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Greens talk public healthcare in Orange

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 21 Jun 2016

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens candidate for Calare Delanie Sky will hold a press conference in Orange tomorrow Wednesday 22 June. They will discuss the Greens commitment to public health and ending domestic violence.

Ms Sky said, "We are staring down half a billion dollars in proposed funding cuts to front line health services here in Calare, if the Coalition wins this election.

"It is the role and obligation of government to protect communities and provide vital services, including healthcare services.

"The rates of domestic violence in Orange are second-highest in the western NSW region and twice the state average, and yet the community has to fight for essential services. We simply cannot afford any more cuts.

"The Liberal-Nationals are the reason that there is currently no women's refuge in Orange. At the State and Federal levels the Greens have been pushing for more funding for specialist and crisis services, including women's refuges, and there has been resistance all the way.

"We know that around 27 per cent of homelessness in Orange is due to domestic violence and we know that women are being turned away because there are not enough beds. Any plan to tackle domestic violence necessarily has to involve investing in long-term affordable housing as well as vital crisis services. We should reform negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount to raise the revenue needed for new affordable housing stock.

Senator Rhiannon said, "The Greens want to see a $5 billion National Partnership Agreement on Domestic Violence for specialist services including women's shelters, crisis phone services, counselling and perpetrator programs. This would include $100 million for capital works to be spent on crisis accommodation and women's refuges.

"After the Going Home Staying Home reforms restructured the entire homelessness and women's refuge sector three homes in Orange dedicated to supporting survivors of family violence were closed.

"The Greens have allocated $296.65 million to be put towards regional mental health services across NSW, including $78.77 million for regional workforce and services.

"We would invest in public healthcare by committing $1.265 billion in NSW for hospitals funding, invest $2.4 billion into the Medical Benefits Scheme to protect bulkbilling, and increase funding to match 50% of the efficient growth in hospital costs from the next budget cycle.

The press conference will be held tomorrow at Soho Café, 113 Byng Street Orange at 1.15pm.

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