In State Parliament, Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett challenged the Palaszczuk Labor Government over their decision to stop funding the Indigenous Diabetes Eyes and Screening (IDEAS) Van.
During Question Time today, Mr Bennett asked the Premier:
Given the importance of closing the gap on indigenous disadvantage, can the Premier advise on the State Government cuts to funding to the indigenous diabetes eyes and screening (IDEAS) service, which delivers vital mobile diabetes screening services for Indigenous communities across the state?
Mr Bennett said he was appalled by the Premier’s complete lack of empathy for the people living in regional Queensland who relied on the service.
“The Premier didn’t even have the decency of answering the question. Instead the Premier elected to play politics and play the blame game,” he said.
“All today proved was that she had absolutely no idea about the issue or her government’s actions which contributed to the demise of this critical service.
“How disrespectful! Our regional communities deserve a lot better from the Premier of this state.”
Mr Bennett expressed disappointment that he was unable to challenge the Health Minister on the issue.
“I feel a bit ripped off on behalf of our regional Indigenous communities that I was unable to challenge the Minister responsible after the Health Minister was kicked out of Parliament,” he said.
“The Health Minister has been so arrogantly dismissive of the plight of indigenous Queensland, but because he was kicked out of Parliament it was left to the Premier to continue the arrogant and dismissive attitude on his behalf.”
The Premier offered to respond to Mr Bennett in due course.
“I will eagerly await the response after the Premier actually understands the issue at hand, but I suspect the response will be nothing more than a typical fob off,” he said.
Tuesday, 6 March 2018