Letters to the Editor: January 7

NEW YEAR: It's 2021 which means election year. NSW local government (council) elections will be held Saturday, September 4.
NEW YEAR: It's 2021 which means election year. NSW local government (council) elections will be held Saturday, September 4.

Year to move forward

Welcome 2021. An election year - so let's get some things on the table.

Our region is changing; new residents and changing demographics; more domestic visitors. So we'll expect more in our region - as more people work from home and consider the Port their home in the future. So that means a better, wider array of amenity will become a necessity.

Leaders will need to think extensively to meet the new (and higher) expectations from the region. Such as; expanded walkways to allow residents to understand and immerse themselves in protected waterways and natural wonders - not just a platform to view from the sidelines; six-star environmental conference and learning centres; revitalising the Tomaree Lodge that also brings higher paying conference visitors, that then encourages a wider array of entertainment and dining options; and option one Fingal Bay Link Road.

We'll need our leaders to think big, create opportunities to leverage our existing natural assets and recycle built and developing assets to deliver higher and vastly better new facilities that will match a more discerning visitor and resident.

Visitors that have been left with little choice to 'holiday here this year' will also bring higher expectations of service, which we'll need to match or better - we'll need to lift our game once restrictions go, if we want repeat visitation.

2020 was a year to take stock; 2021 will be the year to move forward, faster and aim higher and expect more, to build on what we have already.

Matthew Findlay, Nelson Bay

Medical services needed

It's fine to have the attention of a Federal MP and a Liberal Minister for the 'Critical shortage of doctors' (Examiner, page 3, December 31, 2020) in Port Stephens. I am sure the issue of General Practitioners shortage would be in good hands beyond photo-op.

In my humble opinion there is a bigger problem in the Port, and that is the critical shortage, or non-existence, of medical specialists. For almost a decade now, I had been given referrals by GPs to medical specialists who had their practices in Newcastle, Charleston, East Maitland and even Kurri Kurri. Why, one may ask?

That is because medical specialists, more often than not, have their consultation rooms close to a hospital where they operate. So without a hospital in the Port, patients young and old will have to go somewhere else travelling outside the Port.

From Nelson Bay, one would take more than an hour in good traffic to John Hunter or East Maitland for example, not counting the waiting time. That's before any surgical procedures. Somehow I do believe a hospital at a central location of Port Stephens make good sense to me. Anybody else?

Ernest To, Medowie

Is it time to ban jet skis?

Recently I went on a dolphin watch cruise on Nelson Bay harbour.

When the boat stopped near Jimmy's Beach at Tea Gardens to observe the dolphins at play, I and my fellow passengers were disgusted at the speeding jet skis hooning around in the dolphins' playground.

I have heard reports where dolphins and other marine life, such as turtles, have been injured by these inconsiderate, selfish hoons. Most vulnerable are the babies, who don't have the life experience of their adult parents and who are not so switched on to the dangers of our waterways.

Dolphins are intelligent, beautiful creatures that can communicate by using their own unique sounds. I'm sure if they could speak they would tell these people in no uncertain terms where to go.

Jet skis have been banned on Sydney Harbour, why does our council allow them here? The safety and welfare of our dolphins and marine life is far more important than thrill-seekers getting a few kicks by riding these machines dangerously.

Amanda Sutherland, Anna Bay