Editorial: Port Macquarie's beaches
Waving his towel and stubbing his toes, he said he'd take a lot of convincing that money spent on trips to Melbourne would not be better spent on cleaning up the beaches. There is a strong conviction among those who frequent the beaches that Port Macquarie is neglectful in this regard. We firmly believe that clean, sparkling sands on the beaches throughout the summer holiday season would do more to promote Port Macquarie than any other local factor; at the same time promotion in Melbourne and other densely populated areas is equally vital with 12 months of the year to think about.
The beaches are not a sudden, local problem for over the years there has been this annual realisation that a very big majority of the people who come here look to the beach for most of their relaxation. If anything the beach is more important to Port Macquarie than parks and gardens, and to have both equally cared for is the ideal. Providing money to bring this about has to be the only hindrance.
So, without being critical of the past, we would like to suggest, with the 1970s already hailed as a period of unprecedented change and national prosperity, a more conscious approach to the town's beaches be our aim. It is antithetical to the sterling effort being made in so many other directions to find our image suffering.
The smartest modern miss at Port Macquarie races went to Jan Walters, and Mrs Val Mclnnes was the judge's pick for the best dressed woman. Jan, in her beige pantsuit, won The Little Shop's award donated by Mrs Ken Jarman, and Mrs Mclnnes, dressed in a beige suit with red bowler hat and accessories, won the House of Jade Award donated by Mrs Mclnherney.
An indication of the rising interest among locals in prospecting and mining is shown in figures released by the clerk of petty sessions this week. Forty-three miner's rights were issued at the courthouse last year, compared with only 26 in 1968. Mr Morton's annual statistical report also shows Port Macquarie as the ideal spot for retirees. The highest ever figure of 227 pension applications were registered. In 1968, only 110 were registered. Despite the number of retirees, the number of births more than doubled the deaths. A total of 168 babies were born here last year, compared with 163 in 1968, with 87 girls born compared with 81 boys.
Gambling is also on the increase as shown by the number of bookmakers' tickets (76,500) sold at the courthouse compared with 51,500 last year. This was perhaps due to the re-opening of the Port Macquarie racetrack.