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Speech in Parliament: Ryde Medicare

M Deputy Speaker

I wish to inform the house of an exciting change to local Medicare services in my electorate of Bennelong.

Next month the Centrelink office in Ryde will be expanded to offer full Medicare shop-front services.

This one stop shop facility will allow Human Services clients to receive the full suite of Centrelink and Medicare services in the one convenient location.

This is a strong service increase for the people of Ryde, and continues the policy of the previous Federal Labor Government who completed 112 such co-locations.

The transition will occur as a result of the closure of the existing run-down facilities in Eastwood, which had not been renovated in almost a decade.

All staff will be retained and relocated to the Ryde office just a few kms away.

Since Medicare became cashless, and doctors now offer point-of-service claiming, there has been a significant drop in face-to-face claims.

This has caused a significant reduction in the need for stand-alone Medicare shop fronts.

This policy of co-location makes sense and I commend the previous Labor government for introducing it in 2009, and this government for continuing it.

It is therefore perplexing to see the Labor candidate for Ryde at the upcoming state election totally disregard his party’s stance on this issue, and attempt to score political points on a bipartisan matter.

This therefore begs the question: If a Labor candidate cannot even understand his own party’s policies, what hope is there for anyone else?



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