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Thursday, 12 November 2015
Page: 8434


Senator SIEWERT (Western AustraliaAustralian Greens Whip) (12:24): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(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:

(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.