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Issue #1740      July 20, 2016

Dingo

The federal election is over and it’s back to business as usual. In NSW it’s vocational education that continues to be under attack. “The Baird government is not dealing with the fundamental problem facing NSW TAFE which is that vocational education is now unaffordable for many students”, commented Teachers Federation Action President Denis Fitzgerald. According to the NSW Department of Industry, NSW has lost half its students in the past three years, down from 539,146 students in 2012 to 255,781 in the third quarter of 2015. Courses have been cut, student fees increased and 5,500 teacher jobs have disappeared. Meanwhile shonky outfits get taxpayers’ money for dubious, not to say criminal activities which leave their victims in debt and despair.

Victorian health providers are in a panic mode and are pleading with parents to take their sick children to see their GPs. It seems a large number of parents go to hospital emergency departments with children suffering from minor complaints. The Royal Children’s Hospital said on its Facebook that as many as 290 children a day were attending its emergency department to join very long queues, sometimes stretching to over 80 people. Parents are often not to blame for their decision to bypass their GPs. About half the parents see their GPs first and are told to take their child to hospital. There is a shift towards being treated in hospital rather than at GP’s. If this trend continues, however there is a danger that the present system will collapse.

“The sunburnt country has burnt its solar industry,” John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Council said. “Thousands of jobs have been lost and hundreds of small businesses have closed their doors”. Lack of support during the Abbott-Turnbull governments is seen as the main contributing factor. There was a broken promise to support 1 million additional solar-powered homes. That pre-2013 election pledge was ditched by the coalition. It still has no solar target for renewable energy beyond 2020 and has not provided any support for the solar industry.

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