Port Stephens Greens candidate for the upcoming state election, Rochelle Flood, has paid a visit to the Myall Coast.
The 23-year-old University of Newcastle graduate has been actively involved in several community movements, including GetUp! and Amnesty International.
Ms Flood spent a day door knocking and meeting the people in Tea Gardens Hawks Nest.
“I was fortunate enough to meet with a number of locals who were willing to talk to me about their concerns for the area,” she said.
She said a recurrent concern revolved around an “apparent lack of consultation with residents” about development applications in the area.
“Both Tea Gardens and neighbouring Hawks Nest are beautiful towns that attract high volumes of tourists during peak seasons. Many residents were concerned that this industry could be jeopardised if development in the area wasn’t of a sustainable nature,” she said.
Ms Flood said the Greens stood for greater transparency surrounding the process of development applications.
“We’ve seen too much corruption in recent years, corruption that has seen the profits of developers placed ahead of the interests of existing residents,” she said.
She said of equal concern was the quality and health of the waterways, namely the Myall River.
“This River is at the heart of the fishing and tourism industry in Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest. Speaking with local residents they feared that if the health of the waterways was not drastically improved, their livelihoods could be at stake.”
The Greens would like to see this waterway restored to a healthy and sustainable condition.
She said the Greens would consider dredging but would also be seeking a long term solution based on the scientific evidence available.
“This evidence has suggested that dredging may only work in the short term and more would need to be done for it to be sustainable,” she said.
The State election will be held on Saturday, 28 March.