BETTER ACCESS TO HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

  • People in Farrer should have the same health outcomes as those in the city
  • Currently they don’t.
  • I will fight for better access to health and mental health services for Farrer
  • Mental health services must address the needs of all age groups and all levels of care – early intervention, acute care and recovery.
  • There needs to be significant capital spent on Albury Wodonga Health and across other centres in Farrer. Albury has had more ED presentations and births, has a longer wait list, fewer beds and much less capital investment than Shepparton, Wagga, Ballarat and Bendigo. The operational budget is less than Ballarat and Bendigo
  • I will work with the Member for Murray, State and Federal Governments to deliver a much-needed new hospital for Griffith on the predetermined green field site
  • A rural loading on Medicare rebates would recognise the higher cost of providing medical services, costs often passed onto patients
  • The Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre is in high demand but it will fail if there isn’t enough money spent on its operations and a budget determined for maintenance

BETTER NBN/INTERNET AND MOBILE PHONE SERVICE COVERAGE

  • Access to fast, affordable internet and better mobile phone coverage is vital to everyone in Farrer
  • I will fight for better NBN access and more mobile phone towers.
  • There needs to be a review of the roll-out of NBN across rural and regional Australia
  • Farrer had 18 mobile phone towers in Rounds 1 to 4 of the Mobile Black Spot Program since 2013. Indi received 42 towers in the same program. There must be many more towers for Farrer under rounds 5 and 6 of the program.

NDIS – DISABILITY SERVICES

  • The roll-out of the NDIS has had many problems. This has affected the most vulnerable people in Farrer.
  • Clients are waiting too long to access services and equipment. Providers are not being paid enough and bills are not being settled quickly.
  • The way forward is:
    • Remove the cap for the number of clients under the NDIS to ensure all clients receive services they need
    • Ensure there are enough staff in the National Disability Insurance Authority
    • Pay service providers adequately
    • Ensure there are KPIs for the National Disability Insurance Authority that deliver quality plans for client

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Farrer must have a sustainable regional policy to grow our communities

  • Sustainable regional policy underpins other important areas including:
    • Addressing cross border issues
    • Growing employment through manufacturing and business growth
    • Support for small business to grow and increase employment
  • The $3.2 million for the Albury Wodonga Regional Deal is the first step for the region but more money will be needed to deliver the Two Cities One Community strategy and support a proposed regional population of more than 320,000
  • The Federal Government must deliver upon all the recommendations of the Regions at the Ready report including a white paper process to progress regional development planning

WATER MANAGEMENT AND SECURITY

When farmers are unable to grow crops and earn a living, there is no expenditure in our towns and cities. Businesses small and large are impacted when their own incomes decline.

  • Health services are also affected when communities experience growing mental health problems because of the pressure on farmers and their families
  • I support the farming community’s call to “Pause the Plan” and establish a Royal Commission that would review and revise the impact of the plan on the nation’s southern food bowl.
  • The Murray Darling Basin Plan is not working for the environment, for our national and state economies, our regional economies, farmers and plans to grow regional Australia
  • The provision of water is an incredibly important part, of what must be a wider strategy for a prosperous regional Australia
  • There needs to be an investigation into water quality in Griffith; the prevalence of blue-green algae and the increased incidence of motor-neurone disease

CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Our communities are sick of inaction on climate change
  • Our farming communities know climate changes is impacting upon their livelihoods
  • I will respect the science and fight for climate informed legislation
  • There is no national energy policy and as a result, major electricity providers have significantly increased their prices to the manufacturing sector, as well as to commercial and householder customers
  • There is expertise in our regional communities to grow the renewable energy industry and support self-sustainability and energy alternatives for manufacturers and agriculture and household customers
  • I do not support the Adani coal mine proposal

REGIONAL TRANSPORT

$235m has been committed to the North East Rail Line project thanks to the former Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, working with the Hume Corridor Group and the Border Rail Action Group.

  • I will continue to work with local stakeholder groups to confirm the timely delivery of this project to ensure an improved and sustainable passenger rail service between Albury and Melbourne
  • I will seek briefings on the roll-out of the inland rail project as it impacts on Farrer
  • I will seek briefings on the $8 million scoping study linked to the proposed fast rail project between Melbourne and Sydney

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic violence can affect all of us, directly or through someone we love

  • I will fight to address domestic violence and protect those in danger
  • The Federal government needs to take on board State programs
  • This is a 24/7 issue that must link to the views of community and public service stakeholders including emergency services, social services, welfare, housing and health services

EDUCATION AND HIGHER EDUCATION

  • Review of the National Higher Education Strategy and reporting back to the community
  • Working with tertiary education providers throughout Farrer to support their delivery of education opportunities and courses that align with training needs
  • Work with primary and secondary school providers throughout Farrer to support funding applications to Federal Government

AGED CARE

There are more than 120,000 people on the waiting list for home care packages. There is a wait of more than a year for these packages. This waiting list and the time, both need to be reduced substantially with substantial additional funding made available to this program

  • There must be support for those making submissions to the Aged Care Royal Commission, including the home care and nursing home clients and their families in the interim before the Royal Commission hands down its findings.

FAIR AND TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT

  • I support the creation of a National Integrity Commission in line with legislation tabled in the last Parliament.
  • It must have adequate funding to deal with political and public sector misconduct and corruption.
  • Its powers must include the ability to hold public hearings and publish the findings from those hearings.