DELAY: Traffic at John Hunter Hospital. The hospital’s situation needs to be considered now, as the RMS finalises its planning for Stage 5 of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass.CONGRATULATIONS to Sonia Hornery for speaking up in support of the staff, patients and visitors to John Hunter Hospital and the road access issues now becoming critical after existing for many years (‘Hospital gridlock’,Herald,5/4).
Ms Hornery’s concern is admirable; her warnings about a disaster are dire. The potential for a tragedy is however a real one.If there was a major incident like a fire at the eastern end of the complex, I believe real gridlock would occur and there would be no way out. There would also be noway in for emergency services. Clearly this is not good enough and the NSW government must act to mitigate the potential for a disaster.
The immediate opportunity to correct this is totally and squarely in the hands of the state government, as the RMS finalises its planning for the construction of Stage 5 of theNewcastle Inner City Bypass.
While other issues like access at McCaffery Drive and the outrageous disruption to the use of the Jesmond cycleway/pathway exist, clearly the most pressing issue is the completion of analternative access to the John Hunter campus.It is serving a very wide region and should have top level facilities including road access.
In completing the Stage 5 plan, the RMS should guarantee that entry and exit access to thecampus is made available to both north and southbound traffic. This opportunity is probably a “one off” and “once in a lifetime” chance to get it right.
Mark Raper,LambtonRoom for light railTHE artist’s impression of Market Street lawn with trees (‘Head of steam on corridor’,Herald,25/3) is attractive but significantly shows there is ample room also on that corridor site; for two light rail tracks.
Likewise the two rail tracks could go under the contemplated affordable housing and under the proposed university extension on the corridor. These potentially beneficial uses can be achieved without being saddled with the very adverse impacts of trams in Hunter Street.
These include increase of journey time, extreme traffic congestion, severe disruption of business during relocation of underground services and construction and loss of parking, all of which can largely be eliminated by placing light rail in the corridor.
Light rail in the corridor would also enable council’s commendable urban renewal initiatives for Hunter Street, of trees, cycling, wider footpaths, footpath dining and car parking. Engineers Australia have demonstrated that light rail could be implemented in the corridor sooner and for less money than trams in Hunter Street.
Visiting Professor Bruce McFarling has concluded that with respect to activating Hunter Street, light rail in the corridor would outperform Hunter Street tramson every criterion.
AlanSquire,convenor, Hunter Transport for Business DevelopmentToughfor young buyersMR Davies I must respond to your latest letter (Letters, 30/3). You state I attacked you about penalty rates. In your letter you said people should get off their backsides and work to buy a house and also to stop whinging. My reply was that my son has got off his backside and brought his first home and works every weekend to do so and now because of the Fair Work Commission’s cut to penalty rates he will more than likely be paid less for the privilege of working Sundays. I was commenting on your sweeping statement that people are whinging and lazy that can’t get into the housing market.
You dared me to use equity in my home to buy a investment property and stick a tenant in and “happy days”, as you put it. This is one of the reasons I believe young people find it hard to get into the property market, investors with equity are buying homes and renting them out and the government gives them incentives to do so.By all means enjoy your rental property and all your hard work but please have a bit more compassion for young ones starting out. Young people who can’t get into the property market are not all whingers or lazy, some just can’t afford it.
Stephen Millett, Shortland‘Silly’ wage bidACTU new secretary Sally McManus is calling for $45 a week pay rise. This type of nonsense does nothing to help the cause of union members at all and shows just how out of touch with the real world Ms McManus is by promoting such a fanciful idea.
Trade unions generally are, I believe, on the nose with a lot of people, as indicated by falling membership levels. Surely even Ms McManus must realise that many employers, particularly the smaller businesses, are struggling as it is to keep their heads above water as the real cost of an employee is close to double their actual wage when you factor in holiday loadings, flexi-days, sick and annual leave, workers comp etc, all of which are all additional costs to the employers.
No one would deny workers (including the self employed) a decent living, but the money has to come from somewhere doesn’t it? As I see it, silly wage claims such as has been proposed will do absolutely nothing to increase employment opportunities, in fact the opposite would be the case because such high wage increases could not be sustainable. Do yourself and your members a favour Ms McManus and get your head out of the sand.
Ian King,Warners BayPeople don’t need ‘loans’THE disastrous floods in Queensland and NSW are just mind boggling. People have lost their homes, their businesses and their livelihoods and in some cases even their lives. Some of them will never be able to return to their homes or places of work.
Malcolm Turnbull traveled to some of the worst hit areas and met with a few of the victims of this terrible flood and even pitched in and swept some mud from a floor. He very generously offered loans for them to rebuild their lives.
It seems that he doesn’t seem to grasp the seriousness of the situation. As one resident of a devastated business told him they need grants and aid not loans that some of them will never be able to repay.
Whenever there is a disaster of this magnitude overseas our government is quick to send money, goods, aid workers, machinery and whatever else is needed to help help people in other countries rebuild their lives. Very generous.
I wonder if Malcolm Turnbull has heard the saying “charity begins at home”. Look after our people MrTurnbull. They need more than just your “thoughts and concern”.