Neaton shares concerns over sale of $49M Australian Hearing
LABOR candidate for Capricornia Leisa Neaton has labelled plans to sell-off public asset Australian Hearing, worth nearly $50M, as reckless.
In a release circulated this morning, Ms Neaton address her concerns for Australian Hearing.
"Australian Hearing is a Government owned and funded body that provides hearing services to around half a million Australians each year," Ms Neaton said in the release.
"It answers to the Minister for Human Services. In the Department of Human Services' Annual Report 2014/2015, Australian Hearing is classified as "available for sale" and valued at $49 million.
"The Government has carried out a scoping study into the possible sale of Australian Hearing and promised another report before the end of this year. That report is yet to come."
Ms Neaton said the Deafness Forum of Australia had called for the retention of Australian Hearing with government ownership.
"The Government should listen to the Deafness Forum of Australia in relation to the complexity of the issues associated with any privatisation of Australian Hearing and its internationally renowned research arm, the National Acoustic Laboratories," she said.
"Australian Hearing is a service which has been operating in Australia since 1947 providing support for deaf children, young adults, age pensioners, Indigenous Australians and veterans.
"Australian Hearing provide hearing services in some centres where private service providers would be unlikely to go.
"The prospect of handing this invaluable public asset to multinational audiology corporations seems reckless. If the service is privatised, will the Government be able to guarantee that all services will continue?"
Ms Neaton opposed the privatisation of the service and said all Australians deserve fair access to quality hearing services.
"Labor opposes the sale of Australian Hearing and the National Acoustic Laboratories to international audiology companies who operate in an industry where profits come before people's needs.
"Australians with a hearing impairment deserve the healthcare they need, not the healthcare they can afford."