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Tuesday, 30 August 1994
Page: 571


Senator WEST —by leave—I present to the Senate the following petition, from 1,037 petitioners, which is not in conformity with the standing orders as it is not in the correct form:

To the Minister for Health

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

To whom it may concern

Forbes is presently without a Medicare Office and we contend that this state of affairs represents an unfair hardship and inconvenience to the 12 000 plus citizens who depend on the township.

Forbes is enduring a difficult economic downturn due to devastating floods in l990, a prolonged rural crisis and the current nation wide recession.

Many Forbes people are already suffering financial hardship and to obtain reimbursement for doctors fees etc must make a round trip of about 70kms to the nearest Medicare Office at Parkes or wait for postal reimbursement. Many of the most disadvantaged do not have their own transport and there is no public transport to Parkes.

We the undersigned respectfully request your urgent consideration of our need for and our right to this basic service.

  Senator WEST (New South Wales)—by leave—I present to the Senate the following petition, from 273 citizens, which is not in conformity with the standing orders as it is not in the correct form:

Attention: Senator Graham Richardson, Federal Member for Health.

We are very concerned at the lack of Medicare Office in Forbes.

Forbes is a Country based town with a Shire Population of approximately 10 500. We believe many towns similar in size to Forbes already have a Medicare Office or Agency, WHY NOT FORBES?

Some residents presently have to travel up to 100kms return, or more in order to reach the nearest Medicare Office. It is very difficult for those without transportation as unlike city dwellers there is no public transport system.

This is an essential service which Forbes urgently needs and we request that you arrange for the establishment of same on an urgent basis.

We understand that the Government has a policy of decentralising their departments and feel it is time they located a Medicare Office in Forbes.

  Senator WEST (New South Wales)—by leave—I present to the Senate the following petition, from 876 citizens, which is not in conformity with the standing orders as it is not in the correct form:

To: Senator Richardson

Minister for Health

Parliament House

CANBERRA ACT 2600

We the undersigned members of the Australian Workers Union and others fully support the application by the Forbes Community for the opening of a Medicare Office/Agency in Forbes. This will greatly reduce the expense and inconvenience we now experience of having to deal with the office at Parkes which is over 30 kms away.