Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: May 7

Making same mistake

Along the foreshore at Fingal Bay the council replaced the lights, though I am not sure exactly when this happened.

At the top of the path which comes from the caravan park, there is also a new light. The previous light that was located in the same spot had its top in among the branches of a Banksia tree.

Eventually the branches of the tree beat the old light to death. When it was damaged I reported it to the caravan park and to the council.

Now we have a new light that, once again, has its top in the branches. Or at least it did, until the weekend of May 3. At 10am on the Sunday I went for a walk to the shops and lo and behold, the top of the new light was laying on the ground, battered by the westerly and the southerly winds.

Evidently nobody had the brains to trim the branches of the tree before replacing the light.

I am disappointed with both the council and the contractors. You don't have to chop the tree down, just clear the problem branches away enough so that when the wind blows all is safe.

If the top of that light had hit someone it could have cost the ratepayers in legal costs.

Don Williams, Fingal Bay

Hygiene more important

I write in response to the letter sent by Mr Thomas Matthews of Soldiers Point (Examiner, April 30) admonishing others for not wearing gloves and masks on outings to pathology outlets, or indeed supermarkets.

As a Registered Nurse, I can only wonder with exhausted bemusement and fear what Mr Matthews' glove technique includes? How many times did he touch his face, wallet or phone whilst wearing these gloves? How many countertops, door handles or hand rails?

Don't even get me started on the mask. How many outings has that thing seen?

GOOD DOG: COVID-19 challenges have extended to guide dog training.

GOOD DOG: COVID-19 challenges have extended to guide dog training.

As a health professional, I encourage people to engage in good hand hygiene, social distancing and staying home, rather than the likely inappropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by untrained but well meaning folks.

Now THAT is something that will better enable a return to normalcy.

Amber Blacklock, Raymond Terrace

Transparency matters

The 8am updates and briefing on TV by the NSW Premier Berejiklian is something on my must-watch list during the COVID-19 crisis.

The briefing is always informative and assuring that NSW Government is doing everything possible to safeguard public safety. More so, the Premier respects and ensures the right to know of the public, her constituency.

Therefore I am puzzled by the report that her Minister for Local Government is doing away with the requirement of publication of council information on regional newspapers (Examiner, online, May 4,2020).

From past experience, local councils are not good observers of their own code of conduct.

Two main pillars of good governance are: Accountability and Transparency.

These two pillars of democracy must be guaranteed by any governments big and small, state and local.

Ernest To, Medowie

Gratitude for guide dogs

As part of International Guide Dog Day (on April 29), we at Guide Dogs Australia want to say an extra-special thanks to our wonderful Guide Dogs for the life-changing work they do amid unprecedented global challenges.

This pandemic has presented challenges to us as an organisation but the welfare of our clients and our dogs is always our top priority.

This has meant supporting clients through phone calls, video conferences, email and social media, while trainers have been busy setting up obstacle courses at our campuses, or training dogs from home. It's not been easy, but we've made it work.

For that I extend a heartfelt thanks to all Guide Dogs team members and volunteers.

Dale Cleaver, CEO Guide Dogs NSW/ACT