14 July 2014
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, is disappointed the Federal Government has refused to rule out selling Australian Hearing and reducing services to clients, who include hundreds of deaf and hearing impaired children in Tasmania.
Mr Wilkie asked the Federal Health Minister, Peter Dutton, the following in Question Time this afternoon.
“Minister another aspect of the Government’s miserable budget is an investigation into the sell-off of Australian Hearing,’’ Mr Wilkie asked. “This greatly concerns the clients of the Australian Government Hearing Services Program, for example the hundreds of deaf and hearing-impaired children in Tasmania. Minister what reassurance can you give these people that there will be no sell-off; or that if there is there would be no adverse effect on the delivery, scope and cost of services.’’
Mr Dutton did not rule out the sale of Australian Hearing.
The Australian Government Hearing Services Program supports people with hearing loss and screens newborn babies for hearing problems. It has more than 450 locations across Australia and provides free hearing checks as well as advice and a range of hearing aids.
Mr Wilkie spoke with Mr Dutton after the question and while he demonstrated an understanding of the issue, he remained non-committal.
Mr Wilkie has met with parents and teachers from southern Tasmania who are universally worried about the possible sale of Australian Hearing.