Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: November 5

Bay has been left behind

STAGNANT: Robert Young says that there has been much debate around building heights and the future of Nelson Bay - but what has changed?

STAGNANT: Robert Young says that there has been much debate around building heights and the future of Nelson Bay - but what has changed?

For some 20 years I have witnessed much debate about 'saving the Bay'.

Numerous councillors, over that period, have grappled with this dilemma. The end result being nothing has changed, nothing has happened and I suspect, nothing will.

Meanwhile the Salamander Bay Square, (with land owned by Port Stephens council) has seen significant development.

New service stations, a medical centre and Connected Learning Centre have all been introduced.

There is easy access parking, a bus interchange and on Salamander Way, fire and ambulance stations. There are also plans for a new ALDI store. Like it or not - to the detriment of Nelson Bay.

As for the marina precinct, this primary attraction for tourists to Nelson Bay offers restaurants, bars, marina views and easy parking. Professionally owned and managed, it will continue to attract the tourist market with very little benefit to the CBD.

So what has gone wrong? Everything in my opinion.

Bad planning, business decisions and lack of understanding from council, councillors, residents and businesses over decades, not just a few years.

On top of the councils' seeming conflict of interest, there is no sense of direction. The CBD grew ad hoc from a small fishing village and has been left behind. Who gives a hoot about height limits?

If these apartment blocks ever get built at least a worn out tired, jumble of old buildings may give some people housing and holiday apartments with easier access to the marina precinct for a night out.

Robert Young, Soldiers Point

Community not listened to

I absolutely endorse the sentiments of Robyn Loomes as expressed in last week's Examiner (Letters, October 29).

I feel quite incensed actually, that despite overwhelming (97 per cent) opposition of local residents to such levels of high-rise development in our township, a majority of councillors have again pushed through a major change to high-rise development. Along with Ms Loomes, I have to wonder just what vested interest groups they consulted with to formulate this change of approach?

Opposition to such levels of development has been consistent throughout the two decades my wife and I have been Port Stephens residents. Why won't our elected representatives listen to and honour their commitment to those who have elected them?

The most recent town plan endorsed eight storeys maximum, and only in specific areas which would not take away from the character of the township. I believe this was a reasonable compromise as it's fairly obvious the township does need a face lift.

However, if council now approves development of 12 storeys of high-rise in this beautiful coastal township, they will change it's character forever, and it's obvious the overwhelming majority of locals believe that will not be for the better.

Thank you councillors Abbott, Arnott and Nell for showing integrity not obvious in the councillors who pushed this latest change through. I hope residents will be mindful of the latter's actions when next elections come up.

John Fletcher, Corlette

Masks are still a must

Visiting our nearby shopping centres it is alarming to see that very few people (staff and customers) are wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

They are risking their lives and that of others.

During the current pandemic the proprietors of these malls and superstores should make it compulsory to be wearing a mask to enter the mall or supermarket, for the protection of other shoppers. Not to do so is, in my opinion, socially irresponsible. It is a small price to pay to ensure the community's well being.

John & Krystyna Winslow, Salamander Bay