Hawks Nest Tea Gardens Progress Association and Southern Area Reference Group May Update News Of The Area Opinion by News Of The Area - Modern Media - May 24, 2021May 24, 2021 The installation of equipment at the Sand Transfer System. Photo: Richard Streamer. BOTH the Progress Association and the Southern Area Reference Group were able to hold full meetings this month and again, we can report on a number of items of interest. We have good and bad news from our political leaders, so firstly, the good news is that Port Stephens State MP, Kate Washington has been successful in obtaining an undertaking to upgrade the Tea Gardens Ambulance Station. Good on yer Kate! Now the bad news. MP Dr David Gillespie’s news release dated 5 May, headed Budget Update, extols the good things the budget held for the constituents of his Federal Seat of Lyne. He included his discussions with Ministers re the need to upgrade five key intersections between Newcastle and Port Macquarie. Surprisingly, the turn off into Myall Way from the M1 was not one of them. This, despite the promise made some 15 years or more ago, to instal an overpass—despite the fact we have had a recent fatality and a near miss—despite the fact that this community is burgeoning with tourists and despite the fact we have the oldest demographic residency in Australia. Thinking it to be an oversight, we wrote and called his office, to be politely informed that his office receives over 400 emails per day and that he may be able to address the issue in due course. Not a good look for your loyal backers in this community Dr David! The Progress Association introduced a new Sub Committee formed to gauge community support for the up-grade and possible re-development of the Tea Gardens Pool. Public swimming pools are an important amenity and multi-function facility. It can provide water safety and learn to swim lessons, therapeutic and sports injury rehabilitation. It should provide all year use and availability of community use for functions. This is on top of the general maintenance, sorely needed. The Committee is seeking widespread support and you can help by signing Expressions of Support at a number of outlets in Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens. The sunken houseboat opposite the Tea Gardens ramp has been an eyesore for some time and is now in the hands of the NSW Maritime, who in turn, engage contractors to complete the removal. Due to a change in contracture compliances with safety issues, there has been a delay and Maritime anticipate being able to progress the situation in a few weeks’ time. Progress Association meetings are held every second Monday of the month at 7pm, currently in the Baptist Church. Future meetings will host speakers including Oyster researchers, Lions Club and the community, Kate Washington and the State Government. We are also hopeful of hearing from the Directors of Mid Coast Council of the many and varied issues affecting this community. Details will follow and all are welcome to attend. The Southern Area Reference Group met with representatives from Council, North Arm Cove, Pindimar and Bulahdelah, as well as the local groups Lions, PA and others. With the onset of potential winter storm lows and subsequent erosion along Jimmys Beach, Council has contracted CCB Envico to begin sand pumping via the Sand Transfer System. CCB are installing equipment and anticipate beginning the operation this week. They expect to move approx. 25,000 cu.m. over the next 4 to 6 weeks, beginning west of Karuma St. It is expected this exercise will be conducted twice a year. Bulahdelah have formed a Reference Group in collaboration with MidCoast Council to examine possible improvements and enhancements to the town. North Arm Cove are concerned with the increase in car dumping and have asked for assistance from Council. A number of issues are still outstanding and it is hoped we can report on successful conclusions in our next report. An aerial shot of the shortcut showing the entrance into the Bay and the stockpile bottom left. Photo: Leon Katz.