Alison Horrell (Your Say, 11 June) is both very right and very wrong.
She's wrong if she thinks the residents of Frenchs Concrete are happy to have the Brad Hazzard Memorial Folly plonked in their midst. It's not just the hospital, it's the 12-lane dual-level highway, the compulsory purchase and bulldozing of homes, businesses and trees, and then Warringah Council's plans to "develop" (ie destroy) the wider area around the hospital precinct. So much for our pleasant leafy residential suburb.
Perhaps if Ms Horrell thinks that's all so wonderful, we should discuss swapping homes.
Where she is absolutely right, of course, is in pointing out the stupidity of the chosen location. That's because the planning permission has been based on false information given to NSW Planning by NSW Health, as follows:
- that the chosen site is central to the catchment area of the Manly, Warringah and Pittwater local government areas. This is palpably false both geographically, as Ms Horrell points out, and also demographically - a study has determined Cromer to be the demographic centre;
- that "a robust qualitative analysis" formed the basis for the choice of site. In fact, according to the Health Ministry's own study, Frenchs Forest came a poor third on qualitative/operational criteria among the sites considered, behind the Warringah Council land in Dee Why and the Warringah golf course;
- that solutions to the roading/access problems associated with the Frenchs Forest site would cost a maximum of $21.3 million. The current budget is $400 million, plus $125 million for public transport upgrades, and an acceptable solution has still not been devised, far less costed. And Ms Horrell is again right to stress that nothing is being done about the North/South corridor of Wakehurst Parkway, the budget all going on East/West traffic.
Thankfully people on the peninsula seem finally to be waking up to the travesty that is being perpetrated on them. Not to mention over a billion dollars of taxpayers' money being mis-spent.
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.