It’s time for candidates in the upcoming State Election to show where they stand on the important issues affecting voters and their families in the Macarthur region.

Greater Macarthur Community Unions (GMCU) will put local candidates to the test on issues like privatising assets and services and cuts to education and health care.

They will be under the spotlight at a GMCU Candidates Forum on Wednesday 11 February from 6pm to 8.30pm at Campbelltown RSL.

A recent survey conducted by GMCU found that voters don’t favour privatisation of public assets and instead, they want the State Government to invest more in the community, especially in health and education.

But GMCU representatives said in contrast the Baird Government has slashed millions of dollars from the south-western Sydney Institute of TAFE, with TAFE teachers losing their jobs as private education providers are brought in to train young job seekers, at a price. Many courses which once had an affordable fee structure are now much more expensive.

The Baird Government has also ripped $3 billion dollars out of the NSW health system since it came to power. And while the Government tries to hoodwink voters that the building program at Campbelltown Hospital will solve the areas health problems, local nursing staff know that staffing levels at the hospital are dangerously low. So low in fact that patient safety is often placed at risk because health workers are run off their feet trying to deliver the best care they can to hospital patients.

"There are not enough nurses to provide the level of care that patients deserve. There are no guaranteed nurse staffing levels in the children's ward or the Emergency Department (ED), for example. The NSW Government is refusing to guarantee staffing levels in these areas, placing enormous pressure on local managers who shouldn't have to put the budget before safe patient care. There's no point in having a shiny new building if there aren't enough nurses to provide the care,” said Lisa Kremmer from the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association.

“Nurses are calling on all candidates to support an increase in full-time positions at Campbelltown and Camden Hospitals.  And while wards are short-staffed, hospital administrators have failed to support allied and professional health services which are under threat across the State.”

Local paramedic advocate Warren Boon said the Baird Liberal Government also needs to urgently increase the numbers of paramedics, which have not kept pace with population growth and the increase in emergency calls.

“Everyone knows that seconds count in an emergency yet Macarthur residents often have to wait in excess of twenty to thirty minutes before an ambulance even arrives.

“Macarthur is an extremely large area and the biggest growth area in the country yet has only four stations between Liverpool and Bowral.     

“This can mean up to or over an hour before you arrive at hospital, which clearly is just not good enough.”

"I would urge everyone in the community to come to the forum to hear firsthand where their local candidate stands on the things that matter to the Macarthur community. At least then when we go to vote on March 28 we can make an informed decision."

Yes I will be attending the Greater Macarthur Community Unions Candidates Forum

Want to support local paramedics in the Macarthur region? Sign and share the petition calling on the Minister for Health Jillian Skinner to boost Ambo numbers in the area as a matter of urgency.

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