AGAIN, COVID-19 has restricted the Progress Assn. to a Committee meeting only in November, however again, we are pleased to report on issues that have crossed our paths over the past month.
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Those of you who have recently visited the Community Hall in Hawks Nest will have noticed a huge improvement in the condition of the grounds surrounding the Hall.
This can be attributed to 2 committee members, who have formed a group of 13 and working in conjunction with Council staff.
They are looking at new projects in Hawks Nest shopping area and would welcome others who may wish to participate by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know the grounds hold a time capsule placed on the site in April 1979?
It is to be opened in April 2079, so guess we will need to have the grandkids tell us the contents in our afterlife.
We heard from the Dept of Fisheries that they have been successful in receiving grants from both NSW and Federal Govts., to extend their successful trial on artificial reefs near Karuah and the mouth of the Myall River.
Results to date have shown a colony of over 50 million juvenile oysters are already calling the reefs home.
The benefits to us are a significant increase in fish numbers as well as a major influence in keeping our river and Bay clean.
Oysters are filter feeders and these littles fellas are currently filtering 400,000 litres of water an hour.
The much-maligned sauna box addition to the Tea Gardens Police Station is now in stage 3.
As has been the norm, the community was never informed of what each stage represented as part of the $1million upgrade, however we now can advise our investigations have shown that stage 3 is the final stage.
There will be no matching cladding on the box, which is already showing signs of weather deterioration.
But now to stage 3.
Apparently, the ramp leading into the station did not meet standard for wheel chair traffic and needed to be replaced. The work will be completed by the end of November and here is the clanger!
Recall, the ramp is to be wheelchair standard, however begins at the gate to the property.
To access the ramp, users need to mount a concrete kerb and traverse a grass verge to enter the property.
Alternately, they assess the property via a 100 m path which is mainly grass.
Surely reason would include a concrete driveway linking the road to the ramp— that cost must be found in the $1mil.
Our State Representative Kate Washington, has taken up our suggestion of warning lights on the highway approaching the Myall Way turnoff to the NSW Traffic Committee.
They are assessing the proposal and with the dramatic increase in visitors to our area, let us hope a positive decision is taken in the near future.
Now on to Council matters.
The new boat launching ramp located near the bridge in Tea Gardens is still under consideration cost wise and will not be ready for the forthcoming summer season.
On the positive side we can advise that Council will be installing four new fish cleaning tables in Hawks Nest.
The cancellation of the annual bulk waste collections by the contractors has caused concern for residents.
Council are issuing 2 free passes to the Tip; however, our aging population will result in a number of residents not taking advantage of the passes and accumulating rubbish.
We have also noted an increase in household rubbish dumped in bush tracks and no doubt as a result of what seems excessive dump fees.
This next matter is of particular importance to all members of this community.
Some time ago Council introduced an initiative given the acronym PALM, which is translated to Pedestrian Access and Mobility Plan / Bike plan and the community was asked to submit priorities.
Those submissions have now been assessed and the community has now been asked to make submissions based on those findings.
We must understand that we now represent only 5% of MidCoast council and it is imperative our voice is heard.
Progress will be manning tables in Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens shopping centres over the next two weekends to explain the importance and provide submission forms.
The form can also be accessed at https://www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au./Have-Your-Say/Pedestrian-Access-and-Mobility-Plan-Bike-Plan.
By Gordon GRAINGER, The Hawks Nest Tea Gardens Progress Association