“The Story so Far” (MD, Sat 29 Oct, pg 36) actually dates from 2005, when what the Health Department called a “rigorous qualitative analysis” placed Frenchs Forest a poor third out of six sites considered for the new hospital. The same Development Options Business Plan said the roading upgrades would cost $21.3 million, not the $500 million currently published. These facts were not reviewed or updated when Brad Hazzard gave the project the go-ahead in October 2013. The claim in the subsequent planning process that Frenchs Forest is central to the catchment area is also false, both geographically and demographically. The Planning Department’s final summary, in approving the project, that there would not be "any long-term adverse or irreversible effects”, is simply laughable.
So the hospital is in the wrong place (ironically the Dee Why council chamber site was the preferred option), thus the devastation that has already taken place is unjust and based on deceit. If there is to be no further re-zoning of residential areas in Frenchs Forest, as you suggest, it is small compensation for the many residents who argued from the outset to have their quality of life and their environment protected, not pillaged. If the planners are indeed going to prevent any further depredation of the residential suburb, they deserve our profound gratitude. The disappointed residents to whom you refer are those whose greed got the better of them, encouraged by real estate firms and developers. The sympathy that your article seems to extend to them is seriously misplaced.
There aren't too many ways available for venting one's anger or frustration at some of the things happening in the world around us. One such escape valve is the good old Letter to the Editor, even if only a small proportion of them gets published. It is often well-nigh impossible to keep the discussion short enough for the newspapers. So rather that have them expire in some Editor's Trash bin, we'll preserve them for posterity here. Inevitably, though, some nuances will be lost for those unfamiliar with the background or the letter or article to which we are responding. But each is undoubtedly a miniature literary masterpiece, though you may find the themes become somewhat repetitive.