Four National Party state MPs and two coalition ministers have all put their names to a media release boasting $1.34 million in dental funding for the north coast.
The only problem is that every single cent of the money comes from the federal ALP government.
In a press release issued this week, which reads like an episode of Yes Minister, Nationals MPs Don Page, Thomas George, Geoff Provest and Chris Gulaptis publicly congratulated themselves on successfully ‘lobbying’ the minister for healthy lifestyles, Kevin Humphries, who had then ‘lobbied’ state health minister Jillian Skinner, who in turn negotiated ‘a National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on treating more public dental patients, under which NSW will receive up to $110.8 million from the Commonwealth to increase public dental services until March 31, 2015’.
All great news, no doubt.
But in the third paragraph of the media release it is finally revealed that all of the money is federal funding.
However the often combative federal Richmond MP Justine Elliot was far from displeased, instead praising the three MPs for their efforts in promoting a federal program.
‘I’m proud as the federal MP to have delivered increased federal funding for dental services,’ she told Echonetdaily.
‘I’m pleased that the NSW state government and local state National Party MPs have recognised and endorsed this record funding delivered by the federal Labor government.’
The bemusing media release continues with four ‘cut and paste’ quotes.
‘I’m hopeful that the Northern NSW Local Health District will be successful in future funding rounds to continue to provide dental services for the people on the north coast,’ Mr Page is quoted as saying.
Member for Lismore, Thomas George, chipped in that ‘it is good that for the first time in NSW there is a comprehensive framework to reform the delivery of dental services and improve dental outcomes for the people of NSW’.
‘The NSW government understands that good dental health is fundamental to the enjoyment of life, vital to general good health and significantly contributes to confidence and wellbeing. Through our Strategic Framework we will ensure that there is a marked improvement in oral health outcomes,’ member for Tweed, Geoff Provest said.
‘Through Oral Health 2020, the NSW government has a platform for action on dental health into the next decade, tailored to the needs of our communities such as those in the Clarence electorate,’ member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis, said.