After the excitement, kisses and backslapping of last Wednesday, the presentation by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and MP Ann Sudmalis, you could be forgiven for thinking that money had actually been given But what did we actually get? It’s like Santa arriving with a beautifully wrapped empty box.
Unless, of course, we do something for them first - and that is return Turnbull as PM and only if Ann is re-elected.
A gift or a bribe?
There are thousands of promises being made pre-election around Australia. What are the time frames for these promises? Are these promises meant to distract us from stopping Medicare being privatised and other important issues affecting us?
We have a fabulous, under-utilised TAFE here in Ulladulla that doesn’t even have one permanent teacher let alone choices of courses.
Our area is full of young families; yet, the maternity section at our local hospital in Milton is under threat and our young pregnant mums now have to run the gauntlet of driving 60 plus kilometres to the maternity ward in Nowra. That is, of course, if the highway is open and not closed by accidents, bushfires or floods. The highway is our only way of getting to Nowra. Our towns are growing not reducing.
So are we expected to be distracted from all their cuts affecting us like education and health?
It was fantastic to meet Prime Minister Turnbull in Ulladulla on Wednesday and we should welcome the funding commitments he has brought forward for the precinct. Irrespective of one’s political affiliations the Prime Minister holds a very important position.
I thought I would tag along and introduce myself as a local Ward 3 councillor.
However, it was made very clear to me by Mayor Joanna Gash that unlike the Team Gash Ward 3 councillors who were invited to attend, I wasn’t really welcome.
Cr Gash said I hadn’t been invited and asked if I was responsible for organising the demonstration occurring on the footpath.
It is understandable for the Assistant Deputy Mayor to be present to meet the Prime Minister but if one other councillor is invited then surely all other councillors should be invited. I believe for the sake of integrity that we need to keep party politics out of local government.
I would like to take this opportunity to respond to 18-year-old Maddison Pedder, who was one of several young voters asked about their voting intentions (Times, June 6).
Maddison, I was reading of your passionate interest in Medicare. I wish other young people were as caring as you.
While there have been some media reports saying the Turnbull Government will privatise Medicare, this is not correct.
What we are doing is looking at ways of helping people get their Medicare rebate payments more quickly as many people still have to line up at Centrelink. We’re looking at ways to make sure our doctors and specialists get paid more quickly so they don’t have to increase their charges to cover the cost of waiting to be paid.
We have a rebate freeze as a continuation of a Labor Party initiative while we work out the old item numbers and get rid of some that aren’t needed, and we investigate ways to pay for things such as Hep C medication that would normally cost $100,000 per patient, but we have put it on the PBS so it is just the cost of a prescription.
We’ve got specialised and expensive drugs on the PBS to help people with cystic fibrosis and cancer. These are highly expensive, but the government subsidises the cost of them so people’s lives can be saved or changed for the cost of a script.
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