Wednesday, 30 March 2022
Budget: South West Aboriginal Medical Service
Like Senator Marielle Smith, I searched the budget papers last night to see what investment had been made in Aboriginal medical services; in particular, the South West Aboriginal Medical Service, known locally as SWAMS. It sits in the electorate of Forrest and its local member is a Liberal, Ms Marino. The South West Aboriginal Medical Service has been after a health hub for at least the last six years—the whole of which time the Morrison government has been in power—which is a much shorter time than Ms Marino has been the member for Forrest, and they have spoken to Ms Marino. So imagine how disappointed they will be to see that there is not one single cent in the budget for the South West Aboriginal Medical Service—not one cent. SWAMS are currently paying $600,000 a year in rent, in funded money, because they have grown so much. There's been a 20 per cent increase in the use of their services over the last three years. But they have been ignored by all of those WA Liberal senators, they have been ignored by their local federal member and they have been ignored by the WA based Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt.
But they haven't been ignored by Labor. We have committed $18.3 million to SWAMS if we win government, which will help them establish their new health hub. They will be looking at the budget today and will see that they got not one cent from you on that side—not one cent, in one of your own safe seats. You have completely ignored the South West Aboriginal Medical Service. Shame on you. Let's hope that Labor wins, and we can commit to that health hub to promote a service that's brilliant, that's well renowned in the area and that's had a 20 per cent increase in customers through the door. You have completely ignored it. (Time expired)