Today in a classically ‘leaked’ Federal budget item, The Greens gleefully announced that our long awaited and much needed Denticare program is to be funded in the Federal Budget to be announced tomorrow.
When Treasurer Swan hands down the Budget on Tuesday night, a package of dental reforms that we’ve negotiated with the Government will help people get dental treatment faster and get the workforce ready for a national scheme.
The reforms we’ve negotiated for this week’s Budget will mean:
- $345.9 million for a public dental waiting list blitz, to help the 400,000 Australians on public waiting lists get treatment faster;
- the Chronic Dental Disease Scheme will be saved from Budget cuts, until we can develop a comprehensive national scheme with the Government to replace it;
- $158.6 million to train more dentists and oral health therapists, and help dental professionals set up practices in rural areas; and,
- $10.5 million to promote good oral health.
This package is exactly the outcome we needed in this year’s Budget to start Australia on the road to Denticare.
Now what we need is for the work being done by Senator Rachel Siewert to garner the same attention; Newstart reforms are required, too many of our unemployed are being forced to live on hand outs and charity to simply survive, not live, merely survive. During April, Rachel lived on Newstart for a week to really experience the difficulties faced by those who are unemployed. She walked away understanding that she had only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of the long term medical, emotional and physical effects of not eating properly, the stress of not being able to afford train tickets to interviews, let alone purchasing new clothes, and the long term mental health impacts of continued stress.
Anyone who says this present Government Labor/Greens arrangement isn’t working clearly has not bothered to actually check the results. 300+ pieces of legislation being passed, now, dental care for all. If this is what an ineffective government does let’s keep it that way. More being done for those who need help, better distribution of the common wealth, and finally, a country taking baby steps towards a healthier environment. NICE!