Newcastle Herald Letters to the Editor: Thursday, May 18, 2017

CONCERNS: There are many in the community who do not want the Lower Hunter's new hospital to be a public-private partnership and who are unhappy with its location.
CONCERNS: There are many in the community who do not want the Lower Hunter's new hospital to be a public-private partnership and who are unhappy with its location.

I WOULD like to comment on the Maitland Hospital proposal. For a start, the proposed public-private partnership idea is ridiculous.

Currently Maitland has over 200 public beds. Will this partnership maintain that? I doubt it.

Plus this is an opportunity that should not be missed. The Hunter is growing at a rapid rate and we need to look into the future. Not just now for electoral reasons. The hospital should be big enough to complement John Hunter. The hospital needs to be located where expansion is easy as the population grows and needs increase. The hospital has to be accessible to the whole Hunter. Metford fails this test.

The proposal by the Cessock Liberals and with support from the ALP in the area have been lobbying the government for the hospital to be located along the Hunter Expressway. There is plenty of land available off Hart Road near Kurri Kurri which ticks most, if not all boxes. It is accessible to the Hunter, near and accessible to most growth areas and has room to expand. It will not be affected by major weather events that will affect the proposed Metford project.

In short the government is looking at the wrong area with blinkers on. East Maitland, Raymond Terrace, Beresfield, Tarro and Thornton will be the major benefactors of this proposal ignoring the needs of the wider area including Branxton, Huntlee, Cessnock and all development in and around these areas. This proposal makes it more accessible for the wider Hunter with areas as far as Muswellbrook and Singleton being able to access the hospital. 

Emergency services will have better access, which is probably more important as there are main artirial roads that lead to near the site from all areas.

No matter what though  it must remain in public hands as the public system is for all and it will be our tax dollars paying for this, if Sydney has anything left after this government has finished selling everything and investing mainly only in Sydney alone.

Glenn Jones, Weston

Spend in the suburbs

I WAS surprised when Newcastle City Council was the only Hunter council not to respond when questions were asked about section 94 contributions given to councils by property developers, given the fact that our lord mayor has been know to use the term open and transparent when it suits her.

Well, I believe the council should be open and transparent where section 94 money is being spent with the ratepayers of suburbs like Shortland, which are being grossly over developed. We have a situation in our suburb that was never meant for the amount development that is going on where long-term residents are having any number of two-storey units built next to them which shades their properties, takes away all backyard privacy and takes away parking for friends and family because developers don’t supply adequate off street parking.

The money council receives from developers I believe should be spent in that suburb to at least upgrade services. We have roads in Shortland where, because of over development, it is impossible for two cars to pass. There are roads where there are more pot holes than road and when they are fixed the repairs last a few months if we’re lucky as traffic has increased. We have schools businesses and homes that people can’t park at. My list could go on so please, Newcastle council, at least spend some of developer money you receive form Shortland’s over development in Shortland.

Stephen Millett, Shortland 

Make position known

CONGRATULATIONS to the approximately 100 residents who turned up on-site to protest a total overdevelopment of townhouses from Brighton Avenue to Excelsior Parade, Toronto, before the Land and Environment Commissioner.

This development will cause traffic and parking chaos, take out 150-200 trees and dominate the ridge line visible from across the Lake.

Lake Macquarie City Council is supporting the community in demanding a scaled-down development more in keeping with the transition area and protecting the environment. 

So proud of our community in protesting this unwanted development

Stephen Dewar, Toronto

Promised parking

THE university's NeW Space city campus will open in July with an expected daily influx of 2347 people attending the site during peak periods, including 300 staff ('Uni staff city fury', Herald, 16/5).

Despite claims in the development's Transport Assessment, I believe many will travel by car. I understand the often mentioned five car spaces at NeW Space are reserved for visiting service vehicles and are not available for staff. Nor are there any disabled parking spaces provided.

Part of the NeW Space development application included, as I understand it, increasing the parking on the nearby university conservatorium site in Laman Street by 20 spaces. Of course 20 new car spaces in the precinct will do little to cater for the parking demands of the 300 New Space staff, but they may help reduce the parking impacts of the conservatorium's activities on the surrounding residential streets.

When is the university going to deliver the promised extra car parking on its conservatorium site?

Glenn Burgess, Cooks Hill

Fed up with decisions

AT the forum on Monday on health and hospitals in East Maitland, which discussed the decision made by this state government to build a new hospital for the Lower Hunter in Metford, it was easy to pick up the majority sentiment that the new facility should not be a public-private partnership.

The capacity crowd was pleased to be able to have its chance at expressing an opinion – they were not happy to have the present well run public hospital replaced with one that is not publicly run.

Our community in the Hunter is getting used to this government's way of non-consultation over major infrastructure decisions – look at the debacle of cutting the rail line to Newcastle and the associated fallout over parking, light rail, building on the transport corridor, etc. The decision to scrap the rail ties in with a decision to scrap public transport entirely within the Newcastle area – buses, rail and ferries. 

Around the state, communities are shocked by the lack of consultation on enormous infrastructure projects being privatised, and want a say.

Jan Davis, East Maitland


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