Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

MP accused of focusing on leadership battle over jobs

MEMBER for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien has been accused of being more focused on the leadership conflict within his former party than possible job losses at Maryborough Hospital.

Mr O’Brien rejected those claims, accusing the ALP of scaremongering.

The dispute erupted over the Federal Government’s decision to privatise aged care assessment teams.

Labor Senator Anthony Chisholm said Mr O’Brien should be fighting for jobs in his electorate rather than his former colleagues in Canberra.

“People in Wide Bay know how valuable these assessment teams are and would rather their MP fight against privatising local jobs over playing political games in Canberra,” Mr Chisholm said.

“Labor is concerned about these proposed changes and it makes no sense to make this decision before the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is released in November this year.”

Mr O’Brien said the State Government would be able to tender for and deliver integrated aged care assessment services.

“I’ve worked closely with the aged care sector ever since I was elected and I supported the Federal Government’s move to establish the Royal Commission into aged care,” he said.

“We now must act on the Royal Commission’s interim report to improve the sector.”

Mr O’Brien said since 2016, the Liberals and Nationals Government had also allocated 721 new aged care beds in Wide Bay to accommodate the needs of our ageing population, and this will also create jobs in the aged care sector.

Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said he was concerned about privatisation of the local ACAT workforce.

“Every job is vital to our region, and I value these dedicated public servants,” Mr Saunders said.

“This team is an integrated part of our community, understanding support services available, the geography of the region and travel times involved to provide services, to ensure assessments are a true reflection of the client’s needs and not just smoke and mirrors.”


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