Readers of the Maitland Mercury have their say

RETHINK REQUIRED: Maitland should feel optimistic about NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard's visit to the city and attitude towards our new hospital.
RETHINK REQUIRED: Maitland should feel optimistic about NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard's visit to the city and attitude towards our new hospital.


I write in relation to the statements made by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard referring to our new hospital at Metford.

I find it very refreshing to hear a politician making very logical, common sense and realistic remarks. In particular I’m referring to the idea of looking 20-odd years into the future.

All things mentioned were great, except the most important. In my opinion, that is the location.

If you stop and look at the population increase to the northeast, north and northwest, I would think a better place for a new hospital would be towards that area.

I believe a perfect location would be the closed-down Masters Warehouse.

That would not only help the expanding Maitland area but also service Lochinvar, Greta and even Branxton.

Keith McKewen, Rutherford 


I would urge people who have been hounded by Centrelink over alleged debts to make a submission to the Senate committee inquiring into the debacle.

Too many people have been pursued by the Government for payments they do not owe and threatened with debt collectors if they do not pay up.

We know the system is flawed, yet the Government is unrelenting.

This Government needs to hear directly from the people its heartless behaviour is hurting.

This week in Parliament I told the story of Sheree, an aged care cleaner from Tenambit, who is still trying to finalise her alleged Newstart debt.

In October, Centrelink said her debt was $3,700. In December it was reduced to $2,800. In January it was reduced further to $1,100. Then in February it went back up to $1,500.

It’s the robo-debt lucky dip, but no one is a winner.

Sheree has made every effort to supply the evidence she has been asked for – old payslips, bank statements and tax returns, but it still hasn’t been sorted out.

She’s at the end of her tether. We know Sheree is not alone.

If you have been affected, I urge you to tell the Government your story. Submissions close today, March 22.

Meryl Swanson, Member for Paterson


If our area of Lower Hunter had the rainfall that the Sydney Basin received in the first week of March, we would be having a repeat of the road closure at Testers Hollow.

RMS are feeding us stall tactics with having to look at road alignment and flood mitigation records that have been known since the 1955 Maitland flood.

The RMS tendered out the Hunter Expressway in two separate sections – the 12km mountain section and the 28km section from Kurri to Branxton. These road builders were given the job to design and construct, with many bridges, viaducts and mountain cuttings.

The Stanford Merthyr Community Action Group, in consultation with RMS held at Kurri TAFE on two occasions, were told that all feeder roads connecting to the Hunter Expressway would be closely monitored and relevant steps would be taken to remedy any problems.

With increased traffic between Maitland and the Kurri Kurri interchange, Testers Hollow needs to be top priority as a preventative measure against future road closures.

The “flood-free” Sawyers Gully-Farley Road, constructed as an alternative when Testers is closed, was also closed in the April 2015 superstorm.

With ever-increasing traffic by the general public, bus services and goods and services, will it take a road death by drowning to have Testers Hollow declared a black spot?

It does not matter which political party is governing, all the promises turn out to be empty ones!

Andrew Bamforth, Stanford Merthyr