A petition supported by over 20,000 residents (online and physical signature) of the Limestone Coast has now been tabled in the South Australian House of Assembly.
The petition calls on the South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Chris Picton, to commit the necessary funding to deliver radiation treatment services in the Limestone Coast, thereby utilising the Federal Government’s $4.3 million specifically allocated to the proposal by the Coalition Government in 2019.
Member for Barker, Tony Pasin MP, has been advocating to bring radiation treatment services to the Limestone Coast since $63 million had been allocated in the Federal Budget to improving radiation treatment access to regional Australia in 2019.
While Mr Pasin was successful in ensuring the Limestone Coast was one of 13 initial sites across Australia to be earmarked a share of the allocated funding, the State Government’s refusal to support the proposal saw plans stall following a tender process in 2020.
Mr Pasin said the petition was a sending a clear message to the Minister that this issue was a priority for the Limestone Coast community.
“The community support for the proposal has been overwhelming and the Working Party who have been so dedicated are to be commended. Not only does it tell me I was correct in advocating for radiation therapy back in 2018-19 but it makes very clear to the State Labor Government that they need to take this issue seriously,” Mr Pasin said.
“It’s bitterly disappointing that the State Government are so focused on continuing to reject a proposal from 2018 rather than looking for solutions moving forward. All we seem to be hearing from the Labor Government is excuses and blame shifting. The fact of the matter is that the Labor Government have the ability to make this happen in 2023.”
“I’m focused on bringing solutions to the table, including getting the Limestone Coast listed on the Radiation Oncology Health Program Grants Scheme priority list which would give access to an additional $3 million in Federal Funding. These are the practical actions that the State Government seem unwilling to consider,” Mr Pasin said.
“I want Minister Picton to stop kicking the can down the road and start delivering improved health outcomes for the people of the Limestone Coast. The Limestone Coast deserves better,” Mr Pasin said.
The petition will now trigger the Legislative Review Committee to investigate the matter and report back to both Houses. The responsible Minister in each House is then required to table a response and make a statement outlining what, if any, action is to be taken in relation to the petition.
Liberal upper house Member, Ben Hood MLC, said that this outcome is directly from the Labor playbook, which the Limestone Coast community are all too familiar with.
“Within 72 hours of becoming Premier, Peter Malinauskas made the trip to Mount Gambier, promising that his Government would not neglect the South East. Within 12 months, he has broken that promise and the hearts of more than 16,000 members of our community.”
“It is nothing less than a kick in the guts to the Limestone Coast.”
“I will continue to fight for radiotherapy in the region along with the State Liberal Opposition, Tony Pasin and the hardworking committee members. The Malinauskas Labor Government must stop neglecting the South East and commit to delivering this vital service,” Mr Hood said.
Media contact: Charlotte Edmunds 8724 7730