I feel honoured and humbled by last month’s State election result which has secured me re-election as the Member for Narungga. My sincere thanks to all who supported and placed confidence in me to continue as your representative in State Parliament; it is a privilege I will never take for granted.
The first sitting week in the new Parliament commences on 3 May.
The renewed focus on regional health throughout the election campaign was encouraging and for me making inroads into the issue of medical workforce shortages will continue to be a high priority, as well as seeking upgrades of our hospitals.
Urgently required is a commitment from the new Labor Government to allocate crucial funding for Ardrossan Community Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Unit, and I have already been in contact with Minister Picton on this issue. The quarterly payments from State Government that this hospital has been receiving from the previous Liberal Government ($720,000 over four years) is essential to offset the cost of running the A & E unit, providing associated specialist medical staff and equipment and the cost of retrieval, care, and transfer of uninsured emergency patients. These public services can’t continue without such assistance.
I have advocated with Minister Picton for the same commitment to be made to Ardrossan Community Hospital as has been pledged for the community-run Keith Hospital given it plays the same vital role in our community as Keith Hospital does in the south-east.
Other issues since the election include the ongoing shortage of rental properties as house sales soar across the region in an unprecedented period of demand far outstripping property supply; the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic placing pressures on our health services and schools; and advocacy for our much loved historically significant Moonta Mines Uniting Church located within the National Heritage listed Moonta Mines Cornish Mining site that has been placed for sale by the Uniting Church Australia Property Trust SA. Re the latter, I commend those who participated in a circulated petition; I await further advice from both the Federal and State Ministers for Environment who have jurisdiction with heritage matters.
In grants news, I advise the Department of Human Services has opened a new round of Grants SA Minor Round funding for community organisations, with the aim of improving community participation, well-being, and quality of life. Single grants of up to $10,000 are available for such things as improving an area of service or a facility; purchasing equipment, supplies or infrastructure; and community enhancement activities and initiatives. The round is open until 12 May; visit my website for more info or contact the Grants SA team – phone 1300 650 985 or email [email protected].
Councils and RSL sub-branches can also apply for funding to support the delivery of Covid-safe Anzac Day commemorations. Grants of up to $10,000 will be retrospectively provided to RSL sub-branches, or councils where sub-branches no longer operate, for expenses associated with meeting COVID-safe requirements (hiring marshals, road closure, ticketing, seating, marquees). Organisations must submit receipts/paid invoices to the RSL SA State branch by Friday, 13 May.