Ian CausleyMember for Page- CanberraConnection

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Phone: 6621 9909

Fax: 6621 9959

Address: PO Box 1119, Lismore, 2480


Doctors to be trained locally

The Australian Government is providing more than $1 million to change the way that medical students are trained on the Northern Rivers.

In what has been named the North Coast Medical Education Collaboration (NCMEC), a joint venture between the medical schools of the universities of Sydney, Western Sydney and Wollongong has been established.

The NCMEC will be based in Lismore and will receive $1.1 million to develop and deliver training modules which focus on health issues facing people living in rural and remote areas.

The NCMEC will develop a model of medical education that provides a comprehensive regional-rural clinical experience for students, and contributes to better health services and outcomes for people outside the metropolitan areas.

One of the great things about this medical facility is that it will enable students to stay in the local area for a full year, increasing their links with local communities and the likelihood that they will return here to work after graduation.

This venture will further improve the health infrastructure on the Northern Rivers and provide opportunities for young local people to undertake at least part of their medical studies in a rural environment, close to home.

Pensions to increase

Following the latest CPI adjustments, pensioners will receive an increase in their fortnightly pensions.

Every six months, on March 20 and September 20, rates of various adult pensions, allowances and payments, are indexed in line with the latest CPI increases.

As a result, the maximum single rate of pension will rise by $12.40 to $512.10 per fortnight, and the maximum partnered pension rate will rise by $10.50 to $427.70 per fortnight.

The Coalition Government legislated to have pension rates linked to both the CPI and Male Total Average Weekly Earnings (MTAWE). Had this not occurred, single pension rates would now be at $455.30 per fortnight instead of the $512.10 effective from this week.

This rise in payments will benefit more than two million Australians in receipt of Age Pensions, Carer Payment, Utilities Allowance and other Centrelink benefits. These increases will help recipients with the expenses of everyday living costs.

The Australian Government believes in having a fair and effective safety net for lower-income individuals and families. These twice-yearly rises are designed to do just that.

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