Letters to the Editor: July 9

NOT HAPPY: Long time Port resident and regular beachgoer Amanda Sutherland says she has
NOT HAPPY: Long time Port resident and regular beachgoer Amanda Sutherland says she has "serious concerns" about of the amount of rubbish in the sand dunes.

Council's rate subsidies

Further to your article 'Have say on climate' (Examiner July 2, 2020) one only has to look at the last page of Port Stephens Council's 'Your Port Autumn 2020', which was included with the last rate notice, to realise the total contempt council has towards environmental protection.

The graph on the back page of the document shows 'Where do my rates go?' per $100 of rates. 'Tourism and promotions' receives $2.62 but 'Environmental protection' receives only $0.50.

It is our environment that draws the tourists to the area, so why does council subsidise 'tourism and promotions' to the tune of $2.62 per $100 of ratepayers' rates? Or for that matter at all?

Surely this is the responsibility of the tourism industry to sponsor their own promotions, not the ratepayers.

Stephen Kuehn, Williamtown

Work and the 21st Century

With successive governments moving the retirement goal posts, changing qualification requirements and job embellishment, I find myself in that strange place of being ineligible for government assistance but not being employable in full time work either.

I have tried applying for all sorts of jobs, but this is fraught with danger. Applications for the simplest of jobs can be more intrusive than a prostate examination and you need a certificate for everything.

This made me realise that the government and private enterprise have created a massive industry around training. Why? Well the companies involved get government funding both state and federal and the government gets to remove those people who are training from the unemployment statistics. A win-win situation.

With the current COVID economic situation and youth unemployment on the rise perhaps our governments should consider returning the aged pension to 65 years and offering an interim pension/allowance for those who are over 55 years and not able to get full time employment?

This would allow people to retire opening jobs for today's youth. Sure, these jobs may not be the jobs of the future every specialist and government adviser speaks of but at least these young people will be employed, paying taxes, learning essential skills such as communication, accountability and developing a work ethic. It is from this basis that our community, social awareness, and economy will grow.

Bill Doran, Tanilba Bay

Rubbish in the dunes

As a local for more than 30 years and a regular beachgoer in Port Stephens, I have serious concerns of the amount of rubbish in the dunes.

Fortunately, people can no longer camp or drive in the dunes, but over the years a lot of rubbish has been left behind by thoughtless people and much of it is still there buried in the sand and exposed periodically by heavy winds.

I often take a bag with me on my daily walks and pick up plastic bags, bait bags, straws, bottles, disposable nappies, cans, fishing line and so on.

There is dumped rubbish from households, building materials, car parts and broken glass. Rangers have told me that from Anna Bay to Stockton they have found complete camp sites, tents and mattresses.

With the strong winds and high seas, such as the conditions we have experienced recently, a lot of the rubbish is washed up and blown onto the dunes. A barnacle clad wheelie bin was washed up only a few weeks ago.

We live in a beautiful part of the world and as a person who has traveled extensively, I think this is the best stretch of beach anywhere.

It is therefore distressing to see it in this state. I would like to see both Port Stephens and Newcastle councils, National Parks and the Worimi elders join forces to clean it up and restore it to its pristine condition.

Amanda Sutherland, Anna Bay