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Minister Greg Hunt is not interested in Closing the Gap in his local area

The Morrison Government’s commitment to improving the health of all Australians does not extend to the Aboriginal people living in Frankston and on the Mornington Peninsula. Despite the Minister for Health Greg Hunt being the local member for the Flinders electorate, the 6,000 Aboriginal people who call Frankston, the Mornington Peninsula and surrounding areas home are one of the only regions in the country where the local Aboriginal health service did not receive any investment under Minister Greg Hunt’s recently announced $90 million-dollar boost for Aboriginal health services.

First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing is led by a skills-based Board of Aboriginal Directors and opened to the local Aboriginal community of Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula this year to provide culturally appropriate, comprehensive primary health care for the first time in history. First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing CEO, Nurse, Midwife and Wamba Wamba woman Karinda Taylor had spoken with Greg Hunt’s senior advisors to make the Federal Minister for Health aware of the desperate need for culturally safe health services in his local area, but he has refused to provide any funding to this health and wellbeing centre. Neighbouring federal MP Peta Murphy has been strongly supportive, but despite repeatedly and personally lobbying Greg Hunt – he has not seen the importance of Aboriginal health in Greater Melbourne.

The additional $90 million to Aboriginal health services claims to be distributed “more fairly and transparently and based on activity levels, the cost of delivering services, and the relative health needs of locations” but completely ignored the Aboriginal community of Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula and the excellent track record of First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing providing efficient and effective primary health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

- Frankston, Mornington Peninsula and surrounding areas are home to 6,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, a population larger than in Alice Springs

- No Aboriginal health service has ever operated in the area until now

- The gap in life expectancy between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians remains at 9 years

- Aboriginal people living with long-term mental health conditions is four times higher in Greater Melbourne than that for Aboriginal people living in remote areas (15%) according to most recent figures

- Investing in primary health care is the most cost-effective way to provide population health care

First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing Chief Executive Officer Karinda Taylor said, “This is heartbreaking. Since we opened, we have been booked out and desperately need even a small amount of funding to be able to continue to provide the comprehensive health care that the community in this area need and deserve”.

For media enquires: Karinda Taylor Chief Executive Officer 0477 622 210