By Gary Warner
Melissa Price appears to have everyone in her sights for ‘good news’ announcements. In a flurry of media releases, the Liberal Party candidate for Durack offered help for pastoralists and live animal exporters, Australian Defence Force members and senior citizens. Ms Price is vowing to fight for changes to the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), which she claims is unfairly burdening local producers.
She said that combined with the WA National Party’s proposed changes to pastoral leases (which she has taken to calling ‘draconian) and the fact producers were “still on their knees from Labor’s ban on live exports”, the agricultural sector was being hit hard. “What farmers are telling me is that ESCAS is an overly bureaucratic system that is hurting the industry,” Ms Price said.
“While no one argues that animal welfare issues are important, making the exporter responsible for the animals’ welfare right up to the point of slaughter is unfair and costs too much.” In a pitch to the families of defence force personnel living in the Durack electorate, Ms Price said they will receive free GP and basic allied health care if the Liberals are elected on 7 September.
She said the Liberal Party’s Defence Family Health Care program would enable all ADF dependants to receive full reimbursement for out of pocket expenses for GP services. Additionally, each ADF dependant would be able to claim back up to $400 per year for dentistry, physiotherapy, psychology and podiatry.
On a roll by now, Ms Price said a Liberal government wrovide provide more peace of mind to self-funded retirees by indexing the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC). She said indexing the CSHC to inflation would occur annually in September each year, with the first indexation to take into account changes in consumer prices over the current financial year.
According to 2011 Census data there are 13,539 seniors in the Mid West (including Geraldton), 9,590 in the Central Wheatbelt, 5,851 in the Pilbara, 4,830 in the Kimberley and 2,385 in the Gascoyne.