House debates

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Constituency Statements

South Australian Government

4:06 pm

Photo of Tony ZappiaTony Zappia (Makin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Medicare) Share this | | Hansard source

The South Australian Marshall Liberal government has turned its back on the people of Makin. Since being elected, the Marshall government has announced the closure of the Tea Tree Gully TAFE campus, cancelled the Tea Tree Plaza park and ride expansion, axed bus routes in the area, privatised patient transfers from Modbury Hospital, and is wanting to close the very busy and needed Modbury Service Centre, which provides a range of state government services, including motor vehicle registration, licensing, and payment of most South Australian government department accounts. None of these closures or cancellations were announced prior to the state election, but were decisions made with no community consultation immediately on the Marshall government winning government. Not all transactions can be done online, as some would claim, and nor do all people have access to computers.

Yesterday, it was revealed that the South Australian government will pay KordaMentha $18.9 million to cut $276 million of funding from the Central Adelaide Local Health Network. South Australia's public hospitals are all connected and dependent on each other, so the $276 million in cuts will not only have a direct impact on health services across Adelaide, but very likely would directly impact on Modbury Hospital, which serves the north-east and northern suburbs of Adelaide, which I represent. Health services at Adelaide's public hospitals, including at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and at Modbury Hospital, are under extreme pressure, with ambulance ramping at a crisis point, waiting times at emergency departments putting patients at risk, and elective surgery waiting times getting longer. Of course, health services should be delivered efficiently, and that's the responsibility of the minister and his department. However, my expectation is that the $276 million in health funding cuts will result in cuts to public health services, which in turn will push people into private health cover, or, if they already have private health cover, into a higher premium policy, or even worse, to choose not to seek health care when they need it most.

The combined effects of all the cuts or closures that are proposed in the region that I represent will profoundly impact on the lives of local people each and every day. The services are there because they are needed. They were put in place by previous governments when it was clear that they were needed. I'm therefore not at all surprised by the widespread level of disappointment and anger about the South Australian government's proposal to cut or close all of these services. I call on the Marshall government to reconsider its decision, consider the impact its decision will have on people in the area—particularly the elderly—and reverse its heartless decision to close all of the services that it proposes to close in the electorate of Makin.