Acting Opposition Leader Linda Burney raised some valid points when she came to Maitland yesterday.

Yes, Maitland does need a new hospital.

Although promised, a new hospital will take years to build, and in the meantime an increasing number of

people will have to wait for treatment and medical staff and ageing resources will be stretched even further.

Yes, the city does need more police.

Beresfield needs a full-time police presence and yes, with the recent shooting of a high ranking member of the Maitland Gladiators, people are fearful that the spate of Sydney shootings are heading north.

But whose mess is this?

Ms Burney would have people people that it is solely the result of the O’Farrell government in general and, Member for Maitland, Robyn Parker, in particular .

Mrs Parker still has much to do – there’s no hiding that – but the question must be asked, how much did the

previous succession of Labor premiers really do to

alleviate Maitland’s problems.

The problems to which Ms Burney alludes did not

happen overnight.

Maitland was already one of the fastest growing inland cities – with all the inherent problems that comes with that – by the time Mr O’Farrell and Mrs Parker came to power.

They have not yet served one full term; their Labor predecessors were in power for more than a decade.

By no means should the pressure be lessened on the current government, and their reckoning day will come at the election, but Labor should not forget the drubbing they received at the ballot box last time round.

There had to be a good reason.

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