Bob Katter responds
I write in response to Kendall Santillan's letter (NWS 11 January, 2020) 'Silence on Zone Allowances."
We have, and will continue to savagely attack the Productivity Commission's proposal to scrap remote area tax concessions, payments and allowances. I am taking the drastic step of writing to the Prime Minister ahead of the release of the Productivity Commission's final report in February.
The PC can take much of the blame for shutting down the entire industrial capacity of this nation. We can't make a motor car. We are flat out making enough petrol to keep the Government's limousine fleet running. They've shutdown the white goods industry, textile production, clothing industry and metal processing has gone overseas. It's hard to name an industry we have left. They've cut dairy farming in half, the sugar industry by 16pc and wiped out wool by nearly 60pc.
With the Aussie Dollar dropped in half we have no capacity to buy anything. We must import from overseas, and the price of everything has doubled. The PC are dangerous, stupid people who live in 'Canbrisney Land'. One 1 million people live inside the Great Dividing Range. If the Federal Government listens to the Productivity Commission, and axes these concessions and payments, half a million people will be moved to cities where there is a rat race style of existence. The congestion levels in these cities are rapidly getting worse. And the cost of expenditure needed to overcome the congestion is breaking the nation.
Bob Katter, Kennedy MP.
A new decade of hope
If you or a loved one had a stroke 30 years ago, the chances of returning to the life you knew were slim. But that is not the case anymore. With the right treatment at the right time, it is possible to make a good recovery.
With a new year underway, it's a fitting opportunity to look back on how far we have come in stroke treatment and care and think about what we can do to reduce our own personal stroke risk in the future.
Stroke strikes the brain. There will be more than 56,000 strokes in Australia in 2020 - that is one every nine minutes. Sadly, the numbers continue to climb as our population grows and ages and lifestyles become more sedentary.
But stroke is no longer a death sentence for many. Medical diagnosis and treatment have become much more advanced in the past two decades. There has been a significant reduction in lives lost as a result.
The game changers were the introduction of the time-critical therapies thrombolysis (blood clot dissolving treatment) and endovascular thrombectomy (blood clot removal treatment). Australian researchers were at the forefront of these treatments.
In addition, the number of patients being treated in a dedicated stroke unit has increased. So too has access to rehabilitation and carer training. There has been increased recognition that stroke's impact extends beyond the physical to mental health. Together these steps help maximise quality of life and independence after stroke.
There is still a lot more to be done.
Our regional health services and patients are being left behind as our city hospitals innovate. We know our regional patients have limited access to well established standard treatments. It doesn't need to be this way. There is huge potential for telehealth to remove geographical barriers to stroke treatments and boost the capacity of our regional health services and clinicians.
Researchers are constantly looking for the next major breakthrough. We must ensure all Australians have equitable access to these innovations to maximise their benefit.
In 2020, I urge you to make time for a health check with your doctor to determine your risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat). These issues can be controlled, reducing stroke risk.
Professor Bruce Campbell,
Stroke Foundation Clinical Council