Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: November 12

Rain highlights draining issue

OUTLOOK: Looking south from the summit of Tomaree Head, through the landscape where the coastal walk is planned to go. Picture: Supplied

OUTLOOK: Looking south from the summit of Tomaree Head, through the landscape where the coastal walk is planned to go. Picture: Supplied

Storm water pipes leading directly into our coastal bays and ocean, highlighted by recent heavy rainfall along our coastal region, has demonstrated the reality that inflicts our pristine marine environment.

Unfiltered water, exacerbated by a period of low rainfall, washes accumulated detergents, weed killer chemical residue, snail pellets, oils , plastic waste and dog faeces directly into the marine environment.

Think of it like the over-spray of weed kill along a fence line, killing the lawn on a much larger scale. Given the existing 14-year establishment of a Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park spanning two local councils and vast areas of estuarine and coastal habitat, what damage does this pose to our marine environment?

I would be interested in suggestions that improve on our current open drain unfiltered discharge and a transition towards a longer-term solution that considers our coastal marine habitat and reduces destructive plastic and chemicals from entering this environment.

Community awareness and understanding of what enters our drains only goes so far.

What can be done? A retention pond like in Anna Bay works a treat.

Greg Finn, Boat Harbour

Decision doesn't make sense

How is it possible for [federal Minister for the Environment] Sussan Ley to agree to the destruction of koala habitat in favour of the quarry at Brandy Hill?

Surely every possible strategy should be used to save our iconic native animal?

She wants trees planted as part of the deal. How many years do the koalas have to wait for them to grow?

Wendy Zizngast, Corlette

Wharf could open island to all

I commend Moonshadow cruises and John 'Stinker' Clarke on their promotion of Fingal Island.

I would love to see the wharf on the north side of the island rebuilt. It was used to land supplies for the lighthouse keepers and to take back bagged shell grit, in days gone by.

Today, it could land tourists who want a bushwalk and an opportunity to see a remote lighthouse.

The lighthouse keepers cottages could be rebuilt and caretakers installed to help eradicate weeds and monitor flora and fauna. This is done elsewhere, at minimal rent for a one-to-two month stay.

The 20 kilometre Tomaree Coastal Walk proposal includes helicopter landings on the island, catering for a few wealthy tourists and adding considerable noise pollution. A wharf would help open up the island, but not just to the rich.

Richard Fox, Shoal Bay

Coastal walk plan a success

If nothing else, NPWS Draft Master Plan for the Tomaree Coastal Walk has so far succeeded in what it set out to do, i.e. to encourage community and stakeholders inputs.

I am certain that the final Master Plan will be greatly improved even if it will not satisfy all critics. One thing should be quite clear that the communities in Port Stephens are in favour of a coastal walk which will be safe for the users, wildlife and the environment. I thank the NPWS for taking up and funding such a major endeavour.

Ernest To, Medowie

Opinions on heights 'ignored'

In regard to [Port Stephens Council's decision increase building heights] in Nelson Bay, how appalling is this when shown in a survey that 97 per cent are against this, yet our mayor and most councillors disrespect the wishes of locals.

Maybe it was a telltale sign right from the beginning, that the towering crane in Nelson Bay was never dismantled?

I do thank the three councillors who voted against.

Monika Otto, Corlette