Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: January 21

VITAL TIME: Shoal Bay resident Gerry Mohan is urging residents of Port Stephens to conitnue to get tested for COVID-19.
VITAL TIME: Shoal Bay resident Gerry Mohan is urging residents of Port Stephens to conitnue to get tested for COVID-19.

Time for rethink on rules

I can only agree with the letter by Amanda Sutherland (Examiner, Letters, January 7) in regard to banning jet skis.

If the marine park authorities are fair dinkum about protecting our waterways they would have been banned months ago. Both Sydney and Gosford have seen the light and banned them now its time for Port Stephens.

We have watched these people race up and down the port with no regard for anyone or anything else. We have seen some deliberately go out of their way to scare a flock of diver birds chasing a school of fish. Some riders do not abide by the law in relation to distance from shore and swimmers and I am sure the noise they make is above the legal limit.

I also think the marine park authorities need to rethink rules regarding the dogs on Bagnalls Beach. They are currently allowed to be off-leash on the beach and owners will at times throw balls or sticks onto the weed flats for their dogs to chase.

This results in the weed flats disappearing and more and more dog poo in the water. Dog owners suggest they are responsible owners but you always see people chatting to each other while their dog can be 50 or 100 meters away and the owner has no idea what their dog is up to.

William Knott, Corlette

Aged care in times of COVID

I agree with your Mathew Findlay (Examiner, Letters, January 7) that we must go forward in this year and try to forget the horrors of 2020.

However as a member of the older brigade, I am 91 years old, I am very anxious about the prospects of my care and that of my fellow aged.

I am fortunate to live in Harbourside Village, but as the Royal Commission has revealed, the problem of care for the aged has put great stress on care communities, even not for profit operators like ours. The Port Stephens area in conjunction with the Hunter is rapidly growing into the second biggest 'God's waiting room' outside the Gold Coast.

The development of so many over 50s estates, that have no provision for advanced care facilities, ignores the reality that one in 14 of us are likely to develop dementia and, apart from my community, I don't know of any facilities for dementia care in the area.

The Royal Commission has recorded that without a massive injection of funds, the care of the aged is to be left in the hands of for-profit groups who make money for their owners, in some cases by the neglect and abuse of the residents - as shockingly exposed by the commission.

The final report of the Royal Commission is due at the end of February and is expected to call for major reforms to the Aged Care Act. As a condition of providing more funds by the Federal government the commission reports that this, without extensive regulation and supervision, will only mean more profit for private operators.

Having regard to the fact that the Morrison government was recorded by the Royal Commission as having no plan to protect the aged in care from the pandemic that resulted in some 665 unnecessary and lonely deaths, it is a course of great concern that this government will continue to let the old practices run on the basis that the vaccine will solve our care problems and possibly ignore the Royal Commission report. I can only hope that 2021 proves me to be wrong.

Frank Ward, Shoal Bay

Port should embrace testing time

It is my understanding that statistics have shown that about 50 per cent of Port Stephens have still not been tested for COVID-19.

Port Stephens still has busy periods with influxes of visitors - just think, if you are too lazy to have a test, those visitors may just have the same ideas. This could lead to a major outbreak in our area.

Please think of your neighbours and the aged and get tested.

Gerry Mohan, Shoal Bay