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Labor's broken promise to Defence families.



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The Hon Bob Baldwin MP

Shadow Minister for Defence Science, Personnel and Assisting Shadow Minister for Defence

17 October 2008

LABOR’S BROKEN PROMISE TO DEFENCE FAMILIES

Labor has failed to deliver a key election promise on health services with another slap in the face for Defence families, Shadow Minister for Defence Science, Personnel and Assisting Shadow Minister for Defence Bob Baldwin said today.

“Before the election Defence families were promised a $33.1 million investment for the establishment of 12 Defence Family Health Care Clinics to provide free health care for ADF dependent spouses and children but May’s Federal Budget revealed this was a promise Labor never intended to keep,” said Mr Baldwin.

“Instead of these 12 clinics which came with a carrot of more if they were successful, the Budget revealed there would be no clinics, no extra doctors, no extra nurses, no extra dentists. Only $12.2 million to be spent over four years to trial the provision of basic medical and dental services - and only in five locations.

“Now Minister Snowdon has confirmed today these trials will be morphed into the GP Clinics placing further burden on rural and regional Australia where there is already a workforce shortage.

“It shows just how out of touch Mr Snowden is when most ADF families do not have their own Family GP when they are on a two year posting cycle.

“The Government has abandoned Defence families by not delivering on promised infrastructure. I call on them to use the promised funding to give every ADF family member, regardless of their posting, a $300 voucher for dental services and the gap payment for GP visits immediately, rather than go through yet another wasting trial.

“I have listened to Defence families and they are sick of being used as political pawns in the Government’s constant back flips in relation to these important health issues.”

Media enquiries: Bob Baldwin - 0419 694 620

Electorate: PO Box 156 Raymond Terrace NSW 2324, 35 Sturgeon Street Raymond Terrace. Phone (02) 4983 1330 Canberra: Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Phone (02) 6277 4200

Email: bob.baldwin.mp@aph.gov.au