Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: October 22

VISION: Port residents have written letters of support for the proposed 20km Tomaree Coastal Walk.
VISION: Port residents have written letters of support for the proposed 20km Tomaree Coastal Walk.

Coastal walk proposal on track

With respect to John 'Stinker' Clarke, re 'Leave the Tomaree headlands as they are' (Examiner, October 8) - I disagree.

I am an enthusiastic supporter of the Coastal Walk proposal because it will allow residents and visitors to interact with the natural environment of Tomaree National Park in a manner not possible, at present.

The proposed eastern face section between Fingal and Tomaree Heads would be the jewel in the crown. It overlooks a spectacular meeting of ocean and land and showcases the diverse flora and fauna - such as the myriad native flowers, the sight of soaring sea eagles or humpback whales offshore.

The western face track is just a barely maintained access for emergency fire vehicles. It provides little in the way scenery (without scrambling to the top of the hills or down to the beaches) and has only a limited interface with nature. A walking track should be an experience with the environment, otherwise we would all be happy to walk on treadmills.

The major threats identified are visual intrusion and environmental damage. If you look up to the Tomaree headland or down to Wreck Beach from the fire trail or south from Fingal Bay, it is very difficult to identify any part of the walking tracks.

The proposed Coastal Walk will not be a four-lane highway but a narrow trail that will be barely visible from distance.

Of course we should be concerned with threats to the natural environment. But a well-designed walkway with maintenance will mitigate such threats.

Some 10 years ago, there was apprehension prior to the build of the Wreck Beach track.

The result has been improved access for all ages to an iconic beach, little or no visual insult to the surrounds and substantially reduced erosion as it is a designated trail.

Kevin Atkins, Shoal Bay

New walk an asset to Port

I would like to congratulate NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service on its planned coastal walking track from Tomaree Head to Birubi Point.

Providing locals and visitors with a groomed walking track from which to admire the beauty to the east of our remarkable Port Stephens waterway, will further enhance the many attributes of our beautiful region.

The NSW mid-to-north coast region has many fine boardwalks and multi-purpose paths that allow people to appreciate, first-hand, the beauty of the ocean edge.

The planned walking track for Tomaree Head to Birubi Point will prove superior because it will be far less invasive and will preserve the natural environment.

John 'Stinker' Clarke claims the proposed track will damage the area and lead to 'the loss of a beautiful sight in its natural state'.

There are plenty of examples of bush tracks that do not intrude visually; Black Mountain, in the centre of Canberra, for example, is covered in walking tracks, and I defy anyone to 'see' these tracks from afar.

Also, the suggestion of locating the track where the fire trail currently exists on the western side is, in my opinion, ludicrous; there are no vistas there and my recollection of walking there was of rolling my ankle on the lumpy, rocky, steep excuse for a track - and of boredom.

Please, support this wonderful initiative that will provide us all with a safe and inspiring opportunity to enjoy our magnificent local environment.

Ros Manley, Soldiers Point NSW

Traffic fix urgently required

I agree with Louise Fox regarding traffic on Stockton Street making it near impossible, and extremely dangerous, to cross to and from Tallean Road by car or by foot (Examiner, Letters, October 8).

I particularly worry about the school children crossing from the bus stop (I'm situated on Stockton Street at the other end of Tallean Road).

I have reported it to council - whether it's a crossing or a roundabout - something needs to be done promptly.

Annie Miller, Nelson Bay