Monday, 14 July 2014
I am sure members have been contacted by their constituents about the proposal to sell off Australian Hearing, and the scoping study that is currently being undertaken. I have been contacted by many constituents in my electorate.
I want to share with the House the story of a mother of twin boys who came to see me on Friday, 4 July 2014. Angela Lamb has two boys, Kai and Ryan, and they were born at 28 weeks. Ryan has a very, very significant hearing loss. Angela told me it was all a blur at the start. There were numerous tests that had to be undertaken. The costs of hearing aids, FMs and batteries were all covered for her by Australian Hearing. Angela also had access to early intervention services. Those early intervention services were coordinated through Australian Hearing and have made an enormous impact on Ryan's life. He has been able to attend a mainstream daycare centre, and he will be attending a mainstream school next year. He has been exposed to so many different things because of the way his hearing loss has been handled by Australian Hearing. Ryan's mum works two days a week at Lake Macquarie City Council. Angela has received the best available support for Ryan and that has helped not only to reduce the impact of his hearing loss but also to ensure that he has a very significant bond with his brother.
Angela is very concerned about the potential sale of Australian Hearing that was outlined in the 2014 budget. She thinks it will have a profound affect on the lives of young Australians and she does not want to see a system that has worked so well for her and her son, Ryan, change: a system that has allowed him to be in a position where he will attend mainstream school next year. Australian Hearing is vitally important to Angela and to other parents with children that suffer hearing loss.
I have also been contacted by a number of senior Australians who have used the services of Australian Hearing. They speak so highly of it and they rely on it to ensure that they get access to the quality hearing services that they need to maintain a good level of hearing. (Time expired)