Mixed reaction to news that Morisset Hospital gates would be locked to restrict public access to kangaroos in the grounds

SAFETY CONCERNS: People interacting with the kangaroos in the grounds of Morisset Hospital on Tuesday. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
SAFETY CONCERNS: People interacting with the kangaroos in the grounds of Morisset Hospital on Tuesday. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

SOME locals have been saddened by the decision this week to restrict public access to the grounds of Morisset Hospital to see the resident kangaroos.

They’ve argued that the poor behaviour of some tourists had “ruined it for the rest of the community”.

Hunter New England Health announced that gates to the facility would soon be locked.

The gates will be part of a suite of security measures introduced to ensure the health and safety of hospital patients, the community, and the local kangaroo population.

Readers took to the Lakes Mail’s Facebook page to voice their opinions on the closure.

Leeann Hendrie was among the locals who has long enjoyed the site and was disappointed by the closure. 

“It’s very sad that it has come to this. As a local for over 40 years I love taking my boys to see the kangaroos,” she wrote.

“Will now have to take them to the reptile park at Gosford to see kangaroos. Unfair that the tourists have ruined it for us!”

Reader Chris VanderSchaaf agreed.

“A necessary change. It's a shame this has been wrecked for the locals who did the right thing, though,” he said.

And this from reader Beth Jones: “Once again the minority have ruined it for everyone else.”

Some readers said it wasn’t only tourists who were responsible for what had happened to the roos over many years.

“It's not tourists who attack kangaroos, it's bogans,” Cathy Jensen said. “And there are ways in through the bush. The gates won't achieve the desired result, just take away another community asset.”

Shane Lewis said the behaviour of some tourists at the hospital was being used to justify the closure and thereby stop a range of other activities in the hospital grounds.

“It’s going to be stopped for all access due to every activity out there being frowned upon,” Mr Lewis said.

“The tourists were the scapegoat. The hospital don’t want the bikes or 4x4s etc out there.”

Other readers welcomed the news, though.

“This is an amazing result and about time. Well done to all involved in making this happen,” Suzanne Elena said.

Jayne Cvetanoski, of the Better Protection for the Morisset Psychiatric Hospital Kangaroos group, said she was “over the moon” at the decision.

“The issues out there have finally been seen and are now being addressed,” she said.

“The roos, patients and staff can now live and work in peace and privacy.”

Ms Cvetanoski said she saw tourists at the hospital chasing resting roos from the shade into the 37-degree heat on Sunday, which was further evidence of the need for a lock-out.

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