Letters to the Editor

OTHER HALF: Reader Anneke Vanderkolk argues that Warners Bay (pictured) gets more council attention and ratepayer resources than the Westlakes area. Picture: Kitty Hill
OTHER HALF: Reader Anneke Vanderkolk argues that Warners Bay (pictured) gets more council attention and ratepayer resources than the Westlakes area. Picture: Kitty Hill

Not in ‘magic triangle’

REGARDING Carl Stephenson’s letter (“Dora Creek lantana”, Lakes Mail, April 27). You have the right idea in regards to the lantana, Mr Stephenson. But you have to remember that we are living below the invisible border of Toronto.

Lake Macquarie Council is not aware that there are ratepayers who live in the Dora Creek/Morisset area. All great works that the council completes are in the magic triangle comprising Charlestown, Warners Bay and Speers Point.

At present, in the Dora Creek/Morisset area, there is a great increase in development, so the council must be raking in the fees by the truckload and has to spend any monies in our area to reflect this.

Our roads are in a dismal condition, especially Fishery Point Road. More people are moving in and yet the roads are still the same as prior to the 1980s. The corner of the Bonnells Bay Public School is especially dangerous.

We have no kerb and guttering (although this was previously promised by council to be completed by 2007). Apparently there are no funds for this. These funds were probably spent on the park in Speers Point.

In our area there are no parks, children's playgrounds, or a decent library. The council does not even follow up on complaints of illegal building structures.

Sometimes I wish that I had the money to move to the right postcode so that I could enjoy some of the monies paid to the council.

- Anneke Vanderkolk, Windermere Park

The truth about 457 visas

I READ with dismay and disappointment, the article “Coast’s labour shortage” (Lakes Mail, April 27) regarding the need to import foreign workers into the region.

I could not disagree more. Today there is not a single advertisement in this newspaper for any of the categories listed as needed, or to be now exempt.

I look and see few to no jobs advertised locally. Even in the Facebook buy and sell pages, I continually see young people, in particular, advertising personally seeking jobs, usually taking anything available.

I have recently learned that there is no practical check to ensure that these jobs are advertised properly before a 457 visa application is made. This is now done completely at the employer’s discretion.

I feel that the NSW Business Chamber has a hidden agenda in saying that they cannot find suitably skilled staff locally.  The only thing I agree with in the article is that more effort is required to promote employment participation among young people.

I would add that much more needs to be done to acquire older people who can't find work. Australia’s hidden unemployment and underemployment level may be higher than 20 per cent.

This situation is exacerbated by 457 visas that have certainly been seen as a back door to permanent residency. 

- Phil Walker, Yarrawonga Park

Rate shock coming

NEARLY all properties in the Lake Mac local government area have had a sharp increase in their Valuer General’s appraisal. My property’s value increased by 70 per cent. I approached council about how this will affect rates. I was told my rates will increase by 15 per cent,  not the 70 per cent I was worried about. This is still, with pensioner rebate, an increase of over $5.50 a week, a sight more than any pension rises of late. Being concerned that there is another increase of rates due mid year, I approached a councillor to see if this means that on top of the 15 per cent we will also get another increase, possibly 8 per cent. Although he did not know the percentage, he confirmed that these rises are part of a long-term plan and are unlikely to be altered.

The final outcome could see many pensioners and other ratepayers in LMCC having an increase of well over 20 per cent in one go. I find this repulsive. Is there no end to how much we must feed these people?

- F. Bruce Fitzgerald, Woodrising


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