Rebecca White MP | Labor Member for Lyons
This year Anti-Poverty Week (12-18th October) gives us all a good opportunity to pause and reflect on those around the world and in Tasmania living on or below the poverty line. For us to tackle poverty we need to better understand the causes and consequences of hardship.
The Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment was put on hold by the Minister for Health, Michael Ferguson, when he came to Government. He established a taskforce to provide advice to Government and indicated that it could take up to six months and $1 million before he would be able to decide how to proceed with the project.
Right to Information documents obtained by Labor show that in the period March to June 2014, $1.3 million has been paid by the Liberal Government to contractors with no work actually being done.
The State Parliamentary Labor Party has made a submission to the Federal Government’s welfare review. We would like to thank those who gave their time to provide input into the submission and share stories of how these proposed changes will impact them. You can read the full submission here.
In the past few years there have been a number of studies and clinical trials around the world which have examined the efficiency of the medicinal use of cannabis to treat a number of medical conditions. The results of these have shown that cannabinoids can reduce the effects of pain caused by abnormalities of the nervous system and pain experienced by patients with multiple sclerosis. Cannabanoids also reduce the nausea and vomiting experienced by cancer patients where patients fail to respond to standard treatment. The evidence is clear, medicinal cannabis could assist many Tasmanians suffering from terminal and debilitating illnesses by easing pain and associated effects of treatment. With the appropriate safeguards in place it’s time to show compassion and permit a clinical trial of medicinal cannabis production, processing and administration in Tasmania.
No one should have to choose between paying for electricity, water or healthcare. However, that’s the choice that might be faced by some pensioners and concession cardholders as a result of the state and federal Liberal governments.
Up until now the federal government has provided states with money to supply certain concessions for pensioners and Seniors Card holders. The Federal government announced in the 2014 Federal Budget that these concessions for local government rates including land, water and sewerage; energy; motor vehicle registration and public transport concessions would be scrapped. The prospect that pensioners will lose these concessions is real.
The Southern Beaches community will lose its Sunday bus service on June 2 after the new Liberal Government chose to withdraw a subsidy.
Labor Member for Lyons, Rebecca White, criticised the decision and called on the Government to reinstate the subsidy so the bus service can continue.
“For a community the size of ours it seems extraordinary that there is no regular Sunday bus service to and from the city,” Ms White said.
“The previous Labor Government funded public transport services to help them provide additional trips and give people more opportunities to use affordable transport.”
One of the first acts of the new Liberal Government has been to withdraw the subsidy and leave people in Sorell, Dodges Ferry and Midway Point without a Sunday bus service.
Shadow Health Minister Rebecca White today questioned the Liberals’ commitment to elective surgery.
The Liberals today tabled their supplementary appropriation bills in Parliament but have no answers for how much of the more than $1.4 billion will go towards their $76 million elective surgery promise.
“Under scrutiny in Question Time, Health Minister Michael Ferguson refused to detail if even one cent of that money would go towards elective surgery,” Ms White said.
The week of May 11th was national Schizophrenia Awareness Week. Schizophrenia is one of the most stigmatised conditions in Australia and a much more common illness than many might think. There are around 230,000 Australians that have schizophrenia and millions of Australians are impacted by the condition. 60 per cent of people with schizophrenia experience negative and offensive attitudes from others towards them which I find very concerning.