Media Releases

Rebecca White MP | Labor Member for Lyons

Health Minister Michael Ferguson’s blatantly negative response to Labor’s sensible preventative health policies suggests he is happy to allow e-cigarettes  to be sold to children.

Shadow Health Minister Rebecca White said Mr Ferguson’s bizarre position is not only at odds with health experts, but with Liberal governments in New South Wales and Western Australia which have banned the sale of e-cigarettes to children.

“Mike Baird believes it’s not good policy to sell e-cigarettes to minors but Michael Ferguson doesn’t see any need for change,” Ms White said.

New South Wales Health Minister Jillian Skinner said: “There is no conclusive evidence that e-cigarettes help people to quit smoking but there is concern that e-cigarettes pose potential risks to children, which is why the Bill we introduce today is so important.”

“The Liberal Government’s response to our policy announcement is irrational and shows that they have absolutely no commitment to preventive health.

“Our policy made no mention of introducing any new taxes but that didn’t stop Michael Ferguson making things up.

“Labor is willing to work with the Government to produce better health outcomes for young Tasmanians but the Liberals are only interested in politics.

“The two policy initiatives announced yesterday are in line with the views of the Cancer Council and Heart Foundation, but still the Liberals were willing to condemn them.

“If Mr Ferguson is genuine about wanting to improve the health of Tasmanians he should support our sensible policies.” 

Labor will make preventative health a central part of its policy platform ahead of the next election.

Shadow Health Minister Rebecca White said a healthier community will reduce the pressure on Tasmania’s public hospital system.

Two initiatives included in Labor’s broader preventative health policy focus on sugary drinks in schools and the regulation of e-cigarettes & vaporises.

At the heart of both initiatives is a desire to help Tasmania’s young people make the best decisions for their health.

When it comes to soft drinks, Labor will adopt the approach developed by the Cancer Council, Diabetes Australia and the Heart Foundation.

Shadow Health Minister Rebecca White said there’s increasing evidence of gross unfairness in the Government’s Workforce Renewal Incentive Program (WRIP).

Ms White was today joined by Sue Evans who after nearly 40 years of service was offered just $7500.

Health Minister Michael Ferguson is rapidly backtracking on two claims he made about Tasmania's health system.

Shadow Health Minister Rebecca White said the Minister's claim of a "fully costed" decant plan for the Royal Hobart Hospital is severely in question.

Shadow Minister for Human Services Rebecca White said today the Liberal State Government’s failure to investigate thousands of reports of child abuse in Tasmania over the past year was alarming

“The Minister should be ashamed of these figures and commit to remedying them immediately,” Ms White said.

Labor has revealed that 5200 reports of child abused in the southern region alone have not been investigated and blamed savage budget cuts.

“That’s an astounding 470 reports of child abuse each month or almost 120 a week that have not been investigated.

“The safety of Tasmanian children is seriously under threat.

Shadow Health Minister Rebecca White today called on the State Liberals to stop the blame game over health services and take responsibility for a blow out in elective surgery waiting lists since they came to office.

“An additional 1000 patients are on the waiting list at the Royal Hobart Hospital alone under the Liberals than was the case under Labor,” Ms White said.

“How is this dramatic increase possible when the Liberals promised to put million of dollars into elective surgery? Where has the money gone?

Another damning ‘Progress Report’ for the Liberal Government shows a massive 43.5 per cent blow out in Tasmania’s public housing waiting list.

“The Liberals failure in the provision of health and human services is spiraling out of control,” Shadow Human Services Minister Rebecca White said.

The Liberal Government should follow its own advice about respecting the independent umpire when it comes to paying paramedics.

In defence of Tasmania’s share of the GST, both Peter Gutwein and Will Hodgman have urged Western Australia and the Federal Government to observe the ruling of the Commonwealth Grants Commission.

Shadow Health Minister Rebecca White said the Liberals should apply the same logic to the Industrial Commission.

The latest Tasmanian health progress chart has revealed patients waiting for elective surgery at the Royal Hobart Hospital has increased by a massive 41.9 per cent.

“The Liberals promised to fix the elective surgery waiting list but now we are seeing proof that it’s getting dramatically worse,” Shadow Health Minister Rebecca White said.

“This clearly shows you cannot rip more than $210 million out of our health system without dire consequences.

“The reality is Michael Ferguson is expecting Tasmanian hospitals to do more and perform better with less.

Shadow Health Minister Rebecca White has thrown her support behind the national taskforce to combat the drug ice.

Ms White said it’s encouraging to see the issue being taken seriously at a national level.

“Unfortunately the Liberal Government here in Tasmania has tried to play down the impact of crystal methamphetamine on the community,” Ms White said.

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