Patients to come first, not politics
Cross-border meeting raises issue
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.”