Opinion | Letters to the Editor

GOING GATSBY: Charlie Dibley of East Maitland and Hannah George of Metford.
GOING GATSBY: Charlie Dibley of East Maitland and Hannah George of Metford.

I cannot understand how our MLA Jenny Aitchison can justify her recent statement that the proposed Not-For-Profit model for the new Maitland Hospital “is nothing like the Mater” and will therefore be inferior.

How can she justify that statement when the Mater is a NFP hospital, and when the clinical plan and other details for the hospital have not been announced?

How can she say that a NFP Maitland Hospital “will also place pressure on existing hospitals as people tend to go to those”? The NFP-run Mater and St Vincent’s are hospitals of choice. Why should the people of Maitland miss out on a hospital of choice?

Are her Labor Party pro-union views overriding what is the best overall hospital for everyone else in this region? Also, the new non-government run Joondalup hospital in Perth is getting very good reviews and is very popular.

Of course, scaremongering always gets the headlines but I believe people are far more interested on what services the new hospital will provide, that it will provide for everyone, and whether there will be plenty of parking.

As far as her concern for the new hospital to be up and running as soon as possible, the Labor Shadow Minister for Health Walt Secord has threatened to tear up any contract for a new Maitland Hospital signed by the NSW Liberal Government, thereby probably delaying construction even more.

These sorts of threats are not helpful when we have already waited too long. She should guarantee that any future Labor Government will not delay this new hospital.

Bob Geoghegan, East Maitland


Saturday evening 7th October, The Umbrella Foundation Australia, a charity in which I am involved held the fundraiser, 'An Evening of Gatsby' at Mansfield House.

 On behalf of the board and committee I would like to extend our thanks to the many  Maitland businesses who contributed to making this event a success.  A special thank you to Mr Huckleberry Campbell at The Palm Court Tea Salon, Tracey Wilkinson and Susan Smith who tirelessly worked behind the scenes. 

Linda Harwood


Constant use of mobile devices is now part of everyday life, but alarming new statistics have revealed it’s a danger that impacts many Australians who are blind or vision impaired every time they leave the house.

A recent Guide Dogs Australia survey revealed almost half of all people who use a white cane are walked into at least once every time they are out, with about 60% reporting the instances are caused by people engrossed in their mobile devices.

Almost half of all people who use a white cane had also been knocked over, injured or had their cane broken by someone walking into them in the past two years.

As we launch our new campaign, Eyes Up, this International White Cane Day on 15 October, I would ask readers to be mindful of who’s around them when using their mobile devices.

I would also like to remind readers that if you or someone you know is experiencing sight loss, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT provide services and support at no cost, irrespective of age, level of vision, or where a person lives. 

Enabling people to move around safely and confidently is always our top priority.

Frances Tinsley, Executive General Manager Client Services, Guide Dogs NSW/ACT


The Royal Australian Navy operated tall ship STS Young Endeavour will open her gangway to the public during a free public open day in Newcastle from 1pm to 4pm on Saturday.

The open day offers the opportunity to speak to the crew about what it is like to take the helm and climb the 30 metre mast to work aloft, setting and furling sails.