GEORGE CALLS ON SAFFIN TO STOP DELIBERATELY MISLEADING THE VOTERS OF PAGE

George Calls on Safin to Stop Deliberately Misleading the Voters of Page.

22nd November 2007

Member for Lismore Thomas George today called on Federal Labor candidate for Page Janelle Saffin to stop deliberately misleading voters by misrepresenting her role in the establishment of North Coast Breast Screen and the Federal Coalition’s commitment to fund the Lismore Base Hospital cancer centre.

Mr George, said a letter sent to voters by Ms Saffin wrongly claimed she was the founder of North Coast Breast Screen.

“I challenge Ms Saffin’s statement that she founded the Breast Screen service. It is an insult to the Steering Committee that established the service,” Mr George said.

He said the letter also made several incorrect claims about the Liberal/Nationals Coalition’s commitment to radiotherapy services at Lismore Base Hospital, saying only $2 million had been committed and that there was no plan for when services would be operational.

“To make that statement is an outright lie and an insult to the people of the Northern Rivers. $8 million of the Coalition’s $10 million commitment has been on the table for several years now and I have correspondence between the State and Federal Government to prove it,” Mr George said.

“Chris Gulaptis and the Nationals have committed $10 million to the radiotherapy unit at Lismore Base.

“This includes an existing commitment of $8 million which has been sitting on the table for three years while the NSW Labor Government drags the chain on this project that was supposed to start this year.

“The Nationals recently committed a further $2 million on the condition that work begin on the centre as soon as stage one – the redevelopment of the mental health unit at the hospital – is completed. This is expected to be next year.

"It is the NSW State Labor Government, of which Ms Saffin was a member, which has misled the community on this important issue. The State Labor Government has delayed this service and it is the NSW Government’s Area Health Service that won’t commit to a start up date for this service.”

"It’s disappointing the Federal Labor Party has resorted to lies in a deceptive last minute bid for Page,” Mr George said.

“The Liberal/Nationals Coalition has been committed to this project since 2004, yet like so many important infrastructure projects in NSW, the Iemma Labor Government has failed to fulfil their side of the deal.

“As a result, the Northern Rivers has been left without the urgently needed radiotherapy unit they were promised.

“The Federal Labor Party should stop spreading lies and just convince their NSW counterparts to honour their promise to the people of the Northern Rivers and get on with building the radiotherapy unit,” Mr George concluded.

Media Contact: Thomas George 6621 3624 or 0427 360 781

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577