Letters to the Lakes Mail editor: September 13, 2018

Where will the children play?

For some time now I have been extremely concerned at the type of development that is taking place in Lake Macquarie and probably many other places. 

I recently had occasion to visit my son in Marrickville, which coming from Sydney some 25 years ago was then regarded by reputation as a pretty down at heel sort of place with a highly polluted river running through it.  Much to my surprise I walked for a considerable distance along the bank of the river on a concrete walkway through beautifully landscaped parkland of adequate width before the adjacent houses.

There were also large areas of ovals and parks. I crossed a bridge to the other side and walked back through a similar landscaped and well-kept parkland. Continuing on a considerable tour around Sydney I continued to see parks, often in attractive spaces that had been set aside by past councils for the use of the public. 

I live on the Morisset peninsula and I am aghast at the lack of space being preserved for public use for present and future generations. Large areas are being given to developers with no regard for public open space. Instead we see nothing but wall to wall medium density housing. 

There is nowhere for the kids to go and kick a ball around, or for families to take a picnic on the weekend, let alone on the shores of the lake or a with good view of anything. 

Certainly the council has tried to keep a strip of some of the foreshore as a reserve, but these are left undeveloped, and adjacent house owners are even discouraged from looking after them. Further the public have little or no ability, to make use of them by being blocked from access by houses. Even when they are accessible they are uninviting. 

What are the kids to do when they’re not at school, play electronic games or perhaps steal a car and do donuts at night. I fear today's council will be blamed by future generations for the lack of foresight and who now have to live in wall to wall suburbia in what was one of the more pleasant places to live in NSW. 

A good example of this at present is Trinity Point which is going in the same direction. The Toronto waterfront problem comes to mind.

Frank Tebbutt, Brightwaters

What's good for the people

Council tells us that high rise construction on the waterfront will be good for Toronto. Well, Toronto turned out in hundreds at the council meeting and refuted that. And personally, it's a long time since I've listened to anyone telling me what's good for me.

I know this development is not good for me. It is not good for my children and, especially, it is not good for my grandchildren and all those as yet unborn. A speaker from the floor, a lady of aboriginal lineage, reminded us that our land has a value beyond money. We must make our decisions with care and concern, because our well-being as a town depends on that.

We need to keep in mind that this Bath Street site does not belong to council. It belongs the people. The council holds it in trust for us. Lake Macquarie City Council, you are our trustee, not our parent. Listen. Really listen.

Lois Simpson, Toronto

Past may offer idea

The PFAS contamination appears to be still leaking onto private properties from the RAAF base at Williamtown. I understand a similar problem existed at the ex-BHP plant at Mayfield and was addressed by digging a huge trench around the border and filling it with concrete to stop contaminants leaching into the Hunter River.

So, l suppose it’s a question of what's more important, a healthy river or healthy residents? Because there seems to be a solution, but no-one wants to pay. Had the responsibility been a corporate problem, l am sure government would be quick to resolve the issue.

Carl Stevenson, Dora Creek

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