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courthouse, and also a legal aid centre. Paul Landa, now Minister for Education, opened extensions to the Brookvale Technical College. Many millions of dollars were rolling into the electorate from the Government coffers.

So a kind of cargo cult developed. On behalf of my people, I could intercede with the powers across the water, who would then descend amongst us to bestow valuable gifts. The fervour grew so intense that complaints were heard from cynical Liberals: "Stewart is unfairly buying votes."

The Fraser Government had forced the State Government to make cut-backs in the public hospital system. The number of beds had to be rationalized by closing some of the older hospitals which had a surplus and transferring their resources to the expanding western suburbs. One public hospial which was showing such signs of its age was the Mater at Crows Nest. Founded by Catholic nuns, it had served generations of patients on the north side of the Harbour.

With the passing of the years, the Mater's role changed. A much larger and more modern hospital, the Royal North Shore, had been built nearby. The Mater's antiquated building and cramped site made upgrading difficult. Although still nominally a Catholic institution, the Mater as a public hospital was now almost completely dependent on Government funding. It

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