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Newman Government puts the lives of Queenslanders at risk

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THE HON CATHERINE KING MP Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing


12 September 2012

Newman Government Puts the Lives of Queenslanders at Risk

The Federal Labor Government today called on the Newman Government to reverse their staggering decision to gut the DonateLife network in Queensland.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King, slammed the Newman Government’s decision as reckless and putting the lives of Queenslanders at risk.

“Mr Newman needs to explain himself to the 230 Queenslanders waiting for a lifesaving transplant,” Ms King said.

Mr Newman needs to answer why he is happy to build his shiny new office tower, slash the jobs of those who provide direct support to Queensland families and their health and absorb their functions of the dedicated DonateLife team in Queensland Health.”

“Queenslanders have every right to feel deeply betrayed by the destructive budget brought down by Campbell Newman.”

It has been revealed today that the Newman Government will gut the DonateLife Network, absorbing staff into Queensland’s ever shrinking bureaucracy as part of their savage job cutting agenda.

The Australian Government committed to a $151 million four-year national reform agenda that the Newman Government is now trying to claw back to fund its own cuts.

“The national reform agenda is a COAG agreement that all governments signed on to. The Newman Government must explain why they have walked away from this agreement and are putting Queensland lives at risk.”

This decision will now see positions like the Queensland Donor Family Support Officer sucked into the state’s bureaucracy to be nothing more than a member of a ‘quality and governance team’.

The Queensland Donor Family Support Officer plays a vital role for grieving families across the state whose loved ones have been organ and tissue donors.

They support families of organ donors in what is always a traumatic time.

A number of Organ Donation Coordinators will also be absorbed into the ever shrinking Queensland bureaucracy with ‘undefined’ functions.

The DonateLife State Medical Director will be left swinging in the breeze with their entire team of staff slashed as part of Newman’s job cutting agenda. It’s unclear what function they will even be left to fulfill, and even less clear how they will improve Queensland’s organ donation rate.

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“What we have seen unfold in Queensland is yet again another example of what the rest of the country could expect under an Abbott Liberal Government.”

At 4 September 2012 there were 1563 Australians waiting for a transplant. The cuts across Queensland Health will affect frontline services and put lives at risk.

14,000 Queensland workers have been sacked by Campbell Newman, who specifically told them before the election that they had nothing to fear from him.

Today we have seen another example of the destructive budget by a cruel and destructive Liberal Party.

This Budget reveals savage cuts to across the board, including 4,140 jobs gone in health - even higher than the 2,700 jobs they admitted before the budget.

“I urge Campbell Newman to reconsider this dangerous decision,” Ms King said.

The Gillard Labor Government commits this money in good faith and the Newman Government has an obligation to Queenslanders to meets its commitment to the national reform agenda to lift organ and tissue donation rates.

For more information, please contact the Parliamentary Secretary's Office on (02) 6277 4230