Swamp is a developer's term


IN relation to the letter, Seeing the view through the vegetation, on February 6, Leonard Ryan wrote: "Coffs is the only city in Australia that has a swamp smack bang in the middle of it."

Mr Ryan's statement is inaccurate in two ways. First, Coffs has a creek not a swamp.

A creek lined by mangroves, which are essential in maintaining some degree of water quality for the residents and visitors that swim in the creek.

Mangroves are also important for ameliorating flooding. Important if you know the history of Coffs.

Second, Sydney has the Parramatta River which is lined with mangroves in the upper reaches, smack-bang in the middle of suburbia.

There are many wetlands within the city that local governments are striving to rehabilitate because they are an essential part of any estuarine system.

Mr Ryan then goes on to compare apples with oranges.

Port Macquarie foreshores sits metres above the water and a breakwater.

At Town Beach the adjacent houses sit 10m above sea level on a rather large headland that no doubt protects the city and suburbs from excessive weather events.

Further upstream, the Hastings River is lined by, you guessed it, mangroves.

Koolonbung Creek and Wrights Creek flow through the centre of town.

The historic photos of the foreshore that Mr Ryan mentions were taken by Europeans in the post-contact period.

Aboriginals did not have Polaroids and so we are not privy to what the landscape was like prior to the industrialisation of the Coffs Foreshore.

The vocal minority that Mr Ryan refers to is myth.

Labelling people who have opposing views does not contribute to an objective debate over community issues.

It is a bit like calling a wetland a swamp.

People fight to save wetlands, developers use the term swamp because it has derogatory connotations.

Peter O'Brien



THERE have been stories recently of bullying in DOCS in Coffs Harbour (Bullying scandal uncovered in local protection agency, Advocate October 29) but bullying is also rampant in the NSW Department of Education on the Mid North Coast.

The question is asked when will the NSW Liberal Government and National Party as well as the NSW Labor Party actually issue a policy on workplace bullying in State Government departments?

The recent report by Committee No. 4 Legal Affairs into Bullying in NSW Emergency Services was damning of current systems yet the NSW Liberal Government denies that current systems are failing.

You have teachers attempting suicide and contemplating suicide yet nobody does anything at all.

The NSW Department of Education and Minister for Education would apparently spend millions on claims for psychological injury than take action to stop the bullying.

In 2016 they spent $26 million on claims yet not one bully was dismissed.

It is truly about time those in management of the NSW Department of Education were held responsible for their action or lack of fair and reasonable action against these bullies.

The bullies know who they are and yet they get great enjoyment from wrecking the lives of our great teachers and their families.

Why are parents frightened of executive staff in our schools?

Why do parents have to go to the media about these bullies?

It is about time the Minister for Education and Shadow Minister for Education stepped up to the plate and answered these questions instead of letting the department state it treats workplace bullying seriously.

Well how about ministers and shadow ministers actually supply the statistics to support such a statement and if you don't have the statistics available then make them available.

How many complaints of workplace bullying were made in 2018 and what were the results of those complaints?

To say these statistics are not available means you do not treat bullying seriously because you are not monitoring systems to see if they are actually working.

Paul Johnson, Bullied Teachers Support Network



JOHN Christie could go far as a stand-up comic.

In his February 2, Advocate letter, his take on the issue of ocean views is hilarious.

He sees only ugly scrubby vegetation and horrible trees blocking ocean views.

And says: "We are blessed with a fantastic environment."

How does he classify the ugliness if not a majestic integral part of the fantastic environment?

Ocean views with tunnel vision.

Stephen Pratt,

Coffs Harbour

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