Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: January 9

NOT IMPRESSED: Boat Harbour resident Mark Kelly is frustrated over delays to the completion of a phone tower at Fishermans Bay.
NOT IMPRESSED: Boat Harbour resident Mark Kelly is frustrated over delays to the completion of a phone tower at Fishermans Bay.

Tower woes continue

Once again Telstra has failed to deliver the long-promised mobile phone tower at Fishermans Bay.

Their latest in a litany of excuses is "late complications" with power to the site.

They have been promising this tower for four years.

Even our federal member Meryl Swanson couldn't get firm commitments despite contacting the CEO.

In my opinion that is incompetence in the extreme.

Mark Kelly, Boat Harbour

Vale Geoff Dingle

I was so sorry to hear about the passing of Geoff Dingle and I just wanted to share this anecdote to show what kind of a man he was.

Many years ago I was walking along Peppertree Lane in Medowie and saw a man in grey overalls digging holes along the side of the road and planting bushes.

I thought it was a council worker beautifying the road but when I got closer I noticed it was Geoff, who was at the time our local councillor.

Apparently Tidy Towns had planted bushes the year before but some had died.

So Geoff rolled up his sleeves and undertook the task of replacing them.

He didn't call the Examiner to get his picture in the paper, he didn't make it public, and he didn't wait for others to do it.

He just got on with the job, unannounced, in his spare time.

People will rightly tell you he dedicated his life to public service and helping others, and sought nothing for himself, and I think that encounter exemplifies all of that in a nutshell.

Peter Hadfield, Medowie

Geoff Dingle with Tidy Towns members in Medowie in 2009.

Geoff Dingle with Tidy Towns members in Medowie in 2009.

Is now the time to talk

Is now the time to talk about climate change?

More than 5 million hectares of land has burned throughout Australia since September, in conditions we have never seen before.

As of writing, eight people have died in the fires, and one woman died from cardiac arrest following exiting an aircraft and breathing the air in Canberra.

Ecologists from the University of Sydney now estimate 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been lost since September, and fear the loss of entire species.

Thousands have been evacuated to beaches and rescued by boats, fleeing the fires.

Food, water and fuel has run out in many communities directly affected.

More than 1300 properties have been destroyed and countless livestock.

Areas of land are burning that have never burned before.

Rivers are running dry throughout the country.

This is a national disaster, a national emergency, a climate emergency.

In the words of Greg Mullins, former NSW fire and emergency services chief, 'this is not normal, this is Climate Change'.

Alisha Onslow, Raymond Terrace

Bring back burn-offs

The reason that bushfire fuel levels in Port Stephens are now somewhere between catastrophic and apocalyptic can be traced back some 20 years when authorities adopted a bushfire management plan which stated that '....2,2.1 Port Stephens is an insignificant to major bushfire risk area.' (sic).

Burn-offs ceased and residents near bushland are now petrified of what lies ahead.

Ordinary people don't want inquiries and reports.

They just want the scrub burnt off.

Under the current rules it wont happen.

It took me 10 years of fighting both to get a small bit of scrub near my home burnt off.

Without sweeping change, every year will see us at the mercy of the firestorms and the greenie friendly legislation.

Geoff Walker, Mallabula

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