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New hearing centre in Townsville to help ageing population.

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Minister Ludwig’s Media Contact: Joe Scavo 0413 800 757 Australian Hearing Media Contact: Kate Dorrell 0448 759 858

MEDIA RELEASE Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig Minister for Human Services

Wednesday 29 October 2008

New hearing centre in Townsville to help ageing population

Minister for Human Services, Senator Joe Ludwig, has opened Australian Hearing’s new centre in Townsville, in response to the growing occurrence of hearing loss in Australia.

Senator Ludwig, joined locals at 2/24-28 Ross River Road, Mundingburra to officially open the centre today.

“The Rudd Government is preparing Australia for a stronger future, by investing in support and services for our ageing population,” Senator Ludwig said.

“More than 60 per cent of Australians aged over 60 are affected by hearing loss, and this jumps to 70 per cent of those over 70.”

“The modern, new facility in Townsville will help combat this growing problem by providing locals with better access to hearing services.”

Australian Hearing has been providing services to Townsville residents since 1968 and has moved to the new location to make it more convenient for its customers.

“The centre currently provides hearing services to more than 3,000 locals, including 340 children, and this number is expected to grow with the increasing prevalence of hearing loss,” Senator Ludwig said.

“While hearing loss is typically degenerative, exposure to loud noise over a long period of time can also cause significant damage to the ear drum.”

“It’s important that young people understand the importance of wearing ear protection when working with loud machinery and turning their iPods down to a safe level.”

“The Townsville centre provides free and subsidised hearing services to a variety of people, including aged pensioners, veterans and Australians aged under 21.”

“The new centre is clinically outfitted with the latest in digital hearing aid technology. I encourage residents to take advantage of the great technology available to help manage hearing loss.”

To book a hearing test with a trained professional call 131 797, or call toll-free 1800 826 500 for an over-the-phone assessment. More information about Australian Hearing services is available at