Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Equality for the Eyre Peninsula – Dignity for Disability launches Regional SA policy
Eyre Peninsula has been identified as a highly under-serviced area of South Australia in the launch of Dignity for Disability’s regional SA policy today.
Essential services such as health, education and disability support are not being properly provided in the region due to the logistical difficulties of catering for a spread-out populace, said Dignity for Disability Party Leader Kelly Vincent MLC.
“The Eyre Peninsula has a very small number of large town centres, and they are many hundreds of kilometres apart,” said Ms Vincent. “This provides a complex challenge to a Government attempting to provide services, but that does not excuse the poor state of affairs we currently see in the region.”
“Services like mental health treatment, disability support and even specialised aged care are mostly clustered in the major centres of Ceduna, Port Lincoln and Whyalla, leaving communities like Cleve and Kimba up to two hours drive away from these essential supports.”
Dignity for Disability’s regional policy calls for an overall re-thinking of service delivery to regional areas. The strategy places an emphasis on accessibility of services and primary care, a model which will ultimately result in less acute treatment in hospital and a lighter bill for taxpayers.
The policy also calls for the forthcoming rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme to be used as a chance to change the way services are delivered in regional SA so that rural South Australians are offered the same level of service as their urban counterparts.
Dignity for Disability went on to flag coal seam gas mining – known as fracking – as a major concern for the Eyre Peninsula. The region was identified in the Government’s 2012 ‘Roadmap for Unconventional Gas Projects in South Australia’ as a site of interest.
“Fracking is still an unproven practice. Forcing chemicals and other material into the earth to flush out gas might seem to make good economic sense, but we have no guarantee that our water table and aquifers will not get contaminated in the process,” said Ms Vincent.
“Dignity for Disability is calling for legislation to be passed that prevents fracking from going ahead in South Australia until a body of scientific evidence proves it is safe and sustainable.”