Task force can deliver: MP Foley

CHAIR of the Community Health Task Force, Chris Foley, has full belief in the ability of his health lobby group to deliver to the Fraser Coast region.

“I believe the task force has a very broad membership of community leaders and with the two sitting MPs, it has a direct line to the Minister for Health,” Mr Foley said yesterday.

His comments came after the Fraser Coast Chamber of Commerce voted on Thursday night to set up a public meeting to try to set up a new and extensive health lobby group.

The chambers of commerce in Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Tiaro and Burrum and District have been aligned with the Health Focus Group since it was set up in 2005.

The future of the focus group has been overshadowed since Maryborough MP Chris Foley set up the Community Health Task Force before Christmas, which includes medical practitioners in its personnel.

A stand-off has developed between Mr Foley and leading members of the Health Focus Group, Gerard O’Connell and Dr Paul Cotton.

At Thursday night’s meeting, a member of the Fraser Coast Chamber of Commerce was asked to approach Mr Foley to discuss the possibility of bringing the groups together.

Mr Foley said he was happy to talk to that person but didn’t side with the call for one group only.

President of the Fraser Coast Chamber of Commerce, Steve Dixon, believes one unified group is the way forward.

“To be able to get a strong view from this region across, there’s got to be a degree of unity in it.

“It would be of enormous value to the community to have a unified approach here.

“It’s terrific to see the four chambers working together for the good of the community.”

Both Mr O’Connell and Dr Cotton have previously indicated their willingness to step out of the health lobby group arena if they were perceived as obstacles to a unified group being established.

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