Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : December 15 2015 Contents PAGE 18 - THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2015
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EASTERN Victoria Region MP Melina Bath has
joined the fight for legislation that will give all fire -
fighters non- discriminatory access to compensation
for cancers contracted as a result of their work.
Ms Bath recently visited local fire stations includ-
ing Ruby and has signed a pledge to support volun-
teer firefighters having equal rights in relation to pre -
sumptive cancer legislation.
“The Nationals are proud to show our support to
all CFA volunteers to fight for equal protection, ” Ms
“Our volunteer country firefighters do amazing
work risking their lives to protect others and we will
not support an unfair system that favours some fire -
fighters over others.”
Ms Bath said the introduction of presumptive leg-
islation would provide a greater level of protection
for almost 60,000 CFA volunteers across the state
who provide a critical role in Victoria’s emergency
Ms Bath said her lower house colleagues had for-
mulated a petition calling on the Andrews Govern-
ment to ensure presumptive cancer legislation is
equal for all firefighters.
“I believe whether you’re fighting fires as a paid
member or volunteer you should be afforded equal
rights and I would encourage my constituents to sign
this petition and support our local firefighting volun-
teers, ” Ms Bath said.
Petitions are available from Nationals MPs offices
in Gippsland including Ms Bath’s at 181 Franklin St,
Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath pledges her support for CFA volunteers at Ruby Fire Brigade
Bath backs Gippsland
GIPPSLAND’S mental health advocacy,
Barrier Breakers, has called on both the
state and federal governments to combine
efforts to urgently address what it calls a
“drug scourge”, which is destroying the
lives of the region’s youth.
Derek Amos, chairman of Barrier Break-
ers, said recent mental health funding an-
nouncements by both the Victorian and
Federal governments should now provide
for a “triple C” approach to tackle the after-
math of alcohol and drug abuse.
“Triple C stands for cooperative, com-
bined and concentrated. All three elements
are vitally important if we are to take ad-
vantage of the increase in funding and the
renewed will expressed by both govern-
ments to seriously address mental illness,”
Mr Amos said.
“There is possibly no better way to dem-
onstrate these promises for change than to
apply a ‘triple C’ to the region’s drug prob-
lem and its total lack of facilities for timely
treatment including detoxification and re-
habilitation,” Mr Amos said.
“There is no alcohol and drug detoxifi-
cation and rehabilitation facility in all of
Gippsland. Nor is there any Youth Preven-
tion and Recovery Care service (Y-PARC).”
Mr Amos said Y-PARCs provide 24 hour
treatment and support for young people
between the ages of 16 and 25.
“They provide vital care for people, who
no longer need hospital treatment for men-
tal illness, while also reducing pressure on
hospital beds by providing early interven-
tion care and an alternative to hospital ad-
Mr Amos said that it was a dread-
ful shame that the Kennett Government
closed the region’s sole alcohol and drug
detox and rehab unit, the Hobson Park
hospital in Traralgon.
“Likewise, the region missed-out on an
opportunity to have a Y-PARC when the
State Government announced its plans to
develop them in Dandenong, Frankston
and Bendigo in 2013.
“Just imagine what a difference it will
make to saving so many young lives from
a lifetime of alcohol or drug induced early
psychosis, or even worse - death.”
Mr Amos said that around 75 per cent of
all severe mental illnesses develop before
Mr Amos said Barrier Breakers believes
both facilities, a Y-PARC and an alcohol
and drug detox and rehab unit, should be
developed in central Gippsland as soon as
“With both the federal and state govern-
ments now coming-out with new mental
health policy and funding initiatives, surely
there has to be a triple C’ effort to address
this regions drug problem,” Mr Amos said.
“What about the Federal Government
using some of the $300 million it has al-
located for addressing the drug problem to
build an alcohol and drug detox and rehab
unit and the State Government undertak-
ing to build a Y-PARC?,” Mr Amos asked.
“As a first step, Barrier Breakers is writ-
ing to all Gippsland MPs to ask for their
support for this cooperative, combined
and concentrated initiative to provide these
much needed facilities.”
Time for action
on ‘drug scourge’
BUSINESSES and the commu-
nity in South Gippsland have gener-
ously donated funds in the past six
months to purchase a Cuddle Cot for
Gippsland Southern Health Service.
Debbie Williams, Samantha Jones
and Natasha Turner also organised
weekly raffles to help raise the money.
The donation was made in memory
of Debbie’s nephews, Morgan and
A Cuddle Cot is a special cooling
cot which allows grieving parents to
say goodbye to their deceased baby
in their own time.
It’s about giving parents choices,
and reassuring them that they can
spend as much time as they like with
their baby, without the fear of the
baby needing to be cooled in a tradi-
Gippsland Southern Health Service
would like to thank Debbie, Saman-
tha and Natasha and everyone who
contributed to this valuable dona-
Samantha Jones, Natasha Turner and Debbie Williams presented Virginia Bolge
(midwife) and Jayne Maddick (acting Nurse Unit manager) with a Cuddle Cot.
THE State Government is making it
easier for Victorian householders to install
solar power panels and take up the use of
renewable energy technology.
Under regulatory changes introduced last
week, households will be able to gain ac-
cess to roof-top solar panels at little to no
up-front costs by entering into an agree-
ment with a solar company.
The arrangement enables solar compa-
nies to provide, install and maintain a so-
lar panel system on a household, and in
exchange the householder buys the energy
they provide for an agreed price.
Householders benefit by having access to
renewable-generated power without large
upfront outlays. This comes as the State
Government continues to review the regu-
lations surrounding small-scale renewable
energy companies so they can operate more
effectively in the market place.
This initiative is part of the government’s
Renewable Energy Roadmap, a plan to ac-
celerate renewable energy generation and
create sustainable jobs.
For more information on the Labor Gov-
ernment’s Roadmap visit:
Simple solar household installation
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