I am pleased to be able to provide readers with a brief update on the Turnbull Government’s proposed changes to the Medicare safety nets.  The Government has announced it will not be proceeding with them at this point.

This is a win for patients and a decision Labor welcomes.

We know from all the evidence that was provided at the Senate inquiry into this Bill that it would have seen thousands of patients much worse off: especially those needing access to assisted reproductive technology services, people who are undergoing radiation oncology treatment, and a number of patients requiring ongoing access to psychiatrists.  The College of GPs amongst others also said the proposed changes would see patients with chronic illness facing increased out-of-pocket costs, and we know that would have only acted as a deterrent to many patients seeking the care they need.

Labor has all along said that the Medicare safety nets could be simplified to make them less complicated for patients, as well as reviewed to ensure that patients who most needed access to them have it.  Labor consistently said that the proposed changes would leave far too many patients much worse off, and the government never provided the evidence that this would not be the case.  So its decision to abandon these changes is vindication of this. 

This week I’ll attend a number of end of year school presentations. It is always a pleasure to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of our local students and to congratulate them on their efforts.

Of course, students can’t achieve without good teaching staff and a strong school community and we are certainly blessed with plenty of both.

My very best wishes to all those who now embark on their final one or two years of schooling and all those who have chosen to enter the workforce or some other form of training.  Remember, you don’t have to be the best to achieve, few are.  Most of the time, simply your best will do.


I am always keen to assist with issues or questions relating to Federal Government departments or put you in contact with someone who can, so please ring, write, visit the website or call in.

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To contact the office, phone 1300 301 753, visit or by post 3 Edward Street, (PO Box 526) Cessnock, 2325.



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