How important is Corybong Bridge to the large residential developments taking place in Louth Park?
Corybong Bridge - and I do hope I've spelt that properly - is a single lane bridge that serves the people of Louth Park if they wish to visit Central Maitland to do shopping or play sport in Maitland.
It is also used as a short cut to give access to Mt Vincent Road to enter the Hunter Expressway and for workers from the west travelling to Bloomfield Colliery - some use it to access Council's Waste Depot.
If ever there was a time to replace this single lane bridge with a two-lane bridge, now is the time.
A concrete bridge would have a life expectancy of 50 to 100 years, there would not be a better project to borrow money for than at the present time when borrowed money is so cheap.
The bridge replacement would not be such a big deal, however, council seems to have placed it into the 'too hard basket' due to other works that are long overdue in this vicinity. These would include eliminating of the cluster of sharp bends that lead to the bridge location.
To do this, of course, would require the cooperation of a few neighbouring property owners.
Some will say the residents will shop at Green Hills, and maybe they will. However, many of our services are in Central Maitland including those provided by Council administration such as libraries, swimming pools, the Regional Art Gallery, Maitland Park and the much-promoted Levee Mall and associated events.
Let us not forget the Central Maitland Businesses who are struggling to attract customers.
We also have NSW State Government Services located in Central Maitland including Ambulance Services in the west of Maitland
However you look at it, new and old residents of Louth Park deserve a new two-lane bridge.
Ray Fairweather, Tenambit
COSTLY FOR PARENTS
The Maitland Mercury article 'Hunter families saw their childcare fees rise more than the rate of inflation over 12 months'will come as no surprise to many local parents and families sadly accustomed to soaring fees early learning and care.
The reality is that Australian families pay some of the highest out of pocket fees for early childhood education and care in in the world and it's a struggle.
It places a real strain on household budgets for parents, including in the Hunter and across the country, and this will only get worse as cuts to JobKeeper and JobSeeker support payments take effect.
What parents and families need is urgent government support for universal access to quality early learning and care to help ease the financial burden for families and carers and provide children with the best start to life.
Investing more in early education and care will pay dividends in supporting more women into paid work, grow employment in a female-dominated industry and give young children the education and care that will help them thrive.
When low and medium income families make savings on out-of-pocket costs for child care, the benefit flows directly into increased household spending and helps stimulate the economy.
Government assistance for early learning and care is lagging behind the actual cost of quality early learning and care services.
The current subsidy model for early education and care has failed to keep out of pocket costs manageable.
Parents and carers in the Hunter deserve a better deal. We need the Federal Government to set up and deliver proper reform and funding to support the best possible early childhood education system.
Georgie Dent, Executive Director, The Parenthood
EDUCATION IS KEY
Time and again, when tragedies take place such as the one a few days ago in Queensland where a couple and their unborn baby were killed while walking their dogs, it causes much sadness and outrage in people.
The spontaneous reaction by most is for harsher punishment for the driver. The general feeling seems to be that the laws are inadequate, too soft to be a deterrent.
Yes, in light of tragedies committed by irresponsible human beings, no effort should be spared to try to control and restrict such deplorable behaviour.
But I do not agree that greater punishment is the way to go about it!
Education and discipline is what prepares us for life! To me, this is the key.
We can't stop human caused tragedies if we relax education and discipline from a very young age as some libertarians would suggest.
Prevention is and will always be better than cure!