Posted by Jim McDonald on March 19, 2012
Catch up with Noosa Greens Candidate Jim McDonald and read what he says on various election topics.
Jim has covered a wide range of issues during the election. They include:
- My 30 second pitch to Mary-Lou Stevens “In the elevator” on ABC Coast FM:
Noosa voters should vote for me because I am an experienced advocate with vision.
I’ll introduce a Private Members Bill for a plebiscite so that Noosa residents can decide on de-amalgamation.
I want a prosperous Noosa that is prepared for the new economy and for climate change, with regional food security, a Coast served by light rail and connecting to fast trains, a region with its own renewable energy sources, and jobs in clean industries.
I’ll push to get the Noosa GPs After Hours Service put back in the hospital to take pressure off emergency services.
I’ll oppose any exploitation of the coal reserves under the Coast.
And I don’t owe vested interests any favours It will be the people I owe.
Jim has been activiely campaigning to get some decent representation of Noosa into the parliament. More information available on the following sites:
Posted by Steve on September 6, 2011
Evidence is continuing to mount against the Government’s flawed approach to legislation which alters disability support pension eligibility rules.
Australian Greens disabilities spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert today described the Government’s consultation process around the legislation had been woefully inadequate.
“The evidence presented to today’s Senate Committee hearing into the changes to the Disability Support Pension Impairment Tables makes it clear that the Government’s consultation and trial process was fundamentally flawed,” Senator Siewert said.
“I was astounded to hear that some of these impairment tables have been tested on just two people – despite the fact the Government plans to introduce the changes nationally at the beginning of next year.
“This is a piece of legislation which will see as many as many as 40% of new disability support payment (DSP) applicants placed on the lower Newstart Allowance payment, compounding existing financial hardship without taking any meaningful steps towards improving employment outcomes.
“While the Government continues with plans to move people off the DSP and on to Newstart, not enough is being done to remove the existing barriers to securing long term employment opportunities.
“It emerged during today’s hearing that only 16% of disability support pension recipients find sustainable employment through job service providers. This is a clear sign of the challenges faced by jobseekers and employers.
“These changes are being made under the guise of helping people transition to the workforce, but in reality people are being moved to a lower payment as a cost saving measure and 84% of them will stay there for the foreseeable future.
“I have no doubt that as a result of this legislation many people moved to Newstart will experiencing financial hardship.
“In November last year, the Organisation for Economic Co‐operation and Development stated that the rate of Newstart Allowance had fallen below the poverty line.
“This is effectively punishing people for being disabled, rather than offering them assistance to find an appropriate job and improve their personal circumstances.
“We must examine effective mechanisms to adequately support people in finding secure, long term employment. Not simply penalising them, as this legislation does,” Senator Siewert concluded.
Posted by Steve on August 10, 2011
The Australian Greens have welcomed the announcement of the Government’s first steps to establish a National Disability Insurance Scheme but plans must be backed up by a sustainable funding commitment.
“We agree with the Productivity Commission that funding for disability should be a core function of Government, and we are pleased that the Government has announced it will start work on the foundations of a NDIS. The foundation work is essential however the community needs to be assured that funding for the Scheme will be available” said Senator Rachel Siewert, spokesperson on disability services.
“So far the Government has been silent on how it will fund the scheme. There must be a commitment from Government that funding will be provided, to ensure the valuable work they will be doing on the foundations of the Scheme is not all in vain.
“We also with the Productivity Commission that current disability funding and support is underfinanced, unfair, fragmented, and inefficient, and gives people with a disability little choice and no certainty of access to appropriate supports. This new scheme must put an end to this ineffectiveness.
“The Australian Greens urge State and Territory Governments to get behind the NDIS. This needs urgent attention and shouldn’t be delayed by any bickering with States.
“Implementation should start as soon as possible as it will take some years for the full Scheme to be operational. The Greens will be carefully assessing the fine detail to make sure it as effective as possible and provides life-long support for those living with a disability,” said Senator Siewert.
Posted by Steve on May 26, 2011
The Australian Greens will move to amend electoral laws to ban donations to political parties by tobacco companies, Greens Leader Bob Brown said.
“We hope the Government’s proposed plain-packaging legislation, which the Greens support, gets through soon. The Greens will also move to ban donations to political parties from tobacco companies,” Senator Brown said.
“The few brave Liberals, who are about to cross the floor if necessary to stop the end of glossy advertising on cigarettes, should be applauded. But it doesn’t need to stop there. All parties should also stop taking donations from Big Tobacco.”
“The Australian Greens don’t accept donations from tobacco companies and Mark Latham should be applauded for putting a stop to the ALP’s acceptance of donations from tobacco companies back in 2004.”
Posted by Steve on May 7, 2011
The Australian Greens continue to push for action on dental care to be included in Tuesday’s budget.
“We need to see some action from the Government as a down-payment on their commitment to improve Australia’s dental health,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens health spokesperson said today.
“This was a key part of our post-election agreement with the ALP,” said Senator Siewert.
“Improved national dental care has the capacity to dramatically improve the health of millions of Australians, and we’ve been working hard towards that outcome.
“A modest first step is required from the Government on Tuesday, with more substantial action to be delivered the following year,” concluded Senator Siewert.
Posted by Jim McDonald on January 3, 2011
I raised the alarm as the Greens candidate for Wide bay at the probable closure of after hours GP services in Noosa after speaking to the doctors during the Federal election.
Unfortunately, the media did not take up the issue when publicity could have had the greatest effect.
This is the very situation the Federal Labor Government’s promised health reform program in primary care is supposed to address. The present grant system of $100,000 a year over two years is ending and the Noosa GP After Hours Service faces closure.
Without further, secure funding we will be left without an accessible after hours service and it will place pressure on all emergency services in the region.
The Noosa After-hours GP service was initiative provided by some doctors in the town. Now, after-hours patients requiring GP assistance will have longer waiting hours in emergency rooms.
Although Noosa Hospital provides rooms free of charge, the level of funding is barely sufficient to allow the Service to get by with minimal doctor payments and employing a nurse is out of the question. Yet, the after hours surgery saves about 50% of the costs that would be incurred by each GP patient accessing the Emergency Department.
I call upon the Federal Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, and the Shadow Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, to guarantee ongoing funding for the Noosa GP After Hours Service from January 2011 so that Noosa residents can be confident that they will continue to have access to a doctor when the regular medical clinics are closed.
Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson for Noosa, Letter to editor, Sunshine Coast Daily, 3 December 2010
Posted by Steve on July 1, 2010
Mental Health for all Australians
The Australian Greens have congratulated the Coalition for putting mental health back on the national agenda and are calling for their $1.5 billion policy announcement to be implemented through the appointment of a dedicated Mental Health Minister.
Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson for Mental Health, says the Greens would work with an Abbott Government to implement their mental health policy if elected, and would extend the same offer to the ALP.
“The Greens and Coalition have mental health policies on the table for all to see, while the ALP lags even further behind on the issue,” Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Health Minister Nicola Roxon are now obligated to explain how a re-elected ALP Government would cater for the growing needs of Australia’s mental health sector.
“This Government has failed to improve Australia’s mental health services, while the Australian Greens have consistently put forward a number of full funded key initiatives which would see this occur,” Senator Siewert concluded.