Maitland is not invited to the community cabinet meeting in Singleton

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Maitland won’t have a voice at the community cabinet meeting in Singleton on Thursday.

Mayor of Maitland, Cr Peter Blackmore, has confirmed the city did not receive an invitation and has missed out on the chance to speak directly with cabinet ministers.

When he questioned the invitation’s absence he was told the state government was “doing things differently”.

“We won’t be going, we didn’t get an invitation,” Cr Blackmore said. 

“It’s a snub, it’s very very frustrating and I’m so disappointed.

“When do you get another opportunity to meet with the cabinet? I would hate to think that it’s because we have a labor MP.

“There’s so many things we could have raised with them.”

Cr Blackmore said the new hospital was one of the issues that should have been discussed at the meeting. 

“I would have liked to have been invited to sit in the room with the whole cabinet – how important it would have been to run into Brad and talk about the new hospital,” he said. 

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison urged NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to drop into the city, pull out her cheque book and make a substantial payment toward the new Maitland hospital.

She said the government must tear up the investigation into the public-private partnership and commit to a publicly-funded facility. 

“[Health Minister Brad Hazzard] is going to be in the Hunter tomorrow, it would be good to have an announcement about the hospital,” Ms Aitchison said.

“They are talking about starting construction in this term, so obviously they are going to need a commitment of some money to start that.

“It would be quite appropriate tomorrow for the premier to make that announcement.”

Maitland hosted a community cabinet meeting in 2014 where ministers answered questions from the audience.

At that meeting groups and councils across the Hunter attended. 

Fairfax Media has contacted Ms Berejiklian’s office for comment.