Caught up in 'power struggle'
THE FALLOUT from the emergence of a second health lobby group for the region continued to ripple through the Fraser Coast yesterday.
While the president of the Maryborough ALP branch, Brad Hansen, found himself torn between two lobbies, divided loyalties were not a problem for Fraser Coast councillor Les MucKan.
Mr Hansen, the Labor candidate in Maryborough at the March elections, said he was disappointed at being “caught up in what appears to be a power struggle” between the Fraser Coast Health Focus Group and the Community Health Task Force, set up by Maryborough MP Chris Foley last week.
Mr Hansen accepted an invitation from Gerard O’Connell and Dr Paul Cotton to involve himself with the Fraser Coast Health Focus Group after the state elections.
“When Chris invited me last week to become involved in a committee he was putting together, I expected that Paul and Gerard would be involved also.”
Mr Hansen believes the community would be best served by one inclusive group to ensure a consistent approach to tackling the region’s health issues.
“I want to be involved with people whose sole focus is advocating our region’s concerns and I’m sure, as a single united group, we can all work together to achieve that,” Mr Hansen said.
Meanwhile Mr O’Connell yesterday revealed that councillor and indigenous advocate Les MucKan would come on board with the health focus group.
He said the group would be reinvigorated with “a flood of new membership given the level of interest from recent publicity”.
“It is unclear the role the Foley Task Force intends to play. Some of those approached to join Mr Foley’s Task Force are currently members of the Health Focus Group.
“Contact over the weekend would indicate those joining the Task Force are unclear as to its aims and objectives.
“My belief is we best serve our community by working as a collaborative, representative and motivated single focus group.
“Mr Foley has an important role to play as the Maryborough member in pursing the case for a better, more accountable health service.”