Letters to the Editor: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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GOING: Some beach-loving residents have raised concerns a proposed underground breakwall will not adequately protect Stockton from erosion in the long term.

REGARDING the erosion mitigation solution being discussed for Stockton beach:I am concerned that the underground breakwall solution, which appears to be the preferred solution, is only a Band Aid.

The DHI Group reportstates that an underground breakwall will not prevent beach erosion, especially during severe storm events.

Stockton beach historically is affected by at least one severe storm a year, and this invariably results in some beach erosion. I fear that the sand dumped during artificial beach nourishment would be washed away in the first storm. This would result in a severe drop off at the beginning of the beach.

Both the DHI report and the community agree a long-term solution is necessary. The preferred solution of both parties is an artificial headland. I urge that the council doesn’t disregard the findings of the report, and the feelings of the community.

It was reported the stabilisation could be used as a base from which to extend the Bathers Way walk. In my opinion this is just an apple dangled to sate the community into accepting an inadequate solution. The walk could be extended through Stockton with or without beach stabilisation.

I understandthere are talks with the Awabakal Land Council to extend the Great North Walk through Stockton. Any scenic walk could be constructed in conjunction with this extension. The underground breakwall’s negative impacts will outweigh any benefits. The sandy beach will be lost, and replaced with a sandy cliff face. Faced with the choice of walking along a rock wall, or a long sandy beach, I’m sure you could guess which option would win the popular vote.

Stockton is a beachside community. Compromising our beach will compromise the community identity.

Simon Jones,StocktonLegacy enjoyed by manyIT is with much sadness that the people of Newcastle acknowledge the passing of a truly notable man, the late Dr Max Maddock.

It is now over two decades ago that Max Maddock retired from the University of Newcastle where he was an associate professor in education. He has made an enormous contribution to the community, perhaps most notably for his key role in establishing the internationally-recognised Hunter Wetlands Centre.

That centre was formerly the site of an abandoned football club building and soggy, weed-infested sporting fields. Yet with funding it has been transformed into a world-class and beautiful venue.

It was due to Max, assisted by Brian Gilligan, Paddy Lightfoot, and a band of loyal, energetic, and talented volunteers that this was achieved. The result is a lasting legacy for wetlands education and conservation.

Kevin McDonald,BalickeraPractical way to cut tollI WAS Sarah Mahoney’s year 2 teacher and have fond memories of a wonderful young girl (‘Grief that never dies’,Herald, 16/7).I am a mother now and have just had the experience of my 17-year-old son obtaining a motorcycle rider’s licence and an automobile driver’s licence. The process of the two cannot be compared.

To obtain a motorcycle licence my son had to complete a two-day course to be issued with his Learner Rider Licence. The course comprised both practical and classroom elements and set him up for excellent riding skills. He also had to do the computer test for knowledge.In order to obtain his Provisional Rider’s Licence he then had to attend another day of observed riding and classroom-type instruction.

On the other hand, to obtain a car licence the only practical side is extensive paper work and then a 25-35 minute driving observation by a Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) tester.The paper work provides for a log book supervised by licenced drivers and learning road rules. No practical instruction in car control is provided by RMS. The RMS sign off on the licence. This is very insufficient compared to the Rider Driver Process.

It could be argued that riding a motorcycle is more dangerous then driving a car and I agree it is, but surely a more practical approach by RMS about training for road use is required to help reduce the road toll.

Thank you to Sarah’s loving family for giving us a timely reminder about road safety.

Louise Reeves,Warners BayArtwork a lossfor cityI WAS devastated to see while driving past thatthe incredible mural by Guido Van Helten was being painted over.

While realising building owners can do what they want, this beautiful work was on a prominent wall and I am sure many Novocastrians fell in love with it. I wonder if the owner realised they painted over a work by a Sulman Prize finalist in demand around the world? This is a terrible loss to Newcastle.

Leah Fawthrop,MaryvilleFound and deliveredLAST Saturday, I left a bagon a bus stop seat at Marketown, only noticing it was missing upon disembarking at Newcastle East busstop. All of my ID, creditcards, opal card, pensioner card etc and cash with mobile phone were in thisbag.

Visibly stressed I instinctively approached a patron of a coffee shop. Heoffered to drive me down to the Marketown bus stop. The bag was gone.The kind driver then took me to the Newcastle police station. His understanding wasa great help, however I do not know his name. The police were kind also.

I walked home to face the task of notifying banks etc.Irealised I had no master list of accounts or contact numbers (I donow). To my delight when I got homemy bag was there,intact with a note. Lyn, of Thornton, had seen it at the bus stop. She and the unknowndriver had saved my sanity.

I called Lyn to give thanks. To thedriver who helped me and who told me he was born in Newcastle as I was,I can never thank you enough either.

Blair Charlton,Newcastle EastCalling out fraudstersFRED Saunders (Letters, 13/7) is quite right when he says thephone scammers can cause a lot of anxiety and need to be stopped.

They are just a pain in the necks as well as being fraudsters. The main problem callers seem to claim to be from the tax office, Telstra technical support and computer people telling us our computer has a virus.

You can call them all the names under the sun but they still keep ringing. I’ve found if you tell them their number is being tracked so they can be charged with fraud they soon hang up, a whistle also does wonders.

Ian King,Warners Bay

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