CAR FULL: Three people loading a car with items donated at the Toormina Lifeline store.
CAR FULL: Three people loading a car with items donated at the Toormina Lifeline store. Contributed

Charities see the worst of society

IT'S deeply disappointing our charity organisations are having to deal with looters let alone large expenses in having to dispose of unusable items. Where is the local council on this?

These charities are run by volunteers who obviously have to take these items to the tip and in the article after Christmas one organisation stated the large amount, in the thousands, it has cost them.

Council should be stepping in and these organisations should be exempt from waste disposal fees.

Lifeline bins raided: Lifeline donation bins being raided
Lifeline bins raided: Lifeline donation bins being raided

Also bring back the bulky waste kerbside clean-up service as these organisations are copping the backlash from removing it and many council regions still supply this service including the Gold Coast because they believe it helps to keep tidier a town/city and cuts back on illegal dumping.

Michele H

Trucks in Tenterfield's main street.
The future of truck movements around Coffs Harbour is a major consideration of the bypass concept design. Alf Wilson

Coffs must consider the consequences

"CAN you imagine the howls of indignation from residents in a built-up area if they were told a road carrying dangerous goods would be built through them?” wrote Peter Lubans past-president of Coffs Chamber of Commerce.

The residents of West Coffs are grateful that someone from the Coffs Chamber finally understands the problem because, that's exactly what the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey is planning to do, build, through them.

In some cases only 20m from their back doors.

That's why council is supporting the ratepayers, that's why there's an uproar, that's why we're arguing for the best solution, that's why we're arguing for three tunnels and a lower gradeline.

While we'll not change life much for those who will have those dangerous goods trucks rumbling past their back doors, closer than main street, three tunnels with proper fire suppression and a lower gradeline will go some way towards making it possible for the residents of West Coffs to retain some of their current quality of life.

The chamber could well consider their customer base, mark my words, the potential for loss of property value is real, the potential for customers to move away is real, the potential for customers to be traumatised by this monstrous cuttings model is real and the potential for the cuttings model to make Coffs Harbour a less desirable place to live is real.

This is not an us and them situation. This is all of "us”.

We all live here and we can all put up with a handful of trucks in the middle of the night in town for the sake of an improved 24 hours for the whole amphitheatre, which is Coffs Harbour.

Rod McKelvey

Elite Mens Mountain Bike State Championship at Blackstone.
The Coffs Coast is considering a $6 million proposal to develop world class mountain bike hubs as part of the Great Koala National Park. Cordell Richardson

Mountain biking tourism

I GOT a buzz from your piece about mountain bike trails in Wednesday's Advocate for two reasons.

I believe Coffs Harbour has great potential as a centre for mountain biking and the Coffs Coast does not effectively claim and promote its uniqueness as a tourism destination.

Mountain biking is booming around the world as evidenced by facilities at Whistler Canada, Rotorua and Christchurch (I visited it last month).

Coffs Harbour is uniquely placed to harness that popularity. However I believe there is a major factor the proponents of the koala bike trail have not recognised.

The facilities at Christchurch, Rotorua and Whistler are confined to a single, albeit substantial site whereas the koala trail would range through a hundred kilometres of working state forests.

I fear the political and community opposition to the prospect of shutting down forestry for bike trails will likely be an insurmountable barrier; regrettably for me the model, so far as it aspires to promote mountain biking, is flawed.

I say this from experience having founded, in 1970, the Solitary Islands Marine Conservation Association with the aim of having a marine park established on the Coffs Coast.

It took almost 30 years to achieve that goal and my instinct suggests a similar fate for the GKNP. I have lived in Coffs Harbour for almost 50 years and during much of that time was an active member of the tourism association and chamber of commerce.

May I refer you to two cornerstones of the Coffs Coast Tourism Strategic Plan 2020:

It states the aim "will be achieved by positioning the Coffs Coast as a leading regional destination for leisure and nature-based tourism, events and cultural experiences.”

"Many visitor destinations fail to reach their desired potential because their brand positioning is too generic, particularly in such a dynamic and competitive environment. The Coffs Coast for example, has superb beaches, parks, forests and reserves and a range of family activities but these attributes are not particular to the region, and many other destinations could make similar claims. The challenge is in clearly articulating the region's real point of difference.”

To my mind the second statement is a "glass half full”. Agreed, there are many regional destinations in Australia that have natural beauty and attractions but arguably none have them in such abundance and diversity and within such close proximity as to be accessible.

Coffs has the opportunity to lay claim to such uniqueness and crystallise it just as Bruce Small packaged southeast Queensland as the Gold Coast.

It is arguably the only city in NSW if not Australia completely encircled by national parks and reserves. It is the city of national parks. I reckon this kind of uniqueness has obvious appeal regionally, nationally and internationally.

Harvey Lee, Sapphire Beach