Three dogs per­ish in Malak house fire

NT News - - FRONT PAGE - HAY­LEY SORENSEN

THREE dogs have been killed by a blaze as it ripped through a house at Malak.

Emer­gency ser­vices were called to the Malak Cres house at 1.30pm yes­ter­day af­ter re­ports of a struc­ture fire. Sta­tion Man­ager Aaron Perry told me­dia that the fire was con­tained in a sin­gle room but the house suf­fered ex­ten­sive dam­age.

“The dam­age caused by the heat and smoke is com­pre­hen­sive,” he said.

The res­i­dents of the unit, on the cor­ner of McMil­lans Rd and Malak Cres, were not home at the time.

The cause is yet to be deter­mined and it comes weeks af­ter a 4m pet croc sur­vived a house fire at Fan­nie Bay.

HEALTH Min­is­ter Natasha Fyles has sacked the Ter­ri­tory’s two health boards and will re­place them with two re­gional com­mu­nity ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees and a third clin­i­cal coun­cil made up of health work­ers.

The Gov­ern­ment says do­ing so will save about $1 mil­lion a year in salaries and sit­ting fees.

Ms Fyles said the dis­so­lu­tion of the boards, which were ap­pointed un­der the CLP in 2014, was not po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated.

“This is about the best spend of tax­payer dol­lars and de­liv­er­ing the best health ser­vices to Ter­ri­to­ri­ans,” she said.

The Top End Health Ser­vice board is led by An­nette Burke, who is the mother-in­law of Deputy Op­po­si­tion Leader Lia Finoc­chiaro.

Alice Springs Mayor Damian Ryan is the chair­man of the Cen­tral Aus­tralia Health Ser­vice board.

Ms Fyles said board mem­bers would not be paid out when the boards are dis­solved at the end of June. Tran­si­tional ad­min­is­tra­tors will be put in place un­til Par­lia­ment can amend leg­is­la­tion needed to en­act the new mod­els.

Ms Fyles said the re­gional ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees would main­tain the cur­rent level of com­mu­nity in­put into health ser­vices while the clin­i­cal com­mit­tee would “pro­vide more clin­i­cal over­sight”.

The clin­i­cal com­mit­tee will be made up of up to 25 health pro­fes­sion­als and will meet three to four times a year.

But Op­po­si­tion Leader Gary Hig­gins crit­i­cised the move as com­ing “with­out con­sul­ta­tion or ex­pla­na­tion”.

“It is my un­der­stand­ing the min­is­ter (Mrs Fyles) has not met with the health ser­vice boards since be­ing ap­pointed min­is­ter nine months ago,” he said. “This is an in­sult to those board mem­bers who tran­si­tioned the changes in 2014 and have over­seen the smooth oper­a­tion of both ser­vices over the past three years.

“It also sug­gests the gov­ern­ment al­ways had a plan to scrap the boards, but didn’t make it pub­lic un­til now.”

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