Labour is promising to improve the Department of Human Services (DHS) support for locals on Bribie Island.
Thanks to passionate petitioning by local resident Val Harding it has come to local member for Longman, Susan Lamb MP’s attention how much the island needs access to localised services.
“Val is one of those people that live in the community here who approached me and said you know what’s really important to this community is services. And we talked about everything from health care to schools but one thing that did come up was the accessibility of having a Department of Human Services being accessible on the island. Whether we’re talking about Medicare or aged pensions or disability pensions or even somebody who’s just had a brand new baby and they will need to think about childcare in the future, all of those need to be dealt with through the department of human services.” Said Susan Lamb MP
On Friday 26th April Susan Lamb MP along with Ed Husic MP; Shadow Minister for the Department of Human Services, Shadow Minister for the Digital Economy, and Member for Chifley, made an announcement as to what Labour plans to do about this.
“Val started the campaign, Susan told me about the campaign. I’m responding to the campaign for better services here and what I’ve agreed to based on what Susan had said the community wants is that we will have a mobile outreach unit made up of five people that will make access to Centrelink and Medicare easier on Bribie Island and at Woodford, that is off the basis or off the back of a commitment that Federal Labour made last year that we would provide 50 additional staff to Centrelink in Caboolture so within that 50, five would be dedicated to what we call a mobile outreach service. We’ll work with the community to make sure that the service meets the way that the community would prefer to access that assistance but this is part of our broader plan to invest in better jobs and service in DHS through Centrelink and Medicare” Ed Husic MP said.
Expanding on what Ed Husic had to say Susan Lamb added “under a Shorten Labor government what people can be confident of here on the island is you will get an investment in the services that you need for your life and your livelihood; so an urgent care clinic, a 17 million dollar urgent care clinic, over a million dollars over three years to Bribie Island High, access to early childhood education for every three and four year old permanently. This is about investing in the services that people need here when you live in an island community. It’s a very stark contrast to what we’re seeing with the current government.”
Val Harding was excited to hear the announcement. After having spent three days on the phone for two hours at a time trying to simply have a detail changed with Centrelink she realised something had to change.
“I thought to myself over that period of time, I thought right it’s not good enough. And I sat there and spoke to a couple of my friends at the time and I said to them we got to do something about them.” Val explained what prompted her to start her petition.
In the lead up to the Federal Election on Saturday 18th May, when the nation goes to the polls, we will no doubt be hearing election promises from other parties. For those of us who live on Bribie Island easier access to the Department of Human Services will be a most welcome result.