Friday, August 13, 2010
There's more to New South Wales than Sydney
Ok, some background – I was born in a city in regional New South Wales, Australia and spent the first 20 odd years of my life in this community. My family had been part of this community for generations, I was educated there, worked there, met my husband there, have lifelong friendships there and I still feel a very close connection to this city and community. I have fought for this community, been proud of this community and most of all it will always be my hometown.
This city serves a much larger region. As the regional centre, people come for education, business, shopping and most importantly, medical services. With buildings from the 1920s and 1960s, the city’s public hospital is past its use by date. A new hospital is desperately needed yet the NSW State Labor Government doesn’t give a damn.
As a safe NSW Liberal seat, this community after years of successive Labor Governments has been totally ignored by leaders who see no importance in providing much needed funding for a new hospital. As I said I have watched and participated in this debate for what feels like years and it’s always been a source of frustration. Frustration that NSW Labor Governments have not taken responsibility for this issue, frustration that they want to pass the buck to the Federal Government and frustration that they don’t even care, or pretend to care.
People in regional and rural areas work hard and pay their taxes like all taxpayers yet are continually subjected to sub standard services and a complete lack of disregard because their vote doesn’t seem to count.
The NSW Labor Government has recently shown a complete disregard for another regional community. They have decided to close the local hospital now and build a medical centre. Sounds ok – except the time between closing the hospital and the opening of the new medical centre will be months, possibly a year. So in that period, locals will have to travel to the next town, which as a regional NSW health facility possibly has its own issues. And the Health Minister has the audacity to claim it’s a ‘win, win situation’ for all (Channel Nine News, 6pm, Sydney, 12 August 2010) Excuse me?
Check out this article about the issue and well done to the locals with their Save Gulgong Hospital website.
So I’ve vented my frustration at the complete lack of understanding and willingness of the NSW Labor Government and I do feel slightly better that I have had my say. But it brings me back to my central concern and frustration, why are we as taxpayers and citizens of this state forced to put up with sub standard health services and decisions made by people in government who either don’t have a clue or simply don’t care? Why should the people of this state have to fight so damn hard for basic services.
The other thing that makes mad about the inaction of this government is that the city where I grew up like many others in this country is a can do community. About 10 years ago, my home town was tired of having to send its residents off to Sydney and Melbourne for cancer treatment. For many the travel was isolating, expensive and so very hard for families forced to be apart while a family member underwent treatment. For others, the travel was too much and they were forced to forego treatment, resulting in death. So this community banded together and raised the millions required to establish its own cancer centre. They raised the money, obtained the necessary commitments from the Federal Government thanks to an incredibly hardworking and dedicated member of parliament and built a life saving facility.
So don’t think for a second these people don’t care or aren’t committed to their community. They are, but at a time when they need the understanding and commitment from a government, they are left on their own to fight this battle.
I’ll climb down off my soapbox now!
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