Letters to the editor

No shortage of plots in other cemeteries

On the matter of the Marulan cemetery (‘Digging in as LEC decides’, Goulburn Post, October 9), Keysar Trad has said that: ‘In Islam, every person has a right to burial, and we have a right to have cemeteries close to our communities.’

Quite right! Should I point out that the Al-Mabarrat Benevolent Society is domiciled in Rockdale, Sydney, and that it has no presence in this area? There is no ‘community’ that this cemetery will cater for.

There is no shortage of cemetery plots available to the Shi'ite community, and all of them are a lot closer to ‘community’ than Marulan, which is a conservative five-hour return journey.

There is the Sutherland cemetery, already utilised by that community; South Head Cemetery caters for Islamic burials; Rockwood Cemetery has set aside 8000 plots exclusively for the Islamic community. There are two new cemeteries opening up between Liverpool and Campbelltown; one, at Leppington, has a 125,000 plot capacity and … Islamic burials are catered for. At Bringelly, there is also a new cemetery opening, with 12,000 plots available. This cemetery is exclusively for people of the Islamic faith.

There is no need for an 11,000 plot cemetery at Marulan. It is quite clear the organisation behind the development application has other intentions for the site, and that the continued 'amendments' being inflicted on the council and the community are merely to justify the proposed mosque. The Al-Mabarrat Benevolent Society has clearly indicated their intention to hold ‘special events|’ - at a cemetery? - that will see over 500 people in attendance, at least 10 times per year.

As has been pointed out on many occasions, this is an illegal use of the land and the council is correct in not supporting the DA while it continues to advocate illegal usage.

Keysar Trad notwithstanding, this community and our council are best placed to decide on this vexatious and mean-spirited proposal. It serves the interests of no locals, is already detrimental and leaves all concerned with the proposal with a sense of 'development by stealth', which does not auger well.

Peter Callaghan, Tallong

Bureaucracy gone mad in health service decisions

As all of the staff at the Bourke Street Health Service, Goulburn Base Hospital and the wider Goulburn community knows, closing the Bourke Street site before the new redevelopment of the Goulburn Base Hospital has been completed is just bureaucracy gone mad.

The closure of the hydrotherapy pool will happen when the Bourke Street Marian Unit and other services are shafted to the current inadequate Goulburn Base site. There will be no one to operate, maintain or cover the other associated costs, such as insurance. The hydrotherapy pool is a public asset and is there to provide a service to the public.

As reported in the Goulburn Post (Oct 12), that nurses at Goulburn Base Hospital didn't know how palliative care and oncology could fit into that hospital without a detrimental effect on patient care, the Bourke Street staff also do not understand how they will also fit into the existing, overcrowded and outdated Goulburn Base Hospital site.

I would think that nursing staff, from both facilities, would have more idea on facilities required and patient care than some bureaucrat.

The decision to close the Bourke Street facility has been made by new Southern Health District chief executive Janet Compton and she has a very poor track record from her previous portfolio.

Ms Compton resigned abruptly and without explanation from her previous position as chief executive of Melbourne's Northern Health in August 2015 amid government and community concerns about the facility’s poor performance.

Ms Compton is now implementing premature and ill-conceived changes that will have a negative effect on the health care of Goulburn residents.

The staff and community are rising up as one to stop the premature closure of the Bourke Street Health Service as patient care is a priority, not dollars and cents.

I call on Pru Goward to stand with the community, as that is what she was elected for, and keep this fantastic facility open until the new extensions to the Goulburn Base Hospital site are completed in five years or so.

That's if they are ever completed. A private operator might not want them.

Alison Mitchell, Goulburn

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