Transcript - Doorstop - Midland, WA

Subjects: Aged care funding, leadership, WA Leader's debate, Curtin candidates

EO&E..................................................................

KEN WYATT:

These new urgent care centres in Midland, Osborne Park, Mandurah and Cannington will complement the ones already at Joondalup, Armadale and Coburn.

What it’s done is taken the pressure - in those locations where they exist - off of the emergency departments at those hospitals. 800,000 presentations made to emergency departments. About half; 200,000 of those are low care need and could have seen a GP. So St John Ambulance, in working with WA Primary Health Network and with local GPs’, want to trial an additional foresights to provide an alternative. Where people living in the region or area can have access to GP’s and Emergency-type service between 8 and 10. So the hours of opening will allow them to have that access with a degree of comfortability.

What we do know is, this is best practice in New Zealand that works exceptionally well. So this trial will give Western Australians an opportunity to participate in accessing better health care; which has been a commitment of our government.

So it’s a great announcement – and working with St John Ambulance on an innovative way of using best practice is a superb opportunity for West Australians.

QUESTION:         

How much of a difference will it make to Perth’s Emergency Departments?

KEN WYATT:

well even if we have a reduction of 30%; that’s a significant reduction in the draw down on state resources that are needed in those hospitals for those higher level emergency-type situations. So the savings will be significant; but also it means that those with lower grade treatment requirements will get access to Doctors and other professionals in those centres.

QUESTION:      

What type of care are we talking about? A broken arm?

KEN WYATT:

A broken arm you would take to an emergency department. These are some of the other matters that people go to emergency departments for. That is stomach pains, or pains that might be thought to be a heart attack but possibly on referral back, will be something to do with another illness that manifests itself through the pain. What the pain needs of people have been addressed in these facilities as well. St John of god welcomes this announcement at the Midland Public Hospital, because it gives them the nexus of referring people across as well, so that people living in this region will be looked after.

QUESTION:

So this is Federal Government money, that goes to St John, which are essentially a Government contractor aren’t they? Is that how it works?

KEN WYATT:  

No. What you have with St John, who is a charitable organisation that receives Commonwealth and State funding in different forms. Has come forward with a proposition about how do you provide better care to people within localities. They’ve trialled Joondalup – that’s been highly successful. Coburn has meant greater use of that urgent care unit. And the Armadale one.

The Armadale one has had a high-degree of success. But certainly in this region, if I think about Midland, there are many who use the Emergency Department – that will get a lot out of the type of support and intervention they need.

QUESTION:

Because it is a new model; how would you encourage people to think ‘ahh maybe I shouldn’t go [Inaudible]… they aren’t use to that?

KEN WYATT:

well there is a couple of ways you do that. One is messaging through the media – when we announce and make these announcements. The other is through developing an understanding in the area, by GP’s who might refer somebody to the Urgent Care Unit, or the Primary Health Care Network in the way in which they connect within the community. Saying these options you have certainly both the Unit of St Johns and the Midland Public Hospital – would be equally providing that understanding to people to which option they should take.

QUESTION: 

Some of the ambulances can take them there as well right?

KEN WYATT:   

An ambulance could, because one the paramedics have done their assessment, they can make a decision as to which is best for that individual.

QUESTION:    

Do you think it will then help with the issue of Hospital Ramping?

KEN WYATT:  

It certainly would. In the, to the extent of, sometimes senior Australians who will be in residential Aged Care may only need the Urgent Care Unit, as opposed to the Emergency Department. So it’ll cause some re-thinking by providers to who they better access the options that are available.

QUESTION:  

Just on other issues. Are you concerned that the former Prime Minister might keep popping his head up during this campaign? He’s already done I once this week in relation to China.

KEN WYATT:

You know what I love about our country, is the freedoms that we have to make commentary. And even former Prime Ministers will have that right to express a view point. But the Morrison Government will remain focused on the economy, a stronger opportunity for developing employment pathways for people, training, better Health, better Aged Care, and better education.

That’s what we want to focus on. Certainly our foreign relationships with other countries is important, and we do have our relationships with China. Now at point, people will form views and impressions, and if the former Prime Minister wants to express a view point, he can.

QUESTION:

Do you agree with him saying that it needs to be looked at more deeply; this relationship between Dutton and this particular Chinese businessman, or not?

KEN WYATT:

Look I have no difficulty in knowing that the Prime Minister and in his judgement would be considering what’s important, and what’s not important. Because those important elements of security, Defence are certainly foremost in any work that is done by our, in a Cabinet who are on the security committee. And if there were issues, they would certainly investigate those issues and take the appropriate steps. 

QUESTION:

even during a campaign? That’s a pretty sensitive time to be doing something like that.

KEN WYATT:  

We’ve got a series of issues that have been raised, and the issues raised are a set of allegations. So we have to take them on that basis. And if there was a threat to Australian security, then I have every confidence that the Prime Minister would act.

But if they are allegations, then certainly there are avenues in our parliament in which those matters can often be followed through with. But we also have a very well organised and thorough intelligence gathering organisations in this country, that had there been a concern, they would have raised it with the Prime Minister.

And im certain that if there were issues, then those would have come to the forefront.

QUESTION:

Your seat, obviously the most marginal liberal held seat in the State. Are you in the fight of your political life coming up?

KEN WYATT:

I just enjoy the fight. When I first stood, I stood against a very good friend of mine, Sharron Jackson, and won the seat. I had the same questions asked of me for the next two subsequent campaigns by the media. And I said “look it’s in the hand of the people of Hasluck”. If I’ve done the job well from their perspective, then they will put me back.

Election campaigns or facing an election is like a job interview, except you don’t have three people anymore, you have 87,000-90,000 who are saying whether they believe you should have your contract extended for another three years. If they give me that privilege I will continue to serve them in the way that I have served them.

QUESTION:  

Do you think you’ve done a good job? Do you think you will win their trust back?

KEN WYATT:  

look I think there are issues people recognise that ive undertaken and delivered on for them. Certainly road infrastructure, local issues such as; tennis courts that need resurfacing, but it’s the day to day work that you do with people, where they have a challenge with local Government/ State Government and you take up issues on their behalf and you resolve them.

Citizenship ceremonies, attending those, talking to people who aren’t Australian Citizens yet but are in the audience and just want some information about how to go about it. Or people needing visas for urgent situations, so I’ve enjoyed the complex range of issues that the people of Hasluck have brought to me. The ones we’ve resolved we celebrate, those that we don’t achieve, because I never promise, I just say look we will have a go; will try and get a good outcome for you.

There has been some outstanding achievements by my staff in working with people in my electorate. So I’m just quietly hoping that they put their trust in me for another three years. But also put their trust in the honesty of Scott Morrison. And Scott as a Prime Minister for another three years: who’s delivered a strong economy that is making a difference. And has brought stability to the Coalition, so the Coalition will no longer see what’s happened to us, and what had previously happened within the Labor party.

QUESTION:

Isn’t that the point that there is a lot of people in the public that wonder why Scott Morrison is the Prime Minister? Because of the disunity?

KEN WYATT:   

No. we have the right to make choices within our parties. And there are circumstances that arise on both sides. Australia has had, I’ve been in the Parliament and I’ve seen leadership change, but what ive now seen is a stability on both sides of politics, and a genuine commitment to focus on what needs to be done.

Certainly on our side, we want to focus on an economy that will give us all the things that are the essential needs for Australians.

QUESTION:

Why should Australians vote for Scott Morrison; you didn’t?

KEN WYATT:   

I voted for Scott Morrison.

QUESTION:

I'm sorry, I thought you were backing Turnbull. My mistake.

KEN WYATT:

No, in the second ballot against Peter Dutton I made it very clear on the Gareth Parker interview, that I had with Gareth that I was extremely disappointed that we were going through another leadership challenge. Because we are there to focus on the needs of Australians. And I said that I had made my position clear in respect to Peter. I told Peter that I couldn’t support him, and he respected that. I backed Morrison and I believed that Scott has the capabilities, skills and qualities that Australians want in a leader. And he’s certainly showing that. And when he meets people in my electorate they’re impressed with his mannerism and the way in which he engages with people, and he listens with a genuine listening ear, and engages in conversations. Very personable. And I’ve seen the strength of his leadership in the time he has been leader, so I would ask Australians to look at his performance and judge him on that because he delivers.

QUESTION:

Do you think, as per the paper today, it would be a good idea to have a debate in Western Australia?

KEN WYATT:

Well he was asked that at the breakfast recently, and he said he would be happy to have a debate with Bill Shorten in Perth. And that would be great for our State, to see the two leader’s debate here. Because we often see them debate in the Eastern States. Its our turn.

QUESTION:

Because there is a lot of WA-centric issues that could swing the election either way, so its time to move away from the east coast stuff, isn’t it?

KEN WYATT:  

Yeah look id see them as WA’s unique qualities and issues. And West Australians will always fight for our place in the sun on any issue at all. Let me say the Coalition members fought hard on that GST issue, led by Dean Smith, Christian Porter, Julia Bishop; but we worked as a team. And we got the funding for Western Australia that was needed to deal with that level of disparity. Now when they both come here it will be great for people in WA to hear what both of them think of our State. And what they prepared to commit to.

And I want to hear from Bill Shorten whether he is going to guarantee what we put into place for the GST arrangements and the reforms that we’ve promised in the GST redistribution when we reach that parity with other states, to make sure that remains, otherwise if he takes that away then we will be disadvantaged again. And that’s not what I want to see for an economy like ours, where we give and generate so much wealth back into the nation’s coffers.

QUESTION:

If it does happen, it will be the first time ever in WA. It’s been a long time coming.

KEN WYATT:  

It’s great. Look I’m older than the four of you. I remember when Forrest Place used to have the Prime Ministers and the leaders of the Opposition stand on the steps of the GPO and talk to the public, and debates that used to happened here in Perth.

And we lost, and when we changed that after the election where, I think it was Gough Whitlam lost to Malcolm Fraser, that didn’t occur again. And it was sad because we deserve to see our leaders publicly debate and for them to do it in Perth I think will be an outstanding success and opportunity.

QUESTION:

Without Julia Bishop in that seat of Curtin, do you think that’s going to be tough to win back?

KEN WYATT:

No I think people there in Curtin still have a commitment to the Coalition. And our candidate is good. Ive known her for some time through the work I’ve been involved in in education and R-Ed. And ive been impressed with both her qualities as an individual, but her knowledge and understanding of what’s required to be a good representative for the people of Curtin.

Thank you.

[ends]