I FEEL a growing sense of fear for the Maitland community as you "celebrate" the new Maitland Hospital.
The budget determines your access to quality health care, not circumstances or acuity, and this won't change when the new hospital opens. The NSW government expects us to do more with less, in effect, deciding on whether you'll get a shower this morning, your wound dressed or your diabetes education ... all the while the nurses miss their meal breaks and finish late to ensure your medications were given and paperwork finished.
Nurses are losing their love for a career that means caring for their community as they battle with the reality of having six to eight patients whilst working overtime shifts up to 18 hours long, short staffed, and sprinting to complete the most basic patient care needs.
We cannot remain silent anymore. We cannot deliver the quality care you deserve without a cap on the number of patients one nurse can have. One nurse to four patients or less depending on how sick you are. That is our ask.
Queensland and Victoria have this ratio because evidence shows it saves lives and it saves money. To all public hospital patients who have kept silent, we urge you to speak up about your experience.
Support nurses and midwives in our cry to create a safer hospital for you.
Kathy Chapman, NSWNMA Maitland Branch Secretary
'Future' may still be a while away
IN reply to Michael Gormly, ("Renewables pay their way", Letters, 17/7) and Richard Mallaby, ("Power prices will drop as renewables rise", Letters, 19/7), I was citing Stephanie Gray's figures from, Our Future, 12/7.
The limitations of batteries and pumped hydro were stated by her. But guess what Michael, even a limit of 12 hours storage won't maintain our electricity grid 24/7 days, week after week through the year. This of course is not even considering the 20 per cent loss of power to pump the water up into hydro storage, loss of power running the water back through turbines again and the loss of water from evaporation.
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
The $3 billion coal plant was Stephanie's example, not mine. Power wholesale prices go up and down but it's the retail prices we pay and that's not going down. The latest CSIRO Gencost 20/21 report was based on a lot of assumptions, predictions (guesses) and used overseas modelling which could be prone to error if applied to our local power industry. For example, they listed the cost of brown coal electricity (LCOE) higher than for black coal. Brown coal power has been the cheapest generated power in this country for decades. They calculated costs based on a 30-year life for coal-powered stations and 25 years for wind and solar. But coal-powered stations in this country regularly last for 50 years whereas wind or solar farms need to be replaced after 15 years. That error would miscalculate costs to the advantage of renewables.
Maybe as Richard says "renewables will dominate the future" but last night, coal-power was generating 90 per cent of NSW's electricity and today at evening peak-hour, more than 90 per cent came from the old reliables, coal, gas, and hydro. That "future" may still be a long time away.
Peter Devey, Merewether
Jail time should be an option
IF someone had an STD and knew about it, then had sex with someone without informing this person that they had this disease and was infected, by existing law they would be taken to justice and possibly receive jail time.
Does this apply to people like these removalists, who knowingly have COVID and have infected those they have come in contact with? Does this come under this same rule and will they face court to receive the exact same criminal ruling (knowingly had a disease and infected those who were unaware)? Where is the army to enforce lockdown rules? The NSW Health Minister stated on national TV that south west Sydney has done a great job adhering to COVID rules, obviously not watching the areas where the majority of breaches have occurred.
Stay out of the Hunter.
Graeme Kime, Cameron Park
Time for change on council
I FIRST cast a vote 50 years ago and have always voted for the ALP, or at least given them my preference, however in the upcoming election for Newcastle council I will be putting the ALP last.
I have nothing but respect for our local ALP members of state and federal parliament, however, the performance of the ALP team on council has, in my opinion, been woeful.
Rates have substantially risen over the past five years but there has been no corresponding increase in services. Instead there have been massive cost blowouts associated with the relocation of council staff - and for no good reason as well as huge costs associated with Supercars.
As Cr Church says; Supercars should never have been located in a residential area such as Newcastle East. Why can't the event be held out of town?
The closure of the Maritime Museum has been a fiasco and two years later there is still no suitable venue for it. I don't believe the council has given much support to the retention of heritage buildings in the city. At the very least, the facade of the old Store building in Hunter Street could have been retained but when the state government decided to demolish it, the silence from Newcastle was deafening.
So, my message to traditional ALP voters is; it's time for a change and it's time the ALP members on council began listening to the community.
Ross Edmonds, Waratah
Proud to be part of Labor team
JOHN Beach falsely claims that the majority of local councillors near Newcastle are independents, ("Political chamber a stifling influence", Opinion, 17/7).
Our neighbours, Lake Macquarie, Cessnock, and Maitland councils all contain a majority of party-aligned councillors.
When thinking about local 'independents' perhaps Beach is referring to Port Stephens 'independent' councillor Jaimie Abbott, who previously ran for the Liberal Party?
Or was he referring to Port Stephens 'independent' councillor Ken Jordan, who previously ran for the Liberal Party?
Or was he referring to Newcastle 'independent' councillor John Church, who previously ran for the Liberal Party?
Or Liberal Church's campaign manager, now 'independent' councillor Kath Elliott?
I am honest with the public about my values, and I am proud to stand as a candidate alongside my Newcastle Labor colleagues so that we can continue delivering the targeted COVID support, new playgrounds, expanded footpaths, and better sporting facilities our community needs.
Declan Clausen, Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle
HOW can the premier shutdown Sydney building sites and then allow a loophole for Sydney tradies to work in Newcastle, the Hunter and regional areas? People can't follow the rules in their own suburbs, how will they pass the loophole rules in our suburb? Very scary.
Scott Wood, Cardiff
I HAD my first Pfizer vaccination at JHH on July 1 and was told my next vaccination would be in three weeks' time on July 22. However, my appointment has been postponed until the end of August. Why? I have no idea. Part of the glitch. Not good enough. We are constantly seeing ad after ad to get vaccinated and then we cannot. Pathetic response from the government.
Majella Maher, Cardiff South
SYDNEY people are becoming selfish. Please stay away from the Hunter and up north.You will be caught and fined. We, up here, do not wish to go into lockdown. Get the message "stay away until it is safe to travel up here."
Robyn Nehl, Charlestown
CAN Gladys Berejiklian explain why construction workers who can't work in Sydney are allowed to work in Newcastle and are not required to undergo COVID-19 testing every seven days? It's only a matter of time before one of the influx of construction workers flooding into the city from Sydney brings the virus here and plunges the Hunter into lockdown.
Jane Rees, Merewether
DR Nick Moncrieff's letter to the editor nearly 12 months ago, ("Plea to the Premier to take firm action, now", Letters, 11/8/20), in my opinion, shows me now what he (and many others) could (and still can) see what hesitating inaction will do when combating COVID-19. Reading his letter today, he sounds like a prophet, not a premier.
Bryn Roberts, New Lambton
BUILDERS aren't allowed to work in Sydney, but they can come to Newcastle for employment. Go figure.
Bill Slicer, Tighes Hill
COULD someone please explain to me how horse racing could be considered an essential activity? It would have to be one of the more pointless activities ever created. Surely if we're going to do lockdown properly, this and other activities like it should be curtailed for the duration of the lockdown.
Peter C Jones, Rathmines
ANOTHER sparkling editorial (Herald, 19/7). The message resounds very strongly for me and the fact that ScoMo hides behind his camouflaged brigade just measures the shallowness of his leadership. We are that far at sea that perhaps he should pick a heavyweight Admiral next. Either way we will be needing some big oars.
Vic Davies, Tighes Hill
SO many families have been enjoying the empty pond in the Foreshore Park. Please retain it as is; a safe paradise for the young on their skates, skateboards, scooters etc. CoN, please do not take this asset away from our children and grandchildren.