Federalism is serving Labor well

24/05/2018 Posted by admin

DON’T you just love Kevin Rudd’s “historic new era of co-operative federalism”? When the Prime Minister met all Labor premiers and territory ministers in December 2007 – just after Mr Rudd won government – they agreed on an overhaul of the Council of Australian Governments. They’d work together to reform key areas, including health and infrastructure. Since then we’ve faced up to the impact of the global financial crisis and Mr Rudd has splashed money around in those areas to help stimulate the economy. The Tasmanian Government has been able to pad out its budget with that Commonwealth funding. The two papers would be very slim without it, comprising four consecutive years of deficit, cuts to departments and grim warnings about job losses. Treasurer Michael Aird’s federal Labor friends aren’t going to complain about the state using the funding to its own benefit. After all, why shouldn’t everyone share the good news in tough times? Now that’s co-operative federalism. Satellite renal unit The Launceston General Hospital is straddling different community interests that each have merit when it comes to the establishment of a satellite renal dialysis unit at the Kings Meadows Community Health Centre. It’s a testing issue for chief executive John Kirwan because it highlights two significant components of the Health Department’s Future Health Plan. The community health groups and the dialysis users are unfortunately now competing for space. Both are worthy of Health Department dollars. Mr Kirwan has guaranteed that no group will be disadvantaged if satellite dialysis is housed within the Kings Meadows Community Health Centre. He has hinted at marginal rescheduling of some community activities. The delivery of both services at Kings Meadows appears to be the best solution. Let’s hope that a sensible path can be found, leading to appropriate and responsive services away from the hospital setting. – FIONA REYNOLDS, editor
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