Pa­tients to come first, not pol­i­tics

Cross-bor­der meet­ing raises is­sue

Warwick Daily News - - NEWS - MAR­IAN FAA Mar­ian.Faa@war­wick­dai­

SHOULD an am­bu­lance from New South Wales take pa­tients to a Queens­land hos­pi­tal if it is closer?

Is­sues around health and ed­u­ca­tion have come to light in a gath­er­ing of state, fed­eral and lo­cal govern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives who met in an ef­fort to build a “seam­less” bor­der be­tween the two states.

South­ern Downs Mayor Tracy Do­bie said the an­nual Cross Bor­der Strate­gic Al­liance Meet­ing was an op­por­tu­nity for stake­hold­ers to smooth out key is­sues.

“While health is a state and fed­eral is­sue, it af­fects our res­i­dents,” Cr Do­bie said.

“There have been many times in the past where a New South Wales am­bu­lance might refuse to take pa­tients to a Queens­land hos­pi­tal even though it is closer.

“What this is try­ing to do is get away from that.”

The mayor said both sides of the bor­der stood to gain from bet­ter part­ner­ships.

Up­grad­ing high­ways from Mount Om­maney to Bo­livia Hill, south of Ten­ter­field, was a pri­or­ity raised by mem­bers of a joint task­force be­tween the South­ern Downs, Ten­ter­field and Scenic Rim coun­cils.

Ed­u­ca­tion also took cen­tre stage as a topic for dis­cus­sion.

“Ten­ter­field TAFE has re­cently un­der­gone some ma­jor up­grades and it is ab­so­lutely won­der­ful,” Cr Do­bie said.

“But, if a res­i­dent from Wallangarra goes there, they have to pay full price. What we’re look­ing at do­ing is see­ing if they will ac­cept en­rol­ments from dif­fer­ent post­codes at a sub­sidised rate.”

Mem­ber for Mara­noa David Lit­tleproud said up­grad­ing wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture should be a fo­cus for both states.

“The Fed­eral Govern­ment has put $2.5 bil­lion on the ta­ble but, un­less the State Govern­ment wants to sup­port us, it can’t hap­pen,” he said. “We can dig a big hole but the state owns the wa­ter re­sources, so they have to agree to fill it.”

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