Make the Right Call'.

From 2009 to 2019, 2855 people lost their lives to drowning. An overwhelming 2262 of these people were males.

More than 830 drownings happened in inland waterways and more than 280 involved alcohol.

We want to highlight to readers that everybody needs to be aware alcohol reduces coordination and can impair a person's judgement and reaction time when they are in, on or around water. It also reduces inhibitions and distorts the perception of risk.

Royal Life Saving maintains the National Drowning Database and our research suggests men recreating in our inland waterways in the summer whilst consuming alcohol is a deadly cocktail. Much more needs to be done to educate men on the risks they may face.

We are asking people to 'Make the Right Call', to avoid alcohol around water, wear a lifejacket when boating or using water crafts and avoid swimming or recreating alone.

In the past decade, inland waterways have accounted for nearly 40 per cent of all drowning deaths. Over 80 per cent of those drownings were males.

That's why it is vital to 'make the right call' this summer. You can get more tips from royallifesaving.com.au

Justin Scarr, CEO, Royal Life Saving Society - Australia

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