Letters to the Port Stephens Examiner: September 16

Fishermens Bay: it's all in the name

In response to your article on Fishermans Bay boat ramp (Request to close boat ramp, Examiner, September 9), please let be known that Mr. Jelfs's point of view does not represent the majority of Fishermans Bay residents.

The beach is for all, fishermen included.

There are at least 10 boat owners who live and own houses in Fishies. The boat ramp is there for a reason. And, historically, the beach was primarily the place to launch fishing boats.

This hamlet is not called Fishermans Bay for nothing.

Phil Souness, Fishermens Bay

Ramp view does not represent all

I write this in response to the article about Fishermans Bay boat ramp (Request to close boat ramp, Examiner, September 9).

KEEP IT OPEN: Not all Fishermens Bay residents want to see the boat ramp closed.

KEEP IT OPEN: Not all Fishermens Bay residents want to see the boat ramp closed.

My wife and I have lived in Fishermans Bay for now approaching 20 years and prior to that another 15 years at Little Beach and Shoal Bay.

We did not move to Fishermans Bay to change the way of life that people enjoyed before we came, we came because we wanted that part of life that the people and their families had built and enjoyed for decades before us.

Brad Jelfs says that he has the support of many residents at Fishermans Bay, yet I read about it in your paper and I have only once met this gentleman in all the time I've been here.

He also points out that when a boat arrives it requires everyone to get out of the water and off the sand in order for the 4WDs to reverse their trailers. Where do these people go when they need to get out of the water and off the sand? Do they retreat up the ramp and onto the reserve until the car and boat are gone then come back down the beach?

I have been launching and retrieving my boat here for 20 years and like most of us fishermen it's generally early morning or late afternoon, rarely does anybody fish here all day, this is not your typical boat ramp, it only suited for small aluminium boats.

Never has anybody had to get out of the water or clear off the sand when I'm coming in, generally it creates a bit of interest and people always come and have a chat to see if the fishing was successful.

If anybody read the history of Fishermans Bay they would understand that that was how it has always been here and that's why it's called Fishermans Bay. This is not a patrolled beach but over the years people have shared it without incident. It has its uniqueness and we should all work to protect that uniqueness and history - not look at our own self-interest.

Having used Little Beach ramp for a long time I find Fishermans Bay ramp to be by far safer. It is steep, but the reversing is limited, you drive down and back up whereas at Little Beach and most other ramps one must reverse a long way and there are always people wandering across the ramp behind you out of your sight. To suggest for people to go to Boat Harbour or Anna Bay speaks for itself.

We moved here as it suited us, our children and eight grandchildren. Fishermans Bay in not exclusively ours, it welcomes everybody. As I said to one later arrival, why did you come here, if it didn't suite you, you should have gone and bought somewhere else and not come here to disrupt my or other people lifestyles.

Peter and Ella Surjan, Fishermans Bay

Unnecessary Census confusion 

I understand COVID-19 has hindered any contact with a Census field officer.

However I ask why leave a paper Census form in my mailbox two weeks past census night with an accompanying card without a contact phone number?

The Census form was not required, having already returned the completed form last month. It would save a lot of confusion if contact was possible.

For all those who went on-line to complete their Census and are now receiving letters a month later saying they have failed to do so. What is going on?

Margaret Finn, Anna Bay

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