With pride on Wednesday I presented to Parliament the Health Petition we have been circulating since last year, very pleased to reach the tally target of over 10,000 signatures required to formally trigger its referral to the Legislative Review Committee for investigation.
This was a momentous effort by our community to collectively register our dissatisfaction with the current state of the regional health system, and in a Grieve Address I delivered Wednesday afternoon I thanked the very many individuals, groups and businesses who assisted to collate, ultimately, a total of 10,752 signatures – an appropriate demonstration of the magnitude of concerns felt by constituents when it comes to local health care.
There is no more important issue in our electorate (or across rural SA) thus I have urged the Legislative Review Committee to now conduct a considered, forensic and thorough examination of the five specific requests petitioned and have additionally implored constituents to participate in the Inquiry process when these details are announced.
Quoting the Hansard from my speech (which you can view in full on this website via the Parliament tab), “One final plea to the constituents of Narungga: please contribute to this inquiry. We have made our voice heard with this petition and the benefit will truly be in making submissions highlighting our concerns. Now is our opportunity and I would urge each and every one of you to seize it with both hands and make our voice heard with specific examples of experiences people have had with the hospitals and with our healthcare system, good, bad or otherwise”.
Concerns about health services were compounded last week with the announcement of the temporary closure of Ardrossan Hospital’s Accident and Emergency unit. I raised this topic in the House of Assembly yesterday, have formally written to the Minister, and have a meeting with the YNLHN scheduled tomorrow to further discuss options.
It is imperative that health and acute hospital services remain in Ardrossan.
Other topics I raised in the chamber in the last two sitting weeks have included:
- seeking compensation for Port Vincent businesses impacted by the Education Department’s decision to ban school water activities due to perceived rising numbers of sharks;
- seeking an update on plans for the new $4.6m CFS/SES facility at Maitland; and
- re telecommunications, the impending 3G changeover and the new Telstra tower for Edithburgh.