MEDICARE was the hot topic at Politics in the Pub on Friday night with representatives from the local branches of Labor, the Greens and a member of staff from Bulgarr Ngaru, the Aboriginal Medical Service in Grafton sharing their thoughts.

The Federal Government's cuts will mean pap smears, blood tests, and x-rays, among other things, will no longer be free from Friday, July 1.

More than 40 people sat in the audience at the Jacaranda Hotel to hear what the representatives had to say.

Politics in the Pub with Sharryn Usher, Janet Cavanaugh and Robert Usher.
Politics in the Pub with Sharryn Usher, Janet Cavanaugh and Robert Usher. Caitlan Charles

The evening kicked off with Trevor Kapeen's from Bulgarr Ngaru passionate speech about the need for Medicare in the Aboriginal community so that more people can have access to the health care they need.

Mr Kapeen said they are trying to find a way around the funding cuts to Medicare that could greatly affect the services they are able to offer.

"We only want to service our people,

"I only wish the government would listen to us about how hard it is," Mr Kapeen said.

He noted that if the cuts did pass through parliament, they would find the funds to pay for as much health care for the community as possible.

"It's costing us, but the health of our people is more important," he said.

Who will you vote for in the Senate at the next Federal election?

This poll ended on 24 July 2016.

Current Results

Labor

39%

Liberal

9%

National

21%

Greens

13%

Other

15%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Organiser of the evening Sharyn Usher, a representative of the Clarence Valley Community Unions, spoke about tax avoidance, and the impact it has on the welfare of the nation.

"If everyone paid their fair share of tax, we would be able to afford Medicare," she said.

She urged the the audience to be aware of the effects the cuts to Medicare would have on the community as a whole.

Branch Secretary of the Clarence Valley Greens, Janet Cavanaugh, highlighted the parties wish to expand Medicare to include dentistry.

Ms Cavanaugh said the Greens were committed to Medicare, and intended to fight the cuts going into the next election.

"We believe in a simple, publicly funded health care system,

"Cuts will be averted," Ms Cavanaugh said about her parties plans.

The final speaker of the night was branch Secretary of the Grafton Labor Party, Robert Usher, who was quick to highlight that Labor had brought Medicare to the Australian people under the Whitlam government.

"Health care, like education, belongs to the people,

"It comes down to Labor believes in Medicare, it's part of our DNA," Mr Usher said.

All four speakers highlighted the need for Medicare locally, and nationally, and stated they would be fighting the proposed cuts to the service.

Janelle Saffin, Kevin Hogan, and Kudra Falla-Ricketts were invited to speak at the event but were unable to attend.



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