August Hawks Nest Tea Gardens Progress Association Report Opinion by News Of The Area - Modern Media - September 1, 2021 The talented ladies from the Myall River Art Walk have begun a new project of painting flannel flowers on a number of power poles in Tea Gardens. AGAIN – no meetings were held, however, again, we are able to report on some developments within the Hawks Nest Tea Gardens Progress Association, the Southern Reference Group and the Myall River Action Group. Covid Testing Concerns The Covid pandemic is growing and not far from our door. Our State representative Kate Washington has expressed concern that this community does not have any testing facility locally and citizens need to travel to Raymond Terrace. She has identified several possible sites and brought the matter to the attention of the Health Dept. She also raised the question of sewer sampling from the TG/HN facility. Ms Washington then received a response from NSW Department of Health, which rejected the request for sewerage inspection from the TGHN station. The Department is quoted as saying, “The flows of sewerage are so low that we actually can’t get a reliable sample. “The area is very low risk given there are no known close or casual contacts from the area.” We are still to hear regarding testing stations. Artistic Endeavours Our talented artistic ladies from the U3A Art Group have completed the mural on the wall of the convenience building adjacent to the Hawks Nest community hall. It looks great ladies. Now the equally talented ladies from the Myall River Art Walk have begun a new project of painting flannel flowers on a number of power poles in Tea Gardens. At this stage they are limited to a number by Council and hopefully they will be able to increase numbers shortly. Council Maintenance Local news from Council has been mainly good, with repairs to the shelter over the Marine Dr BBQ soon to be undertaken. The Port Jackson figs, badly affected by fig beetle last summer are to be assessed and replaced if necessary. Steps are to be taken to ensure a repeat does not happen this year. The new boat ramp is in the design stage, still to be finalised, tenders for construction will follow however there is no chance it will be installed in time for the coming boating season. Singing Bridge Solution We do have good news regarding the Singing Bridge and the request for one-way footpaths for wheeled traffic. Council have accepted the proposal for a walkway beneath the bridge on the Tea Gardens side and have designers finalising the concept. It is hoped that the exit will be on the Tea Gardens side under the bridge. They intend to use a boardwalk made from recycled plastic materials suitable for marine exposure conditions. They hope to have the design and costs finalised by end September, however will still need to source funding and approval from the Marine Parks Authority In the interim, to begin one-way footpath traffic across the bridge, Council will look to establish a pedestrian refuge, linking existing footpaths and ramps, enabling people to cross Myall Street safely, until the under-bridge connection is completed. Slipway Success The Tea Gardens Slipway is in the final stage of completion and the MRAG would like to congratulate Paul Bendy and his committee in meeting and overcoming a very poor decision in the immediate closure of the utility by Government authorities. That notice was attached to the Slipway building on 13 May 2019 announcing the closure with immediate effect. As this is the only facility on the north side of Port Stephens, it exposed our boat owners to having to use slip facilities on the south side of the Port, not only an added expense but had the potential of devastating our river quality in the event of accident, or neglect. Paul and his Group managed to secure Government grants and conducted a replacement program involving a new building and equipment. Electricity, plumbing, repositioning and landscaping all followed. It is not unusual to see Paul on site 7 days a week. Steve Mount joins MRAG The Myall River Action Group is very pleased to welcome a new member to the Group. Steve Mount is well known in our community having been a “local boy”. Steve was previously a reporter and presenter with Channel 9, based in Newcastle with NBN television and presented many stories surrounding our area. In his spare time, he completed a law degree and has become a partner in a long- established practice in Tea Gardens. He is passionate in protecting our environment and working with the community and will prove an asset to the Group. By Gordon GRAINGER The notice attached to the Slipway building on 13 May 2019 announcing the closure with immediate effect.