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Thursday, 21 August 2003
Page: 19255

Mr ZAHRA (9:40 AM) —I want to take the opportunity today to mention in the House the excellent work that the Greenhills Aged Care Centre does in Loch in what will be the new electorate of McMillan. I met with the centre's committee and some of its staff last Friday, the 15th of this month, and talked to them about the service they provide and the importance of that centre to the local community. I was very impressed by the commitment of the local committee of management, headed very ably by Ms Jennie Deane. I also met with Trish McCraw from the fundraising committee and Fay Beverley, who is the vice-president of the committee of management.

Greenhills is a little aged care centre with about 20 beds. It provides that service to people not just from Loch but from the entire district. It also runs a community centre, which was recently established with the support of the state government. Greenhills staff are a very committed and wonderful group of people who are very dedicated to the community that they serve. The committee raised with me their concerns over the inadequacy of the funding increase to aged care that has been provided by the federal government. They are very concerned, indeed, that the pitiful one per cent increase that the Howard government have granted to aged care centres will not cover the increases in costs associated with running an aged care centre. They are very worried about what this means for the future viability of aged care in the Lochend district. I said to people there that I could not imagine Lochend district without Greenhills aged care. This is how people in that district feel. We could not imagine not having the Greenhills Aged Care Centre and the community centre that they have now successfully established.

I say to the Howard government today: if you do not listen to me about aged care and the inadequacy of the aged care funding increase that you have provided to people who are running these types of services, listen to people like Jennie Deane, Trish McCraw and Fay Beverley from Greenhills aged care in Loch—ordinary people from their community doing an excellent job, trying to make sure that they continue to provide an important service to people in their local districts. If it was good enough for the federal government to vary their policy in relation to fuel indexation—to recognise that they made a blue, a mistake, and then to change it to try to remedy that mistake—it should be good enough for the federal government to acknowledge that they have made a mistake in relation to the inadequacy of the one per cent increase they have allocated to aged care funding and to fund aged care at an appropriate level so that important services like Greenhills can continue to do their important work in our community. (Time expired)