A glorious morning ahead of a big day in moruya.
Tune into your local radio this morning to hear from ABC South East live broadcasting from the banks of the Moruya River.
ABC South East NSW Presenter Simon Lauder will be keeping you company this morning from 630am with lots of entertaining, interesting and engaging locals.
And from 9am you can “Meet The Candidates!” We’ll have a number of political candidates running for the Bega by-election joining us between 9am-10am to talk about some hot topic issues. At a council level the Mayor, Mat Hatcher, has arranged for a traditional smoking ceremony prior to the first meeting of the new term of councillors. Starting at 10.30am on the Council Chamber forecourt, it will be led by Rod Slockee. All are welcome.
The council meeting starts at 11am. Masks are required to be worn inside but there are no seating limitations.
There is one presentation to Public Forum today, starting at 9.30am in the Chamber. Brett Stevenson on behalf of A Better Eurobodalla will speak about live-streaming of Public Forum. On a State level the NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns and Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park will be in town to learn more of the state of the local health system Of particular concern was the news that the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into rural health heard the NSW Government defend their decision not to submit an application for cancer treatment funding in Bega and the Eurobodalla.
Under questioning from Labor MLCs Walt Secord and Greg Donnelly, NSW Health told the inquiry that no funding application was made for a regional treatment centre in the Eurobodalla, stating that “it's hard to justify that investment for 1-2 patients a day".
In 2019, the federal Liberal government announced the Bega/Eurobodalla as a targeted region to fund regional radiation treatment centres to a total of $45.5 million in competitive grants, which closed in October 2020.
Currently, there is no radiotherapy service on the 350km of the NSW coast south of Nowra and patients are having to drive up to three-and-a-half hours to the nearest radiation oncology services in the ACT or Nowra.
Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park MP said “A radiation therapy service was promised to the people of the Eurobodalla to reduce the need for travel to the ACT.
“2,000 people suffer from cancer in this region every year - It is staggering that they would willingly force patients to travel 3.5 hours one way for life saving treatment, when they could have delivered those services locally.” “The government had a chance to bring radiation oncology services to the Eurobodalla and save people travelling over 3 hours for treatment. They chose not to. And today we heard them defend that decision and say “it’s hard to justify that investment for 1-2 patients a day.”
“The need is there – 700 patients a year could have used the services. Yet it turns out an application wasn’t even made.”
“How can Bega and the Eurobodalla get better health care services if the government isn’t even applying for funding?”
It is understood that the Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, will be returning to Moruya to make an announcement outside the Moruya Hospital today.
Who knows. It might just be the funding for the radiation oncology services.
Keep an eye out across the region as the Bega by-election hots up.