Posted by: Chasy | 05/09/2011

Quick post: The tragic side of Gillard Govt’s desperate grabs at popularity

This is just shitty. There’s no other way to describe it:

The Federal Government will be criticised today for making budget cuts to mental health funding and accused of pandering to select prominent media performers in the field.

[Psychologist’s] Association secretary Quentin Black says two children have committed suicide recently in a remote Aboriginal community where the funding cuts have stopped visits by a specialist psychologist.

It seems there would be no reason to cut such an essential service, other than in a effort to cut spending and gain votes. Why would the bother looking after the mental health of children in Indigenous communities, when black kids aren’t interesting to the general public and can’t vote?

”Specialist psychological services have been cut by 45 per cent in the budget, but I don’t think consumers have realised that.”

Mr Black said the last budget cut $174 million from specialist psychological services and $405 million from mental health services provided by GPs.

”The Government has become over-reliant on a narrow base of professional opinion, allowing prominent media performers to guide policy matters on mental health.”

During the Budget announcement earlier this year, the government were quick to congratulate themselves on directing funds towards mental health – but how often did you hear the names of ‘Headspace’ and ‘Professor Patrick McGorry’? The Gillard government, as usually, are far too busy chasing polls are trying to placate the general public in an effort to win back desperately needed votes.

However, not only do disadvantaged Indigenous children miss out, so do you. For example, as listed on the Croakey Blog summary, you lose 2 of your government funded psychologist appointments under the Mental Health Care plan per calendar year and the amount you get back from Medicare is reduced. I note this now because I only just realised. Shows you how much I paid attention at the time.

You know how there is the kid at school who is always trying to impress people and keeps changing his mind about what he likes because he desperately wants to fit in? They piss off their uncool friends and keep giving their lunch money to the cool kids. That’s what we’ve got as a government.

Having a federal government like that is frightening. We’re never going to get anything substantial out of them and will constantly be presented with populist band-aid fixes to every issue. And every single one of us will get shafted in one way or another. That’s fucked.



  1. The link to “This is just shitty” is borked.

    I thought the Howard Govt’s policies in relation to mental health services (and within the Indigenous community) were bad. I had hopes that Labor would be more progressive, but no… they’re just, as you said, pissing “off their uncool friends and keep giving their lunch money to the cool kids”.


    • And WordPress, instead of leaving the coding there for me to fix, ate the link completely, and I can’t find it. HOORAY, UNSUBSTANTIATED COMMENT!

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