OPINION

Letters to the editor shows community dog beach survey results still dividing locals

Locals still hot under the collar about off-leash dogs

OFF-LEASH DOGFIGHT

I am so very pleased with the results of the latest community survey about allowing dogs on some parts of two local beaches ('Overwhelming support for off-leash dog trials', July 14-20). I for one am looking forward to sharing some time with dogs at Mona Vale beach. We don't have a dog of our own but get so much joy from watching them enjoy waves and sand. Thanks to everyone who has worked so hard so far and now, please, can we make it happen.

Diane Dromgold, Church Point

What a wonderful result! It must be near unheard of to get 85 per cent yes votes! We should be able to share all our activities with our dogs and this is certainly a great step forward. Now, fingers crossed no anti-dog people will take the council to court again. Thank you for sharing and thank you to all the amazing people on the northern beaches who make this happen.

Mia Asker, Clareville

I am consistently amused by ignorant, or perhaps deliberate, misinterpretation or misreportage of statistical data. Whilst Nadine Morton's article accurately states that 82 and 85 per cent respectively of the submissions received were in support, this does not inherently mean (as Cr Rory Amon is reported to state) that 85 per cent of the community actually support the proposal. Such statements ignore the probability of those community members for or against the proposal feeling compelled to make a submission. It is rare that both sides of a debate feel an identical compulsion to respond. Only a randomised independent survey of a broad community cross-section can hope to provide an accurate 'picture' of community desire. If poor statistical understanding informs councillors' decisions and voting, no wonder we are sometimes so poorly served by our elected representatives.

Martin Wale, Mona Vale

A LONG JUMP

The Hop Skip & Jump bus service was established when the Stockland Shopping Centre was under construction to assist local residents to get to other shops ('Manly MP launches petition to save council's bus', July 14-20). Since the centre has been open since 2009 the continuation of this service is a perfect example of parish pump politics with no consideration for efficiency and cost. The former Manly LGA has a population of approximately 50,000 with very few of them using the service, as only about 163,000 passengers paying $3,000 as a donation used it 2020-21. That's 3.26 trips per person. The population of the Northern Beaches LGA is about 275,000 so we have more than 80pc of the population subsidising this service to the tune of $1.4m. Why shouldn't the rest of the LGA have access to a similar service? If James Griffin wants to retain the service, why doesn't he get the state government to take it over, because it certainly isn't a function of local government? As for it being an "essential community service" as claimed by Cr Candy Bingham, it wasn't necessary before Stockland and much of the service is duplicated by State Transit. This council promised a reduction in rates at the time of the merger but the opposite has happened.

Brian Dunphy, Manly

PUNCTUALITY IN SPACE

Thank you! Enjoyed the big Crossword in COVID lockdown and also the tech article ('The importance of punctuality in space', July 14-20). A bit of a come down to read that time is more accurate in space. I am German by birth and people comment on my punctuality and having accurate clocks in the house! Ilse Harris, Narrabeen