It is fair to say that the Minister for Health and his staff have drawn the longest bow in history for the government’s latest excuse for why it will not support the health and wellbeing of Victorian farmers. In the Hamilton Spectator a member of the Minister for Health’s staff was quoted as saying:
It was the Brumby Labor government that failed to fund the National Centre for Farmer Health beyond four years.
You heard it right: the Minister for Health is now trying to blame the Labor government — the government that invested $2.4 million to establish the centre in 2008 — for the fact that his government will not support the centre and Victorian farming families.
The excuses and rhetoric from David Davis and the Napthine government have now gone so far beyond ridiculous it is insulting. Unfortunately this is the type of below-the-belt politics that this government plays whilst doing anything and everything except focusing on farmer health. These excuses are not only petty and dishonest; they are an absolute insult to farmers and their families.
What is certainly clear, though, is the fact that Victorian farmers and the National Centre for Farmer Health stakeholders are not for a second buying the ridiculous excuses this government is throwing up. In the same Hamilton Spectator article Western District Health CEO Jim Fletcher stated:
The reality is had Labor won the last (state) election the farmer health centre would have received ongoing funding.
… accusing Labor is a useless excuse.
When will the Napthine government stop playing politics with the health and livelihood of our farmers and properly fund this very important institution in Western Victoria?