HEALTH CUTS TO HOSPITALS
THE COALITION HAS CUT $57 BILLION FROM LOCAL HOSPITALS FUNDING SINCE THEY WERE ELECTED IN 2013
THE PROJECTED IMPACTS OF THE CUTS TO COWPER HOSPITALS is a total of $ 521.6 million.
Coffs Harbour Health Campus (Base Hospital)
$222.5 mil; equivalent to 139 doctors or 248 nurses or 134 beds
Dorrigo Multi-Purpose Service
$23.7 mil; equivalent to 14 beds
Bellinger River District Hospital
$26.6 mil; equivalent to 16 beds or 30 nurses
Macksville District Hospital
$40.5 mil; equivalent to 24 beds
Kempsey District Hospital
$59.7 mil; equivalent to 36 beds or 67 nurses or 37 doctors
Port Macquarie Base Hospital
$148.6 mil; equivalent to 93 doctors or 166 nurses or 89 doctors
A BACKDOWN ON SPORT AND REC CAMPS A GOOD WIN FOR COMMUNITY ACTION
The Hon Lynda Voltz, Shadow Minister for Sport and Veteran Affairs
For over seventy years, Sport and Recreation Camps across New South Wales have been the place many children have spent their first night away from mum and dad gaining their first taste of the great outdoors and learning new sports. Sport and Recreation Camps have been an integral part of growing up in New South Wales, and, in an age where the figures of those who are overweight or obese are projected to hit 70 percent of the population, form part of the front line fight for healthy and active lifestyles. Last year over 180,000 children, young people, people with disabilities and families attended Sport and Recreation Camps. Children all over NSW benefit from their programs, which assist the development of life-skills and the obtaining of learning experiences that they may not otherwise be able to acquire and access.
Last financial year the net cost for running Sport and Recreation camps was just $2.7 million, which works out as a subsidy of $15 just per person who attends a camp. Compare this amount to the $220 million the Baird Government spent buying out the lease for the Sydney Olympic Park Stadium and the cost benefits are obvious! This upcoming financial year the net costs are expected to drop even further.
Given the low cost of the eleven Sport and Recreation Camps around New South Wales it therefore came as a surprise when reports began to emerge of plans by the NSW Coalition Government to privatise these assets. Whilst initially only eight camps were on the chopping block the Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres, confirmed in the Legislative Council Budget Estimates that he was looking to pursue "market options" for all eleven camps. This would place all of our camps in the hands of private operators that included church groups and holiday accommodation organisations. Not only would this seem inappropriate for school camps but privatisation would also create a two tier system of Sport and Recreation Camps.
Whilst some Sport and Recreation camps make a profit, such as Myuna Bay, Lake Ainsworth and Narrabeen, others do not. Those that would struggle without being part of an integrated camp network include Lake Keepit, Lake Burrendong, Berry and Jindabyne, due to their location or seasonal nature. These camps which do not make a profit, however, are vitally important to local communities, particularly in regional areas. Their current programme is based on the cross subsidy of all eleven camps across the state ensuring all children and communities have access to sport and recreation camps. Lake Burrendong for example, not only provides camps for schools in Orange, Dubbo and Wellington but for towns as far away as Broken Hill and Cobar. It is obvious that the first camps to fail would be those in less populated communities away from the coast.
Once the community became aware of the proposals to privatise Sport and Recreation Camps by the NSW Coalition Government a grassroots campaign was organised. You may have had the opportunity to sign one of the many petitions that were circulated which attracted over 20,000 signatures. Faced with community opposition and a huge loss in the Orange bye-election, the Coalition Government was forced to back down on their privatisation plans and the eleven Sport and Recreation Camps will now stay in public hands under the control of the NSW Office of Sport. The back down is an important reminder of how effective community action can be in protecting our public assets.
NEWS - CUTS TO HOSPITALS