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17    Indigenous Australians—Eye Health

Senator Siewert, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 936—That the Senate—

    (a)   notes that:

                  (i)   85 per cent of all eye and vision conditions are preventable with regular eye checks, and

                 (ii)   the Medicare rebate for optometry consultations was reduced by 5 per cent from 1 January 2015;

    (b)   acknowledges that:

                  (i)   Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are disproportionately affected by the cuts due to the combination of geographical and social disadvantages, and

                 (ii)   small investments in preventative, first-line eye health will reduce the cost of vision loss to the Australian economy and improve the quality of life of Australia’s most vulnerable; and

     (c)   urges the Government to:

                  (i)   review the impacts of cuts on services to eye health in Aboriginal communities, and

                 (ii)   take measures to address the effect of the cuts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Statements by leave : The Minister for Communications (Senator Fifield) and Senator Siewert, by leave, made statements relating to the motion.

Question put and passed.