Letters to the Editor: February 11

WHERE ARE THE PODS?: Are jet skis running dolphins out of Port Stephens, queries long-time Darwin visitor David Armstrong.
WHERE ARE THE PODS?: Are jet skis running dolphins out of Port Stephens, queries long-time Darwin visitor David Armstrong.

Jet ski impact on dolphins 

I'm a resident of the Northern Territory but have been travelling to Port Stephens for holidays every year for the last 20. In the past five years I have noticed a considerable drop in dolphin activity, particularly this year.

Having followed the local dolphin research program in Darwin Harbour which has shown a definitive drop in animal numbers in relation to the presence of increasing watercraft (and pollution), I can't help but see a similarity with Port Stephens.

Apart from the annoying sound and excessive speed of jet skis relative to other vessels, the Bay may find itself without its tourist attraction if these craft are allowed to continue unabated on what was once pristine waters. I might add that the dolphin and whale watching larger vessels competing for best viewing advantage might also be doing themselves out of a livelihood unless they scale back their operations a bit.

Mid-January I witnessed a pod of dolphin surrounded by two large tourist vessels on one flank and five jet skis on the other. This leads to the animals having to stay longer under the water and is proven to be derogatory to their wellbeing.

The poor things were harassed for at least seven to eight minutes. Darwin didn't head the warnings and now a dolphin is rarely sighted. Port Stephens, don't make the same mistake.

David Armstrong, Darwin

Time to act on noise

Imagine this: a sunny day in Port Stephens and one person is at play annoying thousands of residents. How is it possible that hundreds, if not thousands, of residents from Tanilba Bay to Lemon Tree and Soldiers Point to Nelson Bay have to endure the awful noise put out by the jet ski jockeys?

These speed jockeys claim their right to use our waterways and invade us on any fine and flat water day. We live in the area, pay our rates and we, too, have rights. We need to stop these water speedsters from noise polluting our beautiful Port Stephens.

It's not our charter to find alternative areas for their play, although earlier correspondents have suggested the Pacific Ocean which is acceptable provided about 10 miles out. Time to act.

Mike Berriman, Tanilba Bay

Bay in danger of overtourism? 

It appears that the prime plans for the future of the Tomaree Peninsula revolve around development and tourism. The prime aim of developers is to make a profit with consideration for existing inhabitants either secondary or non-existent.

I fully understand that for those people who earn their livelihood from tourism - the more tourists the better. For those who do not, excessive tourism is a pestilence.

Overtourism, as defined by three academics last year, is "the excessive growth of visitors leading to overcrowding in areas where residents suffer the consequences, which have enforced permanent changes to their lifestyles, access to amenities and general well-being".

So, Port Stephens Council, please hasten slowly and consider the consequences for those of us who chose to live here for what we thought it was, rather than what it could become.

Vince Duffy, Boat Harbour

Love falls short 

We are always told "love is blind" and I feel that is what is happening to your correspondent Earnest To of Medowie (Examiner, Letters, February 4).

As he raptures about the performance of Gladys [Berejiklian] I am not sure his feelings would be shared by the families of the hundreds of public high school children who are forced to bus their kids for hours every day because the Premier believes it is politics to pork barrel with government funds and refuses to build a public high school at Medowie, depriving these children of the advantages of local education.

We all have different ideas of what is good fashion... but the school children are only wanting one outfit and that is a uniform for the long promised Medowie high school.

Frank Ward OAM, Shoal Bay