Community satisfaction in Port Stephens has taken a dive to 68 per cent, down from 80 per cent in 2020 and lower than the average 78 per cent rating over the past five years.

The results are part of Port Stephens Council’s annual Community Satisfaction Survey which had a record 2187 responses.

Council has put the dip in satisfaction down to the COVID-19 pandemic and a natural disaster.

General Manager Wayne Wallis says while the result is disappointing, its understandable.

“Despite our best efforts over the past year to manage the impacts of COVID-19 on our community and recover from the natural disaster, its understandable that our community’s satisfaction rating has dropped,” Mr Wallis said.

The survey was conducted in May 2021, just over a month after Port Stephens along with the rest of the Lower Hunter was declared a natural disaster zone following storms, floods and torrential rain. The weather event caused significant widespread damage to homes, property, roads and infrastructure. 

“Not surprisingly after the natural disaster, our three main areas for improvement were maintaining local roads at 45 per cent, managing storm water drainage at 59 per cent and roadside maintenance at 68 per cent.

“We received excellent scores for our garbage collection at 96 per cent, access to waste depots and recycling at 93 per cent and children ‘s services at 93 per cent,” Mr Wallis said.