RFDS funding campaign takes to skies

21 May, 2008 01:35 PM
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HEALTH Minister Jim McGinty can expect to be flooded with letters over the next few weeks following a decision to knock back the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s (RFDS) requests for additional funding.

Regional and remote residents of WA are calling for increased funding and recognition for the RFDS after the State’s budget two weeks ago left it with just $2 million to share with other health services.

The RFDS request for $68 million over five years for additional planes and staff was ignored by the budget, despite the service’s increased workload in the past five years.

Rural residents have started a petition outlining the importance of the services to their areas which they hope will flood Mr McGinty over the coming weeks.

WAFarmers policy director Andy McMillan said rural people were reacting to the Government’s decision not to provide the additional funding and comments made by Mr McGinty which labelled RFDS an "interest group".

"RFDS provides an invaluable service to rural WA so this strong reaction is not surprising," Mr McMillan said.

"It is not just a reaction to the knockback of additional funding but also the completely unacceptable comments made by the Minister.

"Hopefully this reaction will help bring a speedy resolution to the situation."

Mr McMillan said the letter was a reminded to the Government that there were people that care about their future.

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