Hawks Nest Tea Gardens Progress Association report from Gordon Grainger Myall Coast News Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest by News Of The Area - Modern Media - June 24, 2020 Sign at Bridge. ANOTHER month has passed and we have been unable to resume group meetings of the HN/TG Progress Association (PA), or the Council sponsored Reference Group. Advertise with News of The Area today. It’s worth it for your business. Message us. Phone us – (02) 4981 8882. Email us – email@example.com Signs indicate a loosening of restrictions and hopefully these meetings may be able to resume in a few months. Meanwhile there have been some developments we can report. MidCoast Council has issued their report card following Community Conversation sessions, and reported in last week’s edition of Nota. A number of community issues have, or are being addressed in TG / HN, as well as Bulahdelah and surrounds and we can advise a few updates. The application for grant funding for an upgrade of the boat ramp in Hawks Nest was incorrect and the funding applied to the Tea Gardens ramp near the bridge. We are reasonably confident the grant will be approved and the up grade completed before the holiday season. As previously reported the Moira Parade ramp and the Hough Street ramps are also in need of upgrading and we are continuing to liaise with Council. New signs have been erected on the Singing Bridge asking bicycle riders to dismount when using the footpath and we are awaiting a response regarding the one-way suggestion for motorised wheelchair traffic using the pathway. We understand a traffic committee meeting is to be held in June. This committee is composed of Police, RMS, a representative from Port Stephens Electorate and decisions are made on input from Council. Let us all hope sense will prevail, before a serious accident. The dredging program for the eastern channel (shortcut) has begun and 15,000 cu.m. has been placed on the stockpile. The access track to the STS, damaged through erosion has been reinstated and the contractor will place 10,000 cu.m. of sand at that location during the campaign. A date to place 20,000 cu.m. on Jimmys Beach is yet to be determined and it is expected the program will be completed by end September. Have also been told the Craft Groups are reopening for customers and participants in early July. Again, social distancing will apply. As a committee member of the Progress Assn, Spokesperson for MRAG and a participant in the Ref. Group, I have read with interest Len Roberts’ Council Round-Up and Mike Richards opinion in the last 2 editions of Nota and believe I should put in my two bobs’ worth and hopefully put to rest some misunderstandings. Since the amalgamation, our community has dwindled to 5% of the MCC Shire population. The new Council was presented with enormous road and bridge repairs from Taree in particular and although some financial assistance was received from the State Government. Those failings placed pressure on human resources as well as additional finance and urgency. With our small voice, we can only resort to the squeaky wheel principle, having presented Council with our lists of needs. Those needs often include many layers of bureaucracies from State and Federal Governments who impinge on approvals. As an example, the MRAG, with full Council assistance achieved the first dredging campaign after 8 years of negotiations with no less than 13 agencies. The boat ramp upgrade negotiation began 7 years ago. To achieve successful outcomes in the proposals Mike has listed involves, Marine Parks, Lands Dept., Maritime, NP&WL, Fisheries, Aboriginal Affairs, Bird societies and Traffic Committees ET AL. The accusation that Council is irresponsible in allowing housing development, also needs to be queried insofar it is those developers in communication with Council, who may just be the catalysts to provide the amenities we need. It must be understood that we do not want to be a clone of the American States and that any future development must be commensurate with our heritage and ambience. Whilst we may be the North Shore of Port Stephens, we have no wish to become another Nelson Bay or Forster. The Community Groups I refer to are committed to that end and I note in Mike’s Opinion Letter to the Editor, he only attended a few meetings of the PA. I would like to say to him “You are well travelled, articulate and have the attributes to give us a hand in kicking some goals. Hopefully you will return to PA when Covid departs.” That same invitation to join the squeaky wheel is extended to all members of this community and we hope to see you once the current restrictions are lifted.