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20 February 2015

The Wilkie Report - Feb 2015
Author: Andrew Wilkie Greyhound racing - a cruel and compromised $4billion industry.

The Wilkie Report - February 2015

Andrew discusses the greyhound live baiting scandal.

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05 March 2015

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A statement on the Cadbury decision to abandon the Claremont tourism centre

I’m sure I speak for a great many Tasmanians when I express my bitter disappointment at the decision by Cadbury to withdraw its application for $16m of federal funding to construct a new visitor centre at its Claremont chocolate factory.

The centre would have been a significant boost to the local building industry, a wonderful tourist attraction and an ongoing employment opportunity for the local community.

In the first instance this is strictly a commercial decision by the company. But relevant is that Cadbury judged the Government’s funding criteria too onerous, which does call into question the Government’s interest in progressing this matter.

More broadly though, and every bit as importantly, is the fact that this money was a Liberal Party election promise as much to do with providing an economic stimulus for the local economy, as it was a grant for a particular business.

The Federal Government must deliver on that promise and immediately commit to provide that $16m for appropriate economic stimulus projects in the Denison electorate, and in the Glenorchy City Council area in particular. To do otherwise will make this another broken promise and terrible betrayal of the community.

While today’s news is disappointing I do acknowledge and appreciate that Cadbury has committed to maintain its manufacturing facility in Claremont. The company has invested $100m in the plant over the past five years, including $20m this year alone.

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04 March 2015

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Invest in allied health to heal hospital budgets

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, joined in the launch of research demonstrating how allied health providers can free up hospital beds, speed patient recovery and save taxpayers money.

The research looks at a broad range of health issues including stroke, diabetes and osteoarthritis, as well as surgery including hip and knee replacement and diabetic limb amputations.

The findings are in one of two reports released today that were conducted for Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) as part of an Australian National University research project.

The other report shows a serious shortage of early intervention providers, especially psychologists, mean children with autism and disabilities in rural areas are accessing up to 60 per cent less government funding than children living in urban areas.

Mr Wilkie used the findings to urge the Tasmanian Government to reverse cuts to allied health services.

At the Royal Hobart Hospital, the Health and Community Services Union estimates that most Allied Health departments have lost between 8 and 25 per cent of their full-time equivalent positions.

``At a time when hospital budgets and staff are stretched to the limit, to sack these vital frontline workers who can get people home from hospital sooner and prevent elective surgery is complete madness,’’ Mr Wilkie said.

``These workers are worth their weight in gold because they save hospitals money.’’

Allied health professionals include speech pathologists, physiotherapists and psychologists who provide vital frontline services.

Mr Wilkie is the co-chair of the Parliamentary rural and remote allied health group.

The SARRAH reports can be viewed here.

https://sarrah.org.au/sites/default/files/docs/investigating_the_efficacy_of_allied_health_reducing_costs_and_improving_outcomes_-_final_report.pdf

https://sarrah.org.au/sites/default/files/docs/mapping_rural_remote_early_childhood_intervention_therapy_services_20_10_14.pdf

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