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Collapse Issue 414 - 06 Mar 2017Issue 414 - 06 Mar 2017
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Fast ferry service proposal presented to Premier
Centenarians celebrate birthdays
Gosford by-election to be held on April 8
'Beautiful opportunity' for Liesl Tesch
Woy Woy channel 'worse than halftide rocks'
Memorial erected to lone dolphin
Petrol prices skyrocket to 13 cents more than Gosford
Power interrupted with thunderstorms
Association writes to Premier about jetskis
Council to spend $1 million on Peninsula
Vietnam Vets plan to expand its Ettalong office
Film proceeds donated to Mary Mac's
Senator congratulates Tesch as Labor candidate
Labor candidate selection 'undemocratic', says Crouch
Chamber calls for Liberals to select local candidate
Environment network seeks volunteers
Residents' group opposes home park expansion
Talk about kayak journey inspired by Killcare resident
A week of activities for seniors
Community fair at Hardys Bay
President's position not filled
New set down and pick up area
Attorney-General asked about court closure
Chamber welcomes penalty rate cuts
Pedestrian injured in motorcycle accident
Umina man to face court
Council holds developers' forum
Rotary club recognised at Parliament House
New restaurant opens
Business decision pays off
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
Elections must go ahead
Action needed on fuel price fixing
Less opportunity with penalty rate cuts
Rail crossing missing link needs funding
Back to square one
Party heavyweights won't change vote
Don't re-elect Gosford councillors
Traffic blind spots need correction
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
Sod turned for hospital redevelopment
Wicks speaks about Peninsula GP shortage
GP 'emergency' a political stunt, says O'Neill
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Williamson play at Little Theatre
George Mann to perform at folk club
Umina singer cast in opera
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
School writes to the Council
Kaelan is ACT judo champion
Attention to helmets at Umina
Three students set 10 records
Principal describes school's targets
New sports attire
Push bike donated as prize
Reading Buddies program runs in libraries
Goalball team to be selected
Performing arts groups formed
Softball session at Pretty Beach
School holds swimming carnival
Writers' workshops at lunch time
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
Surf clubs each receive almost $10,000
Umina launches new surf boat
Heat interrupts pairs championship
Ocean Beach returns from carnival
Roosters have first hit-out
Charity bowls attracts 50 players
Ettalong dominates Triples finals

GP 'emergency' a political stunt, says O'Neill

Senator Deborah O'Neill has labelled the declaration of a GP emergency on the Peninsula a "desperate political stunt to sweeten a bitter pill".

Senator O'Neill said the focus of the Federal Member for Robertson, Ms Lucy Wicks, on the shortage of GPs on the Peninsula was to "distract attention from the disaster she and her colleagues have inflicted on the community in the past four years".

"The acute shortage of doctors on the Peninsula and the threat to the health of its people is a crisis of Lucy Wicks and the Liberals making," Senator O'Neill said.

"By Ms Wicks' own admission in her speech to Parliament, the Coalition made the issue part of its Growth Plan for the Central Coast in the lead-up to the 2013 election.

"Lucy Wicks and two Health Ministers have had the chance since 2013 to give the people of the Peninsula the health care they require and done nothing.

"Now she has suddenly decided it's an emergency.

"Essentially, Lucy Wicks has sat on her hands, let a problem become a crisis, then turned the horse around to claim to be the shiny white knight.

"In fact, she is being faced with the terrible impact of her own government health policies."

Senator O'Neill said this would be Ms Wicks' second attempt to fix her mess, with the community's health at stake, with a second health minister.

"Ms Wicks failed last year to persuade the former Minister, Sussan Ley, that there was an acute shortage of doctors on the Peninsula, and that the sick and frail were being turned away from surgeries there.

"On that occasion, Ms Wicks' approaches were rejected by Minister Ley who bluntly stated in a letter dated November 23 last year: 'Woy Woy and the Peninsula are not considered to be districts of workforce shortage'."

Senator O'Neill said this was despite concerned local medical providers, back in early September, making urgent representations to Ms Wicks and the Turnbull Government warning of the shortage of doctors on the Peninsula was nearing critical levels.

"Six months later, that critical level has now been breached," Senator O'Neill said.

"Leaving Ms Wicks' negotiating abilities with her Liberal colleagues aside, what is really at stake here is that the problems on the Peninsula are just a localised symptom of the Liberals' concerted attack on Medicare and the health system, in general.

"The Liberals' freezes, cutbacks and confusion are a key part of what has caused this crisis on the Peninsula.

"It is shameful she has now embarked on a cynical campaign to promote herself as 'the fixer' to the very problem she and the Liberal Government have created.

"She must think the community is stupid.

"The people of the Peninsula know that on Lucy Wicks' watch they're paying more out-of-pocket health costs than ever and their health is being compromised by her Government's failures."

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