The Marshall Government lost its second procedural showdown in a week in the SA Parliament yesterday when the Upper House suspended standing orders to condemn cuts to sexual health service SHINE SA, when The Greens’ motion backed by Labor, SA-Best and Advance SA against the Government’s protestations.
The motion condemned the $547,000 funding cuts made in the 18-19 Budget that will now see SHINE close their clinics in the northern and southern suburbs early next year.
Quotes attributable to Greens MLC Tammy Franks
This is the second time in a week the Government has lost control in Parliament because a Marshall Minister has a tin ear and has lost touch with community.
People’s sexual health needs won’t go away but without SHINE to service the young and vulnerable clients some of those needs early on they will likely become far more complex and also more expensive to treat.
The Minister’s comments last night that SHINE SA should "get creative" to offset the cuts – or curiously suggesting they consider using libraries as other services had done when facing cuts – were disturbing.
The Minister’s claims that these cuts will be met by MBS billing was also not correct. SHINE SA has been MBS billing since 2013, that very MBS billing was already offsetting previous budget cuts under Labor.
I would say Minister Wade needs to get a second opinion on these cuts, but last week he was offered 350 ‘second opinions’ and he still hasn’t listened to them. Surely the concerns last week of 350 medical professionals who signed an open letter against the SHINE cuts and asked to meet the Minister should have sparked some reaction. But even those 350 doctors are still waiting on their requested meeting with the Minister. I challenge the Minister to now meet with those doctors to hear from the medical coalface.