The Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie has condemned the Gillard Government’s commitment to mental health in regional Victoria.
This week, Senator McKenzie used a Matters of Public Importance speech in the Senate to highlight Swan Hill’s push for a headspace centre.
“Swan Hill has the highest incidence of teenagers who self-harm in the state, seven times the state average,” Senator McKenzie said.
“They have missed out on funding and the town is now struggling to provide adequate support services.
The federal government recently announced 15 locations around the country for new headspace centres – Victoria was given three branches, all in and around the suburbs of Melbourne.
Senator McKenzie said the issue of mental health was too sensitive to play politics with.
“This is a very disappointing outcome for the 10,000 members of the Swan Hill community, but they’re not alone.
“Albury-Wodonga and Mildura were also overlooked – areas with estimated populations of 85,000 and 53,000 respectively.
“The Gillard Government cannot continue to ignore regional communities, big or small.”