Letter to the Editor - Friday, August 25: Safety a key issue

THE most important thing in life is health and for those who have difficulty walking up stairs Maclean Hospital now has an access ramp at the front of the hospital.

We can thank Maclean Rotary and North Rivers Area Health Service for that.

This was Phase 1 of my plans to upgrade the hospital so that it is easy and safe to enter for all. Phase 2, I hope, will be constructing a drive-through at the front of the hospital or the ramp to allow traffic to enter and exit safely.   With the statistics from the last 2011 census, there are 18,000 people in the lower Clarence - more than 5000 of whom are over the age of 65.

This represents about 30% of our population who are aged, which puts us well over the state average. This is one of the reasons we were allocated a Community Health Centre in Yamba.

In most districts of the lower Clarence we have well over 1000 aged residents, and Yamba and district has over 2000, which is why I would like to improve the facilities at Maclean Hospital.

The proposed drive-through would allow cars and delivery trucks to enter at the bottom part of the car park and come out at the top of the car park and do so safely.

Trucks at present have to come out on to Union St to turn and reverse back into the top part of the car park, which is a disaster about to happen. There is anecdotal evidence that some cars are coming down Union St at a fast pace and could easily cause a serious accident.

I have asked Northern Area Health, Maclean Shire and Maclean Rotary to help drop the speed limit to 40kmh in this area but have had no positive feedback, other than the mayor saying it was a matter of importance.

Therefore, it is important that the community become involved because it's a near-impossible task for me alone.

Owing to lack of finances in government bodies I would like to ask that all Rotary clubs get together, along with other organisations, to assist in raising funds - estimated to be $120,000.

I'm prepared to raise funds and if anyone or any organisation would care to assist, I'd be very grateful. I can be contacted by phone on 0419193525.   As soon as the election is over, I hope to be working with local members to attain this goal. I believe it is an important issue for our local hospital.

Jim Agnew

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